Archive for October, 2015

Please & Thank You

Trick or Treat, Cordially SpeakingTrick or Treat 2005 (2)
by Just Add Kids Founder,
Paula Herrmann

This harvest season, Just Add Kids has given you the Festive Fall Family Destinations, Community Trick or Treat Directory, and last week we shared a piece on Halloween Safety Tips. This week, I want to touch upon etiquette.
Please parents, if you haven’t already, teach your children to say “Thank You” when they receive their Trick or Treat candy/item. Pretty simple.

Read more…

Seems over the last several years, proper manners have gone out the window as we welcome the culture of entitlement. Well, baby, I ain’t buying it. And I will remind those whose children come to my door this Saturday to receive for free the treat I have worked hard to afford to buy, that a thank you is expected. I do hope to hear it. But, if I don’t, I will kindly respond “Thank you, and you’re welcome” with a smile on my face, only because, really, it’s not the child’s fault that they don’t know how to properly accept a gift. It’s mommy and/or daddy who haven’t taught and enforced it.
Cordial Halloween, subject #1: Teach your children to say “Thank You” when they receive something from others as a kind gesture.

Ok, nuff with that. I think that message was pretty clear.

Cordial Halloween, subject #2…all inclusive trick or treat for children with food allergies. It’s no secret that there is an increase in children who have (in severe cases, near or fatal) allergic reactions to such common foods as peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat, to name a few. According to Food Allergy Research & Education, Inc. (FARE) 1 in 13 children in the United States are diagnosed with this serious medical condition.

PrintThe Teal Pumpkin Project™ national campaign was launched by FARE last year to raise awareness of food allergies and promote the inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season. In 2014,  households from 50 states and 7 countries participated in the campaign. Had I known about it last year, I most certainly would’ve jumped on board, and I’ve done just that for this year and I am asking you to JOIN ME in providing alternatives for trick-or-treaters. I’m copying and pasting the list here from FARE’s website treat items that are readily available at dollar stores, party stores, etc. I think I’ll put mine in a teal bowl (which I just happen to have…it’s my kitchen color!):

  • Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
  • Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
  • Bubbles
  • Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
  • Mini Slinkies
  • Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
  • Bouncy balls
  • Finger puppets or novelty toys
  • Coins
  • Spider rings
  • Vampire fangs
  • Mini notepads
  • Playing cards
  • Bookmarks
  • Stickers
  • Stencils

TAKE THE PLEDGE>>CLICK HERE and create a safer, happier Halloween by offering non-food treats for trick-or-treaters. Please share the message with your friends, families and neighbors. FARE provides you with the info and tools. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. #tealpumpkinproject

Alright, one final lesson in proper Halloween decorum with Cordial Halloween, subject #3to the dispensers of the Halloween treat, flick your porch light on! Not all homes participate in Trick or Treat, and that is perfectly fine. Though, if you are, please identify yourselves by lighting up the porch/door. Make it easy and efficient for those families out their braving the elements.

Now finally, we hope mother nature works in our favor this year and that the rain, wind, cold stays away. Wishful thinking? From the looks of the forecast for Saturday, October 31st, we may be in for a rough one.

Have a safe happy halloween, peeps!


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Sweet ‘n Safe

Halloween SafetyIMG_2343
Sourced from Children’s Safety Network

Did You Know?
The most dangerous day of the year for child pedestrians* is Halloween.

On average, over two times as many child pedestrians die on Halloween compared to other days.

Average Deaths Per Day (Laxton, 2012; Sperling, 2012)
Halloween: 5.5
Other Days: 2.6

Halloween Safety InfographHalloween Safety Tips
Costumes should be made of fireproof fabric and include reflectors and bright colors.

Costumes should not obstruct vision or movement.

Bring flashlights or glow sticks to increase visibility.

Adults should accompany children under 12. Children over 12
should go in groups and stick to familiar areas.

Always cross at street corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.

Look left-right-left when crossing and keep eye contact with drivers to make sure they see you.

Watch out for cars backing out of driveways.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

*A child pedestrian is defined as a pedestrian under 18 for the purposes of this infograph (to left)

For more information:

For Children’s Safety Network’s blog post:‐Halloween

Sperling, 2012:

Laxton, (2012):

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Whoo Knows What?

Wise-Ing Up on My Role

Artwok designed by Doucette Designs. Made by Case-Mat in Norcross, GA. Sold by Zazzle.

Artwork designed by Doucette Designs. Made by Case-Mat in Norcross, GA. Sold by Zazzle.

Written by Just Add Kids Founder,
Paula Herrmann

Creative people. Are you one?

For some of us with right brain tendencies, we tend to think in images rather than words. We focus on the big picture rather than the details. Right-brainers go through life in a somewhat flyin-by-the-seat-of-our-pants manner. As long as we ain’t hurtin’ anybody (other than sometimes ourselves!) I’d say we’re pretty okay.

Righties are visually oriented. And when I ran across this meme on Facebook, it totally resonated with me. You RB types will totally crack up…

Read more…
personal facebook pic

Yah, that’s me. Hand raised. All in. I’m fessin’ up.

If you recall in last week’s blog, “Speaking the Language: M.O.M., M.O.A., D.O.A., L.O.L.” I let you in on me putting some skin into, and playing a role in doing what I can do as a mom, a community partner and player in fighting human trafficking, as part of the Racine Coalition Against Human Trafficking. I said, and I quote: “I am going to become that expert that can share and empower others parents/children/interested parties) on social media awareness and prowess so as to eradicate the victimization of our community’s children in the human sex trafficking trade.” Guys and gals. I do believe I have jumped the gun here. My heart is right, yet that goal is hefty, especially as I put it out there that I was to be an “expert”. As much as I want and NEED to know as a mother of a 13 year old daughter and 11 year old son, my best advice to myself (and others) is to become my kiddos’ phone’s/DS’s BFF and communicate with them in love. Remember, you are their parent and their safety is your business. While I am still on a mission to be a great resource to you, my Just Add Kids loyal audience, I will share what I learn/experience/come across. Will I be an expert? As a mom, I am always in training. I will strive to do my best.

Perhaps it was a just a year ago where I started hearing all of the buzz about human trafficking domestically, and right here in our own community. Sure, I knew it was a problem in so-called third world countries. Boy was I wrong, and events of this last week in the state and nationwide validates that indeed, we DO have active human trafficking taking place right here.  The Greater Racine Human Trafficking Task Force participated in Operation Cross Country IX from October 7th through the 9th. Operation Cross Country, led by the FBI, is a coordinated nationwide law enforcement effort focused on the recovery of victims of human sex trafficking.

The Greater Racine Human Trafficking Task Force partnered with numerous area jurisdictions to address sex trafficking throughout Racine and Kenosha Counties. As a result, 20 women were recovered and investigations have begun into the activities of several individuals suspected of exploiting women and girls.

So in my effort to keep you, the people | the parents, informed and hopefully a step ahead so that your children or loved one does not fall victim to this heinous industry, let’s turn to an expert. Assistant professor in Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work Elizabeth Goatley, Ph D.’s offers:

5 Signs or Red Flags that show your child may be at risk for human trafficking:

1. You notice a change in your child’s communication patterns and physical appearance.
2. Your child will not allow you to access his or her technology.
3. Your child has a second cellphone and/or multiple accounts on social media.
4. Your child is exhibiting chronic runaway behaviors.
5. Your child has a new boyfriend – particularly an older one.

Read the full article here:
Is Your Child At Risk To Be Recruited For Human Trafficking? Know the Signs, Expert Says

I had mentioned the upcoming speaker and resource fair in last week’s blog post. Below is a flier, if you wish to read more or copy and share.

Marian Hatcher final event flyer-page-0 (2)

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Speaking the Language

M.O.M.christi's phone 2 (2)

Written by Just Add Kids Founder,
Paula Herrmann

Here I am. It’s Thursday. Blog day. Newsletter day. Now Cross Country Meet day. And out to dinner day. Hey, it’s life.

