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.

Post a comment on any topic, and you will entered into our prize drawings.

Share Button

Michele Miller, assistant professor in the Psychology department at The University of Illinois at Springfield, is conducting a research study examining early social emotional development and school readiness in children ages 30 to 42 months. Your child is invited to participate in the study.summer toddler Your involvement would be easy, convenient, and compensated with a $20 gift card to Target.
If you agree to participate,you will be mailed a few questionnaires to complete at your convenience. Questions pertain to basic demographic information, ranking items of importance for school readiness, rating the child's current readiness for formal schooling, and the child's social emotional development. Additionally, you and your child will be invited to the lab on campus at a time that is convenient for you so the child can participate in an approximately 1 hour long, fun, play-based assessment of their current cognitive skills. You may bring the completed questionnaire forms to this visit or mail them back in a provided postage paid envelope.
If you have questions, if you would like to see a more detailed description of the project, and/or if you would like to participate, email Professor Miller at or phone 217-206-8058.

UIS Research Project Flyer

rotator-getsocialOne of the best ways to share tips and advice or your to share with our community of readers is to post a comment on our website, emails us or share comments on facebook or twitter!  We host a lot of sponsor contests online too giving away a slew of fun prizes to say  "thanks" for taking the time to share your ideas, your photos and your input to continue to provide the area's best online resource for parenting and so much more.

Get SOCIAL and stay connected with us to win.

blanket summer summer fun superhero summer toddlerCongrats to the following readers who won in August!

Traci Ondrey, Sharon Tuxhorn, Danielle Watson-Watts each won two tickets to Shrek: The Musical at The Muni.

Patrick Trees, Amanda Buxton, Jenni Bulusko, Marie Zirkelbach, Nancy Stanton Bitner each won two tickets to Sesame Street Live!  Redeem by emailing us your mailing address ASAP.  Contact the PCCC ticket office to redeem your vouchers for one of the fours shows August 30 or 31st

Several others won pre-season tickets to the Jr Blues…we appreciate everyone’s comments and entries.





Satur-Play! is an engaging hands-on enhancement program for the Mary Ann MacLean Play Museum at the Illinois State Museum. This exciting new program features science and art activities that children and families can participate in while visiting the Play Museum. A different theme and activity is offered each week on Saturdays, with the exception of Super Saturdays. Registration is not required. For more information, call the Education Section at (217) 782-5955.

We interviewed ISM Educator Kara Fedje to learn more.

Kara, tell us about the Museum’s new weekly program “SaturPlay!"6658a_kara_cmyk

SaturPlay! is a hands-on enhancement for the Illinois State Museum's Play Museum. The idea behind the program is to get children (and their parents) excited about art and science.  Volunteers engage visitors by helping them explore concepts and then putting it to the test! SaturPlay! is appropriate for young learners ages 3-10 and is free to the public!     

It seems like today kids (and their parents) are overscheduled and over committed.  How is “SaturPlay!” different?

SaturPlay! is great because visitors can drop in the museum from 11AM-3PM any Saturday and make an art project or do a science experiment on their own time. They don't have to participate or stay long, but some do!  Satur-Play! gives children and their families a chance to play informally in the Play Museum, while others participate in an activity.   

Tell us about one of your favorite projects.

One of my favorite things we've done so far for SaturPlay! was to work with cabbage juice.  Naturally, it is a purple pH indicator solution.  This means the cabbage juice will turn colors when you add either an acid  (like vinegar) or a base (like baking soda). The children had a small amount of pulverized water/cabbage "juice" in a baby food jar and changed the pH level by adding simple foods from the kitchen. The cabbage juice turns color and everyone thinks a special magic trick just occurred. It's super fun!  

saturplay childWhat drives you?

Well, the nature of a museum is to provide "Edu-tainment." In other words, children are entertained and educated to learn a little something while in the museum. Some people believe you need to be in school to learn; however, museums are an excellent source for learning.  I am driven to explore and nurture the concept of informal learning in an semi-unstructured environment like the Illinois State Museum. Plus, I love seeing the happy faces of young visitors when they feel they are successful at Satur-Play!

In January, Kara Fedje of Bettendorf, Iowa began work as the Illinois State Museum’s new Mary Ann MacLean Educator. Kara comes to us from the Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa. She holds a BA in studio art from Augustana College and a MA in museum studies from Western Illinois University. Kara was the ISM’s 2004 Monticello Intern. Kara’s enthusiasm for the museum education is contagious, and we are pleased to welcome her to the Illinois State Museum. 

Try experiments and projects at home by visiting the Satur-Play! blog:

PlayMuseumISM_200x120 copy

jrblues_moms_smallTickets are now available for all Jr. Blues preseason games. Tickets are $5 at the door day of game. However, fans can get FREE tickets by visiting Gilly's Oasis (Nelson Center Concession Stand) or the Jr. Blues at one of the many community events the Jr. Blues will participate this month. This year’s preseason ticket is sponsored by Mel-O-Cream and has a coupon attached for a buy-one-get-one for free donut.

