Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

What a blessed holiday weekend we had!  I know I told you all our plans in the last post, so this is just a quick little post with pics and a few reflections.  Wednesday night our holiday began.  We were supposed to go see the group SIX perform that night (free tickets), but the weather changed our plans, so we watched a Christmas movie with the girls. 

Thursday morning we woke up, ate sweet potatoe muffins, and watched the Macy's Day Thanksgiving parade.  Kadyn really got into that this year.  I remember watching the parade with my Dad each year. After the parade was over, the girls colored while Mama and Dada cooked.

Our Mexican fiesta was AWESOME!  Jeff and I got started on lunch in the kitchen about 11:00.  I caved and ate pork because I couldn't stand the sad puppy dog look on Jeff's face when he asked if the chile sauce would have meat.  It wasn't much meat, so I don't feel too bad about it.  The pumpkin pie I made later was the best pumpkin pie I ever ate in my life.  Here is the recipe if you're interested.  It doesn't have nutmeg, which is why I think I liked it so much. 

 Friday afternoon Christmas exploded in our house.  Kadyn really got into it.  Bren tried to help a little but was too distracted by the wiener dog ornaments and just wanted to play with those.
That evening our good friends Tami and Bo came over and helped the girls and I make Christmas cookies.  Both girls LOVED this!  I had trouble getting them to stop eating the cookies before we were done decorating all of them.  At one point Bren just dipped her spoon in the frosting and started licking the spoon. That officially became her bowl only!  Later we made homemade pizza and had our Friday Pizza Family Movie Night ritual.  We decided to have our annual viewing of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation that night.

Saturday was a lazy day, but that evening we got to go to "Trail of The Lights.  We hadn't been to this light display before.  It was 2.5 miles long complete with a TON of lighted plexiglass boxes displayed with all kinds of scenes which included:  santa's workshop, christmas carolers, the nativity scene, snowman, polar bears, polar express, and many, many more.  All the little characters in these boxes were mechanical and moved which totally fascinated Kadyn.  She cracked us up the whole time with her excitement, curiosity and wonder.  There was a sign that read "Wise men still seek him."  Kadyn's reply was "He's at the North Pole!"  Brennan was just very quiet and observant, but I think she enjoyed it too.

There was different music at different displays and, of course, tons of lights to look at too.  It took about an hour to get through the drive.  At the end we were able to go up into a 10 story tower called "Inspiration Tower."  It overlooks the entire city.  It was neat to see the lighted displays from up high.  The girls were in their footy pajamas because we didn't expect to be getting out of the van.  They loved it.  Kadyn asked before we got on the elevator, "Are there any mechanical people on the elevator?"    

After the tower viewing, we were able to go pick up some free apple cider and hot cocoa.  It really was a neat experience.  Wish they had things like that where we lived when I was a kid.  Our girls are LUCKY!  Unfortunately we didn't have the camera, but maybe we can snap some photos next year. 

Sunday was lazy football day.  Not much to report there.

Overall, it was a a great holiday.  We are truly blessed and VERY thankful!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for....

Everybody's making them.  Their thankful lists for this holiday season.  Here's mine:

