Friday, September 30, 2011

Gratitude Friday

Feeling weary on this Friday night. Long week. Nothing special has been going on, but just the usual...which could make most people exhausted. Because of my weariness, how appropriate to have a gratitude Friday. Right?

1. I am grateful for the cooler temps that will be here this weekend. First days of temps lower than 70 in the morning. And you know me, I like cooler weather.

2. I am grateful for God still continuing to supplies all of our needs...above and beyond what I could ever imagine.

3. I am grateful for all my fall decorations that I am going to put out tomorrow. Fall is in the favorite season!!!

4. I am grateful for a successful first six weeks of school. It has been very fulfilling and I have kept up the pace.

5. I am grateful for my birthday coming up this week. I can't believe that I will only be 29!

Have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Check it Out

Saw this on Facebook...cute, huh?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Banana Boy

I know, odd picture. Why would I post a picture of the banana sticker? I had to take a moment and post a picture for my memory. So one day I don't forget about my little blond boy who would always hand me a sticker from his banana. Sometimes I would have several stickers. And other times he would give them to me and later take them away. I would proudly wear them on my shirt all day. I have had strangers come up to me and cashiers at the local store question why I have a banana sticker on my shirt. Each stickers was a reminder of my little boy who one day won't be little anymore. Most days he eats an average 2 bananas...and other days he has been known to eat 3 or 4. He loves bananas. And he loves to share his stickers with his Mama. I love this boy, Judah.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Marvelous Monday

I snapped this picture this morning...around 7:30 in the morning of Judah. He was working hard on his new adopted chore...folding the rags and small towels. We are constantly looking for chores for little Judah...he always says, "I want to ean!" Translation...give me something to clean. He sees the other kids doing chores, so I have to make up silly stuff for him to do. Well, now I found something just for him (and his old siblings gladly give up this chore). I pulled them out of the dryer and after breakfast he was working hard.

Mondays are dreaded around here most of the time. The relaxing weekend is over and now we are back to the grind. Daddy is off to work and the school books are staring at us. We are starting our sixth week of school today...unbelievable, I know! Looking forward to a relaxing week...not much going on around here. I have plans to put my fall decorations up this next weekend (my favorite season of the year)...brings such joy to my heart. Matt and I were actually talking about Christmas presents last night...timely, I think, since it was exactly 3 months away. Other than is peaceful and enjoyable. Have a great week folks...still waiting for some comments from you. Don't be invisible....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Are You Out There?

Okay people...I know you are out there. I see the hits on my count. I see the cities listed on my weekly visitation report. But I don't hear from you. No comments!!! Where are you?? If you keep on coming back, then I know you must somewhat like my blog. So, I need to hear from you. I will write no matter what...this blog is for my kids one day. I am going to have each year printed (soon, hint, hint husband) and then my kids will be able to look back at all the memories. But, I still would like to hear from you. I know there is someone from the Minnesota area who always visits...and Mountain View California...who are you? Your cities are listed...let me hear from you...who are you? And why do you keep coming back? Thanks ladies and gentleman...thanks for coming back. I hope you love my blog as much as I do!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

10 Days

I couldn't let the day go by without mentioning the Daniel Fast. A 10 (yes, I really mean ten) day fast of something in your life. Lots of people will choose foods, media, recreation...anything that takes time in your life. You are consecrating this time for the Lord and allowing him to speak in your life (read the book of Daniel in the bible for reference). This fast was in preparation for special services at our church. Well, Bryn felt the need to do this ten (yes, 10) day fast on food...everything except fruits and veggies. She chose not to eat anything other than a fruit or vegetable...and with none of the perks like dips or dressings included. So, for 10 (yes, ten) days she ate like a bird. She made up her mind to do it...and she completed the task. Yesterday was her tenth day, and today she went back to a little bit of food. She also read the book of Daniel over the course of the the ten (yes, 10)days and chose not to go on Facebook or read any extra (fun) reading. She really took the time. She amazed me in her initiative...her drive and her ability to complete the task. Most Americans could not fathom the idea of not eating what they want and when they want it. I am so impressed by my daughter. God has some amazing things for her. He is forming her and making her into a great woman of God. I am anticipating a wonderful future ahead of her. All I can say is, WOW!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Classic Homeschooling

I caught this pose yesterday as I was heading out of the kitchen. Obviously, William was very comfortable. He was on one of our favorite sites, working on his spelling list for the week. I input his words in every week and he plays games to help him learn them. We have used this site for years and it is extremely helpful for the kids. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


A quick squeeze before school started this morning...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Out of My Mouth

I have noticed in my years of parenting that I sometimes say the funniest things...things that you will probably never hear again. So, I wrote a few down for you that you may enjoy...

