A Dozen Years

12 years ago today, Jake and I were married.  God has been richly merciful to us and His blessings have far exceeded any that Jake and I could have hand picked for ourselves.  Thank you Lord!



Look at those sweet little faces!



Tastes great on your favorite meal and is a swell name for a family pet.  Our pet Salt receives quite a bit of harassment.  Like, for example, unwanted rides in the laundry basket, a harmonica playing (he howls when he hears it, he just can't help it so Libby takes full advantage), colanders worn over the head really freak him out, marching in place while singing/chanting about the western states is also a good way to pull out his aggressions, clapping your hands and pouncing at him also works well, he really enjoys the smell  of cinnamon and clove oils being sprayed at him (enjoy is a relative term, he actually freaks out and will pee to reclaim his scent, this should only be tried under close supervision from an experienced adult), ahh the list is quite a bit longer so I won't bore you any longer.  Here's a photo of the smartest dog this side of the blog, our very own , "little white bunny."

Oh my!

Wow, I just have to say that this morning I was blessed by my time in a book I've been reading entitled, "Feminine Appeal."  The demands of parenting an older child are new, though I've been gradually coming to parenting older children as they've grown, does that make sense?  Learning to communicate and get to the heart of an older child can prove difficult at times and as easy as slicing through soft butter at others.  It would seem that the greatest trouble I have with my children is the manifestation of sin in them that I, myself, deal with.  I know my sin is nasty, downright ugly, but I have to say when I see it coming out of an older child toward a younger sibling, I am filled with self-loathing and utter shock!  
Like I said this morning I was blessed by a book and then even more so when I pulled up our churches web page.  If you will navigate over there, you will be blessed too.  Pull up Resource Reviews, a link at the top of the opening page, and click on "Field Earned Parental Advice: Mr. Matthew Schmucker's Lessons from parenting."  It was the 2nd cup of coffee I needed for the morning!  

Thunderstorm Surfing with MV-22s

Recently took a trip to the west to pick up some MV-22 Ospreys and drag them to New River NC via air-to-air refueling.  Volatile weather produced by Fay and a colliding cold front over Tennessee made the the trip a lot of work, though rewarding.  Additionally, it did provide great photo opportunities of God's creative power as demonstrated in nature; specifically weather phenomena. 


Ben's word of wisdom

In the course of mothering, I often disappoint my children by telling them "no."  Quite often my words are met with, "alright, yes ma'am."  However there are also times when the offended child will disappear and deal with themselves and the reality of the, "no" and all that it entails.  Today Libby got the word and disappeared.  Louisa came back to report to me that she had said, "NO MOMMY"!  I asked Louisa if she helped Libby by telling her that she should honor mommy.  Louisa said that she hadn't.  This upset Benjamin somewhat and he bounced off his lunch chair and headed to the other room.  I instructed him to come back to me and finish his grammar.  He then says, "I must go speak with Libby about what she did and correct her.  If I don't, she may never find favor with God."  Well, a few moments later Ben and Libby return and he's coaxing her to apologize to me.  What a sweetie, he makes me think that perhaps he's been paying attention the innumerable times we've told him to, "honor your father and mother."


I love homeschooling!!

What a sweet way to spend the days away with my children. Singing, reading, playing, and praying! All of my favorite action verbs!!


Grumbling in their tents

This morning Jake and I were reading through Psalm 106.  It was so rich and extremely applicable.  Many lessons learned from the disobedient Israelites were quickly applied to our hearts and attitudes.  Moses stood in the breach to save them and we were immediately reminded of Jesus Christ standing in the breach to save us.  Later the psalm goes on to say how the Jews disobeyed again and were "grumbling in their tents."  That cut to the quick as we awoke to 4 sick children and Jake's blackberry vibrating with all sorts of issues at work.  While we hadn't given into grumbling there certainly might have been the temptation to do so.  We prayed and gave thanks for God's rich mercy to us.  
Following bible reading Louisa came in and reported that "Leeby" had made a huge bubble mess in the bathroom.  Well it was more than bubbles.  

As you can see, she dumped her bowl full of cheerios and blueberries in the sink and then attempted to wash the dirty dishes.  Jake's going to have to put aside the blackberry and pick up the plumbers wrench.  The last time he held that thing, it was the day before he deployed to Iraq... and that's another story!


Stepping Stones

Silas took his first official step today.  More on this and hopefully pictures later!

Power of Words

I have to admit that a good word for me can stir up good works or tear apart my day.  My husband was just pointing out to me how he realizes the effect words have over me and as the years have passed we both are learning to do a lot more thinking before we speak.  

Today Ben and I were at the Bulls Eye Boutique and Ben told me that I was the bestest mother in the world.  I know that I am not the best, but to hear that coming from my 7 year old sons mouth really blessed my heart.  Then when I was at Starbucks picking up a joe the barista lady told me she would babysit my children anytime and that she has grown to love them as she's observed them!  

Indeed our Lord is sweet and I know that my I am worthy of hell without the blood of Christ.  Thank you Lord for sweet words from children and strangers.  More importantly Father, thank you for your Word.  Thank you I am able to read them with understanding and that they have penetrated my heart and brought me to repentance.  



