FF December 2022

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Making the Impossible Accessible


live wonderfully

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4 / FORSYTHFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM Out & About in Winston-Salem 56 with Cheers! Fundraiser for Brenner Children’s Hospital The Fancy Fork 58 Citrus Garlic Herb Butter Roasted Chicken My Grace-Full Life 62 My Worship-Full Life Reflections of a Southern Yankee 68 White (Pine) Christmas Triad Moms on Main 72 Involving Kids in Giving Back this Season It’s a Grand Life 74 Christmas Memories The View from My Section 76 A Father’s Perspective Dining Guide 78 Little Richard’s BBQ: A Tasty Tradition for Your Holidays EVERY ISSUE FEATURES content COVER STORY 32 Victory Junction Making the Impossible Accessible 8 Riding the “Polar Express” 12 Winter Traditions Your Family Will Never Forget 22 Honoring A Griever’s Requests 30 Technological Gifts to Wow Grandparents 42 Educational Gift Ideas for Preschoolers 48 Messiness and the Whispers of God 54 A New Hobby--or Gift-Tea Blending 60 The Don’t-Move-Firewood Movement 64 Different Ways We Connect with God 66 Comforting, Healthy Slow-Cooker Meals for Chilly Nights 48 14

New chapters to write, exciting adventures await! Six months passed at lightning speed from my July issue announcement of stepping down as the publisher of Forsyth Family Magazine. I am humbled by the opportunity I’ve had to bring this publication to you. To birth it and nurture it over the years. To share all the untold stories of new and old businesses and organizations, the many amazing charities and their events and the fantastic people in our community. It has been my honor and joy to share with you over the years!

I want to take this final moment to thank my husband and daughters for their support over the years. Switching from a corporate job to being self-employed had its pros and cons, but they’ve always been there for me along the way. Just like the day I felt the presence of God telling me to choose the journey of starting Forsyth Family over taking a lesser position at Hanesbrands, I feel his presence all around me as I approach this new season.

A final thank-you to the magnificent team behind bringing this magazine to you each month. I wish I had enough room to call you each by name and mention all your wonderful contributions. Thank you to all the wonderful advertising partners I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know over the years and, with your support, has made Forsyth Family possible.

I pass the torch to Brooke Johnson Eagle, current publisher of Forsyth Woman I’ve watched her grow from a sweet young girl running around church to a confident go-getter. No doubt Brooke will easily fill my shoes, and I look forward to all she will do to enhance Forsyth Family in the coming years!

The December cover features Victory Junction. What a wonderful organization to feature as my last month as publisher. It was featured as our cover in the September 2008 issue many years ago with Kyle and Pattie Petty sharing their late son, Adam’s dream of a place like Victory Junction with our readers.

As I close out my final “From the Heart,” I wish everyone a blessed Christmas holiday and Happy New Year! 2023 will certainly be an exciting and busy year for our family as we celebrate the marriage of Morgan and Deep and new news that Briana and Jonathan are expecting! WOW, a new son-in-law and baby to love all in the same year!




Robin Bralley Robin@ForsythMags.com



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The Office Nerd, Denise Heidel



Amber Bolejack Photography @JoLindsayCo • JEJ Photos • Ariel Perry


Tim Sellner Meghan Corbett (Assistant)


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Meghan Corbett Denise Heidel Carolyn Peterson


Robin Bralley Karen Cooper

Elisa Wallace Coppede Angelia Cornatzer Damian Desmond Lisa S. T. Doss

Martie Emory • Pastor Ron Garner • Amy Hill Taryn Jerez • Jean Marie Johnson Michael Johnson • Anna Keller Claudia Munguia-Barrett

Susan B. B. Schabacker • Lauren Sephton Megan Taylor • A. Keith Tilley Susan Woodall


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FORSYTH FAMILY DISCLAIMER Please note that the inclusion of stories and articles in Forsyth Family magazine does not imply endorsement of products or people. The views of the authors are presented for information and entertainment only, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Forsyth Family. Specifically, Forsyth Family in no way endorses any claim associated with health and/or well being with respect to any particular person. We disclaim all warranties, express or implied,including, but not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. We will not be held responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any loss or damage that is caused or alleged to have been caused in connection with the use of, or reliance on, any content in this magazine. Forsyth Family reserves the right to deny any advertisement or listing that does not meet Forsyth Family standards. Submissions are welcome but unsolicited materials are not guaranteed to be returned. Forsyth Family 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. ©2007 by Forsyth Family Magazine, Inc.


exclusions of damages caused by abuse, abnormal use or neglect. B.E.S.T. service contract is subject to a $50 deductible on each repair. For complete details, please see the BRP limited warranty and the B.E.S.T. contract. Carefully read the operator’s guide and safety instructions. Observe applicable laws and regulations. Always wear appropriate protective clothing, including a helmet. Riding, alcohol and drugs don’t mix. See your authorized BRP dealer for details and visit Sea-Doo.com. ‡Starting at $184 per month. Examples of

DECEMBER 2022 / 7 Honda of WS HONDA | SEA-DOO | CAN-AM OF WINSTON-SALEM 6209 Ramada Drive • Clemmons, NC 336.765.0330 • www.HondaWS.com Pre-order you new 2023 Sea-Doo Switch and Get 2-year coverage† & Monthly payments starting as low as $184‡ Make any weekend a vacation © 2022 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. ®, TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. In the U.S.A., products are distributed by BRP US Inc. Offers valid in the U.S.A. only from August 7, 2022, to March 31, 2023. The terms and conditions may vary depending on your state and these offers are subject to termination or change at any time without notice. While quantities last. †Get 2-year coverage when reserving a 2023 Sea-Doo pontoon by March 31, 2023, and taking delivery by April 30, 2023 (Sunbelt), and May 31, 2023 (Snowbelt). The buyer of an eligible model will receive a 12-month BRP limited warranty plus 12-month B.E.S.T. coverage. Florida residents receive 24 months of BRP limited warranty. Subject to the exclusions, limitations of liabilities and all other terms and conditions of BRP’s standard limited warranty contract, including without limitation the
monthly payments required over a 180-month term at a 5.99% APR (Annual Percentage Rate): $8.43 per $1,000 financed. An example of a monthly payment with $0 down, no rebate, an APR of 5.99% for 180 months at an MSRP of $21,799: $183.83/mo. Total cost of borrowing is $11,291.23 with a total repayment obligation of $33,090.23. Down payment may be required. Other financing offers may be available. Minimum and maximum amount financed may vary. Not all buyers will qualify. Higher rates apply for buyers with lower credit ratings. Other qualifications and restrictions may apply, depending on the participating financial institution(s). BRP is not responsible for any of the financing terms and conditions. Offer subject to change without notice. Financing promotions void where prohibited. See your BRP dealer for details. Pre-order your new 2023 Sea-Doo Switch today! Make any weekend a vacation HONDA | SEA-DOO | CAN-AM OF WINSTON-SALEM 6209 Ramada Drive • Clemmons, NC 336.765.0330 • www.HondaWS.com Pre-order you new 2023 Sea-Doo Switch and Get 2-year coverage† & Monthly payments starting as low as $184‡ Make any weekend a vacation © 2022 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. ®, TM and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP or its affiliates. In the U.S.A., products are distributed by BRP US Inc. Offers valid in the U.S.A. only from August 7, 2022, to March 31, 2023. The terms and conditions may vary depending on your state and these offers are subject to termination or change at any time without notice. While quantities last. †Get 2-year coverage when reserving a 2023 Sea-Doo pontoon by March 31, 2023, and taking delivery by April 30, 2023 (Sunbelt), and May 31, 2023 (Snowbelt). The buyer of an eligible model will receive a 12-month BRP limited warranty plus 12-month B.E.S.T. coverage. Florida residents receive 24 months of BRP limited warranty. Subject to the exclusions, limitations of liabilities and all other terms and conditions of
warranty contract, including without limitation the exclusions of damages caused by abuse, abnormal use or neglect. B.E.S.T. service contract is subject to a $50
on each
complete details, please see the
guide and safety instructions.
applicable laws and regulations. Always wear appropriate protective clothing,
Riding, alcohol and drugs don’t mix. See your authorized BRP dealer for details and visit Sea-Doo.com. ‡Starting at $184 per month. Examples of monthly payments required over a 180-month term at a 5.99% APR (Annual Percentage Rate): $8.43 per $1,000 financed. An example of a monthly payment with $0 down, no rebate, an APR of 5.99% for 180 months at an MSRP of $21,799: $183.83/mo. Total cost of borrowing is $11,291.23 with a total repayment obligation of $33,090.23. Down payment may be required. Other financing offers may be available. Minimum and maximum amount financed may vary. Not all buyers will qualify. Higher rates apply for buyers with lower credit ratings. Other qualifications and restrictions may apply, depending on the participating financial institution(s). BRP is not responsible for any of the financing terms and conditions. Offer subject to change without notice. Financing promotions void where prohibited. See your BRP dealer for details. Pre-order your new 2023 Sea-Doo Switch today! Make any weekend a vacation
BRP’s standard limited
repair. For
BRP limited warranty and the B.E.S.T. contract. Carefully read the operator’s
including a helmet.

Riding “Polar Express”

On“Polar Express” stops at the house of a boy who has become skeptical about the existence of Santa Claus. The conductor says the train is traveling to the Pole, and the boy, although reluctant at first, climbs aboard.

One of the most beloved Christmas books, which became an equally beloved Christmas movie in 2004, the Express has fascinated countless children and grown-ups since it was originally written by Chris Van Allsburg in 1985.

North Carolina is one of only a few places in the world where children and families can delight in the experience of riding the “Polar Express” and visiting Santa at the North Pole. Inspired by the story, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad’s “Polar Express” train takes its passengers on a ride they will never

Passengers on the “Polar Express” receive a golden train ticket to board the festive vintage coaches. With music from the movie playing in the background, passengers are greeted by their hosts who will act out the story, sing, dance, and serve them treats. Guests are treated to hot cocoa as they listen to, and read along with, the story of the “Polar Express.” There are many exciting Christmas- themed displays to see along the way as the train makes its way to its destination, the North Pole where Santa Claus is waiting. The excitement


MEET THE ADVISORS Behind Making Dollars Making Sense BRANDON JAMES:


It’s not uncommon these days for people to start one career and then to – quite suddenly – find a new and unexpected opportunity that results in a change in direction. Such is the case for Brandon James, a financial advisor at Marzano Capital Group.

“I spent the first part of my career as a Subway franchisee,” explained Brandon. “I owned one store and had partial ownership in two others. While it was a great experience in many ways, running three restaurants with three children at home is very challenging. So after much reflection and many discussions with my wife, we decided I needed a change.

“I was still young enough to try something new, and when speaking with my own financial advisor, he shared with me about the opportunities in his field. I was intrigued by the process of financial management, so in the spring of 2017, I began transitioning out of Subway. I joined Northwestern Mutual as a financial advisor in August 2017.”

Brandon continued, “It was really interesting to be on the other side of the table. While I work with clients in all stages of life to meet their financial goals, I still have a soft spot for working with entrepreneurs and business owners because I know their unique challenges firsthand.”

While Brandon is involved with building financial plans and working with clients, he shared that one of his favorite things is evaluating the risks and benefits of investments. “I compare it to examining the engine of a car. Only when we open the hood and look around can we fully appreciate and understand the mechanics of what makes the car run. The same is true with finances. I enjoy diving in and examining the options that can really make a person’s investments run well.”

After a few years at Northwestern Mutual, Brandon joined Marzano Capital Group in 2020. “I had met Mike McGilvary at the Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber of Commerce as a new financial advisor. When the opportunity to join Marzano Capital Group came up, it seemed a great fit. I was very intrigued by the opportunity to work in an independent environment. It’s given me more flexibility to think outside the box and help the clients we serve.”

Brandon has been married to his wife, Cambria, for 14 years.


Brandon James shares two fun facts and his best financial tip:

If Brandon could have any other career – he would want to be a PGA Golf Pro, though he admits he would need more practice for that career. 2. Brandon is an Eagle Scout and is still active in the scouting community, currently serving on the Eagle Alumni Committee, “Awards & Recognition.”

BRANDON’S TIP: Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses because, in reality, the Joneses might be broke.

Together, they have three children – Ali, Ana, and Aiden. Brandon is a Clemmons native and a graduate of West Forsyth High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from East Carolina University.

Brandon enjoys playing golf and guitar and spending time outdoors in his spare time. He and his family love to travel, especially visiting and discovering new places.

Brandon is always eager to help individuals and families plan and prepare for their financial futures through sound financial management. “The relationship with our financial advisors is deeply personal, and it is anchored in trust. I know how much I depended on my financial advisor before transitioning into this field. It’s

my goal to be the same kind of resource to the clients we serve at Marzano Capital Group.”

Marzano Capital Group is located at 2625 Neudorf Road, Suite 400 in Clemmons. Call them at 336.766.0464 or visit them online at MarzanoCapitalGroup.com. Also, be sure to like their page on Facebook.

Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC, Investment advice offered through Independent Advisor Alliance, a registered investment advisor, Independent Advisor Alliance and Marzano Capital Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.
336.776.0464 marzanocapitalgroup.com Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Independent Advisor Alliance, a registered investment advisor. Independent Advisor Alliance and Marzano Capital Group are separate entities from LPL Financial. Wealth Management | Retirement + Insurance Planning | Executive + Employee Benefits | 529 Plans

Winter Traditions Your Family Will Never Forget

Whether it’s decorating cookies, having snowball fights with the neighbors, or celebrating the Winter Solstice, we all have our favorite winter traditions…many of which stem from our own childhood and family memories. To celebrate this magical time of year, take some time to think about which traditions you want to carry on, and what new ideas you have that could establish new traditions for generations to come. Here are some ideas to help get the ball rolling.

My best friend’s parents used to host a Christmas Eve drop-in party for family and friends. There were lots of kids in the house and there would be games to play and delicious food to eat. Now that I’m older, it doesn’t feel like Christmas without attending a gathering on December 24th!

When the kids are young, it’s a great time to begin incorporating donation gifts into the holiday traditions. It fosters a spirit of charity and makes the holidays meaningful in a different way, as the whole family learns the joy of giving to those who may not always have what they need.

Many families celebrate the Winter Solstice…the shortest and darkest day of the year. This is a day that has been celebrated by many cultures around the world and in a variety of ways. You might prepare a special meal, take a family hike to marvel at the beauty of our precious planet, or set up a screen and projector and watch a favorite movie under the stars.

Have a camping adventure INDOORS! On a cold winter night, build a wonderful fire and bring sleeping bags and pillows to sleep on the floor. Turn off the lights and use candles and lanterns. You can roast marshmallows for s’mores or make hot cocoa. Tell stories and enjoy your time together until you all fall asleep by the fire.


Make gingerbread houses together. You can be so creative and original. Use all kinds of candy decorations, and don’t forget to take pictures of your creations.

One way to make Christmas special is to choose your own Christmas tree. There are many Christmas tree farms within driving distance, and it can be a wonderful family occasion to drive to a farm to pick out the annual tree. Everyone helps choose just the right one, then it’s cut down and carried home to be loaded with decorations. There is nothing better than sitting around a beautifully lit-up, decorated tree with some delicious cider or hot cocoa, and watching special Christmas shows together.

Video chat (on Skype, Zoom, FaceTime) with a family or friend who lives out of town. Bring joy to someone far away who would love a conversation with you and your family. This is a win/win for everyone. If you’re not able to video chat, make a family video you can send to a far- away relative or friend.

Assemble a “family memories jar.” Make it a fun craft by cutting out long strips of paper and decorating a special jar. Then have each member of the family write out his or her 5-10 favorite memories from the past year on the strips of paper and add them to the jar. You can choose when to read them…maybe on Christmas Eve or perhaps New Year’s Eve. Each person can pull out a memory and read it. You can try to guess whose memory it is. Then put the jar away with the year clearly marked so you can look at your memories again the following year and in years to come. Make it a tradition and you will soon have a collection of yearly memory jars.

a scavenger hunt of candy canes around the house. Whoever finds the most candy canes will win a prize: it might be the first mug of hot chocolate or the choice of what movie to watch that evening.
DECEMBER 2022 / 13 Salvation Army Anywhere, Anytime! The Salvation Army Virtual Red Kettle is as close as your phone or iPad. Yes, the kettles are out all over the Winston-Salem area but you can make a kettle donation from the comfort of home too! Click on https://bit.ly/wsredkettle22 or scan the QR code and drop a donation in the Virtual Kettle today! Learn more at www.SalvationArmyWS.org or contact Robin Stone at 336-245-2080 Feed a hungry child, shelter a homeless family, give hope to those who’ve lost theirs. he need is always there, this kettle is always open Hope is at Hand Spread Hope This Holiday

5 Ways to Handle the Holidays When You Can’t Be with Your Family or Friends

The holidays are a time of merriment and fellowship. These days are filled with events and activities that gather family and friends together. However, they can also be bittersweet. For some people, being with family and friends isn’t possible. Celebrating the holidays or favorite traditions is a little different, because of being apart. This distance could be due to living in various places, inability to travel, sickness, or other reasons. It can also lead to many emotions and a feeling of disconnectedness with the holidays. During this time of the year, emotions are already higher, because of the sentimental value of the holidays, but being alone or not celebrating with a certain person or group of people can put a negative spin on the festive days.

