Wednesday, February 28, 2007

WFMW - Bananas

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Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.
  • Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.
  • Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
  • Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
  • Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.
  • Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
  • Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
  • Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
  • Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
  • Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
  • Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.
  • Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.
  • PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.
  • Smoking & Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
  • Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.
  • Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!
  • Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.
  • Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
  • Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

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So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

So you see, bananas have as many various uses as vinegar.

Jeana, you can thank me for this contribution later.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What Teachers Make

My sis-in-awe sent this one to me. I thought it was just too incredibly true in spirit to not share. And yes, she is a teacher, thankyouverymuch. No actually, I mean that: Thank you for being a teacher. It really is one of the most necessary, yet unsupported, careers out there. And the same goes to all you other teachers, be it in the workforce or at home. Y'all are heroes in my book.


The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.

One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"

He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." To stress his point he said to another guest, "You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make?" She paused for a second, then began...

"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor. I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 without an ipod or movie rental... You want to know what I make?"

She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.

"I make kids wonder. I make them question. I make them criticize. I make them apologize and mean it. I make them have respect and take responsibility for I teach them to write and then I make them write. I make them read, read, read. I make them show all their work in math. I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity. I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe. I make my students stand to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag because we live in the United States of America.

"Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life."

Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.

"Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant... You want to know what I make? I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make?"


Monday, February 26, 2007

Weekend Recap

Overall, we had a fantastic weekend.

On Friday, we had dinner with a couple of other families from church. We ate some fantastic alfredo and salad, and I brought THE most delicious cheesecake - homemade, full of cream and calories, but worth every single bite! Mmmm, mmmm. We played Pit and chatted up a storm. We also decided that it would be worth finding babysitters for that night. There's something so much more exciting about getting together without having to separate warring toddlers, disciplining over-active and enthusiastic 6 and 7 year olds and putting a crying baby down in a strange bed.

On Saturday, we went to a store that is having a moving sale. We were able to get several things that we needed to prepare our house for putting it on the market in April. Wood, chandelier, light fixture for the master bathroom, paint, etc. It was a huge blessing for us because everything was over half off the price. We're still on the hunt for a double sink vanity that won't cost an arm and a leg, but it was nice to not have to pay so much for some of the things that we needed.

That evening, we had our friends John and Susan over for dinner and another game fest. We played SWAP! and Skipbo; it's great that the kids have matured enough to be able to play with us. Well, the boy was quite a bit tired and emotional by the end of the Skipbo game. He was crying because all the spots that he could play were getting taken. We had a nice little "It's only a game and if you don't get yourself in check, you're going to bed right now" discussion. Thankfully, he listened and pulled himself together. The little nerd... he wound up winning the Skipbo game.

Sunday was our most exciting day. We went to church, watched the end of Lost - I so need Season 2 now... After Life Group (small intimate groups with fellow church members), our friend Brock came over to help us with the wiring for the master bathroom lights. The guys had to get into the space above the garage to look at the wiring in the wall. The next thing I hear is a tumbling sound. About 30 seconds later, Brock came running through the bedroom. I asked jokingly, "Have anyone died in there?"

He said, "Mr. Right just fell through the ceiling."


"Mr. Right just fell through the ceiling."

I was down those stairs so fast. I knew where he had to have landed if he fell through - the garage. I went straight to the garage, opened the door and there was Mr. Right, standing in front of the door, covered with insulation and looking very startled. If it weren't so serious, it would have been laughable. A true sitcom moment...

Turned out that Mr. Right landed in the only "safe" place in the garage - the car hood. Had he been a couple of feet over to the left, he would have landed on the hard concrete floor or between our two cars, cracking a few ribs or knocking his head like a pinball. Had he been a few feet up, he would have landed on some power tools, which could have punctured him in various places. Had he been a few feet down, he would have landed on the middle of the car, denting or crushing the interior part. Had he been a few feet to the right, he would have crashed into shelves and the car. God was with Mr. Right, even in the fall.

There's a big hole that needs to be replaced in the garage ceiling and a couple of good size dents in the hood, but the only thing that matters to me is knowing that Mr. Right is okay. Bruised and scraped and sore all over, but alive and okay.

Thank you God - because I really don't want to have to date all over again; I really don't think that I could be so blessed again.

And yes, we're laughing about it now, but don't worry - we temper that laughter with tears, especially since we just realized our house-preparing list just got a little bit longer.

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Tasty Thursday Carnival

Have you heard? Trista at the Pumpkin Patch is hosting a recipe carnival called Tasty Thursdays. I bet you'll never guess what day of the week it will take place...

Her reason?
Lately I have been in the menu doldrums, cooking the same thing week-after-week or every other week. We are in desperate need of new recipes here at The Pumkin Patch. Before long our tastebuds are gonna go on strike.

If you're in the same conundrum and are looking for a new place to find recipes, then head on over to her place this Thursday. You can share one of your recipes and in turn find several new ones to add to your collection


Friday, February 23, 2007

Installing Husband

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance -- particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5 and then installed undesirable programs such as NFL 5.0, NBA 3.0 and Golf Clubs 4.1. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail. What can I do?

Signed, Desperate

Dear Desperate:

First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an Operating System. Please enter the command: "http: I Thought You Loved Me.HTML" and try to download Tears 6.2 and don't forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5. But remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1. Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources). Also, do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might considerbuying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend Food 3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck,

Tech Support

Have a happy Friday!


