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4 Ways You Can Tell Your Spouse You Love Them With Technology

With so many different things going on in the day that steal your attention, being sure you show the one you love how you feel about them can be a difficult thing. Sometimes, we think we have to make a big to-do to communicate our love for our spouse or dating relationship.

I have found that the simple and small things that my husband does for me shows me just how much he thinks about me in the day. With the use of all the different technological outlets that have media sharing capabilities, there are many creative things you can do to show your spouse that you are thinking about them.

But First Let Me Take a Selfie

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I’m going to write about how you can use technology to enhance your marriage and dating relationships, but first let me take a selfie. 🙂 That is right, send your significant other a picture of yourself holding a message. You can make your message anything you choose. In the picture above, I held a sign that says, “I love you”.

I have also taken pictures of my children with messages that say, “I miss you”, and sent them to friends that have moved away from us. There is no way for me to be with  my husband and the ones I love all day long, but this is a simple way for me to connect with him.

Being an artist, I have found it to be a lot of fun to take pictures and run them through filters. Anytime I can take a picture that represents my feelings, then I am happy.

Facebook Flirting

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Now, I know I recently published an article about how Facebook was negatively affecting my relationships. I ended that article by saying that it has served a great purpose in my life at furthering relationships once I figured out how to use it positively.

You can easily show your love for in your dating relationships and marriage through a simple post on your loved one’s wall. I posted the above picture on my husband’s wall recently. It is actually a picture I took myself with a heart shaped strawberry that was given to me.

Again, the artist in me came out in this picture, and I’m sure I took entirely too long setting it up to capture the picture I chose to use. However, Austin dearly appreciated my thoughts about him. Being a tech guy, he always enjoys when I reach out to him through technological venues.

Snapchat Disapearing Act

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If you haven’t heard of Snapchat, it is an app that has an innovative picture based function. For one thing, you can draw on your pictures like I have done with the picture above. When you take a picture, it doesn’t automatically store the picture to your device.

I have personally found this to be very convenient for many reasons. For one thing, I have my phone automatically set to upload all of my pictures and my husband receives a notification on his phone of everything I snap a picture of. It is virtually impossible to surprise him with a photograph anymore for this very reason.

With Snapchat, I can take a picture and send it to him without him seeing it ahead of time. Another great thing that I love about Snapchat is that it gives me the freedom to take pointless pictures that I do not want saved forever. If I see something that is funny in the moment, but won’t be next week, taking a  picture that won’t be stored in my gallery is perfect.

Another feature with Snapchat, is that the receiver can only see the picture for no more than 10 seconds after they open it. I find that these features are perfect for everyday connecting in my marriage.

Written Words

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Of course you always have the option to send your significant other an email, text, or pull them up in a chat window. You do not have to write a long letter to tell your husband or wife that you care for them.

If you are the letter writing type like I am, you can certainly make a lengthy note. Normally, just simple words of encouragement will go a long way with your loved ones. You can do this with friends as well as in romantic relationships and dating.

Not everyone is in a job where using cell phones, social media, or email is encouraged. If your loved one doesn’t work in a job where receiving digital communications during the day is a good idea, this may not be the best way to show your love. However, if your significant other can receive the occasional text or digital correspondence, then have fun using these ideas to show them how much you care.

What ways do you show your spouse that you are thinking about them? Let me know in the comments section.

If you liked this post, check out the one I wrote:

3 Ways to Encourage Your Spouse

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Confessions: How Facebook Was Negatively Affecting My Relationships

Long before the Facebook experiment was let out of the bag, I began to realize that this form of social media was seriously effecting all of my relationships in a negative way. In light of the recent news of how Facebook has been feeding negative status updates to select groups of individuals to see how they would respond, I feel even better about the decisions I have made in regards to my interactions on this social media outlet.

Several months ago, I had already begun to disconnect from staying glued to my feed. There were many things that the time of detoxing from Facebook taught me. 

The Positive Years
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I’m not a very tech savvy individual, and every single technological advance that comes along, takes me a while to get on board with. Facebook was certainly no exception to this rule. In fact, for a long time, I never wanted to have a Facebook account. My husband convinced me that I needed an account to connect better with teenagers. I think he was absolutely right, at the time, this was their main source of communication and ways of relating with each other.

The teenage crowd unabashedly shared every thought and feeling they ever had out in the public domain. In more ways than one, Facebook played instrumental and vital roles in the success of our ministry. I do not regret my decision for being on this social media platform. 

Not only was this platform a great outlet for me to connect with my students, it was a wonderful tool for me to get back in touch with people that I knew from my hometown. There is a whole world of friends that I have access to because I am on this giant social network.

