Monthly Archives: August 2008

Sylvia Rimm

The Great Start Parent Coalition is sponsoring a fantastic speaker next month.  It’s a free event, but you do need tickets. Dr. Sylvia Rimm will present, “Motivating Yourself and Your Children For Achievement” on September 18 from 6:30-9:00PM at Meijer Gardens

Dr. Rimm is a psychologist and professor and dynamic speaker who publishes internationally on family and school approaches to guiding children toward achievement. Her newspaper column is syndicated nationally. Dr. Rimm was a longtime contributing correspondent on NBC’s Today and Weekend Today, and has made appearances on ABC’s 20/20 program.

We’re very fortunate to have her speak in Grand Rapids. Call (616) 632-1007 for free tickets.  For more information about the Great Start Parent Coalition, head over to the website.

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Filed under Feature Friday

For Future Olympic Athletes

In the next few weeks, Grand Rapids offers kids some fun activities to participate in.  First, the Grand Rapids Marathon has a kids component.  Of course they don’t run (or walk) the entire 26.2 miles that day, but using a log book that you can pick up at KDL and GRPL libraries or download and print  from the website, your child can accumulate 25 miles starting August 22.  By race day, they run or walk the last 1.2 miles to the ‘finish line’. Register on line and print a log sheet here for free here. Registered runners will receive an official race bib and t-shirt. Finishers receive a medal and certificate All participants will be eligible for post-race refreshments. 

The next one is a big event for our family.  The Priority Health Grand Cycling Classic is returning to Grand Rapids this year on September 6.  Last year, Mr. Binder was a marshal, which means basically a crossing guard to get people off the street when the riders are coming through.  A.P. rode in the kid’s race.  Both are raring to go again this year; A.P. without training wheels.  

This is a really fun event to watch even if your kids don’t want to ride in the race.  The bikers circle around the course so you see them pass several times.  It also corresponds with Celebration on the Grand, so there is ton going on downtown that weekend. You can sign your kids up for the race here. The kids race is for 9 and under.

Both events are free, and the first 300 kids to register for the bike race get a free helmet.  Last year A.P. also got a t-shirt, cowbell, and a bike flag but I don’t know what is in store for this year yet. Maybelle wants to ride too, so I’m going for a media hat-trick.  So far she has been on the news for the First Steps launch last month and the Read with the Mayor event at the library last week.  I swear I am not paying the Fox 17 camera man; he just knows a super star when he sees one.


Filed under Things to do Thursday

All Hail The King

For today’s Things I Love Thursday, I offer up a humble cereal.  King Vitamin by Quaker is the Chuck Taylor All Stars of cereal – it’s old school, baby.

After watching the movie King Corn and becoming terrified of turning into a family of giant, genetically modified corn cobs, my husband and I decided to eliminate high fructose corn syrup (HFCC) from our family’s diet.  This was way harder than we thought it would be, as HFCC is apparently in everything but bottled water.  We eat boxed cereal a few days a week for breakfast, can’t afford to eat Kashi every time.  Plus, my husband thinks most of the Kashi cereals taste like “sticks”.

I really started reading the labels of the cereals we liked, and was very surprised to find out that King Vitamin is sweetened with… hang on to your seats… sugar! It’s old fashioned, yes.  Like molasses cookies, it’s not sticky sweet.  It doesn’t taste like twigs either.  This is a reasonably priced cereal, and it has an added bonus ingredient of coconut oil which I think is all the rage right now.

In fact, King Vitamin is so old it’s not even mentioned on the Quaker Website. Hello missed marketing opportunity.  Let’s just keep it on the down low though.  Just buy a box at a time and don’t jack the demand up, otherwise the price is sure to follow.  I’m sure once you try it, it will be come a thing you love too. 

For more Things I Love Thursday, check out The Diaper Diaries.


Filed under Things I Love Thursday

Menu Plan Monday


I’ve been in Lovely Lansing this weekend visiting my sister in her cute new house.  We went to Impression 5 Museum, Aladdin’s Restaurant (mmm-mujadara) for lunch, then to the Great Lakes Folk Festival. Lots of cool stuff there, but the highlight was listening to Wylie and the Wild West and watching the kids run around in the grass and dance.  Then we had a delicious dinner of ribs, salad and sweet potato fries.  I’m still kinda full.

I’m putting up a lot of food this week, so dinners will have to be easy.  I hope to tackle beans, corn and peaches. 


Pizza – Easy; I have a loaf of frozen bread dough that I’ll thaw and just put on canned sauce, shredded cheese and our favorite toppings which are olives, pepperoni, banana peppers and bacon.  I’m trying to create some frozen peach desert too.


Chicken Noodle Soup – Another easy meal.  I have a frozen rotisserie chicken that I’ll de-bone and shred, then toss it in with carrots, celery, and some rice or noodles.  I have some home-made chicken stock in the freezer so this should be a breeze.


Breakfast For Dinner – I caved for a really good sale on pre-made hashbrowns a few weeks ago so I’ll dig those out of the freezer; try and ‘scatter, smother and cover’ them (any Waffle House fans out there?!) and serve them with eggs.  We’ll have some fresh fruit also.


Red Beans and Rice with Sausage – I have red beans and sausage in the freezer from last week when our friends 3inunder3 were visiting.  At that time we made dirty rice and had a low country boil.  It turned out pretty well, but the best part was that the meal was served very, very late in part because we had to take a lot of breaks to dance.  Honestly, the most fun I’ve ever had making dinner.

For tonight’s meal, I’ll just defrost the beans and sausage, and make the rice.  I will also brown an onn-yon (that’s my best Cajun accent.  It’s very, very bad.) and add it all together with some of this Creole Seasoning.  I’m hoping for a Zatarain’s-type experience.


Date night – something delicious, expensive and fancy for us; and something easy for the kids.

Check out Laura’s Blog for more menu plans.


Filed under Menu Plan Monday

Sanctuary Sunday

The fact that I love food, and recipes, and kitchen ‘stuff’, and cooking is not new.  I have tried to simplify this area of my life by using really well-intentioned programs like “Saving Dinner“.  It couldn’t be easier; you get an entire menu plan complete with recipes, and a shopping list!

It was not for me.  I came to understand that I love creating menus, and meals, and and that constantly adding to my cooking skill set was sometimes a burden, but without a doubt a passion.  Not surprisingly, I love Williams- Sonoma.  It is ridiculously overpriced and I almost never buy anything there , but I love being in the store. Since I usually have my kids with me at the mall, I typically skip it because I fear I would become so engrossed in some lovely copper-bottom pots I wouldn’t notice Maybelle rearranging an entire display of cooking spoons or A.P. trying to pole vault over a case of mixers with a broom. 

Because of this, I missed entirely the fact that there are cooking demonstrations, product techniques, and technique classes.  Did you hear me? I said technique classes! And they are free. Yes I know that some of you can’t even fathom spending more time on meal preparation than absolutely necessary, but for those of you that do, click on the Williams-Sonoma website and go to store locator.  Then stop by your local store for the calendar of events.  

Now you’re all set.  Have a mall playdate all by yourself.  Hold your head up high and walk right past that noisy play area and straight to Williams-Sonoma.  Go ahead, learn how to julienne a cucumber.  Who cares if it’s for a 3 year old’s lunch and will be drowned in ranch dressing; this is time well spent.


Filed under Sanctuary Sunday