16 Candles

Colby turned 16 yesterday. What a special day for the young man. We celebrated him in typical Reynolds form. You all know what that means; lots of noise, lots of messes, lots of food and cake, and the dog shredding the wrapping paper. Any differences were that this time we were hyped up because of the extremely goofy, Justin Beiber wrapping paper. Poor Colby was once told he looked like Beiber and he recently made mention of that, so of course we played the antagonists and purchased the wrapping paper on clearance, because obviously no one purchased it full price during the Christmas rush. Colby played along well and laughed in spite of himself at our choice of wrap. Even Samuel and Silas got into the fun and were nailing his package with their bows and arrows. Salt took a particular delight in shredding the paper as well. 
For a moment, I thought that was Jake!

Samuel is armed and Beiber has nowhere to hide..
Before the cake cutting ceremony the kids danced around and Colby tried to chase down his favorite dance partner, but Hazel would only dance one song with him and ran off in typical 18 month fashion.
"No more dancing, Colby!"

Silas drew pictures of the Avengers for Colby. Silas thinks Colby is an Avenger.
Colby loved his presents and was blessed by all the siblings. He had a package from Sherlock Holmes, a telescope, 5 crisp one dollar bills, a check, and a card from a Great Grandmother. How blessed he was.
What a Smile.
We topped it all off with Cooks Illustrated best yellow cake with milk chocolate frosting and 16 candles.

All of these festivities were the Birthday Eve celebrations, on his day we cleaned out the van and hired a sitter for anyone in diapers or pull ups. The rest of us went off to the local Italian Restaurant and met up with some of Colby's friends. We chased our hearty meals down with a bit of Hobbit and called it a night!

Colby, we adore you and are your biggest fans. You are blessed beyond words and have been shown such grace and favor from our precious Lord. May your 16th year be filled with new adventures and opportunities to be chiseled and shaped into an excellent man of God. Happy Birthday!


Jake = Samuel...Samuel = Jake

Jake's folks sent us their old slide projector and all kinds of slides. John and Teresa, we've had the best time looking at pics of you guys and the great grandparents from back in the day. While we giggled at the clothing styles I must admit we were completely shocked by one small detail..

Samuel looks exactly like Jake did as a little boy. It was such a blessing to see where the gene pool for that boy had come from. In a couple of pictures Jake also was reminding us of Silas, mainly in his smile. Preciousness. I wish I could find a way to get the pictures on this blog. Oh well. Perhaps in the future. 

Thanks again for sharing.


Merry Christmas to All!

We made a pit-stop on the way to the beach back in November at an um.. pit stop or more accurately put a Rest Area. We rested there. NOT. There is no such thing as a REST area when you have a large romping family. Any "resting" actually occurs when we are safe in the van. If you don't believe what I'm saying then come with me for a quick review of what the average Rest Area detour looks like.

As soon as we pull into one of those so-called Rest Areas the panic begins. It never fails that we slip into a parking spot, slide open the van door and things start falling out. From some of the kids to various bouncing balls we didn't know we had with us to bits of trash being caught up by the wind, the chase then begins... Ahhh, and so does the sanctification. Inevitably, we catch the eye of many type of people. Some will start looking, others will stare, some just grimace at the sound of the huge, knock the hearing out of your eardrums, sound coming from our diesel engine, while others run and jump in their cars and speed away. Then there are those folks who say, "Hey we saw you driving on the road.. How many kids in your van?" Yah, that's our rest area experience for the first minute. Next comes actually getting kids split up into groups of:

  1. Who's gotta go
  2. Who's gonna have an accident if they don't go and...
  3. Who's already gone? :(
Yah, Jake and I split up the groups and tackle the issues. It never fails that loud, obnoxious comments about the condition of the rest area come bursting out of the lips of the babes. It's always quite mortifying. Not the mess, but the fact that my little ones are pointing it out in grim detail.

On more than one occasion, actually almost every occasion unless it's raining, I emerge from the toilet to find Jake and sons doing the Rest Area push ups. Chase that down with some jumping jacks, kids playing chase, somebody falling and scraping a knee and our dog dragging himself across the 'pet walk area' instead of actually walking and you get the picture of the Rest Area dysfunction's and the notion that we aren't resting.

I'm coming back to the topic of this entry right now. So, we made a stop at a Rest Area. At the Rest Areas in Va there are these lovely LOVE letters displayed. The kids of course needed to craw all over the things and touch every part of them. I whipped out the camera and tried to regain some order so we could get a LOVEly picture. Well, a very kind college student came up from behind and offered to take a picture of all of us. Mind you this was after the push ups, the division of groups, the dog wasn't there this time, and so on. So, we were ready to pile in the van and REST for real. The guy did great. I had a small fear that he was going to run off with Jake's Iphone, but he didn't. Instead he got this great shot and our Christmas card was birthed. Notice that Samuel is running, but at least he's accounted for. Thank you College student from William & Mary wherever you are.

