I can't believe another year has come and gone.  Our family has been through so much in 2012.  It's kind of ironic because I told my husband that 2012 was going to be "the year of change."  When I said this, I meant that we were going to get more organized, follow our budget more strictly and get things done around the house.  Little did I know that God had other types of changes in store for our family.  The biggest were the losses of Pap-poo and my uncle John Jr.  My childhood family dog also passed away after fifteen years of being part of our family. There were many other types of changes such as family members moving, new jobs, crazy weather like an earthquake and a hurricane and the changes that come with raising two growing girls.  My husband jokes that I should be careful what tag I choose for 2013!

I am hoping that 2013 will be the "year of downsizing and organizing."  We have been blessed with so much and it's time to de-clutter and share the wealth. :) 

I am not a New Year's resolution type of person.  Instead, I like to come up with realistic resolutions at the beginning of each month that will better me as a person or better our lives as a whole.  However, there are a few things I am hoping for in 2013:
  • That my husband finishes sewing the new curtains for the dining room.  (Yes, HE SEWS and took on this project himself.  I'm a lucky gal, I know.)
  • I will continue to live more in the moment and cherish the little things because time is a blessing and is something we will never get back.
  • I will strive not to worry about petty stuff and focus on what is important with this short time I have here on this earth.

This past year went way too fast, but whether I am ready or not, another year is upon us. It's time to say good-bye to 2012 and embrace 2013 and all the trials and blessings that will come with it.  It's a time to be open to whatever the Lord has planned for us.  

Now, on to how to celebrate!  My husband and I will celebrate quietly at home after the girls go to bed, but there's no reason why we all can't celebrate during the day!  Below are a couple of ideas/activities to help ring in the new year with your little ones.

CHEER THE YEAR:  Here's a little song I found at 
www.preschooleducation.com to share to get your children excited about the new year that is coming.

Cheer the Year 
Original Author Unknown
Sung to: "Row, row, row your boat"

Cheer, cheer, cheer the year,
A new one's just begun.
Celebrate with all your friends,
Let's go have some fun!
Clap, clap, clap your hands,
A brand new year is here.
Learning, laughing, singing
, clapping,
Through another year!

Click image to link to crafts.kaboose.com
MAKE SOME NOISE:  Reuse an empty water or soda bottle to make an easy noise maker.  Put a handful of rocks, marbles, dry beans, rice, etc into a clean bottle.  Secure the top with hot glue.  Let your child decorate the outside of the bottle with paint or stickers.  Add some curling ribbon or streamers around the top of the bottle to make it more festive.  NOTE:  Do not leave little children alone with the noisemaker as the contents are choking hazards.

This is a great fine motor activity for preschoolers because they have to pick up the little items to put inside the bottle.  You could also incorporate math by counting the items before your child puts them in the bottle and as they are being dropped in.  If you are using rice, a funnel will make the job a lot easier.  

This can also be turned into a gross motor activity by marching and shaking the noisemaker and/or running with the noisemaker. 

WATCH A VIDEO:  This is a treat in our house, but I love the Max and Ruby episode titled "Max's New Year."  In this episode, they are at their Grandma's house and are trying to stay awake to ring in the New Year...and eat their special treats .  Be warned:  you just might be asked to make clock face cookies afterwards!

COUNT THE DAYS:  Get an inexpensive calendar and help your child mark important dates and holidays on it by using stickers and writing in birthdays, big events, etc.  Hang the calendar where your child can reach it and use it to mark off the days of each month until the next New Year's Eve.

This will help your child learn the days of the week, the concept of today, yesterday and tomorrow and counting.  Make it a habit and mark the day off before bed each night.

However you ring in the new year, make it a family affair.  How do you include your children in welcoming the new year?

**All photos and text are property of Angela Pounders and can not be distributed without permission.  
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