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Family Lehigh Valley

May - June 2012

Mission Work

The 5 W’s of Raising Teens Fun Things To Do

Disc Golf - Free Family Fun Unlocking a Child’s Voice

Pric take eless one!


Family Lehigh Valley

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

May / June 2012


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Laura Putt Editor@

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Art Villafane Nina Pinsley Denise Continenza Zach Turnbull

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from the editor

s I write this, my family is fresh off a shocking health scare. Thankfully, everything is fine. But for 72 terrifying hours, the fate of my husband’s health was unclear. Without a doubt, those hours were the most frightening and perspectivealtering of our lives.

So, it is time for change. Less work, more leisure. Fewer obligatory calendar filling commitments, more impromptu fun.

Luckily, we live in a community that is teeming with opportunities for family fun. Suddenly, everything that we held There is something to do for important was brought into abundantly every taste and every budget, clear focus. We always knew that no matter what day of the week family, faith and friends were at the or hour of day. You can find top of our list, but sadly, the busyness suggestions on family building of life sometimes got in the way of activities and things to do on actually enjoying our priorities. And pages 22 and 23. You can find when I say sometimes, I mean every even more events on our website, The Kids Running Series is just one single day., and of the many healthy, free family activities available to us in the Valley. on our Facebook group page, I’m not one to believe in coincidences, Lehigh Valley Family. and I believe this incident was a smack over the head from God, telling us to savor the goodness of life he Now that summer is nearly here, the days are naturally has abundantly blessed us with. I share this with you longer and more leisurely. I wish you and your family as a testament of what you probably already know: a healthy, happy summer filled with endless hours Life is short. It can and will change in the blink of an enjoying life’s little pleasures together. eye. I’ve always known this as a concept, but never as a potential reality.


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CONTENTS...................... The 5 W’s Of Raising Teens ........................................................... 6 Stop Summer Brain Drain! ............................................................ 7 Disc Golf - Free Family Fun ......................................................... 8 Hair Cuts for Special Needs Children ........................................... 9 Unlocking A Child’s Voice ........................................................... 11 Mission Work Requires Relationship, Partnership and Commitment ......................................................................... 12 Kids ...Should We Laugh or Cry? ................................................ 15 Puzzles .......................................................................................... 15 Laugh More ................................................................................... 17 Food Allergies: A Safety Issue ..................................................... 18 Dispelling the Myths of Pregnancy, Part 2 ................................. 20 Simple Wardrobe Staples for Cool Summer Style ...................... 21 Calendar of Events ................................................................ 22-23 On The Cover: The Decker Family of Emmaus. Photo Courtesy of Pix-Ology, LLC.

The Five W’s of Raising Teens By Denise Continenza, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Penn State Extension-Lehigh County


wise person (my sister, to be exact) once told me that raising teenagers is a lot like flying a kite. Each year as they grow, you release more string until the kite is able to fly confidently, attached to a distant tether. But how do you do this and still ensure that your child is safe but not smothered, free but not uncontrolled, having fun but not taking dangerous risks? As the summer months are upon us, parents of budding teenagers struggle with how to grant their child freedom to spread their wings and explore their world without getting into trouble. One viewpoint on letting go belongs to parents who set very loose boundaries and give their teen free reign. There is little accountability on the part of the young person. He is allowed to make choices and will continue to have privileges as long as he does not mess up, at which point he will lose privileges previously granted. The problem with this is that the teen brain is not yet totally capable of making sound, rational decisions, all the time. Without guidance and monitoring from adults, young people will inevitably “mess up” or find themselves in precarious situations. At the other end of the spectrum are parents who grant very few privileges. Adolescents raised in such an environment often take to sneaking around, doing things behind the parents’ backs in order to keep up with peers. Both too much parental control and too little can have the same outcomes for youth. A more democratic and preferable way for parents to gradually give their teen more freedom and still monitor their blossoming young adult is to ask questions and follow up. The “5 W’s” are excellent tools for parents of teens to use in their efforts at allowing their child’s world to open wider while still providing structure and oversight. * Who will you be with? * What will you be doing? * Where will you be?

* When will you be home? * Will there be adults present? Engaging your teen in a discussion around these issues helps them see that you value her need for increasing freedom while you care about her safety. Tell your child that you expect honest answers to the questions. Let her know that at times you might follow up by checking in to make sure she is where he said she would be or call to see if parents are really monitoring the party. Of course, any response to a “W” question that is not clearly okay with the parent can be used as an opportunity to talk about alternatives that you feel safe with. For example, if your daughter tells you that you that she and her friends will be cliff diving at a local lake, you could veto the request to go diving and name safer activities for which you would grant permission. These five simple questions give teenagers the chance to plan activities with friends, think through possible outcomes, and be accountable to parents. Adolescence can be just as confusing a time for parents as it is for the young person himself. Sometimes teenagers look, act and talk like adults, and at other times their behavior and thinking seems very toddler-like. This paradox suggests that the teen years are a time when children need their parents more than ever -- for guidance, for monitoring and for support. The 5 W’s are a great addition to a parenting tool kit. And what household ever has too many tools?!

