Friday, March 30, 2012

Gratitude Friday

March, where have you gone? How fast you came and fast you have gone away. Can you believe that the month is over? One-third of the year is already gone. My, it seems that my life is slipping by so quickly. Lord, let me cherish each and every day...each moment, let me see your fingerprints.

1. I am thankful for the beautiful cool mornings that we have had. Just enough to make my morning exercise time perfect!
2. I am thankful for Caleb this morning. It is difficult to raise a child with a handicapped, but I rejoice this morning that God has something for him and for me. Lord, let me be patient and understand him more each day. I thank you for bringing him in our home.
3. Thank you God for provision...you set it up before we even need it...Matthew 6.
4. I am thankful for a sweet, dear husband. He is the most awesome man, father, love of my life.
5. I am thankful for funny faces, belly laughs and random statements from my kids.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Embrace The Camera

This is the first time that I am doing Embrace the Camera. Head over to one of my favorite blogs...www.andersonfamilycrew.blogspot.com...and check out her Embrace the Camera day. Her goal is to have a day where you just post pictures of YOU and your kids or anyone special in your life. I have found we have had whole days, outings, vacations where I don't appear in any pictures...so sad right? One day my kids will look back and wonder where I am...haha, behind the camera. Well, that's not good enough. So, here I am. Embracing the camera with my favorite people in the world.
After church on Sunday, Esther wanted to take a picture of all of us. This is an impromptu picture. I love these people.

After I wanted to snap a picture of one of my favorite people...my boy William. So sweet. I love this little man...toothless and all.
Thanks Emily, for continuing with the Embrace the Camera. I finally did it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday, Wednesday

Just sitting here and taking a break from the busyness of the day. We have had a productive morning here at the house. Wednesday's are busy days with school because we have lap books to work on for history, and the beginning of writing for the week. The writing takes a few days to complete, so Wednesday is a good day to start and then of course we have our other subjects to complete. We are studying Alexander the Great this week, which has been interesting. I love seeing their little minds in action. And I love when I hear them able to give back to me what they have been taught. It's been a great school year. We have got so much work done, and I feel like they are absorbing so much more. Love homeschooling.
Other than that, the weather has been beautiful. As I sit here, my windows are open...the birds are literally singing in the backyard and the kids are riding bikes outside. I love springtime...it is so refreshing. It's a slow week, which is good. Headed to the local museum on Friday to check it out and to see the planetarium...which will be great for the kids since we have been studying astronomy all year long. I love weeks like this..not too many commitments, good weather and peacefulness. God is so good. Hope your week is going good. What have you been up to?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

That's Amore

When you talk about pasta, you have to be singing "Italian" songs, right? Haha. The other night we were in an Italian mood and tried out our new pasta maker. In our quest to change all of our food habits, and to dump all processed foods out of our diet we bought this handy dandy pasta maker. Made with whole grain, and fresh eggs Matt rolled this out the other night.
And after rolling it out, he pushed this through the spaghetti maker. Here it is hanging and getting ready to be put in the steaming pot beside it.
I must admit that the spaghetti was fantastic. He made a thicker "fettuccine" style pasta and the thinner spaghetti style. We put some sauce on it and the kids plowed in. It didn't last very long here at the Reynolds Nation. They loved it and we were quite proud. A little change goes a long way...it has been awesome taking this journey to have a dynamic life that God planned out for us!!! Viola!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Moving Along!


I took this picture yesterday. I hit 38 pounds lost that morning. Feeling fantastic!!!
Hehehe...lost another pound this morning, make that 39 pounds. WooHooooooo!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Oh Spring Break How I love You

I have been missing for a few days..so sorry, but I have been enjoying Spring Break with my kids. And how lovely it has been. Of course, the weather has been absolutely beautiful. Breathtaking. Not too hot, no humidity, but warm enough to enjoy the pool and the beach. My kids have their first "color" of the year...we went swimming at my friend's pool twice and we hit the beach on Friday. I don't usually go to the beach this early, but the weather was so perfect and the kids love it so much. Now, let me remind you, my foot never touched the water. The water is way too cold for this Mama. I just sat at the edge of the water and watched my kids play and dig in the sand. I refuse to get in the water until I actually sweat. Then I know it's a refreshing break to jump in the water. But I was just as happy to sit and watch the kids.
Yesterday we headed to St. Augustine (I think the oldest city in the country) with my girls and went to a cousin's baby shower. It was nice to get out...have lunch and hang out with just the girls. My sister-in-laws and mother-in-law went with us too. It was the perfect day. Not sure what we are doing today to end the most perfect spring break...but this one has been perfectly memorable. Hope yours was as nice as well!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Skate Night

