Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding

I couldn't let time go by without talking about the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. I know, some have heard enough about it. For those of you who don't personally know me, I have been the biggest Royal watcher...since about 1987. I have read/bought hundreds of books, magazines, memorabilia over the years. It started out with a fascination of the Duchess of York visiting Los Angeles (where I lived at the time) to a major crash into British, and then European History. I became a history lover since then...and the fascination continues. So, with the upcoming wedding....I made plans to get up at 4 am to watch the wedding. Crazy...some say yes. I on the other hand couldn't wait. Funny thing is that I heard from countless people saying they remembered getting up with their mom when Princess Diana got married...and now, one day my daughters will say the same. It's all about the memory making and time together.

I had two girls who wanted to join me. Here we are...about 3:55 am...ready to watch. I didn't think Esther would make it...she is my sleeper...but she stayed up the whole time. And Bryn, who has been studying Medieval History this year, has joined in with the love of history. She has been reading, and reading and reading...trying to get all the details down. We watched every moment...we talked about the crazy hats, the outfits...I pointed out people who were there...from the stars, to European royalty, to the British prime minister. It was so much fun.

Bryn looking a little bleary her robe still...but ready to watch.

Bitty Baby even joined us for the morning...I told Esther she should have worn her hat like the other!

Even, our pug Mia joined us! Though she was with us in body...she snored the whole time.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Little Helpers

I have had a lot of little helpers around here. My kids have always wanted to peel carrots, but I didn't like them using the traditional peeler. I asked my friend over at Owlhaven and she recommended the peeler that you see in William's hand. They are much safer to handle and easy for the little kids. So, these two got busy while Caleb finished his schoolwork and Bryn was practicing piano...and though Judah is in the picture, I told him that he has to wait until he is at least five. So dinner tonight will be a roast and carrots and potatoes peeled by my youngsters. Joining all the kitchen fun is better than the best of toys.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He is Risen!

On this special day, we wish a time of peace, love and joy. He died on the cross for you and me...and was risen for us to live a life more abundantly. Be blessed!

Friday, April 22, 2011

For the Love of a Child

This post has been on my heart for awhile. I have thought about it...dismissed it...wrote it...and even rewrote it. It is about one of the biggest journeys of my life. A journey that I never expected to be on. One that I got on and there is no turning back. It's the journey of being the mother of a handicapped child.
If you have read my blog for a period of time, you will already know that our adopted son Caleb is mentally handicapped. He also has a list of other issues...possible Autism spectrum, ODD, OCD, PICA, along with the issue of being mentally handicapped. As with your own birth children, when you adopt you also don't know what your end result will be. You assume, and hope that your child will be "normal". You pour your life into them as they grow and change. They bring you so much joy. When I look back to early photos of Caleb it brings a lot of great memories back. He was an easy baby...happy, smiley...a pure delight to have. It was an easy transition from one child to two.
Then before he was two, we knew something was wrong. We passed it aside...friends told us, "he is a boy, you are used to a girl...boys are different." We trusted that and put our fears aside. But as time went on, we knew that life was not going to be as we expected.
Our life is so much different than most people know. Most have no idea what we go through on a daily, weekly, yearly basis with Caleb. We love him, as our our own child, so we push through all the issues and problems. Some people pass judgement on us, without knowing what is going on...without living our daily life...without talking to his doctors and knowing what we know. That hurts the most. Assumptions can be painful. But we can continue our path with him..our journey of the unknown. Our job: to give him the best life possible in the perimeters that we have placed to keep him safe, well and happy. Our prayer for him: to have a joyful and fulfilling life. We know God has so much for him...and we are doing everything we know to walk that out with him.
I think one of the hardest things in life is to not know what God's purpose. You wonder why God chose our family for this journey. You don't doubt God's intentions, and you trust God wholeheartedly...that's how you get through every single day. When you feel His love wash over us and Caleb, it brings peace. And sometimes God doesn't show you the purpose in the beginning...we are learning on this journey. And keeping our eyes on God. He will show us...lead us...and prepare us for each day. It's His love, that shows us how to love.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

