Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More Stories

Gracie got even more stories today as we took Kathy and Emma to story time at the library with us.

Emma really got in to the music and puppets and stories. She was bopping right along. Meanwhile, my shy violet was stuck to me like glue and would put her head down when I would try to get her to do the motions.

We gave Kathy a chance to look around the library and see where things were, and although Gracie and I had just been on Saturday we ended up checking out a few more books.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Snuggly Storytime

I had to share this picture of Mallory reading a bedtime story to Gracie tonight. Colette had insisted on cooking me a birthday dinner, and since I got stuck in Lynchburg for so long, it was postponed until tonight so the whole family came over for dinner.

Colette fixed me fettucinie (sp?) Alfredo with chicken and broccoli and garlic bread sticks. It was heavenly, she is such a fantastic cook (another reason I love when they come over to "play"). And, for desert she fixed my all time favorite cake: red velvet with cream cheese icing!!!

After the scrumptious dinner Gracie was ready to pull out everything in her room and play with our company. We played puppets for a while and she showed off her new stage. Things were going swimmingly until bedtime. Garren and I were so embarrassed as Gracie screamed her head off as Garren got her dressed for bed.

We allowed Gracie to have her bedtime story in the living room read by Mallory, which is a wonderful treat for her. Poor Mallory found the story so funny though she was in tears. But, Gracie was so exhausted she didn't seem to notice! Gracie was so snuggled with Mallory that I thought she would fall asleep right there! I had to snap this picture.

Watch This!

You are going to love this. Gracie reads two stories from a Kindergarten text book.

Old Hat, New Hat By Jan & Stan Berenstain

The Foot Book by Dr. Suess

I know that this is merely memorized right now, but keep in mind that we only purchased this book from a thrift store last week! Memorizing is the first step in beinginning to identify words and evenually read! I am so excited--so don't burst my bubble! :)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Unexpected Snow

Well, we were expecting ice and sleet, so the nearly 10 inches of fluffy snow were very much a surprise this morning.

I would add, that it was a very nice surprise for all of us since we were able to go out and play in it instead of the potential falling hazards and fear of losing power.

We took Gracie out and played for about a half hour, maybe longer, before we were all soaking wet and had to head inside. The snow was still falling and it was drenching all of us.

Gracie and Daddy made a mini-snow man, and then they attempted a sled ride, but it was just too deep. I got in on the fun by making a larger snowman with Gracie while Daddy shoveled out the car (I guess its a guy thing because it isn't like we are going anywhere). When we finished the snowman Gracie seemed bummed that we were done, so we created a snow baby to sit with her snow mommy. Pretty cute if I say so myself.

When we got in, we all warmed up with grilled cheese.

It doesn't look like we will be going back out to play as it is raining outside now and I am sure it is making all of that snow very messy!

PS: Too see more snow pictures click here, plus I updated the February folder to add mini-Valentine's party pictures and a few others, click here to see them.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Mini Party

As promised Gracie got a mini Valentine's party upon our return to Strasburg. There were many things to be opened and read and Gracie loved doing the holiday all over again. Although, I am not sure she really understands the concept of holidays and how they only last for a day. She still sometimes sees snow or something wintry and says "Look mama, Christmas!"

A big thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for sending more fun things for Gracie play with, and to Candice and Elliott & Lucie for the adorable Valentines and stickers.

Gracie also got her Valentine's gifts from mommy and daddy (which I didn't think to grab when we were packing to escape last week's ice storm): a pair of Blue's Clue's slippers and a Dora Valentine book.

I think Gracie had a wonderful time celebrating the holiday of "love" all through this month. I am sure she will be sad to see the treats and cards and presents end. But, her birthday is just around the corner!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Eye Of The Storm

The apartment is a mess as I continue to try and sort out all of the stuff that we brought back from Lynchburg. I don't know why mom and dad insist on sending everything back that isn't nailed down! But, Gracie doesn't seem to be bothered one bit :)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thanks, But No Thanks

Its kind of funny really. I have received more advice in the past 6 months than in all my 9 months of pregnancy. Only this time, its been about one topic: potty training.

