Friday, December 17, 2010
at 9:16 PM
Monday, November 1, 2010
at 1:17 PM
Saturday, July 17, 2010
at 11:22 AM
Sunday, May 9, 2010
at 5:02 PM
Monday, April 19, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
at 7:27 PM
Saturday, April 10, 2010
I recently purchased a new laptop.. It is actually a netbook, just the right size to fit in my purse. We bought the one with a larger battery, so I will be able to use the computer anywhere I wanted. The best part is, the computer is a vibrant purple color.
So many days I want to write to you and send a bit of encouragement or a quick thought, but my time and energy is in short supply most days. We recently laid a new ceramic tile floor in our kitchen. It is hard to get much done during the week, so most of our work has to be done on the weekends. Yesterday, we spent some time outside replanting three fruit trees and some moving some plants in our front flower garden. It was a perfect day to be outside, so we put our school work aside and went out. Some days a spontaneous change in plans is a welcome change from the normal.
Are you ever spontaneous? Do ever just change all your plans to do something different? Spring is a great time for some spontaneous adventures. I love to take adventures with my kids. I call them adventures, but that can mean whatever I decide is the event for the day. Sometimes that means packing a picnic and finding a local park with a playground. Other times we may just go to a nearby park and hike or follow a stream. If I’m really feeling adventurous we will take the metro into DC and go to a museum, however, I wasn’t comfortable making the trip until my children were older.
For those of you who live in the North Stafford area, I put together a list of few fun places you might enjoy taking your children. If you don’t live in Stafford, scout your area for parks and recreation areas; make the hunt for these places part of your adventure. Remember to take along a pail for all the treasures the children find.
Below is a list of 10 local places that are fun to explore with younger and older children.
1. Clair Brooks Park- The park has a Frisbee golf course that runs through the woods. It is a beautiful path to follow and at one point there is a little waterfall, with a small basin of water at the bottom. This is a fun spot for a picnic and playing in the water. In mid-summer the place is almost dry.
2. Smith Park- There is a nice playground and a path to the creek. We like to find places with water. There are always some fun creatures to find in the water.
3. Alum Springs Park in Fredericksburg-This is a wonderful little park set in the woods. There is a trail to the creek which leads to some rocky overhangs. During the Civil War the citizens of Fredericksburg hid under these rocky overhangs during the battle of Fredericksburg. Historical markers along the trail tell the history of the area.
4. Willowmear Park- This park is mostly sport fields, but there is a playground and a paved path. Children enjoy riding bikes and scooters along the path from one end of the park to the other. The park is located on Mountainview Road.
5. Prince William National Forest- There isn’t a playground that I know of at PWNF, but there are plenty of places to hike. There is a small entrance fee. Check the park’s website for more details and directions. http://www.nps.gov/prwi/index.htm
6. Aquia Landing-In the summer the park is open for swimming in the Potomac. The beach is sandy in places. There is a fee per person to swim. The following link has additional information about the park. http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM6VNX_Aquia_Landing_Stafford_VA
7. Leesylvania State Park- this park is near Dumfries and is along the Potomac River. Swimming is not allowed in the river, but you can explore along the shore looking for pretty rocks and other items that have been washed up.For more information check out the park’s website: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/lee.shtml
8. Funland/Chuckie Cheese-For a few dollars you and your children can spend a rainy afternoon playing games. The folks at Chuckie Cheese don’t mind if you just play games and don’t purchase a pizza. The children usually end up with a handful of tickets they can redeem for a cheap prize, adding to the afternoon fun.
9. Carl’s Ice Cream –Carl’s has been in Fredericksburg forever. I was introduced to Carl’s years ago, by a native to the area (thanks, Shelley). The line is long on hot days, but the staff is very efficient and the line moves quickly. A regular ice cream cone is very reasonably priced. Carl’s is at 2200 Princess Anne St, are open Sunday-Thursday from 11am -11pm and on Friday-Saturday from 11am-11:30pm.
10. Lunga Lake-This small park is part of Quantico. We enjoy taking walks near the lake and gathering pinecones. The lake would also be a good place for little ones to try their hand at fishing. There is a picnic shelter and a small playground. To get to the park drive out Onville Rd. When you arrive at the guard house, let the guard know you are going to the lake; they can give you directions from there. If you have a vehicle decal for military installations you shouldn’t have any trouble getting through the gate. Otherwise you may have to show your driver’s license and let the guard inspect your car, but I’m not completely sure.
at 8:07 PM
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
We all love practical ideas, suggestions that we can put into to practice in our everyday life. We read magazines to find practical ideas to help us organize our home, scan the internet for practical ways to complete projects and read parenting books for practical ideas to help us raise our children.
