Monday, November 5, 2012

Adoption and Abortion

With so many Christians feeling forced to vote for the lesser of two pro-choice candidates, I thought this was very thought-provoking.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Best Adoption Movie I've Seen (so far)

 I really loved this. So many adoption truths in this movie.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Judah Update: 10 Months

Judah is pulling up on everything and has started cruising now. His main form of transportation is crawling though, since I now know how important it is. He has recently been going through a growth spurt - "a sleep spurt" as I call it; he's sleeping late in the morning and taking long naps. I miss him! 

So, I've been struggling with this big dilemma since Judah was a newborn: What to do with his hair.
He has a cowlick in the front that makes his hair go his left, and a cowlick at his crown that makes his hair go to his right. What's a mom to do? The struggle of how to handle this has kept me up nights (ok maybe it was just insomnia).
Well, I won't keep up the suspense. I know you're on the edge of your seat. I decided to part it on his right. 
And it looks great. I am so relieved.

You may now go on with your day knowing that all is right with the world.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Homeschooling Arrogance: Don't Do It!

If you're a homeschool parent, just watch the first 8 minutes of this.

It's a fine line between being convicted that home education is the best education for your child and becoming proud and arrogant about doing it. (Do you think you're somehow better because you have this revelation? Think about it. It's a common temptation. Repent and move on.)

I LOVE being able to witness all the educational milestones of my children with my very own eyes. It's such a blessing to have the freedom to do this!
But don't forget to always bring it back to the gospel! That's the WHOLE POINT! If we've given our kids an excellent academic education, but haven't educated them about the their sin and their need for a Savior, we have really really missed the boat.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

This Woman is Angry at Christians

How do we respond to this kind of anger? Here's how:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Judah Eating

Have you had the pleasure of having someone this in love with you? It's really fabulous.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Things That Help Our Days Run Smoothly

When young moms ask my advice about homeschooling, I'm at a loss. My family looks different than theirs so it's not going to run the same way. I want to say: "Oh just do this or use this curriculum and your problems will be solved!" But it doesn't work that way. You have just two littles and I have 4 big kids. You do all the cooking and cleaning and I'm just a supervisor and helper of those tasks. You do all the teaching, but your school day is an hour long. My big kids do most of their school independently, but our school day is 4-5 hours long. Homeschool families just don't compare. 

BUT I do have some tips I've learned as a big homeschool family that really help us. I hope you may find some encouragement in here somewhere:

  • soaking breakfast dishes until lunch time so we can focus on school work in the morning
  • specific "tidy up" times (we do one in the morning and one in late afternoon) so I don't have to constantly be correcting the children for not picking up after themselves
  • chores only after school (I'm not including setting table and the like here, just stuff like vacuuming, dusting, watering plants, sweeping the porch, etc. Trash is the exception. It has to be taken out in the morning.)
  • I have learned to develop a team mentality when it comes to where things belong. I like to think it's my kitchen, but since I depend on my kids to do so many kitchen tasks, it's really a team effort to keep it running. So I figure I won't be the boss of where stuff goes until it's mostly me in the kitchen. Right now, it definitely isn't. This also goes back to the idea of: I can nag all day long or I can figure out a new way of thinking that eliminates the stress of doing that all the time. 
  • When it comes to keeping the kids' closets in order and clothes neatly stacked in drawers, my method is denial for the most part. ;) winking

Monday, September 10, 2012

Why I Love Homeschooling

I'm pretty sure I've blogged about this before, but I have new reasons now:

  • My 14 yo daughter plopped on the couch on Saturday night and read Tales from Shakespeare in her pj's. 
  • My almost 13 yo daughter still holds my hand when we're out together. 
  • None of my kids have labels, although several would if they were out-schooled.
  • My kids are confident and secure. They are able to laugh at themselves.
  • If I don't get enough sleep, school starts later. Or it starts without me. 
  • I really love going to the zoo/museum/vacation when no one else is there!
  • My kids' best friends are each other.
  • God is developing patience in me, as well as compassion and endurance.
  • I'm a better mom because of homeschooling. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Judah Update: 8 months

Judah has been army crawling all over the place lately. So fun and now that we know the value of it, we put him on his tummy all the time. The kids are all impatient for him to start hands-and-knees crawling, but I'm in no hurry to get to the next milestone. It's all great!
At 8 mos, Judah has 7 teeth. His teething has been fast and furious. He drools, he chews on everything, and the next day he has a new tooth. Easy peasy. Never had a kid grow teeth with such ease.
Love this boy!

At six months, I started Judah on solids and he didn't go for it. We stopped for a month and then came back to it. Now he loves to eat.
Guess what he's been eating lately.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tie Dye Fanatics

Any guesses what we were doing last night?

