"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! :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday (& breakfast brainstorm, please)

(this week's theme at Kiss the Frog 4 Me was "Pajama Party")
Now, I know that these PJ pics are usually taken after everyone is bathed
& clean & ready to head to bed….

Well, I never seem to have all the kids HAPPY,
bathed, clean & ready for bed all at the same time.

Anyone else have that problem?
(I didn't think so-ha!! ha!!!)

Taking either of the babies out of their baths makes for cranky kiddos around here!!!

SO….my PJ pics were taken one morning this week,
after everyone was fed, which makes for a much more cheerful set of pics…..

Just as an aside-look who's moved on to a "big-girl chair!!!"
Baby brother needed the high-chair, so on she goes!!!
"Hi! My big news is, I started eating 'real' food this week!!!"
But, the thought of breakfast gets me to wondering what the rest of you moms out there feed your families in the morning?

It seems to me to be one of the hardest meals for me to fix.

I never have any variety, unless you count Kix, Cheerieos, & Oatmeal Squares as variety

(Come on! It’s variety of cereal, isn’t it?? Ha! Ha!!!)

We home school, so I don’t need it to be fast, necessarily,
but I would like ideas for easy ways to add some diversity.

What do you do?

(Also, if some of you parents who have adopted,
wouldn’t mind giving me some insight into another post I wrote this week,
I would really appreciate it! Thanks!)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursdays Before the Throne

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run,
but only one gets the prize?
Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.
They do it to get a crown that will not last;
but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
1 Corinthians 9:24 & 25

Therefore we also,
since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
looking unto Jesus……….
Hebrews 12:1 &2a

We had the privilege of attending a funeral of someone we greatly admired yesterday.

Millie M. passed away Monday morning, with her family beside her at the age of 97!


As I sat in the pews & listened to friends & family talk about her,
I realized, she “finished well.”

This woman has 16 grandchildren & 27 great-grandchildren (at least half of whom live here)…..
& up until the very end…..
she was going to every family’s house & doing laundry, every week.
She was a servant to all & an encourager of everyone she came into contact with.

She ran with endurance…..there were pics displayed of her helping one of her little
great-grandchildren button a sweater-just a few weeks ago….
or sharing a hymnal with another older child.
This is my goal…..

Mostly, she told everyone she could (at every opportunity) that she had a Savior-Jesus Christ,
& she wanted everyone she knew to know Him as their Savior, too.
She never stopped working/praying toward that end.

I want to finish well, too.
I want to keep the important things important…..
& the small things, well.......small.
But, I realized….I must put this into practice now….in order to finish strong later.
Also, I realize that we are not guaranteed tomorrow….
so I should be investing in my family/friends NOW!

Sometimes a little reminder to use my time on earth wisely
(because it WILL end one day) is a good thing!

"So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom."

Psalm 90:12

(off to spend time w/ my kiddos!!)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Hired" Help.....

(the way I keep my silverware drawer-WHAT is wrong w/ me???)

Do you let your kids “help” you around the house?

I have to confess……it tries every bone in my body to let them “help.”

I don’t know why.

My mom was never that way.

That patient woman let every one of her 5 children “help” whenever & wherever we wanted to….

Ruth has started this thing where any time I start something she thinks looks important in the kitchen, she drags a chair three times her size up to the counter saying, “Hep….Hep….Hep!!”

With an inward sigh & an outward smile, I encourage her to climb up & “hep.”

SIGH….can you hear me?

THIS was today's result:

Today, she has also removed almost all the clean knives from the drawer & put them-one.at.a.time…..into the DIRTY dishwasher…yeah.

SIGH, again..

I know, I know…..if I want help down the road, I better let her do it now.

Now you know the truth-I really am a bit of a control freak!

PLEASE! What can I do to cure myself????

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sometimes this adoption journey is just a bit strange….

Or at least brings strange emotions to the surface. Emotions that sometimes can’t even be put into words…

Like Friday….