One area of our lives that need constant attention is our marriages. With some practical ways to express love to our spouse we can enhance and strengthen our marriages. Below are a variety of easy suggestions that will give you a chance to express your love to your husband.
1. Wait until your anger or feelings of irritability have subsided before discussing a sensitive issue. Do not tell your husband how you want him to behave, instead share with him what feelings the issue aroused in you and why.
2. Ask your husband to pray with you.
3. Dream together- talk about what you want to do together in the future. Discuss where you would like to vacation this summer as a family. Talk about home improvement projects you would like to tackle, share personal goals with each other and encourage your husband in his goals.
4. Drop the word “divorce” from any conversation you have with your husband. Avoid using the word divorce as a threat during an argument. Determine that for your marriage, divorce is not an option. My parents are divorced and my grandparents on both sides of the family were divorced. Both my dad and mom’s family had a history of divorce. Often trends like this will continue in families for generations. About 6 years into my marriage I prayed and committed myself to breaking that cycle in my family. My husband and I never use the word divorce in any argument we have, we have both decided it isn’t an option for us, so we will not talk about it or threaten each other with divorce.
5. Avoid name calling-Whether you are speaking to your husband or talking about him in a public situation be careful about the names you use.
6. Avoid withdrawing from your husband physically and emotionally. It is easy to think I will never talk to him about this again, or to pull back when he tries to give you a hug, but these actions only begin to build up a wall between you and your husband.
7. Do something with your husband that he enjoys-Watch football, attend an event your husband enjoys together or take an interest in his hobbies. Eric has really enjoyed it the few times I attend a pigeon racing club (his current hobby is racing pigeons) meeting or attended a work related event with him. Taking time out of your schedule to attend an event your husband enjoys is an excellent way to silently tell your husband you love him and are interested in what he does.
8. Thank your husband for something he does- When he comes home at the end of a long day, thank him for working all day, thank him when he changes a diaper, fills the car with gas or takes out of trash. Even if it is a job that is normally something he does, or is job he should be doing, thanking him will encourage him and build him up.
9. Buy him a surprise gift- The gift doesn’t have to be expensive, maybe buy him a favorite snack or candy bar. The gift lets him know that you were thinking about him during the day.
10. Make his favorite meal for dinner.
11. Put a love note in his lunch or briefcase.
12. Tell him you love him often.
13. Give him an extra long kiss when he comes home at the end of the day- wouldn’t he be surprised and wonder what you are up to if you give him a long sweet kiss when he walks in the door tonight.
14. Plan a date and take your husband out for the evening. The expectation is that the husband will plan the date and the wife will get the sitter, why not try planning the date also. Think of somewhere your husband enjoys, even if it isn’t on your list of favorite places. For Eric’s 50th birthday I arranged a private tour of a small vineyard. The winemaker showed Eric around and told him about the process of making wine. Winemaking isn’t necessarily something I’m real interested in, but I know Eric finds the process intriguing. We ended the day with a picnic down by the river and for him it was much better than a big party. Eric was delighted with his surprise birthday outing.
15. Be kinder to your husband then you are to strangers or friends. Treating our friends nice can be easy, we don’t live with them every day. Show your husband that he is loved as much or more than your friends.
16. Initiate some romantic time alone-enough said. You know what to do!
17. Do little favors for him that you know he will enjoy, bring him coffee in the morning or a cold drink when he is working, or rub his back.
18. Help him with a project he is working on, even if you are just holding the tools for him.
19. Take a walk together; even if you have to take the kids along it will be time that you are spending together.
20. Say you are sorry. Apologizing can go a long way in restoring a relationship and tearing down the wall between you and your husband.
21. Bake him some cookies and make some extra for him to share at work.
22. When he arrives home from work or from being out, stop what you’re doing to greet him with a kiss. In fact, kiss him as often as you can.
Loving our husbands can be a chore or can be pleasurable; the decision is up to us. Loving a man that isn’t very loveable sometimes, can be difficult and there may be times in your marriage when you feel very little or no love at all for your husband. Feelings change; marriage cannot be based on feelings alone. If we went on feelings alone, our marriages wouldn’t last very long. Love has to be a decision. Each partner has to make a decision to love at all times, not just when it feels good.
Make a decision today to love your husband all the time, use some of the ideas given to show him that love. Whether you feel like it or not try a few of the ideas and keep trying. At first you may not notice any difference, but with continued effort you will see a change in how you feel and will notice a change in your marriage. Give some of the ideas a try and see what happens. Most likely the love in your marriage will increase, as you continue to show your husband how much you love him.
I would love to hear from you any ideas you have and to hear the outcome of your efforts to express your love.
at 5:45 PM