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HERE FOR YOU. At INTEGRIS, we are proud to say we’re Oklahoma’s largest health care system. And because we have specialists in more areas of care, we make certain that you have access to The Most Challenging Healing ™. INTEGRIS HEALTH EDMOND CAMPUS INTEGRIS HEALTH EDMOND HOSPITAL Services include 24/7 Emergency Room, Med/Surg and ICU Patient Rooms, Women’s Center, Surgery & Endoscopy, Cardiac Catheterization Lab and Diagnostic Imaging 4801 INTEGRIS Parkway Between 2nd & 15th on I-35 Access Road East 405-657-3000 PHYSICIANS BUILDING 4509 INTEGRIS Parkway INTEGRIS ENT & FACIAL PLASTIC SURGERY Scott Shadfar, M.D. 405-657-3895 INTEGRIS JIM THORPE REHABILITATION SUITE 100 405-657-3800 INTEGRIS FAMILY CARE EDMOND EAST Justin Sparkes, D.O., Internal Medicine Chris Hayes, M.D., Family Medicine Douglas Riddle, M.D., Family Medicine Heather Wheeler, D.O., Family Medicine Elizabeth Montgomery, PA-C, Family Medicine Suite 200 | 405-657-3950 PHYSICIANS BUILDING 4833 INTEGRIS Parkway INTEGRIS ORTHOPEDICS EDMOND Austin Taylor, M.D., Sports Medicine J. Keith Gannaway, M.D John Gruel, M.D., Non-Operative Suite 150 | 405-657-3990

INTEGRIS CARDIOVASCULAR PHYSICIANS Azhar Amil, M.D. Timothy Daly, M.D. Lance Garner, M.D. Santosh Prabhu, M.D. Steven Reiter, M.D. Gary Worcester, M.D. Suite 150 | 405-948-4040 INTEGRIS EDMOND PHARMACY First Floor | 405-657-3900 INTEGRIS WOMEN’S CARE Elisa Sparkes, D.O., OB/GYN Julie Hansen, M.D., OB/GYN Sonja Hughes, M.D., Gynecology Dena O’Leary, M.D., Urogynecology Courtney Seacat, M.D., OB/GYN Katherine Shepherd, D.O., OB/GYN Laura Stearman, M.D., Female Urology Daniel Tallerico, M.D., Gynecology Suite 200 | 405-657-3825 INTEGRIS PAIN MANAGEMENT Atul Walia, D.O. Michael McLaughlin, D.O. Suite 150 | 405-945-4359 INTEGRIS HEALTH EDMOND GENERAL SURGERY Patrick Bell, M.D., General Surgery Joshua Carey, M.D., General Surgery 405-657-3690

INTEGRIS FAMILY CARE COFFEE CREEK Joel Grubbs, D.O., Family Medicine Emily Reed, M.D., Internal Medicine/Pediatrics S. Christopher Shadid, M.D., Family Medicine 2916 N. Kelly Avenue 405-715-5300 INTEGRIS ORTHOPEDICS EDMOND Michael Williams, M.D. 2916 N. Kelly Avenue 405-715-5320 INTEGRIS FAMILY CARE EDMOND RENAISSANCE Grand Wong, M.D., Family Medicine Audrey Goodwin, M.D., Internal Medicine/ Pediatrics Doug Haynes, M.D., Family Medicine Caroline Merritt, D.O., Internal Medicine Brooke Nida, M.D., Pediatrics Amie Prough, M.D., Pediatrics 1700 Renaissance Blvd. 405-844-4300

December 2016

Traditions Here & There

My childhood memories of the Christmas season are filled with huge amounts of snow, sledding down our driveway, and epic neighborhood snowball fights. Serious kid fun. So much fun you didn’t want to come in and warm up—even though your knit mittens were wet and your toes were freezing. I grew up back east. Along with all the snow fun, I remember how my mom always made the holidays special. Homemade sugar cookies, hot spiced cider and our tradition of opening presents after Christmas Eve church services (Santa always seemed to know when to stop by). And she always went all out with the decorating and preparing our family dinner. Those traditions changed up a bit when my folks moved to southern California. I was a freshman in college when my holiday breaks became filled with sunshine and temps in the mid 60s. Each year, Mom kept up most of the traditions and even added some new “So Cal” ones like Christmas Eve eggnog in the hot tub. As the holiday seasons went by, my sisters got married, our family clan grew, I married an Oklahoma girl—and somehow ended up right in the middle. I like to think we get the best of both of my east and west coast December weather here in Oklahoma—I just don’t know which one it will ever be. I could be outside in the sunshine for family pics and a walk at Hafer or I could be camped indoors around our fireplace with no electricity thanks to a snow and ice storm. My late wife and I enjoyed making the holidays special for our kids. And now with the kids grown and starting their own family traditions, I’m not sure what I’ll do this year. Well, maybe I do. I’m leaning toward “warm.” So I’ll probably hedge my bet and spend Christmas with sisters and dad in California. My sisters are amazing cooks and put together a wonderful family Christmas. My mom would be happy about that. Here’s to eggnog and relaxing in the hot tub. Merry Christmas Y’all.

