We are in the process of shutting down this blog. For the most up-to-date information, please see the "Blog Posts" page on the FYIQuadCities.com website. New information is no longer being posted here, and once the archives are switched over to the site, this will be closed.

For the Counselor's Corner, activities, classes, and information, visit my website at: http://www.FYIQuadCities.com

Remember--all new posts are now on the website!!

Be sure to change your bookmark to the website (http://www.FYIQuadCities.com), as this blog is no longer receiving updated posts. Don't miss out on the Counselor's Corner or on any of the fun activities happening in the Quad Cities!! Log on to www.FYIQuadCities.com TODAY!!

Visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FYIQuadCities

Thursday, October 13, 2011

GREAT breakfast deal!!

Today only, Thursday, October 13th, you can order a large omelet pizza (ANY kind!!) from the Bettendorf Happy Joes for only $5.99 plus tax!  You can dine in or carry-out.  $5.99! 

Call them at 563-359-5457 with any questions, or to place your order. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Location, Same Great Counselor!

Our sponsor, QC Counselor, has moved to a new office! You can still reach the Counselor at his website, www.qccounselor.com, but you can also make an appointment to see him by calling (563) 424-2016.

Be watching Paula Sands Live on KWQC for regular appearances by the QC Counselor, Rick Martenson.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

For all you FYIQuadCities fans....

Hello, everyone!  First, let me say thank you all so much for your support with this blog and it's corresponding website and now Facebook page.  It's neat to hear people reference this as the place to get info about Quad City happenings!  You make the time spent worthwhile!!

For those of you who regularly visit our website (FYIQuadCities.com), you will notice that we're undergoing some changes.  My hope was to make all of our updates offline and then roll out the new site, but it's just not going to work out that way.  So, you'll get to see new things added, some old things disappear, and eventually we'll have a great new site (SAME ADDRESS!) that will be all-inclusive. We are making this blog part of our site, making us truly your one-stop for family fun!  We are no longer posting here.  Now new posts are being updated at the site under the "Blog Posts" tab

The Counselor has packed up his Corner and moved with us, so you can catch up with his latest series "Parenting Isn't for Sissies" in his new address HERE

During our construction phase (or "De-struction" as our 4 year old calls it), please bear with us.  We'll be making lots of changes, but they should all be good ones. 

As always, your questions/comments/concerns and informational updates are welcome.  Feel free to email us anytime at FYIQuadCities@gmail.com

Thanks, loyal fans and followers, for using these resources!

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's almost time for FREE summer movies!!

Well, moms, brace yourselves....you are now down to your last days of peace and quiet throughout the day (welcome to my world!)  Here's something fun (and FREE) that you can do with your kiddos for 8 weeks!

One excellent feature that our movie theaters offer during the summertime is a weekly FREE movie.  These vary by theater, but all are in the mornings and all are completely FREE.  They are first-come, first-served so don't wait until 5 minutes before starting time and figure you'll always get in.  We have actually hit a couple of times where they were full (daycare groups love these!).  Most of the time they'll play the movie in multiple theaters, so if you're meeting people there, have a plan in place (we've frequently missed our friends and run into them out in the parking lot afterwards)  The concession stands are always open for drink/popcorn/snack sales, and since you are getting you and all your kiddos in for free, consider supporting them (believe me, we don't EVER do this except in the summer) 

We've attended these for several summers and you can bet we'll hit a few this year as well.  These are a great rainy or too-hot day activity, and a nice way to have a playdate with your kids' friends. Currently Nova 6 (Moline) doesn't have their information available, but here's this year's run down:

RAVE CINEMA 53 (Dav)- Tues and Wed. movies begin at 10 AM, Doors open at 9:30
Start date TBA but movies are:
Yogi Bear
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Beezus and Ramona
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Narnia-Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Gulliver's Travels (Jack Black version)

GREAT ESCAPE  (Moline)- Tues & Wed. movies begin at 9:30 AM, doors open at 9
6/7-6/8--Despicable Me
6/21-6/22--Shrek Forever After
6/28-6/29--How To Train Your Dragon
7/5-7/6--Yogi Bear
7/12-7/13--Narnia-Voyage of the Dawn Treader
7/26-7/27--Nanny McPhee Returns

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rock Island's July Train Festival

This summer we're going to have an interesting festival hit our area. July 21-24th there will be displays and entertainment at Schweibert Park (things like ride-on trains for kids and adults, displays of equipment, model railroad layouts, railroad related vendors, etc.) and numerous train excursions using vintage railroad cars, and diesel locomotives.  If you are interested in taking a train trip, get your tickets before they're COMPLETELY gone at www.trainfestival2011.com or by calling 309-277-0937.

Special Camp for Kids with Diabetes

Being a young child with diabetes can really alter your life.  Frequently the children don't want their friends to know because they don't want to be different.  The parents are concerned about having other caregivers because of what could happen if the care isn't managed properly.

This summer there is a way to solve both of these problems, while still giving your child freedom.  There's a camp being held in Boone, IA for two weeks this summer just for children who have diabetes.  They can go away from home for a week and no one has to worry about whether or not they'll be okay.  Best of all, they can go away from home and be like everybody else! 

The camp is being held at the YMCA camp in Boone and will offer swimming, canoeing, horseback riding, rappelling, archery and more.  The staff will be made up of experienced counselors and expert medical staff.  Financial aid is available. 

The first week is for children ages 6-12 and will be June 26-July 2, 2011.  The second week is July 3-9, 2011 and is for ages 13-18. 

If you, or someone you know, has a child with diabetes, please check out this site for more information: www.camphertkohollow.com or call 888-437-8652

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Have an almost-Kindergarten aged girl?? Here's a fun summer activity for them!

The Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois offers a summer program for kindergarten aged girls or girls entering kindergarten in 2011.  The Daisy Petal Power Program is a Girl Scout program by mail.  A great opportunity for Kindergarteners and their parents to explore the world of Girl Scouts before meeting with a troop in the fall. 

From May-August, kindergarteners will receive a themed packet in the mail with fun activities to introduce them to the Girl Scout Daisy program.  Each girl will also be registered as a member of Girl Scouts and offered the opportunity to join a troop in the fall of 2011.  We will finish the summer with a Daisy Garden Tea Party. 

Program costs are $35 for non-registered girls and cover supplies for the program, Girl Scout membership for 2011-2012 and entrance into the Daisy Garden Tea Party.  (Cost for a currently registered Girl Scout is $23)

For registration information, please contact Theresa at TheresaB@GSEIWI.org or call her at 309-788-0833 Ext. 335

Free financial literacy lessons

As parents, we all want our kids to "get" money.  Not so much HAVE it, but UNDERSTAND it.  Our financial world gets more complex all the time, and we need to teach our kids about this early on.  Junior Achievement offers free online lessons to help you teach your children about money management.  These lessons are in PDF format, so you could print them, and cover a wide range of topics from learning to count change to the true costs of buying a car.  Each lesson is set up by grade level (Elem, Middle School, HS)

Check them out today at www.jaheartland.org

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thinking about a camping get-away??

So here's a cool sounding thing that I ran across...

The YMCA and Camp Abe Lincoln are offering two family camp weekends this summer--Memorial Day and Labor Day.  For $42/participant you will get: all meals and activities such as archery, alpine tower, arena rides, canoeing, fishing, hiking, swimming, and more. You may either bring your own tent OR rent a cabin (which would be my choice, hands down!)  There are 4 different cabin prices that range from $50-$150 for the WEEKEND.  All have heat and some type of air-conditioning (either window units or central air depending on the cabin) and have between 14 and 28 beds available.   All campers must bring their own sleeping linens. 

