For Christmas, my hubby is getting a year of dates as one of his gifts. There will be 12 different dates or activities that he will be able to choose from during the year. That way he can pick what he is in the mood for and be even more excited. There are a few dates with specific dayes due to holidays or weather, but most will work anytime. I made a card for each date with a general description of what the date was about... My guy isn't into total surprises so I used this approach. If your husband likes total surprises, you might just label by the month. Moat dates I planned are very low cost, due to the fact I lost my job. I want us to be able to do these dates no matter what is happening, because life isn't ideal all the time.
The three pictures posted are of the date night cards, the his/her date and the taste the flavor date. Almost all these date night ideas are from www.thedatingdivas.com . There are so many great ideas for dates on their website. Go check it out for full descriptions. The his/her date is taken from them and focuses on why tou love your spouse. Take two light colored pillowcases ( new or used, mine are new ones I found at Goodwill) and use fabric markers or Sharpies to write reasons you love your spouse or things you are thankful for about them. On the DD site they show you how to draw a guy and write his on the mans pillowcase and then a girl and hers on the ladies pillowcase. Put them on the pillows and hand him his marker to write on yours and you can add more to his. The intentional part is to share aloud the things you write while listening to the other person. Make the connections and show your appreciation! I also plan to have The Game of Love ready that night.
The Taste the Flavor date is also feom The Dating Divas site. Get various flavors of chapstick or lip balms and have your spouse guess the flavor as you share lots of kisses! You might be able to find some deals on a set of flvored lipbalms with holiday gift sets for sale. I chose Chapstick because my hubby uses that brand and we will use them after our date!
If you don't think you can pull off twelve dates for next year, do a few and put them in his stocking or wrap a few up for under the tree. My twelve dates include:
James Bond date (will be highlighted at dating divas site sometime)
Build a Fort date*
True Colors date*
His and Her date*
Post-it Note date*
Spouse sleepover date*
Couple's Cafe date*
Taste the Flavor date*
* indicates idea from The Dating Divas
Many Marriage Blessings,
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Take time this holiday season to spend some alone time with your spouse! We often get wrapped up in helping others or with holiday tasks, so take a night out for one another! I am in the process of creating dates for the coming year. These planned dates will be my hubby's gift. It has been a blast to work on... I will post more later! The ideas I get from The Dating Divas website are all winners! Visit them at www.thedatingdivas.com
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
Do you want to start your own Couple's Almanac? Click here to go to the FREE directions. I plan to upload more directions and photo examples to this site in the future. Look for the tag line: My Marriage Matters in the title. Feel free to follow me on this site so you get notices when I do upload new things. http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Couples-Almanac-Directions-My-Marriage-Matters-FREE
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Summer has been a busy time full of ups and downs. I am still looking for a full-time job and trying to figure out what I am meant to do. One child broke her arm and has had to sit out of soccer... but she still made the team! We all went on a mission trip to Fort Worth, Texas in June. That was an incredible week as a family serving the Lord! Then our kids both spent time with their aunt, uncle and her boys and then also spent time away from home at camp and friends' house. Now we are looking towards the start of the school year as the girls begin high school and junior high! In May, we attended a Strong Bonds marriage retreat put on by the National Guard. I am so excited to say that we get to return to the next retreat in a few weeks. This time we get to help with the sex panel (question/answer time) and I get to share my couple's almanac with the group! I am busy getting my things gathered for this event- I am getting my pre-printed couple's almanac questions ready to post for sale.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Wow! This school year has finished up with a BANG! It has been B-U-S-Y! I finish up tomorrow with half a day and our girls go until Friday! I am still waiting to hear back about the job interview I had, but am assuming the worst. I have hope I will find something eventually, but God just keeps shutting doors to opportunities. That means He can decide what is best for me and I don't have to make any tough decisions! I am still working on the book review for "Sheet Music" by Dr. Kevin Leman. Life has just put that on hold briefly! I have to brag B-I-G time on my hubby and my gift on Mother's Day-- he has begun a journal for me. He wrote in it almost everyday since May 1. Except for the days he was in extreme pain due to an ankle injury. He recalled how we met, his feelings and other things he noticed about me. I am glad I wasn't in a sappy mood when I received it or there would have been more tears than a box of kleenex. Instead it put a HUGE smile on my face and had me adding things to his recollection (verbally). We enjoyed that few minutes spent reliving the first few weeks of our relationship! What an amazing gift... it was all of the words I would love to hear but in written form. Which means I get to keep it forever and ever to read again and again. No better gift than that exists! He spoke to my heart and I realized things he had never verbalized about me... in an amazing way! Thank you sweetie! Now to his injured ankle-- this has been a week of struggle with his "high grade" sprain of his right ankle. It all happened while he was playing basketball last Monday. He couldn't run like he intended, so got talked into playing ball at lunchtime. Well, he came down on his right ankle and collapsed to the floor. So this is were the phrase in sickness and in health comes into play. I was so glad to be able to "serve" my husband and help him through the first few days. I told him I was sorry he was having to go through this, but was glad I was able to help him. He is usually on the end of helping me feel better and taking care of me. Well I FINALLY was able to do the same for him. It was a blessing for me to experience that. I went to the doctor with him, helped him ice his foot, made appointments and more! He is still sore and will be healing for several months, but he is walking again and not using the crutches any longer. His foot and toes are a beautiful shade of black, purple and redish tones. But he is in good spirits and is handling it all so well. I love this guy beyond belief! Thanks for listening... keep supporting your spouse during their trials (health, job, family, finances, etc) and see how the Lord will bless you in return!
