Suddenly He was 14

If I've learned anything as a mother, it would be that time really does fly and the kids truly do grow up before our eyes.  When I think back to the time when Colby was born, when he was fresh and new, I have to catch my breath because it is swept away from me.
We most humbly and joyfully celebrated our firstborn child tonight.  You may take note of the date.  It's the 29th.  His birthday was the 28th.  We were all laid out yesterday, all except Colby, Ben, and Silas.  The rest of us were recovering from a nasty bout of the stomach flu.  Colby most graciously proclaimed, "That's okay, I'll do the dishes and clean up today.. Tomorrow we'll celebrate."  In a word, Selfless.  There aren't any other 14 year old young men that I know of whom are as selfless as Colby.  He is a great treasure to us and we cherish each day we have with him.
Colby, we are so thankful for you.  We are humbled that the Lord would send you to our very humble beginnings of a family and allow us to call you our own.  Even if for a few more years before some precious gem of a lady enraptures your heart.  We love you and adore you greatly.  Happy, Happy Birthday Son!


Top 10 Large Family Comments of 2010

There are many times that comments are made by strangers in response to just seeing our not-that-large-to-me family.  Typically, this happens in the check-out line or the freezer section of the grocery store, don't ask me why... Perhaps those are the places I'm the most stationary.  Often, I am able to muster a God-glorifying, sweet response to them.  There are other times that I feel like scowling in response and perhaps even unloading more than my shopping cart.  Without further ado, below is listed a small grouping of the uncensored things which roll out of the mouths of God's Creatures.

10. "How many of these are you babysitting?"

9. "Are you sure they're all yours?"

8. "Wow, do you know how this happens?"  Sometimes I feel like saying, "actually no, we're still trying to figure that out!"

7. "You look too skinny and frail to have that many children."

6. "More people should be like you. The muslims will take over otherwise."

5. "Your family is beautiful.  I wish more people would have more children."  My personal favorite!

4. "They are really all yours?  Are they from the same marriage?"

3. "So, are you guys Catholic or Mormon?"

2. "Wow, this is your mom's 8th pregnancy, she even looks Sane!"  This one was super funny because Jackie relayed it to me.

and the final, most ghastly of all and I'm so glad Jake was on the receiving end of this:

1. "Holy ..... "  This was spoken to Jake at a Christmas party of all places.

There you have it.  People are extremely curious, sometimes rude, and other times very kind!  It's always a great opportunity to magnify the Gospel and Christ's work in our family.

Merry Christmas and yes, they're all ours!



He's funny.  We've taken to calling him our little lion cub.  Mainly because of the color of his hair, his skin, and also because of the size of his paws, um mitts.  He loves playing with little lego men and particularly enjoys hot wheels and trains.  Kind of like another little boy I used to know who grew up into a young man wayyy too fast.


Beautiful Boys!

There is nothing as precious to me as when my children laugh and play joyfully together.  Their smiles of delight are unmeasured treasures to me.


Not a Catalog House

I live in a Home.  I have to laugh sometimes when I see people put pictures on their blog of what they envision there home to look like.  A home is a home not a house.  I think of a catalog house as something not lived in.  Tell me how it's possible to have a Home like the pictures you see in catalogs. Are those really homes in those pictures?  Where do you find one like that.  If you do find the Catalog Home are there actually people living there?  Really living there?  

I think for too long I might have coveted a catalog home.  Thinking it was a reality.  A place that would stay clean and beautiful.  A place where, if the doorbell rings, there is no mad dash of a cleaning frenzy to pick up the stray bits of whatever was just destroyed or tracked in the home from outside.  A place where the pictures on the wall never need straightening or dusting.
As time has come and gone I've realized something.  My home is beautiful.  Maybe not so clean.  But, it's a Home.  People are living here.  Really living and breathing.  Laughter constantly rings out through the air.
Battles take place and little ones charge to and fro; conquering and destroying all the obstacles in their path.  Leaving a maze of destruction and noise behind them.
Oh yes, the face of a warrior is present and the house isn't a house it's a home.  Complete with sound effects and battle cries!
Complete with little fairy girls knocking there brothers upside the head with plastic bags loaded with nonsense.  Yes, our house is a home.  Certified and true.  If I try to make it perfect than where is the life?   As a friend once said to me, "Where there is a mess, there has been life!" I love that saying and it helps me to remember life abounds and messes are just a part of it.  Can you imagine a picture like the one above, with a plastic bag getting ready to plop the baby in the back of the head in a catalog?  That would be funny, but then I would want the story that goes along with it... and you can only find that in a home.



