Winter Family Adventures in Photos

Hey Readers!

Well, March Break is almost over, and spring is all but here! It was a crazy winter in my neck of the woods. It started late, but when it decided to unleash its fury, we were really snowed in! I thought I would chronicle my family’s winter adventures through a gallery of photos we took over the season!

Christmas! One of my favourite times of the year! We had a blast putting up the tree, decorating the house and getting ready for the Man in Red to arrive!

 

Reese Speaks Christmas Eve Peanuts Tree Photo

This was the second tree we “put up” this year. I loved it!

 

Reese Speaks Christmas Eve Stockings Photo

 

Reese Speaks Christmas Eve Cookies Photo

The Big Guy has a little bit of everything!

 

Ah, Christmas morning! Our kids couldn’t wait to open their stockings before breakfast and then their gifts after we ate. Santa was good to our kids, and they were playing all day with their toys!

 

Reese Speaks Christmas Day Stockings Photo

 

Food is always a HUGE part of our holiday traditions, and my other half made sure we were fed well with his special chicken dish for Christmas Eve and a terrific turkey dinner for Christmas Day!

 

Reese Speaks Christmas Dinners Photos

 

With Murphy’s Law at play, the snow came after Christmas! My guy took advantage of our winter wonderland and build a snow fort and a snow hill for our kids to enjoy. We even got the sleds out and tried to get some air time with the little ones on them.

 

Reese Speaks Snow Play Photo

Their smiles were infectious! I t was hard to keep the camera still for these pics!

 

Reese Speaks Winter Outdoor Play Collage Photo

I think the faces of my daughters says it all!

 

My little guy LOVED the winter! He would take any chance he could to be outside and play in the snow, even if it was to help me shovel the driveway. He even learned about the hazardous life snowmen live.

 

Reese Speaks Cous Winter Fun Collage Photo

My little guy is super helpful!

 

Oh, the night of the big football game is another favourite part of winter in our home! We got out our projector and watched it on our living room wall as we ate a family favourite for Game Nights: Chicken Nachos! We even dressed up for the night in our jerseys and goofed around. It was a fun night for us all!

 

Reese Speaks Big Game Collage Photo

 

There are times during the winter that you just want to stay inside and hide from winter’s frightful fury. There were quite a few nights where we had fun indoors. From a morning sneak attack in bed to a rock out session in our basement, we had a blat without cracking the door open!

 

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Reese Speaks Drums Collage Photo

This was such a fun night! Maybe we’ll put a band together?

Nature is so beautiful around our home at this time of year. Even though there are no leaves on the trees, the snow and ice take over and create their own breathless magic in our backyard and front yard oasis.

Reese Speaks Winter Nature Collage Photo

These were just some of the adventures my family had during this roller coaster ride of a winter this year! Now that the snow is beginning to recede, I am REALLY looking forward to all of the awesomeness spring has to offer us this year now that the kids are old enough to really start exploring the world around them. Thank you, Winter, for helping our family to create some amazing memories. We will never forget them!

What part of winter puts a smile on your face?

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

Favourite Fall Memories, 2015

Reese_Speaks_Fall_Chicken_11302015Hey Readers,

I know, it’s been a  while since I’ve shared anything with you. Life got a bit crazy, and this is the first chance since my last post that I have been able to check in.

It’s the last day of November, and for me, it is the last day before the holiday season begins and it is full steam ahead with getting our family and our home ready for it all! It kicks off with Grandma’s (my mom, but she doesn’t have kids anymore,or so she says) birthday, and it snowballs from there.

So to say goodbye to fall, I thought I would share some of may favourite Fall memories from this year with you through pics I snapped.

My little guy is in love with this time of year. We learned this year that he is a huge Halloween fan. He loved every pumpkin and gourd that we passed, wanting to take them home with us. If he had his way, our home would be forever full of them!

 

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Speaking of Halloween, my guy rolled up his sleeves and dove in to getting ready for day! He carved pumpkins, made decorations and dressed up our porch, and took the kids out trick-or-treating. Once back, the kids rocked out in my past Halloween costume wigs before putting and end to the day.

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We had a mixed bag of weather this autumn. Some days were warm and gorgeous, while others were, well, blah! On those good days, we made sure to get the kids outside and to enjoy what nice days we had left this year. My other half even had the kids out with him while he raked up the leaves. The job took a bit longer than expected, but the kids had a lot of fun!

