Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010

I'm still in the process of digging out of that post-Christmas slump. Today is our last, lazy day at home, the boys head back to school tomorrow (!). Looking back over the past 4 weeks makes me smile. It really was a wonderful Christmas. The kids are growing up, of course physically, but also spiritually. It's neat to see them beginning to grasp the true meaning of Christmas. Of course, at 32 years old I'm still trying to do the same thing.

Here are a handful of pictures from the past 3 weeks. I don't take nearly enough pictures!

Cute Christmas kids

Every year we host a Christmas party for Tyler's volunteer army. It's about 15-20 college and post college kids and it's always a fun night.

This was hands-down the best White Elephant gift I've ever seen. A genetically modified fish that glows under a black light!

This was Christmas round 1 at Aunt Lisa's house. We celebrated the weekend before Christmas with Grandma Janet and Papa Skip and the Clements/Hibbard side of the family.

A picture of the moms who are (almost) never in front of the camera.

Charlotte and Addison having so much fun playing with Aunt Lisa's jewelry!

Sadly this is the only picture I have of Christmas round 2 at Grandpa Walt and Grandma Deb's house. Unfortunelty this is when the stomach flu began to make its way around. Here is everyone decorating cookies.

Here's the traditional end of the hallway picture of the kids before racing down to the living room. Because both Tyler and I's parents are divorced and remarried we celebrate Christmas with lots of people. We love it and it's wonderful. But, beginning Christmas Eve through Christmas noon it's just the 6 of us and I love it.

Once again this is the only picture I have of Christmas day with my side of the family. Here is Gigi (my momma) with all 10 of her grandkids. 5 boys and 5 girls.
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I'm closing the book on 2010 and ready for a new year. Next up...Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Still Here

The post-Christmas slump. That's what I'm calling it. Do you know what I mean? The house looks extremely "lived in", there are piles of gifts and instruction manuals in every corner, the kids are under slept and over sugared, and motivation in somewhere just out of my reach.
I love having the boys home from school. I really do. I love the lazy days and no schedule and the ability to stay in jammies all day if we want. But, it makes it really hard to do anything productive!
I'll be back soon with some pictures of Christmas. And then on to the NEW YEAR!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Right now my kitchen counter is covered with dozens of sugar cookies. Half still awaiting a cover of icing. My coffee is hot, the babies are sleeping and I'm sitting down with tears in my eyes to write this. I am so moved in this moment by an amazing soundtrack to my afternoon. Actually, it's not the music it's the truth it contains, the true meaning of Christmas.

I'm thinking about Mary's labor of love in that stable.
What must it have been like on the cold ground of that stable?
What does it feel like when the baby in your womb is the maker of the moon?
I'm thinking about the redemptive plan for my life (and yours too).
I'm worshiping my deliverer who came to earth as a baby, yet he was God!

I'm listening to Andrew Peterson's album Behold The Lamb Of God.
Do yourself a favor and go HERE to buy this CD or download it. If you can't afford the whole thing or don't know that you'll like it, go to iTunes, search Andrew Peterson and download just one song, Labor Of Love. And then worship the One that came as a baby to be our deliverer.

(side note: do you do a Jesse Tree? In need of a lesson on the lineage of Christ? The song Matthew's Begats will help with both.)

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Facebook Fun

I thought this was a fun application to use on Facebook. You can make a collage using many of your status updates from 2010. It was fun to look back at everything I'd written. Not to mention a funny and fairly accurate look at our year.
(note to self: in 2011 do a better job of editing your status updates)

(click to enlarge)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What Can You Do One Handed?

I stumbled upon this picture in our photo library yesterday and it made me laugh out loud! You know how when you have a new baby in your house you learn how to do all sorts of things with just one hand? One arm cradling a baby and the other arm going about its normal life.

Well when we've had newborns in our house Tyler and I play a little game called "What Can You Do One Handed?" It's a friendly competition that may or may not have had us trying some really stupid things one handed.

So here's Tyler making coffee one evening with Margo. Note, he also had to grind to beans.

This was a particularly good one, although there are plenty that I don't have pictures of. Have you ever typed a research paper one handed? Opened a bottle of wine? Taken out the trash? Blow-dried your hair? Or how about gone to the bathroom one handed?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rather Random Ramblings

Here's a hodgepodge post if I've ever seen one.

* Upon leaving the house this morning for school Brennan turned around in the driveway and said "make sure and tell Margo I love her when she wakes up." I died. Right there. In the doorway. In my jammies.

* Recently I've had a horrible time waking up in the mornings. HORRIBLE TIME. Ideally, I like to get up 45 minutes before the kids start moving in the mornings. Let's just say my snooze button has been getting a lot of action lately. This morning my alarm was playing Tender Tennessee Christmas by Amy Grant (love this song). I turned the volume down so that Amy wasn't screaming at me and thought surely this will get me out of bed. And then promptly fell back asleep.

