Sunday, January 31, 2010

In all that we do let us do it for love. -- Chris Cotton

Jani says..."In a note wrapped around his Rapid Shave, with a perky ribbon, tell him it has been a very special month being with him."

I am glad I bought that ribbon on sale at Sam's club after Christmas! I should have just enough of the red left that I decorated for Valentine's day left to do his shaving cream up right.

I was curious what exactly Rapid Shave was so I did a little research and this is what I came up with on eBay. Hope, you must be rubbing off on me!

Brianna took this photo for me to upload...

I couldn't resist reusing the finger ribbon.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Till I loved I never lived. -- Emily Dickinson

Jani says " 'Je t'aime' should suffice for one day. It works for the French."

Friday, January 29, 2010

A loving heart is the truest wisdom. -- Charles Dickens

Jani says "Get him some Tiger's Milk or whatever's current at the health food store."


Thursday, January 28, 2010

The dedicated life is the life worth living. You must give with your whole heart. -- Anne Dillard

Jani says "Wear a ribbon around your finger. If he asks why-say it's so you won't forget to tell him how much you need him."

Maybe there was a sale on ribbon at the local fabric store and she needed to find a use for it all? How about using it on some of those cards, Jani?


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. -- Albert Einstein

Jani says "Wear a ribbon in your hair, a color he'd like."

That would be St. Louis Ram's gold and blue. I will have to raid Emma Rose's supply for this!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Red Carnations

Jani says, "Put a fresh carnation in his lapel. Try wrapping a teeny piece of aluminum foil, doused with a few drops of war, around the stem. Keeps the bud fresh longer. Besides, when he sees this production, he'll think it's a bigger deal."

There is a man in our church who not only grows his own roses, but during the blooming season wears a fresh rose bud in his lapel. I think it is so wonderfully.... something. I can't put my finger on the word right now, but you could probably come up with one that would work. However, with the exception of our wedding day, it is unlikely that my hubby would appreciate having to leave the house with a carnation in his lapel. How about a carnation on his desk or by the bed? Ideas anyone?


Monday, January 25, 2010

And More Cards

Jani says, "make your own cards. You spent too much yesterday. Besides, it's hard to find cards that say exactly what you are thinking about him."

This will be harder than yesterday, as I am so not creative! But I know Miss Hope will do something super fun with this. I will be pulling out the kids craft box and asking for some help.

You know I was just thinking, if you ladies take pictures of things like your heart shaped meat loaf and your card creations, you could send them to me, and I can upload them for everyone to see. Brianna is reading over my shoulder here and has already come up with a layout to include all those great photos you will be sending. Hint... hint.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cards, Cards, Cards

Jani says, "Stock up on the fun cards that lovers send to each other and send him one at the office.

This is easy. I love to read the greeting cards at the Hallmark store. I could spend hours there and always come home with more than I went for to start with. I also love to write letters and send mail.

When Allen went to the office more regularly, I used to send him notes once in a while. One time I spritzed one with my perfume and put something smart for the return address instead of my label. It wasn't until much later, weeks after I mailed it, that I began to wonder what his secretary might think, or more precisely who his secretary might think, was sending sweet smelling letters to dear hubby's office.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Breakfast In Bed

Jani says, "Breakfast in bed, provided it's a Saturday or a Sunday. This is just too difficult to do with the pre- and post- breakfast chores that go on in most of our nests every a.m. (Better have an imaginary dry run of this the day before to make sure you can get it there hot.)"


Friday, January 22, 2010

A Pat on the Head

Jani says, "Pat him on the head for his business efforts-hopefully his promotion. He's been in there fighting everyday and it gets tough. Let him know you know it's tough."


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Inauguration Day

Good Morning, Ladies. I lost my book. Don't Panic! I found it again. But, I missed this one where Jani says, "On Inauguration Day bake him a cake in the shape of a heart, which is your party symbol."

The truth is, I didn't even know when Inauguration day was. Turns out it is the 20th which happens to have been Wednesday. But that's OK. Cake is good any day, right? If you don't have a heart shaped pan you can follow these step by step instructions. We also have fun little silicone muffin cups that are heart shaped. Wouldn't it be fun to write "C.P. & A.R." inside the heart?
Heart shaped cookies would be just as good if a cake is not up your alley. Have fun with it... the possibilities are endless. Peanut butter and jelly, toast, or even eggs poached in a heart shaped cookie cutter. My brother in law loves meatloaf. My sister says that's the way she won his heart. You never know, some man might be wowed to see some heart shaped beef. Is that a little too over the edge??? You could always just bake a cake.