A bit of background…for you..

Natty was born 6 weeks prematurely.
As a result, we have been playing a game of developmental catch-up.

At the pediatrician’s office during his initial evaluation, our outstanding Dr. suggested that we might want him to be seen by some specialists.

Friday, the long-awaited day finally arrived. The two girls were left with a sitter (thank-you, Amy!!!), & I put the one child I was left with, into his car-seat & off we went…

(just as an aside-you know that feeling of missing something??? That’s how my car felt! Without the girls, that van is eerily quiet! Must be a “boy” thing!!)

The physical, occupational & speech therapists all thoroughly examined him while watching him play. Next week, I go back to get the results of that, as well as the hundreds of questions I was asked about him…..

Which brings me to this weird emotion I can’t quite put my finger on…

I couldn’t answer whole pages of information…..

Questions like,

“How was your pregnancy?” Ummmm….I wasn’t pregnant…

“Mother’s health history” Have a little of that.

“Father’s health history” Don’t know….

“Is your child’s paternal grandfather/grandmother still living?” Don’t know….

“Any health issues on mother’s/father’s side?” Yet again, don’t know…

And on & on it went…& I knew almost nothing of it…

Let me see if I can describe these feelings….

A bit lost….like I should know the answers….he’s my SON, after all.
A bit empty…..something seemed missing…but, there was no way to find it.

A bit confused……don’t know why I felt that way, but….
Question Mark
A bit sad…..because I want all that info for them…but I have no way of getting it. And also sad, because these vital people who gave them life…..can never again contribute to my children’s lives….& my heart just hurts for their birth family.

And finally…..I felt a bit privileged that God chose us to handle this parenting responsibility.



I sat there with the papers in my hand…..& I suddenly began to realize……maybe this “feeling” I can’t put my finger on is just a little bit of what adopted children feel down the road, when they start to understand the way they came to be a part of our family.

I don’t know…..

When we were going through our adoption training, the social worker we went through to get our homestudy done said something to me I hope I never forget…

For an adopted child, remember the feelings associated with the fact that they are adopted are happy.

But, the feelings associated with the fact that they
were ‘relinquished’ (today’s proper term for placing a baby for adoption) are sad.”

Two diametrically opposed emotions…..forever entwined, though one act: adoption.

For those of you who have adopted or are adopted, what do you think? Have you had those types of emotions? How have you handled them? Have you labeled them? How can we address these emotions with them?

Hoping this discussion will help us be better parents to all our children down the road….

(Yes, even to Ana, who will be a sibling to adopted children her whole life….& she may have emotions associated w/ it that we will need to be prepared for).

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Natty now has......

Hives......yep, seems that precious little bundle of ours is allergic to Amoxicillin-
or really, probably penicillin.

He is miserable.......please pray for him.
We took him off those meds,
& now he's in a Benadryl haze......pobrecito (poor little guy!!!)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday

This was a big challenge for me this week.
The directions at Kiss the Frog 4 Me were to choose one picture......
OK, right now, one of our three children finds it "emotionally challenging" to follow directions……

(yeah, she really just has a mind of her own,
now that she’s almost reached the “TERRIFIC TWOS”)

Due to this "emotionally-challenged, almost 2 year old,"
I found it nearly impossible to get one of all three of them even looking at the camera,
let alone smiling at the same time!!!

& how could I choose a “favorite” picture with just one or two of my favorite kids in it?

So…..long story short, I decided to focus on the most important person in my life……my biggest blessing, my dear hubby!!!

He goes to work every day & brings home a paycheck so that I can stay home with our precious treasures, & even homeschool!!!!

How blessed am I????

Do you know what he just did?

Graduated with his “Masters of Engineering in Space Operations!!!”
Bet you didn’t even know there was such!!!

He was recently honored as a “Distinguished Grad” at a luncheon we all attended.

