52 Date Nights- Week One

52 Date Nights- Week One

For our first date night we watched “The Bucket List” with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.

After the movie we made our own bucket lists. We actually had a hard time coming up with things we wanted to do before we “kicked the bucket”. We realized that we are pretty content in our life. There are things we would like to do and change but if we didn’t we would not feel like we were not successful or have not really lived.

Our list in had a lot of things we hope to do together this year as a couple or as a family. Hopefully we will be able to get them done! (a few we will on our cruise!, some include visiting area attractions, short-term goals for our children (potty-training!).

Have you ever made a bucket list?

Getting out of a rut

Jadae and I have been married for 10 years now!  But we have had gotten in a rut. With having 3 boys 8 and under it is hard for us to get out and have one-on-one time together. So often after a long day we would sit in front of the tv and watch Netflix.  I wanted us to go on more dates, keep the romance alive!

About a month before Christmas I was trying to figure out what to get him for Christmas. I finally decided to give him an on-going gift of date nights. At first, I planned on one date each month all pre-planned and ready to go. I was thinking about getting gift cards to restaurants, planning outings, etc. But without a guaranteed baby-sitter I knew it would be difficult to implement.  So instead I planned on doing 52 date nights at home. My thought was to get the kids in bed a little early and then we will have our date. I spent hours pouring over websites, Pinterest, books, etc. researching ideas that we can do in the comforts of our home without too many movie dates.

Christmas morning I gave him a black tub filled with wrapped presents that he had to wait to open until that date. I found a poem on-line from www.cleanandscentsible.com The look on my husband’s face was awesome! He was speechless and loved it!

I look forward to the many dates that I have planned. There is one movie night a month. A lot of game nights (every 3 weeks). We both really like games but many games play so much better with 3 or more people.  So I researched the best 2-player games. I brought some games from the thrift store and the rest at Amazon.com using the gift cards that I earned from Swagbucks. (http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/tinkerfly81 ). I have 6 art nights and 6 Wii tournament game nights. The rest are odds and ends that I found from various sites including http://www.thedatingdivas.com/ (which is an amazing site filled with ideas for all kinds of things, moods, places, etc.)

Being Brave


I don’t feel brave. I am one of those people who when told bad news immediately start thinking the worst and sometimes the fear paralyzes me. I start wondering all the “what if’s”. This summer I got to see how brave I really was and how I can face multiple health crises with God.

My husband has Crohn’s disease and has brushed death multiple times. This past summer he really struggled with his hemoglobin levels. My husband always pulls through and I manage to deal with the children, the household, and the reality that he might not make it this time. Our children watch him faithfully praise God in midst of consistent immobilizing pain and seek God no matter what. I see him as being brave; a wonderful example to our 3 sons.

This summer my baby, Smiles (4 months old at the time), needed surgery for his kidneys. While I was pregnant we knew that his kidneys were not functioning correctly. After he was born, we found out that his good kidney was functioning at 80%, while his bad one was only functioning at 20%. Amazingly, I had peace about the surgery and thought we would get through this and life will get back to our normal.

Hours before we left for his surgery I got a phone call from a surgeon who removed a cyst from my underarm earlier that summer. It had been there for over a year and I showed it to multiple doctors but none of them were concerned about it. He wanted me to come in right away. I had cancer, a very rare form of skin cancer that only 300 people worldwide has been documented as having.

I was scared. Cancer took my mom the fall of 2010. Both my husband and my baby were having health problems of their own. I was suppose to be the healthy one! I had 2 other sons to raise. I needed to be able to take care of my husband and the baby and the other boys. I had this lump for well over a year. Did it spread? What kind of treatment would I need? How will I tell my children, especially my oldest who knows how my mom died and understands this all? How will we manage?

I did not have time then to try to Google what little information was available because as soon as we left the office we had to leave to head to Columbus for our Smile’s surgery. His surgery was on a Friday and they kept him all weekend. I had a lot of time to think that weekend while in the hospital room with him. At night was the worst. That was when the fear started to creep in and made it hard to sleep. God gave me this verse, “God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). He also brought to my attention that it is not my diagnosis that will affect my children as much as how they see me handle it. This was their only childhood and I am leaving them a legacy.

What they see from me has a great impact on how they will remember me. If I run from my fears and ball up and shut down- that is what they will see. If I embrace life and seek God and show that I am scared but I do not fear because I know who controls my destiny – that is what they will see. I want them to see mom seeking God, because that is what is important. I want them to know that they can be brave despite being afraid because God is in control. Showing my emotions of being sad or upset is okay, because it shows them you can be authentic. That being brave does not mean you can’t ask for help or that you need to do it on your own. But admitting that you cannot and seeking God and asking others for what you need. Thankfully, I am now cancer free and the bravery that came from my summer’s experiences are now part of the testimony I share.

A little introduction

I am a stay-at-home mom to 3 wonderful boys- Racer, 7; Monkey Boy, 3; and Smiles, who will be a year later this month.  I have a amazing husband, Jay.  We will be married for 10 years this August.  I like to dance, read, scrapbook, play games, and shop at thrift stores.

I have recently discovered oils.  The main reason I got into them is because of my husband’s health.  He was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease shortly after we were married.  He has had numerous hospital stays due to complication of this horrible disease.  Several years ago his bowel had perforated.  Right now he is struggling with low hemoglobin levels, in which he gets blood transfusions about every 2-3 weeks.  He also had horrible, debilitating pain that causes him to lay on the floor or coach and not be able to do anything.  He had a port put in earlier this past New Year’s eve.  Several people recommended oils to us.  He used the peppermint and realized that just smelling it can help reduce the pain and applying it topically can also reduce the pain he is experiencing.

Racer is very compassionate. He loves his brothers. He likes LEGOs, transformers, Pokemon, and Digamon. He recently found the love of reading and inspires to read through the entire Bible, currently he is in Exodus. I use Heart of Dakota Beyond as my primary curriculum with Racer. For Math we just started using Singapore 2a. We are involved in a co-op at a local church. He also attends a music class and MOPS.

Monkey Boy is full of energy! There is never a dull moment with him. He is a very curious boy and loves to get into mischief. He likes Daniel Tiger, Thomas the Train, and Curious George. He likes to play with DUPLO’s, cars, planes, and all things boys.

Smiles is my baby boy. He had 2 surgeries this summer due to his kidneys not functioning properly. (one was functioning at 80% and the other at 20%- the latter also had a double ureter). He adores his older brothers. The one show that gets his attention is Daniel Tiger. He likes to try to play with his parent’s things (Kindles, phones, remotes, etc.). He is starting to practice standing on his own. He loves pancakes!