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April 2013

Hooray for Summer! Find 63 camps & activities inside

6 reasons why you’ll love cruising with Disney! The hard truth about childhood obesity (and tips to help)

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Over 195 spring festivals and family fun events metrofamilymagazine.com


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Thanks for making Kids Fest 2013 a success! Thank you to our vendors, stage entertainers, roaming characters, attending families and most of all, our Gold Sponsor, K12, Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy, for their support of Kids Fest 2013. What a day it was! Thousands of families enjoyed hands-on activities and games, inflatables, field hockey by the OKC Barons, a petting zoo by Extreme Animals, horse rides by YMCA Camp Classen, door prizes, grand prizes and many “goodies” from vendors. We’re already starting the plans for the Kids Fest 2014 so stay tuned! Find a wrap-up at www.metrofamilymagazine. com/kids-fest.

Five reasons to visit www.metrofamilymagazine.com this month: 1. Find a searchable version of our Summer Camp Guide at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ summer-camp-guide. 2. Let this month’s articles on childhood obesity and heart-friendly superfoods inspire you to shop at your local Farmer’s Market! Find one near you at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/ farmers-markets. 3. Thank you to all who nominated an Awesome Mom for our recent contest. The winner will be featured as our Real Mom in our May issue (we cannot wait to introduce her to you!). Be inspired by all the awesome moms who were nominated! Read their stories at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/awesome-moms. 4. Join us on April 27 for a unique fundraiser with Juiceblendz Cafe benefitting several Edmond Public Schools. Find details on page 12. www.metrofamilymagazine.com/fundraiser. 5. We’re excited to announce we won three awards at the Parenting Media Association conference. Judged by the University of Missouri School of Journalism, these awards celebrate the best of the local parenting media across the US, Canada and Australia. We won a gold award for best e-newsletter, a silver award for General Excellence for our website and a gold award for our Exploring Oklahoma with Children column written by Jennifer Geary. Now you have even more reasons to check us out in print and digitally every day!

Join the MetroFamily community of active local parents at:

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www.metrofamilymagazine.com | April 2013

• Your family can rock out with Sugar Free Allstars at the OKC Philharmonic’s Discovery concert on Sunday, April 7 at 2:00pm at the Civic Center Music Hall by winning one of two four-packs of tickets. Hurry! Deadline April 2. • Get running at the 4th Annual Princess Run and Little Dude Dash for ages 12 and under. We’re giving away five individual registrations for each race, scheduled for Sunday, April 14 in the OKC Boathouse District. Deadline April 10. • Plan a date night with tickets to Celebrity Attraction’s West Side Story! Two winners will each win a two-pack of tickets to the performance on April 23 at 7:30pm at the Civic Center Music Hall. Deadline April 18. • Follow us on Twitter (www.twitter. com/metrofamily) and Facebook (www. facebook.com/metrofamily) for the announcements of other fun contests.

You could SAVE big! Find coupons to the businesses listed below at www. metrofamilymagazine. com/coupons. • Skate Galaxy • The Vintage Pearl • Bouncin’ Craze • Dawn to Dusk Inflatables • Club Z! In-Home Tutoring • Jump!Zone • Mathnasium • Gymboree • Bright Smile Family Dentistry PLUS, save big bucks with the Kids Pass that includes over 30 coupons to local and statewide attractions, many good through this month! Coupons expire April 30 but a new Kids Pass arrives with our May issue. Download it today at www.metrofamilymagazine.com/kids-pass.


Contents Photo © Katseyephoto | Dreamstime.com.

April 2013

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Dear MetroFamily

8

Family Shorts

Editor’s Note.

Community news, resources & other family-friendly information.

14 Ask the Expert

Your questions answered on stress, stranger danger and disrespect.

16 Oklahoma Reads Great reads for all.

18 Local Shopping

Shop better at Shop Good.

22 Problem-Solving Products 24 Learning Adventures Celebrate National Poetry Month.

27 Calendar

Fun events, activities and classes.

36 Exploring Oklahoma & Beyond Sail away on a Disney cruise from Galveston.

52 Your Healthy Family

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The top 10 super foods you should be eating.

Kids ambivalent about camp? Tips for turning them into happy campers, plus our giant summer camps and activities guide to help you plan your best summer yet! Are your kids struggling with their weight? Break the cycle of childhood obesity before it becomes a long-term problem with our three-step approach.

ON OUR COVER: Nine-year old Sydney Anderson-Cullum, daughter of Faydra Cullum of OKC, looks forward to cheer camp every year. She also enjoys Edmond Historical Society’s 1889er camp and riding her bike. Sydney is the winner of the MetroFamily Cover Kid Search, ages 8-11 division. COVER PHOTO BY: Steffanie Halley, Steffanie Halley Photography.

54 Focus on Education

Clearing homework hurdles.

56 Real Moms of the Metro

Meet Tamara Prater: mom and anti-terrorism advocate.

60 Mom Gets the Last Laugh

The highs & lows of space camp.

April 2013 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Dear MetroFamily, As I write this, my son is turning 11. I know I wrote about it ad nauseum last month, but it’s a shock to me still. I monitor him closely, I always have—watching him learn and grow is like a sociology experiment. That’s always been my favorite part of being a parent. When I was 11, I remember feeling invincible; but it wasn’t long after that when I felt unsure of where I fit in. I’m not looking forward to those years for my kids and while I’m okay with letting them make mistakes and learn their lessons, I would happily shield them from awkward teen years where it seems like everything is so big and permanent and the smallest, tiniest thing will impact life forever. Because that’s just not the way it is. The irony, however, is that it’s also pretty easy to make big mistakes that will impact a life forever. Making the right choices can be difficult in some situations. There’s no guarantee that my kids won’t make bad choices, but I’m going try to arm them now with good information, with a firm knowledge of right and wrong, to help them if the situation should arise. MetroFamily represented at our annual PMA awards banquet this year, taking home awards in three categories. Pictured from left: Art Director Kathryne Taylor, Publisher Sarah Taylor, PMA President Susan Weiss, Ad Executive Dana Price, Editor Mari Farthing. Learn more on page 4.

Time passes, people grow up, and for the most part? The silly or crazy things that we do as kids, the painful moments we think that we’ll carry forever will be left behind like old homework assignments littering the hallways. So, while he’s still 11, I’ll encourage him to embrace that feeling of little boy power; and as he gets older, I’ll help him to remember that it’s important to be kind, that nothing lasts forever and that I’ll always be his mommy.

Cheers,

P.S. Visit metrofamilymagazine.com/mari to read my blog, “Keeping it Real,” about my personal adventures in the ups and downs of parenting. We asked our contributors:

What role did you play in high school? Class clown, jock, brain, outcast or something else? Brooke Barnett, Assistant Editor Let’s just say that I never missed a meeting of the Honor Society or the Science Club. Now, if I could only remember where I put my scientific calculator... Sarah Taylor, Publisher My friends would definitely say “brain” and I would add “super involved.” Student Council, tennis, drama, music, musicals, etc. I was never home! Lela Davidson, Mom Gets the Last Laugh I’m not sure I ever found my role in high school, but let’s go with Drama Geek/ Party Girl. Don’t tell my kids that second part.

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Info And Questions: 405-601-2081 To submit events to our calendar calendar@metrofamilymagazine.com Publisher Sarah L. Taylor sarah@metrofamilymagazine.com Editor Mari M. Farthing editor@metrofamilymagazine.com Art Director Kathryne Taylor kathryne@metrofamilymagazine.com Advertising Sales Athena Delce Dana Price ads@metrofamilymagazine.com Office and Distribution Manager Kathy Alberty kathy@metrofamilymagazine.com Assistant Editor & Online Content Manager Brooke Barnett brooke@metrofamilymagazine.com Calendar Editor Sara Riester calendar@metrofamilymagazine.com Project Manager Janetta Bridges janetta@metrofamilymagazine.com Contributing Writers Brooke Barnett, Lela Davidson, Shannon Fields, Christa Melnyk Hines, Sarah Taylor Circulation 35,000 – OKC, Edmond, Nichols Hills, Norman, Moore, Midwest City, Yukon Also available as a digital edition at MetroFamilyMagazine.com. Articles and advertisements in MetroFamily do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Inprint Publishing, Inc. We do not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by MetroFamily does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services, or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. MetroFamily Magazine is published monthly by Inprint Publishing, Inc. 725 NW 11th, Suite 204 • Oklahoma City, OK 73103 Office: 405-601-2081 • Fax: 405-445-7509 E-mail: info@metrofamilymagazine.com ©Inprint Publishing, Inc. 2013, All Rights Reserved. Volume 16, Number 4


April 2013 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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OKC Boathouse District’s New Youth Zone The OKC Boathouse District recently unveiled its new Youth Zone, designed to inspire physical activity and improve health and wellness. The Youth Zone’s activities include a unique “Cloud Bounce,” a 40-foot inflatable pillow offering bouncing fun for all ages and a “Sky Tykes” obstacle course that sits three feet above ground, in which youth are secured into a safety harness as they navigate a series of adventures and challenges. In addition, a miniature zipline is available for both children and adults, and an “Extreme Air” bungee activity allows individuals to jump and flip to thrilling heights. The Youth Zone also includes the KaBOOM! playground built by local volunteers in 2011. “This new Youth Zone is really unique to Oklahoma City,” said Michael J. Knopp, OKC Boathouse Foundation executive director. “It offers interactive play opportunities you won’t find anywhere else, and it’s something the whole family can enjoy together.”

Photos courtesy of the OKC Boathouse Foundation.

Contributing writers: Brooke Barnett, Mari Farthing

The Youth Zone and KaBOOM! playground were both established with the intent of providing a safe environment for children to stay healthy and active. Both projects were created in conjunction with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Families initiative—a three year program that pulls together local, state and national resources in an effort to make a significant impact on childhood health and wellness. The Boathouse District is located at 725 S Lincoln Boulevard and Youth Zone passes are $10 for kids ages 3–12. For hours of operation and additional information, call 405-5224040 or visit www.boathousedistrict.org. Photos courtesy of Patricia Smith.

Made in Oklahoma Recipe Contest Found a way to make Grandma’s chocolate cake even better? Want to share the secret ingredient to your family’s famous barbecue chicken? Enter the Made in Oklahoma Coalition (MIO) Recipe Contest to win up to $1,000 for your creation. MIO is accepting submissions through May 17. “Some of the best recipes are the ones handed down—your mom’s best friend’s sausageegg casserole, a college roommate’s corn dip,” says Kerry Barrick, MIO Coalition coordinator. “Those same passed-down recipes are sometimes even better when they’re freshened up, given a twist to bring them up to date. We want to know your favorite Oklahoma-original recipes, using Made in Oklahoma products.”

Breast Cancer Awareness Day In the past ten years, more than 32,000 men and women have been diagnosed with breast cancer in Oklahoma. Statistics indicate that more than 4,000 of those cases ended in death. To heighten awareness, more than 3,000 breast cancer survivors will “pink out” the Oklahoma State Capitol on Tuesday, April 30 from 9:00am–3:00pm for Breast Cancer Awareness Day.

Entries will be judged on creativity, taste, ease of preparation and use of a minimum of two eligible Made in Oklahoma Coalition products. Entries must be newly created and the original recipe of the contestant. Complete rules and additional information can be found at www.miorecipes.com. Photo courtesy of MIO Coalition.

This is the fifth year that the event has been dedicated to breast cancer survivors, their family and friends, and anyone interested in helping save lives from breast cancer. The event promotes awareness, early detection, treatment and support for those affected by breast cancer.

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“I am so excited and honored that Senator Judy McIntyre has asked me to assist her in this awesome opportunity to bring up the awareness of breast cancer in our state and country,” says Pat Smith, event organizer. “We want to pink out the capitol with thousands of individuals, vendors, organizations, survivors and family members. We want participation to reflect all nationalities and cultures in Oklahoma, because cancer does not discriminate.” The event will feature more than 20 organizations from across the state, including the Central and Western Oklahoma affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure, the American Cancer Society and more. Entertainment will include performances by the Oklahoma City Chorus and the Darlington School Native Dancers. For more information, visit http://breastcancerok.webs.com or www.facebook.com/ BreastCancerOK.

www.metrofamilymagazine.com | April 2013


Photo courtesy of the OKC Promise Walk.

No matter how much she loves her kids, no matter how much she enjoys running an efficient household, no matter how well she multi-tasks and juggles responsibilities, sometimes a mom just needs a break. When it is time to get away from it all and enjoy some “down time,” it is time for a Girls’ Night Out! We recently polled our readers as to the best places to hit the town with your besties, and here, in random order, are their responses:

Raising Awareness about Preeclampsia Preeclampsia is a leading cause of pre-term birth and is responsible for approximately 76,000 maternal deaths and half a million infant deaths worldwide each year. It is a serious yet common complication of pregnancy, dangerous to both mother and unborn baby—though many expecting mothers are unaware of warning signs. Almost 300,000 women are affected by preeclampsia each year, with approximately 25 percent of those cases experiencing adverse outcomes to the mother, the unborn baby or both. To raise awareness and funds to help reduce maternal and infant illness and death due to preeclampsia, the Oklahoma City Promise Walk will be held at Earlywine Park (3033 SW 119th) on May 11, beginning at 9:00am. The event includes a two-mile walk, children’s area, live music and a balloon release in memory of those lost to preeclampsia. Registration is $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 13 and under. Find more information and register online at www. promisewalk.org/oklahomacity. Knowing the warning signs of preeclampsia can lead to a more timely diagnosis and better outcome. It is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by elevated blood pressure and protein in the urine, swelling in the hands and face, headaches and visual disturbances. Preeclampsia affects the mother’s kidneys, liver and other vital organs and, if undetected or untreated, can lead to seizures, cerebral hemorrhage, failure in vital organs and death. Learn more at preeclampsia.org.

Help Select New Children’s Programming Amazon Studios, the original movie and series production arm of Amazon.com, announced that five children’s test pilots have been greenlit for production. “Production is already underway for the first set of comedy pilots [on Amazon Instant Video], and now we are excited to add even more pilots to the list—five amazing preschool children’s series,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “Our children’s series come from industry luminaries with credits such as Blue’s Clues, Sid the Science Kid and Dino Dan. We think parents— and our very youngest customers—are going to love the magical combination of entertainment and learning that they’ll discover in these children’s series.”

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The Melting Pot (4 E Sheridan, www.meltingpot.com) Wine and Palette (201 NW 10th, www.wineandpalette.com) Oklahoma City Barons hockey game (www.okcbarons.com) The Cheesecake Factory (5600 N Penn, www. thecheesecakefactory.com) • Warren Theatre Director’s Suites (1000 Telephone, Moore; www.warrentheatres.com) • OKC Roller Derby (www.okcrd.com) • Mama Roja Mexican Kitchen (9219 Lake Hefner Pkwy, http:// mamaroja.ehsrg.com) • The outdoor patio at The Mont (1300 Classen Blvd, Norman; www.themont.com) • Blu Fine Wine & Food (201 S Crawford, Norman; www. thegoodlifeok.com/blu) • Cocktails on the Skyline at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (select Thursdays, www.okcmoa.com) Thanks to Christina C., Kristen H., Erica S., Heather A., Katie S., Shyla H., Official Oklahoma City Barons, and Lydia L. for contributing to this list. Follow us at www.facebook.com/ metrofamily to weigh in on next month’s list. Have an event you’d like to suggest? Comment at www. metrofamilymagazine.com/girls-night-out.

Children’s pilots include Creative Galaxy (an animated interactive art adventure series); Oz Adventures (an innovative problem-solving series based on the beloved characters from L. Frank Baum’s classic book, The Wizard of Oz), Teeny Tiny Dogs (produced by The Jim Henson Company to promote happiness through friendship, learning and sense of self), Tumbleaf (a series that promotes play through exploration and cognitive reasoning), the Untitled J.J. Johnson Project (a science-based series that introduces kids to science and technology). The selected children’s programs will be added to the Amazon Studios series development slate, which currently boasts 20 additional projects. After April 15, visit Amazon Instant Video (www.amazon. com/instantvideo) and watch the new children’s series pilots for free and give feedback on your favorites. Customer feedback will help determine which series will be developed into a full series available to Amazon Prime subscribers. April 2013 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Photo courtesy of Wine & Palette.

Top 10 Reader Picks: Best Places for a Girls’ Night Out


Listen To Your Mother: Oklahoma City A national series of live readings that celebrates Mother’s Day and benefits local communities, Listen to Your Mother (LTYM) first began in 2010 under the direction of Ann Imig, who was inspired by the stories of bloggers at the BlogHer conference in 2009. From that first 2010 show in Madison, Wisconsin, LTYM in 2013 will be held in 24 cities across the country this spring, including Oklahoma City. “After experiencing LTYM in northwest Arkansas last year, I saw what it was to tell your story,” says Misti Pryor, producer of the OKC show. “I saw what it did for the storyteller, for the other cast members and for the audience, especially as one woman came up to me and said, ‘I’m not a mother either. Thank you. Thank you. Your story is my story.’ I believe that everyone has a story. That every story is valid. I believe that it isn’t just a fun thing, or an entertaining thing, but an essential thing to be able to tell our stories. Because we tell them not only for ourselves, but also for those who cannot.

It’s a profoundly powerful experience. I wanted with my whole heart for Oklahoma to have that experience.” Read more about LTYM Oklahoma City at www. listentoyourmothershow.com/ oklahomacity, including information on tickets and cast (which includes MetroFamily Editor Mari Farthing). The show will be held at the Will Rogers Theatre (4322 N Western, OKC) on Sunday, May 5. Doors open at 1:30pm, show starts at 2:00pm. General admission tickets are $15 ($10 for students with ID) and the show is all ages but mature themes mean parents should use discretion.

