Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Family Selfie

My dad and his wife were in town the other day...and my cousin who lives 3 hours away came to have dinner with us. What a joyous day it was. Here is the first family selfie with my extended family. Good memories!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Apple Festival

 I love this sign I saw as I walked down Main Street during our apple festival. What an awesome event it was. Streets lined up with booths of apple sellers....variety after variety. Apple Fritters...fried apple pies...apple slushies...everything apple. It was so awesome. And thousands of residents and visitors enjoy this fantastic city. There was such a distinct flavor in the air...not just apple...but a feeling of community, common ground and fun. It was our first apple festival and it was fantastic.
We headed up to Jump Off Rock to try to catch the sunset. It was so beautiful...so majestic and we will do it again when it is a bit clearer outside. It makes you realize how small you are in this big world.
 My mom came up for the weekend on her first visit to North Carolina. Though it was a bit warm, everything went so perfectly. She enjoyed the apple festival, local sites, Shindig on the Green in Asheville, and even our local pool at the YMCA. I hadn't seen my mom in three months and it was so perfect. I relished every moment with her. I think the hardest part of living up here (and probably the only hard part) is being away from my family. I make up for it by talking to my parents often and enjoying the visits that will happen.  I hope you had an amazing Labor Day weekend. What were you up to???

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Today

Making: Absolutely nothing...decided to order pizza tonight, which I haven't done in a long time
Drinking: Blackberry Izze...my favorite drink...carbonated juice, the best alternative to soda
Reading: Nothing...school started, so my reading consumption is a bit low right now
Wanting: Autumn to come quick...it's my favorite season
Watching: Watched 19kids and counting today...love that show
Eating: Nothing now, but pizza before
Smelling: A clean house...I love when my house is clean from top to bottom
Wishing: Probably not wishing, but praying...would love to adopt another child
Enjoying: Our new life in North Carolina
Loving: The beautiful summer we have had...goodness it's been delightful
Hoping: The insurance season goes smoothly...my hubby is in insurance
Needing: A ladies night out
Feeling: A little down today...doesn't happen often, but it's here
Wearing: You don't want to know...black t-shirt and black athletic capris
Following: My favorite blogs
Noticing: That life goes by so fast
Bookmarking: Jacket shopping for William, he needs a winter coat

I got this list from one of my favorite blogs...www.talesofmeandthehusband.com. Go check out her blog, she is sweet!  The picture is from yesterday when we went hiking...isn't this place dreamy??

Monday, August 25, 2014

13th Year


Today we started and celebrated the first day of school. Thirteen years of homeschooling. Started out with one child and this will be my last year with 5 kids all at once. Today was Bryn's last first day of school with us. Very sad, but at the same time it is wonderful. She is taking one class with us and the rest are at the local college. Esther and Caleb are in 6th grade, William in the 4th and Judah in 2nd.
Though homeschooling has been challenging and difficult at times, it is still one of the most rewarding jobs ever. I believe that it has changed me more than them. God takes time to pull off the ugliness that we have. It's not always pretty, but it's good for you.  So if you think of me, pray...My prayer is for a smooth homeschooling year...full of lots learning, change and more cohesiveness with the kids. God has a greater plan than just education...he wants their hearts and their lives. And if today was your first day, I hope it went beautifully.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

This Sums it Up

Bryn took this picture on Friday when we were out on the lake with my dad, his wife and the kids. She has a real eye when it comes to taking pictures. When I saw this picture I felt like it summed up how awesome our day was. Kids splashing in the lake, William and Esther on the kayaks, Bryn and I jumping off the dock and Matt and Judah in the canoe. It was a fantastic day. And the beauty that surrounded us is just majestic. I feel as though I will never get tired of looking at what I see. I am amazed at the richness that is before our eyes. I love it. I am in a place of no regrets. No regrets on moving to the Land of 4 Seasons. I feel so peaceful in my soul. There is no longing to leave any more. It's a weird feeling. After you live in a place that you hate for over 10 years you almost feel like you will never get out of it. I feel so unbelievably happy and peaceful. God is so awesome. When he opens the door wide, his opens is WIDE! We are blessed.
Back to school tomorrow. Will post pictures of my little ones. I am excited for what God has for us this year.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Drive By...

