Kim's Blog

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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.

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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

 

 

dadDads. They are priceless. They protect us, worry for us, provide for us and never stop loving. They are also chock full of great advice; some which makes sense right away and much which we appreciate more as we get more life experience under our belts! I wish all fathers and father figures a wonderful day in your honor. Here are some of the words of wisdom shared from their generation to ours.

From my dad: when dealing with difficult people or situations: "kill them with kindness". it works and is so much less stressful! People stop being mean when they see it doesn't bother you.

From some of our readers:

"Treat everyone like they will be your next boss." – Kimberly F.

"Advice to find a spouse – 'it's not who you can see spending your life with, it's who you can't see spending your life without.'" – Erin P.

"Hit the books." – Lisa B.

"You could tell my dad that you just lost your best friend, your dog and a million dollars. His reply would simply be, 'That's life!' So true. My second favorite is that he constantly reminds us that if you have your health, you have everything you need." – Amy B.

"Always give 110 percent and if you aren't 10 minutes early, you're late." – Sarah B.

"Nothing good happens after midnight." – Sarah A.

"Never sign anything without reading it." – Lecie B.

"Never grow up." – Jessica L.

"Don't date anyone whose car has bald tires. It's a sign of who they are." – Lisa W.

"You can always find someone to love, but it depends how you want to live your life. Or, never start a fight but if you're in one, you better finish it." – Kara R.

 

 

“Free!” is the theme of this summer’s Springfield Moms Free Summer Activities Guide, which gives area families affordable options for fun.

There are so many creative options for our kids to stay busy and active during the summer. Our readers start clamoring for our annual Summer Camp Directory in the winter months. Our Outdoor Water Park Guide is also hugely popular. But the costs can really add up. This summer, we decided to provide an additional resource that highlighted the fabulous free activities that are available in central Illinois throughout the summer.tf girl on swing

From concerts to bike trails to movies in the park, museum fun and tennis lessons at Southern View, a variety of activities come without a price tag this summer. Check out the following ideas:

We asked our Facebook fans for their suggestions for free summer fun. Here are some of their suggestions!

"Free breakfast and lunch for children during the summer at local Springfield 186 schools." – Lindsey R.

"Chatham friends of the parks are putting of free movies in the park." – Kim W.

"Playing at the mall play area is a favorite of both my toddlers. Also Rochester usually has free movies in the park. Libraries have free activities, including story time and activities for kids to participate in." – Dani F.

"Lowe's build and grow workshops this month are on June 14 and 28. The children get an apron and goggles to keep. Each time you go, they get a patch to iron on as well." – Danielle W. and Lacey B.

"The splash pad at Southwind AND the genH kid fun run in late June!" – Leah B.

Are we missing anything? Let us know by commenting to this blog post.

 

 

 

 

Lucas

SpMom reader mom, Jennifer Tedrow, shared a special event she has created, and I'm hopeful that several area families can join in this crusade to bring a smile to a new teenager.  From the words of his mother:  "Lucas Tedrow is an amazing young boy with a big heart! On June 20th, Lucas turns the BIG 13.  He has a hard time making friends in school and deals with bullies because he deals with something called Executive Function Disorder. If he receives cards with his name on them, he would feel loved and special for his big birthday coming up welcoming him into his teen years. Even if you don't know him, making or sending a card would make his birthday one he will never forget!" 
Share this post with your friends and help make this the greatest birthday for a very special boy! Cards from anyone and everyone will be greatly appreciated.  All cards will be given to Lucas on his birthday (June 20th)
Lucas enjoys everything green, army, and even old trains :) 

Mail to:  P.O Box 574 Chatham IL 62629
Let's show our support…time to put our card in the mail!

Graduation_May2014_resizedA hearty congrats to the class of 2014!  Whether it's graduation from preschool, middle school, high school or college; this is a milestone to be celebrated.  This past weekend our family got to enjoy the celebration of my nephew's high school graduation.  It was energizing to watch the excitement of the students as they walked across the stage ready to move on to a new chapter in their lives surrounded by beaming pride and emotion from their proud parents and family members throughout the auditorium.

The commencement speaker was particularly good.  His message was simple and surrounded by a memorable story to put it in context.  "Don't make excuses for not being great!"  Translation:  we ALL have unique talents and abilities to excel and be great; it's up to us to bring those to the forefront.  

Several states away, University of Texas-Austin students had the benefit of hearing this U.S. Navy SEAL Commander's commencement speech in person, but I still find it just as empowering to read or listen to online.  If you need inspiration on how to be great…follow his plan!  Start by making your bed, every day.  Take a moment to share your thoughts and when you're having one of those off days…come back here and listen again!

New-Nutrition-Labe-300x242The Nutrition Label About To Enjoy a Makeover

Local mom Kathleen Clark is excited about the proposed FDA changes to nutrition labels. The comprehensive changes include:

• Reformatting the label so it is easier to read

• Requiring accurate serving size information

• Labeling added sugar in a separate row

• Replacing Vitamin A and Calcium with Vitamin D and Potassium percentages as required nutrient information

Clark writes: Food manufacturers will have a two year period to comply with the new guidelines once they are enacted. The FDA is adamant they are not trying to dictate what people eat by changing the labels. Instead they are hoping to utilize modern serving sizes and more in-depth health studies and research on what people need as a daily nutritional requirement to stay healthy and combat chronic diet issues.

Accurate serving sizes will make it easier to judge how much food you are consuming. For example, a medium bag of chips would fall into the category of requiring a dual column format—per serving and per package. This would be required if a package contains at least two times the serving size and less than or equal to four times the serving size.

I am hopeful we will see more “No Added Sugar” on packages after these changes take place. A “No Added Sugar” label would certainly make it easier to see what is naturally in a product and how much sugar has been added.

For more information on the nutrition label changes, check out Springfield Moms premium sponsor Memorial Medical Center’s Live Well online magazine post "Teaching a Nutrition Label New Tricks."

 

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