Monday, November 28, 2011


Remember how I told you I was probably going to stop watching the baby, well it didn't happen.  She is still here.  I will spare you all the long details, but the good news is she is better.  She does pretty well during her wake times which has been a huge blessing.  Nap times are still somewhat of a nightmare.  She will only sleep for 30 minutes at a time and she fights going down just about every single time.  I'm trying to keep my patience about it, but it tries my  Why do kids fight naps so much?  Sigh.  If we can lick this napping problem, then all will be where I want it to be.  One day at a time I suppose. 

Today I have found comfort in this:

"Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."  (Psa 51:12)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bilberry Thanksgiving 2011

We had a nice, low key thanksgiving at our house this year.  Uncle Jason came to visit and was kind enough to cook the turkey, veggies, and a pie for us all.  I made sweet potato casserole, and Jeff made the green bean casserole.  The girls spent all morning watching the parade.  Bren really wanted to go to it, and when I informed her that it was too far away she said, "Then we better hurry!"  She was very excited about the parade informing of the things she was seeing.  My favorite was when she ran in the kitchen and proclaimed, "Mama, mama, I saw a human!"  Silly girl. 

It was so nice to spread out the responsibilities. I was more than happy to spend an hour in the kitchen cleaning it all up because I hadn't been in the kitchen all day slaving away cooking it up.  Day after Thanksgiving we took turns shopping.  We are close to being done with our Christmas shopping for each other, we will be shopping for the girls soon as soon as we can secure childcare.

As per our tradition, we watched National Lampoon's Christmas vacation Thanksgiving night and The Santa Claus and Elf later in the weekend.  Christmas story is next on the list.  We also played connect four and Trouble, two of Kadyn's favorite games.  Kadyn even got to challenge uncle Jason to a little guitar hero and Jason was able to kick Jeff's butt at wii football a little icing on the cake for the boys in addition to the hours of football that was watched..  Saturday night the girls and I also whipped up some Christmas cookies.  Kadyn said that was her favorite part of our holiday.  Overall, it was such a laid back, relaxing holiday weekend.  For the first time in a long time, I felt like I got a decent break. Usually our time off is spent rushing from here to there, but not this time.  Just relaxing and going with the flow.  My kind of break.
Kadyn got off the bus Wednesday afternoon dressed like this.  What a great way to kick off Turkey break!

The turkey turned out great!  Thanks Uncle Jas!
Dadddy makes a mean green bean casserole and he looks so handsome making it;)
"Look Rus, you can't see the lines."
The girls LOVED making cookies this year.  It's a tradition but they didn't remember it from last year.  Some day the memory will stick and then it will really seem more like a tradition.
Even though I cut the recipe in half, it still made a bunch of cookies.  They are now frozen for our next sweet Saturday.  Yes, I am that mom!
The rats spent a lot of time sleeping with their heads off their hammock hoping we'd give them more Turkey day dinner.  They enjoyed Thanksgiving too and even enjoyed a turkey bone.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just killing time.

Last weekend we stayed home.  Sometimes it feels good to have absolutely no where to go and nothing to do.  To just wing it.  It was glorious.  I thought it might be fun for the girls and I me to make a maze for the ratties to conquer.  First I thought we could do it out of megablocks alone, but that proved to be impossible because there just wasn't enough.  So the next plan was to use library books and hope the ratties didn't knock them over.  First up was Daisy.  We almost got her at the starting gate, but Bren accidently knocked over some books before we even got started.  Take two went much better.

She may have been too smart.  She went straight from beginning to the end without even a sniff in the wrong direction.  As proud as I was to have a smart rat, it was a little disappointing that she didn't get stumped, not even once.  After all, it did take me almost an hour to set up the maze.  She didn't even seem interested in the treat at the end.

Second up was Daphne.  She took an entirely different approach.  She just hurlded the first wall she found and ended up knocking over a few others in the process.  I suppose that's another way to get through.  Oh well.  It was fun trying to set it up, even if it didn't go as planned.  The girls seemed to enjoy watching me do it and seeing how the ratties reacted. 

