Moms of Fredericksburg Blog

Moms of Fredericksburg Sabbatical Leave

Sabbatical leave is defined as a year or shorter period of absence for study, rest, or travel, given at intervals (orig. every seven years) as to some college teachers and now to people in other fields, at full or partial salary. It’s good to be back at my computer, connecting with Moms of Fredericksburg! As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t posted a blog post since April, 2014. Quite frankly, I had to create SOME margin in my life to properly repair my family. Yes…I decided to take a break from THIS platform to focus on my family. Almost one year ago, I wrote about my marriage struggles, and most importantly, our healing process. Sitting here today, I can tell you with complete confidence, it is God who deserves ALL the glory for where we are today. My husband and I have renewed our hearts, minds, and commitment to God, AND each other! During our family’s “rebirth,” we made the decision to start homeschooling our sons. Some of you may be thinking right about now…”What kind of sabbatical is THAT?!” The truth is, I was mere months away from being COMPLETELY free, Monday through Friday during school hours, which would’ve given me all the time I needed to knock this little website right out of the park. But, instead, I committed myself to not only becoming a full time teacher, but removing my two oldest sons from a perfectly fine public school. Oh, and just in case you’re wondering…”NO, I haven’t had an ounce of alcohol in over 12 months!” LOL

As crazy you might think my life has become, I couldn’t be more content, and humbled, by serving God and my family in this capacity. Every day isn’t easy, but it’s getting better and better as time goes on. For instance, I’ve recently reached a huge milestone with homeschooling by no longer threatening to ship all three of them back to public school each morning as the bus passes by our house. Double LOL!

In all seriousness though, I am 100% committed to learning, growing, and teaching our sons how to transition from little boys to Godly young men. So, just where DOES that leave my business…my fourth baby, so to speak, which I wrote about back in 2011? Honestly, I’m not sure. Stay tuned as I begin the process of figuring this all out. In the meantime, if you can think of ANY way this website would better serve our community of Moms on the Move, please drop me an email. I do check them regularly.

In my opinion, what “moms” of Fredericksburg DON’T need is another events calendar. (Yes, we’ve had an online activities calendar since our launch back in early 2011). Nor do moms need another source of family friendly activities in the area as there ARE other online options available. What I DO have is an opinion. If you’re not sure about an event, or business, I’ll gladly give you my input. What I WON”T do is recommend a business, or activity, unless I’ve already patronized them and/or “tested” the product. Our sponsors advertise on this site only AFTER meeting OUR standards. NO money is accepted without first “QUALIFYING” for sponsorship. And don’t forget, we have an AWESOME online classified section that’s actually FREE! Check it out at Moms’ Market and USE it!

In His Service,

Dina a/k “Main Mom” of Moms of

Moms of Fredericksburg Hair Salon Gift Certificate Giveaway

If you caught me out and about today, you would’ve absolutely noticed a little pep in my step. I am SO psyched to welcome the first day of Spring, AND I also got my hair done yesterday. Nothing overly dramatic, just a trim and style. As a busy mom, it’s worth EVERY penny to have my hair washed, cut, and styled!

Assuming most of our readers are indeed moms, wouldn’t you all agree that a haircut SHOULD be high on the list when it comes to monthly expenditures? Sure…We all have financial priorities BUT, I think a hair cut every two months is NOT much to ask for! I do, however, realize that there are many moms who cannot find the extra $50. I recognize the blessings God has given me and want nothing more than to show my gratitude by paying it forward and helping others.

I’ve spent the last 4 years looking for the right salon, and can happliy report Belle Tresor Studio has exceeded ALL my expectations. I’d like to give one (1) Mom of Fredericksburg the opportunity to visit Belle Tresor and redeem a $100 gift certificate. It’s there, right now, just waiting to be claimed by you!

For a chance to win, all you have to do is “like” this post on Facebook and “like” Belle Tresor Studio. Please let Belle Tresor know (in the Facebook comments section) you’re a MOF who needs a hair cut and style!

Winner will be announced on Friday night!

pretty young girl cutting hair

New Movie Serves to Remind Of Fredericksburg’s Historical Significance

Written by Gina Terry, Phd

War is very much a part of the local consciousness in Fredericksburg. From Civil War battlefields to a large veteran population, it is difficult to live here and overlook the sacrifice made by many over the centuries. A recent example of the pervasiveness of war occurs in the newly released movie, Lone Survivor, a film based on the New York Times Bestseller book of the same name. It’s based upon the memoirs of a Navy SEAL named Marcus Luttrell.

By necessity, the film has a narrow focus and can only briefly acknowledge the survivors on the periphery – the families of those lost; families like those left behind by Mike Russell. Mike is the son of Lee Russell, the owner of Olde Towne Butcher shop, and was lost in the rescue operation. While Mike is not depicted as a character in the film, his sacrifice is acknowledged at the film’s closing. In a recent Free Lance Star article, Lee speaks with understanding regarding the SEAL’s decisions…Decisions that, ultimately, proved fatal for those like Mike.

Army Sgt. Michael Russell

My family shops weekly at the Olde Towne Butcher shop, and we drive through the local battlefields daily. Sometimes, such routines make it easy to forget the sacrifices individuals like Mike and his family have made. I am going to try not to be so forgetful.

The film is now playing in local theaters.

Santa Train Ticket Purchase – Fredericksburg VRE

Time is just flying by! I cannot BELIEVE I am writing this post – Christmastime already?! Speaking of “believe” we are getting to the stage when our sons ask too many questions. I’ll save the topic for another blog post!

cartoon santa train
Please read my post from 2011, if you are unfamiliar with the Santa train in Fredericksburg.

Tickets go on sale Monday, November 25, 2013, at 9:00 am. They can be purchased online through the VRE website, or in person at the Fredericksburg Visitor Center. Online tickets are $6.00 each and $5.00 each if you purchase them at the Visitor Center. For those planning to purchase tickets in person, you should probably arrive before 9:00 am on Monday morning. Also, bring cash or a personal check, and don’t expect to purchase more than 6 tickets total. If you have any additional questions, just give the Visitor Center a call at 540-373-4748, Monday through Saturday, 9:00 am to 5pm.

Last year, I purchased our tickets online, and didn’t have a problem. They sell out quickly though so be grab them first thing in the morning!

Oh, and don’t forget…..on the day of the train ride, bring your unwrapped toy to drop off with the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Collection.

Tis the season – and remember, Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

Words of Wisdom Wednesday – Furlough Frustration

As I ponder what to say this chilly Wednesday afternoon, my overwhelming thought is to figure out just what our “representatives” are doing up there on Capitol Hill. Or, maybe more realistically, what AREN’T they doing!! Did our nation’s founding fathers envision this type of leadership, or lack thereof, when they formed the basis for our federal government? What happened in the last 200 plus years to pervert the way our elected leaders are SUPPOSED to serve us? And make no mistake, they were elected to SERVE their constituents FIRST, NOT the party line.

That being the case, then why is it that many of us feel COMPLETELY vulnerable right now? The past two weeks has given me a different perspective about our nation’s leaders. We all want to trust them to honor their civic duty, to protect us, and ensure our country runs smoothly. Unfortunately, what amounts to school children arguing on the playground, these folks have taken the illusion of accountability to a new low. What is the core reason WHY the greatest country in the world cannot keep its own government running? What does this say about us to the other nations around the world?

I wonder whether these positions should be viewed as a long term career, OR as a temporary service to our fellow countrymen. IF I had to guess what our founding fathers had in mind, I bet they’d say it was the latter. Let me know what you think.

Government Shut Down – Venting in Fredericksburg

scissors cutting word budget

I’m betting the conversation at the dinner table tonight went something like, “So…Are you off tomorrow, dear?” With the government unable, as yet, to find an amicable resolution to the continuing budget crisis, those of us DIRECTLY impacted by the pending shutdown sit and wait…And pray. Needless to say, I am PISSED OFF! Is it just me, or is Congress the ONLY known entity with the ability to AVOID completing their “spelled out” job responsibilities to those they swore to represent? All in the name of party solidarity. How about holding them accountable for their action, or INACTION, as it blatantly seems? If they worked for a private corporation, would their stubborn inability to work together be seen as an asset, or liability? I think we ALL know the answer to THAT simple question. How can those with such lofty federal government positions escape unscathed for failure…After failure…After failure? Their inability to complete what SHOULD be a basic task, is nothing short of a complete travesty! How about a law that holds each and every one of them accountable for balancing the budget EVERY year!? A criminal law would give it some bite! I, for one, am sick and tired of worrying whether my family will have the money to put food on our table every few months because political party affiliation prevents stepping across the aisle and finding a true compromise. I mean, is that or is that NOT, what the entire democratic process is SUPPOSED to be about???

Chime in folks, as you may have guessed, I’m SLIGHTLY annoyed, and fully intend to stand on my little soap box tonight. There MUST be others who feel the same way I do…Counting the hours, and wondering whether or not our spouses will report to work in the morning. Thank you for listening.

Toast of the Town – Fredericksburg

By: Gina Terry, PhD

grogan family

Front Porch, Fredericksburg’s free monthly community magazine, aims to highlight the “community’s greatest resource, its people.” This wonderful, living resource is coming together on Sunday, September 22 from 6pm-9pm to aid the magazine’s editor, Rob Grogan. Grogan is actively undergoing treatment for a rare form of cancer and lymphatic system complications, and the “Toast of the Town” event aims to raise money to help counter Grogan’s rising medical costs.

Toast of Town flyer - Fredericksburg

Readers of Front Porch are no doubt familiar with a common theme in every issue—that Fredericksburg is filled with creative and caring individuals. The event reinforces this; locals are donating the facility (Inn at the Olde Silk Mill), the food, the music, and the items available for silent auction. Restaurants providing food include Sunken Well, 25 30 Espresso, Eileen’s Bakery, Bistro Bethem, Colonial Cupcakes, Miso Asian Grill, Mason Dixon Café, and Paul’s Bakery. Auction items include several items perfect for parents in need of some pampering, including a week’s stay at the Yellow Door Cottage at Colonial Beach, a night’s stay (wine and cheese, and breakfast) at 1890 Caroline House, and massage gift certificates at Massage Envy.

Friends and family are rallying around a man described as “the thread that ties the Fredericksburg community together” (Jess Sutton). Jess Sutton , a former co-worker at Bistro Bethem and now a dear family friend, notes that Rob “tended the hearts and minds of the young staff around him.” Both Jess and Aby Bethem reminisce warmly about how Rob encourages others to find their voice and even their calling. In his editorial role at Front Porch, Aby states that as an editor Rob has ensured that the magazine represents all aspects of the arts and the community, “Every type has had a voice in the paper.”

Rob’s niece Brynn Pacitti described the community support as the best medicine for Rob’s recovery, and readers of Moms of Fredericksburg can help too; tickets for the event are $30 for individuals and $50 for couples. Tickets include food and beverages and can be purchased online at, at the door, or in advance at Bistro Bethem or Beck’s Antiques and Books. With music by “The Skiffle Lounge Sound” and art by several well-known local artists, this promises to be a fun, lively, event for a fun and warm member of our Fredericksburg community.


Fredericksburg Real Estate Market Update

August 2013 Local Real Estate Market Update, Fredericksburg, VA
By: Amy Cherry Taylor

gold home sweet home key
Have you been wondering what is going on in our local real estate market? Are you trying to figure out if now is a good time to buy or sell? Have you heard about the fluctuating rates and are trying to figure out what it means for you? There are so many questions out there about real estate and lots of speculation. We all are hearing more positive economic information from the media than we have in a long time, but those reports do not accurately express just how good our local real estate market is. We are very lucky to live in the Greater Fredericksburg region where we are always ahead of the national real estate curve due to our proximity to Washington D.C. and Richmond, and due to the fact that we are home to so many government workers and military families. The one thing to remember is that real estate is always local, and for our area this is a very good thing.

The most recent published MLS statistics are for the month of June. These stats show that in Spotsylvania County the sold dollar volume is up 44.33% from June of 2012. The average sold price is up 19.85% to $267,182 and the average days on market have decreased by -10.29% to 61 days. If you are in a first time homebuyer price range and you have a house that is in a good location and in good condition, I can tell you that in most situations you can count your days on the market on one hand! The Spotsylvania County market is booming right now and it is a great time to be both a buyer and a seller. Active listings are up by 6.78% and new listings are up 33.50%! That is wonderful for our supply and demand. With prices going up, equity is going up and more and more Sellers are able to list their home for a profit.
If you live in Stafford, sold dollar volume has increased 18.42% since June of 2012. The average sold price is up 10.44% to $295,609 and the average days on market have decreased by -7.84% to 47. Stafford has seen more of an effect from the recent furloughs, and when rates increase on higher priced homes, buying power decreases. With that being said, active listings are up 17.37% and new listings are up 38.43%!

The fact that listings are up in our region is a very important thing. We have been experiencing a 7-year low for our inventory and there have not been enough homes out there for Buyers to choose. If you are thinking of selling, now is the time to get a market analysis and see if you can list. The Buyers are out there and Sellers are getting their price! The average list price to sales price ratio in Spotsylvania is 98%, up from 96.4% last year. In Stafford it is up to 97.4%, a 1.32% increase from 96.1% last year.

If you are a new Buyer that is entering our market place, don’t fret! It is still a very good time to buy. While rates have been going up, we all have to realize that they are still in the 4’s! Historically, that is still a very low rate. The feds have guaranteed rates until the end of this year so you should definitely consider getting pre-approved and buying now. As rates increase and home prices increase your buying power decreases, as well as the sales price that you can afford. Most Sellers are still paying closing costs and negotiations are still happening so we haven’t shifted entirely into a Sellers’ market yet.

As summer begins to wind down and kids go back to school, everyone will get serious about buying or selling before the holidays. Now is a great time to get pre-approved to buy or to get a complimentary market analysis so you will know what the market means for you individually. Feel free to contact me for any of the above, or to receive stats for the specific County in which you live.

Cooking with Kids – Fredericksburg Wegmans

Like many children, my boys have each gone through phases when they love to help me cook.

What better time than during the dogs days of summer to creatively involve kids in ways to stay cool, AND eat ice cream, at the same time!

As some of you may already know, our local Wegmans offers a “Cooking with Kids” class for those aged 4 and, up one Saturday a month. I’ve taken my children to several of these classes and can’t recommend them enough!

By the way, Moms of Fredericksburg recently asked Wegmans to offer a weekday class and they totally hooked us up! Next time you are in Wegmans, visit the Customer Service desk to register in person. It’s the only way to sign-up.

