Monday, December 21, 2015

Winter Break

Please remember that, The Family Club will be closed for winter break on the following dates.  Playgroups will resume on Tuesday, January 5th.  Ho, ho, ho!

  • Friday, December 25th
  • Tuesday, December 29th
  • Friday, January 1st 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Satisfy your inner Cookie Monster and join us at The Family Club Cookie Decorating party on Friday, December 18 from 9:30-11:00.  Our little monsters will be creating bakery masterpieces for you to take home and share.  Yum, yum, yum!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Winter Wonderfuls!

Today it was 54 and sunny, but it's wintertime in Wisconsin, I promise!  Looking for some ideas to help you feel festive and frosty?

  • Why not join us on Friday, December 18 during playgroup for cookie decorating?  Each child can decorate and take home half a dozen sugar cookies.  A donation of $5 is suggested from all families who would like to take home cookies.  All money earned will go towards supplies for the playroom.  How sweet!
  • Why not join a January session of Tunes For Tots?  From January 25-February 29, this Monday class will meet on the 2nd floor nursery from 9:45-10:15 to sing and dance.  The cost is $40/family and $50/family for non-members.  Groovy!
  • Why not find a little magic?  Have you ridden the Jingle Bus?  Had cocoa with Mr. and Mrs. Claus?  Checked out the light displays in the downtown parks?  Visit Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival for more information.  But hurry!  "Cocoa With the Clauses" is this Saturday, December 12!
  • Why not dance with a bear?  The bears at Grand Ave. are ready to jump and jive with you!!  Visit Grand Ave Mall for more information on this Milwaukee classic.
  • Why not carry on a 43-year-old tradition?  This year's holiday display theme at BMO Harris Bank downtown is "Northern Lights: The Magical World of the Snow Queen."  Visit BMO Harris Bank for more details.    

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Holiday Happenings

The bell ringers are in front of the grocery stores, the Hersheys kisses are jingling on TV, and turkeys are being pardoned.  Holiday time is here and The Family Club wants to help you celebrate.

On Tuesday, November 17th we will celebrate Thanksgiving during playgroup.  Children can listen to a story about turkeys, help paint a turkey poster and enjoy a snack feast.  Our posters will be delivered to the fire station and police station thanking the workers for their service to the community.
We are looking for snack volunteers for our Grateful Gathering Feast on Tuesday.  Please reply to this e-mail or post on our Facebook page if you would like to bring a snack.  Please avoid nuts and mark any items containing eggs.  Thank You in advance!

The sweet sounds of jingle bells will fill the church nursery on Monday, November 30th.  Join Lorin Shearburn and friends from 9:45-10:15 a.m. for this four week Tunes for Tots holiday songs session.  Class dates are 11/30, 12/7, 12/14 and 12/21.  Music class will take place on the second floor NSPC Church nursery space.  The cost is $25 per family for FC members and $35 per family for non-FC members.  To register, please email or respond to the event posting on our Facebook page.  

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Boo! It's a Halloween Party!

Wondering where you can find the cutest pumpkins in the patch?  At The Family Club Halloween Party, of course!  We'll be celebrating Halloween on Friday, October 30, from 9:30-11:00.  Dress up the kiddos (and yourself if you'd like) and join us for crafts, special treats, a fun photo booth, and spooky songs.  Halloween party day at The Family Club is always one of the most fun and cutest days at playgroup. See you there!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It's Cleaning Day

Many hands make light work, so bring your hands and help clean the toys in the playroom, this Friday, October 16, during playgroup. Let's kill the cold germs before they can bug our kiddos.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Train Time Fun

If you have a train-lover living under your roof, make plans to visit the "Pumpkin Train" at the Milwaukee Light Engineering Society.  The MLES operates a train park in Cedarburg that they open to the public several times throughout the year.  During the open houses, they run free train rides throughout the extensive grounds for all visitors on a variety of trains.  While all train rides are free, they do accept donations.  These open houses are well-attended and are definitely worth the trip to Cedarburg.  The times and dates for the current "Pumpkin Train" open house are listed below.  

Friday Night Run: Oct 2, 9, 16 and 23 
Time 6:30 PM - 9 P.M. 

