Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marriage. Show all posts

Thursday, September 20, 2018

My weight loss journey........was a brief and prideful one............................

I like to look at this picture of my family from Mother's Day 2018. It makes me proud. Those men are so good looking! Yes, the Gman and I produced those handsome boys. But who is that lady with the double chin sitting with them? Yes, that's me. 

Now my oldest, the writer has a wedding coming up. It's been quite stressful thinking of mother of the groom dresses. I'd love to say that I wanted to lose weight because I want to be healthy for the long awaited grandkids. Or at least because my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and heartburn was not dwelling in the same place. But the truth of the matter was....some awesome photo opportunities will be coming up in October and I can't look like Shamu. 

Pride, yes, thank God for pride. Not the one that causes one to fall, but the motivator pride. The kind that makes you lick your finger and quickly wash your kids face at the pediatrician so they won't think you are a bad mom. I was able to pull out the emotion exactly three months before the wedding. Serious times caused for serious measures. I joined an expensive health club, actually showed up faithfully and accepted their so called "food plan" which in reality was a 2 page chart with the most mundane deprivation diet ever. This was planned on the week that Little Guy was away for camp at Gordon College. The Gman was on his own for meals.

The first week included an evil trainer named Amy who yelled, swore and called me by my last name, sort of like boot camp 3 days a week. I had to nap a few times just to get out of my misery from eliminating sugar. I googled it. They liken it to a flu when you are detoxing. Of course it didn't help that I downed a ton of sm'ores the night before I started this journey. But I survived the week and lost 4 pounds. Hmm, if I keep this up, I may even get my money back, from the fitness challenge. Amy said she was proud of me even though I was a pain in the....There's that pride word.

I actually stuck like glue to the food chart, worked out or walked killer hills and each week weighed in. It worked! In just over the 10 weeks, I lost 24 lbs, feel amazing and am super happy with the dress I picked out. It was very simple. I stuck to it with the exception of one evening, I cheated one night while taking clients out to dinner and I felt terrible. 

So people noticed, and it was exactly like when I came to Christ.......the responses:

1) You look awesome, you inspire me................ What must I do to be thin/saved?
2) Oh you were fine, you didn't need to lose weight.....You weren't fat(lies) weren't too much of a sinner(oh yes, I was/am)
3) I love my sweets/junk food too much...........I love my sin too much surrender to Christ.
4)You'll probably gain it back after the wedding.................This is just a fad(yes I've been on this Jesus trend since 1986)
5) I don't have time for all the food prep and exercise.......My life is too busy for God.

Now that I have experienced the transformation I was looking for, I have to be careful not to become prideful. Or self righteous................. And that's another battle.

So I may have collectedly offended all 5 of my readers in one post.  I've taken my terrible habit of stress eating and focused on taking care of myself.

This was my old belief:

The Gman still can't believe he hears me leaving early for a morning run even in the rain. I wish I could market this weigh loss plan with a flashy name and sell it to the many Americans who spend so much money on weigh loss products. 

Veto diet
The die diet
yes to the smaller dress diet

Hmm.....the possibilities are endless. Stay tuned for an after picture.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Marriage Monday: Committment

I'm joining with Chrysalis for Marriage Monday. It's not because I am an expert, or because I have a perfect one. It's because I am still working at it. I've written before about it, not the juicy details, but a few things I have learned. Today's topic is Christian commitment. The Gman and I have lasted 21 years, only by the grace of God, I wasn't one to stick with anything or anyone for more than a few weeks...until I made the major commitment. the most important commitment, the one to live for Christ. My vow to Christ is the backbone of my commitment to the Gman.

I used to be a quitter. When things got difficult, I resorted to flight, rather than fight. The work that Christ has done in my life, gives me the strength to stay and fight. Fight with my hubby and fight for my marriage. It took a meeting with a stranger last month to show me how blessed I am.
Just why are we here today?
I quickly dropped the kids and rushed to the meeting. This could be a good showing. Ten days before Christmas, looking at a house on the lake means one thing. This couple could be a serious buyers.

