Friday, December 28, 2007

Sweet Caroline

Caroline Jane Reynolds
10lbs 3oz

Sunday, December 23, 2007

St. Louis

We spent the weekend in St.Louis with my family. We shopped on Friday.... if you want a new wardrobe, just conveniently forget to bring all of your clothes on a trip, that's what Matt did. Then we went to Old Town St. Charles for this. which we had been to before but this was the first time the girls were old enough to understand it. We stayed in on Saturday and had a wonderfully relaxing day. My aunt fed us like kings (she's one of the best cooks I know) and we opened our gifts before heading to bed. We ate here before heading home today. We waited over an hour for a table but it was definitely worth it. The best pancakes I've ever had. Can you believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Babies and Christmas shopping

Wasn't today just glorious? To be able to send my kids out to play in December without coats on was such a treat. Of course, as you've all heard by now, the weather wasn't the only great thing about today. We learned that we will be meeting our new Korean friend Sam shortly after the new year. And we discovered that Sam and Oliver will be joined by not one but two Jeppsen boys in May. How fun is that?!!

On a totally unrelated note, the girls wrote letters to Santa. Maggie asked for a goldfish and a pink polka dot bow for our fireplace. Lucy wants a pony in a house with a handle and an apple. Like a real apple, not a computer. In a few short years, it will be a real computer and pony they are asking for.

Friday, December 07, 2007

What a difference a year makes

And to next year, there will be 3 more!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The past few days....

Enjoyed the most perfect weather at SDC on Saturday. Swam it up the next night at Big Cedar.

Friday, November 23, 2007

live and learn

Soooo...we thought we'd try something new to celebrate black Friday. "We" being 4 SUV's full of shoppers, some excited, some not so excited. We hit Tanger outlet in Branson about an hour before they were scheduled to open at midnight. It's a good thing we got there early as parking spaces got scarce really fast. The deals turned out to be not so good and it was so busy you could hardly move in the stores. The lines to check out would of taken us hours so we walked away with very little to show for our efforts. We were home and in bed by 2:30. But.....I must sure was fun!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


All of my kids hate Santa. I thought for sure Oliver would be my one child who could be brave enough to get within 6 feet of Mr. Claus without screaming. I was wrong.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

New York

In list form:

Got to our hotel around 7:00
Times Square- wonderful
Maxie's Deli- very authentic
Ferry to and back from Stanton Island- the best scenery we had

Woke up at 6:00
Breakfast at Pershing Square- the only overpriced meal we ate
Gray line bus tour of downtown Manhattan- the best way to see New York, did you know most of lower Manhattan is built on a landfill?
World Trade Center site- more interesting than I thought it would be
Lunch at the Stage Door Deli- reasonable, authentic, and good!
St. Paul's Chapel- I think this is a must see
Central Park
Apple Store
H&M with a kids' section- thank you to Missy for telling me the exact location
Macy's- the highlight being the old wooden escalators
Our hotel room to rest up and change clothes
Dinner at Mesa Grill- wonderful!!
Empire State Building- we miraculously didn't have to wait in line
Off to bed at midnight

breakfast at McDonald's in Times Square- not planned, it's a long story
Gray line bus tour of uptown Manhattan- Our tour guide was great, he told us where the stars lived, where movies and TV shows were shot, and where to get the best deals on food and knock-offs.
The Guggenheim
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Rockefeller Center
lunch at a pizzeria
NBC studio tour- got to see the SNL and Today show sets, they are both way smaller than they look
ABC Carpet and Home- the most beautiful store I've ever been in
Fishs Eddy- I think this was one of my favorite things of the whole trip
Wholesale district- gross
Strawberry- a lot like a gigantic Rue21
back to the hotel to rest a bit
Grand Central Station- unbelievably beautiful
Dinner at a deli on Times Square
Souvenir shopped on the streets
Dessert at a pizzeria
Hershey's store
M&M's store
Had to buy the 5 for $10.00 I heart NY shirts!
Toys R Us- to take pictures of the 4 story tall ferris wheel for the girls
Back to the hotel room for the girls while the guys explored the Chrysler building and the Waldorf Astoria

NYC marathon day
breakfast at Grand Central Station
shuttle to the airport
left for home!

