Thursday, December 31, 2009
Here is a challenge that Pete Wilson (The Pastor at Cross Pointe in Tennessee) has issued. I am taking the challenge and I hope you guys will to.
I think one of my favorite seasons on Without Wax last year was the 28 day challenge we did leading up to Easter where hundreds of you joined me in reading through the book of Matthew.
With that in mind I want to extend an invitation for you guys to join me for the 31 Day Challenge.
It’s simple. There are 31 days in January and 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs. I want to challenge you to read a chapter a day from Proverbs through the month of January. We’ll start with Proverbs 1 this Friday, January 1.
I’m doing this challenge in conjunction with a new series we’re launching next week at Cross Point entitled Pursuit, The Search for More, where we’re going to go through the book of Proverbs. Whether you’re at Cross Point or not I would love to challenge you to be a part. We’ve even set up a separate blog RIGHT HERE so you can discuss with others what you’re reading. You can also track each others observations by using the twitter hash tag #cp31days.
Do me a favor and leave me a comment if you want to join us. Then RT this post and let’s see how many people we can get to join!
Are you in?
Saturday, December 26, 2009
I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Christmas. Cory and I certainly enjoyed our time with family and friends.
It was our 4th Christmas not giving alot of gifts, and focusing on the true meaning of the season. And it was agreed by Cory and I on our drive home from one of the families houses on Christmas, that we truly missed giving each other gifts on Christmas. I mean, in the past 3 years we have given a few gifts, and this year we got ourselves a laptop...but we miss the excitement of it all. We decided that we can do it next year, without forgetting the real meaning for the season and without going overboard.
Either way, it was a nice holiday. Very low stress and low key. Just like we like it.
Tell me about your holidays...traditions, gifts, memories, etc!
Is anyone still out there?
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
So I am sitting here on the couch watching the boob tube with Husby before he heads off to work. We finished our Christmas shopping this evening. This is the latest we have been to finish in years. Oh well..at least we are done. And we came ever so slightly under budget...always a good thing!
I am ready to celebrate the season with Family and Friends and I am ready to enjoy watching everyone open their gifts...and I am super excited about being off work for 11 days...oh sweet mary...so, ready or not, here we go.
I am trying to get my act together and get myself caught up with the Project 365...I have been taking pictures, but I am so far behind in editing, etc. I also need to prepare our New Year card. Not sure what I am going to do this year...possibly edit another movie to music and burn them to CD for our family and friends. I love doing different things. This was last years...so I am excited to gather all the pictures from this year. Keep your eye out, there is more coming soon, including Remembering 2009!! :)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
(the following was taken from SimpleMom.net)
Tips for handling extended family stress during the holidays.
1. Your spouse comes first.
The Bible even talks about this one — a child will leave their mother and father and cleave to their spouse. When you get married, it’s time to grow up and leave your parents. This doesn’t mean you emotionally kick them to the curb or cut all ties, but you do need to establish your own family. By putting your spouse first, you are choosing the adult role of being a husband or wife over the role of being a child in your parent’s family.
2. Set boundaries.
There are many things that happen in marriage that are none of your parent’s business. If you run to mom or dad any time you have a fight with your spouse, how are you going to learn to handle life with your spouse on your own? Avoid sharing the household secrets with your parents. Discuss with your spouse what topics and areas of your life are off limits to others.
3. Establish ground rules.
Much like the previous point, setting clear ground rules for handling extended family will improve your marriage:
- When do you and your spouse have exclusive time for each other?
- When do you spend time with your extended family?
- When do you involve your parents/in-laws in decision-making?
- Where should you discuss your marital conflicts: in private or in front of your in-laws?
4. Recognize the culture.
Our culture and upbringing plays a major role in how we do marriage. Recognize the cultural aspects of your spouse’s upbringing. One client I’ve worked with handled it this way: in her upbringing, the women did all the cooking and cleaning up at mealtimes. So when they shared a meal with her parents, he stayed out of the way. However, when her parents weren’t around, he stepped up and helped out or took care of it himself.
5. Don’t criticize your spouse’s relationship with their family or parents.
Nothing can raise a spouse’s defenses faster than criticism. Seek to understand more about their relationship rather than criticize, as that can lead to bitterness and resentment.
6. Be polite.
This doesn’t mean you have to change your personality to please your extended family or in-laws, but respect rules and traditions that are important to the older generation. Being polite and respectful with in-laws will go a long way in improving the relationship — not only with your in-laws, but your spouse as well.
7. Develop code words.
My wife and I have pretty good relationships with each other’s parents and family. Even so, there are still times when they drive us a bit crazy. We’ve developed some code words that we use to lighten the mood between us whenever family is getting too annoying. Have fun with this one, but remember to remain respectful. Derogatory code words will only cause more problems.
8. Spend time with your extended family.
Develop a better relationship with your family members by doing things together. Find out what they enjoy and join them. This could be shopping, playing golf, cards, whatever. You may find you have more in common than you thought.
So what do you think?? Could this help you and your family to get along better during the Holidays?
