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RIP Carmen, Best of Beasts
Dear Carmen, you hung on with us for so a long time and through so many adventures and generous days. Thanks for bowing to the tugging fingers of babies, thanks for scraping up the wood floors with your enthusistic bounds through the house chasing the Kong, thanks for keeping us company on rainy days, thanks for helping dear Nana get in her crazy Fitbit steps, thanks, dear beast! May you be a good citizen in the dog park in the sky until we can come scratch your head again!
-- Love, Billy et al.
Find every Benac.com post prior to today that mentions this wonderful friend at this page, created in her honor. Also find her earlier profile here.
Mom, happy birthday! Three cakes isn't enough to say it, so how about some photoshopping in your style? With curvy letters?
I love you for loving my kids so openly. It's a virtuous cycle!
Kelsey celebrated her birthday this past week. We sat down in the front yard (and with the neighbors houses as a backdrop) for this picture.
Kelsey was so overwhelmed by the love she felt that the next afternoon she had to get away. She's in Seattle for the weekend as her brother graduates from UW's pharmacy program.
We miss you Kelsey! The kids keep calling me Mom and asking when you'll be home!
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Oh, it was a glorious day for the family. Benacs old and young gathered at the Old Home in Dallas to celebrate the glorious holiday; one of our personal favorites. Thanks to all for chipping in to make it one of the absolute best memories ever! Here is the photo album for those who just can't get enough...
We missed Annie, Mary and Taylor, but the 25 of us limped through in courageous solitude. Love you ALL!
Kelsey decided to reform Sam after his wild weekend in Dallas. For starters, he had to cut off his unruly hair. And we're getting serious about having him get his beauty sleep. We think he looks like a new man!
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Sammy celebrated a year in our family! Kelsey will put more details at her site. We threw a front-yard party with our various neighbors and had about 15 kids and half a dozen adults come by. Sam was a very good sport. I particularly was glad that he (unlike our other kids who needed chocolate) didn't reject the mango-carrot cupcakes that Kelsey made. He and I both agreed they were delicious.
For spring break, we drove an easy 90 minutes to San Antonio for a couple nights. The drive at least beats spending an entire day to get to an Alabama beach. Do I feel smug? Yes--but about my morning run. Here are two pictures, taken in the middle of the run and then just before going back in the hotel. Look at those runners!
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I'm awaking after a month-long holiday food coma. It was something like this:
So what happened during the December holidays when we were so quiet? I asked around.
From Annie--We scored a humongous tree on Christmas Eve! It hung way out of the cabbie's trunk but he assured us: "Hey it's Christmas! Not even the cops will stop us." We read rag mags and had scrambled eggs on Christmas morning. We finished off the cozy day at Les Miz.
From Mary--Highlight Set 1: Discovering the velvet taco with several family members. First visit was on the evening of Dec 26th after a very cold walk through the Arboretum with Dad, Jay and Ram and then we went back for lunch the next day with Allie, Jack, and Bethany. I don't know exactly why that deliciousness was so delightful, just that it was. Mmmmmmm.
Highlight Set 2: Making gingerbread houses with Bethany. Her skill and level of detail was thrilling to behold, and the gumdrops were delicious as always.
Highlight Set 3: The old manse. Such a comfortable home to bask in. And such good company. I always feel like I'm in a spa or a drug rehab oasis, or on a cruise. Hard to explain.
From Barbara, who got together with Grupo Pakal this year with Teresa as she previously had done with Will. Pictures to prove it!
From Austin Bill--As for me and my family? We sapped all our energy trying to get everyone to cooperate for a family photo!
"Here Dad. I have a love note for you!" Teresa said as she brought me this. I expected it to actually be a to-do list from Kelsey as we prepare for a baby shower at the house ;-)
The Dallas Set celebrated Thanksgiving with great dining, athletic pursuits, crafty activities, football watching, swimming and enthusiasm today, though we missed our missing persons intensely! Love and gratitude go out to all our beloved Benacs from Central Headquarters. For diehards, the album is right HERE!
I'm mighty proud of Will's preparation for tomorrow's 1st grade oral presentation on a Native American people of his choice. Those living in Seattle and the region where Will was born made totem poles in part to tell stories. Will took the opportunity to color one that tells the stories that interest him most. We found the totem pole at left on the David Wasting Paper website. I had expected Will to stay within the lines a bit more, although had he done so, the picture at right would be quite a bit less amazing.
Click on either image to get a full-page PDF. You can print out the black-and-white version and do your own take.
Annie was recently interviewed about her art by Skillcrush. This gets a post on Benac.com for two reasons. First, we love hearing about Annie's perspectives and her routine (she goes "kicking and screaming to" her "animating table"), and second, Skillcrush is a project of our cousin-in-law's sister Kate McGee.
You should of course read the interview with Annie.
You may also want to read a profile of Skillcrush.
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