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January 2016 | Volume 5 | Issue 1


Four Year Anniversary | like us on facebook

ON THE COVER STYLING BY: Jenah Pfeiffer, In My Red High Heels FAMILY ON COVER: Andrew, Jenah and Baron Pfeiffer of Hobart PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Amanda Rose Photography

letter from the editor


mom to mom feature

weathering the cold mom you should know: april beres date night: stacks bar & grill kids eat free

mtm: family health

metabolism and age


ask the doctor

new year, new ways


community calendar


mom to mom eats

mindy’s menu - cooking resolutions

mom to mom education

saint paul’s church & school pope benedict academy of excellence

trina’s picks

the day jimmy’s boa at the wash the good girl

fun & games

coloring page

PUBLISHER/MANAGING EDITOR Stephanie Vega Edwards SALES TEAM Eva Williams Nichole Odijk DeMario CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dr. Sandee Clark Nichole Odijk DeMario Mindy Gear Judy Miller Amber Neace Trina Bobrowski Debra Krieg-Lewis Christina Matoski

8 14 16 20

24 22 30 26 28 13

ADVERTISING & SUBMISSIONS Mom to Mom NWI LLC 103 E. Indiana Ave | Suite B Valparaiso IN 46383 LAYOUT DESIGN Mark Halliar COVER & TABLE OF CONTENTS PHOTOGRAPHY Amanda Rose Photography PRINTING Home Mountain Printing 3602 Enterprise Ave. Valparaiso, IN 46383

Mom to Mom NWI is a monthly publication by Mom to Mom NWI LLC. All rights reserved. Production without permission is strictly prohibited. All photographs & articles submitted become the sole property of Mom to Mom NWI Magazine. ©2016 Mom to Mom NWI LLC

letter from the editor stephanie vega edwards


another year, another milestone

Happy 2016!!! Is it me or did the past year go by in the blink of an eye?? I’m sitting here in my home office, working in the wee hours of the night while everyone sleeps, and it hits me. This is my 61st letter from the editor – WHAT??!! I feel like just yesterday I was talking about this idea I had to start a magazine for moms in the region and here we are starting our 5th year - HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! It’s so hard to put into words what this magazine has meant to me over the years. I’ve definitely had my shares of “ups” and “downs” but one thing that has never changed is my love for this publication. Mom to Mom, NWI is another child of mine, one that I have proudly seen grow and evolve over time. I know I’ve said this before, but it truly is a beautiful thing to be able to do what you love. If someone asked me five years ago where I’d be in my life - owner and publisher of a magazine would not have been my answer. It’s crazy how life happens and doors open when you least expect it. I have to admit, I’m not one for surprises and the unknown but it has kind of been the untold story of my life – and I love it!! Starting a career in TV news in Colorado, falling in love in Iowa, starting a family in Indiana, and becoming a business owner are the greatest tales of my life. I know there is so much in store for me in the years to come and I am so excited to see what those are. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2016! Take Care,


mtm: ask the doc dr. sandee clark


“You should drink more water!... You really need to stop smoking... Exercise more... Relax!... Try mediating... Get more rest.” We’ve all heard it before - words of wisdom and advice from others. While these are all great things that can improve our health, reduce our stress, and make us an allaround happier person, how do you get started with any of these things and stick with it?

WE NEED TO DEVISE A PLAN Believe it or not, people have struggled with changing habits since the days of Benjamin Franklin. His plan to overcome bad habits and replace them with good ones was to develop a process where he listed 13 qualities he felt was important in his life and work on them one at a time for a 13 week period. By the end of each week, if you mastered changing the bad habit into a good one, you simply move on to the next one the following week. During this 13 week period, keeping a journal of your success will help facilitate the achievement of others and putting the qualities in a particular order will work for anyone who is trying to establish a good habit. Remember, vigilance is needed to make sure you stick with your plan keeping order will free you up for the things you really want to accomplish in life. Once these new qualities become habitual, you will remain focused in order to implement all the other habits. Beginning new ways also takes a conscious commitment. Developing new ways can be challenging – especially

since we get so comfortable doing things the same way each and every day. We usually stick to a daily routine without having to think about it twice, so why change? Sometimes our habits are not good or healthy for us. If we are in the habit of snacking on chips and pop while watching TV before bed instead of munching on veggies and water it will ultimately have undesirable effects on our physical and mental state of mind. This commitment is necessary because that’s what it takes to get the wheels of motion in action. Procrastination just makes it harder to change a bad habit. The longer you put off taking action, especially where health is concerned, the unhealthier you or y our situation gets.

KNOW YOUR TRIGGERS. If you don’t know what your triggers are, or if you are unprepared, you will set yourself up for failure. We all in our moments of weakness and vulnerability need support or a release for our frustrations. Reaching for alcohol, drugs, over-eating, or over-medicating is not the answer. If an unpleasant incident takes place you have to find a healthy alternative to your usual way of dealing with it. We all have bad days but we need not resort to unhealthy habits to alleviate the stress. Look for healthier ways to deal with triggers and obstacles. Benjamin Franklin had a purpose for every virtue. Here is his list. The List of Virtues which Benjamin Franklin incorporated into his life:

mom to mom nwi | january 2016 | page 6




Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

SILENCE Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

MODERATION Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

ORDER Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.




Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.



Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.