I’m a Mom On a Mission, Mom On Assignment. Dead on Arrival. Laugh Out Loud (or I could be crying).

It’s Just Add Kids birthday. Early October 2009 was JAK’s launch. Lights went on with and we went LIVE. The mission of connecting families with kid-oriented, family-friendly activities, events, businesses/organizations was realized.

Along the way and during this tenure, I’ve connected with, joined, participated in so much. I’m humble, but here’s a list of the on-going items:
Racine County Network Providers; Eastern Racine and Western Racine County Networking Breakfasts; Kenosha Turn the Town Blue (Stop Child Abuse and Neglect Awareness Month Campaign); Focus on Fatherhood Coalition; Evening of Elegance, Day of Dreams, and Wishes in Wonderland Fundraisers benefiting Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Make-A-Wish Foundation; Minute To Wish It again benefiting Make-A-Wish; SCAN’s Cones for Kids Fundraiser which led to participating on the Advisory Committee for Lutheran Social Services of WI and Upper MI, Inc.’s Sexual Assault Services (SAS) and the Stop Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) programs; short stints on my children’s PTA organization and Horlick Vocal Music Parent Association; I’m certified as a Harwood Community Conversation Facilitator through the United Way of Racine County; put in my year as a provisional and am now a full-fledged member of the Junior League of Racine and serving on the Community Impact committee; I volunteer on the Family and Community Engagement sub-committee of Racine Unified School District Superintendent Advisory Council; and finally, a newbie just trying to figure out my role/contribution to the Racine Coalition Against Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT). With all of that said (and please, I am not trying to pat myself or call attention to any accolades), I know I have a more formal role to play in serving our special needs community.

This week, I learned of an event that the aforementioned RCAHT along with Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – All Saints is presenting: Human Trafficking from a Survivor’s Perspective: A conversation with Marian Hatcher, a human trafficking expert and survivor advocate recently featured in Nickolas Kristofs “A Path Appears” on PBS. In addition to the speaker, there will be a resource fair in which several community agencies will have representatives on site with information on services and how human trafficking victims are supported locally. Yours truly was invited to participate, however, needing to serve our community with a “keeping kids safe” – human trafficking theme. So yeah, as a community member, a mom, I AM TOTALLY interested in pushing my sleeves up to do what I can to eradicate and educate on human sex trafficking especially as it relates to children. I’m HORRIFIED at the reality and enormity of this growing “industry”. But truly, I am NO EXPERT.

That leads me to my assignment….you know, the reference to M.O.A. in hopes that I might have something to offer the fight against human trafficking starting with this blog post. And here I am on deadline with a assignment the is D.O.A.

But, alas! CNN provided me with some great content I can start with as on Monday night they presented a special called “#Being13: Inside the Secret World of Teens” and good Lord, as a mom of a 13 year old girl and 11 year old boy you know I need to get inside a teen’s head especially when it comes to social media. You may remember me writing in previous posts about my perils of opening up the mobile phone Pandora’s Box with my 11, now 13 year old daughter in: iMom. UChild! iCaved. iRegret. and Dough. Ray. Me! A is for App. Well, wouldn’t you know, my son is of age now  where he “deserves” and “has to” have a phone. It was only a matter of time before he jumped on that bandwagon.

I’m going to become that expert that can share and empower others (parents/children/interested parties) on social media awareness and prowess so as to eradicate the victimization of our community’s children in the human sex trafficking trade.

In the meantime, in order to provide you with some news you can use today, I’m going to borrow a snapshot of this CNN report. Gotta start with the basics, the ABC’s so to speak, the acronyms teens are using:


Click here or on image above to go to full article.

Finally, I can’t leave you in the dark regarding the upcoming event mentioned above.

RCAHT speaker October 2015Join us on Thursday, Oct 22 from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm for a unique opportunity to hear Marian Hatcher speak, a survivor advocate in the fight against human trafficking.

