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November 2011

Over 198 fun family activities

25 easy steps to boost your attitude of gratitude

Unconditional happiness: It could be closer than you think Discover the new WONDERtorium in Stillwater

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November 2011 |


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what’s new at You could win big! Sign up to be eligible for these great prizes at contests.


Photo credit: Kathryne Taylor

Share a recipe, be eligible for a great prize and get recipes & ideas for your holiday meals through our Holiday Recipe Contest. Deadline is November 17.

We're providing many ways to help you get prepared for the upcoming holidays with less stress. 1. MetroFamily’s popular Holiday Fun Guide will be available online by November 15 ( and will include lighting festivals, church events, holiday stage performances and much more. 2. Share and get holiday recipes through our upcoming recipe contest ( 3. Get tips about where and how to take the best family/kid photos for the holidays at www. 4. Find other great holiday info at Save Money and Have More Fun with Mother Lode

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• Enter your favorite photo of your child in their Halloween costume (this year or previous years) for a chance to win a holiday getaway to the Gaylord Texan Resort in Grapevine, Texas! The trip— valued at nearly $1,000—includes twonight accommodations for a family of four, tickets to Dreamworks “Shrek the Halls” ice exhibit, an interactive character meal, themed scavenger hunt and more. Deadline for photo submission is November 3, then the public will vote from November 4-10. The entry with the most votes will win this awesome family getaway! • Our November Giveaway features many great family products valued at over $400. Deadline is November 17. • Enter our Holiday Recipe Contest! If your recipe is selected as the winner by local celebrity chef Christa Carretero of Cooking Girl (, you will win a $100 gift certificate to Cooking Girl. Plus, we’ll feature the winning recipe in our December issue! Deadline is November 17. • Follow us on Facebook ( metrofamily) and subscribe to Weekend Picks to learn of more great contests.

You could save big! Find valuable coupons to these businesses at okc-family-discounts. • Norman Ice Rink* • Edmond Outdoor Ice Rink* • Monarch Dental • Play Nation playground sets • Jump!Zone • Gymboree classes • GattiTown * NOTE: Available starting November 15. PLUS, while there, learn more about the savings to over 30 Oklahoma attractions with Kids Pass!

Living Your Best Life November 2011

Moms: feeling run-down and overwhelmed?

35 Calendar

Fun events, activities and classes plus a holiday listing preview

We’ve got a battle plan for finding the energy to tackle your day. 6

Dear MetroFamily Editor’s Note

32 Exploring Oklahoma

Visit Stillwater’s fun new WONDERtorium Children's Museum


24 Family Finances

Talking money with your honey



A simple three-step process to find happiness right where you are.

Family Shorts

Community news & information

28 Focus on Education

Moving from PASS to Common Core Standards: What it means for your students

22 Oklahoma Reads Great reads for all

46 Photo Gallery

Our readers show off their sporty kids and families


Practice an attitude of gratitude: Thirty ways to get grateful now.

30 Real Moms of the Metro

Supermom is alive and living in Oklahoma City! Meet Allyson Reneau

14 Your Healthy Family

Inside the State of the State Health Report

COVER PHOTO © Brad Calkins |

November 2011 |


Dear MetroFamily, Where do you find happiness? Look around; it might be closer than you think. On my fridge, I keep a 12"x12" piece of paper that I’ve plastered with quotes, fortunes, inspirational or amusing words that I’ve clipped from here or there, or even found on fortune cookies. I posted these little words to remind me of things like “happiness is the journey, not the destination” and to “work smarter, not harder!” or that “it’s not rocket surgery.” These words help me find motivation where none exists, make me smile and sometimes make me think. But I didn’t realize that I wasn’t the only one in the house taking these words of wisdom to heart. One day, my son Spencer said to me: “There’s one thing I know for sure about life, Mom; it goes on. I read that on the fridge.” The point is, our actions matter. Even something so small as posting a positive note where someone else can see it can impact their day. When we live our lives to the best of our abilities and treat happiness as the path and not the outcome, others will notice. Remember that happiness is a choice, a sometimes difficult one, that is made in each moment. I work hard to find the silver lining in each moment, which is not always easy to do, but the outcome is well worth it. In this issue, we include many ways for you, our readers and busy parents, to find small ways to connect with those small moments of happiness all around you; to be grateful for this journey and to positively impact others along your way. Cheers,

Top: Fall weather arrived just in time for our trip to the pumpkin patch. Middle: Our fridge door offers advice! Bottom: Great fun on fall break at the OKC Zoo.


P.S. Visit to read my blog, “Keeping it Real,” about my personal adventures in the ups and downs of parenting. | November 2011

Info And Questions: 405-601-2081 To submit events to our calendar Publisher Sarah L. Taylor Editor Mari M. Farthing Art Director Kathryne Taylor Advertising Sales Athena Delce Dana Price Amy Lou Tuzicka Office and Distribution Manager Kathy Alberty Assistant Editor Brooke Barnett Calendar Editor Sara Riester Special Projects Assistant Terri Fields Contributing Writers Brooke Barnett, Julie Dill, Shannon Fields, Sandra Gordon, Kelly James-Enger, Marti MacGibbon, Karen Mitchell, Sue Lynn Sasser, Kim Seidel, Heide Smith-Luedtke Circulation 35,000 – OKC, Edmond, Nichols Hills, Norman, Moore, Midwest City, Yukon Also available as a digital edition at 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 Fax: 405-445-7509 E-mail: ©Inprint Publishing, Inc. 2011, All Rights Reserved. Volume 14, Number 11

November 2011 |


Contributing writers: Brooke Barnett, Mari Farthing

Cutting Clutter Now

Time To Spare By Kim Seidel

The fall months offer the perfect time to reduce some clutter and get organized before the holidays and winter sets in. I’ve learned the hard way that clutter in my home brings stress from the distraction and chaos it can cause. I’m no expert, but following are my tried and true tips that can easily work for anyone who wants to live more simply with less clutter. • Define clutter. My clutter may be someone else’s treasure. A guideline: if you never use it, and you don’t even like it, it’s probably clutter. • Work with the seasons. Autumn provides an ideal time to think about revitalizing your home. As you put away your lighter wardrobe, consider whether to store it or get rid of it. Most likely, your children have outgrown clothing and games. To stay on top of clutter, repeat each season. • Create space for Goodwill boxes. Maintain a place in your home to store items to donate. When the box is full, donate it. • Enlist help. Ask a friend to help you to provide encouragement and motivation to clear your clutter. • Go through toys, tools, books and other belongings with your family. What you may consider their prized possessions may mean nothing to them. Keep the memories without all of the stuff. • Touch papers once. Many experts suggest handling all of those papers (bills, junk mail, school notes) just one time, either to file or discard. Don’t allow papers to pile up. • Have a place for everything. Eliminate those monster piles by having a spot for everything. Encourage family members to put things back when done using them. • One step at a time. Take it from someone who has been there, it’s too overwhelming to de-clutter your entire home in one day or even a week or a month. Choose a room or a closet, even a single drawer, and work on it step by step. Eventually, you will find yourself living in less clutter and enjoying more space and peace.

Question of the Month Our holiday meal would not be as special without serving up this recipe... Visit to fill in the blank and enter your name in our monthly prize package drawing, valued at over $400. Deadline to enter is Thursday, November 17. Your comments may also be used in a future issue of MetroFamily Magazine or on our website. The full contents of the prize package are listed on the entry form.

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8.5% 25.6%


What do you do on days when your “To Do” list is empty? 82 total responses

Get out and visit that place we’ve been meaning to get to. Nothing! We are going to enjoy a nice, relaxing day. Chores. Days like this were made to get those things done that we always seem to forget about. Other


Parents are busy people. Between the responsibilities of work and home life, we also juggle after-school activities, social obligations and other commitments that can make time feel like it is flying by at a break-neck speed. It is often a rare treat to find a day (or even an afternoon!) with which we can spend the time as we like. Our October Question of the Month asked our readers to share what they do on days when their “To Do” lists are empty. Over 52%, said that they use the time to get out and enjoy places that they have been meaning to visit. The next highest category, nearly 26%, indicate that they use the unexpected break for a little R&R or to just enjoy a relaxing day. Nearly 14%, says that they use the extra time to catch up on chores and tackle other things they’ve been meaning to take care of, while just over 8% indicated that they do a mix of things with the found time. Our readers shared more about what they would do with free time with their families: • Aaron B. of Lawton uses the time to enjoy fun with his son. “We have a two-year-old, so we try to make each moment count and full of new experiences for him. I think the best days we have are when my son jumps up and grabs my hand and leads me to his cars saying 'dada' over and over. We sit on the floor and play cars and then jump up and race around the house until we are all laughing from just being silly.” • Extra time equals time to get out and explore for Lara G. of Edmond. “Life is too short to worry about dust bunnies.” • Melinda D. of Yukon and her family use extra time to enjoy all the great opportunities for fall fun. “We love to be outdoors in the fall, whether it is going to a Festival, the State Fair, the Zoo, or a wine tasting. We are always looking for events that allow us to enjoy the beautiful fall weather.” • Oklahoma City mom Christi M. thinks extra time is the perfect chance to catch up on adventures with her daughter. “Too often as a single mom, the little stuff gets in the way: yard work, housework, laundry, errands. If my to do list was empty, I would take my daughter to explore the little things this city and state has to offer. Besides, if I were at home trying to relax, I am sure I could find a chore to do!” • For Laura S. of Edmond, down time is perfect for family bonding. “Tickles and making cookies, playing video games together—just playing and enjoying each other’s company without deadlines or expectations. That’s the good stuff that we never seem to make time for.” Visit to read more about how our readers enjoy spending their spare time.


Character Corner: Contentment

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

Especially with the holidays coming soon, it’s likely that in many households the words “But I want it...” will often be heard. Now is the time to work on your family’s understanding and practice of “contentment.”


Being content means that you realize that true happiness does not depend on material conditions. Being content in your life leads to health and happiness; discontent leads to envy and dissatisfaction.

You’re de-motivated because you can’t track your workout progress.


The Wahoo Run/Gym Fitness Pack connects to your iPod or iPhone to allow you to track your distance, heart rate and others stats in one easy package. ($120,


Contentment is the greatest treasure. ~ Lao Tzu

To promote contentment in your home: •  Focus on building relationships through time spent together, not extravagant entertainment. •  Take focus off of material goods; strive to have fewer things and enjoy them more. •  Avoid unnecessary temptations and purchases. Encourage contentment in your home by committing to the following statements. Say these “I will” statements aloud with your children, and encourage them to apply them to situations in their everyday life.

You just want to carry your keys and phone, but fanny packs went out with neon zebra stripes!


I will:

The Hipzbag is an update on the fanny pack, allowing you to use the attached strap or clip the pouch directly to your belt loops so you can carry your necessities hands-free on the go. ($25,

… be thankful for what I do have. … not complain about what I don’t have. … not always ask for “one more.” … value people above things. … want less and give more.


Contact Character First! for more character-building resources. To learn more, call 405-815-0001 or visit


Everyday Play: Crafts for the Thanksgiving Table

You have slippery fingers when it comes to your electronics. Pelican cases for phones and laptops provide cushioned, hardsided care for your easy-to-drop electronics. (phone case $37, laptop case $80,


A wardrobe malfunction is ruining your day.


Keep slipping straps in check with the isabelt Strap Secure, which clips to your bra strap and keeps them from slipping. ($10/up,


Your highlighter is not working on that inkjet printout!


Sharpie Gel Highlighters don’t smear freshly-printed copy. ($5, www.sharpie. com)


Your little one is afraid of the dark.


Mobi’s GloMate Plus LED nightlight will ease your little one to sleep with a portable light that boasts a 15 minute dim-to-sleep cycle. ($20,

In addition to strengthening your child’s scissor skills, this craft can be used to create a fun and attractive holiday table. Paper Flowers improve scissor skills and strengthen eye-hand coordination. You’ll need: •

Thin 8.5"x11" paper in various colors • Chenille sticks • Child-safe scissors Have your child select the colored paper they wish to use for their flower and cut it in half creating an 8.5" x 5.5" rectangle. Demonstrate how to accordion-fold the paper beginning on the long edge. Ask her to hold the pleated paper while you Five-year-old Murphy Barnett shows off a few wind one end of the chenille stick of the many flowers she created. around the center of the paper. Then, help her gently separate the layers of the paper to form a flower. To display her creations, place them into a piece of Styrofoam, arrange as desired and place into a small flowerpot to serve as a centerpiece or beautiful gift. Find another fun Place Mat activity at our website, november-2011. Happy Thanksgiving! Excerpted and used with permission from the Gryphon House book, Everyday Play: Fun Games to Develop the Fine Motor Skills Your Child Needs for School by Christy Isbell. November 2011 |


Fix Common Healthy Eating Mistakes

Apply Now for Youth Leadership Oklahoma

By Kelly James-Enger

Even the smartest parents make mistakes when it comes to feeding their kids. You may limit candy and chips, but for healthier, leaner kids, make sure you’re not making these common mistakes: 1.

