"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, May 31, 2009

"Help For the Home" Harvest of Ideas

I'm ashamed to admit it,
but before my grand "Touch everything in my house & find it a home" mission,
(which I began in January) this is how our entryway often looked.
Now, it consistantly looks like this:
(& please no one remind me that part of the reason may be due to putting away winter gear!)
(oh, & if you are wondering, that is our front licence plate from our accident in January. I want to always remember how the Lord spared our lives......& seeing this every day helps me!)
This area is where I started on my mission to take back my house,
& now my tip is,
WHEN YOU HAVE FINISHED WITH YOUR WHOLE HOUSE,
GO BACK & START OVER AGAIN.
& that's what you see here.

I did have a simple Rubbermaid shelf here,
but I knew I wanted something a bit nicer.
The other day, I found the perfect cabinet,
so I purged even more
(it is smaller than the shelves were)
& now I can look at this every time I come home,
instead of what used to greet me!
In here, you see how the kids each have an area of the shelf to store things that on their way in or out of the house. My area's on top, & Dave has a spot for his computer, too.
Now, I move on to my family room & see if I can purge more.......or re-organize better......or improve the "look" of my room some other way!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Don't forget to leave your tips & I'll link your blog!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Help For the Home" Harvest of Ideas

Coming tomorrow........long hike in the sun today has done me in!!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Memories"

When I saw the topic for this week’s FFF……
of course my mind went a hundred different directions
(well, no-mostly to when each of my kids were added to the family-
those times make such an impression on you!)

But……then I thought I might need to go in a slightly different direction………
& make myself laugh.

I need to laugh-often & hard-know what I mean?

So here are a few funny memories……from my early blogging days-
before I was participating in FFF.l

Hope they make you laugh as much as they do me:

Ana’s Impression of Work
(& her attitude is much improved now! HeeHeee!)
(Geeez!!! How DO I keep up with this child!?!?)

Ana “Helps” Mama
(& no, it wasn't very helpful, lol!)

Anyway, thanks, Sarah, for helping me take a walk down memory lane!

Thursdays Before the Throne

Ok.......so the Lord has really been laying on my heart how quickly time passes.......
& if you read my blog much, you also know.......
that He has also been impressing on me that I am not guaranteed tomorrow........


As a result, I have started a journal where I just scratch down how I slowed down
& enjoyed my kids…..each new day.

So far……I have painted with Ana, played blocks with the babies & read books to them all. (Natty under great duress-he would rather be ANYWHERE but sitting still on my lap-but, he’s slowly coming around-as long as the book has trucks in it!!! Ha! Ha!!!)


Can you think of some other good idea ideas that SLOW me down to enjoy them……but don’t make a HUGE mess for me to clean up?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Our Story.....Part One.....

(Ana-2005.......Los Angeles, CA)
Thought I might share a bit of our story that led to our adopting two wonderful kiddos from Guatemala…….if some of you are interested, great. If not, I am also keeping this blog as a sort of journal of our lives together, so it’s mostly for posterity anyway!

Ana was born in 2001 after a fairly trouble-free pregnancy……..
one we didn’t have any trouble getting pregnant with
(perhaps that's more info than you wanted.....
but, hey, like I said, this is mostly for us......
& I'm usually pretty transparent-
maybe more than I should be!!!).

We were delighted by our first-born……
(although there was some disagreement about whether or not there would ever be MORE kids).

(I had some serious post-partum issues,
& I’m sure that didn’t help Dave want more kids-
but that’s another story).

Fast-forward a few years……
& we had finally agreed that Ana needed a sibling
(ok……I wanted her to have more than one-
Dave thought ONE SIBLING for Ana was enough-ha!!! ha!!)

We tried to get pregnant for what seemed like FOREVER……..

Every month, we got our hopes up-only to have them dashed.

This continued for almost a year.

The tears……
The “Whys?”
The accusations to my Heavenly Father
(I’m ashamed to admit)…..
"Do you REALLY love us?”
“Are You judging us?”
“Have we displeased You in some way?”

If any of you have suffered from “Secondary Infertility”
you know what that emotional roller-coaster is like!
That’s a ride you definitely want OFF of!!!

Tune in next Tuesday for more of the story!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

"Help For the Home" Harvest of Ideas

Here’s another great thing one of my friends introduced me to online,
& I’m sure there are other checklists like this:

(Yes, I sometimes need the checklist to remember to load
& un-load my dishwasher-ha!!! ha!!!
And other jobs, too!
Can we say, “Distracted mother of three,
two of which are two & under?”)

