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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.
Do you know about these college scholarships? Don't miss out!

Scholarship Funding Available to Students in Sangamon and Surrounding Counties

The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln is now accepting applications for the 2017 scholarship program. There are 29 different scholarship funds with nearly $115,000 available in awards. While many scholarships are available to graduating seniors in Sangamon County, there are also scholarships available for returning students and graduating seniors from surrounding counties. O’Brien Medical or Health Related Field of Study Scholarship ($1,000) This Scholarship is awarded to a graduating high school student in Sangamon County pursuing a degree or certificate in a medical or health related field of study. Applicants must demonstrate financial need beyond reasonable levels of parental and self- help as well as superior academic quality. Roland Machinery Scholarship ($1,000)  This scholarship is available to graduating seniors pursuing a degree or certificate in a profession related to construction, mechanical engineering or other related trades from the following counties: Cass, Christian, Logan, Macoupin, Menard, Montgomery and Morgan. Student of the Year Scholarship Program The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln also administers the Student of the Year Scholarship Program. Sangamon County students can apply by invitation only and should contact their school guidance counselor for more information.   Full details and criteria for each award are posted on the Community Foundation’s website at www.CFLL.org under “How to Apply for a Scholarship.” Students with questions or limited computer access should contact the Community Foundation. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2017. Students should review the specific requirements, criteria and due dates for each scholarship application. The recipients will be notified by May 2, 2017. All scholarships are for post-secondary education. The following scholarships are available: The Association for Women in Communications, Springfield Chapter, Communications Scholarship ($500) This scholarship is awarded to college juniors, seniors, and/or graduate students majoring in communications, journalism, public relations or related fields such as marketing, design, videography, photography, etc. that are from Central Illinois or attend a College or University in Central Illinois. CFLL Service Scholarship ($1,500)  This scholarship is awarded to a graduating high school student from Sangamon County who will be a full-time student at a college or university in the coming fall. Each high school principal may nominate one student to complete the application; that student must be an extraordinary example of service to others and the community. Unsolicited applications will not be accepted. Charlie Cottle Scholarship ($1,500)  This scholarship is awarded to a graduate of Chatham Glenwood High School pursuing a post-secondary degree. Charlie Cottle established and built the Glenwood football program. This award is to honor his memory and his values of hard work, integrity, humility and sportsmanship. CIELO Medical Scholarship ($2,500 – renewable)  This scholarship fund is for Latino students pursuing a medical-related degree at a school in Sangamon County. Medical studies that qualify include: doctor, nursing, dentistry, veterinary science, emergency medical services, occupational therapy, radiography, x-ray technician, respiratory care program, electroneurodiagnostic technology or nutrition science. Donna and Donald Lee Wolaver Memorial Golf Scholarship ($500)  This scholarship fund is for graduating high school students who participated on a golf team while in school, who can demonstrate academic performance as well as financial need. This award is to honor the memory of Donald Lee Wolaver, who recognized at an early age how golf provides valuable lessons on practicing, following rules and finding your personal best. Frontiers International Springfield Club Scholarship ($500 – multiple scholarships may be awarded)  This scholarship concentrates on assisting African-American students, although any student may apply. The Frontiers encourage scholastic achievement, leadership skills, community service and good citizenship, and the scholarship will assist students who exhibit those characteristics. Gerald F. and Luanna R. Kennedy Scholarship Fund ($1,500)  This scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior from Pana High School with a demonstrated history of contribution to the community of Pana. Girls on the Run Founder Scholarship ($1,300)  The purpose of this scholarship is to financially assist Girls on the Run of Central Illinois program alumnae with college or vocational training expenses.  The award was established in 2013 by Deb Shultz, the founder of Girls on the Run of Central Illinois, and her family, and is not solely based on financial need. Henry Bunn Memorial Scholarship ($5,000 – eight awards)  This scholarship is awarded to a high school graduate in Sangamon County or current college student who graduated from a high school in Sangamon County with a superior school record and high moral character who demonstrates financial need. It was established under the Will of Alice E. Bunn, who died on April 8, 1953, to honor her brother, Henry Bunn. Illinois Women in Leadership Chrysalis Award ($1,000)  This scholarship award is provided by Illinois Women in Leadership to assist Sangamon County women who have been out of high school for five years or more and are enrolling in a college, university or trade school; or women who are continuing or returning to college who do not yet have an undergraduate degree. Illinois Women in Leadership High School Scholarship ($1,000 – three scholarships may be awarded)  This scholarship award is provided by Illinois Women in Leadership to assist Sangamon County women in post-secondary education by encouraging them to set and pursue career goals. Jamie K. Patino Math and Science Scholarship ($850)  This scholarship is awarded to a graduate of Springfield Southeast High School who will be pursuing a degree in engineering, technology or science. The scholarship is in memory of Jamie K. Patino and the path she traveled. The scholarship has been established to encourage other students who are interested in following her spirit and the qualities she had, including the strength to stand up for what you believe is right, the ability to overcome difficult situations or hardships and the desire to make the most of today while being mindful of the future. Jim Byron Scholarship ($1,000)  This scholarship is available to graduating students from Williamsville High School who are involved with community service and school activities. This fund was established to honor Jim Byron, who has helped hundreds of student athletes live up to their potential. Joseph and Lois Morris Memorial Scholarship ($2,000 – multiple scholarships may be awarded)  This scholarship is awarded to at least one male and female who is a graduating senior from Springfield High School.  