Jennifer Clark feels at home in two towns
by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star
Sep 17, 2013 | 2265 views |  0 comments | 68 68 recommendations | email to a friend | print
What started out as a blind date 22 years has turned into a 21-year marriage, two teenagers and a lot of football games for Jennifer and Bill Clark.

Jennifer is a native of Ragland. She graduated from Ragland High School and received a nursing degree from Jacksonville State University.

Bill is a native of Piedmont. He graduated from Piedmont High School and received a degree in physical education from JSU.

The Clarks moved to Piedmont in April from Spanish Fort where Bill coached at the University of South Alabama. He was recently hired as head coach at JSU.

Jennifer said she feels she and her family are home. They live in Piedmont where they get to see a lot of Bill’s family and friends, and they’re just down the road from Jacksonville, where they spend a lot of time. Also, they’re not far from Ragland, where most of Jennifer’s family lives and where she grew up.

When the Clarks were looking for a place to live, they let their 16-year-old son Jacob make the final decision.

Jacob is a junior at PHS. They wanted him to choose a town where he felt he would be happiest. Jacob looked around in the area and decided on Piedmont, which puts him down the road from JSU, which is where he’ll probably go to school in a couple of years.

Their daughter, Katie plans to go to law school when she graduates from the University of Alabama where she is majoring in journalism and political science.

Jennifer’s parents are Otis and Dolly Boswell. Bill’s parents are Ragan and Barbara Clark. His mother, Judy, is deceased.

Jennifer is the youngest of four sisters. Her two older sisters were 20 and 18 when she was born.

“It was more like growing up with three moms,” she said. “I’ve always been very close to my nieces and nephews, because we grew up playing together.”

Her third sister is five years older than Jennifer. That sister did a lot of the cooking, while Jennifer mostly cleaned. She didn’t spend too much time in the kitchen.

“When Bill and I were dating, he wanted to grill out one day, and he wanted me to do the potatoes,” said Jennifer. “I had to call my mother and ask her how to grill potatoes.”

She does like to bake though.

“People like to tease me,” she said. “They say that when you come to my house, you may get a sandwich to eat, but you’ll have a homemade cake to go with it.”

Jennifer worked as a labor and delivery nurse in hospitals. When the Clarks moved to Prattville, her hours were so long they took away from family time. After going back to school to get a teaching degree, she taught science in Prattville.

About three and a half years ago, when the Clarks were living in Spanish Fort, a friend told her she knew someone who needed stay-at-home moms to train puppies to be service dogs.

“We had two teenagers at home who needed me, I traveled to all of Bill’s games, and I had no experience at all with anything like that,” said Jennifer. “But I loved puppies. It was wonderful. It was a perfect fit. It allowed me to stay home, bring some money in and let me do something I love.”

She worked with goldendoodles, which are part golden retriever and part poodle.

“I would take my dogs into special needs classrooms and let the kids see them,” said Jennifer. “I miss it a lot, but I have my three dogs at home that I love.

Lily is a cavalier King Charles spaniel; Jaxi (named after Jax State), is a golden retriever and Teddy is a mix.

Oliver also lives with the Clarks. After a hurricane in Spanish Fort, Jennifer noticed a kitten stranded on a golf course. Being the animal lover that she is, she took it home with her.

Bill had never been a cat lover, but Jennifer said he fell in love with Oliver. It wasn’t long before Oliver was sitting in Bill’s lap as he had his morning coffee.

Jennifer said she loves being part of a camaraderie of coaches wives.

“There aren’t many jobs where you can enjoy your husband’s job with him and get to be a part of it with your family as well as other families,” said Jennifer. “But you can do that in coaching. We’ve raised our kids to be a part of that. We go to every game and spend time with other families. We have a lot of get-togethers.”

Something that makes being in Piedmont and Jacksonville special is the fact JSU is located close enough to her family and Bill’s family to allow all of them to attend JSU’s games.

“I’m going to love seeing our families at the game and getting to spend time with them,” she said.

Jennifer likes to make Easy and Delicious Chocolate Pie, Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, Hashbrown Casserole and Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup for her family.

Contact Margaret at pollya922@gmail.com.

Recipes

Easy and Delicious Chocolate Pie


3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. self rising flour
1/2 can evaporated milk
1 1/2 c. whole milk
4 T. butter
1 block of baking chocolate
1t. vanilla
9 inch pie crust

Add sugar to egg yolks in a microwave safe bowl and stir until combined. Add the flour and stir. Add evaporated and whole milk and whisk together. Add butter and chocolate. Slightly brown pie crust in 350 degree oven. Microwave on high stopping every 2 minutes to whisk until pie filling thickens and starts to cling to whisk and sides of bowl. Add vanilla.

Pour into pie crust. Beat egg whites with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 t. of vanilla until peaks form. Place on top of pie. Place pie back in 350 degree oven until top browns and edges of crust are brown.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

4 c. sugar
1 c. whole milk
1 stick butter
1 heaping T. cocoa
12 oz. jar peanut butter
Quaker quick 1 minute oats

Bring sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa to a rolling boil stirring constantly. Boil for exactly 2 1/2 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter. Stir in oats quickly until a consistency that doesn’t easily pour off the spoon. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto wax paper. Allow to cool and harden.

Hashbrown Casserole

1 pack non frozen hash browns
1 can cream of chicken soup
I block of sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz. tub sour cream and onion potato chip dip

Grate the package of cheese (do not use pre shredded). Mix all ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into greased 9x13 casserole dish. Melt stick of butter and pour on top. Sprinkle top with one can French’s fried onions. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans chicken broth
4 cups water
1 stick butter
1 pt. heavy cream
2 c. Minute rice
1 pack fresh mushrooms

Cooked chicken. (I usually boil a hen with butter, salt, and pepper and use the broth for my chicken broth instead of canned). 1/2 stick butter (for sautéed mushrooms). Few shakes of garlic powder (for mushrooms). Sauté mushrooms in butter and garlic). Add all ingredients to large pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer for about 20 minutes.
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Jennifer Clark feels at home in two towns by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star

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