Baby Josephine Claire Higgins

Isn't she beautiful?

My Brother is a Father!

I have no pictures to share yet. My sister, Claire, gave birth last night to a healthy 8 pound baby girl. Her name is Josie Claire Higgins. Looks like Thanksgiving has come a bit early to my brother's home this year.



We had some great success yesterday. No foul words or messes! Praise God to both. Silas even had his first poo in the toilet without putting it in the bathtub. He's doing great with his training and is peeing consistently with and without help. He has even figured out how to pee 5 different times in under 10 minutes.. All of this for the love of fruit leather. That's been the reward of choice since the oreo incident. Louisa was the only other child to figure out she'd be rewarded even for the smallest drop. So, now we are only giving bites of fruit leather if there is a significant amount of pee. I think that by weeks end we'll be in underwear during the day.

Way to go Silas! Hoot! Hoot!


Let's Smile Together, Shall We?

Check out those chubby cheeks!

The Sad, Stinky Story

This post is not for the faint of heart, nor those given to gagging easy, nor for the sinless soul..

or mommy says her first potty mouth word in years! I've confessed and repented to the Lord, but I said a bad word tonight.

It all started when Jake mentioned more than a few times that Silas is ready for potty-training. Haha, the Lord was thinking it was time for some training in patience and humility on my part. I have discovered that the best way to potty train the boys is just to let them run naked. That way when they pee they can see what's up and I can direct them to the toilet and so on and so forth. Today was day 2 of PT for Silas. Let's just say I really didn't want to have a day 2 after day 1, but once I start something I must finish it! Yesterday Silas decided to go number 2 under the dining room table. The only problem is I'd been rewarding him with oreos for his peepee efforts so things weren't as they should have been. By the time I discovered what he had done he had come to me with poo up and down the legs, holding it in his hands and there was a trail of it through the house... it was the worst mess I've seen in years. The kind of mess one screams about when they see because it reminds you of a horror flick. It was so bad that the big boys were dry heaving and running to their rooms and the girls were standing on the couch, the only clean place, squealing with terror. Silas just stood there and cried. This would have all been manageable had I not seen what happened next. It was Salt under the table, where Silas had been. What to do? Should I continue with taking Silas up to the tub or get the dog out. I screeched about the dog and one of the girls released him to the back yard since the boys were hiding. Thankfully I cleaned up the mess and the house was spit spot in a matter of moments.
Then tonight matters went downhill. Silas went to the bathroom upstairs in the toilet which is great. The only problems were a.) I didn't know he was going to the bathroom b.) Salt knew he was going to the bathroom and c.) there had been such a terrific mess in the tub yesterday after I cleaned up the boy that he naturally thought his poo might should be placed by hand of course into the bathtub. Louisa was the fortunate one to happen on the scene and I could tell by the shrieks that ensued that something of terror and horror was happening again. Sure enough it was. I ran up and saw the mess and starting cleaning it up and the boy up.. and I then I said it.. the bad word. I couldn't believe I said it, but I did. "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Such conviction was poured on my head as God's words rang true. So much for loveliness and grace.. which is what I had prayed for this morning. Thankfully I have another shot tomorrow as Silas still isn't trained..

In case you were wondering where Jake was in all of this, he was studying in the den. When he heard the commotion he came out of the den and heard me exclaim about the dog and the boy's you know what. So, he took Salt downstairs and washed his mouth out with soap. It was the funniest thing I heard all day. Poor Salt.

Jake and the Sourdough Starter

So, here's Jake in the engine and the sourdough starter I told you about. Gross huh? Not as gross as what's been happening in my house the last two days, but that's another sad story.


A Sad Revelation

Back to the ball. The older couple pictured sitting near us, The Flores', are a very sweet couple. Benjamin is a former Marine and something about the brotherhood of Marines draws them to each other, so it didn't take long for Jake and Benjamin to hit it off at church. Elizabeth is an amazing woman and spends her time volunteering at the Pregnancy Resource Center in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is an extremely liberal city where anything and everything goes. It's estimated that a mere 4% of people who live there attend church. Therefore the PRC draws a lot of volunteers from the local christian community as it is a great way to reach lost women.