For more information, call 563-381-3053 or visit www.ymcacampabelincoln.org

Calling all teens...

The Bettendorf Public Library is searching for Tech Teen Volunteers to assist library patrons with navigating the internet & using the other electronic resources available at the library.  Teen Techs must be in 6-12th grades, available to work at least one hour per week in a consistent schedule, and be willing to complete a training.

If this sounds appealing to you, please contact John Gillette at the library.  Email him at jgillette@bettendorf.org or call him at 563-344-4188.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hearts At Home--Fall Conferences

Though we have barely begun spring in the QC area, there are 2 really great conferences coming up in October and November that require a bit of planning on your part, so I wanted to tell you about them.  This is a GREAT get-away for moms of all ages.  If you're unfamiliar with the Hearts at Home organization, I strongly recommend that you check them out today. 

Join the Mom Revolution at the Hearts at Home conferences!

Western Conference
Colorado Springs, CO    October 7-8, 2011

North Central Conference
Rochester, MN  November 4-5, 2011

Mother's Day Appreciation in May!
Register your group of 15 or more by May 31 and you'll receive one additional FREE registration and $10 off the registration fee of each group member!
Find details about this Mother's Day offer HERE.
Groups of 10 or more:
Register your group of 10 or more by September 14 and you'll receive $10 off the registration fee of each group member.
Find group registration details HERE.

Register Today!
Workshop selections are determined by registration date.
The earlier you register, the more likely you are to get your top workshop selections. 

See conference workshops for Colorado Springs, CO HERE.
See conference workshops for Rochester, MN HERE.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Local Plant Sales

Well, it's just about time to call it spring in the Quad Cities--so it's time to start thinking about your gardens and flower beds!  Here's some local plant sales going on around us.  As always, if there's one I've missed, please email me and I'll be sure to get it added. 

* 5/1-5/7--9 AM-7 PM, Northwest Bank Tower, Davenport.  Plants will be sold in flats for $16 or half-flats for $9, hanging baskets $16, wave petunias and geraniums $2.  Proceeds benefit Big-Brothers/Big-Sisters.  For more information (563) 323-8006 or www.bbbs-mv.org

* 5/7--9-11 AM, Riverside Park Pavilion, Moline.  Plants and raffle tickets are available.  Hosted by Moline Horticultural Society.  For more information call Dave Searl (309) 781-0326

*5/7--8-3, Longview Park, Rock Island. Hosted by Rock Island Horticultural Club.  For more information call Bob Towler at (309) 788-2346

*5/7--9-2, 321 W. 2nd Ave, Milan.  Plants, gently used tools, books, raffle tickets available. Hosted by Rock Island County Master Gardeners.  For more information (309) 756-9978

*5/7--8-Noon, McGhee Center & Silvis Greenhouse, Silvis.  Hosted by Silvis Garden Club.  For more information, call Jo Clark at (309) 496-9999.

*5/8--10-2, Duck Creek Park Lodge, Davenport.  Hosted by Davenport Horticultural Society.  For more information, call Joyce McDonald (563) 355-5367.

*5/14--9-1, Scott County Extension Office, Bettendorf.  Plants for sale, demonstrations & rabbits for kids to pet.  Hosted by Scott County Master Gardeners.  For more information, call (563) 359-7577.

*5/14--7-Noon, First Presbyterian Church, LeClaire.  Hosted by the missions committee.  For more information, call Pat Collins (563) 289-4625.

 *5/14---9-3, Clinton County Fairgrounds, DeWitt.  Hosted by Clinton County Master Gardeners.  For more information, call (563) 659-3400.

*5/14--9-4, Lyons Square Park, North Clinton.  Hosted by Clinton County Master Gardeners.  For more information, call (563) 659-3400.

 *5/15---9-Noon, Clinton County Fairgrounds, DeWitt.  Hosted by Clinton County Master Gardeners.  For more information, call (563) 659-3400.

*5/15--9-1, Lyons Square Park, North Clinton.  Hosted by Clinton County Master Gardeners.  For more information, call (563) 659-3400.

*5/15--Noon-3, Riverside Park, Moline.  Hosted by Friends of Riverside.  For more information, call DianeWolf (309) 764-1002 or visit www.friendsofriverside.org

*5/21--8 AM-?, Farmers Market, Sterling IL.  Hosted by Whiteside County Master Gardeners.  For more information, call (815) 772-2016.

 *5/22--10-1:30, Duck Creek Park Shelter #2, Davenport.  Hosted by Mississippi Valley Hosta Society.  For more information, call (563) 355-6973.

 *6/4--10-Noon, Bickelhaupt Arboretum, Clinton.  For more information, call (563) 242-4771.

*6/18--8-2, McGhee Center & Silvis Greenhouse, Silvis.  Hosted by Silvis Garden Club.  Plants for sale, garden walk, and a raffle.  For more information, call Jo Clark at (309) 496-9999.

Wish YOU could have a garden this summer??

If you've been wanting your own garden, but don't have the space or availability to plant one, there are community garden plots available.  The cities of Davenport, Rock Island, and Bettendorf all have spots for rent that you can take on as "yours" for the summer.

In Bettendorf, space is available at the Scott County Extension office, 875 Tanglefoot Lane.  There are 11 in-ground, 8 ft 1 in x 14 ft plots available and 8 4 ft square raised beds.  All bed spaces are $10 each.  To rent a plot, call Julia Blazevic at (563) 359-7577.  There are some tools on-site available for gardeners to use, and water will be available on site.

Davenport hosts many sites.  There are 9 beds at Goose Hollow, 9th and Ripley Streets and 7 at the Friendly House on Myrtle Street. These plots are $10 each with a $20 refundable deposit.  For more information, or to rent a plot, call Julia Blazevic at (563) 359-7577.  Also, the Davenport Parks and Rec Dept. has 36 plots to rent at 7th and Farnam streets.  Plots will be tilled by May 1st.  Water will be available on site.  Plots are $35 for a 10 x 10 foot and $40 for a 4 x 16 foot.  A $20 refundable deposit will be charged for all plots. The Davenport Community and Economic Development Department will work with individuals/groups interested in starting a community garden at any of the 170 empty city lots that are suitable.  For more information, call Roy DeWitt at (563) 888-3440.

Rock Island has about 70 vacant lots throughout the city.  You must do your own tilling and provide your own water.  Rent is $1.  For more information, call (309) 732-2933

Been missing Krispy Kreme donuts??

For those of you who were saddened by the loss of the Krispy Kreme donut in our area, Garfield Elementary School is your HERO!  The first Friday of each month (that'll be on the 6th this month!) you can go to the Brady Street Stadium's (Davenport)  parking lot beginning at 7:30 AM and pick up a dozen freshly-baked donuts for $6.  There will be a drive-up lane available.  Proceeds from the sales will be used to build a new rock wall at Garfield.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Busy day!

Today's a BUSY day in the Quad Cities!  There are multiple benefit walks, craft/vendor fairs, garage sales, and other fun activities being held today.  Be sure to check the calendar at the following link: http://www.fyiquadcities.com/calendar-view

It's garage sale time again!!

There are some GREAT (sounding) garage sales this weekend!  Lots of neighborhood and church rummage sales.  Send me information of your (or any other) interesting, family-oriented sales and I'll happily advertise for you!

Here are this week's highlights...
Saturday 4/30/11 Sales:
     *Bettendorf Presbyterian Church, Middle Rd, Bettendorf.  8-Noon. 

     *Willow Drive, Bettendorf.  8-1.  Sales on the whole street!

     *Bluegrass City-Wide Sales.  7-2

     *Cedar Estates, Davenport.  8-2.  Neighborhood Sale

     *2919 E. 44th, Davenport.  8-1.  3 Family sale.

     *129 W. 46th St, Davenport.  8-1.  Boy, girl & maternity clothes, bunkbeds, more.

     *4237 8-1/2 St., East Moline.  8-3.  4 family sale featuring baby & toddler items.

     *Eldridge Methodist Church, S. 2nd St, Eldridge.  8-12.  HALF PRICE DAY

     *800 Wells Fargo Trail, LeClaire.  8-1.  Travel system, tons of 0-2 baby clothes, more.

     *2689 Northwood Drive, Muscatine.  8-6 Sat & Sun. Multi-family sale.

     *6402 & 6810 Madison St, Davenport.  8-1. 0-2T, 8-12 clothes, Little Tikes, more.

Saturday 4/30/11-  Indoor Garage Sale!     *Held at the QCCA Expo Center, Rock Island from 8 AM-3 PM.  Admission is $2, children under 12 are free.   Can purchase a "sneak peek" at 7:30 AM for $10/person.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Want to coupon efficiently?

Guess today is deal Thursday!  I ran across something else on the E-mealz site that was share worthy.  It's all about how to use coupons in an easy, efficient way.  Enjoy!

"First, stick to the handful of coupons for items my family purchases regularly – key word.

Second, I discovered web sites where I could order the EXACT coupons I wanted in multiples! No more clipping, yeah! (See web site links below)
All those jars of Jiffy peanut butter we consume at $2.83 a whack now are bought at .50 a jar! That’s five jars for the normal price of one! I simply order 10 coupons on line for .08 cents each. I wait for Jiffy peanut butter to go on sale or BOGO. Then I buy 10 jars (to last my family half a year) and I’m one happy camper. Spending $5 (plus the $1 for the coupons) as opposed to $28.30 is worth the effort!

1) Scan the coupons in the Sunday paper inserts. Nine times out of ten, when a manufacture coupon comes out in the Sunday insert, then it becomes available to order in multiples on these “Coupons by Mail” web-sites.

2) Go straight to www.thecouponclippers.com or www.thecouponmaster.com and find the coupons you want. They are listed alphabetically by brand name. It’s easy! If you don’t get the Sunday paper, then just go straight to one of these sites and see what is available.

3) Order those coupons in multiples.

4) Wait for those items to go on sale. Move in for the kill and go power buy!
The best values are the Buy One Get One Free (BOGO) specials – most stores allow you to use 2 coupons. This is where you can pay pennies or even get items for free!"

More deals...

While we're on the subject...are you familiar with RetailMeNot?  Another friend introduced me to it, and it's been a HUGE help with online purchases!  Next time you're shopping online, visit www.retailmenot.com BEFORE you pay/checkout.  You can enter in the site you're shopping and almost always find a discount code that'll save you some money (and who DOESN'T like that?!?)

Happy internet shopping!!

Want to save money on groceries? Want less-stress meal planning?

You know when you stumble across an idea that makes you slap your forehead and wish YOU would have thought of it first?  A friend introduced me to an awesome online resource for meal planning that I just HAD to share with all of you!  It's called E-mealz.

At first blush, my instinct was to scoff at the idea of paying money to get meals planned for me (I'm just snobby that way--please forgive me).  HOWEVER, as I investigated their site more, I realized that this is one cool, ingenious system.  Not because it does something that I couldn't do on my own, but because it does what I don't CONSISTENTLY do on my own. How many times in the past month have you done the 3/4/5 PM cabinet raid to discover what's for dinner?  If the answer is once or more, check out this site!  Here's an excerpt on how it works....

"For only $1.25 per week you login to your account for:

  1.  A family-friendly, concise 7-day dinner meal plan for 4-6 people, or a 5-day dinner plan for 2 people-with concise and easy to follow recipes and directions
  2. A complete, corresponding grocery list - just print and go!
  3. The member's only option to participate in E-Mealz Refer-A-Friend!
e-mealz meal plans...

...are written and created by REAL moms with REAL families
...are balanced and family friendly
...are as easy as possible, but delicious and kid tested!
...consist of favorite recipes collected from hundreds of moms
...come with an organized, aisle by aisle grocery list
...are for 4 to 6 people
...are based on the current week sales at your grocery
...are priced at approximately $75 per week
...Two person plans average $35 total per week

You can also choose special options such as diet specific or meals by store.

Meal Plan Options

Diet Specific · Current Grocery Sales
  • Portion Control Meal Plans
  • Low-Carb Meal Plans
  • Vegetarian Meal Plans
  • Couples-Only Meal Plans
  • Low Fat Meal Plans
  • Gluten-Free Meal Plans
  • Kroger Meal Plans
  • Publix Meal Plans
  • Wal-Mart Meal Plans
  • ALDI Meal Plans
  • RALPHS Meal Plans
  • Any-Store Meal Plans"
Best of all, each plan comes with everything that you  need--plans, recipes, & shopping lists.  Plus, it's only $5 a month, billed quarterly.  $5!?!  If you decide to sign up, be sure to visit retailmenot FIRST, as there are several coupon codes available for a discount on your first billing cycle.  http://www.retailmenot.com

What an ingenious way to simplify one of our biggest tasks!  (Now if they would just tackle laundry...)     ; )

Take a minute and check it out now at http://e-mealz.com!  I think you'll be glad you did!

Monday, April 18, 2011

2011 Discover Davenport Kids Pass

The City of Davenport has come through once again for kids 15 and under... Way to go City of Davenport for being on the ball!! For $50 (admittedly, a decent chunk of change--especially if you have a larger family like we do--but worth it, if you take advantage of many of these offers!!) they get:

Davenport Parks & Recreation:
Free use of the three hole short course at Red Hawk Golf Course!
Free golfing for children ages 9-15 with a paid adult at Red Hawk Golf Course!
Free swimming at Davenport Family Aquatic Facilities and Pools during public swimming hours!
*Children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by a paid adult
Free admission to Vander Veer Botanical Park Conservatory!
Free skating at Rivers Edge (formerly Quad City Sports Center) during public skating hours!

Putnam Museum
Free exhibit hall admission!
*Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a paid adult

Figge Art Museum
Free admission!
*Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a paid adult

Davenport CitiBus
Transportation an issue? No problem!
Ride CitiBus free all summer long!

River Bandits-Modern Woodmen Park
FREE bleacher ticket good for ALL River Bandits regular season home games!
Exclusive River Bandits Kids Club t-shirt!
Front-of-the-line access passes to run the bases following Sunday games!
Free autographs and exclusive meetings with River Bandits players!
Official River Bandits Kids Club Membership card and "Welcome to the Club" gift!
Monthly River Bandits Kids Club Newsletter!
"Kick-Off" Party!
Private pre-game birthday party on Rascal's special day!
On-field pregame Kids Club member parade!

