"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! :)


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Oh, my heavens!!! How WILL I eat that???? Revisited......

ORANGE BANNANA CREAM PIE


In her attempt to take over Rachel Ray's job, Ana has begun to cook!


Acting beyond her years (again), she decided I needed a special dessert,

while I was putting Natty to bed.


Her eyes shining as she saw me at the top of the stairs, she informed me,

“I made you a special dessert, Mom, because I love you so much!”

Two thoughts cross my mind in an instant:

1. “Oh, dear…..here we go again!”

&

2. “How DID I end up w/ such a thoughtful child?”
Pink Sweet Heart

(she must take after her dad!)



Another cooking experiment.
Place Setting
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember one of her first experiments.



With some trepidation, I sat down to partake!




A few bites into it, I noticed the brown sprinkles in the bowl of milk, oranges, & bananas.

I think to myself, “I sure hope that’s cinnamon!”

I braved the possible answer & asked her………Whew…..the answer was “yes.”

Ok…..then..

I can eat it.

Oh, wait…..after a few bites, she goes, “I even put a secret ingredient!”

WHAT?!?!?

Are you KIDDING me?


Do you see #5?



Oh, parenting is full of surprises!



Now, comes the fun part!

Can you guess what the “SECRET INGREDIENT” was?

Post your answers & next week, I'll let you know!



Friday, March 28, 2008

One Month Ago….Today

We arrived home.

Wow! In some ways, the time has flown!

In other ways, (rocking crabby, sick children-especially w/ Daddy gone) it seems like the longest time of my LIFE!!!

How are we doing?
Well, in all honesty, most days are ok, but some days have been SUPER trying to this Mommy. (& Daddy while he was home)

Honesty IS the best policy, right?

I have had moments where I have REALLY doubted my parenting skills (or perhaps my mind!). Like:

~Ana, precious girl, having MAJOR melt-downs-completely illogical ones in my mind.

~Taking two sick babies under the age on 2 & one healthy child to the dr. at the same time! Diagnosis? Insanity on my part & two ear infections on the part of the babies & one delightful & helpful but needy 6 year old.

~This morning, Ruth’s diaper leaked-in her bed, on me, on her “gee,” her special blanket. When I took off her PJ’s, looking up at me was the same diaper I had put on her about 18 hours before! I had forgotten to change her last night before putting her in bed.

One of my friends-thank, you Joyce, suggested a chart I mark off. Not a half bad idea!

~Trying to give Ruth Natty’s bottle., (in my sleep induced haze) To which she spit & said, “Icky baba!”

~Endlessly bouncing Natty, cuddling, placing in the sling, despite his many protestations.



~The first two weeks, due to an ear infection & jealousy, Ruth screamed any time I put her down.

~Trying to figure out how he goes to sleep best.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But, how is he adjusting?


Crib 2


He still has no sleep schedule, per se.

He has slept all night, every night , except one night due to a fever.

He will not lay his head on my shoulder much yet.


Sadness for Mommy.

He is laughing, & babbling some, especially w/ either one of his sisters.

He finally has reached the point at which if he’s crying & I pick him up,


I can calm him (most of the time).


YEAH!!!


That is one of the hardest moments any mom has to endure,


w/ any of their kids, adopted or not.


When you can’t comfort them.

There were a few times I wished his Mama Anna could have just come & dried a few tears.




On one of the forums I frequent, one of the wise ladies there had the following to say about bringing her adopted daughter home:

I tried to imagine what it would be like to be lifted out of my life as I'd always known it and with literally no understanding of what was happening to me to be placed into another life. Different caregivers, different environment, different language, etc. What is that like for a baby?! We read about how resilient children are, and in many ways that is true. But just because they can't tell of the emotional pain they're in doesn't mean it's not there.


That’s why I kinda wished she could just fly here on the fastest plane available on some of those early nights, when he just sobbed the evening away, trying to figure out who I was & what I was doing.

I am trying to remember this, & let him take his time getting to know us, & not force ourselves or my agenda on him too much.




Ana has really become a help, especially w/ Daddy gone.



Today, she made Natty a bottle when I was in the shower.



She really had no idea what she was doing, & she made it way too weak, but I didn’t correct her.
When I got out of the shower, he was sucking away on his slightly cold, watered down milk.

She said, “Will you take a picture of this & put it on the blog & tell everyone that I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF?”

So, there you go!



Ruth settled into her new role as a big sister quite easily,
after her innitial bumps in the road.


Also, the Lord has really been impressing on me that my time is not my own, but His to use in the way He chooses.



All in all, adjustments have been both rocky & smooth,
but our "times are in His hands"
But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand;
Psalm 31:14 & 15b

Please continue to pray for us, as some of the experts say to allow one month in their new home, for every month they lived away from us to adjust.






I saw that play out in Ruth's adjustment.....so we probably have at least 5 more months to go!



Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursdays Before the Throne

Late tonight......but here are words from a hymn that has been a big encouragement to me:



A Christian Home

Barbara B. Hart, 1916
(Can be sung to the tune of "Be Still, My Soul")

O give us homes built firm upon the Savior,
Where Christ is Head and Counselor and Guide;

Where ev'ry child is taught His love and favor
And gives his heart to Christ, the crucified:

How sweet to know that tho his footsteps waver
His faithful Lord is walking by his side!






O give us homes with godly fathers, mothers,
Who always place their hope and trust in Him;


Whose tender patience turmoil never bothers,
Whose calm and courage trouble cannot dim;

A home where each finds joy in serving others,
And love still shines, tho days be dark and grim.



O give us homes where Christ is Lord and Master,
The Bible read, the precious hymns still sung;


Where pray'r comes first in peace or in disaster,
And praise is natural speech to ev'ry tongue;

Where mountains move before a faith that's vaster,
And Christ sufficient is for old and young.





O Lord, our God, our homes are Thine forever!
We trust to Thee their problems, toil, and care;


Their bonds of love no enemy can sever
If Thou art always Lord and Master there:


Be Thou the center of our least endeavor
Be Thou our Guest, our hearts and homes to share.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~




The second verse particularly came to mind tonight.




I am now the parent.




It's now our job to be godly, hopeful, patient, calm & couragous & all things things we are so fortunate to have seen in my parents, & Dave in his parents!







Thanks, Dad & Mom Harvey & Dillon!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Oh, My Heart!!! Looking Out My Window To See This:


Two are better than one,
because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor;

Eccl. 4:9
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ana has waited her whole life for this.
A friend she has living in her own house.
I remember her asking me,
"When is God going to give me a sister that I can play w/ whenever I want?"
The reward for their labor? (at least playing out side w/ Ruth can be labor for Ana, truth be told)

A swinging partner for life, & our prayer is, a friend for life.


They have really begun to PLAY together!

Oh, heaven on earth!

My mama’s heart overflows today!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Photo Problems FIXED.....

I think........

Blogger was not letting some of my pics be clicked on.....but I think I have fixed the problem!

Wa Hoo!!! Click away!!

"If I Had A Hammer..........."

I’d hammer in the morning,
I’d hammer in the evening,
All over this land.


I’d hammer out the love between my brothers & my sisters

All over this land!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do you see that?

I, my friends, AM WEARING SHORTS!!!

Spring has SPRUNG & I am THRILLED!

Song of Solomon

"11 For lo, the winter is past,

The rain is over and gone.

12 The flowers appear on the earth;

The time of singing has come,

And the voice of the turtledove

Is heard in our land.

13 The fig tree puts forth her green figs,

And the vines with the tender grapes

Give a good smell."

Monday, March 24, 2008

He LIVES!!!! (or "the Easter post")

Ok, bear w/ me friends.

Of course, I couldn’t just post Easter pics. I thought about it…..but this just wouldn’t go away.

So, if I post my thoughts first, (for whatever they are worth), will you promise to read them BEFORE you scroll down?

Ok……thanks!!!



“He is not here: for He is risen!” Matthew 28:6




The angels’ triumphant announcement to those who came looking for Jesus’ body.

I just realized as I was writing out the verse-the verbs are in PRESENT TENSE!

If you are not familiar w/ English grammar, & that would be most of us more than a year out of high school (although I have to confess, I’m one of those wierdos that actually finds grammar fascinating-especially when compared to, say, Spanish grammar)…….I digress…

Those of us who need a refresher in grammar-the verbs “is not here” & “is risen” are not in past tense.

This is what they would say if they were: “was not here” & “was risen.”

Do you catch the slight difference?

He is (still) risen. It was not just something that happened 2,000- years ago.

Yes, He conquered death & is STILL alive today!

How do I know? He lives in me, & changes me!


“I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today!

I know that He is living, whatever men may say!

I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer.

And just the time I need Him, He’s always near!


He lives! He lives!

Christ Jesus lives today!

He walks w/ me & talks w/ me along life’s narrow way!

He lives! He lives!

Salvation to impart!

You ask me how I know He lives?

He lives within my heart!”

Alfred H. Ackley 1933








~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





Our best "family" shot-yes, Daddy is gone again for a bit longer!






Lunch w/ friends!








Ruth's "hidden" eggs!
An almost 7 year old needs better hiding spots than a 20 mo old, don't you think?







Gleeful smile-found one of the "hard" ones!









I cannot get that adorable, light-blue adorned child to look at the camera & smile TO SAVE MY LIFE!!!




So, you get her profile-until SHE decides she's ready to start "cheesing" when we tell her to!







video




I know the quality on this video is poor,




but, the squeals of delight from Ana,




& her twirling happy "dance" as she flits around the room,




the word "buttit"="bucket," from Ruth's little mouth,




& her toddling bare toes.....




are the reason this video made it to the cutting room floor!




It's worth watching, if I do say so myself!




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





Just as an ending footnote: I hope to be back to posting around once a day this week.....so check back more frequently if your're a regular!




