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Monday, February 15, 2016

"And It's Still Not Over"

I'm taking a few minutes to get this post out before we move on to more Valentine's Day fun. Our kids' weekend at Nana & Papa's house is now over and we sure had a fun-filled time!

I seriously scored a home-run with these shirts. Presley loved that hers was a bit more "girly" than usual and the boys LOVED that they could "paintball" theirs up. They both told me they would wear them to school-as opposed to weekend or nighttime wear that usually happens with the shirts we make. Score one for Nana!

So, in keeping with my prep mantra, I bagged up the "red-hot" popcorn ahead of time. This is soooo yummy, but not something I ever do with the kids because it involves 5 minutes of boiling sugar! Then, I pre-baked two thin, red cakes for our "surprise" cupcakes. The kids could easily have done this, but we had a lot of other baking on the agenda so I figured I would get this out of the way!

First order of the day was making the shirts. These were really so easy. I just made sure and put some aluminum foil inside shirts, put small amounts of paint mixed with textile medium in cake pans, got out the cookie cutters, showed them what to do and got out of the way! The boys liked their shirts but when I suggested that they "paintball" them up, they LOVED them.

While the shirts dried, they had to prepare the surprise for the cupcakes...

...which lead to lots of cake scraps and, of course, the "need" to eat them before they even had a chance to think about getting stale.

Then we were on to baking the cupcakes. Thanks goodness this recipe called for three eggs as these kids fight over the breaking eggs job!

I planned a pretty simple lunch because we had so many other projects still to do. We did the "no-brainer" heart shaped sandwiches-and I truly know they are growing up as two of them wanted the ham and provolone and the other Cajun turkey and more PB & J for this gang-, fruit kabob arrows, chips and the choice of Little Debbie or Hostess Valentine snack cakes! It was actually a hit of a meal and all plates were emptied.

Next came the time to frost our cupcakes. We made the same delicious mint butter cream frosting that we used for our rainbow St. Pat's cupcakes except we tinted it pink. And, of course, we always need a taster for quality control.

These kids do this type of thing with me so often that they have the drill down pat. I demonstrate a step, pass along to the next in line and so on and so on until we have this...

With the cupcakes finished, we moved along to our photo holder project. Don' ask me why, but all three kids thought these were cool so I had their undivided attention. They sanded their wooden blocks, painted them red, and chose their vintage Valentine images that I had printed in appropriate sizes. They surprised me on this...good thing I didn't place any bets. I was sure Presley would choose the "romantic" images and the boys would go more for the comic, school swap look. Boy was I wrong! Both boys wanted the authentic and Presley was the only one who went with the cutesy look...go figure?! They put their images on with a few coats of Mod Podge and when that was dry, they twisted a piece of wire into a picture holder shape and then got to use my Dremel to drill a hole in the center. After that, we were off to take some pictures that we could put in our holders to send home as gifts for Mom and Dad.

I pulled out the props and the kids were good sports but we decided that these were just a bit too goofy...even for me!

So we went with these instead!

The kids have a favorite tradition of making pink chocolate chip cookies. I thought maybe we would forgo that tradition this year and save the supplies to try green chocolate chips for St. Pat's but they were having none of that! While Presley opted out to play with Legos, the two boys got busy and baked.  


We had had a busy day so it was time to get ready for dinner. We made individual pizzas-which are always good because then each one can customize to their own liking-, broccoli and "heart" strawberries. Dinner was yummy but the kids were extra anxious for dessert.

Our yummy dessert...wait for it, wait for it...

Voila! Boy were we proud of ourselves!! It's the simple things-lol.

Then we were on to an evening of games-Valentine's themed "Minute-to-Win-It", "Head Banz" and "Hidden Pictures". What fun we had!!

I decide to make heart shaped pink pancakes for breakfast - the "real" way this year. Usually I free-form them and they come out very impressionistic! I soon discovered that although this was not hard, since I only had one cutter the size I needed that this would take awhile. Plan B-one heart shaped pancake for each and just pink pancakes for seconds. This really wasn't a problem because the heart pancake was so large, only Harrison could eat seconds.

And then what we had all been waiting for for so long-the chance to meet the newest addition to our family-Hazel Hoochie Holland.

 This was truly a day of love. Our hearts are all so full with the addition of this little sweetheart. The kids are so excited. They have waited a long time.

Hubby and I also got to squeeze in a quick trip out of town and lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. We actually prefer celebrating before the big day when things are not as crowded. Then we hit a few more of our favorite haunts before heading home to get ready for the kids' visit. And now Valentine's Day 2016 is in the memory book but, have no fear, I am ready to dive into St. Patrick's Day. One more cup of coffee and I will be ready to go. Stay tuned.

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