My funny Valentines

February 15, 2010

We had a very busy weekend here with two successful chef’s nights at the B&B.  My parents took the kids to their house for the weekend.  This makes it easier for us to get the furniture re-arranged and the clean-up done, as well as ensuring a quiet, romantic childless evening for the guests.  We celebrated Valentine’s Day with the kids Friday night, while waiting for the Opening Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics to begin at 10:00 our time.

After supper, we sat around the kitchen table, writing our love notes to one another.  Olivia was a bit beyond at that point and probably should have gone to bed, but she danced around and drew some pictures on her notes.   I’m sure it was well over an hour before we had written them all, and Sarah asked for help writing a few of hers, but did most herself.  (She has “I love you” down pat!)  We then went to work “hiding” them.  Since we had guests, we told the kids they could only hide them in the kitchen or the tv room since we didn’t want a whole lot of running around.

The yellow tulip is for Olivia and the pink heart is for Sarah.

Some "hidden" valentines - again for the girls.

My Valentine!

Just like Hallowe'en candy - they sorted & resorted and read over and over

The game was a bit above Olivia - she just wanted her cupcake!!

Ready for the Vancouver 2010 Opening Ceremonies! Go Canada!

I was really impressed with some of the different ideas they came up with.  When we had found them all, we sat in front of the fire and read them out loud to one another while eating our cupcakes.   *Original spellings included

For Olivia:

  • I love you because your cute. (Alex)
  • I love you because I think your awesome (Alex)
  • I love you because you are so silly. (Mom)
  • I love you because you can sing Jingle Bells fantabulously! (Evan)
  • I love you because you are so expressive. (Mom)
  • I love you because you help me bake. (Dad)
  • I love you because you always do silly things. (Sarah)
  • I love you because you love to sing “Jingle Bells”. (Mom)
  • I love you because you open me to a whole new world of food. (Evan)
  • Even though you sometimes act like a monster I still (heart) you. (Alex)
  • I love you because you are smart.  Always.  (Dad)
  • I love you because you are my baby.  (Mom)
  • I (heart) you because your you. (Alex)
  • I love you because you’re a big turkey! (Evan)
  • I love you because your silly and you make me laugh! (Sarah)
  • I love you because you help Mom. (Dad)
  • I love you because you’re so cuddly. (Mom)
  • I love you because you guide me to do stuff! (Evan)
  • I love you because you stick the dishcloth in your cup! (Sarah)
  • I (heart) you because your funny and make me laugh. (Alex)
  • I love you because you love to play. (Dad)
  • I love you because you’re my daughter. (Dad)

For Sarah:

  • I (heart) you because you play fun games with me. (Alex)
  • I love you because you give me hugs. (Dad)
  • I love you because you draw great pictures. (Evan)
  • I love you because you’re such a great dancer! (Mom)
  • I love you because you are you. (Dad)
  • I love you because you’re my daughter and we paint our (toe)nails together. (Mom)
  • Even though your bad to me sometimes I still (heart) you. (Alex)
  • I love you because you love me. (Evan)
  • I (heart) you because your very kind. (Alex)
  • I love you because you help me bake. (Dad)
  • I love you because you have a great wardrobe. (Evan)
  • I love you because you are so smart and love to read to me. (Mom)
  • I (heart) you because your an awesome reader. (Alex)
  • I love you because you have a great sense of style. (Mom)
  • I love you because you teach me how to dance. (Evan)
  • I love you because you tell good jokes. (Dad)
  • I love you because you give great hugs and are a fun person. (Mom)
  • I love you because you teach me. (Dad)
  • I (heart) you because your pretty. (Alex)
  • I love you because you’re silly and you make me laugh! (Evan)

For Alex:

  • I love you because you play games with me (Evan)
  • I love you because you help me at Cubs (Dad)
  • I love you because sometimes you get me things that are high. (Sarah)
  • I love you because you wake me up. (Dad)
  • I love you because you are silly. (Sarah)
  • I love you because your a cool brother. (Evan)
  • I love you because you tell corny & funny jokes! (Mom)
  • I love you because your a great roomate! (Evan)
  • I love you because sometimes you help me.  Love, Sarah
  • I love you because you help me. (Sarah)
  • I love you because you help your family. (Dad)
  • I love you because you are so kind. (Mom)
  • I love you because I love. (Sarah)
  • I love you because you are always making me feel so proud and people telly me how special you are! (Mom)
  • I love you because you tell funny stories. (Dad)
  • I love you because you make me cry when I hear you sing! (Mom)
  • I love you because you share a lot. (Evan)
  • I love to watch you sing. (Dad)
  • I love you because you are such a hard worker and I can always count on you to help out!
  • I love you because you are silly and you make me laugh. (Evan)