During dinner I spent a good deal of time getting to know Elizabeth better. The men had gone off to smoke cigars and tell war stories, that left the ladies at the table alone to hang out. Elizabeth was inquiring about our family, the size of it mainly and our beliefs about having children. She was sharing with me her first hand experiences, with people who come in to have an abortion, at the PRC. Mind you she didn't share personal information on particular people, but the mind set of people who come in to the center. I was shocked as to what she told me. You see I've had it in my mind that people who get abortions are either very young girls, or those who hate children and live wanton lifestyles. On the contrary, much opposed to my thinking, the majority of people who come into the center choose to have an abortion because it would upset their lifestyle. This is a shocker because, you know what? I have heard countless people in the church choose not to have children or more children because it would upset their lifestyle. ie. They don't have the money to support children, this could be an argument, but the problem is the people who have said this make just as much as Jake does or close to it... clearly that's not a truthful statement. Or They want to wait until they're a little bit older... Hmm, there are all kinds of excuses one could give as to why they don't want to have babies. The fact is the excuse coming out of the mouths of believers are the same as the excuses coming out of the mouths of those who are ready to hop on the abortion table.

This is so sad. God has designed men and women for marriage and the reproduction of themselves for the glory of Him. This is fact.

And Another Thing

This one is much heavier, physically that is. The engine in the classic chevy has died. Something about coolant and oil don't mix, but they did. So, this means that a new winter project has emerged. I found Jake in an old flight suit sitting in the engine compartment dismantling the thing. I grabbed a quick look at the mess and it looks like a sourdough starter overflowed inside the engine. Oops. I guess I'll have to wait a few months for a hot date with my man... Though when he takes me out in the thing again I'm thinking we'll have a much louder, faster ride!

Something has Invaded Our Home

Louisa was down with a fever near 102, with an intense headache and aching stomach.. Tonight we had two others, Ben and Jackie, sprawled out in the living room under blankets with red eyes. Then upon getting into bed, Colby declared, "It feels like someone's squeezing my brain." Judging by the look of his eyes, I'd have to agree.

Better we all get it now than deal with the whole taking turns thing.


Oh Libby,

You're not really homeless are you? Sweet little Libby, though I try very hard, she tends to appear as a little homeless thing in half my photos. She's such a dear little thing, but with rag-a-muffin tendencies that are hard to undue.


Kids Being Kids

Benjamin and Louisa digging
Samuel waiting on me to quit playing with the camera
Jackie hanging out on a limb

We're Smarter than That!

I got to chuckling when I checked out the picture of my malfunctioning shoes. We don't really name our children after my shoes. ;)


Marine Corps Ball

Jake and I
Benjamin and Elizabeth Flores
borrowed the above photo from the Good's blog :)
malfunctioning shoes

or mom gets out of the house for a big date and her wardrobe malfunctions..

We had so much fun at the ball. We sat with our good friends the Good's and also some new friends from church the Flores'. The evening was lovely and the setup was beautiful. There were bagpipes to start and end the ceremony. It was absolutely amazing. I've never been so close to bagpipers before. The sound literally radiates through your body.
Then of course there was a fine meal and music. The music normally starts off fun and then something happens after 10 pm and the music gets louder and wilder. Before the wild music had taken over the DJ played the Cha Cha Slide. I'm a sucker for line dancing so I had to go out and dance. I was having a great time dancing with Maryn and a bunch of other folks when suddenly I came unglued. Literally! My dress shoes are/were several years old and they suddenly came unglued. All the straps decided at once to detach themselves and be free from the sole. The only strap that remained was the one around my ankle. So that shoe was stuck to my ankle and there was no way to get it off without having a seat. I hobbled off the floor with the shoe dragging behind me and the other shoe still very much intact. Oh well. At least I danced 3/4's of a dance. Later I managed to break free from my shoes and danced a slow song with my man before going home. We still had such a blast and I was thankful that nothing else in my wardrobe malfunctioned!


It's True!

I wish I would have read the below article first over at Girl Talk. Then again having experienced the Lord's blessing just by obeying the Spirit's leading and my husband's asking is pure joy.

Yes, I have been having a grumpy, frumpy, self-pitying week. Trying to sort through, is this my hormones or is it just good old fashioned sin.. It's the latter I can assure you. Life is busy right now, there's always a diaper to be changed, a meal to be prepared, a lesson to be taught, a mess to be cleaned up, or an "owie" needing kissing. Sometimes in the gloom of my self-pity it would seem that life is hopeless. Hello, did I just say life is hopeless? Shame, shame on me. Life is hopeful. The Redeemer, Christ, was sacrificed to quench the wrath of an angry God! Because of Him, I don't have to live a hopeless life. My life is steady in the arms of my Savior and my eternity is fixed in Heaven with my Lord.

