Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Fun!

Pictures from our fun day.....
Our annual family Christmas photo!  (yep, even Bella got in)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas to All!!

Just in case I don't get a chance to post on Christmas - this is our early Christmas Greeting to you all!!  We hope you have a Blessed Christmas with family and friends.  We are SO thankful for Our Savior that was sent to us so many years ago - it's hard to "top" that gift, isn't it!?!?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cut Out Cookie Time

I know, I know - this is REALLY pushing it in the Bilby house as we already did Gingerbread cut-outs this year, but Dad is persistent and WANTED cut-out cookies so he and Chloe made a day of it!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Snowy Day

So before we went to bed we were seeing 3-6 inches in the forecast -
We got up to close to a foot of the fluffy white stuff.
The problems began when it took OVER AN HOUR to clean out JUST the driveway since our snowblower quit working.  Mr. Bilby was not happy - to say the least.
SO I mentioned to Mr. Brian that our blower wasn't working and guess what he does - shows up with his snowblower!!!  What a guy!!  Thank you Mr. Brian!  (Mr. Bilby is happy now.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Famous Day

On This Day:
In 1770 - Beethoven was born.
In 1773 - This was the day of the Boston Tea Party.
In 1775 - Jane Austen was born (I LOVE this one!!)
In 1901 - Margaret Mead, the American anthropologist who authored 44 books and over 1000 articles, was born.
In 1944 - The Battle of the Bulge during World War II began as German forces launched a surprise counterattack against Allied forces in Belgium.
In 1950 - President Truman proclaimed a national state of emergency in order to fight "Communist imperialism."
AND in 1970 - I was born!!!!  (Sorry, I really set you up for that one, didn't I?!?!)

Have to brag on my boys - now you must know they are almost 11, 12, and 13 - hitting those ages when some things just aren't so cool AND YET, after Joe left for work, they quietly made scrambled eggs, bacon and toast, put them all on a tray, and crept into my room to surprise me!  My first Breakfast-in-Bed!!  (They did apologize for no coffee!!  :)  That made me chuckle!)
Chloe sat on my lap as I ate my breakfast - sharing nibbles of scrambled eggs with me and then told me, "You should wear a dress today- birthdays are for dresses,"  she said.  So as I lounged with my young'uns, I was late for work, but no one cared!!!
Why can't everyday be a birthday!?!??!

Oh yes - AND it's snowing!!!  I'm thinking that's a fun gift too!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Chloe Van Gogh

We have an ARTIST!!!  NO ONE helped her - I assure you, NONE of us could draw a tree like this.  SO, without further ado - Chloe's Tree!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Perfect One

Our Youth Pastor and his wife had their adorable baby girl today! So, of course, we had to go visit. Which prompted a conversation with Chloe:
"Mom, do you have any more babies in your tummy?"
"No, Chloe, all my babies are out."
"Was I in your tummy?"
"No, you were born in China, remember?"
"Oh yes, don't tell me - I remember. You had to fly a LONG WAY to China to find the PERFECT BABY GIRL - that was me!!!"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Need Help Shopping??

So we are thinking Christmas gifts over here and I want to share some fun ideas - AND it also prompts you to remember that if you plan to shop online and want to use Amazon - anytime you click there from our blog - even if you purchase a different item than you clicked on - it counts toward our account and helps toward our next adoption!!

(We just got one of these and LOVE it!!!) You can get the refill cartridges from Amazon as well.)

Not sure what I EVER did before this little gem - I LOVE my Cricut machine.  You can cut out letters, shapes and much more with this great tool.   I use it for scrapbooking the most, but I also love it for bulletin board letters, shapes - ok, I could go on and on on this one!!  There are TONS of cartridges for it as well - WAY too fun!!

Shhh - don't tell Chloe - she's getting this for Christmas!  I saw them on another blog and that mom also thought they would be fun for her daughter.  Chloe is ALL about cooking in her little kitchen - wish that would rub off on me!!!

Don't forget about this goodie coming out just in time for Christmas.  Our boys LOVED this and are hoping it shows up under our tree!

These books by Wayne Thomas Batson are LOVED by all three of my boys!!  Keep them in mind for those middle readers - upper elementary/junior high age.  They are written by a Christian author and are very boy-oriented.  They are a hit at our house!

I was just given this purse as a gift.  I just love it - it is roomy and classy.  I have never had a fabric purse before, but LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this one.  I have a different fabric but wanted to link to these as they would be SUPER Christmas gifts!  It was a wonderful gift that I just LOVE!

One of my favorite Christmas scents out there!!!  It is wonderful and only available during the holiday season!

WONDERFUL Christmas album - I have never been disappointed with an album by Enya yet, but this one is magnificent!!!

This game is WONDERFUL!!! I am not kidding - it is a game that ANY age can play, play together, and enjoy! We played it with adults, teens AND Chloe and ALL had a blast! Fun family game.