Trit is a nickname.  I'm not sure the beginning roots; though I have often been called Tritter as well.  There are other nicknames that come to the list.  Names such as; Buckwheat, Crispy Critter, Higlet, and there may be more.  Since being married I am fondly referred to as Wifie.  I love it.  Others call me CL, just my initials.

My favorite of all names, is Mom.

Boring topic for a blog entry, but a tidbit that maybe someone might have been interested in..



Lots of knitting going on.  I made a guess about a baby who hadn't arrived yet... The family has 4 sons and another baby was on the way.  I knit a blue sweater just for him.  To the surprise of the family and most at church a beautiful baby girl came through instead!  Can you imagine the joy and excitement?  The little sweater I knit for her I forgot to take a picture of, so I'll have to ask for one later.  Above are the other little sweaters that were crafted in my spare time.  The one without the hood was an alteration to the pattern I've been using and I came up with it myself.  I was very pleased with the end result.

Right now I'm working on a little something for a certain ballerina for Christmas.  More on that after the celebration.


14 Weeks Tomorrow

I'm still feeling green most days.  We heard the heartbeat again last Monday.  It was pounding around 165 and was music to my soul.  I still feel like there is pink growing in me.  Though of course, I could be wrong.  Judging by my face which continues to break out in teenage expressions... I could be right.

Baseball Season Really isn't Over

My sons have been collecting baseball cards for years.  To be quite honest, I don't understand collecting.  My mom never really collected anything, except good music, and growing up I took most of my cuing from her.  My dad collected coins, flies for fly-fishing, and I'm thinking that's all.  My husband on the other hand was also an avid collector and baseball cards was his forte.  So, like their pop, the boys have amassed a rather large collection of cards through the years.  

Recently, Colby and Benjamin decided to host a Baseball Card Show for their neighborhood friends and of course their family.  There was a small fee to get in and with your entrance fee there was a free pack of cards waiting for you.  There were even the most rare of cards... Autograph cards of Colby and Benjamin during their little league years.  Those were a hit!
Here they are getting set up.
Their buddies and sisters have shown up with allowances in hand... hopefully to make wise choices.
There was even a catering service hired.
Jackie Lynn Catering.
It was really fun for the kids and I'm glad they are so creative.   I really enjoyed all the little signs they hung up.  It was insisted that everyone wash his hands before even entering the card arena.  So smart!


Cast on, Cast off..

I'm not talking about knitting either.  I took off the cast Saturday p.m.  Samuel was coming out of the bath when I realized that I hadn't wrapped his cast properly.  The baggie was filled with dingy water.  So, he's without it.  The swelling in his wrist is gone and he is using his arm with no trouble.  I guess the Dr. was right that it only needed a week to heal.  He was supposed to have worn it for 3 weeks total, half that time is going to have to suffice.


Christmas Trees Again!

Somehow the Christmas Season has come again.  Each year it seems to arrive quicker and quicker.  We are ready though.  We love to feast and celebrate the birth of our Great Savior!
We headed to a new tree farm we had heard about at church.  We hiked a tall hill and spread out the tarp and wool blanket and had a picnic.

Silas is loving his pb&j.  Sweet times with such sweet, dear people.

Samuel was a bit disgruntled when he saw a ziploc bag loaded with chocolate chip cookies out of his reach.  The smug look returned to his face when his chubby mitts held one of their own.
I was content with hot cider.  Just like any other woman I know, I was cold and there's nothing like a hot drink to warm the bones.
After fellowshipping with some dear friends from church we decided it was time to hunt for the "perfect" tree.  We found it too.  Her name is, Peaches.  Something unique about the farm was that each tree had its own name.  Libby was so excited.  After Jake cut it down Libby kept saying, "Look mommy, I am kissing Peaches!"
Then it was time to go home.  I had to snap a picture of a sign in the little Christmas tree store.  Cute huh?