Weekends: Oct 3 & 4, 10 & 11, 17 & 18, 24 & 25 
Time: 11 AM - 4 PM

Location: Railroad Park, 2620 N. Country Aire Drive, Cedarburg

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tunes For Tots Is Back

Next Monday, October 19, Ms. Lorin will be back with the first installment of the much-loved Tunes For Tots class.  The class features 30-minutes of songs, instruments, parachute play, and dance.  It meets in the church nursery each Wednesday for six weeks, ending November 23.  The cost for the class is $40 for members and $50 for non-members.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to email  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Lakeside Book Club

If you're looking for a great place to connect with other book-lovers, check out the Lakeside Book Club.  The group started out as The Family Club Book Club, but in order to welcome a broader array of bibliophiles, the group was reconfigured in May and the Lakeside Book Club was born.  They are happy to welcome both Family Club members and non-members from the community.  The club meets in members' homes and local coffee shops on a monthly basis to discuss the text previously chosen by the group.  The current selection is Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.  For more details and to get involved, visit their website at  

Monday, September 14, 2015

Tomorrow, September 15, is our first playgroup of the fall.  Join us from 9:30-11:00 in the 2nd floor nursery of the North Shore Presbyterian Church in Shorewood as we enjoy the morning playing and chatting with our Family Club friends.  On Friday, September 18, we'll be hosting a Fall Kick-Off Party during playgroup.  We look forward to welcoming friends old and new.

Friday, August 21, 2015

We're Baaaack!

I walked into Target a few days ago and nearly tripped over a Back-To-School display.  Whether we like it or not, September is upon us.  With the start of school comes the start of playgroups at our indoor location.  The second-floor nursery at North Shore Presbyterian Church will welcome us home on Tuesday, September 15 at 9:30 a.m.   We look forward to welcoming back old friends and introducing them to new friends who will be joining us for the first time.  Our regular playgroup will meet every Tuesday and Friday from 9:30-11:00 a.m. during the school year.  

Due to the ongoing construction in the area, please be sure to check street signs before parking to make sure you don't get a ticket.  In addition to street parking, you can also utilize the parking structure to the south of the church directly behind Sendik's.  Please do not park in the surface lot directly south of NSPC as this is for Connie's Preschool pick-ups and drop-offs.  You can enter the church at the rear off the alley behind Walgreens and follow the joyful sounds to the second floor nursery.  If you're pushing a stroller, feel free to use the elevator and park on the second floor.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

New Friends

I have a confession to make.  Four years ago, after the first time I attended play group at The Family Club, I cried all the way home.  My first child was less than a year old at the time, and I'd left my teaching job just before he was born to stay home and take care of him full time.  My life had changed in every imaginable way in a very short period of time.  The previous six months had left me feeling overwhelmed with responsibility and insecurity.  I was lonely.  Everyone said I was supposed to make "mom friends", but where was I supposed to make these connections?  It felt like dating all over again.  Did I have to troll bars looking for moms to strike up a conversation with?  Would there be small talk?  Would our kids get along?  The prospect of "getting out there" made me shudder.

When I stumbled into the nursery at Family Club that first morning, I'd pretty much decided that my sanity was going to have to be put on hold until my son was grown.  But after an hour of play group, I had been introduced to all of the parents and caregivers in attendance.  I had an earful of suggestions for my son's sleep troubles.   I had a calendar in hand that now had actual events for us to do in the coming days.  I was more secure in my role as a parent because I knew I was not alone in the parenting universe.  It's no wonder that I was completely overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude.  It was an empowering feeling to know that I had a place to go to twice a week with people who cared for my child and were supportive of my daily struggles because they experienced the same struggles.  I had "mom friends".

Four years and a second child later, I credit The Family Club and its members with saving my sanity.  The Family Club has given my kids a place to play and socialize.  It has given me a network of caring adults to support me.  It has created structure for my life as a parent.

Last week during one of our weekly summer park play dates, we had a number of new families join us.  There were babies to ogle over, toddlers to giggle with, and parents to introduce.  We pushed our kids in the swings and sat on blankets in the shade chatting about nap schedules, vacation plans, and potty training woes.  My heart swelled when I overheard one mother remark, "I have been looking for 'mom friends' for so long, and today I've met a whole bunch."

