My 10,000 photo

I did not know it when I took it, but this is my 10,000 picture. Joe is showing daddy how big he really is. I discovered it was #10,000 when I couldn't find photos to post them, they were in a new folder. Beginning over again with 0001.

I have taken 10,000 pictures in 3 years.

Is that a lot? It's is certainly not too many by my standards. I don't have 10,000 pics, some deleted, some never developed, but they were taken because we were making memories.

I hope we are blessed to take 10,000 more.

Summer Sneakpeek

Long days, sunshine, swingsets, jump-o-lines, swimming pools, bikes, grass between our toes, sunglasses and shorts, preschool...
We can't wait.

Successful Surgery

The surgery was a success. Joe is feeling fine today and we are thankful.

We headed to Indy on Thurs night to meet up with our good friends Bob, Beth, Nathan and Emily. We ate at a local pub and enjoyed their new home before heading to our hotel. We stayed by our old home in Indy, it was good to be back in the neighborhood. We both agreed that we missed parts of the city, but love our life in the country. We arrived at Riley at 8:20 am and were ready for surgery by 8:45. We talked to 3 doctors and felt reassured that Joe would be well cared for. He went back around 10:15 so we grabbed some breakfast. We were back a few minutes and they were done and brought Joe to us soon after. He was very groggy. He wouldn't drink for us, we were in recovery for awhile. Once awake though, he was all smiles. Joe loved the wagon ride. Daddy loved McDonalds. Mama felt so blessed to have 2 healthy boys.

My MiniVan

I know, you were dying to know that I have a van. And I love it.
Glad I saved this post for today and not Saturday morning, I was having second thoughts about not being cool anymore, etc. My almost 16 year old niece made me feel better when she saw it...all right, that is a cool pimped out van, I can take all my friends?!?

We traded the 8 year old, been thru 2 wrecks and 2 boys, over 100,000 miles Envoy. It was a faithful friend, but it was time...

Joe had his eye on something sportier and much brighter...

So, after the deal was done and they were doing the final paperwork and cleanup, we grabbed some Steak and Shake and kisses from Joe.

Yep, this is my hamburger eating man. Please no one turn me in the child protection service. This was, mind you, the afternoon of his surgery. It was 3pm and he hadn't eaten since midnight, I know, but he was soooooo good. And he loves the new van,too?!?

My favorite quote was from my friend Katie who said (at my email about having a new van and being a soccer mom)..."Just wait until you say, Come on Kids, get in the van it is time for soccer..."


No this little man did not have surgery yesterday.

Yes, he did. And he was so brave(with the help of goofy juice). And we prayed for a successful circumcision with out complication and God delivered. We have the most wonderful pediatric urologist and the staff at Riley was great. We were headed back home around 1pm with a happy boy in tow.

No we did not buy a new vehicle the same day.

Yes, we did. I will save those pics for another post.


Hide and Seek

Sam and Joe's favorite game to play when Blake comes over is Hide and Seek. Last night, we got to play with the boys' cousin Drew. There was a lot of laughter in our home last night.
My niece Blake and her boys.

The boys begin by counting. I love this stage because they really get into it.
Sam: Blake, you hide
Blake: Ok
Drew and Sam: 1,2,3, ready not here come...
Joe: Covers face and follows along

Blake: Jumping out of hiding spot...Rrrraahhh!

3 boys: Squeal like girls

Repeat several times until you all collapse into a big pile...


Guess what this is?

I was scanning my pictures today and found some nice surprises.

What could this be? THE white light?

No, probably not when it is followed by a picture of the nob on my sons' dresser.

The culprit? I am left to assume (since I did not take this photo) that it was this son's older brother...


Summer Jammies

The boys got some new summer jammies in their Easter baskets. We put them on and "pretended" to sleep on the couch. Joe did pretty good with that, don't you think?


Resurrection Day

Today was a glorious day to celebrate the ressurrection of our Lord! We began early with Sunrise service (it is among my favorite of the year), church breakfast, lunch at Uncle Ed and Aunt Judy's, Easter egg hunt and a late afternoon nap for the boys.

Our attempt of a quick family photo, it kinda turned out looking that way, too...

Daddy helping Sam at the Egg hunt

The Graber Great-Grands:
Dryce (6.5), Sam (3), Joe (1.5) and Andre (6.5) - what a clan, should have seen the living room after playing toys!

Grandpa-Great, Sam, Grandpa, and Joe headed out to hunt eggs.

Coming to believe in Christ does not depend on proof.


