Monday, July 28, 2014

Freedom of Speech - Only if Applicable

 Our society tip-toes around race, nationalities, sports team names, job titles, sexual orientation, and gender all in the name of acceptance, correctness, and tolerance. 
 There's very little out there that doesn't offend someone in someway somehow.
 And so we raise fists and poster board signs to protest our rights in order to silence the offenders and political correctness wins.
 A list grows of conversation topics we avoid, waters we don't tread, taboo subjects it's best to ignore.
 So maybe it's because the off-limit topics are tipping the scale and not leaving much left other than the weather to talk about; but then again, maybe cold fronts really ruffle feathers in some circles?
But the people holding their tongues have been circling, looking elsewhere to land. And any Mom out with her, more-than-1.2 average-children-per-household, kids in tow is a comfortable, activist-free, comment open season. 
 And believe me I've heard it. I've heard, "Don't you know what causes it?...Have you figured out how to stop it?...I bet your life is just crazy all the time!...I could never do that; I'd go insane!...Are they all yours?...When are you going to stop?..."
 I've heard, "Don't you just love bedtime?...I bet you can't wait until the leave for college...You have your hands full!...Good grief that's a lot of boys!...You must live for girl's nights...You know there's ways to stop this problem..." Yeah, I heard that, all of these...
 ...And so did my boys. The comments flying to my ears are passing those of my little boys. They're processing the information, the negativity, the freedom of speech to question the freedom of domestic tranquility.
 And so those same little ears are never left wondering, confused, or disappointed. They immediately hear their Mommy praise their beings, correct the naysayers, and publicly declare my passion and joy in mommy-hood, in their boy-ness, in their activity level, and in them.
 I don't know why it's ok to stop a mom and openly comment about the number of children in line behind her or make assumptions about her psychological state, but since I'm not about to raise arms or poster board signs over someone's ignorance about that matter...
...I make it my mission to build up the confidence and back bones of my men-in-training who will only become more aware of how odd a larger conservative family is. And I'll ensure the last thing my boys hear in response to any verbal jab is the evidence of blessing and value they hold in this family.
So free speech lovers, bring it on. I embrace it, just like I do these crazy, muddy, sticky, silly boys...and yes, they're all mine.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The "Summer-Killer" Plague

I used to roll my eyes at "tummy bugs".
Innocent little viruses that come and leave within hours, and rarely effected our household...if ever.
At most you eat a few saltines, sip some ginger ail, and get to watch some extra tv. Over and done.
But then the "Summer-Killer" plague of '14 rolled through.
This was no ordinary "tummy bug". It didn't just involve a change of sheets, an extra load of laundry, or even a toilet scrubbing.
This involved knocking you clear off your feet, leaving you suffering with whiplash, vertigo, and amnesia; only sorta kidding.
The plague didn't just affect tummy, it made sure it toured every part of your being from scalp to toes while distributing parting gifts of fever and chills.
And it made sure you could not leave a horizontal position...ever. It wore out its welcome with almost a weeks worth of immune system stomping dance parties.
I've had debilitating migraines since childhood, been through natural unmedicated childbirth three times, had stitches, surgeries, car accidents, and sports injuries and nothing, I repeat, nothing, compared to the "Summer Killer".
Beware people, it's out there, it's nasty...run. 
But now that our summer had to take a little pause while we did those loads of laundry, sheet changes, and bathroom cleanings, it's time to jump back in full swing...

Hiking, splash parks, popsicles, lightening bugs, knee scrapes, baseball, playgrounds, slip 'n slides, watermelon, bare feet, wave jumping, bug catching, mud splashing, sprinkler soaking...here we come!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Where In The World Are The Clarks?

