Page 1

Family Lehigh Valley


November - December Issue 2010

In This Issue: Look 10 Years Younger! What is 3-D Ultrasound?

Strength of Character:

The Foundation of True Success Manage Food Allergies


. LehighValleyFamily . com

Family Lehigh Valley

A Thrive, LLC Publication P.O. Box 414 • Macungie 18062 610-762-9011





Jeff Tintle, II


Janet Sena Pix-Ology, LLC

Laura Putt editor@

Copy Editor Vicki Bezems


Art Villafane Catherine Hertzog Lauren Wuscher Pam Cantone Denise Continenza

For Advertising

contact 610-762-9011 or sales@lehighvalleyfam

Copyright© 2010 by Thrive, LLC. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be copied or reproduced in any manner without the express written permission of the publisher. Thrive, LLC assumes no responsibility for damages arising from errors or omissions. Thrive Media, PO Box 414, Macungie 18062, Lehigh Valley Family’s monthly issues are available online at Print issues are published bi-monthly (Jan/Feb; March/April; May/June; July/ Aug; Sept/Oct; Nov/Dec); and are available at libraries, churches, health clubs, medical facilities, child care centers, preschools, educational centers and other locations where publications are generally found. Print subscriptions are available for $20 (6 issues).

Picture Perfect Moments Don’t Happen in Studios Call today for special holiday prices! Providing quality, natural light photography to capture the emotion and essence of every subject while making the photo session a relaxed and enjoyable experience. • Portraits • Wedding Photography • Engagement • Seniors • Maternity and Newborns ...The art of modern portraiture • Special Events Call today for a photo session that will exceed your expectations, but not your budget.


A message from the editor... I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I was riveted to the

character in our children. I urge you to read it and consider taking steps to bolster your own character as well. I know I will be doing so, as I firmly believe that strength of character is the foundation of true success.

I particularly enjoyed watching the faces of the families as they gleefully waited for their father, husband, or brother to emerge. One little girl had me laughing and fighting back tears with her. One second she was laughing, a moment later she would burst into tears, only to laugh again a few seconds later. It was raw and unadulterated emotion.

Inside you will also read a story about a couple who donate their time by taking their therapy dogs throughout the Lehigh Valley. To them, it’s just something they do, but to the people they help it makes a drastic impact in their life. What might you and your family do to positively influence the lives of others?

coverage of the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners. I was captivated by the feeling of hope and joyfulness that radiated on the faces of the family, the rescuers, and the miners. It is a rare occurrence that has the entire world watching, holding their breath and hoping for the best.

The story tugged at not just my heart, but my mind. The odds the miners overcame and strength of character they displayed was inspiring. In this issue of Lehigh Valley Family, we feature a story about building

I hope you enjoy this issue. Our team strives to bring you timely and important information, as well as inspire and encourage you in your journey through parenthood. We wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving, Chanukah, and Christmas.


Experience the Miracle of

3D/4D ULTRASOUND Winter Special

20 OFF



Actual Images From the Womb!

(610) 797-3232 3D Ultrasound • Maternal/Children Portraits • Prenatal/Massage • Lehigh Valley Family


NovemberDecember 2010 Table of Contents

Lehigh Valley


• Fun Facts ...Page 5 • Meet Our Cover Family ...Page 6 • That’s Science? ...Page 7 • Help! There’s a Teenager in the House ...Page 7 • What is 3D and 4D Ultrasound? ...Page 9 • Community Board ...Page 10

Lehigh Valley Family offers a monthly online magazine with fresh content, articles, listings, calendar of events, videos, links and more! It’s all free and available online. Also sign up on the web site for a free email subscription to Lehigh Valley Family’s news and updates.

• The Value of Respite Care ...Page 11 • What is Parent to Parent? ...Page 11 • Strength of Character...

In-Home Pediatric & Adult Respiratory Therapy

The Foundation of True Success ...Page 14

• Therapy Dogs ...Page 16-17 • 5 Daily Activities to Improve Your Finances ...Page 18

All set-ups done by licensed Respiratory Therapists.

• Manage Food Allergies ...Page 19

24 Hr Emergency line answered by a live Respiratory Therapist, not a frustrating phone tree.

• Look 10 Years Younger ...Page 20 • They’re Back!

Visits from the Dorm ...Page 21

• Fun Monthly Stuff ...Page 22-23

On the Cover:

Lehigh Valley residents Morgan and Angelo. Read more about this inspiring family on page 6. Cover photo by Janet Sena of Pix-Ology, LLC. Visit her online at Boys’ clothing provided by Milk and Honey Kids. See their ad on page , and visit them online at

We accept: Medicare, Medicaid Amerihealth Mercy, Gateway, Unison Coventry Cares and Aetna Better Health and most private insurances. • • • • • • • •

Oxygen Therapy Aerosol/Nebulizer Therapy Sleep Disorders Therapy (CPAP/Bi-Level) Tracheostomy/Airway Management Non-invasive Ventilation (NIV) Mechanical Ventilation Respiratory Medications Program Through Our Own Pharmacy - Compounding available


FUN FACTS • Cockroaches can live for 9 days after their heads have been cut off. • The world’s largest amphibian is the giant salamander. It can grow up to 5 ft. in length. • A car traveling 100 mph would take more than 29 million years to reach the nearest star. • In Cleveland, Ohio it is illegal to catch mice without a hunting license. • Ants never sleep. • No word in the the English dictionary rhymes with “MONTH”. • The human brain is 80% water. • Your right lung takes in more air than your left one does. • There are 86,400 seconds in day. • The earth is approximately 6,588,000,000,000,000,000 tons. • Before toilet paper was invented, French royalty wiped their bottoms with fine linen. • Tablecloths were originally meant to be served as towels with which dinner guests could wipe their hands and faces after eating. • Until the nineteenth century, solid blocks of tea were used as money in Siberia. • When glass breaks, the cracks move faster than 3,000 miles per hour. To photograph the event, a camera must shoot at a millionth of a second. • A violin contains about 70 separate pieces of wood. • During your lifetime, you’ll eat about 60,000 pounds of food, that’s the weight of about 6 elephants. • There wasn’t a single pony in the Pony Express, just horses. • Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails. • Each year there are more than 40,000 toilet related injuries in the United States. • Early Romans used to use porcupine quills as toothpicks. • From the age of thirty, humans gradually begin to shrink in size. • In 1998, Sony accidently sold 700,000 camcorders that had the technology to see through people’s clothes. • Lehigh Valley Family

Our cover family this

month is Mom Tracee, Dad Nick, Angelo, Julie, and Morgan. Angelo is in the third grade and Morgan is in first. Julie was married early this summer and she and her husband Chuck are expecting their first child in April. Nick was raised in the Lehigh Valley, he moved to the West coast after college and eventually settled in Monterey, California. Tracee had been a lifelong resident of California, where she was working for the Department

Meet Our Cover Family! Photo courtesy of Pix-Ology.

Angelo and Morgan’s shirts provided by Milk and Honey Kids

of Defense. Nick and Tracee became neighbors and met one day when Nick struck up a conversation with Tracee’s daughter, Julie, who was practicing her clarinet on the front porch steps. Tracee came outside to see who her daughter was chatting with, and began to date Nick a short time later. They eventually married and had their first son while still on the West Coast.

Together, they are involved with Cub Scouts. Tracee leads a pack of 3rd graders, including Angelo. Her assistant leader is Julie. It is a very hands on program and the family spends a lot of quality time through Scouting activities. Tracee also helps with school spirit sales and a walking club.

Two weeks after 9/11, the family was relocated to Washington D.C. and a few years later landed back in the Lehigh Valley where they could raise their family near Nick’s. Their second son, Morgan, was born shortly thereafter.

