"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! :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008


This is my first post on my NEW laptop!!! Yipeee!!!

Soon I will post pics of the girls playing outside in our first big snowstorm of the year!
Buried In Snow

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What are YOU thankful for today???

Of course I have SO many things to be thankful for…….
& I’m sure you thought of these:

But, here are a few things you might not know I’m thankful for:

~3 children who are still fast asleep Thanksgiving morning
-at 8:30 am-
which NEVER happens at our house!!!!

~the first real snow of the season may come tonight
(I love the way the seasons change)

~a hubby who is going to go to Best Buy at 3 am tomorrow morning to try &
get me a new laptop so I can upload pics again!!!! Now THAT is love, isn’t it????
(especially if it does snow like it’s supposed to!)

~Mostly, though, I am the most thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, without whom,
I would be a lost sinner on my way to hell.

“…giving thanks to the Father,
who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness,

and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,”
Colossians 1:12 & 13

Alright, I tried to figure out Mr. Linky, so I could link your blogs easily,
but it would take to long for me this am.

SOOOO…..let me know in the comments
what you are thankful for, & I will link your blog in a list later today!
(FFF visitors, sorry-I'm kinda cheating-since this was Thursday's post).
Ok, so I had one comment so far!
Thanks, Pam!
A few more:
(our good friends from our 3 & 1/2 week
stay in Guatemala 2 Christmases ago)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Surgery update.....(& life update)

My asthma seems to be finally calming down. My throat is still a bit sore, though, & I am still coughing & clearing my throat WAY more than I really like to do.

I can finally talk some, but it is still very quiet......& almost no one can hear me!
(OK.....no comments from those of you who know me in real life!!!!)
All my family is coming for Thanksgiving-
my parents, my grandma & one of my aunts are already here.
My brother, his wife & five kids come late tomorrow night.
(They are staying with my other sister, though!!!)
Finally, my BABY brother flies in tomorrow night as well.
It is the first time we have all been together since my grandpa's funeral 4 years ago.

Good Times!!!

Now, this is some of what I always wanted for Ana……

Playing “house.”

I am SOOOO thankful they are both still young enough to enjoy playing together!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

(Part 2)...

OK, here’s the promised other story:

We arrived at the surgery center 15 minutes early-9am.

After doing all the FUN (ha!) surgery prep, we were told to sit tight & wait.

(Have you ever laid on a hospital bed when you’re not really sick?)

As the time for surgery crept nearer, Dave & I began to get the sense things weren’t going quite as planned.

About a ½ hour before it was scheduled, the doctor came in & confirmed our suspicions. Yeah, things were running behind. Seems the anesthesiologist was double booked!

I decided I had had enough of looking at the sea-green curtain, & listening to the tick-tock of the black, white & red clock on the wall.

So, I dug out my book I had brought along for just such an eventuality.

But, it was not to be.


Because of “Erica” in the partition next to me.

I tell you, by the time I was wheeled into surgery, I knew that:

~Her birthdate was July XX, 1938. (said at least 10-15 times)
~Her potassium levels were 5.1, which was a bit higher than the doctors were comfortable with
~She had at least 25 pins in her right leg.
~She was in the hospital to put a new shunt in for kidney dialysis.
~She was tempted to go to back to Mexico to get a kidney! (I kid you not! When Dave & I heard that, we really started to laugh, especially as we overheard the doctor try to convince her that PROBABLY wasn’t the best of ideas!)

Why are these people soooo loud, too?
I had not had my daily dose of caffeine either,
so I could barely tolerate life by now.

When a new nurse would show up to talk with this lady,
I would whisper her birthdate to answer the nurse’s question. That’s how many times these conversations were repeated!

FINALLY, at 1pm, they found me another anesthesiologist.

PUT me OUT of my caffeine headache misery, please!!!!

The surgery went well, & I was in & out of recovery in less than two hours.

Back to the sea-foam partitions to wait for discharge…..

And guess who showed up about ten minutes after I got back…..


Erica……my friend from before surgery.

She seemed to have survived her surgery ok, but she couldn’t quite grasp the fact that she needed to use the bathroom before they would let her go home.

Poor lady! I really did feel for her.

Hopefully, everything worked out well for her to start dialysis.

Thanks, everyone for your prayers, & right now, I have still not started to talk yet.

I’ll probably wait until tomorrow.

If you wanted to pray, my asthma seems to REALLY be acting up, so I have been coughing & trying to decide if I am getting a sinus infection.

