Sharing Family Stories at Thanksgiving

horn of plentyby Mary May Larmoyeux

Thanksgiving is almost here and it’s a perfect time to share family stories.

As our family will enjoy turkey and dressing this Thanksgiving, we’ll recall not only God’s blessings, but also share some of our family’s favorite stories.

I’ll never forget a time long ago when my mom and dad were visiting for Thanksgiving while Jim’s and my kids were still living at home. We were sharing our blessings and my dad said he was thankful that he had a good wife. Mom couldn’t understand him. “What?” she asked. “You want a new wife?”

We all leaned back in our chairs and laughed, and a Thanksgiving memory was etched on our hearts.

When I think of Mom and Dad, I can still see them holding hands (even after being married for 50 years) and kneeling side-by-side at the foot of their bed to pray. I am very thankful for the parents God gave me!

What is one of your favorite family stories?

Post © 2014 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Photo © Photodiane |
The Grandparent Connection

Visit Mary at She is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart.


For Lovers of Genealogy and Family Stories

by Mary May Larmoyeux

3 generationsI just discovered Family Search, a wonderful free genealogy website created by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.

And I stumbled on info. about the Roots Tech 2015 conference, which has been called the world’s largest family history and technology conference. Although Roots Tech will be held in Salt Lake City (February 11-14, 2015), anyone can register for it online.

If you’re like me and love to tell your family’s stories, you might want to check out this website and conference.

Photo © Monkey Business Images /


Grandma’s Quilt

40-Day Challenge: Telling the Stories That Matter Most

Stories Shape History

Saving Family Stories

The Grandparent Connection


Visit Mary at She is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart.

Doubly Blessed by Veterans Day Stories

I hope you had the opportunity to celebrate Veterans’ Day this year. I did, and I experienced a double

Grandkids. I’m always blessed to be able attend special school programs with my grandkids. I’m especially grateful for the teachers and students that work hard to plan this kind of event.

As I listened to the kindergarteners sing some favorite patriotic songs, I felt proud to be an American. What a blessing to observe schools informing and encouraging our children to celebrate our country and honor our veterans.

Veterans. After my granddaughter’s patriotic program, I visited my grandson’s classroom. The teachers and students had invited a dozen or more veterans to serve on a panel where they were asked to address the students’ questions.

One by one, veterans shared their military experiences. I wish I could capture the blessings of that moment.

What an honor to be surrounded by so many veterans who had served our country over the years. As I listened to the veterans respond to the student, I was touched by their stories. Many told of their captures and rescues, their lifelong friendships and brotherhood, and their commitment to and love for our country.

Do you realize just how many men and women have given up their lives fighting for America? I’m grateful for this needed reminder of the price of America’s freedom. And I’m thankful for all of the men and women who have served our country over the years. Thank you for telling us your stories. You inspire and encourage us.

As I offer my heartfelt gratitude to all American veterans, I also want to ask for their forgiveness. Please forgive our ignorance and lack of gratitude at times for the sacrifices you and your loved ones have made and continue to make for the sake of our freedom.

God bless you, and God bless America!

How did you celebrate Veterans Day?

What difference does a deadline make?

dreamstime_stopwatchby Mary May Larmoyeux

Do you have good intentions about your writing? But do you always follow through on those intentions? I don’t.

Once I read something that has stuck with me for years:  A goal without a deadline is a dream.  I really like that. Maybe because I identify with that statement so much.

When I first wrote about capturing our family stories, I said that I’d jot down at least six times when God intervened in a family situation and write about at least one of those things.

I considered my story journey that week a success because I actually made a list of a dozen times when God intervened in my family’s life, and I actually wrote about one of those things.

“When did you do that?” you might ask.

Well … right before writing this post. Although I finished at the last minute, I accomplished the goal. Why? Because I had a deadline: Finish before this post goes live.

Making and meeting a deadline truly is the difference between an idea and an elusive dream!

Here’s what a few people said about deadlines:

“The ultimate inspiration is the deadline.” —Nolan Bushnell

“A deadline gets a writer’s work done better and faster than any inspiration, if only because inspirations don’t always come, but the deadline is always there.” —A.A. Patawaran

And my favorite:

“I don’t need time, I need a deadline.”  — Duke Ellington

Story Journey Challenge:  I asked fellow StoryWriting Studio blogger Karen Jordan for some suggestions for writing family stories. “I’d encourage you to focus on your blessings,” she said, noting that some people are writing down a blessing a day on their social media networks this month.  “It really doesn’t matter where (or how) you begin to count your blessings,” she said, “but that’s always a great place to start telling the stories that matter most.”

