"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, August 29, 2008

An Experiment.......

In Black & White........
What do you think?
I don't have any photo editing software,
so this was done online.

This is my absolute favorite!!!!
I love old-looking pictures!

What is your favorite photo-editing software?
(For more great B & W's, visit Sara's blog!)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursdays Before the Throne

From the August 24th entry in Amy Charmichael's "Edges of His Ways":

Ye have compassed this mountain long enough:
turn you northward.

"It would take too long to tell what this word has said to me. I will only say it spoke about a mountain of thought around which I have walked rather often. It is time to stop compassing that mountain... Is it not very dull to keep on compassing so dull a mountain? Hear the heartening word of the Lord, Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward. 'Rise ye up, take your journey' (Deut.2:24), 'fight the good fight of faith,' "

Amy’s other thoughts:

Could it be a mountain of desire?
I know that is one I struggled with for a very long time-over & over again! She says, “Perhaps the Lord is saying to that one who are constantly praying about something personally desired, ‘Leave the matter to Me: you have prayed enough about it. You have compassed that mountain long enough.' ”

Could it be a mountain of rubble?
“Self, doubts, questions, grumblings,
little piles up ingratitudes-what are these but rubble?”

Ye have compassed this mountain long enough:
turn you northward.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

AHHHHH.......Boy, does this feel good!

Oh, & totally off THIS topic........we miss Guatemala & our friends there!
Mama Anna, Papa, Cristina y Paula......nosotros los adoramos,
y un dia, regresamos a Guatemala para visitarlos!


See my little blogging station over in the corner?
After the kids wake up, it will be gone!!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I don't do UPHEAVAL.......

(OK.....before you read any further, please keep in mind,
I am OOOBER embarressed to show you any of these pics)

But, here goes!


Since we moved into this house (7 years ago),
the carpet has needed replacing.

In spite of all my best efforts, it has gone WAY downhill!

If you click on the picture, you will see bumps that are really there.
Hills & valleys in my carpet!
Yes, this is being replaced, too.
UUUGGGGG! The stains!
UGGGG, I say, again!


But, I don't do upheaval well.
Especially when it is something COMPLETELY new.
No experience with this.


Stay tuned.

This could get interesting!


See my first post for some cute kiddos!

The Girls.....from Sunday Morning......

Wearing outfits Shannon brought back from her recent missions trip to Rommania.
UPDATE: The tooth fairy did remember Ana's tooth. She was very generous to Ana. Feeling guilty, perhaps???? (wink!)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Oh, my!!!

I sure hope the tooth fairy does her job this time!!!!
Are there things you look forward to about parenting?
Since Ana got her first tooth, I have WAITED for toothess grins!
I hope the other one falls out before this adult tooth makes it's appearance!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Where does it come from?

My kids have always liked their blankets.
We have a TON of stuffed animals,
but they never NEED any of them to sleep with.

But, now, they can’t go to sleep with out their “Gees”
(hard G sound-as in “garden”)

Ana called her blanket a “Cozy,” and “Gee” is Ruth’s rendition of that.

(I have to confess, until I got married,
I still had the same blanket on my bed I had as a child.
Just like their mother, aren’t they?)

A question for you blog readers out there:

Do you subscribe to the notion that kids shouldn’t have things that help them go to sleep?

We never really had anything special (that I remember-Mom, if you are reading this, perhaps you can correct me) & we survived just fine.

But, somehow…..my kids all have their blankets.

How DID this happen?

BUT……my comfort now comes from another source:

Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
Psalm 63:7

God is where my comfort now lies,
& I pray that our children will learn that lesson as well.
Oh, my! Ana was such a little peanut!
Crashed out hard after a day a Disneyland, in 2005.

Ruthie, a few months ago when she wasn't feeling good,
& fell asleep on the floor! Pobrecita!

Natty, at camp.

He always sleeps like this-flat on his back, hugging his "Gee!"

For more fun pics of cutie-pies, run over to Sara's blog!

Edited to say: My mom never picked out anything she wanted us to attach to.......but I LOVED my blanket-until I got married. My hubby is a built in furnace, though, so I sure don't need it now!!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursdays Before the Throne

From “Edges of His Ways” August 21

O Beloved of my soul,
This do I desire:
Faith for the impossible,
Love that will not tire.
Jesus, Savior, Lover, give me
Love for the unlovable
Love that will not tire.

O Beloved of my soul,
Yet, again I come;
Give me chords of love to draw
Many wanderers home.
Jesus, Savior, Lover, give me
Love that knows no strain nor flaw-
Love to lead them home.

Who are the “hard to love” in my life? In your life?

A friend, perhaps?
A family member?
A child?

“Love for the unlovable
Love that will not tire.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

JUST DO IT! (take a trip with your family, that is!)