Coughing can’t be good for a trachea that has just had laser surgery.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ok…..so here’s the run-down: (Part 1)

We dropped the kids off at my sister’s house at around 8am.

My brother-in-law walked all the older kids to the bus stop (Ana included).

We said good-bye to the babies & headed out the door.

I suggested to Dave,
“Let’s try to catch Ana on her way back to their house so we can say goodby.”

My brother-in-law was running up the road,

Rolling down the window, I said, “Hey, aren’t you missing someone?”

His response????

“Well, she wanted to go to school, so I let her!”


We kept driving, & sure enough, we never saw her. After a few minutes of driving, I decided to call my other sister, who was with my mom & tell them the latest GOOFY, completely out of left-field thing my brother-in-law had done. (Not that he’s given to that kind of behavior often-but every once in a while-you just never know with him!!! Sorry guys, if you are reading this!)

After about 5 minutes on the phone with them,
I get a beep through from my sister watching the kids.

I thought, “She’s calling to tell me she has to go to school & get Ana…..
who is sitting in the office forlornly by herself.”
(They wouldn’t have let her stay, would they????)

I am also thinking, “This will COMPLETELY turn Ana off of public school FOR LIFE!”

So, instead, my sister asked, “I was wondering when Natty can have a bottle next.”
Baby Bottle


My daughter has been sent to school……& that’s all that you can say????

After answering her question, I nonchalantly asked her,
“So is my oldest daughter on the bus to school?”
Bus Moony

To my surprise, she said, “Ana is right here with me!”

Again, I think, “WHAT?!?!?”
Here I am convinced she’s on her way to school!!!

To make a long story short, I guess, Uncle Brian & Ana decided to try & play a joke on us…….

& we fell for it,

hook, line & sinker!
Belly Laugh

(But, hey, at least I didn’t spend most of the
drive to the hospital worried about my surgery, right? Ha!! Ha!)

~Tune in later for more of our funny stories from yesterday!~

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm HOME!!!!!

Surgery went quicker than expected. That's always, good, right?
Well, I do have a funny rundown I hope to post tomorrow, so check back in!
(It involves funny patients in recovery rooms!)
Right now, I'm off to sleep-I hope!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tomorrow's the DAY!!!!

I am having surgery on my trachea. I have scar tissue on it from when I was young (age 2) & was intubated for a week. I was in a coma-due to serious pneumonia & they didn't remove the tube often enough to prevent it trying to attach to the trachea wall. So, when I came out of the coma, they basically ripped it out, I guess. Some time later, my mom noticed I was turning blue when I played. She took me into the doctor, who said it was scar tissue building up in my trachea. If they hadn't discovered it when they did, the doctor said it could have grown completely closed in the next few days!!! I had a series of tracheal dilatations, & was told at the age of 8 that it was looking great, although I still had a smaller trachea than most kids my age.

Anyway, I have been having a very hoarse voice, & I had an ENT scope my throat. He said there is still more scar tissue there than he is comfortable with, & he thinks it could be why I have had so many asthma symptoms my whole life. We also deduced that it might be indirectly causing the hoarseness, since I clear my throat & cough a lot. Could be that the tightness feels like asthma, but really is just the small trachea. He will remove what is still left of the scar tissue, & put some liquid on the new wound to prevent any new scar tissue from forming.

So, it is an outpatient surgery, but I will be under general anesthesia.

The hardest part, though, is I CAN'T TALK OR MAKE ANY SOUND FROM MY THROAT FOR 48 HOURS!!! Dave will be full-time parenting! I think I might need to go to a hotel to keep my mouth shut! (Just kidding!)

I am somewhat nervous about it, though, since I love to sing & that is super close to my vocal chords! Then, of course, there's the whole general anesthesia thing! YIKES! I don't like not being in control!

Anyway, I would appreciate your prayers! Tomorrow at 10:45am, Mountain Time!
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 & 15a



Natty stood up & let go of me at least three times today!!!!

(now, the questions is:

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Proof Positive!!!! (& a question)

Do people like me REALLY child-proof their houses?
I mean, it is not completely possible, is it, with two babies so close in age-
& a 7 year old that NEEDS to have access to some of her toys!
(like this rocking chair-for instance! ha!! ha!!)
Oh, my goodness!! I just realised!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Book Recommendation…….

Dave & I went on a date the other night-& ended up at one of our favorite places-Borders!

