"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! :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Been Sick......

Big Sneeze
& just haven't felt up to posting.
But, stay tuned because exciting changes are coming at

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Festivities at the Dillon Household.......(which I'm sure wasn't all that different from Christmas at your house, right?)

As I sit here on Sunday night, the kids are in bed, Dave & my aunt are watching a Dallas Cowboys game while I reflect on the last few days. (oops, excuse me for just a moment while I re-fill Ruthie's cup-ha!)

One thing I realized for the first time this Christmas, is how similar Christmas is for everyone…..busy, for sure, but beyond that-I bet your family also had a few of these things-

~yummy food-everywhere & in great abundance

~kids filled with excitement & anticipation

~ a few moments where you missed those who couldn’t be around your Tree with you (my Grandpa, our Jesse, our dear foster family in Guatemala, other far-flung family).

~a few “disagreements” around the Tree-ours were *mostly* among our 2 YO & our 3 YO (wink-ha!!!).

~I bet a few of you had sick kids Christmas Eve/Christmas Day like we did, & therefore, had to postpone our traditional Christmas Eve dinner, in order to not crush our 8 YO’s heart.

~a few toys that must be taken back to the store & replaced

~I hope you also had a few quiet moments to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas-Jesus willingly came to this earth as a baby-with the sole purpose of dying for sinful man-33 years later…..

I was struck by “sameness” that makes Christmas a “common thing” for all of us-while at the same time we all have traditions that are different & make each family unique……
I’m so glad I have things that make Christmas “special” for our family.
But, this year, I realized-I’m also glad I have things that make *my * Christmas a bit like yours, you know what I mean?

Here is a brief look at our last few days!

Merry Christmas, once more!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Of The Father's Love Begotten"

OUTSTANDING video I found on Youtube!!!
Sent shivers down my spine!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming"

1.Lo, how a rose e'er blooming, from tender stem hath sprung.
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As men of old have sung;
It came, a flow'ret bright,
Amid the cold of winter,
When halfspent was the night.

2. Isaiah 'twas foretold it, the Rose I bear in mind,
With Mary we behold it,
The virgin mother kind;
To show God's love aright,
She bore to men a Savior,
When halfspent was the night.

3. O Flower, whose fragrance tender, with sweetness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious splendour
The darkness everywhere;
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

For Your Listening Pleasure.......

Each day this week I have picked some of my favorite Christmas Carols. I have found the BEST YouTube videos of each one.

There is some STUNNING music out there, let me tell you!

Merry CHRISTmas, from our family to yours!

1 John 5:11 & 12

11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life,
and this life is in His Son.
12 He who has the Son has life;
he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

1. Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem's home there was found no room
For Thy holy nativity.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus!
There is room in my heart for Thee.

2. Heaven's arches rang when the angels sang,
Proclaiming Thy royal degree;
But in lowly birth didst Thou come to earth,
And in great humility.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus!
There is room in my heart for Thee.

3. Thou camest, O Lord, as the living Word
That should set Thy people free;
But with mocking scorn, and with crown of thorn,
They bore Thee to Calvary.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

4. When heavens shall ring and the angels sing
At Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me home, saying "Yet there is room,
There is room at My side for thee!"
My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus,
When Thou comest and callest for me.

Text: Timothy R. Matthews
Music: Emily E. S. Elliott


P.S. To the most wonderful Mother-in-Law:
Birthday Banner

Thursday, December 17, 2009

& This One Didn't Make It......

But, first, as of today (the 18th), Ruthie has been in our family for THREE YEARS!
Where HAS the time gone?
We love you, & are so thankful the Lord blessed us with you!
Well, Christmas Card Outtakes was the theme of this FFF.

We didn’t have any “intakes,” so in reality, we had to use an “Outtake” Ha!

I’ll let you guess which one made the cut. (& I sure hope as I am visiting other people’s blogs today, I see other family photo shoots like ours!!!)
ETA: We used the second shot! :)

I'll give you a hint-this wasn't it-brother!
(look at MY eyes!!!)

Hey-at least we all match, right??!

One of Our Favorite Christmas Carols.....

This song encapulates the story of Jesus-from Birth through His soon return!

"Who is He in Yonder Stall?"
Words & Music: Benjamin R. Hanby, 1866
Who is He in yonder stall
At Whose feet the shepherds fall?
Who is He in deep distress,
Fasting in the wilderness?


Who is He the people bless
For His words of gentleness?
Who is He to Whom they bring
All the sick and sorrowing?


Who is He that stands and weeps
At the grave where Lazarus sleeps?
Who is He the gathering throng
Greet with loud triumphant song?


Lo! at midnight, who is He
Prays in dark Gethsemane?
Who is He on yonder tree
Dies in grief and agony?


Who is He that from the grave
Comes to soucour, help and save?
Who is He that from His throne
Rules through all the world alone?


’Tis the Lord! O wondrous story!
’Tis the Lord! the King of glory!
At His feet we humbly fall,
Crown Him! crown Him, Lord of all!

Listen to this great arrangement of it!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Tour Of Our Tree.......

I have spent the last few weeks enjoying other people’s posts of their decorations.

