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.

(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.



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.


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.


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!!


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


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?

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.


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...

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??

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...
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