"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 29, 2009

"UP"

"Standing up!"
"Climbing up!"
(taken last June at my cousin's wedding)

"High up!"

The view from the VERY TIP TOP of our zoo!

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

& Finally.....this is why I GIVE UP trying to take pictures of Ruth!

(From an attempt to take pictures of her this afternoon while waiting for Ana at ballet!)



I guess, as my friend Tina made me realize,
it's hard to take one picture that captures all her cuteness-
I had to take 40!!!

For more fun with "Up," run on over to Sarah's blog!

Ana.......


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ruth........


She suddenly has decided it's fun to get her picture taken!!! YEAH!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hi!!!

Here goes another week!!!

Are you ever as intrigued as I am by titles like this?

I mean……who doesn’t want a “House that Cleans Itself?!?”

I DID succumb to temptation &
buy the book, mostly because it was highly recommended on a couple of different websites.

I am only about ½ way through the book,
but already a lot of it makes sense to me.

The biggest thing the author said that resonates with me is that when you are decluttering, to ask yourself one simple question about EVERY SINGLE THING in your house:

“Is the time I spend on this particular item worth keeping it?”

Here are a couple other questions she uses to clarify:

“Does what I get from this item provide a fair tradeoff considering I have to clean & store it?”

“Do I want to spend another second in the future fooling with it or do I want to get rid of it now so it will no longer cost me a thing”

She also says,

“Every possession you have,
from the tiniest button to the biggest piece of furniture,
takes with it a piece of your time.”

I am a time-oriented person,
& I think this book & I will get along great!!!

How about you?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"New"

That is the “topic” of today’s FFF.

For me, all I could think of at first was:
We will soon be getting a new one of these,
due to the accident we were in-yes-
a FULL two weeks ago!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
But, then I realised……I now have a NEW perspective on life!

These two verses from God’s Word come to mind as I pondered this week's theme:

Then He who sat on the throne said,
“Behold, I make all things new.”
Revelation 21:5

&

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation;
old things have passed away;
behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

Now……with this NEW outlook:

I am getting down on the floor & throwing balls with my son.
I am dancing with my two year old a bit more.
(& PRAYING that in one of her clumsy moments
she doesn’t fall into my still VERY sore chest!-ha!!! Ha!!!)
& I am playing quick games of “Blink” with my seven year old.

I am stopping to smell their soft necks-fresh from the tub.

I am listening to all they say-even the difficult to understand ones!

I am cuddling up on the couch with the kiddos to watch things like “Cars.”

I am hugging my hubby more & he’s hugging me a bit more-

although all hugging with me these days has to be gentle-
I keep thinking of the line in the “Princess Bride” where Wesley tells Buttercup as he’s recovering from being “mostly dead”- “Gently!”

(ok...this I just had to include cause it CRACKED ME UP!!!
That movie is FULL of great lines, isn't it???)


OK....this mama's heart is almost breaking.......( A different kind of Thursday post)

Between Ruth’s slowly abating tears….& this:
(Click on it for a glimpse into a 7 year old mind)
Ok….maybe that titles’s a bit dramatic….but I do feel so bad for these two precious children!

I mean-this is NOT something my kids should HAVE to deal with!!!

I have been suspecting that Ana hasn’t been processing the accident & is bottling up a lot. The other day, I thought, “The child loves to write. Why don’t I start several sentences for her & have her write the endings!”

I know she can’t totally vocalize her feelings yet-especially about something so traumatic….& this was perfect!

Then we talked about all her sentences….we both cried, hugged & loved on each other.

I told her that it is ok to feel all those things she was afraid to talk about.
This one was the hardest…..
What would you have told her?
(Hey-we may need to revisit this at some later point-
& I need all the help I can get!)

This is what I told her:

“Honey, Jesus said, ‘In the world you WILL have tribulation (troubles).’
But, He also promised that His Holy Spirit would go with us THROUGH all these hard things that will happen to us!”

She seemed to accept that-I mean really, God’s protection was SUPER evident. Natty could have been the one bearing the brunt of the accident had timing been any different!!

After our time together…..she looked soooo relieved!
Ana is such a people pleaser (already) that she didn’t want us to worry about her!

Sigh……(do you hear me?)

She has acted much more like herself today!

I told her, though, we will probably do some more writing in a few weeks or so!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday........."Failure to Thrive?!?!" I ask you???

Once again....you know I can HARDLY EVER be "Wordless," right??
Why else would I have a BLOG, huh??
This is the 3 & 1/2 pound baby I fell in love with.

This video was taken before Christmas......& he is NOW a PRO at walking!!!


video

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Can I vent just a bit? Ok….good!



I ask you….does a baby who was born at 3 ½ pounds
& now weighs almost 20 at 17 months old look like a FAILURE TO THRIVE infant????
I mean REALLY!?!?!?