Many of you know that Gracie is not only not interested in learning to use the potty, she could care less to sit around... shall we say "wet". I wish I could shout at all of those well meaning 2-cent givers that "Gracie is my child!; she is only 2!; we aren't going to push her!; and what ever worked for little Tommy and Annie may not work for Gracie!" But, I just smile and nod kindly.

My patience is wearing thin.

Gracie will not become the youngest child ever to wear big girl pants, but I am pretty confident she will not walk across the stage at her High School graduation wearing Pampers.

There are hundreds of suggestions that I have been given; some of them good ideas, some of them just weird. But, there is a nearly-common look I get each time: "I can't believe she won't use the potty--there is clearly something wrong with her or you just aren't trying hard enough!"

No, no one has ever said that out loud--yet. But, no one ever seems to remember that dishing out advice while touting about how your now 30 year old son/daughter was potty trained by 2 years old by only reading a simple story, is very hard to take. I am not a bad mother! Gracie is not a slow learner! She does not have medical complications! I try plenty hard!

I am not sure if I am trying to convince myself or all of you. But, I will say this; when Gracie is potty trained, and she will be potty trained someday, I pray that I will keep my mouth shut about how it happened and how long it took. I want to spare any other new mother the embarrassment of feeling that their child is somehow inferior.

Now that I have all of that out in the open, I will say I appreciate many of the caring comments I have gotten and the concern over Gracie and her potty training efforts. We decided not to push her and we won't. But, the fact is: until it bothers her that she is wet or soiled, and I assure you she doesn't, we can go no further with the happy potty.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


...Gracie Shipley!

Is this not the cutest thing! I found this Fisher Price "stage" today at a thrift store. (click picture to enlarge) I didn't go out to go shopping, I had to pick up lunch for Gracie and I while Grandma was on a field trip, and the Goodwill just happened to be close by. I figured since I was feeling a little better we could go in and look around.

I was so excited to find this (for $11!). I cleaned it up and it has proven hours of fun for Gracie as she goes in and out of the curtain. Of course I have to announce her first :) It came with a pretend microphone and I will have to get some batteries to make the stars on top light up.

This was too neat not to share. Now my little performer can become even more professional--you've got to love it!

As for me, I am much better, so I will attempt to drive Gracie and I home tomorrow (Thursday), but please don't any one worry, if I start to get dizzy or sick again I won't even attempt it!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Little Cheerleader

As I promised, I am sharing some more pictures from our extended stay in Lynchburg. I am feeling better today, and I hope Gracie and I can return home soon.

This afternoon Gracie got a little time to spend with Mariah, and boy was she excited. Since I am still not back to 100 percent, mom had to pick her up from school and take her to cheerleading (I told her to make sure she had hand sanitizer!)

Anyway, when she got back here she was ready to practice some of what she had learned for us, and Gracie was loving every minute of it. Gracie jumped and clapped and yelled right along with Mariah. Those two are so funny together. I put a video on here because they were just too cute, but when you watch it-- watch Gracie watching Mariah's feet. She tries so hard to copy her every move.

When cheerleading "camp" was over, it was Gracie's turn to perform so I put on the new ballet outfit she got from Grandma for Valentine's Day and she wowed us with her turns and leaps.

It was quite an evening and we enjoyed several artistic performances!

For more pictures from this week at Grandma's you can click here to see the new folder I have created.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Funny Later? Fat Chance!

My mom says that we will look back on this later and laugh--but, I doubt it.

I apologize to all of my loyal readers for not updating much lately, but I have been down and out. I previously mentioned catching some sort of illness from a small cheerleader last week. It seems the germ and my innate stubbornness have combined to create a very bad case of Strep Throat.

