I’m Back…

I’m Back…

Well hello sweet friends!! How have you all been? I’ve been “Meh” lol. JK, I’m all over the place. I’m not sure about you guys but I’m currently in a pandemic and stuck with 5 kids and a husband!! Send help, preferably Luke Bryan. That will make my life much better.

No really, how is everyone doing? Well here at Casa Bennett/Gonzales we are all driving each other crazy. I mean, one day I was at work, kids at school, hubby at work and life was still chaos but jolly and then BAM!! Husband is having 20 plus seizures a day, kids wont be returning to school after spring break oh and I wont be returning to work either!! WHAAAAAAA!! Why? How? Can this really be happening? At first it was okay cool, it’s only for 2 weeks.. then the end of April and then, “yeah, your kids ain’t coming back this year” WTF oh and by the way you still have to feed them but more now.

IDK now about you guys but how am I supposed to provide for my family? I was furloughed from my job. My husband by this point has been out of work since Feb 7, 2020.

What am I going to do to make money? I told JB let’s make these chocolate covered pretzels so we can raise some money for the bills. Let’s just say it took about 2 months before we actually saw money.. We are still paying off the stuff we have bought but we are bringing in money weekly. I mean we are bringing in an average of $150 a week. Not anywhere close to our paychecks but it’s paying the bills.

This whole pandemic adventure has really changed me. I never knew I could hustle the way we have been just to make sure the kids and us are taken care of. A momma has to do what a momma has to do. I have never in my life been a baker of any sort but I’m trucking along and really liking this.

UPDATE of JB: He will not be returning to work due to this condition. So lots of prayers for him and his sanity. I mean the man is now forced to stay home with his crazy wife and kids!! BAHAHAHAHA

PS: You are awesome and LOVED!!

love, me

**The start of a New Year**

**The start of a New Year**


It is December 31, 2019. End of the year. End of the decade….

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On this last day:

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Forgive those who have done you wrong. Apologize to the people you have done wrong to, but most importantly love yourself, forgive yourself and never give up.

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Tomorrow is the day that we all get to begin again.. Let go of all the bad things that clutter your mind, your body and your heart. Everyday is a fresh start but tomorrow is the start of a new decade.

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To better and intentional decade!!

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Happy New Year to you all!!

**Why is it so easy for us to get distracted to remember what Christmas Day is really about**

**Why is it so easy for us to get distracted to remember what Christmas Day is really about**

This is my family.

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We sometimes dress up and smile nicely when mommy says to.

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I’m always running all over the place like a crazy person to get the #30minfamilyfun supplies.

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But in the midst all of this, how often do I really stop to think about Jesus. Not nearly as often as I should, I can tell you that for sure.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about the festivities and traditions of the Christmas season, and certainly the parties. I participate in all of these things myself and enjoy most all of it, guys, my kids drive me crazy! But it sure is easy to miss out on the meaning of Christmas.

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I miss out on Jesus when my schedule is filled to the top with kids, work, life, husband and family activities. It doesn’t leave much room for quiet time, prayer or bible study. You would think I have all the time, I work at a church. 😬😬

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The best way to fight the temptation of choosing activity over time with Jesus is to simply spend time with Him! Prioritize this by making it into your Christmas traditions.

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If you do, you will find that nothing, not even the gifts under your tree, can compare to spending time in the presence of Jesus.

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Maybe this is a hard time for you cause you don’t have great family memories. I promise you, if you pray and ask for peace you will get it. Don’t lose faith, that was the past and I know it will be hard to forget but move forward daily with Him and you will emotionally feel better. If you ever need prayer just ask. Don’t be embarrassed, I would love to pray for you and with you!

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Don’t lose sight of Him this Christmas, He is the honored guest, after all!

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Merry Christmas 🎄🎁

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love, me

**COUNTDOWN TO 36** 4 days left

**COUNTDOWN TO 36** 4 days left

So we left off with me falling in love with Fernando.

