A dry erase DIY Valentine’s gift and sugar cookies!

Oh my gosh. 156 DIY entries on SNS #17. Oh my gosh.

I totally admit, I did not keep up this weekend. I allow Sat and Sun mornings to go through the entries, but then my other life begins. So next SNS I’ll be highlighting more as I wade through them all. Thanks so much for your participation! I just LOVE my weekend mornings with SNS and my freshly brewed coffee, thanks to you. 🙂

Up for a little weekend story?

My son and I have a special tradition for Valentine’s Day. We bake these peppermint flavoured sugar cookies every year.

That is our valentine to each other. We both take part in creating them ( and licking the beaters is totally part of the deal!) and then get to enjoy them for many days ahead. They freeze so well! (and taste awesome frozen too I might add)

Valentine’s Day ought to be a day for all things love and appreciating those around you, yes? Well, our day didn’t transpire that way at first. Not even close.

This 10 yr old boy loves to test his mom. And we’re just traveling through abit of a rebellious stage right now which is really keeping me on my toes. It’s not that the pitch stays at a high all day, not at all. It’s more like a test of wills, popping up sporadically, that challenges me to keep my cool  throughout the day. Some games just aren’t that fun to play, ya know?

I admit, I hit a level where I broke. It’s like the world had given me enough to deal with and it was time for a time out. Most of you may say to the hubby, “I need a walk. I’ll be right back.” But as a sole parent, I can’t do that. And as the rain pounded down, I sort of felt even more trapped. I just wanted OUT.

So I instigated time alone for each of us for a short while. I  needed to hit a reset button and the only way I could achieve that was some quiet space around me for a short while.

So my son drifted to his room to his massive dry erase board. (the rest of his room is HERE)

This is one awesome board. The day it went up was a means for my son to simply sit and scribble around on it. But the board’s become so much more. This board has become a friend, waiting to inspire, helping make a boy’s dreams come true, AND to work out aggression through art.

When he transpired to his board and I to a chair in another room, there was silence. Wonderful peaceful sunlight kind of silence. You know those days during a fresh snowfall where all is white and nearly soundproof? That’s what this moment felt like. Obviously I was in bad need of abit of downtime. Thank-you dry erase board for helping out once again!

When I knew my cup was full once again, I got up and approached my son’s door and knocked.

Incidentally, we have no locks on any interior doors. That wasn’t planned. I just never got around to purchasing new ones with fancy dancy privacy locks on them, so here we go without. And it’s really taught both of us to respect each other’s privacy. Isn’t it cool to know we don’t NEED locks? 🙂

Back on topic:  my son told me not to come in yet as he was making something. So smiling, I returned back to my chair, having a mild idea of what he was up to.

At times he liked to draw special pictures to surprise me with something he was particularly proud of. So when he called me back, I was all prepared to view some cool new army tank driven by aliens or undiscovered underground city that ran on volcanic lava energy.

3D is something they JUST learned in school.

And while it was colourful and wild and so very cool…

… this one came with an apology. With hearts. 🙂

* melt *

I love it when we chill and make up.

So off we ran to enjoy a really nice valentine’s dinner in our little town (he his fav burger and fries and I had the prime rib and yorkshire pudding… yum!!), and for dessert, we came home and baked our special cookies for dessert.

And then we watched a taped 2nd half of the Survivor premiere. It was the perfect day. 🙂

Some days can be a real struggle to get through. And at the heat of the moment, it’s so easy to lose it. But ultimately, I know what it takes to regain calm again. Our reactions to what’s going on is the key to everything. I’m just so very glad I have Him to talk me down when need be. 🙂

As for the cookies? I know someone will no doubt ask me for the recipe, so here they are. We make these same cookies every Christmas too, with just different coloured icing and shapes. They totally puff/disintegrate when you bite into them. Best EVER. Go make a kiddo happy today and bake and decorate some cookies!

Rolled Sugar Cookies for Valentine’s Day

(I always double the recipe, but here’s the single)

2 cups flour

1.5 tsp baking powder


3/4 cup sugar

6 tbsp butter or margarine

1/3 c shortening

1 egg

1 tbsp milk

a drop or 2 of pure peppermint extract

– beat butter and shortening for 30 seconds, add sugar and beat till *fluffy.

