Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

I published this on 7/15/2010 and thought it was worth revisiting. Enjoy!

Family Dining Al Fresco At The BeachThe daily stress of working, taking care of the kids and cooking dinner can seem like too much. So you are trying to decide what to have for dinner. You have forgotten to take something out of the freezer or you are just too tired to think let alone cook dinner.

Ladies, why not run to the grocery store and pick up a rotisserie chicken and a salad from the deli on your way home. Guys, you know your wife is under more stress than usual so why not offer to pick up dinner for them. Grab paper plats, sodas, blanket and the kids and go to the beach or park and have dinner basking in the last of the sun’s rays while enjoying your beautiful family. You will feel as if you are on vacation! Let the kids play on the swings and jungle bars while you and your spouse sit back and watch them.

After you have picked everything up and everyone is in the car stop by the local ice cream store and buy everyone an ice cream. Sit outside and watch the cars go by and ask each child how their day was and what they did. When you get home help each other bathe the kids and put them to bed.

When our daughter was small we would take a picnic dinner on the beach all the time and then go for a walk along the strand with her. These are the special times I remember more than the expensive dinners out with just my husband.

A while back a friend was complaining about how much stress she was under and I suggested when she and her husband got home to grab the kids and have a picnic dinner on the beach. She responded with it is a half hour away. I said so! I told her that her family would never forget the night in the middle of the week they went for a picnic on the beach. She took my suggestion and sure enough every so often when I see her she said her kids and her husband bring up how much fun they had. They now try to do it every so often.

Once the house is quiet and you have gotten ready for bed why not pour a small glass of wine or sparkling cider, light a candle and enjoy a little rest and relaxation together with soft music playing in the background. Find out what kind of day you both had. By the time you both put your heads down on the pillow you will feel more relaxed than when you first came home from work. You will have enjoyed your family and each other. Your children will feel a connection to you and the stability of your marriage.

So go ahead and take the night off in the middle of the week. Your marriage and children will thank you.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

**My free eBook is coming soon! Be on the lookout for it and when it comes out you can be one of the first to get it. ***

“Your marriage is a gift from God; how you treat it is a gift to him.”

© 2013, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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In Oct of 2010 I wrote this blog and thought it was worth revisiting. We all need to be reminded to take time out.

Couple holding handsAre you and your spouse stressed out from the daily grind of work and responsibilities of life? Spend some time outside. Did you know just spending time outside can increase the production of endorphins, which can help you feel less stressed.

After dinner don’t sit down and just jell out. Get up and take a walk with the whole family and watch the sunset. No phones or technology allowed during your walk. It is amazing how sunsets are daily occurrences and we don’t even stop to look at them. We are always in such a rush to get things done.

Make it a point to hold hands with your sweetheart and watch the sunset tonight with the whole family while you take a walk. If the children want to hold your hand too, make them grab the hand that is free. Don’t release your hand from your spouse. Your children need to see and feel the strength of your marriage.

Walking together and watching the sunset will help to relax the whole family and will bring everyone closer to each other. It gives everyone an opportunity to talk with none of the distractions of TV, video games or texting.

When you walk back into your home you will all feel a relaxing glow from watching a sunset together that will last until the next day!

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

***My free eBook is coming soon! Be on the lookout for it and when it comes out you can be one of the first to get it. ***

“Your marriage is a gift from God; how you treat it is a gift to him.”

© 2013, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Mature Couple Walking On PavementI published this in 2010 and recently was telling a friend about how we dealt with having a teenager in your life. My friend loved the idea and planned on doing the same thing. It got me thinking you would enjoy hearing about it too.

Do you have teenage children? Are they driving you a little crazy and you can’t agree with your spouse on how to handle a particular situation with your teen? I remember those days well. Larry sometimes would be very upset about something our daughter had done and I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. And then there were the times I was upset and he wasn’t. Do you argue in front of the kids until you find a solution? We found a way to come to an agreement without our daughter hearing us. How did we do it?

