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contents This month’s features 5

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Family traditions From big feasts to celebrating without Santa, a look at how WNC marks the holidays.

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Beyond coffee mugs We ask what teachers really want as holiday gifts.

Homemade holidays Crafter Suzie Millions teaches us two kid-friendly crafts.

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Family fun A calendar of holiday events around WNC.

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Germ season

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Financial planning

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Tips for keeping winter’s colds at bay.

Two local experts offer advice on organizing your 2012 finances.

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New digs Take a peek at The Health Adventure’s new space.

Tough talks Counselors give suggestions on how to help kids when tragedy strikes.

Nature Center 2020 WNC’s wildlife center plans for its future.

In every issue

On the cover

Artist’s Muse ...................18

Colton Grawe, by Amanda Prince Photography, www.aprincephoto.com.

Kids’ Voices .....................17 Parent 2 Parent ................30 Home-School Happenings.38 Growing Together............40 F.E.A.S.T...........................42 Divorced Families ............45 Librarian’s Picks...............48 Story Times .....................49 Puzzles............................50 Kids Page ........................55 Calendar .........................56

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.com Are you a member? Join the conversation, post photos and connect with other parents at WNCParent.com. Look for WNC Parent on Facebook and Twitter.

Woohoo! Christmas! Katie Wadington, editor

My. Favorite. Time. Of. The. Year. I know I’m not alone. But I’m one of those people who doesn’t mind when the Christmas music starts playing in early November. If it were up to me, I’d have the outdoor lights up at my house shortly after Halloween. (One year, in high school, I surprised my Dad by quickly putting up the outdoor lights before he came home from work. It was Nov. 5.) If you’re not in the holiday spirit yet, hopefully some of the stories on these pages will get you more in the mood. So what are you getting your children’s teachers? It can be tricky to find just the right gift. Our story on Page 7 gets some suggestions from area educators. With decorating budgets a bit smaller this year, we have a couple of stories on homemade holiday decor. Find them on Pages 10 and 18. The story on Page 5 looks at how some families celebrate the holidays in WNC. What are your families traditions? Share them with us on our Facebook page. Finances aren’t especially fun to think about this (or any) time of year. But the story on Page 24 gets advice from two experts on how to get your pocketbook in shape for 2012. Holidays aside, one thing I did want to address in this issue is helping your children cope with tragedies that hit close to home. A neighbor gave me the story idea as she struggled to help her daughter deal with the death of a friend in a car crash. Learn some valuable parenting lessons in the story on Page 28. Lastly, you’ll find another new feature this month on Page 46 — a column from the WNC Nature Center. It will bring lessons on area wildlife to our pages each month. I wish you and yours the happiest of holidays. Be sure to check Facebook and Twitter for holiday tips and happenings this month. And I’ll see you in 2012!

P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802 828-232-5845 | www.wncparent.com PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER Randy Hammer WNC PARENT EDITOR Katie Wadington — 232-5829 kwadington@citizen-times.com

FEATURES EDITOR Bruce Steele bsteele@citizen-times.com

ADVERTISING/CIRCULATION Tim (Bo) Head — 232-5860, thead@gannett.com CALENDAR CONTENT Due by Dec. 10. E-mail calendar@wncparent.com ADVERTISING DEADLINE Advertising deadline for the January issue is Dec. 16.

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Christmas traditions Families find myriad ways to celebrate the season By Lockie Hunter WNC Parent contributor

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amily holiday traditions are often as varied as families themselves. WNC’s families are no different. “We have a framework of tradition ... but not hard and fast traditions,” says Diana McCall, of Black Mountain. “Our tree is either live or purchased to benefit a local nonprofit. There is always a fire in the fireplace. And as many years as I can wrangle them, a walk with the whole or part of the family and whomever is visiting.” Many families have different cultural backgrounds, contributing to an abundance of joyful traditions that honors the old while making room for the new. Asheville mom Jennifer Rennicks celebrates an Irish-American heritage. “Everyone participates in bringing evergreens into the house at the coldest, darkest time of the year — whether it’s a fresh cut or living tree, boughs of holly or small branches from a fir in the yard. Less natural but just as beloved by our children are Christmas crackers, a Victorian-era party favor shaped like a large Tootsie Roll that ‘cracks’ loudly when pulled part to reveal a toy, a joke and a paper crown.”

Absent Santa Claus

Santa presents a problem for Lis Anna, local artist and mom. “When my daughter was born, I promised her that I would not lie to her,” she says. “In order to be lifetime friends, full of love and respect, we must be honest at every corner, even the sharp ones.” So, she decided to celebrate Christmas without Santa. “We leave presents

Emma, left, and Ciara Rennicks celebrate the holidays by opening Christmas crackers, which contain small toys, jokes or paper crowns. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

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for our children. It’s OK for us to own it, claim it.” She still loves Christmas. “I love the magic,” she says. “The cold winter days. The smell of cinnamon and pies warm from the oven. I love the idea that maybe, just maybe, there are fantastic, wonderful things in this world. And they are magical.” So, in kicking Santa to the curb, she realized that she was going to have to infuse the holiday spirit with lots of magic. “The Christmas village must light up and we must find all of the animals and include them in our celebration,” Anna says. “We must leave feasts for the squirrels and birds. We must all celebrate.”

Culinary creativity

Food is paramount at most holiday gatherings. “One of the highlights of the holiday season is the annual plum pudding which is doused in whiskey and set (ever briefly) on fire!” Rennicks says. “Even the treats for Santa have uniquely Irish slant for our family: given how cold it is here (and there) on Christmas Eve, our children leave a small shot of whiskey along with the milk and cookies to ensure he can finish his rounds that night.” McCall enjoys local food offerings. “We always do a fancy, locally based meal. Veggies from the community garden, meat from a local farm. We always set out the fine china and get dressed up. We usually do something festive for both the Christmas Eve meal and a late afternoon meal on the day of Christmas.”

Festive four legs

Pets have a special place in the holidays festivities. Many enjoy opening packages (whether addressed to them or not), playing with decorations, and the additional food and resultant special treats. McCall brings extra animals in to her fold for the holidays. “Last year we fostered puppies from Brother Wolf during the Christmas holiday (when they need extra help) and we will probably do this again,” she says. “We make presents for all of the animals in our house. And for the humans, too. We make Christmas an event,” Anna says. “ Last year we bought homemade dog treats from a local artist, wrapped and tied with ribbon. It thrilled my daughter to give presents to her fur babies.” This year, Anna is taking her chinchillas, Ida Belle and Flora Belle, to PetSmart to have their holiday photos taken. “It will be their first time. A chinchilla Christmas.”

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The McCall family gives back during the holidays by fostering dogs for Brother Wolf. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Diana McCall, of Black Mountain, and her family create a fancy, locally sourced Christmas meal each year. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Christmas giving Christmas is also a time to remember those less fortunate. Asheville mom Melissa Zepp takes a name from the giving tree and tries to match with her kid’s age and gender. Julie Moran of Asheville always picks names off the tree at the YMCA and gets presents for kids who otherwise might not get much. “I always ask the kids if they are willing to give up some of what they might have gotten in order to give to others who are not as fortunate as we are,” Moran says. “The best part is that they always say yes!”

Family ties

Most traditions include time with friends and family and time for reflection.

Zepp often travels to see family for Christmas. “It’s always a juggle every year but it is important for us to celebrate with both of our families, which are quite large, and with our little family.” MaryBeth Kingston, of Asheville, also takes a journey. “This year Hanukkah will begin on Dec. 20, so we will start travel to D.C. and New York on Dec. 26 to share Hanukkah with our Jewish family,” Kingston says. “Maybe a White House tour, American Girl doll store and MOMA visits in NYC and skiing in the Catskills, too.” Other families prefer to stay local and invite the masses to join them. McCall notes that “we like to include friends and family — anyone we can who happens to be passing through!” While Rennicks says, “In Ireland, and thus now in WNC for us, the day after Christmas (known as Boxing Day or St. Stephen’s Day) is the day for visiting extended family and close friends to share a warm drink and relax together.” Anna celebrates all month. “Everyone in our house celebrates. We drink hot tea and watch movies and unwrap presents. We make mischief and mayhem and happiness.” Lockie Hunter is a freelance writer. Contact her at lockie@lockiehunter.com.

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Stumped on what to get your child’s teacher? Think gift cards, classroom supplies, unique items

social & local

By Pam J. Hecht WNC Parent contributor

Teachers are some of the most important and influential adults in our children’s lives — they wipe their tears when they cry, encourage them to do their best and teach them the world. When it comes to thanking them for these monumental efforts, parents often agonize over the perfect holiday gift. Is there anything we can give them that will make the grade? Anna Austin, president of the Buncombe County Association of Educators, recently surveyed a group of K-12 teachers about their gift preferences. At the top of the list: gift cards for bookstores, movies, restaurants or any place that sells school supplies.

Connect and share with WNC Parent, the region’s only LOCAL parenting resource. Find the latest events and articles on Facebook and Twitter.

Gifts for the classroom

“As a high school teacher, I enjoy receiving gift cards, which can be used for

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@WNCparent | facebook.com/WNCparent | WNCparent.com

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my classroom,” says Ruth Wilson-Phillips, marketing teacher at Owen High School in Black Mountain. “Parents find it hard to believe that high school students are in need of the basics, like paper, pencils, pens, etc., and since my students work on lots of projects, having supplies available to them takes away a lot of stress.” Teachers often spend their own money for classroom supplies, leaving less money to splurge on themselves, says Libby Funderburk, who teaches first and second grade at Candler Elementary. With all of the funding cuts and lack of pay raises, teachers “love stuff for the classroom,” says Funderburk, who sends out a wish list to parents before the holidays of things needed for the classroom. Even something as small as one ream of paper, a box of crayons or a set of watercolor paint is appreciated, she says. “With the budget cuts, teachers struggle so much,” says Kathy Tolar, PTA president at W.D. Williams Elementary in Swannanoa. Tolar, who is raising her 9- and 10-yearold grandsons, sometimes fills a basket with a variety of items like copy paper, markers, glue sticks and tissues, along with a small item just for the teacher and a gift card mentioning “something the teacher did that made her child feel comfortable at school,” she says. Or, sometimes her grandkids want to buy their teacher something like a small picture frame and she’ll include that, too. “I make a note of what they say they need in the class, especially items that don’t last very long,” says Tolar. “Teachers say that’s awesome.” Sometimes, parents pool money to buy the teacher a larger class gift. Some parents who contribute to the group gift also have their child make a homemade gift or card.

Other useful gifts

Funderburk once received an eyeglass case painted with a beach scene from a student who went to the beach. She says she always remembers that because she uses it regularly. For useful items with a local, artistic flair, try one of Asheville’s many independent retail businesses. For example, Southern Highland Craft Guild’s two shops in Asheville (Guild Crafts on Tunnel Road and the Allanstand Craft Shop at the Folk Art Center) offer a variety of inexpensive, useful gifts that teachers would appreciate, says April Nance, public relations manager. Some of the functional pieces of art include hand-woven dish towels, wooden

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Find unique gifts, from kitchen utensils to notecards to ornaments, at the stores of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

cooking utensils, blown-glass ornaments and notecard sets. “There are plenty of gifts that are $12 or less and you can support local artists at the same time,” says Nance, the mother of two boys, ages 8 and 10, who attend Haw Creek Elementary in East Asheville. “I get things for teachers that I use at my own house, like the dish towels that are very functional and colorful.” “I like giving pieces from local artists,” agrees Asheville parent Anna Mills, commenting about teacher gifts via Twitter. “The Asheville Art Museum holiday shop is a great place to find unique items.” “Sometimes I’ll make crafts for teachers, if I know it would be something they’d like and when my kids were younger, they made gifts, too,” Nance adds. “If you don’t have money to donate, consider donating your time,” says WilsonPhillips. “Ask what it is as a parent you can do to help in the classroom — parent involvement is so important at all educational levels.”

Unique gifts

“The most special gift I received from my students was a stack of Christmas cards to send to my son who was in combat in Iraq,” says Wilson-Philips. “These handmade cards with personal sentiments

deeply touched my heart and were a complete surprise — not only did these cards impact my life, but the lives of my son and other military personnel.” When a boy in her class last year brought her back a 10-inch Statue of Liberty from New York City, Funderburk says she was thrilled. “ I passed it around the class,” she says. Another special gift Funderburk remembers is a gift certificate to choose a customized, handmade purse. “It was six years ago and I still use it,” she says. “I also get lots of handmade cards, and I keep them along with photos of the kids,” Funderburk adds. “My most treasured gift was a family who made me handmade stockings and an angel tree topper,” says Austin, a former third- to fifth-grade teacher. “It was the first year in my new house and the gift, which keeps giving year after year, was priceless.” Meanwhile, most teachers agree that they appreciate any gift given to them. “I have always treasured any type of gift a student has given me,” says Austin. “It is the thought that truly counts.” Pam J. Hecht is a freelance writer and editor based in Asheville, North Carolina. E-mail her at pamjh8@gmail.com.

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Suzie Millions, a local crafter, makes homemade holiday crafts that parents and children can easily create together. Here she makes snowmen with a teacup, marshmallows and cotton candy. PHOTOS BY ERIN BRETHAUER/EBRETHAU@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

Homemade holidays Asheville crafter offers 2 Christmas projects kids can assemble

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By Paul Clark

WNC Parent contributor

One of the things kids love most about the holidays is making the decorations. Asheville crafter Suzie Millions, author of “The Complete Book of Retro Crafts” ($14.95 Sterling Publishing), said keeping holiday crafts simple is the way to keep kids interested. “I like the idea of crafts kids can do themselves without mom taking it out of

their hands,” she said. “Err on the side of letting them do it themselves. If they want to put all the pompoms on one side, that’s OK. Don’t over-manage them.” But manage to have everything — all the paper, glue, whatever — on the table before the kids begin, so that they’re not waiting around and losing interest. Millions likes to set the pieces out in multicompartment trays. It looks nice, keeps all like pieces together and makes for easier putting away.

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It’s often good for you to make the craft yourself first, so the kids have a model to shoot for. If you can, try to keep the children working at the same pace, so that no one gets frustrated by being left behind, Millions suggested. Cleanup is a part of complete crafting, and having the children participate in picking up afterward is a gift not only to you but to them also. Here are two crafts to try. They involve small pieces, so watch your little ones!