* We had a really wonderful Thanksgiving. How was yours? We had a full 4 days of celebrating and eating. We are beyond blessed and are so thankful for the many gifts in our lives.

* On Sunday we decorated our home for Christmas. When I was young decorating our house for Christmas was one of my very favorite days. Oh how I loved the transformation and the anticipation of Christmas. So it is such a joy to watch my kids love this day as well. They can barely contain their excitement. So I let them decorate the tree all by themselves and then once they're in bed, promptly go and rearrange all the ornaments {grin}.

*After we were done decorating Tyler set the timer on the camera and we took a family picture in front of the tree.

Are you kidding me? Every single eye is on the camera, everyone is smiling. It's a Christmas miracle! Too bad we're at the end of a long day, in mis-matched clothes, no makeup and dirty socks. Oh well, to be certain, this is life right now.

*So now it's your turn. Share a random thought from your day in the comment section!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Random Photos

The other night, after dinner, we let the boys take a few pictures with our camera.
Actually, here's the truth...
We had finished eating dinner. Tyler and I were trying to have a conversation and the kids were being too rowdy. So instead of finding a suitable activity for them, ahem, we said "sure, play with the camera". Does this ever happen in your house?

Here's what came of it.

Nope, I'm not eating Margo, just yawning.
"Hey Dad, do something funny!"
I love this one that Brennan took because these are probably his 3 favorite things in the world; Lego's, Margo and Dad

Friday, November 19, 2010

Raisin Bran Muffins

My Grannie Iyla passed away a few months ago. I wrote about visiting her before she died here. My Grannie was a great cook. Many of my memories with her revolve around food. As she got older she became more and more health conscious. She would take our favorite foods and add extra bran, wheat germ, flax seed, etc. We never could be sure what, exactly, was in our food. We teased her about this, but honestly, it was still good! She was a great cook.

When she died my mom selected a few of her things for all of us kids so that we could have some tangible memories of her. How grateful I was to receive her recipe box! An accordion file full of 3x5 cards in her distinguished script. Many of the recipes are ones I've been making for years, but I love having her originals.

I told you I was going to stop with the recipes, but I'm going to post one more {grin}. This is not a new recipe by any means. It's one that may be in every church recipe book ever printed. But it's a favorite of ours and it was one I got from Grannie Iyla. This is the original, but I'm pretty sure she added flax seed and wheat germ in her later years :)

Raisin Bran Muffins:
4 beaten eggs
1 cup melted butter
1 quart buttermilk
3 cups sugar
5 cups flour
8 cups raisin bran cereal
5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients by hand. Refrigerate for a few hours before baking. Bake in greased muffin tins at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
(I think you can also bake them at 375 for less time)

Here's her original. You can see she put the "half-ed" amounts to the left. The whole recipe makes a ton (at least 4 dozen) but I always make the whole thing. It keeps in the refrigerator for weeks. I just put the batter in a sealed, plastic container and pull it out to make a batch at a time. It's a basic recipe. Feel free to substitute applesauce for some of the butter, use wheat flour, less sugar, I've tried it all and they always taste good. We eat these for breakfast and they also make great snacks.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Monkey See Monkey Do

Wordless Wednesday

(If you can't see what she's doing click to enlarge.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Righteous, The Wicked, or the Princess

Our family is working on scripture memory together. We are participating, with our church, in learning Fighter Verses. We believe it is important to arm our children (and ourselves!) with God's word.
First let me say my kids are WAY better at memorizing scripture than I am.

Here's one of our recent scriptures:
"The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away." Psalm 1:4
(We were actually memorizing all of Psalm 1, so this was within the context of many verses. Otherwise this would be a strange scripture to memorize by itself :))

So the other day we were driving south of town and I saw a combine in a field chopping down some crop. I know, my knowledge of farming is outstanding. What caught my eye was the debris blowing out of the back of the combine. That debris is also called chaff! My momma radar went wild as I realized I had a teachable moment on my hands.

Tyler was driving so I turned around, at the risk of getting car sick, and talked about it with the kids. We talked about the chaff coming out of the back of the combine, and how the chaff was being blown away by the wind. We talked about how the wicked (those who do not believe in God) are blown away and are not held closely by God. The very Word of God being illustrated out the car window. Brilliance!

Then, a bit tongue in cheek, I asked the kids "Do you want to be like the Righteous Man or the Wicked Man?"
And Charlotte loudly proclaims "I want to be the princess".

Well then, we'll have to keep working on that one.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Go Lindsay, Go Lindsay Go!

I saw this video on the Girl Talk blog the other day. I found it to be hilarious in a "that is so true" kind of way. I love coffee! On my most productive days I drink it upon opening my eyes in the morning, again at 1pm and, on extra special days, again at 7pm. When that sweet nectar from heaven hits my veins I'm off and running!