(now I can really hear some of you chuckling-“What a LAME-o life they have!!!” Hey-if any of you have BETTER date ideas when it’s cold, dark & we don’t do movies on dates-feel free to share!!!)

But, we DID go to dinner before that-just so you don’t think we’re total losers.

But, back to the bookstore-we pick a time to meet & just turn loose.

I wandered around looking for Christmas gifts for the kids-oh, the agony of having to choose-new “Little House on the Prairie” books for Ana, Nancy Drew-the ENTIRE old series that I grew up on, or cute little stories for the babies.

I finally made my decisions & meandered into the adult section-
& right out of the kiddos area there was a shelf of “adoption books.”

Just as an aside-I remember one "date night" about 3 years ago-I approached that section with great trepidation-& almost looked around to see if anyone was watching me pick up a book written by an adult adoptee. It was one of the first steps *I* took down the path of adoption-& I was scared to death to pick up that book. But, once I did, I couldn’t put it down.

Anyway, this time, I saw the book:

OK, I don’t usually get into these types of books.

They are just waaaaay to “touchy-feely” or something.

Probably why I’m kinda picky about the authors I read-
I don’t much care for fluff-know what I mean?

I like to be made to think……even when reading fiction.

BUT…..this one-I, once again, couldn’t put down.

If you have been touched by adoption (in any way),
this is a book that you will never forget reading.

(& may I say-if anyone out there is considering adoption-this is a MUST READ!)

We have a temporary fix!!!

It is somewhat antiquated, but it should work......


Sunday, November 16, 2008

I am very sorry to have to tell you this......

But, our computer is no longer allowing us to download any pics. All of the USB ports are locking the computer up.

Until we can get a new computer.......the pics from last week will have to tide you over-& we have no idea when that will be.

I am very sad....


Anyone have any ideas how to post anyway??? I love keeping everyone up to date!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Besos" Kisses.......& my rambling thoughts on love! ;-)


We are starting to see what I always dreamed of!

Before we started the adoption process, I wanted a sister for Ana.


Because I am one of the privileged people that still calls my sisters my best friends.

When life throws me a curve ball…….
or when I’m so overcome with joy I’m about to burst-
they are the first people to hear about it
(well-probably Dave & my mom are, too)

I wanted that for Ana sooooo badly.

I think that was one of the hardest things about infertility & miscarriage.

BUT……God had other, better plans, didn’t He?

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD,
thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11

The last few months have been sometimes hard when it comes to
“growing pains” & adjusting to becoming a family of five.
But, now, we are begining to see....
love for each other taking a firm root in their hearts.

This picture is one of my favorites, taken on our visit trip to Guatemala, while in process on our son’s adoption. It captures what I have always wanted for all my kiddos-love given & love received.
I don't think I could sum up better than this picture does,
do you?
(For more FFF, go to Sarah's blog!)

Thursdays Before the Throne

So, on Saturday, my sister & I took our kids on a hike.

Two of our kids just can’t seem to get enough of each other…..
so when the rock scrambling was done,
they wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon together.

My sister & I stepped aside to discuss their desires.

While we tried to work out logistics,
I happened to glance over at the two of them…….
Whose heads were bowed in prayer!

These two adorable children were PRAYING
that they could spend the afternoon together!

What a lesson for us, huh?

Pray continually.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17

(& yes, they did spend the afternoon together!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Natty......one year ago today......

Do you recognize milestones in your life?

I love them. I love to remember.
I love to review all the emotions, sights & sounds of any fond memory.
From that day we met our son:

I remember the softness of baby cheeks.

I remember the hugs of that day. Shear joy to see our foster family again.

I remember the tears.

I remember the crooning to my babies by Mama Anna (all of them) in Spanish.

I remember the look of seriousness on Ana’s face as she carefully held her little brother
& fed him a bottle for the first time.

I remember the bittersweet knowing that in spite of the joy of the day,
a breaking of my heart was coming.
I would soon love this little boy-& do what no mother should have to do-
leave their baby in a foreign country……not knowing when we would return.

What a year of blessing this has been, huh?

& to think that in the summer of 2007,
we had no idea how much different &
BETTER our lives would be with another blessing in our lives......
“Behold, children are a blessing from the Lord.”
Psalm 127:3

Do you spend time “remembering?”
(For a fun stroll down memory lane,
visit the following old posts:
& finally: here.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Am I PROUD?!?!? You beccha!!!!

