Black Hills Parent Winter 2021

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KEEPIN’IT JOLLY! p. p. 30 30



Is your child a picky eater? Do they struggle with eating? Has mealtime become a battle? If you answered yes, then your child may benefit from Feeding Therapy with Children’s Therapy Services.


Working with a trained occupational or speech therapist to teach a child how to become an independent & functional eater.

WHO BENEFITS? Picky Eaters Failure to Thrive G-tube Dependence Refusing Food Tantrums at Mealtime Food or Swallowing Fears Oral Motor Deficits Sensory Sensitivity

HOW DO I BEGIN! Ask your doctor for a referral. Feeding therapy begins with an assessment of skills & needs to help determine if there is a physical problem, sensory challenge or lack of oral-motor skills.

Caroline Smith OTR/L Caroline is a Rapid City native and is returning home after 20 years of living and working in Las Vegas, NV. She brings 10 years of experience with increased specialization in feeding and sensory processing therapies to the Children Therapy Services team. She’s ready to help ease stressful mealtimes and assist children in building

healthy relationships with food.

Contact us for more information on Feeding Therapy 605.716.2634 | 110 N Cambell Street | Suite A • Rapid City, SD


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Give your child the freedom to dream with CollegeAccess 529 No gift is greater than an education. To learn how to start saving today visit Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of the CollegeAccess 529 plan before investing. This and other important information is in the Plan Disclosure Statement, available at Read the Plan Disclosure Statement carefully before investing. Before investing, you should consider whether your state of residency, or your intended beneficiary’s state of residency, offers a state tax deduction or any other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s 529 savings program. The CollegeAccess 529 Plan is issued by the South Dakota Higher Education Savings Trust. The Program Manager and Underwriter for the CollegeAccess 529 Plan is VP Distributors, LLC, One Financial Plaza, Hartford, CT 06103, 800-243-4361. Certain of the investment management firms that manage underlying mutual funds in the Program, including Virtus Investment Advisers, Inc., are affiliated with the Program Manager. Only South Dakota residents and Account Owners who designate a South Dakota resident as Beneficiary can invest directly in the CollegeAccess 529 Plan. Certain Portfolios are not available to those who invest directly. Residents of states other than South Dakota can invest in the CollegeAccess 529 Plan only through a financial professional. Additional fees apply for investments made through a financial professional. Please see the Plan Disclosure Statement for details. State taxes may apply for residents of states other than South Dakota. Notice: CollegeAccess 529 Plan accounts are not insured by any state, and neither the principal deposited nor any investment return is guaranteed by any state.

URGENT: Talk to your kids about VAPE!

Vaping causes irreversible brain damage to teens’ developing brains. One in 20 middle schoolers and 1 in 5 high schoolers regularly vape. It’s highly addictive, and numbers are rapidly increasing. The good news is, most young people want to quit. New data* shows that 60% of young people (15-24) want to quit vaping. We know quitting is hard and often takes multiple attempts. The SD QuitLine offers proven techniques, tools, and tips you can use to help keep them on track so their quit will stick.

The South Dakota QuitLine has helped thousands of people quit. We can help South Dakotans 13+ with FREE coaching & medication. Call the QuitLine today!

Your SUPPORT can make a HUGE difference in the health of your kids. *Truth Initiative Survey, January 2021





18 The holidays are all about coming together — and this issue we found people around the Black Hills who are doing just that! Whether its volunteers helping animals and veterans or newcomers excited to settle in, winter is the time to gather with our loved ones. We also asked local experts for tips on keeping the season manageable and fun. We hope the past year has been good to you and your family, and look forward to 2022!

BHPARENT BH PARENT Publisher, Owner Rick DenHerder 605.343.7684 ext. 203 For Advertising Information Creative Director John Edwards Senior Designer Chris Valencia Designer Sydnee Dormann Communications Coordinator Meghan Rose Senior Editor Ashley Johnson Photographer Jesse Brown Nelson Social Media Manager Jenna Johnson Client Strategists Dolsee Davenport, Felipe Griffith Distribution Richard Alley Contributors Avery Thomas, Katie Wiederholt

Black Hills Parent. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any part of this publication without the expressed consent of the publisher is prohibited. The information included in this publication is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing. Additional advertiser information and articles are available online at Black Hills Parent magazine is a free, quarterly publication distributed throughout Black Hills area communities — from Rapid City to Spearfish, Deadwood to Hill City, Custer to Hot Springs, and every place in between, including: schools, medical and dental waiting areas, childcare facilities, specialty retailers, and other key locations in this area. Get an exclusive look at Black Hills Parent through our e-letter at Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates.



08 Holiday Wreath Ideas Who doesn’t love a festive wreath this time of year? Check out our tips to keep yours fresh all season long! 09 Cozy Crock Pot Cocoa Homemade hot cocoa is the perfect winter treat, and our recipe makes it easy to whip up a batch from scratch.

10 Indoor Fun We may be spending more time inside, but it can still be fun! Check out our favorite board games you can play to have a blast with your family this winter.


12 Love has Four Paws Local animal lovers helped pets find new homes in the Black Hills in the wake of Hurricane Ida.


14 Changing Routines Whether it’s daycare or school, change is hard on everyone. Learn tips to prepare and make things a little easier.



18 Introducing: The Burt Family Lots of families are moving to the Black Hills, including Rapid City Rush’s new head coach. We asked Scott Burt and his family how they make moving easier.

36 Welcome Home The Hornick family had always planned to adopt, but opening their home to foster children was a bigger blessing than they had ever dreamed of.


40 How to Become a Foster Parent There is a large need for foster parents in South Dakota. We gathered resources to help families learn more about the process.

22 Cooking for a Crowd The holidays are for gathering together, which means lots of good food! Whether it’s Christmas dinner or Super Bowl Sunday, our tips make feeding a crowd easy-peasy. 26 Enchanted Evening A simple prom night has turned into the event of the year for special needs members in our community, all thanks to one local pastor and his team. 30 Holiday Mental Health The holiday season is supposed to be about connection and family, but they can also be stressful. We asked a local expert how to manage expectations, check in with your kids, and have an enjoyable holiday season.


42 Column: Making an Impact Operation Black Hills Cabin welcomes combat veterans and their families for a week of rest, relaxation, and bonding. 45 Column: Finance Looking to help others in need this holiday season? Check out our list of organizations you can donate to or volunteer with here in the Black Hills.

47 Column: STEAM This light-up greeting card how-to is the perfect way to make learning about electrical circuits fun.

49 49 Column: Wellness Winter means the arrival of cold and flu season, so we asked a pediatrician for tips on how to keep your family healthy. 53 Column: Education Sometimes kids can hit a slump, but sometimes the winter blues are more serious. Learn more about Seasonal Affective Disorder and when to seek help. 55 Column: Family Recipe Who doesn’t love baked macaroni and cheese? Our recipe will have your kids asking for more! 56 Black Hills Cuties Black Hills parents are always happy to share photos showing off their little ones’ personalities. Proudly supported by Dakota Dental 4 Kids. 60 Black Hills Calendar Winter means holidays, parades, and community events like chili cook-offs and craft shows. Looking to get out of the house? Check out these familyfriendly events!

Know a kid with a unique hobby, a fun collection, or exciting talent? We’d love to feature them!


Tree lot opens November 22, 2021

Tree Lot Hours

The Club for Boys | 320 N 4th Street Monday-Saturday: 9am - 7pm Sunday: 10am - 5pm Thrift Store | 960 Cambell Street Monday-Friday: 9am - 5pm Saturday: 9am - 4pm Sunday: 10am - 5pm


Online Preview Christmas and New Years may get all the attention this time of year, but Valentine’s Day is coming up too. The Black Hills are full of amazing candy stores and bakeries just waiting for you to explore — and nobody says you have to wait on cupid.

Thinking about adding a pet to your family this holiday season? They teach kids responsibility, but also encourage you to exercise and reduce stress! Come see us online to learn all 10 benefits of pets.

Cold weather is a great time to curl up with a good book, especially with kids! Check out our favorite cozy winter season reads for kids ages 2 and up!

