Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Now you know where I've been all day - celebrating!!! Yes - today is our fifteenth wedding anniversary - it feels like just yesterday, right Joe!?!?! :) We have a had a fun day - doing things we really wanted to do - ok, not quite EVERYTHING we WANTED to do - we had to take down Christmas decorations!! But other than that - it's been a fun day - now I'll leave you with a glimpse of 15 short years ago!! (not a great picture, but you get the point!)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My Christmas Gift to You!!

In the spirit of Christmas, I thought all of my blog readers deserved a gift - so, since you all asked for it - I am giving you the coveted "Laisy Daisy Oatmeal Cake" recipe!!!

Cake: 1 1/4 C boiling water
1 C Oatmeal, uncooked
1/2 C. Margarine
1 C White Sugar
1 C Brown Sugar
1 t. Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 1/2 C Sifted Flour
1 t. Soda
1/2 t. Salt
3/4 t. Cinnamon
1/4 t. Nutmeg

Pour boiling water over oats; cover; let stand 20 minutes.
Beat butter until creamy, gradually add sugars; beat until fluffy. Blend in vanilla and eggs. Stir in oats. Sift together flour, soda, salt and spices. Add to creamed mixture; mix well. Pour into well-greased and floured 9"square pan. Bake 350 degrees 50-55 min. COOL.

FROSTING: 1/4 C. Melted Butter
1/2 C Packed Brown Sugar
3 T 1/2 & 1/2 or Evap Milk
1/3 C. Chopped Nuts
3/4 C. Coconut

Combine all frosting ingredients; spread over cake. BROIL until bubbly and brown. Serve warm or cool.

NOW - if you make this - I need to know what you think!!! So leave a comment!!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

You all know how much I love pictures of myself - NOT!!! But this is one we had done when we had our family pictures taken. I love Chloe's "look"!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Birthday Girl

Just a few short (cough, cough) years ago - I entered this world!!! I DO NOT like birthdays - but this year I am going to try to enjoy it!!! So far - I have been pleasantly surprised because, in the midst of a VERY busy season, I have had two wonderful surprises!!!

A man bursts into the library with a balloon bouquet singing, "Happy Birthday." Well - I did what any good librarian should, I responded with, "SHhhhhhhh!!!" Thanks, Mr. Brian!!!

And, I got home from work and my dear husband had one of my favorite cakes waiting for -- a Lazy Daisy Oatmeal Cake. I know, it's a day early, but tomorrow is just crammed full!!
And all of you crazy bloggers with Birthday Greetings on your blogs - you are TOO much!! I know where you blog!!!

Thanks all - you've made my day special - but don't think I'm in THAT great of a mood, I'm still not revealing my age - it's 30ish and holding!!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

We sent this out to all of our friends this year as our Christmas Greetings - don't ever claim we are cheap -we sent out gifts this year to our whole Christmas Card list!!!!- yes, Screensavers!!! Gotta love that!!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

Yes, Yes, I know it's Saturday - but that's how my life is right now - one day behind - ALWAYS!!! So here it is - Favorite Photo Friday on Saturday (hmm, thinking that sounds like a good new weekly post!!)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Great Reminder

I just thought this was SO good - I had to share (you may have to turn off the music on the sidebar to hear it though...)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Saturday Before-Christmas Fun

What are we doing in the month of December over here on a Saturday!!??! Well - making cut-out cookies, of course. Yes - we do subject ourselves to torture!!! But it was fun - and I'll come clean - I have better frosters than I could ever be!!
And Chloe's grin is because she was just supposed to be doing "sprinkles" - you see what she snuck into when no one was looking!!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

We have had so much fun this year decorating for Christmas with Chloe around. She won't hardly let you put the ornaments on the tree because first each one must receive a kiss from her and then she tells each one, "Merry Christmas". It is just too funny. So here's my favorite photo from this week - Daddy and Chloe decorating her tree - notice all the girly purple and pink - too cute!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


The other day we were sitting at the table and Chloe announced she had to go potty. So, off she went with instructions to call me when she was done. Sure enough, in just a few minutes, she is calling, "Mommy, I'm done!" from the bathroom. Before I headed off to wipe her, I told the boys that it always makes me think of a movie that was popular when I was younger - I had never seen it, but I remember kids in high school (or college - who knows!!) laughing over a scene where a rich guy has gone to the bathroom and calls for his "wipers" to come and wipe him. We got a chuckle out of that and I went off to wipe the princess on the potty!

