"Common Ground": my little corner of the blogosphere where I talk (a lot-wink) about the things that matter most to me: My relationship with my Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, homeschooling, adoption, homemaking, parenting, "spousing." (yeah, yeah....I know that's not a word.....I made it up-it’s my blog-I can do things like that! Ha!)

Since my life isn’t all that different from yours, hopefully we can find some COMMON GROUND & learn from each other. Please share your thoughts!

Through the Lords’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.

They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness!
Lam. 3: 22 & 23

Click on pics to see us up close & personal! :)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursdays Before the Throne

We find our release from our strongholds by spending time in the Word of God, the Bible.

As we spend time in His Word, may this be our prayer,

The Believer’s Prayer-A. P. Gibbs

Open Thou mine eyes, Lord, that I may behold,
In Thy Word rich treasures , better far than gold;
Let me know my need , Lord, and Thy glories see,
Grow in grace & knowledge, more & more like Thee!

Open Thou mine ears, Lord, let me hear Thy voice,
And w/ swift obedience, cause Thee to rejoice,
Midst this world’s confusion, speak, oh, Lord to me.
Guide me by Thy counsel, let me follow Thee!

Open Thou my lips, Lord, let me speak for Thee,
Tell of Thy salvation bought on Calvary;
May I boldly witness to Thy saving grace,
Win some souls for Thee, Lord, ere I see Thy face!

Open Thou my heart, Lord, make it now Thy throne,
Teach me what it meaneth, “Ye are not your own.”
Live thy life through me, Lord, Thy grace magnify,
And in this my body, Thyself glorify!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We Will Be Orange Tomorrow!!!!!!!

(make sure you see my last post w/ the "sort-of after" pics of the bedroom re-do)

For my Guatamalan adoption friends, you all know how exciting ORANGE is!!!!

For the rest of you, Orange is the color of the authorization paper for Nathaniel's final DNA test.

In other words, his DNA sample will be taken tomorrow, & sent off to a lab in the US. They are making sure the baby placed at the begining matches the baby at the end.

When these test results come back to the US Embassy, the Embassy will issue us our appointment date. Looking like our Visa appointment date might be close to my birthday!!!! Wouldn't that be cool?!?!?!?

As another cool aside, we were e-mailed a scanned copy of his new passport, w/ his new last name on it!!!!

A Tempting Taste of the "After"

Today's activity:
Sewing Machine
(and I have to confess, it wasn't always w/ a smile!)

Tomorrow, the bed will go in the alcove we hung curtains in.

Please pray for Ruth, who is fighting off a mild case of croup again.
That's why she's in the "finished look" picture. She woke up coughing.

Thank you, John & Jan!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Before & During Photos


Can you tell it's a light green?



I just have one question:

How can a baby that has no wet/open paint in the room somehow FIND wet paint?????

She thought she was painting like her big sister & her mommy.

The truth is, the paint brush was dry!!!! Winky

Tune in for more pics tomorrow!!!


Blog Break.......For This!!!!!!

A long anticipated room re-do!!!

Paint And Brush

When we bring Natty home, the girls are switching to another room in the house. Ana chose two matching bed-spreads, & they became the inspiration for the room (& as any faithful HGTV watcher knows, one must have inspiration!!!!)

The bedspread, topped w/ a matching curtain for the alcove the bed will be in. My secret??? The curtains are actually SHOWER CURTAINS !!!! (Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone-as they match PERFECTLY!!!)

Tune in later today for some BEFORE & DURING pics!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thursdays Before the Throne

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.

What are the weapons of the world? We are often told we need to “ESCAPE” our problems or “REVENGE” might make us feel better. One way of “ESCAPE” seems to be entertainment. I am not saying that all forms of entertainment are bad, but if we use them as an escape from problems, perhaps we ought to re-examine them.

4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

The list of our weapons can be found in Ephesians 6:14-17

They are:

1. Belt of Truth
2. Breastplate of Righteousness
3. Shoes of preparation of the Gospel of Peace
4. Shield of Faith
5. Helmet of Salvation
6. Sword of the Spirit-which is the WORD OF GOD

Did you notice that the only OFFENSIVE weapon is God’s Word? Jesus, Himself quoted Scripture & Satan fled.

5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,
and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Where do I find the “knowledge of God?”

Proverbs 2 says that if we seek for wisdom & understanding as we would seek for silver & hidden treasure,

“Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,

When we find the knowledge of God (when He shows us right thinking) then we can “demolish arguments/strongholds” & “take captive every thought & make it obedient”

When Satan tempts me to doubt God, I need to run to my offensive weapon, the WORD, & find right thinking about God, quote it to Satan, & He will flee.