Things we learned
Food is not as expensive as we thought it would be.
New Yorkers are nice, we didn't encounter one rude person the whole trip.
Don't prepay for a shuttle to and from the airport.
Ellis Island closes way early.
For 4 people, a taxi is just as cheap as taking the subway.
That Bryan and Holly are great travel companions/roommates.


Friday, November 02, 2007

Live from New's almost friday night

I'm doing a quick blog from the Apple store. We are having a great time, our hotel is wonderful, the weather is cold enough that we need a coat but it's still comfortable, and we are seeing a lot more than we thought we'd have time for. We got to our hotel last night around 7, we walked 10 minutes to Times Square where we had a great dinner at Maxie's. We took the subway to the Stanton Island Ferry and sailed that to the island and back. (Thanks Mark, we loved it!!) After one more walk around Times Square we headed to bed around midnight. We woke up early this morning, ate a yummy breakfast at Pershing Square, and hopped aboard our grayline sightseeing tour bus. Thank you to the 20+ people who insisted we take the double decker bus tour, it's been so informative. We feel like Manhattan experts now after listening to the tour guide talk about the history and culture of NY. We've seen more than we would of any other way, too. We stopped for an authentic NY deli lunch and then sightseeing at the WTC site. We also toured St.Patrick's church. We are now doing some shopping before heading over to Central Park. Tonight's plan includes dinner at Booby Flay's Mesa Grill followed by the Empire State Building. I hope to post pictures soon! Miss you all!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Our boy

Last year on Halloween, our social worker called to tell us that we had a little pumpkin waiting for us in Korea. We had been in process for a year at that point and we were ready for that call! Oh, how much has changed in just a year's time. I can't remember life without our sweet boy. Here's our octopus holding the picture we recieved of him a year ago.


I love Halloween. I don't like how evil it has become in recent years but I love dressing my kids in their costumes and taking their picture. I love watching them delight in the magical night when candy flows freely. It's so fun. Today, as soon as Ollie wakes up from his nap, we'll put on their costumes and trick or treat at all of the great-grandparents' homes. We always do this a day ahead because I can remember my parents driving me around on Halloween night to my grandparents' houses and I thought it was such a waste of valuable trick or treating time. Tomorrow night, we'll eat french toast for dinner (because that's fun) then trick or treat on our street before heading up to church. It's Oliver's referral anniversary so I'm sure we'll celebrate that at some point during the day, as well. Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

a few things....

Our computer is continuing to be difficult so I am once again blogging from my dad's laptop.

We leave in a week for NYC. It's my first time.

Steph and Andrew look precious together. As do Chad and Sky.

Oliver came downstairs wearing a Cinderella dress the other day. It was bound to happen eventually, with 2 older sisters and a house full of girlie stuff. This boy needs a brother.

Speaking of a brother, I've been a little surprised that I've actually gotten more flack for our decision to not find out what we are having than I have for our decision to have a home birth. (Which is a whole other blog entirely...) We knew our last child was going to be a boy for 14 months!! I'm ready for a surprise!

That's that.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

a break

Our computer is broken. I will be back shortly.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My favorite student

Today at co-op, I was working in the kindergarten class. Here's the conversation.

Bethany: Do you have a baby in your tummy?
Me: Yes.
Bethany: So you're a mommy?
Me: Yes.
Bethany: You don't look like a mommy.
Me: What do I look like?
Bethany: Like a girl who goes to high school.

Monday, October 08, 2007

When in Rome....