It was our daughter’s responsibility to clear the dishes and put them in the dishwasher after dinner. That’s when we would go for a walk and argue it out. There were no ears to hear and she couldn’t play us against each other. It was good not only for our relationship but it was good for our health too. If we were really upset about something she had done we would walk really fast.

As we walked we would talk about how a situation should be handled. There were times when one of us felt we needed to be hard on her and after discussing it the other would say you are right it’s not that important and then there were times after a discussion we would agree together we were not happy with her. These walks taught us how to pick our battles with what was really important in raising our child.

When we walked back in the door we would stand strong together. She had a hard time pushing our buttons. What she got was a strong mother and father who didn’t let her go between them. She knew when she was in trouble and there was no getting out of it. She was taught responsibility for her actions which has turned her into a responsible and productive adult today.

So the next time you and your husband aren’t agreeing on how the children should be raised go for a walk and work it out. Your children will thank you later in life and you will keep the sanity in your marriage.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2013, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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I bet you thought I forgot about you? Larry & I just got back on a whirlwind trip to DC and New York compliments of our daughter, Denise and her husband, Tom. We were able to stay for 10 days and Tom flew in on the 2 weekends we were there. We saved our money for all other incidentals, food, tours, etc. while we were there. We had an absolute blast!

Denise is currently living and working in Arlington, VA while Tom is still living in Nipomo, CA. They make it a point to either meet in DC or Nipomo every other weekend and Denise travels for work quite a bit too. They are racking up points in airline miles which allowed us to fly for free and stay at Denise’s beautiful two bedroom apartment for free.

DC is a beautiful clean place with lots to do, free museums, historic places to see and great restaurants. They have a fabulous Metro system to get around and it is easy to use. We walked every day until our feet were ready to fall off and saw as much as we could but we just couldn’t see it all.

Here are some of the highlights we did while in DC:

• Spy Museum
• Museum of Engraving & Printing (Money)
• East Market on Sunday (Flea Market/Farmers Market)
• Air & Space Museum
• Double Decker Bus (Red Line & Blue Line gave us an overview of everything in DC & Arlington, VA)
• American History Museum
• Smithsonian Castle
• Lunch @ the American Indian Museum (Great place for lunch)
• Metro Station
• White House
• Capital
• Strolled around Georgetown

I could go on and on about how much there is to do and see. You cannot see it all in 10 days.

On our second weekend Denise surprised us with a train trip to New York to visit our granddaughter, Dani, who is going to the Fashion Institute to study to be a Fashion Merchandiser. She is 20 years old and just moved there a month ago and is loving school and the city. We are so proud of her and the goals she is setting for herself and her future.

Me, Larry and Denise arrived Saturday, in New York, at 12:30 PM and Dani was waiting outside of Penn Station for us. Tom surprised us by being here too. We stayed at the beautiful Marriott Marquis. Larry and I felt like we got the best room of all. We were on the 36th floor which overlooked the Hudson River. That evening when we went to bed we left the drapes opened because we had a spectacular view of the city and river with no obstructions in the way.

Here are the highlights of our stay in NY:

• Lunch at Madison Park
• Century 21 Building (Shopping at a discount!!!)
• In the evening we walked the Highline (Train tracks no longer being used turned into a wild flower and plant oasis)
• Dinner in the Meat Packing District
• Sunday Brunch

We left New York on Sunday at 2:00 PM on the train to DC while Tom flew back home to California. We arrived in DC and dropped our luggage at the apartment at around 6:00 PM and went out to dinner in Arlington. We then headed back to the apartment to pack and prepared to leave the next morning at 7:00 AM for our 9:00 AM flight back to Santa Maria and reality.

We were back at work on Tuesday a little tired but with lots of wonderful memories.

While our travel and sleeping quarters were taken care of via Denise and Tom we did plan and saved money for our trip, this enabled us to enjoy our trip without using our credit cards.

