We "heart" Valentine's Day.
I haven't always loved it. I don't love the commercialized, Hallmark-ified part of Valentine's Day.
But, I do love the opportunity it presents for us to talk about and meditate on real love.
What love really looks like.
How we should love others.
That we haven't earned this love.
And how once we are redeemed by this love, we can't lose this love.
I love that this is a day that I can stop and meditate on God's grace to me through Jesus but also His goodness to me through the love of the precious family and sweet friends He has given me.
We've been talking about these things and preparing for Valentine's Day all week. We've talked about why we would send people valentines--to show them just how special and deeply loved they are. (Since pretty much none of my ideas are original, I will link to the blog that I got it from, so that if you like any of them, you can incorporate them into your Valentine's Day next year.)
The first project we made involved a big mess...even though we did it outside. My front yard has glitter all over it now. And I didn't get any good pics of us making these glitter hearts because let me tell ya, glue, glitter, "windy wind" (as Asher calls it...Can anyone tell me where that's from?) and two excited about crafts toddlers is already pretty chaotic. The top pic is Skip To My Lou's hearts. I couldn't get a great pic of our hearts (on the bottom) because my flash wasn't bright enough.
The next day, we worked on HandprintValentine's for Grandparents.
(They began painting while I was setting up and gathering all the supplies. Since it wasn't too crazy yet, I could take some pics.)
Here's how they turned out:
We made White Chocolate Popcorn for the male Valentines on our list:
I feel like I should stop right now and share a fabulous tip with you that is going to revolutionize snacktime around here. This really needs it's own separate post but since we all know how good I am about updating, I'll just tell you about it now. Okay, so just as I was getting my saucepan and popcorn kernels out, I picked up my cell to call my brother, Jordan, who is the homemade popcorn pro. (When he lived with us last year he made stove-top popcorn almost everyday for a snack. And, as pathetic as this sounds, I have no clue how to do it. I think he even offered to teach me once, but I was too intimidated and declined, resigning to mooching off his homemade popcorn.)
About a month ago, after this article totally freaked me out about store bought, microwave popcorn, I realized I was going to have to learn to make it over the stove--until a few days ago!! When I started reading the recipe, I saw this link for homemade microwave popcorn. Although I still have a microwave-phobia (for other health-related reasons) I like that this is a quick (and now so much cheaper) snack. And I LOVE that I can control the amount of salt and actually put real butter on the popcorn rather than all that fake, hydrogenated oil crud.
Here's how to do it:
(From Make & Take's post.)
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3:
- Put 1/4 cup popcorn in a brown paper bag. Fold top over a few times and tape it.
- Place in microwave folded side upfor 2 to 3 minutes or until there is 5 seconds between pops.
- Eat plain or add flavors (such as salt, butter, sugar, etc.)
(My tip: Make sure that if you do re-use your paper bag, that you take the old scotch tape off and replace it with a new one...otherwise, it will begin to melt and cause a small fire in your microwave :)
Valentine's post resumes...
For the little (and even some bigger) girls on our list, I made these rose barrettes...which I am currently obsessed with. (Chels, you're not surprised one bit, are you?) Well, for the rest of you, don't be shocked if you see McKlayne or me wearing these just about every day in various colors!!
For several women (and one man) who are near to my heart, I made these:
I started out trying to make them perfect, but then decided that I liked these better...
They are mistake proof since the sloppier looking, the better. So I zoomed through and made 20 of these little beauties. Wouldn't a set of these make a great birthday gift? I think so. A sweet college girl in my life turned 21 this week. I have a set all packaged up just for her.
One morning, as we were headed out the door to go mail a couple packages to cousins and grandparents, I saw a giant valentine's package for us at my doorstep. And look at this lovely little thing that was inside! My mom just started quilting several months ago; now she's a quilting machine!!
So, later that day during naptime, I decided that something needed to replace my winter wreath on the door mirror above the bench that my new quilt made it's home on. Something like this:
What do you think?
I think I'm going to have to work on a Valentine's pillow or two in the next year...
Next, was making these heart-shaped brownie bites for Charlie's co-workers. These were so easy. The kids helped cut them out and decorate with sprinkles. (Little Birdie Secrets used chocolate frosting, but I already had cream cheese frosting, so I just used that.)
(Asher has requested that we make more of these for church tonight.)
And because I needed cute, quick decor for my centerpiece ensemble, I gathered up the supplies I already had from garage saling, and whipped this up. Seriously...it took less than 5 minutes...and that was with gathering the supplies.
Last year, Charlie started the heart-shaped pancakes tradition...I think he bought them at HEB. This is what my kids woke up to this morning. My sister made heart shaped pizzas and big red floats for her kids last night.
What about you? Any Valentine's festivities to share?