Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Heart Day 2013

The month of February started off with a focus on "true love" as Kate and I spent an evening up in the mountains in the dining hall of Mutual Dell campground where the moms and teenage daughters from our church held a special "100 Dresses" activity (based on a book by the same name that I never got around to reading) with the end goal of making and donating at least 100 dresses to the little girls of Haiti. I'm not sure what the final number was, but I'm pretty sure we exceeded our goal. Here are a few pics from the night. 

First, a spaghetti dinner:
Next, a musical number by the daughters:
Predictably adorable table centerpieces and accents. I couldn't come up with something like this if my life depended on it:

Two worlds collide:
The girls got together during one of their youth group nights to make these dresses out of pillow cases. You would never know it by looking at them:
A few of the women (including myself) shared a special dress with the group and the meaning it held for them. I shared the little yellow prairie dress my mom made for me back in the early 70's, and the organizer of the event shared her vintage Barbies and the 30 dresses her mom made for them. Isn't this just the cutest?
Kate hanging out with a friend:
I didn't get a picture, but there were also tables set up with supplies to make a variety of Valentine banners. Here's mine back at home:
Something came over me that night when I made my first crafty thing in probably a decade. I suddenly decided crafting wasn't such a daunting thing after all and whipped up another larger banner for the fireplace mantel a couple of weeks later. Granted, the rest of the house was a mess by the time I finished, but it probably would have been anyway. And now we have a cute Valentine's banner:

Elizabeth is still showing up in the kitchen almost every day intent on making something from scratch from the cookbook I got for Will for Christmas. (He gets in there on occasion too . . .) Here's a batch of fresh blueberry muffins:
And her first omelet:
Everybody sat down for some heart cookie decorating a few days before Valentine's: 
Heaven forbid she use pink or red:  

Will's "bleeding heart" masterpiece:

It was all about the volume of toppings for the little girls:


You know Brandon and I had to have a cookie too:
I kind of knocked myself out on Valentine's morning, especially considering it was a school day. The kids loved it, but I don't know if that's something I want to repeat every year unless Valentine's Day lands on a Saturday. I made heart pancakes with semi-homemade strawberry syrup, berry smoothies, and little egg, cheese and bacon tarts baked in instant croissant dough. Ya, a little overboard:

I like this one because I happened to catch Brandon giving the kids a kiss good-bye on his way out the door:
Kate had to leave so early that she just ate hers in the car like this:

And she wasn't really there while the other kids opened their boxes. (Neither was Brandon for that matter. . .) It was mostly filled with treats. I like the Japanese way of giving gifts for a "small" holiday like Valentines: make it perishable and then you won't have to find a place to put it:

Ready for her class party with a small gift for her teacher (who she LOVES) and the box she decorated with drawings of all the other holidays. Whatever floats her boat:
Once everyone was off to school (and I spent 7 hours cleaning up the kitchen), Rachael and I finished up her Valentines for the preschool party later that day. I think the last time I helped my kids make super cute homemade Valentines was when Kate was in pre-school. Like I said, about a decade ago! (That seriously may have been the last crafty thing I made.) Rachael got in some really good practice writing her name:
Don't ask me how this happened (because I'm not at all the super PTA room mom type), but I ended up being in charge of Elizabeth's class party, and then helping out at Rachael's preschool party after a last minute request from the teacher. The parties came one after another, so Elizabeth's teacher let me take her with me to Rachael's party where she had fun playing photographer. Here she is at her own class party:

And then here we are at Rachael's party:
In case you didn't know, this is Rachael's future husband. They have it all planned out:

I saw variations of this heart hair-do on a number of girls that day. Some people do hair, I make food:
Her current favorite friend to get in trouble with at school for talking too much. You can see the chemistry, can't you:

Preschool is just so cute. Why can't all of life be like preschool?

Checking out the goods:

That night I stuck with the simplicity of Papa Murphy's heart shaped pepperoni pizza and a spinach strawberry salad with some Martinelli's to drink. No dessert on the menu after that breakfast and all the candy everyone consumed, but we did dine by candlelight. In our gymnastics suit:
Yes, that's a $1 plastic tablecloth from Wal-mart. Keepin' it simple, folks. Keepin' it simple:
Totally unintentional, but isn't this just funny how Rachael's finger looks like it's going in Will's nose?
My honey:
We had a little love fest during dinner where we spotlighted each person one at a time by going around the table and saying what we loved about them. It was sweet, mushy, and also very funny. A little (lot) blurry, but here's one last picture of all my Valentines together:
And Yuki. Because I'm pretty sure she gets more love around here than anybody. And she's just dang cute:


  1. Your posts always make me smile! :)

    What a fun Valentine's Day! Our Young Women did a similar project as Kate's. I read that book to my girls when they were small. (In your spare time you should read it!)

    Judi :)

  2. Nice to see that one of your kids has a bleeding heart. Have Will call me when he is old enough to vote.

    1. Martin! Are you trying to do political trash talk on my Valentine's Day post? You are such a booger! I stand by my conviction that entitlements and government programs are only "compassionate" for about 5% of the people receiving them. (That's an arbitrary number I just pulled out of the air.) People need jobs, not handouts.

    2. Don't talk to me, lady -- talk to Will. And you'd better do it fast before he donates all of his allowance to and starts DVR'ing Rachael Maddow.


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