Monday, October 31, 2011

Goodbye October, See You Next Year



This is about how much we dress up around here for Halloween. Esther decided to make her own wedding dress the other night...and after a few changes and adjustments, this is what was created...from a throw blanket and a sash. Totally beautiful. This is a tradition around here at the Reynolds Nation...dress up. We have had a ton of costumes over the years and we even make our own from old t-shirts, dresses...anything you can think of.

And to go back to the Halloween thing. Matt and I originally dressed up our kids for the holiday. Didn't think to much about it. But as the years progressed, and we wanted to be more pure before the Lord and to follow his plan...we stopped the costumes for Halloween. One main thing that made us change is the desire to not duplicate what the world does. It is hard sometimes. The world has lots of desirable things. But this was just a standard that we made for our home. We try to attend local fall festivals for the kids to enjoy the season...that I think is fun and builds ton of memories. So, enjoy your night. My kids are headed to bed and I think we may have a quiet night around here. And tomorrow, begins one of my favorite seasons. Can't wait!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday...

I tried to think of a more jazzy title, but I just couldn't think of anything. So, I will keep it plain and simple :Sunday.
The weather was nice today...breezy and cooler. I can't say cool or even cold, but I can admit cooler. Was able to keep the air conditioning off all day, and that's what counts. As I sit here in my bed, I must be honest and say it is a little warm. But I know as the evening crawls by, it will be nice and brisk in my bedroom.
Today, I made by first attempt at Julia Child's beef bourguignon. I saw it on a television show the other day...and I am always into trying new recipes. And the attempt was utterly SUCCESSFUL!! The recipe called for it to be served on creamy mashed potatoes. And it was so delightful. I loved every bit of it, and we have plenty for a whole other meal. And the best part is that Matt loved it. That's the true test. And to make Matt even happier, I quickly made a pumpkin pie for him. His favorite, remember? I know how to make him happy.
But because of my cooking acquisition I didn't get to work on what I wanted to. I was hoping to work on organizing my bedroom. We have made some adjustments in the room in the past few months and it has been very unorganized. My scrapbook table is not usable..so, this week I plan on getting it up to speed. Don't you hate when you end the night without finishing what you intended to start and finish? Well, I guess my family's bellies are happy. I guess I finished something. See you later.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday Happenings

Oh, Saturday, how I love you. There is nothing like a day off from the real world. Which basically means no school and Matt is home. Not much going on here today. The weather is a bit dreary...dark clouds, high humidity and a hope for this cold front to push through. Then we may have a cool couple of days ahead of us. In contrary to the record breaking snow that is hitting New England today. They are expected to get up to 8 inches of snow...oh, I am so jealous. I will take the cold, and the snow over this weather any day.
Matt and Bryn went to the annual Disney scavenger hunt last night...which entails them running around the outside of all the Disney parks, hotels and attractions looking for specific clues. They have fun doing it...and I stay home with the kiddos and relax. I don't mind skipping this crazy, full speed ahead Disney outing.
So, because of the Disney hunt, Bryn and Matt are a bit ( I mean a lot) tired today. Between their tiredness and the dreary weather, they never left the house today. I, on the other hand, went to a friend's baby shower. A whole bunch ladies laughing about what their Obstetrician says...how big their babies were...and how cute tiny diapers are. Pure fun!
After grilling hamburgers tonight, Matt and I are trying to get the kids in bed...we are all tired and feel a need for a quiet night. We really prefer quiet days. We don't like running. We like to be at home. It's our favorite thing to do. How about you? Do you love being at home as much as we do?
So,that's our Saturday happenings. Boring, don't you think? A boring family in Florida. Just the way we like it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thankful Thursday



I was excited to post my Gratitude Friday post, and then it dawned on me that it was only Thursday. So, I am jumping ahead of myself and making it Thankful Thursday. I don't think you will mind, will you?


