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Family Lehigh Valley


Januar y - Febr uar y 2011

In This Issue: •

What’s Your Parenting Style?

Fun Things To Do With Your Family

You Look Horrible!

To Pay Off Debt or To Save...

March for me www

. LehighValleyFamily . com

Family Lehigh Valley

A Thrive, LLC Publication 905 Harrison Street, Suite 104 • Allentown 18103 610-762-9011

January-February 2011


Publisher Jeff Tintle, II


Laura Putt Editor@

Associate Editor Vicki Bezems

Photography: Janet Sena Pix-Ology, LLC


Art Villafane Catherine Hertzog Lauren Wuscher Pam Cantone Denise Continenza

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Contact 610-762-9011 or

Copyright© 2011 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, 905 Harrison Street, Suite 104, Allentown 18103. 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).

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A message from the editor... Happy New Year! As we enter into 2011, many of us will make resolutions and strive to achieve new goals for ourselves. Keeping with the tradition, one of my resolves is to work even harder to make this magazine the go-to source for families of the Valley. We will continue to bring you information that will help you better your life. Whether you are looking for information about eating more healthfully, getting more exercise, strengthening your family bond, sharpening your parenting skills, saving money, or just finding joy in the midst of the daily-grind; it is my hope that Lehigh Valley Family will be an ever increasing staple in your life. In order to follow through on this resolution, I ask our readers to fill us in on what we are doing right and what we could be doing better. This is your magazine and your input is greatly respected and valued. I wish you and your family a happy, healthy 2011.

Resolution # 2: Stress less, play more!


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JanuaryFebruary 2011 Table of Contents • Tongue Twisters ...Page 5 • What’s Your Parenting Style? ...Page 6 • Smart Exercise for Busy Lives ...Page 7

Family Lehigh Valley


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.

• Family Bonding With a 3D/4D Ultrasound...Page 9 • 10 Reasons to Teach Your Children Music ...Page 9 • Community Board ...Page 10 • Parents, Need a Day Off? ...Page 11 • Scrapbooking ...Page 12

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On the Cover:

Lehigh Valley residents BJ and Kiley, who are a part of one of two March of Dime local ambassador families. Meet the whole family and read their inspiring story on page 14. Cover photo by Janet Sena of Pix-Ology, LLC. Visit her online at 

Fax: 610.435.1411 e-mail: 23 North Sixth St. Suite C Allentown, PA 18101

January/February 2011 •

Try These Tongue Twisters • A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk, but the stump thunk the skunk stunk. • A big black bug bit a big black bear, and made the big black bear bleed blood. • She sells sea shells by the sea shore. The shells she sells are surely seashells. So if she sells shells on the seashore, I’m sure she sells seashore shells. • Lesser leather never weathered wetter weather better. • You’ve no need to light a night-light. On a light night like tonight, for a night-light’s light’s a slight light, and tonight’s a night that’s light. When a night’s light, like tonight’s light, It is really not quite right to light night-lights with their slight lights. On a light night like tonight. • Ed had edited it. • Can you imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie? • What time does the wristwatch strap shop shut? • Old oily Ollie oils old oily autos. • Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked? • The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sick sheep.

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What’s Your Parenting Style? By denise Continenza, Penn State Cooperative Extension, Lehigh County When conducting

workshops with parents on discipline, one of the activities I have participants do is to come up with at least 1, preferably 3, rules for their household. If necessary, I help them craft their expectations for Photo courtesy of Pix-ology. their children into a statement that is clear, concise and positive. For example, a common rule that parents draw up is “No fighting.” Such a rule might be more effective if stated, “Use words, not fists, to solve problems.” One afternoon not long ago, I gave a group of parents this assignment and allotted about ten minutes for them to complete it. One father quipped up, “That’s easy -- here’s mine: Sit down. Shut up. Don’t bother me.” Everyone including me broke into laughter. It was a humorous twist on a subject that can be harrowing. Deciding what behaviors we want in our children, coming up with the right words to communicate the expectation, and resolving to reinforce the rule should it be broken can cause one’s head to throb. Certainly we can’t have rules for everything lest our homes become prisons. However, it is important that families have a few things for which there is no negotiation. For example, behaviors related to safety, health or morality are those for which it makes sense for parents to take charge. Targeting specific problem behaviors such as siblings fighting is another place where rules can be used effectively. If something is not a problem, it may not need a rule. However, unless kids know what parents expect might they inadvertently break a rule, pleading “But you never said . . .!” Perhaps “harrowing” was too gentle of a word to describe the job of parents! Yet this father’s off-the-cuff remark reminded me about both the simplicity and the challenge of being a parent. I recalled when I was pregnant with my first child and I watched my sister manage a busy life with five active young girls. “How do you know what to do?” I asked her, beginning to feel the trepidation that befalls expectant parents. “Just love them,”

was her advice. That sounded easy enough! But I soon found out that the very act of loving a child was a delicate balance of showing love and setting limits. Where does comforting a screaming baby leave off and allowing the child to soothe himself take over? How far can a parent negotiate with their child before crossing the line where the child becomes the boss? But how does one nurture just the right amount without smothering? How do I avoid ruining my child for life? The truth is there are no perfect parents. There is no one who carries the ideal balance between love and limits all the time. There are times when parents must be strict or authoritarian, leaving little, if any, room for negotiating. There are other times when parents can afford to be permissive, allowing wider boundaries when there is less at stake. Other than that, I advise parents to position themselves somewhere in the middle -- as a democratic parent -- leaving the majority of things open for discussion, realizing that as the parents, Mom and Dad do have ultimate veto power. There is nothing wrong with allowing your child input when determining limits or boundaries such as curfew, bedtime or computer use. Listening to your child is probably the most important thing a parent can do. Listening does not mean yielding to your child’s every desire, nor does it mean allowing your child to tell you what is going to happen. It means taking the child’s perspective into account before acting. The younger the child, the more authoritarian the parent needs to be, for obvious reasons. Small children need their parents to keep them safe. But as children grow, they can be given choices, encouraged to give their input, and have their feelings considered. By the time a child becomes a teen, the democratic style of parenting is critical. Research tells us that children who are raised in consistently permissive or authoritarian households tend to have poor outcomes. So, if you are raising children, ask yourself these questions: What are our house rules? Do we still need each one? Are the house rules appropriate for the ages of our children or have they outgrown them? How much of my parenting time is spent being authoritarian, democratic and permissive? Am I more “Sit down, shut up, and don’t bother me,” or am I more “Talk with me, tell me how you feel, spend time with me?” Denise Continenza is the Family Living Educator with the Penn State Cooperative Extension in Lehigh County. Read their blog at www.