Something I have wanted to blog about for a while……

No, it’s nothing earth shattering……or even life-changing.

But, I hope it might encourage someone out there in Bloggerland to just take a trip with their family.
Family Road Trip

I love to travel. And having three kids hasn’t changed that.

(It would be better if someone else would do the packing & un-packing.
Hey! A girl can dream, can’t she????)

So far, with three kids we have gone on three trips
(if you count travel home from Guatemala-& I sure do!).

But, I really enjoy driving more than flying,
except for the fact that you can arrive at your destination so much faster.

I think I like driving cause I can take ALL OUR STUFF. (My wonderful hubby who packs it all can attest that I take a LOT of STUFF. But, at least I don’t still take the baby swing with us to camp, Dave. Or the refrigerator. I’m not kidding. The office size one went with us on a trip once.)

Here are a few of my tips for family travel:

~All the kids have their own stash of toys,
& I keep a few new cheap little things I have picked up to surprise them-
one for each day.

~Last time we went on a trip, I had a small bag we called “crayon/marker prison.” No one was allowed to open “crayon/marker prison” with out permission. Only 5 crayons & two markers were allowed out at a time, & all had to be turned in to be allowed any more. Ahhh….I think I only found two crayons on the floor of the van at the end of the trip!!! Amazing, huh?!?!?

~We still try to stick to a nap schedule in the van,
but we quickly discovered Ruth doesn’t sleep when she can see out the window.
Just like we did for Ana, we had to start making her a “tent” to sleep in.

~Spend 15 minutes a day organizing/cleaning-even if you have been in vehicle all day.

Then, you won’t be disappointed!
My definition of a “fun” week at camp was:
everyone slept through the night, & no one was sick!

“Camping” for a week with kids.
(I was going to show you a bunch of pics,
but much to my dissapointment,
I can't find them on any of the chips I can locate right now.)

“Camping” is in quotes because tent camping is really a MUCH DIFFERENT experience than what we just finished with. Ha! Ha!! We did that last summer with two kids. I think we will wait to do it again until the babies are about 5 years older than they are right now! Just kidding! We’ll probably try again next summer, so stay tuned!

What are your best travel tips???

Monday, August 18, 2008

"There's Always Another Bend in the Road....."

Reflecting on life’s changes……

(Well, at least when everyone is sleeping but me-ha! ha!)

A bit over a year ago, our lives came to a screeching bend in the road.

We had finally arrived as a family of four. Ruth was mostly adjusted to her new family. Ana was a doting big sister that she had always wanted to be. Dave & I were still breathing a big sigh of relief that Ruth was finally home, & all the paperwork was done.

August 11, 2007

Driving through the mountains of North Carolina,
(after being out of cell phone range for a few days),
a simple check of voice mail changed our lives forever.

I almost memorized the message I listened to it so much:

“Hi, Kim & Dave. This is Kelly. I know you are probably on vacation still, but I wanted to give you a call & let you know……I received a call from Ruby (our lawyer in Guatemala City) telling me that Ruth’s birthmother has given birth to a little boy, & she would like to offer you the first chance to adopt him.”

She said a few other things too,
about his pre-mature birth,
& that he was born on August 2 at 3 pounds, 2 ounces.

Dave is still driving, eyes on the road……while I shook & almost dropped the phone.
I don’t remember what I said exactly,
but I do know I told him that we needed to find a place to stop & pull off the road.

I remember him putting his hand over his mouth,
& saying something like, “Wow! Wow! Wow! We need to call Kelly.”

The phone call to her was unremarkable, other than we found out a bit more about him, that she was going to send us his info via e-mail, & that she wanted us to wait to make our decision until after a US Embassy doctor could evaluate him, since he was born early & so small. We also told her we were not immediately OPPOSED to adopting him.

To make a long story short, we began to pray.
For unity between us, & for guidance from the Lord.

On September 5, 2007, we officially said “yes,”
& began a RUSH to get paperwork updated
& begin again what we had only fully finished three months prior!

One thing I have learned is, you never know where God is going to take you.

We thought two kids was just perfect, but God had other plans.

Now, we already cannot imagine our lives without Natty, our “surprise baby.”

We have had many people ask us if we will take more children if the opportunity presents itself.

You know, before this major bend in the road-that is our life,
we would have said that we were DONE.

But today, we like to say, that we are done…….for sure…….for now. (wink!)

But, God alone knows our future.
Have you seen God change your life’s direction, too?

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.

Proverbs 16:9
I ask you, could you say "no" to that face on your computer screen?
As we sat at the computer,
before we clicked on the file, (this was well before we said "yes")
Dave said to me, "You realize looking at his picture will change things forever."

Yes, our lives ARE changed forever, just like they have been by the two babies before him!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Blushing Here.......

Goofy "One True Media."

The website I used to create the previous post's slideshow put RAP music to it.


