S: A Decade of CLAY 2001 - 2011
BC: One day a little boy was born into the world and for a very small moment, his mother held him close. But soon the nurse came to get him and right then the mother knew. Life with that little boy would always mean letting go. Time passed and the little boy became a one-year-old. His mother knew something had changed because that little boy didn't want to be held anymore- he wanted to walk. So she kissed him on top of his head, took a seat on the opposite side of the room, and held her breath as crookedly, very crookedly, he took his first steps. From the place where she watched him, that mother hummed a quiet hum. And in her heart the words went something like this: Be safe little boy, don't you fall little boy, look how fast you've grown. Be safe little boy, where you walk little boy, you're not yet on your own. The boy grew older and for his fifth birthday he got a shiny bike. His mother knew it was time to let go a little more. So she kissed him on top of his helmet, stood back, and slowly, very slowly, he climbed onto the seat. From the place where she watched him start to ride, that mother whistled a quiet whistle. And in her heart the words went something like this: Be safe little boy, pedal hard little boy, look how much you've grown. Be safe little boy, where you ride little boy, You're not yet on your own. A few more years passed. His mother knew that the time had come for him to go away to school each morning. So on the first day, she kissed him goodbye and stood back as quickly, very quickly, he ran to join the other boys his age. From the place where she watched him start out, that mother sang a quiet song. And in her heart, the words went something like this: Be safe little boy, where you go little boy, Look how much you've grown. Be safe little boy, do the right little boy. You'll soon be on your own. -K. Kingsbury (adapted)
FC: A little bit like my dad, a little bit like my mother - | God made me more like MYSELF than one of them or the other! | 2006
1: Dear Clay, We loved you from the moment we knew of your existence . Hearing your heartbeat for the first time - knowing that you were REAL - was so exciting! Then you were born and we knew a joy that cannot be described. And that, son, was only the beginning. It has been a delight to watch you grow these past ten years; to watch you: develop a personality.... struggle to learn a hard lesson.... be a big brother.... make friends.... deal with disappointment.... choose to be happy.... complete a difficult task.... laugh with abandon.... be a BOY. In all of these we catch a glimpse of the man you may become. We are truly blessed to be your parents; to have been given the opportunity and responsibility to raise you for God's glory. Happy 10th Birthday, son. We love you very much. Dad & Mom
2: "Little Jesus, wast Thou shy once, and just so small as I? And what did it feel like to be out of Heaven, just like me?" | Clay Adam Nicodemus - May 7, 2001 6 lbs. + 8.5 oz. - 20 inches | baby dear | sweet
3: For this child we prayed; and the Lord hath given us the petition which we asked of Him. 1 Samuel 1:27 | You were the first grandchild for Grandpa & Grandma Peters, the tenth for Grandpa & Grandma Nicodemus, | NCPL baby shower. | Louise was our favorite nurse @ UVMC | just born | Aunt Norma | Grant, Tonya, Dana, & Trey
4: a favorite outfit | meeting Kari | our baby shower | U. Scott & A. Kelly | I love Grandpa "Pete" | Grant & me | Aunt Tamara | Blake & Garrett
5: There were 3 additions to the Nicodemus family in 2001. Derek Douglas was born before me on March 22nd and Myra Shea was born after me on July 24th. | Derek - Myra - Clay | Hey- that's MY foot! | Myra & me 2002 | gotta love Grandma's lap!
6: C A N A D A | Our Family 2001 | daddy time | Taking a summer trip to Three Oaks Resort in Bruce Mines, Ontario, Canada is a special Nicodemus Family tradition. You loved it from the very beginning. | After our Canada trip, on September 11th, 2001, terrorists flew two planes into the World Trade Center in New York City. Hundreds of people were killed and many were wounded. It was an event that rocked our nation. You were just 4 months old. | have Junior | will travel! | entertained by Trey | the cabins | a beautiful Canadian sunset | reading w/ Haley | Dana & Shaina | I love Grandpa!
7: On September 19th, following the attack on the World Trade Center, we packed in a van and headed to Outer Banks, North Carolina. What an exciting vacation! You got to play with Madalyn and Lynelle, nap on the beach, and sit in the sand. We took a ferry boat ride and toured a lighthouse too. It was a beautiful week! | O U T E R B A N K S N C | Our beach house | Madalyn, Lynelle, & Clay | Roland, Marla, & Lynelle - Jonathan | & Melanie - Chad, Heather, & Clay - Roy, Jan, & Madalyn | snooze! | God created an amazing backdrop!
