Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The last day of 2008... wow. Guess I should make some resolutions. I'm just gonna shoot for the fence....

• I will take down my Christmas tree in 2009.
• I will work out, at the YMCA in 2009.
• I will remain potty trained, even if I don't add any of my offspring to the trained ranks.
• I will maintain my personal hygiene routine of showering and wearing the cleanest clothes from the floor. 

That oughta do it.

But for reals... I never keep resolutions, and yet there is something so appealing about a brand new year with no peanut butter smeared on it yet...

I want to spend time in prayer, every day this year. 2 hours in the house of prayer, early in the morning maybe.(May have to take up coffee to accomplish this one)

I want to adopt a baby this year.

I want to have a disciplined workout plan, 3 times a week.

I want to WRITE.

I want to move in, wherever "in" is. No more boxes of random things and books stored. Along with this one is my hope of learning some dadgum organizational skills.

All of these are part of waking up. I am waking up. Right now I am still a little groggy and reeling from my long sleep, and the fact that life has moved on and shifted while I was out.  

I want to live, now.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Due to an unprecedented number of inquiries, (about 35) Ms. Smartypants will be choosing a few of the tip-top to answer.

Anonymous said...
Ms. Smartypants.
This theoretical of course, Say I had a sister and every time I saw her she had different kinds of hair, she never had a wig, just her hair changed colors and sometimes she had multicolors in her hair, Sometimes I would see her twice in one week and again there would be purple, pink, white streaks, each time she would look different and whatever color it is it sticks up and sideways somewhere. She doesn't have much hair, but it is in this constant state of evolution. Not only is this happening, but her husband sometimes matches her, like right now, they both have stick up purple and white hair, not very long but consistently in a state of change. Could you tell me what this means on three levels.

Spiritually
physically
emotionally
financially

Oh well that is actually four ways. So let me know what I should say to her.
Anonymous ( At least I am trying to be)

My dear reader... this kind of question is best answered by prayer and fasting. I will answer it anyway. You have to approach it from two angles. First, does anyone else seem to notice the change of hair? Or are you perhaps, a lunatic? That is the first. If, in fact, you are not out of your mind, then I would just nod and say how much you like it, since you know good and well those two could kill you by flexing their muscular pinkie fingers.

Anonymous said...
dear ms smarty pants... 
why did i go bald?
when will my daughter be born?

You went bald because of your father’s secret sin. Ask him about it.
As to when your daughter will be born, this varies. Some people’s children have to be secured in the womb with duct tape or they will start trying to escape as soon as they, in their professional opinion, have had enough. (see:R2) Others set up permanent shop and refuse to move out even upon repeated eviction notices and castor oil. (See:Kai) Your best bet is to be all passive and plan on being awakened to great alarm and then narrowly avoid delivering Annabelle in your car. Or truck, rather.


 Mommy Mere Pete said...
How does Santa not fall asleep on his ride all night????

I have watched many males accomplish feats of this kind. They begin with an afternoon nap. Then, coffee. Then, RockStars or their energy beverage of choice. Let the wife (or alternate driver) take the wheel for an hour or two, another quick nap. Coffee. Jonny Lang. Switchfoot. Drunk bumps. Coffee. Open the window and turn on the AC, even if it’s snowing. Talk, a lot, to people who are trying to sleep and/or read and/or play word games on the iPhone. Surf Facebook whiledriving. And then coffee. 6 naps the day after.

Anonymous said...
dear ms sp.

what does it take to become a certified sp?

If you have to ask, you don’t have it.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday to my beautiful boy....



Monday, December 22, 2008

So here I am in Texas, trying to get sick of Mexican food so I won't miss it when I go back to KC. Oh, and in KC? ONE degree. We picked the right time to bail. For reals.

I love Christmas. I am always a cheery little elf, but this year is a little weird, having a tree set up 750 miles away, and all my celebrants with me here... odd.

Got ZERO inquiries for Ms. Smartypants over the weekend... Holiday slump? Anyways, give 'er another shot and I'll answer sometime.

Time for your Holiday Smartypants! Submit your questions of a general and interesting nature today, and get an answer on Monday or whenever wifi smiles upon Dame Smartypants!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Driving to Texas today... I made a little video at the hotel but the Internet is against me. So you got nothing.

Time for your Holiday Smartypants! Submit your questions of a general and interesting nature today, and get an answer on Monday or whenever wifi smiles upon Dame Smartypants!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I was going to finish the Clarkive about a band today... part 1 is over on the sidebar. But I can't find the document I was typing it all up on, and I'm too brain-fried to try to remember anything in chronological order today. So, another day.

Brynn is 22 months and Toby is 35 months. For the men out there who request that in man-speak, they are almost 2 and almost 3. In mom-speak, they are just cute enough to keep me from taking off in the snow on foot to a faraway location.

All those years after the twins, when we wanted a baby and were praying and doing all the bedrest and the prayer and the (legal) drugs and the waiting.... I hated it when people griped about their kids. It seemed so ungrateful and didn't they know that some of us would give anything to get puked on... I understand a little better now. Parenting is the most joyful, frustrating, wonderful, exciting, disgusting, challenging job in the world.

I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Have you checked out richyandjessica.com? If you are planning on being a financial supporter next year, please let us know before we start selling our blood... kidding. But let us know.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I have reached a saturation point today. Evidently, I can only spend 2 full days indoors with toddlers before I lose it. Luckily, we escaped to McDonald's and the children are unharmed, my sanity close to intact.

Now, after only minor screaming fits including being dragged by one arm with cowboy boots flailing through the icy parking lot, Toby is asleep. God ordained naps, and I love Him for it. I am going to the library. And if ONE person at the library does a somersault in my face or tells me they have poopoo on their fingers, I'm going to go all ninja on them. News at 10.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The house search continues... the problem is, for the amount of space we need, we can really only afford a crackhouse. Living in a crackhouse might not be so bad if we didn't have kids.... Of course, if we didn't have kids, then we could live in a 1 bedroom. That would stink, though.We like our kids. And Daniel. So, what to do...

Well, we're thinking about buying a house. Now for most of you, you're like, "Well, DUH." A little harsh of you, I think. So what if we're 30 and 31! We've never bought a house before, and it is scary as heck. (As I was writing that, I realized that most of my side of the family have also never bought a house, in keeping with our gypsy roots) It's frightening to sign something that says, "Oh, sure, what the heck! I'll pay for this for the next 30 years!"

But man... there are some cool places for what we would be able to pay in rent. I asked the Realtor for a 17 bedroom... she laughed. Huh.

A safeguard in buying here is the jillions of people that are always looking for temporary housing at IHOP. If and when we came back to Texas, it would be easy to rent out.

In other news, we're having a party here tomorrow night. I will panic in a minute about how dirty everything is. But for now, I sit in blissful ignorance, in front of my beloved MacMini.







Friday, December 12, 2008


So, once again I am searching for a house. I need a big house. I want a mansion, actually. I love those houses in books, with like, 17 bedrooms and wings and servant's quarters. That's what I want, for cheap. Realistic, no?

For the next month or two, we'll be staying here, in this 3 bedroom... while we look. When we moved in, there were 5 of us. As of January, thanks to the welcome addition of 2 radiants, we will be 7. And then I want to start our adoption process... we need more room!

So, I look. There are actually lots of 4 bedrooms with basements in our price range... thank you, midwest. Unfortunately, they are all far from where we need to be, or seriously scary.