 May / June 2012 •

STOP the Summer Brain Drain! By Nina Pinsley, Director, Club Z! In-Home Tutoring of the Lehigh Valley


or many children, the summer months can be a time of boredom, filled with long hours of mindless video games and unimaginative television watching. Studies have shown that students can lose anywhere between one to three months of learning over the summer break, especially in the areas of math and reading. With state budgets stretching barely enough to fund remedial skills, students who otherwise depended on summer school courses for accelerated or enrichment classes may, too, find themselves out of luck. Other children will depend on daycare as their only means of recreation. Parents express concern that their children will have nothing to do and nothing to learn over the summer. They are looking for affordable alternatives. Fortunately, parents can help their children keep up their reading, writing and math skills over the summer at little cost: • Visit the library – many public libraries have summer reading programs that set daily or weekly goals for children of

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ALL ages. Children keep track of the books or minutes they’ve read and turn in their logs for age-appropriate prizes. • Purchase a plain notebook to be used as a summer or vacation journal. Have your child decorate the notebook with scraps of colored paper or items cut from a magazine or free travel brochures that you picked up on vacation. When that first writing assignment of the school year, “How I spent my summer vacation,” materializes in the Fall, your child will have pages of topics and pictures ready to go. • A pair (or more) of dice is the source for innumerable math games. Simply roll the dice and add, subtract or multiply the results. Whoever comes up with the correct answer wins the round. You can find dozens of instructions for other dice games at: Math Dice by ThinkFun ( is hugely popular in my house, even with my math-phobic, 15-year old nephew. More structured continuing education over the summer break is the key to a positive school year ahead. It is a chance for children to master important skills or to further explore areas of interest in a fun, creative way. If your child’s educational needs exceed the ideas above, you may want to consider summer tutoring to:

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• Rebuild self-esteem that was battered by bad grades from the previous school year. • Close the achievement gap by helping students catch up and get ahead before the start of the new school year. • Prepare high school students with the strategies, skills, and confidence to take upcoming ACT and SAT tests. • Reinforce skills for children with learning disabilities, who might otherwise lose skills from a two or three month separation from formal learning. • Enable students to master benchmarks necessary for passing state reading, writing, and math standardized tests. Find out more about how Club Z! can enhance your child’s summer by visiting our web site at: LehighValley or by calling 610-351-3500.

Disc Golf: Free Family Fun By Zach Turnbull


espite growing up in the Lehigh Valley, it took a move to Colorado for me to discover the game of disc golf. My wife and I moved back to Lower Macungie this past August. The beautiful disc golf courses of the Lehigh Valley have served as a piece of home away from home since our return. Many point to Rochester, New York in the 1970’s as the origin of disc golf. (If you’ve thought of disc golf as a hippie sport, you weren’t too far off, at least on the era.) Records show tournaments and competitive disc golf leagues. By 1975 disc golf was a part of the World Frisbee Championships. The first disc golf company, Disc Golf Association (DGA), was founded in 1976. Thirty-six years later, there are nine disc golf courses within ten miles of the 18104 zip code. Four local courses, Little Lehigh Parkway, Jordan Creek Park, Nockamixon State Park and Tinicum Park were proud hosts of the 2005 Pro Disc Golf World Championships. In other words, we have some amazing courses in our backyard. As a great family activity, disc golf presents a compelling case.

Disc golf is affordable. An average disc golf disc

costs anywhere from $8 - $15 depending on the quality of the plastic. You could play disc golf with only one disc, so $32 for a family of four. If you don’t want to use the smaller disc, the Frisbee you have laying around in your garage works as well.

On top of that, virtually all disc golf courses are free. Disc golf is accessible.

Check out http://www. for a complete list of every course in the area with directions and descriptions. Buy your first disc locally at Dodo’s Disc Golf Shop, 962 West Wyoming Street in Allentown. On the web, a great site that is tax free, with free basic shipping, is

Disc golf is active.

It’s exercise without intending to exercise. It gets you and your family out of the house, in a beautiful park or wooded area. Unlike disc golf ’s older brother, there are no golf carts involved. Doctors always say walking is the best form of exercise; disc golf adds throwing, as well! Now that you’re ready to play, the rules are much the same as golf. Instead of a club and golf ball you have a disc; instead of a hole in the ground you have a disc catcher/basket. You throw from a pad which is generally concrete, dirt or rubber. Holes are par 3 to par 5, depending on the length. The goal is to get your disc inside the basket, whether hanging in the chains or in the bottom bucket. I’ve been playing for eight years now. I learned from friends in Colorado, and I’ve taught numerous others, including my wife. Disc golf has the casual elements of walking in a park, as well as the potential for competition and the mental game associated with golf. It is ever-evolving with new equipment and courses found across every state in the US. Locally, Disc Stars and the Lehigh Valley Disc Club organize tournaments and league play many nights of the week. Many high schools and colleges now offer competitive disc golf teams. Whether you try disc golf because it’s affordable, accessible or active, I hope to see you at a nearby course soon!


By Laura Putt, Lehigh Valley Family

Knowing we could all use a little more tranquility in our days, Lehigh Valley Family is running a regular column featuring our reader’s best ideas to make life a bit more streamlined. Tell us what your time, money, or sanity-savers are! Email tips to me at, or share them on our Facebook group page, Lehigh Valley Family.

Haircuts For Special Needs Children


or most parents, getting a haircut for your child isn’t something that is particularly challenging, after the first time. A little bribe to get them to sit still and voila! But for special needs families, especially those with Autism, getting a haircut may be an extremely stressful experience for both the parent and child. Why? Autistic children are very sensitive to many sensory experiences that don’t bother most of us. The constant touching that goes with a haircut, the smells of the hair products, sounds of clippers or hairdryer are just a few of the many salon experiences that may offend their hyper-aware senses. Add on the stress of a new environment and new people, and the situation can quickly trigger high levels of anxiety. So what is a parent to do? One mom I recently spoke with shared that she used to wait until her son fell asleep to groom him. Sometimes she could only get half of his hair cut during a deep sleep cycle, and would have to wait till the next night to finish. Most of us cannot imagine going to such lengths to perform what we consider a normal, necessary task. Tracy Werkheiser, hairstylist and mom to a 12-year old son with autism, can relate. Knowing the plight of other parents with autistic children, she decided to take her knowledge of autism and couple it with her background as a stylist. In April, she launched Accents Hair Studio, in Emmaus. Her passion is to help parents of special needs children get their child’s hair cut in a calming atmosphere – for both parent and child. When I met with Tracy, it was clear to me that she has a great desire to help children, as well as their parents. She put thought and effort into every aspect of making her hair salon friendly to the easily offended senses that accompany autism.

