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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.

Friday, June 28, 2013

DIY Family Reunion Fly Repellant

I love DIY everything. I tend to take pride in using my imagination, logic and a household item to come up with a solution to fix or resolve a problem that could have cost considerable time and money relying on a commercialized solution. You should see what I can do with a wire clothes hanger or aluminum foil.

Things You Can Make or Fix with Clothes Hanger Wire
Miniature Camera stand.
Secure a dragging car muffler.
Mend an arm on a metal chair pulling the wire thru the rivet holes.
Created a lampshade and Lampshade holder.
Make small hand crafted props like trees, shrubs and plants stand erect.
Make a sock holder (to air dry socks)
Make a Butterfly net
Make a Belt keychain holder
Make a bed spring replacement
Make Fly swatter with hanger, foil and tape.

Aluminum Foil
Perform car body work by tightly scrunch a mound of foil and molding it shape.
Sealed a muffler hole with it.
Raised the legs of a keyboard stand an inch or two with hard molded foil.
Make short and long wave radio antennas.
Make bottle tops.
Make a kite.
Make a glider plane.
Make an unsinkable boat.
Plug a dry bucket with it.
Make play money - coins
Make a pseudo battery placeholder.

DIY Bug Repellant
One of the most aggravating experiences a reunion planner can have is preparing a beautiful luncheon in the park only to be bombarded by pesky flies. There has been a lot of talk on the Internet about the most effective indoor/outdoor bug repellant for flies. Is there an effective DIY method to resolve this one? One of the more popular DIY methods goes like this: Hang a clear bag of water with a penny at the bottom. The bag is said to repels flies instantly.

There are numerous reports that this actually works but the reasons for it's effectiveness vary greatly. Some say it works because it looks like a spider ( the penny) in a web (bag of water). Others say the flies see a magnified reflection of themselves and think it’s a much larger predatory insect.

A more scientific explanation is that the penny keeps the water from growing algae thereby keeping the water clear and thus maintaining a highly reflective surface.

Flies have multiple eyes. That said, some believe that hanging the light reflective bags in direct sunlight creates a prism effect that repel flies due to the kaleidoscope effect taking place in the eyes of the fly.

Whatever the case there is a science to making it work and part of it is using a large ziplock bag, drop a penny in the bag and fill it halfway with clear water. Hanging it in an open space (not against a wall or stapled to a doorpost), Hang it in such a way that each side reflects and refracts sunlight.

Fun DIY Family Reunion Activities and Crafts
For fun DIY activity ideas planning your family reunion get Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Book
List Price: $17.99 Now as low as $14  Save: $3.99 (17%) here.

For fun DIY craft and outdoor game ideas get Fimarks Reunion Planner eBook for $7 at

To plan a complete family reunion event get Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app discounted from $49 to $39 for a limited time only.  To get  more information about Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app click on the link on this blog page or access the profiles page.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pinterest Family Reunion Planning

Granted I am routine oriented. So I prefer to follow the same pattern in my daily chores and weeks itinerary. But when it comes to preparing family reunions complete with entertainment, dinner recipes, crafts and genealogy presentations, I like to try out new things.

Take meals for example. If you're like me you may not want to serve the same menu at every family reunion. Serve dishes everyone enjoys, but add something exotic and new on the side. So how will we settle on the main course menu? Pinterests family recipe boards.

So I'm planning a family reunion or as we like to call it, family night. Brenda and I throw a few ideas on the table. We're talking about heritage and getting to know our history. The idea of reciting pieces of history on cards comes to mind. Then we decide to reenact parts of the narration in the form of skits. So how will we get ideas for period costumes? Pinterests history and genealogy boards are a great place to start.

We may even decide to do all of this out of doors.If we do it would be nice to prepare a few imaginative outdoor games for the kids. So where will we go to get ideas? Pinterest. As a matter of fact has a great pinterest board that features just about everything you need to throw a great family reunion event.

At the close of the event we want to gather all the family together and recite a move that will strike at the heart and remind everyone what a precious bond we have. Something picturesque that speaks of our past, fond memories and serves as an affirmation of loyalty and union. Finding such a poem is no easy task. But there's bound to be special place that lists them all just for you. Pinterest.

At some point it will be time to get the word out. The question is what route will we take? Will we mail out flyers? Send invitations by email or via Google+ and Facebook? Well it just so happens that there's an app for all of that. And yes, it's featured on a Pinterest board.