I sometimes get so frustrated with terms *they* throw around!

Who are *they* comparing him to anyway???

The growth curve for babies born in the USA should only apply to BABIES BORN IN THE USA, don’t you think?

I mean, the average size of babies born in Guatemala is like just shy of five pounds.

In the US, it is 7 pounds , 11 ounces (gotta love that GOOGLE, huh??)

So, the gastroenterologist we took Natty to a few weeks ago gently brought up the term “failure to thrive” with me…..since he isn’t even on the growth charts for weight.

I, respectfully disagree, Madame Doctor!

(& by the way, so does his pediatrician!!!! So-take that!!!)

I mean…..he sure looks happy, & he has been a WAAAY healthier baby than Ruth.

He toddles all around the house-eats like a horse &
has steadily gained weight & length since he was born.

Does that sound like “failure to thrive” to you?

I thought not!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ahhhh....now this is PEACE!!!! Finally, we are getting back to "normal!"

(For those of you who haven't seen them.....
I posted pics from our Disney Cruise on today's earlier post!)
Taken today-at the zoo!
So nice & warm!!!
No coats needed!
He was really asleep-but these two below?!?!?
They are little FAKERS!!
(But, hey, at least Ruth *wants* to play a bit in the car, right?)

I am going to the dr. on Wed.-
my pain is still a bit unmanagable!

A bit of catch up!

Did I tell you? Did I tell you!?!?! I don't think I ever did!

Here's the great news!!!
Our pictures-the ones from our Disney Cruise back in October-RECOVERED!!!!
Yippee!!!
A friend of ours sent us to this website, & we were able to get almost all our pictures off the chip-(remember? the NEW camera had randomly deleted all our pics!!)


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bribery will get you everywhere......right??!?!?

We have resorted to bribery......& it is working better than anything else! Ruth gets candy at the end of each trip she doesn't cry!

(thank-you to my mother-in-law, who came up with this brilliant idea! The doctor agreed-if it works, use it!!!!)

video

& in other BIG news.....she has been dry & accident free for 4 days!!!!!

(& I am soooo thankful to say GOODBYE to DIAPERS!!!)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"His Eyes......are Always Upon Me.......His Eyes Never Close in Sleep."

"Sometimes His eyes were gentle and filled with laughter
And sometimes they cried
Sometimes there was a fire of Holy anger
In Jesus' eyes

But the eyes that saw hope in the hopeless
That saw through the fault to the need
Are the same eyes that look down from heaven
Into the deepest part of you and me

And His eyes are always upon us
His eyes never close in sleep
And no matter where you go
You will always be in His eyes
In His eyes

Sometimes His voice comes calling like rolling thunder
Or like driving rain
And sometimes His voice is quite and we start to wonder
If He knows our pain
But He who spoke peace to the water
Cares more for our hearts than the waves
And the voice that once said, "You're forgiven."
Still says, "You're forgiven", today
Today

Sometimes I look above me when stars are shining
And I feel so small
How could the God of heaven and all creation
Know I'm here at all
But then in the silence He whispers:"
My child, I created you too
and you're my most precious creation
I even gave my Son for you."

And His eyes are always upon you
His eyes never close in sleep
and no matter where you go
you will always be in His eyes
no matter where you go
you will always be in His eyes

Sometimes His eyes were gentle and filled with laughter"

This was one of my favorite Steven Curtis Chapman songs at one point in my life.

How funny that I now feel such a connection to him & his family-
which reminds me that we still should be praying for them.

Anyway….when I saw the theme at FFF for this week-EYES-the words to this song came from the depths of my mind…….& began to replay themselves. What a comfort to my soul these past few hours.

& while I know this wasn’t the intent of Sarah’s theme this week…..I did need reminding this week that My Father in Heaven always has His eyes on me & my family.

Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,
Psalm 33:18

Ruth's eyes speak volumes in this picture, don't they? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(Here are some links for those of you who want to read our full story-& if you do,
will you please pray for our continued recovery! Thanks!!!)

Thurdays Before the Throne......(A verse & a couple of pics)

Psalm 27:14 (Amplified Bible)
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord;
be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring.
Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.

Yes, she ate the paint this am!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Almost a "Wordless Wednesday"

Our "milk-free" boy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Poor baby! This is what we deal with every time we get in the car.
video

(for some reason, Blogger loaded some jammin music-not the sound that should be there.
I'll try loading it some other way later).

video


Tonight, Ana will not be in the car with her, so whose hand will she hold then?

(she is crying in the video to hold Ana's hand-

Ana never let go of it in the first place!)

I don't think this is normal-is it?

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

And, ending with a verse I read this morning:

"The Lord will give strength to His people,

The Lord will bless His people with peace."

Psalm 29:11

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I need some levity today......can YOU make me laugh????


