Friday, April 30, 2010

Show us Your Life - Saving Money

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

Today we are participating in Kelly's Korner - Show us Your Life - Saving Money.

My husband is so greatful that I LOVE to save money.  Here are a few things that I do....

1. No credit cards.  No exceptions.  This saves us thousands of money each year by not paying interest.

2. Coupons!  I love coupons.  I have learned that you can save hundreds of dollars if you do them correctly.  I've been using coupons for years, but it has just been over the past few months that I have really been using them to their full potential.  You can get so many things for almost nothing by combining coupons and shopping smartly.  I learned most of what I know from Southern Savers.  She is amazing.  She has lists of all of the good deals from the major stores, and the links to all of the coupons that you can print out to save even more money.  You can even print your grocery lists from her site!  CVS has become a wonderful place to save thanks to her help!  You know it's a good deal when the lady checking you out says, "How did you do that?  Can I have that paper???"  haha!

3. Grocery Shopping.  I've started shopping by what is on sale that week, not by what we want to eat that night for dinner.  I try to only grocery shop once a week to keep from impluse buying.  This saves us so much money.  I have a Randalls, HEB and Kroger within a mile of each other, so I usually spend about 2 hours on a Saturday morning hitting each on, list and coupons in hand to get the best deals.  Hubby thinks I'm crazy, but he loves the money that we save.  I do get the side eye from time to time, like when I bought 10 cans of diced tomatos because they were $.10 - but he is learning that I know what I'm doing!  And, I NEVER take him with me.  He costs to much...tee hee!

4. TJ Maxx and Ross.  I have found some great clothing deals at these stores.  I have to be in the mood to hunt - and to wait in a long line...but when I am I usually get some great steals!

5. Budget.  I balance our checkbook each morning.  I am a Dave Ramsey follower, and all of our pennies are accounted for before our check comes in.  We are budgeted out through the rest of the year.  I know it sounds crazy, but planning like that allows us to prepare for expenses like weddings, vacations, homeowner dues, etc. and allows us to save for fun goals that we have too.  I love knowing exactly where our money is going and how it is working for us.

Thank you so much for reading!  If this is your first time here, welcome and thanks for stopping by!

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Prayer Thursday

Welcome to Prayer Thursday! 
Thank you all so much for your prayers this past week!  If we can pray for you, please leave your prayer request in the comments below, or feel free to email me -

Here are our prayer requests for this week -

Praise!  We have been praying for Brianne.  After having her first baby, she was admitted back into the hospital for complications.  She is now home with her family and doing well.  Thank you for your prayers!
Please pray for Mary's Husband.  He has prostate cancer.  Please pray for him and the doctors that care for him.

Please pray for my Mom (Sandy) she got her thyroid test results back, but they are still not sure what the problem is.  They scheduled her biopsy for May 10th.

Please pray for my sweet friend Jackie.  She is pregnant with quadruplits!  You can read about her journey here.

Praise!  My coworker Wendy was treated for her skin cancer - and they are confident that they got all of it!  Thank you for praying!

Please pray for my Daddy's (Jerry) job search and that his good spirits continue.

Please pray for Curtis and Amanda.  Curtis' appendix burst and he is in the hospital.

Please pray for my Grandparents, Ed & Helen.  They are having some health troubles, and my grandmother seems like she is suffering from depression. 

Please pray for little Jed Harper.  You can read about his story here.  What a beautiful family turning their sweet son's health over to God.  They are truly inspiring.

Please pray for baby Cohen and his parents.  You can read their story here.

Please pray for my friend Pam's daughter, Julie, and her husband.  They are moving across the country, and looking for new jobs!  Please pray for their move and their job searches.

I have been following Lianna's blog for a few months now, and she just seems like the sweetest girl in the whole world!  She and her husband are waiting for God to bless them with a child.  You can read about them here.

Thank you so very much for all of your prayers!  Please let me know if we can pray for you!

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 18

Good morning Ladies!  I cannot believe that it is already Thursday!  I feel like the weeks are going by more and more quickly.  I was telling hubby last night that I am so scared because time is going by so fast!  I have made a decision - no more wishing the weekdays away for the weekends.  I am wishing my life away waiting for Saturday and Sunday!  I am going to try to start enjoying the week more - life is just too short!  Do you find yourself wishing the weekdays away too?

Here is Day 18 of our challenge -

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Proverbs 9:10

Are you a wise woman?  Do you open your mouth with wisdom, as Proverbs 31:26 suggests?  As you continue in your 30-day challenge, remember that a wise woman encourages her husband.

Is your husband a "wise man"?  Does he have a godly perspective that comes from knowing God and walking with Him in obedience?  Does he have a sense of purpose for his life and vision for your home?  Tell him how much this means to you.

If you are not sure about your husband's vision for your home, ask him, "Honey, what do you want to accomplish with our marriage and home in the years to come?" and "How can I hope you accomplish that?"

If he does not have a vision, your questions may inspire him to develop one.

If your husband is not walking with God--or perhaps, does not know the Lord--you have the opportunity and responsibility to practice your faith and create a thirst for God.  Thank God for giving your husband a place in his heart that only He can fill, and keep praying that he will turn to the Lord to fill that vaccum!

Today's reading really made me think.  I have no idea what hubby's vision for our life and home is.  I mean, I know he wants us to have a Godly home, a happy marriage, and a family (someday), but I don't really know what his "vision" for all of that is.  I don't know if he knows.  I'm looking forward to asking him this tonight.  I'm interested to see what he says.  Usually when I ask him heavy questions like this, I get the side eye and a look that says "What am I supposed to say to you - I don't understand what is going on.  Why is she asking me these questions?".  Then, a few days later, after he has marinated over the question...I usually get a good thoughtful answer out of the blue.  So, don't expect anything soon, but I'll share his response with you when I get it : )

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 17

Here is Day 17 of our challenge!

