19 Valentine’s Day date ideas. #love #valentinesday

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Because you love his romantic side. And he loves seeing you smile.
  • After all this time, you are still each other’s favorite person to spend time with.

    So why not use this February 14th as just another reason to spend that time together doing something fun?

    Need some ideas? Here you are!

  • 1. Cook something yummy together

    Find a new recipe you both want to try. Or take a cooking class together. Watching his inner chef come out will be cute. And in the end, you get to enjoy a yummy meal together.

  • 2. Take a dance class

    So your cha-cha might not be the smoothest thing ever. But he thinks it’s cute. Try learning some new dance moves together that you can use at home later on when your favorite song comes on the radio.

  • 3. Visit a farmer’s market

    Pick out some fresh ingredients for salsa, or grab some fresh fruit. Or head to a winter market for squash and jarred goodies.

  • 4. Go on a dinner cruise

    A delicious dinner while surrounded by water and stars – need we say more?

    Or, if this doesn’t fit the budget at the moment, spend the evening planning the details of a future vacation, and then start saving so you can take it.

  • 5. Visit a museum or art gallery

    Pick one that you both think sounds interesting, and see what new things you learn.

  • 6. Go bowling

    Winner gets to pick where you go for dessert.

  • 7. Take a hot air balloon ride

    Unless one of you dislikes heights. You want this to be fun, remember?

  • 8. Re-create your first date

    Take her to the restaurant you first took her to. Talk about when you first met. Reminisce about the little details of that time together.

  • 9. Make s’mores

    And snuggle in a warm blanket under the stars.

  • 10. Go to a play

    Dressing up for a nice evening out can be refreshing and fun for both of you.

  • 11. Visit a new city or town together

    Go exploring and see what cool places you discover. Find an old town to walk around while holding hands, or try a new restaurant you stumble upon.

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  • 12. Make ice cream sundaes

    Go shopping together beforehand to pick out all the toppings. Or grab some root beer and ice cream for root beer floats.

  • 13. Go hiking

    If you go often, go to a new spot you’ve been wanting to try together. Maybe even bring along a picnic.

  • 14. Play tennis

    It’s a date and a great workout all in one.

  • 15. Go swimming

    Find a heated pool or some hot springs or hot tubs and relax.

  • 16. Have a spa night

    Book a couples massage or some facials.

  • 17. Have a perfume/cologne date

    Go out and smell some new fragrances, and then help each other pick one that you both like. You’ll have a cute date and get your Valentine’s Day gifts for each other picked out at the same time.

  • 18. Try a couples yoga class

    Because why not use Valentine’s Day to de-stress, stretch and feel great afterward?

  • 19. Attend a sports game

    A night out with a little cheering while eating good food may be just what you both need.

    Give one of these a try this Valentine’s Day – and then use the others for regular date nights with your spouse, and see how much closer you become.

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Article by  Kelsi Jones
Kelsi graduated with a journalism degree and is passionate about the written word and the power it has to bring more good into the world.

“Oh, How He Loves Us” 


“Oh, How He Loves Us” 

You’ve always heard that we are created in the image of God. But what does that really mean, and why did God create us in His image? When you hear that, you probably are reminded of your worth – that if the God of the universe created you like Him – you are worth something. But it can also be a little scary, because we can get a “God complex,” thinking we are equal with Him because we are made in His image. 
Let’s take a look at the beginning – to see where God fell deeply in love with us. Take a trip with me back to the Garden of Eden. I imagine it must have been the most beautiful sight. Vast with greenery, sprouting with life, and glowing with perfection. It was perfect. God created our world and had us in mind. He knew he wanted to bring us into this world to love in a way our minds cannot fathom. So, He created us in His image. 
The Hebrew meaning of the phrase image of God is imago Dei meaning “image, shadow or likeness of God.” I like to think of us as a snapshot, or a replication of Him. And that’s where it gets tricky because we begin to think we are in charge. We can easily confuse our God-likeness to being gods. God did place us in the highest order of His creations, because we are the only creations made in his image. It’s when we begin to become more like Him that we are truly his image bearers. We will be the most whole when we develop into who God made us to be. 
If this in itself isn’t a beautiful picture of God’s love for us, He gave us an entire love story in His Word. Story after story of His love, His faithfulness and His unrelenting passion for us. When we are ready to realize we are not God, we are of Him and His love for us is deeper than anything we can fully grasp – that’s when we will truly be an imago Dei of Him.
{ Genesis 1  } 

