Per·son·al: of, pertaining to, or coming as from a particular person; individual; private; Concerning a particular person and his or her private business, interests, or activities; intimate. Posts in this category pertain to things happening in my personal life.


Filed in PersonalTags: Missouri, Saint Louis

So I'm not crazy. I woke up a little after 4:30 this morning, with the sensation that the house was rocking. I jumped out of bed to investigate, but found all well and normal.

Turns out it was a 5.2-magnitude earthquake.

USGS Shake Map of 5.2 Magnitiude Earthquake 04/18/2008

Post-Dispatch and Tribune-Star stories here.

The U.S. Geologic Survey Web site says the quake was centered near West Salem, Ill., or about 40 miles northwest of Evansville, Ind.


The quake occurred in the Illinois basin-Ozark dome region that covers parts of Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas and stretches from Indianapolis and St. Louis to Memphis, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Also, apparently, the quake was felt in Grand Rapids, MI,, Cincinnati, OH - and even 450 miles away in Des Moines, IA.)

Of course, I couldn't get back to sleep - so I'm going to be a bit tired today!

Special Announcement

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Marriage, Photos

Lily is going to be a big sister!


The digital indicator says "Pregnant," and yes, we are - as this test (and two others, just for good measure) confirmed today!
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

We quite literally just found out today, and are incredibly excited and overjoyed! More news as we have it, but in the meantime, please keep Steph in your prayers.

Church Search: Grace Church of St. Louis

Filed in Personal, ReligionTags: Christianity, Family, Fatherhood, Marriage, Missouri, Saint Louis

We have been looking for quite some time, to find a church home suitable for Stephanie, Lily, and me - somewhere that we can get involved in the church ministries, outreaches, and service as well as somewhere that can meet our needs: worship service with which we can relate and be both fed and challenged, an excellent children's program, and small-group ministry to facilitate building relationships and friendships with other people our age and in similar life circumstances.

We have tried several churches, trying to keep an open mind about non-essential things such as membership size and style of worship, while at the same time looking for unity in the things we consider essential: namely, doctrinal matters. For the past couple months, we have been attending Grace Church of St. Louis, and have connected well enough that we have decided to go through the four-week membership class to determine how well this church might fit for us.

We will be considering several things, including the details of the church's doctrine, the dynamics of a smaller group (our class has about 70 people, which is considered "small" for a church the size of Grace), the ministry/small group/service opportunities, and the emphasis/mission of the church (missions, evangelism, discipleship, etc.).

If we have one concern thus far, it is the somewhat overwhelming size of the church. While I would be perfectly comfortable, provided that we can find smaller groups with which to get involved, Stephanie is not quite so comfortable. That is why the nature and dynamics of the church's small group ministries will be critical to our decision.

Please be praying for us in our search for a church home - that God will show us where He would have us to be, and especially that He will enlighten us with respect to Grace Church through this membership class.

Finally Uploaded a Bunch of Pictures

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Marriage, Photos

Sorry for the infrequent posting, but things have been really busy here.

My most recent project is the basement. When we moved in, I had basically everything that we didn't know what to do with, put into the basement workshop/storage room. So, now that we've got the main level and upstairs essentially in shape (except for the breakfast room), I've been concentrating on organizing the basement and storage room. Here's what it looks like now:

Basement Cleanup

Basement Cleanup

Cleanup and organization of the basement living areas.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Of course, I had to make some special additions:

Basement Cleanup

The basement would not be complete without a Colts shrine.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

And then there's the workshop/storage room. Without having seen the before pictures, you really won't get the transformation - so these pics are mainly for my dad:

Basement Cleanup

Basement Cleanup

The area now resembles a workshop and storage area, rather than an overflowing dumping ground.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

I also uploaded a bunch more Lily photos, to her Nine Month and Ten Month sets. She's been as adorable as ever, learning new things such as clapping, drinking through a straw, and trying to climb the stairs. But of all the photos, this one has to be the best:

Lillian Ten Months - April

Lily gives such sweet kisses. Also, note mommy's cute new hairdo!
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Brownsburg Bulldogs: 2008 4A Basketball State Champs

Filed in Personal, SportsTags: Indiana

Just a quick congratulations to the Brownsburg Bulldogs for winning the Indiana Class 4A boys basketball state championship last night, beating Marion 40-39.

(According to the article, the game was the lowest-scoring state championship since Milan beat Muncie Central 32-30 in 1954 - which most people would recognize as the inspiration for the best basketball movie ever made: Hoosiers.

While I graduated from Shelbyville High School, several of my cousins went to Brownsburg, which is where many of my relatives live - including my parents, who moved to nearby Pittsboro after retiring. My aunt and uncle have stayed involved with athletic and other activities in the school system, so I am especially happy for them that they get to enjoy the Bulldogs' run to the state championship.