The tickets are good for entry to any one of the following preseason games:

Saturday August 30th vs St. Louis Jr. Blues (NA3HL) at 7:05 pm

Sunday August 31st vs. Peoria Mustangs (NA3HL) at 5:05 pmjr-blues-sig-logo

Friday September 5th vs. Lindenwood University at 7:05 pm

Friday September 12th vs. University of Illinois at 7:05 pm


Here are some of the upcoming events the Jr. Blues will be part and handing out FREE Tickets:

8.17.14 Illinois State Fair

8.23.14 Blues and BBQ Festival

8.23.14 Color Dash 5K at Kerasota YMCA

Make sure to keep track of the Jr. Blues on Twitter, Liking us on Facebook, and visiting

ymca general 2014 sidebar

Don't miss this colorful and popular family event!  Register Today to Save!

25% of the proceeds raised will go directly to the Springfield YMCA Strong Kids Scholarship Fund.

  • $40 Individual 
  • $35 Team Member (min 4, max 16) 
  • $85 Family* 
  • *For 3, $15 ea. additional (Up to 6) 

ALL PRICES Increase the Day of 
5 & Under Are Free 
*A ticket (receipt) is required for entry into the event*

DATE: 08/23/2014

The Springfield YMCA is committed to and focused on nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. At the Y, no child is turned away from our programs or services for an inability to pay. Our Strong Kids Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to children in need so they may find a safe, adult supervised second home at the Y, learn and get active in our sport leagues, create in our art and humanities programs and make friend and memories at summer camp. We raise funds for our kids, so we may invest in their health and well-being. At the Y, strengthening community is our cause, and our community is stronger when our kids are healthy and happy!  SPONSORS:

BFBL- CENTRAL IL- BIG+BRIGHTNow finding local farm-fresh food is easier than ever with the debut of the Buy Fresh Buy Local Central Illinois website. The website contains an interactive map and online directory of nearly 140 farms, restaurants, retailers, markets, and other businesses where consumers can purchase local food throughout central Illinois.

The website can be found at:
The Buy Fresh Buy Local Central Illinois Chapter, a campaign of Illinois Stewardship Alliance, was created in 2006 with the intent of strengthening the local food movement, increasing consumer access to nutritious local food, and supporting local farmers with a commitment to raising products in a sustainable, environmentally, and morally conscientious manner. The campaign is responsible for organizing such events as the Local Flavors Farm-to-Table Series.
“We believe it’s very important for people to know their farmer, to know how their food is grown, and to have a connection with their food.  This website gives us a platform for bringing the pictures, faces, and stories of Central Illinois farmers to life and gives people a chance to make those connections,” says Molly Gleason, Outreach Coordinator for Illinois Stewardship Alliance.
On the Buy Fresh Buy Local Central Illinois website, you'll find:

  • An interactive map and directory
  • Featured farmer stories
  • News blog
  • Calendar of upcoming events
  • Recipes
  • Seasonal buying guide, and
  • E-newsletters

The Buy Fresh Buy Local Central Illinois chapter is part of a national network of Buy Fresh Buy Local chapters. It is organized and operated by Illinois Stewardship Alliance, a statewide non-profit organization that promotes local food and farm systems that are environmentally sustainable, economically viable and socially just through policy development, advocacy and education.

The Springfield Jr. Blues are currently looking for billet families for the 2014-2015 season. Being a Billet Family is a great way to be a part of the Jr. Blues' storied franchise. The Jr. Blues are entering their 22nd season as members of the North American Hockey League.

What is a billet?

A billet is someone who room and board to someone away from home. In the Jr. Blues case, a billet opens their house to a young hockey player who has dreams of playing Division-I hockey and professional hockey.

What is expected of a billet?

A billet is expected to create a family like atmosphere for the player. The billet is also to create a fun and safe environment for a player to call home. Additionally, billets are to provide food and meals for players while they are home, as well as a bed to sleep in.

Does a billet get paid?

Yes. Billet’s will receive a monthly stipend of $300, per player, to cover the cost of food they provide for kids in the home.

Why should someone billet players?

Billeting is a very rewarding experience for both the players and the family. The goal of billeting is to create a “home” for players while they are working toward their goals of advancing their hockey career. The student-athletes are in Springfield to give back to the community while trying to move to the next level. By becoming part of your “family”, billets have the opportunity to create a special bond with players that can last a life time.


Don't just take our word for it though.  Here's what one of our families had to say on the Springfield Junior Blues Facebook page: From Laura Abney Wilhoite: "Billeting a student athlete is very rewarding! Our family has hosted a total of 8 hockey players over the years and they were a very positive influence on my 2 boys. We keep in touch with all of them and they will always be part of our family! One of them moved back to Nashville to live near us after his hockey career was over to finish college. Being a billet family was the best decision we ever made."

We'll be featuring their games year-round, but preview their  2014-2015 full schedule here


Open Now Through September 1

The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln is now accepting proposals for three grant cycles: Community Grants Program, Access to Recreation Program and the Central Illinois Micro-Grant Program. The deadline for all three cycles is September 1, 2014.

