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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Milwaukee's Annual Kite Festival 2015

Every year, right by Lake Michigan's lake side, Milwaukee hosts an awesome (FREE!!!) Annual Kite Festival at Veteran's Park! Thousands of people come out to enjoy the sights of hundreds of beautiful kites of all sizes as they fly through the skies. There are a lot of vendors present too, so you can grab a yummy bite to eat while watching the beautiful skies above.

One of the cool things about Veteran's Park is that there is a little store on site, called Gifts of Wings, that is both a snack stand and also a kite store, so while attending this event, visitors can check out the store and buy their own kites to fly outside. This year was the 2nd year that we have attended this festival, but the last time we attended was 6 years ago (when our son was a BABY!). This time BOTH of our kids got to enjoy the festival and each got to pick out a cool new kite!
After picking out their new kites, we found a clear spot outside, then their Daddy assembled the kites for them.
    (Excuse my finger in the left corner. LOL It was extremely bright outside, and I could not see that well through the view finder so I did not realize that my finger was in the way) 
Our kids had so much fun flying their new kites, and Daddy even had a blast flying the kites when they weren't. I sat with my husband's service dog so that he could enjoy his time with our kids. (My husband is a wounded combat war Veteran who has had quite a troublesome past year due to his injuries, so right now he is making up for lost times with our kids. They are loving it, and so is he!)

For our family, this is such a wonderful event. It's a typically peaceful event, where everyone is there to just watch the kites fly high and enjoy the beauty of nature. We can't wait until next year!


Monday, August 31, 2015

Hales Corners Veterinary Clinic FREE EVENT for Kids and Dogs

Upon looking for FREE events to take my kids to, I came across a vet clinic in Milwaukee county that was hosting a free fun event for kids and dogs! I had never heard of the clinic, but I thought it sounded like a great event to attend. They offered cotton candy, popcorn and fun things for kids to do, plus they were giving FREE nail trims and orthopaedic exams to dogs. Why not save some money on our dog's care, right? So we went! I'm so glad we did!

Hales Corners Veterinary Clinic is located in Hales Corners, Wisconsin, which was approximately 35 minutes for us to drive to from our home in Racine. This clinic was very well-organized and very clean. They had separate rooms for cats and dogs, which I thought was great. Their staff was very friendly and all smiles. We were given a personal tour of the facility. They had a "teddy bear surgery room" set up for kids to see how surgery is basically done (in a non-threatening way).
 My kids enjoyed seeing this and were thankful that it was just a teddy bear. LOL

The poor teddy bear had some serious visceral issues (sorry, "nurse talk". I'm a nurse also. Visceral means its "guts."). It's poor insides were exposed. Luckily, it was sedated. LOL

Our dog, a Pitbull named Isabella, enjoyed her "pedicure" and her "massage" that she received for free! Her nails are all pretty now, and her orthopaedic exam gave her a clean bill of health! The veterinarian was extremely nice and caring. She loved our dog too!

 I was extremely impressed with this facility and the staff members. I honestly believe that we may end up transferring Isabella's care to Hales Corners Veterinary Clinic. It may be a 35 minutes drive, but Isabella loved being there, and I felt like she was in good hands. With Isabella being my husband's service dog, she needs the best of care. I honestly feel she would receive it at this clinic.

After we were done, we were given lots of "swag" to take home! :)

If you would like to learn more about Hales Corners Veterinary Clinic, you can check out their Facebook page here and you can check out their website here.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Purex Insiders- Step 2 "Backyard Fun in the Sun" Giveaway


As a Purex Insider, I have been chosen to help spread the word about a current giveaway that is underway! In exchange for my help, I have a chance at winning a prize. No other compensation has been provided.

Step 2 is very well known for amazingly well-built and awesomely adventurous toys for toddlers. As a mom of two kids, I can vouch for these great toys that Step 2 makes. My kids have owned and experienced many of them. (I'm not endorsing Step 2 products, but I am speaking from personal experience with them.)

Purex Insiders, along with Step 2 and Dial, is offering an amazing opportunity for readers to have a chance at winning one of many great prizes:

One grand prize winner will receive Step2 prize suite worth $1000, a year’s supply of Dial® Baby Body + Hair Wash™, & Purex® Baby laundry detergent. 

Ten second-place winners will each receive a bottle of Dial Baby Body + Hair Wash and a bottle of Purex Baby laundry detergent.
 To enter this great giveaway, click here! Good luck!

