Sunday, February 26, 2012

Growing Up Global... Opening the World from Home

Do you dream of educating your children about the world around them?  It believe it's imperative for our children to gain an understanding and appreciation for various cultures, countries, and religions.  I know from experiences abroad and at home that exploring different cultures and interacting with those from different backgrounds has been such an enriching experience!  Of course you want to be cautious of what you share with children since some information can be too disheartening or not age appropriate.  I don't have time  right now to read this cool book called "Growing Up Global" by Homa Tavangar, but I did listen to a Powerofmoms Podcast interviewing the author - an amazing woman!  So here are some of the notes I took from the author's interview and also some of my own dreams:

Oh someday, I deeply want to have a large WORLD MAP in our dining room so we can often refer to it. A globe would be awesome too.
When my kids are older, I want to get a book like this that goes through each of the 365 days and explains interesting events in history.  What a tremendous tool to teach!  Maybe you could talk about this during breakfast.  For example, this book explains how on January 1st Paul Revere was born and the U.S. Congress officially prohibited African slave trade.  On December 31st, Thomas Edison first demonstrated his electric incandescent light bulb to the public and President Truman officially proclaimed an end to WWII.  Wouldn't these be ENLIGHTENING TOPICS to DISCUSS ON EACH DAY OF THE YEAR?!

With older kids you could subscribe to a NEWSPAPER or an interesting MAGAZINE!

Share STORIES from your ANCESTORS as a way to instill identity and teach about the world.  This is Brayden's Great-Grandpa Wayne who served as an immigration officer on the California/Mexico border.  He started a humanitarian clinic to give free medical care to desperate Mexican children.  His three sons spent most Saturdays sorting through donated clothes and assisting patients.  He told of stories of seeing a 14-year old boy with his new prosthetic leg walking for the first time in his entire life.   Wayne's wife would drive the mothers and children to and from Mexico and has amazing stories of their hardships and also their blessings.  What a wonderful way to open up history and the world as you teach your kids about who they are and who their ancestors are!      

Homa, the author, suggests to watch an INTERNATIONAL FILM every now and then.  You could even make some traditional food from that country!  For example, "Ponyo" is a Japanese movie inspired from the story "Little Mermaid," and it has been subbed in with English voices. She says you could make teriyaki stir fry and maybe talk about some interesting Japan facts.  Homa says, "Try similar pairings with other excellent, family-friendly films like The Cave of the Yellow Dog (Mongolia), The Legend of Roan Inish(Ireland), Alamar (Mexico/Italy), Children of Heaven (Iran)."  You can make it super simple yet really fun!

Saren Eyre Loosli, co-founder of Power of Moms, has her children head up a "CHILDREN FOR CHILDREN" CONCERT each Christmas time.  They had a gathering of a couple hundred people in a beautiful, old church for a talent night program.  Her family gets lots of other children/teens to volunteer their talents in hopes to raise awareness and money for orphanages in Bulgaria.  

In our little family, I want to start a "Tzadakah" box - Hebrew for "CHARITY" BOX.  Many Jewish homes have this place where the family can put their spare change to raise money for a worthy cause (you decide on together).  How neat to teach your children about Jewish culture and also to teach them to think of others.  When I was working in Guatemalan orphanages or schools, there were American donors sometimes supporting certain children.  It doesn't take much money at all to make a huge difference in the lives of children.

On "Palm Sunday," learn about how hundreds of thousands of Christians from around the world have a march (See LEFT) while waving palm leaves and singing Christian songs.  They walk into the old city through the "golden gate" arch near where Christ entered on a donkey.  Maybe have your own parade and talk about the story of Christ!  Or, learn about "Purim," (See RIGHT) when Jews dress up and celebrate the story of Esther.  Learn about how the Jews honor the Sabbath and do similar things one Sunday.  Discover the history behind the First Thanksgiving when November rolls around!  Learn about Black History Month in February, watch Remember the Titans, and have each child research an African American hero and teach the familyt!  THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS AND SO FUN!
Here is my dear friend Ody from Guatemala.  You could invite friends from other backgrounds into your home to do a fun little culture night!  What a great way for your children to understand better the customs, foods, music, or traditions of other countries.  

