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contents This month’s features 6




Holiday traditions Notable Western North Carolinians share the stories they heard at holiday time.


Lending a hand The holidays offer many opportunities for families to volunteer.

Four-legged finds Don’t forget the pet on your shopping list this Christmas.

Holiday events A roundup of Christmas and Hanukkah events around WNC.


Teaching about diabetes A new book puts Type 1 diabetes in terms a child can better understand.


Eating the rainbow The Rainbow in My Tummy program enlists a new chef to educate kids about nutrition.

In every issue

On the cover

Growing Together............30

Sebastian Clark, by Kaelee Denise Photography,

Divorced Families ............34 Kids’ Voices .....................36 Nature Center Notes ........37 Librarian’s Picks...............40 Story Times .....................40 Home-school Happenings .38 FEAST..............................41 Kids Page ........................48 Calendar .........................49

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

Holidays with family Katie Wadington, editor Raise your hand if you can’t quite believe we’re in December already. Seriously, where did fall go? But I’m excited that Thanksgiving came earlier than usual because that does give more time to my favorite time of the year. My expectations are always huge at Christmastime — hopes for family outings to holiday events, taking in parades, seeing gingerbread houses, watching movies over cocoa. Then maybe we make it to one parade, maybe the Grove Park Inn (but not likely both). So this year, I’m tempering expectations in hopes we’ll do better. One thing I would like to do this holiday season is volunteer with my kids somewhere. Our story on Page 10 looks at families who take time to give back to the community, through the Salvation Army, MANNA and more. Traditions are a significant part of the holidays, and many family traditions revolve around Christmas and holiday stories. We asked many famous faces in Asheville what their favorite holiday stories are. Read their responses starting on Page 6. We got a dog this summer, so I was interested to read about pet gifts in the story we have on Page 12. What I once thought was a ridiculous notion (gifts for a pet? really?) now doesn’t seem so odd. Beyond holidays, in this issue we also take a look at the Rainbow in My Tummy program and its new chef, on Page 22. Also, a Mission Health employee has written a book to help kids (and parents) better understand diabetes. You’ll find a story about the author and book on Page 20. I hope you and yours have the happiest of holidays. I’ll see you in the new year!

P.O. Box 2090, Asheville, NC 28802 PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER Randy Hammer WNC PARENT EDITOR Katie Wadington — 232-5829


ADVERTISING/CIRCULATION Brittany Martin — 232-5898, CALENDAR CONTENT Due by Dec 10. E-mail ADVERTISING DEADLINE Advertising deadline for the January issue is Dec. 14.


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STORIES of the

SEASON Tom Chalmers, in character for “The Santaland Diaries.” ERIN BRETHAUER/EBRETHAU@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

WNC personalities share their memories of the stories of Christmas and Hanukkah


f you ask a dozen people what makes Christmas special, you’ll likely get a dozen different answers. One common thread, however, is oftentimes a good book. Christmas and holiday stories have delighted children of all faiths and cultures for centuries. We asked several Western North Carolina personalities what they remember from their childhoods.



By Betty Lynne Leary WNC Parent contributor

s an award-winning fitness educator, Tim Arem portrays many different characters in his mission of promoting children’s health and physical fitness. Dressed as T-Bone, a brightly colored running enthusiast, Arem appeals to the kid in all of us. During the holidays, he remembers his family reading “The 12 Days of Christ- Tim Arem mas” and “The Night Before Christmas,” but his favorite story was “The Velveteen Rabbit.”

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hat children’s classic was also a hit with Beth Maczka, executive director of the YWCA, although she too has vivid memories of reading “The Night Before Christmas.” “I remember snuggling up in a big upholstered rocking chair with my mother and at least one other sibling,” Maczka recalls. “We had a beautiful copy of ‘The Night Before Christmas,’ illustrated by Geo Fujikawa. It is still one of my favorite Christmas books!” With her own children, Maczka enjoys reading “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” “It captures the spirit of Christmas and makes us slow down long enough to enjoy each other’s company,” Maczka says. “The humor and the poignancy of the story never grows old.”

Beth Maczka

Sarah Addison Allen MELISSA MARKIS



n the Graham household, the biblical Christmas story took center stage on Christmas morning according to Gigi Graham, one of the five children of the Rev. Billy and Ruth Graham. “We weren’t allowed to rush into the living room and tear into presents,” Graham says. “We had breakfast first, then Daddy would read the King James version of the Christmas story.” Graham also remembers reading “Why the Chimes Rang,” which she describes as a real tear jerker. “And of course Mother wrote ‘Our Christmas Story’ and Gigi Graham SPECIAL TO ‘One Wintry Night,’” Graham says. Those are favorites with WNC PARENT Billy Graham’s 41 great-grandchildren. She notes that Christmas was always a festive time in the Graham home, as her mother embraced every detail of the holiday, including leaving Santa’s whiskers on the stockings and a boot stuck in the ashes of the fireplace.


hen Lael Gray, executive director of the Asheville Jewish Community Center, was growing up, there weren’t many Hanukkah books available in the general marketplace. Instead, her family shared the story of the Maccabees who rose against and defeated powerful Greek forces. “The real miracle we celebrate is what happened after this defeat, when the Jews rededicated their temple by lighting the menorah,” Gray explains.

“There was only enough oil to last for one night, but the oil lasted for eight nights — a miracle of light.” Gray remembers lighting the menorah each night of Hanukkah, playing the dreidel game and exchanging gifts. “These are all traditions that my husband and I continue to follow with our children although now they usually opt for one big gift instead of eight small ones!” she says.

ew York Times best-selling author Sarah Addison Allen remembers two things very clearly from her childhood — a wall of books in the dining room and the wood stove in the living room. “In my mind, I see a path worn from one to the other,” Allen says. “Books and warmth, that’s how I remember wintertime as a child. And there was always reading at Christmas.” Her strongest memories revolve not around stories but in the visual images that sprang to mind as her father would recite “Star-Silver,” by Carl Sandburg, and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” by Robert Frost. “Star-Silver remains my favorite,” Allen says. “Bringing out Christmas books is as much a part of Christmas in my house as bringing out the decorations. I can’t imagine Christmas without books.”

Lael Gray


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STORIES OF THE SEASON Continued from Page 7


Bill McGuire

eading was a priority in Bill McGuire’s house, thanks to his parents who were in the newspaper business. The CEO of WNC’s Child Abuse Prevention Services has fond memories of reading at Christmastime. “I well remember ‘The Night Before Christmas’ and later ‘The Gift of the Magi’ by O Henry,” McGuire recalls. “My mother would always put an old copy of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens by the fireplace. On the inner cover was an inscription from one relative to another dating to 1905.” In the 1970s, McGuire’s sons gave him a Hallmark book of Christmas Classics. “I put it on the mantel every year, and we read ‘Christmas is Here’ by Washington Irving, ‘Is There a Santa Claus,’ ‘Silent Night,’ and ‘I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day’ by Longfellow,” he says. Allison Jordan SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT


n college, local actor Tom Chalmers worked at a children’s bookstore in New York City and received an autographed copy of “The Polar Express” that included a silver bell like the one featured in the story. “We started the tradition of reading that book on Christmas Eve every year with my mom,” Chalmers relates. “When my brothers began having children, we would read the story to them and then ring the bell at the end. When my mother passed away a few years ago, many special items were passed on, including the copy of ‘The Polar Express’ to my younger brother who will have it on the mantel again this year.”


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or Allison Jordan, executive director of Children First, reading Christmas stories involved the entire family. “My mother, father, and my grandmother all read to me,” Jordan says. “I remember ‘The Night Before Christmas,’ ‘Santa Mouse’ and ‘Mr. Willoughby’s Christmas,’ which was my favorite.” As an adult, Jordan recorded herself reading “The Night Before Christmas” for her nieces who live three hours away so they could hear her read anytime.


he Clement C. Moore classic is also a favorite of Dini Cecil Pickering, a greatgranddaughter of George Vanderbilt. Pickering is president of the Family Office and vice chairman of the board of Biltmore Co. She and her brother, Bill Cecil Jr., grew up on Biltmore Estate. “When the kids were little and on up to present day, we gather with my in-laws, Janie and George Pickering, and as Janie reads ‘ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas,’ we pass presents. Each time she reads the word ‘the’ and at the end of the story, the present that you have is the one you keep. It’s great fun and we’ve been doing it for 25 years.”

Dini Cecil Pickering


Patricia Glazener

hildren’s librarian Patricia Glazener was lucky enough to have both parents and an older brother read to her at Christmas time. Her favorite stories were from a book simply called “The Christmas Story Book” which, as she recalls, had beautiful pictures. “There was one about Rudolph and Santa’s reindeer that had more details than the typical storyline of the song,” Glazener says. “I loved how he saved the day and the others came to be his brothers. Santa was wise and understood everything. I figured out in my little mind that Santa must be Jesus’ uncle and that’s how he did such wonders at Christmas.”


hough award-winning author and educator Gloria Houston doesn’t remember any particular holiday books from her childhood, she does recall adults reading to her and that she couldn’t wait to read for herself. “I have special memories with my parents that influenced the two Christmas books I have written,” she says. “The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree” and “Little Jim’s Gift” both feature Christmas pageants that are quite true to her memories of pageants at Pine Grove Methodist Church in Avery County, where she grew up. In the past 25 years, Houston has received many letters from families who have read her books and from Gloria Houston ministers who use the books for their Christmas Eve sermon. “I often go to sleep like a beaming maternal grandmother,” she says. “I am filled with joy in realizing that my characters are a part of the celebrations of so many others. As I think my grandfather would have told me, it is a great joy to be part of the joy of others.”



Families that give during the holidays get more in return By Paul Clark. WNC Parent contributor


hristmas morning for Stephanie Lee’s family will mean loading up the car and heading to the Salvation Army to help serve lunch for the homeless. The Lees can’t wait. “As soon as the leaves start to change in the fall, my kids start asking me if I’ve called the Salvation Army to tell them we’ll help,” Lee, whose family lives in Arden, said. “Now it’s just part of our holiday. It’s become a tradition for us.” Many Western North Carolina families spend part of their holidays helping the less fortunate. Doing so, they say, gives them a window into another world, allows them to serve others and brings a richness to the holidays that material gifts can’t touch, they said. Volunteer opportunities for families and individuals abound in WNC year-round and are especially important from Thanksgiving to Christmas, when high spirits can amplify the isolation and weariness felt by many people who are homeless and down on their luck. Charitable organizations


such as the Salvation Army put on free Christmas meals to give people a place to be a part of the holiday, whether they can afford the rest of it or not. Opportunities for families to help aren’t limited to Christmas meals. MANNA FoodBank, on Swannanoa River Road in Asheville, receives donated bulk food and breaks it down for donor organizations. It relies heavily on volunteers throughout the year, but the number of families that help traditionally changes from 10-20 a week to 15-30 during the holidays, said Autumn McCarver, volunteer coordinator.

Many choose to volunteer for the Giving Tree that MANNA and Ingles Markets stage at the Asheville Mall every Christmas. “A lot of families just want to show their kids that there are people out there who are not as fortunate,” McCarver said. That not everyone has toys under the tree is especially apparent to children when they’re packing bags of food so that children will have something to eat over the weekend. Stephanie Lee and her husband started their tradition of helping when their daughter Ayana was 10. “We

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Amy Hykin and daughters Morgan, center, and Autumn help a woman pick out a pair of warm gloves at Western Carolina Rescue Ministries’ recent annual Coats for the Cold Giveaway. The holiday season offers families many opportunities to volunteer together. WESTERN CAROLINA RESCUE MINISTRY/ SPECIAL TO THE CITIZEN-TIMES wanted to instill in her our responsibility and duty to help the less fortunate,” Lee said. “We wanted her to know that you shouldn’t wait around to let someone else do it. You should do it, now.” Now as much a part of their son’s Christmas as it is his sister’s, volunteering at the Salvation Army made an immediate impact on Ayana, her mother said. Ayana served Christmas dinner to a girl about her own age and talked to both her and her mother. “To see the look on my daughter’s face and her tears, she immediately came to me and asked if we could take her home,” Lee said. That prompted a discussion about homelessness and helping and giving of one’s heart. Alean Pitts and her 9-year-old daughter are part of a large family that volunteers all year at the Veteran Restoration Quarters on Tunnel Road in East Asheville. The 20 or so members of the family provide home-cooked meals there once a month for about 200 veterans who live in the quarters, which was once a motel. “I want my daughter to know that you help those that are less fortunate than you,” Pitts, a Weaverville resident, said. “We’re not rich by any means. We are

WANT TO VOLUNTEER DURING THE HOLIDAYS? A good resource for holiday (and yearround) opportunities is at Hands On Asheville-Buncombe (, the volunteer page of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County. Another volunteer resource is a board maintained by MainStreet Online (

working-class people. But you give to those that don’t have. “It makes you feel good to know that you are doing something nice for someone else,” she said. “You get more out of it than you’re putting in to it. If people would just realize that, there would be no lack of volunteers.” The Western Carolina Rescue Ministry serves around 300 people on Christmas Day, and many of the volunteers are families, said Jonathon Jones, development director. “When they come here, they’re making life better for someone during the holidays,” he said. “And when our clients


get to share a meal alongside them and share a smile and a laugh, they become family on that holiday.” Helping people through tough times is possibly the biggest reason so many families want to help during the holidays. And it helps people with difficulties, as well. Susan Paoletti’s son Matt, 23, has Down syndrome. The Paoletti family has been volunteering at the Salvation Army for three Christmases. “We were a little apprehensive the first year because we were not sure what we’d be expected to do or the type of people we’d meet,” Paoletti said. “We found it to be very pleasant. People were very warm. They looked just like us — families that needed to take their children to a safe environment.” Her son enjoys being around people and being helpful, and he loved volunteering, his mother said. “I think it’s the parent’s job to show a safe way for children to give. Matt needs to give back to the community, and this is the perfect place to do it. “We really look forward to it. Knowing that we’re helping is a way to get in the spirit of the holidays.”



