Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Great Bentz Plague of 2009

Merry Christmas!

We survived the Great Bentz Plague of 2009!

Our family picture was taken only a few hours before the dreaded words every mom hates to wake up to at 1:30 am on Christmas morning, "Mommmmm - Josh is throwing up everywhere!"

So, out of bed, wash the boy, wash the floor, throw away the stuffed animals (2 down - 14 to go!), wash the sheets, wash the Christmas jammies, crawl back in bed...

Wake up at 4:30 - Visiting Aunt and cousin are also throwing up.

Get up - begin the child torment of making them wait on the steps until Dad is ready to go down and see the stockings! (my favorite part of the day!)

After stockings - clean up the mess of a toddler (who is still quite sick), and put on the delicious Bentz Fruit Soup (loving made the night before...) Hear calls to "come quick" - Josh needs your help, Aunt needs help, Cousin needs help. Okay - done - back to the soup... Served to all able to keep food down. Noah remarks - "this tastes like BBQ" - wait - I know it's not everyone's favorite (we're Bentzs - we eat it anyway!) but BBQ? SO, I taste it - burnt to the crisp Fruit Soup does taste like it came off Matt's grill. YUCK! Throw the whole pot in garbage.

Now, on to presents - but, it takes along time while we wait for people to rush to the bathroom, or wake them up after being sick... again.

Ahhh, finally done with Christmas Day - Misha (our dog) only ate the head off two new toys and two ornaments today - she must be a little off as well... she ususally polishes off a couple more per day...

Now off to bed - tomorrow has to be better,right? Well in the next 4 days - all 15 people get this terrible reminder of the Great Bentz Plague 2009! I fell prey to it the day that all guests were well enough to travel home...

I do think my newest invention will be the "Lysol Fogger" - just empty the house - and it fogs every nook and cranny to remove all germs.

With that over, it's time to climb Mt. Laundry!

I can't wait to see what 2010 will bring...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Almost Home!

We're almost home... We closed on our new house yesterday! We are planning on having our "stuff" delivered in 2 weeks - just in time for Thanksgiving.

I can't say I'll be sad to leave our COZY little rental and move on to our new house. But, I have learned some lessons during our time here:

1. We have way too much "stuff"! (only about 1/3 of our total belongings are here - the rest went to storage - and except for a few things, we didn't miss it much).

2. Kids don't need toys - our toys are all still packed, and they have just made new things to play with out of packing boxes and paper!

3. Perler beads can make you crazy, but they keep the kiddos busy for hours! 8,500 pcs per bucket - 3 buckets full since we moved in...

4. Packing materials make great, cheap Halloween costumes!

5. Small houses are great for cleaning - I can vacuum the entire house without unplugging.

6. Golden Retreivers should only be kept in houses with fenced yards, not small, un-fenced rental properties.

7. Family togetherness won't kill you. (the constant noise will...but being together isn't that bad)

8. Kiddos don't need their own rooms, or even their own beds. Ours have been 4 to a room, and some of them - 2 to a twin bed. And they are actually enjoying it!

9. It does stop raining in Arkansas... it rained the first 2 weeks we were here, but the sun is shining now.

10. I will appreciate every square foot of our new home!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Trick or Treat

I pulled together one of our best yet family themes! And - all for a total cost of $1.27!! I was kinda dreading pulling off a Halloween costume theme this year... with all the upheaval, and most of our stuff still at storage. Matt wanted me to bring the kiddos to "reverse trick-or-treat" at the office again this year (we bring candy to his co-workers) so the pressure was on!

I put it off... but, my dear friend Michelle, helped get the creative juices flowing with some encouragement (thanks Michelle). I looked around for what was available to work with - what did I see - lots of moving boxes! A scissors, some borrowed craft paint, a little twine, some cardboard - and wa la.... Pool Balls 1-8 were ready!

The kiddos were a huge hit at the office. But, we did need to take off Esther's costume early - teething babies and cardboard don't go so well together...

We joined some good friends - the Cronks, for trick or treating. It was a beautiful evening, and the streets were packed with kiddos and parents. (the most trick or treaters I've ever seen!)

The kids were delighted - until someone asked Sam if he was a bowling ball... Luke said someone called him a pinball. I guess without the "full set" of 8 in one place, people didn't "get" it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Great Pumpkin Bog

It finally stopped raining here and we got out to experience Fall in Arkansas. We went to a local pumpkin patch. It showed alot of promise, beautiful trees - starting to turn color, a nice drive - not long enough for anyone to get carsick, a packed picnic lunch.... absolutely perfect!

Except - when we arrived at the patch - it looked a "little" muddy. I'm not completely sure, but I don't think large passenger vans make good off road vehicles.

