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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.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Family Reunion App - It's In There

After 15 years of development, Brenda and I are so proud of what Fimark's family reunion planning web app has evolved into. Over 10,000 families in America have used it! The family reunion planner, keepsake, history book, and heirloom along with the reunion planning web app have become a mainstay among inspiring planning guides for memorable
family reunion events. 
Is Everything In There? The Family Reunion Planning web app? Well, let's see...
1. Step by step event planning checklist? It's In There!
2. Task To-do list? It's In There!
3. Event invitation sender and RSVP reports? It's In There!
4. Reunion printable templates? It's In There!
5. Printable invitations and fliers? It's In There!
6. Event planning spreadsheet? It's In There!
7. Connect to all your family? It's In There!
8. Reunion planning ebook? It's In There!
9. Keepsake Family Reunion Memory Book? It's In There!
10. Genealogy Research Template? It's In There!
11. Family Line Template? It's In There!
12. Family Recipe Compiler? It's In There!
13. Inspiration? It's In There!
14. Family Reunion Poems? It's In There!
15. Family Reunion Survey Compiler? It's In There!
16. 5 Family Reunion Themed Planner? It's In There!
17. Theme Itinerary? It's In There!
18. Family Reunion Cruise Travel Planner? It's In There!
19. Family Reunion Fund Raising Ideas? It's In There!
20. Family Reunion Games and Activities Ideas? It's In There!
And yet there's so much more...

No wonder it makes a great gift!
Take the first step to bringing family together to experience something wonderful and real like no other event can. 

Plan your 2nd-millennium reunion and find your richest treasure - family. To learn more click "Fimark's Family Reunion Planner" to access this amazing reunion planning web app

Thursday, October 3, 2019

How To Plan A 2020 Family Reunion

We are heading for what will be the most historic year since Y2K.  The year Y2K2O marks the second decade of the 2nd Millenium on the gregorian calendar.

Let's brainstorm some ideas together right now. Here are a few.

Family Reunion Genealogy and Homestead Tour - A fulfilling experience marking family history with what was happening in the news, a homestead tour and some surprising genealogy discoveries with the help of DNA tracking.
Family Reunion Talent Show  - An opportunity to creatively express appreciation for family support, experience and wisdom.
Family Reunion Legends Ball - Gown and Black Tie Galla. A time to express appreciation and honor for the loving support of the elders in the family.
Family Reunion Fall Food Fest - A time of thanks and appreciation for your harvest bounty.
Family Reunion Cruise - Need we say more?

It's the perfect historic marker for your next family reunion. And 2020 will look great on your t-shirts, party favors, banners, and hats. So what do you need to do to start planning the best 2020 family reunion event ever? Ideas, tips, guides and organization planners can go a long way in helping you to plan, organize and manage your best reunion ever.

1. Step By Step Checklist with Tips and Planning Guide
2. Budget Planner
3. Travel Planner
4. Theme Planner with Itinerary and Dinner and Entertainment Programs
5. Cost Savings Tips
6. Tee Shirt Designer
7. Reception Hall Planner
8. Complete Departmental Instructions and Worksheets
9. Spreadsheet Roster and eBook
10. Event Planning Journal and Recipe Compiler
11. Tips, cost-saving guides, and practical event planning instructions

Wouldn't it be nice to have all of this in one ebook along with a detailed theme planner with itinerary and activities all planned out? Plus a spreadsheet, ebook and web app package so you can plan your reunion your way?

In celebration of Family Reunion Planning Month, we are drastically reducing the cost of Fimark's Family Reunion web app from $69 to $39 for the next two days. To take advantage of this deep discount go to to start using the most popular reunion planning web app available. 

#AfricanAmericanFamilyReunion #AsianFamillyReunion #CarribeanFamilyReunion #KoreanFamilyReunion #FilipinoFamilyReunion #BlackFamilyReunion

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Best Family Fall Fest Ever

As of September 23rd, the fall season has officially arrived. So what's the best thing about this time of year? Fall crafts, autumn leaves, harvest festivals, and good old fashion home cooking. We're talking pumpkin pie, squash pudding, pancakes, and maple syrup, hot nutmeg spiced cider, corn muffins, and gingerbread. Nothing like it. Getting inspired? Check out thousands of mouthwatering Autumn recipes at Pinterest brought to you by Fimark's family reunion planner.
Want more fall food fest inspiration? Fimark's Family Reunion Planner comes complete with a keepsake family recipe compiler and family journal. Even better, take down those recipes and plan a family food fest with the fall food fest family reunion planner! Check out Fimark's Family Reunion Planner eBook, and get a reunion planning spreadsheet here... Download the complete reunion planning web app and ebook here...

