Kim's Blog


Updated throughout the week, Kim's Blog combines home front experiences with informative updates on area events, unique opportunities and of course, dynamic deals!  Follow us on Twitter twitter or Facebook facebook for event reminders, recent posts, coupon links and more.

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We have started week four of the Women's Biathlon Brigade training group.  We meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Kerasotes YMCA and workout with a Memorial Sportscare trainer.  For many of us, it's our first biathlon, and for some it's their first running/biking attempt in any length, shape or form.  It's a fun group of women of wide ages and stages that share a common goal: to prioritize our health and to MAKE time for fitness in our busy schedules.


Kim and fellow SpMoms reader Michele Kuntz on Day One of our Brigade training!

When we don't meet as a group, we have a training plan to follow on our own.  I love having this accountability to others!  I don't want to be the person who does nothing in between our group times; so even if I don't follow EVERYTHING on the list; I am making the commitment to staying ACTIVE every day! 

My first step was to purchase as FitBit.  I love how it synchs automatically with the app so I can easily track how many steps I have walked each day (10,000 being the goal) and log exercises, eating habits and water intake.  Im not the best about inputting everything every day, and that's okay!  The goal is to raise awareness and accountability of my daily choices, and at week four, I am proud to say that this is becoming a habit.  Am I still having weak moments of licorice, frozen coffee drinks and an occasional dessert indulgence….YES!  But, do I feel stronger, motivated and committed to the women in the brigade and to myself….ABSOLUTELY!

You will hear from some of the other women in our group in the near future!

Join us September 21st-– register today! 

Mike and Jamie Gensler will be running for eight hours on Aug. 9 to raise money for Mighty Strong Girls, a holistic health magazine for preteen and teen girls based in central Illinois. It will be the second year they participate in the annual Howl at the Moon, the largest timed ultra marathon in the United States, held in Kennekuk Cove County Park just west of Danville, Ill.

When the Genslers ran last year, they launched Running For A Cause to raise funds for mission work in conjunction with their efforts.

Mike and Jamie have been runners for more than a decade, but being parents changed their perspective on their favorite hobby.

“Honestly, when we train for big races like this we put in lots of miles and time for training,” said Mike, a chiropractor and owner of Petersburg Spine and Sport. “In a way we felt kinda selfish putting in so much time training and doing these races. So it hit us that we should do it for a good cause. I guess that way it's a win-win situation.”

“We are thrilled that the Genslers are running for Mighty Strong Girls, especially because of the magazine’s new emphasis on overall health and well-being,” said Amy Denney, founder of Mighty Strong Girls. “They are an inspiration to many families to get up off the couch and do something active together.”

Howl at the Moon is a unique race in that it is timed and not a specific distance. Mike and Jamie will be running a 3.29 mile loop as many times as they can in a time limit of eight hours.

To raise money for Mighty Strong Girls, they are seeking sponsors. There are two ways to help.

  • You can make a flat donation of any amount at their Go Fund Me page —
  • A second way you can donate is to sponsor Mike or Jamie by pledging an amount of money per mile that they will run. For example, if you sponsor Jamie and pledge 50 cents for every mile that she runs and she runs 30 miles, your total donation would be $15. Jamie’s goal is 34 miles and Mike’s is 44 miles.

“It makes it fun. It kind of motivates us to run the race and do the best that we can that way we can raise the most money for Mighty Strong Girls that we can,” Mike said. “We are very excited to partner with Mighty Strong Girls because of the many awesome things they are doing with young women and girls and the fact that we have a 5-year-old princess who is growing up way too fast.”

For more information on the race, including a video of the Genslers, go to and click on the “news and events” link.

Have a butterfly-loving child?  Linocln Memorial Garden has a class that will be a perfect summer activity!

Children ages 8-10 can reserve a spot in the “Monarchs for Kids” class–six fun Saturdays learning about monarchs. In addition, participants become 4-H members.

Butterfly MonarchWhat insect migrates 2,000 miles each year, has a wing span under 4 inches and weighs less than a paper clip? This summer at Lincoln Memorial Garden’s Ostermeier Prairie Center, 8- to 10-year-old children will learn the answer to that question: the monarch butterfly.

Each child enrolled in the “Monarchs for Kids” class will learn about this magnificent insect, the only butterfly known to migrate such distances annually — from Canada to the volcanic mountain ranges of central Mexico.

 Who: 8- to 10-year-old naturalists

When: August 16, 23 and September 6, 13, 20, 27

Where: Ostermeier Prairie Center and Wildflower Garden, 2425 East Lake Drive, Springfield

Time: 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Registration: A registration form for the “Monarchs for Kids” class is available at the Lincoln Memorial Garden website: Class is limited to 12 participants. For further information, contact Audra at (217) 529-1111 or email

treehouse sketchThis summer, we're working on a playhouse construction project. So far, Sophia, Bailey and I have discussed what our goals for the playhouse are, sketched some playhouses out on paper, measured and played with the dimensions of the house, looked into different types of materials, conducted a material and placement analysis, built some digital 3d models to scale in MineCraft, and started building non-scale physical models with balsa wood.

Here are some things I learned:

  • Sophia was expecting two floors and an internal staircase to fit is a 4x6x7 box.
  • Bailey wanted a sliding door
  • Sophia expected the playhouse to be built out of brick to match our house.
  • Sophia was operating under the belief that animals will walk up to items made of wood and eat them!
  • I thought balsa wood could be cut nicely with a utility knife, it cannot!
  • I continue to underestimate how long this stuff will take!treehouse math
  • I need to buy a real saw before we build the real playhouse.

We still need to add roofs to each model, paint them and discuss any changes to be made to the real house. Then we begin construction.

