"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! :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Short Visit w/........

Grandmother & Granddad!!
(Stay tuned as I play catch-up the next few days! We have celebrated a b-day, Father's Day & had time w/ Dave's parents!!! Busy, busy days!!!)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Trying again.....

Just wanted to make sure everyone saw how intricate the detail is on these beautiful dresses my mom made the girls for their respective birthdays this year......what love went into them, don't you agree?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Dream Fulfilled....for a 9 year-old little girl

Today (yesterday, by the time you read this) I finally completed something we have tried to do for a long time:

No, I didn’t loose the 25-30 pounds I have been trying to loose….

No, I didn’t plant a garden…..nothing grows here with my brown thumb anyway…..

No, Natty is NOT potty trained yet…..

But-YES! We did complete something big.

For a long time, Ana has wanted to scale the heights of our local attraction-Pike’s Peak, America’s Mountain.

So, today, I loaded up the girls, left Nat-Nat with Tía Shannon & did just that. With the van……no, not hiking-I just didn’t think Ruth’s little legs were quite up to an 8,000 ft elevation change-with a top of 14,110 ft!

Weather-wise…..it certainly could have been a better day. 35° & windy-with high clouds. We could still see for miles, though,-maybe even all the way to Kansas!! But, brrrrr!!! (& we were even cold WITH our coats!!!)

But, I still have to agree with Kathryn Lee Bates’ poem, America the Beautiful, which she wrote after seeing the view from the top of the mountain:

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

The look or wonder in Ana’s eyes as she took in all that splendor will forever be etched in my mind. (& so will the view of Ruth, hiding under her blanket any time thought the edge of the road was too close!!! Ha!)

Ana-it was a delight to spend the day with you…..& I loved watching you exclaim over so many new things to see! & Ruthie…..you were so cute huddled under you blanket-& worried about being blown off the mountain! (w/ 40 MPH wind gusts, I don’t blame you!)

Thank-You, Father, for creating such a wonderful world!!

Then God looked over all He had made, and He saw that it was very good!
And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day.
Genesis 1:31

Monday, June 21, 2010

True Confessions……& this one’s a hard one, people!

I dislike children’s messes.

Really, I do.

I know, I know……I should be happily following the advise of this popular poem, given to practically every new mother. I know-I have at least two or three copies floating around somewhere:

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow...
For babies grow up,
we've learned to
our sorrow...
So quiet down cobwebs...
dust go to sleep...
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep!!

But it’s a hard one for me……

Especially when my kids do this:
(Don't let their innocent looking faces deceive you!!)

& answer the question of “Who dun it?: with:

“Rufie do it, Mommy!” N
“Nat-Nat spilled it, Mommy!” R

But……in spite of the anger that welled up immediately, instead of loosing it, I produced my camera & documented it, & thought, “Ah, well, I suppose one day it might be funny!”

P.S. I still don’t see much humor in it-took 20 minutes to clean up-yes, I supervised them cleaning it up. But, I share it with you all, because I know it IS funny-just doesn’t seem that way to me yet! Give me 6 months or so!!! Ok, maybe in 6 days…….

Oh, and……
P.S.S…….Just because I am becoming more aware of fleeting time I am trying to spend more time rocking them-well, all except for Ana-who’s a bit big, but I am cuddling up every night with her & a book to read a chapter! So, am I still allowed to dislike the messes? I promise I AM rocking/cuddling them!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

FFF.....& I need some help!!! (well, only if you know Photoshop Elements!!)

Disclaimer: I was hugely disappointed in how this collage turned out, but I have to post it, mostly to document the clothes…….but also because I am trying to see if any of you fine photographers can help me!!!

Ana is showing signs of the impending teens (shudder).

Not so much in physical things (thank goodness)-but in emotional/maturity/spiritual growth we have seen huge strides toward being a responsible teen.

So, I am always thrilled when she still shows signs of that little girl I love!

