on another fun, but exhausting Valentine’s Day. As usual, the kids spent the last week assembling Valentines for the family with a few bags of craft supplies we bought. I must say, they outdid themselves this year – not only in creativity, but quantity as well! They’ve come to expect Mom will do some special decorations for the day, and I did not disappoint, although I enlisted some help on Tuesday evening. I had the kids cutting our hearts while they were watching a show. Boy, when all the kids are working, we can really crank out some quantity of hearts! After they went to bed, I decorated the kitchen with heart “streamers” and made a St. Valentine centerpiece that hung from the light. It included 4 pictures: St. Valentine baptizing St. Lucilla (by Jacopo Bassano), an icon of St. Valentine, an elarged Holy Card of St. Valentine, and a more modern representation of St. Valentine. I also set out a one page story of St. Valentine to share with the kids. Of course the table wasn’t complete without flowers, candles and candy 🙂
After breakfast and clean up, we started the celebration by baking and frosting heart shaped cut out cookies. The batch makes about 5 dozen cookies. The kids almost saw the project to completion. First, the boys wandered off one by one (cookie in hand of course!) and then the girls finally asked if they could be done. That left Mom to finish frosting a dozen cookies and cleaning up. It was a special day, so I didn’t mind so much.
We ate lunch in the living room, and then the work began. We spent most of the afternoon running to the post office (to mail those Valentines!), picking up the whole house, cleaning the bathrooms and the kitchen, and taking turns keeping Thumbsucker entertained. After that, I managed to sneak in baths and haircuts for everyone but Bythebook, who is growing her hair long and didn’t want any cutting done. I forgot to mention that earlier in the day, my MIL called and wondered if she and my FIL could come over tonight for a visit. I said yes, and quickly planned what to do for dinner. Once we got all the above done, I sat the kids down, told each one how much I loved them, and gave them each a small gift. As they ran off to play with their gifts, I started a roast in the crock pot for hot beef the next day, and then I made three meatloaves (as long as I was making one anyway) so I would have two to share with friends. I didn’t have time to spruce myself up too much, but I did manage to change into a nice outfit and brush my hair! Grandma and Grandpa arrived just as I was finishing up dinner. The kids were all really wound up, since they hadn’t seen Grandma and Grandpa since Christmas. It was very loud in the house all night 🙂 We had a really enjoyable visit with a meal, Valentines, conversation and cards rounding out the day. Three of the boys fell asleep, one by one, in the living room, as the night wore on, but the oldest three stayed up until Grandma and Grandpa left. We then prayed and tucked them into bed. I started to clean up just a bit while Joe was trying to write some music at the piano, but Thumbsucker woke up and wanted to be fed. I brought him out on the couch and we both fell asleep to Joe playing the piano. A nice way to end a great day. Thank you God for the blessing of family.