During our photo shoot, I was impressed by the bond and dynamic the family displayed. It was clear to me that this was a family that shared a lot of love and had a lot of fun together. We thank them for sharing their story and giving back to others in our area. We wish them continued success in all future endeavors.

As a family, they love going out to eat at different and interesting places. They enjoy camping, trips to the beach, playing Wii, and watching movies. Tracee notes that the boys love wrestling with their Dad and turn into little animals during wrestling time (which occurs several nights a week).

Read more about the Cub Scouts in our character article on page 13. Visit Cali Burrito at Like Angelo and Morgan’s outfits? Visit Milk and Honey Kids at or their store at 3303 Bath Pike, Bethlehem.

With their return to the Valley came a taste of the West Coast. Nick had been working as a Pastry Chef in Monterey and continued that work locally for an assisted living community. Three and a half years ago, his best friend Shawn (whom he met thru Boy Scouts as a kid) approached him with the idea to open a restaurant together. Shawn and Nick had lived and surfed together in Monterey for a few years, and their vision was to open a place that would feel like the places they liked to frequent after a morning of surfing in California. This vision became Cali Burrito, which is located on Hamilton Boulevard in Allentown.


A key factor in choosing this family as our cover family was that they are very involved in giving back to the community.

November/December 2010 •

Respite & Recreation Year Round Programs Ages 12 — 21 EASTER SEALS EASTERN PA 2200 INDUSTRIAL DRIVE BETHLEHEM, PA 18017 CALL: 610-866-8092 EXT 212 INFO@EASTERSEALS-EASTERNPA.ORG

That’s Science?

Math and Science Activities for our Youngest Learners By Carry Ackinclose Gerber, Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers In an elementary school classroom, math and science

activities are generally easy to recognize. Lessons often incorporate text books, dry erase boards, beakers, and safety goggles, but for our youngest learners, math and science activities are often more difficult to discern. We’re literally surrounded by opportunities for science and math learning. As young children gradually become more aware of the world around them, parents and teachers can help them understand science and math concepts. Below, three early childhood teachers from Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers describe math and science activities for infants, toddlers and preschool age children.

Infants Infant teacher Amanda Olson incorporates math and science activities into her classroom daily. Each day includes singing with rhythm, movement, clapping and counting. As older infants begin to mimic their teacher and clap along, Amanda counts, “1,2,3…” In addition, infants learn early science skills by playing with multi-texture objects, like rattles and balls. These objects might include different fabrics, like terrycloth, corduroy and silk. Amanda suggests using texture terms while the infants feel the different fabrics. “The ball is soft. This side is bumpy. This side is smooth.” Finger plays, like “Itsy-Bitsy Spider,” represent a developmental approach to fine motor skills and help infants manipulate their hands, and, many, like “The Bee Hive,” also incorporate counting.

Toddlers As children become more mobile, so do the math and science experiences they enjoy. Toddler teacher Dawn Herbst takes her students on nature walks to explore natural sciences. “We listen to birds, touch tree bark, and collect sticks and leaves for collages.” According to Dawn, nature provides a wealth of opportunity for children to compare and contrast. “The bark on a white birch tree is thin and papery compared to the rough bark of a maple tree.” Dawn’s daily walks also provide an opportunity to enhance her students’ early math skills. “I always try to point out street signs, which provide great geometry lessons. I might

say, ‘Look at that red stop sign! It has eight sides. The red and white yield sign is a triangle. How many sides does it have? Let’s count!’” When the weather prevents outdoor activities, math and science learning can be enjoyed indoors. Building cities, castles and towers with blocks affords children the opportunity to count and explore graduated shapes. Children can build tall towers and experience the science of gravity as the blocks fall to the ground!

A trip to the grocery store or local farmer’s market can be an educational field trip! Visit the produce section to compare and contrast fruits and vegetables. How are a cucumber and green pepper similar? How are they different? Discuss color, shape and texture.


According to preschool teacher Sandy Haas, it becomes easier to identify math activities for preschool-aged children, who spend much of their day surrounded by shapes, patterns and numbers.

Even meals can constitute math lessons, as teachers discuss the different shapes of food and other objects on the table, like round plates, oblong spoons and rectangular serving dishes. Children enrolled in Sandy’s classroom serve themselves and are encouraged to count objects as they place them on their plates, like “one, two, three carrots.” Science activities also become obvious to detect. Sandy recommends experiments with color, like mixing paints. She asks questions that lead children to create theories and make observations. “If we mix the colors blue and yellow, what do you think will happen?” Science activities can be incorporated into painting and other arts and crafts to enhance creative learning and fun for children. For example, Sandy’s class recently made binoculars out of paper towel rolls and used them to find and identify local birds. They also created handprints with white paint on black paper. Using magnifying glasses, they were then encouraged to compare and contrast their handprints. Learn more about Lehigh Valley Children’ Centers at • Lehigh Valley Family

Help....There’s a Teenager in the House! by Denise Continenza, Family Living Educator with Penn State Cooperative Extension, Lehigh County

Someone once said that trying

to raise teenagers is like trying to nail Jello to the wall. While being the parent of an adolescent can be a challenge, it need not be an impossible situation. Sometimes, just understanding what is going on during this stage of life is a relief. Knowing that certain behaviors are “normal” for teens is helpful information that does not necessarily resolve issues, but it does shine light on why they are happening. There are three areas where parents notice major shifts in their child around the ages of twelve or thirteen: physical, emotional, and social. Most people are aware that children go through a tremendous growth spurt at this time. Parents often complain that they have to buy new shoes every month to accommodate their child’s rapidly growing feet! Just like kids’ bodies grow during the teen years, so do their minds. Research on brain development has shown that the brains of teenagers undergo massive reconstruction at this time. As such, behaviors such as moodiness, tearfulness, anger, frustration, and poor judgment are more prevalent than they were during childhood. Some parents look at their teen in despair while commenting, “What happened to my sweet child?!” At the same that kids are riding an emotional roller coaster, they are also spreading their wings, reaching beyond the family to their friends and wider social environments. This is the scary part for parents. Trying to “let go” while holding on is one of the biggest hurdles for parents of teens. Just when they are appearing emotionally fragile, they are becoming more connected to their peers who are just as likely to act with their hearts rather than their heads. Whatever we do as parents, we want to work toward two major goals: to keep our teens safe and to build a strong relationship that will last a lifetime. A parent’s best tool for navigating through the teen years is communication. Here are a few tips on how to communicate with your teen: Ask open-ended questions. To get kids to talk, asking questions that start with “What?”, “How?” “When?”, and “Where?” encourage them to give more than a yes/no response. Parents might also say things like, “Then what happened?” or “Tell me more.” Don’t push for details, but instead let them know that you are interested in what they are doing and you are ready and willing to listen at any time of the day or night.

