Monthly Archives: June 2009

Happy Thursday (I think)

I just had to laugh for a minute because I couldn’t remember what day it was when I sat down to write this.  That is my definition of summer.  My computer is taking a summer vacation too.  What it doesn’t know is that I am shopping for a new computer.  One that doesn’t tease me, and let me create some nice posts, and calendars, and then abruptly shut down so it can’t even hear me scream at it for making me waste so much time.

The bike weekends are over.  My husband reminded me that he could be one of those guys who hunts, and is gone for weeks at a time.  He’s right.  What he doesn’t know is that he’s about to get a list of what I could be doing for my own personal entertainment that would make  his life rough.  Just in time for Father’s Day!

The kids and I saw Up! (meh), and Willy Wonka at the Civic (awesome).  We also saw Mufaro the Story King at the library and have been reading like fiends so as to collect upon our Reading Program Swag.  No I haven’t forgotten to compile the program information for y’all.  My computer ate part of it and I have to re-do it.

I do have some goodies to tell you about.  First, the Kalamazoo Air Zoo has free admission all summer.  This is amazing – and is definitely on our list of things to do this summer.  I read about it at Grand Rapids Tightwad.  The press release is on the Air Zoo’s website, which has further details about the cost of rides. 

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is also making entertainment a little less expensive this summer.  According to REVUE, they are having “71 Days of Fun” and dropping admission prices to $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children.  I don’t know if this eliminates free admission for GR residents on Monday or not though.

While you’re checking that out, hang around REVUE a minute.  They have some contests with pretty sweet odds.  I know this because I won a gift certificate to GRPD (Grand Rapids Pizza Delivery). 

It’s not on the John Ball Park Zoo’s website yet, but there is information on the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum site about “Monkey See Monkey Do” on July 16th.  It’s a trolley that shuttles you and your kids around to the three locations.  We’ve done the Penguin Express, the Lions (I REALLY went to town on that; read about it here), and are totally looking forward to the monkeys.  I love a good theme and am currently working on reading materials, crafts, and snacks to augment the experience.  Tickets go on sale June 22 – get them at the Zoo or Douglas J.

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Big Birthday Bash

PhotobucketMy friend Jill is celebrating her birthday by hosting a “Birthday Bash” blog carnival.  The idea is that you give someone ELSE a birthday present.  She highlighted Kids Food Basket, which I absolutely love (so much that one of my Christmas presents this year was a KFB sweatshirt) and wrote about here and here and here.  If you live in the Grand Rapids area, this is a wonderful organization and they are impressively efficient with their resources. 

I’d like to introduce you to the Great Start Parent Coalition Diaper Drive.  While the Coalition poo-poohed (sorry) my suggestions for giving levels “Just Pee”, “Breastfed Baby”, and “Total Blowout“; I am still very excited about this! Our goal is to collect 25,000 diapers between now and September. 

One out of every five babies in Kent county is born into poverty.  As you can imagine, and may have experienced first-hand, the number of families in need of assistance has increased dramatically this year.  WIC and food stamps do not cover diapers, which cost about $100 a month.

Now let me stop for a minute and say I am VERY pro-cloth diapering.  The diapers we are collecting are disposable.  So why am I supporting it? For one, most child care centers do not accept cloth diapers.  And second, families who do not have a washing machine at home cannot wash cloth diapers at a laundromat because they do not allow it. It is very unhealthy and uncomfortable for a baby to sit in a dirty diaper for a long time, but if a family cannot afford enough of them, this is exactly what happens. 

So how can you help? Well, there are a few ways. First, start looking around town for Diaper Drive boxes.  They will be at many local businesses, churches, and other organizations and will be tall white boxes clearly marked.  You can just put unopened packages of disposable diapers in all sizes.  Personally, I am going to start looking for ‘diaper deals’ and use sales and coupons to score some inexpensive diapers to donate. Coming soon to the Great Start website will be a list of donation sites.

If your business, employer, or organization would like a donation box please contact me! I will totally hook you up. My email address is:  bigbinderblog (at) gmail (dot) com. It’s easy; you just have to let it sit there and be a box.  Then you will have a contact person to call when it’s full. Much better than when you are actually dealing with the end user of the diaper.

You can also make a cash donation.  Make checks payable to “Heart of West Michigan United Way”  and write Parent Coalition Diaper Drive in the memo line.  Send it to this address:

Heart of West Michigan United Way

United Way Center

118 Commerce Avenue SW

Grand Rapids, MI 49503-4106

We will present the diapers to ACCESS (an organization working to provide services to families in need) at the Celebration on the Grand, and they will then distribute them through food pantries. 

Find out about other worthy and interesting causes here. And wish my girl Jill a happy birthday while you’re there!

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Calendar? I think?

WORDPRESS!  WHERE ARE YOU HIDING MY CALENDAR??

I can’t figure it out.  It’s there one minute and gone the next.  For now, I’ll just update in posts instead of a page, k? So here is the June calendar!

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Calendar

ONGOING

Free admission all day Monday for all Grand Rapids residents to the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Story Time at Barnes & Noble – Kentwood every Tuesday at 10:00 AM.

Free admission Tuesday after 1:00 PM to the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Kids Day Wednesday 10:00AM-2:00PM at the Coopersville Farm Museum.

