Winter Wonderland

***Sorry these last few holiday posts have been so delayed. We’re all taking turns being sick. It’s the first family cold of the new year, and considering it’s almost February, that’s not too bad for us! (The downside of living so closely with so many children is that we’re all constantly sick.)***

I think that I failed to mention on this blog that I am a parent representative for Adele’s school year at Cranleigh. There are three of us for the five classrooms of FS2 (Foundation Stage 2, ages 4-5). This is what I’ve always wanted to to! I was born to be a PTA mom.

I gotta say, though, this first experience was not the greatest. We were chosen more than halfway through the start of the first half of the school year, so there wasn’t much time to put many events together before the long winter break. I tried to organize a “festive season” get-together, but couldn’t find a date that worked for all three of us moms. However, one week before school was to let out for the holidays, we were called in by the five teachers and told that they wanted us to throw a party for all 90 children, their parents, and younger siblings. In five days. With no budget.

I’m not going to bitch about it here, because it’s been a month and a half and I’m finally emotionally recovered! Suffice it to say that it was a stressful five days. I already had soooo many things going on, several other parties to throw & attend, and the trip to Munich to plan & pack for. Also, Jeff and May were sick (hmm, just like now), so I was really being pulled in way too many directions at once.

The party, however, went off without a hitch and the kids had a blast.

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Climbing structure turned “Winter Forest” fort

The theme was “Winter Wonderland,” because we couldn’t make any reference at all to Christmas. It was held in the hallway between all the classrooms.

One of the other parent reps, Nahla, handled the majority of the decorations. Jenny, the third rep, was already on vacation in the Seychelles for the party, but she pre-made a gingerbread man card making station with stickers and string and gold pens:

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There were kids working diligently at the tables for the entire party. Afterwards, I gathered up the leftover supplies and took them on the plane to Germany for Adele and May to decorate. Free and festive plane entertainment!

I made some games, such as this snowman, into which the kids could try to throw “snowballs” (balls made out of crumpled white paper):

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I also made some photo props for the kids to play with (I painted cereal boxes and taped them to straws):

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Elsa crown and Olaf nose (well, it was just a generic carrot nose, but all snowman are Olaf now)

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Mrs. Peripoli makes a perfect Elsa!

Mrs. Peripoli makes a perfect Elsa!

I forgot to take a picture of the frostbitten lips, so Adele modeled them for me tonight

I forgot to take a picture of the frostbitten lips, so Adele modeled them for me tonight

At the party, my main duty was to man the cocoa stand:

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My lovely assistant May

It was supposed to be a hot cocoa bar with a variety of toppings for the kids to choose from, but at the last minute, I found out that we couldn’t have hot water for safety reasons, so I made chocolate milk and called it “frozen” cocoa! I still topped their drinks with whipped cream and marshmallows, chocolate chips, sprinkles, chocolate and caramel sauce, and crushed candy cane bits:

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There were a steady stream of thirsty kiddos!

It was nearly impossible for me to gauge how many ingredients to buy for 90 families, so I bought in excess. As a result, we have been putting whipped cream and chocolate sauce on everything for the last month and a half. Not a bad problem to have!

All of the moms in one classroom decided to be responsible for the desserts:

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I’m not sure if any of these treats ended up being homemade, but boy were they fancy. As Jeff said, “Yes, they were home made. They were made by the families’ in-home chefs.” Oh, Abu Dhabi.

I have many complaints about this party, but it actually went very well and everybody was happy (children are easy to please – give them sugar and let them dance to the Frozen soundtrack). But there will be no more planned-in-five-days parties! This second half of the school year is going to be much better organized. We’re already thinking ahead to our “Spring Fling.”

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