The Bennett Family Blog

In customary New England unpredictability, this past week we enjoyed a day of sunshine and mid to upper 50 degrees, followed by a day of snow - approximately 18 inches of it! This much snow in one storm means plenty of work removing it, but also plenty of beauty looking at it!

Everything is covered in snow!

Who can resist taking pictures of icicles when there are so many around?

Lovely wintertime sights!

And of course, as we said, lots of snow means lots of snow removal!

Daniel hard at work

Meanwhile, inside the house, we are enjoying our amaryllis plant which is doing very well and has eight blossoms!

The Lord has designed His creation with such beauty, hasn't He?

We celebrated N’gella’s birthday last week – our first ever January birthday! We had a great evening together – we enjoyed a delicious dinner, gave her cards and gifts, and played games!

Kathryn made this to hold a gift card to N’gella’s favorite restaurant: Chick-fil-A!

We enjoyed an afternoon of sledding with some friends at a local park that has a HUGE hill. Every time we would climb the hill, we’d think to ourselves, “Is it really worth it??”, but when we would sled down, we would decide it was! :)

Daniel and our friend, Tim, getting ready for the first slide down the hill.

And they're off!

What would sledding be without falling out of the sled?

Daniel laughing over the spill

This was the view from the top of the hill.

We had a lot of fun!!

We were honored and delighted to be able to attend the swearing-in ceremony of our good friend, State Senator Len Suzio, at the Connecticut State Capitol.

Lydia, Carolyn, Julianna and Daniel in the Senate Chamber, before the ceremony

In 2011, the last time that Sen. Suzio was sworn in, Daniel was thrilled to sit in his chair.

He's grown a bit, hasn't he?

In the Senate gallery, waiting for the ceremony to begin

We were thrilled to be able to rejoice with Sen. Suzio and his family!

How could we describe this past Christmas season? It was full. Full of blessing, full of fun, full of God's goodness! We had 19 concerts, our first on being on December 3, our last one on December 28, and everywhere else in the middle!

Our first concert was at the Harwinton Hometown Christmas Celebration. It was a lot of fun being there; we just loved the small-town feel of the event. We were thankful to be inside a large tent, as the day was very windy and rather chilly!

Two of our concerts were with the orchestra which we are members of, the Laudate Homeschool Orchestra. We enjoy being part of the orchestra and playing music to the glory of God.

Packing the van - we are grateful for Jonathan's organizational abilities in this area! One particular day, we set a new record: between home, the two concerts we had, and a practice session with Matthew and N'gella at church, we packed or unpacked the van eight times!

Julianna

Lydia with the checklist

We were happy to have Matthew and N'gella join us for a few concerts. We are so glad to have N'gella as part of our family!

Playing handbells in Nelson Hall at Elim Park

Elizabeth, Julianna, N'gella, Kathryn, Carolyn, Susanna, Lydia

Lydia, Carolyn and Daniel on the guitar, mandolin, and banjo

What a joy to celebrate Christ's birth through music - together as a family!

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Take time to remember those who gave their lives for our freedom, and to pray for those who still live with difficult memories from their time of service to our country.

This is a photo that Lydia snapped at the dedication ceremony for the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in New Haven. It is a poignant reminder to not let the busyness of life stop us from remembering and honoring those who have served our country.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year; we had some relatives stay with us for a few days, and then we all headed out to our uncle's place on Thanksgiving day for our annual family get-together. Dad comes from a family of nine children, so there's usually a decent sized crowd; this year we had 52 people. We enjoyed a delicious meal; our aunt cooks the two turkeys and the potatoes (this year, to avoid leftovers, she downsized from 20 lbs to 12 lbs of potatoes), and everyone else brings side dishes. After our meal, most of the cousins and a few of the aunts and uncles always head outside for some flag football. We enjoy various pies after that, and then we play games, sit around and talk, sing together, and just enjoy being with each other! What a blessing to be with family once again!

Getting ready for the first of three football games to begin!

Jonathan and Matthew

Matthew intercepted the ball and ran it back in for a touchdown!

One of Daniel's several touchdown celebrations :)

On Sunday afternoon, we attended a Filipino Thanksgiving celebration, and Kathryn did a chalk talk about the grateful leper that Jesus healed; the one out of ten who came back to say "Thank you". Before she started drawing, Kathryn thanked Dad for the role that he has played in encouraging her in her chalk artistry.

We were invited to a pumpkin party at a friend's house and had a great time. We split into teams of two, painting and/or carving with the hopes of winning the pumpkin competition!

Julianna and Daniel went for the Super Bowl 50 Champions theme... can you tell what NFL team Daniel loves??

Jonathan and Carolyn were a team of balance: Jonathan used power tools (which all the guys at the party thought was too awesome) and Carolyn tried to keep the design relatively respectable. Originally intended to be Cinderella's coach, their pumpkin kind of evolved through the evening.

Newlyweds Matthew and N'gella created a pumpkin ad for their favorite place to eat. Do you all like Chick-Fil-A too?

Kathryn & Elizabeth turned out a truly masterful work of art, captioned on top around the stem: "A pumpkin is a testimony of God's faithfulness." The four sections follow the pumpkin (and the tree behind it) throughout the four seasons of the year. Amazing!

Summer

Autumn

Winter

Lydia and Susanna won first prize (by a huge margin of votes) for their Christmas themed art of Pumpkin Bible Church with a red home and Christmas tree next door. The exquisite touch that secured the gold for them was a tiny bell they put in the bellfry (it jingled) and a hinged door that actually opened (carefully).

Once again Election Day found us all working the polls in Cheshire... a busy but wonderfully smooth day, far better than we expected. Trusting each election to God's hands is a poignant exercise in faith, rest and obedience, no matter the results.

The months leading up to November 8th have been lined with volunteering for Len Suzio's campaign for the 13th Senate District. Addressing thousands of letters, distributing flyers, putting up Suzio signs and telling people to Vote for Suzio! After we had closed the polls and were cleaning up our districts, we got the news: Len Suizo declares victory!!! We were ecstatic and so thankful!

This October we made our annual visit to our grandmother in Quebec. The trip was full to overflowing with the abundant grace and loving kindness of our God, from the vivid fall foliage to the special moments with friends to the times of laughter, music and good food. But the highlight of it all was a momentous occasion as two lives joined together as one for the glory of God: after carefully seeking God's will and becoming engaged, Matthew & N'gella became man and wife!

We enjoyed our travel time together :)

Several of us took a long walk one beautiful afternoon.

Kathryn and Carolyn were in charge of the meal for the wedding. They prepared very carefully and thoroughly with the help of several wonderful friends and relatives, and the food was delicious!

The decorations in the church were beautiful.

We took the opportunity to get some nice Dad & Daughter photos.

Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Bennett!

Daniel had a lot of fun taking selfies with everybody during the week. Here he is with the bride & groom and best man.

A couple times a year, we get out the polish and rags and shine our bells! Susanna and Julianna took this project outside and had a grand time together.

We have 3 octaves of bells - lots of rubbing and scrubbing!

Before....

After....

See them shine!!

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