The sickies. I has them.
and to make matters worse.
I have a cold sore.
(count your blessings I was going to show a picture from google images...but they made my stomach turn...so I declined that notion.)
Plus, mine isn't nearly as bad as the pictures. I'm just being over-dramatic about it all, because the fact that I even get them now ticks me off.
If you know me...then you know that I do NOT share drinks. Not with anyone but my Husby. I do NOT share chapstick. Not with anyone buy my Husby. And the list goes on. I do not share for many reasons; Mom brought me up that way, germs, etc. But one of the main reasons...is I know that these little cold sore buggers lay dormant, and if you catch one, you will have it for the rest of your life.
Well imagine my surprise about two months ago when I woke up with one. Oh I was angry. Lord only knows how I caught it...cause Husby has never had one. And there is a part of me who secretly fears that someone would drink after me or use my chapstick when I am not around just to spite me...Gosh, I know that makes me sound like I am surrounded by evil people. It's not like I really think that happened...at least not on purpose.
...so here I am with the sickies and my second ever cold sore. It sucks. I am handling this one much better than the first one. I have learned that constant application of peppermint oil and Vaseline helps tremendously. So now, even though I have one...it isn't some huge gaping pustule of gross sitting on my lip. (sorry for the visual there.)
Anywho. I'll get over it and hopefully I will get over the sickies soon too. Cause all this coughing is giving me a constant headache, and I am pretty sure my office's clients would love to call and NOT talk to April the "trucker" anymore.
Friday, December 11, 2009
And lately it seems all I've had are excuses. I have no real explanation, other that the typical...busy busy busyness!
The holidays are creeping up on us and even though Cory and I only buy a limited amount of Christmas presents, we have only bought 1 so far!! Yeah, yeah I know...we better get on the ball! And we will. Next week :P
I am eagerly anticipating my 7 days off between Christmas Eve and New Years Day. That's not counting the 4 weekend days surrounding those days. *le sigh* I am super stoked!!
On the bummer side of things, Cory had to go back to midnights...his short stint working a specialized unit is over...now I am back to filling our queen bed all by myself for 6 days a week. I was surprised, it was a pretty noticeable readjustment. I thought I would just fall back into the routine I have had for the past 3+ years. Well I haven't been sleeping well, once I finally DO fall asleep. So I hope that works itself out soon. Cory seems to be adjusting pretty well, falling back into his old routine, so I am happy about that.
He actually took off two nights this weekend so we could enjoy the Holiday parties that we have. In fact, I am attending a Cookie Exchange tonight. Taking these little beauties...and when I say little...I mean little. We were only making half-dozens, but I ended up making a full dozen for each person, cause I couldn't see giving away 6 cookies the size of half-dollars! They are delicious. The melt-in-your-mouth type cookies! I can't wait to see what I come home with!
I dropped by my sister-in-law's house last night to pass off some meatballs for the event and saw her house. It was decorated so beautifully! A far cry from my decor this year...
Oh wait! I do have a wreath on the door and my kissing ball hanging in the entryway to the hallways...those count too! :)
Anywho. After tonight, we have two other Christmas parties. Our VERB Leadership party tomorrow night and then the VERB Christmas Party on Sunday night! Then it's pretty smooth sailing through Christmas.
It is really a great time of year...you just gotta hold on the schedule a bit! :)
Until next time...which may be soon or in another week. I will try and light a fire under my tookus to write more...we shall see how that goes!
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Wow. The potential ehh? I have been thinking and I can actually blog while away from my desk now. Instead of trying to remember to blog something or even blog to be posted at a later date. ha!
For today...I have a little special journey through time...a trip back in time in my relationship with Cory.
(since I just transferred some pictures from my external hard drive to the laptop...whom I have lovingly named "Hattie Pearl" or "Mrs. Pearl.", yep...she's an HP...lappytop and obviously...I'm a dork.)
We were married in 2003...after for dating a little over 2 years.
(pictures are ordered oldest to newest, left to right, top to bottom.)
My it seems like we have changed so much, yet not changed at all! It's been a great journey together. We have had our shared of ups and downs...and he continues to be my best friend.
oh well...enough sappy-ness...haha.
Until next time...and who knows what is coming...!!
I am typing this post from our new toy. Mine and Cory's Christmas present to each other. A new HP G60 laptop.
She's a beaut!
She is so sleek and sexy.
Her buttons are fresh and crisp as they click under my fingers.
I love her.
...ok I am a little excited. There is alot of potential with this sweet little thing. I can transfer all my work for VERB onto her and then take it directly to church when we need extra items! I am just stoked!!
Anywho...thought I would drop by and say hey...Cory and I had a great Thanksgiving with our families and friends...the food was delish and abounding and the laughter and memories were all I could ask for! We had a great Black Friday...we weren't too caught up in the shopping, we had two goals in mind...a new GPS and a new LAPTOP...and we accomplished those goals with savings to boot!
