Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Adoption Victories

I love reading the stories of orphans redeemed. This video tells the story of several children whose lives were hanging in the balance, but who were rescued just in time! Their stories amaze me and testify to God's faithfulness.

God sets the lonely in families. He is a father to the fatherless. (Psalm 68)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Where Your Children Rank

This article about motherhood was just fabulous. I strongly encourage you to read it. These are the highlights:

Everywhere you go, people want to talk about your children. Why you shouldn’t have had them, how you could have prevented them, and why they would never do what you have done. They want to make sure you know that you won’t be smiling anymore when they are teenagers. All this at the grocery store, in line, while your children listen.

Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything. Children are the last thing you should ever spend your time doing.

If you grew up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood, to think like a free Christian woman about your life, your children. How much have we listened to partial truths and half lies?

Christian mothers carry their children in hostile territory. When you are in public with them, you are standing with, and defending, the objects of cultural dislike. You are publicly testifying that you value what God values, and that you refuse to value what the world values. You stand with the defenseless and in front of the needy. You represent everything that our culture hates, because you represent laying down your life for another—and laying down your life for another represents the gospel.

But a Christian should have a different paradigm. We should run to the cross. To death. So lay down your hopes. Lay down your future. Lay down your petty annoyances. Lay down your desire to be recognized. Lay down your fussiness at your children. Lay down your perfectly clean house. Lay down your grievances about the life you are living. Lay down the imaginary life you could have had by yourself. Let it go.

Death to yourself is not the end of the story. We, of all people, ought to know what follows death. The Christian life is resurrection life, life that cannot be contained by death, the kind of life that is only possible when you have been to the cross and back.

The Bible is clear about the value of children. Jesus loved them, and we are commanded to love them, to bring them up in the nurture of the Lord. We are to imitate God and take pleasure in our children.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Life Is Changing Fast

Isaac had a little patch of hair on his neck that we used to joke about and Isaac used to brag about. But when I found out that he was causing other boys his age to stumble in envy, I decided it had to go. The jokes are over when you're causing your friends to sin, son. {hehe}

Oh and his voice is changing too. Oh my. Somebody give me a tissue.

Logical thinking supposedly develops around this age. I'd call that a very fair trade-off. :D

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Not A Model to Emulate

“I want people to know when they look at me, to be clear, that they see what an investment in public education can look like.”

I pray that all those who have put their trust in the government would pay attention to Mrs. Obama’s warning. If you want your child to emulate her by putting their faith in the government to supply their needs, rejecting God’s law, helping to destroy the meaning of marriage, defending the right to murder children, and embracing socialist values, do what she says and invest in public education!

-taken directly from this fantastic article by author Stacy McDonald

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I've Discovered. . .

  • Magnesium is a pretty effective sleeping pill. What I need is a "Fall Back Asleep" pill. Any ideas? {sigh}
  • I LOVE having projects to do while pregnant
  • I love the results of decluttering
  • I can't stand the process of decluttering
  • Sewing makes me feel like a domestic goddess
  • GSE has never failed me. I'm firmly convinced it's the best antibiotic ever
  • My husband loves my pregnant self. He recently told me I looked huge in the outfit I was wearing. He meant it as a compliment.
  • I love that my hubby loves me more the fatter I get
  • Too bad it doesn't work that way when I'm not pregnant ;)

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Wee Helper

Julia's 18 mos now. Man, we got here fast! She has been so much fun lately- talking and talking and talking. (Well, she calls it talking; we call it speaking in tongues.)

Her only real words are Daddy, Mama, Baby, Bye and Amen.
She signs: More, finished, drink, eat, please, help, thank you, and shoes.
But her limited vocabulary doesn't stop her from having whole conversations with us. She recently started using appropriate inflection. So, she'll say:
Ababada da da baby?
Ababada da da baby.

We all think everything she does is hilarious and adorable.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Be a Fly on the Wall



(Each of my children have their own besetting sins - the things they struggle with the most. Daniel's biggest struggle is lying.)

Lydia comes to me saying: Daniel said I'm a chicken!
Daniel, who is right behind her, quickly pipes in: But then I said you're a big strong girl.
Me: Daniel, why did you call Lydia a chicken?
Daniel: To be mean.
Me: And then why did you say she's a big strong girl?
Daniel: So she wouldn't tell on me.
Me: {giggling} Thank you for telling me the truth, Daniel.


