"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! :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Got a Bee in my Bonnet……

I want to move.

No, not out of town.

Love our church & friends & family we have all around us…..& Dave has a great job he loves.

(now, I know I should be content-& honestly, I am, but……well, just look at my list & see if you don’t think a move might make sense?)

But, here’s a short list of the reasons I want to move-

~We have no school room, & this homeshooling mama is going to have ANOTHER STUDENT in 2 SHORT years!!! What then? Dave & I have looked around & realized there is NO other spot for Ruth’s desk.

~Our only dining area can fit 6 people comfortably. We are a family of five-so, I guess if you want to come over with your spouse, you might just be out of luck-ha! & heaven forbid you have any kids-because we have NO WHERE for them! Since we love company, this is rather cramping my style-literally!

~We have no where guests can stay with any privacy-only a hide-a-bed in our family room, which is open to the kitchen. We used to have a guest room, but then we added two kids to the family! :)

~Ana (8) & Ruth (3) are currently sharing a room. Which is fine for now……but their age difference is so huge, that it might not always work.

~One final issue is that guests have no bathroom-one that my kids can stay out of!!! We have two-& don’t get me wrong-I am super grateful for them-especially the Master Bath-but I would like to have one I don’t have to worry about guests using. Toothpaste goobers in the sink, water splatters scattered all over the mirror, & who knows what with the toilet & sink! I know you all know just what I mean!

Anyway, what do you think? Am I “justified?”

I am, however, a bit overwhelmed with the idea of moving.

Any pros at moving out there? We have owned/lived in this house for 8 years, & I don’t have a clue where to start! Any advise?

(I guess I have completed 2 international adoptions-this can't be much harder, can it? Ha! Maybe I'm delusional!)

This post is part of Steady Mom’s 30 minute challenge-& I came in at about 28 minutes!

Wow! Was That Ever Fun!

Dave & I did something on Saturday night that we haven’t done-ever in our married life!

We went on a double date-just for fun!

(I can hear some of you now-why on EARTH would it take them 11 years!?!? Mostly, lack of a good babysitter-but Saturday night, my sister stepped in & saved the day!)

We have some super good friends here (Hi, Amy & Sunil!), that kept insisting that we should go out to this well-known fondue restaurant in the Springs.

Finally, after several years of hearing how good it is, we decided Saturday night was the night to do it!

My friend, Amy & I decided we were dressing up for this, too, since there were no kids going along!

&, you know what? I really should get out of the house a bit more, because as I was getting ready, I realized I was nervous!

Huh? Dressing up & looking nice made me nervous? What is up with that?!? (well, maybe I was really nervous because I have a bad habit of falling or twisting my ankle every time I wear heels! Ha! Seriously, on our cruise last year, I was walking along & suddenly found myself on the floor on all fours! How embarrassing!)

Anyway, the night out on the town delighted in every way.

The Christmas lights.

The dimly lit restaurant with soft Christmas music playing.

The company.

The conversation. (No screaming children, spilled food, or general chaos anywhere around! Not that we mind those things most of the time, but once in a while, it’s nice to have an adult conversation while eating!)

The food! (yummy-a bit overpriced, but, heh! It was worth it for the atmosphere!)

All in all, a wonderful double date-& something I think all married couples should make a habit of doing!

Do you double date much if you are married?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

FFF....."No Faces!"

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home"
What are you most thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How Do You Prioritize?

I have to confess….this one has me a bit stumped.

I start off my day with my Bible & my cup of coffee (& yes, the coffee IS non-negotiable!)

But, after that, I feel like most days, I am just floundering through the moments.

What should come first?

My health?

My kids?-who probably need me on average 150 times a day! (“Mom?!!” “Moooooommmmmy!!!!”)

My hubby?

My sisters?

My relationships with my friends?

My house?

Ooops…..& I almost forgot-the laundry? (I’m always forgetting the laundry-just ask my hubby!!!)

I love what Steady Mom had to say about this in her blog post a few days ago.

She asks herself these questions at the end of the day:

* Did I spend enough time with my kids today?

* Did I have any eye-to-eye conversations with them?

* What did they tell me, or try to tell me, today?

* Did I slow down enough to enjoy them, or was my day too rushed?

* How have they changed from yesterday?

* Did I kiss my husband today?

* Did I treat him as my husband or as the hired help?

* What memories did I make for our family today?

* How can I do better tomorrow?

How do you decide what needs to be done? How do set priorities?

P.S The cooking is done! Anyone want to come over for dinner?

Monday, November 23, 2009

So, How Crazy Do You Think This Is??!?

