Tiny house-Big faith

As many of you know or may not know, when Caleb and I moved to Hot Springs we bought my version of a “tiny house” we went from about 1850 sq feet to 1200 sq feet. I know it’s not really tiny, but we downsized. I got accostomed to having lots of space for lots of different thing (mostly Christmas decorations), but now I have to thoughtfully plan out how I am going to arrange my pie plates in my cabinet (yes I have a unhealthy amount of pie plates for one person…don’t judge me). It has been hard, how am I going to function in this tiny house, how am I going to funtion in this tiny bathroom with no cabinet space, how am I going to keep all the stuff that I want……, and it goes on and on and on. I neve thought buying this tiny house would challenge me like it has.

In all honesty about two weeks in, I had a total meltdown. The house felt like I was living in a maze, I couldn’t find any of the things that I needed, I was missing a fair amount of items, and it felt like I was living in some super terrible version of “Ground Hogs Day”, where I spent 10-15 minutes every morning trying to relearn where everything was in this new house. To top if off I wasn’t voicing my frustration to Caleb, I had expected him to tackle the whole new house thing head on and do things like I would and I was getting more and more annoyed that there seemed to be no progress made to getting items organized inside the house. I had finally had it, one day before school I totally lost it. I told Caleb that I hated the house, I wanted to sell it and move somwhere else, I hated how I didn’t know where anything was and I told him that if he wasn’t going to start doing things around the house he needed to find a job ASAP so at least he had an excuse for not taking care of things (by the way he was doing plenty). I also told him I didn’t want to adopt anymore, cause I knew I was going to have to do all the work cause he couldn’t even set the house up the way I wanted it. I blew up, I melted down, it was probably my worst breakdown I have ever had.

This really put us into tailspin on several things, first there was the whole “I hate this house”, no I don’t hate the house, but I do struggle with making it feel like ours when we haven’t been able to set up and make all the changes I want to make to this little place. I know it’s a process but it’s been a slow process mostly becuase I am working like 12hrs a day and we need to have the ceiling taken care of before we can paint (which is happening Tuesday and I can’t wait!!!). Then there was the big one, adoption. I told Caleb I didn’t want to adopt, he took me by total shock when he looked at me and said he wasn’t sure if he wanted to either. Suddendly we find ourselves in this “that esclated quickly” situation, where we really going to end the adoption process??? We asked ourselves this for a long time, we both didn’t know the answer. We both didn’t know 100% how we felt about it anymore the past three to five months had been filled with packing, house hunting, telling people you are leaving one job to take another, anouncing adoption, moving to Hot Springs without Caleb, ALLLLL the house stuff, and then moving into “tiny house”….so it had been a roller coaster of summer to say the least. To top it off we where having a hard time getting a hold of our adoption specialists, which fuled the what the heck are we doing fire.

We took time, we processed A LOT, cause neither one had really taken the time to do that, I am a doer, I do what needs to done when it needs to be done to get the job done. I am terrible at taking the time to process events emotionally, I just put up this wall, rationalize it and move on, over time I stopped allowing myself to be emotionally vunerable with people. I can physically feel myself pulling away when a conversation gets deeper than I want it, because of this I struggle with trust as well. The more I processed all this and other things the more I began to doubt my ability to adopt, the more I realized how many walls adoption is going to break down (….like all of them, and I have a lot of them).

Caleb and I talked more and more about what the other wanted to do or felt like we should do, it was a rough few weeks for sure. The issue of how do we tell people, and how do we give back the money kept coming up. These where our friends and family who believed in us and trusted us enough to support our adoption journey. Not only that we have a whole list of people who believed that we could actually be parents. I don’t remember the exact time or the day, but I remember telling Caleb. The first part of this has been easy, Lakeside made it so easy to say yes to Hot Springs, but why is the rest of it so hard? The ONE big thing I have had to hold to is how obvious it was for me to come to Lakeside, how obvious it was that Lakeside was meant to be my next step. I believe the Lord gave that to me for a reason, I am gonna need it, and I have needed it….. a lot already.

