LexFUN! March 2015 Newsletter

TABLE OF CONTENTS

REMINDER: Our Newsletter is organized into 6 tabs (i.e., sections) which appear across the black bar right under our logo – Home, “All Things Consignment,” LexFUN! Events for Kids, LexFUN! Events for Parents, Events In & Around Town, Membership Partners and About LexFUN! Make sure you click on all the tabs so you don’t miss anything!

EXECUTIVE BOARD LETTER

Lindsey“No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn.” – Hal Borland

We’ve made it! March is here and with it hopefully more sunshine and warmer weather. It’s time to get those little ones outside to the parks to take advantage of the extra daylight. Spring is just around the corner (we hope!) and it’s the perfect time of year to start cleaning out those closets. The tagging system is up and running for those of you who want to get a jump on the Consignment Sale happening in May.

We have a lot coming up in the month of March to keep those little ones busy! We start off with our annual Barn Babies Show on March 7th.   Tickets are still available on BigTent. Our seminar team brings you a very informative discussion on estate planning with Atty. David Adams on March 23rd. WinterFUN! will be wrapping up their year on March 25th. And lastly we will be hosting a Spa Night Out on March 26th at Beersheba Nail Salon for all moms who just need a break. Space is limited so please RSVP on BigTent.

This winter has been one for the record books. The snowfall alone could make our northern neighbors in Canada cringe. We’ve made it through a tough season of school closings and long cold days, and most of us have run out of indoor games and activities to keep the kiddos occupied. Let’s all hope that the month of March gives us an opportunity to get out of the house, and a respite from the blizzards of February.

Keep warm,
Lindsay Wedell
Co-President on behalf of the LexFUN! Executive Board

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

- Invitation to Become One of Our Board Members -

Are you looking for ways to get more involved with LexFUN!? Do you want to meet more moms and have a greater connection to your community? Then joining the LexFUN! Board may be the right move for you!

We are looking for a number of new board members to move into spots being vacated by graduating board members. Board roles begin in June and carry through the year. We meet as a board monthly (but attendance is not required) to review business and connect. Board positions reflect a variety of roles and can be both big and small. All board members receive guidance and a great deal of information from the previous position holder.

Our current board includes both at home and many working moms so the time commitment is whatever works for you! We recognize that all board member roles and contributions are important for the success of our organization and want to be sure you find the position that is right for you. Below please see a list of the current vacancies. If joining the LexFUN! board sounds right for you, please email Lindsay Wedell, outgoing Co-President @ lindsay_wedell@yahoo.com

  • Advertising for the Annual Guide/Swag/Newsletter
  • Annual Guide: Editor in Training
  • Community Service: Event Planner(s)
  • Kindergarten Connection
  • Membership Chairperson
  • Membership Open House Coordinator
  • Seminar Series Committee Member
  • Social Committee: Date Night Co-Chair
  • WinterFUN! Co-Chairs

- Yamaha Music Scholarship -

Yamaha Music School of Boston, in partnership with LexFUN!, is proud to announce the 4th Annual Music Scholarship for Lexington children between the ages of 3 and 5.  The Scholarship is intended for families who strongly value music education but cannot afford music lessons for their child.  The Scholarship will pay for the cost of a music program, including tuition, materials and fees, for an entire year.

About the Yamaha Program:  With a 50-year history spanning 40 countries, the Yamaha Music Education System is a comprehensive music course taught in a fun group setting.  It includes listening, singing, playing the keyboard, reading and creating music.  The Yamaha Music School of Boston is located at 57 Bedford Street, Lexington, and serves 800 students from 70 local communities.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Age of Child – the child must be between three and five years of age by September 1, 2015.
  • Demonstrated financial need
  • Additional considerations – may include extenuating family circumstances, for example, additional dependent care, health issues, job loss, etc.

Application Process:

  • Application – Download Yamaha-Music-Scholarship-2015.
  • Deadline – Applications must be submitted by April 1, 2015 for the 2015-2016 Applications must be emailed to lexfundscholarship@gmail.com or mailed to the Yamaha Music School of Boston, ATTN: Lily Symmonds at 57 Bedford Street, Lexington, MA 02420.
  • Final award confirmation – Part of the application process involves the family observing a Yamaha class in late May and meeting with the School Director.  The Yamaha Music School Director will make the final award confirmation by June 15, 2015 with a Fall 2015 start.

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UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS

- Barn Babies Petting Zoo -
Saturday, March 7that St. Brigid’s Parish Hall, 2001 Mass. Ave, Lexington.
Tickets are still available for the following 3 shows:

Back by popular demand and with more shows than last year! Buy your tickets NOW because this event always sells out! Little ones just love this menagerie of baby animals! Come meet, pet, and learn about a goat, a little potbellied pig, lots of baby bunnies, chicks or chickens, puppies, and kittens. Plus, be entertained by crafts before your show begins. Tickets for adults and children are $8. Children 12 months and under are free!

- Spa Night at Beersheba -
Thurs. March 26th at Beersheba Nail Salon, 10 Muzzey Street in Lexington

Join us for a Spa Night Out at Beersheba Nail Salon on Thursday, March 26 from 7-9pm. Choose a manicure ($15), pedicure ($34) or both for $49 (plus 20% gratuity), have some wine and appetizers, and relax after a long, cold winter! We need to book the services ahead of time so please RSVP by Friday March 20 with the services you would like. Please RSVP on Big Tent. Limited to first 15.

- Estate Planning Seminar with David Adams -
Monday, March 23rd at St. Brigid’s Parish Hall, 2001 Mass. Ave, Lexington.
Seminar: Everything You Need to Know to Get Your Estate Planning Done with Attorney David Adams.
Don’t make the same mistakes Soprano’s star James Gandolfini did with his estate planning! Attend this seminar to learn about estate planning. RSVP on BigTent.

This seminar will demystify the estate planning process and help you identify your options. There are many reasons parents put off drafting a will and other key planning documents: life is too busy, we don’t like to think about our own death or incapacity, and we are reluctant to wade into the conflict that may arise when we do good planning. But even basic estate planning is one of the easiest and important ways you can protect your family.

In 90 minutes (and with a bit of humor), attorney David Adams will help you:

  • pick the best guardian(s) for your children;
  • understand how various types of trusts can be used to provide for and protect your children;
  • select an appropriate executor and/or trustee;
  • determine whether your estate is taxable and how to minimize (or eliminate) this exposure; and
  • understand key options when selecting an agent to make health care and financial decisions for you in the event you are incapacitated.

David W. Adams has been practicing law for eleven years and specializes in estate planning, administration and nonprofit law. His firm, Pathway Law (www.pathwaylaw.com) provides counsel to over 250 families in the Greater Boston area, helping those with modest and sophisticated planning situations. David is a graduate of Harvard College and Northeastern University School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and is a member of the Boston Bar Association and the BBA’s Tax and Estate Planning section.

- LEF Celebration for Education -

Lexington Education Foundation’s (LEF) Celebration for Education is on Sat. March 28 from 7-11pm at Burlington Marriott, Burlington. Buy tickets and bid on silent auction items at www.BiddingForGood.com/LEFauction.

Join us for a night of New Orleans-inspired fun in support of Lexington Education Foundation (LEF). LEF was founded in 1989 to fund technology and curriculum innovations in all 9 Lexington Public Schools, for items that are not covered by the district’s operating budget. Grants are faculty-initiated, and all grant proposals are rigorously reviewed by LEF to ensure that they maximize the educational impact of the contributions received. Since its founding 25 years ago, LEF has awarded grants totaling over $4.2 million. Funds are raised from individuals and businesses in the local community to support our mission of “Better Schools, Brighter Futures”. LEF grants focus on bringing new ideas and technology into classrooms, supporting teacher development, and building stronger school communities.

- Annual Date Night with A Live Band -
Sat. April 11th from 7:30 – 11 pm at Waxy O’Connors Irish Pub, 94 Hartwell Avenue, Lexington

Do you need a fun night out? Well, book a sitter and buy your tickets today for LexFUN!’s Annual Date Night! Tickets are available in BigTent.

We’ll have a great live band, The Usual Suspects, too. The Usual Suspects hail from the MetroWest area of Massachusetts and have been playing the club scene since 2003. With their rich vocal harmonies, dueling lead guitars and extensive keyboards, The Usual Suspects never fail to impress those who enjoy a wide range of music at any given show, including ‘70’s classic rock, southern rock, ‘80’s pop, grunge and even some modern rock.

Enjoy a great band, appetizers, drinks (cash bar) and great company. $10 per person/$20 per couple in advance. $15 per person/$30 per couple at the door.

- Float Decorating Party for Patriots Day Parade -
SAVE THE DATE: Sat. April 18th from 10am to 1pm at 31 Baskin Road (behind the High School)
Last year, LexFUN!’s Float won 2nd place in the Youth Category for the Lexington Patriots Day Parade. Help us create another winning float for this year!! The theme is celebrating the 240th Anniversary of the Battle of Lexington.

Bring the kiddos and your handy self and be prepared for a little finger paint too! Decorating will take place at Leigh-Ann Durant’s house at 31 Baskin Road.

Light snacks will be available to keep the creative juices going! No RSVP necessary. Just show up and be ready for some fun.

IMG_0620Ride on our Float in the Lexington Patriots Day Parade
Mon Apr 20, 2015, 10 am – 1 pm
See the parade from the back of our float. Spread some LexFUN! cheer to the crowds while your little ones get to wave to the town. Reserve your spot on the float via BigTent.

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KINDERGARTEN KORNER

Is your child going to Kindergarten this fall? Spring is upon us, and with it comes the beginning of preparations for fall!

- Fall 2015 Kindergarten To-Do List –

  1. Sign up for Kindergarten Connection and meet new friends!
    • Kindergarten Connection is a playdate-based program of LexFUN! that enables you and your child to meet other Kindergarteners and their families at your school over the summer – it’s a great way to ease the transition in the fall with some familiar faces. Everyone is welcome to sign up!
    • To sign up, visit www.lexfun.org/kindergarten.
  2. Register your child for kindergarten!
    • Fill out the forms in your school registration packet mailed to you from the Lexington Public School.
    • If you haven’t received your school registration packet, please contact your elementary school directly.
  3. Attend the town-wide Kindergarten Orientation hosted by the LPS
    • It will be held on Thursday, March 19th at 6:45 pm at the Estabrook Elementary School (117 Grove St, Lexington).
  4. Attend the Kindergarten Parent’s Panel on Wednesday, May 20th from 7 to 9 pm at the Cary Library.
    • LexFUN! presents an evening of discussion and Q&A with parents of current Lexington Kindergarteners. From what supplies to buy and daily routines, to food services and whether to bus, walk or drive to school, our panelists are available to answer all of your questions about the Kindergarten experience from a parent’s perspective, and maybe a few you didn’t even know you had!

- Townwide Kindergarten Orientation -
Thurs. March 19th from 6:45 – 8:00 pm at the Estabrook School

If your child will be starting kindergarten this fall, make sure you attend the townwide Kindergarten Orientation Program on March 19th. The program is designed to provide parents of incoming kindergarten students with an overview of Lexington’s kindergarten program. There will be brief presentations by kindergarten teachers and elementary school principals, and there will be time for questions at the end.

- Join LexFUN!’s Kindergarten Connection –

If your child will be starting Kindergarten this fall, make sure you sign up for LexFUN!’s Kindergarten Connection. What is it? A LexFUN! summer playgroup program that connects you and your child to other children who will be in his/her kindergarten class BEFORE school actually starts! This program is a tried and true way to ease the transition to kindergarten.

Sign up for the Kindergarten Connection and you will be able to:

  • Attend playdates with at least 6 other families in your class in June
  • Attend a playground playdate with all incoming kindergarteners at your child’s school in August
  • Receive a contact list of the other families enrolled in the Kindergarten Connection program

How to sign up: Visit www.lexfun.org/kindergarten. It is free!

Have questions? Contact Jennie Yoo at lexfunkconnection@gmail.com

- LexFUN!’s Kindergarten Parents Panel: What Every Parent Wants to Know! -
SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, May 20th from 7 to 9 pm at the Cary Library Large Meeting Room

Learn about the exciting world of kindergarten! LexFUN! presents an evening of discussion and Q&A with parents of current Lexington Kindergarteners. Parents from all six elementary schools will be represented on the panel and there will be school-specific breakout groups so all your questions can be answered. No RSVP needed.

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ALL THINGS CONSIGNMENT

- LexFUN’s Annual Children’s and Maternity Consignment Sale –

Saturday May 16th, 10am-2pm, Brown Bag Sale 2:15pm-3pm at the Lexington High School Field House

IMG_0911LexFUN!’s Annual Children’s and Maternity Consignment Sale is a fantastic one-day sale of high quality, gently used children’s clothing (newborn to 12 – all seasons), maternity clothing, toys, games, books, strollers, car seats, high chairs, cribs, baby furniture, bouncy seats, baby gear and equipment, bikes and wagons. We bring together hundreds and hundreds of buyers and sellers under one roof for this exciting one-day shopping event! Also, to make shopping as convenient as possible, we accept Visa, Mastercard & Discover credit cards.

This year we’ve expanded and will be selling clothes for tweens and maternity!

- Save the Date! -
DATE: Saturday, May 16th
TIME: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm; Bargain Bag Sale ($20) from 2:15-3:00 pm
PLACE: Lexington High School Field House, 251 Waltham Street, Lexington, MA 02421

*No strollers allowed inside while you shop; you’ll be asked to leave your stroller in our designated stroller parking area.

-Tagging is Super Easy with “Power Tagging” –

Would you like to get rid of your clutter, make some money AND help a very worthy cause in your community? Then sign up to consign your children’s outgrown clothes, toys, books and baby equipment at LexFUN!’s Annual Spring Consignment Sale! Now is the perfect time to start collecting and tagging items for the Sale.

Selling items at our Sale is super easy! Just log onto our special Consignment Sale Website at www.myconsignmentmanager.com/lexfun and create your own barcode price tags. If you consigned last year, use the “Returning Sellers” section and click “register” (to sign up for the 2015 Sale). If this is your first year consigning, use the “New Sellers” section. All sellers receive 50% of the proceeds, with the other 50% going towards LexFUND, LexFUN!’s Community and Preschool Scholarship Fund.

Save Time with “POWER TAGGING”

Discover the time-saving feature used by many of our high volume sellers – Power Tagging!