Ready to get out of the house instead? The Black Hills are full of fun day trips and hidden gems that will keep your family having fun all winter.





Live life local, together. We’re your resource for everything local, from parenting tips and tricks to seasonal fun and expert insights. Connect with us online to stay up-todate with the latest and greatest in the beautiful Black Hills! BHPARENT 7


Who doesn’t love a festive wreath for the holidays? Whether you pick a live wreath or an artificial one, check out these tips to make them stay festive all season long.



A live wreath can last for up to 8 weeks outside, as long as it isn’t in full sun. Indoors, they last about 2-3 weeks on average.

Artificial wreaths last longer, and you don’t have to buy a new one for every season. Instead, try changing it up with these tips:

• • •


Make sure you buy a fresh wreath. How can you tell? Smell it! It should smell like fresh pine. Spritz the back of your wreath — where the cut stems are — every 2-3 days If possible, cover it with plastic at night. A grocery bag or trash bag will help protect it from the elements and keep it fresh.

• • •

Buy floral picks at your local craft store, they’re easy to change out. Hang on your door with ribbon tied in a bow based on the holiday Put a cute sign in the middle of it and change it out.


SLOW COOKER HOT CHOCOLATE INGREDIENTS: 10 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Tip: the mini chips melt faster than full-size ones

14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk 8 cups chocolate milk 1 cup heavy whipping cream 2 tsp vanilla extract


1. Pour all ingredients into a slow cooker

and whisk to combine. Cover and cook on low for about 2 hours, or until chocolate is melted. Make sure you whisk every 20 minutes or so to help everything combine.

2. Once the chips are melted, give the

cocoa another good whisk and serve! Add your favorite festive toppings like whipped cream, marshmallows, and candy canes!

Nothing beats homemade cocoa on a cold wintry day, but nobody wants to stand over a stove when you could be playing games or watching movies. Let your slow cooker do the work for you with this easy recipe!



Colder weather pushes us indoors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay active and have fun. Here are some of our favorite boards games for all ages that will keep your family entertained all winter long.


turns you into bird enthusiasts working to attract the most birds to your personal wildlife preserve. This game has won dozens of awards, and it’s a must-try for anyone who enjoys strategy games. Best for kids 14 and older.


is one of the oldest known games still in play today, and it combines math and strategy in a way that’s both fun and easy to learn. Best for kids 5 and older, but younger ones can still enjoy counting and moving pieces even if they don’t fully grasp the strategy yet.

ThinkFun Yoga Spinner Part board game, part physical activity, the Yoga Spinner is a great way to get your family moving. The goal is simple: get a card of each color by performing various yoga poses for 10 seconds. Your kids will learn balance and flexibility while benefiting from healthy competition and teamwork. Recommended for ages 5 and up.



Finding homes for adult dogs

SHOP OUR ONLINE STORE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON! Our online store has options for everyone. Every purchase helps provide for local animals. | (605) 394-4170 | 1820 E. St. Patrick St. Rapid City

“Having animals in our life teaches us many things,” Jamie says. “Children who are raised with animals learn responsibility, but they also learn love, and loss. Animals teach us so much, and without them we can miss out on a vital piece of getting us to adulthood.”



PAWSITIVELY PERFECT Hurricane Ida displaced thousands of people in Louisiana last summer, but also hundreds of animals. Fortunately, animal lovers were on hand to help them find new homes — some right here in the Black Hills.

words Ashley Johnson photos Jesse Brown Nelson

Volunteers helped take animals off planes and transported them to humane societies around the hills. Photos courtesy of Humane Society of the Black Hills.


hen Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana last summer, Greater Good Charities was ready to help pets and families in need. The national nonprofit offers a variety of animal services, including disaster response and pet transportation. Greater Good Charities connected with Darci Adams in Sioux Falls, who called her friend Jamie Al-Haj, a regular animal fosterer and advocate in the Black Hills. They agreed that if Darci could cover eastern South Dakota, Jamie would take the western half. Thirty-eight dogs and cats made their way to the Black Hills as part of Operation Sunflower, and 33 more arrived six weeks later during Operation Harvest Moon. When they arrived at the airport, Jamie and a crew of volunteers got to work. They placed the animals in cars that would take them to three shelters around the Black Hills, including Hot Springs, Spearfish, and Rapid City. “We had one dog in particular that was really happy to see us,” Jamie says. “It was a little red pit bull with a white spot on its neck. When we got him to Spearfish, he was all excited and jumping around, and you could tell he was just elated.” It turns out the dog’s joy might have been about more than just excitement to be out of his carrier: “We found out later he had been on the euthanasia list, so coming here to South Dakota literally saved his life,” Jamie says.


While many of the animals are now in good homes, Jamie’s work isn’t over. Even before Hurricane Ida, shelters have seen a larger than average number of animals in need, and have fewer volunteers. “This last year has really stopped a lot of things in place. We’re dealing with a huge overabundance of animals right now,” Jamie says. “Even with the high number of animals we already have, our shelters opened their door to help animals from the hurricane-stricken areas of southern Louisiana that continue to struggle with no homes and lack of resources.” If your family is considering adopting, Jamie encourages you to do so. “When you adopt, you save a life,” she says. “But you’re also not contributing to puppy mills or other bad situations. Just understand that it is a lifetime commitment to that animal and be prepared for that.” Every animal adopted from a shelter also frees up space for another animal in need. If you can’t adopt, or aren’t sure if you’re ready to, fostering is another great way to help. “The whole idea with fostering animals is to love them and help them get to a point where they can find that good home,” Jamie says. Donations of food and supplies, and volunteers willing to help out are also always in need. BHPARENT 13

By having clear expectations of both your family and professional life, you’ll be able to better navigate any emotions or stress. 14



Away for the first time Leaving your baby for the first time is hard, whether you’re a mom or dad. With a little preparation, you can make the first day easier on your child — and on yourself. words Ashley Johnson


or many of us, the first time we’re away from our children is when we have to return to work shortly after they’re born. If you’re a new dad, the this might be only a week or two after they’re born. For moms, your first day apart from your baby may be a few weeks or a couple months, depending on your job and maternity leave situation. This is probably one of the hardest milestones for young families, and whether it’s your first child or your sixth, each one brings different changes to your daily routine.


The best thing you can do is prepare yourself, both physically and emotionally. Start gently easing into a routine; try waking up around

the same time every day and get everyone ready to leave the house. The most important thing right now is to go slow — you don’t have to nail your morning routine every day starting out. Babies like consistency, so doing this now will also help them feel at ease when it comes time to go to daycare. The emotional impact of being away from your baby is a little harder to prepare for. Up to this point, you’ve likely been your child’s primary caregiver. The change from being with them 24/7 to only seeing them before and after work is hard, and it’s important to acknowledge that! Talking to other parents with children the same age as yours can help. They might not have the key to making this any easier, but talking with someone who is going through the same thing can provide solidarity. Setting up playdates can give you support BHPARENT 15


structure while also giving your child a chance to be around new people, which can ease their transition as well. When the day finally comes, give yourself lots of time. Go early, help your child get as comfortable as possible, and then give yourself time to process your emotions. If that means having a good cry in the car or meeting a friend for coffee to talk about it, give yourself space.


Becoming a parent can change your entire outlook on your work-life balance, and that’s okay. Talk to your partner about your priorities as parents and be clear about each other's roles and responsibilities. Do the same at work and don’t be afraid to set boundaries on when you are and are not available outside normal business hours. By having clear expectations of both your family and professional life, you’ll be able to better navigate any emotions or stress. Give yourself some time to adapt to your new routine, too. Whether you’re up for late feedings or picking up more household chores, things have undoubtedly changed. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, give yourself some time to adjust and be honest with yourself, your family, and your job.

Here are 7 ways to make the first day go smoothly for everyone, whether it’s the first day of daycare or the first day of school. Visit ahead of time. If your child recognizes the space and their new caretakers or teachers, they will be less stressed. If possible, visit more than once, and try to meet the children that will spend time with yours. Adjust your schedule. If your daycare

has a daily routine, ask them for it and try implementing it at home ahead of time. The same goes for school; try to have lunch and take breaks for recess at similar times. Slowly adjusting times for these activities will make the transition easier.