Gracie and I were scheduled to go home on Friday, but I was so weak I was afraid to drive us 3 hours to Strasburg. By Saturday I hadn't slept or eaten in 2 days and the pain was so bad I could do nothing but cry. On Sunday, the pain was so intense that my effort at avoiding the doctor was weakened. Mom watched Gracie while I headed to one of those treatment centers, you know the kind that treat anybody, any illness. Anyway, I was diagnosed with a bad case of Strep. I figured that was what it was on Friday when I looked it up on the internet--but I was determined to wait it out since WebMD said it would go away with or without treatment in 3-7 days. I guess my pain threshold wasn't up to par--because now I am on a 10-day antibiotic and my throat is so bad that I still haven't eaten much and I get little sleep.

The doctor who saw me said it would take 48 hours to feel better, so here's hoping. And while I am starving, lack of food (even ice cream and mashed potato hurts!!!) for going on 5 days couldn't hurt the waistline!

In the meantime, neither mom or Gracie show signs of getting Strep--thank God! So, they are having a good time entertaining one another. I will see what I can do about taking and posting some more pictures soon. But, until then I will focusing all my "powers" on shrinking my inflamed throat!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Great Way To Start 29!

And I meant that sarcastically.

Today I am 29, but more importantly I am sick as a dog!

Apparently one of the mini cheerleaders I met on Tuesday was also a mini-germ carrier. I developed a huge lump in my throat last night and things have only gotten worse. I have chills, a 102 fever, body aches, and the lump in my throat is so painful it hurts to swallow.

But, I digress. Candice, who only recently got over the same thing says that the worst is over in 3 days, but she like others I have heard from had it for 2 weeks!! Yea me!

So far Gracie is fine, but it must be a bad omen to start the last year of my 20's in such misery.

But, my birthday wasn't a total loss; Gracie made me a card (with Grandma's help) and I got a Dairy Queen ice cream cake--my absolute favorite!!! Plus, Garren and Candice both called to wish me Happy Birthday. So, maybe 29 won't be so bad after all, but we'll see how things look in another 2 days ;)

PS: thanks to those of you who called, emailed, and sent cards. It feels very nice to be remembered!

***Grandpa lights the candles, while Gracie very anxiously waits to "eat the cake now!" Brian took the picture, so it's a bit blurry, but still a very sweet gesture for my parents to make such a big deal of my birthday! **

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Mini Party

You don't have to be home to have a party--especially when you've got grandparents who love to spoil you!

Even though mom had already sent Gracie goodies for Valentine's Day (which arrived the morning after we got to Lynchburg), the day did not go un-celebrated.

Tonight, I baked some Valentine's sugar cookies, which Gracie sprinkled; and we had an informal Valentine's party with a few close friends.

In attendance were Lambie, Clifford, Dora, Curious George, Mumble and a slew of other famous stuffies. Grandma, Grandpa and I also attended the quaint celebration.

Gracie, the guest of honor, was showered with gifts (apparently grandma will use all sorts of excuses to buy for her grandchildren) and sugary sweets.

Grandpa had already given Gracie not one, but two Valentine's hearts filled with way too much sugar. One was a Dora box of yogurt covered raisins, the other a chocolate-filled heart that included a stuffed Woodstock. Among the gifts that were opened at the party: a new ballet leotard and skirt, stickers, Backyardigans book, and an Eyeore shirt.

Gracie did have a good time, and she was very surprised to see that I had set up all of her "guests" in the kitchen for the party.

We hope that all of you had a wonderful Valentine's Day as well, and for those of you who sent Gracie Valentine's I promise we will open those and have another mini-celebration when we return to Strasburg. (Even Mommy & Daddy's gifts and cards haven't been given yet!)

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

We hope all of you have a wonderful day filled with lots of love.
What a wonderful time to share plenty of hugs and kisses--so, we are sharing ours with you!

Love today and always, Barbara, Garren & Gracie

Near Miss

UPDATE 2 7:40 p.m. at bottom

The worst is over and it looks like (knock on wood) my lights are going to stay on. Take a look at this map from Dominion Virginia, the biggest utility in the state. Further down the Shenandnaoh Valley, it got a lot worse.

Our utility, Allegheny Power, reported just over 200 customers out.

I haven't ventured out yet, but I intend to in the not too distant future. I'll post some photos.