One thing she hasn’t grown out of yet (& maybe she never will-I hope!) is that she (once in a while) likes to match her baby sister.

I found the cutest little outfits at Wal-mart the other day….. (top right)

& the other day, we got crafty & made matching shirts for all three kids-so we even have one outfit Nat matches them in. (Hopefully, he’ll forgive me one day for making him wear the same clothes as his sisters! Ha!) (top left)

But, best of all are these adorable dresses my mom MADE…….(yes, even the smocking!) Are you impressed!? I sure am!!! Thanks, Grammie-they love them & I love all the love that went into them! (bottom left)

I can’t figure out for the LIFE of me, though-WHY my pictures uploaded so blurry in PSE!?? Can ANYONE help me figure out what happened?

Sorry-I didn't follow the theme, but I will post about DADDY next week!

Thursdays Before the Throne

*Found this poem when going through some of my old papers*
It was printed on one of those old printers we all used to have before the nice laser printers!
There's A Peace

There's a peace that cometh after sorrow
Of hope surrendered, not of hope fulfilled;
A peace that looketh not upon to-morrow,
but calmly on a tempest that is stilled.

A peace which lives not now in joy's excesses,
Nor in the happy life of love secure;
But in the unerring strength the heart possesses
Of conflicts won while learning to endure.

A peace there is, in sacrifice secluded;
A life subdued, from will and passion free;
'Tis not the peace which over Eden brooded,
But that which triumphed in Gethsemane.

by Jessie Rose Gates

P.S. After posting this.....in honor of de-cluttering, I threw away the old paper!! Woot-Woo!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Took The Day Off!!!

For reasons I won’t go into here, this summer has already seemed long in a lot of ways!

So…..today (yesterday by the time this posts) I took a holiday.

Yep, I did.

I hired a babysitter for the WHOLE day.

I was pretty hesitant to do this, because I have heard that often people come back from their little “break” even more resentful of the house, the kids, the other responsibilities.

So, tonight, as I was driving home, I prayed that the Lord would give me a thankful heart.

& I am choosing to be thankful to you, Heavenly Father for:

~the dishes still in the sink (looks like the kids were well fed while I was gone!)
~the two girls who were still awake when I came home (got to say goodnight & tuck them in!)
~the safety for me as I drove up to Denver & back & the safety You gave the kids & the babysitter (I am well aware of the fact that my life-& the lives of my kids-are constantly in Your hands!)
~the gorgeous, so brilliant it hurt my eyes, sort of blue sky there was today-especially while I took a walk in a park! (After 4 days of clouds & rain-it was a welcome sight!)
~sitting under a tree in a different park reading my book
~meandering through a mall-with no agenda! (I’m not a shopper & I didn’t even spend any money-unless you count The Cheesecake Factory!!!)
~taking my time going up & down every isle of The Container Store-my all-time favorite place to shop! (& yes, I did spend $ there! Ha!)

But, as I left this morning, I prayed I would be refreshed for the duties the LORD has blessed me with……& you know what?

I think I am……

So, I guess this type of get-away can be a good thing. As long as you don’t resent coming home.

How do you handle “me” time? Do you have any tricks to keep from being discontent when you return to earth & “normal life?”

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How Do YOU Stay on Top of The Paper Tiger?!

We just recently went through every piece of paper in our house, & found a "home" for all of it! (& yes, much of it actually found a new abode in FILE 13!)

But, now we are looking at how to STAY ahead of the paper piles!

What are YOUR best tips?

Monday, June 14, 2010

There is Nothing Like A Good Summer Afternoon Thunderstorm.......

(But, then again-I have a secret wish to go on one of those "Storm Chaser" Week Long trips! And, yes, there were tornados in this storm!)

P.S. This post was created in 5 minutes for Steady Mom's 30 Minutes or Less Blogger Challenge.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

FFF......"What We Love"

Two things came to mind with this topic…….one fairly obvious, perhaps, but the second one might not make a whole lot of sense until it’s explained.