My own top model the last JV meeting they talked about Facebook and MySpace and what great tools they are to check up/keep up with the middle school kids. Turns out me, Matt, and one other counselor who shall remain nameless were the only counselors who still had not jumped on the internet social networking bandwagon. I just don't understand what the point is. But in an effort to get to know some of these kids better (like finally learn their names) I joined Facebook last week. I think that I will hop over to MySpace because a source tells me that's where the middlers hang out . I must admit, it is addicting.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Since Linette's pain was manageable, her Dr. thought it would be a good idea to wait and see a specialist on Wednesday. She hopes he will admit her for surgery either tomorrow afternoon or Thursday. I will update again as soon as I know more. Thank you all so much for praying, she asked specifically for us to spread the word about her and get as many people praying as possible.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Please pray

Many of you have met my friend Linette. Her daughter Hannah was adopted from China and they are in the process of adopting a second child. Here is the e-mail she sent out:

It with a heavy heart, I write this email. I have tears rolling down my face because I'm not sure where to begin. My mind is going in a million different directions, so please bear with me.
Yesterday Scott took me to the emergency room with severe abdominal pain and lower back pain. After a long day and many tests, the doctor told us they found a large mass in my uterus and several other small tumors on the female organs. He said - We're 'fairly certain' this is cancer. Even though this is all very hard to swallow, we believe God can give us a miracle. We don't serve a God that is "fairly certain" about anything. He is an awesome God and we're putting all of our trust and faith in Him at this time. The plan is I will be admitted to St John's Hospital in Springfield tomorrow with surgery on Tuesday so they can take the mass out and determine whether it's benign or malignant. We're very scared but like I said- we're putting all our trust and hope in Jesus Christ. I have a beautiful family I love more than anything and I'm asking all of you to be there for them this week. For those of you close to Scott, he's going to need your support in the days ahead. For those of you with a special place in your heart for our sweet Hannah, we need you to be there for her this week. We're going to try to keep things as normal as possible for her. That's so much easier said than done but we're going to try. Please ask everyone you know to pray for healing and for the doctors this week. We believe in the power of prayer. So, after you read this email get on your knees and PRAY!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Straight Pride

We were driving by the church on Battlefield today that flys a gay flag on their flagpole and the thought occured to me....why don't we have a straight flag? Really, I'm sure there are people who attend that church who are straight but they are not equally represented on the flagpole. Oh, the injustice.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My addiction

I go through a box every 2 days. It is wonderful!!!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Matt slayed our Goliath



My husband has never been one to spend money on frivolous things like professional tree removal. He got a quote then decided to attempt to conquer the massive bush/tree/scary thing himself. Most of the shrapnel is now on the Cates' land awaiting the next bonfire.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Our week of firsts....

Maggie had her first soccer practice, which was great.

All the kids had their first day at co-op yesterday. Maggie is learning Bible, manners, history, science, music, and art. Lucy has lessons in about half of those subjects and Oliver learned how to manipulate his teachers into walking the halls with him. I love it and I still am amazed we got in at the last minute.

Lucy got her first birthday party invitation just addressed to her. She has not let Maggie forget for a minute that she gets to go to the teddy bear place and eat cake without her. We are working on kindness!

We got our first dehumidifier which I'm sure is not blog worthy to most of you but I have been very impressed with it. It takes like a gallon of water out of our basement air a day and the whole place smells better. Definately worth the money.

Monday, September 10, 2007

my one and only area of expertise

I've been getting a few calls from people wanting to know how to manage the pukey part of pregnancy. Seems after 3 go rounds, I've become something of an expert at this. We all need something that we can talk intelligently about, I guess mine is throw-up. What exactly does that say about me? Hmmmm... Anyway, I thought I'd go ahead and write it all down so that anyone can reference this if need be in the future. Here are my tips compiled from my experience, the advice of my former Dr. and my very wise midwife, and tidbits I've gathered from those that have walked this road before me.

1. Perspective- You do not have cancer. You will not die. There is an end in sight. It is all worth it. Keep this in mind.