Too much fast food. While an occasional drive-thru run is fine, if your minivan is littered with empty fry boxes, it’s time to think like a Boy Scout and be prepared. Make your own “snack packs” by keeping bags of whole grain cereal or dried fruit in the car, along with nuts, granola bars and dried fruit for quick, healthy snacks.

2. Too many sweet drinks. Calorieladen beverages like soda, sports drinks or juice bring a lot of sugar and empty calories but little nutritional value. Offer water instead, and limit sweet drinks to once a day or a few times a week. 3.


Short-order cooking. Eating what you’ve made helps kids develop their palates and teaches them the basics of good nutrition, setting the groundwork for the future. Offer children a parent-directed choice, like, “We’re going to have a vegetable with dinner because vegetables are healthy and good for our bodies. Would you like carrots or green beans?” Then tell them the kitchen is closed.

Leadership Oklahoma, a statewide leadership program, is now accepting applications for its 2012 Youth Leadership Oklahoma (YLOK) class, scheduled for June 10-15, 2012. The program is designed to be educational and inspiring, and to instill a sense of hope, pride and responsibility for Oklahoma’s future in young leaders. A week-long journey across the state, YLOK introduces high school students to the leaders, issues, resources and cultural treasures of Oklahoma. To date, over 550 students from over 204 schools have participated in the program. Many have called the experience “life changing.” Applicants must be high school juniors, or home schooled equivalent, with at least a 3.25 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Criteria for selection include demonstrated leadership ability in activities such as student council, athletics and service clubs in their schools and communities, as well as an exhibited commitment to community service and extracurricular activities. Participants are also considered on the basis of geographic, racial and cultural diversity. YLOK chooses 50 applicants each year. Completed applications must be received in the Leadership Oklahoma office (5500 N. Western, Suite 142, Oklahoma City) no later than 5:00pm on Thursday, December 1, 2011. Applications may be downloaded from the Leadership Oklahoma website at www. or by calling 405-848-0001.

Get Inspired at the Edmond Women’s Club Holiday Home Tour For those who enjoy seeing beautiful holiday decorations or want to find some holiday decorating inspiration, the Edmond Women’s Club is hosting a 2011 Holiday Home Tour in Edmond. The tour will take place from 10:00am-5:00pm on Saturday, November 19 and noon-4pm on Sunday, November 20. Proceeds will benefit various Edmond-area charities that have applied for grant support for the 2011-2012 year. Previous grant recipients include Boys Ranch Town, Edmond Mobile Meals, Edmond Family Counseling and the Hope Center.

Doing it all. Bring your kids to the store. Have them pick healthy foods they want to try. Cook simple recipes together, and let them help in the kitchen. The more involved they are, the more interested they’ll be in eating what you want them to.

5. Using food as a reward. Dessert may be a treat, but teaching kids to consider food as fuel is an important concept to share. Help your kids tune in to their bodies and determine whether they are hungry or satisfied. Keeping from labeling foods as “bad” or “good” will also help kids develop healthy eating habits. 6.

Failing to walk the walk. Finally, your kids will model your behavior, not what you tell them to do. If you want them to eat nutritiously, be a role model and do the same thing.


Local retailers and designers will decorate five homes in the Rose Creek housing addition (17001 N May) for the holiday season. A vendor market will also be located in the Rose Creek clubhouse. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 on the day of the event, and are available online or from the participating vendors found at “We are excited to bring back the Holiday Market this year. Guests can really make a day of it,” explains club member Tish Head. “Come shop the market, have lunch at Rose Creek’s clubhouse and tour five beautiful homes. We are looking forward to lots of fun!” Edmond Women’s Club is a volunteer organization composed of community-spirited women who have combined their talents to promote the cultural, civic, educational, and community efforts of the City of Edmond. More information is available at | November 2011

Ten Metro-Area Photo Spots Just in time for holiday cards and giftgiving, we polled our readers for a list of favorite places to take family photos and here are their top choices: 1. Local parks (such as Hafer, Will Rogers, Martin Nature Center and Lake Hefner) 2. The OKC Zoo 3. The Spring Creek Shopping Center in Edmond 4. The Myriad Gardens 5. The OU Campus in Norman 6. Lake Overholser Park in Yukon The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art on the OU Campus featuring the new wing.

7. The State Capitol

OU Art Museum Opens New Stuart Wing After four years of planning, construction and preparations, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma opened its new Stuart Wing in October. The Stuart Wing includes a new gallery to house the acclaimed Adkins Collection, which is one of the nation’s most important private collections of Taos and Native American artists. The new Stuart Wing, with renovations, includes 27,480 square feet of exhibition space, bringing the total exhibition space in the museum to approximately 40,000 square feet.

8. The Chesapeake Boathouse on the Oklahoma River 9. The Chesapeake Energy campus 10. Historic neighborhoods (such as Midtown, Automobile Alley and Bricktown)

Families can explore the new wing and the museum’s ongoing schedule of special exhibitions by enjoying free admission every Tuesday from 10:00am-5:00pm. In addition, the museum will hold a special Family Day on Sunday, November 20 from 1:00-4:00pm. In addition to offering free admission, the event offers families a chance to explore art in the museum’s permanent collection and temporary exhibitions and enjoy a variety of hands-on art activities.

Visit www. family-photo-tips for more details about these locations (including addresses) and to get tips about taking better family and kid photographs given by professional photographer Randy Taylor of Taylor Made Photography in Edmond.

The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm St, Norman) is located in the OU Arts District on the corner of Elm Avenue and Boyd Street on the University of Oklahoma—Norman campus. For more information, visit or call 405-325-4938.

And join us at metrofamily to contribute to our next "top 10" list poll.

100 Years of Girl Scouts Since 1912, more than 50 million girls have been Girl Scouts. Nearly eighty percent of business owners, sixty-eight percent of female legislators and virtually every female astronaut who has flown in space grew up with Girl Scouts. Since the organization was founded, nearly 880,000 volunteers have served as a positive presence and guiding force for American girls. During the past 100 years, Girl Scouts has made improving the lives of girls and inspiring girls to improve the world around them its singular mission. To commemorate its this milestone, Girl Scouts of the USA is launching a yearlong celebration to begin in 2012. “We are using the 100th anniversary to showcase all the work and accomplishments of women in Oklahoma,” explains Cathy Stackpole, CEO of Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma. “We’ve created Troop 1912, a special group of current and former elected officials to help us share the story of Girl Scouts and how it has made a difference in their lives.” Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma will celebrate Girl Scout Day at the State Capitol on March 21, 2012 which will include representation from Girl Scouts from across the state, activities, booths and a special resolution from Governor (and former Girl Scout) Mary Fallin. “Girl Scouts helps girls find their voice,” Stackpole adds. “This anniversary is really about capacity building. By showing what we’ve done in the past 100 years, it can help us prepare for the next 100 years.”

In addition, the 100th anniversary will include a commemorative book (Girl Scouts: A Celebration of 100 Trailblazing Years, Stewart, Tabori & Chang; $29.95), a special 100th anniversary commemorative patch that Girl Scouts can earn by doing 100 good deeds, a limited-edition postage stamp and more. For more information, visit November 2011 |


12 | November 2011

November 2011 |


Your Healthy Family The State of the State: Oklahoma's Health


klahoma is known for many positive things. We are among the nation’s top producers of natural gas and crude oil. We have one of the fastest growing economies and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. We have rich traditions in the sports programs of our state universities. There is one thing, however, that makes our great state a little less great. Oklahoma was the 46th state to enter the union, and our citizens also rank 46th in overall health. The recent release of the State Department of Health’s State of the State health report offers a few bright spots, but offers little encouragement when it comes to long-standing problems like obesity and tobacco use.

Room for Improvement First, the good news…that number 46 ranking is actually an improvement from three years ago, when we ranked 49th. That may be due in part to the fact that the rate of uninsured Oklahomans between the ages of 18 and 64 has decreased considerably since the previous report. In addition, Oklahoma ranks among the top 20 in the nation when it comes to childhood immunizations. While Oklahoma’s tobacco use rates continue to be well above the national average, tobacco use among our youth population has decreased. More Oklahomans have quit using tobacco than in previous years, so we appear to be making headway. The rest of the report paints a much bleaker picture of the health of our state as a whole. Oklahoma has a higher overall mortality rate and a lower life expectancy than the national average. The state health report card gives a grade of “D” for overall infant mortality rate as well, possibly due to low rates of prenatal care. Oklahoma earns a grade of “F” for its heart disease, stroke, and diabetes death rates, all much higher than the national average. These trends point directly to two of Oklahoma’s most dangerous health problems: obesity and tobacco use.

While Oklahoma has made tremendous strides in preventing tobacco use in recent years, Stephens feels there is not yet enough emphasis put on prevention. “I think we should continue to focus on speaking to children while they are young in order to convince them that smoking is simply not an option. It would be wonderful if we could include more of this type of education in our school’s curricula,” says Stephens.

Obesity Oklahoma continues to be one of the fattest states in the nation, with nearly one third of our population qualifying as overweight or obese. According to Stephens, “I firmly believe the best way to combat obesity is exercise. Almost everyone who is obese could lose at least some weight by increasing his or her level of physical activity. According to the report, 31.4 percent of Oklahomans report getting no regular exercise whatsoever. I would suspect another 30 percent get very little. We should all strive to get at least 30 minutes a day of sustained physical activity. I usually recommend that people begin with 20 minutes of walking three times per week and work up from there,” says Stephens. He feels that most people should be able to work up to one hour of sustained exercise daily. “Tell your family and friends that you are committing to a regular exercise program so they can hold you accountable,” he suggests.

Further Efforts

Smoking Edmond physician Vail Stephens specializes in Family and Preventive Medicine, and recently joined the practice at Integrative Medical Solutions after practicing for four years in Shawnee. His practice focuses on complex issues such as hypertension, disease, heart failure, and thyroid disease as well as common issues such as depression, back aches, and headaches. So what should be done about the staggering 25 percent of Oklahomans still using


tobacco? “One of the best options is an initiative implemented by our state involving a toll-free number, 1-800-QUIT-NOW, which smokers can call for free assistance with quitting smoking,” says Stephens. Furthermore, “there are several prescription medications available that can successfully be used by some to quit smoking.” Those considering trying to kick the habit should speak with their healthcare providers. “Many times just discussing the potentially devastating conditions that can result from smoking is enough to help people get motivated to quit,” says Stephens.

While reducing tobacco use and obesity are the biggest tools in combating heart disease, Dr. Stephens also emphasizes the importance of regular checkups. “There is an epidemic of adult men in our state who do not have a personal healthcare provider. Often they avoid doctors like the plague. Women are taught from a young age to see the doctor at least on an annual basis, but most healthy young men are not taught to obtain a periodic wellness exam. Once he reaches his teens, he may escape the notice of the medical field for | November 2011

decades,” says Stephens. “This allows heart disease to slowly and insidiously develop, and often a man will experience a major event such as a heart attack or hospitalization before the problem is even discovered. I believe if we teach these men to regularly see a physician for a preventive examination, we could catch a lot of heart disease before it develops,” says Stephens. There are established risk factors that predispose many Oklahomans to develop coronary artery disease, such as obesity, tobacco use, family history, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Improving any of these parameters can lower your risk of heart disease. “The single most important action anyone can take to prevent heart disease is to stop smoking. Diabetics or pre-diabetics can improve blood sugar control. Those who are overweight or obese can lose weight. And everyone over 30 should have a preventive examination and a blood pressure check, with common blood tests done every year or two. To make these evaluations more effective, seek and establish a relationship with a healthcare provider whom you trust,” says Stephens. Oklahoma’s 2011 State of the State Health Report and state report card shows a need for dramatic improvement in several areas. Oklahomans need to put a greater emphasis on prevention in general. Increasing physical activity, eliminating tobacco use, eating well, and getting regular checkups are sure ways to get Oklahoma on a healthier track. Want to read the full report? Visit www. to find more. Shannon Fields is a freelance writer from Edmond and a Certified Pharmacy Technician at Innovative Pharmacy Solutions.

Suggested Action Steps In addition to working on our own family’s health, how can metro parents impact Oklahoma’s health report card? Here are action tips to consider: • Get involved with your child’s school, working to improve the quality of cafeteria food being served and the amount of physical exercise kids are allowed. • Organize a group of neighborhood walkers and discuss ways you can impact the activity level of families in your own area. • Work to make sure your area park has plenty of fun and safe equipment to encourage family activities.

November 2011 |


© Monkey Business Images |

Gratitude in Action:

30 Ways to Give Thanks Gratitude is an active process of acknowledging goodness and recognizing its source, according to Robert Emmons, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and author of Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier (Houghton Mifflin, 2007). “While gratitude is pleasant, it is not easy,” Emmons notes. “We have to work at it.”

16 | November 2011

The following are easy ways to get grateful: 1.

Start a gratitude journal. List three things you’re grateful for each day.

2. Give a thank you note to someone who doesn’t expect it. 3. Give a bouquet of fall flowers to someone you appreciate. 4.

