Moments like these...

Moments like these make me love having a camera.
I love capturing the sweet moments.
the looks,
the smiles.
and the silly faces.
...The laughter...
...the moments of discovery,
and the quiet times.
I also love photography Kaden with Bethany.
He is amazingly sweet and loving to her.
He wants to feed her, to brush her hair, to make her happy.
He says that she is "his Bethany," or as he puts it in Lingala, "Defany enguyie."
He is such a sweet big brother.

A morning of snow

It finally happened. 
We had snow in North Carolina! 
For one morning...
Yep, it rained a little, snowed a little, and iced a little, but we'll take what we can get.
In the end there was about 1/2 an inch on the ground, and it was mostly melted by the afternoon.
For the few hours it stuck around, though, it was enjoyed!
We made a seven layer snow man - one for every member of the family. (the picture only shows 6, though)
Bethany and Whitey watched from the window.
The day before it snowed it was 70 degrees, and the day after I think it got up to 60. 
What's the weather like in your area?

My Thoughs on Valentines Day, and Our Party

Happy Valentine's Day to all from the Gilbarte family!
"Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
your justice like the great deep."
Pslams 36:5
Valentine's Day is about love, right?
When I think about Valentines day, I think of well, valentines. 
Candy, hearts, cute cards with sweet messages.
But do any of you know who St. Valentine was?
Yeah, I was a little rusty too, so I decided to do a little research.  
I know I'm about to sound like a history book for a minute, but bear with me, because this guys story is amazing.
St. Valentine was a Christan man who lived when the emperor believed people shouldn't get married.  In his eyes, his strong soldiers would be too distracted with wives and children that they wouldn't do well in the army.
Valentine, though, (yes, that really was his name!) believed other wise and refused to stop preforming marriage ceremonies.
Well, he was caught and thrown in jail. 
While there he met the jail keepers blind daughter who brought food for the prisoners.
Over time they grew to be friends and Valentine prayed for the girl, and asked God to heal her eyes.
God answered his prayer, and the jail keepers daughter was able to see.
Valentine, however was eventually killed.
His story is really amazing to me.
He lived boldly.  He knew the emperor was wrong, and was willing to die rather than pretend not to believe what he did.
Even when he was thrown in jail, probably realizing his days were numbered, he didn't give up.
He made a friend in a girl others thought was worthless. 
He prayed for and over her, and she was healed.
Because of this her father became a Christian and she probably did as well.
Valentine was killed, but not in vain.  He saved people from dieing eternally. 
 He was a wonderful example.
For our little party celebrating a day that honors this man, we started out with a heart themed breakfast.
this was followed by baking and decorating a batch of yummy sugar cookies, which involved a little nibbling and finger licking:)
I love decorating cookies. 
 It makes me get out my creative side, which hasn't really shown its self in a while.
But when I am doing it, I take forever. 
After a while the boys kinda lost interest.  They did about a cookie or two each and them decided to move on to finger painting.  That was fine with me! 
I enjoyed finishing decorating theirs and kept working at the rest of mine for a couple hours.
I like them.
Yeah, so after that the boys made a couple Valentines, and soon nap time was upon us.
I finished up my cookies and then make couple Valentines myself.
By then my creativity was drying up, so I decided to finish the rest of the valentines later and made some Valentine's Pretzel Snaps.  They turned out well.
This morning my Dad surprised us each with a Valentine card, even Kaden got one.
I love that about my Dad.  He's always so considerate.
So that sums up our day.
How'd yours go?

The Life Of A Gilbarte Brother Part 1

The Life of Gilbarte Brother
Brandon, David and Kaden are helping me write this post about what it is like the be a boy in the Gilbarte family.
I'll have a couple interviews in this post, but first of all I'd like to write a little bit about my brothers...
Oh, boy.
As their sister, I can tell you that they can be the the most hilarious, exasperating, cute and funny people ever.
No, not even that can cover their personalities, so hopefully these interviews
 will give you a better look.
During the time these pictures and interviews were taken, my mom was up stairs putting Bethany to sleep. 
Things were getting a little hectic, so I tried to convince everybody to sit down and do something quiet, but all you other big sisters or Moms or babysitters know how that can go...
Yeah, things had gone from this:
to this:
To this:
I asked the boys to explain what was going on in these pictures.  Kaden's answer was rather vague, but was right to the point.  Word for word, Kaden's description was this:
 "where is Kaden? stuck!  Brandon, David, stuck.  David.  On!  Off no."
Yeah.  You get the idea.

So we had to start from scratch, and achieved this:
Which lasted about 20 seconds.
Anyway, being a Gilbarte brother is described as...
Kaden:  "Fun, yes!"
Brandon: "it's a big change."
David: "fun..."

According to Kaden, days are filled with, "Jesus, owie, Daddy bye-bye.  Hallelujah almen."
Brandon, though would describes it as,
"tiring. But it's fun. It's fun to show him [Kaden] new stuff, but sometimes it can get kind of tiring. During school I play with Kaden last and try to get his energy out, I'll go outside if it's cold or raining or anything. He'll ride his bike."

Some people they might consider adopting more children, but they think it will take away from their other kids.  What do you say?
"I think it will take time way, but I also think that you should ask them about it.  You should ask them what they think about adding another person into their family.  And also if you think that God has called you to adopt, I think you should, but if he hasn't, and you want to I think you should seek him in prayer and if he says yes, that would be great.  But if he says no, then you shouldn't try to make it work if he hasn't called you to."

Yeah, Brandon is wise beyond his years. 

So this is part one,
but I need all you guys to help me with part 2. 
Do you have any questions for Brandon, Kaden or David?  Any comments or thoughts about their answers?
We would love to hear them, and answer the questions in the next post.  Until then, we'll leave you with this:

Another Music Man

For those of you that have been following my blog for a little while,
you know that David is the families music man.
He loves loud, rocky music, is learning to play the ukulele and is getting really good at it.
Now, though, he has someone who likes the guitar almost as much as he does.
And who sings.
Really funny songs.
Such as his version of Jesus is Still Alright, Zacchaeus was a Wee Little Man, All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth, Brittany Come Back Soon (my favorite!) and so many other ones.
It is so funny to listen to him singing and strumming on the guitar with David's pick.