Archives

Life with You is Awesome

The children and I have been working on this little surprise for Father’s Day, based on the theme song from The Lego Movie. Of course, it’s almost impossible to keep a secret in a household our size. Since Daddy already found out about it, I decided to publish a week early.

You’ll have to excuse the audio. Rap music is clearly not the forte of this classically trained soprano, but we had a great time putting it together, anyway… because “everything is awesome when you’re part of a team.”

And for those who are inclined to sing along, here are the lyrics for our version:

Life with You Is Awesome!

Life with you is awesome.
Life with you is cool — I’m so glad we’re a team!
Life with you is awesome, ‘cause we’re living our dream.

Married life is better when we work together.
Side by side, you and I gonna stick together, in all kinds of weather.
Man and wife, I love you, you love me, we’re both working in harmony.

Life with you is awesome.
Life with you is cool — I’m so glad we’re a team!
Life with you is awesome, ‘cause we’re living our dream.

(Woooo!) 3, 2, 1. Go!

Have you heard the news? Everyone’s talking.
Life is good and people are gawking.
Baby’s due, our family is growing.*
We’ve got love and joy overflowing.

Life with you is full of adventures
I’ll love you even when you have dentures.
Food in my teeth? Oh, that’s just awesome.
Next time, tell me when I need to floss ‘em.**
Love is blind — now I know that’s true.
It’s so awesome to be loved by you (be loved by you).

Married life is better when we work together.
Side by side, you and I gonna stick together, both now and forever.
Man and wife, I love you, you love me, we’re both working in harmony.

Life with you is awesome.
Life with you is cool — I’m so glad we’re a team!
Life with you is awesome, ‘cause we’re living our dream.

Marriage vows, wedding rings,
I just named two awesome things.
Pledged my love, said, “I do.”
You know what’s awesome? Life with you!

Clean, fresh sheets upon our bed, a feather pillow for my head.
Let’s go soak in a hot jacuzzi.
Not too long, or we’ll get woozy.

Pools, tools, jewels.
They’re awesome.
Girls with curls and pearls.
They’re awesome.
Boys enjoy their toys.
That’s awesome!
Every day of life as man and wife
Is awesome!

Life with you is awesome.
Life with you is cool — I’m so glad we’re a team!
Life with you is awesome, ‘cause we’re living our dream.


* As far as we know, there are no babies currently on the way, although it is probably just a matter of time, at least as far as grandchildren are concerned!
** This really did happen, although (thankfully) not at the wedding. It was actually on one of our first dates, when I got a whole black peppercorn lodged between my top central and lateral incisors and didn’t realize it was there until the date was over. Doug still claims he never noticed.

Let Them Know

This month, we’ll be celebrating the greatest love story ever told. I know Good Friday is still a week away, but I finished the following video a little early and couldn’t wait to share it with you.

For almost eighty years, Disney has been captivating our imaginations with beautifully rendered fairy stories. But as J.R.R. Tolkien explained to C.S. Lewis, the Gospel provides us with an authentic, eye-witness account of a fairy tale that’s true.

The world may not need yet another cover of Frozen’s award-winning “Let it Go,” but it desperately needs the message embedded in this version. Let it’s truth sink into the depths of your heart and resonate within: Christ Jesus is risen. He is risen indeed!

Let Them Know

I was lost and alone in the darkness of night, (Luke 19:10)
I was blind, but now I see, (John 9:25)
Imprisoned in isolation (Galatians 3:23)
Till my Savior set me free. (Luke 4:18)

Now His love fills me like a swirling sea inside, (John 7:38)
Couldn’t keep it in, even if I tried. (Acts 4:20)

I’ve been forgiven, been set free — (Acts 13:38-39)
I’m not the same girl that I used to be. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
It’s real, I feel His blessings flow (Psalm 21:6)
And my faith grow. (2 Thessalonians 1:3)