With that I declare that being hospitable to our neighbor and his 3 children, a son Colby's age and twin girls Jackie's age, my gloom was lifted. What is it about serving and giving away an afternoon to cooking up chowda, making french bread, and apple crisp? It was God's hospitality ministering to me as I ministered to others.

I was again reminded over at Femina that too much talking to myself about my woes and not enough listening to the Lord is in itself a sick habit and a path to destruction.

Below is the refreshing article from Girl Talk:

“The joy of receiving God’s hospitality decays and dies if it doesn’t flourish in our own hospitality to others,” warns John Piper. But when we practice hospitality:

“…we experience the refreshing joy of becoming conduits of God's hospitality rather than being self-decaying cul-de-sacs….” [W]e experience the thrill of feeling God's power conquer our fears and our stinginess and all the psychological gravity of our self-centeredness. And there are few joys, if any, greater than the joy of experiencing the liberating power of God's hospitality making us a new and radically different kind of people, who love to reflect the glory of his grace as we extend it to others in all kinds of hospitality.


Another of Mom's Secrets

See that spot on the back of Si's head? It's right beneath the hairline, the soft place on the back of the neck. It's perfect for giving little kisses. Mom would say it's her spot, but I love it too. I never find any dried, crusty items of mystery there. Just soft untouched skin.. except by me and mom..

What's Black and Stretchy?

Notice Jack's face, she doesn't want to go home.
My word, Colby looks just like me in this pic.
It's a wetsuit baby! Since moving here to Cali we've discovered the water is very, very cold. Much different than the Atlantic in North Carolina. I was surprised to discover it. I always had this misconception that all of the Atlantic was colder than the Pacific.. well not in the small part of the world where we are. It's cold here, very cold. So, we've been slowly outfitting the surfers in the family with wetsuits.

Notice that I'm wearing a wetsuit.. it's not because I'm a surfer.. all I do is paddle and fall down, making a fool of myself, all of this an awful lot.. One time I almost got a ride on a wave and Ben who was flanking my left exclaimed, "look, a big fish!" that was a little freaky to hear, I lost my balance and fell.. Since I'm unsuccessful in the water I thought I'd make good use of it at home. I generally wear my wetsuit for cooking, scrubbing toilets, vacuuming, see above photo. Just kidding. We happened to come in from surfing one night and I had to get set with dinner and there wasn't time to shower first.. there you have it.

Louisa is next in line to get her wetsuit. She can hardly wait. She's not surfing yet, but it's becoming apparent that the littles don't know how to stay dry when we tell them to only get their feet wet. With that, it looks like we'll be outfitting the whole fam!


Girl, Surfer Girl, My Little Surfer Girl...

I have watched you on the shore..

Daddy's little surfer girl that is, he's a pretty good teacher huh?


Samuel 5 months

I am so thankful for the sweet boy. He is so therapeutic to me. He is always smiling and laughing. He sees me and responds with such gladness. I get a little weepy when I think of him growing so fast. It really feels like I just had that little boy. Praise God for his kindness toward us, the Reynolds, in bringing the boy this way!

Where are the Seahorse's?

We decided to make a mini-vacation of our trip up to San Francisco. We went to the DeYoung Museum of Art and took the King Tutankhamen tour. The kids were fascinated by the amazing artifacts on display. They have each studied King Tutankhamen in turn and could hardly wait to see what archaeologists had dug up only decades ago.

Libby quite confused as to where we were going asked, "Where are the Seahorse's?" She obviously thought we were at the Aquarium again.

Feast of all Saints

On October 31, we made a trip up to San Francisco to celebrate a, "Feast of all Saints" with some friends from church. We ate delicious rustic food, sang beautiful hymns and watched others perform songs, dramas, poems, and various other talents in celebration of the event. It was a beautiful time had by all.
Jake was Lord of the Manor~
I was the Lord's Lady~
Colby was Pope Leo X (Martin Luther's Antagonist)
Jackie was Argula Von Grumbach (First Protestant Female writer and Defender of Martin Luther)
Benjamin was Martin Luther
Louisa was Elisabeth Luther (Martin Luther's daughter)
Libby was a little Renaissance girl
Silas and Samuel were Silas and Samuel..
We had hoped to dress up Silas as the wild boar who fouled up Pope Leo's garden during Luther's time in jail, but I didn't get his costume prepared for the event, oh well.

Yes, that's a mustache you see on Jake's face... Just in time for Mo-vember

For Dad R.

Grandpa Reynolds street of birth. We didn't have the address, so we just snapped a picture of the street sign for you. The kids were really excited to tread the ground where you once were a little...