"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, April 29, 2010

FFF......."U Pick!"

Ana, holding a dress my sisters & I all wore as newborns.......

Ruth, getting her first ever AWANA award!

"My cleaning Daddy's new car."
(Who knows where he got the idea it's new?)


Monday, April 26, 2010

Disapointment......

For several reasons, I have been dreading the foray into the world of Webkins….

~One reason is-we are already swimming in stuffed animals at our house-as I’m sure anyone else with three children.
~Another reason is-we all seem to struggle with addictive activities. I know she will probably end up just like her mom & dad one day (who both can’t seem to say “no” once the computer is on!)

But, regardless, Ana was thrilled to unwrap a Webkins on her birthday. (Ahem…..sis-if you are reading this-I promise-I forgive you!)

She & her cousin quickly got to work setting up her account.

& in typical, 3rd Grade logic, set up a password that resembled something like this:

Eyhr aieeujwe;fiu09idnk.

Well, I guess it wasn’t quite that bad, but it was so hard to remember, that she couldn’t log back on to her account later that evening. (of course!)

Oh, the agonies that ensued!

The tears that were shed!!!

(& the laughter the mommy was trying to hold back-only partly successfully, I might add!)

I found myself on the floor in my room, while the company entertained themselves, trying to comfort her wounded soul!

& the blessing that came out of this was that she & I talked long that night about God having what’s best for us, so that we learn the lessons He intends us to learn.

This poem has meant much to me in my times of trials-& I hope that one day, when my kiddos read through all this blog, this poem will mean as much to them as it has to me!


"Disappointment -- His Appointment"
Change one letter, then I see
That the thwarting of my purpose
Is God's better choice for me.
His appointment must be blessing,
Tho' it may come in disguise,
For the end from the beginning
Open to His wisdom lies.


"Disappointment -- His Appointment"
Whose? The Lord, who loves me best,
Understands and knows me fully,
Who my faith and love would test;
For, like loving earthly parent,
He rejoices when He knows
That His child accepts, UNQUESTIONED,
All that from His wisdom flows.



"Disappointment -- His Appointment"
"No good thing will He withhold,"
From denials oft we gather
Treasures of His love untold,
Well He knows each broken purpose
Leads to fuller, deeper trust,
And the end of all His dealings
Proves our God is wise and just.



"Disappointment -- His Appointment"
Lord, I take it, then, as such.
Like the clay in hands of potter,
Yielding wholly to Thy touch.
All my life's plan in Thy moulding,
Not one single choice be mine;
Let me answer, unrepining --
"Father, not my will, but Thine."


Edith Lillian Young

(Ana at a ballet rehearsal earlier this week.)

P.S This post was created in 30 minutes for Steady Mom's Tuesday Challenge!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Re-Posting......guess "Mama Norma" must be on my heart.....

This originally was posted in November of 2007, after we got back from visiting Natty in Guatemala....before his adoption was finalized.


WARNING.......VERY LONG... Also, may need your kleenex!!



I have a few thoughts that have been dancing around in my brain. This is long, but it will help me to think it through.

Norma Patricia ******* ********. This name might not mean much to you, but…..


She is our Guatemaltco’s BirthMother


When our Foster Mother was dropping Nathaniel off for the week w/ us, we spent about 4 hours together-first in the hotel restaurant, & then in the hotel lobby.


JUST AS AN ASIDE:
Ana & her granddaughter (Paula-age 5) spent most of that time playing together-in spite of the language difference. Picture Ana running around saying, “Ven aqui, Paula!” which basically means, “Come here, Paula!” This is about all the real communicating there was…..but they sure ran around looking very agenda oriented!! But…I digress….back to the real story.


A few times while we visited-(me in my broken Spanish & her in her broken English-her daughter trying to help -& Dave just kind of listening & following Ana & Paula around), her cell would ring. This is not un-usual, but there in Guate, cells are about the only reliable phone service, so people are CONSTANLY on the phone.


Once, the phone rang, & I noticed a difference in Mama Anna’s tone. She started to get a bit emotional, turned to me & said, “Es Norma. Es la mama de los ninos.” If you don’t know Spanish, she was telling me that is was the babies Birthmother!!!


Wow! I literally was glad I wasn’t standing up!! I felt myself go weak. It took me a bit to even be able to figure out words to tell Dave what was going on.


Then….(I have to insert here-I’m so glad I can understand Spanish)…I heard her start to talk about how she was sad that Norma couldn’t be there w/ us to see the LOVE Ruth has had showered on her this past year. (Our children’s Birth Mother was in a terrible car accident right before Natty was born & is still on crutches & un-able to get around easily-almost 4 mo. later-thus she couldn’t be there). I HAD NO IDEA her coming had even been a possibility.


She told her that Ruth & Ana were beautiful & delightful.


