Dec 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

This was a Christmas card that did not make it out in the mail. 

And now...for some crazy hair pictures.

Marc blow-dried and straighten (with a flat iron) Athelie's hair for church one morning while I was not around. :-)

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas this year!

Dec 19, 2012

A Poem for Children of Newtown, CT

'Twas 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
When 20 beautiful children stormed through Heaven's gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air, 
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.

They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"This is Heaven" declared a small boy, "we're spending Christmas at God's house."

When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
But Jesus, their Savior, and the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same,
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.

And in that moment was joy, that only Heaven can bring,
Those children all flew into the arms of their King.
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
One small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.

And as if He could read all the questions she had,
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of Mom and Dad."
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below,
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, the woe.

Then he closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"May this country be delivered from the hands of fools,"
"I am taking back my nation. I am taking back my schools!"

Then He and the children stood up without a sound,
"Come now my children, let me show you around."
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran,
All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.

And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

Dec 18, 2012

22 Months

Stasiya is 22 months old. Can't believe she will be two in just two more months. This month she started talking! She has a cute little voice that I love to hear. She says no. No is one of the sweetest words coming out of her mouth - I love it! Just the way she pronounces it, with her lips pursed together. She also says baby. And bye bye. And she is even starting to put two words together by saying: "baby-baby-baby-bye-bye-bye". Yep, in 3's. Athelie has caught on to this and has started mimicking her. She also changed from saying Mama to Mammy when she is upset. And Daddy instead of Dada like she had been saying for a while. She says "cat-cat" or "catty" for kitty cat. Pup-pup or puppeeeeeey for dog/puppy. She says Jesus. Yep. She stills calls Athelie "Sissy". Poor thing can't say her own name yet, but she's working on it. It sounds kind of like "Sis-sis". She can sing (without words, I guess that would be called humming then) the Gator fight song. She also can sing some other songs like Gloria (Christmas song) and Wheels on the Bus. She is funny too. We still call her "one shoe Stas" since most of the time she walks around with just one shoe or sock on. Plus, when she does gymnastics, she sticks out her tongue like Michael Jordan. Marc was making fun of her tonight doing safety stops with his tongue out. Hilarious. She is one funny cookie. And I'm totallly in love with her. Can't get enough baby kisses from her.

P.S. She is also a snuggle bug - one of the best. She will cuddle for long moments which I cherish every single one.

Athelie got in on the photoshoot too.

Dec 13, 2012

Looks like Christmas

This is old news at our house since we decorated weeks ago - on Black Friday (it's a tradition here at the Benjamin house) - but I thought I would post these pictures anyways, so that you can see how festive we are. 

We're getting out carpet cleaned next week, so I'm waiting to put presents under the tree until afterwards - one less thing to move. Plus, did you notice how the bottom half of our tree doesn't have any ornaments. Stasiya thinks they are cool toys to take off and throw around. Good thing none of them have broken yet. 

Dec 12, 2012

A little job

Did you know...I have a little job - kind of. I've been shadowing a lady from my church who is an Interior Designer and owns her own company. She partners with her husband who is an architect and together they make an amazing team. Their business is growing and they are getting busier. She needed some help and so...I came into the picture.

I've been meeting up with her on Thursdays, when the girls are at P.D.O. (Parents Day Out program at a local church). Mostly I'm just learning the business right now. She's given me tours of a couple of homes they recently finished. One multi-million dollar home in The Cliff's, a luxury community outside of Greenville, and a really cool urban condo overlooking downtown right on Main Street. Both were AH-MAZ-ING.

She recently launched her new website: Inspiro 8 Studios which I helped set up. Please check out their work on the "Selected Works" tab - so gorgeous. They really get into all the nitty gritty details and design everything from stair rails to the furniture that goes in a space. Plus, you can read my bio which is quite entertaining under the "team" tab. Ha!

I've also been helping them create a presence in the social media sphere - facebook, pinterest, and their blog. Getting their name out there and helping them build a business face in the community. 