Yet, there are still ways to honor these days and moments, helping to make them just as memorable and positive. If you find yourself missing family or friends, try these ideas to help:

1Facetime and Honoring Your Traditions Virtually

This is a fairly common strategy that is used by thousands of people, and facetiming with your loved ones is a wonderful way to feel connected. Don’t just video chat on the important days, but include some traditions. Maybe you are both making Christmas cookies and facetiming or watching your favorite movie together. By completing the same activity at the same time, the distance between the two of you will be a little less farther away. Other traditions could include opening presents virtually.


Needs within the community increase during the months of November and December. Nonprofits and charities are always looking for volunteers to help spread Christmas cheer. Take some time and spend it assisting at your local food bank or Salvation Army. Another way to volunteer is delivering food to an elderly neighbor, calling someone who doesn’t have family in the area, or making holiday cards for a local nursing home. Through volunteering and giving back, your holiday spirits will rise.

careful not to overcommit yourself to work or other activities that take your energies away from yourself. Don’t rush through the days and give yourself plenty of grace time. Lastly, don’t hesitate to reach out to loved ones far away, if needed. They may also be feeling the strain of the distance between the two of you and will have a compassionate ear. At the end of the holiday season, it is better to recharge and connect with yourself than to be emotionally drained from trying to overcompensate for what you are missing.

5Acknowledge Your Feelings and Give Yourself Time


a Party with Your Friends in Your Area

Throw a gathering with the friends you have in your area and create new memories. Host a fun, festive dinner or assemble everyone for a cooking challenge. You may not be with your family, but friends can turn into family. If you don’t have any friends within the area, it is completely fine to spend time with yourself still doing holiday activities. Don’t be afraid to celebrate a version of the traditions you know from home.


Focus on Yourself

Being alone can be lonely and isolating. Instead of focusing on the holidays, focus on yourself. Take part in self-care activities and meditate. “Treat yo’ self” with a massage, journal, downtime, or a gift. Be intentional and slow about what you choose to do, no matter if it is holiday-related or not. While distractions are important, make them meaningful. Commit to activities you want to do and that will make you happy. Be

Part of focusing on yourself is also acknowledging how you are feeling and giving yourself time to process those emotions. One mistake many people make is trying to make the holidays feel and look like what they think they should be like, instead of focusing on the reality. This fake happiness can be toxic and detrimental. Don’t be afraid to take a break from the holiday festivities and regain your mental wellbeing by creating new traditions that you can enjoy. You could even look forward to sharing these new traditions with your family when you are able to share the holidays in person again.

The holidays are a fun, but hard time, especially if you can’t be with your loved ones. By using these strategies, your holidays will be more festive, less stressful, and you may just end the year a stronger person.

DECEMBER 2022 / 15
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Growing with TRADITION!

enthusiastic staff of seven eager to assist you!), kidfriendly, and fun for all ages to visit. With 3,400 square feet of wonderful room to work with, Rolly’s has expanded in new and exciting ways.

“What we love about our new space is that it has two floors,” Melanie explains. “Our downstairs welcomes you with our beautifully selected clothing, special gifts for newborns, christenings, and moms-to-be, and, of course, the children’s favorite play area and toy section.”

The second floor is more open, and offers a more personal way to shop for furniture and all your nursery furnishings, including bedding, accessories, and window treatments. Popping in at the new Design Center is perfectly fine, or personal appointments are also available, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The new Design Center on the mezzanine floor offers everything for nurseries--furniture, glider rockers, bedding and decor--and now in its own quieter, more spacious area, it’s easy to spread out fabrics to choose from! Designing your own nursery from start to finish (think window treatments, crib bedding, even pillows for your rocking chair!) is truly a labor of love–with a cherished finished product.

“We have four nurseries set up to give new parents inspiration,” says Melanie. “But it’s also fun when parentsto-be bring in a paint sample, a swatch of their rug, or a theme idea, and we sit down to design something that will make the most special nursery!”

There’s also been room at the new location to expand for toys geared towards “big kids,” four to eight years old (a customer request!), and Rolly’s is also expanding sizes in some of their most popular brands of clothing, including new boys’ brands the staff is excited about. Melanie reveals several new contemporary lines that are comfortable, cute, and will still keep those little boys handsome as they grow.

Not to worry, Santa knows the new Rolly’s address, and he will visit with children at the shop on December 4th and 11th. Scheduled by appointment so each family can have their own personal time (15 minutes), it’s rumored that Santa will have his own little corner on the mezzanine to listen to children’s wish-lists!


labeled the “happy place” by parents and children alike, Rolly’s Baby Boutique has been especially busy in the last few months. The traditional favorite shopping spot has relocated to a larger retail space across the street, while continuing to build memories for Winston-Salem area families.

“Rolly’s is a 38-year-old institution here,” says owner, Melanie Barbee. “It has always been known as a nurturing and loving store for all children. I think we have been blessed with loyalty from our customers because we so appreciate them and their willingness to shop locally. We return that loyalty with caring customer service, specially curated items, and a fun place to simply play!”

And nothing about Rolly’s has changed except the address! Melanie emphasizes the new space is still happy and approachable (with an

What a wonderful new holiday adventure to begin with your young ones, continuing Rolly’s love for a new generation.

“I love hearing Rolly’s stories from grandparents, remembering when they had their children and shopped here,” says Melanie. “Our favorite time is when a two- or three-year-old is introduced to ‘shopping at Rolly’s’-buying a first gift for a new little brother or sister! It keeps the tradition going.”

Visit Rolly’s Baby Boutique for all your baby and young children’s gifts, clothing, or nursery needs, and don’t forget to schedule an appointment with Santa through the website at www.rollysbaby.com. The new location is right across the street at 275 S. Stratford Road, WinstonSalem, 336-722-6713.

DECEMBER 2022 / 17 Kaleideum Festive Family Friday Holiday Laser Shows, Holiday Crafts, Live Music, and Santa* Buy tickets online early for $5 per person. $7 per person at the door. $3 Museums for All admission available at the Welcome Desk the evening of the event. Dec 9 6-9 pm * Santa has lots of helpers … you may see more than one. Pre-purchase tickets at kaleideum.org. 400 W Hanes Mill Road, Winston-Salem PRESENTING SPONSOR:

Guess the Quote Christmas Movie Edition Quiz

We can all admit that Christmas movies are easily quotable. When the clock strikes midnight on December 1st (or earlier), many people start adding lines spoken by Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or Kevin McCallister from Home Alone into their conversation. In fact, memorable Christmas movie quotes have become so popular they are now featured on shirts, decorations, cards, and other items throughout this time of the year.

If you are a fan of Christmas movies, you probably have a favorite line or a few lines of dialogue that you have memorized and say at least a few times during the holiday season. But, do you know which movies the below quotes are from? It’s trivia time! Break out this “Guess the Quote - Christmas Movie Edition Quiz” at your next holiday party or gathering with your family or friends. You can even quiz yourself to see just how many quotes you know! Your results may just surprise you.

1. “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup.”

2. “I believe, I believe, it’s silly, but I believe.”

3. “Vermont must be beautiful this time of the year…all that snow.”

4. “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

5. “Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas.”

6. “I realized that Christmas is the time to be with the people you love.”

7. “Just because you can’t see something, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”

8. “There’s a certain magic that comes with the very first snow. For when the first snow is also a Christmas snow, well, something wonderful is bound to happen.”

9. “I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.”




















The Santa Clause

Have a fun-filled, laughing-good time seeing how much you, your family, and friends know about this little piece of Christmas trivia!


10. “And we’re going to have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas.” 11. “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” 12. “Merry Christmas, you filthy animal.” 13. “I want my house to be seen from space!” 14. “Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.” 15. “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” 16. “You’re skipping Christmas! Isn’t that against the law?” 17. “A toy is never truly happy until it is loved by a child.” 18. “I’m eating junk and watching rubbish! You better come out and stop me!” 19. Christmas was on its way. Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas, upon which the entire kid year revolved.” 20. “What if Christmas” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas… perhaps…means a little bit more!” 7.
Miracle on 34th Street
White Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Love Actually
Frosty the Snowman
A Christmas Carol
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
A Christmas Story
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
Deck the Halls
The Polar Express
It’s a Wonderful Life
Christmas with the Kranks
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Home Alone
A Christmas Story 20. The Grinch
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Our Mission, Our Future

Since 1969, Imprints Cares has been creating a comprehensive portfolio of services for young children and their families. As an education nonprofit serving Forsyth County families from prenatal into middle school, our mission is To Nurture Children for Lifelong Success. By offering a wide range of resources, our framework of services focuses on meeting the needs of all families in our community.

Research shows that cognitive development begins before birth. In fact, 80% of a child’s brain develops in the first three years of life. Only one in three children nationally and only one in five growing up in low-income families will read proficiently by the end of third grade. Third grade reading proficiency is widely recognized as a cornerstone of long-term school success and graduation –kindergarten readiness is its onramp. Imprints Cares’ Ready for School programs address these issues by partnering with parents/guardians and target the needs of children (prenatal to 5 years old) who face the highest risk for academic failure through tiered level of services. Our cornerstone program, Parents as Teachers, is an international evidence-based model that works to address poverty through positive parenting, social drivers of health, and enhancing opportunities for children and their families. This intensive home visiting program is offered to high-risk families and informal childcare providers throughout our community. Imprints Cares is also co-located in pediatric offices working as part of the pediatric medical team to provide onsite consultation for parents of young children and training to future pediatricians through our partnership with Wake Forest School of Medicine Pediatric Advocacy program. Our robust referral pathway connects families with needed resources and follows them through the process to ensure service delivery. Our Book Babies program provides lower intensive home visiting that promotes a literacy rich home environment, and we also lead seven Reach Out and Read programs, endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatricians prescribe new culturally appropriate books during well-child visits beginning at birth and go up to the 5-year-old visit.

Imprints Cares Expanded Learning programs serve children from pre-k into middle school, offering high quality before and after school care, including a special needs inclusion program, and summer enrichment camps where children discover, learn, and grow. We currently have 29 program sites, including 13 Title 1 schools with 7 being tuition free. Shortly after the pandemic, we created a team of family engagement specialists to support the

increased needs of academic enrichment and family engagement for students in our district. Our family engagement specialists are all certified through Parents as Teachers, which prepares them to build genuine relationships with students and families, encourage school, and program attendance, and host quarterly family meetings.

Imprints Cares is proud to be a major nonprofit employer in our county; we currently have more than 300 staff, with a large percentage (~70%) being teachers and staff from the WinstonSalem Forsyth County school district. Our Expanded Learning programs serve more than 1,600 children every day, enabling more than 1,200 parents to go to work knowing their children are in a safe nurturing environment before and after school. In addition, more than 500 employers benefit from the services we provide for their employees. We serve families from all socioeconomic levels, offering fee-for-service programming, income-based scholarships, and tuition free sites. As a leader in health and education equity in our community through collective partnerships with other organizations, we are ensuring all children and their families have access to high quality programs that prevent the achievement gap from widening.

This week, something remarkable will take place right here in Forsyth County. A home visitor offering books, information, and support will arrive on the doorstep of a new mom holding her seven-week-old son. Over a thousand school aged children will leave their classroom at the end of the day and walk down the hall to their Expanded Learning program. Children may be 23% of Forsyth County’s population – but 100% of our future. A good early start in life makes all the difference, and we will continue to serve by nurturing children, strengthening families, and building community.

For more information, please visit our website at ImprintsCares.org

Games begin the week of Nov. 28 U7-U14 plus JV/Varsity Leagues for Boys and Girls Competitive sports programming High level athletic training with RISE Sports Performance Youth camps (summer and during the school year) Senior citizen programming including Silver Sneakers, Silver & Fit, Renew Active Home of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine RISE 419 Twins Way, Bermuda Run, NC | 336 920 7473 | www.RiseIndoorSports.com WINTER YOUTH SOCCER WINTER YOUTH SOCCER J O I N A L E A G U E . E L E V A T E Y O U R G A M E .

Honoring a Griever’s Requests

Grief. The word holds a heavy weight at a time of joyous festivity and lights. Family and friends often cannot understand the need to skip the tradition of gathering at one house, bustling with happy children and family and friends. Coping with raw emotions that may feel like molasses or a tidal wave can feel debilitating and overwhelming. It’s perfectly okay to spend Christmas in a quieter environment with just a few loved ones, perhaps, or alone.

Just Say, “No!”

Normalcy is ideal on most days, except special occasions, events, and especially significant holidays. It’s okay to eliminate putting up the tree and other decorations. No one expects Christmas cards or the usual smells of baked goods emanating from the home. This year, it’s perfectly acceptable to take a break from tradition and engage in activities that provide comfort. Reach out and share your wishes early. It’s essential for family and friends not to challenge the request, but agree.

Plan a Get-Away

A change of scenery can bring inspiration and well-needed reflection. Traveling to the mountains or the beach for an overnight trip or spending a few days visiting several different destinations can bring some solace and a retreat from exhaustion. Escaping pain, even for a short time, often helps.

Honor Your Loved One Grievers need to say their loved ones name out loud; sharing and hearing stories brings the person to the present. Choose a time and a location to gather, light a candle, and

share fond memories. Each person can prepare a way to honor their loved one, whether by poem, story, or artwork. These “normal” moments are well-needed and therapeutic.

A Place of Comfort

A house interior has too many memories, but there is a great spirit to be found among the sky, trees, wind, and flying creatures, like butterflies and dragonflies. Grievers can find a peaceful calm if such a place exists outdoors. In a secluded area, consider creating a place to sit and pray. It may include a bench, plants, and a lantern. In moments when grievers feel the need to connect with their loved ones, a quiet space is steps away!

Connect with Other Grievers

Sometimes a room full of people can feel quite lonely. Grievers often believe they alone hold the burden of a heavy sadness that few understand. It is a gift to meet another person who has a similar story, and together grievers can confirm feelings, identify what is their “new” normal,” and build well-needed connections. Only grievers know if they are ready or want to attend a therapy group. (Ask for help in finding a group to suit your needs.)

Acknowledge Symptoms

Exhaustion consumes the body and triggers waves of anxiety and potentially new symptoms. Many grievers choose to ignore their body’s blatant signals and focus on getting through moment by moment. It’s encouraging when a griever decides to share problems, such as frequent panic attacks, insomnia, or energy loss. It is the initial call for help that a Band-Aid cannot fix. Start talking about solutions to help during those moments and recommend scheduling an appointment with a doctor. By listening and remaining available, family and friends can help to mend a broken heart.


Grievers need to actively engage in self-care moments by stopping, closing their eyes, and taking deep breaths. While the world moves at a significant speed, grievers discover their own pace. Reminders, such as “Be gentle with yourself” and “It’s okay to cry!” reaffirm a griever’s need to feel normal.

Be patient, family and friends. Sometimes, a quiet Christmas brings peace!

DECEMBER 2022 / 23
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Home for the holidays
EMBRACING WHAT’S NEXT... Chef Cherisha (Cookie) Williams fills her days with food. SecondHarvestNWNC.org | ProvidenceWS.org

She caters formal dinners for couples, hosts events for small groups, teaches monthly cooking classes at North Carolina A&T State University, and teaches family and consumer science and apparel classes at North Forsyth High School.

Her busy, food-focused life is a far cry from her 20-year corporate career

In 2017, Williams’ corporate management position was eliminated, she faced health issues, and her marriage was not working.

“If I had to tell anybody anything, I would say, ‘If you’re faced with a challenge in life, don’t let the challenge control you,’” she said. “Just take the challenge on, just make the best of it, the best that you can. I had a choice. I chose to find a little bit of light. It took me to Second Harvest Food Bank’s Triad Community Kitchen (now Providence Culinary Training), and I was able to flourish from there.”

Williams had always enjoyed the creativity of food and, as a child, she would “try anything once. My grandmother called me her ‘culture child.’ Eating in a restaurant, I am tasting and breaking down the flavor profile, figuring out how this can be executed.”

She enrolled in the Culinary Class 57 of the Providence Culinary Training, a program of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC.

Since its inception in 2006, more than 845 students have graduated from the program. Students assist in preparing some 18,000 meals for children and seniors each week as part of the curriculum, and Providence Catering, a non-profit catering enterprise and the second largest catering business in Forsyth County, provides revenue to support the culinary program.

“The program was my happy place, my bright place,” Williams said. “Everybody has a place they have to go in life. That’s where I started the journey. That was a really pivotal point for me. It was my therapy. As far as my class, we all bonded. It was almost like we gravitated to each other. I still keep in contact with at least three classmates. We still consider ourselves family. Different walks of life brought us there, and we supported each other. We were in this together.”

Classmates created the hashtag “57forlife.” Williams appreciated her chef instructors, who provided a variety of hands-on experiences, and interned at Forsyth Country Club and a local restaurant.

“It wasn’t some ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ chef shouting at you,” she said. “For me, it’s community and family. That’s what Providence represented for me. I will never be able to forget what ‘57’ meant to me. It’s a launching pad. You can do what you want to do with it. It’s art. You make it what you want to make it.”

After graduating from the program, Williams started her own business, Flavor 57 Personal Chef Services and Catering LLC, with a menu full of “Southern comfort” dishes.

She prepares her food at the Enterprise Center, which has a commercial kitchen, then transports the meals to her business space where she serves small, formal dinners and caters events.

Business was well underway when COVID hit, she said. In fact, her business picked up because as a private chef, she hosted events that enabled families to get out of their homes in a safe place. She built relationships with customers, who hired her to cook in their homes during COVID.

Other connections blossomed. After high school, Williams had enrolled at N.C. A&T State University and graduated from High Point University. Her membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first intercollegiate historically African American sorority, reinforced her desire to give back to her community. She said, “Wherever I can give back, in any type of way, that is what makes my heart smile, and I’m living out of a purpose.”

Williams has returned to A&T as a chef, and through A&T’s association with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, she teaches a healthy habits cooking class for the community. She recently completed a video demonstrating how to take traditional meals that families enjoy and make them healthier

Meanwhile, her oldest son graduated from high school in 2018, and her youngest will graduate in 2023, and Williams, recognizing the pending “empty nest syndrome,” prepared for her next phase.

“I found myself not having a lot to do during the day,” she said, since most of her major catering events occurred on weekends. She began substitute teaching at North Forsyth High school, and the school offered her a full-time position in its family and consumer science program. North Forsyth also recognized the opportunity to use Williams’ experience in the apparel industry to benefit the students.

“I love these kids,” Williams said. “It was a perfect fit. The kids are enjoying the classes. I feel like it is a benefit for them to see someone in real life being able to speak to them, to let them know, ‘this is what you can do in real life.’”

Williams seeks to continually grow and impact her community Through her teaching, she’s seen, “What was so clea r to me, these babies don’t know how to do anything,” she said wit h a laugh, recalling that students thought wa shing dishes simply meant putting them in a dishwasher.

“I feel like along the way in society, we’ve lost sight of trades and skills and design and automotive,” she said. “I’m looking at my next phase. I do want to have a nonprofit to teach those life skills. If I could teach one person and make a difference in one person’s life, it will just make me happy.”

As her business plans grow, she is looking for space to not only hold formal dinners but also community events.

“Community has become so important to me,” Williams said, and she credits Providence with where she is today.

“I had a choice to throw in the towel and give up. I turned that into a positive: ‘Now, what can I do?’ Obviously, there’s a next phase.”

What began as “a downward spiral turned into this beautiful situation where I’m able to use all my gifts. I love food; I love kids; I love being creative. I’m so glad I’m here. I’m passionate about what I do. I reach the kids.”

For more information about Chef Williams and Flavor57, go to flavor57 com or email admin@flavor57.com.

Food brings us together. Find out how you can get involved and support programs like Second Harvest's Providence Culinary Training this holiday season. Visit SecondHarvestNWNC.org.

DECEMBER 2022 / 25
recipe at a

Preparing Your Finances for a Recession

Definition of Recession: A period of temporary economic decline during wh i ch trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two succes sive quarters. From Oxford Languages.

T h e problem with recessions is that we’ll probably be in the middle of one or exiting one before a committee of eight economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research makes the official call.

With that lack of precision in mind and the fact that many media outlets, economists and data points are suggesting that we will be in a recession in 2023, let’s think about how to prepare for one.

Here are some ideas to help recession proof your finances: T he la s t rec e ssion was the Great Recession. It officially started in December 2007 and ended in Ju ne 200 9, according to FederalReserveHistory.org. Unemployment rose from 5 percent to 10 percent, the value of homes dropped 30 percent and the S&P 500 fell 57 percent.

U nemployment: U s u ally the prospect o f lo s ing a job is the scari est part of a recession. The threat of an ex tended period of reduced income and t h e loss of h ea lt h insurance – especially for those who are living paycheck-to-paycheck – can be terrifying.

The most proactive step to recession-proof your finances is to make yourself indispensable at work. Look for ways to go above and beyond what is expected and develop your skills so you are an expert in one or more essential functions at work. In other words, make your company think twice or three times about eliminating your job because of the critical skills that you offer.

extra groceries, hair and nail care, bottled water and expensive coffee.

New sources of income: Fortunately, side hustles and the gig economy have never been easier to enter. There are now many ways to earn extra money through rideshare apps, delivery services, freelance opportunities or making part of your home an Airbnb destination. One or more of

There are now many ways to earn extra money.


these options has the power to significantly reduce the financial pain and anxiety of a recession.

Debt: When the economy is healthy, debt is a tool to increase your purchasing power and the opportunities that you and your family can enjoy. But the risk of layoffs and significantly reduced income can make even small debts a burden.

E merg e n cy fu n d: An em erge ncy fund with at least six months of incom e saved in a money mar ket fund or a savings account will m ake a recession less traumatic. This money will ensure that you are able to pay necessary expenses – food, utilities, re nt, mortgage, etc. – if you lose your job.

Reduce spending: Eliminate unnecessary expenses as q u ick ly a s po ss ibl e. L ook a t e very ex pense for the la st three months and ask yourself and the members of your family whether a particular expens e can be reduced or e liminated. Here are s o me specific items to co ns ider: streaming services, cable services, eating out, cell phones, memberships, subscriptions, entertainment, clothes,

If you are able, now is the time to eliminate as many debts as possible, and to avoid taking on any additional debt.

An opportunity: Recessions are never fun. But if you approach the economic turbulence of a the recession as an opportunity to find additional sources of income, strengthen your financial position, build an emergency fund and pay off high-interest debt you will reap the bene fits long after recession of 2023 has become a distant memory.

Truliant can help: Truliant has a series of financial tips by Chris Browning, one of the top financial podcasters in the country. He has several Truliant videos about preparing for a recession: truliant.org/moneyburst

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Did you know that:

North Carolina is the 32nd ranked state in terms of childhood health. Poor health can come from stress, poor nutrition, abuse, lack of health care, and inadequate housing.

• In 2019, almost 11% of babies born in Forsyth County were considered below a healthy birth weight (5.5 pounds). Low birth weights are an indicator for health issues in babies and children, including the risk of death within year one.

• In 2019, 50.2% of children in Forsyth County lived in poor or lowincome homes.

• In 2019, only 6% of children in North Carolina had health insurance. This is a 2% decrease from 2010.

• In 2019, 53.9 children out of 1,000 were assessed for abuse or neglect in Forsyth County.

• In 2019, there were 62.8 child deaths per 100,000.

Improving these statistics will take a collaborative effort of many in Forsyth County. For this reason, Smart Start of Forsyth County not only provides resource services for families but also for Child Care Centers across the county through our Child Care Health Consultation Services program.

Child Care Health Consultation (CCHC) Services are provided through SSFC’s Manager of Child Care Health Services, a trained Public Health Professional. This professional will come to the site to provide technical assistance in the form

of consultation and coaching to early educators. The consultant will also conduct health and safety assessments and provide training related to health and safety topics to child care providers and early educators, allowing them opportunities to continue their own education.

Smart Start of Forsyth County will implement activities that follow the CCHC Service Model, which was founded to ensure consistent statewide

CCHCs are skilled to provide training and support in the following areas:

• Quality health, wellness and safety practices

• Policy development andimplementation

• Health education

• Resource and referral

• Illness and infectious diseases

• Children with special healthcare needs

• Medical administration

• Safety and injury prevention

• Emergency preparedness, response and recovery

• Infant and child social and emotional well-being

• Child abuse and neglect

• Nutrition and physical activity

• Oral health

• Environmental health

• Staff health and wellness

child care health services that positively impact the quality of care received in early care and education settings. The CCHC Service Model is in alignment with Caring for Our Children, National Health and Safety Performance Standards, Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs (CFOC), and the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness’s Child Care Health Consultant Competencies.

At Smart Start our vision is to create an equitable early childhood system that will foster an environment for learning, growing, developing, and succeeding. Together, with our collective work, we can improve the child care climate within Forsyth County and diminish these disparities amongst the children in our community.

Statistics show that this service and subject is important to child care centers and their staff, as well as to area families. Together, we can improve the child care climate within Forsyth County. This program is available to child care providers and facilities for free, as a way of helping child care programs maintain a healthy and safe environment. The CCHC services are intended to help build capacity in a much-needed area of child care and staff development.

Allow Smart Start of Forsyth County to be not only a resource, but an ally for you and your child care facility! To learn more about how we can be of service to you or your facility, please visit our website at www.SmartStart-FC.org.


114 Charlois Blvd. Winton-Salem, NC 27103 4130 Clemmons Rd. Clemmons, NC 27013

DECEMBER 2022 / 29
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or visit
1730 Kernersville Medical Pkwy. Suite 104 Kernersville, NC 27284 Our team approach addresses your unique needs www. Sma r t S t art -FC .org To register for this free program, visit Dream More, Learn More, Care More, Be More

Technological Gifts to Wow Grandparents

Today’s elders are living a stereotype. Millions of sophisticated Internet users over the age of 75 effectively use social media platforms and e-commerce sites. Thankfully, some technological gadgets are designed to make life even easier. Whether the phone, tablet, watch, or other accessory promotes independence, safety, connection to loved ones, or improves physical health, there exists the perfect device for every situation and need.

Who’s at the Door?

Knocks or doorbells can lead to a feeling of panic. Fortunately, intercom-based systems offer homeowners peace of mind and safety without having to stand up or open a door. Many smart doorbells use video cameras and two-way speakers, accessible through an app. By asking questions, some packages offer the option to purchase and customize extra chimes for multiple rooms, or push buttons for doors. For individuals challenged by the tonality of chimes, a secondary alert option is a blinking light. Owners can use a wall outlet no more than 150 feet from the door and receive an LED flash as an alert. Only some smart doorbells include a camera; therefore, be aware of the advantages and negatives of each system you choose.

An All-in-One Gift

In the Chambers family, seven adult grandchildren decided it was time their 74-year-old grandmother arrived in the 21st Century and started using a cell phone. Tiffany, the youngest, age 17, knew her Grammy’s thoughts and feelings, began researching the subject, and found the ultimate user-friendly gadget, a “Grandpad Tablet for Seniors.” Family members approved of the encrypted private network, eliminating the security risk of spam or phishing scams, offering easy set-up, and great reviews were the ultimate gift. Arriving at Christmas Eve lunch, Grammy-Tiffany winks, discretely shared between the two, helped define a great moment. Tiffany shares, “My grandmother does not appreciate surprises. So, I told her, in secret, about the tablet, showed her the advertisement, and she agreed it would be helpful. Grammy is the kind of woman who believes technology belongs in a young person’s world. It’s been almost a year since she received the tablet. And she loves it. We communicate daily, sending each other pictures and connecting through video calls. It helps us to know the other is okay!”

The Results

A study of novice tablet users comprising 83% women, 65 to 76 years old, demonstrated a willingness to adopt and learn new technology, as long as three conditions were present: 1) It was easy to use, not too complex; 2) It offered clear instructions or access to technical support; and 3) It included functional features.

Smart Speakers

Without the physical presence of a daily visitor, the interactive speaker offers a voice-activated virtual assistant, allowing technology to perform everyday tasks. By asking a question,

seniors can remain active while receiving a programmable list of actions, from making phone calls to taking medication. Depending on the level of technology, controlling lights, heat, and the robotic vacuum can be linked to a voice command. In addition, some systems offer exercise suggestions and tips for maintaining a healthy diet. All owners need to do is ask!

Smart Watches

No worries about keeping track of a large device; in this case, familiarity, from texts and voice alerts, comes directly to the wrist! The SmartWatch is just one more technological device offering independence while maintaining a strong sense of social connectivity. Voice activation makes it easy to hear voicemails or texts, make calls, and respond to communication. In addition, the device integrates a wellness routine and health monitoring based on individual needs; so, whether the wearer needs step counters and sleep trackers, or to monitor oxygen levels and heart rhythms, the technology is lightweight and user-friendly from set-up to use.

TIP: Look for smartwatches that are GPS-enabled, encouraging real-time tracking and location. Some brands offer a geofence, helping to alert family members who may wander or struggle with memory issues.

The perfect technology is available in multiple-priced packages and brand names. Take the time to thoroughly research the pros and cons, compare features, and read reviews. Empowering a beloved family member with technology may include discussing the purchase. Secret winks may become the best part of wowing a man or woman who has almost


When campers come to Victory Junction, they will get to experience adventures of a lifetime – from climbing the adventure tower and racing down the zipline, to hitting a bullseye at archery and riding a horse for the first time – all in an environment with no barriers, where anything is possible.

In a community created for our campers, kids here find a home and strength among their peers. They belong. But most importantly, after campers leave our gates, they recognize the power of their resilience.

Victory Junction’s commitment is to provide a place for kids with serious medical conditions to grow, have fun, and be free – always at no cost to their families.

1063 W. Northwest Blvd. • Winston-Salem, NC 27101 336-725-5757 • www.SalemSmilesOrtho.com • New iTero Scanner eliminated gooey messy impressions! • Many treatments last only 15 months • Eat without restriction • Great for an active lifestyle Orthodontics for Children & Adults Call today for your FREE consultation! Please give the gift of hope and laughter this holiday season! Your contribution allows our heart to keep beating for every child who seeks fun, acceptance, and a place to
call their own. To learn more about how you can support Victory Junction, visit our website at www.victoryjunction.org/donate
DECEMBER 2022 / 31

Making the Impossible Accessible

Nestled in the quiet rolling hills of central North Carolina, surrounded by tall pines and lush farmland, lies a wondrous place full of adventure, discovery, and acceptance. Passing through the doors of brightly colored buildings, the freedom of childhood and the magic of camp comes alive.

This special place was the dream of Adam Petty, a fourthgeneration race car driver from the legendary Petty family. Adam’s passion for racing was equaled only by his compassion for others, especially children. Between races, he frequently visited pediatric hospitals. After his tragic death in 2000, Adam’s family and friends came together to build his dream of a camp to serve children with serious illnesses; a camp intentionally made accessible with adaptive equipment so that every child could play and experience the delight and joys of camp.

In June 2004, Adam’s legacy of love was realized when the first campers passed through the gates of Victory Junction.

Year-round on-site and off-site programming includes summer camp, family retreats, day programs, pediatric patient outreach, and partner programs. By removing all barriers, camp welcomes children with complicated medical conditions.

DECEMBER 2022 / 33

On-site program areas include: a 55 ft. scaling tower, zip line, giant swing, theater, arts and crafts, boating and fishing, water park, bowling, archery, horseback riding, and mini-golf.

In 2010, Victory Junction expanded its programming to include off-site pediatric patient outreach. Partnering with hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the Carolinas, the REACH team brings Victory Junction to children who require hospital admission.

A part of the SeriousFun Children’s Network (SeriousFun), a network made up of 30 camps and programs around the world – including nine in the U.S., Victory Junction adheres to strict guidelines on camper care, financial competency, and program innovations. Additionally, the camp meets the rigorous safety standards of the American Camp Association.

A Tremendous Need

Meeting the needs of children with physical or cognitive disabilities is an area of great need in communities across the world. These children are often underserved or unserved and have limited access or opportunities for social inclusion and growth. Children with disabilities, chronic medical conditions, or serious illnesses may experience feelings of isolation, low self-confidence, and struggle with self-identity. They are more likely to develop posttraumatic stress symptoms while lacking adequate medical self-care and advocacy.

A Sense of Possibility

Victory Junction not only provides opportunities for fun and play, but it is also transformational. A 2021 study of camper alumni from around SeriousFun Children’s Network found that SeriousFun camp experiences greatly influenced campers developing:

• Willingness to try new things (90%)

• Self-identity and self-confidence (86%, 85%)

• Perseverance (84%)

Camper alumni also indicated the elements of camp that were most important to their experience were: feeling accepted and not judged feeling a sense of freedom feeling a sense of possibility

These outcomes highlight how Victory Junction experiences provide safe, inclusive, and meaningful opportunities for campers to continue growing and engaging with new experiences and people.

How Victory Junction Changes Lives

Victory Junction is so much more than a summer camp! Twelve months out of the year, Victory Junction creates meaningful connections in communities of those with complex medical conditions.

Summer Camp:

Children are invited to attend one week of residential summer camp aligned with their specific diagnosis. Paired in cabins with their peers, campers are assigned to colorthemed units. A sea of red, blue, green, and yellow t-shirts and face paint wash over the grounds while spirited unitspecific cheers are heard throughout the day. Campers celebrate new friendships and a sense of belonging. Friendships form not only with their peers but with the counselors who help guide, teach, and care for them throughout the week. Some of these friendships flourish for the rest of their lives.

At the end of the week, campers head to Lake Hugh to sing songs in front of the closing night campfire. They are encouraged to write their hopes, dreams, and wishes onto wooden sticks that are tossed into the fire. The embers float up to the skies and turn into dazzling bright stars. Legend has it, when you see a shooting star, that is one of their wishes coming true.


Family Retreats:

Before and after the heat of summer, camp opens its doors for not only campers but also their families. Moms and dads, caregivers, and siblings have a chance to take part in traditional camp activities while enjoying important time together. For some, this is the only opportunity to meet other families who are navigating life with similar situations and diagnoses.

Day Programs:

Victory Junction offers day programs that provide an opportunity for children with autism spectrum disorder and other diagnoses a chance to experience camp in a unique way designed around their specific needs.