"And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him."  Genesis 2:18

God says that it is not good for man to be alone.  But the way some women criticize their mates, their husbands may long for solitude.  Be careful today not to criticize your mate, but look for ways to encourage him personally and publicly.

Speaking of communication, does your husband communicate with you?  God has made you a companion and helper for your husband, and part of being "one flesh" with him is the privilege of sharing and discussing personal needs and concerns.  Thank God for that wonderful gift.  Thank your husband for communicating with you.

If your spouse does not communicate as you wish, look for ways that he communicates that are normal for him--smiling at you, nodding his head, even a pleasant "grunt!"--and then thank him for letting you know that he cards.  Perhaps he needs to be lovingly taught how to communicate.  Be patient with him...and listen when he does speak.

Something I have learned over this first year of marriage is communication is HARD.  And, very important.  This part of our reading today  makes me laugh - "If your spouse does not communicate as you wish..."  Really??!!!  Does any woman ever think that he husband communicates with her perfectly and just like she wants him to??  If so, don't tell me, I don't want to know.  That will never be my world.  Men and women are just wired differently.  We need want to hear all kinds of things, and our poor husbands have no clue.  Hubby spent the first few months of our marriage telling me, "Babe, I am dumb when it comes to you.  I have no idea what I am supposed to say to you and when.  You have to tell me.  Please."  This made me so upset - I thought, he isn't dumb, I know I married a wonderful, smart man, why isn't he trying?  Well, he was, and still is.  And, he is getting better.  They don't know what we want them to say, and they certainly do not know exactly when they are supposed to say it.  They can't read our minds - and that's okay.  I can't read his (although I do think that it is easier to figure out than mine) and he doesn't expect me to.  We are a work in progress : )

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 16

Today is the most beautiful day - clear skies, 74 seems like such a waste to be spending it here in my cube at work! 

Here is Day 16 of our challenge -

"Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

Sometimes we live so close to our spouse that we fail to see him as other do; we only see our husband's faults.

Take a step back.  Perhaps he is growing spiritually in ways you have failed to appreciate.  How can you encourage his growth in a fresh, new way?  Remember--your husband is accountable to God for his spiritual development.  You are accountable to God to encourage and not hinder that growth.

Can you identify an area of spiritual strength in your husband?  Does he pray or read his Bible regularly?  Does he like to read about or discuss spiritual matters?  Does he go to church with you?  Is he a spiritual leader?  What do others say about him?  If you can identify a specific area, praise him for that.

If not, pray earnestly that God will work in his heart, and watch for signs of spiritual growth in the future.

Monday, April 26, 2010

We Made It!!!

This weekend, Jeff and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary!  Jeff planned the event himself, and did perfect!  I haven't felt so special since our wedding day!

I knew we were going somewhere to spend the night, but I didn't know where.  I am so excited when we drove up to the Hotel ZaZa!  For those of you that haven't been, GO.  The hotel is so modern and beautiful - and the staff is amazing.  We were greeted with a glass of champagne in the lobby, and they upgraded our room because we were celebrating our anniversary.  I brought a cookie cake for Jeff as a surprise.  He doesn't really like cake, so I surprised him with a cookie cake in addition to his groom's cake on our wedding day.  So, I thought it was only fitting that he have one on our first anniversary too.

After we got settled into our room, Jeff took me to the spa where he had a couples massage scheduled.  Ahh...bliss!  Our massages were incredible, and just what we needed to relax and feel indulged. 

These pictures came out really blurry...and it makes me so sad.  Does anyone know how to make pictures less blurry?  I have no skills in this department : )  I know if it can be done, one of you smart ladies will know how to do it!

Then, we got ready for dinner at Shula's Steakhouse.  I have been wanting to try it for a couple of years, and for those of you that don't know Shula was the coach of the Miami Dolphins.  Our food was incredible!  We had crab cakes that were to die for, bbq shrimp, steak and lobster.   MMmmmm.....SO GOOD.  Then we enjoyed a drink at the bar before heading back to the ZaZa.  It was such a wonderful night!

The steak menu is on this football, how fun is that?!

On Sunday, we headed home, and met some of our favorite friends for our neighborhood golf club's crawfish boil!  Hubby loves crawfish, and I love patios.  We got a special treat, one of my dearest college friends, Sarah, brought her new boyfriend that lives in New York for his first crawfish boil!  We really enjoyed getting to know Tom better!

Sarah & Tom

Greg & Lindsey

Josh & Kim

Me & Hubby

What a perfect weekend.  I am so very blessed.  I know I'm biased, but I'm pretty sure my husband is the most amazing man ever!

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 15

Happy Monday Ladies!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  We did - we celebrated our first wedding anniversary!  It was an amazing weekend!  I'll post pics and details tonight : )

Here we are, at the half way mark of our challenge!  Day 15 -

"Let your speech always be with grace." Colossians 4:6a

Focus today on how you represent your husband in your home, your church, and your community.  In this challenge to encourage, ask: "If everything my family and friends knew about my husband came from a filter of what I've said about him, what would they think of my husband?"  Do you need to change that filter? 

Do you speak positively about your husband to toher, or do you complain and criticize?  Your speech should reflect 1 Corinthians 13 love.  Your words should be kind, and should never "rejoice in iniquity" v. 6.  Refrain from listing your husband's faults to ohers.  Satan likes to trick us in this area; be wary of sharing barbed "prayer requests".