I love the cheerleader in a cup analogy! Maybe I wouldn't need coffee if I could get my kids to cheer for me when I complete yet another load of laundry....hmmm, nah I'll stick with my coffee.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Life Right Now

I was uploading pictures from our camera the other day. I have lots of pictures of "fall fun" right now. Will I ever blog about them? We'll see. I mean what's a mommy-blog without pictures of the pumpkin patch this time of year? As a side note, I used to totally be that mom that dressed my kids up for an outing to the pumpkin patch, armed with camera, hoping for the perfect picture of my sweet, well behaved, well dressed kids to be used for....{GASP} The Perfect Christmas Card Picture. Yeah, not so much anymore. TOO MUCH EFFORT. And I realized, for my boys, making them dress nicely totally ruined the fun for them.

Anyway, so at first I clicked right past this picture but something made me go back and take a second look. Yes, just Margo, Charlotte and I searching for a pumpkin. But this picture really says a lot about my life right now. Someday, years from now, I imagine that I will look back on this picture and it will bring tears to my eyes.

Here's what I see in this picture:
*To be honest the first thing I noticed was the size of my arm and waistline :) Larger than I would like. If there's one thing I've learned after nursing 4 babies it's that I don't lose my baby weight until I'm done nursing. That whole "breastfeeding makes you lose weight quickly" thing is NOT TRUE for me. Oh well, the sacrifices we make...

*Margo spends a lot of time in her sling. Snuggled in close and perfectly content. I use a sling a lot more than I did with my first child and the stroller a lot less.

*Charlotte holding my hand. These days she asserts her independence constantly at home, but when we're out and about she sticks close to me or Tyler. She was having trouble walking around all those vines and not tripping.

*Life is full right now. I almost always have a baby in my arms, one child at my hip and I'm keeping an eye on 2 others. I'm looking for a pumpkin, keeping Charlotte from tripping, making sure Margo is comfortable and out of the sun, probably wiping spit up, yelling for Brennan to not wander too far off, answering Calvin's many questions, smiling at my husband, thinking about the time and when I need to nurse again, trying to figure out what to fix for dinner and trying hard to stay in the moment. I'm told it will fly by.

* Charlotte is wearing cute pink cowboy boots and a skirt, this is proof that she'll still let me dress her. She's beginning to have opinions about this however, I think it's coming to an end soon.

* You can see part of Calvin at the edge of the picture and Brennan is too far off to be seen. This is so telling of my boys. Brennan is growing up so fast, off doing his own thing. And I can let him do this! Amazing considering for the longest time I couldn't let him out of my sight. Calvin is still within sight. Doing his own thing but still wanting to be fairly near mom. He's a momma's boy and I love it.

* I'm wearing a hat, which normally means I've not had a shower. Before I had children, I showered every. single. day. In fact I showered every day until I had 3 kids. But showering has moved from the "TO DO" list to the "HOPE TO DO" list.

* You can't tell by this picture, but I know it was a Friday. We picked the boys up from school and went to the pumpkin patch. I love Fridays. Because Tyler works in a church, and therefore on Sundays, he takes Friday off. I love having him around on a weekday. The boys love it when he's home after school.

* The other thing I see in this picture is lots of open space. It reminds me that I love where I live. Our town is not too big, not too little. You can be out in the country in just minutes. It's good for my soul to look around and see nothing. Having grown up in Kansas this is comforting to me.

It's hard to describe the feeling I get when I see this picture. Mostly, I feel grateful though. Grateful to a God that delights in giving good things to His children. Grateful for life right now. It's full, and often chaotic, and I'm trying my hardest to enjoy all these little parts.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lasagna Soup

Alright peeps, one more recipe and then I'll jump off the recipe train I've been riding. But you'll be glad I didn't jump off before this one, it's incredible!

I made this soup on Halloween and it fed 8 adults and 3 kids. My Otha' Motha' (mother-in-law) brought some fabulous cheese bread and it was a great pairing. Then we topped it off with candy because we're classy like that.

The original recipe is from Paula Deen, but I tweaked it just a bit.
You would want to cut the recipe in half for a more reasonable amount. Although, I'd suggest using the sausage and leaving out the beef if you do that. However, I'd probably make the whole thing for my family and eat leftovers for lunch the next day.

1 pound ground beef
1 pound Italian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp thyme
2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 boxes (32oz each) chicken broth
3 cans petite diced tomatoes (I pureed these quickly in my blender to hide them from my kids)
2 cans (15 oz each) tomato sauce
2 tsp italian seasoning
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 cups broken lasagna noodles
1 can (about 7 oz) shredded parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese for garnish

In large dutch oven brown beef, sausage, onion, green pepper and garlic about 8-10 min., until meat is browned through. Drain well.
Stir in thyme, brown sugar, broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, italian seasoning, salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 min. Add noodles and simmer until tender, stir in parmesan cheese. Serve with Mozzarella cheese sprinkled on top.

