Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The weather outside is frightful...

I am just taking a moment to post from New York...sorry no pictures...Matt can't get his computer to work since it is normally on our wireless. The weather was really warm when we got here...all the way into the upper 50's, which of course melted all the snow. So the kids got to throw a few snowballs, but not much. But we are waiting for a few inches of snow tonight. It was so beautiful this morning eating breakfast with the kids, Matt , my Dad and Heidi and watching the snowflakes come down through the sliding glass window.
The day after we got here we traveled an hour drive to Ithaca...the home of Cornell University. We wanted to check out the city because it is considered one of the greenest cities in the country and also one of the best cities to live in. It was really nice...we ate at a small delicatessen and walked along the commons...it was a great morning. And yesterday we drove 200 miles to Poughkeepsie, which is the city that I grew up in. It was worth the long trip. We went to my old house...talked to the new neighbors...took lots of pictures. I cried a little bit watching my own kids run around the same yard that I spent many an hour...down the same hill and around the big oak tree that was next to my second story window. I showed them the window that Jason (my brother) and I used to climb out of and walk along the flat part of the roof. And the new owner showed me all the rose bushes along the fence that my mom planted 28 years ago...and that the strawberries still grow along the steps to the back of the house. I ate so many of those strawberries in the summer time. It was the perfect moments. Then we drove to the center of town...to see the same stores and few changes. We then went to my elementary school. Thankfully a secretary was on her way out and I got to talk to her...she let us in...told me all my old teachers are still alive but retired. We then roamed the hallways...and then walked into my kindergarten classroom. I wanted to cry the whole time. Then our final stop was at my friend Sara's parents house. I figured Sara wasn't there anymore, but I wanted to talk to her parents to get current information. So we stood there and talked and caught up on the last twenty years. Same house...same color...it was so sweet. We had a funny thing happen there, but I will make another post just about that. As you can see it was a great day. It is so awesome to go back...and wonder how God brought you to where you are at. I just loved taking my kids there and we had such a fabulous day. So when I get back there will be lots of pictures. I hope you are well...and I am hoping tomorrow my kids will be sledding down the back hill!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Gratitude Friday

I know..I haven't blogged since the last gratitude Friday...it has been a super busy week. I hope you had a great Christmas. It was quite joyous here...lots of presents, lots of family...lots of love! So I am posting my list of thankfulness...and I hope to post pictures later. We are off to New York in one hour, so I am pressed for time. Have a great week...and I hope to blog on my down time up in the cold...can't wait!

1. Thankful for the tiny baby born in a manger over two thousand years ago.

2. I am thankful that Mary and Joseph were so faithful and followed His voice.

3. Thankful that Jesus loved the Father enough to die on the cross for us...because the Father loved us!

4. I am thankful that He loves me despite my faults, troubles and inconsistencies.

5. I am thankful that we are taking a ten day break...my family needs it and we are expecting a new refreshing spirit!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gratitude Friday

It's the Friday before Christmas...and we are in super excite mode right now! The kids are counting down and we are ready..somewhat. I have some more shopping to do this weekend...but the kids are all done. I have lots of wrapping and sorting to do. So may you get lots done this weekend!

1. I am thankful for the snowstorm coming through the east...may everyone be safe and enjoy the weather of the season! My dad is counting me responsible for all the early snow this year. My prayers for snow are working.

2. I am thankful for the harvest that we are reaping for what we have sowed. Now, to find more to give to.

3. I am so thankful that we are off from school today. I need a break more than the kids do!!!

4. I am thankful for Matt's job and the increase that he received this week!

5. I am still thankful for the man who is named Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. My kids learned this scripture this week...what a beautiful word!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Countdown Begins...

Just wanted to show you what we made yesterday...a ten day countdown to Christmas. There is a poem at the top and the red part is beautiful star ribbon...and then we hot glued 10 kisses on the ribbon and there is a bell on the bottom. Every night they are to take a kiss off the ribbon and count backwards to Christmas...and when they take the last one off on Christmas eve the bell on the bottom will ring. They had such a fun time making them (including 3 year old William who could thread the string on top and bottom and place his kisses on after I put the hot glue on). The rest of the night they were killing me to get the kiss down...and first thing this morning they were asking to have today's...that is the best part of Christmas...the anticipation! So, on to today where we are making reindeers with our hands and feet! What a stretch from the Lord for me...I am the least creative person in the world, and here I am doing crafts all the time! Blessings in this holiday season!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Night out with Daddy

I am posting a picture of our tree..it is quite beautiful this year. The kids decorated it and they did such a good job. I would post pictures of them decorating it, but I already put them on the memory card so I am unable to find them. So...just imagine them working so hard on this masterpiece. I am posting pictures below of Matt's night out with the girls...every year he takes them out for the night, dressed up and the whole night is about them. They look forward to it, and the best part is dressing up. Bryn wore her "best dressed" dress from her junior youth party and Esther had a silky black dress. They were out late and they loved every minute of it. The boys stayed with me...and they are planning a camping trip out on one of the islands with Daddy and PapPap in January!



