Monday, February 24, 2014

More Love Day Celebrations

Valentine's Day was kind of a drawn out affair for us this year. Normally it seems to come and go pretty quick, not much build up to it like other holidays (Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas). But this year we were able to enjoy several celebrations of the holiday.

The Monday before the actual holiday we went to a cousin Valentine's FHE hosted by Ryan and Sarah Ray in their Beautiful new home. It was great to get together with them and the Nix family to catch up and be together. This is how we arrived:
(We got the Awesome heart glasses from Max's Awesome Aunt Georgia (Baby Jane Georgia's namesake))


 And of course it's not much of a party without treats, everyone brought a favorite. 
 These mini cheesecakes were so pretty! And delicious, I'm a sucker for cheesecake. Looove it.
 I brought these pink strawberry cake cookies. They were pretty good, not as good as the cheesecake though.
 I should have gotten more pictures of Alice playing with all her cousins. For the whole evening while the adults chatted she played with one of her best friends, Brielle Nix, while Indie, Hayden, and Jane followed them all around. Those two girls have a lot of fun together.

In between playing Alice was loving this cute blue high chair. Indie was nice enough to share it with her. She was thrilled to sit in it and eat her cookie. With heart glasses on, of course. She hardly took them off the whole evening.

Before we left I had to get one of us (only those in heart glasses, sorry Jane) in front of the cute heart garland. Max was grumbling about too many pictures and both Ryan and Eric were agreeing with him while Sarah and Melissa were trying to defend me, saying their husbands were the exact same. 


February 14th, Valentine's Day

We started off with a small celebration before Dad left for work. For breakfast we had a strawberry flavored Butter Braid. You guys ever heard of those? Apparently you can only purchase them through fundraisers. Max's cousin was trying to raise $ for a choir trip so we bought one from her. It's basically a really delicious pastry with really delicious filling. If ever you get the chance, you should purchase one.

Here is Alice's loot.  A few weeks previous we'd been at the store and she saw this little packet full of sparkly lip balms (bottom right) and Realllllly wanted it. (She's got a thing for chapstick). I told her "no" but snuck it into the cart without her seeing thinking it would be a perfect Vday gift. As soon as she saw it a huge grin broke across her face and she said,
"My sparkly chapstick!"
 I may be regretting it though...she's constantly putting it on, around and around and around her little mouth until her lips and 1/2 inch above and below them are bright pink. Hasn't quite gotten the concept yet. 

Here's my loot. 
Max sent me a sweet card from some awesome online website. We didn't get each other much this year because we decided we were going to celebrate by going skiing. However we haven't gone yet because the weekend of Valentine's Day was incredibly warm and conditions at the resort were much less than ideal. I'm kind of worried they're just going to get worse, but we'll see. Even if the snow's not great, it'll still be fun to get out on the slopes. It's been way too long, I think coming up on 2 years! Not sure how I've let this happen, probably cause it's so darn expensive. Also probably because of pregnancy and new baby. 
But now especially after just having watched all those amazing Olympic skiers I'm just dying to get up on the mountain again!
 I didn't even get a picture of Max's loot. I got him a small little Valentine (it may have been a leftover of Alice's Hello Kitty Valentine cards... with some M&Ms - like I said, we're going skiing. I'll take a photo of that when it happens)

Oh, yeah, and Happy Valentine's Day to you little missy.
I think she was mad that I made her wait to put on some lip balm until after breakfast. 
 And this is how she shows her gratitude. 
Kids.... aren't they the greatest?

In the evening  we continued the celebration with some Red Velvet Chocolate Chip pancakes for dinner, which were delish. I found the recipe at:

And after the kids were in bed Max was feeling romantic and told me I could choose any movie I wanted to watch (a rare occasion!) so I of course chose Valentine's Day! I'd never seen it before and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Hope you all had a great Valentine's Day and shared the love with all the people you care about.  

Joy School Valentine's Day Party

Alice and I are involved in a neighborhood Joy School group. Six kids, ages almost 3-4, and six moms and we rotate whose house it's at every week. It's been a lot of fun. I've enjoyed getting to know the kids and preparing little lessons for them and Alice has enjoyed getting together with all her friends once a week, who are all incidentally in our church congregation as well.

We decided to throw the kids a Valentine's Party to help them get into the holiday a little bit. Each mom took an assignment to make it easier to plan. We had games, crafts, and yummy treats.

Here are all the kiddies! Dressed so cute in their Valentine best. We took several photos. Only one of which was supposed to be a "funny face" one. Can you guess which one?

(It's this one, if you couldn't)

I brought craft supplies for our first activity, which was to have all the kids decorate Valentine boxes! Remember doing this in grade school? It was always one of the funnest art projects of the year for me.

