A PLACE TO COOK, CRAFT, CREATE, REMAKE AND PLAN SOME FUN PARTIES FOR MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentines Decorating Fun

I've been remembering family fun times I've had over the years, as I dragged out all of the Valentines pink bins a few days ago. I have the old house all decked out  for the big day. It is always fun for me to get out the pink bins of February and get reaquainted with my sweet hearts and cupids and roses and pink junk. And I think about times we've shared as a family, and all the love I have in my heart for all of the people in my life. And I think of how lucky I am. cookie butter 005 Remembering Family Fun Times; One of my many happy places spent with my kiddos caught in pictures. Here is little Danny, tubing in the mountains of California, probably near Big Bear.

Here in Utah in the dead of winter we usually need a little perk this time of year. Surprisingly though, this winter has been so mild and beautiful. I got on the freeway today at 8:00 in the morning and the sun was shining so brightly I couldn't even believe it was February. It is like spring weather here, and I am LOVING IT! I love you, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.
I love you, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.

I found a few fun Valentines things to get my little grandkids, who live all over the place.  I have 6 of them now. And I went to the post office to send my Chicago peeps some little doo dads. I just HAD to get my son Devin these little Simpsons characters I found at the dollar store. He was such a funny Simpsons nut when he was in middle school. He could repeat literal lines of some of the shows, word for word. He had a Simpsons book we got him one Christmas or birthday. And he pored over that thing for months!!  So cute. He'll get a chuckle. The Simpsons were a lot of fun to watch back in the day.
The Simpsons were a lot of fun to watch back in the day.IMG_9612
Remembering Family Fun Times; making Valentines sugar cookies is always a favorite of mine.

I love making Valentines Sugar Cookies with my family AND my classroom kiddos.
I love making Valentines Sugar Cookies with my family.[/caption] I got my little granddaughters Disney Princess and Minnie Mouse pencil sharpeners. I know they all love those in school cuz I see kids with them in my classroom. The teachers hate them because they open unexpectedly and the shavings all land on the floor. But I know the kids LOVE sharpening their own pencils at their desks.
So too bad, teachers! haha. minnie mouse Minnie Mouse and Disney Princess Pencil Sharpeners for my 4, 6, and 7 year old granddaughters.

 I have so many memories of fun times with all of my children through the years. In my mind's eye I can see them all laying on our giant trampoline (before trampolines were popular we had one, the only one in our neighborhood in fact). I had sent away for it from San Francisco, some trampoline company. We had so much fun on that thing. The boys would put the hose on it in the summer and a swimming pool under it and jump really hard so they landed down in the pool, and the hose would splash all over them as they jumped, letting go a spray of cool water all over anybody nearby. I have a picture of our whole family lying in a circle of heads in the middle of that trampoline. I think about how much fun we had on that thing for years.

  Valentines Day table and buffet decorations.
Remembering Family Fun Times this Valentines Day.

I've got my table and buffet decorations all up.  I remember taking them so many times to a place called Mother's Beach near Seal Beach, California. There was a playground at the top of the beach, and there was, well, a beach with waves and water that was safe inside a kind of manmade little jetty. The kids LOVED that beach, and we spent many happy hours there eating our picnics in the afternoons after school or in the summertime. I'd bring a stack of magazines to read lazily in the sun. And every 15 minutes or so I'd have to chase down the beach to collect my 2 year old, who had a tendency to run away in a crowd. It was fun. And I have happy memories of going to the beach with my kids.
Buffet Decorations for Valentines Day. Remembering Family Fun Times.....Here's Buffet Decorations for Valentines Day.

 Sometimes we'd go to Bolsa Chica beach and make a fire in one of the firepits at dinnertime with friends. We'd roast corn in a big pot and cut up a watermelon and do hot dogs on a stick. Fun times at the beach. Newport Dunes was one nice place we did the dreaded camping. You can see from the picture below, that I probably liked this place better than a rustic woods. But I still remember my baby, at the time, cried all night long and we were whispering feverishly trying new ideas to try to keep him quiet. We were with a group of neighbors and friends we didn't want to keep awake. But I still remember all the kids having a blast, sleep or no sleep. Kids are like that. Newport Dunes private manmade beach. We camped there I think 3 times over the years. A super fun resort! Remembering Family Fun Times. Newport Dunes private manmade beach. We camped there I think 3 times over the years. A super fun resort!

 I remember going camping at Yellowstone and at Newport Dunes and the Redwoods and even in Utah. I absolutely hated camping. I still do to this day. But the kids always loved it. And my hubs was such a great camper. He always made everything fun. And he would do all the work. I have never put a tent up by myself in all these years. I AM a bad camper. I admit that. :D Hiking and Touring a few summers ago seeing lizards, mountain goats and various flora and fauna.
Hiking and Touring a few summers ago seeing lizards, mountain goats and various flora and fauna.

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Marisa and Meg finding a squirrel or a chipmunk or something foresty.

 I describe my worst camping experience at Yosemite. We ended up in a 12 x 12  "parking lot"  campground on Memorial Day with campfire smoke EVERYWHERE so you couldn't even breath, and lots of beer drinking campers surrounding us, and my 4 kids covered in mud running and riding their bikes around with our friends who had 7 kids. That was Yosemite. All I remember from that trip were yellowjackets everywhere and trying to keep my baby clean who just wanted to crawl around and get dirty. And all the people everywhere you turn. Yuck.
Yosemite and the Redwoods and Sequoia, we went to all of these, and I didn't love camping at any of them! lol. But the kids did.
Yosemite and the Redwoods and Sequoia, we went to all of these, and I didn't love camping at any of them! lol. But the kids did.

