Saturday, October 25, 2008

Gotta Love Some Fall

***Some of these pics were taken with the dreaded cell phone (stinkin' batteries died in the good camera!!)***

So, we are in fall mode here at B Manor. And, gotta tell ya, I LOVE me some fall. I love the colors (HE is the greatest artist of all time!!!), the smells, the crispness in the air and the fashions. Now, I fully realize that from October to April, I will most likely be found in a hoodie, but that doesn't mean I don't like to look at other, more fashionable ladies, in their fall attire!!

But most of all I love fall because it makes my heart smile to see Hattie Grace lovin' life. And that girl does love life when she can do this:

And then there is Miss Sophie, who is just learning the joys of fall.

She was not so sure at first,

but then Big Sis showed her the ropes,

and our girl was HOOKED!

And just in case you were wondering, here is a glimpse of what Sophie will be for Halloween ...


Now, someone pass me the pumpkin pie!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Love Dare - Day 6: Love Is Not Irritable

OK, yesterday had the potential of being a tough one, so how did it go? Are ya still in this? Do you have what it takes to stay in it when the rubber hits the road? 'Cause I gotta tell ya, today is not any easier ... just warning ya!

Hubbs and I had a long talk about what "bugs" us about the other, and it was not a fun conversation, but it turned out to be a POSITIVE one. I hope yours was too.

And I hope you are ready, and willing, to keep going ...

"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who captures a city." - Proverbs 16:32

Remember Snow White and the seven dwarfs? Weren't they cute? Doc, Bashful, Dopey ... all so sweet and cuddly. And then there was Grumpy. He wasn't so much fun was he? But, ya gotta know, Snow White loved him anyway. That girl was a champ, huh?

She's also a fairy tale character. Which means, she was not a real person.

'Cause in real life, being around a grump takes it's toll. And chances are, you know just what I am talking about.

Doesn't it grate on your nerves when you have to spend a good deal of time around someone who just seems to be aggravated all the time? How about even some of the time? Still not very fun is it? Now, imagine if you were MARRIED to that person. That would be even worse, would it not?

Now, and stick with me on this one, imagine if that person were YOU.

Now, given the fact that you are on this little adventure, I am willing to bet that you kinda want your spouse to, well ... LIKE you, right? So, this might mean taking a look at your behaviors and making a little effort to change some of them

I told ya this was gonna get complicated.

So, what causes a person to be irritable? Let's look at a few reasons ...

Stress - problems at work, or worse, at home. Money problems - the number one cause for divorce in this country. Fatigue - being just plain tired can make a person just plain GRUMPY! Selfishness - stinks to not get your own way ... does your attitude stink when it happens? Bitterness - being judgemental has a way of taking over. Jealousy - that neighbors new car? That new person at work? That new person at your spouses work? Pride - trying to protect the ego is a tough job. Time - just not enough hours in the day. This is a BIG ONE, ya gotta decide what is really important and what can be cut out of our schedules (or at least trimmed down).

These are things that, because of human nature, are going to happen in our lives. They just are, not much we can do about it. BUT, if we let love take over, maybe we can stop focusing so much on ourselves and not let it get to us quite as much. Maybe we can stay gentle and loving, especially to the ones we love. Because, real love tells us that the other person is what really matters on the end.

So, are you ready to face this one? I hope so, 'cause here we go ...

Today's Dare

Choose today to react to tough circumstances in your marriage in loving ways instead of with irritation. Begin by making a list of areas where you need to add margin to your schedule. Then list any wrong motivations that you need to release from your life.

Now, remember that this is in addition to the other day's dares. You must continue to be patient, kind, unselfish, and not rude.

Keep it up, don't quit on me now, you CAN do this. And just think of the rewards that you and your spouse will reap when we are through!!! Remember, I am praying for you!

Hot For The Holidays - Week 7

Hot for the Holidays

***If you are here for the Love Dare challenge, please scroll down to today' post. If you are here for HFH and are interested in joining us for the Love Dare, please go HERE for day 1!***

So, it would seem that this girl is allergic to working out. Seriously. On Tuesday morning I got up early and went down the the dungeon, oops, I meand the basement, and ran a little over a mile. And when I finished I felt so goo that I told the hubs I may have to move up to a mile and a half or even 2 miles! And, the scary part, I was excited to be doing it!!!!

