Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Flustered Mustard Festival and UFO Pulling Party - Black Earth

The Flustered Mustard Festival and UFO Pulling Party

Search and destroy UFO’s (Unwanted Flowering Objects) in the forest during this fun filled festival event! Families and youth groups can sign up for the UFO Pulling Party contest, where teams compete for prizes for who can pull and bag the most invasive species. Never seen a UFO before? We’ll teach you how to spot these alien invaders of the forest. Join us, in honor of Earth Day, to lend a helping hand to the forests of Wisconsin.

Date: April 18, 2009
Event Times: 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Ticket Information: Free program. Pre-registration is required.(Registration deadline: Wednesday, April 15.)

Additional Contact Information:
To register your team for the UFO Pulling Party contest, call 608-221-4038 or email

Aldo Leopold Nature Center-Black Earth Campus
10648 Sutcliffe Rd
Black Earth , WI 53515

Great Eggspectations at Aldo Leopold Nature Center

Great Eggspectations at Aldo Leopold

Legend has it that every spring a rabbit would visit children’s homes during the night and leave a woven nest with an egg in it as a sign that spring had arrived. Join us during Spring Break to hear this wonderful story and adorn your own spring basket just as the animals do by using materials from the land. Naturalists will take you on a trail hike searching for leaves, pinecones, twigs, flowers, grasses, and other materials for your basket trimmings. Learn to dye eggs naturally with leaves, grasses, and other gifts of nature to mimic the variety of colorful eggs made by our wild critters! Your creativity and nature’s colors will give your eggs a special one-of-a-kind design! Eggs and other materials will be provided. Appropriate for children ages 5 and older. Registration deadline is Monday, April 6.

Date: April 9, 2009
Event Times: 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. (Session 1) or 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m. (Session 2)
Ticket Information: ALNC members, $6/person or $20/family; non-members, $7/person or $25/family

Additional Contact Information:
To register for Vacation Day programs, visit, click on General Info, Registration then Vacation Day Program. Fill out the General Registration form and submit. For more information or to register by phone, call 608-221-4038.

Aldo Leopold Nature Center
300 Femrite Dr.
Monona, WI 53716

Gourds Gone Wild at Olbrich Gardens 4/4/09

Gourds Gone Wild! 3rd Annual Wisconsin Gourd Festival

Wisconsin Gourd Society presents a full day of gourd art, artists, demonstrations, music, classes, vendors, gourd sales, supplies, tools, seeds, color products and embellishments--plus gourd bowling for the kids! Growing advice, a silent auction and raffle PLUS music by the Moldy Jam!!

Date: April 4, 2009
Event Times: 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Ticket Information: Free parking and admission

Additional Contact Information:
To sign up for classes, contact Olbrich Botanical Gardens at 608-246-4550 or register online at
Questions call terri at 608-437-1944 or email

Olbrich Botanical Gardens
3330 Atwood Ave.
Madison, WI 53704

Science Expeditions at UW - Madison Saturday, 4/4/09

Science Expeditions!

On Saturday, April 4, 2009, UW - Madison welcomes families and learners of all ages to experience science as discovery.

  • 3 Science Spectaculars run 12–4 p.m. at the Stock Pavilion and the Microbial Sciences Building
  • Hands-on activities at Exploration Stations spanning the spectrum of sciences. Come explore from 12–4 p.m. in the Microbial Sciences Building and the Biochemistry Addition!
  • Many Special Venues: Geology Museum, Physics Museum, Zoology Museum, Botany Greenhouse, Primate Center Learning Lobby, DC Smith Greenhouse, Science House, Allen Centennial Gardens, Arboretum, the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences building, and the Babcock Hall Dairy Store.
  • Free parking in Lots 20, 36, and 40
  • Free admission
See Schedule of Events here:


Monday, March 23, 2009

Stand Still Parade in Whalan, MN 5/16/09 & West Towne Easter Happenings

Oh my Gosh. My friend just told me about this hilarious parade held each year in the small town (Population 64) of Whalan, MN. They set up the parade (floats, firetrucks, bands, etc.) on the two blocks of Main Street, and then the spectators walk by! How do you know when the "parade" is over? Why...when the parade starts to move!

Their motto is "Our Parade Doesn't Move . . . The Spectators Do!"

The Twelfth Annual

Whalan, Minn. (Whalan is a 3-hour drive from Waunakee.)
Saturday, May 16, 2009
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Downtown Whalan, Minn.

· Food · Music · Games · A Parade That Does Not Move! ·

See more, including a video from CBS News:

Happenings at West Towne Mall!



