Saturday, December 28, 2013

Book Club Picks

Well, we have a tie! Let's go with A House in the Sky, Amanda Lindhout for January and Wave, Sonali Deraniyagala for February. Let me know if you have any questions. We'll meet sometime in late January or early February to discuss A House in the Sky.

Happy holidays to all! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Club Poll

It's time to choose our next read for December/January. Please look for the poll over there in the sidebar of this website and vote for your favorite. We'll meet sometime in mid to late January late January to early February at Angie's house. Thanks to Sheila and Laura for hosting the last two times.

Wave, Sonali Deraniyagala

The Road to Wellville, T.C. Boyle

Gone Girl: A Novel, Gillian Flynn

House in the Sky, Amanda Lindhout

Wild, Cheryl Strayed

The Color Purple, Alice Walker

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Our Holiday Schedule

Hi Everyone.

Please note: there will be no playgroup December 23rd through January 3rd.  The Cookie Swap party on December 20th will be our last meeting of 2013.

We hope you all have a safe and merry holiday! 

French Anyone?

L'Alliance Francaise de Milwaukee is offering French lessons for toddlers.

This is a great way for children to be introduced to the language through conversation, song and play.

There have been two new classes added to the schedule to keep up with demand, both on Thursday afternoons. Please check out their website for more information.

Bonus: they're conveniently located in Shorewood!

It's Time for a Cookie Swap!

Our annual Cookie Swap party is on Friday, December 20th from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the playroom where we always meet.

How it works is this: you bring 2 dozen cookies (baked at home or store bought, it doesn't matter). Then we dig in! We usually eat about half the cookies during the party and then exchange and take home the rest.

This is always a fun event. We hope you'll join us!

And in case you need some inspiration, here are some delicious looking cookie recipes for you. Click on the caption to go to the recipe. 
Peppermint Sugar Cookies via Midwest Living
Peppermint Bark Cookies via A Little Clarification. 
Glimmering Cookies via Purl Bee
Marzipan Bars via Redbook
This Grand Adventure

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December Family Events in Milwaukee

Here are some fun family events happening this month.

December 7th is Family Free Day at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Also at the zoo, is Breakfast and Lunch with Santa. For more on that, click here. That happens on December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22.

On Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon, admission is free for Milwaukee County Residents at The Domes.

Have you seen the new illustration exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum, yet? It's very cool with lots of interactive activities for kids (and adults, too). On Sunday, December 8th there's also the Kohl's Art Generation Family Sunday: Fairy Tales. Click here to find out more about that. 

Mondays are free at the Milwaukee Public Museum for Milwaukee County Residents. They also have some special holiday events like, Museum Storytelling (The Night Before Christmas for Fish and Their Friends). That's today, Thursday, December 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. And starting tomorrow, the European Village will be decorated for the holidays. Here's a complete schedule of events.

Family Fun Craft Night is happening at Shorewood Library on Tuesday, December 10th at 6 p.m.

The Whitefish Bay Library hosts Family Time on Monday, December 9th at 10 a.m.

Mom & Baby Yoga at INVIVO Wellness may interest you.

***And don't forget our annual Cookie Swap party at Family Club on Friday, December 20th during regular playgroup times. Bring 2 dozen cookies to playgroup and we'll eat and share our baked goodies.***

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Help Us Help Those In Need This Season

The Family Club is collecting food this for Riverwest Food Pantry. Please bring in canned or dry goods to playgroup from now until Thanksgiving. There will be a designated box for collections.

Your contributions are greatly appreciated.

To learn more about how Riverwest Food Pantry helps locals in need, click here.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

The Family Club wishes you a Happy Halloween! It's a good thing trick-or-treating happened over the weekend because who'd want to go out in this weather?

We hope you enjoyed Tuesday's annual Family Club Halloween party. Christine really went all out to create a fun-filled event. If you haven't already, be sure to check out the cute pictures on our Facebook page.

Image via Phillip Martin.

Upcoming Events in the Milwaukee Area

Thanks to Kristina for the reminder about the following family-friendly events.

Did you know the first Thursday of the month (Nov 7th is next) is free at the spectacular Milwaukee Art Museum? Yes it is and they have a really exciting new kid-friendly exhibition that just opened (where the animation exhibition used to be). I can't wait to check that out with the kids. There's also the Kohl's Art Generation Family Sundays. Click here for more on that.

