Monday, December 16, 2013

As 2013 comes to a close our family marvels at  how quickly time flies.  It seems like yesterday Clark and I were getting married and moving into our little apartment in the avenues in Salt Lake City, Utah.  That was eight years ago!

This year our sweet Olivia turned seven and started first grade.  She is beginning to read and we love watching her and listening to her as she picks up a book and tries to read it.  She continues to love school and has become good friends with everyone in her class.  Her favorite hobbies are dancing and drawing.  She takes ballet at a local performing arts center in town and goes through reams of paper sketching her favorite things: people, animals, and clothes.   She is also fond of making cards for everyone in the family and creating fancy notes for her friends at school.  Affectionate, creative, and playful we are lucky to have Olivia at the head of our little troop.

Isaac turned five this year.  He is growing in so many wonderful ways.  Although always ALL boy we are beginning to see him temper his personality.  He is becoming more polite and affectionate, making friends at school, and helping out more around the house.  He is becoming our BIG Isaac.   He is anxious to learn how to read and absolutely loves spending time with his daddy fishing, flying kites, and jumping on the trampoline.

Little Rae continues to be a bright light in our home.  Her affection, laughter, and playful personality make her the life of the party wherever she goes.  She is helping Isaac to develop patience through her merciless teasing and Olivia takes great pride in being Helen's big sister.  Right now babies are her favorite toys and sitting on mommy's lap with a book is one of her favorite things to do.

The children have brought Clark and I great comfort this year as we continue to grieve the loss of our parents.  Spending time with them, holding them, loving them, teaching them is a great reminder to us of the gift of life, how precious each day is, and the joy that can come from just being present when we are with them.  We continue to feel great sorrow and pain as we feel the absence of my mother and both of Clark's parents but we have also learned this year how meaningful and profound suffering can be for building faith and developing perspective.

We are grateful to be a family and feel more than ever that we are on a journey.  We are grateful that all of you are part of that journey.  We wish you all in the coming year peace, health, and happiness.

All Our Love,
Clark, Jessica, Olivia, Isaac, and Helen

Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 has been a big year for our family. After 12 years of medical education and training, Clark finished his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology in July. We sold our home to a great couple and bought a new home 40 miles north of Columbia in Mexico, MO.

Mexico is a small town boasting no more than 10,000 people. The community really needed another Ob/Gyn and the LDS ward in Mexico really needed more families. We have always wanted to live in a small town and be of service. So, we signed up, bought a beautiful home downtown and moved in August. Both the hospital and Clark's office are within walking distance of our new home. We have already adopted one of our neighbors as a surrogate grandmother, Jess has been invited to play bridge, and Clark has spent many afternoons and evenings doing speaking engagements for local clubs. This small Midwestern town operates and feels like a town from the 1950s. The feeling of community is so strong here.

As for the kiddos, they are perfect. Perfectly ornery, fussy, sassy, and of course, cute, cute, cute. Our Helen also know as Bubba and Baby Helen has completely captured our hearts. She is always smiling, exploring, and realizing she can fight back when big brother harasses her. "Go get him baby Helen!" We are enjoying watching her get bigger and bigger and look forward to hearing her talk and seeing more of her personality develop.

Isaac continues to be all boy. On any given day, you will find him sword fighting, throwing anything and everything he can get his hands on and alternating between harassing and playing with his sisters. We signed our Little Buddy up for soccer this fall and felt he made huge progress when he stopped picking up the ball. Maybe football will be his sport.

Our Olivia continues to take ballet classes and is a joy to watch as she dances and prances all over the house. She is our fasionista. Insisting on dressing herself she makes belts out of headbands and headbands out of scarves, wears pants under her skirts, and always has barrettes in her hair.

We have also added another member to our family. Todd, Clarks brother has been living with us since the fall. He is helping us do some remodeling. He is a gracious house guest, willing to watch kids when he's not tearing stuff apart and laying tile, and we have really loved having him here. We will do our best to keep him busy so he never leaves.

We are so thankful to be a family, to have a roof over our heads, and to have our lives full of people who love and support us. We feel truly blessed and enjoy this time of year of remembrance and thanksgiving. We hope all of you are enjoying the holidays and are able to spend it with the ones you love. God Bless.

Clark, Jess, Olivia, Isaac, and Helen

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

ANDELIN UPDATE - It's about time, right :)


So, I started potty training Isaac this week. I have been putting it off, putting it off until I realized I just needed to do it. Otherwise, out little guy would be 18 and still in diapers! So NOT good for his social game.

Day 1 - total bust. No pee pee on the potty just whining all day for candy.
Day 2 - lots of wet shorts and lots of pee on the potty.
Day 3 - we went to the gym with undies on, no accidents - YAY BUDDY.


I am beginning to think she is a 15 year old trapped in a 4 year old body. We were outside the other day playing when she announced she had a great idea. Let's have a picnic!! On the menu - Juice Boxes and Crackers. She runs inside to get the juice boxes. Meanwhile I am outside on the phone. After coming back outside she tells me "instead of talking on the phone you could be more use by going inside to get a blanket." Okay, WHAT. Seriously.