This definitely makes you look twice when you drive by. Are they serious or is this just for fun, lol.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sunflowers

 We are totally taking our new life in North Carolina by storm. We are embracing life, enjoying each moment and taking in the beautiful benefits. For weeks on our homeschool email list a person has been advertising their small farm where you can come and pick your own sunflowers. I have seen it but the times didn't work out for us. Until yesterday. We headed down to the farm, which was only 20 minutes away. This was a definite first for all of us.
 Judah loved running around the farm and finding the biggest sunflowers. There were bumble bees everywhere, but he wasn't afraid. He probably cut the most, besides me.
 All the kids went with me. See all the sunflowers behind them. It was just so beautiful. The mountains surrounded us, the air was a perfect temperature and we just took it all in.
Funny thing is that the farm goes by the "honor" system. Pick as many flowers that can fit in your basket and leave your money in the envelope. Crazy, right? Can't do that in most cities in this country. So here is our abundance. The car smelled lovely on the ride home. Thankfully we didn't bring any bumble bees with us home. What a perfect afternoon and wonderful memory for my family.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Our Message

A little sidewalk chalk time this morning with the family...this is my husband's message to everyone. There is no better place than the mountains.  After living by the beach (which I know so many love) we can't imagine exchanging the mountains for the beach. It's just beautiful here...all the time...rain or shine, cloudy or sunny. This is our place.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Another preteen brewing at the nation...

This girl has been caught taking selfies on our cameras. We don't realize she has taken them until we look at our phones. She is so cute...and so preteen. As we are winding down the teen years with Bryn...we are in the homestretch, we see several more beckoning. Caleb will be 13 in one month and Esther is 11...and she is just bursting to be a teenager. She still has that softness of a little girl, but we keep on seeing glimmers in her life that are totally "TEEN." The entrance of selfies is a prime example. Love it. She has always been our quiet, keep to yourself girl...but all of a sudden she is becoming a social butterfly. Lots of friends...texting them on her tablet ( you should have seen my face when she sent me her first text)...small temper tantrums. It's in the mix..and Matt and I feel a little more prepared this time. We have some experience...we know what to expect...what to pay attention to and what to just ignore. By time we are done with this load of kids we will be full of wisdom or maybe a bit weary...lol. Well, my strength is in the Lord. Happy Monday to you all! Have a fantastic week! I woke up this morning speaking..."this is going to be a great day." And it will be.

Friday, August 1, 2014

What Do You Do On A Rainy Day?

It started raining yesterday and continues today. The high today on August 1 is 65 degrees. Not sure when summer is expected to show up? I plan on getting a lot done inside today. The washing machine is going...my printer is humming with sheets of schoolwork coming out for the new school year...and I don't have any plans to go out during the day. That's a good day. What do you like to do on a rainy day?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday

The morning is super cool and crisp today...a low of 54 degrees. I actually didn't open the windows in the house this morning because it was so cool. The kids came downstairs with blankets and thoughts of snuggling on the couch for a bit. No complaints, just a whole new world of summertime. Warm days, cool days, rainy days...such a mixture.
We plan on hanging around the house today...not much needs to be done. Summer seems to be slipping by. Can't believe that tomorrow is the last day of July. I have been printing out lots on the computer this week in anticipation of school. I still have more to do, but it's nice to jump ahead.
I still feel like I am adjusting to our house. I want it to feel like more of our home, rather than just a house. I know that it takes time. I still forget where things are all the time. As that gets easier, I think my feelings will change. Our house is so much bigger than our last house, so that is an adjustment. There truly is room for everything here. Life is all about changes and how we respond to them. What do you have going on at your house? Any new changes?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Living the Dream

