Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lighthouse Visit

Today we took our first trip to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse as a family. This beautiful lighthouse is only about 30 minutes from our house and we can see it at various spots when we travel around town. Matt and I have been trying to figure out some low-cost trips that we can do with the kids on various weekends. And this was our pick for this weekend. If you look straight up you can see a little bit of color at the top of the lighthouse...those dots would be my kids. Since I have a bit of queasiness with heights I decided to enjoy the view from solid ground. Hold on Matt...

Here is William as we visited the various houses that are on the site. It was very interesting to look at all the history that the Lighthouse had to offer. The kids loved running up and down the brick pathways. Doesn't William have the funniest look on his face..."which way do I go?"

Here are all the kids right before they walked up with their dad. We got there first thing in the morning...and the clouds were heavy in the air and there was lots of fog. When we pulled up the Lighthouse workers said that they were closed temporarily because they had lost power. So, we went to a park next door and the kids had fun until the lighthouse opened...and in that short span of time, God opened up the heavens and we had glorious blue skies!





One more time, here they all are. I wanted to get a picture of the opening and it always shows how large the lighthouse is in comparison to the kids. I can't believe they walked up 203 stairs...and still had a ton of energy afterwards. My kids are hardy!
We had a fantastic morning..worth the few dollars it took to enter and memories were made to last a lifetime!

Friday, February 25, 2011

More Powerful

I am stealing a picture from my Matt...
that he took yesterday while the shuttle was going up. I sadly didn't hear it because I was tucked away in the library teaching mommies how to breastfeed their babies. But I was looking at this picture later that he took...still in awe of what man has created so many years ago. When you live where I live in Florida you get used to the shuttle going up...but it is still one of those amazing things. But then I was quickly reminded that my God, our God, the only God is so much more powerful than this amazing spacecraft. He is faster, stronger and wiser than this wonderful machine. So, if you are in a place in life of indecision...or change...or uncertainty...look up and and see the most high God. He is there for you! And for me. He is amazing, powerful, swift and the wisest of all. Ponder that for the day. Have a great Friday!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quiet Night

It has been a extremely busy day...after one trip to Ormond for the dentist, one trip to Port Orange for a homeschool co-op group and then on to teach my breastfeeding class at the local library. I feel like I have been married to the highway. Interstate 95 was my best friend...kids chatting in the back of the car, music humming in my ear and an occasional yell out from one of the kids. It was just one of those busy days that can't be avoided. But then I sit here quietly...after a lovely dinner made by my husband, the rush of kids taking showers and now the little ones are in bed. My windows are wide open and I can hear slight noises outside...my pug dog slumbering next to the computer desk and Matt talking quietly to Esther. It's moments like these that you can sit back and love your life. Despite the craziness...the rush and the endless errands and jobs that need to be done...you love what you do. Being a mother is the best and most rewarding job ever. I thank God daily for it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Annual Night


If only most of the father's of daughters out there would realize what a gem they hold in their hands. A special gift. A true treasure. It is a present that should not be tossed aside or assumed not to be opened. It's a gift to reveal now. Daughters are so special. They are little girls slowing maturing...the question is do you want them to be women or little girls in women's bodies. Because if a father doesn't nurture his little girls...spend time with them, love them, cherish them and acknowledge them...then his end result will be a little girl in a women's body. Because as a girl we always look up to the father...the daddy. We are meant to do that because of the heavenly father...he is our provider, our nurturer, our protector. With earthly dads, God was just trying to mirror what he intended for himself and his children.
So, tonight...my husband continues to love his girls. To cherish them. To make time with them...it's annual Daddy-Daughter night...and here they are. Thank you Matt.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Good Morning Tuesday!

My body is up way too early this morning. It was only a bit after five this morning that my internal alarm clock went off. I can't stop it. I can't unplug it. It's just there. And it's been there my whole life, insisting that I get up at unusually early hours. Of course the sweet part of this deal is that this is the only time that my house will be quiet until late tonight. I treasure this time. I love it. I covet it.
So, what's on the agenda for today? Everything! I can't even go over it because it will start to overwhelm me. I was loosely going through it in my mind early this morning and it brought a moment of "how will I ever get it all done?" Of course I do. I am just ghastly tired by the end of the night. My days go by so fast. And not only am I thinking of today, but I am thinking of the next week, month and sometimes year. Trying to focus on the now...trying to at least.
My goal today is to remain patient, loving and joyful. To stay focused on the Lord up above and to Love Him...and when I love Him, it makes it easier to love others. I hope you have a fantastic day...pray for me and my five little kiddos...we need it (as you do too) everyday. Thank you Lord for another day. Be blessed!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Belated Valentine Pics

Caleb and William...loved hanging out with their friends and getting so many Valentine cards!
Esther and William stop for a moment while giving out cards and give me a smile :) Judah getting a little help from Bryn (who is now too old to pass out Valentines) to put his Valentines cards in the little mailboxes.


