Sunday, January 25, 2015

Re-visiting New Year's Eve

Happy New Year's!

Ok, I'm a little behind, but at least it is still January. 
Wanted to make a blog entry so that next December 31st when I'm planning a party, I can look back at this as a reference for what we did.

For the second year in a row, we invited over 3 other families with kiddos and celebrated the New Year!  
We like reasonable bedtimes in our house, but our boys vividly remember that ONE time that we let them stay up until midnight last year and they've been talking about it all year. So, since I do not want to deprive them of fond childhood, I really do have fun planning parties, we invited those same families over again this year. 

Rather than letting everybody just run wild through the house for the 4-5 hours before midnight, my organized/planner self likes to come up with activities to do at every 1/2 hour increment. I write the activity on a strip of paper, put it in the balloon, blow the balloon up, write the time that it corresponds with on the balloon and then hang it up for the kids to pop when its time.

I try to keep the activities simple and no-cost or low-cost.

The kids seem to enjoy it and it keeps everyone engaged and the time moves along pretty quickly. 
(We don't keep the youngest ones up. Heath went to bed at about 9pm. And we had a pack-n-play set up for another little one.)

Here's the timeline of what we did this year:

7:30 - Glitter Dough - Found a simple recipe to make glitter playdough. I supervised the kids mixing it and kneading it. And then we played with it for awhile.

8:00 - Kid Interviews - Last year, we interviewed each kid there and asked them simple questions like how old they were, their favorite food, their favorite memory from the past year, what they hope to do this next year, etc. We call them in one at a time and then record them. Adam works his magic on it and edits it a bit and we watch it later in the night.

At this point in the night, we had a brief intermission as one family had 2 of their kids all of a sudden be hit with a stomach bug! Ack! Lots of "oh dear's!", grabbing plastic bags to put soiled clothes in, gathering buckets for the ride home, finding coats, and trying to disinfect ensued. Stomach bugs are never fun! Sad our friends had to leave, but I think we have all laughed about the scene now. And I do not believe anybody else came down with it afterwards. :) 

8:30 - Celebrations from around the World - We talked about a few different traditions from around the world on New Year's. And then we celebrated a couple of them. 
    Spain - They bead 12 grapes onto a skewer to represent the 12 months of the year and to hope for good luck. And then we ate them. :) 
    Many countries like China and Taiwan shoot off fireworks for New Year's. We put some exploding Pop Rocks into our mouths to represent the fireworks. 

9:00 - Grand Prix - Adam had just finished building a race track for my family's annual Grand Prix competition. Had to be tested out. The kids raced Hot Wheels car down the track. 

9:30 - Make Magnets - Using those round decorate glass beads and a variety of old magazines, we cut out little pictures and then glued them behind the glass beads. Then I used a hot glue gun to put a magnet on them. My boys have been begging me to do this. 

10:00 - Make confetti balloons - Gather a bunch of paper dots and use a funnel to put them into a balloon. Then blow the balloon up and stow it away for midnight. 

10:15 - Hot Cococa & Snack time - Not much to say about that.

10:30 - Outburst Jr. - Adults and kids split up onto teams for a heated competition. 

11:00 - Popcorn and video - We watched last year's kid interviews and then this year's kid interviews. They love watching themselves on the TV.

11:30 - Change into PJ's and pray - After kids changed into PJs, we sat around the family room and shared things we could pray for one another about. We had each head of the household pray for the family to their right. Had to be brief for the antsy, tired kids - but it was definitely special and a time to tie our faith into what we were doing. 

12:00 - Watch the ball drop on TV! Make noise! Pop our confetti balloons! And kiss our honeys! 

Overall, it was such a fun night! 
Thankful for good friends to celebrate with. And thankful for the blessing of another year!