CLICK HERE to check out Homa's website.  Under the tab "World of Ideas" she has a great list "10 Things to Do Now!"    She has some fabulous ideas. 

Meet Homa Tavangar - the author
of "Growing Up Global"
On an PBS Parents article, Homa wrote this: "DEDICATE A WEEKEND TO A CONTINENT (OR COUNTRY).  Travel to South Africa, Egypt, France or China might be out of your family's budget, but you can dedicate a weekend to "exploring" these cultures - within driving distance."  Maybe there's a local restaurant, or a movie to rent, or you could have a dance party to that country's traditional music, or sit on the floor and use chopsticks for an Asian country, or play soccer as a family in honor of a Latino country, or check out some books from the library, or learn a few facts and language phrases!  She says, "When you've made this sort of effort for one or more countries, chances go way up that your children will actually make it there" someday.

Homa, you rock!  Thanks for inspiring me! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

"Fireproof" Your Marriage

I HEART the movie "Fireproof." Sure, maybe it has some cheesy acting, but I so appreciate the MESSAGE about saving your marriage.  It's a Christian-based movie just fyi.  I CRY every time I watch this and it INSPIRES me as a wife.

I've been thinking about recent comments from other wives about how hard it is when the effort and the showing of love is all ONE-SIDED.  This movie speaks to you and to all of us who desire to strengthen our marriages.

* I'd love to hear if you get a chance to watch it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Date Night Ideas #2

Isn't he cute?!  Man, I am one lucky girl.

Thanks to Steve's wonderful parents, we went snowshoeing last weekend.  SO. MUCH. FUN.  So I thought I'd write some more ideas (done at home) that I hope will inspire you to have a date night with your hubby!  We honestly usually do really simple stuff, but just being together and making it intentional is an important fun habit....

Bake cookies together and make ice cream sandwiches

Light some candles for fun and have a SPA NIGHT.

PLAN an UPCOMING TRIP together, whether it’s just a one-day adventure or a couple day mini vacation with your kids.

Steve making a giant heart for me!  So soon after this we saw
a big sign saying "WARNING: The lake is not frozen.  Do not
step on it."  whoops :)
PAINTING PARTY.  Paint a piece of your furniture or grab some cheap canvas and paints and have fun!  They could even become wall d├ęcor.

Recreate some of your dates from back in the day… even at home.  I want to make tacos at home and wear the exact shirt I wore on our first date – and have a taco eating contest again!   

PIGGY BANK.  Create some kind of “piggy bank” where you can start putting all your spare change.  Decide as a couple something fun you want to start saving for!  

When it's warmer, bring the monitor and a blanket, and go in your backyard and TALK UNDER THE STARS

Take an ONLINE PERSONALITY TEST by CLICKING HERE. Very fascinating and insightful! Once you get to your results page, click “File” and “Save As.”  It even tells you famous people that share your type along with where you thrive and where you struggle.  Once you have both of your types, you can even click on “Jung Marriage Test” to read about your compatibility as a couple just for fun.

which reminded me of this ... at bear lake soon after we got married

Test your love language by CLICKING HERE and then do something for each other in their primary language!

PICK OUT A BOOK.  Find a book that you would both enjoy and start reading it together.  On nights you feel like it, you can continue reading!

Interview each other Whip out the video camera and ask each other lots of interesting, fun questions. Your kids and you will love watching this in the future!  I got this one from this website - she has some great ideas.

