The little book with BIG resources!

What Is A Solar Eclipse?

Have you been wondering what all this Eclipse talk is about?  If you’re like to rest of us, you may not know exactly what to expect!  Bridgette, from the iFamily Mom Squad, is here to give us the scoop on the Eclipse of the century!  Check it out…

What is a Total Solar Eclipse?

I’m sure these past few weeks, maybe even months, you have heard that something big was coming and to plan for it! But just incase you haven’t, this year, on Monday, August 21st a spectacular event known as a total solar eclipse will be seen all throughout North America.

What is a solar eclipse? I will give you a hint, it doesn’t have to do with any Twilight Sagas lol, just kidding. But honestly what is a total solar eclipse? Well according to NASA, a total solar eclipse is the “path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun’s tenuous atmosphere – the corona”. Sounds exciting right?!  Being able to look up in the middle of the day only to see the sun covered by the moon! Awesome!

Who can see it? Pretty much everyone in North America and some regions of South America will be able to experience at least a partial solar eclipse. However, according to NASA, only 14 states throughout the US will actually be able to see it in totality. Want to make sure you can see it in totality? Check out this interactive map to see where you can see it https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/interactive_map/index.html !

How can you keep safe? We all know one should never directly look into the sun, even when it is partially covered. Nasa recommend that you use what they call sun filtering glasses. The protect your eyes from looking at the sun so you can enjoy the entire occasion. While it is ok to look directly at the sun during total eclipse, you’ll want to have some with you the entire time.

Where to watch in KC?

There are several places around the metro area where you can attend a viewing party and get some free shades! Check out this list below of places that are giving away free solar eclipse glasses while supplies last!

  • Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark – August 19, 20.
  • Kansas City T-Bones – August 19, 20.
  • Sporting KC – August 19.
  • Cabela’s – August 21.
  • Richard Petty Driving Experience – August 19, 20.
  • All Wyandotte County Museums – August 19, 20.
  • Rowe Ridge Vineyard & Winery – August 21.
  • Legends Outlets Kansas City (Management or Security Office) – August 19-21.
  • Science City – August 20
  • Independence Square– August 18-21

Are you ready to experience this awesome event? We know we are!

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Road Tripping With Kids

Summer’s coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have time to squeeze in a last minute mini vacay!  Gabrielle, from our iFamily Mom Squad, shares some tips for road tripping with kids close to home!  Take a look…

Road Tripping

Road Tripping

A full-fledged family vacation was not in the cards for us this year.  It doesn’t matter how many times I crunched the numbers, or how deep the discounted airline tickets were, we couldn’t make the budget work.  So I decided to plan a last minute road trip.

Luckily, here in Kansas City, there are lots of places to visit within driving distance.   Every parent needs to personally determine how long they can continuously be in the car with their kids BEFORE planning a road trip.  A few of my family members drove for 22 hours to California a couple of weeks ago.  They are saints.  My family and I have a 3-4 hour maximum for car rides, mainly because we have a toddler.  Our choices are a bit more limited because of that.  Even in that short amount of time, we have multiple options in various states.

Here are a few options:

St. Louis, Missouri – In about 4 hours, you can drive to the largest city in the state of Missouri.  Family friendly attractions  include the St. Louis Zoo, the Gateway Arch, and the St. Louis Science Center.  There are plenty of outdoor spaces to explore, when the weather permits.  St. Louis is also home to one of 17 of the Six Flags theme parks in the United States.   There are plans to open other parks in China and the United Arab Emirates in the near future.

Branson, Missouri – This family friendly destination is home to another popular amusement park, Silver Dollar City.  There are several museums to visit, and lots of live entertainment.  There is also a popular outlet mall.  It might be a good time to buy some summer clothes on clearance. The Branson Scenic Railway is a must see while you’re there!

