Friday, December 28, 2007

The cooks in the kitchen

The adventure of the day was allowing Samuel (!), McKenna (!), and Anna to help Laura and I bake sugar cookies after dinner!  They did remarkably well and had more fun that you should be allowed to have making cookies!  Samuel was the only one to get any flour on Laura's dark pants.  When he realized it was his doing, he kept saying, "sorry, Laura" and helped her (?) by wiping it off.  She then had flour not only at the hem of her pants but also up to her hips.  As he wiped he said, "Big.  Mess.  Laura.  Big mess."  The smile from behind those faces white with flour made the extra cleanup totally worthwhile!  By the end of the process the girls were actually doing most of it themselves.  

McKenna made us all laugh tonight when we asked her what she was thankful for before she went to bed.  The usual fare: "Mommy, Daddy, my blankie, my teddy, Pinkie Pie."  But then she closed with a frank, "That's all I got."  In her spirit, for tonight, that's all I got.  :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Best Christmas Ever

Well, we've wrapped up (he he he) the best Christmas ever.  It was such a joy to see the kids be so excited about the baking, the fun with family, the gifts, and the general cheer around the house.  It was even better, though, to hear the girls say on more than one occasion (unprompted), "It's not about the's about celebrating Jesus' birthday!"  Amen, sisters! 

Anna was particularly bad at keeping secrets about presents.  She ended up trying, though, to get the word out without being the one to spill the beans.  She told Jordan (Chris' secret brother) that we got him something at the store (oops) and asked him what HE wanted the gift to be.  Oh, and it starts with "F".  She finally succumbed to telling him it was a squid (her idea) to throw him off track (my idea).

McKenna informed everyone that Mommy took them to the "fragile store" to pick out presents for people they loved.  The weren't allowed to touch any of the fragile things.  No, we weren't at Von Maur or Pottery Barn.  We were at Kohls.   :)

Samuel was so excited about "me choo choo!  choo choo!  choo choo!" (repeat 56 times)  Dad made him a train table and mom and dad and Chris and I got him the trains, tracks, and other accessories.  I will never, as long as I live, forget how excited my little boy was to get his first train set.  He bounced all the way around the table, just as excited as anyone has ever been about anything.  Today, might have been even better, though, because every time I left his side today he'd run after me with trains in hand and say, "play, mama, play!"  We played and played and played.  It was such a good day.  

Chris and I prefer to concentrate on gifts for the kids but it was fun to surprise him this year with a frame containing his great-grandfather's honorable discharge from the Army.  I really love family and history, so combining the two is quite fun for me.  

What a fun day...  What a reason for celebration!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

What was

I just read (online, of course) that AU will no longer be making yearbooks for students to purchase.  Evidently, students just prefer to keep in touch via other methods (facebook, etc.).  I didn't know that a yearbook was a way to keep in touch, but whatever.  Funny, soon I'll be one of those people who actually had yearbooks.  It'll make me seem so old...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

While it lasted

Samuel either climbed out or fell out of his crib this evening for the first time.  He was mad as a hornet when I left him in his bedroom (which is quite unusual) and crying with gusto.  I'd done no more than walk into the family room when I had to stop in my tracks.  What was that?  Is that crying A LOT louder than it was a couple steps back?  Must go check...  Then, our easy bedtime routine for the past 1 year, 11 months, and 4 days ended (minus the first year of miserable nights).  Samuel met me at the door.  It was good while it lasted.

Congrats, Tim, on your graduation today!  You worked so hard for this--we're so proud of you!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Status report

I caught McKenna singing as she helped me load the dishwasher tonight.  "Three French kids...two durtle doves..."  She just really brings me smiles every day.  It was nice to have impromptu smiles tonight because it was a really hard day.  Really, it started last night.  Neither of the girls slept well at all.  Poor McKenna was up about every 30 minutes with a crummy cough.  That, of course, also woke up Anna.  I took both of the girls to the doctor today and after hours of little tests, lots of prodding, some swabbing, and buckets of tears, and a couple of x-rays we were able to determine that McKenna has pneumonia and Anna has some icky virus.  On top of Sam's recently diagnosed double ear infections, it's been quite a week.  This mommy is very tired.  Since changing the words to songs is what we do around here, I'd promote the "three si-ick kids..." version.

Oh--I can't believe I didn't post this last week!  Anna, as we were making dinner on Wednesday, asked me if she could pray to ask Jesus to live in her heart!  Oh, what a sweet, sweet moment!  We sat on the floor in the kitchen and Anna prayed to ask Jesus to live in her heart.  She was beaming, and I was trying to hide my tears.  She caught me, though.  She just wanted to make sure they were happy tears.  Happy doesn't even come close...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Missing the Obvious

So my last post mentioned McKenna missing the obvious--horses can't fly.  It happened again yesterday.  We walked through the church lobby on the way to MDO.  As soon as she stepped into the building she gasped and then said in a high-pitched whispery voice, "Look at the beautiful flowers!"  Across the lobby on a counter sat one small arrangement of flowers.  What did she miss?  Oh, just the 15 foot Christmas tree that was glimmering with gold ornaments and white lights that was only about ten feet to her left.  I have a feeling we'll have our hands full keeping her on track for the next 20 years!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Smitten with mittens

Laura, I'm just smitten with my mittens.  On this COLD day, they are so great!  And I've got to have the cutest gear knitted by the cutest girl of anyone on campus today.  And trust me, I pay more attention to knitted hats now than I ever have--none are as great as my getup today!  Thanks!

My little McKenna just absolutely cracks me up!  Not only is she one of the funniest 3 year olds around, she's got to be one of the funniest PEOPLE around.  Last week she proudly announced in the van, "Mommy!  I figured it out!  I figured out how to count with my eyes closed!"  If only you could have seen her with her eyes squinted shut, counting on her fingers!  This weekend she was watching a "new part" of Fantasia.  (The second half is all new since she has always fallen asleep during the first part.)  She was watching the "horsepeople" fly around, commenting on how pretty the colors were.  Then, as the creatures landed in a lake and began swimming she exclaimed, "I didn't know horses could SWIM!?"  It didn't even occur to her that the more outrageous thing (the thing they really COULDN'T) do, was fly.  We laughed...  And then she referred to herself later as "Max.  Push the button Max.  You know, from the 'Gweat Wace'."  She's comic relief for me every day.  