If you cut this in half, you can do so roughly. For instance instead of using 1 1/2 cans of tomatoes, use 2 cans. The measurements do not need to be precise on this one.

It's definitely a hearty soup. Is this something your family would like for dinner?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Punch Your Momma Pumpkin Bars

These Pumpkin Bars are so good they'll make you want to punch your momma. Seriously, you must try them.
First I have to give credit where credit is due. This recipe comes from one of the spunkiest ladies I know. Kim is a great family friend and raised a daughter that is one of my dear friends. When we were on the road with the pool boys we loved stopping in Goodland, KS because Kim would always feed us. And man can this woman cook! Kim made these for us one time when we were there.

Pumpkin Bars
1 c oil
2 c sugar
2 c pumpkin
4 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
2 c flour (I use 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all, put in greased sheet cake pan (or jelly roll pan).
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes

Frosting (this makes more than enough!)
8 oz cream cheese
1 c butter
2 tsp vanilla
3 3/4 c powdered sugar
milk if needed for consistency

Mix all and spread on COOLED bars.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Salad!

Ok, I mentioned weeks ago that one of my favorite summer meals was a big salad and breadsticks. Well, I posted the breadstick recipe, but not the salad. Summer is definitely over, but we still love this!

So here is our favorite salad. I don't really follow a recipe, but here is what it normally has in it.

1 head romaine lettuce
1 can sliced black olives
1 container (about 7 oz) crumbled feta cheese
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 pound ditalini pasta, (or any small pasta) cooked
1 packet Zesty Italian dressing, mixed (or your favorite italian dressing)
Shredded chicken, optional

This is a Chop Salad. So it's best when everything is chopped really small. That way you can get a bite with a little bit of everything. Yummy!

(You could add a lot to this salad, but these are the vegetables that my kids like. If I were making this for just me, I'd add a lot more veggies. However, I've got my kids eating salad so I'm not pressing my luck!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

To Do List

Do you ever feel like life is about 2 steps ahead of you?
I've felt this way for the past few weeks.
I'm working on catching up, and it means setting priorities.
This neglected blog, unfortunately, is not at the top of the to-do list.

Here are some of the things topping that list today:
Bible Study catch up
Learning 10 new Jazzercise routines
Cutting 50 fingernails and 50 toenails (I don't do Tyler's)
Sorting through newborn clothes to pass on to my sister-in-law
Searching high and low for Charlotte's favorite hair bow
(thrilling isn't it?)

Later in the week I plan on posting 3 fabulous recipes!
First off the salad that I wrote about weeks ago (thanks to those of you who reminded me I STILL haven't posted the recipe :)
Pumpkin Bars
Lasagna Soup

I'll be back here soon. Now off to clip all those nails.....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Status Updates

Are you on Facebook? Something tells me if you read blogs you're probably on Facebook. I bet there's a correlation.

Anyway, the past few days I've had several Status Updates come to my head but I haven't made it to the computer in time to release them. Does this ever happen to you? Do you ever find yourself thinking in "status update" mode?

Here's a few I can remember:

Lindsay... made dinner tonight and it was a HIT! All the kids ate 2 bowls of chili. However, I didn't like it. It was too bland. Figures.

Lindsay... has her kitchen light switch and garbage disposal switch located right next to each other. I've been living in this house for 3.5 years. I still turn the garbage disposal on every time I want to turn on the light.

Lindsay... has lost her voice. When one of your jobs requires you to stand on a stage and yell into a microphone, it makes it a little tricky. I'm thankful for my fellow Jazzercise instructors who are covering for me this week.

Lindsay...has lost her voice. But apparently Margo found it and swallowed it because she's squawking like crazy!

Lindsay...thinks King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls are like mana from heaven. Yum!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

6 months

I normally embrace my children's milestones, but this one is hard to swallow. Miss Margo is 6 months old. Do you know what that means? I'm packing away the newborn things. Can you hear me swallowing the giant lump in my throat?

There is NOTHING I do not love about the 6 month stage. Just look at her.

Everything, from her soft brownish-redish hair, to her squishy cheeks, to her rolly polly thighs, is perfection. The handy-work of God is evident through and through in this sweet girl.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Talking Tom

Have you guys seen the Talking Tom app for your phone/ipod?

Charlotte is obsessed! It's basically a cat that copies everything you say. It also responds when you pinch him, tickle him, etc. I've been listening to Charlotte play with this for the last 15 minutes. She's hysterical! It's clear she understands that the cat says exactly what she says, but I think there is part of her that doesn't understand the cat ONLY says what she says. There is a disconnect happening somewhere (or developmentally her brain can't comprehend this). So at times she thinks the cat is talking to her.
I don't know if I can convey the funniness in words, but I'll give it a try. Here is some of what she's saying.

I asked her to please stop screaming. She looked at me so seriously, pointed to the ipod, and said "but he's screaming too".

