Clarke Family News

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

We need your help to find a cure!

This weekend, we'll be taking part in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk to Cure Diabetes along with a half-million other walkers across the country. Our goal: To raise $90 million to help fund research for a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.

Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes, is a devastating, often deadly disease that affects millions of people--a large and growing percentage of them children. This includes Quinn.

Many people think type 1 diabetes can be controlled by insulin. While insulin does keep people with type 1 diabetes alive, it is NOT a cure. Aside from the daily challenges of living with type 1 diabetes, there are many severe, often fatal, complications caused by the disease.

That's the bad news... and yes, it's pretty bad.

The good news, though, is that a cure for type 1 diabetes is within reach. In fact, JDRF funding and leadership is associated with most major scientific breakthroughs in type 1 diabetes research to date. And JDRF funds a major portion of all type 1 diabetes research worldwide, more than any other charity.

I'm posting to ask for your support because now more than ever, EACH of us can be a part of bringing about a cure. Each of us can make a real difference.

Together, we can make the cure a reality.



Please visit my Walk Web page if you would like to donate online or see how close I am to reaching my personal goal:

If you are uncomfortable with donating on-line but still willing to help please e-mail me at

Friday, September 29, 2006

Fall Season Sports Underway

Quinn is back at it with two sports for the early Fall season, soccer and flag football.

Both leagues are a bit different this year.

Soccer is four on four, up from three on three, but still with no goalie and coaches on the field. The 4x4 format has much less scoring, but he did have one goal in their second game (the team's first) and a pretty good assist in last week's game. Quinn's coach is trying to stress passing and teamwork, some other coaches are not.

The yellow team's name this season...Galaxy.

Flag football's big change is that the players, not the coaches, play quarterback. Here we see Quinn's first play as quarterback, which ended with his first, and the team's first, interception. We don't have any pictures of that part of the play.

Most importantly the kids are learning skills, which for Quinn has meant paying attention to what he is doing.

The green team's name this season...The Spartans

Friday, July 21, 2006

Josie Turns One(ish)--the Year in Review

It's been just over a year since Josephine came to live with us. For the most part she's been an angel. Really. She seems only to cry about very specific things (usually things we can fix in one or two tries). She sleeps through the night. She doesn't usually wake up to loud noises (they are building two houses across the street and have finished the one next to us) unless Quinn is making them. She was slow to start crawling (blessed immobility) and isn't walking yet. She is fond of standing up next to things like tables and chairs, and f there is something to grab you can bet it will be relocated to the floor. She loves phones and remote controls, and seems to know real ones from fake. The real ones are better.

Most of her first few days were spent under a green glowing blanket. Which was nice, I'm sure, in the summer heat.

She had lots of visitors
in the early days.

July was spent asleep, when Quinn would leave her alone. Here she is sleeping while he was busy at swimming lessons.

She woke up for August. Here she is trying to see
what's under the bill of Ken's cap.

September took Quinn out of the house for Kindergarten, so Dee had time for a room make-over.

Tragedy struck in October. During a little publicized alien invasion, Josie was captured and partially encased in an alien pod, probably to be transported to the alien home planet. Quick action was needed, and Quinn boarded the mother-ship after he painted himself green to better blend with the alien invaders. Without concern for his own well being or the cleanliness of his clothes, he single-handedly battled his way through the alien ship and rescued Josie from the alien vegetable cocoon.

November brought a number of changes, including the introduction of food. Here Josie enjoys some sort of mashed grain.

December had us getting ready for Josie's first Christmas. Numerous gender mis-identifications prompted Dee to issue an all-girly clothing order effective immediately. Josie says, "Yes Ma'am!"

January and February were cold, and Josie showed only passing interest in the Winter Olympics. She spent most of her time reading.

March was spent in the tub getting swimsuit ready.

April was busy with standing training and Quinn's Flag Football games to attend to. There's just so much laundry...

May means Mother's Day, so Quinn and Josie tried to put aside their differences to give Dee one day of peace and quiet. As you can see it lasted just long enough to take one picture.

June started off with some degree of difficulty as we were swarmed by giant ladybugs. Fortunately, by Josie's birthday we were able to catch one and use it as a birthday cake. They're delicious if you cook them just right! Look, there's another one...

Shortly after the birthday party we took a trip to see Josie's Godfather. Here you see her paddling out in an inflatable to save him from drowning.