I thought I would take a moment and post some pictures from the kids Valentine's day party. The week before we had painstakingly (more my pain then theirs) made cards for 30 other children...30 children each x 4 kids making cards...that would be 120 Valentine cards later...now you understand when I say pain. Even so they had a great time...each little personality coming out. They wrote a saying on each card and then put special valentine stickers on them. William insisted on putting only one sticker on each card( a bit skimpy)...Esther was artistic as always, making each card special...Caleb put each sticker in a straitght line (the organized one) and Judah worked on a few cards, before I finished the rest (I mean majority, lol). Once again, their personalities come out in the small things...I love watching these moments...it shows that God created us all different and we are special in our own ways. Their favorite part of the day-was coming home and reading each card from their friends!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Read the Sign



A friend of mine took this picture yesterday at a seminar that we went to with Bryn. I won't go into that (though it was awesome)...but this saying, "what does God say?" runs through my thoughts everyday. And it should go through yours!
Every decision that I make, I try to go back to this sentence...what does God say? Because he sure does say a lot. And if you don't know...pray...get into the bible and read...go to a close person who you know has a close relationship with God and get counsel. Rather than running though this life, hit and miss...think first, "what does GOD say?"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Psalm 29

On this Thursday morning, I am just sitting here thinking about all the things the Lord has done for me...for us. He is is faithful. I was sitting with the kids the other morning and doing our bible study together and we came to a passage in Psalms 29 about how the Lord gives Strength to His people...and He will bless His people with peace. It turned into an awesome discussion about how God gives us strength...and each kid gave an example of how he gives us strength...this ranged from passing an algebra test to going to the dentist. I love how simple the Lord really is. His word is so for today...though written so long ago, everything is still for this day.
After the last year or so of impossible situations, Matt and I feel like we are coming into a harvest. We have passed the test. We have remained faithful. Despite hard times and being hit left and right we still remained faithful to Him. And yes, this doesn't mean that we are smooth sailing for the rest of our life. We are now that much STRONGER for the next battle.
Update on Caleb. We had an awesome behavioral analyst come in and she is giving us some great ideas on how to handle him and deal with his handicaps. Praise God. We feel the most hopeful that we have in a long time. Working with his other doctor has been super effective and I believe we are on the way to a peaceful (oh, there is Psalm 29 again) place.
Have a great Thursday everyone. God is good...and so faithful.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Favorite Things 5



So, here is my next FAVORITE THING to post. My new cubed shelving from IKEA. I have wanted these for several years...and my Valentine bought it for me for the holiday. It is a dream for any mom who has a big family. We are using the bottom shelves for the kids to put away their school books...they were so excited to organize them on their own shelf. And the rest will be for books and decorations.





My next FAVORITE THING is my new bench in the mudroom. When we built our addition our plan was to have a section for the kids to hang their coats (so they aren't all over my house) and a bench for them to sit on and buckets to dump their shoes (and in the winter hats and gloves). I am so loving this. No more shoes all over the place...everything neat and organized. Just the way this mommy likes it!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pathway




Here is the pathway leading up to our mudroom. It was just a dirt path, with hopes to do something different. Matt had bought a mold to put a cobblestone pathway in...to make it look nice and to stop the flow of dirt into the house.



And here is the pathway leading up to the mudroom after. Matt did a great job putting the cobblestone pathway in. It changes the whole look of that side in the house. Though it doesn't look as nice, because the winter has killed so many of our plants. Next we plan on putting the same pathway in leading to our front door...it will look the same, but just longer and double the width! Love that my husband is handy and will spend the time working on our house!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Givin' a Little Love


Here is a little picture of what the kids came out to this morning on their place mat...a little treat to celebrate Valentine's Day. It has always been our tradition to have something waiting for the kids...they look forward to it every year. Jesus, the giver of love has invaded our hearts...though we try to share it every day, it's nice to have a special day to focus on it. So Happy Valentine's Day to everyone. My favorite saying this morning was Judah walking into the living room and saying, "is it Valentine's day?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Favorite Things 4


I was doing a quick clean over my house today, and I thought of this Favorite Thing...my Lysol wipes! Now, normally I use rags to wipe things down...I spray some cleaner on it, and voila-the perfect thing to use to clean up. But, I tried the Lysol wipes out awhile back when they were Buy One Get One Free at the local store. I only buy them then, which makes them about two dollars...not too bad for this budget. They are only used here and there...I give one to one of the kids to wipe down all the light switches and door knobs...or a quick clean up (like the bird poop that fell on the slide, and Judah refused to go down the slide)of anything. Sometimes you just need the fast and easy. They last a long time if you use them sparingly...my rags still have to be washed every week...but it helps this mom of five make life a bit easier.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Had to post this...