Happy Birthday to Hope!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Jani says, "Leave a note of Poe's lines:

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love,
I am my Annabel Lee,-
With a love that he winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

If you're not moved by the work of a guy who married his thirteen-year-old cousin, compose your own."

I have never cared for Poe myself. He was far too dark for my liking. But there are lots of great love sonnets out there and once in a while I have been known to write my own, sonnets, I mean-not great ones by any stretch- so maybe I will give it a swing. I will let you know. Whatever I come up with, Allen will be on the road both Wednesday and Thursday, so I hope to tuck it in his car for him to find while he is on the road.

I have lots to say on comments from the last few days... I have been very limited in my internet time this week... but I will be back when time allows. Keep that good stuff coming ladies!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Foot Massage

Jani says, "Explore and massage his feet while he watches television."

Allen is far too ticklish for this. He can not stand having his feet touched. Maybe I can try for a back rub, though.


Monday, January 18, 2010

I Just Called To Say...

Jani says, "Call him just to say "I Love You," then hang up. Make sure there are no little extra messages like "Bring Home bacon, " or any other shopping errands. This will take will power."

No texting and email do not count! Only the real article here. Let him hear your lovely voice in the middle of the day, and you will put a little bounce in his afternoon.


Sunday, January 17, 2010


Jani says, "Put a new miniature Kleenex packets in his jackets."

I think we covered this when we talked about the sore throat thing. But if you have not thoroughly prepared hubby for sore throats, colds and flus this season then now is a good time to jump on board with those Kleenex.

If you did, don't think you are off the hook just because you got the Kleenex. Let us know what other creative way you came up with to let your dear one know you love him today.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Photo Reminders

Jani says, "Put a photo of yourself in his money clip."

Allen does have a number of photos of me in his billfold, even one dating back to when we first met. There are also various family portraits over the years and some of us together in special places. He often will pull these out to look at and show to whoever will look also... last night when he bought our tickets at the movie theater, he even showed them to me.

Where else might I tuck a little photo that would remind him of special times together? On his laptop he has a photo from our trip to St. Kitts as a screen saver. How about hijacking hubby's computer and putting up a photo of the two of you. How about a little reminder in his Bible so he will remember to pray for you when he meets God in the morning?

I am sure we can think of somewhere else. Photos mean so much to me, and I think most of us, as women, feel the same. Let us not undermine what they might mean to our men by thinking they are too tough for such sentimental things. Don't forget to stop back and let me know what you came up with.

Just a note before I go... I often will leave responses in my comment section.... which I know is a pain because who wants to look back to see if someone responded to something you said on their blog... but since this is small and limited to a handful of us, I like to keep the conversation here for everyone to see so that we can encourage each other. Which, after all was the point of this blog. I know it is really confusing because I am all mixed up and behind on things. The good news is I am feeling much better and should be back on schedule now. I will try to respond sooner on the day of or day following when you leave your comment in the future so if you want to check back it won't be such a hindrance.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Jani says, "Roll his undershirts like his favorite Chinese valet would if he had one."

When my sister was in Navy Journalism school, she stayed with us most of the time. We were only an hour from her base and it was a lot nicer than the barracks. Sometimes, when she was home, Di would help fold the laundry. When she did, Allen's shirts were folded in some origami fold that recruits learned in Boot Camp. A finished shirt was about the size of a business envelope. They stacked beautifully and my hubby always commented on how nice they looked. Thirteen years later and still, once in a while, he will see the girls or I folding a shirt and make mention of, "Remember how your sister used to fold my shirts?" This is kind of amusing since my hubby is about the least organized person I know. Well, not the least, but he certainly makes no pains about being organized. I guess it is time for me to email my sister and find out how to do that.

Update: OK, ladies. After I wrote this post I emailed my sister for instructions on that shirt folding technique. She is so thorough! This was in my in box this very morning when I woke up.

"Was wracking my brain on how to do those shirts and could not remember. Looked it up online and this is what I've got for you:

Step 1
Lay the shirt flat. Smooth out the wrinkles with care and press the seams down.

Step 2
Fold the t-shirt from the bottom half to cover the upper half. Fold the flaps of the sleeves over so the sleeve creases are perpendicular to the bottom crease and the edges of the shirt form a rectangle.

Step 3
Fold the left and right thirds of the shirt over to touch in the center.

Step 4
Fold the left part of the shirt firmly to greet the right side edge so the shirt looks like a long, thin rectangle.

Step 5
Fold the t-shirt in one more time, aligning the top edge with the bottom edge. Neatened up the folded shirt.