She told me that Norma wanted to communicate how THANKFUL she was to us for taking two of her children. Many times, Mama Anna repeated this to us.


I was SO frustrated. All I could say, through Mama Anna & through my choking up throat was please tell her, “Gracias, tambien. Tus ninos son un regalo de Dios para nuestra familia!” In English-“Thank-you. Your children are a gift from God for our family.”


So much more to say to each other…….but no words really in English or Spanish. How do I tell her what a blessing Ruth has been, & I know Nathaniel will be? Ruth, whose name means “satisfaction” has helped heal hearts torn apart w/ grief over our child who we never saw open her eyes. Oh, my…tearing up!!!


We two mothers are forever united…..her because she loved enough to let go

And me….because God led us to each other & blessed our family w/ her offspring.

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


Some of you may ask:


Did that contact bother you?

No!!!! Not at all! Actually, Dave & I always wondered what we would do-search for birth family for them, maintain contact, or just leave it the way it has been….knowing very little about their Birth Family.


But, we realized, when presented w/ the opportunity, we were actually disappointed she didn’t come. Just to be able to tell her in person, “Thank-you!” Watch her reactions to seeing Ruth toddling around trying to keep up w/ Ana. Hug her myself , most likely cry together…..her for what she is missing & me for the JOY she has brought to my life!!! Tears of happiness & sadness, mingled together.


Are you threatened by her contact?

Again, a resounding NO!!!


She has already placed one child before making an adoption plan for Ruth. I KNOW she KNOWS what she’s doing….out of love, choosing a better life for her children.


Guatemalans who choose this route for their children are very strong people. She knows that once she makes this decision, (& signs off on it the required 4 times throughout the adoption process) she will most likely NEVER see them or have contact w/ them again. Imagine the pain of that decision. But, she’s done it twice now, & Nathaniel will be the third time.


How could I have been anything but thrilled for her if she gets to see for her own eyes that her babies are loved & provided for?


Also, along w/ that…..I know my children will always know who their “real” parents are. She is “connected” to them forever, but we are the ones that will teach them to walk, rock them when they cry, feed them, listen to their first words, teach them about our Savior, Jesus Christ, & watch all those milestones. Just like we have done w/ Ana Eventually,….we hope to raise adults that love & honor the Lord Jesus & have a close relationship w/ us & their siblings. . That is what makes a family…..not blood. But love….1 Cor. 13! “The greatest of these is love.” (By the way….I do not mean to minimize her part in this at all-w/ out her…..we would still just be a family of three-& we would never have had the blessing of hearts enter-twined as they now are.)

Reminded me again that children are just a blessing from the Lord, on loan to us for a short time. God drew the two of us together-a woman from Colorado Springs & a brave woman from Guatemala, raising 3 children in absolute poverty. In the short 5 min. or so she was on the phone, I was CHANGED FOREVER!!! I HAD been going through this adoption process w/out much thought for her (mostly bec., I haven’t had TIME to just sit & contemplate it!!!!!). But….no longer. Now, I see the world more through her eyes, & am forever grateful she made the decision she has made.


Am I sorry we didn’t meet?
YES!!! But,…..like so many other times in this adoption process, I am trusting that God has His hands on us, & KNEW what would be right for that day, & those circumstances.

Praying that if we don’t meet here on earth, one day I can thank her in heaven…..when we will all speak the same language, & in that PERFECT environment, I WILL have the words to say.


It’s not enough…..but “Thank –you, Norma!” y “Muchas gracias!” I am SO BLESSED by your presence in my life!


ETA: Just wondering.....what would you have done? Anything different? I would really like some advice here...the whole experience was so unexpected.....



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cutting Back......

I just need to set the bar a bit lower when it comes to blog posting......it is taking up way too much of my valuable time. My hubby & my kiddos MUST come first, as much as I love this outlet....

So, as of right now......I will move to posting, on average, about 3 times a week.

Thanks, all my faithful readers, for understanding.

Exhaution.......

"From the end of the earth will I call unto thee, when my heart (body, in my case....too much fun last weekend, I guess!) is overwhelmed: Lead me to the rock that is higher than I," Psalm. 61:2

1.Oh, safe to the Rock that is higher than I,
My soul in its conflicts and sorrows would fly,
So sinful, so weary, Thine, Thine would I be,
Thou blest Rock of Ages, I'm hiding in Thee.

Hiding in Thee, hiding in Thee,
Thou blest Rock of Ages, I'm hiding in Thee.


2.In the calm of the noontide, in sorrow's lone hour,
In times when temptation casts o'er me its power;
In the tempests of life, on its wide, heaving sea,
Thou blest Rock of Ages, I'm hiding in Thee.

3.How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe,
I have fled to my Refuge and breathed out my woe,
How often, when trials like sea-billows roll,
Have I hidden in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Just Got Back From A Weekend in The Mountains With Some of my Favorite People!


