Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pajama Day?????

Tay, Payte, Dak, and Tagg in their NY nightshirts.
I LOVE these kids!

Well, yesterday was pajama day at school . . . allegedly. I don't know what might have been going on in our minds to simply rely on Payte's loose recollection that yesterday was the day. We have certainly been around with her long enough that it should have occurred to us to verify her info - not to mention the fact that Tay did not remember it the way Payte did . . . and frankly when Tay tells us something, you can bet on it. Nonetheless, we blindly moved ahead with full faith in Payte. As you can imagine, upon mounting the bus it didn't take long for them to notice that strangely they were the only ones participating in the pajama party. Upon arrival at school, it was clear that there was no pajama party. That's when the fun begins. Tay was mortified. She had a cute little pair of blue bottoms with a little blue top and her pink robe. It wasn't long before she was in tears and completely embarrassed. They took her to the office to see what they could do. They eventually found some clothes in the lost and found that they gave her - of course there was nothing close to small enough but with a few rolls to cuffs it would do, and she actually felt pretty cool in her new-found duds, especially when they said she could keep them.
Meanwhile, across the building in the Kindergarten, Payte's experience was unfolding as one might expect. For her, the pajama party was certain to go on. She couldn't have cared less that she was the lone kid in PJ's, in fact she was feelin' pretty good that while all the others had to wear their uniforms, she was chillin out in her PJ's - the fact that they were bright green flannel pants and a loud Christmas tee with a big dog in a Santa hat simply didn't phase her. With her confidence I'm sure that her class envied rather than teased . . . kind of like Tom Sawyer and whitewashing of the fence. That's ol' Payte for you.
I am constantly in awe at how different two kids from the same chromosomes can be. Tay a strict rule follower, proper in every way and determined to be perfect. The only day she got an average grade she could hardly bear to go back to school the next day she was so upset. At the same time, she's tender and maternal, a real care-giver; loves to help others. Payte is not completely oblivious to rules, she just isn't sure she's not here to simply have a good time, and any rules should take that overall goal into consideration. I don't know what it would take to embarrass her. She takes life as it comes, not trying to be anybody's hero, and is totally at peace. What a pair. The amazing part is that they can play together peacefully for hours; Tay running the show, Payte just happy to be there and let Tay do it.

Thought I'd throw this in. They love to play in the rain when it's not thundering.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Tay was sent to time out the other day. She frequents the dreaded purple room a lot less than the other children. But, sometimes the wrong buttons get pushed and she gets worked up beyond a point of no return. It's at this time that she becomes absolutely hysterical. It is utterly impossible to talk or reason with her. She's an absolute MADwoman!
Anyway, I let her calm down and went in to talk to her. She had barricaded herself in the couch with pillows and posted the following sign.
I wouldn't want to talk to me either after an episode like that.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Virginia............Home Sweet Home.

Reese and I took the girls up to Virginia two weeks ago for SVU's homecoming. It's where we met (awwwwwhhhhh). I LOVE this place. I've been saying that about various different locations lately. If it's not Florida, I love it. But really, it is a wonderful place to go to school. We caught up with old friends that feel like family to us.

This is Main Hall. Isn't it beautiful! I lived in this building when I was there. The fall in this town is spectacular! The rolling hills and mountains are covered in colors of yellow, red and orange.

Reese played in the annual alumni soccer game. These guys are getting OLD! They could barely walk by the end of the game.

This is Tay with Jessica and Jennifer Brotherson. I babysat these two when I was in college. They babysat my two while we were there. The Brotherson's are a super amazing family. We love and respect them so much. And wow, I must say it was so easy to just have the girls with us. I started getting everyone ready for church at my usual time and ended up with an hour to spare!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chula! Chula!

Meet the newest member of our family, Miss Tigress Chula Reynolds. Tay (Kathleen Tay) named her. She didn't want to be the only one in the family who goes by their middle name.