Well, that's it. A whole year. I'm sorry you couldn't have been there to see all of it. Come to think of it, if you had been there, I might have gotten to take a nap. Hope to see you soon.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Best Wedding Idea Ever

We recently attended a wedding. Actually it was the reception, not the wedding itself. But we did buy a gift and get dressed up. It's usually a pain to do that. Either the kids (mainly Quinn here) don't want to get ready on time, or don't want to wear something presentable (again mostly Quinn) or they don't want to behave or sit quietly or any of those things. Getting a sitter isn't always easy. They usual suspects on this night were busy themselves (at other weddings) so we were stuck, and frankly, near declining.

That was, until we were told by the bride to be, that this was a kid friendly wedding. Actually, this bride was pretty insistent that this be a good time for the kids. That doesn't seem to be the norm. She had a table in the reception hall with nothing but toys and games on it. Glow sticks, silly string, play dough, coloring books. Knowing Quinn was coming, she even had some dietetic candy.

They also had a caricature artist on hand. Check this out! Quinn's eyes aren't exactly right, but it's pretty good. Josie's is right on.

If you find yourself getting married anytime soon, have a heart and find something fun for the kids to do.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

End of Days?

The last day of Kindergarten came and went last week. On Wednesday I went to have lunch with Quinn and his class and observed as they suffered thruogh their final exam, write a sentence without copying it off the board. Quinn liked one of the sentences on the board, and tried to angle to copy, but was cut off and had to re-do his work after unch. I think he ended up with "I like my dog." or something like that.

Hot lunch, the second treat of the day, was pizza dippers, green beans, pineapple chunks, milk and a cookie. The tables in the gymnasium are small, but we made it work. After lunch we had recess, and I did my best to learn the ins and outs of kick and catch. It's sort of a cross between kick-ball (with lots more balls and no base running) dodge ball (with all the catching and less throwing the ball in the opponent's face) and red rover (without the physical contact). Scoring is kept in a vague way that lets everyone claim victory. Anyway, two mobs of kids occupy either side of a field, each armed with a variety of balls. The object seems to be to kick the ball to the other team in a way that they cannot catch it on the fly...either by kicking it over their heads or by kicking it so high that it cannot be caught. I'm not sure who keeps track of scores, or how much each catch is worth, but I was told that my kicking the ball over the heads of the 1st and 2nd graders we were up against propelled us to victory, something that I'm sure doesn't happen all that much for the lowly kindergarteners.

Thursday was the last day of school (only a half day) and it ended with an all school picnic, complete with an ice cream truck. Dee, Josie and I met Quinn and the rest of his class for the picnic. We were going to Mom's for Frank's birthday (including ice cream cake) so we skipped the ice cream truck, but still managed to have a good time.

Quinn now has six weeks of half day summer school, and then the rest of the summer off before starting 1st grade in the fall.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Josie's First Woodchucks Game

NTC Night represented our first chance this year to get out and see a Woodchucks (baseball) game. It was their third of the season, and they won, 1-0, bringing them to 2-1 on the season. It was a nice night to be out (Dee might have been a bit cold near the end) and we managed to stay until the end.

Josie was perfectly behaved as usual, and Quinn even managed to keep control of himself for the most part. There were some kids there that he knew, that always helps. He got Woody Woodchuck to sign his shirt, adding to his collection of Woody signed memorabilia.

Quinn and I played in some casino's give away involving a small swimming pool and a pair of hoola-hoops placed near 2nd base. The trick is to throw the tennis ball into the pool, and if you do you split the winnings with the charity represented that night. Each ball costs a dollar, so depending on how many balls are sold you could win quite a bundle. I landed one ball in the hoola-hoop, which was good for four tickets to an upcomming game. Not a bad deal.

Friday, May 26, 2006

JDRF Neenah Walk

Team Q made its last planned appearance at the Neenah JDRF Walk for a Cure. We'll be walking in the first ever Stevens Point Chapter Walk in October, and now our fund-raising energies are aimed at that event. This year's team was the biggest yet, with help from NTC CJ Club members Micky Jo, Dallas, Brandon, Jen Z. and Nettie K., graduate Jen M., regulars Chris, Frank, Elroy, Kelly, Katelyn, Connie, Dee, Josie and, of course, Quinn. Oh yeah, I was there too. Chris did not finish last!

We had planned to do our own grilling, and everybody brought something, except I forgot to bring the brats. I bought them, and they were ready to go, they just didn't make it into the cooler. I've decided that I was rushing. There was plenty already there, so no one starved (like that's likely anyway) and Jen M.'s Mom's potato salad was the big hit.