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contents This month’s features 3

Vacation on a budget

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Close to home

Learn how to save money this summer on family travel. Try booking early and packing picnics, for starters. If your budget doesn’t allow a big vacation, try a day or weekend trip to a museum, water park or aquarium nearby.

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Disney tackles ‘Idol’

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Fun all in one

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Get your American Idol Experience at Walt Disney World’s newest exhibit. The new Great Wolf Lodge in Concord offers families lodging, dining and a water park all under one roof.

What Mom wants

We asked mothers what it is they really want for Mother’s Day. See what they had to say.

Get crafty

A homemade gift from the heart is sure to make Mom happy. Check out these crafts for ideas.

Mother’s Day happenings Looking for something to do with Mom on her special day? We give you nine suggestions, including a recipe for baking her breakfast.

21 Fostering a child

More than 250 children need foster homes in Buncombe County alone. Learn more about how to become a foster parent.

Saving, planning ahead can make vacations a breeze I have looked forward to summer vacation with my daughters ever since I can remember. I started a “vacation fund” at the bank and try to put whatever extra money I have in it. Sometimes there’s more in there to work with than other times. For some cost-friendly vacation ideas for when your vacation fund is tight, see our story on Page 3. Traveling with my twin daughters has created many wonderful memories for me and for them. Of all of our trips, the first one to Disney World when they were 7 stands out in my mind. We planned for months and months, and I couldn’t wait to see their faces as we strolled onto Main Street USA. With the new American Idol Experience exhibit, we’re all ready to go again. Planning a trip to Disney can be a daunting task. See our story on Page 10 on the new exhibit there and find some tips on planning your trip. Whether you are going camping, to Disney or the beach, planning and taking a family vacation can make memories that last a lifetime. Nancy Sluder Editor

30 Cleaning in a snap

Spruce up and simplify your home this spring with tips on “editing” and a 10-day plan for cleaning.

36 She’s a ‘Hungry Girl’

Lisa Lillien has turned her successful Web site with tasty dieting tips into a cookbook, “200 Recipes under 200 Calories.”

P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802 828-232-5845 I www.wncmom.com PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER Randy Hammer

38 Dinner in a pan

Use just one pan — a skillet — to whip up a quick dinner.

In every issue Kids voices.........................................................9 Show and Tell ...............................................24-25 Librarian’s picks ................................................26 WNCmom.com ..................................................30 Divorced Families by Trip Woodard.........................32 Kids and Sports by Tom Kuyper.............................33 Growing Together by Chris Worthy .........................34 Parenting in a Nutshell by Doreen Nagle ................35 Quick Dinners ...................................................41 Video Games................................................42-43 Puzzles .......................................................44-45 Calendar .....................................................47-55

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WNC PARENT EDITOR Nancy Sluder nsluder@citizen-times.com

ADVERTISING Miranda Weerheim - 232-5980 mweerheim@gannett.com

On the cover

FEATURES EDITOR Bruce Steele bsteele@citizen-times.com

Lisa Field - 252-5907 lmfield@gannett.com

Cover photo special to WNC Parent.

STAFF WRITER Barbara Blake bblake@citizen-times.com

WNC PARENT DESIGNER Katie Wadington kwadington@citizen-times.com

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Submit in writing via P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802-2090 CALENDAR CONTENT Submit in writing via P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802-2090 or e-mail calendar@wncparent.com SUBMISSION DEADLINES Advertising deadline for the June issue is May 18 Calendar items are due by May 18

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Stretch your travel dollars

Tips for taking a vacation for less money By Pam J. Hecht WNC Parent contributor

If your family vacation budget is tight, try tapping into your creativity and sense of adventure. “Two of our best family trips were our cheapest,” says Shannon Dowler, of Asheville. Shannon and Jared Dowler, with their two sons, ages 6 and 8, biked down the Virginia Creeper Trail last year, packing lunches in backpacks and staying at an inexpensive cabin nearby. The family spent another week camping outside the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest near Robbinsville. Whether your family travels take you under the stars or into a hotel suite, here are a few tips to keep costs down.

WNC PARENT PHOTO

The Diez family sets up their tent at the Lake Powhatan Campground. If your vacation budget is tight, camping is one less costly option.

says. Last minute deals are getting harder to find, and it’s a myth that companies charge less to quickly fill spaces, she explains. Do your research “Planning ahead can certainly save money, particularly if you will be gone It’s a buyer’s market out there and a week or more,” says Kelly Gray, travvacation deals abound — you just el writer and author of a soon-to-be need to find them, says Lisa McKinpublished book, “The Everything ney, general manager for AAA VacaFamily Guide to Budget Travel.” “But tions/AAA Carolinas, Asheville. there are also amazing deals now on After hitting Web sites like Priceweekend getaways.” line, TripAdvisor or Orbitz to comBook trips early to use airline miles pare prices, check with airlines or or hotel points. Sign up for free e-mail hotels to be sure you’re getting their notification of bargains at major airlowest rates. Find out which hotels offer free meals and other perks. Ask a lines, hotels and resorts. Purchase travel agent to help find the best deals packages for multiple attractions. Pass on the rental car and design at no extra cost, McKinney says. Get the inside scoop on your desti- your trip around complimentary or nation from other parents at Web sites public transportation. Find large chain stores for less expensive local souvelike familytravelforum.com, recommends Laura Sutherland, travel writer nirs. Check your destination’s visitor and co-author of the book “The Best and convention bureau first for activiBargain Family Vacations in the ties, discounts and coupons, says U.S.A.” Also, check with local moms Emily Kaufman, a nationally recogat our own WNCmom.com. nized family travel expert and author of “The Travel Mom’s Ultimate Book Plan ahead of Family Travel.” Consider a cruise, says McKinney. Advance planning pays, McKinney

“Planning ahead can certainly save money, particularly if you will be gone a week or more. But there are also amazing deals now on weekend getaways.” KELLY GRAY, TRAVEL WRITER AND AUTHOR

tions, she adds. Another fun, affordable option, Sutherland says, are family camps or camping resorts, some of which are youth camps open to families at certain times.

Pack portable meals There are great deals for less than $250 per person for three- or four-day cruises, she says, and ports like Charleston, S.C., and Jacksonville, Fla., are only a few hours away by car. For affordable air travel, book packages including hotels, resorts or cruises early, says McKinney. Also, spend less by buying airline tickets individually and departing on Tuesday–Thursday, adds Kaufman.

Explore less-costly lodging Rent a condo or vacation home — most have more space and a kitchen for the same cost as a hotel room, says Michele Zavatsky, co-author of the “Kids Love Travel” family travel book series. Travel with another family for group rates or to share accommoda-

One of the best ways to save money on a trip is on the food, says Sutherland. When her kids were small, she used a folding cooler and packed supplies like cereal bowls, dish soap and condiments, hitting the supermarket at her family’s travel destination. “With a little planning, you don’t get caught hungry and spend too much money or eat fast food,” Sutherland says. Save even more with accommodations that include a kitchen. Gray assembles picnics on car trips and when flying, throws a few sandwiches and snacks into her bag, saving “at least $40 between destinations.”

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The daylong vacation

Family fun — and learning — are within easy driving distance By Barbara Blake ◆ Staff writer Whether your family is into science and nature, the world under the sea or the kind of water designed for pure fun, there are a number of museums, aquariums and water parks that are within easy driving distance for a weekend adventure or just for the day. As an added perk, local residents who have memberships at The Health Adventure, the Colburn Earth Science Museum or the WNC Nature Center get into some museums free — like the three listed below — that are members of the Association of Science-Technology Centers and are 90 or more miles away from the membership museum (Visit astc.org/passport). Here’s a sampling:

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Aquariums

The Ripley’s aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tenn., is one of the city’s top attractions, with a 1.4-million-gallon aquarium, more than 10,000 exotic sea creatures and a spectacular underwater aquarium tunnel. Creatures include a giant octopus, clown fish in a coral reef, stingrays and live horseshoe crabs. In addition to hourly dive shows and interactive experiences for children, the attraction includes an exhibit called “Mars: The Search for Life,” which features a large-scale kinetic relief Mars model that allows kids to crawl through a replica of Martian soil or drive a remote-controlled miniature Mars Rover. Location: The aquarium is at traffic light No. 5 in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Hours: 9 a.m.-11 p.m. 7 days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday other months of the year. Cost: $5.56 for children 2-5; $12.25 for children 6-11; $22.29 for ages 12 and older. Contact: ripleysaquariumofthesmokies.com; 865-430-8808.

SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Visitors can walk underneath the shark tank at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

The Georgia Aquarium The Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta is the world’s largest aquarium, with more than 8 million gallons of water, 60 exhibits and 12,000 square feet of viewing windows. The largest exhibit holds 6.3 million gallons of water and measures 284 feet long, 126 feet wide and 30 feet deep at its largest points, designed to house whale sharks alongside tens of thousands of other animals that typically live along a coral reef and out to the open ocean. Guests can choose among five galleries with different themes, including a lighthouse, a cascading waterfall, an ice-covered cliff and video screens displaying the perspective of a fish on a reef. Guests return to the huge atrium and “wall of fish” before entering another gallery. Also on exhibit is the Titanic Aquatic, a collection of more than 190 artifacts recovered from Titanic’s debris field including 40 that have never been seen before. The exhibition offers interactive displays and video presentations on Titanic’s construction, maiden voyage, tragic sinking and recovery of artifacts. The exhibit will be on display through Sept. 7. Location: 225 Baker St. in downtown Atlanta, adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park and the World of Coca-Cola. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Cost: General admission $26 adults; $19.50 ages 3-12; $21.50 ages 65 and older. Contact: georgiaaquarium.org; 404-581-4000.

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HAVE BRAVES FANS? Atlanta Connections can put together a package that includes Atlanta Braves tickets combined with hotel and attractions like Six Flags Over Georgia and White Water Park. Visit atlanta connections.com.


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Hands On! Museum

The Tennessee Aquarium The Tennessee Aquarium in downtown Chattanooga takes visitors on a mountains-to-sea journey through three living forests under glass, featuring 10-foot sharks, giant spider crabs, river otters and alligators. The newest addition, Ocean Journey, takes guests into the open ocean to see sharks, stingrays and reef fish gliding through coral formations. The “Boneless Beauties” gallery features jellyfish, a giant octopus and cuttlefish. The original River Journey building takes guests on a freshwater adventure, showcasing the Appalachian cove forest, a steamy Delta swamp and rivers of the world. Location: 1 Broad St., Chattanooga, Tenn. Hours: First admittance 10 a.m., last admittance 6 p.m.; aquarium closes at 8 p.m. Open every day but Christmas and Thanksgiving Day. Cost: $14.95 ages 3-12; $21.95, 13 and older. Contact: tnaqua.org; 800-262-0695

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This children’s museum in Johnson City, Tenn., has 20 permanent, interactive exhibits and traveling exhibits throughout the year. Children can move from station to station to learn about the inner workings of automobiles, animals around the world, music, the atmospheric cycle of rainfall and condensation, the layers of a landfill, how airplanes fly, how pulleys work, how the Underground Railroad operated, how a TV station operates SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT and how to manage money. Explore space in the Hall of Astronomy at Catawba Science Center. Location: 315 E. Main St., Johnson City Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays in Watch Center, a high-speed exhibit on Catawba Science Center July-August (closed Mondays other motion and a station where kids can months); 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-FriThis hands-on, interactive museum visit a farm and treehouse, go fishing day; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 1-5 p.m. in Hickory has permanent exhibits or build an igloo with ice blocks. that explore physical, natural and Location: 243 Third Ave. NE, Hickory Sunday. Cost: $8 ages 3 and older; free for earth sciences and traveling exhibits Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, children 2 and younger. that rotate throughout the year. It also 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 1-4 p.m. SunContact: handsonmuseum.org; 423has a planetarium. day, closed Monday. 434-4263. The museum features freshwater Cost: Seniors and children age 3-18, and saltwater aquarium exhibits, a $4; adults, $6. Hall of Astronomy, Energy Avenue, Contact: catawbascience.org; 332Continues on Page 6 the Inventor’s Workshop, an Earth8169.

Museums

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East Tennessee Discovery Center Life science, physical science, earth science and a planetarium are the focus of this museum in Knoxville, Tenn. Children can explore aquariums, microscopes, insects, arthropods, amphibians and reptiles, and a live honey bee colony in the life science area. In the physical science area, explore light and vision, sound, simple machines and energy. The earth science area features fossils, rocks and minerals, a replica of space shuttle Discovery and a computer mini-lab. For younger children, there’s Kidspace, with multiple experiences as they touch, listen, build, create and learn while playing. There is also a Lego lab. Location: 516 N. Beaman St., in Chilhowee Park, Knoxville, Tenn. Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Cost: $4 adults; $3 senior adults and children 5 and older; $2 children ages 3 and 4; free for children 2 and younger. Contact: etdiscovery.org; 865-5941494.

on age and time of day. Contact: emeraldpointe.com; 800555.5900.

Water parks

Boomerang Bay at Carowinds The Australian-themed Boomerang Bay is an adjunct to Carowinds theme park on the North Carolina/South Carolina border near Charlotte, but it has most of the slides and attractions found at standalone water parks. Highlights include two wave pools, Bondi Beach and the Great Barrier Reef; the Awesome Aussie Twisters water slides that keep riders in total darkness, and Down Under Thunder, a family raft ride that groups of up to four can share. Location: On the North Carolina/ South Carolina border near Charlotte. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5, 6 or 7 p.m. beginning May 23, depending on the day. Cost: One-day tickets from $21.99 to $36.99 depending on age; two-day tickets are $52.99. Contact: carowinds.com; 704-5882600, or 800-888-4386.

SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Kookaburra Bay at Carowinds features two mushroom waterfall fountains and numerous water geysers.

Dollywood’s Splash Country

Emerald Pointe Park The Wet’ n Wild Emerald Pointe Park in Greensboro has more than 36 rides and attractions involving more than 4 million gallons of water. Among the attractions are Bonzai Pipeline, Cyclone Zone, Daredevil Drop, Double Barrel Blast, Lazee River, Raging Rapids, Runaway Raft Ride and, for younger children, Happy Harbor and Splash Island. Location: 3910 S. Holden Road, Greensboro. Hours: Opens May 23; 10 a.m. until 5, 6 or 7 p.m., depending on the week. Cost: From 17.99 to $31.99 depending

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Splash Country, adjacent to the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., features 23 water adventure slides and thrill rides, including the Big Bear Plunge extreme whitewater rafting ride, the Cascades, the Mountain Scream, the 70-foot Fire Tower Falls, Rapid River Rapids, Wild River Falls, the Swift Water Run and, for younger children, the interactive Lazy River and Little Creek Falls. Location: Follow signs from traffic light No. 8 in Pigeon Forge. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 or 7 p.m., depending on the month and day of the week. Cost: $43.50 for ages 12-59; $37.90 for ages 4-11; $41.25 for ages 60-plus; and free for children 3 and younger. Contact: dollywoodssplashcountry.com; 865-428-9488.


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Stretch your vacation dollars Continued from Page 3

Try a county, state or national park Many counties and states have rental cabins and resorts with amenities, like Gulf State Park in Alabama, Sutherland says, that are less costly than many hotels. Jackie Westle, of Asheville, and her family vacation annually at James Island County Park in Charleston, S.C. “It’s easy on the budget” and there’s lots to do at the park, she says, with Folly Beach and historic downtown Charleston nearby.

Head for the beach

A FEW ONLINE TRAVEL RESOURCES ◆ compete4yourseat.com ◆ AAA.com ◆ budgettravel.com ◆ fodors.com ◆ travelwithkids.about.com ◆ cruisecheap.com ◆ johnnyjet.com and her sons, ages 8 and 11, prefer beach hotels with on-site activities like game rooms and lazy rivers. “I would rather spend extra on the hotel and it have all of these things rather than taking them places, which ends up being very expensive,” Dimsdale says.

When the beach beckons, John and Susan Mycroft of Asheville head for Consider off-season destinations Wrightsville Beach or Garden City, S.C., with their 9-year-old son, rather If possible, visit a place during its than the pricier “commercial resorts off-season, when prices are lower, says of Myrtle Beach,” said John Mycroft. Kaufman, like the Caribbean during Kristi Dimsdale, of Black Mountain, summer.

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My best vacation

We asked students in Sheri Coules’ sixth-grade class at Valley Springs Middle School, “Where did you go on your favorite vacation or summer break, and what’s your best memory of that visit?” Here’s what they told staff writer Barbara Blake. “My favorite place I went for summer break was to Spain, to see my babysitter, Dina, and see how she lived. She lived in a tiny village in the mountains of Galicia. My favorite memory was getting to try a new way of life because at lunchtime every day we would have a feast, because that was the biggest meal of the day. After that, we got to have a three-hour siesta, which means ‘long nap.’ Also, after the siesta, my sister, Laci, and my friend Susannah and I would chase chickens for the rest of the afternoon.” Annabell Motley “My favorite vacation was when I went to St. John for the first time. I spent my nights in a large hut by a beach called Maho Bay. There were wild iguanas that you could find on the beaches. My best memory was of snorkeling and seeing a giant sea turtle.” Madison Burger “My favorite vacation was going to Detroit to my family reunion party, and we had to dress in black, silver and white. The best thing about it was the shopping part. While we were shopping, we saw Canada. I will never forget that trip.” Asia Watley

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“When I was 9, my whole family went to Chattanooga, Tenn. Our hotel was on a mountain, and you could see the whole city from the balcony. Every day we visited a museum or historical place. My best memory is going to the aquarium and walking on the catwalk above some sharks.” Tobi Bowman

“My favorite summer vacation is when my family went to Rhode Island. I went to the beach, but if you stepped on it without shoes your feet would burn. On one wave I went on, it carried me all the way to the beach. If you tried to stand still, the waves would carry you away.” Mark Mulcahey

“My favorite vacation was when my whole family went to Panama. The coolest part “My favorite was when we went place I’ve ever out to eat at this gone to was AriMexican restauzona. My dad and I rant, which had a went to visit relacircular hole in tives. We rented a the middle of the convertible and drove to the Grand roof and on the ground there was a small pond. Small stones surrounded Canyon. Sadly for the pond. My cousin and I hopped us it was snowing so bad we couldn’t from rock to rock. My cousin slipped really see down into the canyon, and it and fell head-first into the pond. That was 10 degrees. But we had each other was the best vacation ever.” Maggie Barkowitz and we were at the Grand Canyon, so it didn’t matter. Although we had to “My favorite drive back through 3 inches of snow in vacation was at a convertible, it was still OK.” Disney World. Jake Richardson My favorite memory is when we “My best sumwent to Cinderelmer break was la’s castle because when my dad and I I met her in perwent to the beach son and it was my in Florida. In the birthday so she ocean we saw a gave me her starfish in the water under the sand. crown… . Then we went to watch the Later we ate group- fireworks and I was taken by surprise with a beautiful birthday cake. My er wrapped in bafamily sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and Chip con, and it was so and Dale showed up and sang ‘Happy good. The next day we went to the Birthday,’ too. When I look back at the sushi bar and had raw fish. Then we memory I still think I am a princess.” went home.” Kiana Koon Ian Harris

“My favorite vacation memory is when (my family) went on a cruise to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The boat had a lot of cool things like a game room, a cool swimming pool with a slide, and the best smoothies in the world. But the No. 1 thing I liked best of all is bingo. I know it sounds boring, but me and my cousin Trey shared a card and guess what: We won $700. It was the best feeling in my life. I even did the bingo dance when I won.” Samantha Youngblood

“My favorite vacation was to Alaska. It was really cold up there. It was the middle of summer, and I still froze almost solid. My brother and dad went salmon fishing but caught a couple of puffins with it, and they’re still laughing about it. Also, we went on a dog-sledding expedition, and we went to Denali National Park, home of Mount McKinley, tallest mountain in the U.S.A.” Matt Anderson

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“My favorite vacation was when I went to California. My favorite memory was when we were in Laguna Beach. We went to the beach every day. The best memory is when my dad and I were on the beach looking for seashells, then when we looked up we saw dolphins playing in the water. That was my favorite memory.” Summer Haynes


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Get trail suggestions from this local guide WNC Parent staff Recreational Equipment Inc., a national retailer of outdoor gear and apparel with a store in Biltmore Park, offers a Passport to Adventure program that details family-friendly hike and bike trails in Western North Carolina. REI’s free, online program features recommendations for trails near cities across the U.S., with a downloadable guide that includes driving directions, a checklist of gear needed, description of the terrain and the ride experience, and degree of difficulty. The guide also answers the question, “Why this ride or hike?” Children can document their adventures through the Adventure Journal, available at REI stores or by downloading it from rei.com/ passport. Here are the recommendations for biking and hiking trails around Asheville, with details available at the Web site. Biking trails: ◆ Bent Creek Trails in Pisgah National Forest, 1.6 miles one way. ◆ Ivestor Gap off the Blue Ridge Parkway, 4 miles round trip. ◆ Tsali Recreation Area near Fontana Lake, up to 40 miles of trails. ◆ Boyd Branch Loop, Bent Creek, 1.75-mile loop.

SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

REI offers Passport to Adventure activity books as part of its program for families. ◆ Sycamore Cove, Pisgah National Forest, 4.3-mile loop. Hiking trails: ◆ Bent Creek Lake Loop, Bent Creek, 1.5 miles roundtrip. ◆ Max Patch, near Hot Springs in Madison County, 4 miles roundtrip. ◆ North Carolina Arboretum trails, 1 to 3 miles. ◆ Skyline-Cliff Trail Loop at Chimney Rock Park, 1.5-mile loop. ◆ Mount Mitchell State Park, up to 12 miles of trails.

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‘American Idol’ opens at Disney By Julie Saunders WNC Parent contributor

The lights dim and the audience quiets. The host steps on stage and dramatically announces: This is the American Idol Experience! Familiar music plays and blue neon signs swirl inside this newest attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Designed to replicate the topranked “American Idol” television show, American Idol Experience hits close to the mark, said season one runner-up, Justin Guarini, “The American Idol Experience is uncomfortably close to the real American Idol show.”

Hollywood comes to Florida More than a year in development, this new interactive show follows the same format as the pop culture TV phenomenon “American Idol,” only the performers are theme park visi-

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DREAM TICKETS Dream Tickets provide winners a reservation for an “American Idol” TV show regional audition. (Note: Dream Ticket does not include travel, meals, lodging or other expenses.) Guest performers selected to sing on stage — regardless of whether or not they won a preliminary or finale show — are not eligible to audition again for 30 days. Auditions begin at 9 a.m. and run every 15 minutes until 12:45 p.m. daily. For details or to reserve an audition time in advance, visit disneyworld.com/idol.

14-17 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian throughout the audi“American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest stands in front of the new American Idol Experience tion and performance process. There exhibit at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. is no age maximum. Since the TV show restricts performers to ages tors. And they are good — motivated reservation at a regional audition for 16-28, an ineligible daily winner may by the grand prize of a Dream Ticket the “American Idol” show. That’s quite give their Dream Ticket to an agethat allows the daily winner to make a an incentive considering more than eligible relative. 10,000 hopefuls routinely line up at the regionals. Trying out Opened mid-February, American Idol Experience offers two different The audition process begins with avenues for theme park visitor interIdol wannabes singing a cappella action as either performers or voting (without musical accompaniment) for audience members. a casting director. If put through for a “Technically, American Idol Exsecond audition, contestants use a perience is like a real television show. provided MP3 player to select a few Performers even wear radio frequency songs from a list of more than 100 identification tags, which are tracked pop/rock, country, disco, R&B, Latin by select spotlights and cameras, cap- and Disney tunes. turing every move,” said Michael Jung, During the second audition, the vice president and creative director of producer uses a spotlight and camera Walt Disney Imagineering. to test singer’s poise. In addition to Eligible guest performers must be singing well, contestants must also at least age 14 and those between ages sell their performance to garner votes. PHOTOS SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

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Offering performance advice, season seven finalist Carly Smithson said, “Be yourself, enjoy yourself and sing your heart out.” Regarding handling rejection, season six finalist Sanjaya Malakar said, “If you are not what they are looking for, don’t take it personally.”

MONEY-SAVING TIPS

Showtime Contestants cast in a show receive vocal and performance coaching, stage rehearsal and hair and makeup star treatment. Seven preliminary shows featuring three guest performers run daily with the winner from each preliminary competing in the finale show for the Dream Ticket. Three judges offer feedback on contestants’ singing ability and performance, but don’t expect any snarky remarks ala Simon Cowell. At the end of each show, 1,000 audience members vote for one winner using armrest keypads. Confetti cannons explode, showering the winner as he or she receives a Dream Ticket.

All seven winners of “American Idol” gathered for the first time for the grand opening of the American Idol Experience attraction at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. From left are Ruben Studdard, Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia Barrino, David Cook, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks and Jordin Sparks.

Time is money at Disney World. In order to get the most for your money, try these techniques: ◆ Arrive at the turnstiles 30 minutes before the posted opening time. You’ll be able to experience the most popular attractions before the masses descend at midmorning. ◆ Table-service dining is expensive and time consuming — if you are tight on time, stick to counter service restaurants. ◆ If you wish to experience a certain table-service location, make a reservation for lunch. The menu will be similar to the dinner menu but cheaper. ◆ Instead of waiting in line to meet Disney characters and princesses, book a character meal. You’ll meet more characters and eat at the same time. ◆ If you are planning to visit Disney World for seven days or more, consider purchasing an annual pass which includes discounts on rooms, dining and merchandise. ◆ Spend less time in line and accomplish more with a touring plan based on your family’s preferences, or create a customized plan at touringplans.com.

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Resort caters to family water fun

New Great Wolf Lodge offers water park, dining in one hotel By Rick McDaniel WNC Parent Contributor

out to eat. Don’t panic. There’s a new alternative just a couple of hours away. The kids want to go to a water park. Great Wolf Lodge in Concord is a But you don’t want the hassle of going family resort with an indoor water from the park to the hotel and then park and dining, too.

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“Great Wolf is pretty unique in that we offer unlimited access to the water park for resort guests included in the room price,” said Phil Cunningham, the resort’s general manager. “The park is exclusively for families staying at the resort and isn’t open to the general public.” The water park covers 80,000 square feet of indoor space with a separate outdoor swimming pool. It features everything from simulated ocean waves for the kids to simulated waterfalls to the Howlin’ Tornado, a family raft ride that circles around a giant funnel before plunging 50 feet to a screaming splashdown into a pool at the bottom. “We feature 11 slides from small ones for toddlers to adult slides,” Cunningham said. The Alberta Falls is one of the most popular slides, a fourstory series of twists and turns that leaves kids and adults ready to go again. If you’re not quite ready for the Howlin’ Tornado, the River Canyon Run offers a leisurely trip around the park on a simulated river. It’s also a good way to check out all the rides, slides and splash places to decide where to start. If all this splashing makes you hungry, the resort feature two main restaurants: The Loose Moose Cottage, a three meal, buffet service restaurant, and Camp Critter, a lunch and dinner, a la carte venue that also offers a bar.

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PHOTOS SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

The Tipping Bucket is an attraction at indoor water park at the Great Wolf Lodge.

There’s also Bear Paw Sweets & Eats, which offers fresh fruit and salads in addition to baked goods and 20 flavors of ice cream. The Spirit Island Snack Shop, a Dunkin’ Donuts and a Pizza Hut franchise round out options. After you’re through splashing around, Great Wolf offers spa services for adults and a separate spa so the kids can get pampered, too. There’s also the Howl in One miniature golf


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ond bathroom on one side and a semiprivate living area with a full-size sleeper sofa and a third TV. It sleeps up to eight for $379 per night. If you’re looking for some fun outside the resort, Concord offers several options. Lowe’s Motor Speedway is just four miles away. There’s also Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site, where North Carolina’s first gold rush began. For auto enthusiasts, there’s the Backing Up Classics Auto Museum, with more than 50 classic cars on display. If percussion is your thing (or if you just want to say you’ve been there, there’s the Drum Legends Museum,

featuring more than 100 drum sets from famous drummers. And, on the second floor of the Smith Tower at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, there’s the Carolina’s Boxing Hall of Fame. For serious retail therapy, Concord Mills, a gigantic, 200-store indoor mall offers everything from outlet stores to movie theaters to nightlife. And if you want something else to do, Charlotte is only a 20-minute drive. Take Interstate 26 to Spartanburg, S.C., then catch Interstate 85 to Concord, which is about 20 miles north of Charlotte. Total driving time is about 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Fort MacKenzie is just one part of the indoor water park at the recently opened Great Wolf Lodge in Concord. course, a video arcade and a fitness center. There’s even a nightly Great Pajama Storytime for the kids. After their bedtime story, the little ones are probably going to be ready to fall into a nice, warm bed. The resort offers 10 different styles of suites, starting at $179/night, which includes park admission for the entire family

for the duration of the stay. Basic suites accommodate up to six people and feature flat-screen TVs, refrigerators and microwaves.The ultimate in luxury (and price) is the Grand Bear Suites, a private master bedroom with a queen bed, full bath and TV. The main part of the suite is divided in two, with two queen beds and a sec-

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moms voices

What moms really want Deona Fish

Kathleen Matheny

“This year for Mother’s Day I would love nothing more than some time to paint.”

“This year for Mother’s Day I would love some time off of work to spend with my family … nothing more and nothing less.”

We asked area moms about their ideal Mother’s Day gift. Here’s what they told staff writer Sarah E. Smith.

Amy Hughes Karen Arthur “I would love an hour at the spa for Mother’s Day…only an hour because I have a 5-week-old baby who needs lots of my attention.”

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“Well you really can’t go wrong with a spa treatment of any kind for Mother’s Day. … Yes, I would love a day at the spa.”


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Linda Stills

Keller Anne Knight

“I want someone to clean my house so that I can read a book all day. I am always serving others so this Mother’s Day I would like someone to serve me.”

“I always like things my children make for me, so anything they can create with their little hands … and of course a day off, which is something my kids can’t give me.”

Cat Matlock

“For Mother’s Day I would like a weekend getaway in the mountains where I can hike.”

Karen Starnes

“This year for Mother’s Day I would love to see my son. He is in school at Chapel Hill and I don’t get to see very much of him. That would make my day.”

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Handmade Mother’s Day Gifts don’t need to be expensive or elegant. Make Mom smile with something crafty and from the heart Crafts by Kathy Cano-Murillo, Gannett News Service ◆ Compiled by Katie Wadington, staff writer

Decoupaged memo holders

Pretty votives

Even if you have all of Mom’s gifts wrapped and ready to go, it never hurts to have one extra treat — especially if it is one that will bring her peace of mind. These handy memo holders will make her smile for so many reasons. First, the holders will be covered with photos of her kids or other visual imagery Mom likes, and second, the holders can be used for important notes or other photos. All supplies can be found at the local craft or hardware store. Alligator clips are found in the jewelrymaking aisle. Materials: Hand-held drill with small drill bit or a Dremel tool; 3 wood blocks (assorted sizes or the same, your preference); 3 bamboo skewers or skinny dowels; assorted paints; craft glue; 3 alligator clips; scissors; assorted personal pictures; decoupage medium and brush; embellishments. Instructions: Drill a small hole at the top of each block so the skewer or dowel will fit snugly. Snip the skewers or dowels to desired heights (you can make them all the same size or different levels). Remove the skewers or dowels. Paint the blocks and the skewers or dowels and let dry. Add glue to the inside of each alligator clip and place the clips on one end of each skewer or dowel, let dry. Cut out the images for the blocks and decoupage the images onto the surface, covering all four sides. Let dry. Brush on a top coat of decoupage medium for a glossy finish. Add embellishments like glitter, sequins, beads, ribbon, etc. When finished, add glue to the hole at the top of each block and insert the skewer or dowel. Let dry.

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One item that has delighted me is Claudine Hellmuth’s Sticky Back Canvas from her Studio line. And it is just that, canvas sheets with adhesive backing. I’ll use them for paintings and jewelry, but to start I lined three layers on candle jars, using acrylic paints, dyes and fabric markers for a boutique-worthy effect. For more ideas, visit ClaudineHellmuth.com. or pick up her new book, “The Scrapbooker’s Creativity Kit: Prompts and Ideas to Jump Start Your Layouts” (Memory Makers, 2009, $19.99). Materials: 1 pack of Claudine Hellmuth Sticky Back Canvas; glass-encased candles (like Glade, with label removed); paint of your choice: acrylic, dye, markers; embellishment for the front of the candle; hot glue. Instructions: Cut the canvas into desired strips. I used three strips for each candle. Paint each one a contrasting color. Let dry. Remove the paper backing from the largest strip and wrap the canvas around the candle. Repeat with the remaining strips. Add a dab of hot glue to the back of the embellishment and affix to the front of the candle. Note: Never leave burning candles unattended.

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Coffee cozy Think about this every time you reach for a cardboard coffee cozy: It can be replaced easily with a handmade version. Keep it in your purse or at your office, always ready for action. Materials: Fabric; one cardboard coffee cozy (to use as a template); scissors; cotton balls (or batting); sewing machine; velcro Instructions: Fold the fabric in half, inside out. Open the template and lay it on the fabric, cut around it so you have two pieces. Then turn right side out. Insert the cotton balls, flattening as necessary, between the layers; sew two rounds of zigzag stitches around the edges. Sew all around the center for a quilted effect. Sew the Velcro on each end so it can close.


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Cupcake candles

Help the mom who is watching her waistline by burning a cupcake instead of eating one. And to make cupcake candles, I’d like to introduce you to my new best friend: the silicone mold. Materials: Dutch oven; 1 package of candle wax (white); oven mitts; 1 metal candlepouring pitcher; chopstick; 1 candle-wax thermometer; candle colors; candle scents; 1 silicone mold for cupcakes; 1 package of tall candle wicks; 1 rubber spatula; 1 hole puncher Instructions: Fill the Dutch oven half way with water and heat until boiling. Wearing the oven mitts, place cut up chunks of wax (2 cups’ worth) into the pouring pitcher and set inside the boiling water. Reduce heat to medium. Stir with chopstick until wax is liquefied. Insert thermometer, and when the temperature reaches 180 degrees, add drops of color and scent, according to package directions. Stir to mix. Lift pitcher out of water and pour a thin layer of wax in the mold, insert wick. Finish filling the mold. Let cool completely. Remove from mold. Repeat candle melting process again, but this time, put in a different color for the frosting. Remove from heat once liquefied, let cool until you stir the wax so it looks like frosting. Again, wearing the oven mitts, dip the spatula in the wax and “frost” the cupcake. Let cool.For sprinkles: Heat a bit of wax and add a different color and pour thin layers into the mold. Let cool, pop out, and use hole puncher to create decorations. Warning: Use extreme caution when working with candle wax. Do not use around small children. Burn candle in a safe place, and never leave unattended.

Ice-cube candles For something more old-school, try ice-cube candles. They are a craft from our parents’ generation, but it’s about time this obscure technique was resurrected. Materials: 1 cardboard milk carton; 1 taper candle; large pot filled halfway with water; 5 pounds of candle wax; 1 candle-making metal pitcher; 1 candle thermometer; candle scent; candle coloring; 1 throwaway stirring stick; 1 cookie sheet lined with foil; safety gloves or

potholders; ice cubes; knife Instructions: Cut the milk carton so it’s 1 inch taller than you want the candle to be. Now, cut the taper candle so it stands 1 inch below the edge. Put the large pot with water on the stove, bring water to a slow boil. Cut up two handfuls of the wax, put it in the candle-making pitcher and set inside the pot of water. Turn heat to medium high. Clip the thermometer on the inside of the pitcher. Stay and watch the wax liquefy. Add desired amount of scent and color according to package directions. Stir until mixed. Set the milk carton on the foil-lined cookie sheet. Put on the gloves. Pour a 1-inch layer of wax into the carton. Let it set 5 minutes, and then set the taper candle inside. Hold in place until the wax hardens. Fill the rest of the carton with ice cubes about one-inch from the top of the taper candle. When the wax on the stove reaches 180 degrees according to the candle thermometer, carefully pour into the milk carton, covering the ice cubes and the taper candle (but not the wick). Let cool 30-40 minutes; take the carton to the sink, and cut and tear off the carton from around the candle. The melted ice cubes will drain through the holes. Do not use until the wick is dry. Tip: Start with quart-size milk cartons because it may take a couple of tries to get the process down. Caution: Never leave a burning candle unattended, and watch the stove while the wax is melting. Keep small children away while working.

Game night Does your Mom like family fun with board games? Try personalizing them. Materials: 1 Connect 4 game; 3 cans of Krylon Fusion for Plastic spray paint in mom’s favorite colors; newspaper; plastic gloves, paper mask; 1 picture of your mom that is color copied into 20 1-inch images; 1 picture of you that is color copied into 20 1-inch images; white craft glue; 1-inch circle cutter (optional) Instructions: Separate the game into sections (base, body, chips). If you are a child, have an adult help you with this step: Lay the newspaper outside on a flat surface. Put on the gloves and mask and set down the base, spray paint evenly until all areas are covered. Let dry and then set aside, repeat for the body, and then the chips. Cut out the pictures of you and your mom and glue them to the inner area of the chips. You should end up with two sets of chips. Let dry.

Custom assorted game set Materials: 1 box set that has several games in it, like chess, checkers, etc.; newspaper; plastic gloves; paper mask; spray paint; metallic or bright-colored paint markers; 2 types of contrasting, yet matching, scrapbook paper; glue stick. Instructions: If you are a child, have an adult help you with this step: Lay the newspaper outside on a flat surface. Put on the gloves and mask and set down the base, spray paint all the pieces evenly until all areas are covered. Let dry. Add swirly accents using the metallic markers. Cut the scrapbook paper to fit the squares on the chessboard. Use the glue stick to glue them down, alternating the designs.

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Celebrate Mother’s Day in style By Lockie Hunter WNC Parent contributor This Mother’s Day, treat her to something special. As the definition of motherhood has evolved, so has Mother’s Day. From the cultural to the whimsical, we’ve gathered a variety of ideas to please a diversity of moms.

1. Festival of Flowers at Biltmore Estate Bring mom to Biltmore for free on Mother’s Day. Adult or youth ticket purchase required. Enjoy live music in the gardens and in Biltmore House along with floral displays, springtime dining specials, and shopping opportunities. For information, visit Biltmore.com or call 225-1333.

2. Mother’s Day Greek luncheon

SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

The gardens are bursting with color during the Biltmore Estate’s Festival of Flowers.

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Sponsored by The Land of the Sky Ahepa Chapter 28 at the Hellenic Center of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, the luncheon will feature a variety of Greek gourmet dishes including pastichio, moussaka, Greek meatballs, spanakopita and much more. There will also be an assortment of


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Greek pastries as well as Greek dancing. Hellenic Hall is at 227 Cumberland Ave. Call 253-3754.

3. Chimney Rock Park Mother’s Day is one of Chimney Rock’s “Special Deals for Special Days” said Meghan Rogers, public relations and events manager for the park. “This year, you can give mom what she really wants — quality time with her family. Spend the day taking in 75-mile views from high atop Chimney Rock, shopping for locally made pottery and crafts and reconnecting with nature and each other.” The park is on U.S. 64-74A in Chimney Rock. Call 243-2019 or visit chimneyrockpark.com.

4. ‘The Heidi Chronicles’ N.C. Stage Company (For)Play Series presents the play by Wendy Wasserstein. This free event is part of a series of plays about women and their relationships. Amanda Leslie, managing director of N.C. Stage, explains that they “take classic plays and explore them. It’s for people who like thought provoking plays and interacting with the actors in the play.” Appropriate for teens and older. The performance will be at the YWCA, 185 S. French Broad Ave. Call 239-0263. PHOTO BY STEVE DIXON

Take a family hike at Chimney Rock Park for Mother’s Day.

5. Asheville Art Museum Beverly Buchanan is a “contemporary African-

American artist with expressionistic bold, colorful works,” says Kim Zbanowicz, communications manager at the museum. Her opening reception is from 5-7 p.m. May 8. Buchanan is speaking in the gallery at 1 p.m. May 9, and her sculptures and paintings will be on display in the museum. Mother’s Day is also the last day to view “the shape of life” exhibit by Eva Zeisel. Zeisel is “quite the example of balancing being a mother and having a career in the arts. She is an industrial designer, designs ceramics and furniture, and she also developed the Schmoos,” Zbanowicz says. The art museum is at Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square. Call 253-3227.

6. Handmade Wearables fashion show Throughout Mother’s Day weekend, the Folk Art Center will be bursting with color as craftspeople share their inspiration and expertise in a variety of fiber arts. A fashion show featuring clothing and accessories designed and handmade by members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild will be at 1 and 3 p.m. May 10. The Folk Art Center is at Milepost 382 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Call 298-7928.

7. Spa time Kelly Fisher, director of operations for Innovative Spa Management, has ideas for spa services. “Perfect for mom’s hardworking hands and feet, Suraj Spa Salon offers a complimentary manicure with every signature pedicure during the month of

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Ideas to help you celebrate Mother’s Day in style

SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Treat mom to a pampering spa service like a facial at an area salon.

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May,” Fisher says. Suraj Spa Salon is at 520 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. Call 277-7705. “For even more mom pampering, try the organic orange blossom scrub at Spa Theology,” she suggests. “The treatment includes warm Italian orange oil and honey to leave mom refreshed and hydrated for her special day.” Spa Theology is at 53 College St., Asheville. Call 255-4171. Fisher even has a wallet-friendly

choice: “On a tight budget but still interested in spoiling a special lady? Privai Academy has students of esthetics performing pure skin luxury European facials for $30.” Privai Academyis at 6 Roberts Road, Asheville. Call 279-4489.

8. Take Mom out for brunch “Season’s Restaurant buys flowers and hands them out to all the mothers on this day. We always have special featured wines that we offer our guests,” said Lisa Keeter, marketing manager for Highland Lake Inn and Season’s. “We also invite our guests to walk around our 26-acre property, down to the lake and organic gardens and the critter barn.” The Grove Park Inn’s Blue Ridge Dining Room offers a big spread, too. “Mother’s Day at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa has become a family tradition for residents of Asheville and surrounding communities,” said Jay D. Winer, director of public relations at the Grove Park Inn. “The Grand Ballroom offers carved fruit displays and ice carvings. There will be continuous dinner music provided by Highland Fling Trio and The touch of Rose Trio.” Jesse and Edson Roque, chefs/owners of Never Blue in Hendersonville, say they wake up early to cook, using many items from local farms, dairies and specialty producers in their Mother’s Day dishes. In addition, all mothers will receive a special gift of Never Blue’s handmade boxed chocolates. Highland Lake Inn is at 86 Lilly Pad

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Lane, Flat Rock. Call 696-9094. Grove Park Inn is at 290 Macon Ave., Asheville. Call 252-2711, ext. 2000. Never Blue is at 119 S. Main St., Hendersonville. Call 693-4646.

9. Breakfast in bed Try this recipe for apple French toast if you’re staying in for the morning.

Mother’s Day apple french toast

1 cup brown sugar ½ cup butter 2 Tablespoon light corn syrup 2 large tart apples (ex Granny Smith), peeled and sliced ½” thick 8-10 slices of day old French bread (3/4 inches thick) 3 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla ¾ cup milk Mix the first three ingredients in a small saucepan and cook until thick (5 minutes). Pour this syrup mixture into an ungreased 9 x 13 dish. Arrange apples over syrup. Mix eggs, vanilla and milk in a flat bowl (for dredging the toast). Dip bread into milk mixture. Let each slice sit one minute. Place bread over apples. Cover and refrigerate overnight or freeze. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.If frozen, thaw overnight and set at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Serves 10. From the kitchen of Martha Montgomery


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250 reasons why you should consider fostering a child By Barbara Blake WNC Parent writer

SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Erica and Josh Jourdan spend a spring afternoon in the park with their adopted sons Adrian, 10 months, and Julian, 5. The couple also have an adopted daughter, Cynthia, who is 19.

In Buncombe County, there are 250 reasons to consider becoming a foster parent. Each of those reasons has a name, a birthday, a favorite toy, a favorite food and a list of dreams for a happier future. May is national Foster Care Month, and local agency professionals who work with foster care and adoptions are hoping that adults in Buncombe County will consider opening their homes to a child who needs support, understanding and love while his or

her parents get their lives together and make a home safe for the child’s return. You can be young, old, married, single, in an unmarried relationship, wealthy or of limited means to be a foster parent. The requirements are basic: 30 hours of training (free of charge), criminal background checks on all people 18 and older in the home; a visit from the fire marshal and social workers to inspect your home; a basic health formed filled out by your docContinues on Page 22

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tor; and first aid and CPR training to foster infants and children. Children may stay for only a short while or for a year or more, depending on how quickly the parents complete their required services. If, after a year, the parents have not met the requirements, the judge will look for a differ-

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“Being a foster and adoptive parent means opening my home and my heart to some very special people who have found themselves in some very challenging situations.” PATTI HESS, MOTHER OF 8, INCLUDING 5 ADOPTED CHILDREN ent plan for the child, such as guardianship to a relative or adoption. Foster parents are not paid, but they do receive a monthly check to help cover the child’s expenses, and children are covered by Medicaid for any health or therapy expenses.

Worthwhile experience Those who have experienced the challenges and rewards of being foster parents say jumping through the regulatory hoops is more than worth the time and effort. “To me, being a foster parent means the world,” said Beth Westmoreland. “You take these young, impressionable children into your home who are lost — they have had everything they know taken from them whether they are 1 day or 12 years old. And what you become to them is their rock, their confidante and their caregiver — you become part of them, deep in their soul and bones.” Erica Jourdan, a social worker with the Buncombe County Department of Social Services and an adoptive parent of three with her husband, Josh, said the rewards of fostering and adopting are myriad. “When I first became a

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FOSTERING PRESENTATION Under One Sky’s Youth Advocacy Council will host a presentation for the public from 4-7 p.m. May 26 at MAHEC at 501 Biltmore Ave. Youth ages 15-18 in foster care will share their stories and will take questions from the audience. Foster parents will be available afterward to answer individual questions. The event is sponsored by Under One Sky, Professional Parenting, Buncombe County DSS and the WNC Adoption Network. For more, e-mail info@wncadoptionnetwork.org, or contact Mari Cochran at 989-4511.

A SAMPLING OF AGENCIES THAT LICENSE FOSTER HOMES IN WNC Buncombe County DSS: Erica Jourdan, 250-5868 Caring For Children: Heather Gray, 2988736 Eliada Home for Children: Jessica Shanor, 713-5423 Grandfather Home for Children: Connie Maney, 230-5231 Professional Parenting/Adopt Plus: Katherine Todd, 350-9830


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COMMON MYTHS ABOUT FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION ◆ You have to be younger than 40: Some private adoption agencies set a limit, but there is no top limit for foster parents as long as they are physically and mentally able to keep up with the care of the child and are at least 21 years old. ◆ You have to have a certain income: Financial stability is important, but you don’t have to be wealthy. As long as a family can show that it can make ends meet, it’s possible to be approved for fostering or adopting. ◆ Older children are almost always deeply troubled and difficult to deal with: Since all children enter the foster care system because of abuse, neglect or dependency, it’s true that they have experienced distress, loss and possibly trauma. But each child will react to his or her history differently. Older children are sometimes more willing to work with a family than younger children because they are more articulate and understand the dynamics of foster care in ways that younger children cannot. And some older children may have been nurtured well for many years before the abuse/neglect started. ◆ Once you adopt, you’re on your own: When you adopt from foster care you may continue to get a monthly stipend to help care for the child, and full Medicaid for the child, until the child’s 18th birthday. There also is money available to reimburse adoptive parents for educational or therapeutic expenses. ◆ If you foster, you can’t adopt. That used to be true, but no longer. If there are no biological relatives able to adopt the child, foster parents are almost always encouraged to adopt. foster/adoptive parent, there were so many things I thought I couldn’t do or couldn’t understand, especially about the bond between children and their birth parents,” she said. “I’m not saying that I get it all now, but I’ve learned how to listen and to empathize in ways I never could before. I knew that I would be helping others, but I never realized how much those others would be helping me.”

Inspired to help Katherine Morosani entered the world of foster parenting after attending a meeting about the annual Child Watch tour with the Junior League of Asheville and hearing “heart-wrenching stories” about the situations involving children entering foster care. “I met some of those children, and they were not my expectation of what kids in foster care would be,” Morosani said. “These kids just wanted to be loved and were lovely, fun kids. I enjoyed being around them, and they were thrilled to see me. They would yell my name when they saw me and their enthusiasm was infectious.” After becoming licensed to foster about six months later, her foster daughter — an 11-year-old fifth-grader — came happily into her home. “The class prepared me for some things, and I leaned on my parent friends and DSS support,” Morosani said. “She’s been with me for almost nine months; we have had our challenging times, but I really love having

her in my life. She really cracks me up, and we have fun together. And I can tell how much she has changed since she has come into my life.”

Open homes, hearts Patti Hess, a mother of eight, including five adopted children, said fostering and adopting a child doesn’t require a constant lineup of special events or special treatment. Just being present is all it takes. “Being a foster and adoptive parent means opening my home and my heart to some very special people who have found themselves in some very challenging situations,” Hess said. “It means sharing my ordinary, everyday life with others in a way that makes every day extraordinary — just because we are sharing it together.” Westmoreland said there is something about fostering a child that can’t be described, only felt. “You become that person that they can cry with, laugh with and love, and if and when they leave your home, they will never, ever leave your heart,” she said. “They take with them so much of your heart you do not think you will ever survive, but deep inside you know that you have taken a part of their heart, too,” Westmoreland said. “Even if they don’t remember you years later, you have left a stamp on their soul that helps them to be strong and secure in the fact that they have been loved so intensely, and nothing will ever take that away.”

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SEND US YOUR PHOTOS We welcome photos of family, neighborhood, school, church and other social activities involving children. Send your high-resolution photos, along with a brief description of the event, and names, ages and hometowns of everyone pictured. Don’t forget your name, address and phone number. Send to Katie Wadington by e-mail at kwadington@citizen-times.com or to WNC Parent Photos, P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802.

Kay Smith submitted this photo of her grandson, Griffin, 18 months. Her cool one lives in Maryland.

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Emma Williams, 9, left, and Luke Williams, 6, stop for a photo with their cousin Hannah White, 5, while hiking off the Blue Ridge Parkway close to Mount Pisgah. All three are from Swannanoa. Submitted by Penny Williams, mom to Emma and Luke and aunt to Hannah.

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Jillian, Cameron, Cash and Jack Walker are the quadruplets of Jenna Walker and her husband, Ryan, of Safety Harbor, Fla. Born in September, they are seen here around 5 months old. Great-grandpa David Maness, who submitted the picture, says he and his wife, Dorothy, "have spent the winter spoiling them." The Manesses live in Fairview, and the quads’ greatgrandmother Bessie Riddle lives in Waynesville.

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Kylie Taylor, 2, plays at Folly Beach, S.C. Submitted by her grandmother Penni McNicoll. Both live in Asheville.

Gabriel Coll-Bettencourt, 5, shows off snowcovered eyelashes during the last snow before spring. Gabriel is from Swannanoa. Submitted by his mom, Michelle Bettencourt.

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librarian’s picks

Ease fears about a new baby with these books By Jennifer Prince Buncombe County Public Libraries Imagine being a kid who is the apple of every eye, the darling of every heart, when along comes a new wee baby into the home. While some kids might welcome the new baby freely, other kids might have reservations. In either case, parents looking for books to share with their firstborn that concern adapting to a new baby in the home will do well to include these two new picture books. Linda Ashman’s “When I Was King” (illustrations by David McPhail) describes a preschool boy’s jealousy at the arrival of a new baby brother. The boy sees the baby as a usurper who has overthrown his place as the rightful center of everybody’s attention: “I was the star, the prize, the king … but YOU have ruined everything.” The boy can hop, skip and tumble. All the baby does is sit there. Yet the grown-ups cannot take their eyes off the baby! When the baby drools or burps, the grown-ups smile and admire. If the boy drools or burps, he is told he is being rude. After a series of baby vs. boy mishaps, the calm and understanding mother praises the boy for all of the

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big-boy things he can do like make a sandwich and brush the dogs. When Grandpa makes the boy pancakes, the baby gets mashed up peas. When the boy gets to help with the yard work, the baby has to nap. The boy begins to help in caring for the baby. The boy helps bathe him, makes him laugh and tucks him in. The boy sees that there is room for both him and the baby. In the end, the boy loves the baby. Diane Wright Landolf’s “What a Good Big Brother!” (illustrations by Steven Johnson and Lou Fancher) tells the story of preschooler Cameron who loves his baby sister Sadie right from the beginning. When Sadie cries, Mom and Dad know just what to do. When she needs changing, Cameron helps. When she needs feeding, Cameron helps. There comes a time though that Sadie cries and is inconsolable. Neither Mom nor Dad knows why she is crying. Cameron sits down on the floor next to Sadie. He pats her head then rubs her tummy. Sadie calms down. Then Cameron kisses Sadie’s toes and something happens that has never happened before: Sadie smiles. “What a smile!” said his mom. “What a grin!” said his dad. “And what a good big brother!” These books are available through the Buncombe County Public Libraries. Visit buncombecounty.org for more information.


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The truth about sugar, and it’s not all bad From the editors of Fitness magazine A spoonful of sugar may help your health — and even your workout. Here are surprising truths you haven’t heard about the sweetener. Sugar shocker: It may improve your workout. An Ohio State University study of female rowers found that those who consumed dextrose (a naturally occurring sugar found in syrups and jellies) improved their rowing times nearly threefold, significantly more than those who ate ribose, a sugar often used in performance supplements. Why? “Dextrose requires minimal digestion and can be used by the muscles quickly as an energy source,” says Leslie J. Bonci, a registered dietitian and director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Sweet truth: A pre-workout snack that contains dextrose, like wholegrain toast with peanut butter and honey, might help you go further.

Sugar shocker: It wreaks havoc on your skin. An out-of-control sweet tooth may give you wrinkles. Eating a lot of sugary foods can trigger chronic, low-level inflammation throughout your body, which sends the aging process into overdrive. “Sugar attaches to collagen — a complexion-protecting protein — and breaks it down, which leads to wrinkles and sagging,” explains dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, author of “The Perricone Promise: Look Younger, Live Longer in Three Easy Steps.” Meanwhile, sugar’s inflammatory effects create free radicals, which wear down elastin, another skin-saving protein. Sweet truth: Pack your diet with produce and herbs and spices, like oregano, cinnamon, ginger and turmeric — they all have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight wrinkles. Also, use a topical antioxidant with vitamin C, alpha lipoic acid or retinoids to boost collagen production. Sugar shocker: It can make you catch

a cold. Eating too many sweets can suppress your white blood cells, meaning you’re more susceptible to infectious illnesses like colds and flu. And because high sugar intake triggers inflammation, it ends up diverting immune cells from the germ-fighting front and directing them toward the inflammation instead, explains Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale Uni-

versity Prevention Research Center. Sweet truth: In addition to limiting your intake of refined sugars to 10 percent of your daily calories, up your fruit and veggie consumption. Produce contains powerful antioxidants that can bolster your immune system and prevent low-grade inflammation. First printed in the May 2009 issue of Fitness Magazine.

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Simply spring

GANNETT NEWS SERVICE

HGTV “Myles of Style” host and designer Kim Myles makes final adjustments on a room redesign.

Celebrate the season by clearing space By Teena Hammond Gomez Gannett News Service

important and what isn’t. I see people really starting to get clear on that,” says HGTV star Kim Myles. Spring inspires new colors and We caught up with Myles for a styles to lighten your home’s interior phone interview from Los Angeles, and, luckily, there seems to be a lesswhere she was taking a break from is-more aesthetic this season. shopping for materials for her show, “There is a big trend toward simpli- “Myles of Style.” One way to simplify fying and really getting down to basics at home, she says, is to do what she that matter for us in our lives. What’s calls “a big edit.”

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“You do it right along with spring cleaning and vacuuming under everything. It’s a great opportunity to take a critical eye to every item you’re moving and cleaning. Spring is the ideal time to do this because the season is about renewal.” Myles says many homeowners live “with a million little tables and end tables that don’t serve any purpose.” Her advice: “Strip the room down to what is functional. Ask yourself, ‘Is this functional? Do I use it?’ and if you

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don’t use it, you better love it. You’ll end up with a pared-down room without superfluous furniture.” The best part of an “edit,” she says, is that it’s free. “Doesn’t cost a thing. It clears space for you to get creative and add a breath of spring.” Once you’ve started clearing out a room, don’t be tempted to keep something that you don’t truly love. “Be clear about what items will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Work smarter, not harder,” Myles says.


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10 steps for sprucing up Even the most die-hard spring cleaner doesn’t have endless hours to devote to the annual tradition. But with a few simple tips and a little planning, experts say the once-ayear event can go smoothly. We’ll call it the 10 days of spring cleaning, based on tackling the project for an hour or so a day during that timeframe. So grab that mop and broom, throw on those rubber gloves and get ready for a fresh start. Day one: Amass your supplies and prepare for battle. Day two: Clear your clutter. Day three: Wash those walls. Spring is a time, experts say, to clean things you usually don’t — or that get cleaned only once a year. Scour those walls and baseboards, but don’t do more than you need to. In some cases a touch-up is adequate. Day four: Clean closets. Take your clutter clearing from day two behind closed doors. Grab several bins or boxes and label each one — one for things to keep, one for things

to store, donations and so on. Day five: Bust into the bedrooms — and enlist help. Once you’ve cleared your clutter from outside and behind closed doors, it’s time to tackle the rest of the bedrooms. But you don’t need to go it alone. Have kids or other family members ease the burden. Day six: Hit the kitchen And don’t skimp on the elbow grease, says Bonnie Ponozzo, owner of Elite Quality Cleaning in Green Bay, Wis. “Your kitchen is dirtier than your bathrooms are,” she said. Day seven: Floors and more Bust out the vacuum or mop today, and don’t forget the baseboards. Day eight: Scour the bathrooms. Day nine: Down and dirty Clean out your lint traps, behind the dryer and clean out vents, said Tricia Marquardt, an owner of Maidcor LLC in Green Bay, Wis. Another oft-neglected area? Exterior doors, Marquardt says. Day 10: Wash those windows

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BUDGET-FRIENDLY IDEAS FOR SPRING Kim Myles, of HGTV’s “Myles of Style,” has these tips: ◆ Keep furniture neutral, and add accent rugs in bright shades. ◆ Swap out heavy curtains for sheer and light window treatments. Myles describes the difference as a choice between curtains in a lodge versus those in a Jamaican resort. ◆ Hang mirrors in triplicate. Put basic, rectangular mirrors — like those you hang on the back of a closet door — side by side on the wall. ◆ Frame a piece of metal ceiling tin as a piece of art for an Americana feel. The tin tiles can be bought for about $18 each and have a bit of bling to them. ◆ Keep colors bright and light. Every shade of yellow is big this season. ◆ Opt for interesting lighting solutions, like Japanese paper lanterns, which can be found for as little as $5 each. Most rooms work best with three sources of light. Gannett News Service

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divorced families

Avoid summer strife: Look at vacations as double the fun for kids By Trip Woodard WNC Parent columnist

rangement amended. Sorry. The good news is that custody arrangements can change with time if it makes sense to the courts. I think it was ◆ We do vacations, but it usually Charles Dickens in involves family and they “bad mouth” his classic book me. “Tale of Two FamiTry your best to diplomatically lies” who said that explain to your ex that tribal warfare vacations were “the never benefits children. True or not, it best of times and is not a loving thing to do. Shockingly, the worst of times.” research even supports this. Opps … I may have grossly mis◆ What, again, is “tribal warfare”? quoted that. Whoops, I snuck some psycho Regardless of the book or how the babble in there (occupational hazard). quote really goes, vacations for diIt means anytime friends or family say vorcing and divorced families offer negative remarks in front of or around opportunities for significant problems the children concerning an ex. This or great possibilities. Let’s start out includes a silent response as well, like with the positives before we tackle the when a child talks positively about an problems. event with ex and “the whole room Having two families can result in gets quiet.” the children getting two vacations ◆ I can’t afford the kind of vacainstead of just one. Under optimal tions my ex enjoys. I don’t even know circumstances, with ex-spouses comif I can afford a vacation at all. municating with collaboration, chilBe creative. Camping is relatively dren can get double enrichment incheap, and many children love the environments they enjoy. If the vacaexperience. Consider vacationing with tion schedule turns out to be in conanother family, or several families, and flict between ex-spouses, share expenses. Get into hiking, biking collaborative parents can simply let and fishing. Get on the Internet and the children choose where they would do a search for vacations to locations like to go with the understanding that where they pay all of your expenses in there are no hard feelings. exchange for volunteer work. Several As I said, this is an optimal situfarms do that. ation where parents have dedicated ◆ My kids don’t want to vacation themselves to helping the children with me, even though the place we go believe that they can truly love both to is a family tradition. parents and not be caught up in loyalThen try listening to their ideas ty binds. And, yes, this can be done. about vacation that are within reason. Honest. It may be time for a new tradition OK, the good part may seem a unique to your new family. Rememshort message, but if that was your ber: A new life, a new way of doing reality, you probably would not be things and new traditions are not bothering to read this column, so let’s necessarily bad things. Perception move on to the harder situations: creates reality. That is in your control. ◆ I don’t have custody and my ex won’t let me take the children on a Trip Woodard is a licensed marriage vacation, although I have visitation. and family therapist and a clinical This is a legal situation and I would member of the N.C. Association of consult an attorney to see what your Marriage and Family Therapists. Conoptions are to have the custody artact him at 606-8607.

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kids in sports

Focus on team aspect when doling out awards By Tom Kuyper Gannett News Service From the mailbag: I read your column on winning medals and trophies, and I would like to suggest: Depending on the age, it is appropriate for participant medals or trophies for everyone, rather than singling out only the best players. I wasn’t any good at sports, too uncoordinated to really ever be any good, and we had two kinds of award events: A) We (poor players) had to show up and sit there and applaud while the best players got their trophies, honor and recognition. Then we could go home. Or, B) We had to show up but got our own little trophies for participating while the best players got their trophies, honor and recognition. We felt like we were part of something and hung around for the social hour. Situation B builds the team idea. Situation A, which I mostly had,

destroys it. The coaches’ attitudes were universally to help the students who were already good players, so they could shine, and treat the rest of us as expendable, only there to support the special people. Not a team mentality at all. I applaud what you are trying to do in your column. If you can help coaches use some common sense, realize the impact they have on young people, and take their responsibilities seriously, you are indeed making a major difference in the community and should be proud of doing so. Response: Thank you for your kind words in regards to my columns! Thank you also for your input. I hear your point about singling out the best athletes and only rewarding them. You are really right on. This is why I have chosen to do it a little differently at my summer camps. I don’t give individual awards like best

player/best defensive player, etc. I give out what I call “crazy awards.” The kids and parents love the end of a camp week and can’t wait for the awards ceremony. These are awards that the coaches watch for, the crazy or silly things that kids do during the week. We laugh a lot, and kids who might not otherwise get an award have the chance to be brought up

front. These awards are usually not based on athletic ability. I give out good sportsman/attitude awards as well. The trophies and medals that I’ve written about were the team awards. Not to point out the best players, but the team as a whole. Write to Tom Kuyper at tomkuyper@kidsandsports.com.

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growing together

Finding the joy in the stillness life offers By Chris Worthy WNC Parent columnist The ability to multitask may be a desirable trait for computers, but I don’t think the flesh and blood beings among us were meant to live this way. I pride myself on my ability to do more than one thing at a time. I noticed recently while in the kitchen that I was actually performing two separate tasks that required two separate thought processes at the same time, with each hand working independently. Truly, my right hand did not know what my left hand was doing. Productive? Yes. Sane? Not quite. I am part of a ladies’ group that has been studying the concept of being still — just being quiet in both body and mind. It is probably one of the most difficult parts of my day. I don’t know any moms (or dads) who can escape the world for more than a few cherished minutes at any given time. At home, the phone rings. If I leave, then the cell phone rings and I return to a barrage of e-mails.

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And with a teenager now turned loose on the world, I feel guilty if I am out of the communication loop. Surely the one time I turn everything off will be the day the school nurse calls. It has to be Murphy’s Law of child rearing. Learning to do is easy. Learning to just be is a challenge. Even taking a walk in my neighborhood requires a conscious effort to stroll and just enjoy nature, rather than thinking about walking faster to burn more calories or to get back to the next task. But I am the only one who can jump off the carousel, even if only for a short time, and slow myself down. Won’t we all be better parents if we find a few sacred moments to rejuvenate ourselves? I think so, and I know I want to model serenity for my children, though I also know serenity is relative in my case. So if I put “be still” on my daily calendar, will that make it happen? We’ll see. If it works, I may lose my ability to accomplish two tasks at once. That might not be such a bad thing after all. Chris Worthy is an attorney who took down her shingle to be a stay-at-home mom. Contact her at growingtogether@chrisworthy.com.

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parenting in a nutshell

Tips for turning each day into Earth Day By Doreen Nagle Gannett News Service

shower rule. ◆ Keep a small bucket in the shower to catch the water run off; use it to water the flowerbed and houseplants. While, as a ◆ Put a ceramic container, bowl or nation, we celeplanter in the kitchen for compost brated Earth Day material and teach your children some this year, isn’t it rules for making compost: no dairy, good to know that meat or grains. our families can Dead plant material, fruits, veggies adopt some simple and even shredded newspaper are fine changes into their routine every day additions. — making Earth Day an everyday ◆ If your children are old enough event. Perhaps we will be the generato go it alone, let them walk or ride tion of parents that changes how futheir bikes to school, a neighborhood ture generations go about their daily friend’s house or the local library habits and how those affect the world rather than driving them everywhere. and environment around them. Let’s If they are not old enough to go it start with some simple suggestions alone, bike or walk alongside them. compiled from a variety of sources, ◆ Unplug or at least turn off comincluding common sense: puters, video and other games, power ◆ It’s easy to help save trees if you strips and other electronics when not don’t waste paper. Don’t throw out in use. paper printed on just one side; use the ◆ Use a cloth bag when shopping back side to print out a draft if in the supermarket. You can also bring needed. Don’t print e-mails unless your own containers to the restaurant necessary. Buy a chalkboard and leave to use for leftovers. notes on it versus using paper. Use ◆ Spend a morning with your chilcloth napkins versus paper ones. dren hanging a clothesline in the ◆ Re-imagine what you can do with backyard (try along the fence on the a magazine or newspaper (make a side of the house) to use in lieu of the booklet of words for your toddler?) dryer. before you toss it out. ◆ Purchase a standing dryer to use ◆ It’s great that your children love inside during inclement weather. to brush their teeth, but they do not Teach your children to only put truly need to leave the water running while dirty items in the wash. If there is a brushing. When it comes to hand slight stain on a T-shirt, take a wet washing, wet hands, turn off the water, cloth and remove it instead of adding soap up, massage soap into dirty digits it to the hamper. and then turn the water back on to do a quick rinse. Tip from the parenting trenches ◆ Send lunch to school (buying locally grown fruits and veggies helps Before tossing a toy or article of save fuel) and pack it in reusable con- clothing, think who might benefit if tainers. you pass it on to them. Host a swap ◆ Challenge yourselves to make with your play, church, class or other your own toys and musical instrugroup. If you need a one-time outfit ments. Older children can learn to for a special event, borrow one from a sew or use hand tools. This not only friend or buy one from a gently used cuts down on consumption, but has clothing store. the added value of giving one a sense of accomplishment. Doreen Nagle is author of “But I ◆ Anyone raising a newly interest- Don’t Feel Too Old to Be a Mommy” ed-in-grooming tween or teen might (HCI, $12.95). She welcomes your parroll their eyes at this suggestion, but enting tips and concerns at try to maintain a five minutes or less parentinginanutshell@joimail.com.

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‘Hungry Girl’ cookbook has tasty dieters’ help By Susan M. Selasky Gannett News Service Key Lime Mousse Pie with just 88 calories and 6 grams of fiber. Chicken nuggets made with crushed barbecue chips. Faux-fried zucchini with 9 grams of fiber and only one-half gram of fat. These are just a sampling of the low-fat, low-calorie and high-fiber recipes found in Lisa Lillien’s second cookbook, “Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200” (St. Martin’s Griffin, $19.95). In 2004, Lillien started Hungry Girl, a Web site dedicated to helping dieters by providing product news and reviews, recipes and inspiration and daily free e-mail to more than 650,000 subscribers. Lillien makes it clear she’s not a doctor, chef or nutrition professional. She’s just a hungry girl obsessed with food, who, like many other yo-yo dieters, says she struggled to lose the same 15 pounds for much of her life. Once Lillien, 43, of Encino, Calif., lost 25 pounds by changing her lifestyle, she realized she had to stick with it. Those changes morphed into hungrygirl.com, and “Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for GuiltFree Eating in the Real World” (St. Martin’s Griffin, $17.95). It spent six months on the New York Times Best Sellers list. In cutting the fat and calories, Lillien relies on the obvious, such as using egg whites instead of whole eggs, sugar substitutes and reducedfat or fat-free products. I talked with Lillien by phone about the Hungry Girl approach. Question: How should people use this?

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Key lime mousse pie

Answer: Whatever they want to use it for. You can create meal plans or find recipes for your family or just snacks. Q: What are you trying to accomplish? A: I think people should understand that they shouldn’t be afraid of food and that food should be loved and embraced. You can find ways to eat the foods you like, and love and maintain a healthy weight. Q: What one food have you found to be misleading? A: Salad dressing. With just one little pour you take a 500-calorie meal and turn it into a 1,000-calorie meal. Q: What’s your meal plan for a typical day? A: I tend to eat Egg Beaters with a low-fat cheese in the morning. ... And I am always eating fresh fruits and vegetables. I am a big protein eater. I am a meat eater, so I eat turkey, chicken, and I try to eat a lot of lean meat and fish.

Crust: 1/4 cup light whipped butter or light butter spread 2 tablespoons water 1 3/4 cups original Fiber One bran cereal 4 no-calorie sweetener packets 1 teaspoon cinnamon Filling: 1 cup boiling water 1 small (4-serving size) package sugar-free lime gelatin 1 no-calorie sweetener packet 1/2 cup cold water 1 ½ blespoons lemon juice ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups fat-free whipped topping Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter with the water. Microwave until the butter is just melted. In a blender or food processor, grind the cereal to a bread crumb-like consistency. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cereal crumbs with the butter mixture, sweetener and cinnamon. Stir until mixed. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with nonstick cooking spray. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the dish. Bake 10 minutes then cool. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the boiling water with the gelatin and sweetener. Stir the mixture for 2 minutes or until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Add the cold water, lemon juice and vanilla extract; mix well. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes or until slightly thickened, but not set. Once the gelatin is thickened slightly, stir in the whipped topping. Whisk until thoroughly blended; pour the mixture into the pie crust. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Cut into slices. Serves 8. Source: “Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200” by Lisa Lillien (St. Martin’s Griffin, $19.95)

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Freakishly fantastic faux-fried zucchini

These are a tasty snack and an excellent source of fiber. 3/4 cup Fiber One Original bran cereal 1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing or dip mix 1/4 teaspoon plus 1 dash garlic powder, divided 1/4 teaspoon plus 1 dash onion powder, divided 1/4 teaspoon plus 1 dash oregano, divided 2 dashes black pepper, divided 2 dashes salt, divided 1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute 2 large zucchini, ends removed Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor or blender, place the Fiber One cereal. Add the ranch dressing or dip mix and one-fourth teaspoon each of the garlic powder, onion powder and oregano. Add a dash each of salt and pepper. Grind to a bread crumb-like consistency. Transfer crumbs to a medium bowl. In another medium bowl, combine the egg substitute with a dash each of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly. Cut the zucchini into 1/2-inch wide circles. Blot away any excess moisture with a paper towel. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Toss zucchini circles in seasoned egg substitute until they are evenly covered. One by one, give zucchini slices a shake to remove excess egg substitute, coat them with the bread crumbs and lay them flat on the baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Carefully flip the zucchini slices over. Bake in the oven for 10 additional minutes or until the outsides are crispy and zucchini is cooked through. Serves: 3 Source: “Hungry Girl: 200 Under 200” by Lisa Lillien (St. Martin’s Griffin, $19.95).


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Chain...Bonefish Grill.

Jennifer answered:

FROM THE FORUMS, PHOTO GALLERIES Irene asks in ‘Dining in Asheville’ I’m new to the area — where is the best place to dine in Asheville?

Miranda wrote: “If you like Mexican food try Don Papas on Hendersonville Road near Long Shoals Road. They are California-style Mexican, and it is SO GOOD! We have been eating there since they opened, and everything is so fresh and yummy! You can also try Papas & Beer, which is owned by the brother of the owner of Don Papas. The food is very similar. They are located on Brevard Road, in Hendersonville, and … on Tunnel Road.”

Jennifer responded: “I am a foodie, love it. So here are

some of my favorites: “Indian: Mela; breakfast all day: Early Girl Eatery or Ello’s; Southern: Tupelo Honey: Louisiana: Mayfels: Italian/Greek: Pomodoro’s: Cuban Havana’s: barbecue: Luella’s; Chinese buffet: Asiana; Jamaican: One Love (Asheville and Hendersonville). …

Amy replied: “I agree with everything you wrote! Pomodoros is one of my favorites. One Love is amazing, and Blue Sky [Cafe] is our favorite place to go after spending a day at Fletcher Park!”

Stevens says:

“Magnolias has good desserts? My husband and I loved going to Old Europe for desserts and since they’ve closed haven’t been able to find anything. Anyplace else for desserts?”

My four beautiful girls, posted by Michelle.

Stevens said:

“… I go to Kilwins for ice cream.”

Ashevillemommies said: “Asheville Pizza and brewing company has awesome pizza and they have family nights on Tuesday. There is a great ballon guy there!”

“I love a few favorites!! Seafood and Keisha replied: Steaks ... Magnolias oyster bar and “We LOOOVVVEEE going out to grill (Their desserts, too!! Made dinner; here are some of our favorites. there!!!) French ... Fig or Bouchon.

Apollo Flame (two locations, Hendersonville Road and Brevard Road): This is a yummy Greek restaurant. And you can eat on the patio. This is perfect with our without the kiddos. … Want Saturday a.m. doughnuts? Go to Carolina Mountain Bakery (on Hendersonville Road) or take a short drive to Waynesville and treat yourself to Witman’s Bakery (Main Street, Waynesville).

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Product: ASH_Parent PubDate: 05-04-2009 Zone: Main

C M Y Edition: First Page: parent_38 User: swasiele Time: 05-15-2009 08:52 Color: K

Dinner in a pan Cook a meal with the most

versatile tool in your kitchen By Johnathan L. Wright Gannett News Service Your kitchen might brim with gadgets — cherry pit remover, anyone? Or, at the other extreme, a can of peeled tomatoes might double as your rolling pin. Either way, your cupboard doubtless contains a skillet, an incredibly accommodating piece of equipment you can use to cook almost anything. In “The Best Skillet Recipes” (2009, America’s Test Kitchen, $35), the cooks at America’s Test Kitchen celebrate the skillet’s versatility with more than 250 thoroughly written, exhaustively tested recipes — everything from pasta and pizza to beef and casseroles to stir-fries and curries to eggs, vegetables and sides. We’ve culled some of the cookbook’s best skillet dinners, recipes that make reliable, one-pan meals a reality for home cooks. Baked ziti with sausage features canned whole peeled tomatoes for fresh taste and the right mix of water and cream for a smooth, rich sauce. As the ziti cooks in the sauce, not separately in water, it absorbs flavors. Strata is a classic brunch dish, but it makes a fine supper, too. A simplified skillet strata offers the same cheesy pleasure as the standard specimen but doesn’t need to be prepared hours ahead. Ramen noodles with beef, shiitakes and spinach takes inspiration from Japanese noodle bowls and upgrades the dorm room staple. First step: Ditch the seasoning packets with their baleful blend of copious sodium and strange ingredients. With a skillet, you see, almost all things are possible. Cook’s note: Be sure to use the skillet size the recipe calls for. Size is determined by measuring at the widest point from lip to lip. All recipes from “The

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Spinach and Gouda strata 6 large eggs 1 1/2 cups whole milk 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves Ground black pepper 4 ounces Gouda cheese, shredded (1 cup) 4 tablespoons (one-half stick) unsalted butter 1 medium onion, minced 1/2 teaspoon salt 5 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, cut into 1-inch squares 2 medium garlic cloves, minced OR pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons) 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed in microwave, wrapped in towel and squeezed as dry as possible Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 425 degrees. In bowl, whisk eggs, milk, thyme and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together, then stir in cheese and set aside. Melt butter in 10-inch ovensafe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and salt and cook until onion is softened and lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add bread and, using rubber spatula, carefully fold bread into onion mixture until evenly coated. Cook bread, folding occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove skillet from heat and fold in reserved egg mixture until slightly thickened and well combined with bread. Stir in spinach. Gently press top of strata to help soak up egg mixture. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until edges and center are puffed and edges have pulled away slightly from sides of pan, about 12 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6. Note: For Cheddar and thyme variation, substitute Cheddar cheese for Gouda and omit garlic and spinach.