Thursday, February 22, 2007


Heavenly Father,

Help me remember that the jerk who cut me off in traffic last night might be a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children. Remind my heart to be grateful for the life that you have portioned to me.

Help me to teach my children in all that I do, be it while giving them a bath; while reading a book together; while singing in the car; while doing the dishes; while conjoling them out of bed in the morning; while playing a game of Phase 10; or while brushing our teeth. Let me use every opportunity to help them to see You more clearly in their lives.

Help me to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly may be a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester. Thank you God for giving me opportunities to make something of myself - as a wife, a mother, an employee and a friend.

Teach me to assume the best in everyone, to not judge a situation in a moment's glance and to see the goodness in ugly situations. Give me a spirit of hope not only in You, but in others too.

Remind me, Lord, that the scary-looking vagabond begging for money in the same spot every day is still a person who holds a bit of You inside of him. Remind me that I am no better than him in any way. "What you have done for one of these..." Help me to do for you as you have done for me without worrying about the money given or how that money will be spent.

Help me to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking my shopping progress might be savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together. Create in me a spirit that appreciates the here and now with my family, not a spirit that is living for tomorrow.

Scrub every bit of envy or jealousy from my heart. Help me not to value things above You. Teach me contentment and gratitude for the blessings that you have so graciously given to me. Let me honor you with all of "my" possessions, knowing that I really own nothing in the whole scheme of things.

Open my eyes to the people around me and give me a nudge (push) when I fail to move. Give me courage to speak or wisdom to remain silent, whatever is called for in the case. And if someone thanks me for any help I may have given, let my lips give You praise and glory.

Take all bitterness and anger from me. Let me not give a foothold such as these to satan. When the temptation to gossip or criticize becomes too strong, fill my mouth with uplifting words. And if I choose to ignore those uplifting words, then create a way to shut my mouth until my tongue can be mastered again.

Help me to see my children as precious gifts to be loved and cherished. Help me to love and to nurture them the way that you love and nurture me when I make a mess of my life, rather than loosing my temper when they make a mess. Give me a servant's heart in serving them, and let it be an honor to your name.

Help me to remember that I have no need to worry about anything. You have promised your protection and provisions. And I know you keep your promises... So teach me to live my life with a full knowledge that I don't have to ponder on what I'll eat or what I'll drink or where I'll live or what I'll wear.

Remind me that your son came to be a sacrifice for all. This includes the drug-addicted, the homeless, the adulturous spouse, the ugly, the beautiful, the depressed, the rich, the poor, the young, the old and the mother who is loosing her mind. Thank you God for that last inclusion...

Heavenly Father, remind me each day that, of all the gifts you give me, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those I hold dear. Open my heart not to just those who are close to me, but to all humanity. Let me be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love. Make less of me and more of you in my heart.


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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

WFMW - Getting Lost

So in case you haven't heard, I'm not a big tv watcher. I just don't get the hype. And if I do find a show that I like, it's usually been on for a few years and I discover it just when it's about to go off the air. Yeah, I'm a trend setter. That's why the Nielsen Media Research people LOVE calling my house to see what we watch. I usually have nothing to contribute...

Until now.

After church, a friend of ours loaned us the first season of Lost. Oh my word... In just 2 days, Mr. Right and I have watched over have of the discs (7 discs, 4 shows on each one). Yes, we have become Lost zombies... and followers. I totally get why Shannon and all the other fans go on and on about this show. It's exciting and mysterious and adventurous. Mr. Right and I have these theories about what is going to happen and who is who and what is going on.

Do I have a tip? Yeah, in here somewhere. I love being able to watch the shows without waiting for the next week. So I guess my tip is to be a slow starter, to listen to all the hype to make sure it is something you want to commit to watching and then borrow the seasons at a time so that you can go full steam on it without having to wait for all the questions.

Oh, and start over a weekend when you can get rid of your kids. You won't want to stop for trivial things like fixing lunches and such.

Does anyone have Season 2 they'd like to let me borrow? The way we're going, I should be able to return it to you in a week.

Head on over to Shannon's for some really worthwhile tips.

And if you have any great comments to share about Lost, remember that I'm only on season one. Please don't give anything away...


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ethan Powell - Prayers Needed

Think you can spare a little prayer time for a cute little fellow?

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Meet Ethan Powell, a handsome 2 month old boy who went in for routine checkup only to find himself in the hospital with leukemia. To learn more about this sweet little man who could really use our prayers, just head to his website.

As an extra encouragement, read Ben Powell's (Ethan's Dad) list of how prayers have blessed them already.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Wendy in Life, Peter Pan At Heart

Does any one else feel as if they're playing the part of the adult?

I'm 35, but I still feel like a kid, muddling my way through the world. I still have all these child-like feelings; and there are times I just don't want to be a grown up.

