Marco Polo

Marco Polo App Illustration
find it in the app store

While we have to be physically distant, we don’t have to be socially distant! For kid’s, especially middle and high school kids, friends are their lifeline (also, extroverts like me!). What’s getting me through these days is checking in with my family and friends and I wanted to pass along a fun way to do just that! Its an app called Marco Polo, you can record video messages back and forth. It serves a bit like FaceTime but you don’t have to be available when a message comes through, it saves them until you’re ready to view it!

I’ve been using it with Westwood teenagers this week, and man, is it a lifesaver! It’s better than texting because I can hear the emotions and see their faces. I have a friend who has been using it with her middle schooler to talk about silly but also big, deep stuff this week, while they work in separate rooms!

As people of faith we are called into relationship, to help each other see and know that we matter, that our stories and our stuff matters. When the world feels big and difficult, we’ve gotta lean on one another in relationship. Let’s find fun ways to lean into those relationships while we are physically apart so that we can strengthen our connection to one another and grow.

Marco … Polo!

If you download it and use it, drop a line in the comments and tell us your favorite part about it, we’d love to know the fun ways you’re connecting with each other!


Here’s a twist on the traditional scavenger hunt – instead of gathering items from a list, you will make photos of each of the list items. All of these items can (hopefully) be found inside your home. Feel free to change items, or add your own!

For these photos, think creatively and not just literally! The goal is not to take a documentary photo of the objects, but to create a new work of art that has feeling and meaning to it beyond representing the object. Your camera is not a copier, so use the camera as a your paintbrush. Feel free to do whatever YOU want to create these photos. Move stuff. Put your camera in a place you wouldn’t normally. Think abstract, not literal. Also, think, “one more” when taking photos. If you already have a photo of an object, and see a different one later, take one more photo.

When you are done with the photo scavenger hunt, take a moment to think about: what specific objects did you take photos of and why? which photo(s) do you like best and why? what did you learn about how you create?

Post your photos here so everyone can see your artistry!

Thanks to my friend @msladekphoto for helping us create art together!

The Next Right Thing

Talking about what’s happening in our world, keeping open communication with our kids (teens especially) is so important.
There’s lots of grief for our teenagers right now. Missed proms, cancelled sports seasons, cancelled graduation ceremonies, distanced from friends which are kids’ life line, the list goes on. Keep communication open with them, let them lament, let them be mad, sad and everything in between, for teenagers, those things that seem small to us, are so big, and their whole world.
Its OK to say you don’t know, there’s no guidebook to parent through pandemic, but we all can do the next right thing.