1. I am thankful for a quiet house at night...kids snug in their beds and the house so peaceful.


2. I am thankful for the noise that permeates my house all day...knowing one day it won't be like that.


3. I am thankful for homemade chocolate chip cookies...the kind that I made this week.


4. I am thankful for little kisses from my kids...the unexpected kind that warm the heart.


5. I am thankful for the love that I get from my family. I couldn't live without them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Unsocialized Homeschooler







My friend gave me this shirt awhile back...and I love it. It reads, " warning: unsocialized homeschooler..interact or communicate at your own risk." The main reason that I think this is so funny is that homeschooling parents think that the idea that our homeschooled children are "unsocialized" is hysterical. Most homeschoolers have to turn down so many extracurricular activities because of their already full schedules. My children have never had a problem interacting with other kids or adults.


Sad to say that there are some parents out there who say they homeschool and they really aren't doing anything with their kids. Or there are also some who homeschool, but there children have so many gaps because the parents aren't thorough with their teaching. And then these kids head to school at some time and give homeschoolers a bad name. No, I am not a perfect homeschooler, but I do believe that my kids are getting a good education. But most of all they are learning so much more...they are getting my time, energy and love. So, if you happen to see one of these shirts, take a moment to have a little laugh :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Unit 1 Celebration



This past week we finished up our ninth week of our new curriculum, Tapestry of Grace. After the ninth week, and completing a unit, you are supposed to have a celebration of all the work the kids have done. At first, I thought, this is just another activity I have to put together...but in the end, the kids looked so forward to showing friends and family their work. It was worth every minute of planning, and I already have new ideas for our next celebration. Here are a few snapshots for you of what we worked on.



We had spent three weeks studying Ancient Egypt, which the kids loved...especially Bryn. This is her second time doing an in-depth study of that region, and it truly started a love of history a few years ago. Esther couldn't resist making one of her Barbies into a mummy...which was one of her favorite things we studied.



For the party I made Mummy Dogs (which the kids kept on calling Mommy Dogs). The special treat was meant to look like a mummy, with their mustard eyes. I think this was super cute and the kids loved it.





Here are the charts we worked on together. The charts are showing how Moses' Tabernacle looked and the other one is how God designed the Israelites camp. We had fun looking at how God worked with his people throughout this time period. I was amazed how much the kids remembered and loved this part of the unit.




This picture is from the day we made our Priest turbans and breast plates...which the kids wore on the night of the celebration. This was a fun craft for the kids and we got a lot of great compliments.




Bryn's masterpiece...two loaves of Challah bread...which is traditionally eaten during the Jewish Sabbath. I was amazed how well she did with the braided loaves...and it was absolutely fabulous!!! I don't think I have had better bread and my mother said it reminded her of the bread she used to eat in NYC when she was a young girl.





Here is Bryn making her bread. It was the first time she experienced making something like it. I think she had a good time and learned a lot about baking.




Our Ziggurat that we worked on. This was a fun group project (which is one of the reasons I love this curriculum, because we do so much together no matter what the age). We studied what a Ziggurat was and then we made our own. Fun!



Well, I hope you got an idea of what we have been up to the last nine weeks. The kids also showed their lapbooks (the kids were all so proud, especially Caleb) and any writing that they produced. It was a fun family night, which I think will hold a lot of memories for my family

















Friday, October 21, 2011

Gratitude Friday



Notice on the picture above that the boys are wearing their new fleece sweaters. So, you know what happened here in Florida! Cool weather. Finally a brief break from the heat. A break from the mosquitoes. A break from the humidity. Can we shout Hallelujah?

1. I am thankful for the cool weather. It always comes when I can't take the heat another second.

2. I am thankful for my sweet husband. I think I say this a lot, but he truly is so beautiful to me.

3. I am thankful for all the funny noises that come out of my house. The giggles, the laughter and even the occasional yell.

4. I am thankful for sweet boys who sit with me on the chair, snuggling under a blanket while they read to me. Simple pleasures, yes sir.

5. I am thankful for this season in my life. Though it is so busy and full, it will be gone in a blink. So, now I have the memories to build and look back upon.