Cast in Action

   Samuel is getting used to his cast.  It hasn't been the smoothest of times for the little lad.  Why, the second day with the thing on he took it off.  It was during his nap and he was crying.  I finally went to go get him and he was standing in his pack n play, favoring his broken bone, and waving the cast around no doubt thinking to himself, "Look mom, I took this thing off for us!"  I had to sit on him and shimmy the thing back over his fat hand and down his arm... not a fun time.  He has taken it off 3 other times since then.  He's impressive.  He's so determined.  He won't back down until he's achieved his desires.  Below are the promised pictures.
Sam is growing tired of being autographed..  He thinks to himself, I'm not a baseball card.

Each day has brought more sticky, gunky residue to his new body armor.
That's right Sam, You love mom.


Cast that Gnarly Boy!!

Samuel is gnarly.  Gnarly is a strange word and up until a year ago I hadn't heard it used since I was in the 7th grade.  It's a term Californian's use and it typically refers to really cool surfing conditions or wild and out of the sort... I think.  I am making my definition based on how it's used to describe people and waves.  So, Samuel fits the definitions.  He's wild, he repeatedly walks off the edge of objects, he doesn't back down, he won't stop until he gets his way.  He'll even stand up on his pop's lap and jump off head first from a rocking chair... Thus fracturing his wrist.  You read that right.  His wrist is fractured.  He's in a cast as of 8:45 am this morning and we are on our way out of town right now.  I'll post pictures of the gnarliness later..  I don't know if gnarliness is a word because blogger doesn't like it.

More later.


Ball Picture

(Bet you thought my post below was enough for the day.. This is what happens when we're on break ;))

Photo compliments of Colby-nice work son.
We went to two balls this year.  The first ball was the Navy ball.  We were invited by a very sweet family and had so much fun.

Then of course was our traditional Marine Corps Ball and we went with a dear couple from church this year.  It was really a blast.  The theme was Vegas-Style.  So, we were given poker chips and there were tables to play.  It was a neat experience.  There was also a professional dancing couple who came and put on quite a show, they called it the Tango, I would call it the Tangle.  Let's just say the girl was quite flexible and I saw her unmentionables..  It was a bit sultry and when they were all untangled there were plenty of, hopefully, Single-Marines clamoring for pictures with the flexible tangle-rita..

I don't have any pictures of our friends the Martins from the ball itself, but we did get a professional picture taken.  When we receive it I'll scan it for the blog.

It is also in my mind...

I don't know what the title has to do with this post.  Well actually I do, it has nothing to do with this post.  It's a funny line from a movie that we own and Jake and I will randomly say it to each other and smile.  If you know the movie then speak up and I'll be impressed.. I'm always curious if other people steal lines from movies and incorporate them into their lives as often as Jake and I do.

What have we been doing around here at the Reynolds Home?  A lot, I can assure you.  What are we doing this week?  A lot, I can assure you, but there will be no homeschooling.  We are taking the week off.  Can I get cheer?  I intend to do some much needed housework.  I have discovered that as the family has been growing, from new births to bigger shoes, that the house is requiring a lot more upkeep and somehow I don't have the time to upkeep it.  What with homeschooling and wifing and homeschooling and mothering and homeschooling and everything else, cleaning has taken its place on the back burner.  I think that there would be people shocked to step into our home and see its condition.  It's not dilapidated by any means but it needs some TLC.  There are other things we've been doing too, like spending far too much money on butter.  Yes, I've been spending $40.00 a month on butter.  I have been trying to determine where all of my grocery money has been going and I have made a partial discovery.. Oh butter!  Though it strikes me as funny.  There was a time when two pounds of butter would get us through a month, but as I mentioned before the family is growing.  It's funny to me that we would be consuming 16 pounds of butter a month, but we are.  Also, pie season crept into my kitchen door and that hasn't encouraged things any, or maybe it has ;).  We are also spending $60.00 a month on milk.  I bet you didn't think this would be a post about my food budget did you?  Though these figures are rather startling we don't spend more than $20.00 a month on packaged foods such as chips and boxed cereal.  We do so much baking which is better for us and it's cheaper.  Butter may be pricy per pound, as is milk, but when you compare to say a pound of chips.. it wins out!  Alright, alright, enough about butter and milk.

