Thursday, September 29, 2011


      With the start of my college course week, the reality of my future is really hitting me.  I'm super excited and nervous.  I have REALLY enjoyed getting back into student mode.  It is like a little piece of me has come back.  It just feels so good to work my noggin again.  At least work it with something beyond ABCs and 123s.  I got my assignment Monday. By Tuesday I had read through all the assigned text and by Wednesday I had posted my 4 page assignment (the first in my class I might add ;)  Anyhoo....all this has gotten me very excited for what my future holds.

     However, on the flip side of things, this has also made me very nervous about some of the changes that could transpire should I REALLY go back to work in two years.  Amoung those fears is how I will balance caring for my home, cooking meals for my family, and where in the world to put Bren for her last year before school.  The later is weighing heavily on me this week.  I would regret my decision to go back to work if she was somewhere I didn't feel comfortable with.  I want this to be an easy transition, not a difficult one.  I know she will be fine and enjoy it as long as it is a good place for her.

      Therefore, I have begun to make calls and send emails inquiring what the best daycare/preschool facilities are.  Nothing but the best for my baby.  After all, my standards are pretty high, sometimes unobtainable high, which partially why I chose to stay home in the first place.  I figured if the place is good, it's bound to have a waiting list and I need to be on it.  I have heard of places having 2 year waiting lists, I am 2 years out from possibly needing a spot. I figure if I don't get the job, I will just stay at home with Bren for her last year before real school.  At least the guilt of leaving her her last year would be gone.  How can you regret staying at home to raise your kids the entire time anyways?  If that happens, I will know it's God's will, so I'll be fine with it. I may be a little bummed about the job, but no regrets staying with my baby, that's for sure.  And taking a kid off a waiting list is more preferable than not getting on one in time, should I need the spot.

     Anyways, all of this is to say I just feel a little weird.  Here I am staying at home with my cutie, offering a service to other mothers, all the while searching for that same service two years down the road for a job that may or may not happen.  Weird, just weird.  Wish I had a crystal ball.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Just when I was beginning to think Kadyn didn't desire to play with girls, this came home with a note from the teacher.  I think the teacher was impressed that Kadyn could write these words and make a sentence with them.  She was writing these words long before she started school though, so that didn't surprise me much. I was however, very impressed with how sweet the picture and words were towards her friend.  What an angel! The girls used to swing on the swings together; the drawing is of both of them and two swings.  Since this was only drawn two days ago, I'm guessing Kadyn misses playing with her friend Kaylee.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tom Boy?

I have NEVER thought of Kadyn as a tomboy.  She LOVE, LOVE, LOVES pink.  She loves to dress up.  She loves makeup and barbies and all things girly.  However, for the last week and a half at school she has started prefering to play with the boys.  They play chase and she loves it.  At first some girls participated, but lately I just hear mostly about a little boy named 'Isaac.'  I don't think she has a crush on him, I think she just connects well with him.  She even asked if she can invite him to her birthday party in March.

I just find this interesting.  I realize I am WAY overanalyzing this, but it made me wonder.  Has her experience of having a boy as her main playmate her first 5 years of life influenced her ability to connect with other girls.  We shall see.

In other news, turns out Bren knows her entire alphabet.  I had been only introducing one to two new letters each week, but letting her watch those letter leap frog videos every morning as she LOVES them.  Turns out those videos were doing their job.  One day she kept asking me to go over letters we had not covered yet.  She was calling them by name.  So I moved forward with more, and then more, and then more.  Next thing I knew we had covered the entire alphabet in one sitting. So I guess since she recognizes all of them, we will begin working on sounds.  Those videos cover sounds too, so something tells me this won't take long.  I may be doing learning worksheets and crafts with her before I know it.  So glad she loves learning.  It's all fun and games to her.  That's exactly how I want her to see it too.  Learning IS fun!

Kadyn took any interest in Solitairre last night.  We have an old ipod that is no longer in use as Jeff upgraded his recently.  He has decided to load up angry birds and solitairre for K.  I was kind of surprised and not suprised that she took a liking to solitairre as it seems it could be a confusing game, especially for a 5 year old.  But if she likes it I'm all about letting her play.  She has a beautiful mind that girl of mine.  Probably my favorite thing as of late that K has started doing is reminding me to pray over her before she goes to school.  I usually remember, but if I forget, I can always be assured K will remind me.  I'm glad she feels it is important too. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The almighty nap

Naptime......that very word stirs feelings of stress.  In some ways I hate it.  There always seems to be at least one child, if not two, who fight it.  No matter how hard I try, having children nap in the same room of my house is next to impossible because almost inevitably one of them will wake another one.  Therefore, I usually have one child per room.  This makes this process much easier on me and the kids.  The criers can go about their business of crying themselves to sleep and the sleepers can rest in peace. 

