We are so excited about Valentine’s Day—which we are celebrating all weekend! A special time of the year to highlight and to celebrate all kinds of love? Yes, please!

Today we celebrated Friend Love with our friend Lauren, her daughters Madeleine and Gracen, her mother Sharon and her sister-in-law Lori, her son, and his friend. Lauren organized and prepped a cookie decorating morning for all of us, and when we arrived at her house at 9 AM, she had the cookies baked and was making different colors of icing and putting them into piping containers. It is one thing to prep activities for one’s own children, but for a whole group of adults and children, all I can say is….Go, Supermama! What a gift of time and thought to us!

Lauren had all of the places at the table set and ready to go!

Katie decorates her cookies. She had so much fun!

Mrs. B distributes cookies and decorates her own.

Lauren and her daughter Madeleine.

Working on a sandwich cookie…

Such a festive and happy way to start the day!

The kiddos play in—Madeleine is so gracious in sharing her toys.

Eric managed to snag some icing on his fingers (and forehead)…he’s a fast one! I think he liked his first (accidental) taste of sugar…

So THANK YOU LAUREN for planning this event for all of us! She even had some Valentine’s Day facts ready for us, my fellow high school teacher who also plans to home-school. Because she was so prepared and organized, she made everything effortless for all of the rest of us—and like I said, that is a true gift. I am thinking about ways to reciprocate. Katie loved it, and Eric was quite content to be bopping around, too.

When we got home, we kept the spirit alive with some Valentine’s Day card-making.

Katie loves it when I bring out this bag…one of my scrapbook supply carriers. I let her dig around and go to town, no rules or plans. She knows it is her free time to create. She can cut, tear, glue anything and she knows I won’t put boundaries on it, as I need to for planned activities. It is really her time to explore.

We kept our Valentine’s Day 2011 playlist going through our card-making, and then we had a dance party! Katie loves to be spun around, and Eric got in on some dancing action, too.


My littlest Valentine.

It will be Eric’s first Valentine’s Day this year!

The other day, Katie was asking for some Christmas music, and I obliged. Both of us have had a difficult time letting go of the Christmas season this year. I have been thinking about why it is that December is often so, so, so magical. I think part of it, at least, is the sense that so many people all over the world are celebrating beauty together. There is a sense of festivity above and beyond just that which we create in our own home. On so many levels, there is an understanding of connection to something larger than ourselves.

Thanks to Lauren’s activity today, and to the excitement of Katie for the past couple of weeks, and to the gathering of love songs on our playlist, and to special crafts, I am really feeling part of that same connection during this Valentine’s Day. The connection to the festive happiness of others on a larger scale might be something fundamental to the way joy works…speaking, at least, for myself. Maybe our own sense of heart-joy is augmented by the sharing of it with others, a sort of merriment achievable only by awareness of Joy beyond oneself. I am still thinking through this theory, but I do know that Lauren’s cookie decorating even could not have come at a better time.

Tonight we have our movie night and then tomorrow will be a day of final Valentine’s Day preparations! Yay!