80 East 5th Street, Suite 130, Edmond, OK 73034 Volume 12, Number 12


Philanthropist and real estate expert Mo Anderson gives back and inspires others to do the same

8 Louise

A Christmas Wish

11 Food

Spotlight On: Kangen Water

14 Business

Downtown Edmond Business Association Garage Innovations

12 Merry & Bright

16 How We Found You

Let Nelson Landscaping transform your home with outdoor lights this holiday season

Tracey Zeeck shares her family’s story of adoption in her new children’s book, the “Not In Here Story”

26 Holiday Attractions 21 High-Flying 30 My Outlook

Santa with the Rotary Club of Northwest OKC


Local company fuses art and science for professional aerial photography using drones

Front cover photography by Marshall Hawkins


Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc.

Creative Director Bethany Marshall

PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins


24 Holiday Hacks

Learn some tips and tricks for hosting a perfect holiday party from local experts

To advertise, contact Laura Beam at (405) 301-3926 or

Dave Miller, Back40 Design President


28 A Helpful Heart

© 2016 Back40 Design, Inc.


DISTRIBUTION Outlook is delivered FREE by direct-mail to 50,000 Edmond & North OKC homes.

Articles and advertisements in the Outlook do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Back40 Design. Back40 Design does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by the Outlook does not constitute endorsement of the products, services or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service that is fraudulent or misleading in nature. The Outlook assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.



by Louise Tucker Jones

With Christmas just around the corner, it suddenly dawned on me that we as adults never totally outgrow the Santa Claus syndrome. By that I mean that most of us still have wishes buried deep in our hearts that have yet to be fulfilled. Some are materialistic. Some superficial. But many are broken dreams. We want to believe that miracles come when we need them. That fairytale endings still happen in romance. That family quarrels will eventually right themselves and friendships will last forever. Somewhere deep in our souls, we want to know that everything will be made right before our lives end on this earth. Like a child at Christmas who wants to find that special toy under the tree, we have wishes but are often afraid to believe. But these kinds of wishes are way too big for Santa so who should we ask? If we are Christians, we know to make our requests to God. But we do it haltingly, hesitantly, because these are huge requests and we’ve made them before and nothing changed. The miracle didn’t come. The prodigal didn’t return. The divorce still happened. And some of our dearest loved ones died. And somehow at Christmas we are more aware of such things. Sometimes life hurts. Faith runs out. Trust fails. And the pain is just too much. I understand. I’ve been there and so have many of you. I’ve experienced the loss of two children, a grandchild, a parent and my husband of 45 years. I have visited the pit of clinical depression and wrestled with despair. I’ve asked God the hard questions, the “why” of all of these things. I’ve turned my back on him at times, but

thankfully, he never turned away from me. And that, my friend, is why I am writing this piece. For those who are struggling with the “whys” in your lives during this holiday season. For those whose sadness won’t lift or whose sorrow still lingers. Know that grief has no timeline but neither does love. If you loved someone so desperately that your mourning has stretched into years, then you loved and were loved deeply. Count it a blessing! If despair is your constant companion then reach out for help then offer your support to others who are struggling. Hope is a powerful and savory elixir. It can be a lifesaver. Hope will turn your thoughts outward instead of inward. It’s part of the Christmas spirit. But here is the best news. It’s the greatest gift you will receive this Christmas. There is a God in heaven who created you for one special reason. It’s called LOVE. He created you for his own joy. He delights in you. He honors you. He sings over you and holds you when you weep. He is the light in your soul. The dance in your steps. The song in your heart. God is the creator of all things and he counts you as his greatest masterpiece. You are his heart’s desire. You are his child and you are loved! Do you need a better reason to celebrate this holy season? It’s the birthday of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. The Deity who came to earth and sacrificed his life in order to make heaven possible for all of us. So gather your family and friends. It’s time for a celebration! Wishing you a blessed Christmas!

About the Author Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker and founder of the organization, Wives With Heavenly Husbands, a support group for widows. Email LouiseTJ@cox. net or visit


Outlook December 2016



Outlook December 2016


Kangen Water

by Laura Beam

with Trang Nguyen, Pharm D, Enagic Distributor

What is Kangen Water? Water created from an innovative device that filters tap water, eliminates chlorine and other harmful chemicals and produces ionized water in different pH levels for drinking, cooking, beauty and cleaning. The water is rich in hydroxide ions and hydrogen gas (an antioxidant). How did you learn about Kangen Water? I was introduced to it by my aunt and uncle who had used the water for five or six years and gave me some to try at home. My daughter, who has had allergies since she was a baby, said after just a few hours, “Mom, I have no more allergy symptoms and this water is awesome!� I decided immediately to buy the Kangen Water machine because as a mom and pharmacist, I would do anything to improve my daughter’s condition. I researched it and learned that Japanese scientists discovered Kangen Water 40 years ago and the machine is used as a medical device in Japanese hospitals. How does the machine work? The machine hooks directly to your water faucet and can create five types of water at different pH levels. Strong Kangen pH 11.5 can wash chemicals and pesticides off fruits and vegetables or clean stains. Strong acidic water pH 2.5 can kill bacteria and viruses, thus sanitizing your skin, produce and cookware. Clean water pH 7.0 can be used to make baby formula or to drink with medications. Beauty water pH 6.0 can be used to tone your skin or to water plants. Kangen water pH 8.5-9.5 is an alkaline antioxidant healthy drinking water.

