Category Archives: zackery

Merry Christmas!

So what if it’s January 2nd, it’s always Christmas for me!   Plus, I’m way behind in my blogging!  Still need to blog Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc.…I may or may not get those up since it’s now 2012!!

*Beware* there are LOTSA photos below!!


christmas morning



Last year Kelly informed our family of her wish to have the entire family wear matching pajamas and take a family photo.  Last year was our first year …. this year we did much better in the camera timing!



Alex decided she wanted our family to add another new family tradition.  This one was a little bit wonky…perfect for my family!  Alex came up with the ugliest ornament contest.  Let me tell you, there were some U.G.L.Y ornaments.  Some were handmade while others were store bought.  Others were true ornaments and some were made into ornaments.  We’ll just say, my family knows ugly…see for yourself!

ugly ornament contestDSC_0360DSC_0355DSC_0374DSC_0376DSC_0378DSC_0377


….and that completes the Benson Family’s 2011 Christmas!

Hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season!

CBM signature2

Present Time!

Admit it.  The presents is one of your favorite parts of Christmas.  (You’d be crazy not to!).  Don’t get me wrong, a couple days ago, I reminded you all of what Christmas is really about (you can read it HERE), but now it’s time for everyone’s favorite part…THE PRESENTS!

My family tends to go ALL OUT on Christmas presents and this year was no different, except the fact that we slept in…until 7am!  Normally we’re up and opening by 4:30am!  We must all be growing up and the little girls are still little and haven’t been totally bitten by the early bird Christmas bug!  Anyway…

My favorite gift was my laptop!  Of course I had issues with it right away, but my awesome dad was able to fix it the next day!  Other than that, nothing overly exciting, just a normal Christmas!  Here are some fun photos of us on Christmas morning unwrapping all our new goodies!












This post is part of Wordless Wednesday on the following blogs:
The Life of Riley….and Bryce Too!
Angelica’s Awesome Adventures
Live and Love…Out Loud
Parenting For Dummies
Wordless Wednesday’s
A Beautiful Mess
Florida Hogans
Shibley Smiles

Charlie the Christmas Puppy

So for Christmas Zak and Jaime surprised the girls and got them a puppy.  I’m not a big dog fan, not really a big animal fan at all, so I wasn’t super thrilled with the idea!  But, it’s not my dog and it’s not my life, and therefore I have no say in it…darn!  But, I have to admit, Charlie is pretty cute.  He’s a Brindle Boxer and is only 6 weeks old, so he still is with his brothers, sisters and mama.  (His mom, is Jaime’s employers)  So he’s not quite ready to come home and live with them yet.  Sounds like next weekend he might be!  Anyway…

Charlie came to visit for a couple hours on Christmas, and we had a lot of fun playing with him!!

Since, Charlie couldn’t come on Christmas Eve, when they told the girls about it, they had to learn via a photograph!  Jaime thought ahead and recorded their reaction…it’s pretty cute!

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Heading out tomorrow or Tuesday for an impromptu trip!  So the next few days will either be Christmas posts of Spokane posts :)  You’ll just have to check back to see which!

Kelly’s Christmas Wish

Apparently my normally very un-family friendly, extremely fashion conscience sister has had a secret wish all 22 years of her life.  For the entire family, and I mean entire family to have, wear and take a family portrait in our matching pajamas!

We (as a family…pretty much all of us), spent Thanksgiving evening on the internet looking for matching outfits.  Let me tell you it’s not easy to find matching outfits from size 2T all the way to up adult sizes!  We had to settle on the little girls getting a little bit different ones, but they still turned out cute and were pretty darn close to ours!  Plus, they stood out!  The rest of us are wearing either dark or light grey tops with the same pajama bottoms (thank you Old Navy!)

The ticket for Christmas dinner was to sport your PJ best…and every obliged willingly (very shocking), especially when we all put them on about noon and wore them all day!

Brandi and I were in charge of the photo, so right before dinner we set-up the tripod, which we’d never used before, and Brandi quickly had to learn how the timer worked on her camera and we practiced…


Practice #1 – without Brandi


Practice #2: Brandi made it in, in time!


Now time to throw the rest of the family in!


Take #1:  Oops, we aren’t ready…plus no Brandi!