INDUSTRY Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

SINCERITY Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

HUMILITY Imitate Jesus and Socrates. You can make a similar list for yourself to help you incorporate good habits into your lifestyle. Remember a New Year means a New You!! Happy New Year! - mtm

mtm: feature kimberly blaker

weathering the cold: winter sa


Every year in the United States, more than 34,000 children between the ages of five and fourteen are treated for injuries related to sledding, hockey, and ice skating. Recreational activities, however, aren’t winter’s only dangers. Travel, snow removal, heating, even walking pose risks to children and adults alike. Whether you’re traveling to a cold weather climate or reside in one, review this winter safety guide with your family, and make a spare copy to keep in your car.


Sledding This fun but potentially dangerous activity can result in injuries from falls, collisions, or loss of control. Make sure children heed these safety rules. • Dress in layers with waterproof outerwear. • Make sure sledding equipment is in good condition.

• Don’t sled in extremely cold temperatures or wind chills. • Never sled toward railroad tracks, roads, parking lots, or bodies of water. • Stick to gradual hills with plenty of run off. • Look for trees, signs, rocks, and other sledders before heading down. • Never sled on icy surfaces or when visibility is poor. • Never stand or go down headfirst. Keep clothing, arms, and legs within the sled. • If you stop or fall, quickly move out of others’ way. • Never sled behind or be pulled by a car or other vehicle. • Supervise children under twelve, and ride along with children under five.

mom to mom nwi | january 2016 | page 8


afety for your family & travels Ice Recreation Frozen lakes and ponds are a winter temptation so make sure kids know these rules. • Never skate or walk on ice less than 4” thick and that isn’t approved by an adult. • Never go on ice alone. • Follow the same direction of other skaters, and never cut directly in front of someone. • Make sure ice skates are neither too tight nor too loose. Blades should be sharpened and clean. • When playing hockey wear a face mask, helmet, and pads. • If a child falls through thin ice, don’t attempt to pull her out since you could fall through yourself. If ice is thick enough, have the child try crawling out by reaching her arms across the ice while kicking for momentum. Then go for help.

Snowmobiles, snowboarding, and skiing Fractures, abdominal injuries, and even death are risks associated with these activities. Protect your family in the following ways. • Before skiing or snowboarding, obtain basic instruction from a professional on how to prevent and break falls. • Make sure boots and bindings fit properly and that all equipment is in good condition. • Wear helmets, goggles, and waterproof outerwear. • Never go on the slopes alone, make sure they’re approved for the activity, and only go on those for which you have adequate experience. • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under sixteen not be allowed to drive snowmobiles.

Winter Safety Cont.


Walking in the winter cold Make sure children have hats, mittens, scarves, waterproof boots, and bright or reflective, but not white, outerwear when they head outdoors Also, inform them: • If under ten, don’t cross streets alone in slippery conditions. • Walk on sidewalks when possible. If snow and ice make sidewalks impassible, walk on the street close to the curb and against traffic. • Don’t wear anything that hinders vision or hearing when walking on or crossing streets, and never cross roads until cars are at a complete stop. Winter driving and travel Snow covered and icy roads drastically increase the odds of an accident or becoming stranded. During winter months, automobiles also lead to thousands of carbon monoxide poisonings and more than 200 deaths each year as reported by the Centers for Disease Control. Here’s how to keep your family safe. • Before winter arrives, have your vehicle tuned up and the following items inspected: brakes, tire tread, battery, antifreeze, lights and signals, wiper blades, spare tire, heater and defroster. Always keep the gas tank at least half full. • Be prepared for the unexpected. Keep extra hats, mittens, scarves, boots, chemical hand warmers, layers of clothing, and blankets in your vehicle to prevent frostbite and hypothermia. Also, have flares or reflectors, repair tools, flashlight, batteries, shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, towrope or chain, and a fire extinguisher. For distant travel or heading outside populated areas, keep drinking water, food, and medications on hand in case of an extended wait. • Take a cell phone for emergency use. Program the direct number to your local dispatch and that of the areas you frequently travel. 911 calls on cellular phones often go to a central dispatch and can pose lengthy waits. • Add bags of sand to your trunk for better handling. Use 75 to 150 pounds, depending on vehicle size. • Don’t lower your tire pressure. This can make handling difficult and cause additional wear on tires. • Pay attention to weather reports. • If your vehicle is parked in the open, make sure snow hasn’t built up in or around the exhaust, in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. • Don’t drive in winter storms unless necessary, and then drive slowly. Make sure you tell someone your travel plans including the route and estimated time of arrival. • Never sit in a parked car that’s running unless a window is open.

Don’t leave your vehicle running in a garage. • Never slam on your breaks on ice or snow. Slow down early and pump the breaks unless you have an automatic break system (ABS). • If you get stuck in the snow, try rocking your vehicle out. Shift between forward and reverse, making sure your wheels come to a complete stop before shifting. Never floor the gas on snow or ice. • If your car skids, take your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you’re skidding. Slowly steer in the direction you need once your car begins to straighten out. • Put warning devices in front and back of your car if you become stranded. Run your vehicle only periodically for heat, and open a window while running. Layer on clothing and blankets to keep warm. Only leave your vehicle if an occupied home or business is within sight.