CHRISTMAS TREATS By Paul Clark, WNC Parent contributor

What would your pet ask for for Christmas if it could talk? Yummy treats, of course. But you, dutiful parent that you are, know that goodies plus toys plus clothes make for the well-rounded holiday (do we sound like your mother?). Fortunately, locally owned pet stores stock plenty of holiday gifts, many of them made right here in Western North Carolina. Here are but a few.


All natural

Treat your pet to organic, holistic, all-natural dog and cat food made in Asheville by Green Earth Pet Food. Made with freerange chicken or beef, the food uses organic whole, fresh eggs, vegetables, yogurt, flaxseed and green tea. You can find it at several stores around town, such as Earth Fare (2537656) in West Asheville and MoonDoggies Natural Pet Foods (633-0900) in Candler. And you can order it direct from Green Earth’s website (www.greenearthpet


Gluten free

The Organic K9 in Mars Hill makes “the most powerful organic herb and Bach flower dog biscuits in the world,” according to its website. Asheville Pet Supply (1451 Merrimon Ave., Asheville; 252-2054) sells them, as do a few other pet businesses in the area (for a list, visit Asheville Pet Supply sells a 5-ounce bag of Organic K9’s gluten-free vanilla treats for $6.75. Heart-healthy, they’re made with rice flour, aloe juice, flax seed, spring water vitamin E “and healing prayers,” according to the website. “We try to recommend treats and biscuits with no corn or wheat in them,” Asheville Pet Supply owner Mary Hourihan said, noting the allergies that some dogs have. “There are so many good treats without them, why take a chance, especially if you’re giving them as a gift?”

The Organic K9 in Mars Hill sells its natural dog treats at Asheville Pet Supply. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

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MoonDoggies (1263 Smoky Park Highway, Candler; 633-0900) has several locally made sweaters and vests for dogs ($15-$45), co-owner Mike Bocsusis said. It also sells an Earth- and people-friendly insect repellant made by Maddie Hayes Naturals (www.mad in Candler ($14.99 for four ounces). With a base of cosmetic-grade grape seed oil, the product is also good for pet owners.

Dressed up

Want to dress your dog up? Canine Shear Heaven (422 McDowell St., Asheville; 254-3386) has tie-dyed and batik bandanas done by Claws and Effects, a Canton concern that also provides an assortment of dog collar crystal lockets it says have healing properties. Canine Shear Heaven sells the bandanas for $15-$25. “We have a size to fit almost any dog,” owner Marthe Worley said. She also sells Dancin’ Doggies Crunchers, cookies in flavors such as cranapple and apple pie and cheddar, made by a woman in Lake Lure. Palm-sized, those sell for 75 cents each. Additionally, she has organic pet shampoos by Pops Pet Products ($14.99 for 16 ounces) that

Lotta latte

Canine Shear Heaven sells Dancin’ Doggies Crunchers, cookies in flavors such as cranapple and apple pie and cheddar. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT repel insects or soothe skin. All have aloe vera as the base.

Three Dog Bakery (21 Battery Park Ave., Suite 103, Asheville; 252-1818) is happy to whip your dog up a “Beg-nog Latte,” a pumpkin spice and vanilla cookie in a latte cup (don’t worry, the treats at the bakery are sweetened with applesauce and honey). In its cake case is the Labrador Latte — a Three Dog Bakery ceramic mug filled with a tasty dog cake made to look like it’s a cup of latte. It goes for about $6, and the Beg-nog Latte sells for $8.75. Three Dog Bakery also sells a trio of Christmas cookies for your dog for about $4. Continues on Page 14



CHRISTMAS TREATS FOR PETS Continued from Page 13


For cats, Asheville Pet Supply (1451 Merrimon Ave., Asheville; 252-2054) has large scratching posts and tall cat trees for cats to perch upon and maintain their claws. It carries the popular Kong line of critter-shaped cat toys ($5.25$7.25) that are stuffed with catnip. Kong has a line of cat toys that you can fill with catnip. For dogs that love to play (which is nearly all of them), it has SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT hard rubber toys. Bionic makes a dishwasher-safe ball, bone and other toys from FDA food-grade materials that can be stuffed with treats. They come in different sizes “and they’re pretty much indestructible,” Hourihan said. She sells them for $10.95-$18.95. For smaller dogs, she has Multipet’s Lamb Chop ($8.25-$10.25), a plush dog toy that looks remarkably like the puppet that Shari Lewis entertained kids with in the ’60s. Hourihan also sells a larger one for $19.85 that she suspect people buy for their children. “I’m not sure how many people buy any of them for their pets,” she said.


Antler Dog Chews at Woof Gang Bakery in Biltmore Park. JOHN FLETCHER/JFLETCHER@ CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

Chew on this

“One of the hot items for Christmas this year is antlers for dogs,” Sandy Brown, owner of Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming (33 Town Square Blvd., Suite 140, Biltmore Park, Asheville; 650-9950) said. No, not the cute kind that you stick on your doggie’s head, but the kind they chew. Good for the gums and teeth, the antlers by Smokey Mountain Antler Co. in Tennessee are all natural, with no preservatives, and range from 6-18 inches at Woof Gang, which sells them for $8-$30, based on size. In its Kitty Corner, Woof Gang also has toys for cats by Go! Cat Go!

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calendar of events


Dec. 1: Valdese at 10 a.m. (, Hendersonville at 10:30 a.m. (Five Points to Caswell Street, 692-4179 or visit, Weaverville at 1 p.m. (at North Main Street and Dula Springs Road, visit, Murphy at 2 p.m. (, Brevard at 3 p.m. (, Old Fort at 4 p.m., Cherokee at 5 p.m., Maggie Valley at 6 p.m. (, Bakersville at 6 p.m. Dec. 3: Waynesville at 6 p.m. ( Dec. 6: Canton at 6 p.m. ( Dec. 8: Fletcher at 10:30 a.m. (, Bryson City at 2 p.m. (, Black Mountain at 4 p.m. (, Cashiers (, Robbinsville at 6 p.m. Dec. 12: Tryon at 5 p.m. (

Seasonlong events

19th Century Carolina Christmas, through Jan. 2. Smith-McDowell House, 283 Victoria Road, Asheville (on A-B Tech campus). House is decked in Victorian holiday decor. Candlelight tours available by reservation for groups of 12 or more for $15. Admission $10 for adults, $6 for college students, $5 for age 8-18. Call 253-9231 or visit Holidays for Hospice, starts Nov. 2. Asheville Mall hosts the CarePartners Garden of Memories. For details on memorial ornaments, visit Call 277-4815. “The Polar Express,” through Dec. 29, 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 or call 800-8724681. Christmas at Biltmore, through Jan. 1, Biltmore Estate. Regular admission applies until dusk. Additional charge for Candlelight Christmas Evenings, Nov. 9-Dec. 31. Visit National Gingerbread House Competition. Entries on display through Jan. 2 at The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa, 290 Macon Ave., Asheville. Community viewing Monday-Thursday. Parking $10. Call 800-438-0050, ext. 1281. Holiday Fest, through Dec. 23, Tom Sawyer’s Christmas Tree Farm and Elf Village, 240 Chimney Pond Road, Glenville. Elf Village open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Tree farm open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Free. Kids listen to elf tales, create crafts, write wish lists or tell Santa in person, Christmas tree maze. Visit or call 743-5456.

Christmas decorations fill the Banquet Hall inside the Biltmore House this season. Decorations will remain up through Jan. 1. JOHN FLETCHER/JFLETCHER@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

Nov. 26-Dec. 2

“The Nutcracker,” Nov. 28-Dec. 22. Flat Rock Playhouse presents “The Nutcracker” as you’ve not seen it before in a new interpretation choreographed by Playhouse YouTheatre alumnus Chase Brock. Tickets $40 with discounts available. Visit or call 693-0731. Festival of Trees, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 28-Dec. 2, Silvermont Mansion, East Main Street, Brevard. 30 decorated trees on display. Photos with Santa 6-8 p.m. Dec. 1. $3, children admitted free. 885-7286. Biltmore Village Dickens Festival, 5-7 p.m. Nov. 30, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 1, 1-5 p.m. Dec. 2, Biltmore Village, Asheville. Storytellers, carolers and entertainers on stage and streets. Visit Fletcher tree lighting, 5:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at Fletcher Community Park. Carols by Fletcher Community Chorus, visit from Santa. Free with suggested food donations. Visit “Christmas Time in the City” featuring Denver & The Mile High Orchestra, 7 p.m. Nov. 30 and 1, 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 1, Biltmore Baptist Church, 35 Clayton Road, Arden. Tickets $10-$20. Visit, or call 687-1111. “A Holiday to Remember,” 7 p.m. Nov. 30 and 4 p.m. Dec. 1. Asheville Choral Society performs Rachmaninoff vespers, carols and lullabies from the Southwest, and a singalong of carols, plus a special performance by the Hall Fletcher Elementary School children’s percussion choir. Visit or call 232-2060. Toe River Studio Tour, noon-4 p.m. Nov. 30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 1-2. Reception 5-7 p.m. Nov. 30 at TRAC Gallery in Spruce Pine. More than 100 studios and galleries open their doors to the public. Showcases the array of creative talent in Yancey and Mitchell counties. The tour is free and self-guided. A 40page map guide allows folks to chart their own course. Visit or call 682-7215. “The Return of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 1, by Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre at Diana Wortham Theatre at


Pack Place, 2 N. Pack Sq. $25, $20 children/students/ seniors. 257-4530. Holiday Tails, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 1, WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville. Come visit Santa and the Nature Center’s furry and feathered friends with special animal programs, activities and holiday photos. Visit Brevard Twilight Tour, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Dec. 1, downtown Brevard. The 25th annual merchants’ open house with Santa and Christmas parade. Call 884-3278. Visit Papertown Christmas Craft Fair, 9 a.m-5 p.m. Dec. 1, Canton Armory, 71 Penland St., Canton. Pictures with Santa from 10 a.m.-noon. Handmade quilts, pottery, canned goods, knitting, jewelry, gift baskets and more. Email Smoky Mountain Toy Run, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 1, motorcycle ride to benefit children. Visit E-mail Historic 7th Avenue Children’s “Polar Express” event, 11:45 a.m.-noon Dec. 1 (immediately following Hendersonville Christmas parade), Historic Train Depot. Experience the reading of the Polar Express story with a live conductor, Santa Claus and refreshments. Children may attend in their pajamas. For age 0-12. Call 674-3067 or visit Christmas at the Farm, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 1, Historic Johnson Farm, 3345 Haywood Road, Hendersonville. Holiday music, cookies and cider, house tours, wagon rides, more. $5 for adults, $3 for students, free preschoolers and younger. Call 8916585 or visit Governor’s Western Residence open house, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 1 and noon-6 p.m. Dec. 2. Tour the western home of North Carolina’s governor. Free. At 45 Patton Mountain Road. Guild Artists’ Holiday Sale, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 1 and 8. Southern Highlands Craft Guild artists sell their work at Folk Art Center, Milepost 382, Blue

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calendar of events

portion of Handel’s “Messiah.” Free but donations accepted.

