3 feet, 10 1/2 inches tall
1. What is your favorite color?
2. What is your favorite toy?
3. What is your favorite fruit?
Apples (with peanut butter, yeah!)
4. What is your favorite T.V. show?
5. What is your favorite food?
Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwiches
6. What is your favorite snack?
7. What is your favorite animal?
Caracal (which is a type of wild cat that I’ve never even heard of before Ben told me all about them)
8. What is your favorite song?
Those songs that I listen to with Daddy, about men who have silly jobs, but they think they’re really important. (He means the old “Budweiser – Real Men of Genius” radio spots. Apparently Brian has them all on his iPod and they listen to them together and it cracks Ben up. Nice.)
9. What is your favorite book?
10. Who is your best friend?
“That’s easy, it’s Tanner”
11. What is your favorite cereal?
12. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I can’t believe my Ben is six. SIX!!! That number is TOO big. It takes two hands to count to 6, and that is killing me. Last year when he turned five everyone assumed he would be starting kindergarten. I am SOOOO glad that we decided to keep him home one extra year. He was such a helper to me as I figured out how to be a mommy to three. (I’m STILL figuring that out 17 months later… but that’s a separate topic). I know I’ll blink and he’ll be graduating High School, so I don’t feel an ounce of regret for soaking up that extra time with him. That being said, he is SOOO ready for school. He asks about it all the time. I am still not ready… just thinking about it makes me cry and break out in hives, but I’m trying to focus on how excited he is about being part of a class and learning.
Even as he is growing up, I feel like Ben remains the same kid he’s always been: really funny, really smart, and really sweet. He doesn’t change; he just becomes a more amplified version of himself as each year passes. His sense of humor is amazing. He’s most funny when he’s not trying… like when I told him he was my treasure and he quickly retorted, “Well, I guess that makes your belly a treasure chest.” He’s also very into telling jokes and making jokes up. It’s pretty hit or miss with the made up jokes (ok, mostly miss), but he’s getting there. :)
He is so smart that it’s scary. He taught himself to read last fall and he reads EVERYTHING. He has three magazine subscriptions (High Five, National Geographic Kids & Zoobooks). He reads them cover to cover and gives us reports. “Hey Mom, did you know that each year Hawaii moves about 4 inches closer to Japan? It’s weird, but true. I read it in my magazine. The title of the article was 'Weird, but True.'” He still LOVES animals and memorizes animal facts like nothing I’ve ever seen. He absorbs and repeats EVERYTHING that he learns on cartoons or computer games, so we have to be careful about what he watches. I seriously have no idea where he stores all of this information. He is also asking some deep questions about God and our faith. Lately he’s been coming with us to “big church” instead of going to the children’s wing, and that has given him lots of things to ponder. His heart is soft towards the gospel, and I am so excited to see God’s plans for him unfold.
It has been so fun to watch Benji work hard to excel at things that interest him. He took swim lessons at the end of the year last summer, and he continues to work on his skills whenever we’re in a pool. He is still not confident enough to go where he can’t touch (although he could totally do it), but he’ll get there in his own time. We’ve taken him fishing a couple of times, and this summer he caught his first fish completely on his own. (It was a large mouth bass from the pond near Uncle Terry’s house.)
Ben is also becoming more and more interested in sports. He cheers for the Aggies, the Saints, and the Spurs. Brian is enjoying watching games with him and discussing rules and strategies. We spent a lot of time watching the Olympics as a family this summer and Ben’s favorite events were track and field (especially the hurdles), diving, and gymnastics.
My favorite thing about Ben is still how big hearted he is. He is so social and loves being around people and making friends. I’ve never seen him act shy. He will introduce himself (to kids or adults) and ask them their names. He loves to shake hands with the people around us in church during the greeting. He bickers with Gracie, like any normal brother & sister, but he would much rather play WITH her than have to play by himself. This makes him very motivated to work through their squabbles. He is very concerned and attentive when someone is not feeling well. He also gets his feelings hurt very easily so I pray hard that the Lord will protect his heart once he starts school. He took the loss of Army pretty hard and still brings it up from time to time. His two rats that he got for his birthday have been a nice distraction, and he’s doing a great job taking care of them almost completely on his own.
I love my relationship with Ben - he challenges me SOOO much because I can already see so much greatness in him. I feel like the Lord stacked the deck in his favor and I don’t want to stand in the way of him becoming everything that God made him to be. I need to remember to pray and give him over each day, because I am most certainly not qualified to raise this sweet boy. He is such a gift and I am so thankful that God chose me to be his mommy!