Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What Makes My Day??

THIS DOES!!!Robin from Red Thread Stitches has been a ROCK for me - she keeps encouraging me through her actions and her words. I dearly LOVE this woman and we've never met in person. So it touched me when she sent this adorable pillow as a gift for Jada. But what touched me more?? When I was about to throw the box away - I saw this on the other side.Brought me to tears - this is what we want - SPEED that only God can provide. We are praying for that today.

Monday, June 29, 2009

July Fun!!

I REALLY would LOVE to win this - I think I'd look RATHER classy on it!!!!
Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Party for Princesses

Good thing you only turn 5 once - one Princess Party is about all we can handle over here!! Chloe loved it - the girls had fun - and that is what counts!! (Don't ask our boys that graciously came to help Dad and Mom with 10 little girls!!)

We painted fingernails, decorated tiaras, made fancy bracelets, played Duck, Duck, Goose (yes, in our fancy dresses!) and ate the yummiest cake!! Aaron made the best balloon wands for us! What a fun party - oh yes, we had to watch the boys play air hockey too!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day

As promised - I had ideas swirling around in my head for a Father's Day post and am just now getting to it! I had the kids write what they like best about their dad. Here is what they said:

Aaron - I love my dad because he plays lots of stuff with us - he plays air soft a lot with us and he is really good at it. He also will play War Craft sometimes, and he is really good at that too. He also helps us with our school when we can't get the questions right. Sometimes he will let us have friends over and he starts the bonfire and he makes marshmallows. My dad is also a very good cook and he makes us really good food. Sometimes my did will go out and play air soft with us and our friends and he is really good at it because he was in the military and he has AWESOME tactics. My dad is also really good with computers and he fixes our computers when they break. He is also a very good Christian and he will set things aside and read the Bible and he trusts in God. He is also lots of fun because he will chase us around the house sometimes. My dad is also really funny and he always makes us laugh. He also shows us good games and will sometimes buy them for us.
******************************************************************************
What Makes My Father Unique
Caleb Bilby

My Dad will play a game forever and never lose, I hardly ever win but I have fun. When I do win he isn’t mad to lose.

My Dad is very fun when it comes to air soft guns. Since he was in the military, he just runs us down. He always thinks tactics. When he has a not-so-great-team he usually still wins by all his tactic stuff.

My Dad is the best cook in the world. *no offense mom* my dad makes the best over-easy eggs ever. He knows how to make the best coffee. He makes huge meal that fills you so fast. He makes the best hamburgers and hot dogs. Waffles and pancakes are another of his specialties. Not to mention turkey. He makes the best desserts like cookies, brownies, cupcakes, and cakes.

When it comes to computers, My Dad is your man. My Dad is the best at computers. He can fix them, put them together and put programs on and know they aren’t a virus. He is just amazing with computers.

My Dad is a hard working gardener. He will work for hours on our lawn mowing, weeding, watering, planting, fertilizing, and growing.

My Dad loves to read. He will read book after book. He always tries to get a new book from the library. And he likes to read to us too.

**********************************************************************
Dad is special to me because:

He plays air soft wars with us. He might beat us every time... But, it’s still fun. Hopefully he can buy his own gun and BBs.

He will, once in awhile, play computer games also, which is really fun. Warcraft FTW!!!

He will play board games, now that’s challenging. Especially Risk, since it’s a very close game, and takes up like… 5 hours of the day.

He’s a good principal for our homeschooled studies, since he doesn’t get mad when we make mistakes; he just has us do it over again. It takes him awhile to get done with all the grading, so it’s nice he’s patient about that.

I always know I can go to him for help and for reassurance. He will always kill those nasty horrible human-eating spiders, which is very nice of him.

He can always fix our computers, since we get them filled with junk… He will also show us new fun games that are really cool.

He always makes us food at night, which is, most of the time, really good…

He’s patient whenever I’m playing an Xbox 360 game, even though he can’t watch T.V. AND even though some of the games he strongly dislikes, like RPG games… He doesn’t get the point of them.

And most of all, he's an AWESOME SUPER COOL PWNING DAD OF POWER AND WONDER!!!

Micah
****************************************************************************Chloe - Dad is very nice and very kind. And he gives lots of kisses to me at bedtime. I like him so much. He plays Mario Kart with me. He reads Charlie and Lola to me - and they are my favorite books! He shared Father's Day with me on my birthday, that was so nice. I miss him when he goes to work, and I love it when he comes home.