The following picture was taken afterwards!

Congrats, Hubby, & Father of our Children!!!

Love you!!
Please do pray for the Steven Curtis Chapman family,
that God would be their strength during this tragic time!

Also, please see my Thursdays Before the Throne from yesterday,
as I have a question that I would like some imput on!

Thursdays Before the Throne

He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.
Isaiah 40:11

According to dictionary.com, the word “gently” means:
kindly; amiable

not severe, rough, or violent; mild



Have you witnessed God’s gentle hand?


Ok the following pictures are ones you really don't need to click on......unless you want the scary view of what our bedheads are REALLY like in the morning.

(no, this is no one I know-it's just the perfect picture to describe how I FEEL like my hair looks in the morning!!!)

(there's a reason I'm posting small pics today-haha!)


Praying for God's continued "gentle leading" in our lives as we raise our precious youngsters!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ballerina Bliss......(or really, truth be told, PARENTAL BLISS!!!)

Clingy arms around my neck….

“Mommy, hode you!!......Hode you!!”…..usually sobbed out w/ hiccups!

Shrill, high pitched wailing…..a performance from child #3 that means only mommy & a bottle will work.

Rubbing dirty hands across a face full of tears,
a frantic glancing about to see where mommy is….

Why? a tumble (by our oldest) from running down the mountain…..twice this week,
who gets so excited about life, that she gets ahead of her arms & legs.

She then gets the needed kisses, hugs,
bandaides & ice, from mommy, of course.

“It’s nice being needed”….Pauline Harris, “Anne of Avonlea,” the movie.

(Yes, I am a self-confessed lover of ALL things “Anne”.
Books, movies, PEI-though I have never been there….it’s a dream of mine…)

It is nice being needed, and this week,
was perhaps the most FUN I have had helping a child in a long time.

Ana had her end-of-the-year ballet recital, &
I got to dress her up, fix her hair & put on her makeup-right down to the squinty-eyed application of mascara!

Then, I had the purely delightful “job” of sitting in the audience
(sans younger children-who would have been bored & crabby).

Imagine our surprise to discover, that it seems our ballerina is growing up.

She had a “presence” on the stage.

She knew where to be when.

When her arm band had a mind of it’s own,
& slid down her arm where it shouldn’t be,
she slyly slid it back up when her arm was out of sight!

Huh? She’s 7!!! Dave & I were stunned!

Watching your child do something he/she loves,
& is slowly mastering…..now that is parental bliss!!

Know what I mean?

(she's the blurry one that is bowing-mid-stage!)

"Mooom!!! PLULEESE!!"
"Ok, I guess it's tolerable!"
Sheer delight!!


Thank goodness we have two more babies!!!!!
I can't quite take all this "grown up" behavior!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Why I Love It Here!!!!!

But, first.....we start 'em out young around here!!

Look at these viruosos!!!!


Now, how could you not love this?!?!?

The changing mountain face.....

While I miss many things about the Midwest (born & bread in the great state of Kansas!!!)......living so close to the mountains is such a blessing!!


"O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong."

Psalm 30:7a

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fun in the Sun....

This week’s theme at Kiss the Frog 4 Me.

Where, oh where is summer???

We have had only 3-4 really warm days yet……

& yes, just had snow about 5 days ago!!!
Snow Flake

(Remind me that I said this in 2 more months,

when the house is 95 degrees at 5 pm!!!

Yes, we have no air conditioning, like 90% of Colorado residents!!!)



In spite of this CRAZY weather…..

we have made the MOST of every warm moment this week:


A trip to the zoo w/ friends….

Next, Mother's Day lunch outside.....beside this babbling brook!

Then, a Mother's Day hike w/ my oldest......

A day in the BAKING HOT sun!!!

Yes, it SNOWED two days later!

Snow Flake 3


(one thing is for sure....it's never BORING!!!!)

"Thursdays Before the Throne" from yesterday.
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