Left the world of sales/marketing to raise my 4 energetic boys. I homeschool. I do natural birth. I cook, play piano, scuba dive. I love exploring new places, especially with my family.

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New Years As A Family!

How do you like to bring in the new year?  It’s such an exciting time of celebration as we think about the past year and look forward to a new year.  I love celebrating new year’s with my kids.  The experiences we have had and will have, the memories we have made and will make, it’s all about our family. So we celebrate together, ending one year and beginning the next.  So today I am sharing some fun ideas with you of how to have fun with your kids this New Year’s.

– Have a fun movie and dinner night.  We started doing this with our kids a few years ago and have done it each year since.  We choose a movie they haven’t watched before that we are excited to introduce to them and watch it while eating Chinese take-out.  Some of the movies we’ve watched are The Princess Bride, The Sandlot, and Hook.  We also like to make a simple caramel corn to munch on. (see recipe below)

– We like to decorate for our “party”.  Nothing too fancy.  Streamers, balloons, make some signs saying ‘Happy New Year’.

– Games are always fun to play.  We’ve done glow-in-the-dark limbo with music.  We turn out the lights and all wear glow bracelets and necklaces and put glow sticks on a broom or whatever we use for the limbo stick.  Mexican Train Dominoes, Uno, and there are plenty of Minute-to-Win It ideas online to play.

– Put together fun things to bring in the new year.  (We have usually celebrated at 9 pm for young kids to get to bed). We’ve cut up colored paper into confetti and put it in paper bags to pop and explode around the room.  We’ve bought Silly String to spray all over.  You can make a spin drum, noisemaker shakers,  or a paper noisemaker.  Toast to the new year with some sparkling cider!

– Put one some music and have a dance party to celebrate the new year!  Make it a great one!

On New Year’s Day, we take time to fill out a questionnaire about ourselves.  Favorite food, favorite color, favorite movie and book from this year, favorite place we went, favorite subject in school, etc.  After we have all completed our questionnaires, we pull out the previous year’s questionnaires and see what our answers were then.  We also make some goals individually and as a family of things we want to work on, new experiences we want to have, and things we want to learn.

Whatever you decide to do this New Year’s, I hope you have a great time celebrating and making special memories with your kids as you prepare for another year.  Happy New Year!

Microwave Caramel Popcorn

4 quarts popped popcorn
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda

1. Place the popped popcorn into a large brown paper bag. Set aside.

2. In a 2 quart casserole dish or other heat-proof glass dish, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Heat for 3 minutes in the microwave, then take out and stir until well blended. Return to the microwave, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir in the baking soda.

3. Pour syrup over the popcorn in the bag. Roll down the top once or twice to close the bag, and shake to coat the corn. Place bag into the microwave, and cook for 1 minute and 10 seconds. Remove, shake, flip the bag over, and return it to the microwave. Cook for another 1 minute and 10 seconds. Dump the popcorn out onto waxed paper, and let cool until coating is set. Store in an airtight container.

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