Last night we moved Julia into the girl room. So, Kyle went into the playroom (with me standing behind him) after putting her to bed and warned the other girls:

Kyle (pointing to each of the girls): You and you and you and you better go to bed quietly!
(Then he starts gesturing like a wild man) I'm not going to have any of that talking when you get in bed. Go straight to your bed and zip your lips! You got it?
All the girls: (nodding in fear)
Kyle (pointing to the boys): But you and you can talk all you want {he giggles}. Ok? Ok.

(Whirls around dramatically and leaves the room smiling at me.)

Parenting is a very entertaining venture.

What to Do: Arguing Child

I recently got this question:

What do you do with a strong willed child that insists in arguing when she does not get her way?
I have two of those. How did you know they're both girls? ;) This is what I do:

Sally: Can we have popsicles after dinner?
Mom: No, not tonight. We just had dessert last night.
Sally: But I really want popsicles!
Mom: (modeling what child should have said) Yes, ma'am. (said in a happy voice)

Note: The happy voice is important. You want to model exactly what the child should have said and how they should say it. This begins when the child is able to talk and protests with words or with whining.

If Sally continues to argue, I would repeat my last phrase. If she still argues, I would pull her aside and talk to her about her attitude.

Mom: Sally, I know you love popsicles and it would be great to have them every night, but it's not ok for you to argue with me. Remember what the Bible says about arguing? (If they're like my children w/ this propensity, they have this verse down pat.)
Sally: "Do all things without complaining or arguing, that you may be blameless and innocent"
Mom: Right! (big smile) It's my job to help you obey God's Word and it's your job to obey mom and daddy. Now, let's try this again. Sally, is there something you want?
Sally: I want a popsicle.
Mom: Not tonight, honey. We just had dessert last night.
Sally: Ok, mommy.
Mom: {big hug} That was awesome, Sally! You didn't argue or complain! I'm so proud of you! Come here, let's play a game together.

Note: Distraction is key. Once the child obeys, you don't want to dwell on it. You want them to move on. If you can distract them and reward them at the same time-- all the better.

The #1 factor that determines your success is your consistency. If you require the right response 5 times in a row, and then you get lazy and just say: "Sally, you're arguing again. Now stop it!" you're back to square one. Trust me on this. ;)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Words, Words, Words

I have been dubbed Word Girl by some of my friends and family. I love words and I love knowing what they mean. Words mean something to me.

Wanna be a fly on the wall in the Clark house? Here's your chance. Incident #1:

Maya (seeing Julia grab her purse off the couch): JuJu, you can't take my purse! That's, that's. . . THIEVANTRY!

Me (in the kitchen): That's not a word, Maya.

Maya: (laughing) But I like it. Isn't it fancy? Thievantry! So cool!

Me: Still not a word, Maya.

Maya: Don't you like it, Isaac? What do you vote?

Me: in mock frustration: It doesn't work that way, Maya. You can't just make up words!

{another day, another incident}

Me: Snack time! You guys can have half an apple.

Isaac: Can I have a green and a red apple?

Me: Are you going to have 1/4 of each apple?

Isaac: (thinking my ears must need cleaning) No, can I have a green and a red apple?

Me: Well, are you going to have 1/4 of each apple?

Isaac: Oh forget it. You're not understanding me.

Me: Sweetheart, I've asked you twice if you're going to have 1/4 of each apple and you aren't answering me.

Isaac: YES! But can I have a green and a red apple?

Me: Okay.

(Isaac gets out a red apple and cuts it in half.)

Me: Isaac, let me see your snack. Ok, this is only a red apple. I thought you wanted both.

Isaac: No, I wanted to know if we can have the red apples too. I only heard you say we could have green ones.

Me: Then why didn't you ask that? I asked you three times if you were going to have 1/4 of each apple and you said yes.

Isaac: I thought that was another way to say half.

Me: (thinking) Oh my goodness, I'm about to pull my hair out. I gotta call Kyle. (heading to my private office, the master bathroom)

(Kyle, the wise and discerning one, tells me Isaac must not understand the difference between "and" and "or". I love that smart man of mine!)

Me: (back downstairs) Isaac, let me show you something. . .

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Segregation in churches is dividing the family. It is especially damaging to our youth, who need their parents' leadership more than at any other time. The teenage years are not the time to ship off your kids to the cool youth group leader and hope he disciples your children well. That's YOUR job. And what a blessed privilege it is!

