Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bluffton on Valentines Day

This last weekend Max and I made our first trip up to Bluffton since returning from California. We always like to go there in the winter, not so much because it is usually a lot colder or because they have more snow, but instead because we love to go watch the kids play winter sports. This is the time of the year for basketball and both Bailey and Darby had games on Saturday. We arrived on Friday evening and Pat & Kelly ordered pizza delivered for dinner. After absolutely stuffing ourselves, we settled into an evening with the family. Aaron (Shelby's squeeze who is a student at U. Cincinnati) was in town for the Valentine's Day/President's Day weekend and joined us until it was obvious that spending time with us was not exactly what they had in mind.

But they did hang around for a while and showed us how to use the boxing game on the Wii..

Lucas does NOT like the boxing- too violent!

But soon it was over and it was all smiles!

Darby filled in behind them as she seems to be the Wii master in this household. Here she is doing some "shadow boxing" showing us her great moves that usually gives her a win in this game. We figured she is the master because she uses it the most. She and Bailey even created a Wii player image for Max and me, both of which really looked a lot like us.

And Bailey was there some of the evening too, but her Valentine's Day School dance took greater priority that evening, and I'm pretty sure we all agreed that she would have more fun there than at home with us. She is 13 and after all, once you get to be that old, just hanging around with the old folks just isn't at the top of the "to do" list.

Max spent much of the evening playing games with Darby and Lucas using the new game table that Pat built. Wow, what a nice game table. You really can't see it very well in this picture, but it has a removable insert in the top with a Checker Board burnt into it, and the whole table is made out of Walnut. It is beautiful. I lost- big time- I lost at UNO- I lost at Go Fish- I did manage to salvage the evening with a BIG WIN at checkers.

And while Max was playing the games, I took the opportunity to rest my eyes for a little while on their couch. Just resting his eyes, mind you, just resting his eyes!

On Saturday morning we all got up early for the busy day ahead. Kelly was up early getting breakfast started. She made some wonderful "biscuit cinnamon rolls" and a breakfast pizza.

Lucas has a particular fondness for the biscuits with the strawberry icing.

After breakfast, we all headed off to Bailey's basketball game. This is their championship tournament and it was their first game of the tournament. Bailey is absolutely the best player on her team. She scored their first 8 points and ended up with 12 points and high scorer for both teams. In fact she almost scored as many points as the other team since they had a decisive win 26-13.

Here's a couple of action shots of Bailey on offense (that's her shooting the ball).

And on defense:

Bailey was WONDERFUL! It was such a pleasure to watch. It was so much fun to see the incredible progress she has made since we watched her last. Watch out GREAT UNCLES- This one sure might give your records a run for their money!

Next we were off to Darby's game. Darby is more of a defensive specialist, one who's hair looks awfully nice.

Darby's team is a coed team- actually on the two teams we watched- Darby's and her opponent- has two girls- Darby and one other. And this game looked a bit more like a contact sport- than basketball- The refs just weren't into fouls- But I was impressed- Darby held her own!

Shelby and Aaron "stopped by"- on their way to lunch to watch.

And then it was time to begin the Valentine's Day PARTY! IT WAS AMAZING! Kelly really knows how to celebrate holidays.

Kelly et al make homemade cards each year- and Kelly carefully saved these each year and then uses them to decorate all the doors with hand made Valentine Day's cards. Kelly even made Don and I our own homemade card. IT WAS INCREDIBLE!

There were presents and candy and brownies!

And of course the LOVE BIRDS!

But before we go I have to share a marvelous recipe. This is a treat- on Valentine's Day- or any day for that matter. They are:


The recipe was in "Bon Appetite" by Molly Wizenberg. Molly is my favorite food blogger. You can check her blog out at:
It has won all kinds of awards. And she has found a real soft spot in my heart. And she's from Oklahoma. Now that's enough to make me a fan!
But enough of that.

1. Whisk 2 cups of flour with 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt.
2. In a stand mixer blend 1 cup of butter (DO NOT SUBSTITUTE MARGARINE)- with 1 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar. I'm not sure if a hand mixer will work- so if someone tries this recipe with a hand mixer rather than a stand mixer let me know how it works).
3. Add 2 tbsp of instant expresso powder and 1/2 tsp of almond extract (I used almond oil- it's what I had on hand- and gives a more "adult" taste- Don loves it!)
4. Add the flour- 1/3 of the mixture at a time- mix until just absorbed.
5. Stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of sliced almonds.

6. Turn the dough out onto an ungreased rimmed baking sheet. This stuff is really thick- so you use your hands to press into a 12 inch square. Pierce with fork at 1 inch intervals.

7. Bake in 325 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes (edges are lightly browned). Cool on the sheet for 1 minute.
8. Cut into 48 bars (I used a pizza cutter to cut). Cool on rack.
9. Eat! Don loved them- and he hates chocolate. He just said these weren't chocolate- I think they're better than chocolate!


T-Bird said...

I'm so jealous, I miss my family. I wish I could have been there

lil sis said...

Tracy, we wish you were there too. It was wonderful to have family around! It's more fun to share the holiday and the games with family, and I am so thankful that you guys will make the trip. We love having you there! Thanks for the beautiful blog that the others of my family can enjoy!
Happy Valentines Day to everyone!

Beyond The Strip said...

Wow, what a great valentine's celebration! Wonderful action shots on the basketball court, looks like a great weekend!

Lucas said...

I too am majorly jealous! LOVED all the photos, you all look so beautiful. Kelly is amazing and does so much for everyone. Our mom always made valentines day special for us too. Wish I could have been there but so glad you all got to be together.