Continued from Page 15

Dec. 3-9

Ridge Parkway, Asheville. Visit Carolina Horse and Carriage, horse drawn carriage rides Dec. 1-24, pick-up on the corner of Allen & Main Streets, Hendersonville. 6-10 p.m. Friday, 1-5 p.m. Saturday, 6-10 p.m. Sunday by reservation. Rides every weekend unless inclement weather. Pick up a rack card at the Visitor Center and receive $5 off your ride. 803-209-1099 or The Big Crafty, noon-6 p.m. Dec. 2, at Asheville Art Museum in Pack Place and on Pack Square. Stock up for the holidays at this independent craft fair. Visit “Messiah” performance, 4 p.m. Dec. 2, Weaverville First Baptist Church, Main Street. Sponosred by the Weaverville Music Study Club. Free, offering taken. UNC Asheville holiday concert, 4 p.m. Dec. 2, Lipinsky Hall Auditorium. Call 251-6432 or visit “Sounds of the Season,” 3 p.m. Dec. 2, Bardo Arts Center, Western Carolina University. Call 227-2479 or visit “Tis The Season” by Hendersonville Community Band, 3 p.m. Dec. 2, Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock. $10, free for students. 696-2118 or Handel’s “Messiah,” 4 p.m. Dec. 2, Weaverville First Baptist Church, 63 N. Main St. The Weaverville area community chorus will perform the Christmas


A-B Tech’s “Lighting of the Green,” 6-8 p.m. Dec. 4, A-B Tech campus, Asheville. Tour Fernihurst, an 1870s mansion on campus, and see Sunnicrest decorated inside and out. Enjoy the homes’ holiday décor, light refreshments, crafts for children and entertainment by A-B Tech Drama Department. Visit Festival of Lights, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 5-23, Lake Julian Park, off Long Shoals Road, Asheville. Held nightly, weather permitting, through the weekend prior to Christmas. Drive-thru light show with thousands of lights and more than 50 light displays. Dec. 5-6 for walkers only, 6-8 p.m. Drive-thru Dec. 7-23. $5 per car, $15 per 15-passenger van and $25 per bus. 20 percent of proceeds benefits Buncombe County Special Olympics. Call 684-0376 or visit “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” 6-8 p.m. Dec. 5-6, Lake Julian Park, off Long Shoals Road, Asheville. Walk through the Festival of Lights. Music from Graywolf, a fire and marshmallows to toast. No pets. $5 adults, children free. “A Christmas Carol,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, matinees at 2:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 6-23, Asheville Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway St., Asheville. Montford Park Players present the holiday classic. Visit or call 254-5146 for tickets. “The Nutcracker” by Ballet Conservatory, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, Western Carolina University’s Bardo Arts

Center, Cullowhee. $10-$25. 255-5777 or Winter Wonderland, 5-9 p.m. Dec. 7, downtown Franklin. Ice sculpture slide, live music, carriage rides, hot cider and refreshments. Visit Holly Jolly, 5-9 p.m. Dec. 7, Black Mountain. Refreshments, street music, Santa and more. Shops open late. Free. Visit Olde Fashion Hendersonville Christmas, 5-8 p.m., Dec. 7, downtown Hendersonville. Merchants host an open house with refreshments, entertainment, carriage rides, a visit from Father Christmas and more. Visit A-B Tech’s “Lighting of the Green,” 6-8 p.m. Dec. 4, A-B Tech campus, Asheville. Tour Fernihurst, an 1870s mansion on campus, and see Sunnicrest decorated inside and out. Enjoy the homes’ holiday décor, light refreshments, crafts for children and entertainment by A-B Tech Drama Department. Visit Dillsboro Festival of Lights and Luminaries, Dec. 7-8 and 14-15, downtown Dillsboro. Live music, carolers, holiday treats from merchants, horse and buggy rides (added cost plus tip) and Santa at Town Hall. Starts at dusk. Free. Call 800-962-1911 or visit Return to Bethlehem, 6-8:30 p.m. Dec. 6-7, 2-8:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 2-6 p.m. Dec. 9, Groce United Methodist Church, 954 Tunnel Road, Asheville. Experience a Bethlehem marketplace as it might have appeared the day Jesus was born. Donations requested. Call 259-5300. Christmas Candlelight Stroll, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 7, downtown Weaverville. Luminaries, entertainment,

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horse and buggy rides and Santa. Visit “Music, Mirth and Good Cheer” concert by Blue Ridge Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Colonial Theater, Park Street, Canton. $15 adults, $10 Friend of BRO, $5 students. Visit Asheville Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7-8 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8-9, Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Place, downtown Asheville. Call 257-4530 or visit or Appalachian Christmas Celebration, Dec. 7-8, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Performances by Lake Junaluska Singers at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 3 p.m. Dec. 8, with Handel’s “Messiah” at 8 p.m. Dec. 8. Craft show 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 8. Visit or call 800-2224930. Guild Artists’ Holiday Sale, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 8. Southern Highlands Craft Guild artists sell their work at Folk Art Center, Milepost 382, Blue Ridge Parkway, Asheville. Visit Owen Middle School Arts and Crafts Show, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 8, Swannanoa. Ninth-annual fundraising event with professional juried artisans, music, PTO sponsored luncheon, homemade concessions and a raffle. Free children’s area to include crafts and Santa. Contact Owen Middle at 686-7917. Circle of Lights, Dec. 8 after Black Mountain parade. Celebration around Lake Tomahawk in Black Mountain after the parade. Free. Visit Holiday cookie bake sale, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 8, First Congregational Church, 1735 5th Ave. W.,

Bright Star Touring Theatre presents “Gift of the Magi” and other stories at Asheville Community Theatre on Dec. 15. Hendersonville. Call 692-8630. Christmas at Connemara, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Dec. 8, Carl Sandburg Home, Little River Road, Flat Rock. Holiday decorations and music, musicians and storytellers, cider and cookies. Free with house tour


admission of $5 adults, $3 age 62 and older, free age 15 and younger. Free admission for grounds, trails and barn. Call 693-4178 or visit Vance Birthplace Christmas, 4-7 p.m. Dec. 8, Reems Creek Road, Weaverville. Guided candlelight tours and a look at Christmas in the southern Appalachians during the early 1800s. Call 645-6706 or visit “A Night Before Christmas,” until 9 p.m. Dec. 8, downtown Waynesville. Caroling, storytelling, wagon rides. Visit Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8. “A Carolina Christmas” concert with the Greenville Chorale at Blue Ridge Conference Hall. Adults $35, students $5. Visit Santa on the Chimney, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 8 and 15, Chimney Rock Park. Santa practices on 315-foot Chimney Rock. Regular admission. Happy Holidays at Echoview Fiber Mill, 78 Jupiter Road, Weaverville. Dec. 8. Breakfast with Santa 9-11 a.m., open house 10 a.m.-1 p.m., free admission. Felt workshop with fiber artist Vicki Bennett 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $95 includes materials and lunch. 855-693-4237 or Annual Holiday Market at Flat Rock Tailgate Market, 2-5 p.m. Dec. 8, new courtyard in front of Hubba Hubba Smokehouse, Greenville Highway. Live music by Jazzberries. 697-7719. Holiday Celebration & Art Sale, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 8, Riverside Studios, 174 W. Haywood St., Asheville. 551-5045.

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calendar of events Continued from Page 17 Celebration Singers of Asheville community youth chorus’s winter concert “Celebrate with Jubilant Song,” 4 p.m. Dec. 9, First Congregational Church, 20 Oak St., Asheville. Donations appreciated. Visit “Music, Mirth and Good Cheer” concert by Blue Ridge Orchestra, 4 p.m. Dec. 9, Folk Art Center, Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 382, Asheville. $15 adults, $10 Friend of BRO, $5 students. Visit Laurel Park Tree Lighting, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Little Laurel Green Park, corner of White Pine and Laurel Highway, Hendersonville. Holiday Tour of Historic Inns and Cookie Caper, 1-5 p.m. Dec. 9 in Hendersonville. Self-guided tour of six inns. Get a Christmas treat from each inn. $20 per person. Call 697-3088 or visit Asheville Community Band, 3 p.m. Dec. 9, Asheville High auditorium, McDowell Street. $8. Students accompanied by an adult admitted free. Call 2542234 or visit

Dec. 10-16

Blue Ridge Ringers handbell concert, 2 p.m. Dec. 10, Fletcher Public Library, 120 Library Road. 6924910. Flat Rock Tailgate Christmas Market, 2-5 p.m. Dec. 10, in front of Hubba Hubba Smokehouse, along Little Rainbow Row, N.C. 225. Call 697-7719. Hanukkah Car Menorah Procession, 4 p.m. Dec. 11. The Chabad House of Asheville hosts a procession for all ages. Registration required. Participants line at 4 p.m. at Chabad House, 660 Merrimon Ave., Asheville, and drive to the Biltmore-Doubletree Hotel, 115 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. To register, call 505-0746 or visit Hanukkah Live! 5:30 p.m. Dec. 11, Biltmore-Doubletree Hotel, 115 Hendersonville Road, Asheville. The biggest Hanukkah event in town, featuring the giving menorah, attractions galore, Hanukkah wonderland and grand car menorah procession. All ages. Free, with tickets for food and attractions. Call 505-0746 or visit A-B Tech’s “Lighting of the Green,” 6-8 p.m. Dec. 11, A-B Tech campus, Asheville. Tour Fernihurst, an 1870s mansion on campus, and see Sunnicrest decorated inside and out. Enjoy the homes’ holiday décor, light refreshments, crafts for children and entertainment by Reynolds High Madrigal Singers. Visit “The Nutcracker” by Ballet Conservatory, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 12 and at 5 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13-14, Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place, 2 N. Pack Square, Asheville. $10-$25. Call 257-4530 for tickets, or visit “Do It Yourself” Messiah, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13, Tryon Fine Arts Center, 34 Melrose Ave., Tryon. Mark Schweizer conducts, Beth Child accompanies as audience performs Handel’s masterpiece. 859-8322 or A-B Tech’s “Lighting of the Green,” 6-8 p.m. Dec. 14, A-B Tech campus, Asheville. Tour Fernihurst, an 1870s mansion on campus, and see Sunnicrest decorated inside and out. Enjoy the homes’ holiday


The Bounty of Bethlehem dinner at Immaculata School feeds hundreds in Hendersonville on Christmas Day JOHN FLETCHER/JFLETCHER@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

décor, light refreshments, crafts for children and entertainment by Erwin High’s singing group Glenalough. Visit Hendersonville Children’s Choir concert, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14, Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2101 Kanuga Road. Adults $5, students $2.50. Call 6964968. Carolina Concert Choir Christmas concert, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 and 3 p.m. Dec. 15, St. James Episcopal Church, 766 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Adults $20, students $10. Call 808-2314. Dillsboro Festival of Lights and Luminaries, Dec. 14-15, downtown Dillsboro. Live music, carolers, holiday treats from merchants, horse and buggy rides (added cost plus tip) and Santa at Town Hall. Starts at dusk. Free. Call 800-962-1911 or visit Breakfast with Santa, 9-11 a.m. Dec. 15, Asheville’s Fun Depot, 2 Roberts Road, Asheville. Free. Pancakes, orange juice, coffee and Santa. Call 277-2386 or visit Santa on the Chimney, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 15, Chimney Rock Park. Santa practices on 315-foot Chimney Rock. Regular admission. Sugar Plum B&B Cookie Tour, noon-4 p.m. Dec. 15-16, Black Mountain. Tour nine beautifully decorated B&Bs and inns and enjoy their homemade cookies. $15. 669-2300 or Breakfast with Santa, 9 a.m. Dec. 15, Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center, Robbinsville. For all ages. Visit Holiday Homecoming, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 15, Oconoluftee Visitor Center, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee. See old-time craft demonstrations, learn about quilting, weaving, basket and doll making, apple cider and butter making, more. Free. Visit “The Gift of the Magi & Other Tales,” 10 a.m. Dec. 15, Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St., Asheville: Bright Star Touring Theatre headlines ACT’s Saturday family series. With O’Henry’s tale

“The Gift of the Magi,” the Indian folktale “The Drum” and Bright Star’s rendition of “Stone Soup.” $5 tickets at the door. Visit “Asheville Symphony: A Classical Christmas,” 3 p.m. Dec. 16. Featuring Handel’s “Messiah.” At Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, in U.S. Cellular Center, downtown Asheville. Call 254-7046 or visit “A Swannanoa Solstice,” 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 16, Diana Wortham Theatre, Pack Place, downtown Asheville. Regular $35; student $30; children 12 and younger $15. Call 257-4530 or visit Blue Ridge Ringers handbell concert, 4 p.m. Dec. 16, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 22 Fisher Road, Brevard. 692-4910. “The Night Before Christmas Carol,” 3 p.m. Dec. 16, Tryon Fine Arts Center, 34 Melrose Ave., Tryon. History, humor and the holiday come to life in this acclaimed performance. David zum Brunnen portrays Charles Dickens and 17 familiar characters. Tickets $3 and $5. 859-8322 or

Dec. 17-23

Blue Ridge Ringers handbell concert, 2 p.m. Dec. 17, Henderson County Public Library, 301 N. Washington St., Hendersonville. 692-4910. A-B Tech’s “Lighting of the Green,” 6-8 p.m. Dec. 18, A-B Tech campus, Asheville. Tour Fernihurst, an 1870s mansion on campus, and see Sunnicrest decorated inside and out. Enjoy the homes’ holiday décor, light refreshments, crafts for children and visit from Santa. Visit Blue Christmas service, 5:30 p.m. Dec. 19, First Presbyterian Church of Swannanoa, 372 Bee Tree Road. A reflective, contemplative service for those who have experienced a loss or are feeling blue this time of year. A wonderful, quiet way to celebrate the season. Call 686-3140. “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19-30, N.C. Stage Company, 15 Stage Lane, Asheville. In this funny and touching holiday play, see Jacob Marley’s heroic efforts to save Scrooge’s soul and in the process, save his own. Visit or call 239-0263. Winter Solstice Night Hike, 7-9 p.m. Dec. 21, DuPont State Forest, off U.S. 64, Hendersonville. Meet at Hooker Falls parking area on DuPont Road. Bring flashlights and a warm drink. Call 692-0385 or visit Christmas on the Mountain with Sheila Kay Adams, 6 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22, Thomas Wolfe Memorial, 52 N. Market St., Asheville. A holiday program with balladeer and folklorist Sheila Kay Adams in the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Visitor Center. $10. Limited seating. Visit, or call 253-8304 or email

Dec. 24-31

Bounty of Bethlehem dinner, 1-5 p.m. Dec. 25, Immaculata Catholic School, 711 Buncombe St., Hendersonville. A free community Christmas dinner with entertainment, gifts and a visit from Santa. Meal delivery available to Henderson County residents unable to attend. To sign up for meal delivery, call 693-5115 and leave a message by Dec. 15. Visit New Year’s Eve celebration, 9 p.m.-midnight Dec. 31, Marion. Visit

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Happy Glucose Guy

Peggy Pancreas

Isabella Insulin

By Pam J. Hecht



WNC Parent contributor


sheville phlebotomist SuzinBean Sweeney has something to say to kids who have type 1 diabetes and the people who love them: “It’s going to be OK.” Sweeney should know: Like the main character in her recently published children’s book on the topic, she was diagnosed



with it when she was a kid. By sharing her own experience, she says she hopes to demystify diabetes, putting a positive spin on a disease that’s increasing among children. Sweeney’s 60-page book, “The Grandiose Adventures of Suzi B & Spot,” based on her own life, tells the story of 10-year-old Suzi B, newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and her pug, Spot, who uses special glasses to magically see what is happening

inside her body. Through kid-friendly language, personified body parts and colorful art, Sweeney shows what the journey is like for a child with diabetes, both physically and emotionally, from symptoms and diagnosis to acceptance and management. Kids may know some of the lingo related to type 1 diabetes, but Sweeney says she wants them to understand “what’s really going on inside and what it all means.”

