Monday, January 13, 2014

New Year's Eve!

***This post is very picture heavy so I've tried to make it not word heavy.  If you have any questions about any of this, I'm happy to answer them.  

New Year's Eve.  It has become one of our family's favorite holidays!  We started this idea that was shared by a friend on the FIAR boards some years ago and have continued it ever since.  We have bags to count down the hours  until midnight.  Each bag has a poem and something inside that goes with the activity for that hour. 

 We started with making noisemakers.  Just something simple - paper plates, markers and some beans to go inside.
 I kept this activity mainly for Eliana, but it was nice that the older siblings and friends joined in too.

Here are some of the fun designs!

 The 3rd bag held some ingredients for dinner.  A taco bar.  Yum!
The 4th bag is a huge hit every year - silly string war!  I bought more this year and it still went quickly.

 I think the pictures of the string hanging in the air are fun!

 5th bag had a movie.  Some silliness going on before the movie as Eliana enjoys hanging out with her buddy Dillon.

 Rebecca and Hanna have enjoyed celebrating this event many times together.
Our movie this year was Space Jam which was a fun one.

 6th bag - Minute to win it type games.  The first game had partners -  one to be still and the other to cover his/her head with shaving cream.
 We had some really good sports!
 And then the team mate would toss as many cheetos onto his partner's head as possible.
 It was really quite funny!
 So many fun pictures that it was hard to narrow it down.
 We played this for several rounds - see the Cheeto in the air in this one?
 I hope nobody minds these pictures.  It really was fun.
 I love hanging out with my family and friends on this night - celebrating the year past and looking forward to the one coming.
 And laughing.  Lots of laughing.

 For those that know Daniel, he has come a long way in being willing to do something like this!
 Sweet friends!
 The next game was to see if you could bounce 8 balls into a cup in less than a minute.
 This was a fun one because everyone could do it.
 We played several rounds of this one - everyone having as many turns as they wanted.
 Its a great one to add if you have a wide level of skill and abilities in your group.
 Even Eliana liked trying this one though she resorted to just dropping the balls in the cups.
 Next game was to tie a kleenex box to the back of your waist, filled with 8 ping pong balls.  And try to get them all out in less than a minute.
We had jumping.

 Standing on your hands was by far the fastest method!
Eliana did  pretty well just by bending in half.  (Can I say that I just love seeing her participate!)
 7th bag - and no photos.  We have questions that everyone takes time to write an answer to.  It might be nice to provide the questions in advance so people can think about them.  Most are reflective.  Things like favorite book you have read this year.  Or favorite movie.  Favorite accomplishment.  Something you would like to do next year.  Things like that.  After all have written their answers, we read the answers question by question and try to guess who wrote it down.  I really like this one!

8th bag - Again no photos.  We each take a slip of paper and write down a prayer request.  Then we each take a slip of paper and go around in a circle and pray for each others' requests.  This too is one of the parts that I love.  I love ending the old year and welcoming the new in prayer.

9th bag - Bubbly drinks to toast the NewYear.  We typically watch the ball drop on tv too.

And take group photos.

 Happy 2014!

 We had a last bag.  It was scheduled for earlier, but we ran out of time.  We really could do fun things all day long I think!  This one is also a fun tradition - decorating gingerbread men.  My sweet friend, Rebecca, made some yummy gluten free ones for us to enjoy.

 Lots of fun creating and nibbling on the m&ms too.
 Tried to get Eliana to use some frosting, but she wasn't interested.
She did love taking photos though!  She really does get some great shots because typically people are willing to smile for her.  :-)
 Looking up pictures to get their figures just right!
 We don't decorate cookies at Christmas often and I love that we have this time to enjoy it!
 Hobbit was a big theme with alot of the cookies this year.

 From the dwarves - can you identity them all?  (Can you see the axe blade in one of them?  LOL)
 Bilbo Baggins
 Bilbo again, Eye of Sauron, 2 dwarves and a gingerbread man.
 Love the intensity that the all put into their creations.
 Eliana having fun hanging out with her friend Emily.  (We loved having you join us this year and hope you will do it again!)
 Had to get one last shot with Gandalf in the mix.
We had a great time ringing in the new year and hope that you did too!