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Congratulations! To the talented October Coloring Winners.

Contributors Publisher & Editor-in-Chief:

Betsy Tavernier EXECUTIVE Editor: Kerri Hagens FAMILY MAGAZINES Advertising Account Manager: Jody Rogers FAMILY MAGAZINES Advertising Account Manager: Sue Coates FAMILY MAGAZINES Advertising Account Manager: Abby Jane Klug LAKESIDE FAMILY MAGAZINE TERRITORY Manager: Marcy Blesy Creative Director: Jena Bontrager

Alia – Age 3p Kendall – Age 8 u

Fashion Editor: Kathy Friend Medical Editor: S. Jesse Hsieh, M.D. Distribution Managers: Richard Cox – St. Joseph, Cass & Berrien Counties Wes Bontrager – Elkhart County Joe Dixon – St. Joseph County Michiana Family Magazines would love to hear from you! Please submit press releases, event information and inquiries to: Michiana Family Magazines 5230 Beck Drive Suite #3B Elkhart, IN 46516 PH: 574.293.FAM1 (3261) • FX: 574.217.4700 Michiana Family Magazines January 2012 Established in 2006. All rights reserved.


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Please use the information compiled by Michiana Family Magazines for your research. Michiana Family Magazines recommends that parents and families interview each business or organization to make sure that it is safe and a good fit for your family. The information presented here and provided by Michiana Family Magazines is for informational purposes only and although every effort has been made to present accurate information, Michiana Family Magazines does not, in any way, accept responsibility for the accuracy of or consequences from the use of this information and/or for the businesses and organizations presented herein. We urge all parents and families to confirm any information given herein through additional research. The views and opinions expressed by the writers, event organizers and advertisers do not necessarily represent those of Michiana Family Magazines LLC, its officers, editors, staff or contributors.




The FAMILY Magazine: Live Your Best:

7 Find the Acorn Contest 8 The FAMILY Magazine Bucket List 10 Five Good Habits for a Healthier 2012 By Janice Baiden and Cynthia Harington

12 In the News

Family Boomers:

20 How Did I Become Peanut Butter? By Paige Popovic


26 Five Steps for a Smart Financial Start in 2012 By Scott Smith

Kids Book Review:

28 Behind the Scenes at Aldi Supermarket

Reviewed By Payton

30 The Retirement Boom

9 Al Capone Does My Shirts

By Amy Allen Clark

Movie Review:

Advice for Boomers Planning for The Golden Years

Movies Reviewed by Linda Hickman

32 The Parent-Teacher Conference

11 Make it a FAMILY Movie Night!

Frugal Health:

14 Middle Age Can Be a Real Pain in the Ankle By Jeffery L. Niespodziany, D.P.M.

Family Fashion: 16 The Baker’s Dozen

Thirteen Ways To Look Thinner...Now! By Kathy Friend

Family Fun:

18 Gliding on Snow

Beginner Tips for Cross-Country Skiing By Evelyn Kirkwood

By Tricia Gorden

Tips and a Little Homework Assignment to Help You Prepare By Rita C. Walt

34 Montessori Defined

A few clarifications on what Montessori means By Meagan Church

36 Mainstreaming

Understanding the Kid with Special Needs By Stephanie J. Salisbury

Calendar of Events:

38 Go to for tons of additional family events – updated daily!


MiChild Magazine: Special Parenting Resource Section


58 Energize Breakfast with the Crunch of Almonds 60 Tips to Seize Those Teachable Moments

Story Time:

61 The Theif Lord

Reviewed by Margo Ferguson

Mommy & Daddy: 62 Momopause

Lakeside FAMILY Magazine:

Special Feature Section targeting St. Joseph, Stevensville, Bridgman, New Buffalo and surrounding communities.


44 Ask Our Vet Pet Expert


45 Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade us to Buy Reviewed By Alicia Ford


46 Winter Soups to Warm Your Spirit By Diane Fisher

By Jane Suter


64 How to Give a Perfect Apology

By Dawn Williams

By Laurie Puhn

Big Kids:

66 Spoiled to Spoiled Rotten

Raising Spoiled Kids and How to Keep Them From Turning Rotten By Michelle Wegner

Play Dates:

68 Fun things to do with your kids this month!

48 Extraordinary Ice Storm Headed for St. Joseph!

LAKESIDE Parenting:

50 Talking to Kids About Money By Meagan Francis


52 Design Trends for 2012 By Jenny Mitschelen


54 Go to for tons of additional family events – updated daily!

We have it all more at &

St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School!

Catholic Schools Week Open House January 29 from 12:30-2:00. Refreshments, School Tours, Meet the Pastor & Meet the Teachers Kindergarten Information Night (Fall 2012 Enrollment) February 7 at 7:00 PM Meet the Pastor & Meet the Teachers • Outstanding Academics • Safe Environment • Excellent ISTEP Scores • SMART Board Technology • Before and After School Care • Christian Family Atmosphere • Community Service Activities and Involvement • Specialty Classes: Art, Music, Computer, Physical Education • Extracurricular Activities ranging from Sports, Band, Scouting, Drama & More! • 21st Century Learning Facility Recently Renovated and Expanded St. Thomas the Apostle School is Catholic in character, but open to all faith traditions. Approximately 12% of our current enrollment is non-Catholic. Please call our school office at 574.264.4855 for more information or to schedule a tour. Visit us at or! St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School 1331 North Main Street • Elkhart, IN 46514 6 THE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012

Things We



Twelve is my favorite number, so I have lofty expectations for 2012. But as the old saying goes, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” When my editor, Kerri Hagens, suggested that each of our FAMILY Magazine team members share our bucket lists for this issue, I silently panicked. I didn’t know where my list was, what I had accomplished since I wrote it, if it was worthy of being shared, how much I was going to embarrass myself, and what I needed to add or edit because life just happens. After searching through a few drawers of memorabilia and a trip down memory lane, I found my hand-written bucket list of 30 things I wanted to accomplish, and I enjoyed a great belly laugh from most of it. I wrote it 11 years ago – just after I turned 30 – and my, how life has changed dramatically since that list was born. Life is certainly a journey and not a destination, and I’m happy to share that I have achieved many of the items on my list, failed miserably with some, deleted several because they simply don’t apply or matter anymore, and added some intriguing new items. I have learned so much about life, love, myself and others during my short journey, and I’m excited to see what joy may come from my newly-edited bucket list in 2012. Tackle that bucket list. Write it, edit it, laugh at it, keep it, enjoy it.


Right Now!

1. Snowflakes 2. Swiss Valley Evenings 3. Hot Chocolate 4. Snow Days 5. Peppermint 6. Tooth Whitening 7. Uno with the Kids 8. Yoga @Solace Yoga Studio 9. The War Horse

Cheers to a great 2012 for you and your family.

10. Ice Skating at Howard Park or Nibco Park 11. The 12th Day of January (#12 Rocks!) 12. Sparkly & Frosty Lip Gloss (nude color) 13. Hand-made Snowmen

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Find the Hidden Acorn... ...that looks like the acorn pictured to the left for your chance to win a $30 Gift Certificate to Sally & Company Hair Designs!

NEW Way to Enter Contest!

Go to: and click on the acorn symbol on the bottom left side of the website’s home page. Fill out a short entry form and tell us on what page you found the acorn, and you will be entered into this issue’s drawing! Contest ends January 25th, 2012.

Check it Out!

Don’t forget to pick up your copy of the NEW SASSY Magazine!


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Congratulations to Camille Sandel of Stevensville for being the November Acorn winner! (Page 19). THE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012


live your best

The FAMILY Magazine Bucket List

While the beginning of the New Year usually requires us to make resolutions we really don’t intend to keep, some of us at the office decided to make a bucket list instead! The beauty about this handy exercise is that you have your whole life to get it done. And, unlike New Year’s resolutions, where one typically resolves to do things like eat better and exercise more out of guilt, a bucket list is filled with all the activities you really want to accomplish. So, for this year, we’re challenging you to skip the guilt and go with something more positive. Make a bucket list! Here are our bucket lists along with some ideas from our readers to help you get started!

Betsy’s Bucket List

Earn Master’s Degree from the Executive MBA Program at Notre Dame Take an extended trip to Paris Learn to play the violin Play decent tennis Get a mega sewing machine and embroider everything! Golf with grace Raise smart, respectful, thankful and productive boys Attend cooking school Work in a floral shop Design a line of greeting cards Travel with my BFFs to wine country yearly

Jena’s Bucket List

Vacation in New York City with the full NYC treatment (limos, shows, nice hotel, fancy restaurants, etc.) Learn how to play the piano and the drums Run a half marathon and a 10K Go on a mission trip out of the country Build our own home Mentor a young girl and truly change her life Start a local Flash Mob group

Marcy’s Bucket List

Write a book that gets on the New York Times Best Sellers list Go on a book tour Travel to England and visit all of the royal tourist traps Visit a Caribbean Island Find red beach glass Spend a whole day doing whatever I want with no mommy guilt involved Instill self-confidence in my children with a trust in God’s grace, so they aren’t worriers like their mother

Sue’s Bucket List

Go shopping in Paris Surprise my husband with Super Bowl tickets when the Kansas City Chiefs are in it! Take dancing lessons Attend the Ice Skating Championships at the Olympics Learn to sail Visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican, Rome Visit all fifty states in the United States Go to the Kentucky Derby Plant a huge herb garden

Kerri’s Bucket List

Take fencing classes Experience weightlessness on a zero gravity flight Travel by train across the US Go to the Star Trek convention held in Las Vegas Visit the Johnson Space Center in Houston See Pompeii Get decent at Modern Warfare 3 Go spelunking

Abby Jane’s Bucket List

Visit all 7 continents Write a book Ride in a hot air balloon Sail through the Greek Islands Zip line through a rain forest Attend the CMA Awards in Nashville Become a photographer Make a difference in someone's life; Let someone make a difference in mine MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012 8 THE FAMILY Marry my soul mate

A Bucket List From our FAMILY Readers KERRIE:

Go to LEGOLAND in California Take the kids to Ireland, then to Germany where I was born


I just ran a Mini Marathon that was on my bucket list. Now I would like to do the Urban Games or the Mud Run.


Month long trip to Ireland


Catching up with long lost friends one day


Swim with dolphins Visit Ireland and Scotland


Spend the night in the rainforest canopy with scientists Spend the night in an ice hotel and a tree house Learn how to do the Jive


Write a children's book


Publish a Young Adult series Do photography abroad (happening soon) Adopt a child


Be the one to find a missing/kidnapped child

live your best

Al Capone Does My Shirts By Gennifer Choldenko Reviewed by Payton A young 12-year-old boy named “Moose” lives on the dreadful prison island Alcatraz where his father now works. He lives there with his mother, father and sister, Natalie. His sister is not quite “right.” She looks as though she could be a teenager, but acts as if she is still three. No one could quite put their finger on what was wrong. Moose loved baseball and played every chance he had. As soon as he started going to school, he found some guys with a team, and they quickly became friends. After school, Moose would head over to the baseball diamond to play ball. Moose’s mother then got a job which caused him to miss baseball to watch Natalie. As Natalie is around Moose and other kids, she begins to open up. All the while, Natalie’s parents are trying to get her into a special school they believe will help her. Throughout the book, the family, the new friends, and even a convict, try everything they can to help Natalie. I would recommend this book to other kids and adults because it shows the life of the unlucky kids who have to share an island with the worst criminals in the world’s worst prison. But the book shows that they still had fun, and would still get into trouble. Find out what happens to Natalie. There is a second book, “Al Capone Shines My Shoes,” that is a great follow up.

My name is Payton, and I’m an eighth grader. Paige, Parker, Patrick and Peter are my four siblings. (Add Payton to the end and say that five times!) I love sports such as volleyball, soccer and basketball. I play travel soccer and volleyball. In my spare time, I like to create art and drink Slurpies.



live your best


Good Habits for a Healthier 2012 By Janice Baiden and Cynthia Harington

Sounds funny when you start saying “2012.” There’s a hesitation as you resist saying 2011; it’s like the feeling you have when you’ve just gotten a new pet and the name quite doesn’t roll off your tongue. You need to get used to the new sound, the new feeling, the new ideas it might bring. So, it’s exactly the right time to formulate the “new you” we all vow to become as we make our list of New Year’s resolutions.

Choose a Healthy Snack. A snack now and then provides a welcome energy boost and a break. For instance, you might start a healthier diet program by deciding to eat healthy snacks (like organic fruits or vegetables) rather than candy bars and soft drinks. Fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients and don’t cause the spike in blood sugar that can leave you feeling flat once the candy bar sugar rush has passed.

Most people really want to be healthy. But, many see it as just too much work. Here are a few easy suggestions that can make a difference in your health:

Where You Eat Makes a Difference. Cynthia Harington, a nutritionist and founder of the Rose Quest Nutrition Centre in Mishawaka, offers this advice: “Try sitting and eating at a table in the kitchen or dining room. Over the past 30 years, many of my clients have confirmed my belief that eating in front of the television or computer may stimulate “mindless eating” – continuing to eat even after one is full because the plate full of food is still in front of you, and you’re focused on something else.”

As You Seek to Improve Your Health, Aim High, but be Realistic. Unless you are a super achiever, you don’t have to make grandiose resolutions. It’s better to aim for something realistic that you really can do rather than work toward an almost impossible goal and realize after a couple of days that you’ll never succeed, and then quit trying altogether.

Portion Control Matters. Choose Your Dishes Carefully. Serving size matters, and carefully choosing your dishes can help you control your portion size. Reach for a skinny glass. Harington has found that her clients feel they have had more to drink if the same amount is served in a tall, skinny glass rather than in a short, fat glass. The tall, skinny glass makes the serving look larger. Plates and bowls come in all sizes. Go for the 9-inch plate rather than the 11-inch plate, and the same size helping will appear larger. Harington added, “I’ve observed that the bigger the bowl or plate, the more people will eat.” Start Learning to Read Nutrition Labels We all know that reading nutrition labels can be a challenge at first, but if you can zero in on even a few of the facts, they could help you maintain better health. For instance, you might want to check the number of servings in a package, the amount of sugar, sodium or calories. Harington explained, “For instance, the amount of sodium the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and the AHA recommend has an upper limit of 1,500 milligrams for most of the population. So, the 800plus milligrams that you can find in a single frozen dinner can be problematic for some people. Knowing how to avoid foods that could present a health risk to you is important.” To learn more, see ConsumerInformation/default.htm.