Hopefully that helps."

That sure does help, dear sister of mine! Thanks a million.


Thursday, January 14, 2010


Jani says, "Put a "Sunday Brunches Out Are Fun" note in his left shoe and just simply suggest that sometimes it's fun to have only two meals."

Way back when we used to go out for brunch. We always enjoyed it, so I am not sure why we don't do that anymore... too many kids? Too busy? Hmmm.... Regardless, I think reviving that habit would be good. In his shoe, a note I will put!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Super Bowl is Just Around the Corner

Jani says, "The Super Bowl will be claiming his attention around now so organize his TV area and have the TV serviced. Make sure there's lots of beer, pretzels, and ashtrays, and convince the kids that the local matinee is extra special for the duration of Dad's hours in front of the tube."

Our "TV area" also known as the family room/school room/play room/game room/music room is always in order as I am compulsive and tidy up the whole house every night. We don't have a TV per se. We have a projector and drop down screen. If it needed servicing, I wouldn't know. I don't even know how to turn it on. Allen is the person who services just about everything around here. He likes it that way and would think I was insulting his man hood if I called anyone else to do it without giving him a chance to have a go at it.

My family loves to watch football and we all have our favorite teams. Two of whom have a shot at being in the Super Bowl this year. We will all be looking forward to the game and it historically involves a bunch of friends and family visiting, too. So there is no need to send the kids off to the matinee, but I may keep that in mind for another day. Just kidding!

We do not drink beer, Allen could not care less about pretzels and has no need for ashtrays (isn't is fun to see how forty years changes such simple things?) but food is an intricate part of football for my men. I am not qualified to make the standard must have "Pa's famous nachos" that goes with a good game around here, but I will make sure the ingredients are on hand. (See recipe below if you are looking for something special to set on the coffee table.) There will also be a large pot of jambalaya (see recipe below) on the stove. Cold drinks in the fridge and either cake or cupcakes decorated to reflect their teams or sugar cookies with sprinkles in team colors.

Football isn't your hubby's thing? What is? Wood working? Wind surfing? How can you make a little time for him to enjoy his favorite activity? Let us know what catches your hubby's fancy and how you are going to give him the freedom to enjoy it and how you will go the extra mile to make it special for him.

Pa's Famous Nachos

Note: These are not for the weak at heart!
On a microwave safe platter, spread a layer of re-fried beans. Pour nacho cheese dip on top. (Yes, that disgusting stuff that is full of every chemical and artificial color you can imagine.) Microwave until warmed through. Drop spoonfuls of salsa on top. Do the same with sour cream. Put tortilla chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second intervals until warmed through. Put it on the coffee table and watch out. The men and boys will flock from every corner of the house as if they have not been fed in a week.


1 pound hot Italian sausage, cooked and cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 pounds ribs, broiled
1/4-1/2 pound ham, cut in 1 inch cubes
2 cups Uncle Ben's Converted rice
32 ounce chicken stock
28 ounce can whole tomatoes
2 green peppers in 1/2 inch dice
oil for frying
2 or 3 yellow onions in 1/2 inch dice
3 or more cloves garlic, chopped
4 ribs celery, sliced
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
6 green onions
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley
3 teaspoon whole thyme
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper

Tabasco sauce, grated cheddar cheese, sour cream to serve for topping.

Heat oil and sautee garlic, onions, green peppers, celery and green onions. Add ribs, tomatoes (crush by hand or with the back of a wooden spoon) and chicken stock. Cover and simmer 1 hour. Add sausage and pan drippings to pot. Stir well. Add ham, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper, Worcestershire, and Tabasco. Add rice and simmer 20-30 minutes, covered. Keep a close eye to be sure liquid has not cooked off. Add more stock if needed until rice is tender.

Set out a bowl of grated cheese, Tabasco and sour cream for topping. This looks huge but you will be shocked that by the time the trophy is on the field your pot will be empty.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thank You Notes

Jani says, "Make sure all of his Christmas gift-givers have been properly thanked."

We had a morning where the family sat and wrote Christmas thank you notes together. However, I am sure that there will be some birthday thank yous I can send out for him. He is terrified at the idea of writing a note so this is usually my job anyway. I know he appreciates it though and will feel loved that I take the time to do it for him.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Birthday Cards

Jani says, "Find out when his secretary's birthday is. Remember to send her a card thanking her for taking care of him even though you tell her that you are wildly jealous of her."