So now, it's onto shopping for a few Christmas presents for the kiddos in our lives. And I need to prepare for the upcoming Cookie Exchange and we need to get out schtuff for the Gingerbread House Competition. It should be a fun Holiday season, one of my favorite times of the year.
I hope you and your families enjoy the special times together as well!!! Until next time...
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
My Mom and Dad.
John & Cristy.
JoJo, Tammy and the kids.
Jason & Brittany.
My girls, Manda-Rose and TT.
My boyfriend, Mr. B.
Money in the bank.
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Poptarts.
Heating & AC.
A good movie.
French Fries & Baked Potatoes.
Students that love wholeheartedly.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
For now at least.
What's up with this once a week blogging?! I am not too sure myself. I haven't had the desire to blog at all. And what the heck...it's November 24th already?!?!
So I'm working on a pillow for my bay window. And it has now been sitting on my dining room table for over a week. I think I am very intimidated. I am making the cover from scratch. It's making my head hurt. And I see it every time I come in my house or walk through my living room. I feel like it's kinda taunting me...telling me I will never finish it. Or if I do...it won't look good. I am already doubting my fabric choice. It's too hard. I wanna quit that project and do something else fun and cute. Ehhh.
I am Black Friday pre-shopping and researching online today...I want to get the best deal. It's kinda stressful.
I feel kinda like Summ in my blog today...but that's just cause I love her. :P
Ok, that's it for now.
Monday, November 16, 2009
It happened. I got behind.
I need to clean my house.
I need to catch up on laundry.
I need to edit my 365's.
I need to memorize my lines for the Children's Christmas Play.
I need to find a Murder Mystery script for our 09 date.
I need to sew a cover for my window seat.
I need to find fabric for said window seat cover.
I need to clean out our closets and get rid of clothes we don't wear.
I need to type a script and find two other scripts for the Drama team.
I need to drop 15-20 pounds.
I need to blog.
I'm sure there is more.
I need to get back to basics and back to removing the chaos of it all.
I can do that.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
And since we are on the subject...do you waste TP?
And for the decorator in all of you...here are some great ways to store toilet paper without junking up the bathroom! Courtesy of Young House Love.
Monday, November 02, 2009
What? I've only blogged once a week for two weeks...your kidding?
It didn't seem like anyone missed me.................(cue softly playing violin in the background)
Anywho, I am here. My fault. I've been semi-busy and otherwise a little detached from the need to blog for a brief moment...but I'm back. We have had alot going on...and yet I still feel the need to pull the belt tighter and hold on because the business of late is nothing compared to what's headed towards us in the coming months!! But I am excited...with all the hub-bub it's actually one of my favorite times of year!!
Another bonus to this time of the year is my cousin Chris is coming into town for a week!!! I am just besides myself excited! Then we get to see his sister, my other cousin in January. When her and her new hubby hop over to the states (from Australia) during their honeymoon!
We have alot coming up...Thanksgiving, Christmas, Gingerbread House Competition, Cookie Exchange, Christmas Parties, Trip to NY, Children's Play, not to mention the little fun things sandwiched in-between.
I will be happily exhausted. And the best part of it all...Cory is on a normal working schedule. That's right! No more midnights for him (not for now, hopefully not for a long time!) He is M-F 8-4!!! It's been outstanding to have him around every evening, without it being interrupted with the need for a nap before work, or his having to be home to shower by 9 pm to get ready for work. So that's another great bonus!!
So...I promise...to add pictures, to blog more regularly and to bring the random just like I know I can!! :) Talk to you soon.
BTW - I was going to do the Monday Moan, but I just don't have anything to moan about. So I guess I'll see ya tomorrow for the Top 5 Tuesday and more!
Monday, October 26, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
...oh and by the way...this is a long one...so be prepared...
To some it's a bad word.
To some, it's abuse.
To others, it's a normally acceptable way of discipline.
Why myself, I was raised on spankings. I think it did very well for me. Taught me early. I had a healthy fear of my parents...(gasssspppp, you were afraid of your parents?) simmer down. We will get into that more later.
Let me get onto what lead to this post.
I was reading over at another blog, Clover Lane. ( it is where I got the following post.) Let me start by saying this...the thoughts and ideas in the post below are strictly that of the blog owner at Clover Lane and are not necessarily my personal opinions and they do not necessarily represent the views of my Husby and/or how we will raise our children. It is merely a tool to see another side of the proverbial child-rearing coin.
Now let's continue...this is what she had to say...
"Awhile back, I wrote a post about childbirth, and prefaced it with saying it's one of those subjects, that if brought up in a roomful of mothers, can make everyone squirm in their seats. There are a handful of these subjects...and we all know what they are...that possess the ability to hold in their grasp strong opinions, emotional past experiences, and heated debates.
