Friday, February 18, 2011

My Valentines

Ever since the year that Shaggy bought me valentine chocolate at the dollar store, I have been buying valentine chocolate for the both of us.  I have nothing against the dollar store.  Actually like it, on occasion.  But when it comes to chocolate, they simply do not make the grade.
And since we have so many adorable little valentines, we gave up on trying to go out for a valentine date many years ago.  Instead, we turned the holiday into a family affair.  We have a party, of sorts, which typically involves balloons or other little gifts, and treats.  This year we all decorated our own cupcakes.  We figure that as the kids get older, this will be a positive alternative to feeling glum and lonely when they don't have an exciting date with a special someone.
We always share at least a little bit of our chocolate with at least some of the children.  They usually are having so much fun playing with their cool balloons, they hardly notice when the rest of the chocolate diappears before they remember we have it. 
 Happy Valentine's Day!

Camp or Bust

Ever since K turned 12 last month, she has been really busy zooming around to all the different church youth activities.  Which makes us really busy zooming her.  She also gets to go to girls camp this summer.  Which means fundraisers so she can pay for it.
The young women hosted a nice dinner where they had a dessert auction.  Which was really fun.  Crazy how high the bidding was going for some of those desserts!  K made some fudge and some turtles.  And she helped me make this campmobile cake. 

I declare her an officially licesnsed frosting expert.  She learned how to make drop flowers out of royal icing.  And she made some chocolate sour cream frosting (which is totally delicious on graham crackers, by the way!).  And she made lots of buttercream frosting and mixed up some excellent colors for me.  She learned how to prepare an icing bag.  But the best part is that she earned more than half the money she needs to go to camp!  Camp or bust, indeed!!

Little Miss Personality

I don't know where this girl gets all of her personality.  I suspect it has something to do with having 4 siblings.  But I also think that she was just born to be expressive and comical.  She's funny without trying.  Something I admire because it's a trait I always sort of wished that I could claim.

Her expressions tell more of a story than her words.  I think it would be a travesty if she never gets involved in drama.  I think it might be her calling in life to become a mime.  If I knew of any mime classes in the area, I would totally sign her up.  Even when she was very little, she would pick up on the emotions conveyed in a face, no matter where she saw it.  Things that we never even noticed.  The mad cow on my t-shirt.  The sad baby in a book.  The mean bunny on a television show. 

Then she started playing games with her emotions.  Pretending to be scared, or sad, or grumpy, or happy.  If you just saw her face, you would think that she was truly feeling those things.  I don't think she learned that kind of expressiveness from any of us.  She brought it with her when she was born.

The silly outfits are just icing on the cake.

Above, she's outside pushing her empty stroller around.  She often actively resists having a baby doll or teddy bear put in it.  On the occasions that she does consent to putting something in the stroller other than a jumble of toys, she also usually carries a sword.  To fight the bad guys and save the baby.  Such a noble caretaker.

She has also been giving birth to various little baby dolls and stuffed animals.  They have to be fairly small because they must fit inside her shirt.  When they are born, she insists that I exclaim over their beauty.  Even when she is a mommy kitty giving birth to a pink teddy bear. 

Each month I find myself thinking that I couldn't possibly love her or enjoy her more.  But then next month comes and she says something, does something, pretends to be something--and I feel my appreciation for her unique spirit growing ever greater, my delight in her humor increasing.  I don't deserve her.  But I adore her.

Cry Baby

Up until the last month or two, poor Baby B has had such a tearful little life.  She's spent a larger percentage of her life crying and fussing than any baby we have had.  Poor thing.  I can see why she was so very sad all the time.  Always being held.  Being fed at all hours of the day and night.  Being rocked to sleep.  Having 6 people who totally adore her and try to fulfill her every whim.

That would be rough.

Even the terrrible ordeal of being bundled up so cozily and riding around on outings.  Just terrible.

Being given presents before she's even aware of what presents are.  Dismal.

But happily, her temperament has drastically improved recently.  Even though she still has to endure all the holding and feeding and cleaning and loving and otherwise rough life of a baby.