Because, when I was little I thought the song went like this, "That's the sound of the men working on the train... yay eeeh yang."

The Reynolds would like to thank Grammie Higgins, Grandma Hardesty, Aunt Becky and Uncle Bill for the Christmas monies you sent our way.  We polled the kids after Christmas and it was unanimous that a Train Ride was in order!  

Colby and Samuel before boarding the train.

Blue eyes, I mean green eyes, I mean both colorful eyes, Libby's got colorful eyes!

We were so cold and so thankful we could form a human sandwich.

Little lap warmers.

He is so, so handsome.  I never thought he could become more handsome and yet, he has!

Such sweet little hands that trust daddy's.

A family shot.

We had so, so much fun.  Thank you dear ones for being so generous to us.  


BRV = Big Red (Sometimes Difficult to Drive) Van

This post is probably coming out of left field, but that's where my brain has been lately.

The BRV has proven to be a very reliable vehicle for our family.  When we realized we'd outgrown the Suburban back in November of 2008 we were reluctant to go with a 15 passenger vehicle. Perhaps this was more of an indicator of a pride issue than anything else.  However, once we started the hunt for the perfect van, the search became fun.  We didn't want a white van for numerous reasons, one of which is that numerous Govy vehicles are white and also numerous church vans are white.  Even though we are a small picture of a church we didn't want the white van.  We knew we wanted a diesel.. Actually, Jake knew we wanted a diesel. I just trusted him with this point. My biggest issue was the sliding door. I absolutely didn't want to be dealing with the dual doors on the side of the van.  I had concerns of pinched fingers and narrow parking spots.  So, we looked North and South, East and West and finally found one in Michigan.  At 15 or maybe it was 16 thousand we knew it was the van for us.  With under 35 thousand miles and meeting all of the basic Reynolds requirements we called and made an offer.  Jake and Colby flew out and picked the van up.

Months later the van faithfully brought us over the continental United States towing Jake's Classic Chevy all the way. It was Samuel's first home and my place of recovery from having just given birth.  Yes, the BRV was and is a good van.

Fast forward and the van is a big part of us.  It's the big loud part of us that unnerves our neighbors during the wee hours of the morning for Jake's surfing dawn-patrols. It's also the alarm of warning that the Reynolds are approaching for anyone who might want to flee.  Did I mention its' size?  Oh yes, I'm sure I did..  In fact, I've managed to take out a cart return in a Target parking lot..  You know the extra long aluminum barriers that take up an entire parking spot for all of the mothers who have to park way out so that they may visit the Bulls Eye Boutique..  Yes, that's the one.  I put a scratch the length of one my daughters across the side of it pulling out of there one day. It was a humble moment seeing the cart return morph from it useful state into an oblique mess.  Then there was the time I caused Whole Foods to jack up the price of the their food... yes, you can blame it on me.  I was trying to park the van at a fun little shopping center near our home.  Someone earlier in the day had clearly parked at the shopping center and ended up across the center at the Whole Foods.  They walked the buggy all the way over to the parking lot where we ended parking later and ditched it.  When I was parking I saw the little buggy and thought I could bump it out of the way.. That didn't work.  Move forward a day and we are unloading kids in the church parking lot.  Jake walks around in front of the van and in a firmer dad voice demands to know who was coloring on the van with the green marker... I had to confess.  I had completely forgotten about the little W. F. buggy incident the day prior.  Then just this week I was driving 65 mph on the Highway and some fancy little white car came to a complete stop in front of me.  Apparently there was some busted up plywood on the 4 lane highway she didn't want to run over with her little white car.  I tried slamming on the breaks only to feel the van go into convulsions and I started to lose control, instinctively I took my foot off of the pedal and whizzed by her on the right hand shoulder, no doubt spraying the unwanted plywood which was there, on her car.

So, the BRV is a different kind of beast.  It's bigger and like big things it's harder to slow it down and maneuver well.  Perhaps my own state of hormonal clumsiness has something to do with my bad parking and driving habits or perhaps not.

I am very thankful for the van.  I am very thankful for the van. I am very thankful for the van. I am, really.  It's just big and I'm getting that way myself and the two of us seem to be at odds. I would also like to mention the the Black Beast is about to be back in our lives again and I'm only mildly excited about it.
Black Beast


Fighting with Chickens and Moves, Oh My!

We are still here, we haven't fallen off the edge of the universe.  We have just been a bit busy with the throws of the New Year.

Jake is busy, busy working on his Thesis.  He's made great strides and has met all of his self-imposed deadlines thus far.  Way to go Sharp!  He is also trying to enjoy the surfing while he has it.  Did I mention that truck of his?  It's running right now.. For a while it was down, because the brakes went out while we were Christmas Shopping... Actually, his Chevy has two brake lines, so we only lost a set of them.  He replaced the new line and the truck's been running great since.

Colby is also a busy young man.  This week he's taking his mid-terms.  Two, 5 hour, tests on the Great Books, one biography written on someone older than 60, Science, and Geometry which will have to wait until next week.  He's been sorting through baseball cards and running and/or surfing with his dad for exercise.

Jackie continues to take ballet and has made so much improvement since she picked it up again.  She gets to take two classes per week and seemingly loves it.  She continues to help me in the kitchen and with the littles.  She is such a lovely young lady.

Benjamin the Grand is doing well.  He's busy with school and is a little master with his Grammar skills.  He often takes a bag of baseballs and a bat and goes to an empty lot near our home so he can practice his skills.  We're contemplating letting him enjoy the Little League experience in VA.

Louisa too is excellent with Grammar.  She has conquered Prepositional Phrases, Yay Louisa!!  She practices her math drills daily and is making smooth progress.  She too is taking ballet, but recently confessed to her dad that she'd rather be playing football or soccer..

Libby is making great strides in her understanding of math.  She's a busy big sister and is constantly in the middle of what everyone around the house is doing.  It's as if she has the ability to fly with the speed of sound and be in the center of everything all at once.  Very impressive.

Silas comes next in the list of Reynolds and he's a dear young lad.  He received a big boy hair cut and he looks so much like my Benjamin used to.  His vocabulary has exploded and he is everyone's favorite 3 year old.

Samuel, a.k.a Sam, a.k.a Sammy T., a.k.a Teddy, is so, so fun.  He runs around the house charming even the most distracted among us.  He is enamored of his big brothers.  In particular he likes to wear Colby's baseball hat and run around in Silas's cowboy boots.  He speaks a language only understandable to himself and the rest of us just give him what he wants when signs, "Please."

I have been looking to the move.  I've been charged with narrowing down the housing list, so that's what I work on.  I also have decided to conquer the chicken.  I never realized how challenging cooking a chicken could be.  Jake thinks it comical, but let's just say that I've made great strides.  The first time I made the chicken we ended up sitting down to dinner an hour and half later than what was planned..  By the fifth shot, I was only 15 minutes behind schedule.  One of the times I was fighting the chicken, trying to separate the skin from the thing, Louisa came in the kitchen and said, "It looks like you're holding a butt."  She's pretty charming huh?

Below are some pictures for your enjoyment.
Libby getting ready to go on a field trip.  She chose her clothes all by herself.
Jackie and her dear friend Catherine
Louisa building a tee-pee for Samuel
Silas on the run
Samuel being retrieved after making a run for it at the beach.
That's my baby bump, not my hind-end bump.
Jake and Ben trading cards.. Samuel loves to be in the middle of whatever the guys are doing.