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FIND THE BOOK $14.95; published by Grateful Steps, a local nonprofit publishing company, which solicits donations to cover printing costs. Sold at most local bookstores as well as online at Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and Grateful Steps. (Grateful Steps has also launched a national distribution plan to have the book available at hospitals, doctors’ offices and schools around the country.) Type 1 Diabetes Support Group: JDRF, Greater Western Carolinas Chapter,, Jackie Steward at or 681-1876.

Through her book and a puppet show in the works, she says she wants them to learn in a fun way. She says the book is more than a book — it’s an educational tool that is medically edited and presents common misconceptions in a creative way. “I want kids who have diabetes to feel proud and empowered and to know that it doesn’t define them; it’s just a part of who they are,” Sweeney says. Diabetes happens when the body’s blood

glucose level, also called blood sugar, is too high and the pancreas makes little or none of the insulin needed to transport glucose to cells in the body that convert it into energy. Those with type 1 diabetes need to get insulin from shots or a pump every day and must learn to check their blood-sugar levels, adjusting the amount of insulin needed to their physical activity and eating patterns. Type 1 (formerly called juvenile diabetes) is an autoimmune disease with unknown causes and is a permanent condition. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or reversed in children through nutrition, exercise and a healthy body weight. Children and young adults can develop either type, says Dr. Lori F. Wagner, pediatric endocrinologist at Mission Children’s Hospital. For both types, encouraging a healthy, low-sugar diet along with exercise is necessary, but not just for the child with diabetes, she says. Everyone in the family benefits from a healthy lifestyle and it ensures that the child with diabetes “feels supported and not singled out,” Wagner adds. “Diabetes can be terrifying as a parent, but there’s only so much you can do,” says Sweeney, who remembers the comfort of her own mother’s calmness and strength. “She was probably stressed out and cried, but I didn’t see it, so I was never afraid.” “She called what I had a ‘condition,’ rather than a disease and explained how my body worked differently than my sister’s,” she says, adding that her grandfather, who inspired the imaginary friend character, Opa, in her book, always told her she was “tough,” which also helped. As shown in Sweeney’s book, talking about feelings is vital to helping kids accept and cope with the disease, she adds. “It’s important to talk about it, at home and in the classroom, so that everyone understands what diabetes is and to help kids who have it to feel good about them-


selves,” says Sweeney. Other tips from Sweeney: In the beginning, parents should communicate with other parents, help make sure their child keeps the friends and routines they had before being diagnosed and “ask how their child feels when their sugar is low so they can learn to recognize symptoms and get in touch with and comfortable with their body,” she says. Meanwhile, for kids like SuziB, the most important question is “whether they can still do all the things they used to do,” says Wagner. “And the answer to that is always yes, and they can eat the foods they love in moderation and with appropriate insulin dosing.” “Parents always want to know long-term outcomes,” she says. “With careful adherence to their prescribed regimen, kids (with type 1 diabetes) can have a long, healthy life.” Pam J. Hecht is a freelance writer, editor and instructor in Asheville. E-mail her at



Former A-B Tech chef to lead initiative to help kids get healthy


By Mackensy Lunsford,


ood health habits start early. But harping on the benefits of a balanced meal — especially with the youngest children — is a less-than-effective tack. That’s the notion behind the Mountain Area Child and Family Center’s Rainbow in My Tummy program, a 4-year-old initiative to create healthy eating habits for preschoolers, using more whimsy and less browbeating.

The central focus of Rainbow in My Tummy is the notion that the best way to prevent obesity in children is to introduce them to colorful and nutritious foods at an early age, thereby setting the stage for a lifetime of healthy eating habits. Eleven early education centers in Buncombe County have implemented the program,

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Bronwen McCormick works with one of the participants in the Rainbow in My Tummy program. KQ CONCEPTS/SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT




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and plans are in the works for expansion. The latest hint that program organizers are serious about the initiative comes in the form of culinarian Bronwen McCormick, whom the MACFC recently hired as full-time director of the program. McCormick was most recently part of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s culinary arts and hospitality department, where she graduated first in her class, served as lab manager and instructor from 2004-07 and finally served as department chairperson 200712. A former middle school teacher, McCormick is also the co-owner of The Chef’s Table, a meal preparation service for busy families. On top of that, she’s the mother of a preschool-age child herself. And, yes, there are healthy eating initiatives already instilled in the McCormick household. While still employed at A-B Tech, McCormick admired the Rainbow in My Tummy program from afar. When her daughter entered preschool, however, the notions behind the effort became even more relevant. “I was seeing what she was eating and other challenges other kids have in terms of getting a variety of foods and fruits and vegetables,” McCormick said. “And I’ve always had an interest in nutrition. When I was at A-B Tech, I taught nutrition in food service, so it’s an area where I have studied and also a personal interest.” In her new position with Rainbow in My Tummy, McCormick and her team compile early childhood nutrition programs, making it easier for child care centers like the YWCA and Crossroads Baptist Church to influence kids in healthier directions. Menus, meal plans and recipes are provided to preschools and child care centers in order to get whole foods directly onto kids’ plates. McCormick even works directly with the kitchens to train the staff how to make the food. With support from the Community Benefit Committee of Mission Hospital and United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, MACFC now has the grant funding to make it happen.


This boy at the Mountain Area Child and Family Center seems to dig the Rainbow in My Tummy program. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

“... what it’s doing is teaching kids about different foods, different varieties, different textures and how to make healthy choices ....” BRONWEN MCCORMICK,

director of MACFC’s Rainbow in My Tummy

“The program is really solid, and the food is really, really good,” says McCormick. “In some ways, it’s food you don’t expect to find in a child care center, like white bean and spinach stew, hummus and edamame. “But what it’s doing is teaching kids about different foods, different varieties, different textures and how to make healthy choices that we hope they will carry farther as they grow into adults.” And how are kids digging the hummus? “There’s a lot to be said for positive peer pressure,” McCormick said. “If your classmates are tasting something, then you’re likely to taste it, too.” By default, the program also influences the caregivers of the children, McCormick said. “It’s helping centers build consensus among the key players.

That would include the administration of the center, teachers, parents and then, of course, kids,” McCormick said. But convincing some parents that kids will extend their diet beyond the chicken nuggets takes a bit of work. “There’s people who believe that if it’s not a ‘kid-friendly’ food, the children aren’t going to eat it. … Part of our job is to help people set aside their fears,” McCormick said. But that isn’t to say that the program condones finger wagging at harried parents who might not have time to cook anything more wholesome than macaroni and cheese. “It’s not about telling parents they’re not doing a good job. It’s about realizing that there are ways we can improve nutrition for children — and realizing that the obesity epidemic is a problem,” McCormick said. “And my personal feeling is that most everyone knows on some level what they’re supposed to be eating, but getting it from that conceptual level to food on a plate can be difficult, whether you’re a cook in an early child care center or a mom or dad at home.” With McCormick’s leadership skills and food-wise know-how, Rainbow in My Tummy may provide the template to help families get there.

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Study: Exercise boosts school performance for kids with ADHD HealthDay

A few minutes of exercise a day can help children with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder do better at school, according to a small new study. The findings suggest that exercise could provide an alternative to drug treatment. While drugs have proven largely effective in treating children with ADHD, many parents and doctors are concerned about the medications’ side effects and costs. The study included 20 children with ADHD and 20 children without the disorder, ages 8-10, who for 20 minutes either walked briskly on a treadmill or sat and read. The children then completed a short reading comprehension and math test, and also played a computer game that assessed their ability to ignore distractions and focus on their goal.


A small study has found that children with ADHD can perform better in school with a bit of daily exercise. GNS All of the children performed better on both tests after exercising, according to the study published this fall in the

Journal of Pediatrics. This study shows that a single session of exercise can help children with ADHD ignore distractions and focus on a task. This type of “inhibitory control” is one of the main challenges faced by people with ADHD. “This provides some very early evidence that exercise might be a tool in our nonpharmaceutical treatment of ADHD,” study leader Matthew Pontifex, an assistant professor of kinesiology at Michigan State University, said in a university news release. “Maybe our first course of action that we would recommend to developmental psychologists would be to increase children’s physical activity.” The findings support calls for schools to provide students with more physical activity during the school day, Pontifex added.

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common sense By Susanna Barbee, WNC Parent contributor


or 13 years, students study academic, artistic and vocational subjects, preparing for college or the workforce. They learn about literature, mathematics, social studies, science, technology, auto mechanics, woodworking, the arts, and more. But what about financing? While high school students take an economics class and perhaps learn some budgeting skills in math and business classes, elementary and middle school students rarely talk about this “adult” topic. To ensure that young people graduate high school equipped to face the many financial and budgetary pressures that await them,

Camille Stimach, local mom and former corporate banker, developed the program Dollars and Common Sense. “I love working with kids, and the corporate world had run its course with me,” said Stimach. “I wanted to create a behaviorbased financial literacy program for students. Dollars and Common Sense teaches young people that there are priorities, choices, and consequences when it comes to money.” In its third year, the program’s curriculum spans grades K-12 and evolves with the


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Camille Stimach is founder of Dollars and Common Sense, a program in its third year that teaches children of all ages about finance. JOHN FLETCHER/JFLETCHER@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

Dollars & sense Continued from Page 27

child’s cognitive abilities and social desires. Stimach taught solely at Asheville Middle in 2009, then added Madison County schools (Brush Creek Elementary, Madison Middle, and Madison High) over the next two years. Stimach visits each school three times a year, and the lessons are age-appropriate. In a kindergarten classroom, she may only spend 20 minutes assessing what they know about money, reviewing coins, and reading a book. In a fourth grade classroom, she discusses the differences among credit cards, debit cards and ATM cards, and for juniors in high school, she uses role play and discussion to teach students how to make sound financial decisions. “I really want kids to understand money and how it affects their lives,” said Stimach. “If I can see them continually year after year for thirteen years, it’s going to stick.” Alfons Prince, seventh-grade math teacher at Asheville Middle, said, “It is important for students to participate in the


program over years because they can build on what they’ve learned with situations they encounter outside of school. As they get ready to enter high school, having good money management skills will help them as they prepare for college and/or life after high school.” Along with the program being longitudinal, Stimach also emphasizes the importance of starting the program very early in a child’s life. Christina Chandler, mom of Shaelyn, a fourth-grader at Brush Creek Elementary, said, “The sooner you expose kids, the more they absorb the information. It will become part of their character as opposed to just something they learn and may forget.” Stimach uses surveys and other data collection methods to assess what the students know at the start of the year and how much they’ve learned at the end of the year. “I’ve had my eighth-graders at Asheville Middle for three years, and it’s great to see them retaining so much of the information,” Stimach said. “I know students have benefited from Dollars and Common Sense because we have discussed shopping, savings and

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bank accounts after Mrs. Stimach presented her lesson,” said Prince. “Just having the information presented to the students starts them thinking about credit cards and why they shouldn’t have them too early.” When instructing, Stimach uses a Q&A format, group work, and open-forum discussion. “The students have great questions,” Stimach said. “With middle and high school students, we talk a lot about what’s important to them and the choices they will make. We also talk about the reality of how much certain things cost. We discuss how much schooling is involved for different careers. A reality check can be helpful.” With the elementary age group, “I teach students that all jobs are important. We talk about the importance of treating everyone with respect, no matter the job,” said Stimach. Chandler observed Stimach teaching and said, “She discusses types of jobs with the younger classes. She emphasizes that every job is extremely important and each job contributes to our overall economic system. The important thing is not what the job is but that everyone is working.” The program is still in its infancy. Stimach envisions Dollars and Common Sense in all schools. Because there is merely one of her and she can only be in so many places at once, she hopes to train other teachers so that more students can be exposed to the integral skills of budgeting and finance. “I plan to apply for more grants and host more fundraising events. Until then, we have to keep the program small,” said Stimach. Teachers and parents who have seen Dollars and Common Sense in action say the program positively impacts our youth. “The program teaches students that all jobs are equally important,” said Chandler. Further, “when it’s not the parents telling the kids this information, I feel they listen much better.” According to Prince, “With everything that is going on with Wall Street and the real estate field, it is more important than ever for students to have a good financial foundation to stand on. They often don’t know the harm they do for their future while running up a huge credit card bill. Getting a house, car, even job opportunities can be harder with bad credit. They don’t know that, and I think Mrs. Stimach’s class does a great job of exposing the kids to this and setting them up to have financial success.”



growing together

Finding peace in the holidays By Chris Worthy WNC Parent columnist

Living in magazine time means I am always on the verge of creating a gash in the spacetime continuum, and this holiday season is no different. Or maybe it is. For the first time in years, I am wrapping up the holiday must-do list far in advance. As I write this, Halloween is nigh, but my local grocery store put out the Christmas sprinkles and holiday goodies two weeks ago. I could have bought an artificial Christmas tree, lights and ornaments right alongside the back-to-school gear. I snarled my best Ebenezer at the early displays, but then I decided to embrace the absurdly early holiday spirit.