Cooking with Kids at Wegmans

Hope to see you there!

Fredericksburg to New Jersey – Up close with Bon Jovi

On Thursday, July 25, I drove back to my hometown in New Jersey to attend the Bon Jovi “Because We Can” concert with my super cool rockstar status mom, yep, aka “grandma!” Grandma treated her only daughter to VIP style attendance with our favorite band of all time! It was so exciting, and memorable, ladies. I just had to bring back some photos to share with you all! I’m a true jersey girl and will always be proud of that. Bon Jovi delivered some major vocals, moves, sweat, and million dollar smiles! I started in pit seating but eventually made my way up to row 1. I even got to shake Jon’s hand when he was on the catwalk. Hope you enjoy this post!

bon jovi vip meadowlands 2013

bon jovi meadowlands concert 2013

bon jovi meadowlands concert 2013

2013 Fredericksburg 4th of July Activities, Festivals, Fireworks

Many of our readers will be spending their first “4th” in Fredericksburg. Your family should be super excited to celebrate our Nation’s independence in town, considering we are one of the most historic places to live in America! There are still plenty of us local moms, however, that still rely on word of mouth “to dos” around town. Moms of Fredericksburg will help give you a quick run down of what’s going on in town this Fourth! We’ll be continually updating the Events calendar as we come across more ways to celebrate in the Greater Fredericksburg area. This includes Fredericksburg City, Spotsylvania County, and Stafford County.

Saturday, June 29

Spotsylvania Stars and Stripes Spectacular beginning 3:00 pm at the Spotsylvania Courthouse

Thursday, July 4

Fredericksburg Jaycee’s 37th annual Rappahannock River Raft Race 11:30 am at Falmouth Waterfront park

Fourth of July at Ferry Farm 10a.m. to

All American 4th of July Cookout at the Rappahannock Area YMCA Massad Family Branch, 6:30 to the end of fireworks

Heritage Festival has events running all day throughout town. 7:45 Heritage Festival Fun Run 9:30 Parade – Downtown Fredericksburg (Lafayette to Caroline to Princess Anne – Most Creative Bike and Best Costume Prizes 10am – 4pm Festival of the Streets – Craft Show, Classic Car Display, Live Music. Trolley runs from downtown to George Washington’s Boyhood Home 10am – 5pm

At 4:30 Pratt Park opens with special games and children’s activities at 4:30. The park closes to additional visitors once it reaches capacity.

At 5:30 at Pratt Park The Quantico Marine Corps Band will perform selections from Les Miserables, with a 15 casts members from Riverside Theater.

The UMW Philharmonic performs until 9:15 when the fireworks begin.

Fredericksburg Family Dog Trainer Summertime Tips

School is out for summer! Between the kids being home, friends and family dropping by for barbeques, picnics, and fireworks, your dog’s life just got a lot more complicated. That means those normally quiet days are now filled with more activity.

Here are some tips to help your dog enjoy the summertime too!
1. Try to continue the normal “school” routine for your dog. Crating them for parts of the day as if it were a school day can help keep your pup on track. This will help when school begins again.
2. Be extra mindful of visiting children and your dog’s comfort level. Summer is a fun time for kids to stop by but, depending upon their age, this unfamiliar activity may cause your dog extra stress. Be sure they have a “kid free” area to go to while small guests are visit, should they become overwhelmed. Brush up on your dog body language skills to recognize stress or discomfort in your dog.
3. Plan some structured activities to engage your children and your pet. Hide and seek games can be fun WITH parent guidance.
4. Encourage your kids to make pup pops. You can cut up goodies, put them in ice cube trays, add water, and then freeze them. Spread these out in the yard for a doggy scavenger hunt.
5. Be mindful of the temperature! If it’s hot, leave your dog at home instead of taking them with you to a park or ball game. Dogs can become overheated and uncomfortable when crowded and hot.
6. Bring out the doggy pool! Kids can toss a ball into the water for your pup to fetch.
7. Plan ahead for fireworks. Make sure your dog has a safe place to hang out, like a laundry room or bathroom, when the fireworks are going off. Use the washing machine or dishwasher noise to help drown out the sounds of the snap, crackle, and pop!

adorable puppy laying on back on beach
Happy Summer Vacation! Have Fun & Stay Cool!

Your Fredericksburg Family Dog Specialist – Summer Thomas, K9 Summer Dog Training

Southpoint Cinemas Fredericksburg Free Summer Movies

Free Marquee Cinemas Summer Movie Guide

Fredericksburg Scavenger Hunt

Are you looking for something fun to do this weekend? Well, look no further than our very own Downtown Fredericksburg. This weekend, April the historic district of Fredericksburg will host the 2nd annual Fairy Godmother Project’s Scavenger Hunt!!!

Their fearless leader and chief godmother, Andie McConnell, has been hard at work with her team of interns and volunteers to make this year’s event brilliantly fun!

The event kicks off on April 20th at 11am and goes until 1pm. Participants form teams who then collect clues and follow their keen instincts and, of course, their map! Each team member will receive an event t-shirt, raffle tickets, goodie bags, and yummy food to fuel your hunt! Numerous downtown businesses participate in making this day a success as well by providing gift certificates and merchandise that all the participants can win.

Fairy Godmother Project Scavenger Hunt, Fredericksburg
To get your team signed up – please visit their website for the easy enrollment form.

This event is more than just a fundraiser for the Fairy Godmother project – it’s a way to get the local community active, having fun, and learning a lot about the participating businesses. Executive Director, Andie McConnell, is a huge advocate of supporting local business in her personal life and for her organization. If you’re not familiar with the Fairy Godmother Project please visit their website and read the very touching story of how cancer touched Andie’s life and transformed her life mission.

The scavenger hunt was born out of Andie’s s sense of adventure and her sense of adventure in entertaining her own children. In an email correspondence about the event Andie wrote, “I do scavenger hunts for my kids all the time and LOVE them which is one of the reasons we started it last year. And, of course, we are trying to raise money to support our families.”

Please – come out to support an amazing local non-profit organization, have some fun learning about the downtown shopping district, and maybe even win some amazing prizes!

Fredericksburg’s Biggest Children’s Races – Great Train and Caboose Run

I have goose bumps sitting here in my 2011 Marine Corps Historic Half shirt reflecting upon the horrifying events in Boston. Yesterday, just before the terrorist attack occurred, I was at my desk preparing a blog article to announce the upcoming Great Train and Caboose races. Both are hailed as the largest children’s races in the area.

In spite of Monday’s tragedy, I am still going to promote the events because it’s important for us, as a community, to continue to running forward. We, as parents, need to set a positive example for the children of our country. Exercise has healing properties, just like medicine.

Despite fear, anxiety, and doubt, finding hope and promise in our efforts to forge ahead is the most couragious way to stand up to evil. Now is NOT the time to back down and give up on those things that bring us closer as a community.
Right after I hit the “publish” button on this article, I’ll register my three little pumpkins, Chase (3.5), Lance (7), and Cole (8), for a great event, one they’ve participated in for three years now. If your children have participated in the past, then you know the sense of accomplishment they feel as they cross the finish line. You’ll regret the decision to pass this family event up- TRUST ME!

Chase's First Race

Caboose Run (1/4 miles perfect for ages 5 and under)

Date: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Time: Approx. 11:30 am (plan on arriving early because you’ll need time to find parking)
Register: Race Timing Unlimited or in person at VA Runner.

Great Train (1 mile run for ages 5 – 18)

Date: Sunday, May 5, 2013
Time: First Heat Starts at 7:30 am
Register: Race Timing Unlimited or in person at VA Runner.

School Safety Is Everybody’s Problem – What’s the Solution?

Today was the first day back to our “normal” school and work routines following the horrific shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. The residents of Newtown are now left with SO many unanswered questions…Why? How? Will it occur again? Can our community, and the school itself, EVER feel “normal” again? Are our children going to live in fear every day they make the trip to school? These are exactly the type of questions many parents must now ask themselves, local law enforcement, and their school administration.

I’ve personally spoken with several local moms who are experiencing a heightened sense of concern about the future safety of their children while attending school. As I type this article, I STILL can’t believe the world has fallen socially to such a low place where stepping up school security is no longer a luxury, it’s an outright necessity. Innocent children and loving teachers deserve a safe place to pave the way for the future of our nation’s best and brightest..

There are reports of up to 31 different school shootings, since the 1999 Columbine massacre in Colorado, where two students killed 13 of their classmates and wounded 21 others. Some other notorious examples of pure evil include the following:

· In 2006, a gunman at a Pennsylvania Amish schoolhouse shot 11, killing 5 girls.

· In 2007, a gunman at Virginia Tech shot 56 students, killing 32.

· In 2008, a gunman at a university in Illinois shot 21, killing 6

· In 2012, a gunman at an Ohio High School shot 6, killing 3.

· In 2012, a gunman at a university in California killed 7 students.

· This past Friday, 20 elementary school children and 6 adults were murdered.

This is obviously NOT a rare occurrence. If anything, it seems like the cowardly acts of these psychos are actually INCREASING. Their “success,” IF it can be construed as such, seems to be emboldening others to follow suit. It is a sad and unfortunate fact that school shootings, as horrendous and senseless as each and every one is, seem to be here to stay. What can we, as parents, along with our local law enforcement and school officials, do to prevent these vile incidents? After all, we parents want to do everything in our power to prevent this from ever happening again, and to ensure our children’s future educational experiences are happy, healthy, and SAFE. I realize the following suggestions are potentially very costly, however, what is the alternative? (PLEASE, I would LOVE to hear any of your thoughts on this).


1. Main visitor entrances should be rebuilt with a man-trap. This would consist of a small room with two reinforced doors, a magnetometer, and cameras (outside and inside). Essentially, a visitor would request entry into 1st door. A school employee would make a visual determination to allow the visitor into 1st door through camera recognition. Once inside the man trap, with 1st door closed and employee continuing to observe, the visitor would move through a magnetometer. If cleared, AND with a legitimate purpose for being at school, visitor would be allowed to move through 2nd door. Even if suggestions 2-4 are not done, this one thing would slow down a shooter, giving children and employees more time to move to safety OR GET OUT OF THE BUILDING, AND allow police more time to respond.

2. There should be an internal alert for any breaches/suspicious behavior. This should immediately signal all teachers/employees to move to classrooms, bathrooms, closets, etc., (assuming there is a key locking feature from the inside and out – and yes, that means the employees would need to carry it while on school grounds.) Also, all internal doors should not have any windows large enough for a shooter to break and fit arm into to defeat.

3. All exterior doors should be reinforced metal, with locks from inside. These should be checked hourly.

4. All 1st floor windows should be reinforced to prevent entry from outside. These MUST be defeatable from the inside to allow students/employees to escape.

5. Drills should be done every month or more to ensure students know what to do under stressful conditions.

These are by no means the only, and maybe not even the best solution to this problem, but it’s a start. Let’s hear your thoughts.

Santa Train Ticket Purchase – Fredericksburg VRE

Please read my post from last week if you are unfamiliar with the Santa train in Fredericksburg.

Tickets go on sale Monday, November 26, 2012, at 9:00 am. They can be purchased online through the VRE website, or in person at the Fredericksburg Visitor Center. Online tickets are $6.00 each and $5.00 each if you purchase them at the Visitor Center. For those planning to purchase tickets in person, you should probably arrive before 9:00 am on Monday morning. Also, bring cash or a personal check, and don’t expect to purchase more than 6 tickets total. If you have any additional questions, just give the Visitor Center a call at 540-373-4748, Monday through Saturday, 9:00 am to 5pm.

NOTE: Currently, the VRE website doesn’t have the Fredericksburg Santa Train Station listed this year because the pick-up will be at Leeland Station due to a scheduling conflict with the anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg. The Leeland Station is the next stop up from Fredericksburg and is located at 275 Leeland Road, Falmouth, Virginia, 22405.

Last year, I purchased our tickets online, and didn’t have a problem.

Oh, and don’t forget…..on the day of the train ride, bring your unwrapped toy to drop off with the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Collection.

Tis the season – see you soon!

YMCA Hosts 20th Annual Turkey Trot in Fredericksburg, VA, New Location

Whether you just arrived in the Fredericksburg area, or you’ve been running the annual Turkey Trot race as a special holiday tradition, I think we’d all agree that participating in these types of community oriented activities makes one feel right at home.
image of cartoon turkey
For many local families, this may be your first year spending the holidays in the Fredericksburg area. If so, having your family participate in the YMCA 5k Turkey Trot, and/or 1 Mile Youth Run, is great way to join the community, and combat the sadness of missing family and friends during the holiday season!

This year, the race will be held at a new location – The Fredericksburg Expo Center! Many of the local runners, including yours truly, have already run this course and I think we’d all agree, it’s a FAR easier location to get in and out of.

Visit the YMCA’s racing website for more details on the Turkey Trot 5k Run/Walk and the Youth 1 Mile Run.
To register online visit Race Timing

Downtown Fredericksburg’s Annual Christmas Parade Date

Whether you’re a new resident of the greater Fredericksburg area, or consider yourself a local, we all love to experience the excitement of traditional downtown Christmas parades. So spread the word everyone because the Fredericksburg Jaycees will be hosting its 26th Annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 1, 2012. The parade will begin at 5:30 p.m., and is expected to last approximately 2 hours.

santa waving at Christmas Parade

If you’re a part of an organization that may be interested in actually participating in the parade, this year’s theme is “Once Upon a Christmas.” All parade participants are encouraged to highlight this holiday theme in their Christmas parade entries.

Trophies for 1st place will be awarded to entries in each of the following seven categories:

  • Commercial Floats
  • Novelty
  • Bands
  • Majorettes (Senior)
  • Majorettes (Junior)
  • Dance/Gymnastics
  • Equestrian

Each entry is required to provide two (2) adult supervisors to walk the parade route. Each equestrian entry must provide two costumed persons equipped with scoop and container to clean behind the horses. The Jaycees have selected the official Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus for the parade. Therefore, in the best interest of the children, we ask that no other entry include and/or dress as Mr. or Mrs. Santa Claus. Please note that any group performing in the parade will need to keep moving and when the group approaches the judging stand they will have a maximum of 30 seconds to pause and perform and then must move forward.