Set a grateful example. Say “thank you” for kids’ help with table-setting or toy cleanup.


Light a candle and focus on a recent blessing. Visit www. for a virtual version.


Bring dinner to someone who nurtures others. Soup and bread are perfect for sharing.

8. Make collages of the people, places and opportunities for which you’re most grateful. Laminate your creations to use as a placemats. 9. Take a walk through the woods and be thankful for the changing seasons. 10. Go online to merchants who make or sell objects you love and leave a positive review. The merchant (and the next shopper) will appreciate it. 11. Plan a date night with your spouse or child. Tune in to what makes you smile, laugh and sigh when you’re together. 12. Decorate your table with fall gourds or flowers to celebrate the beauty of nature. 13. Bake “thank you” bread using a monkey bread recipe (www. has many ideas). As each family member pulls off each piece, have them share something for which they are grateful. 14. Remember bad times, like frustrations, failures and losses, and consider how things have improved. Focus on resiliency and renewal. 15. Inspire others. Use social media to describe one unexpected blessing you’ve received. 16. Post thankful expressions in visible locations at home and at work. 17. Stop by the principal’s office and tell her three things you appreciate about your child’s teacher, coach or curriculum.

Thankfulness Begins at Home We asked our Facebook fans: How would you complete this sentence? “The way I help my child learn to be thankful is __________” and here is what they said: 1. To show him others who have less. My kids volunteer a few times a year. – Karen P. 2. It might sound hokey, but I teach my children that we are rich in things that matter, like love. – Mari F. 3. Helping others less fortunate and leading by example. – Robin D. 4. By showing my children how and what God has saved us from and all we have to be thankful for. – Lori H. 5. To show them that I am thankful! Everything we do rubs off on our kids!! – Mary L. Join the dialogue at

© Sonya Etchison |

6. Help someone. Make a microloan to someone who needs it to get back on their feet. Learn more at www.worldvisionmicro. org or

18. Perform a random act of coffee kindness. In line at the coffee counter or drive-thru, pay for the drink of the patron behind you. Your generosity will boost their energy and their mood. 19. Speak up publicly (at work or at church) to highlight others’ help and support. Your recognition might be just what someone needs today. © Chris Valentine |

20. Write a letter of thanks to each of your children. Explain how they’ve changed your life for the better. Give the notes now, or tuck them into kids’ baby books. 21. Appreciate your pets. Pet your dog or cat for 10 minutes, and focus on times you’ve shared. Be grateful for your pet’s unconditional love. 22. Practice random thankfulness. Pick simple cues—like common words—or set an alarm. Use them to trigger thankful thoughts. 23. Uproot worn-out flowers and plant bulbs in their place. Anticipate spring. Optimism is gratitude to grow on. 24. Volunteer your time and talents to serve others. Visit www. to find a list of local organizations in need of your help. 25. Take a picture of your family holding “thank you” signs. Design an e-card or print custom notes to send to holiday giftgivers.

Heidi Smith Luedtke is a freelance writer, mother of two, and former educator. Follow her blog on parenting as leadership at www.

November 2011 |


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November 2011 |


Energy Plan

Fantasy: You downsize your to-do list, ignore your computer and phone, and delegate your responsibilities as a mom, daughter, wife, sister, coworker, or boss. Reality: You’ve got more to do than ever, with hundreds of e-mails flooding your in-box, homework to help with, carpools to loads of laundry piling up and a new baby and puppy to boot. Sound familiar? Then maximize your energy level by tweaking your daily habits. This hour-by-hour guide can help you power up your day so you can multitask more efficiently and feel peppier while you’re at it.

7:00am: Embrace the Sunshine When you wake up in the morning, your circadian rhythm, an alertness cycle, peaks. Still, it generally takes an average of about 25 minutes to

20 | November 2011

go from groggy to fully awake. To speed the process, open the shades and turn on the lights. Sunlight or bright artificial light travels to your brain’s internal clock to trigger alertness. Morning light exposure is especially important, though, because it sets your 24-hour circadian cycle so you’ll be sleepy at bedtime.

8:00am: Breakfast Breakfast raises blood sugar (glucose), which fuels your brain and body. However, low-fiber carbs like donuts or a plain bagel can cause glucose to spike, which can make you feel tired. To stabilize that energyzapping roller coaster, pack a protein punch at breakfast. Healthy, highprotein options include lowfat cottage cheese (11 grams of protein per ½ cup), skim milk (10 grams of protein in one cup) or Greek yogurt (14 grams of protein per six ounce serving). Keep in mind that kids who eat breakfast can concentrate better and have healthier diets. So emphasize how important breakfast is and be a role model. “If you’re not eating breakfast yourself, it’s going to be hard to get your child to value it,” says Elizabeth Ward, M.S., R.D., author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Feeding Your Baby and Toddler.

© Marsel82 |

The 24-Hour

9:00am: Coffee Caffeine is as potent as breakfast to get you going. According to a recent study in the International Journal of Neuroscience, those who consumed a 440-calorie breakfast or 200 milligrams of caffeine (roughly two cups of coffee) had more mental energy and performed better on two separate computerized cognitive tests than those who didn’t have either. But don’t gulp down your daily dose in one sitting. A study involving U.S. Navy Seals found that an average of 300 mg of caffeine (equivalent to three cups of coffee) consumed throughout the day is optimal for mental and physical performance. Besides boosting brain power and memory, caffeine makes you feel more vigorous and improves mood, says Harris R. Lieberman, Ph.D., a research psychologist with the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Massachusetts.

10:00am-Noon: Tackle Big Tasks All morning, your circadian cycle is on the rise, so take advantage of your natural alertness and tackle your most mentally-challenging projects before lunch, whether it’s organizing your child’s toy room or doing a first draft of a report at work. Need a motivation lift? Get another 100-mg hit of caffeine or head to a window or a bright light. Studies show that even just 50 seconds of light exposure throughout the day can jolt your brain and make you feel more attentive.

Noon: Protein & High-Fiber Lunch Your goal is to keep your blood sugar constant. So it’s time to eat again, especially if it has been at least three hours since your last meal. For lunch, think vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, fresh fruit, and a small amount of healthy fat. Need ideas? • Sliced turkey on whole-grain bread with a smear of mayo and a pear with a glass of skim milk. • Whole-grain crackers, baby carrots, ½ cup hummus and an orange. • A whole-grain roll, 1 cup lentil soup, grape tomatoes and a peach. Don’t skip lunch no matter how busy you are taking care of everybody else.

1:00-3:00pm: Nap or Caffeine This is the time of day when your circadian rhythm will naturally dip whether you eat or not so you’ll feel a natural drop in alertness. “The need for a short nap is actually part of our hardwiring,” says Dr. Alejandro Chediak, Medical Director of the Miami Sleep Disorders Center. So nab at least 20 minutes of shut-eye now if you can. When your kids go down for their nap, take their cues and recharge too. If napping isn’t an option, a 100-mg caffeinated beverage like a cup of coffee can help you power through the slump, which will be stronger if you’re sleep deprived. Caffeine generally takes eight to 12 hours to get out of your system, so cut yourself off after this so it doesn’t disrupt your sleep later. If you still feel caffeinated at bedtime, push up your last caffeine hit to noon. Blood levels of caffeine peak about 30 to 45 minutes after you’ve consumed it. Another option: Light exposure (again) or physical activity. At any time of the day, exercise will pep you up because it increases your body temperature and the release of epinephrine, the adrenaline level in your brain. Even a walk around the block with your kids or a few on-the-spot push-ups can help.

3:00pm: Hydrate By now, your circadian cycle is rising again so now’s the time to dive back in to mentally-demanding projects if you haven’t already. Need a motivation boost? Try drinking some water. Mild dehydration can sour your mood and contribute to fatigue and confusion, according to a recent study in Perceptual and Motor Skills. “Even if you’re just sitting at your desk and feeling a little droopy, drinking a glass of water couldn’t hurt,” says Kristen D’Anci, Ph.D., research associate in the psychology department at Tufts University, the study’s lead researcher.

In general, women need 2.7 liters (roughly 11 cups) of fluid daily, which you can get by consuming anything watery, including coffee, soup, oranges and watermelon. You’re drinking enough to optimize your energy level if your urine is pale or clear.

4:00pm: Aromatherapy To help yourself power through the rest of the afternoon, keep a bottle of rosemary essential oil handy and give it a sniff. In a recent study in the International Journal of Neuroscience, subjects who sniffed a cotton ball doused with the essential oil reported feeling more alert with corresponding brain activity to back it up. “What you smell goes directly to the brain so you get an immediate effect,” says Miguel A. Diego, Ph.D., the study’s lead researcher at the University of Miami School of Medicine. Peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils may be equally as effective. The purest essentials oils (available at health food stores) have the most potent effect so buy the most concentrated you can find, he advises.

5:00-6:30pm: Exercise A vigorous workout will initially make you tired because it depletes glycogen, the stored form of carbohydrate in your muscles and the liver, and muscles require energy for repair. “But in the long run, as you build up more muscle and stamina, exercise gives you more energy,” says Susan Roberts, Ph.D., professor of nutrition at the USDA Nutrition Center at Tufts University in Boston and author of The “I” Diet. Ideally, it’s best to get a major fitness fix in this time window—four to six hours before going to bed. “Falling asleep is easier when your body is internally going from warm to cold. That happens about four to six hours after exercise,” Dr. Chediak says.

6:30-7:30pm: Dinner Time Eating dinner now is important because you’ve just exercised. “Eating within 30 minutes of working out helps your muscles refuel and repair so you won’t feel depleted the next day,” says Amanda Carlson, M.S., R.D., director of nutrition and research at Athlete’s Performance in Phoenix. It also ensures that you won’t go to bed on a full stomach, which can interfere with a good night’s sleep—the ultimate fatigue fighter.

7:30-9:00pm: Take a Shower Now, after the kids are in bed, is the perfect time for a hot shower or bath. Like exercise, hot water raises your body temperature. As it falls, you’ll feel sleepier so you’ll be primed to hit the sack in an hour or so. On the other hand, if you need to burn the midnight oil, take a cold shower. “It gets you going because cold water causes your brain to release epinephrine, which increases vigilance,” says Kingman P. Strohl, M.D., director of the Center for Sleep Disorders Research at the Louis Stoke Cleveland DVA Medical Center. A study of 149 resident physicians found that showering was one of the main strategies they used to cope with on-the-job fatigue.

9:30pm-7:00am: Sleep By around 9:30pm, your circadian drive plummets and the pressure to sleep, which builds up the longer you’re awake, is strong. “Even just a single night of disrupted sleep or a few hours of chronic sleep loss each night can influence how vigorous and how alert you feel the next day,” Dr. Lieberman says. Aim for seven to nine hours of solid shut-eye each night. Seem impossible when you’ve got little kids? Try moving your bedtime. A recent study in the journal Sleep suggests that you can get in the extra energizing sleep your brain craves by simply turning off the TV 40 to 78 minutes earlier.

Sandra Gordon writes about health, nutrition and parenting for websites and national magazines. Find her at November 2011 |


Oklahoma Reads Great Reads for All Early Readers Giving Thanks By Jonathan London, Paintings by Gregory Manchess (Candlewick Press, softcover, $8) A simple walk through the wilderness provides a father the perfect opportunity to teach his son about the importance of being thankful for our world. Pig Kahuna By Jennifer Sattler (Bloomsbury Children’s Book, hardcover, $15) Fergus and his brother Dink love the beach but it’s not until they discover “Dave” that they will face their fear and get in the water. A great lesson in taking a chance to learn a lesson. Me… Jane By Patrick McDonnell (Little, Brown and Co, hardcover, $16) How did a little girl named Jane become one of the world’s leading primate advocates? Read about the adventures of young Jane that inspired her to become Dr. Goodall. Press Here by Hervé Tullet (Chronicle Kids, hardcover, $15) It can be difficult to engage digital kids with a non-digital book, but this one will. A fun, interactive book that will have you turning back to page one to read it again. Alphabet Kids books Created by Allegra Joyce Kassin (Toychest Interactive, softcover, $5 each) Allegra, Elena, Isaac, Oni, Umar and Yang are an ethnicallydiverse group of children called the Alphabet Kids. Through this book series, the kids teach about how even though we are all very different, we have much in common.

Over the River and Through the Wood By L. Maria Child, illustrated by Matt Tavares (Candlewick Press, hardcover, $17) A beautifully-illustrated version of the beloved Thanksgiving poem that was first published in 1844 as A New-England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day and based on the childhood memories of author Maria Child. This book is destined to become a holiday staple. Big Turtle By David McLimans (Bloomsbury Kids, hardcover, $18) Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with this myth about the creation of of the world from the Huron American Indians. Includes further reading and research source list.