Don't forget the Veteran's Day Parade in downtown Milwaukee. Show your support and appreciation for those who have served our country. The parade starts at 4th & Kilbourn and ends at Veterans Park.  When: Veteran's Day, November 9, 2013 at 11 a.m.

And how about a family outing to Trainfest? That's happening at WI Expo Center at State Fair Park, 8200 W Greenfield Ave (West Allis) on November 9 and 10th from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Click here for more information. Choo choo!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Shorewood Library Halloween Party This Afternoon!

Hi Everyone. I know it's last minute, but there's a really fun Halloween event going on at the Shorewood Library from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Grab your costumes and go! If you don't have your costumes ready... how about being a black-eyed-pea? Color your eye black and tape a paper letter P on your shirt! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

New Look for the Playroom!

On Saturday the playroom was painted and it looks amazing. A few Family Club members along with church staff and volunteers gathered together to make the transformation (no, it's not bright red). I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the sophisticated new look!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Book Club Pick for October

Those of you who were at our book club meeting already know this month's selection is The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. This is a classic ghost story that is widely regarded as one of the best of the twentieth century.

If you don't already have the book, you can do a search through Countycat. Several copies are out, but if you look closely at the different listings you should be able to find a copy. 

Now are you ready for November's pick? We decided to go ahead with Where'd You Go Bernadette by  Maria Semple. This should be a funny and entertaining read. 

Please be on the lookout for a Doodle Poll email regarding our next meeting.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Annual Halloween Party Time!

Sew Cool Creations costume via Etsy
Get your costumes together, we're having a party! Tuesday, October 29th is the date. We're going to be gathering to show off our costumes, munch on Halloween treats and do some crafting. We hope you join us during our regular Tuesday playgroup. No RSVP needed. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October Book Poll

Some of our book club members have already started asking about our next book! Of course, we still haven't met to talk about The Expats (that's October 9th at 7 p.m.), but it wouldn't hurt to start thinking about our next read.

Some of you responded to my email with your suggestions and I've included them in the list. Thank you! Please take a moment to check out the list and read reviews if you'd like (just click on the titles for more info). Then vote! The poll is over there on the right in the sidebar. You can only vote once!

The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson (to get us in the Halloween spirit?)
Inferno, Dan Brown
Moonwalking With Einstein, Joshua Foer
The Round House, Louise Erdrich
Where'd You Go Bernadette, Maria Semple

Monday, September 30, 2013

Painters Wanted

GOOD NEWS: The playroom is getting a makeover! 

BAD NEWS:  We don't have an army of elves doing all the work for us. 

Do you have a little time to spare on Saturday, October 19th? Why not join us for an hour or two from 11 a.m. to around 3 p.m. (we'll see how it goes) as we help paint the NSPC nursery (the room where we meet for playgroup). 

Talk to Kristine, me (Vanessa), or any Family Club board member if you're interested. You can always email us too at: 

We hope to see you in your finest painting clothes!

Music With Mary

Great news! We have a new music class starting up soon. 

Music with Mary will be 30 minutes of music fun for all ages with Mary McCarthy. Mary is a retired K-6 music educator. 

Children and their caregivers will enjoy singing-a-long to some old favorites as well as learning some new seasonally appropriate tunes. Instruments and movement will enhance the music class experience. Hope you can join us! Please RSVP so we can plan for you. You can either sign up during playgroup hours or contact us at  

Time: 9 to 9:30 a.m.
Begins Tuesday, October 15th 
Ends Tuesday, November 19th
Total classes: 6
Cost: $40 per family ($50 for non-members) 
Please pay by check or cash on first day of lesson. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Oktoberfest Is Still Going On

Image via Microsoft Images. 
Hey, it's not always about the kids! Be sure to check out Milwaukee's Oktoberfest festival before it's too late. If you haven't grabbed a brew, you still have until Saturday the 28th to join in on the fun.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

First Playgroup of the Season!

Remember to stop by playgroup on Tuesday, September 10th from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at North Shore Presbyterian Church. This is our first playgroup of the fall season and we hope to see you there!

If you are new to The Family Club, please click here for more information about our playgroups.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Vote: September Book Club Selections

Hi book club members (and anyone else interested in joining us later this month)!

I'm going to try something new this year. I'll put up a few book selections with links to their reviews. Then I'll place a poll in the sidebar of this site to see which books you're leaning towards.

If you have a suggestion for next month, please either write it in the comments section of this post or email me.

And because everyone's doin' the Doodle, we'll schedule a meeting with a Doodle Poll. I'll post the meeting date on the website and Facebook.