Story Time at Barnes & Noble – Grandville (Rivertown) every Thursday at 10:30 AM.

$1.50 admission to Family Night at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum Thursdays from 5-8.

Grand Rapids Public Library Story Times (time and location varies).

Kent District Library Story Times (time and location varies).

Lowe’s Build And Grow Clinics – alternating Saturdays from 10:00AM-11:00AM, check website for specific dates and projects. 

Home Depot Kids Workshops – 9:00 AM first Saturday of the month.  Check website for specific projects.

JUNE

5-7 Festival of the Arts, Downtown Grand Rapids

10 Travelling Zoo, 1:00 PM, Grandville Branch KDL. Can’t get to the zoo this summer? Z’s Kid’s Club will bring the zoo to you with live animals in the library!

11 Summer Carnival 2:00 PM, Caledonia Branch KDL. Celebrate the Summer Reading Club with games, crafts, prizes and tons of carnival-style fun!

11 Summer Carnival 7:00 PM, Grandville Branch KDL. Celebrate the Summer Reading Club with games, crafts, prizes and tons of carnival-style fun!

13 12PM-2PM Super WHY! event at Toys R Us.  All the usual giveaway junk in hopes your children whine until you cave and buy them more junk.  Somehow, I am disappointed in Wyatt which is completely unfair.

13-14  Cutlerville Days – Good old fashioned small town fun.  Pancake breakfast, parade, games, a race, music – the whole shebang.  Here is the brochure.

13 Summer Reading Club Kick Off 2:00 PM, Wyoming Branch KDL. Celebrate the Summer Reading Club with games, crafts, prizes and tons of carnival-style fun!

13-14 Feast of the Strawberry Moon, Grand Haven

14 Rockford Start of Summer Celebration

16 It’s Magic! 10:00 AM. Kentwood Branch KDL. See magician Tom Plunkard pluck coins from thin air, turn a candle into a dove, and suspend an audience member in mid-air!

17 9:30 AM.  Aunt Daisy’s Farm Exhibit Grand Opening Event. Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.

18 Puppet Show. 2:00 PM. The Kent District Library Puppeteers present “Mr. Biddle’s Noisy Night,” an interactive puppet play, and other participation activities. Puppet Show will be held at the Caledonia Township Hall at 250 Maple St. For ages 4 and up.

18 Drummunity. 6:30 PM. Byron Township Branch KDL. Try your hand at a variety of percussion instruments in a high energy, fun and community-building drum circle.

18 Travelling Zoo. 6:30 PM. Wyoming Branch KDL. Can’t get to the zoo this summer? Z’s Kid’s Club will bring the zoo to you with live animals in the library!

18 Joel’s Circus. 7:00 PM. Cascade Branch KDL. Dazzling juggling and a creative whirlwind of new tricks and audience favorites with Joel Tacey.

18 Circus Among Us! 7:00 PM. Grandville Branch KDL. Discover the big top within as amazing circus performers share comedy and circus skills – and you might even get to try some tricks yourself!

19-20 Walker Festival Family-oriented festival with a basketball tournament, rock wall climbing, food booths and fireworks.  They promise to “Knock Your Socks Off“.

20 Water Festival 11:00AM-10:00 PM.  Riverside Park. Learn about and celebrate Michigan’s greatest natural resource.  The schedule isn’t posted yet, but check back here for updates.  Last year, there was a lot of really cool stuff for kids.

22 Mr. Biddle’s Noisy Night. 10:30 AM. Wyoming Branch KDL. Join Bright Beginnings and the Kent District Library Puppeteers as they present “Mr. Biddle’s Noisy Night,” an interactive puppet play, and other participation activities.

22 6:30 PM. Birds In Art. Who is John James Audubon? How did he influence how we look at birds in art today? Join Dr. Bird Brain (aka: Pete Stobie) of the Kalamazoo Nature Center for his creative stories of this innovative artist and his legacy. Registration is required. For ages 6 and up.

23 10:00 AM. Puppet Show. Kentwood KDL. The Kent District Library Puppeteers present “Mr. Biddle’s Noisy Night,” an interactive puppet play, and other participation activities. For ages 4 and up.

24 1:00 PM. Grandville Branch. The Kent District Library Puppeteers present “Mr. Biddle’s Noisy Night,” an interactive puppet play, and other participation activities. For ages 4 and up.

24 7:00 PM. Drummunity. Grandville Branch KDL. Try your hand at a variety of percussion instruments in a high energy, fun and community-building drum circle.

25 Maranda Park Party – Fifth Third Ballpark (Whitecaps).

27 2:00 PM. What’s Under There? Reeds Lake Ecology and Fishing Expo. Reeds Lake. Discover the wonders of life under the waves of Reeds Lake with a fun afternoon of fishing trivia, lore and legend, and uncover ways we affect the lake environment.

30 10:00 AM Summer Carnival. Kentwood Branch KDL. Celebrate the Summer Reading Club with games, crafts, prizes and tons of carnival-style fun!  

30 11:00 AM . Puppet Show. Byron Center Branch KDL. The Kent District Library Puppeteers present “Mr. Biddle’s Noisy Night,” an interactive puppet play, and other participation activities. For ages 4 and up.

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