CLICK HERE to read about the first post of Date Night Ideas.  Have fun!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sick Days Made Fun

     Poor Brayden having a not-so-fun cough, woke up from his nap crying and just needed some mommy cuddle time.  An idea pop into my head of how to take his mind off being sick.  So we blew up the air mattress, rolled out the sleeping bags, ate some yummy popsicles, and watched some home videos!  Then we turned out the lights and read some books with our flashlights.  It helped us all feel better!
     Since feeling all-the-time yucky with my pregnancy, we've lived in "survival mode" or I guess "default mode" where we just try to get through each day. I've been having a difficult time finding as much joy in my role as a mother.  Depending on life circumstances, I think we all go through stages of SURVIVAL MODE at times. We feel discouraged and frustrated or we go bonkers because it seems like we can never get the house clean and organized or even get a meal on the table!  In fact, when I've tried to make a couple meals lately, they've just turned out gross :).  But you know what, WHATEVER, it's okay!!   So this epiphany struck me from this "sick day made fun" that one way I FIND JOY is when I am BEING AN INTENTIONAL MOTHER.  Those creative juices and excited plans to have fun and teach my children - have been stifled for the last couple months.  But, I am excited to try to bring that joy back.. slowly but surely!  Thanks to those brilliant ideas out there on Pinterest, we made this... 

All you do is put food coloring in each muffin tin and then stir in shaving cream!  Brayden got to "paint" the bathtub while Princess Hailey had dress up time.  I was shocked at the easy clean up - just turn the bath water on and wipe it down with a rag.  It didn't even stain anything.  He was so giddy about the whole thing... especially uncovering which color would show up as I mixed each spot.  I finally felt like a fun mom again!

I'm also working on making a super simple apron for Brayden.  It's tricky to have one-on-one time with your older ones when you have little babies.  So, when Hailey was taking a nap, Brayden and I made brownies together!  And I ate most of them... chocolate makes any day better!  I have been pretty much an out-of-commission-chef while being with child, but I hope the apron will make it fun for Brayden to "help" me as I try to venture into cooking again.  Whew, I can do this!
WE CAN DO FUN, INTENTIONAL THINGS WITH OUR KIDS... and really those special day to day moments with our loved ones are the essence of what matters most.  It might not be much right now, but I'm giving my family all I've got.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

On Days That Are Tough: LOVE is the ANSWER (and so are chocolates)

Today is one of those days.  You know the ones where you are just grouchy - and so are the kidlets.  I can rate how my day is going depending on how many oreos I'm popping.  Some moments we just fill to the brim with frustration.  Yet in those same challenging days, we have sweet, precious moments.  I just watched in awe as my cute dimpled red head toddled her very first steps.  My little boy with tears in his eyes came running for a hug after he got corrected for spilling milk and food all over the "kitchen floor," which is actually carpet, bright purple carpet I might add :)!  I loved snuggling up on the couch to read books and smiling at Bradyen blowing me lots of kisses as daddy carried him to bed.  We want to be wonderful mothers who love our kids unconditionally and who teach them and cherish them!  We want that vision but somedays it can just seem so challenging when our patience and energy tank is on low.  What do we do when we have lots of little dependents needing every ounce of our time and attention?  What do we do when the very kids we give our life to and love so dearly - drive us bonkers?!  I'm learning the key is to LOVE MORE.

In those moments, sometimes I say in my mind this little poem/prayer I memorized:

A Mother's Prayer
O give me patience when tiny hands
Tug at me with their small demands.
Give me gentle and smiling eyes 
and keep my lips from sharp replies.
Let not fatigue, confusion, or noise       
Obscure my vision of life's fleeting joys.

For this love month, I've been reading "The Five Love Languages of Children" by Chapman and Campbell. The five love languages being: quality time, gifts, service, words of affirmation, and touch.  I've been so inspired by the emphasis how our children need to know of our UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.  To experience our love in their understanding and so very deeply that they don't doubt it - even when they are disciplined for misbehavior or they do things we don't like.  That's what Christ does - He corrects us because he loves us, and His love is always unconditional.  Whew, I've sure got loads to learn, but I am grateful for this great refining journey!

