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day holi hullabaloo 2013


How to celebrate the holidays in the most festive ways!

Staying fit this winter


Vie Fitness & Spa helps keep moms happy

p11 p12


• December 2013 •

departments 5 community snaps 6 what’s briefly


7 new kids

on the block

7 8 8 18 19

exceptional families tween the lines healthy kids calendar — compiled by Marisa Rubin

commentary 15 mother mayhem

The Holiday To-Do List

Helpful Holiday tips to avoid chaos —by Mary Helen Darah

16 parent profile

Using Education to Inspire

Changing the world with education —by Jeff Berry

Volume 6 • Issue 12 December 2013


holiday hullabaloo

2013 p9

17 food fight

Sky High

The rise of organic, grass-fed, free-range burgers at Elevation Burger —by Katy M. Clark



Elena Crenshaw 4 months, Pinckney, MI

Follow us on... recycle this paper For our children's future ...

Online exclusives Our December issue is full of "holiday happenings" to get your families ready for the season. Now, to prepare yourself for the hectic holiday schedule, check out "The Holiday Survival Kit" online, which features:

• Five Tips for a Peaceful Stepfamily Holiday • Gifts Money Can't Buy • "It's Not Fair!" How to Handle Holiday Rivalry • Holiday Gifts any Teacher will Love

(Just say no to apple ornaments!)

Log on for Weekly Giveaways • December 2013 •


Adams Street Publishing Co. What holiday tradition are you most looking forward to this year?

Publisher/Editor in Chief


November 22December 21 By Sue Lovett Sagittarian kids are always happy if they are given “space” to do their own thing. They are very curious and the most creative sign of the zodiac. They have super imaginations and are content to build, cut, paste and make some of their own cards and paper necklaces. Fascinated to hear about foreign countries, they may try to dig a hole to China in the back yard. They love animals, especially horses, and seem to take on every challenge which can be difficult for parents to understand. Parents should remember that they resent strict time limits. Try to give them a 15 minute warning when meals will be served, it is time to go to bed or clean up their area. Often the Sagittarian child will spin a globe to find places around the world. Learning a second language (even sign language) is fun as long as they do not have to sit still for any length of time. They are extremely bright eyed, friendly and creative. Encourage them to make their own Christmas cards and gifts.

Collette Jacobs ( Spending a week with my out of state children.

Co-publisher/Chief Financial Officer Mark I. Jacobs ( The great gift from my wife.


Assignment Editor: Nadine Akra ( Board Games WITH FAMILY. Calendar: Marisa Rubin ( Scrounging for coupons. Social Media Specialist: Brandon Doriot ( I DRESS UP LIKE SANTA FOR COMFORT HEARTS CHARITY. Staff Writer: Griffin Messer-Kruse ( eating all the chirstmas cookies. Contributing Writers: Mary Helen Darah, Erin Marsh, Sue Lovett, Russell Axom, Christine Holliday, Jeff Berry


Art Director: Leah Foley ( Shopping! Graphic Design: Brittney Koehl ( Bagels from Barry’s Bagel’s. Megan Anderson ( Christmas morning mimosas. Jameson Staneluis ( Spending time with friends. Kyle Iwanicki: ( Constant re-runs of DIE HARD I & II. Stephanie Revill: ( Eating COOKIES FRESH OUT OF THE OVEN.

Advertising Sales Manager: Aubrey Hornsby ( Food, drinks and family. Account Executives: Melinda Prince ( Food and family Sales Coordinator: Emily Gibb ( EATING GRAHAM CRACKER LOGS. Customer Service Representative: Lauren McLaughlin ( Christmas music


Accounting: Robin Armstrong ( white elephant gift exchange! Distribution: Michelle Flanagan ( Putting up the Christmas Tree! Publisher’s Assistant: Jan Thomas ( Huge Italian Feast. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest:

Advertising/General Info: For advertising and general information, call (734) 668-4044 or fax (734) 668-0555. E-mail ads to

Ann Arbor Family subscriptions are available by mail for $28/quarterly or $75 per year at Ann Arbor Family, 3003 Washtenaw, Suite 3, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104. Letters to the editor must be limited to 300 words, are subject to editing and should include the writer’s full name and phone number. Entire contents © 2013 by Adams Street Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form is prohibited without the written permission of the publisher.

recycle this paper For our children's future ...


• December 2013 •


1, Dexter Resende, 1 e n ly A d n a Matt, 7,

Carson Cox, 11 months, Monroe


Send us your pictures!

Pelzom Moni Sherpa, 3, Ann Arbor

k, Keagan Emmanuel Nowa • December 2013 •

2, Ann Arbor



briefly happening...

Compiled by Jeff Berry

Tiny Tots Creatures of the Night It is sure to be a hoot exploring nocturnal animals during the daytime at Leslie Science & Nature Center. Children ages one to three will be learning about nocturnal animals with puppets, stories about the night creatures, and a gentle hike on the “Sensing Nature Trail”. And, oh yeah, there will be a live owl presentation that is not to be missed. Register by telephone, online, or pay at the door. Monday, December 9, 10-11:30 am. $7/child. 1831 Traver Rd., Ann Arbor. 734-997-1553.

Ann Arbor Cooks! Parent/Child Class: Biscotti Bake-Off Ann Arbor YMCA takes a step toward a better community The Ann Arbor YMCA has been chosen to participate in two pilot programs in early 2014. The first, Child Safety Initiative, will test new and existing abuse prevention services. By reviewing eight organizational operations, this initiative will provide opportunities to decrease the risk of child abuse by employees, volunteers, or other program participants. The Ann Arbor YMCA is one of 50 YMCAs chosen to pilot this program. Based on the findings of the Y’s participating in this pilot program, Y-USA will launch a Child Safety initiative in the third quarter of 2014. The second program, Day Camp Project Development Institute, will explore how to successfully implement new in-house, ten-week day camp programs that run each summer at the YMCA. The Ann Arbor YMCA was one of eight Y’s selected (out of 2,700 nationwide) to participate in this pilot program.

Marshmallow Engineering Challenge Unlock the builder in your child with Ann Arbor District Library’s Marshmallow Engineering Challenge. Kids, grades K-5, will use their imaginations to build structures using marshmallows and toothpicks. The challenge will be held at the Downtown Library in the MultiPurpose Room. Sunday, December 29, 2-3pm. 43 S. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor. 734-327-4200. Free.

