Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Too Good Not to Share

A friend just posted this on Facebook and I thoroughly enjoyed this hilarious bit of opinion that all of us "big families" share:

So You Prefer I Use Birth Control?

Will you please allow me a little rant? Yes I know about love and grace and kindness, but does that really bar my right to get agitated?

The pastor sitting beside me as I waited to get my hair cut was a talker. I mean big time. You should know, by the way, that I don’t “jump” to tell people I have 8 children anymore. Not because I’m ashamed of it…maybe it’s more of my weariness of the cliches and attempts at making me feel ashamed for my convictions.

So he’s really chattering, to me, and to my 7-year-old about the baby who’s sleeping in her seat. And it finally comes up–the number of siblings. His response? (Grabs arms of his seat on either side and leans forward…) “ARE YOU CRAZY?” Did I mention he was a pastor?

Rolled off. Smiles, answer with my own cliche...”No, I’m blessed.” Another day.

Then yesterday, at the Thrift store, a lady I recognize. Oh, she’s a lady that frequented our home often when my mother used to cater a monthly meal for The Gideons. You know those people who do the wonderful work of spreading the Word of God? She had already bumped into my mom. So she says, when she sees me…

“I hear you’ve got number 8 in that buggy?” Now, most people who see someone they know whom they haven’t seen in a while say things like, “Let me see that new baby?” Or even more simply, “How have you been?” Not this time.

“Yes ma’am”, I say.

She replies, “Don’t you know what causes that?”

OK, here’s the thing. That question is as tired as jelly shoes and twist-a-beads. (You’ll only know what that is if you grew up in the 80’s.) If you feel the need to make a joke, could you come up with an original one?

Read the rest here.

And please share if you have any unusual or comedic responses to these old and worn comments?

I Did It!!

Last night, for the first time in 5 months, I brushed my teeth without gagging! What a wonderful feeling. And the bonus of Kyle not laughing at me while I choke and sputter was also great.
Perfect timing too- today's my turn in the dentist's seat.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Where Did All the Manners Go?

I've been noticing a consistent pattern lately. Whenever I'm out with the kids and one of the kids gets in the way of an adult, the adult just stands there silent and irritated. I can see that they're annoyed, but while the child is oblivious, they just try to will the child to move. They never say: Excuse me.
This happens fairly frequently and I'm wondering why adults will speak to other adults, but treat a child as if they should just read the adult's mind. I don't get it. A couple of times I have said, smiling sweetly: If you'll just say excuse me, they'll move out of the way.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe adults don't talk to other adults either. What do you think?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What I Call a Vacation

Before we had kids, Kyle and I went on two consecutive trips to Cancun. Business rewards. The first year, we did all kinds of stuff. Went snorkeling, took a boat trip, wind sailing, etc. We had something fun to do every day. When we got home from that trip, we both felt like we needed a vacation!
The next year, having learned our lesson, we did almost nothing. We laid on the beach and read and talked. We relaxed. I mean really relaxed. When we got home we were rejuvenated.

This is all I cared about doing while we were in Colorado. Sitting on the balcony and reading. Just enjoying the wonderful weather and beautiful views.

There's a bunch of these little critters to greet me each time. Chickadees, hummingbirds, stellar blue jays, and tons and tons of chipmunks. Elena fed a chipmunk from her lap. He sat on her knee and ate out of her hand.

The night we got home from the bonfire, there was a family of four deer on the driveway. Two babies. I wish I could have gotten close enough to get a decent picture of them, but deer aren't quite as friendly as chipmunks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

For Your Entertainment

Yesterday, the kids and I were running a bunch of errands picking up things for my friend who just adopted a newborn. (The baby came 5 weeks early, so she wasn't at all ready.)
After picking up fenugreek tea and honey for her, I headed next door to get some socks. The lady in line had a cartful of clothes and was just starting to unload it all on the counter. The cashier looks at all my kids and the one package of socks I'm holding. She says: Oh, you only have one thing?
Then she turns to the customer in front of me and says, smiling: She only has one thing. Wanna let her go ahead?
Cartful lady: Nope.

I laughed out loud as the cashier looked at me bewildered.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Go Ahead. Be a Quitter.

