Monday, February 14, 2011

The Story Of Valentines Day

Do you know how Valentines day came about? It's a beautiful story, really. One of love, honor, courage, and unshakable faith...

The story goes~ During the third or fourth century AD, Claudius II was the Emperor of Rome. He had grown very powerful and his empire very large. He needed to build up the army to defend the land he had acquired. In doing so, he decided that single men made better soldiers, since they didn't have any family ties. So, he declared that no young men could marry.
Valentine was a priest during this time, and continued marrying young couples despite the law of Emperor Claudius. When Claudius heard of this, he had Valentine imprisoned. In an effort to allow Valentine to redeem himself, Claudius gave him the option to denounce the Lord, and take the faith of the Roman gods. In an incredible act of devotion, Valentine refused, held strong in his faith, and was sentenced to death.

While awaiting execution, Valentine fell in love with the daughter of the jailer. He wrote letters professing his love for her while in prison, and grew very fond of her over time.
Sadly, on February 14, Valentine was martyred for his crimes.
On the day of his execution, he wrote one final letter to his love, telling her of his devotion. At the end of the letter, he affectionately signed it ~Love, your Valentine.

So, in honor of a man who gave his life for his faith, we celebrate his great love by sharing our love with each other. Nice, huh? I love that story.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hope For theFuture

Do you have a hope chest? For your daughters, I mean. Or what about your sons ( to present to their wives)? I have been saving things for my children since they were born. I want to make sure they have a few things that will help them get off to a good start after they marry. I spend time each day trying to help my daughters learn how to make a home for their future families, so I would love to be able to give them something on their wedding day that will help them do just that.
So far, I have collected an ornament for each of my children every year. If I keep going until they marry, I will be able to present them each with a nice collection of 20 or so ornaments to decorate their first tree.

I have a set of two fancy bone china cups and saucers for each
of them. I also have nice table linens. I want to make sure to include only things that won't go out of style, so I haven't bought any trendy decorations or accessories, only very traditional items that will last forever.

So what else to include? I am always on the lookout for little treasures I can put in. At the very least, I want to add some decorative frames with our best family photos, an afghan made by my grandmother, and a few pieces of nice china, maybe a tea pot.
I want them to have a good understanding of who they are and where they came from, so I want to make sure I include things that were important to family members that went before them. My grandmother took the time to make an afghan for each of her children and grandchildren. I want to make sure my children understand how precious they are. Then, of course, there are candle sticks, and mementos, and whatever else I deem appropriate. ...the list goes on.

Do you have a hope chest for your children? What's in it?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Books have covers, or so we have been taught all our lives. We all pick books based on the picture on the cover, or lack there of, even though we've been taught not to.
"Don't judge a book by it's cover", right? It's something that even the smallest child knows...or has been told. But do we really take that to heart? It's not always so easy, especially with people we have just met.
Everyone has a cover, whether it be conservative~ modest and gentle, or wild~ crazy and boisterous.
When we meet a new person, our first impression of them is what we tend to base our opinion on. But, is that who they truly are? Do we judge too quickly, without taking the time to learn about them? ~who they are, how they live? I think many times we do. I think we are master cover judgers, and probably miss out on knowing some pretty incredible people.

As some of you know, I went this weekend to Niagara Falls to bury my Aunt Cossie. While I was there, I met a whole other side of my extended family that I had never before had the pleasure of knowing. Unfortunately, because of my own cover judging, I almost missed out on one family member in particular~ a real pistol.

I didn't realize that when I made my first decisions about this person, I didn't really give them a chance. I decided right from one of our first encounters that I didn't like them, and wanted nothing to do with them. However, because of a accidental wonderful mix up while we were walking at the Falls, I got another chance to make a much more educated decision about this person. I'm so glad I did. What I found beneath this cover, which is so different from mine, was an incredible, fun, outgoing person who I am really wishing I had spent more time with. I missed out on an opportunity to hear an incredible story, which I'm sure I would have loved, had I simply opened the cover before I set it back down.
I took a good lesson from all this, though. I know now that despite it's cover, every book tells a story well worth reading.