This “tiny house” was another anchor for us, the process to buy this “tiny house” was lickity split, easy peasy lemon squeezy…like for real. It wasn’t chance it was God, this is meant to be our home. This “tiny house” was means to grow us in our faith. We took our first BIG step of faith by continuing in our adoption journey. Yes, we got discouraged, stressed, angry and other things about it, but it’s part of the journey. But this “tiny house” will be the home it was meant to be, it needs work (as do we), but with determination and faithfullness both the house and our spiritual lives will get the rewire it desperatley needs (fyi, it’s kinda creepy having light that randomly flicker this time of year). Our time in this “tiny house” is going to grow our faith, it’s going to challenge us, it’s going to prune us, and many many more things to come, but in the end it’s going to produce BIG FAITH for us.

Thanks for following our journey.

Life at Lakeside

It is almost officially half way through the first semester at Lakeside High School!!! My first year in the classroom has been good, there have been adjustments, challenges and lots of questions (mostly from me asking my students how work some componet of Google Classroom, HAC, TAC…etc). While there is still a TON of room for improvement for me to make as a teacher so far no one (myself included) has thrown in the towel. Won’t lie some days I walk in and feel like I haven’t gotten a single clue how I am going to teach what I need my students to learn, and sometimes I make mistakes. I have learned that students will ask ANYTHING, and suprisingly enough an answer of “I don’t know” won’t send the classroom into total tail spin, sometimes it works out and we are able to successfully find the answer together. Other times it leads to a rabbit trail totally off topic for 10 minutes and then no one knows what the lesson was originally supposed to be about, but at least they learned (or that is what I tell myself).

The biggest adjustment for me is the realization that I am spiritually responsible for these students. There are days I am teaching them something, and I just look out in to their faces and feel a large sense of responsibility, not so much to educate them, responsibility in the sense to spiritually plant seeds. There is one of my classes that feels like they need a LOT of seed planting, and they tend to really find all the ways I need to improve myself as well. I have students that I sometimes wonder, why are you in my class? I know it is no mistake for me to have the students in my class, it’s also no mistake that I have the opportunity to teach Anatomy and Physiology. What better way to integrate some faith into a classroom than studying the wonderful way we are all put together.

Overall Lakeside has been wonderful, I enjoy being in the classroom, I enjoy being an Athletic Trainer. My years at Siloam prepared me to take this next step. I had, in my opinion, the best example of an educator and Athletic Trainer in Brian Nitz. Between the example Brian set for me, my college Anatomy and Physiology professor Dr. Snellen, who really taught me not just to love Anatomy and Physiology, but also how to teach it through example. I feel I can continue to find ways to educate my students and provide them with a solid educational founcation to take with them beyond high schol.

Dealing with Discouragement

Aug 24, 2019

Caleb’s most recent blog focused on being battered but not broken; damaged but not defeated, and this Sunday while we attended Grand Ave in Hot Springs the pastor focused on Acts 19 and Paul. If there was ever a man in history who was broken and battered it was the apostle Paul. I never stopped to think that Paul was just an ordinary man, he had feelings, opinions, hopes, and discouragements like the rest of us. Reading over what Paul endured from the perspective of an ordinary man instead of some “apostolic superhero”, I found myself seeing Paul in a new light. Suddenly Paul seemed relatable instead of unobtainable. He faced rejection time and time again, was physically beaten numerous time, and imprisoned, he also experienced discouragement. I don’t why I never assumed Paul had this emotion, but he did, and what I learned from Paul, Acts 19, and John Graves today is that when discouragement comes our way we can have two reactions. Reaction one turn away from God, reaction two turn toward God. The hard part about discouragement during trials is that it is also a distraction, one I wasn’t really aware of till I started to think about how the discouragement of the house buying and selling process was distracting me from my daily quiet time.

Before school started I started prayer journaling. I would record my prayers of thanksgiving, my prayer request of concerns with the new school year, getting to know new staff and so on. Then I would take the time to write out the prayer in my journal. I stated this as way to not feel discouraged and spend intentional time with God. Once school started I was already pretty distracted, while I was feeling a little discouraged about the house I really just didn’t have the time to think much about it. Before I knew it the first week of school was over. I hadn’t been in my prayer time once. I realized while sitting in church I let the distraction of teaching replace my discouragement. I was letting myself be distracted, when I stopped and took a few minutes I would become discouraged with the house situation, and I would go back to distracting myself with school work.

