Five Things to Do This Valentine’s Day-That Fills Everyone’s Love Tank!

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Love is essential for emotional health and well-being and to feel loved is a primary human emotional need. According to Gary Chapman, author of “The Five Love Languages,”  love can be expressed and experienced in five ways:

-quality time

-words of affirmation

-physical touch

-receiving gifts

-acts of service

We have natural preferences and tendencies to give and receive love in one or two of the five ways listed.

Dr. Ross Campbell, a psychiatrist of children and adolescents, suggests each person has an “emotional tank” that needs to be kept full for optimal health and well-being. When our “love tank” is empty, we do not feel loved, perspective on life seems darker, we may feel irritable, and act out. “A lot of misbehavior in marriage grows out of an empty love tank,” said Dr. Gary Chapman.

Our children have their own love languages and love tanks too. Although, their primary languages will not be established until they are older, it’s important to keep their “love tanks” full by loving them in all five ways. Knowing your own and your family members’ love languages can improve relationships and help see interactions in a new way. Your can discover your love language here.

This Valentine’s Day be intentional with how you love and work to keep love tanks full. Below are a few ideas that reaches each type of love language.

Cooking: (quality time, acts of service, gifts)

For Younger Kids: Valentine’s Day Sparkle Playdough

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Sparkle Playdough Recipe adapted from https://www.iheartnaptime.net/

Ingredients:

-2 cups flour

-3/4 cup salt

-4 teaspoons of cream of tarter

-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

-red food coloring

-red and silver glitter

-quart size plastic bags

Directions: 

1.) Add flour, salt, and cream of tarter to a large pot. Stir.

2.) Add water, oil, and food coloring.

3.) Over medium heat, stir mixture constantly until dough has thickened.

4.) Separate dough into two bags quart size plastic bags and add silver and red glitter.

5.) Knead the dough in the bag until glitter and food coloring is incorporated and combined.

6.) Have fun!

The playdough can be packaged with a heart cookie cutter and given as a cute Valentine’s Day gift.

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For Older Kids and Adults: 

Try a new recipe and learn a new technique. Here’s a scrumptious recipe for truffles by my friend Stacey. They make a beautiful, thoughtful gift!

 https://www.inthekitchenwithstacey.com/chocolate-truffles/

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Crafts:  (quality time, receiving and giving gifts)

Younger, Older Kids and Adults: Pull out the craft supplies and lots of glitter and make Valentine’s cards.

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Older Kids and Adults: Sewing and Embroidery

We did a simple sewing project this week with muslin and embroidery floss. With a pencil, I stenciled a heart on the fabric and embroidered around the traced shape. They added heart after heart in different colors. The end result was so cute, we framed them.

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Appreciate Love and Others : (words of affirmation, quality time)

Grab a deck of cards and some paper. Write 52 things you love about a person or what you love about being a family. Cut and paste one thing to each card. Hole punch cards and tie together. (This makes a great gift! I gave this set to my husband about five years ago.)

52 Reasons Why I love You
Create a gratitude board with the  100 Things I Love activity. We did this at MOPS a few of years ago as a practice in gratitude. It was a great reminder of all the big and little blessings that make my life richer and more enjoyable. This activity could be done together or separately.

100-things-i-love-activity

Dance Lessons (physical touch, quality time)

Lego Birthday Party - Box Step Feet Dance Steps DiagramGrab a partner and learn a new dance with these fun dance cards from Step Calvert Art.

 

You can get printable dance cards like the one above at this link: https://stephcalvertart.com/lego-birthday-party-dance-dancing/

Here’s an example: Rhumba

Reading Books: (quality time, physical touch)

reading

One of my favorite parts of the day is when we are all snuggled on the couch with a cozy blanket and a good book. No matter what the book it is, it’s the time spent together, the amazing places you “go”, and the interesting characters you “meet” that makes it such a special time. I also love the great conversations that follow the readings.

Take time to slow down and enjoy your loves today.  Have a very happy Valentine’s Day!

Love,

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I hope today brought you more kisses than pinches, shamrocks and rainbows, and laughter and blessings. Tomorrow, I will return to writing about the process of finding a good balance in life and using our time wisely. But today, I wanted to write about a little bit of mischief and a little bit of fun that took place in our house.

On the eve of March 17th, legend says that a “leprechaun” travels from the green hills of Ireland to the green hills of New England to play some harmless tricks while the children sleep.  The “leprechaun” was back and at again this year. “Lenny” made a mess of things. He turned the toilet bowl water green, spread green and white feathers in the bathroom, wrote a message in green sugar sprinkles on the kitchen counter, and left a little note with a small treat.

After the excitement of the tricks wore off, the kids and I took a few minutes to make a new batch of playdough. I added a few extra drops of water and oil to my basic recipe. I think that this made the playdough’s consistency smoother and easier to work with than past batches. Don’t forget the GLITTER!! The glitter is the best part. 🙂 I added two whole tubes of each color.

 Glittering-Green Playdough

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (plus a few extra drops)
  • 1 cup of water (plus an added tablespoon or two)
  • green food coloring (I like the gel coloring)
  • fine green and gold glitter (at least two small tubes)

In a medium saucepan whisk together the dry ingredients. Next, mix in the water, oil, and green food coloring. Stir until a thick batter is formed. Cook the mixture over a low heat until a thick dough forms. Spoon the playdough onto parchment paper or a plate. Knead until smooth. Makes about 2 cups of dough. I usually double the recipe for use with three kids.

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There is much more to this holiday than leprechauns, parties, parades, and pots of gold. My favorite part of the day was reviewing the life of Saint Patrick. What an amazing man! What a story of faith, answered prayers, and very bad circumstances turned to good for God’s purposes and His glory.  I could tell you the details of his story myself but it may be more entertaining to watch them. I found this Veggie Tales video on the life of St. Patrick. If you have a good sense of humor, you might like it. If Veggie Tales makes you cringe, you may want to Google his life. Either way, I think learning about Saint Patrick will inspire you.

 

 

So until tomorrow,

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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PS: I am in love with the little “Lenny” note (see above pic) that I purchased from Caravan Shoppe. This is not a paid compliment, just well deserved praise. The Caravan Shoppe is a small business, run by two young families who specialize in digital downloads for home, family, and fun. Their work is creative and affordable. Check them out here! http://caravanshoppe.com/