An End and A Beginning.

Friday marked our last day at a very familliar place.
Mi Mi and Nae Nae's to be exact.
This has been our child care
 since Sam came home in 2006.
These are the people that I prayed for
when choosing the place to leave Sam
as I returned to work.
As we began to make decisions toward Sam going to K next year
we realized that we needed to make a change to accomodate
bus drop off next year.
Again we prayed, Sam does not like change.
We prayed for a suitable alternative.
We prayed for his acceptance
and also for MiMi and Nae Nae. 
You see, these girls are dear to me.
They love my boys. 
They celebrate victories with them,
and help them when they are down.
They teach my boys to say grace.
Share their toys.
God placed this family in our paths to care for our children at just the right time.
We are so thankful for all they have meant to our family.

So we made warm brownies on Friday morning to take on their last day.
And they were so proud to share them.
And today
we began at our new place, Mindy's.
This place is familiar too, Mindy has been our back up for almost 2 years.
We love Mindy too {she is my cousin}.
We called in reinforcements this morning

Sam's blue bear and a quick call to Daddy
as we were on the way in.
And tonight Sam was happy to report that
for lunch he had
crabby patties and pumpkin pie.

Thank you Lord for safe, caring places for our children when we are away.

Popsicle Days

It seems like there are less and less popicle days to go this year.
The big kids went back to school
and somehow {even though our routine hasn't changed}
there is less time for swimming in the pool
and cooling off with popsicles.
The weather is cooler and for this we are thankful.
So tonight, I think it will be a pool night
After we get our hair cut at Amandas.



It is still important at our home.
We do not get NapTime everyday.
But, most days that DH or I are home with our boys, there is NapTime.
We have found that it works for us.
For Sam
For Joe
for Mom and Dad.
When I watched Sam rest today,
I realized that this time next year,there won't be time for NapTime.
I realized that he will be changing much this next year in preparation for K.

Lord, Thank you for the blessing Sam is to us daily. Please help me to prepare him to attend school so that he may learn and grow.  Allow me to tell him all the things he needs to know and place somewhere near who can help when I have forgotten.  Amen.

I just said it was NapTime.
I didn't say it was completely orthodox.
And if this how you coose to rest...so be it!
As I watched Joe rest, I giggled.  I realized that he is my free spirit.  And while he is ready to tackle every new opportunity before it is even his time, he still needs mama to cheer him on!

Lord, Thank you for our sweet child Joey D.  Please help me to cherish the time I have remaining with him in our home.  Allow me to take time to work puzzles, learn colors, numbers and letters indivdually with him. Amen.

Playing Tupperware

This is real life.
Today's real life moment happened courtesy
of our cool whip bowl  tupperware collection.
It has been pretty bad for a month or two now.
And then, so may pieces had fallen over the lazy susan edges'
that it stopped spinning.
That is when I sent in reinforcements.
Joe cleared our every piece onto the floor
and Sam hunted down the ones in the back with his flashlight.
He would come out with a lid like it was a long lost treasure.
And we spent time talking shapes

and making matches
And then we sorted and put it all back in its rightful place
If only for a moment...
And if you're wondering
if I thought twice about all these clean bowls being on my floor
and then put away back into my cabinet to be used.
Nope.  Not until now.
But don't think for a minute that I am going to change a thing.
{you might want to avoid leftovers from my house for a week or two, teehee}


Sweet TP

   It was our last night at youth group.
We have served as sponsors for 2 years.
This is longer than we have had Joe home.
It is much a part of our lives.
And while we are ready to move onto other purposes God has for us,
we will miss it.
{I think.}
You see after we spent the evening welcoming new youth members
and the new sponsors.
We got home to this.
This is shaving cream all over the garage door.
Shean is their affectionate name for DH.
He earned the name on the mission trip.
Forntunately, I am simply called Mrs. Shean.
And Joe said, mom, what a 'ess {mess}
Sam was already asleep.
I tell you it was bedtime.
But instead, we scrubbed and hosed this off.
And there was a message on every window, including the shed...-
And our trees were  filled with nice streamers.
And they were obviously proud of their work, I mean they blatently signed it!
And this after I spent time this week creating
a new collage for the youth room.
Here were our thoughts {and messege on back of collage} as we ended this fun chapter of our lives...
Dear BYG members,
What an exciting journey this past two years as youth leaders has been.
Times have been jam packed, Christ-centered and fun-filled.
We set of this journey prayerful that we could lead,
but found ourselves challenged, encouraged, as listeners, learners,
and growing in Christ right along with you!
We have strengthened our relationships with other members of our church
and found a new respect for the words 'church family.'
To say that we are proud of each and every one of you would be and understatement.
We admire your faith, your strength, your courage, and most of all your hearts.
Thank you for choosing us as youth sponsors
and allowing our family to be a part of your Walk with Christ.
The Shean Family
Dan, Ashley, Sam and Joe Graber
Isaiah 40:29 He gives strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak.