Ann Arbor Bike Share Program In the spring of 2014, Ann Arbor will launch a community bike share program. Leading the program is The Ann Arbor Clean Energy Coalition, who helped in soliciting a name for the project where over 200 suggestions were received. Eli Cooper, Ann Arbor’s transportation program manager, said bike sharing offers an opportunity to dramatically increase bicycling in the city. Stay tuned for the winning name’s announcement! Anyone age 18 and up will be able to join as daily, weekly or annual members to utilize rentable bicycles. Early estimates indicate $5 day passes, $20 weekly passes and $60 annual memberships.


• December 2013 •

A family that bakes biscotti together eats it together! Lemon-ginger biscotti, chocolate-hazelnut biscotti and maple-walnut biscotti are on the menu for this child/parent cooking class. Stray from the traditional biscotti flavors and create original flavors of your own. Class will be held at Ann Arbor Cooks! Sunday, December 8, 1-3:30pm. Children 6 and up are welcome with a parent. $65/parent and one child, $85/parent and two children. 5060 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor. 734-645-1030. Register 48 hours in advance at

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Fit moms make happy families


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Heather Dupuis shares how fitness is a win-win


By Sharon Gittleman

Being a mom is hard work. Just ask any mother chasing down a 3-year-old eager to escape taking a bath. It doesn’t hurt to have muscles. Vie Fitness & Spa offers moms and dads exercise for physical muscles to deal with whatever comes their way. In January, the spa will be opening a second location on Washtenaw at the Arbor Hills Crossing Shopping Center to join their popular downtown spot. “People say it’s a mile away from being a mom,” said spa co-owner Heather Dupuis. “It’s their oasis.” You can build up your mom muscles with pilates, yoga, boxer fitness, spinning and barre intensity classes. A personal trainer is also available. Vie Fitness & Spa clients stretch toward wellness Dupuis knows all about the challenges faced by parents. “Having two children changed me,” said Dupuis, the mother of a 2 and 5-year-old. “I gained a lot of weight.” Sticking with her workout took it off. At Vie, you can take exercise to the wild side, with a pole dancing class. “A lot of people come to pull their sexy side out,” she said. There’s more to Vie than hard work. At the spa, visitors can enjoy a massage, pedicure, facial and other reviving treatments. They can also stop by the juice bar for a smoothie, salad, or energy boosting drink. Whether you drop in for a workout or a hot lava pedicure, your visit will have one big benefit. “You’ll feel stronger, more confident and better about yourself,” Dupuis says.

Literature comes out of the darkness

Vie Fitness & Spa. Downtown location: 209 S. Ashley St., Ann Arbor. 734.665.2156. The new location is opening in Arbor Hills Crossing Shopping Center, located on Washtenaw Avenue between Platt Road and Huron Parkway.

David Erdody brings literacy to the world of visually-impaired readers By Mary Helen Darah Kenneth Harmon Erdody, a passionate lover of reading and life-long diabetic, was the inspiration behind Assistive Media. His son, David, was concerned that his father would lose his sight. “I couldn’t stop thinking what would happen if my dad went blind,” says David. “He loved reading- especially the New Yorker. I did some research and discovered that the New Yorker was not available in an audio version.” David researched the availability of other reading materials available on audio and discovered that less that 5 percent of publications in the U.S. were available in an audio format. Assistive Media, founded in 1996, brings multiple generations together to produce and distribute spoken-word recordings of materials that would otherwise be inaccessible to vision-impaired readers. “Older people make excellent narrators,” says David. “I get the skill sets needed for editing digital recording from the younger generation. High school students, and even those in middle school have assisted in bringing this vital service to fruition. An additional benefit of what we do is to bring two generations together to work on a common goal.” There is no membership for this online service and verification of disability status is not required. Assistive Media is continually looking forward. The organization hopes to add the children’s periodical “Stone Soup” to its offerings in the near future. Assistive Media not only positively impacts our community but has the ability to offer literacy to the world. Although Kenneth passed away in 1998, he didn’t lose his eyesight and his son has never lost his vision for opening the doors of literature for people with visual deficiencies. Assistive Media is located at 400 Maynard St., Ann Arbor. For additional information on services and volunteer opportunities, email or visit • December 2013 •


THELINES TWEEN advice for parents with children 10-16

healthy kids Kids get online check-up Making sure your babies are ready to wear their backpacks By Sharon Gittleman

College Tutors get high schoolers ACT/SAT savvy By Jeff Berry

High school students preparing for the ACT or the SAT tests have a great weapon in their arsenal to achieve success — and it’s free. College Tutors in Ann Arbor offers free ACT and SAT testing on the first Saturday of each month. Students must register for the tests online at Classes fill up quickly, sometimes a month in advance. Located at 3907 Jackson Rd in Ann Arbor, College Tutors offers one-on-one tutoring, including college prep services. For more information on their services or to register for practice tests, call 734-761-8393 or visit


The big day is closer than you think – is your toddler ready to become a student? A local organization wants to ensure that every Washtenaw County child is geared up for success from the start. The Washtenaw Success by 6 Great Start Collaborative offers free online screening to help county residents, with kids from 2 months to 5 years old, gauge how their child is progressing. Parents can check their youngster’s problem-solving, movement, speech, social and other skills. “It’s designed to tell if your child’s growth and development is on track,” said Program Manager Shannon Novara. On the web page, parents answer a series of questions about their child’s abilities. “Every parent receives learning activities that are age appropriate, via email,” said Novara. Projects include putting together “puzzle pieces” cut out from a cereal box or kicking a balloon across the floor into a container. An early childhood specialist will contact parents based on questionnaire results. An online directory guides moms and dads to resources for assistance about everything from health problems to play groups. “It provides peace of mind,” said Novara. Check out the screening questionnaire at the group’s webpage screening on the internet.

• December 2013 •

holiday hullabaloo 2013

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! To make sure you and your family enjoy the season, we’ve picked the best Christmas-themed events happening this month. We hope these tidings bring you and your family great comfort and joy!

Thursday, December 5

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Quirk Theatre

103 Quirk Hall, Ypsilanti • 734-487-1220 •

When the notorious Herdman kids are cast in the town’s annual holiday pageant, everyone goes to hilarious efforts to keep the show from crashing and burning. This ultimately heartwarming tale will also have weekend performances. December 5-7, 7pm; December 8, 2pm. $7-$15.

One Sleepy Night

Michigan Theater

603 E. Liberty St. • 734-973-6010 •

Enjoy the family-friendly Christmas play featuring 13 original songs written and composed by UofM alums Don Hart and Jay Sappington. Tickets available online; weekend performances December 6, 7 & 14. 7pm. $15 adults / $8 kids.