However there are days when some of the kids aren't napping at the same time.  One such day was when the baby was taking a morning nap.  My big guy showed up decked out in his full batman costume.  My little guy freaked out, hid in the corner of the room and screamed.  That corner just happened to be on other side of the wall where the baby was sleeping.  Baby had only been down for 5 minutes, woke and started screaming again.  This after she had already been screaming forever just to get to sleep in the first place.  Or there was the time the baby was down and I snuck into my room to get something.  Little man followed me in.  I didn't know this.  I quietly shut the door.  He freaks out on the other side.  Baby wakes and starts screaming.  Sigh!

It has gone all ways actually.  Little man has also been sleeping peacefully when baby decided to throw a fit in the living room. Her wails woke little man and then he joined in on the wailing.  Sigh! Or the time when big man woke because his paci fell out of his mouth and he was sitting on it unknowingly.  He starts crying and wakes Bren who was in the bed beside his pack n play.  Thus her nap was shot!  Sigh!

Yes, I loathe naps and yet....I like them too.  There are rare times when everyone is actually sleeping peacefully at the same time.  Yes, unbelieveable isn't it?  My only non napper watches a little television during this time.  I gotta have some down time too you know.  However, my down time doesn't usually consist of staying down. Usually this is the time when I clean the kitchen, prepare for preschool time, and catch up on laundry only if I can sneak into a napping room and sort it without waking anyone.  If I'm lucky I even pick up some toys. 

Aw naptime.  I will forever love and hate you!  Sigh!  When do I get my nap?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I was afraid of that

Today I got a call from the nurse's office at school.  Apparently Kadyn had been complaining of a pain in her right side.  Nurse said she was pale, hot, and sweaty, BUT she was not running a fever.  My first thought, was she running around?  Perhaps it was just a side stitch from physical activity.  Nope no physical activity.  Nurse said she felt best if we picked her up as there was a lot of stuff going around.  I called Jeff and she came home around lunch time.  Like magic the moment she stepped out of the car she had a big smile and said, "I feel much better."  I was afraid of that.  Let me explain.

The first week of school Kadyn ended up in the nurses office twice.  The first time she said her chest hurt.  No temp.  Must be getting a cold I thought.  Nurse said she thought it was allergies.  Kadyn doesn't have allergies.  Second time she ended up in the nurses office with a bloody nose.  OK that's legit, I thought.  Teacher lets her go to the nurse when Kadyn has a complaint because teacher says, "Kadyn isn't a complainer."  Hmmm.....what's a mom to think?

So my plan of action was to go ahead and treat her like a sick kid.  She is not allowed to have any contact with any of the daycare children for the rest of the day.  She is shelled up in my room, no TV.  I told her she has to rest all day because that is what sick people are supposed to do.  At the moment, she is taking a nap, she never naps.  No doubt, she'll have trouble going to sleep tonight because of that nap.  At some point I may take a little pity on her and let her do some worksheets or something to pass the time in there all by herself. 

She is supposed to attending an event with her dad tonight.  That's out.  Sick kids don't go to events with their dads.  They stay home and rest.

Do I think she's sick?  I'm about 99% sure she's not.  Sure she was pale and hot and sweaty at the nurses office.  Maybe she really did have a side ache. daughter is naturally pale and she complains of the classroom being too hot so maybe that was the reason she was sweaty.  My hope is that after today's experience of being 'sick' she may think twice before trotting down to the nurses office for a little pain in her side.  I'm not sure if it's the attention she likes, or she just needs to toughen up from a little growing pains.  But I need my daughter to only come home from school if it's legit.  As I explained to her today, "You do this too much and people are going to stop believing you. Then when you really are sick, you're out of luck babe."  I sure she takes that to heart after today.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Water in the drought

My mom led me to a great site called the Blue Letter Bible.  It really is amazing. You can access any verse in 18 different versions of the bible.  It has countless commentaries, study tools,daily bible reading programs, images, maps, etc.  It really is a neat resource for bible study.  One of the features I really like is the quick little devotionals that you can look up.  Today's verse of study was Jeremiah 17:5a, 7-8:

Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength…strong>Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but her leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit."

Wow what  a powerful verse!

One of my facebook friends made mention that Obama needs to stop giving speeches as it seems the DOW goes down every time he does.  Today's economy is so volatile isn't it?  It really is a frightening time to be living.  Our national security is uncertain.  People all over the world are uprising against thier governments.  Millions are without jobs and scraping to get by.  Natural disasters seem to be all around us, adding onto the mayhem that already exists.