Looks like we've got about 4" of ice pellets outside. I'll post more once the Senate adjourns and I can go to the office.


Updating took me a bit longer than I thought it would... big day in Virginia politics. Also, it's really, really cold out there. The ice pellets had frozen into a hard pack. Thus it took me 45 minutes to dig out the car from 4" of ice.

Note: any time the snow shovel will stand up on its own, you know the ice is tough.

While I was at work, the temperature fell into the teens and the wind kicked up to about 30 mph. The result is a freakish skating rink. I'm a big guy -- on the far side of 250 lbs -- and I was essentially wearing combat boots. Having lived here for a few years, I know how to walk in the snow. You drive your heel hard into the hard stuff so you can get a grip on the ice.

Tonight, I didn't even leave footprints.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Chilling In Lynchburg

As my overprotective but loving husband has already informed you; Gracie and I are in Lynchburg where it is slightly warmer.

The ice started tonight, and I can't really see much but I don't think it has gotten too bad--yet!

The grandparents are ecstatic to have Gracie here of course, and I have already been able to help out a little. I always feel better about these trips when I can do something to help out.

Anyway, my helpfulness got me my first taste of young cheerleading hopes today. I picked up Mariah from school so mom wouldn't have to go out in to the cold, and then took her to cheerleading practice. That is where I found 50 other little girls grades first through 6th cheering their little hearts out. It was quite humorous and very cute all at the same time. I stuck around for the hour long practice and watched as these small girls cheered and jumped and did other cheerleading things. And, I have realized that Gracie and I will do just fine when we reach this stage in her life. Garren and I have already talked about ballet classes and other such things, and usually frown at the thought of weight disorders, too much competition, snobbery. But, as I saw these girls and their coaches, it just takes a little searching for just the right atmosphere and Gracie can have a great time and have fun too.

Another worry lifted from my abundant shoulders!

***Mariah and her "group" practicing jumps across the gym at today's practice. Mariah is 4th from the right, she of course is the blurred one!**

Valentines Day 13: Sticker Fun

Who doesn't love stickers?!! Gracie loves stickers, and she loves Nick Jr. So, I am including a link to print Valentine stickers of you favorite characters on today's Valentine countdown. All you need is sticker paper, or a little glue stick and you can add them to anything! Have fun!!

Valentine Stickers

Greetings from Ice Station Zero

UPDATE 2: 7:18 p.m. at bottom.

It's quiet in the Shipley house this morning. Snow and freezing rain are falling, and I'm watching the Virginia Senate before heading out to the office.

Why is it quiet here? It's just me and the computer today. Forecasters have been crowing about a winter storm for weeks, and today's the day.

The forecast is bad. Real bad.

The National Weather Service said we'd get about an inch of ice. Two inches of ice were responsible for the great Quebec ice storm of 2004, and that disaster turned most of Canada into a dark wasteland for the better part of a month.

So, just to be on the safe side, Barbara and Gracie skedaddled down to Lynchburg on short notice. The forecast for that area was for about a tenth of an inch of ice, plus Dennis and Jean have natural gas heat and a generator. Not so at la fortaleza norteƱa de Shipley. Garren grew up a child of the TVA, so it's all electric here, all the time. The great storm of March 1993 is still fresh in my memory. Two year olds with no power for a couple of days could be tough.

I spoke with Barbara late Monday, and they had arrived safely, well ahead of the storm. At last check Gracie was having a great time.

Daddy got prepared by pulling out and ironing 5 days of clothes, putting up the wipers on the car, making sure the house was clean, and grabbing enough granola bars, canned fruit, and dry cereal to get me through any power-free periods.

The chains are in the car, along with a spiffy survival kit. All the batteries in the house are charged. I've also put together some back-up Internet connections that can keep me online for about four hours without any power or phone service.

Snow started here last night, and so far the roads are clear. In fact, the FedEx guy just dropped off a package for Barbara from Jean (oh well, weather makes fools of us all). If you've got a fast enough connection, you can see what's going on in the Shenandoah Valley by following this link to traffic cameras.