  • I still worry about others liking me.
  • I still feel inadequate when it comes to style.
  • My hair is just as unimpressive as when I was in high school.
  • I still keep a 'student' state of mind when it comes to completing tasks.
  • I don't want to be picked last.
  • I want to have a slumber party - doing each other's nails, giggling over silly things and talking until I fall asleep.
  • I keep hoping someone else will do the stuff I don't want to do, especially housework.
  • I know I have kids... but I still feel too inept to raise them when I'm still learning so much myself.
  • I still stare at wonder at the man beside me, baffled as to how he chose me. I mean, I actually sleep with a man!
  • I still laugh at the corniest things.
  • I still dream about doing things and having far off adventures.
  • I still wonder if I'm a pain.
  • I want to chase the ice cream man down for a bomb pop.
  • I want to do activities that my body is begging to differ with.
  • I still feel as selfish as I did at 12 years old.
  • Some days, all I want to do is play.
  • Often, all I want are sweets.
  • I want someone to come and tuck me in at night, wrapping me up in a blanket cocoon.
  • I want summer vacation where I can wander free, climb a tree, read a book, play in the mud and come home so that I can dream about doing it all over again tomorrow.

Sometimes, I would love to just be a kid again.

What about you? What would you do if you could be the kid again?

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Meme about Mr. Right

I saw this meme at Peach's place and I stole it to make it my own...

And in honor of this day, the day that Mr. Right proposed to me 15 years ago, I give you a meme about him.

His age: 40

How tall is he: 6' to my 5'2"

How long have you been together (married): 14 years, 7 month, 7 days and 11 hours and change...

How long did you know each other before you got together?: Hmmm... can't really answer that one. I knew him as in saying hi, but I didn't really get to know him until the he made his move and asked me out. But I will say that from the time we started dating to the time we were married was only about 15 months.

What physical features attracted you to him first?: The fact that he was Mr. GQ and still was interested in me- the exact opposite of anything considered fashionable. After I started dating him, I had a large number of ladies who had been trying to get him to date them (individually) for a long time come up to me and asked how I got him to go out with me. (So should I taken that as an insult or was it a nod to my dating prowess? Heck I was just as shocked as they were!

Eye color: Green, like a salty sea

Hair color: Dark brown, but getting more and more speckled with sliver as he gets older (I'm sure I've had nothing to do with that... Really - it's just a coincident!)

Hair style: Short and neat

Normal Outfit: What do you mean by normal? What he wears to work is different than his home time... I'm going with jeans and t-shirt.

How did you meet: Harding University - he saw me across a crowded student center and he knew then that he wanted to get to know me... I, on the other hand, had no idea that he existed except that my good friend was madly in love with him. However, as soon as I became available - oh some 8 months later, he made his intentions known... very known, and he won me over immediately... well, sort of. After we got past the whole "When you know, you know..." comment at the end of our FIRST DATE. Gah! It's a miracle we dated a second time after that scary line.

How serious is it: To the DEATH! Seriously, I'd die for him. Although I hope God's not going to test me on that one...

Are you "in love": In love, in lust, in for life.

Do your parents like him: Yep. They were glad to have someone to take me off their hands.

Do his parents like you: Yes. Although my mother-in-awe says that she would NOT have picked me out for him in a million years. And she did try to pick some dates out for him... (She was a dorm mom and whenever he would come home for a visit , she would have a list of ladies that she would just love to see him take out... So needless to say, when she met me, she told me in the nicest sense possible, "I wouldn't have picked you out for him in a million years."

Do you trust him: With my life.

Would you share a toothbrush with him?: You bet. I know where that mouth has been. :)

Would he let you wear his pants?: I'll kill myself if I can fit into his pants...

Do you have a shirt of his that you sleep in?: Occasionally I'll grab one of his t-shirts as sleepwear. I just like to feel a part of him near me.

Do you like the way he smells?: Yes. And I have to say that great scented man is such turn on for me. I love a man that smells divine. (And I would like to know what wife will answer this on in a negative? "Yep I love him, but he stinks to high heaven. No wait. Maybe I don't want to know after all.)

Can you picture having kids with him?: Well yeah. How else do I explain these two kids running around our house? However, I wouldn't have married him if I couldn't picture that scenario.

What bothers you the most about him?: He can sleep all the time. I mean, he says, "I could use a nap today" after sleeping 10 hours straight. I, on the other hand, sleep much less and must go, Go, GO! for all the stuff that needs to get done. Drives me crazy and it makes me want to slap him... But that's only on the days that the lack of sleep is really catching up to me. Which is basically all the time. Ahem.

Does he have a temper?: Only when I push him into one. You just think I'm all nice and easygoing. Oh - no you don't. I didn't make the Happiest Blog selection for the Share the Love Awards.

Are you happy to be with him?: Completely, perfectly and incandescently happy!

Does he embarrass you in public?: He'd have to be a lot quicker to the punch to embarrass me. I do it very well on my own without his help, thank you very much. And the answer is no.

Does he smoke or do drugs?: Only the occassional stogie... in which I join.

Does he have any piercings?: Just his heart for me and his ear for God

Any tattoos?: Nope. He doesn't need any additional decorating. He's a masterpiece all on his own.

Does he have any scars that you know of?: He has a few mole removal scars.

Is he a Party dude or Stay at home?: Stay at home and party dude is more like it. We like to have friends over to play games and to be ourselves.

Is he Outgoing or Shy?: Reserved upon meeting, but very open and outgoing afterwards.

Does he love his mama?: That was one of the reasons I knew that he would be a good husband. He always talked with respect concerning his parents.

Would he hang out with you and YOUR friends?: Yes, he has and does. Of course it helps that he IS my best friend...

Sing?: Not to anyone else really - except the kids, but I love it when he sings to me - mainly because he can never remember words to songs, so if he took the time to memorize them to sing them to me, it's a big deal.

