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c o n t e n t s The teen years Katie Wadington, Editor

This month’s features 6

Thankful kids

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Without a partner

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Children take cues from parents on being thankful. Single parents do the work of two.

Easing adoption Local expert helps families navigate adoption process.

Surviving middle school Tips for navigating those awkward years.

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Understanding eating disorders They affect more than just girls and for many reasons.

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Teens and sleep Dr. Susan Mims on how much sleep older kids need.

Halloween leftovers Ideas for how to use all of that candy.

In every issue

Kids’ Voices .....................15

Artist’s Muse ...................34 Growing Together............36 Nature Center Notes ........37 Librarian’s Picks...............40 Story Times .....................41 FEAST .............................42

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Hiking phenom

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Holiday fun

A 13-year-old is the youngest to hike the nation’s three major trails. Events and festivals that celebrate the Christmas season.

30 A special place

Plans are in the works for a WNC facility with autism resources.

On the cover Clare Cruz, by Kaelee Denise Photography, www.kaeleedenise.com. Photographed at WNC Nature Center, www.wncnaturecenter.com.

Find us online

Families & Relationships ..46 Calendar .........................48 Kids page ........................50

.com facebook.com/ wncparent @wncparent

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We are in full-blown teen-dom at my house. With a 14-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son, those difficult years are in full swing. New parents think 2 is bad. It’s that age you just need to get past. I’ve been there. I’m here to tell you that 2 is not bad. It is not the worst. It’s frustrating, but it’s a cake walk. In my experience, the most challenging age is either 3 or 14. (When my daughter turned 2, I groaned about it and a co-worker said, “Oh, 3 is so much worse than 2.” He was right.) And those may be eclipsed by 15. And then 16. We’ll see. As with the preschool years, the teen years have plenty of bright spots and moments when you smile and think, “I’m the luckiest mom in the world. My child is amazing.” And my children are amazing, and I am lucky. But I think all parents of teens could use a little support group, no? In this, the issue, we try to make life a little easier for parents of tweens and teens. Just how do you get your child through middle school, for instance? See Page 11. Our story on Page 13 is an important one, looking at eating disorders. Throw out those stereotypes you have; boys are affected, too. On Page 20, check out the story on the mind-blowing 13-yearold who’s hiked 8,000 miles, including the entire Appalachian Trail. And, as we celebrate this month of giving thanks, see the story on Page 6, about raising grateful children. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and take a minute to enjoy the season. If you’re looking for holiday happenings, check out the calendar on Page 26. And I’ll see you in December.

P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802 www.wncparent.com PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER Dave Neill WNC PARENT EDITOR Katie Wadington — 232-5829 kwadington@citizen-times.com

ADVERTISING Katy Graziano — 236-8994 kgraziano@gannett.com

Special thanks to features editor Bruce Steele and designer Val Elmore. CALENDAR CONTENT Due by Nov. 10. E-mail calendar@wncparent.com ADVERTISING DEADLINE Advertising deadline for the December issue is Nov. 18.

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BEHIND EVERY GRATEFUL CHILD IS A

THANKFUL PARENT By Paul Clark, WNC Parent contributor

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bout seven years ago, Jennifer Mesk’s 12-year-old son and a friend were watching TV when it was time for everyone to leave the house to go somewhere. Her son told his friend they’d better turn the TV off while they were gone. “And she said ‘Why, I’m not paying for it,’” Mesk recalled, pleased that her son was appalled. It indicated his gratitude for having TV at all and his appreciation that television cost money his parents had to earn. To her, this indicated his gratitude for them earning the money that kept the family financially afloat. Gratitude, appreciation, thankfulness — those qualities are much talked about around Thanksgiving. But helping your children cultivate them isn’t a matter of talking. It’s a matter of living in gratitude yourself, Mesk and other parents said. Melissa Crowe lives near Weaverville. She and her husband have raised who they believe is an empathetic, grateful child, now 14, by de-emphasizing things in favor of experiences. “For example,” her mother said, “we always asked people not to bring her presents on her birthday. Instead, we have given her some experience to share with friends, like a picnic in the park or taking her friends to a climbing gym.” They don’t have cable TV, which Crowe believes draws children away from experiences and relationships. “Advertising aimed at

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children is the enemy of their sense of gratitude and groundedness,” she said. Children are taught that parents are the gatekeepers to the family vault. Sweet-talk them and you can get what you want. Which is manipulative, she said. And based in fantasy. One of the tools that have helped their daughter learn gratitude is Crowe and her husband’s being matter of fact about what the family can and cannot afford. It helps her appreciate and be grateful for what the family has, her mother said. “I want her to see behind the curtain sometimes, that there’s not enough money to do everything,” Crowe said. “And that parents have to be hard and unpleasant at times to make sure our needs are met.” They involve her as much as practical in finding solutions to challenges, in part so that she can take part in — and appreciate — the rewards of having

figured a way to accomplish a goal. Last summer, Jonathon and Tammy Flaum spent two months camping with their young son and daughter in national parks all over the country. Jonathon Flaum never felt the urge to tell the children that they should feel lucky to live in a country where such an experience was free. He himself was grateful for the experience, and that was enough. “Our children see the gratitude Tammy and I have for the life we have, the marriage we have and, most important, that we’re grateful for them and for the enjoyment we get out of them being kids,” Flaum, who lives in North Asheville, said in a recent interview. “It’s our feeling that by their experiencing us as being grateful that ultimately they will feel gratitude themselves.” Flaum chuckled over the phone. His daughter, 8, has just told his son,

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12, to turn down the amp on his electric guitar. His son has been playing about five years but no more intensely than the last year or so. He’s gotten really good, his father said. He often presents Flaum with lyrics by songwriters that he thinks are well done. Flaum detects a gratefulness in his son that the lyrics exist, because they’re guiding him in his own musical explorations. Mesk, a local photographer who lives with her family in west Buncombe County, has helped her chil-

dren realize thankfulness by exposing them to different people and ways of living. Paraphrasing a famous quote by Mark Twain, she said travel is the antidote to small-mindedness and self-centeredness. “We go on a lot of road trips,” Mesk said. “Like, all over the country.” You learn a lot when you travel, she said. It’s hard to be stuck in your own world when you’re out among the rest of it. Traveling makes you appreciate what you have and helps

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you to appreciate what others have. You see what you have in common. You empathize. And empathy helps build gratitude, she said. “We went to Rosetta’s Kitchen (a restaurant in Asheville) recently with our 14-year-old and we saw that, if you can pay extra for your meal, they put it in a pot for others who don’t have enough to pay to eat there. He suggested we put in $10,” she said. “He’s aware. My boys see things from all different sides instead of one. They dig a bit deeper.”

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SINGLE PARENTING OFFERS CHALLENGES, REWARDS By Pam J. Hecht, WNC Parent contributor

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rom the day she was born, Tearany Stepp’s dad was out of the picture. For mom, Tonya, of Fairview, that meant she had to run the show, fitting in the needs of her daughter with a full-time job outside the home. She received government assistance to pay for child care and her family helped fill in the gaps, taking care of Tearany, who is now 17, after school. “I’ve been fortunate and they have helped a lot,” says Stepp. Her flexible job as a medical insurance verification specialist has enabled her to take time off when her daughter is sick and to attend her games. Struggles and solutions

Linnae Harris, of Candler, adopted Luka and Makayla, now 11 and 12, from Russia. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

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Parenting can be hard, under any circumstances. But going it alone can have its own set of challenges. As her daughter has grown older, she’s missed having a father figure, Stepp says, and the financial struggles have become an increasingly big issue. For Linnae Harris, of Candler, who adopted a year-old boy, Luka, and a 2 1/2-year-old girl, Makayla from Russia, finding time to do everything while meeting her kids’ needs, can sometimes be difficult, she says. The children are now 11 and 12. “The biggest challenge for me is trying to work full-

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time and still be the best parent I can be,” says Harris, who is self-employed as a portrait photographer and instructor at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. “But each year it gets easier and easier as they get older and become more independent.” To get enough work done, she says, she often works evenings and weekends. “The downside to parenting alone is that there’s no one at home to tag team with,” says Harris. “When I’m feeling stressed or am busy, I wish there was someone who could be there for them when I can’t give them what they need.” Her sister and brother-in-law help out and offer support “in a magnitude of ways,” which helps a lot, she adds. Connecting with family and friends, joining parenting groups and creating a social network of other single parents is essential for emotional support and swapping child care, information, clothes and other things you may need, says Erika Myers, a family therapist based in Asheville, who is also a single parent to a 3-year-old son. “An extended family of caring adults,” she adds, can also expose your child to interests and abilities other than your own, and provide opportunities you might not be able to provide.” Making sure parents meet their own physical, social and other needs is also critical, Myers says. “Being a single parent on-call 24/7 can be exhausting,” says Myers. “If you are tired, stressed, and burned out, it’s much harder to be present with your child and meet their needs — ask for help and be compassionate with yourself — there is no such thing as a perfect parent.”

“Being a single parent on-call 24/7 can be exhausting. If you are tired, stressed and burned out, it’s much harder to be present with your child and meet their needs.” ERIKA MYERS, FAMILY THERAPIST

“If I don’t (take care of myself), I have nothing to give,” says Harris. “There are times on the weekends, when I will tell them to leave me alone for a while because I am doing quiet time, and I’ll go into my room, close the door and read, nap or meditate.” Taking on the role of two parents is “the biggest thing,” says Gary Wilson, of Hendersonville, a single father whose daughter, Jasmine, is 12. “It’s harder to make the important decisions as a single parent and there are things — girl stuff — a dad can’t do,” says Wilson, who has asked a female friend to take his daughter to buy bras. For single parents with children of the opposite sex, “finding role models for them and encouraging healthy connections with them is important,” says Myers.

The upside

“They appreciate and respect you more, because they know how much

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you’ve sacrificed to make sure they have what they need,” says Stepp. For some single parents, the ability to call the shots when it comes to parenting decisions, is also a perk. “I feel very blessed that I get to raise my children with my values, positive discipline methods and spiritual beliefs,” says Harris. “I believe it would be very difficult to raise children with someone when you have different ideas of what is best for them.” Also, for the single parent, there may be “more room to focus on being a great parent without feeling like you are neglecting your partner,” adds Myers. “As long as there are healthy boundaries, a special bond can develop between a child and a single parent,” she says. “As long as the child isn’t asked to take on more than is developmentally appropriate, the sense of teamwork and partnership can lead to a closer relationship, which can have great long-term benefits.” Another benefit of single parenthood is that since single parents may not be able attend to every need, “children learn coping strategies on their own, encouraging a level of independence that might not naturally occur in another situation,” adds Myers. “I’ve raised (my kids) to be fairly independent — since I am so busy all the time, I’m not able to do everything for them and they’ve learned to be helpful to the family and to do for themselves,” says Harris. “They also have a strong, happy, mother as a role model who owns a successful business and will hopefully learn that you can be happy without being in a relationship.”

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ADOPTION101 T By Marla Hardee Milling, WNC Parent contributor

he thought of adopting or fostering a child enters the minds of many parents for a variety of reasons. For some it’s a lifelong dream. For others it’s simply a fleeting thought as they rule themselves out of the process for reasons that may not even be accurate. Then there are those who push the idea aside because they simply don’t know how to go about it. That’s where Erica Jourdan comes in.

Armed with more than a decade’s worth of experience working for Buncombe County government as a recruiter and trainer of foster and adoptive parents, Jourdan has now struck out on her own. In August, she launched Adoption Options Consulting in Asheville. Her goal is to help prospective adoptive parents wade through the red tape and help them find an efficient process for expanding their family. “I was asked a lot of questions when working for the county,” she explains. “People didn’t know how to proceed and unravel the whole world of adoption. They had honest and sincere questions, but there really wasn’t any one service available to help answer their questions such as ‘How do I pick an adoption agency?’ ‘Where do I go?’ ‘What do I do?’”

Firsthand experience

Jourdan not only has her professional experience to draw on when helping her clients, she also has a “been there, done that” understanding of what it means on a personal level. Jourdan and her husband adopted all three of their children. She says she had an understanding at the age of 8 that she someday wanted to provide a loving home for children who didn’t have one. They also have firsthand knowledge of the different ways to adopt. Their first child was an agency adoption; they adopted him as an infant in January nine years ago. In August of that year, they welcomed a 15-year-old foster daughter into their home. They went through a fosteradopt program to make her an official member of their family. She’s now 24. Their third adoption of their now 5-yearold son was an attorney adoption. He is a cousin of their first son. As she helps her clients make decisions about the best route to follow, she says “I never try to sell a family on what to

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After years of work and personal experience with adoption, Erica Jordan launched Adoption Options Consulting in Asheville this summer. /SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

choose. I try to help them figure out what is best for their family. “I live and breathe this work,” she continues. “I find myself talking with people in line at the grocery store about it. It’s a confusing process. I try to get people over the fear. One just has to know how it works, like any system.”

Foster Adopt Fall Festival

November is a big month in the adoption world, recognized by the county and state of North Carolina as Adoption Awareness Month. In conjunction with that, the 2013 Western North Carolina Foster Adopt Fall Festival will take place from 1-4 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Biltmore Doubletree Hotel at 115 Hendersonville Road. This free event is open to anyone who desires more information about fostering and adopting all ages of children. Jourdan will be on hand at this event to offer advice and answer questions. She’s

also offering a pre-event free seminar to interested parents. It’s called “Adoption Options — Learning the Baby Steps” and will take place from noon-1 p.m. at the Biltmore Doubletree ahead of the Fall Festival. “There’s a huge amount of people who want to adopt and a huge amount of kids who want to be adopted, but bringing them together hasn’t been as efficient as what I’d like to see,” says Jourdan. While Jourdan will consult with families over the phone, she prefers to meet in person. She has an office in downtown Asheville or can coordinate other meeting places to accommodate a family. If you are interested in finding out more about how she can help you find out if you’re eligible to adopt and what the process involves, contact her at 407-0409 or info@adoptopt.com She provides an initial free 30-minute consultation to anyone considering the path of adoption.

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THE TRIALS & TRIBULATIONS OF By Betty Lynne Leary, WNC Parent contributor

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he words “middle school” strike fear in the hearts of many parents. In a time marked by tremendous growth and change, some students handle the added homework, accountability and social pressures with ease, while others struggle to adjust to changes in routine, friends and within themselves. “I deal with a lot of drama in my role as a middle school counselor,” says Shantae Jones, seventh-grade counselor at Erwin Middle School. “The transition of expectations is often the hardest challenge for middle-schoolers. We are trying to make students more independent, responsible and ready for high school, which is often a struggle for students who haven’t had to deal with much responsibility in elementary school.” For the Willey family in Hendersonville, concerns over bullying and an influx of new kids were the biggest concerns of middle school for their twin daughters, Alexandra and Rachel. “I have heard so many heartbreaking stories about bullying, and I was really concerned that this would be an issue,” Christa Willey says. The girls’ only concern was whether the kids coming from other schools would be nice or mean. Willey notes that their fears were unfounded and the girls had a great sixth-grade year transitioning to middle school with few problems. The family has a set schedule for homework and after-school activities that helps establish a routine, as do regular dinnertime conversations about issues that arise. When Chase Lizarralde, a seventh-grader at Asheville Christian Academy, entered middle school last year, his mom’s main concern was the increased workload. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

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Valley Springs Middle School, like most middle schools, has a support system of teachers and counselors, to ease the transition to sixth grade.SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

MIDDLE SCHOOL Continued from Page 11

“We talk to them all the time about peer pressure,” Willey notes, “and knowing right from wrong.” At Valley Springs Middle School, Assistant Principal Wendy Hannah sees students struggle to learn how to be more responsible for their own learning. “This includes self-advocating, being organized and ready for each class, and being responsible for appropriate classroom participation and work completion,” Hannah says. Like most middle schools, Valley Springs has a support system of teachers and counselors that help kids learn how to prepare for high school and be successful. “The greatest piece of advice we can give students is for them to accept responsibility and be accountable for their actions,” Hannah notes. When Chase Lizarralde, a seventhgrader at Asheville Christian Academy, entered middle school last year, his mom’s main concern was the increased workload. Chase was most concerned with switching classes eight times a day and getting to class on time.

