Monday, April 30, 2012

Marriage is...

" A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers."
~Ruth Bell Graham

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Join me on my journey

I'm about to embark on a journey.  It will be a difficult journey, one filled with many challenges and obstacles.  It will be a journey that I'm sure at some point and time I will question my judgement and want to give up before I reach the end (I hope I can endure).  It is also a journey that once I complete it, I will be a better person for having taken "...the one less traveled by."

It is  journey to try to take my weaknesses and improve them and perhaps turn them into strengths.  It is a journey of self-discovery.

I am taking the 'Complaint-Free Challenge.'  I will try (along with others) to go 31 days without complaining.  I am trying to replace my baditude with God's word and gratitude.  Cheri Gregory has this wonderful idea and I am really excited and a little nervous about this, but I think it will be pleasing to God.  Anytime we try to better ourselves and try to be Christ like, it pleases God.

Go to Cheri's blog and find out why she is Challenging us, get some freebies, listen to some great audios about parenting pre-schoolers, marriage, and the differences in PURSE-onalities and take the challenge too!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lasting Impression - A Book Review

I chose this book because the setting was in Nashville, Tennessee (my home state) at the Belmont Mansion.  The Author, Tamera Alexander, did an excellent job in setting the scenery.  I felt as if I were back in time and I wanted to go to the Belmont Mansion.  (I think I'll plan a family day trip there this summer.)

Claire Laurent overcame what seemed like near-impossible obstacles and she even won the heart of an up-and-coming lawyer, Sutton Monroe.  Claire's background and the past she left behind was coming back to haunt her.  If things were to get out, she could loose her job, her home and Sutton.  Could she tell Sutton before he found out and he still love her?  Sutton had a few hidden secrets of his own.  Would Claire still want him knowing he could be destitute and not able to provide for her future?  What would he have to offer her?

The book is an historical fiction novel.  I checked out some of the history and the author was accurate in her facts.  Tamara Alexander is very knowledgeable about art and it shows throughout the book.  The story starts out strong and ends well, but the climax left me a little disappointed.  I was expecting more and I was left wanting more.  While I was at the climax of the story - I was very disappointed and wasn't sure I wanted to finish the book.  I did finish the book and the ending was done so well, that it partially made up for the climax.   I am glad that I stuck with it and read through to the end.

The book is worth the read.  You will come away more with more knowledge about the history of the Belmont Mansion, art and Nashville's history as well.

I received this book for free from Bethany House for this review, but the review and opinions are my own.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Project 5

Project #5

Text or E-mail Some Sweet Nothings

“I turn on my computer. I wait patiently as it connects. I go online. My breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words, “You’ve got Mail.” I hear nothing, not a sound on the streets of New York. Just the beat of my own heart… I have mail, from you.”
Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kennedy in “You’ve Got Mail”
Your Project
Send a flirty text or e-mail to your husband.

Getting Creative
  • Use an e-card service ( or to send a cute and flirty note.
  • Don’t know how to text? Ask any teenager in the general vicinity.
  • Most phones have a camera feature where you can send a photo message. Be sure to keep it G rated so that he doesn’t get in trouble at work.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Project 4

Project #4
Heart vs. Stomach

A Treat Just for Him

 “You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans.”
Ronald Reagan
Your Project:
Get a food treat for your husband that he’s not required to share with you or any other family member.

Getting Creative
Stumped for ideas? Here are some thoughts:
  • Get his favorite pint of Ben & Jerry’s and hide it behind the frozen chicken. Even if you buy it on Tuesday, you’ll have it ready and waiting for his special night later in the week.
  • Is there a certain cut of meat that your husband loves? How about having the butcher cut something just for him? Most supermarkets will even do the marinade for you – one less thing to think about.
  • Is there a certain candy that your husband loves from his childhood? Check out They have all the nostalgic candy you could want (Black Jack Gum, anyone?) while also carrying any modern favorite you could be looking for.
  • My husband’s family loves something called “noodles and mashed potatoes” (we lovingly refer to it as “The Starch Fest”). I learned how to make this special dish just for him.
  • My guy loves the smell of baking almost as much as he enjoys eating the treat. Have some brownies in the oven when he gets home from work or working out. (I know, it negates the workout, but isn’t chocolate always worth it?)
  • Our friend Scott mentioned that he loves cranberry sauce, but eats it only at Thanksgiving. His wife intentionally made the holiday treat for him this past July.
  • Are you a wife who is an expert at low-cal salads and other forms of chick-food? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Man Food at for ideas

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Reason for Wanting to be a Better Wife...