Are there other benefits? Cooking with Kangen Water brings out the flavor so less seasoning or salt is needed. It brings out the color, taste and aroma of coffee and tea. The Kangen machine will keep chemicals out of the kitchen and save money in the long run. How do you purchase a machine? The Enagic company offers their products by direct sale, through representatives like myself, to ensure customers understand how to use them correctly. Different machine models range from about $1500 to $5000, with easy monthly payment plans available. The benefit of good health, clean food and clean drinking water for the whole family is priceless. All water is not the same. Change your water, change your life! Contact Trang Nguyen, Pharm.D, Enagic Distributor. Call or text: (405) 593-9500, email


Merry & Bright Remember as a child, every December the whole family would load into the station wagon and drive to the fanciest neighborhoods to look at the beautiful houses. All the houses glistened and glowed with bright lights, looking even more amazing if there was a dusting of snow on the ground. Now it’s possible to create your own Winter Wonderland with the help of Nelson Landscaping. Whether you want to go modern with an all-white display, or add more fun by having every tree in the yard a different color, Andy Nelson, owner of Nelson Landscaping, can design a look that is perfect for your family. Let’s start off by examining why we decorate our houses for Christmas. Decorating with lights became popular in early

modern Germany. Candles were utilized to add a special touch to the Christmas tree. This trend evolved to illuminating lights on Christmas trees in the early 20th century. By 1960, it was a common practice for middle class families to outline their homes with Christmas lights. According to Andy, there is truly an art to properly displaying your Christmas lights. His company uses an entire team of workers

Let Nelson Landscaping transform your home with outdoor lights this holiday season by Lance Evans

to help your dream of a White Wonderland come true. “We are about a 20 person operation,” Andy said. “We have seven people on our management team. We mostly focus on landscaping, sprinklers, and retaining walls. We also specialize in Christmas lights during the holiday season.” Andy unknowingly started his company at the age 12. He pushed his mower at an early age and ended up with three clients his first year. Today his runs one of the most successful landscaping companies in Edmond. Around six years ago, he identified a new niche and has been bringing custom lighting to his clients ever since. The Nelson Landscaping team works hard to do the best job on your home. They work with each homeowner on the design and concept, creating a unique set up each time. This custom quality is evident at all levels of their business, including installation. Andy said the key to making your home shine bright this year is all in finding the right bulb. “We only install commercial grade LED lights,” Andy said. “We don’t recommend the big bulk stores. The wiring in those lights is cheap in quality. We custom make our lights for the house. We cut them to length. They have five diodes in them. It’s basically the equivalent of a bulb. They are five times brighter and they last longer.” Andy and his team work for a wide variety of clients. They’ve completed highlevel-multimillion-dollar projects and small residential homes. “We are set up to cater to clients big and small,” Andy said. No matter the size of the job, the team puts the same amount of effort and attention into every project. Don’t worry about lights being sloppily slung up on your house, but revel in the bright landscape created by your holiday home. Before reaching for your secret credit card when the late promo comes on, Andy said to keep in mind that the quality of the light is what will help your house stand out this year. Light up your Christmas at

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Outlook December 2016

Winter Home Improvement Savings

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Downtown Edmond Business Association by Morgan Day Women shopping in Downtown Edmond

If you’re a fan of popular downtown Edmond events like the annual Downtown Edmond Arts Festival, the Edmond Electric Parade of Lights and Downtown Edmond Fall Festival, you can thank a group of folks working behind the scenes to make those happen. That’s the Downtown Edmond Business Association (DEBA), a troop of business owners who’ve made it their mission to keep the downtown area alive and vibrant by orchestrating several family-friendly events throughout the year. Now, the group is preparing to wow residents and visitors with several holiday events, including the Holiday Hop at the Rodkey House, the Parade of Lights and Mayor’s Tree Lighting, all on December 3rd. DEBA also plans visits from Santa Claus and free wagon rides on Saturdays throughout December. Not only that, they’re anticipating holiday

shoppers who hope to keep their money in their community. “So many people order off the internet now, it’s nice to come downtown and get really great personal customer service like back in the olden days and get that one-on-one attention you don’t get online,” said Stephanie Carel, DEBA president and owner of Silver Leaf Gems. The association is always open to new members, said Koorosh Zahrai, DEBA’s advertising co-chair. Being involved in the group creates opportunities to network with other business owners, stay engaged in the community and promote your business. And best of all? You get to contribute to the vitality of downtown Edmond. “Downtown Edmond is really the heart of the Edmond community,” Zahrai said. “Being down here is exciting because it’s a microcosm for all the amazing things going on in the

