A First for Louisa

Louisa lost her first tooth on Thursday evening.  We were sitting at the dinner table when it happened.  In my experiences of tooth loss this is the best place to be.  Not as difficult to manage as opposed to other locations like, running the bases in a baseball game, sitting through a sermon, in the middle of a large wrestling match with 4-5 people, or being held upside down..  She was eating baked oatmeal, a quick family favorite, and very soft too.  When her sweet little voice chimed, "mommy look at this."  I looked and there was her tooth completely horizontal pointing straight at me.  Of all things, teeth and any trouble with them are at the top of my list of scary, gross things to deal with.  I told her that I would close my eyes and that she needed to pull it out, that now was the time..  (I was given several offers the previous night at church because it was bleeding a bit, I insisted otherwise as it's not fitting to subject my daughter to having someone other than her dad put his fingers in her mouth and yank out a tooth)  She did it herself and I was so proud.  She's a real trooper.  She put it in the back pocket of her daddy doll and told me, "maybe the tooth fairy can come tonight."  She came and left 6 quarters.  Louisa was super excited and life is back to normal... Except for her smile ;)


Here's a Brilliant Idea!

Sarcasm lies ahead, beware.

Do your children suffer from chapped lips?  Ahhh, of course they do, it's winter and the air is dry.
Here's an idea, give your 3 year old a tube of chapstick and strap her to her car seat and go for, let's say a 45 minute car trip.  Sit her siblings beside her and surely there will be no report of any suspected wrong-doing.  
Just keep driving around and pick up your daughter from ballet and then go back home.
By the time you arrive guess what?  Your child will no longer be chapped.  Instead their face will be glistening, yes shining.  Their breath will smell like cherries, as a matter of fact they will feel full from eating half the tube.  For added benefit your child could smear it all through their hair.  This way you will never ever have to buy conditioner for your child.  What a savings.  
Now go home and wipe off any excess, better yet draw up a warm bath and wash your child's hair repeatedly say 5 times.  I guarantee you'll be surprised in the morning when you are taken back to a scene from Grease.

Okay, so Libby got into a tube of chapstick last night.  What she didn't eat she covered her entire head with.  It was very funny to me.  The shampoo didn't begin to touch it really, so I think I'll have her run a few laps around the house and see if we can sweat it out.  

I don't have any pictures.. sorry.

If you were curious...

I am feeling fine.  I am definitely getting bigger.  The baby seems to be healthy.  I feel lots of movement all the time.  The movement is typically very defined, not flutters so much but definitely kicks.  I am often reminded of being pregnant with Louisa when I feel this one move around.  I have settled in my mind that I think it's a boy... Obviously there's 50% chance either way, but those are my hunches..  I weigh in/check in with the doctor on Thursday.  It was to have been last Tuesday, but we had a snow day instead.  


Let's get to the Pointe!!

Okay, if you can't take a little moment to listen to me brag..  then please stop reading.  No really, to God be the glory.  Nearly 10 years ago Jackie came crashing into this world, literally.  She is a delight to mother and the ability she has to stand, even breathe are from God alone.  So, when I say that she was appointed to go to Pointe Shoes, I know that it is a gift from the Lord.  
Two weeks ago, just before Jake left Jackie received her letter in ballet class that she is ready to go to Pointe shoes.  Jake and I are so excited for her.  We knew the opportunity was approaching and that a couple of girls from her class would be selected.  Jake and I received the call that she was one of them a week before she knew.  We decided that we wouldn't tell her.  We felt as though this was a healthy time of anticipation and a good test to see nervousness build and her response to it.  As parents we often wonder how the children will react to good news/bad news.  She handled herself beautifully through the entire week leading up to.  Before we even knew she would receive her letter, we prepared her by reminding her that God has designed her body, He is the one that portions strength and weakness.  She merely is to be disciplined with her body and her response to a merciful God.  Whether or not she was elected to Pointe was in His hands.. not hers.  We instructed her that when the day came she needed to respond humbly and gracefully whether or not she went to Pointe.  She was sweet the day she received her note, blushing as her little name was called.
Today she and I went to Jacksonville and met her teacher, Miss Laura, there.  She was fitted to her Pointe shoes.  She was such a cutie.  I loved watching her giggle and blush in disbelief.  
Her teacher will keep the shoes at the studio, so that there won't be any temptation to try them on at home and possibly harm herself.  She will learn how to sew the ribbons to the shoes, care for them, and stand at the bar, and eventually do ballet on Pointe.  We are very excited for Jackie!  


