"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! :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Happy Birthday to our Beautiful THREE Year Old!!!!

This is also an important picture because-
for the first time in her life-
when I asked her to look at the camera & smile.....SHE DID IT!!!! :)

Love you ooodles & oodles, my grown-up baby!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Now, I know I am posting my kids out of order.....but I have a reason.....

& I promise.....those are toy scissors.
He was trying to unscrew the back of this toy phone base......with the toy scissors.

Did I mention it's fun to have a boy?

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I love this look.....
We were watching a sappy "girly" Hallmark Movie!!
Happy Birthday, Tía Shannon!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Slowing Down On Posting For a While.......

Summer Fun......can make life a bit crazy.

But, I do have some scheduled posts set up, so check back once in a while!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Our Story, Part 4

If you want to catch up…….here are parts ONE, TWO & THREE.

After we spent a few months praying (individually),
Dave suggested one night that we begin praying together about adopting.

& so, we began that.

Sometime in the early fall of that year (2005),
we decided that the Lord was telling us to move forward-prayerfully-
& pray that if He DIDN’T want us to go that route,
He would shut doors………

But, instead, doors began FLYING OPEN.

About that time, a new family started coming to our church with 12 adopted children.

Since we had agreed to move forward,
one night as I was chatting with this mom after evening church,
I (with a POUNDING heart) mentioned that we might like to ask them a few questions about adoption.

Have you ever been there?
When you know something is right,
but it makes you so STINKING nervous you can hardly breathe when you begin talking about it?

That’s where I was (& I think Dave, too!)

As it turned out, we had to wait a while to get together with this family,
& our first opportunity to ask questions came when we had friends we were visiting on our way to visit my family for Thanksgiving.

The second family (whom I had known for over 15 years &
Dave for about 10) has two biological children & three adopted ones.

We spent a few days with them…..(love you guys-
you know who you are-if you happen to read this).

They answered all our questions openly & honestly.

They told us to keep on PRAYING, for God’s direction
& for His provision to proceed.
If this is what He wanted for our family, He would give both!

But, you want to know what’s the coolest thing about this?

As we looked back on our adoption,
a few months after Ruth was home,
we realized something about our timeline.

About the same time we sat down with this family to ask our first questions……..
Ruth’s birthmama (& Natty’s, who wasn’t even a thought yet)
was probably just finding out she was pregnant…….
& trying to decide the course of action she would take.

Doesn’t that just give you chills!??
I know they are really running up
& down my back right now!!!

Tune in for more later
(might have to skip a week of two of these Tuesday posts….)
our lives are a bit crazy right now!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Signs of Summer

One day last week, I discovered Ana gathering rocks from the front yard.

Yeah….it gets better.

When I asked her what she was doing, she told me she wanted to sell them.

She wanted to sit on the corner & sell rocks. (This makes me laugh so hard as a parent!!)

I told her the rocks were the Homeowners’ Associations. (I didn’t want to totally discourage her by telling her that not a soul would stop to buy them from her).

Her next idea?

Set up a stand to sell stuffed animals.

Oh, dear.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her no one would stop for that, either!

& another idea:

“Well, then, let’s have a garage sale, Mom.”

Me-in my head-“Sure, let’s just open the door & start selling!”

(I love how kids don’t have a CLUE how much TIME of preparation these kinds of things take)

My little entrepreneur then says,

“Well, what on earth am I supposed to do to earn money, then, Mom?”

(In her most serious voice).

Meanwhile, in my head, I’m just thinking, “I bet I’m going to have to set up a lemonade stand. Uggg……I REALLY don’t want to set up a lemonade stand.”

But, she wasn’t going to let the idea of earning a bit of money go.

Finally, (& I must admit-VERY reluctantly) I asked her,

“Would you like to make some Kool-Aide & try to sell it?”

& you know what?

I’m glad I asked her-the shear delight that jumped in to her eyes when she processed my question was worth all the trouble.

& I guess every kid has to have a lemonade stand at some point in their lives, huh?

& what a great kid! She got Ruth involved, & they made $4.25, which Ana generously split with Ruth!

(I was just PRAYING someone-ANYONE would stop & buy some from her. & after I got the Kool-Aide made, I was just praying we had plastic cups! Forgot to check on that before we made the Kool-Aide)
(& you know what?
Now that I think about it,
I still have no idea WHY she needed money so badly!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"Help For the Home" Harvest of Ideas

Now, here's where I need your help.

How do you stay on top of all the paper that comes in the house?

How do you file?

What do you file?

Give me you best tips......I need them desperately!!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Emotionally Tired......but so thankful for this:

(& thankful they all seem to know I'm pointing the camera their direction-ha!)
& thankful for a hubby that love & supports me unconditionally!