Practice age-appropriate independence. If your child is going from

having your full attention to having to share, it can be a hard transition. Let them practice things like washing hands and putting on shoes, or give them more independent play time.

Pack for success. Requests vary by

daycare, but it’s good to have extra clothes in case of blowouts or spills, including outerwear in the winter and underwear for older children. For school, have them help pack their backpack or lunch for the next day.

Bring something from home. If your

child is old enough to sleep with a blanket or stuffed animal, bringing something familiar with them for naps is a great way to help them feel more at home. If your child already has a favorite, having two of the same item — one for home and one for daycare — is helpful.

Plan for extra time. The first few drop-

offs may take a little longer than you expect. Also, the more time you have, the more relaxed you’ll be, which can make your child feel less stressed as well.

Be patient and understanding. This is a process that’s hard for you and your child. Give both of you some grace and a little extra love as you settle into your new routine.



A Clean Home

is a happy home Your home plays a major role in your happiness, it’s where your heart is. You spend a lot of time there, so make it a sanctuary that’s always ready for you and your loved ones to enjoy.

1. Clear the Clutter.

One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to improve the look of your home is to clean out your junk drawer, empty storage bins, and clear shelves.

2. Set the Stage.

Once your living room is clutter-free, breathe life into your space by incorporating plants, making subtle updates, and maintaining your clean throughout the week.

3. Make a Routine.

Cleaning is one of the most common household chores homeowners admit to putting off. With pre-scheduled, regular cleanings from Merry Maids, you’ll never again have to worry about spending a beautiful Saturday indoors scrubbing pots and pans.

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The Rapid City Rush hired Scott Burt as the new head coach this past summer, and he moved his family to the Black Hills. Moving is always tough, but through the years, they’ve found ways to make it a little easier.

words Ashley Johnson photos Jesse Brown Nelson 18



“Everyone here is very welcoming,. They’re a friendly, tight-knit group but they take their jobs seriously.” - Scott Burt




“My advice for newcomers to the hills is just to get out and about. We’ve checked out a lot of stuff here, and that’s something we’ve always done when we move. We drive around and go on little adventures,” Scott says.

he average family moves once about every 5 years, and usually just across town or maybe the next county over. For the Burt family, moving means packing up and heading across state lines and into a new community. As a hockey family, they’re used to it, but leaving behind friends and family for a new city is tough. Audrey has found that planning ahead makes settling into a new place easier on all of them; especially for her and Scott’s daughter, Sophie. “I always do research prior to moving to whatever city we’re going to,” Audrey says. “I look for popular parks, things to do, and places where Sophie can do gymnastics. I’ll try to get her signed up and ready to go with activities before we even arrive so she can meet new people and start a new routine.” Scott agrees, and says, “She’s a pretty independent 10-year-old, and moving a lot gives her the opportunity to meet new friends. We get chances when I’m on the road for her to go visit her friends, but really the hardest part at first is meeting new people.” Sophie’s favorite thing so far? The Rock Shop in Keystone. She doesn’t have just one favorite rock, but Sophie has narrowed it down to a few: “I have a lot, but my favorites are labradorite and selenite,” she says. “She’s into things like crystals and gems right now,” Audrey smiles. “So some weekend we’ll probably have to go rock-shophopping just to see what else is out there.” While hockey is his passion, Scott knows it might not be his daughter’s. “Right now all her hockey gear is in our storage unit, so we haven’t started her here yet,” he says. “But she’s met kids in our apartment complex who play basketball, so now she’s a bit of a basketball player. She just goes and tries things and we support whatever she wants to do.” He even has a few of her rock specimens on shelves in his office at the arena.





Scott’s dad was in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police when he was a child, which meant the family moved frequently. “I almost consider myself an army brat,” he laughs, “so to me, moving isn’t really a big deal. It’s harder on my family, but I can just pick up and go and figure out what we need to do when I get there.” Getting used to moving a lot wasn’t the only thing that Scott learned early: his love of hockey also started when he was young. “I started playing at 6 years old and fell in love with it. Like most kids in Canada, I spent my weekends playing in tournaments or watching my dad play, so that’s kind of where it all started,” he says. Scott played 13 seasons of professional hockey and made the playoffs in all but two of them. He is also one of only six players to have his name on the Kelly Cup — the award for the ECHL’s playoff champion — three times. In 2011, he transitioned to coaching and was an assistant coach for 9 years. The Rapid City Rush is Scott’s first head coaching position, and he’s excited to bring a new voice to the organization. “I’m grateful for the Rush taking a chance on me,” he says, “and for them understanding what I believe, and hopefully the culture change we can bring to the Rush family.”



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The holiday season means spending time with friends and family. Whether you’re exchanging gifts, watching the Super Bowl, or celebrating New Years, there’s one thing you’ll need no matter the occasion: food. words Avery Thomas

photos Jesse Brown Nelson


Kids can help assemble finger foods like deviled eggs, crostini, and fruit kabobs.

SMALL BITES Snacks, hors d’oeuvres, finger foods — or whatever you might call them — are the staple of any large gathering. Before you resort to the same boring veggie tray, check out a few ways to spice up your menu without setting up residence in your kitchen. 22 BLACKHILLSPARENT.COM


Prepare dips and salsa by cutting up and saving vegetables for later. For example, if you’re making an appetizer like chunky mango salsa, chop up the onion, tomato, and mango in advance. Cooked rice and quinoa save well and can be refrigerated until needed.


Set out appetizers and small dishes buffetstyle to save time and table space.


Make mini versions of your favorite, crowdpleasing recipes. Line a muffin pan with baking cups, and prepare up to twelve appetizers at a time. Possible appetizers include quiche, baked mac n’ cheese (see pg. 55), shepherd’s pie, frittatas, hash browns, and taco salad cups.


BIG BITES A holiday meal is hardly complete without turkey, mashed potatoes, and several family-favorite side dishes. We’ve thought of a few ways to make your meal prep easier, so you can spend less time doing and more time enjoying.


Did you know that basting a turkey is unnecessary? Basting is a time-consuming process and often dries out the meat. Save time by brining the turkey instead, which can be done up to a week in advance.


Soup can be made in less than an hour and caters to vegetarian and gluten-free guests. Holiday favorites include butternut squash soup, beef stew, and French onion soup. For a fun twist, make soup “shooters” in a shot glass or dessert cup.


If you have family members staying an extra few days after the holidays, get creative with your leftovers. Try making comfort food classics like turkey soup, turkey enchiladas, or turkey lasagna. Or whip up a unique side dish like cranberry corn salsa, turkey dumplings, or mashed potato bites.


Skip the hassle of peeling raw potatoes. Boil them first, and then slip off the skins before mashing.


SWEET BITES Finish off a satisfying turkey dinner with a delicious, easy-to-make dessert (or several!). From chocolate bark to slab pies, you’ll be able to whip up all of your holiday favorites in no time.


Sheet pan desserts can range from creme brulee to almond espresso bars. For a quick, sweet treat, consider making chocolate bark, pecan pie bars, or a pumpkin sheet cake.


Ever heard of slab pies? Similar to sheet pan desserts, slab pies are often made in a standard baking sheet or jelly roll pan. Depending on the size of your pan, you can even make a “tri pie” or flour-flavor slab pie, all on one sheet.


Set up a hot chocolate bar with plenty of fixings to go around, including whipped cream, chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, and peppermint sticks. And Baileys.


Make a dessert charcuterie board, complete with chocolate-covered pretzels, gingerbread cookies, gummies, and candied nuts.







The magic genie of kitchen gadgets, the Instant Pot can pressure cook, slow cook, steam, sauté, and warm food. Use the Instant Pot to make large batches of rice for holiday meals, yogurt for a breakfast treat, or mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving day. No room left in your oven to bake dessert? Make cake, cobbler, pie, or even cheesecake in this one-stop pot.

With a catch tray, storage container, and four interchangeable blades, the Fullstar Vegetable Chopper is the perfect sidekick for your holiday meal prep. According to reviewers, this handy appliance can also slice cheese, hard boiled eggs, and sausage.