A few other thoughts...
I'm SO excited about Christmas this year.  And not about the gifts--receiving OR giving them.  Not even about the great food and general spirit of cheer.  It's been particularly refreshing for me to focus on the celebration of Christ's birth.  The simple truth that the Bible is true-it's real-it's living...  The events that are recorded in the Gospels (and the rest of the Bible) happened a long time ago.  But they've never been more real to me.   I am so grateful for the women's Bible study at church for encouraging me to go deeper in my study at home...and coaching me through that.  So as we've studied Daniel there, and marriage in our small group and prayer in Sunday school, it's just all coming together in a new and refreshing way.  It's all related.  You just have to believe what the Bible says about marriage and the events in Daniel and the whole thing if you're going to believe any of it at all.  And when you do, it can be nothing less than transforming.  

Friday, November 23, 2007

What was your Thanksgiving missing?

What an awesome Thanksgiving!  We didn't have to leave home, we saw all of our family (within the last week)--even Chris' family in Alabama!  We had incredible food, played games, watched the Colts win, and enjoyed the season's first snow.  Overall, it was just fabulous.  As I was putting the girls to bed last night we talked about what a great Thanksgiving we'd had and how thankful we are for so many things.  Anna said, "yeah, but we should have had salami."  Salami?  I've never served it and it took until later today to figure out that a little girl in her preschool class brought salami to school last week.  Evidently we had it all...all except salami.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Uh oh...

We started our impromptu trip to Alabama together from IUPUI yesterday afternoon. Chris and the kids picked me up and we headed south. We were not yet even to interstate 65 when McKenna asked, "Are we there yet?" Oh dear. Seriously, we were only about 2 miles into the trip. Our drive was mostly through a torrential downpour. We were so blessed, though, with a safe trip. After arriving at Wendy's house we learned that we had driven right through where a tornado had been. I wouldn't have been surprised if it had been in southern Tennessee at the same time we were. Praise the Lord for our safety and for a productive day today! Hopefully tomorrow we'll get a little farther into our return trip before anyone asks "the question"!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Take a breath....

After yesterday, it's good to stop and take a breath!  The kids and I had church in the morning--Anna had preschool, McKenna and Sam had MDO, and I got to be a substitute teacher in one of the MDO rooms.  After a harried morning (spilled cocoa krispies on the brown hardwood floor on the way out the door qualify as part of a harried morning), it was good to get to church and get started with our activities.  It was after 10am when I had a moment of panic.  It was "Dad's Day" in Anna's class.  All the dads were coming and I just knew that Chris had forgotten.  I had forgotten.  It had been a full week since we'd talked about it.  Panic.  I just couldn't bear to think about how sad Anna would have been if Chris hadn't been there.  THANKFULLY, I was able to get in touch with Chris and since he just works a few minutes away he was able to leave for a little while and be there before the Dad's Day festivities began--at 10:30.  After noon Chris and I began to plan a trip to Alabama to help his folks with some "stuff".  We'll be leaving as soon as I finish my statistics test in a couple hours.  So, then, came the packing and preparing, and all that kind of stuff.  On top of that, because we're leaving today, I had to do the take-home portion of my exam last night (very difficult).  Sleep?  Who needs it!

Samuel is so entertaining right now!  I really like all the development that happens in the first few years.  This, though, has to be one of my favorite stages.  He's saying new words every day.  Yesterday he worked a whole puzzle without getting distracted or throwing any pieces.  Big milestone.  He also told me what the pieces were as he was working it.  Bigger.  I just can't get enough of that little guy!  

Dad was working on the kitchen floor last night, using a pry bar and hammer to remove some of the boards.  Samuel entered the scene and the boy was in heaven!  He'd never looked as happy!  He pointed to dad's hammer and squealed an "ooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh" and then labeled it as a "bam bam".  It only got better for him when he realized there was another "bam bam".  Sam used the pry bar appropriately, had fun with the hammer, and cried when he had to leave the construction site to go to bed.  Oh, to be one.  Chris and I are hoping that my dad can teach Samuel all he knows and that Samuel will be as talented as dad.  Then when Dad's not around to fix and build things, we can call Samuel.  

Monday, November 5, 2007

Have a nice day!

There's a new favorite toy at home.  The cardboard box.  It's big enough for two children to sit inside and it has holes at what becomes eye level for the sitting preschooler inside.  It's the perfect Starbucks drive-through, I've discovered.  The girls have spent the last few days playing Starbucks.  They would make great barristas!  They greet you nicely, ask if they can make you an orange mocha or a peppermint mocha, take your "money" (usually pieces from the Winnie the Pooh memory game), give you change (more memory pieces), grind the coffee beans (they make the same noise as beans grinding), pour your drink, hand it to you with a smile and wave you off saying, "Have a nice day!".  Oh, dear.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Party reflections

The last couple of times I've tried to post pictures, I've encountered errors preventing such displays.  Grrrr.  I wanted to share a couple pictures from the girls' birthday party last night!  They looked so cute in their rhinestone "3" and "4" shirts--thanks, Laura!  They had a good time at "McKenna and Anna's Pumpkin Patch" where each kiddo got to search the back acre for a pumpkin to decorate.  There were some adults who may have questioned the use of permanent marker as means for decoration, but all jackets and children and pants came out unscathed so far as we could tell, Samuel included.  Amazing.  The weather was absolutely perfect for hot dogs over the fire pit and hot chocolate with colored marshmallows (Anna's request).  We all had a good time during this joint birthday party.  Perhaps the girls won't remember that we used Colts plates at their party.  That's one of the drawbacks of being a girl with a fall birthday in the Clark family!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Average day

Things I chuckled at today...

McKenna telling Anna to "Hustle!" when they were washing their hands before dinner...