community.” Zahrai said he enjoys seeing the community rally around new events like the Heard on Hurd street festival and embrace the annual longstanding events too. He looks forward to helping DEBA provide events that attract the community and also help residents and visitors alike to “Experience Downtown Edmond.” “That’s our motto,’” he said. “Part of that is being able to walk with your family down tree-lined, brick-paved streets, to walk around and eat at different restaurants and bars and coffee shops, to see artwork and pick up newest fashions at local boutiques. You can spend the weekend here or stop in after work—whatever you’re in the mood for, you can probably find it in downtown Edmond.” Visit to learn more about the Downtown Edmond Business Association.

Holiday Wine-Down December 1 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Enjoy a one-night event painting class from Wine & Palette, as well as holiday shopping at The Museum Store. Museum Partners Devon Energy Corp. E.L. & Thelma Gaylord Foundation


Outlook December 2016

1700 Northeast 63rd Street Oklahoma City, OK 73111 (405) 478-2250

Garage Innovations by Morgan Day Jennifer and Jason Johnson, Owners of Garage Innovations

Business owners will tell you there are a few benefits to being a ‘mom and pop’ shop, but there’s one advantage in particular that Jennifer and Jason Johnson of Garage Innovations like to talk about. Their variety in products, the husband and wife duo said, is something that just wouldn’t be possible as a franchise. The owners of the 13-year-old garage remodeling business are proud to be locally owned and offer dozens of options to turn anyone’s cluttered mess into an organized and functional space. “Since we’re not a franchise, we have a broad offering of items to help you furnish and organize your garage,” Jennifer said. “Our products range from cabinets to floor coatings and tiles to slat-walls, attic lifts and shelving.” Not only that, but the two Oklahoma City natives put an emphasis on Oklahoma-made retailers and products to help keep customers’

money within the state. “A lot of our products are actually made right here in Oklahoma,” Jennifer said, adding the epoxy floor coating and attic lifts are made in-state, and the Simply Storage wood cabinets (the company’s most popular item) are made by Garage Innovations employees themselves. The business started to take shape when the two needed cabinets for their garage and couldn’t find exactly what they needed. They thought if they had a need for this type of garage organization, others must too. Armed with Jason’s finance degree and woodworking skills, and Jennifer’s MBA, the two launched their business with custom cabinets and soon enough, companies were knocking on their door to add their products to the mix. Since starting, the business has grown to 11 employees and offers customers two furnished show rooms, one in Tulsa and one

in Edmond at 14000 N. Santa Fe Ave. Wordof-mouth referrals and return customers have kept these folks busy, and Jennifer chalks that up to Garage Innovations’ work culture of courteousness, expertise and attention to detail. And, because the company doesn’t have to pay franchise fees, it can offer products comparable to its competitors but at a lower price. “I think this is all probably ‘Business 101,’” Jennifer said of what keeps her customers coming back. “Treat your customers well. Give them what they expect, or exceed it. Deliver what you say you’re going to deliver, and do a great job.” Learn more about Garage Innovations, view beforeand-after photos and book a free garage design consultation at


How We Found You Tracey Zeeck shares her family’s story of adoption in her new children’s book

A mom and dad are trying to be parents. The Seeks find something is missing in their lives, and they think becoming parents will be easy. It’s not. They travel to the rainforests, to the mountains, to the desert and to far off places to find their baby, and even though Dad asks “Did you check your tummy?” at each place, Mom says, “No. Not in here.” The parents get more and more frustrated. Finally, Dad stops asking the question and Mom stops answering. But when they return home, a blast of inspiration makes them realize they’ve been looking in the wrong tummy all along. The Seeks find their baby growing in someone else’s


Outlook December 2016

by Heide Brandes

tummy. This is the premise of the new children’s book “The Not in Here Story,” written by Oklahoman Tracey Zeeck, owner of Bumbershoot Public Relations in Oklahoma City. Not only is it a quirky, fun and colorful book about the origins of adoption, but it’s also a deeply personal one for Zeeck as well. “The Not in Here Story is the way we told our son about his adoption,” Zeeck said. “We first started telling that story to him before he could even talk or understand words. I told it so much that I wrote it down. He wanted pictures, so we drew pictures. That’s how it started and where it came from.” Illustrated by David Bizzaro, the book was released during National Adoption Month through the new children’s book press, Penny Candy Books, co-founded by Oklahoma City poet and Short Order Poems co-founder Chad Reynolds and Savannah-based poet Alexis Orgera. What started as a way to explain to her son how he became part of their family turned into published book when Zeeck shared her written tale with a friend. “Some people I knew had adopted, and their son was three years old and they hadn’t explained to him his origin yet,” Zeeck said. “I shared the manuscript, and they said, ‘Thank you, this is the first thing we’ve ever read that we feel tells the story the way we want it told. This one tells the story up until the point the baby

