Monday, November 22, 2010

Some Bad News

Well I heard the bad news last weekend, there will no longer be an Activities Chairman as of next year.  I felt like the rug had been pulled out from beneath me.  I'm still going to finish the year with the activities we had planned but I no longer have much say in what will happen next year.  It was suggested to me that I list the activities that we traditionally do and add the ones I wanted to plan and see what happens.  I think I know what's going to happen but I'm trying to have a positive attitude about this.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Parade Problems

This week I cleaned out that outside storage closet.  It wasn't as bad as I was expecting but there was plenty of rodent evidence.  I found all the painted animals for the Christmas float were in great shape but the manger was falling to pieces.  The nativity costumes were not in there.  That leaves me coming up with some in the next few weeks.
I'm rather excited about this after looking at some patterns.  I don't want to sew them but I might have too.

This is Simplicity pattern 4795.  I see it's the details that make outfit.  I'm going to some yard sales tomorrow morning to see if I can find anything we could use.  I did purchase a shepherd's crook from Oriental Trading Company .  The shipping and handling was more than the item but that's okay.  The crook is made to come apart for easy storage, I love that.
Chuck volunteered to be on the float and I will be an angel.  Once Katherine heard that, she insisted that she be in the parade as well.  I found a lamb costume on Martha Stewart's site that will work well.  She'll be delighted to wear it.  I bought the hats from Hobby Lobby in their t-shirt and decal section.  They were less than $2 on sale.  I came home and made the ears and sewed them on.  It turned out so cute!

Luckily, my dad volunteered to fix the manger and I'm hoping the men will build us another stable.  Maybe this one will be made to come apart for storage.  The last one spent all year outside and is no longer safe to use.
I bought a beautiful large gold star from Hobby Lobby today as well to go on top of the stable.  I'm thinking we could put a spotlight on it and add a little magic sparkle.  This thing is slowly coming together!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

When Everyone Is In Charge...

This week my plan was to find the nativity costumes for the Christmas parade.  I found the labeled box but it held no costumes.  This is what happens when "everyone is in charge" it means no one is in charge.  I have sent a mass email out asking if anyone knows the whereabouts of the costumes but so far I haven't gotten any responses. 
I also ventured into the outside storage this week to have a look at the painted animals that go along with the float.  They are in good condition but the storage closet is a health hazard.  It looked like a haunted house with everything covered in dust and an extreme amount of spider webs.  I had planned on taking the shop vac to it but wouldn't you know, it was raining and very windy.  Some other time then.

I prefer to work with adults on the parade but children are way more fun to see.  Look at these darlings!  I found this on the web and was hoping it was about making the costumes.  It was actually a bizarre article from Great Britain about parents spending mega bucks on their child's nativity costumes. 
Anyway, I'm just going to have to find a willing family or two to volunteer.  I'm beginning to see that I will have to be careful and not ask my friends too much or they'll start avoiding me!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trunk or Treat 2010

I was just called as the Ward Activities Chair.  Wow, I'm loving it!  Trunk or Treat was my first challenge and it was a big one.  I had 3 big problems:
1.  We planned a chili cook off and the weather was strangely hot.
2.  Our building was in the midst of getting new A/C's and the gym did not have air.
3.  The night of the event our town was under a severe weather alert and I did not plan a rain date.

I did have a moment where I freaked out but I realized that I had no control over any of the problems and there was no choice but to move on.

My first mistake was not asking for help putting up the tables and chairs.  We had planned for 200 people and that is A LOT of chairs for 2 people to do.  We spent a good bit of time trying to figure out how to fit that many tables and chairs into our space.  I took some photos and printed them so next time we'll know where everything goes.  It took 23 round tables and 3 long tables for that many people.  I chose not to use table cloths on these tables as we were going to be eating chili.

I made all of the decorations.  I was happy with the newspaper and pages from a book pinwheels.  They were free and I was able to make various sizes.  I also made the candy corn pom-poms following these directions.  Next time I would use more of each color tissue to get a fuller ball.  This table was where I placed all the carved pumpkins people brought for a contest.  The winner received a $10 gift card to Target.

I also made three centerpieces that came out super cheap but really cool.  I used my own containers.  At first I was bothered that they did not match but it didn't matter.  The branches were free, the pinwheels were made with what I already had and the blackbirds and moss were purchased from the dollar store.  I also found some berry sprigs in our attic that had burst from the heat.  They looked great for Halloween!

I also bought some parchment paper to roll down the center of each food table.  I really liked the results.  It took one box for 2 long tables.  I also found that Wal-mart's plastic table cloths are .50 more expensive than the dollar store's but they are more opaque and look nicer. 
We chose to do 4 long tables to serve the food on.  Two pushed together on each side of the gym.  This gave people 4 available lines to get their dinner.  It went fast! 

I also had a separate table for punch.  Originally I purchased Sprite and Hawaiian Punch for this but both of those ideas were bad.  Red drinks are bad bad bad and anything carbonated will go flat when in dry ice.  Apple juice was served instead.  At least it was served for a little while.  My punch assistant and I freaked out thinking the dry ice was melting into small chunks and would injure anyone drinking it.  It was just the apple juice freezing and becoming slushy.  Oh well.  I have plenty of apple juice left for some wassail at the Christmas party.  I bought the dry ice from Publix.  It comes in a flat block and costs about $1.49 a pound.  Five to six pounds will last several hours.

Now for the chili contest.  I found this judging sheet online.  It's a bit more professional than what we needed but it worked great.  To be in the judging the chili's had to be there by 15 minutes after the activity started.  This worked well.  We only had 1 person come late.  Out of kindness I just didn't tell her that her chili wasn't judged.  I made a chili sign in sheet and as they came in they were assigned a number to tape onto the pot.
The actual judging could have been better organized by me.  Next time I know to have the judges all sit at the same table.  Each chili in it's own numbered cup and each person use their own spoon to taste.  Then onto tasting the next chili using a fresh spoon.  In the end we had a winner and she received a $10 gift card to Target.
I must say I was so proud of our ward for braving the weather and bringing what they were asked.  We had our 200 people show up, maybe more. 

It was finally time for CANDY!  We had no choice due to the weather but to put parents lining the hallways and the kids going through them.  They didn't care and they had a great time.  The kids that is, I think the parents were just relieved to be in the cool hallways.

The clean up went surprising well.  My partner suggested we do a sign-up sheet for clean up and that was a big help.  Almost everyone who volunteered helped and lots who didn't sign up helped anyway.
All in all I think it went well.  I learned a whole lot and I'm looking forward to my next thing......the float for the town's Christmas parade.