Long Distance Cousins

Grandma Kc wrote this on January 16th, 2012 23 Replies

Amara has a little cousin she had never met who is about 4 years younger than she is. At least I call her Amara’s cousin. I have never been good at figuring out those relationship things. She is my stepbrother’s granddaughter. I’m not sure what that makes her relationship to Amara so I’ve just gone with the generic label of “Cousin”. Cousin is lucky because she lives near Amara’s Great Grandma, someone else Amara’s has never met. They live in Michigan.

Every year for Christmas, I make Amara’s Great Grandma (my Mom) a photo gift of some kind through Shutterfly. Some years I make her coasters, some years I make her a calendar and sometimes it is a mouse pad. Cousin has always loved these gifts. Great Grandma tells stories of how Cousin kisses the Amara coasters and carries them around the house with her. When she was little, she thought the calendars were books. Great Grandma would sit her down and tell her stories about the pictures. She loved them and I liked that these things became her treasures and her toys. And Amara loved having an admirer.

So a couple of years ago I got inspired to make Cousin a real book. A book all about Amara. I used lots of pictures of the fun things Amara likes to do and I wrote the book as if Amara herself were narrating it. Cousin loved it and I do think this is a wonderful way for cousins that don’t get to see each other very often or who may never have met, to get to know one another. The only problem was I had never seen the finished product and neither had Amara.

Amara's Book for her Cousin

So last week when I got a new Shutterfly coupon — Amara got a new book to add to her collection!

This post has been linked to the GRAND Social blogging event at Grandmas Briefs.

23 thoughts on “Long Distance Cousins

  1. Grams

    I love Shutterfly and I especially love these books. What a great idea for cousins.

    For the past several years I make books for all of our vacations. It is a great keepsake.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      She is going to have quite the collection of personal books by the time she grows up! I make her a Shutterfly book for each of her birthday parties, too! I’d do one for vacations but we never seem to get around to taking one of those!

      Reply
  2. Sarah

    I did a Shutterfly book for each of my three children this year….of flowers and bird photos that I had taken. I had a small good thought on each page. They are such wonderful gifts!

    Love The Cousin narrative…tho never having met in person, Amara and Cousin know each other through your wonderful gifts!

    Sarah

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Oh Sarah! I bet your books were beautiful as your photographs sure are. Photo books really are cool.

      Reply
  3. Kimberly

    Your step brother’s grandchild and your grandchild would be step second cousins, but “little cousin” is ever so much nicer.
    I have a MAC and the thing I love the best is the i-Photo. I stick my card right in the computer, they download, then I make a book and once my info is in I just press order. They come quickly and are beautiful.
    My elderly aunt (91) who has been a grandparent to me, seldom gets to see my own little gramerlings, so I love to make books for her and my mom. I also make the kids books for their birthdays that chronicle playdates.
    I never tire of looking at them myself.
    That’s a great way to forge a relationship with cousins.

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      Second cousins! I had a feeling you would know the answer – thank you! I am so jealous you have a MAC! We used to have MACs at my old job and they really are awesome and so easy to use. I bet your aunt really loves your books. So glad we live in the computer age!

      Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I’ve read some of your advice about photo books and I know I should have more of them waiting in queue for when I get coupons but I haven’t quite made it there yet. This one I already had finished. The other good thing you had said was to try different photo sites and I really need to do that. I’ve done 6 other books, all through Shutterfly. I am so comfortable using them but it is so easy to be a creature of habit. I should try others. I might find they offer better or just different things. Maybe I will try something new this year!

      Reply
  4. Tandy Shaw

    Hiya!
    What a lovely blog you have here. I found you by following comments you have left on some other blogs where I lurk. I love the idea of making photobooks – I need to organize to get that done. I have entered a contest or two – the latest is the Globe Life one they are advertising on Facebook. Other than that though, my 1000s of photos just clutter up my hard drive. You have inspired me to do something about that!
    Thanks,
    Tandy

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I am so glad you visited. I hope you come back! You will really have fun making photo books but I must warn you – you can spend hours! It is even worse with the calendars. I make them every year for all of Amara’s close family and I spend hours just going through all the pictures from the year before! Hours! Well worth it!

      Reply
  5. Webgrandma

    I love the idea of a “cousin book” for those long-distance friends. Our girls have a cousin in New Orleans, actually she’s my niece, so she’s my kids’ cousin – I think that makes her our girls’ first cousin once removed. Anyway, they see her about once a year but just love when she comes to visit. A photo book would be a great way to share with her, and I’ll bet she’d make one for them too! Thanks for the idea!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I bet your niece/cousin would love a “cousin book”! I would think it would be even more fun to create when they do know each other. You could do all the highlights of the year. Christmas, Halloween, school events. Good luck! Gotta warn you it is addicting and it is time consuming, but it is a whole lot of fun.

      Reply
  6. Joyce

    I am so glad I read this! First of all it is just beautiful to foster friendships between family members, no matter the distance. Secondly, the books become part of each family’s history. How nice to have background material when cousins eventually meet, perhaps at a family wedding. And, when one of my daughters does eventually move away, this continued bonding is something I will make my top priority using your ideas!

    Reply
  7. Joy @ Yesterfood

    Grandma Kc, I love how you helped Amara make family connections! The photo book was such a great idea- you are creative and thoughtful! 🙂 Several of my friends and relatives use Shutterfly and just love it- I’m going to look into using it. Thank you for another fun post!

    Happy, happy New Year to you and yours! ?

    Reply
  8. Linda

    Love Shutterfly! There is so much you can do to bless others through their site. The photobooks you’ve made are treasures! And what a wonderful story to hear how your mother ‘read’ to Amara from the calendars. too cute! We’ve enjoyed calendars through shutterfly, and coffee mugs and other beautiful gifts sent to us from our daughter and her little family when they were overseas.
    I’m going to use your idea of a cousin book to make personal gifts for my own faraway grandchildren. Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I really wish I owned stock in Shutterfly because I have sure invested a lot of money there over the years! I would love to see what you come up with for your grandchildren; I bet they will love it. I have done a photo book for Amara of each birthdays and she has loved those. If you do make something I hope you share!

      Reply

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