Matt and I snuck out late last night so we could have a few minutes to ourselves. We grabbed a shake at Kilwin's on Main Street and just sat and enjoyed the evening. Imagine the breeze blowing so nicely, the air crisp with no humidity, and people walking down the street just talking and enjoying the night. It was just beautiful. We can't believe that we are living here...and can't believe that we can enjoy the outside so much in the middle of the summer. Periodically we have to pinch ourselves...how is it possible that we could live this dream? It's just amazing. We are loving every minute of it. We don't ever want to take it for granted, that's for sure. Even on the days that are long and sometimes lonely for friends I am so sure of where we are supposed to be. God keeps on telling me that there is Provision In The House...for friends, family, finances, and our new life here in North Carolina.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Good Times

Yesterday Matt had the day off and we decided to take a stroll down our favorite street...Main Street in Downtown. It was lovely out...a nice 74 degrees...sunny skies...low humidity. Probably the most picture perfect weather...what so many dream of. Actually while we were sitting there at one of the outside tables, Matt said, "this is a dream." Yes, it is a dream fulfilled. We couldn't believe that we cold be sitting anywhere on July 17th and not sweating like pigs. And to be sitting outside, which is almost unheard of in Florida at this time of year. So, we sat there...for at least 30 minutes...Matt sipped his favorite drink (Cheerwine) and we just hung out and people watched. We laughed, we pet the dogs walking by, we loved on our pug Edward who was with us, and we just enjoyed life. It was so sweet. Love these moments and these days. Life is so good.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Shindig on the Green

Last night we got to attend the Shindig on the Green in Asheville. It's put on by the Folk music council (or something like that) and they host one every Saturday night in downtown Asheville. The stage is in the center and there is a huge grassy park in front of it. Everyone brings their blankets and chairs and sets up for the concert. And it's not just one person the whole time, but a variety of performers. Young, old, male, female...a total mixture. And a few of the groups were cloggers, which we really enjoyed watching. That was my favorite part. So, we hung out with our friends...talked, listened, let the kids run around. It was a beautiful evening out too... a cool breeze and no mosquitoes. Can't beat that for a summer evening in July. We hope to keep going back over the course of the summer...they host it until Labor Day weekend. What is keeping you busy this summer?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Brothers...

Matt snapped this picture yesterday when the boys were hanging out. William was trying to make a list of a project that he is working on...and Judah just needed to be in his business. That's nothing new, right? Brothers can be great, but at times they can be obnoxious. Judah, the fifth child, has never wanted to be left out...of anything.
Love my boys...they bring the life into the house...and have added a few grey hairs on my head too. Hope you are enjoying your summer. We are unpacked and getting more and more settled here in Hendersonville, NC. Loving our new home and our new community. I have never met so many welcoming people in my life. God is good. He has paved the way for us!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

North Carolina

Goodness, where has the time gone. I haven't been on my blog in months. Never did I think it would take me this long to be back on here. Life has been crazy busy...and unpredictable...and well, as you can see from the picture...we moved to North Carolina. It was a move that has been in the works for months...perhaps years. It has never been a secret that we couldn't stand living in Florida. The HEAT, the lack of landscape, the HEAT, no seasons..and so on. Matt and I have always felt the same way. And it was time. We knew it...and knew that if we didn't leave then we would be there forever. And life is short...why live in a place that you hate.
So, we are in Hendersonville, outside of Asheville. The mountains are here. They called for years and we finally answered. Every time we drive around I am in total awe. In awe of how green it is, and how beautiful it is. It's so strange, but I feel more at home here than I ever did in Florida. It feels right. The fit is perfect. And God has been amazing. He made the transition so amazing for us. And when I say Amazing, I truly mean amazing. He handpicked everything and continues to do so. So, join us as we begin this amazing journey in this beautiful state. No regrets, no turning back. God has some incredible things ahead of us!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Our Celebrations...