I can't think of too many funny things right now......but we all need to laugh!!!!
Can you put some funny stories in my comments.....or send me to your blogs?

Ana's really into Calvin & Hobbs right now!

Maybe I should pick some up.....although it still hurts to laugh!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Ok…..an update on us.

We are doing much better-at least physically.
My kiddos & I may take a loooong time when it comes to emotional healing, though.

I am functioning on only Advil today, which is a HUGE blessing!
The other meds were making me feel weird an hour or so after I took them!

I went to the dentist today,
& they fixed the small chip I had lost from one of my top front teeth.

As we take stock of bruises & scrapes,
I seem the worst off, then perhaps Ana,
(who is sore on her chest like me-
where there is no bruise,
but it seems to be way below the surface that is sore).

Ruthie has scrapes & bruising on her neck where her car seat straps hit it
& she bit her tongue really hard on both sides.

Natty has bruising on his neck as well,
& it seems his pacifier cut his upper lip in the impact.
Now, the emotional healing……I don’t know. L

Every time I lay down, the events that happened Friday noonish replay themselves in my head.

The “What if’s” keep flashing through my head as well.

These two thoughts are the worst:

“What if I had seen the SUV earlier?
Could I have avoided hitting them?”

& “What if the timing had been different?
Natty could have been the one bearing the brunt of the accident!”

I KNOW these things didn’t happen….but the battle in my head is sooooo hard to fight!

Perhaps the worst thing for me as a mommy, though is this:

Ruthie is SCARED to DEATH to go anywhere!

Last night, we went to evening church (after replacing both carseats) & she sobbed all the way there & back. Nothing anyone did brought her any comfort. She kept up this constant stream of:

~Shaking anytime the car moved in a direction she wasn’t expecting
~Saying, “Daddy, stop it the car! Bease! (please!)!” “Mommy, hode you me!”

~Sobbing until her tears covered the front of her carseat & coat.

~Craning her neck to see out the front & make sure we weren’t going to hit anything.


We tried praying, singing, holding her hands…..nothing worked to stop her fear!
Oh, it just makes me want to cry now-just thinking about her fear!
Ana felt so bad, because usually, she can make Ruth feel better, but not last night!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today, I think things are a bit better.

We had to take Dave to work this am, because Natty needed bloodwork drawn-we are having all sorts of tests run to try & figure out the source of his diarrhea.

Ruth needed us to explain every move the car made…..but there was only a bit of the crying. She still wanted Ana holding her hand the whole way….but she was able to play with the toys Ana brought trying to distract her!

(Just as a side note-how lucky am I???
My 7 year old is thinking about how to take care of her baby sister!!!
I have been soooo proud of Ana!!!!)

Dave & I are wondering if Ruthie might need to see a psychologist to work through this-
we will keep you posted!

We are thankful Ana shows NO signs of being afraid-& when I ask her, she says “No….I know that probably won’t ever happen again!” She *is* hyper vigilant that we not even start the car until her seat belt is buckled, though, which we are grateful for!

I am sitting on my couch this afternoon, basking in the sunlight streaming in my living room window, after waking up from a LOOOONG afternoon nap. All that driving around WORE me out, physically & emotionally.

(& to be honest, I am dreading the first time I have to drive through that intersection again. People have told me I may never approach it with out a bit of fear/caution!)

Thanks for reading all of this,
& for your continued prayers as I think we may still have a very long road of healing in front of us.

But, as they say, time is the best healer!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Important Car Seat Info!!!!!

I had never realized this before……but here’s WHY you should replace all car seats AFTER an accident, courtesy of a friend of mine, who’s a car seat expert:

“I'm so glad you guys noticed this damage. Of course, this wreck is so obvious and so severe, but the carseats are designed to fail! They are designed to break in an accident, absorbing the impact of the collision so that the forces are applied to the PLASTIC and the METAL, not the BABY!”

We noticed that the locking clip (a clip attached to the seat belt to help the locking mechanism on the seat belt keep the car seat in place) had bent! I had not even thought of the fact that the seats themselves possibly being cracked behind the fabric!

PLEASE, if your child’s car seat has been in an accident-even a small one….replace it! Most insurance companies will cover the cost, too!

Oh, & make sure they are installed correctly
& that they fit your child correctly, too.

We are doing a bit better today.

I stayed home with the babies, since all we have are their old seats.

Dave & Ana went to church & are heading over to Babies R Us right after church.
P.S. My friend also said:
"Different car seat manufacturers have different reccs on when the seat needs to be replaced. Some very minor wrecks with no damage to the passenger compartment and specific criteria allow the reuse of seats. I'm thinking of the ones that happen when you bump a car as you're parking or something...exceptionally minor.It's always best to read your seat's manual and your car's manual for specifics for your situation."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"The Ban is get a BAD Ouwie!" Quote from Ruthie.

