Saturday, December 30, 2006


Aidan's running around outside with a tomato cage on his head.

Teach the children

I guess I have taught a little of a false thinking to Evan. I was cleaning the bathroom this afternoon and he asked, "who's coming over today?" I told him nobody was coming. He asked, "why are you cleaning the bathroom?" LOL

Monday, December 18, 2006

2006 Christmas letter

December 18, 2006
Dear Family and Friends,

The past twelve months have evaporated so quickly that in truth, I’m not exactly sure what happened. Still, I will try to chronicle the events of our lives so you’ll know what we do and how God takes care of us.

Evan is now a first grader at school. He really does absorb knowledge just the way a sponge absorbs water. He likes to draw in his sketchpad at school and build lego creations with his brothers at home. Recently he authored (actually wrote by hand) his first short story “Commander Rocket and the Dynamite!” He also helps prepare the elements for communion at church. During the summer Evan and his mom hosted chess club at our house for a few other children. He had the wonderful experience of learning to ride a two wheeler this summer. He also had the more difficult experience of losing a front tooth due to a bike crash where he forgot how to use his brakes! He fits in nicely in his first grade class. More recently Evan and I have been reading the Henry Huggins books out loud together in the evening. He loves these books!
Aidan turned three in September. He is our only blond-haired child and stands out from his brothers by being gentler, more sensitive, and quite well-mannered. He also tends to get into more mischief-type trouble such as finding a craft kit and getting the paint all over the carpet in our bedroom. Aidan likes to lead us in prayer before dinner and has a heart-warming smile that he hopes will help him get out of trouble at least once in a while.
Tobias is almost 21 months now, and he is a “honey nut”, which is Tara’s nickname for him. He is a unique combination of his two older brothers; for example, his hair is brown like Evan’s but fine and light like Aidan’s. Apparently our gene pool is only so deep. Toby is quite verbal and routinely speaks to the ornaments on the Christmas tree. He gave us a good laugh the other morning when I greeted the boys with “Salve, fili” (Hello, son). Evan said, “Salve, padre” (mixing languages on purpose); Aidan said “Salve, pater” (ever the people pleaser… he knows what I want) and Toby said, “Salve, breakfast!” Somehow Toby makes us laugh just about every day.

As you can see, Tara has her hands full. She stays home full-time and tries to keep up with the needs of all of her boys, which isn’t easy right now, since she’s pregnant with yet another kid! She already looks as though she had swallowed a regulation basketball. Two ultrasounds say that this will be a girl, so we are both excited and skeptical. Right now we are trying to figure out a name and amass some girl clothes before the blessed event at the end of February. Of course, if it’s a boy, we can return to business as usual. Tara continues to serve on the MOPS steering team as craft coordinator, which she enjoys very much. Tara has also joined in the wonderful world of blogging. Her blog can be read at It will hopefully keep you up to date on our adventuresome lives. Well, as much as she can keep up with our adventuresome lives anyway!
So that leaves me. I continue to teach English and Latin at school, which is very fulfilling but still a lot of work. This is my twelfth year at the school, which means that I have the amazing privilege of seeing my first students finishing college and launching careers and families already. I am already anticipating the day when the first second-generation student arrives in my classroom. This fall I directed Anne of Avonlea, which had a cast of 37 (including one teacher) and made me wonder if perhaps I had aimed too high. Through no fault of our own, we still ended up with a great show (the lead had to memorize almost 400 lines!). The school continues to do well; check us out at I also continue to operate my outdoor services/handyman business mostly during the summer. This year Phil, my “foreman,” and I hired some of our high school boys to minimize the load on our aging bodies. The boys were a great blessing and contributed to Friendly Jim’s best season ever.
I also continue to serve as an elder at our church. My term expires at the end of ’07, which is just fine. I’m spread too thin (no pun intended) and church leaders carry a lot of burdens that you wouldn’t necessarily realize. Still it brings me a lot of joy (and growth) to be a part of what God is doing.
A final blessing has been my parents’ move to town in September of 2005. Their proximity has allowed us to visit them frequently so that the boys will know and remember them. On a more painful note, my mom’s cancer has continued to spread so that she now has multiple tumors pressing on her brain stem. In October she underwent whole head radiation, which seems to have slowed the progress of the disease. All of us are thankful for each additional day that the Lord has seen fit to grant her.

Many blessings to you in Christ this Christmas!

