Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ponder This

"Guard your heart above all else because it determines the course of you life." Proverbs 4:23

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Swim Meet #1

Here are the girls this morning when we got to the local YMCA for their first swim meet. They were really nervous and unsure of what to expect. They look so cute in their new team shirts.
And while the girls were hanging out with their team, warming up and getting pumped up for the session...the boys hung out in the pool with some new friends. The sacrifices the boys make...

While we waited (we sure waited a lot between heats) Matt took the kids for a little ride. Esther snuck out of waiting with the team and hung out with us for awhile.

Here is Esther competing for the 25 m freestyle. It isn't her favorite stoke, but she still did good...she came in 4th place!



Here is Bryn at the end of the 25 m back stroke-her favorite stroke....she did really well. She was a bit hesitant at the end because she was afraid to smack her hand on the wall. Even so, she came in 5th. Not bad for her first competition.




Friday, June 25, 2010

One Day...

After such a busy couple of weeks...I wish that I was out on this dock...with my feet dangling...the breeze blowing in my face...hair whipping around...and a sweet smile on my face...and I was alone with The Most High. Enough said.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Can it be a week already?

I was sitting in my chair at the beach this morning and remembered quietly where I was a week ago today. I can't believe that it has already been a week since Judah's surgery...one week ago we were sitting in the waiting room, restless and nervous about major surgery going on with our son...fast forward one week and I am sitting on the beach watching my children (including Judah) romp in the sand. Isn't it amazing that we dread something coming up in our lives...but then it happens...and speeds past? It makes me realize even more that I am not in control of this life and that God is sovereign!
It was a picture perfect day...the sky was the bluest of blues...not a cloud in sight...the water was a lovely 78 degrees...the sand hot and spicy...and I got to watch the joys in my life play. My kids, along with the cousins enjoying the loveliness of summer. It was so beautiful. Makes me appreciate life and love God more.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A New Day

This past weekend was totally relaxed. We did a few things here and there, but overall we just hung out. It was so nice. Our weekends have a tendency to be super busy...but this is just the way we like it. But I was thinking about how I feel like it is a new day. After Judah's successful surgery I feel like a huge burden has been lifted! There was always something looming and ahead of us....for the past 10 months. Either the next MRI or possible surgery. And, now I feel like it is a new day. It is so refreshing. Though I haven't felt anxious over all of these medical problems...that's where your faith comes in...but at the same time everything was still on the agenda. So now..surprisingly, on the first day of Summer...it is a new day at the Reynolds Nation!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What it takes to be a Daddy!


So, on this very special day...Father's Day...the actual 100th anniversary of Father's Day...my thoughts are on a very special man in my life. I have had the privilege of knowing and watching this man grow into his job as Father.
It was 13 years ago when he became a father. I still remember the tears streaming down his face while he watched her being born. He was a hands on dad from the first day. He changed a million diapers...help feed...stayed up late hours allowing me to get a bit of sleep...and most of all he started building a relationship with each kid. Just because they are your child does not automatically make them come into relationship with you. It takes time and a lot of effort from the parent. He has camped with them...danced with them...played ball...had early morning sunrises...walks on the beach...drippy ice cream cones...long talks at the dinner table...you name it and he has done it. He spends more time with his kids than anyone I know. He involves them in whatever he is doing...takes time to talk things through...but at the same time he is still strict with discipline and expects his kids to behave and mind their manners.
The best way to describe him is that he is constantly pursuing his kids...with his love and his time. It is a joy to watch and see. I love this man immensely and am so proud to be raising these kids with him. He continually shows them Jesus and His love. Thank you Matthew for being this wonderful father and daddy to our kids.


*Here is Matthew tonight getting ready to enjoy cake with the kids.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Surgery

Now that we are home, I thought I would write a thorough post about the surgery that Judah had. It has been 10 months since the first cardiologist heard the continuous murmur near his spine. They caught it when they were checking out his heart murmur...not expecting to hear anything but the heart murmur. His heart checked out okay that day, but it disturbed the doctor that he could hear that continuous murmur so loudly. He thought it was an echo from the heart murmur...but when his partner listened and went further down Judah's spine the murmur got louder and louder. So we are so thankful for that innocent heart murmur that he was born with, because they never would have picked up on the spinal fistula (continuous murmur). This fistula happens to people, and then they die young (30's) of an enlarged heart. The heart can't handle the pressure from the blood flow, so it damages the heart. So after 1 cat-scan, and 2 MRI's...they found the problem. Judah had the first heart catheter in January, believing that they would fix it that day. The doctor then realized that the fistula was at his lumbar artery and she wouldn't touch it because it was not her area of expertise. That was a hard day for us...why God was our question. We couldn't figure out why it wasn't finished. But His ways are higher than our ways. We then got referred to the most awesome neurosurgeon radiology interventionist (we had to fight our insurance to get him because he was out of network). We heard his was a miracle worker, and he truly was. He was so patient and talked us through the whole process. So, on the 17th of June, Judah went under again and had the second surgery. It was a long 4 hours...it so hard to be on the other side waiting to hear any news. But the doctor was able to repair the fistula by putting 8 coils in to stop the continuous flow. The most awesome thing is that the doctor even said, "I wasn't expecting to do this in one surgery. It usually takes several." Praise God! This proves that God can do miracles through other ways. Sure, we would have loved to go in there and be told that it was gone and that God healed it. But it happened this way...God's hand was still all over it. He showed up again...He is so faithful...as always. We were home 24 hours later and he is doing really great. You would never know that he had a major procedure done the day before.
This has been a long journey. Lots of prayer...lots of faith. I fasted almost the entire 10 months, one whole meal a day for him...putting my faith into action. The journey built my faith up...because I know God could have healed him instantly...but He did it another way...just on a longer road, so that my faith and dependence on God grew stronger. In these situations you feel very alone...until you look up at Him and see His face shine down on you!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Full of Smiles!