Here is Bryn and Daddy having a crazy moment. I love this picture, because it shows how lighthearted the night was.
Here are the girls drinking their Shirley Temples...they thought they were so grown up!



Here they are before they left the house...so beautiful...and I am so proud!


Here is Esther and Daddy...giving him a kiss. Our Essie is so sweet and her spirit is so gentle...God has a lot for this little girl.


Here is Esther by herself...I can't believe she is so grown up. Only a few years back she wasn't old enough to go out on these nights with Daddy...there are some benefits to age. So proud of both of them...I am truly blessed to have these special girls!









Friday, December 12, 2008

Gratitude Friday


I have been missing this week. I was out of the house this week....shopping in Orlando with a friend, half-day staff meeting for the health department and then Polar Express day with the kids. I will post in the next few days some photos of our decorating. But I didn't want to miss gratitude Friday.


1. I am still thankful for the cold weather.


2. Thankful for old friends who you may see only once a year, but you pick up like time never parted you.


3. Thankful for this Christmas season.


4. Thankful for all the families in our homeschool group...they are so creative and fun to be with.


5. Thankful for my dear Matthew...my true love...our covenant is solid!
*Just posting a picture of the the stair steps at the fair last month...my life!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Best Dressed

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth, Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them..."
Here she is! Best Dressed! Bryn attended her Afterwards (junior youth) Black and White Christmas party last night. She was all dressed up...beautiful black and white dress, sassy shoes, and even hair extensions. She looked so beautiful..and then won best dressed for the night! She made my eyes misty...what happened to my little B running around around our knees. I thought she was always going to be small...I guess that myth isn't true!

This picture was the hardest to take. Matt went as a chaperone, and I took this as they were walking out. Our baby growing up...it seems like yesterday we were 21 years old and holding this tiny bundle. I must admit that my man looks quite dashing!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Gratitude Friday


I think every week I say that the week went fast...lol. I can't believe how fast it went...but it was a good week. Can't believe that Christmas is 20 days away. Still have lots of gifts to buy and preparations for our trip the day after Christmas. Hope you are doing well and hope that your focus this season is on HIM!


1. I am thankful for the good report from my mom's doctor. It is so good to see her walking again!


2. I am thankful for good friends at Rock Church. We have made and are making friendships that are both awesome in the natural but have spiritual ties!


3. I am thankful for good, solid word given by the pastors at Rock. How much we have grown. During tough times the word is the only thing you can lean on.


4. I am thankful for funny saying that our kids say...Esther sounded out BOT (she was picking which vowel worked) today in her phonics books...I asked her if it was a word and she gave me the funniest look and said, "I bought milk at the store." She is so cute.


5. I am thankful for Judah's blond curls in the back of his head...I don't know if they are going to stay, but they sure are sweet!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Praise Report

Just wanted to tell you that I am not missing in action...four days without blogging...where has the week gone? Praise report for today. My mom received clearance from her doctor to start walking (with a walker or cane) today!!!! Three months and five days later. It brings so much more freedom for my family and I. Never did I think I would experience this at this stage in my life and it has changed me. It truly gives you a servant heart when you have to serve your own parent (one who always served you). What a change in my life. But we are so grateful for the healing process to have gone smoothly. So keep us in your prayers as she ventures out.
Not much else going on here...I have been in a soup mood this week. Made beef and barley soup on Tuesday, homemade tomato soup on Wednesday, and now fresh chicken noodle is about to be on the stovetop. I guess the cold weather brings it out of me. So love on your families this week and make them a nutritious, homemade soup. Blessings!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Baby Cohen

I had to post some pictures of my nephew Cohen. He came by yesterday with his mom and he was just delicious! He is six months old and is so sweet. He has rolls everywhere and anywhere...he actually has a roll on his ankles...and his feet are comparable to Fred Flinstone. I think he weighs more than Judah, who is a whole year older. We loved having him come over, so I am posting some shots of him. Giggly...his mom was entertaining him!
Look at those eyes. I love that Judah is peeking around the corner...not too sure about this baby!


Here is Sarah with Cohen...she is such a great mommy!





Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lazy Days...