Commercial / Business Entries: $175.00

Non-Profit Entries (please provide status of your non-profit/not-for-profit organization, i.e. IRS ruling letter): $ 100.00

Please make all checks payable to: The Fredericksburg Jaycees

Entry fees have been established to offset the costs of the Christmas parade. Please note: If you plan on entering more than 100 people with your organization, we will charge an additional $25. All proceeds above the costs of the parade will go toward community projects throughout the year including taking approximately 30 local, underprivileged children Christmas shopping for necessary clothing and shoes.
DEADLINE FOR ENTRY FORMS IS November 2, 2012 – and only the first 100 entries can be guaranteed!


Once you have completed the entry form your information will be emailed directly to our Parade spreadsheet, however, you will still need to send in your check. Please see the entry form for that information.

Parade packet including Confirmation Letter, Parade Guidelines and Route Map will be handed out at the Parade information meeting on Monday, November 12, 2012. We will need one (1) representative from each entry to attend this meeting. Please make sure we have an email contact so that we may send you out more information on this meeting.

Important note: There are to be no handouts during the parade. This means that you may not throw or handout candy, toys, beads, pamphlets, etc. during the parade.

If you have any questions, please e-mail

Ladyburg Brings Skin Care to Fredericksburg Women AND Men!

Ladyburg Fredericksburg logo

Ladyburg Brings Skin Care to Fredericksburg Women AND Men!
Owner, Crystal Wellman, made no apologies yesterday as she unlocked the doors to her new store at 807 Caroline Street in downtown Fredericksburg, VA. Sure, Fredericksburg may have other skin care salons and boutiques that sell lotions, soaps, and bath products, etc., but none of them can offer the pampering to Fredericksburg residents like the Ladyburg team intends to! Now merged together with Crystal Clear Complexions, Ladyburg will provide everything from the most unique and rare bath products, to full service advanced aesthetics treatments, chemical peels, facials, and even Dermasound treatments!

To name just a few of the products available right now at Ladyburg: handmade natural soaps; custom-blended bath products, including but not limited to, scrubs, lotions, body butter, aftershave; locally made candles, and so much more! Here’s a sneak peak of the store. Kudos to Crystal and her team for taking downtown Fredericksburg to new heights with plenty of beauty indulgences at affordable prices.

Connect with Fredericksburg’s newest modern skincare apothecary on Facebook!
Ladyburg store Fredericksburg Virginia

Ladyburg store, Fredericksburg, VA

inside Ladyburg store, Fredericksburg, VA

Fredericksburg Expo Center October Events

Fredericksburg Arts & Crafts Festival ad

At this “hand-crafted only” festival, you’ll find premier arts and creations from hundreds of the country’s best crafters and artisans. From it’s 1st show back in 2006 to this year’s event, the festival has more than doubled in size, as has the quality of vendors and selection of items to choose from. There is something to suit everyone’s tastes and interests. From paintings to ceramics, jewelry and home décor, specialty foods, clothing, holiday knick-knacks, fashion accessories, photography, pottery, and so much more. Trust me when I tell you that anyone looking for a unique gift, or simply something special for yourself, you can find it at the Annual Fredericksburg Arts and Craft Festival.

The Fredericksburg Fall Arts & Crafts Festival is being held at the Fredericksburg Expo Center, Saturday, October 13: 10a-6p and Sunday, October 14: 11am-4pm. Tickets are good both days: Adults: $8; Kids 12 and under FREE. For additional information, a money savings coupon, and a list of participating vendors, visit or or call 540-548-5555.

Fredericksburg Fall Home Show

The 2012 Fredericksburg Fall Home Show at the Fredericksburg Expo Center has received a makeover of delicious proportions! The event is a “one stop shopping” extravaganza filled with experts who’ll help you decide what to do in, and around, the house over the coming winter and spring months. From building a new deck, to re-facing your cabinets, the Home Show has what you’re looking for! Remodeling your bathroom, or planning a full-blown renovation? Our exhibitors would love to help you make your dreams a reality!

But this year, there’s a new twist to the traditional Fall event. Attendees will be treated to Wegmans’ Perfect Pairings. Wegmans will be demonstrating how to match the right wines and/or beers with a variety of foods. Learn how to pair the perfect wine with dinner and dessert so you’ll impress your friends at your next dinner party. Do you know if red wine goes with beef or fish? Did you ever try a heavy lager or seasonal brew? Not only will you learn the answers to these questions, but you’ll have the ability to sample their suggestions AND give feedback.

Don’t miss this new exciting section at the Fall Home Show!

Don’t forget to bring you questions, measurements, and project photos to the 2012 Fredericksburg Fall Home Show. We know you’ll find just the right mix of vendors, ideas, and solutions for anything you’re either planning or need help finishing.

A Mother’s Message – Hope, Remember and RUN in Fredericksburg

Any type of violence is senseless, but when it involves a child, it makes the action that much more difficult to understand and accept. As a parent, there simply are no words strong enough to adequately describe the emotion I feel as I read the “mother of ALL mother’s message.” The manner in which she describes the realization that her baby is no longer coming home has such a profound effect upon my psyche, I swear I can feel every single emotion, almost as if it were one of my own sons. However, within 2 hours of writing this very article, my boys will hopefully step off their school bus, and I’ll be able to see their beautiful eyes.

For Gwendoyln S. Brawsell-Nash, the joy from her son, Baron’s “Deuce’s,” smiles and laughter are nothing but memories now. On January 20, 2006, the joy of Gwendoylyn’s life became a 16 year old victim of teen violence, murdered by another teenager. A superb athlete, great student, son, grandson, nephew, brother and friend. His life here in earth was violently snatched from him much too soon. His family, friends, and others from the community have since joined forces to take a stand against teen violence.
Baron "Deuce" Braswell

Please join our community on Saturday, September 22, 2012, at Courtland High School as we participate in the 7th Annual Baron “Deuce” P. Braswell Race Against Teen Violence. The entire family can take part in a 5k Run/Walk and/or Youth 1 Mile Youth Run. It will be a great day to get some exercise, enjoy food, refreshments, music, raffle prizes, moon bounces and most importantly, become inspired to help the children of our community not fall victim to teen violence.

Baron Deuce Run Against Teen Violence logo
The last day for online registration is Wednesday, September 19, 2012. Please visit to register and learn more!

Virginia Moms Tackle Education, Savings, and our Kids’ Future

One day at a time…that’s exactly how I intend to pave the way for my sons’ future. It seems like just yesterday when my husband and I learned we would soon be parents and asked ourselves, “how will we afford kids?” And like many of us, we focused on the present, hoping and praying the future would work itself out. However, as time continues to tick by, we suddenly realize just how fast it all flies by. The kids seem to outgrow their shoes, clothes, toys, and interests so fast, we have trouble keeping pace with them. AND, the kids actually become MORE expensive as diapers and pacifiers are traded in for fancier sneaks, bigger bikes, and I-pods. Yes, your child’s Christmas list may get shorter as they grow, but rest assured, the overall cost will likely increase exponentially with each passing year.

Another summer has flown by, and as our kids begin a new school year, we are THAT much closer to the holidays, AND more expenditures. Within the next few weeks, I’ll be conducting an inventory of the basement toy boxes, purging items the boys have outgrown. More than likely, I’ll also be shaking my head in disbelief that my husband and I actually have to buy MORE toys. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely recognize the importance of gift giving and receiving, holiday traditions, and most importantly, the wonderful innocence of childhood. But, sincerely… what’s wrong with asking for future college tuition contributions instead of SO many gifts?!
toddler saving money in piggy bank

Yes, I said it, COLLEGE MONEY!!! Oh my, we’ve been dodging the subject for almost 8 years now. Thankfully, though, we researched our options for College Savings Plans before our first son was born. Back then, we didn’t realize how just how expensive children really were (even though everyone and their mother warned us!). So, we made a commitment early on to open a 529 College Savings Plan – and THANK GOODNESS we did!! For 8 years, tax-advantaged money has been funneled directly from our monthly income into the 529. Unfortunately, we’ve had to be very cautious about increasing our contribution with the addition of 2 more babies, BUT, any little bit in savings is certainly better than nothing.

If you are unfamiliar with how 529 plans work, here’s a snapshot:

  • 529 plans get their name from Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which was passed by Congress in 1996 to help families plan and save for future qualified higher education expenses at eligible educational institutions
  • Virginia 529 (the nation’s largest 529 plan) offers one prepaid program that allows families to prepay today for their future cost of undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees, and three different savings programs
  • Benefits may be used at eligible universities, colleges, community colleges, and technical schools across the country, AND around the world.
  • Earnings for all Virginia 529 accounts grow tax-free and are NOT subject to tax, IF used for qualified higher education expenses.
  • Virginia taxpayers are eligible to receive a deduction from state individual income taxes of up to $4,000 per account each year if they use a Virginia 529 plan.

For more information on Saving For College, visit Virginia 529 at:

Mother’s Day Giveaways for Moms of Fredericksburg

Mother’s Day is almost here, and I’d like to let each of you know how awesome it is to have made over 2000 new “Moms of Fredericksburg” friends in just over a year! I truly love having so many wonderful friends to rely on for advice, recommendations, and perhaps, most important, an ear to listen to when only a mom can understand. You all deserve the absolute best Mother’s Day and, if I could, I’d throw a huge bash just for us! It’d be some special place where we could all meet in person, enjoy a great meal, and share our experiences about how we got here. Most likely, it was due to our husbands’ employer, right? But, until the day comes when I can host this event (let me get these advertising rates increased a tad!), we’ll just have to continue to support one another through cyberspace. I’ve already met many of you in person, and I just love it when we make the internet connection, only to realize our paths have already crossed!

Okay, let’s cut to the chase. I’ve got some giveaways for the first moms who respond to this post, either on Facebook or below.

Save the fun stuff for Mom! Polar Fitness is a unique fitness studio right here in Fredericksburg that is owned by a local mom of 2 boys. They are the area’s only dedicated Pole Studio featuring 6 dance poles, each over 12 feet tall. This Mother’s Day, Polar Fitness would like to give you a chance to spend some quiet time taking care of yourself. Whether you choose to stretch out in a quiet yoga class, shake it in Zumba, rediscover your sexy side on a Pole, or sweat out some stress in bootcamp or Parkour, they have something to fit your interests. They know how hard you work and are pleased to offer a Free Class to 10 lucky moms this Mother’s Day. A full class schedule can be seen at They look forward to meeting our lucky winners soon.

scissor cutting cost
No coupon cutting for Mom! I have TEN TriQuest Savings Cards for those moms interested in saving up to 50% at over 250,000 locations! My children had to sell them for their lacrosse team, so I decided to just purchase them all and give them away for Mother’s Day. Again, just respond to this post on Facebook or below. No fussing, no specifics, just a “hello” is perfect!

Moms of Fredericksburg Let Us – Stop the Silence of Domestic Violence2

In memory of the victims of domestic violence, and in honor of Jenny Vaughn-Bates. Read last year’s article to learn about Jenny’s story.

Weekend Oyster Roast and Fundraiser

This has been an uncharacteristically mild winter season for us here in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The weather has, most likely, given each of us the opportunity to relish in life’s simple pleasures. Whether it be enjoying a cup of coffee outside, taking a walk at lunch, or even having a play date in the park, you might have been inspired to delay your plans for the day (much like I did!) and just get outside.


The Daffodils are in full bloom in Fredericksburg!

This afternoon, I headed down to the trails with my little guy to meet a friend. She and I were able to enjoy watching our three adorable children march around like little soldiers – “God love them!”

Needing to get back to work, I eventually returned home and began checking my email. I quickly noticed a CaringBridge journal update regarding a friend of one of my other sons, Dominic Beltran. My heart sank as I read the title, “Not good.” Dominic’s mom proceeded to share the absolutely horrendous news that his cancer has spread, again. Furthermore, the treatment he’s been receiving, in New York, must be stopped so he can have chemotherapy.

While waiting for my youngest son to finish up his nap, I leaned over and kissed his head, trying to comprehend how AWFUL it must feel to have a child who suffers with such an evil illness that even the strongest forms of medicine can’t fix it? How TERRIBLE it must feel to be completely stressed out and constantly worried about the fate of your child, in addition to, typical (obviously, less important) household concerns like money, house and car issues, hectic schedules, etc., etc. Dominic has now begun his chemotherapy treatment in NY with his wonderful parents right by his side.

Speaking of Margaret, she had to resign from her nursing job recently, so that she could be with her son as he bravely fights for his life. I imagine giving up her job to care for her son was an easy decision, however, losing a paycheck is never easy. With monthly bills that still need to be paid, this only makes life MORE stressful for Dominic’s parents.

Please click on the following link to watch a video of sharing Dominic’s story and DONATE whatever you can to help our this family.

Dominic Beltran

Superman himself - Dominic Beltran!

This Saturday (03/03), from 3:00 – 6:00 pm, over one thousand people will gather for the 28th annual oyster roast fundraiser to help Dominic’s family. A menu of steamed and fried oysters, hot dogs, coleslaw, chips, and homemade desserts will be served. Diners are asked to make a donation which will go directly to Dominic’s family.

Please visit our calendar for event details!

**Note – the article was written 1 week ago.

Spread your Free Classifieds on Facebook and Twitter with Mom’s Market

A few months ago, we added a great new resource to our website so readers would have a place to advertise items they had for sale, or even post a classified looking for something specific, like a job. If you’re unfamiliar with our Mom’s Market, the following link will help you get caught up.

Recently, a local mom posted a comment on Facebook asking if Moms of Fredericksburg could recommend any “at-home” jobs. Instantly, I thought, our “Mom’s Market” would be the perfect place for her to post a classified ad seeking to do work from her house.

What is so UNIQUE about our website is that ALL posted ads have the ability to become “VIRAL!!” This is the brilliance behind Facebook (and our developers!). AND, it’s another reason why our “Mom’s Market” is the absolute BEST place to post a classified ad for residents of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Whether you’re looking to sell a stroller, buy a bunk bed, or find a part-time job, it’s rapidly becoming THE place for local moms to do business.

Here’s our advice for when posting a classified ad in “Mom’s Market”:

1. PHOTOS are a must. There’s no sense posting a bike for sale if you aren’t going to show a potential buyer the merchandise.
2. If you own a local business, please don’t try to use ” Mom’s Market” to advertise your product (unless you are already a paying sponsor of our website). You can easily become a paid sponsor of our website – you’d be surprised at how competitive our prices are!

BELOW is an example of how “sharing” your classified ad on Facebook and/or Twitter works. Essentially, every time you share your “Mom’s Market” ad, one of your friends clicks and, now, their friends view your classified ad. ***Please note that Facebook specifically defines a viral reach as the number of unique people who saw this post from a story published by a friend. These stories can include liking, commenting, sharing your post, answering a question, or responding to an event.”

