How to Easily Display Family Photos

Perfect for permanent displays at Grandma’s house or temporary displays at a family reunion

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My mother in law is grandma, great grandma and great great  grandma to over 100 children.  She does a wonderful job at remembering their names, their birthdays and anniversaries.  “Cookie Grandma”, as some of her great grandkids call her, has worked hard to keep pictures of her prosperity hanging on her wall.

At first, she kept frames of all of grandkids on her wall but there are so many kids and they changed so much that it became a real chore to change photos and rearrange the frames every time she got a new photo.

Through much trial and error, I think Cookie Grandma finally found the perfect solution to hanging all those photos.  Now, she uses photo/curtain clips and wire.

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Each photo is glued to a piece of poster board or heavy card board and can easily be changed by merely turning the card board around and gluing another photo on it. The clips she used are inexpensive and simple to use.

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You can purchase the clips here by following this link

Hanging the wire was simple and didn’t put near as many holes in the wall as hanging frames.  Grandma did get some help with this part of the installation.

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This is great idea to hang photos in any home but I also thought it would be a fun way to hang photos at your family reunion.  It could be an easy way to display photos of ancestors, of a past reunion, or a way to honor those that have past.  Of course, you shouldn’t be screwing eye bolts into the wall of your conference center or into a tree, but a piece of string tied between two posts would work perfectly with these clips.  And look at the cute LED photo clips I found on Amazon. 

Photo clips make it so easy to swap out and rearrange  photos and it was the perfect solution for Cookie Grandma to display all of her posterity.

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Getting to Know Your Family

An ice breaker family reunion game

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I mistakenly thought every family had played the “Identify the Picture” game at their family reunion or party until I had a conversation with a lady this week who had no idea what the  game was.  So, just in  case you haven’t  played “Identify the Picture” I’ll tell you how it works.  

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This game is actually the perfect ice breaker game for your family reunion. It can also be a fun game for a family baby shower if you used baby pictures and a fun wedding shower or engagement party game if you use wedding  or couple pictures.

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For the family reunion version of the game, you will need to display photos of family members that will be attending your reunion, photos of your ancestors or a mix of the two.  Put the photos in no particular order and with no identifying marks on them, other than a number, around your reunion location.  You can just tape them to the wall or put them on poster board or cork board.  To play the game, family members write down the number and the name of who they think is in the photo.  The person that gets the most correct answers is the winner.

When we were unable to hold our family reunion in 2020, we did a version of this game virtually.  I posted photos of our ancestors on our family Facebook page and challenged family members to guess who was in the picture.  It was the perfect virtual reunion game- it got everyone chatting about the photos and reconnecting with aunts, uncles and cousins.

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People take so many photos these days that it makes this reunion game a lot easier to put together  than it used to be.  It’s fun trying to guess who each person is and marvel at family resemblances. It’s a game you can put up before the reunion begins and leave up until  everyone leaves.  If you want to get people talking at your family reunion, “Identify the Picture” is a great conversation starter.

Moon Rock Easter Eggs

I have to admit, I am having a really hard time getting my creative wheels turning after this COVID thing we’ve been going through.  In our area, we are slowly opening up and it looks like we’ll be able to have the family reunions we planned for 2020 in 2021.

Let me remind you that I was planning a “Our family is out of the World” reunion and I was taking you step by step through the process. 

One of the activities I planned was a “Moon Rock” hunt for the little children in our family.

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Kids love treasure hunts and it’s a pretty easy activity for a family reunion and the Easter seawson is the  perfect time of year to gather supplies for your space rock treasure hunt. 

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Purchase round plastic Easter eggs and fill with space themed candy such as Milky Way, Mars bars and Starbursts.  I found a couple of resources for round eggs on Amazon.  These are 2 inches and you get 50 for under $10.00.

If you like baseball or soccer, you can get 16 of these eggs for under $10.00.  These eggs look like they’ll be a little bigger but I can’t find the exact dimensions. 

(If you can’t find round eggs you can use egg shaped eggs but they look more like tin foil eggs then moon rocks.)

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Wrap eggs with tin foil that you have scrunched up so that it looks like a “moon rock”.  I like use the foil sheets that are already cut.  Just pull them out and wrap. I actually found mine at Dollar Tree.

