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The BIG Birthday Party Guide • Over 76 local party venues and other birthday services • Plan a memorable birthday on a budget • The ULTIMATE Birthday Party Giveaway—and how you can win!

Find family fun in our huge Fall Festival guide

One local mom’s breast cancer story of survival H1N1: What you need to know

T h e E s s e nt i a l Res o u rce fo r Cent ra l O k l a h o m a F a m i l i es

w w w. w. M e ett rroFa oFamily yM Ma aga z i n e.comw w w. M et roFa m i l yM aga z i n e.comw w w

The Metropolitan Library System and the Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library present:

From Band-Aids to Twisters: Enhancing Community and Personal Preparedness Learn about preparing for disasters and to spot potential health and safety hazards. With music and stories by EJ Perry Ensemble, the Sugar Free Allstars, Al Bostick and Buffalofitz.

Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009 10am to 3pm Midwest City Library, 8143 E. Reno It’s all free, including the food - while it lasts!

Funded in whole or in part by grants from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract # NO1-LM-6-3505 with the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library

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placement test today! 877-586-6671 ©2009 Kumon North America, Inc.

October 2009


Finding a copy of your favorite local family resource has never been easier!

The Top Five Reasons to visit this month:


Sign up your child for our cover kids search by October 15th. All entrants receive over $120 in coupons and semi-finalists win more great prizes! The six winners will be cover models for upcoming MetroFamily issues. Details at


Enter the many CONTESTS we have this month at MetroFamilyMagazine. com/contests and you could win: t0OFPGUIFTJYULTIMATE Birthday Party Giveaway packages (details on page 26) t'PVSUJDLFUTUPUIFVQDPNJOH“Curious George� production at Cox Convention Center (Nov 12-15) t'PVSUJDLFUTUPUIFVQDPNJOH$FMFCSJUZ"UUSBDUJPOTQSPEVDUJPOPG “Little House on the Prairie� (Nov 17) t0WFSPGHSFBUchild and family products


Join with other “Iron Moms� and learn how to increase your health quotient at


Check out online-exclusive articles about Halloween safety tips, additional birthday party ideas, and more at 0DUPCFS


Join us on and metrofamily to join the conversation and take advantage of additional contests!

MetroFamily is now at all OKC area Jimmy’s Egg locations Homeland stores Crest stores YMCA branches Tan and Tone locations All area libraries (MetroLibrary System and Pioneer Library System)

You can also enjoy the convenience of a subscription for only $18.95 per year. Call 405-340-1404 (ext 2) or go to

Have more family fun! Visit the award-winning

160 acre

natural playground waiting to be explored

z High Adventure Treasure Hunt z Hayrides z “Bone Zone� Archaeological Dig


October 2009

z Pony Rides z Fishing z Archery Range ...and much more!

October 2009

The BIG Birthday Party Guide 43 Calendar Events and activities

18 Character First Encouraging initiative in your children

38 Dear Teacher Educate yourself with tips from a teacher


Dear MetroFamily

Mitzi Massie

Editor’s Note


Planning a birthday party has never been easier, thanks to our handy listing of venues, entertainment, party food and photographers. And on page 20, find ideas to simplify your child’s birthday party. Let the celebrations begin!


Exploring Oklahoma These fall festivals mean great food

32 Family Finances Tips for buying a car on a budget

10 Family Shorts News you can use

42 In Touch with Relationships The importance of kids play

22 Let’s Eat: Recipes Aimee Adams

Delicious pumpkin treats


Diana Sweet has cancer. But she also has hope, faith, strength and a positive attitude that will inspire you.

24 Oklahoma Reads


Celebrate the season—the Fall Festival listing has fun options for all.

Book reviews

50 The Alert Parent Why a job well done matters

14 Your Healthy Family On our cover: Brayden Brock, age 4, son of Brandon and April Brock of Yukon. His favorite part of birthdays? Balloons, face painting (especially tigers) and presents!

What H1N1 means for your family

Cover Photography by Brock’s Photography ❘

October 2009


Dear MetroFamily, We all have our challenges, don’t we? Sometimes life delivers us into circumstances that we don’t desire or expect. I’ve discovered that it’s in how we deal with those circumstances, how we choose to let them effect our lives, that reveals our true character. I had the amazing opportunity to interview Diana Sweet for this issue, a young woman who is battling breast cancer. She has handled her diagnosis and treatment with grace and strength, and I find such beauty in that. Even facing down a dragon as big as cancer, Diana sees that it could be worse; she’ll take it one day at a time and get through, because that’s what has to be done. I’m definitely one of those women who has too many things on the to-do list, and when something pops up that is unexpected or scary, it can make me stumble. I’m effective but not necessarily graceful. I get it done but not always in the way I want to do it. I’ve always been a person who just does it because it needs to be done. As a military wife, this has served me well, but there are some days when the doing just cannot get done without a few tears. And it’s in those moments where I find my own character. We can’t wait for these moments to pass, because it’s in these moments where life exists. urney—big, sm I encourage you to embrace all the moments of your life’s journey—big, small, happy or sad. Cheers,

Info And Questions: 405-340-1404 To submit events to our calendar Publisher Sarah L. Taylor Editor Mari M. Farthing Art Director Mitzi Massie Advertising Sales Athena Delce Dana Price Donna Stewart Office and Distribution Manager Kathy Alberty Marketing Specialist Whitney Fleming Calendar Editor & Special Projects Assistant Terri Fields Editorial Assistants Elizabeth Harvey Sherrie Horton Graphics Assistant Kathryne Taylor

• Hurry! The deadline to enter your child in our fun and exciting Cover Kids Search is October 15th. We’re looking for six fresh new faces to grace our covers in 2010. With six categories and six outright winners, there are many chances to win this year. Entry fee is $25 with part of the proceeds going to Special Olympics Special Smiles Program. Upon entry, you will receive a prize package of coupons and discounts valued over $120. Find more info and sign up at or find a form on page 25. Our sincere appreciation to Presenting Sponsor, Delta Dental, and Photography Sponsor, Brock’s Photography, for their support of this project. • MetroFamily Iron Moms will be running or walking in honor of Diana Sweet (see page 35) at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on October 10th. Sign up to be an Iron Mom and learn more about the event at • You’ve asked for more contests and we’ve got them! Enter all of our fun contests this month and you could win tickets to the musical “Little House on the Prairie” (Nov 17); Curious George production (Nov 12-15); over $400 of fun family products; and of course, our ULTIMATE Birthday Party Giveaway. Find them all at Deadlines for each vary so visit soon! • Our November issue will focus on family health and adoption. Space reservation deadline is October 15; the issue distributes on October 29. Call today! 405-340-1404.


October 2009

Contributing Writers Michelle Ann Anderson Leslie Garrett Marge Eberts Peggy Gisler Allyn Evans Dr. Lisa Marotta Mari Farthing Karen Mitchell Shannon Fields Gayleen Rabakkuk Jessica Fisher Dr. Sue Lynn Sasser 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. 306 S. Bryant, Suite C152 • Edmond, OK 73034 Fax: 405-340-1490 E-mail: ©Inprint Publishing, Inc. 2009, All Rights Reserved. Volume 12, Number 10

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Da e in a Ma e 4 walk-through Mazes • Petting Zoo • Pumpkin Patch • Picnic and Play Areas • And much more!

Oering: Field Trips, Birthday Parties, 4DPVUJOH&WFOUT $IVSDI(SPVQT 'BNJMZ Reunions or just a good time with your family Open: Labor Day weekend - Thanksgiving weekend (weather permitting) SaturdayBNQN OJHIUUJNFGVO tSunday 2pm - dusk Monday-Friday, groups by appointment only

Admission: tVOEFSGSFFt(SPVQSBUFTBWBJMBCMF Location: 2 miles North of Hwy 51 on Hwy 74

Call 580-234-MAZE (6293) On weekends call 405-550-5964 or 405-550-9177

For more info: October 2009


Exploring Oklahoma Fall Festival Fun!


ith the arrival of fall comes a chill in the air, colorful foliage and football—all favorites of my family. Attending any one of the many local festivals scheduled this time of year is another. Besides the unique food, these festivals are family-friendly outreach events that educate and support the communities they serve. Following are a few diverse options that our family always enjoy.

Traditional dancers at the Czech Festival in Yukon.

Oklahoma Czech Festival Being of Czech heritage myself, I’ve always been partial to this annual event. Dubbed “The Czech Capitol of Oklahoma” by Governor Dewey Bartlett in 1968, Yukon has hosted this event since 1966. The Czech Festival (October 3) gives attendees a glimpse into the colorful Czech culture. One of Oklahoma’s largest parades begins at 10am, and events and activities are held throughout the day. You can try your hand (or feet) at a polka or waltz played by local bands, watch cultural dancers in traditional dress, view and purchase Czech-crafted arts and crafts, tour the Hot Rod and Antique Car Show, sip on some home-made root beer, taste the popular homemade kolaches (a Czech pastry) or klobasy (sausage sandwiches). The carnival atmosphere includes rides, a child’s petting zoo, pony rides, duck pond and spin art.

St. George Greek Festival Originating as a bake sale to introduce the community to Greek culture and 8

faith in the church’s old location in downtown Oklahoma City, the St. George Greek Festival (October 23-25) has been held in its current location in NW OKC since 1984. According to festival chairman, Chris Gianos, the feel and size of the festival has changed over the years, but the primary focus Sfeeha continues. With that comes sandwich at lots of fun and traditional, St. Elijah Food homemade Greek food. Many Festival food booths include a-la-carte items including baklava, Greek St. Elijah Food Festival salad and calamari. Full plate dinners Ladies of the church started this include a main entrée choice of one-half homemade food festival forty years ago Greek-seasoned chicken or souvlakia at its original downtown Oklahoma City (shish ke bab), pasticcio (a Greek location with a very small attendance. lasagna), Greek-style rice/green beans, This festival (November 6-7) has spanakopita (spinach/cheese pie), roll continually grown; since moving to their and a drink. Music by Mediterranean new location ten years ago, attendance Soul, a San-Francisco-based band, and is estimated to be up to 10,000 people cultural dancers will provide musical each year, according to Craig Abraham, entertainment throughout the festival. festival chairperson. The hospitable Kids can enjoy clowns, balloon artists nature of the church and the food, and magicians. Tours of the church are also available. According to Gianos, one especially the homemade Talami bread, new activity is a 5K run/walk on Saturday morning. A major portion of proceeds will benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates or CASA, an organization that benefits abused or neglected Greek dancers at St. George Greek Festival children. • Oklahoma Czech Festival Saturday, October 3; 8am-5pm 25 N 5th St, Yukon 405-354-7573, • St. George Greek Festival Friday-Sunday, October 23-25; Friday-Saturday 11am-9pm, Sunday 11am-5pm 2101 NW 145th, OKC 405-751-1885, Admission $3; 5K registration includes admission fee • St. Elijah Food Festival Friday-Saturday, November 6-7; 10am-8pm 15000 N May, OKC 405-755-7804, October 2009

Parks and Recreation

COME OUT & PLAY is what keeps bringing people back, according to Abraham. Lines form long before opening so that people can buy the locally famous fresh-baked bread. But all of the food is worth the trip (I can personally attest to this). Besides the ready-to-eat cuisine prepared on site, the festival’s Culinary Cupboard is filled with freshly baked and frozen goods for purchase. Parishioners begin weeks in advance cooking up the generations-old recipes including cabbage rolls, baked kibbi (a seasoned meat), sfeeha (meat pies), labana (yogurt cheese), Ruzz and Yahknee (Lebanese rice pilaf), cookies, cakes, pies and more for community purchase. A majority of the proceeds support the church’s St. Barnabas outreach ministry which funds a number of charitable organizations. Any of these fall festivals are a great excuse to take a cooking break! So, treat your family and your taste buds by going to a local festival. The added bonus? You’ll be supporting the community, too!

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.

Child Care Resource & Referral

If you are needing child care or you provide child care we can help you! For further information about any Rainbow Fleet program please call (405) 521-1426



The Oklahoma Women’s Symposium presents an opportunity for women to “reinvent, reinvest and reshape your life.” This day-long conference is designed to empower Oklahoma women by exploring the ways women can successfully manage the challenges of a successful work and home life. Speakers, including local women Sherri Coale, Melissa Garcia, Cathy Keating and Monique Terrell, will discuss topics important to Oklahoma women, including living life with a purpose, frugal living, navigating life’s speed bumps and the feminine advantage. The Symposium ($35 per person) will be held Thursday, October 10 from 8:30am-4:30pm at the Cox Convention Center. Registration begins at 7:30am. Details may be found at 405-325-6034 or online at © Redbaron |

MFM Question of the Month How many listings are in the Birthday Party Guide? (Hint: see our cover) To enter, visit and complete the entry form. By doing so, you’ll be eligible to win a prize package valued over $400 Deadline is Thursday, October 24.

Free Children’s Dental Care The Rose State College Dental Hygiene Clinic accepts appointments for children ages 3-12 for free dental services including teeth cleaning, exams and fluoride treatment. Additional services, including xrays and sealants, may be scheduled for a small fee of $5 (appointments are limited). The clinic is located in the Health Science Annex building, south of the Rose State Campus on the north side of I-40 in Midwest City. For more information about the program or to schedule services, call 405-733-7337 or visit (click the “Community tab and select “Dental Hygiene Clinic.”)

Statewide Autism Conference The first statewide autism conference will be held November 6-7 in Norman. This event provides an opportunity to provide information and resources to both parents and professionals interested in learning more about dealing with autism. The conference is sponsored by the Oklahoma Autism Network, whose primary objectives include providing credible information for parents to make informed choices for their children. Planned presentations will cover topics including: current research in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), emotional regulation, introduction to DIR and Floortime, safety issues and perspectives on parental stress, coping and resilience. Sessions will be held 8am-4pm daily at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Norman. Registration is $115 for family members or individuals with disability, $159 for professionals or educators if registered by October 15 ($130 or $189, respectively, if registered after October 15).

The winning entry will receive a prize package including the items pictured above. Full description of giveaway items listed at MetroFamilyMagazine. com/FS-Giveaway. * Winner agrees to pick up items from NW OKC area. 10

October 2009

For details about the conference or more information about autism, contact the Oklahoma Family Center for Autism at

© Stevies |

A Balanced Life

Rise & Shine with KAUT and MetroFamily Rise & Shine Oklahoma features hosts Lance West and David Payne presenting a fun and family-friendly newscast from 7:00-9:00 each weekday morning.

Taylor. “Through these segments on Rise and Shine, we hope to offer information that will serve to strengthen family bonds. We invite all of our readers to become regular viewers of Rise and Shine, if they don’t already watch.”