I didn't have ANY music with it!
(& I think I have the problem fixed!)

Please forgive me, family!

Embarrassed 1

Family Fun.......

Ok, part of our recent vacation included a get together with Dave’s side of the family.
Dave figured that last time they were all together was when he graduated from High School. Wow!

We left camp on Friday, August 2, & drove to Bowling Green, KY.
There, we met up with Dave’s parents,
his grandparents & his aunt & uncle.

The kids were sufficiently spoiled & loved on.
The pool at the hotel provided diversion for our two biggest fish,
& there were plenty of things to do in the area.

We ate out twice at a yummy catfish place……
& tried out a few other places as well.

We spent some time at a small amusement park
& touring Mammoth Cave on Sunday.

BUT, the biggest event of the weekend,
was that Natty turned one on Saturday.

How did we spend the day?
We went to a dairy & had lunch in the little restaurant.
Then, there was a picnic shelter outside,
where Natty partook of his little cake
(actually, destroyed it in about 15 seconds)
& opened his presents.

Anyway, enjoy this little slide show from our fun time together.
We love you all & had a great time together!

Edited to add:

Aparently, the website I chose added rap music to the slide show.

Rest assured, I did NOT choose the music.


Friday, August 15, 2008

And Time Marches On.......

Another year of Homeschooling begins….

ABEKA, Math U See, & Sonlight. (All great curriculum)

Organized & ready to go…….

But, am I ready to face the fact I have a Second Grader?

Where does the time go?

“So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Psalm 90:12

These kind of milestones often turn my gaze inward.

~Have I grown as a parent to my three precious gifts?

~Have I grown to be a better wife?

~How do I show love to my family & those around me?

~Can my family see what is important to me by how I order my days?

I wonder…..do days like today do this to you, too?
Celebratory breakfast-"Special of the house"-pancakes!
Celebratory Dinner-w/ one 4th grader, 2 2nd Graders & one Kindergartener.......(& one cutie, patoootie, who, thank goodness, isn't old enough for homeschooling yet!!!!! Whew!!)

Just realised-the only pics we have of school starting are all centered around FOOD.
What does that say about us, huh? (wink)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursdays Before the Throne

Are people more important to me than things?

This is what I have been praying about the last few weeks,
as we were encouraged to examine this in our own lives at camp a few weeks ago.

I have been praying, “Lord, show me each person as You view them.”

I have been praying that He would show me ways to put this into practice,
& that He would not let me forget-I want to be changed in this area.

How do you remember this truth
(people matter more than things)?

I need some practical help!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What did YOU do today?

Me? A school year……planned in one afternoon.


(Don’t let all that hard work fool you.
Most afternoons around here are much more lazy, thank goodness!)


1. My other blog is up & running again!

2. Ana & I are starting 2nd Grade tomorrow!
Please pray for me today as I get everything prepared!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ooops!!! What was that tooth fairy thinking?!?!?

Big happenings in the Dillon household!

FINALLY, a year & a half after loosing her first two teeth, Ana lost her third tooth.

(For those who don’t know-she cried tears of joy with the first two she lost.
Oh, my…..what lies ahead in those teenage years, I ask you????Teary)

Just as a little history lesson, she lost her first tooth in the pew at church.

Second tooth on our pick-up trip with Ruthie.

Anyway…..the top two have been loose for several weeks, & we thought she might loose one of them on this trip we just got back from. We were teasing her about whether or not the tooth fairy would know where to find her!

(Just as an aside……I don’t think she REALLY believes there is a tooth fairy, because she has always known the truth about Santa. She was scared of Santa, until she was , I think about 4. So, we just had to tell her the truth. A strange man would never come down her chimney. NEVER. That was the only thing that worked.)

So finally, yesterday afternoon, I felt a tapping on my leg-while I was supposed to be sleeping, & opened my eyes, to the delighted smile of my oldest, clutching her latest accomplishment-her pulled tooth!
Missing Teeth

(Oh, as another aside-thank the Lord-I
mean that literally-I have never had to pull a tooth.
Ugg….shudder! You go, girl!!!!)

A few hours later, she was asleep, tooth under her pillows.

And the tooth fairy forgot about it!!!! Guilt!

Her crushed face this morning. & her statement,
“Mom, the tooth is gone, but there was no money under my pillow!!!!
I’m going to the bathroom!”

My response, “Well, why don’t I run down there
& check a bit better for the money while you’re in the bathroom.”


Grab wallet!

Run downstairs!

Put two quarters in the pillowslip.

Find missing tooth-under the bed.

Then , rescue Ruthie from her bed.

Casually, state, “Ana, I found it! It was all the way down in the bottom of your pillowslip!”

Ah, the look of delight!!! “You did?!?” Digging in the pillowslip came up with 50 cents!!

