The sugar white sand is warm beneath the umbrella on Alabama’s Gulf Shore, and our summer vacation is in full swing with this blended group we call family.  Doc and I, we are working our brains constantly to come up with ways to bond, and create good memories of all, and for all, of the children together.


The youngest one ventures near his Uncle who stands knee deep in ocean water casting his fishing pole, as Doc smiles and watches.  This young one, with such a great joy for life, meets each wave with a flying body slam.  Finally he is heard pretending,  “Peter, John, come to me, and we will do belly busters!”  A reference from a Sunday school lesson of Peter walking on the water with Jesus.

We dig, the children and I, down into the sand, until we find sand that has been hard pressed together and is solid.  Sand that will not sink and give, but will allow an impression to remain.

Pressing toes and heels, fingers and palms into the area cleaned out for this project, we make foot and hand impressions in the sand.  Taking salty water from the ocean in a plastic green bucket, then stirring with a red plastic shovel the plaster of Paris, we mixed and poured it all into the impressions…and we wait.

Cokes, sandwiches snacks and naps are all taken on the beach as we watch the sun traverse the blue skies, and when it begins to sink all purple and orangey, tucking its self into the ocean for a good night’s rest, we collect our items and begin the process of prepare all for sleep as well.


We dig up our creation of the day, and wrapping our treasures in towels as big as blankets, encrusted with sand we nestle them down in canvas beach bags, and return to the house for supper.

When we return home, I take pictures of our trip and place them in each child’s room and in the family room in frames bordered with seashells gathered from walks and some that were purchased from the souvenir shop.

Now the creations, still wrapped in towels of sand, are unwrapped and placed in shadow boxes and hung on the wall.  I step back admiring the creation that our little stepfamily has created and I smile as I think of them having this as a memory of us all together at the beach.

Maybe this home, this blended family will be like these hand and foot prints; impressions made, on a solid foundation, that will give them good memories of childhood for the rest of their lives. 


Creating new memories for stepfamilies and documenting it with crafts of their own making, helps to pull all of the children, parents, and stepparents into a oneness – and a feeling, a sense, of family.   

Need some ideas for crafts for your family?  Leave a comment letting me know you are interested and I’ll send you some ideas.

Linking with A Holy Experience, Michelle Derusha, The Wellspring.

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Diane W. Bailey is the founder of The Consilium – an online community of wisdom and purpose for women over 45 years of age. She is a published author. Her books include String of Pearls – From Tears to Treasure, and 30 Days To A Better Stepfamily. She creates her own line of precious metals bracelets. Diane lives in the Deep South with her husband Doc. Together they have created a stepfamily, each having two stepchildren and two birth children, and share three grandchildren, one black lab named Charlie and one long haired tabby cat named Lil Girl. Diane’s passion is to encourage women to be all God has created them to be by pressing past fear and daring to live life as an adventure. Some of her life adventures include traveling to Israel, speaking, entrepreneurship and backyard farming with Doc. She loves Gumbo, fried shrimp and seeing all sunsets across water.

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