Monday, February 16, 2015

Little Valentines

Valentine's Day was pretty low-key this year. We didn't plan ahead and I didn't have the energy anyway to do anything extravagant (like last year). Amelia has a couple of kids in her class with food allergies so just grabbing the candy/card combo off the shelf isn't a very good option. Instead, we got the two kinds of candies that were OK with the allergies, Rolos (no soy products) and Dum-Dums, and put them in little treat bags.

Add a cute ribbon and done.

I've been going to Mack's Kindergarten class each time they have a class party to take pictures that will be compiled onto a CD for the parents at the end of the year. The Valentine's party was no exception. The moms and teachers put together several fun activities to keep the 21 boys (!) and 2 girls busy for an hour. Among them was blowing a Q-tip through a straw and trying to hit a target:

Racing to see who could slurp up a licorice string the fastest:

Mack was pretty excited when his team won.

And, of course, cupcakes!

Mack made his own valentine box in class. It's a monster. Amelia reused her box from last year. (I can't believe it survived the move!)

Grammie sent the kids each a scratch-off valentine that revealed cool colors under the design. She also sent a book called I love You, Stinky Face that the kids got a kick out of. I sure was glad Grammie came through with something fun because I was pretty lame this year and only got the kids a bag of Lindt truffles.

We did take the kids to see Paddington at the theater in Montpelier on Friday night, but Amelia was pretty disappointed that Valentine's Day at home wasn't more special. I need to take the time to write each of the kids a special love note.

Oh well, some years you have it and some years you don't. Such is life!

Soup-Can Phones

Consistency in Family Home Evening is still a work in progress at our house. Amelia is the best about reminding us that we need to do it and she has sometimes taken the initiative to prepare the lesson.

A few weeks ago she found an article in The Friend magazine and wanted to share it for Family Home Evening.

It tells about two girls, next-door-neighbors, who love to talk to each other each night from their bedroom windows using their soup-can phones. One day, one of the girls has to leave town and the other girl is left feeling lonely with no one to talk to. The thought comes to her that she should pray and talk to Heavenly Father just like she talks to her friend, sharing all the ups and downs of her day, all the details big and small.

It was a great message about making our Heavenly Father our friend. Amelia was really excited to make a real soup-can phone and see if it actually worked. She'd been planning to do it for a couple of weeks but wanted to wait until Daddy was home.

I don't really remember making these as a kid, surely I must have, but I was tickled to discover that the dang thing worked! The string has to be perfectly straight and pulled tight, but you can actually hear through it!

Mack was more amused by trying to jump up and grab the string than actually talking on the phone. It was too hard for him to keep the string tight. But we had a good time and the kitties sure thought it was fun to chase the string around after we were done!

I'm grateful for Amelia and her sweet spirit and how she keeps our family on track.

What's Your Happy?

I was called to be a Family History Consultant a few months ago. I am loving all the new discoveries I'm making, I love the process of researching, and I love getting to know more about our ancestors. I also love helping other people make those discoveries. There's something magical about the first time you find a document with one of your ancestors on it. You can't believe it's there in black and white! And that you found it right there on the internet!

Last Sunday as I walked home from the church after doing a shift in the Family History Library, I rounded the corner into our driveway right at 6:00. I was greeted by this sight:

Dan, slaving over a hot stove making dinner. For some reason it made my heart so happy to see him there in the warm glow of our little house. He has been making dinner on Sundays for the past few weeks (when he's not at work) while I'm at the Family History Library. It is so nice to come home to a meal already prepared, no children whining at me the moment I walk in the door. It's a small gesture, but to me it spells LOVE.

We have a tradition in our little family that every night at dinner we all share one thing that made us happy that day. It has sort of become Amelia's role to get us started by asking, "What's your happy?" and we go around the table. Some days it's as simple as this food, or I got to take a nap today, or I got to play with a friend. On this day, my Happy was coming home to our warm house and finding Daddy making dinner, listening to music on the iPod with the kids, teaching them the finer points of musical trivia. Name the only rock band to perform a xylophone solo in one of their songs.

Violent Femmes. You can thank Dan next time you're on Jeopardy.