Thursday, March 31, 2016

First Marriage Trap--The Time Trap

***Disclosure there are affiliate links in this article. By clicking on them I do earn a commission, or you can just go to whatever website you want and I don't earn anything. Totally up to you!***

I started reading the book Twelve Traps In Today's Marriage and How To Avoid Them by Brent A Barlow. I am going to once a week talk about a trap that he talks about in his book.

The first trap talked about is the time trap. How often do we complain about not having enough time to accomplish everything? Yet we all have the same amount of time in a day or week. We often can find time for the things we want to do the most, the things we value the most.

We worry about spending enough time with the kids. We talk about quality vs quantity. Which is more important? But do we worry about if we are spending enough time with our spouses?

Building a family is not the same as building a marriage. Both require different activities. We need to to strengthen our bond between ourselves and our spouse. We need to spend time together as a couple.

What counts as time together with our spouse? Does watching TV together count? Puttering around the house? Eating meals together? Sleeping at night? Any family outing? Or does it need to be more quality time?

I feel like we need to have time together just the two of us to talk without any distractions. No TV, kids, or cell phones allowed!

We need to spend time talking about more than just the mundane daily tasks and the kids. We need to be able to open up to each other and talk about our feelings, emotions, goals, dreams, and ideas. And we need to talk about each other and our relationship and how to make it stronger.

In the book he has a chart called the time test. Where basically you fill in how many hours a week you spend on various activities. 17 hours a week equates to about 10% of your week.

Most people spend 80% of their week in necessary activities like sleeping, job, household management, eating, child care, etc.

Most people will then spend 15% of the week on individual and recreational activities like sports/hobbies, exercise/healthcare, education/study, church/community, reading, TV, etc.

That leaves 5% to accomplish family activities and activities with our spouses. Granted some of the recreation time is being done with our families or spouses. But is it enough?

Most people will spend less than 2% of their week in marriage maintenance.

Are we as a married couple our own worst enemy? Much like delaying regular car maintenance can seriously ruin our cars, are we ruining our marriage by not doing the regular marriage maintenance necessary to keep it strong?

We demand and expect more of our marriage but the constant daily grind and routine wears us down. We end up losing patience as our expectations aren't met. We end up getting on each others nerves and tempers flare.

Weekly dates are good but what are we doing daily?

We need to take time each day to talk to each other without the kids, TV, or cell phones around as distractions.

We need to give occasional gifts, a weekend getaway, a vacation just the two of you to reconnect and show each other that we care. These things do take time and money but just like regular oil changes cost less than a new engine, these things cost less than a divorce does both financially and emotionally.

If you don't take enough time weekly as couple you will fall into the time trap. A time trap is 2% or less of your week spent as time as a couple. That's 2-3 hours a week or less!

If we can take 20 minutes a day talking we will already be at 2 hours and 3 minutes a week!

We need to use the 3 T's - Time, talk, and touch. When you are using your 20 minutes a day to talk hold hands or have your arms around each other or hug.

By doing the 3 T's everyday you will grow closer as a couple and your marriage will strengthen and your family life will be strengthened.

Twelve Traps in Today's Marriage and How to Avoid Them

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Children's Theater

My daughter's LOVE acting! They love being part of something bigger to entertain others. Sometimes this will get us in trouble as they want to be in multiple things at the same. We are coming to the end of that season, in just a couple weeks we will have a break from 5 different theater things they are involved in down to zero! This is a break that we all need!

One of the projects they are involved in is a Childrens Theater that has been put together by one of the directors they had worked with previously. He always wanted to have a group that would go around perform at different schools in the area. Since we homeschool they are able to be a part of this group.

It is a play called The Fairytale Network. They both play a pig in "The Three Little Pigs" bit, my youngest plays Baby Bear in "Goldilocks And The Three Bears," and they also play the part of moving set pieces or even being set pieces like trees.

They are having a great time!

They have 24 different performances of this one show! At this point there are only three more to go!

And as mom I get to drive them to all performances and rehearsals. And I put together and sewed all of their costumes. As well as do their hair, make sure they are packed, make sure school gets done, that they eat, and stay hydrated. . .As moms behind the scenes there is so much that we do! (Did you catch my little pun there?)

What do your children do that they love that you sacrifice time and possibly money to help them be a part of and achieve their goals?

Friday, March 25, 2016

FREE Kindle Book!

***Disclosure there are affiliate links in this article. By clicking on them I do earn a commission, or you can just go to whatever website you want and I don't earn anything. Totally up to you!***

First I want to apologize for being MIA! I got sick for about a week and a half and have been playing catch up ever since.