Prepare in advance for power outages and snow-ins. • Keep a generator with plenty of fuel or another back up heating method. • Keep a supply of non-perishables that don’t require cooking, as well as important medicines, drinking water, first aid, flashlights and batteries, firewood and matches, extra blankets, and other everyday necessities. • Dress in layers and cover with blankets if room temperature can’t be maintained. If room temperature drops below 65 degrees, babies and the elderly should stay somewhere else. Snow removal According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Snow blowers (or snow throwers) are the fourth leading cause of finger amputations associated with consumer products” resulting in 1,000 amputations and 5,300 emergency room visits annually and at least nine deaths since 1992.

During winter months, automobiles lead to thousands of carbon monoxide poisonings and more than 200 deaths each year...

• Never allow children to run snow blowers. • Never clean clogged snow from the blower with your hand. Turn off the power, let it set for a minute, then use a broom handle or similar object to loosen snow. • Never add fuel to a snow blower while it’s hot. • Shoveling and pushing snow blowers is strenuous work. If you have a history of heart trouble, don’t remove snow yourself without your doctor’s consent. • Never leave a running snow blower unattended. Make sure animals and young children are out of the way before engaging the blower. • When shoveling, push snow forward instead of lifting. When lifting is necessary, shovel small amounts and use your legs rather than your back to lift.

mom to mom nwi | january 2016 | page 10

Winter Safety Cont.


Heating All heating elements pose dangers to your family. To keep them safe: • Don’t leave children or pets unsupervised around space heaters. Keep space heaters three feet from anything that could catch fire such as clothing or furniture. • Have an annual furnace inspection and tune up. • Clean and inspect your fireplace chimney and flues annually. Never burn treated wood, pine branches, or paper, and keep fires covered with a screen. • Always ventilate your home by cracking a window when using kerosene heaters. Use only recommended fuel, not gasoline, which can cause an explosion. • Don’t heat your home with an oven or range even for brief periods. Carbon monoxide and smoke alarms Protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning and fire by installing smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors on each floor and near bedrooms. Dizziness, headache, shortness of breath, and fatigue could be signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. If these symptoms arise without explanation, get fresh air, and seek medical help. If your CO alarm goes off, call 911 and head for fresh air.


Frostbite Frostbite and frostnip occur when limbs or skin is exposed to the cold for too long. Severe cases of frostbite can lead to amputation. According to the American Red Cross, signs include numbness or white, yellow, blue, flushed, or waxy appearing skin. Protect your children in these ways: *Layer clothing including thermal underwear and waterproof outerwear. • Don’t allow children to play outside for long periods. Have them occasionally warm up inside by removing outerwear, replacing damp clothing, and drinking hot cocoa. • Pay attention to the wind chill factor. • If possible, keep infants inside when temperatures or wind chill falls below 40 degrees.

Hypothermia According to the CDC, more than 700 deaths result annually from hypothermia. This takes place when the body temperature cools and can set in even in poorly heated homes. To prevent hypothermia, dress for the weather, and avoid the cold for extended periods. Be prepared by following the previous recommendations for travel, recreation, and other exposure to the elements. If you become stranded, sleep when necessary, but briefly. Eat just before falling asleep, and avoid medications that cause drowsiness. Stretch and move about occasionally but don’t do activities that could cause even a light sweat. Signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, clumsiness, numbness, loss of memory or ability to use reason, a glassy stare, and loss of consciousness. To treat hypothermia, call for emergency help. Then warm the body gradually to prevent heart problems. If the victim’s clothing is damp, remove it. Wrap the victim in blankets or warm, dry clothing, and get him to a warm place. Use heating pads with a towel or blanket in between, hot water bottles, or chemical packs. Don’t place the victim in warm water since this could cause rapid warming. If no heat sources are available, remove the victims clothing and have two other unclothed people wrap in a blanket or sleeping bag with the victim. Don’t rub the victim, and keep his movement to a minimum. Warm beverages, excluding alcohol, can also help warm a conscious victim. Finally, clip your winter safety guide, and review it annually to refresh your memory and keep your family safe the winter through. - mtm

911 calls on cellular phones go to a central dispatch and can pose lengthy waits

If frostbite occurs, don’t rub it. Soak the area in warm water of no more than 105 degrees F. Water shouldn’t be uncomfortable to a person without frostbite. Don’t use high heat sources such as a furnace or fireplace. This may cause damage to frozen tissue. When the skin warms and appears red, bandage it with loose sterile gauze. Separate toes and fingers with cotton, and if blisters are apparent, don’t break them. Contact your doctor or visit an emergency room following first-aid measures.

mom to mom nwi | january 2016 | page 12


mtm: feature nichole odijk demario

mom you should know:


april beres

where. The craft brew scene, especially in Northwest Indiana, Small business owner April Beres, of Munster, Ind., describes is growing. It’s really opened up people’s palettes. It’s changed herself as the quintessential Jack-of-all-trades with an immense the way people think,” Beres says. passion for all she does. Her road to entrepreneurship was a She drew further inspiration from her mother who taught her at process, with each stop adding another layer of interest. Beres an early age the bounty nature provides and how that can be says she was acutely aware her daughter was solely relying on implemented into cooking. She fondly recalls making her first her and learning from her every step of the way, which made dinner with her mother at five-years-old. her decisions that much more crucial. The beverage company, which launched in October 2015, is “My parents raised me to think outside of the box. I have almade with organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. No ways had ideas, but as a single parent I felt I couldn’t take heat is used during production to retain the live essence of the the risk. I couldn’t fathom cutting corners with my daughter. I raw organic ingredients. Her flavor options include raspberry needed that security to survive,” Beres says. rose black pepper, ginger ginseng, beet mint, smoked black She says she let her passions drive her, but still played it safe caraway and oaked apple allspice all artisan handmade in for a number of years. She worked in retail management. In small batches. The batches brew over a month long process. 2000, she obtained her massage therapy license from the Beres says a cauldron is symbolic of transformation and her American College Massage School. She continued to work full product is a huge taste transformation. time in retail and supplemented her income with massage ther“I knew this was something I had to do. I felt like I was wasting apy. When arthritis hindered her ability to work like she had time waiting for someone to hire me. I thought if I could take been, she decided to further her college education this time in that time and put it toward starting this business I would move fashion design. forward with something,” she says. At one juncture she started a local women’s roller derby known as the “My parents raised me to think outside of the box. The elixirs are currently sold at Old World Market and served at Valley “Region Rat Rollers” to raise monI have always had ideas, but as a single parent Kitchen & Bar in Valparaiso, Ind. In ey for charities benefiting women, early 2016, they’ll be available for children and animals. I felt I couldn’t take the risk....” online purchase at cauldronbever“The derby caused a lot of less nights, but when I was ready to Beres’ daughter is now a 20-year-old college student. Beres give it up to have more time with my family it made me realize says she is thrilled to set yet another positive example for her one thing about myself—I can do anything I put my mind to,” daughter. she says. “I never want her to be afraid of being a go-getter. I always Most recently she had been working in marketing. As she was tell her everything begins with a thought. The more you nurture pursuing her next venture, her job search stagnated. That’s it the more it grows no matter if it’s positive or negative so be when it hit her, rather than waiting for an opportunity to prescareful of the thoughts you keep,” she details. ent itself, she needed to create her own opportunity. For mothers contemplating starting their own business, Beres She began analyzing all her various passions for holistically recommends, “Give yourself time. Don’t rush. Be sure you’re helping others while working with her hands. She knew she 100-percent it’s what you want to do. Have faith and patience. had a keen eye for detail and branding. All her experiences Be intuitive…Maybe it’s different for other people, but for me coupled with an upbringing surrounded by an appreciation for there’s this feeling inside that becomes almost unbearable. nature and wholesome food spurred the creation of Cauldron That’s when I know that’s exactly what I need to pursue.” Beverage Company, an organic craft beverage elixir for handBe sure to” like” Cauldron Beverage Company on Facebook made cocktails and sodas. and check out their website for more information. - mtm “I wanted to make something healthy that you can’t find any-

mtm: feature debra krieg-lewis



date night: stacks bar & grill

If you haven’t had the chance to experience Stacks Bar & Grill

But we knew we had to save room for the main attraction –our

in downtown Valparaiso, you need to check it out! It is a casual

entrées!! I ordered the Tuscan Chicken Sandwich; breaded chick-

restaurant, serving both lunch and dinner. Located at 175 W Lin-

en with fresh tomatoes, basil and melted provolone cheese on a

colnway, this restaurant is quaintly tucked in the back of an office

pretzel bun – I omitted the pesto. My husband went with the Osso

building - you will feel like you have entered into a cozy library

Bucco; pork served over mashed potatoes and asparagus in a

with the “stacks” of books around you.

pan jus sauce. Both dishes were great – the quality and quantity

My husband and I decided to enjoy a nice dinner there on a Fri-

was perfect.

day night. I made the mistake of not making reservations, which

And even though we were both stuffed, we couldn’t pass on or-

they do accept, and at 5:30 pm we would have a 45 minute wait.

dering a dessert - the cookie skillet! It was a huge chocolate chip

Since we were both starving and there was an open place to sit at

cookie smothered in caramel and chocolate sauce and vanilla ice

the bar, we decided to sit there instead and order our meal. Our

cream. All I can say about it is YUM!!!

bartender was very attentive and took our drink order as soon as

Even though I could hardly move after eating all that food it was

we sat down - a glass of moscato for me (which was delicious)

well worth it! The setting was different and fun, service was friend-

and a vodka tonic for my husband. We kept it simple, though the

ly and attentive, and the food was reasonably priced and deli-

choices were plentiful. The extensive drink menu consisted of beer,

cious! I will be returning to Stacks often but most likely with a

wine and specialty drinks – nearly 200 varieties in all - certainly

reservation next time! Cheers! - mtm

something for everyone. With a drink in our hand, the next order of business was digging into our appetizer. After checking out the menu, we decided to go with the “Stacks Sticks.” I was surprised at the number of parmesan breadsticks that came with the order and the choice of dipping sauces. They were all delicious – and we were already getting full!

