Saturday, November 19, 2016

Halloween 2016

We were invited to spend Halloween at my sister Nicole's home in Bakersfield, CA. We had a delightful time! The kids LOVE going to Aunt Nicole and Uncle Seth's house. They love all the Star Wars Legos Uncle Seth has and shares with them. They love their dog and we had a surprise this time we visited they had just bought a tiny puppy! This little puppy is from the same mom and dad as their current dog. So they are brothers and they are adorable! Our kids would love to have little pups like Aunt Nicole and Uncle Seth.

Nicole and Seth's house is just fun! They have a pool table, dart board, and a ping-pong table. They have a little botanical garden and room to run around in their back yard. They have an authentic, fun home an they are exciting people. We are sure grateful for their hospitality and that we had the opportunity to spend Halloween with them.

The fountain outside Aunt Nicole's work where he trick-or-treated around her office floor.

Hannah had actual Cinderella "glass" slippers but she chose boots for this round of dressing up. She is a funny girl!
And Hannah is such a ham for the camera most of the time!
Prior to visiting for the actual holiday, we enjoyed the Fall Festival put on by the Elementary School in our area and our church Trunk-or-treat. It was fun to dress up three times!

The kids all picked their own costumes. I just showed them what we had and they picked from our supply. Except for Peter, he had his own plans and once they were in his head there was no stopping him! I do love this about him and he is working on flexibility, but I thought this was a great opportunity for him to be creative and make a plan and carry it out. Peter wanted to be Link. Link is the character from The Legend of Zelda video games. David has told the kids Link stories as bedtime stories fore some time now, along with all the stories of Star Wars. They love their bedtime stories with dad. Though these stories are not always reserved for bedtime. David will spin stories for them at request when he can.

These kids are fun! They make every holiday more exciting.

Also, My mom and brother, Pierce, came for Sunday dinner at Nicole's while we were there and she surprised me by bringing her mom, my Granny! I love my Granny and have many fond memories with her. I love listening and learning from her life stories. She is an awesome woman and has endured much and lived much. She is the mother to 11 and grandmother and great-grandmother to a lot more!

JAME'S 1st Birthday

Our baby is growing up too quick! He turned one on Monday, October 17th. James is such a smiley kid! We sure love the joy he adds to our family.

James was not quite walking on his 1st birthday. He could take steps but definitely preferred crawling. He is now exclusively walking! He made the switch about a week ago. For some reason, once the babies start to walk they don't quite seem like babies anymore. It's just a reminder that they can't stay little, innocent, and super snugly forever. He is still all of these thing currently but time passes quick! We need to enjoy James and each of our kids in each of their fun ages and stages.

Life with four kids is sure exciting! I LOVE each of them so much. I remember worrying about not having enough love for a child when I loved David so much. Then our first child, Peter, came and I learned that love is endless and was amazed at the instantaneous deep love I had for this little infant. I also remember when I was close to my due date with our second, Evelyn, that I was seriously worried about not having enough love for her and also worrying about how Peter would feel about it all. Then she came and it was the same learning experience. Love is endless! I know now that we human beings are capable of an infinite amount of love for others. But as the world can show, it is one thing to be capable and another to actually practice. We will always be striving to reach our eternal potential. I am grateful for the opportunity children give me to stretch and learn and strive to reach my eternal potential. I am grateful for the joy and fulfillment serving my children brings into my life.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Ready for Fall

We are ready for Fall! The weather has cooled slightly and we have been able to enjoy picnics and parks. It is still not fall weather though. We are looking forward to fall and winter and the holidays that come with!

Here is a little fun craft we did for school this week to help us get excited:

We used an apple cut in half to stamp pumpkins. We mixed primary colors to get the right orange and then green. The kids LOVE to paint! When they finished their fall/ Halloween craft they went on painting!

James photo bombed this one! I had to post it!

Silly/scary faces???

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Double Whammy Reunions

It just so happened that last summer and this summer we had family reunions two consecutive weeks in a row. It is great to have reunions but camping two weekends in a row can be exhausting. We're hoping to change the schedule for next summer.

First we headed to California for my immediate Murphy family reunion. We camped at Dinkey Creek up in the mountains by Shaver and Shaver Lake and McKinley Grove Sierra National Forest. Every summer throughout my childhood, my family would camp at Dinkey Creek. I have many wonderful memories there. In fact Dinkey Creek is the first place we endeavored to tent camp alone after having Peter. 

All of my siblings were there! My older sister was able to come down from Canada with her two kiddos! The kids had so much fun playing together. They were instant friends!

And of course we played at the creek and the rock slides... It's tradition!

Sun bathing!

James LOVES water! and rocks... He had a blast splashing around.

They all slept in! They did great sleeping in the tent. = happy parents

After tent camping at Dinkey Creek for 3 days we made our way home, did laundry and repacked for the next camping adventure. We camped outside the Thorley Cabin in Southern Utah about a 45 minute drive up from Cedar City, UT. It is so beautiful up there! We always love going to the cabin. This reunion was an extended family reunion with all of David's grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins on his mom's side of the family. They get together every summer at the same time and place. It is always good to be surrounded by family! This year we packed a lunch and went down to the Kolob Reservoir for a few hours. We got to go out to a little island in the reservoir via canoes and paddle boards. The kids had a blast and so did we. I tried paddle boarding for the first time and actually made it to and from the island without falling off!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

1 Year Down

We've been here in Las Vegas for a year now. How'd that happen?! Time has slipped by. It has sure been a wonderful year. We are grateful for David's career. We are grateful to be here at this time. We know we are where we are supposed to be for this chapter of life.