Remember, "Love will cover a multitude of sins" 1 Peter 4:8b.  Present your husband before others today in a strong, positive manner.  Slip in a "good word" for your spouse.  Resist the urge to correct or belittle him in front of others.  Some of what you say may come back to him, and you want yoour words to be sweet, building him up and never tearing him down.

Don't forget: you are always criticizing--or encouraging--before an audience.  God hears your conversations when you are alone with your husband in your own house.  May your speech always be seasoned with grace.

While you are considering how your speech can reflect the grace of the Lord in your husband's life, don't forget that your words can also encourage others.  When you share what God is doing in your life through this 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge, others will be blessed.  Perhaps other wives will be moved to take up this challenge!

I view hubby and I as a team against the world sometimes.  There are plenty of people and situations out there in the world that make each of us feel badly or inadequate - I don't want us to make each other feel that way!  We are each other's rocks, building each other up and providing encouragement.  Now, we are not perfect, and we have learned many, many things over this first year of marriage about each other that we are not totally thrilled with (ie. leaving the toilet seat up (hubby), putting damp towels in the hamper (me), etc. etc.) and we have said not nice things, but we are working on it and getting better.  I always want my husband to think of me as a woman filled with grace and love.  I hope he does : )

Friday, April 23, 2010

Show us Your Life - How you met your husband

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner
Today we are participating in Kelly's Korner's Show Us Your Life. Today's topic is how you met your spouse.

At this time in my life, I had just graduated from college, and broken up with my college sweetheart, who ended up being a not nice guy.  Not at all.  He did some very bad things, and I was pretty certain that I wouldn't date anyone EVER AGAIN!  So dramatic for my little 23 year old self, I know, I know.  I decided that boys were trouble, and that I was perfectly happy spending time with my girlfriends, working, and visiting my family in Dallas as much as I could.  Life was great.  And then....

Hubby and I both worked for a rental car company right out of college. Hard job, long hours - but we both learned so much there. Anyway, my manager, whom became one of my dearest friends, was engaged to her college sweetheart, and, like all soon to be married girls, wanted everyone else to be getting married too. So, she had worked with Jeff before, and was telling me all about him and him all about me. I wasn't really interested in meeting anyone, I had an ugly break-up about a year prior and was not really interested in going through any of that again. But, to humor Julie, I agreed to meet him. He had a house on the other side of Houston, and she arranged for a BBQ there so we could meet. I bailed that morning. I just didn't want to go, it felt like too much pressure and I really, truly was not interested. She dropped the subject and was not thrilled with me, but she wasn't done scheming!

At the rental car branch that I managed, I did everything - including washing the cars (I know, the horrors!) I worked alone at my office, ran around there all day, and rarely took a lunch, so I was skin and bones. Literally, right under 100 lbs at 5'7. Yuck. Anyway, on this particular day, my clothes were huge (falling off really), I had ripped my blazer, and I had been rained on all day, so my naturally curly hair was HUGE! (what my husband now refers to as my 80's hair). Julie asked me to meet her for queso and margaritas. Of course I said yes! So, imagine my surprise when I arrived and a really cute boy was there with her. I was not pleased - but what can you do? Hubby now jokes that he knew I had "potential" even though I looked like a homeless person by that point in the day - ha! Turns out, he had come to a happy hour that I was at about a month prior, and he hid at the bar because he was scared to introduce himself. Silly boy. Well, that night at Ninfas was the start of a great friendship. Julie arranged many more of these meetings, with future hubby's encouragement. 6 months later, we finally kissed, and we have been together ever since.

After 3 years of dating, Jeff proposed on New Year's Eve.  It was a wonderful moment that I will never, ever forget! 

This weekend, we will celebrate our first wedding anniversay - I am so blessed and thankful to God for sending me this wonderful man!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Prayer Thursday

Happy Thursday!  Has your week gone as fast as mine has?  I cannot believe it's almost over.  This weekend is our first wedding anniversary - I cannot believe it has already been a whole year!  The older I get, the more quickly time seems to go by!

Today is Prayer Thursday.  Below is a list of prayer requests.  Please continue to pray for these requests, I know everyone appreciates it very much!  Can we pray for you?  Please leave a note in the comments or feel free to email me -

Please pray for Brianne.  She had her first baby two weeks ago, and has been admitted back into the hospital for complications.

Please pray for Mary's Husband.  He has prostate cancer.  Please pray for him and the doctors that care for him.

Please pray for my Mom (Sandy) she has had some thyroid problems and we are waiting on the test results.

Please pray for my sweet friend Jackie.  She is pregnant with quadruplits!  You can read about her journey here.

My coworker Wendy is being treated for her skin cancer this week. Please pray for her and her doctors.

Please pray for my Daddy's (Jerry) job search and that his good spirits continue.

Please pray for a blog friend, Emily.  Her husband lost his grandmother yesterday.

Please pray for Curtis and Amanda.  Curtis' appendix burst and he is in the hospital.

Thank you so very much for all of your prayers!  Please let me know if we can pray for you!

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 14

We are moving right along with our challenge!  Here is Day 14 -

"The righteous man walks in his integrity."  Proverbs 20:7a

Every week there are news reports about men who gave in to temptations and compromised what they say they believed.  We hear countless reports about dishonest business dealings, hidden infidelity, and hypocritical leaders.  It's so easy to focus on these things and ignore those who are being honest, faithful, and genuine.  As you continue in the "30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge", determine to llok for ways that your husband stands against the culture.

Is your spouse a man of integrity?  Is he fair in his dealings with people?  Does he understand the meaning of justice?  Is he honest in business?  unhypocritical in his faith?  consider all the ways a man can live in integrity, and praise your husband for one of them.

