This year we “did up” Valentines’ Day more than I can ever remember. Our week of love, or “LoveFest 2009” as I like to think of it was filled with fun with friends, crafts and baking, and time with family remembering our love for each other.
Jay and Abigail began the week by attending a dinner party for Dads and Daughters. One of our sweet friends arranged this evening, and it was really lovely. What a great idea for a group of fathers to spend a special “date night” with their girls! They dressed up, and dined on fancy food. Jay even composed a special poem of haikus for the occasion, which he presented in a card to Abigail. I thought it was pretty fantastic, and wanted to share it with our readers, but he’d rather I not post it, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it!
Then this week we tried something new for Valentine favors for our friends. We melted crayon pieces into molds to make heart-shaped chunky crayons. I got the idea here.
While the directions were good, these crafty recipes never seem to explain things as thoroughly as they might! So….we learned along the way:
*to first be sure to spray your mold with non-sticky stuff BEFORE filling it with the crayon pieces
* to use only Crayola crayons, as they melt better than those other “imitation brands”!
* to use crayon nubs of the same thicknesses – and forget those chunky crayons: just stick with the standard-sized, slender crayons.
Lastly, and perhaps MOST important, be sure to explain to all small fry in the family that just because it emerges hot from an oven and sits on a cooling rack does not mean it is for human consumption. One little guy in the party was reduced to tears and exclamations of “This does NOT taste good at all, Mommy!” after sampling one of the finished products!
Here is what some of the non-bitten crayon hearts looked like:
When you are done with these wax-works of art, you may further embellish them like this
On Wednesday we met seven other families at a nearby park for treats, Valentine kickball, and exchanging Valentines with each other. It was perfect day for it, and incidentally, the first time my daughter has ever played kickball, a definite oversight in her education so far!
We attended yet another “Love” function on Friday: a Valentine Tea hosted by friends, where my children contributed to the elegance of the meal by breaking out into song mid-chew. I believe “Hotel California” and Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” were their two musical offerings. Also there was burping. (Note to self: must work on those “tea-time” manners!)
For most of the week, our dining table at home was strewn with photos, Valentine card stock, and patterned papers and stickers. With these materials, we constructed many a homemade card to mail out or present to family in town. All of the children, even Josiah got very into the craftiness (and surprisingly, he didn’t eat any of these creations!). It was a LOT of fun.
In the midst of all the crafting in the dining room, there was baking aplenty happening in the kitchen. I cut out and baked 99 heart-shaped sugar cookies. Yes, I counted them ALL! We iced them in pink,
and gave many, many, many away. Incidentally, when you make 99 cookies, there are still plenty left for your own family to enjoy!
Other years when we still had a budget for eating out, Jay and I would have surely planned a date night of some sort to commemorate the holiday, and focused mostly on celebrating between ourselves. I loved that this year I had to think about the whole family, and how we would all celebrate the actual Valentines’ Day. We considered a fancy dinner of sorts, but the aforementioned burping at the tea persuaded me to try another route. Ultimately, we settled on making homemade, heart-shaped Valentines pizzas for everyone that evening. Each child got their own piece of dough to make a personal pizza,
and top it how they liked.
They LOVED both making and eating them, and this may well become a family tradition.
While the pizzas cooked we amused ourselves with an old-fashioned game of Charades, also a first in our family, I’m pretty sure. It was a great night!
Jay and I did exchange Valentines this year, just a bit more humble than usual. There were no fancy chocolates or bouquets of flowers, but I got something I treasure infinitely more. For the first time in our married life, my man wrote me a love poem!! Be still my heart! It was so touching I even cried, and I just don’t cry much these days, so you know it was good! And no, I’m not sharing that poem with you either, guys. Sorry.
Well, here is hoping that you, Dear Reader, enjoyed Valentines’ Day this year too, and got to do something special with the ones you love.