Friday, December 6

Chelsea Hometown



Holiday Weekend

The Science of the Season

Downtown Chelsea

Imagination Station

734-475-1145 •

1 Discovery Way, Toledo, OH 419-244-2674

Bring the entire family to the science center for holiday-themed activities and demonstrations. Little scientists can make unique snowflakes, decorate Christmas trees, freeze ice cream, and more. There will also be related events throughout the month, including LEGO displays and a visit from Santa! Visit website for a complete list of events. Now through January 5, 2012. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10am-5pm; Sundays, noon-5pm; closed Mondays. $8-$10 entrance fee.

The holiday spirit overtakes Downtown Chelsea every year on the first weekend in December. Santa’s arrival on Friday kicks off the 26th annual event, and the 9th Annual Holiday Light Parade on Saturday night is sure to brighten your family’s spirits. Go online for the full schedule of events. Friday, 6-8:30pm; Saturday, 8:30am-9pm; and Sunday, 10am-7:30pm.

Starlight Spree & Tree Lighting Library Park Plaza, Downtown Ypsilanti • 734-481-0141 •

Lights Before Christmas]

Enjoy the Ypsilanti Community Choir leading Christmas carols and watch Santa arrive as the Christmas tree is lit at the Library Park Plaza. Also save on unique gifts from merchants of Downtown Ypsilanti. 6-7-30pm. Free.

Toledo Zoo

2 Hippo Way, Toledo, OH •419-385-5721 •

Thousands of lights illuminate the walkways and the animals, creating a unique experience for zoo-goers. Look for other special events throughout the month, like ice carving demos, a visit from the Toledo Walleye hockey team, a Santa Paws gift shop, and more. Zoo-goers can experience the lights every day of December (except 24 & 25): Sundays through Thursdays, 3-8pm; Fridays & Saturdays, 3-9pm. Free kids under 2 / $10 kids under 2-11 / $13 adults / $10 seniors 65 & up (discounts and packages available online).

Continued on pg. 10

Smile for Santa!

Briarwood Mall

100 Briarwood Circle • 734-761-9550 •

Get your picture taken with the one and only Santa Claus! The big guy will be at the newly renovated Briarwood Mall throughout the month for the kids to tell him their wish list. Now through December 24. Mondays through Sundays, 10am-8pm; December 24, 9am-5pm; pet pictures available December 16, 8-9pm.

White Christmas: The Musical

The Encore Musical Theatre Company 3126 Broad St., Dexter • 734-268-6200

The whole family will enjoy this musical based on the classic holiday film. This all ages show is filled with show-stopping numbers and timeless songs. Tickets available online. Now through December 22. Thursdays, 7pm; Fridays, 8pm; Saturdays, 3pm & 8pm; and Sundays, 3pm. $24-$28.

Sunday, December 1 Holiday Film Series

Michigan Theater

603 E. liberty St. • 734-668-8463 •

The Michigan Theater will screen fun, family-friendly holiday classics every Sunday this month, all for free! Schedule: “A Christmas Story” (December 1), “Miracle on 34th Street” (December 8) “Elf” (December 15) and “It’s A Wonderful Life” (December 22). 1:30pm. Free. • December 2013 •


Continued from pg. 9 Friday, December 13 con’t.

Saturday, December 7

Kids Night Out

Breakfast with Santa

Briarwood Mall

Saline Rec Center

100 Briarwood Circle • 734-761-9550 •

1866 Woodland Dr., Saline • 734-429-3502 •

Join Santa at the newly renovated Briarwood Mall for a morning of cookie decorating, storytelling and a hot breakfast at California Pizza Kitchen. Supports the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. $10 per person. 9-10am.

This one’s for the parents! Get your last minute shopping done while your kids hang out at the Rec Center for an evening of crafts, movies, games, swimming, pizza and more. Make sure they bring tennis shoes, a bathing suit and a towel. 5-10pm. $20-$35.

The Santa Express

Saturday, December 14

The Old Road Dinner Train

Christmas Concert

301 E. Adrian St., Blissfield • 1-888-467-2451

St. Paul United Church of Christ

All aboard the Santa Express for Christmas Carols, festive activities, cookies and milk, and of course pictures with Santa! Boards 15 minutes before departure. Saturdays, December 7, 14 & 21, 10am & 12:30pm. $15-$20. Also check out Lunch with Santa, December 8 & 15, 2-4pm.

122 W. Michigan Ave., Saline • 734-429-7716 •

St. Paul’s Gospel Choir will host a Christmas Concert featuring classic holiday songs sure to bring yuletide cheer. 7pm.

Handel’s Messiah

The Nutcracker

Hill Auditorium

825 N. University Ave. • 734-763-3333 •

Start off your holiday season with a spirited “Hallelujah!” as the UMS Choral Union launches the holiday season with its signature work. On Sunday the Pioneer High School String Quartet plays seasonal favorites before the concert begins and during intermission. Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. $10-$36.

Milk & Cookies with Santa

Stranahan Theater

4645 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo, OH 419-381-8851

The Toledo Ballet will be accompanied by the Toledo Symphony Orchestra to present the timeless holiday classic of a young girl and her magical nutcracker doll. Saturday at 2pm & 7pm; Sunday at 2pm. Cost $24-$54.

Lamaze Family Center Ann Arbor

Sunday, December 15

2855 Boardwalk • 734-973-1014 •

Santa Central

This baby- and toddler-friendly event is the perfect chance for little ones to meet and play with Santa for the first time. There will be crafts, games, photo ops and, of course, milk and cookies. Register online. 9:15am & 11am. $10.

Thursday, December 12 PJ’s and Stories with Santa

Hudson Hills Metropark

Saline Rec Center

1866 Woodland Dr., Saline • 734-429-3502 •

Santa is inviting all good little boys and girls for a very special evening of holiday fun. Wear your favorite pajamas for an evening of Santa’s favorite holiday stories. Don’t forget to bring your wish list, too! 7pm. $8-$10.

Sounds of the Season

University Hospital Main Lobby 1500 E. Medical Center Dr. • 734-936-2787 •

The Dodworth Holiday Brass Ensemble is a brass octet that uses original saxhorns dating from 1840-1880 to play popular, religious, secular and ethnic (Polish, French, German and Norwegian) Christmas and holiday music. Noon-1pm.

Friday, December 13 Festive Fridays

Main Street, Downtown Ann Arbor

The sidewalks will turn into holiday stages as an array of performers sing and dance through Main Street. Acts include a cappella groups, breakdancers, carolers and Elvis! Kids will also enjoy activities from the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Encore performances on December 20. 7-9pm.


8801 N. Territorial Rd., Dexter • 734-426-8211 •

The perfect pre-Christmas stop! Kids can enjoy reindeer games, crafts, hayrides, snacks and they’ll meet Santa. Photos with Santa available for $2, or donate a toy to Toys for Tots and receive a free photo. Must buy tickets in advance. 10am-12:30pm & 2-4pm. $3 adults / $6 kids.

