Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Summer Party - in Pictures!

Our family started a tradition several years ago - hosting an annual New Year's Eve party at our house. It's not always on that evening, but sometime in January we invite dozens and dozens of young people over for an evening party. We play games and talk and eat and catch up on each others' lives. We make it our goal to make it more than a party. We want people to go away having done more than just play games and laugh (though we also make it a goal to make it one of the funnest parties they've ever attended!). We want them to go away spiritually encouraged and challenged. So, we try to have a mix of fun and seriousness. We try to keep the topics of discussion and games intriguing and interesting. And you know what, people seem to like it... a lot! At least, they usually come back, and many of them drive several hours to come. Maybe they're just trying to be nice to us. :)

We had so many requests for another party after our January one that we decided to do a summer party as well. It was great, other than being a warm, sticky day in June. Since we don't have air-conditioning and the people would have been pretty tightly packed in our rather small house, we decided to do nearly everything on the lawn. All in all, it was a great evening!

Chatting on the lawn... waiting for games to begin.

Supper was buffet-style inside, but everyone came back out to the lawn to eat.

After-dinner conversation

The challenge was for each team to tape "their" person more securely to the side of the shed, using only a roll of duct tape. Above: the girls are unrolling and tearing tape as quickly as possible!

Almost ready to see if he'll really stay up there.
He didn't - he fell down as soon as we pulled the bucket out from under his feet!

But Donnie stayed on the wall for almost a full minute!
His team must have placed their tape more strategically!

Everyone was hot and sweaty...
Why not bring out the water balloons?

Trying to make it through the gauntlet dry.... not a chance!

Quick! Quick! More water balloons needed!


Then the real fun begins...
We try to do new and original games at every party, but this one (How Well Can You Think Together?) was such a hit several years ago, that we decided enough time had elapsed and we'd do it again, with a new twist to it. :) We split the young people into four teams, trying to divide them up equally between ages, introverts and extroverts, etc.

Above: A panel of judges was chosen - some parents and a couple of the guys who like this kind of thing (i.e. Joshua the law student). It was up to them to judge each part of the game. The first part involved a series of questions that had to be answered on paper in 3-6 minutes each by each team. Each team received the same question at the same time. It was then up to the teams to run to their own little corner and corporately think and write fast and rush the answer back to the judges.

Team Four - What should you do about your church if is falling apart because of a general spirit of pride, selfishness and gossip? Explain in 5 minutes...

Deliberating on who wrote the most complete, accurate, creative and helpful answer.
We wait to hear the verdict!

Team Two thinking fast: Question: Explain in less than 5 minutes why Amendment 2 was adopted by the majority of Missouri voters in 2006 and what it does to change our constitution and laws that are made today.

After the time limit expired, the teams raced their answers back to the judges who had four minutes to decide on the best answer and the second-best answer.
Teams scored points for each winning answer.

Part II -

The next part of the game was the debate.
Each team chose one team member to compete in a mini-debate.
Each of the four selected had one minute to make a convincing argument for whatever topic the judges assigned to them. In this case, it was health food and spending a lot of time on a healthy lifestyle. Two were told to argue in favor, and two against. Each of the four separately presented their case, then the judges voted for the two best cases made.

The two who the judges chose then debated one another - once again on the health food topic. This time they (Rob - left and Erik - right) had to switch sides and argue for the other.

Rob argued for living your life enjoyably, not wasting time on health food crazes or worrying about a "few extra pounds, since you can't take them to heaven with you anyway.."

Erik argued for healthy living, citing God's reasons for giving healthful Old Testament laws of eating and living... and told Rob that he should take note that God didn't put a McDonalds in the Garden of Eden.

Rob ultimately won the debate (though the judges had a hard time deciding once again), laughing off the notion that McDonalds argument was a valid point. As Rob said, "Who says McDonalds is the pinacle of enjoyment, anyway, for those who live to enjoy life? Maybe I like fruit or chocolate!"

The rest of us gathered to listen to the debate - it was hilarious - some of the best entertainment of the evening as twilight settled over the yard.

Part III

Each team was given a 10 pound bag of ice to melt without using a stove. Matches, candles, small lighters and other creative methods were allowed. All the water from the ice had to be saved. The team to melt theirs first received more points toward the total winning score.

Creative methods = why not try the muffler? It actually worked pretty well!

Or simply try body heat...
Can anybody say C-O-L-D after rubbing all those ice cubes in their hands?!

After the ice had been melted using hot water, salt, hands, mufflers, motors, candles, matches, standing in the bathtub with the ice, everyone filed inside for the ice cream feeding contest.
Yes, you read that right. It was ice cream feeding, not just ice cream eating!

Each person chooses a partner and they are both blindfolded, sitting opposite each other.

Each team of two is handed one cup of ice cream with two spoons in it. The goal is to finish the cup of ice cream before any of the other teams. There are only a couple of rules:
1. You may not put any ice cream in your own mouth, only your partner's mouth.
2. It may not be fed with hands, it must be fed with the spoon!

Dad and Mom decided to get in on the fun!

Ice cream feeding over... time to relax, visit and unwind!

There are ALWAYS some people who want to play spoons til well past midnight!

Abby and Sarah decided that we had to see "Meet Captain Ahab." Unfortunately, most of their "victims" weren't drama queens so it wasn't as funny as usual, they said.

Late night chatting, laughing, stories....

Sad goodbyes.... but we had so much fun!


Anonymous said...

aww.. it looks like y'all had a great time!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for hosting! I had an absolute blast! I was so glad that you had it while I was in Mo!
(Friend of Jeanette)