Zeeck Family Selfie

shows up.’ I started thinking about publishing it.” Zeeck’s own journey to parenthood started when she and her husband thought about adopting before they tried to have a baby on their own. They knew many babies and children needed homes, but “we let the world talk to us” and instead spent a year trying to get pregnant. “It was annoying,” she said. “It put enormous pressure on ourselves and our relationship. We spent a year trying, and it was so stupid. We said, ‘What are we even doing?’ So, we decided to adopt instead.” Even that route was difficult, however. Originally, the couple wanted to adopt siblings out of state or foster care. Referrals fell through, calls were not returned, and again, the Zeecks became frustrated. They turned to Catholic Charities. Catholic Charities is a licensed child-placing agency serving the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Children up for adoption are infants who are placed in the custody of Catholic Charities by birth parents. “The young mother picked us out of a book, and when we met, we all knew it was right,” she said. “We keep in touch with her. We want to have her in our orbit and in Charlie’s life. She was 17, and she wanted to find parents for her baby because she loved her baby.” Zeeck’s son is now nine, but the process to write the book to the point of publishing took four years. Ironically, the journey to publish “The Not in Here Story” ran parallel to the story itself. Zeeck didn’t want to self-publish, so she found an agent through a contact. After trips to New York City and navigating the world of publishing, she gave up on the agent and came home disheartened and back to square one. “Publishing! There is nothing fun about it, nothing fun at all. I came home and I said, ‘What am I going to do? What will this book be, if anything?’” she said. “A few weeks later, I was at a coffee shop here and I saw Chad Reynolds. He told me he was about to start a children’s book publishing company with a friend from Savannah. We talked a lot about it, and I told him about me trying to publish my book. It was funny. It didn’t click at first, but then we both kind of looked at each other and were like, ‘hey!’ So, like in the book, what I was looking for was here at home.” Throughout the journey, the story changed as all stories do. The illustrations, done by native Oklahoman David Bizzaro, were originally going to be humans. Today, the “Seek” family are charming little monsters instead. The book is not only available at Barnes and Noble and

Full Circle Bookstore, but was also Amazon’s bestselling new release in baby books and children’s adoption books. “Hopefully, this book is useful to people when the conversation about adoption happens,” Zeeck said. “We like when people ask questions about our adoption and about Charlie. The book was a cool experience. It’s cool to do the readings. The adults cry and the kids are engaged. I think it’s nice for our son to see how we searched for him, and for kids to see how far parents will go to find their baby.” And, Zeeck hints, another book may be looming in the future.

What NOT to say to adopted parents or children... by Tracey Zeeck 1.

He “is” adopted. “No, he ‘was’ adopted, it’s not who he ‘is,’” Zeeck said. “It’s not his identity, only how he came to our family.” 2. Real mom. “We say ‘birth mom.’ When people ask who his ‘real’ mom is, I tell them I am,” Zeeck said. 3. “We honor and respect the birth parents. Their love for him made our family.” 4. “Don’t say he was ‘given up’ for adoption. He was placed in a family because the birth parents wanted him to have a good life, not because they ‘gave up’ on him.” 5. “Never say, ‘I could never give up my child.’ The answer I give is, ‘No one asked you to.’ You never know what circumstances lead people to make a decision.


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Outlook December 2016


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Outlook December 2016

High Flying Photography A by Austin Marshall

erial photography dates back to the mid-19th century, when enterprising photographers attached their cameras to kites and balloons in an attempt to capture the landscapes and cityscapes of Europe and the United States. Aerial photography played a pivotal role in both world wars, as both sides of the conflicts included them in reconnaissance efforts and in the preparation of battle plans. The profession flourished after the end of World War II as America enjoyed the economic boom of the post-war years, and is now used for a variety of professional functions including: cartography, topography, public utility planning and maintenance and others. Oklahoma Drone Photography, led by the husband-and-wife team of Aaron and Alyssa Brackett, is based in Edmond and showcases industrial, commercial and residential properties. Using the stunning backdrop of the Oklahoma skyline as their canvas, the Bracketts combine artistic flourish and professionalism to yield magnificent results. The growing popularity of drones for recreational and professional use caused the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to regulate the devices used for commercial reasons. Beginning September 2016, all commercial unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) must obtain a license to operate their businesses legally. Oklahoma Drone Photography is one of the first licensed UAV companies in the metro area, giving the Bracketts a chance to establish it as the preeminent aerial photography firm in Oklahoma. “When drones exploded in popularity, we saw an opportunity to give people a view that was once reserved for those with thousands of dollars to spend on helicopter or plane rentals,” Alyssa explains. Like anything in life, “you get what you pay for” with drone technology. Oklahoma Drone Photography uses DJI Phantom 3 Advanced, widely recognized as one of the best UAVs in the industry. Equipped with a state-of-the-art camera set up, GPS, real-time feedback for flight conditions and other utilities, the UAV allows