January/February 2011 •

Smart Exercise for Busy Lives

By Vicki Bezems, Lehigh Valley Family With all that you have to do, you have to be as efficient

as possible in everything. You multi-task. You text. You abbreviate. You send electronic greeting cards. You carry a laptop, PDA, and a cell phone with reminders that beep. Against your better judgment, you stop for fast food on the way home from work, soccer practice, and PTO meetings. How do you expect to fit exercise into your impossible list of obligations? Just as you economize your time, you can economize your exercise, too. Pilates and yoga are two forms of exercise that offer a complete body workout. They’re not only efficient; they also help improve your overall effectiveness by building strength, flexibility, and stamina. Both enhance quality of life. What is Pilates, anyway? Pilates is a conditioning method that focuses on core strength and stability. Core strength is defined as “The balanced development of the deep and superficial muscles that stabilize, align, and move the trunk of the body, especially the abdominals and muscles of the back.” Pilates exercises consist of low-impact “Why would anyone spend flexibility, muscular strength their time doing a ridiculous and endurance movements. number of every kind of It is named for its creator, sit-up known to mankind Joseph Pilates, who developed if they could do a few the exercises to rehabilitate exercises that target all injured fellow internment of the abdominal muscles and many other muscles in camp detainees during WWI. the body? Why would they “Joseph Pilates called his work spend more time (because contrology, ‘the comprehensive it is so precious these days) integration of body, mind and doing countless exercises spirit.’” (Source: when they could cut down and get faster results which Pilates exercises follow key are multi-purposed?” principles and a prescribed sequence. The key principles (Source: are centering, control, flow, breath, precision, and concentration. The exercises are done either on a floor mat or on exercise equipment that utilizes pulleys and resistance from the participant’s own body weight. The reformer is probably the best-known piece of resistance equipment. Equipment is used more often in Pilates studios, while mat Pilates is generally what you will find available at a gym. Some instructors make use of stability balls, light

hand weights, small balls and Pilates circles. A Pilates routine typically includes 25 to 50 different repetitive strength training exercises, which can be done in about an hour. “Pilates is similar to calisthenics, such as sit-ups and push-ups. In fact, some people call Pilates the ultimate form of calisthenics.” (Source: Mayo Clinic) According to Hali Goldman, Pilates instructor with 24/7 Fitness Centers. “Pilates is strength training from the inside out.” People who practice Pilates report that the exercises help them become stronger, longer, leaner, and more able to do anything with grace and ease. It also helps improve posture and sleep. Pilates is for every body. One should always check with his or her physician before beginning a new exercise program, but generally, Pilates is for everyone; the routines can be modified to any fitness level. A large percentage of Pilates students are seniors; it helps maintain mobility in the 5O+ years, which is key to good health and an active lifestyle. Pilates is highly recommended for the treatment and prevention of back pain. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Pilates improves strength, flexibility and suppleness of the muscles of the hip and shoulder girdle. The Pilates program also teaches awareness of movement habits that may stress the spine, and helps the patient change these habits to those that preserve neutral alignment. Awareness of excessive tension and the use of proper focus helps the patient use the body efficiently.” If you want to take a Pilates class but don’t know how to choose the one that’s right for you, use the following guidelines: • Is the teacher a certified Pilates Instructor? • Does the teacher greet you before class? • Are the instructor’s directions clear? • Is he/she paying close attention to the students, and are you getting some individual attention? • Does the teacher seem professional, confident and knowledgeable? Does he/she give appropriate modifications to the exercises? • Did you enjoy the class? Does your body feel good? • Did the instructor check in with you to see how the class went for you? • Overall, did you feel motivated by this instructor? Yoga Yoga is for everyone, too. Doing yoga does not necessarily mean mastering the intricate poses, or positions, that you see on the cover of yoga magazines. It can be adapted to anyone’s fitness level. “There are modifications to many poses that can be brought to the introductory level,” says 24/7 Fitness yoga instructor Pat Brown.

(Smart Exercise continued on page 8) • Lehigh Valley Family

(Smart Exercise continued from page 7)

Many people think that yoga is just stretching. But while stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance in the body by developing both strength and flexibility. According to Brown, “Yoga is a way to treat the body fully -- a full complement of mind, body, and breath -- to improve all your body systems. Yoga practice involves performing poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. The poses are always the same, but the approach to them varies, depending on the tradition in which the teacher has trained. The poses can be done quickly in succession, creating heat in the body through movement (vinyasa-style yoga) or more slowly to increase stamina and perfect the alignment of the pose. Typically, a yoga class at a gym will be more focused on the purely physical benefits of yoga, while some “In 10 sessions you will feel the yoga studios may include a difference, in 20 you will see spiritual approach. the difference, and in 30 you Practicing yoga will benefit you will have a whole new body”. physically by increasing your - Joseph Pilates flexibility, strength, muscle tone, helping prevent pain and improving your breathing. As Pat says, “When you change the way you breathe, you change your life.” Mental benefits include calmness and stress reduction. Yoga requires intense concentration on what your body is doing and introduces meditation techniques, such as

being conscious of how you breathe and disengaging from your thoughts. Because of the concentration and the physical activity involved, the practice gives you a break from your stressors, helping you focus on being in the moment, not dwelling on past or future events. There is a yoga style for everyone; it is important to choose the right style and level for your physical abilities. In the Lehigh Valley, you can find a wide range of styles and levels, including power yoga, chair yoga and senior yoga. Chair yoga might be the best choice for someone with physical limitations, while power yoga is better suited for someone who is in moderately good condition. When choosing a yoga class, make sure the instructor is certified by the Yoga Alliance®, the national education and support organization for yoga in the United States. Both yoga and Pilates are ideal exercises during pregnancy, but a pregnant woman should only join a pre-natal class with a certified yoga instructor if she has never practiced before. Anyone with a back injury should seek medical advice before starting yoga or Pilates.

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January/February 2011 •

10 Reasons for Your Children to Learn Music

Family Bonding with a 3D/4D Ultrasound!

By Munchkins and Music

By Carl Kreft, Womb with a View, Lehigh Valley 1. Children raised in cultures rich with music tend

Mommy, is there really a baby in your tummy?

As Moms and Dads-to-be wait with loving hearts for their newborns to arrive, 3D Ultrasound at Womb with a View of Lehigh Valley has been providing 3D/4D ultrasound images to expectant parents for over 8 years. Most importantly we have the honor of sharing this experience with family and friends. Often this great service is a special event for brothers and sisters of the upcoming new addition to the family. Watching your preborn baby and sharing special moments from listening to the heart beat, counting fingers and toes or seeing a yawn or a stretch in live 3D/4D Ultrasound is truly a family affair.