I thought that I would post a sweet picture of Tink...that would be Tinkerbelle to you...from the other day. She was sleeping on the recliner and Esther covered her up and she loved it. So this is my feeling for the next two days...lazy days around the Reynolds Compound. Hanging around outside, Matt working in the shed, my little nephew Cohen coming for a visit...and lots of relaxation! I love days like this...nowhere to go and no expectations. How about your weekend ahead? Hope yours is as good as mine!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Gratitude Friday

I can't believe that another Friday is here...this week went super fast! It is right after lunch right now, but Matt and I have been up since three o'clock this morning. We got up early so we could go to all the Black Friday sales. There is something exciting about standing in the dark, waiting for doors to open so you can save tons of money, lol. Matt and I have such a great time together...texting and calling each other from opposite ends of the store.."What size is this one?" or "What color did you want?" I think Matt called me 10 times because he couldn't find me. We had such a lovely time, and look forward to the alone time together. After dinner last night, Matt's parents took the kids for the night...so Matt and I went to the movies (can't remember the last time that happened) and then we went to bed without having to tuck anyone in or take anyone to the potty. Up early and we got over half of our Christmas shopping done. Our Thanksgiving was wonderful yesterday...so instead of writing five things that I am thankful for I am posting pictures of our past few days. Hope your weekend is wonderful...I plan on mine being just that!

Here is Esther making her first apple pie. She had fun filling the pie up and then putting the top layer of crust on. She was quite proud when it came out of the oven and when it was given out yesterday after dinner. She is quite a good cook! Here is my Judah...so sweet. He figured out how to get on the rocking horse (the same one Bryn rode on when she was one) all by himself and rock! He was so proud, so I had to get a snapshot of his major accomplishment!
Here is a snapshot of our dinner table before the feast was served. We were so busy 20 minutes later getting dinner on the table, that I didn't take a picture of all of us...sorry!

Here is Bryn feeding baby Abby. We were privileged enough to be with Abby for her first Thanksgiving. It is a sweet picture...Nana and Pap Pap's first and latest grandchild..almost 12 years apart. What a blessing our seed is!




And here is William. When Matt took him shopping for tools, he got his own kit too! So here he is ready to fix or build something. A few minutes later he almost stuck his tool in the light socket...so we had a little lecture about safety! He is the man!



May your holiday season be full of joy and the peace of God!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

There is some cookin' going on...

I thought that I would start with my beautiful turkey that I put in the refrigerator this morning. It is all clean and saturated with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, basil and oregano. I prepare it 24 hours before it goes in the oven. It makes it so moist and I have never had a dry turkey!

Yesterday, Danielle came over to bake with us. She is a friend from our home school group and she was such a delight. Here they are showing off their pinwheel cookies that they made. It was fun putting all the ingredients together and rolling the dough.

Here are the girls making pumpkin and zucchini bread. It is a family tradition to make this bread...I remember my mom making it when I lived in New York. The bread turned out good and the kids ate almost a whole loaf the first hour!

And our big excitement of the day...our shed arrived first thing in the morning. It is 12 by 16 and is replacing our garage. We decided not to redo the garage, but to instead add 500 square feet onto our house. Matt, his dad and William (Caleb already had his excursion picking out the shed two weeks earlier) went to pick out tools. It is every man's dream to be able to buy all the tools you want. Matt lost a 13 year collection of tools the night of the fire, and thankfully they were all paid for by our insurance company!

Have a great Thanksgiving. Today we are making four pumpkin pies and two apple pies...and getting ready for the big day. The kids are so excited...and so am I!



Monday, November 24, 2008

Early Thanksgiving at Grandma's


The Reynolds family met up at Grandma's on Saturday for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner. Over the years the family has expanded so much and because various family members are elsewhere on the actual holiday we meet up close to the holiday. It was perfect cool weather and the atmosphere was fun. It is sweet to see all the cousins get older now, so they actually play together.
I am still enjoying this cool weather...upper 60's and low 70's. Cleaning the house today and getting ready for a busy week. Tomorrow Bryn's friend Danielle is coming over to make bread and cookies...and then we will bake pies on Wednesday. I am excited about the whole week...I think we are expecting 16 on Thursday! On the top of the page is Bryn, mixing mashed potatoes in the kitchen. It seems like yesterday she was the little one running around the house, but now she is a helper.


Here is William hugging his cousin Hope. She kept on following him around and hugging him. It was so adorable.

Here are Judah and Hope...they are only 2 weeks apart in age...Judah looks a little concerned about Hope coming so close...they don't play together yet, but perhaps in a few years!




Here is Caleb coloring. Sorry about the glare, but he was in a bad spot. Grandma has a drawer set aside for each family so that the kids have something fun to do while they are there.