Let them know, let them know — (Psalm 109:27)
Can’t hide the fact anymore. (Luke 11:33)
Let them know, let them know (Mark 16:15)
Jesus’ love has opened the door. (Luke 11:9)

His command (Mark 4:39)
Wind and waves obey. (Luke 8:25)
Let the storm rage on — (Psalm 50:3)
It won’t stop His love for me anyway. (Romans 8:38-39)

It’s funny how God’s greatness (Psalm 145:3)
Makes everything seem small, (Psalm 8:3-4)
And the fears that once controlled me (2 Timothy 1:7)
Can’t get to me at all. (Luke 1:74)

It’s time to see what God can do, (1 Samuel 12:16)
In every test He’ll see me through. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
My debt’s been paid, no guilt for me — (Romans 8:1)
I’m free! (Romans 8:2)

Let them know, let them know (Psalm 83:18)
Christ alone has the power to save. (Acts 4:12)
Let them know, Let them know (1 John 4:14)
He has triumphed over the grave. (1 Corinthians 15:55)

Here I stand (Ephesians 6:13)
In Christ I’ll stay. (John 15:4)
Let the storm rage on. (Matthew 7:25)

The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)
Left Heaven’s throne room up on high, (2 Corinthians 8:9)
He took on flesh (John 1:14, Philippians 2:6-8)
And came to earth poor sinners for to die. (Mark 10:45)
Though in a tomb they laid Him (Acts 13:29)
Once He’d breathed his last, (Mark 15:37)
By God’s amazing grace, (1 Timothy 1:14-15)
It couldn’t hold Him fast! (Acts 2:24)
Let them know, let them know (Acts 2:32)
Christ arose like the break of dawn. (Luke 24:6)
Let them know, let them know (Romans 10:14)
Satan’s claim on me is gone. (Romans 6:14)

Redeemed I’ll stand (Psalm 107:2)
On the Judgement Day. (Hebrews 9:27, 1 John 4:17)
Let the storm rage on — (Proverbs 10:25)
It won’t stop His love for me anyway. (Jeremiah 31:3)

12 Pins that Made Me Laugh Out Loud

Since we all know that laughter is the best medicine, and since every April Fool’s prank I’ve ever pulled has backfired, I thought I’d celebrate today by spreading a little sunshine instead of playing tricks. Here are a dozen pins I’ve spotted on Pinterest that have actually made me laugh out loud. I hope you’ll find them funny, too:

1. Indisputable Findings

I was initially excited to think that the little extra weight I’m carrying might benefit me somehow… then I realized this was written in jest. It’s undoubtedly an accurate observation, but a joke all the same.


2. An Honest Mistake

Those expressions are so priceless! I’d be a little afraid of making such a mistake myself if I had two babies at a time to care for. Don’t know how mothers of twins manage!


3. A Tough Decision

It would be in poor taste to play it, 50-point bonus or not. But he could play “veins” or “noise” instead and still get a double letter score out of it.


4. Old Habits Die Hard

I’ve often been tempted to do the same thing.


5. Thanks for Telling Us

Too late to do anything about it now…


6. The Inimitable Bill Cosby

He’s got that right!


7. Beware of Eye Strain

I’m sure this is what I must look like when I try to thread a needle early in the morning. Fortunately, most of my kids sleep through that spectacle.


8. I Love Nerdy Humor

(H2O is water, of course, but H2O2 is hydrogen peroxide. Nobody would want to drink that.)


9. She Just Couldn’t Help Herself

Gotta love that granny…


10. What Would We Do without Social Media?

Ha! If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I never post pictures of coffee cups… or of anything else, for that matter. (That’s right, I can understand all sorts of esoteric math and chemistry jokes, but I can’t figure out how to upload a single picture to the Instagram account I opened two years ago.)


11. I’m Prone to Unrealistic Expectations, Too

Or maybe it’s just a RECEIPT for the pony, which is quietly grazing in her backyard even now… Surprise!