Hop on over to the Easter Garden for a visit and photo with the Easter Bunny! The Easter Garden is landscaped by Maple Leaf and is located near Boston Store.
Photo packages start at $15.99.


8AM - 10AM

Fun activities include balloon sculpting, caricature photos,
goody bags, prizes, musical entertainment and much more! Breakfast is provided by McDonald's and includes hotcakes,
sausage and a beverage.

Tickets on sale at the Customer Service Center for $5 each.




Help make a difference at Build-A-Bear Workshop® and turn blue into green!

Donate your old jeans to help create the world's largest collection of clothes to recycle, and donate your
furry friends' jeans, too!

Plus, get a free virtual gift to use at
(One offer per Guest while quantities last)

April Fool's Day - BeanBoozled Jelly Beans by Jelly Belly

I guess that I'll never grow up. Found a fun April Fool's prank to play on the kids in daughter's classroom on April 1st.

BeanBoozled jelly beans come in 20 flavors, 10 weird and wild flavors matched up with 10 look-alike tasty flavors. Is the black jelly bean Licorice, or is it Skunk Spray? Perhaps the blue bean is Toothpaste flavor, or maybe it’s delicious Berry Blue. Think you can tell them apart? We dare you!

You might not know when you will be bamboozled by a weird flavor. A key on the back of each box gives clues to the surprises found inside, but the beans look so similar, every bite will be a surprising dare. 20 Individual Flavors: Skunk Spray, Licorice, Rotten Egg, Buttered Popcorn, Ear Wax, Café Latte, Booger, Juicy Pear, Baby Wipes, Coconut, Pencil Shavings, Top Banana, Toothpaste, Berry Blue, Vomit, Peach, Moldy Cheese, Caramel Corn, Black Pepper, Plum

Jelly Belly BeanBoozled flavor pairings are:

Skunk Spray – Licorice
Rotten Egg - Buttered Popcorn
Ear Wax - Café Latte
Booger - Juicy Pear
Baby Wipes – Coconut
Pencil Shavings - Top Banana
Toothpaste - Berry Blue
Vomit – Peach
Moldy Cheese - Caramel Corn
Black Pepper - Plum

Friday, March 20, 2009

Turn off the Lights for Polar Bears on 3/28

I received a very cool email from the Henry Vilas Zoo. This is an awesome way to teach your children about saving energy, polar bears and our planet!

The Whole World Will Blink!

Polar bear habitat is ringed by the world's highest energy consuming nations. Join Henry Vilas Zoo, Polar Bears International and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in supporting the 2009 Earth Hour project.
It's a single hour in which all of us will unite to send a powerful message to the world's leaders. On Saturday, March 28, please join millions of others all around the world to show your desire for action on climate change by turning off your lights from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time.

Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007 with 2.2. million participants. Just one year later, 50 million people in 370 cities and towns around the world switched off their lights. This year, our goal is to have one billion participants in more than 1,000 cities across the globe.

Dani Reiss, PBI's Chairman of the Board, says that participation is especially critical this year since negotiations for a new climate change treaty begin in Copenhagen this December. The new treaty will replace the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2012.

Host a candlelight dinner party for family and friends during this year's event on Saturday, March 28. Help spread the word and show your commitment to the polar bears during Earth Hour."

The effect can be dramatic! See a picture here:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Einstein's Birthday Party - 3/20 - Learning RX


Friday, March 20th
Einstein's Birthday Party
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Come play birthday party games and create science projects! There will be food, fun, and prizes! The party will be held at Vitense Golfland with Learning RX.

Don't miss out on the fun--Call Today!!

RSVP: 316-1090
Friday, March 20, 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Lamb Birthing Time at A -Z Farm in Oregon, WI

Lambing Time on the Farm

From the A-Z Farm website:
Bounce into spring with a visit to the A-Z Farm lambing barn. Come see newborn lambs as a family or as an individual. See lambs nursing, bouncing around their mothers and learn more about these wooly creatures. It may be possible to witness the birth of a lamb. There will be chicks, bunnies and other animals to see and touch. Visitors will be able to ask questions and see other farm related displays. Note: All sheep and activities will be inside.

Join us March 15, 22, 29, 2009
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Admission: $3.50 per person,
2 & under free

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Summer Day Camps at Old World Wisconsin - Eagle, WI

I have been waiting for the announcement of the new summer day camps that will be offered at Old World Wisconsin. They are finally posted!

There are some great offerings this summer. Click on the following links to learn more:
Most day camps above are for children in grades 3-7. However, teenagers in grades 8-12 can learn to be an Old World Apprentice. These one-day sessions fill up fast, so book now!

Old World Wisconsin is located in Eagle, WI, which is about 69 miles from Waunakee, or 1 hr 15 minute drive according to Mapquest.