And I had to put a picture of my new niece, Abby. Isn't she precious! She wasn't cooperating with me about opening her eyes...I think I have only seen her eyes twice. Every time the camera clicked she would open her eyes..so I finally gave up and took this one. So sweet...may her life be filled with love, joy and peace...and may she remain just as beautiful. There is nothing like a new baby!








Friday, November 21, 2008

Turkeytude Friday


We are in the turkey mode today!!! As we come into the only holiday that is about someone else rather than ourselves (a time of giving rather than receiving)...we are so thankful for all the bountiful blessings that are in our life. We are gearing up for a big week of baking and cooking...and preparing for a huge Thanksgiving meal. Lots of family and hopefully some unexpected visitors...our house is open! So this morning, we were making Turkey Oreo Cookies. The kids were so excited...and they were fun to make. They didn't turn out exactly like the picture in the recipe, but the kids had fun making them. William ate most of his work...he kept on asking for more whoppers, until I realized he was eating them instead of placing them on as the turkey head. So I am posting a photo of our morning creations...and have a great weekend!

1. I am thankful for the approval just received this morning from our mortgage company to add onto our house rather than rebuild the garage!!

2. I am so thankful this beautiful weather...no air conditioning running!

3. I am thankful for my little rugrats who keep me on my toes every day, but bring so much joy. William informed me yesterday that he liked me...I was glad to hear that, lol.

4. I am thankful for a prosperous future...full of souls and great growth.

5. I am thankful for the word...so powerful and the answer to all situations!









Wednesday, November 19, 2008

39 degrees


Okay, for you northerners 39 degrees doesn't sound too bad..but that's how low it went this morning. How odd for it to be this cold in November? It was a nice change from the normal 60 degree morning temps...gets me in the mood for the season. Ready to think about pumpkin pie, and zucchini bread...and Christmas shopping. AAHHHHH!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Big Families are back in Style!


Okay, maybe not, but we can hope right? I think the average family size now is 1.7 (not sure how they come up with that number) so where ever we go we usual get a few stares. We are used to that, but we are so proud of our family. Yesterday I was at Home Depot and the check-out lady looked us over and then asked me, "are you watching these kids?" I laughed and said, "yes I watch them everyday...and the older one is with her grandparents for the night." And as I am walking out of the store, another lady said, "are those all yours?" I was laughing now. I told her proudly that they were and then we ended up sitting there talking about them and how we homeschool and love having a big family. She was a school teacher and had her own kids in private school because the schools are so horrible. Anyway, it was a funny afternoon. Yes, the days sometimes are long and tiresome...but in this house, Big Families are Back in Style!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gratitude Friday!


1. I am so thankful that we are all well again...that little virus kind of breezed right through!

2. I am thankful that I am going cropping tonight and my wonderful husband is laying low with the kids.

3. I am thankful for the upcoming cold weather...ready to get in the holiday spirit.

4. I am thankful that we live in God's economy and that there is no fear and we will live within abundance in the midst of famine.

5. I am thankful for my new side yard..trees down and dirt all leveled out.

I am posting a picture of Esther...thought you would appreciate a little of her humor. What a great week. Hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Who takes care of Mommy?


Who takes care of Mommy when she is sick? I asked that question this morning as my husband got ready for work. He couldn't take a day off because he was home yesterday with the same virus. The kids thought it would be a good idea to share this lovely little virus with us...so I am a little under the weather today. We were still doing our bible time this morning and I was on the couch reading...so after our prayer time Caleb pops up and says lets lay hands...and William continues with lets lay hands on Mommy and prayer for her. How sweet is that? All five of them surrounded me and put their hands on me and prayed. What sweet faith! When were done, William said, "now you are all better." I love that childlike faith...so I am up and moving and pushing ahead with my faith.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Loss of the Best Friend

Okay, so I am being a bit dramatic tonight. But I thought that I had to talk about the "Best Friend." He was Judah's favorite companion...his love, joy, peace and all out soother. It was his pacifier. We have called it Best Friend for a long time...and he loved...I mean LOVED...his Best Friend. He went every where with it...he stashed them in various spots, different houses and cities. He had it in different colors and sizes. So, what happened to Best Friend? Two weeks ago, we couldn't find one right before bed. All of us looked for 45 minutes for one. We had so many it was insane...but we just couldn't find one. And neither of us wanted to go to Publix to buy another one, so we took the risk of putting Judah to bed without it...and you know what, he did great! We never intended for him to go this long with it...we like them to go by 12 months, but he was so attached so we decided to give him more time. So, my little baby has turned into a little man. Time is going by so fast.

