Kim’s Blog

Click here for the Blog Archive


Kim’s Blog combines home front experiences with informative updates on area events, unique opportunities and of course, dynamic deals!  For daily updates, Get Social and Follow SpringfieldMoms on your preferred Social Network for event reminders, coupon links, reader favorites and lots of helpful tips and laughs.

Share Button

page261 is well worth the stop for Moms who enjoy crafts, unique gifts and a play area for the kids while you craft, shop and connect with others!  Owner Nicke Minder invited us to one of their craft classes for Tweens where we made wooden earrings and a necklace and enjoyed nice conversation.

My daughter made a brief video of our craft before and after!

Set your gps to 1340 South State Street in Springfield (off South Grand Ave) and page261 feels like a visit to a storybook carriage house, and Nicke’s warm smile will welcome you.  It’s charming and will brighten your day and provide fun for your little ones with activities, story times and special events.

Stop by in person or visit their website to check out upcoming events or order merchandise online.  A few we found:  Toys for (Tater) Tots presents a Musical Sing-a-long with Tater Tots Rock! coming up Saturday Dec 9th at 10:00am! Details on their facebook event page.

There’s also a special shopping time for the little ones to take care of finding something for their family during the One Stop Holiday Shop.

We’ll be hearing more from page261 soon, but step inside!  Shop. Create. Support.

The kids need you. It’s the 12th annual WDBR and 101.9 The Wolf Cares for Kids Radiothon.

Julie & Blake (WDBR) and Dave & Dina (101.9 The Wolf) will be on the air for 26 hours bringing you stories of families who have been touched by HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital.


Call 217-544-5437 (217-544-KIDS) or donate online at  Why donate? Because donations help fund important programs like Pet Therapy; 

Listen to the miracle stories of kids that defied the odds and received wonderful care at our LOCAL Children’s Hospital!  

Whether you’ve benefitted from the pediatric services within your family, know someone who has or just want to make the procedures, recovery and hospital time more pleasant for those in need, you WILL make a difference! Donate now ….thank you!


Family Reading Night 2017 is Thursday, November 18. Sponsored by Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White, and the Illinois Center for the Book, Family Reading Night is an annual statewide event held the third Thursday in November to encourage families to spend quality time reading together. Reading is important every day — celebrate at a local event!

  • Family Reading Night at Rochester Public Library 6:00-7:30 p.m. Wear your favorite pajamas and bring the whole family for an evening of reading, storytelling, and story-sharing.  Each family that attends will receive a free paperback book to take home.  No registration required.
  • Family Reading Night at Chatham Area Public Library – 6:30-7:30 pm. Celebrate Illinois authors with story time, crafts, and games. All ages welcome. At 600 E. Spruce Street, Chatham.
  • Family Reading Night at Sherman Library 6:00-7:30 pm. Teachers from Sherman Elementary will be featured as guest readers throughout the evening.  
  • Family Reading Night at Cathedral School 6-7 pm. All Cathedral families, parishioners and friends are invited for an evening of guest readers, Readers’ Theater, refreshments, and more. Bring a blanket to sit on, water bottles if desired, and your family’s favorite books.All ages welcome. RSVP and other information online.
  • Family Reading Night at Cantrall Elementary School.  6:30-8:00 pm.

Need some book ideas? Never fear! Our Book Nook is ready for your perusal. We even have Thanksgiving Picks ready to go!


Don’t forget to check SpringfieldMoms for our 2018 summer reading directory next May. Check out last year’s listing here:

“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause.” — Abraham Lincoln.Military_family

Veterans Day is not just a day off from school and work. It’s a great day to remember and honor America’s veterans, men and women, for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.There are several local celebrations this year suitable for sharing with your families.

2017 events:

  • November 10: Veterans Day Flag Raising at UIS at 9 a.m. in front of the Public Affairs Center.
  • November 10: 22nd Annual Veterans Day Ceremony at Lincoln Land Community College’s A. Lincoln Commons – 1 pm – 2 pm.
  • November 11: Free admission for veterans and active duty at ALPLM. The Illinois Department of Veterans will have a representative in the Museum’s plaza.
  • November 11: At 11 am, ​Cold War submariner Admiral Nils (Ron) Thunman will speak in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. Adm. Thunman spent a lifetime under the waves, commanding an attack submarine while trailing Soviet subs underneath Arctic ice packs, helping find the RMS Titanic, working closely with the legendary Adm. Hyman Rickover (father of the Nuclear Navy), fielding the Tomahawk missile, and working with author Tom Clancy.  He served on the front lines of America’s Cold War during a career that spanned four decades, and he will share these stories and many more.
  • November 11: Veterans Day Parade in downtown Springfield at 10:20 a.m., beginning at the corner of 10th Street & Capitol Avenue. The parade continues west on Capitol Avenue to the state Capitol.
  • November 11: Veterans Day Services in Chatham – 11 am at Veterans Memorial Square

Want to learn more?

Read the VA’s history of Veteran’s Day here.

See videos, pictures, speeches, and more information on Veterans Day on the’s website here.American Flag

From the National Education Association, here are children’s books (K-5) that feature Veterans Day.

