Wednesday, December 31, 2008

looking ahead

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

Smartypants takes on the holidays


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.

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

too too


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

enough

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

If I were a drug dealer... dee dee dee dee..

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

house surfing


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

missionaries

Photobucket
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

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

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

how I feel

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

Hospitalling

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
video

7:30 am
video
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

My day is booked

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

Surprise! I'm lost!

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

More about staying in KC


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

Staying in Kansas City

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.

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