The Bennett Family


I don't know how much of our family we've told... but we live in an area that gets an average 362 days of sun each year. Even when it rains, we get sun. And sometimes, it can be quite hot here. It gets hot enough that you have to seriously think about how good freshly baked bread is before you decide to preheat that oven.

We've been doing different preparedness research, and the latest helpful find we've found is the solar oven. We're not quite set up to go and make one today (too many projects!), but it will certainly be interesting to try and make a few and experiment with solar cooking. Especially since if it ends up being a failed experiment, we'll be out no more than $10; if it works great, it could save us much more on our electric bill (even more when you consider savings of not having to cool a house after using the oven).

Just thought I'd mention it here while the excitement is fresh in my mind, so that I'll remember it later and keep everyone posted.


We constantly hear that "less is more". Well I disagree. Recently, Lorelei learned her first sign and is using it all the time. It warms my heart to see my daughter putting her fingers together to tap the sign for "more". It's great that she's communicating with me and with Joey. Nevermind that she mostly uses the sign to indicate "want"; we're working on that.


We had the nice experience of being able to drive out of Hawthorne (Nevada) on Memorial Day. They have a section of road that is dedicated to veterans going south on the 95.

Memorial Day became a lot more important for me when my brother Tyler joined the Marines a few years ago. He's deploying tomorrow after being given just enough time in between trainings to celebrate his second wedding anniversary with his wife today (they share a wedding anniversary with our sealing anniversary). He spends a little time doing more training, but goes to Iraq soon. He leaves a wife and nine month old son at home as he goes to defend our freedom.

That meaning grew significantly when my little sister Dallas became a soldier. It's strange to think of someone I've known since before her birth as such a strong woman, but the only real difference is that now others can see the amazing woman I've always known she was. I am inspired by my little sister.

These two have been my heroes longer than I can remember. Tyler has always defended me and other members of our family. Dallas has always had a heart of gold. They each have many qualities I aspire to have.

I love you two.


March was a month of birthdays for our little family. Joey reached the quarter of a century milestone on the 3rd and Lorelei had her first birthday on the 9th. It's crazy to think that our little girl has grown so much already!

Lorelei still isn't walking, but really has the crawling thing down and is starting to mimic a few more words.  (She can walk holding on to things, but she's been doing that for ages.) Her new favorite words to mimic are "yes" (which comes out more like "yeh" most of the time) and "uh-oh" which she usually says several times in succession. Tonight she started mimicking Joey as he hummed the infamous Mario tune, which you can guessed pleased Lorelei's video-game-loving daddy quite a bit.

Another milestone this month was taking Lorelei to our local park for the first time, as well as having her fly her first kite! Joey surprised me by staying in the car while I ran an errand at the library. When I came out, he was across the street at the local park. Lorelei was sitting on the grass holding onto the kite. Not long after, the wind snatched the kite string out of Joey's hand right after Lorelei let go, so we also got to have our first family getting-the-kite-out-of-the-tree experience. After we played with the kite a little bit more, we took Lorelei to the swing set. She LOVED it, especially after we had one of us on each side of the swing.


We've been back from our trip for a few weeks now and things are starting to settle back to normal... just in time for us to be planning another two trips (one to Reno for Lorelei's and Joey's birthdays, and another to Salt Lake for Joey's mission reunion). Since things are a little more normal, I thought it might be time to update the blog.

Lorelei and I have been having daily playdates with another mommy and baby from our ward. It's helped both of us mommies enjoy the day and get more done  (including a 2 to 3 mile walk each day). It's also helped the babies develop some new talents.

Lorelei's newest talent is sharing. She's getting better sharing toys, but the surprising sharing is her food. About a week ago, I made some delicious homemade bread and Lorelei and her daddy shared a special moment alternating taking bites of her big piece of bread... with her doing the alternating.

More recently, Lorelei has started doing this with me. Last night, she was eating peas for dinner, and I was sitting next to her. She picked up a pea, moved it toward my mouth, and put it in.

We've been slowly trying to teach Lorelei (and ourselves) sign language as it's supposed to help toddlers and parents communicate. So when Lorelei fed me a pea, I told her "thank you" aloud and in sign language (it's the only one we know so far).