175 W Lincolnway | Suite C Valparaiso, IN 46383 219.462.0553

Debra is originally from the Chicago area and has been in Valparaiso for a little over two years. She is a mom and step-mom, and loves to plan activities with her family and friends. A former elementary school teacher, Debra now enjoys decorating and crafting. mom to mom nwi | january 2016 | page 16




Wednesday 1

Thursda 2


January Community Calendar 3







National Clean Off Your Desk Day

National Pharmacist Day

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Day 10 National Cut Your Energy Costs Day

A Midsummer Dream @ VU for the Ar National Rubber 7:00pm

Ducky Day

17 National Hot Buttered Rum Day

24 National Compliment Day 31

Winterfest Sale The Antique Market Michigan City 10:00am-5:00pm

18 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration Breakfast 7:30am

25 National Opposite Day

19 National Popcorn Day

26 Barker Mansion Christmas Festivities 1:00pm-8:00pm

mom to mom nwi | january 2016 | page 18

20 National Cheese Lover’s Day


Nation Hugging


Friday 3

Saturday 1


mom to mom subscriptions! Hey Readers,


Lubeznik Center for the Arts Holiday Artisan Market 9:00am-4:00pm

We are SO excited to announce in 2016 we will begin selling subscriptions of our magazine! For just $1 an issue, you can get Mom to Mom, NWI delivered to your home. The first 200 subscribers will be featured in a special “thank you” we will run in 2016. To subscribe, send an email or fill out the form below saying SIGN ME


8 Wildbear’s Adventure Planetarium Showing 7:30pm


UP with the subject SUBSCRIBE 2016 to Stephanie@momtomomnwi. com. We look forward to hearing from you!!


In the Footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 11:00am-1:00pm

phone email address


r Night’s Center rts m


nal Day


15 Wildbear’s Adventure Planetarium Showing 7:30pm

16 9th Annual Dunes Geocache Adventure 11:00am




Please fill out the form and send it to: Mom to Mom Subscriptions | 103 E Indiana Ave | Suite B | Valparaiso, IN 46383 Download the Magazine Every Month at

22 Wildbear’s Adventure Planetarium Showing 7:30pm

29 Wildbear’s Adventure Planetarium Showing 7:30pm

23 Beers in the Barn @ County Line Orchard 6:30pm-10:00pm

30 Winter Ice Cream Social @ Barker Mansion 1:00pm-3:00pm

Do you “like” us on Facebook? Join the over 3,000 who already have and tell us what you think!

“Love this magazine and page!!! Love looking forward it every month. Great articles about what’s new around the area, tips for moms and others!!”—Elyse K.

“This magazine had been phenomenal about spreading awareness of disabilities and providing it’s readers with advice and information. Hats off to the wonderful staff!!” – Joy A.

Kids Eat Free! The following restaurants have a Kid’s Night – where the kids eat free or at a discounted rate!




KIDS EAT FREE - Saturday & Sunday

Three kids per adult entrée

for every $9 purchased at the


Portage and Valparaiso locations

KIDS EAT FREE - Tuesdays


with every adult entrée purchased

HALF-PRICE KIDS MEALS - Sundays & Wednesdays


Crown Point, Hobart and Valparaiso location. Dine-in only.

KIDS EAT FOR 99¢ - Tuesday


with each paid adult meal

KIDS EAT FREE - Tuesdays & Saturdays


4pm to 10pm with an adult entrée purchased ($4 minimum purchase). Two kids per adult entrée.

4pm to 7pm with every adult meal purchased


Valparaiso & Chesterton locations



Portage & Valparaiso locations One free kids’ meal for very adult meal purchased.

KIDS EAT FREE on Tuesdays Merrillville & Valparaiso Two kids per adult entrée

PIZZA HUT KIDS EAT FREE - Tuesdays with the purchase of an adult entrée 4pm to 8pm - Chesterton location only

FAZOLI’S GET 2 KIDS’ MEALS FOR 99¢ EACH - Tuesdays with the purchase of one adult entrée kids 12 and under from 5pm to 8pm

OLD COUNTRY BUFFET KIDS 11 AND UNDER EAT FOR $1.99 - Thursdays with the purchase of an adult buffet. Do you know of any other restaurants that offer FREE or nearly FREE meals? Email us at and we will add them to our list!!


mtm: education stephanie edwards



saint paul’s lutheran

For over a century, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School has taught students throughout the region. Their first school session was back in October of 1886. They had 23 students enrolled in grades one through eight. Now, St. Paul’s has an enrollment of near 250 students in preschool through grade eight. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School is located at 8601 Harrison Avenue in Munster, Ind. but this wasn’t where it all began all those years ago. The school was first located in downtown Hammond, until 1920. A new facility at 5848 Erie Street in Hammond was occupied at the time. The school was united with the new church building in Munster in 1981. Several new additions have been made to the building since moving to Munster, including the new early childhood center. “St. Paul’s Lutheran School combines academic excellence with a faithfilled environment to partner with home to raise responsible adults,” says Barbara J. Mertens, Principal at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School. “Our school offers an aggressive educational program with an experienced faculty.” Curriculum is chosen and adopted in order to prepare students to be successful at the next grade level. Teachers use state approved text-

books and Indiana Standards for designated grade level instruction. Many teachers incorporate technology and technology resources in teaching all subjects. New curriculum is adopted each year in accordance with their curriculum review cycle. Students in grades 6th – 8th are on a one-to-one device program. IPad and Smart boards are used in the elementary classrooms. St. Paul’s offers extra-curricular programs like Accelerated Reader, physical education, remedial support services, music, choirs, and competitive sport teams to enhance the total learning environment. They also offer Latin as a foreign language. “There is no other parochial school in the area who is offering Latin,” says Mertens. “We have chosen to use Latin in our school for the purpose of language development. Latin boosts English vocabulary skills, it teaches English better than English teaches English, it deepens your cultural literacy, and Latin lays a firm foundation for further language study.” In the spring of 2012, St. Paul’s Lutheran School became an Indiana Choice Voucher school. Vouchers allow parents to use all or part of the government funding set aside for their child’s education to send

