family time across three time zones

My mom is visiting her parents in Texas, and my dad is holding down the fort in Virginia.  And I’m over here in Germany.  So today, I thought I’d express how thankful I am for video chat.  We were just able to talk for an hour or so face-to-face, and it was awesome.  And since my aunt and uncle were in the same place as my mom, I got to talk to them too!

starting a hangout on google+ with beta features.  and that is my favorite mug for tea, by the way.  mmm, tea.

Not to sound like an ad or anything, but my parents and I usually use Google+ Hangouts.  They allow video and audio chat between two or more people for free, as long as everyone has a Google+ account (free as well, and now open to the public at

(wow, this post really does sound like an ad.  If you call now, by the way, you get two for the price of one!)(just kidding.  please ignore how much this post sounds like an infomercial.)   🙂

Google+ hangouts have a pretty nice system; in addition to video and audio chat, it has integrated text chat for sharing URL’s and integrated Youtube access if you want to show the latest funny cat-on-a-roomba video you found.  New features in beta (“extras”) right now are a shared notepad, a shared sketchpad, live group editing of shared Google Docs documents, and even screen sharing.

Now that my video chat time is over, I have homework to do.  And I’m thankful to have productive work to do now, as it keeps me from getting too homesick. But family time is priceless, and I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to talk face-to-face with my parents, even if we can’t be together in person right now.  It may involve complex time-zone-daylight-savings-time calculations, but it’s definitely worth the trouble!


3 thoughts on “family time across three time zones

  1. As a mom with a daughter away, I sure understand the value of face to face! We ususally skype, but may try google at your suggestion. Hava great weekend!

    [not to sound like a commercial either, but I wrote a story called face to face about this same thing; check it out in your spare time… between bonbons = ) We just told Stephanie [daughter] this morning we’ll be visiting her on Thanksgiving; We havent seen each other since last Christmas, well except for skype; Yay!!!]

  2. It really is a boost to be able to see loved ones on video chat. I’m so thankful that we can do that. We don’t all have to scrunch in front of one camera to chat, either!

    Another interesting thing that happened to me today was that my phone rang with a text message sent to me by my daughter in Germany via gmail. Incredible!

    • I love being able to video chat!

      And the phone thing was because I could see that someone called my American cell phone, which went through to Google Voice. Just wanted to make sure things were ok, and you were offline, and Gmail had your phone number there and all ready for me to text… 🙂

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