As you have the opportunity--as it is appropriate--share examples of your husband's honesty and integrity with others.

My Daddy is a good man.  A very good man.  He has the upmost integrity - and is always honest.  I always knew that I needed a man that I respected as much as I do him.  Well, God gave me one in my husband.  He is very respectful to others, always does the right thing (even when I don't want to sometimes - ha!) and is considerate of other people's feelings.  He doesn't lie, cheat or steal, (just like an Aggie!) and carries himself with integrity in his business - just like my Daddy.  I am so thankful that he has such strong faith and values.  He makes me a better person!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 13

Day 13 of our challenge -

"I am my beloved's and his desire is toward me." Song of Solomon 7:10

The sexual relationship.  It's one of those elements--along with money and children--that can derail a marriage through negative comments.  Negativity destroys intimacy but encouragement builds and strengthens the marriage bond.

Let's get practical here.  Is your husband a "good lover?"  Have you told him so?  Be specific.  Let him know when he pleases you.  Most husbands genuinely want to please their wives, especially in this important area of marriage.

In moments of intimacy, do you find your mind wandering?  This can change as you focus on something wonderful about your husband.  Realize that your husband wants intimacy with you.  His desire is toward you.

Does this area of your marriage need some work?  Remember that this is a sensitive area for men.  Be sure to encourage his lovemaking and masculinity in positive ways.

Wordless Wednesday

How adorable is this face?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 12

Hi Ladies!  Welcome to Day 12 of our challenge!

Day 12 -

"With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love." Ephesians 4:2

Part of the difficulty you may face as you continue in this 30-day challenge is that you really are struggling to find positive things to praise your husband for.  Perhaps the problem is not with your husband.  Have you checked your own heart?

Sometimes we get disillusioned because of our own unreasonable or unrealistic expectations (Proverbs 13:12).  It may not be that our mates are doing something wrong; it's simply that we expect too much in some areas.

Our expectations must be met in God alone, and then we will have the right perspective to ask God for the healing and grace we need to respond to others.

How sad that we give more grace to ohers than to those in our own homes.  Today, try to look at your husband through eyes of grace.  Verbally thank your husband for what he is already doing.

I love this thought of self reflection.  I'm not going to lie, our first year of marriage has had some challenges.  I think of those women that say, marriage is wonderful and perfect - I wouldn't change anything!  I usually do not believe them.  I'm sure it happens sometimes, and I think our marriage is wonderful and I feel so blessed to have found my hubby, but we are not perfect - neither one of us is!  A few months ago, I decided that I was going to stop trying to get hubby to act like I wanted him to in certain situations.  I decided that I needed to pray for God to change my heart, to make me more understanding and happy with the way that our relationship was.  Nothing is wrong with our relationship, but I think it's pretty common for newlyweds to have some expectations about how their married life will be, and they don't always come true : )  Since I started praying this, I have felt so much more peaceful and understanding towards my husband.  God is so great!  Moral of my story - I needed to look at my heart and accept things for what they are.  We can't always live in a fairy tale.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Our First Married Easter

We had such a wonderful Easter!  We headed to Port O Connor to spend the weekend with Pappa and Daddy.  Pappa's house is my favorite place to spend Easter!
 On Saturday, Daddy took us to Sunday beach.  I spent weeks of my childhood on this beach.  I have such fond memories of this place.  As you can see, Bandit really enjoyed himself!  Not only did we catch him eating seashells, but he tried to eat hermit crabs too!
I was shocked - but he swam all over that ocean!  I think he was looking for more hermit crabs - haha!
Bandit, Daddy and Me
I took the hermit crab away - he would stop at nothing to get them!
Both of the Baptist Churches in Port O Connor get together each Easter Sunday and hold a sunrise service on the beach.  It is so beautiful!  The above pic is of the choir.  They are amazing!  My Pappa is second from the left.
They had the biggest turn out ever this year!  Pappa was so proud.  He has organized this service for as long as I can remember!
What a beautiful morning.  So peaceful.
I had to share a couple of pictures of Pappa's roses.  They were just so full and beautiful!
Our first Easter picture.
I hope you had a happy Easter too!

Poor Little Bandit...

My little heart is broken for our pomeranian, Bandit.  We noticed that he has been itching, itching itching, but gathered that it was the time of year for allergies and his are always terrible in the Spring.  Until Friday morning.  While I was loving on him, I noticed that his little skin on his back was raw and bleeding.  I felt (and still feel) so terrible!  What kind of a doggie mother am I???  Obviously a terrible one that doesn't notice her poor doggie is suffering : (  So, I did what any other doggie mom would do, I cried and called the vet.  I made an appointment for him at 5:45 that evening, and tearfully left for work.  After spending a hefty chunk of change and almost two hours at the vet, Bandit now has some gross cream, a cone, and two strips shaved on his little back.  He looks pitiful.  And he is NOT HAPPY.

Hubby and I are exhausted.  Is this what it feels like to have a baby?  Bandit doesn't sleep, he just wanders around with his cone at night and runs into things.  I take his cone off as much as I can during the he can have a little relief and eat and drink.  But, if you don't watch him for a second, he is back to scratching and biting at his "hot spots" as the vet so thoughtfully referred to them.  I was cleaning the house on Sunday, and Bandit was sitting on the couch with the Mr.  I asked him, babe, could you please watch him while I change the sheets and put the laundry away?  Sure.  15 minutes later, I go to check on Bandit (on the couch with his daddy), and I see that his hot spots are raw a bleeding again.  Hubby is FIRED from watching the dog.  Really, 15 minutes???!!!  So, two whole days of recovery lost.  Very frusterating.