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“All of our concerns quickly dissipated once he got into a routine,” Julie Lizarralde says. The transition went so well in sixth grade that Chase chose to play on the ACA middle school soccer team this year, and he swims for the school in the winter. His mom gives Chase all the credit for his success. “Chase has always been self-motivated in school,” she says. “He is able to take things in stride if he doesn’t do well on a test or homework assignment, but he does seem to try harder the next time.” Lizarralde admits that her biggest adjustment as a parent is letting go. “I found it a natural process in sixth grade to slowly back away from responsibilities,” she says. “The ACA teachers do a wonderful job of helping the kids understand and master their own responsibilities.” Balancing tougher academics and extracurricular activities is hard enough but throw in the biological changes every pre-teen experiences, and it’s no wonder kids are overwhelmed. “All kids struggle with some aspect of middle school, and that is attributable to the hormonal changes taking place in their bodies, the academic expectations, and the inner conflict of wanting to be grown up yet very much still wanting to

be a child,” says Catherine McClain, head of school at Hanger Hall, a middle school for girls in Asheville. McClain says she feels that a strong support system helps kids manage stress and confidently navigate the middle school waters. Her advice to parents is to support their children by giving them the space and tools to work issues out on their own. “Guiding them through challenges is ideal, while solving their issues for them is not,” she says. “When your child needs help in school, show them how to do the task, but not what to do.” Modeling behavior that you want to see in your child is also critical. “As parents, we are our child’s first and most influential teacher. While drama, gossip, and exaggeration are pretty standard in the lives of preteens, don’t get sucked in, but model for your child how to address conflict in a healthy way,” she explains. The middle school years are special. It’s a time of growth, exploration, and a real blossoming of your child as an individual. “This is the time when their values, skills, and who they are going to be as adults are forming,” McClain says. “Watching them grow in the confidence of their abilities is a great time.”

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Eating disorders involve more than girls, more than food

By Paul Clark

WNC Parent contributor

For a year, the 13-year-old’s parents excused the inordinate skinniness to his being vegetarian and going through a growth spurt. That’s what his doctor told them, anyway. Finally, the mother got scared and contacted Michelle Mendez-Youell, a licensed clinical addictions specialist and social worker. “I did an assessment, and it was clearly anorexia,” a potentially life-threatening disorder, MendezYouell said. The boy was seriously depressed, about his parents’ fighting and other things. Mendez-Youell’s first priority was helping him restore his weight, which was accomplished through a hospital stay and an eating plan devised by a nutritionist. And then the rest of the work began. “He felt out of control in the family unit because his father was becoming more verbally aggressive,” MendezYouell said. “We helped him set boundaries and learn to say no. After eight months, we got him into school again. And a year later, he was great.” Eating disorders affect about 30 million Americans, females twice as often as males, said Heather Wingert, director of T.H.E. Center for Disordered Eating in Asheville. Multiple surveys indicate that up to 60 percent of elementary school-aged girls are concerned about their weight and body shape, she said. Though far less talked about, eating disorders affect boys as well, high school wrestlers and football players among them. The National Institute of Mental Health says that 2.7 percent of children ages 13-17 have eating disorders. There are many kinds of eating disorders, but anorexia nervosa, characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss, is among the best known. Bulimia nervosa, a cycle of binging and purging, can also be life-threatening. Binge eating disorder can lead to obesity. An obsession with healthy eating can be an eating disorder itself, MendezYouell said. Mendez-Youell is founder of Balance

THINKSTOCK.COM

EATING DISORDER RESOURCES » Balance Point Collaborative, an outpatient mental health recovery center in Asheville that specializes in eating disorders and other disorders. 348-6922, www.balancepointnc.com. » Tapestry, a resident treatment program in Brevard that also has a day program. 855-3962604 www.tapestrync.com. » » T.H.E. Center for Disordered Eating of Western North Carolina in Asheville has a new free teen support group. 337-4685, www.thecenternc.weebly.com.

ONLINE RESOURCES » http://local.soberrecovery.com/Eating_Disorders_Widespread_among_Children_Asheville_NC-r1298789-Asheville_NC.html » http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/ prof_results.php?sid=1380820219.5213_ 26787&city=Asheville&county=Buncombe &state=NC&spec=5&spec=9&spec=454&lmore=1

Point Collaborative, an outpatient mental health recovery center that specializes in eating disorders and other disorders. Stress is one of the reasons that eating disorders are on the rise for both boys and girls, she said. A parents’ divorce and taunts at school may make them seek control of their lives by controlling

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their food intake, she said. “The underlying piece is, it’s about control,” said Tara Noid a licensed professional counselor in Asheville who specializes in adolescents. “Someone who doesn’t feel they have control over their life, maybe because a parent is trying to control everything, they will control their food. As in ‘I’m going to start not eating to punish my dad who’s telling me that I can’t date.’” Radical behavior and change that you cause feels empowering, even if it can be destructive. Women going through a separation or who get fired often do something radical with their hair, Noid said. “Ask any hairdresser,” she said. But few other people would know anything amiss is going on in her life. “It’s a huge misconception that if you have an eating disorder then you’re emaciated,” Mendez-Youell said. “Most people with eating disorders don’t fit into one category. They may look fairly healthy, with average body weight. But what’s going on — the constant restriction, the binging, vomiting — all of that is very unhealthy to the body. The body will take what it needs from other organs.” Parents might suspect an eating disorder if their normally outgoing child becomes withdrawn, when food goes missing around the house or when he or she insists on low-calorie meals in restaurants and at home. “If you feel in your gut that something is wrong, then you’re probably right,” Mendez-Youell said. Balance Point Collaborative provides clients (children among them) with up to 20 hours a week (and up to 40 hours a week next year) of help and support. Clients work with therapists and nutritionists. They also work with family members and other clients to help them reconnect with people. Mendez-Youell estimates that 60 to 70 percent of Balance Point’s work is with people younger than 18. Wingert’s approach also involves a team of therapist, doctor and dietician. She doesn’t treat children younger than 15, but for those 15 and above, she tries to involve the family.

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THINKSTOCK.COM

Experts say teen drivers need more practice

By Theresa Juva-Brown Gannett

Inexperience behind the wheel, immaturity and not enough parental involvement contribute to a higher risk of deadly vehicle accidents among teenage drivers, experts say. Some 3,000 teenagers are killed each year in car crashes nationwide, making it the leading cause of death for 13- to 19-year-olds, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Statistics show that teenage drivers, especially young men, are more likely than older age groups to be involved in fatal car collisions. The biggest mistake parents make is underestimating how much practice teens need, said John Ulczycki, a teendriving expert with the National Safety Council. “If you have not spent at least 50 hours driving with your kid, your kid is probably not a safe driver,” he said. Parents also tend to emphasize the wrong skills, such as parallel parking. Instead, parents should focus on mak-

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ing sure teens learn to scan the road ahead for hazards, he said. Roger Neset, owner of Roger’s Driving School in Tomkins Cove, said it’s also up to parents to determine whether their children are ready for the responsibility. He sees a range of behavior among the teenagers he teaches. “There are some 16-year-olds that are very mature. They make smart decisions,” he said. “Then I get the opposite: There are 16-year-olds that I have to tell five times to slow down.” Neset said the young men he has encountered over the years tend to be more aggressive drivers than the young women. That has real consequences: Of the 3,023 teens killed in car crashes in the U.S. in 2011, roughly two-thirds were male, according to the Insurance Institute. Tina and Rick Blank are constantly reminded of what their son, Michael, could have achieved if he hadn’t died in a car crash in 2000. Michael Blank, then 16, was driving home alone from a friend’s house on

Christmas night when he lost control of his parents’ car and struck a utility pole. Police said he was driving 84 mph when he crashed and suffered a fatal brain injury. “It didn’t have to happen — and that is what’s so sad,” said Tina Blank. John Nickens, a 16-year-old from Stony Point who recently received his junior license, said he doesn’t fit the stereotype of a reckless teen driver. “There are good drivers and bad drivers, no matter what age group,” he said. “Experience helps, but not all 16-yearolds are bad drivers.” Nickens considers himself a responsible driver, thanks in part to his mother’s strict enforcement of his junior license rules. “There have been a couple times I missed curfew, and my mom says I can’t drive the next day,” he said. Teens also need to use good judgment when it comes to being the passenger, he said. “It’s about knowing the person you are going to get in the car with,” he said. “If you know they are irresponsible, you shouldn’t get into the car with them.”

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kids’ voices

Be thankful

For Thanksgiving, we asked the students in Martha Linsley’s third-grade class and Michele Luther’s fourth-grade class at North Asheville Christian School why they are thankful. Here’s how they replied. “I am thankful for my home, friends, family, my dog, food and water. Mostly, I am thankful for God.” Trenton, 9

“I am thankful for my mom because she takes care of me and feeds me.” Korbin, 9

“I am thankful for family and friends because they care for me and comfort me. I’m thankful for a house because it keeps me safe. I’m thankful for food because it gives me strength and energy.” Tye, 8

“I am thankful for my dog Sasha because she loves to wake me up every day. I am very thankful for Martha Linsley, my 3rd grade teacher. I am also thankful that Jesus died on the cross for me to go to heaven.” Kaitlyn, 10

“I am thankful for my dog because he makes sure we are safe. I am thankful for my friends because when you are at school you won’t be alone. I am thankful for my family because you will be cared for.” Alyssa, 8

“I am thankful for my family because if I did not have a family I would not be alive. I am thankful for my friends because they are loving. I am thankful for my school because I can learn.” Leah, 8

“I am thankful for my family, my friends. I am thankful for my school and my teacher.” Emily, 8

“I am thankful for God and my family. And that I am a Christian.” Mario, 9

“I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for all pets. I am thankful for my school.” Bree. 8

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“I am thankful for my family because I love them. I am thankful for shelter because it protects me and my family.” Yates, 9

“I am thankful for my family because they adopted me. They have a home for me. They are always there for me.” Elizabeth, 9

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guest columnist

Is your teenager getting enough sleep? By Susan Mims Special to WNC Parent

Many parents know the scenario: midnight approaches and their teenager is still awake, despite the fact that getting ready for school means waking before sunrise. Between homework, part-time jobs, after school activities and distractions from technology, many teens are not getting the sleep they need to succeed in school or even roll out of bed in the morning. Many adolescents (and their parents) often don’t realize how important sleep is for a teenager’s development. Crucial body functions and brain activity occur during slumber. Sleep is fuel for the brain, and teen-

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agers need a large reserve tank to get them through the day. Experts say that youth between the ages of 12 and 18 need approximately nine hours of sleep per day; however, they rarely get that amount. Lack of sufficient sleep can lead to problems with grades, mood and memory. A drowsy teen may have trouble concentrating, which can make it difficult to do well in school. Sleep is physically restorative, so too little sleep can also result in weight issues, heart disease and diabetes, even in teenage years. Studies have shown that sleepy teens have more car accidents and are more likely to be obese, depressed and anxious than those who get enough sleep. Several factors contribute to sleep problems in teenagers. For example, the biological clocks of teenagers reset during puberty. In up to 15 percent of adolescents, the body’s inner clock

gradually shifts to a delayed time that causes them to feel naturally alert at night. Teens may not begin to feel sleepy until past midnight, and instead of waking up at 6 a.m., their bodies will want to sleep until 9 a.m. Overstimulation from technology is another reason some teenagers may be sleep deprived. Many teens spend hours on smartphones, computers and video games, sending text messages, interacting on social networking sites, playing games, listening to music and watching videos. A recent study conducted by researchers at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., found that two hours of exposure to light from electronic displays suppresses melatonin by 22 percent. In other words, the light from phone and computer screens stimulates the brain and tricks the body into thinking it should be in daytime-alert mode.

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How can teens get the recommended nine hours of sleep per night? Maintaining a schedule is important to regulating a body’s inner clock. Consistent

sleep and wake times are key. Try to avoid caffeine consumption in the afternoon or evening. Teens will go to sleep sooner if they have time to settle

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down in a calm environment. Avoid loud music, video games, or vigorous exercise within a few hours of bedtime. It can also be helpful to remove cell phones, computers and televisions from the bedroom. Teens should always practice good sleep hygiene — reserve the bed as a space only for sleep. Anyone worried about a teen that is sleep-deprived and exhibiting worsening symptoms should talk to a doctor about treatment options or lifestyle changes. Teens may need professional help if they are experiencing the following symptoms: depression, difficulty getting up in the morning, drowsy driving, excessive daytime sleepiness, failing grades, hyperactivity, inattention, irritability, low self-confidence or mood swings. Just as we teach our children about the importance of exercising and eating right to be healthy, we need to add sleep to this list. Good sleep is critical for good health. Susan Mims, MD, MPH is VP for Women’s and Children’s at Mission Hospital and Medical Director for Mission Children’s Hospital.

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AN EVEN SWEETER

TREAT Use leftover Halloween candy to create a dessert

So, the trick-or-treaters came and went and there’s candy left in the bowl. Or your little goblins hauled in all they could carry. What’s a cook to do? Head to the kitchen, that’s what. Here are some tips to help you put those leftover goodies to good use: » Add chunks of cut-up candy bars to favorite cookie recipes. Use kitchen scissors to easily snip bite-size candy bars into smaller pieces. » Freeze the candy and bring it out around the holidays. » Chop up candy or candy bars with a knife or scissors and put over ice cream or frozen yogurt. » Make a trail mix with chocolate-coated candies, raisins,

peanuts and any soft chewy candy. » Press cookie dough into a pizza pan and bake the dough. Cool, then top with favorite candies such as Sweetarts and candy-coated chocolates. Or, frost the pizza cookie and sprinkle on favorite toppings. » Layer prepared instant pudding with candy to make a pudding and candy parfait. » Add chopped-up candy bars to brownies in place of chocolate chips. » Make sandwich cookies. Top a plain sugar cookie with frosting, then add chopped candies and top with another plain sugar cookie.