I’d unlock entire communities of people that I once lived near and spent hours catching up with old friends, family, and acquaintances. This seemed to be such a positive thing in my life while I sought to make connections and friendships in the town I was living. 

How Facebook Negatively Impacted my Relationships
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Like many people, I became too busy to get on Facebook regularly. My writing load became intense, I was in the midst of homeschooling two children, and housework was piling up on me everywhere. In absence of reading everyone’s status updates and having brief chat conversations, I was beginning to feel very disconnected.

I was caught up in my own world of to-do lists and expectations. During the time that I was unintentionally detoxing from social media, I had no idea how beneficial it was for my attitude to no longer be reading statuses.

Then it Became Negative 

One day, after several months of not being able to check out what was going on in everyone else’s lives, I had the chance to slow down and read updates for a while. I was absolutely shocked at how discontent I became while reading what was going on in everyone’s day.

You must know that I have over 500 friends, all of which I know in real life. When you have this number of friends, at any given time, 4 or 5 of them are bound to be on vacation somewhere exciting. At least 2 or 3 of them are doing something exceptionally fun and creative with their children. Swipe after swipe on my phone, I saw a never ending feed of people that were so much happier than me.

Never mind the hundreds of my friends that were going about their daily lives, just like I was doing. All I could think was, here I am, buried in work and chores, and all of my friends are happy and excited with life. That is when it hit me, that reading updates had a negative impact on my relationships.

All of these people that are my “friends” were making me so jealous with their lives. Events that I should have rejoiced in with these people I care about, actually made me feel discontent with my own life. When you are feeling dissatisfied, it affects all of your relationships with: spouse, children, friends, God, and anyone in your area of influence.

The Facebook Experiment glasses-on-1204276-m

Now that the cat is out of the bag in regards to the Facebook experiment that was being done on 700,000 users, it is not wonder that this social media giant was wrecking me in more ways than one. I’m not sure if I was part of this experiment or not, but I know that many of my friends had to be.

I cannot tell you how many of the people I knew, that seemed perfectly happy, would post some of the most negative status updates. It was very disturbing to me to see these types of posts come from people that had never sounded like that in person. Seeing a mix of negative comments wedged in with cruises to the Bahamas and fun days at the beach, it is no wonder I was an emotional wreck from reading updates.

To read more about this controversial experiment, go here. 

How I Handle Facebook Now

I’m not one of those individuals that is choosing to exit Facebook now that it is out in the open regarding their experiment. While I don’t agree with what they have done, this social media platform has been a huge help to me in the past, and will be in the future.

Now that I know the pitfalls that reading status updates can bring for me, I am much more guarded in my interactions. Whenever I am reading along and feel that the posts are making me discontent or jealous, I stop reading. Not only that, I limit myself to how much time I get on this outlet each day. I’m not in a position to abandon all of my interactions on Facebook, but I can certainly limit the exposure.
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Probably the biggest change that I have made in regards to my interactions on this platform is limiting what I choose to post. It is so easy to make yourself look like something you are not, even it if it unintentional, on social media. If I have had a good day and want to share it with someone, I text or call a friend.

I don’t have to put it on an update that I took the kids to the park, that my best friends in the world came to see me, or I am headed out of town, or that I hate doing laundry. If I want to share my day with people, it needs to be with people that have a relationship with me outside of my status updates. While I know there is no way for me to eliminate jealousy others may feel about my internet life, I do what I can to not add to the misconceptions. 

Figure Out How This Media is Affecting You

question-mark-1279316-m Now is the time for you to ask yourself how social media is affecting you and all of your relationships. Are you that person that spends hours on Pinterest just dreaming of a beautiful home or the ability to make fantastic crafts like all those other perfect people?

Do you feel like your life is unexciting compared to all of the fun things your friends are doing? If you aren’t sure how social media is affecting you, then it is a good idea to intentionally detox from it for a while. I don’t personally advocate making a huge status update on your media outlet of choice, that you are abandoning ship for a while. Instead, just quietly slink away for a bit.

You might not even notice the effect these platforms have on you until you get reconnected after several weeks of being away. I just encourage you to try it out for the sake of your relationships. When you get back on, then you will know exactly how to guard yourself against future pitfalls.

What Percentage of Marriages are Unhappy

“Do you think a high percentage of married couples are unhappy?”, that is a question that I heard discussed on a talk show the other day. The individual that was answering the questions in the interview told the hosts that when she asks this question to random people, normally the answer is that only somewhere around 30% of married couples are happy. However, according to a study that this individual conducted, she stated that at least 80% of married people are actually happy in their relationships. I’m not certain if this study is accurate or not, but there does seem to be a big discrepancy across the board when looking at studies as to whether or not married couples are happy or not.

