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contents This month’s features 3

Get artsy

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When my twins were 4, I decided to enroll them in dance class. They started with ballet and then added tap and jazz classes. I thought all was going well. And then five years later, they decided dancing wasn’t for them. I was completely disappointed. I had enjoyed the costumes, recitals and the friends we had made, and inside myself, I wanted to make them stick with it. I came up with many reasons that they should; however, I knew it would never turn out right, as the dancing would be for me, not them. My girls eventually tried gymnastics, flute lessons, piano lessons and tennis before landing on horse riding. The equestrian lessons were the ultimate fit. Sometimes, when strengths or interests aren’t completely obvious, trial and error is the only way. As parents, it’s important not to get discouraged and not to let our children be discouraged, either. This issue offers ideas on ways to get your children to engage in the arts, as well as some educational choices and tips. We hope it helps you and your child find your “best fit.”

Asheville is bursting with choices when it comes to schools that teach the arts.

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The art of lessons

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Beyond public schools

Before you sign up, consult our tips on finding the best lessons for your child. Alternatives abound for parents looking to educate their children outside the public school system.

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10 art kits There’s no need to leave the house to get crafty — try these sets.

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Dinner in a pot

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Eat well and cheap

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Values education

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Nancy Sluder Editor

Grab your slow cooker and try one of these recipes. Nutrition doesn’t need to be sacrificed when you’re on a tight budget. Programs in schools work on building good character traits in children.

Month of holidays Find a holiday to celebrate each day of January.

Finding the best fit sometimes takes time

30 Hugging help Hospitals enlist volunteers to cradle sick babies to help in their recovery.

42 Let’s have brunch

P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802 828-232-5845 I www.wncmom.com

Brunch is a fun and easy way to entertain.

PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER Randy Hammer WNC PARENT EDITOR Nancy Sluder nsluder@citizen-times.com

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

On the cover

SPECIALTY PUBLICATIONS EDITOR Polly McDaniel pmcdaniel@citizen-times.com

Gayle Smith - 232-5886 gjsmith@ashevill.gannett.com

Kids Voices .......................................................19 Show and Tell ...................................................23 WNCmom.com page ......................................24-25 Divorced Families by Trip Woodard.........................29 Growing Together by Chris Worthy .........................33 Librarian’s Picks by Jennifer Prince .......................33 Parenting in a Nutshell .......................................34 Crafts .............................................................35 Story times ......................................................38 Quick Dinners...............................................40-41 Puzzles .......................................................43-44 Calendar .....................................................45-51

Photo by Katy Cook Photography.

STAFF WRITER Barbara Blake bblake@citizen-times.com

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In every issue

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

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR submit in writing via P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802 CALENDAR CONTENT submit in writing via P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802 or e-mail calendar@wncparent.com SUBMISSION DEADLINES advertising deadline for the February 2009 issue is Jan. 19 calendar items are due by Jan. 20


Cultivating young talent Area offers several options for educating children in visual arts By Barbara Blake Staff writer If your child shows a gift for drawing, painting, sculpting or other visual arts, there are several options available in Asheville to help cultivate his or her talents. Here’s a sampling.

Asheville Art Museum The museum in Pack Place in downtown Asheville offers programs for home-school students, holiday and summer art camps, after-school classes, family art parties and more for budding artists. The after-school art class for students in fourth through eighth grades, Everyone Can Draw, begins Jan. 27, meeting from 4-5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through March 3. The spring session runs March 17-April 28. Cost is $60 per six-week session. The after-school art class for students in high school, Create a Bound Book, begins Feb. 26 and continues through April 2, meeting from 4-5:30 p.m. Thursdays. Cost is $75 for the six-week session. For more, visit ashevilleart.org, or call the education department at 253-3227, ext. 121 or 122.

Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts Clay classes for students of all ages are offered at the Odyssey Center at 238 Clingman Ave. in the River Arts District. The 2009 Winter Kids Session begins Jan. 13, with classes for children ages 6-12. Cost for each six-week class is $95. Make it, Bake it, Take it! will be 4-6 p.m. Tuesdays. Children will work with slabs, giant coils and molds, with lots of time on the potter’s wheel. Cost is $95. Amazing Animals will be 4-6 p.m. Wednesdays. Explore and learn about clay while using animals as their inspiration, making animal pinch pots, piggy banks and imaginary creatures. Throw a Watery World will be 4-6 p.m. Thursdays. Half of the class time will be spent on the pottery wheel and half building things by hand. The final project is the lush water scene students will create with broken colored glass, a wetland with creatures on a wheel-thrown plate of their own. For more, contact the center at 285-0210 or visit highwaterclays.com.

The Art Atelier Home-schooled students ages 9-18 can take classes in drawing and painting fundamentals at The Art Atelier, 349 Vanderbilt Road, Biltmore Forest. Students will progress through pencil, pen-andink, watercolor and oil painting techniques through individual exercises, and will learn to see through a

PHOTOS SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Jeffery Short enjoys an art camp at Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts.

Costanza Knight Costanza Knight offers classes for children and adults in her studio at The Arts Council of Henderson County at 538-A N. Main St., Hendersonville. Knight creates watermedia and mixed-media paintings, drawings and prints focusing primarily on the human form and the landscape. For more, visit costanzaknight.com, e-mail knight color@gmail.com, or call 243-0084.

Richmond’s Studio Students at an Asheville Art Museum art camp practice their cartooning skills. classical foundation of drawing. Students ages 9-16 share classroom space but gather in age appropriate groups for the studio experience. Each child is taught individually and advances at his or her own pace. For a class schedule and other information, visit theartatelier.com or call 645-5101.

Local contemporary artists offer classes for children in grades K-12 at Richmond’s Studio in the Phil Mechanic Building in the River Arts District, founded by artist and art teacher Richmond Smith. Classes are offered in drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture. Classes are offered for homeschooled students and in after-school classes. There also is a summer art camp. For class schedules, fees and information, visit richmonds-studio.com, or call 255-0066.

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The art of choosing lessons By Pam J. Hecht WNC Parent contributor When it comes to choosing extracurricular instruction for your budding dancer, rock star, artist or drama queen, there are several factors to consider and it pays to do a little homework before you decide.

Follow your child’s lead First, determine whether or not it’s the best time to start. “Look for signs of interest,” says Chris Lynn, executive director of the Asheville Arts Center, which offers children’s classes in dance, music and theater. “Do they observe colors in a painting, move to music or act out stories?” says Lynn, who also teaches drama at the school. A hip-hop class for her 6-year-old son was an easy choice for Amy Milne, an Asheville parent of two. She says he would see it on TV, dance along and make up his own moves. For music lessons, consider the maturity of the child, says Paul Thorpe, director of the Asheville Music School. “Can your child sit and focus on something for 15 or 20 minutes — if they can’t, they’ll have a hard time at a lesson,” says Thorpe, who also teaches piano at the school. Arm length, finger size and physical makeup also help determine which instrument the child is ready for, he adds. Children as young as 3 can play the violin, says Holly Thistle, a professional violinist and private Suzuki violin teacher. Other instruments, like the clarinet, are better for older kids. Jeryl Sloan, of Asheville, a flutist whose three kids each take private music lessons, adds that “children must have the maturity to understand that they can’t do it quickly — it’s a challenging process and they must be willing to practice.” For a visual arts class, children are ready “when they can focus for longer periods of time and want to try different media,” says Mary Ann Athens, art instructor at Claxton Elementary School in Asheville. And if necessary, “work with your child on basic skills like cutting, gluing and holding a pencil before you sign them up for a class — your child will be more confident and successful.”

PHOTO BY JOHN COUTLAKIS

When Sloan was hunting for music lessons, she says she talked to parents she knew whose kids were good musicians, then met with the teachers to see if their personalities were compatible with her kids. “Feedback from other parents is your best re-

Mia Richardson, 11, of Asheville, takes lessons from Mary Jo Finsterwalder at Asheville Music School on Charlotte Street. competitions or performances, others aren’t. source,” says Abbie Richardson, whose 11-year-old You may want to choose a group music class for daughter takes piano, voice and dance lessons. a self-motivated, independent child or a private After getting some recommendations, observe a lesson for a shy child who needs more encourageclass and if possible, attend a recital, she adds. ment, says Robin H. Smathers, music teacher for Call a nearby music store — most either offer Weaverville Primary and Elementary schools. lessons onsite or can give you names of good inIn dance, group lessons are important because structors. Ask your school’s music or art teacher for students learn from and encourage each other, says recommendations or call places like the Asheville Symphony or the art, drama or music department of Dunn. Private lessons make sense for those who need extra help with a particular skill. a local university for referrals. For a visual arts class, look for a teacher who “nurtures creativity by encouraging children to set Find the best fit their own goals,” says Susan Striker, an expert in children’s art education and author of several art “Follow your gut — see if it feels right,” says books for children, parents and art educators. Thorpe. “Does the teacher seem to like teaching “Teachers should provide materials and show kids and have a teaching style or personality that works how to use them — if the teacher is telling them for your child?” what to make and how to make it, run for the hills.” Two obvious teacher traits to look for: They should be experts at what they do and love chilIs it time to quit? dren, says Ann Dunn, owner/director of the Asheville Academy of Ballet and Contemporary Dance When Richardson’s daughter began piano lesand artistic director for the Asheville Ballet. sons at 8, she wasn’t enjoying it and it took her Decide what the goals are for your child and find awhile to explain she didn’t like learning the notes. a school or teacher that can help meet them, says “I was worried when she quit because I felt that Jenny Bunn, program director for Asheville Comin her heart she loved music,” Richardson says. munity Theatre, which offers drama classes for Eventually, she found a different teacher who also kids. For example, some classes are geared toward focused on playing by ear.

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Explore the options


“She missed a year of music, but it was a chance to step back and see what was really important to her.” If a child wants to quit, try to iden-

tify the specific reason, Lynn says. Discuss it with your child and the teacher. Perhaps the lessons aren’t challenging or the child is struggling.

A SAMPLING OF SCHOOLS OFFERING LESSONS ◆ Asheville Arts Center, North: 308 Merrimon ◆ Miss Kellie’s Dance Studio, 3724 Sweeten Ave.; South: 9 Summit Ave., Asheville, 2534000 ◆ Asheville Center of Performing Arts, 193 Charlotte St., Asheville, 258-3377 ◆ Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 225 W. State St., Black Mountain, 669-0930 ◆ Asheville Music and Art, 697-C Haywood Road, West Asheville, 258-0721 ◆ Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St., Asheville, 254-2939 ◆ New Studio of Dance, 20 Commerce St., Asheville, 254-2621 ◆ Asheville Academy of Ballet & Contemporary Dance, 4 Lynwood Road, Asheville, 2581028 ◆ Center Stage Dance Studio, 38 Rosscraggon Road, Asheville, 654-7010 ◆ Idea Factory Inc. Dance Studio, 1216 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, 277-4010 ◆ Asheville Dance Theater, 802 Fairview Road, 298-0258 ◆ Dance Spirations Performing Arts Center, 2358 U.S. 70, Swannanoa, 686-5500 ◆ Dimensions Studio, 7401 N.C. 213, Mars Hill, 689-5267

Creek Road, Arden, 684-7999 ◆ Southside Dance, 3445 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, 684-2118 ◆ Weaverville Dance Academy, 76 Garrison Branch Road, Weaverville, 658-2522 ◆ The Rainbow Well Children’s Art Studio, 26 Howland Road, Asheville, 505-0383 ◆ Asheville Art Museum, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville, 253-3227 ◆ Odyssey Center for Arts, 236 Clingman Ave., West Asheville, 285-0210 ◆ Richmond’s Studio at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., Asheville, 255-0066 ◆ Asheville Music School, 250 Charlotte St., Asheville, 252-6244 ◆ Musician’s Workshop, 319 Merrimon Ave., Asheville, 252-1249. ◆ Acoustic Corner, 105-F Montreat Road, Black Mountain, 669-5162 ◆ Blue Ridge Music, 828 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, 277-5588 ◆ Music City, 1408C Patton Ave., Asheville, 253-8735 ◆ Skinny Beats Drum Shop & Gallery, 4 Eagle St., Asheville, 768-2826

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Beyond public education Children find their niche in charter, private, home schools By Barbara Blake Staff Writer Traditional public schools are a great fit for many children, but other families seek out alternative ways to educate their kids. The Asheville area has a plethora of offerings to meet any student’s need, from private or religion-based schools to public charter schools to homeschooling. While the downside of a private school is cost — ranging from $3,000 to $9,000 or more per year in this area — as opposed to a free public education, champions of private schools, both religion-based and not, say the expense is worth the educational experience.

PHOTOS SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Evergreen Community Charter School teacher Stuart Miles creates an outdoor classroom at Cane River Gap, where he teaches his students about the local environment as part of the eighth-grade Southern Appalachian expedition.

OPEN HOUSES Some schools offer open houses in the winter. Check the WNC Parent calendar on Pages 45-51 for several listings.

Private alternative schools One of the region’s enduring private institutions is Rainbow Mountain Children’s School in West Asheville, founded 32 years ago as a holistic school grounded in the best practices of Waldorf, Montessori and the Multiple Intelligence approach created by Harvard’s Howard Gardener. “Ultimately, our program is designed to raise well-educated children who are destined for a life of purpose,” said Renee Owen, executive director of the school, which has 138 students in preschool through eighth grade. “We believe that education has the power to transform an entire culture, and we are preparing children to be the new pioneers of the 21st century, the generation that will build a sustainable, compassionate future,” Owen said. Kelly Homolka, director of the New Classical Academy in north Buncombe County, said children thrive in

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are removed from the picture, kids can just be kids — learning, living and growing in a village-like environment where their individuality shines,” she said. “At our school, every adult knows every child, and every child knows everyone by name. The older kids mentor the younger kids, and the younger kids look up to the teens and look forward to the day when they get to be in middle school.”