Old World Wisconsin site:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Parade - Madison, WI 3/15/09

It's time for the wearin' o'the green!


Sunday, March 15, 2009
1:30 PM Capitol Square
Madison, Wisconsin

Contest Categories
  • Best Lad’s Costume – “Mr. Shamrock”
  • Best Lass’s Costume – “Miss Shamrock”
  • Best Adult Male Costume – “Mr. Ireland”
  • Best Adult Female Costume – “Ms. Ireland”
  • Best-Dressed Dog
  • Youngest Participant – “Leprechaun”
  • Oldest Participant
  • Reddest Hair – “Rua Ri” (male and female)
  • Most Freckles (male and female)
  • Largest Clan

To Enter a Contest:

  • Contests will be judged the day of the parade beginning at 1:00 p.m.
  • Check in at the flatbed stage at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue & E. Mifflin Streets on the Capitol Square.

Contest Winners:

  • Walk in parade and carry signs indicating the contest won
  • Receive prizes
More info here:
Parade proceeds will be contributed to the UW Paul P. Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center.

For directions on Staging a Leprechaun visit for your children, click here:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bedtime Journal with Your Child

Today, I discuss a different kind of journey to take with your child.

Bedtime Journal with my Daughter

Recently, I was thinking about a friend's wedding that I attended with my 9-year old daughter. When our bride friend walked down the aisle, my daughter turned to me with her face all lit up in happy wonder, and she exclaimed, "Mommy...She.....SPARKLES!"

I thought to myself, I hope that I remember that...the look on my daughter's face...what she said...and how our friend Michelle looked so beautiful in her wedding gown that she did indeed "sparkle." And, so often I think, I must do a better job of recording these moments in my daughter's life.

I do have good intentions when I start a new journal. I resolve that I will write something in it everyday. And for a time, I follow through on that promise. But then, the days turn into months before I pick up the book again.

I love the idea of keeping a journal for my daughter. I love to imagine us looking back at days long past to remember her funny sayings, her growth milestones, and our fun adventures. I know that his time with her will pass rapidly. As she now approaches the double-digit age, I know that it already is going by oh-so fast. As they say, "The days are long, but the years are short."

***COMMERCIAL BREAK: A short (2 minute) movie called "The Years are Short" will define this seeming oxymoron to you. It is beautiful and poignant, and you will remember it...***

More accurately, my memory has grown shorter through the years. My daughter will do something and I'll think, "I'll always remember that moment," or "I'll always remember how she looked on this day." But, I don't. Days pass, new memories overlay the old ones, and time marches on.

I recently read an idea of how to start small with a One-Sentence Journal. Every one of us can find time to write ONE sentence a day, right? If you start with one sentence per day in that (frighteningly blank) journal, you will have begun! Some days might just be the one sentence. That's okay! Other days you might be inspired to write more...Great! Just Start...really.

I thought about this idea a bit and modified it for use with my daughter. I have been thinking about writing a journal WITH her, because she can write, and that takes one-half of the burden off of me. (It's really always about me.)

"Pre-"thinking about what to write, can occur earlier in the evening. As a family, we share the best and worst parts of our day at dinner time. So, our bedtime journal becomes an extension of that discussion.

First, my daughter writes (yea!) about her day's events, as I'm tucking her into bed. She then passes the journal to me, and I write about the fun, or not so fun, things that happened in my own day. We tend to focus on the memories that we have made together in this journal. The conversation between us always lead to a warm and snuggly end to her day.

I suggest that you start a bedtime journal with your child today. The entries will reward you and your child for many years to come.

The movie, "The Years are Short," is associated with one of my favorite blogs, called The Happiness Project:

Sunday, March 1, 2009

K-12 Summer Planner in the Wisconsin State Journal

Summer is really going to come...the Summer Planner arrived in today's newspaper! Zowie, spent the morning going over all of the awesome options for the glorious months ahead. Classes in drama and art, sports of all sorts, day camps, educational enrichment, IT'S ALL IN THERE! Get planning some summer adventures for your children now!

If you missed out, here's an electronic copy to download: like a lion...

Out like a ?

Wacky Wisconsin Adventures at

If you are looking for an unusual daytrip with your family, look no further. bills itself as the "Online Guide to Offbeat Tourist Attractions." They aren't kidding!

This is the website where I located the "Dead Pals of Sam Sanfillippo" at the Cress Funeral Home, which is a chipmunk/squirrel animal diorama - bit morbid but highly entertaining - to my daughter and me. (see previous blog)

Just do a search on "Wisconsin" and all kinds of options will present themselves. Weird and unusual options...