Davenport Public Library
Access Davenport Public Library branches on CitiBus to stay connected to programs like the Summer Reading Program for chances to win all sorts of cool prizes!

Passes are on sale now at Modern Woodmen Park, Downtown, North or West YMCAs, or The River's Edge. 
Children must be present at application processing for identification photo.

Questions? Call the River Bandits office at 563-3-BANDIT

Thanks again, City of Davenport! Maybe they'll get the rest of our fair cities on board and by next summer we could have a MEGA-pass!

Garage Cleaning Time!

If your garage or home has old paints or any chemicals in it that are unwanted, visit www.wastecom.com to make your appointment to dispose of them safely.  This is a FREE service for all Scott and Rock Island County residents.  Plus, if you make your appointment online during the month of April, you'll be entered into a drawing for a FREE K & K gift card!  Can't beat that!

Time for a new fridge, freezer, or window a/c unit??

If you're an Iowa MidAmerican Energy customer, and are ready to update your refrigerator/freezer/window air conditioner, you can save some extra money and hauling time!  MidAmerican will give you a $50 rebate check ($25 for window a/c units), AND will haul away your old appliance.  Appliances must be working, plugged in and empty at the time of pickup. 

For more information about this program, contact MidAmerican at 800-621-2757

Sunday, April 17, 2011

NEW radio show in the Quad Cities!

Be sure to tune in your radios on Saturdays to hear this NEW show!  If you miss a week, you can listen to the show online by visiting Anna's website (see link below).  Please join me in supporting this great new resource for families!
The Parent Trip
Saturdays at 12 Noon on WVIK 90.3 FM

Join local resident & host Anna Kronenberger and her guests for a journey through the ups, the downs, and the in-betweens of raising a family. Your questions are always welcome!  Please email your questions to parenttrip@wvik.org.

For more information, visit Anna online at http://wvik.org/listings-parenttrip.htm or on Facebook at her Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/parenttrip

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The zoo is open and FREE!

If you're looking for something fun to do this week or next during spring break, go visit the zoo!  They opened on Monday, and though many animals are still on their winter vacation, there are several you can see (including a cute, all-white baby Colobus monkey)  The train isn't running yet, but the carousel is operational.  No food stands are open, so plan to bring your own picnic.  The drink vending machines were going ($1-$1.50 each)

Free zoo days end 3/25.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New thoughts from the Counselor's Corner

My apologies to you and the Counselor for the LONG hiatus--life has gotten the better of me!!  Now please enjoy the next post of this series....

It's Monday, which means it's time for a new post in the Counselor's Corner!  Click on the "Counselor's Corner" tab at the top of the page, or click here to see this week's topic.

This is the third week in the series the Counselor is addressing --"The Secrets of Men".  Feel free to leave your comments or email him directly at QCCounselor.Com

Want to hear more from the Counselor?  Submit any topic ideas you might have by clicking here or by leaving a comment with what you'd like to have addressed.

Many thanks to our sponsor, QCCounselor.Com, for the weeks of laughter and learning!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Great activity for a GREAT cause!!

Do you LOVE chili?  Are you looking for something fun and different to do with your family this weekend?  Then mark your calendar for the Hand-In-Hand Chili Cookoff!

Date: January 29, 2011
Location: Mississippi Valley Fairground, Starlight Ball Room, Davenport
Time: 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Cost: $6 per person
For more information visit handinhandqc.org
Join us in tasting a variety of chili, made by local chili teams and have fun celebrating Hand-in-Hand’s Very Special Children.. Other activities include raffles and a silent auction.  Cash bar will be available.

Prizes include:
32” Flat Screen TV, Blu-Ray Disc Player, iPOD, iPAD, $250 in Cash, and much more…

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Looking for a new holiday activity?

There are SO many Christmas/holiday performances in our area this year they're almost innumerable!!  Here are a few (family-friendly!) ones to check out.  For a complete listing of Christmas/holiday activities, be sure to check the calendar on my website, FYIQuadCities.com

*Advent Choral Concert, FREE, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Davenport. 12/19 at 2 PM.  An afternoon of seasonal choral music with a reception following.  563-324-3257

*"Jack Frost Saves Christmas", $10.50, Circa 21, Rock Island. 12/14 at 10 AM.  Show-only performance.  309-786-7733

*Quad City Flutes Unlimited Concert, FREE, Butterworth Center, Moline. 12/15 at 7 PM. Christmas songs from around the world performed by more than 20 flutists.  309-743-2701

*Handel's "Messiah", $10-$20, Centennial Hall, Rock Island. 12/11 at 8 PM and 12/12 at 2 PM  309-794-7236

*Christmas Star Program, FREE, Bettendorf High School Planetarium. 12/10, 11, 17, 18 at 7 PM, 12/12,19 at 3 PM. Reservations required.  563-332-4516

*"Jack Frost Saves Christmas", $17/$15, Circa 21, Rock Island.  12/9-10 and 12/16 at 11.  Lunch and show. 309-786-7733

* "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever", $12-$8, Boll Community Center, Princeton IA. 12/10-11 at 7:30 PM, 12/12 at 2:30 PM. 563-289-4282

* "The Nutcracker" Ballet, various prices, Adler Theater, Davenport. 12/11 at 2 and 8 PM, 12/12 at 2 PM. 563-326-8555

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Moving right along....it's FESTIVAL time!

And so we say "goodbye" to another holiday and another month, and welcome in NOVEMBER!  What a crazy-fast year, eh?!?  I'm not huge into Christmas before Thanksgiving, but ready or not, it's almost time for the Festival of Trees to begin!

General admission for the Festival of Trees (can purchase tickets at the door) is $8/adults, $3/kids 2-10, and $6/seniors (60+). Group rates are available.  Discounted tickets ($1 off normal rates) are on sale now through 11/17 at all QC Hy Vee Stores.  

Here's the schedule of events for this year's Festival of Trees...
(for more information about any of these events, OR to register for special events, call 563-324-FEST or visit www.quadcityarts.com)

*Santa's Special Stars  9 AM-Noon at the River Center, Davenport
What is it? A free private tour dedicated exclusively to Santa's Stars with disabilities. Must pre-register.