Anna saying, "I can carry my own ketsup" when I put her in bed after falling asleep on my bed...

Watching Samuel play without making eye contact with me after I told him it was time to get out of the bathtub.  I could just see him thinking, "If I don't make eye contact she'll forget that I'm here and I can just sit here and play in these bubbles forever."

The kids and I actually skipped the state cross country meet today.  We had a huge Saturday breakfast and nice, lazy morning instead. They are quite excited about their birthday party tomorrow afternoon.  They helped me create their pumpkin patch in the back acre this afternoon.  What a fun weekend...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's nice to be wanted

This afternoon Chris and I took the kids to the zoo--we love doing this, particularly on a beautiful fall day!  We took in the Oceans exhibit first, and it was by far my favorite today.  Samuel just loves watching the sharks.  He could do this all day.  Today was a little different, though, because he didn't want to watch them alone.  Every time I left his side to see what the girls were up to, he'd run over to me, say "Mama!" and pull me back over to the shark tank.  He must have done this a half dozen times!  Talk about heart warming...

And we realized that our fearless McKenna does in fact have a fear or two.  As we approached the snake exhibit, McKenna insisted on being carried and then whispered in my ear, "It's going to be dark.  And I don't like snakes."  When I felt her clutching me tighter with every step toward the snakes, I figured she was serious and she and I got to sit that one out.  What a blessing it is to enjoy these moments with my children!  

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Long time coming

McKenna was so excited today to have her first hair cut!  She chattered all morning about sitting in the princess car and watching Dora and getting to be a big girl.  All went according to her plan until she decided to swap Dora for a princess movie.  And oh, did she feel like a princess by the time she was done!  She had two braids, sparkles in her hair, four barrettes, and bubbles in the air!  She showed off her new 'do to Daddy (at work) and was so proud of herself!  

Monday, October 22, 2007


Today we celebrate ANNA'S FOURTH BIRTHDAY!!  We had a fun time yesterday with family, cake, balloons (including the Happy 60th Birthday balloon that I accidently purchased), and gifts.  I am anxious to get home from classes today so that we can enjoy the birthday dinner that Anna has requested--peanut butter and jelly!  Actually, we're going to let McAllister's make her dinner.  The rest of us, I assume, will have something from the regular menu.  I can't believe that it's been four years since I first held Anna to my chest and kissed her sweet head.  It has been exciting and I can't imagine where we'll go from here.  Today's challenge is to focus on the joy of her life and the fun that we've had without being sad that she's outgrowing the same things that I sometimes get anxious for her to outgrow.  Make sense?  At any rate, Happy Birthday, Anna!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Songs and such

Our kids love to sing!  Since my official "Chrismas music season" begins on October 1, it's been lots of carols in the van!  Samuel's favorite is currently "Little Drummer Boy".  I just love to hear him "pum" along!  McKenna is just the cutest thing when she sings "O Come All Ye Faithful".  The funniest thing is when she is singing along and STILL  mixes up the pronouns.  She'll sing, "O come let us adore he..." every time!  Anna just loves the old Psalty Christmas tape.  If it wasn't just about worn out when my sisters and I finished listening to it, it certainly will be by the end of this Christmas season.  (Did you know that you can't download Psalty from Rhapsody?  Evidently there's not much demand.)  Her favorite songs are about wrapping herself up for Christmas (for Jesus) and telling the world that Jesus was born.  She's got the point, that's for sure!   McKenna got her words mixed up on another song today that made me laugh.  (When DOESN'T McKenna make me laugh?)  The lyric said "my God is a great God" but McKenna sings "my God is a great guy".  That He is, little one!

We had an excellent time this morning at the cross country semi-state, having a picnic outside (one advantage of unseasonably warm weather), making a leaf house, and having a family cross country race around the yard.  (Nana won thanks to her crafty course-altering skills.)  Anna insisted on being called "Hannah" while she pretended to be a high school girl in a race.  We all had to yell for her and cheer "go millers!" every time she ran by us.  I got Anna's birthday cake (honey pie pony) made with Carrie's help with the horse's design and the girls' rhinestone birthday shirts are made, thanks to Laura's finess with the iron. 

All this, and my anatomy studying still awaits.  Here I come, sarcomeres!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Anna's doings

Last night Chris got to play with his toys...he installed a new HDTV in our bedroom.  (There are certainly some perks to electronics retail!)  The girls were also quite excited this afternoon.  They watched Strawberry Shortcake and without me saying anything about what kind of TV it was, Anna exclaimed, "This TV has bright colors!  I like it!"  

The birthday countdown is in full gear.  For months Anna has been wondering how many birthdays (of family members) will be celebrated before hers.  She has known for a couple weeks that it's been three more birthdays until hers.  Two happen this week and one next week.  She's just beside herself!  And it was so encouraging to Chris and I this week when she told us WHY she's excited about turning 4.  She told us that she just can't wait to have a birthday cake and balloons and seeing her friends.  She never mentioned presents.  We know that she has a memory like a steel trap so it's not that she doesn't associate gifts with birthdays.  We're just glad that in her mind, that's not the important part.

Now, for Anna's contribution to the post...

cgyk2t4gl bigggcbn  cvhryyieqzfu  ANNA

And McKenna, too...


Friday, October 5, 2007

New Name

McKenna must have princess-on-the-brain today.  I just asked her to do something and she replied, "Yes, your highness."  Oh, my. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


One of the joys of being a mom is taking care of sick little ones.  Anna had a really rough night last night--she must have gotten the bug that has been making the rounds with our friends from church.  It's no so great to walk into a dark room and be overcome by the smell of vomit.  It is, however, absolutely wonderful to be called upon to help.  Anna and I spent nearly all night snuggling, rubbing her back, chatting about how God has the power to heal our bodies, and watching movies.  Mary Poppins at 4:30 with a sickly little girl is a lot more fun than you'd think.  As strange as it may sound, I am so thankful to have had the chance to have that special time with Anna.  I'm also very thankful that her little body seems to be just fine now.  I am very aware right now that health is something not to be taken for granted.  