Out of the Box at SMO

Spotlight on Character: Thoroughness Thoroughness characterizes all successful men. Genius is the art of taking infinite pains. All great achievement has been characterized by extreme care, infinite painstaking, even to the minutest detail. — Elbert Hubbard Thoroughness is knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of your work or words, if neglected. Thoroughness in the home includes completing jobs to the best of your ability, avoiding leaving work partially finished, requiring children to clean under furniture and behind shelves, ensuring that children complete homework using legible handwriting, and having a system to pass messages and information between family members in a timely and accurate manner. The rewards of thoroughness include encouraging creativity and inventiveness when family members have to learn to be thorough within set time limits, and the sense of fulfillment and pride in a job well done. Encourage thoroughness in your family by saying these “I will” statements aloud with your children and applying them to everyday life: I will: plan my work • pay attention to details • make a list so I don’t forget • finish what I start • clean up before I quit. Read about thoroughness to bring the lesson home to your kids: • In Get Dressed (by Seymour Chawast), each page discusses how to properly dress for different situations (for ages 4+). • In Pretty Penny Makes Ends Meet (by Devon Kinch), Penny helps her Grandma raise money by planning, creating and selling jewelry (for ages 4+). • Want to Be in a Band? (by Suzzy Roche & Giselle Potter) covers the steps necessary for creating your own successful musical group (for ages 4+). • They Stood Alone (by Sandra McLeod Humphrey) follows the stories of 25 historic trailblazers from Christopher Columbus to Neil Armstrong for whom thoroughness has led to success (adult nonfiction). Courtesy of Character First, www.characterfirst.com.

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The second annual “Out of the Box” exhibition at Science Museum Oklahoma (SMO) features the collaborative work of 11 local businesses using 18 random items, including a metal ball, springs and other arbitrary items. “SMO believes a key to improving science literacy is to drive creative thought,” says Suzette Ellison, vice president of SMO. “Challenging people to take risks, acknowledging [that] failure is part of the creative process, learning how to take independent ideas and funneling them to the final working solution which is what this exhibition is all about.” Representatives from a variety of occupations took part in the project— including Oklahoma City Barons hockey players, engineers and designers. The exhibit will be on display through September 30. For more information, call 405-602-3760 or visit www. sciencemuseumok.org.


Smoothie Fundraiser to Benefit Edmond Schools On Saturday, April 27 from 8:00am-9:00pm, 50 percent of all smoothie sales at Juiceblendz Café (1200 W Covell, Edmond) will be donated back to specific school sites within the Edmond Public School district. Led by The Transformation Agency and Juiceblendz Café, the effort is designed as a transformational way for schools to raise money through an innovative public-private partnership. Participating Edmond schools will be given tools to promote the event. Everyone who shares or receives the message with these tools can receive a free 24-ounce Juiceblendz power smoothie on other days except April 27th. Members of the general public who visit Juiceblendz on April 27 can also designate a school of choice to benefit from their purchase. Ashley Hughes, owner of Juiceblendz, Juiceblendz’ mascot Bananaman, and Sarah Taylor, publisher of MetroFamily, are ready to welcome guests to the Juiceblendz fundraiser.

“We see this as a way to use our resources to their greatest abilities to help our kids and our community,” says Ashley Hughes, Juiceblendz Café owner. “For the entire day, we will donate 50 percent of smoothie sales

Talking about Teen Suicide On Wednesday, April 3, author and international speaker Rich Van Pelt will dispel the myths and misconceptions about teenage suicide at a free presentation at Crossings Community Church (14600 N Portland). In his lecture, Van Pelt will explain what people should know if faced with a teen in crisis and how they can help save a life. Some think that by talking about suicide, teens might be more likely to attempt it, but the opposite is true. “People are afraid to talk about teenage suicide, but it is imperative that we do to save lives,” explains Van Pelt, author of Intensive Care: Helping Teenagers in Crisis, “On April 3, I’ll help you make a plan so you’ll be informed of the real facts and armed with some tools to help that teenager in your life.” “Rich speaks to you in a very matter-of-fact, plain and comfortable way. He makes it clear that you don’t have to have a counseling degree or Ph.D. to help someone contemplating suicide,” says Andy Rauschkolb, Pastor of High School Ministries at Crossings Church. “[You’ll] came away with some very practical knowledge that everyone—adults and students—should know because this information might just save a teen’s life.” The event is free to the public, no pre-registration is required and childcare is available. For more information, go to www. cultivating.tv or call 405-755-2227.

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when customers tell us which school they want to support. The schools get everything they raise and we’re giving the school that raises the most money a matching check, up to $100,000. Plus, we’re offering a free smoothie to everyone who helps us get the word out using our special social media tools.” The event will feature local TV personalities and others as “guest blenders,” including KOCO’s Jessica Schambach and Naveen Dhaliwal, KFOR’s Emily Sutton and Joleen Chaney, MetroFamily’s publisher Sarah Taylor, Natural Awakenings’ publisher Tina Hilbert and Rumble the Bison from the Oklahoma City Thunder. “MetroFamily is thrilled to be part of this initial fundraising partnership,” says Taylor. “We look forward to the success that this event will bring and being able to replicate it for other school districts and organizations.” For more information on the event or the free smoothie offer, visit www. helpedmondschools.com.

Child Abuse Prevention Month: You Can Make a Difference For a Child April is Child Abuse Prevention month, and Parent Promise, an organization dedicated to ending child abuse before it starts, hopes to bring an end to child abuse through parent education and teen pregnancy prevention. According to the latest statistics available from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, in state fiscal year 2011 there were more than 8,000 confirmations of child abuse and/or neglect in Oklahoma. There were 42 confirmed child abuse/neglect deaths in Oklahoma in state fiscal year 2010. How can you get involved to change these statistics? • Attend Child Abuse Prevention Day or donate diapers to the “Save a Bottom Diaper Drive” at the State Capitol on Tuesday, April 3. • Buy a “Child Abuse Prevention” specialty license plate, available at your local tag agency, which helps to fund support prevention programs across the state. • Participate in “Build a Blue Ribbon Tree for Kids” by finding a highly visible spot to place your tree and adding a blue ribbon for the number of children abused and neglected in your county; or the number of new babies born in your community; or to represent something that shows your support for children. • Get involved in Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer efforts to assist children through the legal system by contacting Jennifer Emfinger at 800-742-2272. For information about Child Abuse Prevention Month activities or to request materials for your community, contact your local county health department or the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 405-271-7611 or www.ok.gov/health. Get involved with Prevent Child Abuse Oklahoma Parent Promise by calling Billie Brown at 800-244-5373 or visiting www.parentpromise.org.


Ask the Experts Local Parenting Experts and Readers Weigh In Stress

Online Stranger Danger

I hate to admit it, but I’m incredibly impatient. When my kids don’t listen, I lose my cool and yell—a lot. Can you help me find my happy place?

I found my daughter chatting with a stranger on the computer. They met while playing a multi-user game and the stranger disappeared when she made it known that I was in the room. How can I work harder to keep my children safe online? She’s only 11!

We can control our emotions and our reactions, but just like anything, it takes practice. I would tell anyone wanting to stop a bad habit to replace it with a good habit. So choose a new habit, a new reaction when you are irritated by your kids; think about it before it happens, practice it alone in your bedroom, write it down on a 3 x 5 card and look at it daily. Then the next time your kids irritate you, try your new habit. It will take practice, but we are each in control of our emotions, our reactions and the words that come out of our mouths. Devonne Carter, LCSW is a clinical social worker in private practice in Edmond. 405326-3923, www.carterscounseling.com. This is an issue that it seems all parents deal with at one time or another. Busy schedules, lack of sleep and the technology age have all contributed to irritability and displaced anger. No matter if you are a stay-at-home mom or a mom who works outside the home, you must fully value the contribution you provide to your family and give yourself time to

recharge. If you don’t have time to yourself, you will likely experience burnout and fatigue that can lead to depression. Kevin Tutty is a licensed professional counselor in private practice. Contact him at 405-431-6225. Reader feedback: • You will appear much more in control if you dole out logical consequences, such as the loss of a toy if it is being misused, or time outs. Speak to them about why it is important to listen, and show them that you are listening, too. • It’s a problem a lot of parents have; it takes a lot to admit it, too. I would put myself in time out, just so I could cool off and then approach them in a calmer manner. It’s also okay to tell your kids that you are sorry for yelling at them. Thanks to Candace L. and Sheryl M. for your feedback!

Deterring Disrespect My son has become that kid who will do anything for a laugh at school—including picking on other children, disrespecting his teachers and not doing his work. How can I discourage this? There’s an app for that! I was recently at a conference and learned about an app called “You Can Handle Them All.” It may be the best $2 you ever spend, because it will give you insight and ideas for handling 124 different behaviors. This app is useful to both parents and teachers, which is good because they are the team that can modify the undesirable behavior. It is important to lay out your family values and rules about how to treat other people, and let your child know that there will be consequences if they break those rules. Make sure any consequences you choose are meaningful to your child. If your child enjoys spending time alone in his room, then sending him there is not a very meaningful consequence. You may want to meet with your son’s teacher to discuss a plan that you can work on together so the connection between what happens at school and what happens at home is strengthened. The teacher will likely want to try some strategies that allow your son to have some time in the

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spotlight in a positive way. The school and parents working as a cohesive group is key to student success. Lanet Clark is an elementary school counselor with Moore Public Schools. Reader feedback: • Have you sat down and watched the documentary Bully with him? It’s a very good tool to use and hopefully will open his eyes to his actions. • How is it addressed at school? You don’t want to make his home life miserable, but you do need to let him you know you have expectations of his behavior at school, at home and in the community. • Just remember the power you have as a parent! You can feed him lima beans, choose his clothes, restrict activities. Don’t forget about all the power you have! Thanks to Debbie K., Lara G. and Ashley K. for your feedback!

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At this age, make sure all computers are in a populated area with constant supervision. I would discourage computers in most children’s rooms, especially under the age of 14 and without proper protective software. I would also discourage chat or multi-user programs unless a parent is directly involved and knows the participants. This may seem like a lot of work or being overprotective but letting people into your children’s lives that you don’t know is like letting a stranger into the house when you’re not at home. Donnie Van Curen, M. A., LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist with Counseling 1820, LLC. 405-823-4302, www. counseling1820.com. Reader feedback: • At 11, your daughter should still be supervised while using the computer. You need to sit down with her and have a very real conversation about what could happen as well. • Talk to your kids! Predators will always be there. Arm your kids with knowledge. • The computer shouldn’t be in a place where your daughter can have privacy. It should be in an open room and you should be able to see the screen. • I would buy a MacBook or iMac for her. The parental controls are awesome. I chose a iMac as it is not portable and is kept out in the open living area. That is their ONLY option for a computer, so I can walk by anytime and peek on what they are doing. Thanks to Danielle D. Linda D., Mikel I., and Dorothy W. for the feedback!

For more input from our experts on these questions, visit www.metrofamilymagazine. com/ask-the-experts, where you may also leave your feedback and submit your questions for future columns.


Oklahoma Reads Great Reads for All Everything Oz By Christine Leech & Hannah Read-Baldrey (Chicago Review Press, $25) A bounty of Oz-themed crafts, both edible (Over the Rainbow Cake) and nonedible (a flying monkey-themed hooded baby bath towel), will delight fans of Baum’s classic book that inspired the classic movie and current movie craze.

Early Readers The Little Recycler By Jan Gerardi (Random House, $7) Even your youngest child is ready to learn about recycling through this rhyming, lift-the-flap board book that educates the reader on all the things that can be reused and recycled. I Dare You Not to Yawn By Helene Boudreau, illustrated by Serge Bloch (Candlewick, $16) Did just reading that title make you yawn? This book is all about yawns and how they are as easy to catch as colds, which just might make it the perfect book to read at bedtime. Yawn! Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite By Nick Bromley, illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne (Nosy Crow, $16) What happens when the Hans Christian Anderson classic The Ugly Duckling is hijacked by a very scary crocodile? Hilarity ensues. Prairie Chicken Little By Jackie Mims Hopkins, illustrated by Henry Cole (Peachtree, $16) A riff on the classic tale of the young bird warning of the falling sky, our chick warns of an impending stampede—or is it?

Grades 3+ A Young Scientist’s Guide to Faulty Freaks of Nature By James Doyle, illustrated by Andrew Brozyna (Gibbs Smith, $15) Kids love to try things out for themselves, and this book lets curious kids try out a variety of relatively tame experiments after reading some random, sometimes gross, science facts. Genie Wishes By Elisabeth Dahl (Amulet, $17) Fifth grade can be a dramatic year, as evidenced by the adventures of Genie and her friend Sarah—and Sarah’s new friend Blair. Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made By Stephan Pastis (Candlewick, $15) Young Timmy is in charge of his own detective agency, founded to help his mom pay the bills in this first title of a new series. Readers will enjoy a fun whodunit mystery with humor and emotion.

Adults Photographing Your Children By Jen Altman (Chronicle, $23) Learn the basics of great photography—and how to take great pictures of your kids while you’re at it—with this book all about cameras and photography. The A-B-Cs of Homeschooling By Laura Ann Huber (Telemachus, $15) Considering homeschooling? Huber offers an A-to-Z listing of topics and techniques to keep in mind. The Engaging Child By Maribeth & Lizzie Kuzmeski (Red Zone, $19) Modern children likely have the technological skills to succeed, but do they have the offline skills like writing, speaking, listening and empathy? This book helps develop these skills. Pocket Your Dollars By Carrie Rocha (Bethany House, $14) Financial health comes from changing your attitudes about money. Author and financial expert Rocha delivers real-life advice for avoiding financial stress.

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Reviews by Mari Farthing.


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Local Shopping Shop Good: Merging Generosity with Industry

I

Photos by Carl Zoch courtesy of Shop Good.

n addition to high-quality craftsmanship, Shop Good’s Audrey Falk says that every item in their inventory must come with a good story. And it’s only fitting, since this unique clothing and accessories store has a great story itself.

The dream behind Shop Good began with $200 and a borrowed screen-printing press. Audrey and husband Justin began screenprinting t-shirts with social justice themes to sell at local events. “Justin and I have always been involved in nonprofit work in some way,” Audrey explains. “The value of generosity and hard work for a good purpose has been passed down to us by our parents. But we started to become really interested in finding new ways for charitable work to sustain itself more practically than through direct donations, particularly because most of the efforts we’d been involved in were severely underfunded, understaffed and narrowly focused.” As shirt sales increased, the Falks added fairtrade international goods to their inventory, including paper bead jewelry from Uganda and hand-dyed fabric from India. “Our products were mostly what you’d expect from a typical fair-trade store, such as handmade items you might spy in a street market in Thailand or South Africa,” Audrey explains. “They were products whose design embodied the exotic locales we were importing them from. Everything came to us through our existing connections with nonprofit work around the world, so the projects and people our sales supported were very personal. And things really took off from there.”

Opening a Storefront In developing their concept for their retail storefront, the Falks aspired to carry only products that are friendly to the planet and the people upon it—products that their customers could feel good about buying. Originally opened in the Plaza District in November 2009, Shop Good was relocated the following August to its current location just east of Broadway Avenue in the 9th Street district near Automobile Alley. The Falks work diligently to ensure that all products in the store are produced by a manufacturer with excellent ethical standards—utilizing fairly traded goods and services, healthy working conditions and environmentally responsible production. Customers can check the tags on items in the store to see exactly how their purchase will contribute to a charity or community in Oklahoma City or around the world.

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“We’re extremely selective about the social justice products we carry and missions we endorse in order to ensure that each company is tangibly affecting real change in a dignified and responsible manner,” Audrey explains. “You can find almost anything at our shop, including men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry, bags, grooming supplies, locally roasted coffee, potted succulents, even prescription eyeglasses. And every item’s been hand-picked by our team for it’s great craftsmanship, everyday value and meaningful story.”

Curating Shop Good “Since we moved downtown, we’ve defined our own aesthetic, merging generosity and industry more seamlessly—more Midwestern general store and less North African bazaar, more curated and less eclectic,” Audrey notes. “Justin is our buyer, so he spends a lot of time researching and connecting with sources for ethically-made products that are a good fit for our shop. Most of our decision-making is intuitive, but we start by only carrying products that we would use or wear ourselves. Anything in the shop is something we fell in love with and just had to share with our customers.” Before bringing a product into their store, the Falks work closely with suppliers to ensure that no harm is being caused to people or the planet in the manufacturing process. “Retail ethics are super complicated, so even though our conversations with a supplier involve third-party factory audits and details about

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raw material sourcing, our decision to buy usually comes down to relationships,” Audrey explains. “We really take time to get to know the people whose products we’re passing along to our customers. Other standards we have for our products are high quality craftsmanship and, of course, a great story.”

Shop Favorites Many of Shop Good’s most popular T-shirts are designed and hand printed by the Falks, or designed in collaboration with local artists. “Our T-shirt designs are inspired by local art, Okie culture and our Thunder obsession,” Audrey says. Customer favorites include their classic OKC Thunder shirt and the Downtown Transit shirt ($24 each). Shop Good is also a showroom for Warby Parker Eyewear, an online company that provides custom, vintage-inspired prescription eyewear ($95). For every pair purchased, Warby Parker donates a pair to an individual who doesn’t have access to quality eye care and whose life will be changed by the ability to see. Audrey also names their Smell Good Daily Tonic ($28) for men as a customer favorite, especially in the Tobacco and Smoky Fig scents. “It’s subtle and earthy enough to avoid pretentiousness, but plenty robust that one spray does the trick.” Shop Good’s exclusive jute-and-leather Oklahoma City market bag ($68) is handmade by artisans in Bangladesh working to build a better community. “It’s one of


the products we use every day,” Audrey adds. “We love that it’s sturdy enough to haul groceries on our walks to our neighbors at Native Roots Market, without sacrificing style.”

Giving Back Locally For those items in the store that aren’t intrinsically connected to a charitable cause, Shop Good gives 5 percent of the sale price back to the local community. The store’s current local nonprofit partner is Positive Tomorrows, the only private, tuition-free school for children who are homeless in Oklahoma City. “Positive Tomorrows is a place of hope for kids who are living in chaos, and the staff there is committed to giving these young ones and their families all the tools they need to get back on their feet and transition back to public school successfully,” Audrey says. “The work this small but passionate group of people is doing is absolutely revolutionary. And we are thrilled to be able to be a part of it through the support of our customers.” Over the last eight months, Shop Good has donated nearly $7,000 to Positive Tomorrows.