FRIDAY, 11/19
*Silver Bell Social  9 AM-Noon at the River Center, Davenport
What is it?  A party dedicated to our senior friends over 60. Admission is $5, or $4 with Plus 60 Card. Must pre-register.
*Festival of Trees Grand Premiere Party    7pm – 10pm at the River Center, Dav.
What is it?  THE holiday party of the year, with music, dancing, food, silent auction, and more. $60/Registration, Tables for 8/$400. Must purchase in advance.
*Breakfast With Santa  8:30am – 10:30am at the River Center, Davenport 
What is it?  Start the day with Breakfast With Santa! Tickets are $12 and must be reserved in advance. 
*Festival of Trees Holiday Parade 11am – 12pm in Downtown Davenport 
What is it?  The largest helium balloon parade in the Midwest! Admission is free, DRESS WARMLY!!  (even cooler is going downtown near the old Freight House building the night before and seeing the balloons "come to life" as they're inflated!!) 
*Post-Parade Warm Up Party 1pm – 2pm at the River Center, DavenportWhat is it?  Come join the Post-Parade Warm Up Party ! General admission for the Festival of Trees (purchase tickets at the door) is $8/adults, $3/kids 2-10, and $6/seniors (60+). Group rates are available.
*Teddy Bear Tea 3:30pm – 4:30pm at the Radisson Plaza, Davenport 
What is it?  The Teddy Bear Tea is a special afternoon for youngsters and their favorite fuzzy friend, featuring fancy dessert, high "tea" and special entertainment. Tickets are $15, and must be reserved in advance.  
*Sizzlin' Soiree  5pm – 9pm at the River Center, Davenport 
What is it?  Ladies Night Out! Sizzlin' Soiree--Ladies, Laughs & Libations is from 6-9 PM (doors open at 5 PM). Featuring shopping, auctions, raffles, dinner, and more. Tickets are $35 or $300 for a table of 10, and must be reserved in advance.  
*Sugar Plum Ball  6pm – 9pm at the QC Waterfront Convention Center, Bettendorf
What is it?  A formal father-daughter dance, the Sugar Plum Ball. Tickets are $45, or $320 for a table of 8 and must be reserved in advance.
*Celebrity Lunch  11:30am – 1:30pm at the Radisson Plaza, Davenport
What is it?  Join the luncheon fun as local celebrities "work" for art-promoting tips. $30 advance reservations required. 
*Jingle Jam  8pm – 11pm at the QC Waterfront Convention Center, Bettendorf
What is it?  The Jingle Jam dance is for teens from all over the Quad Cities! Tickets at the door are $20/person, or purchase them at participating high schools for $20, and the school will get to keep $5! 
*Happy Thanksgiving!  No special events today!
*No special events today.
*Festival of Trees Family Day
What is it?  Today is FAMILY DAY! All tickets are discounted $1 from the prices listed above. There's fun to be had for the whole family including special entertainment, raffles, silent auction, and more.
*Boot Scootin' Holiday Hoedown  8 PM - Midnight at the Mississippi Valley Fair Grounds (Keppy Hall), Davenport
What is it?  Come and country western dance to all of your favorite country tunes! Tickets are $10 and only available at the door. 
*Last day to see the 2010 Festival of Trees.  Regular admission prices apply. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

More candy than you know what to do with??

In case your house is SWIMMING in candy today, here's a novel idea...

Byrum Dentistry, 3878 Middle Road, Bettendorf is hosting a candy buy-back today only (11/1/10) from 2:30-5 PM.  They'll pay $1/pound of candy (up to 5 pounds per child).  All candy collected will be shipped to members of the armed forces overseas.

What an easy way to help others, while also saving parents' waistlines ; )

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Time to plan for Halloween Festivities!

Here are some of the local trick-or-treating and parade times...
*BETTENDORF: Parade 10/23 at 1 PM , Trick-or-Treating 10/31 from 5-7 PM
*DAVENPORT: Parade 10/31 from 7-9 PM, Trick-or-Treating 10/30 from 5-8 PM
*DEWITT: Trick-or-Treating 10/31 from 5:30-7:30 PM
*PRINCETON: Parade 10/30 at 3:30 PM, Trick-or-Treating 10/30 from 4:30-6:30 PM
*LECLAIRE: Trick-or-Treating 10/31 from 6-8 PM

*MOLINE: Parade 10/17 from 1:30-3:30, Trick-or-Treating 10/31 from 5-8 PM
*EAST MOLINE: Trick-or-Treating 10/31 from 5-8 PM
*SILVIS: Trick-or-Treating 10/31 from 5-8 PM
*MILAN: Trick-or-Treating 10/31 from 5-8 PM
*ROCK ISLAND: Trick-or-Treating 10/31 from 5-8 PM, Fright Night in the District 10/27 & 10/28

And some other Halloween events around town...
*HAUNTED ISLAND, DAVENPORT.  10/22-10/23 from 6-10 PM.  Take a hayrack ride around Credit Island, sit around the fire to listen to the spooky storyteller, or see the bat presentation.  Concessions available for purchase.  $5/Adults, $2/kids  563-529-3080

*HALLOWEEN PARTY, ST. JOHN'S LUTHERAN, BETTENDORF.  10/23 from 2-4 PM.  Wear your costume and bring your friends to this party for kids.  Enjoy games, prizes, treats, and face painting.  563-355-4161

*SPOOKFEST, MAQUOKETA. 10/23 at 6:30. Features a night of activities for kids up to 5th grade including games, costume parade, trick-or-treating and more.  $5/family, $2/child.  563-652-9815

*FAMILY SPOOKTACULAR, DAVENPORT. 10/22 and 10/29 from 6:30-9:30 PM.  Visit the interactive haunted tour and party for children 11 and under, hosted by the QC Heat baseball teams.  $5/child, parents are FREE!  563-445-7844

*HAUNTED HAY RACK, ROCK ISLAND. 10/22-10/23 and 10/29-10/30 from 7-10 PM AND 10/24 and 10/31 from 7-9 PM.  Hosted by the Backwater Gamblers Water Ski Club.  Admission is $5  309-786-8987

*JAYCEES HAUNTED HOUSE, DAVENPORT is open until 10/30.  This Saturday, 10/23, is the kids' lights-on matinee from 12-2 PM.  Admission is FREE for the matinee!  For information about other hours/days, visit www.davenportjaycee.com/id27.html

*SCARECROW SHENANIGANS, FMAS BETTENDORF is being held this Sunday, 10/24, from Noon-5.  Admission is free for museum members, and $8/person for the public.  ALL attendees (members and non) MUST have a ticket.  Tickets can be picked up (FREE for members!!) or purchased now through Sunday at the front desk of the Family Museum. 563-344-4106

*TEEN MASKED BALL, ROCK ISLAND is being held 10/26 from 6-7:30 PM at the RI Library's Southwest branch.  FREE for teens ages 12-18.  Come in costume, and dance to the music.  Food will be served.  309-732-7338

*FAMILY FRIGHT NIGHT, ROCK ISLAND on 10/27 from 6-8 PM at RI High School.  Wear your costumes for games, treats, face painting, & a haunted house.  Admission is FREE with 6 canned goods per person.  Otherwise admission is $2/person.

*HAUNTED HALLOWEEN HILLTOP WALK, ROCK ISLAND on 10/27 from 5-9 PM.  A FREE family event at the businesses along 14th Ave and 30th St, R.I. (Cool Beanz Coffeehouse, DePaepe's Gym, Handy True Value, Happy Joes, and much more).  Trick or treat at participating businesses, ride the hayride, visit the pumpkin patch, hear live music, do crafts and more. 

*FRIGHT NIGHT IN THE DISTRICT, ROCK ISLAND on 10/28 from 5-8 PM.  These family-friendly activities include a costume contest, treasure hunt, and more.  Admission is FREE.  309-788-6311

*CHICK-FIL-A, DAVENPORT has a Halloween Spooktacular on 10/28 from 5-8 PM! Come and see the cow's new costume. Trick or Treat at the counter and try your hand at the cow toss to win a prize. Kids wearing costumes will receive a FREE 4-ct chicken nugget meal.

*EM/SILVIS JAYCEES HAUNTED HOUSE, SOUTHPARK MALL, MOLINE. Has a kids' night on 10/28 starting at 7:30.  Admission is just $5.  309-721-8211

*TERROR AT SKELLINGTON MANOR, ROCK ISLAND.  NOT for little kids!  A supposedly genuine "haunted" house.  Open Thurs 10/28-10/31 from 7 PM on.  Admission is $12/person.  Visit them at www.terroratskellingtonmanor.com  or 563-344-9187

*HAND-IN-HAND, BETTENDORF has a Halloween party scheduled on 10/29.  Admission is free, event is open to the public.  563-332-8010

*HYVEE KIDS CLUB HALLOWEEN BASH, ROCK ISLAND 10/29 6-7 PM.  Bring your boys and ghouls to the Club Room for a Halloween costume party!  Cost is $5 and includes snacks, games, crafts, and a picture of your little one all dressed up.  To register, call 309-793-0684 or visit the Customer Service counter (18th Ave. store).

*HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR, BORDERS, DAVENPORT 10/30 at 11 AM.  Come dressed in your Halloween costume for their annual Spooktacular Kids' Event.  Designed for ages 3-8.  563-359-7830

*WITCHES WALK COSTUME PARADE is 10/30 starting at 1 PM in Downtown LeClaire.  A family event with lots to do!

*BOO AT THE ZOO, COAL VALLEY is 10/30-10/31 from 10 AM-3PM.  Kids can trick or treat (costumes ok) from vendors at Niabi Zoo.  $6 adults, $5 kids, 4 and under are FREE.  309-799-3482

*MONKEY JOES, DAVENPORT has a Halloween Bash scheduled for 10/31 from 2-6 PM.  Admission is $6 for all children in costume (adults are always free)   563-322-JUMP

*PUMPKIN EXTRAVAGANZA, ROCK ISLAND 10/31 from 1-4 PM at the Quad City Botanical Center.  Admission is FREE for members, $5/Adults, $3/Kids 5-12, $1/Kids 2-4.  309-794-0991

More Haunted House information online at www.qcahaunts.com

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's time for apple & pumpkin picking!!

Welcome, fall!  You're now officially here!!  That means it's time for the apples & pumpkins to be picked.  

At Stone's Apple Barn (East Moline, 309-496-2318)   They're open 7 days a week.  Also, beginning in September, you may pick your own apples when you go. There is a 20 lb minimum for pick-your-owns.

At Happy Hollow U-Pick (also East Moline, 309-496-1515), they offer a large variety of produce.  For the current selection, simply call them and it'll be listed on their answering machine.  Visit them at www.happyhollowupick.com

One I haven't tried, but have heard good things about is Shady Knoll Farms (East Moline  309-496-9636)  Many preschool groups are frequenting this one.

Another apple orchard (again, haven't been personally) is Wainwright Orchards (finally a new town--Hillsdale  309-658-2475)

Outside of the Quad Cities, you can try Tanners Orchard with u-pick apples and pumpkins as well as other activities for the family.  (Speer, IL , 309-493-5442) They're open 7 days/week from 8-8.  For more information and coupons, visit them online at www.tannersorchard.com

If you're searching for a pumpkin patch or corn maze, here are some you could try...

BUFFALO PUMPKIN PATCH, 1500 Front Street, Buffalo, IA  (563) 508-4254

PRIDE OF THE WAPSI, 14600 305th Street, Long Grove, IA  (563) 285-8180  www.prideofthewapsi.com

SANDY PINES ELK FARM, 28650 Hahnaman Road, Deer Grove, IL  (815) 438-2463

GREAT PUMPKIN PATCH, 16470 Black Road, Lyndon, IL  (815) 778-4856

SHADY KNOLL FARM, 3115 Dennhardt Road, East Moline (309) 496-9636

HAPPY HOLLOW,  17325 20th Avenue North, East Moline (309) 496-1515

COUNTRY CORNER, 5333 U.S. Highway 150, 2 mi N of Alpha, IL (309) 629-2359

THE GREAT PUMPKIN PATCH, I-88, 30 mins. from the QC's (815)778-4856 www.thegreatpumpkinpatchfestival.com  FREE Admission M-F

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A different type of activity for you... **UPDATED**

We took our kiddos to this event today, and let me tell you--it was completely worthwhile!  The chemistry club students did a terrific job of demonstrating cool scientific experiments using "science speak" while still engaging the kids.  Even our 4 year old loved it!  We loved that each experiment was short enough that the kids could see all of them.  None took more than about 5 minutes in between demos--most were ready immediately following the previous demo.  This was great for our littler ones' attention spans. Also, it was really nice to have them in an actual college science lab without them having to be quiet and not touch anything.  The students were great with giving the kids enough directions to keep them safe, yet encouraging them to get close/involved enough to make it meaningful.

Some of the highlights included Dr. Cool's Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream (yummy samples at the end!!), the Mentos/Diet Coke fountain, the non-burning dollar, drawing with radishes, "growling" gummy bears, their souvenir golden pennies, and the ever popular (at least at my house!!) exploding 2 liter bottles using dry ice--we usually use baking soda and vinegar.

We got a little lost and ended up starting in the Fryxell Geology Museum, which my kids ALSO loved!  If you've never been there, be sure to stop by some time with your kids.  There are many geodes, animal fossils, and teeth/skulls on display.  One of our favorite things was the fluorescent mineral area.  It allows you to see the effects of 5 different UV lights on certain minerals that naturally fluoresce.

All in all, it was a lovely FREE day spent at Augustana.  Thanks, Augie Chemistry Club--you did a GREAT job!  We'll be anxiously awaiting next year!!

So it's National Chemistry Week, and Augustana College is offering this cool (FREE!) activity for families...

Chemistry Open House, for National Chemistry Week, at Augustana College
Sunday, October 17, 2010 1pm-4pm.

Demonstrations every half hour, Ongoing Exhibits and Hands-On Activities
FREE - no registration required, no minimum or maximum number of guests, no RSVP, open to the public
No Age Restrictions: Although many of the exhibits are focused toward Middle School through Adult, there are hands-on activities for kids ages 4-10 (approx).

Demonstrations will be held every half hour in different classrooms and labs. There will be ongoing exhibits to view on a drop-in basis. A kids’ room with hands-on activity stations geared for ages 4 to 10, is open the entire 3 hours.
A flyer is available at a front desk when you come in the main entrance doors(east, ground level entrance facing the quad). The flyer will give the time and location of the scheduled demos, including Dr. Freeze and Captain Kinetics. Other walk-in exhibits are available anytime for drop-in including: Elephant Toothpaste, Collapsing Cans, Growling Bears, Flash Powder& Flaming Pumpkins.
Caution: Some loud noises and bright flashes may startle young children.

Augustana College
Hanson Hall of Science
726 35th Street (south corner of 7th Avenue and 35th Street on Bergendorff Ct)
Rock Island, IL 61201

Enter through main doors (facing the quad to the East), there will be a table with flyers listing the scheduled activities and locations throughout the building.

New section on FYIQuadCities.Com!

Wanted to let my faithful follower(s) know that FYIQuadCities.com now sports a page JUST for deals on restaurants and fun activities called "Eats & Entertainment Deals" (thanks, Mindy!!).  Visit this page before you choose your dining location for the evening, or decide when you're going to see a movie and you can save some big bucks!  As always, when you run across a fabulous deal that you'd like to share, please email us!
Click here to visit the Eats & Entertainment Deals page.

Chick-Fil-A Fall Festival/FREE fall events

Do your kiddos LOVE Chick-Fil-A?  Do you LOVE free dinners??  Then stop by their fall festival (53rd Street, Davenport) this weekend for some special events and, yes, FREE food (Thurs/Fri only)!!  Friday from 5-7 PM, they're having a hay bale maze. Kids 2-12 will receive a FREE Chick-Fil-A 4 ct. nugget meal just for finding their way through the maze!  On Saturday from 11-2 and 5-7, you can enjoy the maze, hayrack rides, hot chocolate, and bobbing for apples, as well as voting for your favorite decorated pumpkin. 
Thursdays are Family Nights.  On the 21st and the 28th, kids can get FREE 4 ct. nugget meals and do some special activities.  For FREE food on the 21st, dress them in their P.J.'s and on the 28th, have them wear a costume. 

