Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bring on the Hearts!

Yep, it's February all right. Time to break out all the cutesy crafts and baking. While I'm not gaga over the actual holiday, I do love all the ideas it generates. Below are some cupcakes we made to take to the teachers at the school I previously taught at. They were from the cover of the February edition of Better Homes and Gardens and the recipe can be found on their website. It is chocolate with cinnamon. The cinnamon lends an air of subtlety to the cake and makes one think about the color pale red when one bites into it.
On to the crafts. We tackled cute little Valentine Heart Men. This is a project that my good friend Mrs. Williams did with her class every year. I always enjoyed looking at the Heart Men hanging in her classroom window as I walked to my own classroom. First, cut out large hearts for the body of the man. I used all pink, red, white and purple. You could use any colors you want. You'll want to do the prep-work before sitting down with little munchkins. If you have a heart punch or die-cutter, you can use it for the hearts. Otherwise, start folding paper in half and cutting out hearts for an hour or so(it doesn't really take that long). You'll need large hearts for bodies and various smaller hearts for hands, feet, eyes, mouth, nose, etc. This is a great symmetry lesson for older kids. In addition to hearts, you will need four strips of paper for each heart project. These are for arms and legs. Accordion fold the strips of paper.
Now that you're prepped, begin. Glue the arm and leg strips to the heart body. Glue sticks are the easiest method, but we were out--so we went the messy route. Ezra loved it! Add hearts to the ends of the arm and leg sticks for hands and feet.

Then add the facial features. I drew mouths on the kids' heart men. For my man, I used a bunch of hearts in the shape of a smile. Make sure to save scraps and cut out eye brows and eye lashes if you so wish. Or, add them on with crayons.
Here is Caroline's little man.
And below is Ezra's finished product. I love the upside down and sideways hearts bearing witness to his independence with crafting.

Working. And cheesing.

Let the kids play with leftover paper, hearts and glue. You never know what they'll come up with.

The finished masterpiece.
We first had planned to add the arms and legs with brads so that they would be movable. However, I didn't get to Michael's in time. Use whichever you have on hand. These festive little guys are adorning our fridge now.

Yesterday we had story time in the morning and 18 month and 3 year check-ups for the kids in the afternoon. We linked the two together with a trip to Michael's for more Valentine craft supplies and then a picnic lunch at the park. The weather the past week has been quite warm and sunny. Notice in the park pictures--no jackets! We visited a park we've only been to one time before. Always fun to be on new turf. Here's a little taste of playtime after lunch.

Racing cars around the track.

The below pictures crack me up. Ezra is holding out his hands to Caroline to say "Come down the slide, I will catch you." Mind you, this slide is really, really slippery and fast. And the bottom is a good two feet off the ground.
Oops, missed ya. Every time she'd go shooting off the end and land with a thump on the bark below. She's well padded and loved it.

A spider in his red web.

Going down and up the slide.

The kids love this giant swing. Ezra went so high he kicked a hole in the clouds for the sunshine to burst through. That reminds me. On Tuesday, the kids played out back for an hour before lunch. When I convinced them to come in and eat, Ezra kicked off his shoes and exclaimed "It's a gorgeous day!"

Our check ups went well. Both kids are healthy. They weigh a combined total of 66.8 pounds. I won't tell you how that is split : ) I will tell you that Caroline is no longer off the charts with her weight...but Ezra is. Ugh. My back cries just thinking about it. The doctor asked me if Ezra uses his imagination much. Oh boy. Did I have a story for him. Scorning the typical "imaginary friend", Ezra has an imaginary wife. Yep, you read correctly. He's had her for a week now. Her name is always the same--Ho Ho Ha (sounds suspiciously like "Ha-Ha George", his Curious George stuffed animal). And Ho Ho Ha is always lost. The man cannot keep track of his imaginary wife. He's always asking me where she is. And he's got Caroline involved. She walks around saying "Ho-Ha? Gone?" I hate to be a bad mother-in-law already, but I must admit that I'm a little sick of her. While we're on the topic of Ezra and his silliness, I have to share that yesterday when Caroline dropped some of her breakfast on the floor, Ezra threw his head back for a hearty laugh and then took a deep breath and said "That's ridiculous!" I've noticed him sprinkling what word in a little more often the past few days. Also, after the doc had been in the room with us for about five minutes he commented that he really loves having a drama queen for a daughter and we'll enjoy it too. Grrreeeaaat.

This final picture is Caroline hanging out this morning while Ezra played soccer in his sports class. Caroline was playing with another little boy only a month older than her. I don't want to post his picture as I don't have his mother's permission. But, boy was it cute to see them running around playing together.
Stay tuned, I'm sure we'll be spreading a lot more love in the next week before the 14th arrives!


Megan Miller said...

Enjoyed chatting this morning! L made those heart peoplr in class cute.

Erlandson Family said...

that imaginary wife bit got a chortle out of me.. ha ha ha ha ha ha... i yelled the story into the next room for my husband. he laughed too. very funny.. jakob and hope are playing together now and it's soo much fun to see them interact.. thanks for the story..

grammanita said...

Thanks for the heart man idea. Ella & Teddy are coming tomorrow for the afternoon. They will love making those. WOW you are having great weather. We still have snow, I told you you'd have flowers before our snow is gone.

NaomiG said...

Haha. I love E's wife--so cute! He's gonna hate it when you remind him of that when he's like 13. Hee hee! Kiki has an imaginary daughter, who basically does all the things kiki's not allowed to do. She lives vicariously through her daughter. You made me feel very guilty... we told our kids the park was closed for the winter, (yes, we're terrible parents, I know) so we haven't been in a while. :-I Perhaps I'll have to take them tomorrow. Sigh. Those hearts are way cute!

gourmetgirl said...

Still laughing about Ezra's imaginary wife...the house residents here had a good chuckle over that one! :)