Saturday, May 29, 2010

We don't have a baby anymore!

Matt had to hold Judah back while we sang Happy Birthday to him. He wanted to blow out the candles so bad!
My favorite picture of him. His face is so happy...and he looks so sweet! Gosh, I love him so much!

And I actually caught him blowing out the candles...puffy cheeks and all!


My title is just quoting what the kids have been saying for the past few days. Today, Judah turns three years old...yes, I said it...3!!!! Can't believe it! Today, we had a wonderful celebration at the beach with friends and family. Sadly, nobody brought a camera and the camera we bought had the batteries die. So, there aren't any pictures marking the event....just lots of great memories. We spent five hours at the beach...swimming, sunning and just hanging out. The kids built a million sand castles and ran from the water to our spot over and over again. What a perfect day. I am posting the pictures of him as we had a bit of cake this afternoon when we got home. We love you Judah! Happy Happy Birthday!!!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

So Proud


Okay, I know it couldn't feed us for the winter...but this is part of our harvest yesterday. The tomatoes aren't very big, but who cares...they made it and ripened and we plan on eating them. The best part was going out with the kids to have them pick the tomatoes. They felt so accomplished. The lettuce is growing like crazy...every time I cut some off, new shoots pop up every few days. Every time somebody comes to visit, they usually leave with a bag of lettuce! It has been fabulous for our salads...and I am so proud of my small harvest in my first attempt at gardening. Next year will be even better!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Look Back, Look Up, Look Out

I read this just the other day during my devotion time and it really impressed me. It was talking specifically about the Israelites and what they should have done...looked back to see what God had done for them (you know, like parting the Red Sea). Look up...to stay focused on the Master and His plan....and Look out...to keep your eye on the promised land.
This is so important for believers today. Sometimes we do all of these steps...or we pick and choose which one is the most comfortable for us at the time. But God wants us to do these all the time. Look back to see where God has taken them...all the Memorial Stones in our life. This can be such a place of encouragement and excitement. We have a tendency to quickly forget what God has done. Look up, because we need to keep our eyes focused on Him. His voice should be so clear to us, because we are His people. I want to know Him so well, that I run when He calls. And then to Look out...because God has a destiny for all of us. He has a plan for each of our lives. And how exciting to be able to walk that out and know Him and His ways.
I wasn't planning on writing about this. But it became more pivotal when we found out that a dear friend of ours, who has been a huge example in our life has made major changes in their life that do not line up with the word. I guess, they fell from their pedestal. Not that they were on a pedestal, but that it the best way to describe it. So, at this time (and hopefully always)...I am going to look back, up and out! How about you?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dirty Laundry

Well, these are the prevailing words in my house...DIRTY LAUNDRY!! It is everywhere...and spreading faster than the Bubonic Plague. It is amazing how much laundry this family of seven makes. The kids are actually running out of various clothes. Jammies have been worn more than normal and another day or so of this and we could be running around naked.
My washing machine has been broken for more than 10 days. We took one trip to the local laundry mat, but that just put a minor dent in the damage already done. It took four days for the repair guy to come out to tell me that it was a simple problem wrong with the computer in my washing machine. Sounds simple, right? Not exactly. We bought a warranty with our LG front loader four years and 9 months ago. And according to the warranty, if the machine breaks down four times than Best Buy must replace the machine. Well, this was the fourth time. So, they came and verified it was broken. And then all the information was sent to the corporation...and then they came back on Friday night (which was way earlier than they said they would respond) and told me to go to the local Best Buy and pick out my new front loader!!! Can you believe it? The warranty was so worth the 100 dollars that we paid for it. We are three months short of the warranty running out. And this machine has been worked hard. We average 14 loads a week. So, I went to the store...picked out my new front loader (which is actually slightly bigger than my current one) and it will be delivered tomorrow. And I will christen it by doing about 20 loads of laundry. The clothes are calling out for it. And the best thing...we actually can buy a new 5 year warranty for this machine and the whole deal starts over again. Isn't God good?! So, if I don't blog for the next few days you will know that I am knee deep in....dirty laundry!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mad Dash for Summer


We are officially in a mad dash for summer. After two weeks of illness in our house, we are ready to push through with the last bit of school and jump into the summer months. We feel ready to jump in the pool and head to the beach. You either hate the hot weather here in Florida, or you embrace it. I am going to embrace it...God has me here, it's not changing anytime soon...so we are wrapping everything up here at the Reynolds Nation in regards to school and heading to the beach. The picture posted is Esther this morning in her summer hat, ready for hot weather!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Serene Sunday