Ten days before Christmas, was the day I married the Gman. Twenty-one years ago.

No comments about the home. He noticed the photo of the older couple. He tried to joke with me and tell me why the man passed away first........... So he could have some peace.

The joke fell flat.

"It's my anniversary" I told him.

"I'm hip to marriage, it's good. I've been married 21 years."

His face dropped in awe.

"Really? That's very rare."

He is a divorce attorney. In his words, he has seen all of the #*%^^ and excuses.

He got back to my marriage.

How many kids? Four

Are you happily married? Yes (the truth for that day)

He called me a rare breed. We discussed society, tragedy, commitment, and kids. Apparently the school shooter was devastated by his parent's divorce. His wife chimed in. They had 15 years under their belt. Their one child was putting them through the ringer.

I thought about his job. I thought about the demise of so many marriages lately. I can't imagine how he must feel in his profession of refereeing, fighting and calling the financial shots of the demise of a family.

He hugged me and told me I made his day.

After about a half hour showing, they never even commented on the home.

Dear Jesus:
I thank you for preserving and keeping my marriage. Forgive me for not acknowledging the miracle of my marriage. I thank you for the grace ,mercy, and love you have showered upon me and the Gman.

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wordless Wednesday...My new husband!


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Monday, February 6, 2012

Marriage Monday....Do you remember?

When she described the proposal, she was glowing. He led her to the back porch. Awkwardly, he pretended that wildlife had appeared and his eagle eyes were the only ones to see it. When he tried to point it out to her, she turned around to this.

He had perfectly orchestrated the moment. Music, lights and real fireworks. Thankfully she said "yes". For the rest of their lives, they will never forget the Christmas Eve of 2011.

This couple will be married next summer and they have a few years before they have to worry about the newness wearing off.

I wanted to include the challenge from Marriage Monday and encourage you to visit the blogs of other contributors. The hostess, Chrysalis, emails an invite to participants a few days before Monday. This week's topic has been brewing for a few weeks. In fact since Christmas. Below is a portion of her invitation.
Life certainly has its ups and downs—it has busy, exciting times and slow, dull, normal times. Marriage is the same way. Remember when we were young and full of love? It seemed that we never ran out of new things to discover with (and about) each other.
After a few years of "wedded bliss" however, sometimes a depressing sameness can settle in. Unfortunately, keeping family life running smoothly (and paying for it all) takes so much energy that many couples have nothing left over for their friendship. During those stress-filled seasons, boredom and apathy can easily infect a marriage. Have you been there? Are you there now? What are you doing to inject fresh vitality into your relationship?
Please share your wisdom with us next week. Plan to gather at Chrysalis once again for Marriage Monday on Feb. 6, 2012.
As always, I welcome linkers in all ages and stages of married life: old, young, seasoned and newlywed. This time, I would especially love to read your insights if you've been married for over ten years. Please join us!

My thoughts on avoiding complacency and the marriage doldrums. One word:

Remember the things that first attracted you to your husband. Was it his strong faith? His great looks? His kind actions? His bold witnessing? His sports ability? The way his treated his family? His great sense of humor? Whatever is was that first caught your eye and kept it, think on these things. Don't fall into the pattern of dwelling on his faults, shortcomings or things he lacks. Avoid fiction or film that glamorizes or fictionalizes other men. This will poison your attitude and demotivate you in making your own effort to improve your marriage.
Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.          Philippians 4:8
To follow my own advice, I just take a look at my sweet hubby in this photo and my heart still goes pitter-patter. It's not just the hunk in the uniform, it's the memories we had that day.