No Rest for the Weary

I am feeling weary still from the past weekend. The first day this week I actually took two short naps. And yesterday was when I felt somewhat human. Nothing exciting going on this week...just hanging out...getting prepared for Easter Sunday and trying to move along in school work. Only a few weeks left with we are down to the last bit. William's soccer is going really well. Though not a natural soccer player, he has improved every week and is not afraid of the ball and has even got a little aggressive with it. Matt has has a three day weekend coming up, so we are excited to have a few days off. He is finishing work on our new chicken coop...we are calling it Alcatraz...because he has made it a fortress that no one can get into. I think he may have stopped the raccoons finally. We order chickens today, so we will be back in business with our chickens. We are still looking for a new goat, but haven't had much promise with that yet. Matt has been busy watching video blogs about we may be getting a few hives in the near future. That will be his business...I am way too scared of bees. Though it will be great to have the honey. Life is good, just busy as usual. How is everything with you?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

40 Bag Challenge-Complete

I first want to thank Owlhaven, for inspiring me to do this in the first place. I got the idea of the 40 bag, 40 day challenge from her...and she, I believe, got it from another blog. This has been one of the most awesome experiences I have had in a long time...cleansing and cleaning. I normally clean my house over the summer, while school is out...but I have never had the intention to get rid of this much stuff. I usually just clean out and straighten, but never with the intention to remove this much. I am posting a picture of the garage sale that we had this weekend...that is all mine. Can you believe it? So here is what was eliminated:

26 bags thrown away

1 dresser

1 sofa table and 2 night stands sold on Craig's list

Multiple plastic buckets that held items out

Multiple things out of the shed (an old dolly, stroller, bikes, kids tool stand, fold up chairs, 2 large metal trashcans)

2 full loads in my Expedition and 2 loads in my husband's Tracker to the garage sale at my mother-in-law's house (whatever wasn't sold, was given to the thrift store that supports Resources for Women (which is our local pregnancy crisis center)).

Though I didn't technically collect 40 bags, the rest of the stuff I got rid of should meet my goal. I made a little money in the garage sale, and was able to bless a great organization that is trying to save the lives of babies....what an awesome feeling to have. And another great thing is that my house is cleaner, less cluttered and easier to work in. What freedom it has brought!!!! I suggest everyone take some time and clean out your house...I was skeptical at first. I thought there is no way I am able to get that much out of my house. But I did. Give it a was worth every moment!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lunch Date

Her request for the day was homemade donuts for breakfast and then a Chick-fil-A luncheon date. I surprised her by having Matt meet us there for lunch. So, here we girl and I...with eight great happy years behind us...and many more ahead of us!

Our Girl...Eight Years Old

Here is our girl. Eight years old...born on April 18th at 1:33 in the morning. She has been a delight since she was born...a great baby, and easy child. She can entertain herself for hours and is so loving. She loves to snuggle right up against you and has the sweetest personality. Esther and I are total opposites...which actually makes us get along so well. We feel blessed to have her in our life.
Here is another one of Matt's cake creations. Esther picked out the yellow frosting, with the orange trim. Esther has never been known to be conservative, lol.
Our Essie Roo, eight years old. How did it happen so fast? She was so excited all day!
Esther opening her presents. William had prepared her present two weeks ago...he was so excited to make her multiple cards, a few homemade airplanes and a dollar of his own money. Love his giving heart.
Here they all happy to celebrate together. The kids had fun...eating cake, playing with(and popping) balloons and just being together. I am extremely blessed.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

These Moments...

