Category Archives: Communication

5 Tips for How to Survive the Family Road Trip

Over the years we have done many road trips, to visit family, to go camping or simply to see and appreciate this amazing country we live in. It has taken many years of trial and error to hit on a road trip plan that works for our family. Here are our top 5 tips for how to survive the family road trip.

  1. Pack your own food for meals and snacks. Eating out can take a toll on the pocket book and also on your health. When we can’t pack our own food we like to stop at Safeway, their deli is a great place to find fresh and healthy choices.
  2. Download some new movies, TV shows, books and music to your mobile devices before hitting the road. Keeping everyone occupied is of utmost importance!!! It is just as important to keep older children and adults busy as it is to keep young children busy!! Don’t forget to bring chargers and charge cords so that you can enjoy your diversions for the entire road trip!
  3. Stop!!! Make sure to make many stops along the way. Everyone will appreciate the time to stretch their legs, use the washroom and perhaps grab a snack. Incorporating pit stops actually makes the trip seem shorter rather than longer because it breaks up those long monotonous hours.  Every road trip has some interesting attractions along the way so plan to stop and enjoy them.
  4. Bring along some blankets and pillows. It is inevitable that people will fall asleep on a road trip, at least this is the case in our family! Make a nap more enjoyable by planning ahead.
  5. Engage in conversation. You are all stuck in a vehicle for many hours, this is a perfect time to chat! Our family has come up with some wonderful ideas during long road trips and we have solved some problems as well. A road trip can be the perfect time to engage in quality conversation no matter what age your children are!

A road trip with the family can be enjoyable, but it takes some planning and preparation! Here is a great link with more ideas on how to survive the family road trip. Source: Survive the Family Road Trip With These 13 Tips – Survival Mom

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20 Cheap Things For Couples To Do

Here is our list of 20 cheap things for couples to do.

  1. Make a fire in your backyard. Pull out the marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate and devour some Smores while enjoying the warmth and glow of a cozy fire. Be sure to cuddle up and keep each other warm!
  2. Go out for coffee to your favorite coffee house, even better explore a coffee house that you have never visited before. Pick a place with comfortable chairs, a couch would be great, and settle in for some great coffee and conversation.
  3. Cook dinner together. Pick your favorite meal or browse through cookbooks and pick a meal that you have never created before. Turn up the music and let the good times roll!!
  4. Go bowling!  Pick out some of your favorite songs on the jukebox and challenge each other to a fun and friendly bowling competition.
  5. Go out for dessert. Instead of indulging in an entire meal go out just for dessert. Pick something large so you can share it together!
  6. Go for a drive to and watch the stars. Find a place in your area that is free of light pollution and spend some time under the night sky marveling in God’s creation!
  7. Play your favorite board game or card game. Preferably pick a game that will take a long time to finish, such as Monopoly, and make a night of it. Don’t forget to turn on some music and put out some snacks!
  8. Watch a movie together. Make sure it is just the two of you, kids not invited! Pick out the most romantic movie that you can think of, cuddle up and enjoy!
  9. Go hiking. Explore an area that you haven’t explored before, be adventurers. Make sure to let someone know where you are headed before you leave, safety first!
  10. Make a batch of cupcakes and decorate them. Don’t hold back, pull out all the stops and see who can come up with the most creative cupcake!!
  11. Go to the park and play. Get on the playground equipment and pretend that you are a kid again! Push each other on the swings, play tag, hang from the monkey bars. Let yourself be free just like when you were young. Before you know it you will be laughing till the tears start rolling!!
  12. Spend a morning at the farmer’s market. Get up early on a Saturday, grab a coffee and spend some time browsing the farmer’s market. Don’t forget to pick up some fresh bread for lunch and some cinnamon buns for breakfast!
  13. Browse your local thrift stores or flea markets and see who can find the most unique/ugly item. Be sure to proudly display this item at home to remember your wonderful day together!
  14. Go skating. Skating, especially at night, on an outdoor rink is very romantic. Hold hands and navigate the rink together.
  15. Play a round of mini golf. Our city has an outdoor and an indoor mini golf course so this can be a year round activity. Mini golf is relatively inexpensive, doesn’t require too much concentration and will certainly provide you with plenty of entertainment and laughter.
  16. Go to a thrift store and put together an outfit for each other. Be creative, don’t go for something “normal”. Be sure to try the outfits on and take a picture to capture the moment. If you are really adventurous, purchase the outfits and wear them out to dinner together!!!
  17. Go sledding in the winter. Grab your sleds or borrow some sleds and hit the most popular hill in your area. Be sure to enjoy a mug of hot chocolate together after you have conquered the hill!
  18. Play video games together. Pick a game that involves some interaction, “Just Dance” or “Mario Kart” are good choices, and prepare for the hilarity to begin!!
  19. Fly a kite. Don’t let a windy day get you down instead grab a couple of kites, head for an open field and prepare for some fantastic fun! Dollar stores usually carry inexpensive kites if you don’t have any of your own.
  20. Go to the museum. Our local museum has everything from live animals to dinosaur bones. Every museum has something interesting to offer so why not explore one together and perhaps learn something new!

