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Register Now for the Jack Eight Fund Poker Night!

3 Nov

Over two years ago, my cousin’s girlfriend, Jessica, came up with the idea for the Jack Eight Remembrance Fund.  It’s a fundraising organization whose sole mission is to raise money for education, support, and prevention of suicide.  The cornerstone of the Jack Eight Foundation is the annual poker night, held every November on the National Survivors of Suicide Day.  Each year, the proceeds from the annual poker night go to a different charity, chosen each year for their substantial contributions to suicide awareness and prevention.

This year, the Jack Eight Remembrance Fund is partnering with The Alliance of Hope (www.allianceofhope.org), a wonderful organization that supports the survivors of suicide loss through online forums where survivors can connect with other survivors, obtain information, and find real-world resources to support them in their journey.

For many people who still feel backed up against the strong wall of negativity and stigma surrounding suicide, an online support group can be a very important tool for opening up, sharing experiences, and obtaining help without leaving home.

Ronnie Walker founded The Alliance of Hope to fill a void in support services for those grappling with the devastating aftermath of suicide.  The online services provided transcend time and distance, reaching survivors all over the world.  We are proud to be supporting her organization.

OFFICIAL DETAILS FOR THE 2ND ANNUAL POKER AND BINGO TOURNAMENT

WHAT:  No-Limit Texas Hold’em and Bingo Tournament

WHEN:  Saturday, November 19th, 2011 at 5:00 pm

WHERE:  The Diamond Club at The Ballpark in Arlington

WHY:  Each year, the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving is National Survivors of Suicide Day.  As survivors, we have lived through a difficult, challenging loss.  On this day, we recognize our loss, take pride in our accomplishments, and raise money to help those who are struggling with the loss of a loved one to suicide.

SILENT AUCTION:  There will be a silent auction during the event.  Please bring cash or checks to cover any bids you may place.

POKER: LIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE.  Register now to save your seat.  Pass-the-deal poker, 1st and 2nd places receive prizes.

COST:  With pre-registration, the fee is $55.  If you pay at the door, the fee is $75.  Included in the fee is dinner, and entrance into either the poker tournament or the bingo tournament.

DINNER:  Registration includes a Texas Rangers themed dinner, dessert, gaming, and a chance to experience The Diamond Club.

ADDED FUN:  There will be a personal gold representative present to evaluate any gold you wish to sell, and write you a check on the spot!  So dig through those jewelry boxes, and make some money!

REGISTRATION:  Pre-register now to reserve your spot, and save $20!  Register here, or send an e-mail to jessica@jackeightfund.com to register.  Please include the names of your attendees, and whether you prefer to play in the poker tournament or the bingo tournament.  You will receive an invoice for your payment through Paypal.  Alternatively, you can write a check to The Jack Eight Remembrance Fund, and mail to 1229 Alliance Blvd, Rhome, TX  76078.

**If you choose to pay at the door, we will accept cash or checks.  NO CREDIT CARDS OR DEBIT CARDS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

***There are a number of ways you can help.  Get your friends, your spouse, or your neighbors and COME to the event!  It’s at a great venue, with great food and great entertainment!  Make it a girls or a guys night out!  If you don’t play poker, play bingo!  If you can’t come, sponsor someone else to come!  Maybe you know someone who’d like to come, but can’t pay the entry fee!  What a gift!  You can also help by sending this note to people you know via e-mail or FaceBook, or adding it to your own blog!  Tell people about it!  Go to the Jack Eight website and make a direct donation!  http://www.jackeightfund.com/  Thank you in advance for your support!  Both of these organizations mean a lot to me!  It’s not easy to lose someone you love to suicide.  It’s devastating.

Fall Activities Around Arlington

4 Oct

HOLY SCARECROW, BATMAN!!  There’s SO much to do around here this month!  Here are a few – click on the links for more info.

State Fair of Texas (through October 23)

Dallas Arboretum – Autumn at the Arboretum (daily in October)

Pumpkin picking and scarecrow building at Gnismer Farms (Wednesday, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in October)

Studio Movie Grill – Spookley the Square Pumpkin (weekends in October)

Halloween Crafts at Michael’s stores (various dates through October)

Green Meadows Petting Farm in Grand Prairie (daily from October 6 – November 1; closed October 8-9)

After Dark in the Park at River Legacy (October 7-9)

Harvest Fair at the Grand Prairie Farmers Market (October 15)

Log Cabin Village – Frontier Fall Fest (October 15)

Fort Worth Zoo – Boo at the Zoo (October 21-23 & 28-30)

Fort Worth Botanic Garden – Fall Festival in the Japanese Garden (October 22 & 23)

Halloween Nights at the Dallas Zoo (October 27-29)

Roundtable Discussion – Boredom Busters

23 Jun

A couple weeks ago, Lori wrote a great blog about Boredom Busters (click here to read it).  I loved it – I always enjoy peeking inside another mom’s head to see what cool ideas they use to keep their kids entertained.

I wanted to expand on Lori’s list a little bit, and encourage everyone to throw in their two cents.  Summer is the time when all of us need a hand in filling the long days!

What are some creative, free OR inexpensive things you do with your kids?  Here’s my list.  I think I’m going to print it out and let my kids pick one every day until we’ve done them all!

