Summertime Sanity #7 – Looking out for #2

Week two of summer well underway…how are we doing out there?

Memorial Day weekend was so much fun for us! We kicked it off with Wacky Fun Day #2 – A trip to the zoo! As promised, I followed one of Sanity in the Summertime’s crock pot recipes to have when we came home for dinner. Could someone plleeeaaasse tell me how to cut a whole chicken. Mercy.


Believe it or not – Chicken in the Pot

1 3-pound chicken, whole or cut up
2 carrots, sliced
2 onions, sliced
2 celery stalks w leaves, cut in 1-in pieces
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp water or chicken broth
1 tsp basil

Put all veggies in the bottom of the pot. Add whole chicken or chicken pieces. Top with salt and pepper. Add liquid. Sprinkle basil over top. Cover and cook on low setting until done (7-10) hours.

Arp suggests serving this with a fresh fruit yogurt salad. So I did. Kind of. I just made fruit dip for the boys. I could just see them looking at yogurt covered fruit and saying, “I don’t like that.” Even though they never tried it.

It was exciting to come home to the smell of a big bird in the pot. Overall, the dinner was a success. The chicken was delish, put not so pretty once I got a hold of it. I literally just tore it apart with my hands. Next time, I will have to look up “How to slice a whole chicken” in my Joy of Cooking book. 🙂

Summertime Sanity #7 – Looking out for #2

Remember that man that made all of this kid stuff a possibility for us? That daddy guy that the kids just adore? Dillow and Arp devote a chapter to him alone. I must say, this was so good for me to read. I love love love Brent, but due to the busyness of raising kids, my marriage is always the first to slip through the cracks.

Dillow writes, “Physiologists say the most important thing a mother can do for her child is to love the child’s father, and the most important thing a father can do for his child is to love the child’s mother. A child can be loved by both the mother and the father, but if Mommy and Daddy don’t love each other a child can have deep feelings of insecurity.”

Now, I was raised in a divorced home. I remember visiting every other weekend at my dads. Can the Lord still bless and build up your child in a divorced home? ABSOLUTELY. I was seven when my parents divorced, but I remember so much. I remember feeling a deep sadness over their separation, but I also remember feeling very safe when they would get along (in front of me – at least). It was less than ideal, sure. But that’s just how it was and the Lord’s redemptive plan was still in place – for all of us. So to the “less than ideal” family – tailor this post to meet the needs of your situation.

How can we show our husbands (and our children) this summer that Daddy is loved? Dillow writes, “Of you don’t plan your husbands into your summer, your schedule will easily become too busy and all he will get is the tired leftovers.”

This quote makes me think back to our priority list.

1. God
2. Husband
3. Children
4. Home
5. Yourself
6. Outside of your home

For me, the top three are the first to get scrambled. Number 3 usually makes its way to the top. Sometimes Brent is all the way down to #6. Sorry Babe, just being honest. What happens is this….the things that can’t care for themselves take priority. My kids, my grandmother, my home. The tyranny of the urgent wins out. Who loses? My walk with Jesus and my marriage. They are always the first to take a hit. Jesus needs to keep his place on top and Brent remain my #2.

My sweet sister-in-law, Erin, is always so good to ask me, “How’s your marriage?” Well, I am blessed to say its rarely ever “bad”, but honestly my answer 90% of the time would have to be, “On auto pilot.” It makes its way all on its own.

How do we begin?

Well, this isn’t in the book, but I think it is so important to first identify what your husbands love languages might be. Here’s the list…

The Five Love Languages

1. Physical Touch
2. Gift Giving
3. Acts of Kindness
4. Words of Affirmation
5. Quality Time

The way Brent receives love is different from me. I am Quality Time all the way. Brent would say he is more Acts of Kindness. He loves it when I make him his favorite dish or surprise him with a Heath Bar cake. He is also a bit of Quality Time, but his need differs from my need. I could say, “Wanna go to the store with us?” and if he did a big need would be met for me. Brent on the other hand would not consider that quality. He would consider a date night with no kids, coffee at Borders and a good conversation quality time.

So, once you figure his love language(s), then take time to list out some ways to make him feel special and pursued this summer.

Here are some ideas the book gives:

1. Be on his team! What is his passion or hobby? Fishing, golf, running, etc? Don’t just be a cheerleader – get in the game! Ask him lots of questions and maybe ask to go along with him.

2. Summer Dating – Could you have a standing date? Weekly, bi-weekly? Brent and I can’t afford every week, so we are opting to have an at-home date once a week after kids are down mixed with a sitter occasionally.

Dillow suggests on date night to play a game of tennis, go for a hike or walk, take a picnic, go for a bike ride, or a long drive in the country. In other words, do something that allows conversation and build memories.

3. Vacation for two – even if its only for one night! Its not easy, but so worth it.

You all will get a kick out of this – for our anniversary this year, Brent and I are going to stay-cation in the Smokies and go tubing. I haven’t been in years! No kids, just Brent and me floating our happy rears down the river. I’m 100% positive I will have a good story to tell afterwards.

4. Cards for reading – Dillow tells a story about a mom and kids that put a note in hubby’s work bag every Friday morning saying, “Yay! Its the weekend! You get to be home with us!” Well, dad never said anything about it, until one Friday they didn’t do it. He called and said, “I’m missing my note this week.” I thought this was a cute idea.

5. Coupons for cashing – Adapted from the Mommy’s Specials coupon book for our kids, make a coupon book for you man! How fun! This has endless possibilities 😉

One of my goals for my marriage this summer was to kiss Brent more often. I know that sounds silly, but I remember a day that all I could think about was kissing this man. What happened? Three pregnancies and a lot of life later, I know there are days our lips don’t touch. I want my kids to see us affectionate. Although I was little when my mom and dad were married, I remember seeing them kiss. Once. Mom was standing at the kitchen sink and my dad came up behind her and kissed her right on the lips. It made an impression on me.

It is important for our kids to see us affectionate. I want them to grow up and say, “My mom and dad always held hands and kissed in front of us.” With tasteful discretion, of course 🙂

I am off to pray and ask the Lord how I can bless Brent this summer. I want to be intentional, not only with my boys, but with this sweet man that helped make all of this happen.

I would love to hear updates on your Summertime Sanity goals and progress!

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2 thoughts on “Summertime Sanity #7 – Looking out for #2

  1. Can I just say how much the Lord is blessing my socks off, convicting my sinful heart, and giving this very tired mommy fresh ideas by reading your blog each day! THANK YOU for being obedient to the Lord with this blog. I LOVE IT! You encourage me, friend! I ordered the Sanity in the Summertime book last night and I can't wait to read it! Emily Porter

  2. this was so good! I got some good ideas here! kissing more is a GOOD thing indeed! I love the note in the lunch idea too. Tomorrow is friday… hmmm…. that gives me an idea! 😉

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