We brought in the new year at Dave’s brother’s house, followed by what has become a traditional dance party. Man, his family has the moves. Have I mentioned that before?

(I’m pleased as punch to be behind the camera for that action.)

But first, we headed to dinner with all the in-town adults:We so missed those who weren’t here.

And then we went to a nearby church to play Frisbee dodge-ball (at least I think that’s what it’s called…).

This is the second time we’ve done this (once two years ago) and it doesn’t seem to disappoint.

To start with, all the frisbees lined up in the middle and the teams are divided one on each side of the gym:
When the in-charge-person says “go!”, each team runs to the middle and tries to grab as many frisbees as they can.

Then they try to pelt each other with them.
I know, fun right??

If you get pelted with a frisbee, you have to be out on the sidelines:
But if someone on your team catches a frisbee, a team member on the sidelines gets to come back in.

Yeah, I was pretty content on the sidelines with these folks:

Dave, not so much….

I love how competitive Dave’s family is.

…but they are nice too…I mean, let’s take a closer look at that above picture here:
Look at those smiles and Dave putting his arm around his brother.

Heart melter.

But then again, they were on the same team…

After that they started a crab-kick-ball game for the kids, but I don’t know how long that lasted cause I ran to put Lu down for bed where we were having the real party (she was howling in exhaustion by then).

At the party the kids played some intense game where you have to chew a bunch of skittles at the same time:
Then we played charades.

…and a myriad of other games.
A favorite is called “three-deep.”

Everyone gets a slip of paper that has two “counterparts” you have to find. For instance, if you have the word “red” on your paper, you are most likely looking to match up with people who also have colors. If you get a paper that says “Snow White,” you are probably looking for other people with Disney Princesses.

Before you start looking for your partners, you “mingle” with everyone to switch the papers all up. Then someone yells “go!” and you take your little paper and yell out what you have until you find three things that go together. And believe me, it is LOUD with all those people yelling their heads off trying to find their partners.

Once you find each other you sit down “three-deep” according to the letter on your paper (“B,” “M,” or “T” which stand for “bottom,” “middle,” or “top.”)
The last ones to find their partners are out.
Here’s a video to illustrate…all those people on the couch were already out by this time.

Then everyone broke out in dance.

…and then we watched the ball drop.

…and hugged and kissed.

…and then the teenagers were in the groove and couldn’t stop dancing.Grace was pretty excited about the new year.

I see a lot of problems with the fact that ringing in the new year meant we move to 8:00 church. (Yes, that is 8:00 in the morning.) There’s getting everyone bathed and spiffed up on Saturday night. There’s an earlier curfew for the teenagers so they can get their beauty rest. And Dave and I having to cut our own Saturday date-night short. There’s doing all the heads of girl-hair we have in our household.

But to top that off was the fact that New Years Day was on a Sunday. Which meant after going to bed at 2:00 in the morning we had to drag everyone out of bed just a few hours later.

And the only thing worse than that, was that that night happened to be the only night we got to have the Utah cousins sleep over at our house. Talk getting the short end of the stick on that one. We were all walking, grumpy zombies the next day.

Instead of hanging out and really catching up we had this:…and this:
(Yeah, that’s the kitchen floor he’s zonked on.)

But hey, we’d still do it all over again in a second 🙂

Happy New Year. May it be a great one.

Similar Posts


  1. Thanks for posting your fun celebration! It has inspired me to start some great New Years traditions in my family.

    So I'm still waiting to hear why you would think of moving your adorable self and family half way around the world? Not that there is anything wrong with that!

  2. So fun! We just got the 9am time slot for church, and yes, getting up on New Year's Day was no fun. But 8am?! That is way early. Do you have 4 wards in your building? We are lucky (in my opinion), in that we have 3 wards in our building, and one of them is the YSA ward. So, since they can't can't get up early, they always have the 1pm time slot. The other two wards just switch between 9 & 11.

  3. The 3 deep game sounds like a fun youth activity. Maybe just link arms and sit down beside each other instead of sitting on each other's lap. Thanks for sharing.

  4. You all have the most fun! thanks for always sharing so many great ideas, games, activities, etc. Can't wait to use some!!
    Happy New Year!

  5. I'm so excited to steal some of those game ideas. We have a karaoke night tradition… my mom gets out bajillions of crazy dress ups and we get wild with sillyness. We also LOVE games though… and these look right up my family's alley. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I've been looking for a group game to do with our multi-ward YM/YW and thought your 1-2-3 (was that the name?) game sounded great UNTIL I got to the part where you had to sit on laps in order. I just don't think that would work in this situation. Eww! Some kids would hate it and some would love it for the wrong reasons! But it did sound fun!

  7. Hi Shawni!! I would love to know what lens is your "go-to" lens for family gatherings like this. I love how you capture such a large family but have such sharpness to your photos. I love looking at them! Thanks so much for posting…we have already adopted some of your traditions and have loved them. For instance, looking forward to our February Heart Attack. 🙂

  8. Okay, so I just went and read the very first line in your photography faq that you rarely take off the 24-70. Probably should have gone there first! Ha! This excites me because this is my next lens on my wish list. 🙂 Sorry for taking up your comment section!

  9. I love all the fun NYE traditions!! Since there are a lot of older kids, it must be SO fun!! I love reading your blog posts about family get-togethers. Back when we were still newlyweds and had our first babies (twins), Brimley was one of my activity day girls! It's fun to see how grown up and beautiful she is!!

    We just moved to 2pm church and I would take 8am ANY DAY! I'm pretty much a single mom to our five kiddos on Sunday with a husband in the bishopric and I'd STILL rather have 8 than 2. Ugh!

  10. I saw this post linked on pinterest for fun game ideas. I was scanning through the pics, and near the end, I thought, "Wow, that guy really looks like Jonah." Then the very next picture was of you, and you are Eyre through and through. I did a little investigating on your blog, and discovered that you are, in fact, an Eyre. So funny. I'm Tal's age, so I think you and I aren't too close in age. I'm a Jacobsen (from the 12th ward). I just thought it was such a crazy way to find you. Anyway, your blog is awesome, and coming from the parents that you do, I'm not surprised with your myriad of talents. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    Anne Jacobsen McDonough

  11. I love that your son is sleeping on the kitchen floor and that you captured it! Also love the girls on the trampoline…I remember those days ! I hadn't been to your blog in a while and have missed it…someone "pinned" party games and I saw you and had to come check it out;)

  12. I know that this might seem like a silly and useless comment but I saw one of the pictures from this entry on pinterest and the cultural center of the church building looked exactly like the one I grew up with in Modesto, CA. I'm far from that home now and miss it a lot, but it was comforting to see that and remember all of the wonderful times I had there growing up. So silly as it sounds, Thank you for writing this blog entry to help a silly woman feel a little less lonely today.

  13. Okay. I know this post is from forever ago, but I SOOOO want to learn that game! Can you give more examples? Do you use the same clues every time?? I need need need a tutorial on that game! My husband and I were both rooting for you guys at the end of the video!


  14. wanted to let you know I saw your party on pinterest and it was fun reading about the games you played … we'll have to give some of those a try. Thanks for sharing!

  15. We used three-deep today at a program for 9-12 year olds. We changed it to a standing order so that no one would have to sit on one another, and they loved it! It was so much fun to watch. This game is a keeper!

  16. Ok, so all of your games look like so much fun. I'm totally going to try the 3 deep one at our church banquet this weekend. Any more details on the Skittles game? We need a few ideas for involving the kiddos. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *