How I got my husband to work around the house, give me awesome gifts, bring me flowers and do other sweet things

Get ready for it….

Just tell him exactly what you want and ask him to do it.

He doesn’t know if you don’t tell him. He is not a mind reader.

Okay, so I realize this is not always the solution. But, I spent way too many birthdays and other special days feeling sorry for myself because my husband hadn’t done anything “special” for me before I finally (dope slap) realized he was all too happy to please me every way he could — he was just clueless about what would actually make me feel appreciated. Then he would get stuck. Not wanting to make a wrong choice and therefore defaulting to nothing.

So, I started telling him. Not just in passing. I would email him. Or text him. Or send him an amazon.com link. Or post a list prominently on the refrigerator of gift ideas and outing ideas that appealed to me. I made sure to state specifics of my preferences. “I like daffodils” Daffodils. Public domain image.is better than “bring me flowers” (unless you just love ALL flowers). Include clothing sizes and color preferences if applicable. Point being, he WILL forget the exact details. But if I provide a written version he can refer back to, he will remember that there is a special day and make an effort by referring to my suggestions.

I, in turn, heap on the gratitude when he makes an effort. Oh how he loves me.

This same technique is effective when I’m experiencing emotional trauma or frustration. In his uncertainty over how to handle his emotionally fragile wife, he may revert to offering advice. Often that’s not what I need. So I tell him. I just need a hug. Or “will you please research this and let me know what you find”.

Specific. Specific. Specific. And he responds beautifully.

And I’m amazed that it can be so simple.

And shocked at how long it took me to figure it out.

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“We Sing” Wednesday – Jesus Bids Us Shine

I honestly can’t remember when I first learned “Jesus Bids Us Shine”. I know I’ve known it from childhood and suspect I learned it from my parents or grandparents in a church meeting.

When I looked it up, I found that it has been around for almost 150 years. First published in a children’s magazine in 1868, it is a good reminder to me even now to do what I can to shine for Jesus as I live my ordinary, every day life.

Jesus Bids Us Shine
Susan B. Warner, 1868

Jesus bids us shine with a clear, pure light,
Like a little candle burning in the night;
In this world of darkness, we must shine,
You in your small corner, and I in mine.

Jesus bids us shine, first of all for Him;
Well He sees and knows it if our light is dim;
He looks down from heaven, sees us shine,
You in your small corner, and I in mine.

Jesus bids us shine, then, for all around,
Many kinds of darkness in this world abound:
Sin, and want, and sorrow—we must shine,
You in your small corner, and I in mine.
Public Domain

 

http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Jesus_Bids_Us_Shine/

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“We Sing” Wednesday – This Little Light of Mine

According to Wikipedia, “This Little Light of Mine” was written by composer and teacher Harry Dixon Loes around 1920. Loes studied at the Moody Bible Institute and the American Conservatory of Music and was a musical composer and teacher. “This Little Light of Mine” is often thought of as a Negro spiritual; however, it does not appear in any collection of jubilee or plantation songs from the nineteenth century.

I learned this song in our church, where we were ever thankful for songs that had motion with them to break up the monotony of sitting for long periods of time. I like the simplicity of it. It is a good message written in a way that little people can understand. The repetition and hand motions make this an excellent song for little ones.

The first YouTube link is for a recording with words and melody as I learned the song. The second video is slightly different words, but has hand motions if you want a visual.

This Little Light Of Mine

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

All around the neighborhood, I’m going to let it shine.
All around the neighborhood, I’m going to let it shine.
All around the neighborhood, I’m going to let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m going to let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m going to let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m going to let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Don’t let Satan [blow] it out! I’m going to let it shine.
Don’t let Satan [blow] it out! I’m going to let it shine.
Don’t let Satan [blow] it out! I’m going to let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Sheet music: http://www.8notes.com/scores/13893.asp

Video with hand motions, but not the same lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8mok6oWXyk

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“We Sing” Wednesday – I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down In My Heart

This fun song was one we sang in our home church when I was very small. The main verse is simple, and even little children can sing it.

Some of the subsequent verses proved a challenge for me as a young child. I could not get all the big words to tumble out of my mouth fast enough to keep up with the song. I remember the triumph when I could finally manage it.

I’ll type up all the verses I remember from my early childhood. My favorite of all is the last one. The one I had the most trouble being able to sing. For more fun verses, check out the Wikipedia article devoted to this song.

I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down In My Heart
George Willis Cooke

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart (Where?)
Down in my heart (Where?)
Down in my heart
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart (Where?)
Down in my heart to stay

And I’m so happy
So very happy
I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart
And I’m so happy
So very happy
I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart

I’ve got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart…

I’ve got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus down in my heart…

I’ve got the wonderful love of my blessed redeemer way down in the depths of my heart…
Public domain

 

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The very best gluten-free chocolate chip cookies

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Our food allergy story began almost twelve years ago, after the birth of our ninth child. I’ll share more of that story in another post. The short version is that, after a five-day hospital stay, he was diagnosed with MSPI (milk-soy protein intolerance).

It took over ten months and an insanely strict elimination diet (for ME since I was his sole source of nutrition) to figure out the rest of his food allergies. Wheat/gluten was one of the many.

Since I’ve always enjoyed baking, this was a tough blow. No more yummy treats coming out of my kitchen…. Yeah, that didn’t last long. Twelve years ago, today’s glut of gluten-free information and help did not exist. There were only a few cookbooks available; but, thankfully, there was a helpful community at egroups (yep, it was an age ago!) of parents of food-allergic kids who willingly shared anything helpful they came across.

From there, I found a group called SillyYaks, and I was back in the baking business.

The inspiration for this recipe came from the SillyYaks group.

The Very BEST Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

4½ cups gluten free flour mix (you can either make up your own mix or buy a pre-made GF flour mix. I will share the blend I use below) ***
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum (unless the mix you purchase includes this binder)
2 cups shortening (Crisco®, or palm shortening — NO substitutes)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 small packages vanilla instant pudding mix (3.4oz each)
2 T vanilla extract
4 eggs
2 cups (12 oz) semi sweet chocolate chips.

In a medium bowl combine flour blend, baking soda, salt and xanthan gum.

In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugars until well blended and smooth. Add vanilla and pudding mix. Add eggs. Mix well.

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Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture and blend well until no flour is visible.

Mix in chocolate chips.

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Drop by teaspoons full onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350°F for 9-10 minutes. Remove from oven when cookies are only BARELY browned around the edges. Cool for 1-2 minutes on baking sheet before removing to clean counter top (not cooling racks) to finish cooling.

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Enjoy warm from the oven, room temp up to 2 days OR freeze for longer term freshness. They are very yummy to eat straight from the freezer.

This recipe lends itself well to variations. Instead of vanilla pudding mix and semi sweet chocolate chips, try the following:

  • Chocolate pudding mix and white chocolate chips
  • Butterscotch pudding and caramel bits
  • Butterscotch pudding and toasted nuts or butter brickle pieces
  • Lemon pudding and poppy seeds (I would use all white sugar for a pale, delicate cookie, and use lemon extract instead of vanilla extract)

Really the flavor variations are limited only by your imagination.

The gluten-free flour mix that I usually use for these cookies is a brown rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch blend in the following ratio:

6 cups brown rice flour
2 cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca starch

(Prepare as much of this mixture as you think you’ll use in three months, and store it in a canister or jar.)

PDF version is here.

 

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