Shop Good 3 NW 9th Street, OKC 405-702-0517, store.shopgoodokc.com Open Monday–Saturday, 11am–9pm What do customers say most? “Our customers are so enthusiastic about our merchandise and about doing something good. Our usual conversations with them are either about choosing the perfect gift for someone they love or about one of the causes we support.”

The Future of Shop Good As the store looks to the future, they hope to expand both their sales team and inventory, and to continue offering quality products that support good causes in our community and across the globe. “We hope that in five years our charitable contributions will be at least five times what they are now,” Audrey concludes. “But no matter how big we grow, we’re committed to keeping our mom-andpop shop feel. You’ll always be able to get friendly service and score something one-ofa-kind or hard-to-find at Shop Good.” “Our products now reflect over thirty different charitable causes that are supported by our customers’ purchases. We feel so proud of the collection we’ve pieced together and so thankful for our loyal customers who’ve supported us throughout every transition, keeping us grounded to our mission: to make looking great a little friendlier and giving back a little simpler.” Find Shop Good on Facebook at www. facebook.com/shopgoodokc and follow Shop Good on Twitter @shopgoodokc.

Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor and Online Content Manager at MetroFamily Magazine.

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Problem Solvers Helpful Family Products

When we hear about new or helpful products, we like to let our readers know! Here are a few of the more interesting items we’ve recently discovered. Visit the product website for a list of local retailers.

Problem:

Is that granola bar healthy if you can’t pronounce what’s in it?

Solution:

Simple Squares are made with five simple ingredients and are wheat- and dairy-free. (12/$30, www.simplesquares.com)

Problem:

April showers are threatening to ruin your shoes. Solution: OKA b. shoes are weatherproof, made in the USA and cute, rain or shine. ($24+, www.oka-b.com) Problem: Spring sports = stinky sports bags.

Solution:

Moso Natural Air Purifying bags are perfect to place anywhere the smell needs adjusting, including shoes, cars or sports bags. ($10, www.mosonatural.com)

Problem:

You just want to carry your phone, but you also need your key and your credit card.

Solution:

The Eyn iPhone Case has a flip-open compartment to stash valuables plus a built-in mirror. ($30, www.eynproducts.com)

Problem:

Your favorite T-shirt is ruined by the dreaded “pit stains.”

Solution:

Deo Go can spray them out, saving your shirt from buildup and yellowing. ($12, www.deo-go.com)

Problem:

You can’t find ice pops in the flavors that you want.

Solution:

Use kid-created Zipzicles to make easy ice pops in whatever flavor concoctions you desire (recipes included). (12/$3, www.zipzicles.com)

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Learning Adventures Family Activities for Creative Minds

A

pril is National Poetry Month, and Thursday, April 18 is the official National Poem in Your Pocket Day. This is a special day to select a favorite poem and share it with everyone you meet. Choose a poem or compose an original work and carry it with you in your pocket all day, sharing the fun of National Poetry Month wherever you go. Don’t have a favorite poem? This is the perfect time to write your own, and formula poetry can easily help you unlock your inner poet. Formula poetry is created by following a set pattern of instructions. A common type of formula poetry is the five senses poem, which describes an emotion or idea in terms of the senses. To get started, choose something that interests you (like a season or a favorite food) and use one of the five senses for each line of the poem. Try to use really descriptive words and feel free to leave out a sense if it just doesn’t fit.

Use these prompts to get started: I see… I feel… I taste… I hear… I smell… What will you write about? Ask each member of your family to write a poem and share them with each other. Then, take turns giving each other topics to write about and see who can come up with the most creative words! Put your favorite poem in your pocket and share it with your friends.

Did You Know? Each year on Poem in Your Pocket Day, schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and other venues celebrate the art of poetry with open readings of poems from pockets. You can share the poem you select or write with students, teachers and

Activity idea provided by Oklahoma A+ Schools, the state’s only research-based whole school network with a mission of nurturing creativity in every learner. Learn more at www.okaplus.org.

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POEMS IN YOUR POCKET DAY

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families around Oklahoma by posting it in the Poem in My Pocket blog at www.okaplus. org. You can also share your poem with the nation by making a twitter post with hashtag #pocketpoem. This Learning Adventures project is sponsored by Primrose Schools and Green Bambino. Find more educational fun at www.metrofamilymagazine. com/learning-adventures.


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OKC Memorial Marathon As a tribute to the victims, family members and survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing, the 13th Annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon will be held on Sunday, April 28. The event combines the intensely personal challenges of running a marathon with the emotion of a shared national tragedy. The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is a certified 26.2 mile single loop course. A half-marathon, marathon relay, memorial 5K and kids marathon are also available. All Kids Marathon participants receive a goody bag, T-shirt, poster and heartland hospitality both on and off the course. Kids marathon finishers also receive a custom Kids Marathon finisher’s medal. To register or for more information, visit www.okcmarathon.com or call 405-235-3313.

SUNDAY,

APRIL 28TH

Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

13TH

14TH

23 RD-28TH

Arts Trek

Princess Run & Little Dude Dash

Festival of the Arts

An innovative, exciting cultural experience, Arts Trek combines an arts festival with an interactive performance walk. Anchored at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art (1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee), Arts Trek takes place Saturday, April 13, and is free and open to the public. From 10:00am–4:00pm, an arts festival offers displays and demonstrations from local artists and crafters, plus live performances, hands-on art activities and food vendors.

The 4th Annual Princess Run Festival and Little Dude Dash will take place on Sunday, April 14, from 1:00–5:00pm in the OKC Boathouse District on the Oklahoma River. Both the Princess Run and the Little Dude Dash are 1.2 mile run/walk events along the Oklahoma River trails, designed to encourage a healthy lifestyle in kids ages 12 and under. A kid-friendly Festival Village kicks off the event at 1:00pm, including tours and youth activities sponsored by OKC RIVERSPORT.

A performance walk will be held from 10:00am– noon, where participants travel as a large group to experience a variety of live performances in different locations at the Museum, at St. Gregory’s Abbey and on the St. Gregory’s University campus. For additional information, visit www. artstrek.org or call 405-878-5300.

The Princess Run begins at 2:00pm, the Little Dude Dash at 3:15pm. Admission to the festival is free and open to the public. Entry fee for the Princess Run or Little Dude Dash is $25. Participant levels are capped so online preregistration is encouraged. Find more information and register at www.princessrun.com.

Photo courtesy of the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art.

Photo courtesy of runhers.

The 47th Annual Festival of the Arts features nearly 200 artists from all over the United States, four stages of performing arts entertainment, and the best of the culinary arts. The 2013 Festival of the Arts will take place April 23–28 in downtown Oklahoma City at the Festival Plaza and the Myriad Botanical Gardens. The event runs 11:00am–9:00pm Tuesday through Saturday, and 11:00am–6:00pm on Sunday. At the festival’s popular International Food Row, each food vendor is partnered with a local arts-related non-profit organization, so each bite helps support the arts in central Oklahoma. The Youth Plaza includes activities for children and families. Admission is free and all proceeds benefit the Arts Council of Oklahoma City. For more information, call 405-270-4848 or visit www. artscouncilokc.com. Photo courtesy of the Arts Council of Oklahoma City.

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Daily Events April 1 • Monday FREE Admission Day at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua, Norman) on the first Monday of each month. 325-4712, www.snomnh. ou.edu.

April 1–2

d’oeuvres and a chance to purchase tickets used to select a piece of artwork off the wall. $50/two people. 6:30pm. 878-5300, www.mgmoa.org/offthewall.

April 5–6 FREE First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo Arts District features over 60 artists in 17 galleries. Friday, 6-10pm; Saturday, noon-6pm. 525-2688, www.thepaseo.com.

FREE Oklahoma Native American Youth “Fun with Fossils” A Family Fossil Field Trip at the Language Fair at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua, Norman). Open to students from pre-K-high school. 325-4712, www.snomnh. Chautauqua, Norman) includes lecture, specimens & trip to dig site. Preregister. $90 members, $110 nonmembers. ou.edu. Price includes 1 adult & 1 youth ages 8+, $45 additional member, $55 additional nonmember. Friday, 7-8:30pm; April 2 • Tuesday Saturday, 9am-4pm. 325-4712, www.snomnh.ou.edu. Knitting Workshop at Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center (3000 General Pershing) for ages 13+ teaches April 5–7 knitting basics. Second session held on April 9. Supplies FREE Medieval Fair of Norman at Reaves Park (2501 not included. Preregister. $30. 7-9pm. 951-0000, www. S Jenkins, Norman) features live entertainment, rides, food, oklahomacontemporary.org. crafts, costumed characters & more. 10am-7pm. www. OKC Barons vs. Hamilton Bulldogs at the Cox medievalfair.org. Convention Center. 7pm. Tickets $16+, 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com. www.okcbarons.com. Other April 5–14 home games this month: 4/6, 7, 19, 20, 21. Hello Dolly at the Sooner Theatre (101 E Main, Norman) $15+. Friday-Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. 321-9600, April 3 • Wednesday www.soonertheatre.org. FREE Lecture to Help Prevent Teenage Suicide at Crossings Community Church (14600 N Portland). 6:30-7:30pm. The Importance of Being Earnest at the OCU Berg Theatre (2501 N Blackwelder). PG. See website for tickets & 755-2227. schedule. 848-3761, www.cityrep.com.

April 4 • Thursday

OKC Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. $10+. 8:30pm. www.nba.com/thunder. Other home games this month: 4/7, 15, 17.

April 4–6 Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo at State Fair Arena features 7 events over 3 days, plus live music after select performances. $10+. See website for schedule. 232SPUR, www.rncfr.com.

Ending April 5 Starmaker: Jim Halsey & the Legends of Country Music at the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum showcases 60-years of historic music & show business memorabilia from the Jim Halsey Company’s legendary roster of stars. 235-4458, www.oklahomaheritage.com.

April 5 • Friday FREE Drama Performance: One-Third of a Nation & Other Works Inspired by Living Newspapers at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm, Norman). 6pm. 325-4938, www.ou.edu/fjjma. Off the Wall 2013 at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art (1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee) features music, hors

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April 5–28 Fences at the Poteet Theatre (222 NW 15) features the story of a former star of the Negro baseball leagues in 1957 Pittsburgh. PG. $20. Thursday-Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 3pm. 609-1023, www.poteettheatre.com.

April 6 • Saturday Aquarium Run at the Oklahoma Aquarium (300 Aquarium, Jenks) features a 1-Mile fun run, 5K, 10K & half-marathon to benefit the Aquarium. FREE admission for registered participants. See website for fees. 7:40am. 918-492-3338, www.okaquarium.org. FREE George Hulsey Memorial Trout Derby at NE Lions Park Willow Pond in Norman allows children 15 & under (with caregiver) to catch rainbow trout in a fishing derby. 8am-noon. 325-7288, ww.normanfun.com. The Largest Garage Sale in OKC at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Expo Hall benefits Pet Adoption & Welfare Services of Oklahoma, Inc. $2 admission. 8am4pm. www.pawsok.com. FREE Saturdays for Kids at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63) features activity & admission for child & 1 adult. See website for theme. Preregister. 10am-noon. 478-2250, www. nationalcowboymuseum.org.

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FREE 2nd Annual Oklahoma Health & Wellness Expo at Oklahoma State Fair Park has health screenings, healthy cooking demonstrations, entertainment & more. 10am-4pm. www.okhealthexpo.com. FREE Love’s Labour’s Lost presented by Reduxion Theatre at the Northwest Library (5600 NW 122) sets Shakespeare’s vibrant comedy of love & loss in 1953 Spain. For ages 12+. 1-3pm. 606-3580, www.metrolibrary.org. Also held: 4/13 Belle Isle. Feather Painting at the OKC Zoo Education Building (2101 NE 50). Kids ages 4-14 will learn about George Miksch Sutton’s bird paintings, meet live birds, paint with feathers and learn to draw a simple bird. 1 parent FREE with each paid child. Preregister. $15 members, $18 nonmembers. 2-3:30pm. 425-0218, www.okczooed.com. Also held 4/8 from 6-8pm for ages 15+. Drop-In Drawing at the OKC Museum of Art (415 Couch) come-and-go drawing sessions in the permanent collection & special exhibit galleries. All ages. FREE with paid admission. 2-4pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com. State Symbols from Nature at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial). Learn about unique symbols & what they mean to our state. 3-4pm. 755-0676, www.okc. gov/parks/martin_park. Spring Sampler Evening of Art at Oak Tree Country Club (700 W Country Club, Edmond) live & silent auctions, food & wine, benefits Edmond Fine Arts Institute. $150/ couple. 7-10:30pm. 340-4481, www.edmondfinearts.com. OKC Philharmonic - Russian Enchantment at the Civic Center Music Hall features pianist Olga Kern. 8pm. 842-5387, www.okcphilharmonic.org.

April 6–7 2013 Red Bud Classic in Nichols Hills benefits Oklahoma Lawyers for Children. Bike tours, 1-mile Kids Fun Run, 5K/10K runs & a 2-mile walk/stroller derby. See website for schedule & registration fees. www.redbud.org.

April 7 • Sunday “Family Fun Day” at OKC Barons vs. Chicago Wolves at the Cox Convention Center features $1 hot dogs & soft drinks from 3-5pm. Stay after the game for a post game skate with the team. 4pm. Tickets $16+, 800-7453000 or www.okcbarons.com. Also held: 4/21. Byron Berline Band at the Armstrong Auditorium (14400 S Bryant, Edmond) features three-time National Fiddle Champion Byron Berline. $20+. 7:30pm. 285-1010, www.armstrongauditorium.org. Discovery Concert Series: Sugar Free Allstars! presented by the OKC Philharmonic at the Civic Center Music Hall features “Boom” and “Dr. Rock” as they meet the orchestra. Instrument playground & activities 1 hour before show time. $9. 2pm. 842-5387, www. okcphilharmonic.org.


April 9 • Tuesday

April 11–20

FREE Child Abuse Prevention Day at the Oklahoma State Capitol features information about the prevention of child abuse, school group performances, speakers & more. 8am-noon. www.health.ok.gov.

Chalk in the Rain: Feature of the Native American Play Festival presented by the OKC Theatre Company at the Civic Center Music Hall. $20/$10. Thursday-Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. 297-2264, www. okctheatrecompany.org.

Read Across Oklahoma at the OKC Zoo (2101 NE 50) features celebrity mascots, activity stations, story time, author Tammi Sauer, Spaghetti Eddie & FREE books for the first 1000 children. FREE with paid admission. 9am-1pm. 425-0298, www.okczoo.com. Homeschool Day at the Harn Homestead Museum (1721 N Lincoln) features hands-on learning activities for ages 5-15 in a turn of the century schoolhouse, barn & farmhouse. Preregister. $8/student. 9:40am-1:30pm. 2354058, www.harnhomestead.com. FREE Tween April Fools Party at the SW OKC Library (2201 SW 134) features jokes, funny snacks & silly pranks for ages 7-12. Preregister. 4-5pm. 979-2200, www.pls.lib. ok.us. FREE Respect Diversity Arts Competition & Exhibition Awards Ceremony at Harding Fine Arts Academy (3333 N Shartel) features special guest presenters, music, presentations & refreshments. Preregister. 5pm. www.respectdiversity.org.

April 9–13 Kids Consignment Sale (1095 S Cornwell, Yukon) behind Crosstrainers. Some items half-price on Saturday. Tuesday-Friday, 8am-7pm; Saturday, 8am-4pm. wwww. kidsconsignmentsale.com.

April 11 • Thursday

April 12 • Friday OKC Redhawks vs. Memphis Redbirds at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle). 7:05pm. 218-1000, www.okcredhawks.com. Other home games this month: 4/13-19, 25-30. Broadway & Brew presented by Lyric Understudies at the Myriad Gardens features local breweries & restaurants offering a range of tastings and live entertainment by performers from Lyric’s upcoming shows. Preregister. $55. 7-11pm. www.broadwayandbrew.com.

Ending April 13 The Glass Menagerie at the Lyric’s Plaza Theatre (1725 NW 16) is Tennessee Williams’ classic play. TuesdayThursday, 7:30pm; Friday-Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. 524-9312, www.lyrictheatreokc.com.

April 13 • Saturday Mustang City Wide Garage Sale at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang). $10 to rent a space to sell items. 8am-2pm. 376-3411, www.cityofmustang.org. Frontier City’s Opening Day (11501 NE Expressway) for the 2013 season. 478-2140, www.frontiercity.com.

FREE Information Meeting at Providence Hall Classical Christian School (1120 E Hefner). 10am. 478-2077, www.providencehall.org.

FREE Lowes Build & Grow Clinic “The Croods: Planter” at participating Lowe’s Stores invites children to complete a wooden project with a parent/guardian. Participants receive a FREE apron, goggles, certificate & project patch. Preregister. 10-11am. www.lowesbuildandgrow.com.

FREE Urban Neighbors Social at the Myriad Gardens Restaurant for adults interested in learning more about connecting with this downtown neighborhood association. Includes wine & appetizers. 5:30-7pm. 445-7080, www. myriadgardens.org.

UCO Army ROTC Gold Bar 5K Run/Walk at UCO (100 N University, Edmond) raises funds to support the UCO Army ROTC Broncho Battalion Student Organization & the Wounded Warrior Project. $30 advance, $35 race day. 8am. 974-5167, http://busn.uco.edu/armyrotc/goldbar-run.

Sugar & Spurs at the Harn Homestead Museum (1721 N Lincoln) benefits the Children’s Hospital Foundation & features sweet treats from local eateries & live music. Ages 21+. $50. 5-8pm. www.okchf.org.

Mud, Sweat & Bears 5K Mud Run at Hubbard Elementary (1104 Maguire, Noble) features mud, obstacles & costumes & raises funds to provide a safe, substance-free lock-in for high school students following prom. For adults & students grades 6-12. $30+. 9am. 872-3495, www. nobleps.com.