Our little baby Helen is Walking. YAY FOR BABY HELEN! She is also climbing up and down the stairs. She's amazing. Our little sweet-heart is her mama's happy place. She is always smiling and totally obsessed with peek-a-boo.


Clarky loves it here in Mexico, MO. He is working hard to build his practice. He's doing speaking engagements, attending the Rotary, and his cute little wife is asking every pregnant lady she meets "Whose your OB?"

As for me, anyone who has talked to me these past few months knows that our move to Mexico from Columbia, Mo has been difficult for me. But, thankfully, as time continues to pass I find myself calming down and feeling more at home here. I hope to update this more regularly for I can't stand the idea of emailing, blogging, and facebooking - none of which I do but all of which seem like such a great way to stay connected. So I'm picking blogging and hope to silence all the haters out there who miss us and wish we would stay in better contact :).

Sending all of you our love.

Jess, Clark, O, Ike, and Baby Helen.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

On July 23, 2010, Miss Helen Rae Andelin was born. 8lbs 1oz, 19 3/4 long. A perfect pink little bundle. It was so great delivering at Columbia Regional. Surrounded by Clark's co-workers, whom I've come to know so well the past three years, it felt like I was surrounded by family.

The delivery went well, no complications. Clark was kissing me and giving me encouragement the whole time. Those few days surrounding each delivery is such a special time for us. Friends watched Olivia and Isaac so we could revel in being new parents again the weekend she was born.

Olivia has proven to be a very affectionate and attentive big sister. She is constantly checking on Helen and letting me know whenever she cries that Helen is "thirsty". Isaac is a total maniac, unhappy as can be with our new arrival and letting me know with every shout, kick, and tantrum he throws. But, he is still our little buddy and I am trying hard to divide my attention three ways now.

Helen is named after Clark's grandmother, Helen Berry Andelin. She was a great woman and I am so glad we named her after a woman who left behind such a wonderful legacy. It is also touching that Helen was born on Aubrey and Helen's wedding anniversary. We like to think our little Helen was with Grandma and Grandpa before coming down to earth.

A week after Helen was born we drove out to Wichita, Kansas to drop off Olivia and Isaac to stay with Chip (Tanya) and Dave for a week-and-a-half. After many tearful phone calls from our little Lu Lu, we joined them after several days. Many of the most recent photos are from our time at Chip and Dave's. We spent most of our days in the backyard, playing in the water and feeding the chickens. Cheers to hot, sticky summer days in Missouri - bathing suits and water fights, treats and snacks, late nights, and long naps - a kids dream.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays

Christmas music is playing again in the Andelin home. Clark has started making fires in our wood burning stove. The trees are bare and snow and rain have begun falling. Bare feet are now covered with socks and shoes. Winter is here and Christmas is coming!

In our home Lu Lu can be heard saying everyday "Santa is coming to town." We love our little Lu Lu. She continues to bless our lives with her playful, affectionate personality. This past year was a big year for our Olivia. With the promise of dance school on the horizon, she was finally potty trained. No stickers or candy would suffice for this little one, only a leotard and dance shoes. She did it! She did it! She did it! And if there are any doubters she will be happy to show you! The other highlight for her was turning three. It was a big deal for all of us and we had so much fun celebrating with her and her friends, her first "REAL" birthday party.

Isaac is our "Little Buddy." With his legs now fully under him he is cruising everywhere and getting into all sorts of mischief. He is all boy. He loves cars, anything with moving parts, and is obsessed with building fires with his daddy. He will put anything and everything into his mouth and does not like being bossed around by his sissy. His laugh is infectious and we look forward to watching him grow and develop even more in the coming year.

Clark continues to work hard. His commitment and dedication to medicine and his patients brings him a lot of joy and satisfaction. Training is brutal but he is doing what he loves and we know there is a bright light at the end of this tunnel. We are grateful he is working and is able to provide for us in such a difficult economy. When he is not working or sleeping you will always find him home with us, playing with us, snuggling all of us, and taking care of us.

As for me, staying home with the children continues to be a blessing for all of us. I love waking up with them, playing with them, teaching them, and taking care of them. They are also my little teachers as I learn to listen to them and strive to meet their needs. Something fun - I just finished a children's DVD with a good friend of mine, Allison Shwalb. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun. We look forward to giving it out to friends and family over the next year.

Beyond the normal hum of our lives, we said good-bye to Clark's grandmother this year. She was the great matriarch of the Andelin family. Her death punctuated for all of us the true purpose of life and was a wonderful reminder of God's great Plan of Salvation and the happiness that can be ours in this life and the next. She was such a good woman. We miss her presence greatly but continue to feel her influence in our lives.

To our friends and family everywhere, we love you and miss you. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Olivia is THREE!!!

Three years ago our little Lu Lu was born. Today we celebrated her birthday with friends, food, and lots and lots of balloons. She has been talking about her birthday for weeks. It was so FUN to throw her a party. Sequence, balloons, finger foods, and princess costumes - a party fit for a queen :).