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Entries in naperville (7)


Giveaway: A Month's Worth of Lessons at Goldfish Swim School in Naperville

Updated on Friday, September 20, 2013 at 8:58AM by Registered CommenterTara Burghart

So last month I got to tell you about a new Go West sponsor, Goldfish Swim School, and its two new locations in St. Charles and Naperville. I also got to give away a month's worth of swimming lessons to one lucky reader at the St. Charles location. 

Well, now it's time for those of you who live in and around Naperville to perk up your ears! One of you will win a month's worth of free swim lessons for your child at the Naperville school, which is located at 1688 Quincy Avenue. It is opening this Friday, Sept. 13, and it will be celebrating with a grand opening party on Sunday, Sept. 15, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

You can learn lots more on the Goldfish Naperville Facebook page, and here's your official invite to the celebration. 

Photo courtesy of Goldfish Swim School.

If you are free on Sunday, I highly recommend you attend the party. My 5-year-old daughter and I went to the St. Charles grand opening party last weekend, and we had such fun, all for free. There were crafts and games, a funny guy who made eye-popping balloons for the kids and hot dogs and ice cream. Best of all, the pool was open for families to enjoy. The water was warm, the pool was much bigger than I expected, and there were all sorts of neat toys for the kids to play with. (Like a canoe that my daughter paddled all around the pool.) 

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A Go West Mom You Should Know: Melisa Wells of 'Listen to Your Mother'

Melisa Wells has a very big weekend ahead of her. She's one of the co-producers of the Chicago production of "Listen to Your Mother," a national series of live readings by local writers in honor of Mother's Day. The show will be performed this Sunday, May 6, at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater in Chicago.

Melisa Wells, author of "Chicken in the Car and the Car Won't Go" is our latest Go West Mom You Should Know.

Wells is also the author of "Chicken in the Car and the Car Won't Go: Nearly 200 Ways to Enjoy Chicagoland With Tweens and Teens." She's a partner at Social RevUp, and she blogs at Suburban Scrawl. And she's the first woman to be featured in this space to mention "The Cosby Show" when talking about her parenting style.

Wells, a freelance writer, lives in Naperville with her husband of 25 years, Jim. They have two sons, ages 19 and 17. Read on to find out why we think Melisa Wells is a Go West Mom You Should Know.

Q. Can you tell me about "Listen to Your Mother" -- the concept behind the show? How did you get involved? What's been the best part about working on the show, and what's been most challenging?

A. Madison-based humorist/blogger Ann Imig came up with the idea of "Listen To Your Mother" after attending the BlogHer conference and being in the audience of what is now known as the "Voices of the Year" (bloggers reading posts, chosen by the nominations and votes of others in the blogging community). VOTY is one of my favorite parts of the BlogHer conference experience, by the way. Ann wanted to create a community-based show around the theme of Motherhood, and in 2010 put on the very first LTYM show in Madison, where twelve local bloggers/writers read their pieces on different aspects of mothering or being mothered. The show, which benefited a local charity (10% of ticket proceeds were donated) was videorecorded and posted online, and Ann soon heard from bloggers in Los Angeles, Northwest Indiana, Spokane, and Austin who wanted to bring the show to their cities. LTYM was staged in those cities (and Madison again) in 2011, and this year it has expanded to 10 total cities, with 140 pieces being read, all about different aspects of Motherhood!

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A Go West Mom You Should Know: DiDi Foley

Diana Foley has a lot on her plate.

She is the Aurora/Copley Campus Manager for Waubonsee Community College. She recently completed work on her master’s degree. And she also works part-time as as DJ at radio station WTMX (101.9 FM). Did I mention she has two young children? Foley and her husband Sean are parents to Duncan, who is nearly 6, and Roxanne, who is 18 months old. Sean is the director of human resources for a security company in Chicago.

Photo by Waubonsee Community College.Nearly everyone calls Foley, 35, by her awesome nickname “DiDi.” She grew up in Naperville but graduated from high school a year early because she was so desperate to get out on her own. Now she and her husband are back raising their children in Naperville – proof that you really can go home again.

Read on to find out why we think DiDi Foley is a Go West Mom You Should Know.