Take #2:

Take #3IMG_5643

Take #4

You can take your own pick on which photo was best!  Grandma and Sue are hidden, we’ll have to get better at this whole posed photo thing!  Oh well, not to  bad for a whole bunch of amateurs taking family photos!  Sounds like this is going to be a new tradition, so we can try again next year!!

On a side note…we did break the couch lol!  There was a large CRACK and SHIFT when all of us were on it….the poor couch didn’t like all the attention!  But don’t worry, Kelly got her wish, and we took the photo!

I have a lot of Christmas posts coming up…so stay tuned!

CKC 2010 Scrapbooking Layouts

Wow, what a whirlwind weekend at the Creating Keepsakes Convention in Bellevue!  Brandi and I cropped and shopped until we dropped … yes I should go into poetry I know!  Anyway, this year I’m excited to say I “won” and did the most layouts between the two of us!  We both did 8 legitimate layouts (pages), but I did one pre-done one that I just stuck photos to, to win the race!  YAY ME!  (Yes, everything is a competition between my cousin and I!  Who was the subject of the most layouts?  Emmalee.  Poor Emma has basically ZERO pages to her name, while Miss Madison has probably 6 entire full albums just of her (she has 2 of just her first year!)….so it was definitely Emma’s turn to get some layouts done!


pretty in pink Pretty In Pink
June 2009 ~ Emma @ 6 months old
~Blogged about it HERE~

blueNameless – but I keep saving it as Emma Blue :)
Emma about 18months – this past summer at Kim’s house
~Blogged about it HERE~

Emma @ 10months – November 2009
~Blogged about it HERE~

Fun in the SunFun in the Sun
Emma @ 6 months old ~ July 2009?
*Gimmee Layout – I did this as a Make ‘N Take during the convention shopping portion.  Brandi said I couldn’t count it towards one of my finished layouts, since all I did at the crop was slap on some photos!*

Mariners 2009
Emmalee’s first Mariners Game – a Family Affair!
Emma @ 5 months old – May 2009
Madison @ 4 years old

Meeting Emmalee
Meeting Emmalee
Self explanatory, our family going to the hospital to meet Emma for the first time!
January 3, 2009 ~ Madison @ 2 years old
~Blogged about it HERE~


Linking up with my Bestest Blogging Buddy Kristen today with her Homemade Pact Tuesday!!

Plethora of Posts & Pictures!

Yesterday marked my 500th blog post and to think I forgot to announce it…silly me!  I didn’t want to miss my 500th post so for a week I’ve been counting down on my laptop until my 500th post!  Go figure, with the plethora of computers in my house, I didn’t use my laptop and yet one of our desktops….missing the big  5-0-0.  *sigh* what’s a girl to do….post about it today I suppose! 

Over the past couple of years, I’ve had a plethora of posts!  My top 3 blogging topics are:

  1. My niece Madison – with 102 posts
  2. My cousin and one of my BFF’s Jaime – with 89 posts
  3. Tied for 3rd with 85 posts – My niece Emmalee and favorite 2nd family the Munro’s!

One of my favorite things about blogging is getting to go back and look at past posts!  It’s a great reminder to me of what I’ve done, where I’ve been and where I hope to go!!

Yesterday, I blogged briefly on my Aunt Sue’s wedding, and posted a couple of pictures, but mentioned that I had a plethora of pictures to sort through, 521 of them to be exact, to still go through.  I’m so proud of myself, in less then 24-hours I:

  • downloaded & edited all the photos off the cameras
  • uploaded all the wedding photos to Snapfish for people to order from,
  • put them on a CD for my Aunt to take home with her
  • made a montage of the wedding! 

Phew!  That’s quite the plethora of photography related items, in a short period of time, for me! 

With all that being said here is the wedding montage I made of the plethora of photos that we took yesterday!  Since I know that I know that the majority of my biggest blog fans and followers are my family, here you go…I hope you enjoy the video!!  Congratulations Sue & Aaron, I love you guys!!

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Week 3
of Word Up, Yo! a new  word game hosted by Liz from A Belle, A Bean, & A Chicago Dog, KLZ from Taming Insanity and Natalie from Mommy of A Monster!  The word this week was PLETHORA, jump in and play along!!


What Does Summer Mean to My Family?

Apparently, anybody who is anyone in the blogging world participates in

Mama's Losin' It

And, since we all know I’m willing to follow every one else off the cliff, for sure I’d join in on this meme for sure!  Mama Kat posts 5 different prompts each week, and you are supposed to pick one, write about it and then link up with her blog on Thursday.  So here’s my first attempt….

