Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Come and see, look on this mystery
The Lord of the Universe, nailed to a tree
Christ our God, spilling His Holy blood
Bowing in anguish, His sacred head

Sing to Jesus, Lord of our shame
Lord of our sinful hearts.
He is our great Redeemer.
Sing to Jesus, Honor His name.
Sing of His faithfulness, pouring His life out unto death

Come you weary and He will give you rest
Come you who mourn, lay on His breast
Christ who died, risen in Paradise
Giver of mercy, Giver of Life

Sing to Jesus His is the throne
Now and forever,
He is the King of Heaven.
Sing to Jesus, we are His own.
Now and forever sing for the love our God has shown.

Sing to Jesus, Lord of our shame
Lord of our sinful hearts.
He is our great Redeemer.
Sing to Jesus, Honor His name.

Sing to Jesus His is the throne
Now and forever,
He is the King of Heaven.
Sing to Jesus, we are His own.
Now and forever sing for the love our God has shown.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Baby in the House

Julia is 6 weeks old now and I must say I'm enjoying her more every day. The fact that she's sleeping 5 and 6 hours at a stretch at night probably has something to do with it. I actually keep my eyes open while nursing her in the middle of the night now. lol
Julia seems to be breaking the Clark pattern of growth. She is over 10 lbs now and 24". Four inches in 6 weeks- that is fast growth for a Clark. She's clearly not looking to Chloe as an example.
A day in the life:
Julia wakes up around 7am. I nurse her and we both go back to bed. Sometime while we're sleeping, the rest of the kids wake up and start on their schoolwork and chores. When we wake up again at 10am, the big kids and the littles are doing seatwork. (That's math and handwriting for the big kids; coloring and drawing for the littles.) Then they all plop on the couch and have quiet reading time. More on this later.
When schoolwork and chores are done, we all fight over who gets to hold Julia. This goes on until naptime, which happens right after I read to all the kids on the couch. (We're currently reading The Runaway by Patricia St. John and I highly recommend it.)
I'm so enjoying our days with a newborn. Elena said: I'm so glad we have a baby in the house. It's just so great having a baby sister when I'm a big kid.
She summed up everyone's sentiments very well.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What They Should Be Told

One day, I'm hopeful that my daughters and sons will tell their husbands and wives-to-be the secrets that will make their lives easier having me as their mother-in-law (poor things).

1) At family get-togethers, don't walk into the kitchen and ask what you can do. That's sure to result in a confused look as she (that's me) is forced to stop mid-thought and work on a new thought: what you can do to help. She has no idea. She's busy trying to figure out how to quadruple 7/8 cup and wondering if she actually basted that turkey or just thought about it.
Instead, stay nearby. She's sure to give you a job when she thinks of one. And she'll appreciate your help then and only then. (All of this to say, she's highly distractable and interrupting her when she's thinking isn't advised.)

1a) How to know when she is thinking and shouldn't be interrupted: she hasn't made eye contact with you or anybody else in some time. This means she's in the zone. You want to stay out of the zone.

2) Do not quit an argument. Should you get into an argument with her (and you undoubtedly will at some point), be tenacious until understanding is achieved. That is, after all, the whole point of the argument. Quitting a disagreement is the equivalent of saying: You're not worth it. I don't really care if we understand each other or not.
She will love and respect you for your persistence.

Now, you know you have your own rules that are followed (or at least known) by those who know you best. Do tell.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Open a Can, Cook a Meal

I received all the ingredients for this dinner as part of a baby gift from my mother-in-law. I had to share it.

Super Quick Stew:

1-2 lbs. stew meat
2 cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 packet of onion soup mix (and water required) *
1 small bag frozen mixed veggies
1 small bag frozen broccoli

*can substitute 1 family-size can of french onion soup

Dump it all in the crock-pot and leave on low all day. Super simple. Super delicious!

(Cross-posted to my Crock-Pot blog)

Friday, February 12, 2010

We Finally Have a Baker in the House!

It's the family joke that Ginger may know how to cook, but it's Jamie (my sister) who does all the baking. My kids even asked if I knew how to bake a cake. Now that was embarrassing!
(Yes, I do, fyi.)
For Maya's birthday, she received money to take a cake decorating class. She was beside herself with excitement. Maya is domestically gifted. She seems to excel in all things related to homekeeping, but her number two love (taking care of babies would be #1) is baking.

She baked and iced the cake prior to class, then she did all the piping work at class. Pretty good for a first attempt, huh?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My New Best Friends

I have recently discovered Lamplighter books and I am soooooo happy! My good friend, Lis, and I are both book addicts. She has a bunch of Ballantyne books that her 10 year old son is devouring AND she actually got the entire G.A. Henty collection for Christmas!! I was green with envy.

Well, she told me about Lamplighter books, which are character-building books for boys and girls (unlike Ballantyne, which are really geared towards boys). I bought 2 just to try them out and oh my goodness, I was so impressed!

This was the first book we read and it was phenomenol. Really. You can read about it there, and I won't ruin the ending, but it was shocking. Sad and sweet and really surprising. My kids are still talking about it and we finished it over a month ago. These kinds of books are priceless.

So, I can borrow all of Lis's Henty books and she can borrow my Lamplighters. Our kids will never lack quality literature. :D

P.S. Lis, I just got 3 more in the mail today!! WooHoo!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Spoiled Rotten

When I was pregnant, I kept joking that I could just parent this little one whenever I felt like it, knowing I'd have lots of willing mini-mamas. How true that turned out to be! If I was bottle feeding, I don't know when I'd ever get Julia to myself!
Look how big Julia looks in the arms of shorty (aka Chloe)! It's hard to tell how tiny she actually is when she's in the arms of someone not much bigger.
Julia is very well loved.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Just Another One of My Obsessions

I love Pilgrim's Progress. I was given this comic book version when I was 13 and have loved the story since.
It's a story I want them to know so well, they quote it while I read it the same way they quote Julie Andrews when they're watching Mary Poppins for the 34th time. So, when they were in 1st grade, I read this version to them:
And the next year, we read this fabulous picture book version:

Well, when it was time to introduce the real deal, I started talking to friends about it. Not having received a rich literary education myself, I was nervous about reading something so "hard". Nevermind that I'd already seen my kids sit through original Shakespeare plays, all while telling me what was going on in the story.

My homeschooling mentor (Lori dear, that's you) strongly recommended that I get the audio drama that Vision Forum sells. Now, you have to know Lori to understand what I mean when I say she strongly recommended it. Lori has very strong opinions about books (thus the website dedicated to all her precious paper friends). She went on and on about how much she and her kids loved this audiobook. So, naturally, I had to have it.

Lori was right. My kids were riveted.

So t h e n when I saw this DVD at a friend's house, I was curious.

We borrowed it and were watching it when I was in early labor with Julia. I must say, I was impressed. It was a great way to cement the story in the minds of my little ones. It was so great to hear them saying: Oh, this is when Christian's gonna get stuck in the mud! and etc.

And for once, we weren't disappointed with the movie after reading the book! I highly recommend it.