Religion-based schools Students at Asheville Christian Academy work side by side on classroom lessons.

a small, nurturing environment with individualized work and personal attention. “We combine high academic expectations with lots of time for creativity

and fun, which allows all of our students to realize their own potential,” she said of the school, which has 70 students in grades K-11. “When peer pressure and bullying

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“Our core mission is to glorify God by partnering with Christian parents to provide their children with an excellent education distinguished by a biblical perspective, resulting in a

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thoroughly biblical world and life view,” said William George, head of school at Asheville Christian Academy in Swannanoa, which has nearly 600 students in grades K-12. Through its full liberal arts curricular and co-curricular program, ACA’s purpose is to “promote the lordship of Christ over all areas of the academic, athletic and artistic education of each student,” George said. The school offers standard, honors and Advanced Placement classes in a rigorous college-bound course of study that meets or exceeds the entrance requirements of colleges and universities nationwide, he said. “But valuing the development of the whole child, ACA is investing in students’ lives far beyond their college acceptances,” George said. “We are investing for eternity.” Judy Duncan, head of recruitment for the Maccabi Academy, the region’s only Jewish day school, said Maccabi’s focus combines academics, a solid Jewish identity and a lifelong love of learning. “Our emphasis on Jewish education, including immersion in the Hebrew language during Judaic studies, is a defining asset to many parents,” Duncan said. “A Jewish day school serves as a gateway that brings children in contact with their Jewish community for the first time, and this connection with peers and families of the same religion at a young age builds a strong foundation that endures long after graduation.” Maccabi third-grader Zeke Goldstein is more about living in the moment. “I think Maccabi is a really good school because you get to do math, science, art and Hebrew,” he said. “It makes it fun to learn new stuff.”

A SAMPLING OF PRIVATE, INDEPENDENT AND RELIGION-BASED SCHOOLS IN THE ASHEVILLE AREA

Jenna Goforth, a student at Evergreen Community Charter School, writes about Earth Day in her journal.

“Ultimately, our program is designed to raise well-educated children who are destined for a life of purpose.” RENEE OWEN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF RAINBOW MOUNTAIN CHILDREN’S SCHOOL

in kindergarten through eighth grades, said the three charter schools “have different niches and attract different types of students.” ArtSpace incorporates the arts into its curriculum; Francine Delany focuses on academic development and social justice; and Evergreen focuses on experiential learning, environmental stewardship and service learning. “The Evergreen experience is based on certain ideas about what is Charter schools important for success in life, such as responsibility, resourcefulness, reCharter schools are tuition-free public schools with the same state and spect for others, tenacity and teamwork,” Ashton said. “Our mission federal testing and teacher certification requirements, but they have more declares an intentional balance between academic excellence for each curricular freedom than traditional child and character development, and public schools. The three charter we are committed to the pursuit of schools in Buncombe County are Evergreen Community Charter School excellence in the holistic education of mind, body and spirit.” in East Asheville, Francine Delany Alyssa Wright, student government New School for Children in West Asheville and ArtSpace in Swannanoa. secretary at Evergreen, described her school in a colorful way. Eleanor Ashton, associate director “Even though we don’t have unlimfor development and communication ited resources, our school is small so for Evergreen, which has 381 students

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we can focus our resources on important things,” she said. “It’s like boiling down the soup to just the good stuff.”

Homeschooling In North Carolina, parents or guardians who want to home school their children must work with the Division of Non-Public Education (ncdnpe.org). Homeschool teachers must hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent, and must operate as either a religious or nonreligious school. The school must operate on a regular schedule, excluding “reasonable holidays and vacations,” for at least nine calendar months of the year. School disease immunization records and attendance records must be kept for each student. Each student must take a nationally standardized achievement test each year in the subject areas of English grammar, reading, spelling and math. A record of the test results must be retained at the school for at least one year and made available to DNPE when requested. Kathy Meeks, of West Asheville, who home schools her 9-year-old son, Thomson, said her background as an elementary education teacher did not lead her to consider homeschooling. “I loved the classroom setting.

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◆ Adonai Christian Academy, adonaichristianacademy.com ◆ Asheville Catholic School, ashevillecatholic.org ◆ Asheville Christian Academy, acacademy.org. ◆ Asheville-Pisgah Christian, tagnet.org ◆ Asheville School, ashevilleschool.org ◆ Carolina Christian School, carolinachristianschool.org. ◆ Carolina Day School, cdschool.org. ◆ Christ School, christschool.org. ◆ Emmanuel Lutheran School, emmanuellutheranschool.org ◆ Hanger Hall, hangerhall.org. ◆ Katuah Sudbury School, katuahsudbury.org. ◆ Learning Community School, thelearningcommunity.org. ◆ Maccabi Academy, maccabi academy.org ◆ Nazarene Christian School, ashevillefirstnazarene.org ◆ North Asheville Christian School, northashevillechristian.org. ◆ Odyssey Community School, odysseycommunity.org. ◆ Rainbow Mountain Children’s School, rmcs.org. ◆ Swannanoa Valley Montessori School, swanmont.org. ◆ Temple Baptist School, 252-3712 ◆ The New Classical Academy, thenewclassicalacademy.org. ◆ Veritas Christian Academy, veritasnc.org. When I became a mom, however, I was surprised to find that homeschooling felt like the only option,” Meeks said. “I really see it as a luxury to have so many hours with my son. As it turns out, the schoolwork gets done pretty quickly, but the teaching and learning never really ends. I’m able to craft everyday things into lessons with my child’s specific strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes in mind.” Meeks said she and her husband, Tom, are open to all forms of education for their son, but are satisfied for now with home schooling. “We evaluate our strategy every year; we want to provide the best education and life experience,” she said. “So far, home school fits mother, teacher, student and child.”


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Art at home

From paint to clay to paper to drawing, 10 products expand your child’s creativity

By Lockie Hunter ◆ WNC Parent contributor

There are many arts and craft kits on the market today. These kits allow your family to work together at home and on the road to create glorious art projects for little money. Some kits require adult supervision and encouragement while others are solo affairs. So, whether your child is a younger budding artist just stretching his or her imagination or an experienced artist wishing to expand his or her skill set, these products suit a wide variety of ages and skill level.

Young Artist Learn to Paint Set Michael Rives, general manager at True Blue Art Supply, says this kit by Faber-Castell “is perfect to introduce your child to mixing colors and working with paint. The kit includes five colors of washable nontoxic paint, six easy-to-hold paintbrushes, painting palette, 10 sheets of paper and color mixing instructions and techniques.” For ages 5-7. $15 (sale price) at True Blue Art Supply and Services, 30 Haywood St., Asheville, 251-0028, and trueblueartsupply.com.

Create Anything With Clay Mosaic Stepping Stone Kit This kit by Milestones contains everything your child needs to create a lasting outdoor work of art, including an octagon mold, a writing tool and enough stained glass to completely cover the stone. Keep the final product in your own garden or give as a gift. For ages 8 and older. $19.99 at Michael’s Arts and Crafts, 5 McKenna Road, Arden, 684-1961, and 111 River Hills Road, Asheville, 299-0183, as well as Michaels.com.

This Klutz kit comes with eight blocks of multicolored clay and a lot of project ideas, including snow globes, sushi and more. Bake in the oven to enjoy a permanent work of art. An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award winner. For ages 3 and older. $19.95 at A.C. Moore Arts and Crafts, 800 Fairview Road, Asheville, 299-0777, and acmoore.com.

Tie Dye Kit The Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes A new twist on origami. These paper airplanes are “good for older boys,” per Cassie Hettler, of the Toy Box. “The book shows you all sorts of different folds and also gives you the paper.” For ages 9 and older. $16.95 at the Toy Box, 793 Merrimon Ave., North Asheville, 254-8697.

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This tie dye kit by Jacquard, Rives says, is “great for introducing all kids, whether previously artistic or not, into a frame of mind for creativity. It includes rubber gloves, red, blue, and yellow pre-measured dye in applicator bottles, rubber bands and dye fixer.” For ages 7-9. $10.16 (sale price) at True Blue Art Supply.


Chicken Socks Melty Beads Activity Book Manga Getting Started: Complete Manga Drawing Kit “Manga and Anime are the new exciting media for kids 10 and older,” Rives says. “This complete kit will provide everything one would ever need to begin drawing their own comics in the Japanese way. It includes a 28-page instruction booklet, manga mannikin, stencil, manga sketchpad, 3 india ink drawing and shading PITT pens, and more.” By Faber-Castell Creative Studio. For ages 10-12. $24.95 at True Blue Art Supply.

Art Fun Book This book by North Lights doesn’t suggest buying a lot of art supplies. Claire Reeder, owner of True Blue Art Supply, says it is geared to producing art with objects you have at home. “When a parent feels they want to do more art with their kid but they are not sure where to start, this is a nice resource,” she says. “It is educational and easy.” For ages 6-11. $19.99 at True Blue Art Supply

“Klutz products are really good as they provide step-by-step instructions,” Hettler says. “This kit is great for younger ages. It’s a lot of fun because it is free form.” Kit comes with 600 beads and lots of ideas. You can make a wide variety of art items including magnets and other designs. Ages 4-6. $12.95 at the Toy Box.

Artist Keep-N’ Carry Set These travel kits by Royal and Langnickel are wonderful when your children need to be in a car or plane for stretches of time. This small portable set comes in a convenient carrier with no additional supplies needed and is priced attractively, says Reeder. Kits comes in a variety of art mediums including acrylic, soft pastel, sketching, watercolor and more. For ages 6 and older. $6.99 each at True Blue Art Supply.

Pottery Wheel Workshop This wheel set by NSI has everything your child needs to begin producing pots, cups, bowls and more. Includes clay, a sponge, paintbrush, cutting string and modeling tools. The foot pedal has an adjustable speed. For ages 8 and older. $24.95 at Michael’s Arts and Crafts.

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Easy winter 1-pot meals Slow-cooker meals are perfect for winter. Here are a couple of suggestions.

Beef stew 1/4 cup vegetable oil 4 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes 2 bay leaves 2 tablespoons paprika 2 teaspoons ground cloves 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped Salt and pepper to taste 2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 6 carrots, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces 8 celery ribs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1/2 cup beef stock, divided use 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce 4 large Yukon gold potatoes, cut into one-half-inch pieces 1 cup corn starch JILL RICHARDS/GANNETT NEWS SERVICE Heat a thick-bottomed (preferably castCulinary student Faith Wipperman created iron) pot on medium high. Add vegetable this one-pot dish of beef stew, served here oil and, in batches, add pieces of beef and in a bread bowl. sear on all sides. Add bay leaves, paprika, cloves, garlic, salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium-low; stir well. Add onions, carrots and celery, and saute for 4 minutes. Add half of the beef stock and simmer for 45 minutes. Pour in Worcestershire sauce, remaining stock and potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, about 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix cornstarch and enough water to make a thin paste. Add slowly to stew, stirring until it reaches desired consistency. Makes 8 servings. Source: Faith Wipperman, student, Arizona Culinary Institute.

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Gumbo 1 hen, about 5 pounds, cut into pieces 5 pounds of chicken pieces, such as thighs and breasts Cooking oil spray 1 1/2 cups canola oil 1 1/2 cups flour 2 yellow onions, chopped 5 cloves garlic, minced 6-8 ribs celery, including leaves, diced 1 to 2 pounds smoked pork sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 bunch green onions, chopped 1 bunch curly parsley, chopped Season hen and chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet on medium high. When hot, spray with cooking oil. Add hen and chicken pieces and brown on both sides. Add cooking spray when necessary. Set aside hen pieces, and cover and refrigerate. In the same skillet, add oil and stir in flour. Stir constantly until flour reaches the consistency of wet sand. As the roux, or flour mixture, begins to brown, lower heat to simmer and continue stirring. If the oil begins to smoke, temporarily remove from the heat. Do not burn roux. Continue stirring until the flour mixture is dark milk-chocolate brown. When done, remove from heat and add onions. Stir well and add garlic. Cool for 15 minutes. Next, gradually stir in 2 cups of hot water. Continue stirring until smooth. Transfer roux mixture to large stockpot. Add hen pieces and celery. Cover with water; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 1 hour. Skim grease as needed. While the hen mixture simmers, fill a second pot with water. Add sausage and boil for a few minutes. Remove and set aside. Add sausage to hen stockpot after it has simmered for 1 hour. Add water, if necessary, to cover all the ingredients. Simmer for another 1 hour. Return refrigerated chicken to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 1 more hour. About 30 minutes before serving, use a slotted spoon to remove the hen and chicken bones and skin. Add green onions and parsley. Serve with long-grain white rice. Makes 10-12 servings. Source: Lynn Norton, student, Arizona Culinary Institute

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Eat healthy but within budget By Juliana Goodwin Gannett News Service Nutritionists prove it’s possible to eat healthy on a budget — even in winter. It takes more planning, but it can be done. So forget the excuses this season because all these foods are easy on the wallet — most cost about 25-50 cents per serving. 1. Canned pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A, has anti-inflammatory properties and is high in fiber, vitamins C and K, iron and manganese. It’s also a good source of vitamin E, magnesium and phosphorus. “This time of the year, pumpkin is a great powerhouse food,” says Connie Garrett, registered dietitian with Cox Health. On sale, it’s about 25 cents a serving, she says. 2.Tea contains flavonoids, which are believed to have antioxidant properties. While there is more research on the benefits of green tea, studies are increasingly touting the benefits of black, white and oolong teas, which are all derived from the same plant: Camellia sinensis, says Joe Simrany, president of the Tea Council in New York. The reason green tea’s benefits are more widely known is many early studies came out of Asia, where green tea is popular, he says. When picking tea for health benefits, choose green, black, white or oolong, Simrany says. Herbal teas do not have the same benefits. 3. Beets are high in folate, potassium, fiber and vitamins A and C. The color lets you know they are healthy, says Terry Egan, nutrition specialist with the University of Missouri Extension in Greene County. “The more color, the more nutrients — lots of color also indicates phytonutrients,” she says. Canned beets are affordable and “canned vegetables are still a good nutrient buy,” Egan says. 4. Spinach is “very high in just about every

vitamin, beta carotene, folic acid, antioxidants,” says Lisa Frazier, registered dietitian with Skaggs Community Health Center in Branson. It’s high in zinc, dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, E, K, thiamin and riboflavin. 5. Kiwi has vitamins E and K, and is packed with vitamin C. One kiwi exceeds your RDA for vitamin C. One kiwi is a serving, Egan says. 6. Sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene (vitamin A) and vitamin C, and are a good source of fiber. When eaten with the skin on, a sweet potato has more fiber than oatmeal. One medium sweet potato, baked with the skin, has about four times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A

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STEVE J.P. LIANG/GANNETT NEWS SERVICE