I'll update as the day progresses, but so far, so good.

**Above, a live feed from WJLA's SuperDoppler 7. Strasburg is about halfway between Winchester and the I-81 shield. **Below, the view from the deck at 11:30 a.m. No, I wasn't at work yet, but during the General Assembly session I work from home until the Senate adjourns for the day.


Safely at the office, although the drive over was a bit tricky. If I were the only one on the road, it wouldn't be a problem. Add in idiot yuppies with SUVs that have never driven a 4x4, and things get dicey. Lots of piled up slush everywhere, plus those nasty little ice pellets falling. It sounds like sitting under an hourglass.

I wasn't concerned about the situation until I heard that the federal government was closing at 2 p.m. Then I got this little note from Governor Kaine's office:

RICHMOND — Governor Timothy M. Kaine today declared a statewide emergency, directing state agencies to take all necessary actions to aid in the response to and recovery from severe winter weather forecast to arrive later today in northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley.

OK. Now I'm a little concerned.


Safely back home after a bit of a white-knuckle ride across town. The roads are coverd with about 3 inches of frozen slush, and the ice pellets keep coming down. As you can see from this photo, things are getting interesting:

t took me a while to carve the ice off the windows before I could get underway. While I was working, I heard the Rescue Squad station next door open up as an emergency shelter. That, as they say, is not good.

Watching the news has been instructive tonight. One of our favorite meteorologists in the newsroom is Doug Hill of WJLA 7 in Washington. Around here, he's known as Doug of Doom because of his penchant for painting a grave picture.

Doug of Doom says tonight that the northern half of the Shenandoah Valley should just prepare to be without power for a while. While he may well be right, I'm putting my hopes in the fact that we have underground utilities and I can see the substation where the major transmission lines terminate from the parking lot. That's not a lot of room for a tree to break the chain. We've lost power due to weather one time -- during Hurricane Isabell in 2003 (I think), and that was for about an hour.

I'm about to bake some muffins for breakfast tomorrow (just in case bad things do happen), then crash for a while. It's been a very long day, regardless of the weather.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Valentine Day 12: Fun Recipe

Valentine Pretzel Rods

  • White chocolate chips
  • Whole pretzel rods
  • Red, white and/or pink sprinkles
  • Wax paper


Melt chocolate according to package directions. Dip pretzel rods in the chocolate and place on the wax paper. After the chocolate has hardened, dip them again and then roll them in the sprinkles. Place them on a new sheet of wax paper to harden.

"Like an avalanche where you have to run for your life." (Roger, 9) 
"If falling in love is anything like learning to spell,
I don't want
to do it. It takes too long to learn." (Leo, 7)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Valentine Day 11

     "No one is sure why it happens, but I heard it has something to do  
with how you smell. That's why perfume and deodorant are so popular." 
(Jan, 9) 

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Valentine's Treat

Thank goodness for Candice! (Well, Grandma too)

Candice called this afternoon to let us know that ABC was running Valentine's specials tonight. Charlie Brown followed by Pooh.

I remember getting to watch these specials when I was a kid, and it was very neat to share that with Gracie. We made it into a full "surprise." I baked cookies and she had hot chocolate while snuggled in the bed with Mommy and Daddy while watching the holiday specials.

What a great evening.

Oh, and I have to share another picture with you. I got this pair of overalls at a thrift store today, and washed them for her to wear this afternoon when we went out. I LOVE them!!!

I also started a February folder on Picasa, so check it out.

Valentine Day 10

     "On the first date, they just tell each other lies,

and that usually gets them interested enough

to go for a second date." (Mike, 10)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Valentine's Tea

Today was an anniversary of sort for Gracie and I. It was our 12th time hosting our monthly tea parties. It all started last year at this time, and now we are having more fun than ever with 2 new families joining in on the fun.

Today's menu included Jello jigglers (red of course) cut in the shape of lips, peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwiches cut in to the shape of cupids, strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese icing, as well as peanuts, raisins and far too much candy.