If you have more than one item that you want to sell for the same price (e.g., 10 pairs of boy’s pants for $3.00 each or 20 books for $1.00 each), you can save a lot of time by using the “Power Tagger” feature on our Consignment Sale website. It’s really easy!! You can create over 200 tags in one minute!

You only have to enter 3 fields– price, size (but you can chose “Not applicable”) and category (but you can choose “Miscellaneous” to cover many different items). You can enter other fields if you want to, but you don’t have to.

  • In the section called “Power Tagger: I want to create ___ items(s) with the same information”, chose how many tags you want to create (pick any number of tags up to 20 tags).
  • Then click “Add Item(s)”. This saves the items to your “inventory” list (in blue at bottom of screen).
  • To create 20 more tags, go through the same steps again.

Tagging Deadline: All tags must be printed by midnight on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015. The Consignment Sale Website will be locked down and closed at midnight on Tuesday, May 12th. This means tags cannot be printed after this date. So please plan accordingly. This deadline is only about 10 weeks away.

Drop-off Your Items

  • Date and Time –  Friday, May 15 from 5pm-7:30pm.
  • Drop off will take about 10-15 minutes.  You will be asked to place your items directly onto the selling floor. If you separate your clothes by size before you come, this will go quickly.
  • Location – All items should be dropped off at the Lexington High School Fieldhouse, 251 Waltham Street, Lexington, MA 02421.

Questions? Contact the Consignment Sale Chair Kim Ryan at kimberlyryan10@gmail.com.

- Need Help Making Your Bar Code Tags? Come to Our Express Tagging Event! -
Sunday, April 12 at 3:30 – 4:45 pm and Thursday, April 16th at 7-8pm at Cary Library.

Want to consign but need help creating bar code tags? Then come to our Express Tag Making Event. We’ll have a laptop there and teach you how to create your own tags in less than 5 minutes.

Or if you want us to create the tags for you, just register as a seller in advance at our website www.myconsignmentmanager.com/lexfun and come to the Express Tag Making Event with your seller name and password. We’ll create all the tags you need in less than 5 minutes. All you’ll have to do is print them or email them to Wales Copy for printing. What could be easier than that?!

RSVP on BigTent:

- Want to Shop the Private Pre-Sale? -
Shop the Private Pre-Sale – Sign up to Volunteer today!

IMG_0912We are looking for volunteers to help us with our 7th Annual Consignment Sale on May 16th. To make the Sale a success, we need lots of help from volunteers!

Last year, over 300 people – LexFUN! Members, family members, grandparents, Lexington high school students and other Lexington residents – donated their time and helped with the Sale.

Who can volunteer? You don’t have to be a LexFUN! Member or even a Lexington resident. Anyone can volunteer!

  • Parents looking to meet other parents in town
  • Parents and grandparents who want first selection at our spectacular Private Pre-Sale Event
  • High school students who need community service hours

Volunteer Benefits: Shop Early!  All volunteers will be eligible to shop at the Private Pre-Sale Events on Friday night and Saturday morning for the best selection of items.

To receive volunteer benefits, you must register on our website as a volunteer. Go to www.myconsignmentmanager.com/lexfun and go to the “Volunteer” section.

Volunteer responsibilities will vary by shift and day.  Volunteers are asked to give 2.25 hours of their time and will be assigned a particular role when they arrive for their shift.

Below are some of the volunteer jobs.

  • Organization & set up
  • Check-in of items being dropped off
  • Sorting and tagging donated items
  • Assisting Consignors in placing their items on the sales floor
  • Greeting customers
  • Keeping sales floor organized & straightening racks
  • Cashier and check-out
  • Cleaning up & breaking down of tables/racks

Can’t work the day of the sale? We do have some volunteer opportunities that you can do before the sale and still qualify for shopping the Pre-Sale. These jobs include things such as posting flyers around town and helping to distribute lawn signs. To volunteer for these jobs, please contact our Sale Chair Kim Ryan at lexfunconsignmentsale@gmail.com.

- Review Our Sale on Our Facebook Page -
Please leave a review of our consignment sale on our sale FB page!

We’ve been spreading the word about our consignment sale on Facebook to attract new sellers and shoppers. We’ve welcomed 60 new fans in the last two weeks! There are only 4 reviews of the sale on our page right now and it would be GREAT if more people could leave reviews so our new fans could read more about our sale. Thank you!!! Go to https://www.facebook.com/LexFUNConsignmentSale.

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ONGOING PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
- WinterFUN! ends for the season on March 25th -
Although winter may stick around for a few more weeks (or months), March 25th is our last WinterFUN! for the season. WinterFUN! is a drop-in arts and crafts program for toddlers and preschoolers. It is held every other Wednesday morning (9:30 AM – 11:00 AM) during the school year at St. Brigid’s Church Parish Hall (2001 Mass Avenue in Lexington). For a nominal fee of $2 per child ($5 max per family) we have a theme/craft every week, a snack, toys and even coffee for the adults!

March brings some fun crafts for the end of winter! On Wednesday, March 11th we’ll be making shamrock sun catchers. A fun decoration for your bedroom on St. Patrick’s Day. On Wednesday, March 25th, we’ll be planting seeds in egg cartons. This will be our last WinterFUN!, so we wanted you to have the seeds to take with you. You can take care of them until they grow into seedlings in the spring! We hope you’ll join us for some crafty fun this March!

- Drop In Center -
Our Drop In Center is open every Friday in March from 9:30 – 11:30 am at St. Brigid’s Parish Hall, 2001 Mass Ave. When it comes to indoor play spaces in Lexington, LexFUN!’s weekly Drop-In Center can’t be beat! Every Friday, preschoolers, toddlers, babies and their parents and caregivers drop in to play, explore and learn in a huge indoor play area filled with age appropriate toys and activities. $1 per child ($5 max per family).

Our Drop In Center continues until Friday, April 17th. Hopefully, the snow will melt by then and everyone can head outside to the parks and playgrounds.

COMMUNITY SERVICE

- Youville -
Youville Monthly Crafts with Seniors – Wed. March 18th from 10 – 11 am at Youville Place, 10 Pelham Road, Lexington.
Come meet other LexFUN! families and enjoy our wonderful local seniors at this feel-good event. Together we will enjoy a craft activity, read a story, engage in rich conversations, and have a tasty snack.

- Meals on Wheels -
Meals on Wheels: Get Out and About!
It is a great time to get out and help the seniors in our community. Please consider delivering Meals on Wheels. You can do the deliveries with (or without!) your children, and you may sign up for as little as one delivery at a time, which means you can participate when your schedule allows. Many of our drivers find this a rewarding activity for themselves and their children. The seniors really look forward to the weekly interaction. To sign up or find out more about delivering meals, please email Anne Boulter at anne@boulter.com.

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MANY THANKS
A BIG thanks goes out to Sarah Carter for having two great special appearances at Drop In Center last month – yoga for little ones and a rocking Jeff Jams concert! Thank you to Jin Sung for organizing a very well attended seminar with Mona Patel on Building Better Brains. A huge Shout Out goes to our wonderful committees for hosting such a great Cinderella Puppet Show – thank you Laurie Lane and Carrie Butera – and a terrific Benefit Night at Flatbread Pizza – thank you Christine Manavian, Jill Tilem, and Jill Canes. Also, thank you to all the families who supported us by coming out to Flatbread Pizza!

LexFUN! February 2015 Newsletter

Table of Contents
Executive Board Letter
Guest Column
Upcoming Special Events
Kindergarten Korner
LexFUN!’s Annual Spring Consignment Sale
On-going Programs and Events
Community Service
Many Thanks!

REMINDER:
* Looking to access information on the LexFUN! website? Gain entry with the password fiveandunder
* Our Newsletter is organized into 6 tabs (i.e., sections) – Home, LexFUN! Events for Kids, Events In & Around Town, Membership Partners,  About LexFUN! and All About Consignment. Make sure you click on all the tabs so you don’t miss anything!

Executive Board Letter

ldurantHappy February! Although February is the shortest month of the year, there’s no shortage of things to celebrate this month (and yes, some of them are bizarre!) – Groundhog Day (2nd), Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day (7th YES, it’s really a holiday!), Valentine’s Day (14th), Random-Act –of-Kindness Day (17th), Chinese New Years (19th), National Chocolate Mint Day (19th), Love Your Pet Day (20th), Tell a Fairy Tale Day (26th), Black History Month, and the birthdays of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony and Elmo (yes, the Elmo from Sesame Street who leads our LexFUN! Halloween Parade every year).

Many of these celebrations revolve around themes of love and kindness. So why not incorporate a little love and kindness into everything you do this month? Here are some easy ways to do that:

  • Talk to your children about love, often. Explain that there are many different kinds of love to celebrate. It can be love for parents, love for grandparents, love for siblings, love for nannies and caregivers, love for teachers, love for friends, love for neighbors, love for pets, love for the environment, love for a sports team, love for your country, love for school, love for LexFUN! activities, love for a favorite food, etc. Tell them sometimes we have special days to celebrate love – like Valentine’s Day – but you never need a special day to tell someone you love them.
  • Hugs your children today. Twice. Examples abound to remind us all too well how fragile life is.
  • Brainstorm with your children about ways to express love and kindness. Maybe it’s giving out Valentines at preschool. Maybe it’s giving a friend a box of chocolates. Maybe it’s giving mommy some flowers. Maybe it’s sending their arts and crafts project from WinterFUN! to a grandparent. Maybe it’s taking that arts and crafts project to one of the Seniors at Youville. Maybe it’s inviting a friend to come to the Tanglewood Marionettes Puppet Show with you.
  • Then brainstorm with them about how to express love and kindness in ways besides giving cards, flowers and other material things. Maybe it’s asking a friend over for a playdate or inviting them to join you at LexFUN’s Drop In Center (we’re doing Yoga with the kids on Feb. 6!). Maybe it’s telephoning grandparents to say “Have a nice day!” Maybe it’s offering to walk the neighbor’s dog. Maybe it’s gathering up outgrown clothes and donating them to Cradles to Crayons (a donation bin is in St. Brigid’s parking lot). Maybe it’s delivering Meals on Wheels to seniors. Maybe it’s holding the door open for someone. Maybe it’s telling your mommy she looks very pretty today. Maybe it’s just smiling extra big for the Seniors at Youville. The possibilities are endless!

“The one thing we can never get enough of is love. And the one thing we never give enough is love.” ~ Henry Miller.

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” – William Arthur Ward

From all of us at LexFUN!, we wish you a month filled with much love and kindness.

- Leigh-Ann Durant for the LexFUN! Executive Board

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Guest Column

coachingForMomsHow well have you been loving yourself lately?
As a mother, you are the care taker that might often forget to take care of the most important person – YOU!

Self care encompasses every part of who you are – emotionally, physically and spiritually. 

It’s about taking yourself off the back burner and paying attention to what you want out of your life.

It’s about loving yourself as much as you love your children.

Do this and you’ll be calmer, healthier and a whole lot happier. 

You’ll start feeling like you again.

It’s like magic.

When you start taking better care of yourself, all of the other parts of your life fall into place a little easier.   When you are thriving, your family is thriving.

Here are 5 steps to get you going on a self care makeover:

Step 1.  Shift Your Priorities
Take a hard look at where you are spending your time during the day.  List out your top 5 priorities, this is where you should be spending your time.  If you are not on that list re-do it and put YOU at the top!

Step 2.  Learn to Say No
Stop over committing.  Go through each commitment and notice how your body reacts.  If you react with a negative feeling drop that commitment like a hot potato.  If it’s something you really can’t let go of try shifting your perspective or somehow change your level of involvement.

Step 3.  Enlist Help
Delegate, ask for help or hire help.  Realize that we all need support and superwoman is a fictional character.

Step 4.  Re-discover what fills you up
Once you’ve done the above spend your free time discovering what makes you happy and relaxed. Make it a point to bring those things back into your every day life.

Step 5.  Watch the magic happen.

I’d love to hear how you take care of yourself.  Send me an email at paula@paulasacco.com .
 or visit my website at http://paulasacco.com/

_______________________________________________

PaulaSaccoMy More than a Mom workshop series is a perfect way to start working on your own magic! Classes start February 26th, 9:30 am -11:30 am and meet for 6 consecutive Thursdays, $199. LexFun! members receive a 10% discount. Babysitting available on-site, $10 per child per week. Space is limited and there are only a few spots left so email me to reserve your spot.  Deadline for registration is Feb 12th. Workshop held at a private residence in Lexington, details will be emailed to you upon registration.  Visit my website http://paulasacco.com/ or email me for more details.

Paula Sacco, CPCC
Certified Coach and Speaker
helping moms find more time and balance
203-947-6725
http://paulasacco.com/

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Here’s a new offer from Beautiful Moi!
Beautiful Moi! is an AVEDA Exclusive Spa that specializes in Lashes, Skin Care, Massage, Make up and Waxing. They are located at 201 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington MA 02420. Tel 781-863-LASH (5274).

At the moment they are offering everyone a 50% off “Try us!” special for massages, facials, and body treatments and also have new lash client specials for lashes. All LexFUN! members can take advantage of these specials for their 1st massages, facials, and body treatments. Thereafter, members can use their LexFUN! member discount for a 20% discount.

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Upcoming Special Events

Cinderella Is Coming to Town on February 7th!!

sc000475c1LexFUN! proudly announces its 2015 Tanglewood Marionettes Puppet Show! This year we bring you the classic tale of “Cinderella.” Set in the eighteenth century and featuring a dozen lavishly costumed 30” marionettes, this production of Cinderella is a Tanglewood Marionettes showpiece. The story unfolds as the pages of a giant book open to reveal each beautifully painted setting – the village square, the rustic kitchen, the magnificent ballroom, plus many more. A classic fairy tale told with wit and style, Tanglewood Marionettes’ production of Cinderella is sure to please audiences of all ages!

The show takes place on Saturday, February 7th at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library (formerly known as the National Heritage Museum), 33 Marrett Road in Lexington. There will be two shows: one at 1:00pm and another at 3:00 pm. Each show lasts about 1 hour.

Tickets are $9 for LexFUN! members and $10 for non-members. Children under 12 months are free and can sit on an adult’s lap. You can buy your tickets in a number of ways:

We ask you to please bring one or two canned goods to the show to donate to the Lexington Food Pantry.

