Sunday, February 24, 2008

Valentine Fun

We have had a ball this month with Valentine parties! It's funny; people assume that homeschoolers miss out on activities like this and actually pity them for being deprived of social opportunities. On the contrary, we have way more (and better) opportunities to party!

I remember the obligatory Valentine parties we had in elementary school. We did the shoebox thing with Valentines, ate a ton of junk food, and if we were lucky, we got to do a word search or have a contest to see who could make the most words using the letters in "Happy Valentine's Day." Yippee.

Drama Queen and Pete each went through 3 boxes of Valentine cards to have enough for all their friends and parties this year. First we went to a Valentine's party for homeschoolers at the local skating rink. They participated in a Valentine box contest, and Pete won first place for his age group! I thought Drama Queen would have a great chance, but she didn't even place. I think it's good for her, though, because I feel it's important to learn how to handle not being the winner. It also was so good for Pete to be successful at something because while Drama Queen was skating and laughing with her friends, he was really struggling, falling down over and over while his friends and his two-year-old sister whizzed past him. (More on that in a minute.)

Here's Pete's winning treasure chest Valentine box:

Here is Drama Queen's refrigerator Valentine box:

Pete spent most of the morning in this position, but seemed to take it in stride.

Drama Queen is a party girl!

Here's Screech, our future roller derby star!

Soon after we got started, I wished I had left Screech with a sitter. I strapped on the smallest skates they had, which were several sizes too big. The attendant was unable to lock the wheels. I tried to hold her between my legs and glide with her, and she screamed the entire time. My back was aching and my feet cramping from being in this position, so I was relieved to have to let go for a moment to help Pete. Immediately, the screaming stopped and Screech took off! It was kind of a half-roll, half-walk, but she was skating by herself! What was amazing to me is that I could count on one hand the number of times she fell. She could even step down onto the rink from the carpeted ledge without falling! It was really cute the way she tried to skate backwards and do spins like the other kids.

We also had a Valentine party with the homeschool group in our county. That was a blast! We played, "Honey, Do You Love Me?" (a FUN, hilarious game!), Cupid, Heart Transplant, Hopping Heart Race, and many other fun games. We had a potluck meal with a lot of yummy treats, including these cupcakes that the kids had fun decorating:

I also created a recipe for a snack mix that turned out really tasty as well as festive. Here's the recipe:

Valentine Snack Mix
1 box Kashi Heart to Heart cereal
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
6 oz. white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups M&M's candies (Valentine colors, if available)
1 1/2 cups peanuts or almonds (optional)

Mix together. Store in an airtight container.

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