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Complimentary February 2014

Living the Good Life

Equipping Children Today to Become God's Leaders Tomorrow1 HICKORY LIVING • FEBRUARY 2014






from the publisher


Welcome to the February issue.


I hope you've settled into the new year by now and got used to writing 2014 on your checks and other date sensitive items. It usually takes me a month or two to get used to doing that, but I'm just about there. February is American Heart Month. While heart disease is still the number one killer in America of both men and women, progress is being made. On February 7th, the American Heart Association is sponsoring National Wear Red Day in support of the fight against heart disease in women. Ladies, know your risk factors and take steps now to prevent heart disease. For more info, visit their website at Valentine's Day falls on a Friday this year. That would be the perfect time for a romantic, three-day weekend getaway, perhaps to the mountains, to spend some quality time alone with your sweetheart. And guys, don't forget the candy, card and gift (s)!

February 2014

Living the Good Life

Mailing Address - 1670 E. Broad Street, Suite #195 Statesville, NC 28625 828-464-4060 E-mail - CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kristie Darling • Meredith Collins Kathy Wheeler • Cheryl Grant COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Shane Greene Photography

Happy Valentine's Day and thank you for reading the February issue of Hickory Living Magazine!

COVER STORY Hickory Christian Academy Editorial Stock photography, unless otherwise noted, is from ThinkStock.

Find Hickory Living Magazine on Facebook.

Myron T. Gough Publisher, Hickory Living

W W W. H I C KO RY L I V I N G M AG A Z I N E . C O M Myron T. Gough Publisher/Owner

Kathy Wheeler Art Director/Sales (828) 464-4060 (828) 238-3224

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Heather Morgan Sales (704) 962-8080

To advertise, please call one of Hickory Living Magazine's sales representatives or contact us at (828) 464-4060.

Hickory Living reserves the right to deny any advertisement or listing. Submissions are welcome, but unsolicited materials are not guaranteed to be returned. Hickory Living assumes no responsibility for information, products, services or statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. 4






February 2014 10

• Valentine's Day Feel The Love


• Hickory Christian Academy Equipping Children Today To Become God's Leaders Tomorrow


• Molly Malone's Boutique A Love For Fashion


• Organizing Tips


• What's Cooking?! Chocolate Heart Petit Four


• Frye Regional Medical Center Offering Assistance Signing Up For New Health Insurance Plans




holiday | food | home | local business 6









“Most people get married believing a myth–that marriage is a beautiful box full of all the things they have longed for: companionship, sexual fulfillment, intimacy, friendship. The truth is that marriage, at the start, is an empty box. You must put something in before you can take anything out. There is no love in marriage; love is in people, and people put it into marriage. There is no romance in marriage; people have to infuse it into their marriages. A couple must learn the art and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising–keeping the box full. If you take out more than you put in, the box will be empty.” So how empty is your box? You can’t change other people. You can only change what you do and how you choose to look at life, your spouse, or your circumstances. You can, however, lovingly guide another person into helping you create a relationship that you both will enjoy. I say lovingly because often demands don’t work! I mean, really, if you have to demand someone to do something they don’t want to do, what good is it? This Valentine’s Day, plan to fill that box by thinking of the other person instead of yourself. Fill the box with plenty of praise. You may have dwelled too long on what you didn’t like about the other person, and they may have even deserved it, but this isn’t about being right. It is about creating a better relationship. It may take awhile to come up with a list of things you appreciate about the other person, so start early. Do this without expecting too much in return. Remember, your box didn’t get empty overnight, and it won’t get filled overnight. It may take time before your efforts are reciprocated or before your actions motivate your partner to do the same.

