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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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Family Reunion Activities and Observances

Here's a shout out to family reunion planners in Detroit, Michigan, Chicago, Baltimore, MD and Washington DC.

Have you payed homage to the African American contribution to society yet? If so, congratulations. I hope you were inspired by the courage, insight, wisdom and humanitarian interest reflected in each story. It's not too late to schedule a weekend tour of Blacks 'n Wax in Baltimore MD, The Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum in Baltimore MD or checkout special tours and presentations at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.  

Family Activities Inspired by Black History Month:

  • Join or form a Family History Society
  • Donate to your favorite cultural charity
  • Visit a cultural museum or community art gallery
  • Write about your families contribution to history and your community.
  • Read a grade level book regarding notable achievements to your children.
  • Volunteer in some way to give back to the community.
  • Visit sites that focus on contributions from people of other cultures.

Other Monthly Observances
  • May 12 to June 16 - "Family Reunion Month"
  • July - National Family Reunion Month
  • November - Named November as "Family Reunion Planning Month
  • November 21-24 as "Family Reunion Planning Week.  See

Family Reunion Activities
Want to make your family reunion more a historic appeal. Add one or
more of the following activities to your family reunion program:

Historic Skits Reenactments
Highlight pivotal points in a family's history. Participants are
introduced to the art of developing a timeline as well as period
research with a focus on costume design, customs, dialogue and
social, economic and technological developments.

Story Telling
A fascinating art that brings to life tales of ancestors and their
accomplishments. Along with stories of legends of the past, life
lessons are taught. The meaning behind family traditions are shared
while relaying important family history factoids and the ties that

Genealogy Tours
Take the family on an exciting tour of important genealogical hot
spots including the family homestead, the towns in which the family
settled, the jobs they held, machines they worked, markets they
traded and streets they walked as well as social activities they
immersed themselves into.

Genealogy Presentations
A Presentation of historic documents and vintage artifacts that
identify timelines, economic status, historic events and locations
of ancestors.

Family Reunion Keepsake Booklets
Get more details about these activities using Fimark's Family Reunion Planner at

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

7 Tips To Plan Your Family Reunion

I hope to take Brenda on a much needed cruise and visit Hawaii's reunion planners while photoing some of the most fascinating exotic islands along the way and then I'll upload them all on my Pinterest Board.

2. Planning A Family Reunion Cruise
Did you know that hundreds of our readers and web application users have successfully completed their family reunion planning early? The question is how did they do it? 

If you're anxious to get your family reunion event planing off the ground consider travel packages. Family reunion cruises are gaining popularity. Best of all you only need to handle group booking and can enjoy all the savings and special amenities group plans include. Now's the time to look for great deals on summer and fall cruises for 2013 - 2014.  For more info go to 

7 Tips To Plan Your Family Reunion

1. Delegate ASAP
Form a reunion committee comprised of at least one additional member per 20 attendees. Get a checklist of event planning tasks. Recruit and delegate tasks immediately. Follow up on progress made and keep everyone from getting in each others way.

2. Get The Word Out
You've heard it said "if you build it they will come?" That may be true when it comes to planning a special event. But if no one knows you built it you won't get much company. That said, it's important to get the word out as early as possible.

3. Advance Communication
Often good communication well in advance is all that's needed to rally
support. Give them a heads up on when the event will take place, what the activities are and how they can help. Now they can schedule time off or adjust their vacation plans to include the reunion. That said, I recommended that the event be planned at least 7 months ahead of time. 12 or more months advance notice would be ideal.

4. Mark Good Use Of Worksheets
To keep reunion meetings from getting bogged down with too much information and little time to follow up with delegated tasks make use of reunion committee worksheets, review action item and follow-up promptly.

For example, if there is a need to schedule a tour of a resort, order catering and have a professional on location photo shoot you'll need to know when to make those calls, who to contact and when to follow up with that person. To avoid forgetting important tasks all that's needed is a timeline checklist and worksheet. By the way, if you're considering a family reunion cruise it's all in the package. Like that Lionel Richie song, all you need to do is "Go, Go, Go..."

5. Great Reunion Planning Tools
We recommend making good use of reunion planning tools that include a timeline checklist with preparation reminders, attendee database, scheduling worksheets, committees assignment sheets, reunion needs lists, meal planner checklists, a  music checklist, supplies list, invitations, flyers, itinerary template, dinner program template, announcement submitter, budget and cost estimator as well as other essentials for time and cost effective family reunion planning.

6. Reunion Planning Web Applications

One such planner is called Fimark's Family Reunion Planner 3.0. Check out the free evaluation version at... Fimark's Family Reunion Planner web application includes a family reunion Cruise Planner complete with activities and itinerary.

7. Event Planning Books 
Prefer an event planning book? Get Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Keepsake Guide Book 
The Family Reunion Planner book includes a family reunion Cruise Planner complete with event planning checklist, packing checklist, activities and  itinerary.

Now's the time to look for great deals on summer and fall cruises for 2013 - 2014. For more info go to

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

200 Pinterest Family Recipes

Whether you're snowed in or just want to fill the house with the warm and cozy scent of sweet baked grains, kids love whipping up and eating cake, cookie or cupcake batter. 

Baking cakes, pies and cookies is just the sort of thing to do this time of year. The sweet anticipation of eating it up makes getting snowed a lot less tiresome and a lot more fun. 

