Sunday, July 31, 2011

Did You Hear That?

Did you hear that sound? What is it?........It is pure quiet. Yes, I said it. Totally and utterly quiet. I know...I can't tell you the last time it happened. The house almost seems creepy. No, I have not found new homes for my offspring. They are at their beach with their dad...and I am going to lunch and celebrating my mom's birthday for the afternoon...without kids. I actually can not tell you the last time I was in this house by myself. It must be years...several years. It feels so blissful and lovely. But I do miss them...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Major Triumph!

Here is Caleb yesterday, standing proudly with his green necklace at the YMCA pool (our second home during the summer). He just replaced his yellow necklace (which means they can get up from falling in the water, but not a swimmer yet). Though Caleb could swim, he struggled with the water.
Caleb has had a fear of the water since he was a baby. I remember when he was just six months old and it started to sprinkle on him when I was going to the car. When the rain drops hit him, he acted like he was being shot by a gun over and over again. He has never liked swimming and the beach, but has been forced to because we live in this hot state of Florida. He would rather hang out on the sidelines than to splash and get in the water.
So, yesterday he wanted to take his test...which meant he had to swim the length of the pool without touching the bottom or the sides. And he accomplished it!!!! He received his green necklace. The lifeguards were so excited for him!!! They know that he is a little slower than the rest of the crowd, so this was a big deal. I am so glad that they really congratulated him and cheered him on while he swam.
Every little step towards normalcy with Caleb is a major triumph for us. Raising a mentally handicapped child can be very daunting and tiresome. So, it's little sparks of hope like this that just raise up our hopes. Great job Caleb...we are so proud!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Gratitude Friday

Good Morning!!! Many blessings to you and your family.

1. I am thankful for late mornings...when I am not up at 6 and rushing out the door to swim team.
2. I am thankful for sweet kisses and hugs from my four year old early in the morning..when his eyes are barely open and he just molds into my body.
3. I am thankful for Fridays...not to be against the other days of the week...but I love knowing that Matt will be with us for the whole weekend.
4. I am thankful for school supplies and new curriculum. The journey I am about to set on is so exciting. I am also thankful for the ability to homeschool my kids and have them home.
5. I am thankful for a great doctor for Caleb. Someone who understands and will sit and listen to your distress and concerns.
6. I am thankful for sweet milk from Doby.
7. I am thankful for my hard working husband, Matt. We could not do all this without him.
8. I am thankful for answered prayers and even the loveliness of knowing that He heard our prayers.
9. I am thankful for the joy in the my life that God has brought forth...He is so faithful.
10. I am thankful for you. Keep reading and drop a comment sometime. Tell me what you are thankful for!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

School Supplies...Big Family Style

Yeah, this is almost all of it. Not including curriculum, of course. Matt and I went on yearly school supply shopping trip (this is actually his first year, but not mine) the other night. I had been planning it out...anticipating the excitement...it is my favorite time of the year (other than Christmas and Thanksgiving)!!!! I love to shop for school supplies. It brings me total joy to buy new boxes of crayons and tons of unsharpened #2 pencils. I must admit that I would rather school supply shop than to look for new shoes or clothes. I think it is just from all the warm memories of growing up in NY...and the anticipation of fall coming...and new school clothes and a whole new season. I know I am funny...
So, here is what I got. Tons of pencils (125 to be exact), 15 boxes of crayons (yes, and there will only be broken bits by the end of the school year), six bottles of glue and 12 glue sticks, four 1.5 inch binders, lots of construction paper, makers, colored pencils and a whole new filing system (thanks to Tapestry of Grace and all of it's curriculum changes). I am very excited and now have to bring everything together. Lesson plans will be made this next week, and I still have a few books to buy for the first 9 week literature section. So, as we still enjoy our next few weeks of time in the sun and sand...in the back of my mind are lesson plans and new books ;)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Good Old Days



For the past month or so I have been doing water aerobics a couple times a week at our local YMCA. I have enjoyed it so much and have seen some results with weight loss. I know, most people associate water aerobics with old ladies. Yes, there are plenty of them there. Many actually. And a few old men too. Some are there to really work out...and many of them are just to hang out with their friends and talk. There are actually a few ladies who keep their backs turned to the instructor while she is teaching the class. Lots of the ladies hang out afterwards and chat. I guess these are the joys of retirement. No job to clock into and no kids to tend to.



Well, today I was standing there waiting for the instructor to start the class and a few of the ladies around me were talking...about the weather and the differences of hot and cold weather. The one lady was from Buffalo and she was talking about a lot of shoveling...and the other one was from Massachusetts...and she had an equal amount of snow. I just smiled at their thoughts, as I looked at the bright blue sky overhead. The music was about to start and one of the ladies said, "yeah, that was the good old days."



As I was starting to march and stretch my muscles, the thought came into my head...surely from the holy spirit and it said, " you are living your good old days." I pondered that for a minute. Whatever does that mean? And then I thought...you are right. One day, I will look back at all the hours spent with my kids. The days we spent beside the YMCA pool...all the swim team hours logged...the moments of frustration and weariness. All of this is what I will look back and remember. These memories will turn into warm and fuzzy feelings...just like they were recollecting about the time shoveling snow. Now, I am sure when they were in their parkas and snow boots they were not thinking, "I love shoveling snow. Look at how happy I am." But those were all them memories built up in their bank. And I am building up my memories in my bank. Which is why lately I have desired for life to be a bit slower...to enjoy the little moments...to share time with each of my kids...to know one day there won't be 14 loads of laundry, but probably only 2-3. All the big meals I prepare now will dwindle down to meals for Matt and I.