For Evan:

  • I  love you because you were my first baby. (Mom)
  • I love you because you help me get my bike. (Sarah)
  • I love you because you love me. (Dad)
  • I love you because you are so mature and thoughtful. (Mom)
  • I (heart) you because your you. (Alex)
  • I love you because you play music. (Dad)
  • I (heart) you because your smart. (Alex)
  • I love you because you are adventurous and love travel. (Mom)
  • I love you because you help your family. (Dad)
  • I love you because you help me. (Sarah)
  • I love you because you make good decisions. (Dad)
  • I love you because you help me fix things. (Sarah)
  • I love you because you’re an athlete and I got to see your 1st home-run! (Mom)
  • Even though your mean to me I still (heart) you. (Alex)
  • I love you because you turn on the light. (Sarah)
  • I love to watch you play sports and tell stories. (Dad)
  • I love you because you are really funny! (Mom)
  • I love you because of your looks – false advertising – kidding (Alex)
  • I love you because you are patient. (Dad)
  • I (heart) you because you let me read your books. (Alex)

For Me:

  • I love you because you are smart and are my best friend. (D)
  • I (heart) you because you can keep secrets unlike me. (Alex)
  • I (heart) you because you pack awesome lunches. (Alex)
  • I love you because you set up this whole tradition. (Evan)
  • I love you more and more each day. (D)
  • I love you because you believe in sleeping in! (Evan)
  • I (heart) you because your you. (Alex)
  • I love you because you are patient and do not ask me to leave if I fall asleep. (D)
  • I love you because you take care of us all. (D)
  • I love you because you chose to be a B&B owner so I can meet new people! (Evan)
  • I love you because you are (one hot) great mother to our kids. (D)
  • I love you because you are so beautiful. (D)
  • I love you because you are the best mother. (Sarah)
  • I love you because you don’t mind if I look at your feet when we dance. (D)
  • I love you because you asked “Where’s the pretty baby?” in the OR with me! (Evan)
  • I love you because you help me A LOT! (Evan)
  • I (heart) you because you help me with my homework. (Alex)
  • I love you because you plan awesome trips for all of us. (D)
  • I (heart) you because you come up with grate games. (Alex)

For D’Arcy:

  • I (heart) you because you make grate rinks (Alex)
  • I (heart) because I just do. (Alex)
  • I love you because you drive me to school when I oversleep. (Evan)
  • I love you because you wiggle a lot (Sarah)
  • I love you because you’re usually good natured when I interrupt your stories! (M)
  • I love you because you put together the bunk beds. (Sarah)
  • I love you because you make up great songs! (Evan)
  • I love you because you put your hand on my back when we’re out together. (M)
  • I love you because you practice baseball with me! (Evan)
  • I love you because you hold me. (Sarah)
  • I love you because you’re my best friend.  You support me in so many ways. (M)
  • I love you because you make a really cool skating rink. (Evan)
  • I (heart) you because you make great food. (Alex)
  • I love you because you still make my heart beat faster. (M)
  • I love you because you make super awesome muffins. (Evan)
  • Even though you can’t play because of your stupid thesis I still love you. (Alex)
  • I love you because you get up first and make the coffee, giving me a few more minutes… (M)
  • I love you because I didn’t have enough papers to tell you all the reasons I love you! (M)

It was a wonderful activity and the kids really enjoyed participating.  I found it fun to see each of their personalities come through in the patterns of the various comments.  Many of mine from D’Arcy were inside jokes.  After we had read them all out loud, it was decided that we will all keep them in a safe place and whenever we are feeling sad or lonely, we can read them and remember that our family loves us.

Olivia fell asleep on the couch, just as the Olympic Opening Ceremonies were beginning and Sarah kept tossing and turning in her spot.  Finally, I asked her if she wanted to go upstairs, so she went to bed & right to sleep.  Alex was next to doze off, in the chair.  We were all tired, so I asked Evan if he wanted to go up and watch it from the futon in our room where he could stay if he fell asleep.  We all went upstairs happily and fell asleep with about an hour to go…  Olivia did wake me to take her to the bathroom just in time for me to get back into bed as they were raising the flag, taking the oath and then lighting the Flame.

