All fun and games

We have been having a whole lot of fun around here. This weekend the Dude and I dropped off the kids with his grandparents and took our annual trip to Tulsa for Valentine's Day. It was our fourth year to take some time to ourselves to refresh our marriage. It is probably my most anticipated weekend of the entire year, and even though it goes by so fast, this year it definitely held up to all my expectations! We do this little getaway with some friends of ours from home who also have three children, and when we all meet up in Tulsa it is like we're kids again... Freedom! We spent most of our time shopping, a commodity seriously missed in the middle of Kansas. My first stop was a pretty awesome antique warehouse called River City Trading Post. I bought a few things, but really wanted this. It was a little pricey. Maybe if i beg and plead the Dude will make me one. The surprise dinner was The Brasserie, a french restaurant on Brookside.  Both of us girls got the lobster pasta, a good choice I thought until we caught a glimpse of our husbands' plates. I should have gotten the steak.

My friend said she should have gotten the duck. And we all should have gotten dessert. It was fun though. Fun to get dressed up, fun to eat out without mac and cheese on the table, fun to take our time and relax. My best friend from back home {I grew up in a suburb of Tulsa} watched our friends' baby while we went to dinner so we got to catch up for a few minutes before we dashed out for our hot date. It always makes me happy to see her, even if it is only for 30 minutes a year. The weekend wrapped up with a tour of our old stomping grounds and breakfast with my brother and these cuties.

My niece Big L

My niece Little L

By 3 o'clock Saturday we were back with our children and back to life as we know it. Time away is so refreshing and exciting and fun, but I wouldn't trade life as I know it for anything. Thanks so much to The Dude's grandparents for watching the kids every year! You guys are awesome!

Sunday was kind of a blur, I'll post on Preschool Sunday School this week, it was a doosie :). My friend invited the kids and I to a Valentine's party today and I hadn't done anything to prepare. That meant gathering valentines from each of the kids, making boxes for them to bring their valentines home in, and figuring out what food I would bring to the party. Somehow it all came together though, here's what we came up with.

Monkey is really into coloring right now, so we made heart crayons out of our broken crayon collection.

 - take off the paper

- break the crayons into small pieces if  they aren't already

 - get your hands on some metal heart molds

 - spray the molds with non-stick cooking spray

 - place crayons in the molds

 - bake on low heat {I did 257} for 2-5 minutes. Until the crayons are melted.

 - cool and pop out of the molds

Monkey picked all of the color combos and I attached them to some circles cut out of poster board and heart paper. After a few failed attempts at gluing them, I just used clear tape to tape across the top of the crayons securing them to the paper. The message said You color my world!

Bear just wanted to give suckers, so I cut hearts out of colorful cardstock from my stash, punched two holes and fed the sucker stick through the paper. Easy peasy.

Little Dude's name rhymes with "fly" so I made airplane out of smarties, gum, hard lifesaver candies, and rubber bands. Thank you Pinterest!

We made their boxes out of used cereal boxes. I used the corner of the box for the point of a heart and cut it out for them. The edges of the cereal box make this valentine holder pretty roomie, lots of space for treats! The kids and I spent the better part of the morning attaching paper and stickers to pretty them up and I covered all of the edges with red electrical tape for a finished look and to help all the paper stay put.

I brought mini heart-shaped ham and cheese sandwiches, chocolate covered strawberries {Monkey helped!}, and grapes to the lunch party. The kids had fun passing out their valentines, decorating sugar cookies, and having balloon wars. There is no better way to spend a gloomy, cold, Monday morning than in the company of friends!

Monkey and her girlies!

Bear and his boys.

The Little Dude and his drool.

I hope your weekend was fun and refreshing like mine was! Thanks for reading!

Elizabeth Ann