7 Things Your Husband Needs to Hear You Say

My poor husband has heard so much from me, especially in the first five years of our marriage, that should have never came out of my mouth. Thank the Lord for a forgiving husband! It has been through years of marriage that I realized my husband needs to hear me say certain things and often, so our marriage thrives.

7 Things Your Husband Needs to Hear You Say - Don't let your words destroy your marriage when they can be building it stronger. | www.joyinthehome.com

Over the years, since those first five painful growing years, I have learned a lot about the needs of my husband and how my words can affect him negatively or positively. I would like to share seven things that I have learned my husband loves to hear me say to him.

Here are seven things your husband needs to hear you say:

Forgive me – In our family, we try to avoid the ‘I'm sorry‘ because it doesn't always seem sincere enough when true damage has occurred within a relationship.  We leave the ‘sorry' for time when we bump into each other or make a mindless mistake, not something that was done on purpose or with intent. 

I was wrong – Asking for forgiveness is a great place to start, but I have found that my husband loves when I admit even more to him with the ‘I was wrong‘ statement. I can still see his face the first time this unheard phrase slipped from my lips. He was really shocked that I could admit being wrong and he instantly softened toward me.

I appreciate how you provide for our family – Men work hard to provide for their family and in most cases, they do not get any respect for the work that they faithfully do for the company they work for and it shouldn't be the same case with the family that he works hard to provide for.

Thank you – I started thanking my husband for the little things he does, like playing with the kids, helping get our youngest ready for bed, helping with the discipline of our children and just listening to me.  Sharing your gratitude with him should be second nature, but it really took a focus for me to make it that way and I'm sad I didn't start earlier.

You look so gorgeous – I'm a strong believer in ‘if you think it, you need to say it‘ because people need to hear positive thoughts more than negative ones. Telling your husband that you are still attracted to him, even if he has gained weight or looks different than when you first were married (trust me, you probably look different, too).  Having confidence in how you view him can help him feel more confident in your relationship with him.

What can I make you for dinner – Asking my husband if there is anything special that he would like for breakfast, lunch or dinner (or even dessert) really let's him know that I desire to please him and make him happy.  Many times he doesn't have anything special because I usually stay with the meals that I know he enjoys, but on occasions, he has been quick to say that he was hungry for something.

What do you think we should do – I have always been quick to share my opinion with my husband, however over the last several years, I have been learning to ask his opinion before giving mine.  It has surprised me to find that many times we were both thinking the same thing, but allowing him to go first allowed him to feel more of the leader I have desired him to be in our home.  That has been so empowering to him and an answer to my prayers!  And to think, I was the one standing in the way of getting my heart's desire.


The more I spoke these things to my husband, the more I realized that I was providing him with the things he needed, and it gave me a perspective that I was created for him.

For years, I wanted my husband to be… more.

I wanted him to be the picture that I feel the Bible was stating about what a Christian husband should be and do. It took me a while to realize that I was standing in the way of the very thing that I desired the most of his place in our home. I share that journey in my post, How to Empower Your Husband to Be the Head of Your Home.

How to Empower Your Husband to be the Head of Your Home - Tips that will help you, help your husband. | www.joyinthehome.com

My heart is open to sharing with other women about the journey our marriage has taken, because it hasn’t been an easy journey.

Our marriage has been a journey with many hills and valleys, but I wouldn’t want to do it without him. We have learned a lot in our 25 years of marriage, and I share it on my marriage resource page. I hope you find it full of inspiration to keep on keeping on, and growing together.



How to Turn a Central Desk into Storage for Learning Centers

Use the Central Desk for #learningcenters for #preschool @Titus2Teacher from www.joyinthehome.com shares how she has created easy access to great learning centers.

Having a preschooler in our house means that there is always activity and the desire for the next thing.  A few months ago, I decided that I was going to turn our central desk into a storage area for his preschool learning centers. It proved to be a ‘good thing' right away.

