Thursday, November 29, 2012

To All Concerned

While you would think that anyone would take one look at these beautiful pictures and immediately celebrate the healthy life of our newest little man, there has been a small contingent of those certain I am masking disappointment.
As if trying to convince me I have been dreaming about pink and hair bows I am offered sympathetic expressions of "maybe next time". Please allow me to quell your misplaced concerns so you can move along with your very unneeded pity.
You see this little man right here, all 11oz of his perfect and completeness is all I have been dreaming about and everything I ever wanted. He is hand knit by our Creator and I was blessedly chosen to be his mother. He has all ten fingers, all ten toes and I dream about kissing every single one of them the moment he is placed in my arms.
I dream about seeing my three sons wrestling and tackling and growing up together bonding through sports, debates, and loud family dinners. I dream about being the ultimate sports mom proudly seated front row on the bleachers for thousands of games driving across town, state, and country to be at them all.
I dream about constant grocery store trips, running out of milk, eggs, bread, everything all the time. I dream about providing a constant supply of homemade cookies, band aids, water balloons, and the occasional needed mom hug. I dream about viewing way more guy movies than I ever desire to see and one day being towered over by three grown men I had the privilege to hold and nurture.
I dream about seeing these rowdy, grass stained, sword fighting heroes become husbands, fathers, providers, and leaders. I pray for their hearts to be tuned towards Christ, to one day receive Him as their Savior and become mighty men of God used as powerful tools in His hands. To all you naysayers out there, am I disappointed? A million times no, I am three times as blessed, rich, and full to be chosen as the mother of these incredible men.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Funny Little Things

There's just these little things I don't want to ever forget. Little things that bring a giggle and make my day.
Like Harrison insisting these popular fall weeds are called "Randalls" and not dandelions. Like wanting to order for himself at every restaurant and doing a pretty good job of it. Like his scheming of being a grown up and cooking his own meals of candy and sausage when I force feed him broccoli. 
And his determination to not use the "kinstuctions", because, "I'm a man and I can figure it all out by myself." And his independence to turn his back on bubble baths and take showers only now, "because I'm getting to be a grown man and need some privacy."
His love of "man meat" (any kind of grilled or red meat), his licking all the cream out of the Oreo and tossing the chocolate cookies, his chewing a stick of gum approximately 3 times and spitting it out because he "chewed up all the flavor". It's just the funny things, the little things, that make the days brighter and life richer.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Moment You've All Been Waiting For...

It's...
...A...
...Boy!!!!
We are beyond thrilled to announce our third fearfully and wonderfully made little man is absolutely perfect! A shout of "hooray" was heard round the world when we learned another little brother will be joining our family! 
We are very proud to introduce you to our son, Wilson Tyler Clark.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Blessed to Bless Again

It's almost like kids come pre-wired excited for Christmas. They don't have to be taught to make wish lists, anticipate wrapped surprises, and not sleep the night before Christmas morning.
What they don't come programmed with is an awareness of others, a heart tuned towards generosity and selflessness, and the idea of "better to give than to receive". So the idea of shopping for little boys on the other side of the world who may not even have a bed to sleep in was very hard for my boy's to grasp.
Though Jeff is still too young, Harrison was gripped by the pictures I showed him of kids without shoes, books to read, tooth brushes, or candy. And even though he asked for one of everything we bought for our shoebox gifts, he started getting excited about a little boy receiving his carefully selected presents.
We loaded the boxes, prayed for the boys who would be opening them in a few weeks and took them to church. Harrison asked where the boys were to give the boxes to and was very disappointed to learn he couldn't personally hand it over to watch it being opened and enjoyed.
Harrison has since asked a few times about giving the boxes to the boys next time. Not sure it will be "next time", but maybe one day we can take our boys on a family trip to help deliver the shoe boxes and watch smiles, cheers, and hugs break out among children receiving what may be their only present. I'm so blessed by my son's heart and the growing God is doing there.
(Disclaimer: Please excuse Harrison's hairstyle...it had been fixed...but right as we were trying to snap some pictures and walk out the door he decided it was a good time to put on his helmet :/)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanks-filled Day