Feel free to steal it from me if you care to do so, but please let me know when you've posted it as I'd love to read about your man too.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Job Description of a Mom

POSITION: Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy, Momma, Ma

JOB DESCRIPTION: Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an, often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES: The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects . Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be able to fix all problems - be it physical, mental or emotional. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION: Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you. However, some mothers will be fortunate enough to add on to their title - Grandma.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis

WAGES AND COMPENSATION: Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS: While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

Yeah, I still think it's the best job in the world too.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Owner of a Lonely Heart

Owner of a lonely heart
Owner of a lonely heart
Much better than - a
Owner of a broken heart
Owner of a lonely heart

Last night my daughter came into my room asking, "Can I speak with you for a little bit?" Now you have to understand that it was late - way past her bedtime, Mr. Right was already conked out and she had a hint of seriousness about her. I assured her that of course she could talk with me and invited her up into bed.

She sat near me, with tears verging on the edges of her eyes, and she said, "I want to move out of this neighborhood. I don't have any friends around here and people at school won't like you unless you wear expensive stuff or have lots of things." And here the dam of tears broke.

What do you say to a sweet girl who is kind, fun, and amiable, but yet who feels lonely and rejected by those to whom she has reached a friendly hand? Why has she not found a bosom friend to share intimate thoughts, to laugh at the silliness of life, to sound out ideas? Why can others her age not see clearly her value and worth as we who know her do? I believe that my heart as a mother broke at that very fall of tears.

I held her close, wiped away tears and said the only words that would be truthful for me to utter in her moment of need. "I don't know why this all is happening, love. I do know that you're incredibly special and likable." She and I discussed in further details her feelings of loneliness and rejection, her sadness and anger, her frustrations to find a friend who lives close to her so that she could see her (him?) often.

We are preparing to put our house on the market come spring. The "I want to move to a different neighborhood" really wasn't coming from left field. So I said, "I know this won't make everything better at this moment, but can we talk to God about how you're feeling and what you would like to see happen in the future? We can give it to him to fix for us. Let's ask him to move us to a house where there will be a good friend for you and another good friend your brother. Let's ask for friends who will be great for you in friendship and in making great choices in life, someone who loves God like you love God and has the same views about things and people." She nodded and closed her eyes and let me share with God all that I knew her to be feeling. She still sniffled through the prayer, hurting again to hear about her loneliness and feelings of despair, but she seemed to calm a bit when we prayed specifically about her new friend to be.

When the prayer had finished, tears kept falling silently. She wanted to let go of these painful feelings, but she didn't know how to remove her mind from it. I suggested going to her bed so that I could tuck her in again. When I put her in, she asked that I snuggle with her a little while. While we snuggled, I suggested good thoughts to keep the sorrow at bay. I asked her to think about Grandma, her friend Bailey (in another state) and Grandma's garden where she loves to help Grandma take care of all the vegetables. She was asleep in minutes.

I realized that I was completely wrong before when I said to my daughter that praying about the situation wouldn't help immediately. God's comfort was at work before I even finished the last word of the prayer. And, in my opinion, it couldn't come a moment too soon.

May I ask also for your prayers for my lonely girl and for her mother who has a broken heart for her? That's always the best answer to any problem.

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Happy Valentine's Day!

Are you ready for a little Valentine's love?

Here's some flowers.

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Here's some chocolates.

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And click here for your card.

May your day be filled with love, wine, appreciation, chocolate, acceptance and romance... but not necessarily in that order.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Test on a Snow Day

I woke up this morning to new snow, cold wind and another snow day with cancelled schools. All I can say is that God has blessed me with an understanding boss. When I emailed him this morning to make him aware of the snow day circumstances, he told me to go build a snowman. I don't think so... not in this weather.

The one excellent thing about a cancelled school day is that the kids are still excited about being outside... So they want to shovel the snow off the driveway. Bonus! I'll just give them their fill of hot chocolate as payment and we'll be good to go. (I'm watching them right now and my son is putting all the snow in the shovel onto the yet-to-be-shoveled snow. The girl is getting onto him about it, so I'm guessing that he'll change his strategy pretty soon. They'll probably still be out there quite a while by the looks of things.)

Overall it's been your average out of school day. I've managed to yell at the kids at least twice this morning... and it's not even 10 AM. Woo hoo. I'm thinking that I'll make myself take a nap if I don't straighten out here soon...

I'm excited about the time at home. It gives me a chance to read e... I think I'm in for a tearjerker and a praise God festival today.

I read Ender's Game and I have to say that it was pretty good. Very mysterious, very sci-fi, very thought provoking - all this in a young adult read. Not bad. Not bad at all. There was a slight bit of language, but no cursing. Mostly name calling that I could have done without, but not as bad as some I've read. I'd recommend it.

The kids are begging me to come see their snow angels. Love beckons...

I'll leave you with the results of my test. I saw this one at momrn2 and I just had to try my hand at it too.

You know the Bible 100%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

All those late night readings seem to be paying off...

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Another Meme

Chili tagged me, oh, at least a month ago, and I'm finally getting to do this one too. I don't know why but this one kind of frightened me. It seems to SERIOUS... serious is different for me, and sometimes different is good.

