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Mark Angelo Askew is the author of "Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Guide Workbook and Keepsake" and the founder and director of the Family Reunion Planning Group that established November as Annual Family Reunion Planning Month.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Family Reunion Booklet

Have you started your family tree yet? This is a good day to begin.
Before family dinner put together the family tree according to the
information you already have.

Next invite family members at the table to fill in the missing pieces. Showing
the kids the family tree and the stories behind the history can be fascinating,
eye opening and even improve self-esteem. Seeing how their family history
connects to secular history learned in school can shed a whole new light on
school work. Add the family tree to your Family Reunion Keepsake Booklet

Family Reunion Keepsake Booklet.

Family Tree Photos
Why not start with photos. Gather all your photos together and start naming all
family members on the back of them. Now create a hand written or typed lineage
chart. Crop and add the photos to the chart.

You can even print it out and insert it in the Family Reunion
Keepsake Booklet.

Present your family tree project and family reunion booklet at your family
dinner and the completed version at your next family reunion.

A great place to start building your family tree is at Currently
they offer a free Family Reunion Website that includes access to a family tree
application. Check it out at

Happy family reunion planning!

Mark & Brenda

Free Family Reunion Planner

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Write Your Family Reunion Newsletter

If your family reunion event has recently passed or you're planning a 2012 or 2013 family reunion it's time to start writing your reunion newsletter. The question is, where to start? Why not start with your event preparation notes, ideas or recent reunion dinner program and Itinerary?

If your event is future, build anticipation and throw out some ideas and suggestions from family members. Add plenty of commendation about past gatherings. To get everyone involved get thoughts from the younger generation. If the family plans on getting together in the month of November, this would be a fine time to distribute the newsletter and consider some of the event location, dinner program and itinerary ideas.

Writing the Newsletter
Include short paragraphs under the following subheadings:
1. Making Memories (Add snippets of highlights of past reunion the events)
2. How It All Began (Discuss how the theme and slogan came about)
3. Acknowledgement (Say thank you to those who helped out)
4. Recent Family News (Weddings, Graduations, Births, In Memoriam)
5. Include poems and meaningful quotations

Clearly identify family members you're telling about. For example, write, "Jane Smith, daughter of Gordon C.   Smith and Joy Hazel Smith, graduated from the University of Maryland in May."

Family photos are wonderful additions to family reunion newsletters. Kids pictures are most endearing and spark conversation.  Be sure to add captions with descriptions of the subjects in the photos including names, location and the date the photo was taken.

Content and Filler
Need more content? Add one line family trivia in empty spaces. For example, you could write, "Who let the dogs out? In 1959 John Smith owned a kennel."  Add mystery guest photos and humorous comments or situations associated with the reunion. Add a recipe box complete with the history behind the recipe.
Add some heart to your newsletter with excerpts from poems. A great place to find family reunion poems it at

Did You Know? The author of  the poem "Finding Our Way Back Home" is also the author of  Fimark's Family Reunion Planning Guide and Keepsake book.

Family Recipes
Want to start compiling family reunion recipes complete with history, background, originator and instructions? Get Fimark's Family Reunion Planning Guide and Keepsake book. Makes a great gift for family reunion planners, award recipients and genealogy buffs.

Thinking about a family reunion cruise? Get ideas at

Happy Family Reunion Planning!
Mark & Brenda

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Frugal Shopping This Season

Hey family reunion planners. Happy November! It's time to economize and avoid  creating credit card money pits when gift shopping this season.

Here are some helpful tips.  1. Don't use a credit card this season. Use your debit card only. 2. Get gift cards and save mileage and gas. 3. Shop online Black Friday Week or Cyber Monday Week and save up to 30%. 4. Look for deep discount inventory liquidation sales online and compare prices.

The astore is very helpful shopping tool for reunion planners who want to be more frugal this shopping season.