The atmosphere of the salon really is serene. The walls are painted a calming beige, and the overhead lights are soft, a stark contrast to the harshness of most hair salons. So pleasing was the atmosphere – and the company - that my planned half hour visit morphed into an hour and a half! Tracy sets her schedule by appointment only, eliminating that wild card of other patrons. Parents can feel comfortable with Tracy, knowing if things go awry, she has seen and dealt with many a meltdown. No need to be embarrassed or feel judged. In addition, Tracy asks that parents plan on spending a good hour with her, to avoid rushing. She will be happy to wash the parent’s hair first, or comb it, to demonstrate to the child what will be happening. She encourages parents to bring security items for the child to use, and she also offers things to help counter nervous energy, such as lollipops, weighted lap pad, sensory balls, etc. Another way Tracy works to make the appointment a success is to interview parents on the phone first. Parents can tell her about their child’s specific triggers, likes and dislikes. Armed with knowledge, Tracy can prepare the studio to the client’s likings. Does your child like a certain movie? She can have it all ready to play on her laptop when you get arrive. Need more reasons to be impressed? Tracy will mail parents a visual agenda of the appointment to show their child in advance. This will further help to alleviate fears and demonstrate what will be happening next. It was obvious to me that Tracy has a heart filled with eagerness to help others who are in similar shoes, in addition to a beautiful salon. Tracy and her family have an amazing story which led her to this calling. They have only relocated to the Lehigh Valley within the past 2 years. (Continued On Page 10) • Lehigh Valley Family

(Continued From Page 9)

In 1999, the Werkheisers had a son, Brandon, who was born with special needs. The couple needed a good deal of help and the support of family, so they packed up and moved to Arizona to be near Tracy’s family. There, Brandon was enrolled in an early intervention program and received many different types of therapy. Tracy and Chuck worked hard to learn all they could about his special needs and provide as many opportunities as possible to help him.

leave Tracy, Brandon, and youngest son Dustin, in Arizona to sell their home. Eventually, they found a buyer and the family was reunited in the Lehigh Valley.

Brandon did well until the fourth grade, when he started to regress. Tracy notes that while Arizona has a low cost of living and low taxes, the public school system leaves much to be desired for special needs kids.

After a long, exhausting search, they finally found a home that was perfect for them. Coincidently, the house had a business space attached, and Chuck suggested they convert it into a salon for Tracy to run her own business.

The Werkheisers began extensive research on communities and school districts that were friendly to special needs families. At the recommendation of her sister-in-law, Tracy checked out the Lehigh Valley. Upon Tracy’s visit to the area, East Penn School District officials went to great lengths to show Tracy the schools and answer her questions. It was settled that they would try to move here as soon as possible. At the same time, husband was offered a job locally. Unfortunately, to accept the job, he had to move first and

As they settled into their new life, Tracy befriended a neighbor who also had a son with special needs. Talking with her about the challenges of getting her son’s haircut gave her the final push she needed to specialize in working with special needs children. You can learn more by calling Tracy at 610-9672055. Accents Hair Studio is located at 203 Franklin Street, Emmaus.

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Unlocking a Child’s Voice By Heather Hamilton, Keystone Pediatric Therapy


s parents, we all wait to hear our child say “mama” or “dada” and “I love you.” When you have a child with a severe communication disorder, it seems as though those words might never come. Children who are considered nonverbal might not utter those words with their natural voice, but there is a solution to help them communicate, the use of an augmentative or alternative communication device. Augmentative or alternative communication (AAC) devices include a wide range of both low-tech and high-tech tools and strategies to help children communicate. Some low-tech strategies are picture communication symbols, communication books, a talking photo album, and simple recordable devices. High-tech devices are computerized tools that are dynamic in nature. Some examples of hightech devices are an iPad, Dynavox Maestro, Prentke Romich Vantage, and Saltillo ChatPC. These devices use a computer as the platform; the language system is what differs between them. To access the AAC devices, children use a variety of techniques. Eye gaze is used for those with the most limited movement. A child with spinal muscular atrophy can “speak” by looking at pictures on a computer screen while lying on her back in her bed. A camera tracks her eyes and annunciates the words as she dwells on the picture. A child with at least one reliable movement pattern may use a method called scanning, which requires him or her to activate a switch and make a succession of choices that leads to the desired input. The child activates a button on the desired location. Children who have full range of movement touch pictures on the computer screen.

Accents Hair Studio Experienced and licensed hair stylist and mother of a child with autism. Offers full salon services and specializes in working with children with special needs. Calming atmosphere, by appt. only

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Since there are many, many AAC devices available, families usually require the help of a speech-language pathologist to evaluate which products and strategies are the best fit for the child. During the evaluation process, different devices are introduced and explored to assess potential choices. Following the evaluation, the child has a trial period with a device. At the end of the trial period, it is determined whether that device is appropriate or if another trial is warranted. In Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT) lending library loans AAC devices to those in need. Any Pennsylvania resident is eligible to borrow devices from PIAT. The loan period varies from four to eight weeks depending on the type of device. Though anyone is able to borrow a device, it is recommended that there be a support person to help during the trial period. To learn more about PIAT, visit assistive/piat/. Heather N. Hamilton is a Speech-Language Pathologist who specializes in AAC and is the founder of Keystone Pediatric Therapy in Northampton, Pa.

