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1 Have Dinner Virtually. If your child has access to a smartphone, tablet or laptop, break bread with them using Facetime (iPhone/iPad/Mac OS) or download Skype or Google Hangout. Position the device so you can see each other at the table. Enjoy a conversation over a meal and, if you can plan it, eat the same thing.

2 Have Pizza Delivered. Order through the Domino's, Papa John's or Pizza Hut app, or call the restaurant and have your child's favorite pie delivered. Save this for a special occasion or do it just because.


3 Amazon Wish List Mining. Have your child build a wish list of items, each in a set price range. Then have the gifts shipped to their home on a schedule you set, like monthly or quarterly.

4 Create Photo Books on Shutterfly. Visit to design books using pre-designed templates and your photos. This is a great way to bind a memorable trip or vacation and send it to your child as a keepsake.

5 Write a story together by mail or email. Exercise your creative muscle by penning a story with your child. Each of you writes a paragraph or two and then emails or mails it to the other. Once you complete the story, make copies for each of you, design a cover and bind it.

6 Text Videos. Send a series of videos of yourself saying good night, good morning, congratulating your child on a milestone (i.e. honor roll), reading a poem or short story, or just to say 'I love you.' Be creative. The possibilities are limitless.

7 Build LEGO® Projects via Mail. Find a sturdy and simple LEGO® project that you can do together. Each of you can take turns assembling the parts and then sending completed portion — and the loose bricks! — through the mail. Don't forget the instruction booklet and flag or dog-ear the page where you last completed so they can pick up where you left off.

8 Keep Journals. Buy journals that you can share with one another. This keeps you in the daily life of your child and keeps your child in yours.

9 Senior Year Life's Lessons Book. One year out from your child's high school graduation, begin penning 365 simple life lessons they can take to college with them. Give it as a graduation present.


10 Make a Spotify or Pandora Playlist. Each of you can combine your favorite songs into a playlist that you can listen to at your leisure. It's a great way to feel close to each other when you're missing one another.

Chris Jones is a regular contributor to Fredericksburg Parent. He enjoys finding creative ways to connect with his 7-year-old between visits.

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Pouches' Community Corner

This month Pouches learned about a very important resource for families who have lost loved ones to sudden tragedy, an organization called LLOST.

keepsake box

The foundation has helped 44 hospitals in 22 states through their Treasured Memories program. The program sends nurses to bereavement training, and provides or supplements the $55 memory boxes that include clothes, booties, handknot blankets, pictures, foot prints, hand prints, clipped hair and other mementos.