This job list helps me to remember all those jobs that get forgotten -
like cleaning the fridge & the oven.
(You know the kind you forget until they are TERRIBLE!)

The other thing I like about it is,
I never feel bad if I miss a job,
because I know it will come up again soon.
Notice this week-
I missed most of the end of the week’s jobs-
life just got too crazy!

But, next week (or next month) the jobs will come back up again,
& I’ll get to them then!

Do any of you use things like this?
What do you think of this idea?
(Don't forget-
if you leave me a comment,
I'll link your blog!)
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Thanks,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm Back!!! :D

I missed posting to FFF last week!

I took a blog break for a few days!

Do you ever need a break? Even from something you love?
I have a really hard time slowing down sometimes, but I’m so glad I did!

It was good for ALL of us!
*********************************
This week, Sarah “allowed” us to post our favorites from the past week!

I had a very hard time with this challenge,
but I narrowed it down to these pics:
This one above was one of the professional ones we had taken last month.
We bought the rights to it!
Love his smile!
Awwww.....I love these girls!
(See Grandmother in the background? We love you!)

Thursdays Before the Throne

"Teach us to realize the brevity of life,
so that we may grow in wisdom."
Psalm 90:12
My prayer these last few days has been that I would realized that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow-& to live TODAY with that wisdom.

To ask myself, “Lord, what would you have me to do today?”

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just Spent a Wonderful Few Days With Dave's Parents.

Dave’s parents came out for the girls’ ballet recital, which was Saturday.
(Tune in later this week for pics & the run-down on that!)

The kids were all loved & doted on……..& enjoyed every minute of it!

Thank you both for loving our kids, praying for them &
being so supportive that you drove all the way out for their recital!

We love you!

D, K, A, R & N

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

& for just a bit more "Family Business"

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

to my baby brother Matthew!!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Short Blog Break.......

My kids need it........& I need it.

Be back soon!

Dancing







Big Doings at the Dillon House!

Our first visit to a horse ranch.......
Thanks, T. & kiddos for making it such a fun time for Ana & the other two!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What a Great Weekend!!!

But, would you believe, I forgot to take any pictures!!!

Dave gave me a lot of time without kids…….but the best part of it was-that the kids were SOOOO excited when they saw me again!

I like that about being a mom.

Somebody misses you when you’re not around.

Someone whose sun rises & sets on you.

Yes……I’m lucky to have 4 people who love me this much, wouldn’t you agree?

Picture from last year’s Pick Up trip with Natty.
Feb. ’08
My first few days of being a mom of three.

(Please pray for Natty-who is outside with his daddy at the moment.
Yes, he seems to have another bout of croup.
Next, it will be inside for the hot, steamy bathroom.
Poor baby.
Yes, this is part of being a mommy, too.)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

"Help For the Home" Harvest of Ideas

USE that TIMER!!!
I use it all the time.

To remind me to not waste too much time in the shower.

To get Ana to work quickly on schoolwork.


But, the biggest place I use it, is when a household chore or project is so huge & overwhelming, I get discouraged just thinking about it!

I just tell myself that I can set the timer for 15 minutes & work until it goes off.

Chores I typically use it on are:

*****LAUNDRY
*****BATHROOMS (when they need a thorough cleaning)
*****KITCHEN
******ANY big project I have put off for too long-
like going through kids clothes or something.

Can YOU think of places you would use this?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Forgot to say.....if you leave a comment, I'll link your blog!
Thanks, Leslie,
& Luke!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

"Mommy & Me" A "Blast from the Past" pic!!!

I thought about this a while……what does being a mommy mean to me?

I wondered, “How is my life different than any other Mommy out there?”

I finally figured that what makes my life different is that God has given me the perfect kids for ME-to grow & develop me as a person.

They all try my patience at times, but……..

Ana has taught me compassion for others. Our 70ish older neighbor passed away last week, & she has NEVER been intimidated by death. When she found out he was dying, every time she saw his wife outside, she would BEG permission to just run & give Mrs. “H” a hug. WOW!!! How often would I do something like that? While I’m not scared of death, per se, I still don’t particularly relish running out to comfort someone who is in the midst of the worst trial of her life.

But…..my daughter does.
She LOVES….with such an open heart.

Ruth has taught me to laugh-at almost everything! Just about every time you look at that child, she is either laughing or smiling. You can’t help but have your spirits lifted around her.