Did you Know? November is Annual Family Reunion Planning Month. What plans are you making to observe this annual event? Get ideas here...

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Secret To Making Time Stand Still

The Secret To Making Time Stand Still
The Secret To Making Time Stand Still

"My, how time flies.

We often wonder how time manages to get away from us so quickly and easily. Some theorize that time is just a mathematical equation that exists in the organic chronological mechanism of the brain. No matter the fact or fictional constructs of time we are always left feeling there just isn't enough of it. Is there a secret to making time stand still? This article reveals a few tips to slow the pace of time.

Remember when Grandma used to say, "Oowee! That child is growing like a weed!" And you replied, Mom, we prefer to say "growing like a plant, thank you very much." But, let's face it, the statement was true. 

"Turn around and she's two, turn around and she's four, turn around and she's a woman walking out of the door.- it's just a matter of time.

How can you stop the passing of time - make it stand completely still - hold it back long enough to squeeze and savor every special moment out of it before it all runs out? Five words. Celebrate the gift of life. A key to enjoying life as a family can  be summed up in  the following:

"Don't sweat the small stuff. Let life happen."

Celebrating life's milestones each and every day requires careful planning while recording the memories made, as much as you can. How?

1. Plan simple but memorable activities. 
2. Take time to discover your world as you never experienced it before.
3. Make a family bucket list and check off items as you go.
4. Proclaim anniversaries unique to you and your families experiences. On these anniversary days always take the time to look back.
5. Always take the time to acquire and hide small milestone gifts to be presented on every occasion.

They say history has a way of repeating itself. In many ways, today's challenges are much like the sixties and early seventies. Including social and political norms, fashion and the message in literature, media, and music. Even then a whole generation tried to slow the pace down for their own good. To paraphrase a song from the turbulent sixties: 

"Slow down, you move too fast. Try to make the feeling last." 

In other words, learn how to put your life on slo-mo, savor the moment and live in the present. And it's not as hard as it might seem? Here a few tips to slow the turbulent tide of time.
1. Always bring the camera along. "Looking back with photos make memories sweeter."
2. Make a large memory chest for keepsakes, memorabilia, and tokens of the day.
3. Keep a journal and record details and highlights of those special occasions. Capture the mood of the moment and quote words that were spoken.
4. Crafty and creative? Scrapbook it. Need we say more?

So what simple life events to record and recall? Tending the family 
garden, celebrating fall harvest time, enjoying a culture food fests, game night, movie night, family pool parties, picnics in the park, bird watching, pond fishing, trips to the zoo,  pet play, road trips, and our favorite, planning and enjoying a family reunion.

Once you begin planning and celebrating the many gifts of life and keep looking back on the good memories you made you will have found the secret to making time stand still and your days sweeter, memories fonder and lives seem somehow longer. 

Mark Askew is the co-author of Fimark's Family Reunion Planner Keepsake and Guide book. See profile for details.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

How To Get Everyone Involved In Family Reunion Planning

A family reunion planner carries the torch handed on by the previous generation. Accept this opportunity with dignity and grace, for it is an honor and a great trust is bestowed. 

That means picking up where they left off. Some former reunions planners keep detailed notes regarding prior family reunion planning, organizing, and management. Consulting their notes, journal, and contacts can get you off to a good start.

Getting everyone involved can be a challenge. As my book, Fimark's Family Reunion Planner explains, be fully inclusive of members in your immediate household, siblings, cousins, parents, aunts, and uncles as well as extended family. 

Send out a survey with some suggestions regarding the reunion theme, itinerary, and associated activities. Ask for more feedback and openly commend those who contributed.

