Words to live by

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Last night I attended what was the last School Board meeting for some, and first for other newly elected members of the board.   The community seems very hopeful for what will come due to the swearing-in of the much admired Laura Berry, Michael Carroll, Sandy Kulak and Mike Maratea.

Many statements were made last night, but the one that really stood out for many was a statement made by outgoing member, Lynne Donegan. I thought it would be nice to share for those of you who may have not been present:

 As I sat down to put some thoughts on paper, it was hard to not get emotional. I reflected back to five years ago—- before the school board— WHERE was I? WHO was I?   Well, I was a mom, volunteer, PFE member, and I was an advocate and lobbyist working on legislation for the implementation of AEDs in indoor and outdoor facilities.

I worked hard, was committed and focused; I showed up prepared~ when I was speaking or presenting, and I did my duties to the best of my ability. I always kept a poker face, while never revealing “my hand”, in true south side fashion.  I asked nothing in return because I was driven and enjoyed what I was doing.

AND THEN IT HAPPENED, someone stepped into my over scheduled, but manageable life and said, “Hey Lynne, how about running for school board?—you are already so invested in the students, you have this innate ability to bring people together, and when you speak people listen (so I was told).  So I “threw my hat into the ring.”

As I look back, I learned a lot and what I can tell you is that “GREAT” isn’t a word I would use to describe my experience over the past four years. My work ethic, and values did not change but my “one person CAN make a difference,” beliefs were severely shaken.

One of the biggest things I learned is that whether I am part of the minority, or the majority, the board is 7 people serving together… as one board. I am disappointed that as ONE board, we accomplished very little, and actually caused much disruption. I was bullied, and could state reasons for removing myself from vulgar name-calling, ultimatums, and unacceptable behavior in closed sessions, but the public knows, yes you know—as you’ve witnessed some of it for yourselves, in open session as well. I could sit here, and try to explain the volatility and stress, but I am choosing to forgive, heal, put it behind me, and move forward.

Even though I came prepared for meetings, did my homework, and voted my conscience, I am frustrated that I was not able to come up with a solution to make our board “rise to the occasion.” The reality is… we were a dysfunctional board, and from the bottom of my heart, I apologize to those individuals who were caught in the crossfire, especially and most important of all…our children.

Moving forward for me actually means GOING BACK….BACK to enjoying Monday nights again, BACK to my favorite roles: as a mom, volunteer, PFE member, and I continue to honor my niece Colleen O’Sullivan by my advocacy work with AEDs, oh, and I also have a full-time job, so don’t worry I won’t be bored!

TODAY IS A NEW DAY—I would like to wish the newly elected school board members the very best. I no longer have to wonder what could be, because it now CAN BE! Please keep in mind that PROBLEMS are mistakes we CHOOSE to ignore.

And I leave you with a quote that sums up my four years on the board, and hopefully it will inspire the new board:

Marcus Aurelius (last of the Five Good Emperors of the Roman Emperor) said, “If it is not right, do not do it; if it is not true, do not say it.”

Thank you!

Words to live by.  Thank you to Lynne and Mary Bragg for their tireless efforts to do what was best for the kids.  From one parent to another, your hard work and attempt to do what was right did NOT go unnoticed and is greatly appreciated.  You may not have had the majority vote at that table, but you have the majority appreciation of this grateful community.

See you around town!

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Happy Kids Back at School Day!!!

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Spring break was interesting, the family stayed around home and we spent LOTS of time together.  What started out as relaxation quickly turned to annihilation as the kids turned on each other within days and began what I have come to refer to as the Battle-brawl fight to the death. “Mom! He touched me!”, “Mom, she is in my room!”, “Mom, it’s my TURN!!!” Continue reading

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The Bridge Debuts Saturday Nights for 10th-12th Graders!

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Is your 10th-12th grade child looking for something to do tonight?

Tonight, join the folks at the Bridge Teen Center at 7:30 pm for the first Saturday Night in Bridge history exclusively for 10th-12th grade students! Enjoy live music from The Aaron Williams Band along with free food from Chili’s Grill & Bar!

Sounds like a good time!

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Happy International Women’s Day!

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Today is a celebration of women worldwide.  Yes, we deserve it and should take a moment to realize how flippin’ fantastic we are.

We are mothers, sisters, wives, peacekeepers, healers, nurturers, teachers, friends and more.  We have made multi-tasking an art form.  We do it all and do it well.

We are able to be hard as stone (mess with one of our kids to find out) or soft and comforting with a hug and kind words that are able to make all of our children’s worries disappear. Continue reading

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Be Nice!

I had an hour to kill last night between activities and stopped by McD’s with the kids to grab a snack. While there my youngest asked if he could play in the bacteria-filled playplace. I hesitated but obliged since I had antibacterial wipes in my purse but couldn’t help but notice that I was getting the stink eye from another mom with small children.

I let it go until she decided to say very loudly to another mom “isn’t he too old to be playing here?” He is about to turn 8, so no. Yes, he looks like he is older, but who the hell made her the nasty playplace police? I thought about saying something to her, but decided to do so via facial expressions and silent protest instead.

A few minutes later, her young son started crying and was scared to come back down from way up high in the bacteria filled structure. She pleaded with him not to make her climb up to help him.

My “bothersome older kid” carried that little crying boy down the maze of nastiness to his sour faced mom, all the while saying “its ok, don’t be scared, your mom is right there, etc.”

niceWithout a thank you or anything from the angry lady, he came back to see me. I hugged him and told him that was a nice thing to do and that he was such a nice person. “I’m always nice to smaller kids, I remember being small too. People should always be nice to each other, even strangers, right?” I wish some adults had the sense that my baby boy does.