Years ago, B.C. (before children), my Christmas shopping was finished by Election Day. And then I had children. And then we home-schooled. Life became a series of fires to put out. While I stopped sending Christmas cards years ago, I am taking back some of my traditions this year and regaining my Christmas spirit in the process. Shopping in crowds steals my joy, so the UPS guy and I are becoming fast friends. With a click, I can order what I need and it arrives on my doorstep. If I need a gift that’s handmade, I can order that from a family owned business that sells through a little Etsy storefront. If I enter a store, it is because I want to, not because I feel pressured to do so. Delegating or finding an easier way to do the things that suck my time and energy leaves me with greater opportunities to do what I love. I can — along with my children — serve others. I can have

friends over and serve them homemade treats. I have plenty of time to craft some special gifts, and not finish them in the car on the way to the home of the recipient. (Not that I’ve ever done that. Ahem.) Most of all, home can be a haven for my family and all who enter. The mood will, I hope, reflect my joy found in the season. I have searched the Internet for recipes and crafty happiness. I will do what I can and let the rest wait for another year. It won’t be perfect, by most standards, but it will be peaceful and filled with love. On Christmas Eve, there will be carrots on the back steps, reindeer food in the yard and kids sleeping peacefully, with visions of sugar plums (or Xbox games) in their heads. And their mom will be pretty peaceful, too. Peace, joy, love and goodwill to all — and every blessing in the year to come. Contact Chris at

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Educate yourself to prevent SIDS

By Doreen Nagle Gannett

To prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, educators and parents should take time to learn what some of the risk factors area and, most importantly, what actions can be taken to reduce the risk.

What is SIDS?

» There is yet no known direct cause of SIDS. According to WebMD, “The cause (or causes) of SIDS is still unknown. Despite the dramatic decrease in the incidence of SIDS in the United States in recent years, SIDS remains one of the leading causes of death during infancy … It is generally accepted that SIDS may be a reflection of multiple interacting factors.” » The American SIDS Institute recognizes SIDS as “the sudden death of an infant less than one year of age which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including the performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and a review of the clinical history.” Infancy is defined as a baby who

is between one and 12 months old. » SIDS is a type of SUIDS, which is an acronym for Sudden Unexpected Infant Death. » American Indian, Alaskan Native and African American infants are about twice as likely to die of SIDS or SUIDS than Caucasian babies, though why this is so is not yet clear. » Sleep-related suffocation is the leading cause of infant death.

Lowering the risk

Since the cause of SIDS is unknown, there is no definitive way to “avoid” it. However, these are the most current guidelines: » SIDS usually occurs during sleep, so infants should be positioned on their backs. » Infants should sleep on firm crib mattresses and should not be put to sleep on an adult mattress, which is generally softer. When in doubt about the surface your baby sleeps on, err on the side of harder vs. softer. » Soft toys, pillows, crib bumpers, etc.


must be removed from the crib during sleep. » Overheating is another risk factor thought to contribute to SIDS. Do not overdress your infant. If your baby is sweating (i.e. damp hair or heat rash) he or she is too hot. » The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends giving your infant a pacifier at sleeptime. If your baby doesn’t want a pacifier, that’s fine. If the pacifier falls out after he falls asleep, you don’t have to put it back in. » Never smoke when pregnant — and if you do smoke after the baby is home with you, never smoke near babies or allow others to. Let’s clear something up: The Food and Drug Administration has not approved any commercial products to be able to claim that the product(s) prevent SIDS.

Doreen Nagle is author of “But I Don’t Feel Too Old to Be a Mommy” (HCI, $12.95). She welcomes your parenting tips and concerns at Follow her on Twitter, ParentingDoreen.



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divorced families

Common holiday conundrums By Trip Woodard WNC Parent columnist

I can always tell when the holidays have officially arrived. It is usually the first of October when department stores put their Christmas trees up. I have sometimes wondered why they ever bother to take them down. I know that the first thing I tend to think about when I am on a hot beach somewhere in July is Christmas and how many shopping days I have left. Apart from my particular fantasies, holidays — particularly if they involve the possibility of presents — weigh even heavier on the minds of children. And for divorcing parents, this may pose several


emotional obstacles. Here are some of the more popular questions I am asked as a family therapist this time of year: » Is there a preferred way to set up custody and visitation around the holidays? The answer is “it depends.” If you former partner has a spirit of goodwill and collaboration, many types of arrangement can work. When children are young, parents can rotate which house they are staying at the day before a holiday (or after) and the day of the holiday. As children get older, they may be allowed a voice in their preference of where to stay. Over the balance of the year, there simply may be holidays that are important to one parent, but not the other, like Memorial Day and July Fourth. In those cases, parents can negotiate and trade the whole time with their children based on the emo-

tional importance of that particular holiday. Flexibility is the key if in a given year something unique comes up, like a family reunion during the holiday. As long as this is not a yearly pattern, parents can choose to differ from their usual holiday celebration to give their children unique opportunities to be with relatives they don’t often see. The same could be said of special vacation trips and unique outings. If parents are hostile to each other, their attorneys will probably advise some arbitrary plan of rotation between households where one parent gets most or all of a holiday and the other one doesn’t. As always, stressed relationships between parents, especially about the holidays, will rarely benefit a child’s emotional state about the holiday event. » I operate as a single parent for the

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most part. The children rarely see the other, and I can’t afford decorations or the expensive electronic toys they want. What are my options? This is a tough one, as children are bombarded with TV ads about how holidays should be and the kind of gifts their friends are getting. Seeing Christmas trees in early October doesn’t help matters either. You have to explain to your children that you have a limited budget. Consider creative ways you can make decorations at little cost. Instead of gifts for each child, pool all the money to buy one nice gift for the family to enjoy. If you are really in dire straits and live in Buncombe County, call 211, describe your situation and see what help is available. 211 is an information and referral service run by the United Way. » My ex-partner is in a better financial situation and is always buying the children nicer presents than I can afford. The children then tend to want to spend more time with my ex-partner. What can I do? This is another tough one. Sometimes this is an intentional game of playing one-upsmanship, and sometimes it is done with good intentions. If you have a collaborative relationship, discuss this issue and see if the two of you can strive to have similar spending

budgets. If not, remember that most children remember experiences with their parents over toys received. Share with them the gift of yourself and spend your money primarily in doing a fun activity together. » I hate the holidays in general. I find them depressing. Being divorced makes it all worse. What should I do not to pass this on to the children? Seek professional help. There are dozens of reasons you may be feeling depressed this time of year ranging from diminished sunlight (called Seasonal Affective Disorder) to the recollection of bad experiences that happened during this time of year embedded in your past (something that can be treated with EMDR). A professional therapist can sit down with you to determine the probable causes of your feelings and your best options for effective treatment. Don’t cheat yourself of getting professional treatment if you need it. Think of this not only as a gift to yourself, but also to your children. 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 6068607.



kids’ voices

We love the holidays

We asked students at Johnston Elementary School in West Asheville, “What is your favorite part of the holiday season?” Here are their responses.


“My favorite part of the holiday season is Christmas because Santa brings presents and he eats cookies and milk and there is snow outside.” Maggie, 6

“My favorite part of the holiday season is Christmas because it snows and I like to have fun and to sled and ski.” Jamauri, 6

“My favorite part of the holiday season is building a snowman.” Yahir, 8

“I like to eat turkey on Thanksgiving.” Nolan, 5

“My favorite part of the holidays is getting my whole family together and having fun opening presents and laughing and it makes me feel like I am a part of something special and I love it.” Vadim, 9

“I like decorating the tree.” Jade, 6

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“My favorite part of the holiday season is when my relatives come. I like it because I sometimes don’t get to see all of my relatives.” Mark, 9

“I like the holiday season because I can spread hope and joy. I can also spend a lot of time with all my family.” Chloe, 8 1/2

nature center notes

Family types differ among species By Hannah Epperson Special to WNC Parent

For many people, holiday celebrations include some quality family time, whether it’s an intimate dinner with your parents or a boisterous party with all your aunts and uncles and cousins. Our families come in all shapes in sizes — and the same is true for the animals found at the WNC Nature Center. Some animals are known for their family ties, such as the gray wolves. Most gray wolf packs include a mother and a father and their adult offspring, plus the pups born that year. Raising the pups is a group effort. All the adult wolves bring the pups food and will take turns babysitting while the others hunt. Sometimes several families will live together in one pack. The largest known gray wolf packs can have 30-40 members. That’s a big family! Black bears, on the other hand, are more solitary animals. Male and female black bears typically live apart, except for mating season. The bear mother will give birth in her den in the middle of winter, as long as she has had enough food that year. Her litter can have up to five cubs but will usually have two. Unlike gray wolves, the black bear mother will raise her cubs alone. The cubs will stay with her for the next year and a half, and during that time she will be fiercely protective of them. While you’ve got your pack gathered for the holidays — whatever the size — bring everyone over to visit the Nature Center’s animal families.



home-school happenings

Home for the holidays By Nicole McKeon WNC Parent columnist

Whether you are a home-schooler or not, this time of the year is chaotic, wild, exhausting and stressful. It is a time of year when it becomes easy to lose focus of the forest for the trees. We are bombarded with commercials, mail and email that all send the same message. If you love your family, you will spend money and buy them (fill in the blank). I, too, find myself overwhelmed by this barrage of consumerism gone awry. In mid-November, my husband informed me that stores planned to open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, to allow for earlier shopping.


Does anyone else find this disgusting? I do. I was a nurse for many years, and it is pretty depressing when you have to go to work on a holiday. But caring for human beings is a necessity, as firemen/ women, police, nurses and doctors will all attest. But, going to work on Thanksgiving night so that someone can buy a flat-screen television or a laptop seems, well, gross to me. Like all things in life, the holidays require a certain sense of balance. Sure, you want to give your kids everything — we all do. The thing is, things are just that, things. And, no matter how fancy, or expensive, or unexpected the thing is, it eventually goes back to being just what it is — a thing. It seems like the lack of balance that we individually suffer is a reflection of the lack of balance in our society today. We’ve got parents working harder and longer so that they can afford bigger and

better houses. And we’ve got kids spending more time away from home than at home, so that the parents have the time to make the money to buy the stuff that separates them from their kids. It’s a sick and addictive cycle. This problem, which starts in our homes, spreads to our towns, and out to the entire country. It is a sickness that

