Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Camper, More Camping, plays, & a BIRTHDAY GIRL!

We took the plunge and sold our itty bitty RV and got a new camper.  We really enjoy camping.  Time slows way down and we really enjoy our time together hiking, playing cards, sitting around a fire (although the burn bans are just now being lifted so we can enjoy that part of it this year), just messing around.  We are definitely spoiled and it is a mini home away from home with pretty much all the luxuries at hand.


These are pics from my phone of the inside.  300492_2564936284469_1285981386_32884285_1129583054_n308379_2564929964311_1285981386_32884279_799402817_n308634_2564933404397_1285981386_32884282_1065044218_n384410_2564924764181_1285981386_32884275_932200438_n

It has a bunkroom for the kids (although of course Clara ends up in our room as such happens at the house too. LOL)  We have our literal “bedroom” as it only fits our bed at the other end of the camper.  The bathroom is super nice to have instead of hauling your stuff off to the public showers.  We also have a flat screen TV with surround sound (which I could do without).  This is used late at night or when the weather is bad.  We are supposed to be camping! Winking smile

We have already taken it on two weekend trips.  Christian and I had to cut our visits short as he had rehearsals for his play on Saturdays.  So we both headed out on Saturdays when Clay, Clara, and Cullen had headed out on Friday and got the extra night. Sad smile We are looking forward to heading out for longer camping trips soon!  Here are a couple shots from our past 2 camping adventures.


Note Clay peeking out from behind the tree in the background….so my Clay! IMG_3912

We love hiking and this was some steep climbing!  IMG_3915

IMG_3917This is my view! Winking smile Cute hiney, plumber’s crack!IMG_3920

Clay takes up most the slack when some of us get tired!IMG_3921

This past weekend Christian had his first performance with his new school.  He did great along with all of the other cast members.  IMG_3923IMG_3924IMG_3926IMG_3933IMG_3935IMG_3946

Last, but definitely not least, our girl turned FOUR!!  I cannot believe Clara is 4 years old!  She is growing way too fast as kids tend to do.  She is intelligent, funny, stubborn, beautiful, loving, thoughtful and a BIG Daddy’s girl!  & need I mention again intelligent and beautiful to top it off!!

I think she was about 2 weeks old in this picture.  The happiness & thankfulness I felt for the blessing of Clara then was overwhelming and it has only grown in leaps and bounds over the past 4 years.  I am so thankful for the blessing of Clara!


We had a small get together at Chuck E Cheese’s.  She loves that place and that is where her and Daddy go to when they go on dates together.  Mommy likes to skip Chuck E Cheese’s as often as I can…why do kids love that place so much?!?  Yuck!  This year she wanted a bike with a helmeck (helmet), pink puppy dog, and a baby doll.  She got all that and more!  IMG_3972IMG_3973IMG_3980IMG_3982

IMG_3985I didn’t do too well taking pics of everyone.  Meemaw & Pawpaw, Matt & Candy, Taffy & Papa, Clint, KK, & Pierce, and Jenna & Tim with Josh and Ivy came out to celebrate.  Clara really likes Ivy and talks often about her.  We met in gymnastics class and have since made good friends.  I just love her Momma.  They are a great family and a joy to be around!IMG_3992Clara was not so sure of Chuck E….so these were great strides in overcoming the fear.  Winking smileIMG_3995IMG_3997IMG_4001IMG_4002IMG_4004  Clara got her bike on Friday and has been enjoying it ever since…especially enjoying strolling through the house.  IMG_3954IMG_3955IMG_3956IMG_3959

***Yes, again sorry I am cramming so much in one post!  Maybe one day I can stay on top of this blog thing!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Arkansas Picture Overload & Beginning an Adventure!

My brother and his family made the move from Boston to Arkansas!  After 3 months we were finally able to take a weekend and go visit.  We had a fantastic time.  We arrived Friday night.  Saturday morning we woke up to watch Jake and Luke play football games at Razorback stadium! 


Here is Clara enjoying her view!


Jake is in the black helmet….setting up the play.IMG_3621

Mike coaches Jake’s team.  I did not get any pics of Luke’s game…I am a bad aunt and forgot my camera for the first game!IMG_3626

All the guys….but of course Clara has to be in every pic!  IMG_3631IMG_3634

On Sunday we went to Devil’s Den.  It is a great state park that is great hiking and has the neat advantage of some great caverns to explore.


Clara’s favorite spot!


We loved Devil’s Den so much that the Funder5 returned on their way home and spent another 3.5 hours there on Monday!


Love my fam being silly posing for the pics!



I love this pic of Cullen & Clara holding hands!  IMG_3761

I want to explain the pics below.  We found this really cool rock formation and we all ran to explore it.  I was back trying to get pics and the magnitude of it cannot be captured in a photograph.  Anyway….beside the point….if you will notice in pic #2 below Christian is up on the rock….look above his head at the top of the pic and you will see a black mark, spot, circle-type shape.  It looked out of place to me so I zoomed in for a closer look……


This is what I saw….a HUGE swarm of wasps.  Needless to say…we were OUT OF THERE and FAST!IMG_3779


I cannot wait until we can make it up again to hang out with Mike, Case & the boys.  It was great that Meemaw and Pawpaw made there way up too along with Matt & Candy.  I look forward to more time together, air hockey tournaments, hiking, and loving my family!

Since I have not posted in a LONG while….sorry again!  I will update on a few things going on with our world.  The boys are doing well in school and the transition has gone well.  Cullen loves it but Christian feels he might be able to spend his time in a way that better suits him.  He is thinking he will choose homeschooling again next year along with starting college and beginning to get credits towards his degree.  He also wants to have more free time (instead of an 8-hour school day) to have a part-time job and focus on his hobbies of free-running and theater.  He is thinking he will choose a career in theater/acting but we are not sure what that looks like as of yet.  I am looking into something called College Plus and we have an appointment to speak with a counselor.  I am hoping we can have a better idea of what this will look like for us and if it is a route we are going to go.  It is basically getting college credits by testing out of classes using the CLEP or DSST tests. 

We have also made a HUGE step and leap of faith into the realm of foster care.  We are getting closer to being licensed.  We have done the paper chase, taken the 3-week, 2x a week PRIDE classes, taken the psych meds class, finished SAMA training (restraint class) today, and CPR/first aid/blood-born pathogen on Monday night.  After that we have fire inspection, home inspection, and then we will work on the homestudy process.  We are hoping this will be somewhat quicker since we got licensed with this agency before choosing private domestic adoption and God blessed us with Clara.  So they have a basic homestudy on us already that just needs to be updated.  I am excited and terrified of what is to come.  I know God will equip us to handle anything he throws our way but do not go in blindly.  I am well aware that our hearts are sure to be broken but am also aware that we cannot even fathom how much so.  I do know that our hearts are to be broken for the least of these.  We have a glimpse of what we are walking into because we have friends who foster and have many more joining in the journey but we still are clueless as to what it will look like for us.  I am passionate that God has called us and will equip us to provide a loving, safe place that will provide stability for these little ones that were not blessed with parents equipped to parent at the moment.  I also pray that we can somehow be a light to these parents in their growth to be the glue and backbone for their family.  I pray that they can learn through the tough times that are coming and can love these children in the way God so desires for them.  If they are found incapable of parenting and there is no birth family that steps up for these kids then we will be faced with the decision whether or not we will be the family for the children or whether God has a special family waiting just for them.  I do ask that you will pray for us as we start up this adventure…pray for protection of our hearts & these children, pray that these parents will step up and learn to be great parents, pray for understanding in what is a very difficult thing to understand, just pray for His wisdom and guidance in all of it.