7 things you must do If You Find Drugs in your kids room #momlife

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Drugs in your kids room: 7 things you must do
You are looking through your kids room and run across drugs or alcohol. Disbelief, anger, sadness, there are so many emotions. What should you do?

  • So you’re cleaning your kid’s room after asking them for the seventh time to do it. While you’re doing it, you run across some type of alcohol or drug. You’re shocked at first, and then some denial comes in. Then you’re angry. Figuring out a good way to handle it can be the difference between building a stronger relationship with your child or creating an even bigger rift in your relationship with them. Here are several things to remember when you have to deal with this situation.
  • 1. You are not alone

    Every day, parents all over the world have children that are involved in drugs and alcohol. This doesn’t mean it’s OK, but it does mean you don’t have to go through this challenging, and sometimes uncomfortable, time alone. Alanon family is a great resource for parents who are in the midst of not knowing what to do.

  • 2. Have a plan

    It would be really easy to have a negative knee-jerk reaction to finding drugs or alcohol in your child’s room. There will be any number of emotions you will be feeling, and you may want to take care of the problem right then and there. Yes, this could be a crisis, and it’s not something that will be able to solve itself in the next few hours. It will be wise to have a plan of action. When will you talk? Who will you have present with you? What questions will you need to have answered? If you have these kinds of things mapped out ahead of time, your conversation can go much more smoothly as you approach your kid.

  • 3. Don’t go in angry

    It is completely understandable to be angry about this new information you have just found out about. Yet, trying to let someone know your concern about them in the midst of anger doesn’t usually work well. It especially doesn’t work well if you try to do it with a teen. They hear and feel your anger instead of the actual message. Anger is a secondary emotion. What you are really feeling is something more akin to hurt, sadness, disappointment or loss. Those are the emotions you should talk about.

  • 4. You are in charge

    To some degree, you, as the parent, should be in charge in your child’s life. The fact that you found what you found should let you clearly know that you NEED to stay in charge. Your child is off-course and you need to help him get back on course. The challenge here is if you are off-course yourself. It’s going to be much more difficult to get your child back on track. Part of the reason he could be using drugs is due to something you may or may not be doing. Self-evaluation is going to be important in this process. If you are using illegal drugs and your kid knows it, it will be very difficult for him to listen to you. Make sure you are not doing things that undermine you being in charge.

  • 5. Gather support

    You don’t have to do this alone. Since you are in charge it’s going to be important to gather support around yourself and your kid. This support can take form in a variety of ways. The most immediate way to get support is with a spouse or significant other who can help you. Together you can think of some ways to implement a new plan in the home. Gathering other family members, church members or even close friends can be useful as well. If you absolutely have no one in your vicinity to provide support, then the above link to Alanon can be a starting place to find support.

  • 6. Stay consistent

    Kids need consistency in their lives. This is no different. Once you have a plan and have gathered support you now need to stay consistent. You can’t let things get in the way of your consistency. Things unfortunately may need to be arranged in your life in order to make things work in a consistent manner.

  • 7. Love your kid

    When you had your child, there was no way you imagined she would someday use illegal substances. Instead, you had great hopes and dreams for her. At the core of your relationship with her, there was love. This love caused you to stay up nights with her when she was sick, make her favorite meals, take her to places she loved. This love is what will carry you through now. It will help you stay consistent and do the hard things when it comes to helping your child. Love is simply not an emotion, it’s also an action. You can and must love your child even in the midst of these difficult circumstances.

