Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Pride goeth before..." you know the rest

To unload the car from any trip to the store requires a few trips: unlock front door, unload kids, unload sleeping kid and then get the bags (however many or few there are). Today, I am on my way back to the van, and as I am walking down the stairs, I see my new neighbor. I wave and say hello as I continue to walk. My foot catches the side of the sidewalk and wa-boom! My left knee hits the corner of the sidewalk, my right knee hits the grass and my hands slam onto the sidewalk. Ouch. Oh yes, it hurts. But what is worse? I am TOTALLY embarrassed. My neighbor comes over to check on me, and wants to be sure I am all right. I am mortified, and in soo much pain, but my pride is just smashed to smithereens. I have a good size scrape on my left knee and leg, and, just to show how old I am, my back hurts too. I thank him for checking on me, and proceed to finish unloading AFTER he goes back into the house, terrified I may do it again! He was so kind to check on me, and I wished I could have made some joke about it, but it's so hard to think of things in the moment. When I told Tommy the story, he laughed so hard, and with his great sense of humor said I needed to ask my neighbor if "all the girls have that reaction to him." LOL

Monday, July 27, 2009

He is such a big boy!

Mealtimes are the most interesting with William. I turned my head to say something to the kids, and when I turned back this is what I saw.....

11 months old and he is ready to feed himself already!

Happy 40th, Mom and Dad Reynolds!

Yesterday we celebrated 40 years for my in-laws on the beautiful feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, the parents of Our Lady. Chrissy was our hostess with the mostess and the trampoline and great yard were the hit of the party.

A delicious wedding cake for the happy couple,
grandchildren blanket and family scrapbook made by Pam and her family,

sangria and beer toasts,

lots of cousin fun, including Michael Jackson's number ones (imagine a room full of kids singing "Beat it! Beat it! No on wants to be defeated!"), and a great day!

Uncle Paul is on his cross-country trip today, and we were able to bid him farewell. (I love this picture of William with his Godfather.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Yummy dip

Here is a really easy summertime dip that I enjoy. You can make it a little spicy if you want, or add some chicken to it and make it a meal.

Southwestern 7 layer salad
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3/4 cup thick and chunky salsa
1 can (15 oz) drained and rinsed black beans
1 green pepper, finely diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions, with tops
1 package (16 oz) lettuce salad mix
1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
(chips; can also add cooked chicken for heartier meal)

Combine sour cream and salsa in a bowl, set aside.Layer: beans, pepper, lettuce, tomato, and green onions. Spoon sour cream mixture over top of layers, then grate cheese on top.

The best part about this dip? The salsa/sour cream mixture. It turns pink. It never fails, that the guys will be the ones to ask you about it, and give you the one-eyebrow raised look (the select few can do that move. I can.) to see what you are serving them.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I am going to hit publish, but it doesn't mean you have to read it

Words. They can be so kind, uplifting and good. Yet other times can hurt beyond any imagination. They seem so small and go past so quickly, it amazes me that they carry so much weight. I have been thinking (eh, maybe brooding is more appropriate) about words, conversations, etc. lately, and it has made it difficult for me to talk to people. I do worry often, but I have been in a very selfish place where I am always worried about how and what to say.
I had an experience recently that was very hard, and unfortunately, I have not been able to forget. Someone lashed out in anger at us, and said some things that were very hurtful. I know that what happened was not my fault. I know that this person did not mean the terrible things that were said. I know that I won't see them again, won't have to talk to them again. There were a lot of things said that hurt, and were directed at the things that I know I need to work on. I have forgiven them and I have prayed for them. It doesn't mean I have forgotten. Why is that so hard? Why do things people say hurt so much and stay with us for so long? I know I am sensitive, and things stay with me longer than some other people, but why does it have to be like that? I have been self-conscious ever since that experience. I had a family gathering at my house, and I worried everytime I had to speak to someone, afraid to offend or upset. I was nervous about making a joke, in case it was taken the wrong way. I attributed it to the incident. I hoped that I would be doing better by now, but I am still having a difficult time processing everything, and still a little self-absorbed with my thoughts and emotions. I know I need to get out of this rut and move on. I know. But I have not gotten there yet.
I want to be sure that if I have offended or hurt anyone that they will come to me and accept my apology. It's kind of an informal/insensitive thing to do here on a blog, but as I said, I have been disecting everything said and I never want to offend.