The show includes a mix of news, weather, traffic and fun—and now you’ll also find a little bit of MetroFamily.

“Rise & Shine Oklahoma on OK43 is thrilled to partner with MetroFamily Magazine because On Wednesday mornings at we know how important family about 7:50am, you will find life is to Oklahomans,” said MetroFamily on the air with Mary Ann Eckstein, Senior Vice Lance and David, presenting an President and News Director of exclusive short segment about a KFOR NewsChannel 4 and KAUT timely family topic found in our OK43. “By working together, we David Payne, Sarah Taylor, Mari Farthing and Lance West on the set of pages. KAUT’s Rise and Shine Oklahoma. can share ideas and resources to bring viewers and readers the best During the year that Rise and coverage of family issues.” Shine has been on the airwaves, their viewership has grown 300% among women 25-54, the same age range as 89% of If you missed any of the past segments, you can find them on MetroFamily’s readers. the KAUT home page ( or MetroFamily’s website ( In September, we discussed teen volunteering, the Dads and Daughters conference, moms using social media, saving Starting with our November issue, MetroFamily readers can money for your kids for college and birthday parties (a also look forward to a column that features KFOR in our sneak peek of this month’s issue). This month, we will cover pages, with an in-depth look at one of the current stories breast cancer awareness, playing outdoors, reading info and featured on their airwaves. “I’m so excited to work with KFOR Halloween safety tips. to provide another layer of useful information to our readers,” said MetroFamily Editor Mari Farthing. “It’s a partnership that “We are thrilled and proud to establish this partnership makes sense for both our readers and the show’s viewers.” with KFOR and KAUT,” said MetroFamily publisher Sarah

Resouces for kids who love science! Oobleck, slime and dancing spaghetti— oh my! Satisfy your child’s natural need to experiment with a new book by Jennifer Williams, who also received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education, parents are interested in their children’s science education but felt that the level of education available was lacking. Oobleck, Slime, and Dancing Spaghetti (Bright Sky Press, $14.95) features 20 experiments that tie science to a favorite children’s book. Each chapter has a detailed summary of the book and an experiment to tie into it. There are projects approrpriate for kids from preschool to grade four, noted in each chapter. So, read Dr. Seuss’ Bartholomew and the Oobleck with your fourth grader and then make your own polymer “oobleck.” Or read Daisy and the Egg by Jane Simmons with your preschooler and design a “nest” to protect your own egg. Families can also get hands-on science fun at the Oklahoma Mineral and Gem Show, held November 7-8 at the Modern Living Building on the State Fairgrounds.

“This is the only show in Oklahoma where you can get your hands dirty,” said Vernon Dorton, volunteer show chairman and member of the Oklahoma Mineral and Gem Society. “People who like to explore and learn will enjoy the hands on educational opportunities, children’s activities and specialists who can share advice, stories and unique finds with everyone from the curious jewelry collector to the rockhound.” New to this year’s show is the fluorescent room, where visitors can see illuminated fossils, rocks and minerals in a black light “cave.” The show is open Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-5pm. Admission is $6 for adults; ages 12 and under free. Details are available at 405-485-9446 or To learn more about geology in the state, check out the movie Oklahoma Rocks! (available on DVD), recently awarded the “Excellence in Education” award at the 2009 American Federation of Mineralogical Society Show and Convention. The movie takes you along with geologist Devin Dennie as he travels across the state exploring the diversity in the geographic makeup of Oklahoma. The DVD is available for $19.99 at October 2009


Mistletoe Market The Junior League of Oklahoma City (JLOC) presents the Mistletoe Market 2009, held October 9-11 in the Travel and Transportation Building at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. This is a larger venue than previous years to accommodate the increased number of vendors and shoppers expected. Proceeds generated by the Market directly benefit the JLOC’s literacy projects in the Oklahoma City Metro. Last year’s event produced a profit of over $150,000 which went directly to JLOC’s community projects supporting literacy. “We’re excited about the changes at Mistletoe Market this year,” said Kirsten Hurley, Mistletoe Market board chair. Visitors can expect to find a wide variety of items for purchase—including gourmet foods, jewelry, clothing and children’s items. The Market will be open Friday 10am-8pm, Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 11am-5pm. Admission is $8, $5 for seniors and children 3-12. Children’s events are planned for Saturday (music with Stacy Gray at 11am, OKC Zoo story time at 12:30pm, Science Museum Oklahoma activity at 2pm, OKC Philharmonic activity at 4pm) and Sunday (photos with Santa 11am-2pm, Snacks with Santa from noon-4pm, Princess and Pirates story time at 2pm, Gymboree Play and Music at 4pm). For adults, the Market Mingle Happy Hour will be held Friday 4-8pm and Saturday 2-6pm, featuring cash bar, hors d’oeuvres and live music. The Taste of Market Preview Party will be held Thursday evening from 6-9pm and features food, cocktails and entertainment for an admission of $50. Learn more or purchase tickets by calling 405-843-5668 or visiting

Champions of Character The Character Council of Central Oklahoma ( has a mission to “strengthen our community through relationships by growing character in all segments of society in Business, Communications, Education, Faith, Family, Government, and Law Enforcement. At the Annual Character Banquet held in September, men and women were presented “Champions of Character” awards, given to recognize their efforts to promote good character in the community. This year, the Character Council recognized the following individuals and areas: • Special recognition: OKC Mayor Mick Cornett and Congresswoman Mary Fallin

Character Council chairman Gerald Coury and vice-chairman Clarence Powers congratulate Sarah Taylor, publisher of MetroFamily for being honored with a “Champion of Character” award.

• Frank and Jo Robinson, 2009 Oklahoma Family of the Year

Easy to be

Green Green Halloween Once a chance to go door-to-door dressed up in Dad’s old clothes, collecting treats like apples and popcorn balls, Halloween has now gone big time. These days, kids are likely to be dressed in costumes more elaborate (and expensive!) than my wedding gown, getting treats that cause their dentists to put holds on Italian sports cars. A green Halloween provides a different way of doing things. • Costumes: Encourage your trickor-treater to put together an original “made-by-me” costume. Goodwill, Salvation Army and vintage stores are great sources for costumes, more original than anything available on store shelves. • Décor: Avoid dollar-store decorations (likely made in China of suspicious materials) in favor of your own creations. Make gravestones out of discarded wood or cardboard. Add a coat of white paint tinted with grey/black (lowVOC, of course!) and some clever epitaphs. Create scarecrows by using old clothes stuffed with rags or hay. • Candy: With chocolate, go the fair trade route, which ensures that no child labor was involved and that workers were paid a fair wage (check the package). Or consider creating a treasure chest of no-longer-loved trinkets—CDs, Matchbox cars, costume jewelry, books and other toys. Then let the pint-sized goblins take their pick.

• Destiny Christian Center’s Pastor Lawrence Neisent and Rhonda Thomas, Event Coordinator of Queen for a Day program • OSBI Assistant Director Charles Curtis • Scott Warfel, franchise owner and area manager of Jersey Mike’s • Deborah Craven, counselor at Crooked Oak Public Schools • MetroFamily Magazine publisher Sarah Taylor • Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training Academy Coordinator Dr. Don Udell 12

October 2009

Leslie Garrett is author of The Virtuous Consumer: Your Essential Shopping Guide for a Better, Kinder, Healthier World. Visit her at

Don’t forget—when you are done with this issue, pass it on to a friend or drop it in your recycling bin!

Problem-Solving Take It Outside Week! The inaugural “Take it Outside Week” is being held to get children outside, active Products and connected to their natural world. “Unfortunately, children today spend less time 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.

Problem: Someone needs a time-out!

Solution: The Time Out Pad ($34.99) is a portable time-out solution that can go from the house to the yard and beyond. (

Problem: He’s mastered the new game already?

Solution: 101 in 1 for DS ($19.99) includes 101 minigames that offer challenges to the inexperienced gamer and experienced alike. (

Problem: If their names were on the bottle, it would be so much easier!

Solution: Personalized SIGG bottles ($22 and up) come in your choice of size, color, logo and text to make a personalized drinking bottle for everyone in the family. (

Problem: You popped your stress ball and need a sturdy replacement, stat!

Solution: The NeoCube ($12.95 and up) is comprised of tiny magnetized balls that will keep your stressed out fingers busy as you manipulate it into a variety of shapes. (

Problem: You need to decorate a shirt for school tomorrow?!

Solution: TeeJuice Pens ($2.99 and up) come in fine, medium and wide tips in a variety of colors that easily convert any shirt into a masterpiece. (

playing outdoors than any previous generation,” said Karin Spencer, Ed.D., Director of Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play (HSBS). “We want to help Head Start and all early childhood education and care staff to discover the benefits of outdoor play across developmental domains and learn about the features of high quality outdoor play spaces that promote movement opportunities for children of all ability levels.” The National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommends that children get a minimum of one hour of physical activity each day. “When adults model and teach the importance of physical activity, young children are more likely to adopt a lifetime of healthful practices and behaviors,” said Spencer. HSBS will provide Head Start Centers with activity ideas designed to increase physical activity for young children and promote healthy family involvement. Free resources are available on the Head Start website, Want some ideas to get your kids outdoors at home? Let’s Go Outside! (Shambhala Publications, $14) by Jennifer Ward includes 52 different outdoor activities for children of all ages, from oldfashioned games (like hopscotch and Frisbee) to eco-friendly challenges (making a toad house or a backyard field guide).

Breast Cancer Awareness Brea October is i National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and it’s estimated that 192,370 women will be diagnosed this year with invasive bbreast cancer in the U.S. (according to the American Cancer So Society’s Facts & Figures 2009). “One in ei eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and studies have shown that screening mammography can lower your chances of dying from mam breast cancer,” said Dr. Elizabeth Jett, Director of br Imaging at the OU Breast Institute. “We encourage all women over the age of 40 to have a mammogram every year. While the latest research does not indicate that monthly breast self-exams decrease your chances of dying from breast cancer, we do encourage women to remain vigilant and discuss any changes in their breasts with their physicians.” Although Alth h greatt progress hhas bbeen made in breast cancer research and treatment, more than 500 Oklahoma women die from breast cancer every year. There are programs that provide free mammograms at the OU Breast Institute for uninsured and underinsured women in Oklahoma who cannot afford a mammogram. To determine eligibility, based on income and family size, contact the OU Breast Institute at 405-271-4514. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on October 10. What began in 1983 in Dallas has grown to an international event with more than 1.5 million participants, working together to raise money and awareness for breast cancer awareness and research. MetroFamily Iron Moms will be running in the race. Learn how to join the Iron Moms at You’ll also find a link to the Oklahoma City Susan G. Komen race on this page. For more information regarding breast health during October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit the web site of the OU Cancer Institute, OUCancer. org, and click on the “Cancer is Not a Game” link featuring OU Football Coach Bob Stoops. October 2009


Your Healthy Family H1N1 and Seasonal Flu


© Jamie Wilson |

his fall, many Oklahoma families are lining up for their flu shots as usual, but this flu season is likely to shape up a little differently from those in years past. In addition to the “standard” flu, this year there is increased concern because of the prevalence of the H1N1 virus, or “The Virus Formerly Known as Swine Flu.” While H1N1 has had a great deal of media coverage, many families are still unsure as to how H1N1 differs from regular influenza, and how they can best protect themselves.

What is H1N1? In April of this year, a new influenza virus was detected in the United States. Originally referred to as “swine flu,” it was thought that the virus was very similar to the influenza viruses that normally occur in pigs. Further testing has since shown that H1N1 is actually very different from what typically circulates in pigs. In fact, it has genes from influenza viruses that are found in pigs (swine), birds (avian), and humans. Much like seasonal flu, the virus is spread from person-to-person contact. The symptoms of H1N1 flu in humans are very similar to seasonal flu and may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. As with seasonal flu, the illness can range from a mild case lasting only a few days to a severe 14

case that could result in more serious complications or even death.

can lead to flu viruses becoming resistant to the medications.”

So how exactly does H1N1 differ from seasonal flu, exactly? From a practical standpoint, in most cases, it doesn’t. It’s important to emphasize that seasonal flu can be just as or even more serious than H1N1. Every year, 36,000 Americans die from complications of seasonal flu, which is far higher than the roughly 600 reported deaths to date that have been attributed to complications of H1N1. Of those hospitalized with H1N1 flu, approximately 70% had an underlying medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, suppressed immune systems, kidney or heart disease, or pregnancy. These are the same populations that are considered high risk for complications of seasonal flu, with one notable exception: the elderly. People over the age of 65 account for 90% of seasonal influenza deaths every year, but they do not appear to be at any increased risk of developing complications of H1N1. According to the CDC, the H1N1 virus has caused the greatest disease burden on people under the age of 25.

Stephanie Harris is a pharmacist at Hospital Discount Pharmacy, which has offered flu vaccines to the public for a number of years. Vaccines typically reduce the likelihood of contracting the flu by about 80%, and are considered the best means of prevention. Is the flu vaccine for everyone? “If there is a shortage, as has happened in the past, we vaccinate the highest risk groups first, which includes children ages six months to five years, pregnant women, healthcare workers, people over 55 and anyone with a chronic health condition. We don’t anticipate any shortages of seasonal flu vaccine this year, however, so we recommend everyone six months and up get a flu shot.” Those allergic to eggs or who have been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome should not receive the vaccine.

Treatment and Prevention While some of the statistics sound alarming, seasonal flu and H1N1 are typically treatable, and vaccines are available that may help prevent the diseases. Angie Grimmett is a Nurse Practitioner and co-owner of Integrative Medical Solutions, a family practice in Edmond. To prevent the spread of H1N1 and seasonal flu, she suggests “Maintaining good hygiene and frequently washing your hands with soap and water is very important, especially after sneezing, coughing, or touching your mouth, nose, and eyes. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and discard the tissue after use. Avoid close contact (when possible) with people who are ill, and if you’re ill, stay home from work or school.” Grimmett also notes that H1N1 and seasonal flu respond well to anti-viral medications when symptoms are caught early, but cautions, “Patients should not routinely ask for or take anti-viral medications as a precaution, because over-use of these medications

October 2009

The H1N1 vaccine is expected to be available later this year, perhaps as early as next month. The vaccine is still being tested, so some of the specifics are still in question. “Originally, we were expecting to have to administer everyone a booster a month after the H1N1 vaccine, and that may still be the case. Just today, though, studies are showing a good immune response with a single shot in some countries. With H1N1 vaccine, we will recommend that the same high risk population (except patients over 55) get vaccinated first, and then we’ll see where we are,” says Harris. Remember that both types of flu are responding well to anti-viral treatment, and vaccines are an excellent means of prevention. Frequent handwashing and staying home if you feel symptomatic are important steps for preventing illness. Take care of yourself and your children this season, and contact a healthcare provider for more information on treatment and prevention of influenza.