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Mission Work: Requires Relationship, Partnership and Commitment By Vicki Bezems, Lehigh Valley Family

in their kitchen one rainy Saturday morning, both Lisa and Jack effused inspiration and enthusiasm.

LVF: What motivated you to become involved in missions work? Jack: In 1994, our church had started a partnership with

the Riamukurwe Parish in Nyeri, Kenya, which was part of a parish made up of eight churches. The Kenyans had determined that they needed a dormitory for destitute children living on the streets. In 2001, I was bored, needed a challenge and needed to stretch my faith. I stayed for a meeting after church one Sunday to see if I might want to become involved in this ministry.

LVF: What were the goals of your work in Kenya?

Photo Courtesy of Pix-Ology, LLC.


or the Decker family, the word mission means much more than its dictionary definition. Merriam-Webster defines mission as “a ministry commissioned by a religious organization to propagate its faith or carry on humanitarian work”. The Decker family’s experience in missions has changed their outlook on faith and shown them how each of us can make the world a better place. Jack and Lisa, who are both teachers in the East Penn School District, and daughters Jacqueline, 17, and Marissa, 13, have participated in mission trips internationally and in the United States. Along with other members of their church, Faith Presbyterian in Emmaus, they have traveled to Kenya, Massachusetts and other locations throughout the United States. In an effort to comprehend Christian mission work more fully, I talked with the Deckers at length about their experiences. As I chatted with them over hot coffee and blueberry muffins

Jack: Our primary goal was to build a relationship and

partnership with the people of the parish by sharing our Christian faith. Our other objective was to assist the Kenyans financially to complete their dormitory project. I participated in my first trip in February of 2001. In November of 2002, I went back with a group of nurses to learn about health care in the Kenyan community. The third trip, which we took in 2009, included family members.

LVF: What were the most important lessons you learned from your experiences in Kenya? Jack: After the first trip, my life was turned upside down.

By being immersed in a totally different culture, I learned that missions were not about power, but about relationship. I came home a different person. My family and I made a lot of adjustments because of the change in me. In 2001 I went on my first trip. I had gone to Kenya with the idea of doing work, but I came back with the knowledge that relationship was the mission. I lived in the homes of our Kenyan hosts -- we ate together, prayed together, worshipped together, did everything together. When I first arrived, I was

12 May / June 2012 •

given at least three huge meals, more than my system could handle after a 24-hour journey. I learned that I was expected to eat everything because they had prepared a feast to welcome me. My hosts had to accept that at some point I could not eat any more without becoming sick.

Lisa: Because the Kenyan people don’t

have the material things that we do, they live more by faith. They get up in the morning and pray that there will be food. I felt that I was compartmentalizing my faith and the other parts of my life. There, they incorporate their faith into their daily life.

Jack: After the second trip, my role

changed. I chaired the partnership committee for a third trip, which included family members, and Lisa took charge of the logistics. Once the partnership model was in place, we used it in planning subsequent trips.

LVF: What were some of the challenges you faced in taking a large group on an extensive mission trip? Lisa: We had to train and have a deeper

understanding of the definition of partnership. We had to understand group dynamics and working as a team in a different culture with mixed ages. We had to raise a large amount of money for each person. We didn’t want to burden our church congregation, so we went out into the community. There were people who thought we could never raise the money. The majority of our funds, we earned through fundraising.

LVF: What other missions have you experienced? Lisa: After we came back from Kenya,

we asked, “What now?” For 20 years, our church had taken youth to “work camp” through a Christian organization called Group Publishing. We traveled to meet up with other youth groups (around 400 people) and do minor repairs on people’s homes in needy communities, targeting

families and the elderly. Over the 20 years, the church has traveled to many different areas in the United States. Jacqueline and I have been to West Virginia, Michigan, Ohio and Georgia. After Kenya and work camp, we wanted to do something intergenenerational -- to benefit both children and older adults, from age 12 to 70 or more. Our church was familiar with Heifer International. So we organized a trip to Overlook Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts. (Heifer International is a global organization that helps people obtain a sustainable source of food and income. The farm is an educational setting where people can contribute to the efforts of the organization while experiencing poverty themselves.)

LVF: What did you learn at the Heifer International farm? Jack: We focused our learning on the

12 cornerstones of the Heifer Model. We had to figure out what community is all about, and how to make it selfsustaining. We attended classes and did a work project on the farm daily. We lived in the “global village,” which represented areas that Heifer International aids. Church groups were split up and assigned to different posts; I was in “Peru” and Lisa was in “the Appalachian mountains.” We were given a little money and had to barter for what we needed. We were given a few supplies and then had to figure out how to survive. We had to carry water, build a fire and make a meal. In Peru, we went to sleep hungry, in a shack. In Appalachia, they slept in a mountain cabin and ate cornbread for supper.

(Continued on page 14)

Just a few of the friends the Deckers made in Kenya.

(Continued from page 13) Our training focused on partnership. We had to ask, “What do you need?” before we could help contribute to people of any culture.

