Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Put On Your Thinking Cap

This morning, Shannon and I got up early and went for a walk. It was wet and mushy on our gravel road due to the rain last night, and there was a pretty brisk breeze. We walked for fifteen minutes, then turned around and walked home for another fifteen minutes. Each day we'll try to get a little farther in fifteen minutes before turning back. Yellow Dog and Sadie thought it was great fun, and came back very muddy. They like to wrestle in the ditches and chase birds through the fields.
When we got home we decided to make some donuts. This is a rare occurrence in our home. Partway through the process the girls decided to "help" a little too much, so Jackson took them in to the other room and made crafts with aluminum foil. They made masks and boots first. Then Chase helped Katie make a hat out of aluminum foil. When the donut mess was cleaned up and everyone was full, it was time to get back to school work. Colton confiscated Katie's hat and dubbed it his thinking cap. He was very excited and did three math pages with it on.

"I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion." Proverbs 8:12

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Say Cheese!

Shannon asked me to get a picture of Hudson and email it to him so he could put it in the newsletter for the office. We were having a hard time getting Hudson to smile, so Alex and Jack each took a side and helped him out. Oh, the trials of being #8 in the pecking order! We did get a better picture to publish in the newsletter.

I took the opportunity Sunday evening while in the nursery at church to teach Katie how to sit like a lady. Last summer she was still a little girl who wore diapers, but this year she is a big girl who wears panties and must be careful not to let anyone see them. She took the lesson very seriously, and practiced diligently sitting down and tucking her skirt under, and crossing her ankles. Once the skill was mastered, we took a picture. Not long after, during our youth group fellowship, I overheard her asking Colton's friend Michael if he wanted to see her panties. I guess we'll work on this a little longer!

"He also taught me, and said to me: 'Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live.' " Proverbs 4:4

Monday, March 26, 2007


None of the kids wanted to go inside and change clothes after church yesterday. They were afraid they would miss out on some of our beautiful weather. Katie and Naomi wore their matching dresses from Aunt Marilyn. They love to twirl around in them and play ballerina! Colton thought Alex deserved a BIG hug for a BIG brother.
Shannon grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for lunch. As is customary, we ran out of propane in the grill half way through cooking them. We finished them up on the George Foreman grill indoors. It was quite windy outside, so we ate inside. The kids spent a lot of time playing outside. The girls hold their own when it comes to getting dirty!
We had pizza and practiced music for the Easter morning service with our youth group kids from church following the evening service. We held a rousing game of marshmallow softball in the fellowship hall, then finished up with a game of sardines.

"The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens." Proverbs 3:19

March Madness if Overrated

Yeah, well, who cares, anyhow? March Madness is overrated. The whole tournament is almost over, so what does it matter who's ahead in points? What REALLY matters is who has the most correct picks overall, right? That means that the one who leads early on in the tournament really knows what SHE is doing, because SHE picked the most games correctly. SHE would still be in the lead if the scoring wasn't weighted toward the end of the tournament. So, even if SHE has maxed out on points at this point and has no teams left in the bracket (thanks to North Carolina choking in overtime!), WE ALL know who knows what SHE'S doing when it comes to bracketology.

"The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him." Proverbs 18:17

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bed Head!

Obviously Naomi has plenty of hair to spare. This is her horrendous bed head from Saturday morning. She's still a cutie, and loves to ham it up in front of the camera!