Remember the vows you made. When we were married about 10 years, we had some tough times. I made this plaque using my computer, stationary and a simple frame. I know the Gman appreciates it. Currently, he displays it right by his bedside. It's important to remember why we say those words. Hard times will come. Finances, sickness and family conflicts and a host of other hardships. This vow acknowledges yes, they are going to happen and declares that I will be there for them, resisting the fight or flight urge that tempts everyone.

Remember God. Whether you married in the faith or came to know God after your marriage, God will help. If you feel like things are dull and want to break out of that rut, pray about it. Ask God to help you appreciate your spouse, pray for him, and believe that things can change. 

Remember, you will not always have a home full of kids, bills and stress. Perhaps you need inspiration for a date night, or just the commitment to having a date night. God willing, you will be growing old together and the best is yet to come.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Marriage Monday: An Introduction

Today's post is linked up to Chrysalis Cafe and Marriage Monday. Of course, I didn't follow directions and had written a totally different blog post. Thankfully, I have more time to clean it up. You'll have to come back in two weeks for that one. Today, we are just introducing ourselves to each other and our readers. If you want to read some my thoughts on marriage, you can click here.

Since we are on the topic of marriage, if you haven't read Ann Voskamp's post The 4 Minute Marriage Habit, please do. It will bless you much more than my post. Anyways, here's my introduction:

I am…..a Christian, a wife, a mother, a blogger and a friend.
I want… whole family to know salvation.
I have… husband, four boys, and three brothers.
I wish…..for more girls in my family.
I hate…..noise.
I miss… skinny self.
I fear…..God.
I feel…..hungry most the time.
I hear…..too many appliances right now.
I smell…..everything, it's a curse.
I crave…..quiet.
I search…..for lost things too often.
I wonder…..when things will change.
I regret…..not taking more pictures and videos of my kids.
I love… husband.
I ache…..when I sleep too long.
I care…..about new Christians.
I always…..procrastinate.
I am not…..organized right now.
I believe…..God can heal marriages.
I dance…..rarely.
I sing… church.
I cry…..when I read books.
I don’t always… directions.
I fight…..exercise.
I write…..instead of doing housework.
I never….finish everything I plan in a day.
I listen… audio books when I deep clean.
I need…..about 30 hours in a day.
I am happy…..most of the time.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Can we just hit the pause button?

When Random was a little guy, he had a hard time telling the difference between the computer screen world and his reality.  He immediately became hooked on the computer and it's array of new words. Those words ingrained themselves into his ever growing vocabulary and he creatively used them. When he needed to use the bathroom, he would announce to his friends while playing outside:

"Pause button, I need to go potty."

This flashback came to me as I was reading John Acuff and his idea of "pausing" a blog.

This isn't a long pause, just a chance to 'reblog' or recycle top posts.

Now there are two ways of choosing your top posts.

I could pick my favorites or I could pick the top viewed ones.

Since it's my blog, I'm going to pick my favorites.

Here's two:

But seriously, one of my favorites posts from last year which I should read on a weekly basis is:

 Poison Control Center

Did you know this week is national Poison Prevention Week?
In honor of that I would like to share some helpful advice.

Ten things that will poison your marriage:

First, I have to add a disclaimer to this post. I have not tried all of these poisons, only nine of them. Thankfully, I didn't ingest enough to cause death nor suffer long term effects from these toxic behaviors.
  1. Hang around with women who constantly belittle their husbands.
  2. Think of the money you both earn as separate. 
  3. Let the children play you against each other, this can last long into adulthood.
  4. Stop serving each other. 
  5. Ignore your personal appearance and practice poor hygiene. 
  6. Avoid dates or time alone. 
  7. Don't care about anything they deem important.  
  8. Spend too much time with your extended family and friends.
  9. Never forget past sins.
  10. Criticize at every opportunity, publicly will increase the speed of the toxicity.
If you feel like you need a detox. Don't despair. Things can change right now.

Here is my not-so-secret home remedy...

From the King James Bible, 1 John 1:19:

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Living this scripture will strengthen our marriages. Today's post is linked up with Marriage Monday. In my last Marriage Monday Post I talked about ten books that have helped my marriage.

