Valentine's Recap

This sign hangs over the window at my kitchen sink, and while I look at it every day, I don't always see it.  Know what I mean?  My husband got this sign for me for our third Christmas, while he was deployed for the second time, and I can still remember how much it touched me during that difficult time to have this reminder for the walls of our home.  There have been a lot of things happening lately that have made me want to really SEE this sign every day, and to rejoice in its message.  (I know it's not a great picture, but it had my twisted crepe paper decorations, so I had to include it, and in case you have a hard time reading it, it says, "Families are Forever".)  :)

Valentine's Day in our home is normally a non-event, but since we were without our daddy, I thought maybe a change was in order, and this little sign was the catalyst for our celebrations.  Our day was all about being a family, and special surprises for the little ones so they knew that there family near and far loved them.  It was an amazing blessing!  

So, if you're looking to get a big head start for Valentine's Day 2013, or you're our daddy and want to see what we did, here you go. 

The night before after the little ones went to bed, I grabbed my supplies, and started painting the house red.  Not literally, but you know what I mean.  First I put up crepe paper all over the kitchen, then I added these cute little heart clings from Grandma to the sliding glass door in the dining room.  It had just started to rain when I took the picture, and I love seeing the drops splash on the window.  The little ones were THRILLED when they saw the heart the next morning, and they've been moving it around ever since.
Then I started working on the table.  Of course Valentine's Day wouldn't be complete without some paper heart doilies, and to that I added some heart garland, and a surprise new book "Tomie's Book of Love" by Tomie DePaolo.  It is filled with nursery rhymes about love, and the little one had me read it over and over again.  Their favorite is "Tickle, tickle on your knee.  If you laugh you don't love me."  There has been endless knee tickling, and suppression of giggles for the last several days.  There were also some Trader Joe's heart stickers from our last visit there.
At each meal there was a card from one of their grandparents (I had been hiding them away as they came in the mail), and a little gift.  For breakfast they each got this print from Come Together Kids that I just adored.  It says "You made my heart happy when..." with lines to finish off the sentence.  Every night before bedtime I'm writing something new with a dry erase marker, and Bitsy and Manly are loving it!  I had originally thought about making them a book of compliments, with a different great thing about them on each page, but I really loved the idea of daily focusing on something wonderful that each child does, and telling them about it.  Sometimes I notice, and forget to tell them.

I also added a felt heart over the spot for their plates on their place mats, and put out our heart napkins that I got years ago at Target.
For breakfast we had these yummy heart shaped pancakes with some powdered sugar, and blood oranges.  I substituted pureed strawberries for the bananas in the recipe, which made for a pretty pink batter, but unfortunately still made for regular brown pancakes.  They were so good though, and because they were so sweet we decided to completely skip the maple syrup.  Just looking at the picture and thinking about them makes me want to eat more. 
After breakfast one of our neighbors came over, and we all went outside to "play", but while the little ones were playing the moms were hiding these ice hearts all around the yard.  I made some of these in my big heart muffin tin, and some in little heart ice cube trays.  
I have been wanting to have a Valentine's Hunt since I read this post this summer, and it was just as fun without snow.  In fact I think it was a little more fun, because it made it feel a little more like winter, and then we got to do a load of other fun activities.  Bitsy had so much fun running around the yard finding the hearts, and tossing them in her bag.
After all of the hearts were discovered, we added some salt, and stacked them as high as we could!  Thanks Michelle!
And of course, we wouldn't want to waste all of that melted red water, so then we broke out the paint brushes and made beautiful sidewalk art.
After all of our hunting, melting, and painting, we were pretty cold, and hungry, so everyone was thrilled to come in for lunch and find these cute hand warmers that Grandma had made.  She had the same inspiration I did here, but actually stuck to the original plan and made them into hearts.  I have lost count of how many times they have been warmed up now, but I've also been informed that they make excellent cheek warmers, in case you need some.  :)  
For dinner I had great plans of making fondue, and having a candle lit dinner, because Bitsy loves candle lit dinners, but when she and Manly started begging to "eat at a restaurant" I decided we may as well cap our day off with that.  So they decided we should go to Sonic, which was fine with me, because we don't have to all pile out of the car to get the food.

After dinner we had rotating treats.  One person got to take a very fun water balloon bath.
While the others had a little bag of heart shaped cookies and gummies.
And let me tell you, I HATE gummies, but these things were amazing!  I had to show some serious self control so that my children could have them, and they didn't have any crazy ingredients that I couldn't pronounce.  Thank you Trader Joe's, my tummy was in lovey!
Everyone loved the water balloon bath, but Lettie's face was just priceless.  She had this adorable look of awe and joy the whole time she was in the tub, and she giggled so hard every time a balloon would slip through her fingers.  It made the whole experience worth it!
And my little Bitsy sat tracing her finger over the outline of the cookies, and the little lines of icing.  She is usually so full of life, that it was a tender moment to watch her take time to savor the moment.  She looked up and smiled at me and said, "This has been such a wonderful day" and I knew I had succeeded at making Valentine's Day a day of family love. 
 I'm so glad we get to be together forever!

bwrightbrizee  – (February 19, 2012 at 10:41 AM)  

Lovely Valentines Day, Mommy!!! Families really are forever - what a blessing!!!

bwrightbrizee –   – (February 19, 2012 at 1:27 PM)  

Sounds like a lovely day. Families really are forever - what a blessing!!!

Jdaniel4smom –   – (February 20, 2012 at 3:44 PM)  

How wonderful to get to celebrate all day!

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