We promised Tay a dog when we got back from our Seattle trip. I was NOT really looking forward to getting one. I've always liked the IdEa of having my kids grow up with a dog, but wasn't willing, until now, to let it become a ReAliTy. This change of heart towards pets might shock those who knew me when I was young. I LOVED dogs; not so much anymore.
Anyway, we went to the humane society two weeks ago to scope things out. We immediately fell in love with a six month old, brindle colored retriever/who knows what else mix. She's great! She is playful, affectionate, and relatively obedient. The kids love her and I can honestly say I'm excited to have her in the family. She'll be a GREAT lifelong addition.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Horse Pack Trip

The Reynolds clan are cowboys at heart. If they could provide for their families just by being cowboys, they'd do it, every one of them.`They must get that from their Dad. He grew up in Cody Wyoming on the back of a horse. For a Valentine's gift the Reynolds wives conversed and decided to send the husbands on a week long Wyoming horse pack trip with just their immediate family. What were we thinking?! I was happy to let them do it and was a LOT happier when it was over.
They had a fabulous time! It was an amazing experience for my in-laws to spend that much time with JUST their grown up kids. I know Reese's parents love all their daughters-in-law and grandchildren. But honestly, every parents' pride and joy are their children, their own flesh and blood. I'm just wondering when I'm going to get to take off for week to a destination of my choice, sans kids.

The whole fam. Cody, Ryan, Reese, Daman, MaShay, Brady, Dad, and Mom

The only injury requiring special attention was Reese's gash in the back of his head. He was breaking branches from a tree. A piece of wood flew at him and sliced his head open. They disinfected it, but alas, it kept coming open. Then, Cody grabbed the staple gun from the horses' first aid kit they discussed the merits of a couple staples in the back of his head. After not nearly enough deliberation, they went ahead and stapled my husband's head shut. Reese admits he could have survived without the staples, but he simply couldn't resist the excuse to see what it was like to be stapled, so he went for it. Besides, Cody was an expert; he'd seen it done once before in a hospital . . . on TV I'd imagine - plenty qualified for the ol' "Reynolds try". I asked Reese how he planned on getting the staples out. He said, "I don't know. You can pull 'em out with pliers." NO WAY! We called our pediatrician neighbor and she took them out with some special contraption which she let us keep. Reese now wants us to have our own people staple gun. Who knows, it might come in handy.

On the trail.

They all slept in the same tent, bunched together to keep warm.

I couldn't believe the amount of preparation a trip like this required. Everything had to be carefully packed and measured. It's a form of art I don't understand. Reese said it took them three hours every morning to pack the horses and get on the trail. Then another two or three hours at the end of the day to set up camp. Not my idea of a good time, but they loved it.

It snowed on them a few times.

Drying out gloves over the fire

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Payte's 5!! Dak's 3!! Wooohoooo!

Happy birthday to these two Buccaneers!
Payte's and Dak's birthdays are August 24th and 27th respectively.
Dak, Dak, Dak.......I love this boy! He melts my heart.
His smile is as bright as his scowl is scary. His greatest love in life is probably his sister Payte. He copies her every word and action, literally. If Payte accidentally trips and falls, Dak voluntarily face plants alongside her.

Payte has the most endearing personality! It is impossible to not love her.
She has a special ability to enjoy people of all different types and ages. She is very confident and comfortable with herself, and others can in turn feel comfortable around her. I honestly haven't seen anything like it. She can make AnYoNe feel loved.
Dak wrapped up in his new Thomas towel.

This is a shot of Payte opening up her pirate sword. She was so excited....obviously.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Bouquet of Newly Sharpened Pencils

Does anyone know where this post's title comes from? We had an interesting first week of school. Here's how it went..........
Two excited girls on their way to the bus stop

Uh-oh, Payte looks a little worried. Actually, she was really excited to start Kindergarten. The bus came little earlier than expected and she didn't like being rushed to the corner as the bus nearly whizzed past us.

The second day of school was cancelled due to threats of Hurricane Fay. She never hit us. It barely even rained that day. We were slightly disappointed we didn't get to see more action.

Tay fell during P.E. on the real second day of school and broke her nose.
Thursday went smoothly. Yeah! But then came Friday......
..Reese, Tay, and his parents left Friday afternoon for Alabama to attend Lila's baby blessing. We dog sat Chief, my in-law's dog. I love him! We also had Jackson, a jack-russell puppy that Tay wants to adopt. Funny that I got stuck with him while Tay was gone. Minutes after Reese left, Tagg threw up all over me. Dak and Payte soon followed suit, and I ended up tending and cleaning up after dogs and sick children all weekend. I actually felt more sorry for Payte than for me. It's her birthday today and she feels miserable. We will be celebrating her another day.

