Profile + Web App

My photo
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, July 23, 2013

A Book of Their Lives

My wife Brenda and her long time friend Jackie set out to spend some much needed downtime together in a very constructive and creative way two weeks ago. This particular Saturday afternoon rendezvou is more than just a casual spin about a local shopping district. An unspoken mission has been undertaken to encapsulate almost 40 years of friendship in preparation for a new challenge that lie ahead.

They visited a small ceramics and pottery shop. Glazed to Perfection. I knew this as I drove her there to pick up a completed work of art. The little shop situated on a strip of stores and shops was easy to spot with it's 3D ivory and fuchsia sign board. She quickly leaps out of the car with a briskness I had not seen in quite some time.

With equal pace she was back in the car carefully grasping a brown bag. With a look I can only describe as sheer girly glee with a hint of pride and purpose Brenda carefully removes the contents of the bag one item at a time. A lovely work of art.

In her palm she held a hand-painted and glazed ceramic cup and saucer. The set had an elegant leaf motif impression on the base of the cup and the same encircling the saucer accented with a green center. Brenda decided to paint the set a soft early evening blue with green highlights on the leaf motif wrapped around the base of the cup.

It was the ideal activity on that sunny Saturday afternoon for two long time friends who've been together since their youth. The perfect past-time to kick back and catch up with the comings and goings of old friends and family while creating a tangible memento of a chapter that will have to soon come to a close.

Brenda and Jackie's friendship spans a lifetime. It is not one that is based on mutual ambitions, achievements, class distinctions or economic advantage. It was not mere acquaintance based on mutual admiration for someone or something they both idolized.  It survived many tests and life altering setbacks because it was and is based on something truer than most are. And as it goes with friendships that mature over time, these two once young and silly girls, grew up and gained more priceless experience and wisdom than their own colleagues and acquaintances. And this they put to good use to reassure and bolster one another during the tough times.

I must admit that in their own way their friendship has added stability, color and a certain constant sustainable element to their lives and that of their families.

Their carefully scheduled engagements became a time to exhale. A reason to put it all on hold. To laugh a little and sigh a little. To even tear up a little. To qualify and quantify the decisions made and then after making sense of it all finally to see the need to get a firmer hold on what they have.

This day holds special significance for these two ageless girls. Soon Jackie will pack her bags and pile her tangibles that represent a half century of life inside a moving van. She will say goodbye to a life she devoted herself to three decades ago. She will travel a whole states distance  away from her friend in order to settle down once and for all with her aging parents. Another test of the resilience of Brenda and Jackie's friendship? Not so much. Despite the many miles that will lie between them this they both know... They will always remain connected.

There comes a moment when an awareness hits two individuals. It is when they become fully cognizant of the fact that they are no longer two separate individuals anymore. A realization of reciprocity. They are life long loyal companions with a symbioses in their nature that manifests itself with a phone call every few months or a card bought weeks ago, written weeks thereafter and finally put in the mail months later.

No matter how long it takes to connect again, that one moment will only deepen their resolve to connect again and again to meld their bond. There will be another sunny Saturday afternoon creating a memory, a memento and uniting their kindred spirit. A glass of wine, a cup of mocha, a dash of cinnamon on a pastry sweet. They'll sit cozy in their chairs and read together another page from their history, and then another, until unbeknownst to themselves they have written a new chapter in the book of their lives.

From your husband to the two of you. Here's to your true friendship, my dearest Brenda and Jackie.

A Book of Our Lives
It has been described as a book of our lives. The Family Reunion Planner is just that. Not only does it contain genealogy worksheets but it also is designed as a keepsake memento and heirloom.

In addition to the personalized event planning tutorial it contains a signature of ownership page,  poetic excerpts by Mark Askew,  and recipe compiler and a reunion planners journal. Set your course and take a remarkable journey writing the book of your life with the Family Reunion Planner Guide Book and Keepsake

Family Fun Weekend Projects
If your family reunion is still weeks away now is the time to spice it up, add meaning to it. Get together with a close family member and friend. Pour a cup of tea and start on your next weekend family reunion project using this quicklist.

Keepsake Memory Book
Download a family reunion keepsake memory booklet using Fimark's Family Reunion Booklet Maker. Go to to see the possibilities 

Print and Frame Family Reunion Poems
Download print and frame inspiring and beautifully crafted family reunion poems for keepsake gifts. To get inspired get Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app click on the link on this blog page or access the profiles page.

Happy Family Reunion Planning!
Mark and Brenda

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The T-shirt is now 100 years old.

