Missoula Carousel collecting items for silent auction

There are many ways to support A Carousel for Missoula. One way – the most fun way – is by riding the carousel a lot. Introduce it to out-of-town visitors, spent time with friends and family there, plan birthday parties at the carousel.

Another fun way to support the carousel is coming up next month, on Sept. 19, when the carousel will “celebrate its 19th year of going in circles” with a benefit dinner.

Sponsored by Missoula Textile Services, the dinner will start at 6 p.m. in the Caras Park pavilion and include entertainment provided by Headwaters, food provided by Taco Sano and a bar provided by the Badlander.

The dinner will also include a silent auction – but first, the carousel needs some items to put in the auction. Which brings up yet another fun way to support the carousel.

Clean out those basements, attics and storage units and if you find anything that would make a good donation item, give Carousel Director Theresa Cox a call at 549-8382 or send an email to ponykeepr@gmail.com.

You can also call that same number – or just stop by the Carousel – for tickets to the dinner; $10 for kids and $20 for adults.

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Missoula Mom is expecting!

Mark your calendars: Aug. 17, 2014.

Not only is that day my birthday, but the doctor informed me it will be my child’s too. Well maybe. Birth dates are an imperfect science, he said.

Regardless, mark your calendars. It could be a momentous day in a long string of recent momentous days.

In June, I started as a reporter at the Missoulian. My husband Jared and I bought our first house here in November. In December we found out we should have bought one with more bedrooms.

Now we’re gradually trading in our weekend-warrior lifestyle for nesting activities like picking out paint colors for the baby’s room.

Choosing colors would be easier if we knew whether the baby is a boy or girl, but we decided to continue the theme of surprises and wait until the big debut. In the meantime, we’re calling the baby “Bob,” which is short for Baby On Board.

So help this motherhood newbie out with at least one pending decision – which shades of green and orange?

paintcolors

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Today the library’s filled with cheer! A Seuss-ful day! It’s here, it’s here!

It’s pretty blame cold outside. We’ve been stuck, more or less, for the past few days because of the blizzard. If you too are looking for a warm place away from home to hang out with you kids, and your streets have been plowed, you might want to swing by the local library.

Did you know that today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday? Which also makes it National Read Across America Day?

The folks at the Missoula Public Library do, and they’re celebrating of course! Today’s story time (from 2-3:30 p.m.) will feature lots of Dr. Seuss, plus there will be activities and snacks.

It’s aimed for kids ages 3-9, but kids of all ages are welcome. Call the children’s desk at 721-BOOK (2665) for more info.

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… And a happy new year!

It’s the first day of a new year!

For 2014, my kids resolved to watch less TV and keep their rooms cleaner. Classic.

Me, I’m going to exercise more, eat less junk food and stop biting my nails once and for all.

I’ll have good company in trying to quit my nail habit. My daughter’s going to stop biting her nails too.

My son says he’s also going to work on not being annoying to his sister.

Worthy goals all. Good luck to you through 2014!

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Santa Claus is coming to town – downtown Missoula, that is

It’s that time of year again, when Santas start popping up everywhere you look.

Santa will be at the Florence Hotel in downtown Missoula this Saturday, Dec. 7 starting at 1 p.m., ready and willing to hear children’s gift wishes and pose for photos with them.

But his appearance will be only one of more than 20 family-friendly activities available in downtown Missoula this Saturday, including the 11th annual Parade of Lights. The parade will launch at 6 p.m. from the corner of Fourth and Higgins and head north to the red XXXXs. The Christmas tree lighting is planned for 6:30 p.m. As usual, there will be free coffee, cocoa and cookies! As well as public performances by various groups.

The Missoula Downtown Association sent the following schedule of events and list of sponsors to help you plan a fun winter weekend and express thanks to the appropriate folks for it:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Five Days of Gratitude: Thanksgiving

To close my Five Days of Gratitude series on this mom blog, I’m going to list a very special person indeed: my other mother.

I’ve talked with countless women over the years who cannot stand their mother-in-law. They clash for a variety of reasons, usually having to do with that one person who brought them together: their husband/son.

But I absolutely adore my mother-in-law. She’s never once blamed me for taking her son away – even though I totally did. I’m the reason we live 3,000 miles apart.

Instead, she’s welcomed me with open arms from the very beginning. She’s shared stories only a mother could share about when her sons were little troublemakers – laughing over all the things they broke, crying over the pets they loved, remembering all the little things that are the most important things.

I always knew she was brave and strong, but I never knew just how brave and strong until last year, when one of her two children died from complications of spina bifida. She didn’t shatter, as I’m sure I would have under the same circumstances. And she not only held herself together, she reached out and held everyone else together too.

She’s an amazing person, and I am thankful that she is my family – and my friend.

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Thanksgiving Day plans go ’round and ’round

That’s right! A Carousel for Missoula is OPEN on Thanksgiving! And from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., rides are free for everyone!

 

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Five Days of Gratitude: Day Three

This morning Landon had what we call a meltdown before school. It was over tying his shoelaces.

But with Landon, what his sudden storms are about is never really what they’re about. They’re always about something deeper – triggered by something trivial.

So I know I have to reach deep to soothe his troubled soul. And then, after the storm passes, remind him that he still has to tie his shoes.

Over the last couple of years I’ve come to understand my son through and through. It’s because I’ve paid extremely close attention, and gotten help with that understanding from experts, and because Landon has slowly opened up.

And because we’re a lot alike, he and I.

How did I ever get so lucky? Of all the kids in all the world who could have landed in my lap, why was I blessed with this intelligent, resilient, loving, one-of-a-kind, a-lot-like-me Landon?

Whatever the reasons, I’m so thankful for them – and for him.

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Five Days of Gratitude: Day Two

For the second post in my five-day series listing the things I’m thankful for, I’m going to attempt to articulate the gratitude I feel for the existence of my daughter, Willow.

She’s 9 years old, but oh, that number does not do her justice. Sometimes it seems like she is every age at once. She can goof around easily with her 6-year-old brother while conversing with me on an adult level. She has turned me into a passionate pursuer of new knowledge and skills and ways to show compassion for others.

She’s the reason we foster kittens for the Western Montana Humane Society. She’s the reason I’m learning to knit again. She’s the reason I know so much about gila monsters. The reason I have half the friends I do – because she’s friends with their kids. She’s friends with everyone.

She’s my reason. And I’m so thankful for that.

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Five Days of Gratitude: Day One

In keeping with the medical advice in this article, I’m going to be practicing some daily gratitude right here on this blog. I hear it’s good for one’s health:

According to data compiled by the University of California Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center from its online gratitude journal thnx4.org, people who entered gratitude posts every day for 14 days showed significant increases in gratitude and happiness, greater satisfaction with life and higher resilience to stress. The group also reported fewer headaches and less stomach pain, coughs and sore throats.

But I’ll start off by just listing one thing each day up to Thanksgiving.

And since this is a mom blog, I’ll start by expressing thanks for the man who made me a mom: my husband.

Charlie has stuck with me since before we were married almost 10 years ago. He is amazingly loyal, big-hearted and – oh, what’s the word? Maybe brave is the closest I can get. He’s gone along with all my big ideas, no matter how new and scary. And he’s not only made the best of them – he’s made them the best. The very best experiences of my life.

I’m so very thankful for this man.

 

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