The best part was that she kept doing it... for like 8 or 9 peas before her mommy started feeding them to her.


As many of our loyal readers may already know, on 30 December 2008, my little sister Dallas started boot camp in South Carolina. My hero, the woman for whom I named my daughter, is a soldier.

I, for one, am not surprised. I have always known that Dallas is an amazing person. It's one of the many reasons why I love her so much.

We recently went to Reno to see Jared (Joey's brother) one last time before he leaves on his mission. We went to the temple with him and to his farewell address in church and the open house that night. It was nice to see him one last time since he too will be gone for quite some time.

It was weird driving into Reno knowing that my baby sister wouldn't be there. It was weird leaving my in-laws knowing that the next time we see them, my brother-in-law won't be there. I have


Our friend Rebecca just gave us a few baby things for Lorelei since she's gotten more than she can use after having four baby girls in four years. This includes a cute little outfit with a pajama footie bottom. So what do we do after getting it home?

Put those pants on her head. It's hilarious to watch too, because she'll try to grab one of the legs to pull it off of her head. In doing this, she gets the other one right in front of her face and starts to go after that side instead. This process can entertain Lorelei for five to ten minutes at a time.

It is truly amazing to see just how many things can be toys for babies.


Lorelei has again been developing her list of cute things she can do. Today I noticed her bringing her lips together to make a kissy face similar to the fish lips my mom and I used to do when I was little. It's especially funny to watch Lorelei do it because of the bewildered look on her face as she does it.

The other thing Joey and I noticed today is that Lorelei has been practicing her Hs in a way that is reminiscent of vocal practice that we would have done in choir. She can say "Ha", "He", "Heh", "Hu", "Hah", "Hi" and "Hi-yah". We usually play along and repeat the sounds that she makes. She seems to really enjoy that.


I am constantly amazed at just how truly Lorelei is Joey's daughter. They have so many things in common. The most recent involved showing me just how fun it is to slide all over our floors.

Our new house has tile floors in every room except the bedrooms. As a result, poor Lorelei who is making progress toward learning to walk usually slides all over the floors. It's cute as long as she doesn't fall and she doesn't fall as often as she used to. She's starting to learn to trust her own balance and catch herself.

Last night, Joey ended up having some fun sliding on our floors. I gave him a spontaneous foot massage with some lotion while we sat on the couch and watched television. He got up and was sliding all over the place. It was especially cute to watch him mimic something his daughter does and hold on to everything he could on the way into the kitchen... including her little baby toy the Exersaucer.


It still amazes me just how cute Lorelei can be. I still really think that it's a self-preservation technique that babies have, but she is so good at it!

This morning, I walk into her room to find her awake. As I'm bringing her to my room while I get ready, I see her making spit bubbles. It was so adorable! Joey thinks I'm biased because I called his spit bubbles gross and think hers are cute... but, well... I am. Lorelei also said hi to me this morning during her babbles. That was cute because it was right after I had said it to her.

After her morning nap, I walk into her room to find her sitting up happily in her crib. Usually she's standing impatiently, but today she was sitting there just as happy as can be. It was one of those moments where you wish the camera was in your hand because you know that leaving to get it will ruin the moment.

Lorelei has recently discovered the world of trying to do stuff when it shouldn't be done... like trying to crawl while Mommy is trying to change her diaper. Joey taught her the idea of "wait" with a firm voice and a hand on her stomach.  Surprisingly, she's really taken to the idea and is now listening when it's said to her. I enjoy having my daughter listen to me but I know not to get used to it!

After her nap and the "waiting" game, Lorelei and I went out to lunch. We went to this little Chinese buffet in town. Lorelei sat in one of their high chairs and ate a few healthy morsels off the table. She was using her recently mastered grasping skills and having a grand time. She is such a great eater and everyone kept commenting on how cute she looked. She also had a fun time befriending other little people.

After we got home we went to visit our neighbor across the street. She goes to church with us so we usually see her once a week. She also had a great time with Lorelei the cutie. Lorelei has been developing her walking while holding on to things routine, which she happily showed off to our neighbor who, as a grandmother herself, enjoyed watching.

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