The Bennett Family


Our refrigerator came yesterday. It's set up, plugged in, and cold! Who would have thought that simply having a refrigerator could bring you so much happiness? There are a lot of things we take for granted because they are always there; the past month with no refrigerator has definitely helped Joey and me to remember that.

We also received our check from Whirlpool yesterday. They offered to give us $150 for the rather significant inconvenience they put us through by failing to deliver our fridge in a timely manner. I cashed that today which reminds me to be thankful for small-town banks. We only have one major bank here in Ridgecrest (it's a Bank of America) so we do most of our finances online, but it is nice to have one locally.

One really cool thing about the fridge situation is that they let us keep the shelves we had before in addition to the new shelves. Because the old refrigerator has to be salvaged they didn't need the shelves back. A few of them are being put to good use and making our shiny new refrigerator work in the best way possible for us.

The other really cool thing was that the delivery guy helped us figure out why the valve behind our fridge (that isn't connected to our fridge at all) was leaking. Apparently it just needed to be plugged. While that is most certainly something I wish I knew before it caused the water damage that's been done, I'm glad that we know about it now and not later. It's crazy that the fix is such a little fix.

Isn't it nice what happens when you have your mom write really mean emails to companies who don't treat you right? No, seriously, my mom's email was very professional but to the point, and it definitely helped. Yay for moms!


We spent this Thanksgiving in Gilroy, CA. My dad (Dirk) lives there. It's the first time we've been to visit him and his girlfriend since we've been married. It was great to see him and even better than my brother and sister were there.

While we were in Gilroy, we did some Christmas shopping. We're keeping it simple this year and I think we're basically done with shopping. I have a few last minute things for stockings (candy and the fruit that Joey insists is tradition) that I still need to get, but otherwise, I'm done buying. Now all I have to do is finish making the gifts with the fabric I bought.

The other great thing about Thanksgiving being over is that it is now officially the Christmas season. Joey absolutely loves Christmas, so this is an exciting time for us.


It's interesting to see how fast little ones change. In the past day, we've had three "experiences to remember". Yesterday morning, Lorelei figured out how to pull Mommy's pajama top out of the way to get back to her food. She continued to try this throughout the day, which is oh-so-convenient when in public. This morning she upgraded to trying to latch through the shirt which hurt a lot more than I thought it would if she ever tried.

The other "experience to remember" happened last night when we were all sitting on the couch. Lorelei was standing on my lap and looked like she was going to fall. Joey and his amazing Daddy reflexes caught her thinking she'd hit the floor if he didn't. Well, he overcorrected just a little and smashed her adorable head right into my nose. Let's just say that hurt a bit. It's still pretty sore, and wearing glasses is not my favorite. I'm wishing my contacts were ready to pick up, but other than that, all is well.


Joey and I have recently decided to visit the various parts of my family between now and February, as well as Marilyn and Steve (which isn't hard, because they live in the same city as my mom). I'm really excited about this since I haven't spent quality time with my mom since before we moved to Ridgecrest. Something about moms, you know...

Along with planning for the upcoming family visits, Joey has been going full speed ahead with Christmas joy. He's normally crazy for Christmas, but with this year being Lorelei's first, he's extra excited. I'm glad for it though; it really spices things up to have things to really, really look forward to.


One of my favorite things about motherhood is watching my daughter experience life. Today Lorelei was sitting on the floor with her adult sized toothbrush (she plays with one as a toy). She had a look on her face like she was trying to figure out a complicated calculus problem as she stared at the bristles. She did this for more than a minute and then evidently decided that the best solution was to happily chomp on it and leave figuring out how the toothbrush works for another day.


While I would definitely put full time mom-hood on the top of my lists of dream jobs, there is one benefit that a regular 9 to 5 job has that this otherwise wonderful and amazing job does not: sick days. Being sick right now, I'm definitely remembering days when it was easy to just lie in bed without a care in the world. It never seemed like quite the luxury that it does now.

