Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February Traditions

Though of you who know me know how much I love traditions and holidays. I love celebrating the simple things. And I love how simple or crazy traditions can increase family love and encourage great family memories. Valentines Day is a wonderful holiday that encourages love, friendship, and thoughtfulness. We love celebrating as a family. But that is just one holiday we celebrate this month.

My 1st instagram picture in 2012

Making Valentines

 I love stamping homemade cards though I rarely have time to. My kids have grown up watching me stamp at Valentines. Every year they want to make their own Valentines too. They don't want  to have boxed ones or the adorable ones from creative blogs. They want to make there own. And I love it! (Plus it's easier and cheaper)

Valentines Cookies

Making Sugar Cookies

We love making chocolate desserts or use the Pampered Chef Heart mold for a Heart Cheesecake, but our favorite Valentines dessert is Grandma Jean Campbell's sugar cookies. They are our favorite! We use pink frosting and red sprinkles. It's what I give my sweet heart every year. They make a great afternoon snack. It's always a treat to get a cookie after school.

Isn't it so fun to look back?
Our Little Valentine

Baby Yoda was so cute!

Best Brothers

Photo Shoot

I try and get a picture of the kids in red and send it to the Grandparents. It's always fun to send Valentines. Speaking of which I really need to get on that....

Valentines Gifts

Long before we had kids Grady and I agreed that I would buy the boys a special Valentine and he would get our girls flowers for Valentines Day. I read how Stephan Covey would get his girls flowers every year. As they got older when flowers would come at their office or such they would wonder if they came from their dad or sweetheart. Grady has got off easy for the last 11 years. I think it will be great for baby girl to grow up getting flowers regularly. (I usually get some too!) They don't have to be pricey. They can be picked from a garden. The idea is thoughtfulness. My boys love getting special Valentines from me as I ask each of them to be my Valentine. Sometimes they get a treat from me too. 

Eating Valentines Crepes. His looks are the best

Valentines Day

Our morning beginging with heart pancakes. A couple of years ago I made red velvet ones. They were a big hit. We usually drop off Valentines to our friends. I am trying to train my boys to give Valentines to girls because girls like getting cards. My boys know it doesn't mean they "like like" them (although sometimes they do) but it is about being thoughtful. Guy friends like getting them too. One time my dear friend shared how her son was having a hard morning and getting a card from Yoda really turned his day around. Thankful for the whisperings of the Spirit. Sometimes we will have a picnic at lunch with family or friends. That night we have a special dinner that is usually red in color (idea from my great friend Michelle) and we use fancy glasses and candles. The boys love it! Dessert follows! It is a great day to show love to our family and others. A possible favorite night was when they recieved Glow Stick light sabers. We turned off the lights and put on Star Wars music. My kids were in heaven.

We love King Cake

Mardi Gras

When Gandalf was a baby we started celebrating Mardi Gras by making masks and listening to Jazz. One year I was talking to one of my favorite people who told us about King Cakes. She and her husband served as Mission Presidents (The president over a Mormon mission who presides and has stewardship over the missionaries in that area) in Louisiana. She told me all about this great tradition where they make a cake that is shaped like a ring (to remind us of the crown Christ wore). It's a sweet bread with lemon and cinnamon. It's drizzled with icing and topped with sprinkles for the Mardi Gras colors. Inside you hid a baby Jesus and whoever gets the plastic baby in their cake is the King or Queen of Mardi Gras. Isn't that the funniest thing ever??? We have been making King Cakes ever since. It is so much fun. And who would have thought there was any kind of religious symbolism in that holiday. I am sure when my kids grown up and realize how the rest of the world celebrates they are going to be shocked.

Yoda with his pancakes

Shrove Tuesday

I was telling my dearest friend Alex, who is from England, about Mardi Gras and inviting her family over to help us eat the cake. She then told me about Shrove Tuesday. Turns out they are on the same day. It's a similar idea that you clean out your cupboards and eat all the yummy stuff before Lent. They make pancakes with lemon juice and sugar. In American terms they are crepes, or English pancakes. And we prefer them with Nutella, strawberries, and whip cream. Typically we head to her house Tuesday morning where she makes us pancakes. And then they would join us for cake in the evening. And later she would do double duty with pancakes as her school aged kids and husband wanted some too. I am going to miss her even more when Shrove Tuesday comes around. She can even flip them in the air when she is cooking them. I love that we can celebrate our heritage with this holiday. 

Our 1st Chinese New Year 2016 Gandalf and his best bud Hobbes

Chinese New  Year

Again this tradtion was started when Gandalf was a baby. We got together with another mom who also loved doing holidays. We went to Little Siagon and once even to China Town. We got cute Asian clothing. This is a really great holiday rich with tradition. We love eating Chinese food and reading great books. Our kids love getting red envelopes with money in it. One year we even borrowed a Dragon head to have our own parade.

I love these little things even when they take up some time. My kids look forward to these wonderful traditions. But when life is crazy and we can't make them all fit they are really good about understanding that life happens. They know they need to be flexible if they want fun things to keep happening. Below is a drink I pinned a couple months ago. I think it will make a great family night drink. Check it out! I hope your month is filled with love and great family time!

What are some of your family's traditions this month?

Source: Somewhat Simple 


  1. Did I tell you last year I made a chicken/pesto filling and everyone had to have one 'dinner' pancake before we hit the nutella and banana fest. I was so proud of myself for serving them something that wasn't loaded with sugar in every bite! It was yummy, too.... We will miss you this year! And I always rely on you to tell me when it is, I'll probably miss it with you not around....

    1. I have been meaning to make dinner crepes for the last month! Great idea!