FREE Cloth Diapers 101: The Cloth Diaper Crash Course at The Changing Table (1145 W I-240 Service Bldg D) is a comprehensive introductory class for anyone considering cloth diapering. Preregister. 6:30-8pm. 6325684, www.thechangingtableok.com. Also held: 4/13 @10am, 4/27 @10am. EXHIBITION–Manet: Portraying Life at Quail Springs 24 with IMAX (2501 W Memorial) & Tinseltown USA (6001 N Martin Luther King) brings a collection of works by Edouard Manet to local cinemas. Ticket prices vary. 7:30pm. www.fathomevents.com.

April 11–14 Sugar & Spice Children’s Consignment Sale at the Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center (1700 W Independence, Shawnee). 206-2912, www.sugarandspicesale.com.

FREE Practice ACT at College Tutors Edmond (1333 N Santa Fe, Edmond) for high school freshmen, sophomores or juniors is a full-length practice ACT using an actual ACT test booklet. Preregister. 9am-noon. 513-6060, www. collegetutors.com/edmondok. FREE Smile Safari at the OKC Zoo (2101 NE 50) features a fun-filled event hosted by the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center & American Dental Hygienists’ Association in the Zoo’s Global Plaza. Admission required for Zoo entry. 10am-2pm. 425-0298, www.okczoo.com. Great Greens for Your Garden at the Myriad Gardens Terrace Room demonstrates how to grow a variety of tasty greens in a container or in the ground. Preregister. $5 members, $7 nonmembers. 10-11:30am. 445-7080, www. myriadgardens.org.

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Weekly Events

FREE Discovery Room programs at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua, Norman). See website for details. 325-4712, www.snomnh. ou.edu.

FREE Tours of the Governor’s Mansion offered every Wednesday through May 22. Preregister. Noon-3pm. 568-1292, www.ok.gov/governor/tour.html. FREE Wednesday Night at the Movies at the Downtown Library (300 Park). Held every Wednesday, 6-8pm. 231-8650.

FREE Art Moves weekdays (Monday-Friday) in downtown OKC (various locations). Performances, demonstrations, short films & discussions. Noon-1pm. 2704892, www.artscouncilokc.com/art-moves.

FREE Diaper Bag Cinema at the Downtown Library (300 Park) baby-friendly movie venue. See website for movie titles. Held every 1st & 3rd Thursday of the month. 11am-1pm. 231-8650, www.metrolibrary.org.

Toddler Time playtime at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang). $2 or FREE with Town Center membership. Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9am-noon. 376-3411, www. cityofmustang.org.

FREE Thursday Noon Tunes live concerts at the Downtown Library, 11:30-1pm. 231-8650, www. metrolibrary.org.

FREE Sooner Mall Outreach Storytime is an interactive story time offered by the Norman Public Library & held outside Sears in Norman’s Sooner Mall for ages 9 & under. Tuesdays, 10am. 701-2600, www.pls.lib.ok.us. FREE Art Adventures at Norman’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm, Norman) includes hands-on art fun for children ages 3-5 with adult. Tuesdays, 10:30am. 325-3272, www.ou.edu/fjjma. Family Fun Night at JumpZone (SW 104th & Western) includes 2 adults, 2 children, 1 large pizza, 2 liter pop for $25. Tuesdays & Thursdays, 4:30-8pm. 200-1691, www. jumpzoneparty.com. Reading Rainforest in the Crystal Bridge at the Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno) features storytime, a short hike & a craft for ages 3-5. FREE with admission. Wednesdays, 10-11am. 445-7079, www.myriadgardens.org.

FREE Chasing James at Green Bambino (5120 N Shartel) features local moms performing child-friendly music. 11-11:30am. 848-2330, www.green-bambino.com. FREE ArtsTrek at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art (1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee) combines an art festival & a performance walk featuring local artists & crafters, demonstrations, hands-on art activities, performances & more. 10am-4pm. 878-5300, www.mgmoa.org. FREE Kids’ Meditation Class at Buddha Mind Monastery (5916 S Anderson) helps kids discover their inner wisdom through meditation, stories & activities. Wear comfortable, modest attire & socks. 10:30am-noon. 869-0501, www.ctbuddhamind.org/classes. FREE Family Day at the OKC Museum of Art (415 Couch) celebrates the special exhibition Photorealism Revisited with hands-on art, live performances, face painting, family tours & more. Noon-5pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com. FREE A Children’s Garden: Raising Awareness for Child Abuse Prevention at Andrews Park in Norman features an art station for creating a pinwheel or blue ribbon to place in the Growing Garden, live children’s music & information about child abuse prevention & support available. Noon-5pm. www.normanchildrensgarden.com. Let’s Go Fly a Kite at the Myriad Gardens Children’s Garden Amphitheatre for ages 8+ teaches the basics & history of kite flight. Participants will build Dermer’s Sled Kites & fly them in the garden, weather permitting. Preregister. $5 members, $10 nonmembers. 1-3pm. 4457080, www.myriadgardens.org.

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Cocktails on the Skyline at the OKC Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) with full bar, complimentary chips & salsa & live music on the Roof Terrace. See website for weather cancellations. FREE for members, $5 nonmembers. Thursdays, 5-9pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com. FREE Tween Creative Space at the Norman Library (225 Webster) provides a special space for students in grades 3-5 to meet, discuss books & create crafts. Call for more information. Thursdays, 6:30-7:30pm. 701-2600, www.pls.lib.ok.us.

Train Rides at the Oklahoma Railway Museum (3400 NE Grand) depart from the Oakwood Depot at the Museum throughout the day every 1st & 3rd Saturday through August. $12 adults, $5 children ages 3-12, children under 3 FREE. 10am, 11am, noon, 1:30pm, 2:30pm. 424-8222, www.oklahomarailwaymuseum.org/train-rides. FREE Children’s Storytime at Full Circle Bookstore (1900 NW Expressway) each Saturday, 10:15am. 842-2900, www.fullcirclebooks.com. FREE Children’s Story Time at Edmond’s Best of Books, Saturdays, 11am. 340-9202, www.bestofbooksedmond. com. FREE Skating Lessons at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36) for all skill levels. Saturdays, noon-12:45pm. 605-2758, www.skategalaxyokc.com. Drop in Art at the OKC Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features hands-on art activities. FREE with paid admission. See website for themes/activities Saturdays, 1-4pm. 2363100, www.okcmoa.com. All-Star Bowling for Differently-Abled Individuals at AMF Yukon Lanes (500 E Main). $8/ week includes 3 games & shoes. Saturdays, 1pm. Email dbrakefield@yahoo.com to verify schedule. 354-2516.

FREE Rhythm Babies at the Norman Library (225 Webster) features music & stories for children birth to age 3 with a parent or caregiver. Fridays, 10am. 701-2600, www. pls.lib.ok.us.

FREE Green Earth Gang for ages 9-13 works on conservation projects at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial). Saturdays, 2-5pm. 755-0676, www.okc.gov/ parks/martin_park.

FREE Norman Library Music Connection features music & stories for ages 3-7 with a parent or caregiver. Fridays, 11am. 701-2600, www.pls.lib.ok.us.

FREE Green Earth Rangers at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial) for teens ages 13-18 to assist the park with complex, leadership-driven conservation efforts. Sundays, call for times. 755-0676, www.okc.gov/ parks/martin_park.

FREE Kid’s Mandarin (Chinese) Language Class at Buddha Mind Monastery (5916 S Anderson) introduces children to Mandarin (Chinese) language through reading, writing, listening & speaking. No prerequisites. 1:302:30pm. 869-0501, www.ctbuddhamind.org.

Theatre & features dinner, games, dancing, live auction, children’s ball & more. $125 adult dinner, $50 children’s ball. 6-10pm. 606-7003, www.oklahomachildrenstheatre.org.

OU Football Spring Game at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The Big Boomer Barbecue before the game features local barbecue, live music & kids’ amusement rides. Seating is general admission. $5 advance, $10 on or after 4/10, Children 5 & under FREE. 2pm. 3252424, www.soonersports.com. FREE 2nd Annual Contest Powwow at Rose State College features Gourd Dancing, the FREE Traditional Powwow Dinner, a Grand Entry & Closing Ceremonies. 2-11pm. 736-0347, aneitzel@rose.edu. FREE Staged Reading of “Ideal Husband” presented by Oklahoma Shakespeare at the Northwest Library (5600 NW 122). 3pm. 606-3580. The World of Invertebrates at the Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial) takes a look at these creatures & what makes them so special. 3-3:45pm. 755-0676, www. okc.gov/martin_park. FREE For the Health of it Fair at the Edmond Seventh-day Adventist Church (13812 Scott, Edmond) features FREE health screenings & seminars. 3-8pm. 478-4401. 2013 Fairy Tale Ball at the Oklahoma City Petroleum Club (100 N Broadway) benefits the Oklahoma Children’s

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11th Annual Reach for the Stars at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel (1 Park) is a 70s theme party that benefits Youth Services of Oklahoma County, Inc. Preregister. $150/person. 6:30pm. 235-7537, www.ysoc.org. Bernstein Mass presented by the Canterbury Choral Society at the Civic Center Music Hall features a musical theatre work by Leonard Bernstein that was commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy after the death of her first husband. $30+. 8pm. 297-2264, www.canterburyokc.com.

April 14 • Sunday OKC Zoo Run 5K at the OKC Zoo (2101 NE 50) features a run through the Zoo benefiting the “Commitment to Care: A Campaign for the OKC Zoo Animal Hospital.” Spectators pay a discounted Zoo entry fee. $25 advance, $30 race day. 8am. 425-0612, www.signmeup.com/89867. Malee’s Birthday Bash at the OKC Zoo (2101 NE 50) celebrates the birthday of the Zoo’s 2-year old elephant with cake, party favors & activities. FREE with paid admission. 1-3pm. 425-0298, www.okczoo.com. FREE Pitch, Hit & Run Competition at Yukon Community Center Baseball Fields (2200 S Holly, Yukon) features a baseball skills competition for boys & girls ages 7-14. Boys, 1pm; Girls, 2pm. 350-8920, www. cityofyukonok.gov.


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ht g i N e t Da Ideas

2013 Princess Run & Little Dude Dash at the Devon Boathouse (725 S Lincoln) benefits the OKC Boathouse Foundation & features a 1.2 mile run/walk for girls & boys ages 12 & under followed by a FREE Family & Kid Festival with food, dancing & more. $23.75+. Festival, 1-5pm; Princess Run, 2pm; Little Dude Dash, 3:15pm. 659-2852, www.princessrun.com. For the Health of It Races at Stars & Stripes Park features a 5K & 1-mile run/walk & children’s 1-mile Fun Run. $20+, children’s run is FREE for children under 12. 1:15pm. www.signmeup.com/89853.

April 16 • Tuesday April 16 • Tuesday Cowboy Cantina at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63) for adults ages 21+ features drinks, conversation & live music as guests experience the Museum after hours. Held monthly through August. FREE for members, $5 nonmembers. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org.

Tiny Tuesdays “Paper Plate Birds” at the OKC Museum of Art (415 Couch) for ages 2-5 with caregiver is a come-and-go, open-ended art making experience for families to create together, experiment with a variety of art media & enhance their understanding of artworks in the Museum. FREE with paid admission. 10am-noon. 2363100, www.okcmoa.com. Come Blow Your Horn Fundraiser at the Brewhouse on Main in Norman benefits Bethesda, a United Way agency providing outpatient treatment services for sexually abused children. Features live music, food, drinks & silent auction. $50. 6-9pm. 366-8915, www.bethesdaok.org. Assad Brothers & Paquita d’Rivera at the Armstrong Auditorium (14400 S Bryant, Edmond) provides an evening of Latin classical music with a dash of jazz. 7:30pm. 285-1010, www.armstrongauditorium.org.

April 18 • Thursday

April 23-28 West Side Story at the Civic Center Music Hall features a classic love story put to the music of Bernstein & Sondheim. $20+. Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2pm & 8pm; Sunday, 2pm & 7pm. 800-8691451, www.celebrityattractions.com.

April 29 • Monday Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet at the Armstrong Auditorium (14400 S Bryant, Edmond) features music by Anton Reicha, Pavel Haas & more. 7:30pm. 2851010, www.armstrongauditorium.org.

May 3-4 OKC Philharmonic–Cirque de la Symphonie at the Civic Center Music Hall features aerialists & acrobats of the famed “Cirque du Soleil.” $15+. 8pm. 842-5387, www. okcphilharmonic.org.

May 5 • Sunday FREE Season Preview Party at Regatta Park Landing (701 S Lincoln) celebrates the opening of Oklahoma River Cruises season with live music, food & more. 3-6pm. 7027755, www.okrivercruises.com. Photos of West Side Story Company and Addison Reid Coe and MaryJoanna Grisso © Carol Rosegg 2012.

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FREE Rain, Rain, Rain Sticks at the Ralph Ellison Library (2000 NE 23) celebrates Earth Day by allowing kids ages 4+ to create their very own rain stick. Preregister. 6-7pm. 424-1437, www.metrolibrary.org. FREE The Big Read Free Movie at the Moore Warren Theater (1000 S Telephone, Moore) is a public screening of the movie based on the book This Boy’s Life by the Big Read author, Tobias Wolff. Preregister. 6:30pm. 701-2674, www.bigreadok.com.

April 19 • Friday Teddy Bear Sleepover at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang). Kids & their bears play games, make crafts, tell stories & eat dinner. After dinner the bear owners go home & fun begins for teddy bears. Photos of the fun available the next morning when teddy bears are picked up. Preregister. $5/teddy bear & friend. 5:30-8pm. 376-3411, www.cityofmustang.org. “Summer Kick-Off Party” Friday Fun Night at the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre (2501 N Blackwelder) features games, crafts, dinner & dancing for children ages 5-12 while parents get a few hours to themselves. Preregister. $25 first child, $15 siblings. 6-9pm. 606-7003, www. oklahomachildrenstheatre.org. Wine, Women & Shoes hosted by World Neighbors at the Meinders Hall of Mirrors (201 N Walker) benefits Work of Women & features wines, treats, Shoe Guys, shopping, fashion show & more. $75 individual, $275 group of 4. 6-9pm. 242-6387, www.workofwomen.org. Jingle-Jangle Mingle at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63) is a kick-off event honoring the Western Heritage Award winners & Hall of Fame inductees with live entertainment,

www.metrofamilymagazine.com | April 2013

autograph sessions & more. Preregister. $30 members, $40 nonmembers. 5:30pm. 478-2250, www. nationalcowboymuseum.org.

April 19–21 Swan Lake presented by the OKC Ballet at the Civic Center Music Hall features the classical ballet that follows the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by the evil sorcerer & a prince who falls in love with her. $33+. Friday-Saturday, 8pm; Sunday, 2pm. 848-8637, www. okcballet.com. Sweet Repeats Children’s & Maternity Consignment Sale at Edmond Armory (600 S Bryant, Edmond). Friday, 9am-6pm; Saturday, 9am-3pm; Sunday, noon-3pm. www.sweetrepeatskidsconsignment.com

April 20 • Saturday 2 Minute 5K & Kiddie K at Stars & Stripes Park (3701 S Lake Hefner) benefits the YWCA programs to help victims of sexual violence. Online registration available through 4/18. See website for registration fees. Community fair, 8-11:30am; Kiddie K, 8:45am; 5K, 9:15am. 951-3333, www. ywcaokc.org. Miracle Miles 5K at Mitch Park in Edmond benefits Children’s Hospital Foundation. Features a 5K & 1-mile fun run. Register online at www.signmeup.com/89024. $25 advance, $30 race day. 8am. www.okchf.org. Jacob’s Buddies Golf Tournament at Cimarron National Golf Club (500 Duffy’s Way, Guthrie) benefits the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma. Fee includes green fee, range balls, cart, lunch & hospitality bag. Prizes awarded. $75. Registration, 7am; Shotgun start, 9am. 463-5641, www.dsaco.org. FREE Earth Day 2013 at the First Church of Christ Scientist (1203 Sherwood, Nichols Hills) features interactive demonstrations, local produce, picnic foods, children’s activities, music & art tent. 9am-2pm. 315-0895, https:// www.facebook.com/PlanetNicholsHills. FREE Norman 89er Day Parade in downtown Norman features military participants, covered wagons, Western displays, classic cars, live music & more. 10am. 321-1600, www.visitnorman.com. Behind-the-Scenes Tours at the Oklahoma Aquarium (300 Aquarium, Jenks) features a tour for ages 5+ of the holding facility for the sea turtles that will move into the Sea Turtle Experience upon its completion, as well as the Siegfried Families Shark Adventure. Wheelchairs & strollers cannot be accommodated. Tickets sold at the main admission gate on a first-come, first-served basis. $10 adults, $8 youth plus general admission or membership. 10:30am, 11:30am & 1:30pm. 918-296-FISH, www. okaquarium.org. The Great Cloth Diaper Change 2013 at Science Museum Oklahoma strives to put cloth diapers in the Guinness Book of World Records for the 3rd year in a row. Participating babies must be less than 39” tall. Preregister. $1 suggested donation to the Real Diaper Association, Science Museum Oklahoma admission required for other museum activities. 9am. www.clothdiaperoklahoma.org. FREE Money Mania at the YWCA McFarland Branch (1701 N Martin Luther King) is a fun-filled, family oriented, carnival-style community event with food, prizes, games, crafts & educational activities centered on how to take care of your money. 11am-1pm. 948-1770, www.ywcaokc.org.


Boys & Girls, Meet the Sensitive Plant at the Myriad Gardens Children’s Garden for ages 7-10 teaches about the Mimosa pudica, a perennial, drought-tolerant plant that grows in Oklahoma. Participants will take seeds home. Preregister. $2 members, $5 nonmembers. Noon1pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.org. Trees Have Names, Too at the Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial) features a hike through the woods to look for clues as to how different tree species got their names & a craft using items from the forest floor. Preregister. $2. 3-4pm. 755-0676, www.okc.gov/ martin_park. Citizens Caring for Children Bids for Kids Fundraiser at the Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club features a silent & live auction, cocktails, seated dinner, wine pull, dancing & live music. $150. 6:30pm. 753-4099, www.citizenscaringforchildren.org. Evening EscApe at the OKC Zoo (2101 NE 50) benefits the OKC Zoo & features wine & dinner, a behind-the-scenes tour of Great EscApe & a silent auction. Ages 14+. $50/ person. 6:30-8:30pm. 425-0612, www.zoofriends.org. Western Heritage Awards Banquet at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63) features a black-tie presentation of Wrangler Awards for the year’s best Western movies, television, literature & music. Preregister. $145 members, $175 nonmembers. 5pm. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org.

