Thursday, February 16, 2017

Love day

valentine's day 2017
valentine's day 2017
valentine's day 2017
valentine's day 2017
valentine's day 2017
valentine's day 2017
valentine's day 2017
valentine's day 2017
valentine's day 2017
valentine's day 2017
valentine's day 2017
valentine's day 2017
We love a reason to celebrate love. A heart-y Valentine's Day breakfast has been a tradition for the past few years now. This year, we gave the kids sticker activity books, which they've been loving. In the evening, Alex and I got to steal away for a date, thanks to our dear church family who babysat the kids. I'm thankful that as we reflect on love and the ones we are given to love, we have the ultimate example of sacrificial love in Jesus Christ. Sacrificial love is hard and absolutely not natural, but praise God for the grace He lavishes so that I'm able to nurture my little family, even in the midst of my sin and shortcomings. Alex shared this video, a timely encouragement of the amazing and blessed task God has gifted me as a wife, mama, and neighbor.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Thanks for being our (muddy) buddies

muddy buddies valentines
muddy buddies valentines
muddy buddies valentines
muddy buddies valentines
muddy buddies valentines
Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Serene and Valor have a little party with the other kids in our church's children's program tonight, so we brainstormed some valentines to pass out. I had everything in the pantry for muddy buddies, which was a fun and easy treat to make with Serene. Her favorite parts were mixing the chocolate into the cereal, dumping in a whole ton of sprinkles, and shaking the bag to mix everything up into a sweet, crunchy, chocolatey concoction. There are a ton of recipes for muddy buddies, but here's what we did according to the ingredients we had in the pantry:

Muddy Buddies
Ingredients:
1 box Chex cereal
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
Sprinkles (optional)

Directions:
1. Pour Chex cereal into a large bowl and set aside.
2. Heat butter, chocolate chips, and peanut butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until melted and smooth. Add sea salt and vanilla extract. Stir until combined.
3. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal. Stir until coated.
4. In a large paper bag, pour in powdered sugar and sprinkles. Add coated cereal. Fold bag tightly over and shake until all coated.

To package the valentines, I  poured some muddy buddies into mini kraft bags, taped them shut with washi tape, and wrote "Thanks for being our (muddy) buddies! Love, Serene Joy & Valor Zeal." The kids passed out healthy valentines last year. The year before that, Serene passed out non-candy valentines. This year, we're embracing the sugary sweet holiday with these no-fuss and tasty valentines. I bet the muddy buddies would look even cuter with heart sprinkles. Whip some up for your loved ones this lovely holiday! We don't have grand plans for Valentine's Day, but we are looking forward to celebrating love with one another. Alex and I will probably go out for dinner one night, and we'll take the kids on father-daughter and mother-son dates another day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Her first ballet class

ballet week 3
ballet week 4
ballet week 3
ballet week 4
ballet week 3
ballet week 6
ballet week 6
Serene started her first ballet/tap class last November, and the weekly classes have been so good for her. It's an extremely affordable class offered by the city's parks & recreation department for 3-4 year olds. We're just glad she's having fun, particularly since she's been requesting to learn ballet. Her favorite storybook characters do it; naturally, she must try it too. Watching toddlers dance is the cutest and funniest. There's a lot of unabashed jumping and stomping around, and best of all, huge smiles and loud giggles.