Surely there is some 100 year old house with hardwood floors and a jillion bedrooms that just needs a little tlc. It would be easier to buy, probably. But we don't want to buy.... we are too mobile to be stuck with a house.

Oh, and maybe you want to see the cuteness of the school picture. I thought so.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

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Back in the saddle




Exciting developments around here... we have started a new website, geared at informing supporters and enemies of what we're up to...
So, what are we up to, anyway?

Well. I will be doing what I always do, which is a lot of diapers... it's our hope to add one more diaper-wearer to the bunch in 2009... through adoption! I am also helping to start a ministry to special needs children and their families out of our local congregation here, and eventually through the whole International House of Prayer (IHOP).

Richy will continue to lead worship and tour with Radiant, and he will also be joining staff at the IHOP. He will also be planning and leading tours for the Call - with Radiant! So we are super excited about getting to be a part of all that is going on around here. We are in the process of raising financial support for 2009.

This is something I rarely talk about on my blog, I never want anyone to feel like I am going to take an offering at some random time. But I do want to explain why we raise support.

We make it our goal to be available to God... Radiant often plays at churches that could never afford a "big-name" worship leader, and we frequently break even after tours. In other words, no real financial profit. If we didn't believe our "work" has profit in another realm, it would seem wasted. We know it is never wasted.

So that's it. We give our time and our hearts and our lives to doing ministry. When you give to us, you are allowing us to give ourselves fully to this calling. Your support check does not cover the insurance on our yacht. It pays for rent, and groceries, and shoes... So we are asking for new and old financial supporters to join us in 2009.

If you want to send us as missionaries to America, sign up at support @ richyandjessica.com.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's a snow day... lucky for R2 because I was going to make him go back to school starting today.

On Sunday, I told him he would be going back to school on Monday. He started getting stressed out, and then after a while he came over to me and pointed... now, he doesn't talk much. But he pointed at me and said sternly, "Not going to school. NEVER AGAIN!" Then he shook his finger at me, "NEVER AGAIN!!"

Poor kid. I know he's traumatized from having to go through a seizure at school, but his ultimatum was still pretty funny. So we decided to keep him out another day. I tried to warm him up to the idea of going back all day yesterday, and he was getting less afraid... so I was going to go up with him today for an hour and see how he did. But, lucky for him, it snowed. A lot.


Monday, December 8, 2008

I thought I would use my platform today to talk about what happened, and how I feel. I know the family wants to know... I've been getting your messages, just not up to talking on the phone. So.

Thursday, I had just settled in with my Kleenex Price Chopper Tissue and my book and I was getting ready for a long grumpy day on the couch... I was just sitting down when the phone rang. It was Richy's teacher, and he was having a seizure at school.

The thing is, even when you know it might be coming, you're never ready for it.

So I texted Richy while I was putting on real pants and finding shoes and throwing snotty shoeless babies in their carseats... he met us at the school with Daniel, who stayed with the babies. So we went in and he was laying on the gurney with an oxygen mask, paramedics and firemen all around. Really. Firemen? Anyways.

Once the crisis has begun, I am very calm. I feel almost no emotion until several hours after we're "safe". Richy and I joke with the EMTs, make a plan, follow the ambulance to the hospital. At the hospital, he is only breathing 4 times a minute. I absorb this and feel nothing. I just wait. They intubate him and finally we're allowed in... he is unconscious, as always after a seizure... they have him heavily sedated. I wait in the corner and answer stupid questions like do I feel safe in my home and I wait.

I am given a bag of his clothes. The first emotion I feel is a sick sadness that they have cut his blue sweater in half.

Once he's stable, we're transferred up to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. We aren't allowed in for a long time, so we use the computer in the waiting area to update my blog and our twitters and facebooks. I don't answer my phone. I don't know what's happening and I don't have any answers.

Once we get in, he is waking up and we are trying to get them to knock him out one more time before he realizes he's intubated and panics. We're too late. He wakes up while we're standing there and the room floods with nurses trying to hold him down until they can get authorization to take out the breathing tube. He gets one free hand and yanks out the tube in his nose. They are surprised at how strong he is. I'm not. Finally he is extubated and he falls asleep for a minute, then wakes up and cries.

I am sick and sad and almost angry... and helpless.

Once the tube is out, he starts recovering. So we'll fast forward through another day of trying to make sure he's recovering and waiting and waiting until finally we are sick of it and I silence his monitors and unhook him from everything. He scrambles off the bed for the first time since we got there, and wobbles out into the hall to look at the Christmas tree we could see through his window. Evidently, it had been on his mind for a while when he was tethered. We are spotted and all the nurses think it's funny that I cut him loose. They bring the discharge paperwork right over.

Over the weekend, we all tried to recover. Lot of naps and temper tantrums for him, and I cried a few times... when it's all over and you know you dodged another bullet, it can get so heavy.

So, how do I feel now? Frustrated and relieved and a little sad and thankful. Okay. I am okay.

Friday, December 5, 2008

6 pm
We're home now, and Richy is acting pretty normal... a little emotional, but that's understandable. Thank you all for praying! There was great grace for us!!

1:45 pm


7:30 am

nice screenshot there. Thanks, Blogger.

I will be posting updates and such throughout the day. Currently we are waiting results from this morning's chest x-ray and doctors rounds.


I will actually do a little more story-recounting once we're out of here, so I'm working with more info.

Last night, I stayed with Richy till 10 or so, watching Toy Story and force-feeding him macaroni. When the movie was over I talked him into going to sleep. Then I headed on down the hall to the Ronald McDonald House, which is in the same building just a couple of halls away. Have you ever seen those donation boxes in front of the registers at McDonald's? Those are for places like the RM room that I stayed in last night.

We ate lunch in there yesterday. Normally, you have that whole my-kid-is-sick hospital suck, and in addition to that you have $10+ parking a day, and then an average of $7 per parent per meal in a hospital cafeteria... plus random other expenses that show up in a crisis. Nothing like gouging people in need.

But amazingly, we got to go over to the RM room and eat chicken breast and steamed veggies and such- for free! And then I got a sleeping room (like a mini hotel room) and use of the showers and so on... it is such a blessing to have a little respite spot during this kind of stuff. SO if you see one of those boxes, throw some change in there. I know I will be.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

8:45 pm




5:10 pm
R2 is waking up a little bit after sleeping for a couple of hours. He's groggy and unhappy, I'm sure his throat hurts from having been intubated and he still has an IV... hard to get comfortable.
They are running some tests to see if he's sick, he has a little fever, which is probably what triggered the seizure. So we're staying tonight and then hopefully tomorrow we can go home.

2:13 pm
Never mind on that whole plan thing... we are now in the hospital with R2 after hada seizure at school. He actually seems to be worse off from the treatment than the seizure, so we're just waiting and trying to get them to extubate him and un-sedate him so we can see how he's doing.


10:30 am

On the agenda:
Sneezing
Hacking
Griping
Repeat, ad infinitum

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This morning we had an appointment with the ocular prosthetic doctor. (Heretofore known as the "eye doctor")

Now, this guy's office is 20 minutes away. I, being directionally challenged, always resort to GoogleMaps (heretofore known as ^%$#!!) as my guide.

What I fail to understand is how I, as a person of potentially above average intelligence, could not find my way out of a wet paper bag. (North! Go North! my husband shouts, like that means something to me) So I take my little map and I memorize it, and then I drive somewhere else.

In my defense, Kansas City has too many freeways, all crowded up together. I get on and immediately am faced with 71 and 50 and 435 and 470 and on and on. And they split off everywhere.