Sweet snowman

» What you’ll need: Teacups, one per snowman, frosting in a spray can, regularsize and miniature marshmallows, toothpicks, candy canes, pastel candy kisses (available in a grocery store’s bulk candy section), cinnamon drops, paper brads (or nonpareil candies for small children), cotton candy in a tub. “This is super easy,” Millions said. “This is something they can do entirely by themselves. And they can snack on things as they go.” Substitute chocolate kisses for the eyes, if you like, but if you do, poke holes in the marshmallow with a toothpick first to secure the kisses. » Directions: Take a wad of cotton candy and fill the teacup with it, making an impression in the middle to nestle the snowman. Connect two large marshmallows end-to-end with a toothpick. Stick a second toothpick crossways through the top marshmallow and stick two miniature marshmallows per side on each end to make the arms. For the face, squeeze some frosting on a plate (to make sure any unmixed oil comes out first). Dip a toothpick in it and apply this “adhesive” to the top marshmallow where the eyes and nose will be. Use two paper brads or nonpareils for eyes and a cinnamon drop for the nose. Cute, isn’t it? Squirt some frosting on top, then stick a pastel candy kiss on top for the hat. Wipe up any smears and smudges with a cotton swab. Push the snowman down into the nest of cotton candy and poke a candy cane down through the cotton candy so that it leans against one of the snowman’s arms. Pull the candy cane out, squirt some frosting into the hole for cement, then push the candy cane back in place. Cover the hole around it with a little cotton candy. Use a paper towel to clean up the rim of the teacup.

Cone tree

» What you’ll need: A thrift store Christmas book or Christmas wrapping

Use a plate to trace a circle on a piece of holiday wrapping paper or page from a holiday book. This will become a cone tree to decorate.

Attach arms to a marshmallow snowman by first pushing a toothpick through the snowman's "body." Use frosting to adhere the eyes and mouth to the face. paper, children’s scissors, water-soluble marker, glue dots (get them at any craft store), small pompoms (craft store), stickon foil stars, double-sided tape (available at grocery and office supply stores).

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» Directions: Create a quarter-circle template out of a sheet of cardboard or heavy paper. (There are a couple of ways to do this. One is to use a pencil to trace a circle with a big bowl, pot lid or lampshade. Another way to do this is cut a pizza cardboard backing in half, then in half again. Or if you have a compass, like the one you used in high school for drawing circles, open it as wide as it can go (or to the length that you want your cone trees to be tall). Place the pointed end on one corner of the cardboard and draw a curved line from one edge of the cardboard to the other.) Tear out a page of the Christmas book (find a page with great illustrations) or use the wrapping paper. Place the template over the page or paper and use the marker to mark the cut you want to make. Cut the page with the scissors. Run a strip of the double-sided tape along the lower threequarters of one of the straight edges, then curl the paper into a cone, pressing the two ends together along the tape. Use extra tape if you need to. Peel the backing off a glue dot and stick it on the tree. Press a pompom over it. (Older kids may prefer a glue gun over glue dots.) White pompoms look best on a page with lots of color illustrations; otherwise, colored pompoms work great. Use stick-on stars too, if you like. Put a pompom on top with a glue dot.

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Family-friendly holiday happenings Parades

» Dec. 1: Canton at 6 p.m. » Dec. 3: Valdese at 10 a.m. , Hendersonville at 10:30 a.m. , Highlands at 11 a.m. , Weaverville at 1 p.m. , Bryson City at 2 p.m. , Brevard at 3 p.m. , Burnsville at 3 p.m. , Black Mountain at 4 p.m. , Cherokee at 5:30 p.m., Maggie Valley at 6 p.m. (along U.S. 19), Bakersville at 6 p.m. » Dec. 4: Murphy at 2 p.m., Robbinsville at 7 p.m. » Dec. 5: Waynesville at 6 p.m. » Dec. 10: Newland at 6 p.m. » Dec. 10: Fletcher at 10:30 a.m. (along U.S. 25), Marshall at noon , Sylva at 3 p.m. » Dec. 14: Tryon at 5 p.m.

Seasonlong events

Christmas at Biltmore, through Jan. 1, Biltmore Estate. House and grounds decorated for the season. Candlelight Christmas Evenings, offering evening candlelight tours of Biltmore House, through Dec. 31. Visits with Santa on Saturdays through Dec. 18. Call 877-BILTMORE. www.biltmore.com 19th Century Carolina Christmas, through Jan. 4. Smith-McDowell House, at 283 Victoria Road, Asheville, is decked in Victorian holiday decor. Candlelight tours available by reservation for groups. $10 for adults, $6 for college students, $5 for ages 8-18. Call 253-9231 or visit www.wnchistory.org.

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The Second Floor Sitting Room inside the Biltmore House is decorated for Christmas. See it through Jan. 1. JOHN FLETCHER/JFLETCHER@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

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Holidays for Hospice, through Dec. 27. Asheville Mall hosts the CarePartners Garden of Memories, a quilt-themed contemplative space with books listing names of those remembered and honored through Memorial Ornaments. Outside Dillard's Men's Store and Hallmark. For details on ornaments, visit www.carepartnersfoundation.org. Call 277-4815. ‘The Polar Express,’ through Dec. 24, Bryson City. Read along with the story “The Polar Express” on Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Meet Santa, enjoy caroling, hot cocoa and a treat. Times and dates vary. Tickets start at $39 for adults, $26 for ages 2-12. Visit www.gsmr.com or call 800-872-4681. National Gingerbread House Competition, on display through Jan. 1. The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa hosts its 19th annual National Gingerbread House Competition. Community viewing MondayThursday only. At 290 Macon Ave., Asheville. Call 800-438-0050, ext. 1281. ‘Stories of Gingerbread’ guided tours, through Jan. 1. Go behind the scenes and learn about entries in the Grove Park Inn’s gingerbread competition. Hourlong tours at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. WednesdaysSundays. Adults $12, children 12 and younger $6. Reservations required; call 800-438-5800. Holiday Fest, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., through Dec. 24, at Tom Sawyer’s Christmas Tree Farm and Elf Village, Glenville/Cashiers. Free. Visit www.tomsawyerchristmastreefarm.com.

Nov. 30-Dec. 7

Gingerbread Cookie Contest, Nov. 30. Narnia Studios in Hendersonville hosts contest for bakers of all ages with four categories. Deadline for entries is

View entries from the 19th annual National Gingerbread House Competition at the Grove Park Inn through Jan. 1. JOHN FLETCHER/JFLETCHER@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

Nov. 30. Winners announced Dec. 3. Visit www.narniastudios.com or call 697-6393. ‘Plaid Tidings,’ Nov. 30-Dec. 22. Flat Rock Playhouse presents the sequel to “Forever Plaid,” a show for the whole family. 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Visit www.flatrockplayhouse.org or call 693-0731 for tickets. ‘Walking in a Winter Wonderland,’ 6-9 p.m. Dec. 1. Experience Lake Julian Park’s 11th annual Festival of Lights on foot. On opening night only, light show

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will be available to walkers only. $5 adults, $3 kids under 12. Be prepared to walk a half-mile of paved walkway that is of moderate difficulty with some inclines. Strollers or wagons welcome. Visit www.buncombecounty.org. ‘A Christmas Carol,’ Dec. 1-4. Absolute Theatre Company performs the Dickens classic at The Lab Theatre at Hendersonville Christian School. $12. Performances: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1-4, 3 p.m. Dec. 4. Call 243-4562. ‘Dashing through the Snow,’ Dec. 2-4. A familyfriendly comedy in two parts. 7:30 p.m. FridaysSaturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St. Tickets start at $12. 2541320. Visit www.ashevilletheatre.org. Festval of Lights, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 2-18. Lake Julian Park’s drive-thru light show with thousands of lights and more than 50 light displays. $5 per car, $15 per 15-passenger van and $20 per bus. Portion of proceeds benefits Buncombe County Special Olympics. Off Long Shoals Road in Skyland. Call 684-0376 or visit www.buncombecounty.org. ‘Carolina Mountain Christmas Spectacular,’ 7 p.m. Dec. 2-4, 3 p.m. Dec. 3-4, Biltmore Baptist Church, 35 Clayton Road, Arden. Visit www.ncchristmas.com or call 650-6500. Fletcher tree lighting, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at Fletcher Community Park. Free, with nonperishable food donation suggested. Visit www.fletcherparks.org. Hendersonville tree lighting, 5-7 p.m. Dec. 2 at Downtown Hendersonville Historic Courthouse. Four Seasons’ Tree of Lights ceremony honors loved ones

Continues on Page 14

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holiday calendar Continued from Page 13 with luminaries displaying their names. Visit www.downtownhendersonville.org. Call 233-0304. Winter Wonderland, 5-9 p.m. Dec. 2, downtown Franklin. Ice sculpture slide, live music, carriage rides, hot cider and refreshments. Visit www.renewingfranklin.org. Holly Jolly, Dec. 2, Black Mountain. Refreshments, street music, Santa and more. Shops open late. Free. Visit www.visitblackmountain.com. Olde Fashioned Hendersonville Christmas, 5-9 p.m., Dec. 2, downtown Hendersonville. Merchants host an open house with refreshments, entertainment, carriage rides, a visit from Father Christmas and more. Visit www.downtownhendersonville.org. ‘Winterfest: Songs for the Season,’ 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2, 4 p.m. Dec. 3. Asheville Choral Society performs at Arden Presbyterian Church, 2215 Hendersonville Road, Arden. Visit www.ashevillechoralsociety.org or call 232-2060. Holiday Market, Blue Ridge Community College, noon-6 p.m. Dec. 2 and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 3. Selection of gifts from local businesses. Free. Call 6944747. Biltmore Village Dickens Festival, 5-7 p.m. Dec. 2, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 3, and 1-5 p.m. Dec. 4, Biltmore Village, Asheville. Storytellers, carolers and entertainers on the stage and streets. Visit www.biltmorevillage.com. Dillsboro Festival of Lights and Luminaries, Dec. 2-3 and 9-10, downtown Dillsboro. Live music, carolers, holiday treats and Santa from 5-8 p.m. Free. Call 800-962-1911 or visit www.visitdillsboro.org. Winterfest, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 3. Town Center in Burnsville. Nonprofit sale day. Visit www.burnsvilletowncenter.com or call 682-7209. Holiday Ornament Workshop, 11 a.m.-noon Dec. 3. Leicester Library hosts annual workshop for kids of all ages. Make four ornaments to take home. With refreshments. Free and open to public. Call 250-6480 or email leicester.library@ buncombecounty.org.

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Winter Crafts for Kids, noon-2 p.m. Dec. 3. Fairview Library hosts free program with fun and festive crafts for all ages. Free. Call 250-6485. Circle of Lights, Dec. 3. Celebration around Lake Tomahawk in Black Mountain after parade. Free. ‘Polar Express’ event: Dec. 3. Experience the reading of the “Polar Express” story with a live conductor, Santa Claus, refreshments. Children may attend in PJs. For up to age 12. Refreshment proceeds benefit Boys & Girls Club. At Historic Train Depot in Hendersonville, at about 11:45a.m.-noon, immediately following the Hendersonville Christmas parade. Smoky Mountain Toy Run, noon-3 p.m. Dec. 3, motorcycle ride to benefit children. Visit www.smokymountainhog.com. Email candoasign4u@charter.net. Brevard Twilight Tour, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Dec. 3, downtown Brevard. The 24th annual merchants’ open house, with Santa, Christmas parade. Day starts with 5K Reindeer Run and 3K Walk for Life at 9 a.m. Activities start at 11 a.m., parade at 3 p.m. Call 884-3278. Visit www.brevardnc.org. Christmas at the Farm, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 3, Historic Johnson Farm, 3345 Haywood Road, Hendersonville. Holiday music, cookies and cider, house tours, wagon rides, more. Adults $5, children $3, preschoolers free. Call 891-6585 or visit www.historicjohnsonfarm.org. Holiday cookie bake sale, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 3. At First Congregational Church Fellowship Hall in Hendersonville. Call 692-8630. Holiday Tails, 10 a.m.-5p.m., Dec. 3, WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville. Holiday crafts, refreshments, Santa, more. Regular admission. Call 298-5600 or visit www.wncnaturecenter.com. Blue Ridge Ringers, 2 p.m. Dec. 3. Advanced handbell ensemble performs for free at Henderson County Public Library Auditorium. Call 692-4910 or email blueridgeringers@gmail.com. Feed & Seed holiday stories and music, 3-5 p.m. Dec. 3. Holiday stories and music for the family by regional performers. Stories for 10+ and adults. Little ones welcome. Light refreshments available. Free, with $5 suggested donation. At Feed & Seed,

3715 Hendersonville Road, Fletcher. Call 216-3492 or visit www.feedandseednc.com. Santa on the Chimney, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 3 and Dec. 10, Chimney Rock Park. Santa practices on 315-foot Chimney Rock. Regular admission. Visit www.chimneyrockpark.com. Governor’s Western Residence holiday open house, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 3 and 1-6 p.m. Dec. 4. At 45 Patton Mountain Road, Asheville. Christmas Open House, Dec. 3-4, at Narnia Studios, Main Street, Hendersonville. Raffles, refreshments. Call 697-6393, visit www.narniastudios.com. The Grove ‘Bark’ Inn, Dec. 4-7, gingerbread doghouse competition and display. Event benefits Asheville-area pet charities. Contestants will enter doghouses made entirely of dog-edible materials. Visit www.groveparkinn.com or call 800-438-0050, ext. 2012. Guild Artists’ Holiday Sale, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 3. Southern Highlands Craft Guild artists sell their work at Folk Art Center, Milepost 382, Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville. Vance Birthplace Christmas, 4-7 p.m. Dec. 3, Reems Creek Road, Weaverville. Guided candlelight tours of an 1830s Christmas. Call 645-6706. Spirit of Christmas, 6 p.m. Dec. 3, downtown Bryson City. Lighting of Christmas tree on square, entertainment, caroling, visits with Santa. The Big Crafty, noon-6 p.m. Dec. 4. Stock up for the holidays at this independent craft fair at Pack Place, downtown Asheville. Visit www.thebigcrafty.com. Downtown JingleFest, 2-5 p.m. Dec. 4. Start at Roger McGuire Green Terrace in Pack Square Park for traditional caroling, dancing, scenes from “A Christmas Carol,” a North Pole mailbox and a visit from Santa. At dark, move to Pack’s Tavern for games, prizes, drinks and music. In case of inclement weather, event will be entirely at Pack’s Tavern, 20 S. Spruce St., Asheville. Donations of blanket, gloves, scarves, etc., for ABCCM and/or canned goods for MANNA FoodBank accepted. Visit www.ashevilledowntown.org. Hendersonville Community Band Christmas Concert, 3 p.m. Dec. 4. At Blue Ridge Community College Conference Hall in Flat Rock. Adults $10,

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students free. Call 696-2118. ‘Sounds of the Season,’ 3-5 p.m. Dec. 4, Bardo Arts Center, Western Carolina University. Call 2272479. UNC Asheville holiday concert, 4 p.m. Dec. 4, Lipinsky Auditorium. Call 251-6423. Smoky Mountain Brass Band concert, 5 p.m. Dec. 4, Hazelwood Baptist Church, Waynesville. Annual Christmas program. Free and open to the public. Free will offering collected for local charities and the band. Email brassbell@yahoo.com or call 551-6839. Smoky Mountain Brass Band concert, 7 p.m. Dec. 6, Groce United Methodist Church, East Asheville. Annual Christmas program. Free and open to the public. Free will offering collected for local charities and the band. Email brassbell@yahoo.com or call 551-6839.