  • Summer reading club at the library
  • Read It Again kits at from the library
  • Learn a new skill (for my 5-year-old, we’re going to work on tying shoes and cartwheels)
  • Spraygrounds
  • Arlington Museum of Art (it’s free, they only ask for donations)
  • Bowling (we signed up for kidsbowlfree.com – you just pay for shoes)
  • Roller skating (the Arlington Skatium on Cooper has a “cheap skate” night for $1.99)
  • Levitt Pavilion concerts
  • Summer movie series at Studio Movie Grill or Cinemark (cheap tickets)
  • YMCA (my kids love going there while I exercise, and we often swim there together)
  • Keep a summer journal
  • Make giant bubble wands
  • Angry Birds sidewalk chalk & water balloon game (found here)
  • Make lemonade
  • Start up correspondence with a pen pal
  • Go on a scavenger hunt (even in your own house!)
  • Have a picnic (even in your own house!)
  • Go outside, sit on the shade, and blow bubbles
  • Bake cookies
  • Make puzzle planks (found here)
  • Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes in slices of watermelon
  • Have a family jam (everyone play a different instrument!)
  • Go fly a kite
  • Play follow the leader, freeze/melt, head, shoulder, knees, & toes, or I Spy
  • Fill up a box with objects around the house that all start with the same letter
  • Explore outside with a magnifying glass
  • Make a living room fort
  • Cut out pictures from old magazines and make a collage
  • Paint a picture outside
  • Play dress-up
  • Play with playdough
  • Do a puppet show
  • Trace your bodies on giant pieces of paper and draw in some clothes
  • Have a water balloon fight

Kid’s Improv Comedy Concert in North Richland Hills

23 Jun

An improv comedy concert is coming to Green Valley Park in North Richland Hills on Thursday, June 23, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. This event is geared to youth ages 6-12.  Parents are welcome too.  KidProv will be performing improvisational comedy live on stage and it might require a lot of audience participation, so be prepared if you are sitting up front!  Improvisation, according to KidProv, is simply to use what you know and make up what you don’t!  Picnics are welcome and there will be $2 snow cones to help you beat the heat.  Lawn seating will be available, so please bring blankets and lawn chairs.  For more information, please call 817-427-6620 or click here.

Lazy List of Boredom Busters

8 Jun

With summer right around the corner, I’ve got my calendar out and the planning has begun!  I got this brilliant idea from my close friend, Jean Marie Lopez, for putting together a list of fun/interesting things to do.  Why have a list?  Because it’s an easy way to find something to do in a pinch, like when it’s raining outside or the kids are whining the ever annoying, “I’m bored.”  (I’m not at all saying that I am committed to doing every single thing on this list.  I just like knowing I have a quick place to go to find something fun- instead of straight to the TV or computer, which could otherwise easily become my default).

I included my kids in making my list.  Here it what we’ve got so far:

(Items with an * next to them are FREE, items with a ** I plan to blog more about- so stay tuned!)

  1. Visit Dinosaur Valley State Park
  2. Participate in the library summer reading program*
  3. Indoor or outdoor obstacle course *
  4. Make playdough **
  5. Play in the sprinklers *
  6. Get an Arlington Parks & Recreation Passport and visit a park we’ve never been to *
  7. Go on a nature hike *
  8. Watch a movie at the Omni theater
  9. Make friendship bracelets
  10. Paint a canvas
  11. Make an A frame tent
  12. Find a Geocache **
  13. Hide a Geocache **
  14. Go letterboxing
  15. Do a science experiment
  16. Teach the kids to play four square **
  17. Visit Don Misenheimer splash park*
  18. 10 Terrific Weeks (Usborne Book program)
  19. Made homemade popcicles **
  20. Visit the Dallas Zoo
  21. Go to the Lakeshore Learning store
  22. Attend a concert at Levitt Pavillion *
  23. Have a backyard scavenger hunt *
  24. Have a messy day*
  25. Take the kids to Krispy Crème
  26. Recycle crayons **
  27. Go to the $1 movie
  28. Take care of the Webkinz
  29. Board game
  30. Complete a 1000 piece puzzle
  31. Learn a new song on the piano *
  32. Write a letter to a pen pal*
  33. Let the kids be mom for an afternoon*
  34. Visit the bookstore
  35. Ride the carousel at the mall
  36. Explore Internet Linked books online (Usborne books) *
  37. Visit PetSmart *
  38. Teach the kids to play kick ball *
  39. Visit Howard Moore Play Pool
  40. Bake a cake from scratch
  41. Draw a card and play one of the 50 games (Usborne books)

I’d love to know what you’re putting on your own list!  Feel free to share ideas!

Weekend Calendar Reminder

3 Jun

Here’s a quick look at what’s going on this weekend – click on the links or check out our calendar for all the details!

Friday, June 3:

Dino Snore & Rawr at the Fort Worth Zoo

Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games

FREE Summer Concert Series at Levitt Pavilion

Saturday, June 4:

Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games

First Saturday at the Nasher Sculpture Center

First Saturday at the Crow Collection

Free Kids’ Crafts at Lakeshore Learning

Kids’ Fishing at Bass Pro Shops

Kidtoon Movies at Studio Movie Grill (Arlington Highlands)

Animal Exploration at River Legacy Park

FREE Summer Concert Series at Levitt Pavilion

Sunday, June 5:

Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games

Kidtoon Movies at Studio Movie Grill (Arlington Highlands)

FREE Summer Concert Series at Levitt Pavilion

Kidtoon Movies

3 Jun

Studio Movie Grill in the Arlington Highlands offers Kidtoon Movies every Saturday and Sunday morning at 11 am.  Tickets are only $2, and the shows are usually older, G-rated fare (past offerings include Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, and Pinky Dinky Doo).  Movies rotate on a monthly basis.

June’s show is called “Thomas and Friends: Hero of the Rails.”

And while you’re there, check out the fantastic food!  It’s a little pricey, but the pizza’s phenomenal, and my kids love the grilled cheese.

For a complete listing of showtimes, click here: http://www.studiomoviegrill.com/theaters/arlington.php.

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