Respect teens’ need to not want to talk. The big task of adolescence is to develop a sense of identity. This takes a great deal of time and brain power. Teens appear quieter and more introspective at this stage because they really are thinking! If you need to discuss something with your child and he doesn’t want to talk, set up a time to chat that works for both of you. This allows your child to plan ahead and be truly present when you do get together. Set clear boundaries. Just like you set boundaries for your child as a toddler about things like running in the house, staying in the yard, etc., you now need to set similar limits with your teen around issues such as what kind of behavior you expect, where she may go with her friends, and what to do if she will be late coming home. Have your teen repeat back to you what you have said so that there is no confusion over what is expected. Make sure your child knows your family’s rules about alcohol and drug use. Surprisingly, many parents believe that their children just know how they feel about substance use. Yet, youth often say that they have never talked with their parents and as such do not know what their parents value. Have an open, honest conversation about drugs and alcohol. Explain the consequences of using substances at a young age, both the legal ramifications and what the outcomes would be at home. Make sure you are role-modeling responsible behavior yourself. Avoid judging or criticizing. Indeed, parents need to set limits and boundaries. However, not everything has to be a rule. For instance, if your teen has a friend whom you do not like, your child may become angry or rebellious if you simply say that he cannot hang around with him anymore. Ask your child what it is that he likes about this person. Find out what it is about him that your child values. Express your own concerns in the form of an “I-message” such as “I am concerned about your hanging out with Cody because I have heard how disrespectful he can be when he talks to his coach.” This opens the door for more communication. However, if at any time you feel that this other youth is a negative influence, as a parent you have the right to pull the plug on this friendship. Even though you are working hard to both discipline this emerging young adult and build a relationship with her, you are still the parent, and you have the ultimate say in what the rules and boundaries will be. Hopefully, with good communication the trip through the teen years will be one that is filled with smooth sailing and only mild turbulence from time to time! Denise Continenza is the Family Living Educator with the Penn State Cooperative Extension in Lehigh County. Read their blog at

November/December 2010 •

What is 3D UltraSound? By Joanne Maschi, Bountiful Babies For all of the expectant parents out there, you can now

see your unborn baby in live 4D motion with a 3D/4D ultrasound. We use cutting edge ultrasound technology to bring images of your unborn baby to life. You can actually see what your baby is going to look like before he or she is born!

At Bountiful Babies, we truly believe it is a privilege and an honor to show families their babies up close and personal. Our 3D and 4D ultrasound packages provide a positive bonding experience among the mother, father, family members and the unborn baby. The 3D/4D images of your little one will come to life. From a yawn to a stretch or the beating of your baby’s heart you will get a realistic first look at your baby’s movements in the womb. Imagine being able to see your baby suck his thumb, or wave her little hand. It’s all possible thanks to 3D/4D ultrasound technology. The questions listed below are the most frequently asked questions about our elective prenatal ultrasound packages. Q: What is an elective prenatal Ultrasound? A: Elective 2D,3D and 4D ultrasounds provide a positive bonding experience for the mother, father and other family members with the unborn baby. We encourage you to invite family and friends to attend the session. This is a joyous and wonderful experience to share with your loved ones. Q: Does this take the place of an ultrasound at my doctor’s office? A: ABSOLUTELY NOT! Women who seek elective prenatal ultrasound with us must already be receiving treatment with a healthcare provider for prenatal care and have already undergone a medical diagnostic ultrasound by their medical provider. Q: Is it safe? A: Extensive studies over 30 years have found that ultrasound has not been shown to cause any harm to mother or baby. Routine scanning of all pregnancies is now normal in the United States. 3D/4D scanning is exactly the same type and intensity of ultrasound that is used with conventional 2D scanning. We use the state of the art GE Voluson 730 PRO to complete all ultrasound studies.

Q: How far along should I be? A: If you plan on having only one 4D ultrasound examination, we would recommend having the examination performed between the 26th - 34th week of pregnancy. However, excellent images of your baby can be obtained any time after 22 weeks of pregnancy. Many mothers obtain more than one 4D ultrasound and have images to enjoy from their second and third trimesters. Q: Will I always get a beautiful picture of my baby? A: Usually but not always. Sometimes the baby is persistently looking down, i.e. towards your spine, and it is difficult to see the baby’s face. If this happens we will bring you in for a repeat scan and usually it is successful. Every baby scans differently, depending on its gestational age, position, amount of fluid, and mother’s condition. We do promise to make every effort to obtain the best possible images of whatever parts of the baby that can be seen. Should you have any questions that are not answered above, please feel free to send us an e-mail at info@ and we will be happy to answer them for you. Or visit

Community Page... Infant Massage

Nov. 20th, 10-11:30 am, or Dec. 7th, 7-8:30pm, $20 per person/$30 per couple. Hands on “Baby & Me” massage class. Create a strong bond! Certified massage therapist. Bountiful Babies Ultrasound, 4989 Route 309 Center Valley. 610-797-3232.

Looking for something for your children to do during Winter Break from school? The new East Penn Children’s Fitness Academy in Alburtis will have fun for children of all ages during this week. They offer Winter Camps, Dance Workshops, Open Tumble Time, Tumble Clinics and Wrestling Clinics (K -12 Call 610-967-KIDS (5437) or visit their web site at for more details and time schedules.

Need a Flu Shot? Maxim Healthcare is hosting the following flu shot clinics, stop in while they are in your neighborhood:

Nov 1: 10:00-2:00. Redner’s Warehouse Markets. 3745 Nicholas Street, Easton. Nov 3: 10:00- 02:00. Redner’s Warehouse Markets. 2300 Lehigh Street, Allentown. Nov 3rd & 4th: 3:00-5:00 PM. Parkland Area School District. 2675 PA Route 309, Orefield. Nov 5: 10:00-02:00. Redner’s Warehouse Markets. 1201 Airport Road Allentown. Nov 10: 10:00 -2:00. ShopRite Warehouse. 8301 Industrial Blvd, Breingsville. Nov 12: 3:00-7:00. BJ’s Wholesale Club. 1785 Airport Road South, Allentown.

Drop In Storytime

Fridays from 10:30- 11:00 a.m. at the Parkland Community Library. Drop In storytime is for families with children between the ages of birth and 5. No registration is required. Open to the public. An adult must stay with each family.

Did You Know?

The Bach Choir has a FREE Cantata series? It’s called, A Gift of Music: A Noontime Blessing. This series runs each second Tuesday of the month, from 12:10-1:00 p.m. at Central Moravian Church in Historic Downtown Bethlehem. Sounds like an excellent way to spend a lunch break!

What Are You Doing this New Year’s Eve? Make your family’s last night of 2010 special. The Lehigh Valley has tons of family friendly celebrations happening. Check out the calendar of events at As we get closer to the New Year, the list will grow with ideas of things to do and hotspots to visit. Check in with us before you make your holiday celebration plans!

The Value Of Respite Care A Good Respite Care Program is an Important Ally

By Marcia Theodoredis, Easter Seals Eastern Pa

Taking care of loved ones with special needs can be

exhausting—although you do it gladly and with love. A quality respite care program is a valuable ally for caregivers. It’s a planned time out for the adult, allowing the luxury of time to focus on other aspects of life besides work and caregiving. Respite care is an opportunity for parents or caregivers of special needs children to take a healthy break. There’s no need for parents to feel guilty—this is your time to reenergize. Fighting stress and caregiver “burnout” is essential to Program Activities: your health. Easter Seals Eastern PA (ESEP) provides the safe environment and qualified staff to ease any separation anxiety, concerns or guilt parents often feel when relinquishing the care of their child to another. ESEP’s Respite Care For Ages 12–21

Arts & Crafts Board Games Card Games Dance Field Trips Fitness Martial Arts Music Video Games Yoga

With ESEP’s Saturday Respite and Hang Time programs, families can take a few hours to spend with their other children, run errands, accomplish household chores or just relax.

What is Parent to Parent? By Parent to Parent USA

Parent to Parent (P2P) programs offer support for families

with children who have a special health care need, disability, or mental health issue. Through a one to one “match”, experienced support parents provide emotional support to families and assist them in finding information and resources. The Parent to Parent network is a growing national resource for families. Statewide, regional and local community-based programs continue to emerge out of grassroots efforts; new statewide programs are being developed to support the efforts of local groups; national needs are being addressed as they arise; and international interest in Parent to Parent is growing every year. The strength of P2P comes directly from the parents who dedicate themselves to its continuing success. What is Parent to Parent support? Parent to Parent USA defines it as the connection between a trained Support parent and a parent seeking information, resources and support. Parent to Parent programs facilitate parent “matches” and provide follow-up support. Because the quality of the matched experience depends on a number of different factors, Parent to Parent programs make matches with great care.