When kids can’t leave the hospital, the magic of camp comes to them. REACH partners with hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the Carolinas. For children in partner hospitals, REACH provides a break from hospital stays through activities like play archery, bowling with inflatable pins, and constructing paper campfires! These activities relieve stress, nurture play and imagination, and offer distraction from medical procedures. Each activity is carefully designed to meet the specific needs and abilities of each child, and all activities are provided in compliance with hospital policies.

Partner Programs:

Victory Junction partners with diagnosis community groups and healthcare organizations to host a variety of on-site events, utilizing intentional programming to provide support and camp experiences for all participants.

From Communities Next Door or 4,000 Miles Away

Since 2004, Victory Junction has provided over 105,000 experiences to kids and their families. Children have visited from every state, DC, Puerto Rico, Canada, Denmark, England, and Switzerland. Serving over 500 different medical diagnoses, Victory Junction is unique in the medical camp community in its ability to accommodate the broadest range of disabilities and diagnoses.

Get Involved

Victory Junction built a community for children with complex medical conditions where they are accepted as themselves and appreciated for who they are, so that they can see themselves in a world that is inclusive and welcoming. To learn more about all the different ways you can get involved, please visit victoryjunction.org.

1 SeriousFun Children’s Network. (2021). “What Do Alumni Say About the Influence of Attending SeriousFun Camps?” - The Lasting Impacts of Campy Study. Norwalk, CT.

DECEMBER 2022 / 35

Three Furry Friends Steal Holiday Hearts in the Triad

During the holidays, homes all around the Triad are filled with traditions both old and new, like the sweet smells of baking cookies, trimming of the tree, and nestling in front of the fire to enjoy a movie or time together. In the Sharpe house, there are three little elves that often find their way into the hearts of visitors, and their names are Finley, Hutch, and Birkin.

For the past few years, Ashley McKenzie Sharpe has featured her beloved English Bulldogs in a holiday calendar that is treasured by business owners throughout Winston-Salem. But getting them to pose for the pictures is no easy task, says Sharpe. “This year, we wanted to put them in matching outfits themed to each month of the coming year. But trying to wrestle three bulldogs into sweaters is its own trip to the gym!”

After collecting the outfits all year, including Panthers jerseys, Halloween costumes, tutus, and raincoats, it took a team of willing friends to make the photoshoot successful. Sharpe laughs when she recalls the scene, admitting, “They were such great sports about the whole thing. We had a bag of treats for them, but they enjoyed the attention. It really wasn’t until the hats came out for the final few pictures that it was obvious that they had had enough of our shenanigans.”

Sharpe, a Branch Manager for NEO Home Loans, sends the calendars to some of her favorite Triad Realtors and business partners, on what began as a way to thank people at the end of each year for their partnership, and soon became a beloved tradition that people looked forward to every year. Sharpe says, “I just love how excited people start being in the fall about receiving their new calendar. It has grown from about 100 calendars in the beginning to a much larger effort!”

When she isn’t spending time with her “piggies,” as she lovingly calls the three dogs, her focus is helping people throughout North and South Carolina purchase homes in which to create their own memories. While the past few years have been hectic in the real estate market, Sharpe believes that 2023 is going to be a fantastic year to buy a home.

“Rates being higher than they have been in years past is creating a challenge in the minds of some homebuyers right now, but there are so many programs and strategies available that will allow people to move into the home that they truly want while refinancing, when rates are lower.” Sharpe continues, “If you find yourself this holiday season without enough space to accommodate guests, or if your New Year’s Resolution is to buy a home, there are some excellent opportunities we can show you.”

Sharpe’s husband happens to own a local business that comes in quite handy for Ashley’s calendars each year, as well. Zach Sharpe of Sharpe Printing knows that he has a very big order on his hands every year from his favorite customer featuring their fur babies. Ashley disclosed, “I can’t wait to see this year’s calendar. I think it’s going to be my favorite yet.”

The calendars will be distributed along with holiday cheer during the week of Christmas. If you would like to be entered to win one of the calendars featuring the Sharpe bulldogs, scan the QR code.

Home for the Holidays Is purchasing a new home one of your goals for the New Year? Start the process now by reaching out to The Sharpe Mortgage Team! Contact us today to discuss your goals and find the perfect home purchase plan for your future WITH THE SHARPE MORTGAGE TEAM Ashley McKenzie-Sharpe NMLS #100776 | (336) 575-9448 ashley@sharpeloans.com sharpeloans.com SCAN TO CONTACT! NEO HOME LOANS IS A DIVISION OF CELEBRITY HOME LOANS, LLC | NMLS# 227765 | EQUAL HOUSING LENDER | NMLSCONSUMERACCESS ORG Kitchen TuneUp 1-5 Day Kit c hen Re mo de ls for $9 9- $24 9 a month! Refacing & Redooring • Cabinet Painting Custom Cabinets • 1 Day Tune-Up • And More VIRUTAL OR IN- HOME CONSULTATIONS AVAILABLE TRANSFORM YOUR KITCHEN without the mess & stress! Locally owned & operated by Peter Mahoney. 336.970.3419 | kitchentuneup.com KITCHEN TUNE-UP WINSTON-SALEM Before After DECEMBER 2022 / 37

Child Safety Series


Each month this series will provide important facts and tips surrounding child safety in an effort to support parents and caregivers as they navigate reducing risks and creating the safest environment possible for the children in their lives.

Understanding Elevated Risks During the Holidays

Winter holidays are best known for the memories we make with the ones we love, especially the little ones in our lives. Often these memories involve fun seasonal events and excursions with family and friends frequenting new places with new people all around. That in addition to the hustle and bustle of frequent shopping trips to get presents, added childcare for adult holiday functions and simple distractions this time of year can have increased opportunity for child endangerment.

In an effort to keep this holiday season magical for you and your kids, we’ve rounded up some important and helpful tips to avoid safety issues when it comes to “stranger danger.”

1. Be clear and repetitive with your kids about family outings and the expectation of needing to be able to see one another at all times. Depending on age, if they are more than a few feet away, they’ve gone too far.

2. Dress your children in bright or coordinating colors with their siblings to be able to keep them in direct sight. Consider taking a photo of them before outings to ensure you remember what they were wearing in case of separation.

3. When in larger public spaces like an airport or theme park, depending on the age and maturity of your children, consider using a cute harness to keep them close. It does not matter what others think, safety comes first.

4. Make practicing important contact information a weekly occurrence to help create confidence in children and preteens to know their full name, address and their parents or guardian’s full names and cell phone numbers.

5. Always bring children into a public restroom with you rather than leave them outside to wait alone, especially at parades, festivals, shopping malls and more.

6. Thoroughly look into any new childcare options you decide to try out during the holidays and get references or complete background checks if possible.

7. Tempting as it may be, avoid putting children’s names on their clothing or accessories such as hats, backpacks, jackets, shirts and more. This makes it easy for an adult to pretend to know your child to gain trust, even though they do not.

8. Don’t utilize public spaces as “safe childcare” options, such as movie theaters, skating rinks, bowling alleys and more, since predators are more likely to feel comfortable approaching unsupervised children at public locations.

9. Remind kids that they always need to check in first and get your permission before going anywhere with another adult or child, even when it’s someone that they know.

10. Keep all doors of vehicles locked


with all valuables or holiday shopping bags out of sight-especially at shopping malls--to keep thieves from being tempted to break in.

Establishing and Practicing a Separation Plan

It’s always better to be prepared for the worst-case scenario, especially where safety is concerned. Sit your children down and have a conversation about what to do (and not to do) should they ever get separated from you or their caregiver. Make sure it’s done in an ageappropriate way and with effort not to scare, but prepare them.

Here are a few things to consider as part of your “Separation Plan” with your child:

• If you cannot find me, look for a “safe stranger” like a cashier, police officer, mom with her kids or stroller and let them know you need help finding me.

• I will never leave where we are, until I find you, so you should never leave the location to go looking for me, regardless of what someone else may say.

• Agree on a meeting place with older children, should they become separated at an event or large venue, and you need to find each other.

Taking Action If a Child Goes Missing or Is Endangered

• Immediately call your local law enforcement agency as well as notify Security at the location (if applicable), should a child go missing or you fear possible endangerment. Provide them with your child’s name, date of birth, height, weight, hair color, any descriptions of unique identifiers and what clothing they were wearing. Once you’ve reported the child missing, call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST® (1800-843-5678).

Helpful Resources to Learn More

• N.C. Center for Missing Persons: 1-800-522-5437

• Missing Kids.org- {ONLINE ARTICLE HYPERLINK https:// www.missingkids.org/home}

DECEMBER 2022 / 39

ADVENT TRADITIONS Creating Meaningful Memories

Christmas is a transformational holiday that appears like magic overnight. It begins with a million volts of electricity that light up the city streets and extends to the “larger than life” inflatable symbols in parking lots and neighborhood yards. While the iconic symbols are present everywhere, the magic of Christmas comes from the spirit of its people, who know what happened one silent night in Bethlehem.

Young children’s viewpoints are still impressionable, and they have many more Christmases to experience before their traditions are defined. While commercialism is ever-present in our lives, families can instill a meaningful message by emphasizing practices of togetherness and giving, teaching about the season of Advent, and creating homemade gifts.

Cake and Christmas

Children as young as three understand the celebratory aspects of a birthday. It is a natural way to connect the relationship between Jesus’ birth and Christmas. Too often, parents are asked, “Why do we not have a cake?” The Wilson family proactively addressed the question when their son was three. Julie shares, “We started throwing a huge birthday party for Jesus, well before breakfast, on Christmas morning. We decorate with streamers, party hats, and most importantly, a birthday cake. We sing “happy birthday” and make it a big deal! Our daughter and son know the reason why we celebrate.

Jesus is our greatest gift!”

The Advent Wreath Advent is a time of spiritual preparation for Jesus’ birth. Children can actively participate, from lighting the candles on the Advent wreath to better understanding the Nativity, creating an Advent calendar, and listening to their favorite holidaythemed stories.

Consider engaging in one of the following activities:

• MAKING A WREATH: While many families celebrate lighting the designated candles in their home, take the time to make a wreath together by collecting and tying together evergreen limbs, representing God’s everlasting love. Three purple wax (or paper-made)

candles and one pink one are placed along the outside foliage, while the fifth, a white candle representing Christ, remains in the center. Each candle reminds its witnesses to think about, for instance, hope, faith, the shepherds, joy, and to experience anticipation, all leading to Christ. The season begins on Sunday, November 27th.

• THE NATIVITY: Before setting up the Nativity in your home, use a small basket to represent “hope.” Children can write notes to family members, friends, or others who may be sick or need prayers. The figurines of the Nativity often become a place children can go for ideas. Curious questions, conversations, and the telling of stories can lead to teachable moments.

• ADVENT CALENDARS: Creativity is the key to designing a countdown calendar from December first to Christmas Day. While some are made from felt, heavyduty fabrics or wood, paper folded into small envelopes also works well. Rather than using a marker for the passing of each day, consider writing thoughtful goals, such as “Hold the door open for someone” or “Call a relative and say, ‘Hello.’”

• Teach children about the gifts of generosity.

• HOLIDAY-THEMED BOOKS: Picture books with colorful illustrations offer a meaningful representation of the setting, historical figures, struggles, and events in the most famous story. In addition to reading favorite stories, try including The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado, Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco, and Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect by Dick Schneider.

Homemade Gifts Secrecy in creating or hand-delivering homemade gifts to neighbors, teachers, a family in need, or someone

unknown is an empowering act. In this way, children offer their gifts of time, love, and artistic creativity! Cards or pictures, for instance, can be made of household materials, such as printer or construction paper, fabric, string, or buttons, along with colored pencils or markers. Grandparents, too, would be delighted to receive a homemade calendar, an original story with illustrations, or a hand-painted T-shirt or tote! Julie Wilson shares, “We adopt a family that we bless each Christmas. Sometimes a family has experienced sickness, unemployment, or the loss of a loved one. For over a decade, each of us has adopted a child. Our children take active roles in picking out presents for them. We wanted our children to recognize the season is about giving, and through giving, to feel the blessing in caring for others.”

The magic of Christmas surrounds each of us. While the hustle and bustle of our fast-paced lives tends to force us into overdrive, uniting the family together in moments of celebration and story, lighting symbolic candles, and remembering others can direct the purpose of Christmas toward Jesus.

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Educational Gift Ideas for Preschoolers


full of toys with bright colors, high-interest buttons, and curious sounds have been integrated by technology; yet, not all have the wow factor to be ideal for a child between the ages of two and six. Parents, relatives, and all those who want to see a child engaged in a toy for hours need to consider the open-ended uses that promote education, exploration, imagination, and creativity.

Consider the following tried and true gifts to delight a preschooler.

POP-UP PLAYHOUSE: Whether the shape is a rocket ship, house, teepee, or knight’s castle, the play tent provides a private playroom for reading, pretend-play, or play dates. Tent poles join easily to create a pop-up playhouse for one day or a permanent set-up. The washable walls and heavy-duty material ensure the fort can grow with a rough-and-tumble child.

TIP: Always buy age-appropriate toys to target a child’s ideal developmental stage; recommendations offer safety from potential choking hazards or other complications.

TIP: It’s better to purchase flimsy walls and a collapsible frame than an item that will consume an entire room. Size matters!

what comments, both good and constructive, parents are saying about particular toys, puzzles, or games.

DOCTOR’S KIT: The popularity of television series such as Doc McStuffins allowed children to engage in pretend play through real-world situations—bandaging booboos, administering shots, and treating upset bellies of beloved stuffed animals. A doctor’s kit is an integral part of a preschooler’s life. Modern bags include the technology for sounds and lights in a cell phone, stethoscope, thermometer, and blood pressure cuff.

TIP: Costume shops and children’s consignment stores offer a large assortment of clothing and accessories. A gift to impress is to assemble a chest (also known as a Rubbermaid container) full of capes, hats, swords, shields, and wands. Dress-up can be a daily experience!

MICROSCOPES AND CASH REGISTERS: Preschoolers are sponges of information. The introduction to science and mathematics can happen at any age. The younger, the better! Try to identify toys with moveable parts and a voice component, so that children can understand, for instance, the significance of a microscope’s slide. Initially, a toy may need an adult’s guidance, but in time, children will engage in imaginative games all by themselves.

cups on a door or refrigerator, teach special, three-dimensional thinking through a unique assembling opportunity. Adding parts as a child grows older is always an option.

BOOKS AND MORE BOOKS: Consignment shops and websites offer discounted prices on gently used books. You certainly cannot go wrong with the following titles or authors.

• We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

• The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

• Mercy Watson Boxed Set: Adventures of a Porcine Wonder: Books 1-6 by Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen

• Go Dog Go by Dr. Seuss

• Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osborne and Sal Murdocca



STONES FOR KIDS: Developing balance on a pogo stick, creating a course using body movements, or stepping from one surface to another, helps concentration levels, motor coordination, and strengthens the body. Indoors or outdoors, gifts that center on exercise offer more than just a skill.

TIP: Always read reviews to see

TIP: Preschool children are tactile. Magnet games, whether tiles, blocks, letters, numbers, or games, can help develop spatial awareness and small motor skills. Consider it an advantage if a game or puzzle includes a latching box or drawstring bag for easy cleanup!

TIP: Marble drop games, such as marble rallies and gravity tracts, using suction

TIP: Children learn through songs, repetitious phrases, or rhyming couplets. Books that possess those particular formats will become quick favorites. Please, don’t let multisyllable words prevent families from buying picture books; instead, create a teachable moment! In addition, “My First” or “Step into Reading” books prepare children to become readers. Illustrations that reflect the text, such as Go Dog Go, are why children feel successful and choose to read a book a thousand-plus times!

Not all gifts require wrapping paper and ribbons. In thinking outside the box, surprise a daughter or son, niece or nephew with a special outing. Whether buying one-day tickets or annual passes to an interactive-based science center or museum, a tactile learning experience will be one of enjoyment and memory!

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When the Holidays Aren’t So Happy

Tips For Coping with Anxiety and Depression

When You Feel Anything but Festive

There are a lot of expectations around the holiday season. One is the expectation that you will feel JOY! For many people suffering from anxiety and depression, the pressure to feel joyful at this time of year might seem overwhelming. Studies have shown that close to half of people surveyed say their stress levels increase at holiday time. Feeling depressed or especially anxious during the holidays can be tough, particularly since you feel out of step with those around you. Everyone else seems to be excited, festive, and full of holiday spirit…while you’re feeling miserable and exhausted. Here are some ways to cope with these feelings and take care of yourself throughout this season.

Do something different. If the prospect of the same old routine is filling you with dread, make a different plan. Have a family meal at a restaurant. Stay in your PJs all day. Spend the holiday at a favorite travel destination…maybe a mountain cabin or even a campground (finances and weather permitting). Go see a movie or a show on Christmas Day. Mix things up.

Forget things that really don’t matter much. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t decorate as much as in years

past. You can also lighten your load on gift giving by choosing gift cards for the special people in your life this year. You can offer store-bought treats instead of slaving away in the kitchen. Just give yourself a break! Worrying about so many things will not make your holidays any happier. And the people who love you would rather you be relaxed than stressed out, trying to make things perfect.