(*this is the key, beat till you see froth, that’s what makes these cookies so light)

– add egg, milk, peppermint, beat well.

– add flour and baking powder and pinch of salt

– beat or mix till well blended

– chill

– roll out, cut, bake 375 for *8 min

(* I bake them slightly underdone (350 for 9 min) so they are white on the bottoms)


powdered/icing sugar whipped with butter and milk

1 or 2 drops (taste it) of pure peppermint extract

food colour of choice

decorate each cookie right after frosting it

recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

year – ancient

So, how about you?

How was your Valentine’s weekend? And feel free to share your secrets on how you keep your cool when things go haywire at home. I could certainly use the tips!

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Categories: Junk Drawer
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35 thoughts on “A dry erase DIY Valentine’s gift and sugar cookies!

  1. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful moment in your life. Hugging you and your son. How sweet! I tend to bark a little and then we look at each other and usually laugh! Or we go to our separate corners and wait for a cool down period. That works well too! But you are right on one point. It is all how you look at it. If you take everything personally, then there is no hope for a reconciliation. You have to realize that everyone has their limits in tolerance and let them have some time. They are just stretched out at the moment and need time to assimilate. LOL!!
    Love those cookies!! My son and I used to play a game..Bsttleship. That always soothed ruffled feathers.

  2. what a great story. So glad that you and your son has a PERFECT day.

    BTW, the cookies look yummy. Might have to check this out.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. As a Mom of 3 boys (one being of the 11 year old testing age) I know all too well the time outs a Mom needs. I am learning daily how to reword my requests and to be very clear with what I say because my boys are always looking for loopholes.

    Valentine’s Day around here is spent celebrating our youngest sons birthday. He turned 8 yesterday.

    I Love your sugar cookie tradition .. it is filled with Love.

  4. Donna, that artwork is fantastic and carries such a sweet message!

    I have another way of coping that has worked well for us – best done in the car or at home – we do “scream therapy” – I count down…3, 2, 1 and then you scream for as long as your breath holds out. That’s it! If you need to you can do it again, but what happens is you usually end up belly laughing. It is hard to scream really hard and long! I wonder what people in the other cars think?!

    You are teaching your son wonderful lessons of patience and respect – he’s very lucky to have you as a Mom.

  5. My baby boy is about to turn 21…my how time flies. Keep your heart open to him and be very real with him. This is his training for how he will interact with women all his life. I feel for you. I hope you have found a male role model for him. And I hope you can arrange some “Donna” time. ALL of us need this.

  6. It sounds like he’s an awesome kid. It looks to me like you’re teaching him how to “respond” rather than “react” in situations. That is a skill that we all need in life, especially me! Keep up the good work, Mom!!!

  7. What a great story! Parenting is hard – when there are two. Really hard when only one parent. Sounds like you’re doing such an amazing job.

    By the way – Saturday I made my husband sit down and look at some things on your site. I was trying to show him that we could take something in our home, and make something new out of it. He didn’t buy it!

    Anyway, love your site and all your creativity.

    Have a blessed day!


  8. What a great story. Working with teenagers, I get to see parents and kids deal with attitudes and battles of the will. A sign of a great kid is not that they never mess up, but they know when to apologize and recognize that they need to make it right. You should be proud.

  9. What a wonderful story..he made me cry and I am not even his mom. But I understand it all.
    My 5 year old daughter does that sort of thing too. When she goes to far and I send her to her room and me to mine for some quiet time she draws a picture and then tiptoes down the hall and slides it under my door. Hard to stay mad then..

  10. Wonderful idea! O why didnt I have a huge dry erase board on my wall back in the ’60’s. How utterly therapeutic . Those cookies look pretty therapeutic too!
    We’re Luvin’ It!
    Dana, Darla & Greg
    the Redneck Junkers

  11. giving eachother quiet time is great. my husband and i have to do it all the time! i used to be one to speak my mind and fight it out… but my husband had to teach me to calm myself down first.. and it has really helped me to not say things i will regret. i’m glad he is a sweet boy who is willing to apologize.. thats more than a lot of kids his age would do…

  12. What a nice boy – must of done something right for he really knows how to apologize! I too have an 11 year old boy that tests my patience daily! Glad you Valentine’s ended up so well!
    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Thanks all!