September 27, 2019

We closed, physically signed papers, transferred ownership of our home on the 9th of September. It’s difficult to adequately put into words what it was like saying goodbye to our first home and working with those who bought our home, thankfully we had a realtor who went above what Caleb and I where willing to tolerate and do to meet the demands of our buyers, truthfully it if were not for Caleb’s leadership as head of our household there would still be a “For Sale” sign in my yard. But I learned from the experience, I learned that I have to trust the leaders in my life, I learned that while the past month has a lot of ups and downs I am not the one who has bear the weight of every decision.

My joy cannot be found in jobs that I work or the homes that I own. I took for granted how blessed Caleb and I where to own a home such as 880 Primrose as a young married couple purchasing their first home. I superfacially place a lot of joy in that home. That home did bring me a lot of joy and I hold fond memories of many joyous occasions there, but my joy has to be found in Jesus. Placing my joy in Jesus makes all the disappoints I face nothing more than a moment.

If you are struggling with the what ifs and whys of life, take moment to see where your foucs is, if your focus on the worldly attributes or is it on the eternal promise of our Lord. It’s not easy for me to constantly have my joy found in Christ MANY times I have to choose to put it there, but the more times I choose to place my joy in Jesus the easier the choice becomes.

Battered but not broken; damaged but not defeated.

By Caleb Evans

As long as I can remember, I have always heard people debate, what determines what a man is. Or more commonly known as nature versus nurture. I’ve always wondered, why cant it be both?

In essence we are all the same. All born with a sin nature (Reviews Genesis and reference The Fall). So we are all the same, we all come into the world as sinful creatures not knowing wrong from right. That defintiely plays a part in our formidable lives. But we all are predestined to have different paths in our lives. So you would commonly think its nature.

But the side of nurture reveals that although we are all born as sinners, the way we grow up, and the way we react to the knowledge of wrong and right, definitely plays a part in this. Who influences us the most? Who do we surround ourselves with? Where is our faith placed? And the next argument for nuture is this and the inspirtion for the title. Everyone can remember certain times from their childhood, and some, if not the majority, are sad or embaressing memories. Those stick with us our whole lives. They shape us, they make us who we are. So yes, you can consider yourself battered or damaged, but with God we can not be broken, and we will never be defeated.

I say all that to say this. Adoption is the most daunting task I have ever faced. Yes, even spending a year in a combat zone. I find it so intimiditating that I would be responsible for raising a child in the right way. It never has been a request from God to raise a child the right way, rather a command. (See Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:4, and Deuteronomy 6:7 to name a few.)

I know as a man with many faults, I am ill equipped to raise a child. I am incapable of having the capacity of unconditional love. It is not a human trait. That does come from a Heavenly Father though. So as I prepare to embark on this journey with a wonderful woman by my side, I have two men I am going to model myself after.

My father David, was a man of few words and by his own admittion was not a fan of public speaking. Which is odd because he has served as a pastor or assiociate pastor for the hefty majority of my life. But as I have grown to realize “I love you” is a phrase rarely used in his family. Words of affirmation is not a common theme on his side of his family. But then again, it was a phase that needed to be spoken, because it was shown very often (Acts of service mainly). After my mother left, he was forced to raise three kids, Emily was already out of the house, by himself. Not just three kids, but two pretty decent kids, and me, a well known knucklehead. All while working as a full time veterinarian and a full time pastor. I saw work ethic like I have never seen before. But I never once heard him complain or get downtrodden over the situation. Instead, although I rarely heard it, I was treated with love on a dialy basis. My dad rarely said, “I love you”, nor did he need to. All of us knew he loved us, and if you knew him, you know he loved you as well. Hes not what you would call a very “socailable” person, but his love permeated evey single room he entered. Thats my dad and if I can give a child a miniscule portion of what he gave me, I will be doing alright.

As great as my dad was/is, I would rather take a greater influence from my Heavenly Father. A man who is capable and showers me with unconditional and unlimited love. Also, he nevers gets that in return. It sure is easy to love God, when things are going good, but when days arent filled with rainbows and gumdrops, it becomes difficult. But as it says in the Bible God loved us before we ever loved Him. (1 John 4:19) Let that sink in. God loved us, as sinful creatures, and never expected love in return. And I know from experience, unrequited love is terrible, regardless of what Disney movies might say. How do I show that to my child? I can’t, without showing my child Christ’s love, through me.

