The Bennett Family Blog

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 :)

Jonathan

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

We enjoyed a trip up to Canada to visit our grandmother and gave a concert/chalk drawing at her church. We had a fine time fellowshipping with old friends, soaking in the vibrant foliage, savoring the maple flavor that shows up at every turn, some poutine (french fries topped with gravy and cheese--a regional favorite), meat pie, homebaked beans and more. As the French say, "C'est bon!" Here are some snapshots of the trip.

One of Kathryn's projects while we were there was to paint a farm scene on a saw as a wallpiece. Here she is prepping with all her colors close at hand.

Here is the finished product!

At the annual Cheshire Fall Festival this year, we and other Cheshire residents had a once-in-a-lifetime experience.Ever since we were little, we have heard local VFW Post Commander John White drilling into Cheshire residents the unique position Cheshire has of being the hometown of two Medal of Honor recipients: Sergeant Eri Woodbury of the Civil War and Colonel Harvey Barnum (USMC) of the Vietnam War. Mr. White worked with state & local officials to get a portion of the main road that runs through Cheshire to be named the "Medal of Honor Memorial Highway" in honor of these two men. At the Fall Festival, a dedication ceremony for this would include a speech by none other than Colonel Barnum himself! We were honored to meet him in person: he is a warm, personable man who wears his Medal well. He said, "I am a custodian of this medal and I wear it in honor of the Marines and Navy men with whom I was privileged to serve." 

Local VFW Post Commander John White 

Colonel Harvey Barnum

What a memorable day!

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