Captured some captivated kiddos at Fantasyland this weekend:
For the last ten years, we have had the absolute pleasure of taking our children to Fantasyland at the History Museum of Western Virginia. Fantasyland is a recreation of the family Santa experience that was once held in a large department store in our lovely valley.
The department store is gone, but the magic of that special place lives on as Santa presents songs and stories while leading you through the history of Santa Claus. He teaches the kiddos that the most important gift is the one which is given away. His stories remind folks to slow down and enjoy the peaceful moments in life. Santa passes a candy cane and a challenge to the kids as they leave, creatively changing the world just a few kids at a time.
We look forward to our visits every year. There are still plenty of shows available and I would encourage you to visit the History Museum of Western Virginia very soon. You can get show times and ticket information at http://www.vahistorymuseum.org/
To make the idea even more special, note that the tickets from this special gathering help to support the Santa Cares Project, a year long celebration of the spirit of Christmas. Santa visits hospitals, works with Special Olympics and even participates in trail and river clean ups. Learn more about how Santa is making our community a better place at
Not local to our area?
No problem! Santa’s stories and books are available for purchase online at
Every year, we always take a few more friends and family members with us and they are always wowed by the experience.
Make this a blessing and a gift for your family very soon.
Trying to get details up on the site but not having much luck. This is a test.
Ashley and I have enjoyed a much needed break with our family these last few months. We decided in the spring that we just needed to focus on our own family for the summer and make sure we were spending the time together that we all needed.
We were inspired by Susan Lipman’s fine book - Fed Up With Frenzy. Please check it out here:
I also spent a great deal of time this summer over at my other blog, www.go398point2.com, where I have been focusing on one of my passions… storytelling.
Over the next few weeks, we’d like to share a number of our favorite local resources for familes in the Valley.
Our first focus will be on The Dadline, a twice monthly article/blog written for our local paper - The Roanoke Times by a local dad as he tries to see the world through his daughter’s eyes. Ralph Berrier, Jr. delves into the world of parenthood and seeks to help local parents connect to local resources and opportunities. He also shares bits of wisdom he has gained along the way.
Yes, we parents are learning as we go… as well as our kids.
Check out the most recent installment of The Dadline:
Best of wishes to parents sending off kiddos to school. Enjoy the transition!
Tom Angleberger will be appearing tonight, along with lots of folding paper and his wonderful Origami Yoda books at Imaginations Toy and Furniture store. Join us at 6:30 PM to check out Tom’s latest book in the Origami Yoda series;
The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppet!
Details can be found at www.origamiyoda.com and at Imaginations Toy and Furniture Co.’s facebook page:
Hope to see you there!
Ralph Berrier, Jr. shares a column every couple of weeks with the readers of The Roanoke Times. This latest update makes me want to get out and enjoy our local state parks!
Vacation time has been upon us. Travelling down the road with the Wild Donahues all crammed into our little car rarely brings out the best in us.
We are not the put a video in kind of family, but we enjoy ride along games, books on cd and catching up our favorite tunes.
They each have a little time plugging in their ipods to share their favorite songs with the rest of the crew.
On our most recent trip, I told them that I was in charge of the stereo. You see, I have been spending a lot of time over at my other website, www.go398point2.com , where I have been writing about my other passion - storytelling. There I have been writing about the importance of telling the stories of old to our kids… passing the knowledge on to the next generation. Most people would call it sharing the classics.
So, when it came time to pick the music for our recent trip, I was looking for the classics but hoping to find a way to share this in a way that the kids would enjoy. At 13, 11 and 7, our kiddos are ready to be entertained. If I am going to keep them from their hand-helds and keep them from fighting while we travel down the road, I’ve go to make certain the music is catchy and fun for us all to enjoy.
I knew I had a hit, but after three listens through on the same trip I had proven it!
Putumayo Kids Presents American Playground is a fantastic collection of American folklore, full of classic sing-alongs and family fun. It also helps that the songs seemed personally selected from some of our favorite family musicians.
Elizabeth Mitchell shares while smiling her way through “Keep on the Sunny Side.” Dan Zanes made us dance and sing to “Saro Jane.” Randy Kaplan gives a lovely retelling of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young.” A surprise treat was a lovely rendition of “You Are My Sunshine” by Mr. Buck Howdy himself. We used to love his XM Kids show. It was right about the time when the kiddos were taking horse back lessons. The boys used to call it cowboy lessons! It was so sweet to watch them as they sung along and then remembered their favorite Buck Howdy stories from his show!
The best part was watching the kiddos remark how these songs reminded them of all the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) meeting for which they had sung for the members at their school concerts with the school choir. Classics indeed. Our youngest noted that he remembered singing the songs, but that it was a lot more fun to sing along with these!
As the summer passes with many a car trip coming up, do your family a favor. Check out Putumayo Kids Presents American Playground! And while your searching for this collection, make sure to check out the many wonderful song collections found at the Putumayo Kids website at http://www.putumayo.com/kids/home/
Happy adventuring, Everyone! Enjoy the moments…
************************************** We are also VERY excited to have a chance to give a copy of this outstanding collection of songs away to the first folks who leave us a comment here on the page! Let us know who wants it the most!!!!!!
The Wild Donahues have taken to the road. We packed our bags, our books and definitely our favorite cds. This go around, we were able to pack Recess Monkey’s new cd - Deep Sea Diver!
Check out this video to get an idea of the fun we had pulling up to stop lights, blaring this song through our speakers:
Here are some details to help you make up your mind to add this wonderful collection of songs to your collection:
A cd collection of songs celebrating aquatic adventures
This is Recess Monkey ninth studio CD, ($14.99, for ages 2 – 8, run time 42 minutes. Release date
June 18, 2013).
Deep Sea Diver is Recess Monkey’s seaworthy collection!
You’ll float along with them as you drive down the road, collect around the stereo for dance parties and even find yourself singing these catchy tunes while in the bathtub.
Not that I was caught singing my favorite new song “Shrimp” while taking a bath. That would be silly… and it was definitely embarrassing!
Korum Bischof of Recess Monkey says:
“I grew up living aboard a sailboat docked at Bainbridge Island, Washington, so
Deep Sea Diver’s theme felt like coming home! While other kids played ball in the yard, I was fishing,
rowing, poking at creatures on the pilings, and having epic pirate battles aboard my floating home. Now I get to share all this with a slew of kids who might never experience that lifestyle.”
Jack Forman, of Recess Monkey says:
“We’ve always worked hard to push ourselves musically, and the addition of Korum
to the band has been an amazing way for Drew and me to keep growing. In the song ‘Fish Sticks,’ the
drumming fish character knows how to play every kind of drum pattern imaginable; the secret was soon out that so does Korum!
Drew Holloway of Recess Monkey also wants you to know,
“With all the variety, we worked hard to sequence the songs so that there’s a flow. It’s an art that many people don’t notice, and that’s the goal. We want it to feel like you’re seeing a show
that keeps moving or listening to a soundtrack that has an arc. Certain tunes fit really well together
because of their instrumentations or the ways in which they end or start.”
Check out the Recess Monkey website at www.recessmonkey.com.
The Roanoke Times has a WONDERFUL feature - The Dadline. Here is The Dadline Guide to Summer 2013:
Check with www.roanokeoutside.com for wonderful tips, events and inspiration.keep looking »