Out of the Mouth of Louisa..

Louisa is such a joy to teach.  There are times however that my response to her isn't joyful, but more frustrated.  Other times there's so much joy that I end up laughing with such pleasure.   For example when the year began we had to establish our morning Math Meeting.  This meant some adjustments, mainly for me as I realized there's a lot she just hadn't been taught, like counting to 100.  It's funny all the things kids learn from us, but how often do we count to 100 out loud for our kids to hear?  Exactly, we only count when necessary.  Typically we set the timer.  So, as she's counting, she's going v-e-r-y slow!  I told her to count faster, she countered with, "Ihhh don'ttttt talkkkk faaaast.  Thisssssss isssss howwwwww IIIII talkkkkk."  So cute.  She just wanted me to know that she talks slow and thoughtfully.  Which really is her nature.  She's a sweet little girl.  
This week I was able to teach her how to read time to the hour.  We were talking about the hour hand and the minute hand.  I asked her to tell me the difference between the two.  She quickly became saddened and said, "Ohh, the pour minute hand is shorter than the hour hand.  He's just a little one."  What a sweetie to take pity on the minute hand.
Then just yesterday.  She asked me when I was going to practice work.  I asked her what she meant and she told me that she wants me to go to work so that her daddy can stay home and teach her.  Such a humbling statement from a little thing.... I told her that I was the stay home teacher and that daddy works so hard to take care of us.  I know she doesn't get it yet... hopefully someday she will.  
Ahh a quick redemption, as I type this she said, "You are such a sweet mommy."  


Well, It's Ours

Jake and I are very excited and so is a certain young man, (I'm sure he will be once he knows), who will be flying to Minneapolis to pick it up and drive the wagon home.  
Check out the back.  The kids think it's great that they have an option of 4 rows to sit in.

Quite Possibly Our New Wagon

It's a 15 passenger diesel engine Hot Rod..  Well, maybe not Hot Rod so much.  But, we're excited.  It's a super buy and the mileage is low, something like 35000.  It's an 04 Ford.  Jake is negotiating today.  I'm blogging about it instead of calling him and harassing him about it.


Once again, I'm amazed at how much I don't know

There are a few words in my database of which I am immediately convulsed to hear.  There are several different subtitles to this master list, so the one which I will zero in on is the Toddler/Adult Contagious Infections.  Stomach Flu taking the cake and Conjunctivitis right behind it.  Conjunctivitis is what I'm going to discuss.  Colby was the first child to get it and I guess that would be the obvious thing to say since he is the first born, but really we've only had a few nasty bouts of Pink Eye.  I think after Colby that Ben had it once and then Louisa.  So we skipped Jackie and Libby and wouldn't you know that Silas came down with the infection this week.  I was uncertain whether or not he really had it, but time told it to be true as his eye oozed green and transformed into a crusty green monster.  The eye which was infected already doesn't drain properly and the poor lad is looking at a dilation of sorts and some probing to make his duct the proper size, but this isn't the purpose of the post.  So, let me get to the point.  I am somewhat of a naturalist, earth nut, or what did our preacher allude to?  Oh yes, Neo Earth Mother.  Anyway I did some online research and saw a great tip which had enthusiastic reviews from other N.E.M.'s.  Are you ready?  Neosporin.  So, it's not organic essential oils, but it's a great antiseptic and something we keep on hand.  
The instructions were to wash the eye of it's gunk with a rinsed warm soft washcloth, after that smear between your finger and thumb a small amount of the gel.  Use one finger to smear the gel over and under the eye and across the eyelashes and using the other finger repeat with the second eye.  (Even if the second eye isn't infected it's best to treat it as pink eye has no trouble working and oozing it's way over.)  
Result:  Within 2 hours I've seen a marked difference.  I'm so excited.  


Tortilla Soup with Chicken and Avocado (C. Steel this is for you)

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 yellow onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/4 plus 2 teaspoons fresh cilantro
1 -14 oz. can drained diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. cumin
4 cups chicken stock
1 skinless boneless whole chicken breast (1/2 lb.)
salt and peppa'
4 corn tortillas stale and dry
1 avocado pitted, peeled, and diced
1/4 cup monterey jack cheese shredded.
2 teaspoons lime juice

In frying pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil.  Add onion, minced garlic, 2 tsp. cilantro and saute' until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
In a blender or with a hand held puree' thingy combine the sauteed, veggie mix and tomatoes and process until smooth.
In same frying pan over med-high heat, warm another tablespoon of the oil.  Add the tomato mixture and cumin.  Cook stirring frequently, until thickened and darkened, 5-6 minutes.
Transfer to you large saucepan over med-low heat and add the stock.  Cover partially and simmer, stirring occasionally, until soup is slightly thickened, about 20 min. Add chicken strips and simmer until they are just opaque, 4-5 min longer.  Season to taste with salt and peppa!

While soup is cooking, cut the tortillas in half and slice each half into thin strips.  In a frying pan over med-high heat, warm the 1/2 cup veg. oil.  Drop a strip in the oil, if it sizzles your ready.  Drop handfuls of the strips into the oil and fry, turning with tongs, until crisp and browned, about 3 minutes.  Transfer strips to a paper towel covered plate to drain.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls.  Layer strips, cilantro, avocado, cheese, and lime juice evenly over bowls and eat!

I made this for the family.  The kids raved and Jake told me it was, "Fabulous!"  
I nearly tripled it and there was just enough left for one bowl the next day...


