Saturday, February 14, 2009


For Valentine’s Day I wanted to do something really different and special for the kids, so I decided to create a “restaurant”. I asked my daughter last week what she would name a restaurant if we had one and she said, “Helms Corral”, so it is!

Menus were a must, so I used Print Shop to create some complete with pictures for them to color. I took a few kids menus from a restaurant and used them for my food and drink items. I put a few crayons together with a rubber-band to hand out with the menus.

Next, the signage – the restaurant name “Helms Corral” (actually it says cor-al, it was a misspelling that I made on all our printed material and I am okay with that - freedom is AWESOME) over the doorway entering the “restaurant” and a “please wait to be seated sign” along with “daily specials” were taped to the Bella Ballerina bar.

Also, my kids love getting peanuts in a bucket at a restaurant, so that was placed on the table when I seated them. You would naturally expect peanuts at the Helms Corral, right? I let them throw the shells on the floor too!

My daughter pretended that her and her brother were babysitting the youngest and were taking her out for dinner…about 15 minutes into the peanuts, my oldest daughter said, “I haven’t even had a peanut yet because I’ve been breaking them open for Kaira.” Yeah? Welcome to my world!

My husband and I dressed in our aprons and split up the duties – I was hostess, took drink orders, cooked and served and he took dinner orders, cooked and served. We even had ribs (easy recipe below) on the menu; it is our oldest daughter’s favorite thing to see on the kids menu.

In the background George Straight was crooning whatever it was he was crooning ten years ago when we bought that CD.

For dessert we had birthday cake and ice cream, today is Annais’ birthday. We celebrated our Valentine’s Day yesterday, but were so busy just did not have time to fit the restaurant in. The evening ended perfectly with dancing to Carried Away in the kitchen. Mommy and Daddy first and then everyone took turns. The beautiful memory of tonight will be with me for a long time.

Isabella said, "This is my favorite restaurant EVER!"


Place 2.5 – 3 lbs. ribs in n crock pot and drizzle Liquid Smoke on both sides of meat. Sprinkle Lawry's season salt on meat. I usually add a few cloves of garlic and some bay leaves for extra flavor.

Cook in crock pot for approximately 5 hours on high.

"Doctor up" your favorite BBQ sauce to taste using the juices from the crock pot. We used KC Masterpiece – delicious!


Mari said...

What a great idea! I bet this is something they will have fun memories of. They are all so cute!

AtlantaMama said...

This is just SO CUTE -- I love the post, the story and the great photos!!! They will have these memories for a long time and will also talk about, "remember the night Mom & Dad did this..." That's such a neat idea. It's really fun to think up new family traditions and special "events". You are SO very creative!!! I love it!!!!

Cindy said...

That must have been so much fun for everybody. Looks like the kids had a great time. What a creative idea!

{ jamie } said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!!! Hope you don't mind that I'm totally going to steal this idea one day!

Blessed Mom of 8 said...

What sweet sweet memories! Thanks for sharing them with us!

Hugs and blessings,

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