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!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Welcome James Daniel (The Birth Story)

Finally! I am in a position where I can sit down and record the arrival of our fourth child, James Daniel.

The birth story:

On the eve before James arrived (Friday, October 16th), there was a Fall Festival at our local elementary school. After David got home from a long day at work, we ate dinner and decided to walk the mile to the school. As we walked, I noticed contractions that felt like early labor contractions, however, I didn't think too much of them since the previous three nights I had been having comparable contractions. [In fact I was having these contractions every 3 to 5 minutes two nights prior after going for a long, brisk walk.] We enjoyed our time at the festival, the kids decorated pumpkins to take home, we saw several people we knew from church, it was a good evening. 

As we walked home the contractions continued. I tried not to get my hopes up because of the past three nights' contractions. I knew that the only way for me to know if it was time, was for me to try to rest and wait and see if the contractions continued or if they went away. 

After getting the kids all ready for bed and in bed, I did the same. I showered and tried to go to sleep. The contractions didn't go away and they were painful enough for me to know it was time. I got up, put on a little make-up (for pictures!), got dressed and gently woke David. By this time, I was really having to stop, breathe, and brace myself during contractions. I called our sweet neighbor who had previously volunteered to come in the middle of the night if needed, and whom I had just chatted with at the Fall Festival.

She came and we were out the door at 12:30am. It was pouring rain! Both mine and David's Google Map apps decided to freeze up. We drove to the hospital earlier in the week to make sure we knew how to get there but we couldn't remember the exit! After 30 minutes in the car and some intense contractions (I was in ACTIVE LABOR!), we made it to Summerlin Hospital. David dropped me off at the Emergency entrance and went to park the car. I gave my paper work and identification to the registration desk, David joined me and we walked to Labor and delivery. 

I changed and was checked in the Triage room. The nurse said I was dilated to 6 cm. David informed the staff present that I progress quickly, but it was clear that they did not understand the importance of what he was saying. There were about five women in the room, all performing various tasks, trying to get me in their system and physically set up for delivery. Reminder: I was in ACTIVE LABOR! One lady was asking me to sign various documents between contractions. Another was drawing my blood. Another was at the computer. And another was trying to put an IV in my right hand. I felt it! I felt the urge to push. I did it... my water broke! In one breath I announced my water broke, the next I used to push. The nurse trying to place the IV in my hand checked and announced that he was crowned. I pushed again. The nurse had one hand trying to steady the needle she just stuck in my hand and the other hand catching the baby. It was quite dramatic!

At 1:29am on October 17th, James Daniel arrived. He is beautiful! He came weighing 6 lbs. 14 oz and measuring 20 in. long. We are in love with his sweet spirit and are grateful he has joined our family.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Meet James Daniel

Our cups are running over! We are immensely grateful for all four of the children we have been entrusted with.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Reflections of Cedar

We are going to miss the beautiful views of Cedar City.
Well... we now officially feel like we are out of the student stage. David passed his boards with flying colors and received two great job offers from his first two interviews. Even though he had other interviews set for the following week, we felt we should move forward with one of the two offers. After fasting and prayer, we decided. Now we are here in northwest Las Vegas and David has started his new job. It all went so fast! It was a whirlwind. Within one week, he accepted a job offer, we looked at homes and moved in to our new home! We feel we are where we are supposed to be at this time.

We are grateful for the time we had in cedar City, Utah. It was a great place to breathe and regroup after graduation. I realized I didn't document our time there well. So here are some more recent pictures of our family in Cedar.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Josh and Janet

Our Reynders Reunion ended with a miraculous event. For me, the wedding and sealing of Janet and Josh brought our whole adventure of reunions and family reflection back to the roots; it caused me to focus on family in an eternal perspective. It was a beautiful thing.

Janet and Josh were sealed for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple. After the sealing and pictures, we had an awesome luncheon provided by the Vallem's and then a hop'n reception. We all had fun but we were all exhausted by the end of the day.

Waiting for the bride and groom to exit the temple...

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Thorley & Reynders Reunions 2015

We were ecstatic when we realized that we could attend this years' annual Thorley Reunion. We were unable to attend the last three reunions because of David's schooling in Missouri. It was so good to see everyone! Family is a beautiful thing. I am so grateful for the amazing family I was blessed to marry into.

The Original Thorley Clan
Add spouses... and get...
Exponential growth! and
Exponential silliness :)
Great Grandkid Fun!
Flowers on the Thorley point (elevation 10,000).

Wiping tears, trying to get a family picture...
Not very successful...
Peter looks good :). Just enjoying the view.
The best Dad ever!
After the extended family, Thorley Reunion, we held a little Reynders Reunion. I think it had been five years since we were all in one place. It was fun to spend time together and get to know our soon to be brother, Joshua Valem, Janet's fiance'. We also got to know Scott's girlfriend, Nicole. Hopefully we didn't frighten either of them too much ;).

The original Reynders

The beginnings of exponential growth and silliness :)
The grandkids :)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Murphy Family Reunion

We had our first Murphy Reunion this summer. It was the first time we were all together in a little over 4 years! It was great!

Our reunion was held here in Cedar City. My in-laws graciously allowed us to use their home and the Thorley Mountain. We had fun with all kinds of activities. We played games, held a family competition, hiked, and explored the mountain on four-wheelers and dirt bikes. There are some things that will be unforgettable. One being our Tie-die shirts!

We all made a shirt. Aren't they great?! Some people will never wear them again, but my kids loved it and have worn their shirts several times since.

Another unforgettable event was our friendly family competition. We split into three teams and competed in five different events. The most memorable event: Cheese Head! One member from each team had to wear a shower cap with shaving cream all over it. Then all other teammates threw cheese puffs at their head. Whichever team could land the most cheese puffs on their teammates head in one minute, won! It was a blast!

Something memorable for at least me and all the kiddos was the fun crafts and activities my awesome, big sister Vanessa planned. The kids made personalized binoculars and went on a nature hunt. They made balloon animals, painted rocks, did bubbles, and more.

One last thing that was unforgettable was the devotionals we had every night. Family unity can be found in many ways, but one of the most moving ways for me is when we can all connect spiritually. When we participate in spiritual discussion our spirits are unified, relationships, and testimonies are strengthened.


I am grateful for family. I am grateful for my family.