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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Making Dates a Family Priority

I want to share something that we do as a family to make dates a reality-- not just for my husband and I, but the kids as well. This isn't meant to be another elf on the shelf fad that adds to a moms full plate, but to make your life simpler. About two years ago, our dating was sporadic-- maybe we'd get out as a couple once every 6 months and if we were lucky, maybe every three months. We knew it needed to happen and we wanted it to, it just seemed like the time flew by in between and we couldn't get our acts together. It was a little different with the kids-- we would find one child got to do a few more special one on one things with one parent and yes, I know, lifes not fair, but we felt we could make parent-kid dates more balanced.
So, we sat down and decided that one month is mom's month and the next is dad's and so on-- mom gets 6 and dad gets 6. Next, we set aside week one for our middle son, the second week for our daughter, and the third week for our oldest son. The fourth week is Mom and Dad's date week.
Now, kid dates have an est. budget between free- 20 dollars (sometimes more for really special treats), and they average 10 bucks. We do not tell the kids what they are doing ahead of time-- and they can make no suggestions. We want the excitement to be for our time together and not for the where and what. If they aren't behaving that week, they can loose the special activity, but not the time with the parent. We want to emphasize to them that the most important thing is investing into one another's lives. We hope and pray that by doing this, that by the time they are teens, they are so used to this one on one special time of conversations and fellowship that we can continue to build strong relationships with them during adolescence. We also hope that they understand that when they enter into romantic relationships, they know how to bless the person they're with not with things, but with their time and attention.
So, some things that we have done are bowling, breakfast dates, lunch dates, dinner dates, walks, bike rides, out for ice cream, snuggles in bed playing a game on the kindle, walks, hikes, shopping trip to the dollar store, grocery store shopping, errands, etc. Very very rarely will we do a movie-- maybe once a year if that. The reason is you can't really talk and get to know one another while the movie is showing so we don't see this as being high on the ideas list for us.
When it comes to my husband and I's turn, we schedule about four months at a time with our amazing sitter. This way, the stress of planning it is gone. We typically go out towards the beginning of the week so places are less crowded. Honestly, I don't think we have been to a movie just the two of us in a few years since again, we want to enjoy and talk to one another. We do talk about our kids and work and families-- and just about everything-- no rules there. We just share our lives and hearts and its also a sweet time of fellowship.
So, if you are like us and this is a struggle for you, I hope this can offer an encouraging solution. We've been doing this for almost 2 years and its become a wonderful way for us to budget our time and invest in our family's relationships.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Two Weeks of Meals

So we recently, well two weeks ago to be exact, shared a grocery shopping trip to costco. I wanted to share what we actually ate so you can see how things get repeated, enjoyed as a left over, and used throughout the week.
Just to clarify, a frozen feast night is a night when we clean out the freezer and eat all the odds and ends-- it also means mom forgot to wash the food processor to make black bean burgers and this was much easier. Also, I didn't mention when we ate our fruit, but it was eaten mostly at lunch time and breakfasts. For our morning oatmeal, we will add fruit, canned applesauce, or HM canned pumpkin. The smoothies are chia seeds, spinach, banana, water, and either strawberries, pineapples, or both. The combination of the two make for a hearty and nutritious way to start our days. We also do have a lot saved vegetable wise from the summer, so the mention of green beans or our spaghetti sauce, comes from that. Questions-- just ask :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Young Prude and Magic Mike

I am as the title of this blog suggests, a young prude. So, let me just begin by saying I did not see the first magic mike film; however, today the trailer for the second film blew up my facebook screen. And since it was relentless, I decided to see what the big deal was. Oh my words. Again, oh my words. Now, this is a personal opinion and a personal view about what I think the issues would be for me should I choose to watch magic mike. Firstly, Channing Tatum is married. He is a married man. He has a wife. There is someone who calls him hubs. Basically, he is NOT my husband. So, watching him just in the preview I thought, "Thats someone else's and whether she is okay with sharing her mate in such a sexual way with the rest of us, I'm not cool with it." I wouldn't watch my neighbor's husband do the same thing. I wouldn't watch the guy in the next city--- heck, what I saw in that tiny snippet made me turn away because my eyes need to be saved for my husband. I didn't just save myself for him on our wedding night-- I will save myself for just him every. single. day. of our married life.
"But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband." 1 Corinthians 7:2. Mrs. Tatum might be okay sharing her husband, but my husband is not okay with sharing me. And I am okay with that because I don't think that I could share him with anyone either.
"But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints."Ephesians 5:3-- I also don't think I could watch the film and not covet someone else's husband or even any of the other actors whether married or not. Would I begin to think, "Why doesn't my husband look like that?" Or other things... and then dissatisfaction creeps in. Big time. Finding my husband falling or lacking in areas where I really don't even need to think about because he is my one and only. His body should be the only body I desire. Ever. I don't need to see some guys dancing around on the big screen because my husband swept me off my feet from the first day I met him. And praise the Lord, he hasn't stopped and I need not look any further-- nor do I want to despite Hollywoods blatant attempt to tempt me.
"But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:28. i think its safe to say we could swap the man with the woman in this passage because in this day and age there is so much sexual imagery designed to tempt females. And yes, I would just be looking at the film. But, I would not in a million years want my husband to look at a movie about female dancers. I just don't think we are being fair-- not many woman want their husbands open oggling other woman. I don't want to do the same with men and call it all in good fun because it's a popular movie. Cause, let me be honest, I wouldn't go and see some male dancers in person-- so why let my eyes see it in film form.
Our marriage hasn't seen a perfect day since it began. We are two flawed people in need of some big time grace (both from the Lord and each other)-- but man, that guy is mine. He is my one and only. The only guy I need to ever view. To desire. To love. "Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste" Song of Solomon 2:3.