Jesus + Family + Food = Life

Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

10 Stay-at-home Date Ideas

Last night I thought it would be OK to add one of those caffeinated drink mixes to my water....  Needless to say, when I went to bed my mind just raced.  I grabbed my phone from the iHome and started taking notes.  At the time I thought it was an extremely productive brainstorming session with myself, but now I'm not so sure.  Who knows, maybe it will inspire someone out there!

This list is for husbands and wives with children (AND/OR on a budget OR just want to keep it fresh) who just can't seem to find the time to "date" again.   The experts are saying that we should be spending some regular quality time with our spouse.  Now, after a recent conversation with my husband, it seems that "quality time" can mean one thing to one person and something else altogether to the next.  I could go into a long discussion of love languages here about how I am more of a QT person and he is more Acts of Service, but I digress.  Please check them out if you have not: 5 Love Languages Assessments Page

One last note: If you are not already doing so (if you have small children, that is), put your kids to bed early!  They need sleep and you two need time together.  Get into a bedtime routine or shorten your existing one.  Easier said than done sometimes, I know, but it is worth it. :)

Date Ideas

1.  LIST DATE - If you are like me or my husband, you make lists.  A to-do list for the day, a list for the grocery store, a list of home improvements, etc.  On this date, you and your spouse will literally make a list (or 2 or 3) and it could take anywhere from 5 minutes to several hours depending.  Here are some list ideas:

  • things to grow in the garden, 
  • Christmas and birthday gift ideas for the kids, 
  • stuff that needs to be done around the house, 
  • meal ideas for the next couple of weeks, 
  • Vacations or day trips you would like to take, 
  • bucket list, etc..  
Use Google or Pinterest as a resource if your ideas cease to flow.  If nothing else, it will hopefully lead to some meaningful conversation and much needed communication.

2. TO-DO DATE - You're probably thinking, "she just started this list with the "list date", why are we still dwelling on this?  Well, as I explained earlier, we are a list family!  Josh has post-its all over the place with reminders and things that need to be done and I have random pads of paper, notebooks, scraps of paper strewn about with similar lists.  It's crazy...

As we have heard before, you shouldn't let your to-do list get in the way of your life.  Our top priorities should be to spend time with God and take care of our families.  Throw work, school, church responsibilities, sports, events, meetings, etc. into the mix and there is very little time left to get done what needs to be done!

In this date idea, you and your spouse can either work on your joint to-do list together or simultaneously, in the same room work on your respective lists.  

I'll give you an example.  Josh had to finish reloading some ammo last week, and I needed to make something with my scrapbook paper.  The reloading bench and my craft supplies just happen to be in our attic.  We took the opportunity to scratch one off of EACH list all while having a conversation about some things I had been reading in my Bible study.

The key here is to redeem the time... multi-task! :)

3. HOME IMPROVEMENT DATE: Please skip to the next item if you feel I am getting too redundant.  I did mention that Josh was more of an Acts of Service person, so he feels most loved when I do things for him.  And he feels that he is loving me best when he does things for me.  We tend to miss one another most of the time because I would rather sit on the couch, cuddle, and talk. :p

This date not only mixes love languages, but also improves your dwelling!  By home improvement, I do not necessarily mean remodeling your home or something extremely expensive.  I mean, choose a room, closet, or space and clean, organize, or decorate... TOGETHER.  By all means, if you are into it, feel free to modify said room/closet/space if you are able, but I am keeping it simple for my low/no budget, "shhhhh quiet, the kids are sleeping" couples.  Here are some ideas:
  • Organize a closet, desk, toy space, basement, storage area, junk drawer, etc.  You could use what you have on hand, or plan ahead and grab some cheap tubs or organizing aids at the dollar store.  Throw away junk, donate nice things you aren't using, find a place for everything.
  • Paint a room for a fresh look - and to hide crayon.
  • Clean!  Work together to give one room a good scrubdown from ceiling to floor.  There are plenty of blogs out there with lots of tips on how to go about cleaning certain rooms using home made products.  The Happy Slob is one of my favorites.
  • Use the time to brainstorm or plan how to improve your designated space.  Look at some ideas on Pinterest (I am really liking that site...), compromise, make a list, and plan to execute said project on a future date.
Besides work and school, the home is where we spend most of our time.  Messy, unsanitary spaces are stressFUL.  Stress-free rooms are clean and organized.  Do yourselves and your kids a favor by planning this date!
Who says you can't sand/paint the front porch at night?

4. WEDDING DATE - Ok, now I will share a  less active idea for you and your spouse. On this date, relive your big day by watching the video of your wedding ceremony and reception (if you have one).  Some couples even have an engagement video! :)  You could also get out the photo album or scrapbook of the event.  Surprise your loved one by making a cake (try to get the same flavors as your wedding cake) to share on this date.  This would be a big hit in my house since his favorite food is cake!        Oh, and what you do afterwards is your own business......
The first page of the scrapbook of US.