For a mother of young children like myself, imagining a world where my children will be safe, healthy, and happy, is sometimes hard to fathom.  I'd like to believe that all these things are imminent signs of the end of times.  I'd like to think that the return our our savior to take us home is just around the corner, but the truth is that there is no way to know for sure.  So in the mean time, how do we find hope in times of such peril?

I believe this verse hits it on the head....our faith and trust has to lie in the Lord, not in man.  If we are to obey this simple command we will be the trees that continue to flourish in today's rough times.  Perhaps not in the way one might think.  But to be free of the worry and anxious feelings that may accompany the knowledge of what is the reality around us and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that HE will be our water that helps us bear fruit even though we are in a horrible drought.  What more could we ask for?  Now breath easy. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

On a Thursday night...

...the Bilberry family was feeling a little silly.  Funny thing is, we actually do this more than you think.  Don't worry it's a short video ;)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Don't laugh at me

I think this is a perfect example of how self conscience Bren has become lately of having people laugh at her.  I wasn't even laughing at her in the beginning of this video, but she assumed I was and scolded me.  By the end of the video I couldn't help myself.  She was being so darn funny, it was hard to keep it in.  You'll see what I'm talking about.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Branson High School

The other day we were driving home and were really close to the Branson Highschool.  I had never seen it before, so we decided to make a detour and check it out.  I had heard that the new elementary school which will be be finished in two years (and where I want to apply when it opens) will be close to this highschool.  It is really a nice High School and the football field even has a view.

The sun wasn't right for this pic, but the top part of that square is glass.
The students decorated the sidewalks for the beginning of school.  We thought it looked neat.
Entrance to the stadium
Football stadium.  The views are much better in person.  Aw Branson! Love it!!!!

Landscaping fun

One of Jeff and my favorite things to do is work in the yard together.  We used to do it all the time before we had kids with our first home.  Then we had Kadyn and working outside for any long stretch was just impossible, so Jeff was on his own with our Springfield home.  Now we are in another new house and we have two kids that are both at an age where they can pretty much entertain themselves while we are working in the yard.  They had a great time helping Dada shovel dirt, making mud pies (wish I regret not taking a photo of), and just playing in the dirt and getting muddy.

We hadn't envisioned making the first lawn project when we bought the house, but the house builders poured some extra concrete from the driveway on the side of the driveway, and then covered it with dirt and sod.  Needless to say, the grass died in that spot.  Jeff tried to jack hammer it out but couldn't.  Solution number two was to bring in more dirt and put plants on top of that dirt.  REALLY hope these plants take off.  To balance things out, we made another planting bed on the other side of the driveway too.

North Side of driveway before
North side after.  Bushes and mums should get much taller.  There are two green boxwoods that blend in with the grass in the middle.  Can't see them, but they are there.  The mauve mum is kinda hard to see too.  Sorry!
South side before
South side after.  Again, things will look much better once things grow bigger.  Next year we will replace mulch with rock.
Next up we are going to rock in the area next to the house.  It is a pain in the butt to mow our little terraces and to keep grass growing in those areas.  They are high traffic because of the kids and me getting to and from the hose.  We got a good start.  We will add plants next spring.

And of course, fall wouldn't feel right without a mum in a pot.  I love planting things. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I have always kept a journal off and on.  Usually when I'm going through some really tough stuff I break it out.  I used to use the journal listed above, but I type so much faster than I write so I started keeping one on my computer.  My personality lends itself to being an open book.  I often put things on this blog that people wouldn't dream of putting on their own blogs.  I guess the good thing about this is that I am brutally honest. There should never be any question of my honesty.  However, there are just times I can't share.  Reasons for not sharing usually include:

1. I fear the judgement from others for the way I feel or mistakes I've made
2.  I fear people will find me unappreciative
3.  I feel guilty
4.  I don't want people to see me as a negative person with nothing good to say.
5.  What I have to say is a conversation that needs to be hashed out with my God not with other people

Sure I could just sit down and pray silently to God and get it out of my system...or I could write it all down.  My mother suggested I keep a prayer journal years ago.  She emphasized that a prayer journal is a great way to see God work in your life because you can go back and see his hand in everything you prayed for as time passes.  You will see the answers to prayers that you had earlier come to life as you read.

So...I started one years ago.  Funny thing is, I can type and type and type pages, but if I sit down and pray outloud I sometimes fall short with words or can't seem to organize my thoughts the way I can in writing.    Putting your feelings into writing is therapy. 

