Friday, May 16, 2014

There's a Mystery Afoot!

We've done a variety of interesting birthday parties over the years. The Peter Pan party with the bouncy-house so the kids could "fly". The chef party -- did that one twice. The Blue's Clues party collecting food for the local animal shelter. The overnight makeover party. The arts and crafts party. The backyard carnival party. The Hawaiian luau party. The scavenger hunt. The improvisational film-making event.

Some flew; some flopped (well, they sputtered anyway -- having a good group of friends over makes it hard to flop a party altogether).

But tonight we trek into new territory. Our youngest is all about mysteries, specifically Nancy Drew computer game mysteries. And it occurred to us that the group of friends she was inviting (her class) consisted of three boys and three girls, exactly like the characters in the board game Clue. When is that likely to happen again? So, we try a new adventure tonight: the mystery party.

Each kid was assigned a Clue character with their invitation -- Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlet,
Professor Plum, Ms. Peacock, Mr. Green, and Mrs. White. To our delight, they seem to be getting into this. They're hunting down costumes and have been finagling all week trying to figure out who everyone's character is (I didn't instruct them to keep it a secret, but they decided to do so and are having fun with that).

We have the whole scenario laid out tonight, with secret information they receive at designated points in the evening, evidence they reveal, questions they need to ask, secrets they want to hide . . . I tell you, this was a complicated ruse to pull together. I'm just praying the mystery works out in the end; my first attempt at something like this, you know.

Last night, we were all about the food. Kiddo wants to have "elegant" looking food, as if this were a fancy affair. But then, we are feeding a bunch of teenagers. So, we have a freezer full of appetizers (mini quiches, potstickers, mini quesadillas, shrimp -- ooh, probably should pick up some cocktail sauce today -- bacon-wrapped scallops, friend mac-n-cheese squares) . . . we'll come up with some fancy French names for it all and set them out on the china in the Formal Dining Room. Cocktails when they arrive (Coke, Sprite, and juice in wine glasses offered on a silver tray). Desserts in the Courtyard toward the end of the evening (mini cheesecake bites, mini cream puffs, and strawberries with chocolate for dipping).

Yeah, we surely have far too much food. I expect to be eating this junk for the next week. But then, they're teenagers. You never know.

And once the mystery is solved and the culprit revealed, they'll play a rousing round of the Clue DVD game . . . and finish up with the Nancy Drew movie if there's time. This party screams my daughter's name, and they'll all know that.

But they will have fun just because they are fun kids and they genuinely enjoy each other's company. What a blessing this class is.

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