Janice Baiden is an experienced freelance writer with a passion for eating healthy foods. Cynthia Harington is a nationally recognized nutritionist and founder of Rose Quest Nutrition Centre with offices in Chicago and Mishawaka.


live your best

Make it a Family Movie Night!

Family Time!

All movies reviewed by Linda Hickman Media Services Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library

Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury

This exciting animated next chapter to the Academy Award-nominated film, “How to Train Your Dragon,” follows Hiccup and Toothless as they continue their story in a thrilling new adventure, discovering an island of never-before-seen dragons. Join them as fire-breathing excitement and explosive action collide in this continuation of the DreamWorks Dragons story. “Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury” film is presented on DVD with a Not Rated classification.

Beyond the Blackboard

Shocked by her first teaching job at the School With No Name, Stacey Bess tackles her fears and insecurities as she struggles to gain the attention and respect of her students of all ages, many from broken families. Her classroom is a space in a homeless shelter with no desks, books or supplies. While taking on school-board officials and parents, she uses compassion and determination to transform the barren space into a learning environment where her students acquire knowledge, respect and dignity. “Beyond the Blackboard” is a Hallmark Hall of Fame film on DVD inspired by a true story.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

An unexpected present in the form of six adorable, rambunctious penguins turns successful businessman Mr. Popper’s swank apartment and his world upside down. This family comedy DVD, rated PG, will warm your winter with laughter.

Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Movies

Dr. Quinn revisits Colorado Springs with two movies on one DVD. In “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Movie,” Dr. Mike, Sully and a posse of townsfolk travel down to Mexico to rescue Katie, who’s been kidnapped. In the second DVD, “Dr. Quinn: the Heart Within,” Dr. Mike and Sully travel to Boston to celebrate Colleen’s graduation from Harvard Medical School, finding trouble and heartache on the way. Travel back to the 19th century American frontier through Dr. Mike’s stories that offer historical authenticity with modern sensibilities in this PG rated DVD.



live your best

In the News Growing Kids Learning Centers Awarded the Highest Rating in the Paths to QUALITY Program Growing Kids Learning Center, a preschool and child care, has recently been awarded the highest rating of a Level 4 in the Paths to QUALITY Program, Indiana’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system. One of the requirements for Level 4 is a national accreditation. Growing Kids is accredited by the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA).

As a Level 4 Provider, Growing Kids is committed to improving program quality by: • Promoting positive relationships for all children and adults • Using a planned curriculum to help your child develop his or her language, physical, social/ emotional, and thinking skills • Using materials and teaching that consider your child’s developmental needs, as well as his or her cultural background • Providing ongoing assessment of your child’s learning and development and communicating his or her progress to you • Promoting children’s health and protecting your child from injury and illness Growing Kids’ decision to participate in this program is great news for children because research shows that high quality early-learning experiences prepare children for success in school, work and life. By participating in Paths to QUALITY, Growing Kids is making a commitment to provide children with quality care and to continually work to improve program quality.


Elkhart General Hospital Named One of America’s Best 100 for Cardiac Surgery and No. 1 in Indiana A report released by HealthGrades, a trusted, independent source of physician information and hospital quality ratings, ranks Elkhart General Hospital No. 1 in the state of Indiana for cardiac surgery and among the top 10 percent in the nation for joint replacement. “Quality of care is our top priority at Elkhart General,” said Gregory W. Lintjer, president of Elkhart General. “Providing our patients and families with the best care possible is inherent in our mission, vision and values. Being recognized by HealthGrades is an honor for our employees and physicians.” Patients today have a wide variety of options when it comes to choosing a healthcare provider,” said Kerry Hicks, HealthGrades chief executive officer. “At HealthGrades, we are proud to have led the way for empowering patient choice based on objective clinical outcomes and access to actionable quality measures. We commend Elkhart General for its superior quality and support of consumerism and transparency in the South Bend-Elkhart market.” “Physician engagement and physician champions have been key to our quality improvement efforts,” said Greg Losasso, vice president of pperations at Elkhart General. “Multidisciplinary hospital teams have focused their efforts on these service lines for several years, concentrating on initiatives that improve the quality of care.” 2012 Clinical Achievements include: Cardiac: • Recipient of HealthGrades Cardiac Surgery Excellence Award in 2012 • Ranked No. 1 in Indiana for Cardiac Surgery in 2012

• Named one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery • Ranked Among the Top 5 percent in the Nation for Cardiac Surgery in 2012 • Ranked No. 7 in Indiana for Cardiology Services in 2012 • Ranked Among the Top 5 in Indiana for Cardiac Surgery in 2012 (Ranked No. 1 in 2012) • Ranked Among the Top 10 in Indiana for Cardiology Services for Three Years in a Row (2010-2012) (Ranked 7 in 2012) • Five-Star Rated for Cardiac Surgery in 2012 • Five-Star Rated for Coronary Bypass Surgery in 2012 • Five-Star Rated for Treatment of Heart Attack in 2012 • Five-Star Rated for Treatment of Heart Failure for 10 Years in a Row (2003-2012) Joint Replacement • Recipient of the HealthGrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award for Four Years in a Row (2009-2012) • Ranked Among the Top 10 percent in the Nation for Joint Replacement for Four Years in a Row (2009-2012) • Ranked No. 4 in Indiana for Joint Replacement in 2012 • Ranked Among the Top 10 in Indiana for Joint Replacement for Four Years in a Row (2009-2012) (Ranked 4 in 2012) • Five-Star Rated for Joint Replacement for Four Years in a Row (2009-2012) • Five-Star Rated for Total Knee Replacement for Four Years in a Row (2009-2012) • Five-Star Rated for Total Hip Replacement for Four Years in a Row (2009-2012) • The new 2012 HealthGrades hospital ratings are free to the public at www. For more information about the Elkhart General Hospital Clinical Achievements, visit or call 574-523-3303.

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574.276.5638 • THE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012


family health

Middle Age Can Be a Real Pain in The Ankle By Jeffrey L. Niespodziany, D.P.M.

While degenerative hip and knee conditions in adults over 40 seem to grab more public attention, at least in my estimation, chronic ankle pain is also a common problem for those crossing into middle age. And it can be just as debilitating, significantly hindering one’s quality of life during years when the individual should still be experiencing a healthy and fully active lifestyle. From my experience as a podiatrist, there are three main reasons why ankle joint pain and arthritis often rears its head in the third quarter of one’s life. The leading cause of ankle pain is repetitive trauma. This is often found in former high school and college athletes or persons who participated in competitive sports well into their 40s. These individuals may have experienced multiple ankle sprains over their lifetime and, therefore, lost significant ligament structure, which leads to a weakening of the ankle. The byproduct of this scenario is an ankle that is hyper-mobile, causing wear on the ankle joint itself. Ankle pain can also be the result of years serving in a physically demanding job that puts significant daily wear and tear on the ankles. Electrical repairmen who climb up and down utility poles or a road construction crewmen working in steel-toed shoes are perfect examples. Another example of a patient with chronic ankle pain is the individual who may have experienced a massive fracture in their ankle earlier in life, such as in a car or motorcycle accident. While a fused ankle surgery at the time may have been enough to get by, eventually the injured bone structure and cartilage will continue to erode to the point where pain becomes increasingly common. With the possible exception of the last example, the prevalence of ankle pain often begs the question of how patients can strengthen their ankles to avoid pain as they age. My answer is that ankles are different from the aforementioned hips and knees because inactivity of the muscles surrounding these areas can definitively lead to degeneration and atrophy. In comparison, ankle strength is based predominately on ligament structure, not muscle. So, a person really can’t strengthen an ankle through exercise as is possible with a hip or knee. 14 THE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012

From Pain to Gain

Most podiatrists view surgery as a last result for the treatment of aching ankles. I agree. The physician and patient should first look at the following non-surgical options, especially for classic overuse situations, such as occupational demands like a floor job at a factory or frequently climbing up and down ladders. Orthotic Devices

Specifically, this refers to inserting an in-shoe arch support device to stabilize the foot. Given its close proximity to the ankle, stabilizing the foot can also stabilize the movement of the ankle, reducing the potential for pain in those with hyper-mobile joints. Essentially, the orthotic device tilts the foot slightly so that one is bearing weight on a different part of the ankle, keeping the wear and tear away from that particularly weak or painful spot. Such a device can also help change the gait of a person by forcing them to walk away from the pain, so to speak. Steroid Injections

The injection of cortisone into the ankle joint is a common short-term treatment for pain and inflammation. However, the number of cortisone shots one can receive in a given year may be limited because of potential side effects from the medication. Anti-inflammatory Medication

Such arthritic medications are available both over-the-counter (e.g. Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve) and as a prescription (e.g. Celebrex, DayPro, Relafen). The bottom line is we want to do everything possible to keep the original ankle joints in the patient, which we can if any of these non-surgical treatments consistently eliminate the pain.

The Final Option

If none of the non-surgical treatment options are successful in alleviating ankle pain, only then do we turn to surgery. For

my patients, this should come as no surprise. I try to make it clear at the initial consultation that surgery could be a last resort if other treatments are not effective over a three to six month time period. In very general terms, there are two common surgical options: ankle fusion and ankle replacement. Ankle fusion (or arthrodesis) involves fusing together the bones that form the joint, essentially eliminating the joint. Surgeons can implant pins, plates, screws, wires or rods to position the bones together until they fuse. Whenever possible, however, my philosophy is more in line with ankle replacement surgery as it allows the patient to retain more mobility and movement in the ankle compared to ankle fusion. Also, a fused ankle can result in one putting more pressure on the foot and knee which can, over time, lead to structural damage in those areas.

Getting Back at It

Following the recovery from a successful ankle replacement surgery, a patient can expect to regain an active lifestyle, pain free, through low impact activities such as walking, light jogging and even tennis. Patients are advised to avoid high impact activities such as basketball or long distance running to ensure that the replacement implant stays in place in the critical months following surgery. Even after 16 weeks, when the implant has safely grown into the bone itself and has no threat of movement, high impact activities should be avoided as they can potentially cut down on the lifespan of the implant itself, which is generally between 20 to 25 years. Those in the early stages of middle age often lament that their bodies just aren’t what they used to be. Fortunately, if the source of the problem is located in the lower region of the lower extremities, there are simple steps that can be taken to allow one to continue living an age-appropriate lifestyle, perhaps even stealing a few years away from father time.

Jeffrey L. Niespodziany, D.P.M., is certified by the American Board of Podiatric Medicine and serves patients at both the Granger campus and Eddy Street campus of the South Bend Clinic.

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Come See OurCome Program See Our Program Early Childhood Early Childhood Come See Our Program Early Childhood and Meet Our and Meet Our Development Center, Inc.Center, Inc. Development and Meet Our Development Center, Inc. Early Childhood Teachers Early Childhood Teachers at Saint Mary’s College at Saint Mary’s College Early Childhood Teachers at Saint Mary’s College Open House dates: ECDC-SMC OpenECDC-SMC House dates: ECDC-SMC Open House dates: 1/22/12 Sunday, 1/22/12 .Sunday, . . . 1:30 - 3:00 . . . . 1:30 - 3:00 Sunday, 1/22/12. .. .. .1:30 . 1:30 - 3:00 2/19/12 Sunday, 2/19/12 .Sunday, - 3:00 . . . . 1:30 - 3:00 Sunday, 2/19/12 . . . . 1:30 - 3:00 For information please call: For information please call: For information please call: For information please call:

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family fashion

The Baker’s Dozen Thirteen Ways to Look Thinner... NOW! By Kathy Friend

I’m like you. I’ve been searching for that quick fix to instantly lose the extra pounds I seem to pick up every winter. I’m ashamed to admit how many crazy things I’ve tried. I wish I could offer a quick tip on how to lose 10 pounds, tell you something I’ve tested that worked like a charm. I can’t give you that, but I do have some ideas on how to look like you’ve already lost 10 pounds!

1.Give Your Hairstyle Some Height 2.Break Out Those High Heels

Looking a bit taller will always make you look thinner.

My rule of thumb is that for every inch you can get on your heel, you will look five pounds thinner. Keep in mind that this is my own theory and has never been scientifically tested – but I promise it works. The smartest height is 2 ½" to 3". I’ve just given you permission to shoe shop!


No Form-Fitting Styles

When your clothes are a little too tight, you don’t feel your best. The best, most flattering fit will be something that gently skims your silhouette.


Nothing Too Loose

Remember this: extra fabric = bulk. Bulk = fat. So, if you are wearing something that is too big for you, or is very voluminous, you will look heavier. A smarter decision is to wear something with a princess (or peplum) cut.

5.Try a Few Layers

A cardigan buttoned just in the middle (don’t button the top or the bottom two buttons) will create an hourglass silhouette. This over a fitted tee is always flattering.


Find the Right Undergarments

Properly fitting undergarments will allow your clothing to look smoother, also making you look thinner. Be sure that your bra is the proper size and is correctly “lifting” things. That “lift” will elongate your torso and will shave off the pounds. Of course, Spanx or similar compression undergarments can help you instantly look thinner. Did you know:

• Compression garments come in a variety of styles. You can “compress” everything from your ribcage past your knees. There are even styles for men! • Some Hollywood elite double Spanx. They wear the Spanx pantyhose and then the regular Spanx over the top. • Target carries a brand of Spanx that is less expensive. It’s true! It’s made by the same designer, but is just repackaged for Target. The Target brand (Assets) doesn’t have the variety you can find on, but it’s a great way to give a compression garment a try for a special event.


7.Bring Attention to Your Small Waist

Even if you’ve gained some weight, chances are that the measurement of your natural waist is still the smallest. Let’s bring attention there with styles that have an empire waist (styles that hit at your natural waistline).