Here are two of my favorite quotes from the book:
"Unconditional love shows love to a child no matter what.  We love regardless of what the child looks like; regardless of her assets, liabilities, or handicaps; regardless of what we expect her to be; and, most difficult of all, regardless of how she acts.  This does not mean that we like all of her behavior.... A child's emotional tank must be filled before any effective training or discipline can take place."  Oh and check out page 21 - LOVE this.

"Even if your child's primary love language is not quality time, many children [I would think most] crave the undivided attention of parents." Quality time "means giving a child your undivided attention.... Few of us have enough time to do everything we need and want to; giving a child quality time may mean that we must give up something high on our list of preferences.  As children grow toward adolescence, they often require time just when we parents are exhausted, rushed, or emotionally out of sorts." Yet, giving of ourselves and our full attention "conveys this message: 'You are important.  I like being with you.'"

This afternoon I let out a great sigh of relief and utter exhaustion... My two kids were finally down for naps!  Wahoo!  Being in my isolated quarters, I needed some help and to know that I wasn't alone, that other mothers know it's hard sometimes.  So, I turned on a POWEROFMOMS.COM PODCAST from Saren, Shawni, & Linda about how "LOVE IS THE ANWSER".  Here are just some ideas that really stood out to me:

  • Convey "I LIKE YOU" (I like being with you.  I like who you are) as well as "I love you" (because I'm your parent). 
  • At night, watch your children's eyes light up as you talk about what good THINGS YOU NOTICED in them that day.
  • Set them aside somedays and write what they are good at - ONE ON EACH FINGER.  So, if you think a child is good at doing flips on the tramp write "F" on one finger and "B" on another if they are good at babysitting!
  • "LOVE MORE." When a child is misbehaving, think - he needs more love and attention (perhaps more sleep/food too!)
  • When a child is acting out and you are frustrated, imagine this PICTURE OF CHRIST cuddling a child's face and looking her in the eyes.    --------------------->
  • Many times our immediate reaction is  - you are driving me crazy! Or we just want to send them away.  Yet, when they are the most irritating, that's when you NEED TO LOVE THEM THE MOST. 
  • Explain WHY WE DO NOT DO SOMETHING - perhaps hit a sibling or take toys - because of LOVE.  WE are a family.  We love each other.  Jesus taught us how to love.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

More LOVE in your MARRIAGE - ideas from a remarkable lady

Ok, this woman - Shawni - is one of my greatest motherhood heros.  I feel like I know her just for reading her book "A Mother's Book of Secrets" and many of her mother - Linda Eyre's - books which are amazing!  I've never met her, but I do absolutely adore HER BLOG   Shawni puts her husband FIRST and that tremendously blesses her marriage and her children.  I love how hilariously down to earth she is and at the same time incredibly inspiring.  Her website would be definitely worth your time.  For Valentine's Day, here's some of HER LIST of how to show your husband you LOVE HIM:

Go to bed at the same time. (I know this doesn't work for everyone, but it makes a world of difference for us.)

If you go to bed at the same time, you get to have "pillow talk" which leads to belly laughs, which make me happy.

Find at least a few of the same things to be interested in together.

Never underestimate the power of touch. Even just a touch on the shoulder or a on his knee at dinner.

Tell your kids how excited you are to go on a date together with stars in your eyes.

Hug in front of your kids.

Continue "dating" regularly forever, even if it's an "at-home date" after the kids are in bed.

Drop everything you're trying to juggle some evenings and just snuggle on the couch.

Watch a show you like together while sitting in front of him on the floor...he rubs your back while you rub his feet. (or visa-versa)

Text him love-notes in the middle of the day.

Make an effort to give him a sincere compliment before you go to bed each night...something you noticed during the day. Be looking for the good instead of for opportunities to nag.

Laugh. A lot. Keep a sense of humor.