The sprinkler twirls.
The summer wanes.
The pavement wears
Popsicle Stains.

The Playground grass
Is worn to dust.
The weary swings
Creak, creak with rust.

The trees are bored
With being green.
Some people leave
The local scene.

And go to seaside
And take off nearly
All their clothes.

by John Updike

The kids love me to read this poem to them in the mornings just before math. The picture is of Ben and Louisa's dear friend Beau pulling Libby, notice how she's sucking her fingers.

Why not

post another picture of Silas?


I finished Silas' sweater last week. I was very disciplined in the knitting of it at first and then when Jake came home my evening time for it was put aside. While in Texas, I picked it up again and worked on it through the trip back here to North Carolina. I tried it on him and it was a bit tight and quite stretched, think of a speedo. It made its way to another baby who will no doubt get much use from it.


One down

about 36 more weeks of school to go.  This first week was a time of learning and stretching and at the same time very challenging.  I am beginning to recognize that with school in session I will have to let some things go.  For example, the vacuuming may have to be done on Tuesday at 3 instead of Monday at 9.  This means that messes will stay in their places a bit longer.  The dishes will sit a few hours later and so on.  I am going to have to deal with those things, because the education of these fine children in our stewardship is far more important and needs to be placed as the priority.  

With that said, the first week was successful.  Louisa now knows a phonetic sound!  Ben, Jackie, and Colby are on the same Bible and History timeline.  This should free up a lot of instructional/grading time for me.  Libby and Silas spend their time playing and being underfoot, which is fine, actually a delight.  Ben was introduced to the Phonetic Zoo, which is a spelling program from The Institute of Excellence in Writing.  I think it knocked him off his rocker as he and I were nearly in tears the first day.  

To end on a funny note.  Benjamin was having a review in alphabetizing this week.  We spent 2 days reviewing and studying it with the test being on the 3rd day.  He had to begin with alphabetizing letters, then simple words, moving onto more challenging patterns of words.  So, on question number 3 he became stumped and came to me proclaiming that the letter L wasn't in the alphabet, he wanted to know if he could put it after the letter Z.  I promised him that L was in the alphabet and instructed him that he may not put it after Z.  He came back and said, I've been over the alphabet 3 times and it's just not there....  Don't worry, we worked through it and I told him that if L weren't there his sisters names would be Ouisa and Ibby.  That got his attention and he found the letter L.


Your Average Thursday

Actually it wasn't. The children and I took a drive up to Williamston, NC to meet our dear friends, the Jacksons. We spent a couple hours letting the kids run up and down the boardwalk along the Roanoke river there. We haven't seen the Jacksons in some 3 years, so it was an exciting event to take place for both of our families. Not including the men our presence there added an additional 15 people to the river. We drew a few looks, but nobody asked us any questions. There we hung out, threw rocks, and snacked together. What a sweet time.



We just received the word early this morning that we are moving to Monterey.  We had put in our application and most of you know the threat that came with it.  We continued on faith knowing God's sovereignty, and we are overwhelmed that God would continue to be so merciful toward us.  Jake could have easily been deployed for a year, as that was the intent of his higher up in the Marine Corps Chain.  Again we are excited and thank you everyone who was mindful to pray for us while we waited for the results.


Louisa's 5

Born after a raging typhoon in Okinawa, Japan, Louisa has etched a special place in our hearts.  We celebrated her birthday this weekend on Saturday.  It was a sweet time and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, we wouldn't be the Reynolds if we didn't.  Here are some pictures from the very special day.


Safe at Home

We pulled in late last night and are home with much delight.  Yesterday was a long haul, but went so smoothly, by the Lord's Grace!!  
On Saturday, Libby choked on a hard piece of candy given by a well mean sibling no doubt.  We saw her choking and could hear the gags, it seemed as though she was alright, but she starting turning white as a sheet.  With Jake swerving to pull off the interstate, I jumped over the seats, and just in the nick of time she puked up a perfectly round runt covered in mucous right into my waiting hands.  Just Lovely.  Poor Colby, I had to sit on him until we could pull over safely and get back to our seats, potty break, and clean up.  
The next day Libby fell on the sidewalk at a rest stop and skinned her knee.  She cried many tears in the back seat, at the sight of her earned strawberry.  Bless her little heart.  Silas cried off and on, and we expected it.  Starbucks made a small fortune off us, and no doubt helped us arrive home in a timely manner.  All in all we are doing great and glad to have our feet planted firmly on the ground.  Now we just need to unpack, weed the garden, and eat some healthy meals.   


Time to go home

We have had such a great time. Jake arrived on Wednesday afternoon. We went to a Rangers ball game, compliments of my dad. We left the 3 littles at home and Ben, Jackie, and Colby came with me to pick up Jake and go see the game. Our last 2 days have flown by and it's time to go home. We'll leave first thing tomorrow morning, or is it second thing, what does first thing mean anyway?? Thanks again Mom and Dad for making the trip so special. We love you!