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.

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.