One thing I have liked about it so much is that it speaks to me of family, memories, & the important things in life. I mean, what you put on your tree says a lot about you. None of our decorations match, but each one has a special place in our hearts. That’s probably why my tree will never look like this Martha Stewart one:

But, Martha Stewart, you ain't got nothin' on us, because we have:

An angel topper, made with love by Dave's Aunt Betty,

An angel decoration from Dave's childhood,

A cuckoo clock from my childhood,

A brightly colored lady from Guatemala,
where two of our children originally hail from,

A Micky Mouse ornament-a testament to Dave's love of Disney,

A Mickey & Minne ball we picked up on our honeymoon in-you guessed it-
Walt Disney World!

Nat-Nat's first ornament. 2007

Ruth first one-2006
(with Bob the Tomato looking on!)

Ana's first Christmas-long ago in 2001!

Now, I ask you-
Which tree would you rather have?

This post was created in 35 minutes for Steady Mom's 30 minute blog challenge.

Victorious Tree Hunt!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Our Favorite Christmas Goodie.....

Chocolate-Chip Candy Cane Bars
Served up with a big glass of leche (milk)!
This is just the Nestle Bar Cookie recipie with chopped candy canes on top.
Simple & yummy!

Thursdays Before the Throne

Been thinking much on obedience(sacrificing my natural will) to God in my life.......& came across this. It is from Oswald Chambers' devotional "My Utmost for His Highest," December 9th.

"The natural life is not spiritual, and it can be made spiritual only through sacrifice. If we do not purposely sacrifice the natural, the supernatural can never become natural to us. There is no high or easy road. Each of us has the means to accomplish it entirely in his own hands. It is not a question of praying, but of sacrificing, and thereby performing His will."

P.S. Notice my new signature?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Cooking Success!!!

" What IS it?," I know you are asking!
We made BUTTER!
& yes, it was a hit with all!
Especially with Ruthie,
who I caught getting ready to dig into the "Butter Bear" with a spoon!

Monday, December 7, 2009


I’m just……sad.

I told you last week about the baby we lost.

The five year anniversary was Nov. 30th.

I never even thought about it Monday.

Some of you might think. “That’s good. She’s probably healing.”

But, later in the week, I when I remembered, all that went through my mind was, “If I don’t remember Jesse Ramah’s life, who will? I am her mother. & I forgot.” And the tears rolled down my cheeks.

So, now, my sweet baby that I will never know this side of heaven, I want you to know-I loved you, I wanted you. My heart & arms still ache with an emptiness nothing can fill. A piece in the puzzle that makes up my heart is missing.

I’m so sorry I forgot…..

This figurine was given to us shortly after we lost the baby.

*This post was completed in 25 minutes for Steady Mom’s Tuesday Challenge*

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Tradition......Tradition!" (Ok....I know it's corny, but I couldn't help a little nod to the "Fiddler on the Roof!")

Tradition: the handing down of beliefs, customs, information from generation to generation.

When I overhear Ana talking with her friends, & saying, “We always eat “Huevos Rancheros” for supper on Christmas Eve,” or when she tells Ruth, “On Christmas Eve, we get to open one present,” I wonder why kids feel the need to review these traditions as they draw near.

Why is it so important that these things get handed down, especially since I don’t do things quite the same way as we did in our family growing up?

Well, Ana is communicating to others that she is connected to her family. Connectedness is so important for kids.

I also think it is comforting to kids to have traditions that repeat-every year. Makes for predictability & stability in their lives.

Traditions also impart a sense of importance & significance to time spent together doing things like our yearly “Christmas Light Drive.” (or any number of various other things you do as a family each December.)

Care to share some other reasons you think traditions are important?


Now, here are a few of the things we like to do-perhaps you can incorporate one or two of these ideas (if you need any more!)

~A special Christmas Eve dinner. (Mentioned above)

~A real tree (this is one tradition Dave wouldn’t mind giving up!)

~Ham for lunch on Christmas Day.

~Going to the “Zoo Lights” with our friends.

~“Christmas Lights Drive”

~Watching the kiddos perform in the Sunday School Christmas Program.

~& perhaps everyone’s favorite at our house is the “Christmas Scrapbook.”

Here is what goes in it each year:

~Pictures from Christmas & the rest of the Holidays
~A list of the major gifts everyone got.
~A brief run-down of the Christmas Holidays, so there are no questions like, “What year was it that we went up to Minnesota to be with Brian & Rebekah?” We can just run to the book & check!
~Finally, every year, I write a short letter to each person spending Christmas with us & thank them for specific things I enjoy about them.

2006, Guatemala City


Here is the beginning of Natty’s letter from last year-his first Christmas home from Guatemala. These letters hang on the tree & are read after all the presents are opened.

I have found the kids love to go through this scrapbook throughout the year.

One thing I need to get better at, though, is not waiting until 10pm, Christmas Eve night to write the letters! Ha! I have a bit of a head start on it this year, though!

Of course, we also love to read the Christmas Story together & try to remember througout the season, that JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!

If it wasn’t illegal in our county, it would be fun to set off fireworks at midnight on Christmas Eve, like they do in Guatemala. Have any of you other parents with children adopted from GT found any traditions you have incorporated into your holiday celebrations?

I also need to re-think some of the traditions we had growing up, & probably pick my dear mother-in-law’s brain to incorporate some traditions from our childhoods.

Can’t wait to read about everyone else’s traditions!

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