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    Benedict Family 2014

    This winter was the first time in a couple of years that all of David’s family was in Michigan. And it was the first Christmas we had with our sweet little nephew and niece! Even though we were home for only a short while, we were able to squeeze in a family photo.


    Benedict Family Winter 2014


    We took the photo New Years Eve Day (Dad’s birthday!) and it was freezing outside. Our friend Deanna Clark braved the cold with us and did an amazing job. It was probably one of the quickest photo sessions ever! The farm has so many interesting areas for pictures. I love that our photographer incorporated sap buckets since the family produces maple syrup.

    We’re so thankful for the time we spend with family!



    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    We set up our Christmas tree last night and put up a few Thanksgiving decorations as well. Some of our friends had us over for dinner this week, and we made some thankful turkeys with them. The stuffed animal is actually a hat. David wore it to school on Wednesday and the kids got a kick out of it.


    Thanskgiving in the living room


    The pies are made, turkey is in the oven, and soon we’ll be enjoying a feast. I am also so excited to have my mom in Turkey for this Thanksgiving!

    There is so much I am thankful for, it’s hard to even begin! Most of all, I am thankful for my family and friends and the love, mercy, and forgiveness from my God and Savior.

    Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. – 1 Chronicles 16:34



    Our Fave Babes

    Our summer at home is coming to a close and we’re in the last couple of days of packing and saying goodbyes. We’re always thankful for our time at home that we get to spend with family and friends.

    We’ve especially loved seeing our nephews and niece and how much they’ve grown!

    Ethan LOVES throwing and kicking balls:


    Ethan holding a ball


    Can you tell Claire and David are related?


    David with Claire


    Smiley Jonah:


    Smiley Jonah


    Kenley is our best friends’ babe. We went to her first birthday party this summer!


    Leah and Kenley


    We’ll let everyone know when we’re back across the pond.  🙂  Prayers for safe travel are much appreciated!



    Benny’s Arkansas Adventure

    While David’s parents and brother were on a service trip to Haiti, we traveled back to Arkansas and took Benny with us. It was Ben’s first time visiting Arkansas. We drove two cars so we could take one to Mom. One car didn’t have air conditioning, and the day we traveled was one of the hottest days of the summer. Guess who had the car with the AC? (Hint: David is too good to me.)


    Arkasans welcome center


    Mom’s still working on her house, but her fifth wheel worked well for the four of us. And we took full advantage of the lake! We spent one afternoon at the Heber Springs Dam Site Park, and the boys had a blast jumping off of the cliffs into the water.


    Greers Ferry Lake map


    We rented a pontoon another afternoon. Mom looked right at home behind the wheel!


    Mom driving the pontoon


    On the pontoon




    Aside from the lake, we all got in some reading:


    Reading in the fifth wheel


    The weather cooled off later in the week. We saw a lot of beautiful sunsets:


    Sunset and mist over Greers Ferry Lake


    Ben fishing at sunset


    The boys camped one night at Blanchard Springs and Caverns. They explored the caves and caught a few trout!


    Blanchard Springs and Caverns


    David holding a trout


    While the boys were off doing their thing, Mom and I visited my alma mater Harding University. A trip to Searcy wouldn’t be complete without a meal at Doc’s Grill! It was one of the first restaurants we visited back in 2006 during my college visit.


    Doc's Grill in Searcy


    We stopped by the fountain to see my brick. Mom got it for me as a graduation gift:


    My Harding brick


    There wasn’t a lot of progress on Mom’s house while we were there, but the builders did deliver the timbers the day before we left:


    Mom's house timbers


    We had a blast and are so excited to see Mom’s cabin on the lake the next time we’re back in Arkansas.


    Family at sonic




    My Sister’s Wedding

    I still can’t believe my little sister got hitched! Mary and Patrick got married June 21 in Jackson, Tennessee. David and I drove down from Michigan early to hang out and help with the wedding festivities. (We spent the week at a Chickasaw Chalet with my mom and loved their little getaway cabins!)

    I designed her wedding invitations. Skeleton keys have been a favorite of hers for several years and we used that for their theme:


    Wedding invitations skeleton key theme


    She had a hair appointment the morning of. Mom and I went with her:


    Hair appointment


    The chapel was really cute!


    Tulip Tree Chapel


    Her dress was so beautiful! Her “something borrowed” was my veil:


    Mom lacing Mary up


    Lacing the back of her dress




    And it was a lovely ceremony:




    The ceremony


    Lighting the unity candle


    The kiss


    Mr. and Mrs. Lankford




    Thumbs up


    Mary and David


    I was honored to be her maid (matron?!) of honor:






    Congratulations, Mary and Patrick!



    Happy First Birthday to our Nephew Jonah!

    Dear Jonah,

    We can’t believe it’s already your first birthday! We hope you have a very happy day. We can’t wait to see you and meet your little sister this summer. Uncle David and Aunt Leah love you!


    Us and Jonah