Often siblings can be unclear as to what is going on inside of “mommy’s tummy” and what pregnancy is all about. The service offered at Womb with a View 3D/4D Ultrasound allows brothers and sisters to understand that they also are also important in the life of their new baby brother or sister. Questions are asked and answered as this is a once in a life time moment for the entire family. Mom and Dad explain in their own words as their kids talk about what to expect in the upcoming months as they prepare for the birth of their new sister or brother. At Womb with a View 3D/4D Ultrasound we realize that children over the age of two are especially inquisitive. They ask “is it a boy or girl or where will the baby sleep” and get answers as to what being a big brother or sister is all about. Parents pay special attention to the new baby and sibling’s relationship as they seek to have a happy well balanced home life. During the session parents have time to educate and answer questions to put their child’s worries to rest. Older kids and young adults find the 3D/4D experience a way to bond with their new baby brother or sister, giving them a clearer understanding of what is happening during the pregnancy. Many teenagers often take a quick picture on their cell phones and before the ultrasound session is over they have texted the picture to all of their friends. A 3D/4D session is definitely a family affair at Womb with a View of Lehigh Valley where we have room for as many guests as you wish and often accommodate entire baby showers in our baby shower room. A play room is even provided to keep smaller children occupied. To ask about any of our services visit our website at or call us at 610-439-2488.

to develop learning and communication skills more quickly than other children. 2. There is a high correlation between positive selfperception, high cognitive competence scores, selfesteem, and interest and involvement in school music. 3. Music experiences instill positive attitudes, a positive self-image, a desire to achieve excellence, an ability to set goals, cooperation, and group cohesiveness. 4. Students participating in music outperform nonmusic students on achievement tests in reading and math. These differences become greater and longer the students participate in music. 5. Students participating in music have a higher overall grade point average in high school and score 2138 points higher on Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SAT’s) than do other students. 6. By producing strong scholastic achievement scores, music contributes positively to the school environment. Music teacher staffing is a better indicator of overall educational quality than is the overall ratio of pupils to teachers. 7. Many institutions of higher learning seek out students who have participated in musical organizations. 8. Musical training can be a big help in getting to the top. 90% of more than 1000 chief executive officers and legislators said that playing a musical instrument as a child helped them develop character and leadership skills. 9. Instrumental musicians are good citizens. Statistics show that the crime rate among musicians is lower than among the population at large. 10. Music is an efficient and meaningful way to integrate different cultural attributes into the curriculum. (Standard of Excellence, Bruce Pearson) The Lehigh Valley is rich with musical opportunities. You can catch a musical performance with the kids or find music teachers for almost any instrument fairly easily. Check out the ads for Lehigh Valley Chapter of the PA Music Teachers Association (Page 16) or the Community Music School (page 4) for more information on how and where to get started. • Lehigh Valley Family

Community Page... Need Motivation To Exercise? Do it to Help Kids With Cancer The Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley has launched registration for its Annual Running to LIVE 8K Run / 5K Walk and ½ mile Fun Run at the Ironton Rail Trail, Whitehall. The event is on March 20th and will begin at the Coplay Parkway, Front and Keefer Streets, Coplay.

Meditation and Stress Reduction

Jan 29th, 10-11:30 am or Feb 15th, 7-8:30 pm. $30 per person. Must pre-register. Learn the physical and emotional health benefits of meditation! Bountiful Babies Ultrasound 4989 Route 309, Center Valley. 610-797-3232

Help Your Little Girl Find Her Inner Beauty Sign her up for classes at Zenddy Etiquette & Fashion Academy. The goal is to help young girls and ladies discover their inner beauty and learn how to express it. Students will learn about the fundamentals of conducting themselves in all social situations and to bring out the power of grace within themselves. The 8 week course runs February 7th until April 1st. Visit, or call 610-762-6535.

Need Office Supplies? Visit

All profits go to organizations that strive to improve the American culture based on Christian values.

PSSST...Men! We have a Valentine’s Date Idea for You! Enjoy romantic piano music for lovers for Valentine’s Day. A free will offering will be graciously accepted to benefit the community food pantry. February 11 at 7pm Salem UMC on the corner of 14th & Linden Streets in Allentown.

Generations of Brides A fun, inspirational networking event that celebrates Generations of Brides. A runway fashion show with real women from the Lehigh Valley. Volunteer to be one of our models & wear your wedding dress again! Tentative Date: May 25, 2011 from 6-9 pm at the Holiday Inn Breinigsville. Organizer for the Woman of the Year Campaign: Julie Knight Contact for info 610-730-1691 or Sponsorship Opportunities Available. 10

January/February 2011 •

Parents Morning Out

By Gina Galiardo, Moms Morning Out We all love spending time with our children. However,

there are some times where it would be nice to have a break. Some errands and chores are easier to manage without the kids around, and it’s good for parents to have a little fun themselves. Are parents supposed to wait till the kids are of school age to have a few minutes to themselves? Is there an option aside from day care and babysitters? Bethany Church has a great program for kids whose parents who just need a few hours to themselves each week. We offer two programs, Mother’s Morning Out (MMO) and Our Father’s Friday (OFF). These programs are neither a babysitting service nor a daycare. They are structured day programs which provide informal Christian based instruction along with a lot of fun.


Building Confidence

MMO and OFF also offer the opportunity for your young children to experience small amounts of time away to ease into autonomy for the first time as well as become socialized with other children their age. The programs meet on Mondays and Fridays throughout the school year from 9:30 am until 1:30 pm. The day is busy and includes: circle time, scripture, stories, snacks, crafts, recreation time, lunch and more. Classes are taught by caring Christian women and are divided into groups according to age from 18 months to 5 years. For more information please contact us at 610-395-3613 ext. 40 or email A second location to be added in 2011 at Bethany in Catasauqua. Read more at

Parents, Need a Day Off? Bethany Church has your answer!

Mother’s Morning Out (MMO) and Our Father’s Friday (OFF) are Christian-based programs offering informal instruction for ages 18 months - 5 years. Runs Tues & Fri 9:30-1:30.

Story time

Snack and Lunch Free Play

Crafts Scripture Lessons/Activities Recreation Etiquette • Manners • Modeling • Fashion Group and individual classes available for young girls, teens and ladies.

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

Go ahead! Take a few hours for yourself and while the kids have some serious fun! Bethany United Methodist Church 1208 Brookside Road, Allentown 18106 610-395-3613 ext.40

Scrapbo o k ing Creativel

your famy preserving ily memor ies By ms, Vicki Bezey Family alle

Lehigh V

What is a scrapbook? And why make a scrapbook as opposed to a

put into their wonderful gift! A scrapbook is a gift of love. (Source: Jacqueline M. Schimmel, professional scrapbooking artist. Schimmel.) Once you have decided to make your first scrapbook, it may be difficult to know where to begin. The scrapbooking aisles in the craft stores are daunting in their huge selection of materials. In the book, Scrapbooking: A Step-by-Step Guide to Preserving Your Memories from Creating Keepsakes Magazine, the following eight steps are presented as a beginner’s guide to getting started: 1. Sort your photos into themes or topics and select a set to work on. 2. Select two to three colors of acid-free paper or cardstock that will work well with your photos. 3. Pick one photo to be the main focus of your page. 4. If needed, crop your photos. 5. Select photos to mat. This is a good way to highlight the focal point photo. 6. Add journaling. 7. Add a few extras (such as stickers and embellishments). 8. Arrange all items on your pages and attach with adhesive.