It couldn't have been a more beautiful Sunday. After two weeks of illness, we are back to normal. Whatever normal is? After a morning serving with my adorable five year in his class, we came home to a wonderful meal. Matt made a scrumptious stir-fry with the last of our homegrown squash (given by our friends from their garden) and then we decided to spend the rest of the day outside. The kids rode their bikes all over the place...having races and getting their tires filled with air from dad's compressor. Judah even had his plastic tires filled by daddy...lol. He always has to be part of. William learned to ride his two wheeler without training wheels...he has been begging to learn and he just took off. I can't believe he is getting so big! We mowed the yard, mowed around the garden area, weeded the garden...tied up more tomato plants and cut some more lettuce off. We did some yard clean-up, and hung out with each other. It was just fun to be together...with no agenda, but lots of time together. We ended it by hosing Judah 0ff at the front door after he made mud pies. It was so cute to hear him screaming with laughter! Family days are fun days!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Breakfast treat!

Amish Breakfast Casserole

Ingredients
1 pound sliced bacon, diced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
6 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded Swiss cheese
Directions
In a large skillet, cook bacon and onion until bacon is crisp; drain. In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; stir in bacon mixture. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until set and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
I use turkey bacon in my recipe or you could even make turkey sausage and slice it into small pieces. The hash browns I make right in my food processor, so I don't have to use processed hash browns. It is super yummy and is something you can make the night before and bake the next day. Your family will enjoy the treat!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Post Partum Depression

Had some thoughts this morning about a news piece that has been out for the past few days. Maybe you read it. I was intrigued and Matt and I talked about it for a few minutes. I wonder what you think!
The basis of the article was saying that men are experiencing post partum depression. They have said for years that women experience this because of the changes in hormones that are happening in a women's system. They swing so dramatically in such a short period of time. But now they are saying that men are having the same symptoms...but they usually occur around 3-6 months after the baby is born.
When Matt and I were talking about it the other day we were wondering whatever happened to men just having to adjust to a change in life? Why do we have to label everything with a syndrome? Having a baby is a huge deal, especially for men! They now have the responsibility to care for, pay for and love this tiny human being. That is monumental! I am sure all men react to it in a different way. But to actually say that it is postpartum like a women deals with seems a bit far-fetched. I remember after I had my babies, I only experienced a few days of the "baby blues." I cried a lot for no reason and felt overwhelmed easily. I would go in waves for a few hours and then feel totally different the next few hours. Thankfully, that's all I felt. Considering some women have a lot more to deal with, I felt blessed. I think this is a lot different than what men experience. I believe they are just dealing with the huge life change. Probably the biggest life change that they will ever have. They have to adjust. They have to make changes. They have to step into the role that God mandated for them.
So, I normally never talk about anything controversial. I think this stemmed from a dissatisfaction with the medical community trying to "medicalize" everything. I ask for your comments. What have your experienced.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

And then the Washing Machine...

In the midst of this virus, and the tons of laundry that needs to be done because of vomiting children...my washing machine breaks down!!! The computer says motor overload...and I say, "mama overload!" My laundry is already overflowing because I usually don't do laundry on the weekends...and then between the blankets, towels, washcloths, and clothes...I am ready for my own melt down. The repair man can only come on Friday. So, here I am...and I believe I will be headed to the laundry mat.
On the brighter side, I feel a 100% better today. We did communion yesterday and I truly believe I had a turn around. It is a battle with the flesh, but the spirit always wins!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Virus

Well, I would post a picture, but not sure what I could post a picture of...lol! This virus has hit the Reynolds nation hard. I guess I could post a picture of all of us hanging out on the couch next to our buckets. We haven't had anything like this hit our family in five years...when William was only a few weeks old. Everyone of us has been hit...and the virus likes to linger. Everybody has a different degree of it...but enough to take us down. So lots of prayer going on... a bit of laying on hands...and I forecast a time of communion coming. Jesus is the healer!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Farm Living...



Farm living, includes loss too. When I was expecting a quiet day here on our land, and instead we lost our mama sheep, Valentine. She was out bleating for her breakfast (totally typical in the course of a day)...Matt went to feed her and she laid down next to the feed bucket...minutes later she was convulsing and then she was dead. We have no idea what happened! We think possible snake bite,but we didn't see any evidence of that. It went so fast. I was gone for the whole thing. Which is probably a good thing. God always knows where I will be...since I don't deal with loss very well. The worst part is that her baby Valentino laid right beside her until we came to bury her. I just cried when I saw that scene. And later on he kept on circling her mound. I feel so sad for him. Losing his source of protection and companionship.