• December 2013 •

Thursday, December 19 Holiday Harmonies

University Hospital Main Lobby 1500 E. Medical Center Dr. • 734-936-2787 •

Come enjoy some of your Christmas favorites with the local band Counterpoint. They will entertain you with their blended vocal harmonies and refreshing arrangements. Noon-1pm.

Monday, December 23 Winter Break Movie

Ypsilanti Library Whittaker Branch 5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti • 734-482-4110 •

Bring the kids to the library for a special screening of the animated movie Arthur Christmas, the heartwarming story of Santa’s clumsy son, Arthur, and his quest to save one little girl’s Christmas. 3pm. Free.

nn Arbor families celebrate different holidays at different A times and in different ways. Yet, as the families profiled on these pages demonstrate, we all share something in common. Our loved ones and spending time together are at the heart of our diverse celebrations.

By Katy M Clark


Santiago Family

The Santiago Family celebrates Christmas by decorating a hodge-podge tree with ornaments that Tara made as a child plus new ones that Izzy has made. ”We also do the Elf on the Shelf and hang stockings,” says Tara. In honor of Chris’ heritage, he makes Filipino eggrolls called lumpia. Christmas Eve is spent with Tara’s family, when her mom cooks a huge feast, and Christmas Day is spent with Chris’ family when they open their presents. When Tara was little, she and her sister could hardly wait to open presents Christmas morning. Each year, the girls refused to stop and eat breakfast before driving to their grandparents’ home to open their gifts so their mom made them at least drink a glass of orange juice. “One year, my mom picked up some orange juice at a gas station,” Tara recalls. “It turned out to be bad, and we all suffered from a stomach ache that Christmas!”

Fitlow, Rashes, Pereira Families

The and

Hayman The


The Hayman family celebrates Christmas and Three Kings Day, a celebration of the wise men’s visit to baby Jesus twelve days after Christmas. “Before opening gifts on Christmas morning, we say a prayer of thanks for the gifts we’ve been granted all year, not just for Christmas,” says Lenwood. Afterwards, Lenwood makes his specialty pancakes and scrambled eggs for breakfast and then the family stays in their Christmas pajamas all day. On the Epiphany of Three Kings Day, they place grass and bowls filled with water in shallow cardboard boxes, then place them under the Christmas tree for the “camels” along with cups of water for the Three Kings. “The next morning,” says Lenwood, “when the kids wake up, they find their gift from the three Kings in the cardboard box.” For dinner on Three Kings Day, Alexandra prepares a traditional Puerto Rican dinner of roasted pork, rice with gandules (pigeon peas), and pasteles, a Puerto Rican meat pie.

“We are three generations celebrating Chanukah,” says family matriarch Sally Fitlow. “I brought my family’s traditions to my family and now our daughters have brought them into their homes.” Sally’s youngest daughter usually hosts the family celebration on the weekend during Chanukah. “We spend the afternoon and evening together eating latkes (potato pancakes fried in oil) with sour cream and our family’s special homemade applesauce. We also play dreidel ( a traditional game played with a top), light the candles in the menorah (a ceremonial candleholder), and exchange gifts.” The kids look forward to a gift every night while celebrating Chanukah. “The kids pick which present they want to open each night, hoping to get their one big gift.” Sally says the family loves playing dreidel. “We have gone from playing for hazelnuts when I was young to playing for Starbursts with the younger generation. When the candy is gone because one person wins it—or the kids eat it! —the game is over.”


Mashrah Family

The Mashrah Family is Muslim and they celebrate Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha. During the month of Ramadan, they concentrate on cleansing themselves from the materialistic world. They pray together, give to charity, and spend time together as a family. After sunset, the family gets together for a special dinner each day. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. They celebrate with a family prayer, followed by a family breakfast. “We all get dressed up and spend time with our families,” says Aly Mashrah. Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of the month of pilgrimage, when Muslims around the world go to Mecca. “We celebrate Eid al-Adha by sacrificing a lamb, like the Prophet Abraham,” says Aly. “We retain one-third of the meat, give one-third to our families, and one-third to the poor. Like Eid al-Fitr, my family begins with a family prayer in the morning followed by a family breakfast. We dress up and celebrate.” She reflects on her favorite holiday traditions by explaining how the whole family unites for good food and good company. “Then we get together afterwards for a huge family activity,” says Aly. “We went bowling and go-carting last holiday, and it was very fun.” • December 2013 •


Special Advertising Section

Make sure that the smiles are on everyone’s faces with these perfect gift ideas! Ann Arbor Family helps you with these gift opportunities.

Holiday Ornaments and Creature Cut-Outs

The Garden Store at Matthaei offers items that are loaded with personality and charm. Their BrushArt animals are hand-made from abundant and natural materials, and make delightful and imaginative gifts. You can bend them into different lifelike positions—just hold firmly between your palms and twist! Also, their Totem series from Netherlands-based Kidsonroof help kids (and adults!) reconnect modern life with nature while offering an environmental approach to the act of playing. These whimsical animals and structures double as works of art and natureinspired projects for kids to create and play.

Matthaei Botanical Garden 1800 N. Dixboro Rd., Ann Arbor 734-647-7600


• December 2013 •

Special Advertising Section

Make you say “Aww!” Gear up babies with the natural, organic and adorable products that will be sure to make mommies say “Aww!” From essentials like bedding and diapers to clothing and accessories, parents will love gifts from Ann Arbor’s Elephant Ears. Health-conscience products like bamboo bedding and cloth diapers will be a hit with moms who want to pamper their babies without harming the environment. Now that’s a win-win!

Elephant Ears 451 N. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor 734-622-9580

Lighters,a, Camtion Ac

Blend storytelling, acting and music into magical experiences for your family and friends with the gift of live entertainment from the Wild Swan Theater. Allowing the future Broadway stars in your life to turn into their favorite characters will be sure to give them great memories. The camps and classes at the Wild Swan Theater rehearsal space are the perfect way to get them started on their journey down the red carpet!

Wild Swan Theater 6175 Jackson Rd., Ste. B, Ann Arbor 734-995-0530

Spread holiday cheer to family and friends in town or across the country by sending a beautiful floral arrangement from Enchanted Florist. With an array of wreaths, centerpieces and bouquets, they make Christmas decorations and gifts festive and colorful. You’ll find yourself having a hard time choosing between the playful Snowman Cookie Jar and the classic Poinsettia. Visit them to find a flower collection for every occasion on your calendar this year!