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has infected most of us. A sickness that the advertising companies, the YouKnow-Who marts and the stock market seek to spread. I don’t claim to be immune. I, too, am infected with the desire for more “stuff.” But, every study out there indicates that what our kids really want from us, is our time, our attention, our love. I really struggle with this, and I am sure I am not alone. I want my kids to have the beautiful clothing and electronic doodads that they want, but I also want them to know that you don’t have to have this stuff to be happy. It feels sometimes like an unsolvable paradox. How can I say I don’t want my kids to be “consumeristas” and then buy them an iPod or clothes from a trendy store? It is a balancing act that I have yet to master. But, I do know this: I know that I desire to have that peaceful feeling that comes with a family night at home, with the fire burning in the wood stove. With my little family, sitting together playing games or drinking hot chocolate, or just hanging out. Because I know that these are the times I remember from my own childhood. I certainly could not tell you

what gifts I received on my 13th Christmas, but I do remember sitting around the table at my Aunt Rosie’s house, laughing and enjoying the closeness of my loud Italian family. There is nothing I want that badly to go shopping on Black Friday. Instead, I planned to spend the day hanging out with my family, eating leftovers and putting up Christmas decorations. Maybe, if we all refused to show up at the door of the store that is selling away the true meaning of our holidays, then nobody would have to go to work after dinner except the folks who are caring for each other, and not selling “stuff.” I encourage you to keep the joy in your holidays, and hope you stood up to the big box stores by staying home on Black Friday. I am almost certain you will find something far more valuable under your tree when you do. With best wishes for a beautiful, peaceful and joyful holiday season, and a blessed New Year, from our family to yours. Nicole McKeon is a home-schooling mom and owner of Homeschool Station in Fairview. Email her at



librarian’s picks

Veterans are the real superheroes

Jennifer Prince Buncombe County Public Libraries

Superheroes are an interesting bunch. Preternatural powers, dramatic life stories and unmistakable garb make them endlessly fascinating to generation after generation of readers and movie-goers. When the comic book closes and the lights come on at the movie theater, the superheroes vanish. They are fictions. There are real superheroes though. They are around all the time, no matter what. Two picture books present with effective simplicity the stellar qualities that make people in the armed forces heroes. In “Hero Dad” by Melinda Hardin, a boy describes how his dad is different from a superhero. The boy’s pride is sweetly apparent: “He doesn’t have X-ray vision — he has night vision. He doesn’t wear a cloak that makes him invisible —he wears camouflage.” Bryan Langdo’s watercolors give the illustrations the soft-focus look necessary to diffuse the harshness of dad’s Army life for young readers. There is no blood or killing shown, but

area story times Buncombe County Libraries

Visit 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 Leicester, 250-6480: Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday North Asheville, 250-4752: 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


plenty of kid-friendly detail shows up in the depiction of gear. “Hero Dad” is ideal for preschoolers. Its succinct, accessible text and attractive watercolor illustrations invite and engage. Pack Memorial Library, 250-4700: Preschool: 10:30 a.m. Mondays; Mother Goose: 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays; Toddler: 10:30 a.m. Thursdays 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 Library

Visit Waynesville, 356-2512 or 356-2511: Movers and Shakers: 11 a.m. Thursdays; Ready 4 Learning: 11 a.m. Tuesdays; Family story time: 11 a.m. Wednesdays

“Sometimes We Were Brave” by Pat Brisson is for a slightly older audience. In the story, a little boy describes how his family maintains a sense of normalcy while the mother serves as a sailor in the armed forces. The story is remarkable for its very lack of sparkle. It is the story of a boy living his life the best he can while his mom is away on a ship. The boy stays connected to his mother by looking at her picture every day and by thinking about what she is doing. The boy goes to school. One day he gets in trouble. Another day, the boy takes his dog to school for pet day. The boy wins an award. Throughout the book, the dad is a constant, reassuring presence who knows just when a special surprise of new colored markers or ice cream is in order. The boy thinks his mom is a hero, but by book’s end, he discovers the heroism in himself as well. France Brassard’s watercolor illustrations are detailed with meticulous care. The boy’s expressive face portrays all of the happiness, fear, hope and worry he feels. His canine companion is a kidfriendly, charming addition. These books are available in the Buncombe County Public Libraries. To learn more, visit www.bun

Canton, 648-2924: Family story time, 11 a.m. Tuesdays; Rompin’ Stompin’ story time, 10 a.m. Thursdays

Henderson County Library

Visit www.henderson. No story times during December.

Barnes & Noble

Asheville Mall, 296-7335: 11 a.m. Mondays and 2 p.m. Saturdays; Biltmore Park Town Square, Asheville, 687-0681: 11 a.m. Saturdays

Blue Ridge Books

152 S. Main St., Waynesville, 456-6000: 10:30 a.m. Mondays, ages 3 and under.

Spellbound Children’s Bookshop

21 Battery Park Ave., Asheville, 232-2228: 10:30-11 a.m. Saturdays, ages 4-7.

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By Kate Justen

WNC Parent columnist

We all have holiday traditions that are so different. One thing that is always there is food. Many of us have a lot of fun planning and cooking holiday meals, but for many of us it is not just one meal — it is seven to 10 meals that feed 8-12 adults. It can end up being a lot of time in the kitchen and spending a lot of money. I have included two recipes this month that are easy, affordable and can feed a lot of people. You can use any vegetables you want, again you do not need to follow these recipes exactly. They can change with the seasons and the produce that is available locally. You can also use frozen veggies for both of these. I froze a lot of green beans this summer, so my holiday quinoa stew will have lots of green beans in it this year! Continues on Page 42



FEED A CROWD Continued from Page 41

If you are unfamiliar with quinoa, it is a grain you need to get to know better. It is considered a complete protein, which means it contains an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids. It can be a substitute in most recipes that call for rice or pasta but it has a shorter cook time than brown rice. A few tips for making these meals even easier and quicker: » Roast a large pan of vegetables for one dinner, use the remaining veggies for both of these meals. » If you made the big holiday dinner of turkey and stuffing, use remaining stuffing for the bread in the strata. » Use a food processor to chop the vegetables, remove veggies and throw the herbs in for a fine mince. » Estimate your measurements; they do not need to be exact. You will have fewer dishes to wash and you won’t spend all the time measuring out the ingredients. » Season with the spices you have on


Strata 1 onion diced 1 tablespoon oil 10 cups bread in cubes (stale bread works fine) 4 cups vegetables (broccoli, greens, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes) 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoons black pepper 1 cup cheese grated, any mix will do 3 cloves garlic crushed 1 tablespoons dried basil – or fresh herbs 12 eggs 1 3/4 cups low-fat milk


egg mixture. Pour over the bread mixture in the pan. Cover with foil. Bake 1 hour 45 minutes, uncover and make sure egg is cooked through, top with cheese and additional fresh herbs, bake for 5-10 minutes uncovered

Preheat oven to 350. Combine onion and oil and sauté until tender. Place all ingredients except eggs and milk in a large mixing bowl and combine well. Add additional herbs and spices and combine thoroughly. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with oil and place mixture in it. Whisk eggs and milk together to make an

hand. Don’t go to the store to get the one ingredient you do not have — either find a substitution or change the flavor completely. The stew tastes great with curry

or Asian spices as substitutions. » Have guests and family help, preparing the meal can be part of the celebration.

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Quinoa vegetable stew 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and well drained 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small onion chopped 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 1 large carrot, chopped 2 cloves crushed garlic 2 large tomatoes, diced or 1 can diced tomatoes 3/4 cup vegetable stock 1 bell pepper, diced 1 small zucchini, diced 1 can chickpeas, rinsed & well drained 3 cups kale, chopped 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced Pepper to taste

Bring 1 cup water to boil, add quinoa, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Heat oil in large skillet, sautĂŠ onion for 4 minutes, add carrots and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Add remaining veggies, beans, cumin and chili powder. Cook for 10-15 min. Stir in quinoa and lemon juice, top with fresh herbs, pepper and shredded cheese.




Christmas TREATS Gannett

Each year, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle publishes 12 Days of Holiday Cookies series. The theme of this series is versatility. In other words, we sought out recipes that give you more bang for your baking buck. Change an ingredient and you’ve

Coconut-guava sandwich cookies bring a tropical twist to the season. ANNETTE LEIN/GANNETT

Chocolate gingersnaps What a difference half an egg makes. This dual-purpose recipe can be made as a cutout cookie with half an egg, or as a drop cookie with one egg. (To divide an egg, mix one egg in a small bowl and measure out 2 tablespoons.) With both powdered and fresh ginger, these gingersnaps really pop with gingery flavor. From “Mourad: New Moroccan” (Artisan, $40) by Mourad Lahlou.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 tablespoon ground ginger (1 teaspoon is probably plenty) 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves Pinch of kosher salt 3/4 cup (1 1/2) unsalted butter, at room temperature 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 2 tablespoons molasses 1/2 egg (for rollout cookies) or 1 egg (for drop cookies) 1 tablespoons grated fresh ginger 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest Turbinado or large crystal sugar for sprinkling or rolling


Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, pepper, cloves and salt. Put butter, brown sugar and molasses in a large bowl. With an electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 5 minutes until fluffy. Add the half or whole egg, fresh ginger and zest and mix on medium-low speed for 1 minute. Mix in about a third of the dry mixture until combined, then mix in the remaining dry mixture until fully incorporated. You may need to do the final mixing with a spatula. Shape dough into a block and wrap in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight. For half-egg cutout: Cut dough into thirds and place one piece on parchment paper, cut to size of your baking sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray. Refrigerate other two pieces while you work. Roll dough to one-sixteenth of an inch thick. Trim edges (leaving the trimming in place) and score the dough into 2 1/2 squares or other shapes, if you prefer. Carefully place parchment paper onto baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes to firm the dough. Repeat with remaining sections of dough. Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees. Take two of the cookie trays from freezer and remove the trimmings carefully. (The trimmings can be baked, cooled and crumbled as topping for ice


got a variation on a cookie that’s a bit different. Take advantage of the “byproduct” (in one case, egg whites) of one recipe and you’ve got the foundation another (meringue cookies). With so many options to choose from, you can satisfy nearly everyone on your cookie eating list. Now roll up your sleeves and get baking!

cream, they can be pushed back together and refrigerated until firm to roll out more cookies, or they can be saved for a recipe that uses leftover dough.) Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with turbinado sugar and bake for about 12 minutes, until the tops are slightly cracked, rotating the pans after 6 minutes. Cool cookies on racks. Makes about 5 dozen cutout squares. For whole-egg drop cookies: Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper sprayed lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Divide dough into scant 1 tablespoon portions, shape eat portion into a ball, roll balls in turbinado sugar and arrange on baking sheets 2 inches apart. Press lightly on the top to flatten. Bake for about 12 minutes, until tops are slightly cracked, rotating pans after 6 minutes. Cool cookies on racks. Makes about 4 dozen drop cookies.

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Peppermint meringues Use the egg whites left over from the coconut-guava sandwich cookies for these. To achieve the stripes or swirls on these meringues, you pipe the cookies in a pastry bag that has been painted with red gel paste food coloring. Waterbased food coloring is the most common type you will find in supermarkets. Professionals opt for gel-based food coloring, which has glycerin and cornstarch in its base. Gel paste colorings last longer, provide more vivid, intense color and don’t run or streak when painted on flat surfaces such as the inside of a pastry bag. You can also use far less of it, so you won’t be messing with your recipe by adding too much additional liquid. You can purchase gel paste food coloring at Michaels and other craft stores where cake baking supplies are sold. If you want to avoid synthetic dyes, India Tree Natural Decorating Color Sets are sold by many online retailers, including Though regular meringue makers know this, first-timers should be warned: Be sure your bowls and beaters are scrupulously clean. If there is any grease your egg whites will not set. 4 large egg whites 1 cup granulated sugar 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract Red gel paste food coloring

Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit a pastry bag with a small open-star tip. Make meringue: Put egg whites and sugar in a clean, large, heatproof bowl. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir gently until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove bowl from water and with an electric mixer beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Mix in peppermint extract. Using a new small paintbrush, paint two or three stripes of the food coloring inside the pastry bag. Fill bag with a couple cups of meringue. Pipe small (about 3/4-inch high) star shapes onto prepared baking sheets. Refill bag as necessary, adding food coloring each time. Bake cookies until crisp but not brown, about 1 hour 40 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks. Makes about 80 to 90 cookies.



Christmas shortbread with fruits and nuts Forget the fruitcake. Try this pretty alternative (and one that’s more pleasing to many palates). Christmas shortbread with fruit and nuts is made as one big cookie that is cut into wedges to eat. Perfect to bring to a party or give as a gift. Though we mostly find commercial shortbread sold as cookies, traditionally Scottish shortbread was sold as one large bread, as a way to avoid the tax that was charged for cookies. That is why the shortbread wedge is a classic shape for this simple yet divine cookie made of sugar, flour and butter (the shortening or fat in shortbread). This recipe, from Crazy About Cookies (Sterling, $17.95) by Krystina Castella, makes one large cookie and decorates it with dried fruits, nuts and colored dough. It’s so pretty you’ll be hard-pressed to cut it into wedges for sharing.

Cookie: 4 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 1 cups confectioners’ sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla


Toppings: 1 cup assorted dried fruits and nuts Colored sugar Food coloring

Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Stir in flour mixture. Form dough into a flat disk and wrap with plastic. Chill for 3 to 4 hours in the refrigerator. Roll dough out on floured work surface

to inch thick. Invert a 9- or 10-inch plate over the dough, and with a sharp knife cut around the edges to make a perfect circle. With small cookie cutters, cut shapes out of the circle. Gather pieces of cutout dough with the scraps from the edges and mix a drop of food coloring into it. Roll it out to inch thick and cut the same shapes from the colored dough and use them to fill the shapes cut in the circle. Crimp around the edge of the circle with your fingers and prick holes in the top with a fork. Carefully transfer cookie to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Arrange nuts and dried fruits in a pattern on the top. Press them into the dough and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle shortbread with colored sugar and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden but not browned. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to rack to finish cooling. Cut with a sharp knife into 20 wedges. Makes 20 wedges. Variation: Make a Christmas shortbread with caraway seeds and candied fruit. Add 1 tablespoon caraway seeds to the dry ingredients. Omit the topping, and top with candied fruit and citrus peel.