Be Sure You Choose Fabric Wisely

For the time being, steer clear of silky fabrics. They tend to be clingy. Wear something that is more substantial. A midweight fabric that has some drape is the best choice.


Wear Darker Colors

Dressing in darker colors will not only make you feel better, but darker hues are slimming. Choose looks that are monochromatic (all one color or tone).

10.Watch That Color Break

In other words, be mindful of where you have a color break (contrast between colors). For example, if you wear black pants with a grey top, where the top hits your pants is where you are bringing attention, probably at your hipline. Is that where you want people to be looking? To avoid this, throw on a longer black sweater or jacket; you’ve now created a column with the black pieces, which is more slimming.

11.Carry an Oversized Handbag

Sounds too good to be true, I know, but proportion can play tricks on the eye. Choose a shape that flatters (square shapes complement a rounder figure) and a strap length that doesn’t land in a problem area (don’t let the bottom of the purse rest on full hips). Be careful of proportion here. If you are petite, don’t let your handbag get too big; it will look like a duffle bag! Keep the proportion of your handbag in line with your stature.

12.Focus on What You Like

Every woman has a feature they know works for her. Instead of always focusing on covering up what you don’t like, flaunt what you do like. For example, a sleeveless dress will make everyone notice your awesome arms; a shorter-length skirt will draw attention to your great legs. A deep V-neck top will show off your beautiful long neck.



Accessories are a great tool to use to your advantage. Use accessories (scarves, earrings, necklaces) to draw attention away from problem areas. The thing to keep in mind is to be sure that the size of the accessory is in line with your stature. One of the most common fashion faux pas is a tiny earring on a larger lady, or a big, billowy scarf on a petite woman. Kathy Friend is a fashion expert, image consultant, speaker and writer. She is a regular on the WFRN Morning Show and on WSBT-TV. She is also the fashion expert for Goodwill stores. She is joyfully married to Marty, and a mom to one little fashionista in training.


Katie Elms, M.D. Katie Elms, M.D. joins the Pediatric Department at The South Bend Clinic. Dr. Elms completed her pediatric residency at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She received her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Dr. Elms graduated magna cum laude from Hope College in Holland, Michigan. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Elms, contact The South Bend Clinic, 574-233-7337. You can also visit us online at

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family fun

Gliding on Snow

Beginner Tips for Cross-Country Skiing By Evelyn Kirkwood

The bagger at the supermarket chatted about ice fishing while he stuffed groceries in my sacks: “I just like being out there where it is really quiet,” he said. I know what he means. When we get a healthy amount of January snow, I wrestle my crosscountry skis from the closet. Sometimes I hike down the road and ski in a nearby farm field. Other times, I visit an area park, where groomed trails make for a smoother glide. On an un-groomed surface, breaking trail in deep snow is hard work, but it has its rewards. A male cardinal perched in a maroon raspberry cane makes a startling color combination. A goldenrod stem, bent over and tossed by the wind, brushes concentric arcs, like a slow paintbrush on white canvas. Deer flash their tails ahead of me. Mouse, rabbit and squirrel tracks pattern the pristine snow. To create a groomed surface, two parallel tracks are carved in the snow by equipment pulled behind a snowmobile. By gliding your skis in those packed channels, your movement – one leg then the other, like exaggerated walking – is much more efficient. Many parks that groom their trails also have warming shelters and sometimes a place to buy hot chocolate and chat with friends. Maybe it’s time you and your family took up a new hobby. Michaele Klingerman, park interpreter at St. Joseph County Parks, often teaches children and adults the basics of cross-country skiing and offers a few tips for first-timers.

Don’t Overdress

If you are warm before you start, you have on too many clothes. Wear wicking layers. Even at a slow place, you will build body heat. 18 THE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012

Get a Proper Fit

Rental facilities will help you match your height and weight to the right ski. If you are too heavy for a pair, you will drag; too light, and you won’t be able to push off on each glide. Poles should reach just under your armpits when standing next to your body. Can you slide a finger inside the back of your ski boot? If not, they are too tight.

Where to Ski

(Be sure to contact the parks for hours, rental fees, trail fees and gate fees where applicable.) For groomed trails:

Keep it Flat

Berrien County, MI: Love Creek County Park*; Madeline Bertrand County Park* (also offers Friday night skiing).

Gear it Down for Children

Cass County, MI: TK Lawless County Park.

Find a place with minimal hills to start. Many rental facilitates have gear sized for kids down to age 6 years or so. Kids are naturals at cross-country skiing, and they don’t have far to fall! Bring snacks, and plan to be out for about 45 minutes.

Learn to Get Up From a Fall

Sit down in the snow and get your skis parallel (not pointed downhill) and to the side of your seat. Wiggle to get your legs underneath you and stand up. Putting too much pressure on the poles to push yourself up will tire your arms, or snap a pole.

Elkhart County, IN: Bonneyville Mill County Park; Oxbow County Park. St. Joseph County, IN: St. Patrick’s County Park* (also offers Candlelight & Cocoa skis on alternate Friday nights). Beginner ski lesson January 7th. Reservations required. *Sites with rental equipment.

Michaele enjoys the great workout cross-country skiing provides, but also revels in the scenery: “Just being outdoors – it’s beautiful.”

Evelyn Kirkwood is Director of St. Joseph County Parks in Indiana and host of Outdoor Elements, which is broadcasted Sundays at 9am and Wednesdays at 5:30 pm on WNIT Public Television.

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family boomers

How Did I Become

Peanut Butter?! By Paige Popovic

I’ll admit to a desire to be considered trendy, but being part of the “Sandwich Generation” wasn’t quite what I had in mind. The Sandwich Generation is defined as those of us who are caring for an older or chronically ill loved one while simultaneously caring for our children. With two highly active sons ages 7 and 15, a full-time job and my mom’s illness leading to her placement on an organ transplant list, I have recently found myself “sandwiched” between older and younger generations needing care. I like to think of myself as the peanut butter that is holding our sandwich together right now. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, over 24 million Americans represent the Sandwich Generation. A few years ago, the Pew Research center also found that about one of every eight Americans ages 40 to 60 is both raising a child and caring for a parent. With U.S. Census Bureau statistics indicating that the number of older Americans ages 65 or older will double by the year 2030 to more than 70 million, the reality is that many Americans will become family caregivers. As someone who works within the healthcare industry, I have several advantages over my fellow sandwich-fillers. I know there are resources available and know who to call when we reach the stage that my mom will need additional help. I have co-workers and friends

to whom I can go for advice from a trusted source. And I am not afraid to ask tough questions of the medical and insurance professionals working with my mom. I’m only in the early stages of becoming a sandwich filling as my mom is doing well while waiting for her transplant. We’ve been back and forth to Indianapolis for her doctor’s appointments and various tests and procedures, so she may be placed on the list, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for smooth sailing for a little while as we only need to head back to Indy for checkups every few months for now. During this calm before the storm of her transplant surgery, I am trying to tackle my biggest obstacle to this process – my inability to ask for help. I’ve got a bit of a super-mom complex, which is now rearing its head as a super-daughter complex, too. I see myself as an independent, resourceful adult who should be able to do it all by myself. I tend to view needing help as a failing, rather than just a simple fact of life. After reading a great blog post by local author Dale C. Carter that discussed a caregiver’s need for transparency and asking for help, I realized that I was making my situation harder than it needed to be. So, I reached out to Dale to discuss the challenges of asking for help. Dale is a great resource to have as she is a national speaker, coach/consultant, founder of TransitionAgingParents. com and author of “Transitioning Your Aging Parent: A 5 Step Guide Through Crisis & Change.” She is a wonderful example of someone I’ve met through work to whom I can go to for trusted advice. “It takes an amount of effort to even ask. Initially, it seems like an added burden,” Dale said. “Asking for help is for the future. You will face a series of challenges as your parents age. You need to build your toolbox of resources, so the next time you face a challenge, you will know who to go to for help.” There are some great online resources available to caregivers. Dale spoke with me about a site, lotsahelpinghands.


com, where caregivers can coordinate care for their loved one. You can create a free, private community website with a calendar of tasks to organize family and friends during times of need. As their website says, “It is a phenomenal way to turn heartfelt intentions into acts of good that truly help.”

An Discover America with your Unforgettable family – and save $300* Summer It’s not too late to book that unforgettable summer vacation you’ve always wanted to give your family. De I have learned that asking for help takes dates of some of our most popular North American itineraries are still available–but they’re filling up f practice. My advice to you is to start with Vacation small requests of people close to you. As Imagine exploring some of the most amazing places on the continent and experiencing incredible adventures–lik you begin to experience the relief of not shouldering the burdens all by yourself, you’ll become more and more relaxed about allowing people in.

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Asking for help is hard for a lot of us. But keep this in mind – when you ask for help, not only are you taking care of yourself, you’re allowing the people in your life who care about you to offer their support, which is truly a gift to them. Let them be the jelly to your peanut butter.

Reservation! Paige Popovic is the marketing specialist for Memorial Home Care. She enjoys working on projects with the Gerontology Consortium of Michiana and presenting on topics related to home care nationally. She is also the proud mom of two sons.

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Stay at a select Disney Deluxe Villa Resort on rooms at select and save 30%. With savings this magical, DISNEY DELUXE VILLA RESORTS there’s no better way to enjoy all the pixie Booking begins on 11/30/11. Book select departures of select 2011 season North American Adventures by Disney itineraries befo dust, enchantment and wonder of a Disney Book by 1/22/12 for stays most May Resort. 19, 2011 forTheme travelPark between 14, 2011 and September 24, 2011 receive $300 off per reserv Just add tickets June and you 2/21/12and – 3/31/12. * nights Book by 2/28/12 for stays most can take advantage of the entire world of *Guests who book select departures of select 2011 season North American Adventures by Disney itineraries between April 19, 2011 and Ma nights 4/13/12 – 6/14/12. fun and excitement. for travel between June 14, 2011 and September 24, 2011 will receive $300 off per reservation. Offer applies to the purchase at the non-d

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Donald C. Mohs, Jr., M.D. Donald C. Mohs, Jr., M.D. joins Drs. David Sabato, David Isaacson and Savita Collins in the Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery department at The South Bend Clinic. Dr. Mohs specializes in managing a wide range of conditions of the ears, nose and throat. He treats adult and pediatric patients with allergic and sinonasal disease, as well as ear surgeries and reconstructions. Dr. Mohs is a graduate of University of Southern California, where he also earned his medical degree. He completed his general surgery internship at Oakland Naval Hospital, Oakland, Calif. Dr. Mohs completed his residency in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the Naval Medical Center, San Diego, Calif. He is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mohs, contact The South Bend Clinic, 574-237-9200. You can also visit us online at

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©2011 The South Bend Clinic



"Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!" ~Albert Einstein


Gymnastics Michiana

family | family homes

3390 N. Home Street Mishawaka, IN 46545

We regret to inform you that the wrong drawing was published for the coloring contest in the December issue of The Family Magazine. BarbZappia Photography was listed as the sponsor of this contest page; however, she was not involved in the selection of this incorrect drawing for the contest. Our sincerest apologies to BarbZappia Photography for our error.

Hey Kids!

NAME: _________________________________________ AGE: ______ ADDRESS: __________________________________________________ CITY: ___________________________ STATE: ______ ZIP: _________ Color this page and 3 coloring winners will each receive free registration to Gymnastics Michiana! One winner will be DAY TIME PHONE: __________________________________________ selected from each of the three following age categories: 3-5, PARENT’S NAME: ___________________________________________ 6-9 and 10-12 years of age. E-MAIL: ____________________________________________________

For your chance to WIN, color your best picture and mail or drop entries to: GYMNASTICS MICHIANA • 3390 N. Home Street • Mishawaka IN 46545 Coloring contest is open to children 12 years and under, and entries must be mailed or dropped by February 2nd. Winners will be notified via phone or email service by Gymnastics Michiana by February 12th, and their artwork will be featured in an upcoming issue along with their first name, age and city. For additional coloring contest entries, this coloring page may be photocopied and printed off. THE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012 23

Gymnastics Michiana

3390 N. Home Street Mishawaka, IN 46545






Have Fun! Balance Ball Cartwheel Chalk Dismount











Find the words below in the Gymnastics Michiana Crossword puzzle. Words can be forwards, backwards, diagonal, vertical or horizontal.

Floor Leotard Mat Mount Rings

Roll Rope Somersault Tumbling Vault




family features

money, money, money!


Steps for a Smart Financial Start in 2012 By Scott D. Smith

If you pay attention to the news, you’ve seen governments around the world struggling to balance their budget and stay afloat. Ironically, the basics of balancing the income and expenses of a country are not that different from what you do with your own finances – and it can be just as much of a challenge. But a well-planned budget is an invaluable tool if you want to improve your financial position. Here are five things you can do now to make setting and reaching your 2012 financial goals a lot easier.

Step One: Organize Your Bills

Start by gathering all of your monthly, quarterly and annual financial obligations. Next, look back through your check register or your bank statements and collect data of all the products and activities that drain money from your wallet. Then list and categorize these expenses. Standard categories include food, clothing, general household, transportation, entertainment and so on. Saving for various things should be on the list, too, since it takes money out of circulation, if only for the time being. You’ll be ahead of the game if your budget accounts for “unplanned” expenses such as a visit to the emergency room (now an especially costly adventure, thanks to high deductible medical plans) and car or home repairs. While you may not be able to name what financial burden will arise in the next 12 months, you can be sure something will cause you to part suddenly with some of your hardearned money. If you have cash set aside for just those occasions, then you can pay the expense and avoid a crisis. If not, you risk defaulting on other obligations, damaging your credit and causing all too much stress in your life.

Step Two: Scrutinize the Numbers

To create a realistic budget, examine and adjust the expenses you’ve identified above against your takehome pay. Highlight areas that are out of whack. One way to evaluate the numbers is to break down your budget categories by percentages. Ideally, your housing costs should not exceed 30%; transportation expenses should not exceed 20%; and food should fall under 15% of your total expenses. Look online for guidelines and see where your spending exceeds recommendations.


