Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Family Traditions #17: New Year's 2013

"Family traditions give identity and belonging to each member." - James Dobson

In the past we haven't done anything special for New Year's. This year was very different! I built it up for a couple days, starting on the day I took the Christmas tree down. There were actual tears during the protest of the tree coming down. The boys just knew that when Daddy came home to find that Mommy had taken the "pretty tree" down he would be just as disgusted as they were. Well Daddy came home and joined their side (he thinks he's funny!) It was 3 against 1, so I declared that we HAD to take the tree down in order for us to have room for a BIG party in a couple days. That worked!
I love it when the boys wake up to something new. They saw all the balloons and were certain that it was someones birthday! There was one balloon for each hour counting down to midnight. It was a good review of our numbers! They were supposed to pop them with a pin. 
Jonah has a thing about loud noises. He loves speakers being really loud, but fusses at me constantly about being too loud, like when I have the meat tenderizer or am running the food processor. So he tried, but he could never make himself actually pop one. The rest of us popped them all. 
We live in Guatemala, so there were lots of loud noises that night!
We were excited about starting some New Year's Eve traditions. We decided to go with fondue! The boys were picking up the sticks and explaining to me all day long that they were going to cook their own meal that night. I love talking to my boys. Our conversations are hilarious!
We had parmesan chicken, onions, and potatoes. The boys tried the onions but I think they only had one a piece.
Our first apartment in Guatemala had a little fondue restaurant across the street... I loved that place. Jimmy bought me this fondue pot after that. 3 year olds with hot oil... a little tricky! We didn't have any problems though. 
Can you tell it was a hit! We all loved this tradition, it's a keeper!

That night we watched movies together too AND drank pop. (That's a big deal.) It was a long way to midnight, so we watched the mickey mouse version of The Three Musketeers and How to Train Your Dragon. 
Now Silas is constantly talking about dragons and Jonah about Donald Duck. In the mornings when Jonah walks into the kitchen we say, "Good morning, Jonah" and he says, "No Jonah, Me Donald Duck!"His grandpa "G" can talk exactly like Donald Duck, so the boys have been practicing... especially the sneeze. They think it is so funny:
We had chocolate fondue for dessert with cherries and marshmallows. My chocolate was a little runny, so I am going to have to practice this one. Luckly no imported dark chocolate was wasted in this attempt! 
At midnight we went outside for fireworks. After the video we made for Becca's birthday with firecrackers Jonah didn't want anything to do with loud fireworks. He said that he was going to wait for us in his room while we shot off fireworks. We promised no loud ones, just lots of lights so he was eventually persuaded outside. We set off a big one with no sound and then afterwards we did a couple sparklers. 
Jonah was happy!
Silas told me he was writing letters with his sparkler! 
Since we have been studying letters they make them out of everything: their tape measure, play dough, bite their pretzels into letters, draw letters in puddles on the table. They are pretty creative with it. They surprise me.
One time Jonah got a feisty sparkler and we asked him if it was burning his hand. He laughed and said, "No, it's burning my face!" Guatemalan sparklers really aren't that safe. 
We kept trying to get a picture with us all in the air, but it was pitch dark outside which made it really hard to balance. We kept falling!
We had a lot of fun!
Jonah and Silas made it all the way to midnight. They didn't even lose steam! There was no whining or fighting. I was really surprised. Usually you can tell when it's bedtime without looking at the clock. Then I thought back and realized... they were using marshmallows as fuel!
Here are some other New Year traditions we started:
Our Family Interview Book - I got the idea here and here and then photoshopped them together. 
On our next furlough I will pick up a nice leather scrapbooky something to bind them in so that we'll have a book to look at over the years. I'll print a photo of each person too. These were a hoot to fill out. I wrote down all of the boys' responses, but if I thought they were way off I'd put my own opinion in parenthesis next to it just for memories sake. When asked what their favorite Bible story was they both said David and Goliath. Jonah's favorite food was pears and Silas said pancakes! Silas' favorite animal was snakes and Jonah's was bears. I had each of them write their letter too for their name. I think they will enjoy looking at these through the years as much as mommy! There is a spot to say what you're thankful for, a spot to write down something you want to learn, and something you want to get better at. There was a lot to talk about!

Another tradition is our growth chart that Jimmy made for us! He used my Papa's old wood burning tool that my mom gave me. I showed Jimmy a picture of what I wanted and he came home and made it one night. 
It took another night to add our last name (since I was slow cutting the letters out as a guide). It is beautiful in person! It will be a treasure on our wall. 
{You can see our first markings in this photo!}
We didn't tell them one was taller than the other one, I'm sure they'll figure that out soon enough. I thought it was interesting though that for the first time since they were born Silas is taller than Jonah, but only by 1/4 of an inch. Maybe we'll get lucky and they will stay that close in size. 

I have been trying to remember after special days to get a video recap of us talking with the boys about their favorite moments. You can still see the effects of their marshmallow high in this one!
Our New Year's Eve was perfect! I love my family so much!


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