Happy Valentines Day! It has only been in the past few years that I've really enjoyed Valentine's day. I think discovering St. Valentine's story has been a part of it; and sharing that story and some thoughts on love with the boys is always a lot of fun. (And this year, a friend volunteered to hang out with all our boys (5!) so Jim and I are even going out, which is a rare treat.)
This year we used our 'Jesse Tree' (a bunch of birch branches) to hang hearts with verses about hearts. The hearts are cut out of good quality watercolor paper (I found at a thrift store!) and natural dye watercolors (these, I only mention it because the colors are beautiful and the results are so much more satisfying than with paints you pick up at the craft shop). I primarily used the list of verses in Celebrating the Christian Year by Martha Zimmerman, but also added some of my own. I made fourteen thinking we would do one a day, but they didn't get finished in time and we did several a night sporadically over the past week.
Saint Valentine by Robert Sobuda and/or Saint Valentine by Ann Tompert with the boys later. I like both of these retellings, probably enjoying the mosaic illustrations of the former and the text of the latter best. Tompert does a nice job of sharing the story while alluding to the historical uncertainty behind specific events. I was planning on reading Topart's book to Jonah's class today as it is a very ecumenical group of families, some of who would be less familiar (and perhaps comfortable) with the stories of the saints.