 

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The leaves were exceptionally gorgeous in our backyard this year, so I had to capture their beauty in pics! We also had a pumpkin in our backyard that did not make it to Halloween to rest for its final days, so the shutterbug in me had to get a pic of it while it still looked good.

 

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The Japanese Maple lost its leaves early, but there were still a few of them in our yard. Their leaves always alive with colour, no matter the time of year they are present on the tree, and this one just stood out from the rest of the crowd present.

 

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Then, high above the ground in our backyard, there was the golden sea of gold that still shimmered to us from below. It was so stunning. I can’t wait to frame this one!

 

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This little critter decided to visit us on our front porch before getting itself ready for its long slumber. My kids and I got a big kick out it.

 

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Oh, food! The Jack of All Trades in our home whipped together some amazing food for us this season! He loves trying to make delicious dishes from what is left in our Mother Hubbard cupboards as well as some ingredients he picks up from the grocery store. We ate really well this season!

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Reese_Speaks_Fall_Steak_Sandwhiches_11302015

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My family had an amazing autumn! We worked hard, played hard and ate well. It is sad to say goodbye to the vibrant colours and warm weather, but it was great to look back and see all of the fun we had!

What were some of your favourite fall memories this year?

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese

National Siblings Day: Fond Memories and Great Life Lessons

Hey Readers! Today is National Siblings Day, and it got me thinking about my two older siblings and everything we have been through through my lifetime. There are so many memories and lessons that both of my siblings taught me (whether they were aware of it or not), and they make me feel happy that they are in my life. They helped to make this little lady into the woman I am today. Even then, I was tipping my hat to people!

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Here is a pic of the three of us many moons ago! Yes, Mr. T was a big influence on me, Readers! 😛

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My older brother, for the most part, was the main male influence in my life when I was little. He was the oldest and was also the only boy. I felt, at times, that he was a bit lonely, especially since there was a bit of a gap between him and rest of us (he is four years older than my sister and 5 1/2 years older than me). He did what many older siblings did, you know, hog the television when our mom wasn’t watching it, tell us tall tales about why things were the way they were, and use us as guinea pigs for his various “experiments.”

One of my favourite memories has to be when I was about five years-old, and my brother thought he was a gourmet baker. He decided that he would make a cake from cake mix and thought he knew what he was doing. After putting in WAY too many eggs into the mix, resulting in a very gloppy and bubbly mess after he took it out of the oven. Realizing that he shouldn’t be the first to taste his masterpiece, he turned to us to see if the cake tasted okay. let’s just say we let him know just how great his creative cake was with a mess all our own all over our tiny kitchen! Even though my brother did all of these things to my sister and I, there were other things my brother did that helped me learn some great lessons throughout my time at home.

Out of all of us, he was the quiet one, so I learned how to stop blabbing all the time and to try listening once in a while to what others are saying. He also taught us how to play video games and introduced me to the wonderful world of comic books that I still enjoy today. His closet became my closet, too. There were times that he allowed me to borrow his clothes during my tom boyish phase throughout high school. The fact that the jeans I borrowed from him were baggy on him didn’t stop me from sporting the latest fashion trends (they were a waist men’s size 44, and I was lucky enough to be a women’s size 24…yeah, it was fun to keep these babies up!). My brother is a very interesting cat who, for being the quiet one, never gave our home a dull moment and let us know he cares about us in his subtle ways.

This is an even older pic of my big brother. He had to be about four or five years-old here. Like me, he’s camera shy.

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My older sister and I have had an interesting relationship. When we were younger, we had our love-hate moments, but, if push came to shove (you know, fights over clothes and make up), we always could depend on each other. My sister is also a very funny character and there were times that I had to explain certain things to her. There were song lyrics I had to correct for her (ex – “Soap On A Rope” was really “End Of The Road”,) and the many times we played practical jokes on other family members, both at home and on road trips. It took a while for me to realize just how much my big sis really cared about me, and now we are the best of friends.

My sister has and continues to teach me so many life lessons. She plays Devil’s advocate to see things from another point of view. She calms me down and makes me sit on my hands when I get too upset about a situation. She taught me to do things for myself when she knew I could do it on my own. I learned so many fashion tips and tricks from her over the years as a result of plundering her closet time and time again. She taught me to expand my appreciation of music by having to listen to some of her “questionable” choices (some of them have been used in my Mundane Monday Morning Music picks). I continue to learn how to face the unknown without fear as she experienced different situations in her life. Finally, she continues to teach me that life is a crazy adventure, and to have fun along the way, especially when you get lost (as we have on MANY occasions)! She sets such an example for me to try and live up to. I don’t know what I would do without this crazy and clever cat!