We (especially me) have been sick the last few weeks, and I have had some opportunities to do some praying and searching. I am still trying to see the good that needs to come from this incident. I am thinking God was trying to get me to be a better mother, wife and friend. He was trying to give me a lesson, and I hope I can see it and act upon it. I may not be doing all that I need to do, but I am thinking more, praying more, and trying harder. Yes, those words hurt, but I know that God can show me a positive outcome from such an experience, and show me that I need to turn to Him in these moments. The Beatitudes keep coming to mind while I am praying, so I wanted to put them here for me:

The Beatitudes

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hail to the Redskins!

How do we get so lucky? We get 2 Redskins players in little Manassas! First it was Jason Campbell, the quarterback (he is huge!) in November. He was super nice and posed for pictures with us. (He said we have a good-looking family, so he is tops in my book!)

Today, we get a phone call about Santana Moss!

Patrick heard two things and figured it out. Tommy said "PNC bank, and where's your jersey?" and Patrick went and got his football cards and his jersey and asked when we were leaving to meet Santana Moss. Goodness, he's smart.

We technically weren't supposed to do any posed pictures, but Tommy bent the rules. The kids were a little distracted, but did a great job waiting!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Happy (belated) Birthday, America!

(As our holiday weekend was so busy with the family, I missed posting this.)

I am usually a day late and a dollar short when it comes to special days/celebrations. But for once, I am in the right mode for Independence day this year. No, not just for fireworks and a cookout, but for the real meaning of the freedom of our country, and why this day is so important to us and our children.

Tommy came home the other night with an HBO series, John Adams. He said our history buff friend had recommended it, and wanted to check it out. I was hesitant at first, not knowing how well I would like the main charactor, but I am really enjoying it. Now, granted, it is HBO so they throw in a bedroom scene (quite long, I might add), but other than that it has been enjoyable. We aren't quite finished yet, we just got to when he becomes President. I am NOT a history person, by any means, so I am asking questions during it (thank you, Tommy, for being so patient!), and I couldn't really tell you if they took a lot of liberties, or how well they did it. As I watched the scenes leading up to the Declaration of Independence, I couldn't help but think of the movie 1776. That movie is a musical (tried to watch that with the kids, but they do cuss quite a lot) and so enjoyable. I remember watching that growing up, but I never enjoyed as much as I do now. In BOTH of these movies, as I see the men sign the Declaration, I am so emotional (ok, yes, I'm crying). I am so proud of our forefathers and so proud to be in America.

The kids were very aware of this past election, and aware that we are not the biggest fans of the new president, but I do remind the kids that the must pray for our president and elected officials, as well as the military. We have to continue our prayers, and continue to thank our military for working so hard for our freedom.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mealtime with William

My little Gerber baby is a great eater, and it seems he has seen What About Bob? already.

Summer Musings

Tommy and the kids love to go to the pool. I enjoy the sun, enjoy the time with the family, but I am not a big fan of the pool. The kids know that, because Daddy is way more fun anyhow. Notice how there are no pictures of me in the water with the kids? Not that I didn't get in the water, but, well, it IS my blog, but I am the one with the camera, so that settles that. But I was never a big fan of the water. I am not a swimmer, and to tell the truth, I loathe and dispise bathing suits. I am no Claudia Schiffer or Heid Klum (boy, would I love to look that good pregnant, or even be close to their heights - 5'11" and 5'9") by ANY stretch, but seriously, does anyone LIKE putting on a bathing suit? I mean, the process of finding one alone is pure torture, with the bazillion of styles for this body type, color choices, florescent bulbs and *shudder* mirrors and dontevengetmestartedonshaving. Ever notice the common theme when you see bathing suit models (besides the perfect bodies, airbrushing and retouching)? The suits are dry. It's a conspiracy. Even if you find one that looks remotely good, get it wet, and all bets are off. It starts sagging here, clinging more here, don't forget the wedgie back THERE, and the straps falling down, and don't sit on the side of the pool, or you will have a backside faded and pill-y. It's a lose-lose situation. And that's if you don't have kids. If you have kids, you have to get a towel wrapped around them first. You have to carry the baby in and out, and therefore can't tug on the offending area while holding said 20 pound appendage, since of course, it takes 2 hands since it's wet and stuck to you. And you know, even if you go in the water in a t-shirt and shorts, it STILL is the same thing.