Harlem Globetrotters Coming to Fredericksburg

Guest blog from local mom, Lisa R. Thank you Lisa!

The Harlem Globetrotters 2012 Tour is coming to North Stafford High School on Wednesday, February 29 at 7 pm and there is a discount code to save $7 on tickets: just use the code MOM when purchasing tickets at This is a great family-friendly event for all ages! The wows, the laughs, the magic – these moments become the memories that last a lifetime!
Highflying dunks … eye-popping tricks… hilarious jokes … the Globetrotters will have you smiling from start to finish. At the Globetrotters, the game of basketball sets the stage for an experience you will never forget. The Harlem Globetrotters just signed a historic rookie class that includes the top three finishers from the 2011 College Slam Dunk Contest. This year’s roster also features the world’s tallest player – they call him Tiny … At 7-foot, 8-inches, he’s anything but. Players and rosters are subject to change. You can also visit for more information. Discount code and information provided by Miles of Marketing (

Science Museum of Virginia RACE Exhibit Opens Saturday

Guest Post By Nancy Tait, Science Museum of Virginia

Race Art Logo - Science Museum of Virginia
The story of race seems as old as mankind itself and has become intertwined with all of our lives. In Virginia the story easily goes back hundreds of years. These differences have offered us strength, community and identity, while these same differences have also been the historical basis for discrimination and oppression.

Scientific understanding of human variation is beginning to challenge “racial” differences and even question the very concept of race. We invite you to explore these ideas as the Science Museum of Virginia proudly hosts a spring filled with events, discussions, presentations, workshops and the groundbreaking exhibition RACE: Are We So Different? Saturday, January 28 through Sunday, April 29.

No matter your color or background RACE will give you an opportunity to examine yourself and how you see others. “This is an important subject that touches us all, regardless of who we are,” says Science Museum of Virginia Chief Wonder Officer Richard C. Conti. “The RACE exhibition is just one element in a variety of experiences that brings new ways of looking at the variations of humanity through the framework of science.”

RACE examines the topic from scientific, historical and cultural perspectives, demonstrating how economic interests, power struggles, scientific research and even popular culture have informed the American understanding of race, and have provided a sturdy framework for discrimination. The exhibit shines a spotlight on our experience with the concept of race in everyday American life — at school and work, at the doctor’s office and in the halls of Congress. Join us as we celebrate the scientific fact that we are all part of the human race.

Fees: RACE is included with Museum admission. Tickets are $10 for ages 4-12 and 60+ and $11 for ages 13-59 or free for members. For more information visit or call 804.864.1400.
Location: 2500 West Broad Street, Richmond VA 23220

Writing Classes for Fredericksburg Kids

Guest post by local teach and writer – Susan Carter Morgan

A question I read recently has me thinking: How do you get kids to read and write as if their lives depended upon it?
Pretty strong language, but literacy matters. Writing is how we communicate. It’s how we give meaning to our lives. It’s how we learn. Not only is writing the path to success in school and career, but writing helps us clear our minds and share our stories.
It’s my own story that has compelled me to open a writing studio for young people (ages 8-18).

cartoon kids writing

When I was 9, I cobbled together a kind of fairy tale. At ten, I tried to publish a neighborhood magazine, though it failed miserably. One summer I wrote a column for our town newspaper about goings-on in the community and felt totally famous with a byline. Yet it would be many years later when, as an adult, I finally realized how much I needed to and wanted to write.
Author E.M. Forster’s quote has always resonated with me: How can I know what I think until I see what I say?
After teaching middle and high school students for 30 years, I’ve learned a few things about supporting children in finding their voice and developing confidence. And so, the idea for a studio was born.

Downtown Writing Studio For Children Ages 8 to 18

Location: Liberty Town Arts, 916 Liberty Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Hours: Weekdays 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm (homeschoolers are welcome during the day by appointment)
Fee: The hourly rate is $20 per student for a group of up to three students. I ask for a commitment of at least four weekly sessions payable at the first meeting.

I want the Downtown Writing Studio to be a nurturing place, and I’ll be writing there, too. Please stop by the second floor of LibertyTown Arts in Fredericksburg on February 3, during the First Friday celebration for the arts community and say hello. Or visit my blog for more information. Join us!

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Families in Fredericksburg

During the past week, I heard a few local moms expressing great concern over the recent news that Mary Washington Healthcare has decided to no longer accept Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) health insurance. This is obviously VERY BIG news for many of us Moms of Fredericksburg since BCBS is our primary healthcare insurance provider.
Here’s a link to a recent Anthem BCBS – Mary Washington Healthcare Contract Termination (Key Messages & FAQ) Release that will answer many questions concerning this situation.

Moms’ Night Out in Fredericksburg – Twilight Saga – Breaking Dawn Contest

Let me ask all of you mothers something…Just what kind of joke is a Mom’s Night Out (MNO), anyway, if it doesn’t start until AFTER the kids go to bed?! I mean, when you still have to help with the evening chores, dinner, bath, books and bed, you end up feeling so worn out that the thought of going out seems like too much trouble! And, if you do decide to venture out with your significant other, the next morning’s routine seems to be “off” due to a lack of sleep or a hangover (kidding, ladies). But in all seriousness, my opinion is that we moms should ONLY redeem our “once in a while MNO pass,” IF it’s truly a night out.

Moms' Night Out!

So, in keeping with my thoughts on this extremely important matter (slightly kidding, ladies), I would like to make the following offer one lucky Moms of Fredericksburg fan who would like to enjoy my version of a true MNO. The lucky fan will get to watch the “sold out” 7:30 pm movie of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, with 3 of her closest friends on Friday, November 18, 2011?! Again, show time is 7:30 pm at the Regal Cinema on Plank Road in Fredericksburg. Like I said, moms, tickets for this showing are completely SOLD OUT. It’s a good thing Moms of Fredericksburg was able to snatch up 4 tickets just moments before these hot items were completely gone! I’ve already heard several complaints from a few of my girlfriends who were disappointed that I opted to giveaway these tickets instead of using them for our own MNO. But, the truth is, I’m always looking for ways to show appreciation to the readers who take precious time out of their days to read what Moms of Fredericksburg has to say.

Here’s how to win:
Just post a message on your Facebook wall asking your Fredericksburg friends to stop by Moms of Fredericksburg’s Facebook, like us, and tell us why YOU so deserve a MNO pass. Contest ends Monday, November 14 at noon!

So – my next question is – Team Edward or Team Jacob!??

YMCA Hosts 19th Annual Turkey Trot in Fredericksburg, VA

It’s already November again, and for many of us Fredericksburg runners, it’s time to gear up for two local holiday traditions: the 19th Annual Mary Washington Healthcare YMCA Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K and Tot Trot 1 Miler on the morning of Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 24, 2011. Last year, my husband and I loaded up our jogging strollers and ran the entire race while pushing our three sons! When it was all over, we headed back home and enjoyed our holiday feast without the guilt – mommy and daddy earned each and every calorie.

turkey running

Whether you’re new to Fredericksburg, or have been running the Turkey Trot as a yearly family tradition, I think we would all agree that participating in such a community oriented activity makes you feel right at home. For many local families, this may be your first year spending the holidays in the Fredericksburg area. These races are a great way to join the community and combat the sadness of missing family and friends during the holiday season!

Visit the YMCA’s racing website for more details on the Turkey Trot 5k Run/Walk and the Youth 1 Mile Run.
To register online visit Race Timing

Hot Tip: If you are unable to pick up your race packet on Wednesday, November 23rd (between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm at James Monroe High School), plan to arrive extra early on race day. Fredericksburg has HUNDREDS of faithful turkey trotters!

Today – Spotsylvania County Lt. Colonel Mike Timm to Address Abduction Attempts

There is no question about it, we Moms of Fredericksburg have been cautiously monitoring recent reports of attempted abductions within our communities. It is good to hear that the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office will be addressing our community concerns at a press conference, scheduled for 2:30 pm today, at their offices located at 9101 Courthouse Road, Spotsylvania, VA 22553.

For many of us mothers, it’s just not possible to physically drop by to hear what the Sheriff has to say in person. Since no television stations intend to send out a news crew for this event, we’ll just have to rely on local print media to provide the information to us. I have a slew of concerns regarding these alleged abductions, however, first on my list is to find out how law enforcement intends to address what “appears” to be a rise in abduction allegations subsequent to the initial incident in the Salem Fields community last month.

I’ve copied and pasted below – the press release from Lt. Colonel Mike Timm. Thank you Lt. Colonel Timm for addressing our concerns!

Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office 9101 Courthouse Road
Spotsylvania, Va. 22553
Phone 540.582.7115
Fax 540.582.9448
Press Release

Contact: Lieutenant Colonel Michael S. Timm For Immediate Release
Phone: 540.507.7195

This press conference was called today to provide updated information to the citizens of Spotsylvania and neighboring jurisdictions regarding the steps we intend to take, as well as what has already been implemented, by the Sheriff’s Office to provide a feeling of safety to our residents.

An investigative strategy meeting was held today at the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office that included every detective currently working to resolve the recent suspicious incidents involving female children and adult victims.

Multiple items were discussed and plans have been put in place to move forward in a proactive manner with this investigation. One thing I wish to assure the citizens of this community is that you should feel safe conducting your day to day activities; however, as I indicated earlier, take appropriate precautions regarding your personal safety, and those of your children.

The community can rely on, and expect, several things of your Sheriff’s Office:

We will continue to have additional manpower and staffing out from 6:30 AM until 4:30PM, specifically patrolling the residential communities and associated bus stops everyday.
When appropriate, investigators will continue to perform neighborhood canvassing to glean additional information to either corroborate what we already know, or dispel anything that is not considered valuable to the investigations.
The Sheriff’s Office will be producing a bilingual flier that will be passed out to the Hispanic business community in an attempt to assist in locating Jacinto Osael Hernandez Andrade, the suspect we hold warrants for from the first event.

In addition, certain information pertaining to the named suspect in the first event has been shared with The Department of Homeland Security and Interpol, again in an effort to locate and take him into custody.
There will be additional forensic interviews conducted on some victims to gain further information from them that they themselves may have discounted as unimportant during the first interviews, but may relate to at this time.
Since school is not in session tomorrow for Election Day polling, additional staffing will be present to patrol residential communities throughout the day.

The Sheriff’s Office is treating each of these incidents as credible and using appropriate investigative techniques in all of them; we are sharing and exchanging resources and information with numerous other law enforcement entities. We want to do the best we can to make everyone feel safe. We will continue the additional patrols indefinitely to ensure that all citizen’s feel like they are safe as they go about their daily lives. We are working very closely with the school division to provide the greatest presence possible, both in the schools during the day as well as all after-school events.

Again, we ask that the citizens of this community be vigilant in exercising good, safe practices for personal safety. Have school-age children walk in groups, and when possible, have them walk with either older siblings or parents. We need each of you to continue reporting suspicious incidents to authorities.

If you could be at the press conference today, what questions would you have?

Back to School with Food Allergies (Part 2)

Today’s blog post is the next installment in our “Back-To-School” series regarding food allergies. Remember from the last post, we discussed some of the science associated with this subject. This time, we’ll focus on some practical tips to keep your children safe.
kids eating lunch at school

One of THE most important steps you can take is to make sure your school has several non-expired Epi-Pens® and a Food Allergy Action Plan for each child. A Food Allergy Action Plan is typically filled out by your child’s allergist.

Regardless of what setting a reaction occurs, it should be treated in the same manner. If the symptoms are isolated to either the skin or gastrointestinal tract, and mild in nature, treating the problem with an anti-histamine should be sufficient. If, however, the symptoms are more severe (like losing consciousness, throat constriction, wheezing/shortness of breath, or vomiting) then the Epi-Pen® (or Epi-Pen Jr. ®) should be administered immediately. Emergency services should then be notified for further possible treatment and observation. If you are unable to determine whether the reaction is mild or severe, epinephrine should be administered. The potential side effects of epinephrine are negligible compared to the potential consequences of under- treating an allergic reaction.

In order to prevent reactions, you should emphasize to your child that he/she cannot eat foods from other kids. Parents need to make sure their children understand that ONLY those specific foods provided, or approved of, are safe for ingestion . There is no evidence that policies like “peanut-free” classrooms/lunch tables, requiring hand-washing after food contact, placing restrictions on sharing foods, or isolating children with food allergies leads to a decreased number of reactions. I advise the parents of my patients to place the least amount of reasonable restrictions on other children while, at the same time, offering adequate protection for their allergic child.

Here are some additional tips adapted from the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network:

See the Allergist: Make sure to have an updated Food Allergy Action Plan.

Meet with key school staff: Befriend the school nurse, talk with your child’s teacher and provide allergy-free snacks at the beginning of the school year so that your child won’t feel left out during parties and celebrations.

Check medications: Make sure that medications available to your child have not expired. Work with your Allergist to confirm that the right dose is listed for your child’s current weight.

Keep records: Make sure all of your school forms are up to date with your current contact information, including cell phone number. Keep copies of important documents.

Offer to volunteer: If your schedule allows, consider volunteering to be the room parent so that you can be involved in classroom celebrations which may involve food. Volunteer to accompany the class on a field trip.

In the next blog post in this series, I will focus on tips for teenagers with food allergies.

As always, you can learn about pollen counts and access medical information about allergic conditions and asthma at our website.
Dr. Jonathan Mozena
• Science
• Tips
• 504 plans and IHPs
• Teen tips

Moms of Fredericksburg Fitness Partner for the Week!

I’ve documented my journey about how, and why, I became a “fitness mom.” That’s my way of describing a mom who prioritizes her physical fitness and overall health each and every day.

running shadows

This week, October 24 – 30, 2011, my fitness center, American Family Fitness, is allowing members to “bring a friend for the week!” Are there any moms out there desperate to get back into shape?! Please join me for the week at the gym. We will learn and motivate one another as we bolster our personal commitment to stay in shape.

All you have to do is email me at I will gladly support your decision to make personal fitness a priority in your life. Why would I take time out of what is already an over-taxed schedule? Because motivation is the key to achievement and I find great pleasure in helping others, that’s why! A little over a year ago, several local moms inspired me to complete a half marathon! I achieved my goal, despite not being able to a run a mile continuously. Trust me, moms. If I can do it, you can too!

I know all of the excuses because I’ve used them in the past. But let me tell you, moms, American Family Fitness has great child care. It’ll be a truly eye opening experience to see dozens of other moms (who in all shapes and sizes) taking advantage of the opportunity to work out while their children are cared for in a safe and pleasant environment.

