Celebrating Valentine’s Day

Showing love at home is the most important on this day.

I thought I had done it all for Valentine’s Day. As a child, I bought, made, and sent cards to my classmates, and received theirs in my decorated paper bag or box. When my children started play groups and school, I did the same for them. I planned the classroom parties, cooked the cookies, and supervised the activities. As a teacher, I set the Valentine’s Day rules and procedures for the party and made sure all my students were treated equally. Somewhere along this busy line, I forgot to have the celebration I should have had at home.

Although there are many stories about the origin of Valentine’s Day, one thing remains constant. Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate and honor those you love. Often in the midst of making sure the class party preparations were complete for my children, I forgot to celebrate them, the ones I love the most and who are my true valentines.

I could have bought the special cards for my children, or the heart candy, or one of the many gifts created for February 14. But I should expanded my thoughts and gone further.

I could have concentrated on what I loved about each child, and celebrated those qualities on this day. I could have a written a note to them each year, telling them what I loved about them that particular year. Those yearly notes would have changed over the years and would have reminded them how special they were each year.

I could have created something special for each child that represented my love for them. Today, photos can be made into a myriad of products. I would have chosen a favorite photograph to be made into a pillow case or a mouse pad or a quilt as a reminder of this day for this year. I could have chosen several photographs and created a short story about their life for this year. I could have chosen a frame and added a picture each year, creating a history of each preceding Valentine’s Day behind the glass.

We could have talked about the how this holiday is celebrated in other countries, and practiced some of their traditions. We could have planned family projects to show Valentine love to those who wouldn’t otherwise receive it. We could have created family traditions for this day that would brighten up a winter day, like planting flower seeds in indoor containers or reminiscing over last summer’s adventures. We could create a holiday poster by having every family member write loving comments about the others. We could have celebrated and cherished the love that holds us together as a family.

Valentine’s Day is a day to honor and be thankful for the love we have in our lives. Our greatest love is found in our children. What better place to celebrate this day of love than where it all begins – at home.

About the Author:

Luanne Davidson is the proud mother of three adult children and wonders what might have been if she had done a thing or two differently. She writes her “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda” column each Thursday.

Organization – Rhythm of Time

How can we get more organized?

I once read this quote in a magazine when I was a teenager, “Boundaries. Live within them and the possibilities are endless.” My daily schedule gives me boundaries. When I follow it, I have a productive day and I’m usually surprised by what I’ve been able to accomplish. Of course, there are times when I sleep late or do something special, but then I’m usually out of sync and I end up frustrated by noon. I need to feel the peaceful rhythm that my daily schedule provides.

Organization is keeping things in order; having a plan of action

Quick Tip:
A daily schedule helps us have time for work, rest and play. Write down your schedule as well as your children’s schedule. Use this as a guide, not a law, for how you spend your time.

Clara and the Bookwagon
by Nancy Smiler Levinson

What do you need to organize: your desk, your books, your toys, your clothes, your room? Make a plan of action to get these things organized. And do it!

Visit the library. Before looking for a book, talk with the librarian about how the books are Organized on the shelves. Be sure to ask her what would happen if the books were not organized in that way. Ask the librarian if your children may try to help put returned books back on the shelves. Through this service-learning project, they will see just how Organized the library is.

About the Author:

Tamara Batarseh, Executive Director of Love In A Big World (LBW), is a singer/songerwriter/performer with over fifteen years of performance experience. She is co-founder of LBW and has been the creator of the organization’s programs and materials. Batarseh has recorded two albums, written LBW’s character education curriculum, trained LBW’s performers, and performed live for thousands of kids.

Duty or Delight?

Are you parenting out of Duty or Delight?

I suppose when one thinks of duty, there is certain nobility to the sound of the word. It is my duty to be a good American, friend, wife, mother, daughter, and employee, but whatever is done for duty’s sake has not been personified, has not been felt, has not been lived. There is nothing but a pragmatic, stoic action behind duty. Duty is absent of emotion, sacrifice extravagance and love. If we parent out of a sense of duty, we find ourselves bitter, burnt out people, wondering when our reward will come. Duty stifles hope and joy. What if our work suddenly resembled children playing in the sandbox? How do we move from a posture of drudgery to a posture of delight?

Do you know yourself well enough to know what you delight in? What brings you pleasure? How have you put those things out to the margin of life in a season of raising children? Why? Identify these things and start to integrate them into your day. If we can lean into the way we’re made rather than being so resistant to it, we might find ourselves laughing over the kitchen sink as we clank the dinner dishes clean.

Remember: You will need to find some play time if you want to delight in your work.

Try this: What did you used to love to do when you were a kid? Dance, ice skate, take a hike in the woods? Take two hours this week and go do it! Do it by yourself and allow for some good playtime. The more you play, the more you find delight in your work.

Natural Healing: Tip 5

Elderberry and Cherry Bark are great aids when sore throats and coughs attack.

Hopefully you read Tip 1,Tip 2, Tip 3 and Tip 4 and are feeling some of the great effects of using natural medicine. This week, we journey to some more herbs that are known for their great healing properties: Elderberry and Cherry Bark. Please remember to research before you try anything out.

Tip 5: Elderberry and Cherry Bark

A little about Elderberry

  1. Elderberry comes from elder trees that can either be native to North American or Europe.
  2. Elderberry is just one part used from this amazing tree (the roots, bark, berries, leaves and flowers have been used hundres of years in natural healing practices).
  3. Elderberry is known to boost the immune system.
  4. Elderberry has a high level of vitamin C and antioxidants and is a vital food source for many birds.
  5. Elderberry is often found in children’s herbal remedies for its strong, yet gentle, healing properties in respiratory ailments.

Read more about Elderberry to find out more about its health benefits.

Elderberry is usually found in proprietary blends and not usually alone. There are syrups that are great for respiratory problems that your child may be having. I have seen great results when my little one has a sore throat or other bronchial issues.

Additionally, if your child appears to have an infection of any kind, Elderberry should not be a substitute for calling your physician.

A little about Cherry Bark

  1. Cherry Bark is known as an expectorant.
  2. Cherry Bark was used at its peak in 1926.
  3. Cherry Bark is sometimes used to treat diarrhea.
  4. Cherry Bark helps with irritated, dry throats and other respiratory issues.
  5. Cherry Bark is said to be a great alternative to cough syrup because it is without dyes, alcohol, and sugar.

I add Cherry Bark to my little one’s juice when she is coughing a great deal. Much like Elderberry, it is found in many proprietary blends of herbs for throat and respiratory illnesses. The taste is great without the sugar and other additives of western medicines. I gave my little girl some over the counter, non-herbal medicine the other day and she spit it out. She has grown accustomed to the natural tastes of many of these herbs. I was actually shocked, as the bottle advertised its “Great taste.”

So this season, if it’s sore throats, coughs and respiratory problems you have (like we do), try to use one of these alternatives. If your child has a fever, please make sure to check with your pediatrician!