There’s something about summer that inspires us to connect with family to celebrate the unique bond that unites us. The joy of sharing not only a cultural heritage, but a family history makes these multi-generational gatherings a time-honored tradition.
Whether it’s an elaborate gathering of the entire network of extended relatives or just your immediate family, here are some great ideas for get-togethers that will have everyone enjoying the day together and creating some special memories.
- Check out the zoo (and we don’t mean your zany cousins): A visit to your local zoo will bring out the kid in everyone as they explore different exhibits and learn about exotic creatures. Interactive places like this also inspire conversation and mingling throughout the group, which is the main goal of any family reunion.
- Croquet in the park: This centuries-old lawn game is making a comeback in a big way—and it also allows all ages and skill levels to partake in the fun. Pack a picnic, bring out the wickets and hoops, and enjoy a relaxing (and minimally competitive) sport.
- Celebrate your heritage: Choosing a memorable date from your family’s country of origin is a good way to help everyone remember when you’ll get together each year. Make your party a celebration of your roots by utilizing traditional colors, foods, activities, and even a little history lesson for the younger generation.
- Of grapes and grain: If you’re looking for a way for just the adults to enjoy some time together, visiting a local winery can be a fun way to get outside and enjoy a few spirits in good company. Check with the winery beforehand to see if reservations are necessary and if you’re permitted to bring your own snacks. If so, assign a few people to breads and fruits and ask everyone else to bring a new type of cheese to share.
- Take me out to the ball game: Few things say summer like a baseball game—but even if you don’t have a major league budget, minor league and local high school games can still prove to be fun for the whole family.
- Scrounging for clues: For another type of interactive activity, consider hosting a scavenger hunt. There are many resources on the Internet to make planning a snap. Consider assigning teams of non-immediate family members to get everyone involved and working together.
- Summer camp, family style: Camping doesn’t just have to be just for the experienced outdoorsmen—there are many state parks and recreation areas that offer lovely accommodations for pitching a tent or parking a recreational vehicle for a weekend of turning off the electronic devices and enjoying the great outdoors. What better way to connect than over a campfire and a few good ghost stories?
- Cook-off: Is your family known for their barbeque or another summer treat? Host a cook-off where the family chefs present their best recipes (and bring copies to share!) A fun set of cooking utensils makes an appropriate, yet inexpensive grand prize.
- Walk for a cause: Start off a traditional picnic with a purpose by signing up the family to participate in a fundraising walk. Selecting a cause that’s near and dear to your family will ensure that everyone feels connected to the event. Host a potluck picnic afterwards to keep the good times going—and pat yourselves on the back for the good deed you’ve done!
- Make your family tree: A great activity during any family reunion is to piece together your family tree and history. Take photos of all family members who attend and ask them to provide photos of family members who could not attend or are deceased. Consider putting this family history together in a format that everyone can order a copy of like a custom photo book.
What special things does your family do in order to stay in touch? We’d love to hear in the comments!
Posted by stayin365 on July 10, 2014
When Love Becomes an Instinct…
What happens when the mind can’t remember things anymore? In this beautiful and touching story from CBS Sunday Morning, watch what happens when the heart just cannot forget.
Do you have a story of love conquering seemingly insurmountable obstacles? We’d love it if you shared your story in the comments!
Posted by stayin365 on May 30, 2014
Easy, Adorable Memorial Day Party Ideas
Looking for an easy, fun way to make your Memorial Day party really stand out? We spent some time perusing some fantastic blogs and came across some great ideas to make any party sparkle!
1. Patriotic Parfaits by Delish.com
2. American flag Mason jars by Maison dePax
3. Spray painted lawn stars by Sunset.com
4. Memorial Day cookie platter by The Bearfoot Baker
5. Fruit ice drink by Mom.me
6. Firework balloon chandelier by Colorado Balloons
7. Patriotic bandana tablecloth by My Insanity
8. Homemade pallet flag by A Lovely Place to Land
We also thought that all of these ideas would be great to reuse for the 4th of July or Labor Day! If you make one great new item for each occasion, you’ll have a fun, patriotic collection of party goods in no time!
We hope that you and your family and friends have a wonderful Memorial Day holiday!
Posted by stayin365 on May 23, 2014
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Happy Mother’s Day from Kathy Davis!
If you are a mom, Happy Mother’s Day to you! As Mother’s Day approaches, I find myself thinking about my own mother, who will forever be in my heart. Mom always went out of her way to try to brighten someone’s day. Her example was so constant that I am certain she is the source of my own desire to write messages from my heart to people I care about.
In fact, it seems to me that mothers are often the ones who model thoughtfulness for the family, the ones who never forget a birthday or anniversary, who often surprise friends and loved ones with little gifts or messages, who always have their “radar” on to recognize when someone’s spirits might need a little boost.
So as Mother’s Day approaches, I like to think about all the moms in my life who are so thoughtful and kind, who extend themselves even before they are asked and who never expect anything in return. Some are friends, and others are family. Some are new moms, others empty-nesters. Some are grandmothers, and others are aunts. I like to show my appreciation to these wonderful women who make a difference in my life by sending a special greeting card, and sometimes I include a token gift or book.
This Mother’s Day, I’d love to hear how you plan to honor the special moms in your life!
P.S. – Speaking of books, this Mother’s Day, I’m really excited about my new book, Love Blooms in a Mother’s Heart: A Celebration of Motherhood. Inside the pages of this book you will find my favorite quotations and sayings about mothers, surrounded by my garden-inspired watercolor art. For me, creating this collection was a heartfelt way to honor the memory of my wonderful mother. At the same time, it speaks to all moms of every generation. (You’ll find it at our website kathydavis.com.)
Posted by stayin365 on May 7, 2014
April 28, 2014
It’s the little things…
What little things can you do today to lift someone else up?
Posted by stayin365 on April 28, 2014
April 23, 2014
Happy Administrative Professionals Day!
Happy Administrative Professionals Day! Be sure to thank all of the admins that you know… they deserve major kudos for all that they do!
Posted by stayin365 on April 23, 2014
April 22, 2014
Happy Earth Day!
What are some small things people can to do make a difference in the world today?
Posted by stayin365 on April 22, 2014
April 20, 2014
Wishing you a blessed Easter filled with God’s love.
Posted by stayin365 on April 20, 2014
April 18, 2014
On this Good Friday, we pause to reflect on the true meaning of the Easter holiday.
Posted by stayin365 on April 18, 2014
April 14, 2014
Happy Easter from Kathy Davis!
I just love the month of April, with its promising signs of renewal. And this year, both Easter and Earth Day happen in April, so there’s plenty to celebrate. After the bitterly cold and grey winter we’re emerging from here in Pennsylvania, it’s fun to see all the wonderful sights that accompany springtime, Easter and Earth Day. Bunnies and chicks. Pastel Easter eggs. Graceful tulips and fragrant hyacinths. In fact, just the sight of new leaves on trees and grass turning green again is enough to lift my spirits!
Easter is also a time to renew our connections – with family and friends we care about. To help you do just that, our collection of Easter cards features uplifting messages and art. Our Easter palette is especially joyful and expressive – from the soft lavender, aqua, pink and green of decorated Easter eggs to the exuberance of sunny orange and yellow daffodils and daisies, from the delicate beauty of whisper pale butterfly wings to pristine pink and white apple blossoms. You’ll find our cards in any store that carries American Greetings cards.
Why not pick up a few greeting cards to let those special people know you’re thinking about them? Sharing the joys of the springtime season is a wonderful way to brighten someone’s day!
Posted by stayin365 on April 14, 2014