Five Star Family Fun This Weekend!

Here are some fun family events happening this weekend…..Where You Live!

 Mickey Matson Essay Contest Contest deadline is Friday, April 27  Mickey Matson and Copperhead Conspiracy premiers on May 10 at Celebration Cinema and if you have a child in 4-7th grade, we have your chance to be part of this amazing night.  Get a link to the contest details at

 Baby Camel at the John Ball Zoo Now at the John Ball Zoo – Grand Rapids  Meet Henry the newest addition to the John Ball Zoo! 

Butterflies are Blooming – Final Weekend!  Now through Monday, April 30 Frederik Meijer Gardens  This is the last weekend to see the butterflies flying freely in the tropical Lena Meijer Conservatory. 

Flick’s Family Film Festival Friday, April 27 through Thursday, May 3 Celebration Cinema This is the final movie of the spring film festival.  Starting on Friday you can catch Happy Feet Two.  The movie is free for kids 12 and under and only $4 for adults.

 Lego Family Block Party Saturday, April 28 from 2-4pm Kent District Library Caledonia Branch  The library is the place for Lego fun! Drop in and make your own special Lego or Duplo creations. All materials are provided by the library, so come, design and create. 

This weekend on Where You Live we’re featuring kids who are dreaming big!  Meet a West Michigan teen who is staring in a major motion picture, see how a special little girl’s wish is coming true, plus get the details on a Broadway Grand Rapids giveaway you won’t want to miss.  Watch Friday at 7pm on WXSP, Saturday at 7:30am & 7:30pm on WOTV and Saturday at 6:30pm on WOOD TV.

Dream Big-Where You Live!

It’s time to dream BIG!  This weekend on “Where You Live” we’ll meet some amazing kids who have big dreams!  This photo is of 4-year-old Saria and her family who dream of a magical vacation.  Thanks to Make A-Wish her dream will come true!  We’ll also introduce you to  Derek Brandon a 13 year old from Middleville who is living his dream-to be a big screen actor in the soon to be released motion picture, “Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Conspiracy”.   We’ll also meet a  very special little girl who found a new family thanks to Bethany Christian Services and a Michigan gymnast who dreams of Olympic Gold!   Students at Forest Hills Northern will share their big dream too!  Plus, the chance for you to win one of 10 family four packs of tickets to the Broadway Musical “The Addams Family!” presented by Broadway Grand Rapids and Fifth Third Bank.    They’ll even be giving away an amazing V.I.P. package including passes to the Addam’s Family cast party and an overnight stay at the J.W. in downtown Grand Rapids! Join us for “Where You Live” Saturday at 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on WOTV 4 and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on WOOD TV 8.

Children & Emotions

“I told him there was nothing to be scared of” says a mom regarding her 5 year old son who’s scared of the dark.

“You don’t need to be embarrassed, just say what you are thinking!” says a father to his 12 year old daughter who is talking to him about a recent encounter with a boy.

“My 7 year old is so angry lately, how do I make it stop?” a recently divorced client asks me.

“I have a stomachache, I can’t go to school” says a 2nd grader to her mom on the morning of a big test.

As adults, it is often difficult to understand what a child is feeling, much less know how to help them articulate what they are feeling. It can be challenging to step into their shoes, recognizing that children are not developmentally ready to decipher emotions and state their needs as adults are—even adults can have challenges with this!

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Getting kids running for good health

Kids around West Michigan are running at recess, during their lunch hour and after school, as part of the Fifth Third Feelin’ Good Mileage Club.  Maranda visited Dutton Christian School to see how kids are involved the program.

Zero landfill recycling

Students at Calvary Schools of Holland are doing their part to help protect our planet.  They are one of the only schools in West Michigan who have a zero landfill program.

Learning the greenhouse business

Cody is a sophomore at University Prep Academy in Grand Rapids.  He is part of a unique internship program where he works two days a week at Romence Gardens learning the greenhouse business.

Feeling blue?

Trendy, chic, retro….these all describe Goodwill’s hip new boutique, Blue. Maranda got a sneak peek last week before the big grand opening!

Goodwill’s two new Blue stores are located in the MoDiv building on Monroe Center and on Cherry Street between Eastern and Diamond.

West Michigan Moms Sale

Next month DeVos Place will be turned into a huge garage sale for moms!  Here’s the scoop on the West Michigan Moms Sale.

Tips on starting your own garden

Reap some homegrown goodness!

I think I’m going to plant my own vegetable garden this year.  It’s going to be small but after having a few potted tomato plants and herbs on my deck I have found that I love to watch things grow and then experiment with easy recipes using my homegrown goodies.  I also love being outside and gardening is an enjoyable way to get physical activity and reduce stress.  Maybe it was the first lady who inspired some of us to start a garden but I have noticed that people who have never gardened or those who haven’t in a while are now growing vegetables and herbs for many of the benefits it provides, such as:

  • Freshness and flavor. The flavor of homegrown is wonderful! Vine-ripened tomatoes have fuller flavor, especially varieties for home gardens. Squash is without scratches. Leaf lettuce is perfectly crisp. Basil is fresh and aromatic. The list goes on.
  • Saving Money. With so much good produce on hand you can pick what you want when you need it to avoid waste.
  • Exercise. Gardening incorporates many important elements of accepted exercise regimes, such as stretching and stance, repetition and movement, and even resistance principles similar to those in weight training. In general, gardening burns about 200 calories an hour!
  • Health. A diet rich in vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and may protect against certain cancers. Eating vegetables that are low in calories instead of other higher-calorie food helps cut total calories, too.
  • Being social. You’ll have a bounty to share with friends and neighbors. You may also have a chance to introduce a person to how food plants grow.

I asked our gardening center staff for some basics on the needed tools… luckily I have most of these already in my shed.  The important thing about tools is to have some that fit you and are well made. You don’t have to buy every gardening gadget on the market. Just a few key tools can make all the difference.

  • Gloves – nothing can make working outside in the soil and with plants a better experience than a well-made pair of gloves that are not too large or small in size.
  • Hand tools – such as a hand trowel, cultivator and pruning shears.  All types of gardening requires the use of hand tools, especially container gardening.  Make sure that they fit the user. Available now are gardening hand tools made with women and children in mind, so that the tool fits the hand using it.
  • Garden Fork, Spade, Shovel, and Rake – all-important tools for gardeners who have flower beds or gardens larger than container gardens. Investment in tools that will last more than one growing season and are well-suited to the person who is using them can insure that your gardening experience is far more pleasant and less frustrating.
  • A wheelbarrow – a good wheelbarrow can reduce the trips and make the load easier to carry. Great for hauling garden waste and for bringing in the harvest.
  • A hose – a good non-kinking hose and a quality hose nozzle for watering

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