Ok - that's the background - now today I am at work and I get an Instant Message from the boys saying that Chloe was going potty and just yelled, "Wipers" from the bathroom. The boys were cracking up - they couldn't believe she remembered that!!

Fast forward to tonight, I am, yes again, helping Chloe on the potty and she says to me, "Mommy, I say 'I'm done' to you, but I save 'Wipers' for the boys!!!!" That girl just makes me laugh!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007


A BIG thank you to my friend, Verna, the Blog Fairy!!! She made this header for me and surprised me!! What a fun gift and a great friend! Wow, my house is decorated for Christmas and now my blog is too - the shopping is almost done - what else could you ask for?!?! Oh yeah, SNOW!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Always Thinking about Food!!

You Are Mashed Potatoes

Oridnary, comforting, and more than a little predictable
You're the glue that holds everyone together.
Saw this on my friend's blog and had to play along. If you try it - let me know what you are !! We'll see if we can get the whole meal!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

What Sisters are For...

I wondered what was up today when I peeked into the quiet living room - yes, it was backrub time. The boys have convinced Chloe that she is good at giving backrubs! And if she's lucky, she may get one in return!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

Remember this ladybug?!?! Well - now it's "Ladybug with an Attitude!"
(And I know, someday that little attitude won't be funny, will it?!?!?!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Deep Question

This is for all of you philosophy majors out there...

See Joe, I do think deeply sometimes!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

National Adoption Month

It was back in November of 2003 (little did we know our Chloe would be born in a few short months) that we started thinking of adopting. It was National Adoption Month and boy were we getting "hit over the head"!!! And yes, we are SO glad we listened. So, I do all I can to get the word out for other orphans. Our pastor's wife reminded us at church last night that the number of orphans in the world right now is equal to HALF the population of the U.S. - astounding, isn't it!?! I found a great link today with lots of adoption books and even podcasts - go HERE and check it out if you are interested. Then go HERE for STILL MORE books that focus on adoption or orphans. I don't think I ever even noticed all those books before - now I see them everywhere. I love it!

We attended a worship service yesterday at a nearby church that was honoring families that have adopted. What a powerful display of God's love! I was amazed to see the little ones of all different colors and backgrounds together - they were holding hands and playing games and running around - the little ones didn't care what color their friends were, they just enjoyed each other's company! It was just such a simple reminder of what Heaven will be like someday. I am just so in awe of God's "big-ness" when I am at gatherings such as this - He chooses to bring little ones from China, Guatemala, Ukraine, Ethiopia - the list goes on and on - and ALL to glorify Himself - what a Great God we serve! Thank you again, Katelyn's Fund - for a wonderful time together. We are truly blessed.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Fall Favorite

For lack of wonderful posts this week, I found my favorite fall photo - so far!! SO thought I'd share it. I just love that little smirk -
Leon cooked again for us last night - sorry, no pictures. Crab soup - absolutely wonderful (and I am not normally a fish fan!!!) My boys, again, loved it - Micah says it rivals Grandma's potato soup!!! Hmmm, wondering if maybe the way to keep Leon in the U.S. is to have him become my personal chef!!! Now, my favorite is still the black chicken and mushroom - but what is there not to love about black poultry and fungus!??!! :) (That was for Joe!)

Yes, we passed the nine month - waiting mark this week. That is quite a wait - and Joe so nicely pointed out today that unless the CCAA speeds up tremendously OR unless we are given a waiting child - we are looking at AT LEAST another year - WOW - I guess this is when you trust that God's timing is best!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Black Chicken

If you have been reading for any length of time, you know we have been blessed with a college student from China named Leon. We just feel like Leon's been a part of our family forever, and we love our time with him. So, this past Saturday, when he offered to cook us an authentic Chinese meal - we were thrilled, once again, to have him here to share these things with us. Now maybe you all remember my "China Experience" - I almost NEVER ate anything other than a burger while we were in China (and always in our hotel!!) and then the one time I got real brave and ate out of the hotel and tried something authentic - I got SICK, so I have a lingering fear of these foreign foods - I have just never been that sick, before or since, and I hope to never be again. That is why, when I think of eating authentic Chinese food, I nearly break out in sweats. But I need to get over that fear - I know many others eat it and are fine, so this was my initial step to conquer that fear! Leon scoured the store to find just the right menu - he asked Joe and I what we thought of Pig's Feet - Honesty is always good, right?!?!? I told him that was probably not something that we would EAT on a daily basis, but we could sure try the soup - he is such a good sport, he sensed the hesitation there and decided on black chicken instead.