So here are September selections (all available at the library). Please vote for your favorite using the poll in the sidebar over to the right. Thanks!

The Expats, Chris Pavone
The White Tiger, Chris Pavone
The Spy Who Loved, Clare Mulley
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Joshua Foer
The Cookbook Collector, Allegra Goodman

Images via Barnes and Noble. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fun Event: MLES

Thanks to Kristina Bruggeman for letting us know about The Milwaukee Light Engineering Society special event on September 6 and 7th.

On Friday evening there will be train rides from 5:30 to 9:00 P.M.

On Saturday the fun begins at 11 A.M. and lasts until 4 P.M.

We don't have an official outing planned to the MLES railroad park. This is just a fun event we wanted to let you know about!

Click here to go to their website and get more details. Or ask Kristina about it at the next playgroup!

Also, if you want to let us know you're heading out there, think about posting on our Facebook page! This is a closed group, so please request an invite if you need one. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fall Kick-Off!

Get ready for some fun! Starting Tuesday, September 10th, 2013, The Family Club playgroup will be meeting again at our usual time and place.

We hope to see you at North Shore Presbyterian Church for our Fall Kick Off, but if you can't make it, please remember that we'll be meeting every Tuesday and Friday morning.

All members, new and returning, will need to fill out a membership form (available at playgroup) and pay annual fees by check or cash. You may also pay your dues online using PayPal. You do not need to have a PayPal account to use this feature. Look to the sidebar on the right for the PayPal button.

If you are new to our  playgroup please click here for more information.

We can't wait to see you!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Our Summer Schedule/Location

***This is the last regularly scheduled post until August 2013*** 

It's almost time to start gathering outdoors!

Beginning June 4th, we'll be meeting at Cahill Park in Whitefish Bay on Tuesdays from about 9:30 to 11 a.m. There won't be any snacks or drinks provided, so please plan accordingly. Click here for a map.

Summer playgroups at the park are informal get togethers and there will be no formal cancelation announcements if it rains or for any other reason.

Our website will not be updated much during the summer, but we will make our best efforts to return emails (

There are no Friday playgroups during the summer.

If you are a Family Club member, you'll be getting an email at the end of summer regarding the first date back at the church where we'll have our Fall Kickoff.

We have some great new board members for next year, but we still need a secretary. If you are interested in joining the board in this position, please let us know at playgroup. Board members do not pay annual dues. We meet about once every other month for meetings (except in summer). The secretary is in charge of taking meeting minutes and decorating the bulletin boards at the church.

That's all for now. We hope to see you at the playground this summer!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

March 2013 Newsletter

Thank you to everyone who helped put together a successful Easter Egg Hunt party this year. Christine was the director of this party and I think we all agree that it was a hit. 
We had a total of 50 guests (not including the Easter Bunny!). 
The kids enjoyed making baskets at the "Basket Making Station" and then headed down to the dining hall for an indoor egg hunt. Temperatures and snow kept us from hunting outside this year. 

*     *     *
In other news, we are looking for new officers for 2013/2014. Some of the current officers are moving away or their children have outgrown playgroup. 

Here is a rundown of the positions opening up. Please let me know if you're interested in joining the board. Officers do not pay the annual $35 fees (woot!). We usually hold a board meeting every other month. 

President: This is a one-year-only position. We figure it helps keep the new ideas flowing. Duties include handling member complaints (although I can't say we get a lot of complaints), preparing agenda, invite and prepare new board members, run board meetings, oversee all other board member duties and make sure everyone's doing what they need to do to keep things running smoothly, meet with treasurer to make sure we are paying our bills and have sufficient funds in our account, organize fundraiser or schedule new classes if we are low on funds, hire teachers and sitters for classes, ensure playgroup wraps up on time and the rooms looks tidy, shut off lights, liason with NSP church, delegate responsibilities as needed. 

Secretary: Make sure the calendar is updated, send out evites, keep minutes for all board meetings. Minutes must be printed out and kept in a binder each year. 

Public Relations: Create lovely bulletin boards, coordinate hanging fliers for events, email local venues with current class schedules and information. Can be combined with Secretary duties. 

Helping Hands: take charge of this service for new moms or any members who might need a little help. You would coordinate 3 members willing to cook a meal for families in need.

Membership: Maintain list of members, directory and email list. Maintain volunteer listings. Provide labels for mailings. Make sure we have enough new membership forms on hand. 

