Monthly Archives: February 2008

Dove Family Film Festival

The Spring Festival Dates have been announced! This is a great thing for us parents who don’t want to spend $49.99 taking the family to a movie. 

The Dove Family Film Festival shows films you could actually take a kid to see, and children 12 and under are free.   The only cost is for the adult, and that is only $2.50.  The lineup isn’t out yet, but the dates are March 21 through May 15.  The movies will change every week and are shown at Loeks theaters.  I will post the movies right here as soon as they are announced!

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Filed under Breaking News

Literacy

My friend French Mama is one of those people who volunteers for 100 different organizations, is on this board and that committee, has a preschooler, and works part time.  And teaches French (what else?) classes  for children. I would be tearing my hair out if I had all of this on my plate, but she’s cool as a cucumber.  Oh, and she’s 7 months pregnant. She finally started showing about 2 weeks ago.

She let me know that the ABC’s World News with Charles Gibson is doing a special series called, “Living In The Shadows:  Illiteracy in America” that examines the hidden phenomenon of illiteracy in this country. An estimated 30 million people in the U.S. cannot read a simple sentence.  Undiagnosed learning disorders, poverty, and unstable homes are among the factors contributing to this nation-wide crisis. The problem persists, in large part, because many actively try to conceal it or avoid seeking help.

In the second part of the series, Thomas travelled to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where one out of every five residents there has difficulty reading or cannot read at all. The city has pledged to cut the illiteracy rate in half in the next ten years – launching a city-wide campaign to increase awareness of the issue and enlisting hundreds of tutors and volunteers.  You can read the report here on ABC’s Website.

French Mama sent me this note:

If you or anyone you know in Grand Rapids area can commit at least 30 minutes a week to a helping a young child become a stronger reader it is SOOOOO worth it. You would be surprised how only 30 minutes a week can help a young non-reader develop reading skills and reading confidence. 🙂

If she can do it, we can too.  Check out the organization called Schools of Hope.  You can also contact Meg Bennett at 616.459.6281 ext. 102 or e-mail mbennett@waybetterunitedway.org for more information.

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Come On, Spring!!

The Winter Bazaar

Last week in the grocery store A.P. saw a magazine cover with one of those super cute baking ideas that seem innocent enough… 

It was simply a batch of cupcakes (OK, I can do that) with white frosting (hey! I think I have white frosting in the pantry!) and ‘spring things’ on them like bees, and butterflies made of candy.  I told him yes, we could make some as a suprise for Daddy when he gets home from St. Louis. 

Upon closer inspection, though, it turns out that I needed some bizarre candy item that is apparently sold nowhere in the Midwest to make the cute little bees.  I also needed to learn how to filet a gumdrop in order to achieve the desired ‘butterfly wing’ effect.  

My kids were absolutely not accepting a perfectly reasonable alternative:  a butterfly shaped cake like the one we had eaten at a birthday party the day before.  The reasoning? “That’s for a girl”.  Of course. Only butterfly cupcakes are masculine enough for Daddy.

I managed to find enough candy at Horrocks that I thought might work.  I simply cut gummy worms in half for the body, and used fruit candy slices for wings, then stuck a couple of licorice pieces in for antannae.  Here is the result:

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A.P. did great with these, and Maybelle tried to make ‘smiley face butterflies’ which I thought was really sweet.  100_2035.jpg

And of course, the man for whom the cupcakes were made was a very gracious recipient.  A.P. was so excited he made him walk into the house with his eyes shut for the suprise. We all sat down for our first meal (er, snack) together in a week. He promptly went to ‘rest’ after his long week, but at least the cupcakes were good.

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New Pizza Place, and More Hockey

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*Tasty Tuesday is coming to you a day late due to some technical difficulties…

Today’s lunch plans were cancelled due to a long appointment this morning and Maybelle falling asleep on the way to the restaurant.  This is not a child you wake up and expect any kind of cooperation from, so we just headed home.  A.P. wanted “Chocko Loco Tacos”, which are simply home-made cheese quesadillas.  Easy enough.