She keeps saying "I can't hear you, can you say that again?" (the cat repeats, she repeats, the cat repeats, she repeats, it's a vicious cycle!)

She says "what's your name?" the cat repeats her, she says "no I want to know YOUR name!"

She thought the cat was too loud (instead of turning the volume down) she asked the cat to be quiet, the cat told her to be quiet, she said "but I'm not being loud, you are!"

Really folks, this is hysterical. If you have a phone or ipod that does apps, go get this one! It is so worth the fun!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Donut Conquest

Last weekend I made donuts. That is a strange sentence for me to write. The summer between high school and college I worked in a bakery warehouse and got my far share of the sweet smell of fried, sugary dough. It was enough to keep me from eating donuts for several years. Well these little people I'm surrounded by feel a certain gravitational pull to anything that resembles a donut. So, occasionally, we find ourselves buying donuts on Saturday mornings.

I have to admit my motivation to make donuts was one that involved more conquest than a love for donuts. Could I do it? How hard could it be? As with many new cooking ventures I turned to the Pioneer Woman and followed her recipe. They really weren't that hard! The only problem was they took me way longer than I expected. We had donuts for lunch instead of breakfast. Everyone agreed they were worth the wait though.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Margo's Birth Story (finally!)

For 6 months now I've been trying to write Margo's birth story. I sit down, stare at the computer screen, write a few sentences, get frustrated, and walk away. I think the problem is that I can't write words that do the experience justice. I'm not near a good enough writer. So, because she is now 6 months old, and if I wait any longer I'm afraid I'll forget, here it is in bullet point form.

~ Because of a problem with low blood platelets (me, not baby) I was scheduled for an induction. I was really hoping for a natural delivery, so I was nervous about being induced, but I also didn't want to take any chances. I was told to arrive at the hospital on Tuesday morning.

~ On Monday afternoon at 5pm I got a call from the hospital saying that they were FULL and needed to bump my induction to Thursday. I was so upset. Not only because I was so ready to meet my babe, but also because it is a serious production to line up care for 3 other children. Grandma was set to arrive in minutes, all help had been arranged, we had prepped the kiddos, we were ready! After some tears, some serious prayer and soothing words from Tyler, we waited another 2 days.

~So Thursday morning would be the day! I set my alarm for 6am, but it was beat by the ringing of the phone. My mother-in-law (she had come the night before to watch the kids) answered. It was the hospital. There were STILL FULL and needed to bump me back a few more hours. My sweet mother-in-law told them in no uncertain terms that they could not do this to me again. She made the nurse promise they would call me to come in that afternoon. Seriously?!?! Torture.

~ Needless to say it was a really long morning. Thank goodness the Jayhawks played (basketball, remember this was way back in March) that day at noon. We watched the first half at home, and the hospital called back and told me to come on it. THANK YOU JESUS!! The Jayhawks went on to win their 2,000th game that day.

~ We arrived at the hospital at 1:30pm. Because I wanted a natural birth I asked to not be put on Pitocin (the induction drug). Since I was 3cm's, my Dr. said she would break my water and we could see how things progressed on their own.

~ We had quite the crowd at the hospital (I'm not a very modest person :)). My mother, 2 sisters, sister-in-law, and a friend who's a nursing student. But, as with all my births, Tyler is the one who I look to for everything. He was just an arms length away at all times.

~ Once my water was broken (2:30pm) I submerged myself in the bathtub. As much as I didn't want to go on Pitocin, I was also feeling restless. I was so ready to meet this baby. The previous 3 days on the emotional roller coaster had taken its toll. We were praying that God would be gracious and move things along quickly.

~ When I got out of the tub I was hoping to be at least 5cm's. I thought, if I'm at 5 I can do this. If I'm less than 5 I'll go for the Pitocin. I asked my nurse to check me. She did, and I was "just shy of 5cm's". Hmmmm, I sat there weighing my options while searching Tyler's face for an answer. My sweet nurse spoke up quietly (thank you Jesus for that) and said "I think you can do this, your body is progressing." It was the affirmation I needed. So, no pitocin.

~ From about 4-5:00pm I hung out on the birthing ball. I was having contractions, but not too painful and very sporadic. They'd be 2 minutes apart and then 10 minutes apart. We talked and laughed and tried not to watch the clock.

~ At about 6pm all the sisters and my mom went to get dinner. Tyler and I walked the hallways for about 45 minutes. I was beginning to have stronger contractions but was still waiting for them to become more regular. A few times I had to stop and breathe through the contractions, leaning on Tyler for support. I still felt like we were a long way off. I remember seeing some friends in the hallway of the OB floor and standing to talk to them for a bit (we made small talk like, um yeah, I'm about to have a baby!!). Specifically, I remember thinking the contractions were getting harder. I was ready to lie down and focus.

~ I got back in the bed. With all my kids I've done my heavy laboring on my left side with my left arm stretched straight out, my eyes closed, and no talking. Seriously, with all my kids, I've done the exact same thing. Tyler is always right in front of my face. He says this is when I'm "in the zone".