Omaha, Nebraska-The Henry Doorly Zoo is a popular destination for many road trippers from Kansas City.  While the zoo might be the most popular attraction, do not make the mistake of thinking there is nothing else to do in this Midwestern town.  The Omaha Children’s museum hosts several permanent exhibits that are sure to hold your children’s attention for a couple of hours.

There are a number of other cities that are just a short drive away.  Both the Kansas and Missouri State Fairs our just a few hours away, (and both are coming up pretty quickly if you’re interested.) Our fair city is centrally located and there are major tourist attractions in just about any direction you decide to drive.

So fill up the tank, pack up the kids and be on your merry way.  Adventure awaits.

From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle


This The Weekend In The Box Office: The Nut Job 2

Happy Weekend Kansas City!  If you’re looking for something to do this weekend as you’re getting into ‘Back to School’ mode, check out The Nut Job 2!  Erin, from our iFamily Mom Squad, had a chance at a sneak peek and shares her thoughts with us below. Take a look…

“The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature”

Release Date:  11 August 2017

Run Time:  95 minutes

MPAA Rating:  PG (for mild action and rude humor)

Director:  Cal Brunker

Cast:  Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Jackie Chan

Surly and his crazy crew from The Nut Job are back at it again in The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature. After their current home, the nut factory, goes up in a puff of smoke, they go in search of a new home.  They find the perfect home in a beautiful park.  Unfortunately, they are up against the evil money hungry Mayor of Oakton City!  He plans to bulldoze the park and build a gigantic rundown amusement park in it’s place.  The animals join together to try to save their beloved home.  There are a few new characters are introduced in this sequel to the 2014 movie.  A sweet-looking but tough little mouse, Mr. Feng, voiced by the hilarious comedic Kung Fu legend, Jackie Chan.

My kids, ages 2 and 7, enjoyed the movie and the wild and crazy antics of the animals provided some laughs!  At 1 1/2 hours, it was the perfect length to keep their attention.  I think children over 10 might be a bit bored with the simplistic plot.  To be honest, maybe waiting for a Netflix release might not be a terrible idea for anyone older than 8.  We saw the first one in theaters 3 years ago and honestly I don’t remember much of it and neither did my oldest child.  Even so, the kids wanted to check out the sequel and you don’t really need to see the first one to understand this one. Might be the perfect movie to check out at the drive in for a double feature before school starts!  In theaters August 11th!

From iFamily to Yours,


6 Things to Expect On Your First Day at Gymnastics

Autumn is right around the corner here in the metro area and, like you, many parents are looking for fun activities to enroll their kids in for the upcoming school year. If gymnastics is your child’s preferred sport for the upcoming school year, you’re in for a treat today. We have a guest post submitted by our friend at Champions Gymnastics Academy on six things you should expect to see and experience on your first day at gymnastics. Take a look…

 

Things To Expect On Your First Day at Gymnastics

Gymnastics is a fun, dynamic sport that lets kids feed their dreams to let their inner circus performer, daredevil or Olympian shine. Pro Tips highlights 6 key things to know when beginning gymnastics.

How do they do that? Watching gymnasts hurl their bodies through the air while twisting and spinning, all the while under complete control, is an awe-inspiring thing. Being able to do it is another. While spunky students may, indeed, try to launch themselves in the air during that first class, the goal of the coach or instructor is to teach kids the fundamentals and have fun, so they will fall in love with the sport and therefore further develop their skills.

Don’t expect any Yurchenkos or full-in back-outs on day one. Use this guide to prepare your child, find out what to expect and pick up a few tips on making this a rewarding experience for all of you. Let’s get tumbling!

#1 Sights, Sounds, & Smells!

When you first walk into a gymnastics facility, it can be overwhelming and exciting. Something you may notice right away is a lot more equipment than when you watch a gymnastics competition on TV.  Do not be surprised to see mats shaped like over-sized building blocks — wedges, cylinders, bridges, rectangles — or even a “pit” filled with foam blocks.