We have to watch him go potty, because if we take our eyes off of him for just a second, he scratches.  This morning, in my robe, I let him out to potty.  It rained in Houston all day yesterday, and one side of our yard pools with water when it's this wet.  Bandit went straight to the side of the yard and started rolling in the water.  Soaking.Wet.Doggie.  Then, when I ran for him, the little stinker ran all the way around the side of the house and dove into the water - nice.  So I had to carry him in, soaking wet, with grass, dirt and water half way up my legs.  Even nicer.  After I dried him off, fed him special expensive food, and tried to get him to drink some water, the cone was back on and I was attempting to get ready for work.  It's about 5:45 by this point of my morning.  Then, I dropped my orange juice on the bathroom counter and rug.  Lovely.  It's a wonder I made it to work today.  After I finished cleaning up my mess, and putting the bathroom rug in the washer, I look over and Bandit is on the bed, rolling around.  Great.  Now there is gross cream and blood on our brand new comforter.  Hubby is just thrilled.  I don't think it will fit in our washer, so I'm not quite sure what I am going to do with it...I guess a visit to the dry cleaner is in order.

If this is what it is like to have a baby - I AM NOT READY.  I'm so sad because little Bandit is sad and miserable, and I'm tired.  Just plain tired.  Two full weeks of this cone is going to be a trial.  Yes, I know things could be so much worse, and I'm very blessed and grateful that they are not, but MAN - this is not easy!

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 11

Today's lesson is one that I have learned through our first year of marriage.  RESPECT.  Men need respect like women need love.  Every eye roll, sarcastic comment, or action of the like shows hubby that I don't respect him.  I tend to have the attitude that I survived for 25 years of my life just fine doing things my way, and that your way may might be fine, but mine is better.  Yeah, that doesn't work when you are a wifey.  Unless you have a very submissive husband, I guess.  I am learning that even when I know he's wrong, that if I go along with him, he will eventually realize (but not always admit) that I was right.  It's something that I work on each day :)  Anyway, here is our lesson -

Day 11 -

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord" Ephesians 5:22

Women who are constantly negative toward their husbands-especially by speaking evil of them to others-show great disrespect.  Determine not to do that today (or ever!).  This challenge to encourage is closely connected to submission.

Men respond to women who respect them.  What do you respect about your husband?  Part of that respect includes submission to his authority.  Let your husband know how respecting him makes it easier to submit to his leadership.  Show your respect in public by listening to him and smiling to him when he speaks.  Place your hand in his as you walk together.

If you feel there is nothing to respect, search harder...nearly every man has some core characteristic that can be nutured and respected.  In any case, you must still cultivate a submissive spirit to his position of leadership..."as to the Lord".

Friday, April 16, 2010

Show us Your Life - Teacher Gifts!

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner
Today we are participating in Kelly's Korner - Show us Your Life.  Our topic?  Teacher gifts!  I am not a teacher, and I do not have any children, but I do have a little sister that teaches and quite a few teacher friends.  The general response seems to be that they love gift cards!  When my sister started teaching, I got her all kinds of cute things with her initials and "Miss Adams" on them for her.  Check out these cutie things I found from Mud Pie.
These are insulated tumblers, perfect for water or for those teachers that love diet coke!
These insulated lunch totes are just the cutest thing ever.  And, since most teachers that I know bring their lunches, it would surely get used.  I think they are adorable!
These little noteblocks are adorable - I want to order one for my desk!

I can't wait to see all the cute gift ideas linked to Kelly's Blog!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 10

Hi Ladies!  Here goes Day 10.  I really like this one...and I think Hubby will too!

Day 10 -

"Behold, you are handsome, my beloved!  Yes, pleasant!" Song og Solomon 1:16a

We all crave appreciation.  We want to know that we are valued and loved.  Early love letters probably reflected your admiration of your husband, but if you're not careful, your spouse will forget why you were drawn to him.  If you still have any of your old love letter, re-read them for clues to deepen your current level of appreciation for your spouse.

When we spend time criticizing our husbands, we lose time that could be spent admirning them.  As you consider various ways to encourage your husband, ask, "How can I admire him?"

Does your husband know that you think he is attractive?  What was one of the characteristics in your husband that first drew you to him?  Was it a physical characteristic, or something else?

Was it his gentle, compassionate eyes?  Kindness or concern for others?  An easy-going confidence?  A steadiness that comes from trusting the Lord?  Strength of character in a culture that lacks integrity?  Do you see at least a glimpse of that characteristic in him today?  Whatever it is, tell him!

Prayer Thursday

Good morning Ladies!

It's time for Prayer Thursday!

If there is something that we can pray for, please let us know in the comments below, or feel free to email me -

Thank you for your prayers!

*Please pray for Brandy's Mom, Lety.  She just had surgery and we are praying that her breast cancer is gone!

*Kim is pregnant and concerned with her ultrasound results.  Please pray for her baby and her family.

*Brianne just had her beautiful baby girl!  Please pray for her new family.

*Mary's husband just found out that he has prostate cancer.  Please keep them in your prayers.

*My Mom (Sandy) had her thyroid test this morning, and should get her results back tomorrow morning.  Please pray for an easy fix and no cancer!

*My sweet friend from high school, Jackie, is pregnant with quadruplits!  Please pray for her family and these little babies!

*My coworker, Wendy, has skin cancer.  Please continue to pray for her and her course of treatment.

*My Daddy (Jerry) is still looking for the perfect job.  His spirits are great, which I am so thankful for.  Please pray for this to continue and for the perfect job for him!

*My Grandmother, Helen is depressed.  She has had some health problems and is suffering from depression and loneliness.  Please pray for her.