Aaron and Alyssa Brackett with their son Caden

Aaron to capture spectacular views for clients. “The process for shooting pictures and video from the air is much more than the flight itself. Planning begins with imagining what is most important for the client,” Alyssa says. “Are photos what they want? What angles do they need? What heights do they want us to shoot from? If its video they are requesting, what is the format?” Weather also plays an important part of the planning process. “We analyze the weather, of course. Aaron is recognized by the American Meteorological Society as a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and makes absolutely sure that the winds and conditions are safe for flight,” Alyssa explains. “Federal regulations require us to notify nearby airports and helipads when we fly within five miles of their landing site.” The drone’s technology allows them to adjust to conditions in real-time. “Video is constantly transmitted to the ground in high continued on next page


High Flying Photography, Cont’d

The Brackett family flying a drone

definition while simultaneously being recorded in air by the aircraft. Every aspect of the aircraft’s performance can be monitored on the ground.” Editing is a critical component of Oklahoma Drone Photography’s work. “Between photos and video, this can take a couple of hours, but it’s worth it to give the client the best view from above. We work with them to make sure coloring and style of photos is what they want, and to make sure whatever we are shooting looks its absolute best,” Alyssa adds. Business has been steadily growing for Oklahoma Drone Photography. “As of right now, commercial projects are the biggest majority of our business. From realtors wanting to showcase a house like it’s the star of a Hollywood movie, to out-of-state companies keeping an eye on construction progression, our commercial customers keep us busy!” she says. “We’ve done several construction progression projects, real


Outlook December 2016

estate, and some cityscape views. The most fun thus far has been an acreage photo shoot in Paul’s Valley. We flew to nearly 400 feet, and safely zoomed over hay bales at 35 miles per hour. The video that resulted was simply stunning, and our creativity showed through its entirety.” Aerial photography certainly has its highs and lows. “The best part about our business is the ability to try something new with each client. Everyone has different needs and wants a slightly different kind of video, and that is what we give them. Some projects look better with a very slow flight and pan; others excel with quick video hits backed by stunning music,” Alyssa explains. “The most frustrating thing about what we do is the Oklahoma wind. Winds above 25 mph are simply unsafe to fly in. Our chief drone has US and Russian satellite links, anti-collision infrared cameras, and the ability to transmit over 3 miles away, but safety is still king. If weather throws us a curve ball, we opt on the side of safety and postpone the shoot.” The Bracketts are excited about the future of their business and of drone photography in general, Alyssa notes. “Drone photography is booming! With the popularity and availability of drones, shooting stunning photos and videos from above has never been so affordable. It is our hope that hobbyists and commercial companies alike stick to the FAA regulations and practice safety first, so we can all enjoy the skies!” For more information about Oklahoma Drone Photography, visit their website at The company can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


Holiday Hacks by Mari Farthing

Want to make your next holiday party a big hit without a big effort? Look no further! We asked local experts for their ideas on how to easily host parties that your guests won’t soon forget. Thanks to Gail Rocquemore of AD Parties & Events and Jennifer Laws of for their input. Have a theme and plan your party around that. Rocquemore says that hot trends in holiday parties now include “gold, silver and sparkle—think a Hollywood glam sort of look.” Shop the dollar store to get low-cost serving pieces that you won’t feel bad about recycling instead of reusing. Visit unexpected places to


Outlook December 2016

find items, such as the hardware store. “A tile backsplash would make for an interesting table runner,” says Rocquemore, and remnants can often be bought on sale. Clear some of your everyday items from the main rooms of your home to make the space seem roomier and allow space for decorations and food. Hang light strands using removable adhesive hooks and hang ornaments around the room using ribbon to make your party look extra festive. “Don’t decorate the whole house, just do one area,” says Laws. “I bought an inexpensive piece of particle board at a hardware store and had it cut to size to serve as a background for a side table.” The board can be wrapped with decorative paper or draped with fabric, serving as a focal point for your party’s theme. Invite guests to bring their party favorite foods. For example, ask them to bring their favorite food to dip into cheese fondue or a dozen of their favorite holiday cookies. Buy ready-made items from the store but upgrade them. Pour the lemonade into a pitcher with fresh lemons, put the cookies on a cute plate, display meat and cheese on a wooden cutting board, unwrap premade sandwiches and stack them in a lined basket. Plan to serve buffet-style instead of a sit-down meal to take the pressure off you and allow guests to tailor their food to their tastes. Put sauces and condiments in well-marked squeeze bottles that are easy for guests to use with one hand. “One year we did a baked potato