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Gannett

H. DARR BEISER/ USA TODAY

Doctors redefine pregnancy terms By Kim Painter SPECIAL TO USA TODAY

Generations of mothers-to-be have heard that babies born any time between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy were “at term” — neither too early nor too late. But that is now officially outdated wisdom, two leading medical groups have announced. A pregnancy is “full term” only in the two-week window that starts at 39 weeks, under new definitions published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology and endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. The groups say babies born within those two weeks do best. Babies born two weeks before or one week after that window, at “early term” or “late term,” face a few more risks, they say. The biggest reason the terminology needs to change is to discourage doctors and patients from scheduling medically unnecessary deliveries — by induction or C-section — before 39 weeks, says Jeffrey Ecker, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. The old terminology “was based on the general observation that babies born after 37 weeks tended to do quite well,” he says. That’s still true, but doctors know now that babies born at 39 and 40 weeks do better; risks rise again after 41 weeks.

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“Language and labels matter,” he adds. Here’s how mothers-to-be should now expect doctors to describe the last possible weeks of pregnancy (counted from the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period, but sometimes adjusted after an ultrasound): » Early term: Between 37 weeks, 0 days and 38 weeks, six days. » Full term: Between 39 weeks and 40 weeks, six days. » Late term: Between 41 weeks and 41 weeks, six days. » Postterm: 42 weeks or more. The definitions were developed last year, and published in the journal JAMA earlier this year. Still, the official endorsement by OB-GYN doctors is “incredibly important,” says Edward McCabe, medical director of the March of Dimes. “In the

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past, when a woman made it past the 37-week goal line, she was home. This moves the goal line.” A 2009 survey of 650 women who had recently given birth, also published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, found plenty of confusion. When asked when a pregnancy reached “full term,” 24 percent said 34-36 weeks, 51 percent said 37-38 weeks and just 25 percent said 39-40 weeks. That helps explain why early elective deliveries were continuing to rise even after studies revealed risks for babies, including more breathing and feeding problems and a small, but increased, risk of death. Groups including the March of Dimes have been working for several years to educate women about those risks. Many hospitals now have programs in place to stop elective early deliveries. Those efforts have had a “significant effect,” but the new terminology will help too, says Elliott Main, medical director of the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative. Still, the cautions on early deliveries “should not panic women who go into labor spontaneously at 37 weeks,” or who need to deliver early because they or their babies have medical problems, Ecker says. Early delivery can be justified by conditions from dangerously high blood pressure in a mother to poor growth in a baby, he says.

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13-year-old becomes youngest to claim hiking’s ‘Triple Crown’ By Zach Urness Gannett

HOW FAR DID SHE HIKE?

SALEM, Ore. — It would be difficult to know for sure, but there’s a good chance your average kindergartener doesn’t spend much time thinking about the Pacific Crest Trail. At a time when learning to read, write and count are the day’s major challenges — and naptime is just around the corner — the idea of hiking from Mexico to Canada is something normally left to adults. Unless you happen to be Reed Gjonnes. Born and raised in Salem, Ore., Reed took her first backpacking trip at 4 years old and already was bugging her father, expert long-distance hiker Eric Gjonnes, about a trip on the 2,652-mile Pacific Crest Trail before setting foot in kin-

» 2,652 miles, Pacific Crest Trail » 2,181 miles, Appalachian Trail » 3,092 miles, Continental Divide Trail

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dergarten. “Hiking has been part of my life for as long as I can remember,” said Reed, who is now in eighth grade. “When I was a little kid, it was because I wanted to spend time with my dad and go camping. Now I love everything about it — the beautiful scenery, the wild animals and meeting other people on the trail. It’s all pretty great.” She’s known on the trail as Sunshine, a nickname inspired by her bright red hair and bubbly personality. But behind that

smile is the quiet determination of a girl who during the past three years has accomplished something few people in the world, and nobody near her age, has managed to pull off. Over the past three years, at ages 11, 12 and 13, Reed and her father have conquered the three longest trails in the United States — the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail (2,181 miles) and the Continental Divide Trail (3,092 miles) — to claim what’s known as the Triple Crown of hiking. Reed is the youngest known person to have finished a task that requires more than 7,900 miles of hiking. Only about 200 people have completed the Triple Crown, according to the American Long Distance Hiking Association — West, a nonprofit that presents awards to each person who completes all three trails. The record is unofficial because the

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association doesn’t keep track of speed or age. However, everyone interviewed for this story and involved in the tightly knit long-distance hiking community agreed Reed is the youngest by a substantial margin. The youngest known person to complete the Triple Crown previously was 24. “Although we don’t recognize age and speed records, we’re all in awe of somebody this young accomplishing such a monumental task,” said Whitney LaRuffa, president of the organization that’s been promoting long-distance hiking for 20 years. “We’re very proud of her — it really is amazing.” In many ways, Reed is your average teenager. She loathes snakes and waking up in the morning, is a self-described klutz and gets heartsick missing her mother, little sister and friends during hikes that required months away from home and missing chunks of school. In other ways she’s an elite athlete, capable of covering 40 miles in one day, who’s overcome a fractured arm on the Appalachian Trail and a foot infection on the Pacific Crest Trail, has crossed raging rives in California and snowshoed the length of Colorado. According to both daughter and fa-

“It has really been her desire that motivated me,” said Eric Gjonnes, a weekly columnist for the (Salem, Ore.) Statesman Journal. “I’ve never had to force her to do anything … she has always really wanted to go.” “At no point was she the little girl just coming along. She carried her own gear and portion of food. She knows how to cook and set up camp and took part in the decision-making. In every sense she’s my hiking partner — and a very skilled one.”

Snow, blisters and youth on the PCT

Salem eighth-grader Reed “Sunshine” Gjonnes became the youngest person to complete hiking’s Triple Crown, a quest that requires hiking the three longest trails in the U.S. ZACH URNESS / STATESMAN JOURNAL

ther, the accomplishment has been a mutual undertaking, a shared dream that spurred both of them forward.

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In April 2011, Teresa Gjonnes watched her husband and 10-year-old daughter leave home, driving south toward Mexico to begin a trek that would take them from the Mojave Desert to the High Cascades, across California, Oregon and Washington. “She was still my baby,” Teresa Gjonnes said. “It was very hard for me. But I knew how much she’d already gained and that it was a very positive thing. It was one of those moments in life where you put yourself aside, and Continues on Page 22

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Young hiker Continued from Page 21

how much you’re going to miss them, and be totally supportive.” The father-daughter team officially began the Pacific Crest Trail on April 29, heading north, and reached California’s Sierra Nevada during a spring of record snowpack. Although the snow presented challenges, Reed, who turned 11 on the trail, also missed her mother and little sister. The going still was difficult, especially when one of her blisters became infected. The returned to Salem for treatment with their family doctor. After five days, they got permission to return to the trail. “She was crying, but not because she was in pain — she was worried about not being able to finish,” said Duane Tehee of Tacoma, Wash., a friend they met while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. “Lots of people get depressed and end up quitting when you have to hike day in, day out, for months at a time, putting up with all that physical hardship. But not

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her. We call her Sunshine because she’s such a happy, positive girl, but she’s also very determined.” By the time they reached northern Oregon, the duo figured this would be their last multithousand-mile hike. They crossed into Washington and finished the trail on Sept. 24 — four months and 26 days from when they started — at Manning Park on the Canadian border. “We really thought that was our last big hike,” Eric Gjonnes said. “But when we got home, it was like, ‘OK, what do we do with ourselves now?’ We need another hike.”

Appalachian snakes and injured arm

In almost all things, Reed lives up to her trail name of Sunshine, that positive, happy ray of light making her way up the trail. But not when it comes to snakes. “I hate them, absolutely hate them,” she said. The duo began hiking the Appalachian Trail on April 2, 2012, in an environment that took some getting used to. Not only were there more snakes and less mountain views, but the weather

was humid and muggy in the South, and the trail that runs 2,181 miles from Georgia to Maine was forever crowded with people. “You can see the city lights on both sides of the trail at night,” Eric Gjonnes said. “While the PCT is full of long stretches of wilderness, on the AT you’re in town every third day. It’s a much different experience, and we didn’t enjoy it nearly as much.” Even if the trail was boring, perhaps the most dramatic moment of the Triple Crown took place while the duo was hiking through Pennsylvania. “I just tripped,” Reed said. “I was talking to my dad and not paying attention. I’m a clumsy person — I trip all the time — but when I went down I had my hand in the strap of my trekking pole. My arm swelled up really bad.” Eric splinted and stabilized the arm and called to arrange a ride to Hershey Hospital in Hershey, Penn. An X-ray showed a fractured arm, but the doctor, impressed by the 12-year-old’s determination, put on a Gore-Tex cast and gave his blessing for them to get back on the trail. For the next six weeks, the one-armed Sunshine and her father did shorter

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days. “I got used to hiking with one arm pretty quick,” she said. “The worst part was that it was hard to eat and do things like email my mom.”

Continental challenge

In southern New Mexico, on the opening stretch of the Continental Divide Trail, Reed and Eric Gjonnes trekked through a desert where the only sign of trail was a series of stacked rock cairns and water was almost nonexistent. “Following the trail was a little bit like an Easter egg hunt,” Eric Gjonnes said. “In some places the only water was at cow tanks. We’d scoop out this greenish-brown water and boil it, treat it and filter it, and even then we were still pretty skeptical. “But we never got sick.” Thus began the final leg of the Triple Crown, on a trail with a reputation for being tough, wild and difficult to follow. Beginning in New Mexico and following the Rocky Mountains, the trail is only 70 percent completed and attempted by just a handful of people each year. “The reputation is that it’s this impossible challenge,” Eric Gjonnes said. “There’s a lot of fear-mongering about it, a lot of people who say it’s almost impos-

sible to do in one season.” Eric and Reed began last April 15, and after trekking through New Mexico entered Colorado in early June. Although the price of admission was high, the spectacular views, solitude and wildlife stunned both of them. They saw more animals in one week than during the rest of their hikes combined. Reed recorded elk, deer, moose, buffalo, bears, mountain goats, antelope, big horn sheep, badgers, porcupines, one wolf and even wild horses. “There was so much incredible wildlife,” she said. “It was so cool.” They made their way below the geysers of Yellowstone National Park, into Montana and finally into Glacier National Park and the finishing point on the Canadian border Sept. 5. “It’s really hard to explain how I felt about it,” said Reed, who at 13 became the youngest known person to finish the Continental Divide Trail. “It was a big sense of accomplishment, but it was also kind of sad. Just knowing it was done and that there’s nothing like it left.”

What next?

Reed said she never intended to become the youngest person to finish the

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Triple Crown, at least starting out. She just wanted to go on another hike, to follow her father into some of the most beautiful county in the world. “I’m not sure when it became a goal,” she said. “It gradually happened, but it was always the actual hiking that motivated me. The whole ‘youngest’ part of it was just a bonus.” The process has made her something of a celebrity. The journeys of Sunshine have been featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting, the Washington Post, American Girl magazine and numerous blogs. “Lots of people really look up to her,” Eric Gjonnes said. “We get hundreds of letters from girls who she’s inspired to hike more. A lot of fathers have said our trip inspired them to go hiking with their daughters.” After hiking 7,925 miles, crossing 22 states and wearing out six pairs of shoes, what could she possibly do for an encore? “I really don’t know what I’ll do next summer,” she said. “I’ve tried to plan it out, tried to remember what I used to do during the summer, but I haven’t been able to. Right now I’m just concentrating on homework.”

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Some couples spend a bundle for joy of having a baby By Sharon Jayson USA TODAY

Many couples in their 20s and 30s who want to have a baby are spending hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on fertility-inducing products and services designed to speed up the process, according to a new survey that offers greater insight into the financial and emotional costs associated with getting pregnant. Pregnancy and parenting website BabyCenter.com’s annual cost of child-rearing report for the first time asked about costs associated with conception as well as giving birth, subjects not often included in parenting surveys. Of the 1,289 women surveyed online (already moms or pregnant with a first child), findings show:

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» Almost half spent money on products or services to encourage pregnancy, from ovulation kits and fertility tests to vitamin supplements and invitro fertilization (IVF). The average cost was $465. » 54 percent say it took less than six months to conceive; 16 percent say it took more than a year. » 27 percent say they received financial help from their parents or in-laws during the pregnancy or baby’s first year; 10 percent lived with parents to save money to start a family. “Today, young couples are really deciding how many do we want and what’s the right moment to have a child,” says Linda Murray, editor of the San Francisco-based website. “Once that moment hits and they’re really trying, people want to be suc-

cessful as soon as possible. We’ve been noticing more and more that people are actively trying to conceive and do whatever they can to hasten that process.” The combination of women delaying that first child, and new technologies that help assist pregnancy are making women a bit more anxious, suggests Shari Brasner, an obstetrician-gynecologist in New York City. She says she’s sensed a “certain paranoia” surrounding pregnancy. “Everybody they know has a story about trouble getting pregnant or getting pregnant and having a miscarriage,” she says. Susan Dewald, 33, a mother of three in Sheridan, Wyo., understands that thinking. “When you decide to have kids, you want to get it done because it’s a proc-

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ess that takes nine months,” she says. “When you do start having kids at 25 or 30 and you look ahead to when they’re college-age and you’re looking at 50 or 60, you say ‘I want it to happen now.’ ” Dewald says it took took 2½ years to get pregnant with her 4-year-old daughter, Delinda, so she tried ovulation kits and hormone therapy as well as consulting an IVF specialist but didn’t do the procedure. She got pregnant but had a miscarriage. Six months later, she was pregnant with now 4-month-old fraternal twins Douglas and Delaney. She estimates that she spent $2,000 to $3,000 in pregnancy efforts. Laura Jones, 29, a hotel guest services manager in Valrico, Fla., is pregnant with a son — the couple’s first — due in December. She and her husband, Kevin Jones, 35, have been married three years. “Originally we had planned to start sooner, but we wanted to make sure we were settled down first,” Jones says. “The economy was still in the tanker, so we decided to wait a couple of years because we wanted to buy a house first.”

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Just 8 percent of those surveyed said they did nothing different to save money since getting pregnant or having a baby. But Laura Jones says they’ve already started trimming expenses. “We’re cutting back to save money and get our mind-set ready,” she says. Stay-at-home mother Danielle Evans, 33, of Howell, N.J., has two daughters, ages 2½ and 5 months. “We’ve never paid a babysitter,” Evans says. “My mom will baby-sit.

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But we don’t really spend money on going out ourselves. We did on our wedding anniversary two years ago. That was the last time we went away for a weekend together.” Even though parents say they cut back on expenses, they also are starting to feel like maybe they’re spending too much on the kids. In this year’s survey, 66 percent said that — a 22 percent increase over last year. The survey also asked about costs associated with the birth of a child, and found: » The average cost for the birth of their child (before insurance) was $7,805; 40 percent say they spent $10,000 or more and 17 percent say they spent $5,000-$9,999. A quarter didn’t know how much they spent. » Out-of-pocket costs for the birth averaged $897. The website’s survey was conducted about the same time the federal government estimated that parents of a baby born in 2012 will spend $217,000 to $500,000 to raise a child to age 18, not including college. Annual costs for child-rearing, including housing, health care and child care, are estimated to be almost $13,000.