That said, plan activities everyone will enjoy. Above all, once everyone is on board form a family reunion committee and solidifying plans and activities as soon as possible. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

How To Get Better Connected For Family Reunion Planning

How does the reunion planner/ coordinator start connecting with family members to throw a family reunion?

Keeping up with everyone in the family is vital to planning a family reunion. For starters send out a big group hello. Talk about some milestones reach in the family. Mention the elders and express gratitude as often as possible. Now that the dialogue has been established it's time to widen out. Ask for phone numbers of relatives not among your contacts.  Since you already have a database somewhere on your phone tablet or PC look them over. 

Adding Contacts to your Social Network

Social networks make it easy to keep up with family affairs but don't overdo it. Signing up for different social apps can prove daunting and downright confusing. The solution to keeping up with all those apps? Focus on making good use of the most widely used social media platforms and apps by the majority of your family members. Narrow usage down to one or two social apps, like Facebook which has a versatile contact database and a wide variety of applications ideal for early stage reunion planning such as event announcements featuring the number attending. 
Make good use of 'Likes'

When surveying the family for the most preferred event locations and reunion activities make good use of Facebook 'Likes' which are automatically tallied. Take polls, notes and make use of a variety of messaging and communication features. 

Find out how to use our ebook and spreadsheet to keep up with polls, surveys, t-shirts and easy step by step reunion planning. Just go to to get started.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Losing Time? Solution: Simplify

We all want to spend more time with family, but time and money are the two things we don't have to spare. Service charges are on the rise, as are utility costs. That means working overtime or even holding down two jobs. How do you find time for family? SOLUTION: SIMPLIFY.

When you have no time to spare you may think you need all those so-called time-saving devices, gadgets and gizmos that supposedly free up time for more important things - family. Fortunately, many of them are conveniently accessed using our handy cell phones. But all too often such contrivances take over our lives and we are more preoccupied with them than we are leading a productive and fulfilling family life. The solution? Simplify. Follow these helpful suggestions:

1. Take a step back and look at what you're really doing with your spare time.
2. Identify and reduce time-consuming amusements and diversions.
3. Identify other things that are distracting you from being productive in your personal life.
4. Find ways to simplify how you use and manage your free time.

Solution Simplify Tips
Let's start with your phone. Look at your phones desktop interface. How many distracting apps, gadgets, and gizmos are cluttering the homepage? Which ones are stealing time that could be used engaging with your family? Why not turn off those distracting app notifications and put those pesky apps away in a more remote folder or uninstall them all-together. Next, turn on notifications of apps that help you stay connected and engaged with your family more often.

Engaging Your Family
1. Make a habit of planning the weekend together.
2. Text them to write a wishlist of activities they would like to do with YOU.
3. Include planning a party like an annual family reunion with all the bells whistles and activities your family enjoys.
4. Work at the planning stage with each family member a little each day, week and month of the year.
5. Try out new activities that would be fun to do with the extended family at gatherings like picnics and backyard BBQ's.

Giving family members something to look forward to can improve your day to day relationship with them and lead to a more fulfilling personal life. Solution: Simplify, it works!

Start Planning Your Family Reunion Today!
What? Don't have the family reunion planner yet? Get access now at

Keywords: solution simplify, saving time, making time for family, fun family activities, time management, freeing up time for family

Monday, January 7, 2019

How To Plan A Funtastic Party!

The key to successfully throwing a well-planned party or special event has much to do with organizing, delegating and following through on action items. The more attendees involved, the more crucial good planning is. As with preparing a meal, timing is everything. That said, putting together a timeline checklist for your event will help you make sure all your work is properly coordinated.

To start, I make lists of tasks that can be done well in advance and those for the day of the party. Here is my timeline planner below. Make the needed modifications according to your menu, shopping lists, and other budgeted items.


  1. Put together your guest list and gather addresses and phone numbers
  2. Order or make invitations
  3. Plan your menu
  4. Finalize the space layout and decorations
  5. Using Shopping List #1 purchase decorations, paper goods, and other supplies, non- perishable foods and drinks
  6. Contact those who will help with the party
  7. Address and mail your invitations
  8. Write a list of your background and dance music (stick with the theme of your party). 
  9. Remember to include the song title, artist, band and year of release


  1. Confirm any friends, family, and hired service people working for the party
  2. Telephone guests who have not responded to your invitations so you can get a definite guest count for food and space requirements.
  3. Put together a music CD of background, mood or dance music
  4. Make needed preparations for out of town guests such as guest rooms, hotel reservations.
  5. Pick out what you plan to wear at the party and have it cleaned.