mom to mom nwi | january 2016 | page 22

n church and school their children to the private school of their choice. The voucher amount is set by the local public school district where the family resides. Participating schools must be accredited by the Indiana Department of Education. St. Paul’s Lutheran School is a state and nationally accredited school. “We also offer a scholarship fund in the name of former principal Waldemar Beckman to aid families in the payment of tuition costs only,” explains Mertens. “A completed application must be submitted prior to each school year for consideration. This scholarship is available to students of St. Paul’s Lutheran School who need financial assistance based on need and unusual circumstances.” To apply to St. Paul’s Lutheran School, all parents of prospective students set up a time to meet with the Admissions Counselor and Principal. The parents are given information regarding the school and a tour of the facility. Following the interview, the parents will provide a complete school application form accompanied by a school registration fee. All in-coming transfer students will be tested using a standardized instrument to determine levels of proper placement. Students entering kindergarten must be five years old on or before

August 1, according to Indiana law. The state also requires that a physical examination and up-to-date immunizations and eye examine be provided before the beginning of school. “The child’s acceptance is based upon meeting all of the qualification of the application and admissions policy, and upon the amount of classroom space available,” Mertens says. “In the event significant information is withheld or there is inaccuracy of information provided, and/or if upon receiving files form the students previous school there is reason to be concerned about meeting the education needs of the student, St. Paul’s reserves the right to reconsider the student’s acceptance.” Interested in touring St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School? Parents may come and visit the school during regular school days and hours. St. Paul’s Lutheran School offers Tuesday Tours every Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 pm - stop by between the designated hours for a guided tour of the school facilities while classes are in session. Parents may also call and contact the Admissions Counselor at 219-8366270 to set up an appointment. For more information, go to - mtm

mindy’s menu mindy gear


cooking resolutions


Happy New Year! I can’t believe that we are already in 2016. Where does the time go? Now that we have enjoyed another holiday season, it is time to pack

CROCKPOT BLACK BEAN SWEET POTATO SOUP This recipe is delicious and could be made vegetarian by removing chicken and using vegetable broth. I’ve done both ways and you can’t go wrong! I’ve also substituted white potatoes for the sweet. It still tastes good, but sweet potatoes are much better in it. Adjust the seasonings to your preference.


2 boneless-skinless chicken breasts

1 can diced tomatoes or fire-roasted

(more or less to preference)

1-1/2 or 2 Tbsp chili powder

up the decorations and return to our cra-

1 small onion, chopped

zy schedules. Every year I try to make

1 cup quinoa (rinsed)

a few resolutions and keep them for lon-

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and

ger than one or two weeks. Last year, I

cubed (about 3 ½ cups)

wanted to eat at home more and try to

1 can black beans

order less takeout on those busy nights.

(use two if making vegetarian)

It has worked out very well. I’ve cooked

2 cloves minced garlic

many meals in my crockpot. It has been

5 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)

a life-saver. This year I will try to do one crockpot meal a month along with some other fun recipes to keep us all interested in cooking. We will see if that lasts past March! Happy cooking! - mtm

1 tsp cumin 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp coriander ½ tsp cinnamon ½ tsp cayenne Salt/pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Turn on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8. Shred chicken and return to crockpot prior to serving. The quinoa will expand and it may be necessary to add about 1 cup additional liquid (water). Garnish with cheese, chips, avocado…whatever you like. mom to mom nwi | january 2016 | page 24

SCALLOPED POTATOES HAM OPTIONAL My family loves scalloped potatoes. It’s comfort food on a cold winter night. Sometimes I add two cups of cubed ham to make it a meal instead of a side dish.

INGREDIENTS 4 Tbsp butter

1 tsp salt

1 small onion, chopped

1 tsp pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes thinly sliced

4 Tbsp flour 1 cup chicken (or vegetable) stock 2 cups milk (I used 1%)

1 ½ cups grated cheddar ½ cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 400°. Melt butter in large sauté pan over medi-

Grease a 9x13 pan. Spread half the sliced potatoes (and half the

um heat. Add onion and sauté about 4-5 minutes until soft. Add

ham, if using). Pour half the cream sauce and sprinkle with half

garlic and sauté for additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant, but not

of each cheese. Top with remaining potatoes, then remaining

brown. Whisk in flour and stir until smooth. Allow to cook for ad-

cream sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover tightly

ditional minute. Pour in stock and whisk until combined. Add in

with aluminum foil and bake for 45-60 minutes (I prefer my po-

the milk, salt, pepper and whisk until combined. Continue cook-

tatoes more tender and bake for closer to 60). Remove foil and

ing for additional 1-2 minutes until the sauce comes to a simmer

bake additional 30 minutes.

(not a boil) and thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES I LOVE chocolate chip cookies. There is nothing more delicious than a warm, gooey cookie, fresh from the oven. There are several recipes I use depending on what mood I’m in, but this one is a favorite at my house. These are chilled slightly prior to baking to help the ingredients rest prior to baking. I bake a tray or two at a time so we are always enjoying fresh cookies. Dough can be left in the refrigerator for up to three days, frozen for 3 months.

