14 Ways to Show Love to Others:

1. Start your husband’s car several minutes before he needs to leave. Scrape off the windshield, and leave a mug of hot coffee or a bottled water in the cup holder for him.

2. Throw your family’s towels in the dryer while they are bathing so they are nice and toasty when they get out.

3. Take your neighbor’s trash cans back up to their home.

4. Have you thanked your children’s Sunday school teachers lately? Write a quick note or send a small gift thanking them for their sacrifice.

5. Buy extra boxes of valentines (both boy and girl or gender-neutral) and give them to your child’s teacher the week before Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, there are students whose parents forget or neglect to buy them, and the kids feel left out.

6. When ordering in a restaurant, look your waiter or waitress in the eye and thank them by name. Tip well.

7. Compliment or encourage the young, harried mom in the grocery store with something positive you observed.

8. Have the kids greet their daddy at the door like he’s king of the castle. Take his briefcase, hand him a mug of hot chocolate and his slippers, and give him a big welcome home kiss.

9. Show your appreciation to the support staff (administrative assistants, school nurse, custodians, bus drivers, cooks, etc.) at your children’s school with a homemade coffee cake or buy several dozen donuts. Make a thank-you card with your children’s photos to put beside the treat.

10. Leave sticky notes (or candy hearts) with sweet messages around the house for your family to find.

11. Cook dinner for a young family. Let the mom know the night before that she doesn’t need to worry about dinner the next day, or make a meal that can be frozen if she already has her meal planned.

12. Write a message on the bathroom mirror with a bar of soap to get your hubby or kids’ days started on a positive note.

13. Find someone without a sweetheart (single mom, widow or widower, single adult) and invite them for a Valentine’s dinner.

14. February 14 is also National Organ Donor Day. Make sure your driver’s license is signed to be an organ donor to help save a life.

14 Ways to Take Advantage of Snow Days:

1. Form a pots-and-pans band. Very loud … but fun!

2. Scarf dancing (hold scarves, play music, and make the scarves dance to the music) — select the random setting on your playlist so the music tempo/style changes a lot!

3. Read a story and have your kids act it out.

4. Create art with shaving cream, toothpaste, or even conditioner — anything they can slide their hands around in. Use cookie sheets, large casserole dishes, or a table you don’t mind cleaning up.

5. Have extended bath time; kids love to play in water. Sit on the floor in the bathroom, leaning against the closed door, and read — adding oohs and aahs every now and then to whatever they want to show you.

6. Pick a wall somewhere in the house and actually “allow” crayon drawing on it. Tell them it will stay that way till spring so everyone can see what we drew during the big blizzard of 2011, but then tell them we will paint it back to the way it was (or not!).

7. My kids loved to make “trails” all through the house with things (I used a big box of lids we had saved), but also they did it with cards from a few card decks. We got out a map and talked about the road systems all over the U.S. And I told them to build their own road system all over the house. Then they could use matchbox cards to drive. Sometimes they didn’t even do that; they just built the road! They also did that with books, too.

8. Make paper plate art. Use crayons or scissors, or both.

9. Put on masterful plays using stuffed animals as actors … or as the audience.

10. I would lay down and be the road and mountain and valley for the matchbox cars — great way to sneak a one-eye-open nap and keep them busy!

11. Hop in the bed while they get to read and look at books with a  flashlight under the covers. I’d sneak a nap … or at least rest!

12. Create your own “Toy Story” scenario and imagine what all the toys in your house do when you are not around. Ideate a story line together, and then go have them make it happen with the toys.

13. Pillow jumping. We would gather all the pillows in the house — even couch cushions — and put them in a huge pile. They would pillow jump, and I would judge with numbers.

14. I got out the old Easter Eggs and hid them all over the house — empty — they just loved to hunt. If you don’t have the Easter Eggs, come up with something else. At my mom’s house, she once hid a bunch of little soft, fake strawberries all over her house. Anything you have in mass you can hide, give them a basket, and let them hunt. This one lasts a good, loooooong time, and they want to do it over and over. Then let them hide for you; they love to watch me look and give me hints!

Fun Crafts for February:

:: Valentine’s Crafts to Do Together