How are P2P Matches Made and Supported? Parents who are interested in being matched with a support parent can refer themselves to a P2P program or request that someone else make the referral on their behalf. The referral coordinator will gather information about (a) the child; (b) parent’s own Saturday Respite is a full day of activities adapted to situation, needs, and specific challenges; (c) reasons for seeking maximize each child’s participation. Programs provide support; (d) the qualities they hope for in a support parent; educational, social and life enriching experiences. There are plenty of opportunities for participants to build and (e) any unique preferences or issues related to the match. friendships with staff, volunteers and other participants and The coordinator will then identify a support parent who seems to socialize within a safe and nurturing environment. to be the right fit. If the support parent agrees to the match, Hang Time is a Thursday evening respite program to allow then contact information for each parent is shared with the tweens, teens and young adults to learn and enjoy a variety other. of experiences. Participants can learn and practice yoga, a Hang Time favorite, with Ms. Jackie. ESEP’s trained staff provides support as local martial artists, art teachers, personal trainers and drama coaches teach new activities. Take a break, starting this holiday season. Siblings, TSS and Support Staff are welcome. It’s your time to spend anyway you like. Register your child today! Location: Easter Seals Eastern PA. 2200 Industrial Drive Bethlehem, PA 18017. To register or for more information: Call: 610-866-8092 ext 212 or email:

Next, follow-up helps to ensure the success of the match. The referral coordinator will check in a few days after the match has been made to make sure the initial contact has indeed occurred. Over time, regular and on-going check-in calls with the referred parent and the support parent give the coordinator an opportunity to resolve any logistical problems that may arise and to learn about any other resources that might benefit the match or either parent. Support parents are encouraged to make contact regularly

(Parent to Parent Continued on page 12) • Lehigh Valley Family


(Parent to Parent Continued from page 11) with the referred parent, even if these contacts are brief. Many programs encourage support parents to contact the referred parent at least once a week during the first few weeks so that the two families get to know each other more quickly. These early and frequent contacts will help the referred parent to feel sure that the Supporting Parent is indeed a reliable ally who will be there for them day in and day out. Characteristics of Parent to Parent • Most programs are parent-directed, and indeed it is this parent ownership and energy that seem to give the program its real strength. • Most programs are all inclusive and serve families of children/adults of all ages. • Most programs are cross-disability, with many different physical and developmental disabilities being represented, including prematurity, children whose parents are challenged by alcoholism or drug addiction or who have AIDS, children with mental illness or severe behavioral and emotional disorders, children who have special health care needs and/or children with acquired disabilities. • Each match evolves based on the needs and preferences of the referred parents; some matches are just a few contacts over a course of several days or weeks, while others evolve into lifelong friendships. • Eighty percent of P2P programs offer formal training for Support parents. (2007 Organization Survey) There are many different support and information opportunities available to parents. Some are directed by professionals and others are directed by parents. Sometimes the support is provided in a group setting and sometimes individually. Ideally, communities will offer a broad spectrum of options so that families can choose the one that is most comfortable and meaningful for them. Informational or emotional support by a professional is provided in a one-to-one setting. When parents are given a choice as to whom they would want to speak with about their child, they most often choose other parents who share their experiences. Literally hundreds, if not thousands, of parent support groups have been started by parents wishing to talk with other parents about similar issues.

P.R.E.P. for SUCCESS LLC Pennsylvania Renaissance Educational Programs

Tutoring by experienced, certified PA teachers, in your home, for all ages and for all subjects • All Ages and All Subjects, K-12th grade and adults • Flexible Tutoring (any day & any time to fit your schedule)

610-967-2670 •

Bring home high quality healthcare from compassionate and capable providers. PSA HealthCare is a home care agency that provides nursing and home health aide care to special needs children and adults in Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Montgomery and Schuylkll Counties. PSA has a team of caring professionals with the technical skills, knowledge and commitment to provide the highest level of quality care. PSA specializes in providing care to technology dependent children and adults. Call today for your free in home evaluation.

Allentown 1125 South Cedar Crest Blvd., Suite.107 Allentown, PA 18103-7903 610-439-5700 •

For more information about Parent to Parent, visit www.


November/December 2010 •

Strength of Character...

The Foundation of True Success By Laura Putt, Lehigh Valley Family and Gwen Pongracz, Kids of Character fact that the wrong way might be more beneficial. By intentionally building strong character qualities into our lives, we can leave a lasting impression on our kids. Take a personal challenge to improve your character at work, at home, and in the community. • Read to your children. Choose books in which a good character trait or value is portrayed. Many children’s books focus on these traits. After reading the book, talk to them about the roles in the story and ask them which one they liked and why. Give them a definition of the character trait. Ask them how they could demonstrate that trait. • Use recognition rather than rewards. Praise your kids when you see them demonstrating good character. Do not reward them with material Photo courtesy of Pix-Ology. items. This will teach them to do good for the sake of being good, not to gain a reward. • Know your kids’ friends and their parents. quick search on Webster’s defines character as “Moral or ethical quality; qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity; • Hold your children accountable for their decisions and actions. • Monitor your child’s TV shows, music, texting and social media pages reputation; good repute.” Digging a bit deeper, character can like Facebook and MySpace. Talk to them about what types of personal be defined as “the stable and distinctive qualities built into an information and photos are appropriate and inappropriate. individual’s life which determines his or her response, regardless • Give your kids opportunities to do good things. Building character of circumstances.” takes time. Get a jump on it by volunteering together. Consider how strong a person’s character must be to “determine a person’s response regardless of circumstances”. Is your character Get Back Up Through Enrichment Programs The public school system is very able to have formal character education that strong? What about the character of our children? programs. In fact, character education is mandated by No Child Left Whether our character is weak or strong, we all have character. Behind, just as the PSSA scores It is built into our lives and determines our responses. It has Did you know? for reading and math are. The been said that character is the foundation for all true success. problem is that funding is tied to Benjamin Franklin designed Considering that fact alone, why is it that character education is the results of the PSSA scores. No for himself a plan for building not formally taught to our children? funding is given for the success of character that certainly seems Character and the World around Us character education programs so to have been successful. He It’s no secret that the world is a different place than it was when many schools do not focus on it. identified thirteen character we were kids, much less the days of our parents’ or grandparents’ When schools have good character qualities that he felt needed childhoods when good character was a given. Our society is education programs in place they to be better developed in his laced with many problems that plague all aspects of life. Crime, see results such as: reduced office own life and devised a method substance abuse, domestic violence, early exposure to sex, and referrals, increased skills for conflict of focusing his attention on a lack of respect are just a handful of the many issues our kids resolution, lessening of risky each of those qualities for one are facing at an increasingly young age. It can be argued that the behavior, overall improved school week at a time. Thus, during a roots of these issues are a lack of good character. climate and improved attendance year’s time Mr. Franklin would and test scores. Research shows So what are parents to do in an effort to fend off the negative go through his entire list four that effective character education character-less society that is entering our homes and schools? times. programs go hand-in-hand with Gwen Pongrcaz who runs the local not-for-profit organization academic success. Kids of Character makes these suggestions:


• Start with modeling. As parents, one of the best ways to teach our kids is to lead by example. Paying more attention to our own character will certainly be noticed by our kids. When you are faced with a dilemma, talk about it with your children. State the situation and your choices. Explain that you are picking the right one because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of the

Parents should let schools know that they want the schools to emphasize character education. While parents can’t rely on the public schools alone to provide character education, our community has plenty of options to surround your kids with children and adults in a character enriching program.