2. Throw up when you need to. I would much rather do this than feel nauseous constantly. Become an expert at it. If you flush while you do it, no one can hear you. Learn from the bulimics. :)

3. If you are sick only first thing in the morning, it is a low blood sugar problem. Your blood sugar plummets during the night because of lack of food. Set an alarm for once or twice a night so you can awaken and eat a snack. This will keep a steadier blood sugar level and you will wake up in the morning feeling much better.

4. Always keep something in your stomach. Eat a snack every 2 hours. An empty tummy is a sick tummy.

5. Dandelion leaf tea. Gingerroot capsules. Liquid vitamin B6. Warm lemon water. Sea-Bands. Try it all. It won't hurt you and you never know what might give you some relief.

6. One day it will end. I am 13 weeks and today is the first day I've felt great in weeks. I think I'm near the end of it. I am even cooking dinner tonight which is quite the feat.

That's that.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

my baby is one

What a wonderful night. Perfect weather and company. The only flaw in the slaw being the hideous cookies from a bakery whose "good decorator" recently quit. Oh, well. I'm so thankful that God brought us this happy, sweet, son from the other side of the world. Adoption is amazing. Thank you so much to everyone who shared this day with us.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

baby names

Daisy for the first name. What for the middle name? Pearl, Beatrice, Eleanor, and Adaline have all been shot down by the mister.

Boy names are hard. Real hard. Milton, Wayne, Hank, Walter, Harvey, are my picks. Matt says Roger but I'm not sold. Any ideas?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

moving day

Tonight is our last night in this house. I really thought I'd be sad but I'm not. I'm excited about the move. We've had a lot of help and we have great friends and family helping us tomorrow. I've yet to get overwhelmed which is quite a miracle. We found out today that we get to keep our wonderful mail lady since we are only moving 2 blocks. Of course, you would think that with such a short move we would get to keep our phone number, also. Apparently it doesn't work that way.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Been loving me some garage sales

A few weeks ago, a friend called and told me about a great sale off of National. I hopped in the van, shot right over there and found the perfect matching set of pink and chenille bedspreads for the girls' beds. Quite a steal at $25 since they were in great condition. Then, yesterday, I stopped at a sale of a lady who was shutting her home preschool. I loaded my arms with curriculum and phonics flash cards for $4. Jen and I rose early this morning to be the first ones in line at my parents' church sale. They were selling off all of their old children's furniture and play sets. We filled the back of her dad's truck with $10 bookshelves, $5 coat racks, and even a play refrigerator. Even better than the bargains was the chaotic atmosphere. One man actually put his hand on Jen's back and pushed her through the door when they were first letting us in. Of course, she let him have it. We stopped at a sale on Meadowmere on our way home. That's where I hit the motherload. Now, I rarely buy clothes for my kids at garage sales. They are usually gross and worn out. I normally don't even glance at the clothing racks. This sale was different. I don't think I'll ever stumble upon a sale that has H&M kids' clothes again. All barely worn and a lot still had the tags on. Most of the girls' clothing was in size 5 so that was absolutely perfect. Here's what I got for $36. Bargains make me so happy.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Better late than never

The Ovas came into town last week and we got to enjoy some Lambert's with them. We miss them but they are doing fabulous in Colorado.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Ikea fun

The last 36 hours were an absolute blast. We left at 4:00 in the morning yesterday to drive to TX and shop at Ikea. After spending 7 hours in the store, we spent another hour watching Matt Cates load the U-Haul like a game of Tetris. We were so glad he came with us to help. We ate dinner then went to Super Target. Holly and her police i.d. got us a GREAT deal on our rooms for the night. We drove home today while enjoying a few fun stops along the way. Can't wait to do it again!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

the grandstand was grand

The fair is over for me. I am opting out of working the dirt and noise they call a tractor pull tonight. I am always a little sad when the 10 days of fun come to a close. A few thoughts....

1. I don't think this can be mentioned too much. Bryan, you made everyones' week when you tackled that guy to the ground.