I was very proud of skipping my usual first mistake today, and beginning on the right freeway. This according to my *^&%$, should last about 3 minutes before I merge onto the next one. Or 15 minutes, if you are supposed to be reading the text under the direction. So I, trying to just be reasonable, stay on. I then end up, 15 minutes later, at the end of the universe.

I call the MOG, who was in a top secret high level meeting and tell him I'm lost. He and his top level secret friend Randy kinda snicker at where I am now.

I turn around, and decide I should have done what I planned on doing this morning. I pick up the phone and cancel the appointment, for two reasons. 1) I am hopelessly lost and might not ever get there, and 2)Toby and Brynn are hacking like tiny blue-eyed smokers. Home and cough medicine, that becomes the new plan.

Next time, someone else in my family is driving.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Okay, so I'm staying in Kansas City. One of the reasons I'm pretty flip about it is... we have been agonizing and planning and praying for months now about the next step. And, if you've ever been in the middle of transition, you know how miserable that is. So, deciding to stay- even though it includes loss- is a relief!

Do I think we will come back to Texas eventually? Yes! Of course! I just know that we have to quit putting time limits on what God has for us to do.

But for now- however long now is- I'm going to quit being in transition and plug in.

Those of you who have known me for a long time know that Jessica Pre-Twins was drastically different than Jessica Post-Twins. I kinda feel like I'm getting me back.

I am waking up. Those who have been under the blanket of grief understand what I mean. I am enjoying life. I am laughing SO much... my heart is awake and I am ready to love God and love people again. And this city, this place of prayer has been so healing to me. I hardly ever even go to the "Prayer Room", but just being here in this community has brought me so much peace.

As to what did I mean when I said we were getting a chance to "do stuff" here? Well, there are some practical ways we are going to be helping the Call and IHOP... and we're still figuring out exactly what those jobs will entail. I will always keep you, the bloggerati, informed.

I know some people in Texas are disappointed, and there is no worse feeling for me than knowing people are unhappy because of something I've done. The thing is, we are solidly in God's will right now. Exactly where we are supposed to be. So it is bittersweet, knowing that I am leaving home... but so rich to jump into destiny.

Monday, December 1, 2008

So, by now you may have heard the rumor that the Clarks are staying in Kansas City. Not a rumor, folks... it's da troof.

What is this? you may be crying, as you rend your garments. Cut that out. Nobody wants to see in your rended garments. I'll splain.

Originally when we came to KC, we planned for a year, although most of our family types said yeah right and we would never come back and such. One family member strongly suggested we stay gone. Something about the door, and a butt... I don't remember the exact turn of phrase.

When we left, and all along, we have known that our time might be extended... that wacky God and his shenanigans.

So we've been deciding whether to come back to Texas in 2009 or stay in KC... and through a series of prophetic happenings, as well as open doors for both of us to "do stuff" here, we decided to stay. This time, we feel a little wary of saying when we'll be back. Could be a year, or I could have grandkids in Missouri. We're calling it "indefinitely".

The thing is, our families and half of our band is (are?) in Texas. So we'll be around quite a bit. Plus, we are not so intimidated by a 12 hour drive... wusses.

So you'll still see me, especially if you hang around Mexican restaurants at the holidays.

We're excited about the things we're going to be doing, being involved with the Call, and adoption, and helping set up a special needs ministry... lots going on!

Plus, it's snowing. I'm bout to bust out the Christmas spirit with a vengeance. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm thinking today about babies. Most of you know we have fought hard for the three we have living, as well as the two in heaven. We had Richy at 24 weeks, and then took a couple of years off, till we felt God moving our hearts to change our perspective and expand our hearts as well as our territory...  We realized that we had bought into the mindset that kids are a burden and a "choice", even though abortion was the furthest thing from our minds.

After losing the twins, you'd think that would have burned us out... but it just made us more heart-hungry for children. I read up on the quiverfull movement, and it stirred my heart. I don't agree, necessarily, with everything they eschew, but a heart attitude of acceptance and welcoming towards children. 

In fact, I remember feeling desperate and heartbroken at the thought that I might never have another baby. We started exploring adoption, and I found my heart totally rocked by Steven Curtis Chapman's music video. Of course, it's deeper just that, but i became blown away by Gods love for orphans. I studied options for a while, and it became something that we wanted to do, but first we wanted to try pregnancy again... so after 4 months of bedrest, we got Toby, and then very soon afterwards, 3 months of bedrest and Brynn. 

Now, I'm in a position where my womb is a dangerous place for children, but my heart is still wide open. I am learning this... how to have a quiverfull heart with a broken womb. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

We are now safely in the vast confines of Texas... I need to get some Mexican food, immediately. 

Last night we slept in bunk beds. We got in pretty late, so I thought my kids would crash out right away. Obviously, being a mom for 9 years has not clued me in to reality. 

I put Toby and Richy in the same bunk since it was a new environment and a little cold and so on. Bad Idea #2. Toby was at summer camp. He was giddy excited about sleeping in the bed with R2, and being in a new place, sleeping in the same room as us. He sang and laughed and tickled Richy and made a house out of the blankets and in general just caused mass chaos for about an hour before we shut it down.  R2 was laying there obediently despite the onslaught. 

We exiled him to a separate bunk, where his brokenhearted cries filled the air for several minutes until he succumbed to sweet sleep. 

Kids are the best.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This is part 5 in an ongoing history of us... Links to the first 4 parts are over on the left sidebar over there.

The History of Radiant Worship by Jessica Clark... Part 1 of a 2 or 3 part series.


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(click to enlarge)

The history of the band begins with Net Work Praise Band... but not too long before that, and before he met Jesus, Richy had been one of the frontmen of a band known as the Toxic Crayolas, famous for causing a minor riot and mosh pit at Conroe High School around 1992...

Later, he got saved, and eventually wrote that classic, Under My Feet. UMF was a sort of speed metal high praise song with a rap-influenced bridge. Net Work Praise Band borrowed an ADAT from someone and made a bootleg CD, on cassette only, of Under My Feet and several cover songs. If Dennis Jernigan had been dead, he would have been turning in his grave. It’s highly unlikely he, being alive, was ever made aware of our version of “I belong to Jesus”.
We sold 100 copies of Net Work Bootleg (if you’re the feds, somebody else sold them) for $5 each. I don’t ever remember seeing the money. Hmm.

   

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As we got more organized and Richy wrote a few more hits, we dropped the Net Work and became simply, Praise Band. We were experiencing a revival in our youth group, and the songs from that season carried so much breakthrough and passion. We recorded our first CD as Praise Band in 1997, I think. The CD was called “Everything” and it is no longer available. We went on our first tour in 1998, up the West Coast for a 2 week period. I shudder to think of what we looked like, and sounded like, since we can tell from the pictures that we were mega-geeks. Still, everywhere we went, God moved through the music, and people were saved.

Soon, we had evidently reached the degree of fame that we were detected. We were contacted by Maranatha Praise Band and legally ordered to drop the name Praise Band. That’s the bigtime, folks.

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Our next band name was Found, despite my objections. We were still leading worship multiple times a week at our home church, both for the youth and the adult services. The band had somehow morphed into a very, very large group of people. Richy was working at the church fulltime at this point, and was having good long devotional times to write songs... so some beautiful stuff, including You Are Holy, came out of this time. We were leading the youth, and we had them leading multiple home groups, really a fruitful season. We recorded Take Me There, live at Christ the King Church.


