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holiday-traditionsOur childhood memories around the holidays become cherished traditions that we pass on to our own children.  Sometimes as we incorporate our own new ideas that will become our children's fondest memories of the holidays.  We asked our readers to share their traditions. 

 

  • Lots of Readers listed Holiday Movie Classics as their traditions.  A Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story,Rudolph and A Charlie Brown Christmas were a few of the favorites.Charlie_Brown_Xmas_tree
  • Our reader's families enjoy spending some quality time with hot cocoa, driving around looking at all the Christmas lights.
  • Several readers would look at the Christmas lights after coming home from Christmas Eve Church Services.  Bell ringing services and singing Joy to the World were extra special parts of some of the services. 
  • Festival of Trees main logoMemorial's Festival of Trees was a cherished tradition among many of our readers. 
  • Visiting Santa at the Holiday walk in Springfield and taking a picture gives our readers a great keepsake.
  • Listening to Christmas Carols while baking Christmas Cookies or Christmas Crafts with their kiddos is a great memory our readers share. 
  • Trimming the Christmas Tree is a much loved holiday tradition. 
  • Going to Grandma's house is a way many of our readers celebrate. 
  • Playing Board Games or Nerf Gun Parties were some really fun ways people enjoyed quality time with their family. 
  • Some readers give their children a new ornament for the tree each year.  When the kids are older they will have plenty to put on their own tree.  Unknown-2
  • New Holiday Christmas Pajamas for those cozy days we stay inside with our family.
  • A lot of families in Springfield are getting visits from their Elf of the Shelf, this holiday season. 

We asked our readers to share their favorite Holiday Recipes with us.  These delightful treats and dishes are sure to spread holiday cheer. 

Sweet Treats and Snacks:  

  • Mandy Alavazarez:  "I make the pretzel cookies. You take round pretzels, put a Hershey kiss in the middle, bake in oven (400 degrees) for 5 min or less. Take out and let cool for a min or two, then put a green or red m&m on top of the Hershey kiss and squish it down. It makes the kiss fill the round and when they cool.. Yummy!"
  • Kimberly Eades shared this adorable recipe for cream cheese penguins.580469
  • Katie Mefford: "I make pretzels dripped in chocolate and rolled them in heath crumbs, nuts, sparkles, and mini chocolate chips. So simple and so yummy!"
  • Kristi Whitcomb: Christmas Crunch 
    1/2 cup popping popcorn kernels, or 2 bags tender white popcorn
    1 (12 oz) bag Vanilla Candy Melts (such as Wilton Candy Melts)
    1 1/3 cups broken pretzel pieces
    1 (12 oz) bag green and red Milk Chocolate or Mint M&Ms
    Red, green and white Sprinkles (I used Jingle Mix Nonpareils)
  • Melissa Benedict shared this tasty recipe for layered pumpkin cheesecake pie.
  • Sara Meyer Thornsbrough shared this recipe for Andes Mint Cookies 
  • Jenny Frohn makes a dish called Snowflake MixChex Mix,Honey Roasted Peanuts, Pretzels, Christmas M&Ms, and Coat with almond bark.
  • Jenna Stewart likes the classic Chex Mix.
  • holly wreathsJessica Boehler Bliss shared this yummy recipe for Holly Wreaths
  • Jennifer Self: Cherry cheesecake. Box of crushed gram crackers layered at the bottom mixed with half cup of melted butter. Whipped white cream and cherries on top!
  • Nicole Gray shared her husband's favorite recipe for Strawberry Pretzel Salad.
  • Sara Shillinger Amos likes this recipe for fudge. 
  • Kim Walton: "I make lots if candy. I think the big hit is chocolate covered ritz. Put peanut butter on a ritz cracker. Cover with another ritz making a peanut butter sandwich. Melt chocolate almond bark and dip sandwich until covered. Lay on wax paper to dry. Yum. Enjoy"
  • Abby Bugg shared this yummy recipe for Pumpkin Pie Squares
  • Jennifer Jackson Gordy:  Strawberry Candies:1 can of Sweetened condensed milk, 3 sm boxes of, strawberry jello, Almond slivers, 1 cup of Sugar, Green food coloring
    Soak almonds slivers in green food coloring in small bowl for 1 hour. Remove and place on paper towel to dry.In a medium bowl mix together the sweetened condensed milk and strawberry Jello. Mixture is very sticky! Place sugar in a small bowl.Scoop Strawberry mixture by teaspoonfuls & roll into a ball. Shape into a "strawberry" by pinching bottom in lightly & pressing down slightly on top while inserting the almond sliver to make a "stem". Roll your "strawberry" in sugar to coat evenly. Place on waxed paper. Store air tight in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • Mandi Allgood's favorite holiday recipe is cheese fudge:1/2 pound Velveeta cheese, sliced,1 cup butter,1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1 cup chopped nuts, pecans, walnuts, 2 (16-ounce) boxes confectioners' sugar,1/2 cup cocoa powder. Directions: Spray lightly the bottom of a 9 by 2-inch square pan with a nonstick spray.In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the cheese and butter together, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and nuts. In a large bowl sift together the sugar and cocoa. Pour the cheese mixture into the sugar and cocoa mixture and stir until completely mixed. The candy will be very stiff. Using your hands, remove candy from bowl and press evenly and firmly into pan. Because of the amount of butter in this recipe, pat the top of the candy with a paper towel to remove the excess oil. Place pan in refrigerator until candy is firm.To serve candy, cut into squares.
  • Tina Johnson Dart: Peanut Butter Cup Brownies. "I just buy a regular favorite brownie mix. Mix it as the box says. I then put the batter in a mini muffin pan(each cup about 3/4 full). Follow baking instructions on the brownie box. As soon as you take them out of the oven push a full size peanut butter cup onto the top of each muffin. It will melt as it cools. I promise these will be a huge hit. I have also heard of people using a peppermint kiss instead of a peanut butter cup."