Come on ladies, who’s ready to get an early start on the holidays???!!!

Halloween Candy Challenge for Moms in Fredericksburg

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m somewhat concerned about my ability to control myself next week when our house becomes inundated with overflowing halloween baskets full of chocolate and other goodies.

candy corn
You see, I try to adhere to this little strategy each year where I purposely wait until the last possible moment to purchase halloween candy. I do this because I know my husband and I will “sample” each bag, just to make sure it is appropriate to hand out. We wouldn’t want to give out candy that didn’t meet “our standards,” now would we? I am usually pretty good with keeping my snacking in check but, for some reason, chocolate and candy ALWAYS seem to get the best of me! I actually wish my children would become a little stingy with their candy just to protect it from mom and dad. If, however, this Halloween is anything like those that have come before it, my family will most assuredly indulge in a variety of sweets to mark the beginning of the holiday season.

As for myself, I plan to follow a NEW strategy…one I hope to actually stick with, THIS time! I am going to publicly confess (on Facebook) my candy “sins,” each and every day, including just how many pieces I’ve eaten, to all you mothers out there who face the same dilemma. And just to make it official (hopefully, that will in some way help me adhere to it), I am going to call it the HALLOWEEN CANDY CHALLENGE!

How about it, Moms of Fredericksburg? Are there any other mothers out there ready to accept the challenge?

Together, we can share with one another, all of our secrets for combatting temptation and finding the willpower NOT to become a savage candy monster, devouring all of our children’s halloween candy.

Here are some tips from the “experts” for avoiding Halloween candy.

Moms React to Attempted Child Abductions in Fredericksburg

By now, many Fredericksburg moms have heard of the two recent attempted child abductions in our area. Thank goodness, both of these children got away and were able to provide surprisingly good descriptions of the perpetrator. These young girls should be recognized for their bravery and understanding of stranger awareness. Unfortunately, not every child knows what to do in these circumstances. If you feel your child falls into this latter category, I strongly suggest you check out the related blog link below which mentioned a movie specifically suited to teach stranger awareness.

school bus with school boy watching

Please recall from my recent blog about stranger safety, the fantastic DVD titled, “The Safe Side,” which is a wonderful teaching aid for children (ages 4 to above) about the importance of stranger safety awareness.

Those of you who’ve had a chance to review this DVD will likely recognize one of it’s two creators, John Walsh. Walsh is the host of the long running hit television series, “America’s Most Wanted.” I’m sure anyone familiar with his personal background knows he lost his son, Adam, to a horrific kidnapping incident in 1981. His vast experience in this particular area lends additional credibility to the DVD’s message.

These two attempted kidnapping incidents occurred only eight days apart. And though greatly disturbing to us as local residents, the Greater Fredericksburg area is, and will continue to be, a fantastic location to raise your family. If anything, these should serve as a reminder that we residents need to be particularly vigilant to better protect our families, friends, and neighbors from harm. The fact of the matter is, wherever you live in our blessed country, your family is still vulnerable to crime. As moms, we need to stay on our toes, educate our children about the potential real dangers associated with strangers, and unite with other community members to provide a more effective net of protection for our children. As much as I absolutely adore Fredericksburg, I realize, neither it nor any other place, will ever be EXACTLY like the fictionalized “Mayberry.” Unfortunately, we DO live in a world where criminals prey on unsuspecting victims, so we need to do our part and keep Fredericksburg safe for our children.

Safety comes first for Moms in Fredericksburg, Virginia

man in peep whole

Moms, I felt compelled to share the following incident with you to serve as a reminder for those of us who sometimes become complacent living in such a peaceful, relatively safe area.

The other day, I had just put the baby down for his afternoon nap and was digging into some household chores when someone rang the front door bell. My initial reaction was one of anger at whomever was about prematurely wake my son up. After all, doesn’t everyone know it’s nap time in suburbia? My frustration, however, was soon replaced by a sense of apprehension as I noticed a young male standing at my door, motioning for me to open it. I had seen him walking along the road earlier in the day, less than a mile from my home. He had no identifying information on his clothing, nor did he offer to provide any. While attempting to convince me that he was harmless, he continued to move his hand around to the small of his back. Needless to say, I flat out refused to open the door, OR have anything to do with whatever it was he was trying to sell.

Not long after this incident, I was outside with the babysitter explaining why it’s not a good idea to open the door for uninvited guests I noticed the same guy down the street at a neighbor’s house. When I tried to explain that our neighborhood has rules against “soliciting,” the dude got mad and made a snide comment about my neighborhood being “too good” for this type of activity.

Honestly, moms, it’s really got nothing to do with being “too good.” What it DOES have to do with is a matter of safety, both for myself, AND my family! I will not apologize to anyone for doing my best to ensure the safety and well-being of my children. And neither should you. Whether it was for a legitimate purpose or not, It’s MY right to decide.

There are plenty of not-so-nice people out there who prey on the fear or complacency of well-intentioned homeowners – especially stay-at-home moms and senior citizens. Don’t become a statistic. In this day and age, door-to-door business solicitation has become increasingly rare and should be scrutinized for anything nefarious. Are they there to sell you some product or service, or are they trying to get a good look at your house, casing it for a future break-in? All you have to do is google, “home invasions” to realize just how serious, and deadly, they can be. The fact that one of the those thugs from that awful home invasion in Connecticut is in the process of being convicted for their atrocious acts has not been lost on me.

Sorry to sound so preachy moms, but I want everyone to be safe and be viligant. Don’t be a victim!

Teaching our children stranger safety at a young age is just as important! Please check out The Safe Side for more information on the award winning video created by America’s Most Wanted, John Walsh, which shows children how to stay “smart, cool and safe.”

Fredericksburg Business Referrals – ONLINE is WOM for Moms.

As the founder of Moms of Fredericksburg, I’ve been all over Fredericksburg, scoping out great finds to add to our area’s newly launched website, dedicated solely to mothers. Although our site has multiple paying sponsors, I have also selectively sought out respected businesses to add to some of the functional online directories. I do this, NOT because they paid us, but because it’s extremely important that we ONLY recommend the very BEST Fredericksburg has to offer.

Here is a testimonial provided by just one of my sponsors – American Family Fitness Operations Manger

“She is the living definition of Word of Mouth Advertising (WOM). Her business, Mom’s of Fredericksburg (MOF), is a resource of information and products for families and individuals. Dina listens. In a world where not too many people listen, SHE does. She listens to Moms and fills the need of the community on her site. Dina shares her experiences, good and bad, so that her followers don’t waste time or flock to her recommendation. MOF has evolved in its short time of existence. Recently MOF added a Marketplace. I personally easily uploaded a stroller I hope to sell.

MOF is a useful, legitimate resource for families and the like. The site is professional, user friendly, and updates just as much as Facebook!
We advertise on the MOF site. We like that Dina educates people about local products and services. She identifies the needs of the community and provides the opportunity for local businesses to offer solutions. Dina provides the tools for consumers to share information, like the new Marketplace. Dina studies, listens, and responds immediately and effectively.

Thanks Dina, and MOF, for providing a user friendly reference for local families!”

Make no mistake, ladies. I am on an uncompromising mission to create a truly functional, faster than lighting, online resource for mothers, families, and area newcomers. Actually, I want Moms of Fredericksburg to be THE resource for anyone seeking a great recommendation for anything from where to eat to what to do with your kids on a Saturday afternoon. AND everything in between.

I am, however, truly committed to finding, connecting with, and endorsing businesses who’s owners care about their customers as much as I do. Without that, no amount of money will buy space on this website. If I wouldn’t patronize your restaurant, sorry, but I’ll have to pass. If your daycare or preschool is one that I wouldn’t feel comfortable sending my children to, why in the world would I EVER recommend your services to my customers? As far as I’m concerned, it’s a “no-brainer.” Simply put, I’ve set out to create something unique. A one-of-a-kind, truly functional online resource for moms who either have, will, or are walking in my shoes. Beyond that, I want to create a virtual meeting place for moms who are new to the area because I know what it’s like to be the “New Kid On The Block.”

Yes, there are several other ways to learn about upcoming events, new places, and businesses within the Fredericksburg area, however, Moms of, will remain committed to providing the type of referrals moms really want and need. What you WON’T see is a business being given exposure on my website just because they pay. It’ll be because they DESERVE to be exposed to my customers! And really, what good is an online resource, anyway, if it’s nothing more than bait for attracting more advertising dollars? Moms, I strongly encourage you to look at everything, including us, with a discriminating eye because “fancy marketing tactics” is NOT what we’re about! You won’t find ANYONE in Fredericksburg as legit as this mom. I’ll tell you, honestly, if your business stands a chance with my customers. And if it doesn’t, I’ll refer you to seek out advertising elsewhere. I’m sure you’ll find those willing to take your money.

Please help me continue to build this genuine “give and take” resource for Moms On The Move In Fredericksburg!

Acne Treatment for Teens in Fredericksburg

My goodness, can anyone remember back to those awful times, during junior and senior high school, when they only treatment available for our dreadful teenage acne was CLEARASIL or OXY 10? Back in the Eighties, it was either one of these EXTREMELY harsh products OR, a trip to the local dermatologist for a dose of some “prescription” topical antibiotic solution which, in the end, only seemed to make the acne ten times worse. I, myself, was very fortunate not to have suffered from severe acne but, as a mom, I fully expect to one day soon be googling, reading, and calling for help in treating my children’s acne.

teenager popping pimple in mirror

Local moms – If any of your children suffer from mild to severe acne, your search for an effective treatment is over! Crystal Clear Complexion is hosting a Teen Night on Thursday, October 27, 2011, starting at 3:00 pm. This event includes Dermasound treatment for Acne which will be offered at a Teen Night price of $50 (reg. $65). Acne LHE (laser) treatment will also be offered for $50 (reg. $75). Last, but not least, a 10% discount will be offered on all medical grade acne clearing products!

Prince William Forest Park Heritage Festival – October 15, 2011

On Saturday, October 15, 2011 from 11 am to 4 pm, the Prince William Forest Park Heritage Festival will celebrate the park’s history as colonial-era farmland, a Civilian Conservation Corps work camp, and a World War II era spy training camp. Musicians, artists, cultural demonstrators, antique car owners, exhibitors, and park staff will gather together in historic Cabin Camp 3 for a day of historic and inexpensive family fun! Children will enjoy plenty of hands-on activities, crafts and games in the Kids Kabin and throughout the event. The park entrance fee of $5 per car provides access to the festival as well as a whole day in a national park that is right in Fredericksburg’s backyard!

Food, music, candle and soap making, contra and square dancing, civil war children’s crafts, antique cars and more!

kids and park ranger at Prince William Heritage Festival

Weecycled Wardrobe Sale in Stafford to host Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Bake Sale

Exciting news – we have added another bake-sale venue for the Moms of Fredericksburg Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Bake Sale! The Weecycled Wardrobe ladies have invited us to their upcoming children’s consignment sale (October 7th weekend) at the North Stafford location (5 Tech Parkway, in Stafford, Virginia). Please read below for the NEW details on the Moms of Fredericksburg Cookies for Kids’ Bake Sale!

cookies for kids' cancer logo

What does this mean for our bake sale scheduled for tomorrow, (September 27, 2011) from 11:30 pm to 1:30 pm at the Riverfront Park in downtown Fredericksburg? Moms of Fredericksburg will go ahead with our schedule, weather permitting, to meet at the park as originally planned. If tomorrow’s event is cancelled for wet weather conditions, we’ll go to “plan B” and have the bake sale at Fredericksburg’s biggest children’s consignment sale the weekend of October 7th. Even if we have the event tomorrow, Moms of Fredericksburg will still have a Cookies For Kids’ Cancer bake sale at the October 7th Weecycled Sale.

We are still looking for additions to our loving team of local mom bakers who’ll be supplying some delicious cookies for our bake sales. All proceeds will be donated to the “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer” Foundation. If you’re interested in joining other Moms of Fredericksburg with this endeavor, – please email

Mom’s Market – A Place for Fredericksburg Moms to Shop, Sell and Post

If I had a penny for every time I thought of a great idea that would help make my job as stay-at-home mom easier, I would be at a resort right now watching my children play in the sand while I sip decaf chi and read a novel! Well, the fact of the matter is, I’m not heading to the Caribbean any time soon.

piggy bank with mom saving money

Moms, the reality is, I’m living life in Fredericksburg just like thousands of other devoted stay-at-home moms doing our best to manage the household while my husband earns a paycheck and health insurance. Sometimes though, if you’re like me, you think back to those days when we earned a paycheck as well. Come on, I’m sure you vaguely remember those days when we could shop for trendy clothes, and use extra money for personal splurges likes shoes, hair, make-up, etc. Now as a parent though, we typically spend any extra money on our children, particularly, when it comes to splurges. I’m sure you recognize this scenario: You pay full price for some toy, video game, or pair of sneakers your child just HAD to have. Then 24-48 hours later, they are bored with it and want something else. Sound familiar? Those short-lived impulse buys add up…AND pile up unless we donate or sell them at the next community yard sale. Maybe you even try to find an online buyer looking to cut the retail mark-up for gently used items.

Or, maybe you’ve tried to post your almost brand new stroller, play-gym, crib, football, nursery bedding, etc., on Craigslist but feel your items get lost in the great abyss of what’s available? Well, moms, look no further. I’ve opened a new online “Mom’s Market” that’s entirely free, PLUS it’s users will have to get my stamp of approval before it gets published on the virtual shelf in OUR market.

keyboard with for sale letters

Would you like to make some extra cash (AND free up some residential space) by selling items you or your kids no longer use? The extra cash you put in the Mommy Fund Can could then be used for whatever. Maybe even to justify a new pair jeans or that beautiful new purse you’ve been keeping your eye. Think about it, moms. Getting rid of the clutter might actually give you back a little of the old days when you could splurge on yourself!

Advanced Skin Care Treatment Contest for Moms of Fredericksburg

Once upon a time, there was a lady who lived in Fredericksburg with a complexion that glowed as if she had hours of professional primping. Unfortunately, by the time this lady gave birth to her third child, the porcelain glow was replaced with tired, puffy eyes, large pores, and blotchy skin. A little red here, a little dark spot there…you catch my drift?

lady doing facial

Lately, eyebrow waxing is just about the only thing I have any time for as far as self pampering goes. And, realistically, I’m lucky to get to the salon once every two weeks. I can handle not going to the MAC or Bobbi Brown counter anymore. I can handle not getting my hair cut every six weeks BUT, an eyebrow waxing is one beauty “necessity” I am simply unwilling to live without. Unfortunately, we moms here in Fredericksburg don’t have many of what I would call “expert” waxers available. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve paid ten bucks to be “botched up” in less than 5 minutes!