Middle Readers Charting the World By Richard Panchyk (Chicago Review Press, softcover, $19) If you can’t find your way, you just plug in the GPS. But how did we manage to find out way before the age of GPS or even printed maps? A geographical primer on maps with activities. 50 Poisonous Questions By Tanya Lloyd Kyi, illustrated by Ross Kinnaird (Annick Press, softcover, $13) Let’s be honest here: if something is gross, kids seem to like it. This book fits that niche with background on plants and animals that also happen to be poisonous, plus “poison puzzles” cases for kids to solve. Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide David Burnie and Don E. Wilson, Editors-in-Chief (DK Books, hardcover, $50) Truly a definitive guide to animals of all kinds, their habitats and information on endangered species and conservation.

Reviews by MetroFamily Magazine editor Mari Farthing.

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Adults The Knitting Book By Frederica Patmore and Vikki Haffenden (DK Publishing, hardcover, $40) In the market for a new hobby? Try knitting! This book is filled with everything you need to know about knitting, whether you are an experienced or novice knitter. Mom Energy By Ashley Koff, R.D. and Kathy Kaehler (Hay House USA, hardcover, $26) When it seems as though responsibilities are getting the most of you, it’s time to find a plan. This title offers advice for clearing the clutter from your life so you can reorganize, rehabilitate and recharge. Mix & Match Meals (DK Publishing, hardcover spiral bound, $22) What’s for dinner? Find thousands of combinations at your fingertips with this easy to use flip book of recipes that includes ideas for starters, main courses and desserts. Better Each Day By Jessica Cassity (Chronicle Books, softcover, $17) A perfect guidebook for an over-tasked mom. Features 365 short (one page) chapters with practical advice about making your life a happier and healthier place to be through small, attainable changes.

November 2011 |


Family Finances Tips for Easing Money Talks between Spouses


inancial planners and psychologist have attempted to determine the role that emotions play in our ability to manage money. But while some will claim that we have little or no control over our emotions and therefore have little or no control over our money, others will take the opposite extreme to insist that we can exert total control over our choices by using a rational thought process. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. For the most part, humans are rational creatures and attempt to make good choices. However, there may be times that our emotions skew our ability to accurately and appropriately determine what choices are available or we may not have sufficient information to make the best choice.

Emotional spending tends to be an expensive, short-term solution with long-term consequences. Regardless of the situation, emotional choices reduce the potential for positive outcomes. Emotional spending tends to be an expensive, short-term solution with long-term consequences. Frequently, those emotional financial choices relate more to what money represents rather than the money itself, meaning it is more about meeting an emotional need than the actual good or service purchased.

Perceptions Versus Reality Our perceptions about money tend to be closely related to the messages we received from our parents about the role of money in their lives. If they openly fought over money, we may have learned that managing money was a point of contention or confrontation rather than a cooperative effort in a marriage. If they never discussed money openly, we may have learned that money issues should be kept secret and never talked about in our own family. And if they talked openly about their personal finances, we would tend to have that same expectation of our spouse. That makes it easier to explain how two people in exactly the same financial situation will respond differently. Having an open, honest discussion with a spouse or future partner about money certainly is not the most romantic topic; however, it may be the key to maintaining a healthy relationship for years to come. Marriage counselors continue to report that differences in people’s perception of money tend to be the number one reason for divorce. In other words, it’s not the lack of money but our emotional ties to money that create the problem.

Money Talks

Following are a few tips to help you and your significant other have a more productive discussion about financial matters: • Set a specific time to talk. Select a time that is good for both of you and consider preparing an agenda that allows input from both people. Avoid blindsiding your •

partner with a discussion about money, especially if you have different ideas as to how to manage your finances. Begin by talking about goals. The idea is to talk about positive outcomes rather than focusing only on the negative. You may have individual goals as well as family goals, so write them down and help each find a way to meet them. Be willing to listen to one another’s ideas, and resist saying “no” while listing your goals. Show your love and respect. We all make mistakes; blaming your partner will only create more dissention and problems. Being aware of your own flaws allows you to be more understanding and caring. You will accomplish much more having a calm, relaxed discussion instead of trying to be right. Be honest. A recent national survey found that 36 percent of men and 40 percent of women in a married or cohabiting relationships admitted they lied to their spouse about how much they paid for an item. Even the simplest little white lie can create mistrust and can quickly get out of control. Being honest also means being honest with yourself. If you have a spending problem, recognize it and work together to find solutions. Recognize differences. Men and women often approach problems differently; the same is true for money. Women tend to see money as a security issue while men tend to have a higher risk tolerance. If you reach a point where you cannot agree on a financial matter, it might be best to seek the advice of an impartial third party such as a financial planner or counselor. Discuss the tough topics. No one really enjoys talking about life insurance, wills or end of life issues. However, having a plan in place will be a great comfort when the time comes. Pre-planning will also reduce the potential for costly emotional decisions. Agree to talk regularly. Sitting down together to monitor your financial situation will help keep you focused on meeting your goals. Schedule a time to meet monthly or quarterly to reassess any changes or celebrate any successes.

Sue Lynn Sasser, PhD, is a Professor of Economics at the University of Central Oklahoma. Editor’s Note: This will be the final column that Sue Lynn writes for us at MetroFamily Magazine. She has been an invaluable resource and good friend to us all and her financial guidance will be missed!

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November 2011 |


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Mom #1, we’ll call her Chelsea, is an attorney and mother of two teen girls. Although rewarding, her career is demanding, and she often finds herself feeling drained at the end of the day when she needs to be there for her kids. Each time Chelsea sets a goal at work or home, she promises herself that if she reaches it, she will be happy. Yet when she attains the goal, she immediately reaches for the next horizon, feeling that if she allows herself to be happy she’ll become complacent. Chelsea wants to encourage her children and instill in them an invigorating sense of accomplishment so they can excel, but fears that her pep talks are only empty words as a result of her burnout. Chelsea tells herself she will be happy when her daughters are accepted to top universities and is currently pushing toward that milestone. But she secretly worries that happiness will continue to evade her even if her daughters breeze through their SAT’s and she reaches the very top of her field. Mom #2, we’ll call her Bethany. She’s Chelsea’s neighbor, a financial advisor with two teen daughters and a 12-year-old son. Chelsea can’t help but notice how enthusiastic Bethany is; her sense of humor is infectious, and her family reflects her fun-loving attitude. She and her kids always appear to be focused yet relaxed, even during hectic times. Bethany seems to derive a great deal of satisfaction and happiness from all aspects of her home life and career, yet Chelsea knows Bethany’s career presents similar challenges to her own. Chelsea wonders why Bethany never seems to suffer from burnout. She wishes she knew her secret. Bethany’s secret is the art of being unconditionally happy. She knows that happiness is a state of being. It is a way of thinking, a conscious choice. Lots of people think the “pursuit of happiness” is a linear process, so they live in a state of expectancy, or hope of happiness arriving…someday. They pursue, hoping to overtake happiness when the conditions are perfect. But you can experience happiness in the present moment if you give yourself permission to be in the moment.

LIVE YOUR LIFE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT, CONSCIOUSLY ACCEPT LIFE AS ENOUGH IN ITSELF, AND SLIP INTO THE JOY OF BEING ALIVE. There is no need to meet any requirement, fulfill any quota, or compete with rivals in order to allow yourself the liberty of carrying unconditional happiness inside you every moment of the day. Here are three strategies you can employ to discover and develop the art of unconditional happiness: 1.

Recognize that happiness is available now. One way to increase your “now awareness” is to take a break. Set aside a few minutes during the day to focus completely on the present moment. Relax and become conscious of your breathing. Channel your mental energy away from your thoughts—allow yourself to simply be here now. Observe your inner and outer environment, without judging anything. Accept sensory input, or the lack of it, as part of the moment. Listen to the background noise in your home or office. Experience your emotions, your physical sensations, and a sense of your body. Look at your hands, your kitchen table—or close your eyes, if you like. The object is to experience life in the moment, unfettered by thoughts of past or future. Consciously relax the muscles in your neck and shoulders, and practice letting go of your tension. Practice smiling, inwardly, outwardly, or both, without feeling the need to justify it.

How do you find happiness? One key to happiness is striking a balance that works for you. We asked our Facebook fans how they achieve balance in their lives and relationships and here is what they said: • Reminding myself that I am only one person and just to do what I can do. – Nicole C. • To see a counselor. – Karen P. • Communication, calendar and remembering God is in control, not me. – Robin D. • I don’t get my work e-mail sent to my phone anymore. It was too much of a distraction during my family time. I do my best to keep my work at work and my home at home. – Jennifer L. • Pray!! – Laura G. • Remember to breathe! – Myshel B. • Having a daily plan and preparing as much as I can the night before (making lunches for the kids, laying out the clothes, getting backpacks together etc) and having a calendar with all the activities for the family. I think it's important to have family dinners around the table with the TV off and cell phones away so that at the end of the day, we can connect as a family! – Chrissey P. • Exercise!” – Bonnie H. Join the dialogue at 2. Choose to think positive, self-enhancing thoughts. Begin by making a list of at least five positive statements, or affirmations. These statements may describe both skills or qualities you already possess and those you aspire to develop. When you compose this list, make sure you describe yourself in present tense, for instance, “I am enthusiastic about my life,” rather than, “I will be enthusiastic about my life.” Read your list aloud to yourself daily, tapping into feelings of happiness, peace, satisfaction or joy. The idea is to become conscious of, and to emphasize, all the attributes you bring with you into your workplace, your thought life and your personal life. 3.

Harness the power of the moment to choose happiness. Once you recognize the significance of the present moment, you can begin making the conscious choice to be happy. This is not denying the existence of stress but rather accepting and acknowledging the existence of beauty, love, gratitude and happiness, even when pain and problems present themselves. Often people find it easier to accept negative aspects of life than to accept all the positive forces surrounding them. Breathe in slowly, breathe out, and make this declaration to yourself: “Happiness is here, it’s free, accessible, and unconditional. It is mine any time I want it. I don’t need any obvious reason to be happy!”

Having made your declaration of independence from conditional happiness, start walking the walk. Be mindful of increased options, choosing to think optimistic, kind, loving, generous, and forgiving thoughts as you move through life. Let go of the burdens of self-doubt, of comparing yourself or your children to others and fearing the future. The future is born of the present. Live your life in the present moment, consciously accept life as enough in itself, and slip into the joy of being alive. Feel better? That’s unconditional happiness.

Marti MacGibbon, CADC II, ACRPS, is a certified mental health professional, inspirational motivational speaker, author. Her memoir, Never Give in to Fear, is available through her website, www. November 2011 |


Focus on Education The Impact of Common Core State Standards on Your Student


illing in the bubbles on a standardized test will soon become a thing of the past for Oklahoma students. The way our Oklahoma students are tested is gradually changing, and with change in assessment tests come changes in instruction.

In past years, Oklahoma teachers have followed the PASS (Priority Academic Student Skills) objectives while planning classroom instruction. These objectives determined what content was covered at each grade level in all subjects. If you visit the State Department of Education’s website, you may notice a fairly new link listed as “Common Core State Standards.” What does all this mean, and how will it affect the what (content) and how (approach) of classroom instruction?

Common Core State Standards The new Common Core State Standards are the result of collaboration between teachers, school administrators and education experts. The Common Core was adopted by the State Department of Education in June 2010, and the transition from PASS to Common Core has already begun, with full implementation of Common Core scheduled to be fully integrated by the 2014-15 school year. And Oklahoma is not alone in adopting this new standard; according to the Core Standards website, 44 states have already formally adopted these standards.

Mission of Core Standards The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so both teachers and parents know what is expected. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need to learn now for success later in college and careers. The thinking behind this curriculum change is that with American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy. Common Core Standards: • Are designed to equip students with the thinking and learning habits necessary to enter college and the work force. • Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills which include analyzing and creating opposed to just fact memorization. • Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards and integrate the practices of top-performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society. Rick Cobb, Director of Curriculum for Moore Public Schools, believes there are benefits to Common Core Standards instruction. “Our teachers will have more information about specific strengths and weaknesses in students’ skills. The new standards will make us think differently about how we assess student learning and how we prepare students to progress to the next level, whether that’s within school or out into the world,” he said. State Superintendent Janet Barresi recently expressed that she’s convinced that as school districts in the state transition to the tougher writing standards required through the

Common Core State Standards, state test scores will improve.

A Different Way of Testing So how will this affect your children? Where previously students answered questions in a multiple choice test booklet, they will now complete assessments on a computer. This will begin with sixth through twelfth graders and will eventually be extended to include first through fifth graders as well. Also, instead of the PASS standard of testing which occurred near the end of each school year, the Common Core standards are designed to take place four times throughout the school year, providing teachers with feedback throughout the year. Questions will be designed to encourage higher-level thinking. For instance, instead of a typical multiple choice test, students will be asked to write and reflect on their answers in more of an essay form. This will, in turn, encourage students to rely on their independent, higher-level thinking skills—not just memorize basic facts and regurgitate them from rote memory. This approach will make learning meaningful and encourage students to be lifelong learners, not robots built to remember facts one day only to forget them the next. Open-ended questions promote self-reliant thinking. The bottom line: the tests won’t look like what we’re used to. So, for those of you who once drew arbitrary, fancy patterns down your bubbled answer sheets, you soon won’t have to worry about your child doing the same!

