We had a blast last night and I hope your families did as well.


We started off our party at the munchies table which the kiddos loved; they thought it was so cool seeing their toys transformed into serving dishes. Each family member made a plate then found a spot in the living room to eat.

Coco Krispies as “dirt”
A Castle with cascading Grapes
Gotta have pizza
Krabby Patties in the Restaurant
Egg Rolls
“Peeze”….more “dirt”….”peeze”
Thor visited briefly, made an appearance then exited.

After everyone finished their munchies it was time to get the party really started with some music. We danced to the Kid’s Looney Party Tunes which included the Birdie Song (chicken dance), See you Later Alligator, Lion sleeps Tonight, and much more. They had so much fun dancing around the living room.

Gotta Dance!
Looks like they are in the middle of a serious conversation

Then it was time for family traditions, writing New Year’s resolutions on balloons that would be popped at midnight (or 8pm) and Mommy reading The Velveteen Rabbit.  Both are traditions that I had growing up and I so enjoy sharing them with my family.

He said he would like to fly and I asked where he would like to go, thinking Hawaii or somewhere warm. He explained to me that he doesn’t care just as long as he has wings.
She already has a busy schedule but she would like to add swimming, dancing, and soccer.

After the story it was getting close to “midnight” so we had the kiddos get their shoes and coats on so they would be ready to greet the New Year with lots of noise.

Everyone was starting to get a little sleepy, time to welcome the New Year.
Make some noise!!!

They banged the pots and pans with spoons and screamed Happy New Year!!! Then it was time to pop our balloons. There were even a few brief moments of comedy. Our daughter asked if it would be okay if she sat on her balloon in order to pop it. We both proclaimed that it would be alright. Then she looked up with a very serious expression on her face and asked, “Will the balloon go up my butt?”  It was too funny, a great question, but hilarious.

Crazy Humans!

And yes, we made it to Midnight. Granted I brewed some coffee around 6pm which helped and we were able to toast the New Year together once the kiddos were in bed.

It was a fabulous New Year’s Eve Party, probably the best one I ever attended and the guest list was remarkable, each guest the love of my life.  Here’s to a remarkable year with family and friends, raise your glasses moms (coffee, tea, wine, whatever), Happy New Year!

Here is a toast to all my reader, Happy New Year!

So how was your New Years?

Cabela’s with the kiddos: Taxidermy, Pink in a sea of Camouflage, & Camping Chic

One of my New Years resolutions is to take the children camping.  It should be noted that I am not a huge camper myself. In fact when I was a child we would go camping for a week, sometimes more, once with extended family and once with close friends.  I always enjoyed the swimming, camp fires, fishing, canoeing, and hikes, it was the sleeping arrangements that I never really cared for, more appropriately, detested.

One year we stayed in a Teepee during a drought, the top of the Teepee was opened wide to allow for better air circulation.  That first night there, as luck would have it, it poured down rain, buckets.  Everything was wet, we were wet, I was not happy. Then to make matters worse, the restrooms were a few minutes down the path. So I went to go get cleaned up and found myself sliding on slimy things all over the path. They were little frogs; I was slipping and sliding on frog carcass, AHHHH!

I never really understood why people would pay their mortgage and then pack up to go live outside for a week or two?  I was always like, Hello, you have a cozy climate controlled environment at home and you choose to sleep with the bugs, rain, large varmints, and weird smells?  I didn’t understand it then, but, as a parent I think I understand it.  It teaches children to really appreciate what they have at home and, I suppose, it can even be fun, but that is only during fun activities that I previously mentioned. So, I guess this city Mama can go camping, or maybe Camping Chic (do all the fun stuff outside then stay at the lodge overnight).  No, I can do this, for the sake of my children learning a valuable lesson, the sacrifices we make for our children.

So, we visited Cabela’s yesterday in hopes of introducing the children to a different side of the great outdoors (where you do not stay in the lodge).  Boy was it an introduction. I forgot about the entire taxidermy mountain, they had a lot of questions. “Why did they kill this animal? Why did they kill that animal? Why did they kill the baby?” This was tricky. I am always honest with our children, when we eat chicken, fish, turkey, cow, what have you; they know it was an animal at one time that they are eating. It was just tricky explaining the hunting, eating, and stuffing as a sport and, I suppose taxidermy as an art? I was always fascinated by the skills that the Native American had to hunt down a large animal with an arrow and bow.  I also admired the fact that they had an appreciation for the animal and utilized all components, the fur, meat, bones, etc.  I do have admiration for the hunt but I am still working with the whole taxidermy thing, I struggle with the idea that it is a little narcissistic to display something you killed. Like the three-year-old who wants all his pictures displayed on the refrigerator, but an adult, I just don’t get it. Maybe one day?

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?
"Why did they kill the baby?"

"What are you looking at? Pink? Never seen it in here before huh?"
Turkey, yum!
I want to swim...swim with the fishie, swim!!!!

So, after answering quite an array of distinctive questions from our Kindergartener and preschooler, while struggling with our toddler who wanted to go swimming with the fish, it was off to the camping equipment.  As we made our way to the elevator, thanks to the stroller, I realized I was standing out like a sore thumb. I was the only pink in a sea of camouflage.  I noticed a group of Mennonite women seated on a bench and I suddenly felt for them, I know they often receive stares because of their clothing, this time I was the odd-ball.

Toddler Cowgirl, always on the go!

Once upstairs we priced some camping supplies and I came to the realization that it just might be cheaper to borrow a tent the first time we go, order pizza, lots of pizza, I am talking pizza in the morning, pizza in the afternoon, and pizza for supper time (and s’mores).  All that camping gear really adds up and besides what do we actually need?  We need a few sleeping bags, bread, peanut butter and jelly, and some clothes?   Besides, isn’t camping suppose to be about time together as a family, having fun in the great outdoors.

Kiddos loved the Aquarium

So maybe our family is not quite at the Cabela caliber for camping just yet.  But, maybe one day, I will get beyond the Camping chic status, and if not, I will book a room in the lodge for the evening and spend a lovely day with the family and sleep in a climate controlled environment and a dry cozy bed (also, Maumee Bay State Park Lodge has Starbucks, BONUS!)

I did get this awesome candle to commemorate the trip. It has the 3 things I look for in candles, soy so it buns clean, made in the USA, and lead free container.

So are you a hardcore camping mom or is Camping Chic more your speed too? Got any advice for this Mama when it comes to camping? Maybe you have a funny camping story, I would love to hear about it, do tell!