Sit down and take your pants off.

No leg fighting.

Don't lick the floor.

Don't touch each other's castles.

Don't let me have to chase you.

Are you allowed to take scissors hidden in your shirt into another room?

We don't break ice with knives.

Go to your own bed and be scared!

Put the gun down while you wash the table.

What have you heard come out of your mouth lately???

Saturday, September 17, 2011

One Month In...

On Friday, Bryn was busy with a science experiment for her biology class. But since we are all here, everyone had to take a peak at her slide...including four year old Judah. He never misses a beat.

Bryn, cozy on the lazy-boy chair...reading her literature book. One of the best perks of homeschooling is that everyone can find their own place to get their work done. Esther loves to work at her desk, Bryn loves to read in the living room and the rest are usually with me at the dining room table. I think as they get older and more efficient with their studies, they will be more spread out.

Esther working on her creation book. She took a long time to work on each picture. Our budding artist is always working on all the details...which makes mommy sometimes have to hurry her along because of time crunches. Esther is breezing through her work as usual...she is so smart, it is hard to keep her challenged.

William, done first with his creation book. William is all about the finish time. He loves this part of school...the creative side. He has been doing so well in his first grade first, a bit overwhelmed with the new work load, but that didn't stop him...he is doing so well.

Caleb hard at work this week. We were working on our creation books that will go in our lap books. Because of his disabilities and his challenge for change, it takes Caleb a bit longer to adjust to our back to school schedule. This was our first great week, and I look forward to more to come.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Full of Cuteness

I had to post about this book that I read this morning to my kids. It's Full of Cuteness and the kids actually learned something too. It is a book based on the Alphabet, but it starts with Adam and tells the whole story in the bible to the Tower of Babel. It is all written in rhyme and there is a cute bird character who puts his two cents in on most pages. I started out with three listeners...then my four year old couldn't keep away...and my high schooler kept her ear tuned in. So worth checking out...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My 9/11

I have never written about my 9/11 experience, so I am taking this opportunity on this tenth anniversary to put my words down in history. I hope one day my kids will read this and know that it is part of the Reynolds Nation history.

We had the phone call from our adoption agency on 9/6/01 about the birth of a little boy. We were not expecting this phone call, we actually weren't even done with our paperwork for the agency. He was born at 10:06 in the morning in Orlando, and he was 7 pounds 1 ounce. And at the time, they didn't have another home for him. The agency had explained that since so few African-American babies were placed for adoption (they were usually given to a family member) and even fewer African-Americans when the time came when they had an African-American baby they usually only had one family waiting for that child. It was God ordained and destined. And we were that one family that day. We had a choice obviously, but we were so ready. We actually had to finish our paperwork that weekend and the baby would be still in the hospital for a few days. Since the adoption placement worker had a birthday on Monday, we decided to meet our new son and sign the paperwork on Tuesday around noon time. It gave us a few days to pull out our crib and prepare for the next phase of our life.

On Tuesday morning, 9/11/01, I had plans to go to my MOPS meeting (a group that moms meet at for encouragement and fellowship) with our daughter Bryn, who was 4 years old. I was so excited...I think it was our first meeting after the summer break...and I couldn't wait to tell my friends about our newest addition coming. Matt on the other hand was picking up a new car seat for us and meeting us at a friends house so we could leave together. The morning was busy and full of chatter...after a three month break, these moms had a lot of talk about. I still remember standing there and hearing somebody say that a plane hit one of the WTC buildings. I still remember being confused and thought, "how sad. How could a plane not see such a large building?" Not much thought after that. Then a lot of ladies starting get calls in on their cell phones and word spread like wild fire. Both buildings have been hit...and then...the buildings came down. How isolated we were in our little church in Central Florida?? At that time moms were starting to leave...and I had to leave early anyways because we had to be in Orlando.

When I got to our friends house, I got to see the first pictures of what had happened. I saw the plane that hit the second building ( I don't think the footage for the first plane had appeared yet) and then the crashing down of both buildings. My husband watched the second tower get hit while he was buying a baby car seat at Walmart. How crazy is that? It was insane. We still had a very important appointment to keep in Orlando. On the drive over there we listened to the news intently. I remember hearing that all planes had stopped over the whole USA...that was a weird moment. It's like the whole world stopped.