(Character continued on page 14) • Lehigh Valley Family


(Character continued from page 13) A great example is Scouting. Both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts integrate character building into their programs. The Boy Scouts of America defines itself as a values-based youth development organization. The Boy Scouts of America provides youth with programs and activities that allow them to try new things, provide service to others, build self-confidence and reinforce ethical standards. Scouting teaches teamwork and skills as do many other youth programs, but Scouting sets itself apart by encouraging youth to achieve a deeper appreciation for service to others in their community. Scouting instills in their participants that they are important as individuals and promotes activities which lead to personal responsibility and high self-esteem. As a result, when hard decisions have to be made, peer pressure can be resisted and the right choices can be made. Take a look at this data provided to us by the Boy Scouts of America local chapter, Minsi Trails Council: Scouting’s relevant and engaging programs meet the needs and interests of today’s youth while providing proven outcomes: Success in school: • Increased academic success • Higher participation in sports and extracurricular activities • Increased graduation rates from high school and college

20+ locations

A trusted neighbor

since 1970, Lehigh Valley

Children’s Centers (LVCC) is a leader in providing high-quality early education and child care. We offer: 

Programs for children ages six weeks to 12 years

Well qualified, experienced teaching staff

Nutritious meals and active play

Scholarship assistance ∙ (610) 820-5333

Personal success as a youth: • More self confidence • Better able to handle emergencies • Rating personal physical fitness as excellent • Being a leader among peers • Believing they should help others in need • Reduced under-age experimentation with alcohol Responsible adults: • Increased civic responsibility (voting in every election) • Increased regular attendance at religious services • Higher value placed on family relationships and good citizenship. Recently we spoke with Tracee, who is a Den Leader for the Cub Scouts. When I asked her what made her decide that Scouting was a good choice for her two sons she answered; “Because Cub Scouts is considered a ‘family program’, it offers my family and my sons the opportunity to do really interesting things together - community service projects, camping, hiking, academic and recreational achievements. The youngest level of the program (Tigers, who are in first grade) requires a community based field trip for every achievement, learning about museums, libraries, rescue personnel, nursing homes, banks, grocery stores, television or radio broadcasting stations, and professional or collegiate sporting events. Each year, the program remains much the same but gets more detailed than the last, so the boys gain a deeper understanding of the community and how it works. Our family does all of this together and these are things we really wouldn’t be doing or learning about without Cub Scouts. I love that my kids are learning so much in the program, but what I love more is that we are participating in the process with them. The camping and craft aspects are really fun too, like tree identification, knot tying, camp fire building/safety, cooking/camp cooking, pinewood derby, birdhouse building and many more.” Tracee’s 23 year old daughter Julie serves as the troop’s assistant leader. Together they lead 13 third graders. Tracee takes her Den leadership very seriously, stating, “Parents have a lot of choices these days as to what they want to invest their time and money in for their children’s development, and if they’ve decided to be a member of Cub Scouts, I want them to get some really good stuff out of it. Scouting teaches leadership, loyalty, honor, courage, trust, reliability, compassion, environmental and natural sciences, community many wholesome attributes that take a person farther in life. In my career, I’ve heard hiring personnel say that when a person has Scouting and particularly the Eagle Scout in their background, they become more desirable as a potential employee. I hope that the boys I lead will come out of the program better than if they had not participated.” The program has set strict rules governing leadership interaction with the boys, as well as adult/child ratios and safety matters. Leaders attend mandatory trainings and earn certifications, with optional certifications for those who desire to learn more. This year, the age group of Tracee’s Cub Scouts are called Bears. The boys are to complete 24 multi-part achievements, plus several electives and community service. This year the den begins its leadership component, which means they will all take a turn leading a 10-minute den activity.

List of Character Traits

See a complete list at

Photo courtesy of Pix-Ology. Tracee finished her interview with Lehigh Valley Family by noting one of her favorite things about Scouting is that she is volunteering alongside a group of parents that love being with their kids...their own kids and the kids they lead in their dens. She says, “It’s a great group of adults and a great group of kids. Not a bad way to spend some free time and cultivate new friendships!” The Boy Scouts of America also offers a co-ed program called Venturing. This is a high-adventure program for ages 14 -20. The program provides positive experiences through exciting and meaningful youth-run activities that help them pursue their special interests, grow by teaching others, and develop leadership skills. Learn more about these character enriching programs and more at Religious Affiliations Parents can also find programs to help enrich their children’s character at many religious organizations around the Valley. One example is Athletes for Christ (AFC). AFC is a program that combines both knowledge of Christianity and competition in a sport. Aside from combining physical skills and prayer in to the program, AFC works to teach the kids respect for themselves, sportsmanship, and the ability to be better people with the help of others, both on and off the field. You can learn more about Athletes for Christ at www. While the task of raising children with strength of character may seem daunting in the face of a character-less society, consider joining one of the above groups that is a good fit for your child and family. You can find ways each day to take a step towards a stronger child and a stronger family. Starting with a few small steps we can live again in a world where strength of character and moral fortitude is once again a core concern in how we conduct our lives. Learn more about Kids of Character at

Alertness - Being aware of what is taking place around me so I can have the right responses. Attentiveness - Showing the worth of a person or task by giving my undivided concentration. Boldness - Confidence that what I have to say or do is true, right, and just. Compassion: Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others. Contentment - Realizing that true happiness does not depend on material conditions. Dependability - Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice. Determination - Purposing to accomplish right goals at the right time, regardless of the opposition. Discretion - Recognizing and avoiding words, actions, and attitudes that could bring undesirable consequences. Endurance - The inward strength to withstand stress and do my best. Enthusiasm - Expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort. Faith - Confidence that actions rooted in good character will yield the best outcome, even when I cannot see how. Flexibility - Willingness to change plans or ideas according to the direction of my authorities. Forgiveness - Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and not holding a grudge. Generosity - Carefully managing my resources so I can freely give to those in need. Gentleness - Showing consideration and personal concern for others. Gratefulness - Letting others know by my words and actions how they have benefitted my life. Honor - Respecting those in leadership because of the higher authorities they represent. Initiative - Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it. Joyfulness - Maintaining a good attitude, even when faced with unpleasant conditions. Justice - Taking personal responsibility to uphold what is pure, right, and true. Loyalty - Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to those I serve. Patience - Accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it. Punctuality - Showing esteem for others by doing the right thing at the right time. Resourcefulness - Finding practical uses for that which others would overlook or discard. Responsibility - Knowing and doing what is expected of me. Self-Control - Rejecting wrong desires and doing what is right. Sensitivity - Perceiving the true attitudes and emotions of those around me. Sincerity - Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives. Truthfulness - Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts. Virtue - The moral excellence evident in my life as I consistently do what is right.

Therapy Dogs Touch the Lives of Everyone Involved By Vicki Bezems, Lehigh Valley Family Since 2004, Terry and Ron Elison of Allentown have

volunteered their time visiting nursing homes, hospitals, schools, adult care centers, and hospice patients with their two black Labrador Retrievers. The dogs, Bailey and Kenna, are therapy dogs. According to Terry, it’s a good experience for everyone involved. “It’s a wonderful way to give back to the community and share your dogs at the same time.” Terry and Ron belong to Therapy Dogs International, a volunteer organization that regulates the use of therapy dogs. TDI was founded in 1976 by a registered nurse who saw firsthand how providing animal companionship for hospital and nursing home patients could improve a patient’s condition. The benefits of interaction between humans and animals have been studied for over 50 years. TDI did a study in 1996 which showed that therapy animals in facilities they visited improved the overall mood of both patients and staff. Patients show decreased blood pressure, focus less on pain, talk more, and are more positive and cooperative. In schools, therapy dogs help children improve their reading skills by serving as an affectionate, non-intimidating audience; and they give children an opportunity to learn how to treat animals. Therapy dogs in general offer comfort and unconditional love. Sometimes a terminal patient’s last request may be to feel the fur of one of the dogs or have the dog lie on the end of their bed. The dogs often provide comfort to grieving family members, as well.

Ron and Terry help 2 year old Noah pet therapy dog Kenna.


The Elison’s dogs have participated in the TailWaggin’ Tutor program, where children who have difficulty reading, read aloud to a dog. Another service that TDI provides is disaster relief.

