Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review

2011 has been a challenging year for the Gilbreaths. 
We've had wonderful blessings and gone through some heartache along the way. Last night, I looked through all of my 2011 blog entries and was amazed at how fast the year has passed by. It was neat to look through all the things the Lord has taught and brought us through this pass year.

Here are a few of the highlights:

Stitches of Love
The ladies of the church got together and had a quilting circle. I was so happy to be invited to be a part of it, and I learned so much from these wonderful women. It was Titus 2 in action. They spent about 8 hours a day for a full week stitching love and memories into the quilt. I always wondered what they would do with the quilt knowing whoever would receive it would probably never know all the hard work and love that went into making the quilt.

To our great surprise, they gave it to Larry and I for Valentines day. I'm embarrassed as I remember the many tears I shed when they placed the box in my lap. I didn't have to open it to know what was inside. The weight of the quilt was all that was needed to let me know all that time and love was entended for my family. It was a wonderful precious times when I felt deeply loved, not only from our church family, but also from the Lord. Each night as I crawl into bed and each morning as I wake up I have a constant reminder of the love that our church and the Lord has for us through this quilt. It reminds me of God's calling on our lives to live and serve in Williamston. It's one of my most favorite possessions.

Granny's Visit
My Granny came to visit for Josiah's 2nd Birthday. It was the first time she had been to Williamston. I know the trip was difficult for her to make, but she didn't complain. The children loved having their Great Grandmother visit, almost as much as I did. It was only 3 month later that she passed away. Looking back at some of those pictures reminds me how grateful I am that she made the time to take that trip.

Josiah turned 2
Oh how my little man has grown this past year! Josiah is gifted in so many ways. Larry and I often wonder what he's going to be when he grows up. He is such a joy to be around, a constant source of laughter and mischief.

The great grands in one spot.

I was blessed to be able to go to Florida for my Granny's lasts days. As family came together and memories were shared, it was as happy an occasion as it was sad. It was the first time we had all the great grandchildren together. (at least the ones that had been born. there are 5 additions to these below)

 Eden turned 4
There are random times throughout this year that I've looked at Eden as seen her as a teenager or grown woman. She is such a special little girl! She loves to learn and keeps me on my toes. She has a great since of right and wrong, and a great maternal instinct.

Hurricane Irene
 Hurricane Irene took out two of our trees and power, but not our ability to have fun. As the storm first came in the kids had a blast playing in the rain. As I think back on it, it was a fun time that we stayed home as a family. We were thankful to have only lost power for a day, so many others  in our community were without power for over a week.

Growing Faith
 Eden is afraid of lots of things; thunder, spiders, the dark. As she played int he rain of the storm she sat down and started to pray, asking God to remove her fear. This was one of the sweetest moments of my year. Watching my child's faith grow as she faced a fear by seeking the Lord. Oh if I could only have the faith of a child!

 Messy Boy!
This pictures says it all. Have joy in the mess!
I am striving to have that attitude.

Welcome Titus Simon
After a hard pregnancy, we were so happy to welcome a BIG and Healthy Titus.
 Titus has brought so much joy to our family. His easy going personalty and sweet smiles has made him a quick fit into our family.

 Sibling Love
Eden and Josiah have had a great adjustment to the arrival of their little brother. Jealously has never been an issue with the kids. Learning soft touches has been a constant battle, but overall, I couldn't be more pleased with how easy Titus fit into our family.
 Granddaddy Kinsey
One of the greatest men I know went to be with the Lord. My Granddaddy was an awesome man! He loved Jesus, his wife of 64 years, his family and his church. His life was a wonderful testimony of God's goodness. He never complained. When asked how he was doing, he always replied, "better than I deserve." He will be missed, but I know he is happy living eternity with his savior and his girl.
 The legacy continues
Here are 4 of the 5 additions of this past year.
Lydia, Cooper, Titus and Mason. Pierce is expected to make his appearance any day now.
I am hopeful that we will be able to have all of the great grandchildren together at least once in 2012!

PawPaw battles Cancer
It seems every family has some one that battles cancer. PawPaw is our warrior.
During a regular screening test, Daddy was advised to seek more medical testing. We are so happy he did. Thankfully his cancers were caught in their early stages. As I write this, Daddy is recovering from yet another surgery. His prognosis is great. We pray that 2012 is a year of health for our family, especially PawPaw.

A Soccer Star

Eden was able to join the youth soccer league and our life at the park began. Eden loved it and we were able to make new friends in the community. It's nice to have an outlet for her (and for us) to make new friends. Next year we hope to have Eden and Josiah on the field

Family of Five

The young and growing Gilbreath family.
So blessed to have made it through 2011. We are looking forward to what 2012 has in store for us.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Sneak Attack!