When we first got married, I just thought what happens happens. A few years ago I began to reflect on life, my marriage, me.

I'm not sure who said "The only person you can change, is you." I don't know when I first heard it, but I really began to think about that quote.

If you have a bad marriage, it's possible that you can make it a good marriage. If you have a good marriage, don't you think you can make it a better marriage? Can't things always get better (just like they can always get worse)?

I have read several books trying to help me be a better wife...

The Husband Project by Kathi Lipp
Created to be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl
The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O'Martian
His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Harley Jr.
Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

I feel like I have come a long way from where I started as a wife, but I know that I still have a long way to go. What happens, doesn't just happen. It's what we make of it. I have gained something from each of the books that I have read and I try to continue to gain more knowledge of being a great wife. The book that I have gotten the most help from though is the Bible. There are countless verses on how to be the wife that God created me to be.

I think that if I become a better wife, in turn I will be a better Christian. If I become a better Christian, in turn I will be a better wife. I will continue to try to do both and with God's help, I will continue to grow as a wife and Christian.

One thing that really opened my eyes concerning my skills as a wife and really made me want to try harder to be the best wife I could possibly be was a quote from the second wife/marriage book I read (Created to be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl). I cannot remember the exact quote and I am having trouble finding it, but it goes something like this..."Would you want your son to marry someone like you?"

I need to be a good wife (1) because that's what God wants me to do and that's what he created me to do, (2) because my husband deserves it and (3) to model to my sons what kind of wife they should look for. If I am disrespectful to my husband, my sons will think that they should marry someone that is disrespectful to them, etc. (You can change the word disrespectful for any number of words.)

I have been praying since I knew I was pregnant with my first child, for each of them to have a good spouse. One that loves and respects them, one that they can truly become one with, one that will make the rest of their lives beautiful and not miserable.

Well, I hope you are doing the 5 Day Challenge (The Husband Project) with me. I also, subscribe to i-MOM's Espresso Minute (daily e-mail) and I found some things that go right along with Kathi's Husband Project. Check them out...

The 30 Day Marriage Challenge
The 15 Minute Marriage Boost (which has other links to help improve your marriage)

I encourage every wife (young and old, newly wedded or married for years) to try to be a better wife to your husband.  Wouldn't you like him to do the same for you?

"Do to others as you would have them do to you."  Luke 6:31 NIV

See that big smile above?  That's my reward.  I want to know that he smiles because of me (not frowns because of me), I want to know that he is happier for marrying me and that he doesn't regret the decision he made to spend the rest of his life with ME!

Project 3

Project #3
You da’ Man

Spreading Great Gossip About Your Guy

Your Project:
Say something nice about your husband to someone else. Make sure you tell him what you said, and to whom.

 Getting Creative
Who are the important people in your husband’s life? Your kids, his parents, his friends? Be intentional about who you chat with when you brag on him – it’s almost as important as actually doing it.
Having a hard time coming up with something? I still brag on my guy for things he did years ago. He loves when I tell the story of how brilliantly he proposed (there were waterfalls and stuffed portabella mushrooms involved…).
Here are some other areas to think about when crafting your brag:
  • His parenting skills
  • His patience level
  • The way he treats your mom
  • His culinary ability
  • His job
  • His loyalty to you

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How is it going?

O.K.  So how is The Husband Project going?  Were you able to give your man some transitional time yesterday?  My husband played ball with the boys for a little while and then he went and drove his tractor.  When he came in from driving the tractor, I had the table set and supper waiting for him.  I hope he enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed giving him some transitional time.

Do you have your plan for today?  The next project is rekindling an interest in an old hobby of your husband's.  My husband never really had any hobbies, he has always enjoyed farming.  I think I'll pick up a farm magazine for him today and have it waiting for him when he gets home.