And on this tragic day, we brought home our first son. A boy born to a mother who was too young, but who lovingly placed him for adoption so he could have a home. It was day of complete terror for us...but at the same and immense joy. What a crazy day it was! I feel like it happened yesterday...I still remember looking back and watching Bryn stare at this little bundle...who was so tiny, full of the softest hair, and who had the darkest skin we had seen in awhile. He was ours. He was our gift from God...which is why he has Matthew for his middle name. I thank God for this gift, Caleb Matthew.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Like Father Like Son

Here are my two boys...the man that I love and my special boy, William. They are at Nana's today....aka Matt's mom...putting some furniture together that we bought last week on our fabulous trip to my favorite, favorite, favorite store, IKEA, But the best thing about this picture is that my husband does not need William's help. He will probably be more of a hindrance than anything. But Matt knows too...learned from his own dad...that you have to teach them by working with them. So, they tromped off early this morning...ready to tackle the world, together. It's these moments that my husband remembers with his own dad...and my William will remember with his.

Friday, September 9, 2011

And My Floors Cry Out

Instead of the rocks crying out, my floors are crying out. Oh my. I feel like I am seriously running behind. A couple miles behind. I enjoy having my house nice and clean and orderly. I like it and my husband loves it. But since the beginning of the school year, I am not keeping up to speed. Our new curriculum, Tapestry of Grace, is consuming a lot of my time. On all the yahoo forums, they call it the TOG Fog. I now know what they are talking about. Every week seems to be getting better, but it is still very thorough. And time consuming. But I love it, and so excited to see the end result this year. I know my kids will come out so much more ahead by using this curriculum.
So, until floors may not sparkle...and I may be behind on the 14 loads of laundry a week...and I may seem a bit flustered and over run with Ancient Egypt history...but that's okay. It's for my kids. And that's what counts the most. I saved myself a lot of embarrassment and you too, by not putting a photo of my floors on this blog :) Happy Friday!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Decade Old

Happy Birthday Caleb!!!! Ten Years Old!!!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Favorite Things 8

I thought I would take a moment and tell you about a favorite game that we have. We have had this game for years, because I know Bryn played it when she was a beginner reader. The game is Boggle Jr...and it is super fun and helpful for your child who is just learning to read. Obviously it is self-explanatory...they pull a card and then they have to spell it out with the letter cubes. All the words are K and 1st grade level and include various spelling challenges. The cool thing about this game is that it can be played with the parent right across from them at the table, or even when the mom is making dinner and the child is in the dining room. I just help and encourage along the way. It is is super cheap, and you fill their game quota (my kids are always wanting to play games). Give it a try!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

One Year Ago

I can't believe I am even writing that can it be one year ago? One year ago (there I said it again), my husband's father passed away. He ended a long struggle with congested heart failure. It seems impossible to think that the year went by so fast. The first week dragged by so visited, decisions had to be made. Those first few days felt like a lifetime. Those first few days almost seemed easier, because so many decisions had to be made and everyone was together. It was when we all got back into "normal" life is when we had to deal with him being gone. It took me months before I took him off my contact list on my phone. Taking him off made it permanent. The reality was that he was gone, and not coming back. And that was hard for me to bear.
His death was the first that I have ever experienced this close. I have been fortunate to not have had a lot of death in my life. So, this journey has been new. To watch my husband struggle. Though you hear about other people losing their parents, you never know how you will deal with it. I know Matt knew he would miss his dad, but I don't think he knew that he would miss him this much.To see the sadness in my mother-in-law's eyes. Forty-one years with your partner is hard to end. I can't even imagine how she feels at mind can not bring that to reality. I must admit that it has been an incredible journey, for this first year. Yes, each day gets easier. But I think the hardest thing that I personally struggle with is the loss. I think often, Matt needs to call his dad to ask how to fix that. Or, wouldn't Bill love to see William now. Or, wouldn't he want to see Bryn win that swim race. There always seems to be a person missing. I have shed many tears this year knowing that he isn't going to watch my kids grow up. So many memories of him with my kids...sitting on his lap...watching the races...sharing snacks in the living room. I still say to Matt, "your parent's house." Amy and Bill came as a package deal, and it is hard for me to separate the package. What a struggle, that is incredibly sad.
But I believe that "on the other side" Bill is living a life of wholeness. He is in victory. Isn't that what it's all about? God has so much better for our reward. That brings peace and joy to a sad heart. And the most important thing is that I see him EVERY DAY in my husband and my kids. I see the craftsman in my husband...I see the look in William's eyes...or the giving heart of my husband. So, he isn't entirely gone. He truly left a legacy.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

New School Shoes

I love this mother-in-law took it last night. She had the boys overnight...can we all say, AAAAHHHHH! It is totally relaxing at my house when you take the "ENERGY" out. I love this one night every few weeks were we can a bit of a break. But this visit had a purpose...she took them back to school shopping! She took the girls already, the two boys went last night and Caleb is next to have a special one on one time with Nana (he thrives on the one on one). The boys got new shoes, and Nana has told me that they can't wait to show us. I just love their little faces on this my boys!