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He was so cute! He actually had no idea who I was. I was just the dorky girl who was friends with everyone. He was trying to get with this white girl. LOL, he has a thing for white girls. Any ways, the whole entire school knew I had the biggest crush on him. I even asked him to the “Sadie Hawkins Dance” he said yes! I had to beg my parents to let me go. My dad gave me $50 and then mom dropped us off at Skateland. It was amazing! He didnt know how to roller skate, that part was funny!! Then one day, he asked me to be his girlfriend. I was so excited but nervous all of a sudden. He was my friend first and we hung out like friends, but then he asked me those beautiful words. I was like, you have to ask my parents! I know, all my friends were dating and got to go to the mall and hangout and I still had to ask for permission.

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Well, the day came when he came to the house to ask my parents. Before he arrived, my dad was like, there is going to be none of this and none of that and blah blah blah!! Once Fernando got there my did didn’t say one word! It was mom who did all the talking. She said, NO SEX, NO DRINKING and something else that I don’t remember! OMG!! How embarrassing.

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So from the 10th grade on he was my boyfriend. I was not allowed to go out during the week cause I would see him at school. At that time, my parents didn’t know he only went to school every so often. I couldn’t tell them he never went to school, then I wouldn’t be allowed to date him.

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The time came when he asked my parents to marry me. I was in the 12th grade. He came over and he did it in front of my entire family. It was so cute. I wore a beautiful ring my whole 12th grade year.

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Okay, more to continue tomorrow! I PROMISE!

**Countdown to 36** 7 days left

**Countdown to 36** 7 days left

Well guys, I let life, kids, Christmas parties get ahold of me. I’m so sorry that I have left you hanging.

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So we left off at age 11 and again, nothing to exciting!!

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Now we are about to have a crash course on ages 12-18

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Age 12 was a year that changed our family. Mom and papa (my dad) found out they were going to have a baby, my sister!

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Papa and I got to be in the room when she was born. It was so gross, we were both behind the curtain! LOL, but then she made her appearance into this world. She was a twin but mom lost the other baby at like 6 months. Her name is Xena Anastasia Hernandez. She was a cutie.. She became my living doll. I loved her so much! I did everything to her. I colored her hair, I’ve waxed her arms, I’ve taken off half of her I brows, permed and cut her hair. What, I knew I was going to go to cosmetology school, plus we grew up in the beauty industry. I did all of this stuff between the ages of 4 and like 10. Mom would go to work and she would leave us the baby. Why she would do that is beyond me. All we knew how to do was stick her in the walker and dress her up. She had this round crystal ball head with no hair. She was nothing like her baby. She learned to walk at 9 months and only spoke spanish!

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By the time I was 13 I started Carson Jr. High. I was only there for 1 year and a half. Mom pulled me out cause I was hanging out with the wrong crowd. Yikes!! So she sent me to The Learning Institute in Phx on 12th St & Camelback and that’s where I met Jessica Marie Sevilla and the Lobatos. They were my really good friends throughout 8th and 9th grade. Jessica and I had a HUGE love for The Backstreet Boys!! Well, I still do! Not sure about her? We did not like N’SYNC at all or at least we didn’t tell people. I will admit I did or should I say “I do” like a few of their songs. We also loved Britney Spears. We wanted to be just like her..

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9th grade happens to be the year I tried pot! I liked it! Mom was and still is in denial about me doing it. I did it all through my high school years and in my 20’s. I was never really a drinker, until I got older and had a million kids!

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This also happens to be the year mom was starting to open up her aesthetician school in Scottsdale. It was called National Aesthetics Institute. This part of my life is a whole other story! If you know me and want to know, just ask me.

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I was a very sheltered child growing up. I was definitely spoiled and definitely moms favorite. We grew up wealthy!! Well, my parents were wealthy, we were just guests in the home. That’s what they always told us. We had to work at the school to get our money. Mom was always working to live her dream and she did in fact. She was and still is a WORKAHOLIC! She is the Godmother of Aesthetics in AZ. She made sure we were taken care of. We always had what we needed. I don’t think my childhood was bad. I had a roof over my head, clothes on my back and food on the table. There are many times I wish she was home more often, but then we wouldn’t be where we are today. I wasn’t allowed to go out with my friends after school or go to parties. I was to go home, do my chores and play with my sister. I wasn’t allowed to have a boyfriend until I turned 16.

