Thursday, December 27, 2018

52 Brand New Experiences in 2018

I saw this idea on Mother of 3 and wanted to try it myself. We had a wonderful year with lots of new experiences. Some of the 52 experiences were only new for one or two of us, while other activities included all of us. I imagine this is probably common with teenagers in the house who are growing and expanding out into the world without us more and more.

1 ~ We held our first annual New Year's Day party.

2 ~ Anne performed in three tableaus in the Fringe Festival with the adult dance company.

3 ~ We learned about Faith Ringgold and tried our hands at her style of artwork.

4 ~ We tried Dragon's Breath but were not impressed.

5 ~ We made a lemon clock which lasted two weeks!

6 ~ We made sugar skull masks from scratch.

7 ~ We saw a professional dance troop called Body Traffic.

8 ~ Dean and Grandpa built a computer desk in his closet.

9 ~ Anne and I  saw The Phantom of the Opera in Durham, North Carolina. This was also Anne's first professional musical that she can remember. (She saw Annie as a toddler.)

10 and 11 ~ Dean built a combat stage weapon from start to finish. He did everything by himself. He also learned how to use a bandsaw.

12 ~ We saw the Biltmore Titanic Costume exhibit.

13 ~ We started a subscription to Universal Yums and enjoyed a snack box of food from around the world every month.

14 ~ We learned about Wassily Kandinsky and made concentric circles.

15 ~ We visited New Orleans! This was our family's first time in Louisiana.

16 ~ We ate lots of new (to us) food in New Orleans, including red beans and rice, gumbo, fried catfish and Jambalaya.

17 ~ We walked the French Quarter at night and ate beignets at the famous Cafe Du Monde.

18 ~ 19 We went on our first steamboat ride and saw the Mississippi River for the first time.

20 and 21 ~ We spent Easter Sunday at the beach in Biloxi, Mississippi. This was our family's first time to Mississippi.

22 and 23 ~ Dean met fire ants for the first time in Montgomery, Alabama. We also took Grandma to Montgomery, Alabama for the first time. The kids had been there when they were preschoolers.

24 ~ We went to the Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, Louisiana.

25 ~ We went on our very first swamp tour. It was really interesting and the highlight of our Deep South trip.

26 ~ We visited Davidson's Fort in Old Fort, North Carolina.

27 and 28 ~ We learned all about the glass sculptor Dale Chihuly. The first photo below is an art project that Grandma did with our homeschool art class. On a different day, we visited the amazing Chihuly exhibit at the Biltmore Estate.

29 ~ We went to the Tryon International Equestrian Center and saw a horse jumping show.

30 ~ We dissected a pig. This was the first time for the kids to dissect a pig. I had dissected a pig in college.

31 and  32 ~ We visited Franklin, North Carolina, the gem capital of Western North Carolina. We also visited Dry Falls on the same trip.

33 ~ We brought home a kitten as our latest family member. This is the first cat for Dean and Anne and the most rascally cat the rest of us have ever had.

34 ~ Dean went on his first overnight trip away from his family. He went to an art retreat with his teacher and art class.

35 ~ Dean also was a full camp counselor this year at acting camp.

36 and 37 ~ We visited Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio on our Midwest tour! Indiana and Ohio were new states for everyone but Dear Husband.

38 ~ We visited the Levi and Catherine Coffin home, which has been a dream of mine since childhood. We learned a great deal about the Underground Railroad.

39 ~ We visited the Freedom Center and learned more about the Underground Railroad and the current fight to end slavery around the world.

40 ~ The kids met their Aunt Jan and Uncle Ron for the first time. They live in Ohio.

41 ~ We visited the Cincinnati Art Museum and saw the Terracotta Warriors.

42 ~ We spent a day exploring Indianapolis, Indiana.

43 ~  We explored Mammoth Caves, Kentucky.

44 ~  Dean built a computer with his dad! What a fantastic experience.

45 ~ We tried lots of new games. Our favorites this year are The Voting Game (some sorting out of over age cards required), Say Anything, Mastermind and Snake Oil.

46 ~ We went to a game cafe and loved it!

47 ~ We tried a new miniature golf course with Grandpa and Grandma Sue.

48 ~ We visited the "Road to Nowhere" and Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky National Park.

49 ~ We saw a Jacob Lawrence exhibit that was traveling through our town.

50 ~ Anne passed her level 4 Cecchetti ballet exam with honors.

51 ~ Dean attended his first dance!

52 ~ Anne started her first job. It's at a children's consignment shop.

BONUS ~ We had a lovely week at the beach and exploring Charleston, South Carolina. The kids saw their first true plantation. It was a rice plantation.
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It has been a fantastic year! I am praying that 2019 blesses all with peace, love and kindness.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. WOW!!! What a great year in review! I'm sure that 2019 will be full of goodness for you because you work so hard at sharing goodness with others. I'm glad to have "met" you here.

  2. I am so touched that I inspired you to write up your own list. It sounds like you had a fabulous year of firsts!

  3. What a great list and what a great year you all had.