Friday, June 12, 2015

My Experience with a Baby That Got Out

Yesterday, my friend and I were driving through a neighborhood and saw a little girl, who was probably between 2-3 yrs old, walking in her front yard all alone. There were no adults or other children outside or near her. My friend and I thought it was odd. I remembered when my son, who was around the same age, opened the front door of a previous home we lived in and decided to walk down the road to play with another toddler who had escaped her home, too. We were asleep at the time, because it was around 5 a.m., and the other child's parents were still asleep too. I woke up to see my front door wide open and my baby gone! It was the scariest thing to experience. I immediately ran outside and screamed for my son. Luckily, we lived in the country, and he was easy to find. Unfortunately, this little girl lived in a busy neighborhood where there is a good bit of traffic. This baby was all alone and could have ran into the street or been picked up by a stranger. I stopped my car and told my friend that I didn't think anyone knew the baby was out there. She was in front of a specific house and the screen door to the porch was open, so I walked up to the baby and asked her if anyone knew she was outside. She just looked at me like she didn't understand what I said. I noticed that through the porch door was a door to the house, and it was cracked open, so I yelled asking if anyone was home. I yelled several time and then finally a lady comes running out yelling for her baby. The mom came out, and I told her that her baby was outside playing by herself, and that I had a toddler do the same thing and figured that no one knew she was outside. The mom was panicked and said she turned her back for one minute to go to the restroom and didn't realize her little girl went outside. I reminded the mother just how close I was to her daughter and how I could have easily kidnapped her and then I suggested that she put a top lock on her door. She pointed out that she already had one but had decided to leave it unlocked since she had a family member on her way over. The mom kept thanking me over and over and apologizing to me, although I told her she didn't need to apologize to me for anything. I was just being a concerned mother. Even if it's not YOUR child, it doesn't mean that you can't still protect the child. The old saying is that it takes a village to raise a child. Not only could that baby have gotten hit by a car or kidnapped, but she could have ended up at someone else's house and possibly molested or harmed. All of these horrible things COULD HAVE happened simply because this mom took one single short cut and ignored the one safety feature she already had in place for her baby! I could have also just kept driving and not stop to inquire about the child's safety. Some people would have felt like they were being nosy. You have to think though---what if it was YOUR child? Would you not want someone to help you protect your baby? I know I would! smile emoticon

School's Out for Summer! Ways to Stay Active & Have Fun...for FREE!

Spring has passed us once again, and now it's finally that time of year...where the sun is hot, shade is hard to find, mosquitoes are everywhere, grass is growing like crazy, city swimming pools are at full capacity, everyone is wearing flip flops, shorts seem to be a little too short sometimes, kids are running around outside, sprinklers are on, the air is filled with the scents of get the idea---IT'S SUMMER TIME!!!

With summer time comes the end of school year. Now the kids are at home all day long. They are driving you crazy. Every one is getting cabin fever. Some families are planning vacations or going on them. Some families are doing stay-cations where they do things locally. Regardless of what your plans or lack of plans are, there are TONS of things that you can do with your kids this summer...and a lot of them don't even cost a dime!

Here are some ideas of things that you can do with your kids this summer:

*Don't have a local swimming pool to visit? Get the water hose out! Remember back in the day when WE were kids, what did we all do? We played with the water hose! Get it out, turn it on, and let the kids spray each other! Give them some balloons and let them make water balloons to throw!

*Visit museums! Some are free, some will cost you. It depends on where you live or where you are going to visit the museum. If you are a military family with active DOD ID, check out Blue Star Museums! We do this every summer! There are tons of museums around the USA that participate, so no matter where you live, you should be able to find at least one that you can visit for free with your DOD/military ID.

*Go on nature walks! Nature doesn't cost a thing (unless you are visiting a national or state park...sometimes they charge for visits). I found a site that you can use to help locate nature trails near you! Exploring nature can be both educational and healthy! Your kids (and even you) can learn about wildlife, habitats, and the environment, while you enjoy the health benefits of being active with your family and enjoying the fresh air!

*Visit the beach! If you are like me and my family, and you live near a beach or a lake, pack a lunch or picnic, grab a frisbee, put on your swim suit, grab your flip flops, get the kids dressed for some sandy and watery fun and load up the family to head to the beach for the day! Walk the beach, play frisbee, etc...stay active and enjoy the sounds and scents of the beautiful beaches!

*Go on a family walk around your neighborhood! Explore new neighborhoods (just be safe about it). Check out the local mom and pop stores. Eat at a new restaurant. Just get out and enjoy a nice family walk!

*If you have a bicycle, use your bicycle this summer instead of driving locally. If you want to plan a bike route in your area, check out this site!

*Plant a family garden! This may cost money initially, but in the end, if you plant edible plants, you will save money by growing your own foods!

*Check out your local library for summer reading programs for the kids and adults! You can also find out if your local library has any summer events planned. Some libraries, like ours, will host movie nights, family nights, etc.

*Look for volunteering opportunities that you can include kids in! What better way to teach children to help and appreciate what they have than to have them help others knowing they will not receive anything in return...other than mere enjoyment that they are helping!

*Keep an eye out for local festivals. Sometimes they are free. Sometimes they cost money.

*If you follow a certain religion, or even if you don't but you want your kids to do something free, check out the local churches and find out when registration dates are open for Vacation Bible School.

*Host a camp out in your back yard and let your kids invite some friends over. If you have a tent or a canopy, set it up in the back yard, then let the kids camp outside!

*Host a family movie night at your house! Grab a movie from your collection of movies, use Netflix or Hulu if you have it, or spend $1.50 to rent a movie at a local Redbox. Make some popcorn. Sit back and relax with the kiddos!

*Pull out those board games that have collected dust throughout the year! Host a family game night!

*Host a mini-marathon or obstacle course in your neighborhood or in your own yard. Let the kids have fun while competing for prizes or goodies!

There is so much to do during the summer! Just don't let kids sit around and play video games all the time. Encourage them to get out and enjoy their summer. Don't forget to continue educating them during the summer too. Research shows that kids lose what they have learned during the whole school year, as soon as summer comes! Keep them educated and make sure they don't forget what they have already learned.

Have a great summer! Be safe and have fun!

Here are some pics of my kids enjoying the great outdoors near where we live!


Lake Michigan Harbor, Kenosha, Wisconsin
The lighthouse on the pier at Lake Michigan in Kenosha, Wisconsin

My kids playing in the sand at Lake Michigan in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It was pretty darn cold that day! LOL

My little boy checking out our garden plot that we built, as a family, last year. He is so excited that we will be putting together another family garden this summer!