Jul 032012

Last weekend, Brian and I celebrated our 22nd anniversary.  I can hardly believe it’s been that long since the day we said “I do.” We have come a long way since then and rarely have we sailed along without any trouble at all.  Yet we’re still a couple, still enjoying each other’s company. I would still rather spend a weekend away with him than do anything else.

I am not any kind of expert; I am just a woman who’s learned along the way, (sometimes the hard way), so I thought I’d share with you:

Top Ten Tips for Staying Happily Married

1)  Divorce is not an option and is never discussed as such.

2)  Learn to forgive, and overlook your spouse’s faults. Standing at the altar, staring into my handsome, kind, soon-to-be husband’s eyes, it was hard for me to imagine I’d ever have to do so.  But I have, many times, and he’s done the same for me.  We are imperfect humans and will mess up often.  God has forgiven me of so much more… I try to remember that when I’m tempted to hold a grudge. Forgiving doesn’t mean he wasn’t wrong; it just means I choose to let it go.

3)  Get on the same page with your finances, and let that be the “stay-out-of debt” page. Nothing sparks an argument like too much month and not enough money!

4)  Never say, “That’s not my job.”  I got tired of nagging my husband to take out the trash, so I started doing it myself, and found I enjoy the little walk outside.  Now I rarely ask him.  I was in his car and put gas in it – and occasionally mow the lawn. He cooks often, and helps straighten up the house when we have company.  I find that a gentle request goes a lot farther than whining about how much I have to do or the fact that “Nobody helps out around here.”  And yes, I learned that one the hard way!

5)  Learn to see the flip side of your spouse’s faults.  Let me explain: Your spouse has a good quality to go with each fault. It is likely these good qualities were some of the things that attracted you to him in the first place. For instance, I love Brian’s laid-back temperament. It balances my more high-strung one perfectly. But sometimes he doesn’t fix things right away or contact one of his design clients whose payment is delinquent. I feel myself getting annoyed, until I remember this lack of aggression is what attracted me to him in the first place! I love my man’s temperament, and wouldn’t trade it. (And, if left alone, he eventually takes care of the problems!)

6)  Date each other. Ok, I admit… we don’t do it every week. We live so far out from town, and often one of us is taking one of the girls somewhere, so in the evenings, the last thing we want to do is go out. However, we do date regularly, and by regularly I mean when we feel the need, which is about twice a month. We don’t spend a lot of money. We do spend time together, laughing, talking about our interests, and trying not to talk about the kids. We were a couple before they came along, and we will be one when they leave the nest.

7)  Do not bring up things that bother or annoy you about his family. Even if he agrees with you, he will take it as a personal insult. Focus on what you like about your in-laws, and remember they are human, too.

8)  Put each other before the children. I remember when I was little, I told my mother I didn’t like something she cooked. She said, “We’re having it because Daddy likes it.” I never forgot this early lesson that Daddy was the most important person in the house to her.

9)  Laugh… at yourself, at your mistakes, at your trials. We all know the verse “A merry heart does good, like medicine.”  (Prov. 17:22)  I have found this to be true, over and over.  In our family, humor helps us enjoy good times and feel better in bad times. Brian and I still laugh together at some of the ridiculous financial mistakes we’ve made. We don’t insult each other, but we do joke about most things. I’d rather laugh than hold onto regrets!

10) When your spouse is down, lift him up. Whether he’s struggling with a particular sin, discouraged, or just out of sorts, be there to encourage him and spend extra time praying for him. He needs you!
Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

~ by Kim, The Daisy Muse

10 Resources for Sibling Harmony

 Posted by on June 26, 2012  4 Responses »
Jun 262012

“Get out of my room!” “Mo – ommm! She’s bothering me!”

I’m reminded of Bill Cosby’s routine, “…down came the informer.” Do you have one of those? We do and I have to admit the information has saved us from disaster a few times. But I also find myself, like Cosby’s wife, sometimes talking to the ceiling. “Do I have to come up there?”

Oh well. Shrug. Sheesh. Siblings! The world would have us believe it is normal for brothers and sisters not to get along. Sibling rivalry is a prerequisite for family life. No way can brothers and sisters be best friends. Are you kidding?

Does that mean parents should just give up? Sigh a heavy sigh and ignore the ugliness because it is normal?

Don’t buy into the lie. Do not lower your standards to match the world’s.

Why not? Because God made families. He designed them. God wants brothers and sisters to be best friends. Remember that we are to be in the world but not of the world. So how in the world is that possible?

Some habits from the archives and from around the web:

1. Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends?

“Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm133:1

Parents must set the standards. Fight the good fight for your family. Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends helps us hit the problem at the source. Allows siblings to see each other in Christ’s love. To become best friends.

Kim linked to this a while ago on littlesanctuary: Help! There’s a bully in my house by Spunky Homeschool. I adore practical and the bathroom is also our work-it-out room. Otherwise, I’d lose my mind playing referee.

2. ATTACH meetings for siblings – “ATTACH stands for Advancing Together Toward Accountability, Christ-likeness, and Harmony. We recommend that older siblings invite their younger siblings to join them for a special snack and one-one-one time.”

3. Sibling Sleepovers“The curly-haired, stuffed dog is tucked under her arm. She opens the linen closet door a crack. Out roll two sleeping bags. With her favorite quilt making a train behind her, she has all she needs for the weekly sleepover. A sibling sleepover.”

4. The Habit of Running Well “The saints that have gone before us are rising from their stadium seats, waving their fists in the air and cheering you on. Lay those thoughts that entangle you aside and finish the race.”

5. Habit of Kindness – the standard for speech – “is it kind? is it necessary?”

6. Divide and Conquer“My oldest boys are 17 months apart. Most of the time  it is an enormous blessing to have them so close. But there are some times when their closeness begins to wear on us all. Whether they are plotting mischief, scuffling over a toy, or just not getting along… there are occasions when it becomes clear that they need some time apart.

7. The Child Training Bible – The Bible is, of course, the best resource. The Child Training Bible helps with topics by tab. Verses at the ready.

8. Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie O’Martian. Prayers for parents to pray for brothers and sisters.

“…Help them to love, value, appreciate, and respect one another so that the God-ordained tie between them cannot be broken…I pray that there be no strain, breach, misunderstanding, arguing, fighting, or separating of ties…”

9. The Doorposts blog – specific encouragement and activity ideas for sibling harmony. We also use these products: The Brother Offended, If-Then, Blessing and Go to the Ant charts, The “Put On” Chart (with paper dolls!)

10. Passionate Purposeful Parenting – so many resources here!

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

**Bonus Top Ten! I invite you over to Hodgepodge where I share A Hodgepodge of FAQ Homeschool Questions

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

~By Tricia, Hodgepodge

Jun 122012

When the children turn twelve the much-anticipated trip with dad becomes a reality. The four oldest have already enjoyed their special trips.The oldest who is now twenty-one went skiing in Colorado the second and fourth born children chose a trip to Disney World. Preacher daddy saves frequent flyer miles to help make these special times happen. To find out about p daddy and our oldest son’s trip you can click on over to his blog and read about how it works and resources we use to help make this trip a special time in their lives.  Kim~littlesanctuary

More resources from Tricia and Steve using Passport to Purity:

Lily Book Series by Nancy Rue

Even more resources:

Thanks to Brandy S. for these entries:

Thanks to Leanne C. for this submission: Beautiful Girlhood

From Kerri:

From Sherri:

Kim A.’s girls found this resource for modesty, purity and being lady-like! Leslie Ludy’s Online Living Room: setapartgirl.com

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

What are your favorite resources in this category?

Jun 012011

I’ll come right out and say it. I just do not understand homeschoolers who do “year round school.” (Although I certainly respect their right to do it!) I NEED A BREAK!!! While mothers with children in school may be saying, “Oh no, three days until summer…the kids will be home all day!” I say, “Oh yes! Three days until summer… no more pencils, no more books, no more”… well, you get the idea.
My brain is frazzled from planning, teaching, keeping schedules together, driving this child to this activity and dropping another one off at another activity…

“Oops, what time did I need to pick you up?”; “Did I pay that bill?”; “It’s three o’clock and I haven’t given you your spelling test yet!”

We will be taking off more than 2 months and enjoying it! But we won’t just be stopping school for a while and replacing it with other activities. Yes, some of my daughters’ lessons will continue through the summer, one will attend camp, and two will continue to work as much as possible, doing housecleaning and babysitting. You won’t, however, find me taking on extra responsibilities or spending large amounts of time finding things to do outside the home. I have enough to do already!

Summer is a time to slow down, relax, and enjoy my family. I am home with my children all day, year-round …but I am also standing over them, telling this one which math problems to do and another one that if she doesn’t finish all her schoolwork and chores she will NOT be attending ballet class tonight, and checking and grading their papers and tests. Just for these couple of months, I will be spending more time “playing” with them. We will get out and enjoy the season!
So, what are my “Top Ten Favorite Things to do in the Summer?” I’m glad you asked: (And please remember, I have all girls! If you have boys, yours will be different. Please comment with your own Top Tens… I’d love to see them!) Continue reading »