Yesterday was one of those days when I was bubbling up inside with feelings that I needed to let out.  I contemplated blogging, then thought that this really needed to be something between myself and God.  I got out my computer and started typing.  Part way through I could feel God speaking to me as he quickened things I was typing to the forefront of my mind to create new revelations and answers to questions.  I thought about things in a different way. 

When I finished I felt a weight lift.  My day went much better.  I didn't have a need to dump my issues on my husband the minute he walked through the door.  Although I want to share with him my highs and lows, I also want to be mindful of always using him as a sounding board for my feelings.  I know I don't always enjoy hearing about the same problem time after time after time, so I wanted to make sure I wasn't doing that to him.

So anyways, all this is to say that if you haven't started journaling and you can be a drama Mama at times, give it a try.  You may find the liberation you've been waiting for.  It's the best way to get it out, no judgement, no guilt, just getting personal and brutally honest with your heavenly father.  He's a great listener and gives the best advice.  Promise!

Had us rolling!

Last night as Kadyn was brushing her teeth we heard her in the bathroom making up a song and it was cracking us up to the point of tears.  Jeff broke out the video camera and started recording. She had no idea we were recording until later as you will see.  So this isn't a video where there is much to see, but it is quite funny if you have the patience to sit through it.  For the record, she did not want me to post this, but I hope she will understand why I did when she gets older.  When your kid does something this funny, you just want to share the fun.  She did laugh when we played it back for her.   Just to clue you in, Bren saw us hee hawing and tried to rush in to the bathroom at one point to get Kadyn to stop, I guess she thought she was rescuing Kadyn from embarrassment. The end when she finds out we were recording is my favorite part.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kids update

I haven't done one of these in awhile, so I thought now would be a good time.


Bren has been doing very well adjusting to Kadyn being gone.  I was a little worried, but it turned out to be for no good reason.  I had a much harder time the first day of Kadyn's absence than Bren did.  Every now and then she asks about Kadyn and gets anxious to go pick her up from the school bus at the top of the hill, but for the most part, as long as her daycare buddy is around, she's fine.

She is really starting to get into learning and I am taking full advantage.  It seemed learning the first few letters of the alphabet took awhile, but once we got past letter D she really started flying.  Just today she learned J and K.  Two letters in one day! Not bad for a 2.5 year old!  That's almost a record compared to other kids I've worked with. She never tires of it.  Today we drew letters in flour on a cookie sheet.  We also play a letter recognition game with bottle caps (from my previous post).  She also plays a letter game on  She loves it all!

I have also begun working with Bren on coloring correctly.  This means holding her crayon in a pencil grip fashion and staying in the lines. The first day I worked with her she stopped and said, "That fun!  Let's do it again."  I love that I have another little eager beaver when it comes to learning.  Kadyn left me with a passion for learning and I'm so thankful that at least for now, it appears Bren may be following in those same footsteps.

Bren's personality seems to be growing everyday too.  She is SUPER sensitive.  She doesn't like to be laughed at but loves a good laugh.  She has developed the cutest fake laugh that entails throwing her head back and looking up at the ceiling when she does it.  It is sooo funny!  Of course we get scolded from her for laughing at her cute fake laugh.  Bren has also perfected the pouty look.  She's notorious for hanging her head as low as it will go, poking out her bottom lip and walking off slowly when she is sad about something.  It may be one of the most pathetic things I've ever seen. Never have to guess how that girl is feeling. 

She continues to tell me she loves me several times a day, randomly.  It melts me every time.  Sometimes she also proceeds to tell me what she doesn't love.  So far she has told me she doesn't love bad guys and bed bugs.  I love that girl!  She growing up WAY too fast.


My big girl has begun kindergarten as you all know. I was a little worried that she wouldn't be challenged at school and until today that fear was true.  Today she finally came home with a beginning reader's book that she was supposed to read to me from her teacher.  They had been working on the letter 'L' at school and the book was full of L words.  K said she was the only one that was sent home with the book and that her teacher helped her with it at school.  This was  HUGE relief to me.  Now I can rest assured that she will continue to grow and flourish in her learning at school rather than remain stagnant.

She has not had any trouble making friends and seems to be super chummy with one particular little girl named Kaylee.  There are other classmates that play with her on occasion, but mostly I hear a lot about Kaylee.  I am so relieved and glad that this process has been relatively easy for her.  I was a shy kid at school.  I didn't want that for her.  She pretty much did as well as I thought she would, thank goodness.