Family Night Out at Flatbread Pizza on February 10th!

pizza

Mark your calendars!  Tuesday, February 10th is Family Night Out at Flatbread Pizza!!!

Come out to Flatbread Company in Bedford (213 Burlington Rd in Bedford) for dinner anytime after 5pm in support of LexFUN! Flatbread will donate $3.50 for every large pizza and $1.75 for every small pizza sold. All proceeds go towards LexFUN!’s Scholarship Fund. We only get a part of the proceeds from pizza sales so skip the salads tonight ladies! Take-out orders are also included!

Reservations are encouraged for larger parties, so call 781.275.8200 to make your reservations today.

Barn Babies Petting Zoo

Saturday, March 7th from 8:30am – 1:00pm (petting sessions run every half hour; reservations required)

Back by popular demand and with more shows than last year! Buy your tickets NOW because this event always sells out! Little ones just love this menagerie of baby animals! Come meet, pet, and learn about a goat, a little potbellied pig, lots of baby bunnies, chicks or chickens, puppies, and kittens. Plus, be entertained by crafts before your show begins. Tickets for adults and children are $8 and are available on BigTent. Non-members may buy tickets by emailing barnbabies2015@yahoo.com (non-members $9). Children 12 months and under are free!

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Kindergarten Korner

Do you have a rising Kindergartener?

Incredibly enough, it is time to start thinking (just a little bit!) about starting Kindergarten in the

fall of 2015! Kindergarten Connection enables you to meet other Kindergarteners and their

families at your school over the summer – it’s a great way to ease the transition in the fall with

some familiar faces.

Fall 2015 Kindergarten To-Do List:

• Keep an eye out for registration packet sent by Lexington Public Schools to incoming

Kindergarteners – usually mailed just after February vacation.

• If you don’t receive a packet by the end of February, call LPS Central Office, 781-861-2580.

• Register for Kindergarten – fill out those forms!

• Sign up for LexFUN!’s Kindergarten Connection to meet new classmates and friends this

summer -http://www.lexfun.org/programs/kindergarten-connection/

• Attend the Town-Wide Kindergarten Parents’ Orientation Night on Thursday, March 19th at Estabrook Elementary School- see your kindergarten packet for details.

• Attend the Kindergarten Connection Panel seminar by LexFUN! on Wednesday, May 20th, at the Cary library. You will get to meet and ask questions to the current parents of all 6 elementary schools.

• Watch this space for updates on Kindergarten 2015!

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LexFUN!’s Annual Spring Consignment Sale

Turn your Children’s Outgrown Clothes into Cash: Sign up to consign with us today!

Saturday May 16th at the Lexington High School Field House

LexFUN!’s Annual Consignment Sale is a fantastic one-day sale of high quality, gently used maternity and children’s clothing (newborn to 12 – all seasons), toys, games, books, strollers, car seats, high chairs, cribs, baby furniture, bouncy seats, baby gear and equipment, bikes and wagons. We bring together hundreds and hundreds of buyers and sellers under one roof for this exciting one-day shopping event! Also, to make shopping as convenient as possible, we accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover credit cards.

SAVE THE DATE!
DATE: Saturday, May 16th
TIME: 10:00 am to 2:00 pm; Bargain Bag Sale ($20) from 2:15-3:00 pm
PLACE: Lexington High School Field House, 251 Waltham Street, Lexington, MA 02421

Become a Seller: Sign-up Now!

Would you like to get rid of your clutter, make some money AND help a very worthy cause in your community?

Then sign up to consign your children’s outgrown clothes, toys, books, baby equipment and your maternity clothes at LexFUN!’s Annual Spring Consignment Sale! Now is the perfect time to start collecting and tagging items for the Sale.

Selling items at our Sale is super easy! Just log onto our special Consignment Sale Website at www.myconsignmentmanager.com/lexfun and create your own barcode price tags. If you consigned last year, use the “Returning Sellers” section and click “Register Here” (to sign up for the 2015 Sale). If this is your first year consigning, use the “New Sellers” section. All sellers receive 50% of the proceeds, with the other 50% going towards LexFUND, LexFUN!’s Community and Preschool Scholarship Fund.

Gather Your Items

What can you sell? You can sell gently used children’s clothes (newborn to size 12), outerwear, shoes, boots, Halloween costumes, maternity clothes, toys, musical instruments, craft paper/chalk boards, books, movies, games, backpacks, children’s suitcases, strollers, car seats, high chairs, swings, bikes, riding toys, wagons, baby equipment and gear, monitors, baby carriers, cribs, pack-n-plays, and baby and children’s furniture. Go through your attic, garage, basement and closets and see what gems you have!

Over the years, LexFUN! has have developed a reputation of having high quality merchandise at our sale so we have a few restrictions on the items you can consign. Please, no clothes with stains, tears, missing buttons or broken zippers.  Also, by law, we cannot sell car seats that are more than 5 years old or drop-side cribs. Before our pre-sale, a team of volunteers checks the manufacture date on every single car seat and throws away any that are over 5 years old. A few other things, such as stuffed animals, violent toys (i.e., guns or weapons), used bottles, pacifiers, teethers or sippy cups, and undergarments, cannot be consigned. Also, please no outdated media, such as cassette tapes or VHS tapes.

Helpful Hints for Success

Spending a little extra time getting your items ready will make a HUGE difference on your profits. Clothes that are clean, pressed, and smell fresh, with buttons and zippers closed, look better and generally sell first. Sets tend to sell better than separate items. So match up separates if you can. Starch, a little bleach, an iron, or a needle and thread work wonders! The same applies to furniture, large toys and outdoor play equipment. Remove all dirt, grime and marks. Make sure all parts are included; place any small parts in zip-lock bags, then securely attach the bag to the main part. Pants, jeans, overalls and shorts should be folded and price tags attached with a safety pin in upper-right side.  All other clothes should be put on wire hangers if possible (wire hangers take up less room on the racks than plastic hangers). Hangers should be positioned so that the top of the hanger forms a question mark when looking at the front of the garment. Price tags should be attached with a safety pin in upper-right corner (when looking at front of garment) or by using a tagging gun (a HUGE timesaver for sellers!).

Enter Items and Create Barcode Price Tags

With our Consignment Sale website, you can quickly enter items and create barcode price tags (www.myconsignmentmanager.com/lexfun). To help you set prices, we have some suggested Pricing Guidelines posted on our website at www.lexfun.org.

Drop-off Your Items

  • Date and Time –  Friday, May 15 from 5pm-7:30pm
  • Drop off will take about 10-15 minutes.  You will be asked to place your items directly onto the selling floor. If you separate your clothes by size before you come, this will go quickly.
  • Location – All items should be dropped off at Lexington High School Fieldhouse, 251 Waltham Street, Lexington, MA 02421.

Get Paid!

You will earn 50% of the proceeds of your items which sell and the balance goes towards LexFUNd, LexFUN!’s community and preschool scholarship fund. All unsold items will be donated to local charities, such as Cradles to Crayons.

So what are you waiting for? Register to consign today!

For more information, including our 2015 Pricing Guidelines and Directions for using our consignment sale website, visit the “Consignment Sale” page on the LexFUN! Website or contact our Sale chair: Kim Ryan at kimberlyryan10@gmail.com.  Please also “like” us on Facebook for sale updates, photos from past sales, and previews of items for sale at the upcoming sale https://www.facebook.com/LexFUNConsignmentSale

Volunteers Needed for Our Seventh Annual Consignment Sale

We are looking for volunteers to help us with our 7th Annual Consignment Sale on May 16th. To make the Sale a success, we need lots of help from volunteers!

Last year, over 300 people – LexFUN! members, family members, grandparents, Lexington high school students and other Lexington residents – donated their time and helped with the Sale.

Who can volunteer? You don’t have to be a LexFUN! Member or even a Lexington resident. Anyone can volunteer!

  • Parents looking to meet other parents in town
  • Parents and grandparents who want first selection at our spectacular Private Pre-Sale Event
  • High school students who need community hours

Volunteer Benefits: Shop Early!  All volunteers will be eligible to shop at the Private Pre-Sale Events on Friday night and Saturday morning.

To receive volunteer benefits, you must register on our website as a volunteer. Go to http://www.myconsignmentmanager.com/lexfun and go to the “Volunteer” section.

Volunteer responsibilities will vary by shift and day.  Volunteers are asked to give 2.25 hours of their time and will be assigned a particular role when they arrive for their shift (the first 15 minutes are overlap/training with the volunteer you are taking over for).

Below are some of the volunteer jobs.

  • Organization and set-up
  • Check-in of items being dropped-off
  • Assisting consignors in placing their items on the sales floor
  • Greeting customers
  • Keeping sales floor organized
  • Cashier and check-out
  • Cleaning-up and breaking-down of tables/racks

Can’t work the day of the sale? We have other volunteer opportunities that you can do before the sale and still qualify for shopping the Pre-Sale. These jobs include things such as posting flyers around town and helping to distribute lawn signs. To volunteer for these jobs, please contact our Sale chair: Kim Ryan at kimberlyryan10@gmail.com.

There’s Still Time to Join the Consignment Sale Committee

If you’re looking for an opportunity to become more involved with LexFUN! or a way to meet other parents in town, then consider joining the Consignment Sale Committee! There’s still time to join.

Some people have asked about the time commitment for the sale and the Committee. You can give as much or as little time as you want. We only have about 3 or so Committee meetings during the next 3 months, and have large and small jobs that you can do whenever they fit in with your schedule (days, nights, weekends, via email, via phone, etc.).

To join the Committee, please contact our Sale chair: Kim Ryan at kimberlyryan10@gmail.com.

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Open House for SummerFenn, Sun, Feb. 22nd 11 am – 1pm, Fenn School, 516 Monument Street, Concord, No RSVP necessary

The BEST summer ever starts at Fenn!! Come to Fenn’s Open House and learn what SummerFenn is all about. Enjoy a campfire, Smores and a Tour of campus. SummerFenn is a day camp for boys and girls 5 to 15 and they ensure that everyone has a fantastic experience! Many LexFUN! kids become SummerFenn kids! For more info, visit http://www.fenn.org

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On-going Programs and Events

We have 2 Special Events at our Drop-In Center in February:

YogaWomanYoga on Feb. 6th!

Calling all mini Yogi’s…Come Play, Dance, Stretch, Relax, Focus & Have Lots of Fun!

During the Drop-in Center on Friday Feb. 6 at 9:45, yoga teacher — and LexFUN! member — Nicole Coelho will lead a movement-based class for kids that will be comprised of games, breathing exercises, props and music.  Children will practice yoga poses though guided visualization and storytelling. Please dress the children in comfortable clothing. No mat is required.

Jeff Jams on Feb. 13th!

During the Drop-in Center on Friday Feb. 13 at 10am, Jeff Jams will be joining us!!! Jeff Jam is a friendly, goofy guy that sings and performs songs for children of all ages. He travels all over Massachusetts, New England and the world with his acoustic guitar, bringing songs and smiles to children everywhere. Don’t miss this event!!

Drop In Center – Fri. Feb. 6 (yoga), 13 (Jeff Jam) (no drop-in on Feb. 20th because of school vacation) and 27th from 9:30 – 11:30 am at St. Brigid’s Parish Hall, 2001 Mass Ave. When it comes to indoor play spaces in Lexington, LexFUN!’s weekly Drop-In Center can’t be beat! Every Friday, preschoolers, toddlers, babies and their parents and caregivers drop in to play, explore and learn in a huge indoor play area filled with age appropriate toys and activities. $1 per child ($5 max per family)

WHEN & WHERE: Every Friday from 9:30 – 11:30am during the Fall, Winter and Spring (from September 19th through April 10th) at St. Brigid’s Parish Hall, 2001 Mass. Ave.

There is no Drop-In-Center on February 20th due to school vacation week.

Play

WinterFUN!

WinterFUN! is a drop-in arts and crafts program for toddlers and preschoolers. It is held every other Wednesday morning (9:30 AM – 11:00 AM) during the school year at St. Brigid’s Church Parish Hall (2001 Mass Avenue in Lexington). For a nominal fee of $2 per child ($5 max per family) we have a theme/craft every week, a snack, toys and even coffee for the adults!

There is no WinterFUN! on February 18th due to school vacation week.

February brings some fun crafts for the snowy winter days!! On Wednesday, February 4th we’ll be making heart picture frames. They make the perfect present for Valentine’s Day! On Wednesday, February 25th, we’ll be making beaded key chains. We hope you’ll join us for some crafty fun!

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Community Service

Youville
YouvilleYouville Monthly Crafts with Seniors – Wed. Feb. 11th from 10 – 11 am at Youville Place, 10 Pelham Road, Lexington. Come meet other LexFUN! families and enjoy our wonderful local seniors at this feel-good event. Together we will enjoy a craft activity, read a story, engage in rich conversations, and have a tasty snack.

Meals on Wheels: Get Out and About!
It is a great time to get out and help the seniors in our community. Please consider delivering Meals on Wheels. You can do the deliveries with (or without!) your children, and you may sign up for as little as one delivery at a time, which means you can participate when your schedule allows. Many of our drivers find this a rewarding activity for themselves and their children. The seniors really look forward to the weekly interaction. To sign up or find out more about delivering meals, please email Anne Boulter at anne@boulter.com.

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Many Thanks!

Many thanks to our Social Committee for hosting such a fun White Elephant Night Event!  A great time was had by all!!

Thank you to our WinterFUN! Chairs — Michelle Andronaco  Kate Finegan, and Katie Smith – for coming up with some awesome crafts for our little ones this month!! They created some wonderful wintery crafts.

A big THANKS goes out to our Drop-In-Center Chairs – Sarah Carter, Jenna DiMaio-McCracken, and Candice Lind – for running such a wonderful indoor play center for our children every Friday at St. Brigid’s.  As the weather gets colder, we appreciate the Drop-In-Center more and more!

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*   *   *

REMINDER:
* Looking to access information on the LexFUN! website? Gain entry with the password fiveandunder
* Our Newsletter is organized into 6 tabs (i.e., sections) – Home, LexFUN! Events for Kids, Events In & Around Town, Membership Partners,  About LexFUN! and All About Consignment. Make sure you click on all the tabs so you don’t miss anything!

