Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I am slipping out of the view of my children for a few give you an update. We have a had super busy morning here at the Reynolds Nation. I started my morning at six o'clock baking sugar cookie maps. I had to make four for the school age children before they opened their eyes at seven....and they don't open their eyes voluntarily, but with school back in swing, they are led by me, Sgt. Reynolds.
We started last week with Ancient Egypt and we have been having a blast...learning about Pharaohs, mummies, pyramids and all that good stuff. So, if you get tired of any of my Egyptian updates, then come back later in the year :) So, we made a map of the main areas of Egypt...and had a great time doing it. Ands of course, that was our snack for the morning...kill two birds with one stone.
So, I must dash back to reality...I will be back soon. Math, Biology and a war over legos have beckoned!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Oh My, Where have I been?

I feel like a blogging loser this past month. It has been incredibly busy and I haven't had much time on the computer. Please forgive me, and I hope to get rolling again with frequent updates.

I am posting the picture I took Monday morning on our first day of school, our tenth year of homeschooling. I feel like we just started yesterday, and now all my kids are zooming through the years. This is Bryn's first year in high school...aaaahhhh...she was just a babe and now she is almost done. Caleb and Esther are in third grade, William is in first grade and Judah has one more year before he officially starts school.

One of the biggest changes I made this year is to switch to a new curriculum....Tapestry of Grace. I still kept the same math, phonics and spelling..but the core of our learning is through TOG. The neatest and most exciting thing about this curriculum is that it allows all my kids to learn together. In our first year we are starting out in Ancient while my first grader is learning about the pyramids, mummies and Pharaohs, so is my high schooler. She will just be learning more in depth. I feel like this brings more unity in the group and makes it so much easier for me...rather than teaching the middle ages and early American history (which is what I did one year) at the exact same time. Keeps this mama's head on a bit straighter.

So, after saying all this...I must admit that I am tired. This curriculum is requiring more from me...more time...more organization...more prep work...and lots more energy. When I read the Yahoo forums, I see that everyone goes through I am good. It is just a huge adjustment for me. But it also keeps me a little more accountable and bumps up the quality of education that I am giving my kids.

So, how was your kids first day of school? Have you started yet? Tell me your favorite part of beginning the school year?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We Are Back...

Took a few days off this past week. A much needed break from the real life. Though we did take the kids (as you can see from the picture) was still nice to get away from the house, the chores, the cleaning...and most especially the laundry. Matt took this picture, and I feel like it sums up how each of us felt that first day!

Friday, August 19, 2011

After These Messages...

We will be right back..(Remember that from television). We are out and unaccounted for...stay tuned!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gratitude Friday

I am looking forward to a fun filled weekend coming up. Tonight we are heading out on a date to a movie that we have been looking forward to for months...and then a family barbecue this weekend after the girls last swim meet...and finally on Sunday the swim team party that the kids are so looking forward to. Hope you have a great weekend too!

1. I am thankful for Matt's grandmother who is celebrating 92 years today! She has lived a good long life and we have been so blessed by her. We got to visit her this past weekend and she is awesome just to sit and listen to. So many memories.

2. I am thankful for the cooler wind that we have had a various time this past week. Gives me a small glimmer of hope.

3. I am thankful for my little boy Judah...who went from non-swimmer to swimmer in just two weeks. He amazes me.

4. I am thankful for dates with my husband. I love spending time with him...I am truly blessed!

5. I am thankful for water has been such a delight to work out several times a week. I see the results already.

6. I am thankful every day. I am blessed and highly favored!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Coming to a Close

Today was our last practice for swim team...ten weeks of swimming four mornings a week at 7:30 in the morning. The summer seemed so huge before us, and now it is coming to a close. The girls progressed so much with their swimming skills. I am amazed how far they have come. These two photos are from yesterday. Judah and William goofing off at the pool. William has become such a strong swimmer this summer...and Judah went from non-swimmer to swimming over half-way across the pool. I am so proud of all of them. So, one more swim meet this weekend and that brings this years swim team to a close. Lots of memories to be archived.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Shopping Expedition

I thought I would post a picture of my girls from Saturday. They were taken by their Nana on a long back to school shopping trip...and as you can see they had a fantastic time. They came home with full bellies, a couple of nice, new outfits and tons of memories. Love these girls (and their Nana too :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

One Week

It's almost been a whole week since I posted....haven't done that in awhile. I hate not posting...I know that is weird...but I feel like I am missing out on documenting my life. And I hate to keep you hanging too!
Not much really to post. Matt went to Jacksonville for four days this week for new agent training. He was trying to get new ideas on how to train the upcoming agents better. So, we were without him...which seemed way too long. My mom actually came to stay with us, to give me a hand with the kids. Which worked well for the gave them something to focus on and enjoy, instead of missing their dad so much.
So, what else:
* Ate our first tomatoes from our crazy growing tomato plants. They were very yummy and fun to know that we grew them. Not sure if we are going to do any future vegetable gardening though. The bugs out here are crazy and they put a lot of hiccups in growing veggies. Not sure where this is going to go. For now, we may stay with "pretty" plants...we will have to see.
*The bees are doing awesome. Matt did an inspection last Saturday and they are doing well. The Queen in each hive has been very active and we all got a little taste of our honey. Matt had to push some comb back and the honey just oozed out of the it...yummy. I don't really care for the honey taste, but this was great. Super sweet!!! We really look forward to next year when we are able to have our own honey all the time. I am really amazed by Matt and how well he has done with this. It is incredibly scary to walk out there with them swarming around you. I just watch from the sidelines, because I love to see all the frames with the bees on it.
*Our milking goat Doby is doing really well. She is consistently giving 1/2 gallon a day of milk. The kids have enjoyed it so much, and it has definitely cut down on our grocery budget. I hope that we can buy another dairy goat sometime in the future, so we can have milk year round.
*Our "golden nuggets..." or as you may know them, our chickens, are thriving. All 20 are out their loving the new pen that Matt built. We haven't had any problems with raccoons and the chickens are getting huge. Every time somebody stops by, they comment on their size. Though we probably won't see eggs until the late fall, it is fun to watch and know that we will have eggs soon.
*The countdown is on in regards to school...only two more weeks until we start. Though normally I don't start until after September, I have to start early to get our work done in time. The Tapestry of Grace curriculum is 36 weeks long, and I want to finish before the end of May. I have been working on lesson plans for the past week and everything is coming along nicely. The kids have more of a heavy load this year...which means my load is heavier too. But I am really excited about the new curriculum and how much they will learn.
*Swim team is in it's last week this week. The girls have loved every moment of it...they are great swimmers and have improved immensely. I am ready to be done with going to the pool so early, but it has been worth every minute of lost sleep. I love pouring into the kids...sometimes it means a little stretching on my part, but that's okay. The swim team has encouraged lots of exercise, vitamin D and making new friends.
*Caleb is doing much better. Our new psychiatrist has tried different medications with Caleb, and they seem to be doing much better. We are excited to see the changes happen in the future. Though we still have a long road ahead of us parenting a child with so many handicaps, I am anticipating a bright future. Our trust is in the Lord with Caleb.
I guess I don't have much else to say for now. Life is good...a continuous training ground of growing and maturing. I am looking forward to the summer ending (the temps have been horrendous lately) and having a nice fall (my favorite time of the year). Have a great day!