October 31, 2012

Financial report for October 2012

Start balance:  $368.27
+50.00 new members
+100.00 renewals
no expenses in October 2012
End balance:  $518.27

The MOMS Club® is a nonprofit corporation and a 501 (C) (3) publicly-supported charity registered with the IRS. 

October 19, 2012

Free art materials at S.C.R.A.P.S

I am ALL for reusing materials for art and crafts.  There's something about working within the limitation of what's available that sparks innovation.  (Although it's also fun to get inspired by other projects.)

Two afternoons a month, year-round, you can pick up overstock or used arts/crafts materials for free in Seberger Park as part of St. Cloud Recycled Art Project Shop (S.C.R.A.P.S.).  This could be a great source for materials for the next time you are hosting a chat'n'play or other event.  Remember, donations are not required but highly appreciated.

Times in 2012:
Thursday, November 1st, 3:00-6:00 pm
Thursday, November 15th, 3:00-6:00 pm
Thursday, December 6th, 3:00-6:00 pm
Thursday, December 20th, 3:00-6:00 pm

Place: Seberger Park Shelter, 2001 Second Street North, Saint Cloud

Weekly, free book exchange at the Good Earth

Open air book exchanges like the Little Free Library are cute but, let's face it, not an option for unhurried browsing in the fierce Minnesota winters.

The Good Earth food co-op in Saint Cloud has a year-round, indoor book exchange every Saturday.  The owner, of course, has the alterior motive to get you to shop in her store, but the book exchange is free and you don't have to be a member of the co-op to pick up and drop off a book. 

There are rules, though: You must take a book for every book you bring!  Sorry, you are going to have to take your donations elsewhere if you're not prepared to get something back.

Time: Every Saturday all year 11am to 2pm
Place: The Good Earth Food Co-op, 2010 8th Street North (Veterans Drive), Saint Cloud, MN.

October 16, 2012

More yard signs: Elections and schools in Sartell and Sauk Rapids

So it's the season for yard signs.  As a newcomer to this country, I'm perennially perplexed at the democratic process here.  Surely, I ask myself, judges are not elected? (Yes.)  But the sources of funding should be the same for all school districts?  (No.)  Being one of those nosy foreigners, I have to at least try and find out what's going on here, particularly where it affects my kids directly, ECFE and schools.  Follow me.

Sauk Rapids-Rice are voting on the levy for schools again

Nothing is certain in life but death and taxes, Danes say.  Well, apparently people in Sauk Rapids are not so sure about that levy for schools.  They turned it down last year but the school district can't wait around for the money it's owed by the State of Minnesota (apparently the kids can't just stop going to school while we wait).  So it is putting it back on the ballot this year.

The Sauk Rapids-Rice school have made an estimate of how the referendum will affect your household and your elementary student, depending on whether the levy is passed or not. The school district has cut back during the last five years and now they claim there will be further cuts and higher fees for sports if the levy isn't passed. 

School funding is incredibly complicated: Some funding is federal, some (in Minnesota, most) comes from various state programs and some from local property taxes.  The local tax allocation, the levy or referenda revenue, must be put to a public vote and that's when the people of Sauk Rapids turn out to be different from most other school districts

Read more about the Levy for Learning at the school district's website.

Sartell-St. Stephen and Sauk Rapids-Rice districts both have new candidates for school board

But who?  If you weren't one of the dozen people present at a debate (Sartell-St Stephen have more scheduled for October) or happen to know one of the candidates, you may be as confused about their names as I am. 

In Sauk Rapids-Rice, four seats for four-year terms are up for election and the candidates are:
Tracey Fiereck, Mark Hauck, Jon Hull, Tracy Morse and Jan Solarz.  Hauck, Morse and Solarz are incumbents while Fiereck and Hull are running for the first time.

To my knowledge, all candidates support the levy.

In Sartell-St Stephens, 10 candidates are running for the board’s four seats. Eight candidates are running for three, four-year terms. They are Krista Laurich Durrwachter, Chris Gross, Pam Raden, Jason Nies, Molly Vogt, Keith Yapp, Dan Goetz and Christopher Condon. Two candidates are running for one, two-year term. They are Michelle Meyer and Gary Schnellert.

Most currently, the School Board voted to keep contested superintendent Hill with a 4-2 vote:  Board members Chris Gross, Gary Schnellert (both up for election), Dan Riordan, and Greg Asfeld voted to extend the contract, with board members Mary McCabe and Lesa Kramer voting against the approval.

Do you know more about the candidates?  Please tell us in the comments!

Free family events in October

 - the event posts are updated as event notifications tick in - stay tuned -

Sartell School Board candidate forum with childcare

At one Sartell School Board candidate forum, there will be offered free childcare for toddlers and older children.
The public forums have invited all 10 candidates for the board’s four seats. Eight candidates are running for three, four-year terms. They are Krista Laurich Durrwachter, Chris Gross, Pam Raden, Jason Nies, Molly Vogt, Keith Yapp, Dan Goetz and Christopher Condon. Two candidates are running for one, two-year term. They are Michelle Meyer and Gary Schnellert.
Time: 6:30 p.m. Oct. 29
Place: Sartell High School.


October 5: St Cloud Christian School FamJam

A fundraiser for the school's programs, but entrance to the carnival is free.  Featuring: Kiddie Carnival • Bouncy Houses • Games • Prizes • Food provided by Short Stop • Live and Silent Auctions.

Time: Oct 5 at 3-9pm
Place: St Cloud Christian School.

October 8: SCSU International Film Series - for adults

The Film Studies department at SCSU which showcases films from all around the world. All films are shown with English subtitles and are free to the public.