In talking to moms who are wanting to take their kids out of the school system (public, private, whatever), I've noticed a trend. They all want to wait until the end of the semester or the end of the school year.
But what is the point of that exactly? I recently found Guilt-Free Homeschooling (and despite my husband's joking, that does not mean "How not to homeschool and not feel guilty about it." har har) It's a website full of resources, solutions, and encouragement for homeschool moms or those who one day hope to be.
The author, Carolyn, has this to say about quitting the school system:

Let's take a reality check time-out here. By leaving the child in a school system that is not teaching him, or that is teaching him incorrectly, what you, the parent, are teaching him is that quitting is not ok, but failing is awesome.
Once you realize that something isn't working, why do you feel the need to stay commited to it?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pin Curls & Magic Shows

My dad and stepmom, Shannon, came over the other day to drop something off. When they walked in the door, I was putting pin curls in Elena's hair, as requested. Shannon asked if she could do it.
Who am I to stand in the way of a woman who wants to do tedious work? I quickly got up and handed her the hair pins.

After the hair styling, I asked my dad if he'd do a little magic for the kids. I've been begging him to do this for quite a while. (Now, when I say "magic", I should specify that I mean card tricks and such. My dad's specialty is slight-of-hand, not cutting people in half or making them disappear.)
The last time he had done a magic show for the kids was before the adoption.

"Pick a card. Any card." Ever heard that line? I've heard it all my life.

After awhile of doing a bunch of tricks, he did my favorite one. He loves me and never leaves this one out. "Who wants to help me with this next trick?" he asks. And despite Daniel and Liddy's frantic hand-waving, Dad could see that Isaac desperately wanted to help out this time. Elena must have noticed it too. (She's pointing at him.)

First, Isaac picks a card. Look how excited he is to do something so exhilarating as picking a card out of deck. He can hardly stand it!

Now dad has half the deck stacked on top of the other half. It's a two story building and there's about to be a killing. (Dad wisely left the story out of it for the sake of the kids.)

A little twist of the wrist, and the building becomes a gun.

See the gun? The kids were all very impressed with this. (They're still trying to learn how to shuffle cards.) I was too the first time I saw it, but my dad is smart and skilled and he can do anything.

So, now he takes Isaac's card back and it becomes the bullet. Can you see it down there? Dad popped that bullet through the gun and out shot Isaac's card.

Everyone was entertained, including me, and I know all his tricks.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Bonfire

Each time we go to Colorado, we have our traditional bonfire. We had burgers and hot dogs and of course, s'mores!

Some of the kids like to completely char their little marshmallows. Gross!

I try not to think about it. There's something really unappetizing about a black marshmallow.

Liddy needed help not making a total sticky mess of herself. Look at the ash all over her face. We kept saying: Stay out of line of smoke! (They'd stand right in the path of all the black smoke and look at us, like: "What???")

Look at that sticky smile! (Click on the picture to magnify it. You really gotta see it close up.) Makes me want another s'more.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


This is what we had to look at each night on the porch.

Isaac had been begging to go fishing since the first morning. I had promised to pay him $5 if he caught me a salmon. I got to keep my $5, but I also never got a salmon steak.

The view of the house from halfway up the driveway. That steep driveway puts the fear of God in me. Kyle actually made me drive the blue behemoth up it once. Isn't he mean? I can do anything now though. lol Thanks for the confidence boost, honey.

Our favorite toy- the Polaris. That little thing can drive over anything. And Kyle really likes to test that out. We were all screaming, holding on for dear life, and begging for more.

The mountains were beautiful and the weather was wonderful, but I'm grateful we won't be making that drive again any time soon.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lookie What We Got!

We finally did it! May I introduce you to the Clarks' beloved "Blue Behemoth". We all just love it.
And wow, we thought we were riding in luxury having this roomy thing to travel to Colorado in. It was so nice compared to the minivan where the kids all sat like sardines, knee to knee.

And of course, our trademark, so we can easily spot our vehicle in a parking lot. (Not that we need the help nowadays; I just look for the van that sticks out farther than any of the other cars. lol)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Quiverful, Adoption, Judgment, Etc.

Stacy McDonald wrote a great post recently regarding how we view children: blessing or burden. This brought on, of course, by the Duggars' recent pregnancy announcement.
One commenter had this to say:

I think when I heard about the Duggars addition I was a little uncomfortable.
Not because I think that many children are not a blessing, but because I feel so
strongly that there are SO many children out there who are neglected, abused,
and suffering from poverty that could be freed from it all if adopted. My
husband and I are expecting our first child in about a month and are thrilled.
But we plan to have two of our own and then adopt from there, because we feel
God calls us to care for the orphan, the widow, the ostracized and outcast. I
have to admit it's hard for me not to judge a family who continues to have
children when there are so many children who are in such desperate need of a
loving home right here right now.

I have battled with this question myself. Why don't the Duggars adopt? But why is it so easy to judge the Duggars for not adopting? Do we judge families with three kids who never adopt?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Government

It has recently come to my attention that not everyone has seen this. And no one should have to go without a little Tim Hawkins. (And for those who have already seen it, it's time you saw it again. You know you'll laugh again!)