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Somewhere in here, we did a live concert at Houston Baptist University, and my dad made a live bootleg recording (for real, bootleg. We told him not to) and sold them on the side. We never saw that money either. Hmm.


Stay tuned for more wacky adventures with those rascally Radiants!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's that time of year where I start getting my holiday on... I am a big, big fan of Thanksgiving food. Lemme tell you about it.

Well, you start with turkey. I personally have nothing to do with the turkey. Not only is it approximately $400 a pound, it is also, as I have described over the years, a dry yet greasy tasteless bird. With that being said, it is nonetheless essential to the holiday. I demand that it be present, even in its current Yablonski format of a turkey, stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken, stuffed with sausage. (a turducken, they call it, completely dissing the sausage). I have had turkey over the years that was okay, but still nothing to write home about. I eat ham.

I also skip things with green beans and things that look nasty, like cranberry sauce. I save my somewhat limited intestinal capacity for important things, like ham and sweet potatoes and rolls and dessert of every kind. I can't tell you how many times over the years I have been just getting started, and the ol' gut says, "Whoa... back it up, sister!" This is alarming on at least two fronts... one, that my stomach can speak, and two, that I have to stop eating or risk intestinal rupture and eventually, death.

Lucky for me, my mother-in-law is no patriot, and does not celebrate American Imperialist holidays. She stills tries to get a holiday out of it by having a party on the weekend, with enchiladas. I know.

So, I only have two Thanksgiving feasts, the Yablonskis and the Clarks, on Richy's dad's side. I can usually manage two smorgasbords, although it makes the rest of the year awfully disappointing.

This year, I live in a state where it is very, very cold already. Just imagine the North Pole. Yep, like that. So my brain and psyche and what-not are in a state of panic at it already being Christmas weather, (since the two cold days of the year in Texas are typically around ol' St Nick's Day,) without having first gone through the rite of Thanksgiving. "What about the FOOD?" my brain is wailing. It's like a funhouse around here with all these talking organs and muscles.

We will be driving to Texas next week to celebrate. Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008



I especially like this one, since I appear momentarily. I don't get much camera time, for some reason. It's probably because I don't play an instrument... or, I'm obnoxious. Hmm.

So, today I am thinking about working out again, and then cleaning like a madwoman... actually, a madwoman would probably just shred things and throw everything around. I guess it depends on the type of madness. I will clean like a motivated cleanliness obsessed disturbed woman. My hope is that my house will then look clean.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I really love my blog. I love thinking of things to write, and then finding the time to type them... I love comments a lot. It is difficult sometimes to actually coordinate 1)awake brain 2)something to say 3)at home 4)nobody screaming or hitting their sibling in the head with drumsticks and/or standing on top of the counter eating peanut butter out of the jar with their fingers

Like for example, in the 30 seconds it took me to type that, Toby and Bean have emptied all of the new expensive wipes out onto the floor and were busy cleaning the hardwood floor.

ANyways, the point is, I really want to write more meaningful stuff than just slapping up an update so my mom and sisters are not concerned that I am pregnant and/or depressed. So there you go.

Along with wanting to write meaningfully, I want to clean out the garage, find a place to live in Texas, and watch the webisode of Jon and Kate plus 8 from last night where they renewed their vows and it looked SO romantic.

I also want to finish some more Clarkives. It's ridiculous that I haven't updated those in months.

But for today, more filler.

Monday, November 17, 2008



Today we were having a nice leisurely morning as usual... a little Cheerios and yogurt, some PBS and so on... when I got a call from R2's school. My little plan of getting his picture taken with no money up front had failed.

So we kicked into gear and got diapers and dressed and so on... I was already in workout gear of a sort, so I decided to just go with it and be Sporty Mommy.

So we went in and dropped off the check right as Richy was getting walked down to the photographer. So we tagged along. Now, this was Richy's first school picture ever, so I was pretty excited to get to watch. So was Spiderman and the Princess.

Two other special needs kids were first, and they were pretty unhappy about having to sit on the stool and look at the camera, so tensions were rising. Plus, it always confuses Richy when his worlds collide and his Mommy is at school. Not working. So I knew I'd have to handle it just right or we'd have Scowling Richy for his first school portrait.

Off we went to the side, where I told a few jokes and poked him around a little. And, it worked! I ended up having to stand behind the photographer and say goofy things, but it came out very cute and smiley.

After his picture, he was jumping and very excited, and then we had to bail, which brought out the scowl, but only for a minute.

Then the three of us went to the Y, where I worked extra hard so having lunch at Cici's wouldn't count against me. All in how you look at it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I just went back and read some archives from my old blog. Dang, that's good stuff. I think I must be funnier when sleep deprived.
That's it. All this sleeping through the night is making me dull! Time for a new baby!!

Anyways.

As I was reading the archives, I discovered that last year at this time, I was potty-training Toby and looking for a house in another state.
Now contrast that to this year, when I am potty-training Toby and looking for a house in another state.

This second round of PT started a week or so ago. We have progressed to the point where, if I ask him every so often to go pee on the potty, he doesn't have any accidents. But so far, no initiative when not prompted. He just pees in his undies and then gripes about it.

The thing is, he is so stinking smart. I know he gets the whole concept. It's just that he gets fixated on whatever he's doing and ignores outside stimuli. This is a characteristic that he did not get from my side of the family, that's all I'm sayin.

Still, cleaning up one or two accidents a day might be better than all the diapers. See, here's the thing. Because of his brain damage, R2 is also not potty-trained. So that's 9 and a half years of diapers, if anyone is counting. I know I am. I also count the 70 diapers or so we use in a week.

So the reality of eventually, any of these kids being toilet-trained is foreign, and yet so appealing. May it be so, and soon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The following is a blog hijack... Click the link above to view the latest video podcast from this last tour. Once Jess returns from her monthly work out, she will delete this text.. and write her own.. and I assume, be gracious to include a link to our latest episode. That is all for now! Richy "blog hijacker" Clark



Hey!

wow. MULTIPLE offenses here. I will list them for you
• hijacking my blog. maybe I will change my passwords...

• linking in the title instead of embedding the video....

• "monthly workout". hmph. Maybe today is the beginning of a beautiful new tradition of working out multiple times in ONE month.

On the plus side, no misspellings.

Oh, and you should know I am looking so cute in my thrift store velour jogging suit. Like a MOM, y'all.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

mama pc said...
Dear Smarty- Pants

What does a mother do when one of her daughters does the chicken dance on I10 in front of her adoring fans?
November 8, 2008 1:04 AM

This, my dear reader, depends on the daughter and the mother in question. If, for example, one’s daughter is less than 2 years old, your response would probably be something along the lines of gasping and clutching and sprinting and such. For mothers of an older daughter, like perhaps, 23 or so, Ms Smartypants would recommend grabbing hold of the ol’ trousers and joining in!


 josharoo said...
Deat Ms. Smartypants,

How can I become famous and get my own advice column like you?

Thanks,
Jealous Joshua

One of my most faithful questioners, Joshua. Once again, before stepping into the literary world, let me recommend a good spell-checker.

 lisbeth said...
o.k smarty

how many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?

