Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Weather Outside Is....

I am not sure. It isn't frightful or delightful! This Florida weather is so confusing. We go from such extremes. It is well into the 80's with a touch of humidity today and tomorrow...back in the mid 60's and a low in the low 40's. It's a bit confusing, and hard on the dresser drawers. We have such a mixture of long sleeves and pants with short and tanks. At the dinner table one of the kids asked, "why is is so hot here in Florida?" I had an answer, but I still don't understand it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Holiday!

I must admit that this Thanksgiving holiday was one of my favorites, ever! Having Matt home since Wednesday was fabulous....no school for the kids was wonderful...and the weather was gorgeous. That puts it in a nutshell.
Matt simply amazed me these past few days. He completed all the small tasks left in the mudroom. It is done and is so lovely. It is spacious (he designed the room with the draftsman), but at the same time very practical. We still want to put a bench in and add some additional practical stuff...but that will take time, and of course more money.
Matt also took all the stuff out of the shed and organized it. He even made a wall of boxes so the kids know what side they are allowed to go on. He reorganized all his tools (put away from these major project he had been working on) and made the room much more functional.
I took on the major task of reorganizing my bedroom. But I couldn't do it alone. We took all the boxes out of the cubby in our room(we have an A-Frame house) and put everything in the attic...then put stuff in the cubby that we may need more frequently. I went through paperwork, schoolwork and just piles of stuff. My room looks awesome. And I cleaned up my scrapbook table, so maybe I can actually work on my books.
Matt also worked on a whole bunch of little things that had to be done. I worked a bit for the State on mailings while the kids played many hours outside. The morning it rained, you would have thought that we were keeping them hostage...they were begging to go outside the whole time.
So, now back to real life. It was a busy four 1/2 day holiday, but we feel so refreshed. Matt and I actually watched 2 movies (it has been a long time since we watched one) and even returned all the leftover items from the mudroom project ($90 worth, which goes back to the next project). Yesterday we finished the week with Matt's mom taking us to lunch...which was fun.
I hope your holiday was as productive, but as refreshing as mine. Next weekend we bring out the Christmas decorations...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Here we are early this morning in Target...on Black Friday! It's our tradition as a couple to go shopping the day after Thanksgiving, early in the morning. We enjoy it so much! The day before we check out the ads and see what is on sale. We usually already have ideas on what we want to get the kids for Christmas. We are not normally swayed by good ideas...draw us in the store and let us buy things we really don't want or need. That's not us! We went in with ideas...with cash only and we came back out with some really great deals, and only $2 over budget. Not bad! As parents of a big family, we are always looking for good deals. The best deal of all is being together, with no kids and just having fun together. Back home by 8:30 a.m to spend the day with the kids. Loving life!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It Sure Smells Good!


Here is a picture of the first three loaves of bread baked this afternoon. Three loaves (out of 6) of zucchini bread. The batter is already made for the Pumpkin bread. Bryn is in the kitchen stirring that up. And the kids keep on coming in and checking to see if they can eat some. So, the next three days there will be a lot of great smells coming from this kitchen. The next five weeks will be busy, but it's my favorite time of the year!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

If You Give A Pig A Pancake...

...or a mom a few hours to clean. Since Matt was gone with Bryn all day on a scavenger hunt at Disney...and I still didn't have a voice and I was left with the four other kids...I decided to use my time wisely and clean. My kids were in and out all morning, so they kept busy...thankfully because they still couldn't hear me.
But I was reminded of that famous pig book because of what happened. I saw a basket on top of the refrigerator, so I decided to take it down and clean it out. Two minutes later, it was done and I put it back up....then I noticed my cake plate (on top of the fridge) was covered in dust...so I took that down and cleaned it really nice. As I was taking the cake plate down, a bead fell off the top. I reached up and many beads fell down. So, I grabbed the stool and took a peak. There was an old art project that Esther had put up there for safe keeping...it was no longer safe, lol. So, next thing you know, I am taking everything down and cleaning it off...and then I wiped down the 1/2 inch layer of dust that was on top of the fridge. Eventually it was all nice and clean. All this, because I decided to take one basket down to organize/clean it!!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