Best Skillet Recipes” by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated.


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Baked ziti with sausage

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1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed 6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons) 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes Salt 3 cups water 12 ounces (about 3 3/4 cups) dry ziti or penne 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup) 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves Ground black pepper 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup) Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat to 475 degrees. Pulse tomatoes with their juice in food processor until coarsely ground and no large pieces remain, about 12 pulses. In a 12-inch ovensafe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook sausage, breaking apart meat, until lightly browned and no longer pink, 3-5 minutes. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in processed tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes no longer taste raw, about 10 minutes. Be sure to simmer gently or sauce will become too thick. Stir in water, then add pasta. Cover, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring often and adjusting heat to maintain vigorous simmer, until pasta is tender, about 15-18 minutes. Stir in cream, parmesan and basil; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over top. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until cheese melts and browns, 10-15 minutes. Serves 4.

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Ramen with beef, shiitakes and spinach

Cook’s note: Do not substitute other types of noodles. Finished sauce will seem brothy, but liquid will be absorbed quickly by noodles when serving. 1 pound flank steak, partially frozen 8 teaspoons soy sauce, divided 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed and sliced thin 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon) 1 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 4 (3-ounce) packages ramen noodles, seasoning packets discarded 3 tablespoons dry sherry 2 teaspoons sugar 1 (6-ounce) bag baby spinach Place partially frozen steak on clean, dry work surface. Using sharp chef’s knife, slice steak lengthwise into 2-inch-wide pieces. Next, cut each 2-inch piece across grain into very thin slices. Pat beef dry with paper towels and toss in bowl with 2 teaspoons soy sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add beef, break up any clumps and cook without stirring until beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Stir beef and continue to cook until nearly cooked through, 1 minute longer. Transfer beef to bowl, cover to keep warm and set aside. Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth. Break bricks of ramen into small chunks and add to skillet. Bring to simmer and cook, tossing ramen constantly with tongs to separate, until ramen is just tender but there is still liquid in skillet, about 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 6 teaspoons (2 tablespoons) soy sauce, sherry and sugar. Stir in spinach, 1 handful at a time, until wilted and sauce is thickened. Return beef and any accumulated juices to skillet and cook until warmed through, about 30 seconds. Serves 4.

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Product: ASH_Parent PubDate: 05-04-2009 Zone: Main

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M Y K 08:52 Color: C

Hungry? All you need these days is $5 By Bruce Horovitz Gannett News Service The recession that brought back $2 gasoline is about to bring back to casual dining another retro price point: $5 meals. T.G.I. Friday’s — which, like most casual-dining chains, has taken a hit during the recession — unveiled plans to sell all salads and sandwiches for $5 all day in May. The move follows a recent rollout by Chili’s of 10 entrees for less than $7. A $5 price tag at sit-down restaurants hasn’t been seen in quite awhile. “It’s a magic number,” says Malcolm Knapp, a researcher who

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W N C PA R E N T | M AY 2 0 0 9

MEAL DEALS Subway offers the $5 footlong deal. Quiznos offers same deal as Subway, but for $4. Boston Market offers a $5 menu. Shoney’s offers the $4.99 breakfast bar. tracks the $75 billion casual-dining industry. A steak sandwich that usually fetches $11.75 will go for $5, as will a pecan-crusted chicken salad, normally $9.69. All are full-size portions. “The $5 threshold reinforces the idea of a deal,” says Ravi Dhar, director of the Yale Center for Customer Insights. “That’s the current consumer mindset.”


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C M Y Time: 05-13-2009 13:36 Color: K

Quick dinners Kid-friendly salmon

4 skinless salmon fillets (about 6 ounces each) 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce 1/2 cup brown sugar Place salmon and teriyaki sauce in a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour. Heat grill to medium-high.

Grill salmon until it is cooked about halfway up the sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip salmon and sprinkle with brown sugar. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Prep time: 10 minutes. Total time: 40 minutes (including marinating). Serves four.

Quinoa-stuffed peppers

1/2 cup quinoa (a ricelike grain) 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided use 2 large bell peppers (any color) 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese Combine quinoa, 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until water is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Cut peppers in half from stem to bottom; scoop out seeds and membranes. Place on baking sheet and roast 20 minutes. Fill roasted pepper halves with cooked quinoa. Top each with shredded cheese. Bake 15 minutes more. Prep time: 30 minutes. Total time: 45 minutes. Serves four.

Approximate values per serving: 277 calories, 6 g fat, 88 mg cholesterol, 35 g protein, 20 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 638 mg sodium, 19 percent calories from fat.

Approximate values per serving: 128 calories, 4 g fat, 4 mg cholesterol, 5 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 99 mg sodium, 28 percent calories from fat.

Gannett News Service

Gannett News Service

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video games

‘Hannah Montana The Movie’ hits small screen By Jinny Gudmundsen Gannett News Service Not only did Hannah Montana hit the big screen recently, but fans can relive that movie experience in a video game. In the video game “Hannah Montana The Movie,” kids join Miley Stewart and her superstar alter ego Hannah Montana in an adventure set in Miley’s hometown of Crowley Corners, Tenn. The game combines a linear adventure with periodic breaks for musical performances, during which you join in by dancing, singing and playing onscreen guitar, drums and keyboard. Fans can also dress both Hannah and Miley, design outfits, play minigames and customize Hannah’s touring bus. The console version is available now on the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360, and Sony PlayStation 3, with the Windows PC version coming later in the summer. There is also a DS version that is similar. We played

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‘HANNAH MONTANA THE MOVIE’ GAME

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5) Best for ages 6-12 Disney Interactive, hannahmontanagames.com, $49.99, for Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3. the Wii version. On the Wii, the game makes use of the system’s unique motion-sensing controls. To learn all the motions used within the game, it is best to start with the tutorial. There, you will learn how to keep fans happy as you perform as Hannah Montana. While watching Hannah onstage singing 11 of her hit songs, including five new ones from the movie, you will also see animated instructions. You will learn to use hand gestures, like a lasso movement or clapping above your head. You will also learn to pose like a rock star. At times during the performances, you

Miley’s grandmother’s farm, the town of Crowley Corners, and Meadow Hall. You can easily move between locations by use of a map. This is a fun game for fans of Hannah Montana. It skews as young as age 6 because the controls are easy, and most of the dialogue is spoken aloud. Miley has an onscreen organizer that GANNETT reminds you of your next task. And Adventure, performance and fashion make when you are directing Miley (or up the game play in “Hannah Montana The occasionally Hannah), an onscreen Movie” from Disney Interactive for the Ninarrow always shows you the direction tendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony to head. Plus the adventure is pepPlayStation 3. pered with fun minigames, including one where you get to ride a horse and will jam with the band by strumming make it jump over fences. with the Wii remote when you see a Parents will like the performance guitar fret on the screen or rocking parts of the Wii game because kids out on the drums by following arrow have to get up and move to play. Becommands. Playing the keyboard cause your goal is to earn audience involves twisting the Wii remote so points by doing physical actions using that it spotlights musical notes as they the Wii controls, kids will be up and drift down to the keyboard. And “sing- dancing along with Hannah. And kids ing” involves flicking the Wii’s nunwill love singing to the 11 songs, inchuk controller and shaking it. cluding the popular “Hoedown After exploring the tutorial, you Throwdown.” need to start the Story Mode so that But parents might not like one of you can unlock the performances and the messages this game sends: a conminigames to play later. In the Story stant need to shop and change clothes. Mode, you direct Miley (and someWhile the story is about helping times Hannah) on a series of “fetch” others, in this game, Miley is a clothes quests. She will talk to people who ask horse. To be fair, she is usually looking for her help. For example, in one she for a new performance outfit for Hanwill need to find items to build a nah. And the game does allow girls to chicken coop and in another, she will design some of the clothes and put need to locate a cheer squad’s missing together fashion looks. props in a limited time. The adventure plays out over six Gudmundsen is the editor of Comlocations including a county fair puting With Kids magazine (where you can play fun arcade (www.ComputingWithKids.com). Congames), a university, a petting zoo, tact her at gnstech@gannett.com.

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M Y K 08:52 Color: C

video games

‘SuperSecret’ game lets kids grow up quickly By Jinny Gundmundsen Gannett News Service While Peter Pan never wanted to grow up, it seems that today tweens (kids ages 8-12) are anxious to do so, at least in virtual worlds. Banking on kids’ desire to play at “growing up” is a new online game called “SuperSecret” at supersecret.com. The site was created to give kids a place to go after they outgrow the mega-popular virtual worlds of Club Penguin (clubpenguin.com) and Webkinz (webkinz.com) but before they are ready for the more adult online games of “World of Warcraft” or the social networking sites Facebook and MySpace. “SuperSecret” entices kids with the wish fulfillment of living a virtual life that ages them a lot quicker than in real life. After playing the game for about 30 days, kids will age from the entry age of 10 years to age 15. With each birthday comes new privileges and things to do, as well as access to new parts of the virtual world. To make sure the game would appeal to tweens, the development team at SuperSecret Inc. turned to kids for advice. While talking to kids, Ted Barnett, co-founder and CEO of the site, said he heard three themes repeated: “Make it easy to find and com-

‘SUPERSECRET’

Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5) Best for ages 8-13 From SuperSecret Inc., supersecret.com municate with your real friends, make sure there are new things to do every week, and finally, let me be not a puppy or penguin but a person who can grow up and earn the privileges that come with growing up.” Tasked with creating a game about growing up, the team created a world where kids play to earn age points, which let them grow older. To earn age points, kids go on quests, play minigames and find hidden objects and collectibles. When they earn enough age points, their in-game characters have a birthday, which means that their avatars grow older visually and are granted new privileges. For example, when characters reach 11, they are allowed to own a pet. At 12, they get a dorm room. By 15, they are given an interest-earning bank account. In addition to the overarching storyline about growing up, the game also allows kids to meet and hang with friends, explore secret places, and shop for cool things like clothing, furniture and pets.

For parents who are unfamiliar with virtual worlds and massively multiplayer online games, “SuperSecret” is a good one for kids. Its theme about modeling real life is something tweens will find compelling. The quests require kids to do good things and are easy to find by talking to nonplayer characters indicated by names typed in blue. The world is artfully drawn and each of the more than 30 locations features a different musical theme. This game eases kids into how to chat in a virtual world. At first, the chat is limited to simple phrases selected from a drop-down menu. When in-game avatars reach age 12, they can ask that their real world parent grant permission to allow chat by typing. But even then, the chat is subjected to a strict filter that prohibits kids from using bad words or sharing personal information. As an additional precaution, the site uses live monitors as well. You can play the first few years of your avatar’s life for free to see if you like the game. But to attain the age of 13 and beyond, you must buy a monthly membership of $4.95 (or $19.95 for six months). Gudmundsen is the editor of Computing With Kids magazine (ComputingWithKids.com). Contact her at gnstech@gannett.com.

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puzzles for parents ACROSS

1. BBQ necessity 6. *Fond du ___, Wis. 9. Shredded cabbage 13. Not together 14. Big head 15. Above the queen 16. Leper 17. Wedding symbol 18. *In the ’70s the _____ city sometimes was gritty 19. *Sears Tower location 21. *Capital of Iraq 23. Estimated arrival 24. Hooded robe 25. ___ de deux 28. “Mr.” in Germany 30. *Home to Downing Street 35. Caricatured 37. *Heart of Chicago, “The ____” 39. Found at the gallows 40. Key component of a loan 41. Seeded, as in garden 43. *Cleveland and Buffalo are on its shores 44. Slipperier 46. Ski lift 47. Told an untruth 48. Fey’s impersonation of Palin, e.g. 50. Particle in A-bomb 52. “___, the Beloved Country” 53. Close, adjective 55. Belonging to you and me 57. *Home to Carrie Bradshaw 61. “Farmers’ _______” 65. Farewell in French 66. Repeated word in many sports cheers 68. Onion roll 69. Half year’s stipend 70. Yoko 71. Goodbye in Spanish 72. Scolds 73. Negative response 74. Small island

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DOWN

1. Ingredient in talcum powder 2. Moonfish 3. *Found in Berlin in World War II 4. Often goes with beauty 5. Valley in Scotland 6. *Kids can build cities with this 7. Bartender’s concern 8. Popular type of meal 9. Hyperbolic sine 10. It “was made for you and me” 11. Domain 12. Shield from danger, often used with “off” 15. Offspring of tiger and lion 20. Gaelic-speaking Celts 22. Hole punching tool 24. Used for wedging things open 25. *Situated on the Seine

26. Speedily 27. Kick in 29. Plant anchor 31. Yuletide 32. Oldest of three orders of classical Greek architecture 33. Twig of willow tree 34. Always demanding attention 36. Legal right to a property 38. Lives in a bog 42. It drips from a baby 45. Exhaust the supply 49. p in mph 51. *Location of “Slumdog Millionaire” 54. *Heart of U.S. rubber industry, in OH 56. Police searches 57. Indian flatbread

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58. Dame ____ Everage 59. Necessity for flying 60. Opposite of No. 73 across, pl. 61. Sailor’s call 62. Victim of nervous biter 63. Medicinal house plant 64. Abnormal body growth 67. *Populous city in Orange County, Santa ___

Solutions on Page 56


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Kids page

C M Y Time: 05-13-2009 13:37 Color: K

Maze

Connect the dots

Coloring

Word search

barn cat cow dog farmer fence hay hen horse house pasture pig rooster tractor trough turkey weathervane well wheat

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story times

Where to take your kids to listen to a good tale Buncombe County Public Libraries

For more information visit buncombecounty.org/governing/ depts/Library/default.asp Mother Goose Time (ages 4-18 months) 11 a.m. Mondays: West Asheville 10 a.m. Tuesdays: Pack Memorial (walkers) 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays: Fairview 11 a.m. Tuesdays: Pack Memorial (nonwalkers) 11 a.m. Wednesdays: Swannanoa, Weaverville (second and fourth Wednesdays) 11 a.m. Thursdays: Oakley/South Asheville Toddler Time (ages 18-36 months) 11 a.m. Tuesdays: Leicester 10 a.m. Wednesdays: North Asheville 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays: Fairview, Skyland/South Buncombe 11 a.m. Wednesdays: West Asheville 10 a.m. Thursdays: Pack Memorial 10:30 a.m. Thursdays: Black Mountain, Enka-Candler 11 a.m. Thursdays: Pack Memorial, Weaverville (second and fourth Thursdays only) Story time (ages 3-5) 11 a.m. Tuesdays: Weaverville (first and third Tuesdays) 10 a.m. Wednesdays: Oakley/South Asheville 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays: Black Mountain, Enka-Candler, Leicester

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Storyline Call 251-5437 for a story anytime. Spanish Story time West Asheville Library, 942 Haywood Road, Asheville. Free story reading in Spanish for preschool through kindergarten. Parents need to remain in the library. Call 251-4990 for more information.

Henderson County Public Library

Story time is on recess at all branches. Sessions will resume in June. For more information, visit henderson.lib.nc.us.