Went to a Women's Retreat at a local Christian Camp over the weekend. Have you ever gone to something like that & realized your life will never be the same again?


Such a wonderful time of fellowship around the Word of God, with lots of laughter & visiting thrown in!



Thursday, April 15, 2010

FFF..."In Full Bloom!"

Ever get in one of those moods where you just can't get enough of your old pics?
(Our family was "In Full Bloom" in this picture, taken in Guatemala on our Pick-Up trip with Natty, in Feb. of '07.)



The flowers in Guatemala seem to always be "In Full Bloom!"
Since spring is very slow in arriving to Colorado,
I have to get my "Spring Fix" by looking at my pics!!!
Anyone else in my boat?



Thursdays Before the Throne

We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender!
We go not forth alone against the foe;
Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender,
We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.


Yes, in Thy Name, O Captain of salvation!
In Thy dear Name, all other names above;
Jesus our Righteousness, our sure Foundation,
Our Prince of glory and our King of love.


We go in faith, our own great weakness feeling,
And needing more each day Thy grace to know:
Yet from our hearts a song of triumph pealing,
“We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go.”


We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender!
Thine is the battle, Thine shall be the praise;
When passing through the gates of pearly splendor,
Victors, we rest with Thee, through endless days.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Preparing......

In Septemeber, Mickey is going to meet the two new additions to our family!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nostalgia......

When we were 4.......& could do things like CAMP-at Yellowstone.
Ahhhhh......but life is so much more exciting as a family of FIVE!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Protecting Children......

Now, before I start in on this….let me say, for those of you who don’t know me IRL.

I REALLY AM A HYPER-PROTECTIVE MOM! I promise! However, I pick carefully what to be protective about.....

I am just saying this so that the following things I say aren’t taken out of context.

Natty moved out of his crib this weekend.

We knew the MOVE was coming, but when I found him STANDING on the bar of his crib that was next to the wall (& I presume he was preparing to jump into the crib?!? I HOPE that’s where he was attempting to jump!)…….it was evident the time had arrived.

Now, this crib has served us faithfully for almost 9 years (& it was a second hand crib-bought for $60 & redone to match the room).

A lot of love has surrounded that crib.
A lot “one more kiss, Mommy!” has sounded from inside it.
A lot of kids checked on while sound asleep in it……

(OK……I am sure all of you have felt this in some small way-saying your last goodby to the crib.)

BUT…..then the debate began about what to move him into…..

Didn’t want to spend too much.
Didn’t know if we should move him straight into a regular bed (that we already have). But he just seems so little to be in a BIG bed-know what I mean? This is my baby-still in 12-18 month clothes!

So, after spending all Saturday morning at different thrift stores in town, looking for toddler beds, I finally ended up at the mecca of all things necessary for your home-WAL-MART. (Need I say? I’m not a huge fan of Wal-mart, but it’s an evil that’s hard to avoid!)

NOW…..here’s where your philosophy might differ from mine.

I had my hubby put it up & leave the “Child-safety bars" off the sides of the crib.

You know-the ones designed to keep them from falling the “dangerous” 6 inches to plush carpeted floor of his bedroom.

Why would this hyper-protective mom do that?

Because I believe that teaching them where the edge of the bed is on this little tiny toddler bed-is better than teaching him that on the BIG bed he will eventually move into.

I think here in the US- this tendency to protect our kids goes way far & above what is healthy for them.

When we allow our kids some freedoms (like the freedom to fall out of bed)-we can TEACH them about boundaries in a healthy environment.


Society today is so good at protecting children from things that won't really harm them(think about the child-safety isle at your local child super-store) -while letting things like what they watch/see/are exposed to slide. Many of these things might do more damage to them in the end.


What do you think? Have Dave & I lost our minds? Wait. Don’t answer that. ;)
(by the way, he hasn’t fallen out of his bed yet, although I think he was well on his way here!)



P.S. This post was completed in about 35 minutes for Steady Mom's 30 Minutes or Less Blogger Challenge.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Has Arrived On My Blog!

Finally!

What do you think? I had a really hard time choosing a background for this picture!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

FFF.....Easter

I am so thankful for a RISEN SAVIOUR!!!

From one of my favorite Easter hymns:

Low in the Grave He lay-Jesus my Saviour!
Waiting the coming day-Jesus my Lord!!

Vainly they watch His bed-Jesus my Saviour!
Vainly they seal the dead-Jesus my Lord!

Death cannot keep his prey-Jesus my Saviour!
He tore the bars away-Jesus my Lord!

CHORUS
Up from the grave He arose! With a mighty triumph o'er His foes!

He arose a victor from the dark domain, & He lives forever with His saints to reign!

He arose!! He arose!