I know there are things I have missed. Do you have any "must avoid poisons" in your home?  Leave a comment, you may be helping out a marriage.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Marriage Monday: An Ode to my Mother-in-Law

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis

I was thrilled when I heard this month's topic would be in-laws. In my usual state of confusion, I forgot to post this a few weeks ago. With Thanksgiving coming up, perhaps now is the right time. If you will be spending time with your out-laws or in-laws, treasure it.

My mother-in-law died of cancer in 2004. A few weeks before Little Guy hit made his dramatic entrance into the world, I was unable to travel for the funeral because of my advanced pregnancy and a nasty sickness. I clearly remember going to a doctor I had never met, getting a throat culture and blubbering like a baby to him about how much I would miss her. A few weeks later, I had the opportunity to assure him that I'd be o.k.

Now don't get me wrong here, I understand the victory of death as a Christian. I knew Anne was through suffering and in the presence of God. I was just crying for myself. My sister-in-law asked for a letter or a memory for me to send along. This was my pre-blogging life. I was long-winded. I needed to remember her and write it down. I'm posting it unedited except for name changes. 

To my Mother-in-law:

I want to thank you for all you have done and shown me in the 12 years I have had the privilege of knowing you. I married your only son and therefore I inherited the title of favorite daughter-in-law. I am blessed, my close friends even admitted their jealousy. They loved you and wished to have you for their own mother-in-law. When you visited us, we did everything together. You took the time to get to know all of my friends. You joined us for concerts, sporting events and even let us take you on almost every tourist attraction in the Northeast. You never mentioned if you were too tired or if we were pushing you too much. You gave of yourself unselfishly.

You had your priorities right. You wanted to be with your family. You invested your time into your family. There was always time for another story to be read to the boys or another game of checkers or Uno. You showed me motherhood, in your sharing the tales of raising my husband. You loved him unconditionally. You encouraged his passions. You have shown me tolerance, not for sin, but for adventure. You told me how you cringed while driving from the mice factory with a car load of mice so the Gman could feed his snakes. But you did it! You let the Gman develop his interests without your inflicting your own opinions. Because of you, I don’t say no when Paperboy and Random find a snake. You let him pursue boyhood interests while growing into a man. You raised a son that knows how to enjoy his family.

You showed your commitment to Christ to my family. You were faithful to read Gods Word daily. You prayed. You prayed for your family continually. You were committed to your church. While visiting us you joined us in our commitment to our church. You desired to know our family of believers. You and I would take time to go out with the ladies when you visited. On the telephone, you often would ask how is so and so. You showed concern for my friends even as your health was failing. You had also showed Len and others Christ’s love in action daily. When Len had the stroke you were there for him. You were such a hard worker. You got up early enough to get him dressed and ready before you had to get ready for work. There were bills to be paid and you faced it. You comforted him in his last days.

You had the gift of diplomacy. You were the peace maker. You had the kind words to soften the situation. You had the ability to smooth the awkward conversations. You also had the spunk and the certainty of your faith. On your trips to our home, we had many hours while the Gman was working to reminisce, share and even debate. You had the skill of discussing issues without letting them get personal. We could debate politics or doctrine and still remain close. You could artfully change the subject, you knew neither of us would change our minds, and you made sure there were no hard feelings.

Another way you demonstrated your love for me and my family was in your thoughts. Each trip north, you would bring a small gift for me and the kids. Just to say “I was thinking of you when we weren’t together”. You even showed my brother’s wife, and their children that same thoughtfulness. Your small gestures of love touched her life. You are already missed. But you have left your many gifts with us. I will guard them as treasures. I will try to pass on these qualities to your grandchildren. I will keep them fresh in my mind, when facing another parenting obstacle. I will think of you as I read in Proverbs.  “Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband (also), and he praises her: Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all. Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

You were a wonderful mother-in-law and I thank God for the time He gave us together. I will love and miss you, but I know we will see each other again because of Christ.

