Cuter than last pics???

So, can this little man be cuter than the last set of photos we received? Is he not an absolute dollbaby? UUUUUHHHHH, I long to hold him, kiss him, and just plan make him mine forever.

Joseph Daniel Luis Graber - Age 9.5 months

Recent info from our agency suggests that birthmother interviews are taking place, fairly and justly. Our interview has not taken place yet. After interviews are completed, the files are moving on for review. Some cases have been released from PGN, but the feeling is that these may be previos (kick outs).
My friends at work have started a prayer on Joe's behalf. It is the Prayer to St. Joseph. It is to be said for 9 consecutive morning for anything you may desire. It has seldom been know to fail.
Rewind to August 2006 - We returned from our 3rd visit trip with Sam and I was so down at work. BFF Nakia brought in this prayer and we began to pray for Sam - on the 9th day exactly - our file was released from PGN. I get chills remembering this moment.

I believe in the power of prayer, and I believe in baby Joe!


More Fowfers, Ma!

Thanks to Aunt Shannon who showed Sam how to blow the dandelions and make "More fowfers!" for mama and daddy!
We spent an entire Sunday afternoon making more "fowfers..."
And here is what happens when the fowfers get too close to your mouth - they get stuck.
Wow, ma, look at all of these...Much to daddy's dismay our new home set on 10 acres has lots and lots of these types of fowfers.
Sam ran from one area of fowfers to another - squealing in delight as we found more fowfers to blow into the wind. Sweet Sunday Memories (April 2008) - Sam Age 2


Rainy day naps

I don't want to forget that Sam took great naps:
-he runs to show us his bed
-we sing Twinkle, Twinkle and the Barney song
-he shows us the train on the wall & spells out the letters to his name
-we point out and name the trains on Sam's sheets
-he always sucks his bottom lip. Dr R says not to worry his will outgrow this
-one night I took my pillow into his room to sleep with him and he has
claimed that pillow as his own -"MY pilwow"
-he loves to be tucked in under the star blanket from Aunt C and sponge bob cover
-We sometimes read a book
-We always ask Jesus to watch over Mama, Daddy, Sam and Joe (we've added others lately, too - like our cat Snowball)
-Mama says lights off.
-Mama shuts the door and listens for sam to sing Twinkle, Twinkle on his own.
Today is memorial day and Sam is taking a rainy day nap. So glad to be home from work so that I can remember to take time for these precious memories.


The Legacy

Now that's a good lookin' family! The Stoll Children, Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren. Most made it home for grandpa's funeral, a few are missing though.
The children in birth order (I think). One brother Danny past away a few years ago. Dan's mom is 2nd from right.


Fun with family

We were lucky enough to have Caedmon and Kaiya come stay with us on Tuesday night. Sherri (Dan's cousin) and Kevin came too! We had nice time visiting with them, we have always gotton along so well. Dan and Kevin enjoy talking financial stuff, Sherri and I just wanted to catch up. We keep up with each other in blog world - sure good to hug this girl again! This family is growing too, Kevin and Sherri are preparing for their 3rd adoption. We will pray for them as their wonderful family expands! Wish the drive was a little shorter, would love to spend time with you guys often.
Check out those sweet lips on Miss Kaiya. She wants a kiss, Sam is pretty interested in the popcorn though...
Silly kiddos
See, told ya so - Kaiya got her kiss from Sam.
Bedtime book with Aunt Sherri, Kaiya and Caedmon. Thanks so much for coming to stay - looking forward to your return.


Great Grandpa Stoll

Great-Grandpa Stoll passed away on Sunday at the ripe ole' age of 91. We have spent the last few days remembering a life full of love for the Lord and his family.

Grandpa Daniel M. Stoll:
was born 8/20/1916 to Samuel (one of our Sam's namesakes) and Rosa
married Lydia Swartzentruber on Jan 1, 1939 (d. 2002)
was a father to 8 children
a grandfather to 23 grandchildren
and 44 great grandchildren
was a life long dairy farmer
a master woodworker
a great jokester
and loved White Steamer hamburgers and orange pop.
Today all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren sang at the funeral-what a legacy. It was wonderful to have everyone together, and we know Grandma and Grandpa Stoll were looking down from above!

Sam and Dryce at Grandpa Stoll farm on Sunday. They love to play on Grandpa's pony cart.
Sept 2006 - Grandpa Stoll's house. Dan with his Grandpa Daniel Stoll and Sam. Grandpa gives each great grandson a tractor. For all you tractor lovers out there, it is usually (RED- Case) but this shopping day Grandpa got tired and said green would have to do. Sam loves his John Deere from Great Grandpa Stoll.