While working through these steps, you will want to consider simple photo album? “In a word, words!! Everyone knows a picture what type of album you want to create. A chronological scrapbook that follows your family’s events year after year, is worth a thousand words, but sometimes it is those few extra words that make all the difference,” according to Christine Abela, expanding into more scrapbooks as the pages fill? An album for scrap-booking artist. There are a number of very good reasons for a specific event or for a gift? If you have 40+ years of pictures scrapping your photos! Some of them might seem obvious, while in boxes, you probably will not be planning to scrapbook every one of them; therefore, theme albums such as “Our Family others you may have never even thought of. Reunions” or “My Favorite Vacations” may be perfect projects to get you started. Also consider journaling, or narration, to 1. Scrapbooking protects and preserves your pictures (with acid go with your pictures. Your pictures only tell half of the story; free scrapbooking materials and glue.) without the words to go with them, their meaning may become 2. Scrapbooks preserve your heritage along with your pictures. lost over the years. Use the “who, what, when, and where” 3. You’ll give your children and grandchildren the opportunity style of journaling, but also incorporate the feelings, thoughts, to look back at where they, as well as where their ancestors, came and memories that these pictures bring to you. There are other from. types of journaling that you may want to use, or be creative and 4. It’s a great hobby. invent your own. 5. It’s fun! It’s an opportunity to get together with friends and talk, Many new scrapbookers begin by cutting their photos into scrap and crop. shapes with templates or decorative scissors. Be conservative 6. It can be a tool for emotional healing. You can grieve the death when cropping your photos. You can always crop more, but it’s of a loved one by scrapbooking his or her life. difficult or impossible to reconstruct a photo once it has been cropped. 7. It’s creative. The possibilities for materials you can use are endless: metal, plastic, buttons, beads, ribbon, cloth, wire….the Digital scrapbooking is a growing trend; creating your pages on list goes on. Being creative can give you a sense of pride and selfa computer can save time and money. Because it takes a lot of esteem, especially when others can see how beautiful your work is! the physical work out of scrapbooking (cropping and pasting, 8. You can finally get rid of all of those shoe boxes in your closets for example), it can be an excellent choice for someone with or under your bed and get organized. Getting organized helps you arthritis or other physical limitations (Source: scrapbooking. to stay focused. 9. You can polish your photography skills! Learn new ways of With the growing interest in scrapbooking, there are many, taking memorable pictures that will capture the moment and tell many resources available online, at your local public library, the story. in craft stores, in bookstores, and through independent 10. Scrapbooks make fantastic personal gifts! A scrapbook doesn’t scrapbooking representatives, such as Creative Memories. Go have to be huge. A mini-album will do, and the person who gets ahead, get started. Your scrapbook will be a work of art to pass it will appreciate how much time, thought and creativity you have down through generations to come.

Meet the Community Music School’s Silver Winds Flute Choir! e


“I enjoy playing the flute because after you learn the basics its great to just pick up a piece and play it.”



“Playing the flute is fun because its challenging and fun to play with others.” “I love playing the flute. I love its sound and how my fingers go across the keys so fast.”


Community matters. Family matters. CONCERN makes a major difference both to the local economy and to the children we serve. Share your home and foster a happy ending.


“CMS gives you the opportunity to play instruments and performance outside just your high school.”

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March for Me By Laura Putt, Lehigh Valley Family and Laura Krokus, March of Dimes Ambassador Mom Mom Laura tells us her story: “When we found out we were pregnant with Jacob, it was kind of shocking because we weren’t trying for another child at the time. Despite the shock, I was also extremely happy. I loved being pregnant with my daughter, Kylie. I was never sick with her and had absolutely no complications. Pregnancy to me was a breeze (and a good excuse to eat as much as I wanted!). The Krokus Family: Parents BJ & Laura with Kylie &Jacob. Photo courtesy of Pix-Ology.

For those of us who have experienced the wonder

of pregnancy and childbirth, there is no doubt those precious little lives are miracles. Most of us take for granted that everything will go just perfectly and that in 9 months there will be 10 little fingers and 10 little toes, perfect little lips, rosy cheeks, and all the other little perfections that make a baby. Unfortunately for millions of families, pregnancy and birth isn’t always smooth sailing with a fairy tale ending. According to the National Vital Statistics Report, Births Final Data 2008, 523,033 infants were born pre-term, before 37 weeks of pregnancy, in 2008, down from a high of 546,602 in 2007. “Every week of pregnancy is important to a baby’s health and the last weeks are critical because many important organs, including the brain, are not completely developed until then,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. “The fact that 23,500 fewer babies were born pre-term is encouraging. We hope it’s the start of a trend because there still are more than half a million babies are born too soon in the U.S. each year, and premature birth is the leading cause of newborn deaths.” The March of Dimes works to help pregnant women have healthy, full term babies, and also conducts research to solve the health issues that plague babies. The local office of March of Dimes works hard to support this mission on both a local and national level. Each year, they team up with members of the community to raise money to benefit their mission. One brave local family who was faced with the horror of a premature birth was willing to share with us their harrowing story of their miracle baby who beat the odds. They managed to overcome their situation with a drive to help other families experiencing the same struggles.


As the pregnancy progressed, everything was going great again. No morning sickness and everything looked perfect at all of my doctor’s appointments. When we got to 20 weeks, we had the big ultrasound and found out we were having a boy. We were ecstatic about the addition that was coming to our family. Things began to change a week later when I woke up in the middle of the night with signs of pre-term labor. The next morning my husband (BJ) told me I should call the doctor, who instructed me to come into the office. As it turned out I had ruptured membranes and was losing amniotic fluid. I don’t think I really processed what this meant until I was being wheeled over to the high risk pregnancy unit. There, I met up with BJ and my doctors. We had about 3 different doctors come in and give us the “he’s not going to make it” speech. At that point the gravity of the situation kicked in and I just could not control my tears. I was told it is typical for a woman whose water broke to go into labor within a week. That would bring our tiny unborn child to just 22 weeks. That was roughly 18 weeks before my due date. A baby born that early just wouldn’t survive. I was being told that it would be better for my future fertility if I terminated the pregnancy. Termination was not an option BJ and I were willing to consider. How could we, when our baby’s perfect little heartbeat was strongly beating away on the monitor next to us? We decided it was best for us to let nature take its course. The next step was to have an amniocentesis to check if there was any infection. While we waited for the results, they put me on antibiotics anyway in hopes of warding off any infections. I was in the hospital on bed rest for 4 days. When the results came back that there was no infection, I was able to return home on strict bed rest until 24 weeks gestation. Despite the horror we were going through, it was nice to be home. While I was bed bound, I was still able to be with my then 2 year old Kylie. Although I couldn’t walk to play with her, I was able to read to her or play games on the bed. My family played a crucial part in helping with Kylie because BJ worked during the days so we needed them to watch her while he was at work. During my weeks at home, I had to go to the perinatal center and my OB’s office once a week, where they measured my amniotic fluid level. I had so little amniotic fluid that the doctor was concerned that I would not carry my baby to 24 weeks, when a pre-term baby, although still very early, has some chance of survival outside the womb. I spent the next 2 days crying and trying to understand why all of this was