Don’t overbook yourself. The holidays can actually last for a few months. Pace yourself and give yourself permission to say “No” to invitations if you need to. Think about which events will fit into your schedule, and which ones you really want to attend. Once you’re there, don’t stay longer than you want to. You are not obligated to stay any longer than feels comfortable to you. Even if you just drop by for a few minutes to say hello, you have made people happy by showing up. Knowing you have a plan to leave can really ease your anxiety.

Find positive ways to remember loved ones who are no longer here. Holidays may remind you of the people you miss, but instead of just feeling sad, do something to celebrate their memory. For instance, you might decide to crank up the grill and barbeque a spread of

delicious food for your extended family, just as your father would have done. Drink a toast to him and remark on how much he would have loved the meal.

Keep your expectations modest. Try not to get hung up on what the holidays are supposed to be and how you’re supposed to feel. Don’t compare your experience to anything else… just take the days as they come and appreciate the moments for what they mean to you.

Surround yourself with a strong support system. Being around those who care most about you during the holidays can help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Try hard not to isolate yourself. Keeping your support system close during the holidays will ensure you have someone available to talk to if you need them.

Seek professional help if you need it. Stay honest with yourself. If your symptoms are escalating, seek help from your doctor right away. Make sure you have a doctor or counselor you trust that you can share your feelings with and who will help you decide on the right treatment plan.


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5 Engaging Book Activities to Help Connect Any Reader to A Story

Reading a book can be magical. Seeing the words and characters leaping out of the pages and being absorbed into new worlds is one of the best joys of a novel. However, sitting down and reading isn’t a favorite thing for many kids to do, no matter what the age. It can be boring and long, especially if a child isn’t connected to the story.

There are a multitude of activities to help engage children with a story, before, during or after a reading. As a teacher, I love making a novel come alive with intriguing experiences. In the ideas below, readers are able to connect with a tale’s characters, background, setting, and plot in a variety of ways that interest them. These suggestions are ways for kids to gain a deeper understanding of the text and give them an opportunity to comprehend the plot better. Lastly, they can be modified to fit any age or story. If you are looking for ways to help engage kids with reading, try one or several of these ideas for your next book.

1Create a fun display about the setting. A book’s setting includes its location, time period, weather, and the environment. When looking at the environment, you are looking at the physical and social climate of what is happening within the tale. This is a great “before the read” activity to get kids interested, because they are coming into the reading already knowing and having a mental image of where the story takes place. Turn your research into a fun display, whether it is a poster, map, or

even a podcast. If there is a specific time period or topic of the book, such as the Holocaust, take a deeper look into that one specific topic. This will help the reader feel more confident when reading and also help build their background knowledge of the topic.

2Write a letter or postcard. Choose a character for the text and write a letter or postcard to them. Include a conversation and ask them questions. It is also helpful for the reader to find similarities and differences between themselves and the character, with regard to interests, family, age, etc. You can also write a letter or postcard to a friend telling them about the book or even write to the author. One of my favorite projects is for my students to write to the author, telling them what they like, dislike, and any suggestions they have for the plot.

3Watch the movie. This is definitely an activity to do “after” reading the book. Most of the time, a movie is different from the tale it is based on. Liberties have been taken and parts of the novel’s plot eliminated. However, it can be a good discussion activity for kids to compare and contrast. They will be using what they read about and learned from the novel and can discuss what is, and isn’t, in the movie. Plus, movies can assist with making difficult parts of a text come alive.

4Make a food that’s associated with the book. Butterbeer from Harry Potter, blueberry pie from Charlotte’s Web, or peach cobbler

for James and the Giant Peach are all recipes associated with popular foods from classic tales. A quick online search or from a cookbook can produce a recipe for novel foods. If a story doesn’t have a specific dish connected to it, look at the plot, the characters, and think about what they would possibly eat. Have your child be a part of this conversation and see where their imagination takes them. Who knows-it could be a new dish that the reader creates all by him- or herself based on their knowledge of the novel. Once you have the food, turn it into a picnic or party, celebrating the characters and plot. Decorations could even be fashioned from the tale’s setting.

5Listen to Audiobooks or Interviews. Many books have audio versions, interviews with authors, or other videos for readers to hear. Listening to someone reading a tale can have an impact on a child’s understanding and comprehension. In addition, they can benefit from author interviews, because they are able to hear the author’s purpose behind writing the tale and learn any fun, interesting facts.

No matter what activity you and your reader choose, it is important for them to connect to the experience and the book. Make sure your child takes an engaged part in choosing what activities they would like to complete. These exercises will help make the tales become real and get the reader interested on a different level.


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Messiness and the Whispers of God

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of the intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the beauty in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you lived here. This is to have succeeded.”

There is a backyard in a shining suburb just south of WinstonSalem. It is a placid autumnal day; a SUV door is swung open and bountiful provisions from the local big-box store are unloaded. The resounding laughter of children rings out. There are two jovial, angelic sisters, ages 8 and 6, who are playing a make-believe game with their neighborhood friend. Their pure unadulterated joy trumpets from the swing set and trees. It appears that all is right in the world.

The Tuckers live here. The scene suggests this is a typical family. And yet, their journey and victory versus childhood cancer has tossed them onto a pedestal they may not have particularly wanted in the first place.

Chad and Meredith Tucker have graciously agreed to meet for an interview to speak about their unending crusade to shine a light upon childhood cancer. The disease swooped down upon them and darkened their door three years ago when their middle child, Pearl Monroe (“Roe Roe”), was diagnosed with leukemia. Meredith was 22 weeks pregnant at the time with their son, and COVID was just around the corner. To say the Tuckers have faced challenges is the most monumental understatement of the century.

Amber Bolejack Photography

“I just knew something was wrong. Roe Roe just wasn’t herself. She was hurting. She literally started crawling again at the age of three because it was less painful than walking,” says Meredith. The diagnostic tests began in earnest with Roe Roe’s doctor. No one seemed able to piece together what exactly was wrong. That was before the inevitable blood tests that revealed the identity of her body’s enemy.

Chad remembers the doctor calling him at work just before he was to go on as the anchor for the WGHP 4:00 news. “I just went into my boss and said that my daughter has leukemia. I broke down in front of him and said that I needed to go home. I remember thinking, how was I supposed to explain this to Meredith? How am I supposed to tell her this?” He exhales, catches his breath, and says, “I remember, though, that I had a peace I couldn’t identify. I just knew it was all going to be fine. I was at peace, but I remember it as the longest drive home ever.”

“I couldn’t bring myself to think this out loud, but cancer was probably a diagnosis I heard in my mind. When Chad told me that, in fact, leukemia was the diagnosis, after he spoke with the doctor, something in me just died,” says Meredith. She says, “I just remember someone at a restaurant service counter asking us soon after the diagnosis about how our day had been. The irony of that simple beautiful question. They had no idea what had just happened.” Meredith didn’t stop crying for days, but then steeled herself into action.

Cue the acceleration into hurt, acceptance, anger, guilt, “roid rage” for Roe Roe, with her steroid treatments that led to her screaming at all hours of the day and night. There were the explanations to Carson Parry, the big sister, about how this was not the “real Roe Roe,” and that grace and understanding were to be the orders of the day.

Let us take a sidestep to a discussion about Carson Parry. She is one of countless

heroic figures in this story. Her role as the eldest child catapulted her into that of caretaker. She has had to stand valiantly off to the side of the limelight for Roe Roe in her own courageous journey. While it was not always easy for Carson Parry, she has ultimately remained a pillar of steadfast support even at such a tender age. Chad notes that the fundraiser they will hold once again this spring will focus on the role of siblings of those who are diagnosed. There is a framed picture in the Tuckers’ home showing Carson Parry carrying Roe Roe in her arms at the apex of chemotherapy treatments. It is an unforgettable image of a selfless sister cradling her weakened sibling.

Chad speaks of “the whispers of God.” This is the undercurrent of murmurs from the universe embedded in the challenging chapters of life. Chad and Meredith have been overwhelmingly affected by the smallest of gestures from friends and strangers alike. They emotionally tell tales of strangers who have provided cards, words of encouragement and gifts for the family. A profoundly moving expression came in the form of their mortgage being paid while they were swimming in the mire of medical bills.

Chad and Meredith want the public to know that they can do anything, big or small, to help anyone dealing with childhood cancer. They both say, “People should just show up. Be present. Don’t turn away from those who are dealing with the messiness of this. Don’t ask, just tell people you are doing something for them and do it.”

The conversation turns to what people can literally do to join the fight against childhood cancer. Chad emphatically states, “Only about 4% of all cancer research funding is allocated to childhood cancer. Write to your lawmakers. Vote with attention to what your candidate’s position is on research for childhood cancer. We need to ask our lawmakers where they stand on this.”

The arduous unfathomable odyssey culminated with Roe Roe ringing the bell at Brenner Children’s Hospital after her last day of treatment on her 6th birthday, March 28th, this year. She is thankfully in remission and exudes a spirit behind her radiant blue eyes that is instantaneously obvious to anyone. Roe Roe has a heart that beats loud and proud with resilience and a boundless joy that would have been sloughed off by many others in the depths of such a battle. If you ever have the honor of meeting her, you, too, will come away with the notion that she herself is a “whisper of God” and a miracle of the highest order. She has endured the messiness of a fight she never deserved. But make no mistake; she is the ultimate warrior princess.

In 2021, Meredith started the Roe Roe’s Heroes Childhood Cancer Foundation, named in honor of the community of people who supported their family. The foundation helps local families who don’t have a community support system with immediate assistance, while helping celebrate the siblings of children battling cancer.

The foundation also awards several nursing scholarships named in honor of Roe Roe’s beloved nurse, Nancy Smith, and teams up with Roc Solid Foundation in building playsets in the backyards of kids who cannot leave their home while fighting cancer. You can learn more at roeroesheroes.org and make taxdeductible donations directly to:

Roe Roe’s Heroes PO Box 1873, King, NC 27021.

DECEMBER 2022 / 49

What If?

Presents Buying Ideal Land

“What-if?”—the worrisome words arrive in the conscious spinning topics in our mind, from safety and financial security to loved ones and pet health. Asking, “What can I do?” leads to a proactive decision to invest time in the ultimate insurance policy—valuable life skills comprising security, shelter, food, water, and medical care! In any emergency, from extreme weather to a personal disaster, you have the power to take charge of your fate by making plans and taking action!

The dream of escaping from traffic and the city’s bright lights in search of ample space, privacy, and fresh air does not have to be a fantasy. In the quest for the ideal property to fulfill your dreams of self-sufficiency, whether your definition entails planting an orchard, raising sheep and goats, or being closer to mountains and trees, planning and research are primary!

Finding a Great Small Town

Surrounding Winston-Salem, you’ll find rural communities of smallbusiness owners, farmers, ranchers, artisans, and those who don’t mind driving to work. Visiting local businesses, you’ll quickly discover the appeal of small town and country life. Store owners and neighbors offer invaluable information, recommendations, and helpful resources. Intimate living also means residents will be curious about your history and life; therefore, take the time to wave, learn names, ask questions, and develop relationships.

In addition:

• Visit the historical locations to learn more about the people and places of a potential residence.

• Join a group in the area and attend the local festivals.

• Find a social media platform to learn about the positives and problems within the county’s government.

Ask Yourself Questions

The dream of land ownership comes with the benefits of lowered monthly expenses, from mortgage costs to annual taxes; yet, you should start thinking about the bigger picture through the following questions.

• What is the additional mileage to work and favorite shopping sites going to cost, monthly? An alternative is finding local cost-effective stores or markets to buy produce, meats, and apparel.

• Does the location have internet access? Not every rural location has a large bandwidth; therefore, you might experience freezes or problems using your cell phone.

• How often do the residents experience electricity outages? Is investing in a propane range, tankless water heater, and generator a viable, costeffective solution?

• Does the property need fencing and housing structures? How much does it add to the price or cost to install?

• Will you need farm equipment? How expensive are used or new attachments—for example, a tiller and bush hog?

• Will your potential animals require water; will it come from a well, or does the property have access to a pond or year-round creeks?

• How do I access the county’s plan for development to determine how rural life may change in the future?

NC State Cooperative Extension Benefits

In each of our 100 counties, all North Carolina residents have access to a research-based resource—specialized agents who engage with farmers, businesses, and families to determine solutions. Whether the need is to understand soil types, planting methods, preparing land for livestock, raising animals, or controlling pests, predators, or invasive species, an agent can schedule a house call and put science and research-based tools to work! Transitioning to a country lifestyle also means having the state’s resources rooting for your success!

Real-Estate Agents

The times have changed! Websites allow you to freely peruse a database of houses or available land in a particular county. Take the time and sign up to receive property alerts and learn about the agents in your perspective area. In advance, create a checklist of necessary accommodations, such as a house, access to water sources, buildings, and fencing. Not every property will fulfill your needs; however, narrowing down the “must-haves” will help when you find the location that screams, “This is it!”

Owning acreage is a choice of the heart and a change of perspective. The desire for a meticulously mowed lawn will be replaced by the enjoyment of raising goats and growing wildflowers. Fishing poles may remain on the front porch, rather than be used minimally across two seasons. You’ll find peace, clear starry nights, longrange neighbors, and unexpected relationships with postal workers, police officers, and small business owners. Country living is slower, and reaching destinations will take more time and patience; yet, there’s nothing comparable to the gratification of self-sufficiency, land ownership, and the outpouring of community support!

DECEMBER 2022 / 51 Clemmons 336-766-0401 Mt. Airy 336-783-0227 Walkertown 336-754-4495 Yadkinville 336-679-7064 Winston-Salem 336-999-8037 privatediningoptionsavailable www.littlerichardsbarbeque.com Contactcatering@littlerichardsbarbeque.com foryourcateringneedsfor ALL locations. We are in the Novant & Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Networks 111 Hanestown Court, Suite 151 Winston-Salem, NC 27103 336.765.9350 445 Pineview Drive, Suite 110 Kernersville, NC 27284 336.993.4532 Happy Holidays from the Lyndhurst Family! Delivering Care for Generations… lyndhurstgyn.com 1908 Caudle Road, Suite 101 Mt. Airy, NC 27030 336-789-9076 304 Mountainview Road King, NC 27021 336-765-9350

From decking the halls with boughs of holly and singing traditional Christmas carols like “The Holly and the Ivy,” holly berries and deep dark green holly leaves are expressions of the jolly!

Celebrate this Christmas and holiday season with the classic red of holly berries and greenery. Gather some holly boughs and enjoy DIY arts and crafts to make ideal decorations and gifts.

Decorate with a few sprigs of holly clippings around candles, on tables, on mantles, and in unexpected places, such as in a vase, teapot, teacup, or mug. Deck your door with a stunning and super easy homemade holly wreath. Just cut some holly branches, add a bit of twining ivy and/or a few evergreen boughs, such as fir, pine needles, or spruce, then tuck in some candy canes and add a red ribbon bow as a finishing touch to match the bright berries.

The season for gift giving includes lots of gift wrapping. Add simple seasonable splendor to any package with a sprig of holly tied down with a red, green, white, gold, or silver ribbon, and then dangle an ornament atop, or add a merry jingle bell.

Tis the Season for Holly!

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Holly Berrylicious Sparkling Merry-Garita

ʼTis the season to feel merry and jolly! Whether you prefer a margarita or a spritzer (cocktail or mocktail) or both, enjoy this versatile beverage to celebrate Christmas and the holidays. You decide…the ratio of sparkling liquids to strawberries depends on your preference in beverages.


Choose from the following:

• Prosecco, champagne, or sparkling rose (for sparkling spritzer version)

• Vodka or gin

• Tonic water, club soda/seltzer, or ginger beer (for mocktail version)

• Pomegranate and/or cranberry juice

• Iced white or green tea (to amp up on antioxidants)

• Muddled or puréed strawberries

• Strawberry, cherry/grenadine, or pomegranate simple syrup to sweeten

• Mint/thyme/strawberry slices/pomegranate seeds (for edible garnishes)

• Ice (on the rocks, optional)


• Margarita version: Blend/purée fresh or frozen strawberries along with liquids of choice (like cold tea) and add in simple syrup or sweetener of choice (optional).

• Spritzer version: Mash fresh strawberries with a fork and add to bottom of glass. Combine liquid ingredients over top.

Holly Jolly Pomegranate Mint Chocolate Mousse

(Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar-Free and Paleo)


• 1½ cups coconut milk

• 6 Tablespoons Cacao or unsweetened cocoa

• 1½ Tablespoons pomegranate and/or cranberry juice

• 1¼ teaspoon peppermint extract

• Stevia, maple syrup, honey, blue agave, or other sweetener to taste (optional)

• 3-6 pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries and sprigs of fresh mint (edible garnishes)


• Blend together all ingredients, except garnishes, with a whisk until bubbles form.

• Pour into 2 large or 4 small ramekins and set in fridge for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.

• Add jolly holly-esque edible garnishes over top.

• Serve when set and enjoy!

(Recipe adapted from: veganfamilyrecipes. com/vegan-mint-chocolate mousse/)

DIY Ravishing Red Holly Berry Inspired Red Lip Color (Organic and Natural)

Love classic red? Well, it’s the season for holly berry lips! Get your glam on this gift season, gorgeous, and make your own DIY red lip color for you and your gal pals!