...that I most enjoy. Busy morning here at the Reynolds Nation. I had pumpkin bread baking in the oven, and the older kids were working hard at their schoolwork at the table. I turned around and saw William working hard on a puzzle on the floor. I love having these types of educational toys for the kids around the house, to be used at their leisure. And I love even more that my kids are drawn to these type of things. If you haven't made your home open for your kids to play and learn, then make some changes. We have so many things for my kids to pull out and enjoy. I love that my kids are not in front of the television or video games all day. I love that they use their minds to construct things. It's a good life.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Simply Adorable

You must love this face...Mia Mia!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Take a Moment to Laugh

At a high school in Montana , a group of students played a prank....they let three goats loose inside the school. But before turning them loose, they painted numbers on the sides of the goats: 1, 2, and 4.School Administrators spent most of the day looking for No. 3.........

Thinning of the Farm Animals

When I look outside to the pasture today, it looks a lot different. We sold two of our mama goats today to another local farm. One, Kerry, was born here at the Reynolds Nation and Baby was bought from a herd. Big thing we learned...only buy animals that have been raised by people, not in a herd. Baby was sweet, but she wouldn't come near us. So, when she gave birth the last two years, her babies would run away from us with her. This is not what we wanted. So after some discussion with Matt and other friends, we decided to sell the two mamas. We got a call in one hour of being put on Craig's List and they were gone. I felt sad to see them go...I get attached to my animals....but it is all for the best. So, now we only have Shirley (our original Pygmy goat) and we plan to keep her. We also gave our friends our bunny rabbit, Brownie. The kids bought her two years ago, but they haven't spent much time with her. Our friends needed her for breeding, so off she went. Quite happily. The kids can visit her every time we go over for piano lessons, and I have one less animal to worry about. So, we are on the hunt for a milking goat. We are keeping our eye on Craig's list and checking with some other contacts. I am excited to see what we come up with. Matt has made plans for a new chicken pen. After losing all of our chickens to a family of raccoons, we needed to build something more sturdy. So, he is tweaking his plans a bit and hopefully will start on Friday with our new pen. The weather is warm and my air condition is pumping. It's been a nice winter, and I am grateful for the break from the warm weather. The kids though, keep on talking about the beach, so you know what they are excited about.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

And the Heat is On!

The temps almost reached 90 degrees the beginning of April! Not quite sure if I am ready for this yet. Even so, we still had work to do outside. We continued to do some painting in the back of our house...and I got the gracious job of ripping poison ivy off the side of the house. I am the only one not allergic to the stuff, so I get this job. Matt won't even go near where it is...he has a major reaction to the ivy and it spreads like wild fire all over his body. Matt continued by cleaning out the gutters, in preparation for the spring and summer rains. We then moved Olive, our last baby goat, over to the Coslow hopes that she will stop running from us like her mama does. Esther went over with me, since it is her goat. Anyway, the kids played all day...and did some work up the property and moving palm branches to the goat pasture. By the end of the night, the house was clean, laundry done and the yard was looking good. We got all this done in preparation of our sabbath day....our hopes to just spend time together as a family on Sunday. Hope your weekend is going well! * 40-bag Challenge-26 bags, and on the countdown, getting ready for the garage sale this weekend. I will have my final number in a week, but I think I may make it. Imagine how clean my house is!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Today, I officially take a leave of absence from my job as a lactation counselor at the health department. I am needed to take some time off to give my kids more of my time...specifically Caleb who is needing it. Our behavioral analyst had suggested me taking more time is such a pivotal point with Caleb's health right now. We are progressing so quickly with has been awesome. The work between the analyst and the psychiatrist has been life changing. So, my goal is to be home for now....very excited, with a tinge of sadness because I truly love my job.

We sold three of our baby goats this past weekend...Dominic, Otto and Oscar found new homes in Bunnell. The family who took them were so excited and so were we. They were getting into all of Matt's new plants in the garden, so it was a good time to leave. Having the goats was such a fun experience for us...they loved holding them, feeding them...and then later on, chasing them.

