Saturday, February 15, 2014

Feliz Dia de San Valentin!

On February 14, 2012, Jake and I had just begun writing each other but had never met.

On February 14, 2013, we were newlyweds. We also got some pretty amazing news that day, that Sophia was on the way!

This year on February 14, we celebrated our first Valentine's Day as busy new parents. It was just a littleee different than last year. Instead of receiving Jake's surprise bouquet of roses at my office, I was pulling clothes out of the washer to hang up to dry while beginning lunch preparations. And since it was also Friday, which means CIC Youth Group night (Jake is the pastor), we had our big date the night before. (Thanks, Kaley!)

I wanted to make some special Valentine's Day treats for the Youth Group's Valentine Party. I'm not even signed up on pinterest, but quickly found a pinterest page full of pictures of AMAZING looking cookies, the secret of which seemed to be royal icing. Of course, I only attempted the simplest designs, or simplifying them as I went along.

 Anyone can make dots! My writing could use some work, though.

Somehow, I found time for two trips with the kids in tow to a new bakery store nearby, and still with very limited time and tools, had a fun time learning a bit of working with royal icing!  

It wasn't very hard at all. I ran out of cookies before trying everything I wanted to! How surprising, seeing how I'm the only one of my family who has never even attempted to decorate a cookie cake at my parents' cookie stores.  

Some of the first cookies...

Joel was the only kid who asked to decorate this time. He's definitely the most patient - and artistic - of the bunch!

Michael posing with the cookie that was his idea (the "XOXO" part).

One of Joel's cookies is here! The kids liked eating the broken cookies and mess ups.

The boys also proudly made their own lunch with minimal supervision while I continued decorating, taking advantage of Sophia's unusually long nap.

I also tried out making brownie "mini cupcakes" with buttercream frosting. Worked pretty well and was good and rich, perfect for Valentine's!!

After cutting some of the brownies into heart shapes (for my sweetheart!), I  made truffles with the leftover brownies.


Preparing the cookies and brownie cupcakes for the party...

Love turquoise and pink together!!
As for some other moments during the rest of our first Valentine's Day as a family...

I tried to catch Sophia's few happy morning moments for some pictures with the brothers, but as you can see, we didn't quite make it in time! In the best ones, she just looks serious, none of her classic Sophia smiles today...

Eating yummy leftover vegetable stir-fry before some afternoon treats

Our kitchen table looks like a flower garden!! The beautiful roses are thanks to Jake. :)

Licking the icing beaters and bowl while sister looks on 

To add just a touch of real life-ness to this very sweet post: I was proud of the boys during lunch. One began insulting another and calling him names. I quickly became frustrated trying to calm him down and get him to acknowledge his errors, while watching the other feeling bad about the lies. After a few minutes of going nowhere, and watching the son-in-question head straight for one of his emotional blow-ups, I let the matter drop and we finished lunch in silence. After chores, I called him back and asked him to write down three things he likes about his brother. The break had given him time to calm down. He immediately complied and then showed me, his dad (now back from work), and his wounded brother the list. Wow! SO much better than some previous discipline/training sessions with this one. Love seeing fellowship and harmony restored. :)   

The best picture of baby all day! I just LOVE her eyes......

Fresh, very PINK, watermelon juice for snack.
The next post will be a Sophia update! Hopefully soon... It's hard to find much computer time these days. I'm lucky to have a whole hour at any point during the day with all the kids entertained, no housework, no school, no food prep going on, and no super urgent work issues. And that's generally after 11pm, when Jake and I finally have a chance for some quiet talk time together. Ah, life with a family! :)

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