Shannon Fields is a freelance writer and a Certified Pharmacy Technician at Innovative Pharmacy Solutions.

CELEBRATE! Enjoy a fun-filled, family-friendly, climate-controlled

BIRTHDAY ADVENTURE that you’ll never forget! Available on any regularly scheduled Oklahoma River Cruise. Bring your own cake or we can provide one for you! PRIVATE PARTIES ARE AVAILABLE TOO. To learn more, contact us at

(405) 702-7755 |

Performing Arts Academy Oklahoma City University

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EXPERIENCE OKLAHOMA through its people

October 21st 2009 Museum Opens 6:00 PM. Program Begins 7:00.

Program is f ree Enjoy live music from the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Federal periods with David Hildebrand.

For more information - Jason Harris 405-522-0785,

Museum Hours Open Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day

Admission Fees Including Tax






$2 OFF ADMISSION Bring in this ad to receive $2 off admission for up to four people. 13TH ST. & SHARTEL AVE. OKLAHOMA CITY 405.235.4458 OKLAHOMAHERITAGE.COM

Hayrides with FREE Pumpkin H O

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Fridays, 6:00 - 8:30pm, $10.50 ages 2 and up Saturdays, 10:00am - 8:30pm, $12.50, ages 2 and upp tGiant Jumping Pillows tFREE Sugar Pie Pumpkin** or buy our decorative gourds & giant pumpkins tOne-of-a-kind train & carousel tHay Rides tPony Rides tFarm animals tAmaze’n Maze tand much more **

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Character First Initiative


t’s Friday afternoon and as usual, your kids need to get their rooms cleaned. You’ve told them they can do this anytime, but they won’t be allowed to go anywhere or have friends over until the job is done.

Initiative is recognizing and doing what needs to be done before being asked.

To your amazement, your teenage daughter jumps right on this task. By the time dinner rolls around, her clothes are folded and hung up, all the nail polish is put away and you even heard the vacuum cleaner. In contrast, your son shrugged his shoulders and turned on the television. “I don’t have anywhere to go and all my friends are grounded.” The next morning Uncle Tom calls to say he has an extra ticket to the OU game because Aunt Millie is sick. This presents you with a perfect opportunity to discuss the character trait of initiative with your family.


In the working world, initiative is often what separates those who get raises and promotions from those who don’t. When employers are comparing their employees, the one who shows initiative and goes the extra mile is often looked upon more favorably than the one who does just enough to get by. So, initiative is a trait that will serve a child well his entire life. More immediately, initiative is useful for succeeding in school. Students who


at the


Praising children for doing the right thing is a positive and longer lasting way to help children learn character traits. In this situation, Jenny has taken the initiative to get her chores done quickly. In addition to verbal praise, she’ll have the added bonus of attending the football game.



EXPLORE WITH DARWIN FAMILY DAY 1 TO 4 P.M., SATURDAY, OCT. 24 Celebrate the discoveries of Charles Darwin with a special storytime and book signing by children’s authors Carolyn Meyer and Anne Weaver. Complete your adventure with a Darwin-inspired craft to take home! This event is open to the public and free with museum admission. Darwin at the Museum is presented by the SNOMNH, in conjunction with the University of Oklahoma History of Science Collection.


2401 Chautauqua Ave. (405) 325-7975 WWW.SNOMNH.OU.EDU

The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution. For accommodations on the basis of disability, call (405) 325-4712.

begin projects when they are assigned and work diligently nearly always do better than those who procrastinate and wait until the last minute to start working. Finally, as with all character traits, our children learn the most by observing us. Ask yourself where you fall on the initiative meter. Do you do the things you need to do on a daily basis, or do you put them off as long as possible? Improving initiative can take time. Change does not happen overnight. Be patient with yourself and your children and remember to recognize the small accomplishments as well as the large ones. Before you know it, a good habit can take shape.

Gayleen Rabakukk is a freelance writer who spends her time in Edmond keeping up with her teenage and preschool daughters.

Spotlight on Character Winners A group of girls in an Oklahoma City neighborhood recently teamed their creativity with compassion in a gesture of generosity. In the summer of 2008, Olivia and her friends, Elly, Camden, Courtlan and Lydia made jewelry and sold it to a few people in their neighborhood. This summer, they again made jewelry, but this year, they decided to use their profits to help offset the costs of Olivia’s mom Julie’s medical expenses. In May, she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. The girls made posters to let the neighborhood know what they were doing and wore pink shirts in support of Julie.

Catch them doing the

right thing! Whether the student is a Kindergartner or teen, whether the act is simple or time consuming, we want to hear about your outstanding student. Monthly winner receives a $50 savings bond.

Nominate them for MetroFamily Magazine’s Spotlight on Character Award. Visit for contest details and nomination forms.


October 2009

There was an overwhelming response from the neighborhood and the girls raised $180. “It was a complete surprise to me,� Julie said. She’d been home recuperating and hadn’t seen the signs out in the neighborhood. “It completely blew me away. It was such a blessing.� She was also very thankful for her friends and neighbors who have been so supportive. The tight-knit group of girls range in age from 10 to 14 and in addition to living close by, also take dance classes together. Olivia is the daughter of Brad and Julie Williams, Elly is the daughter of Bill and Cheri Kohs, Camden and Courtlan are the daughters of Craig and Cheryl Denton and Lydia is the daughter of Marshall and Shanna Rea and Dianna and Bryon Black.

Come pick your own pumpkin from our home-grown patch! Also enjoy: t)BZXBHPOSJEFT t$PSOmFMENB[F t1FUUJOH[PP t1POZSJEFT t(BSEFO4IFE4IPQ GVMMPGIPNFNBEF HPPEJFTHJGUT


Parkhurst Pumpkin Patch )FOOFZ3PBEt"SDBEJB 0, 405-396-0909 QBSLIVSTUQVNQLJOQBUDIDPN

October 2009


Zaynah Clow

ard & Ammon

Corless of No


Photo: brcpho

Recently, I read about parents who spend thousands of dollars on their children’s birthday parties. Llamas, helicopter rides, visits from sports celebrities, or other extreme celebrations are things that neither I (nor my bank account) can muster. With five kids, we’d be in the poor house pretty quickly. And then, what would they expect for graduations and weddings?!

my mother (God bless her!) spent hours bent over the sewing machine, transforming an old black and white striped blanket into a dozen pirate shirts for the bold young men coming to walk the plank. Shiver me timbers! No wonder my husband starts to get a little nervous when a birthday approaches. So I proclaim, “Let’s get back to basics!” (And my husband heaves a great sigh of relief!) A birthday is a celebration of a child’s life. But, it is not license to do it up as big as possible, no matter the cost to pocketbook, calendar, and family sanity. Let’s simplify birthday celebrations and bring joy back to parents, kids, and guests.

Choose a theme but don’t go overboard If your kid is crazy about Dora, Bob or the Movie Character of the Week, feel free to buy a few napkins or a cute disposable tablecloth. But, you don’t have to purchase everything that Hallmark makes. Supplement with solid color plates and cups, which are infinitely less expensive and a little more restful to the senses. Though lifesized cutouts and inflatable critters are fun, they are not necessary to life. A few streamers and balloons will make things festive. Let’s face it; the kids probably won’t notice anyway.

But, economics aside, it’s still pretty easy for me to get carried away, even if it’s only my time and effort (and that of my loved ones) that it costs me. Like the time I couldn’t find a dragon piñata for my son’s Knight in Shining Armor party? After hunting in every store in town, I stayed up late one night, gluing hundreds of tissue paper scales onto a long-necked dinosaur while my husband spray painted cardboard wings with real 14K gold. Yes, it was beautiful, but then they hacked it up with a stick. And then there was the time that I spent an entire day preparing a four-car train cake with buttercream frosting made from scratch. Or how about the time when 20

You don’t have to feed the masses In the old days, a birthday party included cake, punch, and ice cream. October 2009


Set a new trend by serving classic refreshments. Make sure to choose a time when a meal won’t be expected, like midmorning or after lunch. Note in the invitations that “cake and ice cream will be served,” so that no child comes famished and expecting a full meal.

Serve a cute cake A Wilton Cake Decorating Class is not necessary to bake someone happy. And neither is an elaborate and expensive bakery dessert. Don’t even think of baking it from scratch or making that buttercream! (Trust me on this one.) A decorated sheet cake from the grocer’s bakery is pretty inexpensive these days. Peruse their catalog; often they feature character cakes that any kid will love. It’s also super easy to make one of your own. A few bucks will buy you a mix and canned frosting. Choose a few small toys that match your theme to use as cake toppers and wash and dry them well. I love to raid my kids’ stash of Playmobil. Once the cake is baked and cooled, craft a scene for the toys with frosting and assorted candies. Candy rocks and pull-apart licorice are great accents! Use your imagination and be sure to let the birthday kid help. Set the toys in place and you’ll have a cute and simple cake ready to go.

Let the kids play Resist the urge to fill every minute with games and activities. Some of our best parties have been when the kids just had plenty of room to run around outside. If your yard can’t swing it, consider a party at the park. Talk to your child beforehand about what things he thinks his guests would enjoy and have some organized games as backup. There can sometimes be one bored apple to spoil the whole bushel. Feel free to let kids be kids. Provide supervision. Let them enjoy one another’s company. If you plan a simple party, you may not be the talk of the town, but you’re sure to have some energy left by the time it starts, let alone when it ends. Your child and her friends will enjoy some simple fun and the day will be filled with laughter, love, and lots of good company. Let the festivities begin!

Jessica Fisher is a wife, mother and freelance writer making her home near San Diego. She is also group activity leader for her husband and six kids.

Limit your guest list Help your child recognize that we can have many friends, but we don’t need to invite them all to every event. THAT is a hard thing to learn. Remember creating the guest list for your wedding? Don’t be guilt-tripped into thinking that you absolutely have to invite every kid you cross paths with. You’ll drive yourself and your child nuts. Decide on how many before you talk about who to include.

Photo: Mitzi Massie

Consider varying the type of guest list each year. You might invite three families for a BBQ one year and have a multi-age celebration. Have five kids from the soccer team the next year. Maybe another year the birthday kid can invite a buddy for a sleepover or a trip to the amusement park. Be tactful, however, and don’t broadcast the party details to those whose feelings might get hurt. Likewise, when your child doesn’t get invited to a friend’s party, remind him that it doesn’t have to be viewed as an affront. We can’t be all places all the time.

Watch the clock Two to three hours is a great amount of time for a party. You don’t need to sign on for an all-day shindig. You’ll find that the time will go quickly. Consider dividing the party into chunks of time featuring play, refreshments, piñata, and gifts. Having guests depart while they’re still enjoying themselves is a much better alternative to meltdown endings. October 2009


Let’s Eat: Recipes No Tricks: Just Pumpkin Treats!


nce fall festivities are through, it seems we always have an abundance of leftover pumpkins. Making use of one of our favorite fall foods is a fun challenge every year. Here are a few recipes we’ll be making this go-around.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pudding Delicious and delightful, the kids will enjoy making and eating these little treats! Equipment:

Place a dollop of whipped cream and 2 cookies on each dessert. Serve.

Pumpkin-Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Freckles Tempting chocolate will disguise all the healthy goodness in these cookies. Equipment: baking sheets small mixing bowl whisk large mixing bowl wooden spoon

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Fun Pumpkin Facts Did you know:


whisk medium bowl spoon 4 dessert bowls plastic wrap Ingredients: 1 C cooked pumpkin puree 1 C milk ½ t pumpkin pie spice 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant pudding mix (cheesecake flavor) Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish 8 graham cracker cookie sticks, for garnish Whisk together the pumpkin, milk, pumpkin pie spice and pudding mix in a medium bowl. Divide evenly into 4 small dessert bowls. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.

1 C cooked pumpkin puree ½ C honey 2 t vanilla 1 C whole wheat flour 2 C rolled oats 1 t ground cinnamon ¼ t ground ginger ¼ t ground cloves ½ t ground nutmeg ¼ t baking powder 4 ounces good quality dark chocolate, grated Preheat oven to 350° F. Coat two cookie sheets with cooking spray; set aside. Mix together pumpkin, honey and vanilla in a small mixing bowl; set aside. Mix together flour, oats, ground spices and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture; Stir until well incorporated. Stir in grated chocolate.

come bounce at our indoor play center!

Serving award-winning breakfasts and lunches since 1980

11 convenient Metro locations!

$1 off Open Play Expires 10/31/09

One coupon per family 22 • Phone: 405-607-2020 14901 N. Lincoln • Edmond, OK 73013 October 2009

Roll dough into 2-inch balls; place on prepared cookie sheets with 3 inches between. Coat the bottom of a flatbottomed glass with cooking spray. Press until cookies are about ½ to ¾ inch thick. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are still slightly soft when pushed in the center. Cool on racks and store in an airtight container.

• A pumpkin is a squash, and comes from the same family as the cucumber? • According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest Jack-olantern carved is 1,469 pounds? • To mend a broken Jack-o-lantern you use a pumpkin patch (ha!)? Besides her two favorite jobs of wife and mom, Michelle Ann Anderson also home schools her children, is a freelance writer, enjoys public speaking, writing cookbooks and sharing her love of food with those around her. You can find her blog at

Find more at recipes

Daw n Infl to Dus ata bles k

We bring the bounce to you!

Book early for your carnival, Halloween party, or trunk or treat!

$10 off Inflatable Rental Expires 10/31/09 Phone: 405-630-7275


Storybook Forest FALL, FUN & FABLES

Storybook Forest is a walk through the pages of your favorite storybook! Wear your Halloween costume or come as you are. Have fun with the Three Little Pigs and Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater. Don’t miss the characters and candy, hayrides and hotdogs, s’mores and stories around a cozy campfire!

This year’s main attraction is Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater!


23  31

5:30 P.M. – 8:30 P.M.

Arcadia Lake’s Spring Creek Park $5 per child Monday–Thursday, $7 per child Friday–Sunday and adults are free. For more information, please call 216-7471.