The weather is getting warm around here...had to turn the air conditioner on the other day for a few hours. The temperature in our upstairs bedroom got way too hot, so we had to turn it on for the first time. Which is really good, since we are in the first week of April. Our electric bill still should be low this month...which is so nice to save that money. The kids are looking forward to the warmer weather... Bryn is already making plans for water aerobics with my mom, and they are gearing up for swim team this summer. And I am looking forward to the beach days ahead.

Other than that, all is quiet here. Matt left for two days on a business trip to Miami...which was fun for the kids, since we all camped out in the family room. We are heading towards the end of the school year...the kids are getting antsy and ready to finish. I, on the other hand, am already looking at next year's curriculum and started to buy books on ebay. It's never ending for the this homeschool teacher :)

That's all for now. Enjoy the pic of my sweet boy goofing off the other day in his new sunglasses. Be blessed today!

40 bag challenge:23 (garage sale next weekend)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kiss Me!

He is always there for a little boy Judah. Brings joy to my heart every day...and a few gray hairs. Yesterday he painted the toilet seat with silver, it was a roll of toilet paper in the toilet. Earlier, I found him walking along the edge of the back of the couch, like a tight-rope. Oh my...thank God for his little kisses.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sabbath Rest

After hearing our pastor speak about the Sabbath a few weeks ago, it has been on my mind. In our busy world of jobs, five kids, a small farm, homeschooling and all that comes with is hard to take a break, a rest. With fourteen loads of laundry a week, who can take a break? But I feel the Lord calling for this from us. We have been on this adventure this last year of jumping off the treadmill and this is one of those steps. Our family is making it a priority to take one day off a week. Our goal is for Sunday, but that could change. Our intention is to spend the day simple meals, leave the laundry for the next day, and not start (or finish) any new projects. We hope to watch movies together, play games, go to the beach...whatever we need to do to rest. Our pastor had specifically talked about crop rotation...after six years of one crop, you rest for one year. After six days of creating the world, God rested on the seventh day. So, we are taking a cue from him and stepping into this. Yesterday was our first day, and it was very difficult. After a busy week of work, I had a lot of laundry and cleaning needs that were calling me. But instead we hung out, watched a movie, pushed the kids on their swings and I ended the night with a great, spontaneous dinner date with a dear friend...where we got to talk and laugh for hours. What a lovely way to end the day. As you go through the day, take a look at your life and see if you take a sabbath rest?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's a Party!!!!

Here he is, in the full glory of being SIX! He loved his cake, and the whole day that was his!
Matt and his creativity! Here is the cake that William asked for, made by his daddy!
I love his smile in the happy and joyful. He is my boy!
William opening his presents..Judah was a bit excited and tried to open them for him.
His favorite presents...everybody heard he wanted money, so most people added a few dollars to each present. He ended up with thirty dollars!
Me and my boy! I love his goofy smiles and his great laugh...I am so blessed to have him as my son!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Amazing Six Year Old

He is the first to tell me that I am beautiful. He still loves to hold my hand. He gives tons of kisses and hugs. He is my William Luke, born on April 2nd at 1:03 a.m...starting an amazing adventure. He has been all boy...100%...jumping, climbing, throwing, kicking, running...anything that entailed his body to move. He talks the loudest...he insists on being heard. He is so much fun to have around the house. Especially when he cuddles with me on the couch at the end of the day.

This is his first year of school and he has done brilliantly!!! His reading level is way beyond where he should be, as is his Math. But my favorite part is that he loves to sit with me and learn. He is truly a little sponge. Which is amazing, considering he wouldn't sit still for one book until he was four years old.

My favorite part of being a mom is watching their individuality come alive. Though William is rough and tough, he is super sensitive. You have to be careful how you deal with him. That's the fun part of being a mom...watching how they grow, develop and change.

William, I am blessed to watch you grow up. I know God has amazing favor over your life. He is going to work, and move in you, like never seen before. Be ready for Him and all that He has to offer. I love you little boy. I am blessed to be your mama.