Advanced Credit

So, I have to say that while beginning the tax-filing process I am a bit shocked that the Stimulus Check we received in 08 was part of what we would normally get in our refund.  Our refund is lower by exactly the same amount our stimulus check was for.  I did several searches and read several explanations about it and people everywhere are discovering the same as me.  Had we known the stimulus check was part of our normal credit we wouldn't have stimulated the economy as much as we did.  We saved a good chunk of it, but still we would rather have saved it all rather than pump it to the tanks!


He calls me Nonni

And I love it.  Silas can't really say M's yet and for the past 3 days, instead of calling me daddy like he normally does, he's been calling me Nonni.  It's so cute and I really hope it sticks, isn't that kind of strange, a mother who likes being called something other than mommy?  

Here he is helping me vacuum.  He's intrigued by the machine and if he isn't laying across the canister getting a ride, he's holding the neck of it pushing and pulling with me.


Safe on Deck

Jake landed and is in billeting.  The internet is extremely slow, so if you have emailed and are waiting for a response, be patient. 


Tongues a'waggin!

What is it about the snow that makes us open our mouths to taste it?  Somehow, or maybe it's a Reynolds thing and we have our mouths open too often anyway, I managed to capture the kids at various intervals with mouths wide open, tongues hanging out.  Jackie was the only civilized one of the bunch who mounded her snow into a nougat of sorts and nibbled from it.  We had an expected, and most delightful snow day today.  Ben was so beside himself that he had to shield his eyes from the sight of it just to get through grammar.  Libby played hard and didn't come in the house until her little fingers were a deep shade of maroon and her nose was running wildly.  I told her to come in and take off her outdoor duds.  She in turn exclaimed, "I need some hot chocolate."  I always knew she'd be the brilliant one.  So, we enjoyed hot chocolate, myself a cup of Chai, each in turn as the frost bit hard on their little fingers and they were forced to it.  

Even Salt took part in the action.  He was stirred by the whole event and romped about racing after the kids.  At one point he was, "turning Japanese, I think I'm turning Japanese!" because the wind was gusting so hard his little eyes were squinting.  He also had a little frozen goatee going on.  When he came in, Jackie mentioned something about how, "one time I read about dog's stomach's freezing because he ate too much snow."  Louisa was immediately compelled to serve, and forced him to drink hot water.  Poor Salt.

It's still snowing now and I'd say we've got a good 3 inches.  I'm no meteorologist, so that number could be off, but you can't see the grass any longer and there are drifts here and there.  With tomorrow's high being a mere 37, I think the kids will be after it again.  Right now their coats are tumbling in the wash and dryer so that they'll be ready for tomorrow.

The Privations of War

It's indeed an outrage when all I can get in a combat zone is a crumby Starbucks.  In addition to that, the only thing we could find for poker chips was rock pebbles.  Yes, war is tough so pleaaaaase keep those care packages coming!

Thank you for your patience in a little satire.  I am doing more than well and I appreciate you support and prayers.



Just received word, and Jake is safe in Kuwait.  He will fly to Iraq soon, probably within the next 2 days.  


Fear at 2 am

After finally winding down and settling off into bed last night, I fell into a deep sleep.  All was well until 2 am when Salt, my personal security system, sounded off in a ferocious banter of barking.  I leaped out of bed and thought, "great, Jake's just left and things aren't right at 2 am."  I crept through the halls and saw Salt flipping out in the front entrance way and then I peered around the corner to see a man standing outside in the front entrance.  With my heart pounding and my hands going numb I tried to reason about what I should do.  I peer around the corner again and see that it's a Marine and as I closely examine the Marine, I'm thinking, "oh Lord, a thief, who's a Marine, is standing outside my front door, and he looks a little like Jake."  What trickery is this?  
Well it was Jake, his plane was delayed in Minneapolis and he was granted another day.  Tonight, this time at 8:00 we'll drop him off again.  We are all so excited to have a full Saturday with him!


Bitter Cold and Many Tears

Just an update that Jake took off tonight for Iraq.  We had salt streaks stuck to our faces after crying in the bitter cold.  Thank you all for your sweet encouragements and blessed prayers for us.  May we glorify God with tears of joy and sorrow, not bitterness, towards His perfect, Sovereign plan for our family these next few months!  I'll post again once Jake's landed safely.  I may not have any word until Wednesdayish.  


Scratch That!

Another phone call yielded a Friday p.m. departure.  So, the wait is on.  Whether or not to include the children in our little roller coaster of departure is yet to be determined..