Well - you get the point - he's loved!! Yep - we all think we've got the best Dad!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Big Day!!

So it's Father's Day - that's big, in and of itself, but it's also Chloe's birthday (so guess which one gets blog time first?!!?) Don't worry Dad - your time is coming!!
Chloe turns five today - and she is SO excited! She is getting ready for her big party next weekend AND had Grandpa and Grandma here this weekend to celebrate as well. She loves the fact that she will be 5! I love this girl - she makes me laugh and adds such a bright spot to our family. We feel blessed to call her ours. I was thinking just the other day - don't ever tell me our God is not HUGE. He gave us our daughter - from all the way across the world - and matched her up perfectly. Chloe - you are a blessing, and we love you!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

God of Everything

When we set out on this journey to adopt again - we asked God over and over to show us the path before us - to make it clear. He is amazing like that - even when we couldn't see clearly, He has shown us exactly which path to follow. Our biggest hurdle was definitely financial - and we asked God to show us how He wanted us to fund our adoption and again, He has not let us down. Every time we have needed the money, it has been there.

We experienced that again today - we got a phone call - Lifesong for Orphans had given our family a matching grant!! This is not something we take lightly - right now adoption grants are few and far between - funds are so tight that there is not much money out there. We are just thanking God for this and praise Him for His faithfulness to us. We have been given a $2000.00 matching grant - IF we can match it. We have until August 13 to raise this money. We have SO many friends and family that have helped us - so if that is you, PLEASE just lift us in prayer - but if you were thinking of helping us financially and just haven't been sure when - we wanted to put this out there. Every dollar is matched so it goes a bit farther!! (I have a hard time even putting this out there - I would love for our family to be able to do this whole adoption on our own - but our pastor keeps reminding us that not all are called to actually adopt but some may be called to help. So we lay it before the Lord and let Him do the work. We are SO grateful for the way in which some have already helped us - that means more than we will even be able to express.)

Here are the details:
* All funds must be received at Lifesong by August 13.
*Here is a copy of our Letter from Lifesong.Life Song
*Here is How and Where to mail your TAX-DEDUCTIBLE check - Remember to put our last name in the memo section (Bilby # 881 adoption)
Mail to: Lifesong for Orphans
PO Box 40
202 N Ford St.
Gridley, IL 61744

1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

and James says

17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
18But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hearing from God

I know God does these things just for me - and I have needed to hear from Him lately! So I'm out reading blogs (of all things) and I come across this:
"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3
Totally hit me where I was at - and I had to smile - yep, He can even speak through blogs!!

**On a sidenote - I have opened a CafePress store because people kept telling me items they wished they'd see for sale. I made some designs and uploaded them and then CafePress does the rest - right now all of my designs are Chinese in nature - but I have some more plans here!!! BusyMamaStore

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hurdles

I am NOT athletic - don't even get me started - you don't want to go there! BUT, I always thought hurdles looked fun. A challenge - I'll admit it, but fun. IF I were going to be athletic - I thought hurdles would have been something I'd enjoy trying. Lately I feel like God is giving me that opportunity - to learn how to do those hurdles. I am knocking MANY down along the way, but I am also beginning to learn how to gracefully glide over them once in awhile.

We have had a phone call this week - AFTER Micah's background check came in - that felt like a major setback. TO sum it all up - our paperwork said 0-3 years - being the child we would accept. Well, technically, Jada is over 3 years now - so IF China chooses - they can "push" that a little and say - 0-3 that would be 0-36 months so, she is over 36 months now and they can say we have to redo our paperwork while we are there - which means a lot of rigmarole for us and our social worker AND a prolonged stay in China. So we have two choices - go ahead and go - taking the chance that we may be prolonged a bit in China OR pay an extra almost $400 on this end and get our paperwork correct now - AND know that our paperwork may be held up another month before travel. I am being bluntly honest about this publically because I TRULY feel, even though I can not understand it, that God is STILL in control and STILL wants to be glorified through this. AND I want Him to get ALL the GLORY - so I want our friends and family to know the mountains He is moving to bring Jada home.

After much wrestling and praying - we are going to move forward and get our paperwork in order on this end. We are praying that God does indeed move a mountain - that He expedites this paperwork as only He can - "He knows", it comes back up again and again during this adoption. He knows Jada's health, He knows she is getting older and we'd love to get her and bring her home, but He knows the bigger picture and so we give it to Him. But we'll cover it in prayer - He can move mountains - and we are praying He will.