To sum things up (for those who are still reading). From 1:30 to 7:30 things were going slow, minimal pain, lots of chatting and laughing.
(this is when things get a little hazy for me...FYI)

~ It was about 7:45 when I got back into the bed. Contractions were coming closer together and I was having to breathe though them. I asked to be checked. I was at 7cm's. In my head I was thinking I probably had at least 2-3 more hours. As my doctor was walking away I had a REALLY strong contraction. She later told me that she went out to the nurses station and told them that she thought I would go very quickly.

(around this point my mom and sisters were all back in the room)

~ Literally, 10 minutes after my doctor walked out it hit me hard. The contractions were so hard and the need to push was overwhelming. I said to Tyler "I either need to throw up or push!". Serious, strong, contractions...they came out of seemingly nowhere.

~ The room very quickly filled with people. They were all telling me not to push. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO PUSH. If I talked while in labor, that is what I would have said. But remember, I was still laying on my left side, eyes closed, not talking. In. The. Zone.

~ When my doctor came running in the room (telling me not to push!) she asked me to roll over to my back so they could drop the end of the bed and prop my legs. There was no way that was going to happen. I asked (politely?) if I could deliver on my side. Thank you Lord Jesus for an understanding doctor. She asked someone to hold my top leg as she was still getting her gown on. I pushed, one time, and out flew Miss Margo. She literally did a flip in the doctor's arms she came out so quickly. They laid her on my chest and I heard someone say "It's a girl!".

I remember saying "thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus" over and over again. I couldn't believe how perfectly everything had gone. She was so tiny and so perfect. The next few hours were priceless. They weighed and measured and checked and we stared and cuddled and cried. Over time it seems I forget the details of the birth, but I never forget the first few hours after birth. That sweet time when I breathe in their newness and can't believe how incredibly blessed we've been.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Where Do You Blog? Party

I saw this on my friend Ashley's blog and thought it was fun. It's a blog party that Centsational Girl is doing. The question is where do you blog?

Here's my little corner of the house.

This room is actually a dining room and we used it as that for about 2 years. But then I realize our home was too small to use a room for just 30 minutes a day (we would eat dinner there, but that's all). So when we re-did our front room, we put our dining room table in there. So the "dining room" is now the office/art room/lego room/wrestle on the floor room. It's right between our kitchen and our living room. So when I'm at my desk I'm not far from anything.

I normally do my blogging during nap time with a cup of coffee. Or when all my little people are in bed at night (like right now!).

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What's For Dinner?

These breadsticks are so good I've built a meal around them. You need to go make them now.


Seriously, I make these almost once a week. They are that good. Here's the best part....fresh baked bread for dinner and they take only 20 minutes. No kidding! Here's the recipe...

This recipe is adapted from one on Tasty Kitchen.

  • 3-½ cups Flour , maybe a bit more if dough is too sticky ( I use 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 Cups white flour)
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 envelope Quick-Rise Yeast
  • 1-½ cup Warm Water
  • 4 T butter
  • Garlic Salt, to taste
  • ⅛ cups Parmesan Cheese (approximately)

Note: The dough is fairly light and sticky, so I prefer to use the dough hook on the KitchenAid mixer instead of kneading by hand.

Start by combining yeast and warm water. Let it sit for a couple minutes.

Add flour, salt and sugar. Knead thoroughly, for about 10 minutes, until the dough is satiny in texture. If the dough is still too sticky, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup more flour during the kneading process. Let the dough rest for a few minutes before rolling.

-Melt all the butter; use half of it to evenly cover the bottom of a jelly roll pan.

-On a floured surface, roll out the dough to the approximate size of the pan. Transfer the dough to the pan by draping/rolling it onto the pin. Roll the dough to the edges of the pan (this can be a bit tricky).

-Cut the dough to your preferred bread stick size using a pizza cutter.

-Use the rest of the melted butter to top the dough. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and garlic salt to taste.

(Now here is the amazing part. No waiting for it to rise! )

Place the pan in an unheated oven and bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes. While the oven preheats, the dough will rise. Or, alternately, let the dough rise to the top of the pan while preparing the rest of the meal and bake the bread sticks in a preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes.

Yield: approximately 18

Easy peasy, huh? So I told you I've built a dinner around these. Well almost every week this summer we've had a salad and breadsticks dinner night. Soon I'll post about our favorite salad.

If you make these let me know what you think!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Margo's Baptism

What a wonderful day! We had Miss Margo Mae Baptized this morning.

Here's what we believe about baptism:
*We believe that baptism points to the promise from God that just as water washes dirt from our bodies, the blood of Jesus will wash away our sins if we come to Him by faith.
*We believe that for our children, baptism gives them an identity with the people of God. It marks them out as special for they will have the advantage of having the word of God taught to them, of being prayed for, and having godly examples.
*The focus of a baptism should be on God, not the one being baptized.
*Baptism is a sign of the promise, it does not save.

