Friday, November 30, 2012

Getting Ready for Christmas

Today we decorated our playroom for Christmas.

You are probably now envisioning a lovely Norman Rockwell type scene, aren't you? Well, if you were following us on Facebook this morning, you know better. Let's think more Charlie Brown and Clark Griswald here. 

It started out well enough. We chose and cleared the spot for the tree. We got the pole and stand assembled. We started putting in the branches. 

These were taken right before I realized that we had assembled the pole and stand UPSIDE DOWN. I wondered why the tree seemed so low to the ground this year. 

So we took the tree apart again, assembled it The Right Way, and started again. But when I went to put the top on the tree, I found out a piece is missing so it is very wobbly. 

I was smart enough to plug in the lights before we put them on the tree. And that's when I discovered that the whole middle section of lights on the blue set was not working. 

So then we moved on to setting out a few other things I have. That went well, until I tried to blow up the inflatable Santa. Let's just say I was a little light-headed by the time I was done. 

So the kids moved onto other things, and I sat down to try to get the lights working. Which I did accomplish, I'm just still not sure how I accomplished it at this point. Tristan noticed I was putting the lights on the tree, and came over to help.

Of course, Peyton and Loryn noticed Tristan helping, and wanted to help as well. We really didn't need anymore light help, so they put the tree skirt on instead. 

So...a lot went wrong. Should I have done more to prepare for this ahead of time? Not everyone got to do exactly what they wanted or get to do everything. Was that fair? Lunch and naptime were a bit late. Was this a terrible experience? Will they be scarred for life?


Absolutely not. Don't be silly!

While I reflected on our morning, a lot of things occurred to me. Today we had a very real, real-life experience. Other than me deciding we were going to decorate today and going to storage to pick up the totes...the kids were a part of all of it. Or as least as much as they wanted to be. Fletcher decided the tree branches were too owie and went off to play. Silas decided to join him rather than find out for himself. 

Yes, things went wrong. But when we realized the tree was being put together the wrong way and the lights didn't work, we problem-solved and found a solution. We learned that when something doesn't work out right the first time, we just try again. We all worked together and got the job done. Everybody played a part, and nobody seemed to mind too much that they didn't get to help with the lights or tree skirt. They got to do something else. Well, at least no one openly complained about it!

This is an example of one of the bonuses of family child care. We got to have a very family experience, in a very real-life way.

Oh, and here's a shot of our Charlie Brown Christmas tree that went up in a very Clark Griswald fashion. We'll start making ornaments for it next week.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Halloween 2012 - Part 3

It gets pretty crazy this time of day. I set up "stations" where they can choose what they want to do. Pick-ups are happening during this time, so I don't want to be stuck in any one place. This portion of the party goes from the time they get up from naps until the last kid is out the door.

The bean bag toss made another appearance.

The balloons were available for...well, whatever.

Snack tables for whenever they needed a snack. Fletcher ate for 1 1/2 hours straight. Loryn ate a bit every 10 minutes.

Apples for personal favorite. 

Our Snack Buffet, also known as Why Your Child Didn't Eat Supper

Juice bags from Loryn, fruit roll-up "sushi" from Wyatt and Fletcher, 

"FrankenPuddings" from Peyton

Cupcakes from Michael, and Popcorn Candy Corn mix made by Bev.

My sister, Nancy, had a bunch of pumpkins from her garden that she gave us, so we set up a pumpkin decorating station.

And here's a few photos of the final festivities. There will be a lot more posted on the website soon!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween 2012 - Part 2

The morning part of our Halloween party involves a lot of games and stories. We read a Halloween book every game or two. Our goal is too stay busy, which really helps contain some of that excited energy for the evening's festivities.

Most of our games are just really silly. None are actual competitions.

I didn't get photos of the Freeze Dance, but I believe I got some video that I will post later.

This is Boo, our little ghost friend. He loves to play Ghost Busters. This is where he hides, and the kids find him.

It seems like every year Boo tries to hide in the Jack-o-Lantern, and Miss Bev has to perform a very dramatic rescue. He never wants to play after that.

This was a new game called Ghost Waiters. You have to walk around holding the plate with one hand like a waiter and try to keep the balloon from falling off. This is supposed to be a relay, but we adapted it too just everyone walking around quickly.

Pass the Pumpkin - Pass the pumpkin around the circle while the music is playing. I believe the actual rule is that the person holding the pumpkin when the music stops is out. We played it that when the music stopped, you were just the lucky person holding the pumpkin.

Keep the Balloon in the Air, otherwise known as This Got a Little Wild.

Bean Bag Toss - $10 in Target for two boards and beanbags. We practiced adding here, and surprisingly no one turned it into a competition about who got the most.

Peyton can add ridiculously well!

Watching the Charlie Brown holiday specials was one of my favorite parts of the holidays, so I like to pass that little part of me onto them. 

And it gives me a chance to finish getting lunch together and them a chance to wind down a bit.

We then had a good lunch, so Mom and Dad didn't have to worry too much about what they had for supper. Then it was off to naps to rest up for the next portion of our party.

There are more photos from the morning that will be posted on the website soon!