Sam had an accident last night before we knew what happened. We were swimming until 5 and decided to go to church with Grandma and Grandpa at 6, the boys rode home with them to change as we showered and got ready. Sam ran in the house and the accident had already happened before Gma & Gpa knew it (we think he fell over and hit a stool).

He was pretty snuggly through church.

But perked up when mama mentioned ice cream.

And to top it off, he got to eat it while watching cars!

And, yes that is Joe dropping his 1st bite of ice cream on the carpet. Don't worry, he promptly went and got his bedtime blanket to wipe up the mess before mama knew what was happening...

Mom's Birthday

Yesterday was my mom's birthday. It is also almost 12 years that I have missed seeing her face.

Grandma Linda's grandkids at Spring Mill - May 2009. This is the kind of day that Grandma Linda lived for, the 7 lives she is an angel for today. I trust that Grandma Linda is with these 7 children even when we on Earth cannot.

Matthew 18:10 - See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

Summer 1995 - Grandma Linda with Blake (2) and Morgan (born 5/05) loving life with her 2 grandbabies!

Proverbs 17:6 - Children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.

Fall 1994 - Flowers my mom sent me while away at University of Evansville. My mom was always so thoughtful, probably just to brighten my day. She sat down every Sunday evening after I left to go back to college for the week to write me a card, and sometimes sent me another throughout the week. I can still remember my mailbox hardly ever being empty! I still have all of these cards. I am thankful for the constant encouragement that my mom was to me in school. It was so selfless of her to encourage me to pursue school even though she was left at home alone...

Job 16:5 - But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.

Summer 1993 - Blake's piggies in the ocean. My mom was so good at documenting the details, she loved photograhs like this (even before they were popular). I acquired this love and am ever so thankful to remember all of life important things that make us smile.

Psalm 95:5 The sea is his, for he made it.

Summer 2009 - A time I was encouraged to remember, a divine nudge from above.
Psalms 24:4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart.

I miss you, mom, sometimes more than ever. Somedays it is easier, the pain more distant and the happy memories strong, but others I ache to see your face and feel your touch. I want you to know that we celebrated your birthday yesterday, did all the things that you would have thought were important and let the laundry lay and the yard left unmowed. Thank you for instilling in us to celebrate the important things in life.


Mission Complete

We returned from our mission trip last evening blessed beyond measure. We spent one week in inner city St. Louis and have a new outlook on the urban poor. There is truly something broken in this area. It is our prayer that God was able to use our 60 hands and 30 warm hearts to make even a small difference in this area. I have some many pics and so many stories to share, but for now I am going to use these 2 hands to squeeze my 2 babes that stayed at home with Grandma this week.


Perfect Ending

What a perfect ending to a good day off work! We finished packing and then headed out to swim. The boys loved playing in this old tub that I used to wash dishes in at our old house.

Guato came to join us several times.

What a cutie!

Then we went to Bobe's for a birthday celebration dinner for my niece Jaelyn. What an absolute sweetie. I think she liked her Hannah Montana t-shirt and leap frog reading toy.

We finished the night off in Odon at the Pee Wee championship game, where Dryce was on the winning team! Way to go Dryce. Perfect present for his mama, Shannon who celebrated her birthday today, too!

Pfew, that was a busy day. I guess I will go back to work tomorrow so I can take a break (hee, hee)!

Perfect Kids Lunch

My blog friend April has an awesome cooking blog, all of her receipes look scrumptious. I cannot attempt to match these, but we did have a fun lunch today.

Pigs in a blanket and homemade mac and cheese. Served of course on paper plates so there is more time for mama to play with the boys after lunch and with a leftover birthday napkins (you all have these laying around).

We started by rolling out the biscuits. Sam was very good at this, has practiced a lot with playdough.

Then we wrapped each hot dog.

Yep, you guessed it Joe kept himself busy and this is what I found when I realized he had been quiet a while. No diaper needed...

Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Yummy, fresh out of the oven

The kids are now down for a nap and I am off to pack for 2 adults to go on a mission trip and a week of fun for 2 kids at Grandma's house. The sun just came out hopefully after naps we can take a dip in the swimming pool!