Here is how I changed a ‘catch all' central desk into the perfect storage for my son's learning centers:

Turning central desk into #storage for #learningcenters

  • I first emptied everything out and either found homes for what was placed there or we threw it out
  • I purchased the plastic shoe boxes at Walmart for $1 each
  • I placed learning activities that I found on Pinterest and some of my son's favorite things to do (like nerf guns – it happens when you have a 10 and 17 year old son that he adores and desires to emulate in EVERYTHING) for 15-30 minutes
  • I established the ‘one bin at a time rule', in order to keep them in their own place and organizedFollow my Hands on Learning board from great #toddler and #preschool activities @Titus2Teacher from www.joyinthehome.com

Here are some of the bins that I have in there:

  • Colored pom-poms for him to sort using an ice cube tray – sorting is something he did on his own before he was 2 years old (he separated his mixed snacks on his high chair, so you can imagine my surprise when I turned my head and saw two piles; one pile of cheerios and the other with goldfish) and still will separate EVERYTHING!
  • White Rice box with a large filter, measuring cups and measuring spoons (from the dollar store).  He loves to get out a cookie sheet and add rice to it to form his letters or play with his cars in it
  • Marbles, spoon and ice cube tray for hand-eye coordination (and to use with the marble works)
  • Play-doh cutters, alphabet and number cutters and other tools
  • Lego pieces of animals and ‘men' with larger pieces (he loves to play this with his older brother)

Using drawers for for #learningcenters @Titus2Teacher from www.joyinthehome.com
The last thing I did was place his play-do in the drawers, coloring pencils, coloring books, magnifying glass and his ipod (remember how much his wants to be like his older siblings), so he can easily get to them.

We all were thrilled to see a space that wasn't being used to his ability turn into the perfect storage place for our preschooler's learning centers.

Take a look at the post I wrote at Homemaker's Challenge – How to Store All of Those Winter Accessories.

SAVE 20% on your first purchase when you sign up for Club VTech at VtechKids.com!

*I have affiliate links to a ‘good thing' that of a company that I have loved for years

I linked up with Hearts of Home.


Would you like to eliminate the challenge of homeschool curriculum choices while finding confidence that you are buying the right curriculum for your family? If so, you can download my free guide that includes secrets to evaluating curriculum that is a perfect fit for your unique family. Just click here to get Curriculum Evaluations The Why, What, & When to Making Curriculum Choices for FREE in your inbox.


10 Bible Verses Every Wife Should Memorize

Memorizing verses is so important for any Christian and that includes those who are wives.  A marriage can really experience so many challenges because Satan just doesn't want strong Christian homes to continue and he does all he can to ruin what God has joined together. A strong family starts with Bible verses at the foundation. I want to share the verses every wife should memorize to help you get started.

10 Bible Verses Every Wife Should Memorize | www.joyinthehome.com


10 Bible Verses Every Wife Should Memorize

Here are the verses that have helped me in my 21+ years of marriage and I know that they will continue to be priceless throughout our marriage.

  1. Ephesians 5: 22-23 ~ “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
  2. Colossians 3:17-18 ~ “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”
  3. I Peter 3:1-3 ~ “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.”
  4. Titus 2:3-5 ~ “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
  5. Proverbs 31:26-31 ~ “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
  6. Psalms 19:14 ~ “May these words of my mouth and this mediation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
  7. I Thessalonians 5:17 ~ “Pray without ceasing.”
  8. I Thessalonians 5:18 ~ “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
  9. I Peter 4:8 ~ “And above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
  10. Luke 6:37b ~ “Forgive and you will be forgiven.”

In addition to memorizing Bible verses to help in my marriage, I also strive to memorize verses for my motherhood, because there are times that scriptures is what carries me through.


10 Bible Verses Every Wife Should Memorize www.joyinthehome.com.jpg

When I was in my early 30’s, I lost my joy in what should have been my perfect life. I literally had everything that I had hoped for but I faced everyday with less joy than the day before. It was through scripture that I not only identified the problem, but was able to correct it.

I shared my journey in an ebook for other women who struggle with their personal joy, and desire to live life with joy they would expect to have.