Then I got in the car to go to a meeting at church and was a little put out to realize that the driver's seat was not as comfy as it usually is. By the time I got to church I was in serious pain y'all. And by the time I got home I was crying I was in so much pain. Had to ask the hubby to come home from work, because I could hardly lift Sophie. He did and I went to the doc. And she said that I had damaged the muscles in my back from all of the excersize!!!!! HUH?!?!?!?!

So, I am forbiden from the treadmill or any other form of anything that includes the lower back (which, I can tell ya now, is EVERYTHING!!!) for at least a week. STINK!!!

So, with no workout options I have been very careful regarding my diet - unless you count the big 'ol bowl of cereal I had for dinner yesterday because I was bummed!! And I was scared to step on the scale, but the scale was kind in light of it all...


Can I get a yee haw!!! And yes, I did say yee haw ... not sure where that came from. Hmmm, must be my long dormant southern Missouri roots coming out!

Anyhoo, I will take the two pounds and run - or, ya know, HOBBLE with it! Thank you very much!

ANd if you are looking to lose a little weight before the Christmas parties come into play, head on over to Baby Tea Leaves and join us!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Love Dare - Day 5: Love Is Not Rude

Sooooo, how ya doin'? Did you find a way to let your Honey know you were thinking of him/her through the day? What was the reaction? I wanna know!

As for us, I sent Hubbs a text message - something I never do, because he does not have free texting on his phone. But we call each other through the day everyday anyway, so I had to come up with something new. And I figured the 25 cent fee was worth it, by golly!!! So I threw caution to the wind and let my fingers (well, OK, my thumbs!!!) do the talking. He, on the other hand, sent me an email - a very sweet email, I might add!!! He usually doesn't do that from work, but it was super sweet because in the beginning of our relationship that is how we did a great deal of our communication, so it was a sweet flashback! I love that guy:)

OK, on to today ...

"He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him." - Proverbs27:14

So, today just might be where this thing gets hard ...

Nobody likes to be around a rude person. That just seems like a given, doesn't it? So, are you rude? Naturally, our first response would be a resounding "NO", but what would your spouse say?

Do you have annoying little habits that grate on his/her nerves? Have they asked you to do - or not to do - something repeatedly? And have you?

The people closest to us are the ones who get the raw deal where are behavior is concerned. They see us sit around in PJ's with unkempt appearance, scratching places others should never know we scratch. We say things around them that maybe should not be said. In general, home is where we let ourselves go. But what about our spouse? How does that make him/her feel?

Hmmm, makes ya think doesn't it? I , for one, know that I NEVER would have let hubbs see me in all my morning hair, sleepy eyed, bad breath glory when we were dating! And I seem to remember, on multiple occasions, sneaking out of bed to brush my teeth and check the mirror before he woke up, once we WERE married!!! So, why is now any different? The answer is the same thing that tripped us up yesterday ... LIFE!!!!

It would just be too tiring to keep up that facade for the rest of our lives! But, maybe we can at least try to get rid of some of the biggies.

Today's Dare
Ask you spouse to tell you three things that cause him or her to be uncomfortable or irritated with you. You must do so without attacking them or justifying your behavior. This is from their perspective only.

And, please, try to take the suggestions with love. You want to be the spouse that they are needing. You WANT a strong marriage, I know you do. If you didn't, you would not be doing this dare. I am praying for you, your spouse and your marriage.

Good luck and see ya tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Love Dare - Day 4: Love Is Thoughtful

Well, my back is feeling much better today, still hobbling around and can hardly lift my Sophie Bug, but I can tell I am getting better. Hubbs stayed home from work today to help me out, and I am so very grateful that he did. I could not have done this day without him.

He had to make a grocery run tonight and I told him what I had planned to get him for my "I was thinking of you gift" - even gave him a coupon for it. Poor guy had to buy it himself. And he was so busy getting his gift that he forgot to get something for me.... But since he stayed home and waited on me hand and foot, I don't guess I better complain!!!