Let me know if The Husband Project is working for you.  Is it hard for you to come up with ideas or is it easy?  Does your husband notice?  (Not mine, but it's kind of neat because I feel like I have my own little secret - I wonder when will he catch on?)  Does him noticing (or not noticing) make you want to try harder or just give up?  Well, don't give up.  This is just the beginning.

I know when I first started trying to be extra nice to him (make him feel as special as he really is), I didn't think Frank noticed (he never said anything, he didn't act differently).  After greeting him at the door when he arrived home from work everyday with a kiss for several weeks, I slipped and was pre-occupied with something and didn't kiss him right away.  (Yes, I try to drop everything and kiss him before he either gets in the door or before he has a chance to close the door behind him - but, I'm not perfect and I mess up every now and then.)  He noticed THAT!  He asked if I was o.k., was there anything wrong, and all sorts of questions before I caught on to what he really was trying to ask ('Why didn't I get my routine welcome home kiss today?').  Don't give up ladies, if you think he doesn't notice - he probably does and just isn't saying anything or doesn't know what to say.

Project 2

Project #2Back in the Day

Do Something He Enjoyed Before You Got Married

“Lust is easy.  Love is hard.  Like is most important.”  ~ Carl Reiner

Your Project:

Initiate an activity that your husband used to love. Whether it’s his favorite hobby, sport, or pastime, it’s time for you to get involved – be his buddy today.

Getting Creative
  • Many a man’s hobby has gone by the wayside due to matrimony. Is it possible that it’s time you learned to golf or fly fish? Don’t try to beat him, just join him.
  • Possibly the only thing your husband would enjoy more than playing chess with you is teaching you how to play chess.  Ask for a lesson so he can teach you something that he is an expert at (or really loves). Just your willingness to learn will be a huge boost to your guy.
  • Pick up a magazine about your guy’s now dormant hobby. Ask him questions about why he loves it so much. Learn a couple of technical terms so that you are better able to discuss it.
  • Do a little research. Find out what the definitive website is on your husband’s favorite subject. Maybe there’s an event in town, a lecture to attend, or a game to watch.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Project 1

Project #1

30 Minutes is All it Takes

Create Some Free Time When He Gets Home

“There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”
~Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

Your Project:

Focus on your husbands transitional 30 minutes today. Would he like to be left alone to rest and rejuvenate, or does he want some undivided attention from you? The point is to let your husband know you value what he does out in the world, and that he has a safe loving place to come home and get refreshed at the end of the day.
Getting Creative
There are plenty of reasons why it might not be easy for you to give your husband some transition time at the end of the day. You need to look at what can work for your relationship. Be creative, like the stories listed below. Brainstorm with your friends until you find a situation that will work for you and your guy.
  • My friend, Joann, purposely scheduled her daughter’s dance classes twice a week at the same hour that her husband gets home from work. That way, her hubby comes home to an empty house. He gets some quiet, and she gets a more peaceful man.
  • One husband has his workshop out in the garage. His wife encourages him to go and hang out there for a while before dinner. (Since starting this arrangement, her husband has started helping out with the after-dinner clean up. Nice side benefit.)
  • Crockpots are The Husband Project’s best friend. Set your crockpot to be finished thirty minutes after your husband gets home from work. Let him know that you don’t need anything until dinner is ready. Don’t know a crockpot from a flower pot? Check out the recipes in The Ultimate Guide to Man Food at
  • Does your husband already have a great transition routine after getting home? Find some other little thing to bless that time. Maybe it’s making sure the TV is available, his favorite sweats are clean and ready to be changed into, or there’s a cold soda waiting for him in the fridge. It may be so small that he doesn’t even notice. That’s okay – you’ll know what you did.
    • What if your husband works from home? Maybe the best way to help him relax is to ask what he would like the schedule to be. Does he want dinner before or after he gets some time to recharge? Ask him what would make his night better.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Out of Control - Book Review

The Kincaid Brides Book 1: Out of Control by Mary Connealy

Rafe Kincaid takes care of his family's ranch. He has been in control for quite some time, since a near family tragedy tore his family apart. When Rafe rescues Julia Gilliland from a cave on his land he begins to feel out of control. Rafe soon learns that someone trapped Julia in that cave and he has an overwhelming desire to protect her and find out who did this to her and why.