©LuckyBusiness | iStock | Thinkstock

By Cheryl Grant

Valentine’s Day is a day for couples to celebrate their love, but what if some of you aren’t feeling the love? Then Valentine’s Day is a perfect holiday to start turning that relationship around. The following sentiment, written by J. Allan Petersen, can shed some light on how to rekindle that loving feeling. This saying is true for any couple–married or not. 10 10


Fill the box with devotion and attention to each other. Take a long weekend to rekindle the romance. Spend time discussing your future and your dreams. Don’t stop after Valentine’s Day. Develop a positive outlook on life–become loving, giving, and compassionate. Hey, if it doesn’t save your current relationship, it will be a good start on a new one! More times than not, all your relationship needs is a little attention to survive and thrive. Learn what the other person desires from you. Usually, it isn’t anything that requires a huge sacrifice, but maybe a different attitude, approach or perspective. This Valentine’s Day choose to make the first deposit in the box. Happy Valentine’s Day!



cover story



On the cover–Left to right, front to back–James Adams (12th), Kiley Whitfield (K), James Smith (TK), Alex Perry (11th), Trevor Price (3rd), Reagan Foss (4th), Andy Cook (7th), Deja Powell (9th), Mrs. Connie Peeler (grammar principal), Emma Lail (6th), Mr. Mark Maier (logic/rhetoric principal for 6th-12th), Mr. Tracy Robinson (headmaster) Pictured–Left to right–Mr. Tracy Robinson, headmaster; Mrs. Connie Peeler, grammar principal; Mr. Mark Maier, logic/rhetoric principal for 6th-12th

© 2014 Shane Greene Photography

Equipping Children Today to Become God's Leaders Tomorrow By Kristie Darling

What are the greatest gifts you can give your children? We each answer differently, recalling things we cherished as a child or never had growing up. At Hickory Christian Academy, the highest goal for all students is to reach their maximum academic potential while learning to love the Lord, walk in His ways, and obey His commands. This is HCA’s stated purpose and the focus of every board member, administrator, 12


teacher, and staff. Headmaster Tracy Robinson shared, “We have an abiding interest in our students’ lives: spiritually, academically, culturally, emotionally and physically. By partnering Christian teachings with time-honored classical education methods, we can instill in each student the faith and knowledge required to move out in the world trusting in Christ for their strength.”

A CLASSICAL EDUCATION The classical education model embraced at HCA has been the basis of western civilization’s teaching method for over two thousand years. Beginning with ancient Greeks and continuing through our nation’s formative years until the start of government supported public schools, classical education was the standard. It is aligned closely with children’s natural development wherein

the basic grammar of any subject transforms into logical thought and reasoning, followed by rhetorical expression. “Our students memorize the basic facts about a subject as small children, and then examine and debate all those facts through the middle grades, before owning their thoughts and expressing them through written and verbal form in high school,” Tracy explained. “With a core knowledge of languages, arts, math, reading, writing, science, and history, in tandem with learning and living their Christian beliefs, our students graduate with a broad cultural literacy that prepares them for a meaningful, successful life.” A FULL CURRICULUM HCA’s rigorous academic course of study is developed by highly trained, experienced administrators and teachers. The curriculum is designed to take ordinary students and provide them with an extraordinary education. Using the classical approach of memorization and chanting, kindergarteners through second graders focus on the foundations of reading, writing, and math. Teachers leverage young students’ excitement about learning, imagination and creativity. By third through fifth grade, students are excited about explaining and figuring things out. They like to relate their own experiences to others. They easily memorize and begin to learn a new language. Research projects, drama, collecting, displaying and making models help integrate their learning. Middle schoolers thrive with more challenges and want to go deeper into interesting subjects. They want to know why. Debating, role-playing, oral and written presentations, learning from guest speakers and field trips support their classwork. They want you to know what they know. By the high school years, students are concerned with current events, expressing their feelings, especially about justice and fairness and how this all relates to them. Teens learn how to express themselves, their ideas, and begin to develop special interests. These classical teaching techniques effectively support learning in all subjects over the course of a student’s career: phonics, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, reading, writing, and literature; a strong foundation in math leading to understanding algebra, geometry and calculus; environmental science, biology, chemistry, physics, and anatomy; Latin (in 3rd through 7th grades); logic, rhetoric, and debate. Arts include music history, art history, drama, choral music, and art classes. Three AP courses and seventeen honors classes are offered to high school students. Seniors are required to write a 10-page, typed thesis, including a 20-minute oral presentation, with Q & A before a panel of judges. Ninety-two percent of graduates enroll in a four-year college fully prepared for academic success at the college level. Based on the in-depth,

© Elizabeth Johnson

© 2014 Shane Greene Photography

© 2014 Shane Greene Photography

Photos, Top to bottom:

• In April of 2013, HCA was blessed with the opportunity to expand from one facility to a 15 acre campus with three facilities in northwest Hickory. • HCA co-founder and preschool teacher Mrs. Debbie Bolch guides her class through their daily Bible lesson. • Small group calculus study with Mrs. Lott HICKORY LIVING • FEBRUARY 2014


comprehensive education aspiring college students receive at HCA, I suspect most do very well. ATHLETICS AND SPORTS “Competitive athletics are an integral part of our educational and spiritual program,” Mark Maier, upper grades principal, shared. “We suit up 28 athletic teams in 14 sports, and we use athletics as another way to invest in our young people. Our coaches’ main role is to develop the team spiritually.” In 2012-13, the Knights men’s soccer team ranked #3 in the NC Independent Schools Athletic Association. The cross-country team was NCISAA boys and girls state champion, and our women’s soccer and golf teams were runners-up. Team participation begins in fifth grade and also includes volleyball, tennis, basketball, softball, baseball and cheerleading. FINE ARTS Art and music classes are offered to all students in preschool through twelfth grade. While grammar and middle schoolers attend weekly art and music classes, high school students may participate in chorus, praise band, drama, or advanced art classes. The talented high school drama department presents an annual production. This year’s play was a musical version of Disney’s Beauty & the Beast. In May, the high school art department hosts an art show, displaying works from middle and high school students and featuring a senior who plans to pursue an art career.

Photos, Top to bottom:

• HCA Senior Connor Smith jockeys for position in a fall soccer match against Carmel Christian from Charlotte. • The cast poses for a quick photo as the high school drama department prepares for their January 2014 production of Disney’s Beauty & the Beast Jr. (Above Photos provided by HCA)



SCHOOL HISTORY GUIDED BY PRAYER “With the Bible as our guidebook, and prayer for our families and children, we asked what the Lord would have us do,” Debbie Bolch told me during a tour of her preschool classroom. “The idea to start a school came through prayer. We began feeling this was beyond our ability, but the right people were placed in our path.” The school opened in 1995 and over the years has been housed in various locations, moved several times and grown from 19 students to the current 451students in pre-K to 12th grade. The school added a grade each year until its first class graduated in 2006. Construction of the new school facility that year added 28 classrooms, an art room, computer and science labs, gymnasium, and cafeteria. Director of Development Jennifer Jones shared, “Since our inception, HCA has experienced steady growth. This is a faith-walk, and God has always met our needs in HIS perfect timing. Last year, He blessed us as we expanded from one building to an entire campus, including three facilities on 15 acres of land. Plans are already in the works for future growth. We are excited to see what God has in store for our future!” “Our admissions are not based on church affiliation, gender, race, or socioeconomic factors. We are interdenomina-

© 2014 Shane Greene Photography

© 2014 Shane Greene Photography

tional, and represent over 50 churches in the Catawba Valley and beyond,” Connie Peeler, principal of lower grades, explained. “We require that one parent be a professing Christian and are very proud of our parents’ commitment and involvement. We understand that God believes parents are the main educators of their children in all things, and when they drop their child off here, we assume some of that role.” With a teacher/student ratio of one to 16, an experienced, dedicated Christian faculty, and alignment among parents and the school, it is not surprising that graduates are well prepared for their future endeavors. BUILDING CHARACTER, BUILDING LIVES Jordan Howard is a junior who has attended HCA since kindergarten. “It’s like family here. We’ve grown up together. I want to study psychology and become a counselor for kids and teens,” she said, “and I think my Christian background inspires me to do that kind of work.” Jordan’s future looks bright. Her education, achievements, and the spiritual grounding she has developed through example, discipline, and hard work in a community of like-minded believers provide her with the capability to accomplish anything she sets out to do. Jordan is just one example of how HCA is accomplishing their mission of equipping children today to become God’s leaders tomorrow.

© 2009 Elizabeth Johnson

© 2014 Shane Greene Photography

YOU ARE INVITED TO OPEN HOUSE AT HICKORY CHRISTIAN ACADEMY Friday, March 7th Schedule of events 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Call Donna Hodges to learn more at 828-324-5405

Hickory Christian Academy 3260 6th Street Drive NW • Hickory, NC 828.324.5405

Photos, Left to right, top to bottom:

• Mr. Harris brings Christian theology to life for his 11th grade students. • Mrs. Fox’s kindergarten class pledging their allegiance to the American flag, the Christian flag and the Bible as they do each morning. • Ms. Ray’s third graders design their own frescos during their study of the Minoan culture. • High school students gather in the commons area beneath the banners representing college acceptances. HICKORY LIVING • FEBRUARY 2014






Molly Malone's Boutique A Love for Fashion By Meredith Collins


Left–Amanda Rogers, owner of Molly Malone's Boutique Below–Brighton jewelry–perfect for Valentine's Day!

