Category Archives: Clara

2! 4! 6! 8!

Since Isaiah turned six this month, we now have 2, 4, 6, 8 in our home! Life is full of excitement! For Isaiah’s birthday, we bought sports outfits and had them lettered for our little team.

We’re in the midst of rainy season – which means…lots of rain and mud. They other day, during a sunny spell, some kids filled a pit with water and turned it into a mud pool. Anna came in before I got out to take pictures. Clara just watched, but had mud splattered on her. Lots of fun! I’m very thankful we have a washing machine!!

A Week Without Daddy

Last week Josh was away at the Pastor’s Bible School in Ban Lung for five and a half days, from Sunday afternoon until Friday evening. We’re thankful for the smooth week we had without him (minus the toilet getting backed up from an accidental discarded spoon going down it). Each of the three old children got to have a special sleep-over with me on the nights Josh was away (I took Monday and Thursday nights off).

Each child got to plan his/her special evening. Becca wanted to do mineral face masks and play Monopoly. Anna wanted to paint our toenails, eat popcorn, and read books. Isaiah wanted to make a number chart on the computer, drink decaf coffee (we added whipped cream and Hershey’s chocolate syrup0, and read books. Clara didn’t need a special sleep-over, as she got up every morning before 5:30 (sometimes before 5!) to spend extra time with me. It was a busy and full week!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Clara Grace

Tuesday, March 13th, was Clara’s 2nd birthday. She was quite excited about eating hotdogs and having presents. A friend sent me some birthday decorations, so we had a butterfly theme for Clara’s birthday.

We spent the day giving Clara lots of extra attention: reading books, playing extra with her siblings, playing in a big tub of water on the porch, and eating a supper of hotdogs, mac& cheese, salad, and cake. We ended the day with gifts. It was fun to watch Clara have fun. She was so excited about her “presents.” All her siblings got her perfect things: markers, playdough, paintset, ball, bag, etc.


Clara continues to be a very bright, energetic, little girl. She loves to keep up with everyone. She talks up a storm and even tells stories. She keeps us laughing! She sings – mostly the Khmer Bible verses I’ve put to music. She loves to “help Mommy.” She loves to swing…high! She can count to 10 and knows some of her colors and loves to be read to. She picks up things from hearing her siblings in school. I had to laugh one time when she answered a number question faster than a sibling one day. She knew what came after 6.

One thing Clara loves to do is change clothes. She loves to wear dresses and after she gets though her chouce clothes, she tries on her sisters’ clothes. I’m always picking up clothes. She isn’t content in one outfit very long. And it’s often hard to keep her in clothes at all.

Around November, Clara started climbing up on the toilet to go potty.  I was not prepared to start potty training her, but thought we could work on it during Christmas break. The accident threw a wrench in things, but Clara wanted to go potty. (So there I was recovering from the accident, potty training Clara, and trying to house-train a new kitten.) Clara is now officially potty trained – has been for weeks – and usually keeps dry at night. I’m still amazed. (I guess she’s advanced since she was born in the bathroom.) No more changing diapers for us! This is the first time in almost 6 years we don’t have a child in diapers. And it’s the first time since Becca that our youngest child is so “old” – 2.

Last week we moved Clara into the kids’ room. She now sleeps on the bottom bunk with Becca on the top bunk. She thinks it’s great. She also think it’s great that Mommy can sleep with her. So far we’ve only had three nights where she’s fallen asleep without me in the bed with her and thtee nights where I haven’t been up multiple times with her in the night. (When she does make it through the night she’s up before 5.) She wakes up crying and won’t go back to sleep until I get into bed with her. I’m hoping most of the waking up was because of a tooth that is coming through. We’re making progress and it’s so cute to see her in a big bed. (And after two years, it’s nice for Josh and I to go to bed without having to worry about talking too loud and waking Clara up.)

We’re so thankful for Clara and the joy she adds to our home. We pray that she will come to know and love Jesus. These last pictures are just minutes after she was born.  So thankful!



Happy 19 Months Clara!

Ok, so I lied last month…now (as of this week) Clara is official weaned. Sweet girl. She had a really rough time with it and was very emotional for a few weeks, but now she’s back to her normal self. I tried to tell her she was spoiled and that none of her siblings got to nurse this long, but it didn’t seem to impact her. And I must be getting older, since I wasn’t in a hurry either.