To all the new parents and caregivers who have joined us this past year, month, or week - thank you and welcome!  We are excited to know and support you.  To all the parents and caregivers looking for that sanity-saving niche on the North Shore - come and join us.  We can't wait to meet you!  We'll be at Cahill Park in Whitefish Bay this Tuesday from 9:30-11:00.  See you there!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Park Play Dates

School's out and playgroups at the NSPC have been suspended for the summer.  Instead, plan to join us at Cahill Park in Whitefish Bay (on the corner of Marlborough and Chateau) on Tuesday mornings from 9:30-11:00 for an informal get-together.  Bring a blanket and spend the morning watching the kiddos navigate the sandbox and the slides.  See you tomorrow!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fire Truck + Ambulance = Pure Joy

On Wednesday afternoon, the kiddos of The Family Club were completely enthralled by the sights and sounds at the Shorewood Fire Station.  They heard about fire safety, climbed up truck ladders, swung around the brass pole, explored the inside of the fire truck and ambulance, and learned about all the components of a fire fighter's gear.  One brave kiddo even got his heartbeat checked in the back of the ambulance!  It was a truly memorable afternoon.  Special thanks to the staff at the Shorewood Fire Station for being such patient and informative hosts to our large group and to Amanda for coordinating this great outing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Visit To the Fire Station

It's May, and at The Family Club, that means a visit to the Shorewood Fire Station.  Join us on Wednesday, May 20 at 4:00 p.m. as we tour the Shorewood Fire Station at 3936 N. Murray Ave.  The staff will give us a tour of the station, demonstrate the gear and vehicles, and answer all the crazy questions the kids can think of.  Of course there will be an opportunity to sit in the driver's seat and witness the magic of the fire pole.  Please make plans to meet us there for a fun afternoon.

(There is a possibility that the event could be delayed or cancelled due to emergencies arising.  If last minute changes occur, updates will be posted here as well as at the Facebook page.  Thank you for your understanding.)

Friday, April 24, 2015

May Book Club Meeting

Mark your calendars for our May 6th book club meeting.  We will gather at Allison's house at 7:00.  Our book is Bossypants by Tina Fey, and it's hilarious, so come join the conversation.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Field Trip Time

It's high time that The Family Club go on a field trip!  On Monday, April 20, we'll meet at the Mitchell Park Conservatory (The Domes) at 10:00 a.m. to enjoy the the gorgeous scenery in the three domes.  "That's Amore" is the special spring exhibit in the show dome, and love is sure to fill the air!  Admission is FREE for Milwaukee Country residents that morning (9:00-12:00), so come out and have some fun with your Family Club friends.  For more information, visit Mitchell Park Conservatory.

Once Upon a Preschool

Conversations about preschools are common during play group.  Is my kiddo ready for preschool?  Where should she attend?  How frequently?  How much does it cost?  Are there openings?  Did we miss the application deadline?  It's enough to make your head spin...and it's just the beginning!

There has been a lot of chatter about a brand new preschool starting in Whitefish Bay.  Once Upon a Preschool is now enrolling for the 2015-2016 school year, and to help parents answer all of those tough preschool questions, they're holding an informative open house.  Join them on Thursday, April 9 from 6-8 p.m. at Bayshore Lutheran Church, 1200 E. Hampton Rd to learn all the details of this exciting new preschool.
 Once Upon A
  P r e s c h o o l

Where the joy of learning comes to life!

 Our Core Values:  To foster meaningful interactions that will engage the mind, capture the heart, stimulate the five senses and build positive self-image.  We believe children are:
~Open minded, so we are a community that values observation.
~Curious, so we are a community that invites exploration.
~Capable, so we are a community that promotes discovery.
~Hands-on, so we are a community that embraces experience.
~A Work in Progress, so we are a community that celebrates personal growth.
~Teachable, so we are a community that nurtures caring for ourselves, caring for each other and caring for our world.

