Archive for April, 2012

Mommy Dearest

Because You’re Worth It

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Can you believe it?  Honestly, I don’t know where the heck the month of April went.  With that, Just Add Kidsis in the heat of contest time!The Just Add Kids “Color Mom Beautiful” Kid’s Coloring Contest is in full swing.  As in the past two years, Educators Credit Union is sponsoring this awesome promotion, with awarding the winner child artist with a gift basket including a $100 Toys R Us gift card…sweet! Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark is also sponsoring. Wanna know what our winning mom prize is? Read More…
…Mother’s Day Overnight Stay Package* (min. value $199) for the winning mom’s family.

Download your child’s/ren’s contest entry form here:
“Color Mom Beautiful”

If you are having problems downloading PDF file, please email your request to

Ready? Set. COLOR!

Entries will be accepted/received through Friday, May 4th, 2012…hurry!

Thank you to our sponsors:


*prize valid for Mother’s Day weekend 2012 Friday only, or any other available Sunday-Friday valid for one year



Leave a comment »

Game On…

by JAK’s guest mom blogger from Caledonia, Mollie Bartelt

Do you want to make a difference in your life this spring? Or make a difference for a child who has a life threatening illness? Or win $500 in a fun challenge?

The game is on again!

As a mom of a child who had successfully came through a life threatening illness, I am so excited to invite you to MINUTE TO WISH IT! –  a super fun family fundraiser set to go this weekend. Would you please consider joining us Sunday afternoon and celebrate the blessings in your family’s life by playing some fun Minute to Win It games?. Read More

Sunday, April 22nd, 1 to 4 pm
Racine Family YMCA

Our second annual event, this is a family fundraiser where people compete in a fast paced series of challenges ($1 each) where winners will proceed to the next challenge. The final team left will have the opportunity to win up to $500 in the Final Round of Minute to Wish It challenges. There are a ton of activities for the little children as well! Check out the Vendor Fair where you can shop and enjoy seeing what is new.
Want a Preview?
Stop by our Booth at the Just Add Kids Expo on Saturday where you can play a couple of Minute to Win It games (donation of $1 per game!)

Please feel free to call me at 414-899-4221 with any questions!

And. . . here’s a link if you’d like to make an online donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation – put JAK in the comment section!

Leave a comment »

Check, please.

Check “Yes” or “No”
by JAK’s guest mom blogger from Racine, Jenni Monteblanco

Four months ago, I said “yes.”
No, it wasn’t to anything fancy like saying “yes to the dress”. I did that twelve years ago. I said yes to a slew of things to add to my already busy life. It was the beginning of a new year and somehow each item fit into my “goal” for 2012. I had this great idea (ok, so I stole it from a post on Facebook) in late December/early January to choose a word for 2012.
This word was going to be the focus of everything I did. My husband and I discussed it and decided we would make this goal together. Our words (yeah, we couldn’t just choose one) for 2012 are…Read More…
“discipline” and “balance.” You would think that this would have helped me as I started to say yes, but somehow I found a way to fit all my yeses around my goals.

Four months ago I said yes to becoming an Uppercase Living Demonstrator (shameless plug: Okay, so it was more like six months ago, but around the first of the year, I decided that I would really put some time and effort into it because it would help provide me with new girlfriends (something I desperately craved) and would thus bring about balance in my life. Remember, that’s one of my goals for 2012, so YES!

Four months ago, I said yes to writing for this blog. When Paula from Just Add Kids asked me to write, I was giddy. What a great opportunity for me to get to know others and share all of the ideas bouncing around in my head. I would write one entry a month and that would provide discipline, right? Another goal for 2012, check! YES! YES! YES!

Four months ago, I said yes to taking two online classes. You see, I’ve been on track to be ordained in the Church of the Nazarene and I only had three more classes to take. When I found out that these classes would be offered beginning in mid-January, I couldn’t resist. I knew it might be difficult to fit them in, but I had to do it sometime. And really, doesn’t finishing my education fit into the 2012 goal of discipline and balance? If I get these classes done, I can check them off my list. That definitely fits into discipline. YES!

Four months ago, I said yes to taking back my work-from-home job. I had quit this job just 12 months earlier in order to focus on my family and our ministry here in Racine. We were new to Racine and I really felt like I needed to focus on getting to know our new life. But, they needed me and let’s be honest, I love the job and won’t argue with the extra money. Sure, that fits into my goals for 2012 . . . um, extra money means paying off some bills and um, yeah, that’s discipline. YES!

Four months ago, I said yes to Pinterest. Gasp! Ok, that one doesn’t fit into discipline or balance. Well, maybe it does. If I find great ideas then I can implement them into our lives and provide . . . yeah, ok, no good reason for that one. But it sure is fun!

Somehow I made them all make sense and fit into my goals. But did I mention that I didn’t say “no” to any of the things that were already on my plate? I’m still a mom. I’m still a wife. I’m still a daughter, and a sister, and a friend. I’m still a couponer. I’m still a pastor. I’m still a leader of one of our church’s district ministries.

