Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year from HOGWARTS!

December 31, 2011 - January 1, 2012

I wasn't sure if Ollie was going to make it to the new year, but I wanted to make it special and memorable if he did, so we went all out for a Harry Potter New Year's celebration! I only had a day and a half to plan, but was lucky enough to have many decorations because of his new Harry Potter bedroom. Two of my good friends and their families came over for the festivities and helped me out so much throughout the night.

Oliver had gotten me the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook for Christmas and I was wanting to make some things from there, but just didn't have the time. Our house has been a constant disaster because we just haven't had time to clean. Our living room is a makeshift hospital room with all of Ollie's medical needs set up. We tried the best that we could to squeeze everyone in and make it a fun night. Ollie wasn't feeling well and stayed in his bed the whole time, but helped out in potions class and told me where to hide the snitch. He also got to have some butterbeer and was placed in Gryffindor House by the sorting hat, a gift he gave to Eden this Christmas. He was in and out of sleep, but hopefully had fun when he was awake.


Each child would sit on a stool and we'd place the sorting hat on their head and the hat would actually tell them, in a pre-recorded voice, what house they were in. Then they would receive a matching scarf to symbolize their house and the next child would come up. Oliver was first and I placed the hat on his head while Ed helped him lean forward. Of course he was placed in Gryffindor and so I put his scarf around him and he laid back down. Everyone clapped and cheered and he had a big smile on his face. It was so fun to see the kids reactions to what house they were placed in. Too funny! The hat would say one of these three things.

"Plenty of courage I see, not a bad mind either. There's talent, oh yes, and a thirst to prove yourself, but where to put you??? Mmmmm... difficult, very difficult... GRYFFINDOR!!!"

"I know... HUFFLEPUFF!!"


Gryffindor - Oliver, Meghan, Kaden, Kael
Slytherin - Jaren, Briea, Cullan
Hufflepuff - Eden (She's Cho Chang and loved being in the same house as 'Edward Cullen')
Ravenclaw - Phineas, Ayla (ages 2 & 1)

After the sorting ceremony we had a buffet set up of all sorts of finger foods. Drum sticks, a relish tray, chips and dip, little smokies, cheese and crackers and of course, Butterbeer. Amy made it with cream soda, Redi-whip, and butter flavoring. It was so good! Some of the little kids couldn't even lift up the mugs because they were so big! Ginormous... as Ollie would say. I wanted to make pumpkin juice, pumpkin pasties and rock cakes, but just didn't have the time. I'm sure we'll do it this week as I have all the ingredients.

After we cleared off the food, we set up the potions class on the table where Ollie could see it as well. We had lots of old glass bottles filled with some potion ingredients. For example, white vinegar and baking soda which of course had cooler names like 'goblin pee' and 'crushed dragon bones'. The kids would take turns coming up and helping us add the ingredients. Briea, who will be 3 in March, gasped in amazement when one of the potions started bubbling and foaming up. So funny! Oliver even got to make his own potion.

*The First Task - Successfully brew your own potion. The kids were having a hay day with this! They used their wands, chopsticks, to stir their concoctions together.

*The Second Task - Create and draw your own crest. I printed off a downloadable coloring page off of the internet so they could fill it in themselves. They were excited about it and Eden ended up making two of them.

*The Third Task - Find the Golden Snitch. Since I knew Ollie wouldn't be able to participate in the hunt, I asked him where I should hide it and he pointed to a wall sconce with a candle inside of it. I perched it on the glass that covered the candle. We then told the kids that someone had stolen the golden snitch and Harry needed it for his next Quidditch match so we had to find it fast! They looked around the dining room and living room until Eden finally found it! It was fun watching the kids using their wands to look for it. Meghan had hers out and was using it to peek under Oliver's blanket trying to locate it. "Accio, snitch" didn't seem to work.

After each task I would give them Galleons, Sickles, and Knuts from Gringott's bank (chocolate gold coins) to spend later on. They were each awarded with their very own Tri Wizard Cup, a tiny gold trophy I got from the party favor section of the Dollar Tree. I wrote each name on the front along with the year. They loved it! I heard "I'm a REAL wizard now!" from the kids when they received them!

HONEYDUKES Candy Shop & ZONKOS Joke Shop

We set up a small area in the kitchen for the kids to go shopping and spend their wizards money. Dollar Tree had tons of candy and fun jokes and gag gifts to make it fun for the kids. We got large glasses, magic tricks, fake spilled ketchup and nail polish bottles, fake snakes and cockroaches and all sorts of fun tricks and gags. They could each pick out one thing they wanted from Zonkos and then off to Honeydukes where we had Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans (Jelly Belly jelly beans), chocolate frogs and broomsticks, Licorice Wands, Cockroach Clusters (Hersey's crunch bar clusters), lemon drops, pop rocks and all sorts of other goodies to choose from. They filled their bags and their tummies!

Since Ollie couldn't make it out to the kitchen, I grabbed his bedside table and filled it up with all sorts of goodies, like the candy cart on the train that Harry Potter loves so much. I wheeled it over to him, but he still wasn't feeling well, so I just put some things in a baggy for him if he felt up to something sweet.

It was a memorable New Year's Eve for many reasons. We had fun with some good friends although it was a bittersweet night. Some of my friends where only visiting here from out of state and I knew when they said goodbye it would probably be the last time they saw Oliver. Difficult to watch and take in. It will be a fun memory of a Harry Potter New Year, but also the start of a year which will most likely bring lots of sadness and grief. So many different emotions.

