Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
be it ever so humble,
there's no place like Home.
I never realized how much Darth Vader and I have in common. My children often view me as the evil empire. Me and Darth Vader, hand in hand to wonderland. It makes the heart sing, don't it?
However, I'm trying to be less Darth and more Yoda-like. Wise. Fewer words. Calm. Perhaps short and bald with cute pointy ears, is my destiny?
The last few weeks I've been making an effort to bring out the love in this house.
And along comes Valentine's and cupid to get us all in the mood for love. I love Valentine's Day, even the tumultuous ones. Because love is hopeful, it can always be just around the corner no matter the circumstance.
I went to a beautiful funeral on Tuesday, for a really great man, Paul "Benny" Benson. Everyone loved him, and the biggest reason was this: He loved them first.
I want to be more like Benny.
Two days later was Valentine's, and I thought of Benny's widow. All day she came to my mind. "Widow" sounds like such an old woman's word, doesn't it? But Cindy is only 56, and that sounds might young to me now. She has many more Valentine's days ahead of her.
It's hard not to be with the one you love, the one you think you love, the one you lost, the one who doesn't reciprocate, the one who "got away," the one you haven't even met yet.
And so we must feel lucky and wonderful to be with the ones we have. Husband has been trained to honor the "contrived holiday" of the money makers. Dearest husband.
Of course love does not need to be crafts or chocolate (thought that always brings out the love in this house).
I decided I would try one new valentine craft with the girls. ONE. Not TWO. NOT FIVE. For you see, I am reading Katrina Kenison's Mitten Strings for God, Reflections for Mothers in a Hurry. Read it. It's already changing me, helping me feel more love when I'm not so HURRIED. So on Valentine's, it was one craft.
Even if you are not crafty, creating bootiful works of art with your children is quality time, I tell you. Glue on fingers, tissue paper squares, markers, and glitter. And the best thing is, whatever you make, they will think it simply the most amazingly beautiful thing they ever saw. And that will make you feel loved.
thesunnysideupblog will tell you how to make this. She had the patience to make 10. I had the patience for one.
I have to write myself notes so I won't be a snapping beast. Love at home is not an accident. I don't think it's easy either.
I don't know how this really happened but Paige's 100 Day project left us with leftover dye. And opening your fridge in February to find Easter eggs makes winter feel lovely!
We had a family night where we talked about having more love for each other. This goal on the wall comes from Cope's Young Women's program where the girls work on qualities such as Divine Nature, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability. We made it into a poster and signed it if we agreed to participate. There were some pretty miraculous things that happened this week between the kids. It made my heart feel soft.
Brynne's pot holder, made with love for her mother. I will love it forever :)
This was Paige's first school valentine experience. It's hard to write all those names. "I know how to spell FROM," she now says.
Lot of red and blueberry fruits makes for a delicious valentine's smoothie. The green is bonus.
Staying up late the night before Valentine's left me thinking, "Amy this is overkill." But the sugar cookie is just.so.mmmm.
Heart attacking each other all the way up the stairs helps remind us why we love each other.
Paige has learned how to spell Brynne. This is the first thing she has made at school that she didn't make for M-O-M. It still melted my heart. to pieces.
Perhaps not specific, but I'll take it over Nelson's last year's heart, "I like mom because she cooks good. sometimes."
those who have learned
to love one another
have made their way
to the lasting world
and will not leave,
-Sabbaths 1998:1, from Given by Wendell Berry
We is trying.