Recipe For Chaos

Real Stories From The Chaotic Front

Toys For Hope

Some Palos Heights Public Library staff members have organized an Easter Toy Drive for the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation benefiting boys and girls ages birth to 18 who are dealing with cancer treatment. New toys (no stuffed animals please) can be dropped off in the special bin inside the library. Gift cards are recommended for teens. Suggestions for gift cards include fast food restaurants, video rental stores, record stores, and electronics stores. For more information and location call the library at 448-1473.

My boys were excited to be a part of the giving. My son Hayden has been the recipient of toys from The Treasure Chest and he was happy to tell his brothers how much it meant to him when he was sick. I took them to the store to choose two items each to donate. Though I tried to steer them to gender neutral toys they had a hard time choosing for girls. In the end the decision was theirs. One boy toy and one girl CD from each. Hayden recently had a birthday and donated a gift card that he received in addition to this. I was so proud of them. We were honored to be in a photo showing their donation in a Fox News Shout Out. The boys woke up early and called me at work to let me know they had been on the whole screen on TV.  Fox News Shout Out generously sharing the cause with Chicago-land dramatically increased donations on that day. There is so much more that we as a community can give. These toys will be placed locally at Hope Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn. Please consider a donation and please give generously.



April 1, 2009 Posted by | Toys For Hope | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Are We Raising eKids Or Cyber Kids?

kid-n-computer1My children think outside is a place you have to go to get into the car. We live in an apartment surrounded by asphalt. We spend a lot of the winter months inside. Thus,  my kids want to spend as much time on the computer as I do. It’s hard to keep them off the free game sites that include dozens of enticing pop ups. I especially hate the verbal ones that say something like… you have just won a Wii click on me blah blah blah… How many times do they click without first saying Hey Mom! We just won a Wii? Heck, why don’t they just say Click on me and open the door to all the Trojan Viruses you can handle…and more! I keep the computer in a central location so that generally whomever is watching the boys can keep a close eye on what they’re looking at. There was one instance that Caleb was playing a game of block breaker. In this particular version you break blocks to reveal a photo of a TV character underneath. When I walked by the photo being revealed was Scooby Doo…when Gavin walked by a few minutes later Caleb leaped from the chair and tried to cover the 18 in. screen with his two tiny hands. Gavin eyebrows raised said…”Caleb, what are you looking at? ” Caleb scared out of his mind moved his hands to reveal a Bay Watch Babe..Thank God she was wearing a swim suit..but, he has yet to live it down. I know that blocking a million sites will not keep them away so I’ve been trying to guide them to sites that I like and they can actually learn something in the bargain or in the very least play safely in a child friendly atmosphere.  Shhhh Don’t tell them! One of these sites comes from YES my library web-site its called

TumbleBooks – eBooks for eKids. I asked our Children’s Librarian if I can post it and she said yes…YEA. This site has books that can be read aloud to your child, games, language tools and more. Try it out!

Kid Sites.Com for games and books This is a lot of links to kid friendly sites like Cartoon Network


My kids limited spelling and “know how” of the use of the Google search bar will never completely free me from the other sites, giving them an alternative on the tool bar is at least deterring the bad ones. What are your kid friendly sites?

January 30, 2009 Posted by | General Mayhem | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Looking For Something To Do With Your Kids? Maybe There’s A Circus At Your Library

pc120364I can’t speak for anyone else but I always look for inexpensive entertainment for my kids. It was easy with one, but now with the three little ones… Yikes! If I build up the mental stamina I need to take them someplace by myself there is little left of the physical stamina required to entertain them when we get there. This is one reason why I love my library. They always have activities planned all throughout the month for a wide variety of age groups, and best of all they are almost always, without fail FREE! Today the Palos Heights Public Library hosted the Pocket Circus “the smallest circus in the world”  ( ). I only brought my two youngest as my two oldest decided they’d rather sit at home, stay in their pajama pants and Wii…(It was a bonding moment.) The Pocket Circus was a combination of magic, balloon art, clowns and juggling all done by a couple hailing from Argentina.  My kids were enthralled for a full hour. If you know my kids…this is a feat! There was no wandering around, no whining, no asking when it would be over. It was wonderful. One of the benefits of a library show are smaller audiences so your kids have a real chance to sit up close and be picked to participate.  It was so nice to get the kids out of the house after being trapped inside too long in this freezing Chicago weather. After the show we picked up some tacos and a video game. We’re set…for a few more hours at least. So, if you are looking for something to do, Give your local library a chance to save the day…and your sanity.


January 17, 2009 Posted by | Day Trips | , , , , | 1 Comment