Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year!

I love a new year, don't you!?! The slate is wiped clean and it feels like you get to start all over again. It's a wonderful feeling! And a new year also means a new start for my poor, poor neglected blog! I had to take a step back and figure out why I was blogging. When I started this blog in 2007 I started it to keep a record of what we were doing, especially as I got farther and farther behind in my scrapbooking. I knew the blog would be a great way to go back and have the stories to go with the pictures when I finally got around to srapping them. Then, I got all caught up in getting followers and blah, blah. Now don't get me wrong, I do love those of you who follow our little blog! But recognizing that I started this blog as a sort of record keeping and a way for long distance family and friends to keep up with what we were doing, and watch the kids grow, the sudden "need" to have lots of followers started to get overwhelming. I looked at other blogs and what they were doing, and how many followers they had and I felt like a failure in comparison. But I didn't start this blog to get thousands of followers, and it's time to get back to the bones. So in 2013 I'll be getting back to regular posts about what is going on in our lives. I'm embarking on a serious fight to get organized and find a routine (daily, as well as cleaning) that works for me. I'm going to be menu planning again (with the costs of everything looking to go up in 2013 a menu plan is going to become essential to keeping costs down). You'll hear about my obsession with Pinterest (the heavens part....AHHHHH!!!) and Instagram (how awesome is Instagram!!) And of course, my kids will continue to be the stars of the show around here. After all, they are our abundant blessings and we are so blessed to have them! 

Speaking of Pinterest (are you on there yet?!? If not, why not!?!? It's amazing!!!), I found so many great ideas that we used for our New Years' Eve celebration this year. Our circle of friends actually ended up with no plans this year for New Years' Eve, so for the first time in probably 5 years we were at home with the kids. I knew it was going to take some planning to keep them engaged and playing nicely as we counted down to the New Year. So, off to Pinterest I went! 

First, I found this idea from The Real Thing with the Coake Family.
Source: via Kari on Pinterest
She made these bags for her daughters, one bag for each hour of their family's New Years' Eve party. Inside each bag was an activity for the family to do together. I loved this idea and decided to make up some bags myself. Using plan brown lunch bags, white cardstock, my Cricut machine and some markers I created 12 bags.

Not nearly as cute..but they got the job done :-)

Inside each bag I placed an activity. The first one was a little bit of trickery on my part, but it needed to be done! lol

It's time to start the night off right, we don't want you to scream or fight. Just run around and pick up those toys, so we can have fun and make lots of noise!
That was our activity for the 1 o'clock hour: cleaning up the playroom and the living room so that we would have the space to have fun. Nothing kills the fun buzz worse than stepping on a car or a Lego!
For the 2 o'clock hour we spent some time looking back at 2012. We used 2 different printables, one for the adults and one for the kids. The printable for the kids came from Amy's Finer Things. 
Source: via Kari on Pinterest
I liked that this printable had a space to write the kids heights and weights. We broke out a measuring tape and the Wii Fit scale. Each child had an adult to help them fill out their sheets. They turned out so cute! And they'll be great to go back and look at as I'm trying to scrapbook pictures from this year :-)

The reflection for the adults came from one of my favorite blogs, The Dating Divas. 

Source: via Kari on Pinterest
It defnitely took some self inspection to fill them out. Some of the questions were just downright hard! But it was a fun way to look back and think about the highs and lows of 2012.

Our girl didn't need any help-it's kind of sad when they can start filling out things without your help! Except for the occasional "How do you spell ________?"
And so the day/night continued on, opening a new bag every hour (or 2, in the case of the 4-5 o'clock hour when everyone laid down for naps and no one woke up til 5:30. Luckily the 5 o'clock hour was eating and the 6 o'clock hour was playing board games so we could do that and eat at the same time!)

We played some Wii games (bowling and Just Dance 3-what a workout!!!)

This little guy is good! His first time ever playing Wii bowling and he bowled a 72!

The pile on the desk...the reason I am on an organization mission in 2013! lol Oh, and yes, that is a broken arm! I'll have to share that story soon!

And that little thing...he'll be 5 months old this week! Can you believe it!?!? I sure can't!!!

This game totally wore me out! You don't need an expensive gym membership! Just buy any of the Just Dance games!!
We ate our favorite New Years' Eve dinner...munchie foods! I made potato skins from scratch, something I am ashamed to admit I've never done before! They were so easy and sooo good! So much better than those frozen things from the store that are probably full of additives and preservatives and other yucky stuff that we are trying to cut out of our diet this year. We also had BBQ chicken wings, sausages, cheese, crackers, celery, carrots, cucumbers, dip, chips, and salsa. I contemplated making quesadillas, but thought we had enough. Don't you think so?!?!