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Windows Open Wednesday

Okay, well I just opened them...but it still counts. A bit of cooler weather is moving in and I am taking advantage of it. I am actually thinking of making hot chocolate tonight. I know...long stretch, but that's okay, right?
Some random thoughts from me:
*I am cooking a yummy roast right now. The smell is so inviting. I have biscuits ready to rise, carrots cut and up and ready to cook...and soon a husband who will be very thankful.
*Got lots done today...some things that I have put off a bit. I ordered the rest of my books for the next unit of Tapestry of Grace. Which starts next week...can we say procrastination? They will get here in time...but even so, get on the ball Allison. There is nothing like spending the morning on Amazon picking out books while your kid sounds out words next to you. Love you I-pad! I also spent lots of time on the local library page reserving my books for next week. Soon I will be getting lots of call from little old ladies telling me my books are in. Love those volunteers!
*Did I tell you my house smells so good? :)
*Kids were busy working today in the house. Lots of dusting and putting things away. They do such a good job...which they should, they make 95% of the mess anyway.
*Other than that we have been busy as usual around the Reynolds Nation. Lots of school work. Lots of time together. Enjoying life. Yes, it's not perfect. Yes, it has it's ups and downs...but it is good.
* I feel like my schedule has been freed up a lot lately. A lot less running around. That feels so good. I love to be home most of the time.
*I bought some new tape runners for my scrapbooks...because I am desperately behind on my scrapbooks. And I love to work on them. And I am trying to take more time out for myself. So, I shall be soon working on those.
*That's it. Enough random thoughts...you think. I may come back with more...haha. Have a great Wednesday. Open your windows...like me!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cookie Delight

After a very successful school day yesterday, we had plenty of time to get in trouble. And that meant pulling out the "fall" cookie cutters and making some yummy cookies. I had even found "fall" sprinkles a few weeks ago at Target, so they were quite the hit with the kids. After making the cookies, we were even able to run a few to daddy to brighten up his work day.

Esther the artist...takes so much time for each cookie. The boys just dump and run...all they care about is actually eating the cookie, not so much decorating it.




Voila! Here is Esther's masterpiece. Each cookie decorated and ready to put in the oven. They turned out to be fabulous, and a perfect way to get in the "fall" spirit.



I am posting my cookie recipe for you all. It is the fastest and easiest sugar cookie recipe ever...and the best part is that you don't have to refrigerate the dough for hours before baking (though I do keep it in the fridge in between baking to keep it firm). The cookies literally take a few minutes to whip up...and then we use our favorite fun cutters, or just make circles from a mug!


13/4 cup of sifted flour

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

2/3 cups of butter at room temperature

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1 egg

Mix dry ingredients and then put together the wet with the dry. Put on floured surface to cut out shapes...and I find it easier to spread out with my hand rather than a rolling pin, so it doesn't make it too flat. Bake at 400 degrees for exactly 8 minutes. Enjoy!




Monday, October 17, 2011

What we were doing this weekend...

Some of my favorite pictures are of my kids picking out their pumpkins. Especially as I see how much they have changed each year...grown up and become so cute. The kids have been begging to pick out their pumpkins for weeks...but living in Florida, you don't want them to get them too early because they rot so quickly. Especially with the 90 degree temps that we were having last week. So, I try to delay it as long as possible. It's hard for them to contain themselves, especially since I have all of our fall decorations up and they have made a few "autumn" crafts. Anyway, long story short...here they are...our little arrows...as cute as can be. Enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Gratitude Friday




Happy Friday everyone!!! Love Friday, don't you? Not because it's the end of my work week...that seems to never happen...but it does mean that Matt will be home for two days and not locked up in his office (OK, it's not that bad). So, I always get excited for the weekend...especially after a busy week like this past one. Matt was training new agents...which means...he is super busy, super tired and just plain worn out. I am glad the week is over for him...and for us :)



1. Super thankful for God's grace...his abundant grace. He is so patient with me. Anytime I think I have it all figured out, I really don't.




2. I am thankful for the upcoming cooler weather...not too cool, but enough to allow me to open my windows for a few days.




3. I am thankful for almost completing our first unit in Tapestry of Grace. Can't believe it has gone by so fast...and I am loving this curriculum more each day.