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Santa waves to children lining the sidewalk at Pritchard Park during the 2012 Asheville Christmas Parade. This year’s event is Nov. 23. JOHN COUTLAKIS/JCOUTLAKIS@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

Parades

The holidays are here

Asheville: 11 a.m. Nov. 23, 67th annual Asheville Holiday Parade followed by Jinglefest at Pack Square Park for performances and photos with Santa. Marion: 3 p.m. Nov. 24 Spruce Pine: 6 p.m. Nov. 28 Franklin: Nov. 30 Columbus: Nov. 30 Bakersville: 6 p.m. Dec. 3

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Canton: 6 p.m. Dec. 5 Brevard: 3 p.m. Dec. 7 Hendersonville: 10 a.m. Dec. 7 Burnsville: Dec. 7 Weaverville: 1 p.m. Dec. 7 Waynesville: 6 p.m. Dec. 9 Tryon: 5 p.m. Dec. 11 Marshall: 11 a.m. Dec. 14 Saluda: 3 p.m. Dec. 14 Fletcher: 10:30 a.m. Dec. 14 Sylva: 3 p.m. Dec. 14

Seasonlong events

Christmas at Biltmore, through Jan. 12, Biltmore Estate. Regular admission applies until dusk. Additional charge for Candlelight Christmas Evenings, Nov. 9-Jan. 4. Visit www.biltmore.com. National Gingerbread House Competition. Nov. 20-Jan. 2, The Omni Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, 290 Macon Ave., Asheville. Community viewing Sunday-Thursday. Parking $10, with proceeds going to six area charities. Call 800-438-0050, ext. 1281. Holidays for Hospice. Asheville Mall hosts the CarePartners Garden of Memories. For details on memorial ornaments, visit www.carepartnersfoundation.org. Call 277-4815.

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Franklin Town Hall. Meet Santa, enjoy cookies and write a letter to Sanata and place it in a special mailbox. Visit www.holidaysinfranklin.com. Ole Timey Christmas, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 30. Christmas wreaths, fresh greenery, crafts, demonstrations, music, carriage rides, more, at Henderson County Curb Market in downtown Hendersonville. Call 692-8012 or visit www.curbmarket.com.

Dec. 1-7

This year’s Grove Park Inn Gingerbread House Competition judging is Nov. 18 and display opens on Nov. 20. /CITIZEN-TIMES PHOTO “The Polar Express,” Nov. 8-Dec. 29, Bryson City. Travel through the wilderness to the North Pole on Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Santa will board the train, greet each child and give children a silver bell as in “The Polar Express.” Times and dates vary. Tickets start at $40 for adults, $26 for ages 2-12. Visit www.gsmr.com or call 800-872-4681. Holiday Fest, Nov. 23-Dec. 23, Tom Sawyer’s Christmas Tree Farm and Elf Village, 240 Chimney Pond Road, Glenville. Elf Village open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Tree farm open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Free. Kids listen to elf tales, create crafts, write wish lists or tell it to Santa in person, Christmas tree maze. Visit www.tomsawyerchristmastreefarm.com or call 743-5456. Christmas at Connemara, 10 a.m. Saturdays, Nov. 30-Dec. 28, Carl Sandburg Home, Flat Rock. Celebrate Christmas with the traditions of the Sandburgs with holiday decorations, which will be up from Nov. 29-Jan. 6. Music or storytelling at 11 a.m. Crafts from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. free with house tour admission. Call 693-4178 or visit www.nps.gov/carl.

November

Van Wingerden International open house, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 9. See acres of poinsettias in bloom while touring greenhouses. At 4112 Haywood Road, Mills River. Visit www.natures-heritage.com or call 226-3597. Mannheim Steamroller Christmas, 8 p.m. Nov.

20, Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, U.S. Cellular Center. Visit www.ticketmaster.com for tickets. Biltmore Park Town Square tree lighting, 6-8:30 p.m. Nov. 22, Biltmore Park, South Asheville. Santa Claus leads the lighting at 6:30 p.m. With strolling carolers, magicians, crafts, storytellers, refreshments. Visit www.biltmorepark.com. Henderson County Toy Run, Nov. 23, at Fletcher Community Park, Howard Gap Road. $10 or new, unwrapped toy. http://on.fb.me/18AsaSZ Christmas Ornament Festival, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 23, Burnsville Town Center. Free. 11th-annual event where local artists showcase work, with many one-of-a-kind items and ornaments available. Visit www.yanceychamber.com. Waynesville Holiday Open House, noon-4 p.m. Nov. 24, downtown Waynesville. Visit www.downtownwaynesville.com. Chanukah Live 2013, 4-7 p.m. Nov. 24. Renaissance Hotel, 31 Woodfin St., Asheville. Hosted by The Chabad House. The Billy Jonas Chanukah Show and Grand Menorah lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. Festival admission is free but tickets cover food and attractions. 505-0746 or www.chabadasheville.org. Franklin tree lighting, 7 p.m. Nov. 29. Free wagon rides, candlelight service, refreshments. On the square in downtown Franklin. Visit www.holidaysinfranklin.com. Hendersonville tree lighting, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 29 at Downtown Hendersonville Historic Courthouse. Visit www.downtownhendersonville.org. Call 233-0304. Cookies with Santa, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Nov. 30,

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The Big Crafty, noon-6 p.m. Dec. 1, at Asheville Art Museum in Pack Place and on Pack Square. Stock up for the holidays at this independent craft fair. Visit www.thebigcrafty.com. “A Christmas Story,” Dec. 4-22, Flat Rock Playhouse, Flat Rock. Based on the motion picture classic and on the book “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash,” by Jean Shepherd. The story of Ralphie and his Christmas wish for a Red Ryder BB rifle. Tickets $35. Visit www.flatrockplayhouse.org. “A Christmas Carol,” Dec. 5-22, Asheville Masonic Temple, downtown. Montford Park Players present the holiday classic. Performances at 8 p.m., or 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Dec. 5 is “Pay What We’re Worth Night,” see the show then pay what you think it’s worth. Visit www.montfordparkplayers.org. Festval of Lights, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 6-23, Lake Julian Park, off Long Shoals Road, Asheville. Call 684-0376 or visit www.buncombecounty.org. Blue Ridge Ringers holiday concert, 3 p.m. Dec. 6, Henderson County Library, Hendersonville. Community handbell group. Call 697-4725. Winter Wonderland, 5-8 p.m. Dec. 6, downtown Franklin. Free. Wagon rides, refreshments, live music, live window displays. Visit www.holidaysinfranklin.com. Holly Jolly, 5-9 p.m. Dec. 6, downtown Black Mountain. Refreshments, stores open late, Santa and more. Free. Visit www.visitblackmountain.com. Olde Fashioned Hendersonville Christmas, 5-8 p.m., Dec. 6, downtown Hendersonville, from Allen Street to Seventh Avenue. Visit www.downtownhendersonville.org. Fletcher tree lighting, 6-7 p.m. Dec. 6 at Fletcher Community Park. Free. Visit www.fletcherparks.org. Santa Under the Sea, 6-7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 and 1-3 p.m. Dec. 7, Team ECCO Ocean Center & Aquarium, Hendersonville. Visit with Santa and the Team ECCO mermaids, open to all ages, free photo disc of your time with Santa provided by local photographer Byron Collins. $3, children younger than 4 free. Visit www.teamecco.org Dillsboro Festival of Lights and Luminaries, Dec. 6-7 and 13-14, downtown Dillsboro. Live music, carolers, holiday treats from merchants, horse and buggy rides (added cost plus tip) and Santa at Town Hall. Starts at dusk. Free. Call 800-962-1911 or visit www.visitdillsboro.org.

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holiday events Continued from Page 27 ‘Tis the Season Holiday Fair, Dec. 6-8, WNC Agricultural Center Davis Event Center, Fletcher. Handmade gifts, adornments for the home, holiday foods, NC Wines, Christmas tree sales and music. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 6-7, noon-6 p.m. Dec. 8. $5. Visit www.wncholidayfair.net. “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6-7, 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8, Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St., Asheville. The hilarious Christmas tale of a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant and faced with casting six delinquent siblings. Visit www.ashevilletheatre.org. Biltmore Village Dickens Festival, Dec. 6-8, Biltmore Village, Asheville. Storytellers, carolers and entertainers on the stage and streets. Visit www.biltmorevillage.com. Christmas at the Farm, Dec. 7, Historic Johnson Farm, 3345 Haywood Road, Hendersonville. Holiday music, cookies and cider, house tours, wagon rides, more. $5 for adults, $3 for students, free preschoolers and younger. Parking in Rugby Middle School lot with free shuttle. Call 891-6585 or visit www.historicjohnsonfarm.org. Vance Birthplace Christmas Candlelight Tour, 4-7 p.m. Dec. 7, Reems Creek Road, Weaverville. Guided candlelight tours and a look at Christmas in the southern Appalachians during the early 1800s. Call 645-6706 or visit www.nchistoricsites.org/vance/. Smoky Mountain Toy Run, gates open at 10 a.m.,

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run at 1 p.m. Dec. 7, Kearfott Manufacturing, Black Mountain. Motorcycle ride to benefit children. Visit www.smokymountainhog.com. Email info@smokymountaintoyrun.com. Open House with Santa, noon-3 p.m. Dec. 7, Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce, 201 E. State St. Light refreshments, photos with Santa for $10. Call 669-2300. Historic Seventh Avenue “Polar Express” event, 12:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Historic Train Depot, Hendersonville. Visit www.7thavehvl.com. “Musical Tidings for the Holidays,” Blue Ridge Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Ferguson Auditorium, A-B Tech, Asehville; and 4 p.m. Dec. 8, Folk Art Center, Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville. Visit www.blueridgeorchestra.org. Guild Artists’ Holiday Sale, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 7 and 14. Southern Highlands Craft Guild artists sell their work at Folk Art Center, Milepost 382, Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville. Visit www.southernhighlandguild.org. Circle of Lights, 6 p.m. Dec. 7. Celebration around Lake Tomahawk in Black Mountain after the parade. Free. Visit www.exploreblackmountain.com.

Dec. 8-15

Hendersonville Community Band Christmas Concert, 3 p.m. Dec. 8. At Blue Ridge Community College Conference Hall in Flat Rock. Adults $10, students free. Call 696-2118. “Sounds of the Season,” 3-5 p.m. Dec. 8, Bardo Arts Center, Western Carolina University. Call 2272479 or visit www.wcu.edu/bardoartscenter/.

UNC Asheville holiday concert, 4 p.m. Dec. 8, Lipinsky Hall Auditorium. Call 251-6432 or visit www.unca.edu. “The Nutcracker” by The Moscow Ballet, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 11, Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, U.S. Cellular Center, downtown Asheville. Starting at $29.50. Visit www.ticketmaster.com for tickets. “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,” Dec. 11-29, times vary, N.C. Stage Company, 15 Stage Lane, Asheville. We know what happens to Scrooge, but what about his old business partner Marley? Visit www.ncstage.org. “O Holy Night,” Dec. 12-22, Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown, Hendersonville. A new musical adaptation of the classic nativity story told through traditional and modern Christmas music. Tickets $35, discounts available. Visit www.flatrockplayhouse.org or call 693-0731. “The Gifts of the Magi,” Hendersonville Little Theatre, 229 S. Washington St., Hendersonville. A musical from the stories by O. Henry. Adults $20, under 18 years $10. Visit www.hendersonvillelittletheatre.org. Candlelight Christmas Stroll, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 13, downtown Weaverville. Luminaries, entertainment, horse and buggy rides and Santa. Visit www.visitweaverville.com. Winter Wonderland, 5-8 p.m. Dec. 13, downtown Franklin. Free. Wagon rides, refreshments, live music, live window displays. Visit www.holidaysinfranklin.com. Asheville Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13-14 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 14-15, Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Place, downtown Asheville. Tickets

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$25-50 adults, $15 students and ages 12 and younger. Call 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com or www.ashevilleballet.com. Holiday cookie bake sale, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 14. At First Congregational Church Fellowship Hall in Hendersonville. Call 692-8630. “A Night Before Christmas,” 6-9 p.m. Dec. 14, downtown Waynesville. Caroling, storytelling, wagon rides, Santa, more. Visit www.downtownwaynesville.com. Santa on the Chimney, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 14, Chimney Rock Park. Santa practices on 315-foot Chimney Rock. Regular admission. www.chimneyrockpark.com. Appalachian Christmas Celebration, Dec. 13-14, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Visit www.lakejunaluska.com/christmas or call 800-2224930. Dillsboro Festival of Lights and Luminaries, Dec. 13-14, downtown Dillsboro. Live music, carolers, holiday treats from merchants, horse and buggy rides (added cost) and Santa at Town Hall. Starts at dusk. Free. Call 800-962-1911 or visit www.visitdillsboro.org. Visions of Sugar Plums, 2-4 p.m. Dec. 14-15, Black

Mountain area. Annual bed-and-breakfast/country inn cookie tour. First adult ticket $12 with gift bag and cookie recipe book. $10 additional adult (no bag), ages 5-16 $5, younger than 5 is free. Tickets at Visitor Center two weeks before event and at participating inns during event. Call 669-2300 or visit www.exploreblackmountain.com. Santa on the Chimney, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 14, Chimney Rock Park. Santa practices on 315-foot Chimney Rock. Regular admission. www.chimneyrockpark.com. Guild Artists’ Holiday Sale, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 14. Southern Highlands Craft Guild artists sell their work at Folk Art Center, Milepost 382, Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville. Visit www.southernhighlandguild.org. Breakfast with Santa, 9-11 a.m. Dec. 14, Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, Robbinsville. $5 per person. For all ages. Visit www.stecoahvalleycenter.com. Victorian Candlelight Christmas, 4-7 p.m. Dec. 14, Thomas Wolfe Memorial, 52 N. Market St., Asheville. Light refreshments, music by Primrose, Victorian-era crafts, Santa. $10, free age 8 and younger. 253-8304 or www.wolfememorial.com. Asheville Symphony: A Classical Christmas, 3 p.m. Dec. 15. Featuring Handel’s “Messiah.” Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in U.S. Cellular Center, Haywood Street, downtown Asheville. Call 254-7046 or visit www.ashevillesymphony.org. Celebration Singers of Asheville winter concert, 4 p.m. Dec. 15, First Congregational Church, 20 Oak St., Asheville. Donations appreciated. Visit www.singasheville.org.

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“The Nutcracker” by Ballet Conservatory of Asheville, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 18 and at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19-20, Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place. $12$25. Call 257-4530 or visit dwtheatre.org for tickets. Visit www.balletconservatoryofasheville.com. Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21. “A Carolina Christmas” concert with Hendersonville Children’s Choir at Blue Ridge Conference Hall. Adults $35, students $5. Visit www.hendersonvillesymphony.org. Holiday Homecoming, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 21, Oconoluftee Visitor Center, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee. Free. See old-time craft demonstrations, learn about quilting, weaving, basket and doll making, apple cider and butter making, more. Visit www.nps.gov/grsm. “A Swannanoa Solstice” concert, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 22, Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place, Asheville. Regular $35; student $33; children 12 and younger $15. Call 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

Dec. 24-31

Bounty of Bethlehem dinner, 1-5 p.m. Dec. 25, Immaculata Catholic School, 711 Buncombe St., Hendersonville. A free community Christmas dinner that includes entertainment, gifts and a visit from Santa. Ski and ride with Santa, 1-10 p.m. Dec. 25, Cataloochee Ski Area, 1080 Ski Lodge Road, Maggie Valley. Holiday rates apply: $28-$59. 926-0285 or http://www.cataloochee.com/activities_events/index.php.

