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momaha.com

volume 3 路 issue 10

october 2012

plus

Money management for every age

Get a jump on college lyinG: where to draw the line with honesty


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momaha

FROM our MOMAHA.COM editOR

where moms connect

vOLUME 3 · ISSUE 10 · OCTOBER 2012 editorial director CHRIS CHRISTEN chris.christen@owh.com 402-444-1094

creative director & designer A N A N DA S pA DT

momaha.com editor J O S I E LOZ A josie.loza@owh.com 402-444-1075

copy editor A M Y L a M A R & pAT WAT E R S

production coordinator pAT R I C I A “ M U R pH Y ” B E N O I T

on the cover

Illustration by Matt Haney

content contributors

C H R I S W O L f g A N g , A M Y TO KO S , A M Y L a M A R , a n d C AT KO E H L E R

to advertise, contact KRISTINE BUHMAN kristine.buhman@owh.com 402-444-1442 MICHAELA HANEY michaela.haney@owh.com 402-444-1489

Momaha Magazine is a monthly publication of the Omaha World-Herald, 1314 Douglas St., Suite 600, Omaha, NE 68102. Momaha is a registered trademark, and all content is copyright 2012 by the Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved. The opinions and perspectives published herein are those of the authors and should not be construed as those of Momaha Magazine.

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e’re years away from choosing a college – 13 years to be exact. Right now, my preschooler is focused on pattern-building and counting past 20. For some reason, Alejandra skips 15. To help her remember, we celebrated the forgotten number. We introduced the double-digit number to our lives. No pressure. Just good ol’ fashioned fun. We decorated homemade pizzas with “15s’’ shaped from pepperoni slices. We baked cupcakes and wrote tiny “15s” on

them. We even cut out “15s” from construction paper. We hope to get just as creative about learning in this month’s issue of Momaha Magazine. We want to introduce you to subtle ways that you can get your young child on a smart track to college. In fact, some of the ideas in the article “6 ways to introduce your middle-schooler to college” don’t sound like college prep at all ... but they are. Turn the page to get started.

Chat with Josie each friday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on momaha.com facebook.com/josie.loza @Lozafina pinterest.com/momahaowh

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how I do It | Kristen Johnson

How to balance work, family & personal time

FAMILY SUPPORT “During the day, my mom and grandmother watch our daughter, Nellia. At home, Karl and I share the chores. He does the dishes and I do the laundry. When Nellia goes to bed at 8 p.m., I either work out, clean or read for work. When 9 p.m. rolls around, I set aside my work so that Karl and I can have some quiet time together. That “decompress hour” is very important for my mental health.” BEING A BETTER MOM “I sometimes struggle with how much time I spend away from Nellia. I work from 9 to 6 during the week. In the morning, Nellia and I are home alone and our routine allows for quality time at the breakfast table. I wish I could work closer to where she is during the day so I could see her at lunch.” MY MOMMY SECRET “I wish I could be a stay-at-home mom. But then I remember the relationship my daughter has with her great-grandmother, Inang, and Papa, and I know that if I stayed home, she would not have that.” PERSONAL SACRIFICES “The year before I got pregnant, my husband was deployed. To keep from losing my mind, I spent time on the weekends writing in coffee shops and meeting friends for wine and long conversations at Vivace and La Buvette. I hardly get to have those long conversations anymore. Nor the quiet moments with Karl.

Melissa lindquist PhotograPhy.

Instead, I have Nellia. The biggest blessing I’ve received is the bond that I have with my daughter.” BITS OF ADVICE “I keep work time, family time and ‘me’ time separate. I really struggled when I had to go back to school and work. In July, I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UNMC. It’s an accomplishment I am very proud of. I must say, though, it is with the support of my husband and family that I get to have my career.” MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE “The most influential people I have in my life are my parents. My mother grew up in the Philippines and did not have much. She worked hard and did her best to stay out of trouble. My dad joined the Air Force after high school and received his IT training while in the military. He’s a lifetime student who earned a master’s degree a few years ago at age 56.”

MORE ABOUT MY FAMILY “My husband is a big kid. What makes me giggle? The excitement on his face when he’s about to go on an inflatable water slide. It’s particularly funny because he’s 6-feet tall. He stands in line with little children and literally hops in sheer excitement as his turn gets closer and closer. Our daughter is a shy little sweetheart when we’re in a crowd. If it’s just family around, she’s a non-stop chatterbox.” WHAT I NEED TO LEARN “How to teach Nellia to wait patiently and how to discipline her. I realize some people never learn patience, but because she is exerting herself more I worry I might have a monster on my hands in no time. I usually take a step back and tell her to ask nicely before I give her what she wants. Sometimes it works. If she cries, I just give in. My husband sometimes has to step in to calm her down. Perhaps it is me who has to learn more patience.”