How was your day? What did you get for your love? How did it go over? C'mon, I want to know!!!!! PLEASE comment!

And now for day 4 ...

How precious also are your thoughts to me ... How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. - Psalm 139: 17-18

Ahhh, remember when you first fell in love and the other person was the only thing you could think of? Remember how you got distracted at work, or missed your freeway exit because your mind was on them, or when you would find yourself staring off into space with a silly grin on your face? Wasn't it great?

Back then, didn't you hang on ever word he/she said? Didn't you spend every moment possible with that person? Didn't you do special little things to let him/her know that you loved 'em?

So, what happened?

I can tell you what happened ... it's called LIFE! You got married and the conquest was finished. Girls you had your man, and men you had your prize. Nothing left to "win", so you went back to life. Don't feel bad, we all did.

But that is not the only thing that comes between husbands and wives where thoughtfulness is concerned. You see, men and women are different. I know, news flash, huh? But they THINK and process things differently and if we don't try to understand where our spouse is coming from a wedge can come between us. A BIG wedge.

See, men tend to focus on one thing and kinda space the rest of the world out. We girls see that and think that they are ignoring us or (like me) mad at us. Men also tend to internalize things and so when there is something on their mind that may not be positive (i.e. budgets, work troubles, etc...) they seem to hold it in and then the wife assumes that the unhappiness - cause it shows!!! - is their fault.

Women, on the other hand, talk ... in riddles. They say what they mean without saying what they mean. Know what I mean? Yeah, that's what I mean. They assume that the hubby can read between the lines and figure out what they are trying to say, and then when he can't they get all hurt cause he "doesn't understand me!" We think we are being clear, but let's face it ... sometimes we just aren't.

So, what do we do with all of this?

We have to TRY to be thoughtful. Not just doing what needs to be done but going a step beyond to show that the other person, and their feelings, matter. Really listen when they are talking and if your don't understand, ASK. And if he/she asks, don;t get angry, explain. It is not all that hard, it just takes some effort. And that is where day 4 comes in ...

Today's Dare
Contact your spouse sometime during the business of the day. Have no agenda other than asking how he or she is doing and if there is anything you could do for them.

Good luck, and see ya tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Love Dare - Day 3: Love Is Not Selfish

**If you are just joining us, please go here for Day 1**

OK y'all, is anyone doing this with me? No one has commented yet, I know there were a few of ya who wanted to, but I just need to know if you are. I don't mean to bug ya, just wantin' some accountability. Let me know ...

So, how is it going? Are you able to hold your tongue (and those rollin' eyes)? Did ya find a way to let your spouse know you care? Is there any part that you are struggling with and needing prayer for? 'Cause I got a story to tell ...

Hubby and I go on a date once a month (thank you Eric and Mary C.!!!), and EVERY SINGLE TIME something goes wrong. Here are just a few of the ways that we have spent our dates: in line at the Verizon store replacing my dead phone, at H&R Block doing taxes, at the church where hubbs was doing the sound for some one else's wedding rehearsal, at Wal*Mart shopping for Easter goodies for the church carnival, stuck in a blizzard induced traffic jam, etc.... You get the picture! We have often joked that the enemy just does not want us to have that special time set apart for US. Then we started this dare, and in the last two days I have gone to bed with a migraine (Mon.) and to the doctor with back spazms (Tues.). I am not clear on whether or not the enemy can attack your body, but I really feel that something is.

So, we are asking for major prayers to stay focused on this endeavor. We are bound and determined to keep with this and not let ANYTHING thwart us from becoming stronger in each other and in HIM. Can I get a witness?!?!?!?!

On the plus side, Hubby got to do a whole lot of kind things for me today, including setting out my fall decor in the yard and coming home early from work (6 hours early!!!) to save me since I could not even lift Sophie!!! My kind gesture to him was going to be making him a special dinner. I couldn't do it, but I told him what I had planned. And do you know what that wonderful man I married did? He made his dinner for me! WOW!!!

Did I marry well or what?!?!

OK, moving on ...

"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves." Philippians 2:3

Today is all about selfishness. This can be a challenge, because it is hard to see selfishness in ourselves. It is something that we condemn in other people, but easily justify in ourselves. Do you put your spouse's needs first or your own ... a tough question to ask, huh? But one that we should be asking EVERY DAY. And not just about needs, but about wants and wishes as well.