Monday, May 7, 2012
Sheet Music Book Review: Chapter 3 Dr. Kevin Leman is straightforward in sharing his reasons for "Why a Good Sex Life is Worth Striving For" in this third chapter of Sheet Music. This is the chapter that really woke me up and caught my attention. Our sex life was never lacking, but this chapter gave me a much better understanding to the importance of sex to a husband and what I could do as a wife to support my husband in this way. For this chapter I will use an outline format for sharing his reasons. 1. A fulfilling sex life is one of the most powerful marital glues a couple can have. The type of sex he is speaking of takes some work and thinking ahead, but is worth the extra effort. 2. If a husband is sexually fulfilled he tends to be a better husband, father and employee. A wife tends to have less stress and more joy in life. 3. Reasons why a wife should want to make her husband happy: a) A sexually fulfilled husband will do anything for you. b) A sexually fulfilled husband is a scriptural mandate (THIS one right here was an ah-ha moment for me). c)A sexually fulfilled husband will feel good about himself (this has to do with how a wife responds to him sexually). d) A sexually fulfilled husband will take on his life work with a vigor and purpose. e) A sexually fulfilled husband appreciates the important things in life. He will either be home-centered or outside-the-home centered. 4. Reasons why a husband wants to make his wife "purr" (his word, not mine): a) It's better to watch-- one woman in particular. The best satisfaction comes from satisfying someone else (spouse), not from being satisfied. b) Who's winning the marriage? If one spouse has the upper hand of control, then you are both losing out in the marriage. Marriage is a relationship, not a sport. Selflessness is where it is at... think of the other person before you think of yourself. c) Sexually pursue your wife outside the bedroom. Men-- get active in helping around the house and allow the seducing to take place all day. A woman can't just separate sex into a physical act, it is one where she thinks of emotional closeness, history, context and more. This chapter goes into much more detail with each reason, I just wanted to hit the highlights. Getting the book and reading it with your spouse will allow you all to communicate with one another about what you come across. If that proves difficult, it comes easier the more you talk about it. Also, we have written notes to one another in the margins before discussing together so we have an idea of what the other is thinking. But nothing beats the face-to-face communication on this topic. Like I mentioned, this chapter had the most impact on me as a wife. I knew the Bible spoke of sexual relations in a marriage, but never really considered that is was a Biblical mandate. To have a closer relationship with Christ, I need to follow His commands. Including this one-- hey the book Song of Songs is full of sexual imagery. It is a win-win for me and my spouse; I can please my husband and my Lord.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
SHEET MUSIC: Chapter 2 Who is crowded with you in your marriage bed? More then you probably think! There is baggage that each spouse enters the marriage with and contributes to shaping your sexual intimacy. All this baggage forms into what Dr. Leman calls your "rulebook." These are unconscious, but very influential beliefs that you hold about how things should be done (especially in bed). Dr. Leman warns us that no two people are alike, so each person's rulebook will be different. What contributes to our rulebook? 1) parental influences- how were you brought up to think about sex? What is in your past that shapes your view today? 2) birth order- what order you are born in effects the dynamics of your personality which in turn effects expectations in bed. 3) early memories- early childhood memories (before third grade age). These early events helped shape how things should be done and expectations about life. What are your tendancies based on your past history? You have to know what your tendancies are before you can "edit" them. The remainder of this chapter discusses what you can do to edit your rulebook. It also discussed your sexual past and whether to share or not to share that past. VERY good information from Dr. Kevin Leman.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