More at MoMaha.coM

Meet local moms at momaha’s next play date at the Omaha Children’s Museum, Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bonus: Visit momaha.com for a coupon for a free admission upgrade to the new exhibit ,“Itty Bitty City,” which opens Oct. 20. 4

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Chat with Josie each Friday from 2 to 3 p.m. on momaha.com.


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Tricky Truth BY chris wolfgang

I

t’s not a secret that kids begin to tell lies at a relatively early age. Juan Casas, director of developmental psychology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, says age 3 is about when children start to tell lies. “Or maybe they just embellish a story. That sort of outlet is probably more a positive sign of creativity.” Toddlers are also developing what Casas refers to as “theory of mind.” It’s the ability to attribute mental states in others – to realize that others might have different beliefs and intentions than their own. So if Mom or Dad doesn’t necessarily know what I know, the child’s developing logic suggests, then they can’t tell what I’m thinking. And if they can’t read my mind then maybe I can get myself out of trouble. Incidents of lying tend to increase as kids get older. “Some research suggests that 4-yearolds lie once every two hours,” Casas says, “and 6-year-olds as often as every 90 minutes.” But Casas is quick to point out that these statistics include “white lies”

... when you recognize a situation where it would have been easy for your child to lie and she doesn’t, recognize that and respond positively ...

too. “They may have even learned some pro-social behavior from their parents, like sparing someone’s feelings.” By school-age, a child’s vocabulary is a lot larger, and he’s even better at determining what people think. Family expectations should be firmly established. “As often as we can, we want to emphasize honesty within the family,” Casas says. “If your child lies, let him know it’s not just a bad thing because it’s untrue, but it’s hurtful or damaging to others. It makes you feel bad.” In addition to communicating that untruths aren’t good things to say, letting a child know your emotional reaction to a lie encourages empathy. “Its better to teach kids the value of telling the truth rather than

punishing for a transgression,” Casas suggests. “Praise for honesty as much as you can. We can be so attuned to correcting inappropriate behavior, but not always attuned to reinforcing positive behavior.” For example, when you recognize a situation where it would have been easy for your child to lie and she doesn’t, recognize that and respond positively with phrases like, “I appreciate that,” and “That makes me feel good.” Casas cautions that parents should watch out for lying on a consistent basis. “That can be indicative of something much more serious. They’re not just lying to you the adult, but they’re lying to their friends, their siblings. They’re lying to peers. Those are areas where we need to be concerned, and it might be time to get to a specialist.”

common sense for common lies 2- to 3-year-olds Casas suggests that you shouldn’t feel bad that your toddler is telling lies. It’s part of growing up. Still, if Julie says the cat spilled her cereal, let her know that it makes you feel sad and disappointed when she lies.

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4- to 6-year-olds When your preschooler suggests that his sibling wants a cookie and he’ll gladly take it to him, it’s not a stretch to identify the reason why he’s lying. If it’s treats or even just your attention that he’s after, reinforce honesty with earning rewards. Get him to tell you that he wants the cookie.

7- to 11-year-olds “I cleaned my room, so I’m going out to play now.” A lying preteen might be trying to expand her autonomy. Casas suggests that if a child is pushing boundaries, look for other ways for him to get what he wants.

Teens For a teen’s lies about minor infractions (think curfew and homework), make the rationale clear as to why your family has the rules that it does. Then you have a starting point for an honest discussion about whether or not it’s appropriate to change the family rules. Your teen is more likely to follow guidelines that she understands.


Teaching Kids to Be Honest

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hough there may be no portion of the school day devoted to it, honesty is something children and young people must learn. Honesty has little to do with the kind of over-sharing of thoughts and personal information sometimes seen in social networking. “Amid the din of over-sharing, we mistake spasms of selfrevelation for honesty. And in a time of constant confessional disclosures, we are losing our ability to self-reflect and be truly honest,” says Paul Wilkes, a filmmaker, religion and spirituality writer and author of “The Art of Confession,” a new book that seeks to redefine confession for a multicultural, contemporary world. Here are ways from Wilkes to teach honesty.