This is for you Yaya. It's your Friday Funny :)

Watching this unfold was hilarious!
 You can see a small glimpse of Josiah about to pounce on his big sister. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Who is this?

I often hear how Titus looks like Eden and Josiah. Most people think he looks like Josiah, I think he favors Eden more. So I went through some old pictures and was surprised how much all of my children look like one another. Piercing blue eyes and chubby cheeks are common traits for my babies. They also smile a lot :) 

All of these were taken around five months.

So who do you think this is?

If you thought Titus, nope you're wrong.
This is Eden :)

This would be Titus :)

This is Eden. The pink should give it away :)

With this red hair, there is no doubt this is Josiah :)

With these smiles, The boys really do look a lot alike :)

Titus's 1st Christmas

My sweet Titus is enjoying his first Christmas. Actually, He seems to enjoy everything. His big smile and bright blue eyes bring a constant joy to our home. He turned 5 months old this week. Time seems to be flying by so quickly!  At his last check up he weighed in at 17 lbs. and 8 oz. and is 24.5 inches tall. He's a BIG boy just like his big brother.

There seems to be a constant comparison of who He favors; Eden, Josiah, Larry, Larry's dad, and me. I think he looks like Titus :) There are times I see a glimpse of Eden and Josiah in him. But he is so much of his own person, He's going to have a great personality!

Bright Blue Eyes :)

Always smiling :)

I know this is out of focus, but I wanted to show my mom how hard Titus is trying to crawl. He gets up on all four and hikes his bottom in the air and has started rocking forward. I tried to take this picture while trying to catch him. It's not going to be long before I'm going to have 3 kids running around the house!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Out takes

I'm convinced that my children take better pictures for other people or when they are running around just being kids. I've tried twice to get the kids to sit in front of the Christmas tree and take pictures....yeah it's a crazy mix of frustration and laughter.

Here are a few of our out takes:
 Sweet Titus, Josiah not looking
Sweet Josiah, Deer in headlight look for Titus

                                           Sweet moment when Josiah decides to "kiss the baby" :)
                                                     Sweet Eden and Josiah, tired Titus.
                                                 Titus.... I'm Ready for a meltdown or my nap!
The best of the Gilbreath Kids :)
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Lego Challenge

Eden and Larry took on the challenge to build the "tallest tower"  this evening. What a great time for daddy and daughter. They did get it to touch the ceiling. Great job Daddy and Eden!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Learner

Eden loves to learn. She ask daily, "when can we do home school?" or "can we do a project?"  For St. Nicholas day I gave the kids some simple refrigerator magnets. Eden has really enjoyed them. While I cleaned the kitchen up after lunch, Eden arranged all the letters. Great way to keep her busy so momma could finish up.  Then we pulled out her flash cards and found words she could put together. Not only did this help her with sounding out letters, we also got to work on some sight words.

My little learner will be reading in no time :)

Go Tell it on a Mountain!

We might have a musician in the family. Josiah LOVES to sing. His current favorite song is Go Tell it on a Mountain, which he sings daily, over and over! Lately he's been pulling down the hymnals we keep in the bookcase, opening the pages and he begins to sing. It is so Cute!

Josiah has also joined the hand bell choir.
Sorry the picture is kinda blurry,
but you can see how happy he is to be a part of the Joyful noise.

Total concentration on ringing his bell.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Blow Out!

If you have a weak stomach or if your easily grossed out, then you should stop reading now. If you're a mom you'll probably see some humor in this..... At least I did :)

If your still reading just know you've been warned.

This afternoon I went up in the attic to go through some things and I hear Larry call my name in that voice that lets me know something is up. Eden, my little informant, proceeds to the bottom of the stairs and says, "Momma, I think Daddy needs you. Titus has something all over his shirt." Boy that was an understatement!

As I walked into our room this is the sight that greeted me:

I started laughing immediately. I had 4 of those to deal with yesterday while Larry was working. (not this bad, but still yucky) Still laughing, I ran to the kitchen to grab my camera.  When I returned to the room Larry was surprised that I wanted to remember this part of our day. I wish I had a better angle, It went all the way to his shoulders. Larry was more interested in getting him cleaned up than getting great photos. I've decided that I must laugh, it keeps me sane. Because as we all know Poop happens!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

500th post/ Christmas pictures

It's fun to think of all the adventures and antics that I've been able to share through our blog. I started this blog when Eden was born as a way to share our daily life with family and friends who do not live close by. It is amazing to see how our family has grown and life has changed through these last 4 years. I love that I have this as a record of my children's growth because I am doing a horrible job keeping up their baby books. In fact, I don't even have a book for Titus yet!

Here are a few pictures of the kids enjoying our Christmas tree. 