Love always, Terri

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Marriage Monday: Teachable Hearts, Newlyweds and the Missing Ingredient

In the movie Fireproof, there is a scene where I just want to stand up and yell "Amen Brother!" It's when Caleb's co-worker is explaining to him about studying his wife. He encourages Caleb to learn all he can about his wife. Now that is something that can be overlooked. Even by strong Christian wives.

Sometimes we pour more energy into 'blessing our husbands', but we miss the mark. He really would like something simple, not our grand plans. We should learn from our past mistakes.

For years, on the Gman's birthday, I would go to Marshalls or T.J. Maxx and pick out a shirt and a tie. Most of the time, he ended up returning it. Wrong size, color or style. Why did it take me so long to figure out that he wanted to pick his own clothes with me? He liked the experience of shopping with me. I guess I am just a slow learner.

Now for newlywed couples, the learning curve is even greater. Meals, clothes, family issues, houses, work schedules, habits and preferences are all things to study. I don't remember having anyone to walk beside me and give me advice. I just jumped into the crash course. My poor guinea pig husband. The trials and errors of our new life together, had it's ups and downs. Thankfully, we had a great church and a pastor who directed us. My pastor gave me a list of books to study. Study I did. Pray I did. I realize that not every couple jumping into marriage these days has such support.

There is a lot of information on the web to encourage newlyweds. I was asked by Propeller to review a website and share it with my readers. In exchange, they offered me a free book: Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married by Dr. Gary Chapman. I was more than happy to oblige, I plan on passing the book on to a newlywed couple, after I inspect it.

My best advice for newlyweds:
Keep your eyes wide open before the ring. Keep your eyes half shut after! is a guide for couples as they prepare for marriage. This site includes:
  * Interesting articles/blog
  * Fun and insightful videos
  * Links to practical resources from marriage counseling experts

I had a chance to poke around the site and I see this would be a fun tool to use to begin talking to each other before you say 'I do.'

Things I like about this web site:

  • They have answers to questions you may be embarrassed to ask.
  • The advice about 'expensive weddings' vs. getting married was sound.
  • The ability to submit your own question. The readers add their comments.
  • The author's commitment to strengthen marriages.
  • This appears to be a non-denominational web site, and would appeal to many people.
Things that were noticeably missing:
  • Scripture! 
Now to be fair, I did not read every article. There were many balanced articles with great ideas, but I found it to be very simplistic, common sense advice. Sometimes, I need more than great advice. I want the powerful word of God to support the advice. I realize that not including controversial quotes from the Bible about marriage will make it more appealing to all faiths, but it falls short for me personally.

Biblical roles of men and women and submission can is not easy, but it plays a major role in the harmony of a couple. I could not easily find anything addressing this aspect of marriage on this site.

I also disagree with some of the advice that was given here. It was a question about sharing your sexual past with your future spouse. He recommends telling our future spouse past details and work through the emotions. Bad idea! I am not for lying to my spouse, but I would never share my life before Christ. Obviously, I had a child out of wedlock, he knew all he needed to know before the engagement. That information can cause more damage than good. I feel if Christ forgave us and we repented, I should not drudge up the past. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to go and sin no more, the essence of grace. Sharing past sins can stir up unnecessary jealousy and create unwanted images of each other. Couples need to be honest, but discerning in their engaged life discussions. That is my personal conviction, I understand others may feel differently. has a great goal, they just need to not forget the best and most important marriage resource, the Bible.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Wisdom from a wise old married man

Photo credit Dennis P.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Ten Things: A few things about real estate, sort of...

I spent 24 hours last weekend in a class to prepare to take the Real Estate Salespersons licence exam. This was quite different from my normal weekends and I actually enjoyed myself. Twenty four hours of no cooking, cleaning, laundry and driving, need I say more?