After our company left, around 10 o'clock or so, I got in Ollie's bed with him and had some snuggle time. After a while he started gagging in his bed and so Ed ran and got a garbage can and I leaned him forward on the bed and he threw up. Poor kiddo. I don't know if he got the flu or if it is a symptom of the brain tumor. He said he had a headache the day before. I just don't know what to expect on any given day. He felt a little better after that and sucked on a candy cane to help settle his stomach and get the nasty taste out of his mouth. I laid there and ran my fingers through his hair for a bit while we talked. It's getting so hard to understand him now. He used a white board to write on for the first time today so it's definitely getting worse. I layed in bed and read a chapter in the fourth book, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. We are nearly done with that book. I've been reading a chapter every night to the kids for the last several months. It's nice to have some relaxing time at the end of the day to unwind and have our minds wander to someplace magical. We also iChatted with Ed's brother, Jared and his family who live in California. They called us when the ball was about to drop, in our neck of the woods, and wished Oliver a Happy New Year. So... the night was filled with mixed emotions, but overall I think everyone had fun. I pray that Oliver will feel better and continue to have his sense of humor and handsome smile. We wish you all had a Happy New Year!

***for some reason blogger won't let me post pictures right now. I'll have to try again later!


owlcoholic4life said...

Praying for you Handsome Ollie! Praying that God will Bless you with Divine Healing in this new year. Miracles do happen and you, our dear and handsome friend are due your miracle. We continue to keep you lifted in prayer asking God to Heal you now. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.

Carrie said...

I'm so glad you guys were able to have a Harry Potter Party. I wish Ollie had been feeling better! :( It sounds like you all had a great time though and that makes me happy. I don't know anything about Harry Potter as I have never read the books or watched the movie so I was clueless over a lot of it. Lol. Sorry Ollie, guess I need to be watching some movies and reading some books!! I'm glad Meg and Garren got to come down also. Ollie you are always in my prayers. You have taught me so much!! You have taught me faith and love and courage and so many other things. You amaze me day after day of how strong you are. And that great smile of yours never fails to make me grin. You are loved by so many and you have made such a difference in people's lifes that we will all forever be changed. Stacy, I love you all dearly and am here for you if you need anything, whether it be big or small. If I could actually drive and not have a walker it would be much easier to help out with things but I will try my best to do what I am able. You are in my prayers always

Christy Evans said...

Mom- you guys are truly amazing! Stay Strong and know you have a lot of support some near and some of us afar but know you and sweet Ollie are never far from my mind! <3

Bobbi said...

Stacy, Oliver and Palmers,
I am so happy your night turned out! It sounded like so much fun. EXCELLENT job Stacy!
Your son is my shining beacon Stacy. What a light he emits, even from so far away! What a trooper!
I cried reading your blog, as I could feel those bitter sweet moments you were describing :( <3
I pray that Ollie remain in comfort. I have no doubt that every memory that you are creating for Ollie will also one day help you and your family in your healing journey.
Thank you for sharing your son with the world Stacy! You have so much to be proud of in Ollie, and ALL your children. What a fantastic family you have :)
Sending you all prayers and my love!
To Infinity and Beyond Ollie Man <3

meghan said...

The party was AMAZING!! Thanks for all your hard work. Our kids are still talking about it and want to have one here! It was so good seeing you guys <3

Kimmy Thornton said...

What a WONDERFUL party you had Ollie!!!!! I am in awe of how creative you all are! <3 I would have LOVED to have seen all of the magic and fun of the evening. You are a ginormously fun wizard! Thank you for sharing with us your magical evening in words. ((((Hugs to you!))) I am inspired to try and recreate it for my kids, they will be THRILLED and it will be all because of you! Thanks again! <3

Michele Upton said...

Dear Stacy,

What a heart-warming beautiful story. You've certainly created some amazing memories on New Year's Eve.

You and Ed are inspirational people and truly wonderful parents. Easy to understand how Ollie is such an amazing young boy.

My thoughts are with you every day, wishing only the best for you.

Fond regards from Michele in Brisbane, Australia.

MusicGirl23 said...

That sounds like so much fun! So glad that it worked well! Praying for all of you!

janene wawro said...

That sounds like the party of the century, stacy!! What a blast! Can't wait to see pictures of all the fun! You always share such great details...I feel like I was there. Big texas hugs to you!

Anonymous said...

I love your Ollie... He is such a brave soul. I recently mailed him a card telling him how he touched my life & made me want to be brave like him. Please give him a hug for me & tell him Thank You!

smiliesar said...

What a fun party! You're an awesome mom. I'm glad Oliver was able to have some fun despite not feeling so well right now.

David Haas said...

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Shirley said...

What a wonderful idea! And a great way to bring in the new year for the kids! You are very creative Stacey :)
You are all still in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong and may 2012 bring you peace, strength, comfort, and happiness.

Anonymous said...

I love that you all were able to spend the new year together, the Harry Potter theme was a great idea! I can't imagine how hard this must be for you Stacy, you are so strong & a great mother. Your family's story really has changed my life and is always in my thoughts.
I wish you all the best through out the rest of your journey. Tell Ollie that he's the man! <3
- Halle

cheryl said...

What a cool party. mom u rock stay strong for ur little guy god bless all of yous feel better ollie I will keep u in my prayers and heart