Finding Joy in the Journey Intentional Reflections of the Heart | www.joyinthehome.com


Would you like to have your family memorize scriptures together but you have multiples ages and you feel lost at the idea? If so, you can download my free Bible Verse Planner that color-coordinates age-appropriate verses for ages 1-teen. Just click here to get Bible Verse Planner for FREE in your inbox.

Bible Verse Planner

6 Steps to Successfully Break the Pacifier Habit

Out of my four children, all of them have to be broken from the pacifier.  These steps have worked wonderful to successfully break the pacifier habit in my fourth child and were collected in my experience of breaking the older three children.

6 Steps to Successfully Break the Pacifier Habit - Prolonging the use of a pacifier will make it harder to break, but these steps will make it easier. | www.joyinthehome.com

6 Steps to Successfully Break the Pacifier Habit

My first child was by far the hardest one to break, my second child mastered how to successfully break the pacifier habit, while the third child was key to adding a gentle weaning necessary for some children (and parents).  We didn't attempt to break the pacifier habit until my daughter turned 3.  I had already determined that this is too late to successfully break the pacifier habit because it has become so much of the child's routine. However, I was completely surprised when my second child did this himself just before his first birthday. My third and fourth children were both broken of this habit before their second birthday.

My Son Demonstrated How to Successfully Break the Pacifier Habit

It all happened one day during his nap time and completely unaware to me. When I went to get him out of his crib, I noticed that his pacifier was literally bitten off.  Yes, I said bitten off!  That night, he wanted his pacifier and I gave him it, with the smallest piece of rubber still attached.  He put it to his mouth and just held it there with his hand, as contently as if it were still there. The next day, the pacifier was under the side of his crib and I left it there to see if he really would forget about it… he did!

Use a Gentle Weaning Time to Successfully Break the Pacifier Habit

We started with a weaning process with our third child, as I experienced this in nursing to be easy on both the child and mommy. Before he turned eighteen months, I would leave his pacifier in his crib.  It only took a few days to let him know that this was for sleeping time only.


steps to breaking the pacifier habit

6 Steps to Successfully Break the Pacifier Habit

Now, our fourth child arrived and we had several different examples and like most experiences, I decided to combine the last two experiences and see what happened.


  1. Being weaning process by only allowing it in the crib or when sick
  2. At least a month prior to the next step, remove all other pacifiers from the house, diaper bags and vehicles {they are everywhere!}, so that only one exist in the house
  3. Before nap time, cut two-thirds of the tip off the pacifier and place back in its normal spot in the bed
  4. Offer the broken pacifier and allow the child to detach from it mentally and determine what needs to be done with it (our fourth child wanted it in the garbage, where our second one needed a little time)
  5. When they cry for it, remind the child that the pacifier was broken and you threw it away
  6. Encourage the child as being big now

In our experience, if a child begins to successfully break the pacifier habit before two, they will be able to do this in only three days. By that time, they are aware that it is gone and have been able to release it. Waiting too late, will prove, like in the case of my daughter that it is more difficult and can take years if the thumb becomes a replacement.

You may also like this post, How to Teach Your Toddler to Pick Up Their Toys

How to Teach Your Toddler To Pick Up Their Toys - These tips would also work with older children. | www.joyinthehome.com



Love Scavenger Hunt

Love Scavenger Hunt

I would like to share with you a Love Scavenger Hunt, which includes 20 challenges that will not only change the person accomplishing these challenges but the recipient, as well.

Included in this hunt you will have 5 focuses that includes:

  • Words of Love
  • Expressions of Love
  • Actions of Love
  • Facial Expressions of Love
  • Gifts of Love

Love Scavenger Hunt www.joyinthehome.com

May this Love Scavenger Hunt be a great way to bring love into your life and those around you.

Deliciously Easy Spicy Cheese Ball


This is one of the easiest appetizers you can possibly make for the holiday season or even football season! I double this recipe and make two balls, freezing one for another time, which makes it even easier!

Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 – 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 – 2 cups of shredded Pepper Jack cheese
8 oz of softened cream cheese
1/2 cup of chives
a few dashes of hot cause
*chili powder


In a mixer or food pressure, place all the ingredients EXCEPT the chili powder. Mix together thoroughly.

Once it is mixed well, take it in your hand and form a ball.


Place plastic wrap on the counter top and generously add chili powder to it.


Roll the cheese ball in the chili powder, being sure to cover the entire ball. If there are spots not covered, carefully shake the chili powder in those places.


Wrap the ball and refrigerator several hours before serving. (I do it the day before)


If you make more than one ball, place the ball in a freezer bag and use within 2 months.


Deliciously Easy Snowman Sundae


This Snowman sundae is a perfect treat this time of the year or anytime you want to celebrate winter and the snow friends that winter sometimes brings us.

Here is what you will need:

  • vanilla ice cream
  • square chocolate covered cookie
  • frosting
  • large marshmallows
  • chocolate chips
  • M&Ms
  • toothpick


In a microwavable bowl, place some chocolate chips and melt in 20 second increments, with stirring between each increment to be sure that you do not over cook the chips.  While you are doing this, you can be putting a circle of frosting on the center of the chocolate covered cookies (one for each sundae you are making), which will keep the chocolate covered marshmallows secure on the cookies…. making the snowman hat!


Place a marshmallow on a toothpick and roll it in the melted chocolate. Place it on the frosting that is on the center of the chocolate covered cookie.  With a spoon, add extra chocolate to cover the top of the marshmallow.


Scoop a large circle of ice cream on a plate, adding M&Ms for the eyes, nose and mouth.  Then add the top and serve immediately to the awaiting loved ones.


How to Throw a Cookie Decorating Party


This holiday the children and I threw our first cookie decorating party and it was a GREAT thing. I thought you would like to know the steps we did to make our decorating party a fun time for all those we were able to attend.


  1. We invited only a hand full of families but only had two families attend. Still a perfect size when you consider that with three families we had 16 people that decorated.
  2. The day before my daughter and I made a triple batch of our Deliciously Easy Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies, using a cute set of LCP Gifts Nativity Story Metal Cookie Cutter Set of 12 & devotional notes 77323 to cut the dough.
  3. On our dining room table, I put out 20 plates and each plate got one of each kind of cookie, once they were cooled.
  4. I then placed the cookie plates in large bins to keep them fresh for the next day.
  5. In the morning, we made Wilson's Buttercream Frosting and added several different color dyes to the frosting.
  6. Then we filled the frosting bags half full (well, after we fixed the mess we did, but this is teaching you how to do successfully, so the steps will not have our little mistake!).
  7. Fold down the frosting bags and put staples in them, to keep the frosting from coming out when the children consistently squeeze from the bottom.
  8. Place some chocolate chips, M&Ms, mini-marshmellows, Christmas sprinkles in small bowls in the center of the table.
  9. Give each child their own plate and let them be creative!
  10. GRAB the camera and be sure to capture some of the beautiful creations!


This was a wonderful time with friends and was enjoyed by all of us!

Top Ten Gifts for Girls

Gift giving is a part of our culture, but sometimes it is hard to find the right gift for the girls in your life. I created a list of the top ten gifts for girls from my own experience as a mother of a girl, to help you in your gift giving needs all year long.

Top 10 Gifts for Girls - Ideas for all year long! | www.joyinthehome.com

Top Ten Gifts for Girls

I absolutely love buying gifts for girls, because they have such a love for creativity and can get completely lost in their hobby. These top gift ideas for girls are ones that I have done again and again for not only my daughter, but my nieces and other girls in our life, and each time, they were loved and cherished, while providing hours of enjoyment for years to come.

These top gift ideas are perfect for birthdays, Christmas, Easter baskets, or any special occasion that calls for a gift.

Giving your children gifts that are meaningful and will allow for them to be creative, while quickly become some of their favorite things!

