Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Plan a complete Christmas Eve Dinner menu, start to finish, for your four virtual guests who will be arriving in two days. A theme would be fun, but is not necessary. If you would like, you can include links to recipes. **I would love that!!**
- Soup & Salad
- Entrees & Side Dishes (at least two sides)
Saturday, November 27, 2010
- Tour of Lights. Steve and I pour steaming hot cocoa into a thermos for each of us. We dig through the cupboards to find canned goods we can donate to needy families. We then bundle up with coats, gloves, mittens, and scarves, and hop in the car to take a drive through the neighborhood that is known for its many blocks of creative, unique light displays. Blocks and blocks of painted wooden cut-outs, moving creatures, musical displays... It's so much fun! At the beginning of the tour, you donate your canned goods and they give each person a free mini candy cane to enjoy during the tour. One of our favorite displays from last year was a house that was completely decorated with lights, except one strand or lights was hanging down half-way across the garage. At the end of the strand of lights, was the Grinch pulling them down and putting them in his bag! SO funny!
- Whenever we can make it back to Wisconsin to visit my family, we really enjoy driving through the Rotary Lights as well. So many childhood memories there!
- Christmas Tree. We don't have a set time for putting up our Christmas tree. It's sort of whenever we get to it. Hot cocoa is, again, one of our tradition elements. =) We start a fire in the fireplace, put "White Christmas" with Bing Cosby on the tv, pour ourselves some hot cocoa, and decorate the tree.. Nothing says Christmas like Bing's satiny voice! It's fun to tell the stories of each of the ornaments as we hang them on the tree. I ALWAYS use multi-colored lights. Steve and I both have memories of falling asleep by the glow of Christmas lights. Neither of our families were big on Santa Claus.
- Christmas Eve Dinner. Growing up, my mom (Barb), had always put together a fondue dinner for Christmas Eve. I remember being tiny and having to wait for my color stick to be placed in the pot by an adult and then asking every minute if it was done yet. Since I don't know much about doing fondue, and Steve's family has never really done it, we tend to skip it when we're in Oregon. I've begun making enchiladas instead, with lots of green chilies and red peppers for a festive touch.
- Presents. My family always opened presents on Christmas Eve. I think we still tend to do that, however it gets a little confusing between all the families. As we got older, we began drawing names. We do that off and on from year to year.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Today I ordered a set of six Artland Ice Beverage Glasses. I'm pretty excited!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
- Must be 100% free: Borrow & Beg.
- Must primarily benefit your spouse.
- Bake cookies! The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies.
- Clean the house! Pick 1 room! (Wives LOVE this surprise!!)
*How to Speed-Clean Your Kitchen - Real Simple*
- Stir up some piping hot cocoa, tea or coffee in a thermos and create your own walking tour of your neighborhood. Make up stories about the unknown residents of different houses. Collect some beautiful leaves while you're at it!
- Decorate the living room or bedroom with a theme. One of our favorites was the Camp-In!
- Romantic massage. Grab some lotion and get to it! If you have massage oils, all the better! Video. Step-by-step: This page does a great job touching on a few basic points I learned during my time in massage school.
- Go for a direction-less drive in the country and watch the sunset. Take turns choosing directions! Be sensitive to your partner's needs. They may be tired, and want to spend a night in. Just ask. =)
- Like to Hike & Bike? Find trails near you!
- Movie night: Popcorn. Blankets. Cuddling. If you are tired of your own movies, ask to borrow a few from friends & family. Libraries can also be a great source of "free" entertainment. Check out some reviews or fire up Netflix (requires paid subscription) for your browsing pleasure.
- Storytime. Did you know that Dorothy didn't have ruby red slippers? They were silver! Spend an evening on the couch or snuggled in bed reading aloud your spouse's favorite classics and fairytales, or make up your own stories! Here are some suggestions.
- Gameplay. Play a boardgame, video game, or create your own game. It can be as tame or crazy as you want. You can even take turns making up short games. Beware! You might end up laughing so hard it hurts! Just remember to respect your partner's comfort levels and boundaries.
- Do a photo shoot! Your subjects can be anything from yourself or your spouse (if they're not shy) to nature or architecture. What you see is what you've got! Grab your camera phone, point-and-shoot, or DSLR, and have a blast! You could even do a scavenger hunt!