In Seattle

We spent the first two weeks of August in the Great Northwest. I was about as nervous to go as I was excited; Nervous because I was afraid I wouldn't want to go back home; and I mean really seriously NOT want to go back home. My apprehensions turned into reality upon our arrival in Seattle. It was cold and rainy. Ahhhhh, my kind of weather! We had a SuPeR GrEaT time! We hit Cow Chip Cookies, the XXX root beer joint, and of course Starbucks several times for hot chocolate. Starbucks does exist in Florida but the experience is just not the same.
I flew out with the three older kids and Reese came out with Tagg a couple days later. Reese had to get back to work so I was going to have to fly back with all four by myself. YUCK! Linda Krulish, a friend from our Sammamish ward found this out and bought a ticket for her 18 year old daughter Amanda to fly back with me. What a lifesaver Amanda turned out to be! Reese taught Amanda in seminary before we moved so it was fun for him to have her around too. We love you Amanda and hope you come back soon!

Dak throwing rocks in the river at Snoqualmie Falls

Reese and Tagg at a beach on Lake Washington

We went to see the Blue Angels fly. We had never been before. I didn't take this picture; that would have been impressive. They flew right over our heads in this formation. It was super cool!

Tagg and me at the city center

My kids loved exploring off trail on the way to the waterfalls. We were all grateful to breath in some fresh crisp air.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

With Friends

(Sigh) How I wish we still lived in Seattle. I had a lovely time visiting old friends. We kept ourselves on the go as we bounced from house to house. I didn't take my camera everywhere we went so I don't have pics of lots of people we saw. I felt like I was back home. There are people there that I love like family.
Our dear friends the Paxman's had a little dessert party for us at their home, allowing us to see lots of friends at once.
Not pictured are the Salmon's. We went to their house one night. They took such good care of us while we lived there. Lori was out of town:( so we skyped her and got to see not only her, but Kath and Tim's new baby twins!
Also not pictured are the Cardon's. I got to hold Dana's beautiful new baby Daniel and go to Cam's eagle court of honor.
I went out one night with the ladies from my old dinner group, Rachel, TeriAnne, and Jen, which was a blast. I saw Chantalle and three of her kids. We also went to the Hansen's new home and spent an evening eating, talking, and boating. I had to cancel a play date with the Jessica Forsgren to take Tagg to the doctor:( He had a bad case of croup.

This is Audrey Elison and Tay. We stayed with them the first two nights. Her mom Tracy is one of my best friends and my old jogging partner. I have a TON of admiration for her. We went walking at 5:30 in the morning, just like old times, and yes it rained (grrrrrrrrr).

We went to dinner at the Ranck's one night. Michelle planned a whole fish-themed party for us. We had SO much fun! She gave the kids fish cups, and let them whack a fish pinata. There was also hat and cookie decorating with lots of rainbow goldfish to eat. (Sigh...again) I miss you Michelle. You are so wonderful!

The pinata fell off the rope so Jeff bravely held it while my kids beat it up with a bat. Becca finally busted it open.

Tanner Paxman and Payte. My kids LOVE Tanner! He graciously played with them many many times. Dak asks me several times a day if we can "go to Vicki's."

Pictured above are Vicki, Tanner, and my kids. We stayed with the Paxman's several nights.
We LOVE them! I don't usually like to talk on the phone but I can spend hours talking to Vicki. It makes my day when she calls. I'm so comfortable with her. She is down to earth, funny, and genuinely loving. I keep trying to come up with a way for someone in my family to marry someone in her family; probably won't happen. I love you Vicki.

I forgot to bring Tagg's pajamas so I put him in one of Dak's T-shirts and Vicki put these huge socks on him.

Friday, August 22, 2008

At Ryan and Angi's

We spent the week after Cody's wedding with Ryan and Angi. I LOVE those guys! Brady and Julie were there too so it was double the fun..... and triple the diapers. I MISS MISS MISS living close to them. I am always amazed at the strength of Reese's family. I could go on and on but I'll just say that they are the BEST........yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Here we are at the International Water Bowl in the Seattle city center. The kids had a blast!

