Archive for the ‘Date Night’ Category

Flylady and Date Night

July 30, 2010

I love Date Night. Since quality time is one of my primary love languages, Date Night is especially important to me. Date Night this week requires more planning than normal. And I am reminded how wonderful it is to have older children who are nearby and can be responsible for their younger siblings while Joey and I go out for some fun!


Productive Saturday, Flylady Style

May 1, 2010

I got to help Joey in the bakery today thanks to Jacob’s and Tim’s willingness to watch the small folk. I have to say that I had a marvelous time working with Joey, which is one of my favorite things to do in the whole world. But, first, I got to do a couple of other fun things.

Amelia asked me if I wanted to take a walk with her first thing this morning, so, since we were in town and I had to wait awhile to start my bakery projects, I happily agreed. We walked to a garage sale and bought several cute, cute, cute baby girl summer outfits for a dime a piece! Then, we walked to the library where they were having a sale on biographies for, yes, a dime a piece. Let’s just say that I picked up a couple.

Then, it was time to start on my bakery projects. And here’s where the Flylady strategies came into play. One of my projects involved preparing some fabric that will bridge the gap between the ceiling and the new walls of the bakery’s meeting room (the new walls could not be constructed all the way to the ceiling due to lighting issues) and serve as a sound barrier. This was the least favorite of my day’s projects, so I decided to do that one first. I didn’t have my timer, but I decided to just sew for 15 minutes and then take a break, even if I weren’t keeping strict track of the timing. That worked splendidly and I got the whole project completed. I even had some natural breaks because Joey was installing the hood over the fryer and he needed my assistance at regular intervals.

Then, I got to start painting a strip of chocolate-colored chalkboard paint on one wall of the bakery. That was fun. And, finally, I quickly drew an “Opening Soon” sign for the windows. The only thing I didn’t get done was sorting through some cake decorating equipment. But, there’s always next time….

Bit by bit, we got a lot accomplished today. And I had a great time working with Joey. Hurrah!

I Love Date Night

March 20, 2010

Date night is one “habit” that I will never have trouble maintaining. Date night allows me to take a breath, talk to an adult (one that I’m nuts about, no less) and have a break from noise and responsibility. I almost always regain some perspective, too.

For many weeks, now, our date nights have consisted of making omelets and watching some silly television show or listening to music and talking. There’s nothing fancy about them. But they’re a vital part of my Flylady routine.

Yea! for Date Night!

Some Family Fun and Date Day

February 21, 2010

We are planning for a little more Family Fun today, but we did start off the weekend by playing two new family games on Friday evening. Both of the games came out of “Family Fun” magazine which is one of my absolute favorite magazines. The first game involved each person (even pre-readers!) starting with a blank sheet of paper and a colored marker. I set my Flylady timer for 30 seconds and each person began a drawing. When the timer went off — more quickly than we anticipated — each person passed his or her incomplete picture to the player on the left and we repeated the process, each player adding to the picture handed to him or her. Eight of us played so it took, obviously, four minutes to complete one round. I loved this game because almost everyone could participate (two-year-old Anne was content to play with toys while we were drawing) and the results were hilarious. We ended up playing three rounds and I was laughing until I cried by the time we quit. For some reason, many of our pictures ended up involving dog-walkers. Margaret’s drawing always started with a large face which was very fun (and funny) to embellish. Lydia’s ubiquitous little purple people were an especially big hit.

The second game we played was hide-and-seek. However, instead of hiding ourselves, we hid figurines representing ourselves. Let me tell you, being “It” was much harder than in a typical game of hide-and-seek. We limited the hiding places to within the living room area and even then, we had to give “hot” and “cold” clues to the finder. Tall Jacob hid his Polly Pocket (hand picked for him by Charlotte who also hid a Polly Pocket) so high that I had to reach around in a vain attempt to locate it. And Eleanor’s dainty cat figurine was challenging to spy. I have to add that my Tarzan figurine was a much more fit-looking hide-and-seek player than Tim’s Teletubbies guy.

Then, on Saturday, Joey and I had a Date DAY thanks to Amelia and Stephen’s willingness to take Jacob, Tim and Margaret to dog class while supervising the rest of the crew at home. I love, love, love having an adequate amount of uninterrupted time to talk through important subjects with Joey. I feel like we pushed a re-set button on our lives by taking a fresh look at our long-term family vision and how the bakery fits in. We talked out logistics for the immediate future and set some goals. We are both excited about the possibilities this bakery venture has to offer our family.