However, with this thinking comes the realization that even if I worked for money like my husband does (and thus got the theoretical sick day), I'd still be a mother. And very likely, I'd still be home sick and entertaining my baby all the while.


A few people have expressed interest in the talk that I gave at our stake conference yesterday. As a result, I'm going to post it here, if Lorelei will let me. She's joining me at the keyboard this morning and might have a few things of her own to say.

True Conversion

When we think about true conversion, the first thing that comes to the minds of most Latter-Day Saints are the many converts each of us know, each with their own conversion stories. We might think of friends, family, or other people we know personally, or about the many stories we’ve read in the scriptures. As a convert myself, I frequently think about my own baptism and conversion and the events leading up to that sacred event whenever true conversion is mentioned in a talk or a in meeting. And while the surface layer of true conversion may encompass all of those things, there is much more beneath the surface.

As  President Marion G. Romney once said “Membership in the Church and conversion are not necessarily synonymous. Being converted and having a testimony are not necessarily the same thing either. A testimony comes when the Holy Ghost gives the earnest seeker a witness of the truth. A moving testimony vitalizes faith. That is, it induces repentance and obedience to the commandments. Conversion is the fruit or the reward for repentance and obedience.”

True conversion comes from actively seeking the Lord, which includes cultivating a testimony of His gospel and living accordingly. Likewise, true conversion is not limited to those born outside of the Church who find their way to the gospel; it is a gift available to all those who gain a testimony for themselves and who do something about it. In James  2:20 we read, “Faith without works is dead.” While the process of coming to believe is part of conversion, the progress of doing something with that newfound or newly strengthened faith is far more important. Each of us will reach points of spiritual growth in our lives; sometimes, as with many new converts, it will be a great leap spiritually; other times, it may be the sudden willpower to choose a better choice when two paths are placed before us when we may not have made the same choice previously. Any spiritual growth is a great thing, and any spiritual growth leads to our own true conversions.

One such example of testimony that surprised me and the miracle that accompanied it was when my husband and I decided to follow the prophetic counsel not to wait until after the completion of our college educations to start our family. We didn’t, which meant difficulties going to school and working through all nine months of my pregnancy, and a difficult four months of school after my daughter was born, during half of which I worked to provide the insurance our family needed. When asked by others how I could manage such a drain physically, mentally, and emotionally, and why I would choose such a path, I’d quote what I read in 1 Nephi 3:7 “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them”.  Sure enough, we were able to find free childcare from friends and family so that I could attend school. We were also blessed that I was able to finish before we needed to move so that my husband could start his new job. The Lord provided our family with the things we needed to accomplish the task He asked us to do in faith, and I had the testimony I needed to know without a doubt that He would hold up his end of the bargain. The miracle of having those prayers answered and my beautiful 8 month old daughter are a strength to my testimony of the gospel.

In Mark 4:14-20, we read, “ The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;  And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,  And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.”

I am surprised by the number of trials I have had since my baptism. I thought that embracing the gospel would take struggles from my life; it did, but it brought me different trials and a better method of dealing with difficult things. Each of the trials that I have noticed have presented me with an amazing opportunity for growth spiritually. One such example occurred during the weeks before I was to receive my endowment, a time at which I studied the scriptures especially diligently and avoided much of what we might consider appropriate worldly entertainment. In shifting my focus solely to things of the Lord, I was able to learn more of the gospel from those few weeks of intense scripture study than I have in a similar amount of time before or since.

We are all able to receive the word of God, but we all receive it differently, and we all receive it differently at different times throughout our lives. If we are not careful and do not stay diligent in our pursuit of righteousness, Satan will come to convince us to ignore what we have heard. As in the parable of the sower, this is even possible if we receive the word of the Lord with gladness if we do not take care to follow Him in good times and in bad. If we are truly converted, we will be as those sown in good soil, which bring forth good fruit always.