My hubby's Counting/Storybook for children is now available for free on Kindle until Monday!  I might be a bit biased, but I think it's extremely cute!

My hubby is super excited because yesterday it got into the TOP 100 on Amazon for free Children's Ebooks!  This really made his day as yesterday was a long day at work and he ended up coming home feeling extremely overwhelmed and discouraged.

If you get the book and have a chance to review it we would be really grateful.  There's some magical number of reviews it needs before Amazon starts taking it seriously!

No need to have a Kindle.  You can get the Kindle App and read it off your phone, tablet, Ipad, or computer!

There's dragons, princesses, knights and more.  There are things to count, to look-and-find, and there's even Easter eggs hidden in some of the illustrations.  Can you find them all?

Full color illustrations are done by Mina Sanwald.

What is your favorite illustration or Easter Egg that you found?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs

This is a play that my daughters wrote and then my oldest directed for her homeschool theatre class as well as a project towards her LDS Young Woman Medallion. Hope you all like it!

Friday, March 4, 2016

My Favorite Easter Candy

***Disclosure there are affiliate links in this article. By clicking on them I do earn a commission, or you can just go to whatever website you want and I don't earn anything. Totally up to you!***

Easter is less than a month away!  Easter has my most favorite candy of all time.  And while I crave it sometimes throughout the year it is probably best that it is available only one time a year or I would have even more problem losing weight and keeping it off.

Please tell me that I am not the only one who LOVES Cadbury Creme Eggs!  I also love See's Butterscotch Squares, which are available year round.

But the difference is I can get Cadbury Creme Eggs pretty much at any store around Easter time.  To get the See's I have to get in the car and specifically drive there.  Getting the See's is a deliberate choice that I make.  And let's be honest my laziness makes buying See's less frequent.

Getting Cadbury Creme Eggs happen a lot more often as my willpower at times is all used up and they're sitting right there calling my name.  Especially when they are at the register!

I even checked Amazon to see if it was cheaper to get that way.  If you want to order some and shatre with me, I won't turn any down!

What is your favorite Easter Candy?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Great Friend!

Some old friends of our that moved were back in town for a visit, well both hubbies were at work, but us wives and our kids got to visit.  It was great to see them even if I was bone tired as I hadn't slept the night before.  The visit was too short but it was better than nothing.

It really hit home that I haven't had a friend like, Shonna, since she moved.  Don't get me wrong I have friends and I know a lot of people but I don't have the relationship I had with any of them like I did with her.

I miss that friendship.  She was the one person I could call when I was super excited about something, and she would celebrate with me. I could call her when I was so mad I wanted to kill someone and she would either talk me down or help plot their demise!  ;)  I could call her when I was so upset and sad, at those times she probably couldn't understand what I was saying as I was crying so hard, but she just listened.  We would talk nearly everyday!

She was the kind of friend that when I pulled both groin muscles, within days of each other, and when she asked what she could do and I said nothing she didn't listen.  Instead she came and got my daughters who at the time were 4 and 5 so I wouldn't have to worry about them.  And then of course we had to laugh hysterically about how I was able to accomplish this fete!

She was the kind of friend who could and would swing by, just because.  And she was the only one I would let in no matter what my house or I looked like.  No pretending I didn't hear the knock.

She's the one who watched my girls during the day when my hubby was at work and I as a leader had to help out at our youth's girl camp for church.  They were only 2 and 3 at the time.

She's also the one who helped out the most when I had my open heart surgery.  Family did help out and my mom flew in from Pennsylvania for a few weeks and my MIL watched the girls the week I was in the hospital, but Shonna was there through all of it helping out wherever she could.

She's the kind of friend I could call up and say let's go get ice cream or a smoothie or whatever.  Anything to get us out of the house for a little bit so we could refocus on our family and our roles when we got back home.

She's the kind of fiend when I didn't have a car and my hubby needed the car himself she would take me to doctor appointments.  And yes, there are always a lot of doctors appointments!

She's the one who was there for me when I was going through my depression.  She's the only person who I could tell exactly what I was feeling and thinking.  And she would listen with no judgement whatsoever.

When we only had one car she would call me up and say hey I'm making a run to Walmart, need to go?  And she would come and get me and the girls with her two kids in tow and off to the store we'd go.

These are just a few examples of what she did for me and how she touched my life.  She was always there.  I hope that I was able to touch her life and help her, even if it's just a portion of what she did for me.

And since she's moved I've been looking for a friend who I can have the same relationship with.  But even after all these years I have yet to find one.  I guess she is one of a kind!

Thanks for being a great friend, Shonna!