Enchanted Florist 46 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti 734-547-9230

L o Bloovme Here s continued on pg. 14 • December 2013 •


continued from pg. 13 The options are endless when when it comes to creating jaw-dropping jewelry at Stony Creek Bead. The selection of creations and designs are made to fit any personality you have on your Christmas shopping list. You can also create your own jewelry with the shop’s beads, pendants and embroidery to make the picture-perfect set. For gift-givers who love authentic jewelry creations, public and private classes are available to make you and your friends experts with these works of art.

The Beauty of Jewels

Stony Creek Bead 2060 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti 734-544-0904

Eat your Heart Out!

Ann Arbor Cooks! specializes in cooking classes that will win over anyone you are gifting this holiday season. After all, they say that the fastest way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. Mixing fun experiences in the kitchen and delicious recipes guarantees lasting memories with those who attend with you. Classes are available for all ages. All you have to do is share with the people you love and bond while creating Christmas cookies, Chocolate Mousse or the Creative Holiday Candy Workshop!

Alli and John cooking up something delicious at Ann Arbor Cooks!

Ann Arbor Cooks! 5060 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor 734-645-1030

christmas with Wings Need a gift that's thoughtful, local, inspiring, and perfect for people who are impossible to shop for? Adopt one of our non-releasable educational birds of prey to make a favorite teacher feel special, "give" a child their favorite bird, or support environmental education! The Adopt-A-Raptor Program is an exceptional opportunity to inspire and educate your little ones. Get involved for a fulfilling and one-of-akind Christmas memory!

Leslie Science & Nature Center 1831 Traver Rd., Ann Arbor 734-997-1553


• December 2013 •

The Holiday To-Do List

Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus and she needs a nap By Mary Helen Darah My dear friend sent me a holiday checklist to help get me organized for the holiday season. Mind you, the first thing I write on a to-do list is, “Find where you put other to-do list,” but I decided to humor her and read it anyway.

that hangs over my pants. Either way, I do not have the time or inclination to worry about that with all the other items on the list. I think I am going to rely on dressing in dark colors, adding a colorful scarf for interest and to keep the focus upward (plus a great way to hide the second chin) and my trusty Spanx, or as my mother refers to them, “hold ‘em ins”. n Prepare and mail holiday cards I usually have this one covered although last year, we ended up sending “Happy Ground Hog Day” greetings due to our tardiness. We go all out. One year we even wrapped ourselves in gift wrap. I let the girls come up with ideas, within reason, for the holiday family photo, as long as it doesn’t include trying to put a decorative bow on a Corgi with an attitude.

Give specific duties for holiday party preparation Ok this is doable. Every December I make a lamb, ham and enough carbs and sweets to make your cholesterol and triglycerides beg for mercy. We call it the “Whoo Feast” because at the end of this special night, my daughter once asked, “Don’t you just want to hold hands and sing “ya hoo ya hoo” like in the Grinch movie?” The day before is the prep party. My Dad likes any job that will make noise. My Mom, although not a fan of cooking, is a heck of a slicer and dicer. I rely on my neighbor Gail for backup appliance needs as long as I keep my ham away from her kosher oven. One thing that may be a tad challenging, is finding a meat carver. Annually, the job falls upon my date for the evening. 2013 was not a banner year in that department. Note to self: buy electric knife. n

n Make

a holiday budget I am a cancer survivor with lingering medical bills and a journalist with five people and an aging Corgi under my roof. If I were forced to write down how much money flies out of my coffers this time of year, I would not be in the holiday spirit; I would get into holiday spiritsespecially the spiced eggnog. NEXT

Exercise and eat healthy so you can indulge in a few treats I constantly see my friends on Facebook describing what they have stretched to the limit to fit into their holiday attire. I’m not certain what or more specifically where, my oblique muscle is. I think it’s the part of my stomach n

Wrap presents in different papers to distinguish recipients There are women whose wrapping talents are legendary. These women most likely remove the same amount of socks from the dryer that they put in and hand in permission slips the day after receiving them. I am not one of these creatures. My family knows that on Christmas morning it might be a bumpy ride. I sometimes forget to remove last year’s name labels from recycled gift bags and paper before slapping on a new one causing a bit of confusion. I get it honestly. We have opened presents from my parents only to have them say, “Oh no! That’s not for you,” or “Wait that’s part two of three. You have to open present “one” first.” Of course, they are clueless as to where the other parts of the themed gifts are, but it keeps things interesting.


Condense the list I kept reading her list and when I got to “bake cookies months ahead of time, pull out of freezer to frost for a no-fuss holiday” I stopped. First, part of the fun is seeing if Noni’s rolled out cookies will look more like “rein dogs” than deer. Secondly, I secretly enjoy the frosting wars with sprinkles everywhere-although they’re a bear to get out of dog fur. A suggestion: Put two items on your list. 1. Do the best you can do 2. After #1, relax and let it go. Spend less time trying to make “perfect” and enjoy the perfect times with your family and friends. Happy Holidays!

n • December 2013 •


Sherry Doughty stands beside the Montessori school she bought in 1995

Using Education to Inspire Sherry Doughty spreads her belief in the Montessori program By Jeff Berry

Education and family are key components for this Montessori educator. Sherry Doughty has spent a great deal of her life giving children in her community a great start, while, at the same time, educating herself. Searching for the best education for her children, Sherry, administrator at Doughty Montessori, educated herself on the Montessori way and enrolled her two children in Law Montessori School. She was a substitute teacher and also taught dance classes in her spare time. She went on to receive her Montessori teaching training and eventually bought the school, renaming it Doughty Montessori.

Belief in Montessori Method

Sherry was on a quest to find a better education for her children and didn’t stop looking until she felt like she found it. “I loved the peaceful, gentle way of the program and the education…I thought when I have children this is the social and educational start I want for them. Not only do I believe in Montessori as a teacher but as a parent,” Doughty said. Montessori education is an approach based on independence and was developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori. Montessori teachers guide rather than instruct and the classroom setting allows movement and collaboration, promoting concentration and order. “We have a very joyful, peaceful, loving environment—and that’s key. That’s number one. We have a very long-term staff… it’s just family. One of my goals


• December 2013 •

is to make sure everybody that comes through the doors of Doughty Montessori feels like our family.” Doughty spent many sleepless nights researching and learning Montessori. She set up the Doughty Montessori curriculum herself and says when she trained for her Montessori Education certificate in 1985; she knew there was much to learn. “Montessori is all about creating a teacher or always being there for the teachers; it’s a discovery of self,” she says.