Some of the things I gleaned this week were not real estate principles or new concepts. These were learning opportunities that, in my sheltered world as a homeschool Mama, I may not have stumbled upon all year.

  1. The Importance of Promptness: Friday night before class , I wanted to have a nice dinner with my family. Because of this, I ended up arriving exactly as the class was starting, at 5:30. There was only one seat left. I had to endure four hours sitting next to the smelliest guy. All I could think of is "who would ever trust this man with one of the largest purchases of their life?" The lady on the other side of me had to ask me to get off her lap as I struggled to escape the pungent odors. O.K. a little exaggeration. My final coping method, just turn my head and breathe fresh air, then exhale in smelly's direction. Air flow was needed. I feigned shyness and didn't make eye contact with smelly, I didn't want to start a conversation. My flight instinct had kicked in.
  2. Friends make everything nicer: A few weeks before the class, my friend Julie, decided to join me. We had time together this weekend without kids around us, event though we were in class, having her by my side was nice.
  3. Exercise regularly: At our lunch breaks, I made a point to walk, sitting for 4 hours was very draining. This perked me up and relieved my guilt from the endless munching in class.
  4. Be prepared for change: The last day, the instructor offered to let us out a little early, if we took a short lunch. It was no problem for me, I had enough food for 1/2 the class. 
  5. Take notes even if you will never read them again: Just the act of writing something down, imprinted it on my three remaining brain cells. Like a great homeschooling mom, I used multiple learning styles. The visual, the auditory and kinestetic. 
  6. Prayer is not optional. On Wednesday the middle of my four hour exam, I had an epiphany. I was hopeless. I did what I learned from day one as a Christian. I went to the bathroom and prayed. If I had prayed out loud in the test room, I would have been disqualified. After my foxhole prayers in the bathroom, I regained my confidence. 
  7. People who create tests have a special place in hell. Well that's not really true. But! We all know Satan is a deceiver. I know he had his hand in creating the Real Estate Salesperson Licence exam. The questions were pure evil. There was no shortage of twisting and manipulating of words. I decided, I will be more sympathetic as my boys tackle the Stanford Achievement Tests in a few weeks.
  8. Husband and wife sales teams are going to be challenging. As much as I am madly in love with the Gman, our relationship has already to been stretched. In the first two hours of our working together, we have experienced great stress. His crazy driving, because he forgot to put his tie on, almost made him a widower. I have decided, if we are going to to ride together, I will be doing the driving.
  9. Try not to disagree in the car about dual agency, or about anything for that matter.  Our first discussion as agents resulted in a spike in his blood pressure  He swore he wasn't yelling, just raising his voice. Hypothetically, to him, I had lost thousands of dollars in a transaction that never existed. This little talk resulted in a distracted roll through a stop sign.
  10. Dressing for success can have it's advantages. When the nice policeman pulled us over, we were coming from our photo shoot. We were looking sharp. I wanted to crack the famous joke. "Officer, I swear he didn't roll through that stop sign. He never breaks the rules when he has been drinking". I resisted. The Gman was polite and professional. We experienced grace in the form of only a warning. I think the outcome could have been different if we were in our regular clothes. Which reminds me of a new benefit of working with the Gman. I'll have to go clothes shopping, poor me.
I'm sure I will be learning so much more. I haven't even started my training yet.

I'm off to another date night. I have a feeling we are going to be needing these much more often.

Have a great weekend.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Marriage Monday: Letters, Spirits, and a Challenge

My friend Lyn has filled her home with spirits. No, her house isn't haunted. It's decorated with photos and treasures from her family. 

In her home, she has beautiful letters her children have written framed on the walls. 

One is from her son to his autistic older brother. In this handwritten letter, he shares his love for his brother. He made promises to him. He has kept those promises. It is a testimony of the power of words. I can see my friend, cleaning her house, stopping to re-read those words. Thanking God for her children. I am sure those same words lift her spirits on the tough days. 