So while I do, in theory, enjoy the pool with the family, can't we do it without everything that comes with it? As my dad used to tease us, can't we go to the pool and not get wet?

Summer Fun

It's summertime, so Tommy has been bringing us to the pool lately. The kids really enjoy the pool with Daddy. William loves the water, but he has the most fun doing this....

Friday, July 10, 2009

That's better

Whenever people come to my house, I often get the same comment: "whoa, you have a lot of family, and a lot of magnets." Or something to that effect. It's funny, but I didn't think that it was a lot until I started taking them off the fridge. I love having the pictures on the fridge to help me think of my family and friends. All the magnets are from a place we've been and they have some great memories for us. There are some from our honeymoon (it's the gold one next to the timer), trips to Europe, souveniers from other people's trips for us, Tommy's business trips (and there have been many), and a plethora of Disney. I thought maybe I would like the fridge without any magnets, but once they came off, the fridge looked so bare. Patrick didn't like it bare, so when I asked the kids to help me, he was the first one at my side.

I don't know. I think I could do it both ways.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Feeling a bit underdressed

Don't you think? (for those of you who have been to our house, update to come tomorrow!)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Two words: Bacon Grease

Oh man. I found another salad recipe that I made for this past weekend. Talk about yummy! I don't think I was the only one who enjoyed the salad, but I also think that I may not have made enough food for everyone that came over.....I had to order pizza for dinner! Ack. I felt like a failure. We had such a big family, and I just wasn't thinking about 2 meals. When Tommy said he wanted to grill, I kindly suggested that I make a ham. He insisted-er, suggested that "it will be fine." Well, I should have just made this ham from Joy of Cooking (scroll down), and I would have felt better. But, I didn't listen to my angel, so I had to order pizza (hangs head in shame). Still, I am probably the only one who noticed and even if I wasn't, Tommy's family is so nice that they wouldn't have said anything anyways!

Anyhow, back to that salad.

The Pampered Chef ®
Wilted Spinach Salad with Candied Pepper Bacon

Bacon and Salad
4 slices thick cut bacon
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 package fresh baby spinach
1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into thin wedges
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion wedges
Salt and pepper
2 hard cooked eggs, peeled and cut into wedges

1 tbsp reserved drippings from bacon (aka BACON GREASE)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp Dijon Mustard

1. Line bacon on parchment paper on a microwave safe plate, sprinkle with brown sugar and pepper. Cook in microwave for 3-5 minutes, or until crispy. Drain on paper towel and reserve that BACON GREASE. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Set aside.
2. Combine spinach, apple, onion in a large bowl. For dressing, whisk bacon drippings (GREASE), brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and mustard in a microwave safe bowl. Cover, microwave on high 2 minutes or until bubbly. Pour dressing over salad to serve, and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper. Top with egg wedges and bacon. Serve immediately.

Serves: 4 (obviously I made more than this for the army, I mean family that came over. ;)
The Pampered Chef Spin on Salads cookbook.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Music to my ears:
"Mommy, this is so yummy! Thank you for this yummy meal."

I love my sweet Emma!

Fourth Family Weekend

All of the Reynolds-tribe was in town this weekend! We took about 100 pictures (or it seemed like) of the family, families, parents, and grandkids, and just had a wonderful time. Not only did we ALL get together on the fourth, we were ALL together on the fifth! We are so blessed!
For those of you who don't know: Jimmy, Johnny, Danny, Chrissy, Tommy, Peter, Paul and Mary. Yes, I did say Peter, Paul and Mary.

