Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

and, uh, no we did NOT get them a pony.

Cause really; WHERE would we put one?!

(this picture was taken last week, at a friends house, who actually have a place for a pony... see the horse fence!)

We just wanted to say Merry Christmas !!

We will post actual Christmas pictures, later.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Artistic Flair ...

Medium's roof

Tall's roof

Medium's long haired gingerbread boy!

Tall's Gingerbread Dangling Man

Seriously, was that necessary?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

mmmm bread ...

I ate terrible today.


I missed breakfast, grabbed a croissant for lunch, ate a rice crispie treat and then another, then skipped dinner, and ate a rice crispie treat and a couple of those fudge covered graham crackers. Somewhere around 8p I sauted fresh spinach in BACON GREASE and topped it with balsamic vinegar - dinner. With a hawaiian roll slathered in apple butter. and then ate another rice crispie treat. I didn't even make those rice crispie treats, I know better!

terrible, really.

AND then I decided that chicken nuggets and tostitos with cheese dip would be great before bed!

Not the healthiest of my eating days.

I'm not on a diet, just a quest to eat HALF what I normally eat, in order to get down to pre-medium weight (in case you are wondering that's 30 pounds away!)

Hardly a "half" day, more like double.

and I did have 2 cups of coffee (it's really half Vanilla Caramel Coffeemate and half coffee) and then water.

Oh, I probably won't post anything on those "good" eating days. Just the ones where I whip out bacon grease for supper.

That, by the way, is my recipe for a quick Wilted Lettuce salad, minus the onion and bacon.

Monday, December 21, 2009

As I linger ...

over vanilla carmel coffee,

over gumdrops and icing icicles already "missing" from gingerbread houses,

over ornaments hung askew,

and over pretzels & cookies decorated with waaaay too many sprinkles for one person.,

over a bible story my toddler prefers over others,

over a new tradition, the nightly Jesse Tree scripture and ornament,

I am blessed to be celebrating our Clausen holiday traditions together.

Tree - decorated ... check.

Gingerbread houses - completed ... check.

Pretzels - dipped in chocolate and sprinkles ... check.

Precious dreaming blessings ... check.

Christmas carols blaring in my car ... check (and thank YOU tall)

hmmm, I still have things to get done... driving around to see light displays, canning Apple Butter for gifts, more cookies to bake and give, presents to wrap, stories to read, fires to sit by, children to play with, husband to snuggle up to.

My life is good.

What are your favorite Christmas memory makers?

Here are pics of some of ours... :)

Hats and decorating the Tree...

Gingerbread Houses ...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I am a wreck.

A heartbroken wreck.

I am undone.

I am missing my precious Cadence.

My grief feels overwhelming.

I don't want to

I don't want to cry any more ... but I know I will.

I don't want to be transparent... I don't want to be closed off either.

I am so very sad. Brokenhearted. I cry every day. Random thoughts, feelings, songs, cute kid faces, you name it... I'm weeping.

Weeping for loss. Weeping for infertility. Weeping for hope. Weeping for brokenness.

How do I explain how I feel? I don't think I can completely.

I trust ... I doubt. I hope ... I doubt. I rejoice ... I complain.

Grief is strange emotional group of feelings sliding around like a puppy on ice.

I know God is still God. He is in control of my life, because I gave it to Him. and I am not taking it back.

I wonder ... I doubt. I hope ... I cry. I yell ... I laugh ... I cry. I open up, I shut down. It all just hurts.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hey are you ...

Yes, we have asked small that question many times.

He stops, runs away and says NO !

Except today...

I saw him, asked him and he RAN to the bathroom...

Where he completed his little task



Once you get a boy to do that on the potty, the going gets better! Now to find the baby sign for that, so he can start to tell me BEFORE he begins in his diaper.


It is slightly bittersweet for me. Probably my last diapered bottom. Not my choice. Still praying for my miracle.

Well, it will be in a few weeks when we switch to training pants full time.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The many ways God shows things to me...

Hope Angel Ornament

This ornament was my "White Elephant" Gift at a Christmas party friday night.