This function was added after 9/11, when therapy dogs were led through the streets of New York to give survivors or grieving family Terry and Ron with Bailey and Kenna. members the opportunity to stop and pet or hug the dogs. TDI dogs were also instrumental in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. TDI has stringent requirements for certification. The dog must be at least one year old, have a good temperament, be easily trainable, be licensed with the county, and have a certificate of vaccination and health from a veterinarian. Each dog and its handler must be certified by a TDI tester. The dog must pass the test at 100 per cent. The dog is evaluated on basic commands, such as “sit, stay, and come.” The animal must remain calm and well behaved when exposed to loud noises, children playing, other animals, strangers approaching, and joggers running by. According to Terry, “leave it” is the command that dogs most often fail. It must walk on a loose lead around a plate of tasty, good smelling food on the ground no more than three feet away without trying to go for it, while being told to “leave it”. This command is critical to a therapy dog’s safety. Bailey was certified with Terry as his handler in 2004, and Kenna was certified with both Ron and Terry in 2007. Bailey has the ideal temperament for the job; he’s very calm, he loves people, and he’s obedient. Terry said, “When Bailey was about a year or year and a half, I just knew that’s what he was meant to do.” In the hour that Laura Putt and I spent with Terry, interviewing her for this story, Bailey slept at Terry’s feet most of the time, while Laura’s two-year-old daughter climbed on his neck and pulled on his ears. The Elison’s other black Lab, five-year old Kenna, was equally gentle but much more active and playful. She tolerated the same kind of handling by the child, all the while playing with her stuffed squeaky toys, returning each one to its basket after she finished with it. Because Kenna is so active, Terry keeps

November/December 2010 •

her enrolled in agility training to help her maintain focus and good behavior. Terry Elison’s neighbor gave Bailey to her as a birthday gift nine years ago. Bailey was born with a heart disease. He had been sold to a family and returned to the breeder because of the potential problems of caring for a sick animal. The breeder was at a loss for finding Bailey a good home and had plans to put him down, when Terry’s neighbor, a mutual friend, thought of Terry and her love for dogs. At the time, Terry and Ron were about to become empty-nesters, with one son in college, another who was a high school senior, and an aging Golden Retriever. They had no plans for another dog, but when the neighbor called and asked if they would take Bailey, Terry couldn’t say no. It was a win-win situation According to Dr. Edward for Bailey and the Elisons.

Creagy of the Mayo Clinic, “When we look into a dog’s eyes, pet it, or hold its head in our hands, we have a surge of hormones within our brain which makes us feel peace, serenity, and tranquility.”

Dogs with the heart disease that Bailey has only live to about age four, on average. Asked what has kept Bailey so healthy up to his present age of nine, Terry credits his diet, which consists of high quality kibble; whole foods such as chicken, vegetables, fruit, yogurt and eggs; and no salt. Kenna enjoys the same menu and especially loves green peas. The dogs’ coats shimmer and they shed very little. Both dogs receive supplements and visits to a chiropractor, as well as acupuncture. “Yes, they’re a little pampered,” muses Terry. “We call them our ‘fur kids’. Wherever we go, they go.” It would be easy to surmise that Bailey and Kenna’s good health and their success as therapy dogs can be attributed with the love they receive. TDI will accept any breed. Terry maintains that rescue dogs make wonderful therapy dogs because they have so much love to give.

Owning and handling a therapy dog is an enriching experience for both their handlers and the recipients of their visits. Both families and couples can benefit from owning a therapy dog, which is also a growing interest among older and retired people. TDI reports that there were 21,000 dogs and handler teams registered in 2009. For more information on Therapy Dogs International, contact TDI at 88 Bartley Road, Flanders, New Jersey 07836; Tel: (973) 252-9800; Fax: (973) 252-7171; e-mail:; website:

If we don’t laugh, we might cry... Let’s laugh! The economy is so bad that… • I got a pre-declined credit card in the mail. • I ordered a burger at McDonald’s, and the kid behind the counter asked, “Can you afford fries with that?” • CEOs are now playing miniature golf. • If the bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds,” you have to call them and ask if they mean you or them. • Hot Wheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM. • Parents in Beverly Hills and Malibu are firing their nannies and learning their children’s names. • A truckload of Americans were caught sneaking into Mexico. • Motel Six won’t leave the light on anymore. • The Mafia is laying off judges. • BP Oil laid off 25 congressmen.

Doctors’ opinions of the financial bailout... • The Allergists voted to scratch it. • The Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves. • The Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it. • The Neurologists thought the administration had a lot of nerve. • The Ophthalmologists considered the idea short sighted. • The Pathologists yelled, ‘Over my dead body!’ • The Pediatricians said, ‘Oh, grow up!’ • The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness. • The Radiologists could see right through it. • The Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing. • The Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow. • The Plastic Surgeons said, ‘This puts a whole new face on the matter.’ • Urologists felt the scheme wouldn’t hold water. • The Cardiologists didn’t have the heart to say no. • Lehigh Valley Family


5 Daily Activities to Improve Your Finances!

balance my paper register with the online system’s current available balance.

By Jason White,

Like I said, it may seem a little excessive, but after going weeks without balancing my checkbook register I found this daily action helps keep financial stress away because I always know exactly where I stand.

Oftentimes when we set big goals such as getting out of debt,

5. Read something educational every day. I start my

or losing 100 pounds, we immediately feel overwhelmed by the amount of effort required to reach those goals. It’s no secret that the best way to stay motivated is to break these goals down into smaller, more manageable goals. I like to break things down to daily battles, that if won, will ultimately help me reach my goal. Here are five daily battles I’ve fought each day over the past year and have helped me hit (or get close to hitting) the goals I set for myself back at the first of the year.

1. Maintain a spending journal. Journaling is a great way

to introduce accountability into your life. Whether it is dollars or calories, keeping a journal of expenditures provides a way to keep track of your daily outgo. It also helps you identify trends that may be valuable in creating next month’s budget, or help in reducing a particular budget category. Write down all of your expenses in the journal and give them a category (housing, food, clothing, school expenses, gifts, etc.). At the end of the month group these expenses together. You might be surprised to learn you spend $200 eating lunch out with coworkers every day, or $2.00 a day at the vending machine.

2. Develop a passive income. Developing a passive income

is one of the keys to building wealth because it puts your money to work even when you are not. Passive income may be derived from things like interest accumulation, royalties, rent from real estate holdings (although landlords would argue this isn’t exactly a passive activity), social lending somewhere like Lending Club, or you can get close to passive income with activities such as blogging, or selling e-book products online. Even if you only make two or three dollars a day, that is $60-$90 per month that you would not have earned otherwise.

3. Make micropayments on outstanding debts. Many

people are now familiar with the concept of snowflaking–collecting small amounts of “found” money and pooling it for a purpose such as savings, paying off credit cards, etc. Well, I like to take that same method and apply it to debt reduction. Some refer to this method as “snowballing,” after the other popular personal finance concept, the debt snowball. Using any extra money I can squeeze out of my budget, or from passive income, I make small payments throughout the month on outstanding debts. If I left the amount sitting idle in my checking account chances are I would spend it before it was applied to debt.