If you're not, I hope to make you one soon! (wink)




Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thursdays Before the Throne

Proverbs 11:25
Don’t you just love it when you have only a bit of time, & you pick up a devotional, thinking, “Finally!!!! A bit of time to myself! Now, I can spend a tiny little bit of time in the Word,”


& what you read stops you up short:

The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.



This is so backwards of what we are taught today.
Question Mark

We are taught that by spending time to ourselves, we will feel refreshed.

Not according to this verse.

It seems to be saying to me that when I spend time on others, with my heart in the right place……I’ll be refreshed.
Ice Water

I have already had the Lord working on me in this area,
but this verse for today was no mistake, I don’t think.

What do you think, bloggging friends?



Can you think of other verses that go along w/ that idea?



Monday, March 17, 2008

Easter Egg Dying.......& Memory Making

Today, my brave friend Amy had us over to dye eggs.

What makes her brave, you ask?

My three kids + her three kids=ONE BRAVE hostess, especially when three of the kids are under age two!!


One spilled cup of dye, & several near misses later……..

We loaded up kids (w/ full tummys-thank-you, Amy) & dyed eggs. But, best of all, we loaded up on memories to pack up & drag back out again next year when we do it again. (like we have every year for the past 4 or 5 years).

I am so thankful for friends that make life so much fun, & help to make traditions we have enjoyed every year.

Thanks again, Amy!

You Are The Woman
Photos of my hostess did not cooperate today, so you will have to just trust that I did not attempt to do this on my own! Winky



Making memories are one of the best parts of having friends, don't you think?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Announcment!!!!!

My other blog, The Moderate Mind, will be up & running again either late today or early tomorrow!


I am pretty excited to start in on some of my new goals, so run over there, & help me stay accountable!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Busy Girl.......

In a matter of less than 24 hours, here is what Ruth has managed to accomplish:


~Kicked her tray of cheerios off the table while daddy was trying to put her in her chair

~Pulled the mop out of storage down on her head

~Drove her car on a book (a nice one), on the nasty, dirty dustpan, & on the open dishwasher door (while trying to climb IN the dishwasher)


~Smacked one or the other of her siblings on the head

~Picked up the kitchen trash (almost as big as she is) & tried to move it-who knows where or why, but after she moved it a few feet, she started pointing at it and happily babbling at it!


The whole time, I was watching her holding a screaming, inconsolable 7 mo old, & just PRAYING all the trash would stay IN the trash can!!!



~Tried to open Daddy’s Tums box w/ a pair of MONSTER scissors.


“Where,” you may well ask, “did she get either one of those items?”


I have NO EARTHLY IDEA……well, I guess it is safe to say, my house is far from immaculate, but……still…..I don’t THINK I left those things in her reach!!!!..


(the elements of the crime!!!)



~Found her w/ her carrying big glass of water that HAD been on the table. The chairs were all pushed in & that time, I KNOW the glass was too far for her to reach. Ana was outside, so I still have no earthly idea how she got her cute little paws on that one!!!!

~Took all the coats off of her & Ana’s coat rack, & SCREAMED at us until we put one on her. Were we going anywhere? NOPE! She just had to have it on. Inside. Well, I guess that’s a GIRL for ya!

~Finally, last night, I went into Natty’s room to plant a kiss on his soft little cheek, & promptly tripped on a toy I didn’t see. Why? I discovered the nightlight has gone AWOL. Yep. And do you know what is right next to the outlet?
The diaper trash.
Yeah, that's right......
Hmmmmm……I bet that nightlight is not coming back anytime soon-because before I remembered my suspicion this morning, I RAN the diaper trash out to the curb-in my bare feet. In the snow. Yeah……this is the CRAZIEST my life has EVER been!!! But also, the most rewarding & fun!!!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh……& while this wasn’t from yesterday, it was from the day before:

While I was vacuuming, I suddenly lost power. You guessed it! She unplugged the vacuum while my back was turned. I ran over to take the plug from her, but before I could reach her, she returned it to it’s intended position-in the outlet!

The vacuum TOOK OFF!!! Flew across the floor into the wall. I sat down on the floor w/ her & laughed! Oh……life is NEVER boring w KIDS around!!!

Oh……..& one more thing (I know-I already said that at least once, but, please, give me a break-this child is funny!)

Right now, her favorite thing to say is, “Shh!!!! Shh!!! Shh!!!” She says it to Natty when he cries, airplanes she hears, the wind rattling doors…….finger over her lips.

CRACKS US UP!!!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~





Finally, she (along w/ the other two) have acomplished making their parents smile nearly every moment of the day.



These treasures from our Father-I am being reminded never to resent them.

No, not even their "busy" ways.

Or when they are sick-like two of them today.

Isn't this what I have always wanted?




Yes.......& I will try to take whatever comes my way.....as part of MY training.

And use LIFE to teach us all.


(Taking sick baby boy to the dr. today. Also, Ana threw up-big-time- this morning.)


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