Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

Dear American Girl: Open the vault!

I got a letter the other day from my friends at the American Girl company in Middleton, Wis.

Well, it wasn’t to me personally, just all of us poor saps who granted our daughters’ wish for an American Girl doll — in this case, Felicity Merriman and/or her best friend, Elizabeth Cole.

Celebrate reading and science! Weekend Family Picks

We're celebrating children's literature and science this weekend -- with not one but two appearances by the Cat in the Hat -- starting with the annual Youth Literature Festival at Krannert.

Generous in victory

The Eastern Illinois Foodbank collected more than $2,200 -- and counting -- for the Food for Families drive at Saturday's Illinois-Ohio State game at Memorial Stadium.

It wasn't all from Illini fans. Food bank spokeswoman Cheryl Precious noted that Buckeye fans were "very generous to this community."

Heavens to Betsy, don't say what I say

One of the many adjustments we make when we become parents is to self-censor.

We retrain our brains to ban the D, S, B and F words, or invent substitutes that make us sound like we live in Mayberry RFD (hence “dangit” or “shoot.”)

Savoy 16 offers special screenings for kids with special needs

Going to a movie can be a frightening experience for a child with autism or other special needs, with ear-splitting noises and pitch-dark theaters.

Goodrich Quality Theaters, which operates the Savoy 16, is starting a new program once a month that could help.

Folk music, wildlife and a 'mini-Imax': weekend Family Picks

It's a fall festival free-for-all this weekend in Champaign County, from folk music to apples. Animal lovers can ride a pony or see exotic rescued animals at the annual Pet Fair Extravaganza, or take their pets to the drive-in.  And budding scientists will love the dome theater experience at the Champaign Library. Check it out!

New Orpheum exhibit helps kids get 'smart' about electricity

CHAMPAIGN — Electricity is not my strength. I use it, I appreciate it, I believe in conserving it, but I really don’t understand how it all works. I don’t even like to change a light fixture without consulting an electrician.

Family Picks: Paint the town, ride the rails, or punt, pass and kick!

Monticello is where it's at this weekend, with the annual Monticello Celebration and Railroad Days at the Monticello Railroad Museum. And with a near-perfect weekend forecast, it's your last chance to take a boat ride around Crystal Lake in Urbana. Or try out your football skills at Punt, Pass and Kick. Plus a free concert, Savoy Orchard Days and more!

Kids should stay active, but how much is too much?

So we’re thinking of adding on a room to our house. A soundproof one. Just for saxophone practice.

My son’s fifth-grade band adventure is the latest in a long line of activities our children have explored, and it’s going to be a noisy one. But so far at least, he likes it. And I’m all for it.