Here he is...early this morning at the hospital in Orlando...full of smiles. I am in the waiting room right now...waiting for my baby boy to be done with his surgery. It is so hard to be on this side...not knowing what is going on. It's such a control issue with me...I would like to be in there...to make sure that they are taking care of my baby. So we wait...we have one update, and so far so good...perhaps another hour or so. I will give a full update later. I just thought I would post a picture of my boy...he was full of kisses this morning and giggles. Such a trooper. I am blessed to be his mommy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Swim Team

Yesterday was our first day of swim team for Bryn and Esther. Since we don't have a lot of time on the weeknights during the school year, I thought this would be a great way to get a sport in without wreaking havoc on our schedule. Small problem...we have to be there at 7:30 in the morning!!!! Which means, any chance of sleeping in during the summer just got blown away. It's not too bad...but I guess talk to me in August...lol! Caleb was going to join us, but he just wasn't a strong enough swimmer. Maybe next year. And William is having his first turn at swim lessons. He was so sweet yesterday. He was so nervous, but super excited too. And then there is Judah...who is just enjoying hanging out at the edge of the pool splashing around. This is our life in a snapshot for the summer....lots of pool and beach time.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Homebase Homeschool Group Year in Review 2009-2010

Here is the Homebase Homeschool Group year in review. It is a collage of pictures from various members of our group. It was an awesome school year...full of lots of fun, learning, time together and schooling at home. This has been such a wonderful year for us. This year has been a time where I have continued to hear from the Lord that homeschooling is the best option for our family and for so many others. There is nothing like sitting with your kids and teaching them to read...or to add...or to introduce them to Abraham Lincoln or Erik the Red. To see their faces when they discover something. And the best part is know what your child is being fed...they are little sponges, and we have to be so careful about what they learn. Not to isolate them, but to make them aware of life and it's difficulties at the right time. I remember when Bryn learned that not everyone in the world is a Christian. She was shocked. And this year, we learned more about what people believe and how they came to their reality. Yes, there are hard days...there are days where I am exhausted and not sure how I am going to get through. We have many days where we take a mental break and goof off at the park instead. That is one of the joys of homeschooling. And now as I see my kids devour books and love learning I get so much pleasure (especially since I taught them to read). So enjoy the year in review!

video

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Camp Revamp Revue

Well, I had to post some pictures from this past weekend. We were two of the leaders that attended Camp Revamp with our oldest daughter, Bryn. It was a great weekend for the pre-teens to get together and hear from God and enjoy their friends. This is such a pivotal point in their life...a time to make decisions and to become the people God intended for them to be. Bryn had a great time with her friends and I know that she heard from God. She is growing so quickly and we really see a responsible young woman developing. Here is Bryn at the "Fear Factor" contest. She wasn't too pleased to eat her "surprise" concoction.
They set up a water slide and obstacle course for the kids the first day. The water was refreshing in the 90 degree weather and gave the kids some play time.

Here all all the kids that attended. Lined up and ready to hear what is next for them!



Here is Bryn going down the obstacle course. She had a lot of fun running, playing and staying cool!


What a great picture of Bryn and Queenie. Queenie is one of the young ladies at the Camp...she is super sweet and has always been very pleasant to Bryn-especially when she was a newcomer to Rock Church.




Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rock Church Bike Race '10

So here they all are. The race is complete and we had a blast. Though we didn't win, it was worth every bit of the adventure! It was so much fun to work with the kids and to see the relationships built between us, the parents and the kids!
Here is Caleb, representing the yellow team. He did such an awesome job riding his bike...over the ramps and through the mud!

Caleb and Esther right before they had to race....ready in their helmets and pads.


Right before the time to start...pumped up and ready to go. I am so proud of them!!!



Here are some of the spectators...my nephews Zachary and Xavier...and my gruesome twosome...William and Judah!


Gonzolo on the bike...Bryn behind him ready to take the next round. Who is the cute curly headed child there in the front...?


Not the closest shot, but here is Esther coming up from the hill on the race!
Turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, turn the children's hearts to the fathers. That's why we were there. Great day...though you could cut the humidity with a knife...God kept the rain away until now, and I am blessed to be the mom of great kids!







Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Whole Week

I can't believe one whole week has gone by and I haven't blogged. I was on a blogging role for the month of May...but it went down hill as we slid into June. The computer had a virus, so that had to be cleaned up ...and then we went with Bryn to camp for three days. So, I have been technically missing in action. Not much to say...just getting my house in order and I will be back in the beginning of the week.