 

 

 

 

LexFUN! January 2015 Newsletter

Table of Contents
Executive Board Letter
Guest Column
Special Sponsor Deals for LexFUN! Members
Upcoming Special Events
On-going Programs and Events
Community Service
Many Thanks!

REMINDER:
* Looking to access information on the LexFUN! website? Gain entry with the password fiveandunder
* Our Newsletter is organized into 6 tabs (i.e., sections) – Home, LexFUN! Events for Kids, LexFUN! Events for Parents, Events In & Around Town, Membership Partners and About LexFUN!. Make sure you click on all the tabs so you don’t miss anything!

Executive Board Letter

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ~ Mother Teresa.

Emily WildfireAhhhhh, January – this time of year inevitably brings pause . . . for most of us will reflect on what has been, and resolve for what shall be in the year to come. For me (today, the day after Christmas), the living room is covered with wrapping paper and boxes, the kids are full of excitement, and a tray of cookies and me are having a face off. In due time, I will get the house cleaned, finish off the leftovers, smile at the memory of squealing and joy from my three kids on Christmas morning, and finally bring order back to my life.

As my oldest is now 8 years old, I have seen many of these transitions from the chaos of the holidays to the fresh start of the new year. For me, the “fresh start” each January has been a time to reset, recharge and re-focus. I have made it an “unofficial tradition” for myself to find a day during the break to sit in a local coffee shop with nothing but a pen, pad and my thoughts. Over the years, I have found this hour of quiet to be instrumental in bringing clarity to my goals as a mom. I am a list maker, so I often walk away with a list of my “Mom must do’s” and “would like to do’s” and an action plan for how to begin to fit it all in. From laundry to grocery shopping, from exercise to time with family and friends, from special time with each of my kids to date nights with my husband . . . and the list goes on.

In the end, I feel much more ready to tackle the year with a purpose and a hope for somehow fitting it all in. Knowing my plan is sure to hit bumps in the road as the year unfolds, I will make a conscious effort to revisit that coffee shop when I can for a much needed recharge. This coffee shop ritual may just be a short hour, but I am always amazed at how I come back refocused and a happier and better mom.

If not at a coffee shop, then I hope to see you all at one of the many events LexFUN! is offering this month. After all, the amazing women I have met through this group are the support I need and count on in this journey. I hope to see many of you at the “Taking Care of YOU in 2015!” Seminar on January 28th (put “sign up for seminar” on your mommy to do list now!). One of my favorite nights each year is the White Elephant Gift Exchange which is happening on January 15th. It is sure to be a great night and a well-deserved time out with friends. Join me! Also, be sure to buy your tickets early for our Annual Tanglewood Marionettes Puppet Show happening on February 7th! This year the show is Cinderella and is sure to sell out!

Best Wishes for a Wonderful 2015!

Emily Wildfire
On behalf of the LexFUN! Executive Committee

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2015.01_Pathway_Law_JAN_contestedwill

Guest Column

Building A New Wardrobe In The New Year

IMG_0258We are living in a convenient time for fashion. We can easily look great while still being comfortable and practical. We no longer have to spend $300 on a pair of Citizen jeans, and pair them with pointy toed heels.Who can run after their kids in stilettos? This is why it is so important to find comfortable, practical pieces. I call these pieces the “Bones of Your Wardrobe.” Just like our body’s bones, everything in your wardrobe can be built off three essential items.

What are the “Bones”? How do you wear them for all occasions?

The Legging
Leggings are coming back into style, and coming back in a big way. And leggings aren’t going away any time soon either. They have become a staple in women’s fashion today. This could be the best thing that has ever happened to us! Essentially, these fabulous stretchy pants are are just like a yoga pant, or even a pajama pants. Unlike pajamas, they are not only perfectly acceptable to wear every day in public, but are also quite fashionable. When paired with a tall boot, either flat or heeled, it’s a completely dressed up a look.  All ages, sizes and lifestyles can pull this off as long as you follow the one legging rule: you must cover your behind with your top! By breaking this rule, you go from chic, to trashy just like that. There are a ton of fantastic tunic length tops, sweaters, open cardigans, etc. that help us follow the golden rule of leggings. Now get out there and show off your stems!

The Simple Layering Top
You would think my best selling piece is the most fabulous, unique and fashion forward item. But it is actually a plain, solid color stretch top that comes in either long sleeve or tank. Hands down, the best seller at my store. The reason this item is in such high demand is because this is your main underpinning. You swap out tops over these layering pieces to go from casual to dressy without having to change the base layer. I always say start with black and build your layering tops with other colors as time goes on. Finding a comfortable fabric that is right for you, will again, make this feel like a pajama, or lounging clothes. Slap on a nice scarf, sheer blouse and some earrings and a bracelet (or three), and you are ready for a night out!

The Jean
Gone are the days of spending your entire fashion budget on those “It Brand” jeans. They have become more affordable and acceptable for most any occasion. They can be dressed up, dressed down, or anywhere in between. The best part is, you still feel comfortable and confident in a good pair of jeans.  There are two rules I try to follow when in comes to jeans.  One is wash. Whether its dressy or casual, stick to darker washes.  The darker, the dressier.  The second, and Golden Rule of jeans, is FIT!  This is bar none, the most important part of finding the perfect jeans. Here are some tips to help you find them. If you have a big booty, stay away from big back pockets and flashy patters.  There is no need to draw extra attention to an already wonderful back side. If you have a long slender frame try something other than the skinny- boot cut is just what the doctor ordered.  The natural curve of the pant leg helps give shape to you’re frame.  And for shorter legged long ladies, try something that sits higher on the waist. This will give you’re lower half length and some length and stretch out your look.  Same goes for pear shaped women as well.

Pulling it All Together
For example, a good plain skinny jean and a solid top is a great look during the day. Accessorize with a scarf around your neck, or put on a cute sweater over it. Tuck those jeans into a pair of flat riding boots so you can run around during errands or after your kids.  Using the same underpinnings, swap out those boots for a pump or heeled boot. Put a more dressy top, sweater scarf shawl poncho over the pain top, add a bangle (or three), earrings and BAM! Saturday night out look!

Just remember, with these three “Bones” you can build an entire wardrobe that is perfect for any occasion. If you follow these rules, you will look fabulous, fashionable and feel comfortable, all without breaking the bank! Best of all, LexFUN! members receive 10% off all full priced merchandise. Just show your LexFUN! card.

Petra Hoffmann
Petra, Clothing for Women

FullSizeRenderWith pieces arriving weekly, Petra offers a wide selection of contemporary clothing & accessories. Each item is hand chosen with much thought and care. This provides a limited quantity of each piece, which keeps your look special & unique. Petra prides itself on reaching women of all different ages, sizes & lifestyles- and offering every client personalized service. In addition, tailoring, fittings, personal shopping & wardrobe consultations are also all services we provide as part of your experience.

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LEAP full page

Get In Shape In 2015: Special Sponsor Deals for LexFUN! Members

Looking to jump start your New year’s Resolution to get in shape and be more healthy? Check out these great deals from our LexFUN! sponsors!

  • The YMCAs in both Woburn and Waltham are offering great membership discounts with your LexFUN! card
  • Fitness Together in Lexington is offering a special LexFUN! package discount – get $150 off the purchase of a package with your LexFUN! card . Call 781-862-1175 for more details.
  • Lexington Power Yoga is offering LexFUN! members 10% off a 10 pack, so get your yoga and Barre & Soul moves on in 2015!

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Upcoming Special Events

White Elephant Gift Swap on January 15th
Whether you like your wines or your elephants white (or red!), don’t miss LexFUN!’s Annual White Elephant night! We’ll start off the night with some informal wine and appetizer tasting and then a fun gift exchange! Everyone should bring a wine from their favorite region and an appetizer or dessert, as well as a small or “gag” wrapped gift worth under $20 for a “White Elephant/Yankee Swap gift exchange.

The event is on Thursday, January 15th from 7:30 – 9:00 pm. Join us for a night of wine, laughter and friends, and unload the crazy gifts you received over the holiday season!!

RSVP on BigTent by January 10th. When you RSVP, we’ll let you know the location of the event.

Taking Care of YOU in 2015!
No matter how much we love children or how fulfilling we find caring for and educating them, it is difficult and demanding work at times. There are no instruction manuals or cookbook recipes, nor are there mandates that require us to take care of ourselves. However, your success as a caregiver is determined in part, by your ability to renew your energy and meet your own needs. This session explores ways to nurture the nurturer. It is about creating wellness in your life which is much more than stress management and reduction.  This is a MUST attend seminar for all the moms out there who take care of everyone…except yourself!

Date: Wednesday, January 28th
Time: 7-9pm
Location: St. Brigid’s Parish Hall
RSVP on BigTent

Cinderella Is Coming to Town on February 7th!

sc000475c1

LexFUN! proudly announces its 2015 Tanglewood Marionettes Puppet Show! This year we bring you the classic tale of “Cinderella.” Set in the eighteenth century and featuring a dozen lavishly costumed 30” marionettes, this production of Cinderella is a Tanglewood Marionettes showpiece. The story unfolds as the pages of a giant book open to reveal each beautifully painted setting – the village square, the rustic kitchen, the magnificent ballroom, plus many more. A classic fairy tale told with wit and style, Tanglewood Marionettes’ production of Cinderella is sure to please audiences of all ages!

The show takes place on Saturday, February 7th at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library (formerly known as the National Heritage Museum), 33 Marrett Road in Lexington. There will be two shows: one at 1:00pm and another at 3:00 pm. Each show lasts about 1 hour.

Tickets are $9 for LexFUN! members and $10 for non-members. Children under 12 months are free and can sit on an adult’s lap. You can buy your tickets in a number of ways:

We ask you to please bring one or two canned goods to the show to donate to the Lexington Food Pantry.

Family Night Out at Flatbread Pizza on February 10th!
Mark your calendars!  Tuesday, February 10th is Family Night Out at Flatbread Pizza!!!
pizza
Come out to Flatbread Company in Bedford (213 Burlington Rd in Bedford) for dinner anytime after 5pm in support of LexFUN! Flatbread will donate $3.50 for every large pizza and $1.75 for every small pizza sold. All proceeds go towards LexFUN!’s Scholarship Fund. We only get a part of the proceeds from pizza sales so skip the salads tonight ladies! Take-out orders are also included!

Reservations are encouraged for larger parties, so call 781.275.8200 to make your reservations today.

Spa Night
Stay tuned for information about our upcoming “Spa Night” and other fun events to liven up those dreary winter months!

Our Consignment Sale Website is Now Open for Tagging!!!
As you make space in your closets and toy boxes after the holidays for new things, consider putting them aside and tagging them for our incredible Annual Children’s Consignment Sale! Even though the sale isn’t until Saturday, May 16th, our Consignment Sale Website is now open for you to register as a seller and create your barcode price tags.

We have two exciting additions for this year! First, we are adding Maternity Clothes to the Sale, and second, we’re expanding the clothing sizes up to size 12!

If you haven’t been to our Consignment Sale before, it’s a fantastic one-day sale of high quality, gently used children’s clothing (newborn to 12 – all seasons), toys, games, books, strollers, car seats, high chairs, cribs, baby furniture, bouncy seats, baby gear and equipment, bikes, wagons and new this year, maternity clothes! We bring together hundreds and hundreds of buyers and sellers under one roof for this exciting one-day shopping event!

Consigning your clothes, toys and gear is super easy! Just log onto our special consignment sale website at www.myconsignmentmanager.com/lexfun and create your own barcode price tags.  If you consigned last year, use the “Returning Sellers” section and click “register” (to sign up for the 2015 Sale).  If this is your first year consigning, use the “New Sellers” section.  All sellers receive 50% of the proceeds, with the other 50% going towards LexFUN!’s Preschool Scholarship Fund.

Top 10 tips for Sellers

Ready to start tagging? First, read these tips from some of our top consignors!

  1. Start tagging early!
  2. Use the “power tag” function. You can make 100 tags in one minute (seriously!!). Don’t waste time creating individual tags (unless you have time to burn).
  3. Spend a little extra time getting your clothes ready. It will make a huge difference in your profits. Clothes that are clean, pressed and smell fresh with buttons and zippers closed, look better and sell quicker.
  4. Print your price tags on white card stock (60,67 or 110 pound) – our bar code scanners can’t read bar codes printed on regular printer paper; so if you use regular paper, the cashiers will have to manually enter in every number from your tags, which slows down check-out lines!
  5. Use wire hangers whenever possible (plastic hangers take up more space on the racks). Put all clothes on hangers except pants, overalls, shorts and skirts.
  6. Hang clothes so the top of your hanger forms a question mark when looking at the front of the garment.
  7. Using a tagging gun to add price tags to your clothing can be a tremendous timesaver when tagging clothing.  Tagging guns can be purchased on Amazon and through other retailers.  Alternatively, you can use safety pins (please NO straight pins without clasps!) to attach your price tags and pin them to the upper-right side of your clothes.  When placing your tags, either with a tagging gun or safety pins, please be mindful of creating holes in conspicuous places on the garment.  Seams are an excellent place to place a tagging gun barb.
  8. Tie shoes together or put them in a plastic bag. Attach your price tags with clear packing tape, but don’t tape over the barcode (the scanners can’t read through tape).
  9. Put working batteries in all toys and equipment – items that work are the first to sell.
  10. Help us spread the word about the Sale – tell your friends and fellow parents. Remember, as a seller, the more people you let know about the sale the more of YOUR items will sell.

For more information, including our 2015 Pricing Guidelines and Directions for using our consignment sale website, visit the “Consignment Sale” page on the LexFUN! Website or contact our Sale chair: Kim Ryan at kimberlyryan10@gmail.com.  Please also “like” us on Facebook for sale updates, photos from past sales, previews of items for sale at the upcoming sale and pre-sale pass giveaways.

Return to Table of Contents

On-going Programs and Events

Drop-In Center
dropInCenterWhen it comes to indoor play spaces in Lexington, LexFUN!’s weekly Drop-in Center can’t be beat!  Every Friday, preschoolers, toddlers, babies and their parents and caregivers drop in to play, explore and learn in a huge indoor play area filled with age appropriate toys and activities. Children develop social, physical, and sensory skills through hands on free play activities, books and crafts.
WHEN & WHERE: Every Friday from 9:30 – 11:30am during the Fall, Winter and Spring (from September 19th through April 10th) at St. Brigid’s Parish Hall, 2001 Mass. Ave.