Changing the World with Education

Doughty continues to learn and invest in herself and the Montessori way by teaching new interns at the Adrian Dominican Montessori Teacher Education Institute at Sienna Heights University, and hosting workshops at American Montessori National Conferences. “Montessorians believe we can only change the world through education and always looking inward. You have to create a mind, body, and soul that’s joyful and happy to do what you’re doing and by being that person yourself, you can spread that to others,” Doughty said. “I truly love my job…we’re in such a great place right now. We have a really great name in the community and the parents are very supportive. They know the importance of education.” Doughty Montessori is located at 416 S. Ashley St. For more information, visit or call 734-663-8050.

Sky High The rise of organic, grass-fed, free-range burgers at Elevation Burger


By Katy M. Clark

Elevation Burger

3365 Washtenaw Ave, Suite L Ann Arbor, MI 48104 Phone: (734) 585-0467 Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-9pm At first glance, Elevation Burger appears similar to other modern counterservice restaurants. There’s a large menu overhead, flush with choices. There’s a trendy self-serve soda machine. The eating area is clean and inviting, filled with birch tables and chairs in front of endless windows. What makes Elevation Burger, different, though, soon emerges. That large menu is peppered with words like organic, grass-fed, and vegan. Fries are cooked in heart-healthy olive oil. Posters and drinking cups list the restaurant’s environmentally sustainable practices such as energy efficient appliances, compact fluorescent lighting, and the use of sustainable building materials. Plus, they recycle. Elevation Burger’s vision for an elevated, nutritionally superior product was brought to Ann Arbor this summer by franchisees Mike and Sarah Tayter. Theirs is the first Elevation Burger franchise in Michigan, located on Washtenaw Avenue.

Focused on Burgers

Not surprisingly, burgers are the focus at Elevation, although a grilled cheese and salad are available, too. Customers build their burgers from an expansive selection of items. First, decide on the number of patties. Next, choose whether patties will be 100% USDA organic, grass-fed, and free-range beef, vegetar-

ian, or vegan. Select a potato bun, no bun, or have your burger wrapped in lettuce. Then add aged cheddar, lettuce, tomato, or dozens more condiments. There are no kids’ meals or combination meals. Everything is a la Carte. One patty burgers start at $3.99 and two patty burgers run $5.79-5.99. Some toppings cost extra. For my six-year-old daughter, I ordered a kid’s one beef patty burger with cheese and ketchup ($4.58). My ten-yearold son chose the Elevation Burger, aka two beef patties, with cheddar and organic bacon ($7.87). My husband also selected the Elevation Burger, topped with cheese, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and blue cheese dressing ($7.56). I ventured to try the Half the Guilt Burger, one beef and one veggie patty, with cheese, lettuce, tomato and mustard ($6.58). We also got an order of fries for the kids to share ($2.99) and an order of Fancy Fries with cheese and Elevation sauce, a creamy version of barbecue sauce, for the adults to share ($4.17).

“The fries are the best here,” declared my ten-year-old. Cooked in olive oil, the fries had a good potato flavor, not the often overwhelming fried flavor of other restaurants’ french fry offerings. I enjoyed our Fancy Fries with tangy melted cheddar and Elevation sauce. The fries’ essence was not masked by too much salt either. We shared milkshakes for dessert: vanilla with key lime flavoring for the kids and vanilla with chocolate sauce and Oreos for the adults. Each shake ($4.49) includes two mix-ins. The shakes were yummy and definitely made from real ice cream. Elevation Burger is open seven days a week. See if you agree with my gang, that their burgers are elevated above the rest in taste and nutrition. Katy M. Clark is a freelance writer from Saline.

Kid-friendly Yes To avoid wait The restaurant is counter-service. You may have a minimal wait for your food to be cooked to order. Noise level Moderate to high Bathroom amenities Both Men’s and Women’s have a changing table. High chairs? Yes Got milk? Yes, plus juice and soda. Kids’ menu? A kid’s burger and cheeseburger are offered. A grilled cheese is also available. Anything healthy for kids? Veggie and Vegan patties are offered. Fries are cooked in olive oil. Salads and a side of mandarin oranges are offered. Elevation Burger’s philosophy is to offer nutritionally superior products. Food allergy concerns? An ingredient list is available. There are glutenfree options and no nuts in anything except some pre-packaged cookies made off-site

Family Favorite

“These burgers are way better than McDonald’s,” my ten-year-old proclaimed as he decimated his sandwich. Indeed, my whole family found the burgers enjoyable, with a fresh grilled taste. I preferred the meaty goodness of my beef patty over the vegetarian patty in my Half the Guilt. The sharp flavor of the aged cheddar on my burger impressed me. Less impressive was eating our food off napkins at our table. The food had been served on one tray, consistent with most counter-service restaurants, yet I would have loved a plate or basket to hold my burger. • December 2013 •


December 2013 Friday, December 6 - Sunday, December 8

26th Annual Chelsea Hometown Holiday Join in the fun holiday celebration at the 26th Annual Chelsea Hometown Holiday with an array of activities that will make your family merry this season. The festivities will commence with Santa lighting the grand Christmas tree at Pierce Park and winds down with a holiday carol concert with performers from the churches of Chelsea. But there’s a lot more in between, including Photo credit Burill Strong Santa’s workshop, Gingerbread House Decorating and the annual Light Parade. Bring your families to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year! Friday, December 6 to Sunday, December 8. Times are TBA. Downtown Chelsea, MI. Visit for more information.—NA

1 SUNDAY Season of Light - The show traces the history and development of many endearing holiday customs. There will be no show on December 7th. Saturdays & Sundays through December 29. 12:30-3:15pm. $5. Museum of Natural History, 1109 Geddes Ave. 734-764-0478. lsa.umich. edu/ummnh Have Your Cake & Eat It Too! - It’s time to give in to your sweet tooth! You and your child will learn how to make a layered double chocolate cake and petite almond pound cakes with citrus compote. Ages 6+ with an adult. Registration required.

1-3:30pm. $65, for Parent + 1 child; $85, for parent + 2 children. Ann Arbor Cooks, 5060 Jackson Rd. 734-645-1030.

2 MONDAY Aerial Silks: Basics and Conditioning - This class is designed for beginning aerialists to gain confidence and strength in the fundamentals of Aerial Silks. You will learn the basics, how to apply foot locks, and work towards inversions. Six student maximum. Drop in students are welcome. 5:30-6:30pm. $25. A2 Aviary, 4720 S. State Rd. 734-726-0353.

