A Change... I need your Input

In the beginning,
my blog was a place to record family memories and to document our journey through life.
I have enjoyed posting Bethany and Kaden Quotes,
and writing about my family's life.
This may sound a little selfish,
but I have rarely written about me.
About my journey through life, and how I feel about my family's journey.
That is going to change.
I began to rethink the reason I have a blog.
At the start, in 2011, I begged my parents to let me start a blog.
I loved to read about other families and their adoption journey, even though my own family hadn't started our adoption process yet.
I was so inspired and encouraged when I read what genuine people wrote about their beliefs and their walk with God.
Those people have an amazing gift,
and I want to try to develop my gift of writing.
I want to write vulnerably, from deep in my heart.
And so,
I am now going to start writing more of my journey and my honest, true thoughts.
I will still be posting a lot about Bethany, Kaden, and the rest of the family,
but I am a part of the Gilbarte family, and I will use my voice, too.
So please, tell me what you want me to write about!
I want to hear your opinion, and any suggestions, tips or ideas you have.
And I have some exciting news to post soon!
(And no, we aren't adopting again... yet.:))


When I was 2, I begged for a dog.
I was always told, "When you're eight you can get one, when you're eight."
8 years old could come fast enough for me. 
Finally it happened, and now, nearly 8 years into life with Whitey, I can more clearly see the pros and cons of our dog.
He's usually a sweet dog.
He doesn't like kids he doesn't know, and will growl at them.
He doesn't bite (usually).
His growl scares little kids.
He likes to snuggle
He won't usually come when called.
he's an easy dog to have around the house.
When he's mad, he'll raid the trash cans...and our guests suitcases. 
 (sorry about your hat, Pop!)
I don't think I'll get another dog after Whitey. 
I've learned that dogs are a large responsibility and take work and time.
I am very thankful, though, that my parents gave me the opportunity to have a dog and learn what it is like.
Whitey is like my baby, and I'm thankful for my him and the learning opportunity he has provided.

The Sky - God's Canvas

I've often wondered if God specifically designs how to sky looks each day,
or if the sky kind of just happens.
I'll probably never know until I get to heaven,
but I'm beginning to suspect the sky is "painted" by God every day.
One night this week - I think it was Thursday- I took Bethany and Kaden out on a walk.
The sky was amazing and only got more spectacular as the night went on.
The days following, I've paid more attention to the sky.
It has been so amazingly beautiful recently.
If God does "paint" the sky, He's created some masterpieces recently.
I believe that God reveals special truths to young children, who have the faith accept them without question.  I've asked Kaden what he thinks about certain subjects recently, and I've enjoying hearing his insight.
I asked Kaden how he thought the sky was made so beautifully,
and he answered with hesitation that
"God makes it that way."
I'll leave you with pictures that display God's masterpieces.
I hope you'll be as inspired by them as I am.

Our trip to Vullmer Farm

This post was inspired by Mrs. Tara.  Thanks, for the prompt!
This past Friday we went with a local homeschool group to a farm about an hour from our house.
Vullmer Farm is an amazing and super fun place to go as a family or with a school.
It has a mini zip line, underground slide, huge corn box, corn maze, hay ride, animals, butter making station, and so, so much more!
We all had a great time with friends and our family.
I was also able to get some really nice pictures!
We had a great time at the farm!
Have you been on any good field trips recently?

Kaden Quote 21 - Life Lessons from a Five Year Old

lick, lick, scarf, scarf, scarf.
I turned around and, to my horror, saw our dog, Whitey, on the table eating someone's dinner.
"BAD DOG!" I yelled at him, running to try to save what was left on the plate.
"Him's not a bad dog!" Kaden yelled, "Brittany, you know that? 
Him's a dog, and dogs do that.  Him's not a people.  He's not bad, because dogs do that a lot.
Dog's... well... dogs, if you get a pet, them's going to do that."
That stopped me dead in my tracks.
How can a five year old be so smart?!
Our dog is not bad.  Our dog is simply a dog, and dogs do things like that.
That doesn't make him bad.
We as people do bad things, and that makes us people, that doesn't make us bad.
It is in our fallen nature to be sinful and to make wrong choices.
That's why we need Jesus to turn our old selves into someone new.
I'll in this post in a song about dogs Kaden wrote and wanted me to type up.  Here it is:
"Dogs have a tail, and they lick, dogs do that.  They want special treats, because him's a dog.
Lelma-laid, it taste good, its so strong.  God is strong.  God makes special things. 
God's so powerful, powerful and strong, because him died on the cross. 
But he did not stay dead,
now we don't have to be dead, because he choose to save us."
Kaden is. amazing.

