The highlight of our week was celebrating New Years Eve. We went around mums for a family party. We had a lovely surprise when we arrived and saw that Aunty Ceri and Lexy had come home for the occasion (we expected them to celebrate in Newport) so it was great to see them earlier in the year than we expected.
Over Christmas the kids really enjoyed Fungus the Bogeyman, and they loved the mask and nose picker (don't ask!) that Ceri brought with her.
There was lots of "drink mixing" and cocktail shaking going on, even with the kids!
The stronger stuff was saved for the adults of course and Dave mixed this horrible looking drink that he used to drink "years ago", called Gorilla Snot. He made it from Baileys (any Irish Creme will do!), Vodka and Cola, but in the past he has made it with Creme de Menthe. I've also seen recipes where this is made from Port and Baileys. It's not like me to say no to a drink on New Years eve but I said no to this one. Apparently it tastes really nice though...
Thumbs up, Izzy!
When we were younger, we were always in charge of the music for the hall disco. We had lots of neighbours at a similar age so street parties were always a lot of fun. Party favourites included all of the old Black Lace favourites, Agadoo, the Conga and so on. I can even remember in the days before New Years Eve, us girls playing out in the garden practising the moves for "Hands Up (Gimme Your Heart", so we'd be all coordinated for the big night! This year the girls chose the songs on our phones, so there was more Katy Perry and Taylor Swift than Black Lace, but it was lovely to see the girls dancing and enjoying themselves.
Izzy is still loving singing all her favourite Christmas Carols- can you guess what song she is singing here?
As there was no AC/DC being played, Danny went out to play his preferred music such as "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple and movie theme tunes on the keyboard instead!
During the day, I'd decided to get lots of glow bracelets. I was going to wrap them in a just for fun pass the parcel with one set between each layer. Unfortunately I forgot about the New Year's Eve shopping panic that everyone goes into because the shops are going to be shut for ONE DAY. It was bedlam. I looked in a couple of stores but they were sold out. I gave up then and went home as I hate it when shops are busy. I remember ("in the old days") when shops were shut every Sunday and we all coped just fine. It's so funny how times change.
I picked up some glow in the dark balloons instead.
Danny, quickly made a small pass the parcel just for him and Izzy to play as he knows she loves that party game.
She gave him a big hug at the end when she came to her re-purposed toy prize. He is so thoughtful to his sisters, especially the youngest as she isn't as annoying- yet!
We played the Kazoo game again.
Once more, this had us all laughing. Izzy just made up her songs to play as she can't yet read the cards, but I'm still impressed at how good she is at this game.
Mum and daughter smiles! The night went very quickly. It didn't even feel like the kids had stayed up later than usual. We enjoyed a lovely New Years Eve tea (thanks, Mum!).
Then, all of a sudden, it was time to rally everyone together as it was nearly midnight!
Big Ben Chimed: Happy New Year!
We cheered the moment and then wished everyone personally a happy New Year, with a big hug and a kiss.
Lexy, our token dark haired man, went off to let the New Year into the house with a piece of coal. Traditionally, the dark haired man would carry bread, salt and a lump of coal, so symbolically everyone in the home would have enough food, money and warmth for the following year. I'm not sure why we have only kept up the tradition of coal, maybe we should carry in bread and salt next year too and we'll be better off!
Meanwhile we crossed and held hands and sang Auld Lang Syne together.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
We then went outside for party poppers, sparklers and fireworks.
The kids made a New Year's wish as they held their sparklers.
When I was a kid, we then used to link arms and run down then up the road shouting Happy New Year to all of the neighbours!
Instead we came inside for a bit more dancing!
There was more Champagne, Cava, Prosecco and celebrations.
I wanted to take a lovely photo of 2016 lit up, unfortunately by the time we'd lit 2, 6, had gone out! Next year I'll have two people lighting the number sparklers (live and learn!).
Izzy went to sleep beside us on the settee.
Then the rest of the kids changed into pyjamas and were put to bed. They were not tired at all. Adrenaline must have seen them through!
Soon, just the "merry" grown ups were left up! Our first photo of 2016. I must remember to take part in Me and Mine and the Siblings linkys this year to make sure we get lots of photos of all of us each month.
The last photo of the night (I mean morning!).
The next morning, the kids were up as usual. I did laugh walking into the room and seeing Fungus playing the keyboard!
What a sight! We had a lovely New Year's Day at mums. We played games, watched the specials on TV and our old favourite films. We also had lots of lovely food. We had another "sleepover" on New Year's Day then went home the next day.
On our first outing out in 2016 we saw a rainbow which gives hope for 2016 (and also shows how much it has been raining this week!).
Back home, we took down the decorations. The tree was in as good condition as the day it arrived but it had to come down before the kids went back to school. I caught up with the laundry (once I'd sorted it we had mountains of clothes all over the kitchen floor!) while the kids made the most of their free time before school playing with their new toys.
It was an amazing Christmas and New Year. We loved this special time with our family, but have lots of fun plans for 2016 too.
The kids started back to school and we went back to work on Monday. The early get up was hard. We loved our holiday lie ins. It's still a struggle. Danny is doing well so far. He went to Scouts last night so I'm hoping he still has lots of energy left for school today. The (really!) cold weather will set in soon so I must make sure I have all his thermals, hats and gloves ready for him on school days, as his poor circulation can make it hard for him to keep warm and the extra energy it takes to keep warm makes him even more tired.
The girls seem happy so far and Isabelle goes back to school, FULL TIME today too! I'll miss her but know she really enjoys it. In theory if I can get all my work and house work done while they're at school then I can have better quality time with them after school and at weekends.
Roll on the weekend, I say!
How has your week been? Do you celebrate New Years Eve? If so, how do you celebrate it?