The hottest kitchen tool since the Instant Pot, air fryers have become all the rage the past several years. Sure you can fry all your favorite Super Bowl snacks in them, but you can also hard-boil eggs, toast nuts, make apple chips, and even whip up a grilled cheese sandwich. The best part of all of it is the minimal cleanup, not to mention saving on oven space.

Make Thanksgiving day — or any day, for that matter — just a little easier by using an electric carving knife. In addition to meats, many electric carving knives can cut bread, cheese, fruit, and vegetables.

There’s a gadget for everything these days, but there are a few small appliances and tools every kitchen should have. We gathered some tried-and-true favorites, but also found unexpected ways to use them that make them an even better bang for your buck.


An Enchan Evening 26



nted g

In 2018, local pastor Keith Culver saw an opportunity to start an event to give members of our community with special needs a prom night experience they’d never forget.

words Ashley Johnson


An Enchanted Evening at Bethel Church is open to anyone over the age of 14, and next year’s event is planned for March 25, 2022.

March 25, 2022 T

he event started out as Night to Shine, a part of the Tim Tebow Foundation’s ministry for special needs families. Rooted in the belief that everyone matters, it’s a night for churches around the country to host a special event for some of our community’s most deserving members. Keith and his team have hosted Night to Shine for the past several years. The event is incredibly popular; they had over 1,000 people attend last year. Many churches that host Night to Shine are in larger cities, which means their guests and volunteers are all in a fairly small area. Here in the Black Hills, however, that’s not the case: “We have guests and volunteers coming from Nebraska and Wyoming too,” Keith explains. Not only that, Black Hills weather is often unpredictable in February, which makes it hard for guests to travel from further away. In order to better serve our unique community, Keith and his team of volunteers created their own event this year: an Enchanted Evening at Bethel Church. While the name of the event has changed, one thing’s for sure: the fun factor is still off the charts. 28


A Welcome for All

When guests arrive at Enchanted Evening, they’ll be greeted by a 100-foot-long red carpet surrounded by paparazzi and fans cheering for them. Once they’re inside, they’re treated to a fully catered meal, games, photos, and, of course, a dance floor with a live DJ. Every guest is matched with a volunteer for the night whose sole job is to make sure their guest has the time of their life. The night’s fun includes more than just guests of the prom. Parents and caretakers of prom goers have their own respite room to enjoy while their loved one is having fun. “The kids are here to have fun,” Keith says, “but the respite room is our chance to pamper the parents a little bit too.” They’re treated to coffee and a free meal, games, and a theater setup where they can watch a movie or relax. Like any community event, Enchanted Evening is only possible because of a dedicated team of volunteers. “We have a lot of great community members and organizations that help us every year, and we couldn’t do it without them,” Keith says.


Keepin’it Jolly! When the simple joys like enjoying a cup of hot chocolate by the fire or watching old holiday movies are overrun by hustle, bustle, and too many expectations, there are ways parents can get back to the basics of holiday cheer. words Katie Wiederholt




Be Present

Silver See, Marriage and Family Therapist Supervisee with Rapid City Counseling, Inc., says much of the pressure parents feel during the holidays are brought on by overcomplicating plans or over-scheduling. “Children truly enjoy simple, engaging activities,” she says. She encourages parents to be conscious about adding unnecessary layers of stress, which can cause them to miss out on what could be fun and spontaneous. Make time to play in the snow, read stories, and

make new holiday traditions. See says meditation skills can help with being present in the moment. People have a natural tendency to be distracted and pulled away by other thoughts. “We can train our minds to continue to return to the present moment, which is the only place we can truly experience joy during this time,” she says.


“If we do things out of obligation, people can feel this and there can be a lack of genuine connection while together.” 32



Manage Social Expectations Sometimes expectations to attend each and every holiday gathering can be a stressor in itself. Being honest and setting limits on the number of holiday gatherings the family will attend, or the amount of travel incorporated into the season helps create space for simple holiday traditions. “If we do things out of obligation, people can feel this and there can be a lack of genuine connection while together,” See says.

The holidays can be a challenging time for those who miss loved ones who have passed away or are otherwise unavailable. Families might have stressed relationships that can become more problematic during the holidays. See says it is important to focus on areas within our control when it comes to strained relationships. “Being in touch with our bodily response is the first step toward awareness,” See says. “Asking for help from loved ones when needed will also help our stress response.”

Make a Budget Planning ahead with a budget for everyone on the holiday shopping list can help prevent overspending. See suggests getting creative with do-it-yourself gifts, which can also turn into a fun project with children. Start holiday shopping before Thanksgiving to help ease the pressure before Christmas. No matter when you go, make a list and make sure to stick to it. When choosing a gift for a friend or loved one, try thinking about the experience they will have when they open the gift. “Doing this helps us to give that gift from a place of joy as opposed to feeling pressured to find the perfect gift and being out of touch with our heart,” See says. BHPARENT 33


Prioritize Self-Care Self-care is especially critical during busy times. Parents can model what self-care looks like to their children, teaching them to prioritize self-care for themselves. Scheduling time within a busy day to exercise, meditate, read, or engage in other positive hobbies is important. “Scheduling time for ourselves is the only way to ensure it happens regardless of outside occurrences,” See says. “Selfcare enables us to be better parents when we are allowed to be rejuvenated instead of depleted.” Additionally, Black Hills weather turns colder and days become much shorter as the holiday season arrives. See says Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can definitely come into play during this time. “Paying attention to our nutritional needs, staying active, being with our loved ones, and putting our mental health as a top priority can serve us even more during these months,” See says. There is a reason the holidays are described with phrases like “hustle and bustle,” but it does not have to be that way. “Pressure to never stop during the holidays has been ingrained in us, unfortunately, and the pressure can become very apparent,” See says. “We can become easily stressed with all the commitments while missing the simple moments in the meantime and slowing down.” Being aware of the importance of small moments and scheduling time wisely can help ease stress and make it possible to create happy holiday memories to cherish for years to come.

“Self-care enables us to be better parents when we are allowed to be rejuvenated instead of depleted.” 34


Silver See,

MA, LMFT SUPERVISEE Silver See is a PreLicensed Marriage and Family Therapist under the supervision of clinician Stacy Keyser at Rapid City Counselors.

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When Chris and Sara Hornick decided to become foster parents, they knew it would be hard. What they didn’t expect was how much it would change their lives for the better.


fter their daughter was born, Sara spent 5 years on fertility treatments before she was told she could not have more children. What seemed like a huge hurdle turned out to be more like a bump in the road. “Both my husband and I have a lot of adoption in our families,” Sara says. “We have aunts and uncles who were adopted, and we have cousins from the U.S., India, Russia, China — really all over. So it was always part of our family plan.”


words Ashley Johnson photos Jesse Brown Nelson

While undergoing treatment, Sara worked at Lutheran Social Services in Rapid City. The adoption services office was right next door to hers, and she would often share her journey with her coworkers. “Everyone kept saying Chris and I would be excellent foster parents. Unfortunately, working there was a conflict of interest,” she says. “When I changed jobs and that conflict wasn’t an issue, we decided to reconsider fostering.” They talked to several foster agencies in the Black Hills before settling on Lutheran Social Services. “They all do great work,” Sara says, “we

chose would be the best fit for our family. If you click with the people at your foster agency, things just seem to work out better, so I recommend people talk to several before deciding.” Foster parents have to go through training to become caregivers, and are continually supported by their agency. Services provided by foster agencies include continuing education and training for parents, peer support, on-call and 24 hour support and intervention, and access to respite care for both parents and children. Foster parents receive reimbursement and financial support from programs like WIC to help provide and care for the children assigned to them.


