Sunday, June 29, 2008

Late post.....SORRY!!

Okay, okay....I know. I took too long to post something new. I have been a little busy...just an excuse, I know. The other morning I actually slept in. I had heard Clara in her bed talking and playing and dozed back off to sleep. I awoke and strolled into the living room to hear them in the back. I walked into Cullen's room and this is what I saw.

Cullen had gotten Clara up (something he LOVES to do) and they were both in his room doing schoolwork. Clara was quite content. He loves to take care of her and love on her and entertain her. She does not mind most of the time and quite adores him!!

I also have to share this little video with you. Clara has the BEST sour face. She had done some great ones and then we decided to try to catch it on video.

Click on the blank box once again!! They won't work again so here is the link to my YouTube vidoes. We also went last week to Kirsten's to play with Hayden. He will be 1 next month. Here is a short clip of them playing together. We also went swimming. Clara had such a blast she fell asleep with me in the pool. My baby girl LOVES the water.

Click on the X to watch the video.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Our Adoption is FINAL!!

Well, today we learned that on June 18th Clara became our daughter in the eyes of the law. We knew from the day we met her that she was meant to be our daughter but it is nice to know that we have the safety of the paper and a birth certificate. God is just truly amazing!!

The moment I heard Clara cry there were so many mixed emotions. I was so delighted at the prospect that I had finally met my daughter in person and then I was crushed to know that someone that loved her sooooo much was going to have to let her go. I know to this day that Tierra is the strongest person I have ever met and probably ever will. We can never thank her enough for the amazing gift of life that she presented to us that day back in November. Clara's life shines brightly in our family and she shines her love on everyone she meets. God knew that our family was not complete and He knew exactly how he would complete the circle.

Adoption is truly a choice that only God could create. He allows us to take a situation He would not have chosen for us and gives us the option to change it into blessings. By choosing adoption and not abortion you are allowing God to create greatness in a very tough situation. Children are miracles and among the greatest gifts God bestows upon us. We learn so very much through them.

Clara is one of our 3 blessings and the light of our lives!! She was napping in my lap yesterday and started laughing out loud. She is full of joy and life. God's light shines so brightly through her!! Every moment I look at her I am so thankful to Him for blessing us with her. I see her birthmom in her eyes and her birth siblings in the flick of her little wrists, her funny little faces she makes and then in that second I know I am blessed beyond measure! Not only do we have the most perfect little girl but we have an extended family that I could not have hand-picked any better myself. God knows His greatness and the adoption of Clara was one way He showed His grace on us!! For this I am truly grateful!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekend in Oklahoma City

~My videos are not working for me so you can go to this link and click the first two videos and those are the recent Oklahoma videos.~
We had our annual fun-business trip to Oklahoma City and it was nice to have Clara with us this time and show off God's answer to our prayers. On our way up to Oklahoma we always stop in Gainsville at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. We are going to try and get a pic with the bear every year to watch the kids grow. Wish we would have thought of it sooner.

Here is a video clip of the kids in the chocolate store....Yum, Yum...good stuff!! (click on the X box for video)

We had a great time. We had dinner at a restaurant called the Melting Pot. It is a fondue restaurant. It was a really neat experience!! We loved our appetizer of cheese fondue with bread, chips, veggies, apples as dippers. We also LOVED dessert of chocolate smore fondue with graham crackers, rice krispie treats, cheesecake, pound cake, strawberries, bananas, brownie, and marshmallow dippers. YUMM-O!!! The dinner was a neat experience but I would rather have my filet mignon and shrimp grilled and not boiled. It was weird to have all of your meats served raw and to be boiled in boullion fondue (coq au vin and Jamaican flavored boullions) at the table. Chicken, pork, steak, filet mignon, and shrimp along with stuffed raviolis. It was really good but I would skip that part next time and just come for appetizer and dessert. Here are some pictures and video.

Here is a view of our hotel. There was a fan that blew hot air out of an underground tunnel. The boys had a blast. After playing in the fountains this was a useful tool to dry off before going back inside the hotel. The hotel was the Skivin by Hilton (very nice).

The kids played in the fountains they have downtown. We could walk to everything from our hotel. Here are a few shots and a video clip.
We also walked around Bricktown. It is really nice. They have set it up like The Riverwalk in San Antonio. Here are a few shots.

We also took a horse buggy ride downtown. It was really nice and relaxing. In her usual fashion, Clara enjoyed most of it upside down....;)

On our way home we stopped at Turner Falls again. It is really pretty and a good time. I will try to post more when I have time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Coolest Idea for Bridesmaid!!

My future sister-in-law, Candy, is just the most creative and organized person!!! I got this in the mail yesterday sent to me from her. How neat is that?? I had never heard of nor would I have ever thought to do that!!

On top of how cute it tasted pretty good too!! Thank you Candy and I am honored!! I cannot wait for it to be "official" in the eyes of God!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Loving our Heritage

Only as I have gotten older has heritage become important to me. Through the adoption process and our road to Clara did my eyes open to an even bigger heritage. God has blessed us with Clara and in turn I intend to do my best in providing her with her heritage and the pride and strength that comes along with it!! I am always searching for great books, videos, etc. that can educate us further. I ran across this video today. It only strengthens my desire for Clara to be proud of who God has made her to be and my already hungry desire in educating her (and myself) in proper hair care. ( I have no idea why they will not show the pic starting the is very frustrating.) Just click the box to watch the video. It is lengthy but worth it.

As I am growing older, history has become so important for our Christian background and growth in Christ. I have learned more history from homeschooling the boys than I ever did in my schooling growing up. Then when we were wonderfully blessed with Clara, she opened my eyes to a whole new reason to instill pride and knowledge of one's heritage. From my perspective and past education the importance of heritage was not stressed and therefore really unknown (I always found it boring). It was just a big blur to me and something I had to get through in school. As an adult and a growing Christian I realize that history is God's way of forming, growing, and showing us who we need to be. If you allow God to hold you up through the journey and listen to what He is telling you to do you can come through the most downing situation and rise up to be the best person God intends for us to be while praising HIM the whole way!!

My 2 cents today!! Have a great one!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hot Springs Weekend

We had yet another trip to Hot Springs Village this past weekend. It was a quick trip filled the staying inside, relaxing, and a small portion spent exploring the backyard of the house we stayed in. It backed up to a creek that ran into one of the lakes. We had to do much walking through the woods before we finally made it to this creek.

The boys and I had a good time exploring it. Here are a few shots.

We had a pretty good time. The girls and kiddoes stayed home while the guys played golf. We unfortunately put off a lot until the last day and then it stormed really badly. BUMMER!!!

I love the shots of the tank. It meant alot for me to get this shot of the kids and the tank. In our profile book that we made to show case workers before going private adoption we included a shot of the boys at this tank with "We will protect her!!" written underneath it. Well, we now have a picture of that which inlcudes our blessing, Sister!

We also had a great time seeing Uncle Mike!! He had a business meeting in Little Rock and set up the trip. He had not seen us since Christmas and Clara was only about 4 weeks old. Big difference!!

Here is one of Pawpaw and Little Miss Clara.

Here is a shot of future Aunt Candy giving Clara her night-night bottle.

She has started sucking her thumb!! Too


Here are a few shots on the ride home. Candy and Matt road with us to save some cash...They may rethink that next time. LOL =D

And thanks to Candy....we got a family shot that had not been taken in YEARS!!! notice Christian sneaking in the background. Gotta LOVE IT!!