"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, March 30, 2011

Umm...ok, that was FAR from boring......I *wish* it had been, though!

We have our house on the market, as you may know. We can have as little as one hour notice before showings (which has happened only once, thank goodness!)

Every time I get a text, there's a moment of excitement/dread before I check it. Yes, I'm thrilled for every showing, but depending on how soon the showing is requested, or how messy the house is, there's often stress associated w/ hearing those texts notifications!

Imagine my emotions Tuesday night, when after finishing up at ballet clear across town, as we were all buckling into the van, & I heard “THE RING.” I knew the house wasn't "show ready," so I was relieved to discover that the request was for Wed. morning.

We often spend the couple of hours we need to be out of the house at my sister's home, since she lives less than 5 minutes away. She worked Wed., but I knew she wouldn't care if we spent the time there. After cleaning & staging the house, we loaded up (Ana's school work included-we homeschool, in case you forgot) & made our way over. Little did I suspect how quickly my plans would change.

All the kids tore in the house, intent on each individual agenda. Ruth & Nat love her back yard, & Ana knew school work lay in her future. I brought up the rear, w/ Ana's school books in tow.

I rounded the corner, & to my horror, there in the middle of her kitchen floor, I spotted a MOUSE! I hate mice.

Really & truly HATE mice.

I tried to scare it back into it's hiding place, but when I stomped the floor, it barely moved (but it moved enough I knew it was still among the land of the living!) Uggg.

I encouraged R & N quickly out the backdoor, but of course, they had to check out the mouse.

Meanwhile, I was beginning to feel a bit sick to my stomach.

(I have to say, I am not so averse to the critters-if they would only STAY in THEIR natural habitat-& not intrude on mine!)

After the two "littles" were safely ensconced in the backyard, Ana & I decided we HAD to do something about that THING. Shannon (my sister) had been trying for at least a month to get rid of them!

We concluded he wasn't going anywhere, since we had tried scaring him multiple times, & he'd barely moved.

After searching her house & garage, the best we could come up w/ was a flower pot w/ very tiny holes. Capturing it seemed to be the only option, since we couldn't come up w/ a way to get rid of it.

I moved in on my target, Ana cheering me on. (& holding the BIG rock we were placing on top).

In my haste to get it over him, I bumped his tail! & a tiny little “squeak” came out. Again, I say, “Uggg…”

But, the second attempt was successful, & Ana quickly plunked the rock down on top.

& I gave a HUGE sigh of relief.

BUT, I didn’t want to stay there, w/ a tiny trapped rodent that might continue to squeak.

Anyone understand my hesitation? I KNOW some of you have to agree!

So, we loaded everyone & all our stuff back in the van.

As I was backing out of the driveway (feeling really bad that my sister w/ no hubby would have to come home to this!), I sighted-SALVATION!!

In the form of a man working on the flooded house next door!

I walked up behind him & explained the dilemma…..& thankfully, he agreed to get rid of the mouse for me!!! WHAT a RELIEF!!

He & I entered the “danger zone”-otherwise known as “MY SISTER’S KITCHEN.” He, w/ gloves & a crowbar.

After he said that HIS wife would have run screaming from the house. But, no, not me!! (At least, not *this* time!)

He lifted the pot to examine the “monster” & asked me to open the back door. He scooted the whole contraption over to the door, lifted the lid & flipped the mouse out of the door w/ his crowbar.

Then, he slid the crowbar under the mouse & flung it all the way across the yard-into the neighbor’s!!

He chuckled & said, “Now, it can DIE-over there!”

As we left the house, I told him he had done all his good deeds for about a month!

& we left…..(no, I couldn’t stay in the house…..I was too distraught!)

But, the best part of the whole thing was the many times Ana said, “Mom, what’s the big deal? It’s only a MOUSE!!”
WHAT?!? How, I ask you, did THAT child come from MY body!?!

Remember This?!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

One of my All-Time FAVORITE Pics!!!

Taken shortly before Ruth's 1st b-day. She had been home a bit over 5 mo.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The "Just Being Glad" Game

The kids & I devour CD books. We almost always have one or another playing in the van. We have listened to all the “Anne,” spelled w/ an “E” books, several Nancy Drew mysteries & ever so many more. (Yes, even Ruth & Nat listen w/ rapt attention to any story Ana or I pick!)

The other day, I picked up “Pollyanna” from the library. Growing up, we had a tattered, old copy in our home & I remembered reading it several times.

Little did I realize it might stop me short in my tracks……& help me re-evaluate life.

We listened to this section today (I know this is long, but, trust me, it is well worth the read!)

~Pollyanna explaining the Glad Game to Rev. Paul Ford. (Chapter 22)
"Yes, and I used to ask him just as I did you if he was glad he
was a minister."

The man under the tree smiled a little sadly.

"Well--what did he say?"

"Oh, he always said he was, of course, but 'most always he said,
too, that he wouldn't STAY a minister a minute if 'twasn't for
the rejoicing texts."

"The--WHAT?" The Rev. Paul Ford's eyes left the leaf and gazed
wonderingly into Pollyanna's merry little face.

"Well, that's what father used to call 'em," she laughed. "Of
course the Bible didn't name 'em that. But it's all those that
begin 'Be glad in the Lord,' or 'Rejoice greatly,' or 'Shout for
joy,' and all that, you know--such a lot of 'em. Once, when
father felt specially bad, he counted 'em. There were eight
hundred of 'em."

"Eight hundred!"