Someday, I want to do what Shawni does the month of February.  They decorate and write on hearts reasons they love each member of the family.  Then, they post those hearts up to enjoy the whole month!  Brilliant!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

50 WAYS to Show Your Husband You LOVE HIM

Don't worry... you don't need to do all 50 :).  I hope this list inspires you to just try ONE and re-focus on the man you love!  I think it's so easy, with the stresses of mothering or working or life, to neglect giving daily love and attention to our most important relationship on earth.   In marriage, we are completely known for who we are and our spouses get our best and our very worst.  Luckily we can continually learn and grow as a person and a couple.  Being married to my very best friend is the biggest blessing in life, and I'm so grateful for his continual patience with me and his gift at somehow seeing the good in me :)

If you ever feel that your marriage could be stronger or you feel your relationship needs a re-charge (which is always does), pick one that works for you and have fun!!  I so believe that discovering ways to show love in YOUR SPOUSE'S LANGUAGE and re-discovering your FRIENDSHIP over and over again is what builds a strong marriage!  So I hope one idea may help...

  1. CHOOSE TO ACT NOT RE-ACT.  Isn't it so natural to react to others - to become offended when someone is offensive?!  To mentally blow up your spouses' faults to justify your "better" standing?To reflect shortness to someone's being short or irritable?   You cannot ever change others, but you have the power to choose how you act and love.  Experiment with showing more love in the moment rather than just merely mirroring how they treat you - this is one of the hardest things for us humans to do. CLICK HERE to read more!
  2. MIRROR & TOLIET MESSAGES.  Write a little love note on your bathroom mirror with lipstick or a dry erase marker.  Or if you really feel like being crazy and doing something totally-out-of-the-ordinary, write on toilet paper with a permanent marker and lay out message on top of the toilet water :)
  3. SAY YOU'RE SORRY, before he does.  I love the quote by Ruth Bell Graham: "A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers."
  5. DROP EVERYTHING.  Try putting aside your eternal to-do lists just for a moment, and give your husband your sincere, undivided attention.
  6. INITIATE.   Researchers report that sexual intimacy is the #1 need of Men in marriage - or the #1 way that they feel loved.  In marriage therapist Dr. Harley's book "His Needs, Her Needs" he explains that "sexual fulfillment" (which his male clients usually report as their top need) doesn't necessarily mean mere quantity, but instead quality.  Interestingly, men feel most fulfilled and loved only when they feel their spouse is eager and also fulfilled.  So make it fun, try new things, initiate.
  7. TEXT HIM Surprise him with a spontaneous, flirty text or a sentence about why you are so grateful for him.  Finding your own ways to connect during the day makes a difference.
  8. START A HOBBY TOGETHER.  Ok, so with our babies asleep at home one night, we decided to write a “bucket list” of fun things we wanted to do together.  We LOVE rockclimbing, so we've started buying the gear.  Find something you both would enjoy!
  9. PLAN A DATE NIGHT even it is in your own home when the kiddos are asleep (but I love it when we actually leave the house!).  Here are  some date night ideas.  It’s so important to have that time to fall in love all over again - just the two of you.  We usually keep it super simple and lots of times it doesn't officially happen - but any time together (without kids)  makes a huge difference.
  10. START A “LOVE JOURNAL” where you can write letters to each other, paste in notes you’ve both written, special memories, and such.  Here are some examples.
  11.   KEEP YOURSELF ATTRACTIVE Maybe I'm the only one here, but I find it difficult to actually find time to shower and feel pretty each day- especially when I'm meeting the continual demands of my children!  Whether it's throwing on some makeup, or finding some cute clothes that are actually clean :), or getting your hair done - it doesn't always happen but it does wonders for how we feel about ourselves.  
  12. BREAKFAST IN BED One website I researched suggested to make heart-shaped pancakes.  Click Here for a super yummy and healthy pancake mix... it's life changing :).  I've never actually made heart shaped - maybe just for Valentine's :)  But, I guess a surprise breakfast in bed, that could be fun.