4 WEDNESDAY Storytime with the Zoo - Enjoy a wild hour of story reading, crafts and critters with the Great Lakes Zoological Society. There will also be a reading of animal-themed children’s books, animalrelated crafts and a critter corner animal presentation with a few zoo ambassadors. Wednesdays through December 18. 10:30am. Nicola’s Books, 2513 Jackson Ave. 734-662-0600. Free Craft: Block Printing Workshop - Try your hand at block printing by using soft linoleum blocks. Supplies provided, no experience necessary. This program is for adults and teens (grades 6 and up). 6:308:30pm. Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room, 3090 E. Eisenhower Pkwy. 734-327-4200. Free


Homemade Tween & Teen Gifts for the Holidays - Make your own holiday presents. This program is for ages 10-17 years old. Registration is required by December 6. 1-3pm. Chelsea District Library: McKune Room, 221 S. Main St., Chelsea. 734-475-8732. Free Christmas/Holiday Bazaar - The Bazaar features handcrafted items for everyone: holiday decor, toys, fresh evergreen wreaths, hats and scarves. Plus a great selection of delicious baked goods. Proceeds from the Bazaar allow the Guild to support the preservation and operation of the Dexter Area Museum. 9ampm. Dexter Area Historical Society and Museum, 3443 Inverness St., Dexter. 734-426-2519.

Recycled Crafts to Keep Kids Warm - Learn to make scarves, mittens, and slippers from discarded or thrifted jeans and sweaters. All materials provided. Registration required. 6:30-8:30pm. $5/ free, with used, outgrown/used/crafted kids cold weather items. Leslie Science and Nature Center, 1831 Traver Rd. 734-997-1553.

38th Annual Holiday Parade in Saline - Bring the whole family to watch the parade. This year’s theme is A Charlie Brown Christmas. 5:30pm. Downtown Saline. Free

Into the Woods Junior - Come watch this epic fairytale about a baker and his wife who wish to have a child, and Jack who wishes his cow would give milk. Through December 8. Thursday-Saturday, 7:30pm; Sunday, 2pm. Community Theatre of Howell, 1400 W. Grand River Ave., Howell. Ticket prices vary. 517-545-1290.

Christmas at the Mansion - There will be displays by the Ann Arbor Model Railroad Club, visits with Santa, and refreshments. 10am-4pm. Donations appreciated. Gordon Hall, 8341 Island Lake Rd., Dexter. 734-426- 2519.

6 FRIDAY Moonlight Madness Craft Show Find that perfect holiday gift from local crafters. There will be a cookie walk, face painting, child care, gingerbread house display, and a holiday tea. Holiday tea requires registration. 5-11pm. $3, per person/ children ages 10 and under, free. Saline Middle School, 7190 N. Maple Rd., Saline. 734-429-5922. Midnight Madness - Local performers and Santa Claus are featured on the sidewalks from 7 to 9pm. Letters to Santa can be mailed from an express mailbox to the North Pole located in front of Literati Bookstore (124 E. Washington St.). Santa guarantees a reply to all letters mailed by December 19th. Downtown Ann Arbor. 734-668-7112. Free Christmas in Ida - Activities for all ages include Santa’s zoo, children’s lunch with Santa, ice sculpting, wood carving, ice skating, national and international music entertainment and much more. Lunch with Santa is on Saturday at 11:30am and 12:30pm. This is a free event, but tickets are required. Through December 8. 11:30am. Free/$1 for craft and vendor show. Downtown Ida.

7 SATURDAY Winter Hike - The ground should be frozen, some birds have flown south, and woodchucks are deep in hibernation. Find out who is still around. Registration required. 8am. Child, $3/adult, $5. Hudson Mills Metropark, 8801 N. Territorial Rd., Dexter. 734-426-8211. A German Family Christmas - The restored 19th century Greek Revival Kempf House will be decorated to reflect a German-American musical family’s celebration of the holidays in the early 1900s. 18

Christmas cookies served. Saturdays & Sundays through December 15. 1-4pm. Donations appreciated. Kempf House Museum, 312 S. Division St. 734-9944898. Free

• December 2013 •

Milan Christmas Parade - Bring the whole family to watch the parade! 6pm. Downtown Milan. 734-439-7932. Free

Go Santa Go 5K - Every participant will receive their choice of a Santa shirt, hat and beard or an elf shirt and hat to wear while running. Enjoy holiday music, candy, and cookies along the course. Spread the holiday joy by bringing a $10 unopened, unwrapped child’s toy, that will be donated to a local Toys for Tots. 9am. Registration is $40 for individuals/$35 for teams of 4+. Rolling Hills Park, 7660 Stony Creek Rd., Ypsilanti. 574-933-1169. Chelsea Teddy Bear Company Group tours of the warehouse, with displays of both historical and CTBC bears. Also, see a beautiful display of antique toys in the Chelsea Toy Museum. 11-3pm. CTBC Warehouse, 400 N. Main St., Chelsea. 800-303-7255. Free

8 SUNDAY 16th Annual Ann Arbor Tuba Christmas - This annual event brings together over forty tuba and euphonium players in a fun and festive musical showcase. 2-3pm. Kerrytown Farmers’ Market, 415 N. Fifth Ave. at Detroit St. 734-395-9544. Free Horror Writing Workshop Writing with the Three Corpse Circus! - Get some pointers and tips on horror writing from the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers and the Three Corpse Circus Film Festival staff, then begin or complete a one-to-three page horror short story. This program is for adults and teens (grades 6 and up). 2-4:30pm. Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room, 3090 E. Eisenhower Pkwy. 734-327-4200. Free Biscotti Bake-off! - You and your child(ren) will enjoy baking biscotti together. Learn to make lemon-ginger biscotti, chocolate-hazelnut biscotti, and maple-walnut biscotti. Ages 6+ with an adult. You must register at least forty eight hours in advance for this class. 1-3:30pm. $65 for Parent + 1 child/$85 for Parent + 2 children. Ann Arbor Cooks, 5060 Jackson Rd. 734-645-1030.

9 MONDAY Tiny Tots: Creatures of the Night - The lights will be turned on to explore nocturnal animals and their activities. This program is for children ages 1-3 and their caregivers. Registration required. 10-11:30am. $7. Leslie Science and Nature Center, 1831 Traver Rd. 734-997-1553. Community Health Fair - This event will give you the opportunity to visit with area health specialists who will answer questions, provide important health screenings and share the latest information in their area of expertise. 6-8pm. Saline Rec. Center, 1866 Woodland Dr., Saline. 734429-3502. Free

11 WEDNESDAY Four’s Company - This lecture/demonstration is produced and performed by second year graduate students in dance, as a way of exploring their thesis research materials onstage. 8pm. Dance Building, Betty Pease Studio Theatre, 1100 Baits Dr. 734-764-0594. Free

13 FRIDAY Kids Night Out - Get your last minute shopping done while you leave your kids at the Rec. Center. They will have a blast with the staff making crafts, watching movies, playing games in the gym and swimming. A pizza dinner is included. Participants should wear athletic shoes and bring their bathing suits and a towel. 5-10pm. $20-$35. Saline Rec. Center, 1866 Woodland Dr., Saline. 734-429-3502. Breakfast with Santa - Santa is inviting children for a very special holiday pancake breakfast. Wear your favorite pajamas and enjoy breakfast provided by the Saline Fire Department. Participants will also sing songs, do some crafts, and have story time. 10-11am. $8-$10. Saline Rec. Center, 1866 Woodland Dr., Saline. 734-429-3502.