April 21 • Sunday Party for the Planet at the OKC Zoo (2101 NE 50) celebrates Earth Day with live entertainment, Keeper Connections & more. FREE with paid admission. 11am3pm. 425-0298, www.okczoo.com. FREE Spring Fest in the Farmers Market District (1235 SW 2) features live music, kids activities, craft booths, petting zoo, local food, wineries, farmers market, cooking demos & more. 11am-5pm. 231-1919, www.earth2urban. com. FREE Earth Day Festival at Reaves Park in Norman features family-friendly activities that teach the importance of protecting Earth’s natural resources, including art projects, entertainment, mascots, pet adoptions & more. Noon-5pm. www.normanfun.com. FREE Cloth Diaper Swap at The Changing Table (1145 W I-240 Service Bldg D), 2-4pm. Buy, sell or trade cloth diapers with other families. Includes an Earth Day craft for young children from 3-4pm. 632-5684, www. thechangingtableok.com.

April 22 • Monday Earth Day at Science Museum Oklahoma (5100 NE 52). The first 100 guests will receive a FREE sapling to plant in honor of Earth Day. 602-6664, www.sciencemuseumok. org. Earth Day Celebration at the Oklahoma Aquarium (300 Aquarium, Jenks) features crafts & other activities to celebrate Earth Day. FREE with paid admission. 918-296FISH, www.okaquarium.org. FREE Information Night at Veritas Classical Academy (3100 E Waterloo, Edmond). 6:30-8pm. 585-7275, http:// veritasclassical.com. Also held: 4/29 @ OKC campus.

FREE Classical Guitar Concert with Peter Fletcher at the Belle Isle Library (5501 N Villa) celebrates Earth Day with music. 7pm. 843-9601, www.metrolibrary.org.

April 23–28 FREE Festival of the Arts 2013 in downtown OKC features art, food, live entertainment, children’s activities & more. See website for events schedule. Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-9pm; Sunday, 11am-6pm. 270-4848, www. artscouncilokc.com.

April 24 • Wednesday Childbirth Fear Workshop at OU Medical Center Edmond (1 S Bryant, Edmond) teaches problem solving techniques, breathing & affirmation exercises & ways to deal with fear & anxiety surrounding birth. Preregister. $25. 6-9pm. 359-5580, www.oumedicine.com/edmond.

April 25 • Thursday Homeschool Day Land Run Reenactment at the Harn Homestead Museum (1721 N Lincoln) for ages 5-15 features rope-making, old-fashioned games, tent building & a Land Run reenactment at noon. Preregister. $8/student. 9:40am-1:30pm. 235-4058, www.harnhomestead.com. FREE Admission to the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory in celebration of the 25-year anniversary of the opening of the Myriad Botanical Gardens. www. myriadgardens.org. FREE Oklahoma Shakespeare Sonnet-A-Thon at the State Capitol first floor rotunda features community members reading Shakespeare’s sonnets. 10am-3pm. 2353700, www.oklahomashakespeare.com. FREE Public Presentation by The Big Read Author, Tobias Wolff, Speaks at Longfellow Auditorium in Norman for a public presentation. 7-8pm. 701-2674, www. bigreadok.com. Science Lounge: Evening with Einstein at Science Museum Oklahoma (2100 NE 52) features live music, cash bar, appetizers, hands-on experiments, museum exhibits, planetarium & Science Live shows & more for adults 21+. $15 in advance, $20 at the door. 7-10pm. 602-3760, www. sciencemuseumok.org.

April 25–27 FREE Norman Music Festival in downtown Norman features live music on multiple stages as well as a children’s area, Dustbowl Arts Market & more. www. normanmusicfestival.com.

April 26 • Friday FREE Art After Hours at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm, Norman). Get acquainted with works from the exhibition Art Interrupted: Advancing American Art & the Politics of Cultural Diplomacy in a 45-minute discussion. 6pm. 325-4938, www.ou.edu/fjjma. Outdoor Classroom Day at Frontier City (11501 NE Expressway) turns Frontier City into a learn lab with educational exhibits, presentations & programs. Advance tickets available, must order two weeks prior. 478-2140, www.frontiercity.com. Also held 5/3.

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April 26–27

April 28 • Sunday

Mother Daughter Sleepover at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang) features crafts, games, pictures, dinner & snacks for mothers & their daughters ages 4-14. Bring a bedroll to spend the night or head home anytime. $15/ person. 6pm-9am. 376-3411, www.cityofmustang.org.

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in downtown OKC benefits the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum & features 5K, half-marathon, full-marathon, fullmarathon relay & kids marathon. See website for details. Preregister. www.okcmarathon.com.

April 27 • Saturday

April 30 • Tuesday

FREE Walk A Mile In My Shoes Foster Care Awareness Walk at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle) 1-mile walk to promote awareness & response to the crisis faced by Oklahoma’s foster children due to the shortage of good foster homes & lack of community involvement. Preregister. 9-11am. www. walkamilefostercareevent.com.

FREE Breast Cancer Awareness Day at the Oklahoma State Capitol features an educational presentation by Central & Western Oklahoma Affiliate of Susan G. Komen, arts, services, entertainment & more. 9am-3pm. www. breastcancerok.webs.com.

FREE 13th Annual Miracle Car Show at Tinker Federal Credit Union Corporate Offices (I-40 & Meridian) benefits Children’s Miracle Network & features classic vehicles, crafts & food. 9am-3pm. www.tinkerfcu.org.

OKC Redhawks vs. Nashville Sounds at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle). 7:05pm. 218-1000, www.okcredhawks.com. Other home games this month: 5/2, 7-14, 28-31.

Children’s Spring Flower Arranging at the Myriad Gardens Children’s Garden Pavilion for ages 7+ to make a flower arrangement to take home. Supplies provided. Preregister. $12 members, $15 nonmembers. 1-2pm. 4457080, www.myriadgardens.org. FREE Forever. For Real. Relationship Strengthening Workshop at the Skirvin Hilton (1 Park) teaches couples how to communicate, manage expectations & keep the romance alive. Engaged couples who attend can save $45 on an Oklahoma Marriage license. Preregister. 10am-4pm. 877-435-8033, www.foreverforreal.com. Oklahoma National Guard Appreciation Day at the OKC Zoo (2101 NE 50) provides $1 admission for Oklahoma National Guard members. Military ID required. 9am-5pm. 425-0298, www.okczoo.com. FREE Storytime with Princess Belle at Uptown Kids (5840 N Classen). 10:30am. 418-8881, www. uptownkidsstyle.com. FREE Wild Prairie Family Stage at the Norman Music Festival in downtown Norman features family-friendly music, activities & more. Noon-6pm. 474-9734, www. normanmusicfestival.com. KickingBird Golf Family Fun Night (1600 E Danforth, Edmond) features 9-holes, including special junior tees, a FREE putting course, $2 range tokens & food discounts. Call 1 week in advance for a tee time. $7 green fees, $7 carts. 5pm. 341-5350, www.edmondok.com. Tombstone Tales: Public Day at Fort Reno (7107 W Cheyenne, El Reno) features dinner & performance at the Fort Post Cemetery by lantern. Hear stories of people who lived & died at the old fort from re-enactors dressed as the folks they portray. $10 adults, $9 seniors, $5 children 5-12. 5:30pm. 262-3987, www.fortreno.org.

April 27–28 ThunderKatz Cat-a-Palooza at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Centennial Building features an Annual Championship & Household Pet Cat Show featuring 14-rings back-to-back. $5 adults, children 12 & under are FREE. 9am-4pm. www.thunderkatz.org.

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May 1 • Wednesday

May 3 • Friday FREE Beautiful Beasts Public Gallery Talk at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua, Norman) features Thomas Shahan discussing artwork displayed in the gallery. 7pm. 325-4712, www. snomnh.ou.edu.

May 3–4 Oklahoma City Homeschool Convention at the Cox Convention Center features workshops, vendors, speakers & other activities to help homeschool families as well as children’s & teen programs. Fee includes Mom, Dad, nonmarried children & grandparents. $49/family through 4/24, $59/family after 4/24. www.ochec.com.

May 3–5 FREE Downtown Edmond Arts Festival (Broadway & 2nd) features artists & crafters, food, performing artists, children’s area & more. Friday, 10am-8pm; Saturday, 10am-9pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm. 249-9391, www. downtownedmondok.com.

FREE Prague Kolache Festival on Main Street in downtown Prague offers dance, song, food, crafts, parade, carnival rides & more. 567-4866, www. praguekolachefestival.com.

Art & Sole 5K at Andrews Park in Norman benefits the philanthropic programs of the Assistance League of Norman. Features a 2K walk/run & a 5K walk/run. $25, $15 ages 12 & under. 8am. www.signmeup.com/90021. FREE El Reno Fried Onion Burger Day in downtown El Reno features live entertainment, arts & crafts, food, games, rides & more. 262-8888, www.elrenoburgerday. com.

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Family Insect Safari & Macrophotography Workshop at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua, Norman) features an introduction to arthropods & safe handling as well as a lesson about how to get close to your subject through lenses & camera settings. Admission includes 1 adult & 1 child. Preregister. $20 members, $30 nonmembers, $10 additional member, $15 additional nonmember. 9am-noon. 325-1008, www.snomnh.ou.edu. Festival of the Child at Yukon City Park (2200 S Holly) features over 50 areas of activities with crafts, storytelling, kayaking, moonbounces, performing arts stage & more. $5 advance, $7 day of event for children; adults FREE. 10am4pm. 350-8937, www.cityofyukonok.gov. Drop-In Drawing (415 Couch) at the OKC Museum of Art features come-and-go drawing sessions for all ages throughout the permanent collection & special exhibition galleries. FREE with paid admission. 2-4pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com. Great Escape at Mustang Community Center (1201 N Mustang) features crafts, games, dinner & a movie. Preregister. $15 through 4/26, $20 after 4/26. 6-11pm. 376-3411, www.cityofmustang.org. Miss Black Oklahoma City Scholarship Pageant at Metro Tech Business Conference Center Auditorium (1900 Springlake) emphasizes inner beauty & strength as contestants showcase talents, intelligence & poise. $10. 7-9pm. 808-2548, www.facebook.com/ MissBlackOklahomaCityScholarshipPageant.

May 4–5 May Fair Arts Festival 2013 at Andrews Park in Norman features arts & crafts vendors, entertainment, children’s area & more. Saturday, 9am-8pm; Sunday, 11am5pm. www.norman.assistanceleague.org.

*

Norman Friends of the Library Better Book Sale at the Norman Library (225 N Webster, Norman) offers a wide selection of coffee table, rare & collectible books for purchase. Proceeds benefit the Norman Library. Friday, 6-9pm; Saturday, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5pm. 701-2600, www.pls.lib.ok.us.

May 4 • Saturday

Comic Book Day at participating retailers across the country offers a FREE comic book to all customers to introduce new readers to the comic book medium. Details found at www.freecomicbookday.com.

May 5 • Sunday

**

5 X 5 Art Show & Sale benefits the Fine Arts Institute of Edmond (27 S Edwards, Edmond) features art by 55 Oklahoma artists available for purchase for $55 each. $5 admission. 5:55pm. 340-4481, www.edmondfinearts.com.

For more fun local events,

check our online calendar at www. metrofamilymagazine.com/Calendar/.


Ongoing Events April 12–May 31 FREE Gallery Exhibit of Jewelry by Charles Lewton-Brain & Charleen Weidell at the Firehouse Art Center Gallery of Art (444 S Flood, Norman) brings together the work of two renowned artists. 329-4523, www.normanfirehouse.com.

April 13–July 28 FREE Exhibition: Stirring the Fire–A Global Movement to Empower Women & Girls at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm, Norman) showcases the work of photographer Phil Borges & his desire to shed light on specific gender issues worldwide while revealing practical pathways for women & girls to achieve gender equality. 325-3272, www.ou.edu/fjjma.

Through April 21 Photorealism Revisited at the OKC Museum of Art (415 Couch) features works from some of the most well known Photorealist artists. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.com.

April 22–June 2 FREE National Weather Center Biennale at the National Weather Center (120 David L Boren, Norman) features an international juried exhibition including art about weather & the role it plays in shaping our lives. 3251496, http://nwcbiennale.org.

April 26–May 10 Miss Nelson is Missing presented by the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre (2501 N Blackwelder) is based on the popular children’s book by Harry Allard & James Marshall. $9 adults, $6 children ages 2-12, children under 2 FREE. Wednesday & Friday, 11am; Saturday-Sunday, 2pm. 9510011, www.oklahomachildrenstheatre.org.

April 28–May 3 Just Between Friends Consignment Event–OKC at the State Fairgrounds features new & gently used children’s clothing & accessories. Many items half-price on Friday. $3 admission on Sunday. Sunday, Noon-7pm; Monday-Wednesday, 10am-7pm; Thursday, 10am-4pm & 7-10pm; Friday, 10am-4pm. www.okc.jbfsale.com.

May 4–June 30

Bugs Outside the Box Exhibit at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua, Norman) presents a selection of greatly enlarged insect sculptures showcasing the beauty hidden within them. 325-4712, www.snomnh.ou.edu.

Through May 17 FREE Bryan Adams: Exposed Exhibit at the City Arts Center Features select photography by musician Bryan Adams who captured intimate images of friends & colleagues in the entertainment, fashion & art industries. 951-0000, www.cityartscenter.org. FREE Made in Oklahoma Recipe Contest is accepting submissions of original, unpublished recipes that use at least two Made in Oklahoma Coalition products. Prizes up to $1000. See page 8 for more information. www. miorecipes.com.

Through May 29 Crumbo Spirit Talk at the Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zuhdi) features the art of Woody Crumbo & his children. 522-0765, www.oklahomahistorycenter.org.

Through June 9 FREE Art Interrupted: Advancing American Art & the Politics of Cultural Diplomacy Exhibit at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm, Norman) features an exhibition assembled in 1946 of modernist paintings highlighting the freedom of expression enjoyed by artists in the United States. 325-3272, www.ou.edu/fjjma.

Through August 2 Soundscapes at Science Museum Oklahoma (2100 NE 52) features the sculptural work of 11 artists based on the distinct relationship between the visual & aural domains of art & perception. 602-6664, www.sciencemuseumok.org.

Through September 8 Beautiful Beasts: The Unseen Life of Oklahoma Spiders & Insects at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History presents a series of large-scale color photographs taken by Thomas Shahan of mid-western spiders & insects. 325-4712, www.snomnh.ou.edu.

Through June 1 Enriched: Animal Art from the OKC Zoo at the Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zuhdi) showcases the process of animal enrichment through painting. MondaysSaturdays. 522-0765, www.oklahomahistorycenter.org.

Through July 28 FREE Into the Void Exhibition at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm, Norman) is a student-curated printmaking exhibition featuring works from the permanent collection that encompass the entire optical spectrum. 325-3272, www.ou.edu/fjjma.

Through August Pablo Picasso’s Woman in the Studio at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm, Norman) features works by Picasso from the museum’s permanent collection and on loan from the St. Louis Art Museum. 325-3272, www. ou.edu/fjjma.

Ernest Oberholzer’s Photographs of the Rainy Lake Ojibwe at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art (1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee) showcases photographs by Ernest Oberholzer. 878-5300, www.mgmoa.org.

Through May 12 An Enduring Legacy: Photos of the OtoeMissouria People at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63) features historical photographs from the Otoe-Missouria tribe. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.org.

April 2013 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Exploring Oklahoma & Beyond Six Reasons to Cruise the Caribbean With Disney

I

’ve always enjoyed traveling with my family, but a Disney Cruise was never on my radar for two reasons: past history made me doubt I would feel well on a cruise and I’ve never been a Disney fanatic. Sure I had the ubiquitous Mickey Mouse T-shirt in high school, but I’ve never been to Disney World—and my three children are now adults. However, now that we’ve been on a Disney Cruise out of the nearby port of Galveston, Texas, my husband and I are converts both to the Disney brand of over-the-top hospitality and to cruises as the best kind of vacation to take as a family. Here are my top reasons why a Disney cruise may be the best vacation for your family:

1. Location, Location, Location

3. Convenience

Galveston is easily reached by car or air. If you drive, it’s 495 miles, just over seven hours without traffic troubles. If you fly, Disney representatives meet you at the baggage claim area and get you settled on a shuttle bus to the ship (about an hour-long drive).

On a cruise, you unpack once rather than having the constant stress of packing/ unpacking/losing/replacing, etc. It’s also so easy to get around the ship, transitioning between activities. Need to re-group in your room? No problem! Even the laundry areas are easy to find and utilize, if needed.

2. Be Our Guest

4. Dinner—and a Show

Disney employees excel at hospitality. From the moment you walk on to the ship to the very last breakfast experience, the staff works overtime to take great care of your family.

Meals are not only delicious, but also part of the entertainment. Every meal includes numerous choices (including a special menu for children) and at least at the evening meal, they are served with flourish by table and

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drink servers who help you throughout your stay and quickly get to know your family’s preferences. Dinners often also include special entertainment such as the “artists’ palette” dinner in Lumiere’s restaurant, where you can watch the entire room transform from black and white drawings to colorful animation while you dine.

5. Fun By Sea ... You’ll want to study the all-important Navigator (a comprehensive list of the day’s events that shows up on your bed) and carefully plan the activities to schedule the next day. Onboard, there is always something Continued on page 38 »


Planning Ahead • Find tips, ideas and more links to helpful sites about making the most of the cruise, suggested ages, safety, what to pack and other topics at www.metrofamilymagazine. com/disney-cruise. • We asked Marcy Galloway, a member of the Disney Parks Mom Panel, about making the most of a Disney cruise. She recommends starting your research at the official Disney Cruise website, (disneycruise.disney.go.com). “Investigate the different Port Adventures, read about the Youth Clubs, learn more about the Adult Exclusive Dining at Palo and Remy,” she advises. Do the research about the excursions and other activities that need reservations and other pre-planning, and be ready to do this as soon as you can, 75 days before your departure date. • When on the cruise, take advantage of the experiences of your cruise “Cast Members” on the staff team. They can help you make even more special memories so do not hesitate to tell them your preferences and see how they can help you. • As you research and think through your unique family needs, you may get stumped. If so, be sure to ask the Moms Panel experts for advice. (Look for “Moms Panel” in the bottom navigation of the main Disney site.) Galloway and the other experts can help with such questions as how to rent strollers, when the nursery might be full and other specific questions.