Inventory/Purchasing: Make sure we're stocked with supplies, snacks, coffee, creamers, juice, etc. Purchase those things we're running low on. 

Cleaning: We clean the toys in the playroom once a month and need someone who can help us remember the date and get everyone moving on cleaning days. All members participate in the cleanup. You would just make sure we follow through on this. Also make sure we have enough cleaning supplies (vinegar, rags, buckets) on hand. 

Treasurer: Basic Bookkeeping to include payables, bank deposits, balancing the checkbook, drafting financial reports, developing and maintaining the budget. 

Of course, you will be given more detailed information about your duties should you become a board member (officer). 

*     *     *

The next playroom toy cleaning is set for Tuesday, March 26th during regular playgroup hours. We'll be wiping down the big toys and dunking the small ones into vinegar water, as always. 

*     *     *

Board members will meet in the playroom on Monday for general cleaning and organizing. 

*     *     *

Next Outing: Jelly Belly Factory Tour on Thursday, March 28th. Please check your evites for more information. 

*     *     *

This month's book club reading is: French Kids Eat Everything, by Karen Le Billon. 

See you at playgroup! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Family Club Parking

A note about parking: Please do not use the church parking lot for our meetings (playgroups, classes or special events). The church needs that limited space for their staff and guests. You may park on the street (the north side of the church is more convenient to the entrance) or you can use the parking structure to the south of the church. 

Thanks so much for your cooperation!

Spring Tunes For Tots

To pay for your spot, please look for "Pay Tunes For Tots March/April" in the right sidebar of this site. You can use Paypal or pay by check. If paying by check, please email us at to reserve your spot. Thank you! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Valentine Craft Ideas

Pinterest via Martha Stewart

Don't forget to join us for our Valentine craft on Tuesday, February 12th.

To get you in the mood, here are some cute Valentine craft ideas.

Lacy Votive Holder from Martha Stewart (above)
Foxy Valentine Favors from P.S. Blog
Stitched Heart Bookmarks from 30 Handmade Days
DIY Heart on Your Sleeve from DesignSponge
Felt Valentine Pins from Purl Bee (below)
Pinterest via Purl Bee

Thank you!

Thank you Xiaoting for putting together such a cute craft project for us for the Chinese New Year party. We all had a blast making lanterns and munching on delicious Chinese treats. I can't wait until next year's celebration! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Night Out

Join us for a night on the town without the kids this Thursday.  Doesn't hurt that wine is only $4 a glass on Thursdays. As always, see your evite for more details. And don't forget to RSVP!

Peanut Butter Wanted!

Hi Everyone. 

We’d like your help for a special food drive that is being sponsored by Hunger Task Force. They are looking to have 100,000 jars of nutritious peanut butter donated and The Family Club wants to lend a hand! 

Please drop off jars of peanut butter this month at the church nursery. There will be a cardboard box clearly marked. I'll take the peanut butter to Hunger Task Force at the end of the the month. 

Thank you for your help and have fun peanut butter shopping with your little ones! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chinese New Year Celebration

Clip art via Office. 
Please join us this Friday during regular playgroup hours for fun and games as we celebrate the Chinese New Year! See your evite for more details! 

Book Club Meeting

Hi Everyone. Just a reminder that our book club meeting is this Tuesday at 7:30. Please see your evite for more details. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Updated Preschool List

If you are in the market for a preschool in the Milwaukee North Shore area, please check out our updated preschool page (There is a link in the sidebar to the right labeled "Preschools."). You can also click here to go directly to the list.

Thank you to Sheila who compiled this list and recently contacted the schools to update the list.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Join us for pizza at Stonefire Pizza on Thursday, January 24th. See your evite for more details. This was a really fun outing last year, so we hope to see you there for food, fun and games. 

Will you join us? Let us know by RSVPing with your evite! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tunes for Tots Winter

It's time for Tunes for Tots Winter classes with Lorin Shearburn! This is a popular class and may fill up quickly, so be sure to reserve your spot now. Limit 8 children with adult. Returning students welcome! 

To reserve your spot (or ask questions) please email:

To pay for your class you may either bring a check payable to "The Family Club" on the first day (please RSVP so we can reserve your spot) or use Paypal. Please look in the sidebar of this site for "Pay Tunes For Tots Winter"

Class fees are $40 for Family Club members and $50 for non-members. One adult plus up to two children per family.
Winter Schedule
Tuesdays 9 to 9:40 a.m. 
Jan 22
Jan 29
Feb 5
Feb 12
Feb 19
Feb 26