Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy New Year

It really was my intent to get this up earlier.  Oh, well, here it is.

New Year’s Eve 2009

We had a fun time celebrating leaving the old year and ringing in the new!  We were joined by friends for our annual tradition and as always - it was a blast!  My children love the bags and couting down to the New Year.  We've done it often enough now that it is considered a tradition and one that they look forward too. 

I started a little earlier this year (2pm) thinking I'd include some things just for the younger children.  I did this since both Roger and our friend's dh had to work.  It was fun, but definitely pushed me to get things going earlier than I was ready.  LOL  Thankfully, we approach this in a really relaxed way and if we are a little off schedule, we just work in order and don't worry about the times. 

Our theme this year - Monsters and Aliens

Here are our clues, what was in the bags and of course pictures!

1st clue:

It’s New Years Eve, the countdown has begun!

Are you ready to have some fun?

We’ll spend time eating and creating too.

Can you figure out the theme of all that we’ll do?

In the bag:  items for making noisemakers; we played charades to guess the theme.


Getting some help from big brother.

Guess these monsters weren't too happy.

The kids like reading the clue and then guessing what might be in the bag.  Some of the ideas are the same or similar from year to year.

2nd clue:

Monsters are silly and funny too!

Do you think they are sometimes blue?

Maybe they’re happy or perhaps mad

A game of expressions will make you glad!

In the bag:  The game Silly Expressions. 

The general idea of the game is to draw a card with a face pictured on it.  You then try to make the face (the mirror is to help you get it just right). 

The others try to guess which face (pictured on the board) you are making.

3rd clue:

They come from a planet far away

Sometimes to visit and sometimes to stay

Would you like to travel?  Ready let’s go!

Let’s make a rocket out of play-doh!

In the bag - play-doh.

Eliana even skipped her nap (she went to bed early) so she could join in on the play-doh.  This is one of her favorite activities - if only she didn't eat it!


They  made rockets and aliens - all versions from cute, to creative to clever to fierce.

4th clue:

We’ve been busy, is your tummy starting to rumble?

You’ll like the next step, so don’t start to grumble.

We’re making more spaceships, but these for our guests

They’ll look like a saucer or maybe a nest?

In the bag:  some of the pizza ingredients.  This is a traditional item.  I thought about changing the food this year, but when one of my children listed this as a favorite activity for the night, I knew it needed to stay the same.

5th clue:

When people travel they often keep a log

It reminds them of the past when their mind is in a fog

Its time to look back and ponder the past

This years almost over, today is the last.

In the bag:  Questions on pieces of paper for everyone to fill out.  This is also a favorite activity that is repeated.  After everyone finishes, we read one question and then all the answers to that question.  We then try to guess who wrote each answer.


Here are the questions for this year.

*Favorite book you’ve read this year


*Favorite trip/outing you’ve taken this year 


*Name something you are most thankful for 


*Something you have learned 


*Something you hope to do next year

6th clue:

We’re going to make aliens

These will be sweet

Decorate how you’d like

And then you can eat!

In the bag:  sprinkles, frosting, candy  This again is a repeat.  We may need to find something a little lower carb for next year though. 

7th clue:

It’s time for adventure and maybe a giggle

Find a spot to sit and don’t wiggle

Does anyone need something to eat

You can have some popcorn while in your seat

In the bag:  movie and popcorn

We enjoyed watching a movie on the "big screen".  We hung up a sheet and used a projector to make it a big.  It's fun to see it this way.


8th clue:

The monsters are gone and the days near the end

Still a little more time with our friends

Let’s play a game – or maybe more

We’ll split into teams and then start to score

In the bag:  chalk and pictionary cards.  This is a fun game that everyone can play!  We split into boys v girls and had some fun.

This one was funny in person and I'll try to explain.  The cards had "themes" to them and if you could figure out the theme sometimes it was easier to guess the rest of the words.  After guessing the first word (which was tooth), they were then guessing for the second word ... dental floss, and other words related to teeth.  They were stumped.  Daniel walked up and looked at it and said "triangle" which was the correct answer.  It made for a great laugh all the way around. 