It's pouring rain right now in Southwest Missouri and cloudy. How many of you feel like your marriage is like our current weather? Is life pouring problems on you and the forecast looks dreary? Well, take heart and read on. I want to share some wonderful information on two different topics: the book Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Leman and the marriage weekend Strong Bonds. SHEET MUSIC REVIEW: The first several chapters of this book lay the groundwork for a fulfilling sex life within marriage. It begins in chapter 1 comparing two different couples: Couple 1 where the husband was always looking for the one magic thing that drove his wife crazy and he'd repeat that every time they were intimate thinking "well, it worked once." Women like variety and aren't always in the same mood each day-- so switch it up and do things differently. When this husband took this new mindset back the the bedroom their intimate moments changed dramatically. Now, sex permeates nearly everything they do. This carries over to making a man feel better about himself, gets him through tough days on the job and can give a sense of security to the family. The second couple has challenges as well, they had sex before getting married and now it seems that it is an after-thought. When the husband has a bad day and wishes to reconnect with his wife, she gets upset because it is so late in the day to get a babysitter. Really her kids take up so much of her time and energy that she is glad her husband doesn't pressure her for intimacy. She doesn't know he is into porn and pleasuring himself. The children don't see an affectionate couple, but one with tension instead. Bottom line: sex is one of the most important components of a marriage. Direct quote from the book, "One of the most loving and holy things you can do in marriage is to provide a sexually fulfilling pursuit of your husband or wife." Get a copy and read to find out more about why sex is so important in a marriage. Understanding the WHY is key to moving forward and having a new outlook on the subject! STRONG BONDS: What does a great marriage look like? Take a look at the BIG picture of marriage, not all the little details. The weekend was planned to create a paradigm shift-- a radical change in the way we think about marriage. Also, to give us tools to put into practice for this shift in thinking to take place. It was about having an unselfish or sacrificial love for your spouse... like in the movies Titanic, Princess Bride, The Notebook, The Vow and others. The weekend taught how to communicate by using speaking/listening techniques. How it is important to have fun with one another and risk factors to be aware of. One specific point was there are dynamic and static risk factors in our lives. Dynamic are the factors we can learn to change and Static are the factors that are not likely to change. So instead of trying to change your spouse (personality, background, etc) then focus on the dynamic factors that you can change. So instead focus on how you react to factors.
Monday, April 30, 2012
After posting about the change in our lives, my job loss, I had a reader contact me about goals and how it helps cancer patients. She is involved with the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance as a contributor to their blog. While her article focuses on cancer patients and how they can benefit from keeping a journal and recording their goals, something like this is also beneficial for couples. My husband and I have started a "Couple's Almanac" that we record events from our lives, lists of things (places to travel, restaurants we like, our short term and long term goals, how we met, what we want our future to look like and more). This is therapeutic and gives us something to work on together-- another benefit. Enjoy Melanie Bowen's article and begin a journal soon! Connect to her article by clicking on this link: Journaling and Goal Setting for Cancer Patients
Sunday, April 29, 2012
My husband and I were fortunate enough to attend a marriage conference put on by the National Guard. It was held in Lake Ozark, MO at Lodge of the Four Seasons. A gorgeous place! We arrived on a Friday afternoon and stayed until noon on Sunday. A date night was even a part of the weekend itenerary. I plan to blog more about the details of different sessions in the coming days, but for now will say if you ever have the opportunity to attend a marriage conference, DO! It brings a focus back onto the marriage and energizes the relationship. This particular weekend was put on by chaplains from the Missouri National Guard and offered to guard soldiers and their spouse. There were 33 couples this weekend. Topics included altruistic(unselfish) love, speaking/listening techniques, differences between husbands and wives, sex discussion (I even sat on the panel to field questions), finding the hidden issues behind negative feelings/events, problem solving, five love languages, and MORE! Thanks go to Shawn, Joe, Elliot and Jack for leading us this weekend. It was incredible! Part of the weekend was also receiving resources for later. The book set, For Couples Only and the book on Five Love Languages were among the takeaways. A wealth of resources. Well, I need to go for now. More tomorrow...
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Wow! It seems like ages ago that I posted last. For good reason-- my hubby and I spent the weekend away from our kids enjoying time with one another. No daily distractions and just time to focus on one another. It was fabulous! We took off on Friday afternoon and went to a nearby town until the following day. The whole idea was to spend time together and make it an adventure. The only thing that would have made it better would have been nicer weather (it was cloudy and sometimes rainy). We went shopping, ate dinner, spent time in the jacuzzi and just enjoyed one another. The following day we walked around town and a few shopping areas before heading home. The weather prevented any type of real outdoor activities because of the rain. It was great fun going to dinner at a local restaurant and sampling Australian fare. Teasing and laughter were both part of our conversations. Afterwards we took time to get out our Couple's Almanac questions and answered a few about the other person.. what are your spouse's passions, what movies do you like to watch together, and more. Check out our blog post that tells all about what a Couple's Almanac is, why to make one and it even has some sample cards that can be filled out to make your own! http://journeyoflove-sarah.blogspot.com/2011/05/couples-almanac-how-to.html a follow-up blog post... http://journeyoflove-sarah.blogspot.com/2011/05/layout-for-our-couples-almanac.html Have a wonderful Tuesday!
Monday, April 9, 2012
I am so glad my hubby made it home after being gone all last week. It was so nice to see him and have him back by my side. We had a busy weekend and a wonderful Easter. Hope it was the same for you. www.drleman.com Reviews / Comments WOWZA! STRAIGHT-FORWARD, TRUTHFUL AND BIBLICAL "This book is amazing! Each year during my husband's two-week Annual Training I get a marriage book to read while he is away and then we share on the phone or when he gets home. This was a read from several years ago and we refer to it often! It is well-worn and has many notes in the margins! Dr. Leman has a straight-forward and entertaining approach with this book. That's refreshing to see when it is about sex. This book opened my eyes as a wife to the sexual needs my husband has and what an important role I play. Not only did it make me more aware, but I am benefiting from the advice as much as my hubby. We are happily enjoying connecting in more ways than the bedroom. By understanding my husband and knowing some of the "why" it is he is wired this way I can make more sense of his needs. I want to please him and this book has helped me accomplish that. He would tell you the same thing in regards to me. This isn't a book for those not yet married and it doesn't hint around anything. Straight-forward, truthful and above all-- Biblical!" Apr 09 2012, 11:46 AM by Sarah S I plan to go through the book and include more details on each chapter(s). My husband and I feel this is such an important topic for couples to address and we hope you will join us as we share our thoughts with you. Happy Tuesday!
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
It has been a long while since I last posted... but all is well on the home front! My husband and I are planning on attending a marriage workshop put on by the Army National Guard in a few weeks and I mentioned this to our daughters the other evening. Consider the fact we have always told them that we are 100% committed to our marriage and that divorce is not an option for us. Well, our oldest said "why? are you having marriage problems?" This was the prime opportunity to share a life lesson with them, without "preaching" to them. I told her no, we don't have marriage problems. I could have left it at that but decided to share a bit more with her. I said "why wait until there might be problems? Isn't it better to go to a conference to try to prevent problems then wait until problems happen to fix them?" She thought about my answer and thought that sounded good, but still asked "so your not going to get divorced?" Mind you, we have discussions but never really have arguments or fighting that might indicate issues. I shared that it is better for us to go now so we can continue to keep our marriage strong. She was good with that! It got me thinking a couple of things... 1) Couples need to be proactive in protecting their marriages and 2) Kids of any age worry about their parents relationship/marriage. So what can be done? 1) Be Proactive! Go on dates, talk about your feelings, share stories with one another, serve the Lord together, hold hands, say I love you, take the time to smile at your spouse, exercise together, go on family outings, eat dinner together, send texts during the day, discuss goals for the future... I could go on and on! 2) Be an example to your children and others! My husband and I try our best to be good role models for our children, their friends and the kids we work with. We talk things through, make time for each other, let our kids know the importance of marriage, share our views of marriage (during tv shows, movies, music), show affection toward one another (even when they say GRRRROOOOSSSSSS!), let them know of our future plans, include them in making family plans and more! They need to see how much we love each other... who they choose as a spouse has a lot to do with what they see/experience at home. To me the biggest thing a couple can do is to be selfless towards one another... put the other person first. Life is not all about ME! This is such a strong example for children. When they see loving compromise, working together, sharing differing ideas and putting others needs first (not to the extreme) they begin to form opinions/ideas of what they want in a spouse. Have a wonderful day and stay strong through your JOURNEY of LOVE!