(don't really want to go into the details on WHY I'm so drained here,
but please pray for my peace of mind & heart! Thanks, everyone!)
& just as an aside: Happy 500th post on my blog!
(If anyone ever wonders if I talk too much......hmmmm)
PS.....edited to say-see, I was so out of it last night,
I forgot to link Sarah's blog!

Thursdays Before the Throne

Dave took this picture Tuesday night…….
go ahead & click on it-pretty cool, if I do say so myself.

As I looked out the window at that peaceful scene……
the words to this lullaby the kids listen to every night came to mind.

Even the darkness is light to Him.
Night is as bright as the day.
So you are safe, though the light grows dim.
Even the darkness is light to Him.”

From the verse:

“Even the darkness will not be dark to You;

The night will shine like the day,

For darkness is as light to You.”
Psalm 139:12

Looking out our back window at night……..it is hard to see all the trees, the creek & the grasses- all beautiful blessings the daylight reveals.

But, nonetheless, they ARE there-even when I can’t see them.

I know I have lived through some pretty dark days in my life, & I’m afraid sometimes I didn’t honor my Father in the way I lived during some of those times-partly because when you CAN’T see Him-for the storms, it’s hard to trust there is good in your life.

But, even during the darkest days, it is such a comfort that God can see right through all the clouds & darkness…….& know just what He is going to allow in my life.

& it is a comfort to know……that the clouds & darkness are producing something much better for me than I could ever imagine on my own!

“When you can’t see His hand, trust His heart!”

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Part 3.......

(Here are Parts 1 & 2 of our story.)

&, so, much to our dismay, we climbed back on the infertility roller coaster.

The next few months were some of the hardest we have ever endured.

I was ANGRY.

As more & more of my friends got pregnant
(& some people who didn’t even want to be)
& continued to have more children-

We, once again, could not.

And, we had suffered the trial of burying our baby.

The one we had wanted so badly.

The second bed in Ana’s room, remained empty.

Month after long month.

Finally, toward the middle of the following year (2005)…….
laying in bed one night,
I finally had the guts to broach a topic of with Dave that had been in my mind for several months-ADOPTION.

I said something like, “What would you think of adopting?”

He said, “Well, I’m sure not opposed to it, but I think it’s something we need to pray about & find out more about.” Wise man……

I let it go at that……& I silently prayed about it.

Tune in next week for more of the story!
(Thank you, Anna, for your comment.
I was also grieving the loss of the idea of any more bio kids, too.
But, like you said, God knew better all along!)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cute......& so VERY true......

Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leave my fingerprints
On furniture and walls.
But every day I'm growing
I will be grown one day
& all all those tiny handprints
Will surely fade away.
So here's another handprint
Just so you'll recall
Exactly how my fingers looked
When I was very small.
Hopefully today,
I can frame this poem with each of the kiddos handprints, too!
If not, I plan on doing it soon!
Ana's are already almost as big as mine!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

"Help For the Home" Harvest of Ideas

How do you involve your kids with chores?
I have struggled to be consistant the entire 8 years I have been a parent!

I think I have finally found something that might work,
though-an online chore chart !!!
It's cute & very user-friendly!
(Thanks to my friend, Amy for showing me this!)

Ana & Ruth both have charts to fill in, & they both are getting a kick out of it!

Any more ideas out there?
(Remember, if you comment, I'll link your blog!)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Moving “Out” of your comfort zone…..

“Out,” being the theme over at FFF.

I had all sorts of things that went through my head with that theme-
the most significant, being, of course,
when both of our adopted babies got OUT of PGN
(the part of the Guatemalan government that used to
supervise/approve international adoptions).

Forever the word “OUT” holds joy I cannot hope to describe, but if you are another lucky parent of a Guat tot or two (or more), you know exactly what I felt! The closest I can come is that it’s like finally the hearing the “Halleluiah Chorus,” when that is the only reason you went to the performance of the “Messiah.” Makes you want to stand on your feet & shout for joy!

But, for me, the word “out” also brought to mind this week that we are
“moving out of our comfort zone” in the Dillon family.

We have been on a homeschooling journey since Ana began kindergarten in the Fall of 2006.

That road is taking a slight bend this coming Fall.


She has been enrolled in a part time charter school.

Language, Spanish, Art, PE & Music will all now be taught in school.
All the other kids in her classroom will also be
part-time charter school/part-time homeschooled.

Can you hear me breathing a big sigh of relief?
All these things (besides the Language) have been getting harder
& harder for me to squeeze in with two babies in the house.

Can you also hear me shedding silent tears?
Just Kidding!
(sort of! WINK!)
I know I will shed them come August!