Your spouse should feel that YOU feel that they are important. At least as important, if not more, than yourself. Making them feel MORE important is the goal. Keep that in mind!

Now, this is one where you are likely to be caught in the act. Someone that is with you every day, and used to seeing you want what you want when you want it, is likely to notice the difference when you suddenly start differing to THEIR wishes. And how much will they love THAT?!?!?! You might get caught, but I don't think they will be complaining, do you?

Today's Dare
Whatever you put your time, energy and money into will become more important to you. It's hard to care for something you are not investing in. Along with restraining from negative comments, buy your spouse something that says, "I was thinking of you today."

NOTE: if, like us, finances are tight or limited, feel free to tweak this a but, but you must give your spouse some kind of gift that is, in no way, a gift for you. Be UNSELFISH!!!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Love Dare - Love Is Kind

If you are just joining us, welcome. This is day 2, so you will want to scroll down to day 1 to start. We are glad you are here!!!

For those of you continuing, welcome back!!! So, how was yesterday? Share your experiences in the comment section, PLEASE ... we all need a little input, help and accountability. We gotta stick together through this. The book even warns that this is not to be taken lightly, it is a commitment and must be treated as a promise. So, let's keep each other lifted up and bathed in prayer. Pray for each other's marriages and strength to see this through. Let's also support each other and motivate each other through. What do ya say?!?!

As for us, yesterday was easy ... mostly 'cause I had a migraine when hubby came home and spent most of the evening in bed. Bummer, huh?

It did, however, give him an opportunity to get a head start on day 2 ...

He, very kindly, offered to let me have a quiet evening in bed while he took care of the girl's dinner, playtime and bedtime routines alone. And that is what day 2 is all about!

Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. - Ephesians 4:32

To quote the book - "If patience is how love reacts in order to minimize a negative circumstance, kindness is how love acts to maximize a positive circumstance. Patience avoids a problem; kindness creates a blessing." These two traits are what the rest of what love is built upon. Without them we are building on sand and nothing will stand.

Kindness can be broken into four facets - GENTLENESS: sensitivity to the other person's feelings (even when what you have to say may be hard, say it gently); HELPFULNESS: meeting the needs of the moment, even if your own are put on hold; WILLINGNESS: looking for reasons, opportunities and ways to cooperate and compromise; INITIATIVE: seeing the need and acting without being asked or told to.

When you first fell in love, was kindness not one of the things you noticed and responded to? It probably was for your spouse too - what better way to rekindle those feelings?

Today's Dare
In addition to saying nothing negative to your spouse again today, do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness.

(Notice that it said "in addition to ..." This means that we are to add on to what we did yesterday, not replace it. Continue to hold your tongue when tempted to snap, keep from rolling your eyes when frustrated and keep those dirty looks at bay - no matter how difficult that may be - and at the same time, be kind.!!!)

Remember, we can do this ... and it will be so worth it in the end!!! I'll be praying for ya:)

See ya tomorrow!

Picture Perfect Monday - Me and My Man

***Scroll down for the Love Dare post***

In honor of the Fireproof Love Dare challenge, here are some pics of me and my man ...

Good Golly I love that boy!

Love Dare - Love Is Patient

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." - Ephesians 4:2

We all know how hard it is to be around an impatient person. Do we want that for our spouse? I doubt it. Your opinion means the most to your spouse, so express it kindly. And remember what your mam always said, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all!!!"

Today's Dare
"The first part of this dare is fairly simple. Although love is communicated in a number of ways, our words often reflect the condition of our heart. For the next day, resolve to demonstrate patience and to say nothing negative to your spouse at all. If the temptation arises, choose not to say anything. It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret."

Now, for us, we are more likely to say something negative about ourselves than each other. But we have discussed that that IS negative toward each other, so we have resolved to be careful about that as well. And remember, to remember MORE THAN JUST YOUR WORDS!!! Our attitudes and looks can make our spouse feel just as bad as a cutting remark!!!

Good luck, and have a GREAT day!!!! You can do this:)

See ya tomorrow!