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Kindred Connections, Issue #001 -- A Great Beginning
January 05, 2009
Happy New Year!

In this newsletter

Editor’s note (That's me!)

New additions to the website

A Short Read – “Finding a Fresh Start”

Next time

Editor’s note

Welcome to this new adventure called “Kindred Connections!” As we explore the various elements of family reunion planning and family relationships, I welcome your comments and feedback. Send me your questions; I’ll do my best to share resources and address your concerns.

New additions to the website

Increased Site Functionality.

The most exciting new element on is the ability to find what you’re looking for! The SEARCH component and SITEMAP will help you get the most out of your site visit.

Planning the Food for your Reunion, Group Cooking.

Find tips for family reunion food planning and group cooking logistics. Manage meal preparation, kitchen duties and other fun food projects.

Effective Family Communication.

Family communication encourages family bonds, which increases the frequency of family gatherings, which provides an even greater need for family communication.

New Affiliate Partnerships.

You should know that my advertising links leading to other companies and services are only the best of the best. I don’t recommend other sites unless I’m confident they’ll deliver what they say they will.

I’m excited to have recently partnered with a company that will help your extended family share with each other and build family history in less than an hour each month! Our Letter offers a simple, easy and cost-effective newsletter service that will keep your family connected. Take a peek:

A Short Read

Finding a Fresh Start
by Lydia Stucki

Believe it or not, January is my favorite time of year. I get a certain adrenaline rush from organizing files and cleaning out closets. To me, January is all about clearing out clutter and finding a fresh start. (Would you believe that garbage day is my favorite day of the week??)

This year, in addition to dusting under the beds and filling plastic totes with I-can’t-quite-throw-them-away-yet collectibles, my organizing will include family.

Huh? What does that mean?

Well, it means that I’m planning my family’s reunion in 2010 and it’s time to jump into gear. Actually, the hard part of setting the time and place is almost done. I started by sending a survey to determine our various interests and expectations. (And, boy, do they vary!) Since none of my original location ideas seemed to work, I did a little research and found three new suitable spots that are in a “central” geographic location. (I highly suspect that some family will be surprised to learn that “central” means they will be traveling a bit further than usual!!) At this point, I’m just days away from being able to finalize the location and make our reservations.

Then comes the fun part of announcing the plan with a save the date postcard, planning games and activities (skit night is a family favorite) and keeping everyone excited. I want to introduce a new-to-us concept of family reunion t-shirts this time and can’t wait! We could make them ourselves (can you say “ty dye”?), design an original or stick with a standard saying such as “Why be normal when you could be a Stucki!?” Ah, I love planning.

So what about you? What will your fresh start look like? I encourage you to take advantage of the New Year and do a little planning and organizing of your own immediate and extended families. Start small. Even if it’s with one little project such as collecting addresses from Christmas cards into a central location, you’ll be one step closer to creating a stronger and more loving family. Need additional baby step ideas?

birthday calendar craft project

Create a birthday calendar of all the grandkids or nieces and nephews. This one is tin decorated with scrapbook paper; the names and dates of relatives are hand written on a magnet strip. Or, you could track birthdays on a regular wall calendar.

Make a personal commitment to communicate with extended family once a month. Send a monthly email or letter, start a blog or make one phone call per week to a different sibling or relative.

Complete a family history project. Learn a few facts about a relative or frame a picture of a great great grandfather. I’m in the process of writing a storybook for my kids about one of their great grandmothers and it’s amazing! Let me know if I can help you make a storybook of your own.

Regardless of what you do with this fresh New Year, do it on purpose. As for me, tomorrow is garbage day and it’s time to take out the trash.

All the best,

{Add meaning. Make memories.}

Next time
(In honor of Valentine's Day...)

Loving your relatives… even when you don’t want to.

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