    The effect that $35 board has had in our lives can’t even be measured.

    Sending a kid for a time out in an empty room vs. offering something to do while resetting has been #1 for getting things back in control again. Lego has the same effect, where he has a big bin at his disposal as well. But he always runs for the board first.

    You sit and do nothing = a little too much time to remember all the bad. You sit and get excited about what you create… instant dissolve switch flicked and apologies spill out faster than you can digest them. With my son, the switch in him derives from feeling good first.

    We’re built the same way. How often have you been stressed over something only to go garden (or whatever) and suddenly, your mood is enhanced? These self motivated kinds of activities are a form of meditation.

    I wish a work day had the same effect on me. Off to work I go! A cookie in my lunch oughta help some. 🙂

    FJ Donna

  14. Sometimes we have to hit the potholes in the road to appreciate the smooth stretches! It sounds like you and your son have a wonderful relationship and his artwork proves that!

    My only advice is to keep doing what you’re doing and keep talking, listening, and being a part of his life, no matter how hard he may seem to be pushing you away sometimes. They may love testing the waters, but they truly want to know that you are a life preserver they can cling to when the water gets a little rough.

    Kat 🙂

  15. I don’t have kids (yet) but taking time outs also works for me and my husband. We all sometimes need some time to ourselves.

    The cookies look amazing. I was hoping you’d share the recipe…and you did!

  16. I had to take my husband to the airport at 4 in the morning. Fun.
    Your boy is so sweet. When my 10-year-old son sees me starting to lose my cool with everyone, he’ll walk up to me and just give me a hug, and won’t let go until I smile and hug him back. He just started this last year for some reason (maybe when I became grumpy and pregnant???). He’s the oldest, so he’s also the guiny pig, but he sure does have an independent personality all to his own.

  17. Why do I have to cry when I’m on your blog now? I’m so choked up I can barely write! “Sorry” is the most amazing word. You are an amazing mother. If you weren’t who you were he wouldn’t be the beautiful person that he is!

    Our Valentine’s Day started out with a gorgeous breakfast that I made for my guys. I cut out a heart using pink construction paper. Wrote a note of love and gratitude for these people who God has entrusted me to care for. Then we were off to church.

    I got home to a puppy who for the 999th time pooped on my rug. I tried to kill her, but it didn’t work. We’re going to give her another chance. We’re funny like that!

    Then we enjoyed (chowed) on our homemade chocolate and lounged the whole day watching movies.

    Thanks for this post. I love to read about people and their lives and especially their living – the real stuff!!!

    I’m trying not to show the cookies to my boys. Otherwise, guess what I’ll be doing today?..when I have a blog to prepare!!

    Love you. I really do.

  18. We have referred to ours as the weekend from hell–not even snazzy cookies would have helped. No sense reliving it with the details! I am glad that yours ended on a happy note with great art and the snazzy cookies. 🙂

  19. Ok, so I wanted to make these yummy cookies and got everything out. Im in the midst of making them and just realized you didnt post how much sugar is needed. Now, I SHOULD be able to figure that out but Im so bad I always follow a recipe to a T. Can you post how much sugar I need? Thanks!:)

  20. Donna, your day does sound perfect, quarrel and all. Without that little quarrel, you wouldn’t have had your awesome artwork. How sweet is that!? I have a 14 year old boy around here that is starting to get mouthy, and not having any kids of my own, I’m at a loss on how to handle it, and hope I do it right.

    You sound like a great mom and the cookies look super!

  21. I loved your story Donna. I hope you know that your son’s reaction to the situation is a great compliment to the role model you are providing him. I wasn’t in that place when I was a single parent to my oldest (now 19) and it was a time I wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through. But, I’m happy to report that I spent a wonderful Valentine’s day weekend with my two girls!
    You are an incredible person!

  22. Thanks Donna for adding the sugar amt. 🙂 I guesstimated and just finished baking them this morning. 60 some cookies later, I’ll have a fun project later this afternoon with my girls-icing them!:)

  23. So happy for your both…
    when I was a single mother of a a 13 yr old…I did loose it one day…a day I still cringe over…so I am so glad that you know how to find relief for you both…you are a good mother. big smiles.

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