Update: Our church's fellowship was at the roller rink this month. We decided to dress in 70s style just for the fun of it. We made quite a scene (which we all loved) since no one else did anything like this.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Adoption Journal: Giving Up My Fears

One big issue our older adoptees have is their difficulty communicating their needs or emotions. In Liberia, it wasn't safe to communicate needs or emotions or ask for help. So they learned not to. Unlearning that is a monumental task. 

I've had to deal with my big fears of their future if they don't grow in this area. I've spent much time worrying how they will communicate with a spouse, should they marry. I've recently realized that their spouses will just have to learn what we have: how to communicate with someone who doesn't. It has been sanctifying for us and it will be sanctifying for their spouses.

We were teasing Isaac the other night because he was obviously wanting something from Kyle but wasn't asking. I held him by the shoulder and had a huge smile on my face as I said: 
If it's God's will for you to marry, we'll be training your fiance in how to communicate with Isaac:

When he's mad, he won't tell you, but he'll act like this and you need to ask if he's mad.
When he wants something, he won't tell you, but he'll act like this and you need to ask what he wants.
When he's sad, he won't tell you, but he'll act like this and you need to ask what he's sad about. Etc, etc. You get the idea.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pat Robertson says adopted children "grow up weird"

In a recent broadcast of The 700 Club, a woman sent in a question about a man who wouldn’t marry her because she has children who were adopted internationally. If they were her “own” biological children, he would have no problem, she said. But because they were adopted, he saw too much risk. 
Pat Robertson said the man “didn’t want to take on a United Nations,” and that, after all, you never know about adopted children; they might have brain damage and “grow up weird.”
The issue here isn’t just that Robertson is, with cruel and callous language, dismissing the Christian mandate to care for the widows and orphans in their distress. The issue is that his disregard is part of a larger worldview. The prosperity and power gospel Robertson has preached fits perfectly well with the kind of counsel he’s giving in recent years. Give China a pass on their murderous policies; we’ve got business interests there. Divorce your weak wife; she can’t do anything for you anymore. Those adopted kids might have brain damage; they’re “weird.” What matters is health and wealth and power. But that’s not the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Read the rest here: Pat Robertson vs. The Spirit of Adoption

On a personal note:

What the author says about his statement lining up perfectly with the prosperity gospel is certainly true. If God only wants good things for us that make us happy, then adopting children who definitely will have issues isn't going to be on God's agenda. If, however, God is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness, then He will be calling Christians all over the world to adopt these needy orphans and teaching these families what it really means to love unconditionally in the process. (Which He most certainly is.) Adoption has sanctified me more than anything else has. 

To God be the glory.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Then vs. Than


Today is your lucky day! You have the special thrill of learning something far too many people don't understand. I'm going to solve for you the maddening conundrum of then and than.

Then - This has to do with the order of events.
First, I folded my paper napkin. Then, I put it in my lunchbox.
Than - This has to do with comparing things.
The Grammar Marm's hair bun is tighter than mine.

Now wasn't that easy? Easier than taking candy from a baby!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Parenting Guilt

I never knew there was so much guilt in parenting! When I run an errand with one of my children and don't take the others who want to go, I feel guilty. When I realize we don't have time to squeeze in a trip to the ice cream shop, I feel guilty. I know I shouldn't, but I do.

Recently I've been struggling with feeling like whatever the problem is, it all comes back to it being my fault. If I get frustrated because my children don't pick up after themselves, that's my fault because I haven't trained them to be consistent in this. If a certain non-talkative son isn't communicating with me, there's always something I could do more of or less of to improve the situation. I convince myself it's my fault. If another certain child misunderstands my directions yet again, it's because I didn't have them repeat back what I asked them to do. Again back to me. It must be my fault.

This type of thinking is just plain selfish.
It's self-centered.
It's not seeking God and praying for wisdom.
It's focusing on myself. Pitying myself.

If you find yourself caught in the deception of "it's all my fault", turn to God. Seek God's Word for wisdom. There has never been a time that I prayed to God for wisdom, that He hasn't given me creative solutions to the problem before me. Never. He is faithful.

Get your eyes off yourself and focus on the One who can solve your parenting issues.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Target & Amazon's Homosexual Agenda

Forgive me while I reword this article:

Target, Amazon Opposite of Chick-fil-A on Gay Marriage

With gay  homosexual rights activists still riled up over Chick-fil-a’s LGBT criticism strong stance in favor of biblical marriage, two megastores are taking the opposite stance and making their support for gay  homosexual marriage as public as possible.

Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos became the biggest financial backer of gay homosexual marriage in the country on Friday when he and his wife MacKenzie pledged $2.5 million to support Washington state’s same-sex marriage referendum.

At the national level, Target is broadcasting its support for equal marriage rights with a wedding registry ad featuring two smiling men dressed in suits and bow ties holding hands and touching foreheads.

Read the rest of this atrocity here. We have already quit shopping at Target because of their stance against biblical marriage, but Amazon? Oh Amazon, how you have let me down!!

Note: I choose to use the word "homosexual" which correctly identifies those who have marital relations with the same gender. Gay means happy, which is a radically inappropriate word for a group of people who have such high depression and suicide rates. Homosexual "rights" gives the impression that they are somehow victims, thus the reason I omitted that word as well. "He who defines the terms controls the argument". Don't let the world tell you what words to use. You're smarter than that!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Second Generation Friendships

Is there anything better than seeing your kids' develop friendships with your friends' kids?

Amelia and Julia, 5 days apart

Warms my heart.

Lydia and Vivian, less than a year apart

One of my best friends, Gretchen, has five kids. Our kids line up almost perfectly. We love it when they play together.
This year they had lots of chances to play together while we all vacationed in Colorado together. I loved every minute!

 Chloe, Sophie, and Elena 
(Would you believe Gretchen's Sophie is the same age as my Chloe? I make short kids; Gretchen makes tall ones.)

Vivian and Lydia

Jacob and Isaac

 All of Gretchen and Ginger's kids
(see Julia throwing a fit on the top left?)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Don't Lose Focus

Follow me over to A Mama's Story, where I'm privileged to be sharing today for her special needs parenting series: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. 

Don't Lose Focus {Meeting the Special Needs of Adopted Children}

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

So Very Two

Have I mentioned that Julia is two? She's oh so very two! This is her throwing a fit when I tried to take her picture. She loves seeing herself in pictures, but lately she wants to see the picture before I've taken it. I don't know how skilled you are at photography, but in laymen's terms: that doesn't work.

I've decided that Judah is my reward for enduring this year with Julia. (I've also decided she will revert to her angelic self at age 3. Don't tell me otherwise!) Judah is so easy, it's unreal. I'm so thankful! He's Mr. Calm and Laid-Back, while she is going through a Jekyll and Hyde phase. (We all prefer Dr. Jekyll.)

Despite her fit, I love this picture. When she's not screaming, she is really polite and charming.

I still love you, Julia. I always will.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Today you have the special joy of a spelling lesson. I'm going to teach you about a few simple contractions:
It's - this is short for "it is" as in:
It's really hot outside!
If you should find yourself in the quandary of "Do I use an apostrophe or not?" then ask yourself: "Am I trying to say "it is"?

Should've/Could've/Would've - these are short for "should have/could have/would have". You should never ever say "should of", "could of", or "would of". Those don't make sense because they're incorrect. What you should be saying is:
I should've asked the grammar marm.
I could've washed the car, but I watched some great Youtube videos instead.
I would've removed the spinach from my teeth if you would've told me about it!

You're - this is short for "You are". This is very important. You absolutely must understand the difference between "you are" and "your". Totally different.
You're the smartest man I know!
Is this your pocket protector?

I hope this radically changes your life as I know it will.

Monday, July 23, 2012

We Met Peter Pan!

Earlier this summer, Pedro texted me to tell me that Cathy Rigby was going to be at the mall, reading "Peter Pan". (How did Pedro know this, you ask? Yea well, I asked that too. {giggle})
So when we got there, we found out Mrs. Rigby was sick and couldn't make it. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. This is my kids' favorite version of Peter Pan and I was THRILLED for them to be able to see Mrs. Rigby in person. 

Well, the theatre staff encouraged us all to stay, letting us know there would be a drawing to win tickets to the play. Family four packs.
I immediately started thinking about how that would work if we won one. Who would we take?
Well, as it turns out, we won THREE family four packs.
Then, of the four of us (three were Clarks) who won the tickets, they did another drawing and we won that too! So not only could we ALL go to the play, but we would get an autographed book and a chance to meet Cathy Rigby after the show!! Yeehaw!

Waiting for the doors to open

I was tapping my feet during every single song, it was fantastic. I love seeing my kids enjoy themselves, but Kyle and I were enjoying just as much! You should have heard the two of us clapping and yelling when Peter Pan asks: Clap if you believe in fairies!
We might have embarrassed our kids a bit, but they loved it. (And I secretly love embarrassing them.)

Can you spot little Mrs. Cathy Rigby in there? Maya was so thrilled to find out that she's taller than a famous person! Hilarious. As we left her dressing room, Maya was squealing: I'm going to have great dreams tonight! I just know it!