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Bird’s Nest a home and more for autistic By Shanee Simhoni ssimhoni@citizen-times.com

ASHEVILLE — Anthony Brenner, of Asheville, and Julie Buckley, a physician practicing in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., have experienced the extreme ups and downs of parenting. Each of them is the parent of a child with autism, and they decided to combine their efforts and energies to build a promising future for autistic people of all ages. They call it the Bird’s Nest. The proposed facility, a “campus for autism” on property donated in Weaverville, will provide educational and other opportunities for people of all ages on the autism spectrum. “It’s not just a home. It’s one very, very large 40,000-square-foot building,” Brenner said. “Within that building, there will be residential facilities, there will be a therapeutic center, there will be a magnet school and a recreation and amusement component.” Brenner began developing the Bird’s Nest three years ago, about the time his then 9-year-old daughter, Bailey, had a crisis. “She is nonverbal and functions cognitively about like an 18-month-old child,” Brenner said. “Just imagine being 9 years old and not being able to communicate anything to anyone.” Brenner attributes Bailey’s severe, self-destructing behaviors to her frustration. It got so bad that the family — Andrew, his wife Jennifer and their younger daughter Avery — had no choice but to take Bailey to a state institution to keep her from harming herself. It was that event that prompted Brenner to become more proactive in planning the first comprehensive facility for children and adults with autism in Western North Carolina. “We got in the car, and we were all sobbing. We decided we had to do the Bird’s Nest now. We need this,” Brenner said. To develop the facility and its therapeutic programs, Brenner joined forces with Buckley, whose 15-year-old daughter Danielle regressed at age 4. After a

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Anthony Brenner, a local builder of nontoxic housing, is now turning his talents to a facility for people with autism. JOHN COUTLAKIS/CITIZEN-TIMES FILE PHOTO

variety of therapies and dietary changes, Danielle can now speak. In fact, she creates art, writes fantasy fiction and has readers all across the world. “She’s still socially a little different, still struggles a little with eye contact and reading facial expressions,” said Buckley, who has treated more than 3,000 patients with autism worldwide. “She’s not completely typical, but she’s really close. What’s fun is, she’s now quite cognitive of it. She’s aware of where the deficits are.” Buckley founded an organization called HealthyUNow in December 2011 with the intent of creating virtual and physical communities for people with autism. That nonprofit is now backing the creation of the Bird’s Nest. The number of therapy and treatment options for autism is extensive, and having all the resources spread out can present difficulties for families, especially if they have other children. Brenner’s goal with the Bird’s Nest is to create a facility that includes everything in one area. It will be open to the community, disabled and nondisabled. “The recreation and amusement por-

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LEARN MORE » Learn more about the Bird’s Nest and HealthyUNow online at http://healthyunow.org or contact 904-834-2938 or contact@healthy unow.org.

tion of the facility is going to be open to the general public, because we want to make sure that our disabled population and our non-disabled population are inclusive,” said Brenner, a former Eastern Carolina University football player. “So that we learn tolerance and acceptance. The non-disabled population doesn’t understand. They’re misinformed.” Combining the minds of Brenner and Buckley creates quite a powerful team. With their passion, Buckley’s medical knowledge and Brenner’s experience with building healthy and natural facilities, they expect Bird’s Nest to have everything autistic people and their families need. “Everything inside this building will be healthy and natural,” Brenner said. “A lot of these children and adults with autism and other disabilities have a very, very high sensitivity to toxins.” Brenner is known locally for having designed the first hemp house in the United States. He said combining hemp with hydrated lime is mold and mildew proof and fire proof, acts as an air filter and is even carbon-negative, meaning it counter-balances any carbon that will be used or put into the atmosphere during the building process. He’s applying equally high standards to his plans for the Bird’s Nest. “This is filling a major, major void in our country right now,” he said. “The system is fragmented. You have residential facilities that cost a tremendous amount of money. They don’t have a school, therapy, fun things to do.” Buckley’s daughter, for one, is looking forward to visiting the campus Brenner has planned with Buckley and a halfdozen other advisers. “I would like to add something that my daughter would say,” Buckley said, “and that is that this autism thing isn’t a dead end, and you can improve, and what we are looking to do is optimize the function and improve the health of everybody that is touched by this illness. ... “When my daughter had a look at the planning for what we’re going to do, she looked at me and said, ‘I can’t wait to be able to spend time there,’” she said.

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artist's muse

A simple piece of art — using a shoebox, paint and other materials — can help young artists show what they are thankful for. GINGER HUEBNER/SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Reflections of Thanksgiving By Ginger Huebner WNC Parent columnist

During this month of Thanksgiving, I enjoy offering our students a chance to reflect on things they are thankful for in their lives. For our youngest students, the concept of Thanksgiving can be wide and hard to grasp. But by using photos, fun ob-

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jects and simple materials (like colored ribbon, string, letters, paper, etc.), children can create wonderfully playful — and meaningful — pieces of art. While our examples for this project stem from our youngest artists, it is a project that can be done with any age! Spend some time talking about things you are thankful for with your child. Talk about people, animals, items, places, experiences, talents and even ideas in your life. Then begin to collect items that symbolize or are images of some of the things reflected on earlier.

New ideas will continue to emerge the longer you work on it — listen to them and see where they might lead you!

Materials list:

» Shoe box (even just the lid would work!) » Scrap cardboard or wood » Paint (preferably acrylic — it will cover most of the writing on the box if needed) » Sharpie markers » Foam or other letter stickers » Ribbon or string

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Small objects that reflect something a child likes or that holds a memory can fill a shoebox of Thanksgiving. GINGER HUEBNER/SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

» Colored construction and/or decorative paper » Basic liquid school glue » Brushes » Water cups » Photos of the child and/or other people or animals in their lives » Small objects that reflect something they like or hold a memory (kids are great at having items like these piled up in a drawer somewhere!)

Steps:

1. Paint the inside and edges of the box/box lid with one (or a few!) colors. 2. Add other layers of cardboard or wood if desired — paint these too! 3. Lay out all the objects and materials you would like to add. 4. Think about how they all might work together inside (or outside) the box/box lid. 5. Begin to glue the pieces down (remember you can tie ribbons and poke holes to use to thread or feed things through). 6. Use photos and colored papers as both background or foreground design elements. When you complete the project, reflect with your child about what they created. Listen to their stories they have put into this piece. You could write these thoughts down (or have them write it) and put it on the back of the box or box lid! Happy Thanksgiving! Ginger Huebner is the director of Roots + Wings School of Art and Design, offering visual art and design education for all ages. Email her at info@rootsandwingsarts.com or visit www.rootsandwingsarts.com.

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growing together

Reinvention, 15 years in the making By Chris Worthy

WNC Parent columnist

Fifteen years. We recently celebrated my son’s 15th birthday. We also celebrated 15 years in this house. Whatever level of crazy it takes to move with an infant and a kindergartener, we’ve got it. It was also around this time 15 years ago that I became absolutely certain that the thing that needed to go — that one thing that was about to snap the camel’s back in two — was my law practice. I didn’t know what I would do to ward off the intellectual atrophy that I was already starting to feel, but I knew it wouldn’t involve midnight calls from the jail and carrying a breast pump in my briefcase. Yes, many women do that

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and do it well. I just knew I wasn’t one of them. It wasn’t until about six months after our move that I responded to an ad from our community newspaper. My husband held the paper out to me like a lifeline to a drowning person. “Call them,” he said. It wasn’t that I was unhappy as a fulltime, stay-at-home mom. I was fulfilled in many ways. Had my first winter in that new role not also included a move, a baby with recurring ear infections, a strongwilled 5-year-old and a husband who had to spend a lot of time on the road, my attitude might have been different (and better). But I was shriveling up without a little something to call my own. I never expected to still be a stay-athome mom 15 years later. Technically, I am a work-at-home mom, but my life has only made subtle shifts. Taking stock, I can see that those little changes have added up. We started teaching our son at home after his third-grade year. If you

had asked me about that 15 years ago, I would have said I was more likely to join NASA than be a home-schooling parent. I certainly never expected to make a second career out of writing. And I’ve started a book, just in case someone wants to pay me to write lots of words all at once. In this, my 15th year of reinvention, I also started taking continuing legal education classes. I’ve “had the itch,” as my husband says, to wear conservative suits and hang out at the jail again. It will be awhile, if ever, before I’m ready to make that leap, but it’s hanging out there in the realm of possibility. These 15 years have taught me so much. I can do hard things. Sometimes a hesitant move leads to great things, great friends and a new start. I am blessed beyond measure. And most of all, I am excited for the next thing. Contact Chris Worthy at chris@worthyplace.com.

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nature center notes

Scary to some, spiders are helpful By Jordon Crawford Special to WNC Parent

Have you ever walked through a seemingly invisible spider’s web? You probably don’t think much of the beauty and intricacy of a web while you wildly flail your arms and run around in circles to get the web off of you, but spiders work extremely hard to keep their traps neat and tidy in order to properly catch their food. Contrary to popular belief, most spiders are actually beneficial to have around your home. Venomous spiders such as brown recluses and black widows should be avoided, but many common house spiders are helpful because they prey on small insects and pests that might invade your home. Flying insects quickly become trapped in intricate webs, which act as nets to snag the spider’s next meal. Spiders are arachnids (along with

scorpions, ticks and mites), which means that they are eight-legged predators that live in almost every habitat type in the world and exist on every continent except Antarctica. There are about 100,000 species of arachnids, and spiders make up a whopping 40 percent of those species. Many people are terrified of them, but even though spiders can be a bit scary sometimes, they are still very impressive creatures. If you’re looking to learn more about spiders and want to have a chance to climb around in a web yourself, come visit the WNC Nature Center’s brand new Arachnid Adventure play area. This unique playground features spiderthemed play structures and interactive climb-through webs that are sure to bring out the spider enthusiast in you! Learn more at the WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville. Visit www.wncnaturecenter.com.

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Many spiders are beneficial to have around the house. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

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educator's view

Parent involvement: Finding the right balance

By Susanna Barbee WNC Parent columnist

My mother was the librarian at my primary school and would often peek into my classroom or give me a quick hug in the cafeteria. So regarding parent involvement, I had a slight advantage. Nevertheless, once I moved on to third grade and left the familiarity of the primary school, my mom remained involved, at least as much as a full-time working mother could. I didn’t realize it then, but I know now how significantly important parental involvement is to student success. A child’s educational experience is so multifaceted, it’s sometimes hard to dissect it and even determine what is making it go well for some children and

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poorly for others. There are a number of factors that parents cannot change. We cannot change a medical diagnosis of ADHD or autism. We cannot change educational assessment data that clearly indicates a learning disability. We cannot change the fact that schools do not have enough money to buy all of the innovative resources and programs they would like or hire enough teachers so the student-teacher ratio meets what’s considered optimal. We cannot change the fact that students may not mesh well with every single teacher they will have from kindergarten through 12th grade. We do have control over one thing, however: parental involvement. It’s well known that the right kind and the appropriate amount of parental involvement positively impacts a child’s educational experience and academic success. With that being said, there is a fine line between involving oneself to maximize your

child’s experience and overinvolving oneself to the point where children feel smothered or terrified if you are not around. They may also fail to learn important life lessons because mom or dad always swoops in to save the day. Many working parents feel anxiety because they just don’t have the time to volunteer. But there are many ways to be involved in your child’s education without being physically be in the school. Consider these ways to foster a relationship with your child’s school and in turn, positively impact your child’s educational experience. ✓ Keep the lines of communication open: Talk to your children about school, consistently and openly. When your children get in the car after school or when they step off the bus, try not to be on your phone. As soon as you see your children, ask them about school. Try not to ask “yes” and “no” questions, such as “Did you have a good day?” or

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“Did your teacher like your science project?” Ask open-ended questions, such as, “What were some of the activities you did in science today?” or “What did you and friends chat about at lunch?” This can begin an ongoing conversation. This is an easy and organic way to feel a part of your child’s schooling experience. » Check their agendas and help with homework: A traditional and simple way to stay involved. This shows your children you value what they do each day and that education is important to the entire family. It will also provide you insight regarding classroom activities and instructional strategies. There is no need to hover over your children or do their homework for them, but be nearby in case they need you. If you have a lot of work to do yourself, sit with your children at the table and do your work while your children complete theirs. » Use technology: For a number of schools, newsletters sent home in the backpack are a thing of the past. Many schools now use email, voicemail and social media to communicate with parents. Make sure you know which, if any, social media channels they use and be sure to “like” or “follow” them. Make sure your information is updated in the school data-

base. Teachers still appreciate parent notes of praise and concern, so if that is easier for you than email or phone, continue communicating that way. The common theme here is communicate, communicate, communicate. » Volunteer: If you can volunteer, schools truly appreciate you. Schools value any help you can offer. If you are a working parent, be on the lookout for volunteer opportunities that occur after school or on weekends. But do not feel bad if you cannot volunteer at all. You can still be a vital force in your child’s educational experience by involving yourself in other ways. » Attend/help with school functions: Many functions, such as sporting events, plays, and concerts are after school. If your child is involved in an extra-curricular activity, please make every effort to attend. When children look out into the crowd or the audience and see their family watching them, they feel proud and special. These activities and your involvement in them foster confidence and happiness in your children which ultimately makes them better students. The tricky aspect of parent involvement is to not become overinvolved to the

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point where your child feels like it is impossible to function at a school event, party or assembly without you there. Pick and choose which activities you attend or volunteer for so that you are an integral part of your child’s education without inhibiting their sense of independence. When your children move to middle and high school, remain connected. These strategies work at all grade levels. I love this quote by Jonas Salk: “Good parents give their children roots and wings. Roots to know where home is, wings to fly away and exercise what’s been taught them.” Sometimes I have to chant these words in my mind when I’m trying to hold on too tight to my own children. When it comes to parent involvement at school, be there for your children so they know they are always rooted in your presence, in their school, and in their home. Likewise, give them enough space to learn important life lessons like perseverance, resilience, and self-confidence. Give them just enough distance to grow the wings they’ll certainly need later in life. Susanna Barbee is a local mom, writer and educator. Find more on her blog, www.zealousmom.com. Reach her at susanna.barbee@gmail.com.