So……my sister, her hubby, my hubby & our kids went out for dinner on Saturday night.

Out to a buffet…..where all the kids can eat what they want.

The best part about it is, if they try something they don’t like-it’s an easy trip back up to the buffet for something else!

(Don’t think for a minute, though, that we aren’t those mean parents that make our kids eat their veggies, though! We are! Ha!)

But, our waitress made our night (both the kids & the parents!)

She said, “I have to tell you-your kids are the best behaved kids I have had in a LONG time! & they eat so neatly!”

Do you know how encouraging that was?

Both for the kids & for us!

So often parenting is a lot of “no-don’t” &
“eat with your silverware,”
& “stay in your chair.”

(& sometimes, parenting is even embarrassing-
& you know what I mean, don’t you??
PLEASE tell me someone understands that aspect!)

But, every once in a while-like Saturday night-you just feel SOOOO proud of your kids!

(& yeah, we have pointed it out to them several times!)
Clapping Hands

Friday, November 7, 2008


I am living my dream!

Do you ever stop to remember what you used to sit & imagine about?

I have pondered this a great deal lately.

I wanted to marry a man who loved me & have a dozen children.

In 1998, I began to have my little daydreams fulfilled.

I married someone who loved me in spite of myself.

(& just as a little bonus-he was TALL-really tall!-
something I always wanted but wasn’t sure I would get!)

I love him now more than the day I married him.

In 2001, the rest of my dream began to come to fruition.

Ana was born.

But you know what’s really cool, too?

God even fulfilled a dream I hardly ever spoke of to anyone.


When we married, Dave didn’t even know I had the dream.

And God blessed me again by bringing that dream to reality as well.

Soooo…..the past few weeks-through cooking dinner, wiping noses, soothing tears, temper tantrums (& not always from the 2 year old-ha! ha!), ripped books, spilled milk, egg shells in the food, clingy, cranky teething baby-through all these things…..God has reminded me that THIS is my dream!

Even with all it’s imperfections.

(FFF visitors-sorry,

I have very few family pics-they almost always turn out something like this!)

I know so many women who would love to be in my shoes-having a man & children to love & care for (& that love & care for them back).

Just as an aside-I don’t think I ever told you that Ana (with the help of her dad) made me chocolate chip cookies the other day when I was sick-stomach sick.

“I just thought they might make you feel better, Mommy!”

In spite of not being able to eat them then, I thought-“now this is heaven on earth-such a sweet child!”

I don’t deserve my dreams being fulfilled,

but every day, they are coming true before my eyes.

Thanks be to God! I have people to love & serve!

How about you?
What dreams did you have?
(PS.......I certainly don't want a dozen kids NOW.
Three seems like the perfect number! Happy )

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thursdays Before the Throne

Hi! I’m hoping some of you can help me answer a few questions for a friend.

How much fruit do you see in your own life when you walk the Christian life?
Do you see much difference in the way you used to conduct your life to how you do now?

Or, are you simply made more aware of what a sinner you are-
when compared to Christ’s perfection?
My friend is REALY struggling with this right now,
so any insight you might have from your own life
(or the lives of people you know) would be helpful.
Thanks so much!

Where is my BLOG????

Nothing is here!!! What's going on?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Protest Voting" (nope, I can't remain wordless today-sorry!!!)

You know what I mean, right?

Writing in “Mickey Mouse” on your “write-in” slot.

Voting for the 7th candidate down, who is affiliated with some party no one has ever heard of.

(Or at least the only people who have are ones who work at the party headquarters-ha! ha!)

What do you think of protest voting?

I, personally see it as not being a good steward
(steward-a person given the charge of something) of your vote.

Here’s why:

~We have a privilege many across the world do not have.
We can let our voices be heard.

~If you vote for someone who you KNOW will not make it in to office,
how is your voice going to be heard?

~You are the only person that knows what you did, right?
So, what did you do, but prove to yourself you didn’t like the choices?
You proved nothing to me-or to anyone else, since your ballot was a secret.

~I think, instead, each person should carefully examine each of the issues & research where each candidate stands-& vote for who you think MOST CLOSELY matches your ideas. It would be rare in this world to find someone you agree with 100% of the time, but you can find some common ground with someone serious on the ballot, can’t you?

To me, it is like throwing away a privilege God granted us by placing us in this grand United States of America!

What do you think?

(ok, climbing down off my soapbox now-

& hoping I didn't offend anyone too much-
but, hey, it's MY blog, right????-wink)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Funny Kids?!?!