A Father's Love

Some of you know that Katie (3) has a fetish for cutting hair. She has cut her own on three different occasions. The last time she was punished, because she was well aware that she was not allowed to play with scissors, and she snuck up to our bedroom to use the scissors from my desk up there.
Last week Katie decided to try her skills on Naomi. I was nursing the baby mid-afternoon, and Naomi came to my chair and babbled something at me. It took a couple repeats to get "Katie" and "hair" out of her stream of words. It was then that I noticed a hank of hair missing from the top of her head. There was some still attached in the rubber band holding her bangs back. By the time I recovered all of it, it was a pretty good handfull. Meanwhile, Katie was no where to be found.
When she finally surfaced, I asked her what happened to Naomi's hair. She hung her head, avoided eye contact, then her face brightened and she announced to me "Colton did it!" with a big smile on her face. Colton was asleep in the living room. Little Miss Katie not only received a spanking for cutting hair, but especially for lying. She was not a happy little girl, and seemed very remorseful.
When Daddy got home from work, he took Katie to the living room and talked to her about what happened. The first thing out of her mouth was, "Colton did it!". Here we go again! She and Daddy had a long talk about lying, how Jesus doesn't like it, etc., and of course she got another spanking. Ah , the lessons a 3 year old needs to learn (and relearn, and relearn...).
The damage to Naomi's hair really was minimal. She got a chunk at the top of her head, behind where we normally pull it back, so it barely shows. We did get her pictures taken the next day, just in case.
Aren't we blessed to have a Heavenly Father who forgives us time after time when we fall short of His expectations?

" not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction." Proverbs 3:11

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Bryce's Birthday Party

Today we celebrated Bryce's 9th birthday. His actual birthday is on Wednesday, but today worked better for family to come. Papa Joe, Carrie, Jason, Will and Ben came, as well as Grandma & Grandpa Storjohann, Kimmy, Jeff & Mason. We watched basketball, then had cake and ice cream. The boys played outside. It's been quite a while since Mason has come to play. All of the boys (big and small) played a game of basketball before everyone left to go home. He received a Gameboy Advance game, an activity book, and a lot of cash. He's looking forward to going shopping. Shannon & I will probably take him out for dinner at the restaurant of his choice on Wednesday.

Jackson's basketball team won first place in their tournament yesterday. Jack played strong all day, and had three good games.

We captured some cute pictures of the kids earlier this week and thought we would share.

Colton's picture shows his displeasure with dinner Thursday night. Admittedly, it wasn't my finest culinary endeavor, but for leftovers, it certainly wasn't bad! Everyone else had seconds.

For the record, I (Jodi) am leading the family in points in the basketball tournament. Alex and Bryce are close behind, but who cares? It's the winner that matters! All's fair in love and basketball.

Shannon's note: It's not SHE who laughs first, but HE who laughs last that matters!

"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth." Proverbs 27:1

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


It's that time of year again...when the Clark household pours over the empty brackets contemplating who's going to the Sweet Sixteen, the Elite Eight, the Final Four, and finally the Big Dance. It's our tradition to post our picks for each of the NCAA tournament games, tape them to the living room wall, keep score, and see who comes out on top at the end of March. Naomi and Hudson aren't participating this year. Naomi just doesn't have the vocabulary yet to express her picks. Hudson's clueless.

We have a variety of teams in the finals. Bryce tends to stick with the top seeds, playing it safe. The older boys are a little more adventurous. Shannon favors the 12/5 seed upsets, along with the 7/10's. Jodi is a sucker for Lute Olson's Arizona teams, but has gotten burned so many times in the past that she doesn't have them going past the second round this year. Katie has chosen Duke to win it all.

We'll keep you posted on who's ahead in the "Clark Madness" pool.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Beautiful Day

Today we enjoyed beautiful 70 degree weather in Iowa. I was able to open up the windows and get some fresh air in the house after being closed up for the long winter. The kids played outdoors, and Sam, Ben and Alex even went wading in the creek up the road. From what they report, it was plenty cool! We have just a little snow left in the yard, otherwise it is all melted off. The county guys came out and spread some more gravel at the foot of our driveway today. It was very mushy prior to that!

The guys went four wheeling in the field across the road yesterday. Talk about muddy!
They were covered from head to toe. I still have a pile of muddy coats and clothes waiting to be washed out.