So, how about carving out time this week to count your blessings? You may want to do this on Thanksgiving Day, or perhaps you’d rather brainstorm beforehand with friends and family about the blessings you’ve received this year. Karen is so right about counting blessings being a great way to find the stories that mean the most.

And you might just want to write a story about one of those blessings, and give yourself a deadline.

Post © 2013, 2014 Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Photo © Geoarts |

How to begin to tell your personal stories

Stories Shape History

Writing a Memoir?

The good ole days

8 Thanksgiving Promises

The Grandparent ConnectionPhoto and post copyright © 2014 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Visit Mary at She is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart.

Hemingway App

notebook and pen

- by Mary May Larmoyeux -

Have you ever heard of the Hemingway App? I first learned about it on Daphene Gray-Grant’s blog, the “Publication Coach.”

The Hemingway App is an easy-to-use, online tool for editing. Here’s how to use it:


  1. Go to the Hemingway App.
  2. Notice the two buttons on top-right side of the screen: Write and Edit.
  3. Click on Write.
  4. Now delete the sample copy on the screen (“Hemingway highlights long, complex sentences …”) and replace with your own copy
  5. Click “Edit” and the see the online editor’s suggestions.

If you’ve used the Hemingway App before, what tips do you have for us?

Do you have another favorite editing tool?

Finally, if you live in the Central Arkansas Area, StoryWriting Studio blogger Karen Jordan and I will be doing a workshop on Friday, November 7, called Countdown to Christmas. We’ll share how to write special family stories and makes some unique Christmas gifts. For more information go to the Countdown to Christmas page.

The Grandparent ConnectionPhoto and post copyright © 2014 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Visit Mary at She is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart.

Important Question for Christian Writers

Karen Jordan:

I’m always examining my purpose and motivation for writing. So, I wanted to share this article from the WordServe Water Cooler on the StoryWriting Studio, since I co-founded this blog with another WordServe author, Anita Brooks.

What are some of the important questions that you ask yourself as a writer? Be sure to leave your comments to this post (below) on the StoryWriting Studio (comments closed on archived posts of the WordServe Water Cooler).

Originally posted on WordServe Water Cooler:

English: Posthumous official presidential port...President John F. Kennedy inspired American patriotism in his inaugural address: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

As a Christian writer, I’ve asked myself a similar question at times: What can I do for God?

I’ve tried to do the things that I thought pleased God, but my good deeds never seemed to be enough when compared to the standards set before me.

So, I sought answers to my question from biblical examples of those who sought God’s approval and blessings.

King David experienced a change of focus when he sought spiritual counsel concerning his desire to please God by building a house for Him (2 Sam. 7:2). But God planned to build a house for David and establish his kingdom, and He chose David’s son to build a house for His Name.

The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you … I will raise…

View original 419 more words

Painting With Words

- by Mary May Larmoyeux -

tree in fallAs I sipped a cup of coffee on our front porch this morning, I was captivated by the beauty of nature and reminded of how much I love the fall. After all, that’s when God displays one of His great masterpieces.

I love how the leaves transform into brilliant colors … deep oranges and bright yellows. And with each dropping leaf I’m reminded of not just the changing seasons, but also the changes in our own lives.

What thoughts come to your mind and heart when you think of fall? Poet William Cullen Bryant, who was born in 1794, said “Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”

How could you and I use personification (giving the qualities of a person to something that isn’t human) to describe something about the fall?

Here are some thoughts that come to my mind:

  • The leaves waltzed …
  • The trees waved their arms …
  • The crisp wind slapped …
  • The multi-colored hills listened as …

Now it’s your turn. Using personification, what is a description that you could give to something about the fall?

In “An Essay on an Old Subject” (written in 1866) Alexander Smith paints a beautiful picture as he compares middle age to the fall:

“I take it that middle age is a happier period than youth. In the entire circle of the year there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October, when the trees are bare to the mild heavens, and the red leaves bestrew the road, and you can feel the breath of winter morning and evening,—no days so calm, so tenderly solemn, and with such a reverent meekness in the air. The lyrical up-burst of the lark at such a time would be incongruous. The only sounds suitable to the season are the rusty caw of the homeward-sliding rook,—the creaking of the wain returning empty from the farm-yard. There is an “unrest which men miscall delight,” and of that “unrest” youth is for the most part composed. From that middle age is free. The setting suns of youth are crimson and gold; the setting suns of middle age.”

Yes, with the changing seasons, we are reminded of the changes in our own lives.

I love the fall!

The Grandparent ConnectionPhoto and post copyright © 2014 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Mary is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild’s Heart.



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