One of Chloe's favorite games right now! And I must say a "plug" for Eeboo Games - we lost a piece - I emailed them and they sent me another RIGHT away!!! That is SO helpful with a four-year-old!!

We received one of these DVD's to review for my book blog and Chloe REALLY liked it. They have catchy songs, fun animation, and are a great way to learn about other cultures. AND - in a month or two - they are coming out with one on China - can't wait to see that one too!

Happy Thanksgiving

We wanted to share some of our Thanksgiving with you!!
The boys wrote these poems last week:
What makes a Good Thanksgiving

What makes a good Thanksgiving?
Golden Corn inviting someone to take a nibble
Stuffed turkey waiting to be gobbled
Smashed potatoes making you very lustful
That makes a good thanksgiving.
What makes a perfect Thanksgiving?
Candles' aroma surfing on waves of air.
Cookies, tasteful, makes you not want to share
Family celebrating like they are at a fair
That makes a perfect Thanksgiving.
~Aaron (age 10)

Scents of Thanksgiving
The smell of turkey roasting,
filling the house with joy.
Bright fall candles burning,
Ginger and crimson leaves
Blowing calmly in the air.
Assortments of flavors
Tiptoeing on my tongue.
Sometimes I smell perfume
that my mom wears.
But my favorite smell of thanksgiving
is the great tasting food.
~Caleb (Age 12)

The Traits of a Certain Holiday
Mouth watering, irresistible aroma,
elegant and beautiful.
The cornucopia of flavors,
Mashed potatoes,
Green beans,
All on the table.
These are the Traits of a certain Holiday.
~Micah (Age 13)

We do hope that not just this day, but that everyday finds you thankful for your many gifts. We have been blessed and it is nice to have a day that reminds us of that. Thinking of you all -

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Gingerbread Saga Continues

So after seeing Jan Brett - of course we had to make our own gingerbread cookies.  We had a fun night - and it didn't take hours - that's nice!  We used the recipe in the book, Gingerbread Friends, and they were SO yummy!
Enjoying a bite after a bath....
The gingerbread army!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Fun Day!!

We got to see one of our favorite authors/illustrators today - we drove to see Jan Brett!!  What a treat - she read to us from her new book, Gingerbread Friends.  Then she drew a picture to show us how she illustrates her books, and she ended with signing books and letting us take pictures with her - I am telling you what - we had such a FUN time!!  And Chloe's words tonight??  "I know I am going to be an artist - just like Jan Brett."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fluffy White Stuff

Could that be snow that I see outside??  Yes, I do believe it is!  BRING IT ON!!!!  Oh why can't I live in the Black Hills - 30 inches!?!?!?  Now that's some snow!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

Ask our kids anytime about politics and THEY KNOW!  (Blame it on their VERY political father!)  So today, we aren't even surprised when Chloe (remember, she's 4) says at lunch, "Mom, I know that Obama's helper is Biden and McCain's helper is Sarah Palin.  And we need to vote for Sarah 'cuz she has the BEST glasses."  'Nuf said!!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Halloween Princess

Yes, Chloe wanted to be a princess this year, surprise, surprise.  Dad went all out and even curled her hair for the big event!  We took her out trick or treating - we were ready to be done after a dozen houses, but no way, Chloe was in to hit every house in our town!!!  She woke up Nov. 1 and asked, "When is Halloween coming again?"  **sigh**

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Our Outing

The Apple Orchard
Hmmm - what where THEY doing at the apple orchard??
At the Falls
Heading Home - the girls were safely in the back - we weren't sure it was safe to be up there!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Missing Person

Chloe wants to see the "Fairy Tooth" - hmmm - can anyone help on this!?!?!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday

This is how Chloe came to dinner the other night. The boys asked her what she was wearing and she proceeded to tell them, "Boys, this is a headband, not a necklace. It is beautiful!" It cracks us up when she gets all "dolled up" for dinner. She is something, that girl! The boys can hardly believe her sometimes!

My other favorite "Chloe story" for the week is about her computer - you know that previously she had told us her computer was "laggy" so Grandpa upgraded his computer and passed his old one on to Chloe. Someone asked her the other day how her computer was and this was her reply, "Oh, I love my new one - it isn't laggy anymore, but it is missing Instant Messenger - I keep telling my mom that I NEED Instant Messenger!" I ask you, What 4 year old NEEDS Instant Messenger!?!?!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Birthday Boy!!

