Thursday, May 31, 2007

Birthday Weekend

Memorial Day weekend we celebrated Papa Joe's 82nd birthday and Colton's 6th birthday.

We took Papa Joe to the buffet at the Meskwaki Casino in Toledo, his favorite place. Carrie, Jason & the boys, as well as Barry, joined us. We appreciate Papa Joe's VIP status that allows us to get immediate seating rather than waiting in line.

We celebrated Colton's birthday in Clear Lake with the Kambergers. We were able to attend church with them on Sunday evening, spend the night, and fellowship with their church family at IRBC on Monday. What better way is there for a 6 year old to spend his birthday than at camp? The weather was beautiful and the company entertaining. We had the privilege of hearing Jason Nightengale minister both Sunday and Monday. He does an amazing job of reciting God's word and making it come to life. You can check out his website at

"Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him." Proverbs 30:5

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Nursery Pictures

At our church, they do not provide nursery workers for the Sunday evening service, so Shannon or I invariably take turns in the nursery with the girls. It was my turn this week, so I took the opportunity to snap some pictures of the kids. Chase helped keep me company.

"For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6

Friday, May 18, 2007

What exactly IS Patience?

While we were all at the dentist's office on Wednesday, the receptionist touched my arm and told me she just wanted to let me know she is SO impressed with our family and how well behaved the children are. She thought I must have SO much patience to be able to manage all of them in such an efficient manner. We've got her fooled, huh? It reminded me of something I had recently read from a fellow homeschool mom, who had a great explanation for what Patience is. I had never heard this before, but it is GOOD. Makes me want to wake up and practice patience a whole new way tomorrow. Hope it is a blessing to you too.

Patience is correcting (giving a consequence for) wrong behavior without becoming angry or resentful, every time it is necessary, no matter how inconvenient it is or how much you don’t feel like doing it.

I used to think that being patient was putting up with my children’s lack of obedience. I was thinking wrongly that they were just children, and couldn’t help themselves. I thought I was being patient if I asked them to do something over and over again without getting angry.

I would say, “Walk in the house, please.” Ten minutes later I’d say, “Walk in the house please.” Five minutes later, “Walk in the house please.” I would feel myself getting angrier and angrier as the days went on and still every day my children ran through the house. I would tell myself to “be patient.” I would think, “They’re just children.” “They’re just 2 yrs. Old” or “They are just 4 yrs. old,” etc. I would tell them in a sweet voice and remind them once again…”Walk in the house please.”

The problem was that I was confused about what “patience” was when it came to discipline. In truth, deciding ahead of time, with my husband, what the rules of our house were going to be (no running in the house for example), determining an appropriate consequence for the breaking of these rules, and then purposing to enforce the rule EACH and EVERY time was what was needed.

What is the godly principle for the rule “no running in the house?” you might ask? It is in loving others and in considering them more highly than ourselves. It is also honoring and obeying your parents in the Lord. It is in being wise. Running through the house is unwise. It is not the place for running, as children can get hurt as well as belongings getting broken. We need to be good stewards of what the Lord has blessed us with.

Where does patience come in? If I have to correct them 20 times a day for 20 days – that’s where patience and perseverance come in! When I have to walk away from making dinner for the third time to issue a correction (a training swat), when I have to get up from my conversation with my husband, when I have to get off the phone to correct my child, or put down a book I’m reading to correct my child (giving them a trainer swat)…this is where patience comes in! Instead of becoming angry that I have told them and corrected them 3 or 5 or 20 times already, it’s correcting them with love and understanding and PATIENCE.

Patience is not “putting up with” wrong behavior. Patience is correcting (giving a consequence for) wrong behavior without becoming angry or resentful, every time it is necessary, no matter how inconvenient it is or how much you don’t feel like doing it.

Long suffering is another way of saying “patience” and it is a good description of what patience is. It is being willing to suffer (be inconvenienced) for the benefit of your child, however…long…it is necessary, hence the word long suffering. When we suffer long to teach our children the importance of obedience, we are making an amazing investment into their lives. We are teaching them the true nature of God. That no matter how far we stray, no matter what we do, or how many times we do it…God will correct us also…because He loves us and He wants good for us. He will not allow us to prosper and continue in something that is to our detriment. He desires for his children to be mature and wise, just as we hope for our children to become adults that are mature and wise. I hope this helps other parents.

"My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you." Proverbs 3:1-2

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A new addition to our family

Gotcha! You all thought we were having another baby, didn't you?

Yesterday Shannon took all of the kids to PetSmart while I did some grocery shopping next door. When I met them there, Colton emphatically stated that all he wanted for his birthday was a RAT! He had picked out which cage he wanted and everything. We settled on a gerbil, against my better judgment. It has always been my inclination that rodents were to be kept OUT of the house, not invited IN.