5. DON'T DRIVE-IN DATE - I stole this from a Focus on the Family Magazine (Thriving Family), but I don't think they would mind if I pass on the idea. ;)  

Once the kiddos are sleeping  (if you have any), turn on the baby monitors and head outside to your vehicle!  Take your laptop/portable DVD player, a movie (or catch up on your favorite shows if the wi-fi reaches), popcorn, and don't forget the exension cord..... if the battery life on your laptop is anything like mine, you know what I am saying!

It will be just like going to the movie theater, but without leaving your driveway... for free!

6. GAME DATE - When I was a kid, we played games all the time.  Board games, card games, video games, and on and on.  ALL THE TIME!  I don't know about you, but it seems that the game-playing days are all but extinct due to the busy-ness of life and other things we choose to fill it with.  
Bring back the good ol' days with this date idea.  Pick your favorite board game, or teach your spouse that insanely fun card game you were obsessed with when you were 13 (SPIT - can anyone relate??).  OR play that Wii you just had to have a few years ago.  And by "you" I obviously mean "I".   Basically, sit down (or stand up) and play a game!
Spice it up a bit by... no I am not going to say what you think I am going to say.... adding a friendly wager.... "If I win, you have to do the dishes", for example.

7. SNACK/LATE DINNER DATE - This one is going to be a little tricky for us since Josh is not much of a snacker.... unless the moon is perfectly aligned with Jupiter (or whatever).  I figure, as long as it includes a lot of sugar he will be into it.  Too bad I am a "salty" person.  Oh well, this is all part of the sacrificial love of marriage! ;)

On this date, you'll have to plan ahead in order to pick up all of the necessary items when you go grocery shopping.  Of course, if it's last minute, one of you can just run to the store, but we are trying to avoid that here!  Choose a new snack or an old favorite to whip up TOGETHER in the kitchen.  Then sit down at the table and enjoy your creation.  All the while, you can be discussing your day, plans for the upcoming week, or wherever your conversation leads.  We also enjoy the listening to the programs they play on our local Christian radio stations.  Most, if not all, stream on the internet.  Here are a few we like: Grace to You, Walk in the Word, In the Market with Janet Parshall, Family Life Today, Just Thinking....  By listening to these, you will probably learn something and have a topic to discuss when you eat your snack.

The other option with this date is to maybe have a light snack while you are feeding the kids, and then prepare and eat your actual *special* meal together when they are in bed.  This could be as simple or elaborate as you would like.  Again, be sure to have all ingredients on hand and maybe even some candles to put on the table.  I could really go for some beef steak right about now. ;)

8. YEARBOOK/PHOTO ALBUM/HOME VIDEO DATE - This one takes me way back.... haha!  No really, I used to have hour-long conversations over the phone with my best friend as we simultaneously flipped through our middle school yearbooks.  My husband and I went to the same school from 6th grade on (but did not date until sophomore year of college).  I am sure we could have lots of fun picking on one another's school photos through the years and reading the lame messages we wrote in the back of each other's yearbooks.

If you were home schooled or do not have yearbooks, borrow a few old photo albums from your parents or dig them out storage.  Same goes for home videos.  Looking at or watching these can lead to a lot of laughs or epic stories from the past.

If your kids are old enough, they may even want to join you for this one!
Heather: Through the years

9. WATCH AND LEARN DATE - Do you know just how talented your spouse is?  Have any idea how much specialized information they have floating around in their heads?  Do you know what he or she does all day?  Exactly how much practice or reading goes into their favorite hobby?  Sometimes we think we know, but we actually have no idea.  This date idea gives each of us the opportunity to show-off our stuff!

You may be thinking... Um, I really don't care about reloading ammo (or is it just me?).  But toss that attitude out the window!  This date will require you to take turns choosing the activity; no argument!  If he wants to show you his collection of deer antler sheds, talk about where he found each one, and explain his theory of white tail migration, so be it!  Remember: You get to pick next time!  (He might even have a nice scrapbook page to show for it!  LOL!).

-What did you go to school for?  (Is it a skill or a trade you could teach to your spouse?)
-What do you do on a daily basis?  (Could you show them how you do what you do?  Or evidence of what you do?)
-What is your favorite hobby? (Can you just see me teaching him how to crochet???) XD
I got a whole new education here!

10. BIBLE STUDY DATE - I have saved the best for last!  This is a perfect way to spend time with your Heavenly Father and your Earthly Spouse at the same time!  Buy or borrow a book (Bible study or devotional) or check out free resources on the internet.  Grab your Bibles and let the learning begin!  This is one date you may want to schedule for a weekly (or more) basis.

It may not be your style to study corporately, so you may have to bend a little, but it will be worth it!  Don't forget to begin and end in prayer, asking for wisdom and guidance as you study and apply what you learn.  As they say: Couples who pray together, stay together.

There you have it!  10 date ideas you can easily do at home!  This is my first (lengthy) non-food/craft post, so forgive me if it is choppy and my ideas seem unfinished.  I've got a lot going on up here.  :)  If you have some ideas of your own or have been inspired by this post, please leave me some comment love!

1 comment:

Becca said...

Just wanted you to know that you were featured in our ULTIMATE Date Idea Round-up today! Thanks for sharing your date ideas! XOXO, The Dating Divas

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...