5 Dollars Off Any $19.95 Reunion Theme Package


Had the pleasure of stopping by the Mower family reunion today. It was so fun to see everyone visiting, enjoying yummy food and kids playing on the toys. Seeing them having such a good time made me excited for family reunion season. Can’t wait to get together with our extended family!

To get the reunion season started off right, family reunion helper is offering 5.00 off any of their $19.95 reunion theme packages. Circus, Caveman, Heritage, All-sport, Western or any of our fun reunion themes.

Just enter the code "reunion2013" at check out. This offer expires at midnight, May 27th 2013, Memorial Day- the start of family reunion season!

Glow in the Dark Volleyball

Anything you can play on the dark with glow sticks and black lights is sure to be a huge success at your family reunion or party.

Played in the dark, the net, ball, out-of-bounds line and related equipment come alive with the glowing magic of glow sticks, bracelets, tape and black lights!

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You will have to do some advance planning and gather the following equipment for your glow in the dark game.

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Purchase glow in the dark tape to wrap around volleyball, beach ball, plastic play ball or purchase a real glow in the dark volleyball available at Family Reunion Helper.

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Glow Bracelets

Buy lots of glow bracelets.  You will need them for the net and for everyone to wear. Glow bracelets are pretty inexpensive- a hundred for under $10.00 in the Family Reunion Helper store.  Glow sticks are also fun to hang on the net.



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Black Lights

You can rent black lights for about $10.00  a day but we found black light strips at Walmart for under $20.00 which included the light bulb and stand.  We only needed two lights to light up our small gym.

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Other black lights as are available.  Tape to the wall for added fun.  Don’t forget extension cords for all these lights.  

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White T-shirts

Ask family members to wear white t-shirts for extra fun.  Some will forget but it won’t interfere with the game.  Most shirts that are 100% cotton will glow in the dark under black lights.

You can play glow in the dark volleyball using just glow sticks but adding black lights really gives the game an illuminating boost!

For refreshments serve glow in the dark lemonade- the secret to glowing food is tonic water (diet tonic water works too).  It contains quinine, and guess what happens when you expose quinine to black light yep, it glows!  Tonic water can have a bit of a bitter taste to it so use as little as possible.  Hint:  Serve glow in the dark Jell-O by replacing some of the water with tonic water.

“It’s better to illuminate than merely to shine.”

Aunt MO

$5.00 off any Family Reunion Theme Package

Labor Day seems to mark end of summer and the family reunion season.  You may be planning some fun family Halloween and Christmas parties but If you’re like me, as soon as one family reunion ends I immediately start thinking of ideas for the next years reunion.  


To help jumpstart your family reunion planning www.familyreunionhelper.com is offering $5.00 off any of our reunion themes until October 31st.  (This includes only $19.99 theme packages)


First step is to select the family reunion theme that best fits your family.  Each reunion theme comes with free downloadable games, activities, recipes, printables and templates to simplify, inspire and  guide your reunion planning.


You will need to  login or enter your credit card information before you can enter coupon code reunion2011 and receive $5.00 off your reunion package- but hurry, this coupon code expires October 31st at midnight!

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Happy Reunion Planning!

Minute to Win it Party

If you’re looking for a fun party idea consider hosting  a “Minute to Win it” party.   “Minute to Win it” is a low stress, fun way to have a party.
The television version of the game makes hosting a “Minute to Win it” party fairly simple. You can do most of the preparation in advance so on the day of the party there is very little last minute running around.

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The first step to planning a “Minute to Win it” party is to select the games or challenges you want to include.  Go to the “Minute to Win it” website and search for games by Name, Most Viewed or Most Popular.  Use this link to go to the website.


After choosing the games download the instructions included on the website.  For instance, for our party we played “Hanky Panky”.  You find the video of those instructions here-


Using these videos makes explaining the rules of the game easy- you just play the video!

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We also downloaded a video clock so that we didn’t need to use a clock or timer- we just started the video.

Having this video timer made the competition fun for everyone- spectators and competitors.

Some of our challenges were held inside for a few we had to mve outside.

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My brother, Lee, who organized the “Minute to Win it” competition was very organized so we didn’t have to wait while he found the props he needed.  Lee also separated the family into teams, mixing everyone up, not keeping families together.  Of course the winning team did get a prize to share.

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Fun Pizza Party Twist

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To add some suspense to a traditional pizza party divide you family and friends into teams.  Give each team a premade pizza crust a jar of pizza sauce and a bag of cheese.

