Monday, December 29, 2008

2009 Here we come!!

Ok, a few days ago I posted a recap of 2008, and I think that will be something I try to do every year. It was great to "relive" the year!!

A friend of mine suggested that she is doing several categories of "Goals" instead of resolutions this year. I liked that idea, so I am working on my goals too. One of my goals is to keep up with my new blog: "Pictures of Jello: A Picture a Day for 2009" Be sure to check that out! Here's what I've got so far:

Goals for Grego:

    Keep his room clean

    Be more independent

    Master multiplication and division

    Begin Acolyting

    Finish all cub scout pins

    Give him an allowance

Goals for Auston:

    Get him through Pre Alg and 1st of Algebra I

    Help him learn to organize his room

    Get him to use his agenda to organize his life

    Teach him to mow the lawn

    Have him do his own laundry

    Give him an allowance

    Help him learn to stay on task with school work

    Get him to the rank of Star in Boy Scouts

    Earn 10 merit badges over the course of the year

    Teach him to keep his room clean and organized

General Goals:

    Go the entire year with NO Overdraft Charges

    Build and maintain at least $1000 in savings

    Pay off 2 credit cards

    Get a second car

    Get licensed for foster care

    Adopt an entire family for Christmas

    De- Clutter- fly lady style

Personal Goals:

    Keep my nails painted

    Lose 50 pounds

    Wear makeup

    Wear perfume

    Get dressed every day

    Do something special for my husband at least once a month

    Do something special for each child at least once a month

    Read 5 books

    See 5 "chick flicks"

    Keep one day a week with nothing on the schedule

    More "Me Stuff"

    Keep up with Pictures of Jello Blog

    Blog more in general

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2008- a Recap

Well, 2008 is coming to a close very shortly. As I begin to get my New Year's Resolutions I thought it would be a good idea to recap 2008 first. We don't know where we're headed without first knowing where we've been, right? So, here are my memories of 2008:

In January Auston received his Arrow of Light award, the highest award in Cub Scouting. He was also a Super Scouter, which means he achieved every pin there was. So ended his Cub Scout adventure and began his Boy Scout adventure. He chose the troop chartered by our church for his Boy Scout troop. Troop 1102 is a small troop, which kind of concerned me at first, but in the end, I'm glad he chose that troop. We also had the Pinewood Derby race with the pack, and we all got in on the game this year and made cars. Michael made a police car and I made a Pink VW Bug covered with Flowers, and "Make Love, not War". It was my "Flower Power" Car. :)

February was Blue and Gold, and Gregory received his Bear Rank. Now we only have Webelos to go before he is in Boy Scouts too! We also attended the Ten Commandments Hike in Houston. This is a 5.5 mile hike through 10 different churches, most historical buildings. Each church told us about one commandment and a little about their faith and their church building. It was a wonderful experience, and we plan to do it again. We also began hosting a home group for our church at our home.

In March we camped at Caddo Lake State Park with the Joneses and Michael's dad and Pattie. We figured what would be better for a Jones- Bilbrey vacation then to find Sasquatch? LOL!! Well, we thought we might have spotted him, but then we realized it was just Gregory.

In April we went to Michael's mom's for Easter, as always and had a great time, filled with the annual Easter Egg hunt over her property where there are so many eggs the kids need help carrying their Easter Baskets when their done! The Easter Egg Hunt is one of my favorite things we do!

May was a bad month for us. Michael was involved in a car accident on the 17th the day before Grego turned 9. He was turning into the park where we were camping with the Cub Scouts for Graduation and was hit from behind. Our Dodge Intrepid was totalled, which made me sad because that was the first Mother's Day gift Michael had ever given me. But, I was just glad he was ok. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance and had a back injury. He was released that night with lots of drugs. Memorial Day weekend the boys and I went to Garner State Park with the Boy Scout troop. I hated to leave Michael, but I think he was glad to not having me hovering for a change!

June was spent taking Michael back and forth to doctors. We were supposed to be in the Ozarks with the Joneses for vacation, but that was cancelled because of the accident. Michael finally went back to work near the end of the month. Alicia finally came home from Turnabout, the treatment facility she had been in in Utah for 3 years. It was a joyous time mixed with turmoil when Dale told Terrie he wanted a divorce 2 days before Alicia was to come home.

In July Auston and I went to Boy Scout Camp at Camp Hale, Oklahoma. We spent a week in tents in record heat. If he ever says I wasn't a good mom, I'm kicking his butt!!! It was a lot of fun, though, and I learned a lot about him. He is growing up so fast. Worst part: we came home to a broken A/C unit and endured another week of heat!!!!