  • Ansary, Mir Tamim. Veterans Day, 2nd Edition (Holiday Histories). Heinemann, 2001. Also in Spanish.
  • Ashabranner , Brent. Always to Remember: The Story of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Scholastic, 1992.
  • Ashabranner, Brent. Remembering Korea: Korean War. 21st Century, 2001.
  • Ashabranner, Brent. Their Names To Live By. 21st Century, 1998.
  • Brill, Marlene Targ. Veterans Day (On My Own, Holidays). First Avenue Editions, 2005. (also in Spanish)
  • Bunting, Eve. The Wall. Clarion Books, 1992.
  • Cotton, Jacqueline S. Veterans Day (Rookie Read-About Holidays). Children’s Press, 2002.
  • De Capua, Sarah. The Vietnam Memorial (Cornerstones of Freedom). Children’s Press, 2003.
  • Ferry, Joseph. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial (American Symbols & Their Meanings). Mason Crest Publishers, 2002.
  • Henry, Heather French. Pepper’s Purple Heart: A Veterans Day Story. Cubbie Blue Publishing, 2003.
  • Landau, Elaine. Veterans Day: Remembering Our War Heroes (Finding Out About Holidays). Enslow Elementary, 2002.
  • Nelson, Robin. Veterans Day (First Step Nonfiction). Lerner Publications, 2005.
  • Peter, James S. The Saga of Black Navy Veterans of World War II. International Scholars Press, 1996.
  • Rosinsky, Natalie. Vietnam Veterans Memorial (We the People). Compass Point Books, 2006.
  • Sevastiades, Patra McSharry. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Library of American Landmarks). PowerKids Press, 1994.
  • Schuch, Mari C. Veterans Day (Pebble Books). Capstone Press, 2003.
  • Worsley, Arlene. Veterans Day (American Holidays). Weigl Publishers, 2006.

Thanks to Nicky Barton for sharing her journey now on week Five of the Mom’s Lifestyle Makeover is winding down and things are going really well. I’m losing every week and my clothes are fitting better. I feel better, I have way more energy, and for the first time in a long time, I’m confident when I tell myself, “You’ve got this”. 

Last time I checked in, I mentioned how much I was enjoying the food I was getting from Just Right Eating. One of my favorite aspects is the fact that I can go online and choose my own meals from week to week. There’s a ton of variety and there are different options every time, so I don’t find myself getting burnt out on one or two things. Also, I am picky. Super picky. The list of foods I don’t like is almost embarrassingly long. That being said, there have been a couple weeks where, after painstakingly going over the menu and adding items to my cart, I got distracted and forgot to hit “submit” on my order. They’re due by Friday at noon and I’ve randomly remembered at 3am on Sunday. Those weeks though have turned out to be some of the best. Things I would have never, ever, ever thought to be something I would enjoy have actually had some of my favorite meals. Turkey chili and squash lasagna? Amazing. I ate at my desk and had everyone asking me what smelled so good. Shepherd’s Pie made with sweet potatoes? Comfort food at its best. I’ve spent almost all 35 years of my life insistent I HATE sweet potatoes, but it turns out I actually love them. Who knew?   You can choose a weekly meal plan or do the Grab & Go!
Training with Stephanie is a lot of fun. She pushes me but not to the point where I hate her (or myself) and I leave there after my hour feeling like I could beat somebody up if I needed to. That’s pretty empowering. I really wish I would have made time for myself and done something like this sooner. Hopefully next time I check in, I will have hit a mini-goal I have in my head and can share the good news! 

We have many people to thank for the FUN event last Saturday that despite the brisk (yes, cold!) weather was well attended and enjoyed by all!  Many thanks to the Springfield Youth Performance Group, Progressive Kenpo Karate, Kidzeum, SpMoms and Bank of Springfield for the free kids’ activities and entertainment!  Chris Murphy and Deb West from WNNS 98.7 FM were wonderful emcees and decked out in costumes.

A hearty thank you to HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital for sponsoring the prizes for the Kids’ Costume Contest Ages 0-12 and to Bank of Springfield for sponsoring the prizes for the Family Costume Contest.  Hays Pumpkin Patch provided large pumpkins for all winners mini pumpkins for the activities area.  Aleman & Sternstein Orthodontists (the Tuthmvr’s) donated trick or treat “care” bags with a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss for all of the kids. Mike Robinson donated cool glow in the dark rocks for the winners and Gen H provided cookbooks and basketballs!  Judges: Vernessa Glover from HSHS SJCH, Rachael Thomson from Kidzeum (coming Summer 2018) and Kim Leistner Root from SpMoms. Springfield Moms volunteers Lauren Coleman, Lisa Whelpley and Vanessa Little kept things hopping at the costume contest registration.

Thank you to all who entered and enjoyed the event with us!  Congrats to all of the winners!

The dog costume contest was the highlight at Noon and winners received prizes courtesy of Nature’s Select Pet Store of Springfield. Contributors for the Illinois Humane gift raffle were On The Edge Jewelry (Cheryl Harvey) and artist Steve Harvey.