After a strict warning to the kiddos to "STAY OUT OF THE MUD" - we unpacked everyone, loaded up the double stroller and set off. My first inkling that this was more than we bargained for - my sandles were completely covered in mud after stepping out of the van! Matt continued to heave the stroller through wheel deep mud onto the wood pallet bridge accross the "muddy" area to the waiting pumpkins.

Meanwhile, Josh and Lydia are clinging to me for safety, and I am trying to find a foot hold where we don't "sink" in too far.... So much for staying out of the mud. Noah begins to remind us to "look out for snakes" and "people with banjos" (I'm not sure exactly where that came from - but I may have made several remarks about life in rural AR lately....)

Ha! We grabbed a couple of pumpkins, I don't even care - just whatever is closest! Forded the nearby stream of mud and high-tailed it out of there. Everyone is crying by now, covered in mud, dressed in MN style shorts/tshirts and sandals, "locals" here were in parkas, mittens and snowboots - no lie!

We were determined for Family Fun to be Found - so off we go to the park for a picnic. The kiddos actually begged to eat in the van - even with the temptation of a huge playset waiting for them.

What a day - but, most certainly - our most memorable adventure to find the Great Pumpkin!!!
PS- the bright side, I had something to "blog" about!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some Pictures

Here's the photo update from us:
Esther turns 5 months old!
Luke celebrated #10 - first birthday in Arkansas
Sam attempts to carry boxes like the movers do...
and this is the rental house.
If you think that little U-Haul carried our stuff here, well - kinda - we ran out of the BIG truck and had to add more space :-) The movers told Matt it was my 12,000 lbs of books!

Now What do I do?

Well, we're here... the boxes are kinda unpacked, school is back in session, now what?
We had a bit a rough landing, lots of drama and suspense with the house sale (where did "water issues" come from? - never saw that one coming...!)

Now we are in our spacious, 3 bedroom rental home, it looks as if our house in MN will close on Oct 23rd - it's time to move forward. The only problem, I don't know which way is forward?! I can't wait until finding my way to a carton of milk doesn't seem like such a huge adventure!!! Moving is HARD! Not to mention, it hasn't stopped raining since we arrived, it's gray and wet all the time - it matches my mood. I need some sunshine soon. But, at least it's not snowing here, and it is snowing in Minnesota!

A good friend wants me to put a "diaper counter" on my blog - does anyone know how to set one up? I have 3 in diapers, so it could make for some impressive numbers!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

We Made It!

Okay - enough about what an awesome blog I have - especially since I don't even know how to use it!!! Thank you Jenny for being my blog-setter-upper... I think you could turn this into a home business - setting up blogs for people too tech challenged to do it themselves...

We have so many amazing God stories to tell about our GBA (Great Bentz Adventure) moving from Savage, Minnesota to Conway, Arkansas!

The most recent is - We sold our house on the WAY to AR! Isn't it just like God to show up at just the moment - I'm constantly amazed at his perfect timing. I felt much like the Israelites must have when they were looking at the flooded Jordan River - knowing that God's promises for them where on the other side, but not really "seeing" how they were going to get there to claim them!

Our home in Savage had been on the market for a couple of months, but no offers, my husband was commuting back and forth, I was home alone (relative term - I did have the 8 kids, 2 cats, 2 frogs, and the dog). So, we called the movers, loaded everything on the truck (actually 2 trucks, we ran out of room...) and headed south for our rental home to reunite our family. I really did NOT see how we were going to manage a mortgage and rental, I really did NOT want to leave the wonderful support and family we enjoyed in MN. BUT - I knew that God had directed us to "go and tell" - not to "stay and pray" - That was actually a word from God through Jenny!!

Well, after the frenzy of packing the car, the van and my parents pickup with all the misc. that didn't go with the movers - we put the kiddos in their seats - cats in a cage - dog and frogs with Matt and off we went!

We got the call with the offer, for the house, negoitiated it, and sold the house before we hit the AR state line a mere 11 hours later! Wow- Grace and Mercy in a moving van!! Our God is so good!!!

I promise more installments on the GBA - and even pictures (after Jen teaches me how to do that :-)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Welcome to Renita's Blog

I (Jenny) have become a HUGE fan of blogging and keep trying to convince Renita that she should blog. She is so funny and has so much wisdom to share with us! Now that she is moving, I told her that she had to start blogging to help us stay in touch with the Bentz Arkansas Adventure! So...I am just setting it up:-)

We know that this is a God-calling in their lives, and trust that His ways are good. That being said, I will miss them terribly. As I know many of you will too. So....become a follower of Renita's blog and know that you will be able to encourage her greatly as you read and comment on her blog posts.