Tuesday, February 17, 2009

February Survival Guide

When the shortest month of the year threatens to turn into the longest, diversion is necessary!


Who has time to make gingerbread houses at Christmas time? Not I . But I've always wanted to make one, so this year we did it for Valentine's. Even though we used graham crackers to skip the trouble of making gingerbread walls, it was really, really hard to get three kids' three houses to stand up with sticky and rapidly-drying frosting. They came out a bit slanty, but we enjoyed them as a centerpiece and sweet temptation (to some) for the week leading up to Valentine's.

We've always made our own Valentine's cards, and while I imagine the results usually end up making us look like we're too poor to buy the ready-made kind, I persist.

This year I made rubber stamps like this, using my smallest heart cookie cutter, craft foam and wood blocks C cut up for the occassion (carpenter husbands do come in handy).

We tried using markers, but one side of the heart dried out by the time we got to the other.

Then I tried mixing up some Stockmar water color paint in red, but it was too watery.

Finally we just used regular tray watercolors to paint the hearts and stamp on blank index cards cut in half.

M added his own special touch. Nothing says "I love you" like a skull and crossbones!

When M was the twins' age, we made little heart mice, and I had him sign every single heart for both his preschool and daycare classes (probably 20-30 cards), now that I have two other kids that age I realize how totally developmentally inappropriate it was for me to expect him to sign all his own cards (and why it was a struggle)...just because you CAN write your name at three, doesn't mean you should have to do it 30 times!

After making cards, we joined several other people in driving our infernal combustion engines to the fairgrounds to wait in line for an hour to go for a sleigh ride.

This is the sleigh we rode on (but that's not us in the sleigh)...it was the only one pulled by a single horse (making the singing of Jingle Bells more accurate, although I wouldn't exactly call our pace dashing). Isn't he a beauty?

On Friday before Valentine's, I got out the felt, and these wooden needles I bought for the twins that were insanely expensive and we've never used before.

Their results didn't come out exactly as I'd imagined, but that's true of all things kid, isn't it?

I made this little garland to hang over our nature table, based on this one.

We got out the LOVE books to read.

Go on a Date
C and I actually went out on Valentine's--lunch at Slate's and a trip to Barne's and Noble to try to spend the gift cards we each got for Christmas. We figured out that it was our first time out of the house together without kids since last MAY!! How bad is that? I have a hard time turning my kids over to others', especially at night, so I think the lunch date is the perfect answer.
Halfway there! How will you survive the rest of February?


  1. I am not sure we WILL survive Feb. Ahh-- what a tough month.

    I so love that your boys make their own Valentine cards (tofu containers holding paint there?). May I admit that I love, love, love that both of our boys' school have a no Valentine card policy. Is that Scroogish or whatever the V-day equivalent?

  2. What a great assortment of activities! And a date to boot. Impressive.

  3. Very cool. I went on a date with my sister - does that count? I think it does. I like her better.

  4. Sara--A no-Valentine card policy sounds pretty freakin' awesome to me!

    LSM--A date with a sister would be fun--mine are halfway around the world!


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