Clara is always on the move. She’s fast. Fun. And loves mischief. Loves to laugh and play rough. She loves looking at our animal encyclopedias every morning and any other chance she has. She just loves animals. And wow is Clara a talker! She fits in with our family perfectly.

Check out the teeth. Clara’s teeth definitely have their own idea about the order they’re presenting themselves.

One thing I’ve really been enjoying is some extra time playing with Clara. When Isaiah was this age we were traveling doing fund raising. When Anna was this age we had moved to Ban Lung and were trying to figure out life. This is the first time since 2012 that I don’t have to start all over again and figure out life.  I’m loving it!

So thankful for these precious years with our kids. We are blessed! Happy 19-month birthday Clara Bear!

Happy 17-Months Clara Grace!

Happy 17-month birthday to our Giggles! You are almost one-and-a-half! Yay! Or I should say “hooray!” as Clara often says when she sees something she’s excited about. Clara continues to be a very happy little girl. She loves playing outside and is always trying to imitate her siblings. The other day she was trying to jump rope and play soccer.

Recently we started writing down all of Clara’s words. (I’m sure we’ve forgotten a few.) Daddy, Mommy, Becca, Isaiah, Anna, Clara, SreyLey, Powl,  bowl, ball, book, outside, pig, chicken, dog, cat, kitty, raisin, no, yes, banana, egg, salt, baby, Zebee (her stuffed animal), potty, me, um, hooray, “I’m sorry,” “Mommy – where are you?”, snack, bath, teeth, apple, milk, food, night-night, bed, nap…

In the past month all four of Clara’s molars have come in. The last one still needs to break through. Her teeth are definitely not following the normal schedule as far as the order they come in.

These last pictures were taken in June (15-months). We love our girl and are thankful God gifted us with us!



Happy 1st Birthday Clara Grace

Happy 1st Birthday to our dear Clara Grace! What joy you have added to our family – your smiles and giggles and sparkling eyes. We love you and are delighted God gave us you!


Clara is now a running…she’s pretty fast on her feet. She’s always trying to climb up on things. She blows kisses and makes use of a few baby sign language words. She doesn’t say many words – chicken (also a early word for Anna), banana, mango, she can say mama and dada – but only when prompted, and maybe she says Becca, Isaiah, and Anna, but this is yet to be determined. She still only has one tooth (see in picture below).


For Clara’s birthday we had our neighborhood kids over and tied it in with continuing the Christmas story (The Three Wise Men) that we’d promised we tell them after our Christmas party. Clara’s party consisted of a Bible story with flannel-graph, cake, and water balloons. Afterwards a water fight broke out, no one was spared not even Clara or me.


Monday we had another small family party for Clara. We gave her a tiny stuffed panda. She was not pleased with the candle. This might have had to do with the fact that minutes before we saw a guy’s pants catch on fire at the mechanic’s shop across the street.

All our kids love Clara. And Clara always wants to be a part of the big kids play. I’m always surprised that how kind Anna is to her. Anna even shares her special panda bear (not pictured) with her.


Closing with a picture comparison of all our children at age one. Love these smiling faces!

Happy 11-Month Birthday Giggles & Valentine’s 2017

This past month Clara started walking! We thought she’d be walking earlier, based on her early start on crawling, but she still decided to beat her siblings by a month and walk before her first birthday! She still prefers crawling, since it’s faster.  Walking hasn’t really changed anything for us, since Clara was already getting into everything (she a good climber!), but it does mean cleaner clothes!

Clara’s first tooth popped through last month. Interestingly, it’s her left upper lateral incisor (instead of the usual upper or lower central incisors). Hopefully she just a bit out of order!


On Tuesday we had our family Valentine’s Day party, including cookie decorating, dancing, a few games of Hearts, card exchanging, reading a book about St. Valentine, and  gift finding. All the kids worked hard to make each other Valentines. We loved seeing their creativity and joy in their card-making. It was a fun party!


In art class we made Valentine’s Day trees.


Currently we are enjoying beautiful weather as we anticipate the start of hot season. In the early mornings we’re so cold with the upper 60 degree temperatures. Thankful for this season of rest before we get into the exhaustion of heat.