Hurrah! for Date Day! Hurrah! for Family Fun!

Family Fun + Date Night = Lots of Valentine-y Love

February 14, 2010

I have the most amazing children. Last night, Amelia and Stephen prepared a Valentine FEAST for Joey and me. The menu included Artichoke and Parmesan Crostini, Peppered Filet Mignon with Red Wine and Mushroom Sauce, Creamed Spinach, Roasted Tomatoes and the most delicious Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. And every single last morsel was South Beach Diet-friendly. That was a beautiful display of love. In fact, just last weekend, I told Joey that what he and I really needed was someone to take us out for supper and talk about something other than our job situation. But, this was far better because we had a meal that no restaurant around here offers.

And what about the Family Fun component of the evening? Well, Clara and Levi, along with Amelia and Stephen, hosted all of the kids at their house for a Valentine’s Party, complete with pizza, crafts and a movie. It was great to know that they were having fun with their siblings while we were enjoying our delicious meal.

I am so grateful for Amelia and Stephen’s generosity and thoughtfulness in dreaming up and executing this meal. I’m thankful that Clara and Levi were willing partners in the overall scheme. What can I say? I have the most amazing children!

Family Fun and Date Night

January 31, 2010

Clara surprised me with the most wonderful Shutterfly book this week. It featured her photos of our Family Fun events from last fall. Oh, it was a JOY to see all of those smiling faces having fun. It really reminded me why it is so worth it to intentionally plan for Family Fun. Consequently, we had a Family Fun game night Friday night when Stephen, Amelia, Clara and Levi could join us.

Sometimes it’s a challenge to find games in which everyone can fully participate. With a little selective teaming up of readers with non-readers, we managed to have quite a bit of fun playing Apples to Apples. Then, after an intermission for fudge cake that Tim and Margaret had whipped up, we played a new game that Amelia and Stephen had just purchased called, Pictureka. Oh, my. What weird hilarity. A battery-powered plastic penguin enthusiastically flipped disturbingly illustrated cards at us and, based on the color of light beaming from his head, we tried to find specific items in those illustrated cards that had been randomly distributed by said penguin all over the table. Once the desired item was located by a player, that player yelled, obviously, “Pictureka!” If the other players agreed that the item had been accurately located on the card, that card became the property of the the player locating it. Play continued until all of the illustrated cards had been seized or the penguin gave us a raspberry. The winner of the round was the player holding the most cards.

Once we got the hang of it, there was much enthusiasm and competition. And yelling. And laughing. Who would have thought that a blue-billed penguin could be so much fun?

Finally, some of us ended the evening with a little Bunco. Then, after the little folk (and Joey) had gone up to bed, I remembered that I had found some old home-videos when I was cleaning up in the living room this past week. Wow. What a bunch of funny, funny stuff. It was a great way to end Family Fun Night.

As for Date Night…. It was fun, too. But you probably don’t need all of the details. Ahem.

Date DAY and Gaining Perspective on My Flylady Routines

January 24, 2010

Yesterday, Joey and I served on a panel for prospective adoptive parents to share our experiences about adopting children with special medical needs. The meeting was about an hour away from home, so Jacob and Tim were put in charge of the home fires — and the siblings being warmed by those fires — and Joey and I tootled off. Yes, we were actually tootling alone. Just the two of us.

Before the meeting, we went to a restaurant supply store to price bakery equipment. Then, we attended the adoption meeting and presented our experiences to the group WHILE being video-taped for people who could not attend. Yikes! I had kind of forgotten about the video-taping thing. I hope I didn’t look terribly goofy. We enjoyed visiting with some of the other presenters while we ate lunch afterward. Adoptive parents of children with special medical needs are so fun to get to know. Maybe that should have been our primary point: adopt a child with special medical needs and you will become a more fun person!

THEN came the realization that it wasn’t even yet two o’clock and we had already made plans with Jacob and Tim to be gone through the evening (so we could have our date night that we hadn’t had the night before since we had been birthday partying). That meant that we had EIGHT hours by ourselves. Oh, my! What to do?

First, we went to Wal-mart to see if they had embroidery transfer pencils so I could recommend them to potential customers on etsy. (They didn’t have any, by the way.) Then we went to Menard’s to look at flooring and wall paper for the bakery. (They DID have flooring and wall paper at Menard’s in case you were wondering.) Then we went to Hobby Lobby to see if they had any embroidery transfer pencils. (Nope. But Clara and Amelia googled embroidery pencils for me and found them readily available online.)