8: As I watch you while you're sleeping, I wonder what you'll grow to be...what line of work you'll choose. Will you raise a family? Well, it's not important now you make a living with your hands, but your mom & daddy's praying you'll grow to be a godly man. You could be a farmer that tills the soil and plants the seed; an electrician pulling wires or a trucker hauling feed. But your father & your mother place you gently in God's hand, 'cause all that really matters is that you be a godly man. As of now you're still so little it's hard to visualize you grown. But time- it moves so quickly, they say it comes before you know. We want to teach and train you in the way of God's commands so that when you leave our home, you will leave a godly man. You could be a pilot that flies across the prairie skies, or a busy tax accountant trying to meet the last deadline. But your father & your mother place you gently in God's hand, 'cause all that really matters is that you be a godly man. God has given you a tool you can use in any trade, so promise me, my son- you will read it every day. It contains wisdom and guidance you will need for your life's plan; and what this world needs most is another godly man. You could be a preacher that leads his flock on Sunday morn, or a missionary living in a land so far & foreign. But your father & your mother place you gently in God's hand, 'cause all that really matters is that you be a godly man. | cuddling w/ Grandma swinging @ the park me & Davey B posing w/ Kaitlyn O'Conner | @ our cabin in Kentucky | checking out A. Wava | Aunt Kelly has the touch! 1st 4-wheeler ride Happy Birthday, daddy! me & Great grandpa Miller | daddy's baby clothes | loving Aunt Tamara
9: our 1st family portrait | 6 m o n t h s | 7 m o n t h s | 11 m o n t h s | 9 m o n t h s
10: Happy 1st Birthday Clay! | Grandpa Great Peters - Grandpa Great Miller - Grandpa Great Skiles | mommy's little "helper" | my two grandpas | too much birthday? | THE CAKE
11: Jenna joined our family just two days after your 1st birthday, on May 9th, 2002. It seemed like you became a "little man" overnight - and both her protector and her playmate.
12: Her toes are in here somewhere... Hey- that's MY spot! Aren't I still your baby?? Guess I'm the "big" kid now | Craig, Kari, & me me, Grant, Jenna, Dana, Myra, Tonya, Trey, and Andrea Does she HAVE to get married? | summer in North Hampton I'm gonna draw you a picture I wanna do that! looks interesting out there... | relaxin' in the sun What a ride! another "Clay" face Happy 2nd Birthday!
13: 2nd CANADA trip on our Kentucky porch swing a bubble bath with little sister | Daddy's magazines are COOL yeah, yeah - dad caught it! Tonya B & me bubbles are so much FUN | Christmas photo 2002 | So, tell me: which look is really ME? | this sweeper is MY size U. Layton & A. Tam's wedding my Gator from Uncle Eric Christmas @ home 2002
14: And then there were three.... | Alec Ross joined our family on October 1st, 2003. | The doctors discovered that Great Grandpa Peters had cancer again the end of October. He went Home on December 7, 2003. | Our 2003 Christmas photo | Some quality time with Uncle Eric before he (sniff) moved to Washington. | Todd & Kara's wedding | my Christmas gift from Uncle Eric
15: a special drawing for mom. | a few favorites 2002-04 | a special drawing for mom. | "For God so loved the world that He gave His only B.B. gun...." | motorcycle: "Moses' bicycle" | under the Mackinac Bridge 2003
16: Jenna - Clay - Jack - Alec - Kaitlyn | 2004 | 2005 | 2004 | 2004 | 2004 | spending time @ | doing corn | @ Great Grandma's | a big catch | Nicodemus Christmas | watching daddy & Alex B shingle | "There were three in a chair...." | giving daddy | a new 'do | our Christmas 2005 | "helping" Uncle Layton | U. Layton & A. Tamara's | We LOVE Uncle Eric | playing w/ Lindon | @ Snyder Park
17: Holmes County 2005 | 2005 | 2004 | Lynelle - Madalyn - Lauren - Megan - Jenna - Clay - Alec | 2004 | @ Greenville Park | a summer luncheon | in our backyard | Christmas photo 2004 | Christmas sweaters | 2004 | 2004 | tub time | the ships peephole @ | our cabin | in Holmes County | 2005 | SAM | So fun to find a "Seattle, Washington" t-shirt @ the thrift store!