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

ABC Meme

A, AGE - Ok fine. 37.

B, Bed Size - King.

C,Chore you hate - cleaning blinds. I pay Maya to do it for me.

D, Dog - Nope, that was short-lived. Dogs are too high-maintenance for us. We're a cat family. Self-feeder, self-waterer, and litter box. We can take off for three days and leave her at home, safe and sound.

E, Essential start to your day - FOOD! Lately, that's a homemade bacon, egg, and cheese burrito with a generous amount of homemade salsa. (Oh nuts, I'm drooling on the keyboard.)

F, favorite color - green. red. orange. purple. The only color I'm really not a fan of is pink. I know, I know, but it's true.

G, Gold or Silver - I'm not picky, whichever one you give me. ;)

H, Height - 5'7"

I, Instrument you play - not a single one. Took violin, piano, and clarinet lessons. Were there more? My parents thought I was wise enough to decide if I wanted to quit. I did.

J, Job Title - Mommy.

K, Kids - 23 year old Pedro, 13 year old Maya, 11 year olds Elena and Isaac, 9 year old Chloe, 6 year olds Daniel and Lydia, 1 year old Julia, and not-here-yet Peanut.

L. Live - near Dallas, TX. Love every season except summer. I prefer to hibernate then.

M, Mothers name - Nancy.

N, Nicknames - Ging, Dr. Clark (when people are asking for advice about herbs. lol), G, Grammar Police, and Red

O, Overnight Hospital Stays - had my stomach pumped when I was 6 y.o. after eating a double fist-full of toadstools out the neighbor's yard. I LOVED mushrooms. I don't feel the same now. Surely that wasn't overnight, but it sure was traumatic. Oh I don't know!

P, Pet peeve - music playing on blogs. I was already listening to something, thankyouverymuch. (Now where is the player so I can pause it?? Of course! It's at the very bottom of your blog. Now my whole day is ruined!) hehe

Q, Quote from a movie - "I'm willing to tell you! I'm waiting to tell you! I'm wanting to tell you!" (Eliza Dolittle's dad, My Fair Lady)

R, Right or left handed - right handed.

S, Siblings - Just one sister, but a really good one.

T, Time you wake up - generally around 7:30. I don't wake up before all the kids, but I wake up before most of them. ;)

U, Umbrella?? I have two giant ones I keep in the van, but it usually starts raining when I'm in the house. {sigh}

V, Vegetables you dislike - not a single one. I feel the same way about fruit.

W, What makes you run late? My poor sense of time. Since having kids, I never ever make it out the door the first time. "Oh shoot, my sunglasses!, Did anyone get my water? Ah nuts! . . ."

X, X- rays you've had - My knee when I was 19. Turns out the jet-ski accident I had when I was 18 left fiberglass in my knee for a whole year.

Y, Yummy foods you make - My absolute favorites are Cincinnati Chili and Duggar Tortilla Soup.

Z, Zoo - I love all the animals at the zoo, although I definitely think the anteater is hands-down the ugliest creature God created.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Not Worth the Gamble

I received this comment in response to my post, Reason #239 to Homeschool:
I agree that this teacher was way out of line. There is no excuse for treating a student in this way. But, please be careful not to condemn all public school teachers because of the actions of a few. Like all professions, we have great ones and horrid ones who should never see the inside of a classroom again. I am a public school teacher and a parent as well. I have a passion for my job and I love the kids entrusted to me each school year. For that nine months, they are just like my own. But the job is harder than ever because of budget cuts, class size increases,staffing decreases, and the ever present politics. So please say a prayer for us as we fight to give "our" children the best education we can under the circumstances.
Cindy, Oregan
My point was not: public schools are bad because some teachers are bad. I sincerely apologize for making you think that.
My point was: Nobody will care about your children as much as you do.
Families who send their children to public schools are sending off their most precious possessions to complete strangers. That's what I'm wanting people to question.

I know there are plenty of teachers who care greatly about their students; but a teacher can never care as much as a loving parent. They can only be substitutes.
Not to mention all the junk you mention dealing with as a public school teacher. Those are distractions that homeschool parents never have to bother with. Why would anyone want to send their children into that?

Rather than taking a gamble every year that no teacher will do something horrible to your child; why not make certain that they are being lovingly taught and cared for by their teacher by becoming their teacher?

YOU know your child best.