Brenda loved watching a television game show centered around healthy eating. The entire family was involved. They searched for healthy alternative cake recipes online. After finding two recipes they bought the ingredients and went to work (or play) whipping up the cake batter.  Imagine baking a delicious cake that has 80% less calories than store bought cakes and makes you feel better too! 

After baking the two cakes they voted on the appearance, texture and taste. Giving each category a score from 1 to 10. It was fun to watch, but it's even more fun to do in your own kitchen with your own kids.

200 Pinterest Family Recipes

To help snowbound families with a knack for cooking and baking Brenda and I have put together a Family Recipe Box of 200 Pinterest Family Recipes featuring all sorts of fun and tasty recipes some good and healthy and just plain good tasting. The Family Recipe Box will be a permanent feature of  the Family Reunion Planner Social web app soon to be released. 

Take a look at more than 100 recipes posted by fellow reunion planners and enjoy your own family bake-a-thon. 

10 Snowbound Activities To Beat Boredom

It came out of no where. Only a few days advance notice. Brenda and I watched the news as half the east coast was pummeled by several inches of snow. In some areas snow drifts were several feet high. We were grateful we did not get a single snow flake here in Maryland but we drew up a list of things we intend to do when the big one hits. 

Trapped in the house and no way to get out? Being snowed in is fine for one day but two or more days can drive you out of your mind. So what else can you do when you're snowbound and have nothing but time on your hands? 

10 Snowbound Activities To Beat Boredom
  1. Catch up on your reading. 
  2. Clean and organize.  
  3. Take time to write to friends and relative using printed greeting cards. 
  4. Look at home movies. 
  5. Update memory book. 
  6. Add an item to a memory chest. 
  7. Try out some new and old recipes. 
  8. Plan for a spring or summer gathering. 
  9. Build your music database
  10. Call friends and family

In addition to these activities think about what you like to do and plan ahead by having everything on hand. Like to knit. Get some knitting yarn and access to online knitting tutorials.
the art of knitting crochet and sewing

Like to cook and bake. Look over some recipes now and put together a shopping list including the ingredients of several recipes. family recipes

Like to paint or draw? Gather your materials today and put them aside for use when snowbound. 

Like printing and writing greeting cards? Print some cards today and write to family on snow day.
fun printable greeting cards

Like crafts like quilting? Create a quilting bag complete with all the items you'll need to tackle that winter project. family reunion crafts

7 Fun Snow Games You Just Gotta Try

Brenda called her family who live in New York. They were pummeled with several inches of snow. We are happy to report all is well. Our prayers are on behalf of all you east coasters. Keep warm. Stay dry. And to all the kids and young at heart out there... Put on your coats, hats and mittens cause it's snow playing time! 

So what to do with all that snow? Most winter Olympic activities require lot's of snow. Here are 7 great Olympic snow games for hours and hours of fun.  Want to make the most of it. Capture the day on Video and play it that evening or the next snowbound evening. You'll probably laugh so hard you'll side will hurt.

7 Fun Snow Games You Just Gotta Try
  1. Make sleds from household items like stuffed heavy duty leaf and lawn bags, cardboard boxes, storage container lids  and have a snow sled race.
  2. Make 30 snow balls and have a snow ball toss contest. Form two teams. Each team tries to toss the snow ball in the teams designated container. The team with the most snow balls in their container wins.
  3. Build a course of hurdles and have a relay and hurdle jump contest.
  4. Have two teams each trying to build the bigger snowball.
  5. Build a snow man. Form two teams each with it's own hat. take turns trying to toss the hat on top of the snowman.
  6. Using one snowball, play snow ball tag. Toss the ball to a team player to tag the other team member. Try to intercept the tossed snow ball and tag the opposing team player.
  7. Snow sculpt a work of art.

These games are not just for kids but for kids at heart. Join your kids in all that snow and make it a day they will never forget. Next stop, some hot cocoa, fudge brownies or hot baked pie. Yummm! Get even more great home recipe ideas for the snowbound at

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February - Black History Month

Black History Month
A Celebration for All

Black History Month is a remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African Diaspora. It is celebrated annually in the United States and Canada in the month of February, while in the UK it is held in the month of October.

Black History Month was established in 1976 by African-Americans for the Study of African-American Life and History. The month-long celebration was an expansion of Negro History Week, which was established in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, director of what was then known as the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.

At first it was celebrated almost exclusively by African Americans, taking place outside of the view of the wider society. Increasingly, however, mayors and governors, especially in the North, began endorsing Negro History Week and promoting interracial harmony. Now Black History Month is a national observance. Families are encouraged to take advantage of the effort to promote recognition of a rich heritage, culture and resilient people of African decent including African Americans, European Africans, Brazil, the Caribbean Islands and Jamaica to name a few.
  1. Black History Month Activities:
  2. Join or form a Family History Society
  3. Donate to your favorite black charity
  4. Visit a black museum or art gallery
  5. Write about your families contribution to black history
  6. Read a grade level book regarding notable black achievements to your children
  7. Volunteer in some way to give back to the community
  8. Learn more about Black History Month at

In celebration of Black History Month Fimark Home presents the Family Reunion Theme "Family Fest." A family reunion festival planner featuring cultural exploration in food, culture, stories, poetry, music and colorful decor and costumes. You'll find this and more in Fimark's Family Reunion Planner at