Just as our A/C got fixed it was time to go off to camp again! This time with Gregory at Bovay Scout Ranch, near Navasota, TX. We spent 2 days in extreme heat before our trip was cut short by Tropical Storm Edouard. Never a dull moment on the Gulf Coast in the Summer! The storm wasn't that bad, but not a good idea to sleep in a tent :). We did manage to carve in another camping trip with the Joneses to Buescher State Park in August. It wasn't the same as going to the Ozarks for a week, but still nice to be able to hang out with them! The end of August my mother became very ill and was hospitalized in the ICU for almost a week with pneumonia. I was not allowed to talk to her at all, which was incredibly hurtful, but even worse was when she told the nurses not to give any information to me either. A few weeks later I got a letter from her telling me I was a terrible person and she won't speak to me again until I apologize to her and Todd for my actions over the last few years. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to apologize for, so we're not talking.

September was a busy busy month!!! We went back to school, Auston joined EYC, the youth group for our church, and then Hurricane Ike hit the Houston area. It was a category 3 storm but only barely (it was almost a category 4), and the storm surge just about wiped parts of Galveston away. My friend Terri and her son Michael stayed with the boys and I during the storm. Michael, of course, was working. Ah the joys of being a police officer's wife...... A little over a week later my dad and Trin moved to Houston- next door! :)

In October Auston turned 12 with a party at the Texas Rock Gym. Fun was had by all. Michael and I began training for foster care and are still in the process of doing all of the things needed to be licensed for that. It is a calling from God, one that we just have to trust Him on. There are days when I'm really excited, and others when I'm terrified. But we know that when we are obedient to God we receive blessings beyond our wildest beliefs and that He will equip us for whatever He calls us for. So, we trust. For Halloween Michelle and Tahj came to trick or treat with us and we went to the Seymours neighborhood for the goodies. The financial market was in a mess and you could even see it on Halloween with not as many houses lit up for Halloween and giving out candy.

In November Michelle's baby, Zeny was born on the 21st. Michelle and Oshie allowed me to be there for the birth which was an incredible experience, one I will never forget. She is a beautiful baby. We had Tahj stay with us while Mom and baby recovered and then we all got the flu. We didn't want to send Tahj home until he had it and got over it. 5 days later we had all dropped like flies around him and he was the only one left standing. He had the flu shot this year. Guess what I'm getting next year! Thanksgiving was hosted here at our house with lots of food and excitement. It was the first time I've had most my family together in years. We had Terrie and the kids, my Dad and Trin, and Michelle, Oshie, Tahj, and Zeny here. The evening was cut a little short with Zeny choked on some spit up and couldn't get breathing again real good, so an ambulance was called. She was checked out and seemed fine, but everyone had pretty much had their fun for the day by that time.

December was filled with many Christmas preparations. It's the first year in many years that I've been in the mood for Christmas. I'm finally coming out of my funk. It's a slow process, but it is coming. It's strange, I haven't really talked to my mother for over a year now, and somehow it's easier. At least there aren't new wounds. We made gingerbread houses again, for the 3rd year in a row. They turned out great, and I even made one this year. As our year comes to a close, we look forward to a better year in 2009. We're looking forward to another trip to Walt Disney World with the Jones and Auston plans to go on a Mission Trip. Gregory will begin Acolyting and our Church will be moving to the new building. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

God is SO good!

I just have to share this! I was praying today at school for God to show me the way again- the money thing is stressing me out with the things we have left on the foster stuff. Well, I had gotten a quote from a plumber at $125 to inspect our gas and I was freaking a little about that... Guess what?! I got an email from him today that said if we are financially distressed he could give us a better rate!!! Talk about a direct answer to prayer! God is SO good! So, we're on track for our home study in January and I have a list of things to finish up by then... :)

As I was praying today, I just wanted to confess to y'all, I was telling God how at times I'm just really excited, and I know He has already annointed a child for us and that is very exciting too. But at other times I'm very overwhelmed. I get selfish thinking of how easy things are now- I can tell the kids to fix their own lunch, I can leave them home for an hour or two... Do I really want to start over again??? But, I know this is God's plan for us- it certainly wasn't my idea! And every time I start to have doubts and pray about it God gives me a very clear answer that this is what He wants me to do. So, I'm sure. And I know that He will equip us to do whatever He calls us to do (just like homeschooling LOL), but I just wanted to confess my fears to y'all since you have all been so supportive.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Answered Prayers

I want to tell you a story. It's a love story between God and us. Do you believe that He is always watching, loving, and answering our prayers? I believe that He is always there, and often speaking to us, but we're so busy with our every day life to notice.