Sound

The overall murmur of a gym filled with multiple classes taking place, punctuated by athletes punching off of beatboards, may feel like chaos. However, there is order to the rotations of gymnasts moving from event to event, activity to activity. If your child is easily overwhelmed, it may be helpful to have them watch a class or two before signing up to ensure they are excited about the opportunity and are able to deal with the environment.

Smell

Another thing you may notice is the somewhat “locker room” smell. Gymnasts at all levels work hard and a facility training athlete will often remind you of this the moment you enter.  Kids usually are not fazed, and for former gymnasts, that smell is the smell of “home.” So, whether you personally thrive on that aroma or not, just don’t be taken aback.

Sight

If the classes you have decided to enroll in take place at a community center or school gym, you may encounter a slightly different set up. For example, folding mats might replace a full floor exercise.

Equipment may need to be set up and broke down for each class or might be a bit sparser due to sharing the space with other activities. Generally, fewer classes take place simultaneously at any given time, and your class may be the only one happening in that window. This does not mean the instruction you receive will be better or worse than that of a dedicated gymnastics facility. The coach’s style and philosophy, how many students are enrolled and what works best for your own child’s temperament are what should drive your choice when you are just starting out.

#2 Down to the Basics

Much of an introductory-level class session will focus on developing strength and flexibility, as well as good listening skills. It will also help youngsters become comfortable with the gym equipment — and the often-discombobulating sensation of being upside down!

The types of skills taught can vary based on the age of the children in the class. For example, older students are able to understand complex instruction better than 2-4-year old’s. An experienced coach will tailor the instruction to the age group.

Generally, the class will start with a warm-up that often includes stretches and other exercises. Gymnastics for both men and women requires flexibility, and this is something that even elite competitors work on constantly. Many programs will make warm-ups a set routine so that eventually students can take turns leading the warm-up. After, the class typically moves on to instruction and practice.

You can expect skills such as rolls, handstands, bridges, cartwheels, as well as leaps and jumps, to be covered. If your child desperately wants to learn how to “flip,” let them know that the skills they are learning now are the foundation to build up to that skill. Before you can land a back tuck, you need to learn a backwards tuck roll. Before you go for an aerial, you must master the cartwheel. Each skill is a building block towards a more advanced skill. They should not try advanced skills on their own until their coach lets them know they are ready

#3 Come Prepared

This sounds a bit like stating the obvious, however coaches will tell you it is worth repeating: it starts with arriving on time. Being late may mean the athlete will not have had the time to warm up properly, not to mention the disruption to the other students when someone joins in late.

Bring your child to class clean, dressed and ready to participate.  Wear fitted clothes. Kids will be going upside down. You do not want them trying to hold their shirt down when they should be focused on their form and the safe execution of the skill at hand. For girls, a leotard and compression shorts are recommended. Avoid tights as the footing can be slippery. Leggings and footless tights are generally fine. For boys, a compression shirt or t-shirt which can tuck in and athletic shorts or compression shorts should work. Gymnasts may wear socks; if they find them slippery, they can be easily removed. At the beginner stage, special accessories such as grips or beam shoes are not necessary unless specifically directed by your coach.

  • No Jewelry

    If ears are newly pierced and earrings cannot be taken out, they must be low-profile studs. Rings, necklaces, bracelets (excluding medical) and dangling earrings should be left at home.

  • Pull Hair Back

    Since kids will be rolling, they may find a bun to be an obstacle on their head. Some kids prefer a braid so that on twisting moves their hair does not whip them in the face. Your child will quickly find what styles work best for them, but most kids will be fine with a simple pony tail or pig tails. The key is to keep it out of the face so it is not a distraction or something they need to swipe aside when they finish a skill. Elastic headbands can be another help here, so long as they have enough grip to not fly off when practicing.

  • Eat Long Before Class

    As stated before, kids will be going upside down. Upset tummies lead to a mess for the instructor, so ensure your child has had proper time to digest their meal before class starts.