2.10 months – 4 year olds by Sept. 1

2 Classes:
T, W, TH mornings
8:30 – 11:15
T, W. TH afternoons
12:15- 3:00

For more information: Once Upon a Preschool

Friday, March 27, 2015

Five Spring Things You Don't Want to Miss

As your family emerges from hibernation and actual events begin to appear on your schedule where black holes of winter blah used to be, does your calendar tremble with excitement?  Spring is here, and there is so much to do!  Here are five picks that you won't want to miss.
  1. Very Fairy Princess Day - Admission to the Milwaukee Domes is free all weekend (March 28-29 from 9-4), so bring your costumed prince, princess, fairy, or wizard to enjoy the gardens, art projects, storytelling, dance lessons, live music, face painting and more.  
  2. Toddlers On a Mission - Little ones and parents work together to accomplish a volunteer "mission" every other month with this awesome North Shore group.  SHOW your children what it means to really give back to the community.  Join Toddlers On a Mission on April 21 when they prepare vases and placemats for an urban senior lunch program.  Then help deliver them on April 23.  For more information, email  
  3. Veterans Park Family Kite Festival - Fabulous free fun can be had by all at the two day event over Memorial Day weekend (May 23-24 from 10-5/6).  Kites from across the region will grace the skies and amaze spectators.
  4. Jelly Belly Factory Tour - Before they pack up their beans and leave town forever, take a tour of the Jelly Belly Warehouse in Pleasant Prairie.  Hop on the Jelly Belly Express Train Tour and discover the history of the Jelly Belly before stopping in to the candy store for free samples.
  5. Summer Camp Registration - Keep the fun times rolling by signing up for some of the amazing summer camps and classes that area organizations are offering.  Registration for many sessions has already started.  There is something for every age, interest and budget.  Start at MetroParent's online Camp Fair for a glimpse of what's available.  Chatting with other parents can also reveal really cool opportunities you didn't know existed.  That's how I found out about The Lynden Sculpture Garden's summer offerings, Elite Fitness sports camps, and Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School.  And don't forget about good old-fashioned free fun that can be found at library story times, vacation Bible schools, and parks and beaches across the area.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March Book Club

The book club will be meeting soon to discuss The Dinner by Herman Koch.  Join your fellow Family Club bibliophiles at Anvita's house at 7:00 p.m. on March 22.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

St. Patrick's Day

Come celebrate the luck of the Irish with a St. Patrick's Day Party at Family Club on Tuesday, March 17.  During playgroup, we'll have a special craft and green goodies to eat.  

To get you in the spirit of the holiday, head downtown for the 49th annual Shamrock Club's St. Patrick's Day Parade on Saturday, March 14.  It starts at 12:00 p.m. at Wisconsin Ave. and 3rd St.  This is definitely one of Milwaukee's best parades with plenty of bagpipes, Irish dancers, and spectators decked out in green garb.  Usually it's frigid, but Saturday's forecast calls for temps of 50!  Check out the website for more details. 

If you are game for even more St. Patrick's Day fun, take a look at's 2015 St. Patrick's Day Guide.

Friday, March 6, 2015

April Book Club

The options for the next book club selection have been chosen.  Take a moment to check them out and cast your vote in the poll at the right.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Easter Egg Hunt and Potluck

Never mind the fact that the news tells me tomorrow's windchill will be sub-zero.  I'm thinking positively!  I'm thinking spring!  At The Family Club, spring means the Easter Egg Hunt and Potluck.  This annual tradition is a fantastic opportunity for families and friends to gather for a morning of fun.  The Easter Bunny will be on hand for pictures, and kids will be able to decorate bags before hunting for eggs and enjoying lunch and games.  The fun begins on Saturday, March 21 at 10:00 a.m. in the playroom at the North Shore Presbyterian Church in Shorewood.  See you there!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Cool Stuff For Kids Opportunity Fair

On Saturday, February 28, CESA #1 and PAGE (Parent Advocates for Gifted Education) present the Cool Stuff For Kids Opportunity Fair at Golda Meir High School (Upper Campus Building, 1615 N. Martin Luther King Drive).  The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is intended to connect parents and kids with organizations that offer enrichment classes, programs, camps, and activities during the summer and/or throughout the year for children preschool through high school.  Some of the 30+ organizations being represented include: Milwaukee Children's Choir, Discovery World, Mad Science, YMCA, and UW Milwaukee College For Kids.  For a full list of organizations and a map of the location, visit 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Vaccination Conversations

Poor Mickey Mouse.  His home used to be "The Happiest Place on Earth" and now no one can discuss Disneyland without mentioning measles and its cross-country spread.  Since the original cases were discovered, more than 100 cases across 14 states have been confirmed.