Shower for Baby E

and Pea Pod. My dear friend, the other Walker girl that I met in pharmacy school lab b/c we were assigned to sit together and now could not live without, is having her first child in May. Today we celebrated in style with a special shower for the baby. I served as hostess with her sister and sisters-in-law. The family made quick round trip 2 hours north for the shower...a trip well worthy of our time.

My beautiful in picture and in soul friend Toni and I.

Daddy Chris came and livened up the party. Oh, I had to mention that the pants Toni has on at 34 weeks pregnant were the size 0 pants that she left for her honeymoon in...

And, my boys, they were absolute angels.

We love you Chris and Toni and cannot wait to meet your new bundle of joy. For now, prop your feet up and keep that baby baking for a few weeks longer. Prayers are being lifted for your baby-to-be!

Hop on over the the other blog I keep for our youth group www.bereayouth.blogspot.com to see what we did there tonight!
Today was a busy day, but filled with the big rocks.


At 20 months

Joe at 20 months you...
are very independent and more confident at home (6 months)
in love with Grandma, prefer daddy, will take mama in pinch
saying mama, dada, choochoo, uh oh, Scott, Grandma, juice
have a way of getting what you want despite the lack of words
in awe of Sam
would follow Sam to the end of the Earth
full of smiles, happy at church
my tiny little man (12-18 mo,5-6 shoe,22 lbs)
eat only what you want
prefer sweets (yes, aunt Toni, would skip the entire meal)
play with trains
love to be outside
carry your stool with you to get up on things
have 9.5 teeth
love cartoons and books
give hugs, kisses, hive fives and pound it, and blow kisses
follow simple commands
can still destroy a neat room in no time...
have our entire heart and loving devotion and are all we ever dreamed of...

Fun with girls

Sam getting his hair done by Breanna

Sam and Joe (holding hands although you can't tell) chasing Kyleigh as she drives off...
We went to our friends house the other night to watch NCAA games. Well, that is what the guys did, I might have seen a couple of shots, not much more. Our kids play so well together. Well, from the looks of things our boys do what their girls say?!? Training early, thats my boys. Thanks for the fun!

Easter Egg Fun

The boys had a lot of fun dyeing eggs the other evening at Grandma's house. This has become a tradition, so we just let Grandma buy the kit. She told us that her mom always dyed eggs with her grandkids. Dan says he remembers it well. She has passed away, but when cleaning out the old homeplace, they found 2 or 3 kits that she had bought to have on hand. All too soon these will be memories for our kids, so glad we take and have the time to make them. Thanks Grandma!
Aunt Darla (Grandma's sister) stopped by and stayed for the dyeing. Thank goodness, we need the extra adult hands. Joe was satisfied with a plastic egg and water, that was certainly less of a mess. Sam couldn't wait to take his out of the water and I don't know how many times I repeated the word "gentle". Dryce has graduated to dying his eggs with 2 colors, they were pretty!
I have to share this story from the evening, I never want to forget it. I hope my sister-in-law doesn't shoot me...
My nephew Dryce is the sweetest thing. I could brag on him all day b/c he is so cute. He and DH banter back and forth everytime they see each other. I can still remember his big blue eyes looking at everyone at 2am the night he flew home from Russia. Those eyes are ever so blue today...but a little less Russian and a little more German everyday.
Dryce: Ashley, you look hot.
Me: Well, Dryce, thank you. (Not really knowing if he means temperature hot or cute hot, he is only 6.5)
Dryce: Well, just look at ya'. I mean you look hot.
His words exactly with hand motions and all. Oh, I will never forget it.
And thanks for the boost in confidence of course!


Purple Weed

If you are going to be a weed, be a purple one.

Pizza at the Park

We called daddy because mama had a creative block and headed to meet him at the park. He said it was nice so I put Sam in shorts, guess it wasn't that nice. Oh well, he didn't complain. All the way there we talked about getting pizza for the park and of course, bug juice to drink. We had good time

Creative mama, Crazy Boys

A refreshing day off. A little work, but more play defines our day! I began the day by scrapping a project for my dear friend Toni's baby shower. I love to scrap but honestly haven't done much since Sam came hom 2.5 years ago. I prefer the shutterfly kind for now b/c it is faster and less of a mess...I need to check into the digital kind, but my computer is so full I need to work on that first! I was in my element (actually it is still spread out, 10 more pages to go)

While I scrapped, my boys played quietly.

Or so I thought, actually they began jumping on the couch.

I had to snap a couple pics before I stopped the action. Loving these boys.