Q. I hear you jut finished your master’s degree. Congratulations! How on earth did you manage to get an advanced degree while working two jobs and having two children? Any advice to share with other moms trying to keep many balls in the air?

A. I just completed my Masters in Leadership Studies from North Central College.  I look back and don't know how I did it, but I know that I could not have done it without the support of my husband, children and my mom and stepdad. They were all instrumental in the logistics and the support.  My co-workers and supervisor at Waubonsee also gave me a lot of encouragement.  I took one class a quarter (minus two due to bed-rest and the birth of my daughter) and it took three years to compete the program. While I was unable to always give 100% to everything (something has to give, right??) I just kept plowing through. I knew it was all temporary and the education that I was getting will be an asset during my life and also to my children's.

I am not sure how to relax. I need to practice! I enjoy being busy and am always moving.  I think the busier that I am, the better I function. I don't think I can pass any specific advice on to someone with out knowing her situation. What works for me might not work for her. However, you must believe in yourself that you will accomplish your goals. Just stay focused and persevere!

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A Go West Mom You Should Know: Suzanne Thibeault of the 500 Things Project

All of us who feel like we’re fighting a losing battle with clutter in our homes will find some inspiration from our latest “Go West Mom You Should Know.” She’s Suzanne Thibeault, and she lives in Naperville with her 18-year-old son Sam and her husband Paul Deffenbaugh.

Suzanne Thibeault. Photo provided.Thibeault has a blog called the "500 Things Project.” Each day she chooses to get rid of something and then explains its history, value, how she feels about parting from it and where it went. It sounds like a fun way to tackle clutter, right? But for Thibeault, there is a lot more behind the project than just having some clean shelves and extra closet space.

Thibeault, 49, is a writer and editor who volunteers extensively with Families Helping Families, a DuPage County charity that provides transitional housing and other resources for formerly homeless families.

Her husband is a writer and magazine editor with over 20 years experience in the housing industry. When both the journalism industry and the housing market nosedived  during  the Great Recession, Deffenbaugh lost his job. They were worried about losing their home. Meanwhile, they faced the prospect of sending their only son off to college. Suddenly, it was very clear how little their “stuff” really mattered.

Read on to find out why we think Suzanne Thibeault is a Go West Mom You Should Know.

Q. Can you describe for a reader who has not seen it yet your "500 Things Project"? The inspiration for it? And how it is organized each day?

A. My family has been in a vulnerable position over these last few difficult years. In 2009, my husband was laid off, and our son would soon be applying to college. We faced losing our house and launching our child. I decided to chronicle this time of crisis and opportunity by creating a blog about the downsizing, both expected and unexpected, we were confronting. I call it the “500 Things Project.” 500 was simply a calculation I made in March of 2010 for how much longer Sam would be living with us. Each day for 500 days, I choose something to get rid of, to downsize, and explain how it relates to what we are experiencing in our lives and what we have learned.

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Weekend Spotlight: Lots of Sweet Chances to Learn About Maple Syrup

One of the many happy memories from my childhood involves a field trip my class took to see maple trees tapped and the maple sap then turned into syrup. Can you guess what the “Weekend Spotlight” is about today?

Photo courtesy of Naper Settlement.The Kane County Forest Preserve is holding its “Maple Sugaring Days” this Sunday at the Brewster Creek Forest Preserve  in St. Charles from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Next weekend, the program will move to Johnson’s Mound Forest Preserve in Elburn, also from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 13.

At both events, you’ll get a chance to see a maple tree tapped and watch as map sap is collected in a bucket. The sap will then simmer over a fire on its way to becoming syrup.

There will be hands-on activities, plus “Sugarin’ Time” hikes, where you’ll learn to tell the difference between maples and other hardwood trees. The programs are free, and no registration is required.

In addition to the above Kane County Forest Preserve events, you have a number of other opportunities in March to learn more about how map sap turns into maple syrup:

* Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago is holding a “Maple Sugaring” event on Saturday, March 12, and Sunday, March 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Activities will be ongoing. The program and entry to the farm is free, and registration is not required.

* Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook (part of the DuPage County Forest Preserve) is holding its “Get Sticky! Maple Syrup Sundays” event on Sunday, March 13 and Sunday, March 20, from noon to 4 p.m. It includes a self-guided walk through the woods and ongoing activities. The program is free, and registration is not required.

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