  • If you had to choose one vice in exclusion of all others, what would it be? Just one vice, huh? Does eating count? I mean you have to eat, right? So that shouldn't count at all. I should say sex, but that's not really a vice. It's a necessity too. Well, at least for me. SOOO...I would have to pick reading. So that would definitely encompass the reading of books and all things bloggish. Whew. I really didn't see how I could choose between those two.

  • If you could change one specific thing about the world, what would it be? I'd change way that most people view themselves in the most negative, self-demeaning, critical ways. What makes anyone one else any better than you that you must compare yourself to them and find yourself lacking? It's all a lie, people. It's all a lie. (Even supermodels wish that they looked differently than they do.) You're beautiful, people! Beautiful and loved.

Unfortunately, I'm often a combination of the the two...
  • If you could live one day of your life over again, which one would it be? This question verges on the answers from this post... I'll just refer you to it again.

  • If you could go back in history and spend a day with one person, who would it be? I'd go watch Enoch (Gen 5:24). How did he walk with God and what did he do/say/know to have God love him so much that God just took him to be with him? No dying or nuthin'... That's just a beautiful thought.

  • What is one thing you lost, sold or threw away that you wish you had back? For our first anniversary, Mr. Right gave me a pair of diamond earrings. I lost one about a year ago, and I really did cry over them - not because of the cost, but because of what they meant to me. We had no money, but he managed to scrimp enough together so that he could give me something that was special. (And for the record, he got a shirt... that was on sale... I totally got the better end of the deal. But in my defense, he told me, "Let's not spend a lot on gifts." Big dummy...)

  • What is your one most important contribution to this world?

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    Ummm, and I don't mean the dancing... I have yet to figure out how to do anything thing but the "white woman's dance". At least I can say that my kids come by their (lack of) dancing honestly.

  • What is your one hidden talent that nearly no one knows about? Ummm, is anything about me hidden? Let's see... I rock at Catch Phrase... sometimes.

  • What is your most cherished possession? Besides my salvation? It would have to be this:

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    I just love this man!
  • What one person influenced your life the most when growing up? How do you pick just one?! That's just crazy to say that only one person formed your mind, personality, desires... AND I figure if I don't name just one, then you have more than one person to blame for me.

  • What word describes you better than any other? I'd rather have YOU name it for me. (Please be nice.)

Now I tag Lori, Beck, AggieJenn, and Addie because she IS still alive...


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Valetine Short

I received this cute short from Randy Perkins, the author of Herb's First 100 Years and the Book of Truth. It's another truth yet to be remembered...


Friday, February 09, 2007

Write-Away Contest

I originally published this post last June, but I'm bringing it back so that I can submit it for Scribbit's Write-Away contest this month which has the theme of love. Normally I don't submit to any kind of writing contest, but there's chocolate involved, y'all. Alaskan Chocolate to be exact. You know I have to give it a try...


Listen To My Heart

God has been putting something on my heart lately. It's about you, so I thought I would take the time to share it with you. It is not something that most people say, so I hope you won't take it the wrong way. But I hope you will know that it comes from the deepest, remotest part of me.

I love you. Yep, you read that right. I love you.

Yes you, the one sitting at the computer still in this morning's pjs. You who have coffee stains on the front of your shirt. You who are trying to figure out what to make for dinner... I love you all. You are adorable and delightful in my eyes.

Yes you, the one trying to find a moment's peace over the summer break, with kids running everywhere, whose hair is now shorter just from pulling it out.

I love you - the one who really can do all things, be all things to all people, the ones who really know who they are and where they are going. You give me hope that I too can achieve such lofty goals.

You, the one who sits at work, wishing to be somewhere else, I love you.

I especially love you working moms. I know the struggle you face each day of holding two jobs - full time employee and full time mom. It's tough, but you can do it.

You who are rich I love, not because of your money, for that doesn't define you. I love you because you are worth more than gold.

I love you who are poor and I don't mean the charity love, but the love that knows that even though times are tough, you smile and have faith that God will keep you in the palm of your hands.

I love you all. It makes no difference your religious (or lack of religious) background. I love you no matter your race, sex, political view, whether you are straight ot gay, whether you agree with my views or not. You are valued beyond measure to me.

You who are young and think that no one notices you, that you are unimportant - think again. I love you with all of your mistakes, all your growing pains, all your blemishes. (And just for the record, time can help you to forget the mistakes, pains and blemishes. You will be able to look back and see who beautiful you are now.)

I love you who look perfect but feel empty inside. Your beauty runs deeper than your pretty eyes and flawless skin. I love you for the being within you, the precious you that the skin and hair covers.

I love you, the shy one, the one who thinks "Nobody likes me" or "I'm not pretty enough" or "I don't look/act like everyone else." Those are lies that you need to remove from your mind. I like you, I think you're stunning and I'm glad you aren't like everyone else. How boring would that be!

Those who cannot love yourselves? I love you too, for you need to know that you are beautifully and wonderfully made. That it is only in receiving and accepting love that you can ever know true happiness. If you cannot love yourself, then you cannot accept that others find you radiant and cherishable.

Those who are single, I love you. You are so precious to me. Don't think that because no one is bound to you in marriage that you aren't important to others.

For those of you who are married and madly in love with your spouse, I love you. Thank you for the example you give to me.

For those of you who are in marriages that are loveless, please hear that you are loved by me. May you let God rekindle the fire within you that drew you together.

