Brainstorming

Welcome to the NO-READING-THIS husband-zone!

Let's brainstorm some idea's for the surprise-family-reunion. I've got a handle on most of the big things. For example, I will need to invite people. They will need to sleep and eat while they are here. Etc.

But there can be a myriad of FUN detail-ideas that I'd need to prep before-hand!

For example, flashlight tag is fun! Kids will love it in the backyard, adults will love watching it from the porch. I just need to remember to get 20 flashlights. (the $1 kind from Walmart that come with batteries) And bubbles. And water-guns. Other outdoor equipment, maybe, basketballs, basketball goal, volleyball, tether-ball, swing, slide., sidewalk-chalk. Any other outdoor ideas?

For future reference, we'll be planning for 20 kids and 40 adults. (Yes, thats about 10 extra adults, but its better to plan in a buffer)

I saw a group-photo of someone else's reunion. Group-photo would be GREAT! Around a big sign that says Cameron's Party, 2007.

And then I can use the group photo as the cover for the mini-photo-scrapbook-albums I'll be mailing each family the week after its over. You can get the little photo-albums at Walmart for about $1. Then just download the photos from the week, pick out 36, click over to snapfish.com, and voila! In a few days you'll get a envelope in the mail of the photos. I'll already have the cover-frames made for the little albums, and pre-scrapbook a couple of pages to insert in the photo-sleaves, and a page of "thank-you for coming" note. That stuff I can do in advance. Add a touch of personalization at the last minute, load the photos into the sleaves and drop in the previously-addressed-padded-envelopes.

Hmmmm. I need "official" stickers. So I can dip a few pretzels (white-chocolate and sprinkles), package them in those cute cellaphane bags, and use a sticker to adhere the ribbon ends to the bag. Good treats for the airplanes. I'll need to remember to buy the Ghiradelli chocolate in bulk at SamsClub around Christmas. Goodness. There's only one Christmas between now and then! I can't believe I've given myself about a year and its still going to be cutting it a touch short on the timing.

I'm subscribing to BRIDE magazine. Right now in just a minute. Yeah, yeah. I know. I'm not getting married. But, really basically if you give it some thought, its a magazine about big gatherings of mostly family members. Its a good resource for party planning. And I just like looking at big fluffy dresses and flower bouquets :)

I'm thinking June is the best time for the party. My husband will be just out of school for a few weeks before the Summer semester starts and the weather will be "not rainy" most likely. Certainly not weeks on end of rain. And there'll be fresh produce. That will help the budget, and food is just better when its fresh and pretty. If you couldn't guess, I'm ALL about the garnishing. Which my husband says doesn't matter because HE'S all about the taste. Heh. Savage.

T-SHIRTS! I'll get matching t-shirts! Since he's just hell-bent to NEVER wear the matching pajamas from HannaAndersson. We'll need to think of cute t-shirts.

Flowers! Flowers will be in bloom in June. So if I do some careful thinking, I can put bouquets of flowers in each room! (Note: I'll be posting about the New House soon. Really. But all you need to know for now is that its designed as a 6 suite bed-n-breakfast. If its ever done and we ever move in) Hmmm. Lilies would be impressive, and the bulbs are relatively inexpensive. Pretty and relatively non-allergenic if you clip the stamens. Hmmm. Aieeeee. I can put little boxes of chocolate truffles on their pillows! To get the image -- envision the little two-truffle box of Godiva. Although, personally, I don't love Godiva. Well, ok, I DO love the Godiva that comes from Belgium. Which is different than the Godiva you can get domestically. But Stam is amazing. And they have chocolate covered "mice" and "hedgehogs" that are TOO cute for words! Hmmm. That might be a just-one-night thing.

Oh, thats an idea right there. Each night have a different treat. One night flowers, one night chocolates, one night ... ok. I'll need to think of two more "luxery" nightly tokens.

I'll need to send monthly prep-packages starting in January. A brightly colored "manilla" envelope with things like ... um ... the official visitors guide for the city, article with tips-for-flying, ALWAYS a reminder to check the web-site.

Definitely need to make sure I have everyone's contact info. Hmmm. THAT could be another "monthly" mail thing. An updated family address sheet. I did that about five years ago and every so often someone just gives me a call to say "Hey, thanks, this makes everything so much easier". Wedding. Funerals. Christmas cards. Birthday cards. Thank-you cards. Its simple to do. Just make a list of everyone in your family, and extended family, and ultra-extended family. Call them, confirm mailing address, email, phone-number, birthday, spelling of childrens names. Put it into OfficeExcel. Print on neon colored card-stock. Try to keep it to one sheet. Send one to each family member.

Wow. I just had a REALLY wild idea. I could find a hot air balloon. Tethered rides for the kids, and a "real" ride for brave adults. I bet most of them have never gone ballooning, and thats something my husband has always wanted to do. I think that would definitely "up" the cool factor for the weekend. Would also shoot the budget all to doll-rags. I need to get a grip on the budget. Careful planning is the way to get the most "bang for my buck".


Ok, boys and girls, thats all the "Better Idea" blogging for today. Next time we'll begin obsessing about menus!

Waves

Okay, looks like you've got plenty of ideas.
Why don't you plant those bulbs for lilies and tulips, etc. around the house. Then the morning before the big arrival, you can cut fresh lilies, etc, from your our flower beds for the rooms, not to mention you'll have a beautiful boquet of flowers in the flower beds.
Be sure to have plenty of healthy snacks on hand, like you haven't thought of it already. I'd say stockpile nuts and raisins and other dried fruits. That way you'll be sure to tide the kids over to meals, so they wont be begging for food two hours before dinner.
Of course if you buy an extra snack every payday until next summer, and hide them in a location that hubby wont suspect anything, then you'll have plenty for the big day. Or, you could just start loading a WalMart/Sams gift card and spend it all the week before !!!
Gee, I wish I were a part of this family! Sounds like lots of fun.
But, I'm glad I'm not planning it!

Leah | 05/19/2006 - 04:32 PM

Oh, its going to be fun. Or Else.

And thanks for the Walmart-card idea. Its one of those ideas I have, and then forget, and then have, and then forget. I tell you, new-born-sleep-dep will drive you to the edge. This is one reason I'm stock-piling ideas here on the Island :) So when I panic later, there they are!

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