January/February 2011 •

happening. Not even the doctors understood why this happened. I did not fit into any category for PROM (premature rupture of membranes). They called me a “medical mystery.” Well, despite what the doctor said, I made it to 24 weeks and was re-admitted into the hospital for bed rest. I received 2 courses of steroid shots to help the baby’s lungs develop. I also was on a 48-hour drip of magnesium sulfate, which studies show may help to reduce the incidence of cerebral palsy in low birthweight babies when pregnant women are treated shortly before giving birth. Once again tests showed no presence of infection, but we had several scares with how Jacob’s heart rate was dropping. Finally, after 7 weeks of bed rest, I went into labor, and the doctors decided to deliver my son by c-section. I was so nervous. Was Jacob was going to make it? Was I was going to be ok with this surgery? My anxiety was worsened by the fact that BJ could not be with me in the delivery room. The next thing I knew I was in recovery waiting for the call that it was ok to go in the NICU and see Jacob. They had brought us pictures before we got to see him, and I instantly cried tears of joy. He had features that looked exactly like Kylie when she was born. He had a full head of hair which was a shock to us since our daughter was bald until she turned 1 year! Our son spent 2 ½ months in the NICU, where like many premature babies, Jacob experienced a variety of dangerous newborn conditions, including feeding, swallowing, and breathing difficulties. I fully planned on breastfeeding Jacob as I did with Kylie, but the stress affected my milk supply so he was placed on specially formulated baby formula until his first birthday. It is hard to describe how you feel as parents in the NICU. Part of you is just torn up inside watching your child grow in what Kylie would call “a box”. (She literally went around telling people that her brother lives in a box.) The other part of you is just so thankful for the way technology has developed to be able to help your precious child in every way he needed. We were fortunate to be surrounded by people who knew EXACTLY what you were going through. It was both a great relief and comfort to have people in similar situations surrounding you. The hard part was watching other babies come and go while you yours was still taking 1 step forward and then 2 steps back. 9 days before Christmas Jacob finally came home. It was the best present I could ever ask for. Once home he was on oxygen for 2 more months. It was a hectic time with several appointments each week. Those appointments were the only time we were allowed to take him out of the house; it was winter, so we needed to keep him safe from illness. Even with staying home and getting the synagis shots to prevent RSV, a common cold-like illness that can be life threatening for some babies. Despite our best efforts he still caught it and was readmitted to the hospital in March. He stayed for 4 nights and then came home getting nebulizer treatments for the next couple days. He still needs these treatments every now and then. While Jacob was in the NICU, we received a lot of information from the March of Dimes which was very helpful for us to understand what to expect as parents of a preemie and a rundown of the different support groups that was available to us. We were so fortunate that we didn’t need to worry about financially supporting all of these surgeries and time in the hospital, as insurance covered it all.

Above: Baby Jacob in the NICU. Right: Jacob, 16 months, happy and thriving today. Photo courtesy of Pix-Ology. After the ceremony is when I met with Deb Pollack (director of the Northeast Division for March of Dimes) and she had asked to meet me for coffee to tell our story on how/why we got involved with March of Dimes. At that point she asked how we would feel being the March of Dimes Ambassador Family for the area. It was such an honor to be asked and I can’t really explain how happy we are to be a part of this effort. It was great news to hear right before Jacob had his major surgery to repair craniosynostosis, a condition caused by two plates in the skull fusing prematurely. His specific case is called Metopic Cranio so he had a ridge in his forehead and his head was shaped triangularly. We have been going back and forth to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia since February. His surgery was finally in August. It was a 7 hour procedure during which they had to repair his forehead and eye sockets to make room for his brain.

While we felt very comfortable with the doctors and every staff member included in the surgery, it was by far the worst experience of my life. Sitting and waiting for 7 hours just wondering what was going on with your 11 month old was torture. Jacob did amazingly well and only stayed in the hospital for 5 days after the surgery. The After the whole experience was over, I decided I wanted to do something to help premature babies. So to start, I had asked friends and family if they would surgery was the last hurdle in all of his complications from want to walk in the local March for Babies. Everyone was willing, so we created being born pre-term. Team Krokus. I really had no idea what I was doing. We just asked friends and Today, he gets physical therapy for some of the delays in gross motor skills but otherwise is doing remarkably well. family if they would donate and they did. We ended up raising almost 3,000 dollars without any fund-raising and received the award of Top New Team at (Continued on page 16) the Award Ceremony. • Lehigh Valley Family


(March for Me continued from page 15) He is such a pleasant boy with a great personality. I still think back to the day when I went into pre-term birth and I am just amazed at how everything worked out. I get so scared sometimes as I think of the life he had experienced so far and how hard he had to fight to survive, even before he was born. I’m afraid one day he’s just going to want to quit. I know it sounds silly, but to be honest I became a nervous person after this dramatic experience. When the negative thoughts creep in, I also remember the strength Jacob has. No matter what he is going through, he always has a smile on his face. He is our little fighter and miracle! I am now fully involved in March of Dimes committees and am still trying to find more ways I can help premature babies and their families. Each day when I look at my precious child I remember that if it wasn’t for research funded by donations to the March of Dimes, Jacob, and millions of other babies would not be here today.” The March of Dimes is honored to work with families like Laura’s who represent the more than 17,000 families in Pennsylvania touched by prematurity each year. By sharing their story, Laura and her family are helping the March of Dimes to raise awareness and important funds to help all babies—those born healthy as well as those who need help to survive and thrive. You can make a difference by participating in the March of Dimes largest annual fund-raising event, March for Babies. March for Babies helps fund lifesaving research and educational programs aimed at helping moms have healthy babies. In the Lehigh Valley, March for Babies will take place on April 17 at 10 am, at Dorney Park in Allentown.

Have a for KidHseart ? Make a meaningful impact on the life of a child by becoming a foster parent!