For you single parents, I love and respect your commitment to raise your children without the help of a spouse. Thank you for being such an example of strength.

I love you, you who have had an ugly past, who have made some bad calls, who regret decisions along the way. Those things don't define you. They just are markers that I call experience. I love you despite/because of them. (By the way, no one in this world today has had a perfect past. Please don't let yours keep you from loving and accepting the love of others.)

Unwed mothers, I love you and I praise you for taking the hard road and not the "easy" way out.

Those of you who are longing for children, I love you and pray that God will fill you with peace as you hope for a child of your own.

Those of you who are homeless, I love you. Having no place to lay your head doesn't make you less valuable that the person with one. May others who know you are there, see you and give you a helping hand of kindness.

Those of you who are sick, I love you and pray that your pain will end, that you will be healed, and that you will find comfort in the arms of those caring for you.

I love you my dear sister in Christ who is angry with me for speaking words of love to you. You didn't want to hear them, but that doesn't mean they didn't need to be said. I pray that God will soften your heart and see that you are not being judged, just being loved.

I love you who are struggling with your purpose, your reason for being, you who are wondering if you are important in this life. You are so important! You are so needed! You are loved more than you know, even if you cannot see it right now.

And for those who I have hurt or have not actively shown my love, for those I have judged and found failing, for those who do not equate Shalee with love, please forgive me and let me try again. I am just a struggling, imperfect person who wants so desperately to have a do-over to get it right.

To all of you, and to those who I did not name, I freely give you my heart and ask for you to accept it. You don't have to return your love to me. This is a love with no strings attached, no conditions. It's a gift to you whether you take it or not. If you don't want it, don't worry. It's not a limited, one-time offer. It will be right there if you change you mind.

People just don't take the time to show love - real, honest-to-goodness, you-are-more-important-than-me kind of love anymore. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. It needed to be said... and you really needed to hear it.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Says She

"Why oh why did you choose to listen to that snake, Eve!," says she who is sometimes duped into believing the lies of the world that says she doesn't need God.

"Why oh why did were you so jealous Cain?," says she who looks at the comments on others' blogs and burns with envy.

"Why oh why did you choose not to wait on God's promise, Abram and Sarai, rather than take matters into your own hands with Haggai?," says she who got impatient for God's answers, so she started filling in her own blanks... and failed miserably.

"Why oh why did you play favorites with your children Jacob," says she who last Sunday ignored a smiling, strange face as she walked to her known, comfortable friends.

"Why oh why did you choose Moses to be your mouthpiece, God? He did nothing but challenge your every direction before submitting to serving through Aaron as his spokesperson," says she who said no time and time again when called on to be of service to a sick family, a lonely widow, a deaf person.

"Why oh why did you not kill those stiff-necked Israelites who did nothing but complain when you took them out of slavery," says she who despised her familiar clothes hanging in her closet and looked with embarrassment at her 13-year-old working car, longing for better, newer, flashier things.

"Why oh why did you look on Bathsheba, David, and seek to make her your own when you already owned everything?," says she who looks in lust at her favorite McDreamy actor, wondering briefly what it would be like to be with him, and also smiles meaningfully, beguilingly, invitingly at the cute guy who just passed her by, causing him to do a doubletake in consideration.

"Why oh why did you not wipe Israel off the map when they bowed down to other gods," says she who grasps tightly to her checking account and weekly sits before her favorite tv shows refusing to miss it for any reason.

"Why oh why did you not go to Ninevah the first time when you were called Jonah?," says she who still hasn't asked her willing neighbor to join her next Sunday in going to church.

"Why oh why did you choose such dense disciples when they didn't get you?," says she who has the Word before her, reads it and forgets it before she has left the room.

"Why oh why did you get did you think you had a right to judge that adulterous woman, you Jews?," says she as she gossips with malice over some poor soul's mistake.

"Why oh why did you nail Jesus to the cross, you Jews?! How could you kill the Christ?," says she who continues to persue her selfish desires over and over again, forgetting that she is supposed to nail her sins to the cross... and leave them there.

"Why oh why did you doubt that Jesus was alive, Thomas, when He promised that he would come to life again?, " says she who looks at her life and wonders if God really is there beside her.

"Why oh why did you think you could lie to the Holy Spirit and get away with it, Annanias and Sapphira?," says she who smiles to the world - when in reality she is dead within.

The more things change - the more they stay the same.

"Why oh why do you forgive someone like me, God?", says she who cannot fully understand such love and mercy, but is happy to have it none the less.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

WFMW - Meeting the Needs

The best relationship advice I can give is this: Read His Needs, Her Needs by Willard Harley, both the husband and the wife. And then put his advice into practice.

It's no surprise - men and women have radically different priorities. However, for all our differences in priorities, most men and women want the same thing (other than great sex, sheesh...): satisfying, loving relationships. How can you experience a lifetime of love, fulfillment and intimacy in your marriage? By learning habits that meet the most important emotional needs of yourself and your spouse.

Ignorance often contributes to a couples failure to care for each other. Men tend to try to meet needs that they value and women do the same thing. But their needs are often very different, and they waste effort trying to meet the wrong needs.