12. Don’t You Say These Things, Too?


And I had to include this one, because Anita Renfroe does such a brilliant job of putting all the things a mother says in a day into rhyming verse, then setting it to music. This song makes me smile every time I hear it.


If you share my same quirky sense of humor, you will find more funnies on my Life Cracks Me Up Pinterest board, so connect with me there! Hope you have a happy April Fools Day. Don’t take any wooden nickels.

A Plea for Perseverance

Your Most Telling Declarations of Love Aren't Made on Valentine's | A Plea for Perseverance from Loving Life at HomeWhen I was in high school I dated a boy who would go all-out for Valentine’s Day: balloon bouquets, long-stemmed red roses, boxes of chocolates, candlelight dinners.

Every day for the week, some grand new token of his affection would be delivered to my doorstep.

But then, Valentine’s would be over, and that would be that.

Two years older and away at college, he would go entire semesters without so much as a phone call or a post card. The stark contrast gave me a little bit of a jaded view toward all things cupid.

In my mind, Valentine’s Day is just window dressing. It’s a public display that may or may not accurately represent what is truly stored up in one’s heart.

Our most telling declarations of love aren’t made on February 14th — they are made in the days and weeks and months that follow.

When my husband brings home heart-shaped candy boxes and fancy flowers this time of year, I know that it’s (at least partially) because he knows the nurses at the hospital are going to quiz him about what he got me.

But when he brings me hot tea when I’m sick? Or starts a load of laundry for me when I’m busy? Or runs my bathwater when I’m tired? Or makes a list at work of things he wants to tell me when he gets home? He’s not doing any of that for show. Nobody will ever ask him about it. He does those things purely because he loves me and takes pleasure in demonstrating that fact in practical, everyday ways.

I love that about him.

Wives can be just as guilty as men of pouring so much thought and energy into a single day that little is left over for later.

If you enjoyed an extra-special evening of romance with your husband on the 14th, terrific. But don’t expect that single interlude to carry him over until next Valentine’s Day — or even until next week.

Sometimes when a wife breaks out the candles, perfume, background music, and lacey negligees, she’s tempted afterward to think, Wow! I really outdid myself tonight! That should tide my husband over for at least a week or two!

Meanwhile, her husband is thinking, Wow! That was great! We need to do that more often. How about tomorrow?

Wives want to serve sporadic samplings of gourmet delicacies, when most husbands would be far more satisfied with a steady diet of meat and potatoes.

So… this is a plea for perseverance. Did you kindle some sparks this weekend? Fan them into a flame, then keep it burning all year long.

Love and Respect – Subway Art Printables

25 Ways to Communicate Respect | free printable Subway Art from http://lovinglifeathome.comI’ve been pondering what to get my husband this year for Valentine’s Day, as it’s only a week away.

In years past, I’ve written him poems, like this or this. And once I stitched him a silk-embroidered bed pillow, which has been broadcasting the same secret message for more than a decade now.

But just as I was starting to feel stumped for ideas, Doug made it super-easy on me.

“Valentine’s is coming up,” he reminded me earlier this week. “I thought it might be good for you to turn our Love and Respect lists into some sort of graphic we could post for the occasion.”

I told him I thought that was a great idea and got right to work on it. The next day, I presented him with two pieces of subway art: the one pictured here on communicating respect and another (which you can find on his blog) on expressing love.

Incidentally, Doug’s been making good progress on the book version of 25 Ways to Show Love to Your Wife, which should be available sometime this spring. The parts I’ve read so far are terrific! You can expect more detailed posts from him on related topics as he continues to work on that, so you may want to subscribe to his blog if you don’t already follow it.

Meanwhile, if you’ve not yet registered for our Valentine’s Day Romance and Respect Book Bundle Giveaway, you only have a week left to do so. Sign up here for a chance to win a copy of Heidi St. John’s Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance and my 25 Ways to Communicate Respect.

