be my valentine

i love valentine's day! mainly because it is another reason to spread the love (and eat insane amounts of sugar!) our 4th and 5th grade girls in action shared the love at a local nursing home. have i mentioned that this is the brightest, sweetest group of girls? 

we are working on being able to "pray out loud" with others. (i struggle with this myself) the residents in this nursing home are so kind to lend a listening ear and allow the girls to practice. many residents were asleep this night, but several did listen. 

the girls begged all the way back to the church for ice cream and to visit on a saturday so all the residents would be awake.  we look for any excuse to visit these sweet friends!

our family celebrated the real valentine's day in a low key kind of way ~ my favorite kind!  i started my day off with a dozen roses final mini sessions. there is something so sweet about the color pink and children. boys and girls! the image below wasn't from a mini session, but isn't she beautiful?! this is my cousin's daughter, zania

 i had a goodie package delivered to bennett. a little bit of candy and food gift cards. i wish i had photographed the outside of the box. it was wrapped in lip duct tape and puffy kiss stickers. perfect for picking up from the campus post office ;)
we try to keep valentine thoughtfulness at a maxim and purchases to a minimum. it really is the thought that counts. my favorite gifts are always homemade. but mary claire did surprise me with an awesome new coffee mug ~ filled with chimes and chocolate! the only thing missing was an "s" on the end of cat ;)
again, it is a day and an excuse to eat lots and lots of sweets. except jeff. poor guy, still on a diet. mary claire's dipped strawberries

 after dinner out we baked a batch of cookies and jeff and iwatched the tv movie, "taken." it was pg-13 due to violence. mary claire was not supposed to be watching,  but walked in right as the girl was stolen from under her bed. hello nightmares! she saw one clip and refused to sleep upstairs.  spinning this horrifying clip to my advantage, "see what can happen if you do not listen to your parents?" (so bad! but better than saying she was being sold as a child slave ;)  jeff said the next movie was "monsters who sleep under children's beds in camden, south carolina." in case she wasn't traumatized enough. 

anyway, the cookie dough was fabulous!

rewind to before the traumatizing movie:
anna katherine enjoyed a fancy dinner out!
while the rest of the family enjoyed a not so fancy dinner in town. yes. we did go to waffle house. 

mary claire fell hook, line and sinker for the waffle house tv commercial. the commercial that promises a romantic dinner by candle light.  reservations required.  this was a hard sell for jeff, who immediately said no to candle light and waffles. but mary claire talked him into it. so waffle house it was.
our small town waffle house didn't provide candles. if you desired candlelight, you had to bring your own candle. hysterical ~ there was no talking jeff into bringing a candle. we would have to settle for the cell phone set on flashlight.
can you believe we were the only ones there... for the first few minutes? then we ran into our neighbors. so no one really eats at waffle house on valentine's day.
this is a very fancy late night drink for mary claire... 
diet coke with caffeine!
so we ate our greasy food and enjoyed the company as much as if we were at a five star restaurant. the guys in our family are hilarious!
we learned bennett has developed a taste for uncooked eggs.
i am still saying "no spit balls at the table!"
and finally: my forever valentine. 
styling in his double glasses!
i love this man to pieces!

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