1. My wonderful savior who always provides for me and blesses me beyond imagination
2. My BEAUTFIUL girls who fulfill me in ways I didn't know possible
2. My wonderful, adoring husband who takes good care of me and makes me happy
3.  My family who makes me feel supported everyday even though their miles away
4.  Email, Facebook, Skype, cell phones anything that helps me stay in touch with my loved ones and gives me connections outside my own little world
5.  Running vehicles no matter how old
6.  A new beautiful home that fits our family
7.  Wonderful, wonderful, neighbors who look out for us and us for them
8.  New friends who love our girls as much as we do and provide us new companionship
9.  The ability to do whatever I put my mind to physically
10.  Living more naturally and green
11.  Contentment with what I've been given (most of the time)
12.  A fun community that lets me live life without going anywhere
13.  Free tickets
14.  A job that allows me to stay at home and raise my babies the way I want to
15.  A husband that allows me to stay at home and raise my babies the way I want to
16.  Aldi and other huge discount grocers
17.  Laughter
18.  Pizza family movie night
19.  Guacamole Sunday
20.  New and fun traditions
21.  Beautiful weather
22.  Successful gardening
23.  Good health
24.  Date nights
25.  Storage in the basement
26.  Garage that fits both vehicles
27.  Girl's nights
28.  Smores and anything chocolate
29.  Jammie runs
30  Trips to get icecream treats on a whim
31.  Christmas lights
32.  Seeing my children grasp the concept of a loving savior, praying to him, and praising him
33.  Children who are smart, funny, witty, loving, developmentally normal, polite, and ADORABLE
34.  Old friends who give us an excuse to go on vacation and enjoy each other's company
35.  A job that my husband enjoys and provides
36.  Opportunities
37.  Small gifts in the mail from family just because
38.  Incredible inlaws
39.  Watching my children experience things for the first time and the wonder and aw that comes along with it
40.  Free or dirt cheap clothing
41.  Healthy and yummy food
42.  Achieving goals with my weight
43. Watching my girls play with their father
44.  Seeing my girls light up when their father comes home
45.  Watching  my husband adore his girls
46.  Having a husband who gives his girls individual Daddy time
47.  Having a husband who let's Mommy get Mommy time
48.  Making food that everyone likes
49.  Being able to live on a budget
50.  Living a beautiful part of the world
51.  Music
52.  Getting through toddler antics and living to tell about it
53. Cheap fall produce
54.  A husband who is willing to try my crazy concotion
55.  Fall mums
56.  carving pumpkins
57. crafts with the kids
58.  Productive days
59.  A clean house
60.  Good fall TV programs
62.  Watching your kid get into Santa and the mystery behind that
63.  Knowing your kid understands the true meaning of the holidays
64.  Having a mother who listens, provides friendship, encourages, supports, and gives good advice.
65.  Having a father who adores his grandkids
66.  My pressure cooker
67.  My food processor
68. Being able to fix my dishwasher all by myself
69.  Kids who sleep through the night
70.  Educational cartoons
71.  Snuggling with my kids
72.  Seeing my friends have blessed lives
73.  Admiting my failures and working with God to fix them and become better
74.  Greek seasoning
75.  Netflix
76.  A comfy bed
77.  Not having an animal ruin my carpets
78.  Living on the end of a culdesac
79.  Having a fulfilling 4th of July in our culdesac
80.  Good coffee in the morning
81. This blog
82. God's word
83. Sewing tutorials
84.  A sewing machine I love
85.  thrift store shopping
88.  A good purse 
89.  Our new window films (and hopefully cheaper utility bills during the winter)
90.  An extra play area in the basement with room to grow
91.  Veggie muffins
92.  That there are a gazillion different types of beans to eat for this newly vegetarian Mama
93.  Premade vegetarian imitations
94.  Picnics in the spring and summer
95.  Good parks for the kids to play at
96.  We have health care....even if it is super expensive
97.  Bibs
98. Quiet time
99.  Kids on a schedule
100.  Having a town 45 min from here that has everything we need that's not in Branson

T-day plans

This year we are all staying home.  No family is coming, just the 4 of us.  I think we've gotten to the point where we would rather visit our family on days that are not holidays.  Travel during those times can be iffy depending on the weather, and we want to start or own family traditions.  Turns out there is some bad weather coming our way, so perhaps it was meant to be this way.

Thanksgiving morning I'm going to make iced sweet potatoe muffins for breakfast.  That afternoon Jeff and I will make chile renos, spanish rice, and pumpkin pie for lunch (I don't eat meat  and Jeff doesn't like turkey).  Then that afternoon we will erect the Christmas Tree with Christmas music and our special hot chocolate.  There may be snow on the ground so depending a little snow play may be in order.  That evening we may head out to see the Christmas light display.

Friday morning Jeff may do a little shopping while I hang out with the girls.  That afternoon some new friends of ours will be coming over the help us make Christmas cookies.  After that is done we will start making homemade pizzas for 'Pizza family movie night."  We will be watching National Lampoon's Christmas vacation.  I am so excited!  Family traditions are the best!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Changing it up

Wanting to continue running.  Not wanting to run in the cold.  Not liking that my knee hurts when I run.  Not minding running in circles on an indoor track but....I might have a better idea.  Pulled out my mini tramp from downstairs and drug it upstairs by the T.V.  Did a little research.  Running on a tramp is much lower impact and can burn quite a few calories. 