Blowing out the Advent candles.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy St Nicholas Day

Traditions are what make holidays special. Things like baking coconut macaroons with my mom. I can only remember making them for Christmas, And each year I looked forward to it. Now that I have a young and growing family, creating Christmas traditions for our family has become important. You can see my post from last year some of the traditions we have started. The kids love “doing Advent.” Actually they love blowing out the candles at the end of the Bible reading, singing and prayer time. Josiah makes me smile as he asks to sing Go Tell it on a Mountain every night, multiple times. He LOVES that song!

In starting traditions, We want to be very purposeful about what we are teaching our children. We do not want to just go along with what culture or tradition tells us. It’s hard to raise our children outside of cultural norm. To be that family. Much thought and prayer have gone into these decisions. Our biggest desire is for our children to know Jesus through a personal relationship. We want them to celebrate His birth at Christmas. There is no need to teach them to be selfish wanting gifts and things, it comes naturally. It’s our sin nature. And selfishness is not just a toddler issue. I know many adults, (myself included) that struggle with selfishness daily.

We are training them to be other focused, not self focused, especially during this season. What we hope to get across to our children during this Christmas Holiday is to love and serve others, as Christ has loved us. At 4, and almost 3, Eden and Josiah are just beginning to understand most of what we're trying to teach. We believe that the Word will not return void. Little minds absorb so much. Only God knows what Truths are being planted in their hearts each day we sing Christmas carols and talk about Jesus' birth and death.

Just today, Eden was talking about communion, and how some red dots reminded her of the blood of Christ. She said, “You know Mom, Jesus, Jesus Christ. He died on the cross. And you drink the cup to remember his blood” Wow! At 4 she is already putting this all together. I’m so excited for my little girl!

So how do we teach our children that great work on the cross started in a manger? And what do we do with Santa? Larry and I have decided not to have Santa be a part of our children's Christmas tradition. That's not an easy task! People often ask our children what Santa's going to bring them or if they have been naughty or nice. Santa is in all the stores, he even comes to the Christmas party for our church. He's everywhere this time of year.

The kids have been easily distracted from Santa, until last night. Santa comes to our church’s Christmas party. I talked to Eden about it before we left home and told her that Santa would be there, but that we were not going to talk with him. She seemed ok with it until we were at the farmers market and all the other children went to sit on Santa’s lap. She asked if she could go and kept asking, “but why Mommy?” It wasn’t a disrespectful why, it was a why am I different why. Man that was a hard moment for me as a mother. It was hard to think how I could explain it so that my 4 year old could understand it. I was well aware that I was around others and didn’t want to come across as a super spiritual or judgmental of other families enjoying this tradition. I took Eden to the other side of the building and joined a group of ladies. We talked and she enjoyed the attention, soon forgetting that Santa was there.

So when people ask Santa questions, I am the one to answer that Santa is not part of the way we celebrate Christmas. Most people just look at us strangely, others don't know what to say and it leads to a moment of uncomfortable silence. A few people have encouraged us and said we were doing well to teach our children the real meaning of Christmas. My hope is that I can be a good example when responding to people's questions and that Eden and Josiah will learn from that how to respond with kindness and Truth to people's questions.

There are many reasons why we have come to this decision. I know there are extremes to this position. Please keep in mind, we're not trying to kill Santa, and No we do not believe that Santa is an acronym for Satan. Larry and I feel that legalism fuels most of that thinking. We don't think we're better Christians or more holy than families that do have Santa in their family traditions. If you want to leave foot prints in your carpet and cookies out for Santa and carrots for the reindeer, that great for your family. We’re not judging you, please don’t judge us! We desire to have hearts that seek God and want our children to enjoy the holiday without the commercialized aspects that our society places upon it. We want Christmas to be about Jesus and His humble birth. And we always want to keep in mind the Cross behind the stable.

Last year, we decided we would celebrate St Nicholas Day on Dec 6th.  Here is a neat website a friend posted on Facebook on the real St. Nicholas with activity sheets for children.  Do yourself a favor and do a  little research on St Nick. I loved this article from St Nick was a feisty Christian. He was a man of conviction who was one of the writers of the Nicene Creed. We  don't want the commercialized Santa in our home. But the heretic slapping, children loving Bishop, St. Nick,.... I hope my children love him :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. What's not to love? The focus is on being with family, eating lots of great food, and giving thanks to the Lord for all he has blessed us with.

We traveled to Larry's parents for a few days, then on to my brothers for the rest of the week,. It was wonderful to spend time with our family. I am amazed at how fast our children are growing. I've also realized how young  my parents are now that I'm getting older. :)

 Eden's best friend Brielle. These two LOVE one another.
Wondering what Brielle is thinking with that look on her face :)

The best fried turkey cook ever!!!!