If you are spanking it the name of religion...in the name of Jesus (as this seems to be a "popular" reason)...you are doing the opposite of everything he has ever taught. Can you see him physically hurting a child? Raising his hand towards a child? In the name of ANYTHING? That's laughable. I've heard it before...the old "Spare the rod, spoil the child." Well, I don't care WHO said it, WHEN they said, or WHERE it's found in the Bible...it's wrong. Yes, if that's what whoever wrote thousands of years ago really did mean that we should HIT our children, I am telling you, it is WRONG. If you spank in the name of Christianity, you might want to revisit Jesus Christ and everything he has ever stood for. He treated and talked about children as if they were GOD himself...the closest thing to pure innocence and goodness as you could ever get.
That's alot to take in...and yes, it is a very strong opinion pitting against spanking. My personal feelings are as follows...everyone say April's personal opinion...
I was raised being spanked. I knew that it effected how I made my decisions. I had a healthy fear of my parents and it did cause me to think twice before making a poor decision, talking back or outright disobeying my parents.
With that said, I have always known I would spank my children as a form of discipline, but as I have gotten older, I would have to be honest and say it doesn't seem so cut and dry. Now my thoughts (even before children) are...how young is too young? Would I use a belt or my hand? (I was raised on the belt) Do I try other methods first or go straight to spanking? Would I spank in public? (which the thought of honestly raises the hair on the back of my neck) Do I even really want to use spanking as a form of discipline?
It's alot to think about.
I don't necessarily agree that spanking causes emotional damage like mentioned in the post above, however...I can see that it may cause different reactions depending on your different children. One child may learn well with the spanking method, while others may learn and be effected more by another approach. Obviously, I do not agree in beating your children or spanking out of anger. Those things are very detrimental to children and to your relationship with your children.
None of us enjoy seeing a child throw a fit, how do you deal in those situations? Where in my head, spanking may only make the situation worse. Or what about repeat offenses. There were plenty of times growing up where I got spanked for lying...initially I would think, try something else the spanking isn't working. How long do you try? There are endless situations and I am sure endless answers...
So, I wanna know your thoughts. How did you come to the decision in how you will discipline your children in your family? Tell me your stories.
Please participate in the poll below. If you do not see your answer, please leave a comment on the poll. You can also just leave your comments on our post.
*please know this, any rude or inappropriate comments will be deleted. Please discuss this with respect for each others opinions. We are not here to figure out RIGHT FROM WRONG, I believe each family needs to pray about this decision and they are solely responsible for their own actions.*
Friday, October 16, 2009
I know what your saying...WHAAAAA???? Already?? But not me...yep...no sweat here.
This will be our 3rd year not celebrating Christmas the 'normal' way.
So...there has been so much LESS stress.
Granted, we still buy gifts for the little ones in our life...or a special little something for friends and family if we see it and it makes us think of them.
But no more are the times of saying, we can afford $75 for Uncle Johnny and $45 for Aunt Sarah and we can spend $200 on each other...and blah blah blah.
It's quite simple...
Cory's side of the family...the couples (three of us; his parents, Cory and I and Jo and Tamm) we draw names and get that persons stocking. We spend the year filling it with little things that the person NEEDS or things we find that just scream THEIR names. And there's even a spending limit, that we stick
My side of the family...a family trip to do something together...One year it was Medieval Times...last year it was to the Movies on Christmas Day to see "Marley and Me."
The kiddos...they get gifts of course...but we have even limited our amounts...as it has been shown that spoiling kids with such loads and loads of gifts tends to spur greed and ungratefulness in the years to come.
Friends...we use the rule...only if they can USE it or it's just too PERFECT to pass up.
I believe that this year, Cory and I are going super easy on us...and buying a gift for US...we have wanted a laptop...well basically since we
With all these changes...can I tell ya...it's just been SUCH a huge weight off. There's no added debt, no added stress and more time for FAMILY and less time devoted to wrapping and shopping with all the crazies out there!!
Just focusing on family, friends and making wonderful memories!!
Half the time I can remember what I got for whom and got from whom...but I remember the fun times exchanging gag gifts at Friends houses and making cookies with family and rejoicing in the birth of our Savior with my church family with no worries of having to run out after church and get those final needed gifts.
For those of you who are thinking...this is such a FOREIGN concept...here are a few simple ideas to make Christmas easier and less stressful. Take them as baby steps.
taken from SimpleMom.net
It’s not too early to start Christmas shopping. In fact, some of you might already be done shopping for the holidays. Starting earlier means spending less money, finding gifts people really want or need, and seriously cutting the stress during the holiday height.
Christmas is not about the gifts, and it’s much easier to avoid the “I wants” and the feeling of needing more and more if you don’t go shopping much during the season. There’s something about the stores that tempts well-meaning parents into feeling guilty for not getting the latest toy for their child, or enticing the innocent husband into blowing the budget on his wife.
You don’t necessarily need to go on a single-minded mission to the stores, but keep Christmas gifts in the back of your head when you’re already there. If you can finish your list before the stores start playing holiday music, then you’ve done a great job.
Here are a few tips to make Christmas gift shopping less stressful.
1. Make a List
Don’t ever go gift shopping without a list. Ever, ever, ever. You will more than likely buy more than you intended. List the people for whom you’re buying, jot down a few gift ideas next to their name, and cross them off when their gift is purchased.