For All That You Aspire To... Step Three: Fix What You Don’t Like

To change your financial reality, set realistic and stretch goals that will improve your bottom line. When you identify a target – for example, to trim $100 from your monthly food budget – break it down. What does this mean for you on a daily or weekly basis? Maybe you need to buy items in bulk, purchase off-brand, clip more coupons or employ some other cost-saving strategy. Be creative and rise to the challenge. If it’s clear you don’t have sufficient money coming in each month, consider ways to up your income. Do you need to work overtime, go after that promotion, pursue a new career or get a second job? If you’re stuck where you are, circle back to your spending habits. You may need to downsize your house or car, stop eating out or cut up your credit cards. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the ideas you generate when you take the time to examine the numbers with a clear head and a critical eye.

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Step Four: Follow Your Budget

There’s no point in making a budget if you don’t intend to act on it. Keep your budget in front of you and document your expenses on a daily basis. Then adjust your spending as necessary. Monitoring your budget this way can make your money more manageable and give you the feeling of being in control.

Step Five: Check in With a Financial Advisor

There are books and websites that can teach you the finer points for preparing and following a budget. But there’s nothing quite like being in the presence of someone who can share their financial knowledge. Consult a financial advisor for an honest assessment of your financial health and take advantage of insights and strategies that can help you improve your finances in 2012 and beyond.

cal! I’m lo me act Cont stom for cu ns! desig • 574-596-1284

Scott D. Smith, CFP, CRPC, is a financial advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER practitioner with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Mishawaka. He specializes in fee-based / comprehensive financial planning and wealth management and has been providing advice to his clients for more than 20 years. THE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012


family features

money, money, money!

Behind the Scenes at

Aldi Supermarket By Amy Allen Clark

This past month, I had the unique opportunity to step behind the scenes and find out more about Aldi Supermarkets and their products. As a longtime fan of the grocery retailer, I couldn’t wait to see how this company operated and, frankly, how in the world they can offer food at such a low price. During the trip, I got to do a wine and cheese tasting, got a grocery store tour to learn more about how their stores were set up, and then I got to participate in a blind taste-testing of the products to see how they compared with other national brands. I truly loved every part of my visit! Who wouldn’t?

How Do They Get Their Prices So Low?

We were told that this would take years to explain, but the main points all referred back to simple cost-cutting measures such as employee training that goes beyond the training at other grocery stores, a limited selection of items, smart store design, and in-house private labels. Aldi saves big by having baking items on pallets and dairy items on rolling carts so that the employees don’t need to stock shelves. But they also cut cost by taking smaller measures, like the quarter deposit for your cart and having customers bag their own groceries.

Saving You Time and Money.

If you’ve ever stood in a line at Aldi, one thing you’ll see is that these cashiers work at lightning speed and can wait on customers quicker than any other store I’ve ever been to. You may not know it, but Aldi offers smart packaging that can speed up your wait time at their store. In this picture is a single bag of chips, simply held at all different angles. Practically every corner of their bags and boxes has a UPC code that can make scanning your items that much faster. Go ahead and take a peek at your Aldi items and you’ll see it too. It’s one of those things that you may have never noticed, but it translates into saving time for you. This saving of time and money doesn’t come at the cost of Aldi not taking care of their employees. The typical Aldi store only has between six to eight employees, and it’s common for their employees to celebrate 15, 20 or 25 years of service. They pay their 28 THE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012

employees significantly higher than the national average, and with 20 hours a week, they give employees full health insurance benefits. Employees go through extensive training, and they do everything from putting out the new pallets of food to ringing up the customers to tidying the store. It’s this efficiency and the smaller payrolls that translate into big savings for customers. Perhaps the most surprising thing for me was discovering the amazing wine selection that Aldi offers. I admit that I use to walk by the wine section of the store because the low prices on the bottles made me question the quality of the wine. But I will never look at their wine section the same again after their wine tasting. Don’t believe me? Aldi has received many awards and accolades for their wines. Of those wines I sampled, I fell in love with the Sunshine Bay 2009 Marlborough (New Zealand) Sauvignon Blanc, the 2009 Gonfalone (Italy) Chianti, the Toca Diamonte (Argentina) Malbec Mendoza 2009, and the Landshut (Germany) Sweet Red Rheinhessen 2010. Most of the bottles were $4.99, which make them quite affordable both for entertaining and for giving around the holiday season. We paired these wines with some of Aldi’s cheese offerings which included a delicious goat cheese, a Havarti cheese and Brie cheese. All of these were equally delicious, and I’m looking forward to offering these with wine around the holidays when entertaining. While I am a longtime customer and super fan of the products that Aldi offers, the blind taste test that I participated in surprised even a super fan like me. This year, Aldi is challenging shoppers to switch from national brands to their private label Aldi brand for the holidays, to save their families up to fifty percent on their shopping, and they issued a challenge to me to taste test their products against expensive name brands. Even though I love Aldi, I can be a bit of a food snob when it comes to certain foods like high quality cheeses and meats, and I knew that I would be able to spot the differences every time. For example, when we taste-tested Tyson chicken breasts versus Aldi chicken breasts, I truly loved the Aldi brand better, but I didn’t know it at the time. I thought the meat that I had tasted must had been the Tyson meat, but I was completely wrong. It goes to show that sometimes we are just conditioned to believe one brand is better than the other. This scenario didn’t just happen once; it happened over and over again.

Even being the Aldi fan girl that I am, I came away feeling validated that the choice that I had made to shop at the store, out of necessity due to the financial strain we had been under, was a good one. Aldi’s cost-cutting measures do not undercut the quality of the items in the store. In fact, the company does their best to offer a better product than the name brand. After doing this blind taste-testing, I believe they have exceeded the standard. If you haven’t checked out the store before, you really are missing out on so much. I can feed my family of four for about $220 for three weeks by shopping there. I do not clip coupons. I do 95% of my shopping at this store, and I am rarely disappointed in the quality. If I ever was disappointed though, Aldi offers a double guarantee, and I could bring the item back for a refund and get it replaced. I don’t know very many places that offer that to their customers. Go ahead, check the store out. I know you won’t be disappointed. And your wallet will thank you!

Here are just a few of the accolades that Aldi has received for their fantastic wine selection. Did I mention these bottles are all under $6? Wine Spectator

Sunshine Bay 2009 Marlborough (New Zealand) Sauvignon Blanc Best Values Award Received 85 points 2009 Gonfalone (Italy) Chianti Received 85 points

Beverage Testing Institute

Landshut (Germany) Riesling Mosel 2010 2010 World Value Wine Challenge: Top 10 White Wine $8 and Under Exceptional Value World Wine Championships Award Silver Medal (2009) Landshut (Germany) Sweet Red Rheinhessen 2010 World Value Wine Challenge: Top Dessert Wine $8 and Under Best Value German Dessert Wine World Wine Championships Award Silver Medal (2009) Toca Diamonte (Argentina) Malbec Mendoza 2009 World Wine Championships Award Bronze Medal

Amy Allen Clark: Foodie. Bookworm. Novice photographer. Java junkie. Knitter & hot glue gun toting extraordinaire. A lover of the simple and family-centered life. Happily living this contented existence within a penny-wise budget and showcasing it on

2009 Gonfalone (Italy) Chianti World Wine Championships Award Bronze Medal

Ice Carving at Heritage Square Heritage Square Ice Carving Festival Saturday, January 28th, 2011 Free-style Carving: 10am-12noon Ice Competition: 1pm-4pm Ice Carving Judging Starts at 4:15! Vodka Tasting at Gino’s East from Noon to 5pm

For details visit Corner of SR 23 & Main/Gumwood Road • Mishawaka, Indiana • Heritage Square Guest Services Office, 7321 Heritage Square Drive, Suite 150. For more information, call 574.855.3774.

Heritage Square is presented by:



family features

money, money, money!

The Retirement Boom Advice for Boomers Planning for The Golden Years By Tricia Gorden

Contrary to popular belief, retirement isn’t based on one’s age. It’s a new chapter of life that can be as fulfilling and enjoyable as you want it to be. The key to ensuring that retirement is everything you hope comes down to how you plan and prepare for it. Preparation is essential for our boomer generation. You need to know how to retire successfully whether you are 40, 50, 65 or older. You need to plan!

What’s in Your Piggy Bank?

Know how you will pay for medical care as you age. Medicare does not pay for custodial care (care for your daily personal grooming needs). Medicare also does not pay for long-term nursing facility care. Ask yourself questions to determine what your piggy bank needs to look like for your future security. Are you eligible for veteran’s benefits, or are you a widow of a veteran? How much do your prescriptions cost? Do you need home modifications to remain safely at home? Knowing your insurance and what’s in your piggy bank will need to be identified.

End of Life Planning

It is important to share your end of life wishes with your family. A caring conversation needs to take place and your wishes expressed. Do you want cremation? Do you want extraordinary means for life-prolonging measures? Now is the time to determine what is important to you. There are ways to facilitate these conversations through videos, family meetings, an elder law attorney and through funeral planning. Funeral arrangements made ahead of time will lessen the burden placed upon the family and the likelihood that unnecessary emotional choices and expenditures may be made.

Medicare, Medicaid and More

Knowing the basics of what Medicare does and doesn’t cover, what your supplemental insurance covers and annually reviewing your Medicare is an important part of retirement planning. Health insurance coverage changes annually, and so do your medications and your health needs. Understanding when it is necessary to apply for Medicaid benefits is also important. Long Term Care insurance might be beneficial for keeping a person at home or paying for nursing facility care.

active and engaged in your community during retirement? Identify your passions, take up a hobby, travel with your family, volunteer or learn something new.

Where Will You Live?

Choosing your current residence may not be practical if your expenses are higher than your benefits. You need to determine how you will manage the size of your home and the repairs that will ensue. You may want to explore Continuing Care Communities which offer varying types of living arrangements, allowing residence the opportunity to start out living in a house and then downsizing if necessary: moving into a condominium, then an apartment, assisted living, then a nursing facility. You may also consider living with your children. Do you want to be able to snow bird and travel to a different climate during the year? These options will need to be discussed before you retire. We plan for college. We plan for marriage. We plan for the birth of a child. You need to plan for retirement, too.

Meaningful Retirement: Staying Engaged?

It is important to know what you want to do in retirement and plan for that now. Do you want to be able to travel? Do you want to visit your grandchildren? What about social activities? Depression is prevalent among retirees due to limitations, losses, financial fears and social isolation. How will you remain 30 THE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012

Tricia Gorden is the director of training and community resources at REAL Services, Inc. (Area 2 Agency on Aging) in South Bend. She is a certified Medicaid Waiver Case Manager and a Volunteer Counselor under the auspices of the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Tricia was designated a Certified Senior Advisor in December 2009.

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The Parent-Teacher Conference Tips and a Little Homework Assignment to Help You Prepare By Rita C. Walt

Every year when parent-teacher conferences roll around, my son reminds me of my first conference as a parent. He was in kindergarten, a bright student, stubborn, but could never get into trouble, so I didn’t have any reason to be concerned. Or so I thought. We arrived at the conference, and my son proceeded to dive under the desk and stay there the entire time. I found out I was not as informed as I should have been, and he had been up to some mischief. While my memory of this conference is not crystal clear, it had a lasting impact on my son. So, what can you do as a parent to be better prepared for your next parent-teacher conference?

Take the Teamwork Approach

Approach your parent-teacher conference as an opportunity to share ideas about your child’s overall educational experience. The conference is an opportunity to meet with your child’s teacher in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. You should expect to hear about your child’s academic progress as well as social and emotional development. Conferences provide a chance to establish mutual goals and give additional support in areas needing improvement. They also provide you, the parent, an opportunity to ask specific questions concerning academics and curriculum.

Do Your Homework

In order to get the most out of your child’s conference, prepare your thoughts and write down your questions before arriving. Since conferences are usually 15-20 minutes in length, be on time. If you would like more time, ask about setting up another conference at a future date. Perhaps the teacher would be willing to have a phone conference, if that is more convenient for you. Also check in with your child and ask if there is anything he would like you to ask the teacher. Remember, this is not a time to compare your child with his siblings. I have many memories of sitting through conferences where I was compared, either favorably or negatively, to any one of my four sisters. Your child is an individual with his own strengths and interests. Keep the focus of the conference on him. Make a list of specific areas you may wish to discuss with your child’s teacher. The list could include items such as: • Feelings about school: Does my child appear to be focused and engaged while at school or distant and uninterested? • Academic progress: Is my child performing at grade level in all subjects? What state, national or school assessments will my child be taking, and what are the passing scores for these assessments? Is my child working up to her potential or ability? 32 THE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012

• Parental involvement: Specifically, how can I help my child do better in school? What three or four things can I do every day to help my child in a particular subject? • Behavior and social interaction issues: Does my child get along well with others? Has the teacher noticed any changes in behaviors? • Ability to work independently: Is my child able to work quietly and independently without distracting others? • Non-academic concerns: Can my child see the board? Does she squint? Is my child frequently in the nurse’s office or the bathroom? Becky Banas, a kindergarten teacher in Elkhart County suggests, “Parents should ask about the child’s health and well-being while at school. Does it appear that the student gets enough sleep? Do their breakfast and lunch seem adequate to get them through the day? Do they have proper coping skills? Can they handle constructive criticism? Can they make and keep friends? Has there been academic growth and in what areas? What is the student’s academic strength and weakness?” It would be wonderful if all parents and teachers would agree and see eye-to-eye 100% of the time. Unfortunately, there will be times when disagreements happen. Knowing this, if an issue arises during your conference, verbalize your concerns immediately and respectfully. Keep in mind that your child may act differently at school than he does at home, as I found out with my son. The goal is to work in partnership with your child’s teacher to achieve academic success and have a productive school year. After your child’s conference, discuss any changes or plans with your child. Be positive in your conversation. Children who feel good about themselves and school will do better in school. It is the teacher’s expectation that after a parent-teacher conference, you, the parent, will have a better understanding of your child’s overall educational experiences. By exchanging information that helps the teacher better understand your child, you are helping her better meet your child’s unique educational needs.