Of course, there is nothing anywhere near here for making authentic dishes, so we drove to a larger city nearby, and visited their local Chinese market. Stepping inside that shop brought back overwhelming memories of China- smells, sights, hearing the Chinese being spoken - it's all there. We love to visit there and it was even more fun with Leon running from item to item with a big smile on his face. I think for him it was like a piece of home and he loved every minute of it. So, we packed up our many food items that I can't even pronounce, much less tell you what they are, and headed for home. Leon could not wait another week to cook it, so he convinced us that he would make just one dish THAT day. He wanted to make the black chicken soup so that is what he sets to doing. We pulled a smaller-sized chicken out of the fridge - it was wrapped in plastic - and looked much like our cornish hens. As he began to peel back the plastic, I noticed that they weren't kidding- this chicken REALLY was black. I had never seen anything like it - Once I got over my initial shock, I watched Leon clean the chicken and proceed to drop it into the boiling water and spices. Now I have NOTHING against trying new things, and I trust Leon - he won't make something horrible - BUT I have to draw the line when he begins to drop the chicken in the pot - because THIS CHICKEN STILL HAD A HEAD AND FEET ON IT!!!! I told Leon kindly that there was just no way I could bring myself to eat this small creature as it swam there in my soup bowl looking at me and asked (ok, begged) him to PLEASE just remove the head and feet and I would be ok. I don't think he even understood why, but he kindly obliged me - that's just the kind of guy he is!! So we smelled this chicken simmering away all day - and I knew that Joe and I would be game to try it, but I wasn't so sure about the boys! Finally the hour came to try this soup - and I must say that the smell was incredible - I was excited to give it a try. I gently encouraged the boys to at least try it - and would you believe it - they each ate three bowls full!!! It was wonderful - So we say a hearty "THANKS" to Chef Leon - I still don't know the name of the soup - or how to pronounce it, but now we can't wait for the next dish!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

Here was our only Trick-or-Treater this year:
Our Little Ladybug (or as Daddy called her - His Little Asian Beetle!!)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Helping a Friend

I have a very close friend that is working on an adoption from China - and she is a wonderful seamstress. SO - as a fundraiser for their adoption, she is selling pajamas for girls and boys AND even matching doll pajamas. I told her I would post it on my blog so that all of my adoption friends (well anyfriends, really!) would go and check it out!! It is such a great cause and would make special Christmas presents - and you won't be disappointed - her work is beautiful!!! So GO check it out!!!!! And check out that cute model on the girl's pajamas page - she is cute, isn't she?!!!? :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What are we Doing??

Yes - I ask myself this often - where does the time go and why do I have NO time to blog anymore!?? So - I thought I'd post this picture to show you where some of my time is spent - like today - work, then run all three boys to piano lessons for an hour and a half, go back and pick them up, run Micah to drum lessons about 20 minutes away - there you have it - this mom doesn't sit much!!!

We did have a fun weekend - this past Saturday our two oldest were involved in a piano duet concert. Just picture it - 6 grand pianos, 2 children to each piano, one conductor - SO much beautiful music and SO much fun!! We just love this fun day - and just one picture to share - the two boys with their piano teacher - she is a wonderful lady that our kids love for their teacher!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

We had family pictures done this week - we were SO thrilled with our pictures - we will NEVER be able to decide!!! Here is one of Chloe!And to put a "plug" in for our favorite photographer - go HERE to see her work! She is truly wonderful!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Adoption Books on our Shelf

I saw others doing this and thought I'd do the same. I am listing all of the children's adoption books on our bookshelf!! Because I am a book-aholic - it will be a bit embarrassing, but if it helps others then I'll forgo my humility here and "tell it like it is"!!!!
(As usual - if you click on a book through my blog - the proceeds will go toward our next adoption.) AND - if you see I am missing something here - PLEASE leave a comment - I'd love to update this list as I can. (I am heavy on the China adoption books, but that is our interest over here!!)

