Today’s post is late because we were actually doing this family tie!

The Hubby had two days off, so we drove up to visit his parents and celebrate his dad’s birthday! It was spur of the moment and his dad was totally surprised – great fun for all of us, even though it was a short trip!

We are blessed to live within driving distance of both of our sets of parents, as well as my sister and her family, and lots of extended family.

Spending time with relatives has always been important to my family.  Growing up, we were able to hang out with grandparents, aunts & uncles, and cousins quite a bit.

Big meals, holidays, watching football, exploring my grandparents’ farm…those are some GREAT memories.

To make it even better, even as my generation has grown up, the extended family get-togethers have continued! What fun we have with our children being the little ones now!

There are so many ways to make special memories with relatives, whether they live near by or not! Extended family can mean different things to different people, so here are a variety of ideas…

*Grandparents {in the same town or when visiting}: Set up a way for your kids to serve with Grandma and/or Grandpa! When our boys stay with The Hubby’s parents, they often go with Grandma to the nursing home for therapy dog visits! They help walk the dogs in the hallway and talk with the residents. It is often the highlight of their time!

*Grandparents {not in the same town}: Plan a weekly or monthly Skype date for the kids and their grandparents! When Big J was starting to read books, he read some to my mom via Skype and she read some poems back to him. I thought this was so sweet! Have your child share read or sing or perform something for Grandma and Grandpa to enjoy!

*Extended Family: Plan one big get-together or reunion every year. Fourth of July and Christmas have worked for my mom’s side of the family, and since it is every year, everyone knows to plan ahead! We still have 40-50 people at each gathering on a regular basis! Consider picking a less popular holiday to plan around or try the weekend before or after a holiday.

Our extended family Christmas gathering is usually the 26th or 27th of December, so everyone can spend Christmas with their immediate family or other relatives! We meet at a hotel where we reserve a conference room for food and games. Several families get hotel rooms so there are places to watch TV and the kids do lots of swimming!

Time and distance can be hard to overcome, but creating special memories with extended family doesn’t have to be difficult and it will further develop the importance of family in your children!


Family Tie #19: Do one thing this week to create a special memory with extended family. You may start planning an event or set up a Skype date – just start somewhere! Pick something a little out of the ordinary so it will be memorable for everyone!


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