WinterFUN!
snowmanPaperPlatesWinterFUN! is a drop-in arts and crafts program for toddlers and preschoolers. It is held every other Wednesday morning (9:30 AM – 11:00 AM) during the school year at St. Brigid’s Church Parish Hall (2001 Mass Avenue in Lexington). For a nominal fee of $2 per child ($5 max per family) we have a theme/craft every week, a snack, toys and even coffee for the adults!

January brings some fun crafts for the snowy winter days!! On Wednesday, January 7th we’ll be making some beautiful snowflakes out of coffee filters. A fun decoration for your child’s bedroom! On Wednesday, January 21st, we’ll be making snowman mobiles out of paper plates. We hope you’ll join us for some crafty fun!

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Community Service

COMPASS Gift Card Drive
We’re sending out a huge “THANK YOU” to those of you who were able to contribute to LexFUN!’s annual gift card drive for COMPASS!  Your generosity provided $600 in gift cards for the families who need help this holiday season.  LexFUN!s gift card drive helps moms buy gifts and clothes, as well as essentials for their children and their family. These gift cards will provide parents with choices.  Thank you again for helping these moms make this holiday season special for their families.

Youville
YouvilleOur December visit to Youville was loaded with holiday cheer!  First of all Youville was decked out with beautiful decorations!  We had a lot of fun decorating ornaments and reading winter books with the residents.  There is nothing like watching our little ones interact with and together create a craft with the residents of Youville.  We look forward to some wintry fun at our monthly visit on Wednesday January 14, 2015.  Come join us at Youville Place from 10:00am until 11:00am.  Youville Place is located at 10 Pelham Road in Lexington (off Mass. Ave.).  Please contact Julie Callahan at callahanseven@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Meals on Wheels: Get Out and About!
It is a great time to get out and help the seniors in our community. Please consider delivering Meals on Wheels. You can do the deliveries with (or without!) your children, and you may sign up for as little as one delivery at a time, which means you can participate when your schedule allows. Many of our drivers find this a rewarding activity for themselves and their children. The seniors really look forward to the weekly interaction. To sign up or find out more about delivering meals, please email Anne Boulter at anne@boulter.com.

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Many Thanks!

We’re sending a HUGE shout out to our Community Service Team led by Julie Callahan with Autumn Cohen, Katherine Mahony, Kristina Santonelli, and Emily Sayre for raising an record amount in gift cards for COMPASS families in need. These gifts cards made a real difference of the lives of moms and children living right here in Lexington. And thank you to all our members who donated to the Gift Card Drive.

Thank you to our WinterFUN! Chairs — Michelle Andronaco Kate Finegan, and Katie Smith – for coming up with some awesome crafts for our little ones this month!! They created some wonderful holiday keepsakes to get us in the holiday spirit.

A big THANKS goes out to our Drop-In-Center Chairs – Sarah Carter, Jenna DiMaio-McCracken, and Candice Lind – for running such a wonderful indoor play center for our children every Friday at St. Brigid’s. As the weather gets colder, we appreciate the Drop-In-Center more and more!

Thank you to our Youville team led by Elizabeth Restivo for organizing a cheery holiday craft party with the Seniors at Youville. The little ones really brightened the Seniors’ day!

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*   *   *

REMINDER:
* Looking to access information on the LexFUN! website? Gain entry with the password fiveandunder
* Our Newsletter is organized into 6 tabs (i.e., sections) – Home, LexFUN! Events for Kids, LexFUN! Events for Parents, Events In & Around Town, Membership Partners and About LexFUN!. Make sure you click on all the tabs so you don’t miss anything!

LexFUN! December 2014 Newsletter

Table of Contents
Executive Board Letter
Guest Column
Community Service
Ongoing Programs and Events
With Many Thanks To…

Looking to access information on the LexFUN! website?
Gain entry with the password
fiveandunder

Executive Board Letter

I have always found December to be a funny time of year.  There is a constant push to get so much accomplished in a really short period of time.  Not only are we asked to organize, decorate, wrap, clean, and host, we practically are required to do it all while upbeat and merry. As a parent, this holiday mania takes on an additional level of importance as we hope to provide our children with a positive experience that they will recall fondly into their old age. I do not seek perfection, but happy memories, yes that would be nice.

Joyce DvorakThis year I know I am already behind schedule.  I started a new job in September and I have had to put more energy into that than my life.  This has greatly impacted the early holiday shopping and planning I had previously been able to complete by this time of year.  I have yet to design my cards, I have yet to make my lists, I have yet to get out all the decorations (or put away the Thanksgiving decorations) but all this will happen.  I might not sleep, but it all will happen.

What is most important for me is to create the positive memories my children will cherish.  Part of this is establishing family traditions. Since moving to Lexington 4 years ago we have enjoyed the Annual Holiday Children’s Concerts offer by the Lexington Symphony (Dec 5th) , the stroll down Mass Ave along with the center tree lighting, and singing of Carols sponsored by the Lions/ Rotary Clubs on Christmas Eve at Hasting Park gazebo (Dec 24th, 4-4:30pm).  I love that we have enjoyed this with other young families and our children will have this shared memory as they age and move through school and sports together.

A new tradition started last year is for my boys to choose a senior from the Giving Tree located at the Crafty Yankee.  Each tag holds an item of use to a local senior.  Too often seniors are forgotten, but we should remember, there were once somebody’s little boy or girl and are still worth receiving the spirit and joy of this season.

Its important to step outside of ourselves this time of year.  It is too easy to get caught up in the trappings of the want-to-dos when we really need to concentrate on the must-dos.  I must remember to be thankful, I must remember that I am the only one who knows what my ideal is (and that the expectation is probably too high), I must remember to sleep enough, I must remember my kids want my time more than my stuff, and I must remember to to take a moment to breath. If I don’t take a pause, I might miss the magic memory moments being created.

So without taking further time out of your busy day, I will leave with this: pause, enjoy, and appreciate all you have.   Best to you and your family for the holidays and rest up – it’s going to be a busy, but great, 2015.

Joyce Dvorak
On behalf of the LexFUN! Executive Board

LexFUN! Executive Board:

Co-President: Lindsay Wedell
Co-President: Leigh-Ann Durant
Vice President, Membership: Emily Wildfire
Vice President, Community Service: Julie Callahan
Vice President, Advertising/Sponsorship: Sam Carreiro
Treasurer: Valerie Machinist
Secretary: Joyce Dvorak

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PWL08_theconversation

Guest Column

A Little Guilt & Finding Balance, By Kim Bradshaw, Co-Owner artlounge Arlington & Lexington mom!

One of the drivers of artlounge was to give the community a place to celebrate art and escape. We have now been open now for about a month. We have had the usual ups and downs of any new business, but what keeps coming up and what helps make our journey so clear is the almost nightly adventure of what happens amongst our guests. A lot of laughter, sometimes singing, sometimes some serious focus – but what we find that hits home for everyone, is that it is a journey, a break away from our usual paths.

Artlounge seems to elicit a new experience. It sparks an inner light that perhaps has not been tapped into since childhood. We want to inspire creativity, turn on brains in a different direction. Our paint evenings bring out the child in you, our live models perhaps bring some light giggles to start off the night, but once you get into your groove we’ve found a hypnotic state in the room, similar to a meditation class. And of course the class that teaches the art of burlesque dance, well, need I say more?   Friends, couples, moms and daughters, or people just out for a night alone have all left feeling transformed. We are also tapping into music and other arts that will open up our minds and hearts. I am sharing my tale of guilt with my Lexington neighbors, because I think it reminds us that we all need a break here and there.

Kim BradshawLITTLE TALE OF GUILT (about yelling)

We all do it I think. I guess, I hope… We all admit to it within our chatters on the playgrounds and at cocktails parties. We share that we have done it, do it, and that it will inevitably occur again, but the truth of the matter is that although we can admit to doing it we certainly do not want to get caught, especially by our neighbors. Dirty laundry is always better off left in that metaphorical closet but sometimes, occasionally, it comes out for all to see and hear.

I know it does not feel good when I do it, but I know it feels even worse when I come to the realization that I have been caught. After having kids, my family followed the normal migration from city to the burbs. I guess the biggest transition was the new open air policy. In Boston we lived in an old fir storage building so our door was a vault. Talk about sound proofing. My assumption is my “louder than my indoor voice, also known as yelling, possibly screaming my brains out” voice was born in these dwellings yet was kept within the confines of the household.

I remember it like it was yesterday, when it first made its debut in Lexington. One of our first nights in our new home, there I was doing my “louder than my indoor voice, also known as yelling, more likely screaming my brains out” voice. I know it was not a proud moment. I also know it was a little immature and NOT what I would have hoped from myself in my new role as Lexington “indoor voice” mommy, but I could not resist. One of my kids was yelling in my face so I did what any stressed out mom that needed a break would have done and I played “right back at cha”. I went into my child’s face, that cute little face I worked so hard for, the one that was screaming in my face…and I did my ” louder than my indoor voice, also known as yelling, and for sure screaming my brains out” back at them saying “HOW DO YOU LIKE ITTTTTTTTTTT, IF I SCREAM AT YOUOOOOOOOO”.

As soon as my rant ended a big gust of wind came in through the kitchen window, a reminder of the openness of my existence. I remember thinking; wholly cow what if someone heard me I would die. Low and behold, not 30 seconds later my lovely indoor voice neighbor knocked at my door. I opened in horror despite her greeting me with a big warm smile.

“Hi Kim,” she said “I was wondering if you happened to have my mail? We did not get any today and I am guessing they perhaps delivered it to you.” I immediately knew this was a ploy to come over to make sure my children were safe. The fact that she took this route over a phone call to the police or DSS made me let out a big sigh of relief. I then tried to laugh and started my soliloquy saying to her, “you are so funny and honestly I love that you are my neighbor, I would have also been concerned and I am so happy you took the time to come over and check on us. I am sure you just heard me yelling and I like your cover up story.” I continued my confessions but her face never shifted. As a matter of fact in retrospect her face did look a bit confused but I believed this was a front, a cover up. “She is good” I thought. Anyway she just replied, “No really, I just was checking on my mail” and she left to head back to her open windowed home where I know she heard me doing the thing I admitted I do, but don’t want anyone to hear.

Well, the next day my husband brought the mail in…apparently we never did grab it the previous day and guess whose mail we had? It was time to do my walk of shame as I delivered the mail I explained how this series of events occurred and that I thought it was so funny. I think she thought it was funny too but was happier to get her mail. She also has many kids and I think that she was not frazzled by my louder than my indoor voice, yelling and perhaps screaming at the VERY tip top of my lungs voice.” And although I still try to refrain, I find it easier when I’ve allowed myself a few breaks every now and then.

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Community Service

COMPASS Gift Card Drive

There is still time to donate!  It is that wonderful time of year again when LexFUN! asks our community to consider contributing to the drive for gift cards to support COMPASS. COMPASS for Kids is a non-profit organization based in Lexington. Their COMPASS Community Collaborative program provides homeless parents with a structured education and workforce training program that leads to jobs, sustained employment, increased self-sufficiency and a brighter future.

While these parents are making great strides toward building a better life for themselves and their children, in the short-term they struggle to provide their families with even the basics. This problem is even more pronounced during the holiday season, when single mothers not only worry about how they are going to meet the basic needs of their growing kids but how to provide them with a memorable, fun holiday.

That’s where wonderful donors, like LexFUN!, step in to make sure these children and families experience a great holiday season. LexFUN!s gift card drive helps moms buy gifts and clothes, as well as essentials for their children and their family. Gift cards provide parents with choices.

We continue collecting gift cards of any amount. You can drop your donation in the mail slot of the front door of 22 Hancock Street in Lexington any time through December 5th. If you do not find yourself near a gift card stand, please feel free to donate cash and we will gladly purchase gift cards off of the list of suggested stores (provided by COMPASS) which are: Market Basket, Walmart, Haffners Gas Card, Target, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Payless Shoes, and Supercuts.

Thank you for making this holiday season special for local families in need.

Youville Place
The best kind of holiday decorations are the homemade ones by your little ones. Come join us at Youville Place on Wednesday, December 10th from 10:00am until 11:00am to make paper plate ornaments that you can hang up year after year. Youville Place is located at 10 Pelham Road in Lexington (off Mass. Ave.).  Please contact Elizabeth Restivo at restivodemunoz@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Meals on Wheels: Get Out and About!

meals on wheelsIt is a great time to get out and help the seniors in our community. Please consider delivering Meals on Wheels. You can do the deliveries with (or without!) your children, and you may sign up for as little as one delivery at a time, which means you can participate when your schedule allows. Many of our drivers find this a rewarding activity for themselves and their children. The seniors really look forward to the weekly interaction. To sign up or find out more about delivering meals, please email Anne Boulter at anne@boulter.com.

Return to Table of Contents

Ongoing Programs and Events

The Drop-In Center
When it comes to indoor play spaces in Lexington, LexFUN!’s weekly Drop-in Center can’t be beat!  Every Friday, preschoolers, toddlers, babies and their parents and caregivers drop in to play, explore and learn in a huge indoor play area filled with age appropriate toys and activities. Children develop social, physical, and sensory skills through hands on free play activities, books and crafts.
WHEN & WHERE: Every Friday from 9:30 – 11:30am during the Fall, Winter and Spring (from September 19th through April 10th) at St. Brigid’s Parish Hall, 2001 Mass. Ave.

WinterFUN!

cotton-ball-snowmanWinterFUN! is a drop-in arts and crafts program for toddlers and preschoolers. It is held every other Wednesday morning (9:30 AM – 11:00 AM) during the school year at St. Brigid’s Church Parish Hall (2001 Mass Avenue in Lexington). For a nominal fee of $2 per child ($5 max per family) we have a theme/craft every week, a snack, toys and even coffee for the adults!
December brings some fun crafts for winter and the holidays! On Wednesday, December 3rd we’ll be making cotton ball snowmen. A great decoration for your bedroom wall! On Wednesday, December 17th we’ll be making holiday gift tags. You can use them to put a homemade touch on all your holiday presents. We hope you’ll join us for some crafty fun!