INGREDIENTS ¾ cup unsalted butter at room temp

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

¾ cup packed dark brown sugar

2 tsp cornstarch

(light brown can be substituted)

¼ cup granulated sugar 1 large egg, room temperature 1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda ½ tsp salt 1-1/2 cups chocolate chips

(I used dark chocolate)

DIRECTIONS Using mixer, beat butter for one minute to smooth out. Add brown

Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit for

and granulated sugars. Beat about 5 minutes or until fluffy and

a couple minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. Work dough into balls

it lightens in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl,

(about golf ball size). Bake 8-10 minutes, until barely golden

combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Mix in the dry

brown around edges. Allow to cook for several minutes before

ingredients on low speed until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

attempting to remove from cookie sheet.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerator for 1 hour or up to 3 days. Don’t skip this step…it makes a difference.

mtm: trina’s picks trina bobrowski

Book Reviews of Trinka Hakes Noble’s


“The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash”

When I was a child, there wasn’t anything more exciting than going on field trips. Getting out of the classroom for an entire day was something I looked forward to every year. In Trinka Hakes Noble’s story, “The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash”, a normal class trip to a local farm turns into a crazy misadventure, with chickens, cows, pigs and one loose boa. A young girl from the 12th Street School has just come home from a field trip and her mother asks her how it went. She replies with an account of how it started out - boring until the cow started crying. The mother is a little shocked and asks why the cow was crying. The little girl tells her a haystack fell on her. The story continues to unravel into a chain of events the farm encounters due to Jimmy bringing his enormous pet boa with him on the school trip. The cow was just a small part of what trouble Jimmy’s boa caused that day - pigs got onto the bus, chickens where flying through the air and even an impromptu egg fight erupted. Needless to say it was utter chaos at the simple little farm.

Noble has written such a charming story, retold by a little girl. She describes the day with such a laid back candor, its easy to imagine what was going on at the farm. With the help of the amazing artistry of Steven Kellogg, this story is a treat for the mind as well as the eye. Kellogg is known for his extremely detailed illustrations - he never misses the tiniest of details. Not only will this story be fun to read with your children, picking out your favorite illustrations will be a treat as well. - mtm


mtm: trina’s picks trina bobrowski


Book Reviews of Mary Kubica’s

“The Good Girl”

Winter is upon us and the holidays are over – it’s time to hunker down and get into a really good book. This month I highly recommend, Mary Kubica’s epic thriller, “The Good Girl”. When I started the story I was a little taken aback by the author’s writing style. Kubica has four main characters; each chapter will follow one particular character until the next chapter begins, with another character. I know its sounds strange, but then you really get a full image of what is going on inside the mind of each person - it’s actually pretty brilliant. The plot of the story revolves around the kidnapping of a young woman. Kubica goes even one step further and focuses each chapter not only on a single character, but also what happens before and after the kidnapping. Again, sounds confusing but some how Kubica makes it work and just adds to this thrilling saga that four people endure. Christmas is right around the corner and Eve Dennett gets a disturbing phone call from a coworker of her daughter Mia’s. Mia has not been at work, no-one can get a hold of her, and people are starting to get worried. Eve is worried for her daughter and calls the police who in turn send Detective Gabe Hoffman to investigate. The Dennetts are a well off family; Mr. Dennett is a very powerful Chicago judge

and has made many enemies. The detective believes Mia has been kidnapped, and in fact she has. A man is hired to kidnap Mia, and bring her to a specific location so they can take her away and send for a ransom. The man accomplishes the kidnapping but then changes his mind about the drop off, and takes Mia away to a cabin instead, to try and figure out his next move. What will happen next? Will this man let Mia go? Do the men who hire the kidnapping find the cabin? This story is amazing, I was completely blindsided by the ending - I never would have expected it to turn out like it did. The ending was so good - I was thinking about it for the next three days and questioning the character’s motives. You won’t be disappointed with this one. I wouldn’t be surprised if this thrilling story isn’t made into a movie. - mtm

mtm: education nichole odijk demario

Images provided by The Times of Northwest Indiana

the pope benedict XVI a


When Jeanette Palanca’s fourth child was preparing to enter high school, she could not shake a nagging question – was the public school system and traditional private schools going to prepare her son for the future? As a corporate recruiter Palanca was convinced her three older sons struggled to develop, “that walk in the door confidence.” She was determined to find an alternative. She soon came across what she says was the ideal fit in The Pope Benedict XVI Academy of Excellence (PBA), a brand new school opening in St. Anthony Church in Frankfort, Ill. They opened their doors for the 2015-2016 school year with one freshman class of six students. The academy was founded and is chaired by Father David J. Simonetti and named and modeled after Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Simonetti highlights from the onset PBA has strived to take a different approach including tuition of $5,900 per year per student (approximately $7,000 less than any other private school); distinctly, proudly Catholic; small class size of uniformed students; focus on rigorous college-prep academics along with beauty, culture and art; weekly mass attendance; monthly community service requirements all set in a safe, beautiful setting for optimum learning.