• 1 teaspoon organic beeswax pellets

• 1 teaspoon organic shea butter

• 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil/apricot kernel/ avocado oil

• ⅛ teaspoon each of any combination of red carmine mica, red Australian clay, russet iron oxide, honey beige mica, antique rose mica, and/or red food coloring

• 3 drops peppermint essential oil

• 3 lip balm containers


• Melt the beeswax, shea butter and oil of choice together on low heat in a double boiler.

• Once melted, remove from heat, add color pigments and blend together with a manual whip.

• Pour immediately into lip balm containers before mixture starts to harden completely.

• If mixture has already started to harden, put the bowl back in the double boiler and melt again until you can pour back into the lip balm containers.

(Recipe adapted from organic-beauty-recipes. com/natural-red-lipstick-recipe/)

Holly is a symbol of fertility and eternal life, because it remains strong and green throughout the winter, while other trees drop their leaves. From ancient times to today, holly has symbolized good luck and protection, and it’s as easy as gathering a few branches to bring holly’s good fortune to you and yours.

DECEMBER 2022 / 53 Weedman You take all the credit. OUR ANNUAL PROGRAM does all the work. With superior products and the right team in place, WeedMan is your solution to a healthier, better looking lawn. Call us today at 336-760-1668 and you’ll discover that great lawn care and great customer care go hand-in-hand. weedmanusa.com C M Y CM MY CY CMY K Weed Man_General Ad_FINAL2.pdf 1 11/9/16 1:56 PM Great eye health begins wit h preventative eye exams. Locally-owned & operated. Providing excellent care in the Triad for 11+ years. 2341 Winterhaven Lane | Winston-Salem, NC 27103 | 336.760.2020 | HillcrestVision.com Call to schedule an appointment today.

A New Hobby--or Gift-Tea Blending

If you are in love with the aroma and sweetness to fruity tastes of tea, the next step is obvious; it’s time to consider a new hobby within your favorite, comforting pastime: tea drinking. It begins with a course registered as a self-study online, or as participation in person at a local class. Next, invite family and friends who are as passionate about tea as you are! Most workshops are geared toward beginners looking to create botanical blends for

Educated in the art of combining blends, you’ll be eager to find a quality source of herbs, whether it’s from your garden, at a local farm, or online. Foraging for medicinal herbs is a unique experience, exposing you to learning more about native local plants. While you will not be able to find the quantities needed, most likely, you’ll purchase herbs from a reputable source. Therefore, research the growers’ practices and certifications, such as whether they have “Certified Organic” or “Certified Naturally


Most dried herbs have a shelf life of about one year when stored properly in a cool, dark location; the timeline extends when herbs are refrigerated or placed in a freezer. Therefore, while buying in bulk offers savings, it’s wise to purchase the amount to be used within one year. Consider sharing the total cost with friends to engage in the endeavor of learning about herbal together!

• Be prepared to transfer dried herbs into an airtight glass jar that minimizes oxygen, moisture, and light exposure. Most aerial parts of plants (flowers and leaves) have a shelf life of one year, while roots, bark, and berries can remain potent for up to two years.

Beginning Steps

Tea workshops are an exposure to the delights of learning and experimentation.

Sitting in a class will turn on a light, offering the possibilities of combinations and the science of balancing unique and familiar blends.

With a notebook and pencil ready, start with eight herbs: chamomile, cinnamon, ginger, lemon balm, licorice root, orange, peppermint, and Tulsi (Holy Basil.) Then, jot down the flavor, aroma, color, and taste. Considering the nuances, Chamomile, for instance, only needs a few minutes to steep before the taste becomes bitter; peppermint, on the other hand, can steep longer than five minutes without the flavor changing. Understanding their medicinal values and actions (cooling, warming, or spicy) will help elevate your desire to craft tasty and effective herbal tea blends.


Minimal equipment is required. You’ll need bowls, funnels, spoons, measuring cups, a digital kitchen scale, a spice grinder, a dust mask to prevent sneezing, a teakettle, a strainer, mugs, and glass canning jars with sealable lids. Additionally, a notebook and index cards will undoubtedly help build memory and further your academic knowledge in the study of tea.


• Most teas comprise one to two tablespoons of dry herb material per eight fluid ounces of water.

• Teas, including woody herbs, such as roots, barks, or seeds, often use one to two teaspoons of herbs within eight fluid ounces of water.

• The recipe is doubled and sometimes tripled when using fresh herbs, since they consume more space.

• Create a large batch in a quart jar, 32 ounces, using a half-cup of dried herbs. Be forewarned: to minimize microbial growth, consume the tea within three days.

• Refrigerated tea does not require heating. If preferred, use a saucepan on low heat until it reaches a suitable drinking temperature.

Building Vocabulary

The study of tea will involve researching the answers to many questions. For example, what exactly is ancient tea? And what does full-bodied mean? Is there a difference between oolong and black tea? Knowing the basic vocabulary means you will never feel like a stranger to the tea world. Index cards will certainly help you differentiate between “nervine relaxant” and “emmenagogue,” among other words.

Buying Reference Books

Rosemary Gladstar is a well-known herbalist, a published author, and a voice in the herbal community. Her books, for instance, Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide, are easy to read and well organized. Starting with Rosemary may give you a start to branch out to other authors.

Sign-up today, or present this extraordinary gift for family members or great friends. One class will transform the act of drinking tea into an exhilarating experience!

brings us together Help us bring food, good health, and opportunity to neighbors this holiday season. Give today at SecondHarvestNWNC.org. food We’ve moved! We hope you’ll make plans to volunteer with us soon! 3330 Shorefair Drive | Winston-Salem, NC | 27105

Out & About in Winston-Salem

with Cheers! Fundraiser for Brenner Children’s Hospital

Noparent ever wants to hear their child is facing a possible life threatening medical diagnosis. Suddenly the milestones of childhood become even more important for the child and while the focus is on the child’s treatment, families can face the dilemma of choosing between affording medications or other daily needs. For those families of children at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Brenner Children’s Hospital facing financial concerns, The Brenner Children’s Hospital Fund was established to support families with initiatives throughout Brenner Children’s Hospital. This fund helps meet immediate patient and family needs for things like meals, medication, home health equipment, transportation and much more for families traveling from all over western NC and VA.

On November 4th, 2022, the 19th annual Cheers! for Brenner Children’s event took place on an unseasonably warm fall night at Truist Baseball Stadium in downtown Winston-Salem, NC, presented by Chadyn Carter and Ginger Aydogdu of Simply Southern. The 200 plus in attendance enjoyed food stations provided by Legends, and desserts by Louie and Honey Bakery with signature drinks provided by local bartenders, featuring local wineries and breweries. Beyond the delicious foods and beverages, guest speakers included, Kate and Mark Reece, Chairs of Cheers!, Maria Kazakos, VP of Sales, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Carolinas Realty (Diamond Sponsor), Julie A. Freischlag, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), DFSVS,Alisa L. Starbuck, DNP, NNPBC, Lindsay Thompson, MD, Chad and Meredith Tucker (Fox8 Anchor and Parents of Patient Roe Roe), and Lisa Marshall, Chief Philanthropy Officer, and Vice President, Office of Philanthropy and Alumni Relations.

Souljam band provided the amazing musical entertainment for the evening and ZimZoom offered a photo booth giving guests a beautiful take-away souvenir. The night concluded with fun games, including a wine toss and silent auction, topped off with a fireworks finale lighting up the sky for Cheers!


Simply Southern is generously matching every dollar that is raised, up to $200,000, between now and December 1st, 2022.

To learn more about Cheers! and how you can help now and in the future, visit www.BrennerChildrens.org/Cheers.

DECEMBER 2022 / 57

Citrus Garlic Herb Butter Roasted Chicken


This chicken dish has a crispy skin, incredible flavor, and is oh, so juicy! With a few extra minutes and simple ingredients, let’s take your iconic roasted chicken to the next level!

December is the month for a variety of Mandarin oranges, from satsumas to clementines, that can make a Vitamin-C packed naturally sweet snack! You may also start noticing Buddha Hands and Meyer Lemons in the grocery aisles that can be zested to add great flavor depth to many dishes. Other seasonal produce includes kiwifruit, wild mushrooms, beets, winter squashes, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, chestnuts, cauliflower, and more. From lemon chicken soups to tangerine sorbets to wild mushroom lasagnas, the winter season and its comfort foods are upon us!


4 lb. Chicken, giblets + neck removed from cavity ¼ cup Melted Butter ¼ cup Olive Oil ¼ cup Lemon Juice 1 Tbsp. Lemon Zest 2 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped 2 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano (or 1 Tbsp. Dried Oregano)

4 Garlic Cloves, minced 3 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary 1 tsp. Salt 1 tsp. Black Pepper 1 Lemon, for stuffing 1 Garlic Head, for stuffing (Optional) Carrots (Optional) Baby Potatoes INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to “Conventional Roast” (430º F).

2. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, black pepper, chopped parsley and oregano, minced garlic, and fresh rosemary. Mix together.

3. Place the chicken in a large casserole dish. 4. Generously season the chicken with salt (for an extra crispy skin). 5. Brush half of the mixture generously over both sides of the chicken. 6. Place the chicken breast side up. 7. Slice the top portion off the garlic head to reveal the cloves inside. Stuff with the sliced half lemon into the chicken. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. 8. (Optional) Add the carrots and potatoes around the chicken. Brush with the extra sauce. 9. Brush the remaining sauce mixture evenly over the breast side of the chicken. 10. Roast for 1 hour 20 minutes, basting halfway, or until juices run clear when pierced with skewer or knife. 11. Baste again after roasting, then broil for 3-5 minutes, until golden on top. 12. Remove from oven and cover with foil to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing. 13. Garnish with fresh herbs and micro greens before enjoying warm!

DECEMBER 2022 / 59 City Lights SINCE 2014 Compassionately caring for children in Forsyth county for 8 years, through these years we have put over 2,000 children in beds. This year alone we have hit a record high of close to 500 beds that have gone out to children. Every child deserves a good night sleep, help us continue to meet the needs for beds in our city. Helping children achieve a happy successful life through: • mobile food pantry • children’s clothing closet • Bright Start /early learning program • after school tutoring • Summer camps - mission2:10/Camp Heal • Bunk Bed Ministry Call today for more information or check out our website on how you can donate or volunteer. Donate through our website www.citylightsministry.org Or sign up to volunteer with us! Text GIVE or DONATE to 336-565-7599 melanie@citylightsministry.org 336-831-1003

Layerby layer, the stacks of 18-inch firewood were transferred into the bed of a truck, intended to keep the family warm during a camping trip three hours away. Two young boys, mesmerized by the arrival of insects scurrying out of the sunlight, began moving the logs to dig further. “Daddy, look what we found!” While insects are fascinating, invasive species are easily transported to new ecosystems, causing a substantial risk to our wildlife and health. The “Don’tMove-Firewood” movement is growing. You, too, can become a well-informed advocate!

The Emerald Ash Borer

Snakes, mice, and other small burrowing creatures seek out dark places, protected from the elements, to find food. The experts admit to only sometimes detecting pin-head-sized insect eggs or microscopic fungus spores in a woodpile; yet, these tiny threats are enough to destroy an entire ecosystem. In 2012, a research team found burying insects continued to emerge years after the tree became pieces of firewood. More specifically, in other studies, 47% of purchased firewood bundles still harbored infestations of live boring and invasive species, after two years. Additionally, 23% of wood contained the Emerald Ash Borer, a metallic green beetle that feeds on the tissues beneath the bark of ash trees.

It is just one of many invasive species destroying our state’s white, green, Carolina, and pumpkin ash trees, totaling 100 million trees nationwide. Infestations also connect to human health, resulting in cases of cardiovascular and lower-respiratorytract illnesses.

For additional information, access the link www.emeraldashborer.info.

Buying Safe Firewood

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, NCDA & CS, approves of heat-treated or kiln-dried firewood; however, these methods cannot prevent the European Gypsy moth, the Sirex Woodwasp, the Asian Longhorned Beetle, the Redbay Ambrosia Beetle, or the Walnut Twig Beetle from emerging. Homeowners and campers are encouraged to purchase firewood within a 15mile radius of its origin. While the mileage can be a limitation, it’s vital to ask questions and learn more about the location of cut wood. Additionally, wood transported from another state should not be piled, but quickly burned.

TIP: All North Carolina National and State Parks require firewood to be heat-treated; therefore, consider supporting our parks and buying their locally sourced bundles and tinder.

TIP: If you are camping, call the campground in advance to learn whether firewood is sold on-site or locally. Do not take any leftover firewood with you at departure, including hiking sticks!

TIP: Currituck, Dare, and Haywood counties have unique regulations to help their residents and visitors understand the dangerous environmental hazards and health concerns present. As a result, moving any log up to four foot long across quarantine boundaries is illegal. Fortunately, the NCDA & CS provides up-to-date information for individuals at newpest@ncagr.gov.

Recommendations for Storing Firewood

In approaching the winter season, consider the following rules:

Store firewood away from homes, especially wooden structures, to reduce the risk of exposing a home to woodinsects.

• Elevate logs to facilitate drying.

Regarding any wood suspected of harboring invasive insects, the solution is to burn or bury it immediately.

Bug Fest

What better location for children to learn about insects than a festival in Raleigh, presented by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, the N.C. Forest Service, and the Plant Protection Section of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & CS Plant Industry Division. The September event promotes the “Bad Bugs of the Forest” event, discussing the risks of firewood and tree-killing invasive species through interactive games, crafts, activities, and more than 100 exhibits. In addition, festival-goers can even taste a six-legged arthropod! Mark your calendars for the next annual Bug Fest in September 2023.

TIP FOR PARENTS: A great interactive website for children to learn more about protecting trees from tree-killing bugs is https://www.dontmovefirewood.org/.

The “Don’t-Move-Firewood” movement is a national program; however, many individuals are unaware of its impact on new ecosystems and lives. Start today by sharing the message and teaching your children the benefits of learning about harmful and beneficial bugs!



Last January, I began a variation of “My Grace-Full Life,” focusing on different ways to be “full.” This year, we’ve covered “Peace-Full,” “Mercy-Full,” “Joy-Full,” “Faith-Full,” “Hope-Full,” “Truth-Full,” “Fruit-Full,” “Mind-Full,” “Prayer-Full,” and “Thank-Full.” This is the final one-- “My Worship-Full Life.”

“Worship” was my 2022 Word of the Year. And true to form, as is always the case when I get to the end of a word study--the major takeaway is that I still have so much to learn. Still--this has been one of my favorite word studies to date.

The act of worship is so simple, yet often neglected. It’s part of the reason I chose this word. I often have a bad habit that when I pray, I just dive straight into my divine to-do list without first recognizing the almighty power of the God to Whom I am praying! This year, I’ve been trying very hard to start my prayers with a sense of awe and reverence that the God to whom I pray is the Creator of all…. He deserves my respect. After all, I was created for Him, not the other way around.

I’m not saying there’s never a time to just jump right into prayer…. In an emergency–we get to the point. But as a general rule, our prayers should begin from a place of worship. It’s how Jesus taught us to pray. He said, “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9b). “Hallowed” means holy, sacred, or revered. The prayer Jesus taught immediately started with praise to God, an acknowledgment of who He is.

Beyond worshiping God in prayer, we worship Him when we sing to Him (don’t worry about carrying a tune…. We’re told to make a joyful noise to the Lord in Psalm 98:4. He never said we have to be on key!). We worship Him when we acknowledge the beauty of His world (Psalm 19:1). We worship Him when we express our gratitude towards Him (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We worship Him when we work for Him, taking care in using the gifts and talents He’s given (Colossians 3:23). The list is endless. So, worship isn’t just a Sunday kind of thing.

Being intentional in my worship has been a game-changer for me this year. And I’m grateful. Especially as I move into 2023 with a new word…. “Purpose.” It’s a good segue word…. I’ve studied worship, and since my purpose as a created being is to bring God glory and worship to Him, that feels like a good plan for the new year.

And that, my friends, is a wrap. Not only for this special “full-ness” series. But the “My Grace-Full Life” column. I’m so grateful to Robin Bralley for her willingness to publish this column each month since January 2017. I’m stepping away from my position as Senior Writer for Forsyth Magazines, but please know that I am thankful to you for reading and your words of encouragement. While MGFL will no longer be published in Forsyth Family, the blog on which this column was founded will continue. Every day, I post a Bible verse and prayer, and on Sunday morning, a blog post. If you are interested in subscribing, you can do so at MyGraceFullLife.com or follow along on Facebook or Instagram. Again, my sincere thanks for reading!

Verse of the Month: But at midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them (Acts 16:25 NKJV).

Song of the Month: “How Great Is Our God,” by Chris Tomlin

Recommended Reading: I Still Believe, by Jeremy Camp; Crazy Love, by Francis Chan; Jesus Revolution: How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today, by Greg Laurie; Because of Bethlehem, by Max Lucado

Read more at MyGraceFullLife.com.


MINUTE for your Minister



NOW - JAN 1, 6:00-11:00PM



It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, right? Have you ever thought about what all the end-of-year Christmastime responsibilities look like for your pastor and his family, with all the additional commitments, extra services, and programs that Christmas brings? One of the reasons most of us love Christmas, besides the birth of our Savior, is the extra family time you get to spend with your loved ones.