LVF: What advice would you give someone who is planning to go on a mission trip? Lisa and Jack: There can never be

enough preparation work. But first of all you should be trained in the norms, common courtesy practices, dress code, and language of the culture you will be entering. There should be a common understanding of vocabulary, prayer, worship styles, and music. Logistics are essential, for example, passports, visas, and registration with the US Embassy in the country you will be visiting; transportation schedules; contacts, weather and appropriate clothing; medical concerns, emergency medical care, immunizations and emergency contacts.

them a desire to help others. Jacqueline will be attending Westminster College in the fall and hopes to gain a degree in counseling or ministry and mission work. We find it exciting to see how God is working through both her and Marissa. Exposing our kids to poverty stricken areas, combined with the spiritual components of work camp, was a good catalyst for jump-starting their faith.

wanted to help them in their mission. When we send money, we say we are trusting them to use it as they need it. The principle of partnership says we can’t do anything without building a relationship first.

LVF: How do you feel your mission experiences have changed your life?

Mission work requires careful, prayerful consideration in all respects. Most Christian churches have a dedicated outreach effort in mission work, whether locally, nationally or internationally or all three. If you have a desire or calling to do mission work, contact your place of worship.

Jack: In the ‘90’s, Faith Presbyterian

Church in Emmaus had a vision to be in partnership, a relationship, a friendship with an international church. We didn’t intend just to “do.” We

Lisa: Kenya was the catalyst for us to

start putting God first, in the center of our lives.

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LVF: How do you feel that missions work has made a difference in your children? Lisa: We think that the children have

gained a better understanding of poverty and different cultures by experiencing both first hand. They understand that they can have a friendship with someone who lives in Africa through letter writing, email and Facebook. Through their experience with the children in Kenya, they learned about cultural differences but also that children their age in Africa have many of the same dreams and goals as children in the US. They are learning that education and employment opportunities are greater for youth in the US; many children in Kenya qualify to enter a university but lack the funds and family support needed to continue their education. This has helped the girls to appreciate the things they possess and has given

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Kids . . Laugh or Cry!?!

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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.

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Pianists and violinists by age six Composers while still in preschool PA Cyber Class of 2012 & 2017

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Yeeray played piano at age four and violin at age six. Yeerem began playing both piano and violin at age three. So music, obviously, is the driving force in our life. It’s made finding a well-rounded education difficult—how many public schools can really handle child prodigies?

Our choice. The boys being accepted at Juilliard in New York meant we had to find a more flexible option for traditional studies. Finding a qualified cyber school with curriculum, books and everything prepared made it easy for us as parents and helped our boys focus on learning. Our school.

PA Cyber. It gave them the opportunity and the flexibility to pursue music at that level without sacrificing education. Without PA Cyber, we don’t think it would be possible. Believe me, with all they have to offer, it’s very hard not to fall in love with PA Cyber. It’s the kind of public school you always hoped for your children someday… available today.

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Answers to Puzzles from page 15

Wuzzle 1 1. Over my Dead Body 2. Right Under the Nose 3. See Eye to Eye 4. Looking Out for Number One 5. Be-Line 6. Home is Where the Heart Is

Build your own school... out of choices, not bricks. Wuzzle 2 1. Somewhere Over the Rainbow 2. X Marks the Spot 3. Put two and two Together 4. Just Right 5. I Before E Except After C 6. High Seas

Laugh More!

Barstools, chairs, table tops, table bases, banquet chairs and tables and more!

You Were Warned

Noticing one of her students was making faces at the other children on the playground, Ms. Smith stopped to gently reprove the child. Smiling sweetly, she said, “When I was a child, I was told that if I made ugly faces, it would freeze and stay that way.” The student looked up and replied, “Well, Ms. Smith, you can’t say you weren’t warned.”

Strange Headlines:

• “New Housing for Elderly Not Dead Yet” • “Iraqi Head Seeks Arms” • “Hershey Bars Protest” • “Local Man Has Longest Horns In Texas” • “Eye Drops Off Shelf” • “Teacher Strikes Idle Kids” • “City Pact Fight Boils” • “Dealers Will Hear Car Talk Friday Noon” • “Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim” • “Lawyers Give Poor Free Legal Advice” • “Enraged Cow Injures Farmer With Ax” • “Miners Refuse to Work After Death” • “Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant” • “2 Sisters Reunited After 10 Years In Checkout Counter” • “20 Year Friendship Ends at Altar”

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reaction to food.

Preventing an Allergic Reaction

Food Allergies A Safety Issue By Vicki Bezems, Lehigh Valley Family


f you care for children in any setting – at home, preschool, school, camp, daycare, scout group, church, sports or other activities -- it’s critical that you understand that food allergies are a safety issue. The number of food allergies is on the rise, and the reactions they cause can be severe, even fatal. You need to know how to prevent a reaction, how to recognize one, and what to do if one occurs. As many as 15 million people (12 percent of the population) have food allergies. Of those, it is estimated that 6 million are children. According to a study released in 2008 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about an 18% increase in the number of food allergies was seen between 1997 and 2008. The prevalence of peanut allergy among children appears to have tripled in that time period. Food allergies can develop at any time in life. Most people have no reason to be tested for food allergies until they have their first reaction, and are unprepared the first time it happens. The most dangerous kind of allergic reaction is anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death. The chief of pediatric allergy and immunology at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore told an allergists’ conference in March that at least 2.5 percent of the general public are likely to have anaphylaxis. (Source: Allergic Living, Anaphylaxis can be caused by food, medication, insect stings or latex. If you have responsibility for children, you need to be prepared to recognize and treat a reaction, just as you would be prepared to provide first aid in the event of an accident or choking. Equally important, you should know how to prevent an allergic reaction. Here are some measures you can take in your home or childcare setting to prevent and handle a possible allergic

• Identify allergies and their severity among the children in your group. Question parents before they leave children in your care. Require that this information, like any medical condition, be made available to you, as part of registration or informally. • Clean play areas, furniture, toys, and play equipment with a common household cleaning product, such as Formula 409®, Lysol® Sanitizing Wipes, or a cleaner with bleach before the allergic child enters. • Have all children wash hands with soap and water after eating, before sharing toys, crayons or play equipment. • If snacks or meals are served, make sure that the allergic child receives only food that is free of his or her allergens. If it is not possible to serve the “safe” food to the entire group, make sure that the allergic child has a safe substitute. • Keep safe snacks for the allergic child on hand.