So this is when I usually think, "is this worth it?" Spending all this time and money and love and then it can be lost in a moment. I especially thought of all the homesteaders of one time and how much something like this could affect their whole family. Imagine if we were depending on her for meat ( like if there wasn't a Publix around every corner)...and for future babies. So, it was a bit sad for us yesterday as we worked around the property. Her face and her temperament were so sweet. She will be missed.

One up-note, it was awesome to be able to call our close neighbors (the Coslows) and cry a bit...and then they came to help us bury her. We love that aspect of farming communities that has been lost. Neighbor helping neighbor...sharing the good and the bad. God is good...all the time.

Friday, May 14, 2010

ZZZZZZZZZZZ........

I thought I would post a picture of Coco... (aka Cohen)...my nephew, snoozing in the middle of dinner. Got to love those babies! Happy Birthday Cohen. Two years old!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blessed Monday

Well, it was a beautiful mother's day here at our house. I had breakfast made for me by Matt...followed by some beautiful presents from the family. My children have followed the example of my husband and are givers. I love that in them. They love to make each other cards and gifts...it is so sweet. After church I did a little shopping with Esther and my mother-in-law. Matt and the other kids stayed home from church because they weren't feeling well. Then we went to McDonald's (clearly Esther's choice) and had a nice lunch. When I got home Matt and I went to the feed store and Home Depot by ourselves while my mom watched the kids. It was nice to just chat in the car and be by ourselves. Then when we came home, Matt hooked up my mom's cable in her new part of the house and did all the shelves in her closet. It was wonderful to see Matt honor my mom too on Mother's Day. I puttered around the yard with the animals...which is totally relaxing and fun for me. Then my brother came unexpectedly by...and we got to sit and chat with my mom for awhile. Matt ended everything by a wonderful roast, potatoes, carrots and fresh biscuits. Bryn cleaned everything up, then my dad and his wife stopped by for a few minutes. It was such a lovely day. I got to do everything I wanted. Just being around my family was perfect. My first image of what I wanted to do was sleep all day in my room and be by myself for a break...but I clearly got the break I needed by just being with my fabulous husband and all of my family. God is good!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Papa and the Kids


I thought that I would post the picture from the other night of my dad and my kids. Here they are at DQ for a special treat...he had promised a trip there and they got it on the second day they were here. It's a great picture of my dad and the kids. We are enjoying him and his wife Heidi here. It has been a wonderful two years of relationship with them. We had a very long time (too long) of no communication, and I am very sorry for that. I have such a new heart and understanding of respect. It has been a word in our church and it opened my eyes to so many things. Though we don't always agree ( you know he is a democrat, so that's enough said right there)...but we still love and respect...always! And as I get older I have such a better understanding of time. And we never know how much time we have...so live life to the fullest, love God amazingly and open the doors of our heavenly inheritance by honoring and respecting!

Monday, May 3, 2010

First Fruit


So, I had to post the first thing we picked. Yes, I know it isn't much...but it was so exciting for Esther to pick it off the small bush and eat it. There are more to come...for the other kids. The garden has been a fun experience. I have learned so much from the whole time. I have learned about patience...wondering if anything will come forth from all this effort. And peace...there is nothing like digging in the cool dirt when you need to process some things in your head. And love...you give so much time and effort to the little plants.
And of course, we get our first fruit. Like what we give to the Lord. Our first of everything. That is one thing I have been struggling with. Not our tithe, or offerings...that comes so easy to us. But giving the Lord more time. He deserves so much more than I offer. The treadmill of life has kept us on a path that we don't care for. We are forcing our selves off of it. Reevaluating what we are doing and what do we need to change. I am making more time for Him...because I love Him and enjoy his company. Sometimes, with five kids, farm animals, property, homeschooling, cleaning, etc it is hard to slow down. But we are expecting a huge increase in our life...and we want to hear what He has to say. So, as we step into the month of May...we are slowing down a bit and giving the Lord our first fruit!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The House


Here it is...finished addition!!! It looks just like I wanted...a barn in the woods!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Garden update


I am finally posting pictures of the garden. It is looking good. I never found any mulch, so there is lots of weeds and grass on the outside, but it looks good in the beds. I have lots of lettuce and the the tomatoes are multiplying. I am definetly not getting enough sunlight...it is shaded a lot in the morning...so we will see what happens. But I think I am doing really good for a first garden!