Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Valentine's Day

Ben had his first "school" Valentine's Day party last Friday and here it is, already Wednesday, so I thought I better post about it now before it becomes ancient history.  It is hard to believe we are already doing this stuff since I don't remember doing any of it until elementary school and Ben is only three.  It's all fun though, I guess.  He picked out Paw Patrol valentine cards and even signed his own name on them and he (we/Justin) made him a fun box to hold the cards from his classmates. 

The Valentine box project was always something I looked forward to in elementary school.  It is still a popular activity from what I gather from social media and it seems like many classes now have the kids make the box at home.  We always made it at school and all we had to bring was a box from home.  I often remember having this kind of box:

If any of you know my dad in person you know that he is healthier now at age 58 than he was in his 30's and 40's and in those years he enjoyed consuming lots of these bags of potato chips which came in boxes with two bags in each box.  Thinking back to when I was in elementary school I realize he was approximately 35/36 when I was in 4th grade so he wasn't much older than I am now.  Holy H3LL let's not think about that too hard...anyway I probably used an Old Dutch box more than once for my Valentine box because they were always on hand.  My most memorable was a radio with heart shaped speakers and the slot for the cards was the tape player. 

How it happened was the hour of decorating, usually in the afternoon when everyone was getting antsy, would arrive and the teacher would wheel this thing into the room. 

A big rolling cart of colored paper was always trolling around the hall of the elementary school.  We were constantly ripping paper off that thing for projects and posters which were usually about saying no to drugs or not smoking or supporting the school sports teams since the school was K-12.  Toast the Tommies!  Crush the Cougars! Flyers Rule Valiants Drool!  I recall making an "ocean" to hang from the rafters outside our room and one of my classmates made a huge stingray that was two rolls wide.  Sometimes the high school cheerleaders would make some sort of gigantic poster for the football or basketball team (never the volleyball team for some reason...haha) to rip through when they came running out of the locker room for a tournament game or a game vs. a big rival.  If I were a big buzzkill I would say "what a waste" but I am not so I will say that it was all in good fun!  Someone must have been refilling those rolls on a weekly basis.  For the Valentine boxes we could take a tear from the rolls and then choose from piles of doilies, glitter and smaller construction paper.  No one ever took pictures and after making the arduous journey home on the bus, being dragged along with snowpants, a backpack and sometimes piano books or an instrument case the boxes were probably not in very good shape by the time my mom had a chance to see them (although she did volunteer to help with the parties sometimes) so there is not proof that these parties even happened but indeed they did.  It was a world so different from the social media oriented world we live in now!

I had some ideas for Ben's box when I read in his teacher's email that the kids should bring a box or a bag that COULD be decorated (we all know what that means) but between the pink eye fiasco and trying to pack for a weekend away from home I found myself running out of time as the week went on and was ready to just wrap a box in white paper and let Ben color it and cover it with stickers.  Fortunately, Justin came through and assembled this box for him...

A lego! Actually, it really would be considered a duplo since duplos have open connectors and legos have closed ones.  It seems kind of outlandish to do all this for a preschooler but hey, you can't expect a three year old to make a box without help and we made sure he wrote his own name and also signed his own cards.  BENA (Ben A.) had a wonderful time at his party and was happy with the Valentines he received from his friends. 

He wasted no time ripping open all the candy and dumping it all over the table and eating it right before lunch.  Oh well, the big candy holidays only happen a few times a year!
At the last minute (Thursday) I decided I wanted to take some Valentine-ish pictures of the kids to send out to the family.  My first idea was to hang a white blanket from the TV stand but I thought it looked kind of off...too wrinkled and almost too bright...

Yeah...that blanket wasn't rumpled up on a bed or I took it down and just let the TV stand be the background.

And of course, the always useful red chairs made an appearance.

Milo wasn't very happy about this at first but I got a few nice pictures of him so I could send them off to Walmart.

How are babies so cute?  I put together some cards to send and then proceeded to forget to mail them until Monday which was President's Day so if you are my grandma (JK, they don't have computers!) or my siblings you probably still don't have your valentines.  Justin's side of the family received theirs in person because we got together last weekend to celebrate the birthdays of Ben and his cousin who has his birthday on February 15th.  I remember originally thinking Ben would be born around that day too...hahahaha.  I was way off.  He got to go ice fishing with Justin and play outside with his cousins.  I thought maybe I would check out ice fishing because after all these years with Justin I've never been...but my streak continues. 

They really were excited...
Here is the birthday party...they turned 44!  Haha. 


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