This is a good idea if your husband has a secretary. My hubby almost never goes to his physical office, working from home or being on the road most business days. He is actually only guaranteed to be in his office and thus see Cheryl one every other week. The fact is, I am not sure why his company employs her, because aside from organizing the gift exchange at the company Christmas party, which they did not have in 2007 or 2008 and was canceled due to snow this Christmas, I have yet to figure out what she does. Allen sends his own memos, files his own expense reports, ships his own packages and does what was standard secretary work when I was a secretary. My point is, she doesn't do a very good job of taking care of him. Which is probably a good thing, because I happen to like having that privilege all to myself.

Quite frankly, Cheryl is a bit older than us, and not really good hubby's type either, so the jealous bit would not fool anyone. Although, it is cute little bit if you can pull it off.

However, today, January 11th happens to be my hubby's birthday. Something I try to do on his birthday is send a thank you card to my in-laws and tell them how grateful I am for dedicating their lives to raising such a fine man to be a good husband to me and an incredible father to our children.

It doesn't have to be your mother-in-law or the secretary. Surely there is someone you can thank for helping to shape your true love into someone you are honored to spend your life with.

Leave your ideas in the comment section. Maybe the rest of us will have a few more notes to write.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Play It Again, Jani

Jani says, "He got such a bang out of the soap love note, why don't you ditto the same message all over the remaining bathroom tile?"

Need I say more?


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Borrow the Kids' Crayons

For Saturday Jani says, "Write 'I Love You' on the bathroom mirror. Be sure to get up ahead of him so this can surprise him. Use the magical kids' crayons that are made of soap."

Be creative. Why stop with "I Love You." Why not invite him to join you for Bible reading after the kids go to bed? A walk in the moonlight? A drive down a country road? I know you can come up with something good! This could be a fun alternative to sending meeting invites on his Outlook.

If you haven't got the kids crayons, dry erase markers will work, too. Take it from me. We write on the fridge, bathroom tile, mirrors, windows and any washable (NOT PAINTED-although Elisabeth did that and it washed right off. I still don't recommend making a habit of it.) surface with dry erase markers around here. In a pinch you could always use the old lipstick, too.

I am going to tell you, even for those who have no children, these bath tub crayons are wonderful. We write love notes to each other in the shower and even notes to the kids. We write math facts that are being problematic on the tile or bathroom mirror for extra practice. Scripture, jokes and ongoing dialogue. We have even had dinner guests disappear for a long time in the bathroom only to find they liked the idea so well that they left some graffiti of their own.

They are cheap enough in the bubble bath section at Walmart and Target and also available from Avon and various catalogs at different times during the year. Make sure to get an extra because you will be surprised how fast they disappear once the family gets in on the fun.

Oh, and the kids enjoy playing with them, too!


Friday, January 8, 2010

Calling Nurse Honey

Jani says, "Send a jar of honey in the mail to his office to soothe his sore throat. It's pretty chilly out now and he's bound to come up red in the throat."

Well, thanks Jani. Why didn't you mention that on January 1st? Now that hubby is all over his case of the flu, he is not likely to get sick for another year. That is just how he is. However, they are calling for snow tonight so I could give him a jar of honey with promise of some honey sweetened hot cocoa after he shovels the driveway. (If you have not tried honey to sweeten your cocoa it is the best, and you are really missing out. The lovely flavor of honey adds so much to the bitter chocolate.)

Now, if honey is not your thing, how about slipping a care package into his briefcase or lunch sack. You could include a pocket pack of Kleenex, cough drops and Advil.

And speaking of sick... I am not over my case of the flu and it is majorly interfering with meeting my daily goals. I will be back to report on previous days, when I have the strength to initiate that pillow fight!

Here is my cocoa recipe in case you would like to give it a whirl. I only adapted the one from the Hershey's Cocoa tin.

In saucepan, mix 1/2 cup honey (or sugar), 1/2 cup Hershey's cocoa and a dash of salt. Stir in 1/3 cup hot water. (I measure it out in the Pyrex cup and microwave for half a minute.) Stir and cook over medium heat until it comes to a full boil. Boil and stir for two full minutes. Stir in 4 cups milk. Stir until heated through, being careful to not boil. Remove from heat and add 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Four servings. We always double this. Almond extract is a nice change. Candy canes to stir with adds a delightful flavor as it melts into the cocoa. Of course the options of fresh whipped cream or marshmallows should never be overlooked.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

I Am At Your Service

Jani says, "Initiate "I Am At Your Service Day" and mark it on the personal calendar you gave him a few days ago. Let him figure out something to do with you on that day. "

As a full time home maker and home school mom, I really spend my whole day doing the things that I think my hubby would like. I take my job as a help meet very seriously and I do purpose to seek out his needs and try to fulfill them. Simple things like making sure his laundry is done and having meals on the table at times that are convenient to his schedule. I try to do what he requests like going to a movie or stopping at the bank. But how many days do I start by asking him what he would like me to do today? Shame on me! I can't remember the last time I actually asked how he would like me to spend my day.