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Rita Walt is a native of Indiana. She has been a stay at home mom, entrepreneur of a teacher-parent education store and is currently teaching second grade students.

14770 Lindy Drive Granger, IN 46530 (574) 277-4653 phone


Michele Whitt, M.D. Mark Meekhof, Ed Durbin and Virna Evangelista in the Obstetrics/Gynecology Department at The South Bend Clinic. Dr. Whitt specializes in women’s health care, including medical and surgical care of the female reproductive system and associated diseases and disorders. Dr. Whitt earned her medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Loma Linda University Medical Center in southern California. Dr. Whitt holds an undergraduate degree from Purdue University, Lafayette, Ind. She is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Whitt, contact The South Bend Clinic, 574-237-9261. You can also visit us online at

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A few clarifications on what Montessori means By Meagan Church

When it came to Montessori, I’ll admit that I was clueless about its philosophies, methods and even pronunciation. I had a preconceived notion that it was a private school opportunity for the affluent, which often resulted in the students being undisciplined, spoiled kids who did only what they wanted, when they wanted to. Then I volunteered at the Center for the Homeless in their Montessori preschool where I read to a child before naptime. Here were young kids from less-than-ideal backgrounds who were being responsible, independent and peaceful. These preschoolers ate with real plates, served themselves food from communal bowls, cleaned up afterwards and prepared a naptime spot for themselves. With all of the activity going on, the classroom remained organized and orderly. I quickly discovered that my previous notions were incorrect. So, what exactly is the Montessori style of learning? It was created by Maria Montessori, an Italian physician and educator, who believed, “Education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences upon the environment.” So, what does that mean? Take a look at these examples for a better understanding:

Multi-Age Classrooms

Instead of classrooms being designed to teach just one age at a time, Montessori classes take a three-year approach. Early childhood classes include children ages 3 to 6, lower elementary is for children ages 6 to 9 and so on. By doing this, it helps promote cooperative learning where older students act as role models for younger ones. Julie Gabrielse, director of the early childhood program at the Montessori Academy at Edison Lakes in Mishawaka, has witnessed this in her own children. “My 2 and 4-year-old are both driven by what they observe older children doing.”

Concrete to Abstract

Walk into any Montessori classroom, and you’re sure to see shelves full of different works, as they are known. In early childhood classes, that may include a tray with beans to spoon from one container to the next, a tower of pink cubes or various colored beads that represent numbers one through 10. Odd as some of these works may seem, they are all designed to teach children abstract ideas through first using hands-on, concrete approaches. As the child progresses, the concrete more easily morphs into abstract concepts. Those colored beads start as visual and tactile tools, but over time and with practice, they will eventually teach the abstract concepts of math. 34 THE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012

No Desks

Another obvious difference in Montessori classrooms is the design and layout. There are no rows of desks all facing a chalkboard. Instead, there are small tables, reading nooks and rugs for children to work on the floor. Alicia Nagy, teacher at Good Shepherd Montessori School in South Bend, further explained, “There would be plants, low lighting, perhaps soft or joyful music playing and a snack table for children to retire to in between works. There is a “peace corner” for children to use for resolving the inevitable conflicts that may arise with aids for them to use to work out differences. There is an area that has all the art supplies, pencils, scissors, papers, paper punchers, etc., for common use in doing their work. There are also all the cleaning supplies (vacuums, spray cleaners, rags, dust cloths) and instructions for the children to do cleanup work at the end of the work cycles.”

Child-Led Education

In a Montessori classroom, a teacher does not lecture to the entire classroom. Instead students receive one-on-one presentations from their teachers and learn concepts according to their individual readiness. Deb Cyrier, Montessori facilitator at Marquette Montessori Academy in South Bend, explained, “They discover concepts on their own. They own them as opposed to being told how to do something. It’s their own personal learning. There’s a joy and excitement that comes through that.” She went on to say that through the child-led approach, students can explore their passions and interests in more depth. “The teacher could use dinosaurs to get your child interested in various subjects. For math, they would count the plates on the stegosaurus and they would measure the length. They read books on them

Montessori at Home

Maria Montessori said, “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.” She believed that by giving kids space to explore and discover for themselves, they would have a greater understanding and appreciation for the world around them. To help promote those discoveries and independence around your home, follow these tips: Observe the world from their perspective. When decorating your child’s room, get down to their level and take a look around. Hang pictures so they can see them. Place toys, books and clothes on lower shelves where they can more easily reach them. Give them access. Small tables and kid-sized furniture allow small children to more comfortably take part in the world around them. For surfaces that cannot be lowered or be made smaller, such as kitchen counters, provide step stools.

and for geography study continents about where they came from.” “But, we don’t follow a child off a cliff either,” Cyrier carefully noted. “The teacher’s ultimate responsibility is to make sure they are getting all the important areas. As observers, they have to follow through.”

Teacher as Advisor

As Cyrier noted, teachers take the role of the observer because, as Gabrielse said, “The Montessori classroom is childcentered education rather than teachercentered education.” From the teacher’s perspective, Nagy added, “I like that I am able to be a guide with the children, helping explore the world and its myriad lessons with wonder and awe and joy. The children are allowed to develop their talents at their own speed.”

Children as Teachers

With the teacher as a guide, students are encouraged to take a more active role by acting as teachers themselves. “Children in a Montessori classroom have real world experience with working with others, rather than convoluted groups that are

assigned by teachers,” Lisa Vukmirovich, teacher at Marquette, said. “For example, one child may really like a material (squaring chains perhaps) and want to teach another child the lesson. This kind of cooperation happens all of the time. Kids work on different things, but they are side-by-side in the classroom, with the freedom to speak to each other when they need to. In a traditional classroom, students are only allowed to speak when a teacher says it’s okay.” Soo Kim has sent her daughter to a Montessori school for the last few years. She made the choice because she had heard good things about the school, but now she chooses to keep her daughter there because of how she sees her daughter responding to the education. “I see my child making choices, taking responsibility for her learning, and being proud of her accomplishments instead of marching lockstep with a group of students.” Or, as Nagy said, “The Montessori approach to education helps develop children’s confidence to do all these things. They aren’t taught to repeat the answer, but to discover an answer.”

Let them serve themselves. At mealtime, let them set their own place by putting their plate, cup and silverware in an easily accessible location. Put small serving bowls near them at the table and let them serve their own food. Provide a small pitcher with a beverage they can pour into their own cup. At the end of the meal, provide a place for them to put their dirty dishes, so they also take part in cleanup. Present them with possibilities. Set out a few puzzles, building blocks and craft projects each day to give them an easily seen choice of things they can work on for that day. Get them involved. If you have a pet, let them help care for the animal. If the child is younger, place an appropriate-sized serving of food in a small container that they can give to the animal at the right time. For a dog or cat, let them give water to the animal by filling up a cup and putting the water in the bowl.

Meagan Church is a writer and mother of 2.5 kids. Her current projects include DefiningMotherhood, and Unexpectant where she explores the realities of modern motherhood for her book project. THE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012


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Mainstreaming Understanding the Kid with Special Needs By Stephanie J. Salisbury

I’m addicted to the television show “Parenthood.” The writing is spot on, and I find myself laughing and sobbing during every episode. I am especially appreciative of the light it sheds on the special needs child, Max, who has Asperger’s syndrome. Plenty of focus is on mainstreaming Max into the public school system, and I was interested to see what this looks like in real life. The term “special needs” encompasses a growing number of students these days, and it’s difficult to give a blanket statement as to whether or not mainstreaming is a viable option for all of them. I had the pleasure of having an intense discussion with local elementary school educator Kim Ringler, who had much to say about the subject. “The term “special needs” includes ADD/ADHD, emotional impairments, dyslexia, Autism disorders, and children who function on an advanced level. Most children with these differences look, act, feel and think the same as your average child. By looking at them, or even holding a short conversation with them, you would never know the things they struggle with,” Ringler explains. “I am in strong support of mainstreaming children who have special needs. However, I believe that it is very individual. I disagree with the model where all children with special needs are mainstreamed into a classroom for the whole day. While the social aspect is extremely important, some children may be over-stimulated in a regular classroom setting and may need to spend a portion of their day in another room, in a small group setting.” One of the major obstacles to mainstreaming such students, however, is that very aspect of a social setting. Kids of any age, with any differences, tend to become victims of jokes, bullying and other forms of a pecking order. It is extremely important for us, as 36 THE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012

parents, to talk with our own children. Kids will often make fun of something, or someone, that they don’t understand. “The best way for a parent to approach this is to honestly answer any questions their child may have of the child in question, to teach tolerance and that everyone is different with different struggles. Teach your child to look for the things they have in common with the other child, things that they like, things that they both can do well, and to even think of things the other child can do well that they may struggle with. By teaching this positive thinking to your child, you are also downplaying any disturbances the child in need may be causing. These things won’t seem such a big deal to your child anymore because they see this child as like them more than they see them as the bad kid.” Kim’s words are very wise, and also very close to her heart. She is not just an educator. Her son, Drew, has Asperger’s syndrome, like Max from “Parenthood.” He is high-functioning, bright, inquisitive and tries very hard at everything he does. Kim feels it is important for other parents to understand special needs as well, in turn making it easier for them to educate their own children. “He looks like other fifth graders and has similar interests as other 11-year-old children, but he is socially at the same level as a six-yearold. He does not understand social cues and empathy that the rest of us pick up naturally. The things he can do – eye contact, hold a short conversation with three reciprocal statements and questions – those things took years of hard work and training. I want others to understand that he is deeply caring, has a gigantic heart, that he is hilarious, and that he means well. I want other parents to understand that just because he looks like every other child in his class, speaks well and is articulate, and he holds eye contact and can ask a couple of questions

in a conversation and seems to understand what is being said, does not mean that he is like every other child. I want other teachers and parents to understand that just because he melts down in the grocery store because there are too many people there or because they are out of Bartlett pears, or because he says something that we understand to be rude or hurtful, it does not mean he is a trouble maker, or a bad kid. It does not mean that I am a lax parent.”



Some Advice for Parents

Kim is is in the unique position of being able to see the mainstreaming situation from both the parental and educator point of view. She has some suggestions if you are the parent of a special needs child and are trying to decide whether or not mainstreaming is right for your student: “Do your research. It is okay to ask the teachers questions about their background and experience with the needs your child has. It is okay to ask the school administrator questions about the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process at their school and to interview the administrators that will be making those decisions for your child. It is okay to find out what resources in and outside of the school are offered, and it is okay to choose not to go to a school in your district if it does not have the services your child needs. Not all schools do, and these days you aren’t always bound by what district you live in.” Whether you are a teacher, a parent, a classmate or the parent of a classmate of a child with special needs, please be willing to educate. In a world so filled with differences, we need to attempt to bring all our kids together in ways that show them they are the same.

Stephanie J. Salisbury is a graduate of the University of Michigan. She lives in Middlebury with her husband Stephen, and their kids Zachary, Michael, and Aria. Stephanie works at the Daily Grind in downtown Elkhart, and has written a novel, a non-fiction Christian self-help book and a collection of short stories and poetry.




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When we questioned Drew about Asperger’s, he said, “It is what it is, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t do great things, and if I can help other kids like me realize that, then I have done my part to change the world as well.”

Seatbelts everyone! The Magic School Bus celebrates its 25th anniversary with an all-new musical adventure, The Climate Challenge. Ms. Frizzle’s students are putting on a play about global warming and they need some cold, hard facts. Bring your entire family along for the ride with the Friz and kids— all tickets just $10.

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to our monthly distribution partners Allied Pediatrics Chic-Fil-A Clay Preschool & Church Debbie Werbrouck School of Dance & Music Early Childhood Development Center at Notre Dame Elkhart General Hospital Eye Site Optical Family Sports Time Pub Friends Preschool & Daycare Granger Community Church Growing Kids Learning Center Gymnastics Michiana Kumon Learning Center Menno Travel Midwest Orthotics Mutual Bank Notre Dame Federal Credit Union Once Upon a Child Soccer Zone South Bend Clinic South Bend Medical Foundation St. Thomas the Apostle School Strikes & Spares Traditions Photography Trinity Lutheran School Victorian Pantry YMCA of Elkhart If you would like to receive The Family Magazine at your familyfocused business or organization each month, please email your request to: THE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012



Special Section Ask Our Vet Expert! Warm Winter Soups to Warm Your Spirit Extraordinary Ice Storm Headed for St. Joseph! Talking to Kids About Money Design Trends for 2012

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Ask our Vet Pet Expert! Do you have questions about your pet? Ask our local vet extraordinaire, Dr. Ed Blesy. Send your questions to, and we’ll get your questions to our vet!


What is the human equivalent age of my dog? Zeus does not age the same way as Fifi. A 10-year-old giantbreed dog (more than 90 pounds) is about 78 equivalent human years compared to a small-breed dog (less than 20 pounds) of 56 equivalent years. Similarly, a 10-year-old cat is about 63 equivalent human years. Therefore, there are two important points. First, the breed and size of an animal will dictate how quickly they age. Second, all pets age too quickly!


Do fleas jump from animal to animal? No, not the species of flea that we typically deal with. When they land on an animal, they have found utopia. The fleas don’t want to risk death by leaving their lifeline and source of food. The adult fleas will remain on the same pet producing up to 50 eggs a day. These eggs will fall off the pet, develop in the environment or carpet for typically three to eight weeks, and then jump on a suitable host that passes by.


How much should I feed my pet? Feed for body condition. There is tremendous variation in pet activity level and body type. Bag feeding guidelines are usually too excessive for your typical pet. Ideal pet body condition is demonstrated when ribs are easily palpated but not seen, and there is a visible waist.



Why should heartworm preventative be given during the winter months? I make this recommendation for two reasons. First, owners that seasonally give the preventative often stop too early in the year. They are not aware that the preventative works on the pet’s previous month’s exposure to potentially heartworm-infected mosquitoes. In other words, give the preventative at least one month beyond when the last mosquitoes are around. Second, the preventatives are an important tool to prevent intestinal parasites such as roundworms and hookworms. These parasites have the potential to infect people. This is especially important for young children or immunocompromised adults (such as people with diabetes or those going through chemotherapy).