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With Many Thanks To…

A big thank you to Julie Callahan, Autumn Cohen and Katherine Mahony for organizing the very popular Cradles to Crayons sorting event at St. Brigid’s.  We were able to provide clothing to help over 200 children and shoes for over 100!  Great job!
Thank you to Jill Tilem, Jill Canes, Laura Alberta-Wszolek and Christine Manavian for hosting the amazing Member Appreciation Party.  We had a great turn out and the kids and parents a like had a great time doing crafts, jumping in the bounce house and catching up with friends.  Well done ladies!
And finally a thank you to Emily Wildfire for setting up and hosting an evening of Champagne and Shopping at Petra for all of us busy moms.  It was a great night to get out and do a little pre-holiday shopping just for us!

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Newsletter brought to you by LexFUN!

Tuna Chatterjee, Editor

LexFUN! November 2014 Newsletter

Table of Contents
Executive Board Letter
Guest Column: COMPASS for kids
Community Service
Ongoing Programs and Events
Sponsor Spotlight
With Many Thanks To…

Looking to access information on the LexFUN! website?
Gain entry with the password
fiveandunder

Executive Board Letter

samantha.carreiroThanksgiving
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some of this week I will undoubtedly be packing up the Halloween costumes, saying “good bye” to my kids jack-o-lanterns and and eating donating their left over candy but it’s time to bid farewell to October and welcome November! This is such a great time of year and although it may be cliché, this month really is a wonderful time to step back and reflect on what we are grateful for-especially our health, family, friends and home. As Thanksgiving approaches we always hope we hope we can teach our kids to be thankful and to practice gratitude.

One great way to do this is to make giving and volunteering a habit. Set aside toys and clothing in good condition. Deliver the items to a deserving cause together. Talk about the process and why you care. LexFUN! has a great volunteer event to kick-start the season of giving and gratitude. Join us at the Lexington Family Giving Day TODAY Sat, Nov 1st from 9am-12pm as we partner again with Cradles to Crayons (C2C). Come with the kids for 30 minutes or 3 hours to help us sort the donations. In addition, we will be collecting new or gently used coats, scarves, gloves, mittens, hats, boots, snow pants, baby supplies and clothing for infants to kids of all ages. Donations can be delivered year round to the C2C bin outside St. Brigid’s Parish Hall.

As a Thank You, to our members LexFUN! will be again be hosting the Member Appreciation Party at the Hayden Recreation Center in Lexington on November 8th from 2pm – 5 pm. There will be a bouncy house, climbers, games, face painting, and more. Come socialize at this FREE event with other LexFUN! families and enjoy the benefits of membership! Pizza, drinks and snacks will be provided for all members and children under 5 years of age.

We hope to see you at these great events and at the Drop in center, and WinterFUN! This month! Also check out the ‘events’ tabs for more happenings in and around town.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Samantha Carreiro for the Executive Board

LexFUN! Executive Board:

Co-President: Lindsay Wedell
Co-President: Leigh-Ann Durant
Vice President, Membership: Emily Wildfire
Vice President, Community Service: Julie Callahan
Vice President, Advertising/Sponsorship: Sam Carreiro
Treasurer: Valerie Machinist
Secretary: Joyce Dvorak

Return to Table of Contents

Guest Column: COMPASS for kids

CompassCOMPASS for kids’ is a non-profit organization based in Lexington. Their COMPASS Community Collaborative program provides homeless parents with a structured education and workforce training program that leads to jobs, sustained employment, increased self-sufficiency and a brighter future.

The COMPASS Community Collaborative has operated in Lawrence for over two years, graduating 64 parents. Nearly 90% of these parents have become employed. COMPASS is developing a similar program in the Lexington area, where more than 250 homeless families live in motels and shelters in Lexington, Bedford and Waltham. Massachusetts now shelters more than 4800 families a night – every night, with more than 2000 of these families living in motel rooms.

The COMPASS Community Collaborative partners broadly with public, private, non-profit and community organizations to leverage existing resources and and ensure that families have the resources, supports and access that they need to move forward. COMPASS provides work readiness education, job search and connections, and intensive, long-term coaching. COMPASS partners with shelter and housing organizations, employers who offer internships and on the job training, financial literacy programs, education organizations, state agencies, child care providers. Other partners include emergency assistance funders, volunteers, and community organizations, like LexFUN!, that provide a range of resources.

While these parents are making great strides toward building a better life for themselves and their children, in the short-term they struggle to provide their families with even the basics. This problem is even more pronounced during the holiday season, when single mothers not only worry about how they’re going to meet the needs of their growing kids but how to provide them with a memorable, fun holiday.

That’s where wonderful organizations, like LexFUN!, step in to make sure these children and families experience a great holiday season.

I would like to say thank you for making my son’s first Christmas one that will be memorable. I appreciate everything. This has been a tough year for me and if it wasn’t for you my son wouldn’t have a good Christmas.

In 2014 COMPASS for kids worked with almost 100 families and 150 children, who are incredible grateful for the continuous and generous support of LexFUN!

Julia and child for webPhoto: Julia, a graduate of the COMPASS Community Collaborative, with one of her daughters. After graduating she was hired by her CCC internship employer partner, Little Sprouts, and has since been promoted to Lead Teacher!

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Community Service

Cradles to Crayons
Don’t forget: The winter wear drive to benefit Cradles to Crayons is happening now!  As you begin to organize your family’s gear, please set aside winter clothing to donate to this wonderful cause.  The permanent Cradles To Crayons storage unit is located in the parking lot at St. Brigid’s church on Mass Ave. and can receive donations 24/7!  Take advantage of the opportunity to clean out your closets and help children have clothes and gear to have when they enter this world as well as head off to school.  The sorting event takes place on November 1st from 9:00-11:00am at St. Brigid’s Parish Hall.  Please bring your children and make a difference with them.

 

Annual Gift Card Drive for COMPASS
COMPASS for kids ~ guiding adults in positive directions.
This wonderful and local organization provides education, workforce development training, coaching, mentoring and support that improve the skills and transform the perspectives of the adults and institutions that matter most to children right here in Lexington.Please consider purchasing a gift card to help support local Lexington families trying to improve the lives of their children.  These gift cards empower the parents to make choices about what their struggling family needs- its like giving a double donation!  If you have contributed in the past, thank you!  And if you have not, below you will find a list of the preferred stores for COMPASS families to receive gift cards from.
Walmart, Market Basket, Target, Kohl’s, Old Navy, Walgreens, Super Cuts, Payless Shoes, Stop & Shop, MBTA Charlie Card, TJ Maxx, gas (Gulf, Haffner’s, Super Petroleum)If you could drop your gift cards in the front door mail slot at 22 Hancock Street, home of Julie Callahan, by Thursday December 4th, that will give these families enough time to buy things for their children for the holidays.  Thank you in advance for any contribution you can make (any denomination helps).

 

Youville Place
This time of year reminds us of the many things we are thankful for. At LexFUN, we are very thankful for our dear friends at Youville. Please join us at Youville Place on Wednesday, November 12th from 10:00am until 11:00am to make a fun turkey craft and read our favorite Thanksgiving stories. Youville Place is located at 10 Pelham Road in Lexington (off Mass. Ave.).  Please contact Elizabeth Restivo at restivodemunoz@gmail.com if you have any questions.

 

Meals on Wheels: Get Out and About!

meals on wheelsIt is a great time to get out and help the seniors in our community. Please consider delivering Meals on Wheels. You can do the deliveries with (or without!) your children, and you may sign up for as little as one delivery at a time, which means you can participate when your schedule allows. Many of our drivers find this a rewarding activity for themselves and their children. The seniors really look forward to the weekly interaction. To sign up or find out more about delivering meals, please email Anne Boulter at anne@boulter.com.

Return to Table of Contents

Ongoing Programs and Events

The Drop-In Center
When it comes to indoor play spaces in Lexington, LexFUN!’s weekly Drop-in Center can’t be beat!  Every Friday, preschoolers, toddlers, babies and their parents and caregivers drop in to play, explore and learn in a huge indoor play area filled with age appropriate toys and activities. Children develop social, physical, and sensory skills through hands on free play activities, books and crafts.
WHEN & WHERE: Every Friday from 9:30 – 11:30am during the Fall, Winter and Spring (from September 19th through April 10th) at St. Brigid’s Parish Hall, 2001 Mass. Ave.

WinterFUN!

WinterFun CraftWinterFUN! is a drop-in arts and crafts program for toddlers and preschoolers. It is held every other Wednesday morning (9:30 AM – 11:00 AM) during the school year at St. Brigid’s Church Parish Hall (2001 Mass Avenue in Lexington). For a nominal fee of $2 per child ($5 max per family) we have a theme every week, a snack, toys and even coffee for the adults!

Nov. brings some fun crafts for fall! On Wed. Nov. 5th we’ll be making pumpkin place mats. Take them home and use them all fall long! On Wed. Nov. 19th we’ll be making Thanksgiving puppets. You can use them to decorate your Thanksgiving table. We hope you’ll join us for some fall fun!

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Sponsor Spotlight

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Chocolate Milk
by Dr. Coppe Pediatric Dentistry

These days, there is so much emphasis on making sure that our children are eating the right foods. We like to be sure they are eating a well-balanced diet, rich in nutrients, low in artificial colors, flavors, chemical-free, all natural, organic etcetera, but did you ever stop to think about what they are drinking? Of course, as parents, we discourage soda consumption, but did you know, that when it comes to dental health, there are many drinks that are just as bad?

Do not be fooled by the marketing strategies of these big companies. Garelick Farms has a commercial implying that chocolate milk is a healthy option for the family, but there is actually twice as much sugar in one cup of chocolate milk as there is in regular white milk. Even in organic options like Horizon, which claims their boxes are “great for lunch boxes”, there is the same amount of sugar. Even a regular sized Apple and Eve juice box with “100% natural” or “no sugar added” printed proudly on the front label is a sugary suspect. Although there is naturally occurring fructose in fruit juice, it can still be the same quantity of sugar as in a soda, and to our teeth, it is no different! Gatorade, Powerade and other sports or energy drinks also disguise sugars in their products as “carbohydrates” or “electrolytes” that your body needs in order to be a great athlete. When your preteen or teen is drinking these during a two hour practice or game, it is exposing his or her teeth to two hours of a sugar bath.

When any of these drinks are consumed on a regular basis, it can pose risks to the enamel on the teeth. When sugars and carbohydrates enter the oral cavity, the naturally occurring bacteria in our saliva feed on them. The bacteria then release acids, which can lead to the decalcification of enamel on the teeth. This is the beginning stage of dental caries, otherwise known as cavities. Repeated or prolonged exposure of sugars and carbohydrates provide continuous food for the bacteria. This allows the bacteria to thrive and frequently release these acids, which in turn, allows new cavities to form and any existing decay to grow.

There are many different ways to prevent cavities from forming. While excellent oral hygiene is of utmost importance, diet also plays a role. Along with brushing twice a day, flossing and using a fluoride mouth rinse once a day, we also recommend limiting foods and drinks that are high in sugar. Offer your children a juice-water mixture rather than a full juice box, in order to reduce the sugar content in their beverage. Opt to pack water and an apple to provide your teenager with all the hydration and energy they need on the playing field after school. Even if your children will not drink regular milk, chocolate or strawberry milk is not the only answer if you are looking to boost their vitamin D or calcium intake. There are many other alternatives to obtaining these nutrients, such as yogurt, cheeses or broccoli. The next time you are at the grocery store, making the right choices for what your children will eat, keep in mind some of sugars they are consuming may come from what they are drinking – so you certainly should not cry over spilled chocolate milk.

At the office of Michael R. Coppe, DMD and Carolyn Coppe, DMD, we strive to make each dental visit for your child a fun and rewarding experience! We offer routine cleanings and thoroughly examine your child’s mouth for tooth decay.

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With Many Thanks To…

Thank you to Julie Fletcher, who provided parents of future preschoolers, a place to learn all about what the preschools in Lexington offer.  We had a great turn out to the event and it wouldn’t have been possible without her help!  Thanks Julie!

 

A big thank you to our Halloween Parade ladies, Colleen Gallagher, Allison Smith and YuenKee Wong.  They put on such a fabulous display of entertainment, games and community service (we raised over $225 for the Lexington Food Pantry plus all of those cans of tuna!).  A great day was had by all the children.

 

A special thank you to the seminar team Kristin Pechinsky, Meiqian Weng, and Jin Sung who were instrumental in securing the speaker for our Gluten-free seminar, which so many were thankful for.  Great job ladies!!!

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Wagon Wheel Nursery and Farmstand
It’s the perfect time of year to check out Wagon Wheel and all it has to offer. The have beautiful planters, mums, and floral arrangements. They also offer a landscaping division for all your gardening needs. Check out the array of foods they have to offer as well. Take advantage of their 15% discount off purchases with your LexFUN! card.

The Little Gym of Woburn
Whether you’re looking to plan a fun birthday party or enroll your child in a class, The Little Gym is the place for a great time. They offer dance, gymnastics and karate classes. Birthday parties here are a breeze since they handle everything for you. Call today and you can receive 10% off classes using your LexFUN! card.

Newsletter brought to you by LexFUN!

Tuna Chatterjee, Editor ~ Hello, Fall!

LexFUN! October 2014 Newsletter

Table of Contents
Executive Board Letter
Guest Column: Cradles to Crayons Teen Leader Ilise Martel
Community Service
Ongoing Programs and Events
Sponsor Spotlight
Membership Corner
With Many Thanks To…

Looking to access information on the LexFUN! website? Gain entry with the password “fiveandunder“.  

Executive Board Letter

JulieThe fall has always been my favorite season and each year I am reminded of why.  “In the entire circle of the year there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October, when the trees are bare to the mild heavens, and the red leaves bestrew the road, and you can feel the breath of winter, morning and evening–no days so calm, so tenderly solemn, and with such a reverent meekness in the air.” (Alexander Smith)

The beauty of fall and the fresh crisp air is certainly unmatched.  And so are the goodies! It is the time for apple crisp, pumpkin pie, bread pudding, and cranberry coffee cake or something new like apple brownies or sweet potato cupcakes with toasted marshmallow frosting.  Make any of those wonderful dishes, with your children, and even your kitchen will thank you for the delicious smells and warmth the whole experience brings to your heart, and tummy!  It is also the time to get out on the soccer and football fields and cheer on our little and big athletes.  I still get butterflies when it is time to start the fall sports season.