4. Update your budget. At risk of seeming obsessive, I like

to update my budget every single day. I wake up early, and part of my routine is to review my checking account from the day before and mark cleared items in my checkbook. I then subtract any outstanding credits, and add back any outstanding debits, to

day off reading posts from about twenty-five of my favorite blogs. Then I check the news headlines online before moving onto a magazine article or book chapter I’ve bookmarked the night before. Throughout my day I try to carve out time to read some of the newspaper for local happenings, and usually wind up my day reading more from a book. I had a goal of reading a non-fiction book every week, but quickly burned out thanks to my hectic schedule. Perhaps a book every other week is a more feasible goal for this year. Either way, the idea is to read something educational every single day. And if you can sneak in something finance related, even better. I have discovered the hard way over the years that success usually comes to those that win the daily battles. You might have noble goals such as to lose 50 pounds in 12 weeks, or pay off 50% of your debt in six months. However, if you don’t win the daily battles you will not reach those long-term financial goals. To read more from Frugal Dad, visit his blog at

Improving Quality of Life for Children

2200 W. Hamilton St., Ste. 201 Allentown, PA 18104

• Experienced Pediatric Practitioner • Lower & Upper Limb Prosthetics • Scoliosis/Spinal Bracing Treatments • Cranial Remolding Helmets • Advanced Pediatric Orthotics • Free House Calls with Referral • Now accepting

Steven Chu, CPO Owner-Practitioner

610.770.1515 •

Managing Food Allergies... Planning for the Holidays By Vicki Bezems, Lehigh Valley Family The holidays are quickly approaching. For most families, this

time of year brings a multitude of gatherings, parties, and special events. For those with food allergies, along with the fun comes the enormous stress of avoiding foods that can cause allergic reactions, from mild rashes to anaphylactic shock. Dinners with relatives, drop-in parties, or a neighborhood gathering with Santa can create extraordinary challenges for the allergy sufferer who must avoid peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, shellfish, soy, sesame, wheat, or more. Protecting very young children with food allergies can be especially tough. So how is it possible to avoid dangerous situations during the holidays? Planning and communications are the key. Before the holidays begin, take a look at your calendar. Identify all the events where food may be served and, if your food allergic family member is a child, where children will be invited. Start with your child’s school, pre-school, or daycare. Find out what celebrations are planned, including dates, times, and persons responsible for each event. Contact the person in charge well in advance with the following questions: • What foods will be served? • Who will be bringing each dish? What ingredients are in each food? You may have to contact each person and ask what ingredients each food contains. • If your child has a peanut allergy, ask that no peanuts be used in any of the food, since peanut allergies are often airborne and tactile. • Request that food providers save ingredient labels for you to check. • Explain that the foods your child can eat must not come in contact with other foods to which he or she is allergic; be careful of cross contamination with utensils used in cooking or serving. • If it is not possible to identify or influence the kinds of foods that will be served, make your child a safe alternative and send it on the day of the party. I have always done this in lieu of taking a chance on a food containing a hidden ingredient which may cause a reaction. Remember, it may be very difficult for even the most wellmeaning cook to prepare food safely for an allergic individual if he or she is not experienced, despite all the best intentions. If you receive an invitation to the home of a relative or friend, speak with the hostess ahead of time, explain the allergies of your family member, and ask the same questions you would ask an event coordinator at school (above). If you learn that the planned foods will pose a risk to your food allergic family member, volunteer to bring a dish to share that your family can eat safely and others will enjoy. It may be necessary to take along other safe foods intended only for the one with the allergy. This is the safest option and will take the pressure off your host or hostess.

If you are a hosting a party, find out in advance if any of your guests has a food allergy. If a child who has a food allergy will be attending, keep all foods which pose a risk out of reach. If one of your guests has a peanut allergy, avoid serving any peanuts. If you feel confident that you can prepare foods free from allergens for your allergic guest, then ask for guidance from that guest. Providing safe foods will give your guest a welcome break from cooking. If you or your allergic family member is celebrating at a restaurant, call the restaurant well in advance of the party and speak with the manager or chef. Explain your concerns: • Ask for the menu. • Ask for an ingredient list for each food being served. • Explain the risks of cross-contamination, and ask if foods are prepared in shared oil; on shared pans, griddles, or grills; or with cooking utensils used in other foods. While it may seem daunting to ask all these questions, don’t despair; you will be surprised how many people understand and will cooperate. Most importantly, always carry your medications. Despite everyone’s best efforts, accidents can happen, and the most common reason for death from allergic reactions is a delay in using medication. If you are interested in learning more about food allergies, go to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis network at , or call 800-929-4040. Vicki Bezems has a 13-year-old son with life-threatening allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts. Her husband and daughter share a severe soy allergy. She has no medical training but writes from her own experience. Following the guidelines in this article does not guarantee that an allergic reaction will be avoided.


Lehigh Valley Feeding Management Clinic

sees children who have problems such as difficulty chewing or swallowing, aversion to certain food textures, anxiety during mealtime, picky eaters and children on the road to obesity or anorexia. Call: 610-866-8092 ext. 212 • Lehigh Valley Family



Your Style

Look 10 Years Younger! By Lauren Wuscher, IMAGEine U

Life can have a drastic affect on the look of our skin. There

are things you can do to prevent skin damage (sunscreen) and there are things that you can do to help with existing skin damage (moisturizers and creams). A combination of both, no matter what your age, can drastically improve the look and texture of your skin, thus making you look younger than you really are. Now that the weather is getting colder, it’s even more important to take good care of your skin. Wash Daily – It’s as simple as that! More people than you think go to bed each night with a day’s worth of dirt and oil on their face. Taking a minute to wash your face each night will clear clogged pores, keep your skin clean, and get the blood circulating through your face. Apply your face wash by gently rubbing in circular motions and then rinse. Pat dry and always apply moisturizer. The more moisturized your face is, the less likely you are to get wrinkles because your skin will have nowhere to crease. Follow the correct steps to face care – There is a specific order in which you should apply products to your skin: 1. Wash your face (exfoliate once a week). 2. Apply an astringent if necessary. 3. Apply any eye creams/moisturizers. (These creams should be different than what you use on the rest of your face because the skin around your eyes is more delicate.) 4. Apply moisturizer with sunscreen. (Avoid the eye area.) Take your Vitamins – Vitamin A is vital in keeping your skin healthy. Though it can make your skin look 100 times better, I do warn that it will initially make your skin very dry, which is why some people tend to stray away. Make sure to apply a lot of moisturizer and chapstick, and stay out of the sun when taking vitamin A. Once you break through that dry spell (which will go away with time), your skin will look amazing. Don’t forget your hands and elbows! – Like your face, the rest of your body needs attention. Two of the places that never seem to receive any are your hands and your elbows. As you age, these two parts of your body will show your birth

date more than any other. Make sure to always moisturize, and keep your hands in gloves during the frozen winter cold. Following the simple steps above, along with the basics, such as staying out of the sun, not smoking, exercising, and eating a healthy diet, will give your vibrant skin a lifetime of looking younger than you really are. Lauren Wuscher is President of IMAGEine U. where she a serves as a Personal Style Educator and Consultant, and Fashionista. Lauren has worked with major fashion companies including BCBG Max Azria and Nine West. Lauren is also the Philadelphia Budget Boutiques Expert for Find out more about IMAGEine U at

They’re Back... Visits from the Dorm By Pam Cantone, Moments Coaching The emptiness and quietness of a home with one less tenet is

just becoming comfortable, when suddenly your college student returns for an extended visit. Muttered goodbyes drenched in tears are shortly replaced with the embraces of hellos to indicate the beginning of the semester break. Empty wash baskets are now overflowing with an entire wardrobe. Dirty dishes remain piled high in the sink with little evidence of a home cooked meal your student craved for months. The activity of a revolving dorm door creates a chilly breeze as your student desires to continue living an unquestioned, independent life at home.

• Connect family values to shifting individual priorities. • Plan ahead for family and other big events. • Anticipate and allow disagreements within discussions. • Encourage routine independence. • Be a compass to problem-solving, not the solution. • Expect the ups and downs of transition and change.

Joyous anticipation of a blissful reunion is crushed by tight expectations and unspoken assumptions from both sides. Sitting and gazing from within the boundaries of your established homestead it seems as if you’ve just caged a wild mustang, sitting and gazing from within the boundaries of your established homestead, yearning for the freedom to roam with no limits.