With canned and fresh products it is possible to eat healthy even in winter.

and almost half the recommendation for vitamin C, according to the Sweet Potato Council. 7. Frozen berries or cherries (average $3 a bag). Packed with nutrients, frozen berries are a great option when fresh berries are too expensive, says Garrett. Fresh or dried cranberries are often less than $1 per serving this time of year, she says. If you opt for dried, look for ones without added sugar. 8. Mango is good source of dietary fiber and vitamins B6, A and C. One bad point: Mangos are high in sugar. They are usually available for about $1 each. 9. Jarred roasted red peppers are about $1 a jar at various dollar stores. Red peppers are high in vitamins A, B6 and C, manganese, niacin, potassium, and fiber. Fruits and vegetables that are canned and jarred are healthier than they used to be, says Frazier. “Now in processing they do a quick freeze; they don’t boil them for hours and leach out the nutrients. Frozen or canned retain their nutrients a lot more than they did in the old days. I love to have frozen and canned things because they last forever,” she says. Read labels to watch out for fat (if packed in oil) and sodium. 10. Beans are high in fiber and an excellent source of protein, says Frazier. If beans give you gas, know that not all beans are created equally. According to Crescent Dragonwagon, author of “The Passionate Vegetarian,” the least flatulating beans are (in this order) lentils, split peas, azuki beans, mung beans, black-eyed peas and anasazi beans. 11. Canned tuna or salmon is packed with protein, inexpensive and has omega-3 (the good fats), says Frazier. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice a week. 12. Oranges are very high in vitamin C (one orange meets your daily needs), potassium and


KATYE MARTENS/GANNETT NEWS SERVICE

Spinach is high in zinc, dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, E, K, thiamin and riboflavin. Eat it on salads and sandwiches, in eggs and soups, or as a side dish. have thiamin (B1). Eat the pith too, because it holds a lot of vitamins, Garrett says. 13. Collard greens are high in vitamins K, A, and C and are a good source of folate, manganese and dietary fiber. Other greens, such as mustard greens, have similar benefits. 14. Yogurt is high in calcium, often fortified with vitamin A and D (read the label) and has probiotics. “That has been shown to boost immunity, improve gut health and it really satisfies, especially during holi-

days when we are tempted. It’s a great snack choice,” Garrett says. 15. Carrots are crammed with vitamin A (one cup gives you 308 percent of RDA). Carrots are also a good source of potassium and vitamin C. “When you are buying more nutritious foods, you are getting more value for that money,” Frazier says. “If you were to buy a rock for $10 or a diamond for $100, you spend more on the diamond, but you certainly have more value.”

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Raising good kids Schools offer character education in addition to expected academics By Barbara Blake Staff Writer At Cane Creek Middle School in Fletcher, students who join the bullying prevention program called Storm Chasers sign a written pledge. They pledge to make their school and community free from bullies, violence, alcohol, drugs and weapons. They pledge to work out their conflicts with others peacefully and help others to do the same. They pledge to be a good citizen by showing kindness, honesty and fairness in every

situation. They pledge to talk to a trusted adult when they have a concern about a potentially dangerous situation. And they pledge to use their words and actions to help others. Imagine a world where every child — and adult — signed such a pledge and lived accordingly. It might be an elusive concept on a grand scale, but educators in Asheville and Buncombe County schools are doing their part to instill as many character-related virtues as possible in their charges. “I really want the community to know that there are trained profes-

PHOTOS SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Students in Andrea Wilcher’s homeroom at Cane Creek Middle School pose for a class photo after signing their pledge as Storm Chasers. sional counselors in every school, every day, that have developed a comprehensive and developmental school counseling program designed to help each and every student develop socially, emotionally and academically,” said Steve Sandman, a school counselor at Cane Creek Middle. That largely translates into character education programs, in which children are exposed to the concepts of respect, compassion, honesty, justice, courage, loyalty and other traits of good citizenship. It might be a formal program presented once a month by a trained counselor, an ongoing peacekeeping, or simple “teachable moments” throughout the school day to illustrate the importance of kindness, sharing or loyalty. “We know from research that when schools spend time focusing on character education and on helping students learn what is ethical behavior, they show positive results in student behavior, and with improved student behavior comes an improved school climate,” said Michele Lemell, Safe and Drug Free Schools coordinator for Asheville City Schools. “And more and more research shows that when that’s in place, when students have positive behavior and a strong sense of community in their school and classroom, there is an increase in academic performance,” Lemell said.

Integrated values Asheville City Schools use the Heartwood Ethics model (heartwood ethics.org), but how the larger model is used varies by school, Lemell said. Program components can be as

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simple as Student Ambassadors at Isaac Dickson Elementary and other schools, in which new students are welcomed by peers chosen for their leadership qualities and sense of values concerning friendship and caring. A teacher might seize the moment just before a big math test to talk about honesty, Lemell said. “We try to brainstorm ways to integrate these support pieces of ethics and character education into the classroom,” she said. “That math teacher might talk about what honesty looks like with test-taking, or share a short a story about someone who cheated on a test.” Sandman said there are a number of character education programs at Cane Creek in addition to the Storm Chasers, including the Student Ambassadors program and a Peer Mediation program where seventh- and eighth-graders are trained in conflict resolution and allowed to mediate conflicts between other students. “Our biggest event is sponsoring our annual Eblen fundraiser; this year our school donated more than $15,000 to Eblen,” he said. Sandman also visits each classroom at least once a month to conduct an activity or lesson to teach a character trait, encourage students to think about behavior “or challenge them to grow as a young person,” he said. At Haw Creek Elementary, counselor Laura Jeanne Tucciarone oversees a variety of programs ranging from character traits-of-the-month and community service to an animated series called “AutoBGood,” a five-time Emmy Award winner that presents 36 character traits in 12 volumes. In the


series, the “City of Auto” features nine automated vehicles, each with its own unique personality in a diverse community of cars. “The series is a hit with our kids, and is helping to impart the importance of being on time, being ready and prepared for school, being responsible for our own behavior, being dependable and, most importantly, showing respect to everyone,” said Tucciarone, who won a grant from the Buncombe County Schools Foundation to buy the program.

Private efforts Character education isn’t limited to the public schools. Private, charter and religion-based schools place a large emphasis on community service and personal growth. For example, three distinctly different schools joined forces earlier this year for the Hands of Hope project, working as teams to assist three nonprofit organizations with hands-on labor as well as raising funds for the nonprofits through a benefit concert. Children at New City Christian School learned about gardening and nutrition with the Pisgah View Community Peace Garden; Maccabi Acad-

students beginning to realize that, as individuals, they have the power to help change the world, or at least our little corner of it. And that’s pretty powerful stuff.”

Similar goals Lemell said that regardless of the teaching model used, the goal for all educators is to instill in children a sense of being part of a larger world by focusing on “universal attributes” like honesty, compassion and integrity. And that goal often is met through literature. “The stories come from different parts of the world and are about different people, whether it’s a student from China who’s now living in America or a young man with special needs and the setting is here in Western William Bradley, left, and Noah Lytle, students at New City Christian School, explore the North Carolina,” she said. Pisgah View Community Peace Garden as part of a volunteer project. “We use stories that are rich with meaning and offer ways for students to connect themselves with the greaemy Jewish day school students chain in science class and read about ter world. We’re careful to choose worked with MANNA FoodBank and it in language arts. But by studying topics or literature that are meaninglearned about hunger and resources; hunger and volunteering at MANNA and children at The New Classical FoodBank, they are able to make much ful and appropriate, but that help Academy learned about animal care deeper connections that will stay with students empathize and put them in others’ shoes,” she said. “We want and abuse working with the Animal them forever,” said Alan Silverman, them to think, ‘How might I feel if I Compassion Network. president of the Maccabi Academy were in that situation.’” “A 9-year-old can study the food board. “At the same time, I can see

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kids’ voices

Tell us what you know We asked second- and third-graders in Rachel Malemud’s class at Maccabi Academy, Asheville’s Jewish day school, to tell us about the most interesting thing they’ve learned in school this year. Here’s what they told staff writer Barbara Blake.

Solomon Goldstein, 7

Noah Wilde, 7

Noa Meiri, 7

“I liked learning about the human body because it’s interesting and all the systems are really cool. Did you know that we take in oxygen and then we give out carbon dioxide, and then the flowers breathe carbon dioxide and they give out oxygen? It’s like a circle. Also, I liked the water cycle, how weather goes round and round and never stops. It’s a circle, too.”

“The muscles in the human body are really cool because they look cool and they help your bones move and hold them together — if you didn’t have them, your bones would fall apart and you’d just be a pile of bones and skin. I also learned a lot about bats — they’re the only flying mammals.”

“I liked learning to write a ‘how to’ paragraph because it was fun. Rock climbing [at the Montford Recreation Center] made me feel good and stronger. I liked making human body diagrams — mine was about the digestive system. The small intestine is 4-7 meters long.”

Hayden Johnson, 8 Madison Swickle, 7

Zeke Siegman, 8 “The most interesting thing I’ve learned about this year is geometry because I want to go to college at M.I.T. and then be a professor in math.”

“My favorite thing this year was drawing and writing about my animal for our [hibernation and migration] field guide. My animal was a sea turtle. A sea turtle is a reptile, and it has a backbone. They lay their eggs in a big hole that they cover up, and when the babies hatch they climb all over each other!”

“I learned that animals are vertebrates or invertebrates — that means that they have a spine or don’t have one. Humans are vertebrates. Decimals are fun because you can use [the base-10 system to learn them], and they get smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller.”

Zeke Goldstein, 8 Myles McKnight, 8

Lev Goldstein, 7

“I like learning about similes — they help you describe things better when you write. I also like reading a lot because I’ve learned a lot of new vocabulary.”

“I like our giving thanks tree because it looks very pretty, and I think it’s good because we all got to write about what we’re thankful for on leaves that we cut out and painted ourselves. I also like art because I get to draw lots of things that are in my imagination.”

“The human body can be a simple machine and a complicated machine! Your brain needs oxygen to live, and if it doesn’t get it, you might get confused. I like writing because we get to do stories like Halloween stories. We also learned how to do threeto five-paragraph writing.”

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Bullying takes toll ‘Adult survivors’ work through pain of childhood taunting By Janet Kornblum Gannett News Service Kathy Shedd had red hair. Meg Rafferty was shy. And Jodee Blanco was just different. Those were their crimes. The punishments for Blanco, Shedd, Rafferty, and countless others just like them? Getting repeatedly kicked, punched and spit upon. They were yelled at, taunted and shunned. They spent hard time in isolation, crying themselves to sleep at night, sometimes wanting to die. They weren’t in prison. They were in school. And their tormenters were not adults — but other kids. And yet, now as adults, the memories of childhood bullying still haunt, still affect their daily lives.

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“I was relentlessly tormented from fifth grade until the end of high school simply for being different,” says Blanco, a former public relations executive from Chicago. Blanco wrote about her experiences in “Please Stop Laughing at Us ... : One Survivor’s Extraordinary Quest to Prevent School Bullying” (Benbella Books, 2008, $14.95). “I was ambushed. I would find my belongings floating in the toilet. I was spat at and kicked and worst — ignored.” Blanco, a school consultant who talks to students and teachers about ways to prevent bullying — often cyberbullying, still suffers the emotional pain of bullying including raw flashbacks to childhood torment. But she’s getting help and now also wants other adults who have been bullied to seek help as well. While cyberbullying has taken center stage among many in the psychological community, “adult survivors of peer abuse,” as she calls her demographic, often suffer in silence, she says. Rafferty, of Eden Prairie, Minn., 52,


Letters, book ease pain By Janet Kornblum Gannett News Service

RAMIN RAHIMIAN/GANNETT NEWS SERVICE

Jodee Blanco consoles Emma Metos, 12, after Blanco’s presentation on bullying before hundreds of middle school students from Salt Lake City Catholic schools. Blanco was bullied as a child and is now an anti-bullying activist. knew she was different and “that there was something wrong with me,” she says. But like many adult survivors, “I tried to hide it.” Not everyone who is bullied suffers lifelong trauma. But there’s no question that “unrelenting, daily hostilities that maybe escalate to threats or actual aggression can be on par with torture and child abuse,” or that “repeated and severe bullying can cause psychological trauma,” says Daniel Nelson, medical director of the Child Psychiatry Unit at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The abuse that Shedd, of Lafayette, Ind., suffered more than two decades ago still affects her, even at age 42. Shedd’s crime? Being born with red hair — and having a name that unfortunately made rhyming taunts simple. “Being bullied set me up as a

mark,” she says. “I don’t fight back.” It’s so bad that she likes to have her husband with her when she goes out in public — although lately things have been improving for her, ever since she began focusing on the issue. Blanco is also still affected today, even though she spends her life counseling other victims. Recently she began therapy to help her get over it. And she strongly believes that others who have survived years of abuse also need to find ways of healing. “I want people who are victims, who are survivors like me, to know that if you’re affected by it, you have to take it just as seriously as you would if you were abused in any other way as a child, and you need to incorporate it into whatever therapy you’re doing,” she says. “You have to acknowledge it.”

When Emily and Sarah Buder picked up the local paper one spring day, they weren’t looking to change their lives — or anyone else’s. But when the Marin, Calif., teen sisters saw a story in the San Francisco Chronicle in March 2007 about a high school girl from a nearby town, Olivia Gardner, who was being bullied relentlessly by her classmates, they knew they had to do something. “We were appalled by what happened to Olivia ...,” says Emily, 18. Olivia’s epileptic seizures had made her a target of school bullies. Her mother transferred her twice, but the bullying would pick up again as soon as the students found out about her past bullying. Her mother turned to the press. The girls responded. “We decided that we would write letters and then ask some of our friends to write letters to her also,” says Sarah, 16. The sisters wanted Olivia to know

that other people had faced similar situations “but then they ended up OK,” Sarah says. They hoped for 50 letters. They got 6,500, and people are still writing. Letters not only came from the San Francisco Bay area, but from nearly every state and around the world, says their mom, Janet Buder. The response was so overwhelming that editors contacted the girls. “We were crying from these letters,” says Lisa Sharkey, senior vice president at HarperCollins and director of creative development. The result: “Letters to a Bullied Girl: Messages of Healing and Hope” (HarperCollins, 2008, $14.95), containing some 200 of those letters. None use real names, but all were verified, say the editors.