The Hornicks have had over 24 foster children so far, many with special medical needs. They have adopted one foster son, but Sara admits they would have adopted most of the children if they could. “The hardest part of being a foster parent is saying no,” Sara says. “Maybe a placement is not a good fit for your family, or maybe you just don’t have room at BHPARENT 37


“If you really want to be a changemaker and see the impact you can make in your community, being a foster parent is the way to do it. I have learned so much empathy and compassion for others while doing this work.”

the time. It’s so hard to say no because once you’re a foster parent, you really see the impact on these kids.” Many people wonder how foster parents can handle saying goodbye to children they’ve cared for, and it’s a question Sara gets often. “You’re going to get your heart broken,” she says, “but you can’t imagine the heartbreak these kids face. There’s just no comparison.” To help her family get through the heartache, Sara keeps photos of every child they foster in their home, including photo books of the adventures they have together. They also read the book “What’s a Foster Family” often, and talk about tummy mommys, forever mommys, and adoption with their kids. “We can have them for one day, one year, or a lifetime, but we try to show each child that they were loved at some point in their lives. We hope that by being in our house and being loved, it might protect their heart and help them get through whatever their next step is. I just want them to know that if times get tough, somebody loves them, and there’s always someone in their corner,” Sara says. 38 BLACKHILLSPARENT.COM


Being a foster family takes a lot of work and dedication, but at the end of the day, Sara and Chris just want to do their part to make the lives of children a little brighter. “If I can make an impact for just one kid, it’s worth it,” Sara says. Fosters are needed in South Dakota, especially for older children, siblings, and those with emotional, behavioral, or medical needs. There are also many children in South Dakota’s foster care system who are eligible for adoption. Governor Noem launched the Stronger Families Together initiative in May 2021 to try and raise awareness and recruit new foster parents. “There are a couple things I’m extremely grateful for in this process,” Sara says. “To see a child begin to trust people and open up and smile, is just such a blessing. One of my favorite memories of our whole experience was taking a 16-year-old girl sledding for the first time and how much joy it brought her. Being able to show children that and seeing the world through their eyes is amazing. It’s totally difficult, we’ve had hard times, but it’s so rewarding.”

Becoming a foster family isn’t for the faint of heart, but they are so important. As the saying goes, helping one child won’t change the world, but for that one child the world will change.


I asked what kind of family Amina wanted. She said, ‘A family like yours.’ That’s when I knew I had to adopt her. Denise, adopted 17-year-old Amina




OPENING YOUR HEART & YO U R H O M E FOSTER FAMILY REQUIREMENTS Children in need of foster care are often there through no fault of their own. The more fosters available, the easier it is to keep them in the same school district, or keep sibling groups together. Becoming a foster parent may seem daunting in many ways, but it’s a vital role in our community. We broke down the process and requirements to hopefully inspire parents and caregivers around the Black Hills to open their hearts and their homes to local children in need. There are five basic requirements for every potential foster family:


1. 2.


4. 5.

Foster parents must be over the age of 21. Foster parents are screened for past criminal activity. A prior criminal record is not automatically disqualifying; convictions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure safety of children in the family’s care. Families must have proof of sufficient income to support the essential needs of their family. Fosters will receive financial assistance to support the children in their care. Foster homes must be safe and free from any hazards. Foster parents must complete a 30-hour education and training program. There are additional requirements for those wanting to become foster parents for children with special medical, physical, emotional, or social needs.

Licensed foster parents have a team of professionals who will help them every step of the way. They can assist with reimbursement for approved expenses, peer support groups, and training and education for parents.


DISPELLING MYTHS There are many misconceptions surrounding foster care that may discourage people from applying. From out-of-pocket expenses to eligibility criteria, here are some facts about foster care that you might not know:

Foster parents do not need to be married, have children, or be young.

Anyone over the age of 21 is eligible to be a foster parent. •

Children in foster care can share rooms

of Social Services, including dental and vision. Foster parents are not responsible for medical expenses.

Foster parents who work outside the home can have child care reimbursed by

with other children, either your own or others in foster care. Children over the age of 6 can only share rooms with those of the same gender. Each child needs their own bed.

Foster families must be able to support themselves financially, but do not have to

• The goal of foster care is to reunite children with their family when it is safe to do so. However, foster parents interested in adopting

make a certain amount of money to be approved. •

Children placed in foster care receive medical coverage through the Department

Foster parents don’t need to own their home to be approved. Renting is fine as long as it’s a safe home for children placed in their care.

the Division of Child Care Services based on certain criteria.

children in their care may have the opportunity to do so on a case-by-case basis. There were over 70 children in the South Dakota foster system available for adoption at the time this issue went to print.


CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES 529 Kansas City Street, Rapid City 844 N 5th St., Spearfish 1049 Howard St., Sturgis 605-348-6086 |

CHILDREN’S HOME SOCIETY 1330 Jolly Lane, Rapid City 605-343-2811

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES 510 N. Cambell Street, Rapid City 605-394-2525


2920 Sheridan Lake Road, Rapid City 605-791-6700

*Note that not all facilities require a specific belief system to help. Ask questions and be informed to make the best decisions for your family.

If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, you can fill out a form by scanning the QR code above or at fosterone. and a representative from the Department of Social Services will contact you.


A WARM WELCOME words Katie Wiederholt photos Jesse Brown Nelson


Nestled among the calming pine trees of the southern Black Hills is a special place where families can relax, rejuvenate, and make memories. Operation Black Hills Cabin offers a place to reconnect, heal, and have fun while exploring beautiful western South Dakota. The cabin isn’t open to everyone, but instead hosts only a special group: active duty service members and veterans injured during combat and their families. Families come from all over the United States to experience the cabin, which is located in Custer. They spend a full week at the cabin, at no cost to them, enjoying all the wonderful Black Hills area has to offer. “We wanted to do something for our veterans and there wouldn’t be a better place in the world for them to come than the Black Hills,” said Marty Mahrt, who helped found Operation Black Hills Cabin over nine years ago. He and his wife Colleen were involved with a group with a shared vision to honor active duty service members and veterans and their families in a special way. “Some of us were veterans, and we always wanted to do the best we could for our fellow vets,” Marty said. “We met around the kitchen table and decided this is what we wanted to do.” Marty served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the United States Air Force. He remembers feeling terrible about the way he and other Vietnam veterans were treated upon their return.

“We wanted to make sure these veterans felt different than that and knew they were appreciated,” Marty said. Volunteers with the cabin help coordinate area activities and sight-seeing opportunities for the families to enjoy during their stay. Families can enjoy themselves without lifting a finger. “There are always some happy tears when they realize what all we have in store for them,” Marty said. “It’s a neat project, and we put our hearts and souls into making sure it’s done right.” Marty sees first-hand the lasting impact a stay at Operation Black Hills Cabin has on families. He meets with the families when they arrive at the cabin to ensure they have all they need. “One of the last veterans who stayed at the cabin with his family told us ‘this was the best week of my life,’” he said. Operation Black Hills Cabin is now accepting applications for summer weeks in 2022. Families can apply online at Their website also features information on donating to or volunteering with the cabin. Marty Mahrt, center of the back row in the second photo, is a member of the board of directors. The board of directors oversees operations of the cabin, including

volunteer efforts and donations. The cabin was a grant from the state of South Dakota, and its operations are supported by many local businesses and community members.


live life local


support ing local.

Remember to spend, give and enjoy local this year.




Ways to Give Back During the Holidays The holiday season is the perfect time to give back to your community. Whether by donating gently used items, volunteering your time, or pledging a certain amount to a good cause, there are plenty of ways to spread holiday cheer! We’ve highlighted a few resources and local organizations to jump-start your holiday giving.

Dress for Success helps women attain financial independence by providing mentoring services, professional attire, and employment retention programs. Volunteers can help by running the boutique, organizing a suit drive, and more.


Black Hills Area Habitat for Humanity runs Rapid City ReStore and Spearfish ReStore, which sells donated items to raise money for the building of Habitat homes in the Black Hills. Support their programs by volunteering for a construction or administrative project, retail position, or committee.

Not sure where to start? Websites like Charity Navigator and GreatNonprofits evaluate and rate nonprofit organizations, helping families and individuals make informed decisions about charitable giving. You can search for organizations by location and category. The Helpline Center keeps an updated list of volunteer opportunities in the Black Hills. Helpline matches volunteers with projects that match their interests, location, and schedule.