- If your honey likes to garden, surprise them with a winter herb garden for the kitchen window! If you think they would enjoy it, you could plant it together. Enjoy delicious, fresh, healthy herbs all winter long!
- Cook dinner ~ for them or with them! Put those herbs to good use and whip up something tasty! Make it elegant and pull out the good stuff ~ candles, goblets, china, and all! (Wives LOVE this too!) Check out Allrecipes.com for a highly rated recipe that is sure to be enjoyed!
- Stargazing. Some of you may need to drive a bit to see the gorgeous lights of night, but it's worth it. Check the weather and the night sky before you head out. (I know I said free, but this is really cool: The iPhone has an app called "Star Walk - 5 stars astronomy guide" that might make your date think you're a modern-day Galileo for $2.99.)
- Create a treasure hunt around the house, with you as the booty.
- Establish a fun ritual. For awhile, Steve and I were spending Friday nights with our great friends, Jon & Kari, watching a favorite TV show and greedily eating brownie sundaes. When the show was cancelled, our ritual sort of fizzled out. We have such great memories from it though!
- Time & Space for Passion. Though it seems rather passive, allowing your partner time, space, and encouragement to pursue a passion, old or new, can be invigorating to a marriage. Especially if you are actively encouraging them.
Steve has always liked motorcycles. Recently, he expressed the desire to get his learner's permit and buy a bike. I encouraged him to by quizzing him on the test questions and relinquishing my grip on the $$. While his hobby of fixing up his "new" bike (this type of bike) has gotten under both of our skin, at times literally with a wire brush, I was excited to see him animated and passionate about something. He's eager to give me a ride on the back of his bike. I'm not sure "excited" is the best word for what I feel at that suggestion, but I'm always up for a little adventure. Besides, if he drops his bike, it's been shaken upon that he owes me a $200 shopping spree. ;)
Drop the bike! Drop the bike!
- Study a subject your spouse is fascinated by. Find out what perks their interest. What TV shows do they enjoy? What news articles do they bother reading past the headline? What do they invest their free time in? The Bible is naturally my first suggestion, but not all people are admittedly fascinated by it. You should be! If this isn't the case...
- Pray for your spouse. It is free and it will 100% benefit them! Pray for them privately, humbly, and persistently. Ask God to lay it on your loved one's heart to pray for you too! I guarantee that anybody currently in a marriage needs prayer. If you deny that, you need it twice as much! ;)
- Listen up! I'm going to say it! Sex. I want to make a very important clarification here. Sex is not love. Sex is an expression of LOVE. I looked up the definition of LOVE using Google.
Does it anger anyone else that one of Princeton's definitions of LOVE is "sleep together: have sexual intercourse with"? Sex does not equal love. I hope we are clearly teaching people this. It should break each of our hearts if 1 single person has ever believed this. What heartache is theirs...
Ladies & Gentlemen...
It is my great pleasure to introduce to you...
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.
1 Corinthians 13:7 The Message
This is the kind of love you never fall out of.
Let's give our spouses true love!
What are free or inexpensive ways you show your spouse you love them?
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Lose 50 lbs! (exercise, eat right, positive thinking)
I think I am closer to having gained 50 lbs than having lost! However... Since I never recorded my starting weight, nobody knows, but me! And Steve... And God... Guess what's going on next year's list!
Eat at least one salad per day - I don't like salad. :P
Correction: I really don't like salad. Next month's menus include a whole lot more salad and veggies though. I won't count it off quite yet. It still needs doing.
Shoot, Print, Matte, and Frame one of my own photos. I can still do this!
Spend a healthy weekend at Crater Lake. I was sick when we went to Bend...
Not happening this year.
Visit Mt. Hood and make a snowball.
Still not happening this year.
Hike 8 miles at Opal Creek.
Really not happening this year.
Say “NO” without regret.
I probably learned this a little too well! haha
Kiss my niece and make her smile. Praise and hug my nephew for being an amazing kid!
Such an incredible accomplishment! I LOVE those kids!!
Spend a girls' afternoon with Jules.
Amazing! While it wasn't an entire afternoon with just the two of us, having coffee with Julie and just talking was such a gift. I thank the Lord for the opportunity to fly 2,000 miles to do this!