Juila's innocence and love for nature and fossils intrigues and annoys Rafe. As Julia slowly begins to win Rafe's heart his long lost baby brother shows up and Julia begins to suspect he's the one that trapped her in the cave. Rafe is torn between his feelings for Julia and his brotherly love. How will he be able to choose between the two?

This book is well written and I really enjoyed the story, but it did not leave me with an overwhelming desire to read the other books in the Kincaid Brides series. I wish the author had left a hint at what was going to happen in the next book, something to pique my interest. Over all, it was a good book. If you like Christian romances, I suggest you reading this book.

I received this book for free from Bethany House for this review, but the review and opinions are my own.

Stay Tuned... I have a treat for you.

When I was at MOPS convention this past year, I had the privilege of hearing Kathi Lipp speak and I also took her class, "The Husband Project." She was so funny and I really learned a lot from her.

Starting Monday, April 23 I will be having a 5 Day Husband Project Challenge for you.

After hearing Kathi speak and taking her class I purchased the book, 'The Husband Project' (along with "My Husband is a Hottie' shirt and another book) and immediately read the book and began trying to put her suggestions into practice.

I would like for you to take the 5 day challenge this next week and let me know what you think.

Here's what Kathi says about 'The Husband Project'...

Do you feel like your marriage has gone from "I do" to "What did I do?" Recapture the romance that made you and your husband fall in love in the first place. The Husband Project provides 21 days of fun activities to show love and honor to your husband. Kathi Lipp will help you discover:

Proven ways to return fun and flirting to your marriage.
Inner assurance to meet your husband’s unspoken emotional needs.
Increased confidence when it comes to meeting your husbands sexual needs.
New levels of warmth and tenderness in your relationship.
A deeper sense of security with your husband.
A greater ability to boost your husband’s belief in himself.

Sound interesting?  (It is trust me!)  Join  me on Monday and take the challenge with me.  See you then.

P.S.  If you want to purchase the book and do the whole Husband Project (and I suggest you do - it's fun and your husband will love it) here are some links where you can purchase the book...

Adorable Baby Girl's Outfit

This dress from Orient Expressed was my inspiration piece. I made a dress similar to this one for a baby shower at church and I cannot find the pictures that I took (accidentally deleted maybe?). I loved these colors and I used seersucker fabric.

I believe the fabric that I used, the green was a check pattern (lime green and white) and the purple was a purple and white stripe. I used this pattern from You Can Make This for the dress. The dress was green and white and the ruffled edge and bow tie in the back were the purple and white.

I also used fancy ruffled diaper cover pattern here, also from You Can Make This. On the diaper cover, I made the diaper cover itself from the purple and white and the ruffles were from the green and white. You cannot tell from the picture of my inspiration picture (had I been able to find my pictures - you would have been able to tell), but the back is open in the diaper area. I wanted the green ruffles on the diaper cover to show through the purple ruffles on the open back of the dress.

I really hate that I cannot find my pictures. I was really pleased at how the little outfit turned out. I guess I just need to make another one.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Mercy - A book review

'The Mercy' by Beverly Lewis is the third book in The Rose Trilogy. You can read it alone and understand it and even enjoy it, but after reading 'The Mercy' I wish I had read the first twol books in the trilogy first.

'The Mercy' is a book about two Amish sisters looking to find their way in a world of family and religious customs and a secular world that does not understand or easily accept those customs. The choices that each of the sisters makes could draw them closer together or push them apart.

Will Rose find true love or is it too late for her? Will she be able to live with the consequences of her choices? Did she have anything to do with 'The Silencing' of a family friend and neighbor? Rose's sister, Hen, found true love - but will she have to choose between her family & religion and her one true love? You have to read the book to find out.

This is a sweet book that I thoroughly enjoyed. This is an easy read, not complicated - great book to lift the spirits. I carried the book with me wherever I went.

I received this book for free from Bethany House for this review, but the review and opinions are my own.
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