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We could spend hours diving into every aspect of table do’s and don’ts, but I want to give you my top 13 tips that will help you navigate any social or business gathering with confidence.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

When God knitted together our precious children before they were even born, I am convinced he also wove in their personalities, gifts, and a love language! The concept of “love languages” is that each of us expresses and receives love in a unique way. The five love languages identified by Gary Chapman in his bestselling book are: Touch, Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Gifts.

Vacations are back on the calendar, and many people are crossing the country through our friendly skies. I thought a refresher on airport and plane travel might do us all a little good.

I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99!

“Conflict is part of every marriage. Thirty-seven percent of newlyweds admit to being more critical of their mates after marriage. And 30 percent report an increase in arguments. Whether you argue does not determine the health of your marriage. Far more important than how often you argue is how you argue.

With Father’s Day coming soon, you and your family will be celebrating one of the most important men in your life- Dad. As a child, he was your hero, your protector, and your solid rock. Now that you are older, you admire him for all that he has done for you and you still look to him for advice and wisdom. Picking out the perfect gift for Dad is not easy!

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

School is almost out for summer! Many of us want to gift our child’s teacher something special at the end of the year for all the love, kindness, and patience they have poured out on our little ones. Being a teacher is not easy, and they are so deserving of our gratitude especially after this wild 20/21 school year! Some common go-to gifts you might have thought of are bath and body products, Starbucks gift cards and mugs, but below are some additional gift ideas your child’s teacher will be touched to receive:

Graduation is a pivotal point in a young person’s life. It is the beginning of a season of responsibility, coming of age, and independence. As these twenty-somethings are about to discover the meaning of “adulting,” here are some gift ideas that will no doubt be a blessing in your college grad’s new life.

If some of you are thinking, “I believe I have read this letter before,” you would be correct. Our son and daughter (in law) had a beautiful wedding ceremony planned for April of 2020. As with thousands around the country, they had to postpone the big event, but chose to hold a private covenant ceremony in our backyard. Well, we are finally celebrating their wedding vows, and it was on my heart to re-post the letter I wrote to my son last year. Some things have changed (he is now 25, not 24 as the letter states), but I hope you enjoy!

 I heard the most interesting ad the other day. There is a company that offers private-type flights for the commercial world. They describe themselves as a “hop on jet service.” On their website it states, “The convenience of private air but at commercial prices.” I looked them up, and there was one flight from Dallas to Houston for only $99! 

“We read a lot of articles and books about how to get through the engagement process, but no one ever talked to us about what it would be like the first year of our marriage. I wish we had known what to expect,” said one of the couples my husband and I mentor. This is a common comment, and if you find yourself having similar feelings, do not fret! You are not alone. The first year of marriage is fabulous, but it can also be difficult. Two people learning to become one does not happen overnight.

We all like to think we have good manners in marriage, but with the people that are closest to us, we can sometimes find ourselves slipping a bit. As stated by Cindy Grosso of the Charleston School of Protocol, manners are not about a bunch of rules. Manners are the outward manifestation of the condition of our heart. If we have a heart that loves, honors, respects, and cherishes our spouse, then these traits will show in how we behave.

Society is opening and people are resuming long overdue vacations. This is great news! I recently posted some tips on making your travels successful, but let’s focus on dos and don’ts of traveling with friends.

 

1. Boundaries: When traveling with others, set guidelines, boundaries, and expectations before leaving town. If you know you and your husband want one night to yourselves, express this up front. If a quiet breakfast in bed is necessary to start your day, see if this fits with the group’s schedule. 

  • Lisa Lou

68 Great Dating Ideas




When two people have been together for a while, it is easy to slip into that comfortable place and stop truly dating. Does this mean you cannot enjoy lazy nights on the couch watching a movie? Of course not. In fact, it is a nice place to be in your relationship when you get to that point. I would recommend, though, that couples change things up a bit, otherwise weekend routines can become mundane which can often lead to complacency, and complacency can be an enemy of marriage. This can prove especially true for couples that have been together for awhile. Out of curiosity, I sat down one day and wrote as many dating ideas that I could think of that two people might enjoy. Some are geographically specific, and others are only applicable during certain seasons, but I hope these will get your own thoughts churning as you come up with creative ways to continue to grow together in your relationship.

