decorating with dodi

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Be Prepared!

Once a G.S., always a G.S. I have used this mantra all of my life for everything I do. Sometimes it is easier than others. For example, I am not very good at following my own advice when it comes to prep work on home repairs. I am always too anxious to get started. But, when I am preparing anything to do with children whether it be when I was teaching, leading Sunday School, Bible School or scouts or simply doing something with my own kids or grand children...if kids are involved, I am prepared.

For many years, I led G.S. leadership seminars and the questions that always came up were how to handle "discipline". My answer was always the prepared and always plan too much - a busy child doesn't have time to get into "trouble". And so, when I am getting ready for one of our holiday sleepover weekends, I take great pains to have everything ready to go. Right before this weekend, things looked like this:

Because we were not going to have as much time as we usually do, I pre-painted the canvases with chalkboard paint.

I also got the first row of sequins glued along the heart pattern. This way, the kids could just come to this whenever they didn't have anything to do and know where to glue the sequins.




I also pre-painted the wooden hearts and decoupaged on the paper. This is something I would normally let the kids do, but there was too much "drying and waiting" time involved and I knew they would have more fun doing the stamping and embellishing.

Patterns drawn on parchment and all supplies ready to go for the Whoopie pies.

These are some of the supplies for our Valentine "Minute-to-Win-It" games. We had so much fun playing these games that I forgot to take any pictures. I found these ideas on Pinterest and they can be adapted for any holiday so we will surely do this again!!

The little kids always love making these pink chocolate chip cookies, so they are ready and waiting as well.

Here are the kids piping the red velvet cookie cake mixture into the heart shaped patterns. They were so diligent as they did this. But, all the diligence in the world could not help these things. I'm thinking we may have over beaten the dough - and that is my fault as they each want an equal number of jobs so we do a LOT of beating as EACH individual ingredient gets dumped in by eager little hands! The cake cookie didn't rise as I think they were supposed to so they had more of a play dough texture. But, they were filled with yummy homemade cream cheese icing so how bad could they really be?

We are usually eating many more heart shaped food items, but again, time was running short and we wanted to play "Minute-to-Win-I"' and watch a movie before bed, so we "made do" with heart shaped garlic bread. The kids and Papa made this from scratch and it was delicious!

I found the game ideas on Pinterest and we all enjoyed the challenges so much. All I will need to do is swap out the candy and these games can be used for any holiday so we will definitely be doing this again!

The pancakes under the heart shaped one are round with a heart piped into it and really pretty-can't believe I didn't get a picture of them. I just used the little bit of red batter that was left to make each child a "topper" pancake.

Every year I try to come up with something that the kids can work on together to give to their parents. This year I decided on the chalkboard canvas sequined heart that I found on Pinterest. I thought it would be easy for the kids to just fill in the area with glue and then sequins but it really was more difficult than it looks and required some fine motor skills to make sure the sequins were close enough so as not to allow the black background to show through.

Harrison (the oldest) was the only one to persevere and he and I ended up finishing it just in time.

Every year we make pink chocolate chip cookies and this year was no exception!

And, every year we make a kid craft that they can use in their own room or wherever in the house they want.

I like to find something they can keep but also something that they can make "their own" with the way they choose to decorate it.

For some of us, more is less...

...and for others, more is just more!

Right after Jen picked up the kids, we were off to Gainesville to help daughter #2 celebrate her birthday one more time. We enjoyed a nice visit with all of her family and got home yesterday afternoon a bit tired but loaded with many new memories from a wonderful weekend. And to think, there is still a week until Valentine's Day is really here. How am I going to top this? Stay tuned.

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