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Note from Ava February 27th, 2003-
Today I was very sad to hear the news of Mr. Fred Mcfeely Rogers death from stomache cancer.
I spoke to my daughter about it, but it didn't seem to bother her as much as it did me, having gown up watching his show, Mr Rogers Neighborhood on PBS. She also watched his show when she was younger. But Mr. Rogers was more special to me, because he reminded me so much of my grandfather who passed away just before I became pregnant. They looked a lot a like, and were both intelligent, good men. I was proud to use Mr. Rogers as a good role model for my daughter. In the spring of 2000, I took my daughter to the Children's Day Festival at the World Trade Center in NYC. There we met the man who played Mr. McFeely, and I always wished I could have met Mr. Rogers. I had planned on going back, but then 9/11 happened, and I lost my cousin there. I never found out if there was another Children's Day. There were times that I looked at Mr Rogers website, for guidance on discussions with my daughter related to the attacks. This world needs people like him, especially during these times. Mr Roger's was a peacemaker, and came out of retirement to discuss how to talk to children about war. He always put children first, as we all should.  
For more information, go to Mr Rogers Family Communications website at and to there you can also find a letter than I sent it.
Sincerely, - Ava

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Below is a great article with ideas for Valentines day with kids!

"18 Great Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day When You Aren't a 'Couple',"
by Susan Dunn The EQ Coach

When we think of Valentine's Day, we tend to think of a man and a woman celebrating together. If you aren't paired at this time, here are 17 ways to celebrate Valentine's Day YOUR way.

1. Celebrate with a child! If you don't have one, borrow one! Invite your grand-daughter over for an afternoon of tea with tiaras and tutus, making Valentines, and reading Valentine's books. Got a boy in your life? How about some slap-jack or Pente, video games and a candle-lit dinner with fondue - to keep those hands busy! Nice red catsup is good enough for sauce!

2. Give a party at a children's shelter. The Volunteer Director is trained to help you! Simple refreshments, favors, plan a game, tie-dye t-shirts, crafts, play the piano, and sing. It's the thought and the companionship that count.
Play musical chairs, tying big red bows to the front of the chairs. Pin the Lips on Ms. Valentine - draw "her" on posterboard - use moving eyes, false eyelashes and pipe cleaners for hair. Put each kid's name on a pair of red lips cut out of construction paper with tape on back. Blindfold them with Valentine scarf and proceed! Valentine Bingo - make bingo cards with Valentine items instead of numbers to call. Use February theme to increase number of items - groundhogs, Presidents Lincoln and Washington, candy, hearts, doves, lovers, Valentines, etc. Serve "Love Potion" for the beverage.

3. Make it a special day for someone in a retirement or nursing home.

4. Have friends over for a Valentine's Party. Sing love songs, watch a video, make an outrageously beautiful buffet
spread. Have everyone bring a grab bag gift. Have a poetry contest. Romantic songs list here:

5. Call up your son and daughter-in-law and tell them you're coming for the weekend to take care of the kids so
they can go celebrate. Bake Valentine's cookies with the kids and have a red dinner - red jello hearts, heart-shaped pasta with tomato sauce or heart-shaped pizza, Hawaiian punch and cinnamon hearts in hot cocoa. "Willie Wonka" video, everyone gets in the big bed with Nana, snuggle-time, dogs included.

6. Celebrate with your animal companion. There's no more reliable source of love in our lives. Get a deeper connection with your beloved animal companion with Jacquelin Smith, Animal Communicator,

7. Bake some homemade dog biscuits. Recipes Take your dog for a walk in the park, and on the way, drop off your treats at the local animal shelter.

8. Take your animal companion with you to a nursing home or convalescent center. Many facilities are making this opportunity available for their guests. You can deck your dog, cat, ferret or rabbit in a festive Valentine scarf for the occasion.

9. Enjoy the day helping others. A local place of worship might be building a house for Habitat or going
Valentine caroling at a housing project. If not, why not?
If not you, who?

10. Book a Valentine cruise on the Costa cruise line and dance the nights away. Be a gentleman host, or dance with one! Gentlemen dance hosts "work" from 8 pm to 1 am every night, visiting with and dancing with women cruise guests. Great vacation for singles!
Wait til the last minute when the rates go down really low.

11. Have friends over for a Valentine Day Brunch. Make pancakes and fried eggs shaped like hearts
serve with strawberry syrup, fresh strawberries,
some nice crisp bacon, strawberry daiquiris and nice hot tea.
Set a terminally romantic buffet table and fill the DR ceiling with pink and/or red helium balloons.

12. Check for special events in your town. A romantic Valentine pop concert perhaps?

13. Get away for the weekend and see some great art. Strathmore Hall, located in an historic mansion in North Bethesda, Md. is having their annual "Art You My Valentine?" juried exhibition thru Feb. 22. From love at first sight to the last kiss goodnight, romance and friendship are in the
air, as artist members create to the theme of Valentine's Day. Bring one home; they're all for sale.

14. Organize something with your civic group. If the New York Giants can do it, so can you. They'll be visiting
patients in Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian on Valentine's Day. <P>

15. Call your favorite aunt or your bratty little brother and head for "New York in Love." The Museum of the City of NY is featuring an exhibit of 19th Century Valentines.

16. Try something zany. The Embassy Suites, Richmond, Va. Offers the King's Dominion Package - 2-room suite,
breakfast, reception, indoor pool and Jacuzzi and 2 adult tickets to go ride that roller coaster! There's more than
one way to 'lose your heart' on Valentine's Day.

17. The Winter-storm adventure! Ancient Cedars Spa, Vancouver Island at the Wickannish Inn, situated on a rocky
promontory at the westernmost point of Chesterman Beach, at the gateway to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Enjoy the spectacle of 20' waves pounding the coast from your room with
ocean view, deep soaker tub, and fireplace for optimum viewing. All spa amenities, epicurean dining and "the storm-watching experience". Slickers provided. Bring along some friends, your pet, and/or a good book!

18. Feed your heart! Curl up with a good book. "A General Theory of Love," of course, by Amini, Lewis and Lannon.
Susan Dunn helps clients get organized with the Don't Die at 50 Weekly Organizational Calendar, the Gooding Accountability System, coaching, and Internet courses. Visit
her on the web at and mailto:sdunn@s...