Daisy in her usual position as soon as you open the door.  She LOVES to get out!
Daisy went back to explore after she reached the finish in 2 seconds flat.
The girls gearing up to knock down all the walls at the end of our experiment.
Sunday I decided to break out the sewing machine and make the ratties two new things for their cage.  Kadyn had a pair of jeans that was falling apart so I cut off the legs and hemmed the ends to make a hanging tunnel.  Next, I sewed the back and front of the jeans together to make a hanging pocket.  They really like the hanging pocket.  Lots of buttons to chew, pockets to poke their heads out of, and a zipper to chew too.

Did someone say "cheese?"
  We sure do love our little furballs.  I know their just rats, but they are little furry balls of loving fun to us.

Friday, November 18, 2011

She's famous!

Yesterday as I was surfing the web I came across a website called  I decided for grins and giggles I'd enter Daisy, not really thinking she'd have a shot at winning as the website is seen in 125 different nations.  Within 10 minutes of entering, I had a request from the website administrators for more pictures.  Within another couple hours I was notified she'd be the pet of the day for November 18th.  So....we have a famous rat. After today she will be in their permanent archives for further viewing.  Pretty exciting for the girls and I. 

Check it out at:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Goodbye 30 min, hello 2 min

Chopped my hair off last weekend.  It was almost to the middle of my back.  Seeing all that hair on the floor after my beautician chopped it, looked a bit like a small animal.  In my mind I thought I would be able to have gorgeous hair like JLo or Christian Applegate when it was long, but I was wrong.  It took forever to fix and never held it's style because of the humidity.  Hair that won't hold a style makes me feel old and frumpy by the end of the day.  I was never able to leave it down an entire day because I would get too hot with it down.  So was time.

I've had my new do before so I knew what I was getting into.  What used to take 30 minutes to fix now takes 2 min.  It's a mom do, there's no getting around it, but I'm OK with that.  My picture isn't the most flattering pic of the cut as it needs to be washed and refluffed, but just wanted to document how short I went.  Short enough to be easy, but not so short I don't still have options for different styles.  Today I was sporting the pin the bangs out of your face look.  Probably what I will do the most since I don't like hair hanging in my eyes. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

God given trials

I read this little devotion today, it uplifted me.  What I do is hard, but it helped me really know my trials are God given and necessary for my growth and given to me in love.  Maybe if you need a pick me up today it will help you too.  I found it here.

"He shall choose our inheritance for us." — Psalm 47:4

Believer, if your inheritance be a lowly one you should be satisfied with your earthly portion; for you may rest assured that it is the fittest for you. Unerring wisdom ordained your lot, and selected for you the safest and best condition. A ship of large tonnage is to be brought up the river; now, in one part of the stream there is a sandbank; should some one ask, "Why does the captain steer through the deep part of the channel and deviate so much from a straight line?" His answer would be, "Because I should not get my vessel into harbour at all if I did not keep to the deep channel." So, it may be, you would run aground and suffer shipwreck, if your divine Captain did not steer you into the depths of affliction where waves of trouble follow each other in quick succession. Some plants die if they have too much sunshine. It may be that you are planted where you get but little, you are put there by the loving Husbandman, because only in that situation will you bring forth fruit unto perfection. Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there. You are placed by God in the most suitable circumstances, and if you had the choosing of your lot, you would soon cry, "Lord, choose my inheritance for me, for by my self-will I am pierced through with many sorrows." Be content with such things as you have, since the Lord has ordered all things for your good. Take up your own daily cross; it is the burden best suited for your shoulder, and will prove most effective to make you perfect in every good word and work to the glory of God. Down busy self, and proud impatience, it is not for you to choose, but for the Lord of Love!

"Trials must and will befall—
But with humble faith to see
Love inscribed upon them all;
This is happiness to me.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Opening up a can of worms

I realize this may be opening up a can of worms, but after reading facebook for the last couple of days, I felt inspired to write about it.  I'm sure you've heard the buzz, the Duggard family is expecting their 20th baby!  I have seen avid supporters of this family and others who seem so judgemental it makes me sick.  Then they defend themselves claiming they are not passing judgement, but mearly, "stating an opinion."  To that I say, look up the definition of judgement.  You will find the word "opinion" in it.