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends!

As a disclaimer, my older children are very controlled and a HUGE help to us during these times of rest..


Chill Time.

A night or two ago, Jake and I were going to have a scrabble date, but he was exhausted and went to bed early. I too was tired, but didn't want to go to bed early. It seems that each day runs into the other so quickly that I rarely catch a break.  What, with homeschooling and cooking, with running kids around to orchestra, guitar, and ballet, with cleaning up the house and disciplining the kids, with planning time for just Jake and I to be together and preparing meals, with mountains of laundry and tickling the kids and listening to the kids and talking to the kids and crying because of my shortcomings with the kids... It often seems that one day never truly ends. It just blends into another and into another and into another. I love my job and my high calling in this family, yet when the opportunity to chill out knocks at my door. I welcome it with open arms. So that's what I did the other night when the house unexpectedly shut down at 8:45. I ended up opening the computer and reminiscing over pictures. Laughing at them and marveling at how the kids have changed so much, even in this current duty station. 

While looking at the pictures I was quickly reminded of the labors of the day and the things that I could be doing, like the laundry or scrubbing that shower (thanks JJ..). Then I decided I would be better off sitting and resting and by doing so I'd be more engaged and excited about hitting the next day running. 

I was reminded of this scripture:
Mark 6:31, "'And he (Jesus) said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.' For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat."
There are actually days that lunch is neglected til snack time or not eaten altogether. While my sweet mom was here visiting, she reminded me of the blessing to munch all the time. I'm making it my focus to eat more! After all, the little people keep me physically engaged. They are all over the place. 

I have to share about my sweet Hazey. I get so tickled by her. She reminds me of Yoda and Hobbits. There's a scene in Star Wars where Luke is discouraged because he's crash landed his ship into the belly of a planet and Yoda shows up. Yoda is digging through Luke's bag and is pulling things out throwing them every which way. Of course Luke is further exasperated by this and Yoda isn't bothered. He just keeps on checking stuff out and even eating some of it. Funny. Hazel is like that. She digs in my bathroom drawers and throws things in the trash that shouldn't go there, she puts my nail polish bottles in the toilet. She smears herself in Vaseline and destroys tubes of lipstick. She climbs up on the table and shreds important documents. When no one is paying attention she'll chew gum. She's funny. I chase her and save her constantly. She's my little wandering sheep right now. She'd get herself into all manner of trouble if I dare turn my head too long. She doesn't understand when I tell her no. She wants her way all the time. She's like a hobbit because she's so squat and hairy. 

Thinking of Hazel leads me to Samuel. The little lad is hilarious. His voice is like that of a muppets. Jim Hansen could seriously take it and develop a new muppet character from his chords and call him Sammy T. Jake and I are always so pleased to hear him speak; we can't help but smile and tune him in. Samuel has a very childlike understanding of his world. He expressed to me the other day that he thinks we pray before dinner so that our meal is cool enough. He doesn't quite grasp the idea of worship nor communion with the Father. If his meal is hot, he says, "need to pray!" Priceless. He is busy and sometimes a wee bit naughty during homeschool hours. He knows when I'm up to my elbows in reading and recitations with the kids because that's when the 'world of the littles' unfolds. He tries to bully Hazel around and she always reveals to us whats going on by her sudden shrill scream of "NO!" Not long after Samuel will start crying because she's pulled his hair. She does this frequently. She refuses to take any of his harassing. He's even gone so far as to tempt her to climb the ladder to Silas's bunkbed. Naughtiness. He then ditches her and comes and tattles on her.  Ahhh, what's a mom to do. 

I tell you, God has equipped me for all of this. I don't often know how I get everything accomplished. Oh, that's right, I DON'T get everything accomplished. I keep my appointments and the rest is chiseled away when I'm able.  
Proverbs 21:5 blesses me, "The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty." 
and this too:

Proverbs 14:1, "the wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down."
Alright, I'm all over the place with this post, but I can hear the baby Hobbit (thanks Maryn) aka Hazel stirring from her nap. I'll leave you with some pictures I was tickled to come upon during my thoughtful evening of chill time. I've been guilty of not taking pictures lately. Mainly because..... well, no excuse. I just haven't. 
She's angry with me. Flailing her arms around. 

Where'd the water all go, oh it's in the roll of TP. Thanks, Hazel.

Upside down hobbit baby. 

Yoga in action.
Okay, next post I'll try to stay on topic.


I am allowed to this!

After all, I've been married to the dear man for 16 years.. Not only does he woo our hearts, charge after all the hard things so we don't have to and look after our souls...

He is now... drum roll please, Lieutenant Colonel select Reynolds.  We probably won't pin on for a looooong time. We have been giving much Thanks to God. It was a tough board and we are truly humble.

Give a shout out to my dear man!