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for everyone to do—either together as a family or individually. A nursery for babies (3 months to 2 years) and Youth Clubs for preschoolers through teens offer fun and activities that will entertain children and probably teach them something new. Kids on our ship were actually begging to go to their club activities, where they enjoyed new friendships and activities led by well-trained counselors. While the kids are busy, adults can enjoy quiet, adult-only places on the ship, spa treatments (for extra fees) or, in the evenings, activities such as trivia games, karaoke and dancing in the adult-only bars. Swimming, Broadway-style shows (offered up to three times a day), movies, group games and crafts plus sports such as basketball, ping pong or shuffle board are just a few of the choices available.

6. ... and Fun by Land The excursions are fantastic shore activity options that add to the overall experience. There are a wide array of excursion choices, all of which begin at about $25 per person. Select from activities like swimming with sting rays, dolphin encounters, horseback riding, historic tours, jeep rides in the jungle, peaceful picnics on a white-sand beach overlooking beautiful clear-blue water… the excursions are vetted by Disney and worth the extra expense. We will never forget the fun times on our Disney Cruise and I guarantee your family won’t either. Bon Voyage!

Sarah Taylor is the Publisher of MetroFamily Magazine. Photos © Disney.

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Money-Saving Tips To find out how to save money on a Disney cruise, we asked Jessica Ma’ilo of Norman, owner of Fairy Godmother Travel and an Authorized Disney Travel Planner. Jessica suggests booking as early as possible because lower-priced rooms tend to sell out first. You can follow Disney on Facebook (www. facebook.com/disneycruiseline) or follow the Disney blog (disneyparks. disney.go.com/blog/category/disneycruise-line) to find out the specials as they are announced. She also advises if you plan to drink adult beverages on the trip that you pack your own, as they are not included in your trip price. Marcy Galloway, a member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel who specializes in Disney cruises, adds that looking for discounts on your cruise even after you book is a great idea because Disney will allow you to take advantage even after the fact. Consider booking through a travel agent that offers on-board credit in addition to any deals that come from Disney. She says to look for deals that typically come in the winter months and on the two smaller ships, the Magic and Wonder. “If families are flexible with missing school, that is a great time to sail and take advantage of lower prices,” Galloway adds. Finally, she recommends looking into insurance when you book because you never know when the flu bug or other problems might hit your family and with insurance, you know you can reschedule without any trouble.


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Preparing Happy Campers Summer camp is a time-honored tradition, rich with activities, newfound friendships and a lifetime of memories. Explore a few ways to make your child’s camp experience smooth sailing from start to finish.

S’more Than Just Fun According to the RAND Corporation, a non-profit research organization, children who participate in summer programs, like the learning activities offered in an organized camp, are less likely to experience a significant summer learning slide. Camp also enhances a child’s physical and emotional well-being. Activities found at camps are designed to build social skills, teamwork and independence, which all contribute to stronger self-confidence and leadership abilities. “I often hear from parents how amazed they are when their children return home after spending time at camp… about how they seem older and more mature,” says Doug Berkel, senior program director of Youth Development Services with the Kansas City YMCA.

Avoid Camp-Run-A-Mok So, what’s the right camp for your child? Although there are a wide variety of choices, making a selection may be easier than you think. Together with your child, decide what skills you want your child to gain, and choose a camp that fits her needs and interests, as well as your family’s values. Check out safety guidelines in the camp’s parent handbook. Look for overnight camps accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA). “ACA standards are the most universal and well-known standards adopted by most camps to ensure a quality and safe program,” Berkel says. Day and specialty camps should carry a current state childcare license. Additionally, staff should be trained in emergency, communication and safety procedures, behavior management techniques (including handling the common bout of homesickness), and child abuse prevention.

Camp Sunshine Day camps are a practical way to introduce elementary-age children to the camp experience. Most center on a theme, like sports, science, nature, technology or the arts. Ann Bowley says that when her stepson, Trevor, was younger, he enjoyed planning out the day camps he wanted to attend each summer. However, as her son got older, he grew more apprehensive about starting over with a new group of kids each week.

“We talked to him about it and he never changed his plans. We just looked for schoolmates that might be in camp with him to help him be more comfortable,” she says.

Camp Starlight Overnight camps, typically in an outdoor setting, can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks and are generally offered for children ages seven and up. If you aren’t sure your child is ready, allow him to spend the night at friends’ houses occasionally. Or, as Berkel suggests, take advantage of a weekend family camping opportunity, usually offered in the fall and spring to familiarize campers and their families with the facilities and staff.

Conquer Camp Blues Preparation and an awareness of what to expect can ease the transition from home to camp. Before your child departs, go over a list of everything she will need. Pack a physical connection to home like a favorite sleeping bag, stuffed animal or pillow. Also, mail a card ahead of time to ensure it arrives before the end of camp. Tell your child how you look forward to hearing her camp stories, but avoid saying how much you miss her which can trigger homesickness and worry. Fourteen-year veteran Boy Scout leader, soccer coach and father of eight, John Whiteside, is a camping pro. Over the years, he and his children have participated in multiple camps, including sports, band and weeklong scout camps. Initial nervousness isn’t unusual. If your child asks to come home, Whiteside says to consider the situation, but to encourage him to discuss his anxieties with the camp counselor and take it one day at a time. “Tell him ‘Yes, today was hard, but I think it will be better tomorrow’ and usually tomorrow is better,” he says. While your child may struggle at first, chances are he’ll come home a happy camper with a heightened sense of self-confidence, memorable stories and a passel of new friends to boot.

Camp neophyte and freelance writer, Christa Melnyk Hines, expects the camp experience will be easier on her children than it will be on her.

• More than 10 million American children will participate in camp this summer. • More than 95 percent of campers experience occasional homesickness. • Nearly 75 percent of campers try new activities that they were initially afraid to do. 40

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Special Advertising Section

Summer Camps Guide

Venue

Contact

Dates

Fees

Details

Abrakadoodle OKC

P.O. Box 6936, Moore 405-818-5417, www.abrakadoodle.com/OK01/schedule.html

June–August

Varies

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. Action-packed camp experiences led by educators & filled with wholesome activities.

Academy of Dance Arts

718 S Mustang Rd, Yukon 405-324-7600, www.academydanceartsok.com

June 3–August 1 Register by May 20

$80-$100

Day camp; before/after care available, no scholarships. Themed camps available for boys & girls, ranging from ballet to hip hop to cheer. Half- & full-day camps for ages 3-10 (half-day only for ages 3-5) offered Monday-Thursday. No dance experience needed.

Active Learning Services and USA Chess

Heritage Hall 1800 NW 122nd St, OKC Metro Christian Academy, 6363 S Trenton, Tulsa 281-257-0078, www.activelearningcamps.com

June 3–July 19 (OKC) June 24–28 (Tulsa) Register by June 30

Chess–$410 Video Game Creation–$470 Half-day classes available.

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. USA Chess Camps for ages 5-16 offer professional coaching for kids of all abilities. Game Builder Video Game Creation Camps for ages 8-16 to learn to create their very own arcade-style game, platform game or mobile app game.

Building Minds, LLC

6608 N Western #173, OKC 405-443-4530, www.building-minds.com

June 17–21, July 22–26 Register by June 1.

$145

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. Engineering camps with LEGO bricks for ages 6-12 to learn about gears, levers, pulleys & more.

Camp Chaverim 2013

710 West Wilshire #103, OKC 405-848-3132, www.jfedokc.org

June 3–June 21, June 24–July 12, July 15–July 26 Register by May 30

$530–$675 for 3 week session

Day camp; before/after care available, no scholarships. For ages 2–­15 years, includes swim instruction, sports & games, creative arts, dance, music, robotics & nature experiences.

Camp ClapHans

2002 E Robinson St, Norman 405-307-2814, www.campclaphans.com

June 9–July 26 Register by May 24

$325/week

Overnight camp, scholarships available. For ages 8–16 with developmental disabilities. Six one-week sessions run from Sunday to Friday. 1:1 ratio of camp staff to campers. Activities include canoeing, fishing, archery, horseback riding, arts & crafts & more.

April 2013 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Special Advertising Section

Summer Camps Guide Venue

Contact

Dates

Fees

Details

Camp Invention

Jenks Southeast Elementary (Tulsa); Freedom Elementary School (Sapulpa); Westminster School (OKC) 800-968-4332, www.campinvention.org

June 1–August 31

Varies

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. For children entering 1st-6th grade; includes a hands on, interactive curriculum incorporating science, math, art, invention, creativity & problem solving.

Camp McFadden

9137 E Hartford, Ponca City 580-762-9955, www.campmcfadden.com

June 17–August 2

$150 short session; $300 full week

Overnight camp; scholarships available. For ages 6-18; activities include arts & crafts, ropes course, canoeing, kayaking & horse riding.

Carl Albert Chess Camp 2013

2009 S Post Rd, Midwest City 405-476-5172, http://mid-del.net/education/staff/staff. php?sectionid=4205&

June 24–28

$250 before May 1; $300 at door

Day camp; no before/after care, scholarships available. For ages 8–18; 9:00 am–4:00pm daily. Includes daily lessons & tournaments, lunch, daily tournaments instructional materials (that can be taken home!) & guest instructors.

Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center

507 S 4th St, Enid 580-237-1907, www.csrhc.org

June 24–28 Register by May 31

$170

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. History Explorers Camp 2013 for 4th, 5th & 6th graders. 7:30am-5:15pm daily. Includes exhibit building, frontier entertainment, fishing & historic crafts.

Childtime

Multiple locations 866-561-3411, www.childtime.com

Ongoing

Varies

Day camp; before/after care available, no scholarships. For ages 5-12. The “Not So Bummer Summer” includes up to nine themed summer camps with field trips, ranging from outdoor adventure to cooking to drama & more.

ClubZ! In-Home Tutoring

3200 E Memorial Rd, Ste 600, Edmond 405-478-3515, www.clubztutoring.com/okc

June 3-27 (register by May 31); July 2-30 (register by June 28)

Call for fees

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. Jump Start Reading for grades 1-4 & Master Study Skills for grades 5-12. Tutoring available for grades K-12.

Creative Arts Enid

217 N Washington, Enid 580-540-8952, www.creativeartsenid.com

June 3–August 1

$100/session Adventures in Art $50/session Budding Artists

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. Adventures in Art camps for ages 7–12 includes acrylics, watercolor & pottery. Budding Artists Camps for ages 5–6.

Cross Creek Sables

2200 NW 192 St, Edmond 405-340-3432, www.crosscreekstablesokc.com

June 3–August 2

$225/week

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. For ages 6+. Basic instruction in horse care & horse riding, plus crafts & activities. No previous experience with horses necessary. Held Monday– Friday, 1:00-5:00pm.

Edmond Parks & Recreation

2733 Marilyn Williams Dr, Edmond 405-359-4630, www.edmondok.com/parks/rec

June–July

Camps: $75-$175 One Day Field Trips: $0-$10

Day camp; before/after care available, no scholarships. Summer classes range from web design, video game design & animation to science, arts & sports camps. One day field trip camps also available.

Fine Arts Institute of Edmond

27 E Edwards, Edmond 405-340-4481, www.edmondfinearts.com

June 3–August 16

$95–$215

Day camp; no before/after care, scholarships available. A variety of camps including drawing, painting, clay. mixed media, visual arts, performing arts, improvisation, miming, magic & more for ages 3-8th grade.

Firehouse Art Center

444 S Flood, Norman 405-329-4523, www.normanfirehouse.com

May 28–August 2 Register by May 28

$70–$140

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. Children’s Summer Art Program for ages 5–13. Includes two-week & oneweek sessions. Each session focuses on different artists.

First Presbyterian Church of Edmond

1001 S Rankin St, Edmond 405-341-3602 x233, www.fpcedmond.org

June 10–14 Register by May 26

$65

Day camp, no before/after care, no scholarships. UW Summer Sports Camp for ages 4–12, held 9:00am-12:15pm. Offers sports instruction in soccer, basketball, cheer, football & Team 45 (for ages 4-5).

Gaslight Theatre

221 N Independence, Enid 580-234-2307, www.gaslighttheatre.org

May 28–June 21

Call for fees

Day camp, no before/after care, no scholarships. Kids Drama Camp offers morning & afternoon half-day sessions, with campers performing Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka Kids” June 22–23.

Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma

6100 NW 76 St, OKC 405-528-4475, www.gswestok.org

March–August

Free–$700

Day & overnight camps; no before/after care, scholarships available. Camps for all ages, includes archery, canoeing, hiking, crafts, riding horses & STEM camps.

The Goddard School

6001 E Covell Rd, Edmond 405-330-1313, www.goddardschool.com

Day camp; before/after care available, no scholarships.

Call for fees.

Day camp; before/after care available, no scholarships. Goddard Amazing Race program for children ages 6 weeks-8 Years

The Goddard School

17440 N Western Ave, Edmond 405-348-4442, www.goddardschool.com

May 28-August 14

Call for fees.

Day camp; before/after care available, no scholarships. Leap into Literature program for children ages 6 weeks–12 years.

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Special Advertising Section

Summer Camps Guide Venue

Contact

Dates

Fees

Gymboree Play & Music of Oklahoma City

11928 N May Ave, OKC 405-755-3445, www.gymboreeclasses.com

June 3–August 9

$125/week, Day camp, no before/after care, no scholarships. Discounts on Gymboree Bubble Camp for 3-5 year olds gets kids physically active while multiple weeks, exploring music, art, science, books, sports & more! 2:00-4:00pm daily. register one week in advance.

I.C.A.N. Family Center (Intervention Child Advocacy Network)

3200 NW 48 St, OKC 405-702-0663, www.icanokc.com

June 3–August 16

$80/week

iCan Bike

Oklahoma City Community College, 777 S May Ave, OKC 405-607-4440, www.icanshine.org

August 5–9 Register by July 21

$150

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. iCan Bike teaches children ages 8 + & adults with disabilities how to ride a conventional two-wheeled bicycle using specially adapted equipment. Rider must be able to attend the same 75-minute session each day.

KaleidEscape at St. Mary’s Episcopal School

505 E. Covell, Edmond 405-341-9541, www.smesedmond.org

June 3–28

$155/week

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. For ages 4-11, includes arts, crafts, science, water play, hiking, drama & PE. Runs 8:30am-2:30pm, Monday-Friday, Discounts available.

Kumon Math & Reading

Edmond (245 S Santa Fe), 405-216-9800; N Edmond (775 W Covell), 405-715-1111; Mustang (204 N Mustang Mall Terr), 405-376-6400; Norman (1320 N Interstate Dr), 405-364-1600; N OKC (9494 N May Ave), 405-752-2000; NW OKC (7640 NW Expy), 405-721-7323; S OKC (10600 S Penn Ave), 405-691-8900; Yukon (1300 W. Vandament), 405-494-3010

Ongoing

Varies

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. For preschool–high school. Kumon will design an individualized lesson plan to help your child achieve success in math & reading & develop strong study skills & confidence.

L’Alliance Française

Oklahoma City 405-748-0868, www.afdokc.org

July 8–11

$99–$109

Day camp; before/after care available, no scholarships. French immersion camp for kids entering grades 3–5 or 6–8. No language background required.

LaPetite Academy

See website for locations 866-561-3413, www.lapetite.com

Ongoing

Varies

Day camp; before/after care available, no scholarships. For ages 5–12. The “Not So Bummer Summer” includes up to nine themed summer camps with field trips, ranging from outdoor adventure to cooking to drama & more.

Leonardo’s Children’s Museum

200 E Maple, Enid 580-233-2787, www.leonardos.org

June 3–August 9

Call for fees

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. For ages 4–12. Nine weeks of art & science exploration. Choose mornings, afternoons, or all day sessions for one or more weeks.

www.kumon.com

Details

Day camp; before/after care available, no scholarships. Summer BREAK-OUT for ages 5–13. Full-day camp featues two meals, snack, music, dance classes, tutoring, sports & field trips.

April 2013 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Special Advertising Section

Summer Camps Guide Venue

Contact

Dates

Fees

Details

Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art

1900 W. MacArthur, Shawnee 405-878-5300, www.mgmoa.org

June–July

Free–$60

Day camp, no before/after care, scholarships available. Creative Art Camps offered in two sessions: 5–8 years old (10am–12pm) & 9–13 years old (2pm–4pm). Inspired by the artworks in the MGMoA collections, participants learn a variety of arts techniques & applications. Primary pARTners (July 9 or July 30) for ages 3-6 are free summer classes for child & caregiver.

Mad Science

PO Box 30983, Edmond 405-285-9643, www.okc.madscience.org

June–August

$95–$125

Day camps; no before/after care, no scholarships. Eureka, The Inventor’s Camp includes a series of challenges using basic materials & simple machines to create catapults, forts & circuits Secret Agent Lab explores forensic science & sharpens surveillance skils.

Moore Norman Technology Center

4701 12th Avenue NW, Norman 405-364-5763, mntechnology.com/sya2013

June 3-June 24 Enrollment begins April 18

$70-$135

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. Program offers one-week sessions (half-day & full-day) for ages 9 -14.

OKC RIVERSPORT

725 S Lincoln Blvd, OKC 405-552-4040, www.boathousedistrict.org

June 3–July 26

$65-$300

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. Adventure Camp participants ages 8-16 learn basic paddling skills & water safety in racing kayaks, canoes & dragon boats, plus off-water adventures including the SandRidge Sky Trail, Youth Zone, Kayak Plunge & more. Fulland half-day sessions available.