This is us (minus me taking the picture) last night as we celebrated St. Patrick's Day. My mother's side of the family is all Irish, so we take some time to celebrate. There was lots of corned beef and cabbage and potatoes. We decorated with some Irish four leaf clovers and washed everything down with strawberry shortcake. It was a lovely night. Bryn had a friend over and my mom joined us. Love that moments like these only take a little time, barely any extra money but it leaves great memories for my kids. It was a good night for all.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Top of the Morning to you!!! LOL Happy St. Patrick's Day. A day to remember a man who wasn't even Irish...lol, but most believe that he was. And it's Monday...the dreaded day of the week. I am thankful for this week because this is the last week before Spring Break. Which by this time of the year I am so ready for a break. Summer is right around the corner and I am ready for a break. The weather has been cold on some days but warm on others. Yesterday we hit 81 degrees and it felt warm. An inkling of what is to come.
So, what else is going on? Not much really. I feel kind of boring. We are just trucking along with school work and household stuff. We are having a garage sale this weekend. I am getting everything ready for that. Ready to clean things out of the house and feel light and airy again.
I hit a spot yesterday of feeling totally frustrated with not running. I am on a 6 week lock down from my doctor...since my surgery...to not run. It was good in the beginning because I felt a little burned out from my 1/2 marathon training. But now I feel a bit crazy in the head, lol. I am needing to burn off some energy. I walked 3.1 miles yesterday which felt really good. I like my legs walking and moving and the sweat felt good too! But, I still have 2 more weeks until I can run again. Pray for me!
Hope you have a fantastic day...love someone and pinch anyone who is not wearing green :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Science Kids

Sorry for my absence again. I was having problems with my computer and being able to access my pictures from my email. I think I have it sorted now, but we will see. The month of March is already whizzing by...can you believe it? Time keeps on going so fast.
This is the kids yesterday. We are studying flying creatures this year in science and we have been studying insects. One of the science projects was to look for eggs on various leaves and such outside. So, they found their magnifying glass and were searching for eggs. They think they found some eggs (I am no so sure, but I love their effort)...so they placed them in a glass jar with air holes. We shall see.
Anyway, I just love when my kids take the initiative and jump out of the box when it comes to school. They didn't have to do this, but they wanted to. I am so pleased with their ability to get things done and make school a priority. I have such great kids!!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hehehehe!!!

This was my Monday and part of Tuesday. Hoping the rest of the week goes well...lol

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Out for Surgery

Just so you know I haven't disappeared lately. I had surgery this past week so I have been out recovering and trying to get well. I am thankful to the Lord that I am feeling so much better and each day I get stronger. My husband has been amazing in his care of me and the kids. So, I will be back next week. Stronger than ever.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Check Out My Site!

If you haven't been over there yet, please take a trip over to my website..www.floridadoulamom.com. It's where you can check out what I am doing in the doula world. Tell me what you think :)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Saturday Happenings

Happy Saturday to you!!!! It has been slow around the blog this week, but busy busy at my home here in Florida. The week before was one of the busiest I have ever seen. My mom had hip surgery on Wednesday and both of my moms that I was working with as their doula delivered two days apart from each other. Lack of sleep is not my favorite and I was struggling with that. I was at the hospital every day that week between the two moms and my own mother...lol.
Now things are slowing down. But this week I went out twice to help both of my new mommies with their new babies. And of course I have the two little ones that I watch during the week and all of my own kids. We started working with the civil war for school which is very exciting. The kids are enjoying the work already.
Its been raining a lot around here. I don't think we have seen the sun in days. Right now I can hear the rain coming down...and the temps are cool, at a nice 61 degrees. I love the temperatures but wish the rain would stop now. So, sorry for the pause...life took over for the week. Will be back...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Proud Moments


I got my new medal for my half marathon this past week. They ran out of medals this year because they had way more participants than expected. So, they sent it in the mail. Nice moment. Actually very proud moment.  The other two are from my two 10ks from last year. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have medals from races. Especially a half marathon. I love these milestones in my life. They make me believe that I can do anything that I set my mind on. God is good. He is so faithful to walk us (or run us, lol) through any mountains set before us. So, what is your mountain this year? This week? Today? Know that God is faithful and he will get you through it :)

Monday, January 27, 2014

It's a Pug Life!!!