Those activities shaved about 1-1/2 hours off of our eight-hour date and we really didn’t have anything else to do in town, so we headed toward home. We went to Mom and Dad’s house and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” was on television. Joey hadn’t seen it, so we watched it and laughed and laughed while eating some omelets I whipped up. Then, oh, joy, Lawrence Welk was on. I so miss watching that since we don’t even pick up PBS on television, anymore. What fun! We then talked for the remainder of our date night and came home to a sparklingly clean kitchen and fed and bathed children who were watching “McLintock!” peacefully together, all thanks to Jacob and Tim.

This whole amazing day spent with Joey was an excellent perspective-builder for me. Sometimes it’s hard for a mom of many children to see the forest for the little trees that seem permanently attached to me. Being away from home, giving people information about adoption, talking to Joey for hours on end, eating meals with just the two of us, all contributed to my appreciation for why I do what I do. Sometimes I get caught up in the “doing” of my Flylady routines and forget the “why.” I have a lot to do at home because I have a lot of kids. I need Flylady because I have a lot of responsibilities to meet. And it’s a BLESSING to have these kids and these responsibilities. It’s a BLESSING to need Flylady routines. And it’s a BLESSING to have had such a nice break from both in order to gain a little perspective.

Date Night Reflections

January 16, 2010

Last night, for the first time in weeks, we had a regular Date Night. I was reminded why Flylady puts Date Night in her Control Journal: it’s important to spend time together without the interruptions of the world, to get synchronized again. While I loved the holidays and the wedding and the other special events that kept us from having a regular Date Night, I also love it that we are able to get back to our routine.

Date Night started off a little roughly, however, when we realized that our new, no-salary budget did not include any funds for a Date Night. We don’t usually eat out, but we do make a special trip to the grocery store for ingredients for something especially yummy that we prepare at Mom and Dad’s house. Thankfully, we realized this before we left, so Joey grabbed some leftover nachos and I found some frozen shrimp. I took some of our eggs with us and added the shrimp and some rotel tomatoes to the mix. It was yummy, after all!

While we ate, we watched “Julie and Julia,” which Joey have given me for Christmas. This was the sweetest gift because we both so appreciated the strong marriages portrayed in that movie. It was a joy to watch it again together.

Watching “Julie and Julia,” though, reminded me of this blog, which I was inspired to start after watching that film many months ago. In some ways I was glad to know that I had actually begun and maintained this blog instead of just dreaming of doing it. But in some ways, I was kind of, oh, I don’t know, sad or disappointed that my blog isn’t interesting enough or “spicy” enough or broad enough to interest very many people, even after all of this time.

Multi-Generational Date Night

December 19, 2009

Joey and I went to the Fireman’s Ball last night. So did Mom and Dad. So did Amelia and Stephen. Consequently, as Dad pointed out, there were four generations of us in attendance.

And I think I can safely say that we all had a blast.

Family Fun and Date Night

November 23, 2009

While some of us had a bit of Family Fun on Saturday at the Make It With Wool contest, I don’t think that would really “count” as our Family Fun for the week. At the same time, I was really tired and not feeling especially motivated to come up with a Family Fun plan on Sunday. Then, we remembered that the free matinee at the movie theater was showing. This week’s movie was “UP.” Oh, yea! Going to the movies is always considered a fun treat so after church, we all watched “UP” together.

Then, because we had 4-H Recognition Night instead of Date Night this past week, Joey and I sent the younger kids home with Clara, Jacob and Tim and we had Date Night. I am becoming more and more convinced of the necessity of taking breaks for renewal, so I’m especially glad that we were able to have Date Night this week after all. I’m also going to try to read more of what Flylady has to say about spiritual renewal and taking care of oneself and begin incorporating those ideas more concretely into my daily routine.

And, today, we are going to have some special Family Fun since we are celebrating the finalization of Anne’s adoption!

NOTE: It is my general policy in this blog to mention activities after they have been accomplished. When I was writing about Anne’s finalization before it actually happened, I thought that it was fairly safe to go ahead. But, wouldn’t you know, her finalization did not occur yesterday due to some miscommunication. Sigh. Next time I mention her finalization, it will be a done deal.