Last night we went rollerskating at our local rink. It was $2 Tuesdays, so it was the perfect opportunity to head out and skate with the kids. The last time we went (last June) Esther broke her wrist, so she wasn't too keen to go out again. But memories (and pain) do fade away and she was willing to give it an another try.
Now when I was little, skating was the "in" thing to do. Everyone skated all the time, you had your parties there...come on you mid-thirty readers...you remember. Everyone skated...it was hip. Out there skating with feathers in your hair and leg warmers over your jeans. Wow, small flashback to the eighties. I loved to skate and learned when I was five.
Fast forward thirty years, and skating isn't as popular. So, my kids really don't know how to skate. Including my teenager. We have gone off and on over the years, but not enough to put in some serious practice. My best skaters last night were probably Judah and William...totally fearless. Willing to fall and make fools of themselves. They probably went around the rink 50 times. They just had some good old fashioned fun.
And for me, it's fun to hang out and watch my kids skate...enjoy themselves and stay active. And for a few dollars, it was worth once again to make some memories with my kids :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cooking It Up This Weekend

It was a weekend of great times....and lots of cooking. My husband over at www.changenowordie.blogspot.com reached his first weight loss goal of 50 pounds. And his reward for that was a new bike. So, while he was biking Saturday morning, I took advantage of the quiet house (the kids were outside enjoying the great weather) and I took some time to cook. The fresh loaf of sourdough above was actually made this morning, but started last night. It was my first attempt at sourdough, and it smells like a slice of heaven. My kids are begging me to slice it up...at first they thought I was making pizza...so I can't wait to taste it.
I made a batch of yogurt. I usually do this twice a week, made from raw goat's milk. It is superb and makes the best smoothies. My kids love to eat smoothies for breakfast, lunch or even dinner. It amazingly fills them up and I don't hear the typical, "I am hungry." I make the smoothies with yogurt, fresh strawberries, ground flax, honey and sometimes oats.
I started making granola this week. It is a huge hit in the house. Since I love it, but it is so expensive to buy, I decided to make it myself. It has a little of this and that and it's sweetened with honey and maple syrup. It is soooo fantastic. I love trying new things, especially if it's really good for you...which this is.
What a great weekend! We are on Spring Break this week, so I am getting some stuff done around here...and relaxing just a bit. Have a great week!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Strawberry Picking

Not the best picture...but here we all are after we finished. We picked almost two boxes worth of strawberries. One box has already been separated and frozen, ready for smoothies when strawberries are no longer in season. The other box we will be for juicing this week...yummy!
My fantastic husband...looking great after he hit his first weight loss goal-50 pounds.
The girls...with the funniest looks on their faces. I am not sure if they liked the picking as much as the boys.
When I look at this picture I wonder what they are talking about...
Caleb starting with his new box...he had a good time picking the strawberries.
William stopped for a moment for me to snap a picture. The boys loved the open fields and the small farm.
What a great day for strawberry picking. We found a great little farm about an hour away from our house and headed over their yesterday for picking. One of my fondest memories of when I was a kid was when we went strawberry picking when I lived in New York. We went every year, and my mother would freeze a ton of strawberries for the winter ahead. So, I am so glad my kids got to experience this too. It was the perfect day...the skies were a beautiful blue and the humidity was low. The sun was shining brightly, but not enough to make you sweat too much. It was a beautiful day overall. Glad we got to do this. Our goal is to get out more...spend more time outdoors and enjoy our beautiful state. What a great way to spend St. Patricks Day!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gratitude Friday

Good morning Friday!!! And the best part of this Friday is that its the beginning of our spring break. No school! No school! I love it. I am so excited. I always need this mental break about this time of year..before we gear up for the last part of school. I always feel a bit weary now...is the end of the tunnel near? So this week usually gives me a boost to make it to the end of May. We don't have anything important planned...which is just the way I like it.
1. I am grateful for the beautiful weather we are having. Cool, crisp mornings and breezy, warm days. I love this time of the year.
2. I am grateful for spring break...my brain needs a break.
3. I am grateful for quiet mornings...when the house is dark and quiet.
4. I am grateful for crisp gala apples...one of my favorite snacks.
5. I am grateful for my ever changing life that God is steering and guiding.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Plant Some Seeds Today


Read this and give...a small amount will go a long way with this family.
$7 for our 7th For Heaven Sent Seven- A Charity Project http://www.acharityproject.com/Our ever expanding family will soon grow by one more as we prepare to welcome our seventh child-a baby boy-home from Ethiopia.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sixteen

Sixteen years. Totally blessed. Five children. In love more today than that special day. Simple :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekend In Review

Our weekends at the Reynolds Nation are very special. The only time we aren't running around...no swim team, or speech therapy...or school. William calls them our Free Days. I love that. So here are a few pictures that captures the weekend.
Caleb and Esther stopped for a moment for me on Friday night. The three of us went out for several hours shopping. My younger boys were with Nana for the night, Bryn was at youth group with Matt, and we went shopping. William and Judah HATE to shop...and since Caleb doesn't mind and of course Esther loves to shop, I took the opportunity and ran with it. We had a great time and we were out late...overall it was a fun evening. We were able to get an Easter outfit for Esther and I finished up the boys outfits too...ahead of the game a bit.
Playing computer on the couch and Judah is reading a book. This is something we do a lot around here. Good, plain fun.
My favorite highlight for the weekend. I went to my favorite frozen yogurt place...oh yummy! Since I changed my eating, I haven't had any sweets. So, this was a special treat...120 calories of goodness. And best of all, I am still working hard...down 32 pounds already!
William, finally getting a hair buzz. His hair was driving me crazy. It was just all over the place, so I finally told Matt, to just buzz it off. Easier for me and for him...and great for our hot summers.
Other things we did, but don't have pictures of...more shopping...lunch with mother in law and 2 sister in laws...a movie in bed with the hubby...Bryn driving Matt's car and making it without problems...church and worship:)...farmers market...walking and cardio workout...I guess that's it in a nutshell. Have a great Monday everyone!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Homeschooling: different ages, different stages