We are heading up to Redding for Thanksgiving to celebrate with Jake's family.  We are all very excited and someone in particular is looking forward to her first Thanksgiving in years where she isn't the one running the show.  Sound a little selfish?  It is.  All I am bringing are rolls.  Rolls which I've already made and are sitting in the, what seems to be the, ever shrinking garage freezer. They are waiting for a ride up to Redding, to be devoured by hungry, turkey-feasting, thankful people.  The Reynolds are also bringing a song with them.  That's right, I bet you didn't know we could sing.  Well a few of us can hold a tune and the rest are good at batting there little eyelashes and always winning a smile.  So, sing we will.

We have been doing lots of celebrating as there have been many new babies born to sweet neighbors and ladies within our church, thus all of the knitting I've been doing.  We are excited about our own little wee one as well.  There is a new pattern I'm going to be trying and I'll post results once I'm done.  It may be a while though as I've vowed not to knit anything for my babe until all of the gifts for others are done. I'm about 11 and 1/2 weeks at this point and should be seeing some less-nauseating days around the corner soon, I hope.

This has turned into a very wordy entry and I've been all over the page, so I'll quit for now or at least a few hours..

We sure do love all of you out there who read our little family blog.  We miss those of you who we are away from during these Holiday Celebrations.  Know that we think of you and pray for you and especially your deployed spouses and brothers!



Well, what else?

Aside from dealing with some minor mental anguishes lately... like crazy deceptive hormones, pending move, and other strange places the brain wanders. I have been very busy.

Doing the laundry.  This size of a load happens about 3 times a week.
I have also been knitting.  I chose the colors for this sweater based on the eyes of the siblings of the little girl who was being born.  I almost forgot to grab a picture and fortunately remembered at the shower for the little girl.  I have knit 4 other sweaters in similar styles only much different colors for other babies being born soon.  It's so much fun to pick out the colors of yarn for a new little one.  I like to look at the color of skin and hair, the character of family whether outgoing or mild, or even the color of cheeks on the mother and make my choice from there.
Lastly, trying to keep up with my handsome Marine and dates to various balls.  So much fun!!
Can you believe how much older Colby is starting to look?



This afternoon I was in the midst of a normal Tuesday afternoon.  Normal for Tuesday is ballet for Jackie.  Morning-sickness has been the add on to what was normal a few weeks ago and now that too makes a normal Tuesday.  We have definitely settled into a routine here in Monterey.  I know my way around pretty well.  The gas station of choice is no longer a mystery, the best place for a sandwich is no longer a locals only secret, and I've even found a hair-stylist who knows a thing or two about curls.  Back to our Tuesday afternoon.  I was sitting and enjoying watching Jackie dance.  She is amazing and has learned more during her 2 months with the instructor here than she has anywhere else.  I think the year off from ballet drove her desire to learn and push harder with her ballet practice.  She is getting so strong on her feet and is a beauty to watch.   

Because Christmas is around the corner the ballet studio is buzzing with hype about the "Nutcracker."  During class one of the very sweet moms mentioned that I should ask the instructor about the "Angels Dance."  She mentioned that it would be perfect for Louisa and Libby who are also taking ballet.  I am typically not the type to ask questions nor to confront or to put my nose in places where it shouldn't be.  Today I decided I would just ask, it wouldn't hurt to ask.  So, ask I did.  The teacher was sweet and listened to my inquiry and graciously responded with, "I have a lot of girls who've been in the studio for years and they will get the parts first."  It really was a kind, honest response.  It's my own sorrow that I was offended.  You see, this always happens.  Not Louisa and Libby not getting a part, but it's a mistake I make every year.  I get comfortable with my new home, my new friends, and then inevitable it comes up.  I am reminded that I'm new here.. I need to wait in line, I wasn't here last year, etc.  It didn't used to bother me and I don't even know if I noticed it so much.  As I've gotten older, I've grown sad to realize that our roots are all over the place. That they aren't as deep as most other peoples.  We seem to spend a lot of time as the, "New kids on the block.."  

