When we think of gifts, we often think of things we can buy. Of course, toys or games are gifts your child will love and enjoy but there are gifts that are more unforgettable and meaningful. The gifts that truly impact a child’s life are not for sale, these things are free!
Time, love, and care are three cherished gifts to give to your child. They fit within your budget and should be given at any and all times of the year. With our first born baby on the way, we are constantly discussing parenting and the importance of it. One of the books we have begin to read is “Raising Kingdom Kids” by pastor Tony Evans. We strongly recommend this book, it is a great resource for parents. In only one week, I’ll begin my third trimester! I’ve had so many thoughts, concerns, and questions that have and are still running across my mind regarding parenting. We also found out we are having a girl! Her name is Lillian Jane Horn and words can’t describe our excitement! She’s on the move on a daily basis, has hiccups, and recognizes our voices! It’s so amazing when she kicks while we are talking to her!
The excitement of our first born child and parenting raises many thoughts for us and many others. Every parent should want the best for their child. In today’s society, we focus more on expensive gift-giving and things we can’t afford instead of the things that actually matter. These gifts don’t have to be unwrapped, are the most significant and valuable to children, and gifts only parents can give.
The greatest gift of time is interminable and valuable. Often while spending time with loved ones in our life, we are present but yet absent. Time is wasted when two or more people are together and their interest is elsewhere. There’s so many learning activities to bond with your child and enhance their development, reading assignments to study the bible and build healthy habits of praying throughout the day, family games, and so many other things that allow parents to spend quality time with their child or children.
As parents, we need to allow God to lead us so that we can properly lead our children. The gifts of a relationship with God, time, love, care, and communication come with no price tag. Through months of planning and preparing for our baby, we must not forget the most precious gift of all. We encourage everyone to not lose sight of the the things that really matter to your children. With the holidays near, remember that the most important gifts for your child are not on the shelves at a department store but are from you!
For the majority of women, it is easy to get a guy but when it comes to keeping him and his interest is a different story. From single women to married women, all women want to know how to keep a man interested in them.
Here’s a list of things that men really want revealed by Jonathan and his six male friends discussions.
Beauty catches the eye but becomes less important with time.
Once a man knows your beautiful, you don’t have to focus on your physical appearance everyday but instead focus on other areas of the relationship that men actually care about. If your husband wants a “quickie” before work it’s ok to lose time putting on extra make up or not curling your hair and putting it in a ponytail. He’s going to work and could care less about your made up face.
Be more than a partner, be his friend.
A woman needs to be “cool”. What I mean by that is someone he can actually communicate with and enjoy her company. She has to be a nice change up from hanging with the boys. If a man is watching sports, it’s ok to pretend your watching even if your not interested. A “cool” woman thoughtfully gives space, takes care of her man as his mother would but does NOT try to boss him like his mother or any mother does.
Being able to manage money is sexy. Men like a woman that makes good financial decisions and is capable of taking care of herself. A confident man likes to take care of a woman but we don’t like to be her only resource. We are looking for someone to help bring us up, not bring us down financially.
Boost his Ego
Know when to be “girly” and when to be “womanly”. The girly side is depending on him to do manly things such as checking the tire or anything that a dad would do. A man likes to feel needed and once he checks your tire, make him feel admired. Constantly compliment your man and make him feel stronger, smarter, and better looking than he actually is. The womanly side is not being bossy but noticing little things that he may forget such as the laundry or including vegetables in his meal. A true woman knows to put him in line when needed and to put it on him when needed.
A Good Sexual Appetite
A good appetite doesn’t mean that your actually hungry but if the food looks and smells good your willing to take a small serving of it. If your husband has a appetite, even if your not hungry, be willing to feed his needs. It’s ok to say no sometimes but don’t let one or two nights turn into a week. The bible says for husbands and wives, (1 Corinthians 7:5) “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” Remember, for every one or two no’s, be willing to bring your “A-game” later.
Most men like a challenge and figuring things out. Be the biggest fish in the pond, hard to reel in. Be a challenge, don’t reveal too much about you verbally and be selective in revealing your physical assets. A mysterious woman has a depthness about her and is more than just good looks. She has many great qualities about her but the only way to experience that is by spending quality time with her and giving her a reason to open up to you. Make him buy the book, if you reveal everything on the cover, he’ll have no reason to read it. Mystery adds suspense and surprise to any relationship and will keep him intrigued.