Recognizing an Allergic Reaction

Any of the following symptoms may indicate a severe allergic,

Join Us for a Free Open House

The Chitty Chitty Bang Ban car is featured in the new exhibit Cars that Were Stars

Lehigh Valley Family readers are invited to a free open house on Tuesday May 22, 2012 from 2pm to 4pm. The event is a thank you to readers and community members for their support. America on Wheels is located at 5 North Front Street Allentown, PA 18102. There is ample parking, see you there! sponsored by:

or anaphylactic, reaction: • Hives, itchiness, or redness all over the body and swelling of the lips, tongue, or the back of the throat • Trouble breathing • Drop in blood pressure (pale, weak pulse, confusion, loss of consciousness) • Vomiting or diarrhea A young child might describe symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction differently from an adult. They may put their hands in their mouths or pull or scratch at their tongues in response to a reaction. Also, children’s voices may change (e.g., become hoarse or squeaky), or they may slur their words. The following are examples of the words a child might use to describe a reaction: • “This food’s too spicy.â€? • “My tongue is hot [or burning].â€? • “It feels like something’s poking my tongue.â€? • “My tongue [or mouth] is tingling [or burning].â€? • “My tongue [or mouth] itches.â€? • “It [my tongue] feels like there is hair on it.â€? • “My mouth feels funny.â€? • “There’s a frog in my throat.â€? • “There’s something stuck in my throat.â€? • “My tongue feels full [or heavy].â€? • “My lips feel tight.â€? • “It feels like there are bugs in there.â€? (to describe itchy ears) • “It [my throat] feels thick.â€? • “It feels like a bump is on the back of my tongue [throat].â€? (Source: Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network,

Treating an allergic reaction:

It is critical to act quickly if a child is having a severe allergic reaction. Be prepared by taking the following measures: • Keep an emergency action plan on hand, describing the child’s symptoms, treatment, and emergency contact information. • Keep emergency medications on hand. Children who have severe allergies should have a prescription for an EpipenŽ or TwinJectŽ auto-injector (epinephrine). Benadryl liquid, an over the counter antihistamine, and its generic forms are readily available. If you suspect an anaphylactic reaction, don’t lose precious time! Call 911 and use the child’s EpipenŽ or TwinjectŽ. Always inform 911 operators that you suspect an anaphylactic reaction and request an ambulance with epinephrine. Summer presents many opportunities every day for children to meet and play outside their home, school or usual environment. If you are a caretaker, take the time to understand food allergies. You could save a life. Vicki Bezems writes from 15 years’ experience as a parent of two children with multiple food allergies. Her advice is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice and does not guarantee the prevention of an allergic reaction. For medical advice, please contact your physician. If you have general questions about this article or food allergies, please email Vicki at

Nut-Free, Milk-Free Brownies These brownies are deliciously rich. If you have a nut allergy or milk allergy in your family, you can serve these safely to your allergic person and have confidence that everyone else will love them, too! If you are not cooking for food allergies, substitute real butter for the margarine and any kind of chocolate chip you prefer. Ingredients: • 1 cup dairy-free margarine, melted (Fleischmann’s unsalted stick margarine works well) • 3 cups white sugar • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract • 4 eggs • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder • 1 teaspoon salt • 1 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish. 2. Combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until thoroughly blended. 3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until blended. 4. Stir in the chocolate morsels. 5. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish. 6. Bake in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. 7. Remove, and cool pan on wire rack before cutting.

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610-351-3500 • Lehigh Valley Family


Ask Dr. Mary

Lehigh Valley Family’s Women’s Health Extraordinaire!

Dispelling the Myths of Pregnancy, Part 2

By Dr. Mary Greiss-Coult, Seasons of Life OBGyn


his month’s article continues down the path of separating the facts from fiction about pregnancy. A lot of women have confusion about what is safe and healthy for them to do during those long 40 weeks.

Eating for Two: This concept about nutrition in pregnancy

has been around forever but it is often misinterpreted. You shouldn’t be doubling the amount of food you eat or the total amount of calories you take in per day…you aren’t eating for two full-grown adults! This common remark in pregnancy really relates more to the idea that you can’t just think about yourself anymore…there’s a baby on board. Nutrition and weight gain in pregnancy should be individualized based on your pre-pregnancy weight and usual dietary restrictions. The average woman of a normal weight should increase her diet by only 300 calories per day (that’s the equivalent of eating half a sandwich with a glass of milk) and should probably gain between 25-35 pounds in a pregnancy.

