"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, December 30, 2010

My New Year’s Wish List…….FFF

Well, there are all sorts of things I would love to have-but, they all seem rather selfish when asked to put them down in black & white.

So, I think, instead-I’ll wish for more of what I had in 2010:

~Better health (like I have enjoyed since my celiac diagnosis)
~Growing, happy children
~A loving, devoted hubby
~Travel (even though some of it wasn’t for fun reasons-I love seeing new places!!!)
~A growing relationship w/ my Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ.

OK…..I’ll allow myself one REAL wish-
A NEW HOUSE!!!! (we are hoping to move into a different school district-just in case we ever want to put our kids in full-time).

And-taking this opportunity to share my favorite pic from Christmas:





Tap....Tap.....Tap......is this thing on?! I'm still here.

Those of you in blogger-land who used to be my faithful readers have probably noticed how badly I have neglected my blog as of late.

I have done some long & hard thinking/praying about why I just haven’t felt like it & I suddenly hit on it the other day.

My mother -in-law (my most counted on reader) is gone.

I could always depend on her to read it. & while she didn’t often comment here in blogger-land, I could always count on her to e-mail me regarding each new post.

& you know what? It has taken me this long to decide I still *want* to continue blogging. I mean, it won’t be the same w/ out her interaction….I’ll miss it.

Yes, I still enjoy the writing, & I guess that’s the main reason to blog……that & the pictures, & the friends I have made out here in blogger-land. &, I know there is other family that will read it.

So, happy new year to all.

& I’ll be here. :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A look back....

*Re-post from last year at this time*
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?



(Last year's post)


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hard to Believe......

Four years ago today, Ruthie officially became ours!!!
Sweet girl, you have changed so much in the last four years. Your zest for life grows bigger by the day!

Daddy & I love you so much, & never cease to thank the Lord you become OUR little girl.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sick Little Guy....

I had intentions of being a better blogger, but my little guy is sick.....

I took him to the DR. yesterday, where his fever was 104.2! They are currently growing a strep culture, to see if that's what's going on, & they also diagnosed croup (which we have had so many times in this house, I already knew that! Ha!)

He had no fever this morning when I checked him, so I'm thankful for that!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Teaching them Work Ethic...

How many different approaches to children’s chores do you think are out there?

Probably as many as there are families that care about it! Ha!

WE have decided to try the following approach for a while:

The MARBLE JAR:
~For every chore completed (to Mom’s satisfaction) on each child’s list, they may take one marble from MY jar & place it in their jars.
~Ana can have marbles removed for:
*Failing to do her jobs
*Leaving dirty clothes/shoes laying around
~When their respective jars are full, Nat gets to go out for dessert w/ Mom, Ruthie-dinner w/ Mom, & Ana-an overnight get-away w/ Mom.

So far (we have been at it now for about 48 hours), there are no dirty clothes laying around & jobs have all gotten done!

We shall see how well it continues!

Wish us luck!




Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Seems I Need Another Bloggy Break.....

I need to be totally available to my kids & my hubby right now-with this memorial for their grandmother/mom coming up. Please continue to pray for us.....& especially for my father-in-law......it was one week ago today.



P.S. Stay tuned, though, because I do have that announcement coming up about decisions we have been making & I do want to keep the Hair Harmony going-although this week, it has been too much to try & do.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Good-bye.....but not forever!!! .

This is perhaps the hardest blog entry I have ever written.
I (we) lost a treasure last week.

My mother-in-law left her earthy body behind & gained a new, perfectly healthy body-a body that can spend eternity w/ her heavenly Father.

Wednesday, after attending her Bible Study, she came home & ate a bit. Shortly after lunch, while relaxing in her recliner-she passed into eternity.

I wasn’t sure how to start this….really, how are you supposed to say all you need to about someone as special as she was!?

When I ponder a Proverbs 31 woman, though, she is sure one that comes to mind!
So, with that in mind, here is my tribute to one of the most special women I have ever had the privilege of knowing!