  • Bring Water

    Even if the class is only 30-45 minutes, it sets a good habit for your child on the importance of hydration as an athlete.

  • Bathroom Before Class

    Finally, have them use the bathroom before class. Especially with the youngest students, when one kid has to go during class, suddenly they all need to go!

#4 On Spotting

Gymnastics is a sport that requires a great deal of hands-on help from the coach. And this is a literal hands-on. Spotting can range from nudging the gymnast to completely carrying the gymnast through the motion. Most of the time, in order to best support a child and be there in case they bobble or fall, the coach will guide the athlete at their midsection — sides, stomach, back and shoulders. The arms and legs are also spotted to help move a gymnast through a new skill. This not only helps the athlete feel the proper form and technique, it also helps provide a safer experience as new skills are being developed.

#5 What Parents Can Expect 

Many gymnastics facilities will have an area set aside for parents to hang out while class is in session. It is important to stay within these designated areas.

For some little ones, an audience is a big distraction. If they are constantly looking over to see if mom or dad are watching, instead of focusing on what the instructor is saying or what skills they are doing, you may want to consider using class time to run an errand or two.

At any age, avoid gesturing to the child to pay attention, or stepping in when the child is nervous about a skill. Well-meaning parents can quickly become a distraction for the coach, as well as the kids. If the coach does need your assistance, they will reach out and ask.

Generally, programs without viewing areas will offer specific days in the session to observe, typically the first, middle and final class. This way, parents can see progress and gymnasts can show-off what they have learned.

The rules and philosophies vary by gym, so ask questions if you are unsure of proper protocols.

#6 Be Prepared for Fun

Gymnastics should be fun from the beginning, filled with new friends and new experiences. And while there may be challenging moments as the gymnast progresses and the skills become more difficult, it’s hard to top that feeling when you learn — then master — something new!

Fair warning: the fun usually does not end at the gym. Many a parent has been dismayed to find the arm of a couch being used as a vault, the bed a perfect crash pad and walls filled with feet marks from “spotting” handstands. The whirling dervish of arms and legs going every which way is just a tell-tale sign that your son or daughter has fallen for gymnastics!

For more information on Champions Gymnastics’ incredible programs, camps, and classes, visit them online at cgakc.com or call (816) 360-9879. 

 


Ultimate Staycation: 9 Must See Spots You’ll Love in Downtown KC

Happy Friday, Kansas City!

There are so many incredible activities and opportunities available to you and your family here in the metro area and we are so excited to share 9 places you can visit in downtown KC this summer. Take a look…

downtown kc

Ultimate Staycation: 9 Must See Spots You’ll Love in Downtown KC

Alright folks, Summer is in full swing and back to school shopping is already in the talks! So if you haven’t had the chance to take that once a year vacation as a family, consider these places for an amazing staycation. Kansas City has so many wonderful family friendly places to visit! And don’t worry about that bank account, there are Cheap and FREE places too! Check them out.

Crown Center

Crown Center is a great place for everyone in the family. There are awesome toy shops, cool local threads, great food and fun discovery centers! Currently, Crown Center has a free exhibit featuring Thomas the Train! It is great for the younger kids.

Savings Tip: Check out their website for free movies and music on the weekends this summer!

Coterie Theater

The Coterie Theater is another family favorite. While tickets can be a little pricey for a larger family, they have great group rates as well. The theater runs various shows throughout the year and they vary in topics and age ranges.

Science City

Whether you are looking to explore nature or architecture, Science City is not only educational but fun for everyone! I always find something to explore when I go myself lol. Grab your walking shoes and plan a day filled with Science.

LegoLand Discovery Center

Next to Crown Center, LegoLand Discover Center is perfect for the creative mind in your family. Spend the day exploring the world of Legos in a fun interactive indoor attraction including rides, a 4-d theater, and a massive supply of Legos perfect for your master builders!