With the spread of this once eradicated disease, the vaccination debate is in full swing, even creeping in to the nursery during Family Club playgroup.  While no cases have been reported in Wisconsin, measles is extremely contagious, and parents are rightfully concerned.  The mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is given in two doses at approximately 12-months and 4-years of age.  That means that nearly all of the children who enjoy The Family Club are not fully protected.  And we all know that the kiddos are better at sharing germs than they are at sharing the toys we try so hard to keep clean.  That is why the American Academy of Pediatrics notes, "As the measles outbreak linked to Disneyland continues to spread, pediatricians are deeply concerned about the children who have been infected, and those who are at risk because they have not been vaccinated.  The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly urges parents to make sure their children have received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.  While it is best to get the vaccines as soon as your child reaches the recommended age, it is never too late to get your children caught up so they can receive the vaccine and be fully protected."

Widespread vaccination protects not only those who have received the vaccination, but also those who are unable to.  My friend's daughter, Grace, suffers from juvenile arthritis and is one of thousands who rely on what is known as herd immunity to keep her healthy.  Keeping those around her healthy keeps Grace healthy.  The Guardian explains this phenomenon well and presents a convincing reason (in the form of an outbreak simulation) to follow the CDC guidelines to vaccinate all those who are able.  While I have heard measles referred to as "no big deal", the complications can be very serious.  By following vaccination recommendations established by medical professionals with years of educational research to support their guidelines, measles does not have to be a "big deal" and our Family Club kiddos can continue to share their germs and toys without fear of infection.
For more information about measles and the MMR vaccination, visit The CDC website.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

March Book Club

The possible selections for the March Book Club meeting have been selected.  Check out the synopses at the links below and vote for your favorite in the poll at the right.  The date and location of the March meeting will be announced later this month.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Exciting Upcoming Events

It may be cold outside, but the fun at Family Club is heating up!  We have several fun events planned for the coming weeks, so grab a pen and mark your calendar.  You won't want to miss out on the art projects, special snacks and merrymaking!

  • Valentine's Day Party - Friday, February 6, 9:30 a.m.
  • Chinese New Year Party - Tuesday, February 17, 9:30 a.m.
  • St. Patrick's Day Party - Tuesday, March 17, 9:30 a.m.

February Book Club

Good news book fans - The next book club meeting will be Thursday, February 26 at 7:00 at Jennifer's house.  Pick up a copy of The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion and join the conversation.  It's a fantastic read! 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

New Allergy Aware Snack Guidelines

When my daughter was being treated for her second ear infection, she developed an allergic reaction to the antibiotic she was taking to treat the infection.  Her cute little face and body puffed up with angry red hives and she was miserable.  Fortunately, her skin returned to its rosy complexion after a few tenuous days, and we are now cautious when treating her with prescription medication.

In the role of ultimate protectors, parents are alert to the danger of allergies and the potential for severe allergic reactions.  One of the most common sources of allergies is food, specifically nuts.  The prevalence of nut allergies among children has risen dramatically in the past decade (to 1.4%).  With the severity of allergies and reactions varying widely, many schools and other public places have become nut-free to help protect children.

Beginning on Monday, January 12, The Family Club will become a nut and egg-free playgroup.  Our traditional snacks (Goldfish and graham crackers) do not contain either ingredient, so our day-to-day  procedures will remain relatively unchanged.  However, great care must be shown when preparing snacks for special parties or when bringing in your own snacks for your children.  This new policy will help us safely welcome our newest adorable Family Club kiddo and all future children.  If you have questions at the new allergy aware snack guidelines, please do not hesitate to contact me.