9th clue:

It’s time to say good-bye to ‘09

Watching the ball drop is a fun time again

A hug, a prayer, a sweet drink for the toast

Happy New Year, it’s 2010

In the bag:  Bible verses to read.  I picked verses that had to do with how we were perfectly made to accomplish God's purposes.  (Tied in with the theme of the movie.)  We discussed briefly and then prayed.  We also had bubbly cider to toast in the New Year.  I didn't get a picture of all of us in the New Year. 

Hoping the formatting on this works as it is a long post.  We had a fun time and I highly recommend the "bags" as a fun way to bring in the new year - or to count down to anything.  Hope you enjoyed reading about our fun time ringing in the new year with friends. 




  1. woman! where do you get your ideas? This is awesome! Thanks for sharing!


    What's in the Box?

  2. Sheri

    The idea for doing the bags for a countdown came from the FIAR boards a few years back. The theme and corny rhymes are mine. We've done this for a couple of years and mostly this is a variation of some of the same things we have done in the past.

    Each year there are gals on the FIAR boards sharing their bags for the year so you can get ideas there and just copy!!! Love copying great ideas!

    Try it! It's a lot of fun!



  3. coffeeandconversationJanuary 11, 2010 at 5:17 PM

    We do the homemade pizzas every year too. We just found out about the countdown bags this year and I didn't have time to make them. We are definitely going to next year though. It looks like you all had so much fun.

    I have never seen the silly expressions game before. That looks like something we would enjoy. I will have to look for that.

    Thanks for sharing all your fun pictures!


  4. coffeeandconversationJanuary 12, 2010 at 1:36 AM


    Thanks for letting me know about the Silly Expressions game. I looked on Ebay and didn't see any but I am going to keep an eye out for it.

    You had asked about Christian's sensory box. He has been doing these since he has been tiny in OT because he is so tactile defensive. In the past we have always filled them with something that might be hard for him to touch such as rice, dried beans, or pasta and then hide things that he is motivated to search for such as small toys or string. This way he is touching the thing that is difficult for him and getting rewarded for it by finding something that motivates him. We have just started taking pictures of the objects we hide and I laminated them and put them together like a little I Spy book hoping that we can start helping him to seek for certain objects. That is where he is at cognitively.

    I have also done them with Tyler because he has some sensory issues too but I am finding it harder to incorporate them now due to his age. In the past though I have hidden things in a sensory box for him like small plastic animals and let him use them to solve math problems I have written about them. I have also hidden stickers with the backs on them in the past and as he finds them he could make a picture on paper. We have these cards from Lakeshore Learning that you match an object to the card.|845524441763875~~f|/Assortments/Lakeshore/ShopByCategory/puzzlesgames/viewall.jsp

    I have hidden the objects and given him the cards and let him find the matches by just touching. This requires a lot of tactile skills and is actually still difficult for him using his touch alone.

    Sorry that was so long. I hope it helped but let me know if you need more explanation.



  5. What an incredibly creative evening. I really want to come live at your house. I need to think up something like that for next year. It all went together so nicely. Did you come up with all of it or did you find it somewhere?



  6. Leslie,

    I LOVE THIS!!!!! Great ideas!!!!! I will have to borrow this idea at the end of this year! You are oh so creative. Wow.


    Pam in SE MI

    p.s. Yes, I totally understand how hard it is to know how much to share, and you have had a LOT of new info to digest this year. Thanks for sharing from your heart during those times when you have been overwhelmed, and thanks for sharing what you feel is appropriate about the unique dynamics of your family. God is so good to meet us and help us right where we are!

  7. I love it! We didn't do our New Years Eve party this year like normal with these bags and such and though we had fun with what we did do, we missed the tradition too! Loved seeing all of your pics.

    I also wanted to let you know that I was thinking of you and how much I appreciate you. I passed a blogging award onto you.

    ~Jen Unsell

  8. Oh, how fun!! Thanks for sharing your fun tradition again :). Happy New Year!

  9. Leslie,

    Can I just say?...You rock! What a wonderful idea!! I'm totally copying this for my family! :)

    Still looking forward to trying to meet at clinic sometime. We'll be there again on the me and let's try to meet up. ;)



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