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Coconut-guava sandwich cookies These cookies have that light, chewy texture of macaroons, and they are good enough to eat on their own. But make an exotic filling with guava paste ( sold by the block in the Latin section of most grocery stores) and you have a cookie that transports you to warmer climes. The guava filling calls for four egg yolks, which means you are going to have four lonely egg whites. Instead of letting them go to waste, why not make more cookies? Hence, we also offer a recipe for peppermint meringues. Both of these recipes are from “Martha Stewart’s Cookies” (Clarkson Potter, $24.95), though we did change a couple things. (For the filling, we substituted guava for passion fruit and for the meringues, we skipped the chocolate ganache filling.)

For the filling: 1/2 cup guava paste 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup sugar Pinch salt 2 tablespoons cornstarch 4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into piecesFor the cookies: 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for

work surface 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/8 teaspoon salt 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 1 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 1/2 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) unsweetened medium-flake coconut Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Make the filling: In a medium saucepan, mix guava paste, lemon juice, sugar, salt and cornstarch well and bring to a simmer over medium heat. The guava paste is very thick and will require a little muscle to get it incorporated with the other ingredients. Once the mixture starts to simmer, slowly whisk in egg yolks. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Add the butter and whisk until melted. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling. Refrigerate until set, about two hours or overnight. Make cookies: Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low.


Gradually mix in flour mixture. Stir in coconut. Shape dough into two disks; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Turn out one disk of dough onto a lightly floured work surface; roll to a scant one-fourth-inch thick. Using a 1 and one-half-inch round cookie cutter, cut rounds of dough and place on parchment-lined baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes. Bake until edges of the cookies just turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. About 6 minutes into baking, flatten the cookies with the bottom of a measuring cup if they are puffing up. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks. Spread about a teaspoon or so of filling onto the flat side of a cookie, spreading the filling almost to the edges. Sandwich with another cookie, laying the flat side of the second cookie on the filling. Repeat with remaining filling and cookies. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving. Sandwiches should be assembled just before serving, though unfilled cookies can be stored between layers of parchment or waxed paper in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Makes about 40 sandwich cookies.


Kids’ page



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calendar of events

Things to do

The deadline for January’s calendar is Dec. 10. Email information to

Nov. 26-27

WEE NATURALIST: N.C. Arboretum program for ages 2-5 with nature lessons, stories, crafts and visits from classroom animals. Runs 10-11 a.m. Mondays and Tuesdays (explore classroom starting at 9:30 a.m. or at 11 a.m.). This month’s theme is fall and the harvest. $5 if registered online, $6 for drop-ins. Younger siblings and adults free when accompanied by paid participant. Free parking for registered participants. Visit to register. Contact Michelle Pearce at 665-2492, ext. 243, or

Nov. 27

ART LESSONS: Roots + Wings School of Art offers four-week sessions, Nov. 27-Dec. 18, for ages 3 to fifth grade. $50 per child. $50 per child. Classes at Cathedral of All Souls, Biltmore Village. Register online at For information, call 545-4827 or email » Ages 3-6: 1:30-2:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Masks through drawing, painting and sculpture. » Grades K-5: 4-5 p.m. Tuesdays. Geometry and abstract design through painting. PARI SCI GIRLS PROGRAM: For girls ages 9-14. Each month’s program will lead young girls to try a different facet of science and bring real connections to that field for their pursuit beyond the monthly program. November’s topic is 4-H EcoBot Build, at the Transylvania 4-H Office, 98 E. Morgan St., Brevard. $10. Register online at or call 862-5554.

Nov. 28

ELIMINATION COMMUNCIATION FUNDAMENTALS: Join Andrea Olson, a Diaper Free Baby mentor, as she teaches about elimination communication, a gentle and noncoercive method of encouraging babies to be diaper free. $25. From 2-4 p.m. at Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville. Call 258-1901 or visit

Nov. 30

LEARNING SPANISH CREATIVELY: Class for ages 3-6. Students will learn basic Spanish vocabulary and colors through games, dramatic play, movement and songs for a four week series. Three-class series runs at 11 a.m. Fridays through Dec. 14. Series focus-

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calendar of events Continued from Page 49 es on Feliz Navidad and action words. $8 members/ $10 nonmembers per class. Call 697-8333 to sign up. At Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit

Dec. 1

BAILEY MOUNTAIN CLOGGERS: Silent auction and performance of Mars Hill College’s national champion cloggers in Moore Auditorium on Mars Hill College campus. The funds raised support the team’s efforts to teach local school children about the rich Southern Appalachian dance heritage and to help the group tour nationally. Auction starts at 2 p.m., performance at 5 p.m. Tickets at $5. Visit or contact Danielle Plimption, or 689-1113. FACE PAINTING: Free face painting at Asheville’s Fun Depot, noon-5 p.m. No purchase necessary but tips are appreciated. Call before arriving to verify event, 277-2386. Visit REUTER FAMILY YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Classes for ages 6 months-12 years on Saturdays, Dec. 1-22. Register by Nov. 27. Starts at $25. Call 651-9622 or visit WELLNESS DAY AND HEALTH FAIR: Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts hosts a free community event, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the StephensLee Recreation Center, 30 George Washington Carver St. With interactive health information


See the award-winning Bailey Mountain Cloggers perform and help them raise money at a silent auction on Dec. 1. SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT booths, various fitness classes and a healthy cooking demonstration with Rosetta’s Kitchen. All fitness levels welcome. Contact Jessica at 350-2058 or for information.

Dec. 2

Fun Depot, 1:30-5 p.m. No purchase necessary but tips are appreciated. Call before arriving to verify event, 277-2386. Visit PRINCESS BALL: Arts for Life presents Once Upon a Time, A Princess Ball, with a tea party and special

FACE PAINTING: Free face painting at Asheville’s

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calendar of events Continued from Page 50 appearances from royal princesses, Prince Charming, the Fairy Godmother and guests from Asheville Ballet. Includes event keepsakes and a special dance with a prince for each little princess. Ages 12 and younger. Seating limited. 3-5 p.m. at Asheville Event Centre, 991 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville. Donation of $50 gets admission for one child and one adult. Visit to register and create a personal fundraising page for your princess. Proceeds will help Arts for Life provide educational art and music experiences for patients at four N.C. hospitals, including Mission Children’s Hospital. Contact Don Timmons at 336-480-7906 or email with questions. ROYAL BOOK CLUB: Discuss “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist” by Rachel Cohn. Open to readers 18 and older. 4-5 p.m. at Spellbound Children’s Bookshop, 21 Battery Park Ave.

Dec. 3

ASHEVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Half-session of classes for pre-K and youth, Mondays and Wednesdays, Dec. 3-12. Registration deadline is Nov. 30. Call 210-9605 or visit CHABAD HEBREW SCHOOL: Registration opens for the winter semester of Chabad Hebrew School of the Arts, a combination Sunday School and Hebrew School Program. Semester begins Jan 13. For ages 3-13. 9:45 a.m.-noon Sundays, through May. At the Chabad House, 660 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Call 505-0746 or visit REUTER FAMILY YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Fourweek session of Monday/Wednesday lessons for parent-child through youth, Dec. 3-26. Register by Nov. 29. Starts at $45. Call 651-9622 or visit YWCA SWIM LESSONS: Learn to swim in the YWCA of Asheville’s indoor solar-heated pool. Classes are available year-round for all ages and levels. To sign up, call 254-7206, ext. 110, or stop by the YWCA, 185 S. French Broad Ave. For more information, visit

Dec. 4

ASHEVILLE CATHOLIC SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 10-11:30 a.m. first Tuesday of each month. Call 252-7896 for reservations. For more information, visit or email ASHEVILLE YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Half-session of classes for pre-K and youth, Tuesday and Thursdays, Dec. 4-13. Registration deadline is Nov. 30. Call 210-9605 or visit OH BABY! TEACH ME TO READ! Pisgah Elementary hosts program about learning to read at home. Bring infants, toddlers and preschoolers and learn how to build a reading foundation for success in kindergarten. Open to children in Pisgah Elementary boundaries. With refreshments. 5:30-6 p.m. at the school, 1495 Pisgah Highway, Candler. REUTER FAMILY YMCA SWIM LESSONS: Fourweek session of Tuesday/Thursday lessons for parent-child through youth, Dec. 4-28. Register by Nov.

PARENTS' NIGHT OUT Need a date night? Here is a roundup of upcoming parents’ nights out. Have an event to submit? Email information to Dec. 1 ASHEVILLE DOWNTOWN YMCA: For ages 2-13. Themed nights include swimming, healthy snacks, games and crafts. 6-10 p.m. the first Saturday of each month at the Downtown YMCA, 30 Woodfin St., Asheville. $15 members/$23 nonmembers, with $2 sibling discount. Register online at Call 210-9622 or email for more information. Dec. 7 YWCA OF ASHEVILLE: Kids’ Night Out with swimming and a movie. Bring a sack dinner and drink. From 4-8 p.m. at 185 S. French Broad Ave., Asheville. $10 per child with a maximum cost of $30 per family. Reservations required. Call 254-7206, ext. 110, or email Dec. 14 COLBURN EARTH SCIENCE MUSEUM: Kids’ Night at the Museum with activities, games, crafts, dinner and hands-on science lessons. This month, learn about “Arctic Adventure.” For grades K-4. $20 non-

29. Starts at $45. Call 651-9622 or visit

Dec. 5

HOME SCHOOL OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Monthly outdoor adventure for home schoolers ages 8-17. Enjoy an indoor water adventure at Waynesville Indoor Water Park. Meet at East Asheville Recreation Center, 906 Tunnel Road. Call for trip details, 251-4029. Registration required, minimum of eight participants. $9 resident, $10 nonresident. Email MINDING YOUR ‘PEES’ AND ‘POOS’: An introduction to infant potty training with Andrea Olson. Learn when to start potty training, how long it should take and what happens if you wait to long. Class will give an overview of gentle options to break diaper dependence and achieve potty independence at any age. Also, get an overview of elimination communication. Free. At 2-4 p.m. at Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave. Call to register, 258-1901. Visit SPROUTING NATURALISTS: New preschool-age nature program at Chimney Rock State Park. For ages 2-5. This month, learn about winter birds and help them by making a bird feeder. 10-11:30 a.m. the first Wednesday of the month. Kids 5 and younger,


members, $16 members and siblings. 5-9 p.m. in Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. Register by phone at 254-7162. Visit for more information. FIRED UP! CREATIVE LOUNGE: Kids paint pottery, have pizza and play games, 6-9 p.m. the second Friday of the month. At 26 Wall St., Asheville, and 321 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Ages 5-12. $25. Registration required. Call Asheville shop at 253-8181 and Hendersonville shop at 698-9960. YWCA OF ASHEVILLE: Kids’ Night Out with swimming and a movie. Bring a sack dinner and drink. From 4-8 p.m. at 185 S. French Broad Ave., Asheville. $10 per child with a maximum cost of $30 per family. Reservations required. Call 254-7206, ext. 110, or email Dec. 21 WOODFIN YMCA: Neighborhood Y at Woodfin offers Parents' Night Out the fourth Friday of each month, 6-9 p.m. Themed nights include healthy snacks, games and crafts. $12 member/$18 nonmember, with $2 sibling discount. Ages 2-13. Register online at or in person at 40 N. Merrimon Ave., Suite 101, Asheville. Call 505-3990.

$3; adults, $12; older siblings (ages 6-15), $5.50; passholders, free. Advance registration required. Call 625-9611 weekdays to register. Visit

Dec. 6

BREAST-FEEDING CLASS: With Henderson County Department of Public Health Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, Tammie Bogin. Free. 4-5 p.m. at at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit or call 697-8333. Call to register; space is limited. HEALTHY KIDS CLUB: “My Preschool Plate” program led by dietetic intern Nicole Levi incorporates the 1 Great Plate message from USDA. Through interactive painting, children and caregivers will learn about healthy foods and portion size. The lesson continues as the children will then take a “field trip” to the Hands On! grocery store to choose healthy foods & put in their shopping cart. Free with admission/free for members. Sponsored by the Henderson County Department of Public Health. At 11 a.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit or call 697-8333.

