Friday, January 30, 2009

Your Turn to Vote

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Frappuccinos are sweet,
And so are you!

Crock pots are handy,
Children are fun,
I hope that this birthday,
Is a wonderful one!


Roses are Red, Violets are Blue,
But arises this flower of another hue;
Petals of passion, achievement and grace,
Why, beauty within shines from her face.
Thirty-five, still blooming,
New buds swell from the stem;
Kyle’s love is consuming,
He’s just glad he’s him…


If she’d been born a Mary Ann
Would her hair be black as night?
A blue-tressed Violet, chestnut Jill
An Albino’s head of white?

If her folks took Buffy home that day
She might be blonde instead
But she was born a Ginger
And thus her hair is red


Roses are red; violets are yellow
No one has said my firstborn is mellow
Squeezes life from a dime; expects me to rhyme
Buys rice in bulk; loves her incredible hulk
Washes no dishes, but offers good wishes
Blogs her opinions while homeschooling her minions
Cuts her own hair and has skin so fair
Mothering her way to fame; Ginger’s her name.


Roses are Red, so is Ginger’s hair,
Violets are Blue, like her eyes.
Sugar is Sweet, like her Spirit and Smile,
She’s creative and funny and wise.

Of Children, so far, she has seven,
But her ministry reaches so far,
To count all she’s reached, when in Heaven,
You would have to number the stars.


Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
If my nose was running money,
I'd blow it all on you.

If I were a wealthy dad,
I'd buy you anything that's hot.
If my nose was running money,
but it's not.


Roses are red
Their leaves are green
I've been blessed by your family
The Clarks make a great team.

Sugar is sweet
But bears like honey
I learn so much from your posts
And your style is so funny.


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Whatever Ginger says
Is what you should do
Because she believes with all her might
That what she thinks is always right
Of course, for G it must have been fate
Because for us it's a family trait!


Roses are red, begonias are too
With Ginger as Mommy
The kids know what they should do
Play fun games, avoid sibling fights
There's never boredom if the family size is right
If anyone is sick, it's herbs to the rescue
I'm a fan of Clark Chatter
and I bet you are too!


The worker from the CPS
Came calling at the door
Found seven kids engrossed in books
And lounging on the floor

When asked the teacher’s name by him,
Charlotte Mason they all said.
I’ve heard she’s tough. But, I didn’t know
that Charlotte’s hair was red.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Grocery Shopping

Normally, I take one child and we run our grocery errands at night after dinner. It's quality time with that child and we talk a lot, especially about our special memories together. I don't enjoy grocery shopping at all, but I do enjoy the quality time together.

Well, recently, due to poor planning and procrastination, I've had twice when I needed to go grocery shopping during the day, which means all the kids go with me. I was gearing up for it the way you'd prepare for an ice storm. That is, I was dreading it. As it turns out, it was just fine. It makes a huge difference when your youngest are 3 years old, apparently. They were much better at following the rules and having good attitudes. (Lydia did throw 3 fits, I should mention, but I was able to talk her out of it and we kept going. We didn't have to leave the store & start over, thank goodness!) We went to Sprout's, WalMart, and the bakery. We had 30+ grocery bags when it was all over. Thankfully, I have 6 able helpers to get it all put away in record time.

We're not going to fit into our retro-fitted minivan much longer. For now, we have skinny kids and it works. But there may come a time when we'll need to seat more than just six kids. ;)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yet Another Giveaway

This teaching CD by Doug Phillips was so encouraging to Kyle and me. I just know you'll love it. Tell me about a parenting victory you've had recently and you'll be entered to win this gem.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

And the Winner Is. . .

The winner of the Visionary Father's CD is

Congrats, Faith! I hope your hubby is encouraged by this great CD. Blessings in your homeschooling,

Now Is The Time

Monday, January 26, 2009

Don't Forget!

I've received several poems already and I must say they make my day. Thank you guys so much! I wanted to share the verse of the creative genuis known simply as Phil. Unfortunately he didn't follow the contest rules at all. In light of the fact that his poem was disqualified, I will publish it here instead, for your amusement.

