Category Archives: Ben

Shout out for our Benjamin, Benny boy, dimple kid.

Alabama = Bemis Fun

What an amazing trip to the Gulf Shore. We would definitely go back again. It was the kind of trip you don’t need a vacation from your vacation when you get home, so relaxing! The ocean was so peaceful and spending time with our extended family was just what we needed. Even Josie said her favorite thing was spending time with everyone outside of the holidays.


  • Billy kayaked in the ocean a TON. He took out the kids (especially the boys) and the two of us got out there twice.
  • Josie officially turned 10 in Alabama, how cool is that?
  • Joanne and Ben put on a tap dance to Elvis Presley’s “Teddy Bear”. It may be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
  • We had a fun parents night out while Grandma, Grandpa, and Josie watched the kids.
  • Lots of fun on the beach! We took a sand castle class, we played soccer, raced, walked, and so much more.
  • Uncle Johnny knocked his tooth out when a big wave hit his Stand Up Paddle Board. Luckily, the tooth stuck in the board!
  • The boys had a peanut scare that involved me having to stab them in the thigh with EPI Pens as we drove down the highway to the ER. Will unbuckled his seat belt and later told us he was going to jump in the trunk. I stabbed him about 4 times before realizing I was using the one I already did on Ben. Ben’s entered above his knee cap versus on his thigh (he kept guarding his thigh) so his knee was sore for a day. The check in nurse said, “You’ll hurting anywhere besides where mama stabbed you?!” The doctor said I saved their lives and I cried.

Made for the Stage

Ben had his second recital at Capital City Dance Center and once again proclaimed he is made for the stage. He had so much fun.

In December, Billy took Ben to the Nutcracker at the Civic Center to see our friend Lucy in it. In August, Ben is old enough to try out for the Nutcracker, here’s his latest Google search:
“How tall do you have to be to be a rat in the Nut Cracker at the Civic Center” This was after he brought the program (from last December) to the park for his own rehearsal.

On stage, rehearsal, and my fav pic from observation week.

House Swap

Grandshe had her Omaha book club come to Des Moines for a slumber party. There were 10 friends that made the road trip. We swapped homes with Grandshe so she could accommodate all her gal pals. We had so much fun vacationing at Grandshe’s place! Josie said, “if anyone asks…tell them we are renting the place for the weekend.” So then we started calling it our VRBO or cottage rental.

It was fun to snuggle in closer corners and watch Saturday morning cartoons. We are in such a habit of watching Netflix or computer time, it was a nice change. And for us all to cozy up on one couch (or around the chair below) made this mama happy!


Grandshe equals fun

While we were in Chicago for Hamilton, the kids had some fun with Grandshe. Here are a couple of stories:

  • Grandshe took Will and Josie to their first thrift store while Ben was in dance class. As they entered the thrift store, Will asked very innocently, “Will Macklemore be in there?”
  • Grandshe said a naughty word so Ben decided he should sneak on her phone and text me to tattle-tell on her. Instead of texting me, he texted the last person Grandshe had texted, which was her apartment complex manager. When Ben realized it, he felt so bad. Ben started crying. Will did too. They both thought Grandshe would be kicked out of her apartment complex.
  • All three kids had a ton of fun being spoiled rotten.


January 2017

The first month of the year is almost over, so I figured it was time to do a little recap:

  • This is the first year the we all wrote out our resolutions and predictions for the year ahead. We put them in a jar and plan to open January 1st, 2018.
  • We had a ping pong tournament with some friends, because we lost I am anxious for a rematch.
  • We practiced using an Epi-Pen with the kids. Since they are going in different directions and are older, we figured it was time to go over what’s in the eli-pen bag.
  • The boys got new “soccer” haircuts and look like little men.
  • We played on the frozen pond for the first time since living here.
  • We honored MLK by reading the whole “Who was Martin Luther King” book on our day off from school.
  • We are still in love with Hamilton in this house. Bill and I got to go to the show in Chicago. It was a quick weekend, but we had a BLAST. Great to spend time with friends, my brothers, and watch Hamilton….which the kids and I listen to almost nightly while prepping dinner and doing homework.
  • The kids got to be in a short clip about the Playhouse. They loved sharing their love for the theatre.
  • And probably the BIGGEST news of the month… The boys passed their pecan challenge! We went to Bubba to celebrate and had pecan pie for dessert.


The boys discovered Looney Tunes right before Halloween. They started watching them on YouTube and fell in love with the cartoon characters just like we did as kids.

They decided to be Looney Tunes for Halloween. I was so excited they came up with a theme! BUT Looney Tunes aren’t exactly popular now so I had to create their costumes….I think they turned out well.

Josie wanted to be Chewy from StarWars. While I would have loved her to match the boys, she came up with her idea long before the boys. PLUS her costume involved buying a talking mask (totally have gotten our moneys worth on that) and hooded pajamas from Target, score!

This year, we were at the Syverson’s for trick-or-treating. For the first time ever, the girls (Quinn and Jos) stayed out longer than the boys and hit up a14691100_10209070167644419_671490274001326161_n 14937197_10154040119976989_360724144444379479_n few extra houses.

Give Thanks 2016

Operation Give Thanks for the month of November was a big success. We repeated some projects and did some new ones too. New to the roster: making a care package that went to Italy for our pal Jessica, donating to Project Linus, and leaving money on vending machines at the hospital. The kids always want to thank their teachers, this year we had our friend Pam give chair massages at school. The kids escorted teachers to the chair massage room, made introductions to Pam, then gave each teacher a card when we were done. This was the first year that dad was able to go with us to ChildServe to deliver our Thanksgiving cards to the kids who live there.

We also do easy smaller things in the month….like donate collected pop tabs to Ronald McDonald or mail cards to family. These are perfect on those busy school days.

We “adopted” a fourth grade boy from a Junior League friend’s school in East Des Moines. (I had to explain to the boys we weren’t officially adopting this boy). I love doing this because it seems to hit home for the kids. They relate to someone their age and the teacher is good at giving a few details about the kid…more than just a clothing size. For instance, she shared up until recently, his family was homeless. The students get to request one book and one item of clothing. The clothing item he requested was socks. The teacher said she’s never seen him wear socks to school. Something simple that we take for granted. He asked for Magic Tree House books. Josie said she is done reading her books and the boys said they would rather this boy got them than keep the books for them.

Every year I am proud of the kids for playing such an active role in this family tradition. They lead with their hearts, help decide what we will do, and constantly are reminded it is better to give than receive.

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