Savings tip: Your kids go FREE using our exclusive code that you can find here

Kaleidoscope

This is probably my family’s favorite place! The Hallmark Center donates art and craft supplies for kids of all ages to create and express themselves artistically! This Free space is open Monday- Saturday and they offer various times.

Savings tip: This activity is FREE for families! 

College Basketball Experience

Located next to the Sprint Center in downtown KCMO, your family can learn about college legends and experience the game of college basketball! They are open daily this summer.

Savings Tip: Save $2 on admission with our exclusive discount offer here!

Sea Life

Located directly next door to LegoLand, explore the deep sea at Kansas City’s #1 aquarium! They are open daily and with over 5,000 sea creatures, you can touch starfish and more in the touch pool!

Savings Tip- Your kids can get in absolutely FREE using our exclusive coupon code found here!

City Market

The famous City Market has amazing restaurants, fresh produce and on the weekends, unique entertainment. Visit the market and grab a bite or two with fun activities inside the market, like the Steamboat Arabia.

WWI Museum

A stellar museum full of history and a memorial, visit the WWI Museum to learn and explore the history of America and its part in WWI. Also check their calendar for special events and programs.

Savings tip: The museum offers FREE Hands On History and Storytime At The Museum sessions each month!

Summer vacation will be over before you know it! Make sure you check out these local favorites before school starts! Also, since all of these locations are located downtown, you can ride the free KC Street Car to avoid extra parking costs!

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3

 


For the Love of the Game: One Mom’s Thoughts On Coaching

Summertime is in full swing here in the metro area and that means that many of you are also super busy with sports and family fun. Connie, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares her thoughts today on coaching her kids’ sports teams. Maybe her thoughts will encourage some of you to do the same next season. Take a look…

coaching

For the Love of the Game: One Mom’s Thoughts On Coaching

It’s that time of year when I feel like all of my evenings are spent at the ballpark.  My calendar is completely full of game times and fields.  While this can sometimes be overwhelming, and even a bit exhausting, I love it.  Let me say that one more time: I love the chaos and craziness that is coaching.

Last summer, I coached both my son and my daughter’s t-ball teams.  There’s just something about the little guys that I adore.  So, this summer, when my son moved up to machine pitch and I decided not to coach him any longer. I was looking forward to just being able to watch and enjoy and coach my one team.  Well, that didn’t happen.  I had so many kids I knew coming back, that I am now coaching two t-ball teams and helping run the dugout for my son’s machine pitch team.  This means coordinating three teams schedules, practicing with two teams, making sure my son gets to his practices and lugging around two teams worth of gear in my car all summer.  And I love it.

“There’s just something about the little guys that I adore.”

There are times when a practice gets a little crazy, or when a drill I am trying to run doesn’t go so well when I think “what in the world am I doing?” or “this is like herding cats!”  But then one of those cats comes running over and says “Coach! Did you see what I just did?” and I am sucked right back in.

As a coach of the youngest group of kids that play, I have to constantly remind myself, they are 4-7 year olds, they are not going to be able to make every play.  In fact, some of them may not make a play all season.  My job is to teach them the basics, and make sure they’re having fun.  What I didn’t count on when I started doing this again three summers ago, was how much fun I would have along with them.

“My job is to teach them…and make sure they’re having fun.”

Before I was married and had kids, I coached my step-niece in t-ball for three summers.  It was all girls and it was in my hometown.  We had so much fun.  I taught them to get their gloves in the dirt and keep their elbows up when they swung the bat, and they taught me how to laugh at mistakes and enjoy the chaos.  I was invited to one of those sweet girls 13th birthday party this summer and was so touched that she thought of me and even remembered me.  There was no way I was missing that party.

“…they taught me how to laugh at mistakes and enjoy the chaos.”