Another joy of being a mom is hearing, "Mommy, I wuv you" from a very "wigglish" (her word) McKenna.  She is just the sweetest thing.  Her squeaky little voice and angel face are enough to make me smile all day!

And Samuel...he loves his routine.  He loves to go to bed at night, but not without his snuggle time.  He lays his head on my shoulder and I can just feel his little body relax completely.  A year ago night time was still stressful with him.  He went to bed easily, but staying asleep was an entirely different matter.  Now, his bedtime routine is a joy for me--I look forward to it every day.  The great thing is that he seems to look forward to it as well.

Chris.  What a guy!  He's so excited to spend an entire day with all three kids every week while I'm in class.  He absolutely loves it.  He smiles when he talks about how not every dad gets this opportunity.  I smile because not every daddy would want this opportunity.  Even today, when Anna was puny, Chris was up early (!) to take care of her and get a jump on his favorite day of the week.  THAT is a joy as well.  

I am so blessed...

Monday, September 24, 2007

No. What it is?

"Guess what, girls?!  We're going to the circus tomorrow morning!"

(much squealing, bouncing, and giddy laughter...then a pause)  

"Do you know what the circus is?"  

(dual response--No.  What is it?)  

Oh, how we laughed!  Anna blurted out that there would be jugglers and McKenna squealed again about seeing the "math circus".  (Thanks, leapfrog toys!)

All in all we had a great time, and I think I enjoyed the show just as much as the kids did.  There was an act that really had me feeling like I might vomit.  Seriously.  The Super Silvan had me clutching my gut.  No one should be allowed to "walk upside down on the ceiling" like that.  I don't care if there IS a mat on the ground.  It just isn't right.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Good day

ROLL TIDE!!  We're loving Alabama football...and loving the record this year, too!  What fun it was to see a fourth quarter come back tonight against Arkansas!  Chris' enthusiasm is so great!

The kids and I took in another cross country meet this morning, although McKenna wasn't sure she wanted to go.  After all, "we just did that a couple whiles ago."  That and a trip to Gatewood's Vegetable Farm to get some cider, two kinds of apples, some blueberry butter (ummmm...) and little pumpkins took up our morning.  The weather was beautiful and I was reminded over and over again today how great it is to have different seasons and the joy that can come with changes...even if we're leaving something we love.  God is so good, isn't He?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

bonus points

So, I've developed a better relationship with my anatomy professor (you remember, Jack Bauer's secret brother) since squeaking into his class earlier this month.  He and my lab partner and I were chatting at the end of the lab and I told him what my first impression was of him, based solely on summer mass emails.  I told him that I thought he would be like Jack Bauer and he beamed!  I wish he had been serious when he said that comments like that would earn me six extra credit points!  He said that he's hoping to take off a semester or so from teaching so that he can write, and then just teach for fun.  He's working with Stephen King on some project...  He then went off on a tangent about how Jack does things right.  He also asked for a volunteer today so that he could demonstrate a "classic fatal blow to the skull".  I did not volunteer.  

As fun as his class is (even though there's no coffee allowed in the lab), it's sad to see how lost he is.  He boldly proclaims with delight that he follows no western religions.  He's done a lot of things, and apparently done them well.  It's just that the one thing that matters--his heart--isn't in the right place.  There are more people in my life now than have been in a few years that just need to know the saving power of God's grace.  A life without Christ is just so empty and I'm reminded of that more often lately.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

cheerleader and coach

I took the kiddos to a cross country meet this evening...always a favorite activity this time of year!  They all just love the open space to run around, but McKenna took it to a new level this evening.  Toward the end of the meet she was yelling to every runner who passed by.  Dad and I heard her yelling, "Keep it up!  Go number 2 (her bib number was actually 229...McKenna just abbreviated it) Don't look down!  You can get her!  Go, Millers!  Let's go, Noblesville!  You can do it!  Go faster!"  The girls from Noblesville had all gone by so there were no more Millers to cheer for, but that didn't stop McKenna.  She yelled, "Go, Millers!" to the next runner.  The gal made eye contact with her and Anna and smiled.  Dad and I told her that the girl in purple was from Greencastle.  The next runner, about fifty meters behind, was also from Greencastle.  Little McKenna didn't skip a beat.  "Let's go, Greencastle!" she yelled when the girl passed us. I think that Sam's favorite part of the meet was the fact that helicopters kept flying overhead.  

Monday, September 10, 2007

study break

Today I feel smart.  I hope it lasts through next week when I have my first exam in each class.  I'm a little surprised that my stats class has a "review" day before each exam.  Do they really do that at the college level?  


Friday, September 7, 2007

Anna knows

Did you know that (brother-in-law) Tim performed at last night's NFL kick off concert?  Anna knew.  Oh, wait, that was John Mellenkamp.  (Anna thought ol' John looked a like her Uncle Tim--worth a few laughs...)

Anna started preschool this week.  So far the report is that she's part of the "social" group of kids who know each other from Mother's Day Out last year...but she seems to love her class and teachers!  I suppose one of the goals will be for her to recognize that there is a time for everything, including when to "shhhh".

Dad got the "laugh of the day" award at dinner tonight.  He donated the old powder blue pet taxi to the animal shelter today.  Come to find out they moved their location. Evidently he hadn't been there since he, well, left our big Tilly at the senior citizen center next door 10 years ago.  After finding the right location, he went it to make the drop.  The receptionist asked the lady in front of him, "Are you here to pick up Tilly?"  We laughed until we were out of breath tonight.  This will probably only be funny to my sisters.  Sorry, everyone else!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

She said it...

Thanks, Laura for my current post!  You can read about some of the funny things that our kids have done lately on her livejournal.

Classes are going well for me, but the best thing about them right now is how much fun Chris and the kids are having together all day on Wednesdays!  He's totally turned into Mr. Mom one day a week--cooking (without the grill), cleaning (multiple rooms), bathing the kids (ALL of them), teaching McKenna to ride her bike (in a STRAIGHT LINE!  If you know McKenna, this is amazing!), picking out clothes, playing (or maybe just watching) with the kids as they all pretend to be cats, the list goes on!  I am SO THANKFUL for him being able to spend one day a week with them in this way!  

