A bit of this and a bit of that.

Oh! This blog has been sitting here waiting on me again. Lots happening at Casa de Reynolds. Good things, funny things, naughty things, tasty things, messy things, early things, lovely things, ugly things. Well you get the picture, it's just like at your house, except the people are different. I don't have much to say today, my mouth is tired from talking and my brain is tired from thinking. So, here's a few snapshots with phrases to boot.
Early Mornings.

Front Door Companions.

A First.

Good Company.

Baseball Fans.

Precious Moment.

Alone at Last.

Tight Spots.

Strange Earless Creature.

God's Handiwork.


I am Half of 70!

God permitted me another birthday celebration this weekend. I am now 35 years old. How blessed am I to have lived this long! My family lavished me with sweet kindnesses. On Friday morning I went to the beautification center and had some treatments. Mind you, it wasn't Esther's year of treatments, but when I walked out of the Salon I sure felt like Esther. All of my grays had completely vanished, my toenails shown in a brilliant shade of coral and my face was missing all of the old dead cells I'd been collecting my entire life. How sweet! On Saturday Jake took me out on a date to a wonderful little Sushi place downtown. We reminisced over the days in Okinawa and talked about politics.. Real politics, not family. 

Hot Date. We ordered the Lovers Boat for 2. Funny huh?
 Sunday morning we rose to go and worship at church. We had fun eating breakfast together and laughing over the antics of our crazy house.
Samuel was boasting about how blue his eyes are.

Hazel was pinching grilled blueberry muffin crumbs and sporting her first real "owie."

Then, while Jake and I finished coffee, we asked one of the girls to put on Samuel's boots. He was having none of it and refused to permit his sister to put them on. So, we called up the reinforcements and two girls held him still (you can't see Libby, but she's right next to Louisa) and Jackie put his feet in his boots. He was MAD.
 After church we came home and ate my choice of dinner. We had a grilled Flank steak, with mashed potatoes, and a nice salad. Then the traditional mom and kids picture.
These are 8 of my favorite people. I love you my babies! Yes, you will always be my BABIES.
 Then of course it was time for cake. Jackie made me the best chocolate cake ever. From scratch and from Ina Garten's cookbook. It was so yummy. Thank you Jackie!
The weekend was filled with cards, special moments, great food, and the best people. I'm so thankful. I'm so blessed!


Expect the Unexpected

If I could get a glimpse of my life now back when I was 24 I would tell myself many things; such as expect that there will be more kids coming, expect that each day will begin with a heart transplant, expect that your house will always be a mess, expect that you will fail yourself and those you love, expect that you won't know how to answer, expect that your kids will disappoint you, expect that you will argue with your husband, expect that the Marine Corps will still "own" your husband, expect that your kids will exceed your expectations, expect that making friends will still be hard, expect that you will laugh, expect that you will cry......

Expect the unexpected.

The only thing I know that will not change is my need for my Savior, Jesus Christ. It is to Him that I turn, it is to Him that I run when life is unexpected and when life is expected. 

Certainly the cross was expected for Him. He endured the rigors that no other human could. He endured and achieved. He endured and was perfect. He was stricken, smitten, and afflicted. He laid his very life down and at the end; after he was suffocated and had a spear pressed through his flesh he lay in a tomb for 3 days. At the end of which he was resurrected. He arose in a new form. Perfect and in a miraculous ascension He went to be with His Father. He awaits in His Kingdom.

It is to Him I run. I can do nothing apart from Christ. There are times I lay in bed at night and the depths of my soul ache and I wonder what will I do, how can we possibly love 8 children well? How can we possibly lead them to the Savior? How can we possibly love each other well? How can we possibly honor our parents well? The answer is we can't. The answer is so comforting that my head sinks into the pillow and we have no choice but to thrust ourselves at our God and entrust Him with all that He has entrusted us with. We pray and ask God to bring us through. We ask Christ to forgive us where we have messed up so badly. He cleans the slate and we start anew. We cling to the promise of the empty tomb and the resurrected Savior. We know we can't make it on our own. We know that we ARE in over our heads. We know that we are extremely finite and that He is Perfect and Infinite. He knows no bounds and He knows no sin. 

So to Christ we run and to Christ we flee. We don't pretend to know it all. We know we don't. We don't pretend at all. We are anticipating the unexpected and Expecting the Expected. That Christ is Resurrected and on His throne. He has risen and he will conquer. He will come again.


Famine Results

Thank you for praying for the kids and the 30 hour famine. They did wonderful and had a blast with their peers.

The kids assembled more than 50 new parent bags for the local Christian Pregnancy Crisis center as well as numerous baggies of toiletries for the homeless. They learned about various countries suffering from famine's and oppression. They heard talks from missionaries who have recently returned from Uganda. They also played various games. They broke the fast with a large meal of rice and beans. They said it was the best rice and beans they'd eaten.

Jake had a good time too. He was assigned the job of being the mosquito in a game of freeze tag. Not just any mosquito, he had malaria, and every kid he tagged caught it too until they were all frozen. Pretty eye opening.

Altogether more than 4200 dollars was collected and we've had more donations coming in. It's a wonderful thing to have so many people united for this cause. Many children will benefit from the small sacrifices that everyone made.