I don’t have any pics of her when she was a child. This one I found in an old wallet of mine from high school. She loves the camera, and it loves her, too!

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So there you have it! We have had our ups and downs, but we are siblings and we love each other a bunch. I am raising my “bosses” to love each other and to look out for one another every day. I hope that they have such fond memories of each other as they become adults and giggle at their cute, fun and goofy pics of when they were young like I have today.

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Are you the oldest, the middle or the youngest child? What was the best memory or lesson you were taught by your siblings?

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

Mundane Monday Morning Music: Earth, Wind & Fire – September

Mornin’ Readers!

It is the unofficial end of summer.  I am sad that it is all but over, but I’m happy that today is Labour Day! It’s an extra day to lounge about and have some fun before the work week, and the new school year begins!

Since it is the first of September, it is only fitting that I play “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire for this week’s MMMM pick! For some parents, it is also a song to celebrate their kids going back to school. I know , I usually like to have a more mellow tune for long weekend Monday mornings, but today just didn’t have that laid back feel to for me! It’s also a great song for today because this song is also about reflecting back to good times, and I certainly have a lot of good memories of this summer that has flown by!

I hope that “September” helps you look back on this summer, and helps you to cap of this amazing long weekend!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese

Profile: Kendall Rumsey – The Pen Behind Notes From A Southern Kitchen

Hey, Readers!

I have finally returned back to one of my favourite features on Reese Speaks – Profiles!  I love getting to know the people who influence and amaze me in different parts of my life, and pick their brains about what who they are and they’re like.  I also like sharing these people with you Readers, so you can see why I think these people are so fabulous, and then check them out for yourself as well!

This Profile features Kendall Rumsey, a southern American gentleman with a genuine opinion on various topics.  Kendall is also the voice behind the insightful Notes From A Southern Kitchen, a blog where he shares his views in areas such as entertainment, music, politics, and  touching tidbits from his personal life.  This has to be one of my favourite pics of Kendall! Sky diving is one of the things I have on my bucket list, which Kendall has already accomplished.

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Unfortunately, I was not able to have a sit-down conversation with Kendall for this Profile, since we live many kilometres (or miles) apart, but we corresponded for this feature electronically.  I asked Kendall just a few of the thousands of questions I had for this Profile, as I could spend all day picking his brain about himself and his blog!

‘Notes from a Southern Kitchen’ –  how did you come up with the title of your blog?
Notes from a Southern Kitchen just sort of happened.  I am obviously southern and in the south we often gather in the kitchen for conversation.  When I decided to write the blog I wanted it to be conversational and thought what better place than in the kitchen, so Notes from a Southern Kitchen was born.

What inspired you to become a blogger?

My mom was ill and her illness had started taking away a lot of memories from my childhood and our young family.  I started the blog on blogger.com simply as stories about my family.  My mother loved the stories and it helped her remember, the more she enjoyed it the more I wrote.  When my mom died I stopped writing for almost a year, it was just too painful, when I brought the blog back I switched to WordPress and wrote more about what interested me in the present day and included some family and life stories.

Which of your features on Notes is your favourite and why?
I have several features don’t I?  Each one serves a different purpose and I like each one for different reasons……
Life’s Playlist because I think music is the most powerful force in the world.  I have very eclectic musical tastes and like to start my day with a song.
Words to Live By helps keep me grounded and in the right headspace each day.
Short Notes is a way for me to recap the day and gives me small tidbit comments on things that aren’t worth a whole post but worthy of a mention.
Tuesday 10, I LOVE the Tuesday 10 because it allows me to learn about the people I enjoy reading and who influence my life.  I worked on those 10 Questions for weeks trying to come up with something that would give insight into the people I am “interviewing.”  I still like the list I came up with, except for 1 of the questions (and I won’t tell you which one it is.)   I am considering 10 new Questions for 2014, but haven’t decided if I am going to do that or not.
With ALL those features, my favorite is Friday’s Hero.  I love finding the stories of the regular guy who did something inspiring like TJ Smith who sings in his car as he drives along the freeway just putting a smile on people’s faces, Joey Prusak a Dairy Queen worker who did the right thing when he saw one of his customers being mistreated or the people who made Talia’s Bucket List come true.  Then there are sometimes politicians and media figures, entertainers and the like who do good stuff that I like to highlight as well.  Friday’s Hero is my baby, it makes me feel good to publish the feel good stories.