  1. See that table linen is clean and ready to go. Put the linens under a bright light for inspection.  
  2. Decide on tableware and serving items
  3. Wash less all serving or table items.
  4. Get locks put on your bedroom closet or lock the bedroom door itself. Don’t hesitate to secure all valuables.


  1. Clean your house if the party is at home or your plan to have out-of-town guests stop by before or after the party
  2. Make sure all appliances that you’ll be using work properly.
  3. Using Shopping List #2 shop for any last-minute food or supplies
  4. Shop for bulk items and less perishable foods
  5. Touch base with contracted services
  6. Assign specific tasks to your committee members/volunteers
  7. Make preparations for cleaning up, returning equipment, etc.
  8. Make some party foods and freeze them.


  1. Contact your decorating team
  2. Begin decorating your home or party facility
  3. There is plenty of time to get those items you may have forgotten


  1. Using Shopping List #3 shop for perishable and last minute items.
  2. Move furniture and put away delicate items that could suffer damage.
  3. Make cold desserts and dishes that can be refrigerated overnight.
  4. Set up tables


  1. Lock up all your breakable and valuable possessions
  2. Finalize the decorations and place settings
  3. Call all help together and give motivational instructions
  4. Set up an area in or near the kitchen for returning used dishes and waste
  5. Clear dishwasher for use as needed
  6. Chill all cold beverages
  7. 3-4 hours before event start cooking.


  1. Turn on relaxing upbeat music
  2. Light a candle and take a relaxing bath or hand shower. 
  3. Enjoy the moment.
  4. Put out your clothes and shoes
  5. Fill the home or facility with natural scented fragrances if desired


  1. Mix the punch and put out the punch bowl, drinking glasses and napkins
  2. Set out cheeses and non-perishable appetizers and snacks
  3. Prepare to greet your guests as each arrives
  4. Point out the areas of your home or facilities they can help themselves to such as the coat room, closets, guest room, bathroom or restroom, finished basement, etc.
  5. Serve drinks on the top of the hour that your party is scheduled to begin
  6. Once all are served drinks formally welcome all to the event highlighting the theme of your party
  7. While conversing with groups present some fun icebreakers
  8. Turn up the music a few notches and encourage mingling
  9. Check on cooked items
  10. A few minutes later invite guests to be seated in the dining area
  11. Serve dinner

After Dinner Games

"Getting To Know You" - Write a list of questions commonly asked to get to know someone. Example: Your pets name. Your favorite sports team. Your favorite drink. Your favorite dish. Best game ever. Books you love to read over and over.  Cut the list between each sentence in slips and put the slips in a box.

  1. Have each guest pull out a slip and answer the "Getting To Know You" question that reveals something special about them.
  2. "How I Met You" - Tell a short story about how you met each guest.
  3. "Something You Always Wanted To Try"- Name something you always wanted to try like hang-gliding, deep sea diving or parachuting.

Serve Dessert

  1. After serving dessert serve a warm beverage like coffee and/or tea
  2. Allow all to continue to mingle. 
  3. Now would be a good time to introduce the household pet. 
  4. Thank those who cooked and served dinner or made the dessert. 


  1. To those who are preparing to leave thank each guest for coming.
  2. Give each departing guest a token of the occasion such as a small bag of cookies or cupcake.
  3. As guests leave escort them to the door and see them off in good cheer. 

Find this list helpful? Take the next step. Read these great party planning guide titles by Mark A. Askew to plan the perfect party:
1. Fimark's Party Planner eBook and Spreadsheet Planner
2. Fimark's Family Reunion Planner eBook and Spreadsheet Planner
3. Great Family Gathering Books:

Fimark's Family Reunion Planner

Most of all, enjoy the party!

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#EventsPlanning #PartyPlanners #FamilyGatherings
#LifeOfTheParty #FunPartyTips #BestPartyEver
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