Friday, January 28, 2011

Memories | Planning Them

In our information age, there are so many ways of finding events and opportunities to plan memories with our families. Here are a few ideas.
  • Word of mouth- this is a good way to find out about an event if you have friends and family who readily offer information about things they are planning to attend.  It is also a great way to plan a collective event with others. We did this for the January 1 hockey game where my dad was the brains behind the operation of getting the tickets and inviting everyone. 
  • Internet- Okay, maybe this is the best way to find out about anything going on in your area.  Most local papers have an entertainment section that is posted online.  These event calendars also have ways to narrow your search (distance, child friendly, festival, theatre, etc.). In December when My aunt and uncle came up, this was my method of research for activities to do.
  • Facebook/ Twitter- Many companies now have their own Facebook and Twitter accounts and usually post events that are happening within their business.  For instance, I "liked" our local Chik-Fil-A, and now events, specials, and activities are updated and posted on my "wall".
  • Keeping your eyes and ears open- Quite a few times, we have stumbled on an activity because we overheard someone talking (I know it isn't polite to eavesdrop) or saw a billboard or banner as we were driving around. This year, I had it in the back of my mind that we might do the Civil War reenactment again.  As we were driving home from watching my brother-in-law and sister-in-law race their quads, I saw a banner for the event which reminded us of the day and time.  Unfortunately, Addie came down with a cold so we opted to stay home that day.
  • Check out what is going on in your church- Our church is a very community oriented church.  Events are always being planned for the children, couples, ladies, men, and families.  There are even special days that are designed to reach out to our community. This year, Addie will be old enough to participate in VBS!   
  • Going to family sporting events- I'm sure you know of a child or teen in your family who is involved in sports of some kind.  Maybe your husband plays on a team (mine does).  Maybe someone you know is involved in racing or other type of event.  Go! These are not only ways of making memories for your family unit, but you are also building memories with those in your extended family and your presence will be very much appreciated.  It also gives you something to do when you might otherwise stay home.  Many times, these types of events are local but you feel like you were able to get out (we moms who are home all day really appreciate getting out for more than grocery shopping).  You can even get involved yourself.  My friend Kathy is training for a 5k race that she is going to do with her niece.  That is definitely going to build a memory (and some muscle, too)!
  • Plan a get together at your own home- Pick up the phone, write a snail mail note, shoot an email, send a Facebook message, any way that it takes, send someone a message letting them know that you want them to visit.  Plan games, food, snacks (the simpler the better) and make a memory.  We have done this with my cousin and her family many times.  Pizza, soda, chips, and some board games are all we need.  The older kids play the games with us, Addie and the twins play in her room, and we all have a great time.
  • Take advantage of "Resident Deals"- Here in Florida- the Sunshine State!, Vacation Capital of the World- theme parks send out special offers for state residents.  We plan on taking advantage of one these park deals next month.  The park we chose has a "Pay for a day, come back all year" promotion- which is literally good thru December 31, 2011.  Since we have decided that birthdays would be family fun/getaway times, we plan on using these passes on our birthdays and any other time we feel like getting out and doing something.
I hope I have given you some ideas on ways to plan for some of the "bigger" memories for your family.  But remember that a no matter the size of the event, it is the building of the memory that matters the most.  Each memory is a little brick that you are laying in the foundation of your family's life.  The more "little" memories that we lay down, the more support they are able to give the "bigger" memories.  Happy building!


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