14 SATURDAY Let it Snow! - No two snowflakes are alike. Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley made this discovery in 1885 by photographing over 5000 single snow crystals. Learn more about Snowflake Bentley and then make some beautiful snowflakes to take home. 3pm. Ypsilanti Library: Whittaker, 5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti. 734-482-4110. Free Christmas on the Farm - See how farm families coped at Christmastime during the years of the Great Depression. A live tree will grace the parlor with genuine 1930s ornaments and lights. Also on December 15. Noon-5pm. Donations appreciated. Rentschler Farm Museum, 1265 E. Michigan Ave., Saline. 734-944-0442 or 734-769-2219.

15 SUNDAY Craft: Mosaic Jewelry Workshop - Learn the craft of mosaic jewelry. Participants will learn how to create a glass mosaic pendant necklace. Supplies provided. 12:30-2:30pm & 3:305:30pm. Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room, 343 S. Fifth Ave. 734-327-4200. Free Family Friendly Film - Bring your kids to watch the holiday movie, Elf. 1:30pm. Free for children ages 12 and under. Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St. 734-668-8463.

16 MONDAY Monday Night Movies - Enjoy classic movies and free popcorn. Tonight’s movie is White Christmas. 6:30-8:30pm. Ypsilanti Library: Whittaker, 5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti. 734-482-4110.

19 THURSDAY Native American Dreamcatchers Workshop - You will learn how to make your own woven dreamcatcher. Supplies provided. This program is for adults and teens (grades 6 and up). 7-8:30pm. Traverwood Branch: Program Room, 3333 Traverwood Dr. 734-327-4200. Free


Drop-In Holiday Story Time and Craft - Listen to some winter stories, sing some holiday songs and create a simple craft. For ages 6 and under. Dexter District Library, 3255 Alpine St., Dexter. 11amnoon. 734-426-4477. Free

21 SATURDAY Winter Solstice Crafts - Celebrate the winter solstice and make a beautiful snowcovered evergreen tree. This event is for children in preschool-fifth grade. 11amnoon. Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room AB, 3090 E. Eisenhower Pkwy. 734-327-4200. Free

26 THURSDAY Day After Christmas Hike - For the animals of Hudson Mills, Christmas is just like any other day. Find out what they were doing the day before. Registration required. 8am. Child, $3/adult, $5. Hudson Mills Metropark, 8801 N. Territorial Rd., Dexter. 734-426-8211.


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The Newcomers Coterie Club of Ann Arbor provides a friendly social contact for new and returning residents to the Ann Arbor area, as well as a new social outlet for established residents. Visit

DELL LAPTOP Computer. Extremely fast, professional grade model. Excellent condition. Windows 7, Premium software bundle. Perfect for home, school or business. Six month warranty. $399. 717-653-6314

FAMILY DAYS - THE PAINT STATION - Unleash creativity, have fun and paint with your family. Create memories that will last a lifetime. Ages 7 & up w/adult. Registration required. Every Saturday beginning Oct 5. from 12-2 pm. $25 per person. The Paint Station, 3227 Washtenaw Ave, Suite G. 734-477-6963.

Garage Kits and Pole Barns - We manufacture, we ship direct, you save. 888-261-2488

FUN FREE Fitness! M & W 6:30pm off Packard Rd. All ages & skill levels welcome. 734-707-7697


Craft: Bring in the New Year! Create your own New Year’s celebration hats and noisemakers. This event is for children in grades preschool-fifth grade. Pittsfield Branch: Program Room, 2359 Oak Valley Dr. 2-3pm. 734-327-4200. Free

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CHRISTMAS AT THE MANSION on Dec 7 & 8 from 10:00a -4:00pm at Gordon Hall, 8341 Island Lake Rd., Dexter MI. View displays by the Ann Arbor Railroad Club and visit with Santa while enjoying refreshments. Suggested donation: adults $5.00 and kids ages 1-7 $1.00. Sponsored by the Dexter Area Historical Society & Museum, a 501©3 organization. For more info: www.dextermuseum. org. 734.426.4961


MYRTLE BEACH, 33 Acre Gated Ocean Front Resort. Book Directly From Owner. 6-Pools, Tennis, Lazy River, MORE! 412-965-0408

SEVICES Car Insurance $19/Month Any Driving Record or Credit Type. Canceled? No Problem. Free Quote and Instant Coverage INSUREDIRECT.COM Toll-Free 888-800-2312 Call Empire Today® to schedule a FREE in-home estimate on Carpeting & Flooring. Call Today! 1-800-955-2716

Humane Society of Huron Valley FInd me at

EDUCATION ARE YOUR CHILDREN INTERESTED IN ASTRONOMY? Do they like observing the moon, planets and stars? GO TO

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To be considered in print Submit your events by the 14th of the month prior to the month when the event takes place. Entries are subject to editing for style and omission. The deadline for January events in print is Thursday, December 14. And before you leave the site don't forget to sign up for The Morning Buzz to receive a list of the coolest events taking place around Ann Arbor everyday and upcoming weekend. All calendar events are subject to change, cancellation, and limited size. Calling ahead for confirmation is recommended.

Homebirth Circles, A social gathering and discussion group for families who are considering homebirth, planning a homebirth or have birthed at home. Sponsored by the Midwives at New Moon Midwifery. Mondays 7:308:30pm at the Center for the Childbearing Year ~ 722 Brooks St. Ann Arbor, Mi 48103. Free. For more info call 734-424-0220 or

HELP WANTED SERIOUS MOMS WANTED. We need serious & motivated people for expanding health and wellness industry. High speed internet/phone essential. Free online training. $1,000 WEEKLY or more guaranteed salary mailing our financial company letters from home. No experience required. FT/PT. Genuine opportunity. Rapid Advancement. Free Information (24/7) : 1-888-557-5539

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Sponsored by Ron’s Garage

Call 419-244-9859 to advertise your pets and services for as little as $25 per issue. call Lydia at


to sell your stuff today • December 2013 •


December Ann Arbor Family  

The Holiday Hullabaloo

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