I snapped this picture this morning of our sweet rescue dog Edward. Only a few years ago they found him running on the highway in Jacksonville...sick with heartworm and very hungry. Do you think he remembers those days? By seeing this, you would never think so. But I think he does. That's why he loves our little Essie that much more. He clings to her and follows her around the house. He loves and adores her. I think he loves to be loved. Just like all of us. So while we were learning about Franklin Pierce and Florence Nightingale this morning, this is what our precious Edward was doing :)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Thankfulness

I am up early this morning and the kids are still sleeping. I was able to just stay in bed and just relax...which is quite the opposite of my regular week. And now I have the roast in the crock pot and breakfast ready to cook. I love quiet mornings like these. Actually I like my weekend to be just like this. Today I am thankful for:

1. Quiet mornings.

2.  Laughing, teasing and fun stories during dinner time.

3.  Sleepy children walking out in the morning.

4.  Crockpots (who exactly invented these and can I worship them).

5.  The future...God has some amazing things for us and I am ready.

Friday, January 24, 2014

This is the Life!

I love this picture of William from yesterday. I hope one day he remembers days like this...where he is relaxing and reading and learning. He is one of my best students. He never delays. He just gets his work done. No problems ever. He actually will usually start working on his independent work as soon as he is done with his morning chores. He amazes me with his ability to self-start and his independence. Pretty abnormal for a 8 year old. This week we were diving into some learning about Japan and China during the 1800's. It has been a fun week.  The rest of the unit is taken over by the Civil War. So, it was good to have a bit of a diversion. Hope you have a great Friday!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Happenings

I am posting the picture of some of the kids from the other night when we went over to another friends' house who also is doing the Tapestry of Grace curriculum. We were beginning to study China and Japan this week, and she was making Chinese dumplings. She also lived in China for four years so she is full of knowledge about China. The kids had a great time rolling out the dough and wrapping up the dumplings. And of course, they were super delicious. Today we are finishing this week up with making almond cookies.
Not much else going on. We didn't take the day off on Monday for the federal holiday...we normally only take the day off if Matt is home. And he wasn't home, so it was school as usual. And we also take Fridays off for our local homeschool co-op, so it's hard to get all of our school work done in three days. So, I don't like taking too many days off. I have a goal to finish our school work by the last week of May and I am on target for that.
The weather has been delightfully cool. Today we actually are only having a high of 52 which is very cool for us. I am totally loving every bit of it. The fall and beginning of Winter were unseasonably warm...which made it hard for this New Yorker. I miss the cold weather so much. And summers are so hard for us when our winter is warm. The projected weather for the next ten days continues to be cool, so that makes me happy.
I have two moms who are ready for delivery...or at least their due dates are in the next 10 days. I am hoping that they don't deliver on the same day...that could make life a bit crazy. I am hoping one of them delivers a little early and then the other one a bit late. But of course I don't have much to say in this manner. I became certified as a doula a bit over a month ago...with DONA the organization for doulas. I worked hard for the certification and love being a doula. I have enjoyed every minute of it. I was able to attend a last minute birth the week before Christmas, which was totally exhilarating. Ever time I go to a birth it reminds me how much I love assisting the moms and working with them. And the sweet babies are icing on the cake.
So, what is up with you?  Anything new or exciting going on?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Chicken Noodle Soup

So, this winter has been unusually crazy. The fall was very warm and we ran our air most of the time. Which is sad, because we like a break in the electric bill and fall is my favorite season. We did go to NC for peak fall foliage, which was a much needed break, but of course we had to come back to near 90 degree temps down here. Anyway, the winter has been haphazard, or bipolar. My friends kids were swimming in their pool this past Saturday and today the high is expected to be 51. Which may not be cold for you folks up north, but that's cold here in Florida. And for anyone who has come down here from the north, they say we have a really raw cold down here...different than up north.
A few days ago, Esther told me that she loves chicken noodle soup...which I have never made surprisingly. When I was making my grocery list I put it down for one of our dinners. And when I saw how cold it was supposed to be today I put it down for today's dinner. Last night I did all the prep work for it. I cooked chicken in the crock pot all day and then sliced up the yummy veggies. Can't wait. And I am loving this beautiful weather. I definitely need more cold days. Maybe the latter part of the winter will be cold for us. My air conditioning needs a break :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Well, Where Did the Week Go?