And, let’s face it guys, if you need a little help picking out the perfect gift, don’t go to a big department store. Shop at Molly Malone’s where an employee can help you hand pick what your sweetheart will love. They will even gift wrap it for you so your gift is complete the minute you walk out of the store. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

relli, Lenny and Eva, Brighton, Vera Bradley and Ginger Snaps are sure to top Valentine’s Day wish lists this year. You can find them all at Molly Malone’s Boutique.

Molly Malone’s customers love the products and brands they purchase at the boutique, but they have also gotten to know and love the owner, Amanda Rogers, and her staff. The feeling is mutual for Amanda, whose company philosophy is centered around her customers and finding the perfect items to meet their needs.

There really is a gift for everyone in every price range, but if you just can’t decide what she would love the most, don’t worry–they have gift cards!

“I love what I do, and I am very passionate about it,” Amanda said. She stays current on top brands and fashion trends and actually travels to hand pick the merchandise sold in her three locations in

© 2014 Shane Greene Photography

February is the month of LOVE, and who doesn’t love getting spoiled with fabulous fashion? One visit to Molly Malone’s Boutique and you’ll fall in love with their trendy yet affordable jewelry, apparel, footwear, handbags and accessories. Hot jewelry brands like Alex and Ani, Kameleon, Sor18


Hickory, Mooresville, and Huntersville. This spring they will launch a full online store. In talking with Amanda, you immediately see that her passion for the boutique encompasses everything she does. As a single mom to her young daughter, Paisley, Amanda is constantly on the go! She is back and forth between the three locations, and just recently moved to Statesville to be more centrally located. Since Amanda can’t be in all places at all times, she has established a great team and worked very hard to train them to carry out her company phi-

losophy. She’s excellent at delegating tasks to keep the three stores in three different locations all operating without a hitch. She works closely with employees to discover their strengths and allows them to bring their special talents to the business. Although Amanda has received several inquiries about franchising the stores, she isn’t quite ready to make that leap. It’s her personal touch on each store that really sets Molly Malone’s Boutique apart from the big chain stores. Amanda’s love for her business and customers shines through each item in her stores. It’s easy to see–her passion and devotion have paid off. 2237 Highway 70 SE 607 River Highway 16926 Birkdale Commons Hickory, NC 28602 Mooresville, NC 28117 Parkway, Suite C 828-328-2217 704-663-1630 Huntersville, NC 28078 704-892-5668

Photos: Stop by Molly Malone's for your favorite jewelry brands–Ginger Snaps jewelry (top), and Lenny and Eva (above). Photos not credited provided by Molly Malone's Boutique.



Organizing Tips By Kathy Wheeler

Recently I hired someone to help me with some office work and assist me with general organizing. It was a tremendous help to get an objective opinion and a fresh eye on my clutter. Sometimes we are so used to seeing items that have taken over our space, and we never consider whether or not we need them or how often we use them. What are you and your family hanging onto that doesn’t deserve the space it consumes? Here are a few things I found that I could do without.

Clothing My children had clothes they weren’t wearing. When they tired of digging through items they didn’t like, to get to what they did like, the items were either thrown on the bed or the floor and eventually into the laundry hamper again. We went through every piece of clothing they owned, and before putting it back in their room, I asked them to look at each piece and decide if they wanted to keep it or donate it. I vowed to do that with my own clothes, however, this will be a much larger undertaking.

Catch-all drawer Every home has a kitchen drawer filled with odds and ends. Take everything 20


out of the drawer and organize the items you keep. I used small jars and boxes to group similar items.

Old & odd dishes You would be amazed at how much room you reclaim when cleaning out kitchen items you don’t use, or get rid of mismatched items and old china. Designate hard-to-reach cabinet space for items you want to keep but rarely use. Holiday platters are a perfect example. Placing them in a vertical plate rack, rather than stacking them on top of each other, allows easier access even though they may be on the top shelf.