A lady would certainly not know, as a lady would never engage in such vulgar acts as consuming lollipops or chewing gum in public.
For those ones of you vulgar enough to still want the answer, according to Wikipedia :According to the official Tootsie Roll website, over 50,000 children have written in since the launching of the commercial in 1970, claiming they know how many licks it takes. Their responses have ranged from 100 to 5,800.
Three independent research studies have been carried out to determine the answer. Engineering students at Purdue University devised a "licking machine" that showed an average of 364 licks are needed to get to the center. Using 20 human volunteers, the figure was 252. A doctoral student at the University of Michigan created another licking machine and came up with an average of 411 licks.


Good to know our universities are engaged in meaningful activity.




and

how can you be so sure your advice is good advice? would you feel bad if someone took your advice and then it led to bad places? maybe jealous josh isn't equipped with your level of wisdom. what if he gets in the business and something horrible happens?
November 8, 2008 7:55 PM

This is a multi-part question, which I will now dissect.

how can you be so sure your advice is good advice?

There are some absolutes, dear reader.

would you feel bad if someone took your advice and then it led to bad places?

I am having difficulty envisioning this scenario. My advice, administered correctly, would preclude a utopian existence.

maybe jealous josh isn't equipped with your level of wisdom. what if he gets in the business and something horrible happens?

I hesitate to consider what could occur under said circumstance. Jealous Josh has shown great skill in offering Human Resources to airplanes. My strong suggestion would be that he, and others like him, stay a healthy distance from journalism, and/or advice columns in general.

 anonymous said...
Smartypants,

Why did I just squah a bug on my monitor when I knew it would nasty bug guts get all over the monitor?
November 8, 2008 11:58 PM

A predisposition towards violence, perhaps? How was your relationship with your father?

 mommy mere pete said...
Hey Ms Smarty-Pants,

I have new mommy questions for you!! I'm sure you will be able to help me!!

How does a nursing mother NOT get covered with milk in the middle of the night when the baby is sleeping for hours on end??? Why does a baby fight going to sleep?? How does a baby make the butt-sneeze noise??

HELP ME!!
Soaked and sleepless

Ms Smartypants can feel men wincing all across the country as they consider this possibilty. These same men would have no trouble discussing the “time I cut my hand wide open on one ‘them buzz saws. ”I have potential real answers for you, but I will avoid all talk of milk for the sake of the selectively squeamish. Not to mention, I have never had a child that slept more than two hours at a time until they were 12 years old or so.

A baby fights sleep on the great hope that something exciting will happen when they are not sleeping. Is Mommy lying on floor in fetal position cursing the day she was born exciting? Indeed it is!

Ahem. Ms. Smartypants will not comment on this “butt-sneeze.” Ahem.

 anonymous said...
YES! Smartypants is back!

OK, what do you do if you secretly think your husband loves the nfl more than you?-G



Once one has been married for 20+ years, is it really a secret anymore? There are some absolutes.


2. What makes car mechanics so much different than the rest of society?

They are an elite class. The fact that such a small percentage of society, through great knowledge, controls the transportation of society as a whole is frightening. Will mechanics someday control the world’s food supply? Only Dr. Ron Paul knows.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My deepest apologies to all the Smartypants fans who are waiting... the MOG and crew came home a day early and festivities commenced. Most of the Radiants are now en route back to Tejas, and I blog.
The good news is, you have one more day to submit your burning questions for Smartypants, since I will be hosting Episode 2 of the Radiant Podcast today.
The bad news is, no Smartypants column today. Ah, quit yer whining....

Friday, November 7, 2008


I am back from my jaunt to the West Coast, and I can't get enough of this baby girl.... what a sweetie... I love all my kids, no worries. But Bean is just still so roly-poly (for us, anyway) and baby-ish and I don't want to put her down. 

Spent the day in the airport yesterday, reading and eating. Pretty good times, actually.


I have pages to update on various ministry stops, but first for my own amusement, let's have a round of Smartypants!


Ms. Smartypants is your semi-annual semi-helpful advice guru! Submit your questions, of a general and/or amusing nature. Touring, etiquette, politics, cooking, technology? You name it, and we might google it. MSP will answer none, one, or all of your questions! Inquiries can be posted today through Sunday night, or even Monday morning if el bloggo runs late! Ready, set, go!

Oh, and if you're all, "What meanest thou this, Smartypants?" then here are some archives to give you an idea...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Update from Wednesday:
staying with the terrific crew of the Justice House of Prayer in San Francisco for my last night on this tour. I have been blogging in a journal because the blogger in me does not shut off, even when internet access is limited. Right now I'm using the JHOP computer and thus will not be posting for reals. Besides, I want you to watch and comment on the podcast.
Oh, and Obama won. Kinda saw it coming and I am so glad Jesus is King over everything. I'll be back in KC tomorrow and will hopefully have a chance to update the bloggerati then-ish.

I am ready to see my babies.... okay, now back to the podcast.


Monday, November 3, 2008

photo by the Call photographer Shelley Paulson


I may be starting another stretch of days before having real internet access again, so I'll update on the Call and such.

I woke up at 6 something to get ready. I always get a little nervous the morning of a Call because it feels like such an enormous responsibility to have our hearts right and just to try to be ready and obedient for whatever the day brings.
We got to the stadium around 7:30 (the dance company Tred had flown in and joined us for the Call, so we were a bigger group) and collected equipment and walked up the long concourse to the backstage area.
When we arrived onstage, all the equipment was covered with giant tarps, so those of us who did not have instruments to set up made tarp folding teams, like 4 people each.
Once the stage was pretty ready, we got to sound check. My one bummer about the stage setup for the last two Calls is that the backup singer line is so far from the band. I used to get to stand right next to Richy and I always loved that spot. Now I stand way, way over on the side and it's just harder to not get that bandy-cohesive feeling... anyways.
So we sound checked as usual, just spontaneous praise and singing and then eventually a real song. We had a few minute break before we actually began, so we went backstage on got on our faces for a little while.

Our actual set was such a blast. I was standing by Lou, and as soon as the guitars started, he got excited and said, "I can already feel the glory!" It felt like the presence of God came and met us right at those first notes and then He stayed. The Bible says He delights in the praises of His people and I SO felt that that morning.
We played for 45 minutes and it was just so right. Several times I felt stuff break open in the spirit, and I just wanted to geek out and yell and dance, so I did. It was a relief to me to be before the official Call, and therefore, not televised. Just easier to just work with the crowd in the stadium, and us, and God.

Once our set was done, we took all the gear back out to the trailer and settled in for the long haul. The MOG and I made it about 2 hours in the direct sun before we wussed out and prayed from the stands until afternoon. Our team, impervious to the elements, blasted all day from the front. All day, there was just such intensity and authority... and grace.

I didn't see any protestors, although the security guy I became buddies with this weekend told me there was one guy way up in the stands with a sign.... and others said the protestors were outside.

It was just a glorious day. I don't know what the estimates were, I'd say between 40 and 50 thousand.

At one point, I was standing very near the front and the whole stadium was singing. I love those moments, when I just close my eyes and feel the body of Christ.

Over the weekend we played twice at Harvest Rock Church, and got to see Richy's cousin Lorri. But I am out of computer time and will have to update on that next time I get real internet.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Okay, if I got this right, then tonight at 5:30 Pacific Time, which is 7:30 for all y'all Centrals. click here for what might be the broadcast.

Now, when I clicked it a minute ago, it was some other band. Disregard that because we aren't playing now.... duh. We play in an hour and a half. Although, my voice is pretty much gone and not making any effort to return, so you might not see me.