Friday was my day of Hope.

so God sent me a lovely reminder...

in a most unexpected place ...

a place where, due to many tears that just won't stop coming,

I almost did not go... (I am glad we did, we needed to laugh and hang with friends.)

This christmas party is renowned for gag gifts... really good white elephants, like the coconut bra, a rainbow propeller beanie cap, a mounted piece of driftwood (and who knew that a VHS collectors set of Red Skelton could be so highly coveted, changing hands 5 or 6 times), music lessons with a distinctly non-musical Scott Joggerst, a singing jerk-dancing rein-dog thing, lighted collector Christmas town pieces and the occasional yummy chocolate gift pack.

yes, a very unlikely place for my daddy to give me a hug...

and yet... He did.

"Hope" will be hanging on our Christmas tree this year and every year.

and Hope will be hanging out within our hearts eternally.

and on a lighter note...

This was my mother's brooch.
I wore it on purpose to the party!

Pretty groovy,
you know you want one.

Friday, December 11, 2009


God of Miracles! God of Healing!
God of Hope!

Today ... I am grateful He is God.

We have many good friends who are pregnant. In many various stages... M is 20 weeks with a sweet little girl!, E is 12 weeks, and L is 14 weeks, and now S is 5 weeks pregnant! I also have a few friends via blog that are expecting. Pregnancy all around me and it has been this way for over 3 months! LIFE! LIFE! LIFE! It is a blessing to have this much expectancy of new life surrounding me.

Now, miraculously, we have friends pregnant who never expected to be pregnant again. Our friends have a beautiful daughter, adopted a beautiful daughter from China and are in process of adopting a child from Ethiopia ... and now against medical odds, are expecting their second biological child in July of next year. (she had ectopic pregnancies, so this is powerful) Truly an answer to many prayers that have been sent forth on their behalf, prayers that looked like they were returning void for over 8 years... and yet... He is God. His ways are not our ways.
Truly miraculous. Now to become a family of 6... sweet dreams fulfilling.

also ... for me on a very personal level ...

Truly HOPE inspiring.

Because, after this recent ectopic pregnancy, I am left with too many questions.

Another pregnancy could be ectopic again... or worse.

My tube was sectioned to remove our precious tiny ... will it scar completely closed OR will there be an opening into my abdomen?

Am I still fertile? Does my other tube function?

So, HOW am I to ever hope for pregnancy? HOPE for another child.

Not to sound dis-satisfied with my current blessings... they are Fabulous. We simply believe we are not yet finished having children... have believed it for over 4 years.

so, in the midst of doubt, dispair, general emotional attack ...

I have been crying out to God ... HOW do I HOPE ??? HOW do I rest in YOU ???

Well, I know I believe my scripture Jeremiah 29:11

and I can look to my miraculous God ... who is still performing miracles and giving hope

and now after a couple of weeks of hopelessness, with small bursts of hope obliterated thrown in... my sweet ABBA sends me new hope in a very unexpected way...

In a friends miraculous pregnancy! (Note: we believe all pregnancy is a miracle, this particular case is a miracle within a miracle, defying medical expectations)

Even if we never get pregnant again...

I CAN still HOLD HOPE in my heart for miraculous possibilities AND gain joy in the miracles occurring around me, especially for those in friends I know and love. I have many blessings. Rejoicing for friends is definitely one of them. It is difficult to explain that amidst our own mourning, we still take joy in gift of Life that God blesses others with. We simply do. without question. God blesses those whom He chooses. and we are not left wanting. period.

Besides, have you seen the cute faces I see every day at my breakfast lunch and supper table!

and we will see Sir Cadence in Heaven.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Attempting to look like Daddy!

Small, in Daddy's caroling hat

Medium, joining in the fun

Very Victorian, these men!

Tall gets in on the action!

Beautiful children, all dressing up to be like Daddy.

Isn't that what it's about?!