1. Play games: chess; Hive; Clue (you can find a lot of games for 2 players with a simple search)

2. Grocery shop together and cook a meal

3. Binge watch a great series: The Chronicles of Narnia, Star Wars; old classics; The Lord of the Rings (that would be an all-day binge!)

4. Visit your local museum

5. Assemble a puzzle: buy a puzzle with a picture of your favorite vacation spot that you can then frame

6. Take a dance lesson: my husband and I did this for our son’s wedding and dancing has now become a daily fixture in our lives=

7. Take a cooking class

8. Go to the zoo

9. Go to a wine bar and spend your time setting your goals together for the next 1, 5 and 10 years

10. Picnic at the park

11. Search top tourist spots in your town and pick 3 to do

12. Set the dinner table with your wedding china and crystal and have an elegant meal at home


13. Build a snowman and roast marshmallows

14. Attend your local high school musical: these are inexpensive and can be very good

15. Host an outdoor BBQ

16. Take a driving or walking tour of your local National Historic Trails

17. Attend your local high school sporting event: my husband and I love to go to our local football games to get into the spirit of fall

18. Charades

19. Bowling

20. Ziplining

21. Go to a shooting range

22. Have a slumber party at home with movies and popcorn

23. Fondue night

24. Escape Room

25. Skip dinner and have a wine and cheese night

26. Attend a rodeo

27. Go hiking and end with a picnic


28. Research local festivals in your area to attend

29. Miniature golf

30. Tubing on the river

31. Rock climbing

32. Ride go-karts

33. Restaurant hop: go to two and just eat appetizers; go to two more and just eat dessert

34. Take a painting class

35. Lay outside and gaze at the stars

36. Attend an outdoor concert or play

37. Volunteer for a charity that is dear to your heart

38. Pick pumpkins in a pumpkin patch

39. Carve a pumpkin together

40. Cut down your own Christmas tree

41. Take a tour of your city

42. Go to the midnight show at the movie theatre

43. Make ice cream sundaes

44. Decorate a Christmas tree


Via K945

45. Attend an animal show/race (nothing cuter than watching wiener dogs run!)

46. Drive to a nearby small town for lunch at the local café

47. Explore geological areas near you (waterfalls, caves, beaches, forests)

48. Go paintballing

49. Karaoke Night

50. Wine tasting tour

51. Brewery tour

52. Go to a comedy club

53. Attend the carnival that comes to your town

54. Dye Easter eggs together

55. Take a ferry ride

56. Go antiquing and then find your favorite food truck for lunch

57. Go on a scavenger hunt: you can find ideas online

58. Recreate your first date

59. Curl up in your pajamas, grab your hot chocolate, light a fire and read a book to each other


60. Go berry picking

61. Enjoy a spa day at home

62. Take a bike ride

63. Make a bonfire

64. Go Christmas caroling in your neighborhood

65. Take the 5 Love Languages online quiz, and discuss each other’s language

66. Sleep in and go to breakfast at your favorite cafe

67. Eat takeout by candlelight or picnic in your front yard

68. Cake night: make your 3 favorite cakes and eat them with a fork on the couch-no plates required!

I had fun coming up with ideas, and new ones are still popping up in my mind! Part of the enjoyment of date night is the creativity involved. If you are on a budget, come up with a list of 10 things you can do at no-cost (the above list has several). Continuing to date takes effort, but effort is required to have a successful marriage. This is especially true during the child-rearing years. Remember the best thing you can do for your children is have them grow up in a home where they witness two parents that have a healthy and loving relationship. As we all know, keeping our bodies in tip top shape takes work. Maintaining a marriage that thrives is also no easy task. Shake things up, try something new and you will keep the spice in your marriage.


Together with you,

Lisa Lou