Set the Scene with a Holiday Playlist bar. It was easy to make the potatoes in advance and then just have all the toppings in bowls,” says Laws. Make food portable to make it easier for guests to mingle and move around. Use toothpicks and your imagination to make mini skewers (think chilled shrimp with a cherry tomato and a cocktail onion for a take on shrimp cocktail or a pineapple chunk with a maraschino cherry and a marshmallow for a fruit salad). Serve drinks in a DIY bar area as well. Create a water bar with still and sparkling waters, fruits and herbs and ice cubes. For an adult bar, include various alcohols, a few soda varieties for the kids. “You could have a signature cocktail like a cranberry martini,” continues Laws. “Print the recipe on a card and guests can customize it to their taste.” Try a hot chocolate bar: make a big batch of hot chocolate in a slow cooker to keep it warm. Serve with toppings such as whipped cream, chocolate syrup, peppermint sticks, cookie straws and marshmallows with liqueurs and non-alcoholic flavored syrups for customizing. Place stacks of napkins around the area so they’re easily located by a guest who might need one. Wrap utensils with a napkin and holiday ribbon, maybe adding in a sprig of pine tree, suggests Rocquemore. Create levels on your buffet bar by using items you have around the house, such as boxes, bowls, or books. Disguise items by draping them with fabric or a plastic tablecloth. Want a fast, festive look? Use brightly-colored wrapping paper. Wrap empty boxes (think cracker or cereal boxes) and place around the room. Cover doors with paper and wrap the existing frames on your walls with paper.

1. “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey 2. “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano 3. “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” by Elmo and Patsy 4. “Run Rudolph Run” by Chuck Berry 5. “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley 6. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee 7. “Christmas in Hollis” by Run DMC 8. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by Bruce Springsteen 9. “Let it Snow” by Twisted Sister 10. “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by John Mellencamp 11. “12 Days of Christmas” by Straight No Chaser 12. “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” by Gayle Peevey

Create Fun Memories at a Photobooth “It’s always fun to have a photo booth,” says Laws. Find a corner and make it festive by putting up a festive wrapping paper background or hanging streamers from the ceiling. Find an inexpensive piece of particle board or extra thick foam core at the hardware store that you can cover with festive paper. Select an area with good lighting and encourage your friends to post their pictures to social media. Laws recommends creating your own party hashtag—like #JonesHoliday2016—to make it easier for you to find the pictures later. Post a sign nearby with your hashtag and social media channels to encourage guests to post their fun and festive snaps.

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Holiday Attractions

we have room You’re invited to spend Christmas and the New Year at FPCE



An inter-generational musical drama for all ages. FREE event! Childcare available.

For those who struggle at Christmas

Nightly from Dec. 8-11 @ 7:30pm

Sunday, December 18 @ 7pm


Family Service @ 5pm / Candlelight Service @ 7pm CHRISTMAS DAY WORSHIP @ 10:30am NEW YEAR’S DAY WORSHIP @ 10:30am

First Presbyterian Church of Edmond | 1001 South Rankin Street | 405.341.3602 | | @fpcedmond


Outlook December 2016

Find Healthy Holiday Recipes at: Happy Holidays!


A Helpful Heart Mo Anderson may be one of the most successful and powerful leaders of the global real estate giant Keller Williams Realty, but she once wore only handmade clothes made from used feed sacks. Anderson may live in a stunning mansion, but she once knew what it was like to be so poor that 25 cents seemed like a fortune. Anderson may give hundreds of thousands of dollars to charities and to those in need, but she said that giving spirit came from her father who was a tenant farmer.

Anderson, a leader of Keller Williams Realty, helped build one of the most successful franchises in real estate history, but along the way she learned several key lessons on how to live a joy-filled life. She struggled through poverty as a child in the aftermath of the Great Depression. She lost her fortune in the oil bust of the 1980s and she worked so hard at times that she developed a heart condition. But in her soul, Anderson said her life has been nothing but blessed. “You can have a joy-filled life in spite of all the things, all the challenges that have happened to you,” Anderson, now 80, said. “You


Outlook December 2016

by Heide Brandes

can still rise above it. When I look back, I see how losing all of my money was the greatest thing because it set up circumstances that gave me the life I have today.” From daughter of a tenant farmer to one of the most successful and wealthy CEOs, Mo Anderson now dedicates her life to the goal of living on 10 percent of her wealth while donating 90 percent to causes. But, in her heart, her true passion is sharing the knowledge that a joyfilled life is possible for everyone.


Anderson was born in 1937 in Ames, Oklahoma, the fifth child of a tenant farmer who moved his family from farm to farm for work. He had an eighth grade education, but Anderson said he was the greatest example of a Christian and his integrity still inspires her today. “He was the first one to arrive whenever there was tragedy or a problem,” Anderson said. “Once, when we were in Enid —on the rare occasions we had money to buy things—he had a quarter left. When we walked past the penny store, he saw a beggar and he gave that last quarter to the beggar. I was shocked. That was the last of our money. “He looked at me and quoted that scripture about when you do good things, your bread comes back buttered.” Other days, while helping her father corral the livestock, Anderson would walk along the dirt lane and dream of becoming a music teacher. “That pasture lane was my place to dream,” she said. “I wanted to be a music teacher so much.” Anderson herself was the first child in her family to attend college. She earned a scholarship to the Oklahoma College for Women, but transferred to the University of Oklahoma in her second year. Although she still dreamed of teaching music, the music department closed the practice rooms at 10pm. Anderson worked until 9:30pm most nights. “I quickly realized I could not major in music, so I majored in elementary education,” she said. But magic happened. When she interviewed for her first job at Traub Elementary in Midwest City, the principal received so many letters of recommendation that touted Anderson’s music ability that he offered her the job as the school’s music teacher. “When God puts a dream into your DNA, He finds a way to make it happen,” she said.