Those words lifted me when I read them. 

In her bedroom was another letter. Right next to the dresser, her husband can see it each day. It is a letter from her daughter honoring her father with the most precious words. I'm assuming, those words from his girl keep him motivated in his daily struggles. I can imagine him getting ready for another day of work, and taking a moment to read it. This letter is full of spirit, it shows appreciation, respect and it's no secret, his girl has a deep love for her dad. I'm sure that gift, meant more to him than all of the ties, books and other presents he has received from her.

The act of displaying those words, is where the spirits are released. Lyn has decorated her home with love.

Words are Spirit. What spirits are dwelling in your home? What words have you shared with your husband today? Are they words you even want in writing? Would they shame you if they were printed or shared on a blog?

I used to write love letters to my husband. As a new wife, I only made homemade Christmas, Birthday, Anniversary and Valentine's Day cards. I put a tremendous effort into these cards and letters. That was before four kids and a blog.

I remember one night I hosted a homeschool support group meeting at my house.
Here was the agenda:

1. Eat
2. Have fun.
3. Write a thank you letter to your husband.

I had sent out an email reminding the ladies what we would be doing that night. I asked them to ponder a letter. I reminded the ladies that; without our hardworking husbands, we would not have this amazing opportunity to teach our children at home. This facet of homeschooling support is often neglected.

I supplied pretty stationary. We took five or ten minutes to thank our husbands for their hard work and sacrifice. We didn't share our letters with each other. I never heard any reports of what a blessing the letters were. That's o.k. because it's really not my business. I can bet my husband still has my letter.

I haven't written one in a while.

Little Guy and I were drawing together the other night. He was drawing his favorite things: rocks, gold and crystals. I was drawing trees. I messed up trying to draw a carved heart on one of the trees. It was supposed to be a heart with T. loves G. Little Guy asked me why I stopped drawing my picture. I showed him my mistake and explained it. We continued drawing.

A few minutes later, he handed me a picture:

He said: "I made you your love picture for Daddy."

I melted.

When Daddy came home, I showed it to him. Daddy immediately taped to the mirror in our dining room.

I smile when ever I see it.

My words are spirit. I have imparted a spirit to my boy. Thankfully, the right one.

I'm probably the only person I know who has had a six-year old ghost writer.

But now it's my turn.

My challenge to myself and anyone else, who has made it to the end of this post, write a letter.

It may not make it to the wall, but it will make it to their heart.

Thanks for stopping by,

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Marriage Monday: Poison Control Center

Did you know this week is national Poison Prevention Week?
In honor of that I would like to share some helpful advice.

Ten things that will poison your marriage:

First, I have to add a disclaimer to this post. I have not tried all of these poisons, only nine of them. Thankfully, I didn't ingest enough to cause death nor suffer long term effects from these toxic behaviors.
  1. Hang around with women who constantly belittle their husbands.
  2. Think of the money you both earn as separate. 
  3. Let the children play you against each other, this can last long into adulthood.
  4. Stop serving each other. 
  5. Ignore your personal appearance and practice poor hygiene. 
  6. Avoid dates or time alone. 
  7. Don't care about anything they deem important.  
  8. Spend too much time with your extended family and friends.
  9. Never forget past sins.
  10. Criticize at every opportunity, publicly will increase the speed of the toxicity.
If you feel like you need a detox. Don't despair. Things can change right now.

Here is my not-so-secret home remedy...

From the King James Bible, 1John 1:19:

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Living this scripture will strengthen our marriages. Today's post is linked up with Marriage Monday. In my last Marriage Monday Post I talked about ten books that have helped my marriage.
Click below for more marriage encouragement.