Just this past week one of my smallest kids on one of my teams came up to bat and said to me “Coach, I’m going to hit the ball really hard tonight.”  He always has been a very consistent hitter, making good solid contact, but being one of the smaller kids on the team, always got a single. After I checked his stance to make sure he was ready to hit, he swung through and just nailed the ball.  It went past all of the infielders and through the legs of the outfielder.

I was so excited I started jumping up and down and yelling for him to “take two!”  He made it safely to second base and I started dancing at home plate.  I had tears in my eyes and I was still wound up about it at 10:30 that evening.  There is just something magical about seeing a kid succeed and enjoy the game.

Coaching is sometimes totally frustrating.  Kids get tired, and bored and sometimes don’t want to listen.  Some drills don’t work the way I thought they would in my head.  And sometimes I am just tired.  But it is all so worth it.  It’s so worth it to see a kids face light up when they get a good hit or make a good stop.  Its so worth it to hear a kid say “Thanks Coach!”  I am not sure how long I will continue to coach my daughter.  Sometimes I wonder if I don’t just love coaching because I love the little ones.  We will find out eventually, but for the time being, I am going to enjoy every second I get to spend with my crazy t-ball players.

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3


Mapping Out July: Events at National World War I Museum & Memorial

Happy Saturday, Everyone!

It’s hard to believe that June is over and we’re heading into the seventh month of the year (where does the time go?!). We are so fortunate to have such incredible family friendly opportunities, resources, and events going on all the time in and around the metro area and we waned to share the full calendar of opportunities that are available to your family at the World War I Museum and Memorial this month. Take a look…

In the throes of the summer, the National World War I Museum and Memorial continues to serve as a destination of activities for people of all ages and interests. As children are on summer break and looking for activities, the Museum hosts a variety of events for children of all ages related to World War I.

world war i museum

July National World War I Museum and Memorial Events

Wednesdays

World War Wednesdays (all tickets $8)

Thursdays

Complimentary Tour, 2 p.m. (FREE with paid admission)

Saturdays

Hands-on History, 2 p.m. (FREE to the public)

Calendar Of Activities

Sunday, July 2

Vive I’independence!, 2 p.m. (FREE with RSVP)

Wednesday, July 5

35th Infantry Division Band: A Home Front Concert, 2 p.m. (FREE to the public)

Friday, July 7

Save a Life: Centennial Blood Donation, 8 a.m. – Noon (Walk-ins welcome)

Sunday, July 9

Day in the Life: Soldiers on Global Fronts, All Day (FREE to the public)

Wednesday, July 12

Children’s Gallery Tour, 2 p.m. (FREE with paid admission)

Modernist Meetup: Curators’ Gallery Conversations, 5:30 p.m. (FREE for members only)

Thursday, July 13

Cinetransformer Immersive Experience of “Dunkirk” Movie Prologue, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (FREE to the public)

Friday, July 14

Film Friday: Jules et Jim, 6:30 p.m. (FREE with RSVP)

Saturday, July 15

Story Time: Why War is Never a Good Idea, 11 a.m. (FREE with RSVP)

Wednesday, July 19

Fueling the Fight: Foraging and Food Conservation, 6 p.m. (Tickets $10)

Saturday-Sunday, July 22-23

WW1USA Amateur Radio Station, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (FREE to the public)

Thursday, July 27

Pilates in the Park, 7:30 a.m. (FREE with pre-registration)

Sunday, July 30

The Great Car Show, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Tickets $5 for adults, $2 for youth)

About the National World War I Museum and Memorial

The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum holds the most diverse collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war.

The Museum takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. To learn more, visit theworldwar.org.