18: Daddy, will you be there for me.... | when I wake up in the night? When I cannot close my eyes and sleep will you rock me, hold me tight? Will you drive my tractor on the floor, pitch my balls and push my swing? May I come to you with broken toys? Will you mend my broken things? Will you be there? Will you love my mommy, hug me every day? Daddy will you be home at night to teach me how to pray? When you come from your work at night, daddy, then I want you near. There are problems that are big to me- will you stop and give your ear? I don't care if you are rich or poor, I just want to have your heart. I just want to know that you're my friend- I will try to do my part. Will you be there when I have a problem and I need to share? Daddy, will you be there for me? Will you really care?
19: Daddy, will you be there for me when I need someone to care; when I face this life's complexities and I'm ready to despair? Am I more to you than any thing? Do you love me? I'm your child. May I come to you with broken dreams, when I'm broken and defiled? Will you be there, will you guide me? Will you help me to forgive? Daddy, will you be there for me, to teach me how to live? Daddy, will you be there for me? When I face life's setting sun- when I stand before the Judgment seat- will I hear those words, "Well done."? Will you have taught me right from wrong? Did you teach me to stand the test so that I may enter heaven's gates with my Lord forever blessed? I'm depending on you, daddy and I hope you understand. Daddy, you are my gift from God, Take me, hold my hand. | riding Promise | 8 - 29 - 03
20: Elsa Grace was born 5 1/2 wks. early on Jan. 5th, 2006. In this photo she is wearing a doll outfit! | What are all those wires?
21: Rachel Denlinger served our family a special breakfast for mom's 28th birthday. Delicious! | In September of '06 we met The Myers family @ a condo in North Carolina. Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg, Putt-putt @ the resort, and relaxing with friends... a delightful weekend | 2006 | Kayla & me | on top of "the rock"
22: Happy 5th Birthday, Clay! | This was your first "REAL" birthday party. David, Derek, Lindon, Levi, and Spencer came over to celebrate with us. You boys had a lot of laughs! | We also had a family birthday party for you & Jenna at Grandpa Miller's house. | May 2006
23: life is | 2006 | .
24: Columbus Zoo | Just being with my brother and sisters is so much fun. Gettin' kissy while making valentines - running in the sprinkler - playing at the park - kayaking in Canada - sharing Christmas - discovering animals at the zoo. Thank-You, God, for family!
25: - | (Cody, Spencer, Alec, Myra, me, & Derek) In September of 2006, we moved from our house in North Hampton to a "new" house in the country. What an adventure! | Grandma Peters w/ Jenna, Elsa, Logan, Wade, Darrin, Alec & me . Goofing off at the Nic Christmas: me, Spencer, Jenna, Derek, & Myra. - Pathway 2006 Kindergartners: Bailey, Kelly, Bryce, me, Derek, & Myra. Fair Oaks Dairy: Lynelle, Jenna, Alec, Lauren, Madalyn, Megan, me, & Elsa. | moving day
26: In December of 2006 we took a Christmas trip with our Peters family to a cabin in the hills of Cumberland, Kentucky. It was there that we fell in love with (not yet Aunt) Julie, opened gifts, played w/ Grandpa, daddy, & the uncles, ate lots of Grandma's yummy food, and heard the exciting news that we would be getting a new cousin in the summer. Thank-you, God, for these sweet memories.
27: we are happy to meet "Reed Charles Yost"! | 2008 | 2008 | Easter 2008 | 2007 | 2007
28: 6 Y E A R S | 2 0 0 7 | My parents say they do not care about the color of my hair, nor if my eyes be blue or brown, nor if my nose turns up or down- it really does not matter. They also say they do not care if I am dark or if I'm fair, or if I'm thin or if I'm "fat"; they do not fret o'er things like that- it really does not matter. But if I cheat or tell a lie or say mean things to make folks cry, or if I'm rude or impolite and do not try to do the right, then that does really matter! It isn't looks that makes one great, but character that seals your fate. It's what's within your heart, you see, that makes or mars your destiny; and that does really matter! | UNKNOWN
29: In June of 2007 Grandma, mom, Elsa, & I flew to Washington for Aunt Julie's bridal shower. I got to spend some quality time with Uncle Eric. He even took me up to Lion Rock! Riding the horse with Janae was fun, too. A SHORT trip, but one that I will always remember. Our whole family flew back to Washington in August for the BIG EVENT - Uncle Eric & Aunt Julie's wedding! Alec & I got the special title of "Rug Carriers" It was neat to be a part of their big day.... and then a little sad to say "Good-bye".