The big man in the house has a birthday TODAY!!!!  He's literally 39 and holding!!!  I don't think he's aged a day since this picture - but the kids said, "Who's THAT!?!?!"  (He's still HOT in my opinion!!)  So, in honor of this momentous day - I surveyed the kids -
Why Our Dad is THE BEST:
He's fun (Caleb).
He fixes our computers!!  (Micah)
He's lots and lots of fun!!  (Aaron)
He's nice and says nice words!  (Chloe)
So there you have it - why our Dad is THE BEST!!  (And he REALLY is, hands down!!)
We love you Dad!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Foto Fiasco!

Sometimes things seem like such a great idea - then, when you go to actually DO them, you find out otherwise.  Take tonight for instance - we packed up four kids with photo clothing, drove a half hour to find the perfect spot, and starting shooting away.  Lest you think this was easy - let me show you our frustrations!!!
The child who can NEVER keep his eyes open!

The child who was nearly smooshed by her brothers!
The child who was BORED!!!

Can I just tell you that glasses are nearly impossible to photograph around??
The child who thought she was a model!!
The only good one we got??  Yes, yes, I know - their faces aren't even showing!!!!
Well - we saved money on a photographer, but we took over 300 pictures, lost our sanity AND maybe our marriage - PRICELESS!!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Miscellaneous Bilby Happenings

It's been another busy week for us - Joe and Caleb were in hunting classes all week - Micah took those last year and LOVED them, but he hasn't been out hunting since so Joe decided if he got his license then MAYBE they would actually go out this year. So the big classes ended on Saturday AND both Joe and Caleb passed - great, two more outdoorsmen in our family now!  Actually - I had to laugh - they have all agreed they'd really rather not catch anything - no one wants to skin it, bring it home, much less - EAT IT!!!  Gotta laugh at those guys!  Oh yes, gotta see Caleb's HUGE bruise - they only had adult-sized guns to practice with and so it didn't fit him very well - wish I would have been there - Joe said everytime he shot - it kicked back so hard that his safety goggles fell off - what a trooper!  He loved every minute of it!

Chloe is in Kindermusik again AND loving it - and yes, if you ask her if she's in school- she will very flamboyantly tell you, "Yes, I'm preschool homeschooled!"

So last night we are sitting and eating dinner and something is said were Chloe feels the need to put in her two-cents-worth - and out of that little mouth comes, "Duh."  I looked at her and asked where she learned that - to which she replied, "My boys!"  So I then told her that that's not a very nice thing to say to people and so she says, "I know mommy - that was the nice "Duh" - I didn't say the bad one."  (Guess I'm behind the times - I didn't realize there was a good/bad "Duh".)  I hardly knew what to say - and Joe was trying to hide his laugh so he couldn't answer.  So as we sat there stunned - Chloe says, "See, this is the nice "Duh".  And proceeds to repeat herself, "Duh".  There you go - try using the nice "Duh" today - it makes people feel better!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Five Little Monkeys

One of Chloe's favorite series - besides Charlie and Lola - right now are the Five Little Monkeys books.  So, when I saw THIS - I knew she would LOVE it!!!  And, smart mom that I am  :) - I was right - we got it in the mail this week and played it today!  What a hit - this is a great game that says ages 3 and up - so I was worried it might be TOO easy for her, but no - she just loved it - and, don't tell, but the boys wanted to "help us out" too.  So - it's just another Christmas idea for you all - yes, Joe will tell me I should have saved it for Christmas too, but we needed a diversion today!!!

(Don't forget - if you click from this link - we get a portion donated to our adoption fund.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Geocaching Again!!

We were HERE.
Looking and looking - hey, no injuries this time!!!

And we found THIS! Exciting!!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Happy Birthday Caleb!!

Has it really been only 12 short years ago that we were given our very special gift??  What a great gift you have been.  We feel blessed to call you our son - and we know that God has BIG plans for your life.  We will never forget the day, at nine months old, when we were told you had a severe heart disease - that we needed to take you to the ER - to prepare for an extended hospital stay and not to leave your side because we wouldn't be taking you home.  But God was bigger than any heart disease and He gave your heart power that the doctors didn't even know it had!  And we are still in amazement some 12 years later when the doctors say they can't believe your heart ever had problems - that it looks stronger than ever - that can only be God!!  We love you, Caleb and pray BIG things for your life!  We're just glad that God chose to give you to us to be your parents - you are a blessing!  Happy Birthday Big Guy!!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Extreme Church Makeover!!

I will never cease to be amazed by Bloggers - I got the sweetest email this morning from a Blogger I don't even know - asking if I was ok!?!?!  I had to chuckle, "No, not really,"  I thought.  Ok, we really are ok, but I had to share what we've been up to.  Our church purchased a day care and took possession last Monday, yes, Labor Day - how fitting.  SO, since Joe and I are Directors of Children's Ministries at our church, we led quite a week of work!!!  How do we feel today???  We both need chiropractor appointments, our hands are blistered and cracking, we still have paint in our hair, we still see paint strokes in our sleep - BUT OTHER THAN THAT - we are praising God!!!  We had SO much great help that we were able to finish the entire Children's Wing for yesterday, our first Sunday of fall Sunday School and Sunday Night Kidz Klub.  I am telling you, God is GOOD!!!  And now, back to regular blogging!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thinking Christmas???