"Yes--that told you to rejoice and be glad, you know; that's why
father named 'em the 'rejoicing texts.' "

"Oh!" There was an odd look on the minister's face. His eyes had
fallen to the words on the top paper in his hands--"But woe unto
you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" "And so your
father--liked those 'rejoicing texts,' " he murmured.

"Oh, yes," nodded Pollyanna, emphatically. "He said he felt
better right away, that first day he thought to count 'em. He
said if God took the trouble to tell us eight hundred times to be
glad and rejoice, He must want us to do it--SOME. And father felt
ashamed that he hadn't done it more. After that, they got to be
such a comfort to him, you know, when things went wrong; when the
Ladies' Aiders got to fight--I mean, when they DIDN'T AGREE about
something," corrected Pollyanna, hastily. "Why, it was those
texts, too, father said, that made HIM think of the game--he
began with ME on the crutches--but he said 'twas the rejoicing
texts that started him on it."

"And what game might that be?" asked the minister.

"About finding something in everything to be glad about, you
know. As I said, he began with me on the crutches."

I have always struggled w/ “seeing the good,” in spite of all my efforts. Ana is much like me.

Can we play the “just being glad game?” We decided to try…..
There is only one rule to this simple game:
“ The game was to just find something about everything to be glad about--no matter what 'twas,’ rejoined Pollyanna,
earnestly. ”

Can I find something to be glad about w/ fighting children?
~They sure have spirit. They know what they want.
How about a husband that travels for work waaaay more than I like?
~At least he has a job. He likes his job. We get a lot of benefits when he travels so much! (free hotel points!!! Yippee!)

From today: What can I possibly find to be glad about when the “FOR SALE” sign was STOLEN from our front yard today?
~Well, we might not have as many showings until we replace it, but they are stressful to get ready for. (Possibly less stress for the next few days!)
~Gave me a chance to spend 5 minutes OUTSIDE in the SUNSHINE-looking for our sign! Yeah, sun!
~Ok….that’s about all I can think of. Can you think of any more?

The book Pollyanna reminded me that God’s Word says we are told to rejoice-no matter our circumstances.

A timely “read.”

(Looks like N might need to work on the "Glad Game," doesn't it?)

Thursdays Before the Throne

A friend posted this on FB the other day-a quote from Elizabeth Elliot.

"None of us is perfectly humble, but we can humble ourselves. We can put ourselves in a humble place, do a humble job. We can position ourselves to serve. When we do that, a wonderful thing happens. God gives us spiritual insight and understanding of things we didn't see before."

Lord, teach me to be postition myself to SERVE these precious gifts....maybe in serving them, You will give me the insight I so desperately need to parent them better....

Monday, March 21, 2011

My Home.....a HAVEN? I sure hope so!

I often struggle w/ priorities. Please tell me you do, too.

One suggestion I found the other day while surfin’ the net, was to ask yourself a series of questions to find out what you value.

I found a re-occurring theme to my answers:

I want a home that’s a HAVEN: any place of shelter and safety; refuge
In today's world, this seems critical to me......

Right now, there are many areas I fall short of creating this for my family:
~A lack of predictability to our schedule, & my expectations for my kids.
~A lack of predicting/meeting my family’s needs in a timely fashion (ie. “WHAT?!? It’s 4:30 pm?! How did that happen? Now, what on EARTH can I feed this family?!?)

But, the biggest hindrance to this seems to be sibling rivalry.

So, one thing I am trying is to be way more PRO-active in TEACHING them how to get along. One way we’ve accomplished this lately, is by me actually PLAYING w/ them. We have also been attempting to JUST HAVE FUN! How about an impromptu picnic now that the weather’s a bit warmer?

(See them out in the field behind our house?)

Got any ideas that have worked in your family?

The words to this old hymn keep running through my head:

"Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus--this is rest.

Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus' bosom naught but calm is found.

Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Jesus' keeping we are safe, and they.

Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What the Lord's Been Teaching me.....

It's hard to put my finger on......but, I think I could mostly sum up by saying....

He's turning my heart toward them.

I don't know.....I was getting so busy, that I have really been forgetting to JUST LOVE THEM.

Probably has a lot to do w/ Ana turning 10 in a few weeks.

But, it has been soooo rewarding just to give of myself.

Why do I always forget?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Well, I am here.....but very, very busy......

I don’t think I have ever had a more busy time in my life:
~The house is on the market.
~Homeschooling continues each weekday.
~Intentionally trying to spend “FUN TIME” w/ the kiddos each day.

And, last weekend, a long anticipated “get-away” overnight w/ my oldest!

What she once thought impossible….

Is now, “Mission Accomplished!”

Ana filled up her “Chore Jar” last week!!! She’s been adding marbles since November!

We spent the night at a local hotel, & combined the retreat w/ a “tea party” & an in depth conversation about true beauty & how God views us as women!

& You know what?

*I* came away refreshed! She challenged me-not so much in things she said……but just in her desire to please God. I want to be more of the woman God created me to be-AS HER MOTHER!

If you have a pre-teen, have you done anything like this? Got any good books to recommend? (Besides what we are using now: "8 Great Dates For Moms & Daughters")

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The "Toothfairy Skeptic"

"Dear Toothfairy,
I think you are my mother but I wanted to tell you that my tooth is 'finnally' under my pillow.
The corner of the bag is sticking out.
Anastasia J. Dillon"

Friday, March 4, 2011

My Little "Bed Heads!"

This is what breakfast at our house often looks like! I love that because of homeschooling, we can take our time w/ breakfast.......& Ana can look like this 1/2 way through the morning, if she wants. (well, except she *usually* remembers her glasses! Ha!)

P. S. Looks like I didn't follow the theme at all. ooops!
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