I'm not going to pretend my blogging appearance has been a tad spotty as of late.
I could come up with a ton of reasons why and to the diehard blogger they would sound like pretty lame excuses.
Like, I haven't had time to blog because we loaded three kids, a weeks worth of clothes,and a year's worth of "missing" into the back of our car and headed over 600 miles to middle America.
I haven't had time to blog because we went to baseball games and ate hot dogs, spilled mustard, lost favorite water bottles, and totally nailed a pitch perfect rendition of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch.
I haven't had time because we had crazy parental judgment lapses and let three preschoolers "run the bases" with hoards of older kids after the game resulting in a rogue three year old skipping the bases and going straight for the pitchers mound...
...and a 4 and 5 year old slightly panicked at not seeing their parents anywhere among the throng of other moms and dads waiting for the some 200 kids exiting the field. But bases, and pitching mounds, were run.
I haven't had time because we literally didn't stop soaking up every minute with cherished friends. We ate when we found time, slept where we dropped, and partied late into the night with babies and Redbox.
I didn't have time because we spent the evening in a boys' backyard wonderland where friends set up every spraying, splashing, mud-making, water drenching apparatus known to make a kid shriek with summertime glee.
I didn't have time because we were getting daily doses of Vitamin D, picnic lunches, splash parks, and Sonic Happy Hours, yes that's plural.
We didn't have time because we were busy celebrating our J-Man's third birthday right down the road from where we first gathered him into our arms. His perfect day started off with original glazed, lead to our favorite library train dream land...
...continued to "The Chip Place", a few hours at a favorite park, and a very needed afternoon nap, which are quickly becoming more extinct and I am in no hurry to see those dissapear; remember the whole "lack of time" thing?
I didn't have time because "three" came quick, too quick. Jefferson just turned into a little man and instead of blogging about it, I lived it with him.
I didn't have time because of swimming...enough said. Oh, and sunscreen application, water wing inflating, water up nose choking, and fearless pool side jumping.
I didn't have time because there were gardens to be explored, fish to be hand caught (attempted, and thwarted), snacks to be devoured, boys to be chased, elevator buttons to be smashed, arguments to be quelled, and jokes to be made.
I didn't blog because there were things to blow up, fuses to ignite, fire to play with, and explosions to make.
There was no time to blog because there was a birthday party to throw, for five little boys who ache to be with each other on their special days. Since miles and time hinder wishes, we made it come true in a surprise birthday party for them all with cupcakes, and presents, and candles and sheer joy.
I didn't have time because there were bouncy houses with slides and three year olds frozen in fear at the top. I threw off my sandals and climbed to the top to show my little man the bravery he really had to come down.
Time to blog was lost to glow sticks, and picnics in a field, concerts and sparklers. Time was filled with fireworks and little boy shrieks, little faces momentarily illuminated in white and gold as America was celebrated late into the night.
Time was filled with falling asleep watching movies, devouring entire bags of kettle corn, grocery shopping, lost toy hunting, three loads of dishes a day, dozens of loads of laundry, little boys whispering into the night, praying together, hugs and tears, laughter, and memories to last until the next time.
Excuses for not blogging? Maybe, but time was not to be found because my time was wrapped up in real life and the fleeting days of memories waiting to be opened and cherished. And right now I hear little boys engaged in a mighty green army men battle, so my time here today is done as I head to the war front :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

J-Man Hits Three!

My precious Jeff-Baby, I kissed you goodnight as a two year old baby and you awoke in the morning 6 inches taller, 1000 words smarter, and 18 years older.
The morning you turned three we were less then 20 miles from the hospital I first wrapped you in my arms as a tiny red-faced newborn, and my breath caught again exactly three years later as you whispered, "Mommy, I not your Jeff-Baby, I you Jeff-Man now."
You are a man, one growing in wisdom and stature, and favor, with God and men and your Daddy and I couldn't be more proud of you, our sweet and brave son! To carry on our birthday tradition, here's our yearly interview...
What's Your Favorite Color: Byoo! (Blue)
What's Your Favorite Toy?: Uh, all my choo-choo's, and yo-ho, and castle, and yight sabers!
What's Your Favorite Movie: Yighten McKeen! (Lightening McQueen)
What's Your Favorite Food?: Chiggen Nunyets (Chicken Nuggets), and cheese...can I have some cheese? I want some reawwy bad!
What's Your Favorite Game To Play: Run races!
What's Your Favorite Snack: Froo Snacks!
What's Your Favorite Song: *Yells* Jesus is My Superhero!!
What's Your Favorite Book: Capatillar (The Very Hungry Catapillar) and Oops book! (Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boyton)
Who's Your Best Friend: My Bubby (Harrison), my Mooney (Wilson), and Jaden!
What's Your Favorite Thing To Play Outside: Baseball! I hit ball reawy hard wif my bat and get homeruns!!!
What's Your Favorite Holiday: A what? Oh, My birfday! And Kissmas! And fireworks on America's birfday!
What's Your Favorite Thing To Sleep With: My byoo blanket and doggie with the hat on.
What's Your Favorite Thing To Eat For Breakfast: Froo Snacks! (uh, you've never had those for breakfast)...and candy! (Nope, not that either.)
What's Your Birthday Dinner: Pizza, in a box! (delivery, not homemade...silly boy :)
What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up: Uh, a man!
What's Your Favorite Thing To Watch On TV: Yo-Ho!
What's Your Favorite Fruit: *More yelling* Wahvermelons!!!
What's Your Favorite Animal?: Giraffes! (I did not see that coming!)
What's Your Favorite Thing To Drink: Root beer! Oh and chokate milk...and coffee..and water...with ice in it!
What's Your Favorite Bible Verse: "He'll gib shalom in da land, lay down to sleep, won't be 'fraid of nobody! Vatiticus 26:6" - Leviticus 26:6
Happy Birthday to my outrageous, courageous, and fireball baby! You keep us laughing, guessing, and on our toes; and we wouldn't have it any other way. Our family is richer and stronger with you as our second son and it's we who are gifted every year because you, Jefferson Lee!
We love you!