Frontyard fireworks display and sparklers were great for everyone, though Patrick enjoyed the view from inside the house with his cousin Luke, Aunt Amber, Mommy and William.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Testing Panic

We homeschooled Patrick for Kindergarten this past year, and (though it WAS K only) it was very nerve-wracking for me. I worried that I wouldn't do a good job. He is such a smart kid, and reads amazingly well, but I wanted someone else to back me up, and to give me something to show a potential school someday. Seton Home Study has a California Placement Test that they will send you to help with just that. It's one of those "fill in the O's" test, while you are read the questions, in a certain amount of time. I thought it was pretty easy for Patrick, and I made sure not to help him, so he would do it on his own.

The results came today. It took me a few minutes to figure out what the numbers meant, and when I did, I panicked. It showed that there were only 11 out of 20 math problems right. The comprehension section was just average (my child?? AVERAGE!?), but the LOW side of average. There is this number on the bottom that looks TERRIBLE, and my heart is sinking lower and lower as I continue to read. Tommy keeps asking to see it, and I can't even talk I am so upset. "I've failed him. I will never be a good teacher. Time to throw in the towel. Apparently I need to go to Kindergarten again!" My eye continues to scan those numbers, and I go to the top of the page.

There is a girl's name on here. That's not my address. Wait a minute, that's not mine OR Tommy's name up there. They sent us someone else's test scores! There was another piece of paper in there with Patrick's test scores (trust me, I checked the name before I read it), and (thankfully) he did great.

Whew! I was so relieved that I actually got the giggles. Tommy was laughing, I was laughing, and though I felt bad for the other kid and the scores, I was so thankful for that moment to show me that I wasn't a failure.

This is what happens....

..when you leave a hungry baby alone (for just a minute) with the food juust in reach.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

One of my favorite things

I love to turn the corner and see Patrick and Emma sitting and reading together. Patrick used to sit with the book and make up a story for Emma. It's so amazing to watch the change now he can read. Emma is listening, though the motion would suggest otherwise. It is a little long, but I am the proud mommy!

Off to see the Tiger

Tommy is off to the AT&T golf tournament today with BOTH Patrick and Emma. He did this last year with just Patrick, who is very happy to sit and watch quietly. Emma, well, she has a lot more questions and won't sit as quietly sometimes. It's okay, but just not on a golf course. There were a few meltdowns before they even got in the car, so here's hoping they have a good day. (sending my angel....) I just hope she isn't disappointed when there isn't a lady golfer to be seen as she does on the computer golf game.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Blogosphere Musings

I love blogs. I am so addicted to reading blogs, keeping up with all the news, enjoying someone with a great sense of humor, their great recipes, homeschooling tips, living a Catholic life and much more. Now that I have started a blog, I wonder why people come here (if you like it, why don't you comment?!?? j/k)? The kids come by while I am on the computer, and I always get a question that makes me think. There will be a picture of someone's kids, dogs, or whatever, and they will ask "who is that?" I don't usually go into a long explanation, but it usually prompts this next question: "do you know them?" Hmm. Do I? Well, in a way, yes, I do. I know about their life, their struggles, the joys, and I feel like I know them. I may not know them in real life, but I know ABOUT them. Now that I have a blog they can come and "know" me too.

I am a stay at home mom. I have lots of sisters in the area (yay!) and we very often are able to be together. But there are days when I don't talk to anyone but the kids. The phone doesn't ring, emails don't ding, and we are just us. I love days like that, but sometimes I need to have grown-up things. Things that challenge my thinking. Encourage me when I am at my lowest. Tell me that I CAN get through the tough days, cherish the beautiful days, and keep going. Blogs are an outlet. My blog is my outlet. I can get "away" for just a few minutes and recharge to keep going. I do know them. They make me think a little harder, laugh a little more, and cry when I need it. I am so grateful to have them all.