Can you think of any other interesting activities to add?

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6 Mother Daughter Activities

It has been such a whirlwind raising a daughter! You think when they are little that they will never get older and then one day they are standing in front of you asking you to teach them to drive!!! I loved the time when my daughter was younger, but I am also loving this new chapter in our lives of watching our daughter grow into a woman. We can now connect on a whole different level than when she was a toddler or pre-schooler. One thing that I am finding particularly awesome about this stage in my daughter’s life is the one on one time that we have together. Here are 6 mother daughter activities that we enjoy doing.

  1. Coffee Dates – We are both Starbucks fanatics so naturally we would gravitate towards having a coffee date together! This is simply a time to grab a coffee and chat about what is going on in our lives. It is a laid back, relaxed time of bonding that we both really enjoy and the coffee is an added bonus!!
  2. Shopping – Okay, I know that not every woman likes to go shopping but my daughter and I actually enjoy this experience. Whether we are shopping for a dress for a special occasion or just popping out to Target in the evening to browse the makeup section we find this is a great way for us to spend some quality time together. Usually our shopping trips involve some form of silliness and lots of laughter, which is good for the soul!!
  3. Physical Activity – This could involve anything from taking the dog for a walk around the neighborhood to hiking in the woods to kayaking to biking along the river. If it involves getting outside and getting active we like to do it together! My daughter sometimes has to convince me that getting active is good for me, especially on those days when work has been long, but I am always glad when I do get out there with her!
  4. Watching Gilmore Girls Together – The show Gilmore Girls is my daughter’s all time favorite television show, she has watched all 7 seasons 7 times all the way through! I am also infatuated with this show so it stands to reason that we would enjoy watching it together. When my husband is out of town we will make some food, settle in and watch one or two episodes in the evening!
  5. Sharing Great Books – So, this isn’t technically time that we spend together but it is a shared experience. If I read a great book that I know my daughter will enjoy I pass it on to her and she does the same for me. These books give us something to discuss together, maybe during our coffee dates! We are always on the lookout for books that we might enjoy together.
  6. Special Events – So, this could incorporate many different activities such as going to a movie together, watching a play together or going to a concert. My daughter and I have enjoyed going to a couple of concerts together and it is a neat experience to share. Last night we attended a Taylor Swift concert together and it will be something we will talk about for a long time to come! We also get excited about going to movies together that we have been anticipating for a long time such as the Hunger Games series or the Divergent series.

The time that we have with our children is relatively short. It is up to us to make the most of this time and relish every moment. These mother daughter activities are extremely precious and bring memories that will last us a lifetime.

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Forgiveness

No matter what you do in your life, no matter what relationships you are involved in; one day you will find yourself in the position of having to forgive. Forgiveness can be difficult to do but forgiving others releases you and can bring immeasurable peace.

Forgiveness is a continuing process. When someone has hurt you it takes time for the pain to ease. Forgiveness must be given on a daily basis (sometimes hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute).

Forgiveness allows relationships to grow and flourish. Conversely, without forgiveness relationships will wither and die.

Forgiveness cannot be done through our own strength. Forgiveness requires us to lean on God. It is human nature to seek justice (what is “right”) so we must trust in God and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in order to truly forgive.

Once we forgive trust can be rebuilt. A relationship must be built on a strong foundation and forgiveness paves the way.

When you hold onto bitterness and anger it becomes a prison and only you possess the key to unlock that prison. The key is forgiveness.

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Walking, Connecting and Staying Fit

IMG_0989This evening we went for our nightly walk, nightly meaning the nights that we are both in the same city. Lately we have become a bit lazy in our walks and they have been getting shorter rather than longer. Three nights ago we decided it was time to step up our walking game and get back into shape. So, we started doing what is known in our city as the “hill climb” and that is exactly what it is, straight up and straight down! It is definitely more of a challenge than the walks that we have been taking lately but the feeling of accomplishment at the end is pretty fantastic. As we were walking we began discussing how important our nightly walks are to us; this is when we talk, this is when we connect, this is when our best ideas are born!! We also discussed how not only is this walking time important for us as a couple but it is also important for us as individuals. Physical fitness is directly linked to our mental well being. When we are taking care of our body, taking the time to exercise and eat healthy, we are better prepared to deal with the stresses of every day life. It is important to take care of ourselves; when our needs are met then we can effectively meet the needs of those around us.

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