100 Things About Me

Here are a 100 things about me...In no particular order.
1. My favorite color is yellow.
2. Though I consider myself a New Yorker (lived there for the first 9 years of my life), I actually was born in New Jersey.
3. I love dogs and cats.
4. I got married at 20.
5. I have five kids.
6. One of which was adopted.
7. I am half white and half black...whatever that means.
8. I never think about the color of my skin.
9. My husband is as white as can be and green eyed.
10. And he is very cute.
11. I love having my windows open.
12. I hate humidity.
13. I actually hate Florida too, but that's another post.
14. I love to write.
15. I actually have written a few books.
16. But with five kids, I don't write much anymore.
17. I love to scrapbook.
18. I have scrapbooks for each of my kids.
19. It's my therapy.
20. I love family gatherings.
21. I love Christmas...not for me, but to see my kids faces.
22. I love garage sales.
23. And I love to haggle over prices at these garage sales.
24. And my favorite garage sale partner is my man.
25. I planned on working in a big city and make a lot of money.
26. But God changed my heart, and I chose to raise my babies instead.
27. I am a lactation counselor.
28. I didn't breastfeed my first daughter...I didn't even try.
29. My favorite thing is to see my child nursing softly and contently.
30. I love working with other moms.
31. I truly believe it is my calling in life.
32. I work for our local health department, WIC to be exact.
33. I hate office politics...makes me not want to be there.
34. And I hate paperwork from the government.
35. I love my red house.
36. I love that it looks like a barn.
37. I also love my new mudroom that my husband set up for me.
38. For the first 4 years in our current house I hung up all our washed clothes outside.
39. I really didn't mind.
40. Now I have the deluxe stackable frontloaders. Thanks hubby :)
41. I don't mind washing dishes.
42. But I hate emptying a dishwasher.
43. I also hate grocery shopping.
44. But I love going shopping for anything else.
45. I have cooked thanksgiving dinner for the past 8 years.
46. I love doing that for my family.
47. I think I have baked a hundred pies.
48. This is the first year that I will bake my own crust.
49. I love my kitchen aid food processor.
50. I make almost everything from scratch.
51. My home is truly where my heart is.
52. I love to read other people's blogs.
53. I love facebook.
54. I homeschool my kids.
55. I never intended too, it was Matt's idea first.
56. It took a bit of convincing, but I love it now.
57. My favorite subject is history.
58. My kids are now becoming history lovers.
59. Not all days as a homeschooler are good.
60. But in the end, I am so proud of my kids progress.
61. I love to read.
62. Did I mention the fact that I love to read.
63. I have read many books in one day...even with five kids at home.
64. I love the library.
65. I love that my kids love to read too...I think I have rubbed off on them.
66. I lived in Los Angeles for 5 years.
67. Those years there heavily affected my life.
68. I have hiked up behind the Hollywood sign with friends...there is graffiti all on the back.
69. Disney World is so much better than Disney Land.
70. I have been to Europe twice.
71. England is my favorite country, other than my own.
72. I took 6 years of French...and read many novels in French.
73. I never wanted to take Spanish, but I am sorry now.
74. I started babysitting at 11...
75. Which now, I think is crazy. I would never leave my kids with a 11 year old...lol
76. I always did really well in school...I could have been a forever student.
77. I have a Bachelor's degree in Communications.
78. It cost a lot of money, but not as much as it would in today's prices.
79. I have always been a great sleeper. Until lately, I have been getting up for an hour some nights.
80. I did a missions trip to Guatemala.
81. It changed my view on a lot of things.
81. My passport is expired.
82. I was on an 8 passenger plane that had an engine malfunction that had to have an emergency landing in France.
83. I have been to five countries in Europe.
84. My favorite place was a island called Juist in the North Sea where you couldn't drive cars.
85. I used to like change...new houses, new states.
86. But not much now...I think it is the age factor.
87. I hated turning 30...35 was even worse.
88. I would like to have one more baby...we will see.
89. I LOVE MY KIDS!
90. I got saved at age 11.
91. I am so grateful that it happened then.
92. The Lord has changed so much in me.
93. I am so open to him changing me...to be more like Him.
94. I am not perfect.
95. You too can come to know Him and allow Him to love you.
96. I have the best husband.
97. I feel sad sometimes over things in my life. But I trust the Lord to work in those areas.
98. I love life.
99. I am driven person...I have the CEO personality.
100. I hate coffee.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Can You Hear Me?

I do everything to keep my kids healthy...lots of good foods, plenty of exercise, chiropractic adjustments...you name, I will do it. So, who gets sick? Me. It doesn't happen very often. But on Wednesday I woke up with a sore throat, runny/stuffy at times nose and a yuck feeling. I immediately start pumping up the kids and I with good stuff...lots of olive leaf extract, pulsatilla (for those with runny noses) and good vitamins. They are doing fine. I on the other hand make a turn for the better...except that I lost my voice! I can't tell you the last time this happened! So, I have lots of slippery elm lozenges, warm drinks and no talking....at least until I remembered that I have 5 kids. I think it is virtually impossible to have five kids and not talk. They can't hear my whisper...and they have been bickering all day. I am trying my hardest...but I am not being very successful. So, I am posting a picture of a parrot...at least he can talk!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dragging my kids...