Sponsored by

Does your child have ADHD and/or a learning disability in reading (dyslexia)? Your child Y hild may b be eligible li to take part in a research study. • ADHD is a condition in which a child is easily distracted. • It is hard for the child to pay attention or wait for his or her turn. • It is tough for the child to sit without fidgeting and squirming, or jumping up to do something else. • Children with ADHD act first and think later. • Children with reading disabilities (dyslexia) have persistent problems with reading. If this sounds like your child, take this opportunity to learn more about your child’s behavior and this study. A pharmaceutical company is studying an investigational medication that may help girls and boys who experience these symptoms. If your boy or girl is between the ages of 10 and 16 and has ADHD and/or a reading disability contact: Child Study Center At 405-271-5700 EXT. #45167 Email or THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY INSTITUTION

October 2009


Enter MetroFamily’s

Oklahoma Reads Great Reads for Great Kids Fiction for grades PreK-2 Chicken Dance by Tammi Sauer (of Edmond), illustrated by Dan Santat (Sterling Publishing, hardcover, $14.95) Chickens Marge and Lola want nothing more than tickets to see their idol, Elvis Poultry, but the ducks do their darndest to convince the chickens that they will never win the talent show. Cheer on the chicks as they discover their talents.

Songbook for grades Kindergarten-3

Presenting Sponsor:

Photography Sponsor:

Details on next page and at Cover-Kids

Poetry for grades 4-6 African Acrostics by Avis Harley, photographs by Deborah Noyes (Candlewick Press, hardcover, $17.99) Clever poems concealing secret messages pair with beautiful images of African animals and scenery. Early readers can enjoy the poems, more accomplished readers will have fun exploring the word puzzles. A fun book for all ages, not just children!

A Balloon Passes By

Nonfiction for Parents

by James K., illustrated by Cesar Henriquez (IAG media, softcover with CD, $24.95)

How to Hug a Porcupine

A sing-a-long book and CD that teaches kids the importance of friendship. Brightly-colored whimsical pictures will engage children as they listen along to the irresistably catchy songs.

Dealing with difficult people is just a part of life, and don’t you wish there was an instruction booklet to offer some assistance? With advice like tips for ending arguments, let this book be your guide—even if the difficult person is you.

Fiction for grades 3 and up tSix categories tSixty finalists (who will receive great prizes) tFirst 300 entrants receive a “thank you” mailing of great coupons and admission tickets to local attractions

develops symptoms. Great resource for families who are currently going through this kind of difficulty.

Once in a Blue Moon by Molly Levite Griffis (of Norman) (New Forums Press, softcover, $14.95) A meaningful look at a difficult part of life. How do children begin to understand when their grandparents get Alzheimer’s? Joe and his friend Paul navigate the difficulties when Joe’s grandfather

edited by Julie Eding (Hatherleigh Press, hardcover, $11)

Find more book reviews at Oklahoma-Reads Reviews by MetroFamily Magazine editor Mari Farthing.


October 2009

Here’s Your LAST Chance!4 44 The search is on to find fresh faces and smiles to light up MetroFamily’s covers in 2010! Categories include: Ages 0-18 months 19 mos-3 years 4-7 years 8-11 years 12-18 years Special Needs (All Ages 0-18)

Deadline October 1 th 5

Photos submitted should only show the child being nominated (group photos are not allowed); should have been taken within the last two months; and should be snapshots, not professionally-taken photos unless taken by Brock’s Photography, (see below for details*). Deadline is October 15, 2009.

Up to ten semi-finalists will be selected for each category. The six category winners will be selected by MetroFamily readers through an online voting process. Each winner will be professionally photographed and featured on one of our covers in 2010! Enter soon! All entrants will receive a “thank you” mailing of coupons and discounts to local businesses, including admission to local attractions, and more!

Two ways to enter: 1. 2.

* The only way to provide a professionally-taken photo in the contest is through the photography sponsor, Brock’s Photography (405-863-7705). As an added bonus, have your child’s photo taken by Brock’s and you’ll receive up to $100 in print credit. (Offer not to be combined with other offers.)

PREFERRED: Go online to, complete the form, upload your child’s digital photo and pay using a credit/debit card. Photo must be print quality. Send the completed form and a 4X6 or 5X7 snapshot with $25 check or credit card info submitted on form below. (Find details and address on form below.)

A portion of the proceeds from this contest will be donated to the Special Olympics Special Smiles Program

Questions? Please email or call 405.340.1404. ONLY ONE CHILD PER ENTRY Either send this form by mail or go online to Name of Child _______________________________________________ Date of birth (mm/dd/yy) ____________________________ Age ________ Category (Circle One) 0-18mos 12-18yrs.

19mos-3yrs 4-7yrs Special Needs (all ages)


Address ___________________________________________________ City __________________________ State _______Zip _____________ Home Phone __________________ Mobile Phone ____________________ Parent/Guardian Name _________________________________________ Signature: _________________________________________________ My signatures indicates that I give permission for my child’s photo to be used by MetroFamily without restriction. The entry fee is non-refundable and all photos will become property of MetroFamily. Photos will not be returned. It is further understood that my child’s photo may be placed on but will be identified only by a first name, age and city.

$25 per entry. Make check payable to MetroFamily or pay here by credit card. Check




American Express

Account Number: _____________________________________________ Expiration Date: ______________________________________________ Billing Address: ______________________________________________ City __________________________ State _______Zip _____________ E-mail: ___________________________________________________ Signature: _________________________________________________ Mail completed form, photo and $25 fee for each entry to: Cover Kids Search, MetroFamily, 306 S Bryant, Suite C152, Edmond, OK 73034

Your family could win great prizes through the

ULTIMATE Birthday PARTY GIVEAWAY In honor of our first-ever Birthday Party Guide and with the generous support of the following partners, MetroFamily brings you the opportunity to win one of these great party packages:

1 2 3

Andy Alligators QBSUZGPS WBMVF

Gift for child: FREE art class at ArtzPlace WBMVF



TaylorMade Photography, family portrait session and free Ă— WBMVF


Chick-fil-A Birthday Party To Go WBMVF  (JGUGPSDIJMEEBZQBTTFTUPUnpluggits WBMVF


Bounce Around Inflatables WBMVF

Creative Key Face Painting, one hour of face painting WBMVF

Catch a Glimpse QBSUZGPS 7BMVF

Gift for child: One month of dance classes from Velocity Dance Center WBMVF



Inspirations Tea Room, intimate tea party for birthday child BOEUXPTQFDJBMBEVMUTJOIJTIFSMJGF WBMVF

To register and find details about the contest, go to OR complete the form below. Deadline is Friday, October 30, 5pm. LIMIT one entry per household!

MetroFamily’s ULTIMATE Birthday Party Giveaway ONLY ONE ENTRY PER HOUSEHOLD. Entry must be received by October 30. Either send this form by mail or go online to Please Print: Name _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Address ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ City _____________________________________________________________________ State______________Zip_______________________ Home Phone _______________________________________________ Mobile Phone __________________________________________________ Mail ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ E-mail_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Yes, please sign me up to receive MetroFamily’s weekly E-Update highlighting the fun events for families coming up on the weekend. Mail completed form to our mailing address: .FUSP'BNJMZ#JSUIEBZ(JWFBXBZt4#SZBOU 4VJUF$t&ENPOE 0,

The MetroFamily

Listing of venues, party food, photographers, entertainment and activities. Introducing our first ever MetroFamily Birthday Party Guide. With the following listings to help you, birthday planning has never been easier. When you contact these businesses, be sure to tell them you found them in your number one source for local families, MetroFamily Magazine.

Lauren Farthing of Oklahoma City Photos: Mitzi Massie

October 2009


Venues Andy Alligator’s Fun Park

I-35 & Indian Hills Rd, Norman 405-321-7275, Birthday packages $99.95 and up for eight guests include food, fun, host and party room. Features include arcade, go-karts, mini golf, climbing wall, bumper cars and batting cages.

A Spot for Tea 405-720-2765

Arcadia Lake

9000 E 2nd St, Arcadia 405-216-7670, Pavilions for rent starting at $40; $25 birthday package can be added that includes birthday shirt, ice and volleyball or horseshoe rental.

ArtzPlace Oklahoma

1730 Center Dr, Midwest City 405-732-4ART, ArtzPlaceOK. com Beautiful setting for up to 10 children with professional artist and activities. $100 and up.

Bounce Around and Bronco Bowl

133 N. Mustang Road (Broncho Bowl), Mustang 405-483-5675, Inflatables set up for parties; bowling parties at Bronco Bowl. Many inflatables to choose from, including slides, bungee runs and jousts.

Bouncin Craze

14901 N Lincoln Blvd, Edmond 405-607-2020, Variety of party packages available, indoor inflatables.

Cactus Jack’s Arcade 405-314-3569

Catch-A-Glimpse Retreat Adventure Birthday Parties

11400 S County Line Rd, Cashion 405-433-2092, Adventure Birthday Package ($250) includes activities for up to 16 children, two hour facility rental, trained facilitators, decorations, paper goods and drinks. Choose from activities like treasure hunt, hayride, fishing, archery and Bone Zone archaeological dig.

Celebration Station Spencer Farthing of Oklahoma City 28

October 2009

I-40 & Meridian, 509 Westline Drive, OKC 405-942-7888, Six acres of activities such as go karts, three mini golf courses, batting cages, bumper boats, arcade games, along with pizza and other food choices. $10.99 to $19.99 per person with a wide variety of activity and package choices available.

Chester’s Party Barn & Farm

5201 W Cimarron Rd, NW, Piedmont 405-373-1595, Party packages at the farm include unlimited pony rides, petting zoo, hay rides, maze, games, fishing, karaoke, party host and private shelter, $200 and up. Parties with pony rides and petting zoo come to you, $225 and up.

City Arts Center

3000 General Pershing Blvd, OKC 405-951-0000, Rooms for rental include renovated theater with lighting and sound system, newly-remodeled kitchen and studios. Call for availability and pricing.

DaZe in a MaZe

rural Logan County 580-234-6293, Walk-through mazes, picnic area with fire pit, petting zoo, pony and hayrack rides. 1-19 people, $6 per person; 20-29, $5 per person; 30+, $4 per person (birthday child always free).

Dodgeball Gym 405-517-6693

Dodgeball Party Zone 405-751-9663

Edmond Parks & Recreation

2733 Marilyn Williams Dr, Edmond 405-359-4630, Pavilions available for rental daily, 10am-4pm or 4-10pm. Prices $25 and up.

Gracefully Made Ceramics 405-495-1445

Harn Homestead Museum

1721 N Lincoln Blvd, OKC 405-235-4058, Party packages at unique 9.4 acre venue include old-fashioned games (other services offered for additional fees). Minimum of 30 days advance booking required, $100 refundable security deposit. Parties include two hosts, cake, punch, and picnic ware. Parties held Sunday 1-6pm, Monday-Thursday 4-8pm, two hour maximum, 20 children maximum (ages 4-12), $200.

Hey Day

I-35 and Indian Hills Road, Moore/Norman 405-310-3500, Two-hour parties include party host, Laser Tag (ages 6 and up), arcade, mini-golf, pizza and more. Packages and add-ons available.

Inspirations Tea Room

2118 W Edmond Rd, Edmond 405-715-2525, Celebrate birthdays for all ages with great food in a beautifully-decorated Tea Room. $11-$18 per person.

Laser Quest 405-751-7545

Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art 405-878-5300

Mad Science of Central Oklahoma

Oklahoma River Cruises

701 S Lincoln Blvd, OKC 405-702-7755, Bring your birthday party to a regularly scheduled cruise or book your own private party.

344 South Santa Fe Avenue, Edmond 405-285-9643, Activities include science experiments with a certified Mad Scientist, Rocket Launch or Hovercraft Ride. Goodie bags and party invitations available.

Orr Family Farm

Metro Gymnastics

P Bar Farms


Oklahoma City RedHawks

2 S Mickey Mantle Dr, OKC 405-218-1000, Available year-roud, parties can be customized and will vary depending on current Bricktown Ballpark events. Call for details.

Oklahoma City Thunder

211 N Robinson, OKC 405-208-4720, Rumble Birthday Pack ($500) includes 20 Loud City tickets, 20 autographed Rumble posters and 20 cookies delivered at halftime. Thunderbox Deluxe Birthday Pack ($1500) includes 50 Loud City tickets, Thunderbox access during game, personalized cake at halftime, post-game photo on court. Both packages include foam fingers for all, gift for birthday child and custom greeting on ThunderVision. Rumble mascot also available for party visits.

Oklahoma Gold Gymnastics 405-341-1175

Oklahoma History Center

2401 N Laird, OKC 405-522-0745, Unique venue for special events. Special activities may be arranged in advance (history detective scavenger hunt, tours).

14400 S Western, Oklahoma City 405-799-3276, Party packages starting at $179 include train rides, animal barn and carousel. Call for available dates.

Your Walk-in Arts & Crafts Place

WITHÆINDOORÆ PLAYGROUND leather crafts paint-n-take parents night out ceramics birthday parties wi-fi

1002 Old 66 Rd, Hydro (west of OKC on I-40) 580-772-4401, Laser tag and maze parties include train ride, farm animals, karaoke, hayride playground and barn. Package for 10, $125.

Paint’ N Station

7906 N. May, OKC 405-842-7770, Parties for ages 3 and up and available for birthdays, showers and other special occasions. Art piece, paints, instruction, design tools, glazing and firing are provided. They can bring the art projects to groups such as schools and church groups.

1-6(tVOQMVHHJUTDPN 575 Enterprise Drive, Edmond (South of 15th, off Kelly)


Parkhurst Pumpkin Patch

720 Henney Road, Arcadia 405-396-0909; Custom birthday parties with many farm activities available. Call for details.

Perfect Swing Family Fun Center 405-360-1800

Pony Parties of Piedmont

Fun for any party! -BSHFTFMFDUJPOt'BCVMPVTQSJDFT Moonwalks Slides Obstacle Courses

405-823-4081 Ponies to pet and ride, our place or yours. Parties hosted at the farm are held outdoors or in the barn.

Bungee Runs Aqua Slides Jousts

RedPin Restaurant & Bowling Lounge 200 S Oklahoma Avenue, Bricktown 405-326-2699, Personalized birthday packages include food,

October 2009




bowling, customized video monitor usage and optional signable bowling pin. Child-sized bowling balls and shoes and automated bumpers and ramps available.

Star Gymnastics and Gym Bounce Parties 3251 Market Place, Norman 405-329-7827, Only indoor inflatables party facility in Norman.

Roll-A-Way Rink 405-943-4000

Science Museum Oklahoma

2100 NE 52nd Street, OKC 405-602-6664,,

Star Skate


Food & Gifts

Sweet & Sassy Salon

1 Smart Cookie


Thunderbird Riding Stables

Birthday parties include access to the Museum’s exhibits, Planetarium shows and Science Live shows. The Basic Birthday Party Package cost is $235 (includes admission for up to 50 people). Special science demonstration can be added to party for an additional fee. Member discounts are available.


