15 February 2018

Love at Home

Kate was so happy to get her hands on her Valentine's Day plant!
A few days ago, Jack and I were talking about Valentine's Day 2017, wracking our brains and trying to remember exactly what we did. While I'm not a particularly talented Romeo, Jack really is. He knows how to make all the ladies of the house feel special and makes a day celebrating love a thing the whole family enjoys. Turns out, we remembered last year I was sick with the stomach flu and I wanted nothing more than Valentine's Day 2017 to be over with. So, with that standard, Valentine's Day 2018 was inevitably going to be far superior.
The kids wanted Zoey to get in the spirit so they dressed her in red and gave her a chocolate cookie.
I thought I'd do my part to make Valentine's Day special by having a yummy dinner all ready when everyone got home so we could move on to exchanging cards and gifts. Turns out, lasagne and salad might as well have been hot garbage to the kids. So, with much grumbling and whining, everyone except Zoey begrudgingly ate a couple of bites of lasagne so we could move on with our lives. Honestly, it was the first time all the kids were asking if they could trade the main course for more salad. Sure, whatever. A few extra vegetables surely offset all the chocolate and candy they'd eaten all day long.
The only child happy with the dinner I prepared. Which isn't saying a lot since she eats crayons off the floor.
One of my favorite Valentine's traditions is that since all the girls have flora-related middle names, Jack gets them all their very own plant. This year though, he planned way ahead and had fancy plants shipped to our home. Evelyn got a creeping violet that we'll plant on the rocks by the pond, Claire has a bay leaf laurel that we can cook with, Kate got a fancy Swedish Ivy that can take all the loving abuse she can dish out, and Zoey got a water iris that we'll plant right at the pond's edge.

And poor Henry was asking where his plant was. Jack deflected back that question to me since gifts for him are my department.

Mom fail.

I'll just make a mental note of that for next year...
And I got a bouquet of beautiful red roses, which is perfect for me since I'm terrible with plants and there's no expectation that I'll actually keep them alive. So far, they're doing really well in their vase, thank you very much.
Once dinner was done and plants were set high up where Zoey wouldn't try to pillage the pots for soil to eat, the kids excitedly opened their Valentine's boxes from grandma and exchanged cards with each other.
Then on to another favorite tradition of ours: the chocolate party. I sadly missed it last year since any whiffs of chocolate made my already nauseated stomach curl in agony, so I was really looking forward to the buffet of fine chocolates. Please don't think we eat like this all the time--once a year is about all we need to really enjoy the different variety of chocolate candies the world (or rather, our local grocery) has to offer.
It may have been a bit scaled down from previous years but it was plenty and everyone ate their fill.

Just don't get between the baby and her chocolate.
Yes, she is literally drooling over chocolate.
Our little Valentine's Day party didn't last long and then it was on to milking Dolly, collecting maple sap for boiling (yesterday marked the first day of maple syrup season for us!), youth activities at church, baths, laundry, and all the other day to day tasks that don't seem to like being neglected.
One last surprise for Mom and Dad!
I for one love Valentine's Day and all it encompasses. Yes, it's not the only way we celebrate love at home, love for our children, love for husband and wife, love of self, friends, and the overall lovey-dovey feelings the holiday envokes but I see nothing wrong with making a special occasion of it once in a while.

(And thank goodness it's in February. Otherwise, I'm not entirely sure I'd like anything about February).

And the day has become even more delightful as the kids join in spreading the love to everyone in existence they possibly could come in contact with. Just brightening the world in their own way!
Ah, my kids could use any card as a Valentine's day tribute. Hedgehogs? Sure. Why not?
Hoping you all had a wonderful, bright, happy day celebrating love, kindness, and friendship!

Happy Valentine's Day from The Rehomesteaders to you!

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