Each of the girls were instructed to make valentine's for each other before coming to the party, and you could tell just how proud they were of their creations.

I let each girl decorate a white bag to collect their goodies in for the day's craft, and we also had a scavenger hunt, candy contest and each got to take a handmade heart home. The afternoon was definitely filled with plenty to do, and the girls had a great time playing together. Plus, I got the perfect chance to put that candy striped dress on Gracie!!

If you want to see more pictures from today's party you can click here. As for the sandwiches and jigglers, I did use cookie cutters--I'm not that good, yet!

PS: Millie guessed the closest number of candies, and Shyla won the scavenger hunt (the girls had to find as many red things in my apartment as possible, she found 27.)

***I love this picture, but I wish Colette and Millie were in it too. Colette snapped the photo and it is great! L-R: Mallory, Tera, Shyla, Leelou, me holding Gracie, Kathy holding Emma**

Valentine Day 9: Coloring Page

Click and save this Valentine's coloring page and spend sometime coloring with your Valentine!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Gracie Has Mail

I know, I know I can go overboard; most of the time. But, I just couldn't resist making the little mailbox for Gracie.

Each day Gracie gets 2 new Valentine's from her "friends." Today she got one from Mumble and one from Pooh. She was very excited to get their mail.

Each day she checks her mailbox for new Valentine's, plus she can keep all her "old" mail in the box as well. This has become quite a treat for her, although today she asked me where My Little Pony's Valentine was. I have searched for MLP Valentine's but can't find them, I am thinking she will get a homemade Valentine from the pony. I will pick up some stickers when I go to the store!

Valentine Day 8: Fingerplay

Five Big Valentines

Five big valentines from the corner drug store
I mailed one to a friend - then there were four
Four big valentines, lovely ones to see
I mailed one to my Mommy - then there were three
Three big valentines - red, shiny, and new
I mailed one to my Daddy - then there were two
Two big valentines, the best is yet to come
I mailed one to Grandma - Then there was one
One big valentine, the giving is almost done
I mailed it to Grandpa - and now there is none

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Snow Day!

Can you believe it--we actually got the snow they were predicting!

It came down hard last night, and didn't stop. We ended up with about 3 inches I would say, and it was the fun flaky kind of snow, not that heavy wet snow.

I was afraid it would melt quickly, so we got Gracie dressed and suited up and we headed outside. What a fun time--we even pulled out the laundry basket sled for a run.

Gracie had a wonderful time playing, and shoveling, and making snow angels, and sledding. She probably could have stayed out there all day, but it was freezing!!!!

We came in after about 30 minutes and warmed up with hot chocolate.

I posted more pictures on Picasa, click here!

Valentine Day 7: History Lesson

Every February we celebrate Valentines Day by giving flowers, candy and cards to those we love. We do this in honor of Saint Valentine. You may be wondering, "Who is St. Valentine"?

Legend has it that Valentine was a priest who served during third century Rome. There was an Emperor at that time by the name of Claudius II. Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those that were married. With this thought in mind he outlawed marriage for young men in hopes of building a stronger military base. Supposedly, Valentine, decided this decree just wasn't fair and chose to marry young couples secretly. When Emperor Claudius II found out about Valentine's actions he had him put to death.

Another legend has it that Valentine was an imprisoned man who fell in love with his jailor's daughter. Before he was put to death he sent the first 'valentine' himself when he wrote her a letter and signed it 'Your Valentine', words still used on cards today.

Perhaps we'll never know the true identity and story behind the man named St. Valentine, but this much is for sure...February has been the month to celebrate love for a long time, dating clear back to the Middle Ages. In fact, Valentines ranks second only to Christmas in number of greeting cards sent.

Another valentine gentleman you may be wondering about is Cupid (Latin cupido, "desire"). In Roman mythology Cupid is the son of Venus, goddess of love. His counterpart in Greek mythology is Eros, god of love. Cupid is often said to be a mischievous boy who goes around wounding both gods and humans with his arrows, causing them to fall in love.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

List Of Love

Gracie and I started a neat Valentine's themed project tonight, as she and I thought of all the people and things that she loved.