 

UnknownHoliday Savory and Side Dishes: 

  • Niki Blair: Corn Casserole: 1 can whole kettle corn- drained, 1 can of cream style corn, 1 package of corn muffin mix- jiffy works best, 1 cup of sour cream, 1/2 stick of butter- melted, 1 cup cheddar cheese.
    Pre heat oven to 350, Mix both cans of corn, corn muffin mix, sour cream, and butter in large bowl. Grease a 9×13 in casserole dish.Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Top with 1 cup cheddar cheese and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted. "Absolutely delicious!!"
  • Jessica Koegler Yeager: I make cranberry sauce. 1 lb of cranberries, 1 cup of water, 1 cup if sugar, 1 tbsp orange zest, optional crushed walnuts. Add everything to a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 min or until sauce starts to thicken.
  • Amber Goodall: "This sweet potato casserole is heaven! More like dessert than a side dish!" 
    6 cups sweet potatoes cooked and mashed, 6 eggs beaten, 2 cups sugar, 2 tsp vanilla,4 tsp baking powder,1 cup melted butter. Beat ingredients in a large bowl until light and fluffyPour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove froUnknown-1m oven and spread on topping-recipe below. In a large zip lock bag mix and crunch: 6 cups Crispix cereal, 1 cup packed brown sugar,1 cup melted butter 1 1/2-2 cups chopped pecans. Add topping and bake an additional 20 minutes until lightly browned!
  • Angie Henson: "My favourite recipe is deviled eggs. Boil 12 eggs let cool then take the shell off and slice in half,put the yoke in a bowl and the white part on a plate then add miracle whip, mustard stir all together then fill the white part with the yoke."
  • Courtney Braun: "Potato casserole!!! 1 pkg of frozen hashbrowns, 1 – 16 oz container sour cream, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 2 cups (or more if you like) of shredded cheddar cheese. Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients except cheese in a large bowl. Dump them into 9×13 baking pan, then sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for 30 min!!!!"
  • Carrie Tomso: Crockpot Corn: 3 – 16 oz frozen corn,11 oz cream cheese,6 slices of American cheese, 2 Tablespoons milk, 2 Tablespoons water, 2 Tablespoons sugar. Cook on low 3-4 hours till corn is done.
  • Becky Maynhart-gebhardt: Sweet potatoes: 2 cans of yams,1/4 c brown sugar,2 tbsp maple syrup,2 tsp honey, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice,Ginger bread men marshmallows. Mix all ingredients together (except marshmallows) beat until lumps are gone. Put in baking dish and level it. Layer marshmallows on top and bake at 350 for 30 mins. Make sure you get your serving before you place it on the counter because it goes fast!
  • Jackie Barnes Gillock: "My grandma's homemade Cranberry relish. 2 bags of fresh cranberries, rinsed and pick out bad ones, 1 orange, peel and all, 2 granny smith applies, washed and cored. Grind all of the above together then mix one small box of strawberry jello according to package and pour over ground mixture. Then sweeten to taste with splenda. Then I place in Grandma's specail trifle dish that is only used for this dish, it looks so beautiful in the dish on my table. Enjoy!!!"
  • Barry and Angie Wiser: "Make a homemade giant turkey pot pie w/the leftover turkey scraps. Just get 2 frozen pie crusts, layer turkey, frozen stew vegetables (about 1 lb) & cream of potato soup (a can /can & a half, I don't really measure out) in 1 shell until full (salt & pepper) then flip the other shell on top & smash together the edges until sealed & poke w/fork (brush w/egg white on top if u want). Cook in oven about 375 until crust is golden and hot all the way thru in the middle".
  • Alicia Kirby Norris:"Grandma's cranberry jello1 can jellied cranberries mashed 2 sm. boxes of black cherry jello dissolved into hot water. Pour hot jello mixture into mashed cranberries and wisk until combined. Pour into glass serving dish, cover and (refrigerate) allow to cool overnight. 
    Very pretty and Takes the bitterness out of the canned cranberries. Even my picky girl will eat it!"images

