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Family Calendar — The Moms are coming! The Moms are coming!

Make sure your plate is clean, your face is washed and your room is picked up, because the Moms are coming to town. Nearly 3,000 of them are expected to meet at the Mayo Civic Center today and Saturday for the 2006 Hearts at Home North Central Regional Conference. The conference offers high-energy speakers Lysa TerKeurst and Julie Ann Barnhill, Dove Award nominee musician Sara Groves, and more than 25 workshops focusing on topics such as parenting basics, family management, foster parenting and adoption, dealing with stress and raising responsible children. In addition, the annual conference provides an inviting, fun and "know-what-you’re-going-through" atmosphere.

Rochester mom of three (soon to be four), Angie Pankratz will be attending the conference and says, "From the first time I attended this conference (this is her third year), I really appreciated how well organized it is. It’s relaxing and yet very educational. Plus it’s close to home and affordable." She adds, "Everyone I know who attends makes plans to attend the following year. It’s that good."

Walk-in registration is available today at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Cost to attend the conference is $75.

Phone: 309-828-MOMS

Address: Mayo Civic Center, 30 Civic Center Drive S.E.

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On the Web: www.hearts-at-home.org

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Crazy for critters

The second Sunday of every month is Critter Sunday at Quarry Hill Nature Center. During this fun, interactive class, QHNC staff will introduce participants to and educate them about animals that are found in the nature center’s live displays. On Sunday, featured critters are turtles and toads. Critter Sunday runs 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and is appropriate for parents and children of all ages. Registration is not required. Fees of $2/adults and $1/youth will be collected during class.

Phone: 281-6114

Address: 701 Silver Creek Road N.E.

On the Web: www.qhnc.org

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Thank goodness it’s Friday!

Whew! You made it. It’s Friday, and the weekend is finally here! Parents of children ages birth through kindergarten are invited to celebrate this weekly "holiday" at PAIIR’s TGIF (Those Great Informational Fridays). Held most Fridays during the school year, the next TGIF is Nov. 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Northrop Education Center. During class, children play with early childhood staff while parents meet for a group discussion with a parent educator. Discussion topics vary weekly. To reserve a spot, call PAIIR after 5 p.m. on Thursday and before 8:45 a.m. on Friday. You will be contacted on Friday morning if the class is full. Class fee is $6.50/first child and $5.50/each additional child. Don’t let fees or transportation stop you from attending. PAIIR can assist with both.

Phone: 285-8033

Address: Northrop Education Center, 201 Eighth St. N.W.

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We are family

November is National Adoption Month. Catholic Charities is celebrating by hosting its Second Annual Adoption Day Celebration at Pax Christi Catholic Church. Families who have built their families through adoption and those that are waiting for a child are invited to the celebration on Nov. 18 from noon to 3 p.m. This free event includes lunch, story time and fun family activities. Register by Wednesday.

Address: Pax Christi Catholic Church, 4135 18th Ave. N.W.

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Phone: 287-2047

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Have you seen the lights?

KTTC Lights @ Bluff Valley is, according to Bluff Valley, the only autumn lighted maze in the world. The mile-long maze, located in Zumbro Falls, includes 450 displays (including Zumbro Falls only "falls") and is open through Nov. 26, Fridays and Saturdays (5 p.m. to 11 p.m.) and Sunday through Thursday (5 p.m. to 10 p.m.). The cost is $10 per vehicle Sunday through Thursday or $12 per vehicle Friday and Saturday. Up to seven people per vehicle. Admission fee includes free nightly entertainment performed by area high school youth as well as night light basketball golf, mini-golf, disc golf and wagon tours.

Phone: 1-877-GO-SEE-IT

On the Web: www.bluffvalley.com

The Family Calendar is a weekly calendar of family-oriented events compiled by Lindy Lange, editor of www.ROCHESTERfamilies.com. Do you know of an upcoming event? E-mail details to lifestyle@postbulletin.com by Tuesday each week.

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