Friday, February 15, 2008

My Summer Vacation St. Valentine's Day

We started the day with a treasure hunt, since my kids love them so much. At each place setting was what you can see in the picture to the left - a tiny card ("To ______ Love ?") and a little slip of paper ("If you want to find your Valentine's treat, you must _______") with a tiny chocolate heart weighing it down. Each slip of paper directed the reader to perform a task, which would lead to yet another task. For example, Max had to get hay for his pig from guinea, which then led him to get the newspaper, and so on.

The tiny cards I got off the superlative Toymaker site. I adore this site. She has some of the most gorgeous and lustrous art work I've ever seen, and it's all so darn enchanting.

You can find all kinds of stuff to download and print out and make: fairy-tale peephole boxes, math shape puzzles, working puppets, 3D cars and planes and bags like this one I made for FDPG.

I printed these trucks out for the boys, then filled them with candy hearts that have sayings like "I'll Wait" or "My Sweet" or "Be Mine" on them.

This was what awaited them at the end of their newspaper getting, waterbowl filling, pet feeding, kettle filling treasure hunt.

The chores managed to get done at the same time, too...

Then it was off to the races kitchen, for some baking. We made cupcakes with pretzels butterflies on them. Can you even tell in all that cacophanous colour? Allow me to describe them: a plain vanilla cupcake, iced and dipped in sprinkles, with a couple of pretzels pushed into the icing. To cap it off you get your handy dandy icing bag and squeeze out a few blobs for the body, a large blob for the head, and then, if you're feeling particularly pedantic, a couple of mini M & Ms for eyes and some spaghetti for antennae.

But wait! There's more!

The kids were at gymnastics that morning, and I was racing frantically through a grocery store at the same time, when I came upon some reddish dipping wafers in the bulk foods section. Normally my "I am an Unrepentant Chocolate Snob" side wouldn't dream of buying such a thing, but I knew my kids would shriek if they saw red chocolates by their plates at dinner, so I bought enough to dip a few truffles in.

I had some leftover Christmas truffle centers in the freezer, which made it an even easier (but impressive) idea. I tell you, if I was organized enough I would make sure I had truffle centers in the freezer all the time because it's a cinch to dip them, but then I'd have to out myself as a Really Organized Hostess and in my heart I know I'm not. I have Good Intentions, but that's about it.

But I digress.

So here are the truffles. The leftover centers I had in the freezer were coconut, scotch, cayenne, and candy cane, so that's what they got. Well, Richard and I got the cayenne ones because they were incredibly hot (but delicious in their milk chocolate coating), and we tried to wrest the scotch ones from the kids, but since I'd dipped them in the leftover bittersweet Scharffenberger it was a heroic struggle for us to get even one.


Kate said...

Wow - you were really into the holiday spirit! The kids must of been thrilled (and bouncing off the walls?)


Hi Sheila, thanks for visiting my blog, sorry it has taken me a month to acknowledge the fact but I have been out of the country, infact where the lovely Vegemite originated from! Your household sounds like good fun on Valentines Day and I really like the website for the paper toys. Your ideas on the butterfly cakes are great, I wouldn't have ever thought of using pretzels for wings but they really do work. The chocolates don't look so bad either. I will be keeping an eye on your blog from now on, thanks again for your comment on Marmite! Louise x

Becky at Farm School said...

What a collection of centers -- love the idea of scotch and cayenne, and having to wrestle the kids for the scotch ones!

You're a good mum, and definitely a Really Organized one.

The Toymaker site makes me wish I wasn't such a cheapskate at heart and had sprung for a new color printer rather than our very practical, very inexpensive b/w one. I was eyeing that truck myself, sigh...

sheila said...

Thanks, Becky. I was reading La Donna Mobile a couple of weeks ago, and she had this lovely lovely post about remembering one's childhood. It really resonated with me. I hope my kids remember their childhoods with great fondness.

We got a colour printer when we got our Emac a while back, and I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven. It was so incredible to print off colour cards and see it look just like I'd seen it on the internet. (I know, I sound way too easily impressed, don't I)

sheila said...


You rogue! Yes, I'm afraid that FDPG melted down a bit at gym class. Dominic did the sprints before her and HOW UNFAIR WAS THAT??? I did a lot of internal eye-rolling and some external back patting and, when it came down to the wire, a little threatening to pull gym class forever if "we" didn't pull ourselves together and "gee isn't it interesting how sugar affects us?"

But that's FDPG for you; the boys ate sensibly and tasted mere bits of the sweets while FDPG's ideal diet IS only sweets. Sigh.