Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Valentine's Celebrations

I am the room mom for Annabelle's second grade class...I try and switch year-to-year, being room mom in my kids classes; last year I was the room mom in Charles' class. Basically, my role is be in charge of the classroom parties: Halloween, Christmas and Valentines. I am happy that I now get a break from parties until next year :). And since I knew I was going to be doing parties again in the future, I planned ahead and made games that I can reuse. Here are the three games we did for Valentine's this year: Pin the heart on the arrow, Valentine Bingo and Valentine Headbanz . For Headbanz, I printed out a page of 9 or so Valentine Headbanz cards that I found on pinterest, and then I added some of our own that had red/pink as a major color, or some festive foods like cake and lollipops etc; I also brought a couple of my elastic headbands to add to the 6 in my Headbanz box because I knew we'd have one group of 8.  
 The day before the Valentine's Party, I was at the school for a few hours, helping decorate for the 6th grade Valentine dance and then I stayed to watch for a bit. I spent a lot of my time trying to help a couple women(and my friends) put this heart balloon centerpiece together.
 I wasn't sure if I was going to stay and watch; I knew it would bother me just a little, seeing my little girl dance with boys. I liked that everyone was dressed up in church clothes and I liked that they had dance cards they had filled out during the week...a little old-fashioned like :).

Not every dance was a couple dance. They had quite a few that were singles, like the Boot Scottin' Booty, the Hokey Pokey and more.  

 I think my favorite dance to watch might have been the Virginia Reel. It reminded me of some of the Jane Austen movies I've seen.

 Besides being in charge of Annabelle's Valentine's party, I also went in and did a game in Jane's kindergarten class that same morning. I had them do "Pin the heart on the arrow". So between Thursdays dance decorating and Fridays parties, Nora, and I spent a good amount of time at the school those couple of days :).

 Oh, and Thursday I learned that one of my volunteers for my party who was supposed to help run a game, wasn't going to make it because she had kids throwing up. Elisabeth offered to come in and help (her 6th grade class doesn't celebrate the holidays with parties) and at first I said no, but then after I finished up with Jane's party, which had 4 parents helping, and thought about my next party, which would only have 2, I decided to call her out of class (Told the receptionist I needed my daughter for an hour :)), and she came and ran the Headbanz game, and I'm so happy she did! She was a lifesaver.
 Because I had so much to plan and prepare for these Valentine's parties and activities for the kids at school, I didn't even think about the fact that Scott and I always have some sort of Valentine celebration. So I was grateful when the week before Valentine's he said, "I'm going to plan a Valentine's dinner date for us this year." Great! Done! Thank you Dearest! And he did a good job; him and Ben Arkell had talked and decided to surprise Gina and I with a double dinner date in Provo Friday before Valentine's! Afterwards we were going to try and get into the Provo Temple open house in the stand-by line, but it was pretty long, we would've had to wait at least 45 minutes, and we all had tickets to come another day in the near future with our families, so we decided to just go back to the Arkell's and visit and play games for a bit. We met the Arkell's while living in Wymount, BYU family housing, 12 years ago. We hadn't been married for quite a year, and Gina was my visiting teacher and I called her randomly one day (hadn't even met her yet) because she had left me her name and number, because our car broke down and I needed a ride to a dental appointment. Elisabeth was a newborn. After that we started going on power stroller walks every day together and we became fast friends. She is also the person who got me into cake decorating and we took a couple of Wilton Cake Decorating classes together at Craft stores. We try and get together once or twice a year and it's always great when we do.
 Saturday night, Scott and I stayed up late writing each other and the children our traditional love letters. This is my all time favorite Valentine's tradition. I have a shoe box full of these love letters that I like to read occasionally, and I plan to put them into a little folder/binder for each child once they graduate high school or when they move out.
 We set the letters out on the table at their 'spots' which they found Valentine's morning.
 After church, Scott and I each found a love note from Elisabeth and Charles laying on our bed.
We had waffles with strawberry sauce, eggs and hashbrowns for lunch, 

then we made a couple of healthy, fun treats like heart shaped shortbread cookies (whole grain and maple syrup sweetened)

and our date-sweetened blondies, 

and finished off with salad and our traditional heart-shaped homemade pizza for dinner.  

Here are some "couple" pictures I found of Scott and I from over this past year: 
My bday dinner and double date with my sis Becca and her hubby

When Scott got home to us in CO from one of his long trips to UT

Temple date; we do these monthly; 2x/month now

Just after we finished up our first mini-triathlon 
At a BYU bball game

On thanksgiving, getting our exercise in before the feast

After a run around the lake in NC
4th of July city celebration

Love you Dearest! 

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