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.