4. So thankful for my sweet husband...how many times can I say he is such a hard worker. He works all day and then some more when he gets home...provider must be his middle name.



5. Thankful for all the changes God is swirling around us...anticipating a great future ahead. His plan is higher than mine.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Simply Delightful!



I love capturing my kids in Simply Delightful poses. Last night, our Judah Bear looked so adorable. Snuggled next to his Barney doll...with his Car socks on, and the striped jammies. Can you get any cuter? Sorry, had to post it. They get big so darn fast!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

For the Hard Working Man



Matt has been hinting all week that he wants a pumpkin pie...I believe he was just talking about picking one up at the store as a treat. This is the time of year where he gets consumed with pumpkin anything...pumpkin shakes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream...you name it, he loves it, as long as it has pumpkin in it. This is the week he trains all the new agents...which is extremely stressful and he gets really tired. So, as a quick treat, I made him a pumpkin pie this afternoon...fresh from my kitchen, crust and all. I know I made his night!

Putting My Feet Up



What a Monday!!! I was inflicted with a small ailment, that took me under for the whole day. I thought I would snap a picture of my feet bundled under Great-Granny's blanket...because I surely know that you wouldn't want to see my face or my hair...it was not a pretty sight. So, not much was done yesterday. The dirty laundry sat. Beds weren't made (why make it when I keep on getting in it?). And the children ran amuck (is that a word?). Matt laughed at me when I told him that I was going to at least get school work done with William, but instead I went to sleep. He says, "remember that's why we homeschool. We have the liberty to take a day off." I forget that sometimes...and we do work hard all the other days. So, here is a picture of my footsies, covered up. Feeling a million times better today. Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Judah Bear and the Mama Bear



Having an extremely wet weekend here in Florida. We are expecting up to 8 inches this weekend...it is coming down with a passion. So, in light of the wet weather...I wanted to share a picture of my little Judah Bear and me. Is he cute, or what? It took a couple of shots to get it...he wouldn't stop making silly faces. Happy Saturday everyone!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Birthday Celebration



I am blessed and highly favored. Look what the Lord has done! And I anticipate so much more in the future!



Monday, October 3, 2011

A Legacy

What is a legacy? I had those thoughts this weekend as my family was able to enjoy hours of playtime outdoors. My thoughts went to my father-in-law, Bill. If you read my blog regularly, you know that we lost him to congested heart failure a year ago and now he is with the Lord. But though he is gone, he has left a legacy. He has left memories.


And as my kids were swinging on the pasture swing on Saturday, my thoughts were drawn to the day Bill hung up that swing in the pasture for my kids. And at that time the Reynolds Nation was small...just Bryn, Caleb and baby Esther. But he went out of his way to put this up for them so that they could play. The only one who enjoyed it at that time was Bryn, because the other two were still small. But Bill had thoughts for the future...that all his grandkids would be able to play on it. And so they have.



So, I was thinking about Bill and how much he loved my kids. And how much he did for them despite his physical limitations. He never put himself before them...he would do anything for them. He loved them always so tenderly and dearly. That's what I miss about him. So, on beautiful Fall days like this, it's like we are with him again. Enjoying Pappap's swing together. This is part of the legacy that he left.










Saturday, October 1, 2011

There is Hope...



...For cooler weather. We woke up this morning to 65 degrees....which really isn't that cool, but so much better than the normal hot and sticky morning temp of 75. Amazing what ten degrees does (and of course a small dip in humidity)! So in honor of our cool(er) day...we spent the morning outside letting the kids ride their bikes and go on the swing in the pasture. It was glorious. And then (prompted by lots of begging from the kids) we put up all our fall decorations. Lots of pumpkins, acorns, apples and turkeys. This is my season...my favorite time of the year. Perhaps it has something to do with my birthday being only four days away. Purely pleasant. So, enjoy the beautiful weather and a handful of my family's favorite candy from the fall season (though actually I can't stand them, they just look pretty in my pumpkin jar). Happy Fall Y'all!