Transformation Fitness 405-752-1233


Skate Moore 405-794-4644


405-681-7100, 405-302-0656

The Southwestern Skate Center 405-632-5484 405-822-0418

405-721-5959 (Also a venue)

Chick-fil-A, Rockwell location

7404 NW Expressway, OKC 405-728-9494, Chick-fil-A Birthday Parties to GO! Packaged Parties include food, favors and balloons to serve 15 for $65. (Parties not held at restaurant.)

575 Enterprise Dr, Edmond 405-340-PLUG, Party includes two hours use of a private room with a craft and all-day admission for each guest. Paper goods, invitations and personal party assistant are provided, no extra charge. $250 for up to 15 guests. Discount for parties held Monday-Thursday.

Eileen’s Colossal Cookies

Velocity Dance Center

Jinxy Cakes

11122 N Rockwell Ave, OKC 405-721-8807, Ballerina, princess, and pop star birthdays for

Special Occasions Dream Ponies

ages 3 and up. 90-minute party packages start at $115, held Friday-Sunday. All-inclusive packages available.

Gypsy Cakes 405-509-6333

Inspirations Gifts, Decor and Tea Room 405-715-2525

Edmond 405-226-8191, Custom birthday cakes for all ages; pricing varies by design.

SweetNess Cakes

• Day Daycare Programs


• Bi Birthday Parties


•S School Programs

Aimee Adams Photography

• Affordable

• Tons of Fun


Add A Real

Rocket Launch to Your Party! • 405-285-9643

Norman 405-503-9498, Photographer for big and small events, $175 and up.

Brock’s Photography

405-863-7705, Birthday packages include coffee table books to display all of the images.

Heaven to Earth Photography

2 (405) 73

Three Disney Style


Fall Break Camps



Camp 1 - Disney Pop Style Show Choir Camp 2 - Disney Graphic Arts Camp Camp 3 - Disney Ceramics Camp

Oct. 15-16 8:00 am - 5:00 pm (ages 5-12) $100 camp fee


October 2009

Lindsey Siobhan Photography

Oklahoma City 405-501-5025, Family and baby photographer.

Love Bug Photography

WE A L HAV SO ADU E CLA LT SSE S Near I-40 & Sooner Rd.

Linda Kesler Photography

5 minutes east of downtown OKC


Shannon Gurney Photography 405-740-7375

Tamara Tigner Photography

405-1085 N Harrah Rd, Harrah 405-406-3251, Portrait parties, Princess party sessions available for children up to age 8.

Taylor Made Photography

1130 W 15th, Edmond 405-341-5088, Birthday portrait sessions; baby plan includes fiveimage composite of your child at newborn, three-, six-, nine-months and one year.


Mizz Klown 405-273-1244

My Hero Party & My Princess Party

405-488-9855,, Your favorite hero or princess comes to your party bringing activities, games and prizes.

OK Tumblebus

PO Box 3943, Edmond 405-513-2077, Gym on wheels for birthday parties for children 2-8. Packages include invitations, favors and medals.

Clementine the Entertainer 405-386-6497

Chester the Clown

(405) 373-1595, An entertainer in the area for over 30 years, Chester provides comedy, magic, balloons, jokes and storytelling.

Pink Pony Limousine

Creative Key Face Painters

Pony Party Express

405-863-7705, Free-hand artists will create any request, detailed and quick.

Dawn to Dusk Inflatables,

14901 N Lincoln Blvd. (405) 630-7275, Moonbounces, cotton candy and popcorn machines, carnival games and more. Party comes to you. Licensed and insured.

FAST LANE to FUN. Host your next celebration at RedPin where kids of all ages find our hip atmosphere, fab food, and posh bowling to be right up their alley.


Pink Teacup 405-627-9071 405-627-9071

Rusty the Clown

405-341-2882, Affordable entertainment that can include an array of juggling, magic, balloon art and comedy for all ages and party sizes. Childrens’ party packages available. Contact our event staff at 405.702.7218 or

Wild N Fun Pony Parties 405-640-3321

Extreme Animals

Bricktown > 200 S. Oklahoma, Ste. X 405.702.8880 >


Chester’s Pumpkin Patch & 3 Acre Mystery Maze OPEN Sept. 28 - Oct. 31

25 Acres of Family Fun Giant Slide Pony Rides Petting Zoo Hay Rides Camp Fires 10 Ton Sandbox Karaoke Fishing Snack Shack Pumpkin Bowling And Much More!

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373-1595 Monday - Saturday 9am-6pm - Sunday 1-6pm October 2009


Family Finances D Devonne Carter, LCSW, has bbeen counseling adults and for over 18 years and cchildren h knows the heartache and ppain that people feel in life. Let Devonne help you work through your emotional problems. Now accepting HealthChoice.

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Classes for all ages! Community Dance Center

Now enrolling for classes! Tap Jazz Ballet Hip Hop Musical Theatre Creative Movement 405.208.5508

Savvy Car Buying Tips


he federal government’s “Cash for Clunkers� plan may have ended, but low interest rates and dealer specials still serve as incentives for those interested in buying new or used vehicles. For many people, shopping for a car is an emotional choice based primarily on finding the right color and the hottest hubcaps. In today’s world, the kind of car we drive has become a status symbol, far exceeding its value as a practical mode of transportation.

Buying a car is one of the most expensive purchases families make. In most cases, it is second only to purchasing a home. However, making a major purchase based on status, color, style or monthly payments can be a costly mistake with long-term financial consequences. Before heading out to the showroom, savvy consumers will have a plan of action that offsets the potential for impulse buying. Taking time to develop a wellthought out plan helps ensure families make an informed choice that fits within their financial goals. Developing a plan of action presents an excellent opportunity to engage other family members in the process and increases the potential for making a good decision. Involving younger family members in researching options and alternatives can be a valuable learning experience for new or prospective drivers. Following are several questions to answer when setting your plan. • Why are you buying this vehicle? Are you planning to travel extensively or do you just need local transportation? Would a good used car be a better choice than a new one? Compact and mid-size vehicles tend to get better gas mileage around town than larger trucks, vans, SUVs or luxury cars. Also, compact and midsize cars tend to have lower insurance


October 2009

premiums and operating costs than flashy sports cars with even flashier wheels. And, used vehicles have less depreciation than new ones. • Who will be using the vehicle? Will you be traveling alone, with children or others? Do you have a large family that needs transportation regularly? The vehicle’s size, number of doors, safety ratings and other similar features should be considered seriously and honestly. • How much can you afford to spend? How much are the additional costs of insurance, gasoline and maintenance? Are all costs included in your monthly spending plan? You may want to use one of the online calculators to estimate your monthly payments; however, most calculators do not include costs other than the monthly payment. Most experts recommend spending a maximum of 15% of your


monthly budget on total vehiclerelated expenses. A good resource to figure the true cost of car ownership is (look for “True Cost to Own or TCO� on the home page).

(%$# ("   (# ("$"# ( " %# ( $ &# ( ("$ ( ("! ($%'# (  

• What features do you need? What equipment is necessary? What equipment is a luxury you can forego? The types of features and equipment needed will depend upon your answers to the previous questions. Remember, those add-ons add up quickly and will impact your monthly payments as well as the insurance premiums and other monthly expenses.


Alternative Locations Available

• What is your credit rating? Have you checked your credit report recently? The higher your credit score, the better your interest rate. And, lower interest rates reduce your monthly payments. Many dealers today offer pre-approved credit options online before you go shopping. However, those pre-approvals are generally like the calculators; they allow for monthly payments—not monthly insurance premiums or other expenses. Spending less than the preapproved amount gives you a cushion for those expenses.


Fre Sessioen! Call fo r details


• Do you really need the “newest,â€? “hottestâ€? car, SUV, van or truck? Generally, those new trendy vehicles do not include special prices, rebates or other price incentives. If price is important, then you can make a better deal on another model. • What do you know about available vehicles? What do you know about the dealer? It pays to ask around, to look at the various makes and models, to search online and to search publications such as Edmunds, Consumer Reports and other sources. You may also want to visit with friends or family members about their experiences with certain models or dealers to help you get the best deal for your situation.

Sue Lynn Sasser, PhD, is an associate professor of economics at the University of Central Oklahoma. October 2009


Children, despite delays or disabilities, can improve their skills allowing them to reach their highest potential.


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October 2009

“Be kind to others. You never know what they’re going through.” This is how Diana Sweet signs her email messages, and she knows what she’s talking about. For the past 10 months, Diana’s been battling breast cancer.

Mari Farthing is the Editor of MetroFamily Magazine. Photography by Aimee Adams ❘

October 2009


You might be familiar with Diana’s fight with cancer— she’s been blogging about it on our website. It has affected her daily life with husband Jerry and daughter McKenzie, but she’s not afraid to talk about it. This is her story, including some entries from her blog (in italics).

March 31, 2009: Jerry and McKenzie brought me home from the hospital today around 1pm. Dr. Carter said the surgery yesterday went very well. She took a lymph node from under my arm that tested positive for cancer, so she went in and removed a total of six lymph nodes.

February 17, 2009: I just had [my annual exam] done in October and the doctor didn’t find anything. So between then and now, I have no idea how long it [the tumor] has been there… Diana didn’t consider breast cancer to be a possibility. But shortly after turning 31, she found a lump when she bumped her breast. “It felt like a huge lump, golfball-size,” said Diana. She hadn’t performed a breast self-exam since her annual exam four months earlier. “I will admit that I have never been great about doing self exams.” “Once I found the lump,” said Diana, “I was like ‘Oh no, what if it’s cancer?’” Though Diana’s grandmother and great aunt had battled breast cancer, Diana had not tested positive for the breast cancer gene.

March 2, 2009: Today is my daughter’s first birthday and the day of my biopsy. March 3, 2009: My doctor’s nurse called me and told me I need to come in, can I make it that afternoon by 1:30… I was at the doctor’s office, my daughter was getting her one-year shots. Diana’s diagnosis came on the day after her daughter McKenzie’s first birthday. “When I found out, I called my mom on my way home,” said Diana. “I started crying and said, ‘It’s cancer.’ She just got really quiet. I said ‘Are you okay?’ and she said, ‘Well, I’m probably about the same as you are right now.’ “I think other people were more worried about me than I was,” said Diana. “Most of the time I was okay. I didn’t know how else to deal with it. What has been so surprising to me was that I didn’t feel sick or anything. I mean, really, the whole time, other than the side effects from the medication, I haven’t felt sick. It still seems in my mind like somebody’s playing a joke on me. You can feel completely fine.”

The diagnosis was an estrogen-sensitive, poorly-differentiated carcinoma. The tumor “was really jagged and it was hard to tell what kind of cancer it was.” A poorly-differentiated cancer like this is classified as a grade three, fast-growing cancer. Diana’s doctor recommended a treatment course that would include chemotherapy treatments and radiation. In anticipation of losing her hair during chemotherapy, Diana went wig shopping with friends.

Most inherited breast cancer can be linked to one of the two genes identified as the breast cancer genes: BRCA1 and BRCA2, which function to keep breast cells growing normally. However, according to the website BreastCancer. org, most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer don’t have a family history of the disease.


Diana found out that her cancer was triggered by estrogen. “My positive lymph nodes were sent to all kinds of specialists and pathologists because they were having trouble determining if the cancer was lymphoma. She [Dr. Carter] said they had never seen anything like it.”

October 2009

April 10, 2009: So I went wig shopping today. I went to a shop called Accenté in South OKC. The owner is a breast cancer survivor. That is why I wanted to go there. I cried before I even got out of the car and then cried again when I got inside the store. “Sometimes I make jokes about it—‘Oh, I’m going to lose my hair, I’ll be as bald as Jerry!’” In retrospect, this was a part of the experience that she had feared the most. “I thought the worst part would be losing my hair,” said Diana. “I guess I’ve just gotten used to it. I’ve worn my wig about five times. The bangs get in my face and I’m always adjusting it. It’s cute, people can’t tell it’s a wig. Looking at me with my wig on, you wouldn’t know that I have cancer.” April 14, 2009: I will be getting chemo once every two weeks for eight treatments. So it’ll take about four months to go through that. April 28, 2009: It’s not like she hurt me with the needle stick, I was just thinking about the whole unknown factor—not knowing what to expect or how my body will react to the chemo, not knowing when my hair will start falling out, not knowing what chemo feels like. The hardest parts of chemotherapy? “The side effects,” said Diana, “The stuff I would never think about. Like blisters in all kinds of weird places! I just felt that the worst part was not being able to take care of McKenzie. My mom stayed with me

and took care of her. I would get up, take medicine, go back to sleep.”

garage with us when [we] shaved it because I wanted her to see that I am still mommy, even with VERY short hair.” It didn’t take long for McKenzie to get used to her mother’s new look. “She kisses me on the head. She’ll crawl up behind me and kiss me on top of the head.”

Prior to going to chemotherapy, Diana’s doctors prepared her with classes and information to read. “They gave me a big binder just full of pages. I’d open it and look at it, start reading and I was like—‘I just can’t do this right now,’” said Diana. “It was just too much information.”

May 19, 2009: Sometimes I wonder how in the world I am going to make it through six more rounds of chemo, hormone therapy and radiation and be a good mommy... today I couldn’t help but just lay in bed and cry. And that makes me feel bad. I want [McKenzie] to know it’s okay to cry, but she looks so confused.

The technical information was initially overwhelming, but Diana found peace reading the stories of others her age who have successfully made it through a fight with breast cancer. May 1, 2009: This part of the process is really getting me down. I try to tell myself to keep going, just seven more sessions to go. But I feel overwhelmed and out of control. Sometimes I lie in bed and let the tears fall. I feel so weak in this part of the treatment plan. I feel so helpless. But it’s part of the process to heal my body and help assure I am here for my family and friends. So the temporary sickness is worth it, right? “The chemo made me tired, but once they got the anti-nausea figured out, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be,” said Diana. “I was tired and there were times when I didn’t feel like doing anything, but I was pretty much able to do what I needed. “I knew ahead of time what to expect,” said Diana. “Maybe that’s why it wasn’t so bad; I did so much research, I read everything I could think of reading.” Diana’s neighbor had cancer in 2006, and she proved to be a great support to Diana through her diagnosis and treatment, and she would share stories from her own treatment process. “She said ‘I don’t want to freak you out,’ but I told her I wanted to know what the worst is so if it doesn’t happen I can know it’s not as bad as I thought.” May 13, 2009: My husband shaved my hair off last night. I pulled my hair back in a ponytail and chopped it off, then he got the clippers and cut it all down to #2 length while I cried and held my head over the trash can. “The medication in the first four chemo treatments made me lose my hair,” said Diana, and she decided to shave it when she began to lose her hair. “McKenzie was sitting in the

Advice from Diana: If you recently were diagnosed with cancer or fear that you might have cancer, Diana offers some words of advice: • Take someone with you to the doctor to ask the questions you might not think of. • Do your research: many websites provide information and supportive stories from others who have battled cancer. Research medication options that might be available (that’s how Diana found out about a medication that helped her nausea). • If you get sick or nauseated after chemotherapy, don’t wait to call your doctor. • Remember that there are worse things that could happen than losing your hair! • Maintain a positive attitude. Nothing can make you feel defeated faster than your own negativity. A positive attitude will help you to be strong. • Talk to someone; go to a counselor and relieve some of the pressure that you may be feeling.