Each child started out with a clean, white covered shoe box and we laid out all the supplies for them; ribbon, stickers, markers, bows, tissue paper, glitter glue, and more! Then we sat them all down and told them to go to work!

They, of course, loved it. What little toddler doesn't love having free reign with all the craft supplies they can imagine?

It was really interesting to see their little personalities and tastes come out in the way the decorated their boxes and the things they reached for and chose to put on them. It was fun to see their little minds and hands at work. And they really truly loved it. I need to do art projects like this with Alice more often, because she  had such fun with it.

Here are the boxes all finished. Aren't they adorable? I love how they all turned out, each one different and unique and sooo cute!

I love to think about how, not just their art projects, but each child is unique and different too. Isn't it a wonderful thing that each person is different enough from the next that each has his or her own special talents and strengths and together we can all create a complete and functional family, group, society and so on.

And here is Alice proudly holding her finished project. 

Had to get one with Mama too.

After our craft Mrs. Jones had a fun game planned for the kids. It was a memory game with Hershey's Kisses. On the back of each kiss was a sticker so the kids had fun trying to find the matching shapes and colors. Thankfully the table was glass so we could peak under and help the kids out when they needed it!

After the game we all decorated delicious sugar cookies made by the talented baker Mrs. Priddis. Of course this is always a hit with kids. I mean what's not to like about it? Cookies, frosting, sprinkles, and candy. All good things. They've all got at least a couple more years before they can really do it on their own without creating a mess, but it was fun nonetheless. 

Here's Alice's finished cookie. 
(It's driving me crazy that I didn't think to turn the cookie around. It's upside down!!)
Ya know, not bad for an almost 3 year old. 

William's sneaking a bite. He can't resist his mom's cookin!

She decided to add a few more heart candies before it was really done :)
And boy is she proud of it!

Last of all (and best of all for all the mamas) we brought out the delicious fruit tart prepared for us by the talented Mrs. Heiniger.  Oh, it was good good good!  And beautiful too.
Happy Late Love Day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Uncle Bryson

We had a lot of fun with Bryson throughout the weekend aside from just Thanksgiving day. He was a sport and went Black Friday shopping with me and the girls allowing Max some quiet time to work on his Stanford application. I don't know how much fun he had, but I think we made up for it by treating him to Krispy Kreme donuts later that evening. He timed his visit right by coming just as we finished our family scripture study goal for the month, for which we always reward ourselves (usually with Krispy Kremes) (it's kinda pathetic that we need this kind of motivation, but ever since we started it our family scripture study has been almost 100%). 

Saturday morning Max went to his office to work on his application again so Bryson, the girls, and I enjoyed the beautiful sunshine at the little park near our house. He was really cute with the girls and I was amazed by how much he reminded me of my Dad the way he played with them.

What a stud. 

Swings, swings, swings!

We also had a good time chillin at home together. Alice really enjoyed Bryson's superior drawing skills. Castles, princes and princesses, rainbows, you name it. Any time Alice can get someone better than me to draw for her she makes the most of it!

Jane still wasn't quite sure about this new man hanging around the house.
 "Who is this guy mom? Why is he holding me?!"
Look at that intense glare she's giving him! She's so funny!

Saturday night we went up to Salt Lake. First we went to Grandma and Grandpa Viehweg's house to give them and Bryson a chance to see each other. After a lovely meal from Grandma and some quality visit time with more than the usual amount of interesting war stories, thanks to Bryson for knowing enough about wars and aircraft to ask Grandpa interesting questions, we headed over to Temple Square to see the newly lit Christmas lights! It was Beautiful, as always, but it was also the first night they were on so, consequently, it was packed! But we were able to make our way through untrampled and all together so I guess the evening was a success.

I couldn't leave Temple Square without stopping at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. It's so beautiful, I love the old architecture and richness of it all. Especially at Christmas.

Here's a closeup of the beautiful stained glass on the ceiling. Exquisite.
By the time we made it here Alice was pretty worn out. She was done with photo shoots. Too bad, cause this woulda been a cute one!

Jane photo bombing.

While at Grandma's she pulled out this beautiful quilt her mother, Minnie, had made for her son David. She had made one for each of her grandchildren. I remember my Dad's looked just like it but with a pink border. It was on my and Kristin's bed for a while growing up, unfortunately it wore completely out and I think got thrown away. I would love to try to replicate it someday.

So overall it was great to have Bryson with us. We haven't seen much of him these past few years as he's been down in Colorado for school, and off in Chicago selling. I'm so glad he came! And anyone who offers to clean my bathroom while they stay at my house is welcome to come back whenever they want!