"Family traditions give identity and belonging to each member." - James Dobson
This was our first holiday of the year. My goal last year was to just lay a foundation for our family traditions and build upon them each year. As far as decorations go, I wanted a wreath on the door and bunting over our table for each holiday that we wanted to celebrate together.
1. Decorations up by Feb 1st: My heart wreath from last year was too big for our storage boxes and that last rat that wouldn't die and tormented me for months did unspeakable things to it. So I had to make another one this year. My sweet friend Sandra bought me a wreath form (she knows me well) to have fun with, so I used it for Valentine's Day.
The best part about our original apartment here in the city was that it was red... perfect for Valentine's Day! (Jimmy was sweet and let me bring all my decorations with me.)
To build upon my decorations, this year I wanted to make pillow cases for each holiday for our living room. I made 4 pillow forms, but only got around to 2 cases, so that may be a more reasonable goal with all the baby projects going on this year.
They are burlap with red ribbon woven through them. Jimmy thinks burlap is about the dumbest thing to make a pillow out of and he is probably right, but I like them because they match the bunting.
We told the boys what the initials stood for, so they liked pointing at the letters and saying, "Mama... Dada!"
2. Valentines for Their Grandmas: This year the boys sent hugs! It's a Pinterest idea. They laid on top of my fabric cutting board and I traced around the top half of them with their arms spread out. Silas loved it, Jonah thought I was nuts. Now they both like tracing around their hands and Silas flops down on my cutting board each time I have it out.
They colored them...
wrote a little note and mailed them to their grandmas.
Then they got to skype with their grandmas once they had them. They actually got to see their Grandma KS open hers. I think they are catching on!
3.Valentine's Mistletoe: We hung our smooch sign this year in the hallway between our bedrooms.
4. Heart-Shaped Chocolate Chip Pancakes for Breakfast:
Silas applauded just like last year!
5. A Chocolate Chip Valentine Cookie: This is Jimmy's Grandma's recipe.
I just found a heart shape baking dish in the city for next year!
I brought a tube of icing from the States to make it easy. I told them what their cookies said and they kept pointing at it as I would say it! Then they would say "Daddy?..." and I would say, "No, they are from Mommy!" Daddy wasn't there that day... haha! We had these cookies the day after Valentine's Day because Jimmy had so many things planned for us (Mommy and Daddy) the day before.
When Daddy got home I think he was a little jealous that he didn't get one, so next year I will have to make him one too!
6. Hidden Messages: When the boys got older, on separate pieces of paper we will all write down one thing that we love about each person in our family, nothing long, just one liners. Then we hide everyone's notes in places we know they will go during the day. For now, just Jimmy and I do it. Ours are more than one liners though...
This was waiting for me in the dining room (there is a message written on the mirror if you can't see it... hopefully you can't read it!) Glad our boys can't read yet... it was racy! Jimmy got a hidden note too. The Calla Lily is from Jonah!
7. Evaluate our Mommy/Daddy Time: Last year we decided that we wanted to start doing a Bible study together. Before we had just shared things with each other from our personal studies, but we wanted to try going through some devotionals together at night after we put the boys down. We weren't sure if we would like it that much, but it turned into something we really looked forward to. We started reading out loud Night Lights by James Dobson. This was perfect because there are questions to ask each other at the end of most of them. The next couples' devo book we found we ended up not really liking... they can be sort of cheesy sometimes, so we decided to try something different. Now we have been going through John Phillips' Commentaries.
I would highly recommend them. Genesis is probably the best one, right now we are in Daniel. I know "commentary" sound dull, but these are written in a way where you can just read through them like a regular book and really enjoy it. I love the dialogue it has started between us throughout the day.
Other Goodies from our Day:
Among other things Jimmy got me all kind of yummies covered in dark chocolate. A couple weeks ago he brought me home flowers. Ever since then Jonah and Silas think that is what God put flowers on this earth for, to take to Mommy!
If they see flowers, they pick one to bring to Mommy... melt my heart cute!
So Jimmy got them flowers to give me that I can plant at our forever house. Jonah gave me the Calla Lily pictured above
and Silas gave me daisies. They were really proud!
Both Grandmas sent Valentines for the boys too!
This is Silas saying "thank you" in sign language.
Grandma KS sent a puzzle that makes animal sounds
and magnetic books. One was trains and one was bugs, so...
Silas had to go get his shoes to kill the bugs of course!
We really had a wonderful day together on Valentine's Day. Because we are in the city, Jimmy was able to set aside the whole day for us to just all be together. I love quality time with my family!!!
I hope all of you had a wonderful Valentine's Day as well!