Friday, February 24, 2012

Annual Valentines Dinner!

I've lost track as to how many years we've been doing this.....that means it's been more than 2 or 3. Jon & I do not celebrate Valentines but one year I decided to make a special candlelight dinner for the 4 of us & it instantly became one of the girls' favorite holidays!! I love that some simple acts can bring them such fond memories!

Wrestling daddy while I prepared dinner..... seems life is extra busy during the week so a night of daddy being home at a decent hour & wrestling is definitely an extra treat!!
I found some bamboo forks....
......knives, spoons
.....& plates! Added a natural look to the table with the pop of red from the napkins!
I set these vases by each of our plates every year & tuck some flowers inside, this year I had no flowers in the house so some wheat looking stuff was used in place....went well with the bamboo!
Our 3rd year using these Beeswax candles! LOVE the naturalness of them!
My Valentines
On the menu:
Tofu/Spinach/Corn Taco's
Sun Dried Tomato Polenta
Roasted Squash & Zucchini
Apple Juice
Desert: Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Raspberries, & Banana's
Dinner is served.....Jon then leads them in while they cover their eyes! I'm telling you they LOVE the anticipation of the whole thing! I don't have to ask them once to NOT LOOK!!
We put a couple little gifts on their plates: Crayola Coloring for their I-Pads
Reusable Sandwich & Snack bags
Very relaxing to sit in the dark....talking, eating, laughing, drinking....
My Love
Even Hilda & Klaus joined us! I told you they'd stay with us past Christmas!! They're too German & cute to pack away! You can barely tell they're Nutcrackers!
Hope you heart was FILLED to the brim on Heart Day!! XO from the Hughes Family!

School Friends, Teachers, & Cousins Valentines!

I always like to try & do something a little out of the ordinary for Valentines Day.....something that does NOT involve candy!! I, of course, get my girls' okay & opinions before getting started!! Pinterest is all the rage right now & while I don't really peruse the site often it is my "go to" when I'm feeling creatively stumped! I love that you can find an idea but then turn around & make it all your own!
"Love Juice" is what we decided on!
It was perfect for everyone.....teachers, cousins, AND school friends!
Bottle of water, straw, ribbon, packet of water flavoring.....
.....Valentine Vintage paper.....
AND VOILA mission accomplished {I use voila loosely as this was a but time consuming....who decides to make 60 of these the night before Valentines?? Mrs Procrastinator that's who!}!! The girls were pretty excited too!! They would totally be fine with the traditional cards but they get extra excited about something original!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Lula Lake Falls

Life has been abnormal for us these days.....SO very much to be thankful for but none the less abnormal. What was suppose to be a "normal" event turned into the BIGGEST whirlwind our entire family has ever been in {well except for my mom who has had too many tragedy's occur in her lifetime}. I will blog another day about the progress of my sister but for now you can keep up with her through her Caring Bridge site here. She is on the up & up & so life for us is returning to our normal crazy!! A couple Saturday's ago instead of the obligatory {but dreamy if you're an adult!!} nap post church & too much lunch we decided go explore some new territory! There is a new free Chattanooga outdoor magazine & Jon was reminded through reading an issue that we had never been to Lula Lake Falls! It was truly just what we needed. Stuffy hospitals can get......well just that. TOO STUFFY! So some good out of doors air is just the medicine we needed!!
I've said it before but it's worth repeating.....being outside is good for our family....we can explore & run & yell & splash & laugh & jump without the usual "stop that" "don't do that" "don't' touch that" "be quiet" 's that "normal" indoor life can bring!
buried "treasure"
daddy:daughter 1:1 time
puddle jumping
a little teaching on earth shifting
a dreamy swimming hole.....but no swimming allowed
I LOVE a good hike when the girls are feel adventurous & their own curiosity keeps them moving
beaver home? probably not but looked like it to me!
most of the hike found us canopied under trees
the beautiful Lula Lake Falls.....& this is NOTHING compared to some months!
outdoor hand washing
beautiful slime
this screamed.....COME SWIM & THEN REST HERE {in warmer months of course!}
natural rock graffiti
mule & her plow
we could have explored longer but droplets turned into a down pour & we had to turn back.....
Jon pulled out some of his old skateboard moves!
......which the oldest niece found just as fun!
This is definitely a place we will be coming back to!! Even if it rains!
There was a Starbucks on our way home & decided some warm drinks would help our cold wet bodies....or singing & dancing in the rain! Either way we all left happy.....a good day spent outside!