 

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This Weekend At The Box Office: Despicable Me 3

The highly anticipated third installment of the “Despicable Me” series hits the box office this weekend. Does the movie fulfill the hopes of moviegoers who will be heading out to the theater? We had the chance to send Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, to catch an early screening earlier this week. She’s sharing her thoughts with us today on the blog. Take a look…

movie review

This Weekend At The Box Office: Despicable Me 3

Here’s the thing, keep in mind that I have a tendency to be “that mom”. Just know that my opinion is coming from that mind frame. I’m not going to lie, I was a little hesitant at first to see the latest installment for this series. I saw a trailer for it on T.V a week ago and was not pleased. The trailer showed an old lady drumming on a guys behind in swimming attire. I instantly thought, “I don’t want my kids to see that, it is totally unnecessary.” So, when I had the opportunity to screen the movie first so I could see if it was appropriate, I jumped on it.

The Not So Good

I’ve always thought the Despicable Me series were cute little movies but knew they had some adult jokes that go over kids’ heads. I feel like a lot do these days. So I already knew what to expect with them. But this go round, there was just too much for me to really think of this as a kid friendly movie. At least for younger kids.

I won’t go into too many details at the risk of spoiling it for you, but I will say this, there were quite a few suggestive scenes that I just don’t feel comfortable showing my younger kids. One scene in particular when the minions make a joke that includes the word boobs! It’s just something I don’t particularly want my younger kids to joke about.

The Really, Really Good

However, the main villain this go round was PHENOMENAL! My husband and I still can’t get over how funny Evil Bratt was! Evil Bratt, an ex-child actor shunned by Hollywood, is back for revenge. All the while being stuck in the 80’s. CLASSIC! We are hoping that he has a spin off very soon! Every time he hit the screen, I was laughing at everything from his looks to his nostalgic 80’s sayings and dance moves. I really, really enjoyed him!

Gru also finds his twin brother that he was separated at birth from and he tries to build that relationship the only way he knows how. Although they didn’t really elaborate on their story, Evil Bratt fills in all the missed opportunities to really make this story heartfelt.

In Short:

Altogether, I would give this movie a solid 7. I’m pretty sure that as a parent, you will enjoy the 80’s references and music, and I’m sure the kiddos will enjoy the mischievous antics of Gru and company. Just know that if you do have issues with adult jokes or suggestive scenarios, this film has quite a bit.

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3


Throwing a Fabulous DIY Summer: A How To Guide

Despite unseasonably cooler temperatures this week, summertime is in full swing here in the metro area and we’re excited for all the DIY Summer fun in store for your family this season. Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team is sharing her ideas for fabulous summer parties today on the blog. Take a look…

diy summer fun

Throwing a Fabulous DIY Summer: A How To Guide

Summer time can mean a lot of things. Swimming pools, drive ins, picnics and more. One of my favorite things to do is throw and attend parties. Just fun, let’s celebrate summer and have a great time party! So why not hit up your local dollar store or Target and put on a great party.

Here are a few ideas you can easily throw together AND entertain a large crowd for the low!

DIY Summer

Build a Hot Dog Bar

Who doesn’t love a good weenie roast?! Hot dogs are a great way to feed a crowd without spending too much. A simple hot dog bar doesn’t require much, grab some ketchup, mustard and all your favorite fixin’s and you are good go to go.

diy summer

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Take your love of ice cream to the next level with insane toppings! Gather all your favorite candies, nuts and sauces and let everyone build their own sundae. Don’t forget the root beer to make sundae floats too!

DIY SUmmer

Movie Party

This is probably the easiest way to entertain a crowd. Pick a cult classic of fave family movie, pop some popcorn, add a variety of pops and salty snacks and you are ready for an evening under the stars or your living room full of people in their pjs!

DIY Summer

Taco Party

Another fun way to feed a crowd is a taco party. Much like the hot dog bar or sundae bar, you and your guests can grab a bag of chips or shells and then add all their favorite toppings. Tacos are always a favorite among most people so this would definitely be a great way to celebrate Taco Tuesday!

DIY Summer

Carnival Party

A friend of mine through a summer carnival party two years ago and it was AMAZING! Popcorn, cotton candy, hot dogs and of course carnival games! She even had a face painter or strong man there to entertain! A circus or carnival party can be done in so many ways that everyone will have a great time.