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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.

Karey Dulaney sent in this photo of her “little pumpkin,” Kohen, who is 6 months old. They live in Marion. Leah at LG Photography took the photo.

Cousins Daniel, 10, and Matthew Gillette, 12, are cheering on their dads at the first softball game of the season at Jackson Park in August. Submitted by Daniel’s mom, Lisa Gillette, of Mills River.

Tanya Frisbee says her daughter Selah Claire, now 1 year old, “has the sweetest, most precious face. She makes everyone smile.” Submitted by Tanya and Robbie Frisbee, of Enka.

Bella Hyatt, 19 months, is a fashionista, just like Mommy. Submitted by Heather Hyatt, of Clyde.

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Excerpts from some of the discussions in the forums Brooke asks in ‘Home-based child care?’ Hey moms! I am new and I know that I can really benefit from this mommy group. I am always looking for a daytime sitter while I am in school. If anyone knows of anyone for child care (that can come to us in Weaverville), please let me know. Thanks!

Kate asks in ‘2 ½- to 3-year-old child care suggestion?’ I live in Haywood County and will be working in Buncombe County as of Jan. 5, 2009. I am looking for home-based child care with small number of children located convenient to either county. I saw the posting for an infant and wondered if anyone had suggestions for the age of my son. Thank you.

LD asks in ‘Health insurance dilemma — Where to deliver baby?’ My family’s insurance changed during my pregnancy because my husband’s company was sold. I’m starting third trimester and faced with changing doctors and hospitals because the new insurance has only Park Ridge Hospital “in network” and not Mission. Our out-of-pocket costs will be double if we stick with same doctor and go to Mission. Also, I live north of Asheville in Madison and have to allow 45 minutes just to get to an appointment in Asheville, much less Hendersonville. I can’t continue with the old health insurance under COBRA because the old company no longer exists and terminated its contract with the carrier. So should I change doctors and go to Park Ridge even though so much further, to save the money?

James replies: … We delivered babies at both Park Ridge and Mission. Both have their pros and cons. Park Ridge is smaller, quieter, and much more personal. The food is better, though still “hospital food.” We had an extremely positive experience there, even though we lived in North Asheville at the time (yes, the drive down was a little intense). Mission’s L&D can be quite busy, even overbooked to the extent that occasionally you must wait for rooms to become available — they already have outgrown their brand new expansion of four to five years ago. … You can labor in the water at Mission, which is completely lovely, and you have the theoretical choice of several different OB/GYN and midwifery practices. We found both L&D departments absolutely professional and on-task. Both facilities are able to intervene appropriately in emergent situations, and to transport quickly if necessary.

Nermina replies: I’m self-employed without maternity insurance and have had to compare the two hospitals by price and services for my delivery. Park Ridge is closer, but I will have to have a C-section and the distance is not an issue. It all depends on your needs. For my needs, Mission is cheaper and betterequipped. It has more beds and better surgery support. Park Ridge doesn’t have a NICU. But if I had Park Ridge under my insurance, I’d seriously consider it. A friend delivered at Park Ridge, and she couldn’t be happier.

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Some of the nearly 650 photos posted at WNCmom.com

“Noah juice face,” posted by Shannon.

“Going for a hike together,” posted by Kate. “I love having my son Haydin with me all the time. We are inseparable,” she writes.

“I’m beautiful,” posted by Fairydust55.

“Don’t disturb the nerds!” Posted by Micah.

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Celebrate January every day If you’re looking for something to do in January while winter has you trapped indoors, celebrate a holiday. Beyond Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, there are plenty of other options, some quite bizarre. For instance, January is Eye Care Month, Hot Tea Month, National Blood Donor Month, National Braille Literacy Month, National Hobby Month, National Oatmeal Month and National Soup Month. The second week of January is Letter Writing Week. And nearly each day has it’s own holiday. For some fun, why not mark Jan. 11, which is Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend Day? Like cake? Check out Chocolate Cake Day on Jan. 27. Prefer pie? You’re in luck, on Jan. 23, which is National Pie Day. For more information on this and others, visit HoildayInsight.com or About.com. Katie Wadington, staff writer

1 — New Year’s Day 2 — Run up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes Day 3 — Festival of Sleep Day, Fruitcake Toss Day, Humiliation Day 4 — Trivia Day 5 — National Bird Day 6 — Bean Day, Cuddle Up Day 7 — Old Rock Day 8 — Bubble Bath Day, Male Watcher’s Day 9 — Play God Day 10 — Peculiar People Day 11 — Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend Day 12 — National Pharmacist Day 13 — International Skeptics Day, Make Your Dream Come True Day 14 — Dress Up Your Pet Day 15 — National Hat Day

16 — National Nothing Day 17 — Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day 18 — Thesaurus Day, Winnie the Pooh Day (birthday of Pooh’s author, A.A. Milne) 19 — Martin Luther King Jr. birthday (celebrated on the third Monday), National Popcorn Day 20 — National Buttercrunch Day, Penguin Awareness Day 21 — National Hugging Day, Squirrel Appreciation Day

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22 — National Blonde Brownie Day 23 — National Pie Day, National Handwriting Day, Measure Your Feet Day 24 — Compliment Day 25 — Opposite Day 26 — Spouse’s Day 27 — Chocolate Cake Day, Punch the Clock Day 28 — Fun at Work Day, National Kazoo Day 29 — National Puzzle Day, National Cornchip Day 30 — National Inane Answering Message Day 31 — Backward Day, Inspire Your Heart with Art Day


divorced families

Employ the arts to help work out difficulties tening to music, or better yet, playing music. This could even be something you can learn to do and share together. ◆ Social difficulties. If you think your The arts can child is having problems interacting have an important with other children, you might look impact on a child’s into getting them involved with dralife. I remember as ma. Schools, religious organizations a young boy that I and public art groups in Western could never unNorth Carolina may offer camps or derstand why my drawings were not opportunities for learning and peras well received as those of Picasso. forming drama. As strange as this may They looked much the same as far as the final product was concerned, and I sound, I have had several clients learn important social skills through learnbet they would go for big bucks in ing to pretend to be someone else. Asheville, if I still had them… This can teach them ideas about exFor divorcing or divorced families, pressing feelings and communication. art can have a variety of uses toward ◆ General self-esteem. Performancefacilitating the healing process. Let’s look at a few of the common problems oriented art, like choir, dancing or drama can help with this. Parents will that divorced or divorcing parents need to make sure that the director/ may face with their children and how teacher is primarily focused on exart could supply a solution. pression and self growth, NOT com◆ Nightmares. Even the most “norpetition. mal” child struggles with nightmares Most any craft can also be a good from time to time. But if they become outlet of expression and self esteem as a part of a pattern, this could be a recognized by the parents. problem. Upon awaking, consider ◆ Exposure to substance abuse. It is an having your child draw a picture of the “worst part,” then tear the picture unfortunate reality that children may witness the “coping mechanisms” of into little pieces and ceremoniously their parents dealing with divorce throw it into the garbage can saying through drugs or alcohol. Drama, “bye-bye, nightmare.” Treat this as a writing, music or drawing are all posvictory. Try not to cave in to letting sible aids to help with the feelings a your child sleep with you, as this is a child might experience. habit very hard to break. I know I have barely scratched the ◆ Extreme anger. Children of divorce surface as to the resources that are can display intense anger about their available to children coping with disituation at home and at school. You vorce, but checking out these ideas in can try encouraging your child to the community or on the Internet may write about their feelings concerning the divorce as a journal or diary. If you lead you to even greater solutions for your particular parental needs and do this, make it a private thing for situation. your child, so that it can be a genuine As for me, I just spilled coffee on source of ventilation. Do not read it some paper I and can’t decide whethand throw it back in their face. If you er to use it as an “inkblot test” for a are tempted to do this, try to rememclient (the answer, by the way, is ber the quote about arresting the usually “a bug on the windshield”) or character Mongo from the movie to try to sell it at an art festival. Blazing Saddles (“Don’t shoot him; it will just make him angry”). Trip Woodard is a licensed marriage ◆ Anxiety. Children in divorcing and family therapist and a clinical situations can become quite afraid of member of the N.C. Association of the unknown future. You might find Marriage and Family Therapists. Conways to help your child “self-soothe” tact him at 606-8607. during the divorce transition like lisBy Trip Woodard WNC Parent columnist

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Hugging the way to a healthy baby Volunteer ‘huggers’ pick up where parents leave off By John Faherty Gannett News Service

NICK OZA/GANNETT NEWS SERVICE

Mary Ann Niewald, a volunteer at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, Ariz., cuddles Hannah Crow, in her arms at the center. She is one of the volunteer “huggers” whose role is to hold sick babies because of the recuperative powers that touching has for the child.

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A 1975 study in Child Psychiatry and Human Development found that premature babies who received extra Mary Ann Niewald walks into the stroking for 10 days were more alert. room, stands over the child and quiets More recent studies have quesherself. tioned if it is cost effective to have She looks over her shoulder to nurses hold and stroke babies. With confirm the baby’s name on the volunteers, that’s not an issue. nurse’s chart. It is Hannah. After training and background Then she gently picks up the infant. checks, the volunteers start holding “Oh, you’re such a sweet baby,” babies where they are needed in the Niewald whispers. hospital. Hannah moves slightly inside her They can calm a child who is untight wrapping, exhales lightly, and comfortable, hold a baby whose parfalls back asleep. ents are busy that day, or simply proNiewald gazes at the child and vide a human touch for an infant who smiles adoringly. spends too much time being poked They are two people at the oppoand prodded. site ends of life. A 5-pound baby and a So the volunteers hold the babies 73-year-old woman. to help the babies heal. But it is impossible to tell who is And yet seemingly all of the volunhelping the other more. teers say it is not the babies who beneNiewald is a volunteer “cuddler” at fit the most. Banner Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Why they do it Intensive Care Unit in Mesa, Ariz. She holds children who are in the Donny Closson, 42, drives from hospital for extended stays. Anthem, Ariz., once a week to volun“It changes my whole life, holding teer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. these babies,” Niewald said. “It has He is a father of three who witchanged my outlook. Loving these nessed the good these volunteers do babies fills my whole world with during the time he spent in hospitals love.” when his wife delivered their three sons. A proven aid A former recreational skydiver, he says helping a child is like jumping For decades, researchers have out of an airplane. shown that hospitalized babies who “Once you leave an aircraft, and are held more get healthier faster. A study published in a 2003 Journal you are falling to earth, nothing else in of Pediatric Psychology is representa- your life matters. All the garbage just goes away. This is like that,” he said. tive of most. It showed that preterm “When I leave here, I am centered infants who were held and stroked differently.” gained weight faster and slept better.

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Volunteer Sue Hess cuddles Dirk Ziegler, a premature baby, at the center. As a developmental specialist at Banner Children’s Hospital, Mary Ann Sawyer, a registered nurse, sees the mutual benefit for the children and the holders. “It gives the baby a moment of normalcy in the middle of all this clinical stuff,” she said. “For the cuddlers, it is amazing. I see a really positive energy. It’s filling their cup as they fill the baby’s cup.” And the change is not just in the moment for the volunteers. Sue Hess, 70, of Tempe, Ariz., has been holding babies for nearly three years. “Loving these babies has a calming effect on me,” she said standing outside a child’s room. “And when I leave the hospital, and I see people, I say, ‘You too were once a baby.’ That is good. We all need that.” Then a nurse approached her. “C-pod needs a friend,” the nurse said. “What’s his name?” asked Hess. “Cameron.” “Oh, I know him,” said Hess. “That’s a good baby. I have some love for him.”

cialist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital asked Closson to read to a child. Closson said he was told the child was in a coma with no brain activity. “I was a little bit surprised, it’s not what I expected,” Closson said. But he went to her room and read to her. Her status unchanged, Closson still goes to her room and reads to her on his volunteer shifts. “It’s different. I don’t see the smile with her. I don’t see the reflection of what it means,” he said. “But I feel the same. It’s beneficial. She is not alone for the time that I am with her.”

Not alone Sometimes it is not possible to see result from holding or spending time with a child. A few months ago, a child-life spe-

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growing together

Advice upon hitting 40: We should savor life’s most routine moments moments are the most critical and they become a surefire investment as the calendar continues to flip. It is too easy to look back at the end of the week and find that the days all I’ve had about ran together in a chaotic blur. That 14,600 days to get can happen with years, too, if we this right — this aren’t careful. Avoiding that doesn’t life that I live day come easily or on its own. It requires by day. If I am to master what I want deliberate living and maybe looking at to know and give fully and stop makthe world through a wide-angle lens ing the same mistakes, I will need at rather than a microscope. least twice that many more. For my next 40 years, I will try to As I celebrate 40 years of life, I do do a better job of taking my own adfind that the days and the years are vice to heart. flying by too quickly. If you ask my I will eat dessert, stop to pet my 10-year-old, he would say that Christmas takes “for-ev-er” to get here. I feel dog whenever he nudges my hand, give extra candy to my nieces, read like I just take down the decorations one more chapter to my son, make in time to put them up again. one more stop for my daughter, let My children are growing by the that angry driver pull in front of me minute, but I still have days when I and smile sweetly at the cashier. think it can’t be possible that I am I will hold my husband’s hand as someone’s mother. We made these we hike through the woods and savor human beings? Bizarre. Wasn’t I just those quiet evenings by the fire that going on that nervous first date with the man I have loved for more than 20 seemed impossible just a few years ago — back when little ones ruled the years now? Of course, those moments are fleet- schedule. I will do all these things with the ing, as are all moments really. I am knowledge that those moments can be still learning to seize each one and to revisited but have my use never relived, of it be worthy which makes of being grantthem all the ed one more. more imporSometimes tant. that means a Yes, 40 is grand effort pretty sweet that I hope after all. impacts the world. More Chris Woroften than not, thy is an atit means helptorney who ing my son took down her with math or shingle to be a driving my stay-at-home daughter to, mom. Write to well, everyher at where, or growing having a quiet together conversation @chris with my husworthy.com. band. Those By Chris Worthy WNC Parent columnist

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librarian’s pick

Gain insight into the world’s foods, ways of life with the food they eat in the course of a week. Culture, national economy, personal income, geography, In 2005, husand in band-and-wife wealthier team Peter Menzel families, and Faith D’Alusio personal wrote “Hungry preference Planet: What the World Eats.” Now they have published influence what shows the companion children’s version, up in a week’s “What the World Eats.” The book worth of grochronicles their global research on ceries. Even families and what they eat in the though specific foods often are course of a week. The couple ate with 25 families in 21 unique and important identifiers of countries. In straightforward text and particular countries or regions, the growing popularity and availability of with photographs of these families fast food nears ubiquity, and thus is a shopping, cooking and eating, the couple’s firsthand accounts represent factor in many of the family’s diets. For each family, the authors list a kaleidoscopic diversity in food availability, nutritional value and quantity. every fruit, vegetable, grain, condiEach chapter is devoted to a specif- ment, beverage and packaged meal ic family. Each family is photographed along with the quantities and prices of in their kitchen or cooking area, along each. Methods of cooking and preserBy Jennifer Prince Buncombe County Public Libraries

vation are included, too. Sidebars contain data regarding each family’s country: population, life expectancy, food imported and exported, and for poorer countries, the percent of population living on less than $2 a day. So, the Aboubakar family of Darfur with their meek water and grain rations, dried beans and a few limes, stand in stunning contrast to the Baintons of Great Britain, who stand around a table laden with fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, dairy products, sweets and dozens of packages of processed food and condiments. The photographs are vivid and immediate, capturing families in the everyday actions. One photograph shows a boy from Greenland gnawing at a raw fish similar to the way an

American child would go at corn on the cob. Another photograph shows a 10-year-old girl from Mali as she pounds and sifts grain alongside her mother. Graphs and sidebars round out this picture of a planet of extremes. One family has abundant variety in its diet and food is a pleasure, while most of another family’s daily activities have to do with finding, gathering and preparing food for mere sustenance. While it is a valuable resource for teachers and students of world cultures, the book is a riveting and thoughtful look at the most fundamental need of humans the world over. The disparities are humbling and are likely to prompt further discussion (and hopefully action). This book is available through the Buncombe County Public Libraries. Visit www.buncombecounty.org for more information.

