Hazel 9 months

It's hard to get past the title. Our Hazel turned 9 months old on the 20th of March. The following pictures were taken the day before her 9th month of life. She is a darling to us. We all enjoy Hazel very much. She is a beautiful little baby. Her hair is growing faster now and it's started to lay down without an oil treatment. Her eyes are still as blue as deep sea waters and her smile melts our hearts. As her pink shirt suggests.. she is "always faithful." We know what time she'll wake up; 5:30a.m., we know when she goes to bed; 7:30 p.m., we know what she eats; yoghurt with rice cereal, we know what toy she enjoys; her mexican rattle, we know her favorite blankies; they're both pink. 

Waiting for another bite of yogurt cereal.

Sporting her black polka dotted birthmark.

Waiting in the window for me to come and pick her up.

Standing on her own.

Helping me fold the clothes.

Trying to figure out her poppa.. 
There you have her, Hazel at 9 months old.


Are You Hungry?

We all have experienced hunger pangs. Have you ever gone to bed hungry? Maybe you were a kid and you were sent to bed without dinner. Maybe you were recovering from a virus and went to bed out of fear of what might happen if you did eat. Sure, we've all felt that pang of want but only to a small extent. None of us has gone to bed night after night after night hungry. None of us has ever watched a loved one die of hunger.

Here are some hunger facts:

Fact: A child dies from hunger-related causes every 8 to 12 seconds.*

That’s as many as 11,000 children younger than 5 — killed every day. Some actually starve. The immune systems of others are powered down by malnutrition, leaving the door wide open for deadly diseases.
And hunger is only one threat facing kids. In all, more than 22,000 die every day — almost all of them from simple causes with existing cures: diarrhea, malaria, pneumonia, hunger, and more. That’s the real injustice — that the vast majority of these deaths are 100% preventable.

Fact: Globally, 925 million people are hungry.

That’s roughly 3 times the population of the U.S. going to bed hungry every night.
Why so hungry? Many families depend entirely on what they can grow, so they’re never more than one natural or manmade disaster away from hunger. Others work day and night, but still can barely afford enough food for their children.

This weekend, Colby, Jackie, and Jake are participating in what's called a 30 Hour Famine. For 30 hours they will not eat. Instead they will devote themselves to fasting and while fasting they'll pray for the hungry. They'll study about impoverished countries who see people die every day of hunger. They'll also do some community work for the homeless and the helpless as well as volunteer to clean and serve at a rest home. 

My purpose in writing this is to stir your heart. Please pray for my family during this time. Please pray especially for my kiddos who live in such a way that they have no wants. Please pray that God would use this time to awaken a desire to serve and see others blessed ahead of themselves.

If you feel led and are able would you consider making a contribution to World Vision? All moneys collected go to the impoverished and hungry. I realize it's short notice. If you are able to give send me an email at christie.reynolds@me.com with your donation amount. Jake and I can write a check to World Vision for any pledges we receive.

Thanks for your time and most importantly your prayers!


Sweet Jackie is 13!

Sometimes, I think back to when my young man and my now young woman were littles. My days were filled with changing diapers, teaching colors, walks to the park, endlessly pushing swings, sitting in the front yard exploring under rocks in search of critters, vacuuming and sweeping at least once a day (there was time to do that then), going to the weekly "play date" and having a quiet house at exactly 7:30 pm every night. Those times make me smile.. sometimes relieved and sometimes for the pleasure of the simplicity of it all. There are days that those times seem like only yesterday and there are other days when those times seem like a decade or more! Monday was one of those times. I woke up to a daughter who was so little just a few moments ago and is now a young woman! I can hardly believe how quickly the time has flown by. I still remember the night she was born. I think everyone in our family does. Grandparents abounded nearby and all of us anxiously awaited her arrival. Jackie, we didn't expect you to be born in the car behind a gas station next to a McDonald's. But, that's where God made you come. That's where our lives suddenly changed with the entrance of a baby girl into our midst. My darling we are so blessed to have you in our family. We are so thankful to God for your precious life. You are a godly example to us all. We love you! May you continue to grow in deep, rich inner beauty. May you continue to grow in outward beauty as well.

Monday evening we celebrated in full excitement. Jake came home from work as early as he could manage. With the rolling of his vehicle up the driveway the front door swung open and Jackie raced down the hill to greet him. It reminded me of something out of a magical far off place and I had to pinch myself and thank God that it was real.  Jackie wore her Mexican dress for the occasion. She received a special package in the mail from her dear friend Katherine in California. She wore the flower that was in that package and the hat that was there too. 
Here she is all dressed up for her celebration.

Jake put on the oldies and the two of them danced around the kitchen. Louisa and Libby danced around them in circles. It was pretty sweet.

Jackie reading a card. 

She received a promise and a very special ring.

As per the usual course, Jackie requested a Red Velvet Cake and her request was granted.

I am so thankful for you, Jackie. What a blessed woman I am.


Benjamin is 11

Our third born, our first blond haired blue eyed child, our only lefty (as far as we know), turned 11 yesterday. We are so blessed. Benjamin is a such a child of passion. He is so beautiful in that whatever he takes interest in he charges it with full Gusto! He doesn't back down and is an intrepid little boy. He loves baseball. He loves and is very attentive to his little sister Louisa. He plays outside for hours on end. He builds a campfire like the pros. He isn't afraid of spiders nor dogs that stray into our yard. If you remember last years March birthdays you'll remember that he was bit on the heel by a stray dog... So, yes, he is Benjamin the Bold.

We celebrated him in typical Reynolds fashion. There was a huge pot of homemade spaghetti sauce with a "double portion of sausage." There was homemade dinner rolls that melt in your mouth. We enjoyed Luscious Slush Punch throughout the afternoon as well. After dinner he opened presents and while he enjoyed his new treasures we scrubbed down the kitchen. Louisa organized a birthday game for us. It was a version of Sardines except that we were split into boy girl teams. Girls hid first and the boys found us. Salt went bananas.. what else is knew? While I was hiding behind the surfboard in the corner of the basement I could hear Silas saying, "Oh no daddy, I forgot my sword and shield!" and then Samuel kept repeating, "HIDE, HIDE." It was so sweet. It's hard to hide silently and laugh.

Okay on with the pictures. If you have some place to go now's a good time... Lots o' pics ahead!

Here's an old one for posterity's sake.  January 2003 Okuma, Okinawa, Japan.
Hazel during the midst of the afternoon punch fest.

Ben is super pleased his dad's home (you can see the Red Iron pulling up the driveway in the background)

Sweet Moment.

Libby labored a long time over her card for her big brother.

Oh yeah! Root Beer and Pringles from big brother.

Salt's very offended by all the trash on the floor.

Things started to get a little crazy.

A little crazier. (You're hurting my eyes, Lou.)

This house is split when it comes to baseball!

A moment of beauty and peace.

Ben, open your mouth bigger please.

There was full success after that breath.

Samuel signs, "EAT."
Benjamin, may you grow to have passions for the Lord that are far greater than any temporary worldy pleasure. May you continue to grow strong and beautiful. May you never withhold and always charge forward. We thank God that you get to be in our family. We love you son and Happy Birthday!


Refreshing my Mind

Psalm 39:4-6

4 "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! 5  Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!
6 Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!

These verses out of Psalms minister to me greatly. Surely my days are fleeting and my end will be soon, but a breath, but a mist, but a shadow and they are gone. The days that God has given I want to live so that they are a pleasing aroma before the Lord. If I could just keep from wasting any of this precious time with my children and my dear husband. Only through the wisdom of the Lord will I ever learn to count my days and count the moments. Storing them and treasuring each of them.