Dec. 8-15

‘Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol,’ Dec. 8-24, Asheville Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway St., Asheville. Montford Park Players’ 35th annual production. Performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Dec. 8 and 15 performances are “pay what we’re worth nights,” where patrons see the show then decide what to pay. Call 254-5146 or visit www.montfordparkplayers.org. ‘Return to Bethlehem,’ Dec. 8-11, Groce United Methodist Church, 954 Tunnel Road, Asheville. Takes you through the experience of the Bethlehem marketplace as it might have appeared during Christ’s birth. Donations requested. Call 298-7647. ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,’ Dec. 8-11, Brevard Little Theater. Performances at 8 p.m. Dec. 8-9 and 3 p.m. Dec. 10-11. Adults $16, students $10. Call 884-2587 or visit www.brevardlittletheatre.com. Hendersonville Children’s Choir concert, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 9. At Covenant Presbyterian Church. Adults $5, students $2.50. Call 696-4968. Christmas Candlelight Stroll, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 9, downtown Weaverville. Luminaries, entertainment, carriage rides, refreshments and Santa. Visit www.visitweaverville.com. Appalachian Christmas Celebration, Dec. 9-11,

Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Performances by Lake Junaluska Singers on Dec. 9 and 10, and concert by David Hold at 8 p.m. Dec. 10. Craft show on Dec. 10. Worship service is Dec. 11. Visit www.lakejunaluska.com/christmas or call 800-222-4930. Annie Moses Band Christmas Show, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9. At Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin. Adults $20, students $10. Call 273-4615 or visit www.greatmountainmusic.com. Asheville Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker,’ 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 10-11, Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Place, downtown Asheville. Call 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.org or www.ashevilleballet.com. Dillsboro Festival of Lights and Luminaries, Dec. 9-10, downtown Dillsboro. Live music, carolers, holiday treats and Santa from 5-8 p.m. Free. Call 800-962-1911 or visit www.visitdillsboro.org. Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 and 3 p.m. Dec. 10. “A Carolina Christmas” at Blue Ridge Conference Hall. Adults $30, students $5. Visit www.hendersonvillesymphony.org. Bullington Center open house and holiday sale, 1-4 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 10. Sale includes premium amaryllis, evergreen sprays and wreaths, decorations, more. Henderson County 4-H will sell crafts and Operation Toasty Toes will sell knitted items. Refresments. At 95 Upper Red Oak Trail, Hendersonville. Call 698-6104. Santa on the Chimney 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 10, Chimney Rock Park. Santa practices on 315-foot Chimney Rock. Regular admission. www.chimneyrockpark.com. Holiday Origami Party for Kids, 1-3 p.m. Dec. 10. North Asheville Library hosts a drop-in party. Make an origami ornament to take home. Free for all ages. Call 250-4752 or email northasheville.library@buncombecounty.org. Flat Rock Tailgate Christmas Market, 2-5 p.m. Dec. 10, in front of Hubba Hubba Smokehouse, Flat Rock. Call 697-7719. ‘YT Rockin’ Showcase,’ 5 and 7 p.m. Dec. 10. Flat Rock Playhouse’s YouTheatre performs its Christmas show with songs, poems and monologues to bring holiday cheer at FRP Playhouse Downtown. Visit

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www.flatrockplayhouse.org. A Night Before Christmas, until 9 p.m. Dec. 10, downtown Waynesville. Caroling, storytelling, wagon rides, more. Visit www.downtownwaynesville.com. 8th Annual Arts and Crafts Show, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 10, Owen Middle School. Juried artisans, music, local barbecue, concessions, raffle, free children’s area, and Santa. Call 686-7917. Christmas at Connemara, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Dec. 10, Carl Sandburg Home, Flat Rock. Celebrate Christmas with the traditions of the Sandburgs with holiday decorations and music; free with house tour admission. Call 693-4178 or visit www.nps.gov/carl. Guild Artists' Holiday Sale, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 10. Southern Highlands Craft Guild artists sell their work at Folk Art Center, milepost 382, Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville. ‘Flat Rock Family Christmas,’ 8 p.m. Dec. 11, 13, 18-19. 8 p.m. Flat Rock Playhouse, 2551 Greenville Highway, Flat Rock. Tickets $22. Visit www.flatrockplayhouse.org or call 693-0731. Blue Ridge Orchestra's Holiday Concert, 4 p.m. Dec. 11, Folk Art Center, Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville. $15 adults, $5 students, available at the Wine Guy, 555 Merrimon Ave. Call 254-6500. Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestra winter concert, 4 p.m. Dec. 11. At Bo Thomas Auditorium, Flat Rock. $5. Call 697-5884. Asheville Community Band, 3 p.m. Dec. 11, Asheville High School Auditorium, McDowell Street. $8. Students accompanied by an adult are free. Visit www.ashevillecommunityband.org. Blue Ridge Ringers, noon Dec. 13. Advanced handbell ensemble performs for free at Transylvania County Public Library Community Room in Brevard. Call 692-4910 or email blueridgeringers@gmail.com. Dreidel craft and game, Dec. 15. Learn how to make a dreidel and play the dreidel game. This game is a part of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which begins at sundown Dec. 20. Drop-in activity that is free with admission at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

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calendar of events Continued from Page 15 Ballet Conservatory’s ‘The Nutcracker,’ 5 and 7:45 p.m. Dec. 15-16 at Diana Wortham Theatre. Tickets $10 for children and seniors, $20 for adults. Call 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.org for tickets. Visit www.balletconservatoryofasheville.com

Dec. 16-24

Holiday music, 1-5 p.m. Dec. 16-17. Area schools, churches and other special guests perform at Historic Courthouse on Main Street in Hendersonville. Call 233-3216. Carolina Concert Choir Christmas Concert, Dec. 16-17. At St. James Episcopal Church in Hendersonville. At 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 and 3 p.m. Dec. 17. Adults $20, students $10. Call 808-2314. Breakfast with Santa, 9 a.m. Dec. 17. At Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, Robbinsville. Visit www.stecoahvalleycenter.com. Breakfast with Santa, 9-11 a.m. Dec. 17. Free pancake breakfast. Bring camera for photo with Santa. At Asheville’s Fun Depot. Call 277-2FUN or visit www.ashevillesfundepot.com Holiday Music with Pastymes, 3 p.m. Dec. 17. Weaverville Library hosts Pastymes, an eight-voice a capella group. Free. Call 250-6482 or email weaverville.library@buncombecounty.org. Asheville Symphony Holiday Pops, 3 p.m. Dec. 18, Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, downtown Asheville. Special guest Billy Jonas. Seasonal songs by the Asheville Symphony orchestra, chorus and children’s chorus. Call 254-7046 or visit www.ashevillesymphony.org. ‘A Swannanoa Solstice,’ 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 18, Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville. Regular $35; student $30; children 12 and younger $12. Call 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.org. Moscow Ballet’s ‘Great Russian Nutcracker,’ 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19, Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Asheville. Tickets $30. Visit www.ticketmaster.com. Winter Solstice Night Hike, 7-9 p.m. Dec. 22, DuPont State Forest, Hendersonville. Meet at Hooker Falls parking area. Bring flashlights and a warm drink. Call 692-0385. Ornament workshop, Dec. 22-23 at Hands On! A Child's Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Call 697-8333 or visit www.handsonwnc.org. Free with admission.

Dec. 25-31

Bounty of Bethlehem dinner, 1-5 p.m. Dec. 25, Immaculata Catholic School, 711 Buncombe St., Hendersonville. A free community Christmas dinner with entertainment, gifts and a visit from Santa. Call 693-5115 or visit www.bountyofbethlehem.org. Burning Bowl Service, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 31, Unity Center, 2041 Old Fanning Bridge Road, Mills River. Rev. Chad O’Shea. Potluck supper at 6 p.m. Child care provided. Call 891-8700. New Year’s Eve Fireworks, 8 p.m. Dec. 31, Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds. New Year’s at Noon, Dec. 31. Celebrate at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Free with regular admission. Call 697-8333 or visit www.handsonwnc.org.

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kids’ voices

Stories of Christmas

We asked students at Leicester Elementary to tell us about their favorite Christmas memories or traditions. Here’s what they wrote: “My favorite tradition is watching my mom, dad and Gran making the mouthwatering food such as a roast. Even looking at it will make you drool. We also have caramel apples, corn, homemade potato skins with cheddar. There is so much food; we eat and eat. It’s fun watching because I learn how to make it all. I have a joyful and magical Christmas and I owe it all to my wonderful family.” Sophia Sonderegger, 9

“It was Christmas morning. It was 7:30 a.m. I was in the living room. My mom got the camera and I opened every present. My grandma said we have to go get your other present. I begged to know what it was, but she said not right now. We pulled up a steep, narrow driveway. There was a white house. My grandma went in the house and came back out with a ... Shih Tzu puppy. I played with my dog all morning. We threw the ball and I taught him tricks.” Skylar West, 9

“It was 6:30 a.m. and my dad and I had about 1,000 lights laying around the front yard. We also had 10 objects that had lights already on them. I was standing in teh yard watching the two lighted deer. My dad came out with another big box of lights and said, ‘Son, will you help me set up these icicles?’ My dad brought the lader but... he slipped! But when I saw he was laughing, I was so happy he didn’t fall. The lights were so bright they lit up the neighborhood.” Jordan Owens, 10

“Have you ever suddenly felt excited? I woke up and it was Christmas. I rushed downstairs with joy. ... My aunt cooked an enormous dinner. She made corn, mashed potatoes and lasagna. For dessert, we had ice cream and homemade red velvet cake — my favorite. Then we opened our presents. I got money, toys and candy. I also had a great time. I hope next Christmas will be as great as this (last) one.” Cameron Dills, 10

“Christmas is my favorite holiday. Me and my family do lots of things for Christmas. We take walks in my neighborhood and watch the cold, icy water go down the stream. After the chilly walk, my mom pours the creamy hot chocolate in our cups and after we finish the hot chocolate, we sit on the warm, cozy couches and tell Christmas stories. ‘Ding dong!’ We opened the doors and there were my aunt and my cousins shivering. We quickly pull them in the house. Everyone starts to ask, ‘What is that outstanding smell?’ When everyone walks into the kitchen, their mouths drop. Five minutes later we were at the table eating. When they leave, we drink one more cup of the creamy hot chocolate and then we slip in our cozy beds and go to sleep.” Victoria Deynega, 9

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the artist’s muse

Adhere materials to different sizes of balloons and then let it cure for several days. After it is dry, you can add a light to your globe. PHOTOS BY GINGER HUEBNER/SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Shining through Create globes with balloons to brighten holidays

By Ginger Huebner WNC Parent contributor

The buzz of the holidays has officially arrived, and the lights are sparkling everywhere. Smells of hot chocolate and peppermint are favorites around my house. At our preschool, we all snuggle in with our reading, playing and creating in the midst of the chill that surrounds us. I am always amazed and inspired that, when given the time and a proper space, creativity flows freely. Found items are an endless supply of opportunity to express that creativity.

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During a recent session of our Asheville Community Design Lab, one of our UNCA students brought this project to our attention. It is a simple idea, and one that many have experimented with in the past. Use a balloon as the base structure, layer material on the balloon with adhesive or paste, let it dry, pop the balloon and viola! Our variation uses a variety of balloon sizes and materials that are transparent like lace or delicate paper, allowing light to shine through. What we love about this project is the limitless use of a diversity of materials and experimentation. At the Asheville Community Design Lab, we used all white or ivory string, lace, and translucent fabrics.

Use lace, string or translucent fabrics to layer on top of a balloon with wallpaper paste.

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Scraps of different materials give your balloon art varied textures. GINGER HUEBNER/SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

To get started, you will need: » Scraps of paper, lace or fabric (string & ribbon work well too) with interesting textures and/or translucencies. » Balloons (different sizes) » Wallpaper paste (found at a local hardware store) and a tray to pour it into. You can line the tray with aluminum foil to aid with cleanup. » Scissors » A system to hang the balloons to dry (better to get this ready before you begin). You could also rest them on the mouth of a standard drinking glass. Blow up the balloons to the desired sizes. Cut the scraps and/or string into different sizes and shapes. Dip the materials in the wallpaper paste or use a brush to apply the paste directly on the materials while flat on the table. Lay over the balloon. Continue layering until you have reached your stopping point. Be sure to have enough materials on the balloon so it will not fall apart once the balloon is popped. Wait about three days for the piece to cure. Pop the balloon. You now have a beautiful translucent lantern! You can even trim out a hole in the top to insert a low wattage light bulb and socket to make a hanging light! Make sure there is enough clearance from the surface of the bulb to the material as to not create a fire hazard. Ginger Huebner is the director of Roots + Wings School of Art, which offers visual art classes for all ages. Contact her at info@rootsandwingsarts.com or visit www.rootsandwingsarts.com.

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Tackling winter

GERMS

Wash. Drink. Stay home. These tips and more will help keep colds at bay By Pam J. Hecht WNC Parent contributor

When it comes to winter colds, you can run but you can’t hide. They’re inevitable, particularly for the youngest among us, and can strike as often as once or twice a month, says Dr. Chris-

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tine Morgan, Asheville pediatrician. During the winter, kids (and grown-ups) tend to spend more time indoors, in close proximity to others, which helps spread cold-causing germs. And while there’s no cure, there are ways to keep colds at bay, cutting down on both their frequency and intensity.