We are so thankful for our related family and our church family. When we stood in front of them all this morning it brought tears to my eyes. What a blessing to look out and see these people that are promising, with us, to raise our kids to know and love Christ. The older my children get the more I see how important this is. We need all the help we can get in pointing our kids to Christ.

I was also reminded this morning of how much I love our church. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. Love the way we do church, love the people in leadership and their humble ways. Love that the focus is on the worship of God, not anything else. Love the people, oh how I love the people.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Mom Of Girls (too)

I think because I gave birth to my boys first, I've always thought of myself as a mom of boys. For my first few years as a mom I knew balls, cars, trucks, dirt, bugs, dinosaurs, striped shirts and khaki shorts, short hair, blue, black, brown. I day dreamed about watching my boys play sports, date girls, I read Bringing Up Boys by Dobson and other boys-centered books. I was a mom of boys.
(Of course there is also a side that is sweet, thoughtful and gentle, but more often than not is ACTION, DIRT, NOISE!)

But now we have these girls. Margo is not yet there, but Charlotte likes things that are pink and sparkly and soft. She speaks of princesses and ballerinas and pretty dresses. When I watch her play with her dolls, I'm shocked at what looks like a natural mothering instinct. She wants me to paint her nails and she wears my jewelry.
(Of course there is also a side that is loud, dirty and loves Light Sabers, but more often than not she is nurturing, sparkly and pretty)

It has taken some time, but I'm slowly beginning to think of myself as a mom of girls. This may seem simple, but it's been a big shift in thinking for my brain. And, I'm liking it.

Tonight Tyler took the boys to a baseball game. It was just the girls at home. Margo did what she does best, sleep, but Charlotte and I had a "girls night!" (in her words). I loved spending time with just her! She sees things through the eyes of a girl and it's so different from my time alone with the boys.

What a sweet thing it is to be a mom to boys AND girls. Thank you, Lord, for the chance to do both.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Apparently someone thought Margo needed in on the school action too.

She definitely deserves the grade!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First Day(s) of School

It's official, I have 2 kids in school now. Wow.
Brennan started 2nd grade yesterday and Calvin started Kindergarten today. Neither of them showed much emotion, excitement or nervousness, leading up to the 1st day, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But they both did great. Best of all, they're both excited to go back!

Here's Brennan on his first day of 2nd grade

Cal and Charlie wanted in on the pictures (still in their jammies)

Calvin on his 1st day of Kindergarten!

Calvin walked into his class like he'd been doing it for years. This was the child that we pulled out of pre-school his first year because he hated being away from mom! I was the only one with tears today. Not the "I don't want my kids to grow up" tears, just the "I can't believe it goes so fast" tears. I'm proud of my boys!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

They've Not Been Hit By Lightening So Far

I just finished watching several clips of Lenore Skenazy on youtube. I remember when she let her 9 year old ride the New York City subway by himself (a few years ago), but hadn't heard much else about her. I've only watch a few clips and I've not yet read her book "Free-Range Kids", but I do agree with much of what she says. It's a very interesting topic that I think is worthy of more discussion.

I read one time that a child is more likely to be struck by lightening in their front yard than kidnapped from their front yard. Reading that had a big impact on me (or "struck me", pun intended :)). I had this inner struggle over whether or not I could let my kids play outside, in the front yard, by themselves. I decided I had to let this go. I was basing my decision on whether or not a big white van, with no windows, was going to pull up to my house and whisk away my children. Really? Talk about letting fear do my parenting for me! My kids know their boundaries, they know how far down the street they can go, etc. They know to look both ways before going after the runaway ball in the street. I check on them often. I'm pretty sure that my neighbors think I'm a horrible mom for letting my kids do this.

I find this a fascinating subject. I really wish my kids had the same freedom I had as a child. Then I find myself thinking "do they?", is this fear all in our heads? What do you think? Have you given this much thought?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I'm way behind on blogging! Summer has been great, but I've had 4 kiddos with me ALL THE TIME. Makes it tricky to get much done. That's alright though, it's been a great summer. Tomorrow is Brennan's first day of 2nd grade and the next day is Calvin's first day of kindergarten! Summer vacation is officially over. So, hopefully, I'll be able to do some blog catch up over the next couple weeks (days? should I be so optimistic?).

A quick story for you. A few mornings ago my normally sweet-spirited Calvin got off to an awful start. Within minutes of waking up he had argued with his brother, tripped over and fallin into a tub of legos, and spoken harshly to his sister which got him in trouble with Dad. He then walked to his bedroom and crawled back into bed. I know, so sad. Well, I heard him crying and instantly knew how to start things off better.