Another book we love but is not available through Amazon is

Letter of Love from China by Bonnie Cuzzolino - you can order it directly by clicking on the title.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

Goodness gracious - can it really be 9 pm on a Friday and I haven't posted Favorite Photo Friday??? Thank you, Mr. Brian for reminding me - where does the day go?!?!

So here you are - while I was gone last week - here is what Grandma caught on film:

Yep - early Christmas and our house isn't quite anymore - like it ever was!!!! Micah is our new drummer!

And here's the newest gymnast in our house - she amazes us with her agility and strength - it is fun to watch her improve each week.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

More Adoption Books

Here are some more wonderful adoption book links - this is a great blog - Paper Tigers - with lots of asian ideas......

Oh - and if you'd like to be entered in a drawing for one of my favorite authors - Grace Lin - then go HERE and enter!!! She has agreed to giveaway a signed copy of her wonderful book, Lissy's Friends AND the Lissy Doll!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

I have been gone this whole week - another library conference - so my Dad and Mom have helped Joe with the kids. I should have a bunch of new pictures for next week!! But, for this week, you get a favorite from Pumpkinland again!! All 4 of my boys!!

Monday, October 08, 2007


It's our annual trip to Pumpkinland!!! It didn't feel like fall - VERY HOT - but we still had fun!!

The men mastered the corn maze........

and the girls looked pretty by the flowers!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Favorite Photo Friday

You know, when I started this "Favorite Photo Friday", I thought it was such a great idea, but some Fridays I just have no great photos to share. This is one of them!! So - in an attempt to find one, this is the bottom of the barrel!!! (But to a Mom - it's kind of sweet!)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Free Raleigh, NC Getaway

Yep - you got it - I'm sitting over here blogging and I see this great getaway - just couldn't let it go unnoticed and, in my generosity, I am sharing it with all of you too! It is this FREE Raleigh Getaway - I'm not kidding - you need to go enter!! The getaway includes:
-One night accommodations for two at the Courtyard by Marriott Raleigh Crabtree Valley
-$25 gift certificate to Bloomsbury Bistro
-Free VIP admission for two to Rum Runners
-2 tickets to the North Carolina Theatre
-2 tickets to the N.C. Museum of Art’s Landscapes from the Age of Impressionism
-2 tickets to Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences

I don't know much about Raleigh, but after looking at fun things like this Mamma Mia! I am ready to go!!! I am thinking it looks like a great vacation spot - AND especially in the fall. And, who couldn't use a vacation this time of year?!?!? I am thinking this sounds like the perfect fall getaway. You can thank me for sharing it with you - and if you win - I, at least, expect a postcard!! So NOW let's all pack our suitcases and head to Raleigh!!

Birthday Boy!!

Today is someone's birthday - let's play a game and figure out who it is:

1 - He is in the double digits.

2 - He likes Chinese food.

3 - He was born in Michigan.

4 - He thinks he's much younger than he really is!!!

5 - He is the biggest Bilby Boy (so far)!

6 - He is a great Daddy!!

7 - He is NOT 40 YET!!!!

Yep - Happy Birthday Daddy!!! We hope you have a great birthday!!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Moon Festival

Well - for another year it's over but man, do we have some great memories!!! This has to be one of our favorite nights ALL YEAR!!! Joe took off at noon and he began meal preparations that culminated in Crab Rangoon, Kung Pao Chicken, Fried Rice, Pearl Balls, American Mooncakes :), and more!! We had such a fun night with our friends and family.
Leon added so much meaning to our celebration and gave us a wonderful history of the Moon Festival and even did Chinese Calligraphy for the kids - the meanings of their names or their names in Chinese. Joe learning how to grind the inkstone.
Kids making Crab Rangoon.

We made Shuttlecocks and then had to practice how to use them!

We ended our evening with Mooncakes (yes, we vowed we'd never order them again - but we needed to let Leon experience them too!!) and a bonfire. Joe shared with us in scripture how the moon is a witness of Jesus - Psalm 89 and then we made S'mores - because what fire is complete without smores?!?! So there you have it - the annual Moon Festival at the Bilby home - yes, there were moments when we wondered why we didn't have it catered, wondered what we were thinking with 11 little ones running all over, but we wouldn't trade a minute of it!! (And we're already looking forward to next year!)
When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don't go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you do.
~Deuteronomy 24:19

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