Bethany's Beautiful Hair

"Bitty, Bitty, look!" I heard as I walked in the front door.
"Bethany, I can't believe it!" I replied.
My hair really awesome!" 
I couldn't agree more, little sister.
Your hair is beautiful! 
Your hair is wonderful and unique and perfectly designed for you.
Your hair is "awesome!"
Bethany got her hair done professionally for the first time this Wednesday!
I wasn't there, but from what my mom tells me, she did great!
I have to admit, I was pretty nervous that she would freak out.
She gets tired of us messing with her hair, so I didn't know how she would react with a stranger working on her hair for a while.
But she did awesome, and her hair is, well, "really awesome!"
the following pictures are taken by my mom with her phone:
And then at home:
Isn't it gorgeous?!
As Bethany's sister, I love that she loves her hair.
I know the time will come when she will wonder why our hair is different from hers, and why her hair require a little extra effort.
My and my mom's hair has a fine texture, and we don't have to do a lot of work to it. 
Bethany's hair, though, we try to condition and moisturize every day.
She's a the point now where she doesn't hate us doing that, but she does get tired of it pretty quickly.
We knew the time had come when we should have her hair done.
And it is so. very. beautiful!

Bethany Update

"Bitty, you finished, your math?"  Bethany asked me this morning.
"No, not quite, but I'm working on it," I replied.
"Ok.  I count," Bethany told me and proceeded to say,
"3, 10, 15, 16, 18... Bitty, you done now?"
I just cant seem to get over how completely adorable Bethany is!
At 2 years old, she is the spunkiest, cutest and simply best 2 year old I know!

If you haven't picked this up yet,
We're smitten with the youngest Gilbarte!

We're still working on potty training.  Not there yet, but definitely on our way.
She gets excited about "big girl undies" and no diapers.
We're excited about those things too!
Just not so excited about the accidents that happen! :)

Bethany is learning how to obey the first time,
and how to handle when she gets angry/frustrated.
Her natural tendency is the throw whatever she is holding when she gets upset,
and we are working on that. 
She's definitely learning!

Bethany loves to read books, go outside, and play with play-dough.
Play dough is her newest thing, and she really likes it!
When she's outside, she likes to swing or go on the trampoline, or sometimes the sandbox.

As far as talking, Bethany is making leaps and bounds!
She is doing sooooo well, and speaks in clear, understandable sentences.
We love to hear her talk.
Her voice is so sweet and innocent.  Consequently she is a little bit spoiled!

And her hair...
Bethany's hair is long and curly, and beautiful!
She has her *first* hair appointment tomorrow, and we'll see how she does...:)
I'm really exited to see it braided and/or styled professionally.
Certainly we'll have a blog post there.

So, friends, here is you Bethany Update.  I hope you were able to gather how amazing and well our little princess is doing.  Though, like any two years old, she has tantrums, quirks and all, she is the best little sister I could asked for, and we are super blessed with her!

Conversations Today

After lunch, Kaden asked to rinse the dishes. 
While that job is somewhat a chore for us older kids,
the younger ones view it as a treat.
This is the conversation I heard between Bethany and Kaden while I was cleaning up:
"Defany, will you help me?" asked Kaden sweetly.
"No," Bethany answered and began to walk away.
"Defany, please?"
"Defany, every time you go away.  Why you do 'dat?"
"Omm... Ka-Ka, let's play toys!"
"Ok! (gasp) Defany, let's play rescue!"
Too funny and cute!

Baby Kaden

"Brittany, can I play baby?"
Kaden goes through a "baby phase" every couple of months. 
They started when he was in Congo, and have happened several times since then.
He wants to be held, rocked, and sang to.  He wants to act like a baby and wear a diaper.  He wants to drink out of a sippy cup, and would use a passy if we let him.
These pictures are from 2012:
Earlier this week another baby phase started.
I played baby with him,
rocked him, read to him and even gave him a sippy cup.
There are really 2 ways I can look at it,
1.  Kaden is being annoying and needs to stop acting like a baby (literally!)
2. Kaden is longing for the babyhood that he never got.
Most kids when they are babies and cuddled, sang to and loved.
We don't know if Kaden ever got that.
I choose to look at his baby phases the second way. 
 Thankfully, I really don't mind playing baby with him most of the time. 
I've always loved babies, and it's even better when they can instantly stop being babies and instantly be able to communicate their needs.
Usually it's  just hard when  I have school work or other things I need to do.
Kaden is doing so well overall. 
When I think about how he could be doing, I see that he's doing awesome!
But he does have his hard moments and he does test us everyone once in a while.
He sincerely wants to know God, and I'm trusting that God will work in his life and do great things with him.
So I'll leave you with some pictures.
When Bethany came home in 2012,
I did a baby photo shoot with her. 
I never had the opportunity to do a baby photo shoot with Kaden, so I did it now.
I'd say it was great therapy for him and me! 

Cousins Visit September, 2014

Last week our cousins came to visit!
We had such an awesome time with them!
We were very busy the entire time and had our day pack full of fun.
Kaden and Emily are best friends, and they had an awesome time together.
The rest of the bigger kids rip-sticked, played football, four-square, cards, board games, and swam.
I enjoyed all of those things as well, but always managed to find time to squeeze in photography!
Oh, Kaden and Emily.... You two crack me up!
Kaden with straight hair... too funny!
Nutty buddies!
the mustang was a hit!  Everyone loves it!
Bethany and that crazy hippo.  sometimes we all want to throw it out the window.
thanks so much for coming to see us, Gilbartes!
We had a blast!

Labor Day Weekend (Happy Birthday, Dad and David!)

For Labor Day this year,
we went to my grandparent's house at Smith Mountain Lake.
We had a blast!
We swam, fished, boated, tubed, hung out and generally had a great time!
August 30th was my Dad's birthday, and we celebrated that along with David's birthday which is tomorrow. 
At a rest stop on the way there
Jumping off the high dock!
Emily and Quintin
Emily, Lucy and Quintin
This was Bethany's first time tubing!  She did awesome!
Happy birthday Dad and David!
David has the same cake every year.  It started when he turned 5 years old when we were on our RV trip in Montana.  Strawberry cake with chocolate icing, YUM!
Happy birthday, Dad!
Happy Birthday, David!
We had an awesome time at the lake!
Thanks sooooo much, Gandy and Pop!