Does my dog have ear mites if there is black gunk in the ears? Ear mites can infest dog ears, but that is not the most common cause of ear debris and inflammation. I most commonly find ear mites in cats and puppies. The worst case of ear mites I have ever seen was in a rabbit. Debris found in pet ears can be normal wax or indicative of infection. Usually we will find yeast or bacteria causing the excessive debris and inflammation. If you see any excessive debris or inflammation in your pet’s ears, please consult your veterinarian.

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Thousands of local parents are connected to The Lakeside FAMILY Magazine through Facebook, Twitter & E-Blasts.

Reviewed by Alicia Ford Assistant Director Maud Preston Palenske Memorial/St. Joseph Public Library In “Brandwashed,” bestselling author Martin Lindstrom reveals some of the marketing techniques and ploys companies use to entice consumers to buy and stay hooked on their brands. While a number of books have been published the last few years on the subject of why we buy, this one stands out in the use of Lindstrom’s own experiences as a marketer with some heavyweight brands. Chapters detail examples of sellers using fear tactics, peer pressure, glowing generalities, sex appeal, doctor endorsements, and sensory and emotional attachments. The main argument in “Brandwashed” is that people do not really know what they are buying or why they are buying it. The thing that stuck with me from the book was how many subtle techniques may go unnoticed by consumers, but subconsciously affect buying decisions. Did you know that soda companies’ ads that incorporate water drops running down the side of a can have been found to make a difference in sales? Or that in a Whole Foods store, flowers will strategically be placed at the front of the store to evoke feelings of freshness? Likewise, signs are designed to look like they would in a farmer’s market, where prices are crossed out to show that they have been changed – when the prices, in fact, are set. These are just a couple examples Lindstrom gives of strategies that “trick” the brain to perceive a product in a certain light.

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Some of the marketing tricks discussed in the book may be alarming to parents. An entire chapter called “Buy Baby Buy” outlines marketing to children. Though many brand preferences can be linked to their parents’ tastes, more and more brands are looking to cash in on their younger consumers, offering everything from “kid-friendly” apps and online games advertised on cereal boxes to cosmetics and alcopops. Games that include virtual cash have the potential to feed children’s shopping obsessions later in life, Lindstrom argues. Overall, “Brandwashed” is an interesting, enjoyable read. Critics have already argued that it doesn’t offer anything new, and that the book offers little on how to deal with the threat of manipulative marketing strategies. Keeping this in mind, the book is still good as an overview of both Lindstrom’s and other’s research on the strategies companies use to win – or, as he says, manipulate – consumers into buying their brand. LAKESIDE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012


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Winter Soups

to Warm Your Spirit!

By Diane Fisher


hen the wind blows and the snow flies, the first thing I think of is a hot bowl of soup. There’s just something about the warmth it gives from your mouth all the way down to your toes!

Tuscany Potato Soup

My grandmother would get up at 5:30 a.m. most mornings and start the coffee pot and put a chicken on to stew for soup later in the day. She could feed an army (she had 10 children) with that one chicken. Almost like the fishes and loaves, there never seemed to be an end to that pot of soup.

1 pound Italian Sausage, broken up 1 tablespoon oil 1 medium onion, chopped 5 red potatoes, chopped, or 1 package prepared diced potatoes from refrigerated section at store Salt and pepper, to taste Red pepper flakes, to taste Two 48-ounce containers of low-sodium chicken broth One 6-ounce package grilled chicken strips, cut into small pieces (optional) 1 bunch of kale, cleaned from the stems and chopped into bitesized pieces 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnish

One of my favorite soups is the Tuscany Potato Soup recipe that follows. It has a wonderful full-bodied flavor with the benefits of “stick-to-your-ribs” fullness and greens to round it all out. I found this recipe some time ago, and it is a recipe requested by many of my students and clients. It is easy, really easy if you make it exactly as directed, and is best made by cutting up your own red potatoes (no need to peel), and even omitting the chicken (the chicken tends to get covered up by the other flavors). You could use turkey sausage, but the Italian flavor really makes the soup, so make sure you add some Italian seasoning if your turkey sausage does not have any. This soup can also be made up the day before (always better the second day). It can also have the components made up before and assembled when wanted, or made to the point just before you add the kale, and then frozen for later use. When thawed, add the fresh kale, and it will taste as though you just made it. Another crock-pot soup is my own Sweet Potato Stew. It’s much like a thick, hearty stew, but contains sweet potatoes in place of the white ones. I know – you think you don’t like sweet potatoes, but believe me, the marriage between the sweet potatoes and the beef is phenomenal! I moved to using sweet potatoes when required to add more fiber to my diet, and am I glad I did. It is fast, simple and tasty. It will cook for your while you are at work and can be readied the evening before (maybe when you have more time) and then placed in the crock pot base to cook as you toil away your day! Just serve with a good, crusty bread and a salad, and your set and ready to go.


Serves 5-6 (can be multiplied)

In a large soup pot, add the olive oil and crumble and brown the sausage over medium heat until sausage is browned. Add onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes longer. Add salt, red and black peppers, broth, chicken strips (if using) and potatoes. If using fresh potatoes, bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender. If using packaged potatoes, bring to a boil and immediately turn heat down to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add the kale. Cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Garnish with the parsley and serve.

Sweet Potato Stew

Serves 6-8 3 to 4 pound rump roast, 2 inches thick Gold Medal Wondra Flour, for dusting (in a blue round container sold with the flours) 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chunked into stew size pieces 1 can corn, with juice 1 can cut green beans, with juice One 24 ounce can of Italian seasoned chopped tomatoes 1 bay leaf Salt and pepper Salt and pepper the rump roast, and lightly dust with Wondra flour. Put in pre-heated skillet coated with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cook over medium-high heat until nicely braised on each side.

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In a 4-quart slow cooker, place braised meat on bottom. Add the sweet potato chunks, then the corn, green beans, tomatoes and bay leaf (tuck under juices). Cook at least 8 hours on low, or 6 hours on high. Salt and pepper to taste. Meat should be fork tender. If not, cook it longer. Delicious!

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Note: To gain 2 to 3 more servings, use a 6-quart slow cooker, and use 3 large sweet potatoes, and double the corn and green beans.

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Happy cooking! Hope your New Year is a blessed one!

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Diane Fisher owns Catering By Design, LLC in St. Joseph, Michigan. She is married to Mike and they have three grown children and one granddaughter. She gives cooking classes for all ages at Perennial Accents in downtown St. Joseph.

Leave Old Man Winter at home and come check out our great selection of Boys and Girls clothing and gifts. Open 11-5 daily, closed Tuesday 269-586-2275 122 N. Whittaker St. New Buffalo, MI 49117



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Extraordinary Ice Storm Headed for St. Joseph! By Dawn Williams

Attention all families living or traveling to Southwest Michigan: A massive winter

storm is predicted to hit downtown St. Joseph the weekend of February 10th. Forecasters are calling for three unforgettable days of winter madness as colossal, 300-pound blocks of ice descend upon city sidewalks.

OR . . . it could be the 8th Annual Magical Ice Carving Festival. Should Lakeside FAMILY’s unofficial (and untrained) weatherman be wrong, this is one ice storm you actually want to get caught in! Don’t take our word for it; listen to Brian Smith, events manager for St. Joe Today. “This festival has something for everyone and is completely family-oriented,” explained Smith, whose favorite part of the weekend is the professional ice carvers who come from across the Midwest including South Carolina and Texas to compete. “Watching how they manipulate the ice using a variety of chain saws and power tools and then fuse sections of ice together is amazing.” According to Smith, most of the carvers have a culinary background and are active members of the Michiana Ice Carvers Association. While the act of sculpting ice into art may sound easy, it takes years of challenging instruction and practice to achieve each dynamic frozen creation. In fact, the St. Joseph competition is sanctioned by a global organization called the National Ice Carving Association (NICA) based in the United States. NICA promotes the art of ice sculpture and carving, provides guidelines for judging, offers learning seminars, and organizes ice-carving competitions around the globe. Today, NICA boasts more than 400 members, some of the best in the world. One such member happens to be Mark Smith, beverage director and executive chef at the restaurant at Harbor Shores. Chef Smith helped bring the ice carving festival to St. Joseph in 2004 under the leadership of Joen Brambilla, past director of St. Joe Today. While Chef Smith continues to master his own carving skills, he will serve as lead judge for this event and help to award multiple cash prizes to the best teams and individual carvers. “We have an estimated 25 competitors headed to our town this year,” stated Brian Smith, “Each team or individual carver must submit a 48 LAKESIDE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012

design of what their finished ice sculpture will look like along with their application in order to be eligible to compete. Everything is judged on a point system that the carvers are collecting as they travel from competition to competition around the country, so it’s a big deal.” While a host of delicious food, kid shows, and great music are in the weekend lineup, the dramatic ice show takes center stage beginning with the professional team carving competition on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. along State Street. People of all ages will marvel as 10 teams are given just five hours to transform four giant blocks of average ice into spectacular works of art. The professional individual carving competition will take place on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the corner of Pleasant and State Street. Winning designs for past sculptures have embodied everything from mythical dragons bearing razor-sharp teeth and breathing fire to graceful underwater sea creatures swimming through coral caverns. Attendees can find out if their favorite artist won by attending the awards ceremony for the top six teams and the best individual carvers on Sunday at 3 p.m. (location TBD).

Another enchanting layer of fun to the weekend is called the Snow Biz Scavenger Hunt that enables dozens of festival sponsors to participate in the flurry of excitement. Each company sponsor will be represented by a glistening logo ice sculpture containing special items buried deep inside, but visible through the ice. “We’ll plant these logo sculptures throughout the downtown area for kids and their friends and family to try to locate and identify all the crazy things hidden inside,” explained Smith, who added that scavenger hunt participants should first come to the Welcome Center at 421 State Street to pick up a game map. The 2012 presenting sponsors are Harbor Town Interiors, Indiana Michigan Power, and the Berrien Community Foundation. Conveniently staged a snowball’s throw from all the action will be Schu’s Festival Tent at the corner of Pleasant and Lake Boulevard. Guests can shake off the chill with a plate of something delicious and a cup of warm spirits thanks to Larry Schuler’s inviting festival menu, which happens to include live music all day Friday and Saturday night. Should Mother Nature care to crash the town’s icy celebration and surprise us all with a true winter storm – game on! As long as the temps range in the mid-20s and the sun stays south, come festival weekend every ice carver in the world will wish he were here! All dates and activities are weather permitting and subject to change. For a complete, updated schedule to the 8th Annual Magical Ice Carving Festival, please visit

Dawn Williams is a freelance writer from southwest Michigan with a passion for meeting new people and uncovering what makes them tick. Her husband and three kids share this creative spirit, but aren’t nearly as nosey.

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FuzzyButz 306 State Street St. Joseph, MI 49085 269-983-9663 LAKESIDE FAMILY MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012


lakeside parenting

Talking to Kids About Money By Meagan Francis

Despite my parents’ best intentions, I was rather financially foggy when I reached adulthood, and it took me quite a while to take control of our cash. So I’ve felt a lot of pressure to help my kids walk a steadier path. As an over-analyzer myself, I know how easy it is to get overwhelmed by details and research and trying to find the “best” way to talk to kids about finances. But what I’ve learned about managing my own money is that my behavior and attitude matter more than the specific details of my financial plan. And I’m finding that this also applies strongly to the way I teach my kids about money. Here are four tips I’ve discovered along the way:

Demonstrate active, instead of passive, money management.

It’s tempting to just say “we can’t afford it!” or “money doesn’t grow on trees!” when your 6-year-old asks for a new toy, but that doesn’t really do much to teach him about how to care for that hard-earned cash. If instead you talk often about the way you make your budget, why you need one and how you decide what to spend money on every month, your child can understand the big picture – that we should control our money, not the other way around. And that applies regardless of whether you happen to have twenty bucks in your pocket or not.

Prepare for learning moments.

A few months ago, I overheard a conversation between my two younger sons in the backseat. Owen, my 5-year-old, was lamenting the fact that I’d told the kids they couldn’t sign up for a membership to an online computer game that cost five dollars a month. “Did you hear that, Will?” Owen said conspiratorially. “Mom doesn’t even have five dollars. I have more money than she does!” I actually did have five dollars, but it was earmarked for other things. However, I hadn’t really explained that to Owen. I’d been distracted by looking for an address when he’d asked me for the game subscription, and because I didn’t have a thorough response ready to go, I had said something along the lines of “We don’t have money for that.” Obviously, my meaning went right over his head. That experience reminded me that it’s a good idea to be ready to seize these teachable moments with some go-to messages, so that even when I’m distracted, I have a “script” I can refer to again and again. After all, it’s not like I can’t predict my kids will ask for something that’s not in the budget; they do it, oh, about once an hour.

Give kids options. Whenever one of my boys ask for something that is not in the budget, which


is pretty much always as we rarely buy toys outside of Christmas and birthdays, I rarely just say “no” right off the bat. They feel empowered when I give them options: they can earn the money themselves by doing work around the house, for example. Or, they can put the item on their birthday or Christmas wish list. Generally, they keep a running list all year long that changes as they lose interest in certain items and become more interested in others. Putting them in charge of getting the coveted object helps them prioritize and recognize how sometimes the thing you were so sure you wanted last month just isn’t that fascinating anymore.

Just start.

So just do it. Pick a system that’s easy to start, doesn’t require a big investment or commitment, and is simple to maintain. Come up with a few key messages about money that you’d like your kids to understand, and return to them again and again. And go. Don’t delude yourself into thinking your kids will be perfect with money forever if you get it exactly right; we all make mistakes, and even financial whizzes occasionally wind up with spendthrift kids. What’s important is that by talking about money early you’re laying a foundation that will help them make fewer mistakes and learn from those mistakes faster, which is the same for anything in life, right?