In a recent conversation with my husband’s mother, I was able to see the strength of her conversion. Upon receiving a diagnosis informing her that she has cancer, she called to inform her children of the situation. She also wanted to share with us a gospel principle that had made a difference in her life. She quoted the story in Daniel 3, in which Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego are threatened to be thrown into the fiery furnace as a result of their faith. Their response in verses 17 and 18 is to say “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” Her paraphrase of this story to me was that, “God will deliver us if He will, but if not, He’s still God.” She is not a convert by the traditional meaning of the word, but the strength of her faith astonished me and made me proud to have her as an example of true conversion to my daughter, to my husband, and to me.

One amazing gift that we are given from our Heavenly Father is the gift of repentance. It is widely understood by people of faith that there is a need for obedience. Living the gospel law with obedience brings each of us great joy. The atonement makes it possible to repent when we are not obedient, to come back into the joy that we have enjoyed previously, leaving our sins behind us. It is not an easy path, but the ability to repent and have our sins washed away is a very special blessing. When we partake of the sacrament each week, we are able to enjoy this principle to the fullest, and to renew our baptismal covenants, as well as being obedient to the commandment to gather together on the Sabbath day to worship the Lord.

I have experienced periods of strength and of weakness in the gospel. There have been times when I knew I wasn’t making the right choice and followed through with a wrong decision. I have also come to know for myself the joy of change. In being allowed the opportunity to repent of what might seem to be the smallest of errors, I have been given the ability to change myself for the better and to continue on the path of righteousness. In repenting, we are not only able to refine ourselves to be more like the Savior, but to do it in a way we can manage, one step at a time.

To quote Elder Richard G. Scott, “Stated simply, true conversion is the fruit of faith, repentance, and consistent obedience. Faith comes by hearing the word of God and responding to it. You will receive from the Holy Ghost a confirming witness of things you accept on faith by willingly doing them. You will be led to repent of errors resulting from wrong things done or right things not done. As a consequence, your capacity to consistently obey will be strengthened. This cycle of faith, repentance, and consistent obedience will lead you to greater conversion with its attendant blessings. True conversion will strengthen your capacity to do what you know you should do, when you should do it, regardless of the circumstances.”

And I said these things (and my testimony to close, of course) in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


The curiosity of my daughter never ceases to amaze me. Just now, she was staring at a scrap of fabric on the floor. A second later, she's on to the next exciting thing in her life, in this case a toy on her exersaucer. Then a quick look at mom to make sure all is still right with the world and on to another toy.

She seems so full of joy just to be alive, curious about everything around her. I wonder what life would be like if we didn't lose much of this as we grow up?


As many of you know, our dear little Lorelei was born on 9 March 2008. What many of you may have forgotten or (not realized in the first place) is that the time changed on the day. Hence, since it is now time for another time change, it is sorta Lorelei's half birthday.

This logic is courtesy of Lorelei's daddy, the engineer, who really loves his little girl and enjoys any excuse to celebrate her life.

It's also my cousin Austin's birthday, but he's a lot more than one time change old.


Lorelei is growing up so fast! I can't believe that a year ago, we were still just getting used to the idea of being parents. Now, she's crawling and causing appropriate levels of havoc. Where has the time gone?

She's getting pretty quick with the crawling too, hence "rockets". I'm going to need some to keep up with her at the pace she'll set soon enough, I'm sure. I'm also glad to report that she does quite a few other really cute things.

We have been blowing raspberries on Lorelei's tummy and on her checks, much to her amusement. She really does have the cutest little face when she's happy. More recently, she's started blowing them back. She usually does it just in the air, but she started doing it to my leg while we were all sitting down the other day as a family. She's so cute when she does it... but then, she's so cute all the time.

Her other recent development reminds me of Pavlov's experiments his dogs. Apparently, one of his theories was that if two bowls of equal amounts of the same food were placed equidistant from the pups, they'd starve, unable to choose which to eat. If I put Lorelei in my lap with access to nursing, she just goes back and forth as though trying to decide which flavor is better. This strange behavior is usually accompanied with little "attack the food" faces.

Pavlov's puppies have nothing on my baby.

Create a free website with Weebly