After braining storming ideas for a name we decided on calling our blog The Creative Salad. You can read the full story and meaning behind it here. I set up the blog and designed the header (with lots of feedback from Rebecca - didn't it turn out so pretty!?) and I've been blogging a few times a week on it. I hope that you will follow along. Mostly the topics are design related but some will include food/recipes, travel, outdoors, and Greenville. It has been a lot of fun coming up with different blog topics each day - definitely a good challenge.

I think there is a lot of possibility working with Mitch and Rebecca. I definitely feel like God put us together at the right time. So far it has been a blessing to each of us. I've got business cards that say: Alysia Benjamin, Interior Designer, which intimidates me just a little. But I feel like the sky's the limit as far as what I learn from them and what I'm able to do with them and for them in their business.

And now, for a few quotes:



Dec 10, 2012

Christmas Card - the writing there of

Ha! The correct way to sign your name. Do you know? I think I have been doing it wrong for years! And I was an English major with a concentration in professional writing and I still have been doing it all wrong!

I might or might not send out cards this year - I'm still undecided. Undecided whether I should cut myself out of the pic and still send it since it such a horrendous picture of myself. We'll see...

However, if your sending Christmas cards - this is what you should know.

Tip number 1: (from one of my high school teacher's and second mom Mrs Julie Larrew - love her!)
Remember when you sign your Christmas/Holiday cards, leave out the are plural, not possessive. That goes for return address labels too. Ok, I am done. Cheers!

And tip number 2: (from Sheridan French who has her own clothing line, blogs and has three kiddos under three and is gorgeous and funny and is a Christian too - very inspiring lady)


Read it again.

When using first names, 



The reasoning is that the husband's first name is never separated from his last name, even if last names are not included in the wording. Jane and John Smith is correct. NOT John and Jane. NOT John and Jane Smith. John did not marry Jane Smith. Jane married John Smith.

P.S. I think I put Marc's name first in our Christmas cards this year! Bummer dude. And I have always used an apostrophe after our last name. Must remember this for next year - I'll get it right one of these years. Maybe by that time - I'll have a few more tips to add to these. Good luck!

Dec 7, 2012

Christmas Parade

Every year we go to the Christmas to kick off the holiday season and festivities. Athelie calls it the "animal parade" because there is usually a group in the parade walking their dogs. It is a great parade and this year was even better because our friends from Columbia drove down to watch the parade with us. Plus, the weather was super nice, hardly even cold.

We camped out before the parade started and had a pizza picnic.

Isn't the architecture downtown so pretty?

The Willis Family - love them!

Athelie latched onto Misti for the night and watched part of the parade from her lap. Plus, she actually had a pony tail on for the day. Such a different look for her. She usually fights us whenever we try to do anything except for "curls" on her hair.

Stasiya had pig tails too, but they are a little hard to see since the top part of her head is so funny. Here she is giving us her big cheesy grin with her friend Caroline.

Nov 27, 2012

Dancing Girls

The girls' new favorite thing to do is dance/play dress up. They like to put on their tutu's and twirl around. They now have a dress-up drawer full of tutus, jewelry, sunglasses, headbands, crowns and butterfly wings. (Plus, they are getting more dress up clothes for Christmas!)

They get dressed up and dance. And then, they also have costume changes. They don't know that's what they are doing, but they have to change things up after each song. Hilarious!

These pictures are a little blurry because I took them with my phone, but still fun to see them in action.

Nov 26, 2012

ATL Zoo Day

I thought I would get these pictures up last week, but we got busy around the house. Or rather - we got lazy as Marc was home and we didn't do anything except for enjoy lots of good family time. We had a fun day at the Atlanta Zoo, it's always interesting to see other zoos/museums in different cities. Each one is unique.

They had a little petting area with pigs, goats, and sheep. The girls loved petting the goats.

I love this look on Athelie's face - her eyes are so big. Not quite sure what to think. Plus - check out the girl's outfit. 
We rode the train which went through a couple of tunnels. It was actually a bit scary. I was holding on tight to the girls. Taylee especially was NOT happy about that train ride.