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Wash, wash, wash

SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Keeping hands clean may be the single-most important thing that can prevent a cold, medical professionals agree. Vigorously rubbing with warm, soapy water for a good 20–30 seconds is best, says Dr. Jennifer Mullendore, medical director at Buncombe County Department of Health. Be sure to scrub all over, rinse well and use a paper towel to turn off the faucet, she says. When touched by dirty hands, “the eyes and nose are the most common doorways to colds,” and although germs may not survive as easily in the mouth, they can be transmitted by touching there, too, says Becky Mojica, a public health nurse at Buncombe County Public Schools. It’s best to avoid touching the face altogether to avoid spreading germs — something that’s easier said than done, Mullendore says. Encourage kids to wash their hands frequently, particularly before eating or playing with other kids, Morgan says. Hand sanitizer may be easier sometimes, but overuse can cause chapped skin, Mojica adds. Also, to keep germs off of hands, teach kids to keep germs to themselves by Continues on Page 22

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Continued from Page 21

sneezing or coughing into their armpits or the crook of their elbows, says Mojica.

Stay hydrated

For some reason, germs don’t grow as well in a body that’s well-hydrated, says Mojica. Liquids also can help “flush things out,” she adds. For kids who already have a cold, give them little sips throughout the day to avoid vomiting or diarrhea — one sip every 10 minutes for most kids is enough — and make sure they are urinating at least a couple times daily, says Morgan.

Keep sick kids at home

It can be hard on a working parent to keep kids at home and many send them to school if they’re not super sick, says Morgan, who has a 13-year-old son. If kids have fever at around 100 or more, they need to stay home, says Mojica. “Colds are contagious, and they can’t get the rest they need to recover if they’re in school,” she says. Keep kids at home if they’ve had a fever within the past 24 hours, if they’re coughing or sneezing a lot, or if their noses or eyes are dripping, says Mullendore, adding that a fever is the body’s way to raise temperature in order to kill viruses. Also, watch for signs like a worsening cough, fever, refusal to drink, rash, changed appearance, fast breathing, or a decrease in activity level, says Morgan, adding that as a first step, “it’s never wrong to call your doctor.” Meanwhile, if your child’s cold symptoms are worsening or if he/she still has symptoms after six or seven days, it may also be time to visit the doctor, particularly to rule out bacterial infections, says Mullendore. If your child’s fever is 104 or more, it’s definitely time to visit a doctor, she adds. Young children who attended day care and/or preschool can get one or more colds a month but may get sick less often than others when they’re older because they’ve built up some immunity, says Morgan. Colds are caused by germs, not the cold weather, doctors agree. So although it’s important to dress warmly in the winter to prevent cold-weather-induced injuries like frostbite, it’s a myth that this prevents colds, says Morgan. Some parents also have the misconception that getting the flu shot gives kids the flu, she says, but if they happen to get sick after getting the flu shot, it’s likely a coincidental cold or other virus. Also, if there’s someone in the house

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Regular hand washing is key to fighting off winter's germs. JOHN FLETCHER/ JFLETCHER@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

who smokes, avoid contact with them while they’re smoking — the inhalation of secondhand smoke can affect the ability of the respiratory system to work properly to protect against viruses, says Mullendore.

Eat and sleep well

Getting adequate rest is important to bolster the immune system and to shorten the duration of an existing cold, says Mojica. Most kids need eight to 10 hours of sleep, she adds. A healthy diet — including vitamins A and C — may also help keep colds away, says Mojica. Kids with a well-rounded diet may not need vitamins but for picky eaters, consider vitamins but “abide by the label and don’t overdo it,” she adds. Also, teach good eating habits from the beginning and pay attention to what they’re eating at school. “Kids often regularly choose pizza over the regular tray at school and avoid the fresh fruit,” Mojica says. Meanwhile, there aren’t any studies that show vitamins, herbal supplements, humidifiers or cold medications help prevent or cure colds, says Mullendore. Instead, “they treat the symptoms.” As with herbal remedies, don’t discount the value of a good bowl of chicken soup, adds Morgan. We don’t know for certain if it contains medicinal properties, she says, but “it can help soothe the throat, clear the head and make us feel better when we’re sick.” Pam J. Hecht is a freelance writer and editor. E-mail her at pamjh8@gmail.com.

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Look to 2012 and set your financial goals By Betty Lynne Leary WNC Parent contributor

When the lights are finally strung, the tree is neatly trimmed, and the stockings are overflowing, a feeling of peace settles in as the hectic pace of preparing for the holidays comes to an end. The end of the season is a great time to reflect on the year gone by and to begin planning for an even better one to come. If, like many people in WNC, you struggled financially in the past year, December is a perfect time to take a hard look at old habits and start down a new path toward true financial security. The very first step down that path is to write down your family’s financial goals. “If you’re married, do this jointly,” says Mike Collie, of Collie Financial Planning

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Inc. “Spousal unity and working together as a team are critical to achieving financial goals.” By writing your goals down, you can come back to them periodically to check your progress and stay on course. Collie notes that the keys to achieving financial freedom include spending less than you earn, avoiding debt and building your savings. In order to spend less than you earn, you have to know your numbers. After deciding on family financial goals, establish a budget for the coming year. “You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” Collie stresses. “It is absolutely critical that families keep a budget or spending plan.” Collie recommends keeping the budget simple by grouping expenses into five major categories — giving, taxes, debts,

Experts suggest taking time to assess your family’s habits

living expenses and long-term goals like college education and vacations. The more long-term your goals are, the easier they are to obtain. For example, saving for a college education is much easiMike Collie er spread out over 18 years than starting to save when your child is in high school. “The ultimate goal of budgeting is to know how much you’re earning and spending, how much you’re allocating to each spending category, and how you’re going

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to make changes to align your spending with your goals,” Collie says. “You’ll never be effective at step three if you don’t do steps one and two.” Ken Frenke, president of Kenneth Frenke and Co. and a certified financial planner in Arden, agrees. “If you can make the commitment to live on less than you earn, you have the power to become financially independent,” he says. “And that can give you tremendous peace of mind.” Using credit cards to obtain goods and serKen Frenke vices can give immediate but only momentary satisfaction. The debt and interest charges created can often take years to pay off, long after the item purchased is gone. “If you try to stick to a budget, even for just 30 days,” says Frenke, “it suddenly becomes more meaningful when you go to Starbucks and spend $3 for a coffee,”

MORE INFORMATION » The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors is the nation’s leading organization of fee-only comprehensive financial planners. Fee-only financial planners do not earn commissions from the sale of investment products. To find a list of fee-only CFPs in your area, visit www.NAPFA.org. » Kenneth Frenke & Co., 6549343 and www.Frenke.com » Collie Financial Planning Inc., 654-8830 and www.CollieFP.com

He stresses that every time you spend money, you’re making a choice — if you spend money on coffee, you can’t spend it someplace else. And while making a budget and sticking to it can be a painful process at first,

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Frenke notes that the pain of being in financial trouble is often worse the pain of simply solving the problem. Another important step that both Frenke and Collie recommend is establishing an emergency fund for those pesky curve balls that life throws at you such as major car repairs, a new water heater, or the unexpected job loss. When planning your monthly budget, make a regular contribution to a savings account even if it’s just a small amount. Most financial planners recommend having three to six months’ worth of income set aside for emergencies. “The big question we have to ask ourselves at the end of the year is this — have we modeled the kind of financial behavior that we want our kids to have?” Frenke asks. He notes that many adults struggle with life-long insecurity when they struggled with financial stress as a child. So while the challenge of watching where your money goes may seem arduous for a parent, consider doing it for your children. The peace of mind that financial security can create for your family today will teach lessons that can last for generations yet to come.

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Health Adventure’s new home WNC Parent staff

The Health Adventure moved into its new home at Biltmore Square Month last month. In case you haven’t had the chance to bring your kiddos to the science and education center’s new digs, here’s a glimpse of what you can expect. The Biltmore Square Mall location affords the Health Adventure a new lease on life after a tulmultuous year that included declaring bankruptcy, a rescue by Park Ridge Health and a move out of its longtime Pack Place home. The mall site includes 30,000 square feet of display space, 10,000 more than it had downtown. All of the museum’s old standbys will be present at the mall, including the huge fiberglass display of human teeth, the giant aortas depicting clogged and clean arteries and the bicycling skeleton — although he won’t be reappearing until December. “He’s been riding that bike so many miles he was about worn out,” Paige Wheeler, the museum’s CEO, said. “He needs a knee replacement.” Some aspects of the museum are bigger and better, including the Creative Play Space, which will be two and a half times larger. There will be more toys for kids, thanks to local toy store O.P. Taylor’s, which donated trains, blocks and little grocery carts, among other items.

The Biltmore Square Mall site offers more space for the littlest visitors to play.

Who hasn't taken a spin in the chair? (Yes, we mean parents, too.) PHOTOS BY BILL SANDERS/WSANDERS@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

The teeth are here, too.

ADMISSION AND HOURS Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday, 12:30 p.m.-6 p.m. Prices: Adults $9.50, seniors $7.50, children 2 and up $6.50, children younger than 2 free. For complete ticketing and hours of operation: visit www.thehealthadventure.org/

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The new Health Adventure includes favorite exhibits from the Pack Place location including TAM.


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How to talk to your kids when tragedy strikes By Betty Lynne Leary WNC Parent contributor

Thanks to the Internet, cell phones and other forms of instant communication, kids tend to be highly social creatures. When tragedy strikes a youngster, the resulting grief cascades through the social circles of school, church, clubs and sports like waves. While many schools offer counseling for children of all ages to work through their grief, parents often question what they can do to help their kids when tragedy hits close to home. “One of the first priorities is to make sure students know the truth,” says Steve Sandman, school counselor at Cane Creek Middle School. “Once accurate information has been disseminated, then you can deal with the reactions.” Counselors work to build a trusting

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relationship where the student feels comfortable expressing his or her feelings in a safe environment. Emotions may be expressed through art, play, talking or journaling. “It is crucial to normalize what they are feeling by not overreacting, not telling them how to feel, or stifling their expression,” Sandman explains. “There is no right or wrong way to express emotion.” Counselors may meet with students individually, in small groups, or in classrooms. In the case of the death of a student, counselors go into the classrooms first to explain what happened so all students have the same information. Sandman notes that kids have a wide variety of emotional responses, ranging from anger to sadness, depression and even denial of what happened. “Without casting judgment or reacting

to their reaction, I help walk them through their version of grieving,” Sandman says. Along with their emotional response, kids usually want to take action. They may want to create a memory box or write a letter to someone involved in the tragedy. Others need something more physical, like throwing a football, while talking about the incident. “And for some, I just sit and listen and unconditionally accept their thoughts, feelings and reactions,” Sandman notes. He suggests parents do the same in helping a child deal with a tragedy. Sandman stresses that “kids are not little adults. They process things differently, they handle things differently, and their experiences are very different from ours as adults.” By allowing children room to react and supporting them as they grieve, parents can help kids put their feelings

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and emotions into words. “For many, especially boys, this is really difficult,” Sandman explains. “You can help them name their feelings but allow them to correct you if you’re wrong. Don’t force them into grieving the same way you do or the way you want them to.” Linda J. Curtis, a local licensed professional counselor with a certification in grief therapy, says tragedy can give parents the opportunity to connect more deeply with their children. “It is best to talk with them about the deceased, calling the person by name, and to acknowledge the loss,” Curtis says, adding that taking a walk with the child might provide a less threatening environment for discussing something so serious. “Affirm the emotions experienced by your child and use this time to build on your relationship.” The situation may also spur your child to ask some tough questions about spiritual beliefs. What happens when we die? Why does God allow these things to happen? Curtis recommends to “admit when you don’t know the answers but affirm your own personal beliefs.” And in the weeks and months following a tragic event, be sure to follow up with your child. “Dealing with grief is not a one-time event but a process,” Curtis says. “If your child continues to experience strong emotions, it would be good to seek counseling with a qualified grief therapist.”

The important thing to remember when talking to kids after a tragedy is that they are not little adults. Children process events differently. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

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Jen and Jim Lauzon live in North Asheville with their daughter, Liv. They own LaZoom Comedy Tours. ERIN BRETHAUER/EBRETHAU@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

Funny mom By Katie Wadington WNC Parent editor

Jen Lauzon, 38, is co-owner, with husband Jim, of LaZoom Comedy Tours in Asheville. Jen and Jim have a daughter, Liv Sadie, who just turned 9.

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Question: What brought you to Asheville? Answer: Jim and I had relocated from New Orleans to Chicago in 2001 to be near my family while my grandmother was in the final stages of her life. While in Chicago, we became pregnant and began

LaZoom’s Jen Lauzon balances business and family life thinking about a place to raise a child. Our choice was easy, North Carolina. Neither of us had been to Asheville and were thinking of the coast. But every person we mentioned the move to, who knew anything about the state consistently said, “Asheville! You two belong in Asheville!” so we

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came for a visit and knew it was home. After a quick stop back in New Orleans to give birth to Liv with the support of friends and a city we loved, we packed it up in June of 2003 and haven’t regretted our choice for a second. Asheville is our home. Q: How do you balance owning a business with family life? A: A variety of ways throughout the five years we’ve been in business. During the first two years, when Liv was 4 and 5, Jim and I were the main performers on the bus so often, Liv rode along. If you can imagine performing a 90-minute comedy show with your sometimes tired, hungry, grumpy or way-too-excited 4-year-old in the front seat “helping” you along. Seems like she was always telling the punch line, eating candy bribes or toppling over asleep. It was sweet in a way, and I’m sure she got us a few extra dollars in the tip boot, but not something I wanted to imagine for either of us for long. So, about two years ago I worked my way off the stage for now and am home with her in the evenings. I do miss performing so much with Jim, but raising Liv is a joy I’d rather not pass up. Q: Describe your typical weekday. A: A typical weekday means getting Liv off to school then going to work out at the YWCA. My LaZoom work day starts at 10 a.m. and lasts until the bus is parked, usually around 10 p.m. I put in about four to six hours of office work a day, pick up Liv from school, then juggle running LaZoom errands and doing things that she enjoys like horseback riding or swimming at the YWCA. Q: How would you describe your child? A: Liv is sweet, shy, pensive. She’s beginning to come out of the shyness a bit, which is so fun to watch. She’s an animal fanatic and is wrapped into one, a tom girl and girly girl. Favorite activities: crawdad hunting, fishing, horseback riding, playing with the dogs, bubble baths and fixing her hair. Q: You and your husband are entertainers. Does your daughter have a flair for that, too? A: Liv’s not wanted to be on stage thus far. She more of a director type. She hears Jim and I writing sketches, talking about comedic timing, costumes, props and she loves getting involved in that aspect. For her 8th birthday we had a kids haunted bus ride for her and her friends. Liv created

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some of the characters and wrote some of the sketches for it, and she was really good at it! Q: What do you love most about being a parent? Has anything surprised you that you didn’t expect? A: I really thought that once I had a child I would know how to be the perfect parent. HA! Every day is an exercise in being both the teacher and the student. Our relationship teaches me in ways and by depths I didn’t know possible. It’s the most difficult and rewarding job I’ve got, for sure. Q: If you find yourself with free time, how do you like to spend it? A: With Liv being 8 and our business in its fifth year, I’ve actually come across a little free time recently. It’s so nice. I’m currently brushing up on my sewing skills and learning Virtual DJ, music mixing software for DJs.