  13. FLIRT WITH HIM It's funny how we totally flirt while dating, but once we're married we can easily forget to be FUN!  Just because you've snagged him, don't stop flirting.  Try to bring it back. 
  14.  DON'T TRY TO BE HIS MOM Remember you are his wife, not his mother. Don't jump him every time he does something differently than you’d like.  We likely all need this reminder often. 
  15.  TOUCH  Physical touch can translate into love for a lot of men.  So as you talk with him or pass by him.. think to touch him in someway. 
  16. WRITE A FUN "LOVE NOTE".  One time I'm pasted "Top 10 Things I Love about My Husband" on our bedroom door.  Or, just leave a note somewhere where he'll find it.  One time Steve was really cute to leave random, funny post it notes around the house.  
  17. GIVE HIM A MASSAGE.  I bet he would love a spontaneous head rub or go all out and give him a back rub with lotion.  So Steve has introduced me to the wonders of back scratches... I will never be the same!
  18. GRAB A KISS WHILE YOU WAIT Kiss your husband while you're waiting at the stoplight or in the food drive-through.
  19. BE AWARE OF EXITS & ENTRANCES  As you and your husband say goodbyes and reunite again after a long day, be aware of how you show love during these important cross roads.  Click Here to read about "Exits and Entrances"!
  20. TALK ABOUT HIS INTERESTS Bring up a subject that interests him and listen to him talk. Even if the subject doesn't interest you, enjoy watching him as he gets stirred up over the topic.
  21. SLOW DANCE in the kitchen when the kids go to bed. Actually, maybe dance in front of your kids!
  22. VERBALLY SHOW APPRECIATION IN FRONT OF HIS FAMILY.  When with his family, for example, share sincere appreciation for what your husband does or who he is.  
  23. SURPRISE GIFT.  Surprise him with a fun gift of some kind that he’d really enjoy.
  24. CALM DOWN FIRST, THEN TALK.  When you are in a moment of frustration, try taking some deep breathes, perhaps hold your tongue momentarily, and discuss it as soon as you feel more able to talk kindly.  It's easy for humans to say hurtful, non-helpful things if they just react instantly in a heated moment.
  25. FIND SOME SANITY AT HOME. With two little kids and being pregnant, our house usually feels out of control :).  And I need loads of help to keep things somewhat clean and organized!   I do care about the environment of our home because it does affect EVERYONE, especially me and my ability to focus more on relationships.  HERE's more about how to "streamline" and organize your home.
  26.  ENCOURAGE HIS HOBBIES, even if you’re perhaps not fond of some.  Encourage him, even help make it happen!  It will make a huge difference and help him tremendously to feel more balanced and to be his best self.  I sure need this, and I know he does too.
  27. LAUGH MORE!  Nothing bonds people closer together than when they laugh together.  
  28. TAKE A HIKE OR WALK TOGETHER. It's hard to hold hands while pushing a stroller, but at least you can talk!
  29. EAT AN ICE CREAM CONE TOGETHER Buy one, large cone, and eat it together at the same time.
  30. PRAY TOGETHER EACH NIGHT. Recently I attended a wedding ceremony where I heard some of the best marriage advice! As you are praying together, express 1) something you love/appreciate about your spouse 2) what you personally want to work on (to improve yourself)
  31. ENCOURAGE HIM TO BUY THAT TOY he's been wanting so badly. Better yet, put some of your own things off, save the money and buy it for him yourself!
  32.  POWER OF TOUCH Whether it's a touch on his shoulder or knee or snuggling on the couch, he likely will see love that way.
  33. HAVE A WRESTLING MATCH This will get you both laughing, and it will remind you not to be so serious.
  34. SEEK HIS ADVICE Ask for your husband's input and advice on anything from children to what he might like to eat. This will let him know he's needed and that his thoughts are important.
  35.  LOOK OUT FOR HIS HEALTH Encourage your husband to get plenty of sleep and exercise. Physical exercise seems to be a HUGE deal for many men and women to be able to face the challenges of each day.  We happen to be P90X fans, but find whatever works for you!  
  36.  MAKE HIM A COUPON BOOK  Give him coupons to redeem—maybe for a back scratch or a shoulder rub or things that would mean much to him.