Julie Dill is a National Board Certified Teacher from Oklahoma City and mother of two.

Learn More About the Common Core Standards • Have an iPhone or iPad? Download the free Common Core Standards application to familiarize yourself with the Kindergarten through 12th grade standards for math and language arts. • For a complete overview of our state’s upcoming educational standards, including background information, application of Common Core for students with disabilities and an implementation timeline, visit • Learn more about the Core Standards, including frequently asked quesions, at: • To read information regarding the pros and cons of standardized tests, visit

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Real Moms of the Metro Meet Allyson Reneau: Coach, Harvard Student & Mother of 11


Photo by: Aimee Adams |

llyson Reneau is the Executive Director of Victory Athletics and Victory Academy, a private, accredited Christian school that offers both traditional coursework for K-12th Grade and a specialized academic track for competitive athletes. She has been married to her husband Dale for 30 years and is the mother of eleven children, ages six to 29. In her spare time, she attends graduate courses at Harvard (how’s that for a commute?) and was recently featured on NBC’s Today Show. Here is more about how this 50-year-old south OKC mom keeps it all in check.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? I was a 13-time world champion baton twirler and the featured twirler for the University of Oklahoma in years past. What are you passionate about? I really like making other people’s dreams come true. I have the pleasure of working with very ambitious and driven children at the gym. It’s a pleasure to invest in those children’s lives and help them turn into great leaders of the future. How has motherhood changed you? When you are single, you focus on yourself. When you are a mom, you are focused on your kids and their dreams. You live to give. How do you banish stress? I have a daily pattern. I get up at 5:30am, read inspirational material and have an energy drink. As I walk out the front door, I ask myself “Allyson, are you going to be a weenie or a hot dog today?” and I don’t

Quick Facts About Allyson 1. What are 5 words that describe you? Compassionate, driven, inspired, enthusiastic, dreamer 2. What can’t you live without? My Bible. 3. What’s on your reading list? The new Joel Osteen book— Every Day a Friday: How to Be Happier 7 Days a Week 4. What’s your favorite meal to cook for dinner? Spaghetti 5. What’s always in your handbag? Lipstick


Allyson Reneau of Oklahoma City explains how she balances eleven children, her studies at Harvard University and her business, Victory Gymnastics, where she is pictured.

leave until I can say hot dog! Then I go for a long run and I am ready to go.

complete my degree and the freedom it will bring.

What inspires you? Reading biographies of the people in the Bible and great people in history. A lot of those people were wimps that became world changers. It’s fascinating to see what transformed them.

What is on your wish list? My biggest wish is that my kids are all healthy and happy. That’s really it— everything else doesn’t really matter at the end of your life. And with eight drivers in the family, I wish for them to be really safe!

Along with your job as a mom, what do you do? In 2000, after 20 years of being a stayat-home mom, I felt compelled to open a competitive gymnastics center (Victory Gymnastics). Then in 2009, I returned to OU to complete my Bachelors in Communication. This year, I found the courage to apply to Harvard’s International Relations Masters program. With three kids in college, I needed a benefactor to help me with tuition and airfare. I made a list of people I could talk to and the first person said yes. I began classes on August 29. Only in America could a 50-year-old woman who lives 2,000 miles away end up at Harvard taking classes once a week!

What are you most proud of? That I was able to complete my degree at OU with a 4.0 GPA. Also, being recently featured on the Today Show. I talked about how if you get your education, you never know what can happen. It was such an incredible moment.

What do you like most about your job? At the gym, I love working with the staff and kids. I like the relationships and pulling together as a team to be successful. With school, it is the anticipation of what doors of opportunity are going to open for me after I | November 2011

What motivates you? My relationship with the Lord. He’s the best coach I’ve ever met. How do you find balance in your life? You have to take care of yourself and feel good physically, emotionally and spiritually. You can’t give what you don’t have. Advice for other moms? To always remember to be grateful, humble, and to never forget who you are. Where are you from originally? I am from a small town north of Enid called Kremlin with a population of 250.

What’s the biggest challenge in your life? Giving my husband the time that he needs. Our relationship is the core of our family, and I can tend to overlook that and only give him the leftovers. I want to continue to improve in that area. What is your parenting style? It used to be “I’ll say it one time and you’d better do it now!” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten really soft. My last child has had a completely different experience than the first. I pick my battles and don’t sweat the small stuff. Favorite quote or advice about motherhood? I always tell my kids “Be careful whose feet you step on—they might be attached to the booty you need to kiss next week”

Brooke Barnett is the Assistant Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.

November 2011 |


Exploring Oklahoma Learning Through Play at Stillwater’s New WONDERtorium


f you find your community is lacking a resource, don’t complain; do something about it! This is what two moms in Stillwater did when they got their community involved in creating a fun, educational and interactive children’s museum. It took Dena Cornforth and Kandi Speer 10 years to bring their dream to life, but on October 15, the WONDERtorium celebrated its grand opening.

for parenting. “We all need help with parenting.” With a mission “to inspire curiosity to learn through play… for a lifetime,” the museum is an opportunity for parents to learn how to engage educationally with their children. The interesting and colorful exhibits certainly bring out the kid in everyone.

Local Inspiration

A Place for Hands-On Learning and Fun

The idea for the WONDERtorium was sparked when Cornforth and Speers found themselves driving miles away from home to share quality, educational playtime with their young children. They recognized that a local venue would provide families like theirs with a valuable resource. The mothers formed a committee, founded a non-profit in 2001 and spent years conducting research, explained Ruth Cavins, the museum’s executive director. Parents and kids were surveyed about what kind of exhibits they would like to see if there was a children’s activity center in Stillwater. Armed with this information, the mothers sought community donations.

A Museum Without Walls While working toward the ultimate goal of a physical location, the mothers used what they had learned and incoming donations to start a Museum without Walls program in 2006, bringing educational activities into the classroom. Combining lecture with hands-on activities, the program is free support for teachers and focuses on creating quality academics that meet the teachers’ curriculum requirements, Cavins said. Cavins laughs as she explains how staff members load up their cars with the lesson materials, haul everything into the school and then back into the car. It’s been a rewarding endeavor, reaching over 16,000 students since it began, according to Cavins.

What can you expect to find at the WONDERtorium? • The A-Mazing Airways exhibit is a visual problem-solving maze of transparent tubes where the user can manipulate the airflow, re-directing soft objects or determining ways to unblock an obstructed object. • Kids of all ages can learn how to milk a “cow” at the Generation Station Farm, explore a Japanese mountain in the Kameoka Kids exhibit or apply physics with contraptions designed and built by Oklahoma State University engineering students. • In the Forest Playground, kids of all ages can climb a tree and slide into the padded pond. • Future entrepreneurs can learn how to make change with the cash register at the Fowler Grocery or learn customer service skills at the Discovery Diner. The new WONDERtorium is a gift literally created for a community by the community. Corporate and individual volunteers have put in numerous hours. Donors have given their financial gifts. Now, two mothers’ determination to fill a need in their community is a gift to all and a lesson in perseverance.

The WONDERtorium While the Museum without Walls program brings activities to the classroom, the WONDERtorium invites families to visit and share in the same types of educational activities. “We want the grown-ups to be physically and emotionally involved with their children,” explains Cavins. “Our exhibits engage creativity, not only with children, but with grown-ups, too.” Cavins explains that the museum also serves as a mentor


Karen Mitchell, a lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, lives in Edmond with her husband Mark, teenage son, Ryan, and one spoiled Welsh corgi. Daughter Megan attends OSU in Stillwater. | November 2011

Checking out just a few of the many exhibits at Stillwater's WONDERtorium, including the milking experience, the a-mazeing wall, a waterworks table and the physics fairway.

Plan your visit: The WONDERtorium 308 W Franklin, Stillwater Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00am-5:00pm, Sunday 1:00-5:00pm Admission $6 all ages, children age one and younger are free, membership packages available 405-533-3333 or www.

Make it a Day Trip Make your trip to WONDERtorium a day adventure. The museum’s location south of Boomer Lake and along Stillwater’s Kameoka Walking Trails provides the perfect set up for combining a picnic at the park with a trail-walking adventure to the museum. Boomer Lake is located north of WONDERtorium off of Boomer Road. Stillwater’s beautiful Kameoka walking trails meander around Boomer Lake and the city. Picnic pavilions and other park facilities are available. After your picnic, take the walking trail to the south. The wooded trail will take you to Franklin Street, (approximately one mile) and to the WONDERtorium (when you reach the Stillwater High School football stadium, you’re there). Of course, you’ll have to walk back after your museum visit, but it’s all about quality family time, right?

November 2011 |


Local Family Info— Refreshed. Visit MetroFamily's website to find the best parenting resources in Central Oklahoma. • Searchable calendar • Blogs by local parents • Money-saving coupons, Kids Pass and Mother Lode • Interactive digital editions of current and past issues • Contests and exclusive content • Resource directories for birthday parties, private schools, field trips and more

Visit every day and never miss out on the family fun! 34 | November 2011

“It's a hard knock life...” Presented by the Poteet Theatre at St Luke’s United Methodist Church (222 NW 15), Annie is the popular

story of a spunky Depression-era orphan as she overcomes the evil Miss Hannigan & finds a new family with billionaire Oliver Warbucks. The production runs from November 11-27, with performances Thursday-Saturday at 8pm; and Sunday, 3pm. Tickets are $20. For more information, call 405-609-1023 or visit Photo courtesy of Jay Prock, Poteet Theatre.

“If You Believe” Annual Holiday Production Academy of Dance Arts joins forces with other local dance studios to present the 2nd Annual If You Believe holiday production. The show features over 100 performers singing, dancing and sharing holiday spirit. Held Saturday November 19, 7:00pm at the Rose State Performing Arts Theatre, $8 admission. Academy of Dance Arts is also an official Toys 4 Tots drop-off location, and visitors may bring new, unwrapped toys for children in need from November 15-December 15. For more information on tickets or toy donations, call 405-324-7600 or visit www. Photo courtesy of Michael Thompson.

Downtown in December

OK Cityscape

Downtown in December is a 40-day series of events and attractions sure to provide smiles and holiday entertainment for families and friends in the heart of Oklahoma City. Create lifelong memories as you take part in this winter experience with thrilling outdoor ice skating, snow tube rides, afternoon visits with Santa Claus and more, all surrounded by twinkling holiday lights.

Nearly two million LEGO bricks and elements make up the second annual OK Cityscape display. A view of the city presented at a child's eye level and brought to life with lights, sound effects and animatronics, the 2011 display brings a fun alien invasion to the Oklahoma City skyline.

Visit for a complete list of seasonal events.

Located in Automobile Alley (1100 N Broadway), the exhibit will be open from November 19 through the end of the year. Hours are Monday-Saturday from noon8:00pm and Sunday from noon-6:00pm. Admission to the display is $5 for adults, $3 for children 12 and younger. Find more details at

Photo courtesy of Downtown OKC, Inc.

Photo courtesy of Downtown OKC, Inc.

Most Downtown in December events are free of charge. For more information, visit www.

November 2011 |


Quick Reference American Banjo Museum 9 E Sheridan Ave, OKC 604-2793, City Arts Center Fair Park, 3000 Pershing Blvd, OKC 951-0000, Fine Arts Institute of Edmond 27 E Edwards, Edmond 340-4481, Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art 555 Elm Ave, Norman 325-3272, Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum 13th & Shartel, OKC 235-4458, Museum of Osteology 10301 S. Sunnylane Rd, OKC 814-0006, Myriad Botanical Gardens 301 W Reno, OKC 297-3995, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1700 NE 63rd St, OKC 478-2250, Oklahoma Aquarium 300 Aquarium Dr, Jenks 918-296-FISH, OKC Museum of Art 415 Couch Dr, OKC 236-3100, OKC National Memorial 620 N Harvey, OKC 235-3313, OKC Zoo 2101 NE 50th St, OKC 424-3344, Oklahoma Children’s Theatre 2501 N Blackwelder, OKC 606-7003, Oklahoma History Center 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr., OKC 522-5248,

Weekly Events Discovery Room programs at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History are hands-on fun for toddlers through elementary age children. See website for complete list & details. All programs FREE with paid admission. FREE Norman Sooner Mall Outreach Story Time is an interactive story time held outside Sears at Sooner Mall for ages 9 & under. Tuesdays, 10am. FREE Admission at Norman’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art on Tuesdays. 10am-5pm. Activities include Art Adventures for children ages 3-5 with adult (10:30am). 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, FREE Tuesday Noon Concert Series at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art are 30-minute concerts are performed by OU music students & faculty. Admission to the museum is FREE on Tuesdays. FREE Playgroup with a Purpose at Wildwood Community Church (1501 24th Ave NE, Norman) provides fun, fellowship & character building for moms & their little ones ages 6 & under. Snacks provided. Meets the first & third Tuesday of each month through May. 9:45am. 301-7321, FREE Tours of the Governor’s Mansion available the 1st & 3rd Wednesday of each month. Closed during the summer & the month of December. 10am-3pm. 5681292, FREE Children’s Storytime at Quail Springs Barnes & Noble (13800 N May) every Wednesday & Saturday, 11am. 755-1155, FREE Wednesday Night at the Movies at the Downtown Library. Held every Wednesday, 6-8pm. 231-8650. FREE Thursday Noon Tunes at the Downtown Library, 11:30-1pm.

Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History 2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman 325-4712,

Unplugged After Hours at Unpluggits Playstudio invites adults only to enjoy time with friends or in quiet creation mode in the glass, ceramics & paint’n take studios. Childcare available at KidzStreet. Held the first & third Thursday of each month. 6-8pm. 340-7584,

Science Museum Oklahoma 2100 NE 52nd St, OKC 602-6664,

The UCO Jazz Lab features performances each Friday & Saturday at 8pm. $7 adults, $5 age 12 & under. 3597989,

Do you have an event for our calendar? Email

FREE Build & Grow Kid’s Clinics at Lowe’s stores offers kids an opportunity to complete a wooden project. Each participant also receives an apron, goggles, a project-themed patch, & a certificate of merit. Every other Saturday, 10am.

All phone numbers are area code 405 unless otherwise noted. Information should be verified before attending events as details can change after press date.

FREE Children’s Storytime at Full Circle Bookstore (1900 NW Expressway) each Saturday, 10:15am. 8422900,

36 | November 2011

FREE Children’s Story Time at Edmond’s Best of Books, Saturdays, 11am. 340-9202, www. FREE Crafts for Kids at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May, OKC), Ages 3 & up. Saturdays, 11am-3pm. 8588778, All-Star Bowling for Differently-Abled Individuals at AMF Yukon Lanes (500 E Main, Yukon) invites differently-abled individuals, their families & friends to participate in an afternoon of bowling. $8 per week for 3 games & shoes. Saturdays, 1pm. 354-2516. Drop in Art at the OKC Museum of Art. Create art inspired by the Museum’s collection, exhibitions, & special occasions. FREE with paid admission. Saturdays, 1-4pm. FREE Green Earth Gang for ages 9-13 works on conservation projects in Martin Park. Saturdays 2-5pm. 755-0676,

Ongoing Events Through November 13 The Art of the Tool Exhibit at Science Museum Oklahoma combines form with function by examining the tools that creative professionals use. FREE with paid museum admission.

Through November 16 FREE Wide-Open Wednesdays at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum offer FREE admission to the public on Wednesdays.

Nov 19 - Dec 31 OK CityScape (1100 N Broadway) features more than 2 million toy bricks used to construct a model of OKC places. Includes a Kid Construction Zone where kids can build their own creations. Benefits Oklahoma City Educare. $5 adults, $3 children 12 & under. Monday-Saturday, 12-9pm; Sunday, 12-6pm. www.

Through November 20 The Bowie Knife: Icon of American Character at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum looks at the history, art & legacy of the Bowie Knife.

Nov 24-Dec 3 National Reining Horse Association Futurity & Adequan North American Affiliate Championship Show at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. $8 & up. Special event; Hometown Heroes Slide featuring local firefighters & police officers competing in reining events held 12/2, 5:30pm. 946-7400,

Nov 25-Dec 11 Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Sooner Theatre (101 E Main, Norman) is the

NOVEMBER S M T W T F S Biblical saga of Joseph brought to vibrant life in a delightful musical parable. $23 & up, $15 children 12 & under. Friday-Saturday, 7:30pm; Sunday, 2pm. 3219600,

Nov 25-Jan 3 The Express Ice Skating Rink at Edmond’s Festival Market Place (1st & Broadway) offers an outdoor skating rink, concessions & holiday lights. $8 includes skate rental, $5 if you bring your skates or for children & under. Noon-10pm daily. Norman’s 1st Annual Holiday Rink at Mark Heitz Chevrolet (I-35 & Lindsey, Norman) benefits the Regional Food Bank/Food 4 Kids Program. Holiday decorations, music, outdoor movies & Santa visits. Anticipated hours of operation are Weekdays, noon9pm; Saturdays, 10am-9pm; Sundays, 1-7pm. $8 with skate rental, $5 with own skates. 488-7971.

Nov 25-Jan 4 10th Annual Downtown in December Winter Celebration in Downtown OKC features outdoor iceskating, snow tubing, water taxi rides, 5K run, & holiday lights. 235-3500,

Through Nov 27 Cowboy Arts Association 46th Annual Exhibition & Sale at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum showcases over 100 paintings, drawings & sculptures.

Through Dec 30 Robert Rauschenberg: Prints from Universal Limited Art Editions, 1962-2008 at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art examines the extensive collaboration between Robert Rauschenberg & the fine art print publisher, Universal Limited Art Editions. No Heaven Awaits Us at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is an exhibition of contemporary Chinese photography & video.

Through 2011

New Paintings by Franco Mondini-Ruiz at the OKC Museum of Art features works by the San Antonio & New York- based artist.

Through Jan 6 Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam at the GaylordPickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum features artifacts from the troopship General Nelson M. Walker. FREE admission for active & retired military & their families on 11/11-12.

Through Jan 8 Cowboys & Indians Revisited at Science Museum Oklahoma features artwork that focuses on the rich heritage of Oklahoma’s frontier & how the dynamic between cowboys & Indians forever changed the landscape of the state. Traditional Cowboy Arts Association 13th Annual Exhibition & Sale at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum showcases the work of TCAA members to preserve the arts of saddlemaking, bit & spur making, silversmithing & rawhide braiding and the role of these traditional crafts in cowboy culture in the American West. Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is an interactive exhibition that delves into the history & evolution of dogs. Ghost Ranch & The Faraway Nearby at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum features the work of fine-art photographer Craig Varjabedian as he portrays the longtime home of Georgia O’Keeffe.

Through May 2012 Pickin’ & Grinnin’: Roy Clark, Hee Haw & Country Humor exhibit at the Oklahoma History Center celebrates Oklahoma’s ties to the beloved television show. Bound to Please: A History of Corsets at the Carnegie Library (406 E Oklahoma, Guthrie) showcases undergarments as a symbol of growth in women’s history from the Middle Ages through the present. 282-1889,

Through June 2012

FREE Oklahoma City! Sooner or Later on the second floor of City Hall (200 N Walker) presents the history of city government from 1889 to the present. Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm. 297-2391.

The Return of Elegance at the Oklahoma History Center features 29 evening gowns worn by Oklahoma women at inaugural balls & other special occasions as well as footwear & handbags covering the period of 1912-1985.

Oklahoma Driven: Cars Collectors & the Birth of the Oklahoma Highway Commission at the Oklahoma History Center spotlights the exciting cars & new roads that accelerated the shaping of a young state.

November Daily Events 1 • Tuesday

Poodles & Pastries & Other Important Matters:

31 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 22 23 24 25 26 28 29 30 1 2 3

Metropolitan Library System

The Uncanny Adventures of Okie Cartoonists at the Oklahoma History Center explores how Oklahomans have played a major role in the evolution of comic books, comic strips & editorial cartoons.

Faded Elegance: Photographs of Havana by Michael Eastman at the OKC Museum of Art features 29 largescale photographs that evoke the nostalgia & wealth of a bygone era.

30 6 13 20 27

Robot Day at Science Museum Oklahoma invites guests to build a robot. FREE with paid museum admission. 9am-5pm. Thanksgiving Prints at Be Wild for Art (1006 24th Ave NW, Norman). Capture your child's fingerprints, handprints & footprints for your Thanksgiving platters.

Belle Isle.................5501 N Villa...........843-9601 Bethany................3510 N Mueller.........789-8363 Capitol Hill............ 334 SW 26th...........634-6308 Choctaw.................2525 Muzzy...........390-8418 Del City..................4509 SE 15th...........672-1377 Downtown.............300 Park Ave.......... 231-8650 Edmond............... 10 S Boulevard......... 341-9282 Midwest City......... 8143 E Reno........... 732-4828 Ralph Ellison....... 2000 NE 23rd...........424-1437 Southern Oaks....6900 S Walker.........631-4468 The Village........... 10307 N Penn.......... 755-0710 Warr Acres...........5901 NW 63rd...........721-2616 Harrah...............1930 N Church Ave.....454-2001 Jones.......................111 E Main............399-5471 Luther......................310 NE 3rd............ 277-9967 Nicoma Park...... 2240 Overholser........769-9452 Wright Library.... 2101 Exchange.........235-5035

Pioneer Library System

Blanchard............... 300 N Main............ 485-2275 McLoud....................133 N Main............964-2960 Moore.................... 225 S Howard.......... 793-5100 Newcastle............. 705 NW Tenth.......... 387-5076 Noble........................204 N 5th..............872-5713 Norman.................225 N Webster......... 701-2600 Purcell.................... 919 N Ninth............ 527-5546 Shawnee............101 N Philadelphia......275-6353 Tecumseh............114 N Broadway........598-5955

4-6pm. 307-9971, Also held: 11/3, 9, 15. FREE Quail Springs Mall Family Night includes entertainment, prizes & crafts. 5:30-7:30pm. 755-6530, FREE Monthly Mini Model Build at Penn Square Mall’s Lego Store invites children ages 6-14 to build a new model every month. Held the first Tuesday of the month. Quantities are limited. 5pm. 840-9993, Cake Decorating Class at the Yukon Community Center (2200 S Holly) covers cake, cookie & cupcake decorating. Preregister. $50. 6-8pm. 354-8442, www. Also held: 11/8, 15, 29.

November 2011 |


2 • Wednesday


Esther Women Luncheon featuring speaker Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Kauger at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church (222 NW 15) creates meaningful dialogue & strengthens fellowship for Christian women the first Wednesday of each month. Preregister. $150 for the year, $20 per individual program. 11:30am-1pm. 232-1371, www.

Beauty & the Beast Homecoming Musical at Oklahoma Christian University Hardeman Auditorium (2501 E Memorial, Edmond) is a musical presentation of a Disney favorite. 8pm. 425-5530,

3-19 Hamlet presented by Reduxion Theatre at the Broadway Theater (1613 N Broadway). Mature audiences. $17 adults, $13 seniors/students/military. Thursday-Saturday, 8pm; Sunday 11/13, 2pm. 651-3191,

2-4 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Radiothon in the OU Children’s Hospital Atrium invites listeners to tune in to 96.1 KXY to pledge funds to support the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. 6am-6pm. 2712208,

4 • Friday Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce 3rd Annual Women’s Conference at UCO Nigh University Center features keynote speaker HGTV Design Star Fan Favorite & Edmond Resident, Kellie Clements. Includes lunch. $30 & up. 8am-1pm. 341-2808, www.

3 • Thursday Once Upon a Dream 18: The Fine Art of Dance at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art benefits dance student scholarships and includes dinner, auction and tours of the museum's new Stuart wing. 6:15-9:15pm. 325-4051, FREE Music of America’s Civil War at the Oklahoma History Center includes spoken introductions & stories to put the songs & instruments into context while highlighting connections to the people & music of this pivotal time in American History. 7pm.

Chemistry Day at Science Museum Oklahoma invites guests to discover the wonder and fun of chemistry through activity stations on the main exhibit floor, competing in team or individual competitions. 9am-5pm. FREE with paid museum admission. FREE Marc Heitz Movie Nitez: Back to the Future at Marc Heitz Chevrolet's outdoor ampitheater (I-35 & Lindsey, Norman). FREE popcorn. 488-7971.

Romeros Guitar Quartet at Armstrong Auditorium (14400 S Bryant, Edmond) features the “Royal Family of the Spanish Guitar” as they display their astonishing musical talent. 7:30pm. 285-1010, www.

Cultural Arts Series: Time for Three at OCCC Bruce Owen Theater features a string trio that transcends traditional classification by including elements of classical, country-western, gypsy & jazz. $10-$22. 7pm. 682-7576,

Ben Folds at the Civic Center Music Hall features the Indie rocker performing with the OKC Philharmonic. 8pm. 842-5387,

Tom Braxton: A Tribute to Wayman Tisdale at the Sooner Theatre (101 E Main, Norman) features the smooth jazz sounds Tisdale was known for following his stellar University of Oklahoma college & NBA basketball careers. $30 & up. 8pm. 321-9600, www.

3-4 Pumpkin Roll! at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang) invites children ages 2-6 to bring leftover pumpkins to see how far they can roll & other activities. Preregister. $2. Thursday, 5:30-6:30pm; Friday, 1011am. 376-3411,

4-5 FREE First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo Arts District features more than 60 artists in 17 galleries.