We got this tramp last Christmas for the whole family.  Kadyn loved it. I loved the idea of it, BUT my bladder did not.  So, when I pulled this out it was more experiemental.  Did my bladder perhaps strengthen from all the pounding on the pavement?  Perhaps running on the tramp would be lower impact than jumping and it won't be as big of a deal for my good ol' bladder.  Let the experiment begin. 

The results....still feel like I'm going to pee my pants when I jump with two feet (even with an empty bladder) BUT....running isn't a problem.  Heart rate seems to go up nicely and quickly, especially when I move knees up to my chest and go fast. 

So....this could be a nice change of pace for awhile.  Keep my stamina up in the comfort of my own home.  Maybe I'll get bored of it quickly, maybe not.  One thing is for sure, I'll stay warm.  I can stay at home and watch the kids if I need to.  Heck I could even slip in a workout during nap times.  It's free, and best of all, my knee won't hurt.  For now, it's a go!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Promised Land Zoo

Sunday we headed to Arkansas to visit the Promised Land zoo about 1.5 hours from here.  If you'll remember one of my birthday presents last year was a gift certificate to this zoo.  Jeff got a great deal on this certificate.  I think our whole experience costed 15 dollars.  The normal rates would've been close to fifty. Anyways, it was unlike any zoo I've ever been in.  You drive through it with a big bag of food.  You get to feed just about any animal you see.  Just roll down the windows and start tossing the food.  The animals know what to expect so they come over as soon as they see your vehicle.  We got nose to nose with some animals.  LITERALLY!  They left nose prints (or beak prints) on our windows.  It was SOOOOO neat!  At times it was hard to get moving to the next part of the park as the animals were standing in front of our van waiting for more food. 

At the end of the park is a petting zoo were we were able to feed and pet a lot more animals.  It was my first time touching and feeding a zebra and a deer.  Brennan almost kissed a pygmy goat.  I looked down and she was all puckered up with the goat's lips headed right for hers.  She loved feeding the animals.  She was constantly asking for more food although she got a little nervous when their mouths starting coming at her.  Kadyn was nervous as well and finally mustered the courage to let a deer eat from her hand.  My favorite animal was the llama.  Those buck teeth just made him so cute!  The rest of the family loved the parrots.  They talked and bopped up and down.  We joined them bopping up and down and desparately trying to get them to talk.  All we could get out of them was a "Hello!"  Supposedly they also said, I love you, Hi, Grandpa, Sam, and I'm a cockatoo.  It was such a good time and we will definitely go back some day.

Fall fun

Jeff decided it was time to rake some leaves.  He had planted some grass in our bare spots, and all of neighbor's leaves seeemed to enjoy settling on those spots.  Kadyn and him headed out to the front yard to get started on Saturday late morning.  Next thing I know, Jeff heads out with the camera; Bren joined later.  This is what came back.  I really missed out living in SW Kansas.  What I would've given to had an experience like this.  We had a few trees, but nothing that produced this much fun. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Downer day

I woke up with butterflies in my stomach.  A nervous excitement.  Today was supposed to be the day to check something off my too do list.  An achievement that I had been working very hard for.  Something I had never been able to say that I have done.  Registration had been filled out and dues paid.  I was ready to go.  As I got myself into my running clothing I looked at my figure in the mirror happy with what I saw.  Running had done my body good and I knew it.  It had been an entire week since my last run.  Partly because it was getting cold and I was having trouble motivating myself to run in the cold.  Partly because it rained and partly because Bren got sick.  BUT....I figured that I would still be OK.  In fact, I was hoping the week off would make my knee problem much better and therefore my race much more comfortable.

This day was helping me feel the spirit of running again.  I thought to myself that maybe I could muster the motivation to keep going once the race was over.  Yes, this race was just what I needed to get my mojo back.

I showed up at 9:10.  The race was supposed to begin at 9:30, or so I thought.  As I walked in I heard the lady with a paper who looked official say to someone else, "The 5K is at 9:30."  I thought to myself 'Awesome, I have plenty of time to warm up and wait for my friend.'   I walked over the the lady and told her I was there for the 5K.  Her eyes got big and she said that it had already started and was almost done.  'What?????"  Apparently the award ceremony for the 5K started at 9:30 and the race had begun at 8:30.  I read the registration form wrong. I saw the 9:30 by the 5K and assumed that's when it started.  I should have looked more closely.