  37. CUDDLE WHILE WATCHING A MOVIE.  Maybe you could even pick out a movie you know he would really like and have a yummy treat!
  38. DON'T BE A PESSIMIST Try not to focus too much on the negative. Try to have a positive outlook in your marriage and on life.  There’s a difference between having real and honest talks (which is completely necessary) and just having a sour outlook on everything.
  39. MAKE HIS FAVORITE TREAT I just discovered after several years of marriage that my husband loves more than anything peanut butter cookies with hershey kisses.  So, I picked up the ingredients for us to make together sometime.  We often, probably more often than we should, enjoy "oreo parties."  It has become our nightly ritual to dunk oreos and chat :)
  40. PLAY A GAME TOGETHER.  Ok, I kind of pride myself on being undefeated in Settlers.
  41. LOOK HIM IN THE EYES Look your husband straight in the eyes when he talks to you to show that he is your #1 at that moment.
  42. DON'T PUSH THE BUDGET If you can't afford certain things, don't buy them.  Try not to complain about your standard of living or whine about the things that you don't have. 
  43.  HELP HIM SHAVE This is a fun way to be close and to get you both laughing.  ps. Don't let your husband try to take an electric razor to your own eyebrows.. bad experience :)  Love you babe!  And yeah, I've only cute my husband's hair once... also bad experience.
  44.  LOVE YOURSELF Many times we as women hold back on our husbands because of our own insecurities. Learn to let it go. The things that we're so worried about, usually don't even bother him... whether it's physically or personality-wise, etc. I know you have SO many incredible and beautiful gifts just because you are a woman!!
  45. DEFEND HIM Don't let others disrespect your husband. Even just a snide comment can hurt. Stick up for the most important person in your life.
  46.  JUST GO TO BED!  I don’t always believe in the adage to never go to bed angry.  Our kids sure struggle when they are over tired, and so do we.  In a moment of frustration when tired and cranky, sometimes just go to bed. You'll likely wake up in the morning with a renewed perspective! :)  
  47.  PRAISE and SHOW APPRECIATION When your husband works hard, or does something for you, let him know you appreciate him!  Interestingly, researchers have found that praise and admiration is actually on men’s top 5 needs in marriage.  CLICK HERE to see the top 5 needs of men vs. women.
  48. DON'T COMPARE.  Be careful not to compare your husband to others - your dad, brothers, or other men.  They may be great, but remember your husband is too.  Likewise we should avoid comparing ourselves to other wives and moms - which us women are SO guilty of.   
  49. ENCOURAGE MAN TIME.  Enthusiastically support your husband in having time to hang out with guys he is close to.  Women really need other women, and that "man" time can be important for some husbands. 
  50. KEEP LEARNING AND BEING CURIOUS.  It can take some real effort and creativity to expand your intellect while tending lots of littles, but it will make you a more beautiful and interesting wife and mother!  Maybe listen to interesting podcasts as you attack the piles of dishes, always carry a good book with you, or quickly research one new topic especially if it’s something your husband would also find interesting!

*Have fun finding ways to show your husband you love him in ways that are meaningful to him!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

AWESOME Marriage Talks on CD

Dr. Lund's  CD set called "For All Eternity" is some of the BEST MARRIAGE STUFF OUT THERE!  This well-known researcher, writer, and counselor has four entertaining and fascinating topics entitled:

*Owning our words and behavior
*Learning the love languages of others
*Conflict resolution skills
*Apologies and forgiveness

Steve is watching the kids all day while I try to put this new little apartment together!  So after watching Tangled while working, I popped in these CDs!  WOW, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting it - worth every penny.  It's amazing also how much you can get done when you actually don't have kids around :).  Thanks Steve for watching the kiddos, and I'm excited for you to have a turn and go to the Jazz game tonight :).  I love you!  And man I want to (and need to) be better for you!  Thanks for being my absolute best friend and for going through all of the total crazies and also supreme joys with me.