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librarian's picks

Picture books explore kids’ egos Jennifer Prince Buncombe County Public Library

Ego is a tricky thing. Some people have a lot. Some people do not. Ego makes some people confident. Ego makes other people vain. Everyone needs a little ego, the feeling that he or she is of value, the feeling that he or she matters, that he or she is capable. Three new picture books explore the idea of ego in childhood. The results are three very different, illuminating stories. The first book, “Little Mouse,” was written and illustrated by Alison Murray. In “Little Mouse,” a little girl explains that sometimes her mom says she is like a little mouse. That nickname works when the girl is being “quiet and cuddly,” but what about when the girl is not? The girl goes on to explain that she is many things. She is tall like a giraffe. She is strong like an ox. She is noisy like a wolf. The girl’s cheerful descriptions pair perfectly with the candy-colored illustrations. As the girl describes her various qualities, she is shown engaging with each animal in a playful way. Sharp-eyed readers will notice that while it looks like the girl is playing with real, life-size animals, they are really her stuffed animals given big life by her imagination. The second book, “Cheetah Can’t Lose,” was written and illustrated by Bob Shea. The story features Cheetah, who is a pompous braggart. He boasts to his kitten friends that because he is the best at everything, he is sure to win the upcoming race. The cheetah and the kittens embark on the race, but it turns out to be more like an obstacle course. There is flower-hopping, yarnpouncing and pie-eating. Cheetah

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excels at it all. However, as Cheetah receives the first-place prizes — a bunch of balloons, boxy shoes and an over-sized crown — he finds it harder and harder to move. In the end, the kittens finish the final leg of the race before Cheetah does. There are no hard feelings. Everyone is friends in the end. Shea’s characteristic retro, 1960s illustrations fairly burst with energy and color. The third book, “The Things I Can

Do,” was written and illustrated by Jeff Mack. In the story, a little boy explains that the book is about him and all the things he can do. He can make his own lunch, bathe himself, pick out his clothes and all kinds of other daily things. The boy’s idea of what counts for success is tempered by his youth and inexperience. Sure he can pick out his clothes, but he puts his underwear on his head. He can get his own drink, but he spills all over the floor. The book has the appearance of being made by a child. The binding looks like it was done with duct tape. The text looks like it was written in black crayon. Torn pieces of construction paper, images cut out from magazines, stickers, and masking tape are used to create lively, humorous collages. The boy’s cheerful insouciance and persistence make him someone young readers will applaud. These books are available in the Buncombe County Public Libraries. To learn more, visit www.buncombecounty.org/library.

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area story times Buncombe County Libraries Visit www.buncombecounty.org. Mother Goose: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Black Mountain; 11 a.m. Tuesday, Fairview; 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, North Asheville; 11 a.m. Thursday, Oakley; 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Pack; 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Swannanoa; 11 a.m. Wednesday, Weaverville; 11 a.m. Monday, West Asheville. Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Black Mountain; 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Enka; 11 a.m. Wednesday, Fairview; 10 a.m. Wednesday, North Asheville; 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oakley; 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Pack; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, S. Buncombe; 10 a.m. Thursday, Swannanoa; 11 a.m. Thursday, Weaverville; 11 a.m. Wednesday, West Asheville. Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Black Mountain; 11 a.m. Wednesday and Saturday, East Asheville; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Enka; 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Fairview; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Leicester; 11 a.m. Wednesday, North Asheville; 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oakley; 10:30 a.m. Monday, Pack; 10:30 a.m. Thursday, South Buncombe; 11 a.m. Thursday, Swannanoa; 11 a.m. Tuesday, Weaverville; 11 a.m. Thursday, West Asheville. Reading Corner (ages 6-12) 3:30 p.m. first Wednesdays, Pack.

Haywood County Library Visit www.haywoodlibrary.org. Waynesville, 356-2512 or 356-2511: Movers and Shakers: 11 a.m. Thursdays; Ready 4 Learning: 11 a.m. Tuesdays; Family story time: 11 a.m. Wednesdays Canton, 648-2924: Family story time, 11 a.m. Tuesdays; Rompin’ Stompin’ story time, 10 a.m. Thursdays

Henderson County Library Visit www.henderson. lib.nc.us. Bouncing Babies (0-18 months) 11 a.m. Thursday, Main Toddler Time (18 months-3) 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Main; 10 a.m. Wednesday, Fletcher. Play & Grow (birth-2 years) 10:30 a.m. fourth Friday, Main. Preschool (3-5) 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday, Main; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Fletcher Family 10 a.m. Monday, Mills River; 10 a.m. Thursday, Green River; 10 a.m. Tuesday, Etowah; 10 a.m. Monday, Edneyville. 4 O’Clock Club (K-5) 4 p.m. Thursdays, Main

Barnes & Noble Asheville Mall and Biltmore Park Town Square: 11 a.m. Saturdays

Spellbound Children’s Bookshop 50 N. Merrimon Ave., Asheville: 11 a.m. Saturdays, ages 3-6. Free. www.spellboundbookshop.com

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PUMPKIN PACKS A PUNCH By Kate Justen, WNC Parent columnist

Now that Halloween is officially behind us, it is time to move on to the next major holiday. This is a very food-centered time of year and one of the major players in the food theme is the pumpkin. Pumpkins are fun to carve and make great decorations, but they are also delicious to eat. And they’re good for you! Pumpkins are packed with vitamins and are rich in potassium and fiber. Pumpkin seeds are high in iron, protein and B vitamins. » Vitamin A is good for your skin and eyes. » Vitamin C helps the immune system. » Potassium is an essential electrolyte. It is good for your heart, kidneys, and brain. » Fiber can help maintain a healthy weight and lower risk of diabetes and heart disease. » Iron helps our muscles store and use oxygen. » Protein helps in the growth and development of bones and muscles as well as fighting off infections and protecting the body » B vitamins help with mood, stress, memory and energy as well as lower risk of heart disease. Winter squash have thick, tough shells that protect the sweet, rich flesh inside which makes them excellent storage vegetables. Some varieties are available year-round, but their natural season runs from late summer to midwinter. The skin of winter squash is inedible but is fine for your compost. When cooking, choose a pumpkin/squash that feels heavy for its size. Until you’re ready to use them, store whole pumpkins and squash in a cool, dry, dark place. Inside the house is usually too warm for long-term storage. When roasting, fill your oven and roast a few pumpkins or squash to use later as thickeners for soups, sauces and stews. Roasted squash or pumpkin freezes beautifully. Pack it in a freezer-safe container, remove as much air as possible, seal, and freeze for up to six months in a freezer attached to a fridge and up to a year in a stand-alone freezer. And if you’ve run low on pumpkin puree for a recipe, add a little roasted and pureed sweet potato. Kate Justen is the program director of FEAST — Fresh Easy Affordable Sustainable Tasty, a program of Slow Food Asheville. Email feast.avl@gmail.com or visit www.slowfoodasheville.org.

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Pumpkin/squash muffins 1 3/4 cup flour 1/3 cup sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 beaten egg 1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons oil 1 cup pumpkin or squash puree 1 cup chocolate chips and/or walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift dry muffin ingredients together. In a separate bowl whisk together wet ingredients. Gently fold wet with dry ingredients. Scoop out into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Roasted seeds PIES FOR F.E.A.S.T. Order your fresh baked apple or pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. All proceeds from pie sales directly fund F.E.A.S.T. classes at Asheville Middle School. Since 2009, F.E.A.S.T. has provided monthly hands-on classes with more than 100 sixth-, seventh- and eighthgraders each semester. Help the program continue, teaching these young ladies and gentlemen how to cook and eat foods that are fresh, easy, affordable, sustainable and tasty. All pies are made from scratch by students and volunteers, all ingredients are donated from local farms and businesses. Find more information at www.feast.slowfoodasheville.org Pies will be made Nov. 22, 25 and 26, for pickup between noon-3 p.m. Nov. 26. Volunteers and donations are also needed. Contact feast.avl@gmail.com.

1. Clean the seeds. Get all signs of pumpkin guts off. 2. Boil seeds for 10 minutes in salt water. Fill a medium pot about halfway, make sure seeds are covered with water, add seeds and 1 teaspoon of salt. 3. Drain seeds in a colander and lay out on paper towels or tea towel to absorb extra water. Work quickly or seeds will stick to the towel. 4. Spread seeds on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and massage into seeds. Sprinkle with salt (use a salt shaker so it is evenly spread). 5. Roast at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir, and return to oven for another 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them for the last 5 minutes; they should not turn brown. Shell will be crisp and easy to bite through when they are ready.

Roasted pumpkin or squash 1. Cut the pumpkin or squash in half using a large sharp knife and a lot of upper body strength. 2. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and guts. 3. Lay flat on a lightly oiled pan and roast in a preheated 375-degree oven until tender enough to pierce easily with a fork, about an hour. 4. Let cool, with a large spoon remove the sweet roasted pumpkin. 5. Mash with a fork, potato masher, blender or food processor.

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navigating education

A childhood hijacked By Michael Miller WNC Parent columnist

With all the recent talk about education and the reduction in funding by the General Assembly, it’s easy to forget about the two-lane street that is education. Actually, education has become like an eight-lane highway system with students speeding along faster than the Texas speed limit. There are multiple lanes headed in each direction, each going at a different speed, and exit ramps, one right after another. A student and family now have more options than ever before when it comes to their educational experience! In our fast-

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paced society, we are often set on getting in the fastest lane and passing everyone else by, and if we have to, there’s always an exit up ahead where we can take an alternate route. The problem is that we get so caught up in the rush that we forget to take the time to assess where it is we are all speeding off to. There are certainly plenty of pressures out there to have our student be the first to read, solve more complex math problems than anyone else, be in the top of the class, have the most advanced courses, be a part of the “gifted” group, or even skip a grade. And that’s just when it comes to academics. Don’t forget about athletics and other extracurricular activities. All of these pressures cause us to hyper-focus on what we think is down the road and around the bend, or over the horizon. In reality, none of us can predict what

lies ahead for ourselves, much less for our children. We fall into the trap of thinking that to best prepare our children for that uncertain future, we have to make sure they are at the top of whatever it is they are doing, academic or otherwise. We then transfer that pressure onto them, and they feel the searing heat every time they don’t perform up to par. This cycle causes the opposite effect of what we all really want for our kids: happiness. This pressure causes our students to dislike school, and more importantly, learning. This type of pressure does not allow our children to enjoy the moment because they are being taught to constantly pay attention to how they stack up against others, rather than on how they are feeling and where they want to go. To go back to the highway metaphor, it’s like that driver who only speeds up

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when they sense someone is about to pass them. It doesn’t take much studying of the curriculum in schools to see that the educational system has fallen into the same destructive pattern. Students in fifth grade are now learning what students in seventh grade used to learn. And students in seventh grade are now learning what freshmen used to learn. With the pushing down and compacting of the curriculum, we are accelerating childhood at best, completing robbing childhood from students at worst. The same is true for our extracurricular activities. How much pressure is on our

kids to be the best on the field, score the winning goal, to earn the solo in the music recital, and so on? The problem with all of this is that it won’t lead to happiness for our children because there will always be someone smarter, faster, more talented. There will always be someone on the highway who is trying to pass, and someone who will pass them. If they continue to speed up, at some point there’s going to be a crash. It’s then that we’ll all look back down the road at the skid marks and wonder: “How did this happen?” To answer that question, ask yourself these: “Do I encourage my child to strive

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to do his or her best, or to be the best?” “Does my child seem to truly enjoy what he or she does as pastimes?” “Do I find myself encouraging my children because I want them to be the ‘winner,’ or because I want them to enjoy what they are doing?” Depending upon your answers, it may be time to put on that right turn signal, ease over into the righthand lane, and slow down a bit. Check the GPS and make sure that the route to happiness is indeed the route you are traveling with your child. Michael Miller is the principal of Asheville Catholic School, www.ashevillecatholic.org.

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families & relationships

An extended adolescence By Trip Woodard WNC Parent columnist

Adolescence. It comes from the ancient Greek and means “time when parents should run, run to an island in an undisclosed location to drink lots of tropical drinks of the pineapple or coconut variety.” An interesting question for some parents is, “When does adolescence end?” It used to be around age 18. Then these neuroscientists came up with 21 to 24 based on brain development, now the age has been stretched to the late 20s. “What happened?” you may ask as you sip your coconut drink. The answer is college, graduate school and subsequent dependency.

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The reality is that many students are not finding the kind of high-quality job they had hoped for with just an undergraduate degree, but find they need a minimum of a graduate school degree. That means an extension of financial and emotional dependence. Now, that doesn’t mean you are obligated to pay for grad school, but that does not include secondary needs like car upkeep, medical insurance, etc. As you sip the rest of your coconut drink, you may ask, “But, what does this have to do with me?” It means that today’s parent might need to be mentally prepared that their kids will not be self-sufficient and have some dependence on you for a longer time than you had thought. So, you may have to stay on that island longer than you think. Literature on adolescent development now refers to early, middle and

late adolescence. The good news is that the older adolescent has a better brain, one less driven by impulsive feelings and capable of thinking before acting or talking. “So, what is the point of this article and when to we get to your advice?” you may ask as you finish off your drink. OK, here it comes: » Be clear as your child gets older about what you may and may not be willing to pay for. » Have reasonable expectations about expenses. I personally paid for my undergrad and graduate school expenses (that includes two master’s degrees). But I recognize time have truly changed, and my own son could not pull this off in today’s world. Therefore I have been open to paying for undergrad, but he will have to secure a loan or grant for graduate school. You may

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decide differently on this. » If your late adolescent lives at home, you have full rights to expect that he or she help out with household chores. This may be difficult to direct

from your undisclosed island location, but you do the best you can do. » Negotiate fair house rules. At his or her age, a curfew might not be in order, but contact at midnight might be

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to understand when they expect to be home is reasonable. This would be true of any household member living with you. » If he or she is “impaired,” let them know of your availability to pick them up without anger or judgment. Safety and not getting a DUI is more important. If this becomes a pattern, you may want to dialogue with them about their substance use. » Don’t expect that they are ready to transition into becoming more of an equal yet. Your role in their life as a benevolent consultant may be extended. » At the risk of sounding like I am self-promoting, a family therapist might be useful for a brief time to help negotiate these understanding should attempted dialogues turn into fire fights. And that is all I have to say about that. If you have further questions, you can leave me a message and I will give you a response as soon as I get back from my undisclosed island location. Trip Woodard is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a clinical member of the N.C. Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Contact him at 606-8607.

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calendar of events

Things to do

Register now

PLAY & LEARN (INFANTS AND TODDLERS): Parents/caregivers of children 3-36 months in Buncombe County who are not in regulated child care may attend a series of free sessions. There will be one infant (0-12 months) and two toddler (13-36 month) series offered. At Asheville City Schools Preschool, 441 Haywood Road, West Asheville. Each 45-minute session focuses on pre-literacy skills for children and educational information for parents. Activities include songs, puppets, dance, games, hands-on activities, music instruments, and crafts. Children who are new to the program receive a book each week. To register or for more information, contact Grace Ragaller at 350-2932 or grace.ragaller@asheville.k.12.nc.us. Attendance required at a minimum of five sessions. Play & Learn is a program of Smart Start of Buncombe County and Asheville City Schools Preschool.

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» Infant sessions: 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Nov. 5-26, Dec. 3-17 and Jan. 7. » Toddler sessions: 10 or 11 a.m. Thursdays, Nov. 7-21, Dec. 5-19, Jan. 2-9. PLAY & LEARN (PRESCHOOL): Parents/caregivers and children ages 3-5 in Buncombe County who are not in regulated child care may attend a free eightweek series of 45-minute classes, focusing on preliteracy and school readiness skills. Activities include songs, puppets, games, hands-on activities, and crafts. Must be age 3 by class start date. Younger siblings may attend, but materials are not provided. Children new to the program receive a book each week. Register now by email or phone. Contact Marna Holland at 350-2904 or marna.holland@asheville.k12.nc.us. Dates and school locations include: » 10 and 11 a.m. Tuesdays, starting Nov. 5, at Asheville City Schools Preschool. » 10 and 11 a.m. Wednesdays, starting Nov. 6, at Asheville City Schools Preschool. » 9 a.m. Fridays, starting Nov. 15, at Leicester Elementary. » 9 a.m. Mondays, starting Nov. 18, at Hominy Valley Elementary.