Suddenly a wave of panic struck me.  What if my friend had gotten there and waited on me and then gave up and went home.  What if she was out there running all alone.  This was all my idea.  She wouldn't even be in the race if it hadn't been for me.  Then I started thinking how I had pushed myself so hard to do this and now I couldn't have my final hurrah.  What if I never get enough motivation to get out there and run again?  I'll never be able to do this again.  I thought of how many people had said they admired me for doing this and how proud of me they were.  I felt like I was letting them down.  It all seemed worthless.

The lady told me to go to the starting line, and ask if I could still run anyways.  She thought it would probably be OK.  I thought to myself that it really seemed silly to do that.  If I wasn't running with other people in a race, it really wouldn't feel like a race anymore but just another typical run.    I went to the starting line, the man wouldn't let me go.  He said it was almost finished.  So I knew, it was time to admit defeat and just leave.  I called my friend to see if I could figure out if she ran or not.  Turned out she never even came.  Her family had visited and just left town. Her two girls were sick. She was so caught up in it all she just couldn't come.  Shew!  At least I didn't let her down.  She said she definitely wants to run the next one with me.

The next race?  Honestly, I'm fearful that I can hold out long enough with motivation to be ready for the next race.  I felt like this was my one chance to do this when I knew I was ready.  Well anyways.  I called my mom on the way home in tears to tell her that it didn't happen.  I told myself I would start running at the Rec on weekends just to keep some sort of physical stamina up until the weather gets better again.  They have an indoor track.  I am making NO promises that I will be able to keep this up until the next race.  When I don't feel like exercising it is VERY hard for me to just do it anyways.  We shall see.

So sorry, no pictures to share.  No victory speeches.  Just a memory of a downer day.  The race that never happened.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cracking us up

Bren lit up yesterday when I gave her the brilliant idea of changing her Elmo who she claimed was making "poos."  Next thing I know she's giving him a bath, he's pooing in the tub (gee wonder where she got that idea), and running off to walmart to get more diapers since he was going through so many and all.  This girl cracks me up.  She was nonstop doing this for like 45 minutes until we couldn't take it anymore. The best part of it all is that she said her first three word sentence ever, "Ah gah ut!" (aka I got it ).  Hope you get a good laugh out of this.  We sure did.

Bren changes Elmo from Darci Bilberry on Vimeo.

The next video is short.  Just Dad teaching his favorite phrases to his almost two year old.  He did this with Kadyn too at the same age.  Just sounds funny coming out of someone so small.

Rock On, Peace Out from Darci Bilberry on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm just saying

I hope I don't offend anyone by this post, but I had to get this out there.  I am not a fan of parties where a person is trying to sell something.  Pampered chef, Mary Kay, jewlelry, candles, whatever the product.  I seem to get invited to a lot of these.  Because the people inviting me are friends, I feel badly saying no.  I don't want it to reflect badly on a newly found friendship.   I don't want to lie and make up some excuse as to why I can't go.  I want to be supportive.  I know that often times these little business endeavors are their way of helping their spouse provide for their family, especially if they are a stay at home mother. I can respect that. the same way that I feel guilty if I don't go, I also feel guilty when I do go. I always walk in knowing we have no wiggle room in our budget for many, if any, extras.  The products these women are selling, however nice, are just things we don't need and can't afford at the moment (I wouldn't have it any other way because it means I am able to stay at home with my babies)  To me, these things are extras.  As much as I like them, and often times I do, I just can't let myself spend the money we don't have on something I don't need.  The women always say they don't want me to feel pressured to have to buy anything.  But there I sit having eaten their nice little cupcakes, and drank their nice little drinks, and then I leave having not spent a dime.  It really defeats the entire purpose of me coming.  It makes me feel awful.  It's a no win situation. I feel guilty when I don't go.  I feel guilty when I do.