*My parents are traveling to Alabama to visit my Grandparents and Aunt.  Please pray for a safe trip and return for the next week.

Please let us know if we can pray for you!  I hope you are having a wonderful week!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 9

Day 9 -

"Be swift to hear, slow to speak...." James 1:19b

We are often so busy speaking that we don't take time to listen.  We are so quick to offer a comment-negative or positive-that we don't really "hear" our husband's heart.  Remember, we have two ears and only one mouth.  We need to listen more!

As you continue in your 30-day challenge, hear the Lord's admonition: "Be swift to hear".

If listening is a real problem for you, play a game with yourself.  See if you can listen to your husband for one whole day, only speaking when asked a question.  If your husband notices a difference, explain that you are learning to listen more--not only to God, but also to him.

One easy way to express admiration for your husband is to ask a question about something he enjoys, and then listen to his response.  If it's an area of personal familiarity, keep asking questions until you learn something you didn't know, then tell him, "Wow, I didn't know that!"

Hmm...this one is a little hard for me.  I listen to my husband, really I do.  But he talks A LOT.  Much more than the average guy.  He has a lot to say about a lot of things.  I am guilty of zoning out when he tells me a million stats or reasons that a player should be traded, or how a car works and why this new exciting expensive part that he wants for it will make our lives better.  I try, really, I do.  I don't know how I feel about the whole not saying anything for a whole day unless I'm asked.  I know that's the challenge, but I don't think I'm totally comfortable with that.  My husband loves me because I have ideas and opinions, and *most* of the time he is interested in them.  I make an effort not to bore him to death with gossip about work, or my friends, or my trip to the nail place, grocery store, etc.  I will try to listen better today, but this not talking unless spoken to is just not for me.  If you are going to give it a go - good luck!

I do have a useful piece of advice that we learned in our Nearly Wed class though - if you are in a conversation and all you can think about when the other person is talking is what you are going to say next - or that you wish they would stop talking so you can talk - you are NOT being a good listener and you need to stop, regroup, and listen to what they are saying.  We learned that it's okay to say, "I am so sorry, I missed part of what you said.  Could you please start over?".  This is said often in our house.  We try to practice this on a regular basis : )

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 8

Hi Ladies!  I hope you are enjoying this challenge as much as I am.  Or should I say, my hubby is.  He has been so sweet and kind lately, and I can only attribute it to my kinder words and encouragement.  I hope you are having the same results!

Day 8 -

How are you doing with the "30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge"?  In case you've forgotten, here's the challenge:

*You can't say anything negative about your your husband, or to anyone else.
*Say something that you admire or appreciate about your your husband and to someone else.

"But who can find a faithful man?" Proverbs 20:6b

Faithfulness is a wonderful but rare quality, especially in regard to marriage.  Do you understand how important this quality is?  Your challenge is to continue to root out all negative speaking, and plant seeds of encouragement instead.  You may be amazed at what will grow.

Contemporary culture often entices men to be unfaithful to their wedding vows and spiritual commitments.  Appreciate your husband's faithfulness--how he is loyal to you.  let him know that you are glad he has "stick-to-it-iveness" in your marriage.  Appreciate his faithfulness to God.

If you have an unfaithful husband, this is a difficult area for you.  Pray, speak the truth in love, remain faithful yourself, and discover ways to encourage faithfulness in your mate.  The Bible says that husbands may "be won by the conduct of their wives" 1 Peter 3:1b.  You may also want to seek counsel from a mature, godly individual couple.

I know that our marriage is new, but I am so very lucky that I have never questioned hubby's faithfulness to me.  I need to tell him how much I appreciate this and how fortunate that I feel to have found such a wonderful man.  I am looking forward to sharing that with him.  My parents are now in their early 50s, and more than a few of their friends are going through divorce due to unfaithful husbands.  I cannot imagine what that would feel like, and I am determined to do everything I can to keep our marriage in a wonderful, Godly place.  I can see how letting hubby know how much I appreciate his faithfulness and trust would nuture that part of our marriage. 


For those of you that do not know me or my family personally, you have probably never heard of Heartlight.  Heartlight is a Ministry for troubled teens.  We are confident that they saved my little sister's life about 7 years ago.  Without going into the long story, she got into some bad situations and a terrible crowd, and we had no idea that she was suffering from Bi-Polar disorder.
After many heartbreaking months of running away, drugs, and times that we thought we may lose her, my parents made the difficult decision to send her to Heartlight.  I am pretty sure that my parents would tell you that was the hardest decision that they ever had to make.  And, the best one. 
Heartlight is now something that is so near and dear to our hearts.  My little sister has turned into such an amazing young woman.  She graduated from college last year with a Math degree and her teaching certificate.  She is teaching math at a community college and has found her calling.  I tear up even as I write this.  She has come so far and I am so, so proud of her.  We attribute her change of heart to God's Work at Heartlight.
Each year, Hearlight travels the US to raise money to help families that cannot afford to send their children there.  It is an all encompassing facility that includes highschool programs, ministries, rehab, and counseling for these teens that have lost their way.  If you are ever looking for a charity to donate to, I can vouch that Heartlight is a very worthy cause.  If you know a family that has a struggling teen, please send them the website.  Mark & Jan Gregston are the founders, and are just amazing people.  Mark has a daily radio program, and tons of literature for parents.  He holds seminars and will take the time to speak with parents, offering them support.
Here are a few pictures of our family from the charity dinner in Dallas this year.
My family.  How blessed are we?  I'm so thankful.

My little sister and Mark Gregston.  My, they have come a long way! : )  She was his success story at the dinner this year.  I couldn't be more proud.  I can only imagine how my parents feel!

