Having someone to love is FAMILY. Having somewhere to go is HOME. Having both is a BLESSING.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Vacation 2009

FINALLY!! I've been gasping through my days and dreaming about being lazy. I was afraid to plan vacation for fear of raising my hopes and then having it never happen. Our vacation was supposed to start on a Tueasday and last almost 2 weeks but we had a funeral Wednesday morning so we weren't able to leave for our trailer until Thursday morning. We had planned to go to an adoption event held at the Erie Seawolves baseball stadium on Tuesday so we were still able to do that.
The adoption event was to give families a chance to meet agency workers for the state of Pennsylvania as well as find prospective matches between families and kids who need a permanent, loving home. We were able to meet a representative from SWAN, Pennsylvania's StateWide Adoption Network. I found it rather interesting to find a praise band singing worship choruses at the entrance of the stadium. Christian music was played over the intercom system inside the arena. We met several workers from the Catholic Charities and Adoption Counseling, the agency responsible for completing our family's adoption homestudy. They were so excited to meet Nevaeh. Following the adoption matching event, the Seawolves played a game and we able to stay and watch. During our vacation we stayed at our trailer in central PA and rested and did a few things that were low key but fun. We spent one day at Cabelas which is a given. I don't have any of those pics on cause they are on the cell phone and I forgot to get them off before I started posting. We played games and watched family movies at the trailer. We spent time with Mark's side of the family at his mom's and at the farm, attended church at our home church, EWC in Gratz, and met up with our niece, Rebecca. She just got married in June. Our family went out to eat together and went shopping. We played miniature golf and the guys went to Knoebels. The Knoebel pictures were on another camera so I don't have those right now either. We went to my parents place and then before coming home, had a retirement party for my dad. The last Saturday morning of our vacation, we received a call that a dear lady from our church family, passed away so we fininshed our vacation the way we began it.
Waiting in line to enter the stadium.

Erie Seawolves getting ready to play.

Daddy and Nevaeh

Our family's reservation envelope for the event held six free tickets and four dollars per ticket for food. This event was held on family night when hot dogs, popcorn, soda, and cotton candy could be purchased for $1. We had one extra ticket for our family so we were able to take a friend. Our friend Kimberly, a girl from our church family, was able to accompany us.

The game in action. It turned out to be a very good game and the Seawolves won.

Raking the infield between innings.

Nevaeh sat here and ate popcorn for the longest time. Two little boys sitting behind us put their heads together and I heard the one say to the other, "Do you suppose she's going to eat that whole thing?" Well, she consumed about 2/3 of the box.

In between the innings, something was done to keep the crowd involved. Some of the things they did was a shoe scramble with half a dozen chosen kids, shoot t-shirts into the crowd with a giant sling shot that took three people to operate, and what you see in the picture above was the Kiddie Stampede where the kids are allowed to run as fast as they can across the outfield. Doesn't sound very exciting to an adult, but the kids just loved it!!!! I should clarify that I mean the kids in attendance and not my own. They are of a little bit too accelerated of an age to do something like that! Cough, cough!!

Here is my family getting ready to play miniature golf during vacation. I took the picture.

A pretty picture inside the course.


Nevaeh is into smelling fowfers right now so she grabbed the flower and said, "Hey mom!"

She's soooooo cute when she wrinkles up her nose and takes a BIG sniff.

Nevaeh wanted to try to hit the ball so Daryl helped her.


Nevaeh tried to get the ball out of the hole and it was so deep that she fell in. She got herself up and Daryl had to hold onto her to keep her from tipping again.

Miss Cutie

My Babe and Me
Yes, I know that's not proper English. It was intentional.

I just LOVE this pic!
We're still at the golf course. Obviously there weren't that many people playing at the time we were playing so we didn't have to rush. We had time to, ya' know, smell the fowfers!

We took the pool along and set it on the porch.

I'm so glad we did because it was incredibly hot that week!

Nevaeh figured the stroller would make a great toy since it was in the house. She loved climbing all over it. Notice the shoes that do NOT match her blue jammies. I just got her these shoes from Walmart and she just loves them! She brings them to me and wants them put on whether or not she is wearing socks and whether or not they match. This is the first time she has showed any preference to attire.

Little Monkey
See her bowl of popcorn on the recliner. Mammy would have a fit!

This is a picture of grace and a picture I will treasure. I am holding Livia Kalynn, the daughter of my precious Chelsey. I was blessed to be able to spend a couple of hours with them during our vacation. I say this is a picture of grace because it represents something I thought was gone from me. God has been sharing the many aspects of grace with me and I marvel at it's vastness. The more I learn, the more I am convinced that many of those who sing of it's merits are clueless to the depth of it's meaning. So often, we unwittingly diminish God's grace by our own self righteousness, punishing even those we love most. Grace seems too easy. Yet our righteousness is as filthy rags. And God knows and loves us anyway. Grace. It's a beautiful thing. And I believe I must be right. It is too easy. But that is, after all what makes it grace. I love you Chelsey Rae and Livia Kalynn.

What a perfect little person.

Mark and his brother Ken trying to get some hay out of the oncoming rain.

Tossing bales

The adopted cousins

Introducing Nevaeh to a baby moo moo.

Having fun.

Grandma and Nevaeh

We had the chance to visit with our newly married niece.
Yes, I know! Some of you are waiting to see pictures of the wedding. My personal camera card was accidentally erased be someone other than me and I was just able to acquire more pictures of the wedding. I will share some in the near future.
This is Greg and Rebecca Miller.
Pappy and Nevaeh

On the last day of our vacation, my three sisters and I had a retirement party for my dad. He finally retired from the Standard Steel after 43 years of dedicated service. The party was a great time and very much fun. It was awesome to see extended family and meet some of the guys that dad worked with.

Lewis E Stoner - My Dad
The honored guest.

The cake

My wonderful family
Front center is my oldest sister, Erma. She's daughter #1. Clockwise is Jen. She's daughter #3. Then Mom. I'm next and I'm daughter #2. Then there's Dad. He deserves medals for putting up with all of us women. Last and certainly NOT least is my little sister Sherri. She is daughter #4.

I found this guy sitting in the back seat of our van on the ride home.
I wonder who he is.


THERE he is!!

New Fwimmin' Pool

The following pics speak for themselves.
Nevaeh obviously loves her new pool and it has received much use in the last couple of weeks. We have to watch her closely when she is outside or she jumps in fully clothed!
Soggy diapers are YUCK!


Summer is the time for vacation Bible school. One more time, our church engaged the services of Barry and Gertie Mason. Their theme was the Gristmill Kids. The mastermind behind this very creative curriculum was Barry Mason himself. The curriculum is one that identifies with every teen and kid today. He used a giant cell phone texting to get his messages across to today's kids! If something like this curriculum appeals to your needs, you need to contact Penn View Visuals.

Some of the bright backdrop.

Bro. Barry Mason

Rob and Nevaeh
On the last day of VBS, our church does a balloon release. The children and their families love this. We make little cards sharing our church's basic information, date and occasion of the balloon release and invite a response.
We have received a postcard from an Amish family who lives in Jasper, New York. Two sisters found the fallen balloon and attached card when they were taking a walk.

Count down. 10, 9, 8..........3, 2, 1!!!



.....and AWAY!!!
VBS was great this year. It always is!
I got the idea of using the central backdrop as a photo op for some of our church kids. I got some really great shots. I want to play with a photo editing program and try some color washing, then I'll post the finished product!