The applicants must have a written recommendation from their high school guidance counselor and demonstrate financial need. This award was established in 2014 in memory of Joseph and Lois Morris. Linda S. Culver Memorial Scholarship ($1,300)  This scholarship is available for a college junior, senior or graduate student that is currently registered as a Girl Scout with the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois. Lori L. Kashmer Scholarship ($3,000) This scholarship has been established to give financial assistance in memory of Lori L. Kashmer, who had a passion for learning and helping others. It is available to either a part-time or full-time student pursing a degree in nursing, health or medical career, or in veterinary medicine. Margaret Johnson Special Education Scholarship ($600)  This scholarship has been established to give financial assistance in memory of Margaret Johnson for students who plan to pursue a degree in special education. Mary Lou and Dwight Pitman Scholarship ($1,000 – renewable)  This scholarship is awarded to a graduating student from a public high in Sangamon County other than Springfield School District or Chatham School District, who has at least one older sibling currently enrolled in college and/or at least one younger sibling who plans to attend college. This scholarship is in honor of Mary Lou and Dwight Pitman. Paul V. Gage Community Service Scholarship ($600)  This award is for a Vienna High School student who demonstrates excellence in community service and demonstrates financial need. Pearl Fairfield Scholarship Fund ($500) This scholarship is for a graduating senior in Sangamon County with a preference given to single-parent households. Reverend Kenneth H. White Family Scholarship ($750 minimum, multiple scholarships may be awarded) This scholarship is awarded to a Lanphier High School graduating student who plans to obtain a State Teaching Certificate and intends to teach in the public school system. Rev. White was a self-sacrificing man who generously spent his life in service to others and viewed it as his calling – this scholarship honors his memory. SAHBA Construction/Robert E. von Behren Memorial Scholarship ($1,000) This scholarship award is open to students pursuing a career in the building industry in the following counties: Sangamon, Christian, Montgomery Macoupin, Scott, Morgan, Cass, Menard, Mason and Logan. Mr. von Behren was an accomplished builder and helped establish the Association. He was devoted to his craft and worked to perfect his skills and teach others. Sgt. John R. Dalhaus Memorial Scholarship ($1,000)  This scholarship will be awarded to a graduating senior from Litchfield High School that is a pursuing a degree in a vocational field. This scholarship is intended to honor the memory of Sgt. John R. Dalhaus. Spanish American Cultural Center Scholarship ($3000 – up to two scholarships may be awarded – renewable)  This scholarship is available to students of Latino descent who will be a graduating senior or who is obtaining a GED from an institution located in any of the following Illinois counties: Sangamon, Cass, Douglas, Champaign, Macon, McLean or Morgan. The Spanish American Cultural Center has worked hard to make funds available to benefit Latino students. World War II Illinois Descendants Scholarship ($1,000 – two scholarships may be awarded) This scholarship is available to a student graduating from any high school in Illinois who is a descendant of an Illinois veteran of World War II. The scholarship is intended to honor the memory of those from Illinois who served in World War II. High school students may also contact their school guidance counselors for details on the scholarship awards available. For more information or questions about the online application system, contact the Community Foundation at scholarships@cfll.org.  
  whats_happening_firtree_fbActivities in the winter slow down just a bit, but don't worry there's still plenty to do in the Greater Springfield Area! Keep our What's Happening Calendar bookmarked and you won't be short of things to do.  We post community events that would be relevant to our readers.   What's Happening Calendar Tips:
  • Featured Events will be listed on the home page and listed down the main calendar page. If you'd like to feature your event on our website and social media feeds.  Review ad rates here.rot-calendar2_red
  • To find community events on a particular day:  Click on the Month at a Glance view and click on the day that you're looking for activities.  You'll see a number pop up and when you click on that number scroll down to see all of the events for that day.
For example:  January 7th, 2017, scroll over the 7 and you will see a #14 to the side, click there and there 14 events that are going on January 7th will be listed below. Click on the event name to open up the details including contact information and directions. If an event crosses many days, the date range will appear once you open up the event.  
imagesChildren’s area closed January 6-17  for renovations.   Springfield, Illinois – Lincoln Library has announced, in conjunction with its ongoing renovations, the children’s area of the library will be closed from Friday, January 6 thru Tuesday, January 17 while new carpet is installed.  Regularly scheduled programs, including baby lap-sit story time on January 9 and story time on January 12 have been cancelled.   Children’s books will be available by request.   Normal access to the children’s area will resume on Wednesday, January 18.  The next story time will take place on Thursday, January 19 at 10:30 a.m.   For more information about our hours, e-services and calendar of events and activities, visit http://lincolnlibrary.info/.
eagleEvery winter, more than 3,000 bald eagles visit Illinois. Our state has more wintering American bald eagles than in any other state outside Alaska. The eagles typically are spotted in Illinois in December through March. January and February are the optimal time for visitors to see eagles. We've collected opportunities for eagle viewing this winter. Gather up the family, binoculars and a tank full of gas and EXPLORE!