Thanksgiving Questionnaire with Harrison
1. What is a "thing/item" you are thankful for? Transformers
2. Who is a person you are thankful for? Reid (the little boy my sister nanny's for), Bean, Mimi, and Mommy
3. What is a spiritual thing you are thankful for? That Jesus died for me so I don't have to die
4. What is a weakness you have that you are thankful for? Candy
5. What is a health related thing that you are thankful for? That God made me a strong, big man!
6. What is your favorite Thanksgiving meal food? Olives and the cool whip (thankfully not together:)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

18 Weeks

Pregnancy This Week
How Far Along: 18 weeks, (almost 19 at this point)...missed posting about week 17
Size of Baby: 5 1/2 inches long, about the size of a sweet potato
Weight Gain: I'm guessing about 5lbs now...though it may be a whole different story after Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow! :)
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but baby has made his/her presence known literally in the last 48 hours. I went from barely a bump to an actual baby bump pretty much overnight! Love it!
Gender: We find out next week!
Movement: Baby likes its space. The kicks are usually to protest an invading waist band, seat belt, big brother on mommy's lap, or even me just yawning! Baby already knows that to survive in this crazy family he/she will have to claim some territory:)
Cravings: Nothing really this week...haven't really had a big appetite in general lately.
Symptoms: Besides the newly popped baby bump, nothing really which has been very nice.
Best Moments of the Week: I love being back here in Virginia with family all around. Being home with all three of our kids has made us feel so full and rich. We are beyond grateful for the opportunity to be at home for Thanksgiving. I also have to say I'm pretty excited that this is the last week this little one will be referred to as him/her or he/she. So excited to call this baby by name!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Big Boy Toys

In Harrison's point of view, his Papa does not go to work...he goes to play.
After all, Papa drives life size Tonka trucks...
...has acres full of gravel, dust, rocks, and dirt...
...and heavy machinery in every corner of a begging to be explored warehouse.
After "driving" forklifts and helping himself to the snacks in Papa's office, Harrison wanted to stay all day.
Jeff, did not share that opinion. He was content with quietly observing and chowing down on the snacks...driving forklifts may have to grow on him :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

"Thankle Fore..."

Every night at bedtime we read the Bible, say our prayers, and go around saying something we are thankful for.
Now that Thanksgiving is coming, our nightly thankfulness has come with lessons of Pilgrims, religious freedoms, and turkey. The boys have also helped teach us a whole new level of gratitude in the following things they have been thankful for...
Sugar, it's my favorite!...Mooses....Charlie Brownie...pop tarts...peas...matches and fire...leaves to throw and beautiful sticks!
Transformers...hotdogs...dinosaurs...cups to drink out of that don't spill...sunglasses...pencils...swords and guns...Mater.
DVD's....iPad...skyping...shoes with lights on them...my cool man socks...shaving my beards...super hero cape and mask.
My nose, because I can get cool snot out of it...Mommy because she cooks the best food ever...Daddy because he wrestles...God because he is the most powerful ever...Jesus because he is alive!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stuff Boys Say

Touch Down! Goal! Slam Dunk! Base Hit! Home Run!
Aren't these the most beautiful sticks you ever saw?
We should tackle, and wrestle, and box, and then tackle some more.
I'm hungry...again, and again, and again.
Let's explore and find buried treasure, dinosaurs, and mud!
Mom, you're the prettiest girl I ever saw! I'll always protect you and take care of you. I'm a man, and I'll keep you safe.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Changing the Norm

