We have started doing a monthly family newsletter. It includes short articles about what we are up to as a family, what we are doing in school, and gives the boys a way to publish their artwork and creative writing.
We mailed out our first issue at the end of September, and have received a wonderful response from our family and friends. The things love getting praise for their efforts, and the grandparents love having a brag sheet to share with their friends.
One of the most fun things about the newsletter is that Thing One is including a long story he wrote in serial form. We sent out chapter one in September's newsletter, he's already planning to send a "bonus chapter" in January because that is his birthday month. He is learning so much about how to use a word processing system on the computer, and also how to draft, edit and publish his writing.
We plan on inviting "guest columnists" to write articles for us as well. My uncle is a composer, and the boys want to learn about his creative process. I want to request stories and recipes for the holidays.
I hope this will be a way for our very spread out family and circle of friends to grow closer.