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My dad was the one who was home with us.. so many things happening all the time at home.

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Once 9th grade was over I went to Westwood High School for 10th – 12th grade. Yup, I’m a Westwood Warrior, my blood runs orange and blue. I loved school, or how did mom say it, she loves school but not the educational part. I hated that part.. The only class I was good in was PE and Lunch but surprisingly I GRADUATED. It may have been with a D average, but I made it. My parents didn’t even have a set date for my grad party. They wanted to make sure I REALLY GRADUATED.

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10th grade was an amazing year, I met a lot of my friends! I also met Julio Garcia. It was his first year as an 11th grader. We shared a class together and I was the first person to talk to him and say hi. That was my problem, I talked with everyone and I made sure I was nice so I didn’t get beat up. He ended up being one of my really close friends. He even asked me to homecoming or prom. When he asked me I thought he was joking. He was not!! His mom and my mom were friends and she told my mom that he had asked me and what was I going to wear? So when mom asked me, I was like “what” I liked him as a friend and he liked me to be his girlfriend. I didn’t take it seriously. In the end, I went with him and it was the best day of his life. That’s what he said. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I liked Fernando.

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Julio remained my good friend and literally did anything and everything for me. He was convinced he was going to win me over. But I was in love with Fernando. We met in math class. He walked into class and I was in love. He looked like Lou Diamond Phillips from the movie La Bamba “Ritchie”

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I know you want more, but this page took me all day to write. I will continue tomorrow!

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love, me

**COUNTDOWN TO 36** 13 days left

**COUNTDOWN TO 36** 13 days left

If you are still with me on this journey, thank you. Today I was told that JB, the kids and I bring them joy and put a smile on their face. This makes me happy!!

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Okay, on to real business!! Age 11.. Mom pulled us out of QOP and I went to Connolly Middle School and my brother went to Emerson Elementary in Mesa. She pulled us out because she didn’t agree with some stuff the priest was doing at school.

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This is one of those years that I remember certain things that happened.

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So, I was in PE and I remember the teacher saying that we needed to have a white shirt for the next day. Growing up, my parents were VERY frugal. We didn’t have a nintendo growing up but we did have tetherball, pogs, barbies, ninja turtles, skip it, a bike, stretch arm strong and so on. Mom also shopped at K-Mart for our clothes. We did not have clothes from the mall, JC Penny or Sears. I was the tall and skinny one and my brother was the Husky one and both of these types of clothes were at K-Mart. We didn’t have Oscar Meyer Turkey Sandwich Meat, Iron Kids Bread, Jiffy Peanut Butter or Smuckers Jelly. We also didn’t have Ruffles Chips or Capri Suns. We had Fry’s bread, Fry’s Chips, Bar-S Bologna and anything else Fry’s had.

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What I’m about to tell you is a TURE STORY!! Well, everything I have told you is true but this is funny now! So, remember I said we needed a white shirt? Well, when I got home later that day, I told mom we needed a white shirt for PE, but I added a few things to it. I said we needed a white Nike shirt and mom said, “Oh Really” I said, “Yes” so she said well I’m going to call the teacher and tell her I’m not buying one. I was so mad.. but what did mom do, she bought me a white t-shirt and a black sharpie and she said “Just Do It” how embarrassing!! I had to go to school with that shirt!

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That was definitely my highlight for that year.

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I know age 12 will have some pretty good stories!! Talk to you tomorrow!!

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love, me

*COUNTDOWN TO 36* 15 days left

*COUNTDOWN TO 36* 15 days left

So as we discovered age 9 was a great year. Many memories.

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Age 10 was a year I don’t really remember that much.

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I was in 4th grade and Mrs. Routen was my teacher. This is the year I disliked. She was mean and never had a smile on her face.

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This is also happens to be the year that mom pulled my brother and I out of QOP. Yup, she did. She pulled us out cause Mrs. Freeman smacked my brother on the arm and left a bruise on him.

