Archive for March 2013

He Reigns — O YES HE DOES!   Leave a comment

Christ Arose Christ the LOrd is risen today 216-17 easter-sky-risen-still

Posted March 31, 2013 by joyfulhouse in Spiritual Life

Happy Birthday Mom!   1 comment


We decided to celebrate my mother’s birthday on Thursday before we had to leave for home.  We made it a girls only time — for various reasons!   My mom loves to antique with us but unfortunately the place we wanted to go to together was closed and not opening until the following week — so, we headed up into Spring Hill to a fun store where we found lots of neat things after digging well.  When we were leaving a squad car came wheeling into the parking lot with window rolling down and the officer started to question my mother!   I jumped out of the car to see what was up but he sped away before I got to the car.  Mom said that she was asked if she had been outside the store and around the premises observing anything unusual going on..  evidently they were searching for someone!.  The proprietor of the store told my sister that things are stolen all the time.  Spring Hill is evidently not as classy as we would like to believe.


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After thrifting for a while we headed out to lunch with mom at Olive Garden.  The boys felt a little excluded from this and it did not help that Kristi kept texting pictures of the dinners to Tyler and this is his favorite place to eat.



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Making memories with Grandma Clark.  This was her 75th birthday and she looked lovely as always.


No trip to Spring Hill is complete without a trip to sweet Ci-Ci’s.   What a fun place!  We all enjoyed a treat and I had a moment to take some beautiful pictures of these lovely women.


“I do love me some fro-yo!  And the flavor burst from those little nuggets of fruit juice just thrills my taste-buds!”


“Hey boys!  Guess what you are missing now!”

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My mom — what can I say?  There are not enough words to describe the beauty of this godly woman.  She has modeled Christ before me all my life and has showed sacrificial love and devotion in her marriage to my dad until his dying day.  She is forever optimistic to a fault  🙂  .   A few weeks ago my husband and I were arguing and his retort to me was ” yeah… well you are just like your mom — saying everything is going to be just fine, it will all work out-blah blah blah!”  That is my mom’s spirit, and she helps us all to see the brighter side of every situation.  We are blessed to have our mother and all she stands for in her life.  Thank you Lord for my mother!


Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at time to come.  She opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue — Her children rise up and call her blessed —   Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.  Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised!  Proverbs 31  

You mom are that woman and we praise you!  

Blesses, so blessed,

and may the generations of women who come from this women also fear the Lord and be worthy of praise!  


Posted March 18, 2013 by joyfulhouse in Family

TN Photos   Leave a comment


As always, there was some serious game time!



My Beautiful sister Angela in her schoolhouse.  This is where she teaches her children academics, the Bible, music and life lessons — it is one of my favorite places in TN.


Mandy with her Aunt Angela.

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Mandy has a long way to go if she plans on catching up to her younger cousin in height!


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This was one of the most precious memories of the trip.  Here, Chelsea shared her testimony with Mandy of how she came to know the Lord and then Angela shared hers as well.  Sweet, sweet fellowship among sisters in the Lord.

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Cookout fun — swinging, sitting by the fire, playing Ninja, and a picture of the whole gang minus most adults — I must add that this was one awesome group of Christian young adults.  Beautiful women and men who are passionate about life with God and it showed.   So encouraging for my heart and it gave me hope for our church that we will have  this evident in our church as well.


Angela sharing a great story by the fire.


My mother and I by the fire —


More game time — but before the game time this sweet nephew of mine, Joe, was lovingly captured between our tow daughters Annie and Melody and they had a talk about life plans and goals.  I do love it that we can have lots of fun together and at the same time grab moments to talk about what is really important in life and encourage one another on in life…   that is Christian love!


Sometimes we Clark girls have a hard time keeping our mouths shut!   HA HA!   Kristi looks like she can’t believe a thing she is hearing!  This was during a game time as well.




Mandy in the game time!

Thankful for the good memories from TN.




Posted March 18, 2013 by joyfulhouse in Family

Vacation???   Leave a comment

We left Wednesday in the early morning…. suburban full, but not to the brim as when we traveled with six children.  This time we have our two youngest daughters and the car seat with Miss S.  and baby paraphernalia filling the seat beside her car seat.  We made it off at a decent time for our annual trip to visit family in TN.  It was a few hours into the trip that Miss S coughed in a way that triggered concern to me right away.  She had been healthy for a couple of weeks, much to my delight… and I was hoping for good health for this trip so that my nights would not be consumed with being up with her more than our normal one or two middle of the night get-togethers.

We arrived on Wed. night late and took Miss S to the pediatrician on Thurs. morning.  Things did not improve as we had prayed and hoped and last night we spent hours praying over her as her fever rose higher and higher even with the tylenol.  As I sat rocking her in the night I was pursued by the thoughts of dismay that she had to get so sick, that this is our only vacation and here I am spending it with a very sick little girl and with very little rest or sleep.  I prayed and asked God to explain how this was His best for me this week.  I wish I could say that I received beautiful words of prose from my Heavenly Father, but that did not happen.  I did receive peace that He is with me and that rocking this little girl, praying over her immediate needs and for her future life were indeed His best plans for my life the last few nights.  In fact, that I was able to hear His voice in my tired mind at 1:00 in the morning was in itself a beautiful blessing.  This is not my way or desire of how to spend my vacation but God has a plan.  I may miss church tomorrow and I so love attending other churches, especially this one here in TN, but I will worship Jesus tomorrow here at the gram’s house with a sick little one wiping her little nose and telling her how much God loves her and has plans for her life as well.  It does not seem much like vacation at this time but God knows.

The words of this hymn have blessed me tonight —

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

On vacation — being blessed!


  1 comment

The fish docks — looking pretty barren these days, and COLD!
Beautiful snowy Door County backroad.
                                                        Annie and Mandy at our birthday dinner celebration.
We were able to drive down last weekend to Appleton and celebrate Mandy’s birthday.  I love how little S just gets into the girl mode so easily….. here she is applying powder to her face and hair!  So cute.
Jeni, made a beautiful bundt cake for Mandy’s birthday — unfortunately the parking lot by Mandy’s was sheer ice and  the cake did a very impressive flip!   It still tasted delicious!
Me and the birthday girl  —  our beautiful daughter Mandy.  Mandy has had a great year with lots of changes in her life in many areas and answers in prayer for her with her VERY stressful job and with her church.  Yeah God!
Miss S has been getting up early — on top of not sleeping through the night.  This was one morning this week where she refused to let Rick leave for work until he had read her a book!  This was around 6:30 in the morning and she was very pleased with getting some time with her Mister before he left for work.  🙂
Melody took a cake decoration class last month for her home-ec class.  The cake was beautiful and SO delicious!
Foster Care Reality!   Some days 13 month olds, like Miss S, just do not want to be put down and sometimes I am the only one who she wants to be with even though she loves all of our family!  This was the other day where within an hour of being up I knew it was going to be a back-pack type of day —  so here we are brushing our teeth together!  It was a bonding moment for Miss S and her NaNa!   🙂
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Matthew came up yesterday with his girlfriend Emily.  We had dinner together and visited and then we went out for pictures and after that nice one my son tried to throw Emily into the snow bank but she held on and ended up taking him down with her….  it was hilarious!   He was so surprised that he didn’t know what to say!  Ha.  I was so glad that he could come up and snowmobile after not being well for almost the last month.  I prayed all last week for more snow and decent weather for him to get to snowmobile and God answered my prayers.  We had such a wonderful day!
Blessed —