Have a nice day, and be nice to one another!

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10% off Breakfast all Week at Cafe Gaston!

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I don’t know about you, but catching up with a good friend over a good cup of joe and a sweet ‘n salty breakfast combination is one of my favorite ways to start a day!  My favorite place for breakfast here in town is Cafe Gaston.  If you have been there, then you understand why.  If you have not, then you are in for a treat! Continue reading

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Head Over to Baby’s Today and Support a Local School!

It’s always nice to have a reason not to cook.  Even better when by dining out you can simultaneously support a local school.  Today is Jerling PFE Day at Baby’s Steak and Lemonade.  By making a purchase, all day and evening today, you are supporting Jerling PFE and helping them provide amazing educational as well as fun opportunities for Jerling kids that would otherwise not be available. Continue reading

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Leapin’ Lizards!

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Are you an Annie fan?  Me too!  The Village of Orland Park’s theater troupe is gearing up for it’s spring production of Annie and needs local talent in order to make the musical possible.  See below for more info!

From the Village of Orland Park:

Choruses of “Tomorrow….tomorrow….I love ya, tomorrow…” will soon be heard in Orland Park when the village’s theatre troupe holds auditions for its spring musical, “Annie” on January 20 and 21.

Children age six and older are invited to audition and must sing sixteen measures of a prepared piece from the show, be dressed to learn and perform a dance and be able to read from the script. A large ensemble show, “Annie” calls for up to 50 children and more than 20 adults.

“We’re very excited to produce ‘Annie’ for the village’s spring musical,” said Executive Producer Stephanie Simpson, the Recreation Department program supervisor who oversees the theater program. “This is a great show that includes a sizable cast, enabling lots of people to be a part of it,” Simpson said.

Auditions for children, primarily girls, will be held on January 20 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Orland Park’s Old Village Hall, 14413 South Beacon Avenue. Adults are invited to audition from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on January 20 and January 21, also at the Old Village Hall. If necessary, call backs will be held January 22. Once cast, participants must pay a $35 registration fee.

“People familiar with the show will remember the large number of girls in the cast, especially the orphans,” said Producer/Director Frann Carnivele-Sidlow. “However, we do need some boys to audition too,” she added.

Rehearsals will be Sunday afternoons and Monday and Thursday evenings, February 3 through April 25. Performances are April 26-28 at the Carl Sandburg High School Performing Arts Center.
“Annie” is a Broadway musical based on the Harold Gray comic strip, “Little Orphan Annie,” by permission of The Tribune Media Services, Inc. The book was written by Thomas Meehan with music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin.

“This show is full of fun songs that everyone will enjoy performing and the audience will enjoy hearing,” Carnivele-Sidlow said. “The Orland Park area is filled with some amazing talent and we’re looking forward to having yet another talent rich cast in this village show,” she said.

The original Broadway production, directed by Martin Charnin opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years, winning a Tony Award for best musical. It was presented on Broadway by Mike Nichols, produced by Irwin Meyer, Stephen R. Friedman and Lewis Allen. It was originally produced by The Goodspeed Opera House, Michael P. Price, executive director.
Further information about the Village of Orland Park’s spring production is available by calling the Recreation Department at 708/403-PARK.

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It’s Girl Scout Cookie Time again!

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For the first year in many, my daughter is not part of a girl scout troop and we are not selling cookies.  The lessons in communication and organization that she learned from the sales will always be with her and benefit her all of her life.

Lucky for us, there are many options for getting our Thin Mint and Shortbread fixes.  Orland Park Patch has come up with a great idea and is posting contacts for just this reason.

The money earned from selling cookies enables troop leaders to provide activities, learning experiences, charitable donations to local communities and more to the girls and is vital to their yearly expenses.  

Last year, my daughter’s troop made their way to the local Walmart with their earnings to buy groceries for the local food pantry.  In doing so, they learned so much.  By shopping for  sales and deals, they learned how to get the most for their money.  They price matched sales at other stores and used coupons to ensure they could provide the most food to the pantry as possible with the money they had to work with.  As the girls made their way around the grocery store, the nutritional benefits of items were discussed and the girls asked questions like “will this food go to kids like us?” and statements like “I never thought about not having food to eat, it was always just there for me” were made.

What they learned that day was priceless.  This is just one example of the importance of supporting local scouting.  Cookie sale time just makes it easier for us to show our support.

Here is a link to the many varieties available.

So take a moment and support a local girl scout troop and your sweet tooth at the same time.  Boxes of cookies freeze well and make great gifts!

 

Good luck girls!

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Free Twinkies for Everyone on December 5th at Baby’s!

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Are you mourning the loss of the Twinkie?   Have no fear, Baby’s Cheesesteak and Lemonade in Orland Park and Country Club Hills bought 10,000 of them and are hosting a FREE TWINKIE Day on December 5th.  According to a representative for Baby’s in Orland Park, “Baby’s Cheesesteak wants the world to enjoy for the holidays what we grew up on. No kid should be without one!”

So, how do you get your hands on a free twinkie?

*Make a food purchase on Dec 5th at Baby’s

*Follow Baby’s on Twitter

*Like Baby’s on Facebook

*Tweet and share photos of yourself at Baby’s

Baby’s in Orland is located at 15858 S. La Grange Rd.

You can order by phone at (708) 349-9800 or visit their website.

Their Facebook page can be found here as well.

This just in as well, Baby’s has added a special shake for the occasion!

Twinkie Shake

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