Coffee Break: Caffeine is a stimulant that is found in coffee,

tea, sodas, chocolate, and some herbal supplements. It can increase maternal blood pressure and heart rate and possibly cause decreased blood flow to the placenta. The placenta is literally the lifeline to the fetus, so the blood flowing through it is of utmost concern during pregnancy. While there have been some studies that showed an increased risk of first-trimester miscarriage with caffeine intake over 200-300 mg per day (the equivalent in 12 ounces of coffee or 30 ounces of tea), other studies have not shown a direct correlation. What we do know is that like so many other things in life, moderation is the answer. It is probably best not to ingest more than 200 mg per day, especially if you have a history of miscarriage, just to be safe. You should not suffer a loss, simply because you had two Grande Macchiatos in one day. Likewise, you shouldn’t be chugging down a 2 liter bottle of Coca Cola every day either…it is just not good for you or your baby.

Wine with Dinner: Alcohol poses the most serious concern

out of all the beverages one could drink during a pregnancy. Aside from leading to actual Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, alcohol use during pregnancy has definitely been linked to physical, mental, behavioral and learning disabilities in children. The general recommendation is that there is no known level of alcohol intake

that is considered safe in pregnancy. Likewise, we don’t know the amount of alcohol that will definitively lead to harm of the fetus. So, seriously, just say No!

Exercise in Pregnancy: The general rule of thumb is that

if you engaged in an exercise regimen prior to pregnancy, you can probably continue it as long as your pregnancy remains uncomplicated. Modest exercise of 30 minutes or more every day is recommended for most women both during and after a pregnancy. In fact, if you are otherwise healthy and you don’t usually exercise, it is even acceptable to start a mild exercise routine, like walking, during your pregnancy. If you have any concerns about the activities you enjoy and the potential risks they may pose to your baby, you should discuss your questions with your healthcare provider.

Can I Sleep on my Back?: You should sleep any way you

can! The fact of the matter is that once you fall asleep, you have no idea what positions you get into. Sleeping on your back, left side, or right side are all fine as long as it provides comfort to you. It may be better for you to sleep at a slight incline propped up on some pillows in order to avoid heartburn and possibly snoring. You may also take some strain off of your back and hips if you are able to put pillows between or under your knees while resting. You won’t be putting your baby at any risk by resting… regardless of how you do it!

Manicures/ Pedicures/ Hair Coloring/ Massage:

Ladies…it is good to get pampered and there is no need to postpone these moments of “Me-time” just because you’re pregnant. The smells from nail polish and hair dye may cause you some more nausea than usual, but they pose no risk to your baby. Massage promotes blood flow to tired muscles and joints and is really beneficial throughout your entire pregnancy. In fact, if you don’t usually splurge on yourself, you may want to try at least one of these treats. The benefits to your mood gained by feeling extra pretty or just by taking time away from your everyday stresses can do both you and your baby a world of good! Learn more about Seasons of Life Obstetrics and Gynecology PC located at 1611 Pond Road Suite 102 Allentown, PA 18104 610-366-7444 at, or see their ad on page 2.

20 May / June 2012 •

Simple Wardrobe Staples for Cool Summer Style By Amanda Furbeck


t’s summertime and the styles are easy....

It’s tempting, come those makeup-melting, sticky-hot days of summer, to dress for comfort and forget about style. You know the go-to summer look... a pair of shorts, a comfy tank, and a ponytail. While there is nothing wrong with sporting this look (it can be quite adorable when worn well), there are some easy ways to beat the heat without compromising your fashion sense. Try a few of these summer wardrobe staples to keep you feeling cool and looking great all summer long.

The Maxi.

The maxi dress is a cool, comfortable, and casual summer staple. It looks good on everyone, and chances are, you can find one that won’t bust your budget. Try a dress in a lightweight, breathable fabric, with a fun print (think zebra and you’ll be right on trend for this summer). The fabric should skim the body without being too bulky or clingy; it should nearly reach the floor, but not be so long that you find yourself tripping on it. Throw a denim button-down shirt or a sweet cardigan overtop for those rare chilly nights. For an edgier look, toughen it up with a lightweight, shrunken, black leather jacket. If you need to make your maxi dress a little more demure, it is perfectly acceptable these days to layer a crisp white T-shirt underneath. Better yet, invest in a jerseyfabric maxi skirt. The style and length are the same, but you’ll be able to wear it with just about any top: a clingy tank, a loose fit T, or even a halter top or a summer sweater. Whether you choose a maxi dress or a skirt, you can mix and match it with your favorite summer footwear, whether it be flip-flops, espadrilles, or a pair of open-toed shooties (a combination of short boots and shoes).

Capris, cargo style.

Cargo capris are the perfect summer staple. Comfortable and casual, you can dress them up or

down. To modernize your capris for this summer’s trends, try flip-flops and a wide-striped, V-neck top for a nautical look, or a pair of heels and a shimmery tank for a fun, slightly dressed up look. For casual Friday or weekend shopping fun, layer a crisp button-down over a brightly colored camisole and pair them up with some pretty ballet flats. You will feel cool and comfortable but you will look smart and pulled together.

Pastel shorts.

Wake up your wardrobe with some cotton candy pink, mint green, or lavender-hued shorts.

Bermuda style (slim, knee length) will look conservative,

while shorter versions are great for parties on the beach or a backyard barbecue. Layer your pastel shorts with a crocheted summer sweater or a soft white blouse and sandals for a sweet, romantic look. Add frills and heeled sandals to dress up your outfit, or a tank and flip flops to go über casual. For a modern spin, mix contrasting pastels (think mint green shorts and a soft violet top) with a black cardigan.

Floppy hat.