These were many of the attributes that sold Palanca. “I was seeking a better alternative to the public school system and something more value-driven than just a private school. This school [PBA] is value-based, yet still aggressive from an academic basis,” Palanca says. “I thought at first Cameron would be hesitant since his brothers went to public school. Since the start of the school year, he is excelling at math when he struggled before. He comes home happy. He’s friends with all of his classmates because they learn to work together as a team. They don’t have the choice to form cliques.” PBA President Dr. Joseph J. Majchrowicz stresses the school is constantly focused on developing and maintaining a “not a crowd, but a community” environment. The president indicated since his teachers are not required to work full-time at the school due to class size they are able to bring in a variety of highly qualified, unique educators at a competitive pay. In the coming school year, he says, teachers will be incorporating techbased approaches to the curriculum. Among their faculty is: science teacher Dr. Timothy Salter, owner of a Northwest Indiana animal clinic and revered chemist and geologist;

mom to mom nwi | january 2016 | page 30


academy of excellence art teacher Carla Inwood, Art Institute of Chicago museum copyist and theology teacher Colleen Anderson of the Shrine’s of Christ’s Passion and former Director of Religious Education for St. John the Evangelist. “My teachers are able to be creative and instill a drive and yearning for learning because we are not constrained by common core standards,” he adds. Majchrowicz emphasizes he can’t guarantee the success of a student, but he knows there are things he can do to increase his/her chances. “Our school is very personal, very one-on-one with a Catholic basis. We have more time and care about the whole child. Students like our setting and environment. When they raise their hand, they’re called on…kids need to be noticed…we have the ability to impact the lives of young people here. They’re our future,” he says. As the graduating class of 2019 moves on to their sophomore year at PBA, the school will be adding another incoming class of freshman for the 2016-2017 school year. They plan to add a new school level each year. Their enrollment process is currently being finalized and will be open in early 2016. The school may be contacted for more information and detail. - mtm

The Academy is a Mission to help students to grow in virtue, strive for excellence in academic learning and intellectual growth, and to become the faithful leaders of today who contribute indispensably as Christians to the heart of every culture, while offering to them the academic and spiritual support needed to achieve this. Jesus Christ is the Heart of this mission. With a disciplined structure and personal attention given to each student the Academy of Excellence provides the most optimal and peaceful environment for successful learning and growth to take place, developing a strong character foundation rooted in Christian virtue on which to build their lives. 7659 W. Sauk Trail Frankfort, IL 60423 815.464.6215

mtm: family health christina matoski FNP-C


metabolism & age

In my profession, I come across countless women who are frustrated because they exercise, eat right, and still can’t lost weight. There are many reasons why this could be the case - a low functioning thyroid is one of them. When we age, our metabolism slows. This means we have to work harder and consume fewer calories in order to see the same type of results we did in the past. That’s right, work twice as hard for the same rewards - it’s frustrating!! Since our diet plays an important role on how fast or slow our metabolism is, it’s important to eat the recommended three meals a day OR six small meals a day (including healthy snacks) throughout the day. This will keep your metabolism healthy. Eating more will cause your metabolism to overwork, and eating too little will cause your body to utilize its natural defense against starvation. Make sure you drink plenty of water and don’t forget about working out! Exercise is a must, and perhaps one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy metabolic rate. It’s also important to note, while cardiovascular exercise is great for losing weight, gaining muscle will speed up your metabolism. Hypothyroidism We often look to blame weight gain, fatigue and moodiness on something other than our lifestyle. For some, that may be the case and their thyroid may be to blame. The thyroid is located in the “Adams apple” area in our neck. It secretes several hormones, called thyroid hormones. One of the main hormones is thyroxine, also called T4. Thyroid hormones act throughout the body, effecting metabolism, growth and development, and your body temperature. When you have low thyroid hormones, hypothyroidism, you can develop many symptoms including weight gain, depression, dry hair/skin, loss of the outer portion of your eyebrows, fatigue, increased cholesterol and constipation.

I have dealt with hypothyroidism for eight years. It started shortly after the birth of my second daughter. Despite losing my baby weight quickly, I began to notice that I was gaining weight, even when I was going to the gym and did not change my eating habits. I contributed my weight gain and fatigue to lack of sleep from having an infant, stress/depression from moving, a new job and starting graduate school. At the same time I noticed my hair and skin was dry but I attributed that to lack of “me time” and not using lotion as often as I should and not getting deep hair conditioning treatments like before. It took me months and then I finally got so sick of feeling like this I sought out for answers. I went to my primary care provider, a nurse practitioner, and they ordered a simple blood test - TSH. My levels were through the roof – in the thyroid world high means low. I was placed on Levothyroxine, the brand name is called Synthroid. Like most medications, I started at the lowest dose and gradually escalated it after further lab draws to monitor levels. It’s not a quick fix and the medication takes some time to build up in your system - you have to monitor levels for each individual. It took about four months until my levels were normal – everyone’s results will vary. It is important to note that once the levels are regulated, you get annual blood checks to see where your TSH level is. For the most part, your level stays consistent and may need adjustments here and there. If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism, make an appointment with your primary care provider to do the recommended test. If in fact it’s not your thyroid and other conditions are ruled out, follow the recommendations stated above. Always check with your physician when you have questions or concerns about your health. - mtm

mom to mom nwi | january 2016 | page 32


Mom to Mom, NWI -- January 2016  

January 2016 issue of Mom to Mom, NWI. A parenting magazine by moms, for moms

Mom to Mom, NWI -- January 2016  

January 2016 issue of Mom to Mom, NWI. A parenting magazine by moms, for moms