Then the fun begins- hide eggs around your reunion site.  You can do this hunt inside or outside. 

This is a great time to get the tweens in your family involved in the reunion fun.  Put them in charge of filling eggs, wrapping them and hiding the rocks.  They’ll love being in  charge of something and it’s just one less thing you have to worry about. As “payment” for their help, give your helpers a full size version of your space themed candy bars.

Family Reunion Helper Is Having an Etsy Sale!

Family Reunion Helper Is Having an Etsy Sale!

Whether or not you had your family reunion or postponed it until next year, at Family Reunion Helper, we’re celebrating a new family reunion season ever by offering 20% off our reunion theme packages.vista

Typically, Memorial Day is the “official” beginning of family reunion season, but January is the month families choose a reunion theme and start making their plans.

In 2020 our family was only able to attend one of our family reunions, a smallish one- just 35 people, but cancelled our Labor Day  reunion of over 100 family members.  We also didn’t celebrate with extended family a 90th birthday and a 65th wedding anniversary.  We kept those celebrations a lot smaller and more intimate.

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This year, we’re moving forward- no more canceling family reunions and celebrations. We will certainly support health guidelines, but instead of wondering if we are having a reunion- we’re going to plan for it!  

For all of you that are moving forward with us, FAMILY REUNION HELPER IS HAVING A SALE IN THEIR ETSY SHOP! Follow the link below to receive 20% off any reunion theme package.This even includes the wildly popular Family Reunion Brag Badges! But hurry, sale ends January 24th . Here’s to a great 2021!

Follow the link below to the Family Reunion Etsy shop.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/FamilyReunionHelper?ref=search_shop_redirect

How to Plan a Caroling Party

Tips for a Successful Christmas Caroling Party

Gathering your family or friends together for Christmas caroling or a family sing-a-long can make your family party fun and fairly fuss free. Consider these helpful tips when planning your family caroling party.

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Choosing the Music

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The most important element of your musical caroling  party is the music and you can download a free copy of caroling lyrics at www.familyreunionhelper.com. Caroling will be successful if everyone has the same list of carols.  Provide one song sheet for every 2 carolers. Specify how many verses you will sing of each song.  One verse is usually enough especially if caroling with children.

To build your song list you can type and print your own caroling sheets or make copies of the family reunion helper caroling book by clicking here- caroling song book.  The book is designed so that you only have to print off the music that you will use for your caroling such as- Santa songs, snow songs or spiritual songs etc.

Choose songs that are short, easy to sing, and fun. It’s also best to sing upbeat songs such as “Jingle Bells” and “Up On the Housetop”.You should plan on singing 1 or 2 songs per house and end with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.

Choose your caroling route.

My family went caroling on Christmas Eve.  Mom would choose 3 or 4 families that she knew would enjoy a caroling visit and she always made a few goodies to give them.  (Perhaps as payment for listening to us sing off key) We would complete our caroling at a local nursing home.  Many of the children were reluctant to sing at the nursing home but as the years have gone by caroling at the nursing home has become one of their most talked about memories of the season.  HINT: If you visit a hospital or a nursing home, ask for permission ahead of time to make sure your visit comes at a good time and that they can accommodate a large group.

Consider Using a Variety of Instruments

Jingle bells, cymbals and drum sticks are an easy way to make your caroling fun.  Carolers that are too shy or just don’t want to sing can participate by keeping the beat with drum sticks or shaking the bells to the beat.

Dress for the Weather

If caroling outside dress for the weather.  When sending out invitations for your caroling party be sure and let your guests know that you’ll be caroling outdoors so they can bring their hats, gloves and scarves.  A fun party favor for your party could be hand and toe warmers. You can dress things up by asking everyone to wear a fun Santa hat or reindeer antlers.

Plan Refreshments for Your Carolers

At the end of your caroling party meet back at your house or rec hall and provide your carolers with bowls of chili and mugs of hot chocolate and marshmallows or cider.  You can keep your refreshments warm in slow cookers while you’re caroling.