I know I will lose my temper and I know I will say things that I would give anything to take back. As a side effect from that, I may implant memories in my child that he or she may feel damage from. But I must humble myself and apologize, and remind him or her, That all of us are, “Battered but not broken; damaged but not defeated” and with the help and love of Christ, we are nothing but victorius.

Transition and Leg Cramps

Transition is hard, I am currently in the what feels like the deep end of the transition swimming pool with a charlie horse. Using my one good leg and the ever trusty doggie paddle stroke I will eventually make it to the shallow end where I can at least touch the bottom. It isn’t pretty, picture the scenario I just described; it’s comical, painful and what feels like for a few moments life threatening. Who wouldn’t be laughing at someone in this position, most us have been on both ends of this situation. The good thing about a swimming pool is that there is usually a lifeguard around to jump in and save the day if needed, during this transition my prayer time has been my lifeguard. When I feel like I am about the drown, I have to tell myself to stop, and pray.

I haven’t always been good about this, I have slacked off plenty of times, but during this period of transition I am working daily making this a consistent habit. Transition doesn’t just take place in one aspect of your life, transition will affect your entire life in ways you didn’t even know where possible. I didn’t really know what to expect when I moved to Hot Springs, I didn’t fully grasp how much transition was taking place. I had to move and hope things would work out for me, but that was wrong. What I should of done and am working towards is trusting things are going to work out. Trusting that I will have the ability to not only be the Athletic Trainer that coaches, kids, and parents need but to transition into the Sports Med and Anatomy and Physiology teacher that educates beyond the classroom. I have to transition from hoping we find a house to trusting we find a house, I have to transition from the my will to His will.

During this transition there have been multiple deep end leg cramps, and its no coincidence that when I move back into my old habits the leg cramp to end it all takes place, and we are right back to struggling to stay a float. One thing that I have found that really helps me focus is journaling. At first I was writing down just my prayer request, and asking God to tick the boxes, I had to transition this too. Now I write things that I am thankful for first. There have been days when I haven’t felt like I have much going my way and that changes when I realize what all has been provided for me. I then transition to my concerns, I have been focusing on “talking” with God telling him my stresses, worries and frustrations without asking for anything. I stay away from the “why me” phrases and scenarios and instead just voice my concerns. “I am feeling overly frustrated with……, I concerned about the house selling…., and so. It has really helped me to just say these things out loud. Then I transition again in my prayer, where I do ask for certain tings. I am intentionally staying away from asking for material items, it is part of His will over my will instead I ask for guidance to find a house, wisdom to make a financially sound decisions, compassion and understanding towards the buyers of our current home, and that the seller of our future home would have the same toward us. I have asked for peace about situations and prayed for my new co-workers and our relationships as we have to work together to be the best we can be for the Lakeside kids.

This transition has really changed me and made me grow spiritually, I needed this, it has hurt and there have been moments of frustrated, angry and happy tears (sometimes all at once and all together) but growth and development cannot happen with out change and change cannot happen without transition. I share this with you tonight not just for me benefit but to encourage anyone else going through a rough patch of transition. It’s for a reason, keep going and try to avoid leg cramps.

Hot Springs or Bust

Well, as of last Tuesday I am officially residing in Hot Springs, Ar, and started my first day as a Lakeside Ram just this past Thursday. While the move was uneventful, and my first few days at Lakeside have been a good introduction to the flow of a new district some things didn’t go so smoothly….like my packing abilities.

I really don’t know what on Earth I was doing when I trying to pack to come to Hot Springs. I know I was thinking that I didn’t need to bring everything, but that I needed to bring the essentials. Well here are a few of the essentials that I left in Siloam. Socks, like I didn’t pack a single pair of socks, conditioner, (I thought I packed shampoo but more on that later), body wash, bath scrubbie, make-up brushes, comb, and lets just end the list there cause you get the idea. It was a mess and a half to say the least. Aside from my awesome packing skills there is my ability to navigate a new city.