It may sound like we are antsy - and maybe we are - but we have waited over 3 years for Jada - we now SHOULD be so close to getting her and yet we keep having to jump those hurdles. That is the nature of adoption - many, many hurdles. We feel we've encountered more hurdles this adoption than our first one, so it doesn't make the second time around any easier! When I prayed last night - I asked God to take this and use it - use it to bring glory to Him. I often don't like to "bear my soul" on here, but one of the things I feel God saying so strongly is to let others know - let them know that "He knows" and He can do amazing things!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A God Who Sees

God takes us on journeys - I feel like I am on a long and twisting one. But God is faithful - that is all I can say. He continues to amaze me. I read on Beth Moore's blog that she was having an online Bible Study this summer - I thought that would be something I would enjoy, so I went to see what it was going to be. Here's God - it's a study written by Jennifer Rothschild - an amazing woman of God that began to go blind at age 15. There it is again - God gently reminds me that sight is not all that matters in life. Jennifer has an amazing ministry - her writing has encouraged me over and over. Her interview at Christian Women Online was superb and a quote hit me:
Blindness itself doesn’t feel like a gift, but what came with it certainly is. Blindness has given more than it has taken. I have received an opportunity to choose gratefulness, strengthen my faith and learn how to live trusting God more than my feelings. Anything that decreases our dependence on self and increases our dependence on God really is a gift. We just need to be grateful to recognize it.
She has an amazing website too - go and be encouraged! Not only am I encouraged as a mom of a child with visual challenges, but as a Believer - it touches me on so many realms.

Keep praying with us - Micah's background check came back TODAY - so we can FINALLY move forward - later than we were hoping, but it isn't about us, is it!?!? Praying that God moves as only He can and our TA comes speedily.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Still Fundraising

We believe we are right where God wants us - we don't question that at all! But our minor setback this week of owing money we thought was already paid has done just that - set us back a bit on our dollars!! So - when a friend asked if she could help us by doing a Tupperware fundraiser - I didn't turn it down. We are praying God will provide in any way He chooses and we saw this as a possible way! We get 40% of all sales and that isn't bad for a fundraiser! So, if you are interested go HERE to view the Fundraiser Catalog - you can only purchase from that catalog for us to get the credit. There are some VERY fun items in there!!! If you find something you like, just email me and let me know - I'll get the details to you and we all benefit! If you want to see a catalog in person - just email me and I'll mail one out to you ASAP! Our fundraiser ends June 20 - so shop soon if you like Tupperware!!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Updates Around the Bilby House

So I spent my weekend "making sense" of the basement. You know those storage areas can be good AND bad. I love my storage - Joe built me wonderful shelves and I have them stuffed FULL!! But it is bad when they start overflowing onto the floor and you can't even walk through the storage area. I was convicted and I made work of it. Whew - you should see it now - I won't bore you with a picture, but it's walk-able!! In the process, I found ANOTHER tub of too-small clothes SO - visit Chloe's Closet to see more goodies! If you think of it - please pass this along to friends as well - the key to selling online is exposure and there are WONDERFUL clothes worn only a few times - anyone with a little girl may want to check it out!

On a disappointing note - we have been waiting WEEKS to get our 14 year old's background check back from the state - we have to have that before we can even be in line for our travel approval from China. Sadly enough, after waiting ALLl this time, our agency decided they may never have arrived so they are resending the papers and now we wait again. SO frustrating - he just turned 14 so he's required to be checked, but I don't think his criminal record should take THIS long to process! :) So we wait on that.

Then, we find out yesterday that a fee we thought was paid early on in our adoption was not paid and so now, as we're scraping to put our last funds together - we owe more. Gotta be honest here - adoption is worth EVERY PENNY and God totally provides - He always does. But little "glitches" like this can really be disappointing when you are trying to finalize things and see where you are sitting financially. Sure wish it didn't have to always be about money, but that seems to be where God has us. It keeps us dependent on Him, and that is good! We would covet prayers - what we thought we needed has now grown a bit. So we'd love prayers for the financial end. Also prayers that Micah's background check comes fast - faster than normal! AND that our I800 (LAST paperwork in China) clears fast - we are told that the I800 can sometimes be slower since it's a newer requirement - but we are praying for speed that only God can provide! Jada's condition will require frequent eye exams and she needs to get home and start on those to help save what sight she has. But God knows this too - so we leave it in His VERY capable hands. Thanks all for praying for us and caring for us - you don't know how much that means!
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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