My two sets of grandkids live several states apart and many had never met. This summer that changed dramatically when most were able to get together for a delightful family reunion complete with tons of great photos for the grandmas and grandpas! It was a sweet delight for all, including those not present. Even so, as I have spent time with each set since, I came to realize they still were a bit fuzzy on who was who was who. Both sets have at least one munchkin who is always shocked to discover that I was the mama to their mama! And what in the world is a cousin! 🙂  I decided a family tree project might be just the thing to help them put it into perspective and went on a hunt for some help. I did find some cute ones at Pinterest and bookmarked them if you'd like to check some of them out – here and here. I found others by a general search online but nothing I was too crazy about. Then I discovered a cute set from Unique Teacher Resources. It wasn't free but it was only $6 which I paid via Paypal. After checking it out, I was quite pleased and am looking forward to sharing this project with each set of grandkids over the next year.  The download was geared for teachers, so there is a lot more than I actually need. But the basic family tree will work well for us, I appreciated the easy to use templates and it looked like something I could handle pretty easily. And for homeschoolers, I would think the extra goodies would be a big plus. As a matter of fact, her website and Facebook page have several great looking ideas and resources including freebies. I would highly recommend all taking a quick peek. You might find something quite useful, as I did. 🙂  And yes, if you have other suggestions for family tree fun, I'd love to hear them. I'm just starting on this project to the more ideas the merrier. 🙂 Have a lovely week with your own Sandwich Generation families! Read More →

Thanksgiving and Christmas and the days in between are often full of family get-togethers, reunions, and holiday parties. They are fun occasions full of laughter, joy, and sometimes even a bit of stress.  Our extended-family reunion was always a highlight of the year for me, until we moved too far away to attend. Now I enjoy emails and the occasional visit to aunts, uncles and cousins. If you are blessed to be getting together with older relatives, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc., I would like to suggest adding a new dimension to your gatherings this year. Ask them to share their family history with you. If you’ve already got the family tree all written out, congratulations. I suspect that you are a smart family who is in the minority. Too many of us tend to focus on the here and now, especially at family gatherings when there is so much going on. We’re so busy asking how the past year went, but those are also excellent times to fill in the blanks of family relationships and histories further back in time. Why bother, you may ask? Medical reasons! You may all be doing fine and healthy, but maybe next year someone will develop an odd condition that needs figuring out. Or perhaps a new grandchild will appear down the road, with an unusual medical condition. Trust me, it’s happening a lot nowadays! Knowing your family history going back several generations can tell you what country your family migrated from. Knowing the last names can help as well. In doing genetic research to narrow down diseases, that information can be vital. I am blessed to have a wonderful set of aunts on both sides of my family who took the time to make copies of old Bibles with births and deaths listed, along with writing down family trees. I even have little autobiographies written by several of my older relatives, three generations back. Even so, I wish now that I had talked to a couple of those relatives while they were still with us and gotten even more information. Hindsight is always 100%, but you have the benefit of reading this article! So as you are visiting with all your relatives, passing plates of turkey and cranberries, smiling over cups of hot cocoa, take the time to say to Aunt Maude or Grandpa Hezekiah, “Tell me about our family. How far back can you remember of your parents, grandparents, cousins, etc.” While you’re at it, I would ask them what life was like when they were growing up. Reading the autobiographies of my family recently was definitely fascinating! Ask, also, if they know of any illnesses, diseases, etc. that any family memberRead More →