Pinterest features Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social. A cloud based social web app with scores of family reunion planning tools ideal for family reunion planners on and offline. Here are just a few features:

Reunion Planning Checklist and Worksheet
5 Reunion Themes
Printable Reunion Poems
Reunion Supply Price Comparison
T-shirt Roster (Spreadsheet)
T-shirt Designer and Ordering System
Printable Flyers and Invitations
Banquet Dinner Reception Hall Finder and Review
Reunion Activity Ideas
Attendee Registration Database (Spreadsheet)
Invitation Creator with RSVP Stats

Planning a family reunion? Don't have Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app yet? Get it at this summers discount special. List Price $49. Now $39 for a limited time. You save $10 dollars. No coupon code needed. For more information about the family reunion planning app click on the link found on this blog page or go to profiles.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

5 Life Lessons Learned at Family Reunions

Whenever Brenda and I attend a family reunion we always walk away having learned an important lesson that heightens our spirit, raises our quality of life and enhances our relationships. Over the years there are always five life lessons that  these events cause to resonate in our minds.

1. Take Care of Yourself - Take care of yourself and everything else will fall into place. It is a fact that when you get a good nights sleep your day is bound to go better by comparison. When you are refreshed you are much more capable and competent for the task at hand. We make better financial, academic and health related decisions when well rested, which returns a rewarding cycle of good mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.

2. Love Listens - Take time to listen to your family members when they speak. Knowing someone cares enough to listen makes the effort of getting together worthwhile.  Every family should have a support system with a mission to validate each family member regardless of their station in life, education or class. Get to know their interests and likes. Try to relate and find common ground. A good place to start is reading their online profile.

3. Love Grows - Love has no limits in time or space. A person can love hundreds of people simultaneously and still have room for hundreds more. That means there is enough love to go around. It only takes a few seconds to show it and a few minutes to grow it.

4. Success is Setting Goals - Many family members leave the reunion with a set of goals they wish to achieve such as going to college, being a better father, mother or spouse. When attending a family reunion take special note of individuals and couples who have been committed to successfully carrying out their roles in life . Observe and discover the keys to making it work. Set the goal to become what it takes to be a happy committed partner, mother or father in the relationship by setting progressive goals for yourself.

5. Happiness is making others Happy - There is no greater reward than giving someone something meaningful that does them lasting good. While one can give food, money or some other tangible item, teaching them how to acquire and maintain what's most important in life, a loving circle of people who care, goes a long way. That said, giving something that will be of lasting good brings the most happiness. The rewards are beyond measure.

And speaking of happy... How can you aim to please just about everyone at your upcoming family reunion One way is by being as inclusive as possible regarding interests, preferences and likes. That means taking into consideration family members tastes in the areas of music, sports and entertainment. Granted you did this when taking the initial survey regarding themes and activities. But what about the family reunion luncheon/dinner program itself? Here are a few great ideas that aim to please and put a smile on the faces of each family reunion member.

1. Find out music titles each family reunion attendee likes. During the festivities play one or two
songs on behalf of each family member.

2. Make a list of games shows each attendee enjoys watching. Create fun reunion games centered around the game shows most popular among attendees.

3. Determine the sports activities most attendees enjoy and incorporate a few of them the family rreunions outdoor activities.

Fimark's family reunion planner web app includes the Invitees Interest List which lists profiles of friends and family members along with their favorites and likes including music, sports, games, books, movies and more. You don't have to fill in the list. It's all already entered and in place. Just open the list and start reading the likes and favorites for each attendee under the appropriate category.
Find out more at http//

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Flash Flood Family Reunion Alert

Its the season of flash floods for more reasons than one. First off, the east coast received three flash flood warnings in the last 24 hours. As the clouds thickened the heavens opened up and poured. We were instantly inundated with several inches of rain this weekend alone. Happily there were only a few downed trees in our neighborhood as we had virtually no wind to rock and shake less limber branches.

The city and residents were at the ready as they prepared for this activity a year ago cutting down old trees and trimming many others. The drainage pipes were replaced in a very timely manner while others were cleared.

Flood Preparatory Tips

It's a good idea when getting flood alerts to park your cars where fewer trees grow. Waterproof your basements in advance and have your roof drains cleared periodically. Test the sump-pump regularly. Avoid putting stacks of books and magazines or anything that can get water damaged on ground level floors or near windows that are usually left open for ventilation. Replace damaged electrical cords immediately. Unplug floor fans with metallic bases.

Speaking of flash floods, this is also the season for a flood of family and community celebrations including graduations, reunions, carnivals and street parties. Brenda and I were inundated with graduation party invitations this year. Were we prepared for the influx of graduation ceremonies, parties and there was lot's of gift giving. Having received the invitations well in advance we were able to make the most of it. It was a great time to commend our young ones for setting realistic goals and reaching them, as well as affirming our support.

My younger brother Terence and his wife presented a well catered event in the park. It was a warm sunny day and large family groups were celebrating graduation everywhere. In came family members who drove over 4 hours to congratulate the graduate, our nephew. The next day our hard working cousins LaTavia and her mom did a great job providing creative games and activities. Even though I was just an observer we were well entertained watching the graduates pulling off some very comical stunts to win the game. It was a two-day family reunion under a graduation theme.