Now, I ask you, has your tooth fairy ever forgotten? What a naughty tooth fairy!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Grief is Weird......

When it’s fresh……it comes in waves of anguish, crashing again & again upon your soul.

I have been there. I know I will be there again. It's part of life.

Saying goodby’s (for this life) can be so hard.

Well, at least when it’s someone who should NOT have died yet, know what I mean?

(When my Grandpa passed away 3 years ago, it was hard…..but we knew he would open his eyes in heaven, & glimpse his Savior for the first time. He was old & tired & it was time. Sad, but the right time).

When you loose a child, or a baby (or in our case, an unborn child we had longed & prayed for-for a couple of years), the grief of what “should have been” crushes you at first…..laying you flat on the floor in anguish.

But, as time passes & the Lord begins to put back the pieces of your broken heart, the grief no longer crashes on you. But sometimes it still comes tapping on your door, usually when you least expect it, desiring another conversation.


Yesterday, Ana & I took a tour of Aunt Shannon’s new hospital. We call it Aunt Shannon’s hospital, because she’s a nurse in the Birth Center there. They opened the new hospital on 08-08-08, & they hosted an open house yesterday for anyone who wanted to see the new facility.

Anticipation built, as Ana & I followed the crowd through surgery,
heart center, ICU……& two floors of patient rooms.

FINALLY, third floor!!!

The Birth Center!

We took a look at the new labor & delivery, recovery rooms,
the nursery, & wandered the rabbit warren of halls.

Then, out of nowhere…..the grief knocked on the door of my heart again.

We entered the new Neo-Natal ICU.

There, at the entrance…..was a table with info on pre-mature births.

& a frame with a tiny, inch & a half footprint in it.

The lady began to tell me all about pre-mature births…..& how I could donate to some cause to help prevent them…..& I could barely talk to her.

My throat began to fill up.

My eyes could not leave the frame….& the memory of my little box at home, with beautiful, half inch foot prints, impressed in plaster…..forever still, never to stand, walk or run.
Foot Print
Now, the tears threaten again….

We moved on-me feeling a bit guilty…..but I couldn’t take much more of that conversation.

Next, we saw the NICU Isolation Rooms.

There, my God stepped in-right into my heart…to remind me
(not more than 30 seconds later) that He is sovereign.

Laying in the table, swaddled in blankets, was a doll,
representing a 3 pound baby. Tubes running in every part of it’s body.

Natty was a 3 pound baby.

Who needed no resuscitation, tube feedings, or oxygen.

& now, is home in the US, a healthy, thriving, 16 pound, one year old.

Does sorrow sometimes revisit me over what “might have been?”


But, God is faithful to Himself.

He reminded me yesterday that we can’t ever look back.

If we hadn’t lost Jesse……

We wouldn’t have the two children that now complete our family.

All along……He knew.

Ruthie was the best little sister for Ana.

And Natty was the surprise baby we needed.

Now, I can choose to question why……why us, why sorrow, why death?
Or I can choose to focus on God’s Perfect plan for our lives.

Can I imagine life differently?

Am I changed since being touched by this?

And I know one thing for sure.

Only my Savior can take such terrible circumstances…….
& use them for good.

"Those who go down to the sea in ships,
Who do business on great waters,

They see the works of the LORD,
And His wonders in the deep.

For He commands and raises the stormy wind,
Which lifts up the waves of the sea.

They mount up to the heavens,
They go down again to the depths;
Their soul melts because of trouble.

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man.
And are at their wits’ end.

Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble,
And He brings them out of their distresses.

He calms the storm,
So that its waves are still.

Then they are glad because they are quiet;
So He guides them to their desired haven."

Psalm 107: 23-30

He calmed my “stormy, staggering, melting soul,”
right there in that hospital hallway.
Has He done the same for you?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Wow! What Fun!

We had the biggest treat on our vacation!
We had a short visit with our friends we met on our Pick-Up trip for Ruthie’s adoption. Greg, Tina & Toby gave us some of our best times in Guatemala that time around. We spent a lot of time just hanging out together, watching our kids play, eating out etc. They had a washing machine & dryer in their little apartment that was such a blessing for us!

Now, they have also adopted Lili from Guatemala,
& we just missed each other by a week on this Pick-Up trip.
We just had to see each other’s new babies!

And, we had the delight of meeting Tina's mom & cousin, too!
Greg, we missed seeing you, but hopefully we will see you at some point!
Lovely Mama with her little girl!
Ana & Toby sweating it out!
It was at least 95 degrees in the shade (& the humididity-ugg!!!!)

Two beautiful girls & I!

Two mamas, one daddy, one big sister & 4 Guat Tots!!!
Great to see all those babies at home!

It was so fun! Hope to see you guys again soon!!!
Maybe we can spend more than 1 hour together!

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