I didn’t realize how living in the far Northwest side of the state would program my brain to always have to go East to get anywhere. I knew that if I needed to go into town, or go really anywhere that wasn’t Oklahoma I had to go East, well living in the central part of the state provides more options….like East and West! I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to go to Central Ave in Hot Springs and gone East…it’s crazy how you don’t know you are conditioned to do something until you have multiple options like east and west. Lord have mercy, but on the bright side I am really getting to see a lot of Hot Springs. Aside from that I have learned where Kroger, Wal-Mart,Planet Fitness, Lakeside High School, and Muller’s Bakery (right beside Planet Fitness) are all located. So I can at least get to all the essential places. This Sunday I was even introduced to a pretty solid Mexican Restaurant on Malvern Ave, Don Juan’s. It’s no El Rancho, but it was pretty darn good.

There are still some challenges that Caleb and I are both trying to sort through and determine the best course of action. The biggest one is still with the house, we are having an open house on Sunday again. At this point we just aren’t sure what to do, I have been apartment hunting pretty hard this past week, but nothing seems to be open till Sept 1, the one that I thought was a go for me on Aug 1, feel through due the tenant changing their mind and renewing their old lease, but I am on the waiting list for what feels like every other apartment complex in Hot Springs if something changes and opens up. I am ready for my own new house in my new city, it’s hard to feel like I have “moved” when Caleb, Emma, Little Bear, Sundae, and Sparty are still in Siloam. So if you read this we really covet your prayers for direction and opportunities. It’s hard to pray and not ask for what I want, so I have been making a list of things I am thankful each day, and things I can pray about each day trying to change my mindset. It hasn’t been the easiest task, but I have a lot to be thankful each day!

Keep up with our journey as we navigate these waters of moving, living in two different cities, adopting, and hopefully soon some camping and hiking!

The shortest long summer.

Where has the summer gone?? In four very short days I will be driving down to Hot Springs, where I will offically spend more time there then back in “home” in Siloam. Even though I technically had one of the longest summers of my working adult life, I feel like it has gone by in flash. I did the normal summer stuff. I went camping, I went to RRVHC as camp nurse, and I even managed to sneak in my annual roadtrip, but where did the summer go?

This summer is much different than what I was expecting, I was expecting a summer of moving into a new house in Hot Springs. Instead it’s just me and Sylvia (my car) making the trek south. It’s not what I expected, it’s for sure not what I wanted, but there is no way around it. We don’t think renting a house in Hot Springs is the right move for us, we would still have to pay a mortage and with 2 dogs and 2 cats there aren’t many people willing to rent regardless how good of a credit score we have, and it’s either rent a tiny tiny house or a lake house and neither really fit our needs. This summer I had more time off then any previous summer, but it still feels like it was shorter than most.

Most of days where spent hoping for a call of text saying that the house had a showing. Most days where spent trying to keep the house in tip top shape ready to be shown at a moments notice, but some days were and still are filled with “I don’t care about the house, why isn’t the house selling, and what are we going to do, did I make a mistake taking a new job”, and so on. Some days where filled with tears of anger towards the situation, frustration with each other and ourselves, and more conversations of “I don’t know and what should we do”, these are the days that felt like they would never end. These are the days where we wanted to throw in the towel, where all I wanted to do was go back to working for Todd and Siloam Springs School again, but I knew I couldn’t. First off they already hired a new person, actually I called her myself and asked her to take the job, so going back wasn’t an option. Not to mention I already signed a contract for the upcoming school year in March. I can’t go back, but it also feels like I can’t move forward. I am literally stuck in the past, it feels like we can’t make a permanet move till we sell the house and for whatever reason it won’t sell, we can’t even get an offer to be put in.

So as the longest short summer comes to a close, Caleb and I are preparing for the next, and hopefully, very short chapter of living 3.5 hours apart. We know there is a reason so the delay of the house selling, but it dosen’t make the next 6-8 weeks any easier. We have already agreed to a few things. The first being if the house recieves no offers by the end of the month we are going to take the house off the market do a few things to the inside and outside of the house that will hopefully make it more desireable to a buyer. Then re-list the house in March of 2020. During that time I will have to rent an apartment in Hot Springs and coming home when possible on weekends. Right now that is about as much as we know. The rests is all ” I don’t know”.

In closing we could really use prayers that the house will sell soon, we could also really use prayers of encouragement as I start a new job, move and try to settle into a new normal.

Thanks for being a part of our journey.