So, as you read this...think about your "good old days," that you are living. Enjoy them as much today as you will one day looking back.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

She Rocks!!!


video


This morning, Bryn totally wowed us by bringing in another first place win in the backstroke at our local swim meet. She also tied first place for her favorite stroke, the butterfly. See our girl in action...you will be able to spot her because she is the fast one :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Not Much To Say

Yeah right...when has that ever happened with me? I remember when I was little I used to pick silly things out of nowhere just so I could keep on talking.
It's quiet in my house right now and it's only eight o'clock. The kids are in bed and it is almost dark outside. We have another swim meet tomorrow morning, so we have to be out the door a few minutes before seven o'clock...so we can drive to Deltona and find a prime spot for our canopy. The canopy is for Matt...he is so fair skinned and burns so easily. It actually makes the meet very enjoyable...we hang out and wait for our girls to compete and we don't get overly hot (which is difficult to do in the recent sweltering heat).
In my devotions this morning I was reading a whole packet of scriptures about hope and the unfailing love of our God. It was so comforting to read...our hope is in him. Not our jobs, our kids, our houses or our finances...but in Jesus. He is the only thing that remains true. And the other day I was reading in a book that I have been slowly pushing though and it was saying how we need to give ourselves "wholeheartedly!" I love when I read that. It brought goosebumps to my arms. Because that word truly represents my feelings towards him. I, at age 11, gave myself wholeheartedly to him. And he, despite my stupid mistakes, has always given wholeheartedly to me. It's one of those thoughts that brings total peace to my life. He has always taken care of me. Without absence. I love that. Ponder these thoughts for the next few days. God is stirring some things in my spirit. I feel a real breakthrough in me...from this place I have been in for the past year. I am excited to see what He has in mind.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wacky Wednesday

When a four year old is quiet in the house...watch out. This is what I found in the bathroom...trying to desperately wash off with water. He chose the fashionable color of purple...or call it like he said it, "urple." It is time for a little break for this mama. :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

AFLAC



Many of you don't know, but my husband sells AFLAC..and of course a lot of different types of insurance. Which means we always have a set of AFLAC ducks hanging around our house. They all come in different costumes. The kids love them...I don't especially care for them. Only because they all squawk AFLAC whenever you press their belly. And the kids do it over and over and over again. It was especially sweet though when I caught this shot the other night. The AFLAC duck is snug under Judah's arm, my sleeping bear. This should be a shot for an AFLAC commercial!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Memory Moment



Just wanted to take a moment and put down a memory of my little man, Judah. As the years move along and with the swarm of kids we have, I already forget the little moments. So, here on my blog is the perfect way to share them with you and have them written down forever. Every night, sometimes after he is put to bed, Judah comes up to me and asks, "mom, when will it be morning time?" And I always respond, "in the morning." Then he walks away and goes to sleep. Perfect moments.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Moment of Comedy

Today when we were at the pool our little friend Aly was trying to get her stuff together to jump in the pool. She had brought a bag with a "pop-tart" in it for her breakfast. Well, if you know anything about the Reynolds Nation, you will know that we don't eat pop-tarts...or anything like it. To confirm our ways...my son William ran up to greet Aly and looked at the bag and said, "what's that?" Love that boy!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Crown Her With Many Crowns




A job well done. If you read my last post on our hopeful new queen, you will know that we were hoping that the new queen would be raised and accepted...and keep the colony going. After a month of waiting...and Matt was just stressing about it...he was able to go into the hive today. And they found plenty of eggs and larvae...indicating that she was accepted and keeping everything running smooth! Such relief for the Reynolds Nation. The worst was the waiting and waiting and waiting. Matt has done a fantastic job with his new hobby...and considering he is sweating his butt off in that 95 degree/100 humidity atmosphere, I am so proud of him

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday

So glad that today is Friday. It has been another busy week. Every day I look up at the clock and it is already at least 1:00 in the afternoon. I have been getting up so early (the four o'clock hour is really ungodly) and then we are at the pool every day. Today will be my fourth time doing water aerobics...which I am really enjoying. My energy level is up and I feel my body changing. What an awesome feeling. The kids are getting tanner and tanner...we definitely do not have any Vitamin D issues here during the summer.
Speaking of the sun...lol...haven't seen much of that lately either. We have received over 11 inches of rain in the past two weeks. It has usually been raining by noon time every day and lasting well into the evening. It has totally messed up our milking schedule with Doby and the kids have been very cooped up inside. Though I love the afternoon showers that Florida normally receives, but this rain is a bit much.
Esther gets her cast off today...after three weeks. She has done a tremendous job...never complaining and totally plunging into her normal life. It has been super easy for this family, and I thank God for that.
I have been working on our new curriculum almost every day. We are switching over to Tapestry of Grace and it is going to take all summer to prepare for it. I have been listening to webinars that they have available and trying to understand what I will be into this school year. I also ordered our handwriting curriculum and all of my paper needed for the school year. So, other than a science notebook that I need to get and all of our school supplies, we are done. I am so thankful that we were able to buy the curriculum early...especially since I have so much preparation to do.
Other than that, we are really good. Chickens are getting bigger...Doby is giving her milk every day...grass is growing at a super rate...I have a ton of tomatoes on our vines. Life is good today. Not because everything is perfect, but because I can feel God's strength, wisdom and words over us. Have a great holiday weekend!