Using this book........

........this morning, I am digging in & making 2 weeks worth of food.

I shopped for it all (& all the Thanksgiving food) on Saturday.

This book, "Once-A-Month Cooking," has several different menu plans available, & I have done this once before-but with a different menu.

It comes complete with step by step instructions & shopping lists for each menu.

I will let you know how it goes cooking for this-& then moving straight into holiday cooking, but I figured-might as well do it all at once.

Ana is looking forward to helping me-& Sunday, under close supervision, she already made our mashed potatos for Thanksgiving. She has also made significant headway on the sweet potato casserole.

I have a few tips for you if you try this:
1. Wear good shoes.
2. Use a cookbook like the one above, or like this, or this.
3. Enlist some help-I am having Ana help as long as she can stand it today. We aren't schooling this week-so that works.
I have had the privialge of hearing one of the authors of this book, Mimi Wilson, speak on several occasions-& she is an inspiration. She has also written the book, "Holy Habits" which has been such a help to me.

So, what-cha-think? Have I lost my mind to attempt this all? I'm thinking that come the begining of December, I'm gonna be super thankful I did it!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Giving Thanks for.........pain.....

Yep......you read that right.........& I promise my title will make more sense by the end of this blog post! :)

A few weeks ago, I sliced open my thumb on my right hand-& yes, like most of the public, I am right-handed.

I am not going to tell you how-it’s too embarrassing & complicated to explain anyway.

But, for several days, it was a major pain to do anything!!!

I put that Neosporin+ Painkiller & a bandaide on it, but if you have ever done something similar, you know just how painful recovery is when you have to use it all the time!!

(I promise I’m not being a hypochondriac-it really was a pretty deep cut!)

Anyway, one morning, as I tried to protect my injury & write at the same time, I had a brainstorm on “A Lesson Learned Though Pain.” (I promise if you hang with me, I’ll make this interesting-just keep reading!)

Really, pain is a gift.

"Huh? What in the world can she mean by THAT?!?" I know some of you are thinking that,right?

The pain on my thumb taught me not to be quite so careless again!!

Pain in life can be a gift, too.

Yes……even the HARDEST pain one can ever endure-saying a forever goodbye to one of your children.

Back in November of 2004……..I couldn’t have said pain was a blessing.

Nope, not at all.

We buried a baby that I carried in my womb for 16 weeks-a baby we had prayed & longed for-for over a year.

Ah, the agony & pain of those few weeks & months!!!

After almost 5 years (& yes, my thoughts always turn toward my baby I won’t know until heaven each November), I can finally say that, yes, pain truly is one of the biggest blessings I have ever been given.

Through our pain, we learned many things....

Mostly, of course, we understood a bit more of what it meant for God the Father when He WILLINGLY gave His ONLY SON to die in our place.

Romans 8:32 (New Living Translation)
Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else?

But, also:

~It reminded us of our blessings-Ana was, at one point, our only reason to keep going.
~It forced us to depend on others (which I struggle with).
~It brought us to a point where the grief of others’ no longer scares us as much, & we can more easily comfort those going through pain.
~It drew Dave & I together. He was the ONLY other person on the planet who truly grasped my sorrow-because that baby was a part of him, too.
~The moment I held my baby & said goodbye-made me (for the first time in my life) long for heaven & home……death is such a stinky, rotten deal, you know? But, in heaven, I will see my baby again-where there is “neither sorrow, nor crying & no more pain.”
~It brought us to a point where we KNEW we needed more children. We had the desire before, but after loosing our baby, the desire burned in us like a flame!

We lost our baby right after Thanksgiving 5 years ago. Yes, I still choke back tears when I begin talking about her. (Ana is convinced it was a girl, so we have always said, “her.”)

But, this Thanksgiving, I can truly say-this pain God has allowed in my life has given me much more than it took away!!!

Have you experienced pain that ended up being a gift?

Care to share?

Guatemala City, February 25, 2008, the night before our early morning appointment at the US Embassy!
(Here's more reasons for "Giving Thanks!")

Studying The "Hibbo-bonomous!"

He couldn't get enough of those hippopotamuses.....hippopotomi.......hipppo-ahhh-I give up!
(Whatever the plural of "hippo" is!!!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Big News For Natty!!! (& for his family!)

This document proves to the state of Colorado that Natty is officially ours.
& changes his name to "Fanniel XXXX Diyyon,"
as he says his name!

Another box checked!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

DILLion v. DillON (Warning-Rant Ahead!!!)

Ok, ever since I changed my last name from Harvey to DillON, I have wondered WHY people persist in spelling my last name wrong….