[with apologies to Samuel Taylor Coleridge]

Rime of the Ancient Barister

It is an ancient barister
Who doth accosted me.
I asked the grey and red-haired lass
“what may I do for thee?”

She grabbed me with her aged hand
And bade me hear her tale.
Then put a finger to her lips,
her skin both drawn and pale.

“Hold off! Unhand me, grey-haired loon!
Why shouldst I hear your screed?”
“To warn the others in your care,
lest they should not take heed.

A latte once, a mocha twice--
and this by ten of nine!
By ten a.m. I’d had them thrice
and then get back in line.

And when I’d finally come back home
and burst wired through the door
I’d drain the change jar from the shelf
and send Pedro for some more.

Still all the while I knew I’d erred.
How great indeed the loss.
The venti mocha latte frap
was now my albatross.

But thankful for my loyal friends,
who came rushing to my aid,
suggested a dramatic cleanse
and brought the lemonade!

And enemas and bedpans!
And visits to the loo!
And craps (no fraps!) and lots of naps!
And all that cleansing poo!

Still I had to pick up Pedro
from work at three, I think.
There was frappe, frappe everywhere!
And not a drop to drink!”

My red-haired friend relaxed her grip
upon my tortured neck.
Then from her flask she took a nip
and left me with the check.

Before she fled, she passed along
a final parting sneer.
To resonate a warning
For all with ears to hear.

“He drinketh best who knowest best
true serendipity.
For our dear God made coffee beans
but saints should stick to tea.”

Friday, January 23, 2009

How We Birthday Around Here

Twice a year, we have a big birthday bash- the Spring Fling and the Fall Fest. Between my sister's family and mine, we celebrate all the spring birthdays at one, and all the fall birthdays at the other. After the first year of doing birthdays this way, Kyle felt that we needed to somehow celebrate the birthday kid's special day other than just saying: "Happy Birthday!!" So we started this new tradition: on their special day, the birthday kid gets to choose one friend to celebrate with. We give them a choice: Chuck E Cheese or Jump Town. Elena vaccilated for several months about where she wanted to go and who she wanted to go with. In the end, she chose her best friend, Sophie, my friend Gretchen's daughter.

Sophie is a year younger than Elena. My blondies are short, I tell ya!

So, after spending a little over $30 for this experience, which the girls were tired of after 20 minutes (girls don't like to sweat apparently), I decided this tradition needed some revising.

After we'd been there for 45 minutes, with me encouraging them to "go back and play" several times, Sophie asked Elena: "Can we go back to your house to play?"

That confirmed my plan. Next time around, the birthday kid will decided who they want to spend the day with and they can play together all day at our house (or the park) and we'll take the two out to eat somewhere fun. Less cost, which you know I love, and more quality time together. I wish I'd thought of it a year ago!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Our local Sprout's has had blackberries on sale (77c per pint!!) for the last several weeks. I've been buying 5 pints a week. This is our new favorite breakfast appetizer:

Blackberries in the Snow

Everyone goes totally nuts for them. Especially Lydia, who snatched that blackberry before I could get her chubby little hand in the shot.

And then everyone compares tongues to see whose is the purplest. How much fun can a bunch of home schoolers have!!

And then, of course, everyone needs some protein to make it through the morning. Thankfully, we've been getting a lot of eggs around here lately. Here were the very first two eggs:

Look at the difference between those two! Somebody earned bragging rights and somebody else got a little pep talk. But boy, that big egg was delicious! Check it out:

(Yes, that's one egg.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another Giveaway

Homeschooling isn't just for moms! Leave me a comment telling me how your hubby is involved in homeschooling, and you'll be entered to win this encouraging CD.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Seven from Heaven" Winner

The winner of the Seven from Heaven giveaway is. . .

Congrats, Angie! May you be as encouraged as I was through this book.

Everyone else,

Remember what I said at the last giveaway! Come back tomorrow for more!

A Very Happy UnBirthday To Me!

I know you've all been counting the days til my Birthday Poetry Contest. Well, your patience will soon be rewarded. My birthday is 10 days away and this year's poetry theme is
"Roses are Red, Violets are Blue". For all of you rhyming enthusiasts, this is your moment to shine.