I got to go to my first parent meeting for Anna's preschool last night.  Preschool isn't "old" per se, but I'm really grappling with the fact that time moves so quickly and that she's old enough to be in this environment.  I know she'll love it and she's thrilled that some of her friends from Mother's Day Out last year will be in her class again this year.  The kids all start next week--Anna in her 3's preschool class and McKenna and Sam in MDO.  What a blessing these programs have been to our family in the past few years!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Comments from here to there

Today is my first day back in class.  It should be fun because I think Jack Bauer's twin brother (didn't know he had one?) is teaching my anatomy class.  That should be fun.  And who doesn't like an academic pat on the back?  During our first anatomy lab, Mr. Bauer (not his real name, but it sounds better than Yard) observed my work with the microscope and commented that I must have done this before.  Yeah.  About 14 years ago.  It made me feel good, though!  Statistics shouldn't be too bad, either.   Mr. Stat has been a professor of statistics and working with schizophrenic treatments since 1977.  I could tell. :)

Samuel shared his coveted raisins with me today, but only because I left the house with them before he woke up.

Anna told me last night, "I wish for a pink house...with stars and twinkles."  When I told her that her dad probably wouldn't ever let us live in a pink house with stars and twinkles she added that "it could be blue and yellow, too."

Samuel is now the third of three children to be so excited every time we pass the yard where Hamilton Southeastern Schools stores their buses.  "BUS!  BUS!  BUS!"  I love seeing him get so excited about things!

A great thing about the first day of cookies!  The great thing about the free for free coffee!  

What a glorious day...I've enjoyed it from the science building of all places.  I feel very Carrie or Lauraish.  Props to you guys for spending SO MUCH time in buildings like this!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We're so accomplished!

Tonight's main accomplishment for the kids, though not the spoken goal of the evening, was that we created the summer's dirtiest bath water!  All three kiddos had a spectacular time outside after dinner playing in the slip-and-slide (using the real slide to get a better slip-and-slide experience) and just getting dirty with the rest of the toys.  

MY biggest accomplishment of the day was keeping Anna, McKenna, and their friend Edwin (the one from the fair) safe while playing at church this morning.  I looked over to see the three of them standing on the roof on the little play house getting ready to jump.  It is by the grace of God that I got there before they took off.  Their explanation?  "We were playing Peter Pan."  Duh.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Caffine headache?

Today McKenna got to be the mommy and Anna was the baby with a tummy ache.  Anna was curled up in a sleeping bag while McKenna sang sweet songs to her, rubbed her forehead, and got "milk" for her in a bottle.  The empty bottle kept getting refilled with "milk."  McKenna would run out of the family room, rummage around somewhere else, and return with the immaginary milk.  I followed her on one of her many trips for a refill.  She was getting the "baby's milk" from her pretend coffee pot.  Does this mean that I drink too much coffee?  

Today was a day I am glad to see end.  I was quite irritable and the kids were tired from the minute they got up this morning.  I am so thankful that God gives me a break every night--not a long one, but a year ago I didn't even get to sleep more than a couple hours at a time!  What a difference!  

Anna was trying to get Chris' attention last night and couldn't be heard above the chatter in the room.  She finally yelled, "Clark!  Mr. Clark!"  to catch his attention.  I guess she caught on that she's not supposed to call him "Chris" she didn't.  But she made us laugh!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We are exhausted!  We spent the better part of the day at the Indiana State Fair.  Ahh, you've got to love the fair!  We got to see Hoss, the 993 lb pig (that Anna thought weighed 26 lbs when she recounted the story to Nana and Pops), 10 piglets (Anna's favorite thing at the fair), Edwin (a friend of the girls' from church...McKenna's favorite thing at the fair), and the girls each won an animal on the midway.  

I have to say that going to the midway at the fair is a good example of how a person changes after marriage.  I never liked the midway when I was growing up.  I thought it was just too loud and bright and un-fair like.  I liked good rides, mind you.  A trip to a good, legitimate theme park was a summer perk every year.  The midway at the fair?  Just too dangerous.  Chris came along and after a couple years of convincing, he got me to take my children through that part of the fair without (me) causing a scene.  They even rode the carousel.  How's that for living on the wild side?

Our little family of five (plus Rebekah) had a great day.  We came home sweaty, dirty, and smelling like the cattle barn.  Just like you should after going to the fair.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Today's search for a new-to-us movie went like this...  We went to the library to return our books--on time!--and see what they had available for checkout.  We returned all of our items and found a couple of movies and lots of books to keep us entertained.  While we were browsing I realized that I'd forgotten to turn the ringer off on my phone.  Everyone got to hear the IU fight song while I scrambled to turn it off.  I was so flustered that I didn't answer the phone.  I steered the kids to the checkout where I promised them that they could watch the new Clifford movie after lunch.  Mind you, it's already way past when they normally eat lunch.  Come to find out, I'd been "banned" from the library.  Seriously!  I found out that while I was in the library, one of the library staff was calling me to let me know that I'd returned a DVD case without its DVD.  So, we can't check out anything until I return the Angelina and the Rose Fairy Princess DVD which was at home in the player.  Grrrr.  So I take three very hungry and (2 at least) very disappointed children out to the hot van without their newly found treasures.  We go home and eat, get the DVD, and head back to the library.  They removed my banned status and we take our goodies home.  After much-needed naps, I finally put in the Clifford movie.  As I'm putting it in I realize that somehow, I picked up the Spanish version of the movie.  Great.  My kids can count to 10 in Spanish and say "no", but that's it.  They say they'll watch it anyway.  Where was Chris when I needed him?  (Working.)  I couldn't get the silly VCR to play the Spanish Clifford movie.  Could the disappointment get any more prolonged?  I guess it was kind of like this post...long and pretty disappointing!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I like cats.  I think they do funny things.  What's more entertaining, though, than a good cat is a cart full of children acting like cats.  Yes, I took all of my "cats" to Office Depot this evening and they meowed all through the store.  All of them.  The whole time we were there.  Anna and McKenna were very well-behaved cats.  Samuel sounded like a sick cat.  He hasn't quite perfected his "meow".