So, congrats, Brownsburg Bulldogs!

Lily at the Park

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Marriage, Missouri, Photos, Saint Louis

So, you wouldn't know it from the ten inches of snow we got yesterday, but this past weekend was gorgeous. Sunday was about 77 degrees and sunny, and we got the chance to take Lily to the park, to enjoy the weather - and the infant swing:

Lillian 09 Months - March 019

I'm too cute!
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Lillian 09 Months - March 033

Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Lillian 09 Months - March 025

Hey, I think I really like this!
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

As the weather continues to get nicer, and Lily gets closer and closer to being a year old, I'm really looking forward to playing together outside in our yard, and more trips to the park!

Kitchen Remodel

Filed in PersonalTags: Photos

After we closed on our house, we decided that we only wanted to undertake one project before moving in: the kitchen. We were fortunate to have new appliances already installed, but the cabinets made the kitchen a bit dark and dated, and the hardware was in obvious need of replacement:

3242 Chaucer 024.jpg

We sanded, primed, and painted the cabinets Coastal Fog. We painted the walls Cumberland Fog. We replaced the drawer and door pulls with brushed nickel pulls, and also the door hinges. Finally, we replaced the sink faucet:

Kitchen Remodel 02

(Of course, now with everything else done, the range hood sticks out like a sore thumb. Hopefully, I can replace it next month, so that it will match the rest of the appliances.

I have to thank my parents - and especially my Dad - for all the hard work they contributed toward this project. We certainly would not have everything done by now, if not for them.

We still have much to do, but it is starting to feel more like home!

We Closed Today

Filed in PersonalTags: Missouri, Saint Louis

We closed on our house today! More later; things have been very busy, hectic, and at times stressful - but we are done!

From The CB.Net Email Bag

Filed in Personal, PoliticsTags: Mailbag

I woke up this morning and checked my email, only to discover that not only had someone named Robert Taber come across my web site, but had also taken the time to email:

while this political junkie was surfing all night, i happened on your "blog." wow. what a surprise a white straight, male, who's not only a conservative but in love with every aspect of their life and have the balls to think we give a s*** about the pictures of you or your are so far out of touch, thank you for giving us W; we'll return the favor with 8 years of O'Bama.....are there any conservative blogs that are actually updated and not all about "THE BLOGGER"?
the country -- deeply divided and now so regretful -- pushed us not only to the far right but to the crimial facist state that we have.......the swing back will hurt "chip" and perhaps you'll start paying attention to something other than all that is about "chip".
enjoy the next 8 years 😛
tons of love,

Well, my apologies to Robert. You see, I actually have to get up in the morning and go to work, and don't have time to be "surfing all night", and have only limited time to spend blogging. I do not apologize, however, that my family is the most important part of my life. And while you, Robert, might not care to see pictures of my daughter or of our house, our family all over the country does.

And Robert, rather than taking drive-by shots at bloggers, perhaps you should start blogging on your own blog. (You apparently have the time to do.)

Oh, and one final thought, Robert: for someone who is a self-proclaimed homosexual, with strongly held beliefs on the issue of bigotry, you appear to hold a rather prejudiced (dare I say "bigoted"?) opinion of me, without having ever met me and based solely upon my race, sexual orientation, gender, and political views.

Tolerant, indeed.

Seeing the World From a New Perspective

Filed in PersonalTags: Family, Fatherhood, Marriage, Photos

Lily has been making so many advances lately!

First, she is so proud of herself for being able to pick up her food and put it in her mouth:

Lillian 08 Months - January-000027.jpg

Lily is excited to eat her cereal puffs by picking them up herself!
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

More recently, she has been trying so hard to pull herself up. The first time she accomplished the feat (this past Friday evening), it was so brief that I couldn't get a picture. Not to worry; when I went into her room to get her up from her nap yesterday, here is what I found:

Lillian 08 Months - January 044.jpg Lillian 08 Months - January 048.jpg

Lily standing up in her crib, exploring her nursery.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

And when I called her Papaw to wish him a happy birthday yesterday evening, Lily decided she would show off for him:

Lillian 08 Months - January 050.jpg

Lily standing up in the living room, showing off on her Papaw's birthday.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

I haven't gotten any pictures yet of her other new discovery: looking at things upside down. Lily loves to see anything and everything upside-down. She will throw her head - or even her whole body - backward in order to look around the room, or at the paintings on the wall, or even just Mom and Dad. She is also becoming amazingly expressive; some of her facial expressions are just adorable - or hilarious.

Steph and I marvel at what a fun and exciting time we are experiencing in Lily's life. She is learning so much, and becoming more inquisitive and adventurous. We already know that part of moving into our house will mean installing outlet covers, cabinet locks, baby gates, and all of the other required "baby-proofing" that we'll have to do. But we wouldn't have it any other way!