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October 24, 2012

24 Years

Last month Mark and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary. I meant to do a post back then but we were too busy celebrating.....or something :)

24 years is a wonderful long time to be married. I can truly say that I love my husband more today than I did the day that we married. How could I not.....with the wonderful man that he is!!!

Since we have learned a thing or two over the years I thought I would share 24 marriage tips that we have learned along the way.

1. God has given a perfect order in which He wants the family to be in. Husbands as the head, wives in submission to the husband. If you follow this plan....God's perfect plan....you will have a God honoring marriage. I could write a whole post on this subject :)

2.  Always make time for each other. Spending time alone together as a coupleis easy to put on the back burner.....especially with the busy life of a family. But we have found that it is so important to spend some quality time together as a couple. A scheduled date is a great place to start. Now a date doesn't mean that you have to actually leave the house....it could be after the kids are in bed....eating a special something together...spending some time talking......share your dreams...... whisper sweet nothings......doesn't have to cost a dime :) But the investment that you are putting into your marriage is invaluable! So many couples make the mistake of pouring their whole lives into their children in their growing up years and then one day their children leave the home and they wake up next to each other as complete strangers! It's not enough just to live in the same house! You have to nurture and grow in your relationship together. The best gift that you can give to your children is a strong husband/wife relationship!!!

3. Spend time doing outside activities together as a couple. Too many times the husband goes to his meetings, coffee times, fun times and studies....the wife goes to her meetings, coffee times, fun times and studies...but they don't do much together. He goes one way....she goes another....and they don't share experiences together. Don't covet your "me" individual time....work on your "together' time.

4. Learn each others love language and show your spouse love this way. Gary Chapman's book "The Five Love Languages" is a great book to read to learn about your spouses love language.

5. Serve each other. Society is so full of me-ism....and servanthood is frowned upon. So many couples will do anything for other people, but when it comes to their own spouse's they think that serving them is not necessary. NOT!!!

6. Don't EVER speak unkindly, badly or make fun of your spouse...in front of them to other people, or behind their back. There is no good reason to put your spouse down except to make yourself look better.

7. Be quick to say, "Will you forgive me". Don't let hard feelings fester and grow. Deal with them right away. The longer you wait to ask for forgiveness....the harder it is.

8. Be quick to forgive. Don't withhold forgiveness to teach your spouse a lesson.

9. The silent treatment is just plain nasty. Don't do it!!!!!!

10. Fulfill your husband or wife duties in the physical aspect. That's all I am going to say :)

11. Listen to each other....and respond. Even if you are not interested in something...your spouse may be. Give full attention to them when they are talking.

12. If you can't say anything nice....don't say anything at all!!!

13, Don't have his money and her money. Or his things and her things. You are one....your possessions should be too!

14. Love unconditionally.

15. Don't raise your voice at each other. If you keep calm, things will go much better.

16. Boast often about your spouse in front of other people.

17. Listen to the unspoken messages from your spouse.

18. Work on your own heart. So many times we want to fix our spouse, but really it's our own heart we need to work on. When you see a fault in your spouse...take the log out of your own eye before you try to take the speck out of your spouse's

19. Don't spend time alone together with people of the opposite sex...even if it's just in the name of friendship. Guard your heart carefully.

20. Pray for your spouse

21. Give expecting nothing in return

22. Laugh together often

23. Compliment your spouse


24. Don't ever take your spouse for granted! Life is short and you never know when your time with them will end. 

Of course this list is not exclusive or in any particular order...just stuff we have learned over the years!!!

 Here is part of a photo shoot Megan did  for us around our anniversary. 

October 9, 2012

Generation to Generation

This morning I was thinking about raising a Godly generation. I know and often reflect on the fact that the way we raise and train our children now will affect generations to come! If everyone of our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren follow the Lord, what a mighty army we will be for God!!!  So just for fun, I got out the white board and calculator and started our school day off with this practical math :) Here is what we came up with.

If all of our children have 3 children and their children have 3 children and so forth....

39 grandchildren
117 great grandchildren
351 great great grandchildren

If all of our children have 5 children and so forth.....

65 grandchildren
325 great grandchildren
1,625 great great grandchildren

If all of our children have 8 children  and so forth.....

104 grandchildren
832 great grandchildren
6,656 great, great grandchildren

And if all of our children had 13 children?????? and so forth?????

169 grandchildren
2197 great grandchildren
28,561 great great grandchildren!!!!!!!!!

And just for fun, let's take it one generation further.....
371,293 great, great, great grandchildren!!!!!

Wow.....those numbers blew me away! Now I know, I know....this is highly unlikely....but still fun to think about :) It was surprising how much the numbers climbed once we added just a few more children every time.

Anyway, the point is, every time you train, discipline, correct, encourage....don't think of it as just for the moment....think of it as affecting the generations to come!!! It's a great responsibility and a great privilege, a great honour. God has entrusted these children into our care, knowing the impact that it they will have on the generations to come. What a tremendous blessing!

Oh and by the way....does anybody out there know of a place where we can get name tags for at a good price???? I think we may need to stock up :)

October 1, 2012

The Fruit of the Land

Since our garden saw frost for a few mornings in a row now canning season is officially over!
It was a pretty good year garden wise. The only thing that didn't do well at all were the peppers. They were all plant and no peppers!!! So we had to buy our peppers this year to make our salsa and pasta sauce. The cucumbers were probably the best we have ever had, thanks to a very long season. We finally just stopped canning them and just ate LOTS!!! I am not sick of them though....don't think I could ever get sick of them :)

It's always kind of a happy sad thing when the garden is done. We look forward to not having to can every day....but will miss eating all the yummy fresh veggies and fruit. But we will appreciate it all the more again next summer when we once again taste the garden's yummy goodness.

I am so thankful that we are able to plant a garden. Even though its a HUGE work load...it's so worth it. It saves us a bundle on groceries, that's for sure. And it's so much more fun to eat the food that we have worked so hard to bring to the table.

More than for my sake than anything, here is a list of what we canned this year. We always wonder how much to can...especially on a year like this when there is more of something than we can keep up with. So next year we can just look back here :) I didn't count any of our freezer produce (corn, peas, raspberries, jam, gooseberries, saskatoons or strawberries) because we usually don't have even enough of this and we alway freeze all that we have :) We would have to have a much bigger garden space to put up enough of these things for our family for the year. So for now we are very thankful for what we have :)

Anyway, here is the list:

26 Quarts Whole Tomatoes (used mostly for soup)
54 Quarts Pickles (dill and sweet sliced)
35 Quarts Salsa
37 Quarts Pasta/Pizza Sauce
16 Quarts Apple Pie Filling
49 Pints Relish
30 Quarts Apple Juice
10 Pints Condensed Tomato Soup

That's 222 jars of pure homegrown goodness :)

                            When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
Psalm 128:2