She has been featured on numerous documentaries including “Prostitution: Leaving the Life” on OWN Network and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nickolas Kristof’s “A Path Appears” on PBS. She recently presented at President Carter’s World Summit to End Sexual Exploitation by 2025 and is a special consultant to the United Nations Economic and Social Council. She will be speaking about her experience on both sides of human trafficking and answering questions.

A Resource Fair will also be held during the event. Agencies such as Safe Start, Sexual Assault Services, SANE, Crime Stoppers, Child Advocacy Center, Impact 211, SAFE Haven and Faith Hope & Love will have representatives on site with information on services and how human trafficking victims are supported locally.

When: Thursday, October 22, 2015, 10:30 am to 1:30 pm
What: Resource Fair from 10:30 to noon, Speaker at noon followed by a Q&A.
Where: Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare-All Saints St. Luke Campus

Reserve your spot now! Event is limited to 100 attendees so please RSVP as soon as possible by emailing or by calling 262-672-4645.

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Post This!

Trick or Treat! Smell My Feet!trick or treat feet
Written by
Just Add Kids Founder,
Paula Herrmann
Well, what a treat! Halloween, October 31st, lands on a Saturday this year.  That means most communities have scheduled their Trick or Treat times on Halloween.  Whoah…Not all, though.

No fear, my peeps! Just Add Kids has got ya covered with our 2015 Community Trick or Treat Listing  Read more…

Trick or Treat Time 2015 box for JAK Chat Blog

2015 Community Trick or Treat Directory
sponsored by Educators Credit Union
Click here for a downloadable/shareable PDF.

Bay View, October 31st 5 – 8pm

Big Bend, October 31st 6 – 8pm

Bristol, October 31st 4 – 7pm

Burlington, (City of), October 31st 6 – 8pm

Caledonia, October 31st 5:30 – 7:30pm

Cudahy, October 31st 5 – 7pm

Dover, October 31st 6 – 8pm

Elmwood Park, October 31st 4 – 7pm

Franklin, October 31st 4 – 7pm

Greendale, October 31st 4 – 7pm

Greenfield, October 31st 1 – 4pm

Hales Corners, October 31st 4 – 7pm

Kansasville, October 31st 6 – 8pm

Kenosha, October 31st 4 – 8pm

Lake Geneva, October 31st 1 – 4pm

Lyons, October 31st 3 – 6pm

Mt. Pleasant, October 31st 5 – 7pm

Mukwonago (Town of), October 31st 5 – 8pm

Mukwonago (Village of), October 25th 4 – 6pm

Muskego, October 31st 6 – 8pm

New Berlin, October 31st 4 – 7pm

North Bay, October 31st  4 – 6pm

Norway, October 31st 5 – 7pm

Oak Creek, October 31st 5 – 7pm

Paddock Lake, October 31st 4 – 7pm

Pleasant Prairie, October 31st 3 – 6pm

Racine, October 31st 4 – 7pm

Randall, October 31st 4 – 7pm

Raymond, October 31st 5 – 7pm

Rochester, October 31st 2 – 5pm

Salem, October 31st 4 – 7pm

Silver Lake, October 31st 3 – 6pm

Somers, October 31st 4 – 7pm

South Milwaukee, October 31st 5:30 – 7:30pm

St. Francis, October 31st 4 – 7pm

Sturtevant, October 31st 5 – 7pm

Twin Lakes, October 31st 4 – 7pm

Union Grove, October 31st 5 – 7pm

Vernon, October 25th 1– 3pm

Waterford (Town of), October 31st 5 – 7:30pm

Waterford (Village of), October 31st 5:30 – 7:30pm

Waterford (Village of), October 31st 5:30 – 7:30pm

Wheatland, October 25th 2 – 5pm

Wind Lake, October 31st 5 – 7pm

Wind Point, October 31st 4 – 7pm

Yorkville, October 31st 5 – 7pm

Updated 10.15.2015
Do not be scared if your community is not listed above. Frightening as it may seem, there are some municipalities that have yet to confirm theirs. JAK’s got its feelers out there and once we get those dates, we’ll post ’em. We’re happy to hear from you, too!  Feel free to shoot JAK an email at!



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