All of that from this...
But what a fun night it was all together, youth members had a blast eating a yummy meal.
And then there was this reaction, I must admit it was just what I was looking for...
When he realized the OREO that he had just eaten was full of
You see, I suppose the TP job that we got at our house was well deserved
Chean an Ms. Chean do their share of "dishing it out".
And it was fun to watch the laughter from the crowd
When volunteers fished for goldfish in whipped cream
Tossed bologna and ate it in the fewest bites.

And left this young man on his bottom after he dropped his best
pick up line on these ladies.
And we shouldn't forget Mr. & Mrs. Chean after our banana fight.
And to top it off, when we got home from work tonight
there was more to clean up.
We got the tractor out and I climbed on the roof
to get all the TP off. {they threw it up and over the house}
It was a sweet TP job, I must admit.
DH called me today with more ideas to get them back.
I am not sure I mean they are going to keep going
and at some point we.will.run.out.of.energy!



Today after a long afternoon of swimming we came inside for a cool treat
Oreo ice cream.
I placed a cool glass of water beside each kids.
And Sam said:  Can we get a blizzard?
Thinking on the mindset of oreo ice cream...Dryce and I were puzzled.
Sam, just enjoy your ice cream.
But, I want a blizzard.
You know the flizzler thing.
{I assume I still had a blank look}
And it came to me...a kool-aid fun fizz.
Joe was not as impressed.
As you can see, it stopped flizzling and he was not happy about it.
Thanks for coming to swim Dryce!


Afternoon arrangement

I spent the last couple of hours working on this.
I was pretty motivated when I had an 'AHA' moment
at the Family Dollar on thurs, but then I ran out of time.
Friday found me very sick, I called into work
and while there isn't much of the day I would like to recall.
I would like to praise my two sweet things for being so good to me
last night while DH went to umpire softball.
Sam kept saying, I will get you something to make you better.
He brought me crackers and medicine (vitamin gummies -gag)
But today he had nursed me back to health and I went back to work.
I spent much of the day with a Phenergan Hangover.
Came home at three and got to work spray painting these
Just some random frames I had in the basement.
And while those were drying I hung these
I am now in love with DH's drill.
I even figured out the forwards/backwards button.
I know, I know {tee, hee}
And when the frames were dry (ie not overly sticky)
I brought them in and began arrangeing

Be sure to have the CARS truck on the table for balance...
And then it was time to play this with the babes
I hung this sweet shelf first (Family Dollar - 2/$6),
I had seen this idea to maskwall eyesores elsewhere
One of these boxes works and the other one doesn't
Has anyone else remodeled, can I get an AMEN?
And the arrangement is complete for now.
I have a finishing touch idea for these.
But, alas, I am out of
So, I will go play some more playdough.


Check Check

Today was full of appointments.
Full of good news.
Joe had his 3 year well check.
He was 30.5 lbs and 36.5 in.
He is on the charts and doctor is pleased.
We discussed his speech.
At this point it is our decision if we need seek help.
I have had him evaluated my his ever talented aunt,
and her opinion is the same.
We have 3 full years before kindergarten.
His receptive language is good, so let it ride seems to be the popular opinion.
He made us chuckle, after identifying a few colors, Dr. R drew a star which he identified as a 'tar and then drew a moon - to which Joe said 'nana.  Yep, banana it is Joe!
Then it was time for Sam's recheck on his eyes.
He failed his vision screen last year at preschool and we had him checked then.
He has astigmatism, cannot be corrected, but vision can be better with glasses.
Once again, it is our decision whether to correct right now.  Dr. W seems to think that by 1st grade he may needed glasses for school.  He did write us a prescription today, but suggested seeing how preschool goes.  He is wise to state that at this age glasses may be difficult. It is a weak prescription.  I did take the time to introduce Sam to the frames and get him thinking on the idea in case we need to reconsider once preschool starts.  Dr. W says he will fail his vision screen again, so we would be prepared for this.
I must say he looked mighty handsome in those tiny frames!

We painted birdhouses this afternoon!  I will post some sweet pics!


4th Forever Family Day!

4 years ago today we were in Guatemala
Celebrating the completion our our embassy appointment.
Relishing our time as a family.
Planning the days when we would take our son to the park in the US
A few days later, we did just that.
And today, while this park trip wasn't as planned.
Not much of anything is planned anymore, {wink}.
It was a perfect way to celebrate Sam's Forever Family Day.

I took some time to explain the significance of this date to Sam.
I prayed specifically tonight about Sam and his adoption,
cafeful to choose my words as he listened intently.
And when I was done, I asked if he had any questions.
He said, when did you say my birthday was again?