Here are some other gift ideas you may want to check out:

Top 10 Gifts for Boys
A Gift Guide for Toddlers
A Gift Guide for Preschoolers
A Gift Guide for Naturalist
A Gift Guide for Creationist
7 Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Photos

Top 10 Gifts for Boys

I have given away or thrown away a lot of toys in my motherhood, not just because the children have lost pieces or broken them, but because my kids had TOO MUCH!  It wasn't until my older two children were older that I started to notice that they had favorite toys or toys that became my favorite because of the kind of play that it provided them, making them the top ten gifts for boys.

Top 10 Gifts for Boys - Perfect ideas for all year long! | www.joyinthehome.com

Top 10 Gifts for Boys:

These have proven time and time again that this list is most loved by all boys, and are perfect for any occasion for gift giving.

What I love about this list is that you can keep adding to these collections, creating sibling enjoyment and literally hours of fun that will last for years to come.

Here are some other gift ideas you may want to check out:

Top 10 Gifts for Girls
A Gift Guide for Toddlers
A Gift Guide for Preschoolers
A Gift Guide for Naturalist
A Gift Guide for Creationist
7 Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Photos


Deliciously Easy Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

I'm so excited to share my recipe for whole wheat sugar cookies that is perfect for your Christmas baking!

Deliciously Easy Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

1 cup of soften butter
2 1/2 cups of evaporated cane juice (white sugar can be substituted)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup of sour cream
1 tsp real salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
5 cups of soft white wheat flour (pastry flour)
PLUS – several cups of soft white wheat flour to knead into flour when rolling out

Cream butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and sour cream together.  Add salt, nutmeg, soda and powder and mix well. Slowly add 2 cups of flour at a time, until blended and all 5 cups have been added.

I placed half the dough onto a plastic wrap at a time and then wrapped in well.  Once all dough is in the plastic wrap and securely wrapped, I then refrigerated it for 2 hours.

After the two hours, spread some flour on the surface of the countertop.  Then unwrap the dough, adding one cup of flour at time, while kneading the flour into the dough. Continue adding the flour until the dough feels right, about 2-3 cups of flour total.


Then roll out to out 1/4 of high and flour the cookie cutters. Place cut cookie dough onto greased cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes at 375°.  You do not want to have it golden brown.  Cool on sheet for 5 minutes and then gentle take cookies off sheet to continue to cool.

Use your favorite frosting to finish the cookie and serve!

You may also want to host your own cookie decorating party.

Deliciously Easy Pecan Chocolate Toffee

This Pecan chocolate toffee is one that I had to put away for a few years, but was so happy to bring it back into my holiday backing.  I find it rather sweet, but others really love it!

Here is my Pecan Chocolate Toffee recipe:

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup of Sucanat (you can use brown sugar)
1 Tablespoon of Brown Rice Syrup (corn syrup is a substitute)
1 cup finely chopped pecans  (however almonds work well too!)
1/4 cup chopped pecans for topping
12 ounces chocolate chips or chocolate bars

Line a 15X10X1 inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper and lightly spray it.

Heat butter, sucanat, brown rice syrup and 2 Tablespoons of water in saucepan. Heat over medium heat to melt butter. Increase heat to med-high and add a candy thermometer. Cook mixture about 12 minutes until golden brown and temp reaches 300 degrees. Do not stir, remove from heat, carefully add the 1 cup of chopped nuts.

Quickly pour toffee onto prepared pan and spread to edges.  Let stand in pan for 30 minutes on wire rack.

Melt half the chocolate chips in microwave or on your stove top. Be sure to not burn it. (Like I did this morning!) Or you will have to do it again.

Spread the chocolate over the toffee and place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Remove from refrigerator and flip, using another sheet of parchment paper.  Once it is flipped, melt the other half of the chocolate and spread it on the top, adding the 1/4 cup of chopped nuts.  Refrigerate another 20 minutes.  Using a good knife, cut into 2 inch pieces.

Store in an airtight container for up to several weeks.

A perfect gift for neighbors or just for unexpected guest who stop by to visit during the holiday season!