As proud as I felt, watching the Ceremony, I was extremely disappointed in the pre-ceremony coverage.  We ended up turning the television off twice during the pre-show:  when during the early evening, CTV showed one party in Whistler with girls doing shooters, a bunch of young-adults in a hot-tub, and two guys racing to see how fast they could get undressed!  (We turned it off at that point so don’t know what else they showed! Even Evan commented how inappropriate it was!)  I also was sickened that while reporting the news of the death of the Luge athlete, they played the clip of his run, the crash, and the aftermath over & over.  The kids especially didn’t need that visual and I felt it was disrespectful.

All in all, it was a wonderful night, and one that we (and they) will remember as the kids get older.

Advertisements

Valentine’s Day

February 10, 2010

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

Years ago, when I was in elementary school, my mother made hot milk cake in individual heart-shaped cake molds for my brother & I, topped with cream cheese icing and cinnamon hearts.   This is a tradition I’ve kept up with my own kids, although since Olivia’s food allergy diagnosis a couple of years ago, it’s been individual heart-shaped peanut-treenut-egg-soy-and-dairy-free cake with icing made from palm oil, icing sugar & rice milk.  She is allergic to cinnamon and you can’t find those cinnamon hearts that aren’t packaged in a factory without peanuts & treenuts, so decorations have been Enjoy Life’s peanut-treenut-egg-soy-dairy-free chocolate chips.  (AKA the “golden chocolate chips” because of their cost!)

You do what you have to do.

This year is Olivia’s first since passing her dairy challenge, so I’ll make peanut-treenut-egg-soy-free yogurt cakes in a heart shape, topped with cream cheese icing.  I might even go wild and decorate them with pink & red Smarties, made in a peanut-free factory!

I got an idea from Chris & Gwen’s blog for exchanging Valentines among the family.  They give out five color-coded post-it notes per person.  Each member of the family has to write an array of “I love you because…” messages for their family members on the color-coded notes and they get hidden around the house to find.  I’m totally stealing this idea this year!  (this is a step up from my normal cut-out construction paper hearts with loving sentiments…)

We’ll celebrate Valentine’s Day here on the 15th because the kids will be at my parents’ for a sleepover while we host our annual Chef’s Dinner at the B&B.  One of the things we learned early on when working in the hospitality industry is that you have to make your own holidays!  After all, shouldn’t we appreciate our Valentines each day of the year?!

Getting Organized

February 10, 2010

I have spent the past few days at the computer and boy are my back & shoulders feeling it!  My Inbox was up over 2500 old messages, so I’ve deleted & organized enough that I only have 725 left to go through.  An awful, tedious task – how long did I feel I needed to keep confirmations of those old reservations anyway?

In the meantime, I’m trying to develop a website for my high school reunion.  We’ve finally set up the bank account, a pay-pal account and most of the major pieces are in place.  I’m just trying to figure out how to set up an online registration form and hopefully we’ll be good to start taking registrations later this week.  It sounds like it’s really going to be  a fun event with a wine & cheese, a run, picnic in the park, family swim, reduced golf fees, topped of with a big party!  We’ll be closing out that weekend to regular guests, and we’ve already had friends put in requests for rooms.  I’m starting to get really excited to see everyone again!!

Being involved with the Marketing of the  Bed & Breakfast Association, I’ve been trying to figure out “Twitter”.  I understand and “get it” that it’s a conversation, but am still trying to figure out all the symbols of how it works…  I seem to be finally catching on because it is now taking up much less of my time, and I’ve seen traffic come to both the association’s website & our own website as a result!  This is a new world we’re living in!!

We have our big Valentine’s Dinner coming up this weekend so I’ve got to get the house organized for that.  Each year, Dan (a chef we used to work with), comes in and puts on a 5-course meal.  We’re offering it on two nights this year to spread it out.  Most of the other “date” restaurants in town are closed on Valentine’s Day this year – not really sure what they’re thinking,  but it works out well for us – we booked two more tables yesterday!   The kids are excited to go spend the weekend with their grandparents!

In organizing one of our bookcases, I found the two missing library books!!  Phew!  The “Maisie” valentine’s haven’t turned up yet, despite the fact we have bought and filled out “Dora” replacements.  I was sure that once we bought new ones, they would show up!