How about funny “mom story?”
Or at least an entertaining “mom story?”

I thought we might need something lighthearted today,
so I had every intention of telling you something funny each of the kids have entertained us with over the past few weeks.

Ruth even obliged us by breaking the swing that hangs in the doorway
-while she was in it!

She wasn’t hurt, but boy did she cry!
I actually saw it happen
& the look on her face made me laugh-
while I ran to her rescue!

Here is the proof:

But, as usual, life sometimes has other ideas.

I almost died last night.


If Dave hadn’t been there, I don’t know if I would be here today.

Has time ever stood still for you?

Last night, we settled in to watch something on tv.

The kids were all tucked in.

I had a small bowl of my favorite cereal-which is so sugary, I count it as a dessert. (YUMM!)

Suddenly, (& I have no idea how) I couldn’t breathe in or out.

My mind said…….”I can’t breathe! I’m choking! No air!”

I stood up & tried (at first unsuccessfully) to get Dave’s attention.


No sound came out.

All I could do was wave my arms.

& grab at my throat!

Time stood still & FINALLY……..(really it was probably only a couple of seconds)

He stood up & asked, “Are you OK?”

NO! (this wasn’t spoken-just implied-but, thank the Lord, Dave understood!)

He pounded my back……didn’t help.


After what seemed like an eternity, he grabbed around my waist & Heimliched (like my made up word???) me!

& out it came!

& Not to gross anyone out-but the medical side of me has to share-I puked, too! Fascinating how the body works. I puked on our new carpet, too!

My question is, though, what would have happened had Dave not been there?

I had a very hard time going to sleep last night.

I kept going back to “What if I had been by myself?”

“What would I have done?”

I finally decided that I could have tried to bang my back on the wall.

I was also reminded that I am not guaranteed tomorrow.

But, God spared my life through my husband last night!

“LORD, make me to know my end,
And what is the measure of my days,
That I may know how frail I am.
Psalm 39:4

Thank-you, Dear! & thank-You, Lord!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Prayer for our Nation.....on the eve of this historic election.

from "My Country 'Tis of Thee."

Our Father’s God, to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.

"19 Then Daniel praised the God of heaven
20 and said:
"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are His.
21 He changes times and seasons;
He sets up kings and deposes them. "
Daniel 2:19-21

Even though I believe that God is ultimately in charge of who wins the election tomorrow,
I believe two things:

1. It is my responsibility to vote & vote responsibly.
God placed me in a country that allows it’s people to choose their rulers…..
& though He knows the outcome already (it’s kinda like prayer),
He still wants me to use the privilege He has granted every citizen in this country.

2. No matter who wins tomorrow,
I have a responsibility to pray for those who end up in authority,
“that we may lead a quiet & peaceable life
in all godliness & reverence.”
2 Timothy 2:2

Anyway, if you haven’t already, go vote tomorrow…….
& may God continue to bless America.

Flag 2

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ode to a neglected blog:

Oh, how do I neglect Thee?
Let me count the ways.

I neglect Thee in August.
I neglect Thee in September.
I neglect Thee in October…..

I neglect Thee through new flooring installation.
I neglect Thee while cruising.
I neglect Thee while “Single” parenting.

I neglect Thee the worst…..when Thy guilt thrust upon me is too much to bear.
But, here & now I pledge Thee my faithful attention & care.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Stop the clock!

Ha! Ha! That title may be especially appropriate for today,
don’t you think?

I was rocking my baby this afternoon…….
& it suddenly hit me-they are all growing so fast!

(News flash-I know!)

It seems like just yesterday that they were this:
(ugg...once again,
I have no idea what the music is or why it's there!)
And now they are this:

(HA! Wouldn't you know it-
we get all the kids smiling & looking at the camera-
& I have feet & paint pants in the picture!)

I get so caught up in the changing diapers, potty training
(yes, Ruth has said goodbye to diapers forever-yippeee!),
the spelling tests.

All these things are SUPER important-I know.

Along with making sure they eat healthy,
well-balanced meals
& take baths at least a few times a week. (wink!)

Teaching them manners & how to obey.
But, somewhere…..I am missing their growing up.
I know it goes fast,
but sometimes, I just want it to stand still.

Like I said, Ana’s time in this family has flown by!







Can you guys give me some practical tips on how to take life more slowly
& enjoy these precious gifts?
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