Alright, Enough of the Squirrels!

We are doing great.  The kids are keeping me from idleness and the house needs constant sterilizing!  Here's a few tidbits of what's been going on:

1. Louisa's getting ready to read her first book.  I say read and am prepared for a good 2 hours of sounding out... Mom, do you remember "Pan and the Mad Man?"
2. Silas is walking almost running everywhere.  He chases me down crying and is cutting about 6 teeth right now.  He's a real grump.
3. Silas just had his 15 month well-child appt.  He is 10-25% for weight, 25-50% for height, and get this, his head is whopping 90%.  All of these percents are in relation to other kids his age.  So, his head is 90% bigger than most other boys his age.  He's a smarty.
4. Benjamin announced that when he grows up he's going to become a dancer.
5. Jake and I have been test driving vans, buses, limousines, etc.  I think we're leaning toward the van.
6. I am nauseated most days and have a whopper of a toothache.  I'll see the Dentist tomorrow about that.
7.  Colby is still shooting, though is forbidden to shoot any more squirrels as it's just not right to accumulate squirrel skins. 
8. Jackie has 3 parts in the upcoming Nutcracker performance.  She's very excited and is working hard during her pre-pointe class... if she does well she'll get her Pointe shoes in the Spring.
9. Libby, oh Libby, she still has 2 crazy eyes, wild hair, and is the funniest little girl to hang around with.  She thinks any foul smell or sight is because of her dad...  
10. Jake is busy instructing other pilots.  He works long hours at the office and is taking a class every Tuesday Night.  He is also preparing for the upcoming deployment, actually we all are.

So that's that.  We are the Reynolds, through and through!


There's More than One Way to a Skin a Squirrel??

On days like this one, when the mornings are crisp and the afternoons warm, young men are given over to their imaginations and have the potential for adventures of any sort. Today was no different than any one of those days.   Colby has been watching the squirrels in the morning religiously.  Colby and Salt that is.  They both stare out the window, one frothing at the mouth, the other drooling.  One wants breakfast, the other to pick up his beloved .177 caliber pellet BB gun.  By now, you know which is which.  Well, this morning Colby loaded his gun and lurked around the backyard taking aim at a couple of unlucky squirrels.  One of the squirrels was shot and wounded.  Colby's jealous partner, Salt,
looked on.  The squirrel ran back over the fence and unfortunately, I fear the size of a squirrels head is indicative of the size of their brain, the squirrel came back and with a fatal blow, lost his head, at least part of it, as it turned out there was an ear that had been penetrated by a BB.  I didn't witness the event, thank the Lord, because I fear Colby's fun would have ended after shooting the squirrel the first time.  Colby came rushing upstairs, breathless with fear and excitement.  Fear over shooting a critter to its death, and excitement over shooting a critter to its death...  He wanted to call his friend Mick and report the good news.  He also wanted to skin it and keep its tail.  I told him no sir, no way, don't talk to me anymore about this poor squirrel.  Then I recanted and told him to call his dad at work.                                   
Jake called back not long after and let's just say the following moments were spent in utter excitement as Colby collected his knife, his homeschooling buddy down the road, a bucket of water, and some paper towels.  On close look at the squirrel, the boys discovered that the poor thing had an acorn in its mouth, don't be mistaken they weren't calling it poor thing, that's me. They had a blast skinning the thing and it drove the dog half mad, as he raced in circles inside the house madly barking as the boys laughed and played with squirrel guts outside.  Yuck!  The rest my friends is history, literally.

Sock On Sock Off!

I've heard it called "Socktoberfest" but really it's called, I knit for other people and wanted to knit something for myself.  So, here were the socks 2 weeks ago.  I finally got the chance to sit, knit, and finish them off.  For some queer reason my calves looks particularly large in this photo.  I've not gained that much weight, though over the next 9 months or so I may...


Give me a P-O-P-P-Y!

Happy birthday Dad!  Enjoy your celebration with your sweet little wife.  We love you so much!!  This video effort was the 3rd of 3 out takes.  There were kids crying, dog licking babies face, children falling over, etc.  This was the best.


this was the first choice

it's just a bit more expensive.  A completely different look.

This is what I'm considering

and Jake likes it too.  Click Here  Is the silver buckle goofy?


Female Readers.....

Help me please.  I am in need of a little fashion advice and you dear female readers are a diverse group of folks, so I trust that I will have a good feel for what I'm going to ask.  

Is it, "allowed" in the fashion world to wear a white gown to an evening event.  The Marine Corps Ball is approaching and I get to  buy a new dress.  The one I've spotted is an ivory shade and beautiful.  My vanity becomes a little unraveled at the thought of showing up to the ball in an ivory colored gown, when every one except me seems to know you only wear such a thing to a wedding.  

So what's the verdict, a go or a no go?


For your utmost enjoyment

Silas just got the hang of "real" walking this week.  We are so excited to see him growing and enjoying God's excellent grace of good health to him...though, we are not assuming that he is attributing this new feat to God's grace.  But by God's grace, we are hoping that he someday will. 

Libby turns 3

We celebrated Libby's 3rd birthday last Sunday and all of us had such a blast.  Libby knew the day was all about her.  She rocked to the rhythm of "Happy Birthday to You."  She got so excited when the song was done that instead of sucking the frosting off the end of the candle she tried to put the hot wick in her mouth.  We created sweet memories and enjoyed the friends who came and celebrated the life of this dear little girl with us.