But the demands on your pastor during the Christmas season, especially this year when it falls on a Sunday, actually mean less family time. Please go out of your way to thank your pastors and their families for the extra sacrifices they make for you and your church during this Christmas season.

You can #BETHEONE to bring a smile to their face by simply acknowledging their efforts and expressing your appreciation.

Location: Tanglewood Park (Clemmons) From storybook scenes to Holiday themes, over 75 displays and over one million lights fill Tanglewood Park with the entire splendor and joy of the Holiday season! 336.703.6400


DEC 3, 7:30AM

Location: William G. White Family YMCA (WS) Proceeds: Help Stop Childhood Obesity ymcamistletoe.org


DEC 3, 5:00PM

Location: Downtown Winston-Salem 336.776.0690


Location: Downtown Kernersville 336.993.4521

RURAL HALL CHRISTMAS PARADE DEC 4, 2:30PM Location: Downtown Rural Hall 336.969.6856


DEC 6, 6-8PM

Location: Food Court @ Hanes Mall (WS) Musical Guests: Kyle Sigmon & Michael Tyree 336.777.1983


Location: Downtown Lewisville 336.986.5640


DEC 13, 6-8PM

Location: Food Court @ Hanes Mall (WS) Musical Guests: Cindy Johnson & Melissa Roland 336.777.1983


DEC 17, 1-6PM

Location: Benton Convention Center (WS)

Over 50 churches coming together to present Christmas for the City for the community with live music, kids & student activities, a toy workshop and a wide variety of arts and much more! christmasforthecity.com


DEC 17, 7:30PM

Location: Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum (WS) Presented by the Winston-Salem Symphony. Free Admission, however everyone is encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the Salvation Army. / myfox8.com


DEC 20, 6-8PM

Location: Food Court @ Hanes Mall (WS)

Musical Guests: Jay Boyce & Ryan Newcomb 336.777.1983


DEC 31, 11:45PM

Location: Tanglewood Park (Clemmons)

The run/walk starts as the clock strikes midnight through the Tanglewood Festival of Lights! Proceeds: We Care House runningofthelights.com



Location: Vintage Bible College (WS) Offering Associate through Doctorate Degree Programs in Bible Studies, Leadership, Theology, Ministry & Christian Education Classes start January 2, 2023 336.759.0591 vintagebiblecollege.org


DECEMBER 2022 / 63

Different Ways We Connect with God

Our God is so good, so intentional, and so creative! Just by taking a deep breath and looking around, we can see that the Lord has designed so many things with special care. From the nature we see outside, to the human body, to the ability to have electricity and technology, God has allowed us to experience so many different kinds of things! Our God is one who is always true and always steady in His ways, and at the same time, gives us so many different ways to experience Him.

The Lord has created each of us in unique ways. There is no one who is just like you, likes the same things as you, and has been through the same things as you have. God has allowed us all to be different, and He loves us all the same! God is so specific with each of us. In each day, we can each experience so many God moments in the mundane.

We have the opportunity to connect with and walk with the great God who created us with such unique care. There are so many ways to connect with God, and some ways may work better for some of us than others. That is beautiful!

For many of us, the way we connect with God is by being in nature. In nature, we can see God’s glorious creation, and beholding that may help us see Him. The way that God designed each leaf, tree, and blade of grass can show us how much He cares. “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display His craftsmanship.” ~ Psalm 19:1

Others of us may not have a desire to spend time in nature connecting with God, but we may love spending time with fellow believers. God gives us the amazing gift of community! Spending time fellowshiping with godly community is an amazing way to spend time with the Lord! “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Spending time singing praises to the Lord in worship is a way to connect deeply with the Lord. For some of us, spending time singing worship songs is where we feel closest to God. What a powerful way to connect with Him! “Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You. I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands.” ~ Psalm 63:3-4

Maybe singing, socializing, or the outdoors aren’t exactly your sweet spot

where you feel the closest to the Lord. Talking to Him directly in prayer is a special way to connect with our Heavenly Father. Spending time in prayer is a sure way to have your heart near to the Lord’s. If writing things out is something that you enjoy, try prayer journaling. Simply journal your prayers to the Lord! “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” ~ James 5:13

Another way to connect with the Lord is to know Him more. The way to know Him is by knowing Scripture. The Bible is God revealed to us. Commit time to knowing scripture and commuting it to memory. Memorizing scripture has endless blessings attached. The more we know God’s Word, the more we know Him! “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” ~ Colossians 3:16

Take time this week to connect with our holy and loving Lord! Whether you feel closest to Him in nature, in community, in worship, in prayer or in Scripture, or another way, treasure time with Him as your top priority—you won’t regret it!

DECEMBER 2022 / 65 Celebrate Christmas With Us! 1111 Lewisville-Clemmons Road | NewDayLewisville.org | 336.712.8000 10:30 am service In Person and On-line Join us for our church wide series, The Heart That Grew 3 Sizes. All are welcome to join us for Worship on Sundays at 10:30, small groups, serving opportunities, fellowship, youth and children activities, and more! You can find us now on Facebook at NewDayLewisville.

Comforting, Healthy Slow-Cooker Meals for Chilly Nights

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Stew

Fall is

a wonderful season for so many reasons! Pumpkin carving, sweater wearing, leaf-pile jumping and making all your favorite cozy, comfort foods. Slow-cooker meals are especially delicious at this time of year. These slow-cooker recipes make dinner prep so easy, and will leave your kitchen smelling amazing, too.

Delicious, hearty, and healthy, this dish is packed with sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, corn, tomatoes, beef, and plenty of seasoning!


3 c. medium-sized sweet potatoes chopped ¼ c. chopped celery

1 small yellow onion

8 oz. bag mini-carrots

1 can (15 oz.) corn, either fire-roasted, frozen sweet corn or cut right off the cob!

1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 lb. beef chuck roast cut into 2-inch chunks

2 Tbsp. flour

½ tsp. each seasoned salt and pepper

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. minced garlic

½ tsp. paprika

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped 2 beef bouillon cubes

1 c. water


Coat the inside of a slow cooker with nonstick spray.

Peel and chop sweet potatoes into large chunks. Measure to get a heaping 3 cups and place into the slow cooker.


3 lb. beef chuck, cut into 2” pieces Kosher salt

Ground black pepper

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. butter

12/3 c. dry red wine

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1” cubes

3 carrots, chopped into 1” pieces

3 celery stalks, chopped into 1” pieces

2 onions, chopped into quarters

1 c. chopped sun-dried tomatoes

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large rosemary sprig

2 c. low-sodium beef broth

1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes

Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish


In a large mixing bowl, pat beef dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet over mediumhigh heat, heat oil. Sear meat on all sides until golden brown with a crust, working in batches if necessary, about 10 minutes. Transfer meat to slow cooker.

Add butter and scrape pan with a wooden spoon to loosen all browned meat bits. Stir in red wine and tomato paste, simmer for 1 minute, then transfer to slow cooker.

Add potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, beef broth, and crushed tomatoes to slow cooker. Season with salt and cook on high until meat is tender, 4 to 5 hours.

Remove stalk of rosemary. Garnish with parsley before serving.

Add the chopped celery, chopped onion, the bag of carrots, drained can of corn, and undrained can of diced tomatoes.

Toss together the flour, seasoned salt, and pepper. Toss the cut meat (cut in 1 in. cubes) into the flour mixture until well-coated.

Place the coated meat in the slow cooker on top of all the vegetables.

Add the bay leaf, minced garlic, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and fresh chopped parsley.

Crumble in the bouillon cubes and water.

Stir everything together and submerge the meat below the veggies to keep it as tender as possible. Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, high for 5-7 hours or until the sweet potatoes and vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through and tender.

Stir the ingredients together and slightly mash the tender sweet potatoes in the crockpot.

Top with fresh parsley.

/ 67 Twelve Days of Christmas Music Wednesday, December 14thSunday, December 25th

White (Pine) Christmas


the age of seven, all I’d ever known was an artificial Christmas tree in my grandparents’ living room. Every year, a large box would be brought up from the cellar (we call them cellars up north) and magically, a tree would appear in front of the large picture window. First, the fake tree was adorned with the enormous, gaudy, multi-colored Christmas lights that were popular in the 70s. Then, my grandmother (God rest her soul) would decorate the tree with glass ornaments that my cousin Anthony and I would purposely drop onto the wood floor to hear the “POP!” they would make as they shattered into smithereens. We would then sneakily sweep the shards under the rug. Yes, we were THOSE kids. Sorry, Gram.

I spent the Christmas of 1979 with my biological parents. I don’t remember having a tree that year. In fact, I don’t remember anything about that Christmas...

I was still getting to know my adopted parents when I experienced what is now one of my most special holiday- related memories. A couple weeks before Christmas, my new father and I set out on an adventure. Having lived in the mountains of western Virginia for almost a year, I had already hiked to the reservoir behind our house with my new dad on several occasions. The manmade lake sat high up on the ridgeline and was probably a mile or so from our home. But this hike was going to be different than the others we had taken. This time, my father carried a saw--not a chainsaw, but the kind of saw one had to push back and forth. It being close to the winter solstice, the

air had a late fall chill to it. Armed with the saw and wearing our hiking boots, overalls, and coats, my new father and I began our trek up to the reservoir. As we climbed higher and higher, the sun shone down brightly through the trees, which stood mostly bare against the blue sky above. Under our feet, the thick layer of brown leaves crunched with every step we took. The mountain air was fresh and clean. About a half an hour later, we were gazing out at the reservoir and the beautiful mountains surrounding it. Behind us was a view of the peaceful Shenandoah Valley below. Carefully, we worked our way around the reservoir until we found what we were looking for. Kneeling beside it, my father on one side of the saw and myself on the other, we worked together to cut down the small White Pine tree. With a great feeling of satisfaction, we dragged the tree back down the mountain to our humble abode. It was my first experience with cutting down, and having, an actual tree for Christmas.

Later in the evening, after the tree had been set up in the corner of our living room, we decorated it. The smell of the freshly cut pine filled the room as we sat and strung popcorn and cranberries. Bit by bit, the tree was transformed with lights, ornaments, and various decorations. When we finished, we sat in the dark living room, as a family, admiring the tree in all its glory before us.

Now, some might laugh and say that my first real Christmas tree was sad or pitiful. Some might even say I should have had a majestic Douglas or Fraser fir, or a beautiful Blue Spruce as my first real tree. But I say, nothing could ever have been better than my White Pine Christmas.

DECEMBER 2022 / 69 STITCHES Custom Drapes | Valances | Shades | Comforters | Dust Ruffles | Pillows Suzie Phelan, Seamstress 336.414.4916 Cell LLA Christmas List?Wish JUST 10 MINUTES FROM WINSTON-SALEM 336.945.2076
Images from November 13th KMO at Fairgrounds Annex Ice Rink
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Involving Kids in Giving Back this Season

This time of year, giving back is especially top of mind for many. For those of us who are parents, looking for ways to share some of our resources or time with others is an activity we also want involve our children in. After all, there’s no better way to instill the value of giving than to give our kids a front-row seat to that process and let them experience ways to give and what that feels like.

We did something fun in our neighborhood this year, and it was an activity I loved getting to do with my 4-year-old daughter, Maggie. We sent out an e-mail and also posted in our neighborhood Facebook group, letting everyone know that we were putting together a donation of shelf-stable food and personal care items for the Second Harvest Food Bank. Most families have items on hand to donate to the food bank, but sometimes the barrier can be actually getting the food to the bank or to a donation location.

To make it extra easy on any neighbors who wanted to be part of this giving opportunity, and to make for a more hands-on experience for Maggie, we set up a time on a Saturday for anyone interested to put the items on their front porch. (I even included a link that allowed neighbors easily to add that date and time to their calendar as a reminder.) Maggie and I then walked around the neighborhood on the agreed-upon Saturday morning, looking intently at each porch and adding any food bank items we found to our stash.

Our neighbors were excited to participate, and we ended up with a trunk full of food and personal care items to donate. That next week, I took Maggie to the food bank with me to drop off the donation, so she was able to see that process from start to finish.

If you’re looking for ways to involve your children in giving back this year, here are a few more ideas on ways to do that….

• Adopt an Angel Tree child and shop for his or her gifts and your child’s together, then bring your child along to drop off the donation.

• Bake cookies together and then drop them off with your child at a local fire or police station.

• Pack stockings for homeless people, filled with things like granola bars, toothbrushes, and gloves, then keep the stockings in your car to hand out (with your child) to homeless people you encounter this season.

• Help your child find a cause they’re passionate about and then brainstorm ways your child can have a hand in contributing to that cause. (For example, we had a lemonade stand over the summer and gave the proceeds to a local animal shelter, which was Maggie’s choice.)

• Have your child draw or decorate holiday cards to drop off at a local nursing home.

For more articles like this, log on to www.TriadMomsOnMain.com

1 Vianie Noyola-Serrano 5th Grade Diggs/Latham Elementary Olivia Sledge, Art Teacher 2 Francisco Trejo 11th Grade North Forsyth High School Sydney Hinkle, Art Teacher 3 Jaiden Bernal-Valencia 3rd Grade Petree Elementary Christine Carter, Art Teacher 4 Daphne Roberts 8th Grade Meadowlark Middle School Michael Sullivan, Art Teacher
try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.”
Joan Miro

Christmas Memories

My husband and I recently, and finally, moved into our new home. It was a slow process with so many delays that I had my doubts we would ever see it finished. And, though there are still things to do, the main items needed to live comfortably are done. This season is one of thanks, faith, joy, love, forgiveness, gratitude, charity and family. Besides those, and my husband will laugh at this based on my outward behavior while moving, I will add contentment.

I know everything will progress and, in a few months, I will be able to see the home I envisioned. I know it will not be ready in time for Christmas, but I will share memories of my childhood holiday with my grandchildren and make new memories we can look back on in the coming years. I missed a lot by living so far away from my grandparents, so I am thrilled that we live so close to four of our grands and less than four hours from the other three.

Summers were the time we went to Texas to visit my grandparents. It was a long two-and-a-half-day car trip, but it was worth it as I loved spending time with them. One year, my parents, tired of the cold and snow, decided to make the trip to spend Christmas there. My father packed his golf clubs in anticipation of a green grass course and, as a last-minute thought, put tire chains in the trunk in case we ran into snow on the way home. One day into the trip, we ran into a snowstorm that slowed our travels and followed us all the way to our destination. On went the tire chains, but the golf clubs never made it out of the trunk. My sister and I loved experiencing Christmas in Texas and being with our grandparents. We thought we would miss a white Christmas, but as it turned out, we had one after all. This Christmas memory is one of my favorites.

I was a very lucky child. I have nothing but the best recollections of the holiday season. My parents made it special with beautiful decorations, wonderful traditions, trips downtown to see incredible store windows, delicious food that was shared with good friends, baking treats, and, of course, a visit to see Santa.

I love seeing how our daughters have embraced some of the traditions they grew up with and are sharing with their children. I am also glad that they are making their own customs and integrating items and ideas from their husbands’ celebrations.

One thing that has been tweaked, but not stopped, is finding the perfect Christmas tree. When our girls were young, we were fortunate enough to have a place in the mountains to go to cut down our family tree. After Thanksgiving, we traveled to West Jefferson where my in-laws had a vacation home, found our tree, and had a spectacular meal at a local restaurant. My father-in-law passed out a sheet of paper and an envelope to those old enough to write. We were to write down what we were thankful for. We put the letters in an envelope with our name on it and the date. He collected them and saved them every year. We read the previous year’s note after writing one for the current year. We still go to the mountains for our tree, but someone else cuts it down for us. We still have lunch at Shatley Springs, unless they’re closed due to COVID, and we still write letters. Not all of our families make the trip every year, but we’ll continue this tradition as long as we can.

A fairly new thing I have started doing with my granddaughter is the reverse advent calendar. Please, if you are able, this is a wonderful way to give back and help those in your community that are in need. The food bank will appreciate your donation, and your grandchildren will have fun shopping and learning about the gift of giving.

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to you! May you have a blessed season and new year!


The View from My Section – A Father’s Perspective

“Every action we take impacts the lives of others around us.

Arthur Carmazzi is a bestselling author, founder of Directive Communication Psychology, and one of the world’s Top 10 most influential thought leaders in leadership and organizational culture (as reported by Global Gurus).

When I first read his quote, I was taken aback by its sheer simplicity, yet abundant relevance. At first glance, it doesn’t appear especially insightful. You may have even thought twice about reading any further. If so, I humbly ask that you indulge me, and hopefully, you won’t be disappointed.

As you think about the quote, in-depth, you discover there’s more than what appears to be on the surface. After all, common sense tells us that what we do can have an impact on others. For example, noticing there are only three left of a particular grocery item on the store shelf and instead of just taking one, we take all three. Or, being in a hurry and seeing an elderly man hobbling across the parking lot towards the store entrance, we rush ahead, so as not to be slowed down waiting on him to enter in front of us. Perhaps upon exiting the store with your purchases you quickly empty the store buggy, and instead of pushing it over to the designated cart stand, you simply leave it in the vacant space beside your vehicle.