We were at our local art festival the other day...walking casually through the crowd, looking at all the art. We got seperated somehow and Matt walked ahead with Caleb. So, a lady came up to Caleb (who was standing right next to Matt)and said, "are you lost little boy?"
Obviously from the pictures on my blog, Caleb is a different color than the rest of my family...but that's what makes us unique and the Reynolds Nation. We have funny things like this happen to us all the time. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Only in Today's World!


Found this today. What happened to Be Mine and Kiss Me? Too funny!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sweet Mornings


Our mornings here at the Reynolds Nation. Sweet!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday, Monday!

I just opened up my windows in the house. The air is 72 degrees outside with a touch of humidity. Not bad for February, right? I prefer a few degrees colder and no humidity...but I am always grateful not to have the air conditioner pumping away.
Update on the goats...We had Otto and Olive born to Baby (the Boer goat) on January 29th, Oscar born to Kerry on January 31st and surprise Dominic to proud mama Shirley on February 2nd. Shirley lost an unnamed little doe the day after it was born and a triplet was stillborn. So, we are grateful for little Dominic. As you can see, we are very busy with our goats. The kids are bottle feeding some of them, but we have them in a pen so they can spend lots of time with them...and to protect little Dominic from the hawks (he is only 1.5 pounds).
Other than that, life is good. Busy as usual. School is keeping me on my toes. Trying to manage house, school, and work is quite the balancing act. I feel good though. Feel like I am coming out of some of the muck from last year. Moving on. Feeling strengthened from the Lord. My prayer time has been awesome. His voice is becoming louder and louder the more I listen.
So, I hope your Monday is wonderful. I am listening to the kids outside, with an occasional yelp from a baby goat. Happy Monday!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Beautiful Saturday!



Yesterday, we took a walk along the boardwalk at the Inlet in New Smyrna Beach. The sky was blue...the lighthouse looked beautiful in the distance...and we had a delightful time just being together. Here is an updated picture of my kids. They had a fantastic time, and so did I!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday Morning



Matt took the boys for a Saturday morning date to Dunkin Donuts and to collect sea shells at the beach. As you can see, Judah really liked his donuts. Happy Saturday! :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Favorite Things 3


I thought I would post another favorite thing item...just not my own, lol. I made this Strawberry Cake for my husband for his birthday celebration. It is his absolutely favorite thing. I inherited the recipe from my mother-in-law. The recipe was quick and easy, but looks like you spent a lot of time! Enjoy!

Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 white cake mix
4 eggs
8 ounces of frozen strawberries
1 cup of oil
small box of strawberry jello

Grease tube pan and lightly flour, beat room temp. eggs and oil. Add rest of ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour and cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2-3 ounce packages of cream cheese
2 tsp. of milk
1 tsp. of vanilla
dash of salt
1 16 ounce package of confectioners sugar
Beat cream cheese with milk, just till it's smooth. Gradually beat in vanilla, salt and sugar until well blended.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Day in the Life...

So, today was one of those busy days. I was just sitting still for the first time today a few minutes ago, and I thought...let's blog about it.

