Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Partyin' in a Winter Wonderland

When it snows

Ain't it thrillin'
Though your nose
Gets a chillin'

We'll frolic and play the eskimo way
Partyin' in a Winter Wonderland!

It's a January tradition that our county's school board designates teacher training opportunities at the end of the month, giving the kids a long weekend. Coming off two weeks of vacation at Christmas, this is a time-off luxury!

For us stay-at-home moms, however, it's an extra day and a half off with the kids and a weekend in between. We love you, but.... It's winter time, and we don't do marathon TV/Computer/Game time.
How do you keep them from clinging to you all day, "with nothing to do....."?

So, we decided to turn some of that time off into a party—a Winter Wonderland Celebration! A playdate with good friends, lots of crafts, winter-themed snacks and air hockey. AND, PJs for all! We had a (snow) ball, and God blessed us with just enough real flakes to set the tone!!

We pulled out (more accurately, left out from Christmas) all our snowmen. We made new snowflakes. (CJ's recycled snowflake tree—left—made a nice backdrop in the kitchen. I tackled the front entryway, right.) CJ also made shaved ice and shaped a snowman out of it for our luncheon centerpiece. (Blue raspberry flavoring—how seasonal!)

The guests arrived—our dear friend Chatty Kelly, GiGi and CiCi; and the M Family, including Mrs. M., JM, KM and TM. Unfortunately, the Patterson 4 could not make it due to illness in the youngest. (But, she was feeling much better by the end of the day, and for that, we were grateful!)

After a few rounds of air hockey (boy, a timer comes in handy!), we dove into the crafts.

We started with a mitten swag (see top of window). Hands were traced. Mitten tracings were colored as desired. Then we hung them up with some recycled snowman Christmas cards. We're going to hold onto the swag until next year's party (already planning a next year's party!) and see if hands have grown. We also made foam sticker snowflakes, which later were tacked on to the kids' take-home treat containers (which had a delicious chocolate "snowball" or Oreo ball—thanks for the inspiration Mrs. P. and Shelley C.).

We did two food crafts. Mrs. M. brought goodies to make the edible snowmen from the most recent Family Fun magazine. Banana bodies with apple/grape hats, carrot noses and mini chocolate chips for....well....anywhere else! Yummy!! (This was one of GiGi's—adorable, yes!?) We also made homemade peppermint snowballs or snowmen or mini mountains of snow.

The last craft was a tricky one in that it was super-repetitive. But, the kids with tenacity stuck it out and finished it. The rest got help from us moms, or homework. "Snow on a stick", for lack of a better phrase, allowed each child to bring the wintry white home to their window. (Who knew office labels stuck back-to-back on embroidery floss could create such a scene!? See Jeffrey Rudell's submission to CraftStylish, featured here, though we used pearlized embroidery floss instead of the dental variety and a slightly smaller label flake.)

Had to throw in an organized game, too. (I really wasn't up for whacking a snowman pinata in the garage....not this year, anyway.) This activity ended up not having a name on which everyone could agree. So, we'll use Chatty Kelly's thought: Pin the Accessories on the Snowman. First, they—the three under five—had to make the snowman. Eyes closed, of course. The older ones donned the blindfold (a scarf, naturally) and stuck the accessories on him. We all decided that it was a rather blustery snowstorm that caused our snowman to bend the way he did. (Either that or he's quite the break-dancer.)

The party went on well through lunch (with ice cream snowmen for dessert!), and everyone left full of sweets and memories. As CJ predicted early on, some would later get tired from all the fun (i.e., cranky, fill in your favorite adjective). But, all in all, in the words of the M Family, "It was the best day off ever!"

So, our recycled snowman (lead photo), which was made out of a large pretzel jug and a coffee can, is now serving as a time machine of sorts. (Yes, his hat comes off, revealing the lid to the jug.) We'll hold onto the swag, the party ideas and even a copy of this very blog entry in there—then put the whole thing into cold storage until January 2010!

Meantime, it's definitely not too late to host your own "wintry mix."

A beautiful sight
We're happy tonight
Partyin' in a Winter Wonderland!


Edie said...

How fun! Wow were you a bit tired after all that activity? LOL. Looks like it was a great day!

The Patterson 5 said...

Thanks for bringing the party to our house through crafts and through pictures! You are such a dear friend! Miss Beth is doing so much better she did not wake up coughing at ALL last night and slept until 8AM!

Chatty Kelly said...

Edie - I AM a bit tired. LOL! But it was so much fun. Sue is the ultimate hostess.

"Until next year..."

My ADHD Me said...

You are such a COOL mom!!
(pun intended!)

I suggested a board game to my kids and they looked at me like I had lost my mind. (no pun intended!)

KelliGirl said...

I love it! What a fun-filled and creative afternoon. I could have used one of them when the kids were off. You're so creative and energetic. Now that my kids are older, I've gladly set down the glue gun and stepped away from the crafting projects.

Have a great weekend,

twinsplusone said...

I am awe-inspired by your posts! What a great day with great ideas by a great mom! I am filing this post away for a wintery day in our future. I also appreciated your links to the sites, I will be adding those to my favorites list (and to my excuses for procrastinating against my housework!) Thanks so much for inspiring and sharing!

My ADHD Me said...

Hi again.
So you like that Seuss guy, eh?
Then your letter is
" S ".