Monday, April 12, 2010

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 7

I don't know about you, but I missed doing our challenge this weekend!  We had such a busy weekend, we went to Dallas, bought Jeff's hobby car (he is SO excited!) went to a charity dinner with my parents, drove back to Houston to make it to Jeff's sister's wedding shower, and then spent yesterday cleaning, doing yardwork, and helping Jeff's Mom with some things.  Whew - I need a break from the weekend!  I hope yours was wonderful!

Day 7 -

"Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease!  For riches certainly make themselves wings" Proverbs 23:4, 5b

"That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries"  Proverbs 8:21

Money is the root of much marital discord.  Ask yourself, "Am I being negative toward my husband in the area of finances?"  Determine not to speak evil of your husband in this area.  Discover ways to encourage and help him instead.

Does your husband handle finances wisely?  Does he make good financial investments, based on biblical principles?  Does he have a budget?  Does he make wise decisions about purchaes - checking many sources before he buys?  Is he a good steward of his money before the Lord?  Let him know how much you appreciate his strengths in financial matters. 

If he is weak in this area, encourage any good decisions that he does make.  Perhaps you can help him, if he's open to the idea, by organizing financial files or providing other practical assistance.  Or, if he wants you to handle the finances, ask for his input before you make decisions that will affect him.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Prayer Thursday

I feel like I have come across so many people lately that need prayers.  I always try to keep a little running lists of prayer requests in my head, on my desk, at get the idea.  I thought it would be wonderful to have a list of prayer requests posted each Thursday in the hopes that we can get more people praying for those in need.  What do you ladies think?  If you have any prayer requests you would like me to post - please feel free to email me -, or post them in the comments below.  I'll start us off with a few -

My coworker, Wendy.  She just found out that she has skin cancer, and is trying to make a decision between two doctors with different treatment options.  Please pray for her healing, and her decision.

My Daddy.  He lost his job of over 30 years last month, and is looking for a great fit.  This is a blessing in a way, he has been working out everyday, losing weight, and is off of his cholesteral medication!  Please pray that God presents the perfect opportunity for him, and that he continues to be so positive during his search.

Our President and Congress.  I try not to get too political on this blog, but I think that they NEED our prayers.  I pray for them daily, that they will seek God's guidance while making their decisions.

My Mom.  She has a growth on her thyroid, and will be undergoing tests next Wednesday and Thursday.  Please pray for her doctors and great results!

Can I pray for you?  Please let me know!

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 6

"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" 1 Corinthians 10:31b

Do you recognize and appreciate your husband's creativity? Or do you criticize and demean his efforts? Instead of negativity, determine to be positive. Perhaps you can help your husband see that his efforts are an opportunity to glorify God.

Is your husband the "creative" type? Does he have any artistic gifts? What is that special "knack" he has? Affirm him for his handiwork - a hobby, music, gardening, tinkering with cars, working with wood, etc. Remember: Even if he doesn't measure up to your standards, praise his efforts. If your budget allows, buy him a book or magazine that will continue to encourage his special skill or talent.

If you have a hard time finding his "creative side" understand that men's creativity sometimes is related to their work. Find something he does to make his job run more smoothly or something he does that adds value to his work, and let him know that you have noticed.

Make his day - Praise his accomplishments in public, while he is listening.

Hubby LOVES cars. I mean loves. He gets a few magazines delivered to the house each month, and reads through them immediately. His dream has always been to have a hobby car to race and mess with. Until a few months ago, I have not been really, truly supportive of this dream. Well, I'm finally invested. He has no hobbies. None. He doesn't hunt, fish, garden, play sports...nothing. So, when he told me he found a hobby car that he wanted to buy, I was less than thrilled. I mean, we do just fine, but do we really NEED three cars? Doesn't make sense on paper, not at all. But, after thinking it over, he deserves this. He deserves something to look forward to doing, that makes him happy. So, we are off to North Texas this weekend to check out what he thinks is the perfect hobby car. Wish us luck!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easy Dinner - Turkey Stroganoff

So, last night when we got back into town...hubby washed my car and I planted our new flowers. I was determined not to go to the store to get something to make for dinner, so I improvised and found something new and yummy!

Turkey Stroganoff

1 lb ground turkey
1/2 white onion, diced
1 can reduced fat cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup skim milk
8 oz egg noodles

Brown turkey in a large skillet with diced onions.
Boil egg noodles in large pot of water.
Pour cream of mushroom soup and milk into turkey and onions.
Simmer until desired consistency, and season to your taste. I seasoned with garlic salt, pepper and seasoned salt.
Serve mixture over egg noodles and enjoy!

We made this with some canned french green beans and a piece of toasted bread. Yummy and not too bad for you! It made enough for dinner last night, my lunch today, and another dinner this week! Wow!


30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 5

Morning Ladies!

I LOVE day 5 of this challenge. It is something that we keep in mind in our home and marriage.

"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Ephesians 4:29

Another way to describe the positive side of this "30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge" is by using the word "edify", which means, "to build up". Negative comments only discourage and tear down. Positive comments encourage and build.

Do you edify your husband before others, adding to his value in their eyes? This is especially important with other family members.

Do you praise your husband to his relatives, and yours? Does your husband's mother know how much you love him? How about your dad? Perhaps you can drop a word of praise into a conversation or letter. Be creative in letting your relatives know that you respect your husband, love him, and support him - in spite of whatever flaws and weaknesses he may have.