Sometimes the news seems bad

Other times it's good.  For example Jake and I have gone through 5 plus gallons of paint in the past few days.  We've painted the living room, the bathrooms, the entrance way, most of the trim in our home.  On top of this, he's pressured washed the house, we had the carpets steam vaccuumed, Jake's edged every single garden that surrounds the house and will soon lay the pine straw.  The one lurking project was the school room.  This wouldn't seem lurking had he not painted it less than a year ago.  During this time we nearly ran out of the color we were using so instead of going back to the store again we mixed some white paint into the green so we could just finish the project.  So, that meant there wouldn't be any paint left for touch ups.  Unfortunately somebody, we won't say whom to protect the identity of the culprit, took a green marker to the wall, another somebody, also whom we won't reveal, etched a series of codes consisting of strange figures, numbers, and backwards letters to the walls.  The good news is that a magic eraser took all of the marker and alien codes from the walls.  We were thrilled.  That's a big to do off our list.

The bad news, and really it isn't bad, more disappointing in nature, is that Jake is leaving earlier than we thought.  Something about missing a last weekend that we thought we had is sad.  Right now Jake is out with his daughters having a, "breakfast date."  He and I rejoiced last night over the children's response.  Instead of anger, there were tears and we think that is perfectly acceptable.  So, off he goes Thursday night.  Pray for us all as the reality is sinking in!


Ballerina Girls

My little ballerina's, Jackie and Louisa, have the privilege of dancing at a fine studio near our
 home.  Twice per year parents are permitted to come in the ballet room and take pictures of their daughters.  December was the first such privilege and it was so fun.  Louisa has come such a long way in her dancing and I have to say seeing her in her bright pink tutu lit up my afternoon.  She thoroughly enjoys herself while dancing.  

Jackie has become such a graceful young lady through her dance.  I watch her and find myself amazed at the increasing ability she has with the sport/hobby.  Jake and I agree it's been well worth the investment of our time and finances to see them progress.  Jackie also takes Character which would explain the picture of her buckling her shoes.

Jake's TEMPORARY Mailing Address

While Jake is away his mailing address will be on the blog... on the left side.  He would be tremendously encouraged by letters, even if it's a one liner.  Thanks Guys!


Smoothie, Smoothie, oh so smoooooth

The weather is still chilly and will get colder yet, but I've not been able to pass up the smoothies.  For breakfast it's been my hearts content.  This is what I do.  In the blender:  1/2 cup yogurt or a touch less, 1 banana room temp, 6-7 frozen raspberries, 2 slices of frozen pear, and 1 teaspoon honey.  Just Puree and you've got breakfast!!  If you're banana is frozen than have your other fruits up to room temp, otherwise you'll  be having a very thick smoothie. (This may not be a problem if you live in Mexico, and the weather plays in your favor..)


We made it home!

Let me say that we had such a sweet time.  It was romantic and perfectly fun!  We were spoiled by tasty food, fun shopping, mountain biking, excellent customer service at the hotel, a bath tub that belongs in a mansion, piping hot coffee, naps, sleeping in, etc.  
We arrived home to cheering children.  They were all yelling daddy!  My feelings weren't hurt because I know they missed me too ;).  
We worshipped sweetly at church this morning and started off the year partaking in communion with the Saints then coming home to Linguine Carbonara.  
I have to say that 2009 couldn't be off to a better start.  
Now for the reality that Jake will still be deploying and somebody must teach those dear children their lessons...


Room 512

So, that's where I'm sleeping tonight.  Not in my bed.... Jake and I are in Raleigh having some husband/wife time before he deploys.  We are away for 2 nights and let me tell you, when we pulled away from the home it was like a first date... We hardly knew what to say to each other and sat in silence for like 5 minutes.  Many thanks to Will and Melia for taking charge of the cul-de-sac and dismissing us for 2 days.  We are having fun.
I have to say that checking into our hotel was loads of fun as we didn't have to double check that we had all present and accounted for.  Even entering our room.  There's only one bed in here.  No couches that fold out, no extra pillows to be called downstairs for, nor extra linens.  It's funny as we even took a little nap and didn't worry about anything dreadful happening while we looked at the back of our eyelids.  We went to dinner at a restaurant that we eat often and Jake and I both noticed the food tasted better than it ever had...  This has to be attributed to being able to focus on a mouthful of food and not being concerned about a little heaving something at a table nearby or belching at a most inopportune time, not to mention sterilizing the high chair, finding something kid friendly on a complex menu, cutting food into bite sized pieces, etc..

Oh yes Happy New Year Sweet Ones!!