~The first thing that jumps to mind every time this type of topic comes up is that I am so thankful for wonderful family –near & far. We just got done with a week of having my mom here, & Dave’s parents will be here shortly, too. I am so thankful my kids have their grandparents on both sides. (& other family, too!)

I have always felt rather sad that I don’t remember my maternal grandparents……

~The other thing I am LOVING right now is this little poem by A. J. Flint.

I need reminding that I am only called to live for my Savior ONE DAY AT A TIME……..

One Day at a Time
One day at a time, with its failures and fears,
With its hurts and mistakes, with its weakness and tears,
With its portion of pain and its burden of care;
One day at a time we must meet and must bear.

One day at a time to be patient and strong,
To be calm under trial and sweet under wrong;
Then its toiling shall pass and its sorrow shall cease;
It shall darken and die, and the night shall bring peace.

One day at a time - but the day is so long,
And the heart is not brave, and the soul is not strong,
O Thou pitiful Christ, be Thou near all the way;
Give courage and patience and strength for the day.

Swift cometh His answer, so clear and so sweet;
"Yea, I will be with thee, thy troubles to meet;
I will not forget thee, nor fail thee, nor grieve;
I will not forsake thee; I never will leave."

Not yesterday's load we are called on to bear,
Nor the morrow's uncertain and shadowy care;
Why should we look forward or back with dismay?
Our needs, as our mercies, are but for the day.

One day at a time, and the day is His day;
He hath numbered its hours, though they haste or delay.
His grace is sufficient; we walk not alone;
As the day, so the strength that He giveth His own.

Annie Johnson Flint

Deut. 33:25 ...and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.

2Cor. 12:9 And He said unto me, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

We all have burdens-may we be encouraged that we are only called to bear them ONE DAY AT A TIME.

(My sister & her kids with our mother & my kids, too.)

Three of *Some* of my Favorite People.....

(I have lots of favorite people-if anyone is a new blog reader of mine-but for now, this is Ana with my mom & my sister Shannon! Well, & I guess you can see two other of my favorite little people in the background!)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Catch Me If you Can.......

& this is the way most of my pics still turn out with this child!
She is ALWAYS on the go!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

FFF....Summer is FINALLY Here! (Yeah-& not a moment too soon!)

The great outdoors is calling......& we answered the call by heading south a few hours to the Great Sand Dunes.

Thursdays Before the Throne

"For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God."

Romans 1:20 (New Living Translation)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Loving Life......

Memorial Day Weekend…….

Well, as anyone who knows me in real life (IRL) can attest-there is never a dull moment in our house.

We decided (on fairly short notice) it would be fun to load up the kids & take them to the Great Sand Dunes National Monument.

We tried to go on Friday night, but before we had even made it out of Colorado Springs, we had a tire blow-out on our van.

Please……I beg you, don’t ask how it happened…….that shall forever remain a closely guarded family secret. ;)

After an hour or two of trying (in vain) to get a new tire put on (yeah-it was Friday NIGHT of Memorial Day Weekend-WHAT where we thinking?!!?) we gave up, & took the kids home.

Calling the hotel secured us a night on SUNDAY night, instead of the much-anticipated Friday night get-away.

So……Sunday afternoon-we tried again-& made it to Alamosa, CO with all van parts present & accounted for.

& Monday-glorious Monday, was cloudless & a perfect 80 degrees.

I took tons of pics as the kids played & splashed in the water, & dug in the sand.

At one point in the day, as I watched them all floating their boats down the creek, enjoying the giggles & laughter of all the kids, I just stopped realized I should thank the Lord for such a wonderful day-that was fun from beginning to end.

& I did……I realized what a blessing it was to watch them having so much fun-& to love THEIR enjoyment of life!

What a delightful day!

Thank-you again, Father!!!

(If you click on the above picture, you will see tiny little dots that are actually people climbing the dunes. They are HUGE!!!)

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