Watch the Recap Video 


2017 Kid’s Costume Contest Winners

Ages 0-2

#1 Mousetrap with Mouse

#2 Firefighters rescuing a baby

#3 Traveling Circus Lion in cage with lion tamer

Ages 3-6

#1 Paul Bunyan (and twin Dad)

#2 Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy

#3 Poppy from Trolls

Ages 7-12

#1 Woodland Fairy with lighted wings

#2 Campbell’s Tomato Soup

#3 Sewing Machine

Family Costume

#1 Sleeping Beauty, 3 Fairy Godmothers and Malificent

#2 Chef and Baby lobster in the pot

#3 Chik Fil A Cow Family with baby chicken

Honorable Mention: Under the Sea Family: Scuba Divers, jellyfish and a shark.


We’re building our HoliDaze Guide. As your organizations plan their holiday events, let us know!Christmas Bells

  • Holiday Happenings
  • Holiday classes and lessons
  • Holiday arts and crafts fairs and bake sales
  • Angel trees, holiday food drives, coat drives, etc.
  • Visits with Santa, and of course –
  • Cookie Walks!

Submit your holiday events by email at, or use our online form.

Our most current Trick or Treat Time Guide is here!  Have a great time accumulating everyone….and then consider this tricky treat from the local American Heart Association!


Here’s a spooky thought: A child can accumulate up to 7,000 sugar-filled calories on Halloween night. And they’re not all consumed by the kiddos. According to the National Confectioners Association, over 70% of parents dip into the candy stash after Halloween too!

Not only will you have tons of leftover sweets as you welcome the month of November, you’ll also kick off the Season of Indulgence. But you can have some fun with your family and coworkers to encourage healthier options; join in the American Heart Association’s #TrickyTreat Healthy Halloween Swap!  Here’s what you need to do: on Nov. 1, simply swap your candy stash at home or in the office with something healthy and record your kids’ – or coworkers’ – reactions as they dip their hands into the stash. Will your family, friends or coworkers be stunned, angry, or annoyed to find raisins or baby carrots instead? There’s only one way to find out! Be sure to post to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #TrickyTreat.

And to keep you motivated to eat healthy throughout the holidays, the American Heart Association has named November Eat Smart Month. Visit for nutritious recipes, meal planning resources, grocery shopping tips, healthy ingredient swaps to cut calories on holiday side dishes and much more.

It’s time to register for our Holiday Culinary Classes. Whether you are hosting a dinner party, drowning in leftovers, craving holiday sweets or under holiday stress, we’ve got a class for you. At ‘Dinner Party with Friends’ on 11/9 learn what can be made ahead of time so you can relax during the party and which fun cocktails to serve. Get hands-on at ‘Holiday Leftovers Remixed’ on 11/18 where you’ll find creative ways to repurpose all those leftovers with a healthy twist. If you want something sweet, spend a Saturday morning on 12/2 or 12/9 making ‘Holiday Candy’ including caramels, brittle, toffee, fudge and more. The best part, you will take home a box containing each of the candies made in class. If all else fails, grab your friends and join us for a fun night in the kitchen at our ‘Girls Night Out’ class on 11/17. Check out our full list of culinary classes here:

It’s not too early to start planning now for new skills you want to develop in 2018!  Learn a new language, develop your photography skills, improve your financial literacy, brush up on history and film, get physically active, expand your understanding of technology or get your creative juices flowing in a hands-on art class as well as other DIY offerings.

Our Community Education classes for spring 2018 are open for registration and there are offerings for everyone, every interest and every age. Check out our full list of Community Education offerings here:

Every year for the past 7 years my family humors me and we coordinate a family Halloween costume.  This year it was harder to get everyone on board.  My oldest now has clear ideas as to what she wants to be for Halloween and so convincing her that my clever ideas are what she should do is much more difficult.  Our very first family costume was when my oldest had just turned 2.  We decided to go as tacky lawn ornaments.  She was a garden gnome and I was a pink flamingo.  The next year our newest addition, Ireland, was Tinkerbelle, Isabelle was Wendy, I was Peter Pan and my husband was Captain Hook. 

From there we went with a Game of Thrones theme the next year.  I was The Mother of Dragons and my kiddos were my dragons, my husband was the character Jorah from the tv show.  My favorite costume came the next year.  We were the cast of The Wizard of Oz. As our Love of all things Halloween advanced we were fortunate enough to celebrate at Disney two years in a row.  The first year we were Maid Marion, Robin Hood and their Fox babies. 

Last year we were all Alice and Wonderland characters.  Each year we have really enjoyed all spending this time with each other and I really hope that it is a memory that our kiddos cherish.  This year we had big plans to all be Disney Villans but as with all things, time got away from us and we dropped the ball on the family costumes.  We have a Maleficent, a Cruella Deville, and a dalmatian. As kids get older it is just so much harder but I truly don’t want to give up this tradition.  So, readers, I would LOVE for you to share your fun family costumes with us.  This Saturday HSHS St. John’s Hospital will host the annual Halloween at the Market costume contest.  Come on down and show me what you’ve got!! We can’t wait to see all of our creative ideas from our readers!! For more event info click here!