Well, we have been going through the motions towards being licensed for foster care, all the while doing it with the understanding that we want to be sure we are in God's will. This was not our idea, that's for sure! But still, we continued on asking for a lot of prayer regarding the situation, and asking for a clear message.

The other night I was at the church for Intercessory Prayer. We have it every Wednesday night, and it is an hour long, basically the church is open for people to come pray. The Daughters of the King sign up to make sure we have at least one daughter there every week. This particular week was mine. So, I started out praying for the church, the clergy, the building, the ministries, etc... Then I started in on mine. I started praying asking for God to give me a clear sign that foster care was what He wanted. I also asked how we were going to afford all of the details required to get licensed. I asked if this was a sign from him (the huge expense I mean) that this was not what He wanted us to do after all.

Well, if you know me, you know that sitting quietly is not my thing LOL :) So, I sat there for a moment, and then thought, well, I'll start praying out of the prayer book. I opened it up, and it opened up to the "Prayer for Thanksgiving of an Adopted Child"!!

O God, you have taught us through your blessed Son that whoever receives a little child in the name of Christ receives Christ himself: We give you thanks for the blessing that you have bestowed upon this family in giving them a child. Confirm their joy by a lively sense of your presence with them, and give them calm strength and patient wisdom as they seek to bring this child to love all that is true and noble, just and pure, lovable and gracious, excellent and admirable, following the example of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

Well, no more questions, only trust remain. So, here we go- full speed ahead! :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October 20, 2008

I know, I've been bad about the 2008 in pictures, I probably won't get one up every day, but I just HAD to share this one... It's Greg in the hay :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Jesus Loves the Little Children



We\'ve been in the process of considering foster care lately.  It\'s really kind of come along gradually.  First some history behind this whole idea: 

I\'ve wanted more children since our niece was killed in a car accident in 2000.  Her loss left an empty space in my heart that just can\'t be filled.  You never get over burying a child.  EVER.  Her death had the opposite effect on Michael, he didn\'t want any more children because the more you have the more chance something bad will happen to them...  I understand, but still, it left me feeling like I was missing something.

So, I teach young children.  I taught young 2s for 5 years, then 3s for a year and now I teach preschool.  But still....

Last year my cousin\'s children were taken away from her because she was doing drugs again, a decision that infuriated me, since a year prior to that her children\'s father died of a drug overdose.  Even without that I find it disgusting.  My Aunt took the kids and is caring for them while my cousin is in treatment.  I was in Utah and visited with them all and the Lord just really showed me something.  These precious babies didn\'t ask for this.  They don\'t deserve this.  What they deserve is to be loved for the blessings that they are.  That got me to thinking.  Here I am with this empty hole where there is all this love that just needs somewhere to go.

So, I started talking to Michael about and we started talking to friends about it.  We\'ve been in prayer about it and I feel this is where the Lord is leading us, but I want to be sure that it isn\'t me that\'s leading us in this direction.  In addition to what has been going on in my own family I have a very dear online friend who began doing foster care several months ago, and I\'ve had the privilege of watching that process, the ups and downs in her life.  So, I feel like I have kind of an idea of what I\'m getting into.

Well, in August we went to the informational meeting and I really didn\'t know what Michael was going to say after it.  I kind of knew most of what they told us, but Michael didn\'t.  Well, afterwards he felt pretty good about it and even said if we got a child that was high risk (parents rights likely to be severed) that we could consider adoption!

I\'m thrilled at the idea that we could have little ones in our house again soon!  We begin training on Friday, and as that approaches it becomes more real.  Part of me (the selfish part) wonders if I really WANT little ones again- do I miss changing diapers?  NO!  But then I really think about it and yes, it\'s worth it!

So, I\'m excited, but also nervous.  Can I give them back?  That\'s going to be the truly difficult part.  That\'s the part that calls on my faith.  That\'s the part that will grow my faith, and that is almost always painful!

What ever the Lord calls you to do He will equip you to do.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Time for good-bye

Time for Good-Bye
Current mood: depressed

Well, those of you who know me know that I have fought this for years. But the time has come to say good-bye to my mother. My body physically hurts and I go through this. I feel like I could literally crawl out of my skin. I feel pain, but I feel numb. I feel nothing, but I feel sad. I have never felt like this before. Maybe I'm really losing it. I'm trying to pull myself out of it for my kids, but I can't. I just sit and stare.

