Archive for the 'Cedar Valley Fun' Category

Sep 10 2007

Let’s Get Ready for Tween FUN!

Published by under Cedar Valley Fun

I want to take the time to share a great site with you, one that just may be what you’ve been looking for: touts itself as the place “where moms buy tween-safe entertainment.” 
Goodness, just thinking about my children getting to the “tween” years is enough to scare me!  But, I know that my oldest daughter is already considered a tween <gasp>, and our youngest is nearing that age, too!
Then again, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that in this day and age, making sure my children read, listen and see age-appropriate media is a huge responsibility.  Even some of the commercials on television are enough to leave me running for the remote control! 
Here’s what Jeff Cooley, CEO and founder of says about his business: exists to provide an online safe haven for mom-approved tween entertainment. Your child is safe to browse, read about, and even listen to song samples from thousands of their favorite tween titles! empowers you as a parent to shop with purpose. Our comittment to you is that we will continue to build a counter-cultural platform for safe and age-appropriate tween entertainment.

I get excited when I go visit because I know that the books, videos and music that is offered is truly “family friendly.” 
And the talent that’s on is unbelievable!  My girls thought it was an amazing thing when they got to meet Mickey and his friends – can you imagine their elation when they were able to see some of their favorite celebrities like Chloe Spencer (  We read her interview aloud and the girls were ready to jump through the monitor to hug her!  And for moms, there are adult interviews, too….like the current one with Tricia Goyer:  Tricia is one of those wonderful ladies that you just want to sit across from at the kitchen table and laugh and enjoy such grand company. 
Know what that does?  It takes a huge load off of my shoulders.  It gives me a peace of mind about sharing these types of products with my girls.  It also allows me, as a mom, the opportunity to shop safely.  Without worrying where the remote control is!

I just read her MARVELOUS book:  A Valley of Betrayal and you can see my review of it on

11 responses so far

Aug 28 2007

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher Conferences are essential opportunities to find out how your child is doing in school.  It’s a time to ask questions and your opportunity to get to know your child’s teacher one-on-one.  Remember, as the parent, you are your child’s first and foremost teacher.  So if you have a question, ask it.  Find out how you can help and don’t be afraid of asking simply:  How can I help? 

Build a network of other parents within your child’s class and volunteer.  The easiest way to be involved is to just show up and make it fun.  Kudos to the Pigeon River Green Gang in Sheboygan, WI.  This group of parents, teachers and kids have been meeting for 6 years, every month and doing improvements to their school.  They have created walking paths, prairie settings, and pizza gardens by planting the basil, oregano, tomatoes, peppers and later having a pizza party or a salsa party for their school to eat the fruits of their labor.  WOW, and that was some yummy salsa they made!!! 

I was recently at Harvard, IL’s 4 year old Kindergarten to talk to parents, via an interpreter about how they can help their children be successful in school.  I told them that just by showing up and asking questions, they are showing their kids that they care.  I also talked about the importance of going through the backpack and folder every night, reading with their kids for 15 minutes and playing a repetitive game for 15 minutes, like jumping jacks and counting out loud as they go.  Stop, drop and listen to your child daily and ask open ended questions to help your child learn to communicate and be involved in school activities and functions and build a network of parents to make it a fun social experience as well.  It’s all about making it fun for the entire family!  If it’s not fun, you need to make some changes to make it fun.  Find new people that are fun and start networking!
Copyright 2007, Stacey Kannenberg, Cedar Valley Publishing, Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten! and Let’s Get Ready For First Grade!

Got some neat ideas to make it fun?  We’d all love to hear them!  Don’t stop with us. Share them with teachers, other parents and your local PTA/PTO too!  We’re all in this together!

130 responses so far

Aug 06 2007

Establishing Your Own Family Fun Rituals

Published by under Cedar Valley Fun

Having family fun should be a top priority. Quality family time builds significant memories that last a lifetime. They also create a safe, comfortable and secure family setting so when it’s time to tackle a family problem, you can solve and evolve together as one-entity: a family. As they say, a family that plays together sticks together. And, family is most needed during the bad times.

Listed below are my family’s Top 10 Favorite Family Fun Rituals. Hopefully, they will give you some creative ideas to adapt to your own family’s interests, skills and desires.

You’ll quickly learn that a house of girls (Mommy, and our 5 and 7 year old daughters) and 1 boy (Daddy) can have a ton of fun in the great outdoors, and watching sports.

