Okay, I really do love Valentine's Day. I love that it's a special occasion just for the sole purpose of saying "I love you". Just because. I love doing something special as a family and then having an "at home" date night after the kids are in bed. I love making heart shaped cookies and letting the kids frost them and pile the sprinkles on. When I was little, my mom always made a heart-shaped meatloaf on Valentine's Day. Some might find that a little odd.....a big lump of red meat and ketchup molded into a heart shape. Okay, it IS odd. But that's what we did. It's a great memory. I loved it. Life was so simple.
My children will be attending a Valentine's Day party with many other homeschoolers on Friday. For the past two years, Janie and Sam attended a school where the class sizes were less than 20. The whole valentine exchange thing was pretty do-able. However, this year all four of the kids will be attending this party.....with 50 other children. Yes, that's right....FIFTY. Now, before your head starts to spin - as mine did- at the thought of coming up with TWO HUNDRED valentines...I am happy and ever so grateful to report that the other moms in charge of the party also thought this was a little crazy. So we've pared it down to each child bringing 30 valentines. A relief, yes, but this still means 120 valentines. I was trying to think of an easy and creative and not-too-lame-looking way to make homemade ones, but finally went for easy and just bought them at the store. Each child signs their name on 30 of them, and off we go. I even thought I'd be really cool and get the ones that come with tattoos! Sweet! What I didn't realize is that each little 1/2" by 1/2" tattoo must be INSERTED into the little slits on each valentine. ARE YOU SERIOUS??? (breathe...breathe......) Tomorrow's homeschooling lesson will be about the value and efficiency of assembly-line production. You betcha! (let it be known that I DID try to convince the kids to just have one collective mailbox and just bring the 30 valentines for all of us.....no deal on that one. They love the mailboxes - which we also will be making tomorrow, and they each want their own!)
Now if that makes you think I'm absolutely NO FUN at all, this next anecdote will pretty much seal the deal. Admittedly, today was not stellar.....I heard the words "DON'T" and "STOP" - both with multiple syllables somehow - SO many times I developed a severe twitch in one eye (not really, but it would have been a nice effect). I was at the store tonight picking up a few things for the party on Friday, and for our family night on Saturday (the plan is to make a heart shaped pizza..or maybe meatloaf). I spotted some cute valentine cards and thought about getting one for each of the kids. This is a significant expense, you realize....times four. That's like twelve bucks! I was still a little hot under the collar from all the bickering today, so I opted not to get the cards....I thought the fun family night is plenty enough. (Actually, what I was really thinking wasn't quite so nice, still being hot under the collar and all. Just bein' honest...) Anyway, Tim came home tonight with a bag from the Christian bookstore and showed me four of the sweetest cards he picked out especially for each of our kids...he even had misty eyes as he showed me each one!!! I know God must have put that on his heart, and I was so thankful He did. I really did want to bless each of the kids by giving them their own individual card, but I let my resentment over the day win. I'm so glad that God wanted to bless my kids, too, and that HE wouldn't be stopped by my indignant spirit. Oh, to love the way our Savior does.....unconditionally. Thank you, Jesus, for a new perspective for Valentine's Day. And thank you, Tim, for listening to the Holy Spirit and for loving our kids so much it makes you cry sometimes...even though you said it was because your allergies were flaring up. :)