Volunteering is a simple way to bond as a family and spend quality time together. The best part about giving back? Volunteering boosts your mood, decreases stress and anxiety, and improves your health. Many organizations in the Black Hills depend on donations to run programs, events, and charitable outreach. Giving a donation or volunteering to fundraise is a great way to contribute to your community and network with like-minded individuals.


Front Porch Coalition runs suicide prevention programs, including suicide support groups, educational classes, and mental health awareness events. As a nonprofit, the Coalition relies solely on grants and donations. Consider making a donation or supporting their efforts by attending a suicide awareness event.

The Club for Boys provides a safe, supportive environment for boys in the Rapid City community. The organization has impacted the ​​ lives of 40,000 young men since its inception in 1963. Get involved by volunteering as a small group instructor, activity assistant, mentor, or tutor. Boys and Girls Clubs of the Black Hills runs clubs in Hill City, Hot Springs, and LeadDeadwood, aiming to help young people develop healthy habits, social and interpersonal skills, creativity, and an appreciation for our national heritage. Families can get involved by volunteering to lead a program or sponsoring an activity. Literacy Council of the Black Hills is a volunteerrun organization offering introductory and conversational English classes for non-native speakers. Consider signing up as a tutor or making a donation. BHPARENT 45

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Let it Glow, Let it Glow, Let it Glow Help your child send someone an extra special card this year — whether for Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, or just because — while also teaching them about how electric circuits work! Step 1. Decide what shape you want your circuit to be. Simple shapes with straight edges work best. You can draw a shape on the card stock as a guide to make taping easier.


• Card stock in festive colors • 1/4” double-sided conductive copper tape • Scissors • 3V button battery • 5mm LEDs You can usually find the tape, battery, and LEDs at local craft or hardware stores.

Step 2. Place your copper tape on the card stock in your chosen design. Make sure you leave a gap in the tape where your LED will go, and another one for the battery. Step 3. Now is when the learning begins! In order for a circuit to work, electrons must flow from the negative side of the battery to the negative end of the LED, and then from the positive end of the LED to the positive side of the battery.

Note: button batteries are very dangerous if swallowed! Make sure you supervise children at all times — we recommend counting your batteries before and after this craft to make sure all are accounted for.

Step 4. Look at your LED light; the two wires should be different lengths. The shorter wire should be the negative end, and the longer wire should be positive. The sides of the battery should be marked with a + and – sign. Step 5. Place your battery negative side down, touching the copper tape. Then place your LED in the middle of the gap in your tape with the two wires touching the tape, but not each other (you don’t want to short circuit it). Step 6. Complete the circuit by connecting the tape on your card to the positive side of the battery with a small piece of tape. The LED should light up, but if it doesn’t, flip your battery over and try again.

Step 7. Once your LED lights up, you can secure it in place by taping the wire ends in place with more copper tape. Step 8. After they’ve mastered this craft, challenge your kids to experiment with having two LEDs in their card. You can even explain the difference between parallel and series circuits, or discuss if one battery is enough to power more than one LED. Step 9. If your LED doesn’t light up or your kids get frustrated, help them walk through the steps of a circuit again. A lot of STEAM fields involve trial and error and overcoming obstacles, so try not to step in and just solve the problem for them. Explain the flow of electricity, or encourage them to try troubleshooting on their own. BHPARENT 47

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Maintaining Your Oral Health Through Cold and Flu Season

As the temperatures get colder, that also means the arrival of cold and flu season. Even if you are feeling under the weather, it is important to keep up with your oral hygiene.

Dr. Ripp

Stay hydrated, but choose wisely! One of the most important recommendations when you are sick is to drink plenty of fluids. While sports drinks are great to replenish electrolytes, they are frequently loaded with sugar and can also be acidic. Water is the best option to stay hydrated, but if you must reach for a sports drink, make sure to select one that is sugar-free. Some medications, including antihistamines and decongestants, can cause dry mouth. Not only is dry mouth uncomfortable, it is also a favorable environment for cavities to form. I recommend

sipping on water throughout the day and chewing sugar-free gum or using sugar-free lozenges to stimulate saliva production.

Opt for sugar-free cough drops Be sure to check the label of your cough drops as many contain added sugars. This sugar is the perfect food source for the bacteria that cause cavities, especially if you are using them throughout the day.

Don’t brush immediately after vomiting While you may want to reach for your toothbrush immediately after vomiting to freshen your

breath, this can be detrimental to your teeth. If you brush immediately after, you would essentially be scrubbing the stomach acid into your teeth which can erode the enamel of your teeth. You should rinse with water, a fluoride mouth rinse, or a mixture of water and 1 tsp baking soda to wash the acid from your teeth. Wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.

Replace your toothbrush Although the odds of reinfecting yourself with your toothbrush are low, it’s still a good idea to replace your toothbrush after you have been sick.

Rapid City’s Destination for Healthy Smiles (605) 342-1432 | | 2525 W. Main St. #304, Rapid City | BHPARENT 49

TAKING CARE OF YOURS LIKE OUR OWN Caring for your child is one of the most important

Pediatric services include:

priorities in your life. It’s important to us, too. Monument

• Well-Child Care

• Care of Chronic Diseases

Health pediatrics specializes in caring for kids from birth

• Immunizations

• School and Sports Physicals

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• COVID-19 Vaccination

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challenges like diabetes and neurological issues.

• Sick Care and Minor Injuries

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• Behavioral and Developmental Evaluations and Treatment

• Circumcision for Newborns


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Tara Ulmer, M.D.

Jonathan Bigwood, M.D.

Roslyn Oakley, M.D.



Spearfish, Sturgis


To make an appointment, call: 605-644-4170. Spearfish Clinic: 1445 North Ave. | Sturgis Clinic: 2140 Junction Ave. BLACKHILLSPARENT.COM



With colder weather comes the dreaded cold and flu season. Some viruses are more serious than others, but there are ways to stay healthy. As we move into another winter in the Black Hills, parents may wonder what they can do to protect the health of their kids. Luckily, there are easy yet effective ways to help you and your family stay as healthy as possible this winter.

Know your viruses

Tara Ulmer, M.D. Board-certified pediatrician Monument Health Spearfish Clinic

Seasonal viruses usually refer to ones most often responsible for what we call the common cold, like an adenovirus or rhinovirus. There is no cure, or vaccine, for the common cold. The best way to avoid catching a cold is to wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer, avoid touching your face, and avoid others who are sick. Influenza is another common virus that causes the illness we call “the flu.” Symptoms can be similar to a cold, and may include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion,

runny nose, and headaches. Unlike a cold, however, the flu can be severe and can lead to hospitalization and even death.

Steps to stay healthy

While viruses are more common this time of year, there are ways you can protect yourself and your family. Washing hands regularly, avoiding large crowds, and not touching your face are great first steps. Making sure to eat a balanced diet and getting plenty of rest also help keep your immune system in peak operating condition. You also have the option of getting vaccinated against some seasonal viruses. Getting a flu shot can greatly reduce the likelihood of getting influenza, and it’s recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older consider getting a flu shot, with rare exceptions.

There is now also the option of getting a COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 5. Children of all ages can contract COVID-19 and pass it to friends, classmates and family. Although it occurs much less frequently than with adults, children and teens can also be afflicted with lingering symptoms, such as pain, fatigue, trouble sleeping, headaches, and difficulty concentrating that can last for months. Vaccines are an option that can reduce the risk for your family.

Ask the experts

If you feel uncertain about vaccination, want more information, or if your child is exhibiting symptoms of illness, the best thing you can do is to speak with your family physician or pediatrician. They will be able to give you the latest information and discuss options about ways your family can stay healthy all winter long. BHPARENT 51

DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, JUST NAIL THE BIG STUFF. What’s another teeny, tiny stain? You’ve got more important things to think about—like making sure your kids are buckled correctly in the right seat for their age and size.

Check at




When winter blues are something more The winter months can be hard on all of us. With less sun during the day and colder temperatures, we tend to fall into a slump. For children, this can mean they’re getting lower grades or participating less in class. Sometimes it’s more serious than just a slump, however, and parents should be on the lookout for signs their child might need help.

