Valentines Day 2014

Valentines Day is a great chance for family’s to show their love to one another. In Australia, the popularity of Valentines Day is growing. When I was a child, there were flowers available in the shops, (Thank goodness, because my Dad was farming flowers for quite a few years during my childhood! Valentines Day was good for business.), but certainly only a certain number of people would give flowers or exchange cards. However, we do have a tendency to follow the traditions made popular in the US, (especially when the shopping centres realise the commercial lucrativeness of these special days), and now, like many places in the world, the shops are overflowing with Valentine opportunities and it’s not an easily forgotten day anymore.

When I was a girl, I loved seeing all our flowers picked, and ready to be delivered to the florist – roses, carnations and babies breath. (It was the 80’s after all). I used to dream of a man giving me flowers and showering me with gifts on Valentines Day. Luckily for me, The Accountant has used Valentines Day to display his love to me – it always makes me feel warm and fuzzy. A girlhood dream come true is very satisfying. For those who accuse Valentines Day of being purely commercial. I don’t care. If it takes a commercial prompt to remind people to express their love, I’ll take it! Gladly.

Alex had left for an early morning meeting this Valentines Day so woke me with a kiss and a Happy Valentines Day wish. It was a little thrill to find his card later in the day, and I must say I did a little happy dance when I read that he has some Royal Doulton I have been desiring on its way. Bit surprise, because I’ve enrolled in a painting class, and he had told me that was to be my Valentines gift. Spoilt to the max! My fancy candle and massage oil for him, seemed a little insignificant, but I made it up to him. 😉 Say no more!

Excitedly unpacking the beautiful mugs and plates once they arrived.

From what I have observed over the internet, the Americans, (and probably other countries also, but Americans are most easily ‘seen’), celebrate Valentines Day with their children also, with class gifts and exchanging Valentines mail and craft activities. While I don’t think that children should be pressured to be romantic with one another, (there is plenty of time for that later in life), I do think Valentines Day is a great opportunity to teach children about the depth and meaning of love.

So, in our house, we celebrate Valentines Day. At this stage I follow a simple formula. Bake some Valentines snacks, do Valentines craft and have a special dinner together.

It’s very easy to bake some biscuits, ice them and let the children decorate them. This year, we cut them with heart shaped cookie cutters and decorated with pink sugar balls, raspberry M&M’s and lots of sprinkles.

Using a toilet roll that was folded into a heart shape and a cookie cutter, the children did printing with red and pink paint onto cardboard.

We made cards and placemats, to be used later that evening at dinner. It’s a shame I don’t own a laminator. (Perhaps one day soon.) Laminating the placemats would have meant we could have used them for the next week at least. But unfortunately they were a one hit wonder! But it all added to the atmosphere of family love!

Trent didn’t want to paint, but he did cut out paint chip samples into hearts and stripes to make cards. He had also seen Mr Potato on TV that morning when watching Peppa Pig. He wanted to make Mr. Potato, but I suggested Mr Heart Head instead. I thought his Mr. Heart Head turned out very cute!

Finally, we had a special family dinner. My preference would be to teach the children how to set a beautiful table. However, I wimped out, knowing that the triplets was going to make that project a little insane. I did try to convince Trent to help me, but he can be an obstinate child for no good reason at times, so I set the table with the home made placemats, a little chocolate treat in ‘wine glasses’ and flowers from the garden. I forgot the candles, (I was rushing), but normally the children adore candlelit dinners. On the menu was spaghetti bolognaise, (so simple, but we haven’t had it for a little while, and nothing says, “I Love You” to a child more than spag bol. and chocolate brownies. Once again, simple, but my kids always get yoghurt for dessert regularly and anything with sugar is an exciting upgrade.  But anyways, who can refuse a good brownie? I am on the hunt for an excellent brownie recipe at the moment. One that is chewy on the outside and squishy in the middle. I think I may have found it, but my oven is misbehaving right now, so I need to try it again to be sure when it working properly. (Fingers crossed the technician turns up this week.)

Of course, dinner, even though eaten with gusto, had it’s typical insanity. Life with four children under four, particularly the three two year olds, means that love is not demonstrated in peaceful whispers and silent meaningful moments. Although there are still loving family moments. Like holding hands to say grace together.

As always The Accountant and I breathed a sigh of relief once the children were in bed. Until I realised there was still the clean up to go. The meal had ended in mayhem and we quickly ushered the kids to the bathroom and the

n bed without pause to clear the table…

And that was our simple, but loving Valentines Day. I spoke a lot to the children about love and doing things for one another to show love. Of course it’s very simple at this age, but I fully intend to continue to bulk it out as the kids grow older. Having four boys, I think it’s important they grow up being able to express their love for others. I also want my girl to expect the male in her life to treat her with love and respect. Valentines Day is a great training day for future life and a day where children feel secure in the immense love that a family gives.

What do you do on Valentines Day?

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Valentines = Love

Happy Valentines Day!

I’ve just had the loveliest of Valentines Days. It was simple, a little bit of effort, but nothing nonsensical. Kept things simple, but it was fun.

I found myself explaining Valentines Day to J Boy after we had done a Valentines craft at playgroup.

I explained it simply to him, “Valentines Day is a day where you show people that you love them.” After such an explanation, I found myself wanting to make the day special for him and The Baby, since I love them with all my heart.

We started the day going to a storytelling session held at a local church. It’s always a lovely morning and the boys are completely doted on by all the lovely old ducks who volunteer to make the morning special for the kids by playing with them, making them morning tea, reading stories etc. They did a Valentines craft too, so the theme for the day was set.

J Boy rode his bike while I pushed the pram and walked the dog home stopping via the library. We were followed home by a young staffy dog, that’s been the low point of the day, as she is now staying with us until hopefully her owners are located, but  is a terrible whiner. J Boy told his father that “It’s a strange dog because it doesn’t bark, but it does squeal. It squealed and squealed and squealed when it got put in the yard.” Good description son. I’ve rung the pound and the local council service centre in the hope that the owner will get in contact with her. As yet, no one has claimed her, I really don’t want to send her to the pound, but sheesh, this whinging is driving me bananas.

Anyway, I got enthusiastic and J Boy and I made The Accountant his favourite dessert – chocolate mousse.

Then I thought I would make the boys chocolate and choc chip pancakes in the shape of love hearts. It looked a little better in my mind, but if you use your imagination, you can see where I was heading. Didn’t matter anyway, boys being boys only really cared about the taste, and that got the thumbs up!

J Boy and I picked some flowers from the garden for table decs. Since learning that some rose petals are edible, J has been fascinated with the whole concept, so he ate some the table’s centerpiece and declared it delicious.

I had found some funky love heart pasta, which we ate with the age old family favourite: bolognaise. Even decided to use the family heirloom Royal Albert for the occassion! J Boy used his very own Wedgewood (Peter Rabbit!) for the first time. I almost had a hernia when after strict instructions to carry with two hands he decided to swing it around with one hand by his fingertips. Close call.

So dinner with not one male, but the three males I love most in the world. It was one of the sweetest Valentines ever.

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