Looking for a fun family activity? Subscribe to MetroFamily’s

Weekend Picks to keep in the know. 38 | November 2011

Friday, 6-10pm; Saturday, noon-5pm. 525-2688, www. The Girlie Show at the Farmer’s Public Market Building (311 S Klein) showcases female artists and includes art, live music & food. Friday, 7-11pm; Saturday, 12-5pm.,

4-20 Kids at Heart: MGMoA Regional 2011 at the MabeeGerrer Museum of Art (1900 W MacArthur, Shawnee) features creative toys designed by regional artists. FREE admission with donation of a new, unwrapped toy for a child at Hope House Shelter. $5 adults, $3 children 6 & up. 878-5300,

5 • Satuday FREE Pumpkin Harvest Craft Festival at the Robertson Activity Center (1200 Lakeshore, Yukon) features craft booths, taco soup, bake sale & Friends of the Library book sale. 9am-4pm. 350-8937, www. FREE Saturdays for Kids: Photo Poetics at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum invites kids to learn how to enhance their own photos & create short poems. Includes a gallery walk, art making & word craft with a photo to take home. FREE for children & one accompanying adult. 10am & 11am. Moms on the Move: Prenatal Pilates at INTEGRIS PACER Fitness Center (5520 N Independence) features exercises appropriate for pregnancy led by a certified prenatal Pilates instructor. Mats provided. $10 for PACER members, $20 non-members. 11:30am12:30pm. 949-3891, The Great Escape at Mustang Town Center (1201 N Mustang) for kids ages 6-12 is an evening of playing games & fun while parents enjoy an evening out. Includes activities & dinner. Preregister, $15. 6-11pm. 376-3411, Gospel Concert sponsored by Inspiration Hill at Successful Word Church (Hwy 66 & Commercial, Warwick) features Southern SONlight, Caleb’s Call & David Hayes.7pm. 356-4051. OU Football vs. Texas A&M at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman. Time TBA. Other home games this month: 11/26. OSU Football vs. Kansas State at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. Time TBA.

5-6 Oklahoma Mineral & Gem Show at State Fair Park in the Modern Living Building features hands-on activities & educational exhibits for children, expert demonstrations & treasures from dealers across the globe. Scouts in uniform & children 12 & under FREE. $6. Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 9am-5pm. 823-0517,

6 • Sunday

3000 or, Other home games this month: 11/11, 12, 18, 19.

FREE Keola & Moana Beamer: Masters of Slack Key Guitar & Hula at the Downtown Library present their unique vision of Hawaii’s cultural arts through the music of the Slack Key Guitar & the art of Hula dancing. 2-3pm. Also held: 11/7 (Warr Acres & Midwest City), 11/8 (Edmond & Bethany), 11/9 (Ralph Ellison & Choctaw), 11/10 (Belle Isle), 11/11 (Village & Del City).


Family Day at the OKC Museum of Art features story times by the Metropolitan Library System, hands-on art making activities, special performance by International Dance Studio & more. $10 adults, $8 seniors & students w/ID, $8 children ages 6-18, $5 military, FREE members & children 5 & under. 12-4pm. 236-3100,


Winter Wind Concert Series: Tom Kimmel at the Performing Arts Studio (200 S Jones, Norman) features this award-winning songwriter, entertainer, poet & teacher with his lean, acoustic-centered approach & humorous spirit in storytelling & poetry. $15. 7pm. 307-9320, Paul Simon presented by Beaver Productions at the Civic Center Music Hall. $65 & up. 7:30pm. 297-2264, Central Oklahoma Real Diaper Circle at Stages Health & Fitness (4910 N May) allow an opportunity for cloth diapering families to meet & socialize. Held monthly on the first Sunday of the month. 3:30-5pm 290-8862, Also held: 11/17 at the Moore Medical Center Physicians Building North Atrium (700 S Telephone), 6:30-8pm.

7 • Monday FREE Admission at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History on the first Monday of each month. 10am-5pm. 9th Annual 4-H Chili Supper & Auction at the OK County OSU Extension Auditorium (930 N Portland) benefits the Oklahoma County 4-H through a chili supper, silent & live auctions. $3 ages 13 & up, $2 ages 6-12, FREE ages 5 & under. 6pm. 713-1125, www.oces. Student Jazz Ensemble Concert at UCO Jazz Lab (100 E 5, Edmond) features live music as well as food & beverages available from Hideaway Pizza. $7. 7pm. 359-7989,

8 • Tuesday Storytime Science at Science Museum Oklahoma features the museum’s performer puppeteer for storytelling at its finest. FREE with paid admission. 10am & 2pm. FREE Respecting Diversity: Stories from the Holocaust sponsored by the OKDHS Department of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives at the Oklahoma History Center features Michael Korenblit, President & Co-Founder of the Respect Diversity Foundation. Noon-1pm. 521-3552, OKC Barons vs. Toronto Marlies at the Cox Convention Center. 10:30am. Tickets $14 & up. 800-745

FREE Meet the Principal Coffee at Mount St. Mary Catholic High School (2801 S Shartel) invites the public to come learn more about the school. 8:45am. 631-8865,

Memphis presented by Celebrity Attractions at the Civic Center Music Hall features laughter and roof-raising music. For mature audiences. www.

9 • Wednesday FREE Guided Tour of Native American Art at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, led by Dr. Jackson Rushing. 2-3pm. FREE Cloth Diaper Basics class at Green Bambino (5120 N Shartel) No purchase necessary, preregistration required. 6-7:15pm. 848-2330, www. Also held 11/19, 9-10:15am.

9-11 Opera Scenes: an Evening of Love at UCO Jazz Lab (100 E 5, Edmond). 7:30pm. 359-7989, www.

10 • Thursday FREE Make ‘N Take Craft at the Moore Public Library invites children 3-6 years of age to drop in & make a craft to take home. 10-11:30am. Wine Through Time fundraiser at the Edmond Historical Society & Museum (431 S Boulevard) includes 16 wines to taste, live music & auction items. $50 & up. 6-8:30pm. 340-0078, Brian Stokes Mitchell (jazz and Broadway artist) at Armstrong Auditorium (14400 S Bryant, Edmond) 7:30pm. 285-1010,

11 • Friday FREE Veterans Day Ceremony at the 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City honors our nation’s veterans form all branches & time periods. 10am. 4245313, FREE Admission for Veterans at the following venues (visit venue website for details): • The Museum of Osteology • Oklahoma City Zoo • National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Annie presented by the Poteet Theatre at St Luke’s United Methodist Church (222 NW 15). $20. ThursdaySaturday, 8pm; Sunday, 3pm. 609-1023, www. Sutton Artist Series: Mark Neumann, Viola at OU Pitman Recital Hall in Catlett Music Center (500 W Boyd, Norman). $9. 8pm. 325-4101, finearts/events. November 2011 |


FREE Art a la Carte at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art provides live music, short films & an art activity. 6-9pm. FREE Norman’s 2nd Friday Circuit of Art is a monthly celebration of the arts connecting the downtown arts district with galleries, performance halls & Campus Corner. Trolley service between venues available at minimal cost. 6-10pm. 360-1162, FREE LIVE on the Plaza in the Plaza District (NW 16th between Classen & Penn) on the second Friday of each month includes art walk, local artists, live music & shopping. 7-11pm.

11-12 Clem McSpadden National Finals-Steer Roping at the Lazy E Arena (9600 Lazy E, Guthrie). $20 & up. 7:30pm. 282-RIDE, The Green Closet's FREE Children’s Clothing Swap at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds (615 Robinson, Norman) invites participants to bring their good, clean used children's clothing, shoes & coats to exchange for other items. Friday, 3-7pm (drop off) Saturday, 1-4pm (select new items). Preregister. 364-7319, www.

11-24 Holiday Gift Gallery 2011 at the Firehouse Art Center (444 S Flood, Norman) provides an assortment of holiday gifts, handmade jewelry & other unique gift items. Monday-Friday, 9:30am-5:30pm; Saturday, 10am-4pm. 329-4523,

12 • Saturday Race for Hope 2011 at Lake Overholser benefits the Oklahoma Brain Tumor Foundation with a 12K, 5K, 1 mile fun run, dog jog & kids dash. $20 in advance, $25 race day, FREE kids fun run/walk or dog jog. 8am. 8434673, FREE Under the Sea with Me StoryTime at Uptown Kids (5840 N Classen) 10:30am. 418-8881, www. Be-A-Ware: Self Defense Class for Teens & Young Women at INTEGRIS PACER Fitness Center (5520 N Independence). Topics include social networking dangers, dating violence, self-defense techniques & assertiveness training. 13-16 year olds need a signed permission form. $10. 10:30am-12:30pm. 949-3891, Fall Community Fair at Andy Alligator’s Fun Park (3300 Market Place, Norman) features vendor & information booths & activities. Noon-4pm. 321-7275, Holiday Shopping Event at the Greens Country Club (13100 Green Valley) benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Fully stocked with wines, food, music & vendors from throughout the city. 2-6pm. 751-6266,


Greater Oklahoma Bluegrass Music Society Concert/Jam at the Oklahoma Country-Western Museum & Hall of Fame (3925 SE 29) features three professional bluegrass bands on stage & open jamming. $6 general admission, $5 GOBMS members, FREE ages 12 & under. 6:30pm. 677-7515, www. Edmond’s Got Talent presented by the Edmond Fine Arts Institute at Edmond North High School (215 W Danforth) is a community talent show with cash prizes. $7 in advance, $10 at the door. 7pm. 340-4481, www.

14 • Monday OU Theatre Guild Baubles & Bubbles Fundraiser on Main Street Norman is a jewelry sale & party to benefit student scholarships & travel enrichment. 6-8pm. www. FREE OU Chamber Singers & Norman Children’s Chorus at OU Sharp Concert Hall in Catlett Music Center (500 W Boyd, Norman). 7:30pm. 325-4101,

15 • Tuesday Tiny Tuesdays at the OKC Museum of Art is a come & go art activity for children ages 2-5 with parent. FREE with paid museum admission. 10am-noon. FREE Kid's Craft Time at Green Bambino (5120 N Shartel) invites toddlers and preschoolers to make a free craft. Supplies provided. Preregister, class size is limited. 4-5pm. 848-2330, FREE The 20/20 Myth Vision Workshop at the Brain & Eye Connection Clinic (1530 SW 89) invites parents to learn about how vision can interfere with learning. 6-7pm. 703-3163, Tuesdays at Sundown-The Allure of Time & Place at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage features a guest lecture on Georgia O’Keefe & her time at the Ghost Ranch. FREE for members, $5 for non-members. 6:30-8pm.

FREE Third Friday Celtic Night at Sonder Music (225 E Gray, Norman) Celtic dancers invited to dance to live music. Held every third Friday of the month. 8-10pm. 474-9734, FREE College & Career Prep Fair at Metro Career Academy (1901 Springlake) invites middle & high school students & their parents to meet with college representatives, discover fast growing careers, get information on financial aid & college credit & enjoy refreshments. 5-8pm. 595-4325, carole.brown@

17-20 Upon this Island at UCO Mitchell Hall Theatre (100 N University, Edmond) is a highly original adaptation of the popular fairy tale The Little Mermaid. ThursdaySaturday, 7:30pm; Sunday, 2pm. 974-3375.

18 • Friday Golden Ratio Day at the Science Museum Oklahoma invites guests to celebrate mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci & the wonder of the Golden Ratio. 9am-5pm. FREE Art After Hours at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art invites guests to get acquainted with works from the museum’s permanent collection in these 45-minute discussions. 6-7pm.

19 • Saturday Girl Scout Workshop: Watching Wildlife for Juniors at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History includes workshop & general admission for one scout & one adult per five scouts. Preregister. $10 per scout. 10am-noon. Touch a Truck Wheels & Wings at Marc Heitz Chevrolet (I-35 & Lindsey, Norman) invites families to come, see, hear & touch big & small trucks, race cars, police cars, tractors & more. Food & ice cream available. $1 donation to benefit Big Brothers & Big Sisters. 10am-1pm. 488-7971.

16 • Wednesday

FREE Spaghetti Eddie performs at Uptown Kids (5840 N Classen) features kid-friendly music. 10:30am. 418-8881,

4th Annual Arts Alliance Chili Bowl at the Fred Jones Jr. Art Center Lightwell Gallery (520 Parrington Oval, Norman) invites patrons to taste & vote for the best chili. Benefits student scholarships $15. 11:30am2pm. 325-2691,

FREE Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol presented by Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park at the Bethany Library celebrates the season with Scrooge, Cratchit, Marley & the ghosts. 2-4pm. Also held: 11/26 (Edmond), 12/10 (Midwest City).

17 • Thursday Lean & Green at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum encourages participants to re-learn the concept of waste, learn how to reduce energy use.

Yukon Christmas in the Park kicks off with the Chill Your Cheeks 5K Run, Jingle Walk, Kris Kringle Karnival & the turning on of over 100 acres of lights. Includes horse drawn wagon, train rides, pictures with Santa, refreshments, live Christmas music & games. 5-11pm. 354-8442,

The Rock & Worship Roadshow at Chesapeake Energy Arena features MercyMe, Jars of Clay, Disciple, Hawk Nelson, Matt Maher & Group 1 Crew. $10 at the door. 7pm.

Mozart & Mahler presented by the OKC Philharmonic at the Civic Center Music Hall features soprano Sari Gruber & pianist Shai Wosner. $15 & up. 8pm. 2972264, | November 2011


25 • Friday

Edmond Women’s Club Holiday Home Tour in Edmond’s Rose Creek Addition. See p. 10 for more info.

