Apr 26, 2012

The way they play

Lately, Athélie has really enjoyed coloring and painting. She spends a lot of time on her "art", coloring in the lines, getting the paint just right. It is especially nice that she is content to color on her own. But it is always extra special when I can color with her.

When she's not busy coloring she is pretending. She pretends her baby doll is her little sister and carries her around in her babydoll carseat. Or she pretends with her stuffed animals. She's starting to say some pretty funny things too.

Stasiya on the other hand plays completely different. I took some pictures of her playing in the playroom this afternoon so you could see her in action.

She likes to read books.

She's pointing and saying "I'd like something up there."

Then she asked for music. By squatting up and down. (That's her version of dancing.) And so I turned on some music and she started dancing and twirling around in circles.

Isn't she so much fun? I love when I get one on one time with her.

Taylee woke up from her nap and came into play with us.

I asked her to smile. And this is what I got.

Apr 25, 2012

Homemade Bread

I make homemade bread here at the Benjamin house for my family. We hardly ever buy a loaf of bread anymore. And when we do, it's always disappointing. We've gotten spoiled. Everyone who tries my bread loves it. It makes the house smell so good all day. I usually bake it on a morning when we aren't going anywhere since it takes about 3 hours total. Putting it together is quick and easy. Letting it rise for an hour. Then punching it down (my favorite part), separating it into loaf pans, and then letting it rise for another hour before baking it for 30 minutes. It's an easy recipe that I thought I would share with you. This recipe is originally from the Kitchen Aid Mixture Handbook but I've modified it a bit.

Source: google.com via Barb on Pinterest

I hope that you will try it. Let me know what you think.
Whole Grain Wheat Bread

• 1/2 Cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 2 cups warm water
• 2 packages active dry yeast
• 5-6 cups 100% White Whole Wheat Trader Joe's Flour
• 3/4 Milk
• 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
• 1/3 Olive Oil

Dissolve 1 tablespoon brown sugar in warm water in small bowl. Add yeast. Stir till dissolved. Let mixture stand. It will start foaming when yeast is working.

Place 4 cups flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and salt in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 15 seconds. Continuing on Speed 2 gradually add milk, yeast mixture, and oil to flour mixture and mix about 1 1/2 minutes longer. Stop and scrape bowl if necessary.

Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix about 2 minutes, or until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on Speed 2 about 2 minutes longer.

Note: Dough may not form a ball on hook. However, as long as hook comes in contact with dough, kneading will be accomplished. Do not add more than the maximum amount of flour specified or a dry loaf will result.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Place in 2 greased 8x4x2 inch baking pans. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.

Don't you love all the photos of bread?

Apr 24, 2012

Playing in the mud

And eating it too.

And matching too.


and pink

are Athélie's favorite colors.

Apr 23, 2012

In celebration...

I'm going to attempt to blog every day this week! Get ready for lots of pictures, a couple of recipes, maybe some sort of craftiness, and of course some...

crazy hair!

Happy 2 Year Blog Birthday!

My little Benjamin Family blog turned 2 years old this past weekend. I can't believe it's been 2 years already. This little blog has turned into a treasury of memories. It is so fun looking back over the years in pictures and stories of the girls. It has been mostly about the girls with a few little bits and pieces of our life thrown in for the mix. But that is perfectly okay. I hope you've enjoy it.
Don't forget - you can sign up to follow along via e-mail. That means every post will be sent directly to your inbox (e-mail) so you don't miss out on anything. Just submit your e-mail in the box under "Follow by E-mail" it will send you a generic email with a link that you will need to activate. Then you should be good to go. Hope this helps you keep in touch with us even more.

Also, don't forget to comment!!! It's so fun getting feedback every now and then from my readers! It also let's me know someone is actually reading it.

Apr 20, 2012

Stasiya's 14 Months Old!

Happy 14th Month Birthday Stas!

Athelie wanted to get in on the action. Here she is giving her sister kisses.

She also wanted to have her picture taken too.

The girls are super sweet these days. Playing together more. Athelie is a great big sister. She'll say "this is my sister" - telling anyone whose close enough to hear. At meal times if Taylee has water, she'll tell me "Stasiya wants some too" - to be sure that Stas isn't left out or forgotten. She also has wanted them to match all week - wearing all their matching outfits, which of course is super cute. Stasiya is really funny about her lolly/paci too. She'll open her mouth for whoever has it to put it in her mouth. So funny! Like a little bird. She's also just started to say "up" and "bye" and waves bye-bye the whole time. She also enjoys coloring. We tried finger painting for the first time this week, but she was more interested in eating the paints. Taylee on the other hand spent 20 minutes on one picture. And then continued to paint 4 other pictures. She said she is an artist like Mama. That made my heart happy. I envisioned us painting one day alongside each other. Taylee is also pretending more and more. We put a bird feeder out in the front yard and we've been talking about birds eating the food. This morning after Tay took her vitamins, she said the birds needed vitamin's too. Really? Ok. So funny.

Apr 13, 2012

Dancing Baby Stas

She loves to dance and clap her hands and stomp her foot. Only 1 foot though. And if she could, she would jump up and down. But she can only do crazy baby squats. Up and down.

And another one:

Apr 12, 2012

Jesus loves you Athélie

Remember when Athélie sang "Jesus Loves Me"? Now, she's singing it and playing the piano.

Fun filled Easter Weekend

We had a busy Easter weekend. First going to a Good Friday service Friday night and then over to a friends house for dessert and wine afterwards. (Athélie and I made yummy sugar cookies with sprinkles to take to the party.) The girls stayed up way past their bedtime. It was an all time late night record 10:00 pm!! It took them days to recover. Saturday morning Marc took the girls to a community wide Easter egg hunt at a park while I volunteered at a community garden. (The Generous Garden grows veggies and fruits to give away to the poor.) I helpoed plant around 700 tomato plants! It was so much fun - can't wait to go back and see how my little plants are doing.) Sunday morning we got dressed up and went to church to celebrate the real meaning of the weekend. The resurrection of Jesus. Over the weekend we were reminded of Anastasiya's name - her meaning - Resurrection. New life. New beginnings. Looking at her, saying her name - we should be reminded of that every day.

Here's the pics from this weekend.

As soon as Stasiya figured out there was candy in the eggs, she was all about picking them up. And Taylee wouldn't pick up empty eggs - only ones that had something in them. Good thing I filled (most) of them.