Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Homemaking Tip -- Love, Love, Love


Last week we poured white chocolate over popcorn, pretzels, corn chex, and cheerios, and then sprinkled red, white, and pink M&M’s over the top.  

We also made Valentine packets.  Grace made 14 of them for her nieces and nephews. 

On Monday I was switching the laundry around and Grace said, “Mom, are you happy today?”
I answered, “I am happy today, Grace.  Are you happy?”
Grace sighed.  She did.  She sighed.  Then she said, “Yes.  I’m happy.”
I asked her why she was happy and she said, “Because it’s the season of love.”
She sighed again and I laughed.

Later it was time for family night.  It was my turn to be in charge.  First we sang Love at Home and then Grace said the opening prayer.  Next I told the Valentine’s Day story: 

       Claudius the Cruel was mad because no one would enlist in his army.  Claudius couldn’t be cruel or conquer without enlistments.  Thinking that it was the men’s wives and girlfriends that were convincing them to stay home, Claudius the Cruel banned marriage.  Just like that.  
       Valentine was a priest.  He believed in families.  He married people secretly.  When Claudius the Cruel found out what Valentine was doing he imprisoned Valentine and starved him to death.  Valentine died on February 14th but was later sainted for his heroic efforts to save the family.
       Years later, Christians tried to turn pagan holidays into parties with a purpose, so they turned the pagan winter fertility festival into Valentine’s Day.  And there you have it.  Nobody remembers Claudius and everyone remembers Valentine . . . which just goes to show that love is more lasting than cruelty. 

After the story we decorated mini Valentine mailboxes.  When Calvin saw me pulling out the tin boxes, mod podge, paintbrushes, and paper scraps, he audibly groaned and said, “We don’t have to do knick-knacks do we?”

I told him it was my turn to be in charge and that yes, we did have to do knick-knacks, and that we would be happy about it, too.  I explained we would leave little notes or treats daily in each others' boxes until Valentine's Day.  He dared to let another little groan slip, but I pulled out my secret weapon to distract him:  a label maker my sister gave me for Christmas.  I told him that he could paint his box, or mod podge hearts on his box, or make labels for his box . . . whatever he wanted.  Grace and I started mod podging paper on our boxes while Calvin tried to figure out the label maker.  It didn’t take long until he was cursing under his breath at it.  

Grace said, “Remember dad, this is the season of love.”
The side labels say "Fill me up . . . please"  

After we decorated our boxes we sang As I Have Loved You, Calvin said the closing prayer, and we had angel food cake with whipped cream and blackberries.  It was a fun little family night.


Last night Calvin came home from work and I reminded him that we’d be checking our mailboxes at supper.  He squinched his eyes tight, shook his head, and quietly cursed (it seems to be a pattern in this post).  I reminded him he could always write a note if he forgot.


At supper I told everyone it was time to check our mailboxes.  Calvin and Grace both hollered, “Not yet!” 
A few hours later when it was time for family prayers and bed, Calvin finally said we could check our boxes.  I opened my tin and there was a sweet note wrapped around a caramel . . . and a carrot.  I’ll let you guess which one Grace gave and which one Calvin gave.  

Oh ho.  I can hardly wait to see what he finds for tonight.  I hid the butter just in case, but he's been gone to a farm conference all day so I'm guessing a free calculator, pen, notepad, or chapstick.  Can't wait to see.


Susan said...

That is so awesome! I love the valentine packets. Very, very cute!

And I love Cactus Cal's Tunnel of Love. Very funny!

Deidra said...

I love the "I'm in charge and you're going to be happy" attitude. I hope he got lots of good stuff at the farm convention and that he spreads it out over a few days. Chris has come home with some pretty good stuff before. He's also come home with some cheap trinkets. But never a carrot, so you should be safe from that for day 2! :)

Cali said...

I've laughed ALL day thinking of dad leaving you a carrot. Did you eat it or put it back in the fridge in the carrot bag? Thank you for being in charge of Christmas when we were kids. I'm not sure I could have found that situation funny as a kid.

I love you Dad.


Lucy said...

That is quite the FHE! I need to live closer to you so when I panic and have no ideas for YW you can come and help me out. Your Valentine story was my favorite. I did not know it. I know so many people who are anti-valentine's day because, "you should love people everyday, not just because it's a holiday." Which, I totally agree with but I love the idea that there is a season to celebrate love. And, obviously, not only romantic love but family love and friend love and....blogger love?

Happy Valentine's Day, Jane. I wish I could put more yummy vegetables in your box!

Marie said...

How I *loved* this lovey post!

I am putting 'Visit the Paynes for family home evening night' on my list of life goals.

Oh, and Cali's comment was so funny. I'm pretty sure no little kid dreams of finding a stocking full of produce.

Michelle said...

A carrot is actually a very thoughtful gift. I recently read on our carrot bag that carrots help support your immune system, help with healthy skin, improve your metabolism and support your overall health. It was a gift of health! ;-) .... and I also laughed out loud when my eyes first laid sight on the word "carrot." Love you guys!

Cassidy said...

hahahaaaa. I got a good laugh out of Uncle Calvin's carrot. nice.
Happy "Season of Love" guys!!

michelle said...

I don't know which is funnier, Calvin leaving you a carrot or Cali thanking you for being in charge of Christmas!

And the valentine chex mix – swoon. I KNEW I wanted to come to your house!

melanie said...

Yum, that dessert looks delicious. I'm sure it was.

Love Calvin's mailbox, the carrot and the anticipation for tonight. You plan great, not over the top, simple, meaningful FHE's. It's just the way I want ours to turn out. This week Reed screamed during the opening song because he didn't like our singing. One day we'll reach Mod Podge activities.

Yes, Lucy, blogger love too.

Barb said...

I *heart* the season of love!

Derek-Jenny-Kaitlynd-Ethan-Dylan said... kids were so shocked when the post woman hand delivered these to my kids. I think she was just as excited as they were!!

Rachel said...

I don't think anyone makes me laugh harder than Cactus Cal! And that is saying something, because I laugh a LOT!

Kim Sue said...

love the tunnel of love...HA!

Mike and Lisa said...

I loved this post! Gave me a good chuckle.

Ande Payne said...

Ha! A carrot. THAT is funny. What did Grace get from Cactus Cal?

You know what else I liked about this post? That Dad put "put things in me.........please" I'm so glad he used "........."--his trademark

Jill said...

These mailboxes are so cute, I wish I had caught Valentine Fever earlier. We did hang up the few Valentine decorations we own, but that's it.

The allure of the label maker is strong, I totally get that!

Emma J said...

Oh, Jane, I love you and the things you do with your family! WWJD may not be What Would Jane Do (loved that line, too) but it's a sight closer than a good many of us get.

No matter hw mch I grow up I'm never going to be like you, but I do feel refreshed by these glimpses into your life. I do want Family Home Evenings like yours. Someday? You make me think it'snt too late.