Resources • the National Cancer Institute • free, personalized websites created by individuals to provide information about critical illnesses, treatment and recovery • national non-profit providing free, professional support to those affected by cancer October 2009

Despite the diagnosis and treatment, Diana maintains her positive attitude and does what any mother or wife does. “I do the same stuff I did before,” said Diana. “As long as I’m not nauseated or throwing up, I just do it. Even if I’m tired, I just work through that.” Through the month of May and into June, Diana’s chemotherapy made her tired, nauseous and sometimes ill. Still she managed to find the time and energy to spend time with her family, help out at a loved one’s funeral and visit family in Germany. Her battle with cancer is far from over (as of the end of August, chemotherapy was over, but radiation therapy was still on the horizon), but don’t think Diana counts herself out. “I don’t think it’s really sunk in,” said Diana. “I keep telling myself: I have cancer. I guess since I just feel good most of the time it doesn’t feel like it could be real.” But Diana has difficult days as well, when her positive attitude is challenged by doubts about whether the cancer is really all gone. “I try to push that stuff aside and not worry about it until the time comes,” said Diana. She keeps her focus on life now instead of thinking of what may or may not come in the future. “The lady who lives across the street from me is young, in her twenties, a single mom with two kids, one and two years old,” said Diana. “She came over and said ‘I don’t know how you do it.’ I said ‘I don’t know how you do it.’ She said ‘I just do what I have to do.’ And I said ‘Exactly.’ I just do what I have to do.” ■


Dear Teacher Reading Cues and No Child Left Behind Early Signs of Future Reading Problems Question: My two children are both preschoolers. I am constantly talking to them and reading them books. Still I’m worried about their being ready to read when they get to school. Are there signs that indicate the possibility of future reading problems? – Avid Reader

Disabilities (NCLD) has developed this list of things for parents to watch out for when they are observing their preschoolers: • Very small vocabulary and/or slow vocabulary growth. • Often unable to find the right word and speaks in very short sentences. • Even with age-appropriate instruction, struggles with remembering sequences such as numbers, alphabet, days of the week. • Difficulty pronouncing simple words. • Difficulty understanding simple directions and following routines.

Answer: Over time, most children are likely to become good readers. Nevertheless, it’s helpful for parents of young children to know the signs that their preschoolers could be potential candidates for reading difficulties so early help can be secured for them. The National Center for Learning

• Difficulty learning colors and shapes. • Extremely restless and easily distracted, compared to peers. • Fine motor skills slow to develop. Has difficulty holding crayon or pencil, picking up small objects with fingers, copying basic shapes.

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October 2009

• Strong avoidance of certain activities, like storytelling and circle time. Besides things to look for there are things that you can do according to NCLD that will encourage your child to develop into a good reader. You should: • Read to your children every day. • Point out words and letters that you find in your daily routines, while shopping or traveling through the neighborhood. • Sing songs and share nursery rhymes. • Go to the library and read books together. For more information about your child’s early reading skills, visit NCLD’s “Get Ready to Read” website ( or DearTeacher. com and search for “reading” under “Preschool.”

Effects of No Child Left Behind on Families Parents: If your young children are just starting school or are between the ages of six and 12, you need to be aware of how No Child Left Behind legislation is affecting them. First of all, children are now doing substantially more studying and reading—especially younger children. And you can expect to provide more homework help as children are being assigned more homework in reading and math to improve test scores. If your children are young, you can now expect to spend from 10-15 minutes several nights a week giving them additional practice in reading. Ideally, their teachers will give you some training so you can help them accomplish their objectives. To make this homework time more effective, give your children’s teachers feedback occasionally on the effectiveness of specific assignments.

Dear Teacher is written by Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts. Do you have a question for them? Send it to dearteacher@dearteacher. com or visit

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Through October

The Pumpkin Patch at Chester’s Party Barn in Piedmont features pony rides, petting zoo, Pumpkin Bowling, and hayrides. Monday-Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 1-6pm. $6 per child, $5 per adult. 5201 Cimarron Road, 405-373-1595, Parkhurst Pumpkin Patch with hay wagon rides, cornfield maze, petting zoo, pony rides, pick your own pumpkin and more. Thursday-Saturday, 10am-dusk; Sunday 1pm-dusk. Monday-Wednesday by appt. Eight miles east of Edmond off Hwy 66. 396-0909,

22 • Thursday

FREE Autumn Make-n-Take at Yukon’s Mabel C. Fry Library, 4pm. Fall stories, songs and crafts for children K-5th grade. Space is limited, registration is required. 405-354-8232. Also held 10/29.

23 • Friday

FREE Annual Fall Festival at Church of the Servant Methodist Church, 6-8:30pm. Donations for Infant Crisis Services will be accepted at the door. 405-601-9515.


Pumpkin Patch at Orr Family Farm features hayride, amazin’ maze, “sugar pie” pumpkins, giant jumping pillows, petting zoo and more. Fridays 6-8:30pm ($10.50 for ages 2 and up), Saturdays 10am-8:30pm ($12.50 for ages 2 and up). 14400 S Western Avenue, OKC. 799-FARM,

Halloween Hike at the Little River Zoo, 6-8:30pm. Trick or Treat along the Zoo’s scary trails. $5. Also, Fright Hike, 8-11pm. Hike through the haunted wooded trails. $10, 405-366-7229,

Through November 14


Mikles Family Farm, Shawnee Maze and Pumpkin Patch. Hayrides, pumpkin picking, petting zoo, corn maize and night exclusive activities such as Glow Stick Maze (all season) and Cornstalkers Haunted Field (October weekends only). Fridays 6-10pm, Saturdays 10am-10pm, Sundays noon-5pm (closed Sundays in November). Two packages available: each package is $8 adults, $7 kids 4-11, 3 and under free; discounted if buy combo pass. (Coupon pg. 17.) P Bar Farms features corn maze, hay rides, laser tag, train rides and haunted maze (opens 10/2). Thursday-Friday, 6-10pm; Saturday, 10am-10pm; closed Sundays. $7 adults, $6 ages 5-12, under 5 free. Laser Tag admission, $6. Located on I-40 between Hydro and Weatherford. 580-772-4401, (Coupon pg. 34.)

Through November 29

Daze in a Maze in Logan County features four walk-through mazes, petting zoo, pumpkin patch, picnic and play areas and much more. Saturday 10am-10pm; Sunday 2pm-dusk; Monday-Friday groups by appointment only. $6; 3 and under free. 580-234-6293; on weekends call 405-550-5964,

October 7-30

Pumpkin City at Putnam City Baptist Church (11401 N Rockwell Ave). MondaySaturday 11am-dark. 405-773-6900,

October 9-31

Frightfest and Booville (for 12 and under) at Frontier City. Held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. 11501 N I-35 Service Road, 405-478-2140,

10 • Saturday

FREE Fall into Art at Martin Nature Park, 5pm. Activities for all ages and natureinspired art for sale. 405-755-0676. The Pumpkin Festival at St. Matthew United Methodist Church, 9am-4pm. Activities, children’s silent auction and live entertainment. 405-732-6831.

16 • Friday

FREE Autumn Explosion at the First Southern Baptist Church, 4-9pm. Rides, inflatables, food, candy, and much more. FirstSouthern.TV.


October 2009

Storybook Forest at Arcadia Lake, 5:30-8:30pm. Walk through the not-so-scary trail to collect candy from the Storybook characters and see wonderful Storybook scenes. $5 per child Monday-Thursday; $7 Friday-Sunday. 405-216-7771,

24 • Saturday

Art Pumpkin Carving Family Workshop at City Arts Center, 1-4pm. Preparation, design, preservation and carving technique will be covered. Children under 12 need to be accompanied by an adult. $40. Registration required. 405-951-0000, FREE Villa Teresa Moore Halloween Carnival, (13501 S Western Ave.) 6-9pm. Games, haunted house, inflatables, and food. 405-691-7737. Pumpkin Carving Party at Unplugitts, 2-4pm. Make pumpkins with the entire family. $18 per pumpkin. 405-340-7584, Pumpkin Parents Night Out at Unpluggits, 4-8pm. Enjoy an evening out while your children paint, play and carve their own Jack-o-lantern. Pizza dinner included. $25. Ages 4 and up. 405-340-7584, Creepy Conservatory at the Myriad Botanical Gardens features exotic animals and bugs, tropical trick-or-treat trail, kids crafts and activities. 405-297-3995, Boo on Bell in historic downtown Shawnee. Carnival games, costume contests, trick-or-treating. 405-275-3641, FREE Family Fun Night at Edmond’s Festival Marketplace. Activities, door prizes, trick-or-treating, apple cider and hot chocolate. Register for pumpkin carving contest in advance, 405-359-4630, FREE Spooksville at the Yukon Community Center includes carnival, spookhouse, games, costume contest and candy. 3-6pm. 405-350-8937, Catch-A-Glimpse Retreat Children’s Fall Festival featuring the Adventure Trickor-Treat Trail at 11400 S County Line Rd., 4-7pm. Activities include barnyard carnival games, hayride, pumpkin launch, carousel pony rides and food. $5 children; adults FREE.

FREE Halloween Party at the Choctaw Library, 2pm. Magician Steve Crawford will share his tricks while you make a craft.

25 • Sunday

FREE Fall Festival at the Edmond Church of Christ (801 S Bryant), 7pm. Indoor trick-or-treating, games, prizes, and candy. For children infants to 5th grade. 405341-3353, FREE Trunk or Treat at New Covenant United Methodist Church in Edmond, 6-8pm. Over 30 trunks with games and prizes. 562-3200, Trunk-or-Treat.


Haunt the Zoo at the OKC Zoo, 6:30-8:30pm. Admission children, $7; adults FREE. 405-424-3344,

27 • Tuesday

FREE Trick or Treat on the Lake at Lake Thunderbird in Norman, 6-8pm. 405-321-4633. FREE Halloween Storytime at the Del City Library, 6:30-7:15pm. Halloween themed stories and activities. Children should wear costumes for the Annual Monster March. FREE Dress-up Party for Preschoolers at the Warr Acres Library, 6:30-7:30pm. Dress up and enjoy puppets and stories. For ages 2 ½ to 5 years.

29 • Thursday

Haunt the Harn at the Harn Homestead, 5:30-8:30pm. Trick-or-treat at the historical buildings and participate in games and crafts, hay rides, roasting marshmallows, face painting and campfire. $3 in advance; $5 at the door. 405-2354058, FREE Annual Fall Festival at Crossings Community Church, 6-8pm. Families are invited to dress up in their favorite happy costumes for dinner, games, and more. For children 2 years-6th grade. 405-755-2227. FREE Mysterious Oklahoma: True Tales with author David Farris at the Edmond Library, 7-8:30pm. David shares from his books and focuses on the events in the supernatural realm that have taken place in our state. For grades 3 and up.

30 • Friday

Boo-Tacular Fun at Young Chefs Academy, 6-9pm. Cooking up tasty Halloween treats. $35. Ages 6 and up. Also held 10/31 from 10-noon for ages 3-5. 405-2855939, FREE FestiFall at Putnam City Baptist Church (11401 N Rockwell), 6:30-8:30pm. Outside inflatables, games, food, and candy. 405-773-6900,


Bright Night of Not-So-Frightening Fun at the Science Museum Oklahoma, 6pm-8:30am. Experience all the museum offers along with some added Halloween activities, an overnight stay and breakfast. $45 adult or child; non-participating adult $20; members and military families $10 off. For all ages. 405-602-6664,

31 • Saturday

Halloween Costume Party at Unpluggits, noon-2pm. FREE face painting and fun games. Included in paint’n play admission or craft purchase. 405-340-7584, FREE Great Pumpkin Fest at TG Farms, 9am-6pm. A family event featuring arts and crafts, barn dance and entertainment. 405-387-3232, FREE Fall Festival at Village Baptist Church, 4:30–6:30pm. A family friendly event with a preschool area and a grade school area. Plus the annual Trunk or Treat with more activities continuing inside. For infants to 6th grade.; 405-751-1951. Halloween Night at the Orr Family Farm, 6-9pm. Hayrides, FREE pumpkins, animal barn, train rides, pedal cars and carousel, pumpkin decorating and costume contests. Costumes encouraged, no masks. FREE coloring books and candy. Admission $10.50. 405-799-3276, FREE Fall Frolic at Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 5-7pm. Fall festival for kids of all ages with a sports theme. A special area for infants and toddlers, as well as a large area full of carnival style games for kids, inflatables and a bag of candy. Emily, 405-341-9024, Trick or Treat in the Maze at Mikles Family Farm in Shawnee, (42610 N Wolverine) 2-4pm. Costume contest with prizes. Admission $7. For kids 10 and under. 405-401-8217, FREE Sonic’s Spooky Saturday at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 10am-5pm. FREE admission. 403-325-4712, FREE Trick or Treat at Edmond’s KickingBird Square, 4-6pm. Visit each store for treats. 405-340-9202, FREE Trick or Treat on the Street in Downtown Edmond, 5-7pm. Visit the merchants downtown including the police and fire departments. 405-249-9391, FREE Midwest City Trick or Treat City at Joe B. Regional Park, 2-4:30pm. 405733-3801, Full Day of Family Fun in Moore, 7am-9pm. Pancake Breakfast 7am; Red Ribbon Parade, 10am; Red Ribbon Jam, noon, Haunt the Old Town, 4:30pm; and 27th Annual Halloween Festival 6pm. All held at Moore Community Center. FREE Trick-or-Treat at the Midwest City Library, 9am-5pm. Stop by the library for a little treat. All ages. FREE Extreme Makeover: Halloween Edition at the Midwest City Library, 10:30-11:30am. Learn tricks and techniques for doing stage makeup and begin your own transformation. Space is limited. Registration required. FREE Halloween Fun at the Del City Library, 2-3pm. Children come by for treats. Ages 6-11. FREE Face Painting at the Ralph Ellison Library, 2-3pm. Get your face painted for Halloween. Teens. FREE Cosplay costume contest at the Southern Oaks Library, 2-4pm. Costumes can be any copyrighted character. For rules and more information 631-4468.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Find more festivals held around the state at October 2009


In Touch With Relationships Play: It’s Good For You!


pparently, I am not the only parent to find their child “hula hooping” on the Wii in the living room when the sun is shining outside! According to a new book, The Power of Play by psychologist David Elkind, the quality and frequency of play is deteriorating. The latest research suggests that despite all that we know about the mental, emotional and social benefits of play for children, children today have eight hours less unstructured play and outdoor activities than 20 years ago. In 2000, the Surgeon General remarked that this may be the first generation of American children who are less healthy than their parents, citing that as many as two thirds of our children have at least one health problem.

academic and sport skills. Advanced educational programs, specialty summer camps, and competitive team sports feed the fear and suck up kids’ time. Parental fear of lack of safety outside keep kids indoors. Media coverage of abductions and drive-by shootings exaggerate the perception of the risk of letting kids play outside. Our overscheduled children seek to “chill out” during their down time, and screens fill that perceived need. Entertainment and educational technology, while useful and not entirely harmful, tend to encourage passivity; traditional play is active and engaging, encouraging creativity and movement.