So anyways, all this is to say that someday....just maybe.....I will be able to go one of these parties and really be able to enjoy myself. I will be able to look through their nice little catalogs and spend a little money to show my support and pamper myself.  Until then, I wish I would stop getting these invites.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Count down

My race is on Saturday.  I should be excited.  I do have a little nervous energy when I think of it.  BUT....I haven't ran now for 3 days.  I knew this point would come.  I keep thinking of Forrest Gump.  Surely you remember the part where he just started running because he felt like it and then suddenly after miles and miles and miles just stopped.  Didn't he say something like, "I'm done now."  Well... I totally get that.  I feel like saying the same thing; all those emotions I was running out of my body are quiet and peaceful again.  I really need to get out there at least once, if not twice before this race.  It's going to be hard to convince myself to do so.  I never made any promises that this would last. I hoped it would.  I wanted to make it a lifestyle change for good.  I didn't want to loose everything I had worked so hard to achieve. 

Part of the problem is that I'm cold.  All the time, cold.  Since the temps have started dropping we have had to turn the heater on.  I found last year that I can tolerate the house at 68 only if I wear a bazillion layers, even then when I'm not moving around I'm cold.  I'd love to leave it at 70 (weird that only 2 degrees makes that much a difference to me) which seems perfect to me, but we don't like how high our bills can be when we turn it up.  Anyhow, when I walk around cold all day, it's not exactly exciting to get out in the colder weather.  I realize my body temp rises as I start exercising, but still hard to convince myself to freeze my butt off for the first 5 min. of the run.

Secondly, my knees are giving me problems.  I actually went to the chiropracter and had him adjust them.  He said they were out of alignment.  I haven't run on them since.  I really ought to as perhaps my problem is gone.  However, I have a sneaking suspicion all is the same because I still feel some pain when I go down the stairs.  I think my body just needs time off to heal and recover.  Running is high impact on my legs and they are making sure I know that. 

Thirdly, since I've started running, a lot of things have had to go out the window.  I'm not able to put the girls down every night.  I don't get as much down time in front of the tube with my favorite shows to just veg out and relax, and it cuts into my time with Jeff.  I haven't even touched my sewing machine and Christmas is just around the corner. I need to get on top of that.

I guess all this is to say, that I don't want to give running up.  I think at this point, what I need is to get through this week, get done with this race, and give myself a short break to rest my body.  I need to recharge my batteries and then probably hit it again, but perhaps reduce my mileage and expectations so I don't get burnt out.  I do not want to go back to the point where I can't even run a mile, but I do not feel it I should expect myself to run 5 miles every time I get out there.

I'll try to post pics of the race.  Hopefully I make it. I've never ran in the morning, or without music, or with a friend.  All three things will be a first for me at my race.  I have run in the middle of the day and hate it.  Always seems harder to me.  Hopefully morning isn't even harder.  We shall see.  Wish me luck!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Go team go!

Kadyn has been a bit jealous that little sissy has a chief's cheerleader outfit to wear every Sunday when the Dada watches a game.  It makes no difference to her that the outfit was originally bought for Kadyn when she was Bren's age; she's jealous!  Dada is MORE than willing to dress his little girls up in the clothing from his favorite teams.  So he found a awesome deal on ebay for Kadyn to support his other favorite team, the wildcats.  She's happy now.  My girly girl!


Bren's hair has been wild ever since it started growing.  It is so baby fine and thin.  I brush it, but it always looks nappy and sticks up.  Yesterday I decided, on a whim, to see if I could get it into piggies.  Bren, was a loyal subject until she realized that putting it in piggies might mean a little hair pulling to get the twisty in.  I had to wrestle her a little, but the end product was soooo worth it.  Soooo cute!  With them in her hair actually looks put together instead of like she just rolled out of bed.  If only she'd sit still for me to do this everyday.  Oh well!

Been a year

I knew our one year anniversary in our house was coming up soon, but I didn't realize it had already come and gone a couple days ago until Jeff said something.  This year has flown in our new home.  We have been in Branson now for almost a year and a half, but it seemed like life never really began until we had our home.