Know the signs

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a form of depression that typically follows a seasonal pattern. It’s more common in northern areas like South Dakota and the Black Hills that have fewer hours of sun in winter months. Symptoms include: • Changes in mood or sleep patterns • Low energy or difficulty concentrating • Spending less time with family or friends • Lack of interest or loss of enjoyment in favorite activities • Decreased or poor performance in school If your child exhibits some of these symptoms, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re suffering from SAD. It could also be stress from starting a new semester, a change in their friend group, or even a relationship issue. The best way to know if your child is dealing with a specific issue or an overall feeling of depression is to talk to them about it. Talking to other adults in your child’s life, such as teachers, coaches, or employers, can also help you understand the full picture of your child’s health.

Their teachers spend all day with them, and will likely have noticed a change in behavior and the severity of it.

Break the slump

The simplest way to try turning things around? Get outside. Physical activity boosts our mood no matter the time of year, but in winter it’s also important to spend time in the sun. Exposure to sunlight helps our body produce melatonin and serotonin, which helps keep sleep cycles and moods in balance. If the weather is too bad to be outside, open curtains in your home to let as much light in as possible. Encourage your children to spend time in well-lit rooms rather than dark bedrooms or basements. Diet and exercise can go a long way toward boosting your child’s mood too. Make sure they’re eating a balanced diet, both at home and during the school day. Pairing fiberrich carbohydrates and lean proteins together is a great way to improve mood and get vital nutrients. Try making a healthy quesadilla with a whole grain tortilla with spicy black beans and plain Greek yogurt, or make a new secret family trail mix recipe with healthy nuts and dried fruit. These snacks are easy to make and great to take on the go, or pack in lunch boxes to take to school.

When to get help

If their mood doesn’t resolve after a few days, or you feel like your child is having more than a slump, it’s time to call a professional. Your child’s pediatrician is a great place to start, and they can advise on the best course of action.


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Makes 6-8 servings INGREDIENTS 1/2 pound elbow macaroni 3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons flour 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 3 cups milk 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1 egg 1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded 1 cup Colby jack, shredded 1/2 tablespoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper Bread crumbs (optional) EQUIPMENT 2-quart casserole dish 2 large pans Whisk Spatula

METHOD Preheat your oven to 375°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook to al dente then drain and set aside. Add butter to a pan and melt over medium heat. Add the flour and mustard, and whisk for 5 minutes. Slowly stir in the milk and paprika. Reduce heat to low and continue whisking for 10 minutes. Add more flour to thicken the sauce if needed. Temper in the egg*. Stir in the cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Fold macaroni into the sauce before pouring the mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs if desired. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

WAYS KIDS CAN HELP 1-3 years old Let your children sprinkle the dish with bread crumbs. Set aside a certain amount of breadcrumbs for your kiddos to use so they don’t go overboard. 4-5 years old Measure out the paprika, salt, and pepper into small dishes and let your child add them to the sauce. 6-7 years old Help your child carefully add the pasta to the boiling water. They can also help whisk the sauce and fold in the macaroni noodles. 8-9 years old Ask your child to grate the cheese. You can even let them pick out the kinds of cheese to use — smoked Gouda, Gruyere, and muenster cheese all make excellent additions to this recipe. 10 years and older Let your older kids take command of the kitchen — just make sure to supervise.

*H ow to Temper an Egg “Tempering” refers to the diluting and gradual heating of a liquid. To temper an egg, quickly whisk a small amount of the hot liquid into the egg. Gradually add more liquid and continue whisking before adding the mixture back into the pan.












Grow up smiling. | BHPARENT 59


Where to take photos with Santa 1-24 Santa’s Wonderland, Cabela’s, Rapid City 1-24 Rushmore Mall, Rapid City Saturday 4 Holiday Market, Spearfish Rec & Aquatics Center Saturday 4 Holiday Stroll, Matthews Opera House, Spearfish Saturday 4 Festival of Trees, Spearfish Park Pavilion, Spearfish Saturday 4 Deadwood History Holiday Open House, Days of ‘76 Museum, Deadwood Saturday 4 Winter Market & Tree Lighting, Box Elder 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19 Trees and Trains Exhibit, South Dakota State Railroad Museum, Hill City Sunday 5 Piedmont Valley Chamber Holiday Festival, Rockin H Ranch Saturday 11 Sturgis Coffee Company, Sturgis Saturday 11 Kris Kringle’s Christmas Market, Deadwood Saturday 11 Santa Bash, Homestake Opera House, Lead Saturday 11 For a fun twist get your pictures with the Grinch at the Holiday Market Pop-up, The Monument, Rapid City



December Various, 1-26

Olde Tyme Christmas

Enjoy shopping, family friendly fun, and old world charm in Hill City’s annual event that lasts all month long! Hill City. Saturday 4

Kountry Junkin’ Christmas

Market Finish your holiday shopping at a vintage inspired fair with vendors from all over the country. Admission is $5, kids under 12 are free. Central States Fairground, Rapid City, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday 4

Custer Christmas parade Join Santa and Mrs. Claus as they kick off the season in the southern hills. Parade starts at 5:30p.m. with a tree lighting directly after in Way Park. Custer. Saturday 4

Spearfish Holiday Market

The Spearfish Rec & Aquatics Center is hosting local arts and crafts vendors, holiday fun, and more. Spearfish, 10 a.m. Saturday 4

Deadwood History Holiday Open House

The Days of ‘76 Museum will have children’s activities, holiday gifts, free museum access, refreshments, and photo opportunities with Santa! Deadwood, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday 4

Holiday Stroll Downtown Spearfish’s annual Holiday Stroll includes shopping specials, caroling, a chili feed, and a chance to meet Santa at the Matthews Opera House. End the day at the Holidazzle Parade at 6 p.m. Spearfish, 1-6 p.m.

Saturday 4

Winter Market & Tree Lighting

Box Elder is kicking off the season with fun for the whole family! Come out for free photos with Santa, hot cocoa, crafts, and more. Food trucks will also be on site. Box Elder, 3-7 p.m. Tree lighting at 5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19

Trees and Trains Exhibit

See beautifully decorated trains and trees at the South Dakota State Railroad Museum, and get your picture taken with Santa! $3.50 per adult, or $10 for a family. Hill City, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily Various, 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 23, 24

1880 Train Holiday Express Hop aboard for

a ride to the North Pole! Passengers enjoy hot cocoa, a sugar cookie, and a holiday story. Santa will board at the North Pole and hand out a small sleigh ball to each child. Hill City, times vary. Sunday 5

Holiday Bazaar

Head to the Custer High School for local vendors selling gifts, crafts, and more! Custer, 10 a.m. Monday 6

Last Day of Hanukkah Thursday 9

Festival of Trees

Join the Homestake Opera House for their annual fundraiser and the Black Hills’ original Festival of Trees. Enjoy the festive decor and stick around for the live and silent auctions. Lead, 1-8:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday 10 & 11

Kris Kringle’s Christmas Market

Outlaw Square is hosting a shopping event full of vendor booths with unique gifts for all the hard-to-buy-for people on your list. Enjoy food, cocoa, and mulled wine while you shop! Deadwood, 5-8p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday.

Santa Bash

The Lead Volunteer Fire Department is hosting Santa for a family friendly event where you can enjoy cocoa, s’mores, crafts, and a showing of “A Christmas Story.” Lead, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday 11

Holiday Market

Pop-up have breakfast with the Grinch and finish up your holiday shopping. Admission is free, and all proceeds from breakfast benefit Toys for Tots. The Monument, Rapid City, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday & Sunday 11, 12, 18, 19

Christmas Tours of the Adams House

January Saturday 1

Happy New Year! Saturday 1

First Day Hike

Start your year off right in the serenity of Custer State Park on a self-guided family hike. Custer State Park. Saturday 1

Kwanzaa Ends

Friday 7

First Friday Art Walk

Stroll the streets of downtown Rapid City as they come alive with incredible artwork hosted in galleries, studios, co-ops, businesses, and more! Rapid City, 5-7:30 p.m. Friday 7, 21

This stately home in Deadwood is beautifully decorated for the holiday season and hosting openhouse tours, including a kid-friendly scavenger hunt with prizes. Deadwood, 1-5 p.m. daily.