I'll talk about the Call tomorrow, if I am so fortunate as to have the internets.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

638 am Morning of the Call San Diego
We have to be at the van at 7. This one's in a stadium... I like stadiums the best, I think. We'll be on from 8:30 to 9:15, which will be before the broadcast begins on Godtv. But join us all day on god tv and you'll see us in the audience. Probably will not be liveblogging today since I'll be, you know praying.
Feeling the urgency and sobriety of today.

215 Pacific time
The mog and I are sitting up in the stands at qualcomm stadium, soaking in some shade after a very sunny morning. Our set went great,open heavens!
The honorable eddie James is about to take the stage and I might have to get my dance on...

Friday, October 31, 2008

On the road with the Radiants. Blogging may be spotty over the next week as I fight for possession of the SuperMac when we have wi-fi. 
Ok, we're hitting the road, I'm out. 


Live blogging now, on a delay.
927 am riding in the van. Just had 2nd or 3rd coffee of my life. I am getting used to the taste, but not sure it really has any effect on my energy level. 40 miles to Phoenix headed for san diego, where we will meet up with tred. We originally had our sound check at the stadium this afternoon, but it got moved to tomorrow mrnng which is much better.
This is going to be an interesting Call since active protests are expected.

12:35 pm FYI: cell signal in the desert is pretty rotten. But don't people in the desert need phones?I mean with the heat and the sand and possibly vicious camels... In other news, the cows around here are packed really tightly, unlike our cows, who kinda hang out by the water cooler.

2:35 pm finally got a signal but the phone battery is nearly dead. We are still driving, and fasting, with no foreseeable end in sight.

3 pm driving through giant piles of rocks in California. This is the glamorous life.

724 pm in pre call meeting... I heart lou engle

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Today was an important meeting at R2's school... I had rescheduled it twice, so I was so glad to be in town and available today. 

The way Special Ed works is, the student has to be in the school for 30+days before a diagnosis can be made that they qualify for Spec Ed classes. After meeting R2, they went ahead and made a temporary placement in the special class, planning on doing testings and evaluations and observations and such during the 30 day period. 

So, now that is over and today I sat down with a lot of people and discussed their findings.

I know my kid pretty well, so none of it was a surprise to me. Significant vision impairment? You don't say! and so on. So I tried really hard to show my appreciation for all of the work they've done in getting this understanding of R2, which is actually pretty darn accurate. 

So the diagnostician gave her results, and the speech therapists, and the physical and occupational therapists, and a variety of others. They all said something like, "Well, we started with this standardized test, but we weren't really getting anywhere, so we threw it out and tried testing this way. He didn't really want to cooperate, but he's such a nice kid." something along those lines. My boy had charmed every single one of those teachers. 

He ended up testing at a developmental level of about a 2 year old, which is a little younger than what I thought, but since I have what amounts to 2 2 year olds at home every day, I can see some truth in that.

A few of my favorite moments... 

•In one testing period, he started getting frustrated and wanting to be done, when the bell rang. This non-verbal little guy turned to the teacher and said, "The bell is ringing." 

•They were asking me about what signs he knows and I showed one he's been doing a lot that I didn't recognize. The speech therapist was laughing really hard and said it's the sign for "chocolate".

•They said he tears it up when they give him the microphone. I explained what his daddy does for a living and they thought it made a lot of sense. 

•At one point, the occupational therapist was reading a long list of "emerging" skills, or things that he is learning or trying but still not succeeding at. She said, "It's just so exciting. The world is about to break wide open for him..." I got a little choked up.

So overall it was so encouraging, and I hated to tell them we are probably moving in January. After a brief outburst of "Don't take my baby!" from a couple of them, they said the Individual Education Plan could be transferred to the new school in Texas, which made me feel better.

Overall, super encouraging meeting. YAY!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I have a sickness when it comes to my hair. I can't leave it alone. I want it shorter, longer, darker, lighter, chunkier, thinner, maybe a few pink streaks... red, brown, blonde, etc.

One time I was talking to the good ol' MOG about getting a haircut. He said, "I know it's hard for you because you've had this hair for several months." So true.

Anyways, I have been warring with myself about getting it cut off, since I have bleached the holy santos out of it and it looks really fried. 

So I found a picture in a magazine and then, when the babies fell asleep, I abandoned them to my mom and took off to Great Clips. 

"My Heck!" you cry. "Why Great Clips?" Budgetary constraints. I can't afford the dollars at a real salon, or the couple of do-overs and time I would get at the beauty school. Normally, I am down for a beauty school experiment. But I fly to Arizona on Thursday, and tomorrow is booked, what with grandmother drop-offs and pickups at the airport, and parent-teacher meetings. So I'd have to have it done right today, and the odds are low. 

Anyways, again. Off to Great Clips where the little snippet reluctantly agreed to cut my hair, despite having problems at home with her baby daddy. I showed her the picture, and initially she was agreeable. 

As time wore on she realized how plastic the back of my hair is from all the bleaching, and began offering subtly snide suggestions, like, you might as well just let your natural color grow out because this(holding up a strawlike clump)... and such. 

She looked a lot like Jamie Lynn Spears, if you read anything in the checkout line... I had to keep reminding myself that her name was not Jamie. 

Haircut 1 was not so great, so I found a different picture, which pleased Jamie Jenna, as it allowed her to make big chopping motions and ugly faces as she took off several more inches. 

So here I am. Ever since I stopped letting my friends cut my hair, I never like it much. I mean, I'll put some stuff in it and a little barrette and we'll get by... but man. I need my African pal to fly over and do some work. Some maroon streaks and a little texture and what-not. (Sigh)

Oh, and I tipped her more than usual, since she did two cuts, technically. For some reason, this seemed to annoy her. Pesky customers.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Today was a very exciting day for us... most of you have been following the story, but in case you haven't I'll recap. R2 (Richy the Second) was born 4 months early and as a result had numerous medical issues, ending (when he was about 4 months old) in a shrunken non-functioning left eye. 

We began the process of getting an ocular prosthetic (called a scleral shell) a few months ago. It's like a thick contact lens. We started with a clear conformer, which he has worn for 2 months to stretch the eyelid and make sure he can tolerate a prosthetic. So today was the big day to get the long-term shell, painted to match his good eye.

I got lost twice on the way there and once on the way back. Good times.

Once we were there, Dr. Turntine showed me the rough shell, which had to be sanded and painted and go through a variety of chemicals and machines before it would actually be wearable.
Photobucket
Then he brought Richy into his office and painted the iris while he watched him. I asked him if he did other art, and he does, watercolor and acrylics. He painted the blue and the blue-green and all the tiny little lines, and then he ran his paintbrush across some red thread and drew miniature veins on the corners of the shell.
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Throughout the process he would hold it up to R2's good eye and compare color and such.
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He drew in the pupil and then painted a clear coating over it all. We compared it one more time and then he put it inside something that looked like a vise, inside a pressure cooker. The curing process took over an hour so he sent us out and we got an oil change in the van, ate some lunch and listened to Rush in the van with the heater blaring (43 degrees out there, y'all).

When we got back, he took the shell out of the cooker and buffed it with that same circular tool they use at nail salons, and then exfoliated it further with a scary machine with a pumice. Then he used a big powered circular brush, and then he gave it to me to look at.

I dropped it on the ground first thing. Grace and ease, that's me.

Photobucket

Luckily, it had to be disinfected anyway so we dropped it in the stuff (medical term) and waited a few minutes. Then he took out the old shell and put the new one in.

It was so surreal, looking at my son who is so familiar, and this eye, which is about a perfect match, and remembering that first 4 months when he had both eyes.... so familiar and so strange.