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Brownie Hack for Reunion Pot Lucks

The secret to cutting brownies

I’m not sure what this has to do with family reunions, except that a lot of brownies show up at family reunion pot lucks, but here’s my hack for cutting brownies.

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I hate when I’m cutting brownies into squares and the knife pulls pieces of the  brownie into clumps that stick to the knife. It helps when the brownies are cooled but they still look so messy.  The solution is simple- cut your brownies with a PLASTIC knife. Plastic knives are naturally non-stick and won’t tear up your brownies as you cut them into squares.  Your brownies will have straight edges and look as good as they are to eat.

Family Reunion is Having a Sale

Family Reunion Helper Is Having an Etsy Sale!

Posted on September 7, 2020

Whether or not you had your family reunion or postponed it until next year, at Family Reunion Helper, we’re celebrating surviving the strangest  family reunion season ever by offering 20% off our reunion theme packages.vista

Typically, Labor Day is the “official” end of family reunion season. We were only able to attend one of our family reunions, a smallish one- just 35 people but cancelled our Labor Day  reunion of over 100 family members.

We’ve decided to look forward 2021- no cancelling reunions just postposing. For all of you that are looking forward to next year with us, FAMILY REUNION HELPER IS HAVING A SALE IN THEIR ETSY SHOP! Follow the link below to receive 20% off any reunion theme package.This even includes the wildly popular Family Reunion Brag Badges! But hurry, sale ends September 15th, 2020 . Here’s to next year!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/FamilyReunionHelper?ref=seller-platform-mcnav

Reunion in a Pandemic

No space for our Space family reunion

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Labor Day weekend is traditionally the holiday the Stewart family gathers for their annual family reunion. We’ve been gathering without interruption for 37 years but what do you do during a pandemic?  Well, in our case, we cancelled our family reunion.  I’m not even going to get into the whys and why nots we hashed  over to make our decision, but one huge reason we cancelled is that the campground we usually hold our reunion at put a limit of 50 campers at the site.  The Stewart family is over a 100 people strong now so instead of trying to find a new location and dealing with masks and social distancing… we cancelled.

But our Space Reunion was planned and ready to go.  So hey, we’re ready for next year and who knows how many great ideas we may come up with and extra 12 months to plan.

Fun Breakfast for Your Family Reunion

Fruit in a waffle cone!

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My sister in law made these fun waffle cone fruit bowls for breakfast at our family reunion.  They were a light and delicious way to start a hot summer day.  They were simple and easy to put together for our reunion crowd. There really isn’t a recipe, just add an even amount to strawberry yogurt to each waffle bowl, fill each bowl with seasonal fruit and serve immediately.

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Fruit suggestions are sliced strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, sliced bananas, pineapple, mandarin oranges, kiwi and grapes.  We used Kroger brand waffle bowls. Waffle bowls can be very fragile and even though they are packed quite well it is likely you will have a couple that are broken.  I recommend buying an extra box of waffle bowls to replace the broken bowls you might have.

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Marbles and Your Space Themed Family Reunion

Marbles Make Great Planets

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These are not marbles, they are planets.  Each marble represents a planet (yes, we included Pluto) and will be given to older children at our space reunion as they complete planet oriented challenges and activities.

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At one time, you could purchase marbles that represented each planet but I could only find Earth marbles and Jupiter marbles. For the other planets, I had to search for marbles that in some way highlighted a distinguishing feature of each  planet. I choose red Rooster marbles to represent the “red  planet” Mars and because Neptune is the coldest planet due to its proximity to the sun, I choose Ice Queen marbles. 

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I purchased my marbles from a local toy store and paid $3.25 a bag (24 marbles and 1 shooter).  When I searched online, I found marbles for $3.50 a bag plus shipping.

Shooter marbles are the large ones used for “shooting’’ when  playing marbles.  There is one in  each bag, so I’m currently looking for a good resource and price for 1 inch  shooters.  I’ll let you know  when I find them.

I loved playing marbles as a kid and so we plan to teach and play marbles with our kids at the end of our planet fun. 

Marble planets are going to be great for the older children at your family reunion but for the toddlers you might want to consider these Universe Stress balls.  They’re $9.99 at Oriental Trading for all 9 balls.

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