(I have to say, too, that I am sure she qualifies in every area mentioned-but these are the ones that stuck out to me! )

Proverbs 31:
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
~I remember many times seeing her pulling food out of the freezer that had been cooked ahead of time for us, when we came to visit-food she had willingly worked on-for us!
~The time she came &, among other things willingly cleaned out my fridge-we had just lost our baby. (Cleaning out someone ELSE'S fridge-that's love-for sure!!)


15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
~Loved waking up at her home & hearing her tinkering around in the kitchen. We always sleep a lot later than East coast folks- being from Mountain Standard time! Maybe it just seemed like it was still night!


20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
Who is more needy than a child? & my children were so blessed to have such a wonderful Grandmother! Nat loved blowing her kisses on the computer when we would Skype. Ruthie loved to just cuddle up to her to hear a story when we were together. Ana loved talking her ear off-but Grandmother always had just the right questions to gain insight into her eldest granddaughter. She met each of their needs-& loved them all immensely. I am sure she also prayed for them-& for us as we muddle through parenting them! They now have a huge “love hole” in their lives!

21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
~She was classy. Not a hair was ever out of place-even in our CO wind. Sometimes I would look & her & think, “I wish I could keep my hair looking that nice!!”

~She also had such an “eye” for clothes the kids would look perfect in! Makes me sad to think there will never be any more special clothes for Christmas from her!

22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.

Who among her close family & friends does not have some of her beautiful cross-stitched masterpieces? That is LOVE in every stitch.


25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
Praise the Lord-we can say she is now rejoicing in heaven-because she knew Jesus Christ had died for HER.


26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
So much wisdom imparted to me through her e-mails-usually several times a week.


27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
She sure took good care of her husband! Such an example to me!


28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
Well, I am not my husband (who was her actual progeny), but I was her daughter in law-& *I* can say-she (& her husband) raised such a wonderful son!! Many of his greatest qualities are straight from her-I sometimes joke w/ him that I married his mother!!! Ha!

29 “ Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
This was perhaps the thing I am most thankful for-she had tremendous respect for her Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ. She would want all the glory from her life to go to Him, I am sure.



A few other thoughts:
I would be remiss if I did not share with you this verse I know she knew to be true:
"And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.” John 3:36 NLT



We are so thankful she is in heaven now:
" Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."
2 Corinthians 5:8 (NLT)

We Believers who are left here on earth know we will see her again:
"And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with Him the believers who have died." 1 Thessalonians 4:13 & 14

I think this verse sums up her life: “For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die.” Phil. 1:20.
She will be missed…..but we are thankful that we will see her again one day!!





Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hair Harmony

One of our favorites!!! Directions are UNDER each picture:

1. First, part hair in 3 sections.

2. Working on one side of your daughter’s head, part the front section into 3 parts.

3. Part the front section into two parts & put a hair band around the bottom section. Gather the hair from that pony tail together with the top section. Put a hair band around both sections.

4. Repeat step 3 on the 2nd & 3rd sections on that side.
5. Repeat steps 2-4 on the other side of your daughter’s head.


6. Now, starting at the front of her head, gather the ponytails from both sides of her head into one pony on the top.


7. Gather the all the hair from the front section with the second section back
& ponytail it all together.


8. Finally, gather all the remaining SECTIONED hair into one ponytail. If you want, put a huge flower at the bottom of the sectioned hair (that’s what we did Sunday morning.)


Link up with YOUR hair styles!!
(& please, leave me some love!)
~~~~~~Heidi-you are the winner from last week!~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~Let me know if you see this, so I can send you the prize.~~~~~~~
~~~I need to draw a different name if I don't hear from you pretty soon! :)~~~

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Monday, November 1, 2010

And the Winner is (drum roll, please!!!)

HEIDI!!!
Congrats!!
Send me your address in a comment
(I won't publish it, I promise! Ha!)

Monday Musings.....

Was reminded of this poem a while ago:


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'll be grown up one day
All all those tiny handprints
Will surely fade away.


So here's another handprint
Just so you call recall
Exactly how my fingers looked
When I was very small.


Moms, if you’re much like me, constantly cleaning up messes, it IS easy to become discouraged.

I mean, it would be great if we all could have a housecleaner-so we could sit around & cuddle our kids. Maybe then, they wouldn’t color on newly painted wall-like recently happened in our house.