Anderson and her husband Richard led a pleasant life together. She went on to be the music department instructor in Ponca City while her husband worked at Conoco, but one day she was shocked to find that her husband enrolled them both in a real estate class. Life would never be the same.

FORTUNES GAINED AND LOST Life eventually brought the couple to Oklahoma City where Anderson began a career in real estate. She and two others started Titan Realtors and then purchased a Century 21 franchise in 1976. By 1983, they were the third best operation out of 7,500 offices in the system. Five years later, the company sold to Merrill Lynch, and Anderson stayed to help Merrill Lynch develop offices and take on a leadership role. When the company sold to Prudential, Anderson didn’t stay. She had made a small fortune when she sold her company to Merrill Lynch, so she was doing just fine… until the oil bust. “We lost it all,” she said. “We owed $1.3 million and we were close to bankruptcy. But we paid that money back. All of it.” That tragedy led to an accidental meeting with Gary Keller, founder of Keller Williams Realty. Anderson signed on for a small salary and a portion of ownership and for the next decade, she worked so hard she began to develop heart issues. “After 10 years of working my tail off, we went from 1,800 agents in 45 offices to 50,000 agents in 500 offices by the time I replaced myself as CEO,” Anderson said. Today, Keller Williams Realty boasts of 150,000 agents in 720 offices in 32 countries. Still a vice chair of the board, Anderson wasn’t done. She started Keller Williams Cares, which has a giving budget of more than $5 million. She constantly speaks at KW conferences about the importance of giving and giving back. She inspires agents around the world to raise money for their communities. “I teach them our culture, which is to give, care and share,” she said. “I got that from my dad. That was also the joy of building a company—I have the ability to influence 150,000 people.” Today, Anderson continues to give. A supporter of countless organizations, she said she one day wants to reach the goal of using 90 percent of her wealth to help others in need. “I wanted to leave a legacy for my grandchildren and honor my parents and my husband Richard,” she said. “It’s about letting everyone know that no matter what, they too can live a joy-filled life.” For more information, visit


Santa with the Rotary Club of Northwest OKC by Bethany Marshall

How long has the Rotary Club of Northwest OKC been hosting the Santa Project? I have been helping with the Northwest Oklahoma City Rotary Club since 1979. Where do you take the pictures with Santa? Northpark Mall, located at North May Ave and 122ND St What is different about your Santa Project? We are Oklahoma City’s only non-profit Santa! All of our net proceeds go to various local charities, most of them are children related. Do you have any special days during the event? We sure do! We have a signing Santa for the hearing impaired; special needs Santa for mentally challenged children; and we also have a special times set aside for pets.

How many kids, dogs, adults get their picture taken each year? Last year more than 10,000 moms, dads, kids, dogs and cats came to visit Santa. Do you have a favorite story or quirky incident from your time with the Santa Project? I will just let you know, the bladder on a Great Dane is not so small. How many people are involved with the Santa Project? Each season, the Rotarians work hundreds of shifts to provide an affordable non-profit Santa experience. Well over 100 people volunteer to make this project a success. What inspired your organization to start hosting this event? What started out as a fundraiser turned into a labor of love. This project allows us to give back to the needy in our community. Is there anything else you would like us to know about the Rotary Club of Northwest OKC? The Rotary’s motto is “Service above self.” The Santa Project is a living example of Rotarianism. If you want more information on The Santa Project or joining Rotary, please join us for lunch. We meet every Tuesday at 12pm at the Greens Country Club. Learn more about the Rotary Club of Northwest OKC at

What’s your favorite part about taking pictures? The smiles and letting the children know “the reason for the season.” Also, since I am not a corporate Santa, I get to spend a little extra time with each child in order to enhance their experience. How much money have you raise and where do you donate it? Last year was our best year ever and we have been blessed over the years by being able to raise tens of thousands of dollars. We have helped Sister BJ’s Pantry, The Boy Scouts, The YMCA, All for Rescues, The Children’s Home, the Jesus House, EVE, Alzheimer’s Association, the Salvation Army, and many more too numerous to name. We help big and small.

Put a little extra Jingle in your Christmas Apply Today for Full-Time, Part-Time & Seasonal Positions. 7 North Broadway | 359-4648 30

Outlook December 2016

80 East 5th St., Ste. 130 Edmond, OK 73034

Profile for Outlook Magazine

Outlook December 2016  

The Outlook is a monthly, full color, glossy magazine mailed free of charge to 50,000 homes in Edmond and north Oklahoma City. Since 2005, w...

Outlook December 2016  

The Outlook is a monthly, full color, glossy magazine mailed free of charge to 50,000 homes in Edmond and north Oklahoma City. Since 2005, w...

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