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Biker kids

I've been kindly reminded that it's been a week since my last post.  I can hardly remember what I was doing a week ago!  I suppose I've been entertained by my kids, mainly.  Anna has learned to ride her bicycle (with training wheels)--she just took off the first time she got on!  The bike was supposed to be for her birthday but she found it in the barn Friday night.  Oops.  So then we got out McKenna's bike for the first time as well.  She's still working on the concept of peddling and looking in front of her.  We'll tackle steering later.  It's really fun (and funny) to watch the two of them on their new wheels.  It's a blur of pink and purple and bells and horns and streamers and baskets complete with stuffed animals.  The feminine blur gets a nice dash of masculinity when Samuel speeds through on his red and yellow tricycle.  I think he seriously must clock one of the fastest speeds for a 19 month old on wheels!  He moves those little feet just as fast as anything!

The kids all enjoyed seeing their Aunts Carrie, Laura, and Rebekah this weekend and we got to take Carrie and Laura to the zoo.  The lions roaring at the passing airplane was kind of fun and watching the dolphin show from under the water was fun.  Samuel?  He liked the ducks.

Back to the bikers...while we were driving this week Anna saw a couple of guys with sleeveless shirts, several tatoos, and bandanas riding down the road on some very large and noisy motorcycles.  She was so excited to see "PIRATES!"  Seeing the world through a 3-year old's paradigm is always interesting!

I'm getting geared up for a new semester of classes (anatomy and statistics) starting next week. The biggest obstacle will not be the classes themselves, but getting to them.  I'm still working on this whole manual transmission thing.   Needless to say, it's about the most frustrating thing I've ever done in my life.  It was way easier to share a bathroom with three sisters growing up.

Good night...

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Love those words

Tonight Sam was on a mission to give hugs before going to bed.  He hugged Nana and Pops and completely passed me by.  It was OK, I was just enjoying watching him love on people who love him so much.  He headed back to Chris to be escorted to his room when he did an about face and ran to me with arms open.  (Ah, loving this to me, little guy!)  When he was about two (of his) strides away from me he said "wuv ooh" before completing the hug!  My heart just swells to hear those words from my son for the first time.  I hope I never live long enough to forget that moment.

On a lighter note, McKenna was s-l-o-w-l-y eating her quesa"deeta" tonight.  I gave her an empty bowl to be used for dessert to hopefully serve as a reminder as to why she was given the dreaded task of eating at a normal pace.  When she had finished her dinner I asked her where her bowl was.  She had the most puzzled look on her face.   I could just hear her thoughts.  "It was just here.  Where DID it go?  I'm sure she gave it to me.  It was pink.  Really.  Where is it?"  All the while she was thinking this, she was holding the bowl on her head like a little pink cap.  The moment of recognition was priceless.  Only our McKenna can do these thing day after day and keep us laughing!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Joke of the Day

(Chris):  Knock knock.
(Anna):  Who is it?
(C):  Who's there?
(A):  Oh.  Who's there?
(C):  Arthur.
(A):  Who is Arfur?
(C):  ArTHur.
(A):  Oh. Arfur.
(C):  (Laughs) Arthur any more jokes?
(A):  I don't think so.  Is that right? (Smiles because she "got" the joke.)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Kitchen update

As you can see, the cabinets have been sanded, painted, and sealed.  The new stove us hiding under the brown blanket.  You can barely see one of the new knobs (top left corner of picture).  The rest have been ordered.  The old clock has been affectionately rehung.  I keep telling mom and dad they can't get rid of it.  I think Anna should take it to college with her.  Her roommate will never have seen anything like it!   The best part of this picture is the fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies in front of the mixer.  If you squint just enough you might be able to taste them!  (I don't know why everything here is underlined.  Let's chalk it up to me being my dad's daughter.)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What do you do with your chicken?

Well, Samuel's chicken is a car.  Tonight his God-given boyhood was shining bright.  We were eating a peaceful dinner (really!) when all of a sudden we heard the revving of an engine.  All heads turned toward Samuel who was converting a bite of chicken into a race car.  A moment later that race car took off, charging around the striped rim of his plate.  We all laughed, but secretly I was glad that the car stayed "in its lane".

My mom is reorganizing the cedar chest tonight.  There are so many beautiful heirloom pieces in there.  Somehow, though, my 4-H sewing projects ended up in there, too.  Seriously.  Peach plaid koolots with an elastic waist.  Wow.  That's a style that I'm glad isn't gracing the stores now.  Or maybe it is.  If that's the case, I've got a nice pair here I'd be willing to sell...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Just a plain ol' day

Well, today we took the kids to Target to get their portraits taken.  All went well considering we had to have a 1, 2, and 3 year old wait an HOUR (they were way behind) before they could sit for pictures.  They managed not to lose their smiles and to keep their clothes relatively clean.  Wow.  After the big photo session we headed to Chic-fil-A where I ran into my 5th grade teacher.  I hope I age as well as she has.  She doesn't look a day older than she did when I was in trouble for talking too much and staring at her from my desk--right next to hers.  The kitchen project is coming along.  Today was pretty productive.  The entry way is done, the cabinets are being primed, and the walls in the hallway, dining room, and kitchen are painted.  The only hang up is that the "light" color seems to be the same color as the "dark" color that we painted on one wall last week.  We are thinking that the paint was given to us in the wrong amounts and labeled incorrectly.  Wouldn't it be great if that was the biggest problem we run into?  

Sunday, July 22, 2007


We talk a lot about consequences around here.  Today I began dealing with a consequence of my own.  In order to work out care for the kids/church and small group schedules/work schedules for Chris and me and still be able to take a couple of classes this fall I have to learn to drive a stick.  The consequence for not learning this when I learned to drive is that now I have to learn when my brain is not firing at high speed (after the kids go to bed).  Fortunately, after only one lesson (sorry, Jenny, I can't really count the mini-lesson 6 years ago in the micro-parking lot somewhere between Plumtree and Newland since I never got out of 1st gear) I'm doing well!  