Purge the pantry Check and dispose of any outdated food products. Put boxed cereal, rice, flour, sugar, coffee and cornmeal in clear airtight containers. Small wire shelves attached to the inside of a cabinet door are great for storing spices. Cut the cabinet shelves down to allow room for the wire shelves when the door is closed. Rearrange cabinets to put items close to where they are used, for instance: glasses and storage containers close to the refrigerator; cooking utensils, pots and pans close to the stove.

Makeup & toiletries I had so many creams, lotions, and makeup that I had tried and didn’t like, or had found something I liked better. Some items were old and needed to be tossed. Others were given to a friend, and some I put in a basket and vowed to use them up until they were gone. I used makeup cases and baskets to group nail, hair, and skincare items for easy access.

Books & magazines Donate those you don’t want to keep. I bound magazines up by year and gave them to a friend. Instead of keeping all those magazines, if you find articles, recipes or photos you are interested in, tear out the page and put in a notebook, then throw the magazine away.

Repurpose & move furniture Consider using furniture in different locations. I removed a desk from my family room to free up space for a reading area. I moved the desk to my office and created a workstation for my new office assistant/organizer and friend! Photos © from left to right: Dejan Ristovski | Zedcor Wholly | AnikaSalsera from Thinkstockphotos





What's Cooking?! Chocolate Heart Petit Four

Nothing says “I love you” on Valentine’s Day more than heart-shaped, homemade treats. This year, try individual treats to make each gift recipient feel extra special. With heart-shaped pans from Wilton, you can create candies, cookies and bake mini cakes to your heart’s desire this Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate Heart Petit Four Makes about 40 mini cakes.

1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup cocoa powder 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, softened 2/3 cup firmly-packed brown sugar 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2/3 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup peanut butter, chocolate fudge ice cream topping or cherry pie filling 2 containers (14 ounces each) Chocolate or Vanilla Icing Glaze (optional) Jumbo hearts sprinkles

Directions Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 24 cavity bite-sized heart dessert shell pan with Cake Release pan coating. In large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with

electric mixer until light and fluffy.

To decorate, place cakes on cool-

Add egg and vanilla extract; beat

ing grid with cookie pan below.

until well combined. Alternately

Pipe 1/2 teaspoon peanut butter,

add flour mixture and buttermilk in

chocolate fudge or cherry pie filling

three additions, beating until just

into shell; fill only to top of cavity. If

combined. Spoon one tablespoon

desired, warm glaze according to

batter into each pan cavity.

package instructions; carefully pour

Bake 9-11 minutes or until tops of cakes spring back when touched. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Cool completely on cooling grid.

over shell and tap pan to smooth. If desired, add jumbo hearts sprinkles. For more Valentine’s Day recipes, baking tips and gift inspiration, visit Recipe and photo courtesy of Wilton Products HICKORY LIVING • FEBRUARY 2014










Offering Assistance Signing Up for New Health Insurance Plans Frye Regional has a new program called Path to Health. The program can help you to enroll in new insurance plans that are available as a result of the new health care law. The new law has changed the health insurance options available to you and will help you find a health insurance plan that works best for you and your family. The law provides many important FREE preventive services that can help you and your family live healthier lives. You can now enroll in a plan–even if you have a pre-existing condition that has kept you from getting insurance before. Most importantly, there will be financial assistance for those that qualify to help you pay for the premiums–making insurance a first-time reality for many. The new law has also created an online enrollment website called the Marketplace to help you compare plans, benefits, and costs to find the health insurance option that best meets your needs. The new health care law makes insurance easier to understand, and provides more tools to help you find the affordable coverage that will keep you healthier. There's never been a better time to get started on your path to health. The new health care law lets you explore, choose and enroll in an affordable insurance plan. When you sign up with one of the Marketplace plans offered, you may receive tax credits that will help pay for your insurance. The new law also says that nearly everyone will need to have some form of health insurance. Besides being financially healthy, buying health insurance will keep your family healthy! All of the plans cover the same basic health benefits, like check-ups at the doctor's office and certain immunizations, so you can choose the best plan for you and your family without worrying about losing out on certain benefits. Still curious? Call 866-893-8446 or go to to learn more. 28