This may not be much different than what I posted last week, but it helps the idea solidify in my mind.

Thanks for reading, Blogger friends!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Precious Time w/ Far-flung Friends & Updated Adoption Timeline

The Ericsons were in town for the weekend to celebrate Todd's 40th birthday!!

We had a great time together! 2 parties & church in one weekend!!!

For our family and friends who are not otherwise involved in Guatemalan adoptions, here's what happens from the point of getting OUT of PGN!

(I came across this on-line, & thought it was a good explaination.)

1. Final Decree. The Final Decree is issued by the Notary in charge of the process and signed by the Birth Mother (or the child's Representative), the Mandatory and the Notary. This is the day the child becomes the legal child of the adopting parents.
On Jan 17th, the Final Decree was issued.

2. Civil Registry Issues New Birth Certificate. Once the Final Decree is signed, the Notary in charge submits a request for a new birth certificate to the Civil Registry where the child's birth is registered. The Civil Registry will issue a new Birth Certificate showing the child's birth first name and the adoptive parent's last name.
Takes about a week or so. Our case worker thought we should have this done by late this week or early next.

3. Passport. Once the new Birth Certificate arrives, the Notary in charge submits a file to Immigration in Guatemala to request the child's passport.

The passport can be picked up within 30 minutes of request.

4. The Final Package & DNA authorization. The Final Package (including all paperwork & THE NEW BC & PASSPORT) is submitted to the US Embassy. Within 24 hours the Embassy issues authorization (the Orange Slip) for second DNA test and Embassy Medical Exam.

The passport and Orange Slip should happen 1-2 days from receipt of BC.

5. DNA Sample and Medical Exam. The child is taken to the Embassy doctor for a medical exam (to ensure no strange diseases are brought into the US) and a second DNA sample (to ensure the child is the same child that got pre-approval when the process began). The DNA sample is sent to a laboratory in the States. The test results are sent to the US Embassy in Guatemala.

DNA test results are taking about 2 weeks from the date the sample is taken, although our DNA lab generally runs a bit faster.

6. Visa Appointment Scheduled (Pink Slip). Once the DNA test results are received by the US Embassy, the visa appointment is scheduled and the adoptive parents notified. The notification is called the Pink Slip. The Pink Slip is emailed (it did literally use to be a PINK SLIP of paper-I know, because I picked up Ruth's myself) within 48 hours of the Embassy receiving DNA confirmation.

The appointment dates are approximately 10 days to 2 weeks from when they are issued. This is the date/appointment we MUST be in Guatemala for, so out travel dates revolve around the date of our PINK SLIP appointment.

7. Visa Appointment. The child is taken to the US Embassy by the adopting parents to apply for the visa, & the parents swear to care for the child until they reach the age of 18. The following day the child's US Visa is ready for pick up. After that, the child can enter the United States!

The day after our visa is picked up, Nathaniel will be headed to his NEW home!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Movie Night & a Bit of Reminiscing

We drug out "The Sound Of Music"
This used to be Ana's favorite movie.

Imagine my surprise when she didn't even REMEMBER IT!!!!

I was shocked!
Reminded me that kids have such a limmited memory about things like that.
Makes me glad that they do start to remember important things, though.
Ana will never forget meeting Ruth & Nathaniel for the first time.

Also makes me glad we made the decision to take her w/ us to Guatemala.

This helps form part of who she is.

We are not the type to have older siblings present in the hospital room if we were ever to birth more children.

But, Ana got to see Nathaniel for the first time-at the SAME time as Dave & I! She got to see his "birth" into our family.

And in a way, she saw Ruth's, too, at the US Embassy, January 3, 2007, when we promised before that lady at the window to be Ruth's family for the rest of her life.

What a privilage adoption has been to everyone in our family, & I'm so glad Ana is old enough to remember most of it!


And, now, for the pictures!

Can't get over those toes! (Can't keep sox on her either! Happy)
Enthralled Anew!
When I went to cover the girls up for the last time last night, this is what I saw!
Sent me running to find this:
(shades of her big sister, I'd say!)
How quickly they grow up!

(Yes, I know the picture's blurry, but it's a picture of a picture-which was also blurry. Poor Ana. This is evidence that we had not yet entered the digital age!!! Hee! Hee!!!)

What will they REMEMBER about their childhood?

Ok.....and, in closing, an IRRESISTABLE video of both of the girls.
Ana trying to sing along & eat-Ha! Ha!
Ruth, dancing to the music!
Aren't they just the cutest!

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