Friday Night Skate Night

Saturday & Sunday 18 & 19

Saturday 8

Ugly Sweater Skating Party

Don your favorite holiday sweater and get ready to hit the ice at Main Street Square! Rapid City. 6-8 p.m. Tuesday 21

First Day of Winter Saturday 25

Merry Christmas! Sunday 26

Kwanzaa Begins Friday 31

New Year’s Eve Jungle Party

Koko is hosting his annual New Year’s Eve bash at WaTiki Waterpark! Dive into the fun with a balloon drop, movies, prize giveaways, a dinner buffet, and more. Rapid City, 4-10 p.m.

The Spearfish Rec & Aquatics Center is bringing back their Friday Night Skate Nights for the whole family! Preregistration required, $8 per skater and $3 per spectator. Spearfish, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

4GMX Indoor Motocross Series

Join riders from all over the Midwest and Canada, from 4 years old to professionals. Take the whole family out for a day of exhilarating entertainment! James Kjerstad Events Center, Rapid City. 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturday 15

9th Annual Burning Beetle

Experience a community event like no other in Custer. Every year the town gets together to remember the triumph over the pine beetle that ravaged Black Hills Forest. Includes a mountain pine beetle effigy bonfire and fireworks show. Pageant Hill, Custer.

Story times, crafts and classes


Saturday 11

Sturgis public library: Kids CheckedOUT (ages 6+) every 2nd and 4th Monday, 3:30-5 p.m. Toddler Storytime (ages 0-3) Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Wonder Math STEAM activities every 1st and 3rd Tuesday, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Lego building (all ages) every 1st Monday, 3-5 p.m. Rapid City Public Library Baby Bumblebee Storytime (ages 0-3) Thursdays at 9:30-10 a.m. Storytime with the RCFD (all ages) every 1st Tuesday, 9:30-10 a.m. Little Owl Storytime (ages 2-5) Tuesdays (except first Tuesday of the month), 9:30-10 a.m. Storytime & Crafts with Jane (all ages) Tuesdays, 10:15-11 a.m.

Custer County Public Library Storytime (all ages) Fridays at 10 a.m. Hill City Public Library Imagination Club, Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. Storytime, Fridays at 9:30 a.m. The Journey Museum STEAM Weekends Classes included in admission/free for members. Topics change weekly. Toddler Time (ages 2-4) Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m., Sundays at 1:30 p.m. Discovery Expedition (ages 5-12) Saturdays at 11:45 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Sundays at 2:45 p.m. Journey into Space (all ages) Wednesday-Saturday 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. BHPARENT 61



The Rush home games December 8, 10, 11 vs. Kansas City Mavericks December 27, 29, 31 and Jan 1 vs. Utah Grizzlies January 7, 8, 9 vs. Iowa Heartlanders January 21, 22, 23 vs. Idaho Steelheads February 10, 11, 12 vs. Wichita Thunder All games at The Monument

Saturday 15

Breakin’ the Winter Blues Chili Cookoff

Heat up your winter with a fun community event where you can savor the local flavor and explore downtown. Hill City. Friday-Sunday 14-16

Black Hills Rapids Winter Classic Enjoy three days of soccer excitement for the whole family. There are competition levels for all ages and skill levels, so form a team and have some fun! Registration is due by December 12, 2021. The Monument, Rapid City. Saturday-Tuesday 15-18

45th Annual Lakota Nation Invitational

Experience Lakota culture and cheer on young athletes as they compete for the title. Events include basketball, hand games, a Lakota language bowl, and more! The Monument, Rapid City. 9 a.m. daily. Monday 17

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Monday 17

Full Moon Hike

Enjoy the splendor of Custer State Park in a new light on this guided hike through the park. Custer State Park. Saturday 22

Kid’s STEAM: Cornstarch Quicksand The Boys and Girls Club of Lead are hosting a fun STEAM activity class where participants learn to make cornstarch quicksand. Lead, 4-5 p.m.

Thursday-Sunday 27-30

Lead Winterfest

This is an annual celebration your family won’t want to miss. Head to Lead for three days of live music, cocoa, sledding, and more! Don’t miss the fireworks show over the open cut mine on Saturday night. Lead. Friday & Saturday 28 & 29

Deadwood Snocross Showdown

The greatest show on snow is coming back to Deadwood! Enjoy two days of snocross excitement as 150 professional racers come to prove their worth in snowmobile racing. Days of ‘76 Complex, Deadwood. Various, 28, 29, 30

Men on Boats Ten explorers.

Four boats. One Grand Canyon. Men on Boats is the true(ish) history of an1869 expedition where a one-armed captain and an insane yet loyal crew set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. Black Hills Community Theater, Rapid City. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Saturday 29

K-9 Keg Pull

Cheer on dogs in various weight classes as they pull empty kegs to the finish line. This unique event benefits the Twin City Animal Shelter and Deadwood Revitalization efforts. Deadwood,1 p.m.

February Wednesday 2

Groundhog Day Friday 4

First Friday Art Walk

Stroll the streets of downtown Rapid City as they come alive with incredible artwork hosted in galleries, studios, co-ops, businesses, and more! Rapid City, 5-7:30 p.m.



Friday 4, 18

Friday Night Skate Night The Spearfish Rec & Aquatics Center is bringing back their Friday Night Skate Nights for the whole family! Preregistration required, $8 per skater and $3 per spectator. Spearfish, 5:30-8:30 p.m. Various, 4, 5, 3, 11, 12, 13

Men on Boats

Men on Boats is the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition where a one-armed captain and an insane yet loyal crew set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. Black Hills Community Theater, Rapid City. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. Saturday 12

4GMX Indoor Motocross Series Join riders from all over the Midwest and Canada, from 4 years old to professionals. Take the whole family out for a day of exhilarating entertainment! James Kjerstad Events Center, Rapid City. 11:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturday 12

Lover’s Leap Showshoe Hike

Monday 14

Happy Valentine’s Day Saturday 19

Sundance Winter Festival Load up the family and head to the annual Sundance Winter Festival in Wyoming. Enjoy sledding, food, skijoring, and live entertainment. Entrance is $5, kids 12 and under are free. Sundance, Wyoming. Monday 21

Presidents’ Day

Wednesday-Saturday 23-26

5th Annual Restaurant Week

Tickle your tastebuds all week in Custer during their annual Restaurant Week. Local favorites pull out all the stops and serve up enticing dishes you won’t find on the menu. Custer. Friday 25

Right in the Eye

Take the family out for a night of incredible music and cinema in this masterpiece celebrating the life of cinematographer Georges Méliès. Tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for youth and BHSU students. Matthews Opera House, Spearfish. 7:30 p.m.

Take the family out for a day of winter splendor in Custer State Park near Grace Coolidge Creek. The hike is 3 miles long and geared towards beginner snowshoers, but is moderate to strenuous. Pre-registration required, snowshoes are included. Peter Norbeck Education Center.

Saturday 26

Saturday 12

17th Annual Custer Area Chamber Trade Show

Tour de Chocolate and Polar Bear Chili Cookoff

Stroll through downtown Hill City and enjoy samples of chocolate delicacies and an afternoon of local shopping, or enjoy the spicy side of life at the chili cookoff. Hill City.

Badlands Sabers home games December 3, 4 vs. Great Falls Americans December 17, 18 vs. Bozeman Icedogs December 31 and January 1 vs. Helena Bighorns January 7, 8 vs. Yellowstone Quake January 14, 15 vs. Sheridan Hawks February 11, 25, 26 vs. Gillette Wild All games at the Roosevelt Park Ice Arena

Cabin Fever Bazaar

The Peace Lutheran MOPS are hosting their 8th annual bazaar featuring vendors, raffles, a bake sale, and soup lunch. Peace Lutheran Church, Rapid City. 9 a.m.2 p.m. Saturday 26

This annual trade show hosts a wide variety of vendors, including everything from local financial services to jewelry and artwork, and concessions served throughout the day.






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December 4*, 5, 11*, 12, 18*, 19, 23 & 24

*These dates include a Holiday Express Spiked option. Visit for details.





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