We have made friends and have had opportunities to serve and get involved with the community and our church here.

We are looking forward to another school year with the kiddos. We learned much at the Soaring Reynders School of Knowledge (still working on a name...) last year and we are geared and ready for another year. In the public school system, Peter would be starting 1st grade and the girls would be eligible for preschool. However, we are going to take Evelyn through the Kindergarten curriculum Peter went through last year. She is ready. Peter is excited for a "soaring" 1st grade year. He is especially excited for math.

The most recent excitement in the Reynders home has been our home improvement efforts. We haven't had a TV for our entire marriage (8 years!) simply because we didn't care to have one. But we decided to finally purchase a TV. So we needed something to put it on... David and I had fun remaking our old dresser into an entertainment console. We also made-over a bookcase to match. We're having fun putting our new TV room together. I still need to recover some pillows and hang a few things. Once it's completed I'll post a picture :).

Now we can have fun updating the rest of the house! I'm currently working on this tiny loft (if it can be called a loft).
I want to put a small round ottoman on either side of the table and bigger candles on the wall candelabras.
Another thing currently happening at the Reynders... sisters forging a bond.

The cuteness!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hannah is 3

Our sweet Hannah Jo turned 3 on July 25th! She is no longer our little toddler. She acts so grown up.

She has a big heart. Hannah loves her siblings. She shares a room with her big sister Evelyn and they adore one another. It is fun to watch them invent games and pretend. She also loves to play with big brother Peter. They will "fight" with light sabers and play made up games. Hannah also loves little James. She frequently vocalizes how cute he is and will give him hugs and toys. SHe is a good sister. Of course every day isn't the same. She is still learning.

Hannah LOVES to do school! She is learning so much. We have school time every day. Her favorite part is working with me one on one at our school table. I am grateful for her desire to learn and we are trying our best to encourage this desire.

We love our little Hannah! We are sure grateful for the privledge of having Hannah. She is our sunshine, always smiling.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Peter is Six!

Six years ago, a little baby boy joined our family. David and I were so young but we had complete faith in the Lord's plan for us. We had no idea of the increase of joy and love that would be ours in having children. We are grateful we took that leap of faith and chose family. Families are forever and the joy and love we have in family will always be ours. Time can't fade nor dust or rust corrupt the precious memories we create as a family.

Peter Allen came to us just weeks before our 2-year wedding anniversary. I had only been 21 for two weeks and David had recently turned 25. Peter entered this world at sunrise on June 9th 2010. He was perfect! And he came wearing a surprise! He had a head full of RED hair! We instantly fell in love with our precious gift.

Yes, our lives changed drastically. Yes, we had to give up a few things. But, we wouldn't trade the love, joy, or learning gained for anything! I feel I am doing the most important work I could be engaged in at this point in my life. I am not perfect. We are all trying to become better. We are all trying to reach our eternal potential. I know that choosing family has brought me closer to my Father in Heaven and my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that I feel the Holy Spirit guiding me as I strive to raise the children I have been blessed with.

Peter was our first baby. He is an awesome big brother. He is learning so much! He is curious about everything and we research answers to his questions as often as possible. He reads and writes well. He loves to draw. He loves to build things (especially with Legos). He loves math. He also loves music. He is constantly singing or humming. He LOVES learning to play the piano. Dad has been helping him learn a song to play for me. Peter has a sensitive soul. He has a tender heart. I love to just sit and talk with him. We love our Peter Allen!

A favorite photo of mine. Our first looking over the last. Brothers!

Birthday Interview Questions:
1. Who is your favorite person in the whole world?
     - "Well, uh.... Daddy!"
2. What is your favorite color?
     - "Well, I like all the colors but I'll say green."
3. What is your favorite TV show?
     - "Chuggington"... "Because there's a train that's a super hero train that can fly."
         (I think he may have seen a total of two episodes... but I guess it left an impression)
4. What sport do you like best?
     - "Um, Basketball."
5. What song do you love?
     - "Uh, ummm... I love I Like to Look for Rainbows."
6. What is your favorite cereal?
     - "Oh, chocolate cereal."
        (We have only bought chocolate cereal twice in his lifetime...)
7. Who is your best friend?
     - "Uh, huh... I don't know... humm... uh, Evelyn."
8. What do you want to be when you grow up?
     - "Engineer!"
9. What is your favorite book?
     - "Star Wars books. Star Wars books are my favorite."
10. What are you really good at?
     - "I'm really good at two things; I'm really good at sneaking and basketball."
11. Where do you wish you could go on vacation?
     - I wish I could go, hmmm... I don't really know, I've been to lots of places on vacation but I don't know where I haven't been... oh, the North Pole! I want to go to the North Pole."
12. What is your best memory?
      - "When I was a baby."
13. What is your favorite animal?
      - "Penguns, I like penguins."
14. What is your favorite toy?
      - "My favorite toy is my Optimus Prime toy."
15. Who is your biggest hero?
      - "My biggest hero, hmmm... I think I might say the Death Star."
          (I think he was done answering my questions. He like to tease.)
16. What is your favorite food?
      - "Pizza!"

Pictures of the celebration:

 Everything was Star Wars!

We had Peter's friend Henry over to play because that is what Peter wanted. Henry's sister came to and played with the girls. We played in the water outside and had a Deathstar cake.