A cute baby sister on your pillow instantly makes everything better. A little bit of cuddle time with Margo and he was ready for a re-do (and breakfast!).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

4 Months

Margo Mae is 4 months old! And yes, I took her 4 months pictures in her jammies. Oh well, she looks cute in anything.
Are you supposed to have a well child check up at 4 months? This is probably something I should remember, but I don't. Are there 4 month shots? I think I'll be calling the doctor tomorrow to find out. Anyway, all that to say, I'm not sure how much she weighs right now. She has moved into her 3-6 month clothing. When my boys were 4 months old they were wearing 6-12 month clothing!

This smile is constant. If you make eye contact with her, this is what you get. Every. Time.

Signs that she's the youngest of four children:
* She gets a bath about once a week. Is this awful or what? I frequently wipe her down with washcloths, does that count?
* I'm constantly finding food/sticky stuff on her head from all the kisses she receives.
* She barely makes a peep before someone is at her side. The other kids have "Margo Radar" and can hear her anywhere in the house.
* She is NOT startled by loud noises. Loud noises are a common occurrence in our house.

For my memory:
*This sweet girl is so laid back and happy. She constantly has someone in her face, kissing her, talking to her, pulling her arms and legs and she puts up with it all. She rarely fusses when her siblings love on her.
* Our "normal" routine right now includes 3-4 naps a day, sleeping 11 hours at night and nursing 5 times a day. She is showing signs of dropping a feeding, but it just doesn't seem right for a 4 month old to only nurse 4 times a day! She's growing fine though.
* A fabulous tummy sleeper. She puts herself to sleep with the help of a pacifier. She's constantly sucking on her hands and I'm hopeful she'll soon find her thumb.
* She has rolled over (tummy to back) twice. She's working HARD to do it more often.
* She has beautiful blue eyes and a reddish tent to her hair! Her Papa Jim has slightly red hair, so it's in the genes!
* Her smile lights up the room. Her siblings love to try and make her smile. It's such a reward for them when they turn to me and say "I made Margo smile!".
* When she gets excited she does the full body smile where her little arms and legs flail about.
* This child is such a JOY. Thank you Jesus for the gift of Margo Mae. We are blessed indeed.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Look Alikes

I took this picture on the way home from Kansas City a few weeks ago. I stumbled upon it in iphoto the other day and was struck by their resemblance. Wow. Of all our kiddos, these two look the most alike. I think Margo is going to look very similar as she grows up too. It's that upper lip, a marker of the Clements Kids.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

No More Dora

Dora the Explorer

There will be no more Dora the Explorer in our house. And no it doesn't have anything to do with the fact that "Dora" and "Explorer" don't rhyme and the whole theme song is based on the fact that these 2 words should rhyme. That drives me crazy, but that's not why there will be no more Dora in our house.

Here's why...

First, the set up. I had just come home with the girls from working out. Tyler was gone with the boys. I put Margo down for a nap. I needed a shower. I sat Charlotte down in front of the TV and turned on Dora the Explorer. For those of you not familiar with Dora (dad), it's an interactive kids program. Dora actually talks to the kids/viewers and expects an answer. She's a demanding little thing.

So, I make sure the doors are locked, everyone is safe and I hop in the shower. When I turn off the water, I hear Charlotte screaming! "NOOOOOOO!!!" She's screaming it over and over at the top of her lungs. I grab my towel and practically fall out of the shower, run down the hallway, all the while picturing some stranger in my living room hurting my daughter. No kidding, I really thought someone had gotten in the house and was hurting her (post-partum hormones anyone?).
And there she was, sitting nicely on the couch just where I left her, screaming at Dora. Dora had asked her a question and she was making sure Dora heard her answer.

No. More. Dora.

Grandma Iyla

The last few weeks have been so busy. Which means I haven't been blogging. Which means I'm way behind. Which means I don't know where to begin. Which makes me feel overwhelmed. Which means I don't blog. It's a vicious cycle!

Exactly 2 weeks ago my Grandma Iyla turned 95 years old! And then just 3 days later she died. She was an amazing woman. She had 3 daughters (one, my momma) and they were all standing around her when she died. It was very peaceful. She knew Jesus to be her Lord and Savior and loved him for many, many years. We know right where she is now.

She went into the hospital with pneumonia on Friday. When my sisters and I heard this we rushed down to Arkansas City on Saturday to see her. The prognosis wasn't good and we wanted a chance to say goodbye. Also, Miss Margo had not met her Great Grandma yet and I wanted to make sure that happened. It was a sweet time. I'm so thankful for that soft nudge from the Holy Spirit to go see her. She died the day after we left.
Margo will not remember meeting her great grandma, but I will never forget.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

10 years

Ten years ago I walked down the aisle to the man of my dreams. Really. I used to day dream about marrying him and having his babies.

It was a wonderful wedding day. Perfect in every way (except for a crazy DJ, although that's a story for another day). But really it was just the beginning of an amazing 10 years of marriage. Just day to day, real, hard, joyful, beautiful, marriage.

June 10, 2010