By Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Family & Community Health Agent
Christmas is one of the most popular times for couples to get engaged. The question is asked, the ring is given, and announcements are made to families and friends. Now what? Hopefully, couples will discuss dreams, goals, finances, housing, work, and family desires. Sure, planning the actual wedding ceremony and honeymoon are important, but that is just the beginning of a life with a spouse. If couples put as much effort into developing their marriage as they do in planning the wedding, then marriages will be strong.
I am pleased to offer “Twogether in Texas” marriage education workshop. I have already started receiving inquiries, so here are the details:
- When: Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020
- Where: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 1200 West Houston St., Sulphur Springs
- Time: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Cost: None
- Morning refreshments and lunch will be provided.
- Call 903-885-3443 to sign up. Give us names and phone number.
Engaged couples will receive a certificate to save $60 (the state portion) upon applying for a marriage license. The certificate is good for one year.
Please note that if this date doesn’t work for you, two other workshops are planned for 2020 (May and August), so give us a call.
We will cover five topics during the workshop:
- Marriage Expectations – Whether spoken or unspoken, all couples have expectations. In this session, learn the importance of expressing your expectations early on in the marriage – or even before. Do you want children? If that is not possible, do you want to adopt? If this is a second marriage, how will you handle family? Chores are another matter. Who will do which chore, or will you do them together? This session will help you realize your own expectations so you can clearly state them with your partner.
- Communication – This is a biggie! Many couples think that finances are the main cause of marital difficulties, but actually communication is the key. Who is the expander and who is the contractor in the relationship? How does the meaning of certain words differ between spouses? What does active listening mean? Learn all of this and more during the Communication session.
- Conflict Resolution- How do you react during conflict? Do you yell, cry, clam up, become physical? What are your triggers? Every relationship will have conflict at some time or another – some will be major disagreements while others will be over minor issues. Learning how to handle conflict is the key to a healthy relationship. Practice the process of working through a conflict where both partners have equal input.
- Money Management- This issue is tricky for many couples. Some even say that they don’t have enough money to make a budget, but those are the couples who really need a budget. What is your money management style? What does money mean to you? In this session, we’ll play the bean game and discover where your financial priorities lie as a couple.
- Goals and Dreams- What do you want your marriage to look like 5, 10, 25 years down the road? How do you plan to make that happen? In this session, we’ll do an activity where you can actually put your dreams and goals to work. Afterall, a dream without goals is just that – a dream.
The workshop will include some couple activities, group feedback, video clips, and lots of fun. Please make plans to participate if at all possible. We just need your names and phone number. Call the Hopkins County Extension Office at 903-885-3443 to sign up so adequate meal arrangements and materials can be made.
Quilts Across the County
A workshop for Hopkins County 4-H members and guests will take place on Saturday, Jan. 25, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Extension Office. A simple quilt block pattern will be taught and we anticipate that each young person will complete two or more blocks. For those who have never sewn, I will teach them how to thread a sewing machine, fill a bobbin, and sew on the machine using scrap fabric before tackling the quilt blocks. I will demonstrate how to use a rotary cutter, and will have the featured quilt block completed in stages so the youth can see step-by-step how to assemble the block.
Several sewing machines will be furnished for youth to use and all fabric will be provided. Participants are asked to bring scissors, pins, seam ripper, and tape measure. If they have their own sewing machine, they may bring it. Please call 903-885-3443 to sign up or if you have questions.
Be open to possibilities. Critics can be some of your best teachers. — Emmitt Smith