Barnes & Noble

PHOTO BY ERIN BRETHAUER

Patricia Glazener leads a Mother Goose story time with her faithful friend Freddy the Frog at Pack Memorial Library.

11 a.m. Wednesdays: East Asheville, North Asheville, Pack Memorial 10:30 a.m. Thursdays: Fairview, Skyland/South Buncombe 11 a.m. Thursdays: Swannanoa, W. Asheville 11 a.m. Saturdays: East Asheville School-age story time (ages 5-7) 10 a.m. Wednesdays, Pack Memorial. 3:30 p.m. Thursdays: North Asheville

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Asheville Mall, 3 S. Tunnel Road, Asheville, 296-7335 Story time: 11 a.m. Mondays and 2 p.m. Saturdays. American Girl Club: Discussion and crafts based, 4 p.m. third Saturday. Magic Tree House Club: 4 p.m. fourth Sunday with discussion and activities.

Growing Young CafĂŠ

611 Tunnel Road, East Asheville, 299-4420 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays.

Osondu Booksellers

184 N. Main St., Waynesville, 456-8062 Preschoolers story time: 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays.


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calendar of events

Things to do May 4

Food allergy group

Would you like to have COCOA — Caring for Children with food Allergies — in Asheville? A free group for parents of food allergic children is meeting at Earth Fare on Hendersonville Road in South Asheville. If you are interested, come to meetings at 6:45 p.m. the first Monday of the month or e-mail Kristie at cocoa_in_asheville@yahoo.com for details.

Starts May 4

‘Art Unleashed: Art About Animals’ exhibit

The TC Arts Council in Brevard will feature artwork about animals in many mediums in this exhibit through June 5. The gallery is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday–Friday. For more information, call 884-2787.

May 4-14

Montreat Morning School open house

Montreat Morning School welcomes parents and

children to visit preschool and pre-kindergarten classes between 9:30-11:30 a.m. Preschool classes for 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds are available. A prekindergarten class is available for 5-year-olds. Call Chris Lance at 669-7577, ext. 204, or visit montreatpres.org/mms for more information.

May 5

Montreat MOPS

Come join other moms for fun, laughter and friendship. Group meets the first Tuesday of each month, 6:30-8 p.m., fourth floor of the Henry Building at Geneva Place in Montreat. Free child care is available. Call 669-8012, ext. 4001, to reserve a spot.

Rocketry class

Hands On! A Children’s Gallery will host a rocketry class for beginners or intermediates with Dan Hoffman from 4-6 p.m. Each student will build a rocket to launch at a later date. Beginners are $15 ($12 for members); intermediate are $25 ($22 for members). Registration required. Reach For The Stars Launching competition is June 6. Hands On! is at 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. For information, visit handsonwnc.org or call 697-8333.

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May 5 and 12

Childbirth 101

A two-session class for expectant parents covering the labor and delivery process, relaxation, breathing patterns, birth options, positioning and comfort measures. Bring two pillows and a blanket. Two Tuesdays, May 5 and 12, 6:30-9 p.m. Cost is $90, or free with Medicaid. Registration required. At Pardee Health Education Center in Blue Ridge Mall, Four Seasons Boulevard, Hendersonville. Call 692-4600 for information.

Starts May 6

Empowered Birthing childbirth education classes

Four-week series of interactive classes from 6-9 p.m. Wednesdays focus on natural childbirth, positions for comfort, and hands-on massage techniques for labor. VBACs welcome. Breastfeeding and soothing a fussy baby incorporated in the class. At Women’s Wellness and Education Center, 24 Arlington St., Asheville. Cost is $175 per series. Classes taught by Laura Beagle, LMBT and Trish Beckman, CNM. For more information or to register, call 231-9227 or visit AshevilleWomensWellness.com.

SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

The East High cheerleaders in the Rocket Players Youth Theatre’s production of Disney’s “High School Musical 2,” playing at the MOPS Hayes Performing Arts Center in Blowing Mothers of Preschoolers meets at Biltmore Baptist Rock from May 7-9.

May 6 and 20

Church in Arden on the first and third Wednesday mornings of each month, 9:30-11:30. For more information, call 687-1111.

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May 7

Appalachian Antics at Oakley Library

Ever wonder what Jack did after he climbed that beanstalk? Come hear his stories, accompanied by Hannah Seng playing old time music on her fiddle and banjo. At 7 p.m. at South Asheville/ Oakley Library, 749 Fairview Road. Call 2504754 for information.

Moms with Multiples

Group for moms with multiples meets 7 p.m. the

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first Thursday of each month at the Women’s Resource Center on Doctor’s Drive, behind Mission Hospitals. Meetings are an opportunity to share experiences and offer support in a social setting. For information, call 444-AMOM or visit ashevillemom.com.

Preschool Play Date

The Health Adventure’s Preschool Play Date series provides children ages 3-6 with a unique and safe venue to play and a chance for parents, grandparents, and caregivers to socialize and bond. includes hands-on take-away activities led by an educator from the museum for children ages 3-6. Free for members or with museum admission. Runs 10:30-11:30 a.m. every first Thursday of the month. No registration in required. Call 254-6373 or visit thehealthadventure.org.

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Starts May 7

Spanish classes

Teach Spanish to children ages 3-5 by exposing them to the language sounds. Classes are offered 4:15-5 p.m. Thursdays for six weeks at the North Asheville Library. Call Mónica at 335-2021 for more information.

May 7-9

‘High School Musical 2’

Blowing Rock Stage Company’s Rocket Players Youth Theatre presents “High School Musical 2,” an energetic story of friendship, loyalty and individuality, at the Mariam and Robert Hayes Performing Arts Center, 152 Jamie Fort Road, in

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Blowing Rock. Performances are 7 p.m. May 7-8 and noon and 5 p.m. May 9. Tickets are $14 adults, $7 students, and are available by calling the box office at 295-9627 or at hayescenter.org

May 7-10

Lake Eden Arts Festival

Music festival with crafts, dancing, kids village, performances from international to local acts, and more at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain. Children 9 and younger are free. For tickets, call 68-MUSIC. For more information, visit theleaf.com.

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shopping, information on local resources and services, and more. It runs 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. at Blue Ridge Mall, Four Seasons Boulevard in Hendersonville. For more information, call 4892961 or visit inspiredproductionsinc.com.

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May 8

Grand opening

Parent’s Night Out

STJ Inflatables will host a grand opening from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. that will include free popcorn and snowcones, inflatables, a bungee trampoline, prizes and more. Cost is $3 for one trampoline jump and 30 minutes on inflatables. STJ is at 710 Tracey Grove Road, Flat Rock. For more information and to reserve a time slot, call 696-0674.

Bring the kids to Bounceville USA, at 614 Market St., Hendersonville, from 6-9 p.m. for a fun evening of bouncing while parents enjoy an evening out. Cost is $15 per child and includes pizza, drinks, a movie, crafts and games, and bouncing. Limited to 15 children. Call 696-4949 or visit bouncevilleusa.com for a reservation.

Kids Art Day

Women’s Sacred Dream Circle

Children ages 5-12 can stop by TC Arts Council in Brevard from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and create works of art to display on the arts center lawn throughout the summer. Cost is $5 per child. For reservations, call 884-2787. Visit artsofbrevard.org.

A workshop that provides a sacred space for women to come together and experience the mystery of life through the exploration of dreams. Runs 6-8:30 p.m. Facilitated by April Morgan. A $10 donation suggested but no one turned away for lack of funds. At Women’s Wellness and Education Center, 24 Arlington St., Asheville. Call Morgan for more information at 423-3370, or visit AshevilleWomensWellness.com.

May 8-10

Dog agility trial

Watch dogs jump hurdles, race through tunnels, climb over A-frames and more at the United States Dog Agility Association Dog Agility Trial at the WNC Agricultural Center’s Davis Arena. Event runs 9 a.m.-3 p.m. May 8 and 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. May 9-10. Free, and spectators are welcome. For more information, call 697-2118.

Paws in the Park

Bring your best four-legged friend to Fletcher Community Park for games, food, music, demonstrations, a blessing of the dogs and more. Enter your dog in the owner-pet look-a-like contest. Runs noon-3 p.m. for more information, visit fletcherparks.org or call 687-0751.

WNC PARENT PHOTO

Pyper Keliher, of Asheville, enjoys some corn on the cob at the Lake Eden Arts Festival. This spring’s festival is May 7-10 in Black Mountain.

May 8 and 15

Open art studio time

Roots and Wings Art Studio offers free reign of art materials with kids ages 18 months-5 from 10:30

a.m.-noon. Children and accompanying adults will have access to a variety of mediums with teacher guidance as you need it. Cost is $5 per child. At The Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village. For more information, visit gingerhuebner.com/ roots+wings.

May 9

East Asheville Library book sale The East Asheville Library will host a book sale from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the library, at 902 Tunnel Road. Call 250-4738 for information.

Erwin High’s Miles for Mom races

Erwin High School hosts its second-annual Miles for Mom Cross-Country 5K and one-mile Fun Run at 9 a.m. at the school. All proceeds benefit student athletes. For more information, visit buncombe.k12.nc.us/caehs/ or e-mail Drew Shelfer at james.shelfer@bcsemail.org.

Family Fest

A festival for families including games, demos,

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Whole Bloomin’ Thing spring festival

Held in Waynesville’s historic Frog Level area, the seventh-annual all-day event features local growers, area artisans and an array of nature-related professionals. The festival ushers in the growing season and boasts a grand array of garden starts and Mother’s Day gifts. Music, demonstrations and kids’ activities runs 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Fun for the entire family and free to the public.

World War II party

Smith-McDowell House Museum hosts a World War II Party for boys and girls 7 and older. Dress code is casual dressy. The program will feature a hands-on program dealing with rationing. Children will be challenged to create a week’s worth of menus based on rationing stamps and ration points. The party will feature a menu of typical 1940s foods and “ration-friendly” recipes. Children will make a craft that is representative of the make-do mentality of the period. Two-hour party starts at 11 a.m. A 3 p.m. program will be added if first program sells out. Cost $25 for an adult and $20 for children ages 7-12. All children must be accompanied by an adult. For reservations, call 253-9231. Smith-McDowell House is at 283 Victoria Road on the campus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.


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May 9 and 23

Creativity day camps

A full-day camp designed to inspire children’s unique creative expression at The Rainbow Well. Includes rotating musicians and artists, art direction, child expertise, Creativity Camper Assessment (for parents) and more. For information, visit therainbowwell.com or call 505-0383.

May 10

Mother’s Day

May 11

Chimney Rock Park home-school program

There is no better way to learn about nature’s reawakening than to get out into it. Bring your family and friends for a stroll into the sensation of spring. Cost is $12 per student, $11.50 for parents (passholders are $7 for students and free for parents). Call 800-277-9611 to register.

‘Job Searching Strategies for Tough Times’

Ellen Westbrook, coordinator of Mountain Area JobLink, will discuss job searching strategies at 7 p.m. at the Black Mountain Library Education Room. Free and open to the public. The library is at 105 Dougherty St. Call 250-4756 for information.

La Leche League Monday mornings

La Leche League’s Monday group meets at 10 a.m. the second Monday of the month at First Congregational Church on Oak Street. Pregnant

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moms, babies and toddlers are welcome. For information, contact a leader: Susan 628-4438, Falan, 253-2098, or Tamara 505-1379.

May 11-15

‘Llama, Llama Red Pajama’

The Penguin Players of the Dollywood Foundation Imagination Library return to Buncombe County Public Libraries to delight audiences with a dramatic adaptation of the popular children’s book by Anna Dewdney, “Llama, Llama Red Pajama.” Hear the story of Baby Llama who’s been tucked in and is wondering where his Mama Llama is with his bedtime drink of water. With costumes and original music written by Dolly Parton, this production is for all ages. Free and open to the public. Branch library performances are as follows: ◆ May 11: 11 a.m., Fairview; 6:30 p.m., Pack Memorial. ◆ May 12: 11 a.m., Enka; 6:30 p.m., Weaverville. ◆ May 13: 10:30 a.m., Leicester; 3 p.m., Oakley/ South Asheville. ◆ May 14: 10:30 a.m., Skyland/South Buncombe; 3 p.m., East Asheville; 6:30 p.m., North Asheville Library. ◆ May 15: 11 a.m., West Asheville; 3:30 p.m., Black Mountain.

May 12

‘Help! The Grandkids are Coming’

Historic Johnson Farm presents a workshop with creative ideas on spending time with your grandchildren, starting at 1 p.m. Cost is $4. The farm is at 3346 Haywood Road, Hendersonville. Call 891-6585 or visit historicjohnsonfarm.org for information.

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child care will be provided. Contact Beth at 388-3598 for more information and directions.

May 13

Holistic Parenting Forum

The Holistic Parenting Forum is a free group that meets monthly to provide an opportunity for a diverse community of parents committed to natural living to gather. The group provides support, education and resources. All meetings take place on the second Wednesday of every month at Earth Fare in West Asheville at 6 p.m. Children are welcome. For more information, call 2304850 or e-mail shantisunshine@gmail.com

Origami Folding Frenzy

Learn new folds, share favorites, and meet fellow origami enthusiasts. All levels welcome. Paper is available at the museum store or bring your own. Admission fees apply. From 4-5 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month at The Health Adventure in Pack Place. For information, call 254-6373 or visit thehealthadventure.org.

Skyland Library knitting group

Skyland Library is starting a knitting/crocheting group. Bring your yarn and needles. First meeting is 6-8 p.m. All skill levels are welcome. The library is at 260 Overlook Road. Call 250-6488 for information.

May 14

Container gardening workshop

Swannanoa Library hosts a free program about gardening in pots at 6 p.m. The library is at 101 W. Charleston St. Call 250-6486 for information.

Knitty Gritty Night

A casual knitting group for knitters of all skill levels at the East Asheville Library meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Thursday of the month. Call the library at 250-4738 or e-mail eastasheville.library@buncombecounty.org for more information. The library is at 902 Tunnel Road.

Team E.C.C.O. open house

Team E.C.C.O. Ed-venture Center hosts an open house from 4-6:30 p.m. to let local teachers, home school instructors and interested educational staff meet us and learn what outreach and in-center learning experiences the organization offers. The center is at 318 N. Main St., Suite 2, Hendersonville. Visit team-ecco.com or call 692-3549.

May 14-16

‘Seussical Jr.’

Asheville Catholic School’s Drama Program presents the musical “Seussical Jr.” at 7 p.m. in the gymnasium. Come join the Cat and the Hat, Jo Jo, Horton, and other well-loved Dr. Seuss characters for a fun and entertaining evening. Tickets are $7 and are available at the school, at 12 Culvern St. in Asheville. Call 252-7896 for more information.

May 16

Bargain book sale

The Friends of the Fairview Library will host a bargain book sale from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Many

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Hendersonville Christian open house

Hendersonville Christian School will host an open house for all interested families with students entering pre-kindergarten through 12th grades at 6:30 p.m. Information about Super Summer Camp, which will be held weekly from June 1-Aug. 14 for children ages 5-13, will also be available. The school is at 708 Old Spartanburg Highway in Hendersonville. For information, call 692-0556.

Mom2Mom group

St. Paul’s Church’s Mom2Mom group, a monthly group serving moms of any age children, meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month at Rosscraggon Business Park, 32 Rosscraggon Road, Building B, Skyland. Refreshments and

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calendar of events Continued from Page 51 categories of books will be available: adult, children’s, hardback and paperback. All proceeds will benefit the library. For more information, call 250-6484 or e-mail fairview.library@buncombecounty.org. The library is at 1 Taylor Road.