Three cheers for LexFUN!’s Membership Kick-off party!  This event was an entire day filled with fun, information, connections, and of course, a lot of SWAG!  We hope the members had as much fun as we did with the non-stop entertainment.  The visit to the Fire Station proved once again to be a big hit!  Our Lexington fire fighters are amazing and the children and adults were thoroughly entertained and informed. The Mom’s Night Out was well deserved and a blast. It was nice to see our friends at Youville, the monthly visit is always heart warming and just a joy to be part of.  The Drop-in center is in full swing and welcomes new and returning visitors to stop on by and let the little ones run off some of the sweets of the season.  When you are not apple picking or pumpkin carving, keep an eye out for upcoming events:  Let loose at the Working Mom’s Night Out; Visit our friends at Youville; Plan your child’s preschool experience at the Early Education event; and end the month with the Halloween Parade that always promises to make you smile and enjoy a morning with the family.

Please also be sure to take part in our annual Winter Drive for Cradles to Crayons.  We will accept collections throughout the month of October at the storage unit located in the parking lot of St. Brigid’s.  We look forward to getting together with our members to sort through our community’s generosity on November 1st.

It is a busy time of year but reaps so many countless benefits, thanks to our children.  “Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.” (Elizabeth Lawrence).  On behalf of LexFUN!’s Executive Board, enjoy the season and give your goblins and princesses an extra hug, they have probably earned it.

LexFUN! Executive Board: 

Co-President: Lindsay Wedell
Co-President: Leigh-Ann Durant
Vice President, Membership: Emily Wildfire
Vice President, Community Service: Julie Callahan
Vice President, Advertising/Sponsorship: Sam Carreiro
Treasurer: Valerie Machinist
Secretary: Joyce Dvorak

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Guest Column: Cradles to Crayons Teen Leader Ilise Martel

C2C TLCers Jazi and Ilise in Lex unit

Photo: Cradles to Crayons Teen Leaders Jazi Charbit and Ilise Martel in the Lexington Community Collection Unit in St. Brigid’s parking lot.

When I first heard about Cradles to Crayons (C2C) I was volunteering at Artspan, a summer camp in Lexington. I picked up a flyer and was surprised by what I read: over 300,000 Massachusetts children ages 0­-12 live in homeless or low-income situations. At first, I couldn’t fathom this statistic. I have grown up with access to the essentials and was not aware of the scale of poverty in Massachusetts.

Brighton-based nonprofit Cradles to Crayons provides local children living in homeless or low-income situations with essential items they need to thrive – at school, at home and at play. They are able to supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities that have with communities that need. Donations are processed and packaged by volunteers and distributed to children across the state through a collaborative network of social service agencies and school partners.

When I first volunteered at Cradles to Crayons I was deeply impressed. When you enter the C2C Giving Factory in Brighton, a sea of smiling purple people and shelves lined with clothes, art supplies, toys, and books greet you. I knew I wanted to stay involved. I started a C2C Club at Lexington High School and joined the organization’s Teen Leadership Corps (TLC). As a teen leader and team captain, I am connected with other teenagers throughout Massachusetts who have a passion for service. We attend C2C training and leadership development days, share our experiences, and complete service projects in our communities. I have helped organize bake sales, homemade recycled crayon sales, clothing drives, and “Give Back With a Bite”: a large fundraiser that took place last April at the East End Grille in Somerville. Through TLC, I have learned how to be a leader and active listener.

One of the most unique aspects of C2C is the organization’s emphasis on value. Volunteers at C2C’s Giving Factory come together at the end of each shift to celebrate the number of kids they impacted during their service. Whether it is through children’s items donated, dollars raised, or time spent, every contribution helps to carry out Cradles to Crayons’ mission. This year, C2C expects to serve 75,000 children in-need.

In addition to volunteering at the Giving Factory and holding fundraisers, I love engaging with my community through the LexFUN! Family Time to Give event at St. Brigid’s Parish. At this annual morning of service, volunteers of all ages sort, inspect, and pack donations collected by the community for children served by C2C.   The generous donations from last year’s effort impacted 400 local children!

Learn what the Cradles to Crayons volunteer experience is all about at this year’s LexFUN! Family Time to Give event on Saturday, November 1st from 9:00am – 11:00am at St. Brigid’s Parish. Clean out your closets and join the fun!

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2014.10_Pathway_Law_OCT_newletter

Community Service

Lexington Fire Station
Some of Lexington’s best community helpers welcomed our group at the fire station on Bedford street.  Our little ones sat in the ambulance, got to pretend to drive the ladder truck, slide down the fire pole, and learn some important fire safety things (such as changing the batteries in your smoke detectors regularly).  Thank you to the fire fighters who were so kind to our group and generous with their time.
Youville Place
Last month, we had our first event at Youville and had a blast! It was so sweet to see the residents’ faces light up when they saw the children. Lots of laughs, love and an all-around good time! Come join the fun and bring your lil’ pumpkins to the October event on Wednesday, October 15th from 10:00am – 11:00am where we will be making pumpkins. Youville Place is located at 10 Pelham Road in Lexington (off Mass. Ave.).  Please contact Elizabeth Restivo at restivodemunoz@gmail.com if you have any questions.
Meals on Wheels: Get Out and About!

meals on wheelsIt is a great time to get out and help the seniors in our community. Please consider delivering Meals on Wheels. You can do the deliveries with (or without!) your children, and you may sign up for as little as one delivery at a time, which means you can participate when your schedule allows. Many of our drivers find this a rewarding activity for themselves and their children. The seniors really look forward to the weekly interaction. To sign up or find out more about delivering meals, please email Anne Boulter at anne@boulter.com.

Upcoming Fall/Winter Clothing Drive
Don’t forget: The winter wear drive to benefit Cradles to Crayons is happening now!  As you begin to organize your family’s gear, please set aside winter clothing to donate to this wonderful cause.  The permanent Cradles To Crayons storage unit is located in the parking lot at St. Brigid’s church on Mass Ave. and can receive donations 24/7!  Take advantage of the opportunity to clean out your closets and help children have clothes and gear to have when they enter this world as well as head off to school.  The sorting event takes place on November 1st from 9:00-11:00am at St. Brigid’s Parish Hall.

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Ongoing Programs and Events

The Drop-In Center
When it comes to indoor play spaces in Lexington, LexFUN!’s weekly Drop-in Center can’t be beat!  Every Friday, preschoolers, toddlers, babies and their parents and caregivers drop in to play, explore and learn in a huge indoor play area filled with age appropriate toys and activities. Children develop social, physical, and sensory skills through hands on free play activities, books and crafts.
WHEN & WHERE: Every Friday from 9:30 – 11:30am during the Fall, Winter and Spring (from September 19th through April 10th) at St. Brigid’s Parish Hall, 2001 Mass. Ave.

WinterFUN!
unnamedWinterFUN! is a drop-in arts and crafts program for toddlers and preschoolers. It is held every other Wednesday morning (9:30 AM – 11:00 AM) during the school year at St. Brigid’s Church Parish Hall (2001 Mass Avenue in Lexington). For a nominal fee of $2 per child ($5 max per family) we have a theme every week, a snack, toys and even coffee for the adults!

Our first craft of the year will be Oct. 8th making leaf sun catchers. On Oct. 22nd we’ll be doing a spider craft! It’s sure to be a good time, and I hope you’ll all join us. Make sure to mark it on your calendars, and we’ll see you on Wed. Oct. 8th!

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Sponsor Spotlight

Lexington Pediatrics is pleased to be the “medical home” for your children. We are affiliated with Children’s Hospital Boston and with Harvard Medical School. Our physicians are actively involved in teaching residents and medical students. We are also active in the community, serving as medical consults for area schools, day care centers, and area children’s groups.

All of our doctors and nurse practitioners are fully credentialed in pediatrics, and regularly attend conferences and workshops to keep our knowledge base up to date.

When your family joins Lexington Pediatrics, you will be asked to select a primary care physician (PCP). Routine well-child checks are scheduled with your Primary Care Physician or a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. We work in loose “teams” and make every effort to ensure that you see the same MD and PNP for most routine visits.

While we make every effort to ensure that most of your child’s visits will be with his PCP or PNP, there will be times–particularly for urgent care visits–when your regular doctor is not in the office or is unavailable when you need an appointment. For this reason, each practitioner in the office provides cross-coverage for the others. We all have ready access to your child’s chart, results of tests done in our lab, and notes from specialists at Children’s Hospital, and we do not hesitate to consult one another with questions.

Lexington Pediatrics is a proud “platinum “supporter of LexFUN!

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Membership Corner

A special thank you to all that attended our Kickoff Party in September. Don’t forget to check out all the swag and place your membership card in your wallet (and on your keychain!) so that you can start taking advantage of the expanded list of member benefits for the upcoming year. Present your membership card to:

  • Receive great shopping discounts at over 50 local participating businesses. These discounts are offered to member’s all-year round.
  • Receive discounted pricing when you purchase tickets to LexFUN! shows and events.

For more details about LexFUN! membership discounts please visit lexfun.org, the membership partners tab of the newsletter or look at the membership discount card you received at Open House. Check out all the new business that have joined this year. Start saving today and your membership will start paying for itself. Keep your card handy. You must present it at the time of purchase and please keep in mind that discounts cannot be combined with other offers. If you have questions about your card or shopping discounts, please email stcarreiro@yahoo.com.

If you were unable to attend Open House and have renewed your membership you will be receiving a membership discount card in the mail in the next few weeks.

Each month we highlight retail news from local merchants offering members discounts year round.

Lexington Power Yoga
Lexington Power Yoga offers heated and unheated vinyasa flow classes as well as Pure Barre classes for beginners through seasoned yogis and those wanting to get toned and in shape. Visit www.lexingtonpoweryoga.com for schedule and more information and be sure to take advantage of the coupon from your swag bag for your first class (or 10% off a 10-pack with you LexFUN! card)!

Pinot’s Palette
Whether you like to paint, enjoy a glass of wine, or do both together, Pinot’s Palette is the place to be for a night out in town. They even have family-friendly events and can host parties (for adults or kids!). Use your lexFUN! discount on a regular night, or attend one of their upcoming special events like the Glow in Dark painting event On Thursday October 2nd. Or the Paint your own pumpkin events being held each Sunday in October. Bring your own Pumpkin big or small and we will help you and your kids paint your favorite Pumpkin painting. You can choose one from us or create your own. See the website to sign up for an event or for more information. http://www.pinotspalette.com/lexingtoncenter

Stephanie Louis Salon
Stephanie Louis Salon is a full service hair salon for both men and women in the heart of Lexington Center.  Our team is dedicated to providing our clients with both modern and classic looks, while keeping with the most current trends and techniques of hair cutting and coloring.  We truly care how you look and feel not only while you visit our Salon but also in between visits. Use the coupon in the swag bag or your discount card to take advantage of the LexFUN! discount on hair services and products. http://www.stephanielouissalon.com

Keeper’s Massage
Stressed? Tightly wound? Check out Keeper’s Massage! On of our Board members recently visited Keeper’s and her massage with Paula was “heavenly!”. LexFUN! members get $10 off any massage. Make sure to show your discount card and also look for a special coupon from Keeper’s Massage in the Swag Bag! Book your treatment at www.keepersmassage.com

Pure Solutions
Pure Solutions, a local company, offers organic solutions to controlling ticks, mosquitoes, and deer around our homes. They use exclusively non-toxic, organic products that are safe around children, pets, pollinators such as bees and butterflies.

Adult deer ticks that can transmit Lyme disease are most active in October and November. Sign-up for a fall, organic tick control program (3-4 sprays) and receive 10% off the season.

A special thank you to all that attended our Kickoff Party in September. Don’t forget to check out all the swag and place your membership card in your wallet (and on your keychain!) so that you can start taking advantage of the expanded list of member benefits for the upcoming year. Present your membership card to:

  • Receive great shopping discounts at over 50 local participating businesses. These discounts are offered to member’s all-year round.
  • Receive discounted pricing when you purchase tickets to LexFUN! shows and events.

Laurie Lane Design, Interior Design & Fine Art
Whether you need guidance with color selection or want to redesign an entire house, through finding function, comfort and beauty, together we can create a beautiful and comfortable destination. We specialize in: All aspects of interior design, Space planning, Furniture and accessory selection, Lighting, Color selection, Flooring selection, Conceptual computer drawings in 2D & 3D, Art selection or personally created artwork and  Staging. Laurie offers a generous  LexFUN! discount for her services.  Contact Laurie Lane at laurielanedesign@gmail.com for more information.

Jungle Jim’s Parties
A Party with Jungle Jim is a memory making extravaganza! Jim entertains the children; keeps them seated, behaving, and laughing longer than anyone should reasonably expect.  Each show is fully interactive and focused on the birthday child. Your party guests will be delighted and amazed by Jungle Jim’s combination of comedy, magic, storytelling and improvisation. After the magic part of the show, each child receives a fantastic balloon sculpture of their choice to take home. Check out Jungle Jim at JungleJimBoston.com to  see why he is award winning and and don’t forget, you receive 10% off any birthday party (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Balloon Magic, etc)  by mentioning this advertisement and LexFUN!

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With Many Thanks To…

We would like to send out a big thank you to Tara Greiner for all of her hard work on our new and improved Membership Kick-Off Party!  We had a great turn out and there was a ton of entertainment for all the little ones!
Thank you to the ladies of the Drop- In Center, Sarah Carter, Jenna DiMaio McCracken and Candice Lind.  The new year has started off with a bang!
Special thanks to Jessica Paul and Christine Manavian for coordinating the amazing playground meet ups.  We had fabulous turn out and the donuts were delicious!  Thanks ladies!

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Newsletter brought to you by LexFUN!

Tuna Chatterjee, Editor ~ Hello, Fall!

LexFUN! September 2014 Newsletter

Table of Contents
Executive Board Letter
Guest Column: Sun Safety for Our Kids!
Community Service
The Buzz
Ongoing Programs and Events
Sponsor Spotlight
Membership Corner
With Many Thanks To…

Looking to access information on the LexFUN! website? Gain entry with the password “fiveandunder“.  

Executive Board Letter

ldurant“Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.” ~ Bill Dodds, acclaimed children’s poet and novelist

After weeks of hitting the pool, picking up wet swim suits, driving to camps (SummerFenn-loved it!!), cleaning up popsicle stains and swatting mosquitoes, some of us might see the beginning of school as a much needed break from the summer. Especially those parents, like me, who straddle two worlds – the elementary school world and the toddler world. The start of school is a time for us to catch our breath.

