Thursday, January 31, 2013

Checking In

Tomorrow is February already???  Sheeez...

We will be on a week break from school next week!  Waaahoooo!   I set up our school year to go four weeks on and one week off.  It really helps all of us not to burn out!  Right now we are scheduled for six weeks off in the summer, but we may pick up a couple of the off weeks to make summer break a little longer.  That is the joy of homeschooling...we can see how we are doing and what we need.

Our family tried a site called Easy Peasy-All in One Homeschool recently.  It was put together by a homeschooling momma of six children.  She and her family are missionaries overseas, and it was her desire to set up a free curriculum for others to use. It is quite impressive!  Obviously, this precious lady has poured much of herself out getting them together for her own children and others.

I had the boys try it for a bit because I like to be able to see how things work, get ideas, and know first-hand if I can recommend a resource.  I think if you need a free option, it is a blessing.

Alex and Trey are still doing a few things on there for right now, but there were a some things that just weren't the best fit for them.  That's okay because I am blessed to be available to them to do something else.  It was a nice help while my attention went to getting some things done for the mission team leaving for Nicaragua next week. The biggest "problem" with all the guys doing online assignments is that I lose access to my computer!  :)

There are some other happenings that I will hopefully get to post about soon. Just wanted to check in.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Silver Ring Thing

I always find it interesting how we make our plans but God directs our steps.

We were invited by some friends to a youth event about purity.  It took a lot for us to drag our tired selves out on a very rainy Sunday evening.  I had no real clue what we were headed to or if it would be worth our time and effort.

I felt led to take our two oldest sons, and as they filed into the auditorium with all the other young people, we headed upstairs with the other adults.  A few video clips of the founder of The Silver Ring Thing were shown.  He is the father of three girls and wanted to help educate parents and teens about the dangers of premarital sex.

A young woman of 21 came forth to share her testimony of how she ended up coming to this program some years ago.  It was AMAZING to say the least, and clearly God used it to save and change her life.  She now tours with the program, helping as she is able.

There were more video clips of statistics and information; some I knew, some I did not.  They explained what the teens were being taught downstairs and gave the explanation of the rings.

I am absolutely not so nieve as to think a piece of jewlery will keep my sons pure until marriage, however, I do like the idea of a symbol that they CHOOSE to wear to remind themselves of what God has for them if they remain steadfast to do things His way.

I was surprised when the parents were told rings were available for them as well.  It is another effort to give a tangible symbol as a reminder to pray for your child about everything.  I wasn't so sure this would be beneficial to me, as I love to wear jewelry and thought I might not pay much attention to it being on my hand.

My husband thought it a very good idea for us to have rings also, so we bought them and some resources to go over as a family.  We went back downstairs and joined the room of teens.  I was very impressed with the videos, skits, and speakers.  I like the straight-forward, yet humorous way the information is given out to the students.  They weren't spoken "down" to and they didn't sugar coat the effects of bad decisions or broken hearts.

We had an interesting discussion on the way home, and I found myself feeling very peaceful that we can discuss things so openly as a family.  Our sons chose to get the rings. They have worn them everyday.  I know that this commitment they have made won't be an easy or popular one.  I know they will face temptation and they could fall.  I pray they know they are deeply loved whatever the outcome, but how I hope that they can remember this night, not with condemnation, but with inspiration.    

We chose to get the rings as well, and I was pleasantly surprised that every time I noticed it, I did pray for them.  I like that.  I need a reminder to lift them up and have their back.  Kids need that.  Kids need parents who care and who are proactive.  

I so hope my boys can make it to their wedding day and give that ring to their wife and say, "You were worth waiting for."  I don't want them to be responsible for fragmenting young women's hearts or causing them to stumble.  And I don't want them to go through that either. I don't want them to have to battle comparisons or images of previous anything!  I want them to be able to enjoy their union the way God meant for them to.

It was a great night with a great message.  I'm glad even when we didn't "feel" like it, we went with the urging that was upon us to get there and get what God had for us as a family.

Always, always, respond to the nudges of the Holy Spirit...He is LIFE!      

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Family ?

Today (well, it was the 7th when I started writing this post!) is a crazy special day because two very, very important people in my life were born on this day in history!