The right needs are so strong that when they're not met in marriage, people are tempted to go outside marriage to satisfy them. But aside of the risk of affair, important emotional needs should be met for the sake of care itself. Marriage is a very special relationship. Promises are made to allow a spouse the exclusive right to meet some of these important needs. When they are unmet, it is unfair to the spouse who must go through life without ethical alternatives.

Dr. Harley describes the ten emotional needs of men and women. He helps to identify which are the most important to you and your spouse, helps you communicate them to each other and helps you learn to meet them.

Successful marriages require skill and effort - skill in caring for the one you promised to cherish throughout life and effort to keep going when it gets hard. Good intentions are not enough. His Needs, Her Needs was written to educate you in the care of your spouse. Once you have learned and applied its lessons throughout your marriage, your spouse will find you irresistible, a condition that's essential to a happy and successful marriage.

And if you are a bookaholic like me and if you read so much for pleasure, why not read something that really could improve your marriage as well as your mind? It will be well worth your time.

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Let the Cheap Dating Begin!

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Thanks again to Jules for the great button!

I am so excited about this post, and really it couldn't come at a better time. I was telling Mr. Right all about it and his first words were, "Well, what are we going to do for Valentine's Day?"

I just glared at him and told him to tune into this post on the 6th...

Seriously, I'm NOT planning Valentine's Day. Which means you guys have got to post some good ones to keep us out of Barnes and Nobles... again. I sure do love that bookstore, but after spending 3 years of my life in that store (that includes 3 Christmases, mind you - UGH!), I just want to find other places rekindle the romance...

So here's my ideas.

First, find someone who will trade babysitting with you or who likes to be around your kids. We've several families with whom we trade the sitting task and we have at least 4 non-kid people who will babysit for us out of the kindness of their hearts. I have to say that if it weren't for these people's generosity, we wouldn't be going out because seriously, we can't afford the $20 babysitting fees on top of having a date. So find others who will sit for you or trade sitting services.

If you live in or around a big city, you need to pick up one of these sweet Entertainment books made just for your area.

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The book, when it comes out in November, costs around $27, but if you wait until late December, the price will drop drastically. I got mine for $17. If you get one now, you can get it for $17 PLUS get a $25 restaurant certificate. Man, I knew I should have waited...

The wonderful thing about this book is that although it seems like a lot to pay for a discount book, it's not. The book really pays for itself in the first use or two.

For example: Mr. Right and I love to go to the Japanese teppan restaurants. You know, where they cook the food in front of you, dinner takes at least an hour and it is highly entertaining with the knives twirling, the flaming volcano singes your brows and shrimp is flying towards your mouth so that you can do a famous impression of a seal. But these places are always out of our price range for a date because we can't afford to spend $50 for a date, even a special one.

However, with the buy one meal, get one free deal in the book, we can usually get out under $25 for the both of us. $25 is a lot for us, but it makes those special nights - like Valentine's dates or birthday dates possible.

They have tons of coupons for the "cheap" dates too.

  • Cold Stone Creamery - buy one cone, get one free
  • Baskin Robbins - buy one sundae, get one free
  • Subway - buy one sandwich, get one free
  • Coffee Roaster Cafe - buy one menu item, get one free
  • Donut King - 50% off donut purchase
  • IHOP - Buy one dinner, get one free
  • Korma Sutra - buy one entree, get one free
  • China King - 2-for-1 lunch or dinner
  • Mezzaluna - 2-for-1 dinner up to $16
  • ShoGun Japanese Cuisine - 2-for-1 dinner up to $21
  • The Melting Pot - 20% off the bill up to $25 off

And the best part about this book? Many of the coupons are reprintable online, so you can go back to a place you like time and time again with the discounts.

And the book is not limited to just food. They have coupons for bowling, arcades, skating, museums, symphonies, area sporting events and fun places like lazer tag and putt putt golf courses. You can even send in for discounted movie tickets. It really is a book that gives you a variety of choices in which to partake.

Our problem will be in trying to narrow down to a single place...

So this is how Mr. Right and I are going to stay out of the bookstore for a while... I bought the book as his gift for Valentine's Day, but of course I gave it to him the moment it arrived. We used it on our last date. And a good time was had by all.

So now it's your turn. Sign in and please link the actual post to Mr. Linky, not your blog site.

And thank you in advance from the bottom of my heart for saving us from the bookstore humdrum we seem to have fallen into of late. Both myself and my wallet thank you immensely!


Monday, February 05, 2007

Please Join Me Tomorrow

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Please share your favorite cheap date (or two) with us tomorrow, Tuesday, February 6th. Post it on your blog and share your link with us at my place. I am very, very excited about the ideas to come!
And remember: NO BOOKSTORE BROWSING IDEAS... (please). Be creative, be fun, be cheap. Let's liven up our dating again.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

To The Super Bowl Viewers

First and foremost, I would like to thank Barb for sharing her potato skins recipe. They were a delicious compliment to the exciting Super Bowl game. I, of course, had to add some equally unhealthy sides, so we inhaled some crispy chicken strips and gooey mozarella sticks, all the while washing it down with some raspberry malt beverage for me and real beer for the men. (Blech - I don't even like the Mr. Right's beer snob selections. Give me a cooler, a mixed drink or wine any day.) No matter the outcome of the game, my tummy was completely satisfied...


First to the Bear fans:

I see your misery and I know your pain. Please accept these

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and this as a message from my heart..

To my fellow Colts fans:

Go here to see a small version of me during the game.