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Q: Do you have any guilty pleasures? A: I have a lot of pleasures, none I feel too guilty about. I’m really good at guilty. It’s in my genes. So I had to make a conscious decision to not feel guilty about things that bring me joy like sweets, lying in the sun, snuggling with my dogs, wearing slippers, rich foods, wine ... Q: Do you and your husband get out on date nights? Do you have a favorite place? A: We have been getting out a good amount over the past year. It’s been wonderful. We often will see a show and have dinner at The Magnetic Field. We went to Moog Fest . Monday is our day off and some of our favorite dates this fall have been a hike and to the tubs at Hot Springs, sliding back into town just in time to pick up Liv from school. Shhh … don’t tell Liv. Q: What do you enjoy doing together as a family? A: We love traveling together. We slip away on weekend get aways often. Last winter, two weeks in Mexico was such a great experience. While we’re in town we love swimming and bike riding together. Liv and I could sit around and play with (dress up) our two dogs Zombie and Ginger, entertaining ourselves for days.

Cholesterol check urged for kids HealthDay

All U.S. children ages of 9-11 should be screened for high cholesterol, according to new guidelines endorsed by the nation’s leading group of pediatricians. The recommendations are a major shift from current guidelines that suggest such testing be done only for children who have a family history of heart disease or high blood cholesterol, which is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. In addition to more widespread screening for cardiovascular trouble at younger ages, the guidelines suggest parents make healthy lifestyle choices for their children, such as breast-feeding, a diet low in saturated beginning at age 1, regular physical activity and protecting children from tobacco smoke. The new guidelines were written by a panel sponsored by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and are endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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WNC Nature Center plans big changes

Center eyes expansion, better accessibility By Karen Chávez WNC Parent contributor

As a child growing up in Hendersonville, Sarah Merrell loved taking trips with her parents to the Western North Carolina Nature Center. She especially loved the turtle exhibit. “The Nature Center was one of my favorite places to go,” said Merrell, who recently joined the Friends of the Nature Center Board of Directors. “When I was 9, I had a box turtle named Boxer. The Nature Center had such a nice habitat for turtles that I actually donated my turtle to them.” Now 28, Merrell still loves turtles, but her new favorite exhibit at the Nature Center is the otters, which weren’t around when she was young. The otter exhibit, which recently received upgrades, is part of sweeping change coming to the WNC Nature Center.

The WNC Nature Center just completed its strategic master plan, which includes new animal exhibits, handicap accessible entrances and more. ERIN BRETHAUER/EBRETHAU@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM Staff just released “2020 Vision: Wild Asheville,” a new strategic/master plan that includes expanding conservation efforts, adding animal species, exhibits

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and educational space, and improving guest amenities and accessibility. Continues on Page 36

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Continued from Page 35

There might also be a name change to “Asheville Wildlife Park” or something similar. It is all part of refining the mission and creating a strong and clear vision for one of the Asheville area’s top attractions, Nature Center Director Chris Gentile said. “We named the master plan ‘2020 Vision’ because we feel we have a clear vision for the future of the Nature Center, and we feel that by 2020 the Nature Center will be a changed place,” Gentile said. “We feel it’s something we can build our future around.” The master plan, which was developed by consulting firm Schultz & Williams, aims to improve and expand animal habitats and guest amenities at the Nature Center. The center opened near Asheville Recreation Park in 1973 as the Children’s Zoo and Nature Center, funded by the Junior League. “It was built in the mid-1970s, before ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act),” Gentile said. “We knew we had to improve our guest experience. It’s a very hilly site, and much of it is not accessible.” The Nature Center continued to add animals and exhibits and increase visitation. Management of the center, which had

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To read more about the WNC Nature Center’s 2020 Vision master plan, visit www.wncnaturecenter.com.

A bobcat at the Nature Center, which draws 90,000 visitors a year. ERIN BRETHAUER/ EBRETHAU@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

been run by Buncombe County, was moved into city jurisdiction in 2005 and has not had a master plan since that time, Gentile said. “This is a regional attraction. We attract people who come to Asheville for vacation from Charlotte, Knoxville, Greenville, all over,” Gentile said. “We now have more than 90,000 visitors a year.” To better cater to the needs of those visitors, the master plan aims to tackle

accessibility deficiencies first, by moving the main entrance — where visitors are greeted with a steep flight of stairs — to the barn area, with a level entrance, new admissions booth, accessible restrooms and more parking spaces. “The entrance will look natural from the start, instead of lots of concrete,” Gentile said. “There will be a drop-off area for families, a natural gathering area, animals up front, including a frog and turtle pond, a new welcome building, restrooms, gift shop, snack shop.” This is the first step in the master site plan that will get under way next year, he said. Along with an accessible boardwalk that will allow children, parents pushing strollers and people in wheelchairs to travel in a loop around the entire 42-acre site, it will form the “skeleton,” of the center, Gentile said, on which future plans will hinge.

A bigger draw

“The new strategic plan defines the vision for the Nature Center to become a premiere destination in the Western North Carolina region, where visitors can engage with wildlife of the Southern Appalachians,” said Debbie Ivester, assistant director of Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts. “The center is a more than 35-year-old facility that is outdated to best serve both the animals who live there and the visitors.” The WNC Nature Center is already part of the tourism draw to WNC for families, along with key attractions such as Biltmore Estate, the N.C. Arboretum and Blue Ridge Parkway. But he said the city now wants to entice visitors to spend an extra half day at the Nature Center and to make multiple return visits. “The visitors’ time is compressed,” said Kelly Miller, executive vice president of the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau. “They are looking for the authentic, one-of-a-kind experience that delivers on the Asheville area’s brand promise, that coming to Asheville enriches your life.” One amenity needed for that added enrichment is food. The Nature Center has no dining room. In addition to offering food, the master plan also calls for more interactive exhib-

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its, such as the “Arachnid Adventure,” a children‘s play area with giant rope spider webs, hollow log slides and a shallow stream for playing in. The “Appalachian Journey” will be a new exhibit area with animals native to the Southern Appalachians such as black bears, deer, coyote, bobcats and gray and red wolves. “Prehistoric Appalachia” is another planned area with animals found in the fossil record, Gentile said, such as red pandas, tapers, sloths and armadillos and interactive exhibits such as a fossil dig and a gem mine. “North Carolina Farm” will showcase the important way of life in the region with more barn exhibits and play areas. There are also more indoor facilities planned, such as “Unseen Appalachia Building,” with salamanders, bats and rattlesnakes, to expand the center’s attractions even during inclement weather. “We have to make sure that we give our visitors something to come back for every week,” Gentile said.

Help from the ‘Friends’

The WNC Nature Center has 16 employees and runs on an operating budget of $1.1 million a year but generates about $560,000 of that cost from admission fees

“We knew we had to improve our guest experience. It’s a very hilly site, and much of it is not accessible.” CHRIS GENTILE, WNC NATURE CENTER DIRECTOR and educational programs, Gentile said. The expansive Phase I plans, including the entrance area, education center, playground and boardwalk through the Appalachian Journey, will cost an estimated $1.5 million, Gentile said, about half of which has already been raised. The funding will come from a lot of help from the ‘Friends,” that is, the Friends of the WNC Nature Center, a 501c3 nonprofit that works to create awareness and provide financial resources for the Nature Center. “We’re building based on what people want,” said Kimberly Brewster, executive director of the Friends group. “This will enhance our community for our residents and for visitors. We’re seeing continuous increase in visitation to the nature center and in membership to the Friends. It tells me that this is something that is valued.”

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One new exhibit planned, a permanent butterfly exhibit, has already received a $40,000 donation from one donor, she said. To help build momentum for the fundraising, the Friends of the WNC Nature Center will hold a “Wild Visions” benefit Sunday evening at the Biltmore Hilton to let people see master site plan renderings, mingle with some animals and talk to Nature Center staff. The event is invitationonly, but some spots are available by contacting Brewster. People can also help with the nature center’s plans and improvements by joining the Friends, which allows discounts at 275 other Association of Zoos and Aquarium facilities nationwide, Brewster said, or by volunteering. “We’re unique in the entire world, and so are the Southern Appalachians,” Brewster said. “It’s an honor for us to have this facility here.” “I’m really excited about the plan,” said Merrell, the marketing manager at Diamond Brand Outdoors, who is now reliving her childhood memories at the Nature Center. “By expanding, they’ll be able to offer even more exhibits, it will be a really great attraction for people in Asheville and people visiting Asheville and will help educate so many kids.”

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home-school happenings

This season, simplify and share By Nicole McKeon WNC Parent columnist

So. It’s almost here. Christmas. And, everyone is looking for ways to budget and save. Or, at least we are. The economy is terrible, the cost of everything is up and the job outlook is poor. I am choosing to look at this as an opportunity. I refuse to allow money to control my state of mind. I will not allow the consumer nation that we’ve become disrupt my joy. So, I am planning my counter-attack. My revolution. (Uh, oh, I can hear the clicking as the NSA taps into my telephone!) My happiness will not be controlled by corporations, banks or Wall Street. Won’t you join me? Here’s my plan. Our family is going to concentrate on creating great moments

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together. We will be spending time in front of the wood stove reading great stories, popping popcorn, talking and listening to music. We are going to talk about how much we love each other. We are going to talk about what people used to do for Christmas — during the 1800s, during the Depression, during World War II — and we are going to follow their lead, and make gifts for our friends and family. We are going shopping in our own house — let’s face it, most of us have way too much stuff, and maybe our trash will be someone elses treasure. We are going to re-read “Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls and share in the simple joys of the company of loved ones. Maybe we can force ourselves to see the current economic conditions as an opportunity rather than a disaster. Perhaps this is a precipice for our society, where we can make a choice to re-learn what truly is important. Maybe we can use

this time to really see the people around us who are in need. I know we sometimes lose sight of the difference between want and need at our house. It’s easy to do when you are bombarded by the pressure of our commercialand fear-based society. But, aren’t we lucky to have food on our table? Yes. And, shouldn’t we be aware of all the folks who don’t have food on their tables? Because, the numbers are growing. I am not sure how we can help. But, here are some suggestions for local groups that would welcome your donations of money, food and/or time: » ABCCM: Especially in my thoughts during this season is ABCCM’s veterans ministry. You can donate or volunteer to help these homeless heroes at www.abccm.org. » Brother Wolf: Let’s not forget about our furry friends. This time of the year is especially hard on shelters and abandoned animals, and our friends at Brother Wolf

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do a spectacular job of helping. Please consider adopting a pet — don’t buy one from a store if you’re thinking about a pet as a gift this year. To donate, contact Brother Wolf at: BWAR, P.O. Box 8195, Asheville, 28814. » Hope for Horses: For our fellow horses lovers, give to Hope For Horses. These folks do a wonderful job, and they have had more and more demand, as the economy has made it harder to feed and house horses. Send donations to: Hope For Horses, P.O. Box 1449, Leicester, 28748. » Special Olympics: Give to our local Special Olympics group, and check out the Sponsor an Athlete option at www.sonc.net/give These are just a few of our choices. You and your family can sit down and discuss the issues that touch your hearts. I think it is helpful to actually work with a charity, to understand that it’s not just about giving a nameless donation, (although that’s good, too!) but seeing your time and money in action, actually helping someone or something. Our family wishes you and yours a beautiful and peaceful holiday season. Nicole McKeon is a home-schooling mom and owner of Homeschool Station in Fairview. Email her at homeschoolstation@hotmail.com.

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growing together

Some pets appear heaven-sent By Chris Worthy WNC Parent columnist

“God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there.” —Billy Graham As an adult, I’ve made a habit of rescuing enough animals to make Noah cringe. In the early years of our marriage, my poor husband would come home from work never knowing what four-legged orphan would be quarantined in our bathroom. There was one incident that involved a goat, a woman with a tranquilizer gun and a four-lane highway, but let’s just say it ended well and leave it at that. Of all the furry creatures that have crossed my path, none was more important than my sweet Buddy. His family moved away and left him behind. Bud had

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the good fortune to live next door to a kind soul who called me right away. It was August and I was pregnant, but we all piled in the car, made a stop for dog food and went to survey the situation. Ultimately, I put my big girl pants on (and my lawyer hat) and demanded that the owners give him to me. I couldn’t bear to leave him there. He needed me. I knew later I needed him much more. Bud was the biggest dog I’ve ever had — lightning fast and on permanent alert for small furry things. He terrorized the chipmunk population and, once, nabbed a rabbit. Loyal to a fault, he dropped it immediately on command. He and I watched in horror (for different reasons, I would guess) as our other, far less intelligent dog then pounced on the forbidden rabbit like it was a real life whack-a-mole. When I made the mistake of leaving the treat bags for the class Christmas party within muzzle reach, the carnage was unbelievable. Buddy ate everything except the snowman erasers and the candy canes.

Through many years, that gorgeous yellow dog was my constant companion. I don’t take that generous gift lightly. I am of the belief that as we serve others, God gives to them through our hands, our efforts and our minds. Of course, he doesn’t need us to accomplish anything really, but through these human vessels, he loves both the giver and the recipient in a supernatural way. And sometimes, God loves us through licks and soft fur and paws on the arm. Often, if we let him, he sends angels to meet needs we don’t yet know we have. I know what it is to have a dog follow me everywhere, to sit with me during the hard times and to bring me an exquisite joy that is unlike anything else in this life. After 15 1/2 years, letting my sweet Bud go was a gift to him. He was, without a doubt, heaven-sent. Sometimes, those angels we entertain unawares? They have four legs and the sweetest wet noses. Contact Chris Worthy at chris@worthyplace.com.

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Try tenderloin

Flavorful, tender cut of pork is challenging but rewarding By Ron Mikulak rmikulak@courier-journal.com

Pork tenderloin is at once one of the most appealing cuts of the pig, and also one of the most problematic. The tenderloin is a tender cut of pork, which is both its appeal and the source of its challenge to the cook. A lean strip of muscle just above the spine, the tenderloins of both pigs and beef are “tender” because they are muscles that are used for posture, not for locomotion. That is, the tenderloin muscle simply isn’t used much — it never gets much of a workout, and therefore its cells remain soft. When cooked well, these characteristics result in a fork-tender, flavorful piece of meat. But the relatively small size of the tenderloin, and its leanness, also mean that it can be overcooked easily . Loin and tenderloin should not be confused in the cook’s mind. To the eye, it is hard to mistake the two cuts — the loin can be up to 5 inches in diameter and weigh up to 10 pounds. The tenderloin is usually little more than 2 inches in diameter at its thick end, sloping down to a soft point, and seldom weighs in at more than a pound. In the grocery, tenderloins are usually packaged two to a pack. A loin is a hearty chunk of meat, one that can be sliced into chops, both boneless and bone in, or cooked as a roast. As a roast, it can be butterflied and stuffed, then tied together for roasting. The tenderloin is too small to easily butterfly, but it, too, can be roasted whole (20 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees is usually enough to cook it through and leave it juicy) or sliced into medallions or pounded into paillards and pan-fried.