For the first time I finally feel like I am where I am meant to be.  This is the third home we have owned.  In all the other homes I always new that we were going to move.  I was always on a mission to make sure the house looked organized and clutter free because I knew that we would sell someday, and I figured if I was used to living that way it wouldn't be a big deal when I was expected to do so for showings.  It was exhausting.  It's interesting how my perspective has changed since we have lived in this home.  I still hate clutter, but part of me has relaxed about some things.  Once upon a time the only thing that sat on my kitchen counters were my knives and stovetop spoons.  Everything else had a hiding space in a cabinet somewhere and I would get it out when I needed it and put it away as soon as I was done.  Now I have my can opener, coffee maker, knives, spoons, food processor, flour and sugar out on my counters for whenever I need them.  I'm so sick of hauling that stuff out and putting it away all the time.  It's nice to have it all handy whenever I need it (which is often).  One of the best things about our home is that everything is new and doesn't need to be fixed or redone.  Granted we have had our fair share of things that we've had to call the home warranty about, but none of it was a deal breaker and the warranty people had to fix them.

Our neighborhood is probably the best we've ever had.  We have become great friends with several of our neighbors.  I take the kids to our driveway to play often and it is not uncommon for one of them to pull up a lawn chair and chat for awhile while the kiddos play.  We all look out for each other.  I know when we go out of town, I can trust one of them to take care of my plants, fish, or get our mail.  Some of them are happy to watch the girls when we need a night out.  We have even started what we hope will be an annual culdesac BBQ.  Although we made connections to some of our neighbors in our other towns, it has never been quite like this.  Neighbors can really make your house feel more like home.  We had the best halloween we've ever had and we didn't have to go anywhere to create this fun experience except right outside our front door thanks to our awesome neighbors.

The area we live in is so BEAUTIFUL!  There are a ton of things to do. Living in a vacation hot spot is a lot like being on a vacation nonstop.  I don't feel that badly that we rarely get to go on vacation because we are still in the mode of exploring the community we live in and doing vacation like things.  The kids have just as much fun, there is no travel involved, and at the end of the day we get to go back to our own beds in the comfort of our own home.  I suppose I even appreciate Springfield more than I used to since living in Branson.  Why?  If Branson doesn't have it, we know Springfield will.  We still continue to use Springfield libraries, parks, thrift stores, and Aldi in Springfield.  We get to make a day trip out of it, so it almost feels like another little vacation.  In addition to Springfield, there are other national parks, lakes, and area attractions that are only a short drive away for a fun little day trip.

I have heard nothing but good things about the schools our girls will be attending. This is a first for an area that we have lived in.  It sure brings this Mama's heart comfort when I think about waving goodbye as I watch my firstborn be carried off by a yellow school bus in less than a year.  What a hard moment that will be for me.  It helps to know that the school she will be attending has gotten rave reviews.

So as I reflect on this past year in our house, I can honestly say at last I am home.  I belong.  It feels good.  I am blessed.  Thank you Jesus for bringing me home, at last!

Friday, November 12, 2010

For women only

O.K. I've been thinking about this post for some time.  I know this is weird blog material, but I'm pretty sure all my readers are women, so what the heck.  I've discovered something that has made my life easier as a woman.  I was hesitant to try it at first, but when I started running it seemed so much better than what I was using.  It also lined up with my new resolve to get and stay green.

Curious?  Click here

I didn't really want to get too descriptive on this blog.  Most reviews were very positive about this product.  I was a little nervous about it at first and knew there was going to be a learning curve.  The first few days of use were a little challenging, but I read other users suggestions on a few websites, and now I can say it's pretty easy and oh so nice.  Much less of a hassle than what I was using.  So in effort to help some other woman out there that doesn't like dealing with that time of the month, maybe you'll find this as helpful as I did.  I only wish I knew about this sooner.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Prayer for a daughter

While I was on the subject of that book Bringing up Girls.  I also wanted to share a prayer that was in the book.  So touching. 

"Heavenly Father, thank You for a daughter like Sherrie.  Thank You for blessing her and putting her in this family.  Thank You for helping her find You at an early. age.  Protect her tonight as she sleeps and tomorrow as she goes through her day.  Keep her from the enemy and from harm.  Help her to find a godly husband in Your time.  In Jesus' name, amen."

A girl that Dr. James Dobson interviewed said that her father prayed this same prayer over her every night.  How sweet is that?  Years later as a young adult, she never forgot it.