2. I think it is so inconsiderate for these "stars" to put on a concert drunk as a skunk. These people are your fans who have spent their hard earned money to come and watch you play. John Michael Montgomery was pitifully drunk and had not 1 but 2 plastic cups full of whiskey and beer with him on stage. It was just ridiculous. He sounded horrible and looked worse.

3. Kraig Morgan put on one of the best concerts I've ever seen.

4. I think you daytime boys have waaaayyy too much fun.

5. "Eddie Money don't have fans, he's got friends."

Thursday, August 02, 2007

From generation to generation....

When my Grandma E. went to court to finalize my uncle's adoption, she was 7 months pregnant with my aunt. Looks like I'll be following in her most of you already know.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Saturday, July 28, 2007

An ode to everyone who has cleaned up my children's puke

Yes, I am really blogging this. My girls throw up a lot. I think it might have something to do with the fact that I threw up a lot when they were inside of me. They just think it's normal. Anyway, I wanted to give a public thank you to everyone who has ever been brave and iron stomached enough to help with the disgusting clean-up. To Randy and Tammy, thank you for all your help at Steak and Shake. To Christina , I really appreciate you pitching in at Barnes and Noble. To Lisa W., thanks for changing your sheets and my daughter's clothes, both times. To Bryan and Ron, I can't believe you guys were so quick to get the boat back to spotless. I know there have been more of you, but this is just a quick list off the top of my fair fried brain. Thank you all so much.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ikea run

We are taking a girl (plus one guy to drive the U-haul for us) trip to Ikea in 2 weeks. We still have one spot in the Suburban left. If you would like to go, just let me know. We will only be gone one night.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


We took a wonderful trip down 60 today. Lisa C. had told me about this great little amish store in Seymour. They had a yummy selection of food but it was the children's books that I had to tear myself away from. They were all just so cute and wholesome. Next, we went to my dad's hometown of Ava to eat lunch at the soda shop. If you can see the prices on the menu, you know it was one of the cheapest meals we've ever had. We stopped off at a roadside park on our way home to play in the water and tick off a photographer who was trying to take senior pictures. I am just not ready for these kids to go back to school any time soon. I have so much fun with them.

Monday, July 23, 2007

This is how you know you are selling your home to good people...

The couple buying our house are just adorable. I didn't think I cared who bought our home but now I'm sure glad to know it's going into such good hands. They brought us these flowers along with a note saying how perfect the house is for them. So nice, huh?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hillbilly Highchair

Thanks Lisa for being clever enough to think this one up. Bungee cords really do come in handy.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Under Contract

I always laugh at how perfect God's timing is. Minutes before we closed on our new house, we recieved an offer for this house. It was a great one and we've already accepted. Yeah!

Monday, July 16, 2007

busy busy busy

We went to Branson overnight last Friday to celebrate our anniversary (#7). We met up with some of our favorite people at the lake on Saturday, just minutes after B broke his nose. We went to 2 parties on Sunday in addition to church and our open house. This week, me and the kids are at day camp which is actually quite fun. Chaotic but fun. We had our last post placement visit from our social worker today. We close on the new house on Thursday. Things won't be slowing down any time soon. We will be working on the new house and then the fair starts. Oh the fair, my heart beats a little faster just thinking about it...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Monday, July 09, 2007


Cindy and Skyler singing the best national anthem I've ever heard.
Christina introduced me to all the shopping available on Commercial street. Red books and Chairs was my favorite store. Very cute stuff for cheap.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Fourth of July

A big thanks to the Beattys for leting us tag along and join the party. We had such a fun time.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Death and taxes

My grandpa passed away on Sunday. He was a wonderful Godly man until Alzheimer's began to chip away at his memory and inhibitions 12 years ago. I am glad that he is with the Father now and he has his full capacities back, feeling better than we can even imagine. We had his funeral today, which got me thinking.....