Four days into the county 4-H fair and we've been four times.  The kids, needless to say, are in hog heaven.  Ha!

Samuel has started putting 2 words together in the last couple of days and I'm thinking the kids' first pet should be a llama (or really, a pack of them).  That's what's new here...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cabin decor for the new kitchen?

The kitchen is under construction and I really need to figure out how to rotate the photos in here.  At any rate, these are for you, Laura!

Today's laugh came from Anna.  She has decided that pink pigs are girls and black ones are boys.  We've tried to tell her that the color of the pig doesn't determine if it's a girl or a boy.  She's set in her ways, however.  Taking that into consideration, imagine the look on her face when she saw a pig at the fair tonight that was black AND pink!  We also learned tonight that Samuel doesn't like all.  

Anna and McKenna insisted on visiting the elk one last time before going to the van to head home.  They were quite impressed with the large male (live) and baby elk.  They were curious about the elk head that was mounted and displayed for sale.  I allowed them to touch the fur, but that little McKenna is quick!  Before I could even open my mouth or reach out to stop her, she was hanging from the stuffed elk's antlers!  Needless to say, the gentleman who owned the elk was watching like a hawk and yelled (or hollered, since we were at the 4-H fair) at us not to touch.  I understand his concern and perhaps should have been more concerned.  I suppose there's the standard "you break it you buy it" policy.  How on earth would I have explained to Chris that we needed to pay for a $3000 damaged elk head.  I don't think the "but we'll get to take it home with us" argument would have done much good!  Thankfully McKenna didn't weigh enough to do any damage!  When we go back tomorrow I think we'll stick with looking at pillows and quilts.  Those would be harder to snap if you hang from them!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Up for discussion?

Today's material comes to you courtesy of my fantastic sister and brother-in-law!  Cheers to you both!  Tim and Rebekah were visiting for dinner after a long day of shopping (girls in the family) and picking up Tim's new-to-him car (Tim and my dad).  Since mom and dad went blueberry-crazy last weekend, purchasing FORTY POUNDS of blueberries, Tim and Rebekah were the lucky recipients of a hefty ten pounds of berries tonight.  Somehow this caught Tim by surprise as he commented, "Maybe that should have been up for discussion".  (Mind you, this anecdote is completely humorous and not at all critical!)  Maybe there's humor missing if you weren't at our dinner table, but it strikes me as funny that TIM made this comment about BLUEBERRIES and that it wasn't REBEKAH making the comment about a very cute (sorry, Tim), very fast, very Tim-ish CAR.

Mom, Rebekah, Anna and I all went on an outlet excursion today.  Anna was such a trooper!  I think the stop at Starbucks on the way helped all of us.  Anna was treated to her first Starbucks beverage--a tall (smallest size offered for a creme) strawberries and creme.  She was SO EXCITED about this yummy drink.  She changed her tune slightly and slowed down consumption after experiencing her first "brain freeze" about a mile down the road!   

Monday, July 16, 2007

One of those things

I said it today.  One of those things I never thought (as a child) that I would say.  

Stop blowing bubbles in your milk.

I guess it's a little surprising that it took this long to have to say it.  It could have happened a year ago.  But I got the double whammy--I got to say it for the first time to two kids at once!  Anna and McKenna were both quite impressed that McKenna accidently discovered this grand trick.  Then there was a period of silence where I suppose they were pondering how many opportunities they have missed when they used straws and didn't blow bubbles in the milk.  

Anna told me today that she didn't want to get old because she didn't want "old hair".  She kept touching her head saying, "it's curly, it's... it's old, it's..., it''s like the Tea Room."  My mom took her to the Tea Room last week and according to mom, she and Anna were the only people there under age 70.  Anna remembered their hair.  

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Today is a two-fer (as in two-fer-the-price-of-one), not to be confused with 'Topher (as in my husband).  

Some favorite things:

A good book, especially when read with a good cup of coffee

An honest friend

The rise and fall of a sleeping baby's (or toddler's or preschooler's) chest

Clean, crisp sheets 

Fresh-squeezed orange juice

Watching vibrantly colored leaves fall in autumn

A completed project

A hug from one of my children, even if they have sticky fingers


Wiggling my toes in the sand right after a wave laps over my feet

Waking up and realizing that the house is quiet and I get to fall back asleep

A handwritten note from someone I love

Fresh, fragrant flowers

The state cross country meet

Sky the color of a robin's egg, dotted with puffy white clouds

Looking at old family pictures

Making new family pictures that will one day become old treasures

Board games

Baby fingers and toes

Dirty bath water indicating the kids had fun outside


A warm fire

A good football or basketball game, especially if "my" team wins

Aw, rats!

OK, sorry about the flipped image.  Rookie mistake.  But is there anything better than watermelon that is bigger than your head?  

Tonight Anna ditched her baby doll at bed time in favor of some of her "small animals" (beanie babies).  The first one she chose was a rat.  A rat!  A rat?  Seriously.  A rat.  Why would any three year old girl choose to sleep with a stuffed rat?  Perhaps the bigger question is why would any mother provide her daughter the option of sleeping with a rat?

We had quite the productive day today.  The kids all had fun eating popsicles and then helping Chris and I clean up the yard a little bit.  We trimmed the trees with monster-size clippers which must have been quite a sight.  Since most of that work was over my head, literally, Chris had a good laugh while I muscled some dead limbs down.  Well, muscled is perhaps a little bit of an exaggeration.  Really, I got the clippers stuck in the branches and was able to hang from them.  I think my body weight helped more than my muscles themselves.  Of course once we got started on this project, there was no stopping us!  We fired up the chain saw and tackled a fallen tree that was hanging into the yard.  We filled up the trailer with debris (yes, FILLED) but then couldn't take it to the brush pile in the back because it wasn't attached to the van, we didn't have a van key, and all our friends with trucks were busy.  It was quite fun to watch Chris with the chain saw.  It took me back to the ol' camp days when I got to watch him moving rocks (big ones) from the pasture to the trailer.  You'll note that I was just watching that day.  Today I actually did some work. 