So, you can imagine my excitement when I received an email from a local mom, and owner of a new skin-care boutique, right in downtown Fredericksburg – Crystal Clear Complexions! After getting to know Crystal Wellman, a mother of 5, and learning about her background in advanced skincare, I absolutely HAD to share more information with other Moms of Fredericksburg about her newly opened local retreat. It’s one of those great places where we moms can truly indulge in some serious self-pampering while we continue our mission to get BACK TO MOM.
petite retreat salon lobby area
Crystal is a licensed Master Esthetician who has worked as both an educator and specialist in helping her clients correct skincare problems like Acne and aging skin. You can learn more about the services Crystal offers by visiting her website Crystal Clear Complexions.

Nothing excites me more than meeting local mothers who are willing to embrace their entreprenurial spirit so they find balance between work and family priorities. Congratulations to Crystal for launching Crystal Clear Complexions, AND for choosing Moms of Fredericksburg as a media platform for spreading the word on our Resource for Moms on the Move in Fredericksburg!

As part of Crystal Clear Complexions’ grand opening, we are SUPER excited to announce yet another great Moms of Fredericksburg contest whereby one lucky fan will win a Crystal Clear Complexions Signature Treatment (Dermasound) valued at $85.00!! This signature treatment uses ULTRASONIC and MICROCURRENT TECHNOLOGY, and will be customized to the MOF winners’ specific needs, whether it be Acne, Aging, Dry, or Sensitive skin. The Dermasound exfoliates up to 50% of the Stratum Corneum (dead skin), kills acne bacteria, reduces inflammation with Acne and Rosacea skin. This service also includes a neck and decolette anti aging treatment. The entire visit will last approximately 50 minutes.

Here’s how to enter for your chance to win! Visit Crystal Clear Complexions on Facebook, become a fan by “liking” the page, and then tell all of your friends and families to do the same! Have them tell Crystal on her wall that YOU sent them! The person with the most Facebook referrals wins!! Simple, right? You have 5 days to win – good luck!!

Wegmans in Fredericksburg Hosts Paula Deen Book Signing Ticket

Many of us are fans of the food network channel. I’d be the first to admit that most nights, it’s the only channel I care to watch. I’ve grown to admire several of the channels celebrity chefs and especially enjoy learning about how they started off as cooks before they were famous. One story that always inspires me is Paula Deen’s road to fame. From what I have read and watched, Paula was a single mom that used her talent for cooking delicious comfort foods as a way to provide for her two sons when they were little boys. If you are interested in learning more about Paula’s success and trials and tribulations as a single mom that suffered from panic disorder – read more here. Well, the rest is all history because now Paula Deen is a celebrity in her own rights and is coming up to Fredericksburg, Virginia, to launch her new book – Southern Cooking Bible.

paula deen picture in wegmans

As of this morning, free tickets to this book signing are sold out, BUT, I snatched 1 ticket on my last shopping trip at Wegmans and would be willing to give it away to the first fan that asks!
Event Details:

When – Thursday, October 13, 2011
Time – 4pm to 6 pm
Where – Wegmans, Fredericksburg, 2281 Carl D. Silver, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Visit for more details.

wegmans ticket for paula deen book signing

Just send me an email at and I’ll place it in the mail ASAP!

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Bake Sale Postponed

Please read below for the NEW details on the Moms of Fredericksburg Cookies for Kids’ Bake Sale – it’s postponed until next week!

cookies for kids' cancer logo
On Tuesday, September 27, 2011 from 11:30 pm to 1:30 pm, Moms of Fredericksburg will be hosting its first “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer” Bake Sale at the Riverfront Park in downtown Fredericksburg. As a lunch sponsor for the Riverfront Park Concert Series, we think this will be a great forum to showcase our unity as mothers in support of other parents who stand up against cancer! We’re currently on a mission to recruit a loving team of local mom bakers who’ll help supply some delicious cookies for our bake sale. All proceeds will be donated to the “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer” Foundation. If you’re interested in joining other Moms of Fredericksburg with this endeavor, – please email

Organizing Class for Fredericksburg Kids with Clutter

messy room

How in the world did toys end up in absolutely every room of the house? Does it seem as if everywhere you turn you are running into or stepping over something that belongs to a wonderful, young child who is not yet old enough to go to school?
Ok, now that they are in school, the papers have exploded, the anxiety has begun and you are just stressed out trying to figure out an Action Plan to keep your sanity. Is there a way to work through it all and keep peace and calm in the home? Absolutely…
How do I know this? Because, I’ve been there, done that and worn that tee-shirt until it had holes in it! It all revolves around communication, expectation and follow-through with children, especially beginning at a young age. But, if your children are already in middle or high school, there is still hope. Don’t give up. Stop worrying! Being organized can be fun…when you are all clear about the mission. When your expectations are crystal clear you will see results.
And, I’m passionate about helping moms! I’m fortunate to be able to put all of my skills and lessons learned from 20 years ago into practice again another generation…a grandchild is 3 and lives with us. I have to say, that I wasn’t overly enthusiastic with the idea of raising an infant, toddler, school age…and especially a teenager again…but this time, it rocks! What does it take? Time, patience, understanding and having a system that will work for you and your family. Schedules and outside activities can seem to monopolize your time and cycle your schedule out of control. What do you do?
Think about attending our seminar in conjunction with Fredericksburg Parks & Recreation. In 90 minutes you will walk away with definite techniques and tools that you can begin implementing immediately to help: avoid clutter and chaos, get and stay organized with your children and avoid daily stress and overwhelm. Both day and evening classes are available in October. Class registration numbers are 9200.202 and 9200.203 and you can register online @
Commit yourself to a lifestyle that you can enjoy; without daily and out of control clutter and chaos. Free consultations are also available if you aren’t able to attend either class. You can check us out at

Linda Clevenger Organization Direct 540-220-5912 Fax 540-972-3227

Moms of Fredericksburg Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Fund Raiser

With the new school year fast approaching, there are a good number of upcoming events for our Fredericksburg families to be excited about. We are fortunate to live in an area with great public school systems, wonderful teachers, a great sense of community pride, with plenty of fun, local events geared toward supporting worthy causes.

September marks National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. If you check out the “Cure Search For Children’s Cancer” website, you’ll find some very disturbing information. For instance, did you know that approximately 12,500 kids will be diagnosed with some form of cancer and, of those, more than 2000 won’t survive.

As the children of baby-boomers, we are, for whatever reason, known as “Generation X.” I’m unsure what our children will be called in the future but I wouldn’t be surprised if they get labeled as “Super Kids,” since too many of these little boys and girls must bravely face the sobering diagnosis of cancer. Years ago, it wasn’t very common to hear of a family member or friend who suffered from this horrendous illness. Today, however, it seems way too often we get the dreaded news that someone near and dear to our hearts has been added to this seemingly endless list.

Last year, I learned of an organization called “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer” from a local mom with a 5 year old son who continues to fight for his life each and every day against cancer. “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer” was founded in 2008 by Gretchen and Larry Witt, who’s son, Liam, passed away from this frightening disease. The Witts soon learned the reason why over a quarter of the adolescent patients do not survive cancer…lack of effective treatment. This lack of effective treatment essentially boiled down to a lack of adequate funding. The Witts wanted to get involved, and so, formed “Cookies for Kids Cancer.” Their active support provided a mechanism for others to assist in a simple, but very meaningful way, with the development of new and better cancer treatments.

cookies for kids cancer logo

On Tuesday, September 20, 2011, Moms of Fredericksburg will be hosting its first “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer” Bake Sale at the Riverfront Park in downtown Fredericksburg. As a lunch sponsor for the Riverfront Park Concert Series, we think this will be a great forum to showcase our unity as mothers in support of other parents who stand up against cancer! We’re currently on a mission to recruit a loving team of local mom bakers who’ll help supply some delicious cookies for our bake sale. All proceeds will be donated to the “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer” Foundation. If you’re interested in joining other Moms of Fredericksburg with this endeavor, – please email

sunflower cookie

Sunflower Cookie By

Moms of Fredericksburg Petition for Smoke-Free Public Playgrounds

Most Fredericksburg families with young children spend a considerable amount of time enjoying outdoor activities at our local public playgrounds. Our family generally rotates between the different parks to provide some variety. Just recently, while enjoying the few last days of summer vacation, I took my kids to the Old Mill Park in downtown Fredericksburg. This wasn’t our first time there, and I’m very sorry to say, it wasn’t the first time we’ve had to endure someone smoking a cigarette nearby. As a matter of fact, each time we visit the Old Mill Park, we’re eventually forced to leave because someone is smoking a cigarette in close proximity to the kids. It really is such a shame too since this particular park is an excellent place for outdoor activities. The photo below depicts EXACTLY what, and who, deters me from wanting to visit Old Mill Park.
man smoking on park bench
Come on, folks! Is it REALLY necessary to puff on a cigarette less than 6 feet from several children enjoying a beautiful day by climbing and sliding on the play gym? (Note* Just a pinch of sarcasm implied) Not to mention, kids who don’t know any better, will pick up the filthy remnants of this unappreciated activity. To be more specific, our request is for each and every playground in Fredericksburg City and Spotsylvania County to have a buffer zone within which no smokers shall be. This “no smoking zone” should create an appropriate safety net around those areas most frequented by children, ie, playgrounds, slides, swings, etc.

According to the National Cancer Institute, secondhand smoke (a/k/a involuntary smoke, and passive smoke) contains harmful cancer-causing chemicals. The Virginia Tobacco Use Control Project also reports that children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke because of smaller airways, higher breathing rates, and less mature immune systems.

Is there a mother out there who would disagree that higher breathing rates are more pronounced with physical activity at the playground? I should think not.

In light of these facts, and the thousands of other studies documenting profound health risks associated with secondhand smoke exposure, why haven’t Fredericksburg officials taken swift and decisive action to completely ban smoking from our public playgrounds?

If you are interested in taking a stand against this real threat to our children’s health, please join our new Facebook campaign by signing our Petition for Smoke-Free Playgrounds. With your help, we Fredericksburg moms can ensure our children have healthier air to breathe while enjoying the simple joys of childhood.

Spread the word, share with your friends, and join our campaign!

Weecycled Wardrobe Moms of Fredericksburg Open to Public Despite Weather

For many moms living in the greater Fredericksburg area, the Weecycled Wardrobe consignment sale is one event you DEFINITELY do NOT want to miss! This morning, despite a large number of local business closings due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene, local mom entrepreneurs/founders of this great event, Penny Wack and Vicki Burrow, opened the front doors of the Fredericksburg Expo Center to welcome a rather large line of anxious moms and dads waiting to get first dibs on gently used clothes, toys, baby equipment, outdoor children’s sets, and much more. Going into their 10th year of business, Penny, Vicki, and dozens of devoted volunteers refused to let down their customers and consignors by canceling the community’s most successful children’s consignment event. Its back to school time for us moms, and with the continued decline in our economy, the attraction of “buy used/save the difference” is more appealing than ever to many Fredericksburg families.

As you can see from the picture below, the Expo Center parking lot was filled with cars just 1 hour after the grand opening.
fredericksburg convention center parking lot

My children bolted straight for the costumes, snatching up two ninja outfits they had been begging my husband and I for, now that Halloween is nearly upon us.

consignment sale

Halloween costumes at great prices!

consignment sale

Neatly hung, labeled, and organized clothes for babies, toddlers, boys,and girls.

In addition to the gently used items for sale, local business owners set up vendor tables to display their products. We were excited to meet a local mom who owns Artipop. Her cake pops are absolute works of art that taste simply divine!
Artipop table at Weecyled Wardrobe

Hours: 10 am to 7 pm daily

Moms of Fredericksburg Earthquake Clean-up

There is nothing worse than hearing your children ask if “they are going to die.” That’s the response I received from my 6 year old son after rushing him and his younger brother to our basement during the ground trembling, house shaking, 5.9 magnitude earthquake that happened less than 2 hours ago in Fredericksburg. The level of this earthquake was extremely significant for this area. Virginia is known as being “pretty stable,” however, Manassas and Culpeper both experienced tremors back in 1997. To my surprise, an earthquake of today’s magnitude occurred over 100 years ago, on May 31, 1897. Visit Virginia for more details.

earthquake damage to dining room

Moms of Fredericksburg Earthquake Damage

Just moments before the rumbling started, I was on the phone with the County transportation department figuring out our school bus assignments. The walls started shaking as I threw my phone down and ran up to crab my toddler from his crib. I shouted for my other two sons to head down to the basement, immediately experiencing the same fear I felt on the morning of September 11. Not having ever witnessed an earthquake before, I immediately thought DC was under attack. I was unprepared as a mother for our next steps, and it wasn’t until I turned on the news that I felt a sigh of relief that it was ONLY an earthquake! The afternoon will be consumed by damage clean-up, but we are blessed to be safe and sound. What an unforgettable last day of summer vacation!

Moms, this was thankfully, just a little rumble in our afternoon that served as a reminder that Fredericksburg is not sheltered from the action. MOTHER nature rocked the Burg!

Some important tips from the Department of Homeland Security FEMA on what to do before, during, and following an earthquake.

Moms of Fredericksburg Let Us – Stop the Silence of Domestic Violence

For readers of this blog who know me personally, I’m sure you’d all agree that I am NEVER at a loss for words and/or questions. Well, since taking on the additional role of “mommy blogger,” I’ve found there is no shortage of topics to write about either. Most days, it’s typically something I come across in the course of my day that motivates me to then share the experience with my readers. It really is as simple as that. My writing topics run the gamut, from something noteworthy happening in the Fredericksburg area that may, or may not, in some way affect family life to something more specific that may have an influence upon us as mothers. Either way, I’ve discovered a newfound passion for documenting my journey as a mother and feel truly honored to reach thousands of readers on a weekly basis. My readers are just as varied as my writing topics. There might be a mom from California who is searching for the most up-to-date information about Fredericksburg because her husband just received Orders. Or perhaps it’s a local mom trying to find an online connection with others in the area. The fact that this brand new online (ad)venture has made such a huge impact so quickly, motivates me to work even harder for Fredericksburg area moms.

