Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy 9th Birthday Jack!

Happy 9th Birthday to our sweet Jack! The middle of five children, you entered our lives in a big, robust way. At 10 1/2 pounds at birth, you ensured that you could never be forgotten or go un-noticed. Today you live bigger than ever in our hearts. As we watch you grow, we are filled with joy and pride in knowing you are a wonderful son, big brother, grandson, nephew, but more importantly a child of God. It's hard to believe that God loves you more than we do, but it gives us great comfort and happiness. We can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for you.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Good to know he has standards

Me: Nick! Why are you taking a shower at 3:30 in the afternoon?

Nick: (yelling through the closed bathroom door) Because Gus peed on the toilet seat!

Friday, August 22, 2008

To my Dad, Happy Birthday!

To the best dancer I know, my dad, Hector. This one is for you. Love, Georgie


Dancing With God
When I meditated on the word Guidance,
I kept seeing "dance" at the end of the word.
I remember reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing.
When two people try to lead, nothing feels right.
The movement doesn't flow with the music,
and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.
When one person realizes that, and lets the other lead,
both bodies begin to flow with the music.
One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back
or by pressing lightly in one direction or another.
It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully.
The dance takes surrender, willingness,
and attentiveness from one person
and gentle guidance and skill from the other.
My eyes drew back to the word Guidance.

When I saw "G": I thought of God, followed by "u" and
"God, "u" and "i" dance."
God, you, and I dance.
As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust
that I would get guidance about my life.
Once again, I became willing to let God lead.

My prayer for you today is that God's blessings
and mercies are upon you on this day and everyday.
May you abide in God, as God abides in you.
Dance together with God, trusting God to lead
and to guide you through each season of your life.
And I Hope You Dance !

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Yes that's right! I am playing with the layout of my blog and it is a blast! I hope you like the new colors, pictures and quotes. I've been wanting to change things up for quite awhile but was unsure about how to do it. (I figured it out, and it was not as hard as I imagined.)

The picture on my header features our sweet Jack at Emerald Isle beach. I plan to change the pictures from time to time so be sure to check back from time to time to see what the Clemens are up to.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The question I'm pondering.

I was standing in line at the uniform store today with four of my boys in tow. The woman behind me commented on how many kids I had and asked questions about my family size. She mentioned that she could not handle any more kids. She mentioned that the "ol Catholic guilt" made her feel bad about not having more.

So. That got me to thinking. Why is it that no one has ever heard of "Baptist guilt" or "Evangelical guilt" or even "Protestant guilt". Why is my religion the only one with this prestigious title? Hmmmmmmm.

Friday, August 08, 2008

We've been watching the opening night of the Olympics and have been impressed with the color and beauty of the ceremony. It truly symbolizes the beauty of the world and reflects the glorious tapestry of humanity. What a wonderous depiction of the best of who we are as human beings.

There was one moment in the beginning of the ceremony that was slightly disturbing though. It was when there were over 2000 drummers drumming on special "light up" drums with unreal precision and painful accuracy. It seemed un-natural and unsettling. Did anyone else get that feeling?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Can you hear me now?

I am a mom of five children with very different likes, thoughts, interests and activities. I try to listen closely when one describes the minute details of the latest book they are reading, or of the "smooth moves" they used to destroy the enemy alien on the Wii, or of the complicated plot of the movie they saw at the neighbors house. How can I ignore the enthusiastic descriptions of engines on the WWII bombers and the great techniques used by professional fencers? For hours I'll listen to the antics of an unknown camp counselor, or band director, of a child's friend whose behavior was so "funny" that "you just had to be there, mom!"

They are living exciting, fun, and interesting lives these kids of mine.

But I have a confession to make:

Sometimes I just tune them out, details and all. I mean, sometimes I'll just watch their animated faces, their moving lips, and nod and make an "oh really?" comment but in reality I 'll just go away to my happy place. Isn't it just awful? I do! I just tune them out mostly due to fatigue or disinterest. At times it's just too much information coming out of their sweet mouths all at once and it can get quite overwhelming! It takes great effort to listen to your children at all times of the day and night and I try, really I do to give them a good amount of my attention but I fail at times.

When the kids were smaller, I could get away with this behavior and they would go away satisfied that they got through, but as my kids grow, it's getting harder and harder to pull the wool over their eyes.

The other day, I had all five of the kids in the car and we were driving to the local mall where we were going to pick up a few things for the house. It was loud in the car, everyone talking with each other about the latest thing in their lives. Nicholas, sitting behind the drivers seat, starting talking my ear off about a certain video game that he and his friend were recently challenged with. (another video game challenge, be still my heart!) But he was excited to tell me all about the game and proceeded into a 10 minute monologue of his experience with it. Right about the time I was parking the car, he finished his story and ended with, "What do you think of that mom?' I replied with my usual, "Wow, Nick, that is great." He seemed satisfied with my response, until...

My 15 year old daughter butted in. "Mom, do you have any idea what Nick just said?" I was caught. It was a "deer in the headlights moment" where I had to either tell the truth that I had not really listened to all the story or repeat at least the last couple of words Nick said to prove that I was listening. I chose the latter...."Yeah" I commented and mumbled a few words that I "thought" Nick had mentioned. But guess what? I was TOTALLY wrong..way off in left where near what my child had said...and everybody in the car started laughing! "Mom, you weren't listening at all, where you?" I humbly admitted that I was not. "I'm sorry Nick, sometimes your stories last longer than my attention span. I'm sorry."

I am amazed at times how children develop and become aware of their surroundings and the behaviors of others. My kids are picking up on the flaws of their parents, the little white lies, the compromises, imperfections and knowing just the right button to push when they want a confrontation. Oh, my kids are getting so. very. smart.

I am convinced that God sends us messages through our children. Messages like, "Georgie, are you REALLY listening to my words, or are you just going through the motions?" I go to Mass, work with young people in the church, say my prayers, stay faithful...but am I listening to what God is trying to say? Do I take time out of the day to completely stop and listen for his voice or to a friend who needs some advice. Listening is an art and probably one of the hardest things we learn to do as a parent, spouse and Christian. The world is loud, just like my car was on that taking time to listen becomes ever harder and more challenging as the world closes in.

I'm trying to do better with my kids, listening even if it is a difficulty. I guess that is why God gave us two ears and only one mouth. You'd think two ears would be enough of a clue from God of what he asks of us.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Found: Lost writing assignment

My name is Nick. I am the second oldest out of my three younger brothers and my one older sister. With a family of 7 it can get a little crazy. Also my littlest brother is about to turn 2 he makes it more hectic. But the crazyness is worth it.