 

Giving up Before You Get Started

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Some people have given up on marriage before it has even gotten started. There are many people who choose to draw up pre-nuptial agreements for that very reason. A great many couples deciede to never get married, but to just live together because they have the idea that very few married couples are happy. If this study is actually true, then there are a great many more couples that are happy to be together then many people realize. Strained and failing marriages make for great sitcoms and movie story lines, but in real life, they are not funny at all. Just because it is portrayed on television that relationships are one way, doesn’t mean that they are true for everyone. Take a look around at the couples that you know, and ask them honestly if they are happy. Not everyone will give you a straight answer, but you might find that through your own inquisition that more people are happily married than are not; or maybe you’ll see that the couples around you are indeed unhappy.

 

What Does it Mean to Be Happy in Marriage

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I think that for everyone, the definition of happy has a different meaning. What I think happiness feels like, or looks like, might not be what comes to your mind when you think about happiness. In your own marriage, it is important that you have real expectations of what it means to be happy with your spouse. There will be days when you and your spouse will fight, but does that mean you don’t have a happy marriage? How many fights does it take for you to no longer have a happy marriage? You can’t keep from having difficult days with your husband or wife, but that doesn’t mean that you are unhappy in your marriage. Even if you are unhappy for a period of time, it also doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy in your marriage one day.

 

Weathering the Storm

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If you are in a  relationship where you don’t feel happy, it is important that you take on a mindset that you will weather the storms of life with your significant other. There will be difficult times that come in your relationship and you will either be determined to see the storm through, or you will give up. Taking on the attitude that you won’t give up, even when times are difficult is the key to success in making it through difficult times with your spouse. Just like any other hard situation in your life, it will pass. You won’t be stuck in the middle of frustrations forever. There will be times when you are upset with your circumstances, but you can make up your mind to stick it out until they change.

 

Happier on the Other Side

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Shared experiences are what brings us closer in relationship with anyone, especially if it is through a difficult experience. There is just something about going through a hard time with someone, and then coming out on the other side being so much closer than you were before. If you are having a hard time with your spouse, I encourage you to adopt the mindset that you can get through this situation. It might be hard now, but on the other side, your relationship will be closer. Don’t accept defeat, just keep pushing on. Be reminded that you are on the same team with our spouse; stop fighting against them and start fighting with them.


You will be able to make it through the difficult trials and times in your relationship as long as you decide you can. When you let the doubts enter your mind that you can’t do this anymore, then you have given up. Take hope in the fact that while things may be hard right now, and you might be unhappy for a time, it isn’t forever. You will make it through this if you just set your mind to it.

DIY Paper Flower

I used to teach crafts at a children’s camp when I was in college, and one of my favorite crafts that we made was paper flowers. These were so inexpensive, fun to make, and actually made for some cute gifts or decorations. When I would brainstorm the kind of crafts we wanted to make, my aim was to always choose something that the children would enjoy at home. Even now, I find reasons to pull out some of the DIY crafts from my art teaching days. Last week, I was preparing for some dear friends who were staying with us, and I really wanted to decorate their room some for the stay. A few months ago, I surrendered the guest room to my oldest son to have his own room. I really wanted to make the room look a little more grown up for my company, so I decided to hang some lights and put a decorative basket on the desk next to the bed. The main colors I was working with was pink and purple, so I wanted to have some matching flowers to decorate with. I decided to make pink and purple paper flowers.

 

 How to Make a DIY Paper Flower

The things you will need to make your own paper flower is:

6-8 sheets of tissue paper total (The size of the tissue paper will depend on how large of a flower you are trying to create)

1 pipe cleaner

 

Just these two items are needed to make a craft flower. Start out by cutting your pieces of tissue paper all the same size approximately. You will either want to cut the tissue paper in half or in fourths, depending on if you would like a larger flower or smaller flower. For the flowers that I made, I cute my tissue paper in half. This time, I didn’t measure the tissue paper exactly, and it made for a flower that wasn’t quite as clean looking. I think they turned out very pretty though.

 

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After you put the stack of tissue papers together, you will begin folding them in 1 inch folds back and forth like you are creating a fan. I alternated my colors between pink and purple. It is hard to notice in this picture the different colors that I chose.

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Once your papers have been folded back and forth in 1 inch folds, then you will pinch the papers in the center of the fan.