Where it really all began.

Wickes, AR. I bet most of you have no idea where that place even is. Well if you are sitting in Siloam Springs, you just drive straight south for about 3.5 hours on 71 and there it is. It is approximatley 20 miles south of Mena, AR. Small, small, town, but they have the best side of the road burger stand on the planet, not much else goes on there. However, each year I make that drive and spend a week in Wickes, Ar at Bogg Springs Baptist Camp off Hwy 84, actually the entire “highway” is really just a long drive way to the entrance of the campgrounds. I have to admit the first time I saw that campground I was ready to go back home. Some things have changed some things haven’t but I love that campground more each year.

2003, the year it began. 2003 was the year that two AWANA camps, one from Iowa, one from Lousianna were combined. The first year that both Caleb and I attended camp as campers together….only we didn’t know it at the time. He and his two best friends (remeber the Turpins??), started a “club” to say the least called the Goatee Brothers United (please don’t ask), and carried out the general chruch camp antics, skits, and were by all means the “kings of camp.” Somehow I manged to remember the Turpins, Andrew and Alex but didn’t really remember Caleb. Fast forward to 2010, and Caleb and I are talking about these events at camp, only this time we are both camp counselors.

Mr. Henri (the camp director), must of been extremley desperate for camp counselors that year, he let both Caleb and I be in charge of multiple children for an entire week. But as the week went on, the group of younger conselors would meet under a pavillion to complain to our former conselors about all the craziness that was going on in the cabins. Our former counselors would then remind us, that it is all payback for when we were campers that age. (Let it be noted I was always the ideal camper…..Caleb was a different story). Then we would head back to our cabins and somehow manage to get all the campers in their bunks and asleep.

As the week of camp was coming to a close Caleb had been trying to find a good time to ask me out; I was totally oblivious to anything that might of been taking place to try and make this happen. Finally on Thursday evening he was able to pull me aside and ask me out……my answer was a hard a fast NO!! Caleb was evidentlyey crushed and went sadly back to his cabin.

Friday night comes along, and myself and one other younger counselor, Katie are put in charge of staying up and monitoring the campers who don’t want to go to bed. It’s the normal try to stay up all night the last night of camp tradition, and during this time I discover a very important piece of information that I did not previously have. That information was, Caleb wasn’t married. You are proably thinking……what the heck at this point, so let me explain.

So I have never been the greatest with left and right, especially when someone is facing me. Caleb wore a small gold band his mom had given him on his RIGHT ring finger, so when I face him and when we would spend time together it was my LEFT. I feel like this would confuse a lot of people, but maybe not. Anyway, now you know why my answer was a hard a fast NO when he asked me out the previous night. Katie was very quick to point out my mistake, and one of the older counselors Mrs. Nevill, who somehow heard the entire conversation, was willing to do what was needed to make sure neither Caleb or myself left camp without seeing each other. And as they say, the rest is history.

So you can see why Bogg Springs Baptist Camp is important to both Caleb and myself, but that isn’t the only reason why we love camp. Camp has truly given us a second family, our “camp family”. A group of now adults who went through camp as campers, and never stopped coming back. Now our camp family all serves in various roles through the year to make sure camp stays up and running. We have all been through big life events together. As a camp family we have celebrated weddings, graduations, births, new job opportunities and so on. We have also mourned the loss of loved ones, prayed for each other in a miraid of different situations and grown close through it all. We even organized our own “family retreat”, as a way to spend time together with each other outside of camp.

There is a saying “home is where the heart is”, and I can for sure say that Bogg Springs Baptist Camp is a home for me. I have had the opportunity to travel to many places and see some truly amazing sites, and I have to say the view off the porch of the nurse’s cabin at Bogg Springs will always be my favorite. It’s where I can serve a ministry and camp that I love. This year is my 20th year to attend camp is some capacity or another. I can’t believe it’s been that long, but I look forward to another 20.

Moving Forward

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we are curious and curosity keeps leading us down new paths.- Walt Disney

Moving forward is just a part of life, and writing about the subject just seems apporopiate after a week like this. This week seniors walked across stages to recieve diplomas marking the completion of their high school education. This is the type of moving on that is easy to do. It’s happy and it represents the years of effort that took place prior. Sadly, there were also a number of individuals who will be moving on this week after the loss of a tough game. Their years of dedication to their sport didn’t culminate in the manner they would of wished, but both groups of individuals move on. However, easy or difficult it is to move on, moving on will continue to happen as long as there is a heart beat in your chest.