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parenting in a nutshell

Enjoy children’s time off from school together slow the action (and reactions) down? This principle still applies. Suggest an evening or two by the fire playing a board game together, Now that your children are in school — especially if they are tweens taking turns reading from a family and teens, or even home from college favorite, or just talking quietly getting to know each other better over cocoa. — they may have their own ideas about how to spend their breaks from Even if your family’s quiet “evening” lasts for only an hour before everyone readin’, writin’ and ’rithmetic. And is off in different directions, it will you may not be looking forward to having them whine that they can’t stay have been a great success. ◆ Get physical: Include some physup 24/7 to play video games or text ical activity the family can do tofriends in favor of other activities. gether. These two different, albeit eternal, Physical activities not only get the views of what makes up great time off blood flowing but uplift moods and from school can cause some clashes, create happy memories. So, you say unless you all take a deep breath and you haven’t played soccer in 15 years enjoy time together. With that goal in mind, try these suggestions for family or have forgotten how to catch one in the outfield? Your physical playtime bonding with your growing-up childoesn’t have to be based on an orgadren: nized sport. How about a family bike ◆ Quiet time: Remember when ride, tennis match or workout at the your children were little and you had gym together (your children may now them spend some of their busy day be old enough for their own gym playing quietly or reading in order to By Doreen Nagle Gannett News Service

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membership). Whatever you choose, make it about fun together vs. arguing over technique. ◆ Out in nature: There’s nothing like some time in nature together to bring peace to the soul and a quiet joy to family time. A short hike around your community’s lake or a longer one in the woods will give you time to be playful, talk together and hear your own thoughts. Having no outside distractions equals a clear head and renewed perspective. Even the most cynical of teens will benefit from some time in nature. ◆ In the kitchen together: Pull out the pots and pans, for what better time to cook together than during the holidays? Gather everyone and choose a menu for a special family meal, then shop for the ingredients together. Dig out the utensils needed and assign each family member who is old enough a task that involves actual

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cooking (in addition to the usual setting and clearing of the dishes, kitchen clean up crew, etc.). A menu that is popular this time of year might include chili, cornbread, hot cider and cupcakes to round it all off. Now, with full tummies, take a walk around the block as a family before everyone rushes off to pursue their own personal interests.

Tip from the parenting trenches Make it an elective: Let your children choose a family activity that you all will participate in over the holidays. Stick to a few basic criteria (just immediate family; an activity in which you can communicate with each other) and enjoy! Doreen Nagle is author of “But I Don’t Feel Too Old to Be a Mommy” (HCI, $12.95). She welcomes your parenting tips and concerns at parentinginanutshell@joimail.com.


crafts

Gather guests around cube to get party started By Kathy Cano-Murillo Gannett News Service Every tablescape could use some new spice at parties and family gatherings this year — and I’m not talking about Auntie’s pumpkin pie. I’m referring to conversation starters and activities. Visit a dollar store and pick up Rubik’s Cubes for everyone who will attend. Gather odds and ends from your craft room or sketch a design and shop for specific supplies. The idea is to transform the Rubik’s Cube into a fun family heirloom. There are too many variations to count, but here are a few items you may want to include: family quotes, black-and-white or sepia-tone images of family members, magnetic poetry, mosaic tiles, or gems and crystals. Kathy Cano-Murillo is a freelance craft designer and author. Write to her at kathy@craftychica.com or visit craftychica.com.

Artful Rubik’s cube table favors Supplies Rubik’s Cubes 1 sheet of art, copy or other kind of paper Fabric Small punches, letter beads, charms, stickers (optional) Paint Family photos shrunk to fit cubes’ squares Scissors Craft knife Extra-strength white craft glue Replace the colored sides of each cube with various items or art techniques. Decide on themes for each side. For example, one side is all letter beads, another is covered with star stickers, another is photos, etc. Keep in mind you want the cube to be able to rest flat on a table and it will be handled a lot, so don’t make it clunky. Work on one side at a time and apply your items. If you are using photos or paper designs, you can have one large image to cover the side (use the craft knife to slice between the channels) or attach tiny pictures on each small cube. Make one for each place setting.

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Book a mental vacation with these reads Books are an affordable escape this winter. From Nobel Prize-winning authors to LOLs from the Internet, here are a few choice selections to add to your shelves. All are available at bookstores, mass retailers or Amazon.com. Gannett News Service

“The Tales of Beedle the Bard,” five original fairy tales, should fit the bill for fans who want a fresh taste of “Harry Potter” creator J.K Rowling’s imagination. $12.99.

U can haz laffs galore with “I Can Has Cheezburger?: A LOLcat Colleckshun,” from the creators of the popular Web site that features “krazee pictures of catz” with crazier captions written in the craziest language “evah.” $10. Stephen King’s “Just After Sunset” is the horror master’s first collection of short stories in six years. $28. “A Mercy,” the new novel by Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, revisits the themes of family and slavery she covered so well in her earlier “Beloved.” $23.95.

Humorist David Sedaris is at his twisted best with “When You Are Engulfed in Flames.” $25.99. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and its clever illustrations are a hit with the middle school set, which can relate to the tales of the title character’s everyday life. $12.95.

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Dennis Lehane, the master of the literary thriller, examines social turmoil in Boston through the eyes of two families at the end of World War I in “The Given Day.” $27.95.


video games

Club Penguin shifts smoothly to Nintendo DS By Jinny Gudmundsen Gannett News Service One of the hottest Web sites for kids is Club Penguin (clubpenguin. com), a virtual world where kids become colored penguins who play games and chat. Now, that snowy online world can be found on the Nintendo DS in the game “Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force.” This video game faithfully recreates the online world and casts you as a penguin who waddles around this icy world, going on missions and solving mysteries. The world is full of other penguins to talk with, businesses and locations to explore and mini-games to play. Once you have selected a color of penguin to represent you, the game encourages you to explore and interact with other penguins. Early on, you will be recruited to join the supersecret, super-selective spy agency called the Elite Penguin Force. As a member of the EPF, it is your job to keep order by going on missions. To get through these missions, you are trained in how to use the cool spy gadgets that are at your disposal, including a special decoder and a twoway communicator. You are also trained in how to use Spy Puffles, pet-like bundles of fur with special abilities. For example, when encountering an unattended campfire, you can blow into the DS microphone to call on Bouncer Puffle, who will throw a snowball at the fire to put it out. In addition to the fun secret agent story line, kids can also help other penguins with mysteries and play six

‘CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE’ Rating: 5 stars (out of 5) Best for ages 6-12 From Disney Interactive, disney interactive.com, $29.99, Nintendo DS.

GANNETT NEWS SERVICE

In “Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force” for the Nintendo DS, Club Penguin fans will find new locations to explore, including the Gadget Room.

from other DS games is that the story line is humorous and intriguing, and it incorporates fun mini-games. You can talk with any penguin you meet, and some are hilarious, like Agent Dot, who has a propensity for hiding inside snowmen. Kids love to solve mysteries, and between the spy missions and neighborhood mysteries, there are 23 in all. Also excellent is a special Command Coach mode, which allows one player to help another if they both own the game. The player who hosts acts as the secret agent and chooses a mission. The other player joins as the Com-

mand Coach, and he or she can see things the agent can’t, and can then help by circling and drawing hints on his or her screen that will show up on the agent’s screen. This is an excellent way for parents to play with their children, or for two friends to play together. Two to four players can also play mini-games together. Fans of the Web site will feel right at home in this DS game and will be excited by the new locations only found in the DS game. Plus, the DS game comes with a special code that will unlock unique items in the online world. But you don’t need to be a fan of the Web site to enjoy this game. Its quirky sense of humor and exciting missions make it worthy of playing, regardless of your exposure to the Club Penguin site. Gudmundsen is the editor of Computing With Kids magazine (ComputingWithKids.com). Contact her at gnstech@gns.gannett.com.

mini-games. Some of these minigames are similar to those made popular on the Web site, including flying with a jet pack strapped to your back and fishing in the ice. But others are unique to this DS game, such as snowboarding and a dance challenge memory game. Playing the games earns you coins that you can spend on new clothes and accessories for your penguin. And if you have a Club Penguin account, you can even upload those coins to be spent online. What makes this game stand out

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story times

10:30 a.m. Thursdays: Fairview, Oakley/ South Asheville, Skyland/South Buncombe Buncombe County Public Libraries 11 a.m. Thursdays: Swannanoa, W. Asheville Mother Goose Time (ages 4-18 months) 11 a.m. Saturdays: East Asheville 11 a.m. Mondays: West Asheville School-age story time (ages 5-7) 10 a.m. Tuesdays: Pack Memorial (walkers) 10 a.m. Wednesdays, Pack Memorial. 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays: Fairview 3:30 p.m. Thursdays: North Asheville 11 a.m. Tuesdays: Pack Memorial (nonStoryline walkers) Call 251-5437 for a story anytime. 11 a.m. Wednesdays: Swannanoa, WeaverSpanish Story time ville (second and fourth Wednesdays) Asheville-Buncombe County Library System, 11 a.m. Thursdays: Oakley/South Asheville West Asheville Library, 942 Haywood Road, Toddler Time (ages 18-36 months) Asheville. Free story reading in Spanish for 11 a.m. Tuesdays: Leicester preschool through kindergarten. Parents 10 a.m. Wednesdays: North Asheville need to remain in the library. 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays: Fairview, Skyland/ Call 251-4990 for more information. South Buncombe Barnes & Noble, 83 S. Tunnel Road, East 11 a.m. Wednesdays: West Asheville Asheville, 296-9330 10 a.m. Thursdays: Pack Memorial Story time: 1 p.m. every Saturday. 10:30 a.m. Thursdays: Black Mountain, American Girl Club: Discussion and crafts Enka-Candler based, 4 p.m. every third Saturday. 11 a.m. Thursdays: Pack Memorial, WeaverMagic Tree House Club: 4 p.m. every fourth ville (second and fourth Thursdays only) Sunday with discussion and activities. Story time (Ages 3-5) Growing Young CafĂŠ, 611 Tunnel Road, East 11 a.m. Tuesdays: Weaverville (first and third Asheville, 299-4420 Tuesdays of month) Offered at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays. 10 a.m. Wednesdays: Oakley/South Asheville Osondu Booksellers, 184 N. Main St., 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays: Black Mountain, Waynesville, 456-8062 Enka-Candler, Leicester Preschoolers story time: 10:30 a.m. Tues11 a.m. Wednesdays: East Asheville, North days. Asheville, Pack Memorial From staff reports

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kids sports

Don’t keep kids from broad life experiences your kids living out dreams and taking advantage of unique opportunities, even if it doesn’t include your program. These kids will grow personally, From the mailbag: Comment: Whatever happened to the which will ultimately be of benefit to your program anyway. young man who had a difficult deciComment: I enjoy your columns, sion to make? He had to choose beespecially discussions about coaching tween going to Europe to teach/play and the importance of helping to keep soccer or staying home to keep his kids involved in a variety of sports at schedule of training for the sports he all skill levels. plays at home. I would love to know We had an all-star coach tell us what he and his family decided. when our son was in fifth grade that Response: Many of you have asked unless he specialized solely in baseabout this young athlete. Let me give ball now, he would have no chance to you a quick update. make a high school team. I felt very David did go to Europe and played badly for the coach and especially the soccer with a group of high school parents and kids who take this meskids. He went, knowing his high school football coach didn’t want him sage to heart. Response: This is what I’ve been to go because he would miss some talking about for years. Parents all too football practices and workouts. He often take the advice of coaches and talked it over with his coach and let him know he had made the decision to have their kids specialize in only one go. He did this at the risk of losing his sport ... not a good idea! Let’s not even go to the obvious reason, that college starting quarterback position. He loved the experience in Europe. scholarships are not given out to everyone. I’ve never said that shooting He gained a new appreciation for for a college scholarship is a bad politics and customs in other countries. He developed new relationships thing. Just the opposite, it’s a good motivational tool. We just have to be that will endure for many years to careful that we don’t risk giving up the come. The trip was life-changing. After David returned home, he kept greatest part of the high school experience; four fun years. his starting quarterback position and My greatest trepidation for kids had a very good football season. He is not going to get a football scholarship, who specialize is for when they realnor was he an “all-state selection,” but ize they aren’t that good. This hits hard. So many of them have been he played as well as he could, had a programmed to believe they are the fun season. best, and, so many times that hope Way to go, David! You made the gets smashed. right choice. On the long road of specialization, A quick note to youth coaches: Remember your first priority is what’s we make sacrifices. One sacrifice is not learning how to best for the kids. You should support By Tom Kuyper Gannett News Service

play other sports. So, the kid who puts all his eggs in one basket now finds his basket empty. He has no other skill or sport experience to fall back on. Another sacrifice that is made by specializing is that you become so focused and committed to all the time requirements of practices, games and even travel that relationships with family and friends get compromised.