It's nice to finally see a ring on Dungy's and Manning's fingers. And what a lovely way to end the football season!


Friday, February 02, 2007

Free Stuff (and Jewelry to boot!)

Just so you know...

5 Minutes for Mom is having a sweet little contest for an adorable piece of jewelry from Alli's Originals. Head on over here to see what all is going on...


My Groundhog Day

Yesterday, I received a call from my daughter's school, telling me that my daughter broke a school record. Woo hoo! I'm nothing if not competitive. Ahem.

Unfortunately, the call was from the school nurse who informed me that my daughter has made it into the school's history book with the highest fever on record.

Bummer. That's not the kind of record you want your kid to break...

I can count on one finger how many times my daughter has been sick from school this year. But alas, no more. She's officially doubled it.

So I did what any good working mom would do. I picked her up, gave her hot and sour soup from her favorite chinese place and we watched Pride and Prejudice (sorry Jeana - it was the new version that the girl has been begging to see. Sometimes you can't reason with sick people.)

This morning I awoke at 5 AM to hear tumultuous coughing which was quickly followed by quick breathing and vomitting of ... well nothing. But let me tell you something, that girl can make something out of nothing. I gave her crackers, gave her more medicine and shoo-ed her back to bed. But of course I was up after that. Sigh.

She awoke again at 7 AM, begging for breakfast because she was "Starving!", so food was in order. So far, everything has stayed down. And the coughing has subsided, thanks to the fine makers of Equate cold and cough, and her fever is running a steady somethingerother because I haven't officially checked it. Just the kiss test. She seems a little warm, but not hot enough on which you could fry an egg. A little Tylenol goes a long way...

I've just tucked her in for a nap (Awww Mom. Do I hafta? I'm in such a good part of this book!) , and I'm quickly trying to catch up on the blogs and around the house. The one good thing about having a sick day where I'm not sick is that I can get some things that really need to be done - done. I still have bedding from Christmas that needs to be officially stored. I have a basement that needs to be tidied. And for the love of all of my family, I did my bi-annual dusting. Be proud. Be very, very proud. I hate dusting with a passion. And some of you know how passionate a person I am.

So Susanne, don't worry if you don't see me around the blogworld. I am okay and doing well. My daughter on the other hand is a different story. Say a little prayer for her to get better, if you would. Poor thing, she is sick so little, she's not sure how to handle it.

And just a reminder in case you missed it: Don't forget about this on Tuesday, February 6th.

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I can't wait to steal see your ideas!

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Let the Ballot Box Stuffing Begin

In addition to creating some fabulous posts for this blogging event, you need to head on over to the Share the Love Voting Polls. This is the 2nd stage voting where this voting will determine the finalists who will then be voted on in the 3rd stage voting so that there will be ultimate winners and a finale. Did you get all that?

Remember to vote for (me) your favorite (Shalee's Diner) blog in each of the categories and share the blogging love. Just head here to start the stuffing...

This should be fun!

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50 Cheap Dates Idea

I don't know about you, but our money for dates is not as copious as it use to be. What with finding a babysitter, going out on the actual date and having enough money left over for trivial things like food or heat is a big deal for us these days. But sometimes I think that heat is overrated, and we go out anyway. My kids can wear 3 sweaters instead of one for the next week and huddle around the oven for warmth while I'm cooking.

So I thought in honor of this month being the month of (insert Barry White's voice here) Luuuuhv, I hearby declare a Cheap Date Blogathon. (And by cheap, I don't mean "He's so cheap he married a skinny girl so he could buy a small wedding ring" type cheap. I mean cheap as in "We may not have money, honey, but we're going to do something that gives us a chance to enjoy each other" type cheap.)

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Thank you ever so much Jules for creating the cutest button! She captured what I wanted without my being able to actually describe it. Creative genius, I'm telling you.

And for the love of all that is good in the world and in our marriages, I must, Must, MUST request that no one post about walking around Barnes & Noble for an hour, sipping coffee. A girl can only stand so much of that kind of date before she wants to throw a book at her spouse. Yes, even a bookaholic like me! I'm talking about dates where you actually reconnect with your spouse, talk with your mate, have fun (!), enjoy the presence of each other and remember why you actually married in the first place. Go wild on your ideas and share some of your past cheap dates, but please keep them cheap and out of a bookstore. (Not that Mr. Right and I suffer from this lack of imagination or anything...)

It's named "50 Cheap Dates" because I would love to see enough ideas here to keep Mr. Right and me out of the bookstore for the entire year, at least for a date. Actually, I'm hoping you can give us enough ideas to last us a couple of years. (Hey, I can dream, can't I?) I understand that cheap is relevant, so just give us an idea of what YOU do when you are looking forward to a date that isn't as expensive as some others on which you may go.

I'll host our ideas on Tuesday, February 6th - which should give me us plenty of time to prepare for a cheap date for Valentine's Day, if need be... not that I'm looking for any ideas to use so soon. We, of course, have our Valentine's date completely planned. And have I told you lately that lying is my only bad habit?

I'll set up a Mr. Linky, and we can share the love ideas that may last me all of us through the year.

Spread the word, steal the button and encourage others to share their ideas on the 6th. Please link back to this post so that others can find out the hows and whys of it all.

And I look forward to reading how you keep the lovin' feeling alive without selling your youngest to make it happen.