Serving St. Louis

This morning I spent some time preparing journals/photo books for our mission trip with our church youth group next week. We will spend time each day in small groups reflecting on the day. Sometimes it seems that certain youth feel open to participate, but others are shyer about opening up. I thought that the option of a journal might give each one their own exprience instead of just living through anothers thoughts??? I bought these 2 dollar albums and slipped a title page in each one, then they can pick up a card each evening and journal if they want, at the very least, they have a photo album for the trip...
The stack of 32 completed.

I found a quote that is oh so universal..."Not because I was perfect, but because I was present." You may hear some more on that one from me later...

I made a slight mess, but was done in 1.5 hours.

Had some help from Joe. Grandmas love this kind of stuff, off to her house for the refrigerator.

And a little help from the CARS dvd.

I am hopeful that we will have an eventful but safe trip. I am prayerful that we will be used as God's hands in St. Louis. I am anxious about leaving my little men for a week. Please PRAY for us as we serve where we have been called.


Bible School Program

Tonight was the bible school program at church. It was a program and picnic to celebrate the end of bible school. It is fun to see the kids shout out for the Lord! This years committee did a great job with the Wildwood Forrest theme!

Sam's cousin Andre (almost 7) memorized the entire Psalm 119 - he recited it tonight for devotion at church.

Sam, you were so brave this week at bible school. There were not very many 3 year olds that stayed at church alone. I am proud of how you stayed at bible school and how well behaved you were (mama asked for frequent reports). Each morning we would drop Joe off at Kendras (Joe cried b/c Sam didn't stay) and you would say, I am going to bible school. You asked at night to make sure the next day that you got to go again. You did so well reciting your verses each night for mama and daddy. We are proud to watch you love the Lord!
Dryce did such a good job as your big cousin. He told his mom one night that he had to do his work, then your work and keep track of your back pack!!! We love his honesty!

Happy 7th Dryce

Sam and Joe's cousin Dryce turned 7 on Friday. I can still remember being at his house at 2am when he arrived home from Russia. What a silly, funny, sweet boy you are Dryce. You are always happy to see your cousins and they love you very much. Uncle Dan says you are a dum-ma-ma-fligger-flogger...

The old fashioned box races were a hit!

Lots of sweet treats...

Too bad our party goers were all partied out!



Lunch and Pie

Joe is usually awake as I pack daddy's lunch in the morning. He loves to help but the hardest part is sneakin the chips in b/c Joe has to have some if he sees them!

Tuesday when Sam spent the day with grandma he made a mini strawberry custard pie. He was so proud and wanted to tell everyone he knew about it, but wasn't really wanting to share it!


Jello Jigglers are so much fun!


Kitty Love

The Grabers' have a new kitty. He is precious and we can't wait to play with him for years. Sam was so excited to get his kitty tonight. Joe was just scared of the dog (who is named snuggles and is afraid of the cats?!?). Thanks Anita!!
Moments to remember: he picked the brown one (since the others were gray we figured it was this one), he was proud to feed him lunch, he held him well, and gave him kisses. Joe saying meow. Cat climbing onto my shoulder and looking a Joe in the car. Daddy holding the cat for the first time. Welcome to the family Guato cat.


Bible School

Well, he did it! Sam is at bible school this morning. More importantly, mama did it. It was realllly hard on me to leave him, so I will post so daddy can see how good he did. It also reminds me that he was so excited to go. When I turned to leave he was a little timid, but I reminded him that big cousin Dryce was there.


Baby Love

We finally got to meet Baby Elijah. I was so afraid he would be "full grown" by the time we met him, but pfew, he was not. At 16 days old, he was a tiny bundle of baby love. Toni looked beautiful as always and glowed over Baby Eli. The boys were quite in love with him, too.

He is handsome and looks like his own little version of Chris and Toni combined. Our boys were wild (after a 2 hour car ride) and Eli wanted to eat. Little piggie. So this visit was short but oh so sweet.

We hopped on over the Metroloplis (an outdoor mall) and enjoyed the afternoon. We found a bathing suit for Blake and the boys loved the fountain.

We wore our Backseat Driver shirts since Blake drove us around for the day.

She did a great job. Eyes on the road, mind on the prize!! Less than month to the driver's test!!