He admired himself in the mirror for quite a while. I think he understands.

after:
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Photobucket

Thursday, October 23, 2008

You might have heard that my husband has a new computer. I get to use it sometimes, like when he's asleep or now, when he is ankle deep in xlr cables and such. So I finally get to update the ol' blog.

Today I went to lunch with some mommies, saw Julie D's new baby (congrats!) and got to hang out with Steph, which has been long needed. Now I am perched in the sound booth at Christ the King whilst the guys set up for the concert maƱana. I don't really help so much. For one thing, I am a weenie and can not carry heavy things to and fro. For another thing, I am a slacker. Also, I don't know much about sound. More than the average bear, sure. But not enough that I am very useful around here. It's a good thing I make good babies. That is my special job.

And that's all I got. Peace, I'm out.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

So this is how it went down. A few weeks ago, I intercepted a text on my husband's phone... all I read was something about a "girls night" and then I backed out and didn't read any more, since I like to be surprised and the odds were good that that message was in fact, about a surprise, for me, involving my birthday. I then tried to eradicate it from my mind.

I dig surprises. Good ones, primarily. Some people that I'm married to like to sneak around and figure out all the surprises ahead of time and thus are rarely surprised. How many times will the word surprise show up in this episode? It's a surprise.

So anyways, then we drive to Texas and I know everyone is fasting and praying all weekend, so the likelihood of a birthday party is well, unlikely. Then I was talking to my sister about seeing Stephanie and she was all like, well, maybe we can do something for your birthday next week. So I, at this point thinking the girl's night was a no go, started talking about her house. Then she said, maybe at a restaurant or something... and that was it. Plan for no plan.

Then the hubby mentions that if I do something with Leah, I won't have the kids.

Do you know what a trial it is to be a smarty and to try very very hard to be un-observant? I should not read or listen to anything for the month of October and maybe that way I can miss it all....

So Monday all day I know something is coming. I got busted in the afternoon and tried to play it cool and not get any more surprise info. So at 6 we're supposed to be getting ready to go on our date, just me and Leah. And she's puttering around in her yoga pants and folding laundry and such.

And I know the party is not at her house. It's a mess by their standards, meaning there is a toy on the couch and the trash is full. So I am all gussied up and waiting- now maybe you're thinking, well, maybe Leah was just planning on going out in her yoga pants with her hair laying down flat.... and no glitter. If so, you don't know Leah.

So finally she gets all her bling and her glitter and sparkly clothes and her hair is vertical and jagged... Then she stands and looks out the window for a while. I so knew she was up to something. And unless the 5 minutes of casual window-watching was on the official schedule, she was acting a little wacky.

Again, I try to blank out my mind to be surprised. So we leave, after a very dramatic breakdown from a little person. (But I am a girl TOO! I want to go on the girl date!!!) and then we stop by Jen's house to pick up a check. We walk in and River is kinda hanging around and Wade is pretty excited, but he is Wade and all and that's how he is. So I think, blank slate. No party at Jenn's. THEN they all pop out from upstairs and yell surprise! And I actually was, mostly!


Then they made me change out of my normal looking (well, fairly) outfit and into a crazy ridiculous getup. Leah said since thirty's a big deal, I have to do whatever they say. So I got all dressed up and hairsprayed and we went out on the town. It was such a fun night, after a pretty lonely year.

The whole night was great, the Mexican food and the cheesecake and the bookstore and almost getting a tatoo, and making me stand on a chair and wear a sombrero.... we had a lot of fun but my favorite thing was just the talking. Such a diverse group of very close friends... several times, in Jenn's jeep and elsewhere, I just sat back and listened to them all talk. Oh, man. I have missed home.

Everywhere we went, people thought we must be drunk. Maybe it was my outfit. It sparked some good conversation.

Happy Birthday week continues!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I really meant to blog about my mostly-a-surprise party last night on today's post... but I never got access to the Holy MacBook until now. So I'll save it till tomorrow.

In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves. I'm on a 24 hour date with the hubby. Wahoo!

Monday, October 20, 2008

So this weekend we participated in the Prayer Storm here with our local churches in Conroe. And by local, I mean "loco".

Seriously. Ever since my sister Leah got taken to heaven and such, she has been so weird. It's great. She now has a dance company that does awesome prophetic intercession through movement. So this weekend we blasted it from the stage with the musicians, and they blasted it from the floor with the dancers. It was intense.

Again, my inner imp, (it's not a demon) would just occasionally observe the goings-on and say, "You know, this looks pretty wacky, what with the modern dancers with sticks and us up on the stage screaming, 'Life! Life! Life!'" But then my more spiritual and currently dominant side would be all like, "Well, who cares? Prayer moves things! Let's keep praying!"

A couple of times I thought, "What might my life have been like if I had been born to Baptists?" No offense to other denominations... I just love me some Charismania sometimes.

Last night I sang in between Richy and Daniel's guitar amps. It was kind of like having a prayer meeting at Guitar Center, only less demons. Man! It is the funnest EVER to do corporate intercession with the Radiants. I really really miss being a part, so anytime I get to get up there and participate, it is thrilling. It was a very successful Prayer Storm, both in terms of participation from all three congregations and effective prayer... let's see God move in Montgomery County!



In other news, I am still thirty. I found myself insulting Daniel multiple times over the weekend about his youth. He is 25. I, as you may or may not recall, am 30. Vastly older and more experienced... I remember when I was 25.

I have 5 more days in Texas... already had some Mexican food, although believe you me I will be having some more... yesterday the MOG and I simultaneously lifted our hands in thanks to the Lord after tasting the salsa from Rancho Grande... the Lord's salsa.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I am thirty today.
Thirty years old.
I have been a genius, and then a pretty smart person.
Broken 2 bones.
I've been to 4 countries, if you count Canada.
I've learned I was a sinner.
I have been in like, in crush, and in love.
I was engaged to be married in 4th grade for several hours, and then the real thing when I was 17.
I have vowed never to marry, and changed my mind within a matter of days, after meeting Richy.
I've learned love is bigger than me.
I've gotten married young, and never regretted it
I've made a lot of money, and given it up, for the better thing, couple of times, actually.
I've learned to love broken people.
I've been a youth pastor, a rock star and a mommy and wife. I still am.
I have felt the raw pleasure and thrill of finding out I was pregnant. Once.
I have felt the joy mixed with terror of finding out I was pregnant. 3 times.
I have given birth to 5 children.
I have been in the valley of the shadow of death.
I've learned to love deeply and not hold on too tight.
Have said goodbye to 2 children and a parent.
Grieved.
Grown.
I think I have laughed more than I have cried.
I've learned that the more I know, the less I know.

I'm thirty today, and I'm just getting started.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

on the road today, blogging from iPhone. We are well on our way, in Oklahoma somewhere right now. I drove all morning with my good buddy Rush narrating the political scene along the way.

Things were getting a little ugly in here, but now that we've had some lunch I am expecting the babies to nap for a while, so we will only have one very grumpy little person to deal with.

Planning on doing some of the drive solo today when the mog drove for Daniel, I brought along a variety of electronic toys. Now I, having mommy brain, don't even hear this noise. But someone forgot their earplugs and that person was greatly bothered by radio+kid+noisy toys... He had to Indian-give his old earplugs and get them back from Daniel.

