Monday, January 2, 2017

Our New Year's Celebration 2017

This was probably one of the funnest New Year's celebrations I have had in a long time.  In spite of what might appear as a lot of planning and work I actually threw this "party" together in a very small amount of time.  I planned it all out a few days in advance and couldn't wait for the time to arrive so we could begin.  I did a few google searches and found a few ideas that I loved and pieced it all together to make a fun night for our family.  I'll share the links in case you might want to try a few of these ideas next year.

We began New Year's Eve with a morning outing to our local movie theater.  We saw the movie Sing and loved it!  It was our first time to take the boys to a movie in Spanish. 

A display at the theater.  I thought it matched great with their blue shirts.

Having a fun morning at the movies.  We'll be eager to see this movie again.  It was really cute.

We got out right at lunch time but before driving back home to eat, we made a stop by a local fireworks store to pick up some fireworks for the night.

our family loves fireworks!

We spent the afternoon at home.  It was a nice weather day so we enjoyed riding bikes around the neighborhood.  Bike riding is another thing we love to do.
me and my boys on an afternoon ride

our family on New Year's Eve

playing on our local playground

our family on New Year's Eve

clowning around

We came home and got the house decorated for our New Year's Eve party.  I started a tradition last year of blowing up balloons for the boys to pop throughout the night.  This year in addition to stuffing confetti inside I also included a scripture reading idea and a fun activity to complete.  Beginning at 6:00 the boys popped a balloon every 30 minutes leading up to midnight.  We would read our scripture, answer the discussion question, and then do an activity.  It was so much fun!

our balloons and banner for New Year's Eve

decorating for our party

ready to ring in the new year!

We also made our holiday cake.  I made it round but didn't realize that my M&M's would not stretch across it until it was too late.  I instead put the 20 on top and the 17 on bottom.  (note for next year- always bake a rectangle cake for New Year's Eve!)

welcome 2017!

Do you think they were excited when it was time to begin our celebration???

Here are some photos of the boys popping our balloons throughout the night.  They really loved doing this.
our floors were covered in confetti by the end of the night but it was so much fun!

Our first scripture card and activity.  I really enjoyed the scriptures and discussions.   Some of them were a little deep for the boys but I like the idea of us reading the Bible together.  I think we'll continue doing this in the years to come.  It was a great way to reflect on the past year and get our hearts ready for the year to come.  

Activity #1- watching Happy New Year Charlie Brown while eating our pizza supper.  We watch that movie every year on New Year's.

Our next balloon activity had us make party hats.   I printed off a pattern online onto some cardstock paper.  They both love to color and so they really enjoyed this.

Coloring New Year's party hats.  They were going to get new markers to begin the second half of the school year so I gave them to them early to use on this activity.  They were tickled about that!

our New Year's Eve party hats

Our next activity was playing games.  They chose Candy Land. 

who doesn't love family game night?

having fun on New Year's Eve

Here is Cruz trying his best to read one of our scripture verses.  I love that he was wanting to participate.  One of our cards had us praying for those who were starting the new year with no hope in Jesus.  I wish I could have recorded his sweet little prayer.  It brought tears to my eyes!

Our next activity was a color sheet and they got new crayons to color with,.  As you can see in the photo below Ben first dumped all of his out and then lined them up by color.  That boy is a mess!
 coloring on New Year's Eve

Our 8:30 balloon activity had us on the move.  We went for a night walk around our block and they got glow sticks to enjoy while outside.

walking and riding on New Year's Eve

At 9:00 they opened new modeling clay (another thing they needed for school).  They spent a lot of time making things.

Our next activity was probably one of their favorites.We made our own ice cream sundaes.  I had several toppings for them to choose from, and it was fun and delicious for everyone.

ice cream!!!

Next up- fireworks.

heading back outside to shoot some fireworks on New Year's Eve

 fun, fun, fun

Here is David clowning around for the boys with his sparklers.

We came back in and got them cleaned up.  We don't have a bathtub but from time to time we will stop up our shower drain, catch the water, and let them play.   They love getting to do that.  It was extra fun adding their glow sticks to the water.

Our last scripture verse was Habakkuk 1:5.  We read the verse and then had to name one thing we hope will happen for our nation this year.  It was a good opportunity to pray for our country and it's leaders.

Below are all of the verses we read throughout the night.  I loved this activity.  Any time we can model a love for reading God's Word to our children I'm all for it.
You can visit to get the link to these.  The same link has the printables for a Valentine's Scripture Countdown.  We did this last year and plan to do it again this year.  Check it out!

Their last activity was an end of the year review sheet.  I filled in their answers and then they got to color the page.  I think I'll continue this activity in the years to come too.  These will be fun to look back on. 
their questionnaires 

While coloring we did one of my favorite New Year's activities which is watching the ball drop in New York City.  


When midnight arrived here in Guatemala they got to pop the last balloon.  It only had confetti inside.  I cannot believe they made it to midnight but all the activities helped keep them busy and stimulated.  They told me over and over how much fun they were having.  It really was a fun time.  We headed on to bed shortly afterwards and they slept until 8:00 the next morning.  That was the latest they had ever stayed up and the latest they had ever slept.

On New Year's morning I made banana pancakes.  It is my tradition to shape the boys like the new year.
Happy New Year breakfast

David went to the village of Nearar to lead Bible study and the boys and I hung out at home.  I got most all of my Christmas decorations put away and the house somewhat back in order.  I cooked a pot of red beans and we had red beans and rice for lunch.  We napped in the afternoon and just chilled out the rest of the day.  It was a New Year's celebration we will remember for a long time. 

Happy New Year everyone! May the Lord bless you greatly in the days ahead.

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