Update:  Anna was thrilled to find a dead locust in pristine condition in the yard last night.  It's still in the bug box right next to the front door so than any and all visitors can share in her joy.  What a kid!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Best 180

So the best 180 degree turn I've seen lately is this:

My mom bought Anna a "bug box" to use when catching lightning bugs (which we've still yet to do).  Anna...our little one has for months been TERRIFIED of any sort of creepy crawly critter.  Somehow, this $1.00 bug box has changed her perspective.  She's now SEEKING all sorts of creepy crawly critters!  She's so excited now to see and capture a spider or June bug or worm. Who knew?

Sunday, July 8, 2007

I wonder...

Chris is watching Friends (season 6).  It gets me thinking...not that I would change anything about my family, but I wonder what it would be like to be able to just hang out at the local coffee house at all hours of the day and night.  As funny as the show is, it's nothing compared to the funny things that happen around here every day!

Speaking of Chris, I should have the record state that he has an amazing ability.  His "human sundial" is incredibly accurate.  Every time.  How does he do that?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Jury is Out

Who is more tired after such a fun day, the kiddos or the parents?  Cleaning the toy closet, feeding the cousins' cat, grocery shopping with the entire family, taking in the local parade, hot dogs on the porch, s'mores over the fire pit, duck-duck-goose, and fireworks WAY after bedtime.  Who is more tired?  Doesn't matter.  It was worth it.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Observations from the swing

A couple of observations I made today while I was on the porch swing and the kids played in the yard...

It's really funny to watch two people play "Duck Duck Goose."  The premise of the game changes a little. :)

Samuel really wanted to swim.  He drug the hose across the yard, put it in the giraffe pool, climbed in and sat down.  Very funny.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Another Saturday adventure

Today's adventure included the challenge of finding two adjacent empty parking spaces in the parking lot at the zoo.  Not such a challenge, you say?  Arrr (pirate speak), that's where you're wrong, matey!  The sign said "LOT FULL".  And it was...but for the two empty adjacent parking spaces in the second row from the entrance.  Chris has this amazing ability to be right about crazy things like this.  (He's also incredibly accurate at predicting weather, knowing who will win a football game, and other things of the like.)  So, you can imagine, that the zoo was quite crowded.  Uncle Tim and Aunt Re-Rebekah were quite the troopers since they spent the better part of the afternoon with us.  They even got to ride the train (red, to McKenna's delight!) and see a real live armadillo.  It wouldn't be much of a zoo if it were dead.  I guess that would me more like a museum.  Maybe next weekend we'll do a museum...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


OK, so maybe I'm not totally speechless!  I'm just somewhere between shock and awe!  Remember that great family I mentioned?  They've struck again!  Carrie and Jordan and Laura got Chris and I a mega-combined-multi-year-birthday-Christmas-anniversary gift.  They got us a cute little mac (I'm using it on my bed right now!) that they juiced up with all the things that we'll appreciate most.  I don't know how long they must have spent putting ALL of our family photos from the last 3+ years (and removing any lingering red eye)!  How great is that?  I'm so excited for so many reasons--the least of which is that my Sundays will now have an extra block of free time when I don't spend so much time perusing the Best Buy and Circuit City circulars!  So, to Carrie, Laura, and Jordan...THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!  Gifts don't make you great, but what a great gift!  And Jordan, thanks for the run-through!  Stand by the phone for more questions! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Not Alone

When days are long (time seems to be creeping by today), hearts are heavy, and strength doesn't seem to meet demands, it's encouraging to know that I'm not in this alone. I have so many resources! First, the God who created this world LOVES ME--has redeemed me--calls me by name--desires relationship with me! Second, I have a family that is out of this world! Chris and I just celebrated our 7th anniversary last weekend (ummm, steaks!), my three beautiful kiddos are just as energizing as they are draining, and my parents, sisters, and rest of the family are top notch, too! Third, the folks that I call friends are in contention for being nominated "best. friends. ever." I am so thankful for all of these. . .

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Elmo, Swings, and Raindrops

What a day we had today! EVERYONE SLEPT UNTIL AFTER 9:00AM! This hasn't happened since the pre-pregnancy days! We were well rested, then, when we took off on the day's adventure downtown to a PBS sponsored kids event. We saw Elmo and Grover, the girls played with much joy in a bouncey house (while the little buddy made it quite clear that he did not like observing the fun from his seat in the stroller), and went down the 15-20 foot "Tide Slide". Chris and I got a real kick out of seeing the girls tumble down the "suds" side of the slide! This whole event was particularly fun for me because I just ENJOYED it--I left the cameras in the van and stored the whole thing on my sometimes faulty memory card of my mind! We met my dad at church to unlock a door for his delivery and the girls got in some extra fun time on the church playground. McKenna is absolutely fearless. She once again had to be rescued from the top of the spider web before being coaxed to the swings for some safer fun! After "helping" Pops, we loaded up and finally made it back home. After dinner we did something that we should really do more often. Rain had settled into the area, and we let all three kiddos play outside in the rain. We played tag, Ring Around the Rosey, and splashed in puddles. There just isn't anything as fun as being in a warm summer rain with precious little ones! They were worn out...but it was so worth it!

Reminders to self...

...It's easy and refreshing to catch up with old friends.
...Love isn't easy, but it's more than worth the effort.
...Watching a child play with a ball or catch bubbles is relaxing.
...Finding a new route to an old destination is more fun than taking the interstate.
...Seeing my children run to daddy makes joy swell within me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Here Goes Nothing

This is just what I need. Another "something" to occupy my time, the limited time between the house falls silent and I finally slide between the sheets. I can see that my journals and scrapbooking will fall further behind. I'll read even less than I currently want to. But I might just be a little more organized, if just in my mind. goes nothing!