Posing atop an old stump on a hike at Whidbey Island

Thys is the oldest of the grandchildren on the Reynolds side. He is a wonderful kid! I love hanging out with him.

Josie, Ryan and Angi's youngest. I have the most beautiful nieces!

Taking the ferry to Whidbey

Mia and Tagg. She's a sweetie!

Angi made homemade raspberry lemonade. I didn't even get to try any because they sold out so quickly. Payte was in charge of the candy sales. It was amusing watching her trying to convince people they needed her candy.

Tay and Mia, best cousins.

Slip-n-slidin' in the backyard

Mia, Anabelle (did I spell it right Julie?), and Tay

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cody's Wedding

Cody married Jessica Gibb two weeks ago! We are SO excited for them. We can't wait to get to know Jess better and are SuPeR excited to have her in our family. I love weddings! They are SO much fun. I would love to get married all over Reese of course.

The happy couple cutting the cake.

Payte watched out for Dak and made sure his bow tie wasn't crooked.

I love this pic of Tagg though it is a little blurry.

Cody's Angels from left to right, Angi, Morgen, MaShay, Jess, Me, and Julie

Monday, July 21, 2008

Don't Mess with a Reynolds!!!!

Morgen, Isaac, and Lucy (Reese's brother's wife and kids) came down for a visit. Some of my favorite childhood memories are playing with cousins. I was THRILLED to see my kids play, play, and play some more with theirs.
An interesting thing happened with the monsters pictured below at my in-laws pioneer party the other day. I made Reese sit down and write out the story, as he is much more articulate than I. Here it is.........
I witnessed for the first time, the Reynolds Mafia mentality expressing itself amongst the young generation . . . and frankly didn't know how to react.
We were visiting Mom and Pops' ward in Sun City, FL for their Pioneer Day activity. Morgen, Isaac, and Lucy were in town from D.C. so it was particularly enjoyable for Payte, as she and Isaac get along like "peas and carrots" as Forrest Gump would say. They were inseparable for a week and unbelievably capable at working out their differences - I honestly have not seen anything like it before.
Anyway, there they were, running in circles in the church gym as Dak ferociously chased them, making his most intimidating monster growls. It was quickly clear to the by standing children where the fun was at, and they attempted to join in. However, Dak wasn't interested in chasing any of these unfamiliar folks, so he continued only to pursue Isaac and Payte. Well, it turned out that one little boy didn't like being neglected by Dak the Destroyer and chose to deal with it by giving a stout, unexpected shove to Isaac that put him directly on his bootie. Isaac was surprised, and so shocked that he frankly didn't know how to respond. Within literally less than two seconds Payte came charging in at the aggressor, the full weight of her most vicious scowl bearing down on the little boy like a ton of lead. She had seen what happened, and it was not going to go unpunished. Dak, bolstered by Payte's convictions and also having seen the shove, redirected his monster growl upon this perpetrator . . . who was quickly regretting his choice of victims. Isaac quickly came around and was suddenly on his feet, shoulder to shoulder with Payte, the three of them now crushing the little boy with stares that one should not see on the faces of kids so young. Then Payte slowly began to move closer, step by step towards the boy, Isaac and Dak inches behind . . . I honestly did not know what was about to happen, and I actually had a moral struggle as to what I would do - I was so stunned by this behavior that my curiosity was just overflowing to see what was actually going to happen. However, I quickly stepped in and "diffused" the situation - after all, it was in the church.
So, after I had called off the dogs and they had justified to their satisfaction their hostile actions, the scared and humbled boy sulked away. I saw real threat in those eyes of Payte, and in Dak I saw a face that said "go for it Payte, I'm in". I waffled between pride in their defensiveness of their cousin and their self-confidence, and the fact that I had just seen them rally the Reynolds gang to intimidate a boy nearly to tears just with their heavy stares.
I'm glad I stopped it. As for right now, I think we're going to reconsider the Karate class Payte wants to join.

Morgen and Lucy

Lucy at the piano. Isn't she beautiful!?!

Say CHEESE! This is Tagg's camera smile. Nice buddy!

Cousins sleeping in a fort.
"like peas and carrots"