 I'm thinking of the fun trips we went on where I actually had a blast. Probably everybody's favorite was Hawaii. I'd beg, borrow and steal money to do that again with my family. We had 2 teenagers when we went and 1 middle schooler and 1 in elementary.Hawaii with the family was probably everybody's favorite vacation spot. It was relaxing to me too. I loved it. But not as much as the hubs. He still talks about surfing Hawaii someday. Remembering Family Fun Times; Hawaii with the family was probably everybody's favorite vacation spot. It was relaxing to me too. I loved it. But not as much as the hubs. He still talks about surfing Hawaii someday.Dole
The Dole Pineapple Plantation maze and tasting the  Dole Pineapple Whips. Yum. That was a lot of fun.

The plane flight was fun too I remember the boys watching the in flight movie thinking it was cool.[/caption] We had a great time seeing all the sights like the Polynesian Cultural Center, the Dole plantation where we went in the maze and had pineapple whips. And then the blowhole on Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor, and eating crab and lobster for dinner. But the best part for me was everybody buying surf shirts and pooka shell necklaces at a little seaside tourist shop on the beach. That was a fun memory. Pearl Harbor tour and the U.S.S. memorial there.
Pearl Harbor tour and the U.S.S. memorial there.

 Another fun trip we had was going to see Niagara Falls in New York, and going to the Mormon Pageant and seeing Donny Osmond acting as Samuel the Lamanite. After the spectacular outdoor show he was signing pictures of Jesus with his autograph. My middle schooler asked why he was doing that. We all just laughed. Why was he doing that? It was really funny. We drove down the east coast stopping in Philadelphia to see American history sights there. Then on to New York City to see the Statue of Liberty and the Twin Towers (before September 11th happened) and some museums, and the Empire State Building of course. Maids of the Mist at Niagara Falls getting sprayed and screaming at the top of our lungs is one of my all time family favorite moments, though.
Maids of the Mist boat tour on Niagara Falls. Everybody wears a rain poncho because you get soaked with water coming at you on 3 sides.
Remembering Family Fun Times. Maids of the Mist boat tour on Niagara Falls.

Everybody wears a rain poncho because you get soaked with water coming at you on 3 sides.[/caption] On that same trip we then down to Washington D.C. and saw the Smithsonian and all the sights there, including the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. The kids all went into the gift shops and got little momentos. I still have giant silver and copper coins I got for use in my classroom. We still have metal Statues of Liberty we got from New York, and Liberty Bell bronze pencil sharpeners, and little mini canons we got in Philly after we watched a historical reenactment in Philly. They are still hanging around here somewhere.

Statue of Liberty trinket. Statue of Liberty trinket.

Being there was a lot of fun. I'd go back anytime.Gallery Wall with glittery red hearts and greenery in the cones.
Gallery Wall of fun memories , and with glittery red hearts and greenery in the cones.

When it is a holiday or a Super Bowl or New Year's Eve, we get invited to parties by good friends we have. But the funny thing is, I always just want to hang out with my kids. We joke about going on their vacations with them, like tag-a-longs, Like Everybody Loves Raymond, buying the house next door to them. haha. Wouldn't that be SO FUN! not really. I know what you are thinking. Ball of Roses hanging on the great room door for Valentines Day.
Ball of Roses hanging on the great room door for Valentines Day.

 We never know if they are serious when they invite us on their vacations. We've been invited to Disneyland from each one of  our kids. But we've never gone.....yet. John imitates us going along on the cruise with my daughter's family and her husband's brother's family, when they invited us. He uses his geek, nasaly voice and says "Hi guys! Here we ARE! Your sister-in-laws PAAAAREEEENTS!!" We both just chortle and roll our eyes. How bad would THAT be? But I would love to tag-a-long secretly. And someday I actually will. geek that I am.....

Kitchen Buffet covered in Valentines junk. I love it in there!
Kitchen Buffet covered in Valentines junk.

One time recently I dragged them all along with me on my trip to Lake Powell for the first time. All my kids had been there. And my hubs had gone multiple times with the boy scouts. I wanted to go. So we went to Zions and Lake Powell and I bought tickets for everybody to go see Aladdin at Tuacahn Outdoor theater in St. George. We had a really fun time seeing and hiking to Rainbow bridge, going to the Dam tour, and eating out every night. I would do that again, anytime. Someday, maybe in a houseboat. But for now, it was fun to stay in a hotel and swim in the pool.

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Cliff jumping and swimming at Powell. We found our own little private pool.
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Remembering Family Fun Times; Rainbow Bridge hike was fun too. Hot, but fun

.Lake Powell 057 Jeff and Josie at Zions.

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Touring through Zions National Park.

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The whole family. Remembering family fun times this Valentines Day.
Devin and Caitlin at Zions.
Devin and Caitlin at Zions.

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Boating on Lake Powell.

 Lake Powell was probably one of my most recent favorite vacations spots I have loved going. It is a magnificent place full of beauty that just mesmerizes you. And going through Zions National Park on the way to Lake Powell is the way to go. You get two great places in one easy trip. I want to go again soon. This summer Tuacahn has Beauty and the Beast playing. The girls would love it.

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Tuacahn Outdoor Theater in St. George to see Aladdin.

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Tuacahn's Aladdin with real live camels was one of Tuacahn's  best shows ever.

Anyhoo, as I think of all the people and places I've loved this Valentines Day, the kiddos and the grandkids, my hubs and 4 kids, fill my heart with love and happy memories.

I wish them all the happiest of Valentines Days!  In My Life....I Love You More..I remember dancing to this Beatles song at my son's wedding. sniff.

In my life, I love you MORE.

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