I mean, COME ON!

Is it really that hard?

A few weeks ago, I added a couple of counters to my blog, & one of them has a feature where you can see what keyword searches turned up a hit on your blog.

I have been watching this with curiosity, & several times, a search for “DILLION DAYS & DOINGS” has come up. –“ION,” instead of “ON.”

& while miss-spelling my last name when you search for me bugs me a bit, (I can forgive those of you I never talk to in real life-after all, how often have you HEARD me pronounce it?) what I really don’t get is why I have to spell it EVERY TIME I say it over the phone.

I mean, really!

It DOES NOT rhyme with “million” when I say it, does it? So why would you spell it with an “ion” ending?

Pronunciation guide provided here: “Dill-UN.”

Does this kind of stuff bug anyone else? Or do I stand alone in vast crowd of people whose names have been miss-pronounced & miss-spelled?

(Ok, climbing down off my soap box against people who can’t spell-or listen, aparently!)

Oh, & P.S.-if any of you, my good blogger friends, have been one of those searching for me with the wrong spelling- I DO forgive you-especially if you leave me a comment, confessing it was you!!! Ha!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A New Challenge For Me!

Ok, so I am trying a new blogger challenge today. Another homeschooling mom over at Steady Mom, has a challenge on Mondays(oops, that would be Tuesdays) to “beat the clock,” as it were-to put together an entire post in 30 minutes or less. She is challenging her readers to do it in the interest of disciplining their time……

So….4:57 seconds ago, I started my time. Yep, almost 5 minutes have gone by already-because Microsoft Word (where I usually first type my posts) decided I needed to type in ALL CAPS. Took me five minutes to figure out (with the help of my knight in shining armor) that I had pushed SHIFT & CAPS LOCK at the same time. Love computers, don’t you?!? Ha!!

But, back to the challenge.

My homeschooling venture as the teacher sure isn’t getting any easier.

3 years ago, when we started this, I had one 5 year old, & a dream of meeting my new daughter in Guatemala (we had her referral, & a few months of updates, but we hadn’t been down there yet to meet her).

Needless to say, three years, & TWO toddlers later, homeschoooling isn’t the calm, peaceful journey it started out as.


(Now, life is sure more interesting, but it isn’t usually CALM at our house!)

But……..one of the good things about homeschooling, for me, is that it is forcing me to be creative as the mom/teacher/parent.

And thus, I hope, it is helping my tendency toward selfishness & laziness.

Anyway, the last few weeks have sometimes been a NIGHTMARE-I have to be honest.

Trying to break up fights between a two & three year old, trying to entertain demanding toddlers and answer questions about distances on a map, or supervising math problems (while trying to put in an occasional load of laundry & come up with something for supper) caused some hair loss on my part (& maybe a grey one or two also-but do me a favor-if you see any, don’t tell me-ok?)

Anyway, out of desperation, last week once, I sat Natty in his booster chair, Ruth in hers, & gave them both math blocks to play with, while I sat down with Ana & helped her with her schoolwork-all at the kitchen table.

& you know what?

It was peaceful! Again! Just like it used to be during our homeschooling.


I know a bunch of you other homeshooling mamas out there are probably shaking your heads saying, “Why didn’t she think of that before?” I have no idea why, but this experience got me to thinking-

“I should have activities for them while Ana is working!!!”

After a bit of research online, I came up with what I am calling “Activity Packets”:

Everything in Ruth's box

Glue & fun stuff to glue on paper.

Sorting Game

"Thread the Button Game."

I am looking forward to seeing if these help return a bit more sanity to our days at home together!!! Got any other ideas for me to put in my packets?

Time from starting my post to hitting “Publish Post”-32:45! Great challenge-not such great execution! I’ll do better next time, I promise!

Here’s the link to more blogs that played this game today! (Looks like her link isn't up yet, but check out her blog anyway-she is a great inspiration!)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

FFF......."Beautiful Gifts...."

Of course, my most beautiful gift is FREE SALVATION-
through Christ's death on the cross for ME:
Ephesians 2: 8 & 9 (New International Version)
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—
and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Blessed beyond measure, I am, though,
because I also have these

My gifts from my Father in Heaven......
And they are gifts for eachother as well-
there is nothing like siblings to get you through life's ups & downs.

Psalm 127:3 (New Living Translation)

Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from Him.
Click HERE for more!

Thursdays Before the Throne

It's been a while since I have done one of these, but I have been thinking much on the words to this cute little song we have on a CD we are borrowing.