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Wordless Wednesday

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (except with words)

7 W 1 D

Uterus on Right
Baby on left of pic, growing outside uterus in the tube

Sweet little baby
Gestational Sac, Yolk Sac, Fetal Pole
all there

Simply in the wrong spot to grow correctly.

LMP on 10/14
Positive Home Pregnancy Test 11/16
Positive Blood Pregnancy Test 11/18; HCG 6778

Expected Delivery Date 7/10/2010

1st Negative Ultrasound 11/20; HCG 10,900
2nd Negative Ultrasound 11/25
(by negative I mean; no gestational sac, nothing in uterus, no signs of pregnancy anywhere)

Positive Ultrasound 12/1
unfortunately it positively showed an Ectopic pregnancy.
Baby tiny growing in tube by right ovary.

Oh, there you are.
Oh NO, THERE you are.

Saw and Heard precious tiny's heart beating.

Sweet little heartbeat, chambers moving, pumping.

Laporoscopic surgery for ectopic on 12/1.

Drive home from hospital without baby on 12/2 - Heartbreaking.

Baby tiny born to God on 12/1/2009.

Named by our hearts:
Cadence Selah Clausen

Sweet precious little love; worship Him, we will meet you there at the end of our days on earth.

Thank you family and friends and Gateway House of Prayer
for standing in the gap and crying out to our heavenly Father on our behalf.

We love and appreciate you all.
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Homemade Vanilla

This is my finished bottle.

Isn't it pretty!

Last year for Christmas, I made a batch with a friend and we gave it as gifts. This year, I want to make it again to give to different friends as gifts. I only found a few of the above bottles last year, not sure if I will find any this year. I have managed to save a few bottles of various types throughout this year that might work for vanilla. (Like wild organics olive oil bottles, rinsed and dried prior to use)

So, in all fairness of telling you about it and even showing how gorgeous it is. I will now share my recipe for it!

How to make homemade vanilla:

You can use new bottles from the store (world market carries some like the ones I used last year OR you can save and re-use those cute little dark brown glass vanilla bottles that used to have the store-bought kind in them.) Make sure if you are re-using that you scrub off the labels and wash the bottles in hot soapy water before you begin!

Next step - find Vanilla beans. You want Madagascar vanilla beans. Again, World Market carries them or you can find them on

For EACH 2-ounce bottle :

1/4 scant cup vodka (Any kind will do, I prefer the smirnoff)
1 Tablespoon Dark Rum
1 vanilla bean

Using your kitchen scissors, cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, leaving about an inch connected (not cut) at one end. Now your bean looks like a "Y".

Combine the vodka and rum in a glass measuring cup.

Push cut vanilla bean down into jar.

Using a funnel add combined alcohol to your clean and dry vanilla jar.

Close lid tightly. All done!

Store the bottles for one to two months in a cool, dry place. Once a week, reach in and gently shake each bottle.

The extract will be completely ready in two months, and will remain good for years. (you can give the vanilla prior to the two months, simply instruct your friend to gently shake the bottle each week until ready)

Tie a pretty ribbon or some colored raffia onto the neck, adding a cookie cutter and recipe card using vanilla if you like, and "Viola" you now have a lovely gift for a friend.

Make sure you keep 2 bottles for yourself. This way you always have one ready to use while another is maturing.

Things to remember:

1. Shake the bottle prior to each use.

2. The flecks that come out in the Vanilla are pure baking gold, like the little brown flecks you find in your true vanilla bean ice cream - yummy!

3. You can easily add vodka when your bottle gets low and it will steep while you use up the other bottle!
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Photo Canvas Giveaway ...

Kimberly over at Raising Olives is having a great giveaway just in time for Christmas.

Simply click HERE or the picture to link to her website!

16 x 20 Rolled Canvas Print – Giveaway


Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

We cooked up a small turkey.

Complete with Citrus and Celery!

Seriously people,
no smalls were injured in the cooking or devouring of our turkey.
Isn't he too cute in the pan?

He climbs into anything and everything, including the christmas tree box last night.

His favorite is his green toy bucket or the clothes basket.
This shiny container was fun too,
even after biting into the lemon!
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