Here is our list of places to consider for your bald eagle viewing!

bathroom_after_countertopSpringfield Area Mom Christine Dunn entered our 1st DIY Contest. After showing us how she converted a crib to a nice outdoor bench swing (check out the DIY entry!), she won the coveted free bathroom countertop makeover courtesy of Arizona Tile and Modern Countertops.  Christine was thrilled to win as her 30 year-old bathroom was in dire need of a makeover! She changed just about everything and loves the focus of the beautiful granite countertops.  Her first step was to take off the wallpaper and fill in the holes.  She painted the ceiling and the door white, and painted the walls a tan color called "Cool Concrete." She replaced the rusted gold door handle with a black one and painted the door hinges black. She reused and spray painted the light fixtures and switch  For the light above the mirror, she bought the new retro filament LEDs and removed the previous globe lights.  She removed the fabric and spray painted the wires for the new fixture giving it a modern, industrial look. bathroom_redo_lightsmirror bathroom_redo1She painted the cabinet black and added some moulding to cover the damaged bottom. For the mirror, she reclaimed some old moulding and cut it to frame the mirror and painted it. Finally, she bought all new Porter fixtures for the tub and sink and added a hamper stand.  After a 30-year wait, it looks fantastic!
bathroom_before2

Countertop and Cabinets BEFORE

bathroom_before3  
bathroom_before1

Goodbye wallpaper...hello neutral paint and new fixtures!