She also LOVES hugs. I am NOT a “hug” person.
At least, I could live all my life without hugging.
But, not now that a “hugger/cuddler” has come into my life.
She demands it (you know how 2 year olds are).

& it’s very good for me.
I have discovered it’s good to have hugs.
Especially from one who loves you so completely
& unconditionally.

Natty has slowed me down.
With one or two kids,
I found I could still pretty much do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.
But three!!?
Nope. I have to slow down & stop to meet their needs first-
or else my whole day quickly falls apart.

He is also LOUD. Before I had a boy, everyone told me boys are LOUD. I never really understood that until he found his voice.
His volume is good for me, because I have found that my tolerance for general “kid” noise has greatly increased as well.
(& yes, we are starting to work on using an “inside voice” inside & an “outside voice” outside…..but, hey, he’s only 21 months. Can’t have too high of expectations, can we?)


How have your kids made you a better person?
**************************************************

Also, I want to thank the mothers in our lives for all they have contributed to us:

My mom, Dave’s mom, Grandmothers. You have taught us well, & we love you all!

But, the mothers I can’t ever forget-

Mama A*****-thank you so much for the love you showered on our children when they were so young & vulnerable.

Mama N*****-thank you…….there really are no words to describe the GIFT you have given us.
****************************************************
The day I met my third child, 11-11-07.
He wouldn't come home for 3 more months.
Happy Mother's Day to every one of you special moms!

Wow!!! What a Week!

Can I just say.......I'm exhausted &
I know this isn't my normal Thursday type of post,
but my brain is completely fried with all that has been going on.
(Yesterday's post will explain some of my exhaustion if you didn't get to read it before.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
But this:
made my whole day-& Ana's too.
Tonight was award night at AWANA.
Ana got one of the highest awards in it-
but mostly this is good because it means she memorized a TON of Bible verses.
And, really, while this makes her daddy & I proud of her,
the best part is-
she has all those verses in her mind & heart now-
& hopefully, down the road when she needs them,
The Lord will bring them back to mind.


Closing with a verse:

"I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;

For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety."

Psalm 4:8

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Every Chinese new year has a name…..the year of the frog, the year of the cat……you know…..

Dave has dubbed 2009 as “The Year of the Wrecks.”

First, we had THE BIG ONE!
You may remember it if you have been reading my blog for a while-
it’s the one that traumatized the kids for at least 2 months.

Then, about a month or so after THE BIG ONE
(& I’m not sure I blogged about this),
but my sister rear-ended someone with Ruthie in the car.

Third (& my life has been too crazy to even remember to blog about this one)
but there was an incident a few weeks ago while we were dining alfresco at a Chipotle close to our house one warm Sunday afternoon.

A guy pulled his older & fairly dirty Jeep into a parking slot at the top of a slight incline at the other end of the parking lot.

He must have put it in neutral
& forgotten the parking brake…….
because it began a slow reverse decent as soon as he left it-
& shortly thereafter,
SLAMMED into the fence around the Chipotle outside eating area.

Mere FEET from our table. Glass flew everywhere.
No one was hurt, thank the Lord,
but frightened by the close call,
nonetheless.

Fast forward to 3:15 Tuesday morning………
when a drunk driver tangled with our fence
& the car won!

Apparently,
he & his brilliant friend/accomplice
(insert eye-rolling smilie)
in crime decided in their inebriated state that the former girlfriend’s car needed a good bashing with a baseball bat.

They parked their car on the street next to our house
& walked to their victim’s house.

The father of the former girlfriend,
heard the noise, came outside
& caught them in the act.
They ran back to their car & tried to get away quickly
(not a good idea when you have imbibed a little too much!)
Our fence bore the brunt of the quick getaway attempt.

Dave & I were awakened by a terrific crash at 3:15 or so,
& opened the blind to watch the following drama unfold:

The driver, (after smashing our fence to bits) still trying to get away,
somehow got his car stuck on the curb across the street.
After trying unsuccessfully to dislodge it
(& taking out a cable box in the process),
he & his friend turned off the lights
& tried to once again flee the scene.

By this time,
there were at least a dozen or so neighbors on cell phones outside
& milling around our house.

After Dave hung up with the 911 operator, we realized there was wood in our driveway & it slowly began to dawn on us that he the crash we heard MIGHT have been something of ours……& perhaps we should go & check (we have no windows on that side of the house)

Sure enough, this is what we saw:
(of course it was 3:30 in the morning,
& we don’t have many streetlights,
so the morning light REALLY revealed the damage)
Anyway, by the time the police caught the driver & the passenger,
(who were both drunk)
charged them,
went to the house where the original vandalism took place,
got back to the car in front of our house,
took our statement & a bunch of pics, it was 5 am!