Paprika pork tenderloin. PAM SPAULDING/GANNETT

Paprika-rubbed pork tenderloin 1 1/2-pound pork tenderloin 2 teaspoons paprika (bourbon-smoked preferred) Salt and pepper 1/4 cup olive oil 1 onion, peeled and minced 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced 4 springs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried, crumbled 1 bay leaf 3/4 cup chicken broth 1/4 cup red wine vinegar Pinch of cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons minced parsley

Cut pork tenderloin into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper. Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork in batches, and saute until cooked through, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer cooked pork to a plate, and keep warm. Add onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf, and saute, stirring, until onion softens, 5 minutes or so. Add broth, vinegar and cayenne, and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Boil until reduced to sauce consistency, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs if using, and bay leaf. Return pork to skillet, and heat through. Garnish with parsley to serve. Serves 4 to 6.

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Bristol Bar & Grille’s pork Dijonnaise 1½ to 2 pounds pork tenderloin Oil Salt and pepper 1/2 cup butter 1/4 cup Grey Poupon Dijon mustard 2 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place tenderloin on a rack in a shallow baking pan. Brush with vegetable or olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast 20 minutes, turn pan back to front and roast 10 more minutes, or until the internal temperature in the thickest section reaches 155 degrees on a meat thermometer. In a skillet, melt butter over low heat. When melted, add mustard. Stir and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add sugar. Cook and stir another 2 to 3 minutes. Slice cooked tenderloin on the diagonal. Pour sauce over pork. Serves 6.

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Find a feast in the freezer By Kate Justen

WNC Parent contributor

December, the most wonderful time of the year. Family, friends, shopping, holiday cheer and traditions. Along with that come kids off school, travel plans, house guests, snow, lastminute shopping and cooking. I can already feel the stress building. The holiday season can be a ton of work, but you can ease the burden by taking a few minutes to plan ahead. One of the easiest things you can do is to cook and freeze for future use. To come up with my holiday recipes, I decided to clean out my freezer to see how well I did at planning ahead. (As a parent, I cannot remember what I packed in my son’s lunch this morning let alone what I made a few weeks ago.) As I went through the freezer, I also realized that I did not organize my frozen foods very well. If you are a busy parent (yes, I said “if” — what am I thinking?) ... because you are a busy parent, I suggest you keep a list of what you make ahead and freeze so you can remember what you were planning to do! Here is what I found in my freezer that I feel like I can use to make into a meal for others: » Frozen rice (did you know you can freeze rice? When I cook brown rice I make the entire package and then freeze portions for use later in dishes) » A bunch of bread ends (I save them for homemade stuffing) » Various veggies and fruit » Beet puree » Edamame In looking at what I found in the freezer, I realized I had an entire day’s worth of meals. Start the day with a quick breakfast pizza, make a red and green hummus plate for lunch, and for dinner have vegetable fried rice. Because most of the food is precooked, these are easy meals for young children or older children to make on their own. Kate Justen is the program director of FEAST — Fresh Easy Affordable Sustainable Tasty, a program of Slow Food Asheville. Contact her at feast.avl@gmail.com or visit www.slowfoodasheville.org.

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Get festive with hummus: Red hummus made from beets and green hummus made from edamame. SPECIAL TO THE CITIZEN-TIMES

Beet hummus 1/2 cup beet puree 1 14 oz can chick peas, drained and rinsed 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 cloves crushed garlic 3 tablespoon tahini 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon fresh parsley Up to 1/4 cup olive oil Up to 1/4 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth and creamy, add water as necessary to get desired consistency. There are many ways to cook beets. Before you begin cut off the beet greens and wash the root. Cook by one of these methods: » Place beets in a covered dish with about ¼ cup water, bake at 375 degrees

until tender. » Place beets in a covered pan on the stove top and simmer until tender. » Wrap beets in foil and place on the grill until tender. After beets cool the peel should easily slip off.

Edamame hummus 2 cups steamed, shelled edemame 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 cloves crushed garlic 3 tablespoons sesame tahini 1 tablespoon soy sauce Up to 1/4 cup olive oil Up to 1/4 cup water 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth and creamy, add water as necessary to get desired consistency.

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Breakfast pizza Crust: 6 cups bread cubes (frozen bread ends work well) 4 eggs (or equivalent egg product) 1/2 cup milk 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano); if using dried herbs cut to 1 tablespoon Toppings: 4 ounces cooked sausage, ham or breakfast meat of your choice (optional) 2 cloves garlic 2 cups chopped vegetables (use any veggies you like) 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 tablespoon oil 1 cup grated cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wisk together eggs, milk and herbs, stir in bread cubes and evenly coat. Put a single layer on an oiled baking dish bake for 8 min. Combine garlic, salt, pepper and vegetables sauté until soft Fully cook sausage or meat of your choice. Remove “crust” and layer with vegetables, meat and cheese, bake for 6 min. Serve with diced tomatoes or pizza sauce.

Fried rice 3/4 cup finely chopped onion 2 tablespoons oil 1 egg, lightly beaten (or more eggs if you like) 3 to 5 drops soy sauce 3 to 5 drops sesame oil 8 ounces cooked lean boneless pork, beef, chicken, tempeh or tofu chopped 1/2 cup finely chopped or shredded carrot (very small) 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed 4 cups cold cooked brown rice, grains separated 4 green onions, chopped 2 tablespoons soy sauce

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in pan; add chopped onions and stir-fry until onions turn a nice brown color, about 8-10 minutes; push aside. Add precooked meat, carrots, peas and any other small veggies you want in your dish; stir-fry for 2 minutes. In a bowl, mix egg with 3 drops of soy sauce and sesame oil. Add oil to pan if needed, add egg mixture; quickly scramble egg and remove from pan. Add rice, green onions, mix well; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and scrambled egg to rice mixture; stir-fry for 1 min.

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divorced families

Make the most of your holidays By Trip Woodard WNC Parent columnist

Holidays bring about mixed feelings with a lot of people. For some, it is a time of fond memories and a chance to celebrate the good things of life. For others, it is a time of survival and trying to avoid present and past disappointments. Going through a separation or divorce does not preset you toward either direction. Holidays will ultimately be what you make them even under the most difficult of circumstances. Less than decade ago, holidays were much simpler. Now, if you are a single parent, you have to consider taking out a home equity loan to afford all the electronics your children may request. So please hang on as I review some of the tougher pitfalls for single and divorc-

ing parents during the holiday season: » Your child acts strange or depressed during this time of year. If you have a Santa tradition, your child shies away from telling Santa his or her gift wishes. This may be because your child has been “trained” to think of the holidays as being a reward for good behavior. If your child blames himself or herself for your single status, this could result in fear over what to expect. If your child has “acted out” as a response to separation or divorce, this could again fuel a fear of some in kind holiday punishments such as fewer or no gifts. The solution is in reassurance. Chronically remind your child that your single status is not his or her fault (or anybody’s fault) and that they are loved unconditionally even despite bad behavior. » You are broke. If you can afford gifts, buy “big ones” that benefit the whole family and explain it as such. Don’t try to compete with advertising propaganda about the holidays. Explore with your children

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the real meaning behind each holiday you celebrate. Be realistic and don’t get yourself into “holiday debt.” » You are unable to duplicate what your children are used to because of losses, such as the house, after a separation and divorce. Remember that you now have an opportunity to make new traditions for you and your children. You have to have an attitude that change is both good and inevitable. The good news is that you can make your own holiday traditions with your children based on your values. In the long run, your children will remember what you do with them during the holidays more than what you give them, what you say than what the TV tells them and that these are times to show true love, not compete with someone who gets “more stuff.” Trip Woodard is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a clinical member of the N.C. Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Contact him at 606-8607.

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nature center notes

Do bears hibernate? Special to WNC Parent

There is a fair amount of debate about whether or not black bears are considered to be “true” hibernators. Hibernation is a slowing of the metabolism due to a shortage of food and/or low temperatures, and hibernation means different things to different species. The body temperature of black bears drops only 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit during their dormancy, while some rodents and bats drop their body temperatures to Black bears do not near freezing. This have as deep of a is thought to be an hibernation as other adaptation that alcreatures that go lows for female dormant in winter. bears to give birth to WNC NATURE and care for her CENTER/SPECIAL TO WNC young during dorPARENT mancy, and we all look forward to seeing the cubs leave their dens with their mothers now that spring has arrived. Black bears in dormancy are also easily awakened if disturbed, whereas some rodents can be handled without waking. On the flip side, bears can go longer then almost any other “true” hibernator without urinating, defecating, eating or drinking. In the North, that period can be up to eight months long; in North Carolina the length of dormancy is shortened. Studies of radio-collared black bears show them entering their dens anywhere from November to January and leaving their dens from February to April. Whether or not black bears are “true” hibernators, it is obvious that they go through some fascinating physiological adaptations to help them get through the winter. Learn more about black bears and other wildlife found in WNC at the WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville, and www.wncnaturecenter.com.

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librarian’s pick

3 picture books beg for sharing By Jennifer Prince WNC Parent contributor

Some children’s books are of a contemplative nature, encouraging readers to steal away to out-ofthe-way nooks to savor words and images quietly. Then there are those children’s books that by virtue of their energy and enthusiasm just beg to be read aloud, acted out, set to music and shared. These three new picture books are just that kind. In Nadia Krilanovich’s “Chicken, Chicken, Duck!” farm animals parade across a solid white background, singly or in pairs. The animals leap and play, making their disparate sounds along the way. As the parade progresses, it becomes evident from the illustrations that the animals, under Duck’s tutelage, are actually endeavoring to build a tower by stacking themselves on top of each other. There is not a lot of story here, but there is fun in abundance. Krilanovich’s acrylic paint illustrations feature jaunty, cheerful animals having a great time. Written by Lindsey Craig and illustrated by Marc Brown, “Farmyard Beat” describes what happens on the farm when the chicks have insomnia and would rather dance and sing than sleep. The chick hullabaloo wakes up the sheep: “Sheep can’t sleep. Sheep can’t sleep. Sheep can’t sleep ‘cause they got that beat.” Then the cat wakes up, then the cows, then the dog and so on throughout the farmyard until Farmer Sue wakes up, too. Tension builds just slightly as the reader waits to see what Farmer Sue’s reaction to all of this noise will be. Happily, she loves it! Brown’s cut paper collage illustrations are bright and whimsical, the perfect complement to Craig’s story. While “Chicken, Chicken, Duck!” and “Farmyard Beat” make great books for

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sharing with toddlers and preschoolers, “Huck Runs Amuck!” is geared for the slightly older set. Written by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, “Huck Runs Amuck!” features suspense, humor and a catchy refrain. Huck, a goat, loves to eat flowers. Pretty soon, all the flowers on his mountain are gone, so he sets out to get more. Hilarity ensues. Huck falls, tumbles, sneaks and climbs his way to chase each elusive flower he sees. Just when he thinks he has a flower between his teeth, something happens to interrupt his feast: an oncoming train, a wedding party, a gust of wind. Taylor uses repetition to great effect. Each time Huck sees a flower there is a refrain of “UHOH!” Huck is not going to try to get the flowers on the hat, in the bouquet, on the floral patterned underpants hanging on the line, is he? The answer is always yes, “He is! He can’t resist!” In the end, Huck’s kind heart wins out over his growling tummy, and Mrs. Spoon-

er’s resplendently flowered hat is returned to her intact (even if other floralthemed objects suffered along the way). These books are available in the Buncombe County Public Libraries. To learn more, visit www.buncombecounty.org/library.

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Area story times Buncombe County Libraries Visit buncombecounty.org Black Mountain, 250-4756 Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Mother Goose: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Thursday East Asheville, 250-4738 Preschool: 11 a.m. Wednesday and Saturday Enka-Candler, 250-4758 Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Thursday Fairview, 250-6484 Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Thursday Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Leicester, 250-6480 Mother Goose: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday North Asheville, 250-4752 School Age: 3:15 p.m. Thursday Preschool: 11 a.m. Wednesday Toddler: 10 a.m. Wednesday Oakley/South Asheville, 250-4754 Mother Goose: 11 a.m. Thursday Toddler: 11 a.m. Wednesday Preschool: 10 a.m. Wednesday Pack Memorial Library, 250-4700 Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Mondays Mother Goose: 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Thursdays School Age: 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays Skyland/South Buncombe, 250-6488 Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Thursday Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Swannanoa, 250-6486 Preschool: 11 a.m. Thursday Toddler: 10 a.m. Thursday Weaverville, 250-6482 Mother Goose: 11 a.m. Wednesday Toddler: 11 a.m. Thursday Preschool: 11 a.m. Tuesday West Asheville, 250-4750 Mother Goose: 11 a.m. Monday Toddler: 11 a.m. Wednesday Preschool: 11 a.m. Thursday

Haywood County Public Library

Visit www.haywoodlibrary.org. Waynesville, 356-2512 or 356-2511 Baby Rhyme Time: 9:30 a.m. Mondays Movers and Shakers: 11 a.m. Thursdays Family story time: 11 a.m. Wednesdays Ready 4 Learning: 11 a.m. Tuesdays Canton For story times, call 648-2924, ext. 2562, or email lhartzell@haywoodnc.net.

Henderson County Public Library

Visit www.henderson.lib.nc.us. No regular story time programs in December.

Barnes & Noble

Asheville Mall, 296-7335 11 a.m. Mondays. Biltmore Park Town Square, Asheville, 687-0681 11 a.m. Saturdays.