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You will take your pipe cleaner and wrap it around the center of the paper and twist it. Try to flatten out both sides of the tissue paper in preparation for the next step.

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Once you have the pipe cleaner secure, you will start pulling up each layer of the tissue paper one at a time into the center of the flower. Pull the layers gently because it is easy to rip the papers. Continue to gently pull the layers of paper to the center of the flower until all the layers are gathered to the center.

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Here is what a finished flower looks like. Make a few of them and stick them in a bouquet for a well rounded effect.

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These paper flowers are simple to make and can be used in a variety of ways for decorating. Perfect for a simple idea at a birthday party or even reception. You can also clip the edges of the paper to make them look more rounded. Hopefully you will find a use for these DIY paper flowers crafts.

Teriyaki Chicken Recipe

Chicken is a staple around here in my home. These days, the price of chicken is less than ground beef where I shop. That is a turn that I didn’t quite expect. This teriyaki chicken marinade is very good and makes for juicy chicken. My children have enjoyed this recipe and it is a family favorite.

 

Teriyaki Chicken Recipe

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I’ve been making the same version of teriyaki chicken for 15 years. I like this recipe the most because it doesn’t bring a sweet flavor to the chicken. Personally, I don’t like sweet foods that much. Hope some of you all will give this recipe a try. It is a favorite among my family and guests that I have made it for.

 

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup of soy sauce

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon garlic powder

 

Place all ingredients in a bag and marinate for 3-4 hours. Use a Foreman grill or griddle to cook the chicken until done.

 

What to Serve it With

 

You can certainly serve this in a few different ways. Traditionally, teriyaki chicken is served with stir fried rice and vegetables. I really enjoy eating this chicken with the rice and vegetables. Another great way to serve this is in the form of a sandwich. The chicken is always so tender and juicy, it makes for wonderful sandwich meat.


Hopefully you will enjoy this recipe for your teriyaki chicken. My children have always liked eating this.

Can You Put a Value on What a Mother Does?

Can you really put a value on the work a mother does to raise her children and take care of her home? Well, a study was recently done to give an estimated value of how much a mother would be able to earn if she were paid for all that she accomplishes in a day. The total came up to somewhere around $95,000 a year. That is an astounding number that shows just how fiscally irresponsible I’m being for not demanding that salary for my efforts. At the very least, maybe it does bring some validity to my day in and day out life. Although, I’m just not so sure the the value of a mother can be measured in dollars.

 

Value in What You do as a Mom

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It is so hard to find the value in what you do as a mother, or father for that matter. So much of what we accomplish from day to day as parents is not measurable. Each day, I do much of the same mundane tasks, and for what reason? For me to get up the next day and do it all over again. The monotony can drive any person insane, but we must find value in what we do each day.

 

Why Bother Each Day

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When I ask my children to help me clean up or do things around the house, they always ask if someone is coming over to visit. That is a valid question because I when someone is coming to visit, I preface the cleaning up with telling them that someone is coming. That is to let them know that I expect a much more thorough kind of cleanup. However, that is not the only time I clean the house, and my children don’t understand it. They just walk around and say, “Well, if no one is coming over, then why bother cleaning up?”. I really can’t blame this for this line of thinking. There is a purpose in them cleaning up when people come to visit; they have a reward for their efforts. When no one is coming to play with them, there is no motivation to clean up. For me, I feel the same way in my day to day chores. I get discouraged when I spend all day trying to clean the house and still end up sitting on the couch opposite a pile of laundry and a huge stack of dishes at the sink. I slump on the couch and ask myself, “What is the point in all of this?”. I’m not sure that if I was valuing my time based off of dollars, that it would be worth it. If it wasn’t for a greater purpose, I can guarantee many of us would give up and find something else to do with our lives.

 

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When is the Payday for Parents 

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My only hope is that one day I will get some kind of payday for all the hard work I have put in. I’m not sure what that day will look like. I think I’ve seen small glimpses of the payday when I have worked for months and months to help one of my children read, and they finally get it. Another moment is when you work with you children in teaching them a difficult task like riding a bike, and you finally see them learn how. Those moments are joyous and brief, but they are amazing when they happen. Maybe there never will be a big payday in parenting, it could possibly be all of the small victories added up. So, when I plop down on the couch at the end of the day and wonder what the point of all of this work is, I remind myself that there are four guys in my life that I do it for.


The only hope that I really have in this whole mothering thing, is that hopefully one day I’ll see my children become successful. There is not monetary value that can be placed on loving and caring for others. There is no doubt there is a long journey ahead of me in this endeavor of raising kids, but I’m going to keep pushing forward, as I hope you will.

