Monday, July 17, 2017

Surprise!

Last year we had four birthday parties.
Each completely unique and creative.
Each thoughtful, well planned by amazing aunts, and completely catering to the Clark kid that was  being celebrated. 
But the parties were each 30 days or less apart spanning a period of five months. 
It was a good, but chaotic spring and summer. 
With building a house and adding one more little Clark the thought of another five months of partying was a little daunting. 
So we put our heads together to think of how we could celebrate these awesome kids without going non-stop balloons and streamers. 
We quickly came up with a joint brothers/sister party and couldn't wait to start planning one BIG party. 
We made their favorite colors the theme and made a huge ice cream sundae bar for dessert. 
But as the planning was in process, Matt came up with another idea. 
The boys had been to their Aunt Bean's surprise party earlier this year and had been talking about it non-stop. 
They couldn't wait to be old enough to have someone give them a surprise party. 
So Matt came up with making this big joint party a surprise one!
The kids went over to their uncle's and aunt's house the night before for a cousin sleepover. 
Once they left we decorated and baked and got ready for the next day's surprise. 
And they were definitely surprised! All four were in shock and while Madison and Wilson still probably have no clue exactly what happened, Jefferson and Harrison were ecstatic. 
They were so sweet and grateful for the party and all the details that went into making it happen. And while I look forward to future personalized birthday parties again, this special surprise favorite-color party was a very sweet memory, literally. They were covered in ice cream sundaes afterwards :) 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Full of No

Watching me pack, Wilson started asking to play with everything I was loading into boxes. 
"No, Wils," I explained, "it's time to pack these up so they're ready to take to the new house."
"So can we go to the new house today?!" "No, not today. It's not ready just yet."
"Ugh, Mom!" he exclaimed, "You're so full of 'no' today!" 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Moth and Rust

Senioritis has set in. 
I find myself wondering, "How important really is it to dust anymore? I mean we'll be out of here in just a few weeks."
And then my OCD kicks in and I dust anyway. 
But even with my neat freak nature, I'm strangely ok with the pile full of card board boxes, or the bare walls where pictures have been taken down. 
I spend a lot of time dreaming of where I will hang those pictures on our new walls. 
I spend time thinking about furniture placement, room layouts, and throw pillow covers. 
I scour Amazon for organizational products, guest bedding, and light fixtures. 
I research lawn tractors, cellular blinds, and granite sealers. 
I'm on Pinterest looking at shiplap and mudroom bench plans. 
And as much as I want to think I know what I'm doing with interior design I'm sure Joanna Gaines would take one look at my attempt and be so shocked she'd never eat another cupcake again.  
But all that's to say is, this house is where moth and rust destroy. Sure it is a blessing, beyond what I could have asked for or imagined. 
But it is not an idol. It won't fix anything, solve any problems, add eternal value, or make us content. 
This house is a gift, it's a blessed place to lay our heads, nourish our bodies, and make memories. 
But unless our true contentment is found in Christ no new house, bedspreads, throw pillows, paint colors, or light fixture will ever find us peace. 
The walls and floors may be filled with the best most perfect shiplap and marble but unless our hearts stay filled with seeking Him first it is the biggest waste of time and resources. 
There's nothing wrong with enjoying picking out curtains and closet organizers, in fact to an extent it's practicing good stewardship of what God has given. 
But my pouring so much time into moths and rust needed to hit the breaks. 
So the walls may go paintless, the couches won't match at all, and Joanna Gaines still may give up cupcakes, but we're content. 
We're studying caterpillars, picking wildflower bouquets, and soaking up the sunsets. We're praying over the crew and our neighbors-to-be. We're serving and learning and growing and knowing that no matter where we live, we're already home together and one day eternally with Christ. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Happy Birthday Interview