I have been thinking about this subject for awhile and I thought I would put my thoughts down. In no way am I an expert in this subject...just with a bit of experience under my belt.
Our home is not gigantic. I consider it comfortable. It works for our family of seven...three boys and two girls. We also have lots of outdoor space, which is good when the kids need to burn a bit of energy. So, since my house is not huge I have to use my space wisely...and some (or most) of our space is used for multiples purposes.
We have always done our schooling at the dining room table. We don't have a school room, which I don't mind too much. I like to be close to my kitchen, which enables me at times to work in the kitchen if I need to. We generally start all together every morning. After breakfast and chores we start school by eight-thirty. If I was going to have a school room I would want it near the center of our home.
One child always has had the coveted spot...that's right next to me. I always have the youngest child right there When they are little there is a lot more time used directing them, reading for them and being there for them as they learn how to read and write. So, all the kids have been at that spot...and next year Judah will be next to me and William will move across from me. William is already talking about moving and not being "little" anymore. The rest of the kids are spread out across the table. My highschooler can do her work independently whenever I have given out instructions for the day or after a group lesson. I give out reading assignments on Mondays and any specific assignments that need to be completed over the course of the week. Multiple times during the week, we all get together and work. We work on maps, a specific reading assignment or craft.
One of the biggest lessons I learned early on was to teach them that I'm only one person compared to their five...and mommy can not be spread out too thin. So I teach them to wait, don't interrupt and be patient. I only have one set of eyes and ears. I sit there with them all during the morning. They all set their own pace, once we are done with group lessons. And they are allowed to read, complete tests or any special assignments in another area of the house. My kids normally read on the couch...and they love to be read to in the comfort of the couch. The same child usually finishes first and sometimes they compete to finish first. And they always are welcome to ask any questions or if they need a moment of encouragement.
I hope this gives you a quick overview of our life as homeschoolers...it may not work for everyone, but it works for us. If you have any questions, please comment! Have a great day!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hit the Road!

It was inevitable to happen. The days have gone by so fast. She was just a baby in our arms yesterday, and now she is driving us around town. Well, not exactly us. I haven't driven with her yet. Matt says to give her some time. I think this is one thing that I should not be responsible to teach her. I could see the battle in the car now. So, Matt is teaching her to drive. That's a good thing. Yesterday she was able to get her permit. She finished her driver's Ed class just in time...she had it all planned out. To be finished just days before her birthday...and then she took the exam (online, times have changed) on her actual birthday...and then yesterday she was off to get the actual license.
Can't believe she has grown so fast! She is such a great girl. She has such potential. It's exciting to see them reach all of these milestones. Yes, it's a bit scary too. But my trust is in the Lord. Not in their or my ability. So, the first (of many) driver from the Reynolds Nation has hit the road...keep an eye out for her.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Happiest of Birthdays to My Girl

Happy Birthday...Happy Birthday...Happy Birthday...dear Bryn. Fifteen years old today. Where has the time gone? Seems like just yesterday she was two and watching Barney on the floor in the living room. And now today, she is studying for her drivers test. Crazy, huh? Makes me feel old...yeah, not really. I feel good to be a mom of a fifteen year old. So, before the night falls...I want to wish my Bryn Elisabeth a Happy Birthday and many, many more.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Gratitude Friday

It's a foggy morning here in Florida. The morning has actually been much cooler than the last couple of days. I love when the mornings are cool...especially when the days have been as warm as they have been. It's been hitting the mid 80's this week. A bit warm for the end of February, beginning of March. Oh well, this winter has been a bit disappointing weather wise...I like a cool winter to balance out the hotter than you know what summers. Even so, life is good. We are happy, healthy and living such a blessed life.
1. On this Friday morning I am so thankful for love received by the father on a daily basis. He is always there whenever we need him.
2. I am thankful for the giggles I hear from Matt and Judah in the morning...when they have their morning talk in bed, after I am up and exercising. It is so cute to hear and this memory will last for a lifetime.
3. Thankful for a great week of exercise. It feels so good.
4. So thankful for my beautiful girl, Bryn, turning 15 this week. Where has the time gone? I can't believe I have been a mom for 15 years.
5. Thankful for Such a great husband...who has always supported me as a mother. He has always given me appropriate breaks...he has always given 100% and been a full time dad (despite working hard at his day job).