Recently we heard the questioned posed, "How does someone normally react or respond upon seeing a large family?" More often than not there's gasping, gaping, silent counting of little heads, and raised eyebrows.
Why is that society's norm? The endless comments of, "You must have your hands full...I bet they keep you busy...what is your grocery bill?"  We just have two right now with one still growing and we are already considered larger than average.
Why does our culture view children in a negative light. They are seen as burdens, expenses, set backs, or a five year plan. What would change if these little ones were viewed again they way God intended?
"Children are a GIFT from the Lord, a REWARD from Him!." Psalm 127:3 We'd be counting the rewards of God instead of mouths to feed in the family in line ahead at the grocery store.
We'd be proud of, congratulate, rejoice with the man who celebrates another child in his family. We wouldn't pity the mother with her sticky fingered, mischievous, chatty kiddos, we'd see God's gifts in a row.
And maybe, just maybe, orphans would be embraced in their forever homes, more children would be trained up in love and patience, and the future would see world changers, ready to grow the Kingdom of God.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

16 Weeks

Pregnancy This week
(Featuring photo-bombing big brother :)

How Far Along: 16 weeks
Size of Baby: 4 1/2 inches, about the size of an avocado
Weight Gain: About 2lbs
Maternity Clothes: Not yet, everything still fits fine. I think I have a little bit of a baby bump showing and I always carry pretty high in the beginning so my clothes fit fine for awhile.
Gender: We find out at the end of this month - so ready to find out so I can start calling this little one by name!
Movement: More and more...still mostly right after a run, or if I'm leaning over tying one of the boys shoes or looking at something on the ground I get a good round of "you're squishing me in here" punches.
Cravings: Still good with my sandwiches and fresh fruit. Though out of the blue one afternoon I just craved beyond words a huge juicy burger and if you know me, I don't eat beef so that says something!
Symptoms: Nothing really except for the reminder kicks of baby's presence. I'm feeling great and sometimes have to remind myself that we are almost half way through!
Best Moment of the Week: So, this may not be baby related, but Matt and I went on our first fancy romantic date in years this past weekend! Thanks to some wonderful friends, the boys were well taken care of and we got to get out to a candlelit dinner and enjoy some time together. Best date ever:)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What My Sticker Means

Privileged to live in a country where I can exercise my right to vote. Where you can hold a sign supporting your candidate and debate politics without fear or repression.
Blessed that I can stand in a line with my children to cast my ballot and not fear a hostile raid or risk our lives to simply vote.
Grateful for the debates, heated arguments, and sometimes immature discussions on social media outlets. Regardless of how ridiculous I think some people get about elections, we have a country that gives free speech and so I'm grateful we can express that right without fear.
Beyond blessed by these two little men and the future they represent. Though they don't yet understand the importance of our freedoms that close family and friends and have fought for and defended, with a grateful heart we are passing on the attitude of not taking for granted the honor and blessing it is to live in this country, "The Knighted States of Mericuh" according to Harrison:)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Where Mommies Come From

Mommy, do you want to know where you came from? One day, I was all alone, it was just me and Daddy.
I wanted you so much so you grew and grew in my tummy. You grew so much that one day you fell out into a present!
I opened that present and there you were! My mommy angel!
(The origin of me, according to Harrison. And yes, he melted this mommy's heart with that very sweet explanation:)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

15 Weeks

Pregnancy This Week
How Far Along: 15 weeks
Size of Baby: About 4 inches, the size of a large apple
Weight Gain: Had a huge scare at the doctor with this! I stepped on the scale at my appointment last week and it said I had gained 15 pounds since the last visit! We were all dumbfounded and the doctor gave me an unltrasound to rule out a multiples pregnancy! After some problem solving they discovered their scale was way off. Talk about a relief!
Maternity Clothes: Not yet
Gender: We will find out the end of this month!
Movement: Mostly at night and right after I finished running. Baby also likes to kick at my jeans waist band when I'm sitting down.
Cravings: Still loving a good turkey sandwich. And Chick-Fil-A lemonade is a big time favorite-it's a good thing financially we don't live very close to a Chick-Fil-A!
Symptoms: Besides the baby kicks and taps, I do believe there may be a hint of a baby belly beginning, at least I feel thicker. You know that lovely in between stage were there's no round bump yet, but waist definition is a thing of the past.
Best Moment of the Week: Getting a surprise ultrasound and seeing baby kick and wave. Both boys were there and able to watch. Harrison was concerned about how dark it was in there and determined, "the baby needed to turn on a light!"