By CONCERN of the Lehigh Valley Foster parents are desperately needed in our country. Becoming a foster parent is a choice that will allow your family to have a meaningful impact on the life of a child in need. Read on, perhaps your family can be a good fit for foster care.

Who the Children Are: The children who come to CONCERN have experienced difficult lives, which may include abuse, neglect, abandonment and separation from their birth families, previous placements and multiple losses. Some children have special medical and/or educational needs. Although most children are school age, CONCERN places Funds raised by March for Babies in the Lehigh Valley support children of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds. Families are community grants and awards focusing on reducing the rate of preterm birth, birth defects and infant mortality; NICU Family Support especially needed for sibling groups. programs, and continuing education opportunities for healthcare professionals. Currently, the March of Dimes is investing more than $4.1 million in research and programs in Pennsylvania alone. Sign up today at to help fund lifesaving research and educational programs aimed at reaching the goal of giving every baby a healthy start. About the March of Dimes The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit

Give the Gift of Music to your child to your grandchild to yourself

Contact the Lehigh Valley Music Teachers Association to find your perfect teacher.

610-967-3843 •

Most children come to CONCERN with emotional and behavioral issues that require special parenting as well as counseling services. Some children require medication to assist them with these behaviors. Although the children have dealt with a lot of painful experiences, all of them have the potential to become contributing members of society – with help from the team of professionals, including their foster parents.

Basic Qualifications to Become a Foster Parent

• Have a heart for children and be over the age of 21 • Have a reliable source of income to meet your family’s needs • Be in good health and free from communicable diseases • Have sufficient living space in your home for a child • Clear state and FBI criminal background checks with no disqualifying history, and have no record of child abuse or neglect • Complete pre-service training requirement

Characteristics of Successful Foster Parents

• Stability • Maturity • Dependability • Commitment • Flexibility • Sense of humor • Advocate for children • Enjoys spending time with children • Team player

If you think your family might be capable of caring for and positively impacting the life of a child in need of a safe and loving home, please call 610-691-8401 to further explore this possibility. Or visit

Are You Raising a Reader? By Carry Gerber,

Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers Have you ever wondered how an experienced storyteller

convinces a gaggle of toddlers to sit and listen to a story? Are you amazed when an infant stares intently at a book while her mother reads? Do you wonder how you can help your preschooler become more interested in reading? Well, we have the answers… and a few tricks up our sleeves. Below, three early childhood teachers from Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers offer tips to help you raise a reader.

naps, and before bedtime seem to be times when children are more settled and ready for a story.

Infants: Infant teacher Marianne Brodman recommends reading to your child beginning at birth. Book cuddling at an early age is important for a myriad of reasons. First, it is a wonderful opportunity for parent/child bonding. Your child will love spending this one-on-one time with you!

Toddlers should be encouraged to hold books, turn pages, and point to pictures and words. “During group story time, many of our students will get up and go get their own book. They turn pages, look at pictures and mimic the act of reading… most times in their own language!” Tanya encourages this important developmental milestone and often asks her students to read the story back to her or point to a certain picture.

Second, reading to your infant will help him associate reading with positive, happy experiences. The national Raising a Reader program, in which Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers is a host agency, tells us that “through these shared experiences children develop a love of reading critical to school success.” Reading aloud stimulates brain development and language acquisition. So, read early and often!


Marianne suggests choosing a cozy, comfortable spot that is quiet and away from distractions. Children appreciate routine and repetition, so make reading a part of your everyday schedule. Book cuddling with infants before bedtime can encourage your little one to wind down and prepare for a restful night.

Carry a small book with you. Supermarket checkout lines and pediatricians’ waiting rooms are good opportunities for book cuddling. Bonus: It will keep fidgety youngsters occupied while you wait!

With very young children, what you read is not as important as the act itself, so choose books that interest you. As children get older, Marianne suggests experimenting with different books to see what appeals to your young learner. “Some children enjoy books with different textures (crinkle pages, corduroy, silk) while others enjoy books about their favorite animals or toys.” Toddlers: Toddler teacher Tanya Markovits admits that it’s sometimes difficult to get 12 to 36- month old children to sit for story time, but that doesn’t stop her from trying! “For on-the-go toddlers, we simply adjust to their schedule. We read to children all day long, individually and in small groups, depending on when they are ready.” First thing in the morning, before and after

To hold the attention of spirited toddlers, Tanya chooses short stories that encourage sound or movement, involve songsinging or nursery rhymes. “Children at this age love bright colors, repetition, counting, shapes and especially animals.” Ask children to point to the animals in a book and mimic sounds or movements that they make. “Can you point to the cow? What sound does a cow make?” Preschoolers: Center Director and preschool teacher Danielle Froio reads to her class several times a day and shares her secret to keeping preschool-aged children engaged in book time -active participation. Danielle recommends using 3D props, like stuffed animals, puppets or a felt board to help children become active participants in story time. Book reading doesn’t have to be a formal experience. Ask questions before and during story time. Danielle starts by showing her students the illustrations on the cover of a book and asks, “Based on this picture, what do you think the story will be about?” Don’t be afraid to interrupt the story to ask questions like “What do you think will happen next?” or “What noise do you think a rhinoceros makes?” Questions like these encourage children to use their imaginations and build creative thinking skills. According to Danielle, teachers and parents shouldn’t be afraid to read the same story over and over. Children are comforted by and learn from repetition. “We work several lesson plans around some of the classes’ favorites, like The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers is the largest full-day, yearround early care and education provider in the region with over 20 convenient locations. For more information, visit • Lehigh Valley Family


To Pay Off Debt or Save... That is the Question... By Jason White, In uncertain financial times like these, we all tend to focus

more sharply on money matters. This is actually good news, because this new focus can help us educate ourselves and develop healthier financial habits for the future. One question that comes up frequently in analyzing personal finances is, should I pay off debt or save money? We hear a lot about how Americans don’t save enough for the future, and how important it is to have an emergency fund for a rainy day. But we also hear a lot about the importance of getting out from under crushing credit card debt. So it’s only natural to wonder which is more important. At first glance, you might think the answer is always “pay off debt first.” But there are a few things that you should consider before taking this advice. 1. Know Thy Enemy. Sometimes consumers do the wrong thing, for the right reasons. For example, given all the hair-raising news about eroding home equity and foreclosures, many consumers are pumping extra cash into paying off their home mortgage, rather than directing that money towards other more potentially dangerous debt like credit cards. It is unwise to pay down your relatively low-interest, taxdeductible home mortgage, student loans, or business loans if you carry other more volatile forms of debt. 2. Break the Piggy Bank. As painful as it sounds, many times cashing in your low-interest savings account to pay off a high-interest credit card is the right choice. Interest accruing in most savings accounts can’t keep pace with the interest accruing on a credit card account, so it is generally a wise move to raid the savings account to help get out of debt. 3. Divide and Conquer. When analyzing debt, carefully consider what motivates you the most towards repayment. Does paying interest drive you nuts? Perhaps paying off your highest interest rate card first make sense. Do you need some quick wins? Maybe you should pay off a couple lowbalance cards early in your plan. However you decide to do it, figure out a way to single out one debt and make it your top priority. Pay the minimums on your other cards until you slay the beast with the highest interest level, the highest emotional involvement (a personal loan to in-laws, for example), or the