I was outnumbered, so Peaches became the newest member of the Clark household. They also got her a ball so she can roll around the floor. She really enjoys this, except when Naomi decides to give her a boost and shoves her across the kitchen floor end over end. Naomi just giggles.

Colton has big plans to expand her cage. This morning he was plotting how many extensions it would take to keep one cage on the kitchen table (ick!), and one upstairs in his bedroom, with tubes connecting them.

"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so." Proverbs 3:27

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Hudson got his first "real" food last week. The big kids were eating some applesauce, so I decided to give him some, too. He loved it. It took a while for him to get his tongue working in the right fashion, but he got the hang of it eventually.

"...and those who love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21b

You know your dog is fed well...

...when she will sit by a fully cooked 5 lb. roast and not eat it. Last week we discovered that someone had unplugged our freezer in the garage. This is the freezer we keep all of our meat in. We lost 5 roasts, 4 t-bone steaks (did you hear Shannon crying?), a turkey, and a bag of chicken breasts. There were a few other things in it that we were able to salvage. The other freezer was full of applesauce which thawed also, but we were able to re-freeze all of that.

Sadie got to eat all of our beef. It was so tempting to eat it ourselves. It didn't smell bad, but we decided it just wasn't worth the risk. So, we cooked all of the roasts and t-bones in the crock pot and doled them out to her throughout the week. Right before I snapped this picture, she was lying next to the plate, guarding it from the cats, but apparently just wasn't hungry enough to eat it at the time.

What a life!

"A man's stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; From the produce of his lips he shall be filled." Proverbs 18:20

Adventureland Rally 2007

Saturday we had the opportunity to attend the annual Adventureland Rally that the state IARBC puts on. We had 22 from our church attending. We brought our big kids along, too. Naomi and Hudson got to spend the day with Grandma Shirley and Papa Ken. Over 1100 teens were in attendance. The word of God was preached and many decisions for Christ were made.

This was the first year in as many as we have been taking youth groups to Adventureland that it was not cold and rainy. The weather was beautiful, with sunny skies and a light breeze. Getting wet on the water rides actually felt good this year! It also made for longer lines, as more people were at the park.

This was Katie's first visit to Adventureland. She enjoyed all of the rides, and proved herself fearless. She was quite disappointed that she didn't get to ride all of the "big kid rides" because she was too short. Thankfully we have plenty of big boys who are willing to go on the spinning rides with her. Shannon and I have found that we just aren't up to it anymore. Colton went on all of the rides he possibly could, too.

"The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe." Proverbs 29:25

Sleepy Head

Naomi fell asleep on the way home from church Sunday. We laid her down to continue sleeping while we prepared lunch. The next time we peeked at her, we found her with her bottom up in the air. She sleeps like this often. Such a cutie!

"When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet." Proverbs 3:24

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Quiet Week

Sunday we spent the afternoon in Huxley at Carrie & Jason's house. We celebrated Will's 3rd birthday. The kids enjoyed cake and ice cream, and then played outside for awhile having wagon races. They don't have much of a yard, so had to play on the cement. It was fun seeing Marilyn & Dave and Jason's family again.

Wednesday Papa Joe brought over a John Deere 495 to help mow our lawn. We finished mowing in record time--around 2 hours! It has a huge 62" deck, as opposed to the 48" deck on our 318. Shannon & I have tractor envy! It rides more like a car than a tractor--and costs more than I've ever spent on a car, too! Alas, it's not in our future to own one.

We were able to do some more landscaping Wednesday, too. We made a cobble stone pathway to the deck and cleaned up the yard a bit. It seems as if one project just leads to the next. Will it ever stop? Shannon would like to design a water feature next.

Alex and Colton went home with Papa Joe yesterday. They're working on the 4 wheeler today. Alex called and said they would probably come home tomorrow. Unfortunately, I forgot to remind them to take their school work with them. No wonder they want to stay longer! Papa Joe spoils them rotten.

Jack, Chase and Bryce did daycare during the ladies bible study at church this morning. They have done a great job, and have found that the free will offering collected each week isn't too shabby, either. I stayed home with our littles since Alex wasn't here to watch them.

It's just been Katie, Naomi, Hudson and I around the house today. J, C & B had to go back into town with Shannon after lunch for soccer practice this evening. We'll see if the rain holds out. It's been cloudy and cool all day. I believe it's supposed to rain tomorrow, too. It's a good day for snuggling.

Blogs are boring without pictures. Katie decided she deserved to be in my picture since she fed Hudson his bottle while I typed, so she wins the prize.

"A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul..." Proverbs 13:19