I know, this is really pushing it, as we are a ways from Christmas, but we have a wonderful opportunity to be in on an adoption fundraiser and I wanted to post about it.  I think these ornaments are beautiful and Christine is an adoptive mother and has a heart to help adoptive families.  SO- if you like these as much as I do and want to order one or a whole set - she said to order soon - they sell quickly and they do come all the way from China!  Oh, and if you want the proceeds to help our family - just add "Bilby Family" somehwere in your email - then she gives the proceeds to us.  We are so grateful to people like this that are willing to help adoptive families!  Holiday Fundraiser

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

School is in Session

I know I win the bad mom award - I always forget to take 1st Day of School Pictures.  But I am remembering to post about Chloe's famous first words about school.  (With the boys I would not have dreamed about starting school at age 4, but Chloe has been begging to do her school - so I am giving in and doing a fun preschool curriculum with her.)  So today she tells me, "Mom, I am learning about lowercase "l" and the number "1" - they look the same so let's do something harder."  Can I just tell you that I love doing school with her?!?

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I am giving you FAIR warning here - don't fall over or have a heart attack - BUT I made something edible in the kitchen!!! AND, it was SO good that I thought I'd share the recipe. I got it out of the new Spring/Summer 2008 Season's Best by Pampered Chef - and without further ado -

Summer Strawberry Shortcakes
2 T butter, divided
2 pkg. (8 oz each) refrigerated crescent dough, divided
2 T Sugar, divided
1/2 C Almonds
1 Qt. fresh Strawberries, hulled
Blueberry Sauce:
3 T Sugar
2 t Cornstarch
3/4 C Water
1 Lemon
1 C fresh Blueberries
Preheat oven to 375 F. Place butter into bowl; microwave on HGH 20-30 seconds or until melted. Unroll 1 pkg. of the crescent dough onto cutting board; pinch perforations to seal. Brush dough with 1 T of the butter; sprinkle with 1 T of the sugar. Roll dough into a log, starting at short end; set aside. Repeat with remaining package of dough, butter and sugar. (Do not roll up dough.) Place log crosswise onto second layer of dough. Roll dough up around log to form a thicker cylinder; seal seams.
Cut cylinder crosswise into 12 equal disks. Coarsely chop almonds. Dip top of each disk into almonds and place almond side up onto large bar pan. Bake 14-16 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately press centers of shortcakes with tart shaper to make 2-in-wide wells; remove to cooling rack.
For sauce, combine sugar, cornstarch and water in saute pan; stur until dissolved. Zest lemon to measure 1 t. zest. Juice lemon to measure 2 T juice. Add zest, juice and blueberries to sugar mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat; simmer 4 minutes or until sauce develops a deep purple color, stirring occasionally.
To assemble shortcakes, cut strawberries into quarters and divide evenly among wells of shortcakes. Spoon about 2 T blueberry sauce over each shortcake and garnish with lemon slices, if desired. Serve with ice cream, if desired. (12 servings)
Oh yes - just so you appreciate ALL I did to get this photo - the family is getting ready to take a bite - salivating heavily, and I yell, "Stop!!! Everyone stop - don't eat yet." Then I proceeded to get out the camera and start snapping - they all groaned and I heard murmurs of "blog" - yep, they were right!!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Book Notes

Some of our recent favorites - (Just a heads up - If you click on our links to purchase them, a portion goes to our adoption fund.)

Minji's Salon is a wonderful book about a little girl that wants to be like her mommy. SO, when mommy goes to the salon to get her hair colored, Minji decides to do the same to the dog!! It is such a cute story AND I love it that the little girl is Korean - I love books with that "asian" flair! Eun-hee Choung is a magnificent author AND illustrator!

Another of our favorites I posted about on my book blog - go check it out if you haven't read it. AND make sure to read the comments - the illustrator AND author commented!!

This book, Made in China, is another wonderful book for adoptive families. Read my post about it on my book blog HERE.

And lastly, IT's finally for sale - the Ni Hao Kai-Lan DVD - of course we are SO excited over here since we don't have cable and haven't been able to watch it yet!!!!
So that's it - just a few fun books on our radar.

Friday, August 08, 2008


I am sure many of you have seen this already but for those who haven't - it is SO worth watching.  We have always enjoyed Steven Curtis Chapman's music and his commitment to adoption.  AND we are even more grateful for this through this second adoption as steven-curtis-chapman-family-photothey are giving us a wonderful grant to help us out.  So when the tragic accident happened to them - we almost felt it was a part of us.  Their story is powerful - I admire their strength.

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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