Bringing up Girls

My new read Bringing up Girls by Dr. James Dobson came highly recommended to me.  I had to wait 3 months on a waiting list just to check it out from the library.  It surprised me that 3 chapters are devoted to the roll of a father in a daughter's life and only one chapter is devoted to a mother.  One chapter in particular takes some quotes from another book called Father to Daughter: Life lessons on Raising a Girl.  Some of the quotes were just too good not to share.  I had a lump in my throat by the end of this chapter. I wanted to share a few of them with you if you don't mind. For those of you with girls I'm sure you'll find this as amusing as I did.

*Her mom will show her how to bake chocolate chip  cookies.  You show her how to dunk them in milk.
*Be prepared to watch Walt Disney movies with her some 200 times.  Each.
*Relish the moments when she toddles up and for no reason at all throws her arms around your neck  Resist the urge to buy her the world.
*Keep her secrets.  This way she will begin to trust men.
*Take her to the golf course with you.   Give her a sawed-off club she can use to whack balls around.
*Don't miss a recital, concert, play, or any other performance of hers.  Not now.  Not until she graduates.
*Accept the fact that the loving, tender angel you've spent the last decade with may disappear sometimes.  She will return.
*Remember, teenage girls spend hours in their room doing something.  No man has ever really figured out what that something is.
*Remember, when you're dealing with a 13-year-old girl, for all intents and purposes, you're dealing with a fruitcake.
*Accept the fact that girls squeal when they're happy or confused or excited or scared or because they just saw a certain boy in line.
*Volunteer to drive her and her friends to the movies.  Then just listen while they talk.

*You will have to teach her how to drive...without making her cry.
*Make it very clear that you expect her to wear a seat belt.  Even over her prom dress.
*Odd-looking boys will start showing up at yoru house.  This is to be expected because adolescent boys are odd-looking.
*Teach her how to look a boy in the eye and say "No."
*Understand that if she suddenly becomes a football fanatic even though she hates the game, you can be sure a boy is involved.
*Teach her that if she acts stupid to attract boys, she'll attract stupid boys.
*If a boy pulls up and honks for her, go out and have words with him.  Explain that your daughter answers to a doorbell.
*Remember, every girl's heart gets broken.  There's nothing you can do to fix it.  Hunting down the boy won't help.  On the other hand, she will also break a few hearts herself.
*You have no power over how much makeup, shampoo, suntan lotion, skin creams, hair color treatment, mascara, eyeliner, perfume, cologne, body wash, and bath lotion she will buy.  Accept this and move on.
*Teach her to respect herself.
*Prepare for the day when you're not the most important man in her life.
*Have a look around her room.  Take a moment to look at her pictures, her photos, her keepsakes.  These are her memories.  This was the childhood you gave her.
*Tell her she is the daughter you always dreamed about.
*In the end, let her go.

Crying yet?  The list had many more points, but I didn't want to write a 4 page blog post.  Like them?  If you have a little girl, check it out.  It's a good read. Your girl(s) are worth it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yellow Squash Cookies

Sometimes I find a recipe that blows me away.  Monday afternoon it was just me and the girls.  My freezer is LOADED with pureed veggies.  I felt like making veggie cookies of some kind.  Just searched for some recipes online and came up with this one.  I made a few changes to accomodate what I had on hand and it tasted like homemade cinnamon rolls to me.  Yummy!  I plan on making them for breakfast turkey morning.

Here's a link to the site with the recipe:

My changes:
.5 C brown sugar instead of honey
1 Cup pureed sweet potatoes instead of 2 C shredded squash
I made a frosting out of milk and powdered sugar to give it that cinnamon roll effect

Other than that, followed it to a T.  Awesome!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mad quacking skills

First time I have used vimeo.  Hope this works.  It seems to be very skippy on my computer, but maybe that's my interenet service.  Anyhoo....thought this was cute and very representative of Bren's speech development.  Please excuse Kadyn's nose picking.  We're working on it. Anyhow the first one shows her barking skills and the second one shows her quacking skills.

Bren sings from Darci Bilberry on Vimeo.

Bren sings 2 from Darci Bilberry on Vimeo.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I remember...

....doing this exact thing as a child.  Something amazing about watching cookies cook.  The girls are anxiously awaiting their sweet potatoe cookies.  Aw childhood.  So full of wonder.