Innocent and apparent tame actions on the surface that may have larger consequences for others. Such as the person who desperately needed that store item, and didn’t have time to travel to another store because she was late for an important event in which she was supposed to bring “said item”. Or the fact that the elderly man was a Vietnam Veteran who saved multiple lives as an army medic, and suffered through a decade of knee injuries until he was barely able to walk, but was too prideful to use a wheelchair. And finally, the buggy, blown by the strong wind, rolls across the parking lot in front of a passing vehicle causing damage to a young teenager’s first car. One in which,

he worked for two years to be able to afford to buy.

But, not all actions are bad. There are alternative stories as well. Actions that people took that led to positive benefits for others. Some they were aware of and others they never imagined possible. One such action took place in November 2007. That was when a young woman, who had spent years working in Corporate America, found herself in a unique position to partner with her good friend and start a magazine. It was an action that resulted in many positive effects on others far beyond what she would have anticipated.

This month marks Robin Bralley’s final issue as the publisher of Forsyth Family Magazine. And though she will still be affiliated with it, she will be stepping down as the face you’ve grown to enjoy seeing at the front of the magazine each month. Though it invokes sadness to see her no longer in this role, after over fifteen years and nearly 200 issues later, she’s earned her success and the right to enjoy the next phase of her life with her husband Tim, daughters Briana and Morgan, and the rest of their family.

Just as Carmazzi suggests, Robin is a positive example of taking an action that impacted the lives of so many others beneficially. For our readers, it meant selecting interesting, informative, and entertaining stories to tell you each month. Along with sponsoring important community events, and providing valuable resources to products and services in the area that assist your needs and grow local businesses at the same time. There’s also another important group that her action affected positively, and that’s the writers, graphic designers, editors, interns, and staff along the way who joined the “family.”

Being fortunate to be a part of this journey since the third issue in January 2008, I watched it grow from a creative idea to a staple of the community. Most everyone has seen, picked up a copy, or

become one of the many loyal monthly readers of the magazine at some point along the way. And that’s due in no small part to Robin’s drive and determination to give her local community something else to be a part of and proud to associate with.

Her “action” has helped readers, businesses, non-profit organizations, youth sports, charities, and services of all kinds. It’s even helped celebrate graduations, special anniversaries and occasions, and local school artists, within its pages. To say its favorably impacted the lives of our readers, well that’s for you to determine, but there’s no doubt, for those of us fortunate to share this journey with her, it has positively impacted ours. And I’m so glad to be a character in this incredible story.

Cheers to you, Robin! May your next story be just as fulfilling, for you and everyone associated with you. I have no doubt it will be. I wish you all the best, and I’m proud to call you, my friend.

To comment and see more, visit theviewfrommysection.com.


With a mission to build economic security for women and girls in Forsyth County, members of The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem come together to advance equity through the power of collective giving. Over the past seventeen years, we have granted over $2 million to organizations working to improve the lives of women and girls in Forsyth County.

To learn more about The Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem, or to become a member, visit our website at womensfundws.org

DECEMBER 2022 / 77
Anuli Pregnancy Center Bethesda Center for the Homeless Children's Law Center of Central North Carolina City with Dwellings Dress for Success Winston-Salem Eliza's Helping Hands, Inc Financial Pathways of the Piedmont LEAD Girls of NC Mi Casa Neighborhood's Hands CONGRATULATIONS TO THIS YEAR’S GRANT RECIPIENTS: 17 We’re thankful.

A tasty tradition for your holidays

There’s nothing quite like the tradition of barbeque in North Carolina, and no one takes it more seriously than the Karagiorgis family of Little Richard’s BBQ.

It’s all about generations of authentic Lexington-style recipes at five locations now – and every detail about Little Richard’s will always remain true to their North Carolina roots. That translates to fresh pork shoulders being hickory smoked for 16 hours – “the old-fashioned way!”

Started in 1991 in Winston-Salem, the business later expanded to Clemmons, Yadkinville, Mt. Airy, Walkertown and their newest “Bar-N-Que” location on Stratford Road in Winston-Salem. Today, every Little Richard’s location is familyowned and operated by members of the first and second generations of the Karagiorgis family.

Locals know the food here is irresistible in every sense of the word, with equally praise-worthy customer service and a friendly, knowledgeable staff. And now, Little Richard’s Smokehouse Bar-N-Que on Stratford Road takes what we’ve loved from the past and blends in some new and exciting twists. The atmosphere is fun and casual, and all their famous classics are on the menu, along with some new things, and an exciting full bar menu to accompany your favorite dishes.

During the holidays, there’s no better way to treat your family and friends to some authentic North Carolina goodness than by catering your Christmas lunch, dinner, or office party with Little Richard’s. That mouth-watering goodness comes from generations of love and care for original recipes, and will leave your guests with a familiar “at home” feeling that simply warms the heart!

Catering options can include chopped BBQ, BBQ chicken, smoked wings, brisket, or ribs, accompanied by everyone’s favorite sides that include BBQ slaw, cole slaw, baked beans, collard greens, green beans, mac and cheese, pinto beans and potato salad. Beverages and desserts are also available, and full-service catering includes an on-site staff to serve buffet style (there is a 75-person minimum on full-service catering).

Once again, Little Richard’s is also presenting their annual Holiday Special for only $90. This includes four pounds of BBQ, two half gallons of sides, a dozen buns, and a bottle of BBQ sauce. It easily feeds 10 people and is perfect for your holiday dinner table! The Holiday Special is available now through the end of the year for pick-up.

For more information on these holiday meal options, visit littlerichardsbarbeque.com, or call your preferred location to place an order today! Contact Little Richard’s Smokehouse BBQ at 6470 Stadium Drive, Clemmons, 336-766-0401, in Mt. Airy at 455 Fredrick Street, 336-783-0227, Yadkinville at 916 South State Street, 336-679-7064, Walkertown at 5182 Reidsville Road, 336-754-4495, and Little Richard’s Smokehouse Bar-N-Que at 109 S. Stratford Road in Winston-Salem 336-999-8037.

DECEMBER 2022 / 79 Promote Your Business! ADVERTISE HERE robin@forsythmags.com Locally custom made cookies for all occasions! Shipping available. @annabakescookies aholbrook123@gmail.com $5 off any $30 or more purchase excludes beverage & alcohol one coupon per customer expires 12/31/22. May not be combined with other discounts. 678 St. George Square Winston Salem (beside Carmax) (336) 306 9146 NOTHINGBUNDTCAKES.COM Mon-Thurs 11am-1am | Fri-Sat 11am-2am Sun 12pm-1am www.mossysclemmons.com 6235 Towncenter Drive | Clemmons, NC 27012 EATS - ALES - SPIRITS Join us to celebrate Ribs on Mondays for $1.25/bone. www.littlerichardsbarbeque.com Clemmons 336-766-0401 Mt. Airy 336-783-0227 Walkertown 336-754-4495 Yadkinville 336-679-7064 Winston-Salem 336-999-8037 Buy One Drink, Get One 1/2 Off VALID UNTIL 12/31/22 Photos with Santa DEC 17TH & 24TH BRING IN THIS COUPON 3560 Clemmons Rd, Suite B • Clemmons, NC 27012 336.893.9892 • @bekindcoffeeco Dining MENTION THIS AD WHILE BOOKING & RECEIVE UP TO 3 ADDITIONAL PARTY GUESTS FOR FREE. For more information contact Charley at 336-923-5778 or charley@bakedjustso.com 5395 Robinhood Village Drive | Winston-Salem, NC 27106 336.923.5778 We’re back with open doors to host your birthday party or special celebration. Decorating cupcakes and cookies is fun for all ages and we can customize activities to your age group. Now offering party times on Saturday afternoons or privately on Sundays.


TANGLEWOOD PARK FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS 6-11pm, Tanglewood Park in Clemmons. Open nightly. Tickets may be purchased at the gate upon entry and in advance at the Welcome Center at Tanglewood Park. The gift village will be open with snacks, hot cocoa and marshmallow roasting. Prices start at $20/car.


HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE AT FRALEIGH’S BOUTIQUE Fraleigh’s Boutique, 2626 LewisvilleClemmons Road in Clemmons. Enjoy store specials, treats, complimentary gift wrapping and giveaways. From casual holiday parties to formal, Fraleigh’s has you covered!


HOLIDAY HOUSE TOUR TO BENEFIT JDRF 4-7pm. Homes are located in ColdWater development, Coldwater Road in Stokesdale. Get inspired for a good cause. Visit two new luxury custom homes furnished and decorated for the holidays. Support JDRF and visit these elegantly decorated, brand-new custom homes 12/3, 12/4, 12/9, 12/10, 12/11, 12/16, 12/17, 12/18, 12/30, 12/31. Cost: $5/person. Tickets available online and at the door. 2022holidayhouse.com


CHRISTMAS TREASURES SALE 8am-12pm, Clemmons Moravian Church. All gently used holiday related items including ornaments, lights and many other decorations. Proceeds will be shared with the Clemmons Food Pantry. Call 336.941.3062 to donate items.

ACCENT PRONE HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE 10am-5pm, Accent Prone in Kernersville. Visit Accent Prone to enjoy storewide sales, holiday refreshments, a permanent jewelry pop-up and enter a giveaway for a chance to win a $1,000 Accent Prone gift card!

DRIVE THRU LIVE NATIVITY 6-8pm, Mizpah Moravian Church is hosting a drive thru nativity. As you drive thru, you will see live scenes depicting the Christmas story and hear the band playing Christmas carols. Come and enjoy our gift to the community from the comfort of your vehicle.

MISTLETOE RUN A run in the cold can warm the heart. Half marathon, 5K, Fun Run, free childcare and an after party. All proceeds benefit children’s programs at the YMCA. Learn more and register at ymcamistletoe.org.

HOLIDAY NATURE CRAFTS Minglewood Farm and Nature Preserve, 238 Minglewood Road in Westfield. This will be a fun afternoon filled with holiday craft festivities for the whole family! Join us for a holiday craft day at Minglewood Farm & Nature Preserve. Children and adults will have the opportunity to create cards, wrapping paper, ornaments and other pieces of art inspired by nature! These crafts and artwork will be wonderful gifts to share with friends and family for the season or to keep as a present to yourself! This program is donation based. Visit our website to learn more about our mission and upcoming opportunities (minglewoodpreserve.org).


COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL 5-8pm, Winmock at Kinderton, Church of the Good Shepherd. Come join the whole community at the beautiful, historic WinMock barn to start off the advent season with a fun night of fellowship! We will have plenty of vendors selling community crafts and goods, some Christmas singers and musical performances, and a short kids’ program. In addition, we will have a food truck selling meals, a bounce house for children, a family photo area and some carnival games. All ages are welcome, and there is no cost for admission.


GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT 5pm-until…Butcher & Bull, 425 North Cherry Street in W-S. Grab a friend, a


neighbor, your sister, your mother, a co-worker and have a much-needed Girls’ Night Out! Enjoy $5 select wine by the glass, $10 appetizers and $5 dessert options. Reservations are highly recommended (please add a comment that says “GNO” to your reservation). As always, each attendee receives four tickets for the fabulous prize board drawings!


FESTIVE FAMILY FRIDAY 6-9pm, Kaleideum, 400 West Hanes Mill Road in W-S. Holiday laser shows, holiday crafts, live music and Santa! Buy tickets online early for $5/person or $7/person at the door. $3 Museums for All admission available at the welcome desk the evening of the event. Pre-purchase tickets at kaleideum.org.

DECEMBER 9-11 & 15-18

A CHRISTMAS CAROL Reynolds Place Theatre, 251 North Spruce Street in W-S. Tickets available by calling 725.4001 or visiting LTofWS.org.


BALSAM RANGE 7:30-9:30pm, The Historic Earle Theatre, Surry Arts Council, Downtown Mount Airy. The 2018 International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, Balsam Range, has become one of the genre’s most award-winning acts. Since forming in 2007, the group has garnered 13 IBMA awards on the heels of eight critically acclaimed albums. Balsam Range has left audiences spellbound while headlining major festivals from coast-to-coast, selling out venues across the nation and in multiple appearances at the Grand Ole Opry.

Tickets are $60/$55/$40. Visit surryarts. org for more information.


KING + COUNTRY’S “A DRUMMER BOY CHRISTMAS” Greensboro Coliseum, 1921 West Gate City Boulevard in Greensboro. The holidays will be here before we know it! Our most elaborate, meaningful, joy-filled – and of course – rhythmic tour of the year, all while celebrating the greatest news the world has ever known. We’ll be bringing holiday cheer to audiences nationwide this season, performing many Christmas classics as well as some year-round favorites. So, gather your loved ones and grab a ticket or two, and we’ll look forward to ringing in the season with you. This is an all ages, family friendly event! More details at https://fb.me/e/1OG3Xd45x.


12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS SALE AT SIMPLY STERLING Simply Sterling, 5275 Robinhood Village Drive. Enjoy savings on jewelry, apparel, handbags, art, bath & body, and gifts galore! Visit simplysterling.com for more information.


WINSTON-SALEM SYMPHONY HANDEL’S MESSIAH 7:30pm, Wait Chapel, Wake Forest University. Conductor Robert Moody. Tickets and more can be found at wssymphony.org.


HIP HOP NUTCRACKER Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts. Visit tangercenter.com for more information.




Enjoy 12 days of Christmas music on the radio at 89.3 WBFJ Your Family Station!



FEATURING CRAIG WOOLARD 7:309:30pm, The Andy Griffith Playhouse, Surry Arts Council. The Embers – Heart and Soul, Rhythm and Blues, Feel Good Music. Regularly boasting an average of 225 shows per year, with numerous shows in Mount Airy including their annual Christmas show – perfect to get you in the mood for the holiday season!



CHRISTMAS CONCERT 4-5:30pm, R.J. Reynolds Auditorium, 301 Hawthorne Road in W-S. With more than 2,000 flickering candles illuminating the performers, the Candlelight Orchestra concerts present a collection of Christmas classical music over the course of 90 mesmerizing minutes. candlelightorchestra.com



Doors open at 8pm, Village Inn Hotel & Event Center. Throwing it back to the 80s and 90s – it’s going to be totally awesome! Cost starts at $42/person or $189.99/couple for a room package. Purchase online at 2023newyearseve. eventbrite.com.



ACTIVITIES Fairground Annex Ice Rink 83 Kaleideum 17 Rise Indoor Sports 21 Salem Gymnastics & Swim 59 Triple Threat 41 YMCA 43 BAKERY/CONFECTIONS Anna Bakes Cookies 79 Baked Just So 79 Be Kind Coffee 79 BEAUTY / STYLING Lewisville Laser 69 Lyndhurst Medical Spa 51 CHILDCARE Imprints Cares 21 YMCA 43 CHURCHES New Day Community Church 65 DENTISTS / ORTHODONTISTS Salem Smiles 31 Vivid Dental 19 EDUCATION Calvary Day School 43 Forsyth Country Day School 23 Imprints Cares 21 Redeemer School 9 YMCA 43 FINANCIAL Marzano Capital Group 11 Neo Home Loans 37 Piedmont Advantage Credit Union 27 Truliant Federal Credit Union Back Cover HEALTH & FITNESS YMCA 43 HOME Head Realty Group 5 Icon Custom Builders 23 Kitchen Tune-Up 37 Neo Home Loans 37 Piedmont Advantage Credit Union 27 Piedmont Sheet Metal 27 Stitches 69 Weedman 53 Zirrus 3 MEDICAL Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist –Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine 2 Duke Eye Center 15 Hillcrest Vision 53 Lewisville Laser 69 Lyndhurst 51 Novant Health –Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute ................... 45 Novant Health Vein Specialists 47 WomanCare 29 RADIO STATIONS WBFJ ............................................................................... 67 99.5 61 Q104.1 75 REAL ESTATE & HOUSING Head Realty Group ............................................................ 5 Neo Home Loans 37 Piedmont Advantage Credit Union 27 Susan Maier Colon 59 Truliant Federal Credit Union Back Cover RESTAURANTS Baked Just So 79 Be Kind Coffee 79 Black Mountain Chocolate Bar 79 Hakkachow Asian Eats 79 Little Richard’s Smokehouse BBQ 51, 79 Mossy’s 79 Nothing Bundt Cakes 79 RETAIL Honda of Winston-Salem 7 Rolly’s Baby Boutique 53 SERVICE City Lights Ministry 59 Crossnore Communities for Children 41 Salvation Army 13 Second Harvest Food Bank 24, 55 Smart Start of Forsyth County 29 The Pregnancy Network 39 Victory Junction 31 Women’s Fund 77 WS Symphony 47 Zirrus 3 UPCOMING EVENTS Fairgrounds Annex Ice Rink 83 Tanger Center 71 We are Grateful for our advertisers It’s our privilege to work with our advertising partners, who make this magazine possible. Because of their support, we are able to offer Forsyth Family as a free community resource. As you visit these businesses and organizations, please let them know you saw their ad in this month’s issue.
WS Annex Ice Skating $10 Admission $3 Skate Rental PARTIES AND FUNDRAISERS ON ICE! Call 336.734.1594 to make a reservation! 414 Deacon Blvd., Winston-Salem For full schedule visit wsfairgrounds.com Skating on most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays!



Whether planning for your financial future or for the holidays, remember that the little things make the big things happen. Truliant wishes you a safe and happy holiday season.

The little things are the big things when you look back on them.
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