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calendar of events Continued from Page 55

Dec. 7

LEARN ABOUT DREIDELS: Learn about the Hanukkah tradition of playing dreidel, all day at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit or call 697-8333. LEARNING SPANISH CREATIVELY: Class for ages 3-6. Students will learn basic Spanish vocabulary and colors through games, dramatic play, and songs. Three-class series runs at 11 a.m. Fridays through Dec. 14. $8 members/$10 nonmembers per class. Call 697-8333 to sign up. At Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit SING TOGETHER: Learn the songs of the season during Intersections Sing Together Series “Winter Songs,” led by Beth Magill. At 6:30 p.m. in The Forum at Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. Warm cider, cookies, holiday songs, and snowflake crafts for the kids. Tickets: Adult $8; Children 12 and under $6. Registration recommended. For tickets and information, call 257-4530 or visit

Dec. 8

FACE PAINTING: Free face painting at Ashe-


ville’s Fun Depot, noon-5 p.m. No purchase necessary but tips are appreciated. Call before arriving to verify event, 277-2386. Visit FAMILY ART PARTY: Families can create small sculptures with WNC artist Kenn Kotara, whose work is featured in the Asheville Art Museum’s new Art pLAYce for Children as well as the Permanent Collection. From 2-4 p.m. in the museum’s East Wing studio. Free. At Pack Place, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville. Visit FAMILY FUN DAY: 12th annual Holiday Fest promotes and advocates for community inclusion and camaraderie among persons of all ages and disabilities. Free for families of children and adults with and without disabilities, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the WNC Agricultural Center. Family Fun Day is organized by over a dozen community agencies, nonprofits and community friends to celebrate our family and community connections, enjoy recreation together, and learn about local services and resources. For more information, call 298-1977.

Dec. 12

ELIMINATION COMMUNICATION FUNDAMENTALS: Join Andrea Olson, a Diaper Free Baby mentor, as she teaches about elimination communication and how to have a diaper free baby. It is a gentle and noncoercive method of encouraging babies to be diaper free. $25.

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Arts for Life is hosting a Princess Ball as a fundraiser for its programs on Dec. 2 at Asheville Event Centre. Each princess gets to dance with a prince! DENNIS AMMONS/SPECIAL TO WNC PARENT

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calendar of events Continued from Page 56 From 2-4 p.m. at Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave. Visit GRANDMA STORY WOMAN: Come hear a good story from a fantastic story teller at Hands On! A Child's Gallery. All ages. Free with admission and for members. At 11 a.m. at Hands On! A Child's Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit or call 697-8333.

Dec. 14

LEARNING SPANISH CREATIVELY: Class for ages 3-6. Students will learn basic Spanish vocabulary and colors through games, dramatic play, movement and songs for a four week series. Three-class series runs at 11 a.m. Fridays through Dec. 14. Series focuses on Feliz Navidad and action words. $8 members/ $10 nonmembers per class. Call 697-8333 to sign up. At Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit

Dec. 15

FACE PAINTING: Free face painting at Asheville’s Fun Depot, noon-5 p.m. No purchase necessary but tips are appreciated. Call before arriving to verify event, 277-2386. Visit NESTING PARTY: Join Nest Organics for its monthly party, where parents will learn about cloth diapering, baby wearing and the importance of chemical free living. Free. At 2-4 p.m. at 51 N. Lexington Ave. Visit UNCERTAINTIES OF SLEEP: Join Meggan Hartman, MA and infant sleep consultant, as she leads you through the uncertainties of infant sleep. Learn to understand a child's changing sleep patterns and get gentle tips for developing healthy sleep habits. At 11 a.m.-noon at Nest Organics, 51 N. Lexington Ave. Visit

Dec. 18

HOLIDAY DOORHANGERS: Add some holiday cheer to your door by creating a festive hanger that hangs on the door knob. Free with $5 admission/ free for members. Call 697-8333 to sign up. From 2-4 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit

Dec. 19

BOOK N’ CRAFT: Come hear “Gingerbread Boy” and create a book-themed craft. Free with $5 admission and for members. At 11 a.m. at Hands On! A Child's Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit

Dec. 20

CRITTER CRAFT: Make a pet dog for Santa. All ages. All-day drop-in activity. Free with $5 admission/free for members. At Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit or call 697-8333.

Dec. 21

MAKE A GINGERBREAD HOUSE: For ages 8 and older (younger if accompanied by parent). Limited


The Reuter YMCA in Biltmore Park, along with the Asheville YMCA and YWCA of Asheville, offer swim lessons all winter. New sessions start this month. JOHN COUTLAKIS/JCOUTLAKIS@CITIZEN-TIMES.COM

space. $6 members/$12 nonmembers. Call 697-8333 to sign up. From 2:30-3:30 p.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit

Dec. 26

CREATE SNOWFLAKES: All day, all ages, drop-in activity. Free with $5 admission/free for members. At Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit or call 697-8333. HOLIDAY ARTS EXTRAVAGANZA: Campers in grades 1-4 can spend afternoons creating art of all kinds during this holiday arts camp at Asheville Art Museum. Registration is required. $18 daily for members/$20 nonmembers. Contact Sharon McRorie at 253-3227, ext. 122, or for more information and to register.

Dec. 27

HOLIDAY ARTS EXTRAVAGANZA: Campers in grades 1-4 can spend afternoons creating art of all kinds during this holiday arts camp at Asheville Art Museum. Registration is required. $18 daily for members/$20 nonmembers. Contact Sharon McRorie at 253-3227, ext. 122, or for more information and to register. MAKE A SKI LODGE: Ages 6 and older (younger if accompanied by adult). Limited space. $6 members/ $12 nonmembers. Call 697-8333 to sign up. From 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit

Dec. 28

HOLIDAY ARTS EXTRAVAGANZA: Campers in grades 1-4 can spend afternoons creating art of all kinds during this holiday arts camp at Asheville Art Museum. Registration is required. $18 daily for members/$20 nonmembers. Contact Sharon McRorie at 253-3227, ext. 122, or for more information and to register. SCIENCE & ART OF ROCKS: Paint rocks using the water from our mountain stream. Let it dry and do it again. Peer through a stereoscope to investigate rocks and minerals. All day, all ages. Free with $5 admission, or free for members. At Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit or call 697-8333.

Dec. 31

NEW YEAR’S AT NOON: Dress up in stage costumes and make noise makers in our Party Room, then ring in the New Year Hands On! style. Noise maker materials available at 10 a.m. At Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, 318 N. Main St., Hendersonville. Visit or call 697-8333.


PARENTS’ MORNING OUT: Enjoy a few hours to yourself each week while your child develops valuable social and play skills in a small group environment. Now accepting children from 6 months-4 years old. At St. Eugene Catholic Church, 72 Culvern St., North Asheville. For information, call Jennifer

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calendar of events MOMS' GROUPS

Continued from Page 58 Leiter at 450-1922 or PMO directly at 254-5193, ext. 25. ASHEVILLE YOUTH ENSEMBLE: Fall music series has a train theme, complete with train whistles for every student. New young musicians welcome with at least one year of note reading experience playing violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, recorder and percussion (percussion section also open to piano players). Ensemble meets 4-5 p.m. Tuesdays in East Asheville. For more information or to join contact Lisa Smith at 299-4856 or PRENATAL BONDING: Relaxing 1-hour weekly program in West Asheville with prenatal specialist. Donation suggested. For more information, contact Emma at 255-5648 or CONNECT: INCREASING SOCIAL FLEXIBILITY THROUGH ACTIONS AND THOUGHTS: Class at St. Gerard House, 620 Oakland St., Hendersonville, to learn how thoughts, actions and reactions affect social situations. Classes are interactive, age appropriate and fund. Curriculum incorporates social thinking lessons and characters, uses evidence-based practices, games, role play and skits. Call 693-4223, ext. 21, for information on next session. St. Gerard House provides services for children with autism spectrum diagnosis but a child and/or adolescent taking this class does not need to be diagnosed. HEALTH ADVENTURE PROGRAMS: At the museum, in Biltmore Square Mall, at 800 Brevard Road, Suite 620. Call 665-2217 or visit » Healthier Ever After: On exhibit through Dec. 31. An interactive fairy tale forest with costumes, two-story castle and more to teach about how to live a healthy life. » Science Wonders on Wednesday: Educators present highlights from favorite programs such as “Forces and Motion,” “Sound Science” and “Yes, No, Maybe.” Enjoy science demonstrations of all kinds, including a few with costumes, music, and lots of silliness. At 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Free with admission. Space is limited so guests will be admitted on a first come-first served basis. » Preschool Play Date: Interactive fun just for preschoolers, 10:30-11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Free with admission. » Super Science Saturday: Experiment with science through hands-on activities led by museum facilitators. All ages. Noon-2 p.m. each Saturday. Free with museum admission or membership. SMOKY MOUNTAIN CHESS CLUB: Meets 2-4 p.m. Thursdays at Blue Ridge Books, 152 S. Main St., Waynesville. Players of all levels welcome. Call 456-6000. THE TREE HOUSE DROP-OFF: Hourly service for ages 12 months-8 years. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. $8 per hour, siblings $6 per hour; threehour maximum. At 1020 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Visit or call 505-2589. STEPHENS-LEE RECREATION CENTER PROGRAMS: At 30 George Washington Carver St., Asheville. Through Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts. Call 350-2058.


A sampling of support groups for moms in WNC. Asheville Stay-At-Home Moms Playgroup: Visit Arden Moms Meetup Group: Visit or contact Susan Toole at 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 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 or visit Hiking with Preschoolers: Visit La Leche League of Asheville/Buncombe: For all those interested in breast-feeding. Nursing babies, toddlers and pregnant women welcome. Meetings are second Monday of every month, 10-11 a.m., at First Congregational Church, Oak Street, and third Monday of every month, 7-8 p.m., Awakening Heart Chiropractic, Ravenscroft Drive. Please call a leader for more information or directions: Susan 303-6352 or Adrienne 603-505-0855. Visit La Leche League of Hendersonville: Offers information and support for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Meets at 10 a.m. the second Wednesday of the month at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville, 2021 Kanuga Road. Babies and toddlers are welcome. For more information, Contact a leader: Andrea 676-6047, Katie 808-

1490, or MC 693-9899. Mom2mom: Christian moms group meets at St. Paul’s Church, 32 Rosscraggon Road, Rosscraggon Business Park Building B, Asheville. Moms with any age children are welcome. Call 3883598. 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 homebased businesses and those who work part-time but are home with their children during the day. The group meets for speeches and topics for discussion, park days, playgroups, nights out, holiday activities and service projects benefiting needy children in the community. Meets 9:30 a.m. the first Thursday of the month at Hendersonville Church of Christ, 1975 Haywood Road, Hendersonville. Children welcome. Call Toni McDonald at 702-0433 or visit MOPS at Mud Creek: Mothers of Preschoolers provides an open, faithbased 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,, or or visit North Asheville MOPS: Meets 9:3011:30 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 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

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» Afternoon Adventures: After-school program for grades K-5, 2:45-5:30 p.m. Homework help and recreational activities. $13 per child per week. » Tiny Tykes: Toddler program with crafts, manipulatives and centers, along with active play in the gym. 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday and Friday. $1 per class. Join the Tiny Tykes Club for multiclass rates. For more information, contact Jessica Johnston at 350-2058 or CELEBRATION SINGERS OF ASHEVILLE: Singers ages 7-14 are invited to join Asheville’s community chorus. Rehearsals 6-7:45 p.m. Thursdays at First Congregational Church, Downtown Asheville. Call Ginger Haselden at 230-5778. Visit CHABAD HEBREW SCHOOL OF THE ARTS: Enrollment now open for Chabad Hebrew School of the Arts, a combination Sunday School and Hebrew School Program. Sibling discounts available. For ages 3-13. Sundays 10 a.m.-noon. September-May. At the Chabad House, 660 Merrimon Ave., Asheville. Call 505-0746 or visit YWCA AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM: Registration is open for the 5-star program for grades K-6. Program runs 2:30-6 p.m. Monday-Friday at the YWCA, 185 S. French Broad Ave. With transportation from area schools. Participants receive homework assistance, and participate in enrichment activities such as swimming lessons, gardening, dance and field trips. Space is limited. $70/week for YWCA members and $104/week for nonmembers. Visit or call CiCi Weston at 254-7206, ext. 111. ASHEVILLE CLOGGING AND DANCE COMPANY: Classes for all ages and skill levels. Visit or email Ashley Shimberg at T-BONE’S RADIO ACTIVE KIDS: Stories, music, contests, interviews and all things for families in the Asheville area. 8-10 a.m. Saturdays on SPANISH 4 KIDS: An enjoyable and effective way to learn Spanish by exposing children ages 3-5 to the language sounds. Taught by Monica Bastin, a native of Peru. With games, singing, dancing, storytelling and lots of fun. 3:30-4:15 p.m. Thursdays at Movement Center, French Broad Food Co-op. Email or call 335-2120. ASHEVILLE AREA MUSIC TOGETHER: Each class is a rich, playful, relaxed family experience full of new and traditional songs and chants. Activities include singing, finger play, large movement, instrument play, and parent education. Classes in West, downtown, and South Asheville and Marshall. Free visits also available last week of August. Visit or or email Kari Richmond, CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS, ON EAGLES WINGS MINISTRIES: A local nonprofit that operates a safe home for domestic victims of sex trafficking ages 12-17, Hope House, needs daytime volunteers to assist with transportation and help with its home school program. Visit ELIADA CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER: Accepting applications for NC Pre-K, a kindergarten readiness initiative to help 4-year-olds gain basic skills. Contact Tonia Reed at 259-5374 or




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W N C PA R E N T | D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 2

WNCParent December 2012  

Parent magazine to celebrate the season

WNCParent December 2012  

Parent magazine to celebrate the season