Make plans for Friday – The YMCA is having a BLACK FRIDAY SUPER SALE!YMCA

50% OFF the annual fee (family and adult memberships only)

First 100 new members at each location.
Re-Activate! Re-Energize! Re-Charge!
* Restrictions Apply: Must pay 50% of membership joiner fee in addition to 50% of annual membership fee. Must pay in full, cash, check, or charge. Customer will receive gift card to be redeemed for membership. Absolutely no rainchecks. Non-refundable. May not be applied to youth memberships. May not have been a Y member in past 30 days. May not be applied to or used for membership renewal. Must purchase in the facility only, no online or over the phone sales.

Perfect Christmas Gift for Loved Ones!
8 a.m.-12 p.m., or until all 100 memberships are sold at the branch!

www.springfieldymca.org

Memorial's_Festival_of_Trees_candy_cane_expressIt's here!  The Festival of Trees (FOT) is a tradition I remember from my high school days in the late 80's, and now I've enjoyed this every year with my daughters as they've grown from the train rides to being performers with area groups in the entertainment area.  We have drawers full of crafts made at FOT, and we love checking out our favorite trees and displays.  We've decorated trees for preschool, Springfield Moms, and enjoy iced gingerbread cookies year after year.  It's simply a tradition in the greater Springfield area that kicks off the holiday season. The full schedule of hours and events is here!

243-0368 FOT 2014 SpfldMoms Ad_200x120_081314Don't forget to enter their contest by sharing a photo from FOT over the years .  Submit your favorite photo and enter for a chance to win a beautiful wreath.

Rotator-AnnivSurveyWe are thrilled to celebrate our ten-year milestone with YOU, our loyal readers! We continually cater our online resources based on user analytics and feedback, and the best way to support this website is to share your feedback!   It's fast (under five minutes, we tested it!) and it's fun.  

Click here for the 2014 Springfield Moms Reader Survey.

Your feedback is valuable to us, and we look forward to hearing from you. Check out these fabulous prizes from our wonderful LOCAL sponsors!

* Giganti & Giganti: one Pandora bracelet with two charms

* Terry Farmer Photography: one free hour-long portrait sitting and free 11X14 print

* Knight's Action Park Season Pass

* Two tickets to January 7 Globe Trotters event at Prairie Capitol Convention Center

* Marine Bank: $25 AMC movie card and $25 Dairy Queen gift certificate *

* Junior Blues Hockey select game tickets. Winners will be notified by email and published in our December E-Updates.  All completed surveys received by November 30th will be entered into our fabulous Prize Drawings. Good luck!

banner-10yearsSpringfield Moms is celebrating 10 years as the area’s “Go-To” website catering to one and all who seek out hyper-local information – events, money saving coupons and helpful resources. 