Pam Cantone is a certified family life coach, the focus of her coaching is to help create a successful college transition. As families face the growing pains of change, Pam works with both students and parents to navigate through the many adjustments of “letting go” by creating clear directions to reach desired goals. For more information visit

Siblings will defend and protect their newly found position within the family hierarchy. Parents stand their ground and demand honor and respect as rulers of their kingdom. For the sudent, new independence was issued months ago and it will not be easily surrendered.


Building Confidence

Visits from college can be a tornado of emotion and activity. How do these two worlds live together? Where are lines crossed that create upheaval in your peaceful world? What can you expect when your college student visits for break? Adjustments to launching your college student involved growing pains for the entire family. Relationships, routines, and conversations shifted and changed, until normal was finally reestablished in two different worlds. And now, the shift has hit the family…again! Ease your entire family into a festive reunion with a simple conversation; laying out the ground rules and expectations of your returning student prior to their arrival will prepare her for a happy return, allowing all to make the most of those precious moments. Don’t let the shift hurt the family. Alleviate growing pains by considering some of the following ideas within for family conversations when planning your next visit home: • Stay connected by communicating. • Address individual needs. • Define appropriate boundaries and limits.

Etiquette • Manners • Modeling • Fashion Group and individual classes available for young girls, teens and ladies.

Call now to register for fall! Zenddy Etiquette & Fashion Academy 610-762-6535 •


10 Great Things To Do

1. Before it gets too cold out, visit the brand new

playground at Allentown’s Cedar Beach Park! 2. Make a family gratitude list. For each day of the month in November, have each family member say and write down one thing they are grateful for each day. 3. Play with your children as though you are a child. Rake up the leaves for them and jump around! Forget about the mess, just enjoy the moment. Your kids will remember it for a long time. 4. Head out to your community library and explore the books that are there. Time it so you are there for a children’s story ready time. 5. Put on some hats and gloves and visit any one of our Rails to Trails locations in the Valley. You can walk or bring your bikes. 6. Are the kids wrecking the house? Use that energy at the new East Penn Children’s Fitness Academy in Alburtis. They have many open tumble days for children ages 1-5. For specific times call 610-967-KIDS (5437) or visit their web site at 7. Go apple picking. The apples are still in season for some of November. Head out to an orchard, and when you get home make delicious treats with your harvest! Find a local farm at 8. Gather up the neighborhood kids and parents and start a game of touch football! 9. Find a fun craft by visiting Lehigh Valley mom Valerie has tons of great ideas of crafts to do with your kids. 10. Volunteer somewhere. Go out as a family and do some good in the community. Deliver Meals on Wheels together or just clean up an elderly neighbor’s yard. It’s all about giving back.

Make Something Delicious Leftover Turkey Pot Pie Ingredients: • 1 c. sliced carrots • 1 c. chopped onion • 1/2 c. chopped celery • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme • 1/8 tsp. pepper • 3 tbsp. butter

• 2 c. cubed cooked turkey • 1 can mushroom soup • 1 c. cut green beans • 1 pastry for doublecrust pie

Directions: 1. In a skillet, saute carrots, onion, celery, thyme and pepper in butter until vegetables are crisp-tender. 2. Add turkey, soup and green beans to the vegetable mixture; mix well. 3. Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom crust. Add turkey mixture. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie; seal and flute edges. Cut 5 slit 4. Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 350 F for 5565 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Date Night Suggestion Have “Theme Night”. Western night for example. Dress up in jeans, plaid shirts, hats, and big belts, the crazier the outfit the better. Eat some good ole’ Bar-B-Que, try to speak like cowboys, and watch yer favorite western movies. Other themes might include: Italian, Mexican, Southern, Hawaiian, etc.

Celebrate November! • Banana-Pudding Lover’s Month 7-13: Pursuit of Happiness Week

• Military Family Appreciation Month 20-26: National Family Week

• Family Stories Month

21-27: Better Conversation Week

3: Men Make Dinner Day 11: Veteran’s Day 14: Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day 19: Family Volunteer Day 25: Your Welcoming Day 26: Buy Nothing Day 30: Stay Home Because You’re Well Day


November/December 2010 •

December Make Something Delicious

1. On the 4th from 10-4 visit the Pennsylvania German

Lunch Box Cookies Ingredients:

• 2 c. whole wheat flour, plus 2 tbsp. • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon • 1 tsp. baking powder • 1 tsp. salt • 1/2 c. butter, softened

10 Great Things To Do

• 1c. brown sugar • 7 tbsp. apple butter • 2 eggs • 1 tsp. vanilla extract • 3 tbsp. apple juice • 2 c. rolled oats • 1 apple finely chopped

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. 2. In a separate bowl mash the butter and brown sugar together until combined, then stir in the apple butter until smooth. Stir in eggs, vanilla, and apple juice until well mixed. 3. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture about 1/3 cup at a time, stirring after each addition. Mix in the oats and chopped apple. 3. Form the dough into balls and place onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies are lightly browned and set in the centers, about 10 minutes.

Date Night Suggestion Dress up your living room floor with a white tablecloth. Decorate the room with some candles and flowers and play a little mood music. Throw in some wine, fancy cheese and chocolate and you’ve got yourself a 5-Star picnic!

Cultural Heritage Center in Kutztown. Learn about the holiday traditions of the Pennsylvania Germans. The Belsnickel will be visiting, and carolers will be roaming the farm singing Christmas carols in the dialect. For the Kids, there will also be farm animals, and farm equipment demonstrations in the barn. FREE admission!

2. Bethlehem is called the Christmas City for a reason. Find

out why and spend a day strolling the downtown area. You’ll surely find many things to do and delights for each person in the family.

3. Does your family know about Pip? The Mouse Before

Christmas...The Holiday Puppet Show! Visit the Liberty Bell Museum in Allentown to enjoy this classic puppet show, starring Allentown’s favorite mouse, Pip. Young and old alike will love him! Performances run: Mon-Tues at 12, 1, and 2 pm. Wed at 10 and 11 am, and 1 and 2 pm. Thurs-Sat shows are at 12, 1, and 2 pm.

4. Make homemade playdough. 5. Get out some old clothing and let the kids dress up and put on a play.

6. Visit your nearest assisted living community and spend time with some of the residents. Many do not have family to visit them and your family will surely brighten someone’s day.

7. Let the kids make placemats or name cards for all attending a holiday meal. Let them also decorate the table with beads or other decorative items.

8. Have a movie night and sleepover. Watch movies and have the whole family camp out on the living room floor.

9. Borrow an exercise video from the library and work out

with the kids. Not only will they get exercise but you will all burn extra calories from all the laughing you’ll be doing!

10. Dance party! Crank up the stereo and dance, dance, dance. Do so while cleaning up the house.

Celebrate December! • National Tie Month 1-7: Cookie Cutter Week

• Rising Star Month 19-25: Gluten-Free Baking Week

• Safe Toys and Gifts Month 25-31: It’s About Time Week

1: Special Kids Day 4: Cookie Day 5: Bathtub Party Day 16: Chocolate Covered Anything Day 21: Humbug Day 26: Thank you Note Day 31: Make Up Your Mind Day 31: Universal Hour of Peace Day • Lehigh Valley Family


For over 30 years, Bayada Nurses has been providing special nurses for special children. One-on-one carfor formedically medically fragile children One-on-One care fragile children Feeding tube and respiratory care Disease management Home safety evaluations Trachescstomy and ventilator management Services 24 hours, 7 days

Screened, experienced, and fully insured caregivers Medicaid, private pay, and most insurances accepted Accredited and state licensed Servicing the Greater Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas


Call 610-776-7000 l

Lehigh Valley Family November December Issue  

A local magazine for families in the Lehigh Valley.