Oklahoma Center for Arts Education

University of Central Oklahoma, 100 North University Drive, Edmond 405-974-3754, www.ocae.net

June–July

$125-$300

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. Drama Camps for ages 7-12; Dance & Down Syndrome Music Theatre Camp for ages 13 & up; Flute Camp for ages 11-16; Dance Workshops for ages 12 & up; High School Drama Workshops for ages 13-18; Summer Jazz Workshops for ages 15 & up; Graphic Design & Interior Design Workshops for high school juniors/seniors & college freshmen; High School Art Workshops for ages 15-18; String Chamber Music camp for ages 11-19.

Oklahoma Children’s Theatre

2501 N. Blackwelder, OKC 405-606-7003, www.oklahomachildrenstheatre.org

May 28–August 9

$100–$450

Day camp; before/after care available, scholarships available. For ages 3–13. Topics include theatre, dance, puppetry, musical theatre, stage combat, film making, video game design, speech & debate & more. Camps are Monday-Friday, 9:00am-4:00pm.

Oklahoma City Museum of Art

415 Couch Drive, OKC 405-236-3100, www.okcmoa.com

June 4– August 9

$120/members $130/nonmembers

Day camp; before/after care available, scholarships available. A variety of age-appropriate, thematic sessions based on the Museum’s exhibitions & permanent collection. 4-day sessions offered Tuesday–Friday.

Oklahoma City Zoo

2101 NE 50, OKC 405-425-0218, www.okczooed.com

June–August

$100–$110

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. For ages 3–15 years. Weekly themed animal camps meet Tuesday–Friday from 8:30-12:30.

Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center

3000 General Pershing Blvd, OKC 405-951-0000, www.cityartscenter.org

May 28–August 16

$150/week

Day camp; before/after care available, scholarships available. Week-long, themed art camps for ages 5–13. Camp hours are Monday– Friday, 9:00am–4:00pm.

Oklahoma County OSU Cooperative Extension

930 N. Portland, OKC 405-713-1125, http://oces.okstate.edu/oklahoma

May 25–July 30

$10–$35

Day camp; no before/after care, scholarships available. Camp topics include photography, cooking, sewing, robotics, pizza making, art, science, gardening & more.

Oklahoma 308 West Franklin Ln, Stillwater WONDERtorium 405-533-3333, www.okwondertorium.org

June 11–July 25

$20–$100

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. Summer WONDER Camps for ages 3–12 are a mix of science, art & active fun.

Orr Family Farm

June 18–21 (register by June 10) July 16–19 (register by July 9)

$160+tax

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. For grades K–6th. Include pony ride, animal care & grooming, fishing, scavenger hunts, crafts & more.

Primrose School 15000 Western Ave, Edmond 405-285-6787, www.primroseedmond.com of Edmond

May 29–August 9

$200/week + activity fees

Day camp; before/after care available, no scholarships. Adventures in music, dance & the outdoors with a theme of time travel.

Primrose School of NW Oklahoma City

6101 NW 139 St, OKC 405-721-2200, www.primrosenwoklahomacity.com

May 28–August 16

$195/week

Day camp; before/after care available, no scholarships. Camp Primrose 2013: Passport to Adventure explores movement, music, art, indoor & outdoor play, field trips & technology.

Primrose School of SW Oklahoma City

1520 SW 119 St, OKC 405-793-6000, www.primroseswoklahomacity.com

May 29–August 16

$165/week

Day camp; before/after care available, no scholarships. Campers will explore the great outdoors & virtual travel through music & dance, plus field trips & creative activities.

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14400 S. Western, OKC 405-799-3276, www.orrfamilyfarm.com

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Special Advertising Section

Summer Camps Guide

Venue

Contact

Dates

Fees

Details

Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman 405-325-1008, www.snomnh.ou.edu

June 3-August 2

$55–$70

Day camp; no before/after care, scholarships available. For ages 4 (with adult)–14. A variety of camp sessions cover a range of science-related topics.

Soccer City OKC

4520 Old Farm Rd, OKC 405-748-3888, www.soccercityokcity.com

June–August

$75–$150

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. Lil’ Kickers classes for ages 18 months–9 years, recreational & advanced camps for ages 4–16.

SPARK After School Program

1001 NW 25, OKC 405-525-0018, www.fpcokc.org/spark

June 3–July 31

$125/week Drop-in rate $25/day $55 enrollment fee

Day camp; before/after care available, no scholarships. SPARK 2013 Time Trekkers! A Journey Through History includes swimming, field trips, classes, crafts & interactive learning.

April 2013 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Special Advertising Section

Summer Camps Guide Venue

Dates

Fees

Details

Summer @ 14400 N Portland Ave, OKC 405-842-8495, www.summeratcrossings.com Crossings Christian School

July 8–11 July 22–25

$140

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. For grades preK-12. Camp topics include cooking, creative writing, painting, math enrichment, pottery, debate, science, LEGOs & more.

The Studio of The Sooner Theatre

227 E Main St, Norman 405-321-9600, www.soonertheatrecom

June 3–August 2

$125–$400

Day camp; no before/after care, scholarships available. For grades K-12. One, two & three week camps with full & half-day options. Topics include musical theatre, theatre dance, voice, improvisation, claymation, acting & more.

Trinity School

321 NW 36, OKC 405-525-5600, www.trinityschoolokc.org

July Register by June 1

$450-675

Day camp; before/after care available, no scholarships. For grades K–12, open to Trinity & non-Trinity students. Each class is offered Tuesday–Thursday in July. Topics include intensive reading/language arts & math intensive, reading therapy, math tntervention & more.

Twist and Shout

14801 N. Lincoln Blvd, Edmond 405-775-9491,www.shouterspirit.com

June–August

$80–$100

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. Learn or perfect tumble & cheer skills. Camps held Monday–Thursday, 2 hours per day.

Velocity Dance Center

11122 N Rockwell Ave, OKC 405-721-8807, www.www.oklahomacitydancestudio.com

June–July

$40–$150

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. For ages 3–6. Week–long, half–day Angelina Ballerina Camps that teach campers about dance, healthy lifestyles, creating props & costumes. Also summer classes for ages 3 & up in ballet, jazz, tap & hip hop.

Victory Dance

4300 N MacArthur Blvd, OKC 405-717-1250, www.victorydance.tv

June 24-July 27 Register by June 15

$60-$85

Day camp; no before/after care, no scholarships. 1 & 2-week dance camp for ages 3+, beginner through advanced levels.

YMCA Camp Classen

10840 Main Camp Rd., Davis 580-369-2272, www.ymcaokc.org

June 9–July 27

$495–$695

Overnight camp, scholarships available. Camp for kids ages 7–15 includes activities, campfires, talent shows, canoeing & more.

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Contact

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Special Advertising Section

Summer Activities Guide

Venue

Contact

Dates

Fees

Details

Bouncin Craze

14901 N Lincoln Blvd, Edmond 405-607-2020, www.bouncincraze.com

June 1–August 1

$7.50/child

Open Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:00am-3:00pm; Tuesday 10:00am1:00pm & 4:00-8:00pm.

Chickasaw Cultural Center

867 Cooper Memorial Dr, Sulphur 580-622-7130, www.chickasawculturalcenter.com

Ongoing

No charge to enter buildings, some exhibits & attractions have fees.

The Chickasaw Cultural Center is one of the largest tribal cultural centers in the United States & shares the history of the Chickasaw people through art, exhibits & performances.

College Nannies 1333 N Santa Fe Ave, Ste 116, Edmond 405-513-6060, www.collegenanniesandtutors.com/ and Tutors of edmondok Edmond

Ongoing

Varies

Screened & certified summer nannies ensure a safe & fun summer, full-time not required, can fill in between other camps or vacations. Summer tutoring includes ACT/SAT test prep, study & organizational skills & subject-specific tutoring.

Dodge City Paintball & Outdoor Laser Tag of OKC

NW 150th & Gregory Rd, Piedmont 405-373-3745, www.okcpaintball.com

Open every weekend

$16 –$30

Laser tag, regular & junior paintball, swingset & grills. Group rates available.

Harn Homestead Museum

1721 N Lincoln Blvd, OKC 405-235-4058, www.harnhomestead.com

July–August

$5

Open from 9:00-2:00 Monday-Friday offering fun activities for families. Hands-on programming available for groups of 10+.Group rates available.

Mathnasium of North OKC

14101 N May, Ste 106, OKC 405-241-6284, www.mathnasium.com/northokc

Ongoing

Varies

Summer programs provide students from Grade 2–calculus with individualized instruction & an opportunity to review & master math concepts, plus ACT/SAT prep.

Museum of Osteology

10301 S. Sunnylane Rd, OKC 405-814-0006, www.museumofosteology.org

Ongoing

$6 for ages 3 & up. Children under 3 free.

Provides educational exhibits & activities to help visitors understand biology via skeletons of animals from around the world. Offers field trips for summer groups & camps (group rates available).

Oklahoma History Center

800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr, OKC 405-522-0765, www.okhistory.org

June 5–July 31

$2

Okietales, held each Wednesday from 10:00–11:00am, is a reading & storytelling time for ages 5–9, exploring a different topic from the Wild West to land runs to pioneer life. Space is limited & preregistration is required.

April 2013 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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CHILDHOOD

OBESITY

WHAT’S AT RISK?

1. EATING RIGHT

WHAT TO EAT

Childhood obesity is a serious issue. Overweight or obese children have a higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, asthma and sleep apnea. “Sadly, these conditions and [others] that were once very rare in children are now being diagnosed with much greater frequency among kids who are obese or overweight,” says Tamara Walker, RN and host of the Ask MomRN show on www.blogtalkradio.com.

Devonne Carter, LPC, suggests that parents prioritize planning and creating healthy meals on busy workdays, much like they would plan for other after school activities. “Treat shopping for food and sitting down to a shared family meal like an extracurricular activity,” she urges. “Give it the time each night and focus on it as a family to underscore how important it is for your family to eat together and make healthful food choices.” Even if you have to trim an extracurricular activity from your schedule, if you show that you are purposefully making healthy eating a priority in your home, your children will take that example seriously.

The food pyramid idea that most of us grew up with was based on a grainbased diet, but the food pyramid of today—now known as “My Plate”— recommends a fruit and vegetable based diet, where half of your plate is filled with fruits and vegetables. Examples of the recommended daily totals for children (ages 2–13) are shown below*:

Obesity can also impact mental health. “Children who struggle with weight issues are at increased risk for depression, negative feelings of self-worth and being bullied,” continues Tamara. “They are at risk for trying dangerous diets or supplements to lose weight.” Bottom line? The negative effects of obesity can stay with a child for life.

TURN IT AROUND “Some health issues can be prevented, stopped or even reversed if proper measures are taken to help overweight or obese children lose weight and get healthy,” encourages Tamara. Obesity is most easily controlled through two main actions: eating healthy foods in sensible amounts and exercising or just moving more. This is something that virtually all experts agree on... but the catch is that it takes time. Time to plan meals, to shop for healthy foods, to cook from scratch, to participate in activities. And if you ask any mom these days, the scarcest commodity she has is time. So, what is the answer?

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And if your kids turn up their noses at the healthy food on their plates? Devonne suggests investing them in the process. “If you bring your kids shopping and let them help pick out what you’re going to cook, they’ll be much more willing to try something new,” says Devonne.

Fruits: 1–1.5 cups Vegetables: 1–2.5 cups Grains: 1.5–3 ounce equivalents (at least half should be whole grains) Protein Foods: 2–5 ounce equivalents Dairy: 2–3 cups Oils: 3–5 teaspoons

Chef and co-owner of Guilford Gardens, Kamala Gamble, takes it a step further: “Your kids will eat it if they grow it!” She recommends adding as many fruits and vegetables into your family’s diet as possible, any way you can (even if you have to be sneaky about it) and even if it’s not organic (though the produce she grows is). And eating right doesn’t have to be expensive. A recent TIME Magazine article featuring well-known cardiologist, author and television host Dr. Mehmet Oz stated that often, frozen vegetables are as healthy as—or even healthier than—their fresh, organic (and

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* Amounts shown are samples from the charts available; visit www. choosemyplate.gov for nutritional recommendations for all ages.

Doughnut photo © Cupertino10 | Dreamstime.com.

There’s nothing cuter than a chubby-cheeked baby. But when you consider that according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the prevalence of childhood obesity is growing at an exponential rate, it may cause you to reexamine this idea. And when you further learn that the repercussions of childhood obesity carry into adulthood—and lead to long-term negative health consequences—it may cause you to worry. And it should.


often more expensive) counterparts. So, good food choices are available at every price point, even to those with strict food budgets. Just keep your eye on the nutrition label to be sure that you’re not getting more than you bargain for in pre-packaged foods. It may seem easier to visit the fast-food drive through on those evenings when you have errands to run or activities to shuttle the kids to, but healthier and less-expensive choices can usually be found if you plan ahead. Pack snacks and water in a small cooler if you must eat on the go, and you should see a beneficial impact to both your waistline and your budget.

2. MOVING MORE When it comes to physical movement, even small amounts can add up to provide a positive impact. “As kids are spending more time indoors and sedentary while connected to technology (such as) television, video games and computers, the obesity problem has caused some experts to predict that this generation may be the first to have a shorter life span than their parents,” cautions Tamara. The Mayo Clinic recommends several creative ideas for keeping kids active: • Limit recreational screen time to two hours or less per day. And no mindless snacking! • Put the emphasis on activity, not exercise. Free play activities (such as tag or jumping rope) are both effective and fun.

• Find activities your child likes. This seems obvious, but don’t try to force a kid who’s afraid of the water to swim. • Be a good example. Participate together. • Change it up. Make it fun and try lots of different activities. While it’s important to consult your family doctor before an exercise regime is begun, it’s always a good idea to simply start moving more. Adding just a few extra minutes of movement to your routine each day will have a positive impact on the overall health of your family. Go for a neighborhood walk after dinner, take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, park in the farthest spot away from the door; find ways to move a little more. And make it fun for your kids by turning it into a competition—get each family member a pedometer and see who can get the highest step count at the end of each day.

• Make the time. There is no way around this. • Read food labels when shopping and pay attention to portion sizes when eating. • Talk about healthy food choices with your kids. • Plan ahead and have healthy choices available. Changing the way your family eats and moves may seem daunting; but when you consider that the future health of your family may depend on it, it’s certainly worth the effort involved.

3. MODEL GOOD BEHAVIOR

Mari Farthing is the Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.

This third action is perhaps the most important: if you want your children to eat healthy foods and exercise, you also have to eat healthy foods and exercise. But, again; it all comes back to time. And often, we’ve grown up with nutritional role models that perhaps were not the most ideal. Convenience foods have become the norm in our society, and families have moved away from whole, natural foods, which contain

fewer modifications (such as added chemicals or sugar) and more nutrition. Kamala says, “I like the advice of Food Rules author Michael Pollan: ‘Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.’” Where can you start?

Looking for healthy recipes? Visit www. metrofamilymagazine.com/healthy-recipeideas for easy, family-friendly healthy recipe ideas or to share your own.

KNOW YOUR LABELS Most packaged foods sold within the United States are governed by the Food and Drug Administration and contain a nutrition facts label. The label shows the number of servings, calories per serving (and sometimes per package), breakdown of nutritional components and basic ingredients. Become familiar with the labels on the foods you commonly eat and encourage your children to learn what food labels mean. Find more at www.fda.gov. 1.

Serving Size. Nutrition facts are based on one serving, but often packages will contain more than one serving, so always check the servings per container.

2.

Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium should be limited to reduce risks of high blood pressure and reduce risk of heart disease.

3.

Potassium, Vitamins A and C, Calcium and Iron all promote good health and can help prevent disease.

4.

Total Carbohydrates include both Fiber and Sugar. Healthy sources include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans and promote good health. Avoid added sugars such as sucrose, glucose, fructose and corn syrup that add calories but no other nutrients.

Find more guidance on healthy eating and nutrition labels at www.fda.gov/Food/ ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm266853.htm. The Choose My Plate and Nutrition Facts Graphics provided by the FDA.

April 2013 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Your Healthy Family Superfoods for Good Health

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ost of us are aware that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. In fact, it accounts for one in every four deaths, with nearly one million people suffering heart attacks each year. Furthermore, approximately two million Americans are diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes each year, which is one of the leading risk factors for developing heart disease.

Although poor diet and physical activity are the primary environmental risk factors for developing Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease, many Americans resist making the permanent lifestyle changes necessary to safeguard their health. While high-risk individuals still may need a major diet overhaul, there are several foods that can be included in anyone’s diet to improve heart health. These foods, rich in phytonutrients, actually prevent and repair damage to cells with every bite.

1. Salmon Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can effectively reduce blood pressure and prevent clotting. Adding just two servings of salmon to your diet each week may reduce your risk of heart attack by up to one-third, without lifting a finger. If you’re not a fan of salmon, other oily fish such as mackerel or tuna provide the same benefits. Just be sure to select wild-caught fish, as their farmraised counterparts may be loaded with pesticides.

2. Berries Berries contain beta-carotene and lutein, vitamin C, calcium, folate, magnesium,

potassium and fiber, which means they really pack a punch when it comes to heart health. Edmond pharmacist Dave Mason is currently completing his certification in clinical nutrition, and frequently offers dietary solutions to patients that can be utilized in conjunction with medication. “Berries are

Ground flaxseed is rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as fiber. It has a light, nutty flavor that can be hidden easily in all sorts of foods, such as yogurt parfaits, whole-grain cereal or oatmeal, even homemade muffins or cookies. “The key

These foods, rich in phytonutrients, actually prevent and repair damage to cells with every bite. antioxidant-rich, and they act as natural anti-inflammatories, which can seriously reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.” Strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and raspberries all offer these benefits. “If you look at recent history, the trendy ‘superfood’ supplements are all derived from some type of berry, because berries really do benefit the whole body. They boost immunity, protect your heart, and improve your skin. You can’t go wrong there.”

3. Spinach Spinach is loaded with lutein, folate, potassium and fiber, as well as B-complex vitamins. If spinach isn’t your thing, increasing your servings of any vegetable is going to offer some of these heart-healthy benefits. The Physicians’ Health Study examined more than 15,000 men without heart disease for a period of 12 years. Those who ate at least two-and-a-half servings of vegetables each day cut their risk of heart disease by about 25 percent, compared with those who didn’t eat the veggies. Each additional serving reduced risk by another 17 percent.