We did end up with a fairly Tasty Tuesday though. The dinner I had planned as well as our entire evening was switched around by something my husband had going on, so we ended up at a pizza place on 28th St near QDoba and Penzy’s Spices.  They had guys standing outside with a sign my husband could not refuse: “XL PIZZA $6.00” It’s called New York Pizza, and it was ok.  Definitely does not have anything on JB’s Pizza, but it’s fresh and inexpensive.

I have more Griffins News as well.  This is especially good if you need to attend a McCarty Party before he goes back to the Red Wings.

There are a couple of ‘specials’ this weekend.  First, there are $5 upper bowl and $10 lower bowl tickets available for the Saturday and Sunday games, but you have to get them online.  Here is how:

                      1. Go to griffinshockey.com/themenights
                      2. Enter username: mccarty
                      3. Enter password: griffins

Sunday is also “Reading Day” with the Griffins. Kids 12 and under can  dress as their favorite storybook character. Parents must register their children at griffinshockey.com/costumecontest by Thursday, Feb. 28 at 5 p.m. 

All current library card holders can get a 2-for-1 deal on tickets at the Van Andel Arena box office on game day (limit two complimentary tickets per card). There will also be face-painting, sign-making, balloons, and a bunch of other stuff.  Go to Griffins Hockey for more information. 

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Must Write Quickly

Short post, for two reasons.

  1. This is exciting news.
  2. My husband will be home soon and I have been instructed to ‘take myself out on a date’ (dinner and a movie) alone as payment for meritous service last week.  Did I mention that I get to go alone? I couldn’t think of a better reward, especially since he spent yesterday eating cupcakes (you’ll read more about this later) and relaxing.

I just read on the Couponmom Blog that if you sign up for Party City Birthday Club, you get a $5 off a $25 purchase  coupon from Party City, and a free subscription to Family Fun Magazine.  I have a love/hate relationship with this magazine.  Love the ideas, especially for the super cute snacks; hate that there are SO many I freak out a little bit with a desire, no a need, to try and make as many as I can.

Here is the link; enjoy!

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Filed under Thank Goodness it's Free

Menu Plan Monday

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This week will be all about making space in the freezer for all of the “Freezer Deals” at the grocery stores this week. For more Menu Plan Monday, check out “I’m an Organizing Junkie!”.  

MONDAY

I will be attempting to make a Bacon Quiche from this recipe, but instead use asparagus (I still have a ton in the freezer) because I am the only person in my family who will eat cooked spinach.  I’ll also serve it with a side of applesauce, because I have no idea what to serve with such a breakfast-y food.  And, I have a ton in the freezer.

TUESDAY

I’m just going to grill (George Foreman style) a steak and make some green beans – you guessed it, both from the freezer.  I will also make steak fries, which I just do by cutting up potatoes into ‘fry’ shape and put on a baking sheet, then put some olive oil and Lawry’s seasoning salt on them.

I got some Pillsbury Grands Homestyle Shortcake Biscuits last week, so I am going to bake those and put some strawberries I found in the freezer from June.

WEDNESDAY

Chicken Noodle Soup (I have it already made and frozen).

I will make yet another attempt at making my own bread.  It is not going so hot, any suggestions? I am trying to start it out in the bread machine, then bake it in the oven so it’s ‘normal’.  The texture etc are fine, it just tastes.. funny.

THURSDAY

Coalition meeting; dinner will be served.

FRIDAY

I’m recycling the stuffed shells recipe from last Friday, because I just made tuna fish sandwiches for the kids last Friday since my husband was out of town. I know, welcome to my house during lent. Don’t be jealous. 

I’ll serve it with a salad.

SATURDAY

I have to spend a good part of the day power shopping at Younkers.  I bought some of those Community Day Event coupons from the Mayweather Foundation and if I am too tired, we’ll just order pizza.  If I am exhilarated from my shopping success, I will make a roast turkey.  Again, because I have another one – you got it – in the freezer. Only time, and the crowd at Younkers Saturday, will tell.

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