Bridging the Gap: Making Sure Our Children Have a Solid Relationship with Those That Have Gone Before Them

The kids and their Great Aunt Lorraine with bird houses she helped them make.

I thought it'd be nice to write a post sharing some of the things we've done on both sides of our family that have provided opportunities for our children to get to know the older generations better.

This past school year, my Aunt Lorraine offered to help with homeschooling if I needed it. Since she's very talented with the crafts (and I am not), I suggested she do a craft tied in with a Bible and Science lesson. She came every other week to do just that with the kids. And they LOVED it!

It was neat to see them develop a closer relationship with their Great Aunt and for us to learn different things about my family's history along the way. I'm sure she didn't set out to do that, but just in our normal conversations, things would come up.  Like learning that my Grandpa was good at drawing and that's where my cousin and aunts got their painting skills from, or learning about one of my Grandma's recipes that we now use, or how my Grandma and her family moved from Missouri to Michigan and why. It was also nice to know that when the kids were sick and she couldn't make it she'd be praying for us.

It worked out really well so she's going to help us with crafts again this coming school year.  They made some really neat treasures together that the kids will be able to cherish for years to come. Thanks, Aunt Lorraine!

On my husbands side of the family, they started a tradition about 4 years ago where the WHOLE family goes on a vacation together. It really is awesome! Basically what they've been doing is revisiting places that my husband's grandparents took their kids to when they were younger. We've also stopped and visited the places that my husband's grandma grew up (she moved quite a bit when she was growing up!)

It has been an amazing time each year and so many special memories are made. We've had family come from Florida, Ohio, and Washington to share in the vacation.

Basically what happens is each family (for example, my mother-in-law and father-in-law and all their kids and grandkids) has a cooler packed with picnic type food and we eat our lunches and dinners at parks. If anyone from the extended family needs something someone is bound to have it amongst all the coolers so everyone's taken care of. We do stay in a hotel for the trip so we eat our breakfast at the hotel but all other meals are eaten at a picnic area. For a special treat, Uncle Lee buys everyone famous U.P (Upper Peninsula) pasties which are always amazing!

The trip is only from Friday to Sunday so it gives just enough time to do some sight seeing and spend time making memories with family members that you might not often see. It's something we look forward to every year!

Here are some of my favorite pictures from vacations past:

 Hiking the trails in the U.P.

 Lake of the Clouds with Uncle Brian

 Our little family at Lake of the Clouds

 Carlee picking wild strawberries (yum!) for the first time with her cousin Rachel and Uncle Lee

 Carter finding great souveniers (rocks) =) from Lake Superior
 Mimi and Popz and a few of us at Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes

 Adam and Me in front of the lighthouse we got engaged at (almost 8 years ago!)

Most of the family--can't remember where this was exactly.

 Aunt Polly and Carter when he was about 2

Me (pregnant with Carlee) and Carter on the beach along Lake Superior

Popz and Carter

Carter and Carlee walking with their Great Grandpa!

 Adam, Carter and Carlee
Carter and his cousin

Carlee and her cousin Rachel
I have so many more pictures I'd like to add but I guess this will have to do! :) What special memories do you have with your families?


JoyFilled said...

I am very thankful that nearly ALL of my family (grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) live within an hour of us, so my children get to spend a lot of time with them. I know so many families where the children barely even know their grandparents and it makes me sad. Family is SO important!

We haven't had the opportunity to take TOO many giant family vacations, but all 27 of us (my dad's side) have gone to Disney World together twice now. Long, cross-country trip, but so much fun! said...

yes, it is such a blessing to be near all your family. I love being able to walk to my parents' house (where I grew up) and see my kids interacting with them there.

Wow--Disney w/27 people! That IS amazing! Great memories!!! Thanks for sharing!

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