Write a short poem (8 lines max) about yours truly, who shall very soon be 35!! Email your poems to me here. On my birthday (January 30th for you who are still in your robes with coffee in hand), I'll publish all the poems and you'll vote for your favorite. The winning poet will win a prize.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Basketball-Sized Tumor

This is our very good friend, Mark, who helped get our triplets home when their flight was 24 hours late. He holds a very special place in our hearts and his generosity is boundless.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Solitary Time

At one of my Charlotte Mason book club meetings, we talked about the concept of "solitary time". I was intrigued and started to implement it right away. Here's how it works:
Once a day, ideally, I tell the kids to each get 3 things to play with. Then I give them their own space and set the timer for 20 minutes. The idea is for them to learn to play independently and entertain themselves. (This is something that must be taught when you're in a big family.) While they are playing quietly, I sit down at the dining room table, facing them, and have my Bible study. I must say, it's fantastic! They are learning an important skill and I'm getting quiet time in the middle of the day.

Try it and tell me what you think!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Generally, when I get frustrated with my kids, it's due to false expectations. Either I'm expecting them to act like little adults, or my expectations are not developmentally appropriate. I've learned the value of scripts in child training.

For instance, Lydia threw a fit when I gave her a cookie, because she was hoping for two cookies. So I took the cookie away, and said: "That's fine, if you don't want a cookie, you don't have to have it." Then she whined: "Hey, that's my cookie!!" So I said, in a pleasant voice (because that's how I want her to say it), "Mommy, I changed my mind. May I have my cookie back please?"

Because I gave her that script, I didn't have to get frustrated when she kept whining and throwing fits. I told her how to get out of her predicament and she did, with grace.

When she was little and would whine to get what she wanted, I would give her the script: "More, please."

Scripts even work with older kids. I have noticed that Maya is a peacemaker. She doesn't like to argue, and as a result, she often gets run over. Elena likes to correct Maya. So, when Elena corrected Maya and Maya didn't respond, I wasn't sure how to handle it. After all, it didn't result in any kind of fight or argument.

Now, when Elena corrects Maya, I model: "Elena, that's not nice. I don't like it when you correct me." Maya is learning how to be assertive and stand up for herself without being rude. I do the same thing for Isaac. He loves it when Kyle rough-houses with him, until a point. But when he reaches that point, he shuts down. He doesn't know how to express himself to get what he wants. When I see that Isaac has had enough, I model: "Stop, daddy. I've had enough." And to get Isaac in a laughing mood again, I'll usually throw in a few extras, like: "I've had enough of this, buffalo breath!" or "Stop, daddy, you big lummox!" We Clarks enjoy a little name-calling sometimes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Another Giveaway

If you haven't already read the inspiring personal story of the McCaughey family and their septuplets, this giveaway is for you! Remember how much I l o v e d this book?!

Leave me a comment, telling me what you would do if you found out you were going to have septuplets, and you'll be entered to win.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I just got this email from my mom:

Proverbs 17:6 (New Living Translation)

Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged;
parents are the pride of their children.

Thank you for all the jewels in my crown!!

I'm so blessed.

And the Winner Is. . .

The winner of last week's book giveaway is:

Congrats, Gretchen!! May God bless you as you seek to serve His precious orphans.

There will be another (non-adoption related) giveaway tomorrow. Keep your eyes peeled. Heads up: I'll be hosting a giveaway every Wednesday this month.

Monday, January 12, 2009

You Choose

I've had a coupon for a free shmear at Einstein's Bagels that's been burning a hole in my pocket (sorta speak) since Christmas. Saturday, I was running a bunch of errands and just happened to be in the area of the Einstein's (because I planned it that way) . I stopped in and was immediately greeted by an old friend. As we caught up, I learned that his wife works over an hour away and works 70-80 hours weeks. They have three children at home. I asked, "How does she do that?" He said it's really hard and they hardly see her. Then he somewhat sheepishly added, "Well, once you get used to the money, it's hard to quit."
I know what he means. If I chose to go back to work full-time, we would more than double our income. We would be able to do a lot more and buy a lot more. It was so sad to hear him so honestly say that money is more important to them than time spent together as a family.