No matter what your summer style is, it will not be complete without a big floppy hat. Not just for the beach, a large-brimmed hat will keep you safe from the sun and looking great. While no one summer style is perfect for everyone, there are plenty of great looks this year to keep you feeling comfortable and looking fabulous. When in doubt, reach for light-weight, breathable fabrics in sweet pastel colors, a slimming pair of capris, and a great pair of sandals. Wear every outfit with confidence and a great smile. And have a beautiful summer! • Lehigh Valley Family



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May 5

May 5

Fun Days on the Farm, Open House, Ananda Farm. Alpaca Shearing; Natural Horsemanship; Chicks and Ducklings; Games and crafts; Pony Rides, 11 - 4. 7945 Springhouse Road, New Tripoli.

May 5

No Diet Day

Family Fest. 10 - 3. Free. Face painting, dental expo, and demonstrations by the Allentown Fire Department, Cetronia Ambulance, and K-9 Police. Refreshments, live music and more! The Volunteers of America Children’s Center, 730 W. Union Street, Allentown.

May 6

Lockridge May Festival. Renaissance music, May Pole dancing, and the “Crowning of the May Queen”. Come at 12 - 5 to stroll through the crafters/ artists, activities, and treats. Lockridge Park and Furnace, 525 Franklin Street, Alburtis. Free.

May 8

No Socks Day

May 12

Mother’s Day Tea. Sample authentic tea and treats enjoyed at the White House and learn about some of our nation’s most fascinating First Ladies. 2 p.m. Registration required. Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum.

May 19

Rock & Roll Science. Test out electronic music and other science instruments in a “jam” session with other visitors. Get your photo taken as a rock star and view it on their Facebook page. Talk with musicians and learn Songs of Science. Da Vinci Science Center, Allentown. 12:30 – 4.

May 22

Free open house 2-4 at America on Wheels Museum in Allentown. Hosted by Lehigh Valley Family.

May 24-28

Mayfair Festival of the Arts. Dancers, storytellers, art exhibits, local and national musical acts, hands-on craft demonstrations, and culinary delights. May 24, 2012 at 4 pm through May 28, 2012 at 7 pm. Cedar Beach Park, 2600 Hamilton St., Allentown.

May 27

Hug Your Cat Day

June 1-30

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, PA Shakespeare Festival, DeSales University, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley.

June 8

Banana Split Day

June 9 & 10

Get Out! Lehigh Valley, a healthy outdoor activity program that provides safe, fun activities for you and your family. Sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Health Network. Explore parks, trails, gardens, rivers and more right in your community! Hike: Trexler Memorial Park, 200 Springhouse Road, Allentown, PA 18104. 2 miles, duration 1 hour. Go to to register. Free.

June 9 & 10

Artifest 2012. Cultural exhibits and demonstrations from Pennsylvania German cooper to Ukrainian folk art of pysanky (egg decorating). Experience Old World culture in our Renaissance Village complete with merchants, minstrels, and fire breathers. Learn how American Indians cooked their meals with Heart to Hearth and how men and women set up camp in the American Revolutionary War. Children of all ages will have hands-on fun painting the Community Diversity Mural and creating piñatas to corn husk dolls. Museum of Indian Culture, 2825 Fish Hatchery Rd., Allentown.

June 10

Crowded Nest Day

June 14 - 17

Lehigh River Blues Jam, benefiting Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Walk. Catasauqua Park. June 14, 2012 (FREE Preview Jam Night, 6-9 pm); June 15, ($5 Fri. 6-10 pm); June 16, 2012 ($10 Sat. 2-10 pm); June 17, 2012 ($10 Sun. 12-7 pm). Advance online ticket sales available through June 13th. 501 American Street, Catasauqua, PA 18032.\

June 15

Flip-Flop Day

June 22 - 24

¡Sabor! Latin Festival™. Experience three days of sizzling music, food and fun celebrating the region’s Latino culture. The best in salsa, merengue, reggaeton, Latin jazz and other sounds. Great, free family programming; interactive exhibits and activities all weekend long. 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem.

June 29

Board Game Day

June 23

River Day. Would you like to know what kind of critters are in your backyard stream, pond or river? Join us for a unique identification session and learn what these critters tell us about our backyard environment. Sponsored by PPL. 9:00 am – 3:30 pm. 7701 Martins Creek-Belvidere Highway. For directions, please visit Free.

June 30 - July 8

63rd Annual Kutztown Folk Festival. Demonstrations of PA Dutch traditional crafts, folklife demonstrations, historical reenactments, antiques, traditional music, and dancing, the largest Quilt Sale in the nation. Children experience traditional, hands-on enjoyment in exciting new ways, Noah’s World animal park, hay mazes, do-it-yourself mural paintings, and rides. Pennsylvania Dutch food and treats. June 30 - July 8. 9 am to 6 pm.

CarsRunning that Were Stars all summer long! Bring your family out to see the newest exhibit featuring famous cars from movies and TV shows! • • • • • • •

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Car Muppet Car from “The Muppet Movie” Austin Powers’ 1998 VW Beetle “Fast and Furious 2” Honda S2000 David Lee Roth’s 1951 Mercury seen in “California Girls” video Ernie’s Taxi from “It’s a Wonderful Life” 1940 Ford Coup from “The Blob” • “Nelly Belle” TV Jeep seen on Roy Rogers Show • Betty Davis Buick “Woody” Warner Bros. recognition gift car • Rick Nelson 1932 Ford Hot Rod (cruising into AOW in July) • “The Fields” VW Beetle • Megatron Truck from Transformers (on display from April 14 & 15th - on site at The Mack Truck Museum thereafter)

5 North Front Street, Allentown PA 610.432.4200

Lehigh Valley Family May / June 2012  

A community magazine for families of the Lehigh Valley, Pa.