Today, I decided to write about a local mother named Jenny Vaughn-Bates who, unfortunately, is no longer with us here on Earth. Jenny was brought to my attention from a Moms of Fredericksburg fan who also happened to be Jennys’ best friend. The fan asked if I would help spread the word about an upcoming walk in memory of a Jenny and, of course, I immediately agreed. This September, Jenny’s family and friends will begin the second year without this devoted mother, daughter, friend, and social worker. Last year, Jenny was murdered by her husband after filing for separation. You can read more about her tragic story at

Jenny’s friends and family have since joined together to raise awareness about domestic violence with the formation of No Woman, No Cry – Stop the Silence of Domestic Violence. Studies show that 1 in every 4 women will experience domestic violence, at some point, during their lifetime. This statistic truly saddens me BUT, at the same time, it motivates me to stand up for ALL victims of abuse – ESPECIALLY MOMS!

On Sunday, September 18, 2011, from 8:30am to 11:30am, hundreds of supporters will walk the 1st Annual 5k in memory of Jenny Vaughn-Bates. This walk will take place at the Forest Park High School located at 17721 Forest Park Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22193. Those who are interested can pre-register at

If you are unable to make this event, please consider giving a donation which will benefit the Jenny Vaughn Bates Memorial Trust Fund and The National Network to End Domestic Violence. Donations can be made at online or by mail: NWNC, P.O> Box 1664 Herndon, VA 20172.

In memory of the victims of domestic violence, and in honor of Jenny Vaughn-Bates.

No Woman, No Cry, 1st Anuual 5k Walk flyer

Fredericksburg’s Gelato Shop – Local Hangout for Tweens and Teens

Well Moms, the summer’s almost over now. The fall season will soon be upon us, followed shortly thereafter by the cold, blustery winter months. But hey, the humid, sweltering summer heat is definitely still with us for at least a few more weeks. I say, or maybe my kids say, that we should take advantage of every opportunity to cool off with a refreshing dessert. There is a new business which just opened last weekend in the Fredericksburg area that DEFINITELY fits the bill! Mystic Ice Gelato, located where the old Carvel Ice Cream Parlor used to be in the Southpoint II shopping complex, offers a truly unique spin on an old favorite straight from Italy. Local mom, Heather Bailey, and her husband, Sean, fell in love with gelato when he was stationed over there.

Mystic Ice Gelato Tonda

Mystic Ice Gelato tonda

What is so unique about the Bailey family’s new venture is the atmosphere they intend to create within their shop. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, the gelateria switches gears by taking on more of a club-like atmosphere where teenagers can hang out, drinking coffee and dancing until the doors shut at midnight. Christian hip hop music can be heard throughout, with an array of special lighting and wide screen TVs to provide additional effect.
I can asure you there is no other place quite like this on the east coast. And although this environment can, at times, be more suited to young adults, patrons of ALL ages should come by and get a taste of Mystic’s authentic gelato. It comes in a variety of flavors, from tirimisu to cotton candy and peach. Gelato is not, however, the only thing Heather and Sean sell at Mystic. There are plenty of coffee style drinks, pastries, and other frozen yummies for parents and their children to enjoy.

So come on out and try Mystic Ice Gelato. I promise you it’ll be an unforgettable experience.

Moms of Fredericksburg Dirtiest Car Winner

Tiffany Lloyd is the winner of the “Moms of Fredericksburg Express Auto Spa Dirtiest Car Contest!” Thank you to all of the Moms who entered for a chance to have their family car completely cleaned up after an action packed summer. Believe me when I tell you that my car is probably the dirtiest car in Fredericksburg. Even so, I’m very excited to know that one deserving Moms of Fredericksburg fan will be cruising around town in an awesomely cleaned car! Take a break from the local car wash for a while Tiffany, Express Auto Spa will be rolling out the red carpet for your family vehicle!

Tiffany, Moms of Fredericksburg sincerely hopes you enjoy this gift as much as we would. Please email to redeem your prize.

Have a great Monday, my friends!

Winner of the Moms of Fredericksburg Kids’ Furniture Giveaway

Jessica Eierman Wenk is the winner of the Moms of Fredericksburg Kids’ Furniture Giveaway! Her rising first grader, Tristan, will be stoked starting school this year with his very own loft bed thanks to Epoch Design! Will Tristan’s Mom please email to redeem your new furniture.

Thank you to all of the Fredericksburg families that participated in this great Facebook giveaway. Sincerely, if I could, I would give each and every one of you a new bedroom set for your children. Shhhhh….my little boys didn’t even know about the giveaway!

Moms of Fredericksburg Kids’ Furniture Giveaway

Moms of Fredericksburg is SO excited to announce our new, exclusive partnership with Epoch Design, a children’s furniture company specializing in solid hardwood furniture! Their children’s furniture is made with traditional craftsmanship and features non-toxic lead free finishes. Of course, their furniture also meets, and exceeds, all ASTM and CSPS bunk/loft safety standards. Like them on Facebook to stay up to date on new products, etc.

Children's Loft Furniture

Epoch Design has been a trusted supplier to our local Cosco store, right here in the Fredericksburg area, for several years now.

Today, we begin the first of many great furniture giveaways for one lucky Moms of Fredericksburg fan, all courtesy of Epoch Design.

The piece of furniture we intend to give away is brand new (still in boxes), and currently awaiting pick-up by the lucky mom at Costco in Fredericksburg. It is the “Gabriel Full Loft Bed with Media Cart.” Note – 6 drawer dresser not included. The retail price for this beautiful furniture at is $1199!!! Cost to a lucky Moms of Fredericksburg Facebook fan: zero, zilch, nothing, nada.

Here’s how to win – just reply to this article on Facebook by telling Moms of Fredericksburg why your kid would be completely stoked to a new loft bed just in time for school! You should also ask your Facebook friends to “Like” our page and vote for your family to win! Entries need to be received by Thursday, August, 11, 2011, no later than 3:00 pm EST. The winner will then be selected on Friday! Good luck, moms!! (Note* The winner is solely responsible for going to the Fredericksburg Costco store and picking up the furniture. Epoch Design and Moms of Fredericksburg are NOT responsible for pick-up and/or delivery of this merchandise). One last note – PICK-UP at Costo must be scheduled within 24 hours after winner is announced.

Moms of Fredericksburg Toy Story Contest Winner

Christina Gonzalez is the winner of the Moms of Fredericksburg Toy Story Contest! Christina will receive 2 hours of special “Toy Purge” time with Linda Clevenger, Professional Organizer and owner of Organization Direct. She’ll also receive a consultation and Action Plan to organize your children’s toys. With over 3 hours of professional consultation time, this prize has a value of over $200. Email to redeem your prize!

Moms of Fredericksburg Facebook Contest

Moms of Fredericksburg – I have another great contest just for you!! Since we’ve all just spent the last 8 weeks of summer vacation toting our children back and forth to activities while running the family wagon to the ground (sometimes, literally), I wanted to come up with a way to wash away all of the mess our kids leave behind each and EVERY day. You know, like the dirty fingerprints all over the windows, the crackers and pretzels which seem to embed themselves between every seat cushion, or how about the slimy chocolate ice cream that dried all over the seatbelts?

baby in carseat

I bet your day goes somewhat like mine usually do: The morning starts out with our precious coffee mugs slinging little splashes around in the front cup holder. We pack a bag, or bags, of snacks and drinks for our excited passengers – the kids. By the time we reach our first destination of the day, the children have gone through everything we’ve packed for them and are now placing orders for lunch. Wanting to save our hard earned money for other things, I’ll typically plan ahead by preparing lunch with the morning snack. This generally consists of PB&J sandwiches, juices boxes, and pretzels, which we consume during our afternoon road trip to the local pool.

dirty car seat

3 kids + family car = MESS

All of this driving back and forth has not only racked up the miles on our family vehicle, it’s also left behind loads and loads of crumbs, dirt, grime, and spills within what used to be the beautiful interior of our family transportation. Lately, even a quick run through the local car wash doesn’t seem to cut it. Often, this is because we simply don’t have the time to properly vacuum, scrub, and pick out the mountains of crumbs imbedded within every nook and cranny of our SUV.

I recently visited Fredericksburg’s Express Auto Spa to inquire about a full “inside and out” car detailing package (a/k/a the “WORKS” which includes the following services:

carpet shampoo
seat shampoo/leather conditioning
prep before the wash
triple foam treatment
clear coat body protectant
rain-x water repellent
rims degreased
micro-fiber towel hand wipe down
complete interior wipe down with all purpose cleaner
cup holders and middle console Q-tip clean
dash n door protectant
door jams cleaned
trunk lining cleaned
gas flap degreased and wiped out
undercarriage pressure wash
3 coasts of wax (single face orbiter, dual faxed orbiter and high speed buffer
mirror glaze finish
paint sealant polymer

Now THAT is what my SUV REALLY needs! Actually, that is what we moms REALLY need! So, how about it? How would 1 Moms of Fredericksburg fan like to win this amazing Express Auto Spa’s Works detail package ($200 value) to restore some shine to your family vehicle?! Here’s how to enter for a chance to win – just share this link with your friends on Facebook. Tell them to “Like” Moms of Fredericksburg and comment as follows – “_____ has the dirtiest car in Fredericksburg!” The Facebook entries will be noted and placed in a raffle. Obviously, your odds of being selected increase the more friends you refer. Good luck, moms!

Fredericksburg Grand Opening Event For Families

This week, check out the “grand opening” of Fredericksburg’s newest Tires Plus located at 4632 on Mine Road in Fredericksburg!  Tires Plus is planning 4 days worth of fun-filled, family oriented activities suitable for the entire family.  You won’t want to miss out, and neither will your children.    

tires plus store

Tires Plus Grand Opening - 4632 Mine Road, Fredericksburg

There will be cookouts on both Friday and Saturday, including popcorn and sno-cones for your little ones.  A “BIGFOOT” truck will also be on hand to satisfy the “off-roaders” in your family.  Moms, if your husband has any interest in cars and racing (mine is fixated on both), please bring him by on Thursday when one of professional racing’s greatest living legends, Mario Andretti, stops by to sign autographs.  Between Mario and the monster truck, I don’t who is going to be more excited about the grand opening – my husband or my children.  Not that it really matters because my entire family will have a great time supporting a new local business.  

Fredericksburg moms, please come out and join us as we welcome Tires Plus to our area.  Here is a timeline of events for the grand opening: 

Thursday, July 28

3:00 to 6:00 pm – Mario Andretti Autograph Session

Friday, July 29

10:00 am to 3:00 pm – Cookout 

12:00 pm to 6:00 pm  - Bigfoot Truck 

Saturday, July 30 

10:00 am to 3:00 pm – Cookout 

12:00 pm to 6:00 pm  - Bigfoot Truck  

Sunday, August 1

9:00 am to 5:00pm – Grand Opening 


Fredericksburg Coffee Shop Hosts Fun Family Events

For those Fredericksburg locals unfamiliar with Blackstone Coffee, it’s located in the new Eagle Village Shopping Center, which is just between Mary Washington University and it’s affiliated hospital.  Here are just a few great reasons to stop by and hang out with the entire family at  Fredericksburg’s newest favorite coffee shop.  

blackstone coffee

Several weeks ago, Blackstone Coffee began “Tuesday Morning Story Hour” to give community children some organized entertainment while we Moms (and Dads) kick back on one of the extra large and comfy arm chairs with a cup of delicious “in house” roasted coffee and/or one of the homemade desserts personally prepared by Chef Elan.  For some time now, I’ve been stopping by with my children when we’re out and about in Fredericksburg.  This past Friday, I brought the kids in for a smoothie sampling – what a treat that was for them!  I’m now beginning to think my boys enjoy this locally owned business as much as I do.  

little kids sitting on arm chairs

Kudos to Blackstone Coffee for brewing up an excellent selection of coffee products and assorted pastry products but, most importantly, for being such a child-friendly business so we parents can start the morning off right!  They aren’t just a morning spot either.   Tonight , they’re hosting local guitarist and song writer, Justin Richters, from 7 to 9pm. Check out Blackstone’s Facebook page for events.   Read More…

Tips for Fredericksburg Moms living the real life “Toy Story.”

By Moms of Fredericksburg guest blogger, Linda Clevenger

Toys, toys….where to put them, how to store them? This is a question that puzzles so many parents. We all know the value of positive stimulation and educational tools to help our children develop their emotional, gross and fine motor skills. But where do you store them all? How do you avoid having toys clutter up your living room, family room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, etc., etc.? Would you like help from a Professional Organizer?

toy story kids laptop

I have seen, firsthand, the wrath that toys can have on a household. With three grandchildren, all under the age of 6, their dolls, matchbox cars, stuffed animals, coloring books, and crayons all have a particular place. Even now in our attic, Teddy Ruxpin, Cabbage Patch Dolls, Strawberry Shortcake toys, and My Little Pony continue to occupy a specially designated spot. My goodness, are any of these back in the stores yet!

It’s been 20 years since I had a toddler running around in my home, and that’s why I decided things were going to be different this time around. I now utilize just one basket and one wicker trunk to hold all of their toys, puzzles, dolls, coloring books, matchbox cars (yes, she loves her cars), and anything else.

The local Target has a good selection of organizing cubes, wicker baskets, etc.

toys in wicker boxes

Keeping your children’s toys organized can be a challenge. In fact, you may feel, at times, like toys have overtaken your home. I’ve worked with moms who allow toys to be in the kitchen, living room, family room, bedrooms, bathroom – just about every room in their home. Of course, bedtime toys are in the bedroom and bathtime toys are kept in the bathroom but, really…should you be kicking toys out of the way to avoid tripping over them?

messy kids toys

So what’s been our key to keeping things under control this time around? Simple – we have a rotation process…nothing can come in unless something goes out. I use this analogy all the time: “the walls of your home won’t expand to accommodate everything that comes in, unless something goes out.”

Joining Moms Of Fredericksburg’s Main Mom, we’d like to hear your best, or should we say “worst,” real life Toy Story as it unfolds behind your home’s front door. Summer is a great time to get toy clutter under control and have your household back in order prior to the start of a new school year. The winner of the contest will receive 2 hours of special “Toy Purge” time with Linda Clevenger, Professional Organizer and owner of Organization Direct. You’ll also receive a consultation and Action Plan to organize your children’s toys. With over 3 hours of professional consultation time, this prize has a value of over $200.

So, let’s hear your real life “Toy Story.” Send a picture along!

Please comment on this post for your entry to win!