My mom was rushed by ambulance on Tuesday to LDS hospital and has been in ICU since. My sisters and I were not told until last night (Friday) that she was there. I was pretty pissed about that and hurt, but that was nothing compared to what happened next. I tried to call my mom to tell her I love her and I'm praying for her etc. Todd answered the phone and I asked to talk to my mom. He said, "Who's this?". I said Semalee, he said, "That isn't going to happen". I said, "Ok, is she ok?" He said, "Yeah, she's fine." I said, "OK, is she asleep?", and he said, "NOPE!" and HUNG UP ON ME.

I called my little sister who lives in town and she went to see my mom. She tried to tell my mom that I just wanted to tell her I love her and that I wasn't mad at her and my mom didn't believe her and told her she doesn't want to talk to me.

This is by far the most pain I have ever been in. I feel like I am going to throw up any minute. I had the shakes for 45 minutes last night, and still have a little of them now, though it isn't as bad.

I've written my mother a letter and will either have someone take it to her when she is in a regular room or I will mail it to her. I haven't decided which yet. Here it is:

Dear Mom:

I tried to call to tell you this in person, but since that is not a possibility I decided to write you a letter. I'm hoping that you will read this letter and know that the entire thing is written in love. I write this letter not because I am angry, but because I don't want there to ever be another harsh word between us again. EVER.

I don't know why you are upset with me now, and I can't know if you won't talk to me. But what I do know is that you are my mom, the woman who gave me life, the woman who was there when no one else was. For a time it was just you and I, mom and I still listen to Hellen Reddy's "You and Me Against the World" and have sung it to both of my boys. The time has come for us to say good-bye. I can not put into words how painful this is, but I refuse to fight with you any more. I live in fear every day that something will happen to you and you will pass on without this being resolved between us, possibly not knowing how much I love you. That is more than I can take. So, I want to take a moment now to tell you that I love you so much. You were a wonderful mother to me growing up and you taught me how to be a strong, independent woman. You are a good majority of the reason for who I am today. You were there for me whenever I needed you and you believed in me. I will never be able to express to you how much it meant to me that you got me moved to Kamas for school. I was a rough teenager, but I always loved you. I'm sorry for all of the things I said and did as a teenager. Beyond that, I am sorry for everything that has happened since as well. It has been such an unbelievably painful road for us both. There was a time when we believed in each other even though we didn't see eye to eye. I want you to know I still believe in you. I know your heart, and it is pure. You are a person who loves deeply, and the people around you are better because they know you. I want you to take with you that I am so proud that you were my mother and I would have had it no other way, even now. I will take the good memories with me too, and leave the bad here in the road to be forgotten. I will always love you and will always think of you and you will always be in my prayers. I physically hurt because I have to say goodbye, but I do it because I love you mom, and I wish nothing but happiness for you.

Good Bye.


Monday, February 11, 2008

February 11, 2008

This right here: The LAZIEST DOG EVER!!
She's so lazy when she is sleeping her tongue hangs out! I woke her up with the camera and she was too lazy to bring her tongue back in her mouth!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

February 10, 2008


That's my cat Fait. I've had her longer than Michael. She and I have been through a lot together.

February 9, 2008

Historic Churches

Today we went on the "10 Commandments Hike" with the Boy Scouts. It was a 5.5 mile hike through Downtown Houston and we went to 10 different historical churches. This was one of my favorites, St. Paul's United Methodist Church. It was an absolutely stunning church.

February 8, 2008

Poor Marshall!

Poor Marshall got a bath today, he doesn't look very happy about it, does he?

February 7, 2008

Flower Pictures:
My Dad in Colorado got me started on this. I love taking really up close pictures of flowers. They are so beautiful, and we often walk right past without even noticing!

February 6, 2008

It's Blue!
I'm getting it ready, the water if finally a shade of blue, instead of green. Now we just have to get the cloudiness out and wait for it to warm up *just a little more* and we can get in! I can't wait! I'm ready!

February 5, 2008

There's the boys out on my porch swing in the back yard. I just love this time of year in Houston! Mid 70's and crystal blue skies!

February 4, 2008

The Mom's Rock Traveling Can: A can that travels around to the members and each member adds items for the next person and a mark to the outside. I get to start it this year, so here is the beginning product ready to get in the mail!

February 3, 2008

My cats snuggled up on a blanket in the garage! On the left: Sir Johnson Purr a Lot, Knight of the Purringest Kitty Kats, and on the right: Fait Marie

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

February 2, 2008


Actually, the kids took this picture, it's of a helicopter they made with their k'nex in our back yard.

February 1, 2008

Play that Funky Music- White Boy!

Yep, that's the one that's paying for my counseling sessions when he gets older. :) He's dancing... can't you tell???

January 31, 2008

Church Steeple

That's the steeple on my church. I just thought it was beautiful against the beautiful blue sky this warm January day!