So…..two mornings a week,
my 8 year old baby girl will be going off to school for the first time.

I know, I know……you’re probably thinking,
“Just let her grow up!”

& I am…….

But I don’t have to like it a whole bunch!!!

(Don’t worry-she PROBABLY won’t see the tears next fall!)

Thursdays Before the Throne

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand ,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand .
And a very Happy Anniversary to my wonderful In-Laws!
(oops.....guess it was two days ago!
Wrote it on my calendar wrong! Sorry! Better late than never, right?)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Our Story.....Part Two..... (for real this time)

Click HERE for part one of the story……

We SLOWLY adjusted to this new life…..called parenting.
I had a rough first few months……
& I remember calling my mom time & time again & asking,
“Why won’t she just QUIT crying????”
(Thank goodness my mom is very level headed-
I guess you’d have to be to raise 5 kids, huh?!?!)

Like I said, I had always known I wanted more than one child
(to this day, my best friends are my siblings)…….
but Dave took some time to reach that point.
(He is an only child……& he loved growing up that way).

Finally, towards the beginning of 2004,
Ana was 2.5 & we thought the time might be right to start trying to have another baby.

(Some of this is review from my other post, I know!)

To our SHOCK, we did not get pregnant right away!
(Remember……we had no trouble the first time!)

You will remember from my first post all the emotional ups & downs this caused for Dave & I.

Then……in August of 2004……..
the good news finally arrived!
Ana was going to be a big sister!!!!
She was so excited,
she started telling people the VERY NIGHT WE FOUND OUT!!!

We thought our trial was over……& honestly, I was relieved.

But, it was not to be.
Our trial was FAR from over.

A month or so into the pregnancy…….
I began spotting.

I knew this wasn’t always bad,
but it often points to something drastically wrong.

This was the case with us.

& so began another roller coaster ride…….
& THIS nightmare-
if it was possible-
was even worse than the infertility nightmare.

The spotting continued on & off…..
until one horrible day in late November of 2004.

The three of us had all gone to my dr’s appointment……
in the hopes that Ana could hear her baby’s heartbeat.

But, they couldn’t find one.

They rushed us all three into the sonogram room…….
& I KNEW it was bad……I just knew.

I knew our baby’s heart wasn’t beating before the dr even said anything.

But, the hardest part was, that Dave & Ana were in the room,
& they were getting all excited about the legs & arms of our tiny miracle.
But, I already knew.

And in one short minute there on the table……
our world came crashing down around us.

Our baby was born the next day……..
& the 24 hours between were filled with WAILING & CRYING out to God,
“Why, oh why, oh why?!?!?”

I tried to hug my stomach & tell that precious child of ours……
"We loved you & we wanted you!”
(Oh, man, the tears are starting to fill my eyes as I type…..)

We named our baby (who Ana insists was a girl, even though it was too young to tell)
“Jesse”-gift from a high place
“Ramah”-from the passage in the Bible in the book of Jeremiah that says:

Thus says the LORD:
“ A voice was heard in Ramah,
Lamentation and bitter weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children,
Refusing to be comforted for her children,
Because they are no more.”
Jeremiah 31:15

To say we were heartbroken…….
doesn’t even begin to describe the emotions we experienced.

But, we had a choice to make.

Were we going to allow bitterness against God to take over?

Or were we going to trust that He was at work in our lives?

Even in the darkness of those horrible days,
Dave & I determined that we would not allow bitterness to even begin to creep in.

The Lord had given us Jesse Ramah to love for a short time…….
but, He HAD entrusted the baby to us…….

The following verse (as well as several others) became a verse I clung to. Matter of fact, the date of our miscarriage is now written on the page next to this verse in my Bible.
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
You have recorded each one in Your book.
Psalm 56:8

One of my dear friends even gave me a tiny bottle with this verse-
so that I could be reminded that NOT ONE TEAR of mine goes unnoticed by my Heavenly Father.

Tune in next Tuesday for Part 3!

Monday, June 1, 2009

First Hike of the Summer

& no......I can't hike alone!
All outdoor advutures must have assistance!
Thanks to my sister Shannon,
we were able to get out & enjoy the nice weather on Saturday!

Enjoying lunch before playing in the water!
I love this picture!!!

Our Story.....Part Two.....(ooops-supposed to post tomorrow!)

Ha!! Haa, Hubby! No, not yet....there is no part 2! Later today!

( I love the way my hubby reads my blog!!! You ROCK, Dear!!!)


I meant to have this post tomorrow!!!

sooooo......I will do that instead of today. (just in case there are people who might ONLY be coming back tomorrow to look!)
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