1.Why do we spend all kinds of money on a posh box that is buried in the ground? It's a whole industry that is built on guilt. If you don't get the best casket and spend a ridiculous amount of money on it, you must not really love the deceased. In actuality, they couldn't care less. They are not in the ground, they are in one of 2 places.

2. Where did we get the tradition of bringing food to the grieving? So sorry your loved one passed, here's a casserole. Don't get me wrong...I love it. I've eaten very well the past few days. It just seems a little odd, don't you think?

Just some thoughts.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


So Firefall turned into waterfall. Just when we were loading up the van to go, they stopped letting people in. Something about tornados and severe storms, whatever. Jen and I were beyond disappointed but we still had a fun night having an indoor picnic. The people watching was rather limited from my living room but there is always next year.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday, June 22, 2007

B-list celebs rock

We spent the day in K.C. with Tom and Laura who were filing their orphan petition at immigration. 2 wonderful things transpired during our day trip.

1. We went to a Forever 21 that had kid's clothes. Most of them were half off. It was great.

2. Much like our fellow bloggers who ran into Paul Rudd on the Plaza, we met up with none other than Dave Coulier (a.k.a. Joey Gladstone) in a crosswalk by J.Crew. Oh, yes we did. It was a fast passing and I didn't get a chance to ask him if there was any truth to the rumor about the Alanis Morisette song. Maybe next time.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Here it is

We close in a month. It really was a miracle that we got the contract. I'm so excited about moving and I love, love, love the house but it's all a little bittersweet. We bought our current house when I was still a teenager. Matt (with the help of many friends) added on to it when Lucy was born. I do love it here, the neighbors, the bus stop in the front yard, my walk in closet. However, with 3 growing children, no back yard, and our desire to entertain more than 4 people at a get the idea. So, if you know anyone looking for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home in this great neighborhood of ours, let us know!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

June is the new December

Hobby Lobby has Christmas stuff out. Honestly, how much tinsel can they sell when it's 90 degrees outside?

We are moving....2 blocks south. That's a whole other blog for another day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

the last few days

Swam a lot. Looked at a few houses. Celebrated Millie turning 4. Showered a bride. Looked at a few more houses. Surprised a 30 year old. Celebrated Father's day. Looked at the same house a few times. Swam some more.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

bad ink

There are a whole bunch of stupid tattoos out there. The cartoon characters, I saw a Care Bear on a woman's arm the other day. Seriously. The Chinese characters that they fail to research. Oh, they think it says love & peace. Then the waitress at their favorite Chinese restaurant can't stop snickering and blushing when she sees it. I do think my all time favorite bad tattoos are the ones of celebrities. I mean seriously, how much do you have to love a celeb to get their likeness permanently inked on your body? Take a look at these....

Saturday, June 02, 2007

What a great weekend....and it's not even over yet!

1. We started out the weekend with a tour of the fish hatchery at the dam. Thank you to Lisa C. for telling us about it!
2. Slumber party in the bunk beds.
3.& 4. Lisa's biscuits and gravy al fresco.
5. Matt apologizing to Ashley.
6. Don't 4 year olds give great makeovers?
7.& 8. Watching the kids tube.
9. Pretty Cindy.
10. Ollie contemplating his first boat ride.
11. Ollie sleeping through his first boat ride.
12. Self-portrait.
13. Cute couple.
14. Ollie wasn't the only one sleeping on the boat.
15.& 16. Happy first anniversary to Bryan and Holly!!!
17. Dinnertime.
18. Believe it or not, this was actually written on our table by a previous customer. Weird.
19. Precious.
20. He'll do anything for the perfect shot.
Thank you so much to the Wisons for such a wonderful weekend at the lake. We love you!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Lucy's top ten list of things that are really, really scary.

1. Lawnmowers
2. Tiny little puppies
3. Vacuums
4. Talking piggy banks
5. Santa Claus
6. Garden hoses
7. Dogs
8. Chuck E. Cheese
9. Puppets
10. (just added to the list today) Curious George