Great job in steering your son in the right direction. Let him experience lots of different sports, school activities and hanging out with friends. Don’t worry; if he is talented, hardworking and is fundamentally sound, he will have a good high school sports experience. E-mail Tom Kuyper at tomkuyper@kidsandsports.com

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Quick dinners Chicken a l’orange 12 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs (2 1/2 pounds), trimmed Salt and pepper, to taste 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use 1/4 pound shallots (4 medium), thinly sliced 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice 3/4 cup heavy cream Chopped fresh parsley for garnish Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Pat chicken dry and season well on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, and then brown half of chicken, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer with tongs to a plate; brown remaining chicken in the rest of the butter. Return all chicken to skillet. Add shallots, rosemary and orange juice, and simmer, covered, until chicken is tender and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer chicken with tongs to an ovenproof serving platter. Keep warm, covered in oven. Boil cooking liquid, uncovered, until reduced by half (to about 3/4 cup), about 3 minutes. Add cream and boil, stirring until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken. Garnish with parsley, and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings. Approximate values per serving: 605 calories, 29 g fat, 249 mg cholesterol, 68 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 207 mg sodium, 43 percent calories from fat. Gannett News Service

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Broccoli rabe with prosciutto and raisins 1 pound broccoli rabe 1/2 cup raisins 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/4 pound sliced prosciutto 1 clove garlic, minced Salt and pepper, to taste Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cut off and discard stems from the broccoli rabe; chop the rest into 2-inch pieces. Cook in boiling water for 3 minutes. Add raisins and cook another minute. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Place prosciutto in one stack, roll it, then slice it crosswise into pieces. Add prosciutto and garlic to skillet. Saute until very lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add broccoli rabe and raisins; saute until heated, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Prep time: 15 minutes. Total time: 15 minutes. Serves 4. Approximate values per serving: 210 calories, 9 g fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 13 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 834 mg sodium, 39 percent calories from fat. Gannett News Service

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Bring on the brunch By Dorene Weinstein Gannett News Service Big on taste but light on effort, brunch can be an easy way to hold a gathering. It need not be labor-intensive. Many egg dishes can be prepared the night before and baked in the morning. Take the mess out of the equation by setting the table early and tidying up the kitchen. The day of the brunch, you just have to bake the casserole, get dressed and enjoy your own party. “I like to have a combination of things that are beautiful and things that are crunchy and soft,” say Jaciel Keltgen, assistant professor in business administration at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. She has a few favorites that always make the cut, like cinnamon pullaparts and a farmer’s casserole with potatoes, meat and eggs. The beauty of the traditional egg bake is that “you can customize it to who you invite,” she says. Offering something fruity or light gives those counting calories a fighting chance during their post-holiday dieting, says Sandra Aamlid, a Minnehaha County Extension educator. Don’t forget the beverage. Coffee and tea are traditional, but serving something mixed with fruit juice is fun. Get creative with smoothies and slushies. If you’re serving alcohol, bloody Marys work well. A brunch doesn’t have to be formal. Serving buffet-style on the kitchen counter is conducive to conversation. “People can sweep through and take the food to the dining room,” Keltgen says. Her other tips for party planning: ◆ Pick a convenient time for the party. Guests often don’t eat breakfast before a brunch and arrive starving. ◆ Invite a manageable number of people. Ten or 12 guests is cozy enough to allow conversation but small enough to maintain intimacy. ◆ Think about the visual appeal of the presentation. Use fruit to coordinate with your tablecloth and napkins, for example. But don’t get too elaborate, Aamlid says. “People are coming for the conversation and tasty food. If you need to serve on paper, then do it.”

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Holiday morning French toast

PHOTOS BY EMILY SPARTZ/GANNETT NEWS SERVICE

Farmer’s casserole 3 cups frozen, shredded hash browns 3/4 cup shredded cheese (try Monterey Jack with jalapeno peppers) 1 cup diced, fully-cooked ham, bacon, sausage or Canadian bacon 1/4 cup sliced green onions or chives 4 beaten eggs or 1 cup frozen egg substitute 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk or evaporated skim milk 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/4 teaspoon salt (if using bacon) Grease a 2-quart square baking dish. Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with cheese, ham and green onion. (You also could add diced green peppers, jalapeno peppers or green chilies.) In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, pepper and salt. Pour egg mixture over potato mixture in dish. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Makes six servings. (This also can be made ahead and refrigerated. If so, bake 55 to 60 minutes.) Source: (Sioux Falls, S.D.) Argus Leader

Cinnamon pull-aparts Mix together 1/2 cup brown sugar and 3 tablespoons milk. Pour into Bundt pan. Separate biscuits from three regular (not jumbo) cans of buttermilk biscuits. Place biscuits on end in bundt pan. Melt one stick of butter or margarine, 1 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon and pour over biscuits. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Upend on large plate, allowing cinnamon glaze to drip over pull-aparts. Serve hot. Source: (Sioux Falls, S.D.) Argus Leader

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1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 loaf French bread, cut in 1-inch slices 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided 3 tart apples (Granny Smith) 1 1/2 cups milk 6 large eggs 1 tablespoon vanilla Combine brown sugar, butter and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in 13-inch by 9-inch dish. Add apples and cranberries; toss to coat well. Spread apple mixture evenly over bottom of dish. Arrange slices of bread on top. Mix eggs, milk, vanilla and remaining 2 teaspoons cinnamon until well blended. Pour mixture over bread, soaking bread completely. Cover and refrigerate four to 24 hours. Bake covered with foil in preheated 375degree oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand five minutes. Serve warm. Source: “South Dakota Governors Residence Cookbook” (2007, South Dakota Heritage Fund)


Kids page

Coloring

Connect the dots

Maze

Word search

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday January February March April May June July August September October November December

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puzzles for parents ACROSS 1. Saddam Hussein’s Islam 6. A friend in Paris 9. Aretha’s "_ _ _ _ E C T" 13. Black and white treats 14. In a city like New York, you don’t need one 15. Vengeful wife of Jason in Greek mythology 16. On the move 17. Gardening tool 18. Big brother, e.g. 19. “Right of _______” 21. Carrie Bradshaw’s city 23. Poetic "ever" 24. Text messenger 25. *Where many city folk live, abbr. 28. Kids’ building block 30. Remove zinc coating 35. Douglas to his buddies? 37. Uric acid build-up 39. Go under it so as not to be noticed 40. Floor covering 41. Rap in music or horror in movies, e.g. 43. Greek sandwich 44. Relating to the ilium 46. Nonlethal gun 47. A bunch 48. Hustle and ______ 50. RPMs 52. Acid drug 53. Abounding with elms 55. Opposite of their 57. Point of stress for some 61. Japanese grill 65. IRS’ threat 66. Tax helper 68. Will strike if necessary 69. Docks 70. “There Will Be Blood” was based on this book 71. Relating to kidneys 72. Writer Rice 73. Not ___, a point in time 74. Smelling of beer

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DOWN 1. TV opera 2. Celestial bear 3. Basketball team that wants to move to Brooklyn 4. Most city-dwellers get used to it? 5. Jerusalem, Tel Aviv are two of its cities 6. Heart feeling 7. Chinese communist Zedong 8. “Flashdance” Cara 9. Bank on 10. Cocoyam 11. Tiresias in “Oedipus Rex” 12. Common area 15. One who mewls 20. Hall of fame footballer Forrest 22. Old age, archaic 24. A getaway

25. Improvise 26. Southern chicken stew 27. Capital of Tunisia 29. “Mr. Smith ____ to Washington” 31. Follows zigs 32. Type of poem not about the city 33. Canada-Greenland strait 34. A common city site 36. Fall guy in sports 38. T on a test 42. Short stanza at end of poem 45. Split chin, pl. 49. Cotton gin inventor 51. After life in the city? 54. The real thing 56. Wife of a raja

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57. Spanish snack 58. The Colosseum in ’08, e.g. 59. Yemen port 60. Chicago’s great one in 1871 61. Abrupt stop 62. Usually refers to home movie formats 63. Gray-haired 64. Inwardly 67. Type of chart Solutions on Page 52.


calendar of events

Things to do Jan. 2-4, 16-18 and 23-25 Public ice skating Enjoy time on the ice at Asheville Civic Center, 87 Haywood St. Cost is $5 per session and includes skates. Times are: 10 a.m., noon, and 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Jan. 2, 3, 17 and 24; noon, 2, 4 and 6 p.m. Jan 4, 18 and 25; and 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Jan 16 and 23. For details, call 259-5736.

Jan. 3 ‘Kids Know It All!’ Asheville Playback Theatre invites children to tell stories and see them come alive on stage in this family-friendly improv performance called “Kids Know It All!” Runs 2–3:30 p.m. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. At NC Stage, 15 Stage Lane, in downtown Asheville. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children and seniors (no one turned away because of lack of funds when seats available). Visit ashevilleplayback.org for more information.

Health Adventure Family Day Calling all junior architects and builders: Try your hand at designing and building with a variety of tools and materials. Will your bridge support weight? Can you build a small version of your own house? Or just be creative, with a design out of your own imagination! Join The Health Adventure for Curious About Building, noon-2 p.m. For more information call 254-6373, ext. 327.

Jan. 4 and 11 Creative wellness workshop for parents Take a retreat from your responsibilities in life and ignite sparks of inspiration, insight, creativity, playfulness and transformation in your life. Without any prerequisite of artistic ability, enjoy a supportive environment where a guided expressive arts process leads to refreshing clarity and a renewed sense of self. Runs 2-5 p.m. at Spark Creative Wellness in downtown Asheville. Visit sparkcreativewellness.com and call Jessica Chilton at 301-5172 for information and reservations.

minute session will be in the Family Resource Center at Asheville City Schools Preschool, 441 Haywood Road in West Asheville. The program is funded by Smart Start of Buncombe County and focuses on developing pre-literacy skills through rhythm, rhyme and repetition. Activities include songs, dance and movement, puppet shows, games, music instruments and crafts. Each week, adults receive information for educational activities to do at home. Children who are participating in play and learn for the first time will receive a free book each week. For information, call Marna Holland at 255-5423. Attendance is required at four of the six sessions. Registration is required by e-mail (marna.holland@asheville.k12.nc.us) or phone. New participants may register Jan. 5. Returning participants may register Jan. 8.

Starts Jan. 5 Expressive Arts series Expand creativity, build confidence, make new friends and express yourself through the arts. Series includes collage (Jan. 5-6), mask-making (Jan. 12-13), creative movement (Jan. 26-27), drama games (Feb. 2-3), playback improve theater (Feb. 9-10) and sand play (Feb. 16-17). At Spark Creative Wellness Studio in downtown Asheville. Visit sparkcreativewellness.com and call Jessica Chilton at 301-5172. ◆ For homeschoolers: Runs 12:30-2:30 p.m. Mondays for 6- to 9-year-olds and Tuesdays for 10- to 13-year-olds. ◆ For non-homeschoolers: Runs 4-6 p.m. Mondays for 6- to 9-year-olds and Tuesdays for 10- to 13-year-olds at Spark Creative Wellness Studio in downtown Asheville.

Jan. 6 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.

Jan. 5

Jan. 6 and 13

Food allergy group

Childbirth 101

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.

Registration starts Jan. 5 Play and Learn program Parents/caregivers and children ages 2-5 in Buncombe County are invited to attend a series of six free play and learn group sessions at 10 a.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 13-Feb. 17, and at 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 14 to Feb. 18. Each 45-

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, Jan. 6 and 13, 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.

Jan. 7 and 21 Family Knitting Circle Bring your own needles and enjoy some knitting time, 3:30-4:30 p.m. the first and third Wednesdays of the month at Growing Young Café, 611 Tunnel Road, East Asheville. Call 299-4420 or

PHOTO BY JOHN FLETCHER

Wade McNeilly, from left, Sterling Kirkman and Kimberly McNeilly sample chili during the last year’s Fletcher Chili Cook-off. This year’s event is Jan. 10.

visit growingyoungcafe.com for more information.

MOPS Mothers of Preschoolers meets at Biltmore Baptist Church in Arden on the first and third Wednesday mornings of each month, 9:30-11:30. For more information, call 687-1111.

Starts Jan. 9 Ski and snowboard program for teens Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts is accepting registrations for the 2009 Teen Ski and Snowboard programs, which include Friday Nights at Cataloochee and a West Virginia overnight trip to Winterplace, Feb. 21-22. Friday Nights at Cataloochee include charter bus transportation that departs Stephens-Lee Recreation Center at 4:15 p.m. and returns at 11. Runs five weeks, Jan. 9, 23, 30 and Feb. 6 and 13. Program fees start at $215 for Asheville residents, $220 for nonresidents for lift tickets and a lesson only. Ride the bus to Cataloochee those dates for $20 a week or $90 for the session for residents ($25 and $95 for nonresidents). For more information and to register, contact Christen McNamara at 2514029, or email outdoorprograms@ashevillenc.gov.

Jan. 10 Asheville Area Birth Network Group meets at 10:30 a.m., the second Saturday of each month, at True Health Family Wellness Center, 1095 Hendersonville Road, Suite A, Asheville. For more information, visit asheville birthnetwork.com or contact Sonya Stone at 335-0224 or sonya@ashevillebirthnetwork.com or Jenn McCormack at 713-3707 or jenn@ashevillebirthnetwork.com.

annual Chili Cook-Off at Veritas Christian Academy’s cafeteria. Set-up will begin at 11:15 a.m. and judging will start promptly at 12:15 p.m. The cook-off is open to individuals and local businesses. Prizes and ribbons will be awarded. For information, call 687-0751.

Jan. 11 Family dance party Swannanoa Valley Montessori School presents “Dance, Baby, Dance,” a dance party for young children and their families. Runs 2-4:30 p.m. at The Orange Peel, 101 Biltmore Ave, Asheville. Tickets are $5/person or $6/person at the door. Infants and crawling babies are free. Tickets on sale online at TheOrangePeel.net or call SVMS at 669-8571 or visit swanmont.org for more information.