Who could resist this face...all scrunched up...a vision in red!
Another red one, held on the side...just in case he needed to pop it in!
In blue...on the floor playing with his toys.


And even one in turquoise...my he loved his best friend!

If you mention the name "Best Friend" Judah's eyes will light up, but he is ready to move on. We will miss you Best Friend...no, not really, lol!



Saturday, November 8, 2008

Let the new light begin

Like I said yesterday, it has been busy around here. We had trees torn down that were damaged by the fire and now we are getting ready for our new addition. The side yard looks so funny now...so much light comes through now, and it looks so big. Here is Terry's bobcat moving stuff around...I told my mom that I would like one of these for Christmas, lol. Here is a snapshot of the side yard before anything was torn down. It was so dark and wet over there.
Here is a tree coming down...great shot, huh? The kids were so excited as they listened to all the sounds and noise. There is nothing like trees coming down..the big thump, though I don't like the sound in the midst of a hurricane (Hurricane Charley, 2004).

Here is a pile of wood. We are cutting a lot of this up for firewood. We have turned into a green family without even knowing it, lol. No waste around here.



I love this shot. Terry stacked all the logs so that he can transport them to be milled into planks...I thought that was cool...our wood will be used for some other purpose!

We also had three loads of dirt brought in and one load of shell for the driveway. The kids couldn't stand the fact that there was huge piles of dirt outside and they weren't playing on them. So we made them wait until this morning. Here are my stair steps on top of the mountain. Judah wasn't to sure about the dirt, so he just walked around and rode in his car.



They made the turtle shell into a sled and rode down the hill. They were so dirty, but what a childhood dream!!! Mia and our new cat Aslan (adopted recently, who is such a sweetheart...Tink isn't too sure) were running around the rest of them.



New beginnings...he turns beauty from ashes and restores what the enemy tries to steal. Matt said that the enemy can try to steal from us but we will not be stolen from. We are in the mode of victory!





Friday, November 7, 2008

Gratitude Friday


This week went by so fast...do I always say that??? I guess with the election and the busyness of the house and kids, it made it seem to go by so fast. Our property is super busy. I have trees coming down right as we speak. The tree guy came and is tearing them down. My kids are outside picking up sticks for 1 dollar...child labor laws may need to be checked, lol. We once again got a great price on the trees coming down and we are putting some shell to fix the driveway...the fire trucks slaughtered my already smashed in from Tropical storm Fay driveway. The garage is all cleaned up. It is still hard to look over there, but the Lord is washing away the pain. He is so awesome and faithful to do that.


1. I am thankful for my husband taking charge of the new building...so I don't get overloaded with more work.


2. I am thankful that we have the right to vote for our president. Yes, he may not be my choice, but my trust is in the Lord and I will stay faithful to pray for President Obama.


3. I am thankful for my mom's quick recovery this week. She made a turn for the better and I see the end in sight!


4. I am thankful for little William going over to Nana and PapPap's house tonight...it is so special for your kids to be able to build a relationship with family.


5. I am thankful once again to my Lord and Savior...he is so faithful and his love is unending and unchanging!
*I am posting a picture of my sweet Judah..he is so precious!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fall Cooking...

We were able to get a bushel of apples this year, for a cheap price...a mixture of different apples. So we got busy with our coring, slicing and peeling. Here is a snapshot of the last bit of apples that we had left. I sliced and froze enough apples to eat all week, for my pies for Thanksgiving and then about 20 cups of applesauce. Here is Judah eating up the sample of warm applesauce. The kids loved eating it right out of the pot and then I froze the rest for the months to come.
Then on to our pumpkins! I only bought six small cooking pumpkins. They sat on my counter for the past week or so, but they stayed in the cool house so they were ready when I sliced them up.

Here are the boiled pumpkins. Didn't take too long, and I was able to school the kids as they cooked on the stove. The hard part was letting them cool and making the kids wait.



Here is William (couldn't get a better shot of his face because the sun coming in the window) spooning my pumpkin into the measuring cup. My six pumpkins made 12 cups of pumpkin puree for my freezer. The kids had a blast with the hand mixer, and then they munched on the roasted pumpkin seeds.


What a fun time. Next year we will have a second freezer so we can freeze more. I want to buy at least 2-3 bushels of apples and triple the pumpkins I got this year. The best part is that the chickens and the goats got all of the leftovers, so there wasn't anything left when we were done. It is fun to make things ourselves, and of course so much healthier. When Matt ate my applesauce, he thought I had added a ton of sugar but actually it had nothing in it but cinnamon...the apple were so sweet. So, enjoy this beautiful weather and take advantage of the season and all it's bounty!