Moving on isn’t suppose to be easy, moving on requires growth and growth requires change. Just as you move from grade to grade until you graduate, the way you grow changes and develops along the way. Thinking back to the quote by Walt Disney, “…and curosity keeps leading us down new paths.” just stuck with me. Curosity is how I got to where I am today. I explored the avenue of possibly being a physical therapist, and through that discovered I loved Athletic Training. Took my first job working two schools as an outreach ATC, then I was ready and curious as to what I could find, which lead me to my current job. Once again curosity lead me to seek a job that was through a school district and incorporated teaching. I saw from my co-worker what all it intailed, the challenges, negative and positive, and the change. The more my curosity peaked the more I pursured new paths which lead to a Master’s degree and another new job. My curiosity led me down the paths and opened the doors that eventually led to change. Change I wasn’t sure of, but I knew I would of always wonder, and so I moved forward.

I have to admit it really wasn’t until the end of the soccer game on Friday, that I really let myself soak in the fact that this was the end. I had to drive back to Siloam for one more event, and then it was the end. I stood there listening to Coach Shoemaker, proably more so than the boys, and even he brought up the fact of moving on. “Regardless what happens good or bad you have to move on”. Coach Shoemaker, told his team that one moment does not define you, the outcome of their game did not cause the town of Siloam to love them any less. While I know Coach was talking to his soccer boys, it was realvent for me as well. I accepted that no matter what choice I made those who loved me in Siloam would still love and support me in my choice to go to Lakeside.

While I tried to keep back tears, and was mostly successful, I took the time to enjoy taking care of my soccer team one last time. Even it was just handing out cups of water and ice towels after the game. I then decided to enjoy being on the sidelines on more time, I intentionally took the visiting sideline, cause I knew if I ever walked back into that stadium for a football game that is where I would be. I choose to enjoy watching my team play one more time, I choose to enjoy the sideline converstaion. Recognizing the once awkward, gangly athletes are now ATHLETES, recognizing with the boys it was my last game and just taking it all in. I then choose to spend a little extra time enjoying the training room after a game. The in and out of players, making ice bags, cutting off tape, and chit chat with coaches. At the end of the night I was ready to move on, I was ready to let myself move on, and I was ready to enjoy the “moving forward” process.

There are still struggles with moving forward, especially since my house is still on the market. The actual physical process of moving, the decisions of moving as a family, or I move down by myself while Caleb stays behind until the house sells. The back and forth as I prepare to start the new year with a new co-worker, and already working together to make some needed changes. There is no denying I am moving forward, and I am learning to enjoy the process.

Meet the Family

The final and cutest install of the “Meet the Family” series are the pets. Caleb and I have two dogs and two cats. They are for sure part of the family and they each have their own “unique” quirks and tricks.

The first fur child is Emma. Emma is a Boxer and Staffordshire Terrier mix, we got her when she was about a year old from the Rogers Humane Society in Rogers, Ar. We got Emma the same weekend we moved into our new house on 880 Primrose. While I would of liked to at least unpack before we got a dog Caleb had other plans. Calen and I agreed to take a break from unpacking the house to go and look at Emma in Rogers, but Caleb decided she needed to come home right then, and so she did. He went as far to pull the “my dad is a vet card” so that we could bypass the 24 hr waiting period and scheduled vet appointment. Emma has +always been a little crazy, but she is a sweet girl.

Emma LOVES playing with her rope toys, going for walks, truck rides, swimming, and just loafing around. Even though she is almost 6 years old now, she still has tons of energy and loves being active. There have been times where I just think the word walk, and she is bouncing around between me and front door ready to go. It’s fun having an active dog who likes adventures, but all that energy can also lead to her getting into some trouble.

When she is trying her best to convince you she has been good all day.
She is either bringing you a rope toy to play with, chewing on one, or in this case napping with one.
Emma thinks she has to be as close to the driver as possible. She loves looking out the front of the truck on rides.