Jan. 12 Asheville Area Birth Network Groop meets at 7 p.m. at Family to Family, 207 Charlotte St. For more information, visit ashevillebirthnetwork.com or contact Sonya Stone at 335-0224 or sonya@ashevillebirthnetwork.com or Jenn McCormack at 713-3707 or jenn@ashevillebirthnetwork.com.

Chimney Rock homeschool program Find out what winter means for some Chimney Rock Park residents. What happens during winter? How do plants and animals survive through these cold months? Cost is $12 per student, $11.50 for parents (passholders are $7 for students and free for parents). Call 800-277-9611 to register.

Chili Cookoff Fletcher Parks and Recreation hosts its eighth-

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calendar of events Origami Folding Frenzy Continued from Page 45

La Leche League Mondays 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 moms, babies and toddlers are welcome. For information, contact a leader: Susan at 6284438, Jane at 670-1032, Falan at 253-2098, or Tamara at 505-1379.

Jan. 12 and 26 ‘My Mom Is Having a Baby’ A free program to help children ages 3-8 understand, accept and anticipate the changes that will happen as the family prepares for the birth of the new baby. Each child will see and hold lifelike models that show how a baby grows and develops, make a kite mobile for the new baby’s room, receive an activity/coloring book and tour the Mother/Baby Unit at Mission Hospital to see where mom and baby will stay. Program runs 4-5 p.m. the second and fourth Mondays of each month at Mission Hospitals. To register, call 254-6373, ext. 316. For more information, visit thehealthadventure.com and click on the “Programs” tab.

Jan. 13 Moms group A Christian moms group meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month at St. Paul’s Church, 1095 Hendersonville Road in South Asheville. Moms with any age children are welcome. Refreshments and child care provided. For information, contact 388-3598.

Jan. 13-Feb. 19 Pottery classes Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts at Highwater Clays offers three children’s classes, 4-6 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Classes include Throw a Watery World, Amazing Animals and Captain Gabe Presents: Make It, Bake It, Take It. Cost is $95 per session. Call 285-0210 or visit highwaterclays.com for information. The Odyssey studio is at 238 Clingman Ave., Asheville.

Jan. 14

Learn new folds, share favorites, and meet fellow origami enthusiasts. All levels welcome. Paper is available at the museum store or bring your own. No club dues, just the cost of museum admission. 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.

Jan. 15 Family Fun Night Put on pajamas and come to the East Asheville Library at 6:30 p.m. for an evening of bedtime stories, songs and fun with a sock hop theme. Ideal for ages 3-6, but all ages welcome. Free, with snacks provided. The library is at 902 Tunnel Road. Call 250-4738.

Health Adventure Brownie Girl Scout program What better place to learn about your body than The Health Adventure? Come see a 600-year-old skull and use life-size bones to build a human skeleton. Learn neat tricks you can do with your body. Experience what the phrase “the room is spinning” really means in our dizzy tunnel. Program runs 3:30-6 p.m. and includes 75 minutes of museum exploration. Cost is $5/Brownie (adult volunteers are free). Cost includes the Try-It badge, which the program meets. Call 254-6373 for information.

Mothers of Multiples Group for moms with multiples is hosting its holiday party for members and moms looking to join at 7 p.m. at the Biltmore Park clubhouse. Meetings are an opportunity to share experiences and offer support in a social setting. For information, call 444-AMOM or visit ashevillemom.com.

Jan. 15 and Feb. 1 Maccabi Academy open house Maccabi Academy, Western North Carolina’s first Jewish Community Day School, welcomes prospective students for next year’s kindergarten through fourth grade classes. Interested families are invited to attend open houses from 5-7 p.m. Jan. 15 or 3-5 p.m. Feb. 1. Maccabi Academy combines a general studies and arts curriculum with a comprehensive Judaic studies curriculum, all taught against the backdrop of tikkun olam (healing the world). The school is at 229 Murdock Ave., Asheville. For more information, call 2545660 or visit maccabiacademy.org.

Breast-feeding Basics class Park Ridge Hospital in Hendersonville offers a course on the basics of breast-feeding, 7-9 p.m. Held in the hospital’s Duke Room. Call Sheri Gregg at 681-2229 for information or to register. Park Ridge

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 topic for January is “Educate Before You Vaccinate,” presented by April Renee. The group provides support, education and resources to parents who desire to create a healthy environment for their children. All meetings take place on the second Wednesday of every month at Earth Fare in West Asheville from 6-8 p.m. Children are welcome. For information, call 230-4850 or e-mail shantisunshine @gmail.com

Jan. 16 Moms night out Growing Young Café hosts a night out from 6-9:30 p.m. on the first and third Friday of every month. Children enjoy imaginative play, art activities and games. Cost is $20/child ($15 for second child). Sign up and pay by preceding Wednesday to reserve your spot. The café is at 611 Tunnel Road. Call 299-4420 or visit growingyoungcafe.com.

Jan. 17 Be Active Day The Be Active Van will visit Blue Ridge Mall in Hendersonville, noon–4 p.m. A free and fun afternoon of music, giveaways, interactive games and activities to inspire kids and adults to move more and be active. Sponsored by Henderson

County Partnership for Health. Call Kim at 6946064 for more information.

Brownie Bakers workshop If you love brownies, you won’t want to miss this. Learn how to make caramel brownies, blondies and crème de menthe brownies at Young Chefs Academy, 336 Rockwood Road, Arden. Workshop is 10 a.m.-noon and cost is $39, with 25 percent off for siblings. To register, call 651-2433.

Colonial tea party Smith-McDowell House Museum will host a Colonial-era tea party. The program will feature fictional girl characters from the Dear America Series and Felicity from the American Girl Series. The program will include a craft, Colonial treats and tea, and a lesson on Colonial manners, penmanship and recreation. Dress code will be Sunday best dressy. Girls ages 7-12 are welcome to bring their favorite doll and dress in period costumes, if desired. Two-hour program begins at 11 a.m. A second program at 3 p.m. will be added if first program reaches 12-person minimum. Cost is $25 for adults, $20 for children. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Call 253-9231 for reservations. The museum is at 283 Victoria Road on the campus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

Drama improv workshop An intermediate level class to take kids’ improv skills to the next level through small-group improv challenges and one-on-one coaching. Runs 10 a.m.-noon for 8- to 10-year-olds and 2-4 p.m. for 11- to 13-year-olds. At Spark Creative Wellness Studio in downtown Asheville. Call Jessica Chilton at 301-5172.

La Leche League Saturdays La Leche League’s Saturday group meets at 10 a.m. the third Saturday of the month at Awakening Heart on Merrimon Avenue. Pregnant moms, babies and toddlers are welcome. For information, contact a leader: Adrienne at 773-1534 or Jen at 713-3707.

Teen Writing Circle Strengthen your writing muscles with games, writing exercises, and feedback on your stories and poems from other teens. Bring a poem, story, or other piece of writing to share with our group of teen writers at the East Asheville Library. Meets at 3 p.m. Free, with snacks provided. For ages 11-18. Snacks provided. The library is at 902 Tunnel Road. Call 250-4738.

Jan. 17, 24 and 31 Saturday Sewing Work on an ongoing project or learn a new one from instructor Tracy Munn at Sew Simply in Black Mountain. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Cost is $40. For ages 8 and older. Students will have use of six computer Pfaff sewing machines and two sergers. Students are welcome to bring their own machines (must know how to operate before class). For information or to register, call 669-3978 or visit sewsimply.com.

Jan. 19 Grandparent class This 90-minute free course covers how grandparents can help, how childbirth has changed, gift ideas, safety and a tour of the Park Ridge Hospital obstetrics unit. Class is at 7 p.m. in the Duke Room at Park Ridge, 100 Hospital Drive, Hendersonville. For information or to register, call 681-2229.

PHOTO BY JOHN COUTLAKIS

There is still time to skate at the Asheville Civic Center, which will offer sessions Jan. 2-4, 16-18 and 23-25. For details, visit ashevillenc.gov or call 259-5736.

Register by Jan. 19 Charlotte Bobcats game Buncombe County Parks, Greenways and Recreation is offering a trip to see the Charlotte Bobcats play the Los Angeles Lakers on March 31. Cost for the game, including transportation from Asheville, is $30 per person. Sign up by Jan. 19. For information, contact Jay Nelson at 250-4269 or jay.nelson@buncombecounty.org for more information. This trip requires a minimum of 12 paid fans.

Jan. 20 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.

Family Fun Night Kick off the 2009 International Year of Astronomy with celestial bedtime stories and songs at 6:30 p.m. at Weaverville Library. Wear pajamas, if desired. The library is at 41 N. Main St. Call 250-6482.

Jan. 21 and 28 Morning out sewing Work on an ongoing project or learn a new one

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Fortune, Black Mountain. For information, call SVMS at 669-8571 or visit swanmont.org.

from instructor Tracy Munn at Sew Simply in Black Mountain. From 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Cost is $30. Students will have use of six computer Pfaff sewing machines and two sergers. Students are welcome to bring their own machines (must know how to operate before class). For information or to register, call 669-3978 or visit sewsimply.com.

Jan. 22-25 Blowing Rock Winterfest Three full days of fun, including WinterFeast, wine auction, live music, chili cook-off, kids’ activities, ice carving, Polar Plunge in Chetola Lake and much more. Free hot chocolate & hayrides. In Blowing Rock. For more information, visit blowingrockwinterfest.com or (877) 295-7801.

Jan. 22 ACA open house Asheville Christian Academy is hosting a drop-in open house, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Parents will give tours, and guests will have the opportunity to observe classes in session. Experience ACA’s liberal arts education distinguished by a Biblical worldview. ACA serves K4 through 12th grade. Call 581-2200 or visit ACAcademy.org.

Jan. 23-25 Dog agility trial Watch dogs jump hurdles, race through tunnels and climb over A-frames at high speed at the American Kennel Club Dog Agility Trial at WNC Agricultural Center McGough Arena. From 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday to Sunday. Free. Spectators are welcome but should leave their dogs at home. For information, call 697-2118.

Game night Bring your favorite board and card games to East Asheville Library from 6-7:30 p.m. All ages welcome. The library is at 902 Tunnel Road. Call 250-4738.

Jan. 22 and 29 Evening out sewing Work on an ongoing project or learn a new one at Sew Simply in Black Mountain. From 6-9 p.m. Cost is $30. Use the school’s Pfaff sewing machines or sergers or bring your own machine. Call 669-3978 or visit sewsimply.com.

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Sew Simply students show off their completed projects. The Black Mountain sewing school teaches sewing to children as young as 8 on three Saturday mornings in January, and offers moms morning and evening sewing workshops, as well.

Jan. 22 and 31 Swannanoa Valley Montessori School open house Meet teachers and see classrooms at Swannanoa

Valley Montessori School, 6-7:30 Jan. 22 or 3-5 p.m. Jan. 31. Preschool (ages 18 months to kindergarten) is at 130 Center Ave., Black Mountain. Elementary (first to sixth grades) is at Carver Community Center at corner of Cragmont and

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Jan. 24 Cupcake Makers workshop Kids will have fun making and eating cupcakes at this workshop at Young Chefs Academy, 336 Rockwood Road, Arden. Recipes include ice cream cone cupcakes, banana cupcakes and chocolate-chocolate cupcakes. Workshop is 10 a.m.-noon and cost is $39, with 25 percent off for siblings. To register, call 651-2433.


calendar of events Isaac Dickson Hot Chocolate 10K and Kids Hill Climb

of museum exploration.

Jan. 30

The Isaac Dickson Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization hosts the Hot Chocolate 10K & Kids Hill Climb. Enjoy Asheville’s flattest 10K followed by entertainment and a cup of hot cocoa or Starbucks coffee after the race. The 1K Kids Hill Climb is limited to children 12 and younger. Kids will receive T-shirts and medals while supplies last. Visit hotchocolate10K.com for information.

‘The Illiad’ school performance Aquila Theatre Company presents Homer’s “The Iliad” as part of the Diana Wortham Theatre’s 2009 School Show Series. Showtime is 10 a.m. Cost is $10. Recommended for grades six and higher. Teachers and bus drivers are free with groups of 10 or more. The Y.E.S. (Youth Education Scholarship) Fund provides need-based scholarships to cover the cost of admission for students and schools; limited scholarships available by application for students on free or reduced lunch programs. For information and reservations, call Rae Geoffrey at 257-4544, ext. 307, or visiting dwtheatre.org and clicking on the Teacher’s Page link.

Jan. 24 and 31 Fletcher baseball and softball registration Register 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Fletcher First Baptist Church’s Fellowship Building for the spring season of Fletcher baseball and softball. Evaluations will be Feb. 28, with practices starting mid-March. For information, call 687-4545 or visit fletcher youthsports.com.

Jan. 31 Cookie Monsters workshop

Love and Logic workshop This two-part workshop, Becoming a Love and Logic Parent, will use hands-on learning to help adults gain practical skills in the Love and Logic method. Love and Logic uses humor, hope, and empathy to build healthy adult-child relationships. From 9 a.m.-noon at the New Classical Academy in Weaverville. Cost is $60 per person or $100 for two people. There is a $9 materials fee for the workbook. For more information contact Beth Hockman at raisingresponsiblekids1@gmail.com, 299-9844, or raisingresponsiblekids.com.

PHOTO BY STEPHEN MILLER

Lily McDonald runs in the Isaac Dickson Hot Chocolate 10K and Kids Hill Climb. This year’s race is Jan. 24.

Starts Jan. 25

families to keep birth normal with monthly meetings the fourth Tuesday. This month, a local chiropractor will discuss position changes for pregnancy comfort and labor. Meeting is 7-8 p.m. at Pardee Health Education Center in Blue Ridge Mall, Four Seasons Boulevard. For information, e-mail birthnetworkofwnc@gmail.com.

Sparkle Sisters workshop for tweens

Jan. 28

A three-week expressive arts workshop offering girls ages 9-13 a supporting place for self-expression and encourages healthy self-esteem. Runs 2-5 p.m. at Spark Creative Wellness Studio in downtown Asheville. Call Jessica Chilton at 3015172 or visit sparkcreativewellness.com for information.