Further Reading The 50 Best Plants on the Planet (by Cathy Thomas, photographs by Angie Cao; Chronicle Books, $30) features the most nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables with tips on how to buy, store and prepare everything from arugula to watermelon. Also includes 150 recipes, categorized by ingredient. Worried that your kids are eating too much sugar? Beat Sugar Addiction Now! For Kids (by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD and Deborah Kennedy, PhD; Fair Winds Press, $17) gives parents guidance on how much sugar is safe for kids to consume and how to determine the amount of sugar actually found in the foods that kids regularly consume. Clean Eating for Busy Families (By Michelle Dudash, RD; Fair Winds Press, $20) features a wide variety of family-friendly recipes that are delicious, kidfriendly and fast (most taking 30 minutes or less to prepare).

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4. Flaxseed

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is to increase foods that could be found in a traditional hunter-gatherer diet of whole foods,” says Mason. “This is in keeping with the Paleo diets that are very popular right now… but what people don’t realize is this isn’t a ‘new’ trend. It’s exactly the opposite!”

5. Soy Soy contains phytoestrogens which protect cells, and some studies suggest soy may help to lower cholesterol. Soy is low in saturated fat, and is an excellent source of lean protein. Choose natural soy sources such as organic tofu and edamame, but watch for added sodium and preservatives that are contained in many processed soy products. Substituting soy milk for regular in a bowl of whole-grain cereal offers a heart-healthy breakfast boost.

6. Legumes Lentils, chickpeas, and black and kidney beans contain omega-3 fatty acids and are loaded with soluble fiber. Adding a few servings each week provides a good source of lean protein that has many heart-healthy benefits.

7. Olive Oil Full of monounsaturated fats, olive oil has been shown to lower bad LDL cholesterol and reduces the risk of developing heart disease. Results from the Seven Countries Study, which looked at cardiovascular disease incidences across the globe, showed that while men in Crete had a predisposition for high cholesterol levels, relatively few died of heart disease because their diet focused on heart-healthy fats found in olive oil. The extra-virgin and virgin varieties are the leastprocessed, which will serve to maximize these benefits. Choose olive oil instead of butter when cooking for a heart-healthy boost to those sautéed vegetables.


8. Nuts Walnuts are full of omega-3 fatty acids and, along with almonds and macadamia nuts, are loaded with mono- and polyunsaturated fat. An excellent source of protein, nuts provide an energy boost and protect your heart.

9. Avocadoes Avocadoes are packed with monounsaturated fats, which help to lower LDL cholesterol while raising good HDL cholesterol. Furthermore, avocadoes aid in the absorption of other carotenoids, such as beta-carotene and lycopene, which are essential for heart health.

10. Whole Grains Minimally-processed whole grain food sources, such as oatmeal, contain omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, folate, niacin, calcium and lots of soluble fiber. “The trick is finding whole grains as close to their natural state as possible. Steel-cut oatmeal can be a great choice, but stay away from the instant varieties,” says Mason. “Ezekiel bread, made from sprouted grains, is also a good choice. Many highly-processed foods claim to have multiple servings of whole grains, but by the time they hit the shelves, they’re not going to be of much benefit to the body with so many additives.” Incorporating “whole” or “clean” foods such as those listed above into your diet can benefit anyone, at any age. Look for minimally-processed food sources with lots of colors. The more colorful the food, the more antioxidants it has on board. The phytonutrients found in these foods will serve to prevent cellular damage, and can even repair damage that already exists. Since you have to eat anyway, consider adding these foods to your diet for a healthier heart!

Shannon Fields is a freelance writer and single mom to two girls. An Edmond resident, she graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma and is an HR manager in the medical field.

April 2013 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Focus on Education Homework Hurdles

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or students at just about all grade levels, homework is an inevitable fact of life. As the parent of a middle schooler, I have seen a steady increase in both the amount of homework assigned and the level of avoidance strategies employed by my daughter. This year, especially, has been a challenge for us all, as she becomes more involved in social and extracurricular activities. Many families find themselves in similar positions as they try to fit homework into their busy schedules, and we often fall into the same traps. The good news is, with a little planning and a few tweaks to your routine, many common homework hurdles can be avoided.

Get Involved—But Not TOO Involved Homework serves as important practice for students who are working at mastering a skill. Fourth-grade teacher Beckie Powell has taught for 13 years at both the elementary and middle school levels. “It’s very important for parents to communicate with the teachers. Most districts have a parent portal where they can monitor grades and missing assignments. Being aware is sometimes half the battle.” On the other hand, she cautions against parents becoming so involved they interfere with the child’s learning. “If your child is struggling with something, it can be tempting to give them the answer or do the work for them, because it’s faster for everyone. But it’s better to ask questions. Ask about the different strategies they’ve learned in class. We try to approach things in more than one way, because kids have different learning styles. The way they’re learning math may not be the way you learned it,” says Powell. “For reading homework, ask specific questions about what they’re reading, such as ‘tell me about the plot’ or ‘who is the main character?’ Questions like these will help a great deal with reading comprehension.” Communicating with your child is equally important. “Homework is intended as practice for students who are trying to master important new skills. That’s why in elementary school, their homework is typically limited to reading, because it takes years to really master that skill. Making your child understand the importance of that practice is fundamental to their success,” says Powell.

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Set a Routine Set a regular time and place for homework that fits into your family’s schedule well. While routines may vary from one child to the next, every child can benefit from having one. Elementary-aged children typically have less homework, but establishing a good homework routine early can prevent many bad habits from forming.

discovered that background music helps her daughter focus. “We have a no-electronics policy in place until her work is done, but music is an exception I’ll make, because she actually does better. We have school-friendly channels set on Pandora, where the music is upbeat, but not full of distracting lyrics,” says Peck. Peck’s son is a first-grader in public school. “His routine is obviously different,

Homework is intended as practice for students who are trying to master important new skills. —Beckie Powell, 4th grade teacher Edmond mom of three Jae Eng has a specific routine for her brood. “When they get home from school, we let them play outside for half an hour to burn off a little energy. Then they come in and have a snack, and do their homework at the kitchen table as I start prepping dinner,” she says. “I like to give them a little time first. I figure they’ve been at school all day, they deserve half an hour to play before we jump right back in to schoolwork.” Other families prefer a get-down-to-business approach. John and Kristin Ford have a thirdgrade son and seventh-grade daughter. “Our routine is simple. They do homework at the dining room table first thing when they get home. No TV. No games. No anything until homework is done, even on Fridays. It works well for us,” says Kristin.

Set the Mood Just as important as setting a structured routine, creating the proper environment is key to homework success. This, too, will often vary from one child to the next. Edmond mom Angel Peck homeschools her 15-year-old daughter, so she has to create a schoolwork-friendly environment all day. “We start at about nine. She works at the dining room table, because it gets lots of bright sunlight. I think it’s important to create a positive environment that encourages work and discourages sleep. She has an assigned amount that she has to finish for the day. Occasionally, she ends up working until five, if she’s having a hard time focusing. But that’s not typical,” says Peck. She has

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because if there’s one thing I’ve figured out, it’s that children often learn completely differently. With him, he gets off the bus, and does homework first thing while he has a snack. I check everything, and make him redo anything that’s messy.” This gives her an opportunity to stay involved in her son’s schoolwork, much like she is in her daughter’s. The best strategy is often to be available and offer support, but not to hover. “Never do the work for your child,” says Powell. It’s a situation she has run into periodically over the years. “When parents do this, they’re really short-changing their child in so many ways. First, there’s no way for the teacher to really know how well they’re understanding the material. Second, when they’re not doing the work themselves, it can really affect their self-esteem,” says Powell. The best tips for homework success? Ask and answer questions. Create a routine. Remove distractions. Be supportive. Be available. Communicate. Help them get organized. Be a cheerleader, but not a helicopter. With a little patience and practice, you’ll be jumping homework hurdles in no time!

Shannon Fields is a freelance writer and single mom to two girls. An Edmond resident, she graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma and is an HR manager in the medical field.


April 2013 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Real Moms of the Metro Meet Tamara Prater: Journalist & Anti-Terrorism Advocate

T

Photo by Steffanie Halley, Steffanie Halley Photography.

amara Prater may be more familiar to some Oklahomans as Tamara Pratt, as she was widely known during her 12-year tenure in local broadcast journalism. Tamara served as an Emmy-award winning reporter and anchor at Oklahoma City’s CBS affiliate KWTV-TV before moving on to the career she says she “was meant for.” Since 2006, Prater has served as the Deputy Director of the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism.

“I have an incredible opportunity to use the skills from my previous life, in broadcast news, to impact communities throughout the United States,” she explains. “The apex of my journalism career was covering the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Now I am able to share those stories as well as the lessons learned and translate it into a positive teaching tool for law enforcement.” In her professional capacity, Prater oversees the day-to-day operations of the Institute, as well as all communications, outreach, community affairs, marketing and public relations. “The Institute is a well-kept secret in Oklahoma City,” Prater says. “On a near daily basis, we hear about threats to our security and the likelihood of another bombing campaign could easily be played out again. So watching the Institute’s training program build safer communities is incredibly fulfilling.” Prater has been married to Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater for 11 years, and says that her work outside the home plays a large role in her identity both in the community and as a mother. “I enjoy working outside the home and that experience, I believe, makes me a better mother,” she explains. “I know every minute I have with my children is precious and

Quick Facts About Tamara 1. What’s your favorite indulgence? Dr. Pepper from Sonic (I love the ice). 2. What’s on your playlist? Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and everything Adele sings. 3. What’s your favorite family outing? The OKC Zoo. 4. What’s your favorite TV show? Modern Family. 5. What’s always in your handbag? Hairspray and hand sanitizer.

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Tamara Prater, husband David, son Alexander (age 3) and daughter Kathryn (age 8).

I savor it. I’m very content with myself working and that makes me equally content at home.” Here’s more on how this 44-year-old mother of two works to balance work, family and the important mission given to the Institute nearly 18 years ago. What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? I like to quilt. My grandmother and I worked on my first quilt nearly nine years ago, when she was in her late 70’s. Seeing your handiwork come to life is very rewarding. Quilting by hand is truly a dying art. What are you passionate about? It may sound like a cliché, but family is my passion. My husband and I had our children later in life, and we are better parents as older parents. The pressure of climbing business ladders, being everything to everyone just isn’t there and we can focus all our attention on our babies and creating the best future possible for them. Where are you from originally? What brought you to Oklahoma? I grew up in Albuquerque and came to Oklahoma in 1986 to attend Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond.

www.metrofamilymagazine.com | April 2013

How has motherhood changed you? Motherhood has made me a better person— more compassionate, more attentive to details and better able to prioritize what’s important. How do you banish stress? I try to minimize the effects of stress with trips to the gym or a quick walk around the office complex. What inspires you? My daughter has an ability to look at life, take what’s given to her (good and bad) and really make lemonade out of lemons. As I watch her, it helps me move past my own insecurities and tackle more. Along with your job as a mom, what do you do? My most important job is raising Kathryn and Alexander, but I serve as the Deputy Director at the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. We were founded in 1995 by the family members and survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing who had the desire to create an Institute that would work to prevent terrorism in other communities. We train law enforcement around the nation in recognizing, responding to and reporting indicators of terrorism.


What is on your wish list? Minimal craziness, happy and content children and a few restful nights. What motivates you? Telling me I can’t do something. There’s nothing like a challenge to get your blood going and motivate you to be better. How do you find balance in your life? I constantly struggle with this one. It’s important for my daughter to see how you balance life, work and family. Advice for other moms? Enjoy every moment. I constantly have to remind myself that no matter how crazy it may seem, this is the season of life I’m in. I know I’m going to blink and it will be over, so I try and find those grace moments to savor. What’s the biggest challenge in your life? Maintaining balance between work and home and everything else. Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.

April 2013 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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www.metrofamilymagazine.com | April 2013


Let's Party! Our Party Guide in print and online helps you

Plan the best party ever! Find more about these businesses and other party ideas at:

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April 2013 | www.metrofamilymagazine.com

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Mom Gets the Last Laugh Test Flight

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Illustration by Emily Ball, http://emilymgball.com.

y son went to camp last summer. But, not the kind with archery. Instead, he visited the University of Kansas campus for a three-week fling with aerospace engineering. Because he scores well on standardized tests, Zander is invited to many Very Special Opportunities. The marketing for these academic enrichment programs consists of thinly-veiled sales pitches that good parents prove their love and support by sending gifted children to tours of Greek ruins and space camps—in actual space. Zander is in eighth grade this year, which in the language of college entrance calendars, loosely translates to you’d-better-hurryup-and-choose-a-major-or-risk-an-aimlessadulthood. Kids are supposed to start thinking about what they want to do in life in middle school, planning where they might want to study and building their resumes. At that age I was still collecting stickers and trying to figure out if culottes were friend or foe.

Society’s expectations of 13-year-olds have changed. That’s why, when we received the glossy brochure for engineering camp, we didn’t hesitate. Zander’s SAT scores were so high that we could legally send him to college now. (The kid makes a mean ramen. He’d be fine.) Not only was he eligible for the camp, but his math score qualified him for the demanding engineering curriculum. Plus, the camp was run by Duke University. When a leading university sends you a text-mergedfacsimile-signed letter, requesting your firstborn to attend their elite summer science institute, you write a check. Maybe you then call some grandparents or sell a sibling to cover that check, but not until it’s in the mail. I didn’t think we’d have to convince Zander that he wanted to go to camp. What teenage boy wouldn’t want to spend the summer learning about lift, thrust and—well, whatever else goes into flying? But my son wasn’t thrilled about spending his vacation doing math. He also admitted reluctance to being away from home for three weeks. Home is, after all, where the Xbox is. And the family. Zander is social, but not as interested in spending time with friends as family. Though he wasn’t saying so, I knew he’d miss my stir-fried broccoli, the baby names I call him when I tuck him in at night and his father’s daily table manners assessment. After weeks of pleas to his higher intelligence, it was food that finally closed the deal. I played the all-you-can-eat buffet card. This might have been a slight exaggeration, but that’s how I interpret the

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word “cafeteria.” All you can eat. He’d thank me later. Once Zander was in, I had to work on my husband, who was devastated to learn from the camp handbook that parents were strongly discouraged from visiting on weekends. John had intended to drive the three and a half hours to—what?—tell our son to take his elbows off the table? “He’ll be fine,” he said, to himself. Repeatedly. It took Zander less than five minutes to settle into the dorm room he’d be sharing with a kid from Houston. He joined a game of cards in the hall while we headed to the parent orientation, where the first order of business was homesickness. A young man who could have been a Lord of the Rings extra introduced himself as the counselor. He would work closely with children suffering from anxiety about being away from home. They had staff for that. I tried not to think about the tuition, but I was a bit anxious that Dr. Hobbit would probably earn more this summer than I would. Next up: the teachers. They lined up against the wall and introduced themselves and their subjects. We waited while the vibrant young grad students and new professors provided their bios and their subjects: creative writing, medical science, English literature. The

www.metrofamilymagazine.com | April 2013

introductions progressed down the line, each one bringing us one closer to the paunchy guy with the white crew cut. “I knew that was him,” John told me later. “That is one old school hard-core engineer.” I wondered if Zander would ever forgive us for making him waste three precious Halo skillbuilding weeks on math camp with grandpa and his pocket protector. But it was too late to back out now. The check had cleared, and once we had set up the new lamp and filled my son’s nightstand with Ritz Bitz and Oreos, it was time to leave. The walk down the hall was short, the elevator ride painful, and the drive home too quiet. In the weeks that followed, John fared as expected. “Did he call today?” I felt sorry for him, and a little guilty. I was enjoying the relative break of managing only one child. Still, it wasn’t all easy. I found myself taking my daughter to places she didn’t belong because I didn’t want to leave her home alone. But a girl’s got to learn about Happy Hour some time. After a week, John sent Zander a care package, and started making plans to make the trip for the second to last day of camp, when Zander’s class would perform a test flight of the gliders they engineered in class.


“Are other parents going to do that?” My husband didn’t answer. “Did he text?” “Should he?” “I thought maybe he would tell us about the dance.” Ah, yes, the dance. In addition to studying the principles that cause airplanes to stay in the air, the Boy and Girl Geniuses participated in many social events, such as movie night, scavenger hunts and dances. Unlike actual college, there were no red Solo cups filled with assorted liquors. (Not that we know of.) We didn’t get many details. Apparently describing awkward moments with the opposite sex is not the highlight of every 13-year-old’s day. All we got were simple answers, delivered on cue. We had asked Zander to call at least once a day. And every night he did, right before he went to bed, and not because he wanted to hear our voices as a stand-in to being tucked in. He had a more practical reason to call us as late as possible, after he’d been checked into his room. “I didn’t want to waste any of my free time,” he said. I’m guessing he never visited the Wizard of Homesickness. When I asked him to call his sister he said, “Tell her to text me.” Seems the experience was maturing him, nurturing a manly preference for minimalist communication. The evening before the last day of camp John prepped the car and mapped his route. He never fell into his typical deep sleep snore that night, and woke at five the next morning for the three-and-a-half hour drive. On the way home, they shared the cab of the truck with a nine-foot wing span glider, which had earned Zander an A. Once home, John wanted a demonstration, but the Styrofoam structure didn’t fly as well in the cul-de-sac as it had on the sprawling campus lawns. The deconstruction and reconstruction had altered its delicate balance, rendering it nothing more than a bulky memento. But the opposite was true for us. With my son home, our family was recalibrated. We had sailed past the mark of success and built confidence for the next challenge. Together, our symmetry was restored—at least until the next test. That night, at my son’s request, we had broccoli for dinner.

Lela Davidson is the author of Blacklisted from the PTA and Who Peed on My Yoga Mat?

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MetroFamily Magazine April 2013  

MetroFamily's April 2013 issue includes tons of ideas, activities and events for family fun in the Oklahoma City metro area.

MetroFamily Magazine April 2013  

MetroFamily's April 2013 issue includes tons of ideas, activities and events for family fun in the Oklahoma City metro area.