For more information, visit the FYIQuadCities.com calendar of events or Chick-Fil-A at www.cfadavenport.com

Monday, September 27, 2010

New name, same great information!

Our website has changed its name to FYIQuadCities.com!  This change will make it easier to reference all the information that is listed on the site--not to mention that it's a great name to describe what we do.  The information really IS "for your information, Quad Cities." 

You say you've never checked out our site?  That you thought these posts were what we're all about?  Well, my friend, read through and then click on the above link to visit a site FULL of activities for you and your family!

Let's say it's a dreary Tuesday morning.  Your kiddos are a little cranky (frankly, maybe you are too!) and everyone needs to do SOMETHING different today.  What's it going to be?  Your friends are all busy or sick (Welcome to cold and flu season, eh?!) so a playdate is out....WAIT!  Log on to FYIQuadCities.com and click on the "Daily Activities" link in the sidebar on the left.  This will show you storytimes, Tuesday-specific things to do, drop-in activities, places to score a free dinner for your kids...BINGO!  Day is planned, kids are happy, life is good again.  : )

Maybe you know that next week you've got WAAAY too much free time.  How do you fill it?  Log on to FYIQuadCities.com and click on the "Calendar View" link in the sidebar on the left.  Then you can check by date or agenda view to see all the special events that go on in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas (note: you will sometimes find recurring events on this calendar, but usually if they happen every week on the same day, "Daily Activities" is where they'll be.)

Perhaps you and your kids are tired of storytimes and the same old thing....what then?  Log on to FYIQuadCities.com and click on the "Things To Do" link in the sidebar on the left.  This will allow you to choose information based on your personal parameters.  Maybe you know you want to do SOMETHING outside--choose "Outdoor Activities."  Or maybe it's too cold to be outdoors (Ahh...Midwestern winters!)  Choose "Rainy Day Fun" to see places you can check out on less glorious days.  You can also view information about day trips, longer trips (still more local than country or world-wide), museums, libraries....you name it.

And for those days when your inner Cruise Director Julie (of Love Boat fame, if you're unfamiliar) is spent from finding ways to entertain, log on to FYIQuadCities.com and click on the "Resources for Moms" link in the sidebar on the left.  Find some sites that will encourage, aid, and amuse YOU! 

One thing I truly enjoy is digging up fun activities to do with my family.  I sincerely hope that you will get a lot of good out of my obsession ; )  As always, if there are things that we could add to enhance the site experience, email us and let us know.

Thanks for being part of FYIQuadCities!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A great event for 4th-8th graders!

Looking for a fun, safe atmosphere for your pre-teens/early teens for Saturday nights?? Well, the Scott County YMCA has just the thing for you!
4-8th graders are invited to the "Y-Zone" on Saturday nights from 7-10 PM.  The location changes weekly, but there is bus service available.  Best of all, it's only $3 to be part of this fun!  This is scheduled from October 9-March 19 at the Downtown, North, West and Bettendorf family Ys.  For more information, contact the YMCA nearest you.

STILL garage sales!!

Well, here are some of this week's winner garage sales in Bettendorf....
     *2052 Ashford Road.  Fri 8-2.  Multi-family sale!
     *5533 Berkshire Drive.  Fri 9-2.  Youth bed, stroller, crib
     *2921 Glenn Street.  Fri 7-11.  Donuts available!  Lots of like new/new stuff.
     *5519 Joshua Street.  Fri 8-2.  Boy and girl stuff 2-5, double stroller
     *5534 Julie Ann Court.  Sat 8-11.  Kid toys, clothes, crib & dresser set
     *3237 Pleasant Drive.  Fri/Sat 8-?.  Teacher supplies, lots of misc.
And in Davenport.....
     *2533 E. Hayes.  Fri 8-2.  LOTS of kids toys, clothes 0-7 shelves, twin bed, etc.
     *3731 Fair Avenue.  Fri/Sat 9-5.  3 family sale, rain or shine!
     *2832 Kelling Street.  Fri/Sat 8-2.  baby girl clothes 0-24 months
     *3303 Kenwood Avenue.  Fri/Sat 8-3.  Clothes 3 mo-size 12, big item baby gear
     *3321 Rockingham Road.  Sat 9-3.  Lots of baby boy & girl clothes, baby items

The season's winding down, so happy shopping!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Looking for a CUTE photo idea??

A local MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) group is doing something awfully cute for a fundraiser this year, and I thought some of you might be interested.... From now until 10/1 they are selling 10X13 Antiquities photos for only $10!  If you're unfamiliar with Antiquities, they're sepia, hand-colored photos done in costume--not old west style, but things like overalls, no shirts, bare feet, lacy dresses for the girls, etc.  Best of all, they bring all the props and all you have to do is show up.  And the pictures turn out so darling!!

If you're looking for something different for you or for some cute, original Hanukkah or Christmas gifts, this would be good!  The photographer is scheduled to be here October 15th and 16th (we'll add the 14th if there are enough sales).  All photos will be taken in Bettendorf, and the photographer will bring back the printed photos in plenty of time for the holidays.  (There will be additional portraits available for purchase at that time). 

Fine Print:  There's a limit of one $10 certificate per household (you can't do multiple sittings of the same child/children with different certificates, nor can you purchase 1 for each of your children).  It's good for children 16 and under (if you'd like a family portrait, that can be done in addition to the $10 one, but your certificate will not apply to that picture)  Once all certificates have been sold, we will have a web address where you can go in and select your own sitting time. 

If you're interested in purchasing a photo certificate, please email TooCutePhotos@yahoo.com and mention that you saw the offer on this blog.  Feel free to pass this info on to anyone you know who may be interested. 
Thanks for considering helping out MOPS!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

FREE Gingerbread Class!

Quad-City Arts is sponsoring a workshop on making a gingerbread village next Tuesday, August 31st from 6:30-8 at the River Center (Davenport).  Although it's a FREE event, you must pre-register by Friday (8/27).  So get calling Rebecca Green at 309-793-1213 EXT 100 OR emailing rgreen@quadcityarts.com

Attendees will have the chance to win door prizes and purchase gingerbread goodies.  Yum~

More about canning!

Last week I told you that the Salvation Army was searching for canning supplies and people who could teach the art.  This week's big canning news is for those of us who'd like to learn the art...

The Rock Island County Extension Office (321 W. 2nd Ave, Milan) is offering a home food preservation series beginning 9/7/10.  The first class is on Salsas & Pickling (9/7), the second is about Boiling Water Bath Canning & Jams and Jellies (9/14), and the final class is about Pressure Canning & Dehydrating/Freezing Foods (9/21).  All classes are offered from 1:30-3 or 3-5:30 and are $5 per class.

For more information, visit https://webs.extension.uiuc.edu.registration

Rain Barrels, Composters, & Deals, OH MY!!

Just stumbled upon a GREAT deal this coming weekend that I wanted to be sure to share with all of you...