Black Friday at Be Wild for Art (1006 24th Ave NW, Norman) features Black Friday specials throughout the day. 10am-10pm. 307-9971,

20 • Sunday FREE Family Day at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art features free admission to the museum as well as hands-on art activities for the entire family. 1-4pm. FREE Sunday on Paseo Creek in the Paseo Arts District features live music, art demonstrations, food, beverages and great art from the Paseo Creek Art Galleries including Contemporary Art, Summer Wine and Visions in the Paseo. 1-4pm. 557-1229, www. FREE Teen Crafts with Angela at the Norman Public Library invites teens in grades 6-12 to have fun with crafts. Supplies are provided. Preregister. 2-4pm. Winter Wind Concert Series: Ari Hest at the Performing Arts Studio (200 S Jones, Norman). $15. 7pm. 307-9320,

21 • Monday Sutton Concert Series: Wind Symphony & Symphonic Band at OU Sharp Concert Hall in Catlett Music Center (500 W Boyd, Norman). $8 adults, $5 students/OU faculty & staff/senior adults. 8pm. 3254101,

22 • Tuesday Thankful Tuesday at Bouncin Craze (14901 N Lincoln, Edmond) includes arts & crafts, turkey cupcakes & lots of bouncin. $7.50 per child. 607-2020, www. Cultural Arts Series (Youth & Family Theatre): Danny, King of the Basement at OCCC Bruce Owen Theater follows Danny & his mom as they are constantly on the move struggling to evade homelessness. Best for grades 3-8. 7pm. 682-7576,

23 • Wednesday FREE admission to the OKC Zoo.

24 • Tuesday Turkey Trot 2011 at the Edward L Gaylord Downtown YMCA (1 NW 4) benefits the YMCA & includes a 1 Mile Fun Run, 5K Run & 5K Dog Run. Discounted registration before 11/11. $25 1 Mile Fun Run, $40 5K Run, $45 5K Dog Run. 5K, 9am; 1 Mile, 10am. 2977700, Edmond Turkey Trot in Downtown Edmond (28 E Main) features a 5K chip timed trot & a 1-mile family wobble. All ages, strollers & friendly leashed dogs are welcome. $25 w/shirt, $10 wobble participants w/o shirt, FREE children 12 & under w/o shirt. 8am. 590-8665,

27 • Sunday Sand Plum Fairy Tea presented by the Norman Ballet Company at the Nancy O'Brien Center for the Performing Arts (1809 Stubbeman, Norman) invites families to meet the Sand Plum Fairy from the production of the "Oklahoma Nutcracker" as well as the Nutcracker & Santa Claus himself. Activities include crafts, a story teller & tea party refreshments. Limited seating. Tickets at or 888-966-1777. $18. 1-2:15pm. Event is followed by the Oklahoma Nutcracker, see below for details. 3641818, Oklahoma Nutcracker presented by the Norman Ballet Company at the Nancy O'Brien Center for the Performing Arts (1809 Stubbeman, Norman) maintains the Nutcracker's traditional storyline & Tchaikovsky score while integrating elements of Oklahoma history & natural resources in a uniquely Oklahoma holiday experience. Tickets at or 866-966-1777. $20. 3-4:45pm. 364-1818, www. FREE admission to the OKC Museum of Art & the American Banjo Museum as a part of Downtown in December's Oklahoma City Community Foundation FREE Museum Sundays. www.downtownindecember. com.

28 • Monday Monday Study Club at 50 Penn Place (1900 NW Expressway) features a presentation “Dealing with the Stress of Transition.” Includes lunch. Preregister. Annual dues, $25; lunch, $12.50. 11:30am-1pm.

29 • Tuesday Science of SMO: The Science Shop at the Science Museum Oklahoma invites guests to discover the science of retail and marketing. FREE with paid admission. 9am-5pm. 5th Street Jazz Collective at UCO Jazz Lab (100 E 5, Edmond) features music by award-winning UCO faculty members. $10. 7:30pm. 340-8552, www.ucojazzlab. com. FREE Opera Scenes at OU Pitman Recital Hall in Catlett Music Center (500 W Boyd, Norman) features OU voice students. 8pm. 325-4101, finearts/events.

30 • Wednesday FREE Creating New Traditions at Calm Waters Center for Children & Families (4334 NW Expressway, Suite 101) is a one-day workshop held during the holiday season for families that have experienced a death. Preregister 6:30-8pm. 841-4800, www. November 2011 |


December 1 Cultural Arts Series: The Alley Cats at OCCC Bruce Owen Theater features the perfect blend of musical talent & comedic timing with an a capella doo-wop style applied to the great Christmas songs of the American Songbook as well as great songs of the 50s & 60s. 7pm. 682-7576, Territorial Christmas Celebration at the Harn Homestead depicts a territorial 1880s Christmas come to life, with historic building tours, holiday decorations, treats, crafts & a visit from Santa. $5 aduts, $3 children, members free. 5:30-8:30pm. 235-4058, www. FREE Holiday Happening at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History features holiday music, crafts, story telling, shopping, FREE admission to the museum & more. 6-9pm.

December 1-3 The Christmas Show presented by the OKC Philharmonic at the Civic Center Music Hall shares the joy of the holiday season & stars Judy McLane. $15 & up. Thursday, 7:30pm; Friday, 8pm; Saturday, 2pm & 8pm. 297-2264,

December 1-4 FREE Journey to Bethlehem at Forest Hill Christian Church (2121 N MacArthur) invites the public to travel back in time to experience the birth of Jesus through live, interactive drama. Enjoy hot chocolate & home made cookies at the end of your journey. Tours depart every two minutes. 6-9pm. 495-0439,

December 1-10 Yule Be Swingin’ at UCO Jazz Lab (100 E 5, Edmond) features favorite holiday tunes. Thursday-Sunday, 8pm. 974-3375,

December 1-11 A Christmas Carol presented by the Oklahoma Children’s Theatre at OCU Burg Theatre is based on the classic novel by Charles Dickens. $9 adults, $6 children 2-12. 951-0011, www.

December 2

FREE Old Town Christmas Tree Lighting & Moore Public Library Holiday Gala at Old Town Moore & the Moore Public Library features a Christmas tree lighting, Santa at the Library, carriage rides through Old Town Moore, Christmas music & snacks. 6-8:30pm. 7934332, Art After Hours at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art invites guests to get acquainted with works from the museum’s permanent collection in these 45-minute discussions. 6-7pm. FREE WinterGlow at UCO Nigh University Center (100 N University, Edmond) presents a winter celebration with children’s crafts, activities, refreshments & more. 6-9pm. 974-3587. OKC Barons vs. San Antonio Rampage at the Cox Convention Center. 7pm. Tickets $14 & up, 800-7453000 or Other home games this month: 12/9, 13, 17, 27, 28, 31.

December 2-3 FREE First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo Arts District features more than 60 artists in 17 galleries. Friday, 6-10pm; Saturday, noon-5pm. 525-2688, www.

December 2-4 The Music Man at Rose State Performing Arts Center (6420 SE 15, Midwest City) follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa. Friday-Saturday, 7:30pm; Sunday, 2pm. 297-2264, FREE Boys Ranch Drive-Thru Christmas Pageant (5100 SE 33, Edmond) is a living drive through nativity complete with children & animals. Donations accepted. 7-9pm. 341-3606,

December 3-24 FREE A Territorial Christmas in Guthrie includes a live theatre production at the Pollard Theatre, historic home tours, Victorian Walk evenings & live performances. 282-1947,

Segway: The Day of Creation at Science Museum Oklahoma invites guests to experience the amazing science behind this celebrated innovation. FREE with paid admission. 9am-5pm.

FREE Dickens of a Christmas-Festival of the Trees in Downtown Edmond features merchants dressed in period costumes with special events & prices each Saturday in December until Christmas. 249-9391,

FREE 2nd Annual Cowboy Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Stockyards City Main Street (1305 S Agnew Ave) includes a district-wide open house, holiday concert and free refreshments. 6:30pm. 2357267,

December 4

FREE Moore Santa Express Toy Drive at the Moore Community Center (301 S Howard) invites the public


to bring an unwrapped toy & enjoy inflatables, clowns & snacks. Toys may also be donated at any Moore Fire Station from 11/25-12/23. 6-9pm. 793-5110, www. | November 2011

FREE Curriculum Fair at Mount St. Mary Catholic High School (2801 S Shartel) invites the public to learn more about the school. 1pm. 631-8865,

holiday lights Nov 18-Dec 30

Nov 23-Dec 30

Nov 25-Dec 24

FREE Holiday Lights Spectacular at Joe B Barnes Regional Park in Midwest City features over 100 million lights to drive through or take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Sunday-Thursday 6-10pm, Friday-Saturday 6-11pm. 739-1293,

FREE Kingfisher in Lights at Kingfisher Park showcases over 80 lighted & animated displays featuring over two million lights including a lighted historic 1903 swinging bridge. Miniature train and horse-drawn carriage rides available. Sunday-Thursday 6-10pm, Friday -Saturday 6-11pm. 375-4445, www.

Woolaroc Wonderland of Lights at the Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve (1925 Woolaroc Ranch, Bartlesville) features lights, live entertainment, holiday refreshments & a visit with Santa Claus. $4 adults, $1 children. Friday-Sunday, 5-9pm. 918-336-0307, www.

Nov 19-Dec 30 FREE Ardmore Festival of Lights at Regional Park (exit 33 off I-35). Weekdays, 6-10pm; Weekends, 6-11pm. 580-223-7765,

FREE Festival of Angels in Ponca City features lighted displays at various locations throughout Ponca City. 6-10pm. 405-375-4650,

FREE Crystal Christmas at Crystal Beach Park in Woodward features lighted walking tours, gift shop, live nativity, visit & pictures with Santa. 6-10pm. 800-3645352,

Nov 23-Jan 1

Nov 19-Dec 31 Christmas in the Park at City Park (2200 S Holly, Yukon), Chisholm Trail Park & Freedom Trail Playground (500 W Vandament, Yukon) offers a 3-park complex of light displays that visitors may drive, walk, ride a train or take a horse drawn carriage ride through. Donations accepted. 6-11pm nightly. 354-8442, www.

Nov 22-Dec 31 FREE Festival of Light in Chickasha is a top ten nationally recognized holiday light show featuring over 3.5 million lights, a computer animated light show, carriage rides, pictures with Santa, & cinnamon rolls. 6-11pm daily. 224-9627, www.chickahsafestivaloflight. com.

FREE Rhema Christmas Lights at Rhema Bible College in Broken Arrow. Donations accepted. Open nightly dusk to 11:30pm. 918-258-1588, www.

Nov 24-Dec 31 Christmas Kingdom at the Castle in Muskogee features thousands of inflatable displays & an astonishing display of lights, hayrides, petting zoo, carriage rides, holiday movies, Santa Claus, the Grinch, crafts & more. FREE to drive through to view inflatables & lights. 6-10pm. 918-687-3625, FREE Garden of Lights at Honor Heights Park in Muskogee features animated displays & over a million lights. 918-684-6302,

Nov 25-Dec 31 FREE Christmas in the Park in Elk City features millions of lights, Christmas music, & Santa’s gift shop. Ride through on a double-decker bus, a horse-drawn wagon, Centennial Carousel or a miniature train. Nightly, 6-9pm. 580-225-0207,

Nov 26-Dec 23 Christmas Light Display at the Orr Family Farm (14400 S Western) features more than half a million lights by train. Friday-Saturday, 6-8:30pm. 799-FARM,

Dec 1 FREE Mayor’s Tree Lighting & Parade of Lights at Shannon Miller Park in Edmond. Parade will follow the tree lighting in Downtown Edmond. 6pm. 359-4630.

Dec 1-31 FREE Edmond Christmas Light Displays presented at Downtown, Spring Creek Plaza & Village, First Baptist Church, UCO Campus & OC Campus. 3414344.

November 2011 |


No matter what time of year or occasion, you'll find the BEST party-planning choices in the area right here.

44 | November 2011

November 2011 |



Skye B., age 2, of Oklahoma City at OU Campus Fanfare.


In October, our readers submitted photos of their kids sharing the love of sports. View all submissions at www. november-2011-photos.

Tyler V., age 5, Oklahoma City.

Connor M., age 10, of Oklahoma City.

Caleb V., age 7, Oklahoma City.

Meghan T. , age 5, of Norman.

Trevor G., age 8, of Norman with Texas Ranger pitcher Derek Holland.

Aidan P., age 5, Ryder F., age 1, and Presleigh F., age 3, from Bethany.

For our December issue, we'd love to see your best holiday photos! Send us your best photos of your kids trimming the tree, opening gifts and enjoying other holiday festivities by Saturday, November 20. Guidelines and a form to submit your photos can be found at

46 | November 2011

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MetroFamily Magazine November 2011  

MetroFamily's November 2011 issue includes tons of ideas, activities and events for family fun in the Oklahoma City metro area.

MetroFamily Magazine November 2011  

MetroFamily's November 2011 issue includes tons of ideas, activities and events for family fun in the Oklahoma City metro area.