Keep this list with you at all times. That way, it’s readily available when an unexpected gift idea pops into your head.
2. Set Limits on People
This is a touchy subject. At what point do you stop buying presents for your extended family? Or is it an eternal tradition in your clan?
Because Christmas isn’t about the gifts, at some point families need to just put a stop to the stuff. It’s definitely easier said than done in some families, because there inevitably will be a sister-in-law or a dad who doesn’t want to stop the gift exchange.
If your family is like this, are you up for being the one to call a hiatus on the tradition? If so, here are a few ideas for broaching the subject tactfully:
Do it gradually.
Maybe instead of stopping a gift exchange all together, suggest a reasonable cost limit for this year. After a few years of this, perhaps the adults might be more open to ending completely.
Suggest drawing names over Thanksgiving, so that each person only needs to buy for one other person. This doesn’t always help that much, however. On one side of our family’s case, if my husband and I each drew a name, we’d be buying two gifts instead of four. A little better, for sure, but we’re still spending.
A homemade gift created specifically for someone is more treasurable than a big box store purchase. We’ll share homemade gift ideas in this series soon, but for now, think sewing, an mp3 playlist, or a task like babysitting.
3. Set Limits on Quantity
Decide in advance how many gifts to buy each person in your family, and stick with it. In our family, the children receive three from Mom and Dad because Jesus received three. Well, that’s debatable, and it doesn’t really matter that much, but it’s our way of curbing the overflow under the tree. And it works for our kids, because it’s all they’ve ever known.
For the adults, the amount changes from year to year, but we do mutually agree in advance. Last year, my husband and I got each other one larger gift each (iPods). This year, we’re going with one small gift per person, probably a book or a DVD. We’re going on a family vacation in November, so we decided that’s the bulk of our gift to each other.
4. Shop Online
When you shop online, you avoid the crowds, it’s easier to stick within your budget (no enticing last-minute purchases made at the register), and you have endless options. I love supporting cottage industries and the handmade community, so my preference is most definitely online. Plus, a one-stop shipping option means no waiting in line at the post office.
My favorite places to shop are Etsy and Amazon. I know Amazon isn’t a small business by any means, but it sure is handy — they’ve got everything, and they’ve got a good return policy. Plus, shipping if often free when you spend more than $25. And I could spend hours browsing at Etsy — I love the fact that each gift bought is unique, thoughtfully crafted, and quite often made from quality, non-toxic materials.
(April's sidenote - when shopping online, always remember to check for added savings at retailmenot.com...you could save on your order or possible get free shipping!)
So there...it's that easy!!! How you make changes this Holiday season?!
Make it more about tradition and family then debt and presents!
Well...if I were honest I would say that there hasn't been some huge, life-changing, spectacular way that Husby had rocked this week...and I don't mean that in a bad, sad, neglected kinda way either...
So I am going to just simply state, that Husby you rock...because you are my bestfriend. No matter what. I am glad that I can always depend on you...marriage is great if for no other reason than to live with your bestfriend everyday :)
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
This week's prompt: What are your Top 5 things to eat with Peanut Butter?
5. Just a plain SPOON full of Peanut Butter
4. Peanut Butter and Jelly bagels - done best with fresh from the toaster
3. Peanut Butter and Celery - classic
2. Peanut Butter and Honey Toast - delightful
1. Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich (pb on both sides of the bread a little jelly in the middle)
Let's hear yours!
Monday, October 12, 2009
My MM this week is being behind. I just realized that I am really behind on my Project 365 pics. I mean, I have taken them, but I haven't edited them or posted them on Facebook OR the blog...ahhh maybe sometime this week ehh!!??
What are you moaning about this Monday?
Sunday, October 11, 2009
It was a great weekend! Friday and Saturday night Cory and I attended a marriage conference at our church! It was a blast to sit and learn with some great other couples!! There were LOTS of laughs. We always love attending those conferences and being refreshed in our marriage and possibly learning new things!! Have you been keeping up your marriage maintenance?
Sunday was a long day...we had a VERB Leadership meeting first thing Sunday morning, then we went to church. After church, Myself, The Meat, Via and Nat all went to lunch and the mall. We had a blast!!! (especially in the photo booth!)
Well they did a great job with it! I was very, very impressed. Especially when my witty nephew made us all nearly wet ourselves with his "Hooters" reference!! So funny!
We had VERB service and about 10 minutes into service, Bek and I were notified that Mom was in the ER with another endless nosebleed. So we ducked out to head over and sit with her. She was fine...albeit rather uncomfortable with a nasal tampon shoved up her nose. As she stated, "it feels like it's touching the back of my eyeball!" Poor mom, this is the second time we have had to take her to the ER for a never-ending nosebleed. Right before she was discharged they dropped a bombshell on her...she would have to keep the nasal tampon in for 3 days or until she say the ENT. Well that lit a fire under mom for sure...she was in the Doc's office the NEXT day!! She is well and we are all thankful for that.