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puzzles for parents Across

1. Divisions of a family or clan 6. Threat to illegal aliens 9. Greek goddess of youth, wife of Hercules 13. Whitman's famous flower 14. Homer Simpson’s exclamation 15. Craze 16. Pleasant odor 17. Spermatozoa counterpart 18. Tear-jerker 19. Treat cruelly 21. Nora plus 5 kids 23. CD-___ 24. Among 25. Adam's famous part 28. Often served hot with sushi 30. Relating to skin 35. The Formans' son on “That ’70s Show” 37. The Cunninghams had only one on “Happy Days” 39. Dora the Explorer's cousin 40. Actress Sofer's given name 41. “Or else” in music 43. Mountain goat terrain 44. Render harmless 46. Upper layer of earth's crust 47. “The Simpsons” palindrome 48. Ozzie or Harriet 50. Where Stewie sleeps on “Family Guy” 52. Buddhist doctrine 53. Done before wash? 55. Xanthan ___ 57. Jim Bob and Michelle plus 19 kids

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61. Make one a sir, e.g. 65. Embryo cradles 66. Pen ___ 68. Slobber 69. Frantic 70. Under the weather 71. Churchill/Roosevelt/ Stalin meeting site 72. Throat-clearing sound 73. Tax helper 74. Sometimes used to describe dragon

Down

1. Block 2. Irish name of Ireland 3. Walk, as through mud 4. Less wild 5. Lynette and Tom plus 6 kids 6. America’s choice 7. Thanksgiving time 8. Medieval oboe 9. Beefcake 10. Fourth largest Great Lake 11. Uncouth person 12. European sea eagles 15. Bowed out, as in cards 20. Idealized image 22. Assistance 24. Plane discomfort 25. Thomas family friend on “What’s Happening!!” 26. _____ Adler, Sherlock Holmes’ romantic interest? 27. Twofold 29. Mistletoe tradition 31. Puerto ____ 32. Fred or Ethel 33. Popular jewelry stone 34. Enter user name and password

36. Lightning McQueen movie 38. The one with pants on fire 42. Done to printer cartridge 45. Artwork of many pieces 49. Neither here ___ there

51. Al and Peggy plus kids 54. Gelatin 56. No such thing as this type of victory? 57. Russian governmental agency 58. The Beehive State 59. DNA segment 60. Sinister

61. Singer Fitzgerald 62. Western cord necktie 63. Lesotho money 64. Distinctive elegance 67. One of a range in Europe

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Solutions on Page 61


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Family friendly calendar

Items for the January calendar are due by Dec. 10. Send to calendar@wncparent.com .

Nov. 29

WOODY WOOD SHOW: Local singer/songwriter offers his acoustic stylings in this free all ages show at 6 p.m. at The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com or call 2542224.

Nov. 29-30

WEE NATURALIST PROGRAM: N.C. Arboretum offers program for ages 2-5 with age-appropriate nature lessons including walks, garden exploration, stories, crafts and visits from classroom animals. This week’s theme is “Winter Homes” Runs 10-11 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays (explore classroom starting at 9:30 a.m.). $6 per child. Younger siblings and adults free when accompanied by paid participant. “Wee Card” offers four visits for $20. Free parking for registered participants. Visit www.ncarboretum.org to register. For information, contact Michelle Pearce at 665-2492, ext. 243, or mpearce@ncarboretum.org.

Nov. 30

CRAZY CHEMISTRY: Make 3-D puffy paint at this class for ages 3 and older. Free with admission. At 10:30 a.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Call 697-8333 to register. $5 nonmembers, free for members. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

Dec. 1

CANYON CREEK BLUEGRASS SHOW: Members of Steep Canyon Rangers, Town Mountain and Larry Keel join together for a free, all-ages bluegrass show. 6-7 p.m. at The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com or call 254-2224. TOY DRIVE: Reuter Family YMCA is collecting lightly used toys for its Child Watch Department for children at the Y. Through Dec. 30. At 3 Town Square Blvd., Asheville. Call 651-9622.

Dec. 1 and 8

CHILDBIRTH CLASSES: A free two-session class, on Dec. 1 and 8, for expectant parents covering the labor and delivery process, relaxation, breathing patterns, birth options, positioning and comfort measures. 6:30–9 p.m. Registration required. At Pardee Hospital, 800 N. Justice St., Hendersonville. Call 866-790-WELL or visit www.pardeehospital.org to register.

Dec. 2

NIKKI TALLEY SHOW: Alt-country singer/songwriter performs a free, all-ages acoustic show at The Hop West, 721 Haywood Road, Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com or call 252-5155. REUTER FAMILY YMCA YOUTH NIGHT: Get some

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Musician Billy Jonas performs two family shows on Dec. 19 at Diana Wortham Theatre. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

For a full list of holiday events, see the calendar on Page 12. Christmas shopping done and leave your kids at the Y. For children ages 7-12 with pizza, drinks, snacks, games, activities and a movie. From 6:15-9:45 p.m. $15 first child; $12 each additional child. At 3 Town Square Blvd., Asheville. Call 651-9622 to register.

Dec. 3

FACE PAINTING: Free face painting (tips appreciated), noon-5 p.m. at Asheville’s Fun Depot, 7 Roberts Road, Asheville. No purchase necessary. Call 277-2FUN to confirm. Visit www.ashevillesfundepot.com. FREE BALLET CONSERVATORY CLASS: Ballet Conservatory hosts a free holiday ballet trial class, 9-9:45 a.m. at Five Points Studios (Broadway and

Chestnut Street, Asheville). For ages 3-4. Spring classes begin Jan. 2. Visit www.balletconservatoryofasheville.com. Call to RSVP, 255-5777. WINTER FIRE SAFETY: East Asheville Library offers free program for all ages with firefighters of Station 8. Learn what to do in a fire emergency. At 11 a.m. at 902 Tunnel Road. Call 250-4738. YMCA PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: At Downtown Asheville YMCA for ages 2-12. Activities include swimming, arts and crafts, inflatable obstacle course, snacks and a movie. Register online or in person (at least 24 hours before scheduled program). Offered 6-10 p.m. the first Saturday of each month. $15 for members ($23 for nonmembers), with $2 sibling discounts. Call 210-9614 or visit www.ymcawnc.org.

Dec. 5

ASHEVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Two-week

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session of classes for ages 6 months-12 years on Mondays and Wednesdays, Dec. 5-14. Register by Dec. 2. Call 210-9622. FREE BALLET CONSERVATORY CLASS: Ballet Conservatory hosts free holiday trial classes, 3:15-4 p.m. for ballet and 4-4:45 p.m. for modern at Five Points Studios (Broadway and Chestnut Street, Asheville). For ages 7-9. Spring classes begin Jan. 2. Visit www.balletconservatoryofasheville.com. Call to RSVP, 255-5777. ORNAMET AND GIFTS WORKSHOP: Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts offers class for ages 6-12. Choose from a variety of projects to make unique gifts. 4-6 p.m. $35. Visit www.highwaterclays.com. YWCA SWIM LESSONS: New session of Red Crosscertified lessons starts for all skill levels. Visit www.ywcaofasheville.org or call 254-7206, ext. 110, for details.

Dec. 6

ASHEVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Two-week session of classes for ages 6 months-12 years on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Dec. 6-15. Register by Dec. 2. Call 210-9622. ‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR.’: The Hop hosts Curtain Call Collective as it presents “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.,” with Jones Elementary students and directed by Chris Martin. Preview the performance of a favorite musical in full costume. Free. 6-7 p.m. at The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com or call 254-2224. OPEN HOUSE: Asheville Catholic School hosts an open house the first Tuesday of each month, 1011:30 a.m. Visit www.ashevillecatholic.org or call 252-7896 to reserve a spot.

Dec. 7

FREE BALLET CONSERVATORY CLASS: Ballet Conservatory hosts a free home-school holiday ballet trial class, 12:30-1:15 p.m. at Five Points Studios (Broadway and Chestnut Street, Asheville). For ages 6-9. Spring classes begin Jan. 2. Visit www.balletconservatoryofasheville.com. Call to RSVP, 255-5777.

Dec. 8-9

‘ANNIE JR.’: North Asheville Christian School performs the story of Little Orphan Annie, 7 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children and students. Concessions available for purchase at intermission. Call 645-8053. ‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR.’: Ira B. Jones Elementary students perform at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9. At Jones Auditorium, 544 Kimberly Ave., Asheville. Call 350-6700.

Dec. 11

LITTLE ELVES WORKSHOP: Hahn’s Gymnastics hosts a parents’ afternoon out, 2-6 p.m. $10 first child, $5 siblings if enrolled at Hahn’s ($15/$7.50 if not enrolled). Call 684-8832 . At 18 Legend Drive, Arden.

Dec. 12

The co-CEO of Archie Comics gives a workshop on making comic books on Dec. 17 at Spellbound Children's Bookshop on Wall Street. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

Dec. 10

BALLOON ARTIST: Asheville’s Fun Depot hosts a balloon artist and Boomer the Clown, 1-5 p.m. Free balloon art (tips appreciated) with no purchase necessary. At Exit 51 off I-40. Call 277-2FUN to confirm event hasn’t been canceled. Visit www.ashevillesfundepot.com. FAMILY FUN DAY: 11th annual event for families of children with disabilities. Games, entertainment, demonstrations, food, more. Free. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at WNC Ag Center Expo Building, 1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher. Call 298-1977. FREE BALLET CONSERVATORY CLASS: Ballet Conservatory hosts a free holiday ballet trial class, 9-9:45 a.m. at Five Points Studios (Broadway and Chestnut Street, Asheville) for ages 3-4. Spring classes begin Jan. 2. Visit www.balletconservatoryofasheville.com. Call to RSVP, 255-5777. ‘MARKETING OF MADNESS’ DOCUMENTARY: Free, open to the public viewing of “The Marketing of Madness: Are We All Insane?” about the harmful effects of psychotropic drugging, false science behind psychiatric diagnoses and power games of psychiatrists and big pharma. 1-4 p.m. at Henderson County Library Main Branch, Kaplan Auditorium, 301 N. Washington St., Hendersonville. Call 6974725.

PARK RIDGE CHILDBIRTH CLASS: Park Ridge Health's The Baby Place offers a childbirth class in a one-day session, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. A tour of the Baby Place is included. Call 681-BABY or visit www.parkridgebabies.com to register. $90. The hospital is at 100 Hospital Drive, Hendersonville. REUTER FAMILY YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Classes for ages 6 months-12 years on Mondays and Wednesdays, Dec. 12-Jan. 4. Registration deadline is Dec. 8. Starts at $40. Call 651-9622 or visit www.ymcawnc.org.

Dec. 13

REUTER FAMILY YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Classes for ages 6 months-12 years on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Dec. 13-Jan. 5. Registration deadline is Dec. 8. Starts at $40. Call 651-9622 or visit www.ymcawnc.org.

Dec. 14

HOLISTIC PARENTING FORUM: Free group to provide support, education and resources for a community of parents committed to natural living. Meets 6-8 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month at Earth Fare in West Asheville. Children welcome. Call 230-4850 or email shantisunshine@gmail.com.

Dec. 15

ASHEVILLE BIDS FOR KIDS: Asheville Area Auctioneers host a holiday benefit auction to help needy children through Caring for Children Inc., Helpmate, Mountain Area Child and Family Center, Children First and Eliada Homes. Silent auction, wine and holiday hors d’oevres, 5:30-6:30 p.m.; live auction, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Bid on packages donated by local businesses, from wine to gardening help to vacation rentals or dinner on the town. To donate or volunteer, email info@avlbidsforkids.org or call 254-6846. At Brunk Auctions Gallery, 117 Tunnel Road, Asheville. Visit www.avlbidsforkids.org.

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Dec. 9

STAR OF BETHLEHEM PROGRAM: PARI, the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, gives an astronomical look at the Star of Bethlehem. Activities include a tour of PARI and celestial observations using PARI’s optical or radio telescopes. At 7 p.m. $20 adults, $10 children under 14. Visit www.pari.edu or call 862-5554 to register. REUTER FAMILY YMCA PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: “Polar Express” theme. For children ages 6 weeks-12 years. From 6:15-9:45 p.m. $12 first child; $10 each additional child. At 3 Town Square Blvd., Asheville. Call 651-9622 to register.

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calendar of events

MOMS’ GROUPS

Continued from Page 57 DREIDEL CRAFT AND GAME: Learn how to make a dreidel and play the dreidel game. This game is a part of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which begins at sundown Dec. 20. Drop-in activity that is free with admission at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. PARDEE PARENTING CLASSES: Both free classes run 6:30-8 p.m. at Pardee Hospital, 800 N. Justice St., Hendersonville. Registration is required. Call 866790-WELL or visit www.pardeehospital.org to register. » BREAST-FEEDING CLASS: Learn the art of breastfeeding. » DADDY DUTY CLASS: Learn helpful ideas and tips for dads during the labor and birth process. In Video Conference Room.

Dec. 16

NATALYA AND JOHN ACOUSTIC SHOW: The Hop West presents a performance from two members of Asheville’s Folk-Americana group Red June. 6:307:30 p.m. at 721 Haywood Road, Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com or call 252-5155. REUTER FAMILY YMCA FAMILY NIGHT: Activities, music, food a holiday movie and a Christmas play. Free. Starts at 5 p.m. At 3 Town Square Blvd., Asheville. Call 651-9622.

Dec. 16-18

DOG AGILITY TRIAL: Dogs jump hurdles, race through tunnels and climb over A-frames at high speeds. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at McGough Arena, WNC Ag Center, Fletcher. Free.

Dec. 17

BABYSITTER’S TRAINING CLASS: For ages 11-15. Learn how to care for a child, develop a babysitting business and more. Basic child care and first aid included. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Henderson County Chapter, American Red Cross, 203 Second Ave. East, Hendersonville. $85. Visit www.redcrosswnc.org or call 693-5605. BRIGHT STAR TOURING THEATRE: Two kid-friendly shows at Asheville Community Theatre. At 10 a.m., “Once Upon a Time” for ages 3-10. “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Cinderella” come alive in this two-actor comedy. At 11:30 a.m., “A Dickens Tale” for ages 8 to adult. A kid-friendly version of “A Christmas Carol.” Tickets are $5, sold at the door one hour prior to showtime. At 35 E. Walnut St., Asheville. Visit www.ashevilletheatre.org. COMIC BOOK WORKSHOP: In celebration of Archie’s 70th anniversary, Nancy Silberkleit, Co-CEO of Archie Comics, will sign Archie graphic novels and give a workshop for kids and adults on how to create comic books. Free. At 2 p.m. at Spellbound Children’s Bookshop, 19 Wall St. Visit www.spellboundchildrensbookshop.com or call 232-2228. FACE PAINTING: Free face painting (tips appreciated), noon-5 p.m. at Asheville’s Fun Depot, 7 Roberts Road, Asheville. No purchase necessary. Call 277-2FUN to confirm. Visit www.ashevillesfundepot.com.