I am amazed I walked away from the vehicle, aren’t you?



A Few Pics......& A Few Thoughts........

We all slept well last night-considering.
I did wake up some with pain,
but was able to get 6 hours of sleep or so.

For the first time ever, we let Ruthie & Ana sleep together.

They were both still pretty shook up.

We went over to some friends’ house for dinner last night, & every time we went over a bump, Ana put her head in her coat, & Ruthie fussed out, “Ana, hode you my hand!!!”
They fell asleep almost immediately
When we went to the ER yesterday, we split the kids up.

I took Ruth & Dave took Ana & Natty.

The nurse obliged us by taking a picture of Ruth & I in our neck braces.
Ruth is showing you her cut tongue.
A few thoughts made it hard to sleep last night.

(Please let me vent-can’t believe I already need that “Cheap Therapy” again!)

Of course, the MOMENT kept re-playing itself in my head. I’m just glad it happened so fast I barely had time to think! At least I don’t have a whole lot a “thoughts & actions” of mine to re-play, know what I mean?!?!

The frustration of not being able to THINK clearly afterward-except to have Ana call 911.
But, I couldn’t think how to call my sisters, or what the name of my nephew’s school was!

And I keep thinking, “Could I have avoided them if I had been paying better attention?” I KNOW it was the other guys fault, legally, but…….still!

Why did I stop at the ATM before heading up to get my nephew????
If I had just gone straight up there, our paths would never have collided!!!

Anyway…..I don’t want to be paralyzed by these thoughts-it’s good to re-think it a bit, but I don’t want it to stop me from functioning, you know?

Here is one of my favorite verses……& it applies in this situation, too!

“Commit you works to the Lord,
And your thoughts will be established.”

Proverbs 16:3

Check back later for pics of the van!


Friday, January 9, 2009

55 MPH-to a DEAD standstill........

Yeah, we just returned from the ER.

We were in a MAJOR car accident this afternoon.

The moment our van t-boned the white SUV keeps re-playing itself in my mind.

“Are we going to die?!?!”
I barely even had time to formulate that thought,
while SLAMMING on the breaks before we ran into the other vehical!

I ache all over!

My light was green & the other car ran a red light.

UGGG.

Sorry this post is a bit of a random stream of consciousness.

Ana had to call 911, because the impact knocked the wind out of me.

She was able to read the signs & tell the 911 operator what intersection we were at before she fell apart completely from being frightened.

I was soooo proud of my 7 year old, going on 25!

My friend Amy loaded up her three kids at home & got to the scene about 15 minutes after it happened. She & Dave (who arrived on the scene about 10 minutes later) transferred babies & car seats in the snow (that had just started to fall) & wind to her car & then transported us all to the ER, while Dave finished up with the tow truck & police.

I say again, “UGGGG!”

All 4 of us are ok although Ana & I have some major bruising.

The babies are also a bit bruised.
Ruth bit a small chunk out of her tongue
& Natty’s pacifier cut him somehow, but they are OK.

Dave is out getting narcotics for me as we speak!

I can’t get the MOMENT out of my head.

I am so thankful that the kids were in safe car seats.

Also, I am thankful I had a good friend so quickly at my disposal.
It brings tears to my eyes right now!

If I wasn’t a “car seat/seat belt Nazi” before, I sure am now!

One thing I want to remind all my blog readers is,
we are not guaranteed tomorrow!

Only the Lord spared our lives today-we could have been killed!


"Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow.
What is the nature of your life?
You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist)
that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air]."
James 4:14 (Amplified Bible)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

"Cold" & Venting a bit!!!

In keeping with FFF, here is my picture-“Cold.”

These girls are the best of friends-

& we have gone to Christmas Lights at the Zoo for several years together.
(I love the look of wonderment in a few of their eyes!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now, can you bear with me a bit?

I need to vent, & hey, as my friend Andrea says, “This blog is cheap therapy for me!”

(partly because my blogger friends play the part of psychologists,
though, so let me know what you think! Ha! Ha!!)

I hate that I keep having to take my little guy to the doctor!
Blue
He has had diarrhea for over a month.

Well, I guess for the last week, he hasn’t.

We took him off all milk products & put him on soy.

But, today, he had an appointment with the gastroenterologist.

They ordered a complete battery of tests, including TONS of bloodwork-
read mommy having to hold him down while they draw multiple vials of blood.

Stool samples (not going into detail here-for your benefit!)

& finally, an ultra sound.

Sometimes I hate that we have no medical history on our kiddos' birth family.
(well, except we do have Ruthie’s medical history!
So at least they have eachother's histories, right??)

But, I am sooooo thankful to God for a medical community that wants to be thorough!

Praying we can get some good, solid answers-know what I mean?



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