Sundae, also known as Sundae Sassypants, Queen Sundae, and Senorita Sassy, like for real this cat is the smallest of our animals and the sassiest. We got Sundae from my grandma’s house, Sundae and her siblings were strays that ended up there. Sundae is for sure the Alpha of the pets. She has quite the personality and is full of drama. Multiple times she has fained passing out in front of us if we don’t make it home in time to feed her dinner. Sundae also voices her displeasure with me if I come home from a late night ball game by greeting me from atop our dryer as I come home with a scolding. While she is sassy she does loves getting brushed, snuggling under the covers at night, and she will play fetch with small objects like hair ties, toy mice, and bottle caps.

Sundae prefers to spend most of her time perched upon the back of the couch, on the mantle, or pretty much anyplace where she is above the dogs, mostly so she can keep on all that takes place in her domain.

Sundae seriously loves this poinsetta table runner, and it basically becomes her personal holiday accessory during Christmas.

Did I mention Sundae, will also shamelessly stick her face in about any cup she can get to regardless of what is in it….cats.
The offical portrait of her majesty Sundae Sassypants Evans.

Our next pet is our second cat Spartacus, we got Spartacus in the summer of 2016, right as I was starting my Master’s degree. I found him on Progress Ave in front of Siloam Springs Regional Hospital, poor little guy was in the median crying. I had decided to go for a jog and needed a path that was well lit, so I deviated from my normal route. Went out for a jog and came back with a kitten. We weren’t sure if we were going to keep him at first, but Caleb came up with his name and he has been around ever since.

Spartacus is for sure the “middle child” pet. Spartacus has what I call “crazy kitty hour”, every day like clockwork between 10am and 11am, he runs all through the house like a crazed fiend, for no apperant reason. He will run up and pester the dogs, he will do ninja moves off of our furniture, and attack random objects. It sounds bizzare and it is, his most recent addition to crazy kitty hour is sprint from the front room to the laundry room and then hide ontop of the laundry room cabinets, where he will jump down and “attack” anything or anyone that walks by. I often times warn and apologize to people in advance about crazy kitty hour when they come to visit.

Spartacus also enjoys attacking marshmallows, not even kidding. There is nothing that can get between him and marshmallows, to the point that one time he got outside while we were making s’mores and attempted to run off with the entire bag in his mouth. I feel like we should of named him something not so aggressive like Snickerdoodle, or Ralph, he seems to feel as though he has to live up to the name Spartacus. When he isn’t running though the house, pestering the dogs, Sundae, or in genernal being a spaz he is really is very snuggly and loves tummy rubs. Our niece Natalie adores Spartacus and carries him around for hours, he just lays back and takes, he actually really likes it when she carries him around. He may be a rascal, but he is good when he needs to be.

If he could have it his way, he would have all the blankets piled up to lay on.
The very first night I brought him home, he wanted to sit on my sholder while I did homework.
Not much has changed since he has gotten older. He still likes to sit on my shoulder at random times.

Our newest, but not youngest pet is our dog Little Bear, we for sure did not intend to get anymore pets after 2 cats and a dog….but Little Bear needed a home. Our friend who lives in Conway, AR contacted us one weekend and said that a dog was dumped on her porch and that he needed a good home. As chance would have it Caleb and I were visiting friends at Greers Fairy Lake, about 45 minutes from Conway. Caleb told her we would think about it and let her know, truthfully I didn’t want another dog, Emma was enough for me, but I guess the Lord had other plans. So long story short we go to Conway, meet Little Bear and bring him home with us.

Little Bear, was not your normal dog, he really didn’t know how to be a dog. We suspect he was with an older individual, he is very docile, and just loves to snuggle. Little Bear is Australian Sheperd and Beagle, so he has some interesting personality traits. Either way he has come a long way from when we first got him. Little Bear has learned to play, loves going on walks with Emma, and also loves going anywhere and everywhere with you that he can go.

He has been a good addition to our clan, we may not of needed Little Bear, but Little Bear sure needed us. He has boneded well with Emma, and like any other younger sibling just wants to do what Emma does and go where Emma goes.

Little Bear, working the puppy eyes.
Looking so cute a fresh hair cut. This is also his face 99% of the time. He is always so happy.
LB’s selfie still needs some work.

We all hope you have enjoyed getting to know the family. Thanks for joining all of us on this journey through adoption!!!