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A sampling of support groups for moms in WNC. » ASHEVILLE STAY-AT-HOME MOMS PLAYGROUP: Visit www.meetup.com/Asheville-StayAt-Home-Moms-Playgroup/ » ARDEN MOMS MEETUP GROUP: Visit www.meetup.com/arden-moms or contact Susan Toole at ArdenMoms@gmail.com. » ASHEVILLEMOMMIES.COM: Meet and greets for moms while kids play. Two sessions, 11 a.m.-noon and 3-4 p.m. Wednesdays at The Hop Ice Cream and Coffee Shop, 640 Merrimon Ave. » ASHEVILLE MOMS WITH MULTIPLES: Group for moms with multiples meets 7 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at the Women’s Resource Center on Doctors Drive, behind Mission Hospital. Meetings are an opportunity to share experiences and offer support in a social setting. Call 444-AMOM or visit www.ashevillemom.com. » BILTMORE BAPTIST MOPS: Group for all mothers of children from infancy through kindergarten. Meets 9:30-11:30 a.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month, September-May at Biltmore Baptist Church, 35 Clayton Road, Arden. Call 687-1111, email mopsofbbc@yahoo.com or visit www.biltmorebaptist.org/mops/. » HIKING WITH PRESCHOOLERS: Visit www.meetup.com/hiking-with-Preschoolers/ » LA LECHE LEAGUE OF ASHEVILLE MORNINGS: Pregnant moms, babies and toddlers welcome at all meetings. Meets at 10 a.m. the second Monday of the month at First Congregational Church on Oak Street. Contact a leader: Susan, 628-4438 or wncbabylady@gmail.com; Jessica, 242-6531; or Falan, 683-1999. Visit www.facebook.com/#!/pages/LaLeche-League-of-AshevilleBuncombe/370356353543 » LA LECHE LEAGUE OF ASHEVILLE EVENINGS: Pregnant moms, babies and toddlers welcome at all meetings. Meets at 7 p.m. the third Monday of the month at Awakening Heart on Merrimon Avenue. Contact a leader: Yvette, 254-5591; or Molly, 713-7089. Visit www.facebook.com/#!/pages/La-Leche-Leagueof-AshevilleBuncombe/370356353543 » LA LECHE LEAGUE OF HENDERSONVILLE: Offers information and support for pregnant or

Dec. 18

LITTLE ELVES WORKSHOP: Hahn’s Gymnastics hosts a parents’ afternoon out, 2-6 p.m. $10 first child, $5 siblings if enrolled at Hahn’s ($15/$7.50 if not enrolled). Call 684-8832. At 18 Legend Drive, Arden.

Dec. 19

BILLY JONAS SHOW: Diana Wortham Theatre’s Mainstage Young Audiences Series presents musician Billy Jonas in two shows, 10 a.m. and noon, open to school groups, home-schoolers, community groups and families. Performance best for ages pre-K to fifth grade. Making innovative use of

breastfeeding women. Meets at 10 a.m. the second Wednesday of the month at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville, 2021 Kanuga Road. Babies and toddlers are welcome. For more information, Contact a leader: Andrea 676-6047, Katie 808-1490, or MC 6939899. » MOM2MOM: Christian moms group meets at St. Paul’s Church, 32 Rosscraggon Road, Rosscraggon Business Park Building B, Asheville. Moms with any age children are welcome. Call 388-3598. » MOMMY AND ME: Park Ridge Hospital offers a support group for moms at 10 a.m. the fourth Monday of the month. Contact Amy Mast at 216-7244. The hospital offers a luncheon for moms and babies, noon-1 p.m. the third Monday of the month, at the hospital’s private dining room. Call 681-2229. » MOMS CLUB OF HENDERSONVILLE: A support group open to mothers of all ages in the Henderson County area, including mothers who have home-based businesses and those who work part-time but are home with their children during the day. The group meets for speeches and topics for discussion, park days, playgroups, nights out, holiday activities and service projects. Meets 9:30 a.m. the first Thursday of the month at Hendersonville Church of Christ, 1975 Haywood Road, Hendersonville. Children welcome. Call Toni McDonald at 702-0433 or visit http://hendersonvillemomsclub.wordpress.com » MOPS AT MUD CREEK: Mothers of Preschoolers provides an open, faith-based atmosphere for moms of infants through kindergartners. Meets second and fourth Wednesdays, 9:15-11:15 a.m., September-May, at Mud Creek Baptist Church, 403 Rutledge Drive, Hendersonville. Email Melissa Thorsland, melthor@tds.net, or MOPS.MudCreek@gmail.com or visit http:// mopsatmudcreek.webs.com/links.htm. » NORTH ASHEVILLE MOPS: Meets 9:30-11:30 a.m. the first Tuesday of each month at Maranatha Baptist Church, 1040 Lower Flat Creek Road, Weaverville. Contact Amy at 658-0739 or Liban at lmorris_cid@hotmail.com. » WNC MOUNTAIN MAMAS: Moms and kids can meet up and play at 11 a.m. Wednesdays the Hop Ice Cream Shop, 640 Merrimon Ave. Enjoy half-priced coffees and ice cream. Encompassing, supporting and uniting WNC families. Visit www.wncmountainmamas.proboards.com

“found objects” (buckets, broom handles, bottles, keys, and more) as well as traditional instruments, Jonas helps audiences discover the music within common items and within themselves. Tickets $6-$7. For reservations, contact Rae Geoffrey at 210-9837 or rae@dwtheatre.com.

Dec. 20

POLAR EXPRESS PAJAMA PARTY: Curtain Call Collective presents a pajama party hosted by Chris Martin with skits, songs and more based on the

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calendar of events Continued from Page 58 favorite holiday book. Expect a special guest, too. 6-7 p.m. at The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit www.thehopicecreamcafe.com or call 2542224. MAKE A GINGERBREAD HOUSE: Program for ages 8 and older, younger if accompanied by an adult. At 10:30 a.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Call 697-8333 for reservations. $15 for nonmembers, $10 members.

Dec. 22

INFANT CARE CLASS: Pardee Hospital offers a course on infant care from A to Z. From 6:30-8 p.m. at Pardee, education classrooms, 800 N. Justice St., Hendersonville. Free. Registration required at www.pardeehospital.org or call 866-790-WELL. MAKE AN ORNAMENT: Drop-in craft for all ages at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Call 697-8333 or visit www.handsonwnc.org. Free with admission.

WOODFIN YMCA PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: The Neighborhood Y at Woodfin hosts a parents’ night out, 6-9 p.m. the fourth Friday of each month for ages 2-12. Members pay $12 for first child, $10 additional (nonmembers, $18/child). Children will enjoy a craft, free play, games and a hearty snack, with a movie at the end of the evening. Call 5053990.

Dec. 28

CRAZY CHEMISTRY: Make spray chalk at this class for ages 3 and older. Free with admission. At 10:30 a.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Call 697-8333 to register. $5 nonmembers, free for members. Visit www.handsonwnc.org.

DANCE CLASSES: Ballet Conservatory of Asheville offers registration for its spring classes, noon-3 p.m. at Five Points Studio, Broadway and Chestnut Street, Asheville. For girls and boys ages 3 and older. Take a free trial class in ballet, jazz, tap or modern. Call 255-5777 or visit www.balletconservatoryofasheville.com.

Jan. 3

FOSTER PARENTING INFORMATION SESSION: Get an overview of Buncombe County DSS and the foster parent licensing process. Plenty of time for questions. Orientation is strongly recommended. 6-8 p.m. To register or for information, contact Betsy Gray-Manning at 250-5868 or email familiesforkids@buncombecounty.org.

Jan. 7

Dec. 29

FAIRY MAKING CLASS: Make a fairy for you and one to be part of the new fairy exhibit at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. For ages 8 and older. $10 nonmembers, $5 members. Call 697-8333 to register. Visit www.handsonwnc.org. INFANT CPR AND CHOKING: A class taught once a quarter on infant CPR and choking. $10. 6:30-8 p.m. at Pardee Hospital, 800 N. Justice St, Hendersonville. Registration required. Register at www.pardeehospital.org or call 866-790-WELL. SUCCESSFUL BREAST-FEEDING: Breast-feeding gets off to a good start when mothers and babies have skin-to-skin time, beginning at birth. Forum also covers issues that can cause success and/or problems with breast-feeding in the first three weeks. All are welcome. 6:30-8 p.m. at the WRC, 50 Doctor’s Drive, West Annex, Asheville. Visit www.peacefulbeginning.org.

YMCA PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: At Downtown Asheville YMCA for ages 2-12. Activities include swimming, arts and crafts, inflatable obstacle course, snacks and a movie. Register online or in person (at least 24 hours before scheduled program). Offered 6-10 p.m. the first Saturday of each month. $15 for members ($23 for nonmembers), with $2 sibling discounts. Call 210-9614 or visit www.ymcawnc.org.

Jan. 10

FOSTER PARENTING CLASSES: Model Approach to Parrtnerships in Parenting classes run 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays for 10 weeks, starting Jan. 10. Class explains foster care system and will meet training requirements for becoming a foster parent. To register or for information, contact Betsy Gray-Manning at 250-5868 or email familiesforkids@buncombecounty.org.

Ongoing

BALLOON ARTIST: Asheville’s Fun Depot hosts a balloon artist and Boomer the Clown, 1-5 p.m. Free balloon art (tips appreciated) with no purchase

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necessary. At Exit 51 off I-40. Call 277-2FUN to confirm event hasn’t been canceled. Visit www.ashevillesfundepot.com.

Jan. 2

Dec. 23

Dec. 31

Make a gingerbread house at a program Dec. 20 at Hands On! A Child's Gallery in Hendersonville. GANNETT

HENDERSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHOIR: Open to all interested singers ages 6-13. Register at the first practice, at 4:15 p.m. at Covenant Presbyterian

Church, 2101 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville. $40 per child ($80 family cap). Practices are 4:30-5:30 p.m. Mondays. With two fall concerts. Visit www.hendersonvillechildrenschoir.org. HOME SCHOOL ART PROGRAM: Classical drawing, mixed media, painting and sculpture for ages 5-13 starting in January at Canvas, Paint + Mingle, 735c Haywood Road, West Asheville. Visit www.paintandmingle.com for details. DANCE LESSONS: Asheville Clogging Company offers clogging, Irish step dancing, hip-hop, jazz, ballet and tap classes for all ages, preschool to adult. Visit www.ashevillecloggingcompany.com, call 329-3856 or e-mail ashley@ashevillecloggingcompany.com. PARENTS’ MORNING OUT PROGRAM: St. Eugene Catholic Church is enrolling children for its parents morning out program. Two teachers for each 10 children. For ages 6 months to 4 years. Program is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday. Church is at 72 Culvern St., Asheville. Call Cynthia Francis at 254-5193, ext. 25, or e-mail mamabear123123@yahoo.com. JOYFUL NOISE CLASSES: Joyful Noise Community Music and Arts Center offers classes for children and adults with beginning guitar, beginning songwriting, percussion, Appalachian jamming, Kindermusik, visual arts, drama, and chamber music. Private lessons available. Joyful Noise is based at the First Presbyterian Church in Weaverville with satellite locations in Marshall and South Asheville. For information and a full schedule, visit joyfulnoisecenter.org or call 649-2828. MOTHERS MORNING OUT: Trinity Presbyterian Church’s Mothers Morning Out program is enrolling children ages 6 weeks-6 years for care/preschool for the school year (through April). Offered 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays. Learning, dance, music and more. Register at the church, 17 Shawnee Trail, in Redwood Forrest development in East Asheville. Call Tina Robinson at 299-3433, ext. 308, or visit www.trinityasheville.com. TINY TOTS ADVENTURES: Montford Community Center offers this free class 10-11:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through April. No class when Asheville City Schools are out. At 34 Pearson Drive. Call 253-3714. ASHEVILLE TAASC: The American Adventure Service Corps is a nonprofit program dedicated to inspiring young people to become compassionate leaders, stewards of the environment and responsible community members. Year-round and summer programs. Activities include wilderness backpacking, climbing and rappelling, whitewater and flat water paddling, cave exploration, mountain biking, wilderness first aid, leadership development and community service. Visit www.ashevilletaasc.com or call 299-9844 or e-mail ashevilletaasc@gmail.com. ZEUGNER CENTER FAMILY SWIM: Buncombe County’s Zeugner Center indoor pool is open 1:30-5 p.m. Sundays for open swim. $3 per person. Passes available, $20 for 10 visits and $40 for 25 visits. The Zeugner Center at 90 Springside Drive, Arden, behind Roberson High School. For more information, contact Teri Gentile at 684-5072 or teri.gentile@buncombecounty.org. TENNIS LESSONS: Asheville Racquet Club offers tennis lessons this fall in two locations, ARC South on Hendersonville Road and ARC Downtown, at 1 Resort Drive, Asheville. Classes starting at age 4-14, tournament program for ages 9-18. For ARC South, contact Mindy Sheppard at 274-3361, ext. 310, or

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msheppard@ashevilleracquetclub.com. For ARC Downtown, contact Bo Webb at 545-4939 or bothepro5@yahoo.com. YMCA AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM: The YMCA offers after-school care from 2:30-6 p.m. at 17 Buncombe County schools and serves three Asheville City Schools at the YMCA Beaverdam location. Curriculum focuses on arts and humanities, literacy, health and wellness, conflict resolution, math and science, service learning and cultural diversity. Visit www.ymcawnc.org or call 210-2273. FAIRVIEW PRESCHOOL: A developmentally ageappropriate, hands-on learning environment for children ages 2-5 (pre-K). Classes will meet 8:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. At 596 U.S. 74, behind Fairview Library, in Fairview. Call 338-2073, email info@FairviewPreschool.org or visit www.FairviewPreschool.org. SWANNANOA VALLEY MONTESSORI SCHOOL: Ages 18 months to sixth grade. Drop-In tours at 9 a.m. Tuesdays. Preschool at 130 Center Ave., Black Mountain. Elementary at Carver Community Center, Black Mountain. Call 669-8571 or visit www.swanmont.org.

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We’re Expanding Our Pediatric OrthopedicTeam.

Ole Raustol, MD Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon

Mission Children’s Hospital is pleased to welcome the newest addition to our Pediatric Orthopedics Program, Dr. Ole Raustol. He joins Dr. Jennifer Hooker and her surgical team in caring for children with all types of orthopedic conditions and injuries, including: • Broken bones, torn tendons and ligaments, and joint dislocations • Congenital conditions • Orthopedic trauma • General orthopedic issues • Orthopedic complications of neuromuscular disorders

Learn more about Dr. Raustol by scanning the code below on your smartphone.

• Sports-related injuries For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 828-213-1740, or visit missionchildrens.org/pediatricorthopedics


WNCParent December 2011 edition