Sandy~my friend and confidant from Navy days in SC.  One of those people who know ALL your junk...yep, that's Sandy for me.
We met at a playgroup on base and quickly became friends who would pick one another up and be there for the other with no phone call needed.  We learned so much together, and it never fails, what God is dealing with one of us about, we can be sure He is speaking to the other!  The laughs, the tears, the embarrassment, the triumphs...the ultrasounds, the births, the long-distance talks, prayers, and stories.  The vacations, the memories, the burdens carried, and the victories celebrated.  

Family isn't just blood.

Andrea~my friend and confidant from Puerto Rico!  :)  My sweet, tender girl...directionally challenged to say the least, but a heart of pure gold.  Love unmeasurable.  Seeker of truth who thirsts for knowledge and wisdom.  Scared and brave.  A visionary who won't be limited for God is on her side.  A joy to my soul in every visit, phone call, text, and email.  Dedicated to true friendship and sister who cares about all the little things they do.  Dreamer. Inspires me to be everything God has called me to be.  An amazing ability to ask just the right question at the right time that will make me think for days.  A precious treasure waiting to be discovered...looked over by the blind.  A destiny which can't even be imagined...full of promise.  Will touch many.  Has deeply touched me.

Family isn't just blood. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

School is Back in Session!

Here we go again!  Today was our first day back to the daily grind of homeschooling, and wouldn't you know, silly me, scheduled three appointments this week!  What was I thinking?  Thankfully, my boys have come to a place where they work pretty well (most days) on their own...and on the run!

We are heading into ancient Egypt now.  Today we discussed how the Israelites fit into the timeline of Egypt, some of the Biblical stories that took place in Egypt, the plagues and passover in detail, and the geography of the area.

I am trying out a new, more regimented schedule for Alex and Trey to see if it will keep them on track and a little more productive.  One tends to speed through work and one piddles; they switch off days of course :)

Everyone seems excited to dig into pyramids and mummies so I am hoping to find some great videos and resources to make this super fun!  I'm thinking a library visit may be in store after an appointment this week.   

Let's see...any other news from La Casa de Reynolds???  Oh yes...karate starts at a new facility this week, with lots of fun equipment I hear!  I have started on a better eating plan and hope to exercise more. Tom is already off to another state.  Garrison is doing his best to hit school running with a lot of congestion from a cold weighing him down.  Trey can sort-of talk again after his cold.  Alex can't find his glasses or his winter coat.  The dog is getting old and doing weird stuff!  My basement is filling with mission donations and suitcases.  Andrea left to go back to her LAST semester of college after staying here and working on break.  

We are rolling along.  Hope your new year has started with a bang!  (a good one!!!)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Christmas 2012!

Christmas was so wonderful!  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! So thankful for family and friends...and for a selfless Savior who came to earth!
 Changed our tree decorations this year to some brighter colors, but with the new sofa, it wasn't the best fit!

 We had the perfect stocking for our "Yankee!"
 Oooo la la...look what the Princess found in her stocking!
 EJ got a new and very annoyingly loud toy!
 Boys who are growing up way too fast!
 Alex got a leather jacket

 Laura got earmuffs that she can play music through while she walks around NYC!

 Tom's texting gloves
 What was I thinking??????!!!!!
 Who's that gangsta?
 My "unsocialized" homeschooler!
 Tom's gift from Laura about Yankee Stadium
 Trey's new iPod
 WHAT?! My very own castle?!
 Garrison's amp...why did my husband do this to us??? LOUD!

 You know Adalee had to come play with the castle!

 Boys surprise game chairs from their sistas!

 Sweet, beautiful Andrea...staying with us on break so she can work, work, work!
 My sweet baby boy!
 What a great year!  Oh, but no New Year's Eve pics at my house this year because my boys went to Aunt Erin's with tons of cousins so Tom and I had a nice dinner and movie.

Okay...c'mon 2013...let's see what you've got!

Goodbye to Lawrita :(

It's never easy to send off friends you don't wanna let go of :( BUT, we are also incredibly happy for them to be back with their family and to see what God has in store for them!

Mindy's Family Thanksgiving 2012