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Wrap pizza toppings in gift wrap or newspaper and let each team pick 2 or 3 of the wrapped toppings.  These are the toppings that they must use on their pizza.

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After all the teams have “decorated” their pizzas and baked them, set them out for everyone to try.  Cut pizza in small slices so there are lots of samples.

Below is a list of popular pizza toppings:


  • Pepperoni
  • Ham
  • Canadian Bacon
  • Salami
  • Proscuitto
  • Turkey
  • Beef
  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Chorizo
  • BBQ Chicken
  • Meatballs
  • Ground Pork
    • Artichoke Hearts
    • Bell Peppers
    • Spinach
    • Sun Dried Tomatoes
    • Asparagus
    • Cauliflower
    • Red onions
    • Herbs (Fresh if Available)
    • Portobello Mushrooms
    • Kalamata Olives
    • Leeks
    • Mushrooms
    • Corn
    • Tomatoes
    • Zucchini
    • Chili Peppers
    • Squash
    • Eggplant
    • Jalapeno Peppers
    • Olives



A Delicious Idea From My Nephew, Brayden, for Your Family Reunion

Sometimes I get in a rut- I forget that some people don’t pack up and head for the mountains when they plan a family reunion or family gathering- instead they head for the BEACH!  And it was to the beach we went for a fun family party with my brother and his family. 

We packed up the surf boards, sunscreen and mashed potatoes- yes, MASHED POTATOES!  “Potatoes in a bag” is a fun and easy tradition Uncle Brett and Aunt Lisa have implemented in their family and would be a yummy idea for your family reunion no matter what location  you choose.

Most of the prep for “Potatoes in a bag”  was done at home.  Everyone measured 1/2 cup potato flakes in a plastic baggie and added their favorite “mix-ins” to give their bag of potatoes their own special flavor.


At the beach, Uncle Brett heated up the water in his portable heater.  When the water was hot we added 1 cup to our bag of potatoes and squished it up in the bag until it was well mixed and creamy.  The potatoes were delish!  The beach was chilly  and wet, and the hot potatoes were a welcome treat.

Directions: Mix 1/2 cup of potato flakes with 1 cup boiling water.  Stir until blended. Add your favorite mix-ins: salt, dry ranch Salad dressing, dry onion soup mix, Butter Buds, dried parsley flakes, beef jerky pieces, diced cheese stick and a beef stick. For thinner potatoes, add more water; for thicker, add more flakes.


If you’ve done eggs in a bag at your family reunion I think you’ll have fun with this idea.  Set out all the ingredients and mix-ins and let your family create their own delicious mashed potatoes.  Your bigger eaters may want to use 1 cup of potato flakes with 2 cups of water.

Thanks, Brayden, for a delicious family reunion idea!

Aunt MO

NOTE: Whenever you add boiling water to your baggie, always use heavy-duty or freezer zip lock bags. Although there have been no claims of injury or illness, Ziploc® states their baggies are not intended to be used at high temperatures, so use at your own risk.

Family Reunion Hot Wheel Party

I love to do family reunion presentations to church groups and women’s conferences.  At my recent presentation one of the dear grandma’s that attended expressed some concern about doing a three day family reunion and it occurred to me (kind of like one of those “could’ve had a V-8 moments in the commercials)- have I ever mentioned that your reunion doesn’t have to last three days or two or even all day?  A family reunion can be a fun afternoon with your family at the park, swimming pool or the family homestead.  Any time you can get together as a family is a good thing and counts as a family reunion.

So I thought I’d tell you about a fun party idea for abbreviated family reunion.  My family loves to have their own car races- Pinewood Derby or Hot Wheels race.


If you know anything about scouting you know how fun and popular a Pinewood Derby can be. About 10 years ago we had derby at our family reunion. We let anyone that wanted to participate bring a derby car. It could be one that they had made in the past or one that they made just for our derby. We awarded prizes for how the cars looked and how they performed.

We arranged for a man in our local to bring his derby race track and timer for our event. He charged us $20.00. Our reunion was held at a campground and we asked the camp hosts to be the judges at our derby. We invited them to stay for Dutch oven cobbler after the races and I think they really enjoyed being part of things. We gave trophies for the fastest car and also gave out the following awards:


Best Paint Job
Most Colorful
Most Realistic
Most Original
Best Workmanship
Best Funny Car
Coolest Design
Most Unusual

image I heard of a family that passed out unfinished Pinewood Derby kits to their family as they arrived at their family reunion.  They gave them an hour to put their cars together and make whatever alterations they wanted to their car.  When the hour was up they began the race with roughly finished cars.