My Prayer - Answered!

This is a school paper that I wrote as part of my creative writing class.
I want to share it here, as I feel it shows my heart towards my sister.
Though this is about Bethany, I want to make it very clear that I feel the same way about Kaden, and that he is every bit as much of an answered prayer and blessing.
It was because of the assignment requirements that I do not mention him in this paper.
That being said, please enjoy!
As I gaze down at the treasure sitting contently in my lap, I become keenly aware of something. My dream, my hope, my prayer, has been answered.  I think back to the years of waiting, hoping and dreaming that slowly slid away as I waited.  Even now the truth has yet to penetrate my brain.  My dream has been realized, and yet I fail to realize it. “Do you know who that is?” I ask, twisting one of her braids in my finger. 
“That’s baby me!” She exclaims, recognizing the picture. 
“Yes,” I say, “that is baby you.”  I stop there.   Her two-year-old mind isn’t quite ready to take in the words that have been collecting in brain.  The day will come when we both will be ready; she will be ready to hear, and I to tell.  I want to be able to tell her adequately how cherished she is.  How she is the answer to years of prayer.  How she helps to light the spark that sets the fire in my heart alive.  Her story isn’t mine to tell, but I have a role in it. 
As I have a role in her story, she has a role in mine.  My story goes back to the early years of my childhood, and creeps on up to today.  It goes back to my three-year-old self praying at night for a baby sister.  It goes back to my eight-year-old self longing for a baby to love.  It goes back to my twelve-year-old self, trusting that my prayer would be answered.  And it comes up to today, as my answered prayer sits in my lap. 
So many times I have taken this for granted.  So many times my selfishness doesn’t recognize the miracle of her.  I get caught up in the day-to-day living and fail to make the most of every moment.  Love is a choice that I must make, and today I choose to make it.  I choose to embrace every stage, every day, and every opportunity.  It is not a one-time decision, but one that I must make every day.  I have made my choice, and I choose to love. 

2 Years Home!

This second year of Kaden and Bethany being home as absolutely flown by!
We've had a really great year with them, and have seen them both develop and grow,
both in character and physically.
I think back to this night 2 years ago.
We were all so excited for our parents to come home with "Kadi" and "Baby Jilma".
As excited as I was, I was lightly nervous and apprehensive. 
What would this be like?
Our life would be completely different now...
What would we do with them all day?
Would Mom and Dad have any time for us anymore?
I never asked these questions, even to myself, but they were subconsciously running through my mind.
Then they pulled into the driveway.
Slowly they got of the car.
As soon as I saw 5 month old Bethany - my baby sister - all my subconscious fears instantly vanished.
I held her for the first time a few seconds later, and I was in love.
This was my sister, my answered prayer, the one I had waited for years to love.
And Kaden....
Oh, the little toddler he was then.
It is absolutely crazy to look back at picture and videos and to see what an absolute baby he was then.
He has grown so much and has completely transformed. 
He has been such an amazing joy and blessing, even through the sometimes trying times.
We are so unspeakably thankful for the gifts we have been given through Kaden and Bethany.
We love them so very much and cannot imagine our lives without them. 
Our day was packed full of fun!
Kaden called a meeting and together we came up with a list of things to do to celebrate.
Amazingly, we've done everything on the list!

Our day began with a special breakfast, then a trip to the park to play and take pictures, with Subway for lunch.  Next we came home to play outside, make jello, have shrimp for dinner, and end our special day with looking at pictures and videos from Congo before playing Baby Kaden and going to bed.
One of my greatest treasures... enough said.
this year
Last year
Two years ago! 
We also made Jello!  Although it didn't turn out quite right, it was fun!
Jon got into it too!
Kaden and Bethany,
We love you SO. VERY. MUCH. 
You are amazing blessings in our lives, and we can't image our lives with out you.
We love you!