            “This has been such a rewarding adventure, and we are grateful to continue the journey with the Springfield-area community” says Kim Leistner, founder and president of Springfield Moms.org. “You know that feeling when you look at your kids and wonder when they grew up? That’s how I feel about SpringfieldMoms – where has the time gone?!”

            The SpringfieldMoms.org website is devoted to providing fresh and relevant content for area readers and supporting sponsors with affordable online advertising opportunities.

The website now averages more than 30,000 unique page views a month. Additionally, nearly 3 different pages are viewed each visit, and readers spend an average of 2:27 minutes on the site. That level of reader engagement has attracted sponsors, and Leistner’s attention to customer service and understanding of her readers’ needs have led to the site’s longevity. 

            “Marine Bank has been a proud sponsor of Springfield Moms for six years,” said Christine Carrels, director of marketing for Marine. “It is important to us to support the community where we live and work, and to reach the families that live and work here, too. Springfield Moms does an outstanding job of helping us spread the word about how to make the best financial decisions for yourself and your family.”

            Over the past 10 years, SpringfieldMoms has led the way in the online revolution, providing readers with accessibility to the website’s many resources through social media. The SpringfieldMoms Facebook page has more than 6,660 fans with Twitter readers coming in at 1,300. The SpringfieldMoms Pinterest page features more than 60 boards while 3,400 subscribers receive a twice-monthly e-Update in their inboxes.

            Readers have flocked to the site’s specialty lists including theMom’s Choice Local Coupons,  Summer Camp Directory, Neighborhood Garage Sales,  Kids Eat Free listing and HoliDaze resources and more.

            “Absolutely, Springfieldmoms.org has all the best lists – neighborhood garage sales, fall festivals, Kids Eat Free,” says Springfield reader Breanne Clair. “Whether I'm looking to save time or save money, when I want to get the best of it all, they're my source of information!”

             While the 10-year anniversary is an exciting one, Leistner doesn’t plan to shake things up. She’s sticking with her original mission. 

“We always strive to provide reliable, useful and inspiring content,” she says. “When a reader shares one of our Facebook posts or thanks us in an email for pointing out a unique event or a helpful resource, we are thrilled. That’s what makes it all worth it.  We have helped build a community.”

If you're as excited as we are for Festival of Trees, take time to look through your old photos and you just might win a beautiful wreath!243-0368 FOT 2014 SpfldMoms Ad_200x120_081314
Just email a picture of your favorite Festival of Trees memory and include a note with your contact information and the year that the photo was taken to FOTcontest@mhsil.com. Then you will be automatically be entered to win the wreath. 

You can see all the rules/details on the FOT Facebook page or their website.

 

Want tips to make your own beautiful wreath? Memorial offers easy steps to decorate a holiday wreath!Memorial's_Festival_of_Trees_candy_cane_express

 

Train

Be inspired, not intimidated, by the beauty of the wreaths at Memorial's Festival of Trees!Christmas Wreath on Red Door

Read how to create your own gorgeous creation on the LiveWell blog, featuring a video with techniques from Trendsetters' own Megan Henley Brown! Just four simple steps!

LiveWell Cube 200x120

Veterans Day is not just a day off from school and work. It's a great day to remember and honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.American Flag

There are several local celebrations this year — why not consider taking your families to pay tribute?

Saturday, November 8 at the Korean War National Museum in downtown Springfield: springfieldmoms.org/events/veterans-day-celebration/

November 11 events:

 

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 History.com's website here.

 

 

 

graduation day
Those with juniors in high school are particular busy this time of year, but all parents with children of ANY age benefit from becoming informed about college scholarships.  Who qualifies?  What's out there for my child?  How do I get started?

Thankfully bestcolleges.com has compiled a very comprehensive guide for overviews and a search featured by type to dig into numerous scholarship options to help narrow your search on what and where you can dig in!  Feel free to share your favorite tips for other readers on how to navigate the mass of scholarship opportunities! 

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