It was quite surprising to me how excited everyone was about participating in the derby. One of my nephews even had his car professionally painted.


Hot Wheel Car Races

When my brothers and I were little we used to have Hot Wheels races and the tradition continues with our children today. In fact, if any of my nieces and nephews read are reading this blog just remember Aunt MO ALWAYS has the fastest car!! The track we used to use is now orange “vintage” track and you cannot buy it at the store or online. However, you can, always find it on eBay. The most important part of your race is the starter which you see pictured here.


We love to get Hot Wheels cars in our Christmas stocking and then have a “race day” during the holiday. At other times of the year we converge on the local toy store in search of the fastest car rolling them back and forth in their clear containers and checking them for weight. We limit everyone to just two entries in our double elimination tournament.


I’m always on the lookout for Hot Wheel and Nascar type prizes and store them in a box until the next family race day. Notebooks, stickers, candy and even Spaghetti O’s make fun prizes for your race.


One final idea that I have never tried but sure sounds fun is to play a car relay race as a warm up before the big race.

CAR RELAY GAME: Have teams line up and each person in the team has a certain action to do. For instance, the first person in each group is a flat tire and hops on one foot; the second person is a broken steering wheel and runs zig-zag; the third person is a rusty transmission and takes three steps forward and two backwards; the fourth person is stuck in reverse and runs backward; the fifth and sixth people are a car with a trailer – one runs behind the other grabbing on.

The movie “Cars” sure made it easy to find auto type decorations and novelties.  Wilton put out a Cars cake pan that was fun and fruit chews and cookies helped complete the party theme.

image Gentlemen, start your engines…

Aunt MO

A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing (car racing) and missionaries. Will Rogers

Easter, Eggs, Bunnies and HORSES?!?!

That’s how we celebrate Easter at my house- with Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies and HORSES!  For years now I have told my kids- You don’t have to come for Thanksgiving, you  don’t have to come for Christmas- I just want you for EASTER!

The best Easter Egg hunt in the entire universe is held the Saturday before Easter at my house. Humans of all descriptions gather; greenhorns, cowboys and babies as well of horses of all breeds, colors and training, to find Easter Eggs hidden all over the farm. At our Easter Egg hunt it’s not about the eggs- it’s about the hunt- and the horses!

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To make things more fair for the inexperienced and younger riders, Uncle Steven and I hide the eggs according to color. Each rider has a different color or style of egg. For instance, this year we have basketball eggs for Kory, Elmo eggs for baby jack, purple eggs for Megan, football eggs for Nic, chicken shaped eggs for Brynna, pink eggs for Janie and so forth. Assigning each rider their own color makes it possible for us to hide the eggs according to the rider’s ability.

Because Megan, Kory and Janie are experienced riders we hide their eggs in places that are hard to see and difficult to get to, but we hide green horn and children’s eggs in plain sight and in places easy for them to reach.  We watch for fun ideas about where to hide eggs for weeks leading up to the hunt.

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We hide between 6 and 12 eggs per person depending on how many participants we have. We always hide a few “Golden” eggs with special prizes in them.  Although we haven’t limited how many eggs a person can find, our family is pretty good about making sure everyone finds at least one golden egg.


After the hunters find all of their eggs they are allowed to hunt for the golden eggs that have special prizes in them such as movie tickets, gift certificates and coins. This is the most exciting part of the hunt as riders become a little more daring and often find themselves racing for the same golden egg as another rider.

easter 2010 075 After all the eggs are found everyone gathers together to open their eggs and discover the goodies and prizes in them. We usually play badminton and eat Sloppy Joes for lunch.

Planning around the weather has sometimes been an issue.  We remain in close contact with family members to reschedule from a morning Easter Egg Hunt to an afternoon hunt if needed due to stormy weather but we have never had cancel our Easter Egg hunt.

Because the horses haven’t been ridden much during the winter months they are usually feeling a little frisky for our Easter Egg Hunt. We used to give the riders a plastic shopping bag to put their eggs in but some horses would spook at the crackling noise the bags made so now everyone just plans on wearing a hoodie with pockets to put their eggs in.

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I always plan to fill extra eggs in case we have an unexpected rider, which happens more often then not.

For more unusual Easter Egg hunt ideas and fun family reunion themes, visit www.familyreunionhelper.com.

Good Idea: Finding Easter eggs on Easter Sunday.
Bad Idea: Finding Easter eggs at Thanksgiving.

Aunt MO

Clever Ice Breaker Game Idea

This is a fun idea for an ice breaker game for your next  family reunion or family party.  It is even a fun idea for a work, school or church function.