lowest balance (following the debt snowball method). Then move to the next worst offending debt and so on. 4. Know Thyself. There are two schools of thought regarding saving vs. paying off debt. One school of thought is that you should pay off the debt entirely before beginning a savings regimen. This works well until the bottom of your hot water heater gives way unexpectedly and you wind up with a hefty cleanup charge, which might lead to a credit card tailspin. If you are the type of person who can stick with a payment plan, regardless of occasional setbacks, you should pay of your credit card debt first. If you are more likely to be derailed and disheartened by an unexpected expense, it might be wiser to focus on creating a rainy day fun, while committing to a cashonly plan for new purchases. Once a small nest egg is built, then the attack on debt can be renewed with more confidence. 5. Hands off the Cookie Jar. In the rush to get out of debt, some people consider tapping into or liquidating their 401(k) or IRA funds. This is a poor personal finance move, since not only will you be gouged by Uncle Sam upon withdrawing the funds prematurely, you will also be losing the long-term impact of those funds on your overall financial well-being. Some folks might stop short of cashing in their retirement funds, but instead decide to take a loan out against their 401(k). This can be a viable option for a disciplined borrower, but beware that failure to payback the loan from your 401(k) in a timely manner can result in weighty tax consequences and stiff penalties. Also keep in mind if you are laid off, or you decide to switch jobs, the loan may be due in full immediately. For those tackling debt, how have you decided to go about it? Save first, pay off debt, or a little of both? Read more of Frugal Dad’s advice at his blog:

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Dominant Eye Coaching Can it help improve your game? By Art Villafane, Lehigh Valley Family It is rare that there comes a change in sports coaching that could

left-handed and that is our dominant side. Similarly we have either a left or right eye that is dominant (the dominant eye is not necessarily on the same side as our handedness).

As long as there have been sports, there have been coaches and instructors that have taught athletes how to perform in their chosen sport. After teaching the basics, coaches would then drill into their charges the “right way to do it”. The right way, of course, would be the way that the coaches had learned their craft.

Through years of research Dave Morris has developed a training system that accounts for eye dominance. He has found that everyone has a natural preference for one side or the other that is dictated by whether we are left eye or right eye dominant. By taking into account this preference an athlete can gain an advantage in his or her sport.

very well make a real difference in an athlete’s skill level. Perhaps we are seeing just such a change coming from a dedicated coach right here in the Lehigh Valley. His name is Dave Morris.

“Coach Dave”, as he is known, has developed a unique and effective technique to help athletes improve. His method is called “Eye Dominance”. The best analogy to explain this concept is to liken it to “handedness”. Most of us are either right-handed or

20+ locations

Coach Dave has many converts in the Lehigh Valley who attest to the benefits of his unique coaching. For more information please visit his website at or email him directly at

Don’t Leave Town...

Your Expert Is Right Here in the Lehigh Valley!

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

A trusted neighbor

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Programs for children ages six weeks to 12 years

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Your Style

You Look Horrible!

By Lauren Wuscher, IMAGEine U

Have you ever had a friend, significant other, co-worker, or

parent who seems to have no clue what they are doing when it comes to looking stylish or put together? You want to tell them to wake up and smell the BO stains on their old ratty T-shirt, but aren’t sure if they’d be offended by your remarks. If you want to get them to change their ways without being the bad guy (or girl), try these 3 things before you blurt out the awful truth:

1. Buy it

One of the easiest things you can do is to just buy them an article of clothing or an accessory and suggest that you think it would look good on them. Something to the effects of, “I found this shirt on sale and thought you would look so good in it.” If they put on something new and hear your positive feedback, it will trigger them to want to continue to try new things and hopefully improve their style. It’s a bonus if others also give them compliments (you might want to get your friends in on this). The more positive feedback someone gets, the more likely they will be to continue to dress well.

2. Suggest It

Not on gift giving terms with this person? Suggest going shopping together. It is there that you can try to influence their decisions by showing them items you like and getting them to try on new styles that would be flattering for their body type or personality. Make sure that it is fun and that you are not pushing them into feeling uncomfortable. When I take my clients out shopping, I let them try on things they are comfortable in, and also have them try things that they wouldn’t normally wear. Most of the time, once you get someone in the clothing, they will see how good it looks on them and agree. Not everyone can tell what things will look like on themselves by just looking at it on a hanger, which is why most people may actually shy away from things that could make them look great. If you don’t want to go shopping you could pass them


clothing catalogues you receive and tell them they might like some of the stuff in them. Or forward websites that you like and suggest clothing that would look good on them. Bonus for you and them if it’s on sale!

3. Talk It Up

Find things about this person’s style that you do like and compliment it. If they wear something that they typically would not wear, compliment it or say, “I really like that shirt on you. You should wear more shirts like that.” Don’t overdo it thought because it can get a little repetitive. Try to compliment at least Friends don’t let friends dress once a week though - if they deserve it (for some like this... bad dressers, this might be hard to do). Good luck! 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

January/February 2011 •

Celebrate the New Year With a New You! By Pam Cantone, Moments Coaching New hopes. New dreams. New beginnings. By now, festive

holiday cards have been passed along with wishes of good health, prosperity, and joy. Cheers of New Year’s resolutions were declared behind champagne toasts with enthusiasm and determination. And, as life moves forward into the potential days, weeks, and months of 2011, so often those wishes and promises become stale words left undone. Everything we do involves making a choice, including the decision to do nothing at all. Pledges of diets, exercise and healthy living are set aside for another time. Shameful indecision cements our progress with guilt and excuses, as we never move forward to our goals and achievements. Add in fears and failures when we stare down decisions, and it can be exhausting to the mind, body, and spirit. But, empowerment, control, and ownership are also nicely tucked away in our choices. Relying on previous experiences, and the gift of “lessons learnedâ€? to be more confident in our decision process of today, life boils down to choices that form our progress. Making confident choices can be broken down into three steps: • Pause to consider your opportunities that are available to choose. • Prepare to choose by exploring the path your options will take you. • Plan your next step to commit to your choice and move forward.

During these important steps, ask yourself thought provoking questions such as: • What keeps you from making a difficult choice? • What do you want to reach for with your choices? • What choice can you make now to move you toward your goals?