When my oldest boys were getting big enough to start collecting an allowance, I spent a lot of time reading different opinions on the “best” way to do it. Some experts argued that money should always be tied to chores, so that children learn that you have to work to earn. Others maintained that chores are just a part of being part of a family, and allowance should be kept separate. I was so conflicted over which was the “right” approach that I couldn’t seem to get started. As the boys got older, though, I learned that the exact formula for teaching kids about work and money doesn’t really matter; what matters is that you do and say something. A points system, monopoly money they can cash in for treats, cold hard cash – as long as you’re helping kids make the connection between work and earning and teaching them about budgeting and saving, you’re doing your job. The method is just a tool, and like any other parenting decision, there are many valid tools to choose from. You might also find, as with sleep and discipline, that different kids respond to different techniques.

Meagan Francis is a mother of five and lives in St. Joseph, Michigan. She is also author of “The Happiest Mom: 10 Secrets To Enjoying Motherhood.”

Do the words “math homework” strike fear in your child…or you? What if we told you that we can change that fear into better grades and higher self-confidence, and eliminate the frustration, tears, and fights over math homework? Imagine how much better homework time would be. Discover how a better understanding of math can change your child’s attitude. Before you know it, your child could be crazy about math. Your neighborhood center is located next to the new Martin’s Supermarket at 5651 Cleveland Ave., Stevensville, MI. Visit to learn how convenient and affordable your child’s soaring selfconfidence can be! Also opening a Granger, IN location this winter!

855 429–MATH




lakeside décor


for 2012 By Jenny Mitschelen

Welcome 2012! What better time to think about freshening up our interiors for the year ahead. Design is more exciting than ever with so many current and upcoming trends. These are just a few that we’re seeing now and some to watch for in the months to come!

Color Watch

Bold Hues: Statement-making colors such as fuschia, chartreuse, bright tangerine, turquoise and cobalt are being spotted everywhere. Choose one of these electrifying hues to use as an accent. Think home accessories like pillows, or a shimmering glass bowl on your cocktail table. This makes it easy to give your space a charge of color. Color Combos: If you desire an entire color makeover for your space, here are some current and fun combinations to consider: Navy blue and pink, navy blue and orange, tan and coral or Bordeaux accented by splashes of bright green and orange. Shades of Gray: Gray is being seen everywhere. This classic color is being used in monochromatic schemes like charcoal, silver and dove. However, it is also being paired with bolder hues to tone them down a bit and add sophistication. These are some favorites: gray and chartreuse, gray and aqua, gray and yellow or gray and mint green.


Heavy Metal

Gold Tones: Gold has made a comeback in recent seasons, bringing warmth and a touch of tradition back to interiors. It is being seen in lamps and other light fixtures, glass accessories, furniture trimmings and even in textiles. Tone the opulence down by pairing gold with textures like burlap and leather. Ironworks: Whether it’s the real deal or faux, iron accents are gaining popularity. However this design element is used, it always adds visual weight to your space. It could be an accent on occasional tables, a set of candlesticks or a shelving unit. Speak to a design professional about having faux iron accents applied to mirrors and windows.

Fun Furniture

Mixing it up: Eclectic design is still on the rise. Mixing furnishings and fabrics from different eras and styles is a great way to bring something unique and unexpected to your interiors. Try mixing the styles of your dining chairs. Use one style for your side chairs, and finish it off with upholstered arm chairs on each end. Go on a scavenger hunt for retro seating with great lines and have it reupholstered in a hip new textile. Think of covering a traditional wingback chair in a current fabric with bold color or graphics. Cover a midcentury modern or art deco piece with a traditional print in a bold new colorway. You may even mix different textiles on the same seating. Seek the advice of a design professional to help you coordinate your selections and create pieces that are uniquely yours! Tufting & Trims: When choosing upholstery textiles and styles, consider tufting to add sophistication and glamour. A sleek sofa or upholstered headboard are quite inviting when tufting is added. Speak to your designer or upholsterer about the abundance of trims and accents available for upholstered furnishings. From crystal nailheads to burlap fringe, the sky is the limit! These details are a spectacular way to customize your upholstered pieces. The Unexpected: Whimsical furniture is gaining popularity. Traditional accent pieces, like occasional tables are being crafted of Lucite or acrylic to add an unexpected twist. Also, wood furnishings in traditional styles are being painted by some manufacturers in any hue you desire! Imagine a Chippendale dining set sprayed a hip, new turquoise or a French-style piece crafted from clear or black resin! These are great ways to tone down the formality of traditional furnishings and update your space. What is the theme tying all these trends together? Individuality! Interiors are being celebrated more and more for their originality and reflection of personal style. We are no longer tied to many of the design rules and styles of past eras. It is also easier than ever to make over your existing pieces and use what you love.

Jenny Mitschelen lives in Bridgman, Michigan, with her husband and three adorable children. Having studied interior design for 20 years, Jenny is a decorator and owner of a home based interior design franchise.






The Local Parenting Resource for Expectant Parents and Families with Younger Children

Special Section

Energize Breakfast with the Crunch of Almonds

Tips to Seize Those Teachable Money Moments

Momopause How to Give a Perfect Apology Spoiled to Spoiled Rotten

Raising Spoiled Kids and How to Keep Them From Turning Rotten

M i C H I L D • S P E C I A L PA R E N T I N G F E AT U R E S E C T I O N

mi Corner Our tips, picks, news and advice.

Energize Breakfast with the Crunch of Almonds Some things are just better together: milk and cookies, Bert and Ernie, and breakfast with almonds. It’s not surprising that breakfast, known as the most important meal of the day, is often skipped thanks in large part to chaotic mornings that leave little time for making nutritious meals. But it’s always good to remember why the most important meal of the day earned its reigning title. Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, and author of the New York Times Best Selling Book “Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches,” is a great believer in the power of a nutritious breakfast. “My first tip when counseling people is to get them started on breakfast. Something is better than nothing. People may think skipping breakfast means saving calories, but in fact it forces your body to work when it doesn’t have fuel, which can result in a sluggish metabolism,” Sass explains. “Even if you aren’t hungry, train your body to eat something in the morning. People tend to eat fewer calories and make healthier choices throughout the day when they start with breakfast.” Sass’s secret weapon for a breakfast packed with a whole lot of punch? Almonds. The almond, in all of its versatile forms – whether whole, sliced, roasted, chopped, as almond butter or almond milk – often makes a daily appearance in Sass’s morning menu. Including almonds in your breakfast is the extra boost a bowl of cereal, cup of low-fat yogurt, or slice of whole-wheat toast needs to go from good to even better. A recent study published in the February 2011 issue of “Nutrition & Metabolism” by Dr. Mori, et al, found that eating a breakfast upgraded with almonds (a low glycemic index food) aided in stabilizing blood glucose levels for the better part of 58 MI CHILD MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012

the day, while also keeping study participants satiated for a longer period of time. Read the article, “Acute and second-meal effects of almond form in impaired glucose tolerant adults: a randomized crossover trial” by Dr. Mori and her team, at In addition, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that the majority of your fat intake come from unsaturated foods. One serving of almonds (28 grams) has 13 grams of fat and only 1 gram of saturated fat, so almonds are a healthy snack you can eat worry free.

Here are some favorite almond breakfast ideas to help start the day right: • Top whole wheat toast with almond butter and sliced bananas. • Add almonds to oatmeal with skim or low-fat milk topped with dried or fresh fruit. • Sprinkle sliced almonds into your breakfast parfait layered with low-fat yogurt and fruit. • Toss toasted, sliced almonds into scrambled eggs or a veggie omelet for an extra healthy boost. • Dip half a banana into non-fat yogurt, then roll into chopped roasted almonds and oatmeal. Wrap in parchment paper and freeze overnight. • Smooth rich almond butter onto apple slices and enjoy. For more breakfast recipe ideas, tips from registered dieticians and the latest almond research visit

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It’s Time to CONNECT! W

e all have hopes and dreams for our children. We picture them as happy young learners who eventually grow into high-achieving adults who in turn raise their own happy young learners, and so the cycle goes. What we sometimes don’t understand is that it doesn’t happen by accident. High quality early learning experiences are critical to every young child’s development and are more important than ever in terms of school readiness. Research has long since demonstrated that children’s early learning experiences determine their foundation for future learning and success. Children who experience high quality early learning – including support for health and emotional well-being – are more successful in later school years, less likely to repeat a grade, and more likely to graduate high school, attend college, and become the happy, productive adults of our dreams. The indisputable fact is that parents or caregivers are a child’s first and most influential teacher. Parents encourage their child’s learning and development every day with everything they do. Parents support healthy brain development, PARENTS, EXTENDED FAMILIES & THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILDCARE physical development and social and emotional CONNECT is your one-stop online source of everything you need to know about early development when they childhood care, support, training and resources. engage children whether by reading a book aloud or CONNECT and find child care and preschool providers that can best meet your needs. taking a walk and pointing out simple things such as CONNECT and use the map to locate resources in your community that support you and young trees, flowers, birds and children in your care. houses. CHILD CARE & PRESCHOOL PROVIDERS CONNECT to promote and market your licensed child care and preschool service by listing it for free. CONNECT and update your organization’s profile on the searchable database resource.

But parents and caregivers can’t always be that teacher and that means the choices made in terms of child care and preschool are important. To put it simply: Quality matters.

So how do we foster quality in Michigan? How do we help parents and caregivers know what to look for when selecting an early learning setting for their children? And how do we help the people who operate those settings improve their skills and environments? As Michigan’s authority on early childhood, the Early Childhood Investment Corporation is working to help Michigan families find and access the high quality early learning opportunities their children – and all children – deserve. For more information about Great Start CONNECT, or a Great Start to Quality Resource Center near you, call (877) 614-7328. The Early Childhood Investment Corporation is a public/private initiative working to restructure Michigan’s investment in children from birth to five through state and local community efforts. For more information about ECIC and its work, go to Your Online Child Care and Preschool Resource Together we can give every child in Michigan a Great Start. MI CHILD MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2012


M i C H I L D • S P E C I A L PA R E N T I N G F E AT U R E S E C T I O N

mi Corner Our tips, picks, news and advice.

Tips to Seize Those Teachable Money Moments From the time children drop their first few coins into a piggy bank, they are ready to learn about setting savings goals and making smart spending decisions. While kids may struggle with giving up a candy bar today in order to save for a video game purchase next month, the lesson of saving becomes directly applicable to them. But the bite of inflation? The wisdom of diversifying savings? Can a third grader understand these concepts? Some experts say yes, and the sooner parents start imparting these lessons, the more effective they will be in helping children grow into financially responsible young adults. The trick is to take advantage of teachable “money moments” that happen every day – such as when you go to the bank or the grocery store – to help children understand complex concepts in kidfriendly terms. Imagine that your child questions your refusal to buy a toy that you say the family cannot afford. This is the perfect opportunity to teach your child a money lesson about making choices. You can explain that purchasing that specific toy means there is less money to be used for future purchases, such as buying a bicycle or a video game on your child’s wish list. Or imagine your daughter asks why the family can’t fly instead of driving a great distance for the family vacation. This question presents an opportunity to explain spending trade-offs the daughter can understand. For example, the amount required for airline tickets may mean the vacation budget can’t allow for swimming with dolphins or a visit to the amusement park. “If children are included in family financial discussions, such as planning for a fun vacation or purchasing a high-cost toy, then parents can begin to place daily spending decisions in a context their child will understand,” says Stuart Ritter, CFP, a family financial expert with T. Rowe Price, and father of three.

“Teaching children to set savings goals and make decisions about money that align with those goals is much easier when the discussion is concrete rather than abstract.” Inflation and diversification may be more difficult for children to grasp. In fact, some adults may have trouble defining these concepts. Simple explanations may work, such as explaining that college will cost a lot more several years from today, which means saving and investing differently for that goal than one would for a smaller item, such as a skateboard to be purchased in six months.

The Smart Money Websites

The Great Piggy Bank Adventure A complementary approach is to introduce children to games that teach basic money lessons. One example is the game “The Great Piggy Bank Adventure” at GreatPiggyBankAdventure. com. T. Rowe Price collaborated with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online to produce this free online board game, which conveys basic financial concepts in a way that is fun and easy for kids to understand. "Journey To Your Dream Goal" Activity Book To extend the lessons from the game, parents can also download a free “Journey to Your Dream Goal” activity book from Puzzles, games and tricky challenges help guide kids through the process of making smart financial decisions. Orange Planet This website proves that learning about finances can be out of this world. Kids learn about earning, saving and investing while they fly in a space ship and explore Planet Orange. But even flying comes at a price as they can run out of fuel and will need to buy more with their Obux. It’s a brightly colored, fun website for kids 1st through 6th grade. Have them try it out at Sand Dollar City Beta While the game is still in Beta, at, kids 8-12 can follow the storyline of their character who is back from school and needs to save her family’s candy shop from financial ruin. The game still has some kinks to work out, but the linear gameplay will be appealing to some young gamers.


Story Time

The Thief Lord By Cornelia Funke Reviewed by Margo Ferguson Young Adult Reference Librarian Bittersweet Branch of the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library “The Thief Lord” is magical, humorous and full of suspense. The story is about two brothers. Prosper is 12, and Bo is 5, and their mother has just died. Their Aunt Esther would like custody of Bo, but plans to send Prosper away to a boarding school. The two brothers are very close and do not want to be separated. They travel from Germany to Venice because their mother loved Venice and would always tell the two brothers fanciful stories about the city. Their aunt hires a private detective to locate the boys. The detective loves disguises and has two pet turtles. The private investigator positions himself in a centrally located part of Venice and does locate the runaway boys. But before the detective can capture them, Prosper and Bo are taken in by a few children who are living in an abandoned movie theatre. The other children recognize the detective and lure him to the theatre. Working together, they are able to capture and hold him prisoner. The leader of the children calls himself the “Thief Lord” and is supposedly supporting the group by stealing items from the wealthy homes of Venice. The shop keeper that usually pawns items for the Thief Lord approaches him about a special assignment. The kids are supposed to steal a wooden wing from a private home. The wing belonged to a lion that was on a long-missing carousal. The suspense builds quickly when the children are caught stealing the wing by the owner of the home. Bo and another child are discovered hiding in the theatre, an event that leads to trouble for Bo. Will Bo and Prosper be able to stay together in Venice, and where will they live? What is the real identity of the Thief Lord? Why is an individual willing to pay so much for a wooden wing, and what will it be used for? This is an exciting book with many story lines that will hold the attention of the reader from beginning to end. This book is recommended for kids 9 and older, or for those of us adults who are kids at heart.