30: After we got home from the airport (& Washington) dad & mom loaded up the big van and started to Canada. What a surprise when we woke up in Michigan and realized what was going on! It was fun to surprise our cousins, too! | fishin' with dad & Spencer. | We enjoyed celebrating Christmas in our "new" house. | Christmas photo 2008 | first day of (home)school 2008
31: "Happy Birthday to you, Jenna & Clay!" - Ginger & I found a FROG! - Reading is my favorite pastime - The Nicodemus family @ Christmas 2008 - Alec & me - a picnic snack @ Ginger & Lucy's house - the Myers family comes for a visit - some of the "greats" @ great Grandpa Miller's sale. | Alec, Clay, Cameron, Elsa, Kaitlyn, Jenna | Brooke, Jenna, Ashley, Cody, Jensen, Andrea | Spencer, Shaina, Trey, Clay, & Alec
32: Christmas photo 2008
33: GUS | Jack Oliver | our friend Drew | U. Eric, A. Julie, Landon
34: Logan B & me | 1st day of school 2009/2010 | "outfielder" '2009 | "Tecumseh" shirts 2010 | Austin & me spring 2010 | field day 2009 | Christmas program | 2 0 0 9 | @ Family Game Night 2011 | my friend CHASE | ZACH | Donnelsville | Jenna & I started school @ Donnelsville in February of 2009. (I was in the 2nd grade in Mrs. DeWitt's class.) Going to school was a new adventure for me and I enjoyed it right from the beginning.
35: "Jog for Jeffrey" Spring '2010 | Geometry project 2011 | Geometry project 2011 | "Hat Day" 2009 | Elementary | Fun in the classroom, good friends, and a new appreciation for home.... but not HOMEWORK...... : / I had Mr. Fox for 3rd grade and am in Ms. Doughty's class for 4th. | day @Advance School | me & Cam in costume | good pals | Mrs. Strayder | our principal | On May 3rd, 2011, our school levy was turned down. This means the end of Donnelsville Elementary as we know it. "Good-bye all, and may God be with us every one on the next phase of our journey."
36: SUMMER FUN 2010 | Drew - Luke - Clay - Nellie - Jenna - Ginger - Laurel - Heidi - Lucy - Jack | camping @ Indian Lake | Father's Day @ our house | U. Eric, A.Julie, & Landon | came to Ohio for 2 weeks! | an evening @ Young's
37: Fall/Winter 2010-11 | A special visit w/ Great Grandpa & Grandma Skiles | our Christmas photo 2010 | COUSINS - cozy Christmas present - hangin' out w/ Elsa - your vest from Granpa & Grandma | Look, mom! | Derek & me | Concentration | U. Layton | has a LOAD! | Chess game | p l a y i n g | w/ Atley
38: N I C O D E M U S | You got it from your father, it was all he had to give; so it's yours to use and cherish for as long as you may live. If you lose the watch he gave you it can always be replaced; but a black mark on your name, son, can never be erased. It was clean the day you took it and a worthy name to bear. When he got it from his father there was no dishonor there. So make sure you guard it wisely. After all is said and done you'll be glad the name is spotless when you give it to your son. | 2011
39: Rhoda & David set up `an obstacle course, then invited us to join them for some fun. | S P R I N G | 2 0 1 1 | Ready to go! | Saylor | Brooke & Elsa | Spencer & me | Cody &Alec | Derek observing.... | Faster, Jenna : ) | Hurry! | me - Cody - David - Derek - Andrea - Shania
40: CLAY ADAM NICODEMUS | My birthday was extra-special this year... I got to celebrate it 3 times! First @ Grandpa Pete's, next @ Grandpa Nic's, and then @ home with my family. | H A P P Y 10th B I R T H D A Y | GIFTS: basketball hoop return, photo album, mini Bey Blade, candy, money, water shooter, monogrammed True Cut Tool shirt, brown leather belt, Rip Stick, binoculars, pocket knife, 4 comic books, money bank, camera & case, & THIS BOOK! | The night before my birthday we went to Dan & Amy's for supper (and had a campfire too!) Dad & Mom surprised me by having Myles come home with us to sleep over.
41: Snyder Park photo shoot 2011 It's always kind of fun to load everyone up and go to the park to take pictures. It was cold enough this year that Dad, Alec & Elsa stayed in the van, but Mom, Jenna, & I found some neat new spots. I even got to shoot a few photos of my own this time. : | JENNA | 9 years
42: 10 years | 1 year | 2 years | 5 years | 3 years | 4 years | 6 years | 7 years | 8 years | 9 years
43: "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil." Proverbs 4:23-27 NIV It's not that we don't trust you, (although sometimes we struggle with just that) it's that we don't trust the world to be good enough for a child of God. So please be careful, okay? Because Jesus loves you and we love you, too. Dad & Mom