January 30, 2008

Doggy Snack

Ladybird REALLY didn't want to share her food with the Lue Rat, but I assured her that she didn't eat much :)

January 29, 2008

Cuddle Buddy

Greg and Ladybird settled in for a long winter's nap...

January 28, 2008

Rat Bath

Yes, the rats get baths too. No, he didn't take a bath WITH the rat, just took his shirt off so it wouldn't get wet :)

January 27, 2008

Beautiful Sunset

If you know me, you already know I love sunsets. Be prepared to see many over th course of the year. I think every sunset is a gift from God to be enjoyed.

January 26, 2008

Popcorn Head

That's my kid--- I'm so proud :)

January 25, 2008

Chili Cookoff Time!

That's Auston and his friend James at their first official Boy Scout Troop Activity- the Church Chili Cook Off! They look sharp, huh!

January 24, 2008

Every Cop Needs a Donut!

That's my precious husband! He sure is enjoying that donut! :)

January 23, 2008

70's Love Car

No, I didn't smoke one down! Pretty cute, though, huh!

January 22, 2008

The Car

That's my car- it's progressing! Wait until it's done!

January 21, 2008

Dead Cat

Yep, that's the way she sleeps, REALLY!

January 20, 2008

Mmmm... Dinner

This was my dinner tonight. Looks good, huh!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

January 19, 2008

Arrow of Light

Auston was awarded his Arrow of Light tonight. It was an incredible ceremony! Here pictured from Left to right are: His den leaders Frances and Bill, Pack 1150 Cubmaster Mike, Indian Guide, Troop 1102 Scoutmaster Stawicki, Auston, Indian Chief and Indian and Troop 1102 Representative Lowell.

January 18, 2008

Cute and Cuddly!

Ok, so this isn't a picture I took, my husband took it, but isn't my dog so cute? She loves to cuddle!

January 17, 2008

Short Cuts aren't always Shorter!

Apparently when Michael decided to vacuum out the fireplace with the Shopvac he didn't take into account that there isn't a filter on it......

January 16, 2008


You know, Gregory was the one so adamant about Auston having his own room so Gregory could have HIS own room. Guess where Gregory is every night!!! IN AUSTON'S ROOM!!

January 15, 2008

Being on a Borrowed Computer has it's moments!

Yeah, so I was supposed to fill out my part of the tour permit, email it to another leader and they would print it out and sign and fax it. Well, I can't figure out how to get the scanning part of my printer to communicate with this borrowed computer, so because I could think of nothing else to do I took a picture of the tour permit for Auston's Arrow of Light. As it turned out it wasn't even close to clear enough, so I ended up meeting the leader later and getting him the permit anyway!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

January 14, 2008


Well, I did it! I got brave and painted my hallway dark red! It was really scary, but it turned out great!!! I am so excited!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

January 13, 2008

Door is Framed!

We're not going to mention that the door has been in since the end of July, and we're not going to mention that this is the second trip to Lowes for the hardware, and we're not going to mention that we still need some longer nails to keep it up, (it's a little iffy right now~!), but there is no longer light coming in from the sides of the doors... :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

January 12, 2008

Pinewood Derby

We have begun our Pinewood Derby cars. We are all making one this year! In order from left to right: Semalee's, Auston's Gregory's, Michaels... Stay tuned for updates :)

Friday, January 11, 2008

January 11, 2008

Good Househusband!

Yep! I'm the luckiest gal in the world... I have been super busy, that was capped off by a really bad headace today, and my husband has been cooking, cleaning, AND even made the bed for me! God is so GOOD!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

January 10, 2008

That's Samantha on the left and Lue on the Right. I never thought I would love rats, but I love these girls. They are so sweet...

January 9, 2008


After a long day, Gregory just crashed :) He's so cute and innocent looking when he's sleeping :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

January 8, 2008

One Spoiled Coon Hound

This would be Lady Bird, our very spoiled Coon Hound sleeping with the boys. She even has her own blanket!

January 7, 2008

It's back to school time at our house. We survived.... barely.....

That right there is evidence for my therapy sessions later. I expect Gregory to foot the bill!

January 6, 2008

This would be my computer area- MINUS the computer! Yes, that is the same "clean desk" from a couple of days ago, and NO it isn't still clean! You see why it was worth taking a picture? Now I am having to borrow a friend's laptop while the Geek Squad sends my computer off. It will be at least 3 weeks they said. :( That said, because I am not on my computer I can't for the life of me figure out how to turn the picture so it isn't sideways! LOL!!

January 5, 2008

Marshall Dog-
This is my dog Marshall. He is getting older, which is hard to face. He is a great dog, always by my side.