I've started a new tradition in our home because for our 2nd year now, I decided to put together a "fancy" candlelight dinner for the whole family.
I put together an easy menu that I knew the kids would eat, bought some fabric rose petals and candles, and decorated the table all special for everyone. When I called everyone to come and eat they were all so excited! I told them to be careful because there was REAL fire on the table, so all the kids (even Nathan) pulled out their chairs so carefully and sat down all nice.
I wanted to make this a fun dining experience for our kids because they don't get that very often. So, while I finished up work in the kitchen and got all the plates ready to serve, Jeremy sat at the table with the kids and gave them some lessons in etiquette.
It was so cute to watch them all nicely place their napkins in the laps and have nice conversation until their meals arrived.
We had prayer and then I served their plates 2 at a time. Jeremy instructed them not to eat until everyone had been served. Here is Nathan checking out his plate of food.
After everyone had their food, I went around the table and offered ground pepper to those who wanted it. It's amazing what good manners children can have when they try! I heard a lot of "Yes, please", "Thank you", and "No thank you" (said with a polite smile).
Samantha looks quite pleased. :)
Candlelight dinner with camera flash.
Without the flash.
Finally, after serving, offering pepper, and taking pictures, it was finally my turn to sit down and eat. This is what we had - spaghetti with Wacky Mac noodles and cauliflour with Crystal Lite to drink.
The dinner conversation was delightful and we didn't have to break up ANY fights! Imagine that!!!
When everyone was finished eating, I cleared away their dishes and had the kids sit at the table and continue their conversations. Time to move on to dessert! For our Valentine's dessert I homemade a New York Style white chocolate cheesecake and garnished it with fresh strawberries and chocolate chips. WOW! It was so much better than it looks in the picture! Super creamy and rich. A definite success! The kids gobbled it up and they thought it was so neat that they got their dessert right after dinner. Funny. :)
So, I actually did all of that dinner on Sunday - the 13th. Then, on Monday morning (truly Valentine's day) I got up and made these for the kids. My attempt at heart-shaped pancakes. Thankfully the kids aren't too picky about them being perfect and were so excited again.
The past several years I've left a special Valentine's gift for each of the kids either on their bedside table or right outside their doors so they can find it when they wake up. I didn't do that this year because I decided to do it differently. Athena was so disappointed that there was no surprise! I didn't know she looked forward to it so much. She didn't know I already had a plan, so I told her that she would have to wait until after school for her surprise. Then, when I picked up Athena, Samantha, and Nathan from school they found this waiting for them on the kitchen table.
The wonderful thing about Valentine's Day is that you can do everything in the name of "I love you" and your family knows that I gave it to them because I love them. I don't have to pretend like the tooth fairy came by, not Santa, there is no Valentine's bunny. It's just ME doing something for THEM because I love them!
During the day I had to go to the foot doctor because I had a very sudden and extremely painful problem crop up with my right foot over the weekend. My nerve that runs right through my arch and up my ankle was completely inflamed and I could hardly walk on it. The doctor ended up giving me a shot of cortisone right into my nerve and main artery that runs under my arch. Talk about PAIN!!!! I wouldn't recommend that to ANYONE! Anyway . . . so while I was up that way (LOL, "since I'm there") I stopped at the store and picked up some of Jeremy's favorite candy, a Diet DP, and a balloon bouquet for him. Alexandra and I stopped by his office and surprised him with it. :)
Then, he surprised me by coming home with a beautiful gift. HE LOVES ME!!! These beautiful roses and a balloon bouquet for me! :)
I am blessed to have a wonderful family who I can share these experiences with while I am on this earth. Other than the lame shot to the foot (and me having to teach aerobics that night with the feeling of jumping on needles), it turned out to be 2 days of wonderful Valentine LOVE!! :)
I love you kids!
I LOVE YOU, JEREMY!!