The Reason for the Season

In an effort to keep the focus on Christ at Christmas, I offer you this poem as a humble reminder of the miracle we celebrate this season. May it ever echo in our hearts!

Heaven Song: May the miracle of Christmas ever echo in our hearts!

Heaven Song

A girl once lived in Galilee–
Let Heaven and nature sing
Whom God sent Gabriel to see.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
Her name was Mary. She was young.
The angel called, “Hail, favored one,
“The Child you bear shall be God’s Son.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.

Then Mary asked, “How can this be?”
Let Heaven and nature sing.
“I’ve never known a man,” said she.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
“Fear not,” said Gabriel, “it is true.
“God’s Spirit shall o’ershadow you.
“The Babe will bring salvation, too.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.

So Mary paused to testify,
Let Heaven and nature sing,
“The Lord’s handmaiden am but I.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.
Then joy within her heart was stirred,
“My soul doth magnify the Lord.
“May it be according to His word.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.

Soon Caesar issued a decree,
Let Heaven and nature sing,
Commanding all to pay a fee.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
So Mary, being great with Child,
Was put upon a donkey mild
And led by Joseph through the wild.
Let Heaven and nature sing.

They traveled unto Bethlehem.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
The inns there had room for them.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
Yet one innkeeper pity took
On seeing Mary’s heavy look
And showed them to a stable nook.
Let Heaven and nature sing.

There it was God’s Son was born–
Let Heaven and nature sing
In the wee small hours of the morn.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
‘Twas in that dark and dusty place,
The Virgin Mother, full of grace,
First looked upon her Savior’s face.
Let Heaven and nature sing.

As shepherds watched their flocks by night,
Let Heaven and nature sing,
Lo, they beheld a wondrous light,
Let Heaven and nature sing.
To them an angel did appear
Who told the shepherds, “Do not fear,
“I bring you tidings of great cheer.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.

“Good will be yours, and peace on earth,”
Let Heaven and nature sing,
“For I proclaim Messiah’s birth.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.
“A Child is born to you this day
“And in a manger now doth lay
“Upon a bed of fresh, sweet hay.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.

Then hosts of angels filled the sky,
Let Heaven and nature sing:
“All glory be to God most high,”
Let Heaven and nature sing!
And when the angels went away
The shepherds all began to say,
“We must go see this Child today.”
Let Heaven and nature sing.

In haste to Bethlehem they trod,
Let Heaven and nature sing,
To find the infant Son of God.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
All wrapped in swaddling clothes was He,
The One the shepherds came to see
With humble hearts, on bended knee.
Let Heaven and nature sing.

Some wise men traveled from afar–
Let Heaven and nature sing
Led by a bright and burning star.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
“Frankincense, gold, and myrrh we bring
“As homage to the newborn King,”
They spake as they were worshipping.
Let Heaven and nature sing.

May all join in this song of old,
Let Heaven and nature sing,
The one the prophets long foretold,
Let Heaven and nature sing.
Emanuel, this Babe so small,
Was born within a cattle stall–
The Word made flesh, the Lord of all!
Let Heaven and nature sing.

Almighty God, the Prince of Peace–
Let Heaven and nature sing
Did come to purchase our release.
Let Heaven and nature sing.
He came to open Heaven’s door
To you and me forevermore.
O come, ye faithful, Christ adore!
Let Heaven and nature sing.

Let all creation find its voice–
Let Heaven and nature sing
And in the Lamb of God rejoice.
Let Heaven and nature sing!
Christ came to take away our sin
If we’ll but put our trust in Him
So that we might be born again.
Let Heaven and nature sing–
All Heaven and nature sing!

- Jennifer Flanders, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving {Book Giveaway}

Since my new book was released last week, I decided to make a printable coupon collection to go along with it. I thought it might be something wives might enjoy slipping into their husband’s Christmas stocking — and something their husbands would be happy to receive.