This is right in line with what we learned in our Nearly Wed class that we took at The Met when we were engaged. The urged us to not speak ill about one another to our families. I know it's so easy to vent to your Mom, (who, if you are like me, is your best friend and advice giver), but it is really not fair to our husbands or our families. When you have a disagreement with your spouse - you make up. You say you are sorry, you hug it out, or do nice things for one another to resolve the argument. Even if you call your family and tell them that everything is fine, they do not get to experience the feelings associated with this "making up" process. They will usually become defensive of you, or for you, and will hold this situation with them. Eventually, many of these situations will build up and it will damage their relationship with your spouse. It's not fair for your spouse to have to make up with you mom or dad for something that was between the two of you. And, it's not fair for your family to have all these weird defensive feelings associated with your spouse. We take this to heart and do not share our disagreements with our families. Of course, if there is abuse, emotional or otherwise, that is an entirely different situation. Just remember - you will forgive your spouse and move on. Your family does not always have this opportunity.

In regards to making sure that your husband's family knows how much you love and respect him - remember that they raised him. They made him the man that he is today. He probably has some strong traits that they both possess - good or bad. When you speak ill of him to them, it is an attack on how they raised their son, and sometimes an attack on their personality traits as well. Just something to keep in mind before you go venting to your in laws : )

And remember, you Chose him - faults and all!

Okay, I'm off my soap box. Sorry for the long detail : )

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 4

Good morning Ladies! I hope you week has started off wonderfully! Welcome to day 4 of our challenge.

"Let him labor, working with his hands what is good..." Ephesians 4:28b

We are all accountable for the things we say, both negative and positive words. Have you embraced the challenge to speak only positive things to your husband and to others about him? Here's a suggestion that touches the core of your husband's world.

Some women take their husband's career for granted, and they show it in many ways. Do you "dump" on your husband at the end of the workday, or do you strengthen and encourage him with your words? A wise wife will make her husband feel that she values and appreciates his work. Let him know that you are glad he is a hard worker. Take opportunities to praise his diligence and resourcefulness to others.

I've learned that hubby's happiness is directly related to his work performance. If he is having a great month, he is a happy guy. If he is worried about meeting his sales goal - he is stressed, crabby and not so happy. My Daddy gave me wonderful advice when hubby started his sales job almost 2 years ago. He told me to ask about his day each evening. Don't offer advice, but listen and offer encouragement. He said that outside sales is stressful, and full of rejection. After a hard day, it is so important to have positive reinforcement and praise. I've taken this to heart, and I do this each evening, even if we are upset with each other. Usually, by the time we have these little talks about his day, we forget what was such a big deal. In turn, me asking him about his day usually triggers him to ask about mine, which is really nice. We usually have these conversations over dinner, or on the phone on the way home from work. It's nice.

If your husband is out of work, unable to work, or refuses to work, you'll need to be more creative. Praise him for a character quality that you see in him that would be a vital part of a successful career - such as persistence, decisiveness, strength, an analytical mind, organizational skills, good with people, good listener, determination, etc.

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge - Day 3

Good morning Ladies!

I hope you had a wonderful Easter Weekend!

Welcome to Day 3 of our Husband Encouragement Challenge

"Love suffers long, and is kind" 1 Corinthians 13:4a

"My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:19
This verse speaks so much to me right now, after thinking of God giving us His only Son to die for our sins. I am overcome with emotion thinking of the sacrifice he made just for us!

Love indeed suffers long and is kind. As you consider this challenge, determine today that you will not say anything negative to or about your husband. Speak kindly to him with words of genuine encouragement.

If your husband is considerate of your needs, let him know that you have noticed. Thank him for his kindness and considerations. Thank the Lord that your husband knows how to be both tough and tender.

Sometimes it's difficult for a man to be gentle, kind, or tender-especially if he hasn't had role models in these areas. If he's not a considerate person, appeal to him for help without complaining. Let him know that it's hard for you to handle some things alone. Then, when he moves in to help, don't insist that he do it your way. Be glad that he is responding, and express your gratitude.

Ultimately, you can't expect your husband to make you feel more secure or loved. Remember that only God can meet the deepest needs of your heart.
This is so true. There are times that I feel hubby doesn't give me enough attention, and I have to catch myself and remember that he is not soley responsible for my happiness. As soon as I recognize this and turn it over to God, I feel so much better. I'm trying to get better at this - I'm still (and probably always will be) a work in progress : )

Friday, April 2, 2010

Show us Your Life - Organization Tips!

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

Today's Show us your life at Kelly's Korner is Organization Tips!

If you don't already know, my hubby is OCD about things being neat and in their correct place. Something could be covered in dust and dirt, but as long as it is "where is belongs" he couldn't care less! That being said, I have become uber organized since we got married : )

My most organized item is our finances. I have us budgeted out pretty much to the penny throughout September of this year. I know, it sounds crazy, but this way we are able to save for the things we want to do, and don't have any unexpected things like birthday gifts, weddings, baby showers, etc. It works out great. I keep a spreadsheet that I use as our checkbook that I update every morning. It keeps me grounded and I always know exactly what we can afford, where our money is going, and how much we are saving.

My bathroom is the next most organized thing. I have baskets for everything! My stuff that I use on a regular basis lives in one basket, and my make-up lives in another. I pull these baskets out each morning when I get out of the shower, and empty out the products that I will use that day. Then, I put them back as I use them. After I'm done getting ready, I put both baskets back under the sink, and volia! a clutter free bathroom! I also have two other baskets with stuff that I don't use all the time, special lotions, perfumes, hair products...etc. These live in the closet and I rummage through them when I am looking for something.

My closet also hosts a parade of baskets. I have a basket for everything! Bracelets, Necklaces, Belts, Scarves, Pins, name it, it gets a basket! I guess you could call me a basket lady - ha ha!