M i C H I L D • S P E C I A L PA R E N T I N G F E AT U R E S E C T I O N

Mommy & Daddy

Momopause By Jane Suter

This year, my New Year’s resolution is to regain my sanity. What? You think that’s a strange thing to shoot for? Let me explain. You see, most women these days are choosing to have babies later in life, like I did. While I would argue this makes me a better mother, it also comes with a steep downside. Being an older mom means I’m starting to go through menopause while my children are still quite young. My doctor calls my affliction perimenopause. I call it a pub crawl through soul-sucking loony town. I first realized I was at the beginning of this, ahem, journey, when my husband was on the sofa next to me chewing ice. I ask you – is there anything more annoying? I would normally just try to tune out the obnoxious crunching and silently resent him, but these days, I imagine taking an axe and swinging it solidly into the back of his head. And it doesn’t stop there. Oh no. Just the other day I seriously considered smothering him in his sleep. The nerve of that man, leaving his plate on the counter instead of putting it into the dishwasher! Yes, my hubby’s expiration date is quickly approaching unless he shapes up and stops this infuriating behavior. I’m ball-parking he has roughly two more months until my mood swings win out. However, it’s not just my murderous fantasies that disturb me. It’s also the sappy, slobbery sadness.


For no good reason at all, I will suddenly burst into tears. Questions like, “Paper or plastic?” send me into a blubbering tailspin. “Would you like fries with your Happy Meal?” I honestly can’t tell you Mr. McDonald’s worker because for some reason that query has made me decidedly UN-happy. I mean, those poor fries. They slaughter billions of them every day and no one cares. But I care. I DO! I now have to travel to the next town over if my boys want McNuggets. And speaking of my children … I used to have normal conversations with them. Lately my entire dialogue consists of thermal dynamics. “Hey, did one of you guys turn up the heat in here? Why is it so darn hot in this house?” All the while I’m I tearing off my sweater like it’s made of magma. Of course, while I’m doing this, they are looking at each other as if to say, “Yup. She’s finally lost it.” I then feel bad because I’m teaching them that women can just rip off their clothes at any given moment. I’ll pay for this one I’m sure. One day they’ll come home for a visit and introduce me to their stripper fiancée, and I’ll be totally to blame. Sigh. But hot flashes are just the tip of this volcano. Have I mentioned how entirely confounding third grade math is when your grip on reality is hanging by a piece of dental floss? My oldest asked for my help the other day with “fractals.” Know what they are? Yeah, I don’t either. My momopausal brain can’t even grasp such nonsense. I used to be smart. I swear.

Aside from all of this, I must say the worst part of the change is the accompanying addiction. I am now possessed with nonstop cravings for chocolate and gummy bears. I admit it; I hide these, my little love nuggets, all over the house. Right now I have peanut M&M’s stashed in my underwear drawer so my kids don’t eat them. That’s right, I have turned into a squirrel, but at least those furry rodents sleep. I haven’t had a solid night’s rest in four months. One moment I’m snuggled into a prime snooze position and the next I’m flailing around like a salmon. It has become my midnight aerobic workout: covers on, covers off. One leg out, both legs in. Socks on, socks off. Dramatic pillow flip and then jazz hands as I grope for my water bottle. Long theatrical groan and a few mumbled curse words, then repeat. I now know how a ferret with a tennis ball feels; yet I suspect ferrets are far more sedate. The good news is that my doctor tells me not to worry. She also blathered on about how every woman goes through this natural process, blah, blah, blah. She then revealed to me that this little hormone waltz can last for up to 10 years. Really? A decade? REALLY? So let’s review. My boys will be teenagers by the time my sanity returns; which means they’ll start losing their minds just as I’m getting mine back. Great. So you see, this resolution to regain my sanity isn’t so crazy after all. However, there’s a high probability I’ll fail just like I did last year when I resolved to give up soda pop. That lasted approximately an hour. Oh well, at least this year I’ll have an excuse to cram some gummy bears in my face and cry about it. Stupid momopause.

Jane Suter is an award-winning writer and mom of two very energetic boys, one in kindergarten and the other in second grade. Born in Chicago, she is proud of her Midwestern roots.

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Mommy & Daddy

How to Give a

Perfect Apology By Laurie Puhn

you ever heard the words, “I’m sorry,” and instantly Have thought, “Oh no you’re not.” You knew the apology sounded insincere from the moment your spouse opened his or her mouth. Or maybe you were the one who put your foot in your mouth when you criticized your spouse during dinner with friends, or perhaps you revealed something personal to your parents that embarrassed your honey. Whatever your error, don’t allow it to ruin a nice evening or a good relationship. When a simple “I’m sorry” isn’t enough, it’s time for you to use the perfect three-step apology, which will give you the forgiveness you want in five minutes or less.

Step 1: Make a Mountain Out of a Molehill

While it’s our natural instinct to minimize our mistakes by saying, “I didn’t really mean it,” or “It’s no big deal,” doing so will only aggravate your partner. Instead, if you go big and maximize your error with a comment like, “I made a huge error,” or “It was really awful of me to do that,” then your mate will be relieved knowing that you get how wrong you were, and that sentiment will go a long way toward reducing the anger.

Step 2: Use the “Because” Clause

Step 3: Prevent and Repair

So dig deep and say you’re sorry for the deeper value that was undercut. Use the word “because” to share exactly how you hurt your mate, as in “I’m sorry I talked negatively about you to our children because it was disrespectful of me, and it makes them think they can put you down, too.”

For instance, if you opened your big mouth to your children, you can’t fix the damage. But you can assure your spouse that in the future you will share your frustrations directly with your mate, not with the kids. Plus, you can grant your mate permission to interrupt you and remind you of your agreement, if you say something negative about him or her.

When someone is mad at you for your wrongdoing, it’s because they feel disrespected, insulted, hurt or ignored. What seems like a small thing, such as telling your children about your husband’s flaw (like his forgetfulness), is more than that to your husband. It’s disrespectful and rude to put him down to your children, or anyone for that matter.


This is the crucial part of a perfect apology. Without this step, you won’t win forgiveness. Complete your five-minute apology conversation by explaining to your mate how you will fix the damage done, or offer a plan of action to prevent the mistake from recurring.

But what if you’re not the guilty party and instead, your mate is? Since that person doesn’t know the three steps to a perfect apology, you can coach him or her into telling you what you need to hear. Tell the wrongdoer that a quick two-word “I’m sorry” doesn’t work for you, and that you need to know exactly what he or she is sorry for. After your spouse lists some reasons, ask how this mistake can be prevented from happening again. You will probably need to offer some suggestions here. Once your mate agrees to a practical prevention plan, bury the mistake and move on to enjoy your time together. Use this perfect apology strategy to fight less, love more and keep your homefront a peaceful, loving place.


as young as 1 1/2 years old

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Laurie Puhn is a Harvard-educated lawyer, couples mediator, relationship expert, and bestselling author of “Fight Less, Love More: 5-Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In,” who appears on Good Morning America, 20/20, Fox News and CNN. Most importantly, she is a wife and mother to two young children. Visit her interactive site at

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to Spoiled

Rotten Raising Spoiled Kids and How to Keep Them From Turning Rotten By Michelle Wegner


We love to spoil our children. We love to give them more than we had when we were kids. We love to see their smiles on Christmas morning when they open exactly what they wanted and patiently waited for all year long. We love to give them presents and rewards for good behavior. We love their heartfelt thanks and childlike wonder when they look under the Christmas tree and see piles of presents just waiting to be opened and loved. At most houses on Christmas morning, there are hugs and kisses, thank yous and hot chocolate, and sugary candy canes on the Christmas tree. Then comes the week after Christmas. And the week after that. The new toy loses an arm after finding itself in the middle of a sibling war, becoming chipped and marred from being thrown into the middle of a living room WWF cage match.

Here are some things we do as a family to keep our kids from turning “Spoiled” into “Rotten.” We don’t give gifts to our children unless they do something that deserves a reward or it’s Christmas or a birthday. We take negative behavior seriously and take action when someone’s attitude needs an adjustment. We practice gratitude to the extreme. “Please” and “thank you” are some of the most important and frequently repeated words at our house. We give. We find others in need and give them whatever we can to help. We do this materially, financially, and in offering of our friendship to people we wouldn’t normally include in our circles of friends.


Two weeks after Christmas, your darling little “Sweetness” is sticky and angry and demands you go get her a new dolly that will not break like this one did. It doesn’t matter that you waited for hours in the cold on Black Friday.

You’ve all heard (and probably used) the expression, “Eat your beans. Kids in China are starving and would die to have just one bite.” You rolled your eyes at your mom, and I am sure your kids roll their eyes just as successfully as you once did. But you don’t buy into it. You make them eat their beans, to teach them to be grateful and appreciate what they have. And because beans are good for them. We live in a country that is one of the richest nations in the world. The person living in the greatest poverty in the U.S.A. is richer than the poorest in the urban slums of India.

So, parents, think about it: will qualities of generosity, appreciation, gratitude, joy and wonder be developed if we think our job is to make sure all of our kids desires get gratified and immediately? That’s not our job. Our job isn’t to make our kids eternally “happy.” It’s to help them grow up to be pleasant, grateful, giving, hopeful adults that have respect for others and themselves. Giving them lots of stuff whenever they want doesn’t build character. Teaching them gratitude does.

We Spoil our kids with hugs, kisses, and encouraging words. They need these confidence builders more than they need more stuff.

Get out the duct tape, put the dolly back together again and save her for a rainy day WWF living room cage match. Your spoiled, but not rotten, kids will thank you someday.

Tips from Other Parents

I only buy gifts (as in "wants") for birthdays or Christmas, or if they really rocked a tough thing at school. I know too many parents that buy gifts all year long... phones, iPods, DS, anything they want, and then at Christmas they try so hard to make it special (as if it isn't already). The kids are like, what are you getting me next?? Also, when my kids want to spend their own money, we go look at stuff then I make them wait at least two days to actually purchase it. ~ Cheryl We teach our kids to share. We were blessed to be a blessing. My kids have been donating toys, food and time to others right here in our own community for as long as they've been alive. ~ Heather My parents always made sure we kids had what we needed, especially my dad since he was a Holocaust survivor. He wanted to make sure we had enough of everything. Our parents did a great job of balancing this with performing good works for others. My parents were always ready to help someone in need. I hope I turned out okay. ~ Helene

Michelle Wegner is mom to three spirited little girls, Maddie-12, Whitney-10 and Isabelle-6. Her husband is a pastor at Granger Community Church, and they have been married for 17 years.



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Play Dates

P lay Dates

Dress the kids, grab your purse and find your car keys! We have some fun activities to get you and your little ones out of the house this month! Teddy, Get Your Sleep On!

You might have forgotten, but your kids have the stuffed animal 411. Every boy and girl under the age of 7 knows that when they shut their little peepers at night, that’s when their toys come out to play. On Wednesday, January 4th, your kids’ favorite stuffed animal can do some out-of-the-home socializing with other furry friends. Kids ages 3 through 7 can bring one stuffed animal to the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Library, Bittersweet Branch, at 4 PM and get ready for a Stuffed Animal Sleepover. Kids and their favorite toy will read stories together. Afterwards, parents and their children can leave their stuffed animals to party well into the night and explore the library. Come pick up your stuffed friend, who is sure to be tuckered out, anytime the next day between 10 AM and 5 PM. You don’t have to register, but if you have any additional questions, call 574.259.0392.

Come Get It, Baby Cakes!

There are a few things we love. The first is stuffing our faces with cupcakes. The second is stuffing our faces with cupcakes for a good cause (it alleviates the guilt). So if you’re like us, you won’t want to miss the Baby Cakes Cupcake Contest at the Pregnancy Care Center in Niles. This is their 2nd annual event, and it’s a contest/fundraiser. With a donation of $5 or more, you’ll get your choice of three cupcakes. But why stop there? Donate $12 or more and you get your choice of a baker’s dozen! The event will be held during the Hunter Ice Festival on January 14th from 1 to 3 PM. To learn more, visit

Bring Your Pack to the Zoo!

You’re a busy mom; life is already a zoo. So why don’t you bring your little pack of wild childs to the Potawatomi Zoo for a day of winter fun! January 14th is their first Winter Day of the 2012 season where visitors can come see the zoo during the off season. Cost is $5 per person, and kids 2 and under get in free. If you’re already a Potawatomi Zoological Society member, admission is free. So move the zoo from your living room to where it really belongs, the great outdoors! Stop by from 12 to 3 PM. For more info visit or call 574.288.4639.





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What You Love When your physician tells you it’s time to consider more permanent treatment for your joint pain, trust Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph.

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Mark your calendar for February 4! It’s Lakeland’s first “Love Your Heart” event, filled with free information and screenings to show you how to take good care of your heart.

Saturday, February 4, 2012 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The Orchards Mall Mall entrance 4, between Carson’s and Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts 1800 Pipestone Road, Benton Harbor

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♥ Cholesterol and blood pressure screenings

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♥ Love Your Heart red-themed fashion show

~ Smoke-Free Life ~ Diabetes Education ~ Lakeland Chest Pain Center: Luwana Lewis, RN, Emergency Department/Chest Pain Center, Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph

♥ Prize drawings ♥ Free refreshments Love Your Heart Wherever You Go! The first 200 adults to attend a screening or class will receive a free tote!

For more information, call the Margaret Beckley Upton Center for Health Enhancement of Lakeland HealthCare at (269) 556-2872.

Visit for event times and details.

Lakeside FAMILY Magazine January 2012  

Lakeside FAMILY Magazine January 2012