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We started a new school in Tempe and we attended Thew Elementary for that year. I don’t remember that school at all.

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I don’t really remember anymore of that year.. 😬😬

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Hopefully age 11 has something cool.

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love, me

**COUNTDOWN TO 36** 16 days left

**COUNTDOWN TO 36** 16 days left

Age 9 was I think one of my favorites. I was in the 3rd grade, still at QOP and Mrs. Salono was my teacher. If you ask me who was your favorite teacher at QOP I will tell you it was her. She was the most kind hearted, amzing and funnest teacher ever.. (yes I know funnest isn’t a word).

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This is the year that Lauren Marshall came to our school. She joined the TLC Club which was Tiffany, Lauren and Cinthia. They were always together, LOL.

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This year we as a class also made our First Holy Communion. Father Roman was the priest who did mass that day. Tia Susie made my comminion dress. It was beautiful. Grandpa Solomon had come down just for this event. We even went to the Grand Canyon and stopped in Bedrock City. That place was cool.

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Third grade was the year that I did not get to attend the end of the year party, because I squeezed glue on top of Luke’s head. I got into trouble and mom said I couldn’t go and my punishment at home was I had to read. UGH!! But this was the first time I had ever read a book and liked it. Guess what I read? Junie B Jones. I love all her books! So sad that the author of that book has died already.

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I remember having the talent show that year and Lauren did her dance to the song “Tootsie Roll” by 69 Boyz! That was interesting.

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A few times I had to go to aftercare and I remember when my dad bought me the Salt N Pepa cassette. I took it to school and showed Caroline and she told on me. My cassette was taken away because it was the Heaven or Hell Album. I didn’t talk to Caroline for a while and I never got my cassette back.

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This also happens to be the year that I saw the Easter Bunny come to our house. He did come, he even left mine and my brothers baskets out. I got all the “Saved By the Bell Dolls” it was awesome.

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I also remember what I got for Christmas that year, Barbie’s Mansion. It was beautiful. She had a 3 story home. It was so cool and pink. My brother thought it was dumb.

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This is all I really remember from age 9. I had some good times, I wish I could go back in time.

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Hope you enjoy my life so far..

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love, me

**COUNTDOWN TO 36** 17 days left

**COUNTDOWN TO 36** 17 days left

As I write this, I notice that it is hard to try and think back on my life age by age. So we now know that at age 7 we moved to AZ and I started school.

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Age 8 was an impactful year. This is age where my brother and I met Raymond (our dad), my sisters dad. I remember him coming over to the house and he would bring us gifts. I loved barbies and he would bring me barbie stuff. He would bring my brother hot wheels.

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Age 8 is also the same year that I started the 2nd grade at Queen of Peace Catholic School in Downtown Mesa. Downtown Mesa is where we grew up. School was fun, I had Ms. Dugan and she was quite interesting. She was cross eyed and every time she looked at me I was confused cause I didn’t know if she was looking at me. Second grade is also the same year we had Mr. Cortez as our Music teacher. He told mom one day, “I don’t think Shauny should sing” LOL!! Well was he right! I can’t sing. It’s rough.. I love to sing just to make my kids mad and JB tells me, “Oh honey, you sing from the heart” as he’s saying that he’s making faces 🙂

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Second grade is also the year I made my reconciliation at QOP. We did everything as a class. Cinthia Alaniz, Megan Marshall, Marcella Martos and Caroline were my friends.

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I believe this is when we moved to Mesa. We used to live at 2131 W Dixon. Our neighborhood was pretty cool. We lived across the street from Ron and his wife and their 2 daughters Kristen and Ashley. Down the street from us is where Taylor lived, she was my good friend. Across the street from our house was River View Park. Back then there was nothing there. Where the Walmart is, used to be cotton fields.

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This also happens to be the year that mom started working at Carsten Institute in Tempe. She was the aesthetics instructor there. My dad worked at the Camelback Inn as the landscaper.

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This is all I really remember about being 8. Let’s see what age 9 has in stock for us.

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love, me