   
meatballs_crockpotIt’s almost New Year’s Eve and this means more time for family, friends, and football games!  Our family loves the ease of preparing appetizers in our slow cooker that are ready for the coming and going of guests and family.  Farm Rich contacted us to share details on their Meatball Truck Tour coming to greater Springfield 12/31 and 1/3-6, so we can all sample their Meatball products and get inspired with some new recipes and coupons! Their meatballs are gluten free, and come in three varieties – Turkey, Original and Italian Style – with up to 13g of protein per serving.   My kids refer to me as the Protein Police; so I like the idea of exploring new recipes that are easy and pack as much protein as possible in small servings. I fired up our crockpot at our recent family gathering to enjoy our quick and easy Meatballs in Minutes; we will repeat this on New Year's Day when the tv is turned on to football games all day as we dismantle our holiday decorations.  Meatballs in Minutes is a favorite of ours for several reasons. The combination of the sweet from the Grape Jelly mixed with the spice of the chili sauce makes the perfect sweet taste with just the right amount of kick!  Also, who doesn't love recipes with five or less ingredients?   Recipe for Meatballs in Minutes 1 Jar 10 Ounces Grape Jelly 1 12 oz. Chili Sauce 1 Bag Frozen Farm Rich Meatballs (Original is our favorite for this recipe.) meatballs_farmrichMix together chili sauce and jelly and heat on HIGH until hot.  Add the Meatballs and Simmer for 30 minutes.  Then turn to low heat, and it can sit for hours. Serve with toothpicks. You can sample their Meatball products at Walmart Supercenters December 31 and January 3-6 as part of the Farm Rich Meatball Truck Tour.  Check out specific times and locations here: farmrich.com/meatball-tour   Their website is full of quick and easy solutions for busy parents like us.  Their goal is to help simplify everyday life with delicious food, what they like to call "Real-Life Good”. Before you head to the store, grab your coupon online. This post was developed in partnership with Farm Rich. For exclusive offers and promotions, be sure to sign up for their newsletter.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum“The Rivalry: Cubs vs. Cardinals”

Coming Spring 2017! An exhibit showcasing the intense 125 year baseball rivalry between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs; in cooperation with both franchises, as well as Major League Baseball and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Museum, Illinois Gallery
2017-headerNow that Christmas is over at our house, we're watching the pine needles fall over the tree skirt that is now bare :-(.   Although we have a lot of fun memories to reflect upon; the reality is that pre-NYE means cleaning up, reorganizing the holiday decor, making returns and exchanges juggling all of this with work and workouts?! Here's our list of timesavers for you this week.

Try a New recipe for New Year's Eve or New Year's Day football gatherings!

Non-edible baking fun!

Homemade playdough keeps the little ones busy and is fun to make.

Clean out those closets!

This is a great week to purge the old for donations and resale shops! If you haven't yet visited Once Upon A Child in Springfield; they are buying kids' clothes size infant through youth 20, books and toys and everything a new parent would need. They particularly need more youth-sized clothes!

New Year's Eve Events

  • There are some daytime and evening options in the Greater Springfield Area. See our listing by clicking here.
  • Need some ideas for at-home activities? Check out our Pinterest board for crafts, activities, party ideas and more!
 
screen-shot-2016-12-18-at-4-44-33-pm"Family: We may not have it all together, but together we have it all." This beautiful quote (author unknown) was shared by a friend on facebook recently, and it made my day. Especially this time of year when there are a few extra items on our “to do” list and work, social and community calendars! I’ve certainly learned over the years that the most important part of the holidays is the time you spend with your loved ones.  It’s one of the few times ALL of my siblings and their children gather back in Springfield) where all of us grew up. Although the traditions have evolved over the years as we have each expanded our families and moved to different cities; coming HOME at Christmas is a given!  The holiday cookie tray, egg nog and cranberry punch will be set out with the dips and chips we love, while we work together to prepare the warm meal for the afternoon. root-christmas-treeThe dogs and cats will be roaming around leaving their fur on everyone’s clothes, warming laps and making everyone smile. We exchange presents,(yes, the kids certainly enjoy that part), but I can tell you the BEST part is the tradition of playing games, completing a 500+ puzzle or two, and just hanging out, laughing and relaxing, TOGETHER.  Enjoy this holiday season with your family. Looking for new events and traditions to try?  Explore our complete 2016 season HoliDaze Guide.

 2016 Winter Classroom Party Ideas from SpringfieldMomsclassroom party

Healthy Holiday Treat Ideas for Classroom Parties

Believe it or not, winter parties for the preschool and elementary crowd can be fun AND healthy. Memorial's LiveWell Blog offers great suggestions on how we can move away from the “icing sugar cookies” station, candy canes and gingerbread houses. Instead, offer nutritious alternatives that will tickle their taste buds. Christina Rollins, nutritionist and director of Memorial Medical Center’s Food and Nutrition Services department, offers these tips for festive and fun holiday party treats for kids.
  1. Kid-friendly "cocktails"
  2. Naturally sweet fruit dishes.
  3. Raw vegetables or pita chips with homemade hummus.
  4. Pretzels, granola bars and dried fruitLiveWell Cube 200x120

Tips for the Best Gifts for Teachers - from SpringfieldMoms

Read advice here -- what teachers like, and what gifts are overdone.