Black Mountain Garden Show and Sale

The fourth-annual Black Mountain Garden Show and Sale will offer plants, trees, a silent auction and free workshops, including some for children. Runs 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sutton Avenue (across from the old train depot).

Lure of the Dragons boat racing

Lake Lure’s second-annual Lure of the Dragons race and festival combines fun festivities with team-building and exciting competition. With drums pounding out stroke cadence, teams will paddle 250 yards down the Rocky Broad River in 30-foot long dragon boats, all dressed out in dragon heads, tails and scales, in the name of fundraising for kids. KidSenses Children’s Interactive Museum in Rutherfordton will run the children’s activity area. Opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m. For more information, visit lureofthedragons.org or kidsenses.com.

Level One Open Heart Workshop

This one-day workshop is designed to help you feel the beauty of the blessings of your heart. Exercises will help you reduce the domination of your brain while strengthening your heart connection, bringing joy, peace and calm into your life. Learn to actively use your heart in prayer and in living your life. Runs 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Women’s Wellness and Education Center, 24 Arlington St., Asheville. For information or to register, call Bob at 645-5950 or visit ashevillewomenswellness.com.

Paper airplane making

Join Osondu Booksellers’ Scott Osondu in making paper airplanes at 3 p.m. Children ages 4-11 are welcome. Each child must have an adult helper attend, too. Refreshments and take-home crafts provided. Cost is $5 per child. Paper airplane books will be 15 percent off. The bookstore is at 184 N. Main St., Waynesville. For information, visit osondubooksellers.com or call 456-8062.

Retro Run and Family Fitness Festival

The Retro Run four-mile race and Family Fitness festival one-mile Fun Run will be at Fletcher Community Park on the walking trails and greenway. Retro Run starts at 8:15 a.m., Fun Run at 9:15. For more information or to request an entry form, call Greg Walker at 687-0751 or e-mail g.walker@fletchernc.org.

The Health Adventure’s Super Science Saturday

At “Surprise Science,” participate in a neat interactive activity that is well… a surprise. Runs noon-2 p.m. For information, call Jen Sump at 254-6373, ext. 327, or visit thehealthadventure.org.

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May 16-17

Tot Exchange sale

Buy and sell new and gently loved tot/children’s items, including clothes, shoes, toys, walkers, high chairs, strollers and more. Sale runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 16 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. May 17 at Crowne Plaza Resort in West Asheville. For details, including how to volunteer, visit totexchange.com.

May 16 and 30

Love and Logic workshop

This two-part workshop will use hands-on learning to help parents and caregivers gain practical skills in the Love and Logic method. Learn to show love in a healthy way and establish effective control. Kids will win by learning responsibility and developing coping skills for the real world thru solving their own problems. Runs 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. over two Saturdays. Cost is $60 for one person or $100 for two people, plus $9 fee for workbook. At The New Classical Academy in Weaverville. For more information, visit raisingresponsiblekids.com or contact Beth Hockman at raisingresponsiblekids1@gmail.com or 299-9844.

May 18

La Leche League Monday evenings

La Leche League meets at 7 p.m. the third Monday of the month at Awakening Heart on Merrimon Avenue. Pregnant moms, babies and toddlers welcome. For information, contact a leader: Jen at 713-3707 or Yvette at 254-5591.

Mommy and Me luncheon

The Baby Place at Park Ridge Hospital in Hendersonville welcomes new moms to its Mommy and Me luncheon, noon-1 p.m. the third Monday of each month. Bring your new baby, visit with other new moms and enjoy a short speaker. This luncheon is in the hospital’s Private Dining Room, ground floor by the café, and will take place on the third Monday of each month. Please call 681-2229 to RSVP.

May 19

Breast-feeding class

Learn the art of breast-feeding. Class covers breast-feeding basics to help give moms a good start. From 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Pardee Health Education Center in Blue Ridge Mall, Four Seasons Boulevard, Hendersonville. Call 692-4600. Class is free; registration is not required.

May 20

‘Open Wide’ dental health puppet show

Smart Start’s Preschool Dental Program, Open Wide, promotes healthy teeth among preschool children. Interactive puppets and songs will teach the kids about the importance of dental hygiene, and a registered dental hygienist will be available to check teeth and answer questions. This free program is at 10:30 a.m. at Enka-Candler Library, 1401 Sandhill Road. Call 250-4758.


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May 21

Colburn home-school program

The Colburn Earth Science Museum at Pack Place is offering a trip to Grove Stone Quarry with a focus on stream ecology for May’s home-school program for children in first to third grades. Class runs 10-11:30 a.m. Minimum class size is six students. Cost is $5.50 per child per class, and prepayment is required. To register or for information, call 254-7162.

May 23

Blue Ridge Parkway family event

Kids in Parks, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area are hosting a day of outdoor family fun, starting at 10:30 a.m. Come for music, dancing and hands-on activities. A guided discovery walk that uncovers medicinal and edible plants along a loop trail begins at 1 p.m. At the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center, Milepost 384 on the parkway.

KidSenses’ Super Science Saturday

Explore the world of creepy, crawly insects at KidSenses Children’s Interactive Museum in Rutherfordton. Bug hunt at noon, story time at 1 p.m. and bug craft at 2 p.m. The museum is at 172 N. Main St., Rutherfordton. For information, visit kidsenses.com or call 286-2120.

Teddy Bear Tea Party

Bring your favorite bear to Historic Johnson Farm’s Teddy Bear Tea Party. Enjoy songs, snacks, stories

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and more. Cost is $5 for adults; kids are free. Runs 10-11:30 a.m. The farm is at 3346 Haywood Road, Hendersonville. Call 891-6585 or visit historicjohnsonfarm.org for information.

For details, visit whitesquirrelfestival.com.

Friends of the Weaverville Library will host a used book sale from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Books will be priced from 50 cents to $5. For more information, call 250-6482 or e-mail weaverville.library@buncombecounty.org. The library is at 41 N. Main St., Weaverville.

BirthNetwork of WNC is a nonprofit, grass-roots movement based on the belief that birth can profoundly affect physical, mental and spiritual well-being. The group meets 7-8 p.m. the fourth Tuesday at the Pardee Health Education Center in Blue Ridge Mall, 1800 Four Seasons Blvd, Hendersonville. For information, e-mail birthnetworkofwnc@gmail.com or visit birthnetwork.org.

Used book sale

Waynesville Block Party

Downtown Waynesville comes alive from 7-10 p.m. with dancing in the street, live bands, children’s area hosted by Fun Things Etc., food and more. On Main Street.

Youth Makes Music IV concert

The Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra will perform Youth Makes Music IV at 7:30 p.m. in the new Blue Ridge Conference Hall on the campus of Blue Ridge Community College. The concert features Luke Blackburn, bassoonist, winner of the orchestra’s 2009 Young Artist Competition, and members of the Hendersonville Youth Symphony Orchestra performing side-by-side with their adult counterparts. Tickets are $25, $5 for students, and are available at several outlets in Hendersonville. Call 697-5884 or visit hendersonvillesymphony.org

May 23-24

White Squirrel Festival

The sixth-annual White Squirrel Festival in downtown Brevard will include the Squirrel Box Derby, children’s activities, 5K and 10K races and more.

May 26

BirthNetwork of WNC

Pardee parenting classes

Classes at Pardee Health Education Center in Blue Ridge Mall, Four Seasons Boulevard, Hendersonville. Call 692-4600 for information. Classes are free. Registration is not required. Infant care class: Learn the basics of infant care, 6:30-8 p.m. Prime-time with a pediatrician: Learn from a local pediatrician what to expect with a newborn in your home, 8-9 p.m.

May 27

Breast-feeding and Calming a Fussy Baby class

An interactive class that teaches tips and tricks to feed and soothe your baby. Don’t just prepare for labor — prepare for a newborn. Class runs 6-9 p.m. and is taught by Holly Mason, RN, at the Women’s Wellness and Education Center, 24 Arlington St., Asheville. Cost is $25. For information or registration, call 250-0226.

WNC PARENT PHOTO

With help from his father, Dalton Rametta prepares to race down the hill during the Squirrel Box Derby at the White Squirrel Festival in downtown Brevard. This year’s festival is May 23-24.

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getting dressed and dressing up at 1 p.m. No registration required. Free. For ages 3-6 only. At Spellbound Children’s Bookshop, 19 Wall St. For information, call 232-2228.

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May 29

June 1

Women’s Wellness Education Center presents a free screening at 7 p.m. of the film “The Business of Being Born,” a documentary about birth in America, produced by talk show host Ricki Lake after her planned homebirth. Kids welcome; snacks provided. At 24 Arlington St., Asheville. For information, visit AshevilleWomensWellness.com.

Would you like to have COCOA — Caring for Children with food Allergies — in Asheville? A free group for parents of food allergic children is meeting at Earth Fare on Hendersonville Road in South Asheville. If you are interested, come to meetings at 6:45 p.m. the first Monday of the month or e-mail Kristie at cocoa_in_asheville@yahoo.com for details.

‘The Business of Being Born’

Food allergy group

Keowee for Kids! community chamber music

Starts June 1

Join flutist Kate Steinbeck and guitarist Amy Brucksch of Keowee Chamber Music as they play music from around the world especially for children at Pack Memorial Library. Shows are at 3:30 and 5 p.m. in Lord Auditorium. Free and open to the public. The library is at 67 Haywood St., Asheville. Call 250-4700 for information.

May 29-31

Dog agility trial

See what dogs can do at the AKC Dog Agility Trial at WNC Agricultural Center, sponsored by Asheville Kennel Club. Judging begins at 8 a.m. For more information, call 687-1414 or 251-1114

Mountain Sports Festival

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Hendersonville Christian School Super Summer Camp

Hendersonville Christian School will offer weekly sessions of camp for children ages 5-13. For more information, visit the school’s open house on May 12 or call 692-0556. The school is at 708 Old Spartanburg Highway in Hendersonville. PHOTO BY JOHN FLETCHER

June 2

Amboy Road in Asheville. Kids Stampede 1K Fun Run is 8:15 May 30 at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. For details, visit mountainsportsfestival.com.

Come join other moms for fun, laughter and friendship. Group meets the first Tuesday of each month, 6:30-8 p.m., fourth floor of the Henry Building at Geneva Place in Montreat. Free child care is available. Call 669-8012, ext. 4001, to reserve a spot.

Malia Hammons runs during the Iron Kids Challenge at the Mountain Sports Festival. This year’s event is May 29-31.

May 31

Story time

A story time featuring stories and activities about

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Opens June 5

‘Arthur’ at The Health Adventure

An exhibit based on Marc Brown’s popular books and the Emmy Award-winning PBS show. A series of imaginative environments invite kids to join Arthur and his friends in the Library, at a Backyard Sleepover, in the Read Family Kitchen and in Mr. Ratburn’s Classroom. Arthur promotes reading, handling emotions that kids face every day, creative problem solving, being a good friend, connecting to your family, appreciating what makes us all different and having fun. At The Health Adventure, 2 S. Pack Place, Asheville. For more information, visit thehealthadventure.org or call 254-6373.

June 5

Parents night out

Malvern Hills Presbyterian Church offers a parents night out, 6-8 p.m. the first Friday of the month. Open to community children, ages 2-11. Pizza dinner included. MHPC also offers a program for community youths ages 10 and older that runs consecutively with the Parents Night Out program. Donations accepted, but not required. For more information, call the Rev. Sean Maney at 2428402 or visit malvernhillspca.com.

June 5-14

Thomas the Tank Engine at Tweetsie Railroad

Take a 25-minute ride on Thomas the Tank Engine, meet Sir Topham Hatt and enjoy storytelling, live music, games and more. Tickets are $22 for ages 3-12, $30 for adults. Ages 2 and younger are free. Visit tweetsierailroad.com for tickets and more information.

June 6

Clay Day and Guild Fair

Clay Day has been a favorite event at the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Folk Art Center for more than 20 years. Select craftspeople will set up booths with original works for sale including pottery, jewelry, glass, wood, metal and fiber. Runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Folk Art Center, Milepost 382 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visit craftguild.org.

Garden Science Investigation

Explore the streams at the Botanical Gardens of Asheville for water quality, ph, oxygen levels and ability to support living organisms. Program is for children ages 5-11 and runs 9:30-11:30 a.m. Participants should wear the appropriate clothing and footwear for wading in the water. Cost is $7 per child. For information and to register, call 252-5190 or visit ashevillebotanicalgardens.org. At 151 W.T. Weaver Blvd., Asheville.

June 7

Children’s Health and Harmony Festival

Celebrate everything good for children. Enjoy a performance by Billy Jonas, participate in the Asheville Family Olympics, visit more than 70 booths and activity areas. From 11 a.m.-7 p.m., the festival is a day full of fun while educating, empowering and enlightening families. At Martin Luther King Jr. Park, off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Asheville. For more information, call 252-8149 or visit namasteasheville.com.

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Starts June 11

Woodsy Owl’s Curiosity Club

The Cradle of Forestry offers a weekly summer nature program in which kids help Woodsy Owl in his conservation mission to “lend a hand, care for the land!” The program is for children ages 4-7 with a variety of outdoor-oriented activities that will explore a forest-related theme. Meets 10:30 a.m.-noon Thursdays through Aug. 6, rain or shine. Closed-toe shoes recommended. Cost is $4 per child per program. Accompanying adults receive half-price admission ($2.50). Reservations requested. Call 877-3130 or visit cradleofforestry.com for information.

Starts June 15

Acceleration Sports Institute’s summer camps

Acceleration Sports Institute will offer half-day summer camps weekly for children ages 4-9 from June 15-Aug. 17. Camps will have a weekly theme, daily snacks and a lot of active programs. Camps run 8 a.m.-noon, with 7:30 a.m. early arrival available. Call Acceleration Sports Institute, which is at 14 Legend Drive, Arden, at 687-7999 for information or to register.

Starts June 22

Team E.C.C.O. camps

Team E.C.C.O. Ed-venture Center offers weeklong Summer Splash camps, with themes like Shark Week, Reef Time and more. Learn about aquatic life, art and science. Ages vary by week but camps start as young as age 7. Prices start at $55 per session. For more information, visit team-ecco.com or call 692-3549.

June 22-26

Hands-On History camp

Smith-McDowell House Museum offers the first of two Hands-On History camps. This week offers themes including Victorian Life, the Civil War, Pioneer Schools, Appalachian Heritage and Art History. Camp runs 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Campers will become history detectives, dig like an archaeologist, make heritage crafts, go on an architectural treasure hunt, and play historic games as they learn about a variety of historical themes. Space is limited and registration is required. Cost is $100 for museum members and $120 for nonmembers. Contact the museum at 253-9231 or education@wnchistory.org for information or for a registration form.

Ongoing

Asheville Youth Cycling

Asheville Youth Cycling practices from 4:30-6 p.m. Thursdays at Carrier Park in Asheville. The group teaches cycling and racing basics and has a fleet of loaner fixed-gear bikes for kids to ride. For more information, contact Lesli Meadows at lesli@velosportsperformancecenter.com.

Preschool classes

Merrimon Avenue Baptist Church Preschool is now accepting enrollment for preschool classes for children ages 1 to pre-kindergarten. Classes are 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays. Cost is $15/day. A structured pre-kindergarten class focusing on kindergarten readiness is available. Call Sara Calloway at 252-2768, ext. 315, or e-mail scalloway@mabaptist.org for information.

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Product: ASH_Parent PubDate: 05-04-2009 Zone: Main

Edition: First Page: parent_56 User: swasiele Time: 05-15-2009

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