Yummy, yummy homemade potato skins. I'll never buy potato skins again! Too easy and too delicious to make on your own!
All the yummies!
 While we were eating, and after, we played a few games that the kids chose. The first was Headbandz. If you've never played this game I highly recommend it! It is a great family game and one that is very portable. We will be taking this camping this summer for sure!

I think Jonah was trying to use his powers of ESP to figure out what was on his card! lol
 Our sweet baby boy! The time is going by way too quickly with him! It seems the more kids you have to faster the time goes! I'd love to slow it down just a little. He is just way to sweet and I'm sad to think that we are almost half way through his first year. Knowing he's the last baby has made every smile, every cuddle, every everything that much more special, but it's also made it a little bittersweet. Lasts are hard! Now I need some neices and nephews to spoil!(Yes, Samantha and Eric I am looking at you!) For those of you wondering if he really is our last the answer is a big, resounding yes! 5 pregnancies in 8 years have been very hard on my body and my emotional state. For the sake of our family we've made the decision that it's best not to push our luck. I'm doing good right now but it's been a battle at times and I'd rather not push it anymore. So for the sake of our family Eli is our final baby. It's a little sad, but at the same time he has made everything feel so complete. We know it's the best decision!

Another of our activities for the night included calling grandparents to wish them a happy New Year!

Finally, it was time to countdown! With the exception of Jonah's little cat nap the kids made it all the way to midnight! I didn't know if they would (let's be honest, I didn't know if I would at times!! lol) but they did. And it was so much fun to ring in the new year with all of us together as a family!

10, 9, 8....
Happy New Year! Welcome 2013 (2013-how crazy is that!?!? And where is my flying car?!?! Just sayin'!)
After midnight snuggles! Yup, even the baby was up!
And just a few days after New Years baby came down with RSV and an ear infection. The tears you see here we thought were from teething. Turns out not!
But after a little Tylenol the smiles were back!
We had a wonderful New Years' Eve together! The bags definitely helped pass the time quickly. We commented often how it seemed like hours were going so fast. It was time for a new activity before we knew it. If we end up doing a family New Years again this year we will definitely be doing this again! It was a huge hit! But we were all ready for a good nights' sleep not long after 2013 showed up. There may or many not have been a little snoring!

 Happy 2013 my friends! 2012 was a great year for us, but here's hoping 2013 will be even better!


Corine said...

Thanks so much for sharing the New Years printable and time capsule! :D I know you don't know me, but Happy New Year to you and your family!

A fellow blogger,
Corine :D

Kristy said...

This blog post was so cute. I'll be anxious to read about all the fun stuff you do with the kids! I definitely get inspired and anxious for Kennedy to grow up so I can start doing all this fun stuff with her too!

Shelly said...

I am so glad you are back at the blog. I've missed reading your posts. I have so much to comment on in this post. I know what you mean about getting back to the basics with blogging. I have struggled with that many times, and sometimes I find myself falling back into the habit of worrying what others will like and think of me. But I try to keep reminding myself that I blog for me.

I love reading about the activities and fun things you do with your family, like this new years eve idea. It is such an inspiration to me. So thank you for sharing it. It sounds like it was a really fun night for your family.

Your potato skins look delicious. We are trying to cut back on the processed foods too and do things more from scratch and healthier.

And lastly, I completely agree with you that the more kids you have the faster time seems to pass by. I cannot believe Leah is approaching 7 months. And she is our last baby, so the bittersweet feeling of watching her grow often overwhelms me. And while it is sad to have the baby years ending, at least I can honestly say that I feel like my family is complete.

I am so happy you posted. I cannot wait to read more this year.

The Fischer Family said...

Thanks for stopping by Corinne! Happy New Year to you as well!

The Fischer Family said...

Thanks Kristy! I'm having so much fun watching Kennedy grow up on your blog. You'll be doing stuff like this before you know it!

The Fischer Family said...

Thank you Shelly! I'm glad to be back to blogging too, both writing and reading. And thanks for all the encouragement! You are always so supportive. I really enjoy reading your blog too and I'm glad you'be kept it up too! Here's to a great year!!

K Coake said...

Thank you so much for sharing your post with me! I am so glad you found my post and that you and your family had such a great New Year's Eve! I totally understand about enjoying the lasts. We have our two girls and unfortunately we tried to have more and it wasn't meant to be. It is hard at times and I so wish I could have another squishy baby, but I am also so incredibly blessed with the two girls I have.
Happy New Year to you and your family!