A free printable collection of coupons for a wife to present to her husband | from http://lovinglifeathome.com

My own husband got a sneak peek at the coupon book I was assembling for him last night, however, and insisted I post it today. “It will be a great little Thanksgiving gift for your readers,” he told me, “and it will put their husbands in a really thankful mood, too.

So, here it is. Click on the image above to download. After printing, you’ll just need to cut the coupons apart, put them in numerical order, and staple the stack together on the edge.

As an added bonus, I am also sponsoring a Rafflecopter giveaway. (Click on the link to enter.) The winner will receive eight copies of 25 Ways to Communicate Respect.

A book to discuss with your married friends -- enter to win 8 copies, and you can easily do just that!

Why eight copies to one winner? Because the book lends itself so well to discussion. The post that inspired the book received over 1000 comments in sixteen weeks. That tells me that communicating respect is a topic women care about. (It’s certainly a topic men care about!)

I would have happily gone on discussing it, too, but my husband asked me to close the comments last December, so I did. But I still had more to say on the topic, which is how that original short post morphed into a full-length book–a book that I hope many wives will read and take to heart.

Offering multiple copies in this giveaway is my way of encouraging the winner to share it with her friends, so that they can discuss what they learn and hold one another accountable in applying it to their lives and marriages.

A Hero in the Making

When my husband and I first married, we had more time than money, so much of our gift-giving consisted of poems and short stories we wrote for one another.

I guess old habits die hard, because we still fall back on handwritten gifts from time to time. Since Father’s Day is just around the corner, I thought I’d publish another poem I wrote in bygone days to honor my sweet husband, and all godly fathers like him:

“A righteous man, who walks in his integrity — how blessed are his sons after him.” (Proverbs 20:7)

A Hero in the Making | a Father's Day poem from Loving Life at Home

A Hero in the Making

Our little one is watching–
Can’t you see it in his eyes?
How he brightens at the sight of you
With happy, wild surprise?
Yes, our little one is watching,
He sees everything you do,
And he’s mimicking your actions
Trying hard to be like you.

Our little one is listening–
He hears every word you say,
Perks up whene’er he hears your voice,
No matter time of day.
Yes, our little one is listening.
And your words, they sink in deep.
They encourage, they inspire him,
And they echo in his sleep.

Our little one is following,
And he shadows every move,
Watching close for your reaction–
How he hopes that you’ll approve!
Yes, our little one is following–
And I thank the Lord above
For your wise and good example,
Your devotion and your love.

Our little one’s believing–
You’re a hero in his eyes,
And he knows that he can trust you
Like he knows the sun will rise.
Yes, our little one’s believing–
God protect his tender heart,
For he’ll view his Heav’nly Father
As he’s seen you from the start.

- Jennifer Flanders

This is the Tomb

“Do not be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” (Matthew 28:5-6)

What follows is an excerpt from a children’s Easter book I’ve recently written, which is to be published by Prescott Publishing just as soon as I’ve completed the illustrations. (Look for it in March of 2014).

My husband urged me to post this sneak peek today in celebration of Resurrection Sunday. We pray the day will be a blessed and meaningful one for you. May the risen Christ reign not only in heaven, but on the throne of your heart. Happy Easter!

This is the Tomb

This is the tomb where Christ’s body once lay
All wrapped in white linen and cold as the clay….

This is the stone used to seal Jesus’ grave.
An angel stood next to it, fearsome and brave,
And spoke to the women who came to the tomb
All weighed down with grief, full of sorrow and gloom,
As they thought of the garden where Jesus had prayed,
Where he was arrested, abandoned, betrayed,
Then dragged before Pilate, who washed both his hands
And declared, “I can’t find any fault in this man.”
Yet he yielded to people who wanted Christ dead
Who cried, “Crucify Him! Free Barrabas instead!”
Then they drove heavy nails in his feet and his hands.
“O Father, forgive them, they don’t understand,”
Jesus prayed as the crown made of razor-sharp thorns
Was placed on his head by men laughing with scorn
As they lettered a sign to hang over his head:
“This is the king of the Jews,” it read.
It was fixed to the cross, all rugged and stained,
Upon which the Lord of Creation was slain.
Just before a long spear was thrust into his side,
“It is finished!” he shouted aloud as he died.
The women could see where Christ’s body once lay–
But the tomb was now empty! The stone rolled away!
The angel then spoke as their hearts filled with dread,
“Why seek you the living among the dead?”

