Archive for September, 2015

Uncommonly, JAK

Gavin Schultz on computerNormal or Different
Written by Just Add Kids 
Guest Blogger from Caledonia, Gavin Schultz 

Do you ever stop to think that the people that say they are “normal” really are not?  Thank God for making us all different.

I am grateful that he made me extra special. Special needs individuals have extraordinary gifts to share with the world.

Do you even realize how much more intelligent gifted people are? Take for instance, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. Their minds were able to see and invent spectacular things. Read more…

We benefit daily from their obsessions with creating technology.

Think about the beautiful art work by Michelangelo and Vincent Van Gogh, it is breath taking. The masterpieces of music that was written and performed by Beethoven and Mozart were magnificent.

Temple Grandin has created better livestock handling systems. She has written many books and shares her knowledge at conferences.  She is amazing.

There are many more people that think or know they are on the autism spectrum.  Is that so bad?  I think not, because I have autism too and that is ok.  I would rather be known among these great individuals over being “normal” any day.

God is in control of all things.  Us “weirdos” as some people might call us, were not just put here on earth to aggravate the “normal” person. We have a purpose and we use our purpose to fulfill our missions in life.  Like I want to be a public speaker and write a book. Have I let the fact that I do not have a voice stop me? NO!

Never give up on life no matter what. People that think they are better than us are wrong. People that have hate in their lives for others just because they are not like them are evil. Surround yourself with positive, inspiring, talented people that believe in you. Then see what you can do to make a difference and change the world for the better.

Love, Gavin Schultz

Note: Gavin Schultz is a 17 year old young man from Caledonia who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. Gavin is “labeled” as “non-verbal”. He has been able to communicate “talk” through writing via Rapid Prompting Method (RPM). Gavin aspires to be a public speaker and book author. Meeting Gavin; his mother Cindy Schultz; and service dog, Rusty; inspired the creation of Just Add Kids’ dedicated Facebook group and website page with the common name Just Add Kids – Special Kids Edition, or JAK-SKE, for short.


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pumpkin patchHarvest Happenings
by Just Add Kids founder, Paula Herrmann

Autumn will soon be in full swing with leaves changing color, crisp fall breezes a blowin’, and our favorite restaurants offering all of those spicy frothy sweet satisfying drinks. A lot of fun and a lot of yum is on tap! Fall is so delectable!

In the spirit of keeping “Family Fun @ Your Fingertips…” Just Add Kids has put together a listing of area destinations to help you make the most of creating fall memories with the kiddos. So jump in your minivan, your suv, or on your broom, momma. Let’s go! ==> Read more…

Festive Fall Family* Destinations
Sponsored by Educators Credit Union
Educators Credit Union logo 2014 v2 (2)

                                                                                                                                              Abandoned Haunted House Complex* – 2825 S. East Frontage Road, Mount Pleasant WI

Apple Holler – 5006 S. Sylvania Avenue, Sturtevant WI

Bear Den Zoo & Petting Farm –  6381 Big Bend Road (Highway 164), Waterford WI

Borzynski’s Farm & Floral Market – 11600 Washington Avenue, Sturtevant WI

Busy Barns Adventure Farm – W7675 US Hwy 12, Fort Atkinson WI

Elegant Farmer – 1545 N. Main Street Hwys ES & J, Mukwonago WI

Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America*- 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee IL

Green Meadows Petting Farm – 33603 High Drive, East Troy WI

Godsell Farm –  S105 W15585 Loomis Drive, Muskego WI

Happy Jack’s Pumpkinland & Pumpkinfest – Basse’s Taste of Country Farm Market – 3190 County Road Q, Colgate WI

Haunted Hayrides at Grand Geneva’s Dan Patch Stables* – 7036 Grand Geneva Way, Lake Geneva WI

Haunted Tall Ship (S/V Denis Sullivan at Discovery World) – 500 North Harbor Drive, Milwaukee

Hauntfest at Wisconsin State Fair Park* – 1200 S. 84th Street, Milwaukee WI

Jamestown “Spooktacular” 2015 Light Show  – 6509 Williamsburg Way, view from Taurus Drive (south), just East of Highway K and 38, Caledonia WI

Jerry Smith’s Pumpkin Farm – 7150 18th Street (Hwy L), Kenosha WI

Jo-Don Farms – 5907 Nicolson Road, Franksville WI

Kemper Center Haunted House* – 6501 Third Avenue, Kenosha WI

Kroll’s Fall Harvest Farm – 13236 W. Townline Road, Waukegan IL

Land of the Giant Pumpkins – 11823 Durand Ave (Hwy 11), Sturtevant WI

Mars Haunted House* – 734 W. Historic Mitchell, Milwaukee WI

Nightmare Before Christmas Bayview – 2700 block of Logan Avenue, Bayview WI

Old World Wisconsin – S103 W37890 Hwy 67, Eagle WI

Pumpkin Picking Time at Basse’s Country Delight Farm Market – S70 W16050 Janesville Road, Muskego WI

Racine’s Factory of Fear* – 615 S. Marquette Street, Racine WI

Richardson’s Adventure Farm – 9407 Richardson Road, Spring Grove IL

Schuett Farms – W299 S6370 Hwy 83, Mukwonago WI

Shades of Autumn Fall Festival at Stades Farm & Market – 370 W. Miller Road, McHenry IL

Swan’s Pumpkin Farm – 5930 Highway H, Franksville WI

The Rock Sports Complex presents: The Hill Has Eyes*- 7900 W. Crystal Ridge Drive, Franklin WI

Thompson Strawberry Farm – 14000 75th Street, Bristol WI

Walking Ghost Tour of Downtown Racine* – various destinations.