Dr. Elkind has identified three factors that are limiting healthy play in children: fear, time and technology. In our culture, there is a fear of falling behind in

Technology definitely has its place, but we mustn’t allow it to replace a valuable component of childhood. Traditionally, kids learn to figure things out independently through play. Rules, creativity, conflict management, negotiation, developing healthy interests,

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October 2009

stress busting, are only some of the long list of positives that come from unstructured playtime. I challenge you to get your kids out there in the natural (not virtual) world. Recruit some friends from school or rally the neighbors to gather to teach them about good oldfashioned fun. Get your children moving with old-school pastimes like a game of catch, hide-and-seek or Red Rover. It is not too late to boost the playfulness in your family. Consider instituting game night at home and insist on participation—but for your teen’s sake, please don’t schedule family game night on Friday or Saturday! Give everyone a chance to pick a game and see if they like the games that you played when you were younger. Dress up and role-play games help kids to experience different perspectives and enhance creativity. Did you ever make a fort when you were a child? Solitary play is also important. When I was growing up we moved a lot. My favorite doll was a small troll named Penelope. Penelope lived for many years in a shoebox under my bed. I spent hours decorating her box and took Penelope everywhere I could, even to the hospital when I had my tonsils removed! My imaginary play with Penelope served many purposes, cognitive (the inventions for her box home), emotional (Penelope was always living under my bed, no matter where I lived), and social (It is hard to be a new kid, Penelope was always ready to play with me). Of course, I didn’t know all that stuff then, I just knew it was fun. What are your playtime memories? Rekindle them with your children and help them develop their own. EDITOR’S NOTE: See page 13 for details about “Take It Outside Week.”

Dr. Lisa Marotta is a health service psychologist within The Counseling and Consulting Offices of Paul Tobin and Ann Benjamin. She ends every child session with a quick game and always enjoys a puppet show. Dr. Marotta and her husband Sal live in Edmond with their two teenage daughters.



FREE Children’s Story Time at Edmond’s Best of Books, Saturdays, 11-11:30am. 340-9202. FREE Make & Take craft activities at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May, OKC), 11am-3pm every Saturday. Ages 3 and up. 858-8778, LakeshoreLearning. com. Family Fun Night at JumpZone (SW 104th & Western) 4:30-8pm every Tuesday and Thursday. 2 adults, 2 children, 1 large pizza, 2 liter pop for $25. For open play hours call 200-1691, FREE StoryTime at Gymboree Penn Square, first Friday of every month, 10am. 842-7540. Silly Sundays at Unpluggits Playstudio (575 Enterprise Dr, Edmond) Every Sunday, 1-6pm. Free face painting with paid admission or craft purchase. 340-7584, The UCO Jazz Lab features performances each Friday and Saturday at 8pm. $7 adults, $5 age 12 and under. 359-7989, FREE Children’s Storytime at Full Circle Bookstore (1900 NW Expressway) every Saturday, 10:15am. 8422900, Drop in Art at the OKC Museum of Art. Saturdays, 1-4pm. Create art inspired by the Museum’s collection, exhibitions, and special occasions. FREE with paid admission. Sunday Nature Hikes at Martin Park Nature Center. Guided park tour and nature hike each Sunday 2:30pm. Reservations and a fee of $2 are required. 755-0676.

Parents Night Out at Unpluggits Playstudio in Edmond every Friday, 6-10pm. For ages 4 and up. Evening includes crafts, pizza and organized playground games. $25. Reservations required. 340-7584, Crop Nights at Unpluggits Playstudio in Edmond every Thursday 10:30am. Bring your own supplies or use theirs. Kids play while you crop. $1 off admission. 3407584,


Kindercooks Class at the Young Chefs Academy, 1011:30am. Held the first and third Saturday of the month. $30. For ages 3-5. 285-5939, YoungChefsAcademy. com.

Oct 9-Nov 19

Perspectives on Poolaw: The Art of Thomas Poolaw and the Influences of Harace Poolaw at the Jacobson House Native Art Center. 366-1667, JacobsonHouse. com.

Oct 10-Jan 18, 2010

Drawing the Motmot: An Artist’s View of Tropical Nature Exhibit at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. Features the artwork of Deborah Kaspari.

Oct 10-Jan 18, 2010

Darwin at the Museum exhibit at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. Highlights the work of Charles Darwin.

Oct 13-Dec 22






1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Metropolitan Library System 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

FREE Thursday Noon Tunes at the Downtown Library, 11:30-1pm. Free live music each Thursday.

FREE A Cut and a Shave: The History of the Barbershop Exhibit at Edmond Historical Society and Museum. 340-0078,

Jones, 111 E Main, 399-5471

FREE Toddler Storytime at the Norman Library. Every Monday 9:30-10am.

Oct 15-Nov 7

Nicoma Park, 2240 Overholser, 769-9452

FREE Art Adventures at Norman’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 10:30am. Activities for children ages 3-5 with adult held each Tuesday.


FREE Moss and Rivers exhibit at City Arts Center features works made with found object collage, mixed media with drawing and painting elements. Opening reception held 10/15; 5:30pm.

Luther, 310 NE 3rd, 277-9967 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

weekly E-Updates keep you in-the-know subscribe-to-e-update October 2009

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


Quick Reference 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, Little River Zoo Hwy 9, Norman 366-7229, 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,

Oct 30-Nov 1

Through January 2010

Through October


FREE Wrangler Heartland Barrel Racing Tour at the Heartland of Oklahoma Expo Center in Shawnee, 3pm. 918-326-4480, Cocktails on the Skyline at the OKC Museum of Art, 5-10:30pm. Every Thursday and Friday. A full bar, complimentary chips and salsa, and the Oklahoma City skyline. All ages are welcome. $12 adults, $10 seniors and students, FREE for members. Sunset Cruises with the Oklahoma River Cruises. Every Friday and Saturday, 7:30pm. Enjoy the climatecontrolled cabin with drinks and light hors d’oeuvres. All passengers must be 21 years of age or older to board. $35 per person. 702-7755, FREE SoundBites in the Park at Couch Park in downtown OKC, 11:30am-1pm. Live music held every Friday. 235-3500, Indian Territory: Portraits of 21st Century Native American Dancers and I.T. Born Tribal Elders at the Red Earth Museum (inside the Science Museum Oklahoma). 427-5228,

Through December

ConservaStory at the Myriad Gardens. A tropical adventure of the storybook kind. A pirate ship, giants and fairies.

Through Jan 10, 2010

Not Just a Housewife: The Changing Roles of Women in the West exhibit at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

Another Hot Oklahoma Night exhibit at the Oklahoma History Center celebrates rock & roll in Oklahoma. The Family Theatre Group, Family Theatre Warehouse’ community theatre company presents Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap. Family Theatre Warehouse, 907 W Britton. Performances held Friday and Saturday, 7pm; Sundays 2pm. $10 adults, $8 children. Details 848-7469,

4 • Sunday

Cleveland County Crop Walk at the Norman’s Food and Shelter for Friends, 2pm. 3 mile walk and pre-walk activities including performances, face painting followed by hot dog cookout. Registration begins 1:30pm. Proceeds raised will be donated to Food and Shelter for Friends. 620-1305,

5 • Monday

FREE After School Story Time at the Mabel C. Fry Library, 4pm. Children K-2nd grade will experience stories presented in a variety of formats in order to educate and entertain. Space is limited, registration is required. 354-8232 or email Also held 10/12, 19, 26. FREE Home School Day at the Oklahoma History Center, 10am-2pm. Explore the museum with the help of gallery guides, follow along with our scavenger hunt, take part in hands-on demonstrations, and enjoy a variety of living history programs. 522-0785,

Oklahoma Children’s Theatre 2501 N Blackwelder, OKC 606-7003, Oklahoma Heritage Center 13th & Shartel, OKC 235-4458, Oklahoma History Center 2401 N Laird Ave, OKC 522-5248, Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History 2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman 325-4712, Science Museum Oklahoma 2100 NE 52nd St, OKC 602-6664,

Do you have an event for our calendar? Email it to Calendar Editor Terri Fields, 44

Piano Lessons: An Invitation to Learn A

Students from 2nd grade through adult Piedmont, Deercreek, NW Oklahoma City areas For more information:

Cheryl Byrd 728-2872 October 2009

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6 • Tuesday

FREE Baby Story Time at the Mabel C. Fry Library, 9:45am. Stories, finger plays, puppets, whole-body movement, and songs. Parents are required to attend with their children. For birth-18 months. Space is limited, registration is required. 354-8232, chickey@ Also held 10/20, 27.


Reduxion Theatre Company Presents Sophocles’ Antigone at the City Arts Center, 8pm. $15; $12 students and seniors. 651-3191,

8 • Thursday

FREE Astronomy Lecture Series: The Solar System at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 7-8pm. Lecture followed by an outdoor star viewing. Film: The Maltese Falcon at the OKC Museum of Art, 7:30pm. Members $5, adults $8, students $6.

9 • Friday

Asleep at the Wheel in concert at the Sooner Theatre, 8pm. Tickets $35 and up. 321-9600, FREE Opening Reception for Sooners in the Land of Enchantment: Oklahoma Artist and New Mexico at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 6-9pm. Features lecture with Curator Eugene B. Adkins and refreshments.


Die Fledermaus comic operetta at the OU Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center, (540 Parrington Oval, Norman) 8pm. $15 adults, $12 seniors, $10 students. Also held 10/11; 3pm. 325-4101.


The Junior League of OKC’s Mistletoe Market. See page 12 for details.

10 • Saturday

Bluegrass Music Show at the Greater Oklahoma Bluegrass Music Society, 6:30pm. Tickets $6; children 12 and under Free. 485-2370, The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Downtown OKC. See page 13 for details. FREE Community Art Day at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, 1-3pm. Experience Moving Myths of India, a performance and workshop by traditional Indian dancer Anuradha Naimpally. 878-5300,

11 • Sunday

FREE PianOrchestra at the Downtown Library, 2-3pm. The piano division at the UCO will present a program featuring the Steinway grand piano and for Yamaha Clavinova digital pianos. Discovery Family Concerts at the Civic Center Music Hall. $21 per series ticket, continuing events held 1/31, 3/28. 1pm activities, 2pm concert. 842-5387, Celebration of Children Festival at Edmond’s Mitch Park. 11am-5pm, $3 ages 2 and up. Family-friendly entertainment and activities. 359-4630.

12 • Monday

Oklahoma City Thunder Preseason basketball at the Ford Center, 7pm versus Phoenix. Other preseason games held 10/14, 20, 22.

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Sandi Patty & Friends Concert at Crossings Community Church Sanctuary, 7–9pm. Benefits White Fields home for abused and neglected boys. 755-2227,


Fall Break Sea Camps at the Oklahoma Aquarium, 9am-4pm. $50 per child, grades Kindergarten-5. Before and after care is available, registration required.

15 • Thursday

Ms. Sniketywiggins Tea Party at Unpluggits, 4pm. Participants will have fun while learning the importance of good manners. 340-7584,


An Affair of the Heart at the State Fairgrounds, 9am6pm. One of the largest arts and crafts shows in the U.S. Admission $6; good for all three days. 632-2652,

Explore with Darwin Family Day at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 1-4pm. Free with paid admission.

Mix it Up Camp at City Arts Center, 9am-4pm. Learn the building blocks of art with tow-and dimensional art. $60. Ages 5-7. Registration required. Fall Break Camp at Young Chefs Academy, 1-4pm. $80. For ages 6 and up. 405-285-5939, Art FUNdamentals at City Arts Center, 9am-4pm. Focus on four different principles of design with a varieties of artistic techniques and mediums. $60. Ages 8-12. Registration required. Fall Break Camps at the OKC Museum of Art, 9am4pm. For ages 5-10. $60 members; $65 nonmembers. Pre-registration is required. Space is limited.

24 • Saturday

FREE From Band Aids to Twisters: Enhancing Community and Personal Preparedness. Midwest City Library, 10am-3pm. Rock the Walk benefitting Parents Helping Parents at Mitch Park in Edmond, 8am. Two mile walk to raise awareness about substance abuse. Entertainment, prizes, and exhibits.

25 • Sunday

Fantastic Fall Adventures Fall Break Camp at Oklahoma Children’s Theater, 9am-4pm. $45 one day; $80 both. Ages 5-12. Registration required.

19th Annual Kitchen Tour in Nichols Hills, 11am-5pm. Each kitchen will feature local guest chefs, cooking demonstrations, luxury table settings and floral designs. Also available bake sale, and Q and A session with certified kitchen designer Karen Black-Sigler. Tickets $12 advance; $15 day of event. 323-1553.

16 • Friday

27 • Tuesday

FREE Teacher Appreciation Day at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 10am-4pm.

Sleep with the Sharks at the Oklahoma Aquarium, 6pm. Sleepover with the Coral Reef or the sharks along with activities, snacks, and movies. For all ages. $50.

All major credit cards accepted

FREE The Music of George Washington’s America at the Oklahoma History Center, 7pm. Live music from the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Federal periods with David Hildebrand.


A complete education program for Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar and Drums Call Doug at 340-8294

21 • Wednesday

St George Greek Festival. See page 8 for details.

Scout Day at the Oklahoma History Center, 10am-2pm. Members in uniform will be admitted $1 youth; $3 adult.