Choose a Happy New You with 10 Minute Tips: • Choose to say “yesâ€? to something fun today. • Decline a request to add to your “To Doâ€? list. • Before committing to anything, choose to think it over. • Journal your choices of the day to determine where your happiness exists. • Allow yourself to make a mistake, and choose to learn from it.

Moments Coaching, LLC is offering a new group coaching program this January for women of all ages that focuses on a guided process to put you in charge of your life. Explore six essentials that put you in the drivers seat to create a happy new you by understanding values and priorities, choice, and other topics that build your life. In a supportive group setting, gain and give insight with others as you find direction and clarity to create what’s next. Or, join the M.O.V.E program, which explores well-being from the inside out with a combination of exercise and group coaching. For more information about Moments Coaching, LLC programs, services, and class schedules contact Pam at 610392-6514. Or, go to to learn more.

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10 Great Things To Do

Make Something Delicious

1. Visit the Pennsylvania German Exhibit, a major exhibition

featuring the history, culture, and contributions of Pennsylvania Germans to the Lehigh Valley and America. Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, 432 W Walnut St., Allentown.

2. Visit Blue Mountain Blue Mountain ski area and watch the

NASTAR races, every Sunday in January from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.

3. Try ice skating. Visit the Lehigh Valley Ice Arena, 3323 7th

Street, Whitehall; The Steel Ice Center at 320 East First Street, Bethlehem; or the Emmaus Ice Rink, located on the basketball courts on Williams Street, north of the Emmaus Public Library.

4. What better way to get cozy and warm than to get creative with

some pictures depicting scenes of winter fun? So make some hot cocoa and get the kids to settle down to work on some winter coloring pages.

5. Sometimes the best things in life are not only relatively free, but

are completely simple. Your family can have hours of fun with just a sled and a snow-covered hill. This most classic of winter activities can be excellent exercise (all those trips downhill mean you and your kids have to go uphill first!).

6. Gather the kids around the fire and play a non-electronic board game.

7. Bake cookies together. Have a cookie party. Invite the neighbors over, and share your culinary creations.

Warm Winter Slaw Here’s a quick and easy recipe that kids love because of the sweet dressing and dried cranberries. The rich color makes the whole meal more appealing.

Ingredients: • • • • • • • •

4 c. coleslaw mix (red, green cabbage and carrot) 1/3 c. dried cranberries 1/4 c. thinly sliced red onion strips 3 tbsp. cider or rice wine vinegar 2 tbsp. sugar mixed with above vinegar (optional) 2 tsp. sesame oil 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1/3 c. toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)

Directions: Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add coleslaw mix, cranberries, and red onion. Cook 3 minutes, tossing mixture frequently, until it starts to soften. Be careful not to overcook cabbage, making it soggy. Mix vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil. Stir in vinegar mixture and salt. Cook 1 minute longer, stirring, until evenly dressed. Stir in walnuts, if desired. Serve warm.

8. Put on a show. Have your child invite some friends over and put

on a production with finger puppets as actors. Help the kids write a play and then put on a show with dialogue, and maybe even a few songs. If you don’t have finger puppets, you can use stuffed animals or make your own characters using construction paper cut-outs and popsicle sticks or straws.

9. Pull all those old photo boxes out of the closet. Supply albums or three ring binders and sleeves and let each child start his own scrapbook.

Date Night Suggestion Be artistic! After the kids go to bed, take out a sketch pad and pencil and sketch each other. Even if you’re not great artists, you’ll have fun.

10. Volunteer at the local soup kitchen.

Celebrate January! • Apple and Apricots Month 1-7: Celebrate Life Week 3: Drinking Straw Day 21: Hugging Day


• National Get Organized Month

2-8: Someday We’ll Laugh About This Week 5: Bean Day 8: Bubble Bath Day 23: Pie Day 24: Belly Laugh Day

• Hot Tea Month 24-28: No Name-Calling Week

14: National Dress Up Your Pet Day 24: National Compliment Day

January/February 2011 •

February Make Something Delicious Low-fat Chocolate Brownie Pudding

Ingredients: • • • • • • • • •

1/2 c. whole-wheat flour 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 1/3 c. sugar 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 1 large egg 1/2 c. 1% fat milk 2 tbsp. canola oil

• 2 tsp. vanilla extract • 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional) • 1 1/3 c. hot brewed coffee • 2/3 c. packed light brown sugar • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts, or pecans, toasted (optional) • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 1 1/2- to 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Whisk egg, milk, oil and vanilla in a glass measuring cup. Add to the flour mixture; stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips, if using. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish. Mix hot coffee and brown sugar in the measuring cup and pour over the batter. Sprinkle with nuts. (It may look strange at this point, but don’t worry. During baking, cake forms on top with sauce underneath.) Bake the pudding cake until the top springs back when touched lightly, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve hot or warm.

Date Night Suggestion Valentine’s Day Date Night – Enjoy Valentine’s Day Italian style. Make mini-pizzas, open a bottle of Chianti and watch an Italian movie. Go for a classic Italian film such as La Dolce Vita. Other romantic films that feature Italy or Italian themes include Life is Beautiful, Under the Tuscan Sun, Enchanted April, Only You, Roman Holiday, Moonstruck, and A Little Romance.

10 Great Things To Do 1. Make hand-made Valentines to send to Grandma and Grandpa.

2. Have a silly song-writing contest and see

who can write the silliest song with the most nonsensical lyrics?

3. Pull out the pots and pans, wooden spoons and create a kitchen band.

4. Have a book party. Spread out a blanket on the floor, have all the kids bring their favorite book, and read them aloud to each other. Or, hold your party on your bed an hour before lights-out.

5. Try snow painting. Fill a few water bottles with squirt tops with water and some food coloring and then head outside.

6. Build an old-fashioned snowman. Or dress her up in some trendy fashion..

7. Teach your kids to play chess. Or ask them to teach you.

8. Play video games with your kids. 9. Build or buy a bird feeder. Fill it, put it near

a window outside the room where your family spends the most time. Identify the birds as they come to feast in your yard.

10. Buy a kids’ yoga DVD and learn yoga with your whole family.

Celebrate February! • Bake for Family Fun Month

• Library Lovers Month

• Parent Leadership Month

8-14: Love Makes the World Go Round, But Laughter Keeps Us From Getting Dizzy Week 1: Freedom Day 4: Bubble Gum Day 5: Ice Cream for Breakfast Day 9: Read in the Bathtub Day 13: Madly in Love With Me Day 17: My Way Day 19: Chocolate Mint Day 22: Single Tasking Day • Lehigh Valley Family


Sunday, April 17 at Dorney Park In Allentown Start Your Team at or 610-814-7000

Lehigh Valley Family January February 2011 Issue  
Lehigh Valley Family January February 2011 Issue  

Information, resources, tips, and great ideas for families of the Lehigh Valley.