I know where it went!!! Lol. Into my kids and two extra special additions this week. My best friend needed a babysitter for her two little ones (ages 3 and 1) starting this week. And I offered so that she wouldn't have her babies in a strange daycare where she would worry all the time about them. So we had a full house this week. Seven kids...a full homeschooling schedule...and doula work at the same time. I have two moms who are only a few weeks from delivery, so I am on call for them too. I have been one very tired mom this week. By the end of the day, I feel whipped. It was even harder because it was our first week back after Christmas break. So, excuse my absence for the past few days (remember I am really working on posting again) but I have been a very consumed lady. Hope you have a great weekend!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Half Marathon 1/5/14


Well, after 12 weeks of training we participated in a half marathon yesterday. The training seemed to go by so fast and all of a sudden the race was upon us.  Esther trained for the 5k that happened at the same time as the half marathon yesterday. She hopes to do a 10k this year also, so we will be continuing with the training. We were out there at 7 in the morning...ready to start. The race is small, so there were only a few hundred participants. My family came out to see us run, which made the kids happy and for me too.
     The race was an out and back run...6.5 miles each way. The out way went really well and I stayed on pace. I was the slowest in the race, but that's okay. My husband reminded me that I wasn't racing them, but my old self. On the way back, it was a downhill slope for me. I train in the morning, before the sun gets too hot and demanding. This race started at 8:00...so it was sunny all the way. It was forecasted to be cloudy all morning, but I guess the weather didn't watch the report. The way back was soooo hard because of the sun. I was getting slower and slower because I was getting dehydrated. I had a huge cramp in my left calf because of it. But, it didn't matter because I finished. Though it seemed like forever I completed the task. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but it brought complete satisfaction to me. By the end of the morning I was totally exhausted. My body hurt in places that I didn't know could hurt. Goodness!
     It was a fabulous day. I am so glad that I did it. It was a bit of a fear that I had. Afraid of long distances. Afraid of having to run that long. Afraid that I would fail.  So, what do I do now? I am planning on working on getting faster. That is my next big hurdle. I am way too slow and if I want to run for a long time I need to get faster. I need to find a training schedule to do that and see how far I can go. Thanks to those who prayed for me, encouraged me and kept me going. Those long runs were hard and made me push my limits.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

It's Raining

The rain is coming down so nicely outside. I have the windows open and it's a touch bit too humid for me...but I don't mind because that rain outside is part of a delicious cold front. Tomorrow we are supposed to have the coldest day this season...a high of 53. Which is crazy cold for Florida. All the Floridians will have their parkas, hats and gloves on. I think it's so funny. It was cold the other day and I met this lady from Minnesota at Walmart. They had shorts on..lol. It was a dead give away of where they are from. If it's cold here, the people stay inside and if they have to go out they bundle up. So, I will be enjoying my day of cool weather. Though I wish it was about 10...ok, 20 degrees cooler.
       I had a week of cleaning planned and I finished today. My windows actually got clean. I love times like this. I am such a goal oriented person, so I do well with lists. Give me a list and I will finish it. I will mark everything off. I am that type of person. So, we start school on Monday and we will be back to the grind. The school year has been going really well and I have enjoyed it. The kids have worked hard and got all that they need to do done. I like that. Once again, give me a goal and I will get it done. Anyway, did you have anything planned special for this week of New Year?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Years  from the Reynolds Nation. New Year!!! Wow, how did that happen? Time keeps slipping away, but we sure are having a blast while doing it. I looked at my blog list for last year...43 all together. That's pathetic. That's a lot less from the past two years. So, as we go into a new year (some changes on the horizon) I am planning on coming back to blogging. I hate missing out on telling you about my kids and my life. I guess this is my first (and probably only) new years resolution. I miss my blog and I miss my readers. So, come back this week. I promise to be here!