This time they are showing Once Upon a Time in Anatolia.
Time: Oct 8 at 7-9pm
Place: Atwood Memorial Center Theatre.
See you there!

October 18: Pumpkinfest at Lake George

A Halloween bash for families is being planned at on Friday October 18 for children 10 and younger. They are encouraged to dress up in costumes.  The event will feature trick or treating stations, a petting zoo, pumpkin painting, arts and crafts and face painting.
The St. Cloud Parks and Recreation Department is putting on the free event.

Time:  4-7 p.m. Friday.
Place: Lake George Municipal Complex, Saint Cloud

Potluck October - paying homage to the chickens

The weather was gorgeous so we went outside after lunch to say hello to Mandy's chickens who had fed us so well. 

MOMS Club Sartell-Sauk Rapids event potluck
Chickens were fed, pictures painted, sun enjoyed.  Thanks for hosting, M.!  (Click on picture to enlarge.)

Potluck October: 3 eggs or more

Potluck in October was at Mandy's - you know, where the chickens live.  The food was all soooo good - and rich, because of the eggs.  We paid our respects to the chickens by feeding them yummy kale from the garden afterwards.

Here are the recipes that have come in so far.  (I have chosen to not print out the recipes if they came unmodified from a website or this post gets too long!)

By the way, the prize for recipe with the most eggs in it was... a dozen of those wonderful, dark-yellow eggs from the very chickens in the front yard.

Pineapple Millefoglie with Maraschino Cherry Sauce (Jen)

Millefoglie - it's the Italian version of a Napoleon, or Mille feuille - meaning thousand sheets. AKA three layers of puff pastry and two cream type layers.  ~ Jen

Jen cut out the millefeuille into little hearts, which was a great hit with the kids and adults alike.  See her recipe at the Food Network.

Artichoke Feta Quiche (Katie)

This is a Cook this, Not that-type recipe comparing to a ready-made quiche lorraine.  I certainly held its own in taste!  

Herbed Passover Rolls (Mandy) 

FYI, if you are looking for matzo meal at Coborn's, it is found in the soup aisle in small boxes that each contain about one cup. - Mandy
Also known as matzo, these tasty rolls are made for passover and so using no yeast, just... eggs.
Find the recipe at Myrecipes.

Ice Cream: Vanilla - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (Mette)

Recipe for ice cream from The All New Good Housekeeping Cook Book (2001), a favourite of mine.
Recipe for cookie dough (without eggs or leavener):  Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by Dave Lebovitz.

You need an ice cream maker to make this - or you can update your favourite store-bought one by letting it soften before adding the cookie dough and then refreezing it.  I usually make ice cream the night before I plan to eat it; it is such a lovely note to end the day on and it gives me a night to chill the custard and whatever else goes in there.  The following day I mix early in the day and allow the ice cream to set in the freezer for a few hours.

For the ice cream: (Really, any vanilla ice cream recipe will do.  I chose to experiment with a flour-based custard.)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoonsalt
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 large eggs (I used 4 of Mandy's chickens' eggs)
  • 1.5 cups heavy or whipping cream
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used bean)
  1. In wide-bottomed pot, combine sugar, flour, and salt; stir in milk until well blended. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture boils and has thickened. Remove from heat.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk eggs; stir in 1/2 cup of the milk mixture. Over medium heat, slowly pour the egg mixture back into the milk mixture, stirring rapidly to prevent curdling. Now you have custard and need to chill it.
  3. Strain into a large bowl. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the custard (this is fun!). Put in the refrigerator for min. 3 hours or overnight.
  4. When the custard is chilled, add the cream and vanilla.
For the cookie dough:
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. Mix the butter and sugar until smooth.  
  2. Add in the flour, then the vanilla, salt and chocolate chips. Mix until even.
  3. Spread into a shallow container, cut into little pieces and freeze for at least one hour.
Make the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to instructions on the thing.  In reality, this amounts to assembling it correctly, pouring the chilled custard in there and letting it churn until you get soft-serve ice cream.
Mix in the frozen pieces of cookie dough. Get your container(s) ready and a plastic spatula. Finish mixing in the dough by hand if needed, then quickly pour and scrape the ice cream into your container or it will stick to the sides of the freezing element.
Let set in the freezer for min. 2 hours.  Put in the refrigerator for ca. 20 min before eating.

October 9, 2012

Walk in the park - a change of plans

So, we were supposed to all be walking in Quarry Park, which is a lovely place, but it was a bit cold out and most everybody chickened out.  Well, their loss!  We, Mandy and Mette, decided to bundle up and, since we were free to pick our destination, decided to check out nearby Bob Cross Nature Preserve (of Moms Night Out Amazing Race fame) by Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.

It turned out to perfect for little legs and full of things to observe. Check out the colors and the tree, half-felled by a beaver!

MOMS Club Sartell-Sauk Rapids event Bob Cross
From our walk in Bob Cross Nature Reserve.   Click on the picture to enlarge.

October 4, 2012

Mom, what does the president do?

Do you try to get the kids to bed before a presidential debate and can you not explain on the spot why you want to skip story time for two guys arguing on TV?

Would you not mind playing a kids game to be reminded what exactly the president does for a living?

PBS Kids' online Democracy Project has games, fun facts, interactive exploration of the role of of government and more - and your humble webmaster has tested some of the more fun features.  The educational content is intended for third to seven-graders, but in my opinion activities like Meet the Candidates and My Government is a fun and easy way of introducing pre-schoolers to names and terms that are swirling around their heads these days anyway.


Select an issue and candidate (or put 'em both on there) to create a sticker that expresses your ideas of what's important.

Clicking through an interactive map you can find facts and talk about how government plays a role in the everyday lives of kids.