Through Dec. 7

BOOK GIVING TREE: Fairview Library, 1 Taylor Road, Fairview. The Friends of the Fairview Library is sponsoring a Giving Tree Project that will send Fairview Elementary School children home at winter break with books to keep. To participate, visit the library and select a gift card with a child’s information (gender, grade/reading level). Buy a book or books ($10 minimum total retail value) and return it

unwrapped to the library by Dec. 7. Or, make a $10 donation at the library. For more information, call 250-6484 or email fairview.library@ buncombecounty.org.

Nov. 5

AFTER SCHOOL WIMPY KID HANGOUT: 4-5 p.m. Nov. 5, Spellbound Children's Bookshop, 50 N. Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Free activities and drawing for Wimpy Kid prizes to celebrate release of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 8: Hard Luck.” Visit www.spellboundbookshop.com. ART BUZZ KIDS: 4-5:30 p.m. Nov. 5-Dec. 17, Wine and Design Asheville, 640 Merrimon Ave., Suite 208, Asheville. Ages 6-10. After-school art classes in six-week sessions, $75. This sesson’s theme is “Holiday Fun.” Call 255-2442 or visit www.wineanddesignus.com/asheville. ‘GIRL RISING’: 7 p.m. Nov. 5, UNC Asheville Humanities Lecture Hall. A screening of “Girl Rising,” a documentary about educating young women around the world. Free. Email kcornell@unca.edu or call 251-6808. SCI GIRLS: 6-8 p.m. Nov. 5, PARI, Pisgah National Forest, 9 miles west of Brevard. Learn about weather balloons. For girls ages 9-14. $10. Visit www.pari.edu/programs/students/scigirls/.

Nov. 6

ART BUZZ KIDS: 4-5:30 p.m. Nov. 6-Dec. 18, Wine and Design Asheville, 640 Merrimon Ave., Suite 208, Asheville. Ages 11 and older. After-school art classes in six-week sessions, $75. This sesson’s theme is “Holiday Fun.” Call 255-2442 or visit

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Wednesdays, starting Nov. 6, at Asheville City Schools Preschool. Parents/caregivers and children ages 3-5 in Buncombe County who are not in regulated child care may attend a free eight-week series of 45-minute classes, focusing on pre-literacy and school readiness skills. Activities include songs, puppets, games, hands-on activities, and crafts. Must be age 3 by class start date. Younger siblings may attend, but materials are not provided. Children new to the program receive a book each week. Register now by email or phone. Contact Marna Holland at 350-2904 or marna.holland@asheville.k12.nc.us. Dates and school locations include:

Nov. 7

“Disney on Ice” will be in Greenville starting Nov. 27. HEINZ KLUETMEIER/FELD ENTERTAINMENT www.wineanddesignus.com/asheville. BOOK N’ CRAFT: 10:30-11 a.m. Nov. 6, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Learn about elections with the book “Duck for

President” by Doreen Cronin and create a craft to take home. All ages. Free with admission. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. PLAY & LEARN (PRESCHOOL): 10 and 11 a.m.

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HEALTHY KIDS CLUB: 10:30-11 a.m. Nov. 7, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Diana Rothweiler, public health registered dental hygienist, presents a high-quality 30-minute dental health puppet show for ages 2-5. The puppet show teaches dental health concepts through music, songs and stories. Free with admission/free for members. Call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. SHAKE, RATTLE & RHYTHM: 4-4:30 p.m. Nov. 7, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 5 and older. Learn simple rhythms and get to experience different instruments. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

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Nov. 9

BOOK SALE: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 9, Fairview Community Center, 1357 Charlotte Highway. Bargain books for adults and children. Proceeds benefit Fairview Library. For more information, call 2506484 or email fairview.library@ buncombecounty.org. FIRST LEGO LEAGUE ROBOTICS TOURNAMENT: Noon-5 p.m. Nov. 9, Blue Ridge Conference Hall, Blue Ridge Community College, Flat Rock. The official 2013 Western North Carolina FIRST LEGO League Robotics Tournament has 24 teams made up of 9- to 14-year-olds competing in a series of robotics challenges in the theme Nature’s Fury. Free. For event details, directions, and contact links, visit www.rocwnc.org. For information about FIRST LEGO League, visitwww.usfirst.org. GEOCACHING DAY: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Nov. 9, N.C. Arboretum, N.C. 191 at Blue Ridge Parkway, Bent Creek. Families, individuals and groups can take part in an outdoor adventure. By using a handheld GPS unit, along with coordinates from www.geocaching.com, solve clues to find one of more than 2,247,000 geocaches located around the world. Guests can seek five new traditional geocaches, as well as a special nature-themed “series” cache. Special “First To Find” geocoins will be placed in each new geocache, and the first 25 individuals to find all six new geocaches will win a T-shirt. Experienced geocachers with their own equipment may begin seeking caches as early as 9 a.m. Newcomers to the sport may borrow a GPS unit, donated by Diamond Brand Outdoors, and join an Arboretum Educator for a guided adventure from 10 to 11:30 a.m. or 2 to 3:30 p.m. Registration not required. $8 parking fee. For more information, visit www.ncarboretum.org, or call 665-2492, Ext. 228. T.C. ROBERSON HOLIDAY MARKET: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 9, Roberson High School, 250 Overlook Road, Asheville. Free. Seventh-annual market with dozens of local vendors, handmade crafts of all types, concessions for purchase, hourly door prize drawings, $1 raffle tickets for prize baskets. Call 687-4027 for more information.

Nov. 10

CHILDREN’S COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECT: 12:30-2:30 p.m. Nov. 10, Fletcher United Methodist Church. Join the PB&J Club as it does a service project at Calvary Food Pantry. Teach your children to give back to others. Pizza and drinks will be provided. RSVP to Joy@fletcherumc.org. Meet at Calvary Episcopal Church parking lot, across from Ingles in Fletcher, after the 11 a.m. service. Visit www.facebook.com/WeLoveFUMC/events.

Nov. 11

SANTA VISITS: 1-3 p.m. Nov. 11, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Write a letter to Santa and deliver it in person. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

MOM’S GROUPS Asheville Stay-At-Home Moms Playgroup: Visit www.meetup.com/AshevilleStay-At-Home-Moms-Playgroup/ Arden Moms Meetup Group: Visit www.meetup.com/arden-moms or contact Susan Toole at ArdenMoms@gmail.com. AshevilleMommies.com: Meet and greets for moms while kids play. Two sessions, 11 a.m.-noon and 3-4 p.m. Wednesdays at The Hop Ice Cream and Coffee Shop, 640 Merrimon Ave. Asheville Moms with Multiples: Group for moms with multiples meets 7 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at the Women’s Resource Center on Doctors Drive, behind Mission Hospital. Meetings are an opportunity to share experiences and offer support in a social setting. Call 444-AMOM or visit www.ashevillemom.com. Biltmore Baptist MOPS: Group for all mothers of children from infancy through kindergarten. Meets 9:30-11:30 a.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month, September-May at Biltmore Baptist Church, 35 Clayton Road, Arden. Call 6871111, email mopsofbbc@yahoo.com or visit www.biltmorebaptist.org/mops/. Hiking with Preschoolers: Visit www.meetup.com/hiking-with-Preschoolers/ La Leche League of Asheville/Buncombe: For all those interested in breastfeeding. Nursing babies, toddlers and pregnant women welcome. Meetings are second Monday of every month, 10-11 a.m., at First Congregational Church, Oak Street, and third Monday of every month, 7-8 p.m., Awakening Heart Chiropractic, Ravenscroft Drive. Please call a leader for more information or directions: Susan 303-6352 or Adrienne 603-505-0855. Visit www.lalecheleagueofnc.org La Leche League of Hendersonville: Offers information and support for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Meets at 10 a.m. the second Wednesday of the month at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville, 2021 Kanuga Road. Babies and toddlers are welcome. For more information, Contact a leader: Andrea 676-

Starts Nov. 12

BOOK GIVING TREE: South Asheville/Oakley Library, 749 Fairview Road. Help provide new books for disadvantaged children in the community. Select a gift card with a child’s information (gender, grade/ reading level, a special interest). Buy a book ($10 minimum retail value) and return it to the Oakley

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6047, Katie 808-1490, or MC 693-9899. Mom2mom: Christian moms group meets at St. Paul’s Church, 32 Rosscraggon Road, Rosscraggon Business Park Building B, Asheville. Moms with any age children are welcome. Call 388-3598. Moms Club of Hendersonville: A support group open to mothers of all ages in the Henderson County area, including mothers who have home-based businesses and those who work part-time but are home with their children during the day. The group meets for speeches and topics for discussion, park days, playgroups, nights out, holiday activities and service projects benefiting needy children in the community. Meets 9:30 a.m. the first Thursday of the month at Hendersonville Church of Christ, 1975 Haywood Road, Hendersonville. Children welcome. Call Tamara Betteridge at 699-6292 or email tamara@networkedneighbors.com, or visit http://hendersonvillemomsclub.wordpress.com. Moms’ Support Group: For new moms (children ages 0-5 years) who cope with depression. This group focuses on challenges of parenting, building positive coping skills and sharing experiences in a safe, private environment with professional guidance. Next session begins the first week of July, meets weekly in the evening. Email momsupportgroup@outlook.com for more information. MOPS at Mud Creek: Mothers of Preschoolers provides an open, faith-based atmosphere for moms of infants through kindergartners. Meets second and fourth Wednesdays, 9:15-11:15 a.m., SeptemberMay, at Mud Creek Baptist Church, 403 Rutledge Drive, Hendersonville. Email Melissa Thorsland, melthor@tds.net, or MOPS.MudCreek@gmail.com or visit http:// mopsatmudcreek.webs.com/links.htm. WNC Mountain Mamas: Moms and kids can meet up and play at 11 a.m. Wednesdays the Hop Ice Cream Shop, 640 Merrimon Ave. Enjoy half-priced coffees and ice cream. Encompassing, supporting and uniting WNC families. Visit www.wncmountainmamas.proboards.com.

Library by Dec. 17. Or donate $10 and the Friends of the Oakley Library will do the shopping for you. The program has provided books to more than 1,500 local children since 2000. For more information, call 250-4754 or email oakley.library@buncombecounty.org.

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calendar of events PARENTS’ NIGHTS OUT Need a date night? Here is a roundup of upcoming parents’ nights out. Have an event to submit? Email information to calendar@wncparent.com.

NOV. 8 FIRED UP! CREATIVE LOUNGE: Kids paint pottery, have pizza and play games, 6-9 p.m. the second Friday of the month. At 26 Wall St., Asheville, and 321 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 5-12. $25. Registration required. Call Asheville shop at 253-8181 and Hendersonville shop at 698-9960. REUTER FAMILY YMCA: Themed nights of fun and games, taking place every second and fourth Friday of the month. Includes craft, movie and snacks. Ages 6 weeks-12 years. 6:15-9:45 p.m. $13 for the first child, $11 each additional child for members/$25 per child nonmembers. Call 651-9622 to register.

NOV. 9 HAHN’S GYMNASTICS: Gymnastics activities, games, pizza and a movie. Aegs 3-12. Runs 5:30 p.m.-midnight. $15 for the first child; $10 extra for each sibling if enrolled at Hahn’s; $20/$15 for unenrolled children. Visit www.hahnsgymnastics.com.

NOV. 11

SAT PREP CLASS: 6-8:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, Nov. 11-Dec. 2, UNC Asheville Graduate Center. The prep course will cover all aspects of the SAT test, and includes test-taking techniques, timesaving methods and logical reasoning. Includes 18 hours of instruction, texbooks

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Nov. 13

CRITTER CRAFT: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 13, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Draw a turkey in time for Thanksgiving. Drop-in, self-directed activity. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. POETRY ALIVE!: 3:30 p.m. Nov. 13, North Asheville Library, 1030 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Poetry Ages 5 and older. Favorite poems presented in a high energy performance. Free. For more information, call 250-4752 or email northasheville.library@ buncombecounty.org. SEW WHAT?: 10 a.m. Nov. 13 and 27, Swannanoa

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and all materials. $295. SAT offered at area high schools Dec. 7. Visit http://agc.unca.edu/sat for registration information.

NOV. 15

COLBURN EARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM: Evening of science with activities, games, crafts, dinner and hands-on lessons. For grades K-4. 5-8:30 p.m. Novebmer’s theme is “Ecosystems: Where in the World.” $20 per child, $16 for additional siblings and Colburn members. Visit www.colburnmuseum.org.

NOV. 17

ASHEVILLE JCC COMMUNITY CRAFT FAIR: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 17. Asheville JCC, 236 Charlotte St. Local vendors, handmade crafts, kids craft zone. Free. Email bwass78@gmail.com for more information.

NOV. 22

REUTER FAMILY YMCA: Themed nights of fun and games, taking place every second and fourth Friday of the month. Includes craft, movie and snacks. Ages 6 weeks-12 years. 6:15-9:45 p.m. $13 for the first child, $11 each additional child for members/$25 per child nonmembers. Call 651-9622 to register. WOODFIN YMCA: Neighborhood Y at Woodfin offers Parents’ Night Out the fourth Friday of each month, 6-9 p.m. Themed nights include healthy snacks, games and crafts. $12 member/$18 nonmember, with $2 sibling discount. Ages 2-13. Register online at www.ymcawnc.org or in person at 40 N. Merrimon Ave., Suite 101, Asheville. Call 505-3990.

Library, 101 W. Charleston St. New sewing class, sewers from beginners on up are invited to bring a project for social sewing. Hosted by experienced seamstress and quilter Betsy Keen. For more information, clal 250-6486 or email swannanoa. library@buncombecounty.org.

Nov. 14

CRITTER CRAFT: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 14, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Draw a turkey in time for Thanksgiving. Drop-in, self-directed activity. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. RED HERING PUPPETS: 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14, Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., Asheville. Free.

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Family Fun Night @ Pack Library presents “Adventures in Folklore with the Red Herring Puppets.” A warm and wonderful puppet show for the whole family. For more information, call 250-4720 or email pack.children@buncombecounty.org. SHAKE, RATTLE & RHYTHM: 4-4:30 p.m. Nov. 14, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 5 and older. Learn simple rhythms and get to experience different instruments. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

Nov. 15

CRITTER CRAFT: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 15, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Draw a turkey in time for Thanksgiving. Drop-in, self-directed activity. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Call 697-8333 or visit www.handsonwnc.org. KID POWER’S OPERATION LUNCH LINE 3-D: 10 a.m. and noon Nov. 15, Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Place, downtown Asheville. A highly interactive, musical show, designed to help children grades K-6 learn the value of good nutrition and exercise. Using spectacular visual effects in 3-D, the entire audience miniaturizes, joining Kid Power on an amazing journey inside the human body of a boy named Max who feels lousy because he doesn’t eat or move properly. $7 individual tickets, $6 for groups. Visit www.dwtheatre.com. ‘MULAN JR.’: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 and 16, Mountain Heritage High School auditorium, 333 Mountain Heritage High School Road, Burnsville. Parkway Playhouse Jr. presents “Disney’s Mulan Jr.” $10 adults, $8 members, $5 students ages 5-18. Visit www.parkwayplayhouse.com.