...inside. My kids have turned into outside junkies. They can't get enough of this beautiful weather. They are begging to go outside from the moment they get up. The fog had barely lifted this morning when they roaring on the driveway on their bikes. These are definitely my kids...they love the cooler weather. In the summer, I can barely get them outside because of the heat...unless we are going to the pool or beach. But as soon as the humidity lifted and the temperature dropped they bolted for the outside. They have averaged 5 hours a day outside...after their school work is done. They come in for a few minutes for lunch, and take their snack outside in the afternoon. Caleb and William were climbing one of the trees in the front pasture today...and Judah spends most of his time on the four-wheeler. I think it's funny when the media talks about kids having a vitamin D deficiency. Not around here! There is nothing like spending your time outdoors...no draw from video games, computers and television. My kids get plenty of the sun's rays. I was going to take their picture tonight...faces filthy from the dirt and sweat...but they were already in the shower. Perhaps another day!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Slice of the Good Life


Had to post a picture of a piece of my first pie for the season. Made with homemade spelt crust, and with pumpkin that I had cooked down last week. It was one of the creamiest pies that I have ever made. The crust was perfect and flaky. And of course, a little cool whip makes it perfect! All the kids enjoyed every last morsel. It was funny how they each ate it differently. Bryn, Caleb and Esther ate it fast...Judah was slow and steady...and William ate all the pie around the cool whip and then he ate that section next. Their personalities come out with everything they do. The only bad thing about this pie is that with family size of 7, we ate the whole pie in one night. Cut in 8 slices, with one extra slice for daddy. There will be more pie making next week!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fading away, but never forgotten


I felt impressed to take this picture the other night. We had dinner with Mimi, Matt's grandmother. I really believe it was the Lord who whispered in my ear to take this picture. Though we have lots of pictures of Mimi and the kids over the years, I haven't taken one of her and all the kids in a long time.
We have tons of memories with her...making pound cakes, hundreds of deviled eggs made together. Bryn used to go over every week while I volunteered at the crisis pregnancy center. Mimi would let her cut everything and anything...she colored on every paper, and they always made something in the kitchen. It is some of Bryn's favorite memories. We always have had Christmas morning breakfast together, many a special dinner and Matt and I even had our small reception here after our wedding in 1996.
But now...those memories and special times are disappearing quickly. Mimi now has Alzheimers. We have known for several years, but now it is so evident. She is forgetting so much...memories, basic daily needs and even our names. I think this is the hardest disease...for the family. To watch this person who was so strong and vibrant to disappear so rapidly. It hurts. You feel like this person is being taken away from you...though they are still there.
I think you just hold onto the memories...the special days, the important moments and love her.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Turtle Mound


Thought I would post a picture of the kids this morning....at Turtle Mound here on the East coast of Florida. The sky was blue, the breeze was beautiful, the sun was bright and the temperature in the upper 60's. We had a field trip here...where we find fish and other creatures in the river...and get to look across the river and ocean on top of the mound. It was a beautiful day and a lot of fun for all of us.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Family Update

It's been busy as usual around the Reynolds Nation. We have been thoroughly enjoying our fall weather...days in the 60's and 70's and nights in the 40's and 50's. It has been lovely. We actually used the fire place for the first time the other night. The kids beg to get outside every day. I hope to get a picnic table soon here on the land...wouldn't it be great to do our schoolwork outside when the days are so picture perfect. We have always had a little table for the kids, but nothing big enough for all of my growing kids.
Last week we sold Patrick, our white Nigerian Dwarf male goat. Though he was a great breeding goat, he had become quite the nuisance. Every time we went into the pasture he would follow you around and nip at your clothes. He was overly friendly. The kids didn't feel comfortable with him, so we sold him to another farm who needing him for breeding.
We started raking the pasture. I would love to finish that up so we are ready to seed it with rye grass for the winter. Though, there hasn't been any rain, but I would like to be ready when there is. This has been one of the driest summers and winters that I have seen in a long time. I would enjoy a rainy day or two...and so would my grass.
Matt and I, over the course of two weekends, tiled and grouted our mudroom. It looks really good. Now, Matt is working on the plumbing. We have been wanting to get this done for such a long time...a project just staring you in the face. Matt wants to be done by Thanksgiving...all the plumbing, texture the walls, painting, baseboards and moving every thing back in. It is going to be a busy few weeks.
School is going really well. William is now reading small words...and is moving into sentences. He has an amazing ability to hear letters together and know what the word is...probably the best out of all my kids. Judah has done really well also keeping himself busy while the others do their school work. We also bought another desk for the family room so that we can put our other computer on it. Now we will have two computer accessible (one won't have any Internet on it) for the kids to use. The little ones love using their educational games.
Thanksgiving is on the horizon...after cooking 120 cups of pumpkin, it should be. I already have our menu on the brain and thoughts of what to do. I still want to do a few crafts with the kids before then...and then we will plunge right into Christmas.
Still adjusting to the time change...I am getting up at 5 instead of 6 and then I am ready for bed at 8. I hope that I adjust and get back to normal...I have been tired the past week. Hope your family is well, as mine is.

Friday, November 5, 2010

...and after.


So, here is one of the first containers full of pumpkin. Starting cooking them down today. I had hoped to start earlier in the week, but the week wasn't quite like I planned. It was the perfect day to cook them down...weather only 65 degrees...windows wide open...and the kids playing outside. The kids kept on asking me where the pumpkin pie was. They couldn't understand that you must cook the pumpkins first before you make the pie!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Call of A Lifetime...

It's the call of a lifetime. To be a woman of your home...caring for your husband and your children. What a blessing to live and to give to our daughters.