The Bennett Family Blog

Our family has had a float in our local Memorial Day parade every year for quite a few years. We play a medley of the Armed Forces songs as we travel down the parade route, and take the opportunity to remind folks to "Keep the Memorial in Memorial Day".

Putting the float together the night before the parade

Kathryn paints the sides of the float each year and does a really good job of it!

Waiting for the parade to begin

The finished product

The parade theme was about Wounded Warriors and how they contribute to their communities, so we tried to capture that idea in the pictures that Kathryn painted on the sides.

"O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
'Till all success be nobleness, and every gain divine."

Our orchestra had the opportunity to play at an outdoor wedding for a violinist who had played with us for several seasons. It was a lovely day and some gusty wind provided additional interest to the experience.

Rehearsal in the damp and dark outdoors

We are grateful today for our Mom, who is an example of a godly woman who follows the Lord courageously, who serves others selflessly, and who has consistently taught us to do the same.

If at first you don't succeed, try doing it the way Mom told you in the beginning!

Various members of our family have been working at the polls for several years now. It is a privilege to be part of the process in this way and we are glad to be able to help our local Registrars team and the dozens of other pollworkers we get to work with. This year just about everyone in our family was working at one of the seven voting locations in Cheshire.

Most of our polling stations are in a school gym.

Matthew (Moderator) & Carolyn (Checker)

Daniel served as Tab Tender -- the guy who hands out that all-important "I Voted Today" sticker.

If you ever have the chance to work at the polls, give it a try. It's a stimulating way to learn about and be part of a great American privilege.

Welcome to the Sunshine State...sunny, cool, clear and best of all, low humidity.

We had two concerts in Lakeland; a friend took us on a tour of the town and we got to see three of the main beautiful lakes, swans (the emblem of Lakeland) and Florida Southern's display of Frank Lloyd Wright's unique architecture. Here is a fountain display designed by Wright.

This is the larger chapel.

We got to see a few families of ducks -- one had 18 adorable ducklings.

Setting up for a concert...

Not an inch of space is spared in Jonathan's careful packing system!

We take our checklist everywhere we go so nothing is forgotten.

It is always a delight to be back in Ormond Beach. We shared music for a ladies luncheon, collaborating again with the Petrick family, did some specials for Sunday morning services and then a full concert in the evening. We wrapped up our trip with a concert at our host's community center.

Friends took us up to St. Augustine; we went to the Castillo de San Marcos and strolled through the cobblestone streets of Old St. Augustine. It was a great day!

We were so grateful for the gracious hospitality of all of everyone who housed and fed us. Here we are enjoying lunch on a Florida sun porch.

Doing a bit of garden work in the sandy soil of Florida.

We've known Gus ever since he was a puppy. Now he's in his golden years and we enjoyed every minute we had with him.

We had to scramble to eat most of the food stockpile that had accumulated due to generous friends... which is why we are eating cupcakes for breakfast.

Heading off to home sweet home!

While the first day of spring brought several inches of snow to New England, indoors Kathryn's seedlings are sprouting. She'll try to grow just about anything she can get seeds for (she once successfully grew a five-inch watermelon), and is currently nurturing potato, pepper and tomato plants.

That's a potato plant

Meanwhile Lydia is busy marking music for orchestra

We were happy to finally get a little bit of snow on the ground! We got about eight inches, and enjoyed every bit of it.

It took a little bit of work to find the icicle that was willing to pose for this picture :) The trick is to find one that is not dripping too fast or too slow, and then.....take a lot of pictures!!!!

The icicle photographer

We had a very lovely, very busy Christmas season with concerts at churches, nursing homes and senior centers, celebrating in song the birth of Jesus Christ. It is really wonderful how Christmas music lifts people's spirits.

We even played outdoors :)


Wiping the bells down after a concert

Having fun setting up microphones for our Elim Park concerts

It's always fun to have family help out... our cousin Ryan manned the sound board for both of the Elim Park concerts

One thing we enjoy each November is packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. The Christian disaster relief organization Samaritan's Purse partners with churches around the world to distribute shoeboxes filled with toys and practical items to children in difficult situations. This year our church had a packing party; each week people brought in items and empty shoeboxes, and then one Saturday we packed the shoeboxes, with a total of over 80 boxes.

Empty shoeboxes waiting to be wrapped with colorful paper