So...figured I would update you all..it was a long but fun weekend!!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
So I took a minute today to throw together some pretty fall decor...
I took one apothecary jar...
Friday, October 09, 2009
Our sweet Husby's...they don't always rock in the most obvious of ways. This week I think my Husby rocks just for his willingness to work on "Us." We are attending a marriage conference this weekend...I know that I always feel a little ehhh before going in and I always love what we learned coming out. I know it's probably worse for men...yet Cory is always willing. In fact he always says, "It's like preventative maintenance for your marriage."
That's the truth, we take care of our bodies, our homes and our cars with preventative maintenance. Vitamins, Sleep, oil changes, new filters, mopping and dusting...why not our marriages?! We could all use a little upkeep.
This weekend's focus is laughing your way to a better marriage...and we LOVE to laugh. I am sure this will be a blast!
Husby...thanks for being so willing to prevent the bad in our marriage :) 143.
How does your Husband ROCK?!
Thursday, October 08, 2009
My simple pleasure today is soft klennex. I am recovering from a cold and it is so nice when you have to repeatedly blow your nose, that you have a nice soft tissue. It makes a world of difference.
What is your simple pleasure for today?
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
...a great reminder to challenge myself within my marriage relationship...I needed this.
Taken from...Simple Mom
“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller
Creating intimacy between you and another person can be scary, even dangerous at times — but most everyone wants it; to not be alone as you journey through life. There are risks involved with intimacy — you could feel hurt or embarrassed.
The good news is that you can learn how to cultivate intimacy in ways that fulfill both you and your partner.
To begin, you must realize that you are responsible for you. Too often, people wait for their spouse to make the first move, to initiate the conversation, to walk over and offer the hug or shoulder to cry on. The problem with this strategy is that you have no control over someone else’s actions. All you can control is you.
1. Focus Your Attention
Intimacy begins with the simple things. Notice your partner, listen to them, and offer thanks when they help out in your world. Relationships struggle when one partner says things like, “You haven’t heard a thing I’ve said for the last five years” or “You have no idea how hard I work.” Long before you reach this point, take preventative action with the gift of attention.
2. Take Care of Yourself
Many people go into relationships looking for a way to be happy, complete, and whole. It’s the same mindset as believing that your spouse’s strengths will offset your weaknesses, and vice versa. There’s nothing wrong with believing this, in theory; the problem is that reality is often different than theory. What if you approach your relationship another way? Be happy, complete, and whole — and then have a relationship.
Depending on another human for your happiness sets yourself up for disappointment. Humans change, leave, do things we don’t understand. And they do these things without our consent. Depending on things outside yourself for happiness and wholeness is giving up control over your own life.
A word of caution here:
Growing stronger and learning to achieve happiness on your own can be hazardous to your relationship. As you grow, it puts pressure on your partner to do the same. And sometimes partners are threatened by this growth, so they resist the changes or run.
This is sometimes seen in the graduate school world. While the current divorce rate remains around the 45 to 50 percent range, in marriages where one spouse is in graduate school, the divorce rate increases. The reason? One partner is changing and growing, and the other may be threatened by the change.
We meet and fall in love with people who are about as mentally healthy (or unhealthy) as ourselves. Like attracts like. So as one of you grows and evolves, it’s important that the other partner grow as well for your relationship to survive.
3. Share Yourself
Be open with your spouse. Share how you view the world, what you think, how you feel. Talk about the significant things in your life right now. Reveal your worries, your fears, your concerns. I’m not saying you must share every deep secret in your life with your spouse, but let them in a little.
An unwillingness to share yourself with your spouse works against the goal of intimacy.
4. Throw Away the Score Card
Couples in conflict frequently keep mental score cards. They keep track of every unkind word, selfish act, and thoughtless gesture made by their spouse. In essence, they catalog every one of their spouse’s sins of commission and omission going back over decades. This leads to the obsession of having to get even.
In relationships where you feel you must get even, intimacy will be non-existent — guaranteed.
However, when you freely give to your spouse and allow them to be themselves, you’ll likely experience the intimacy you desire. This doesn’t mean becoming a doormat for others, or letting them take advantage of you. But when you release resentments and take an initiative to resolve things between you, you’ll often see the payoff of increased intimacy.
What are ways you and your spouse proactively cultivate intimacy in your relationship?
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
So here's this weeks prompt:
What are your Top 5 Favorite things to wear in the Fall?
5. Ribbed Turtlenecks
4. Fleece Pants
3. Fleece jacket
Let's hear yours!!! Steal my button above and leave the link to your post in the comments section! :)
Taken from the Jack & Erin in the Afternoon blog....thanks guys!
Pick your favorite cookie and see if it matches your personality!
Chocolate Chip -- You're as American as apple pie, and you're raising your kids with the traditional values you treasure. Your low-key approach to life makes you a favorite with family and friends because you bring a steadying influence to the most chaotic situations.