Fredericksburg Field House Run “N Fun Camp Giveaway

Moms of has the greatest fans! Help us spread the word about our website and enter for a chance to win 1 free week of Run “N Fun Camp at the Fredericksburg Field House!

Here’s how to enter:

1. Post the comment “I shared” on our wall. This will be your entry to win.

2. SHARE this post on your Facebook wall with your friends and comment “I helped spread the word for Moms of”

One lucky Moms of Fredericksburg Fan will be selected on Friday, July 1st.

Thanks again fans! Your support helps promote this mommy created and “approved” resource for Fredericksburg families!

2011 Fredericksburg 4th of July Activities, Festivals, Fireworks…..

Whether your family will be spending it’s first “4th” in Fredericksburg, or you’re a local resident who’s familiar with what’s going on in town over the holiday weekend, Moms of Fredericksburg will help give you a quick run down of what, where, when, who, and how much? We’ll be continually updating the Events calendar as we come across more ways to celebrate one of our nation’s most historic holidays the ‘Burg Way!

4th of july girls smiling

32ND ANNUAL HERITAGE FESTIVAL 5 MILE RACE: July 2nd registration from 10am-6pm at the VARunner store in Central Park. On race day, registration begins at 06:30am at the Fredericksburg Visitor Center on Caroline Street. Or register online. With a 07:45am start, the race’s USTF certified route will allow its competitors the pleasure of touring our beautiful and historic city while getting a great work-out! Awards go to the 3 overall finishers and the top male/female finishers within each age division. We’ll see you there!

FESTIVAL OF THE STREETS: This event lasts from 10am to 4pm and includes activities for everyone in your family. From an antique pick-up truck show for Dad, to free pony rides for the kids, your family will have a blast!

PRATT PARK’S JULY 4TH SPECTACULAR: Beginning at 06:00pm, the University of Mary Washington Community Symphony will be on hand to perform a variety of songs to satisfy everyone’s musical interests.

FIREWORKS: At 09:15pm, the sites and sounds which are the hallmark of every July 4th celebration begin. Your family will be amazed as the fireworks rocket into the sky high above the Rappahannock River. Take your portable chairs and non-alcoholic beverages to either Brooks Park or Pratt Park. Parking is free. See you there!

Spotsylvania County:
SPOTSYLVANIA STARS AND STRIPES SPECTACULAR: On July 2nd, beginning at 03:00pm, the Spotsylvania Court House will host an event filled day of live music, children’s activities, Sheriff’s Office activities, and Fire Department activities. The event will be capped off later in the evening with a spectacular fireworks display. Food will be available for purchase.

Stafford County:
FERRY FARM’S FABULOUS 4TH OF JULY: From 10am-5pm, you and your family can visit George Washington’s boyhood home and talk to actors portraying George Washington, Revolutionary War soldiers, and other 18th century laborers. Plus, you can learn about the local Patawomeck Tribe, and what it was like to live as a Native American during revolutionary times. There will be games, crafts, live music, and food available to enjoy. A truly special event not to be missed. For more information on Fredericksburg history.

Dads of Fredericksburg Contest

I don’t know about your husband, but my “Dad of Fredericksburg” has a very small list of special requests when it comes to Father’s Day. With his extremely busy work schedule, special times like “Father’s Day” provide a rare opportunity to spend the day relaxing with his family and just enjoying the simple things in life. He definitely doesn’t want a planned itinerary of things to do, places to see, or events to attend. So, the LAST thing I am going to do is have a Father’s Day itinerary ready for him. What I WILL do for him is take our children to Wegman’s on Saturday between 11 am and 3 pm to decorate an Ultimate Chocolate Cake for Dad! It’s only $12 per cake and I know our sons will have an absolute blast decorating dad’s favorite dessert – chocolate cake!

Reply to this post with a short comment about why your husband, or Dad, deserves to feast like a King on his favorite dessert for Father’s Day and your entry will be submitted for a shot at winning a $25 Wegmans gift card.

Probably, the only thing my husband enjoys more than chocolate cake is cars! Our Dad of Fredericksburg is a car MANIAC! He is completely obsessed with reading every single magazine about every single car in his spare time. So, if your Dad of Fredericksburg is a dedicated car man – send us a short reply as to why your husband, or dad, deserves to win a Gift Card for a free Mini Detail at Express Auto Spa in Fredericksburg.

Photo from

If you reply to this Facebook entry – your Dad of Fredericksburg names will be entered into a drawing for one of the gift card giveaways. Happy Father’s Day to all you “Dads of Fredericksburg!” Relax guys….you’ll be back to work on Monday!

Can Moms get the “Triple D Guy” to visit the Burg?

I’ll tell you what, this Mom gets excited when she clicks on one of her favorite cable channels and see Diners, Drive-ins and Dives headlining the hour. How many nights have you spent watching Triple D? Is it just me or does Guy have a way of making you smile at the end of a long day?! I love the concept of finding great locally owned restaurants throughout the country, while spending the time talking about food, sharing recipes, and sampling every single dish. Most importantly, I truly enjoy watching Guy greet, meet and eat at the locals’ favorite eateries in big and small cities!

My husband and I have spent many nights asking each other the same question, IS there a place like “that” restaurant in Fredericksburg?! A great locally owned diner, drive-in or dive that is serving exceptional dishes, with devoted customers coming back for more of the same great food, day after day, month after month, year after year?

Fredericksburg – please help Moms of Fredericksburg with our mission to call out the best locally owned restaurants in Fredericksburg. We will send this blog, along with YOUR votes for who, where and why, straight to the Food Network for a shot at invited Guy “(Fee-eddy)” to the Burg.

Guy has also launched the Cooking with Kids Foundation with a mission to encourage children to become more involved in the kitchen and education influencing healthy food options for families.

Kudos to Guy for influencing children (boys and girls alike) to become more involved in the kitchen. Moms – can you agree, there’s something special about a man that can cook?!

Summer Survival Tips for Moms

Check out this great article by Amy McCready, a highly sought-after parenting coach, speaker, consultant and writer. Following a self imposed career sabbatical to raise her two sons (now ages 13 and 15), Amy founded Positive Parenting Solutions in 2004. Her goal was to help educate parents about how they could more effectively communicate with, and ultimately, connect to their children. Through her online parenting courses, live webinars, and speaking engagements, Amy has gained widespread attention and has been called upon as an expert by numerous media outlets, including NBC’s TODAY Show, The New York Times, The Rachael Ray Show, Fox & Friends, and MSNBC.”

5 Steps to Put the Brakes on Back Talk

As a parent, hearing comments from our children like, “No, I won’t,” or “You do it,” can be particularly trying, even on the best days. In my experience, back talk has been the number one parenting complaint from all the mothers and fathers I’ve spoken with. It can be SO hard to get our kids to respond to a request without the whining, rolling their eyes, or simply ignoring us that many parents resort to often stated, seldom understood quips like, “You’ll do it because I said so!,” or “Don’t you dare talk to me that way!”

“Back talk” may be annoying and, at times, downright infuriating, but it’s a common side-effect of your child’s growth and need for independence. No matter what the age, children require a strong sense of personal power at an emotional level. When they can’t get it because we’re ordering them around or doing everything for them, they lash out with words. It’s the typical “fight or flight” response, meaning since they can’t remove themselves permanently from the current situation (flight), they’ll stay and fight by testing their limits, in hopes of provoking a reaction.

The best way to quickly curtail “back talk” is to allow our children to feel the positive personal power they yearn for. By fostering their independence, within our limits, we as parents can help them to grow, while at the same time limiting the arguments and whining that no one enjoys. Here’s how:

1.Give kids some power
Find opportunities for your children to assume some control of their own world. This could be as simple as allowing your toddler to pick out his or her own outfit for the day, or allowing your teenager to plan an activity during a family vacation. The more positive power you give them, the less they’ll try to get it in negative ways.

2. Don’t play a role
Recognize that parents may unknowingly contribute to the power struggles that produce “back talk” by bossing kids around too frequently. After all, would you be able to hold your tongue if you were told what to do all day? Limit the ordering, directing, and correcting you do by finding alternate ways to get cooperation, and you may just find the “back talk” has lessened considerably.

3. Pay attention!
Your kids have an attention basket that needs to be filled each and every day. They need your undivided attention, and will quite likely get it one way or another! Spend 10 minutes twice a day getting into each child’s world with no interruptions (READ: let your phone go to voice mail, etc.) and you’ll soon see an increased level of cooperation.

4. Refer to the rules
Set very clear rules for your house, along with very clear consequences for any child who chooses to test them. You don’t have to be overly harsh or strict, you simply need to stay within the limits you impose.

5. Keep your cool

Your kids may be talking back simply to get a rise out of you—so don’t give them the satisfaction! Say something along the lines of, “I feel hurt by the way you’re talking to me. When I hear that tone of voice, I’m going to walk away. We can talk again when you can speak respectfully to me.” Then walk away. Next time it happens, there’s no need for even a warning—simply leave the room. You’re sending the message that you refuse to participate in a power struggle. And when there’s no one to fight with, there’s no fight!

By following these 5 steps, you’ll greatly reduce the amount of “back talk” you hear from your kids. The resulting harmony will be music to your ears.

Thanks to Fredericksburg Nurses

On the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, I would like announce the winner of Moms of Fredericksburg’s Nurse Mom of the Week Contest. Please read below, all of the messages I received nominating local Nurse Moms. Each one of these Nurses deserve special recognition for doing an extraordinary job serving our Community and being great Moms!

Stephanie Coerper Wins a Massage from Pennie Rose Massage!

I would like to nominate my wife Stephanie Coerper for the best nurse mom. She recently gave birth to our first son Braeden(10 Months ago) She has been an LPN with Allergy Partners of Fredericksburg for the past 2 years.

I have watched her with my son and there is no woman more patient with an infant than her. Our son Braeden was born with reflux, and he was a very fussy needy baby. He would scream constantly if he was not being fed. I did not understand what was going on and thought that he was just hungry. Steph was worried about the situation but I kept assuring her that Braeden was fine. It finally came to a head when our 3 week old was eating 4-6 ounces at a sitting, then spitting most of it back up. She finally said that’s it, we are taking him to the doctor. This is when Braeden was diagnosed with the reflux. If you have never seen an infant with reflux then you are lucky. Me sitting here typing the words does not does not adequately describe the situation. Braeden was screaming constantly. If he wasn’t screaming he was eating. The patience showed by my wife at this time was amazing.

She has continued to be amazing. Watching her with my son makes my heart melt. I am a cop for a local jurisdiction. I work evenings so I am not home a lot of nights to put my son to sleep. When I am home all I can do is watch in amazement as my wife has my son calmed down in 10 to 15 minutes. I am jealous of that time. I can’t get him to go to sleep for the life of me!

She is always planning play dates with our son. We take him to various parks in the area, walking through trails, and to friends houses.

I write about my wife and I see how much she means to my son, but the writing cannot describe the love she has for him. When I get home at night, at 2 AM, the first thing she asks me is “Did you check on Brady” Then she asks about my night. I can’t begin to describe their interaction. My son sees my wife and immediately starts to smile. He puts his arms out to Stephanie, wanting to be picked up. There is no better mom out there. None of this begins to describe how much my wife loves my son. I see it in her eyes every time she looks at Braeden. I hear it in her voice when she calls and asks about him, or talks about him, and I see it in her touch when she snuggles him. I could not ask for a better mommy for my little boy!

There was never any horrible incident that jumps out in my mind. There wasn’t a bad accident and he was born with no complications. Steph just loves our little boy unconditionally, totally, and without any thought of herself. She is the definition of solid steady heartfelt love. Dep Matthew Coerper

I have many friends & co-workers that are nurses & mommy’s, but I have to say that Erin Hewitt stands out most for me. She is a mom to five wonderful children and still manages to work full time on a very busy general surgery floor at Mary Washington Hospital. Erin as a mother is full of patience, sincerity, godliness, love & virtue. All of those attributes remain the same with her at work. She treats all of her patient’s with understanding, kindness and empathy (amongst many other things). On days when she is our charge nurse she is fair with all the staff during our assignments. She helps out everyone the best she can and always makes herself available. I’ve watched her during code blue situations remain calm, but vigorous in her efforts to help & save the patient. I have also observed Erin at home with her children. Like I said earlier, all those traits remain the same from work to home. She is so kind & patient with her children, yet disciplines at the same time. She is a backbone for her family & a lovely wife to her husband, Jason. I know that Erin would never treat herself to something as special as a massage and think a gift like this would blow her out of the water.

Thank you for your consideration. Let me know if there are any other additional comments or thoughts you need!

I would like to add the BEST nurse of Fredericksburg to your contest.
Ms. Leigh Ann Lazenby of Preferred Pediatrics. My children have had
the pleasure of being Leigh Ann’s patients over the past 2 years. Her
beautiful soft spirit can calm the anxiety of a child, like no other!
Her support to me as a parent is unmatched. Leigh Ann definitely would
like a massage :) Thanks.
Have a beautiful day!
Cindy Blankenship

My friend Bronwyn is a nurse at Stafford Hospital, on top of being a mom to three kids! She has been a great friend to me since I moved here and didn’t know anyone, and she works so hard. Her job is very hard, she often works with older dementia patients and her demeanor and personality is exactly the right one for someone who may be confused and in pain. I forget the name of her specialty, but she calls it Butts and Guts! I know she would really appreciate a massage.
Thank you,

I want my mom to win! Her name is Kathy Young. She works at Mary Washington in out patient/same day surgery! She is a wonderful mom and nurse. She is loving and caring, always putting others before herself. Between working full time, quilters guild and being the youth minister for the base’s youth group, she doesn’t get much time for herself!

My vote is for a dear friend, Carrie Combs. She is the most compassionate and caring person I know and many will agree! She has graduated and become a nurse more recently but she has worked hard and diligently to make it to this point. We each have a teenage boy and toddler age kid as well so, I know it’s hard to have to be caring ALL the time but I know any day, any time I can call Carrie for help, an ear, or a favor and she will be there for me as she is with her patients at the Culpeper Hospital!
Have a Great Day! Georgette Gunter

The nurse I’m entering is Julie Weathers at Pratt Medical Center. She is a Certified Nurse Midwife, and she works VERY hard. She delivered my first son, and will be delivering my 2nd in June. The reason she deserves to win is that her job, as she put it, is not a 9-5 job, and unless she is out of town, she is on call ALL THE TIME. She deals very personally with each of her patients, spending time with them and getting to know them as people, and does her best to put people at ease about the whole process.
A fantastic nurse! Thanks for your consideration! Submitted by Victoria