Submitted by Michael Lemke.

treehouse 3D

We asked SpringfieldMoms readers to share their must-do-before-summer-ends "bucket list."  Read and then comment on this post to tell us what you plan to do before the end of summer!  For our household, I think we still need to do a picnic at Washington Park on one of the free carillon evenings (with our two dogs in tow.)   I asked my daughters, and here are their answers:

     Amanda age 12: "St. Louis Day– Yucandu Art Studio, Nordstrom Rack and Cheesecake Factory"

     Vanessa, age 10:  "Car trip to wherever! You figure out where Mom!"

Here are what our readers shared:

"St. Louis Zoo" – Alicia K.

"Let my child experience the splash pad at Southwind Park [just went this week and it was a bin too cold at 9am!]." – Lynne R.

"Day trip to St. Louis and get to the Botanical Gardens' LEGO exhibit and the butterfly house." – Buffy L.

     Nea, Buffy's 4-year old's list: "I go on slide and I go swim."

baseball score

"Take the kiddos camping for the first time." – Shauna J.

"Peoria Chiefs baseball game" – Lori H.

"A trip to Moline for all of the John Deere attractions. I have a tractor-loving three year old!" – Heather L.

"The Caterpillar Visitors Center in Peoria was a hit with my little truck lovers-and the Peoria zoo was worth the trip too!" – Amanda K.

"Spend a day with the family on the coast of Lake Michigan." – Lisa W.

     Ethan, Lisa's 12-year old's list:  "Go swimming more."

"City Museum trip "- John L.

"Children's Museum at Navy Pier- Chicago" Jill M.

"Picnic, Zoo, Six Flags" – Denise B.

     Maggie, Denise's 13-year old's list: "Shaving Cream Tag, Sleep in Tent, Have a bonfire with friends, Go to the fair."

What's on YOUR list?  Share yours!

making a shirt4th shirtWe wish everyone a wonderful Fourth of July weekend. Check our guide of festivals, fireworks and parades and take time to kick back with your loved ones and honor the USA. Check out this cute t-shirt or tank top idea from Springfield Area mom Lori M.

A handprint for the blue and painting the red stripes and there you have it!  Show USA pride–and a cherished momento from your kiddos!


snowflakeAs we enjoy humidity and hot temperatures, there's no better time to be dreaming of the cold of winter, Norway, and our favorite new movie, "Frozen"!  Area families have two unique options for attending Frozen sing-a-longs this month:

July 11:  Free Frozen Sing-a-long at Town and Country Bank - An outdoor evening of family fun.

July 19-20: Summertime Snow Party at The Legacy Theatre – Four screenings of the movie with sing-a-long, including one that is autism-friendly. Snow cones and other activities for kids, too.

July 23: Frozen Sing-Along at Chatham Public Library

Educator Labs is putting together a cooking guide for kids.They are looking for your favorite cooking resources for kids.

Here are a few they recommend:

baking cookies

 Do you have a favorite website to help kids learn to cook?  Post your suggestions in the comments section below!

Emily_AmeliaThis is phase one of a guest blog from Springfield area Aunt, Emily Becker.  I was touched when she shared the letters of advice written to her newborn niece, Amelia and nephew, Archer.  We can all learn from each other at any age; so enjoy the advice from Aunt Em.  What a special tradition to have this personal list for your children's scrapbook and memory box.   Thanks for sharing Emily!  We will share the note to Archer on a future blog.

Amelia's (aka Niecey at the time of her birth) Greeting 9/27/2012:

Happy Birth Day, Amelia Catherine.

In the event that my special little niece checks my Facebook timeline in a decade and a half for the day of her birth, I'd like to offer her some wisdom from my 26 years of life experience.

  1. Play as often as you can and as much as you can.  Stop when it's no longer fun.
  2. Give everything you have but do it for yourself.  Giving with the expectation of receiving is not really giving at all. 
  3. It really is the loveliest thing ever to be a woman. 
  4. Be kind, always.
  5. Ask questions, but don't pry.
  6. Do your best not to give anyone a reason to dislike you.
  7. Don't speak badly of people; it's unfair and those who hear your ugly words will associate them with you.
  8. Forgive, Niecey.  Forgiveness is huge.
  9. Start with a "yes" (except when it comes to substance abuse, promiscuity, or a dangerous lifestyle choice). 
  10. Apologize for: making mistakes, unintentionally hurting people, and tardiness (note: being yourself is not included in this list).
  11. Please don't buy my unborn children beer.
  12. Also, while we are on the subject, be nice to my kids.  You'll probably be smarter and better looking than them, but they will be bigger than you.
  13. Fear is a very powerful emotion, Amelia.  Don't let it cripple your ambition; prevent a life you deserve; or serve as a roadblock for any element of your happiness.  That which you fear is so often a key indicator of that which you most desire.
  14. And finally, love (in all its forms) really is all it's cracked up to be.  Be generous with it, brave for it, and open to it. 

That's all.  I think we are going to get along great.

You're loved beyond imagination,
Aunt Em


Brice Children's Discovery MuseumThanks to our friends at the Children's Discovery Museum (CDM) in Normal IL for giving away a TWO family four packs of tickets to the museum to our readers.  The CDM is  long-time Springfield Moms favorite day trip for the little ones through elementary school.  It's a quick drive or amtrak train stop away with places to eat right next door or pack your own picnic.  You can host birthday parties and don't miss their year-round special events. Stay in the loop on their events by connecting with their facebook page.

How to ENTER:  Facebook Like their page AND Comment on the CDM facebook page your favorite thing about summer.  Must post your comment between 9:00 p.m. Wednesday June 18th and 11:00pm Thursday June 19th.  Winners will be announced June 22.  We will draw two winners at random from the posted comments on their page.  Good luck!

Children's Discovery Museum