Yes, Jesus has conquered both death and the grave.
He has died for our sins! He is mighty to save!
Eternity’s ours when his mercy we plead
And confess Christ is risen. He’s risen, indeed!

In Praise of the Manly Man

Doug and Jennifer FlandersMy husband and I had a lovely Valentine’s Day yesterday. He brought me roses and a huge box of chocolates, then took me out for dinner and a movie.

I wrote him a poem.

It’s not the first poem I’ve given him for Valentine’s Day, and it probably won’t be the last.

Although I wrote it specifically for my husband, it is really a tribute to all men like him — men who are not afraid to BE MEN in an age when masculinity is sometimes frowned upon.

So keep up the good work, guys! The world wouldn’t be the same without you!


In Praise of the Manly Man

In Praise of the Manly Man

Hip! Hooray for the manly man!
He is tall, dark, and handsome, and tan.
    Though he’s covered in hair,
    Like a big teddy bear,
    He’s a softy inside,
    Where his feelings reside
    For the joy of his life –
    His dear children and wife –
Whom he loves just as much as he can.
             He can.
Yes, he loves them as much as he can.

Three cheers for the masculine male.
Yes, he cares for his family well,
     A-sweatin’ all day
     As he labors away,
     Comes home when he’s able,
     Puts food on the table:
     Potatoes and meat –
     That’s what he’ll want to eat,
Just as soon as he’s looked through the mail,
             The mail,
He will dine when he’s done with the mail.

Give it up for the gentlemen’s gent!
Whether living in mansion or tent,
     His home is his castle
     And packed with a passel
     Of children who love him
     And think highly of him,
     And brag that their dad
     Is the best to be had.
(They’d go on, but their breath is all spent –
             All spent –
They’d say more, but their breath is all spent).

All hail to the heart-throbbing hunk!
He has oodles of vigor and spunk!
     He’s brave. He’s courageous.
     His laugh is contagious.
     He brings his wife candy;
     With tools he is handy:
     Have burgers? He’ll grill ‘em.
     See spiders? He’ll kill ‘em.
Flat tire? The spare’s in his trunk.
             His trunk.
He’ll exchange it for one in his trunk.

Bravo for the noblest knight.
In his armor, so shining and bright,
     He is savvy and smart,
     And he has a big heart.
     He provides and protects
     And he likes to have sex
     With his wife who adores him
     And never ignores him.
‘Tis perfectly fitting and right.
             So right.
To ignore him just wouldn’t be right.

Hurrah for the hale husbandman –
A sublime and superb speciman.
     His wife knows her place
     And she fills it with grace,
     Her heart full of pride
     As she labors beside
     This burly, this brawny
     (His muscles aren’t scrawny),
This strong, strapping stud of a man.
             A man,
This amazing, magnanimous man.

He’s a man among men,
So let’s hear it again,
For this jovial jock
Of superior stock!
     This gallant galoot
     With his size-13 boot.
     My captain. My chief.
     My heart-stealing thief.
How blest to be wedded
And faithfully bedded
By so great a talent,
So virile, so valiant!
     He’s stable and steady.
     He’s rugged! He’s ready!
     Robust and red-blooded!
     My heart’s simply flooded
With love for this marvelous man.
             This man.
This magnificent, masculine man!

            – Jennifer Flanders
              February 14, 2013


You will find a bookmark size version of this Manly Man poem on My Printables page. I printed mine (double-sided) on parchment and laminated.