What is the best thing that has happened you you since beginning your blog?

Without a doubt the memories and joy my mom received was number one, however the next best thing was,  blogging rekindled my love of writing.

Do you see Notes becoming bigger than it already it is in the future? Where would you like for Notes to go? 

I would love to grow Notes but don’t know if that is possible with my regular work schedule.  I want to keep it positive and hopefully inspiring for others.  As time allows I want to tell more life stories on the blog because I enjoy writing them and people seem to enjoy reading them.  Ideally I would love to see some of my features picked up by other sources.  Overall I am happy with where the blog is and where it continues to evolve, but would I like more readers, comments and support… yes I would!  : )

Who inspires you?

People who are generous, not necessarily just with money, but with their time and talents too.  People who are generous with their words, people who know that a simple act of generosity can change someone’s life in ways that are unimaginable.  People who generously give and raise people up are the people who inspire me.

What do you want your readers to take away from your blog?

What I hope people take away from the blog is really all over the board…..  I want them to take a bit of happiness and that is why I feel like the Playlist and Words to Live By are so important.  With the Tuesday 10, I want to break down some of the walls of this mysterious blogosphere and let us learn about each other and with the Hero I want to inspire.  I have tried to make the blog a place that makes you feel better about the world after spending a few minutes here…..  and then I get on one of my political soapboxes and blow that all to hell!  LOL

I hope you can now see why Notes From a Southern Kitchen is my go-to blog every morning!  Kendall is a fabulous person who shares what interests him in his own unique fashion.  It’s a breath of fresh air every time I pop into his blog.  Hopefully, you were also able to see who he is, and what inspires him to do what he does so well.  He is kind, generous and honest.  I have learned a lot from what Kendall does with his blog.  Thank you, Kendall, for taking the time to help both myself, and my blog!  You’re awesome!

If you Readers want to check out Notes From a Southern Kitchen, here are links to his sites:

WordPress – wordpress.com/notesfromasouthernkitchen

Facebook – facebook.com/NotesfromaSouthernKitchen

Twitter – twitter.com/NotesbyKendall

Instagram – instagram.com/notesfromasouthernkitchen

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

My Favourite Videos: Janet Jackson – Part 1

Hiya Readers!

Since I missed my Mundane Monday Morning Music feature yesterday due to a power outage, I thought I’d share my pick today. I chose Alright by Janet Jackson. LOVE this song!

I can’t help but to chair dance to it, and it helps to make me feel better when I’m not at my happiest. Since I started watching this video, I felt like sharing some of my other fav Janet Jackson videos. These picks are from the Rhythm Nation 1814 album.

http://youtu.be/UFX3gQHIroUEscapade

http://youtu.be/IVF0zcqr9DgMiss You Much

http://youtu.be/-5ecZWwO_hQCome Back to Me

I purposely left the title track off of this album because I’m saving it for another post.

I love this songs because they evoke certain emotions and memories from my teenage years (yes, these videos are targeting how old I am…oh well!), and this album was awesome!

I will definitely will have another grouping of favourite videos from Janet Jackson in another post…watch for it!

Hope you enjoy these video picks!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

Mundane Monday Morning Music – Aerosmith

Good Morning Readers!

I know my boyfriend will just shake his head at me, but I felt like starting this week off with a small selection of songs from Aerosmith!

As you’ve probably seen, my first choice is Walk This Way with Run DMC. My second choice, Cryin,’ was inspired by fellow WordPress blogger, Notes from a Southern Kitchen (Thank You!).

My third selection is Sweet Emotion.

No big surprise, Readers, but to close out my Mundane Monday Morning Music trip down Aerosmith Lane, I chose the overplayed, but loved ever so much Yours Truly, I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing from the Armageddon soundtrack.

I chose these songs because I wanted a good mix of fun Aerosmith songs along with some of their ballads.  These songs, for me anyway, always bring me back to  different points in my life when each of these songs were released.  I can see how different I was when these songs came out, or the relationships I was in at the time…wow!  The memories always come flowing back to me whenever any of these songs are played.

I hope you are rocking out to one or all of these songs to get this week going and that they put you in a good mood!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.