In any case, a great time was had by all!
Because there is a lot of waiting for drying time on the candy hearts, we started on these right away. The kids are all getting really good at rolling dough and using cookie cutters so this was a no-brainer-plus, they got to test the flavors of the candies. I think we all agreed that the mint was our favorite and the cinnamon our least favorite. We also made orange, lemon and cherry this year. I usually head to WalMart for my flavorings for things like this because they have a much greater selection than any other stores around here.
After that, Hudson and Presley mixed up our cookie dough and while it was chilling, we had a bit of a snack outside. Presley decided she was going to skim the leaves off of the pool and I am never one to deny free labor...lol. I discovered why she was so anxious to do this on Sunday...pictures to come.
We went back inside for Presley to cut and decorate the cookies and just as we got them in the oven, Uncle Joel and Aunt Cyndi arrived and we were on to mug decorating.
Everyone put their own little twist on the design and they came out so pretty! I used the new Sharpie Oil pens and baked them much as I used to bake the ceramic ink paint-hope they hold up through some washings!
Aunt Cyndi brought along a Valentine pouch project so she and Presley sewed on that while Papa supervised.
Because dinner was a little later than usual, we kept it pretty simple this year. Our "nod" to the holiday was simply cutting heart shaped pepperoni for the pizza and heart shaped veggies for the salad. These kids are pretty healthy eaters so we also had several great salads from Fresh Market and a big bowl of steamed broccoli. Dessert was simple-strawberries and cream ice cream and our yummy cookies.
After dinner, we all got cozy in the family room and watched the movie RV. Several of the gang had never seen it and we all laughed like crazy. Then it was off to bed to get rested for our next busy day to come.
While I was getting breakfast ready, the rest of the crew was adding the "conversations" to our candy hearts.
Oh no...looks like these two are conspiring on their thoughts...guess I'd better edit those hearts! lol
Breakfast is ready. We had heart shaped pancakes, heart shaped bacon and fruit. Hopefully everyone filled up because the "big jobs" were yet to come.
We sat outside in the beautiful weather waiting for daughter #3 and her hubby to arrive and Presley's eagerness to skim the pool soon became evident!
She was going swimming...in February. Yes, we have had some exceptionally warm days this winter but the nights still get chilly and this pool is 18' X 36' so it takes a long time time for the sun to work its magic on the cold water. But, she was not to be deterred and...
...off she went. She didn't stay in too, too longer but it sure was a lot longer than I would have made it!
This month, we needed a new latch and lock on our gate into the back field-and my brother and Hudson took care of that for us. Then, since Jim and I had done such a good job clearing out back, I asked Elton to bring his chain saw to help us tackle some of the trees that were just too big to do by hand-and tackle we did! We all felt like Paul Bunyon as those trees hit the ground and the kids were huge helps in cutting up the remnants and dragging them back into the woods. I think I have mentioned that even though we don't own this property, it will probably always be undeveloped and the owner has given us permission to cut it back away from the 308' we have running along there. It just makes our job of yard maintenance so much easier.
There were some vines wrapping around these trees and literally snaking up into our huge live oaks that were as big around as my arms. We cut them to a reasonable length and tried to pull them out of the trees but they snaked so far that even with all of us swinging on them-while doing the Tarzan yell I might add-they wouldn't come down so I guess we will just have to wait for them to shrivel before we try pulling again!
And just when they thought they were done, my son-in-law backed up his truck and we loaded it with all of the remnants of our much loved swing set-and that is another story for another post-sob, sob-and many, many wood pallets from an old deck. It was a job but that end of the yard looks so nice now that it is gone!
Everyones' hard work got rewarded with a wonderful meal and then too soon, everyone was headed home to get ready for their new week. My husband is nothing if not consistent-every time we have had a weekend with lots of company like this, we no sooner make it into the house after saying good-bye and he is saying how much he misses everyone. Guess it's a good thing that St. Pat's is right around the corner as well as another second Sunday-stay tuned.