 Our Official Annual Birthday Interview!
 Ok J-Man, you ready?
Yes!
Ok, What's your favorite color: Blue! And yellow and green
What's your favorite toy: My Transformers 
 What's your favorite movie: Transformers
What's your favorite food: Cake and oranges and stuff, and apples and blueberries and stuff
 What's your favorite game: Mouse Trap
What's your favorite snack: Fruit snacks
 What's your favorite song: Toby Mac, all of his songs
What's your favorite book: The oops book (Sandra Boynton, Book of Opposites) and the Book With No Pictures 
 Who's your best friend: My brothers 
What's your favorite thing to play outside: Run races
 What do you want to be when you grow up? A spy and a doctor, a doctor for kids
What's your favorite holiday: Christmas, because that's when Jesus came for us and He's alive!
 What's your favorite thing to sleep with: My pillow, it makes me feel safe, and my blue and my stuffed animals, all of them.
What's your birthday meal: McDonald's happy meal
 What's your favorite thing to eat for breakfast: eggs, plain ones (scrambled), and bagels with honey on them.
What's your favorite thing to watch on tv: Lego Star Wars 
 What's your favorite fruit: Blueberries! Oh and oranges and apples and watermelon! Can I have some today?
Definitely! But in a minute. Ok what's your favorite animal: A fox, because the song, *sings* 'What does the fox say?'
 What's your favorite thing to drink? Root beer, chocolate milk, coffee, and hot chocolate
What's your favorite Bible verse: The Sword sword, Hebrews 4:12!
 Jefferson, you are the kindest hearted, selfless servant leader I have ever met. You are loyal and gentle. You will give the shirt off your back to your enemy and never raise your fist in revenge. You are quick to meet a need and offer your services. You are so patient with your siblings and an incredible teacher. 
 You love Jesus with all your heart and you love having devotion time in the morning. You're currently memorizing all the books of the Bible. I'm so proud of your heart and the leader you are to all of us! Your Christlike example teaches even your Daddy and I and we so admire you! Cap, you are a fiercely devoted protector and we respect the man you are growing up to be! Happy 6th Birthday Jefferson! We love you and can't wait to see all God has in store for you with the talents you've been given! 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Four Months of Washington

Washington, you are now four moths old!
Let me correct myself, on June 12, you were four months old. Now you are 4 1/2 months old. 
But I'm celebrating anyway even if I am a tad behind. 
You're doing big and awesome things this month bud. 
You're rolling consistently and intentionally from front to back in order to bat at a sibling or reach for their toys when they unwittingly plopped them down within your reach. 
You love ridiculous noises- raspberries, popping sounds, growling, engine noises, explosions (aka your siblings.) I shouldn't be surprised. You have three big brothers that communicate 80% of the time in sound effects. I'm sure you're following right in those footsteps. 
You love having books read to you. You will sit and listen and look at the pictures sometimes even forgetting you're sleepy or hungry. This helps big brothers with their reading practice and I use it to my advantage ;)
While you love all the loud sound effects, you definitely do not like any kind of crying. Though you do plenty of it yourself, if you hear a big sibling wailing you join right in. Madison in particular makes your little eyes well up and pouchy lip come out when you her dramatic waterworks. 
You are in size three diapers and busting the seams of your size 3 months clothing. It's time to start digging out the bigger sizes I was just hoping you'd hold on a few more weeks when we get unpacked in our new house. 
Speaking of our new house. We can't wait to see all the memories we'll build with you there - your learning to sit up and crawl, your first steps and words. We can't wait!
You nurse every 3-4 hours, sleep 12+ hours a night, and take two long naps a day. You smile at almost anyone giving you attention and have started laughing at your family who adores you and stops short of standing on our heads to hear your happy noises. 
You love being held, watching Mickey Mouse with Madison, eating rice husk crackers, and being outside. You still hate the carseat but I will give you credit for starting to extend your toleration time a bit. 
We love you fiercely and we are so thankful for your being chosen to be in our family! We love you Mr. Ash and can't wait for the many months and years ahead of getting to know you more!