T-shirts In The Mainstream
T-shirt's first entered the mainstream as a part of military uniform in the early 1900's. Since then it became a highly respected and essential part of the working man and womans wardrobe. 

Congratulations is certainly in order considering the fact that t-shirts or tees as most folks call them. are an icon in and of itself. T-shirt have not only defined the fashion of the military and working personnel but also the men and women of sport, entertainment and almost every casual affair. 

Thanks to hundreds of T-shirt presses online including the ever popular Customink we've been reminded of the contribution t-shirts have made to the growth and change of a nation. Here are a few interesting if not intriguing examples.

T-shirts In Entertainment
In the entertainment world four popular film stars don the shirt as a symbol of youthful masculine coolness and independence.  The shirt quickly hit the main stream in the 50's and sixties. 

The Marlon Brando character in a popular movie of the times wore only the undershirt and casual pants. James Dean, playing the misunderstood disillusioned teen was often seen wearing white tees and jeans. 

T-shirt Cultural Symbols During these days the t-shirt took on many roles, promoted many messages and took on a voice for many varied life styles including the tie-die flower child of the 60's. The upcoming rock stars who played in their parents garages and the computer nerds of the 80's who would soon seek their fortunes during the advent of the personal computers of the 90's.

Moving up the timeline to more cool idols take on the tee in John travoltas role as the Danny Zuko character in Grease of the late 1970's Travolta wears both a white and black tee adding a fashion flare and exuberance to the garb unlike any other personality has since. 

Moving  further up the timeline from 1974–1984 there lies the ever popular Happy Days sitcom starring Henry Winkler as The Fonz. The characters background may seem to borrow from the young t-shirt donning characters performed by Brando and Dean, but The Fonz, dress in white t-shirt, leather jacket and blue jeans was an icon all his own.  

The Fonz character became so popular and  influential  among young males that it's rumored that the writers decided to tone down his street wise, gang banger character making him less of a questionable influence and more of a last resort for much needed wisdom and compassing.

T-shirts For Movements
The birth of the t-shirt to foster unity and solidarity among it's wearers. Enter high profile movements such as the walk for cancer or the call for peace.  Union marches and other political campaigns carry the message not with picket signs but proudly on the chest of tees.

A Family History of T-shirts 
Of note are several decades of family gathering now called family reunions that promote the cause of family unity, encourage family values and provide a platform for presenting family history and genealogy as a cause for celebration.  These annual family gathering are becoming havens of security, nurturing and identity. 

Use of the t-shirt  over the past 100 years to celebrate family reunions, promote causes and inspire generations to raise the bar is unprecedented. That said,  spread the word at the office, in the neighbor across the national social net.  Post, Pin and Print  the adoring fact that the t-shirt is now 100 years old and still going strong. 

Celebrating A World of Tees
So how is the world celebrating 100 years of tees? You'll find hundreds of colorful designs on equally colorful shirts memorializing this year as the year of T-shirts. the Internet is teaming with stories and history about the t-shirt movement. 

You'll also find a boost in DIY t-shirt design ideas using homemade craft materials such as tie-die, iron ons and hand drawn letters and shapes accented with glitter. stickers and hand sewn patterns.

Pinterest and other social networks feature several specially designed infographics in timeline format depicting the history of the t-shirt.  an ideal way to promote history among students. In addition, many t-shirt presses and manufacturers are offering discounts on individual and bulk t-shirt orders while others are offering free shipping of select tees and t-shirt packages. 

Thanks Customink for your inspiring graphical works of art  printed on the chest of  millions of family reunion t-shirt wearers and family reunion planners. Go Tees!

On to the next 100 years! 

Learn how to design a custom family reunion t-shirt and sell them online via email to all your reunion attendees.  How to design family reunion t-shirts

Monday, July 8, 2013

Making Family Reunion Slideshows

Video slideshows are the highlight of a family reunion event. It instantly creates a cozy atmosphere,  imbues warmth and nostalgia, instills unspoken sentiment and family values while providing entertainment everyone can enjoy.  

Two year ago Brenda and I provided dinner theater style entertainment for our family and friends with a complete  production we called "The Way To Love." We knew it would be a hit so we decided to take a video of the performance.  We then edited the video and added special effects to enhance the presentation. We showed the presentation the year after as part of the next dinner theater program. It was just as much a hit as the previous one only we didn't have to work so hard providing the entertainment. 

Getting Help
Deciding on a theme, selecting a video tool, taking good pictures and editing video can be a challenge. How can you get your video slideshow project off to a good start?