It was pointless to go back to bed then, don’t you think?

& if ever a family could call a year, “The Year of the Wrecks,”
it would be our family in 2009.
Not sure it's a distinction we really want!!!

P.S. I’m still shaking my head…….A DRUNK DRIVER TOOK OUT OUR FENCE!!!

P.S.S The Tooth Fairy is SUPPOSED to be making a little stop at the house with no more gate tonight (yes, I am writing this on Tuesday night-but it will post Wed morning). Lets hope she remembers. She is very tired & she does not have a good history with remembering where Ana lives! She got stuck in a thunderstorm in Hays, KS a few weeks ago when Ana lost a tooth on our trip, & she couldn’t make it to Grammie & Papa’s until the next night. & even then, she almost didn’t make it!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Adoption Issues for ME.

I knew the kids might have them one day,
but issues sometimes come up for me, too, I'm discovering.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This post has been a while in coming…..please bear with me-ok?

A few weeks ago,
I sent a few snapshots via e-mail to our adoption coordinator
& asked her to forward them to our lawyer in Guatemala City.

(When we left with our babies,
both times the lawyer asked us to send pics once a year)

Basically our coordinator wrote back saying that since adoptions are closed in GT,
our lawyer is no longer available to send this type of thing through.
She is no longer working with adoptions at all,
& she has left no way for families she helped in the past to get in contact with her again.

& just like that, the door of potential communication slammed shut in my face.
Door
Now, please don’t anyone tell me that continued communication just wasn’t meant to be,
or that their birthmama is better off just not knowing.

As I have told you before, I watch “Adoption Stories.”

I have seen the faces of birthmoms as they place those children in the arms of their new mamas. Their tears rip my heart out every time.

This HAD to have been one of the hardest things our kids’ birthmom ever has done or will do.

I know she knows they are loved & better off here-
but is it really enough for her mama’s heart?

She has given me one of the GREATEST gifts I will ever receive.

Well, actually, they are gifts from God’s hand
(just like Ana, & Dave & any other person in my life)…….
but SHE loved them enough to let go……..
& sending her a picture once a year seemed like such a small thing to give her,
when she has given us so much.

I guess I’m just sad.
Sad for her & the circumstances that led her to have to make such a heart-wrenching decision.
Sad for my kids, who now will most likely never communicate with her.
Sad that she won’t get reassurances once in a while that she did the right thing.
Sad because life has an unexpected way of changing when you least expect it.

Maybe “Mother’s Day” coming up has turned my heart this direction, too.

I don’t know…….have any of the rest of you who have adopted experienced something like this?

Did you learn to accept this shut door?
If so, how?


Monday, May 4, 2009

Can We Say, "Ruptured Eardrums," People?!!?

Nat was in a foul mood last night.
It started when he got up from his nap on the wrong side of his crib-ha!! ha!!!

It didn’t end until his head hit the mattress again just a few short hours later-
when his mom & dad could no longer STAND the screaming!

& thus, you now see whose eardrums are rupturing-the adults’!!!!

He made it known (by screeching, of course)
that he wanted to go outside dressed like this:
It was probably 45°
& raining outside.

Yeah, his daddy is a softie.
(in a good way, Dear-if you are reading this-wink!)

He was happy-
outside,
in the rain,
hat on
& with Peanut Butter Toast in his mouth!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Then-check out the short video when I tried to take his hat off later at dinner!

Hysterical!!!

video

Yeah......bedtime was well before 7 pm last night!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

"Help For the Home" Harvest of Ideas

Your “Must Haves.”

I’m not sure what else to call this, but these are things you
“must have” to keep you at peace in the space you call home.

For me, they are:

1. I MUST HAVE my bed made.
Making The Bed
2. I MUST not trip on anything when I walk in the house from the garage.
3. I MUST HAVE my kitchen sink clean & my coffee for the next day made before I head to bed.
Coffee Drinker
4. I MUST HAVE the area next to my sink on the kitchen counters clean at some point every day.
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That’s it, really.
(Ha!!! Ha!!! You are probably thinking,
“Wow! Her standards are pretty low!”
But, hey, at least I have some standards!!!)

If these things are done
(& each one only takes 5 minutes or less if I have done them the day before),
then I feel at peace.

What are your “must haves?”

The important thing to remember is-only you know what they are.

Leave me a comment & I'll link your blog!
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Thanks for your imput:
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