Saturday, 8/28 from 9-3 you can pick up backyard composters AND rain barrels with no pre-ordering!  The Waste Commission of Scott County and Rock Island County Waste Management Agency have teamed up for a special one-day only truckload sale of these items.  We're proud owners of a composter and of several rain barrels and we LOVE them both!!  (In fact, I think we'll be picking up a second composter this weekend!)  Both save us money, and are good for the environment to boot.  Bring a vehicle large enough to tote them away, and your Visa, Mastercard or checkbook and you'll be set.

The compost bins are $40 for the bin only and $60 for a bin, compost turner, and a kitchen scrap pail.  (Personally, I think the extra $20 is overkill--that's just my opinion)  The rain barrels are $75.  That seems like a LOT of money for a plastic barrel (also comes with lid, mosquito netting, downspout diverter, spigot, and two overflow attachments), but believe me, they really ARE worthwhile!!  Our plan is to add one or two per year until we can actually store enough to water our entire yard and landscaping.

You may pick up these items at two locations.  Iowa side: Modern Woodmen Park's gravel parking lot (209 S. Gaines Street, Davenport)  Illinois side: iWireless Center's parking lot (1201 River Drive, Moline)  For more information, contact www.wastecom.com (563) 386-9575 or www.ricwma.org (309) 788-8925

Try to fit it in to your weekend plans--I think you'll be glad you did!

Monday, August 23, 2010

You've got questions, they've got answers!

So I just found out something cool that I thought you all should know... The Iowa State Extension Office has something called the "Answer Line". 

Maybe you have a question on parenting, what kinds of plastics are safe for the microwave, how to get a stain out of a shirt....whatever.  Who do you call??  Well, if you dial 800-262-3804 you will get to speak to a real live professional consumer/family scientist (NOT a recording!!) and have them research the answer to your conundrum.  They will find the answer for whatever your questions are, not just top answers to a few FAQ.  How cool is THAT?!? 

They say that about 70% of Answer Line's questions deal with nutrition, food preparation, food safety, and food preservation. 

Answer line is in operation Monday-Friday from 9-12 and 1-4 PM (because even answerers need lunch breaks!).  After hours, you can check their FAQ section online at www.extension.iastate.edu/answerline  They will also answer emailed questions.

Check it out--and pass it on!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tired of Mason jars cluttering up your house??

The Salvation Army is going to be teaching the "Lost Art of Canning" class to residents of their Family Service Center soon.  In order to do this successfully, they're seeking donations of Mason jars, lids, caps, and pressure cookers as well as people interested in assisting with the class.  If you have supplies that you'd like to donate, please drop them off at any of the Salvation Army addresses below: SA Dav. Community Center, 3400 W. Central Park Ave, Davenport; SA Heritage Temple Corps, 2200 5th St, Moline; or SA Family Service Center, 301 W. 6th St, Davenport.  If you'd like to assist with this most worthwhile project, contact Holly at 563-271-7933

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My new favorite place...

Well, fellow moms, I have stumbled upon my new favorite place and am surprised to report it's in....Rock Island!

Early in July, I'd read about a new park that was opening in the old Casino Rock Island space downtown.  It looked kind of cool, but we hadn't made it there yet.  This week we celebrated a birthday there (#3 turned 6!!) and then went back two days later just to play. 

Our new favorite place is Schwiebert Park in Downtown Rock Island.  Now, I worked downtown for a number of years, and it's not a place I've rushed to take my kids...until now.  One of the first things that struck me about this park is how large and varied it is.  It's a very long park (so if you have multiple little ones or those that are runners, BRING YOUR STROLLER!), but very well laid-out.

Nearest the parking lot (closer to the Arsenal bridge) is the bandshell area.  This is the kind of place that you can imagine "real" concerts taking place.  There's a great grassy area where you can just see blankets and people listening to music (or watching some sort of cool show).  Next to that area are the restrooms.  Not port-a-potties, actual bathrooms with auto-flush toilets, sinks and dryers (no soap, though).

Further in is my kids' favorite spot--the fountains!  There are 10 different fountains that spray at different times/heights with benches and more grassy areas nearby, so you can watch your kiddos play.  At the end of the fountain area is a very shallow (think, lower than your ankle) wading pool where the kids can splash and play. 

Beyond that point is an elevated shelter with 4 or 6 picnic tables with, in my opinion, THE BEST view of the river!  You can see beyond the Centennial and all the way to the Locks at the Arsenal Bridge. This shelter is available for rental--it would make a beautiful backdrop for wedding pictures, rehearsal dinners, even kid parties.

If you continue on, you'll hit the playground.  There are several different types of equipment there--some easier for smaller children and some really challenging for older ones.  My kids are partial to the tilted wheel and the spinning buckets.  They like to see how long they can spin before they feel so dizzy and sick they can barely move (boys!!)

  At the end of the park is a private lot, used primarily by Modern Woodmen during the week (evidently it's open on the weekends).  Did I mention yet that this entire experience is 100% FREE ?!?!

Schwiebert Park is EXACTLY what our riverfronts need!  These pictures don't do it justice, but they'll hopefully pique your interest enough that you'll check it out.  This is the kind of place that truly showcases the beauty of the Mississippi River, as well as the cities that border it.  WAY TO GO, ROCK ISLAND!! You nailed it!!

For more information, contact 309-732-7275 or click here  http://www.rigov.org/citydepartments

Thursday, July 29, 2010

SUPER garage sale weekend!!

If you're a sale-er with a free weekend, there's LOTS to keep you busy!! Visit my site http://sites.google.com/site/qcfamilycalendar/local-garage-sales for information about a HUGE number of garage sales taking place today-Saturday. 

As always, if you're hosting a sale, or know of a doozie, send it to me and I'll happily promote it.  You can't get too much publicity for a garage sale!!

Happy Shopping!!

Christmas Savers Club

Although I don't much care for "Christmas in July", I'm all about bargains and ways to reduce the costs of Christmas!  While shopping at Toys R Us the other day, my son found a brochure about one of their new programs to help ease the costs of Christmas time.

Opening a Christmas Savers Club at any Toys R Us/Babies R Us location will allow you to save money now AND get a 3% bonus (max. value $75) towards your shopping.  They give you a card, receipt, and folder to keep it in.  You make "deposits" at the registers to add value to your card.  On October 16th, Toys R Us will automatically add 3% (up to $75) to your account.  Beginning October 31st, you can start using your card in stores OR online to pay for your purchases. 

Fresh Start Benefit Sale

Humility of Mary Housing, Inc. helps single-parent families get back on their feet.  In 20 years, they have helped over 1000 children and nearly 700 families!  One of their funding sources is a giant garage sale held at the Fairgrounds (Davenport).  This year's sale will be held 8/17-8/20 (see more info on my website's "Calendar View" page).  In order to have a giant garage sale, they need LOTS of donations.

If you're doing the pre-fall dig out, and need a good home for your items, HOM would love them for their sale!  They're searching for housewares, working appliances large and small, furniture, toys, tools, jewelry, bedding, linens...just about anything EXCEPT clothes--no clothes are wanted.  They offer drop-offs Monday, Thursday, and Saturday from 9-3 from now until August 12th.  Take your items to be donated to: 2906 Brady Street, Davenport.  The building is west of Life's Little Treasures, and left off of Brady and East 29th Street.

What a great way place to donate your leftovers to help homeless families!

For more information, contact 563-326-1330, email mavogel@netexpress.net or visit www.humilityofmaryhousing.com