  1. We enjoy going on ATV (all terrain vehicles) trips.  Our girls have helmets and ride in a special wrap-around-seat behind Daddy for safety.  We choose trails with little activity and plenty of places to stop with clean bathrooms and food.  This year we went with another family who has a 7 year old girl, and it is so much fun to hear them giggling on the trails in the woods, and pointing out wildlife along the way. 
  2. We love water parks.  We are blessed to live in Wisconsin close to the Wisconsin Dells, which has more water parks than any other place in the world (or so the advertisement says).  Water fun, amusement rides, and arcades make for a great escape.
  3. We go to the Green Bay Packer football family night every year.  It’s our family tradition.  It is a team scrimmage. The purpose of this night is for families to have fun, with kids’ songs, people watching and a huge firework finale. 
  4. We go to a Milwaukee Brewer Baseball game every year.  The girls enjoy singing and dancing between the innings, and they love to watch the antics of Bernie Brewer, the team mascot.  Great fun!
  5. We take the girls out on the golf course with us every year.  We each rent a cart and take a child who is assigned the task of handing us our golf tee and a lucky golf ball. They do not leave our carts unless they are washing golf balls.  They enjoy watching out for the snack cart and keeping score.  We frequent the driving range with them and that’s their time to practice with child size clubs. If you haven’t tried this before, it’s so much fun!
  6. We can’t wait for go-carting season. We rent the double size carts so each parent has a child, and then we switch kids and go again and again.  It’s a race with some healthy competition.  We all end up laughing so hard during the entire race, because we really get into the spirit of the match.  It’s a blast!
  7. We love to go boating and fishing so we can spend many hours on different lakes with great scenery. 
  8. We frequent many County Fairs during the summer. It’s a family tradition to attend the truck and tracker pulls.  It doesn’t hurt that Daddy is also a substitute driver and drives about 3- 4 times a year.  We enjoy pulling for Daddy and then riding on the carnival rides and playing a few games. 
  9. We love to go biking.  We are lucky because we live close to a bike trail and this is the year that our oldest daughter left her training wheels behind.
  10. We enjoy visiting with friends, neighbors and relatives.  We have developed rituals and look forward to the big Christmas Party with almost 100 relatives, the smaller one with 10 members, and then the Christmas Eve festivities with just our family.  We also love our neighborhood parties with fireworks and cool fall nights around the campfire.

Enjoy some good ‘ol family fun!

Copyright 2007, Stacey Kannenberg, Cedar Valley Publishing, Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten! and Let’s Get Ready For First Grade!

I’d love to add new Family Fun Rituals to our list, so please share your events with us!

422 responses so far

Jul 27 2007

How to Get Hooked on Reading

I will never forget the day I was finally hooked on reading. I was blessed by the presence of my friend Mary Isham one day in 9th grade.

Yes, you read it right. It took me until 9th grade to finally love reading. I wasn’t a born a reader, nor was a child-bookworm.

Even my school librarian knew I dreaded school assignments that forced me to check out books and report on a particular subject—or any subject at all. I was not a struggling reader, but I never found an interest to read anything beyond my homework assignments; which had too much reading in and of itself.

So, back to that glorious day in 9th grade…

I was walking into the school library and noticed my friend Mary Isham having an animated conversation, mostly to herself, as she openly expressed her concerns with the librarian. She was a cute and bubbly girl, dressed in her cheerleading outfit for the big game that night and seemed to be having some sort of problem.

I walked closer and overheard Mary tragically exclaim, “I can’t bear to part with it, I just can’t, you know.  I can’t stand the thought of it being put back on the shelf and no one reading it – I have checked it out three times and have read it over and over for weeks and the thought of it all alone waiting for someone to read it makes me sad.”  Mary spots me walking in and gushes, “Stacey save me!  This is such a great book and I have to turn it in today and I hate to see it sitting on the shelf alone, please, please take it and check it out…it is such a great book.”

I remember her words vividly.

That was it! 

I couldn’t believe that someone could love a book so much that she was having such a dramatic scene about returning it to the library,

So, I figured it must be good, right?  As pleaded, I took the book and checked it out.  I went home, rushed to my room, and opened its first page. I was hooked!

I even missed the football game that night.

When it was time to return it, I checked out another Victoria Holt romance book and the librarian smiled as to say something about that being a life changing event for me.

I didn’t appreciate it until now. Yes, being hooked on reading became a life-changing event for me.

Thank you Mary Isham!

What’s your favorite book? What title can cause you to get dramatic and overly-animated?

Well, whatever book it is, please introduce that book to your child, friend, family member or co-worker.

You never know, it might be a life-changing event for them too!

Copyright 2007 – Stacey Kannenberg, Cedar Valley Publishing, Author of Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten! and Let’s Get Ready For First Grade!

Care to share your favorite book with us?  What about a favorite author or series?  Reading can be a wonderful life-altering experience; the right book can be the key that unlocks the door.

131 responses so far

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