First off if you have not put together video slideshows before it' best to consult with the professionals or a family member or friend who has. Determine desired quality, presentation  style, editing and techniques and set your standards accordingly. Take an hour or so to simply view a presentation or two made by someone you know.  Get tips and recommendations from them or ask them to handle the project altogether.

Read or view slideshow presentation how-to's online. Make use of helpful guides that come with the video slideshow application you'll be using. If you're using a laptop or desktop you may already have complete video slideshow software among the standard accessories.. 

Free Presentation Tools
A popular free tool found on most windows platform PC's is Windows Movie Maker. There are numerous free tools to be found online that produce high quality presentations. Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app  features a free family reunion slideshow package with numerous filters and special effects including scrapbook animation, annotation and a variety of background music  soundtracks.

Family Reunion Planner
Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app also includes a great newsletter template  ideal for sending follow up news regarding the most recent family reunion. Simply insert the link to the family reunion video in the newsletter and allow all recipients to enjoy it. If you are a facebook user the slideshow application allows you to post your video on your facebook wall. 
If you are a google+ user you can do the same.

One of our readers said "At our last family reunion we had a professional video slide show of pictures of my grandparents' life and times played against a backdrop of music from the time period. It turned out so well and was very touching. A copy of the video was given to every household attending."

Summer Season Special
What? Don't have Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social Yet?
Now there is a summer special going on. Get the complete Family Reunion Planner Social package which includes a video slideshow application, a newsletter template, event planning ebooks in PDF and Word format, the event planning spreadsheet, all printables, applications and  worksheets. Was $49 - Now $40 for a limited time. Get it now before the summer prices are gone. Get Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social webapp at...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It's Already In There

Have you ever bought an accessory only to find out that you already have two or three of them at home?  I have, many times. When planning the outdoor family reunions I used to pick up a few extra packs of water balloons just in case I did not have any in storage. When taking out the reunion supplies I would always find that I had several packs of water balloons. "Better safe then sorry" I would say, and besides you can never have too many water balloons.

So how should you go about keeping up with the supplies you already have and determine the items you actually need? Create an inventory list. Keep a list of items you intend to buy on your Smart Phone. On the inventory create Four categories. Item, "Needed", "On Hand" and "Moved". Check off the items purchased as "On Hand".  When the item has been used and depleted check it off as "Moved". If an item will be needed for future events put a check mark under the category "Needed". This will begin your next shopping list.

It's Already In There
Making good use of what you already have requires knowing all there is to know about the products and applications you've purchased. Many times our reunion planners forget all the many features in Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social, the upgraded planner that includes apps for Facebook and Google+ users. Save time scouring the Internet for other applications, poems, certificates, books and ebooks.  Just consider the following features in the new reunion event planning application:

Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app.
First off you now have four different reunion planning guides in one. The step by step checklist planning interface, the reunion planner flip-book ebook for online reading, The book in PDF format and the other in MS Word format for offline reading. The PDF and Word planners have reunion planning  worksheets for editing and printing for those who prefer to edit and print worksheets. In addition there is a complete spreadsheet reunion event planner complete with Attendee Registration Database and T-shirt Roster.

On the interface itself are printable worksheets for taking surveys,  setting up your daily itinerary, dinner banquet program, reunion keepsake booklet and welcome letter as well as access to reunion flyers, invitations, certificates and poems.

1. Family Reunion Keepsake Booklet
If you need to create a family reunion keepsake memory booklet it's included in your Family Reunion Planner  package. If you don't have the package and just want the reunion booklet it's in there...

2. Family Reunion Store
Looking for bargain discounts on party and outdoor supplies for your family reunion and other upcoming events? It's features in the Family Reunion Planner package. Visit our Family Reunion Store and compare prices, read product reviews and take advantage of free shipping. If you need to access the family reunion store with the deepest discounts you will find anywhere online it's in there...

3. Family Reunion Poems

If you're looking for meaningful inspiring family reunion poems you'll find five free popular poems when you purchase Fimark's Family Reunion Planner package. Just click the "Get Themed Printables Here"  link on the blue bar of the application. Want a wide selection of family beautiful poems to choose from? It's in there.

Did you know the author of the poem "Finding Our Way Home" and "We Rise To Tell The Story" is also the author of Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Guide Book and Keepsake? It's in there too. Where?

Summer Season Special
Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Social web app.
Now there is a summer special going on. Get the complete Family Reunion Planner package which includes the app, ebooks in PDF and Word format, the event planning spreadsheet, all printables, applications and  worksheets. Was $49 - Now $39 for a limited time. Get it now before the summer prices are gone.  Click on the link on this blog page or access the profiles page.