Happy 8-Months Clara Grace!


dsc_6178 dsc_6170The cuteness continues as Clara enters her ninth month. This past month she started eating mashed pumpkin – she loves it! She also started standing up in her bed, which she does as soon as she wakes up. She now says “uh – oh”, waves at people, claps her hands, and continues to cruise using pieces of furniture. She still uses her army crawl instead of a formal hands-and-knees crawl. She is one busy little girl!


dsc_6157 dsc_6154Clara is such a happy, precious girl! We can’t get enough of her. Thanks be to God.

Meanwhile, Anna can’t get enough of playing outside in the dirt! (See picture on the right.)

Happy 7-Months to our Giggles!


dsc_5978dsc_5808This girl – this girl is a bundle of energy, a ocean full of giggles, an explorer in the making. Last week Clara celebrated her 7-month birthday and she continues to be a complete joy to our family.


dsc_5836dsc_5944A few weeks ago Clara started putting up on things and standing. This was a bit of a surprise to us, since she is still shaky sitting up by herself. She has now had a few falls from standing up when one one was watching. She just loves standing!


dsc_5807dsc_5833In recent days Clara has become a bit wary of having strangers hold her. People are always wanting to hold her and it’s been interesting to watch her response. I noticed the other day she was less inclined to let Caucasians hold her.

dsc_5811dsc_5967Clara is a pacifier baby rather than a thumb sucker. At first I thought this would be better in our very dirty culture…keep the hands out of the mouth, right. However, she is still nursing 1-2 times at night, unlike her thumb-sucking siblings who were started sleeping through the night around 4-months.


dsc_5986dsc_5991Clara loves to laugh – I cannot say this enough. Everyone who meets her talks about how she is always smiling. She’s of course, not perfect…she does cry! Love this sweet little girl and so thankful for God’s gift to us in her!


Happy 6-Month Birthday Clara Grace


img-20160915-wa0004img-20160915-wa0002Our little 6-month old girl is now on the go! Just a few days ago she started inching forward and now she’s into a full army crawl. Watch out world!


img-20160915-wa0007img-20160915-wa0009Clara continues to be our happiest baby yet. She laughs all the time and always seems so excited to be included in everything. So thankful for our little Giggles!


Happy 5 Months Clara Grace


DSC_5783 DSC_5782Can’t seem to keep with how fast our 5-month old is growing! Clara continues to be a joy – I just want to eat her up! She loves playing on the floor and grabbing things. She can turn around, but has yet to creep forward on her own. She now wants to sit up and play. She does pretty well sitting up, but still needs something or one to catch her, since she doesn’t have perfect balance yet.


DSC_5748DSC_5727Sometimes I step back in wonder…I’m the mommy of three girls. What a sweet gift from God. Before we had kids I wanted 6 boys, but I’m so thankful for the precious girls God has gifted us with. Wouldn’t trade these girls for anything. Praying they will become the best of friends

IMG_20160728_145904 DSC_5743 DSC_5737 DSC_5755

DSC_5399DSC_5539Of course I can’t leave out Isaiah. He is such a sweet boy, full of energy and life. Love him. I remember there was a time I wondered if I would have more than 2 kids. So thankful for these precious four and the man God has given me to live this adventure with. Thanks be to God!


Happy 6 Weeks to Clara Grace!


DSC_3966 DSC_3965Sunday Clara turned 6 weeks. Typically most of the day Clara in pretty docile and hardly makes a sound, but it seems like as soon as her older siblings are in bed she wakes up and wants to play. She rarely “talks” during the day, but as soon as she’s the “only child” she has lots to say. Perhaps all the noise during the day intimidates her! Or perhaps she knows it’s the one time she has all my attention.

DSC_3970 DSC_3960 DSC_3954 DSC_3951

DSC_3992 DSC_3990Most of the time the older kids are too busy to be occupied with Clara, but Anna continues to be very attentive.

DSC_3996 DSC_3997 DSC_3999

DSC_4015 DSC_4016Since returning from Thailand, the kids have enjoyed playing together outside. Anna (Becca and Isaiah) is now to the point we can let her outside without our being with her. Becca and Isaiah are pretty good about watching out for her. She loves it!

DSC_4004 DSC_4006 DSC_4009 DSC_4020 DSC_4018 DSC_4011

DSC_4007 DSC_4022We’re in the midst of hot season and this year they say it’s unusually hot. We’re looking forward to rainy season starting July/August and hope it comes on time this year. It’s been several months since we’ve seen rain in Ban Lung.

DSC_4035 DSC_4032 DSC_4030  DSC_4036