Closes Jan. 25 ‘Curious George’ The Health Adventure’s exhibit based on the “Curious George” books and “Curious George” PBS Kids series will pique visitors’ curiosity and engage children in key math, science and engineering experiences. For more information, visit thehealthadventure.org.

Jan. 27 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.

BirthNetwork of WNC BirthNetwork of WNC is a grass-roots nonprofit networking group advocating for mother-friendly maternity care and increasing options to birthing

Learn to make tasty and good-looking cookies, like peanut blossom cookies, snowball cookies and stained glass window cookies at Young Chefs Academy, 336 Rockwood Road, Arden. Workshop is 10 a.m.-noon and cost is $39, with 25 percent off for siblings. To register, call 651-2433.

Jan. 31 and Feb. 7 YOU-nique Expressions workshop Use photography, collage, sand-tray creations,

poetry, music and drama to express yourself. Bring in favorite music, magazines and photos to use in a guided creative process that is fun, supportive, empowering and led by imagination. Runs 1-3 p.m. at Spark Creative Wellness Studio in downtown Asheville. Call Jessica Chilton at 301-5172 or visit sparkcreativewellness.com for information.

Feb. 2 Groundhog Day Learn about the world of groundhogs at the WNC Nature Center with naturalist Carlton Burke during an hourlong presentation at 2 p.m. Regular admission rates apply. The center is at 75 Gashes Creek Road, East Asheville. For information, call Keith at 298-5600, ext. 305. PHOTO BY ERIN BRETHAUER

Nibbles, a groundhog at the WNC Nature Center. Continues on Page 50

Kids book club The Weaverville Library has added a book club for school age kids that meets the fourth Wednesday of every month. The School Age Book Club features book discussions, author talks, crafts, movies and fun. Meetings at 4 p.m. For more information, call 250-6482 or e-mail weaverville.library@buncombecounty.org. The library is at 41 N. Main St.

Jan. 28-29 Evergreen Community Charter School information nights Learn about Evergreen Community Charter School for kindergarten-second grade from 5-7 p.m. Jan. 28 and for third-eighth grades 5-7 p.m. Jan. 29. For more information or a campus tour call 2982173, ext. 229. The school is at 50 Bell Road, East Asheville, and evergreenccs.org.

Jan. 29 Health Adventure Junior Girl Scout program Use your best detective skills to solve some Health Adventure mysteries. Can you figure out why some dogs have floppy ears? Can you make colors appear using only black ink and white paper? Can you guess what your DNA looks like? Earn the Science Sleuth badge. Cost is $7/Junior (adult volunteers are free), which includes the badge. From 3:30-6 p.m., including 30 minutes

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performs as part of the Diana Wortham Theatre’s 2009 School Show Series. Showtime is 10 a.m. Cost is $6. The dance company presents a spectrum of works that are multicultural, intergenerational, socially and visually appealing. RecomRingling Bros. and Barnum & mended for all ages and grades. Cost is $6. Teachers and bus drivers are free with groups of Bailey Circus 10 or more. The Y.E.S. (Youth Education ScholarSee the circus’ “Zing Zang Zoom” show at Bi-Lo ship) Fund provides need-based scholarships to Center in Greenville, S.C. Ticket prices are $15$88. For showtimes and tickets, visit Ringling.com cover the cost of admission for students and schools; limited scholarships available by applicaor Ticketmaster.com. tion for students on free or reduced lunch programs. For information and reservations, call Rae Geoffrey at 257-4544, ext. 307, or visiting dwtheatre.org and clicking on the Teacher’s Page Eleone Dance Theatre link. The Philadelphia–based Eleone Dance Theatre

Feb. 4-8

WNC PARENT PHOTO

From left, Brad and Maya Hunter and Ed and Leia Reilly share a laugh on the dance floor at the annual Fletcher FatherDaughter Dance last year at Calvary Episcopal Church. Tickets are on sale now for this year’s dances.

Feb. 5

Feb. 6 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. Donations accepted, but not required. For more information, call the Rev. Sean Maney at 242-8402 or visit malvernhillspca.com.

Feb. 7 Father/daughter dance Tickets go on sale Jan. 5 for Fletcher residents (Jan. 12 to the public) for the annual Fletcher Father/Daughter Dance. There will be two dances on Feb. 7, at 3 and 6 p.m. Fathers and daughters can make valentines, and enjoy refreshments and each other. At Calvary Episcopal Church’s Fellowship Hall. Tickets cost $10/father and $5/daughter for Fletcher residents and $17/father and $7/daughter for nonresidents. Tickets can be purchased at Fletcher Town Hall. Advance purchase is required.

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Playin’ It Safe workshop Living the Healthy Life: Playin’ It Safe is a workshop for teen girls and their moms with frank discussions of “taboo” subjects and unpopular problems to empower teens to make good choices and avoid unwanted pregnancies, STDs, risky behaviors and dating violence. Runs 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in Ferguson Auditorium, 340 Victoria Road, Asheville. Open to rising eighthgraders and older, and their moms. Suggested donation is $5. Lunch and giveaways are included. Registration is strongly recommended. Call 252-4442 or e-mail playinitsafe@gmail.com for information and to register.

Valentine family contra dance Artspace Charter School hosts a beginners contra dance and celebrates Valentine’s Day, 7-10 p.m. Evening starts with brief Contra dancing instruction followed by live music with a caller, dancing, baked goodies, refreshments and family fun. Artspace Charter School is at 2030 U.S. 70 in Swannanoa. For tickets and more information, call 713-9923.


calendar of events

Feb. 9

15 DE ENERO – 19 DE FEBRERO ¡LISTOS PARA APRENDER!

Veritas Christian Academy open house Veritas Christian Academy, a classical Christian school serving pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, will host an open house, 5-6:45 p.m. The public is invited to tour the school, see the curriculum and talk with the faculty. Veritas Christian Academy is at 17 Cane Creek Road in Fletcher, at the corner of Hendersonville Road and Cane Creek Road. Call Darla Hall at Veritas at 6810546 for further information.

Feb. 14 Flip Flop Hop A “tropical gala” to support the WNC Down Syndrome Alliance at 7 p.m. at The Orange Peel. Visit flipflophop.com for information.

Ongoing Joyful Noise classes Joyful Noise Community Music and Arts Center is enrolling students for its private lessons and group classes. For general information, visit brioconcertseries.org/joyfulnoise.html or e-mail joyfulnoiseartscenter@gmail.com. For private lessons, contact director Gina Caldwell at 6492828 or gina_m_caldwell@yahoo.com. Class offerings include: ◆ Dance classes including clogging at beginner and intermediate levels for children and adults and Irish/clogging for kids. Cost is $10 per class. Starts Jan. 5 and runs through May. At First Presbyterian Church in Weaverville. Contact Heidi Kulas, 319-7202, cloggerina@charter.net ◆ Appalachian ballad singing and old-time rhythm guitar and bass classes ($10 each), and Appalachian slow jam each Monday, 6-7 p.m. that is open to the public ($5 each week). At First Presbyterian Church in Weaverville. Contact Cary Fridley, 337-6467 or caryfridley@gmail.com. ◆ Hand quilting: Learn the traditional way of making a quilt by hand. Complete at 32-inch square sampler. Cost is $12 per class, not including supplies. E-mail joyfulnoisearts center@gmail.com for information. ◆ Musial Mornings with Mommy and Me: A five-week course with music, movement and fun exploring the habitats around the world. Cost is $65 for five weeks, $25 for additional siblings. For ages 2-4. Begins late January. Contact Cynthia Roop at croop@mhc.edu or 319-7077. At Weaverville United Methodist Church.

Moms afternoon out for yoga Brightwater Yoga and Hands On! A Child’s Gallery are partnering to offer moms a chance to do yoga while their kids play. Every Wednesday afternoon in January, Hands On! will offer baby sitting from 3:15-5 p.m. while moms attend yoga at Brightwater from 3:30-4:45 p.m. Hands On! and Brightwater Yoga are both on Main Street. The cost is $10 for yoga and one child, and $5 more each additional child (no children in diapers, please). Space is limited, so please call Hands On! at 697-8333 to register.

SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Joyful Noise Community Music and Arts Center teaches violin, clogging, quilting and more.

Asheville Music School The Asheville Music School is now enrolling new students for the new year. Private lessons, all instruments, ages and voice ranges. From Music at First Sight and group guitar to violin classes. Call 252-6244 or visit ashevillemusic.org

Swimming lessons

through fun experiences, music, visual aids, books and games in classes taught by professional native speakers. Enrollment is year-round in classes for children 3-12 with discounts for siblings. Please contact Claudia McMahan at 6810843 or Beatriz Riascos-Socarras at 687-9620 or e-mail mm_spanish@hotmail.com.

Learn to swim at the YWCA of Asheville. Red Cross Mom’s meet-up certified swim lessons are now in session and can Join other moms at The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., be joined at any point in the session. Classes are at 11 a.m. the first Wednesday of each month, offered for babies, preschoolers, youth, teens and and then every Tuesday the rest of the month at 11 a.m. There is a carpeted children’s area with adults. Call 254-7206, ext. 110, for more infortoys, and moms enjoy half-priced coffees and mation or sign up at the YWCA, 185 S. French teas. Moms with kids of all ages welcome. Call Broad Ave. Visit ywcaofasheville.org. 252-8362.

Asheville Hiking Moms

Join a group of moms that takes babies and kids hiking in Asheville and surrounding areas. Most of the hikes are between two to six miles in length with one or two breaks along the way to eat and let the kids play or swim. Most hikes take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information e-mail avlhikingmoms@gmail.com.

Mommy and Me for Babies

This is a free group that meets weekly in two locations to provide an opportunity for new parents to gather. Group resumes second week of January. On Tuesdays, meetings are at Reuter Family YMCA in the Mission Wellness Resource Center Room. Mommy/Baby Yoga For Pre-Crawlers is 9:30-10:15 a.m.; guest speaker/open discussion is 10:30-11:30; walk and talk is 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. On Wednesdays, meet at the YWCA, 185 S. French Broad Ave. walk and talk is 9-9:45 a.m.; guest speaker/open discussion is Suzuki violin lessons 10-11 a.m.; mommy/baby yoga for pre-crawlers is Ongoing enrollment is available for violin students 11:30-11:45 a.m. Please call 213-8098 or e-mail ages 3 through adult in the Suzuki Violin Studio of shantisunshine@gmail.com to register. Holly Thistle in Asheville. Accepting new students Spanish immersion program from beginning through advanced intermediate Immersion programs are the most effective way levels. Call Holly Thistle at 545-8673 for more for children to learn Spanish. Kids will learn information about the Suzuki Method and her naturally in small, age-appropriate classes program of instruction.

Rising Sprouts yoga and gymnastics Rising Sprouts offers yoga classes for children ages 2-5 and gymnastics classes for children ages 2-10 at Montford Community Center, the East Asheville Recreation Center and Growing Young Café in East Asheville. For information and class schedules, call Catie Fagan at 298-7471 or visit risingsprouts.com.

La Sociedad del Éxito de Aprendizaje invita a niños de 2-5 años quienes no están en la escuelita, juntos con sus padres o guardianes del condado de Buncombe y la ciudad de Asheville, a participar unas series de 6 clases gratis. Ayude a su niño al desarrollo social y emocional en un contexto de alfabetismo temprano y de pre-matemáticas por medio de cuentos, canciones, poemas, y vocabulario. Las clases empiezan el jueves, 15 de noviembre, 10:30 a 11:15 a.m. en el Centro de Literatura de la Familia de ACSP, 441 Haywood Road. Cada niño recibe un libro gratis al final de cada clase. Para registrarse por favor llame a Mónica Bastin al 255-5423. (This free program is offered exclusively to families who are fluent in Spanish and speak it as their primary language at home.)

Asheville Arts Center classes The Asheville Arts Center is now enrolling for the spring semester. Choose from a variety of dance, drama and music classes. Call 253-4000 or visit ashevilleartscenter.com for more information. Also enrolling at the school are: ◆ Children’s Theatre Workshop: “Wizard of Oz” begins Jan. 6 (for ages 5-9) or Feb. 12 (for ages 10-18). Performances in May. “Annie Jr.” at the South location, 9 Summit Ave., begins Jan. 5 (ages 5-18). Performances in April. ◆ Parents morning out: The Asheville Arts Center’s Parents Morning Out program has a few openings for two-, three- and five-day day enrollment for spring. The performing arts-based program for 2- to 5-year-olds runs 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Tots On Toes ballet, tap classes Classes at the Stoney Mountain Activity center in Mountain Home, just south of Fletcher. Preschool, kindergarten-second grade, third-fifth grade and sixth-eighth grade classes available. Classes are $30 per month with a $15 registration fee and $20 recital fee due upon registration. For a complete schedule and more information, contact Dory Jones at 684-9201 or 242-6643, e-mail dory@TotsOnToes.com or visit TotsOnToes.com.

Park Ridge Hospital’s Baby Place Allegro Music Studio childbirth classes Private lessons for students ages 5 and older. Seven-week session of classes offered 7-9 p.m. Wednesdays in the Duke Room at Park Ridge Hospital, 100 Hospital Drive, Hendersonville. Cost is $25 total for the series. Start at any point in the class cycle. Please call Sheri Gregg at 6812229 for information or to register.

Instruments include guitar, bass, piano/keyboard, violin and percussion. Family discounts available. At 1977 Hendersonville Road, suite C. For more information, call 699-5580 or e-mail info@allegrostudio.com.

Lego Maniacs Club

Asheville Creative Music School

Kids can meet friends who are as into Legos as they are at Growing Young Café’s club. The café has thousands of the building blocks to enjoy, including Legos and pirates. Group meets 10 a.m.-noon Jan. 6, 17, 20 and 31. The café is at 611 Tunnel Road, East Asheville. Call 299-4420 or visit growingyoungcafe.com.

Aimed toward those who favor the post-conventional, holistic approach to making music and developing a personal style, the Asheville Creative Music School is now open in West Asheville, at 178 Westwood. Lessons in percussion, brass, winds and strings. First lesson is free. Visit ACMS.vpweb.com or call 333-2000.

W N C PA R E N T P R E S E N T S W N C M O M . C O M , T H E P L AC E W H E R E L O C A L M O M S C O N N E C T

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Solutions to puzzles on Page 44

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WNC Parent - January 2009