On my way home, I was feeling a bit down.  I was reminded that we'll be leaving here soon.  Any roots we've put down will remain only that deep.  We are going to start all over again.  It leaves a knot the size of Texas in my gut, when I think about it.  But then, guess what happens.  I pull into my driveway.  I walk in the doors of my home and this is what I see:

Yes, reminders of the Lord's kindness.  His tenderness toward us.  We have each other and will for a long time.  I am so thankful.  I start to feel sick that I have a complaining heart.  What was I thinking?  Such sweet little faces.  Such dear little friends.  Such a wonderful husband. Even the dog is okay.  I am so blessed and the roots of our home are very deep indeed!  I am encouraged to march on.  Laying roots as deep as I can lay them in all the sweet places the Lord takes us.  To bear a good witness for Christ.  For now, those are our marching orders.  They are really quite simple.  We go where the Lord tells us.  We obey and love his people and our neighbors with our fullest ability.  Then, when it's time, we move and start the process all over again.  Doesn't sound so bad now, does it.


A Gwate Nation

Sometimes my children say the funniest things.  I will turn my head in astonishment over what was spoken and laugh out loud.  It feels so good to laugh, doesn't it?

Louisa is a little gem and recently we've been studying about the saints of old.  Namely, Abraham and Sarah.  The promises that God had for Abraham.  Sarah's lack of trust in God by giving her servant to be Abraham's wife to bear for them a child.  How finally, after feeling the burning jealousy of the pregnancy of Hagar and Sarah's still barren womb.  Sarah was blessed with a child and a son at that.  His name was to be Isaac and the Lord made a covenant saying that He would make him a "Great Nation." Even still the Lord challenged Abraham, "Can you number the stars in the sky?"  That's how many his descendants would be!  All of this from a 100 year old man.

Back to Lou Lou.  She's been very excited to learn about God's promise to Abraham and then still His promise to Hagar and her son Ishmael.  Tonight, before Jake called up my dad to tell him that we were expecting another treasure from the Lord, Louisa spoke up and said, "I think that God is making us into a Gwate Nation."  That's sweet. May the Lord make us a Gwate family who treasures Christ above all things, who are quick to repent from sin. May he save each and everyone of our treasures.  May our little dears be put through the refiner's fire and be found brilliant.    

I say it humbly that we are pregnant.  We know who manages and controls the womb.  I am shy of nine weeks at this point.  I'm "due" June 10.  If I keep on the track of the last two little boys I'd say this baby will probably be a June-bug and will probably be born between Samuel's and Silas's birthday's.  I am guessing that I'm going to have a girl because I've been very ill.  As Jake told the children, it's not bad sickness, but sickness that is for good.  Praise the Lord.


More of the Same

I will try not to bore you with anymore of Jake and the boys McCovey Cove experience, but you must know that they were interviewed by a reporter from the New York Times while they were out there.  Jake and sons are mentioned by name and you can read all about it here.

Then there's another clip.. you can hear the boys being talked to about swearing of all things..

Sorry for the supersize, I haven't got all the blogging quirks mastered yet.


It aint over 'til the Fat Lady Sings

Have you ever heard that colloquialism before? I remember hearing it growing up and I've used it a few times myself.  However I guess the phrase just hasn't been used that frequently as of late.  

Please, allow me to back up a bit and take you with me to our Sunday afternoon.  We, the Reynolds clan, were all sitting, eating popcorn, and watching the Phillies and Giants play baseball.  The Giants were just looking pitiful to put it plainly.  I mean really, they didn't seem to have any tricks up their sleeves and the pitchers were just off, not to mention their bats.  On the opposite side of the fence you had the Phillies. In our home, Jackie is the lone supporter of the Phillies and she was thrilled to see the Giants off and the Phillies dominating the scoreboard. Most of us had given up on the Giants, except for Jake, who declared, "It aint over 'til the Fat Lady Sings."  The kids looked a bit startled and wondered who is this fat lady, will she really sing?? Well, we don't know.  Jackie had a grand look of intrigue sweep across her face.  She disappeared and to be honest none of us noticed nor cared.. We were too wrapped up in the game.  Approximately 7 minutes after Jackie had disappeared, she reappeared laughing, and moaning some awkward soprano tune..  When we looked up, this is what we saw:

Yes, she had stuffed her clothes and was singing and saying, "Daddy, you said it aint over 'til the fat lady sings, well she's singing."  We laughed and it was really hysterical, because she's so witty.  This girl is a riot!  I know only a couple of other people who could pull something like this off without prompting.  I won't name them though.. Any guesses?