DIY Summer

Camping Party

Camping is one of my favorite past times. Fires at night, s’mores and ghost stories. The summer is the perfect time to have a camping party. Grab some stuff for s’mores and a sleeping bag for a late night.

DIY Summer

Luau Party

Luau parties are always fun too. Bright colors, grass skirts and pineapples! Grab some bright table cloths, throw some Hawaiian dogs on the grill (wrapped with bacon and pineapple) and get ready to dance the night away. You could also throw in some great games like a hula hoop competition or limbo.

DIY Summer

Southern Belle Tea Party

Want a more chic party? Throw a Southern Belle party. Have your guests dress in their Sunday bests, throw on some lace gloves and get ready for a variety of teas. Have your guests bring their favorite tea (preferably already brewed) and sip while eating bonbons or pecan pie.

DIY Summer

Beach Party

What better way to celebrate summer than a beach themed party? Head to the dollar store and grab some floaties, noodles and beach balls. Have everyone pot luck style their favorite food or make a spread of your favorite picnic foods. Don’t forget the pools! Get a blowup pool or have some bring theirs!

I hope these ideas were enough to spark your summer party planning adventures!

From iFamily to yours,

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12 Dazzling Fireworks Displays in KC You Can’t Miss This Year!

Independence Day is almost here, Kansas City and we are so excited for all the fun in store for your family here in the metro area. If you’re looking for fun fireworks displays around the metro, we’ve compiled a list of 12 spots you don’t want to miss this year. Take a look…

fireworks displays

12 Fireworks Displays in KC You Can’t Miss This Year!

It’s almost the 4th of July and you know what that means.. FIREWORKS! Fireworks are one of the best things about the 4th of July, and if you have a crowd, they can get expensive and the process of finding the perfect spot to show them off can become tedious.  So, why not go and enjoy a show instead! There are so many places around the metro area that put on great shows for the entire family! Check out this list!

#1 River Fest

Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park, 1298 Riverfront Dr., Kansas City, MO 64101 July 4th. You can find ticket information, directions and more online!

#2 Worlds of Fun

4545 Worlds of Fun Ave July 1-4th

#3 Parkville

July 4th Celebration: English Landing Park – Over the Missouri River
8701 Clark Avein Parkville, Missouri 64152.

#4 Olathe Red, White & Blue

Various addresses July 4th. For information on parking locations visit them online.

#5 Gladstone Independence Day Celebration

Oak Grove Park July 4th. This is a free viewing and you can find more information on parking here.

#6 Red, White and Blue Springs

2000 NW Ashton Drive in Blue Springs, Missouri 64015, July 4th.

#7 Platte City Fireworks Display

High School Pirates Stadium 1501 Branch Street in Platte City, Missouri 64079.

#8 Pleasant Hill Fireworks

Skyline Field – 1301 Myrtle in Pleasant Hill, Missouri 64080.

#9 Salute to the Union Fireworks

Merritt Lake, Grant Ave., Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027 July 4th.

#10 OP Fourth of July Celebration

8717 W. 110th St.

Overland Park, KS 66210 July 4th.

#11 Westwood Fireworks Display

St. Agnes Athletic Field MONDAY JULY 3rd.

#12 July 4th Celebration in Gardner, KS 

Live music, food vendors, out of this world bounce houses, face painting, portable zip lines, interactive entertainment and one of the best fireworks displays in the area!

Before you head out to view the fireworks, check your destinations site to see if there are any rules and guidelines for pets, chairs and beverages you can bring. Some places are located on school and church campuses so glass and alcohol may be restricted. Also, fireworks have gotten louder over the years, make sure you bring noise reduction headphones or earplugs. Don’t forget the snacks and blankets too! Have a great 4th of July!

From iFamily to yours,

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