Question #5) What Does Summer Mean To Your Family?

Family is very important to my family (sounds funny doesn’t it?).  We are a close knit group who gets together at least once a week.  During the summertime, we get together a lot more!  We just love to be together!  I’m lucky to have most of my dad’s side of the family really close (within 20minutes), so that’s the family I spend the most time with.  (My mom’s family is all over the country).  So let’s see what does summer mean to us?

summer6Fun in the backyard with WATER!
Yes, that’s me throwing water at poor 15month old Madison!  Evil aren’t I!
(Cori & Madison ~ 2007)

summerHanging out on the backyard swing with friends & family!
That swing is a hot commodity in our household!  Everyone loves to sit and swing on it!  Oh and yes, that is a blanket they are wrapped in, this is summer in Seattle after all!
(Alex, Jordyn, Aunt Leslie, Emmalee, Erin & Kelly ~ 2009)

Backyard BBQ’s at Grandma’s House
(Dad, Madison & Zackery ~ 2009) 

Mariners Games!  Gotta love baseball!
(Cori & Madison ~ 2008)

summer4Family Vacations
The Benson Girls at a Salt Lake City putt-putt golf course!
(Alex, Mom, Kelly & Cori ~ 2009)
 summer5Summertime Snooze Outside
(Madison ~ 2007)

So that’s what summer means to my family!  What does summer mean to yours??

Day 13: Cabo San Lucas

Today started out WAY to early.  Kelly, Alex & my mom had an early morning excursion so we were all up about 6:30am…yes that early on vacation!

IMG_2245Me trying to sleep a little bit longer with everyone else running around.

However, my sleeping didn’t last long.  We (the rest of us) left about 7:30am for Cabo.  I got to say Cabo is one beautiful place! Pulling in on the boat we passed the famous Cabo San Lucas Arch.  These rocks are absolutely amazing!!  Later in the day Zak and I went jet-skiing (yes again) and we went through and around them!


While walking through town we came across this kiosk which had a baby lion and baby tiger in a crib!  They were part of a fundraiser for an animal refuge.  We got to watch them while they were fed their bottles!!  I could have held one, but it was $25 and I didn’t want to part with my money that bad!!


We got off the boat and did some shopping while on the search for Cabo Wabo, a restaurant owned and opened by Sammy Hagar of Van Halen.  At about 930am we were enjoying the BEST chips and salsa ever!  Sorry, Ixtapa, this was so much better!

IMG_2322We found it funny that they had Washington State license plates on the wall!

Like I mentioned earlier, Zak and I went jet-skiing again today!  We cut it a bit close though!  We shopped with my dad, Grandma, Brandi and Jaime all morning and when they headed back to the ship we went to find the beach.  Little did we know that the beach really wasn’t that close!  We finally rented the jet-ski at about 11:30am for an hour and had to be back to the tenders by 1:15pm at the latest. 

About half-way through our time we realized the tender passing us had Grandma, Jaime and Brandi on it!  We had fun zipping around them and having our pictures taken!

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After we finished jet-skiing we knew we had about a half-hour walk to the tenders, we decided to take a water taxi which was about a 5-minute ride!  We got back in plenty of time for me to do some shopping!  I hit up a great store where I got TONS of souvenir shopping done and was really happy with what I got!  We made it back to the tender right at about 1:15pm.

This afternoon Alex participated in the Passenger Talent Show.  When Grandma first mentioned it to Alex, Alex responded with “I have no talent”.  Right, Alex, you have no talent!!  She is an amazing pianist!  She decided to participate in the talent show and did awesome!!

Left: Alex & Assistant Cruise Director Andrew talking during her introduction
Right: Alex playing the piano on the Universe Lounge Stage


Hi Madison & Emmalee!  We’re getting really excited to see you guys in a couple of days!  We have missed you so very much and can’t wait to hug you two!!  Hope you are still being good for Amy and having fun!  We love you tons!!  ~Hugs, Mommy & Daddy~


Our last formal night is this evening.  I need to go finish getting ready.  Tomorrow is our last day on the ship.  We get off on Sunday morning, it’s crazy our vacation is coming to a close!  I’ll have to make the best and have a lot of fun in the last 36 hours I have on board!


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