    The important thing to remember through this process is the value of controlled action and love. While this discovery may offer its share of pain, the end result can be one of hope, recovery and understanding.

 

Dr. David Simonsen

First Day of College #momlife 


FIRST DAY OF COLLEGE

I miss the days when you would just crawl into my arms and my hugs and kisses were all you seemed to need….. I can only hope that we have taught you the most important lessons about life….ethics, morality….if not in words then at least through our actions and deeds.

You will have temptation from every direction, and will need to have the guts to know what is right and not just follow the ‘pack’! If you still have any doubt on how to proceed…..REMEMBER…now that you are 18, you will always be tried as an adult!

There is always someone smarter than you, dumber than you, more confused than you, more secure, less confident, more sensitive, less reserved….and even more dysfunctional! Enjoy the benefits of meeting some, and show compassion for the others. Roles may be reversed next week!

In these upcoming years, don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and work hard for what you want! You have never shied away from hard work…..don’t start now! Believe in yourself and never be afraid to say what you really think or feel. You will be facing adversity……make sure you get up when you are kicked down, holding your head high! Continue to be the loving, caring son/friend I know you to be. Compassion is everything in life!

You have been so focused on who and what you want to be since you were 5 years of age. With the endless possibilities in front of you, don’t be afraid if your goals take a couple of twists and turns. This is only natural and expected. You are surrounded by our love and support.

I am so proud to be your Mom. You are a true gift from God and one of my greatest accomplishments. I cannot wait to see what your future holds, the possibilities are endless.

I Love you ❤

 
Author unknown

What if? What if? 

What if? What if? Have you ever dealt with the what-ifs? Entertaining the what-ifs in your life is the first step to being overtaken with worry. Worry is taking responsibility for things you were never intended to handle. Worry is a lack of trust in the Creator of the universe. Worry says that you can handle it when many times you simply cannot. Are you worried that you worry too much? You don’t defeat worry by worrying about it. You defeat worry by redirecting your concerns to Someone who can actually do something about your situation. It does not mean that you do not take responsibility for the things you are supposed to handle; it just means that you know when you stop and God begins. Worried you don’t know enough about it? Check out what the Bible says!  

5 issues to be addressed in Premarital Counseling

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Planning your wedding is stressful enough, but it’s a piece of buttercream-frosted cake compared to the day-to-day reality of actual marriage.

Indeed, so often couples get caught up with everything involved in prepping for their Big Day and romanticizing the concept of marriage that they forget to (or don’t realize that they should) address all of the less-romantic issues that will inevitably arise when two people commit to sharing their lives together.

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Premarital counseling is an excellent way to confront these issues upfront and establish a stronger, healthier relationship moving into matrimony.

1. Money
Finances are a common cause of contention between those about to be married.

2. Time
Time can also be a big problem in a relationship. One may feel neglected if their partner is often away at work, school or other functions. Conversely, a partner may value their space and wish they could spend more time alone.

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3. In-Laws
When you marry someone, you’re not just marrying them – you’re essentially marrying their family as well. It’s important for you to learn how to get along with the whole family, especially if at this point you’re already on shaky ground. It’s also helpful to establish what sort of boundaries as a couple you will put in place. Some family members may be in the habit of just dropping by for a visit. This may upset your new partner. Also, it would be helpful to discuss how you plan to spend time with both sets of in-laws during holidays.

4. Resolving conflict
All couples disagree sometimes. What’s less important than the frequency of conflict (though frequent fighting is a serious issue that must be addressed, of course) is how a couple reacts to said engagements.

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5. Religion
Again, now is not the time to sweep lingering issues under the rug. Statistically, couples that share the same faith (or lack thereof) are more likely to stay together than those that don’t. If your partner is of a different faith, you need to decide whether this is something that will bother you long-term or not. This can be a critical issue.

Be sure to discuss these critical issues during premarital counseling. Ultimately, it all comes down to honesty and respect.

If you’re able to be honest with your partner and respect their traits and beliefs even when you don’t like or agree with them, and if your partner can do the same, then the future of your marriage looks bright.