How to Keep a Cake From Sticking

Have you ever baked a cake and greased the pan as best as possible, but your cake still stuck to the bottom? I know I have had the experience before. For many years I have greased my cake pans the way my mom taught me. Most of my cooking know how came from her, so you will find that I will reference her often in my stories. There a few things that she always told me to do in order to keep cakes from sticking. The method I’m about to show you is one of the ways she instructed me on how to grease round and square pans. This will not work for a fluted pan.

How to Best Grease a Round or Square Cake Pan

First, start by greasing the pan with what you normally use to grease a pan. A good option is to use crisco, lard, or margarine. Those are the standard things to use, but margarine is my top pick since I normally have it. I take a piece of paper towel and use it to rub the margarine around the pan.

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Once I am done wiping margarine all over the sides and bottom, I trace the bottom of the pan on a piece of wax paper. I cut the wax paper out and place it in the bottom of the pan. After I have put the paper in the bottom of the pan, I grease over the top one more time.

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After you put the paper in and have re-greased the paper, then it is time to fill the pan with batter. You can go here to see the chocolate cake recipe I typically use. I am not a fan of yellow cake, so basically I always make chocolate cake.

When the cake comes out of the oven, let it sit for about 10-20 minutes. Then use the dull end of a knife to loosen the ends of the cake before you dump it over.

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Now is the moment of truth, time to flip the pan over and the cake should easily fall out. You will have to peel the wax paper off the top of the cake for it to cool.

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Good luck on making your next cake. Hopefully you will not have any more cake disasters with them sticking.

 

 

Homemade Birthday Cake Traditions

All of my kid’s lives, my husband Austin, and I have made them birthday cakes from scratch. It is a family tradition that I carried into the marriage from when I was growing up. For me, there were five of us total, and my mom always made a birthday cake for us that we requested.

We got a homemade cake and the dinner of our choice on our birthday. This has been something that was very special to me and I always looked forward to. I thought it was a great thing to do for my children as they have grown up. To my surprise, Austin has become a big part of making the cake.

He took over the decorating aspect of the cakes, because surprisingly, I’m not very good at it. I say surprisingly, because I enjoy sketching and I’m good at crafting. However, I really stink at cake decorating. Maybe it is the patience thing, but Austin has certainly got me beat on the cake decorating.

Our Tradition

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When it gets close to a child’s birthday, we begin asking them what they want their cake to look like. It is like making a birthday gift wish list, but the difference is that we can normally do what they are asking.

Almost every time we ask one of our boys what they want on the cake, the first suggestion is to stick some toy in the top as part of the decoration. Every time they suggest that, we tell them we aren’t putting their toys in our food. To this day, they can’t understand why we wouldn’t want to do that.

For my oldest son, Corbin, and my youngest son, Braden, their birthdays are very close together, so we get to do a lot of cake decorating in June. My middle son, Tripp, celebrates his birthday in December. It is amazing to me how each year they throw out their newest favorite character and we are always able to pull it off. I also add to the cake decorating tips, food dyes, and accessories each year.

The Chocolate Cake Recipe

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You can go here to see the chocolate cake recipe and icing recipe that I use for my cakes. My mom has been using this recipe for many years. When my first son had his birthday, I called my mom for this recipe and have been using it ever since. It has always worked out well for our purposes.

The recipe makes 2 9 inch round or square pans or a 9×13 pan. We typically just use two round or one round and one square. Depending on what our children decide for their design will determine what we choose for our cake pans.

This Year’s Design

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For my son, Braden, we made a red power ranger. Even though he is only 3, he watches power rangers with his brothers every morning. Red is his favorite color, but if you ask him what his favorite color is, he will say anything but red. Although, given the choice between something that is red and any other color, he always chooses the red one. It is funny how little kids can be about things like this.

How to Make Your Own Cake

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When our children decide on their design, my husband does a google search and looks up how other people have made the cake. We certainly are not brilliant in this aspect and rely heavily on the genius of others.

Typically, we try to pick a simple looking design that I can sketch out on paper, or that Austin can attempt to freehand himself. Sometimes, he will print the instructions for a jack-o-lantern design and cuts out the parts of the design that would be the holes in the jack-o-lantern.

Then he places those pieces on the iced cake and uses a toothpick to lightly press small dots around the outline. He will follow that outline with the icing tip of his choosing. Normally, we have good luck with making our own cakes. I have never seen a failed cake.
Good luck if you choose to tackle your own homemade birthday cake this year. It is quite rewarding to say the least.