This is my goal. To begin today by asking what he would like me to do and then doing it.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Jani says, "On the Feast of the Epiphany go somewhere and take distinctive gifts as did the Three Wise Men."

So, I am not sure where we will go... likely to dinner somewhere... likely our favorite restaraunt where we always go and the wait staff knows us.

I do know I will be using Mommy's suggestion from the pillow fight post and send a meeting request for this.

We (my girls were brainstorming with me) did come up with three gifts as close to the Magi's as our very uninventive-in-our-state-of-sickness-minds could. For frankincense: a special "manly" scented soap. Gold: the movie Cinderella Man. Myrrh left us stumped when Kaitlin finally suggested a Myrna Loy movie. Sue us. Let me know if you come up with something better! (Smiling here)


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nothing Says "Love" Like a Nice Towel

Jani says, "Buy him some big huge Martex bath sheets, like the kind sultans use, at the January White Sale. Have the towels marked with a lion crest and monogrammed "HIS."

I hate to shop so going to any store to buy a towel is a true act of love! My sweetheart is worth it. However, I will not be in town until Thursday so I ordered a Martex Bath Sheet from I know that my honey will be grateful that I conserved gas by shopping Amazon prime instead of making a round trip in the Suburban for one item. Plus I got a super sweet price on it, $10.99 since I wasn't particular about color. I have seen these for upward of $30 so I am happy to get such a great deal. My sister gave us some of these years ago as a house warming present and they really are luxurious. They lasted for what seemed like forever, too.

I wouldn't even know where to start looking for someone who monograms towels in this day and age. However, this towel is burgundy which will stand out from the blue in the kids bathroom and the taupe with palm trees in our bathroom. I thought I would hand embroidered "PA" on it in case there was any doubt as to who it belongs to.

I briefly considered ordering some iron on letters but couldn't find what I liked quickly. If you are more patient with searching that could be an option if you don't embroider.

Update: For those who would like to see the finished product


Monday, January 4, 2010

Pillow Fight

Today Jani says, "Schedule a pillow fight."

Now it has been a long time since we have had a pillow fight in our house. I think a little rough housing might be fun for the whole family. I will be rounding all the kids up and we will attack when he least expects it. Maybe when he comes in from his meeting in the evening.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

State of the Marriage Address

If you are just joining us, you should read this to find out what this is all about. I can't wait to hear how yesterday went for the rest of you!

Today Jani says, "Deliver to him a State of the (Marriage) Union Address, including a resolution for the coming year that you will keep your Union staunch and sturdy."

I am working on this... but my hubby is still on leave and finding time alone to work on it... not so easy today! I will be back to post my finished product in the comment section.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Dates for the Year

If you are just joining us, you should read this to find out what this is all about. I can't wait to hear how yesterday went for the rest of you!

Today Jani says, "Buy him a new personal calendar, complete with dates he'd like to remember."

This sounds like a great idea. The only catch is I gave him his favorite Dilbert a day calendar in his Christmas stocking. And then there is the fact that he doesn't use a calendar... except to read Dilbert.

I decided to make sure all his important dates are current on his outlook and add a few little notes of my own as well. For example, I am going to pick a day that I know he will be working locally and add an "appointment" to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee after he finishes meeting with his customer.

The possibilities here are endless. One day could include a note to meet by the fire for breakfast before the kids wake up. A walk before he returns to work after lunch on a day in March.

I have decided to add one such "date" to his outlook each month for the year. Then he will have a little surprise to look forward to through the whole year.

Let me know if you have some ideas for other months.

Also, for those waiting for your invitations. Blogger will not give the option to send invitations until I close the blog to the public and make it by invite only. So for those who are waiting, hold on and they will be coming soon.


Friday, January 1, 2010

"Thank You For Loving Me"

On New Year's Day tuck a "Thank You For Loving Me Last Year and in the Year to Come" note in the foil atop his favorite champagne.

Well, this one is an easy deal. I intend to do just as Miss Jani recommends, with the exception being a bottle of sparkling cider instead of champagne. I will give it to Allen to serve for our annual toast at brunch on New Year's Day. I will be stopping back to leave a comment as to how it went.