Saturday Mornings

I love this kind of Saturday morning. The ones when we stay home with family. This Saturday morning a few weeks ago, Sam and I had our own tea party. I bought this gift set for ML (birthday in August), but Sam wanted to play so we borrowed it for the morning.
Mommy drank from the pink cup. Sam drank from all the rest.
And while his shirt looks wet, it must have been left over from the night before because our cups were just for pretend!
See, the set is still intact and mama put it back into the wrapper, hope ML doesn't mind too much.
And, what was daddy doing? Making breakfast of course. It was super yummy. Bacon, eggs, and toast off the skillet (we haven't bought a replacement toaster yet!). And before we ate, we prayed for Joe and talked about Norma holding him and loving him. We long for the day when he will be here to join our Saturday mornings.


The banquet was nice!

A very special thank you to my Mother -in-Law Jean for you delicious cheesecakes! She made 5 and they were all as beautiful as this strawberry one! Thanks Jean, you are very special to me!
The yummy, awesome dessert table. Also a special thanks to LK and BK - better not put there names here, I didn't ask permission to post them! Nonetheless, I hope they know how much their effort was appreciated. These sisters have such a gift of baking and it is impressive how they are so willing to serve God by helping others in our church! Thanks girls
And the table decorations. It was just enough. All the women brought a tea cup to exchange and we took turns picking our cup. We also had fresh garden tea, it was very yummy. And pineapple punch for the non-tea drinkers!

1/4 gallon of pineapple sherbert
1/4 gallon of vanilla ice cream
1 large can pineapple juice
2 ltr Ginger ale

This makes one punch bowl full and it is so creamy and pretty!


Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised." Proverbs 31: 30

I am working on the Mother's Day Banquet to be held this Tues at our church. I love this verse. It speaks volumes. I have always thought of fear as a very negative term - here it means reverence and complete respect. I am reminded that God knows our heart's desire at all times no matter the outward appearance.

My Mother's Day Blessings

Sam & Mom - Odon Park, Odon, IN - photo taken by Val (Dan's cousin) - Thanks Val.
Joe & Mom - Nov 2007 - McDonald's Guatemala City, Guatemala
No matter where the memories are made - they are so precious.
My Mother's Day Blessings


My nieces are growing up

Here's the evidence. Blake went to prom last weekend. She looked so pretty and her date was certainly handsome. I was impressed by her confidence, he was very poised. Sunday we all ate dinner together, she told us about the good time. The kids loved seeing her at Grand March. Grand March is a common thing in our area, the students decorate the gym and all the couples walk out and are announced while the public can see them. It makes getting dressed up all the more worth it!
And Morgan runs Jr. High track. She just decided to run at the last minute, kinda like Forrest Gump, I guess. And what events did she get assigned to? The 800m and 1600m (2 laps and 4 laps around the track, for people like me). Now I could never just run these events, I would surely have to work up to this, pretty proud of her.
Morgan 3rd from right.
Morgan coming in with a strong finish - she got 2nd!!!!!! Great job, girl


Kite Fishing?!?

Yes, this is the poplar Graber sport of kite fishing (named by SIL Shannon). No, there is not a pond in front of the Graber guys, there is a Diego kite attached to 100 feet of fishing line flying high in the sky. Dan, Grandpa Donnie, Darrin, Dryce and Sam.
Shout out to Grandma Jean because her strawberry plants look really pretty. If all the blooms make berries there will be plenty this year!
Granda getting the kite started for Dryce.
I love this photo. If you look close at their faces, it is pure joy. It makes me laugh that they can take a simple Sunday afternoon activity and turn it into creative way-more-interesting-than- the-norm day of fun. Maybe another name could be extreme kite flying.
Sam was conviced that he was so big - he really did have to hold on tight - it was a windy Sunday afternoon. May 4, 2008


Happy Mother's Day to Me!

Rewind to Sept 06 - Pictures of Sam at 8.5 months...and home for 1 month already. Oh how my heart aches to have Joe home at this age, too.
Look at those hammies (Kia's word for baby thighs)
Mama and Sam - Sam's dedication day at Church

Sweet hubby got us back online at home! Yahoo...let me tell you that if there is one thing that I have missed it has been my home internet! Especially with baseball season here and only one TV. I love the Cardinals, but a girl can only watch so much Albert Pujols! Now then, we signed up for an internet that limits uploads and downloads...yikes, I feel an upgrade in our future. For now, I am glad to be back online.

One positive note, I have begun a written journal. I missed blogging so much and I love reflecting on the days blessings and sometimes other not so desirable happenings (like my 13 hour workdays every Monday). I also wrote Joe a 7 page letter on Sunday, reflections on our trip to visit him. I hope he will enjoy reading what a blessing visiting him at such a tender age was for us.


Oh Handsome Baby Joe

So, Baby Joe can you possibly get any cuter? Here are 9 mo update pics! These were taken after our visit because this outfit was from Melissa! Oh, and thanks for the votes on the name - Baby Joe will just stay, as long as my little heart desires!


Happy 9 months!

Happy 9 mo. to you today, Baby Joe! I know, I am going to have to come up with another name for you. Sam is Little Man, I cannot help but call you Baby. Any votes for a great name out there?