Nov. 16

CLAXTON ELEMENTARY HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Claxton Elementary School, Gymnatorium, 241 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Open to the community. Table rental fee of $50 or $40 plus a donated item for us to raffle. Teachers receive a discounted rate of $20 per table. Proceeds from table rentals benefit Claxton PTO. Artists will need to man their own table. Space is limited. All items must be handmade. Contact Rachel Friel at rachelfriel@yahoo.com or 551-7391 to reserve your space or with questions. INTERNATIONAL GAME DAY: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 16, Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., Asheville. Youth Services Department will have board games available all day long. Stop by and play. For more information, call 250-4720 o email pack.children@buncombecounty.org. MAKE A LEAF JOURNAL: 3:30 p.m. Nov. 16, Pack Library, 67 Haywood St., Asheville. Master Gardener Suzanne Wodek will share tree lore and guides us in making journals and leaf rubbings (all supplies provided.) Ages 6-12. Free. For more information, call 250-4720 or email pack.children@buncombecounty.org. ‘MULAN JR.’: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16, Mountain Heritage High School auditorium, 333 Mountain Heritage High School Road, Burnsville. Parkway Playhouse Jr. presents “Disney’s Mulan Jr.” $10 adults, $8 mem-

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calendar of events Continued from Page 57 bers, $5 students ages 5-18. Visit www.parkwayplayhouse.com. SATURDAYS AT ACT: 10 a.m. Nov. 16, Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St., Asheville. Bright Star Touring Theatre returns to headline Asheville Community Theatre’s Saturday family series. The spirit of the holidays is celebrated in “Christmas With Santa,” a Christmas-wrapped comedy in which two elves have misplaced most of Santa’s presents. When Santa arrives he teaches the well-meaning elves that the real gift of the season are the people and friends we celebrate it with. $5. Visit www.ashevilletheatre.org. WNC FOSTER ADOPT FALL FESTIVAL: 1-4 p.m. Nov. 16, Asheville-Biltmore DoubleTree Hotel, 115 Hendersonville Road. Free, fun, drop-in event gives participants the chance to talk with foster care agencies and also with experienced foster parents. Learn more about older children who are waiting for adoption right now. For more information, call the Families for Kids Information line at 250-5868 or email familiesforkids@buncombecounty.org

Nov. 18

ELIZABETH BERRIEN BOOK TALK: 7 p.m. Nov. 18, Malaprop’s Bookstore & Cafe, 55 Haywood St., Asheville. At age 27, Elizabeth Berrien lost her soldier husband in Afghanistan and her son to stillbirth over a 20 month period. In “Creative Grieving: A Hip Chick’s Path from Loss to Hope,” Berrien shares her story of resilience, strength of the human spirit, hope in the face of loss, and the connection, joy, and gifts that can inevitably be found through grief. Visit www.malaprops.com.

Nov. 19

MAD SCIENTIST LAB: 10:30-11 a.m. Nov. 19, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 3 and older. Join Dr. Bunson and Dr. Beaker in the lab as they explore smells. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and wonderful smells come with it. Learn simple rhythms and get to experience different instruments. $7 nonmembers/ free for members. Call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. NEW VOICE SUPPORT GROUP: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Oct. 15, Balance Point Collaborative, 263 Haywood St., Suite 100, Asheville. A new peer-led support group for those in recovery from eating disorders. Meets the third Tuesday of each month. Hear speakers share their stories of hope and success on their road to recovery from eating disorders. Speakers include staff, former clients, and community members. There will also be topic-centered and open discussion among participants. For more information, call 348-6922 or visit www.balancepointnc.com.

Nov. 20

BOOK N’ CRAFT: 10:30-11 a.m. Nov. 20, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Listen to a Thanksgiving book and create a craft to take home. All ages. Free with admission. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

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and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 29; 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Nov. 30; 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 1. Visit www.disneyonice.com, or on Facebook and YouTube. For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.com. SEW WHAT?: 10 a.m. 27, Swannanoa Library, 101 W. Charleston St. New sewing class, sewers from beginners on up are invited to bring a project for social sewing. Hosted by experienced seamstress and quilter Betsy Keen. For more information, clal 250-6486 or email swannanoa.library@buncombecounty.org.

OASIS SHRINE CIRCUS: 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 21, WNC Ag Center, McGough Arena, Fletcher. $12 for ages 13 and older, free 12 and younger. Tickets available at the door. Circus by Jordan World Circus, www.thejordanworldcircus.com. Visit www.oasisshriners.org. SHAKE, RATTLE & RHYTHM: 4-4:30 p.m. Nov. 21, Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 5 and older. Learn simple rhythms and get to experience different instruments. Free with $5 admission/free for members. Call 697-8333. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

Nov. 29

Nov. 22

TEEN AWESOME GROUP: 4-5:30 p.m. Nov. 22, Weaverville Library, 41 N. Main St. For tweens and teens sixth-graders and older. Get ready for this holiday season with crafty DIY presents and decorations. Supplies, snacks and a movie provided. Bring friends and creativity. For information, call 250-6482 or email weaverville.library@buncombecounty.org.

Nov. 24

TELLABRATION STORYTELLING FESTIVAL: 3-6 p.m. Nov. 24, Folk Art Center, Blue Ridge Parkway. $7. Four well-known storytellers (Kim Weitkamp, David Joe Miller, Wallace Shealy and Kathy Gordon) will spin their tales. $7.

Nov. 27

DISNEY ON ICE “PRINCESSES & HEROES”: 7:30

N.C. Arboretum hosts a Geocaching Day on Nov. 9. Learn how to find caches in the woods with a handheld GPS. AARON JENNINGS/SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

p.m. Nov. 27, Bon Secours Wellness Arena (formerly Bi-Lo Center), Greenville, S.C. Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White make wishes come true in this collection of celebrated tales wonderfully told through artistic skating and acrobatics. $15-$45. Other showtimes: 3:30

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DISNEY ON ICE “PRINCESSES & HEROES”: 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 29, Bon Secours Wellness Arena (formerly Bi-Lo Center), Greenville, S.C. Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White make wishes come true in this collection of celebrated tales wonderfully told through artistic skating and acrobatics. $15-$45. Other showtimes: 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Nov. 30; 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 1. Visit www.disneyonice.com, or on Facebook and YouTube. For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.com.

Nov. 30

DISNEY ON ICE “PRINCESSES & HEROES”: 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Nov. 30, Bon Secours Wellness Arena (formerly Bi-Lo Center), Greenville, S.C. Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White make wishes come true in this collection of celebrated tales wonderfully told through

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Continued from Page 59 artistic skating and acrobatics. $15-$45. Other showtimes: 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 1. Visit www.disneyonice.com, or on Facebook and YouTube. For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.com.

Dec. 1

DISNEY ON ICE “PRINCESSES & HEROES”: 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 1, Bon Secours Wellness Arena (formerly Bi-Lo Center), Greenville, S.C. Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana, Jasmine, Aurora and Snow White make wishes come true in this collection of celebrated tales wonderfully told through artistic skating and acrobatics. $15-$45. Visit www.disneyonice.com, or on Facebook and YouTube. For tickets, visit www.ticketmaster.com.

Dec. 7

SESAME STREET LIVE!: 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 7, U.S. Cellular Center, Asheville. “Make a New Friend” show with Elmo, Grover, Abby, Cadabby and more. Tickets $19-$50 at box office, www.ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000.

Dec. 8

SESAME STREET LIVE!: 1 and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 8, U.S. Cellular Center, Asheville. “Make a New Friend” show with Elmo, Grover, Abby, Cadabby and more. Tickets $19-$50 at box office, www.ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000.

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LEGO SCULPTURE EXHIBIT: Through Jan. 5, N.C. Arboretum, N.C. 191 at Blue Ridge Parkway. Walk by an 8-foot tall hummingbird and go nose-to-nose with a 5-foot butterfly. Ranging in size from 6 inches to nearly 8 feet, a variety of creatures are represented in the exhibit by Sean Kenney, including a tiger swallowtail butterfly, a green darner dragonfly, a hummingbird and even a bison. Created from nearly 500,000 LEGO bricks, the 27 sculptures make up 15 large displays. Visit www.ncarboretum.org. DEVELOPING FUTURE MALE LEADERS: Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts will offer a Developing Future Male Leaders program for boys in third to eighth grades, 5-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Fall session runs September-December, and costs $5 per youth. A spring session will begin in February. The program will teach young men leadership and life skills. Topics include: being a leader, outdoor skills, cooking and giving back. Registration required in advance. For more information or to register, contact William Hoke at 253-3714, whoke@ashevillenc.gov, or Seth Jackson at 259-5483 sjackson@ashevillenc.gov. TINY TYKES: 10 a.m.-noon Wednesdays and Fridays, Stephens-Lee Recreation Center, 30 George Washington Carver Drive, Asheville. Program resumes for the fall. Organized crafts and active play. Great way for you and your toddler to socialize. $1/class for toddlers and parents. Visit www.ashevillenc.gov. SWIM LESSONS: ISR Survival Swimming Lessons for infants and children are taught weekday mornings at the Asheville Racquet Club Downtown location,

year round. Limited number of scholarships available. Visit www.ISRasheville.com. CELEBRATION SINGERS: Thursdays, First Congregational Church, 20 Oak St., Asheville. Celebration Singers of Asheville Community Youth Chorus invites singers ages 7-14 to join. Rehearsals are Thursdays; Canti Dolci from 6-6:45 p.m. and Canti Spiritu (older group) from 6:45-7:45 p.m. Contact artistic director Ginger Haselden at 230-5778. LINWOOD CRUMP-SHILOH COMPLEX PROGRAMS: Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts offers a variety of community activities and programs at the complex, 121 Shiloh Road. Registration ongoing. Photo ID required for center access after 5:30pm. For more information, contact Tameka Crudup at 828-274-7739 or tcrudup@ashevillenc.gov » Afternoon Adventures Program, 2:45-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday on Buncombe County schooldays. Grades K-5. Homework assistance, group games, arts/crafts and special activities. $40/week/ first child, $30/siblings; families on reduced school meal plan: $30/week/first child, $20/siblings; families on free school meal plan: $10/week/each child » Teen Club Program, 2:45-5:30 p.m. MondayFriday, on Buncombe County schooldays. Grades 6-9. Homework assistance, group games, arts/crafts and special projects or trips. $40/week/first child, $30/ siblings; families on reduced school meal plan: $30/week/first child, $20/siblings; families on free school meal plan: $10/week/each child » Teen Hip Hop Dance Club, 6-7 p.m. Wednesday. Learn an array of new style dancing and a culture of dance moves from the 1970’s that involve breaking, locking and popping. Mix your own freestyle form and develop unique routines. $2 per class.

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» Family ZUMBA, 6-7 p.m. on second, third and fourth Mondays. Family oriented fitness with focus on maintaining a healthy weight through fun cardio. CHILDREN’S PROGRAM: 10:30 a.m. Saturdays through October, Swannanoa Valley Museum, 223 W. State St., Black Mountain. Free. Museum storytellers will read from “Rascal” the story of a mischievous raccoon. Readings to through end of October. With activities related to the story. Parents must remain at museum. Call 669-9566 or email info@swannanoavalleymuseum.org. ANIMATION WORKSHOP WEDNESDAY: 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays, Asheville Pizza & Brewing, 675 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Bring a digital camera with USB cord and thumb drive and learn the art of stop motion animation including claymation, papermation, and legomation. All other supplies & instruction provided. Ages 10 and older. $10. More info at facebook.com/WorldPeasAnimations and www.youtube.com/WorldPeasAnimations. MUSIC TOGETHER: 3:30-4:15 p.m. Fridays, Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Visit a class for free ages 8 months to 5 years. Call 258-1901 or visit www.nestorganics.com. KIDS YOGA: 3:30-4:30 p.m. Thursdays, Black Mountain Yoga, 120 Broadway St., Black Mountain. For ages 4-9. $9 each or $7 for each additional sibling. Drop kids off for an hour of mindful, creative play and movement with a different theme each week. For more information or registration visit www.blackmountainyoga.com. ASHEVILLE CLOGGING AND DANCE COMPANY: Classes for all ages and skill levels. Visit www. ashevillecloggingcompany.com or email Ashley Shimberg at ashley@ashevillecloggingcompany.com.

For a list of winter holiday events, see Page 26. For the full family-friendly calendar, visit CITIZEN-TIMES.com/Living. To submit events, email details to calendar@wncparent.com.

CHABAD HEBREW SCHOOL OF THE ARTS: Enrollment open for Chabad Hebrew School of the Arts, a combination Sunday School and Hebrew School Program, for 2013-14. Half off for new children. Free trial class available. For ages 3-13. Sundays 10 a.m.noon. September-May. At the Chabad House, 660 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Call 505-0746, email chana@chabadasheville.org or visit www.chabadasheville.org. T-BONE’S RADIO ACTIVE KIDS: Stories, music, contests, interviews and all things for families in the Asheville area. 8-10 a.m. Saturdays on www.ashevillefm.org. CONNECT: INCREASING SOCIAL FLEXIBILITY THROUGH ACTIONS AND THOUGHTS: Class at St. Gerard House, 620 Oakland St., Hendersonville, to learn how thoughts, actions and reactions affect social situations. Classes are interactive, age appropriate and fund. Curriculum incorporates social thinking lessons and characters, uses evidence-based practices, games, role play and skits. Call 693-4223, ext. 21, for information. St. Gerard House provides services for children with autism spectrum diagnosis but a child and/or adolescent taking this class does

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not need to be diagnosed. HAPPINESS GROUP: 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, 1528 Smoky Park Highway, Candler. $20 per session. Who is the happiest person you know? If you have ever thought about increasing your own level of happiness this group is for you. This six-week group is led by a licensed psychologist and allows for dialogue and support among group members. It offers you proven methods to create lasting happiness; helpful strategies to fit your personality and lifestyle; and ways to increase your motivation and commitment to positive change. Registration required by calling 761-1017 or visiting www.drjamielopez.com MUSIC WORKSHOP: Singer/songwriter Sonia Brooks hosts free music workshop for children, 11 a.m.-noon Saturdays at Grateful Steps Bookstore, 159 S. Lexington Ave. Walk-ins welcome. Donations accepted. Call Sonia at 380-0275 with questions. PRENATAL BONDING: Relaxing 1-hour weekly program in West Asheville with prenatal specialist. Donation suggested. For more information, contact Emma at 255-5648 or emma@gentletouch parent-child.com. SMOKY MOUNTAIN CHESS CLUB: Meets 2-4 p.m. Thursdays at Blue Ridge Books, 152 S. Main St., Waynesville. Players of all levels welcome. Call 456-6000. SPANISH 4 KIDS: An enjoyable and effective way to learn Spanish by exposing children ages 3-5 to the language sounds. Taught by Monica Bastin, a native of Peru. With games, singing, dancing, storytelling and lots of fun. 3:30-4:15 p.m. Thursdays at Movement Center, French Broad Food Co-op. Email risitasavl@gmail.com or call 335-2120.

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