Get a job, even part-time or temporary.
I truly didn't think I would accomplish this! However, I had a part-time job for 13 months. I almost discounted that since it was just babysitting in my home. Yet it brought in helpful amounts of revenue and made me feel purposeful. I also am volunteering once a week at the Humane Society. Very fulfilling work.
Finish my H.R. Degree courses.
A good, yet frustrating note. I won't finish by my birthday, but I only have ONE course left! I'm super excited!!
Have at least 10 girls' nights out with Kari S.
Ten may have been a lofty goal, but we have hung out a lot more often and we recently spent 5-6 hours sculpting a cake and enjoying each other's company. Looking forward to many more! She's an awesome woman!
Regain my self-confidence. (take medicines, exercise, eat right, be the "real" me)
I wasn't going to count this either, but I looked over the last year and have seen really good progress. I'm not always self-concious in public. I've reduced my medications! Huge accomplishment to me. I'm exercising. I have also stepped out into more conspicuous roles, even into a leadership role.
Memorize 10 amazing songs on piano.
I've been learning a lot more songs, but not memorizing them. They're pretty involved for my amateur fingers and musical mind!
Attend a concert. I watched Natalie Grant sing "Held" live. How touching! I cried! I was also introduced to Mary Mary. Definitely out of my "white girl" realm, but I loved it!
Sew decorative pillows for my bed. I have everything, I just never finish projects!
I DO finish projects! I can say that after sewing my butt off the last few weeks! The pillows, however, are still in the same bag they came home in. I still have a week to finish one!
Designate a weekly date night with Steve & stick to it.
haha I finished half! This one is more difficult because it includes working with someone else - namely my busy husband. We have had some amazing dates, even if not weekly. I think we may go to monthly for the next year.
Pray about and find a place to serve at church.
God answered this in a huge way. Along with the ladies of Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, I have been a part of an amazing monthly women's bible study. Praise, God! He has met our needs in so many ways. We have grown as women of God and as members of our local church body. Our October meeting is this Saturday. Pray for me to lead well, and for God to touch each woman's life. A special "Thank You" to my amazing dad who prompted and encouraged me to put this on my list and accomplish it. I love you, dad!
Seek God - - daily time in the Word & prayer.
I wonder if I'll ever accomplish this in my lifetime as a regular habit. It feels like an insurmountable hurdle in my daily life and my spiritual growth. But God gives more grace!
"You're cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn't care? The proverb has it that "he's a fiercely jealous lover." And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you'll find. It's common knowledge that "God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble." James 4:4-6 The Message
Ask for help without feeling guilty.
Still a struggle, but it's so relieving and rewarding to know I don't have to do it all alone! In many cases, I'm not meant to!
Only cook full dinners twice a week – small suppers other nights.
I love to cook. Period. =)
Create a budget & be financially accountable - - dedicate to eliminating debt!!
Two words: recurring struggle. Another one of those things I wonder if it is possible at all... We have made a TON of headway on our debt, but we still feel so far from our goals. Can I say I completed it? No. Have WE completed it? I'll give us half. ;)
Find JOY on difficult days. No self-pity!
This was a rough one, having come through some really tough illnesses and physical struggles. It can be almost impossible not to ask "Why me, God?". I am constantly learning to find joy in the growth opportunities God chooses to set before me, and to say, "Here I am, God! Choose me!"
Make an effort once monthly to reach out to siblings who are distant.
This is one thing I truly regret neglecting. A whole year of relationship down the tubes. I can't get those chances back, but I can take hold of each new one in the coming days, weeks, and year! I have an incredible family, and it is entirely my loss to neglect those relationships.
Give Steve personal space. Encourage him to achieve goals. Give him something to chase. ;)
Oh boy! How I've regretted accomplishing this one at times!! I think my friend Kari regrets it as well! Sorry, Kari! haha However... I love seeing Steve passionate about something, even if it causes him headaches and blood loss. I know he'll be so stoked when his 1976 Honda TL 125 "Tilly the Hun" is restored. So will I! =)
Do you keep a list of goals you would like to accomplish in your life? What are goals that you have found worthy to list and/or rewarding to accomplish? I would love some ideas for my "26 Things To Accomplish Before Turning 27" list for the next year! It will be published in 1 week and 2 days!! I'm excited!