You may guess away, but I won't divulge my knowledge on the matter.


You Will Never Guess

where my husband is right now!

Just look for the "Libby Lee", if you're unfamiliar that's the name of our long green kayak, with three heads bobbing in it.


Either my readers

are very kind, or none of you realized that whopper of a mistake I put in the Air Show post.  When Jake read the post he laughed and laughed and laughed and I realized that there was a joke on me...  you see "pride cometh before a fall.."  Apparently the Blue Angels do not belong to the Marine Corps, they belong to the Navy. *Blush*


Air Show

We went to the Salinas Air Show last weekend.  It's interesting because we had to pay to get in.  In Cherry Point the air show is always on the base and there isn't any fee to enter.  We got 5 dollars off per ticket since we're military.  That was nice.  We had an enjoyable time and as usual, we laughed... a lot.
During this particular portion of the Show, Silas was having a really good time.  He just loved the Bi-Planes and enjoyed the backwoods Monster Trucks.

This is one of Colby's dear friends, Will.  We were able to have him join us.  He left California on Monday and is moving to Cairo, Egypt.  Colby is sad, but was so pleased he could have Will come along with us.
Samuel was sweet and as long as Jackie shared her Garlic French Fries with him, he didn't fuss.  Despite the ongoing bribery with fries and other goodies he still wore a look of concern the entire time.  I think that's acceptable for a wee lad at his first air show.

Of course Louisa was pleased.  It is her great pleasure to be with her family, especially with her daddy!
Libby insisted she wear her little green coat, because she was cold.  She had fun for most of the time as well.

I had thought about staying home, but realized I'd miss several hours with my family so I decided to go too.  It's a strange thing to see an air show as it draws many strange people, myself included ;) 
Here's Benjamin James and Will, again.  Ben enjoys Will's friendship almost as much as his big brother.  

 We were all having a blast until the Thunderbirds showed up.  The Thunderbirds are the Air Force's version of the Blue Angels.  I must say they were good, but I'm partial to the Marine Corps Blue Angels and the Blue Angels can outperform the Thunderbirds any day of the week.  Sure that's strong talk, but this is my blog and I am a Marine Wife so, if you have family in the Air Force and you're feeling a little offended right now than boo hoo.

Despite not being the Blue Angels, The Thunderbirds were very good and very loud too.  

During the big arrival of the Thunderbirds something happened to my children.  Libby got in Silas's backpack and the two of them prostrated themselves right there at the airshow.  Their little ears were plugged and Libby cried off and on.  It was a very strange situation.  Once the Thunderbirds left, they recovered and we all went home.

This little guy fell asleep right away.  Just check out that dear little arm hold.  I wanted to climb back there and kiss him on the side of his soft little cheek.  Sleep tight Samuel.


Our Sweet Lil' Libby is 5!

It seems like only yesterday.
Libby turned 5 today!  Actually, we celebrated her birthday yesterday.  She didn't know that yesterday wasn't Sept. 30, we just told her it was her birthday and when you are 5, you believe your parents.  We had our parents call her too, so really everything went as planned.  So Libby, when you are older and you read this blog, please know that we absolutely adore you and we would only move your birthday up a night for dance lessons.  
Punching balloons.  What fun!
Silas thought it was great too.
Sam didn't understand that you must hold it by the string, so he spent his time chasing the balloons.
As I'm discovering in my photos, Silas spent most of the evening without a shirt on.  After balloons it was time for dinner and then onto the long awaited gifts.  Libby could hardly wait!  She was so excited to open up her new things.  She received fun little treasures from her brothers and sisters and of course us too.  Once the gifts were done and the family prayer, it was time for cake!
Just look at that joyful response.

Yay Libby!
I'd say they had fun.

Happy Birthday Libby Lee.  We had such a good time celebrating your sweet life yesterday.  You are such a dear girl and we are so very thankful for you.  Your personality brings a brilliant glow to our family life and we can't imagine living a day without you.  Happy birthday my darling beautiful girl!