Now I’m not saying that any of these “yeses” were wrong in and of themselves. They all bring me fulfillment. They are all things that I desperately want to do. They are things that (if I can get them all in order) will bring benefit to my family. But, honestly, I’m not feeling much fulfillment right now because I don’t feel I’m doing any of them well. Take this blog, for instance. Back in January I was going to write once a month. Now, here we are in late March (probably April before this is posted) and I’m just now writing my first entry. Sure, I’ve had lots of ideas floating around to share with you, but I haven’t had the time to even think about getting them down on paper.

Do you have a problem, like me, of saying “yes” too much or maybe without really thinking it through? I wish I could magically grant us all a few extra hours in the day or maybe another day in the week, but let’s be honest with ourselves . . . who really wants that anyway?!?! But what I can provide you with is a few things to think about the next time you’re tempted to say “yes.”

  1. I won’t hide that I’m a Christian and that the first thing I should do when tempted to say yes, is to go to God. I hope that this is something you can do, too, but I’m not going to push that on you. Suffice it to say, though, the first place I go is to God. Is this something that He is calling me to do? Check yes or no.
  2. Is this something that I would enjoy? Would this bring me fulfillment? Check yes or no.
  3. Does this fit into my life goals? Will this benefit me in the long run? Check yes or no.
  4. How does this affect my family?  Will it help us: financially, relationally, and developmentally? Check yes or no.
  5. Does this benefit someone else? If I’m honest, life isn’t all about me and I sometimes have to make sacrifices in order to serve others. Is this one of those situations? Check yes or no.
  6. Do I have the time to do this? If not, is there something I can give up in order to do this? Check yes or no.

I don’t promise you anything with this checklist. But I do hope and pray that this will reach at least one of you fellow over-busy moms (or dads) out there. If it does, let me know and maybe I’ll have to start my own counseling business . . . hmmm, surely that fits into discipline and balance somehow!

Jenni is married and is mom to Olivia, who is 5 and Eli, who is 4.

Comments (1) »

Run Dylan Run!

Autism and Running. Everything IS possible!
by JAK’s guest mom blogger from Burlington, Colleen Nagle

Watching my 13 year old nonverbal son sitting lazily on HIS oversized chair, legs sprawled across the ottoman, concern drifted through my mind. Not unusual to worry over my son with Autism, but now it was extending to his physical or lack of physical activity. So many kids today seem to be less active than when we were kids due to video games, texting, iPods, computers, etc.. For my son Dylan his lack of activity is related to his disability. He has no friends, there is no riding his bike to a friend’s house, no football or soccer, no gym class because he is home schooled. He and I, his mom, both needed to find a way to incorporate activity into our lifestyle.

It began simply by getting outdoors. Going anywhere we could wander…we took our first steps at outdoor garden centers, park paths, outdoor art expos, farmers markets, anywhere we could stretch our legs. It was easy to see that Dylan enjoyed getting off of his comfy oversized chair and exploring nature and interacting with others.

Our next step was dusting off his 3 wheel adult tricycle and checking out our own neighborhood. The boy was all giggles and smiles, his body instantly relaxed and he looked so happy and natural on his bike. He looked like any typical kid. People walking or in their yards would wave and say hello to us which was very reinforcing to Dylan, who always responds greatly to verbal praise. This encouraged him to keep riding and go out with me again the next day.

Eventually I began to run and Dylan would ride his bike behind me. He was so courteous, keeping a safe distance, never running me over! We gradually worked our time outdoors to 90 minutes of me running and him riding along, with his smile and bottled water.

One day, headed out for our daily bike/run, we found Dylan’s bike with a flat tire. Crud, now what?! I can’t fix it myself so we cannot bike/run today.

A solution. We begin to walk and Dylan begins to cry and fuss. He uses sign language and gestures to tell me he wants to go back home. I am determined to have him at least try running, he’s seen me do it for months…maybe if I get him running he’ll be ok. So I start to jog and tell him simply, ‘Come on.’ He jogs a few paces behind me, fussing and whining. At least I know he’s there, I can hear him complaining. We jog for a minute and then walk some, then resume the jogging and continue to alternate with walking. After 20 minutes we are back home, he does a few stretches with me and then runs immediately and gratefully back to his oversized pillowy chair and ottoman for refuge.

The next day. ‘Come on Dylan!’ Pleased and excited, he jumps up and heads outdoors to the garage for his bike. I head to the side of the street and start walking and say, ‘This way! Come on!’ He gives me a confused look but without hesitation he follows me, to my shock, without fuss.

We ran and walked and ran and walked…. And with each run I see a difference in Dylan. My silent teen boy has words on our runs, ‘go’ ‘run’ ‘mom’ ‘dog’ ‘done’ ‘home’ and many more. He smiles through every run, and it’s a proud smile, that ‘I’m doing this mom, I’m really doing this and I’m proud mom!’. I am so proud of you too, Dylan. You are a dedicated runner, you take pride in running and in being healthy. As a result of running even his diet has changed. His own body instinctively now craves healthier foods and he is sleeping better and has fewer health issues that once kept Dylan tied down to that darn oversized chair where he often slept away the day. He has lost his chubby belly and is now the perfect weight for his height. Now I no longer fear that this child will grow up sitting in his chair, sleeping, missing life, over weight and unhealthy. Now I sleep very well knowing that he is learning to take care of his body and his health, knowing that I have set him on the right track for an adulthood of appreciating fitness.

Way to go Dylan! Everything is possible!

Comments (3) »