Now he's driving the van, and I am quite at my leisure. I have a melty candy bar and a bag of library books. Mmmm, good.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Today, we will be driving over to the Election Board and putting in our absentee votes. McCain, y'all. Missouri is a swing state, and maybe we'll swing it! Of course, we also have massive and widespread voter fraud here in Missouri, and even Kansas City, more specifically. Maybe I should vote a couple of times.

Then it's back home to pack and get ready for the long drive to Tejas tomorrow. We will be leaving at 6 am. Now, this is a curious thing. Over the 10 months we've been here, I have requested on each Texas trip that we leave early, as to not arrive when the day is already over. I have had this petition denied, every time.

See, but Daniel lives here now. So he and I had a little convo and found we saw eye-to-eye on the whole arriving during daylight idea. Also, since Daniel exists almost solely as a result of coffee, he is not intimidated by an early start. So I says to him, I says, "You pitch the idea to Richy."

Over lunch he mentions to Richy, "I'd like to leave at 6 am tomorrow."
Richy, with a mouthful of stew, "Okay."

What is this male-speak? And why don't it work fer me?

Regardless, we will be in Texas tomorrow evening. And I'm pretty stoked.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Today, we made yet another trip to the Ocular Prosthetician (I think I made that up. Doctor of Ocular Prosthetics), I thought to get the painted shell that will look just like his real eye.

But actually, it was just a check-up and then he made a mold for the painted eye, and we will come back in 2 weeks to get that done. Now, that appointment will be cool because he will actually paint the eye while we're there, and we get to watch.

(if you're coming in late here, it's like a painted contact lens, basically. It fits over the damaged eye and makes it look real)

I also found out today that the prosthetic has some motion, which I am excited about because I thought it would be stationary in his eye cavity there, and his one eye would move but not the prosthetic. But it does move! He said it won't move as much, but some. I am really excited about it... yes, I love technology.

In the meantime, the MOG was geeking out to a MASSIVE extent over the Mac Expo or whatever it's called today, where they were unveiling the new MacBooks. Now, it is time for a new computer around here, granted. The ones we have are not keeping up with all the Radiant stuff we need to do. But the level of geekdom... impressive. So we were at our appointment, and he is obsessively checking his phone for updates from MacRumors.com. And then we had to swing by the Apple store, where he found out they don't come out till tomorrow. And Radiant can't afford it yet, anyway. But he got to be in there with a lot of other geeks Mac enthusiasts, and so he's pretty happy.

And that is the news of the day. Sayonara!

Monday, October 13, 2008

I've been looking for houses to rent in Conroe... looks like we'll be moving back in late December or January. Problem is, we want a huuuuge place and it needs to be cheap. This means we need to live in the ghetto.
Now, I've talked about this before. There is a difference between living in a low-income area where basically everybody has a job, and living in the for-reals ghetto. We want the blue-collar housing, you know?
Anyways, a little discouraging because Texas is much more expensive than here. But hey! I'm looking at houses! At home! 

So if you have the hookup on some giant 7 bedroom that is inexpensive with no bloodstains on the driveway, lemme know! 

Oh, and we'll be in Texas this Friday for a week or so... playing at Prayer Storm... wahoo!!

Here's Bean's new skill from bedtime last night... now to teach her not to throw away clean diapers....

Friday, October 10, 2008

The MOG is out of commission today, with a stomach ailment. I believe it is part post-fasting stomach, part icky-virus, and part messed-up intestines (medical terms), and part gender. Is that to say all males are weenies? Of course not. Just most males, when it comes to being sick.

I don't mean to sound uncompassionate. He is genuinely sick, not faking or whining or being a weenie. I am just a terrible, terrible nurse. I'm kinda of the "take a couple aspirins and sleep it off" camp. I did bring him Rolaids on multiple occasions, but they offered little relief. So there you go.

In other news, R2 is doing well at school. He used scissors for the first time yesterday. They have special loop scissors that are easier for special guys to handle, and he cut some construction paper and helped glue it to a pumpkin drawing. Very cute. He is also getting more secure about climbing up in the schoolbus, and does not need us to hold his hand, thank you very much. On his note home yesterday, it said he "had a ball in music class"... I wish I could see what happens up there, but getting the notes home is nice.
Bean update: doing her best to walk everywhere. She drags boxes and hampers around the house as her walking aids. This adorable outfit was a gift from Sharon Schluter, and it fits perfectly! Somebody let her know about this picture!


and that other guy really does not want to sleep in his own bed... they tend to end up in the same square foot of sleeping space every night...



One of the hard things about R2's special needs was his distance from other kids, especially his siblings. We still want friendship to become a value for him, but in the meantime, it does my heart good that the two littlest ones are good friends. Happy weekend, time for me to take a nap!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

So I took the day off yesterday. Sue me. On second thought, don't.

This morning I got my special request to sleep in... I have been up at 7 for about a thousand years now, and my brain won't shut off till midnight. So I was operating on a bit of a sleep deficit. I had written out explicit directions for the workings of the morning household as to not be disturbed, and I was only disturbed once, not bad...
Being that I have exceedingly loud children, I didn't actually sleep till they were screaming on the opposite end of the house. Then I fell asleep and slept till nearly 10 thank you Ricky Spark and Jesus....

Then me and the babies went to a new branch of the library, where evidently it is Senior Hour, every hour. We felt the burning glares on a quick sweep through the fiction section, so tried to wrap it up pretty swiftly. It would have been a slam-dunk on the outing-lunch-nap schedule, except for the whole-I-locked-the-keys-in-the-van- fiasco. We pay $3 a month on our cell plans for a free locksmith service (shut up) so that would have worked... except I also locked my phone in the van. So we had to go back in the library and talk to the head Senior, who reluctantly let me use the library phone. We then waited outside, since they hate us at this library. The MOG caught a ride with a buddy and came and saved the day.

So now we're home, and naptime has begun, about an hour and a half late. But hey, who's counting?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Our original plan, and tickets had Richy flying back home last night... after a week in San Diego, he felt like maybe it would be good to stay some extra time and help out. After thinking about it for a day, I agreed and then that was the new plan. 

Still, the overwhelmed and exhausted part of me was really wishing he would just come home as scheduled... but I wasn't actually asking him to do that because I knew they probably needed him for worship and such. 

The thing was, every time I talked to him about the new plan this week, he was a little fuzzy... not sure of the flight time, and such... did not appear to have cancelled the old tickets and so forth. So I was secretly hoping that he was being sneaky and coming home on time. I was trying really hard to not get my hopes up, because I can read something into everything, and sometimes I'm wrong... 

So yesterday he called in the morning and I could hear Daniel leading worship in the background. We talked for a while, and I was thinking, okay, he is not coming home. Probably. 

Then in the afternoon he posts a twitter of one of the San Diego guys playing pool. And I'm thinking, okay, it could be a decoy tweet, but actually I am probably nuts. Obviously he is still there and not coming home. Most likely.

Then around 11 something last night he calls and he's chatty Kathy and yet, very evasive about why he is not at the service, and who is leading worship. I asked directly, "What are you doing right now?" and he says "Oh, I'm just getting ready to go to bed." So we talk for a while and then he hangs up. 

I sat there, thinking. Okay, so that's it. 6 more days.  Definitely. Time to man up. And then my phone rings again. "Hey, I forgot something. Can you come open the front door?" and there he stands with flowers. 

Okay, he totally wins. Fooled me absolutely. "Did you lose all hope?" he asked. Yes, yes I did. Luckily, I was only hopeless for about 30 seconds. :)


 
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