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week of the family

NOMINATIONS ARE NOW OPEN! Week of the Family – 2019 GRANDparent of the Year Award

Nominations are now open for Orange County’s Week of The Family

2019 GRANDparent of the Year

It’s that time of year again and Week of the Family – Orlando, Florida is seeking nominations for the 2019 Orange County’s GRANDparent of the Year.award.



The Orange County Week of the Family theme for 2019 is

Family:  Be Present!

Our committee ponders for a whole year what the theme for the next year should be—and even years in advance.  At a parent-teacher conference, I asked one of my favorite teachers, Mrs. Karch, “Any ideas for next year’s Week of the Family theme?”  She did not miss a beat and answered, “Be Present!”  Just a couple of years ago our theme was “Unplug and Connect!”  But our devices are not the only things that distract us.  Sometimes I am thinking about my to-do list.  I have not always figured out what is making my children not want to be around me and talk to me while I make dinner (is it that they think I am going to ask them to help?).

However, I know I like having them around—even if it is just sitting and talking to me while I work.  I know I do not like them sitting and watching television while I work!

One of my favorite videos is an Australian commercial.  In it, the parents are asked who they would most like to have dinner with, living or dead.  The parents come up with movie stars, great leaders from the past, and people filled with wisdom or grandeur.  When the children are asked the same question, they want to know if it must be someone famous.  When told no, repeatedly, the children answer: “My family” or “my parents.”  From the mouth of babes!  I love eating with my family.  It is comfortable.  They care about me.  When I stop thinking about what I would like them to be doing (elbows off the table, chew with your mouth closed) and thinking about why I like them, we all enjoy it much more.  We have started sharing a rose, a bud and a thorn from the day—something good, hope for the future and something not so good.  Or sharing two tales and truth about our day.  In the summer when we are together most of the day this becomes more challenging. . .

Week of the Family
Marsha Reece of GRAND Magazine (far L) and Yvette Shelton of Volunteers for Community Impact (far R) award Lilly Rios (2nd from L) Orange County 2018 Grandparent of the Year. Ms. Rios was nominated by her granddaughter, Sheila Guevara (2nd from R).

When we are extremely busy, or even when we are not, can we set the timer and give each other a straight 10 minutes?  I will do what you want for 10 minutes because I can do anything for 10 minutes—playschool, build Legos, play four square and even soccer!  My husband likes to know when the listening will end, it is a guy thing, so knowing he only has to listen to me for 10 minutes makes the thought more appealing.  (Think about it—at work they know there is an end and when that end will be.  They need to know that at home too.)

My Dad died at the age of 48 in a commercial plane crash.  The youngest in our family was nine.  If something happens to me, I want my children and husband to remember that I love them, that I value them, and know how I talked so they can hear my voice even when I am gone.  I doubt they will care about how many places I drove them or the activities in which I got them involved.  I hope they remember talking, playing and doing together.  Whether it goes well or not every day, I know that is what I remember about them


when I go to bed, and I am thankful for them however it all played out!

We hope you will consider every day how you can be present with your family—your parents, your siblings, your children if you have them.  We all need each other—even if you are just taking a minute to keep someone company while they do their tasks.

It is our hope that during the Week of the Family, you can find activities and opportunities to be present with one another. There are many different activities and service opportunities throughout all of Orange County. We are partnering with JustServe.org to help families find service opportunities.  It is a place where community service needs are posted by organizations and families/individuals can visit to see where help is needed.  It is a great resource and we hope you use it to find where your family can serve together during the Week of the Family.  Please take a look at our calendar of events, OCPS’s Parent Academy, our Family Table Time Contest and find some time to be present with your family!


The Week of the Family Committee

Click Here to see all the sponsors.

week of the family







To see more Week of the Family Grandparents of the Year








2017 Week of the Family GRANDparent of the Year


2016 Week of the Family GRANDparents of the Year



2014 Week of the Family Grandparent of the Year

cover for framing

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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