I have noticed a slight change in her behavior at home.  It used to be that whenever Kadyn was told 'no' for whatever reason, I was in for a challenge.  Lately, she's been much better about accepting no's and moving on.  In fact, I think I have only been challenged on a 'no' one day since she has started school.  Funny thing is, she tried to blame it on other kids at school commenting, "I learned how to behave this way from kids at school."  Nope Kadyn, you've always known how to argue with Mama, that excuse isn't going to work.  It's pretty wierd.  Mentally I prepare myself for an fight with her, but to my surprise she's been pleasant when it comes to those no's.  Now that's a change I can handle!

One of the things I absolutely adore about Kadyn is her passion for music (well both my girls really).  But Kadyn does something that Bren doesn't. At the end of every movie she watches, she always feel compelled to get up and dance.  It is so cute and endearing.  I have noticed that FINALLY she is starting to sing on pitch.  Not always, but it is coming.  This is a HUGE relief to this former music teacher.

The artwork that Kadyn brings home from school just keeps getting better and better.  She is constantly drawing pictures for us at school and putting on them,

"To Mom and Dad and Brennan, Love Kadyn."

So sweet and precious!  Love her!!!!!!! Last weekend she spent a good hour drawing and cutting out all sorts of treasures to give to her friends.  I love that she loves to be creative.  I hope she never looses that passion.

All in all, we are off to a great start of the school year with both girls.  I'm so very proud of both of them and so blessed to have them in my lives.  They are so precious and the joys of my life.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Manhattan/KC 2011 Trip Part III

After our fine dining experience (which the kids LOVED) the kids played in a fountain and then we bought them new shoes.  It turned out to be a good thing as I found out they Bren was wearing shoes 1 size too small and Kadyn's were 1.5 sizes to small.  We called their shoes their 'souvenirs'.  Later it was back to the hotel and then the next day we met up with some more ruska friends to explore the Deana Rose Farm together.  But first....we had to get a little IHOP in where I finally let go of my controlling Mommy reigns and let the girls pick whatever they wanted.  They picked chocolate funny face pancakes.  I remember eating funny face pancakes when I was a kid too.  Good choice girls!  Sorry the pics are all out of order. I'm having fits with blogger tonight.

There were cow bells to ring

There were milking cows to see and pet.

Bren's butt crack kept making an appearance.  I can't keep pants up on her.

There was a saddle to sit in.

Just chilling in an old school house.

Kadyn was lightening fast running from teepee to teepee

Bren did a face plant TWICE in the dirt trying to keep up with sissy running from Teepee to teepee

The girls LOVED having another girl to chum around with

I think bottle feeding the baby goats was definitely my fav.

Feeding the fish was pretty cool too.

OK out of order here, but again these baby goats were soooo cool!
That smile makes it all worth it.  It's good isn't it?
Great vacation!

Manhattan/KC 2011 Trip Part II

After we got to KC we stopped at a friend's house.  The girls got to play with their three year old twins and enjoyed getting to play with new toys.  Jeff and I enjoyed good adult conversation.  Later we went to "Legends" a new shopping plaza area on the North West area of the KC metro.  I'll let the pictures do the talking from there. I may have to do this in a lot of different posts.  Blogger is giving me fits tonight.
We got to go the coolest restaurant called T-Rex where we saw...
A huge octopus and...
A huge flying dinosaurs and of course... 
A huge life sized moving T-REX!!!!!!!!AAAAAA!!!!!

Getting pumped up for our K-State Game!

Manhattan/KC 2011 Trip Part I

I don't remember if I posted that the girls and I got Jeff some tickets to the first K-State game of the season for Father's day.  So if I didn't, now you know.  We got to see a lot of great friends along the way and really enjoy a good chunk of time off.  I never remember to take pics whenever we are with our friends.  I think I get so involved in good adult conversation that pictures are the last thing on my mind.  Sigh!  Another time maybe.  I did, however, remember to take pics of activities we partook.  So here we are, our trip in pics and from the kids' point of view.
We enjoyed tap dancers at Purple Power Play and...
...hanging out with our good friends Dave and Lori for the pep rally and...
...watching the show from Dada's shoulders and... those fireworks were loud!  Then....
...we had NO problem getting to sleep after all that fun!  The next day...
...we finally made it to the game after visiting with friends and a LONG walk!
We saw a cool band, football game, and...
...some classy cats.  BUT....
...we got bored so Mom provided a  little entertainment from her purse and...
...Dad provided a little distraction in the form of sugar ice.
Dad also saved the day when it got cold.  The blanket made the perfect thing to play hide and seek in.  Yet another distraction from our boredom.  Thanks Dad!  We love our new K-State blanket!
The next day we were on our way to KC.  Not having any naps caught up with Bren on the way there. More to come.