Our Kids are Scattered

We are the Harbertsons - Lynn and Loretta. We married a few years ago and each brought a few children to the marriage. The kids were all grown and on their own and scattered all over the country. We have kids in Minnesota, Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, and Alberta, Canada. Amongst those scattered families are 49 grandchildren. We had to come up with some ways to connect to them from our home in Michigan. Listed here are some of the fun (and crazy) things we've done over the years to do that kind of connecting.

If we had to categorize them we'd say we had three goals: 1. Keep the present family connected; 2. Pass along our family heritage and 3.Pass along our values and beliefs.

If you are also doing this long distance grandparenting, you probably are working on those areas, too. Perhaps our ideas will get you to thinking of what you might do to create meaningful connections with your grandkids.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Get Them to Come Visit You

We don't know what your experience has been, but since we don't live close to our children and grandchildren we find ourselves on a plane heading to their homes for various occasions.  We are always happy to see them and they are delighted when we come.  But this generation of young families is a very busy generation.  When we visit, their lives do not stop to entertain us.  We just join in whatever is going on.  We help deliver kids to lessons and sporting events.  We have been to recitals, gymastics, church events, etc.  It is busy and we have seen some mighty talented grandkids "do their thing".  If there are preschoolers, we have time to play games and read books.  But with the older kids, we often just seem them coming and going.  They lead very busy lives.

So our strategy has changed.  To what ever extent we can and with whatever means we can chip in and help with the costs, we are inviting our families to come and  visit us.  We would like to have their undivided attention and make memories together and feel like we got to really know them.

We've just started this strategy so we'll have to report back on how it works but our first family came this spring and we had an awesome week.  Here are some photos of that visit.  It was a wonderful week1

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