Hallelujah, Christ arose!


(Can't wait to edit this picture with my new Photoshop software! Maybe it won't end up quite so blurry!)



Thursdays Before the Throne

I'm sure my house isn't the only one with messes like these:

Yesterday, we had a freak April snowstorm. School was cancelled & everything! (Yes, one of the two mornings that Ana actually goes to school-we froze in blizzard-like conditions! I always get a kick out of it when we have “real school” occurrences-yes, even snow days!)

I internally debated whether or not to send them outside:
~So cold-the wind was BLOWING!
~The work I knew it would take me to get them out
~Knowing the length of time they *usually* stay outside-& I was pretty sure it would be less than the time it took me to get them ready-given their track record.
~MUD-this always goes along with spring snowstorms-because the sun is always out just a few hours after it stops snowing!

But, in the spirit of my new goal to say “yes” as often as possible to my kiddos-
I granted permission (groaning inwardly).

& you know what?
It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be!
Yes, there is still a LOT of dirty coats & snow pants in my washing machine.
& yes, they will probably still be in there awaiting my attention the next time I go downstairs-
But, they stayed outside for over an hour (amazing)!
Totally worth the time I spent!

& then I got to thinking…….
I KNOW my heavenly Father doesn’t handle my repeated prayers/requests the same way I treat my kids’. (He doesn’t even groan inwardly!)

He LOVES to hear me share my heart’s longings with Him.
Psalm 18:6
In my distress I called upon the LORD,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.

Psalm 34:15
The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.

I am so thankful He LONGS to hear & listen to ME!

May I become more like my heavenly Father in my dealings with my kids.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Kim-Unplugged!

I confess-up until recently, I have been pretty addicted.

To my computer, that is. (& nobody better bring any other of my addictions-like my coffee……or chocolate! Those aren’t going anywhere!)
My break with this addiction started out innocently enough. A trip with my husband to San Francisco, that set the stage for desiring less time on the computer.

Then, a little over a month ago, I got my Celiac diagnosis-& all hope of excess playtime (on my computer, that is) had to go. I had to cook instead.

Which, it turns out, has been a good thing.

Well, perhaps not the cooking.

But, my desire/ability to spend time on the computer has given way to much more fulfilling time-fillers anyway!

~Those kiddos actually benefit from an UNPLUGGED mom. More time for reading to them, rocking them, listening to them, disciplining them consistently, playing with them & teaching them.
~Consciously UNPLUGGING from the computer to go outside & play (for me & for them!)-what a mood booster!
~Getting things checked off a to-do list-who knew THAT could be fulfilling?!?!
~Realizing recently that my mind is actually engaged with “real” life when I am UNPLUGGED!

So, good bye, computer…….you HAVE BEEN a good friend to me.

But, I will still be blogging (I have to blab somewhere!), checking FB a few times a day, & checking my e-mail as well! (notice all my “necessities” on the computer are centered around “talking”…….hmmmm….that should say something to you-& me, I guess!! A girl has to have her priorities! Ha!!!)

How about you? Will you join me & UNPLUG yourself a bit? Get outside & enjoy it's beauty-where ever you are! Spend time with your family & love on them!



I created this post for Steady Mom’s 30 minute or Less Blogger Challenge in 25 minutes!
P.S. If you have a second, could you join me in wishing my daughter a Happy 9th B-day HERE? Thanks!

Happy Birthday to My Oldest "Baby!!!"

Ana-my dear girl-
I thought I would just take a minute & tell you some of the reasons I love you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
You are such an interesting mix right now-one minute-mature & seemingly 1/2 way to 21 (insert sobbing sound!)........& the next minute-thrilled to pieces over a new doll! An American Girl doll you have always wanted! (thank-you Grandmother & Grandad!)


The protective way you mother & take care of your sister & brother......
Your creative & immaginative mind! You decided the other day that the playhouse needed a roof-so you built one yourself!
But, mostly, Ana, your Daddy & I love the way you have wholeheartely cared for those less fortunate than you, the way you KNOW that the terrorists NEED JESUS, & that YOU want to go & tell them about Him-Whom to know is life eternal.




You are constantly reminding us of people/situations we need to pray for, & we are humbled every day by your heart of compassion! May you never loose it!

Much love-to our precious oldest gift from God!
(Mom)
P.S. This post is scheduled for 2:22 AM, the exact moment our lives were changed forever in 2001!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Kids Are so Blessed!

How many of us can say this is true?
I can, for myself & for my kids-& I am so thankful!!



In Honor of April Fools........ ;)

Guess which of the following is true:

1. A trip to Disney for the Dillons!!
2. A new arrival for the Dillons?!?
3. A job change for one of the Dillon parents??!
4. A move for the Dillons?!
5. Ana is going to a hairstyle competition!

What do you think?
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