Hmmmm.....

What are your best attitude adjusters (for yourself) about messes in your house?


Friday, October 29, 2010

Hair Harmony

*~Hair Harmony~*
Harmony: a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts.

Who knew there are so many fun products out there for hair?

I have always had trouble keeping curls in Ana’s hair. Ruthie’s seems to hold the curls better, so I sat down one afternoon & searched the internet for anything that might work.

Enter-CURL FORMERS!

I sprayed her hair with water put a tiny amount of Herbal Essences Finishing Touch Cream.

She slept in them-& voila! She had curls all the next day.



***BEST of all, I am hosting a GIVAWAY!!!****
If you leave me a comment, I am having a drawing in a few days for set of the small CURLFORMERS. They will even work on a pre-schooler-I put them in Ruth's hair the next night.
Link up & share your “Hair Harmony!”
Link will close Monday.
*link explaining the beginnings of “Hair Harmony”*






***********THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!!!!***************


Exciting Announcement!!!

Beginning tomorrow (& I'm not sure it'll stay on Saturdays-probably it won't), I am starting my own meme!!

How did it begin?

I wanted to spend longer amounts of time with our Ana. She keeps getting older (imagine that)…..& every once in a while (thank goodness it’s not very often yet), she likes to feel pretty. Of course, her daddy & I think she’s stunning-no matter what, but, as every girl knows-the hair makes the woman!!

We bought a few books & found some websites & went to town!!!

And thus began our “hair time.” Benefits I hadn’t even imagined are coming out of it!:
~Beautiful hair (for both girls)
~More confidence in Ana, especially
~Spending quality time together

Then, I thought, “Well this would be fun to start doing with all my blogger friends, too! I am sure many of them would enjoy the same benefits!”

*~Hair Harmony~*
Harmony: a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts.

So, tomorrow, we’ll begin!!

Link up with the beautiful hair you have done on your girls!

(One thing I would add, is-please post step-by-step directions so we can all use your great ideas!)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

FFF.....My Favorite "Princess" Picture-(w/ all three kids)

Yes, I'm still re-living our recent Disney trip. :) I know-you must be kinda tired of it-but it's my blog! ;)






Wednesday, October 27, 2010

One of my LOVES....good music!!

Stunning harmony-& I am so thankful the words are true in my life.

I AM complete in HIM-my Savior, Jesus Christ!

Can't figure out why it's not centered......If anyone can help me w/ that-I would be grateful!



A Few of my Favorites from Disney

Wonder what N's thinking here....

Isn't this just a riot!!?! My sister cracks me up!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Differences.....

Well, I struggled with this…..

I had my ears pierced at the age of 12.

Ana has been BEGGING to get hers pierced since she knew there was a difference between her ears & her best friend’s ears.

I finally thought, “What’s the big deal? Is there a reason she can’t get them pierced for another 3 years?

Other than sticking to convention. (or, just doing it that way because that’s the way my parents did it).

But, Ana is a different person than I was at 9.
And we are different parents than ours were. (even though we both agree-there couldn’t be better parents than ours out there!!)

And, I figured…..that’s ok.
So-we surprised Ana at Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom with news that she would be getting her ears pierced upon her arrival home.


Before↑


After↑

Thursday, October 21, 2010

FFF.....& not following the theme.....

But, hey, at least I'm participating, right?!?

I know I have been such a bad blogger lately-but we have had sooo much on our plates!!!


Including (but not limited to):
~A 12 day trip to Walt Disney World
~A weekend marriage retreat with the love of my life
~A major family decision (NOT related to the marriage retreat!!! Ha!) But, I’m not going to tell you now-would take up too much of my time at this point. I will, though, if you just be patient & keep checking back!

These pics pretty much sum up how much fun we had together on our family vacation, though, & even though none of them are at Disney-I promise we went!!!

Just seems these capture better our day-to-day delight w/ our vacay!!!

With my sister, Shannon, at the beach!

I love the beach-especially when I can share it w/ him!!!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And my absolute favorite from the whole time we were gone:





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