Jim and Tara Kluth
Evan, Aidan, and Toby (and baby sister!)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The case for hardwood floors.

We have hardwood floors throughout most of the house. We have a rug in the living room, carpeted stairs and an area rug/carpet square in our bedroom and Evan's bedroom. The last four days I have come to appreciate our hardwood in a new way.
Sunday night: Evan has a bloody nose. I clean blood off his carpet and the stairs.
Monday night: Toby gets the stomach flu. I clean vomit off the living room rug.
Tuesday afternoon: Aidan finds a paint project in my room. I clean paint off the bedroom rug.
Monday morning: Toby untapes his diaper. I clean poo off the living room rug.

Why can't these people mess on the hardwoods?????

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A busy couple of days!

Well, I'm so proud of myself! I've sewn 1 1/2 pillow cases and discovered that I don't like sewing with polar fleece. I do like the end results, but the fleece is so thick that it doesn't go through the machine easily. It isn't a huge struggle, so I'm going to finish Aidan's pillow case and do Toby's tonight.

This morning Aidan and I went to our church's Angel Breakfast. This is the third year for the program and the kids always love it. It is geared for 2-5 year olds, so only Aidan was eligible this year! Next year Toby and Aidan will both be able to go. We do a picture, an advent calendar and have a light brunch. They also have "angels" singing for us and a Bible story. Aidan recognized one of the "angels" as his buddy Anthony and was very excited! Jim took Evan and Toby to the bank and a drive. Then, after the breakfast a family from church took Aidan for a play date. Evan joined him a little while later so Jim and I took Toby to lunch at the mall. We also got out the Christmas tree. Toby loves it! He comes over every now and then to say, "hi, guys" to the angels and ask them what they're doing. Soooo cute! He just came over and said, "nice tree".

One more cute kid story for this entry. :) Last night Jim was talking about watching "Cars" with the kids after dinner. Toby chimed in and said his first four word sentence. "Watch puppies, no cars." He was VERY deliberate and emphatic in getting the point across that he wanted to watch "Lady and the Tramp" and NOT "Cars"!!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

More about our day

This morning I took the two little ones to Pipsqueaks, the Rochester indoor playground. They had a great time running around! They were so tuckered out after lunch that they both took great naps! :)

An old high school friend of mine lamented about the great debate most women encounter at one point or another. I want to cut my hair, but I want to let it grow! Yesterday I gave in to the "I want to cut my hair" side and took the morning off to do so. A great friend took care of the little ones so I could go get my hair cut. I was also planning on doing a little Christmas shopping, but since I went to a cosmetology school it took most of the morning to do my hair. Who would have throught that a hair cut could take over 1 1/2 hours!?!? Well, I enjoyed myself anyway.

The guys are doing well and are getting more excited for baby sister. Toby knows that baby sister is in my "be-yee". Aidan knows that baby sister is swimming around and around like a goldfish and then he leaps and flops around the room to demonstrate. Thankfully she is active, but not THAT active!!! Evan knows that he wants baby sister to be named Sophie Rose. He's even looked Sophie up in the baby name book to discover that it means "wisdom". He doesn't get the final vote, but I'll say that Sophia Rose is on the list. Somewhere... ;)

I have an exciting challenge for myself this week. We've been following a budget as suggested by Dave Ramsey in his book on financial freedom. Last week we discovered that we had $16 left for the last week of November in our grocery budget. (Forget that we were totally over on other sections and gave up partway through the month!) Anyway, I took on the challenge to feed a family of five on $16 for the week. We've eaten chili nachos, spaghetti, pork loin and sweet potatoes, potato soup and tonight we're having homemade pizza! No, I wasn't able to buy all that stuff for under $16, but when I took inventory of what I had in my cupboards and freezer, I was able to buy the supplemental ingredients for under $15. I've got tonight and the weekend planned out and will be able to do it! :) It isn't that we don't have the money to buy more groceries, so don't feel sorry for us. Jim told me not to be silly and to buy the stuff we needed to eat. I DID buy the stuff we needed. If it had been a matter of us NOT having the money, we totally could have done it based on what we had in the house. I challenge you all to try to do the same with your menu this week. See how much you can clear out those pantries and freezers. You'd be surprised to see what you actually have when you take a look! (Evan even took money from his own spending money to buy a Lunchables lunch for himself for lunch once this week. I just told him that I would take him to buy it, but that I wasn't going to pay for it!!!)