Today's Graduates - Our Future

To our surprise we saw many childhood friends and former school-mates we hadn't seen since our own graduation days. It was a time to remember the highlights of our generations and some really good times.  The unexpected surprises and the victories, the journey and discoveries all culminating in a proud procession of dignified graduating students whose experiences together forged a bond like no other.

Soon today's graduates will become a part of a fast growing network united as one single driving force mapping our future. A study of their demographics reveal a common thread that binds them all:   The desire and ability to be socially acknowledged being connected to a much wider circle of community than the previous generation could ever have imagined. But what is most characteristic of this generation is the truth and honesty it's ultra-social exposition demands.

The Social Data Phenomenon

It's that degree of social connection that paved the way for today's electoral process. Our current survey and ranking process of institutions, companies, products and services is solely based on it. Even our interests in literature and entertainment have been vastly impacted by this very inclusive participatory ranking process we have come to depend on. The benefits of this welcomed social process are many:

1. The acquisition of data from online genealogy research  has been phenomenal, enabling us to find our family's past and our place in history more readily.
2. We can rank and tally family reunion surveys much easier.
3. We can get a quick overview of invitation responders using a social enabled RSVP process.
4. We can learn the interests of family members using just one data table.
5. We can hold video conference with committee members and vendors and display possible reunion locations and share charts and forms in real time.

Fimark's Family reunion planner Social takes advantage of this new generations social enabled connection process with the ideal reunion planning tools for the task. Here are a few examples:

Reunion Music Lists: Creating a music list is no longer a matter of guess work and personal taste. Look over the Invitees Interest List feature in Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social  interface and find each members music list in one table. Choose songs they love and please just about everyone.

Reunion Gifts and Awards: Gift giving could not be easier. Look over the Invitees Interest List and find lists of books and movies. Give a gift based on the franchises of the list.

Reunion Activities: Looking for ideas for reunion activities? Using the Invitees Interest List find and focus on the TV game shows, hobbies and sports listed by each member. You'll find fun fascinating ideas in no time at all.

Planning a family reunion? Don't have Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app yet? Get it at this summers discount special. List Price $49. Now $39 for a limited time. You save $10 dollars. No coupon code needed. For more information about the family reunion planning app click on the link found on this blog page or go to profiles.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

3 Tools For Family Reunion Planning

It's family reunion season. Many are planning to have a family reunion in the weeks to come. Having a family reunion can be the most rewarding event in a family member's life. Reading the comments regarding family reunions by our 2500 twitter based readers reveals that family reunions are the highlight of youths summer activities. So how will you go about planning your family reunion this season? There are three tools to help you get started.

3 Tools For Family Reunion Planning

If you are computer literate and apps savvy you may prefer a fully loaded web application with varied tools to help you plan and organize your event, submit online surveys and invitations, check rsvp statuses, send updates and count the cost. If you type 30 or more words per minute and work from a text editor you may prefer to use a spreadsheet program you can download, edit, print and/or store on your computer.

If you prefer to work with pen and paper you'll probably prefer using a guidebook complete with checklists and worksheets. That said, it helps to have a flexible reunion planner. With three options available for planning your Family reunion Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social (FRPS) is more flexible than ever before while helping you expedite tasks in a more organized and time efficient way.

  • Family Reunion Planning Tools
  • Family Reunion Planning Guides
  • Family Reunion  Planning eBooks
  • Family Reunion Planning Spreadsheet

Why learn new applications and perform tedious record keeping when much of the work has already been done for you within the applications and devices you normally use each day. FRPS shows you how while guiding you thru the entire event planning process.

Web Application Features

The planner includes online tools, checklists, apps, ebook, worksheets and spreadsheets so you can plan your family reunion your way. Just login, read the tutorial and the steps or open the ebook and follow the guide or download the reunion planner spreadsheet and follow it's checklist guide while using the various features found on the spreadsheet planner.

The  reunion planning interface features award winning services like family reunion  hotel finder,  reviews and online tours, committee video conferencing and spreadsheet document sharing,  and a means to import social network contacts to spreadsheet format not to mention the ability to design your custom T-shirt online and share with family members across several social networks enabling them to buy shirts online.

Money Saving Features

You'll also enjoy bulk discounts for group orders and fast printing and shipping. Conference online using state-of-the-art conferencing programs. Hold a seasonal shopping fundraiser online and invite members to order products they need and love while profits are deposited into the reunion account. Make us of fundraiser widgets and facebook apps to make donations convenient for all.

Planning a family reunion? Don't have Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app yet? Get it at this summers discount special. List Price $49. Now $39 for a limited time. You save $10 dollars. No coupon code needed. For more information about the family reunion planning app click on the link found on this blog page or go to profiles.