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Category: family

The Real Reason to Buy an Ad in your Child’s School Yearbook

Does the first day of kindergarten seem like yesterday, and now graduation is just around the corner? It’s time to mark the occasion with your own yearbook ad. Here’s why it contains more value than you may realize…

If your child is graduating this year, congratulations. Have you thought about purchasing a parent ad in the school’s yearbook? You know, the kind of ad where parents send congratulatory messages to their kids (for all to see).

Beyond the immediate impact of the ad when your student opens the book for the first time, your ad will likely bring a smile to your child’s face for decades to come when that dusty book is revisited.

Our son will be graduating elementary school, and we just finished our online ad-generation project for his yearbook.

Unexpectedly, my experience completely changed my perspective on parent yearbook ads. I realized that what you include can really impact the ad’s enduring value into the future. Here’s how to tap into that opportunity.

A More Complete Story
School yearbooks cannot possibly capture the complete story of every student.

I remember as a kid looking through my yearbooks for the first time and sometimes being disappointed that I wasn’t being properly represented in the overall story of the school year. Translation: I felt there weren’t enough pictures of me.

Perhaps that says more about my personality than the visual balance of my yearbook, but there will be inevitable imbalance in any school yearbook.

Back then, in the predigital age, it felt like ads were mostly confined to small businesses. So parents couldn’t normally impact a yearbook’s content.

But with today’s easy-to-upload online ad creation tools, parent-generated ads can offer the huge opportunity to rebalance the equation.

And just as importantly, your ad is a place for your content to likely live through posterity. (Everyone generally holds onto his or her yearbook.)

Sponsored Content
Beyond the option to simply congratulate your kid, you can also think of your ad as a place to document a few highlights of your child’s accomplishments and journey.

You probably don’t want to overdo it by writing five hundred words in a full-page ad. But there’s a definite opportunity to include some details that the yearbook editors may miss or wouldn’t know.

A Time Capsule for a Few Photos
The photos you include are probably what your child will immediately appreciate the most, but these included pics are special for another reason. That’s because yearbooks are time capsules of a sort, as they’re more likely to survive over time.

Among the many thousands of photos you take of your children, the truth is only a small fraction of them will likely last into the future decades. That’s because it’s difficult to maintain an endlessly expanding digital database of thousands of family photos.

I understand that now, and our son is only ten years old.

You’ve got to ruthlessly choose just a few pics as the ones you want to endure into the distant future. Then, ensuring they’re printed into a book is a solid way to protect their ongoing existence. (How ironic.)

So think of these school yearbook photos as possibly the only images of your child (as a kid) that future generations will ever see. (No pressure.)

On the bright side, you can also create a larger lifeboat for more of your digital photos. Simply generate your own annual family photo books to document your children’s stories.

There’s Always Next Year
It’s become clear to me that parent ads can be so much more than simple congratulatory messages. These ads should do their part to help encapsulate your child’s school experience.

If you’re feeling deflated that you didn’t maximize the potential of your ad this year, or even worse… you didn’t create one, don’t despair.

You’ll get another chance next year.

It’s Time to Create the Next Chapter
Capturing your children’s stories through photos and the written form is a gift for posterity.

Think of each school yearbook ad that you create as the next chapter in your child’s story.

Enjoy it!

The Power of Anticipation

Though the effects of winter are still weighing heavy, I found spring at the base of the forest. 

I always look forward to snapping pictures of spring. There’s that special window of time when nature suddenly reemerges. The early colors. The bright greens. The young buds. It’s nature’s celebration of life returning to normal.

As I peer out of my home office window, we’re not quite there. Not yet. Sure, there have been several warm, sunny days in Fairfield County, CT. And there are some early signs of reawakening outside. Yes, spring is officially here, but nature has its own schedule.

If you think I’m drawing a parallel to our present pandemic existence, I am. Our lives are frozen in so many ways, but thankfully thawing with the rollout of vaccines. 

In Search of Life as We Know It

I headed out on a hike this past weekend to Collis  P. Huntington State Park in Redding, CT. I brought along a couple cameras with the intent to capture nature’s visual equivalence of our current state of anticipation.

As I took in the forested area, much was still in hibernation mode. But when I looked closely, the rebirth was already well underway. Not so much high up in the trees, but closer to ground. The foundations of the ecosystem was kicking into high gear.

These photos promote a near future when spring fully arrives.

I can’t wait.

How to Add a Missing Person to a Group Text from your iPhone

Feeling left out because of that group text you weren’t on? Don’t worry. There’s an easy way to get you back into the chat. Here’s how.

Have you ever sent out a group text from your iPhone, only to realize moments later that you’ve forgotten somebody? Or how about receiving a group iMessage and noticing that a friend has been unintentionally left off. Is it possible to correct the error and add in the missing person to your ongoing chat?

It certainly is.

For those who may be rolling your eyes right now, please feel free to stretch your own boundaries and compose your next multi-dimensional group text to a parallel universe. However, if you tend to face more earthly-based technical conundrums, and you’re currently jostling your head to shake loose the answer just outside your consciousness, I certainly understand. (It’s how I spend a fair amount of time.)

So, I’ve got a refresher for you. At first glance, it may not seem that obvious, because the ‘Add Contact’ button is hidden.

Here’s how to uncover it:

It’s Buried in the Info Icon
In your iPhone’s Messages app, tap on the text that requires more people in your reply.

  • Then, tap on the face circles representing the existing group. Your action will open three more options to tap on: ‘audio,’ ‘FaceTime’ and ‘info.’
  • Tap ‘info’ on the top right.
  • You’ll then see the current list of people. On the bottom of the list, locate ‘+ Add Contact’ in an inviting blue color.
  • Tap ‘+Add Contact.’
  • Then, simply type the new name and tap ‘Done’ on the top right.

The Answer is Also in the Details
If you’re instead using the Messages app on a Mac computer to respond to a group text, it’s even easier to make the fix:

  • Select the message.
  • Click on the blue ‘Details’ on the top right.
  • Click on the blue ‘Add Member’ under the list of member names.
  • Then type in the new name to add into the chat.


Group chats have become such a common part of our texting and email experience. It’s certainly an effective communications tool as long as ‘replying to all’ continues to convey relevant information to all.

And of course, you’ve got to make sure that ‘All’ is actually a complete list of the intended recipients. Replying to ‘Almost All’ can tend to create future problems.

As texting is often done on the fly, it’s always a good idea to double check your list of names.

Then, all will thank you.

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