1. Woke up at ten till six this morning...spent 1/2 an hour in prayer. Love my time with the Lord most high.
2. Took shower, dressed and went downstairs.
3. Checked facebook, e-mail, put first load of laundry in and woke house up. Checked on wee goat who was ailing last night. Within hour, goat dies and husband (who is so awesome) buries her and consoles children.
4. Make cream of wheat for breakfast...organize kids to dress, clean up rooms, make beds, stop fighting...the norm of every morning.
5. Send dear hubby off for work...supervise clean-up, wash breakfast dishes...put second load of laundry in...make sure kids shoes are on and we are outside.
6. Get new baby goats out to bottle feed with kids...two kids feed chickens, I move their pen and we then let baby goats feed off their mamas. Back inside to finish morning chores.
7. Back outside to put baby goats back in pen, feed mama goats and then back inside. Do overview of house and then on to school.
8. Are you tired yet?
9. Set 3 year old up with movie, start grammar with three kids and five year old waits a few minutes to start...kids get in the groove with me sitting at the table with them.
10. I am correcting work...move laundry on and fold small load of whites. Read book with five year old (rather he reads to me, which takes forever, but he is worth it). Take a small break while kids are working diligently to make 26 brownie cupcakes (to be eaten by a host of teenagers later with Bryn and her co-op) in the kitchen.
11. Snack time at ten...these kids are hungry. Send kids out to check for eggs. In the course of the last two hours, took three phone calls for work, and jot down the information.
12. Little kids done with work by 10:30...teenager still working. Lunch at 11:30...cook leftovers and make sandwiches...dishes immediately after and clean-up.
13. Gather library movies and books that are due today...put brownies on pretty platter and cover...bring extra bananas for little kids. Change house clothes to going out clothes...clean kid faces...make everyone go potty...find out why teenager doesn't want to wear warm clothes in cold weather...and we are out of the house. Can't find keys...remember left them on play set when feeding goats.
14. Drive to take teenager to special co-op of dramatic literature. Stop to get gas first. Get to church a few minutes early...kids play on play ground...one trip to the potty...leave teenager and take little kids to Firestone to get oil changed. While walking to store my mother-in-law calls me for details regarding upcoming breastfeeding class. Say, can't talk now...in parking lot with kids. Go to Big Lots while oil is getting changed. Find some great deals, while saying over and over again to little kids that no we can't get that.
15. Take car from aggressive salesman at Firestone...go back to church...one more potty break...pick up teenager and head to Target so she can find a gift for dad's birthday. Go through the store...pick up beef that was on sale (a very good sale)...more bananas for the kids (yes we eat about 14 pounds a week)...and then back in car.
16. Drive down I-95, get off exit and take movies and books back to library. No time to pick new ones up. Husband calls and says don't worry about dinner (phew, because I was running out of time to cook dinner, though everything was ready at home).
17. Home again...meet wonderful husband at the door in preparation for three day weekend. Unload all of our bags that we collected. Check work cell phone for messages. Put potatoes in oven to cook. Chickens are fed and eggs collected by kids. Take baby goats out and bottle feed them. Put goats back with mama goats to eat. Make quick and easy meal for kids. Quick clean-up and pick-up around house. Husband grills steaks and we eat a scrumptious meal. Teenager heads out to babysit my friend's kids. Wash dishes...eight year old cleans table and the boys put jammies on.
18. The house starts to settle down. Little boys go to bed...with lots of chatter in the room...husband and I talk about our day and go over the weekly grocery ads. Eight year old goes to bed. Husband and I start watching movie...which I make it through about 20 minutes because it was totally not my style. Go upstairs to take shower...take clothes out for kids...make grocery list for this weekend's grocery trip...send e-mail out for my co-op food order...and then sit down to write this blog. I am tired...are you? I love my life!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thirty-Five


So, what can I say about this special day? My dear husband reached the ripe-old age of thirty five. Yes, I said it...the big 35! Some may say, mid-life...or a bit too close to forty. Since I also hit this milestone in the year 2010...I know what a life-changing event it can be. It can be a time to reevaluate where you have been and where you are going. Or we can let it pass by without a thought.
Enough about the year and the age. Happy Birthday to my husband Matthew! He is one amazing fellow. He works harder than anyone I know...long, full days. He loves his kids with such passion...everything he does is for them. And for us...this is our 16th year that we have been together for his birthday. I love him more than ever. Despite hard times in our marriage and changes that have happened in the past...we are coming out stronger than ever. Changes in our life have turned into more positive outcomes. I am excited for our future together. God has such great purpose and destiny. I feel overwhelmingly blessed that God picked Matt to be my soul-mate. Happy Birthday love...and I look forward to many more!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Surprise!!!!



Came home yesterday from a staff meeting...checked outside in the pasture and saw that our new little goats (Otto and Olive) were happily frolicking in the pasture with their mother. Went inside, starting making dinner...and my husband comes home and says, " do you realize that there is another goat out in the pasture?" Our little Kerry goat gave birth yesterday afternoon to a little buck. Didn't have a clue! We had just realized two weeks ago that she was pregnant! Amazing! So we have three new goats...the kids are so excited...we have a lot of of work ahead of us, trying to handle them and get them used to us. We have one more mama waiting for delivery...will keep you updated.