And it’s a time for everyone in my family to look forward to Fall fun with LexFUN! As my 8 year old heads off to third grade at Bridge, my 2 year old is looking forward to spending her days with all the fun things LexFUN! has to offer in the Fall –WinterFUN! on Wednesdays, Drop-In Center on Fridays, fire station visits, playgroups, and monthly crafts at Youville. Even though he’s technically aged out of LexFUN!, my 8 year old still loves attending LexFUN! events and is looking forward to the Membership Kick Off Party, especially the party with DJ Mike and Einstein’s Workshop.

Me? I’m looking forward to a grown-up evening at Moms’ Night Out and snagging my Swag Bag with goodies at the all new Membership Kick-Off Party on Tues. Sept. 16th (Swag bags are in limited supply so stop by early!) My husband? Well, he looks forward to the Halloween Parade every year. (Don’t tell anyone, but for the past 5 years he has secretly slipped into an Elmo costume and emerged at the center of town to lead all the children in the Halloween parade. Then, with the patience of a saint, he poses for photos with all the little tykes, until the very last one has left….)

There are just so many things to love about LexFUN! in the Fall. We hope you’ll take advantage of all of them. We’re looking forward to another amazing year!!! We hope to see you at our Membership Kick Off Party on Thurs. Sept. 16th at St. Brigid’s from 9 am – 7 pm!

- Leigh-Ann Durant for the LexFUN! Executive Board

LexFUN! Executive Board: 

Co-President: Lindsay Wedell
Co-President: Leigh-Ann Durant
Vice President, Membership: Emily Wildfire
Vice President, Community Service: Julie Callahan
Vice President, Advertising/Sponsorship: Sam Carreiro
Treasurer: Valerie Machinist
Secretary: Joyce Dvorak

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Guest Column: Sun Safety for Our Kids!

LexFUN! has now joined the thousands of other organizations nationwide who have joined the “SunWise” Program! The SunWise Program is a national health education program sponsored by the EPA that teaches children and their caregivers sun safety and how to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun.

What’s the goal of the SunWise Program?
Unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays during youth puts children at an increased lifetime risk for skin cancer. Overexposure to the sun can also lead to eye damage and immune system suppression. By educating ourselves and our children about UV-related health effects and steps for sun protection, we can ensure a healthy future for the next generation. LexFUN!’s goal is to promote public awareness about the importance of sun protection in an effort to decrease the incidence of skin cancer in our children.

Why be SunWise?
Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in the US and Massachusetts.

The ozone layer forms a thin shield in the upper atmosphere, protecting life on Earth from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. In the 1980s, scientists began accumulating evidence that the ozone layer was being depleted. Depletion of the ozone layer results in increased UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to serious health effects, such as skin cancer, cataracts, and immune suppression.

From 2001-2005, the rate of new melanoma diagnoses, responsible for 75% of all skin cancer deaths, was 26% higher in Massachusetts than the national average. An estimate 2,000 Massachusetts residents were diagnosed with melanoma in 2008 (the latest national statistics). More than 200 people in Massachusetts die of melanoma every year. Massachusetts had the 15th highest melanoma death rate nationally from 2001-2005 – 7% higher than the national US average.

SunWisdomWhat is LexFUN! doing to be SunWise?
The national SunWise Progam has demonstrated success in raising awareness and changing behaviors related to sun safety. LexFun! will be actively working to promote the sun safety message with its 600+ member families throughout the entire year. LexFUN! wants to make sure that every single one of its LexFUN! children is protected against overexposure to the sun.

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Community Service

Lexington Fire Station
7986159679_9cac8f5c1c_oStart the school year off in style while we honor some of Lexington’s best community helpers! Please join Community Service as we visit the Lexington Fire Station on Bedford Street on Tuesday, September 9 at 10:00am (barring emergencies!). At the visit, we will also be distributing homemade baked goods to show our appreciation for everything the Firefighters do for our community. If you are unable to join us, please consider contributing something delicious from your kitchen, which can be delivered on your behalf. Due to the nature of this event, space is limited and only open to members who are 3-5 years old. For more information about baking or to RSVP, please contact Julie Callahan at callahanseven@gmail.com

Youville Place
Youville is a monthly event where LexFUN! families join Youville Place residents to do a craft, read stories, have a snack, and make new friends. Join us on Wednesday, September 17th from 10:00am until 11:00am to see what the fun is all about. Youville Place is located at 10 Pelham Road in Lexington (off Mass. Ave.).  Please contact Elizabeth Restivo at restivodemunoz@gmail.com if you have any questions. Hope to see you there!

Meals on Wheels: Get Out and About!

meals on wheelsIt is a great time to get out and help the seniors in our community. Please consider delivering Meals on Wheels. You can do the deliveries with (or without!) your children, and you may sign up for as little as one delivery at a time, which means you can participate when your schedule allows. Many of our drivers find this a rewarding activity for themselves and their children. The seniors really look forward to the weekly interaction. To sign up or find out more about delivering meals, please email Anne Boulter at anne@boulter.com.

Upcoming Fall/Winter Clothing Drive
Don’t Forget: The winter wear drive to benefit Cradles to Crayons is coming soon! As you begin to organize your family’s gear, please set aside winter clothing to donate to this wonderful cause in October!

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The Buzz

LexFUN! Donates New, State-of-the-Art Baby Changing Stations for the Old Res

LexFUN! is the voice for young families in Lexington and is always looking to make Lexington a better place for our little ones.  Case in point – the new baby changing stations at the Old Res.

oldChangingTableHow did this come about?  A few months ago, a LexFUN! member took her toddler to the Old Res.  While changing her diaper in the bathroom, the toddler almost fell off the “changing table”. The “changing table” was nothing more than a piece of wood nailed to the wall.  As the LexFUN! member looked closer, she saw a little old faded sign which said the “changing table” was donated by LexFUN in 1984 – over 30 years ago! She brought this to the attention of LexFUN! and LexFUN! immediately decided to address the situation.  Within 7 days, LexFUN! had secured permission from the Town to upgrade the tables and had 2 changing tables on order – one for the women’s bathroom and one for the men’s (we support equal opportunity for diaper changing!).

newChangingTableSo next time you’re at the Old Res, check out the new changing stations! We hope they make the lives of young families just a little bit easier.

LexFUN! Celebrates the Opening of the Lincoln Park Bathrooms

The Lincoln Park Bathroom Project has been in the works for a long, long time but this summer they became a reality.
dedication3
LexFUN! was one of many local organizations who made donations and helped raise funds for the project.  So to all the LexFUN! members who contributed to this effort – thank you!!!!!

dedication2
dedicationAt last, no more Port-a-Potties at Lincoln Field!

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Ongoing Programs and Events

The Drop-In Center
When it comes to indoor play spaces in Lexington, LexFUN!’s weekly Drop-in Center can’t be beat!  Every Friday, preschoolers, toddlers, babies and their parents and caregivers drop in to play, explore and learn in a huge indoor play area filled with age appropriate toys and activities. Children develop social, physical, and sensory skills through hands on free play activities, books and crafts.
WHEN & WHERE: Every Friday from 9:30 – 11:30am during the Fall, Winter and Spring (from September 19th through April 10th) at St. Brigid’s Parish Hall, 2001 Mass. Ave.

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Sponsor Spotlight

Wingate Wealth Advisors

Plan for the Expected, Prepare for the Unexpected

LexFUN! is proud to have again partnered with Wingate for the 2014-2015 year and values their sponsorship and the services that they offer to young families.

Do you picture yourself owning or upgrading to a new home, saving for your child’s education, starting a business, building a or retiring comfortably? These are a few of the financial goals that may be important to you, and each comes with a price tag attached.
That’s where financial planning comes in. Financial planning is a process that can help you reach your goals by evaluating your whole financial picture, then outlining strategies that are tailored to your individual needs and available resources.Wingate Has Solutions for Your Specific Needs

Wingate Wealth Advisors is an independent wealth management and financial planning organization dedicated to serving the personal financial needs of individuals and families.   Families with young children have so much to think about that financial matters such as life insurance, investments, college savings and retirement often seem overwhelming and get pushed to the wayside. Wingate helps you take charge of your financial future in an easy and organized manner.

Wingate has been providing financial guidance for over 25 years. Their integrated approach begins with financial planning to ensure your investment plan is aligned with your particular needs, goals and circumstances. In the initial conversation they’ll discuss your hopes and dreams, as well as your concerns and what keeps you up at night. You will talk about your goals – personal, family, financial and professional – about where you’d like to be in five or ten or twenty years. In short, they want to understand where you are now, how you got here and where you’d like to go so they can develop, implement and monitor you’re the best financial plan for your family. Afterwards, they’ll meet and talk with you often to ensure it stays that way even as your life changes.

The Wingate staff is comprised of highly credentialed associates with broad experience developing effective solutions for a wide range of personal financial situations. Their job is to help you plan for the expected, and prepare for the unexpected.

Contact Susie Neal at susie.neal@wingatewealthadvisors.com today to learn how to get started and to take advantage of the genererous LexFUN! discount offered to members and be sure to attend their seminar on college savings this month.

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Membership Corner

LexFUN!’s New All-Day, Non-Stop Membership Kick Off Party!Tuesday, September 16th, 9:00 am – 7:00 pm St. Brigid’s Parish – Keilty HallThe crowd enjoying the magic show!_8016836732_l

LexFUN! (Lexington’s Five and Under Network, Inc.) invites all families with young children to celebrate the start of a new LexFUN! season at its All-Day, Non-Stop Membership Kick Off Party at St. Brigid’s Parish, 2001 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA 02421 on Tuesday, September 16, 2014.  The event will run from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm with non-stop programming throughout the day.

Ready for the best part?  The event is open to the public and free of charge! LexFUN! invites both members and non-member families who would like to learn what LexFUN! has to offer to this event.

Parents can learn about all of LexFUN!’s social and recreational events, such as Drop in Center, WinterFun!, Playgroups, Halloween Parade, and Moms Nights Out. They can learn about LexFUN!’s educational programs, such as its seminar series on parenting skills, nutrition and preparing for kindergarten. They can also see first-hand the various charitable programs LexFUN! engages in with our young children and their families, such as Cradles to Crayons, food drives, and visiting local seniors. New families may become members of LexFUN! at the Kick Off Party.  Existing members should renew online before the Party.

While parents learn about LexFUN!, children can enjoy our non-stop entertainment from 10 am to 7 pm. No matter what time you stop by, something fun will be going on!  Older school-aged siblings will also enjoy the entertainment.

Schedule of Events

10:00 am Big Joe the Storyteller
11:00 am Interactive Baby Zumba Class **first time appearance at event**
12:30 pm Story and Songs with Cary Librarian
1:00 pm Karen K and the Jitterbugs musical performance
2:30 pm Dance Party with DJ Mike **first time appearance at event**
5:00 pm Interactive Einstein’s Workshop Class **first time appearance at event**Plus, there will be face paintings, crafts, balloons, snacks and surprises throughout the day.

LexFUN! Swag Bags filled with goodies, giveaways and coupons from businesses in Town will be given out on a first-come first-serve basis to Members who renew or sign-up on Big Tent prior to September 15th and to New Members who sign up for the 1st time at the Kick Off Party.  Limited quantities will be available so come early.  Swag Bags will also include:

● The 2014-2015 edition of The LexFUN! Guide For Young Families.  This go-to book is an invaluable resource for all types of activities happening in and around Lexington and provides LexFUN! Family Favorites, a detailed list of child-care centers and preschools in Town, as well as a full listing of over 40+ summer camps.  The Guide will also be available in an on-line version on our web site.

● The 2014-2015 Membership Card, now a convenient key tag, is your ticket to shopping, dining and entertainment discounts at local businesses in and around Town.  This year’s discount list has been expanded to include even more businesses and discounts than ever, such as Bella Sante, Ruyi, Catch a Falling Star, MyCleaners,Via Lago and Pinot’s Palette!  The Membership Card is also your FREE pass to our Member Appreciation Party in November.

Waiting for Silly Willy to begin his magic show!_8016837863_lBring your children, re-connect with old friends, make new friends and see first-hand why everyone says “LexFUN! is your connection to EVERYTHING for young families in Lexington.”  Sign up for a playgroup, a book group, or an evening seminar.  Find out more about our upcoming family and parent-only programs, and stay for the fabulous FREE entertainment.  There is ample free parking in St. Brigid’s parking lot so you can stay for as long as you want.

Learn more about member only benefits on Big Tent. (Big Tent is an online community that allows non-profits like LexFUN! to share information, communicate, and organize in an online community – Bigtent.com).

LexFUN! is a volunteer organization of families providing social, educational and charitable programs and activities to families with children ages 0-5.  A non-profit organization, LexFUN! is not affiliated with any public or private school.  Membership ($35 annually per family) is open to anyone in Lexington and surrounding communities.  More information can be found at www.lexfun.org. To join today, log onto http://www.lexfun.org/join-lexfun

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With Many Thanks To…

We would like to send out a big thank you to our SummerFUN! Co-Chairs, Natalie Fieldgate and Colleen Gallagher.  They helped promote our LexFUN! community this summer by hosting our outdoor arts and crafts series and I know the kids around town enjoyed seeing their friends over the summer!  Great job ladies!

Thanks to Samantha Carreiro, Shannon Duffy and Gretchen Mather for a stellar year of sponsors and booklet ad sponsorship!  They had a very busy summer of collecting sponsors for our Annual Guide and our Annual Sponsors.  Thanks to them, we’ve had a record year of ad sales for the booklet, which helps us give more to our LexFUND! Scholarship program!  Awesome job!

Laura Wilkas our new LexFUN! Graphic Designer has been hard at work this summer updating and making us look more professional than ever!  Thank you for all of your hard work!

Lauren Funk and Patrice Cleaves and the entire scholarship committee, have been hard at work this summer making decisions for LexFUND!  We were able to send more children to preschool and we thank them for all of their hard work and dedication!

And finally, we would like to thank Natalie Cohen and Susannah Hoch for their work on the Annual Guide.  This is such an important resource for all the young families in Lexington and we thank you for your hard work on this project!

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Newsletter brought to you by LexFUN!

Tuna Chatterjee, Editor ~ Hello, Fall!