Ginger Snaps -- You're bold, brave and in search of excitement. Life is never dull when you're around, and both kids and adults are attracted by your zest for life. You never shy away from new adventures, leading a happy band of friends and family who'll gladly follow you anywhere.
Graham Crackers -- You're softhearted and kind with a taste for nostalgia. You have many fond memories of your childhood, and your closet is probably stuffed with keepsakes from years gone by. But you don't dwell on the past because you're too busy making memories today.
Vanilla Wafers -- You have uncanny intuitive powers that give you the unique ability to size up a situation or a person with breathtaking accuracy. Loved ones caught up in complex problems often turn to you for advice because they know you'll steer them in the right direction.
Sandwich Cookies -- Whether you eat the crème filling first or dunk them in milk, your choice says you're a creative person with a vivid imagination. A born storyteller, you're often the center of attention at parties, regaling your pals with funny, sometimes outrageous, tales.
Fig Newtons -- Quiet, reserved and mature, your keen mind makes you a force to be reckoned with. You always have your "ducks in a row," and your organizational skills assure your home and job are both running smoothly. Just don't forget, spontaneity is a good thing too.
Sugar Cookies -- You're a nonconformist who believes that variety is the spice of life. Your avid interest in a multitude of subjects, teamed with your antiestablishment sensibility, makes you a challenging companion. You may not always take the safe path, but there's no doubt that life with you is never dull.
Oatmeal -- As homespun and down-to-earth as a comfy pair of slippers, you're a genius at making others feel loved. Your family and friends blossom under the warmth of your generous spirit, while your practical approach to problems helps you find the best route to a solution that satisfies everyone involved.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
It's pretty much official. Texting while driving in Maryland is a ticketed offense. With a maximum fine of up to $500 and one point on your driver's license.
I have to admit...I have sent texts while driving.
So yeah...I better nix that.
Read more about it here.
Snippet from the article:
"Meanwhile, Maryland will join 12 other states that have banned texting while driving; six additional states will prohibit the practice by January. It will be a primary offense, meaning officers can pull over anyone they suspect is using a wireless device to send a text message. Offenders face a maximum fine of $500 and one point on their driving records.
Over the last five years, an average of more than 30,000 crashes has occurred annually on Maryland roads as a result of inattentive driving, according to data from the Maryland Highway Safety Office. During the same period, nearly 20,000 people are injured annually in Maryland because of distracted driving, which includes cellular phone use, texting, changing radio stations, eating and more.
"We feel it's a great first step towards addressing the issue of distracted driving," said Jeremy Gunderson, the office's spokesman. "Nobody out there is claiming it to be the panacea, but with the rapid increase of cellular device ownership, it's a great first step and we look forward to seeing some great results arise from this."
I got curious today. So I checked in on my Sitemeter.
Which is now registering at 12, 384 Visitors to our blog since we began in November of 2007. I wanted even more detail so this is what I found.
Here's where our last 100 visitors originated from...
So yeah, I still don't really get what this is all about, but here it is...(ha)
We love reading comments...it bring a special sense of sharing to the Blog community!!!
I have to admit there have been posts where I won't get one comment and I feel so let down. haha...funny how I look for (comment) love in all the wrong places! :P
Anyways...just putting it out there...that came up from the topic of the post...I really did just come to blog about my Visitors and the locations of visitors...haha!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The following is taken directly from...CNN.com
1. If you're at Starbucks and in need of just a little caffeine, don't worry -- there's a tiny option for you. It's the Short size, and they don't advertise it. It's like a little baby cup of coffee. It also comes in handy when you're scrounging for change and don't have enough for a tall (not that that has ever happened to me).
2. It's a good thing we don't have Jamba Juice here in Iowa, because I would be all over candy-based smoothies. Because it's considered a health-food chain, Jamba Juice doesn't officially list these on their in-store menus, but the Web site Mighty Foods assures us that the secret flavors exist.
The ones they confirmed with the company's headquarters include Strawberry Shortcake, White Gummy Bear, PB&J, Various flavors of Starbursts, Fruity Pebbles, Push-Up Pops, and Skittles. Other tantalizing flavors that are rumored to exist: Chocolate Gummi Bear, Apple Pie, Sourpatch Kid, Tootsie Roll, and Now and Later.
3. This one might be my favorite. At Fatburger, you can order a Hypocrite -- a veggie burger topped with crispy strips of bacon.
4. Chipotle has a whole secret menu that is limited only by your imagination -- they have a store policy that says that if they have the item available, they will make it for you. Things that have been tested include nachos, quesadillas, taco salads and single tacos. Some stores are testing out quesadillas as a regular menu item, however, so maybe someday soon you won't need a super-secret handshake to order one.
5. If you're at Wendy's and you're really hungry -- like, three-patties-just-won't-cut-it hungry -- go ahead and order the Grand Slam, which is four patties stacked on a bun. This option is only available at select Wendy's, and it's also known as the Meat Cube.
6. Several places, including McDonald's and In-N-Out, will serve you the Neapolitan milkshake. It's just what it sounds like -- chocolate, vanilla and strawberry shakes layered in a cup.
