Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

Valentine's Day isn't just for lovers.  It's for everyone!
The economic engine of our country finds a way to attach a dollar sign to nearly everything, especially holidays.  As a result, the origins and true meanings of most holidays often gets lost in the material.  

One of the privileges I enjoy most about being a parent is that I am not subject to cultural "norms" when it comes to holidays.  Rather, I get to share with my children the fullest meaning of every holiday, celebrating with memorable traditions in the form of food, music, art, crafts, decorations and snazzy duds.
When I saw this little number on, my will to resist was broken! I couldn't wait to see Charlie in it!  The boys went hysterical when they saw him.  And, you can see by the width of his grin that he knew that he had captured all of our hearts!
The older boys are a little less cooperative when it comes to dressing up for holidays and events.  No amount of secretly stashed candy could convince them to dress up to match their little brother for a picture.
Thankfully, Mr. Squishy Toes didn't mind hanging out for a few more poses.
"Why yes, darling, my ears are my finest feature." 
Chubby rolls on a baby are irresistible.  Especially on the neck!

In addition to Charlie's little outfit, I also found lots of ideas this year to add to my holiday traditions notebook on Pinterest.  George helped me make a heart paper chain and we framed a free printable from this blog to dress up the buffet.  
We also made Valentine treat sacks to share with school mates, friends and family, and topped them with these cute cards from this blog site.
Sweet and simple. I am so thankful for all of the creative moms who share their wonderful talents and ideas with the world through their blogs.  
I love, love, love to cook, and the holidays are my perfect opportunity to make something extra special. Seeing Steve and the boys get excited about a special meal really warms my heart!  Such a little gift to give them, but with big returns - happy faces, happy hearts, happy home.
For supper our menu included:
Olive Garden Salad (find the dressing recipe here.)
Garlic Bread
Parmesan Crusted Chicken (my secret recipe!)
Linguine with Vodka Cream Sauce
Chocolate Cream Pie with Orange Liqueur

During supper, we read the historic story of St. Valentine.  Then, we went around the table and each child expressed something that they love about each sibling and parent.  After that, we asked to boys to share the ways that they feel the most loved. Andrew read his essay on How he knows that God loves him, and ways that they he shows God that he love Him.  We're beginning a tradition of telling jokes during the holidays.  Benedict volunteered to entertain us with a few that he found. After that, we moseyed our pasta-stuffed-selves over to the living room to watch a movie and smooch on Charlie some more! Delicious!
Out of the mouths of babes...
  "When a person gets kissed for the first time, they fall down, and they don't get up for at least an hour." -- Wendy, age 8

"If falling in love is anything like learning how to spell, I don't want to do it. It takes too long." -- Glenn, age 7

"Don't forget your wife's name. That will mess up the love." -- Erin, age 8

"Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough." -- Lynnette, age 8

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