Sunday, September 16, 2012

New Blog

It's time` to say good-bye to our Reynolds Rascals blog.  Unfortunately, it seemed that many of the people I really wanted to read this blog could never seem to access it because it was private, no matter how many times they were invited.  So, we've decided to go public.  But there are things on this blog we don't want to be public.  Thus, the creation of our new blog:

If you would like to continue to read about our family, that's where you can do so!

Thanks for reading.  We love you all!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Families are Forever

One of the many perks of adoption is the opportunity to go to the temple with your children and be sealed forever as a family.  
We had this amazing experience on June 16th.
 On a beautiful day, surrounded by many of our loved ones, Blake was sealed to our family forever.
During the ordinance, Blake stared up at the sealer with large, intelligent eyes and a smile on his face.  We feel certain he knew what was happening and was happy about it.
 When the sealer said each of our names, Blake looked at each of us in turn.  It was very sweet. 
 We felt so grateful to have so many loved ones in attendance, on both sides of the veil. 
 Even though Katelee was born in the covenant and therefore did not need to be sealed to us, she was able to be in the sealing room with us.  What a neat memory for her!
The sealer allowed Katelee to be the one to hold Blake's hands on our hands during the sealing ordinance.
 Seeing my two children in white was beautiful; they looked like heavenly angels.
 Following the temple sealing, we all returned to my mom's house for lunch and then it was time for Blake's baby blessing.
 Gerald gave Blake a beautiful blessing, full of wonderful promises.
 The witnesses for the sealing: Paul Reynolds and Duane Thurston.
 Priesthood holders who stood in the circle when Blake received his baby blessing: Gerald Reynolds (gave the blessing), Paul Reynolds, Val Klingler, Jeremy Willden, Kelly Curtis, JD Frisby, Todd Hartley, John Rogers, Duane Thurston, and Bishop Kurt Sawyer.
 My talented cousin Elena met us at the temple early to take these amazing pictures.  She was concerned that the lighting at that time of day was not ideal, but I still think she did an absolutely amazing job and I L.O.V.E. the pictures that she took. 
It was a perfect day.  I love my family so much.  I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and a loving Heavenly Father who wants our family relationships to last forever, even after death.   I am glad to know that my little family can be together forever!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Life as We Know It

Life has been equal parts fun, exciting, and busy around our house lately - never a dull moment!
Since school ended for Katelee,we've enjoyed our summer schedule.  Kassandra has been spending most days at our house, which we adore, and we've been keeping busy with reading, riding bikes, playing outside, craft and science projects, and more.

 Here we are going to the pool.  We couldn't resist pictures of Blake in his swimming robe in the wagon - what a cutie!
 Over the weekend of June 2, we made a trip to Utah, where we were so blessed to be at the baptism and also baby blessing for the children of our dear friends the Shills. 

We stayed with Grandma Kaye while in Utah, and LOVED spending time with her as always!
 Here is a picture of Adalynn, the sweetie who received her baby blessing while we were in town, with Blake.  I'm already planning an arranged marriage for these two!
 We were so LUCKY to get to see Aunt Taylor while we were in town.  Love that girl!
 And of course, we spent some time with the Willdens. We love this family!  We were there to help celebrate Jacob's 13th birthday - can't believe he is already a teenager!  And I love this picture of Laurinda and Blake.
 While we were in town, Gerald was also actively job-seeking.  He had set up like eight appointments throughout Monday; two of them actual job interviews, and felt really good about the contacts he had made.

After returning home from Utah, we resumed our busy summer schedule.  The following weekend was our annual Families Supporting Adoption conference.  As usual, we LOVED it.  The theme was: Blessed by a Miracle, which we have definitely been.  What an uplifting, inspiring, educational, amazing time we had.  We always leave these events feeling so incredibly blessed to be touched by adoption.

A week or so after returning home from Utah, we were feeling overwhelmingly blessed when Gerald received not one but TWO job offers.  They are both great offers, and we are excited to be moving back to Utah NEXT WEEK!  What a whirlwind.  Because of Blake's temple sealing and blessing this weekend in St. George, this meant that only a day or two after having the offers, we were having our very last Sunday in the Summit View Ward.  We have loved being a part of this ward - it's such a very special place full of amazing, caring people, and we are sad to leave it.  I have really enjoyed my calling as Primary Chorister for the past year and a half, and I cried my way through most of singing time on Sunday.  The kids made these beautiful cards for me, and the Primary presidency gave me a sweet treat and gift.  I will sorely miss singing time and all my friends in the Summit View Ward.
Monday, Aurianna and Annalee came to spend the day with us.  We wanted to make the most of our time together with us moving farther away.  We had a wonderful time, as usual, and they were so thoughtful to bring some moving boxes and help me do some packing while they were here!
 Oh, and I just love this fun picture of Blake playing this toy keyboard.  The kid already loves playing the piano!  (Hope he still feels that way when he is ten.)  ;)
So much is happening so quickly, and we just feel so many conflicting things: excited, blessed, sad, happy, rushed, impatient, anxious, and definitely stressed.  It is bittersweet, but ultimately we are joyful and feeling the hand of the Lord in our lives.

Friday, June 1, 2012

It's Official!

Blake is ours!

This morning we went to court for our adoption finalization.  We are so grateful to Julie Walker, our case worker, who has been so sweet and helpful every step of the way, to Ray Goodwin, our lawyer, who is AMAZING and selfless and great at his job, and to the kind judge who treated us so kindly and gave my kids stuffed animals as keepsakes.

The court proceedings were very official, and yet fun, too.  We each had to testify and answer certain questions regarding Blake.  It was easy to explain that we love him and want him in our lives . . . and YES, we do understand that this is permanent.  :)  Hallelujah! 

Blake and daddy, waiting to go into the court.
 Afterwards the judge invited us for pictures.  Katelee got to sit in the judge's chair.  ;)
 A very happy family!

 I forgot to mention that during the proceedings, while Gerald and I were testifying, Blake was laughing.  It was pretty cute.  It was probably because Katelee kept pulling silly faces at him and/or making little noises at him.  I kept trying to shush them, but only half halfheartedly.  His giggles were pretty sweet.  And we like to think that maybe he was just feeling really happy to be legally joining our family as well!  ;)
 One happy boy!
Now we just can't wait for June 16th!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kindergarten Graduate!

Katelee graduated from kindergarten on May 22, 2012.

 We are so proud of Katelee.  She has worked hard this year, and has grown by leaps and bounds.  She has learned how to be a better friend and listener, has become a proficient writer (she is writing a story right now about a picnic-ing princess and some food-stealing bears), and can now read at a 3rd grade level.  She is funny and bright and caring and energetic, and we love her with all our hearts!
We gave her flowers to celebrate her special day, which seemed to really make her day.
As part of the graduation ceremony, each child was asked in advance what they wanted to be when they grew up.  Then, the teachers gave them a little rhyme to learn and recite at the graduation.  When asked, Katelee told her teacher that she wanted to be a wrestler when she grew up.  Ha ha ha - I couldn't stop laughing when I heard that.  She did a great job, and was even chosen to help recite the very ending.  Here's a short video clip of her recitation.

The kids also sang some songs.  My favorite was "1st Grade, 1st Grade," sung to the tune of "New York, New York."

Katelee receiving her diploma.
Our family on Katelee's kindergarten graduation day.
After the graduation ceremony, everyone met at the park for cake.  Helping plan this party was my last official duty as kindergarten room mom, and it was a relief to have it all done!

Katelee and her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Nugent.
First grade, here we come!