Many women have anger and resentment toward men because they don’t know what men really want. All men are different, find out what your man likes and succeed in it. Boys don’t know what they want but a real man knows what he wants in a woman and knows how to appreciate a good woman!
One day after work I decided to surprise my wife with flowers and with that surprise came a little promise. The flowers are a symbol of my commitment to keep our relationship fresh. The flowers will die after 7 to 10 days. At least three to four times a month, the flowers will be replaced. This will serve as a reminder to show my wife how much I love and appreciate her. The flowers will die and as I replace them I am reminded to freshen our relationship through intimate moments, creative dates, romance, and/or quality time.
If you choose to use this idea, choose something that’s affordable. I used 10.00 grocery store flowers and used a vase from home. I chose flowers because it’s not something I would use for a gift or just because. Choose something simple that you wouldn’t typically buy as a gift, you don’t want to use your “go to plays”. For a special occasion or just because I typically send Edible Arrangements; therefore I was able to use the flowers as my convenant.
I encourage all men to be creative and create a symbol that your wife will appreciate and that you can replace three to four times a month. This could be something as simple as a grocery item you both love that typically last a week. You could also be creative by using a dry erase board and write a reason why you love her each week. Laundry detergent could be used as a symbol to wash out your bad habits or freshening up your relationship.
Be creative and show appreciation to your wife on a daily basis. Remember, your relationship is a daily investment and the more you put in it, the more you get out of it!
Have you ever found yourself in a traffic jam? After weaving your way through, you may often discover that some drivers are holding up traffic due to (distractions) cell phones, applying makeup, or reading. Have you ever been in a relationship or currently involved in one that is at a standstill? What distractions do you have that’s keeping you and your partner from moving forward?
Constant use of the cell phone, social networking, taking “selfies”, watching television, headphones, or constantly playing video games are a few distractions that can keep a relationship from moving forward. These things are not bad for us but should be used in moderation. Communication, quality time, and intimacy are disrupted when you are constantly in tune with technology and out of sync with your partner. This eventually leads to someone in the relationship feeling neglected or depreciated.
For example, I understand when Jonathan wants to watch the Heat play but when he wants to watch two or three games for the rest of the night, it can become an issue. It’s important to make time to connect with your partner and disconnect from your gadgets.
We live in a day and age where it is difficult to power down our phone or keep it fully charged. Technology is constantly powering down relationships. It allows us to connect to the world but often times disconnect from each other. How many times have you and your partner been in the same room, no words to one another, engaged in some form of technology? You may know every Facebook status update but don’t even know how your partner’s day went.
Is technology preventing you from getting into a relationship? Someone may be out at a grocery store trying to make eye contact with you but your eyes are focused on your phone. You may be on a new date but your attention is caught up in the latest gossip or trying to see whose winning a game.
Whether it’s your phone, tablet, laptop, video game, television, or any other type of technology; don’t allow it to hold up traffic in your relationship.
Keep your highway flowing to your partner so this won’t block their path towards you. This will allow you to reach the happiness destination that you both desire. So instead of constantly using your gadget or “Facebooking”; be sure to constantly “check-in” with your partner, “comment” in response to his or her conversation, “like” or accept your partner’s thoughts and feelings, and always “share” your love with one another!
Are there more than distractions that are holding up traffic? Bad attitudes, assumptions, or expectations can block a good relationship or someone from getting into one. Let’s discuss relationship roadblocks and how we can swerve around them.
To Be Continued….
Everyone wants a healthy and vibrant life with their spouse. We all know that eating healthy foods affects our overall health but let’s focus on how it impacts our sex life. Research suggests that sex burns calories, relieves stress, and helps you sleep better. There is research that has also shown that weight gain, lack of sleep, stress, medical conditions, excessive alcohol and smoking affects your sex drive. Sex Experts say that having the right diet is one of the keys to having a healthy sex drive.
Here are a list of 7 foods to include in your daily diet that will provide a boost in your mood and sexual desire.
1. Avocado- contains high levels of folic acid to boost energy levels. According to research, it also contains vitamin B6 and potassium which helps increase male hormone production.
2. Bananas- great source of potassium and B vitamins to help with overall energy level.
3. Celery- contains a hormone called androsterone that is released through male perspiration and turns women on.
4. Blackberries- According to research, they are incredibly high in antioxidants, which helps to optimize blood flow to the sex organs.