Divide into groups of about 10.  The groups work together to determine the  total amount of points they have  earned.  Each team will need a team captain and recorder. 


You can make up your own list of points but here are a few ideas to get  you started.

1.  Counting January as one point, February as two points and so on, add up the total points of your group.

2. Score one point for each college attended.

3. Score one point for every button on each shirt.

4. Total number of pennies teammates have in their pockets.

5. Total of all sizes added together- one shoe only per person.

6.  Hair color score- Black hair- 2 points, Brown hair- 1 point, Red hair- 3  points, Grey hair- 5 points, Blonde- 1 point

7. Five points for everyone that is  wearing glasses, 2 points for contacts.

8. One point for every child each person has, twins- 5 points, triplets- 10 points.

9. Minus 1 point for every soda or pop consumed.  Plus 1 point for every glass or bottle of water.

10. 1 point for everyone that is wearing a watch.

Add up the total of points each team has and award prizes to the team that has the “most” points, “least” points, “most unorganized” etc.

Musical Games for Your Family Reunion or Party

When you plan your family reunion, consider planning a few musical games and activities. “Musical Chairs” is a fun game if someone doesn’t have to go to the emergency room.  I’ve never played a “friendly” game of “Musical Chairs”. A calmer version of the game is “Musical Island”. To get the wiggles out, try a little “Dice Dancing”, and for a new twist on “Charades” try “Song Charades”. Make sure you plan for my favorite musical activity, “There’s a Spider On My…” it even works around the campfire.


Song Relay

This is a fun and simple game to play while you’re waiting for an activity or event to begin. Choose a familiar song that all the players know like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”. Sit in a circle and determine the order of singers. The #1 singer sings the first line of the song and passes the song on to the #2 singer who continues with the second line of the song with NO break in the rhythm. Keep passing the song to each singer until the song is completed. As you get a little experience try more difficult songs or try singing each WORD individually.

For example: Singer #1: Row
#2: Row
#3: Row 
#4: Your 
#5: Boat 
#6: Gently
#7: Down 
#8: The
#9: Stream

Dice Dancing

You’ll need a dice for this game. Designate six spaces on your dance floor as space #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Put up simple signs for each area or use numbered hula hoops. While music is playing, have the kids dance around the dance floor. When the music stops, the kids should move to one of the six spaces. Roll the dice, and the kids at that number are out. (I have a large 3- inch die I like to use) Start the music again and continue until you have one or two children left- they are your winners.

Hint: When you get down to 10 dancers tell them that when the music stops there can only be two children on a number and when you get down to 5 dancers tell them they may only have 1 person on a number. (Sometimes I tell them that if I roll the number “1” EVERYONE is back in to start dancing again- they love that!)

Hint: You can also play this in a private swimming pool. Participants swim around until the music stops and then they have to quickly swim to a number.

Song Charades

clip_image006Play song charades with your party guests. Divide the group into two teams. One person from one team is it and thinks of a song. He acts out that song, without using words, just as in normal charades play. If no one can guess what song he is trying to act out after one minute, he has the option of allowing the other team to guess and get a point or by humming the tune of the song, hoping to get his team to guess and receive the point. Play alternates back and forth until one team gets to a predetermined number of points.

Musical Island


Play this game like Musical Chairs. Put a carpet mat or piece of laminated poster board on the floor- that’s the island. All the players walk around in a circle, and as they go round, they must step on the mat. When the music stops, the player on the mat is out.

There’s a Spider on…

(Sung to “If You’re Happy and You Know It” Uses the chords F, B flat and C7)

This is my favorite group sing-a-long song. Give everyone a spider to sing with. Kids of all ages have fun with this music activity. Older groups will want to make up their own verses)

There’s a spider on the floor on the floor image
There’s a spider on the floor on the floor
There’s a spider on the floor-
He just walked right through the door
There’s a spider on the floor on the floor

There’s a spider on my toes
And he’s wiggling his nose

There’s a spider on my knee
And he’s really scaring me

There’s a spider on my thigh
And I think I’m going to cry

There’s a spider on my belly
He’s eating strawberry jelly

There’s a spider on my neck on my neck  image
I feel just like a wreck

There’s a spider on my ear
I’m afraid and I’m afear

Now the spider’s on my face, on my face!
Oh, what a big disgrace

Now the spider’s on my head, on my head!
Oh, I wish that he were dead.

There’s a spider on my back on my back
I’m having an attack

There’s a spider on my toosh
He’s looking kind of sqooshed

Musically Yours,

Aunt MO

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music. Angela Monet