Wisconsin Feargrounds at Waukesha County Expo Center* – 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha WI

Now go.
Git outta here!

Have fun!
And don’t forget to let them know that Just Add Kids sent you!


*attraction probably too scary for the littles. You know, use your best judgment.

UPDATED 10.28.15

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Fun ‘n Names

Christiane: A 9/11 TributeChristiane First Day of School 2015
by Just Add Kids Founder
Paula Herrmann

My 13 year old daughter, Christiane, in one of her first English assignments wrote about her name. She labeled it as “uncommon”. Funny the whole description had the feel of “common”, kinda “blah”.

While I’ve told the story to her so many times as to how her name was derived, she included nothing of the sort in her essay. Seriously, she has so much material to work with! So, okay, maybe mom here is a bit biased, but her name comes, in part, with some recent historical significance. Read more…

I was pregnant with this one, my number 3 girl, on September 11, 2001 when our country was attacked. Along with my fellow Americans and the world, I was glued to our TV as events and reports unfolded. I was a big CNN watcher then and was mesmerized by one of their lead reporters who was constantly on the scene with some middle eastern landscape in the backdrop. Her name, Christiane Amanpour.

Not sure if you used any sort of methodology to name your children, but Christiane’s name resonated with me. It’s beautiful. Somewhat in honor and respect this reporter. I’m Christian, so that makes sense, too. And oddly enough, years ago I asked permission of a family if they wouldn’t mind if I were to name (if I ever had another child/daughter) her Ani. That was years before I was even pregnant. Permission granted. Ani is a beautiful name, and worked well as the shortened version of Christiane, right? It works.

Well, Ani never stuck. Lovingly, she has earned the nicknames Pink Stink and Chrusty. You know there are stories behind those. None as dignified as what I am telling you today. Shortened, she goes by Christi, which is the way I spell it. She spells it Christy. I should just let her win on this.

Anyways, thanks for allowing me to share and you listening/reading.

Please never forget.

September 11 remembrance piece 2015

My past years’ September 11th reflections:

RE-Group: RE-member (2014)
Say It Ain’t So: September 11th Memory Lapse (2013)
Time Traveler: Taken Back on 9/11 (2012)
Blue Skies: Grey Days (2011)

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For Families, Kids, and Fur Babies, Too!

BARK! Who Goes There?

     My pooch, Leo,
on my dad’s bed!

Update of original post:The Healing Power of a Friend. Woof!

So often dogs help us through our darkest hours. Whether it is guiding the blind, protecting our family and property, or supporting those who are sick, they are by our side. They don’t judge, they don’t stray.  Instead they comfort us through our lows, and jump and sing with us at our best.  This loyalty is no more evident than a dog’s love and affection during the often grueling battle with cancer.

“Dogs are more than just best friends. Nearly half of pet owners consider their dogs a part of their family,” said Tara Panasewicz, American Cancer Society’s Bark For Life Volunteer Event Leader. “Bark For Life is the canine counterpart to Relay For Life, a very family friendly movement.  Read more… Cancer patients often receive a great source of comfort from their pet during their cancer journey. This event celebrates our canine caregivers, just as we honor other family members who support their loved ones who are fighting cancer during Relay For Life.”

2013 BFL Family and Dog (2)On Saturday, September 12, our beloved canine friends, with owners in tow, will celebrate the special bond between cancer Survivors and their friendly companions.  The American Cancer Society’s 3rd Annual Bark For Life of Racine will be an opportunity treat your dog to an outdoor event dedicated to them, and to bringing the community together to fight back against cancer.

We are calling all dogs and dog owners to join us at the Bark For Life of Racine, to show support for local cancer Survivors, to celebrate life, and to come together to help stop this disease.

The family friendly event will include music from Silver Spoon Entertainment, Opening Ceremony highlighting cancer survivors, therapy dogs, and canine caregivers. The event will feature: Opening Ceremony cancer Survivor Celebration Lap (9:30am), Klement’s Racing Sausages, Racine Police Department K-9 Unit, Music, drawing basket items, food, local vendors, family fun, dog friendly walking route and more!

Join us!

American Cancer Society’s 3rd Annual Bark For Life of Racine

Saturday, September 12
9am – 11am
Quarry Park – 3800 Northwestern Avenue, Racine WI 53405
Register your dog today! Registration is only $20/dog (All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society)

Like us on Facebook!

2013 BFL Husky Dog (2) 2013 BFL Girl and Dog (2) 2013 BFL Small Dog (2)

Questions or ideas?

Please contact: Julie Schumann @ (262)312-4034 or

Learn more about the American Cancer Society by visiting

Thank you for your time!  We hope to see you and your best friend on September 12!

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