You're going to read this and think I've been hit by a Confundus Curse. But I haven't. Since reading each and every one of the 4,175 pages out loud to our four oldest children, my literary love-affair with the Harry Potter series has spread like a wonderful, wordy contagion in our family.
I started on page one of Book One, inwardly tittering with glee as I read with an American accent for the description and then spiced up the dialogue with an English accent. I thought it would be entertaining if not terribly cute. By page two, I was inwardly praising my talent, but Ethan cleared his throat in an Umbridge-y fashion and said with clear distaste, “Ummm, Mom? Please don’t do that.”
The rest of the 4, 173 pages were read with a decidedly boring Utah-American accent, except when the kids so graciously allowed me to read Fleur and Madame Maxime’s lines with my French accent (Merci, mes enfants!).
More often than not, as we got sucked into the magical world each night and one chapter would turn into two (or three), Eric would appear in the doorway of the boys’ room warning, “Sarah. . . do you know what time it is? You’ve been reading for an hour-an-a-half!” Whoops.
The kids and I were linked together by words and images so tightly that it was like an invisible thread had been cut and we were plopped back into reality, finding ourselves leaning forward on the edge of the beds, as if we could somehow lean in closer to Harry and his happenings. They always begged me to read “Just one more chapter, Mom. Please?” Could I deny them their educational right? I didn’t think so.
The door we opened to that nightly bubble of fiction made us forget the petty cares of the day as we entered the ever-gratifying world of wizards. By the end of Book Seven I couldn't read it out loud without blubbering. (Like I ever do anything without blubbering anymore!) Harry’s rite of passage will always be connected to those years in our lives and we’re better for it.
Nostalgia aside, Rowling’s wizarding world is jammed with sensory detail that lends itself to planning a darn good party! The food, the games, and the culture beg to be part of a long “To do” list, especially when you’ve got seven kids and a blissfully empty-calendared summer in which to plan and play.
For Camp d'Evegnee, last week (the WHOLE thing) was dedicated to all things Harry Potter. We immersed ourselves in it wholeheartedly to the point that were positively drunk with whimsy and Butterbeer.
Each day for a FULL week, we had a Potter-esque dinner, dessert, activity and a movie so we could revisit all of them before the grande finale at the theater. (I am exhausted! But, as with life, the mess was worth the memories.)
First, the food. Since we are currently sans house elf, we had to do all the cooking and the resulting piles of dishes. . . oh, so many dishes. To see ALL of the recipes and tips for creating them, please go to our Recipe Blog HERE
That tart may look tantalizingly innocuous enough, but she BURNS! SHE BURNS!!!
We took a Tour through Hogsmeade:
And. . . We visited The Shrieking Shack (after we somehow packed all that sugar into our fragile, magical systems)
For ALL of the recipes we used to make our concoctions, please go to my Recipe Party Blog found HERE
I feel a little like I drank a full batch of Polyjuice Potion when I think of all of the food, drink, and sweets we consumed. I’m going to be Yaxleying any minute now (oh boy).
Luckily we worked off some of the calories by making freezer paper stencil t-shirts (which took two days because we painted both the front and the back of our t-shirts). For a complete tutorial about how to make your own t-shirt, go here. We also decorated dollar store brooms and played a little non-flying Quidditch (aka broom hockey).
Who knew Quidditch was so exhausting?
(It looks like it swept Marie off her feet! Merlin’s pants, I’m tired!)
For the grand finale, we smuggled bottles of Butterbeer and hot mini meat pies and pumpkin pasties into the movie theater to watch the second part of the Deathly Hallows. Holden and Ethan cried nearly as much as I did and I could hear them sniffing in tandem with me throughout the show.
You’d think after a week of Harry Potter being crammed down their throats, they’d all want to perform some killing curses on themselves if I made them do one more magical thing, but I caught them in the backyard performing spells as they jumped on the trampoline. You just need to hear Marie squealing, "Expelliarmus" once and you'll want to have Potter Party of your own.