We can't wait for spring to come and stay. It sounds like we are due for a little more winter type weather still this weekend. Spring officially starts next Wednesday on Bryce's birthday.

Jackson and Chase had a basketball game this evening. Unfortunately, they lost by a couple points to a team they beat last week.

I stopped at Mom and Dad's on my way home to return a bowl, and ended staying a while to nurse Hudson before returning home. On my way out of town, I saw red and blue flashing lights in my rearview mirror. It's been YEARS since I've been pulled over. Apparently I had a headlight out, and got a fix-it ticket (or warning). The boys and I had just been talking last week about how long it had been since I'd been pulled over--almost 17 years!

"A man who has friends must himself be friendly..." Proverbs 18:24a

Monday, March 12, 2007

Shannon's 2nd Mistake of the Decade

Shannon and the boys have a game they play called "Bucketball". It involves clearing the living room of all furniture, wall hangings, and toys. This is the point where I generally leave, go to my room, and shut the door. Today Alex invited a couple of his friends over to spend the night. That makes seven boys ages 14-5, two girls ages 2 & 3, plus Shannon to play the game. The game is played with a ball and a couple laundry baskets. I asked Shannon what the rules to the game are, and he said, "You gotta score. You can hit each other. That's about it." Sounds like fun, huh? Apparently things got a little out of hand, and Sam pushed Jack into Alex, and he smashed the front window. No blood was shed, but we will need to replace the window.

To my credit, I did not yell and scream. I barely said anything. My tongue sure does hurt, for all the biting I did. I'm not sure what Sam and Ben thought was going to happen. Everyone was very helpful putting all of the wall hangings back up and returning the furniture to the correct spots. That's when Shannon admitted that he had made a mistake by not placing something in front of the window to protect it--the second one of the decade. No one remembers the first.

Oh, did I mention that the boys ran into Shannon's 1966 Chevelle with the four wheeler today?

Note from Shannon: "It's my house, it's my window, I'll break it or fix it as I choose."

Note from Jodi: I'm going to go read my bible now.

"For their calamity will rise suddenly, and who knows the ruin those two will bring?" Proverbs 24:22

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Dinner Guests

This evening Shannon's Aunt Marilyn and her husband Dave visited our home. They drove over from Dubuque for an adjustment, and brought Chinese food for dinner, too. Each of the boys received a blanket monogrammed with their name, and the girls received pretty matching dresses and a couple more outfits each. They were very generous. Marilyn also shared her starter for friendship bread with us, and brought a baked loaf as well. Let me know if any of you would like a batch of starter! It's yummy!

We enjoyed a nice evening of fellowship with them. We forgot to take a picture to post before they left! The boys are snuggled up under their blankets as I type this.

Shannon is heading out early in the morning for a continuing education seminar sponsored by the Iowa Chiropractic Society in Des Moines this weekend. He'll drive back tomorrow night, and we'll all head back Saturday. Jackson has a basketball tournament in Bondurant, and then we are hosting the dinner portion of a progressive dinner for our Sunday school class Saturday evening. Shannon will be back in Des Moines Sunday morning to finish up the seminar.

"The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself." Proverbs 11:25

Friday, March 2, 2007

Home Sweet Home!

Our power came back on last evening. Shannon and I decided to drive out to the house and see if there was any damage such as frozen pipes. We only made it about a mile out of town before having to turn back. The snow was blowing so badly we couldn't see the sides of the road.

We were able to return home over lunchtime today. The furnace had been working hard and it was up to 68 degrees already. Fortunately there was no damage. We had lots of dirty dishes to wash and laundry to do, but we're all settled back in now.

We're thankful for the use of my parent's home this week. Hopefully when they return tomorrow they won't have many evidences that we were there. When Mom called me today and I told her we were moving out, she sounded kind of disappointed. What an actress!

We have basketball for Jackson and Bryce tomorrow, weather permitting. Have a great weekend!

"Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established." Proverbs 24:3