The Community Grants Program is the local unrestricted grantmaking program at the Community Foundation. The program accepts funding requests for any charitable focus in Cass, Christian, Logan, Macoupin, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, and/or Sangamon County, Illinois. Multiple grant awards of up to $2,500 will be made from the Community Grants Program. Applicants will be notified of the funding decision by early November.

The Access to Recreation Program was originally established at the Foundation through a challenge grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. This fund supports accessible recreation programs that provide people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in outdoor or indoor recreation activities without barriers. Multiple grant awards totaling $7,000 may be available, and requests should not exceed $3,000. Funds must be used for programs and services primarily assisting residents of Sangamon County, Illinois.

The Community Foundation will offer the second round of Central Illinois Micro-Grants for 2014 in three Illinois counties: Sangamon, Montgomery and Christian. Micro-grants are awards of up to $1,500 for attendance by nonprofit staff and board members at trainings and professional development programs of their own choosing.

Applications for all three programs can be accessed through the Community Foundation’s web site –

Through philanthropic services, strategic grantmaking and community leadership, the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln “connects people who care with causes that matter.”



This lovely birthday post in honor of his daughter Emily is one that I knew our readers would find inspiring and from the heart.  Thank you Springfield Dad, Johnny Molson, for sharing this lovely note with our readers!

"This is one of two days each year I spend with an extra smile. It would be easy to get all melancholy about "how fast it all goes" and lament that "it was just yesterday…"

But, for me, the truth is I always look at today and marvel. A parent has any number of influences on a kid but, so what? On Emily's birthday I always sit with the fascination that she is an amalgam of an infinite number of things. Things that she has chosen to mold into the person that she is.

I'll simply say, at 17 she has chosen well. She has some pretty good instincts, and she leads with her heart. She'll find that there are times when that may not be the best idea, but it's hardly ever the wrong idea. Logic is for wimps. Intellect rarely is.

Emily, somebody arbitrarily decided that "18" is the magic line when one becomes an adult, as somehow this is your "last" year as a kid. You are neither "kid" nor "adult." You're not a "baby" or a "grown-up." You are one really cool person zipping along on this rock with the rest of us. People are mostly awesome… a few not so much. Times are mostly good, peppered with scant moments of maddening absurdity. But, without pepper… ya get a pretty dull meal. Airplanes take off against the wind, not with it – - and all that jazz.

Enjoy your day. I love you, sweets."


We're hoping these beautiful pets find a forever home before school starts! take a look at their sweet profiles and SHARE with your friends!  Let's work together to help them find a family by August 21.


Gretchen is a stunning American Bulldog blend, around 4 years old, weighing 50 lbs. Gretchen came into the care of Illinois Humane when she was found laying in a pile trash, emaciated and sick. She is now much healthier and ready to find that awesome forever home she keeps hearing about.  Gretchen is crate trained and does well with other dogs her size. One of her favorite past-times home is playing a game with the other dogs she calls "Unison Stick Carrying" … this is where each dog grabs onto part of the same stick and they carry it around together like a bunch of goofballs. In addition, she LOVES to cuddle and be held. You simply will not find a bigger snuggle bug!  You can see her in action by visiting:
Gretchen's ideal forever home will be active and eager to learn about her needs. She has a bit too much of a fixation with smaller animals, so a home with no cats, small dogs, or other small critters would be best. The coolest thing for Gretchen is that her foster family trains dogs and will work with her new home to make the adjustment as smooth as possible for everyone!  Interested in becoming the proud, new owner of this BEAUTIFUL girl?  Please e-mail us


DaraSometimes going "under the radar" is good, and sometimes it is not. My name is Dara and I've been going underneath the radar of potential adopters WAY TOO LONG! You see, I have A LOT to offer a family. I'm a friendly, sweet cat, fairly young in age.  I'm extremely engaging with my human friends and, oftentimes, I will run right up to greet them by touching my nose to theirs.  How sweet is that?  I'm very active and I love to play.  I think that having my own kids to hang out with would be very cool!  Do you have kids?  Do you have other animals?  That's fine too, because I'm dog- and cat-friendly!

Some of my favorite things are cat condos and toys.  As far as games, I love to hide behind things and surprise passers-by by jumping out at them.  I also love to concoct games with the other foster kitty in my foster home. Have I mentioned that I'm playful yet?  You can see me in action by watching my video at

I can't wait for my forever home to notice me because I'm tired of "going under the radar".  Please contact my friends at if you think it's time for me to be noticed.


Pally Close 2Pally is a nice orange boy who has high hopes that his FUR-Ever HERO is still looking for him.  He knows that at 12 years old he's not that young.  He is also FIV-positive which means he will have to be kept separate from any other FIV-negative cats.  However, Pally still has LOTS of love left to give.  He loves to rub against his human friends' legs and to sit in their laps.  He gets along splendidly with dogs and kids.  If you have another FIV-positive cat, he will most likely do splendidly with him or her as well.  Pictures alone don't really show Pally's nice personality. You really should watch his video found at
Pally's ideal day would include gazing out the window, curling up in his FUR-ever hero's lap, and receiving treats. If you are ready to be Mr. Pally's hero, please contact us at

 Illinois Humane Logo