Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My New Year Word and a Review of Games

When I sat down to think of a word for our family to focus on this year, many came to mind. However, "cheerful" is the one that stuck out as an important word for our family. To be cheerful is to be noticeably happy and optimistic. It is presenting a happy face even when you don't want to or don't feel like it.

I pick this word because we are a happy family overall, but we are a family that is stressed out, exhausted and has been living in what many would call crisis for 23 years now. Since the day our oldest was born, we have faced one medical crisis after another. This year has been no different than most of the rest. Eleven years ago, my husband and I were seeking to complete our family and chose adoption to do that. We figured we were good at special needs and so we accepted two special needs babies (and while we are good at special needs, it is an exhausting journey). Then we were blessed with our youngest 10 years ago through a very joyful surprise pregnancy. So life has been crazy and busy around here for a long time. Some might think that I should pick the word rest or stress free, but that just isn't realistic. We spend hundreds of hours a year in doctor and therapy offices. Our second oldest (who is oppositional, fetal alcohol affected, reactive attachment disordered daughter) just turned 13 and has been removed to emergency respite twice in the past 6 weeks. It is not about to get less stressful around here in the near future, people. But, a cheerful attitude can make every trial easier to get through. So that is our goal this year ~ to show a cheerful attitude as much as possible!

Now, on with New Year's Eve and fun with our new board games!

Spot It! ~ This is a really quick pick up game. It can easily travel and fit right into your purse. Each round only takes a few minutes to play. It also helps improve vision skills, which is one of the things we are focusing on this year for Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks. Tom Sawyer is way too good at this game. He wins almost all of the cards, so sometimes we have to play without him to give others a chance.

Clue ~ This is an old classic that my kids have fallen in love with this Christmas. I think we have played it about 15 times over the last week. This is a great game for deductive reasoning skills. 

Q-bitz ~ This game works on visual dexterity. We picked it to help our girls with vision therapy. It is a fun and challenging game (at least for everyone but Tom Sawyer). He solves each puzzle in less than 60 seconds! I really need to look up careers for people who are exceptional at visual games. This kid is amazing. We all love this game, and I am sure it is going to become a new regular around here.

PicWits! ~ Do you love the game, Apples to Apples? Well, this game is a cousin to it but with pictures instead of phrases. We thought we would love it and indeed we do. It is just as much fun as Apples to Apples and the pictures are so unique. This is becoming a quick family favorite around here.

Staxis ~ This is a finger biting game. It is a balancing game where you are trying to get rid of your sticks. However, if you knock any sticks off, you get the sticks. This game takes some serious eye hand coordination. We are glad to have this game, but I suspect it won't be pulled out as often as others. It makes some of us feel stressed out and we have enough of that already!

Happy New Year!

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Loved reading your reviews on games. What a fun post. I should do that too with our new games. Spot it is a favorite around here too!

  2. Lovely word and lovely attitude for what I pray is a lovely year for you all.
    It was good to learn more about you and your gorgeous family.

  3. I love your word this year, Dawn! I'm always looking for peace among the stress, but I think it's better to focus on how I react to the inevitable stress!

    I also love your game reviews. I usually get a family game each Christmas but I didn't this year because I didn't know what to get. I think that PicWits! might be a good choice for us. Thanks!

    Happy New Year!