Words/Music: Ron Hamilton
(c) 1987 Majesty Music

What a picture adoption is of God CHOOSING to love sinful mankind, & sending His own Son, to pay the penalty for sins of us who were NOT His children. By choosing to accept this free gift, I now belong to a Heavenly Family! What a privilege!

5 God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
6 So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son.
7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins.

Ephesians 1: 5-7

Thank You, Father, that You chose me!!!

P.S. I tried for quite a while to find this on YOUTUBE or someplace, but with no luck. So, I'm sorry, but you will just have to imagine it! I might be able to get Ana & Ruth to sing it for you, though, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I Warned You!!!

Still more adoption “stuff.”

Ana has developed an interest in American History (like her mommy-yeah!!!)

She reads just about any fiction book on her level she can get her hands on that focuses on this.

A series she has started to really enjoy is the “Orphan Train” series.

These books are based in fact (there really were “Orphan Trains” in the 1850-1870’s).

Kids were sent west to be adopted from big cities on the east coast.

Good topic of books for our family, right?

Weeeellllll…….yes, but they HAVE produced waaaay more confusion/emotion/sorrow than I bargained for from Ana.

(I had read a bunch of books in this series, but it has been a while)

She was horribly upset that three siblings were separated.

But, it was sooooo good for her & I!

We were able to talk about how hard it must have been for Ruth
& Natty’s Birthmama to say goodby.

We were able to broach the topic of it being their choice to search for bio-family….
We were able to talk about how much Ana wants to adopt one day, too.

Through these types of conversations, we are carving out beginnings of conversations I hope to continue with her (& the rest of the kids) throughout their childhoods, young adulthoods, & adulthood.

Does that make sense?

I don’t want “off limits” conversations as they get older.

I want them to feel free to come to us-NO MATTER WHAT THEY ARE THINKING/FEELING.

I have begun to pray for this, as well.

Would you join me in this prayer? (for my kids & for your own!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Adoption Thoughts are Rattling Around in my Brain Again!

I have thought much on blessings the Lord has brought us by “having to adopt.” (I put that in quotes, because when many people say that, they mean it in such a negative way-as in, “You couldn’t get pregnant, so you HAD TO ADOPT.”)

But, as I have said many times before, Dave & I feel privileged that this is a journey we were allowed to embark on.

One other good thing about adoption is that it has helped our marriage in many ways.

Here is one way:

Imagine being asked all sorts of questions about you, your marriage & your child-rearing philosophies/techniques:

Questions like:
“What are some of the strengths of your marriage?”

“What are some of the weaknesses & how are you tying to improve them?

“What was it about your childhood you appreciated the most?

“Are there ways you childrearing differs from your upbringing?”

“What strengths/weaknesses do you & your spouse bring to your family?”

You would think that this couple was going through some sort of marriage counseling, wouldn’t you?

But, no, it was in our adoption training we were asked all these types of questions (& more!!!)

So, around 7 years into our marriage, we were forced to examine ourselves with a fine-toothed comb. (No "Seven Year Itch" for us-ha!!! ha!!)

& now, I am so thankful-because I see so many couples STRUGGLE in their relationships around that time-but we were drawn closer together-through the trials we experienced.

What a blessing!

(Ok…..while trying to find a picture to go with this post……I realized we NEVER get our pic taken w/out the kids-the last time was on our tenth anniversary get-away-a whole YEAR ago!!! Yikes! Surely we can do better than that!!!)

P.S. Could you all give me some feedback on weather or not you like the words centered or left-hand justified? Thanks!
P.S.S: Have I mentioned that I love my "Followers?!" (On the left side of my blog!) I picked up another one recently......& that THRILLS me! (If you are a blogger, too, you know just what I'm feeling, right? Ha!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Well, to all of you who participated in my little guessing game on Monday……thanks!!!

Here’s a look back!

Several of you were very close-

But #1…….we went sledding up at my sister’s house-
& yes, I broke a nail-because, I, Kim Dillon, for the first time I can remember, went down the hill on a sled.

It was much more fun than I thought it would be
(especially since I was riding down the hill on a sled with Ana).

(Ana going down by herself……I promise I was on the back of that sled a few times-I have the broken nail to prove it!)


& #2: A few of you hit this one out of the park.

Yes, Dave & I have started to realize we are outgrowing our house……..we are far from “ready to move,” but we have looked at several houses on line, & we have begun to think about what we might be able to afford.

Mostly, we would like to be able to host bigger groups of people, & be able to have a place for overnight guests.

Also, I must confess-a dream of mine is to have a separate school room, with a door I can close.

In two years, (yikes!!!!) we will have another homeschooler, & right now, we have nowhere to put another desk!

The one problem with looking at houses online-is it produces some discontent in my heart for what the Lord has graciously provided right now in our lives.

So…….when I read this in my Bible reading this morning……….

“Unless the LORD builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.”
Psalm 127:1

……….I knew the LORD was reminding me to be content to wait on His perfect timing & provision. (I know the verse doesn’t SPECIFICCALY state that-but, we should be willing to wait while the Lord PREPARES our new house-gets the current owners out of it, & gets us into it!)

After the long waits we have had with two international adoptions, I think it will be interesting to see how the Lord works on my heart with this wait!

(I doubt ANYTHING will compare to THAT wait!!!)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Black & White "Blast From the Past"........when there was just one......

I hardly even remember life like this.
When this picture was taken, Ruth was just a month old,
& still in Guatemala.
What happened to this baby?
Click here for more FFF!
I'll let you know tomorrow!

Debating with Myself Over This……

Should we vaccinate for this H1N1 thing or not?

I am usually all for any vaccine my kids would benefit from, but this one……I don’t know.

Maybe I am just not comfortable with the lack of testing that has been done on it.

Maybe I’m just uncomfortable with how much “hype” has been surrounding the push to get everyone vaccinated. I mean, really, is it any worse than the “normal” flu that rears it’s head every fall/winter? So far, it has killed way less people than the “normal” flu. So why all the hoopla?

What do you think?

(& be nice!! I know a debate on vaccines can get rather heated! I reserve the right reject comments!)

(Hitting “Publish Post” with some trepidation)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Keeping Food Interesting at our House:

I have to admit-I have never been a fan of exotic food.

Dave, on the other hand, loves it!
(but won’t touch things like broccoli or squash-goofy husband of mine!)

When we were on our honeymoon,
Dave was THRILLED to try alligator sausage.

Give me a good old spaghetti squash any day.

Also, he is very brave in the seafood department.
I like seafood allright-but I am not brave!

Here he is, sampling Guatemalan seafood on Ruth’s Pick-Up Trip-
just to prove to you his bravery.
(the soup really has a crab hanging over the edge of the bowl-really!
I could hardly stand looking at it, & I'm usually not squeamish!)

Now, we order our meat through a home delivery service
(which I absolutely love, by the way-meat is always on hand).

One thing we ordered for the first time a few weeks ago was BUFFLAO!
Really, I am not kidding.

It’s supposed to be a leaner, healthier meat.

&, supposedly, there are people out there that like it better than ground beef.

Hmmm…….let’s just say, it must be an “acquired taste.”

I’m not saying it’s terrible or anything
(like the alligator sausage-sorry, Dave)
but, I probably won’t pick a buffalo burger at our local burger joint anytime soon!

What do you all think of “exotic foods?”
Do you try & expose your family to them, or just keep it simple?
(and no, I haven't forgotten my guessing game!!!)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Have Rediscovered Mysteries!!! Fun reading, I tell ya!!!

Growing up I loved Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, & the Bobbsey Twins.

I don’t know what it was about that particular genre-
probably that the people seemed so normal-like me.

But their lives were far more exciting than mine!

Today, I think it is much the same-at least with the “heroes” of my favorites.
They are much like me,
but their lives are much more exciting.

And there is the “who-dun-it” nature of most mysteries.

Keeps you turning page after page!!!

I dare not pick one up during the day, or I won’t get anything else done!

Here is one of my current favorite authors:
Single dad raising his emotionally disturbed daughter after his wife passed away in a car crash.
(Ok....I admit, I DON'T have much in common with this guy-except I have a daughter-no, wait, I have two, & a son........& well, I guess I give up on trying to find parallels between his life & mine, but it's still a great series!)

What do you read for pleasure?

Monday, November 2, 2009

See If You Can Guess!!!

(Ok-confession-I hate guessing games-but it *is* more fun when I am on this end of things-so, humor me & play along, PLEASE!!?)


Spur of the moment last week, I loaded up kids & headed a bit north for some fun.
(for those who don’t know-I live in Colorado Springs-this was about 10 miles north of me or so…..)

The kids enjoyed our time “up north.” Natty fell a bunch.

Ruth did some face plants (& loved it!)

Ana got very red in the face-& kept at it anyway.

I, however, suffered an indignity no woman should have to suffer for this “Fun time!”

I broke a nail.

Yes, I really did!

What do you think we did???


Dave & are beginning contemplating a change…….what do you think it might be?!?

After a few days of guessing, I'll let you know!

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