I just refuse to be critical of this family.  When I think of having 20 children myself, it seems absurd, but then I'm not a Duggard.  From what I've gathered on the show, the children are all happy, healthy, spiritually strong, and well cared for.  Who are we to say what they can or can't do?  And really how can you say it's not God's will to have another child?  He created that child didn't he?    

I made the comment on someone's post about how I think that the child will probably have plenty of attention because Mama has 19 other little helpers.  Instantly someone became very offended by my comment saying that it was in no way the children's responsiblity to care for another child and that having grown up in a large family himself, he knew there was no way for each child to get all the attention they deserve.  I was blown away by the assumption that just because he had grown up in a large family, that he assumed that experience was the same for all large families.  Furthermore, anytime you have more than one child, each child will never get all the attention he or she deserves.  There will be times it simply is not fair for each child, but that's life folks!

I've only seen their show a handful of times.  Some say they are wrong to exploit their family by putting them on national television.  In the few times I watched the show, I have never caught even a hint of displeasure about being on TV from any of the children.  In fact, I've even heard some people say they have been inspired by watching their show and have gotten great tips on how to raise their own families.  Perhaps the show could even be considered to be sort of a ministry to other families like them.  The only negative I have seen come from it is all the judgement they have incurred by being on the show.  I'm sure they realize that this is part of it, but something must be compelling them to keep doing it.  Is it he money?  Maybe.  Is it because of the lives they have touched?  Maybe.  I don't know, but the Duggards do.

So anyways, all of this is to say I'm not pro 20 babies, at least not in my case, but however many children another family decides to have is really none of my business as long as those children are happy, healthy, and well cared for.  To each thier own people.  It's really between God and them anyways.  Before you say, I'm not judging, BUT....remember,

Matthew 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

Papa and Kama visit

My Dad flew into Branson last Thursday and my mother showed on Friday (a little later due to work obligations).  We all very anxious for their arrival.  It was very nice to just be around my folks again and for the kids to get some time with their grandparents. It seems weird to me that I get to see them once a year and if I'm lucky, twice.  Friday night we saw the production "The Miracle of Christmas" at the Sight and Sound theater.  It was our second time to see it and my parent's first time.  It was awesome!  Saturday night we went out to eat at a Japanese Sushi Steak house and then went to the Festival of the Lights at Shephard of the Hills.  Sunday night we had a small birthday celebration for my Dad.  The cake turned out horribly as I used some old oil and it had a funny wang to it, but it was thought that counts right?

The girls loved having their Papa around to horse around with as you will see from the pictures and the rats did too LOL.  Their only complaint was that he ate all of the good halloween candy up.  When Kadyn asked why I replied, "Remember, your Papa has a horrible sweet tooth."  Kadyn replied, "Well I think he needs to have that sweet tooth pulled!"  Brennan stomped off after her sister in a huff and said, "Why did Papa do that?"

It was very funny. are  few pics.  I feel bad that I didn't get more, but when you're in the moment it tends to slip your mind.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I must admit.  I wasn't as excited about Halloween this year.  Last year it was a big deal as Jeff's family came in for the holiday, and we all dressed up and trick or treated together.  This year Jeff had work obligations, and it was just the girls and I.  Such a bummer.  However, we still made the most of it, and the girls had a blast anyways. 

Carving pumpkins, on the other hand, was a little more fun than it usually is.  Both Jeff and I felt like it seemed easier this year, and I'm not entirely sure why.  The girls really got into to it this year, more than normal.  Kadyn even carved half of her pumpkin by herself.  I had to clean out at least three of the pumpkins myself as the gross factor always comes into play with my girls.  Jeff and I went outside the box for our pumpkins.  Since we have two new ratty additions in our family, I thought it would be fun to carve a pumpkin in their honor.  After all, don't most people consider rats to be creepy.  Perfect for Halloween!  Jeff, of course, stuck to paying honor to his favorite school.'s a little of our holiday this year in pics.
Happy Halloween Everyone!  From Sister Darci, Spider girl Kadyn, and Leopard Brennan.