It is so important to teach our children about love and caring. Valentine's Day is such a neat opportunity to do just that. If you look closely at Gracie's list you will see non-people, but I think at this age its okay to "love" things and stuffies. She is showing a remarkable ability to care and show affection and I am not going to crush that by limiting what she can label as "loved."

I am quite proud of my design and I think it came out so cute. Gracie had fun helping me put the poster together, and then thinking of all the things she cared about. Some of the things on the list she blurted out (Grandpa, Lucie, Lambie, Clifford, etc), other she jumped in agreement when I mentioned them (Angelina, Ice cream, playdough). The more we talked about the people and things she loved, the more ideas she had.

There is still plenty of space to be filled, and I look forward to adding on as the month goes on!

(You can click on the picture to see it larger)

Valentine Day 6:Make A Craft

Make this adorable puppy from all hearts for someone you love, or make it with your child! (We are going to make them this Friday at our Valentine's Tea Party!

Click here for instructions and supply list.

"It's better for girls to be single, but not for boys. Boys need  
     somebody to clean up after them." (Lynette, 9) 

Monday, February 05, 2007

Valentine Day 5: Share A Story

Find one of these books at your local library and share a story of love!

Baby & Preschool

Barney's Happy Valentines' Day
by Gus davis, June Valentine-Ruppe, Illustrated by June Valentine, Juan Ruppe
Follow Barney as he wishes all his friends Baby Bop, BJ and more a happy Valentine's Day. All your favorite characters from the Barney TV show.

Guess How Much I Love You
by Sam McBratney, Illustrated by Anita Jeram
A father and son hare tell each other how much they love each other... all the way to the moon...

Valentine Mice!
by Bethany Roberts
In a bouncy, rhymed text, four adorable mice deliver valentines to woodland animals. The littlest mouse gets lost in the snow, but all ends well with a cozy valentine hug.

Ages 4-8

Arthur's Valentine
by Marc Brown
Arthur's wrong guess about the identity of the secret admirer sending him valentine messages leads to teasing by the other children, but clues in additional messages allow him to get his due.

Clifford's First Valentine's Day
by Norman Bridwell
Emily Elizabeth remembers Clifford's first Valentine's Day.

Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine
by Weinman Marjorie Sharmat
Nate the Great hates mushy stuff. But then there's a valentine taped onto his dog's doghouse . Who has left his dog a secret valentine? It's a mystery until Nate finds out his friend Annie is missing a valentine.... so is the mushy stuff over?

One Very Best Valentine's Day
by Joan Blos, illustrated by Emily McGully
Barbara's favorite heart bracelet breaks and she knows just what to do with the heart beads.

Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink

by Diane de Groat
My kids love this one about Gilbert, who writes Valentines poems to his classmates, but just can't write anything nice to two classmates. They find out and everyone learns a good lesson. Cute and funny. I've read it to K thru 4 children.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Valentine Day 3

"You should never kiss a girl unless you have enough bucks to buy her 
     a big ring and her own VCR, 'cause she'll want to have videos of the 
     wedding." (Jim,10) 

Friday, February 02, 2007

Valentine Day 2

"Once I'm done with kindergarten, I'm going to find me a wife."  
     (Tommy, 5) 

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Month Of Love

I love, love, love February! Valentine's Day is my absolute favorite day of the year, and I am looking forward to doing lots of fun stuff with Gracie. And, I spreading the Valentine's fever with you.

I plan to update the blog everyday with something Valentine's insipired for the nxt 14 days. Maybe it will inspire you, or give you something fun to do with your kids, or maybe it will make you smile--either way I have accomplished sending my love to you!

Look for the days Valentine in red!

Valentine's Countdown Day 1:

Kids' advice on Love


"Eighty-four. Because at that age, you don't have to work anymore, and
you can spend all your time loving each other in your bedroom." (Judy,

Little Drummer Girl

Another cute one for the Grandparents! Not only is it cute, but listen to the rhythm she makes. I am sure that's a sign of a musical prodigy ;)