5. Watermelon- known as “the natural Viagra”. Research has shown that it contains high levels of citrulline, an amino acid that enhances mood and increases libido.
6. Pumpkin Seeds- Research shows that pumpkin seeds contain high levels of zinc, which is important for preventing testosterone deficiency in men. They also help boost female sex drive and sustains lubrication.
7. Dark Chocolate- Research has indicated that it contains a “love chemical” called phenylethylamine. Experts believe that it can produce that love feeling. Research also suggests that people who eat chocolate at least once a day have a more active sex life than those who do not.
These foods should be consumed on a routine basis. Invest in your marriage including your sex life daily. Enjoy one another and Bon Appetit!
What is a palette? A palette is a surface that provides a range of colors for an artist to use while painting. Many paintings can be created using a palette filled with a variety of colors. So, your probably thinking, what does this have to do with a relationship. Just like those paintings, many great moments and memories can be created by having fun dates and using a variety of ways to spend time with your partner.
In a long-term relationship or a marriage, the “beautiful paintings” become limited only to holidays and memorable dates throughout the year can be counted on one hand. These “paintings” were created very often in the beginning and now neither of you make enough time to even pick up a brush. Our point is, keep dating your mate! Do something at least once per week or frequently as possible. This doesn’t have to be expensive, take a ride together and enjoy the scenery or go for a walk.
A dinner and a movie are typical dating ideas but after marriage there’s so much more to add to your palette. A dating palette should be used to impress your mate and consist of trying new things, dressing up, prioritizing time, and having positive energy. Does your dating palette consist of only one or two things? Can’t think of anything new? Well, I’m sure at least one of these ideas will interest you and create great memories for you and your partner!
Here are 20 dates we recommend!
1. Horseback Riding/Carriage Ride
Learning to ride together and being unskilled is what makes horseback riding fun. We enjoyed doing it together and it brought many funny moments. If you enjoy that, you may also like a carriage ride. It is romantic, encourages communication, and “cuddle time”.
Never been kayaking? That’s what makes it more fun! We did it for the first time together and it was a challenge. It allowed us to trust in one another and engage in something different. Try it if you haven’t and view beautiful sights, relax on the water, and burn a few calories.
3. Live Entertainment
Going to a live theatre or listening to live music is very fun and you will be surprised at some of the local talent in your area!
4. Favorites Night
Each partner chooses a favorite activity and combine it into one night. If you have a favorite food, game, or place to go then make a date out of it!
5. Dance Lessons
Dance lessons allow two people to grow together and creates excitement! We have learned how to salsa dance through dance lessons. It brought many laughs and it’s also great exercise!
6. Painting Class
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a great artist. The steps are simple and you’ll be surprised what beautiful painting you and your partner creates!
7. Couples Massage
Can’t go wrong when you and your partner are relaxing together. Don’t want to spend a lot of money to go to a spa? Be creative and massage each other!
Add a little spice to a lunch or dinner and create a picnic just for the two of you.
9. Try a new restaurant
Good or bad, the experience of trying something new will be great.
10. Wine Tasting
A unique date idea that allows you to smell, taste, and view different types of wines while learning together.
11. Vacation Getaway
Whether it’s for just the weekend or longer, it allows you to reconnect with your partner and escape the pressure of every day living.
12. Bible Study
Allows you and your partner to spend time together in the middle of a hectic work week. It strengthens your faith in God and in each other.
13. Candlelight Dinner
Inexpensive, romantic, and creative way to make your partner feel special.
14. Cooking Together
It is fun and allows you both to collaborate and work together.
15. Bonding Time
Find time that best fits both of you. Being intimate with one another is vital in a relationship.
16. Comedy Club
Everyone loves a good laugh. It is fun and will bring many laughs for you and your partner.
17. Laser Tag/Go-Karts/Arcade
Youthful fun to keep your relationship fresh and young.
18. Professional Sporting Event
Whether it is football, baseball, or basketball it will make a fun date and has a great atmosphere.
19. Dinner Cruise
It is entertaining, romantic, relaxing, and allows you and your partner to dress up and engage in something different.
Very relaxing, creates meaningful conversations, and is an overall great experience!
Dates don’t always come with a high price tag. Here’s a list of sources we have used to receive discounts for fun activities, hotels, and flights!