Bit by bit, everything is getting caught up.  I wonder if there will ever come a time when everything is caught up  and doesn’t get undone again right away?

Probably not until the kids move out…

Various Matters

February 4, 2010

*I have discovered how to ensure that none of my children will ask for a bite of my sandwich: add pickles.  In fact, by adding enough, they will hold their noses and run away.  (Perhaps if I just carried an open jar of pickles around, I could buy myself some alone-time; wish I’d discovered this one years ago…)

*Still haven’t found the missing Valentines.  Going out and buying another box will guarantee that they are found, but negates the great buy of purchasing them for a dollar weeks ago.

*I fed my family salmon burgers on home-made whole-wheat buns for supper last night.  Olivia took one look and put herself to bed, sleeping until 7:30 this morning.  Must remember that recipe for future cranky days…

*I had a wonderful, fun visit getting caught up with my childhood friend, Carla yesterday.  She was visiting from Ontario with her husband Mark & son Jack.  Neither Carla nor I could remember the last time we’d seen each other (she moved away in Grade nine) but we were as comfortable as if we’d seen each other last week.  It was fun to have an eight-month-old in the house too!  Unfortunately, we didn’t take any photos, but she’s hoping to be here this summer for the Reunion.

*My daughters do a great imitation of Jack Sprat and his wife.  When eating leftover supper for lunch, Olivia had a plate-full of only spare ribs & rice while Sarah would eat only squash & broccoli.

*Still looking for the missing library books…  Sarah asked this morning, “Is there anywhere we haven’t looked yet?”  I don’t think so, but there must be since they have to be in the house somewhere.   I guess we’ll have to renew them to buy ourselves some more time.  When my brother was about this age, one of his library books went missing.  My mother searched and searched all over their house.  (Sound familiar?)  Eventually, it turned up under the crisper in the fridge where he had hidden it; he loved the book so much he didn’t want to return it! (Yes, I’ve checked there too!)

*I’m currently selling cheese (band), blueberries (school) and hanging baskets (choir).  The cheese really sells well, hanging baskets in Nova Scotia in February – not so much!  (They won’t actually be delivered until May.)  Of course there are 588 kids around town selling blueberries, so who’s left to sell them to?!  If you are interested in any of the above, just leave me a comment!

*I kept track of all our grocery receipts last month since we’re trying to be more frugal.  There are some things we’d like to do to the house this year on top of the maintenance we have to do and the money has to come from somewhere!  We spent $1277.63 on groceries, 11.63 eating out (I treated Olivia & Alex to a trip through the McDonald’s drive thru after their appointments at the IWK) and zero on alcohol.  D’Arcy freaked out a bit when I told him that number, but if you work it out, it equates to $6.87 per person per day.  We’ll see how we do this month…

*When we registered Sarah for school last week, we expressed an interest in French Immersion.  Yesterday, we had a call that enrollment for that program was lower than expected, so they have extended the deadline until March 10th.  Back when the boys first went to school, there was a lottery to get your child into a French Immersion class!  How things can change in only a few years!

*The other night, our seats at the supper table all got switched around.  Sarah was sitting in her father’s seat and he was sitting in Alex’s seat.  As a result, he was pretending to be one of the kids and started playing with his carrots, becoming a walrus, unicorn, etc.  The rest of the children joined in, brining much laughter while their mother told them not to play with their food.  Now they ‘re asking to have carrots every night…

*From the sounds of things, D’Arcy’s Thesis will not be defended in time to walk across the stage in May. Bummer. He’s still going to try to have it finished ASAP so that it is no longer hanging over his head. December graduation, here we come…

*We went curling at a fun-spiel on the weekends with our friends. We drew tiles to be assigned teams and I happened to be put on a team with a man who didn’t seem to realize that it was “fun night”. He got after me in the first game because I had my broom in the wrong place when he was delivering the shot. One of the other men on my team told me that no one ever wants to curl with this man because he’s an a**. Later, I was spoken to again, for talking to our friend Janice, who was on the opposing team in that game, as he was delivering his shot. We ended up winning both of our games and at the end of the evening, as he was leaving, this cranky man said to me, “You were pretty good – for someone who doesn’t curl!” Gee thanks! Can we curl together again sometime?? All in all the evening was really fun and it was great to get out on a “date”. I’m hoping that Evan, Alex, D’Arcy & I will be able to make up a team in the family curling event this year!

Back to regularly scheduled life…