7. In-N-Out Burger's "secret menu" isn't so secret these days -- in fact, they've posted it on their Web site. But in case you're not in the habit of surfing fast food Web sites, here's the skinny on their rather un-skinny items: ordering something "Animal Style" at In-N-Out means you're going to get it with lettuce, tomato, a mustard-cooked beef patty, pickles, extra spread (it's sort of Thousand-Islandy) and grilled onions. You can even get your fries Animal Style.
"Protein Style" is a burger wrapped in a lettuce leaf instead of a bun. A Grilled Cheese is two slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomato and spread on a bun (grilled onions if you so choose).
And you can get just about any combo of meat and cheese that you want if you order it like you're ordering lumber: 3×3 gets you three beef patties and three slices of cheese, 4×4 gets you four of each, and so on. One item not listed on the Web site secret menu: the Flying Dutchman, which is two slices of cheese sandwiched between two patties, hold the bun.
8. Feeling a little health-conscious at Popeye's? If you are, you really should have gone somewhere else. But there's a little hope for you -- ordering "naked chicken" will get you breading-free poultry. The word is that this is on the menu at some Popeye's, but not all of them, although it is an option at all of them.
9. Like Chipotle, Taco Bell will make you just about anything within reason as long as they have the ingredients for it. Since most of the food at Taco Bell is made out of the same basic items, that means you can probably ask for most discontinued items and get them. One "secret," though, is that they have a not-advertised green chili sauce at most locations, and apparently it's excellent.10. Some Subways will still make you the popular pizza sub from the 1990s. Once the chain decided to make their focus healthy eating, the pizza sub disappeared from the menu in most places (the word is that Canadian and Mexican Subways still offer them on a regular basis). But if you ask, lots of places will still make it for you. Be warned, though -- Jared would not approve of the nine slices of pepperoni and copious amounts of cheese slathered in marinara sauce.
Hmmmm...can anyone verify any of these? Interesting.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
So this is the story of my mischievous pup, Pickle.
Pickle is my stubborn dog. He has to wear an electric collar so he won’t dig under the back fence and head into the neighbors yards, where there are bigger dogs waiting to ‘play.’
About 3 months ago, we let him out one night without his collar, cause we were headed to bed…and in that 3-5 minutes, he dug and got under the fence. (He liked to follow after the chipmunks that we have by our shed) The only problem was…he picked the back fence. (You see our backyard backs up evenly to two other back yards. We have a privacy fence, both of our back neighbors have privacy fences, plus there are two other chain link fences falling apart between the privacy fences.)
So that’s where he got stuck. Luckily, this night my husband was home and he is tall and skinny enough to wiggle his way between the fences and rescue Pickle. So after that night (I think he was traumatized for a while and steered clear of all of the fences) it hasn’t happened again….UNTIL LAST NIGHT.
Well, I let him out last night…with his electric collar on…because I had learned my lesson. I went in to get ready for bed. When I noticed that Pickle hadn’t come back inside I knocked on the back window to let him know it was time to come back in. I waited, and waited…nothing. So I figured that he was probably sleeping in the backyard, which he loves to do. So I walked out to get him. I called out his name and he wasn’t there. After my eyes adjusted (the lighting isn’t great in the back yard) I couldn’t see my little white dog anywhere. Then I heard him bark. Sure enough it was coming from what sounded like my back neighbors backyard. I thought to myself, “you have GOT to be kidding me!”
I ran inside, grabbed my tennis shoes and a flashlight. Then I ran around to the side of the house to get the ladder. Now this thing is heavy, so I am dragging it across the backyard! I lay it up against the back fence at the spot where I see he has dug his way under. I peeked over the fence and ran my light through the empty spaces in between the fence and sure enough…there he was about 25 feet down the fence line. He was stuck between to fence posts and wouldn’t try squeezing past to come back towards me.
So I moved the ladder over to where he was and tried to straddle the fences and to reach down between to grab the nap of his neck to pull him out. But…I have zero balance and my arms aren’t long enough…and I could see bad things happening. I was home alone (my husband was at work) so I knew that I would have to do this on my own. So I thought, well he got himself in there by digging, so I guess I will dig a new hole and get him out. So that’s what I did. I think in that process I must have scared Pickle half to death cause he wouldn’t’ dig from his side to help, that and I am sure he knew he was in trouble already. Not to mention he was being shocked every few seconds cause he had his collar on. Poor guy. Luckily it was on a pretty low setting.
Finally, he started digging, so while he got started, I ran into the house to grab my camera…as I am always the one to keep track of wonderful memories like this! Haha!
So here is where the video starts off…you have me, out of breath from running around, dragging a ladder and digging, just begging and encouraging my dog to dig himself out. Right before I turned on the camera, I had dug out enough space to reach under and at least grab his electric collar off his neck…so he wouldn’t get shocked anymore.
The whole ordeal lasted about 20 minutes I caught the last 3-4 minutes on film. Enjoy the video.