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Museum of Natural History, 5:30-9pm. Members-only event with demonstrations, meet curators and explore the collections behind the scenes tours.

Oklahoma Women’s Symposium. See page 10 for details.

Join our rock and acoustic guitar classes. Now offering BEGINNING DRUM CLASSES.



13 • Tuesday


17 • Saturday

Art Birdhouse Construction Family Workshop at City Arts Center, 1-4pm. One adult enrollment is required for each child enrolled under 12. $40. Registration required.

20 • Tuesday

Members Night Behind the Scenes at the Sam Noble October 2009

In Discussion with Darwin: Classroom seminars on Evolution at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 7pm. $10 members; $15 non-members. Pre-registration is required. For adults. Massenkoff Russian Folk Festival at the OCCC Bruce Owen Theatre, 7pm. Traditional songs, dances and live music. Tickets $10 and up. 682-7579,

28 • Wednesday

Oklahoma City Thunder basketball at the Ford Center, 7pm. Another held 10/30. Los Lobos in concert at the Sooner Theatre, 8pm. Tickets $35 and up. 321-9600,

29 • Thursday

Children’s Workshop: Drawing from Nature at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural

We’ve been listening to you, readers. History, 4-5:30pm. Members $20; $30 non-members. Registration is required. For grades 3-5. Also held 11/5, 12.

30 • Friday

Family Night Out: Falling for Leaves at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 6-8:30pm. A topic, pizza and drinks, and complete a project to take home. For ages 5 and older. Pre-registration required. $10 members; $12 non-members. FREE Art After Hours at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 6pm. A 45 minute talk featuring works included in the temporary exhibitions. Refreshments will be served.

November 2

Career Quest at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, 4-6pm. Discover how science is used in your life by investigating real-world science careers. For grades 6-8. $40 members; $50 non-members. Preregistration required. Also held 11/9, 16, 23, 30, 12/7.

November 5

FREE Author Terrye Robins Brown Bag Lunch at the Mabel C. Fry Library, noon. Bring your lunch and hear Terrye speak about her inspirational fiction work. Seating is limited, reservations required. 354-8232.

November 6-7

Oklahoma Statewide Autism Conference, Norman. See page 10 for details. St Elijah Food Festival. See page 8 for details.

November 7-8

Oklahoma Mineral and Gem Show. See page 11 for details.

“Does my child have autism?� Now there is a short screening available to determine if children ages 24-36 months are “at risk� for autism.

UĂŠ`Â“ÂˆÂ˜ÂˆĂƒĂŒiĂ€i`ĂŠLÞÊ>ĂŠV…ˆÂ?`ĂŠ`iĂ›iÂ?ÂœÂŤÂ“iÂ˜ĂŒ ĂŠiĂ?ÂŤiĂ€ĂŒĂŠÂœvÊÓäÊÞi>Ă€ĂƒÂ° UĂŠ/Ă€>ˆ˜i`ĂŠvÂœĂ€ĂŠĂŒÂ…iĂŠ-//ĂŠĂƒVĂ€ii˜iÀÊ>ĂŒĂŠ 6>˜`iĂ€LˆÂ?ĂŒĂŠ1Â˜ÂˆĂ›iĂ€ĂƒÂˆĂŒĂžÂ° UĂŠĂ“Ă¤Â‡Â“ÂˆÂ˜Ă•ĂŒiĂŠĂƒVĂ€ii˜ˆ˜}ĂŠ>ĂƒĂƒiĂƒĂƒiĂƒĂŠĂƒÂŽÂˆÂ?Â?ĂƒĂŠĂƒĂ•VÂ…ĂŠ >ĂƒĂŠÂˆÂ“ÂˆĂŒ>ĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜]ĂŠÂŤÂ?>ÞÊ>˜`ĂŠ`ÂˆĂ€iVĂŒÂˆÂ˜}ĂŠ>ĂŒĂŒiÂ˜ĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜Â° UĂŠ ÂœÂ˜ĂƒĂ•Â?ĂŒ>ĂŒÂˆÂœÂ˜ĂŠ>vĂŒiĂ€ĂŠĂŒÂ…iĂŠĂƒVĂ€ii˜ˆ˜}ĂŠÂˆĂƒĂŠÂˆÂ˜VÂ?Ă•`i`° Call Gay Snyder M.Ed. at 471-9303 to ďŹ nd out more and schedule your child’s screening.

For some time you’ve been asking for a very affordable option to get your business noticed by other MetroFamily readers. Introducing our NEW classified listings, perfect for small businesses. Want to know more? Go to classifieds.

Personalized Music CDs Kids love to hear their own name in every song from favorite characters such as: VeggieTales , Disney Princesses, Barney and Mickey. Also, Bible stories, Nursery Rhymes and Friendship CDs all with a positive and encouraging message! Guaranteed to deliver a smile! The perfect gift that says “You’re Special!� Fundraiser programs available

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Cloth Diapers And Diapering Accessories. Local on-line retailer. Everything you need to cloth diaper your baby. WWW.CUTIEBOOTYDIAPERS.COM Fine art newborn and baby photography

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Math & Science - 5th to 12th Grade. Call Tom Lester 405.603.3483 for details

405.501.5025 Shampoodles All Breed Dog Grooming and Spa located near historic downtown Edmond. Personalize your pets groom. Available by appt open. Call Kelli at 405-315-3437.

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There are as many support groups in the Metro as there are needs for them. To include your group in our listing, please email details to

Childbirth & Babies

Buckle Up and Boogie Workshop at Babies R Us. Expectant parents learn about features and benefits of car safety seats. Last Tuesday of the month, 6:30pm. 840-2820, DACO (Doula Association of Central OK), 455-1500, La Leche League meets at Gymboree Play & Music in Norman the second Saturday of each month, 10amnoon. Family Gym is available at $5 per family for partners and children of meeting attendees. La Leche League breastfeeding information and support. Meetings in Moore and NW OKC. Visit the calendar at for dates, times, and contact info.

Counseling & Support

Alzheimer’s Support Group, at the Arbor House (9240 E Reno), third Thursday, 6pm. 455-3900.. Amputees’ Next Step support group, second Tuesday 1-3pm. O’Donoghue Rehabilitation Institute (1122 NE 13th, room 252). Birth Parent support group, first Monday, 6-7:30pm. Deaconess Pregnancy & Adoption Services (5300 N Meridian). 949-4200 ext 13. Breast Cancer awareness group for women. First Monday, 7pm. Eastside Church of Christ (916 S Douglas), 732-0393. Breast Cancer support group at the OU Breast Institute (825 NE10th), Suite 3500, third Thursday, noon1pm. Lunch provided; register 271-8001, ext 48592, or 271-8001 ext. 48527. Breast Cancer Survivor support group, second Thursday, 6:30pm. Young Survival Coalition (for women under 40), third Wednesday, noon. Breast Imaging of OK (2601 Kelley Pointe Pkwy, Edmond). 844-2601 ext 1031. Celebrate Recovery, Mondays 6pm. Henderson Hills Baptist Church (15th & I-35, Edmond) Hillside Café. Crossings Community Church (14600 N Portland) holds a variety of Care Series classes and support groups. 755-2227 or United Methodist Church of the Servant (14343 N MacArthur), holds Discoveries Program classes for adults. Call Gayle 720-8480 for full listing. DivorceCare, Wednesdays 7:45pm. Henderson Hills Baptist Church (15th & I-35, Edmond) Room 100. Divorce Recovery Group, Wednesdays at 7pm, Quail Springs Church of Christ (14401 N May), room 308. 755-4790.

Family Support Group for leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma survivors and caregivers, second Tuesday, 6pm. Mercy Cancer Center, 943-8888.

MOMS Club (Moms Offering Moms Support) activity groups meet in Edmond, OKC, Moore, Midwest/Del City and Norman.

Free drug and alcohol addiction classes offered by A Chance to Change Foundation at the Last Frontier Council Scout Service Center (3031 NW 64th), 6:308pm Mondays. 840-9000,

MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) support groups meet in Choctaw, Norman, Edmond, Yukon and OKC. Visit for dates, times, and contact info.

GriefShare, Thursdays 7pm. Henderson Hills Baptist Church (15th & I-35, Edmond) Room 100.

Edmond’s Mothers of Multiples, second Thursday at Edmond Hospital, 7pm. 285-5208 and 315-0338,

Grief Support Group, Wednesdays at 7pm, Quail Springs Church of Christ (14401 N May), room 110. 755-4790.

Special Needs

Grief Support Group, at the Arbor House (9240 E Reno), every other Wednesday, 3pm. 455-3900.

Parents Fighting Autism, St. Stephens United Methodist Church, Norman, third Monday of the month at 7pm. Meeting time subject to change please contact

Head Injury Support Group, third Tuesday at 5100 N Brookline, Suite 100, 6-8pm.

OKC Area Stuttering Support Group for adults. Third Tuesday, 6:30-7:30pm. First United Methodist Church, 303 E Hurd, Edmond.

H.O.P.E. Gynecologic Cancer Support at the OU Physicians Building, (5th floor) the first Saturday of each month at 10am. 271-8001 ext 48165, 672-1748.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren support group for grandparents and other relatives raising children. First and third Tuesday, 6pm, Trinity Church of the Nazarene. 634-4400 ext. 140.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society-sponsored Family Support Group. First Thursday, 6pm, Integris Baptist Medical Center. 943-8888. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society-sponsored Spanish-Speaking Group. First Tuesday, 6pm at Integris Southwest Medical Center, 636-7560; and first Wednesday, 5pm at the 7th floor Conference room, Presbyterian Tower, OU Medical Center, 271-7930. Mondays Friends Breast Cancer Support Group second Monday, 7pm. Midwest Regional Breast Care Center. 610-8872, Myeloma Support Group. Third Thursday, 6pm, 7th floor Conference room, Presbyterian Tower, OU Medical Center, 271-6557. Pancreatic Cancer support group, last Thursday, 6pm. O’Donoghue Research Building (1122 NE 13th Street), 3rd Floor Surgery Research Conference Room. 271-2108 or Parents of Children with Cancer support group, second Wednesday at noon (complimentary lunch). Children’s Hospital (930 NE 13th). 943-8888. Parents Helping Parents confidential meetings for parents of children who abuse drugs. First and third Tuesdays. Oklahoma Blood Institute in Edmond, 6428198,

Parenting Groups

Mom’s Got Connections Christian group for moms with young children (birth-5yrs). Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, OKC, 9:30-11am Tuesdays. jlreser@ or 720-7164.

CHADD ADD/ADHD support meeting, second Tuesday at 7pm. Deaconess Medical Offices North. 7221ADD, 419-4176, or The free Talking Hands sign language class meets Thursdays, 6:30-7:30pm, 300 N Air Depot, Midwest City. Hope Link meetings for parents of special-needs children or children with undiagnosed disorders. Integris Baptist Medical Center, first Thursday, 6pm. 271-5072,

8 • Thursday

FREE H1N1 Awareness and Control presented by the Intregris Health Hispanic Initiative at the Integris Great Plains Family Medicine, (3500 NW 56th, Suite 100) 6:30pm. Reservations required. 951-2277.

15 • Thursday

FREE What you Need to Know about Nutrition presented by Marco Molina, MD at the Southwest Medical Center Family Medicine Clinic, (4221 S Western, Suite 3030) 6:30pm. Reservations required. 951-2277.


FREE Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Conference at New Covenant Christian Church. Provides resources for these families to help them cope with family and personal stresses. Free child care is available. 521-2281.

October 2009


The Alert Parent The Ultimate Gift


ecently, my daughter Addy had a mild bout with the flu. Over a long weekend, we cuddled on the couch and watched movies. One in particular, The Ultimate Gift, caught my attention, and not because it boasted big name actors from my youth like James Garner, Lee Meriweather and Brian Dennehy.

It was a movie about Jason Stevens, a trust fund brat who receives twelve tasks—or gifts—instead of the big inheritance he is expecting from his grandfather. If Jason is going to receive any money, he must accept the gifts and complete the tasks within one year’s time. As he works through the tasks, he is transformed from a spoiled rotten and indifferent person to an exceptional adult. Addy wasn’t crazy about the movie, but that’s not the key point here. The clincher is that the movie she really didn’t like delivered a powerful lesson

with visuals. As an example, one of the gifts was the “Gift of Work.” Jason is sent to Texas to work on a ranch. His job is to build a fence. Accustomed to his extravagant lifestyle, Jason’s first reaction is to think it’s not worth it—no matter what the pay-off. For the first few days, he doesn’t do much of anything. He waits for the crew to bring his food and he naps. Later, he begins building what he believes is a fence. The posts are poorly grounded and most are crooked, as well as being sloppily wired together. Although he is proud of his accomplishment, his boss, Gus the Rancher, is not. Gus unceremoniously ties a rope attached to his truck to what Jason is calling a fence and drives off. Yes, the contraption is torn down. After Addy recovered from her illness, I decided to pay her to clean an outside refrigerator. In less than ten minutes she was outside, then inside again, passing me in the hall.

“Where are you going,” I asked. “I’m done.” I knew it was time for a chore check. Let’s just say my idea of clean was very different than hers. “Remember Jason and the fence?” I said. After a brief discussion, she got it. She finished the job—a job well done. In the movie, Jason has to address issues including problems, friends, family, giving, and gratitude, as well as others that he had missed due to his affluent and insulated life. At one point, Jason is stripped of all his financial resources. His mother can’t help him or she will lose what she got in the deal. Jason has to figure out how to function without an endless supply of funds. Our children can benefit from this lesson as well. Of course we’re not going to cut them off and put them out on the street, as happened to Jason, but we can teach them lessons about money and work. Providing allowances and paying them to do odd jobs is a good starting place. When your children want something like a new CD or Xbox game, help them figure out ways to earn the money instead of footing the bill. Step-by-painful-and-entertaining-step, Jason is led to develop the resources so that he eventually gains the ability to give and receive the gift that we all seek: the gift of love. On the film’s website (, James Garner, who played Jason’s grandfather, is quoted as saying “If you want to take your family to see a movie that will teach them about life lessons and the importance of character, this is the film to see.” I agree, James. I agree. Allyn Evans ( is a published author, professional speaker and consultant residing in Stillwater.

Read more by Allyn Evans at October-2009 50

October 2009


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October 2009

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MetroFamily Magazine December 2009  

MetroFamily's December 2009 issue includes tons of ideas, activities and events for family fun in the Oklahoma City metro area.

MetroFamily Magazine December 2009  

MetroFamily's December 2009 issue includes tons of ideas, activities and events for family fun in the Oklahoma City metro area.