I know there are things I have missed. Do you have any "must avoid poisons" in your home?  Leave a comment, you may be helping out a marriage.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Date Night Ideas

Dating my husband in the past few years has become somewhat of an Olympic sport. It's been a world class challenge. When your children are all boys and have a crazy age difference 26, 14, 13, and 6, date night can be tricky. Our 26-year old doesn't live at home, is in college and works full time, so he's not an option for a sitter. Our 14-year old is somewhat capable, but thinking of all 3 boys home alone, while I dine out, gives me indigestion. Considering when I am at home, the moment I get a long distance call, all chaos breaks out, I would have a hard time relaxing at dinner while away from the boys. Hiring a babysitter when you already have a 14 and 13-year old at home is just plain wierd. They don't need or want a sitter. It's just Little guy, at six, needs one.

Searching for a sitter is another challenge. Because we live out in the sticks, one of the prerequisites is; they must have a car. As anyone knows, a babysitter with a car means your rates go up dramatically. Our rate of $7.00 an hour seemed fine to me. I have since then found out, I've been ripping babysitters off. Even at our rip off rate, we still spend at least $21 or $28 each date. And we haven't even paid for the dinner.

We don't live near much family, except for my brother and his wife. They did watch Little Guy a few weeks ago. It was very special for Little guy. We had dropped our teens and cousins off to play lazer tag while we went to a party. Family is an occasional option. But...

The date night hoops are endless. Sometimes just planning a night out with my honey exhausts me.

Last month's date night...A Thrifty Solution.

A month or so ago, the Gman had arrived home late for dinner. Since the kids had already eaten, we decided to dine alone. Paperboy, who snatches any excuse to play on the wii, promised to keep everyone out of the dining room. So the Gman and I feasted alone on a fine dinner and had a lovely evening. Of course, I had to clean up afterwards, but nevertheless, it was still wonderful. And it was certainly in the budget.

This month's Thrifty solution.

Little Guy will be playing for 2 1/2 hours at a kids night out at his friend's church. He is excited about this. The Gman and I have a gift certificate for a Uno's Chicago Grill. Be still my heart,  two thrifty date nights within one month.

For those of you who get out weekly with your hubby, how do you do that? I'm already jealous. Do you have any ideas for next month's thrifty date night? I'd love to hear yours.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Then and now, 19 years ago

The big day
No he didn't mash the cake in my face.
On our honeymoon
Our first Christmas together

Still in love

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Ten books that have helped my marriage

The Gman and I are coming up on our 19th anniversary next week. We have no plans yet, since it falls on an evening of church, play practice and many appointments surrounding them. I'm not a sentimental legalist. We will celebrate sometime a few days later. I wanted to share one thing that has helped our marriage.

I studied marriage. No, I didn't go to college as a marriage major, it may not be a bad idea for some. Before we tied the knot, our pastor had given us a list of recommended books to read. And do you know what we did? We read them. I am not going to give you that list, because I lost it. But some of the books were so helpful, I still have them. Some of these books are from my own list.

  1. The Bible 
  2. The First Years of Forever by Ed Wheat
  3. Love for a Lifetime by James Dobson
  4. The Act of Marriage by Tim LaHaye
  5. The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
  6. Created to be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl
  7. Love Life for Every Married Couple by Ed Wheat
  8. Creative Counterpart By Linda Dillow
  9. Letters to Karen by Charlie W. Shedd
  10. Strike the Original Match by Charles Swindoll
Just the very act of owning these books does not make a great marriage. They must be read, studied, reread, prayed about and most importantly, acted upon. Some of these books I have reread many times, some I have loaned out in the hopes to never see them again. Some have challenged me more than I can handle. Nevertheless, this is my crash course in marriage. 

In case you were wondering after 19 years, how I am doing in the class.  Understanding that a great marriage is no accident, I'm constantly striving for an A+. Once in while, on my self-inflicted report cards, I give myself "a needs improvement in behavior and attitude", but for the most part: I am still an enthusiastic student.

Do you have any books that have blessed your marriage?

I welcome reader comments with open arms. I also understand if you aren't the commenting or hugging type of person, you can drop me an email at