I am ready and excited to bring you more ideas and reasons to keep the romance in your marriage.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2012, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mother’s out there!

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

Need help with cooking for romance, relationship or travel ideas? Then go to my Surprise Kiss Store above and click on the tab to see the authors I like to read and games that are fun to play with your sweetheart.

© 2011, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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On Tuesday I told you a little about our Christmas Day but what I didn’t mention is my husband’s brother sadly passed away a week before Christmas. So it was somewhat bittersweet. He is with the Lord now and no longer suffering. He will be missed very much by family and friends.

Today is his funeral. Since the family still has small children he didn’t want them to have it just before Christmas so they waited to do it in the middle of this week.

Instead of flowers the family has decided to make a donation to the American Cancer Society. I went on-line last night and made a donation. It was so easy to do.

This is a reminder to us all to tell our love ones we love them and how they are an important part of our lives.

May God Bless you and your family and keep you safe throughout the New Year.

I will be back blogging tomorrow.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Hope you have a wonderful Christmas Eve with your friends, family and sweetheart! My sister-in-law sent me this article and You Tube Video. Read the article first and then watch the video.

“Where’s the Line to See Jesus?” Article

Here is the “Where the Line to See Jesus?” on the You Tub Video

Please share with your friends and family.

Don’t forget to have a little fun and romance with your sweetheart tonight. See the article I wrote on Dec 21st, Angel Baby.

Have a blessed evening.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Did you know there is a website where you and your children can track Santa Claus as he travels around the world to deliver his presents? NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) scientists track his where abouts on Dec 24th.

NORADSanta.org

If you go on the website before Dec 24th your children can listen to videos, play games and down load things to do. NORAD has been doing this for over 50 years.

Have fun on Dec 24th with your kids and see where Santa is delivering his presents  in the world together.

If you missed the big reveal for a very funny and romantic Christmas evening with your sweetheart then you will want to read what I wrote yesterday, Dec 21st, Angel Baby.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Looking for something that is easy to serve on Christmas morning? And you want it to look like it took hours to make but it only took a few minutes to put together. Then you will want to make this coffee cake.

Bubble Coffee Cake

1 27 oz package frozen dough rolls

1 3.5 oz package butterscotch pudding (not instant)

¾  cup brown sugar

¼  cup sugar

½ cup chopped walnuts

½  cup melted butter

Spray 10” solid tube or Bundt pan with Pam. Place rolls in pan covering bottom.

Combine the next 4 ingredients and pour evenly over rolls and then pour melted butter over.

Cover with a tent of aluminum foil sprayed with Pam; let set overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°

Bake 30 minutes; turn onto a plate to serve. Serves 12

This recipe is so easy you can have the kids help you and your husband make this. It will become your family favorite. Enjoy!

If you missed the big reveal for a very funny and romantic Christmas evening with your sweetheart then you will want to read what I wrote yesterday, Dec 21st, Angel Baby.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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Hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving and you enjoyed my Thanksgiving idea, “Thank You Baby,” with your sweetheart. With “Black Friday” here and so many families still have company I know it is hard to make time for date night this weekend. This is the beginning of the holiday season.

With all the shopping, parties and company stopping by the house it can get a little crazy and stressful so please try to carve out some special time together.  Why not watch a movie with the whole family, make the popcorn and cuddle up to your sweetheart on the sofa. Don’t let the children separate the two of you. Have them sit on each side of you but not between you two. You have to show your children how to have a strong and loving marriage. They will feel the love and security they need in your little family unit. You are teaching them how to have an exceptional marriage when they grow up.

Larry and I recently watched a Hallmark movie called “Hachi, a Dog’s Tale.” It is a true story of the love between a man, Richard Greer and his dog. Have plenty of Kleenex on hand it is a tear jerker at the end.

Enjoy your quite time with your family and sweetheart and have a wonderful weekend.

Keep those sparks flying!
JoJo

© 2010, Surprise Kiss. All rights reserved.

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