Foster good communication Your child is more likely to be truthful with you if you have a great relationship. You can strengthen that relationship by being approachable, not judgmental. Talk regularly. Make a family dinner a routine part of your life. Schedule game nights, movie nights and other enjoyable activities with your children.

encourage a cuLture oF conFession If your child admits to wrongdoing, first be grateful for the honesty. While you must discipline him or her, the punishment shouldn’t be a deterrent for future confessions. Hitting, shaming and generally making your child feel bad will only inspire him or her to lie in the future. As punishment, instead of sending your children to their rooms – where they probably will play – you can help them reflect on how to do better next time. “Confession is not merely a clearing out of that which is wrong in us,” says Wilkes. “It is a realignment of what is best in us and an intention to live a better life.”

Lead by exampLe Lying can be convenient, but resorting to dishonesty when talking to your children is always a mistake. You’ll risk presenting deceit as a normal behavior to an impressionable young person. Worse yet, your kids will have good reason to distrust you.

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nip it in the bud Bad habits can start early and are often hard to shake, so it’s never too early to correct dishonest behavior in your child. And you can help kids avoid lying by giving them fewer opportunities to do so. For example, if you know who made the mess, don’t ask, “Did you do this?” Confront him or her directly about it instead. use Literature There are many excellent fiction and non-fiction books that deal with ethical issues and honesty. Your librarian can help you find something age-appropriate to read and discuss with kids.

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Pest Prevention Basics

What you need to know to keep pests out of your home Nobody likes a pest, especially the creepy, crawly kind. But they exist, and unfortunately, too many of us make it easy for pests to take up residence right alongside the family.

Room By Room While pests can be in any part of your home, here are some of the more common rooms you’ll find them in and what you can do to keep them out. Bedroom Common Pests: Bed bugs can live for a year or more without feeding, and can withstand temperatures that range from nearly freezing to almost 113 degrees. Managing a bed bug infestation is difficult and requires professional help, which can include close inspection and monitoring and possibly removal of all infested materials. TiPs: —Check mattresses, headboards and box springs for signs of bed bug droppings, eggs or live nymphs. —Regularly inspect backpacks for signs of bed bugs. —If you suspect a bed bug infestation, contact a licensed pest management professional for an immediate inspection. Dust mites thrive in warm, humid conditions. They are found in mattresses, furniture, toys, curtains, carpets and rugs. They can trigger asthma, cause dermatitis and transmit disease. —Cover mattresses and pillows with dust-proof, zippered covers tested for dust mites. —Frequently change bed linens. Wash bedding and stuffed animals once a week. —Vacuum areas frequently.

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BaThroom Common Pests: Spiders, silverfish. Spiders like to lurk in corners, cabinets and drawers, as well as clothing and behind curtains. If you have a persistent spider problem, it’s most likely that you also have other pests that are serving as a steady food source for the spiders. Silverfish like to chew on anything with starch or polysaccharides — paper, photos, hair, wallpaper, carpet, clothing and even dandruff. TiPs for sPiders: —Remove webs with a broom or vacuum. Destroy any egg sacs you find. Check around windows, in corners or other out-of-theway spots. —Check for leaking water lines under the sink and in the shower/ tub area. —Supplement cleaning with proper insecticide treatment. Treat around baseboards, in cracks and crevices and other likely hiding places. TiPs for silverfish: —Eliminate sources of water. Fix leaky faucets, and don’t let water stand in the tub or sink. —Replace or repair moldy or wet wood in the bathroom. —Reduce humidity in the bathroom by running a fan or opening a window while you take a shower.

KiTChen Common Pests: Ants, roaches, rodents. Insects and rodents look for food anywhere they can find it — cabinets, pantries, floorboards, areas where pet food is stored. These pests contaminate food and carry disease. TiPs: —Maintain clean, clutter-free spaces. —Wipe up spills and pick up crumbs immediately. —Keep stove vents and drip pans clean. —Store food in air-tight and pest-proof containers, or in the refrigerator or freezer. —Don’t leave your pet’s food and water dishes out overnight. —Check for water leaks under the sink and refrigerator. —Keep trash and recycling areas clean, and rinse out food containers and beverage cans before disposing of them. —Baits, sprays and traps are effective ways to manage kitchen pests.

PesTs aT sChool Common Pests: Bed bugs, cockroaches, spiders and yellow jackets. TiPs: —Clean out your child’s backpack and other bags every day to avoid transporting pests to and from school. —Encourage your kids to learn to identify potentially harmful pests like stinging insects so they know when to tell an adult and how to avoid being stung. —Talk to your school about monitoring for pests like cockroaches, which are known allergens and can trigger asthma attacks. —Keep an eye out for pests like flies or mice, which can spread diseases or contaminate food in the cafeteria. School can be a playground for pests. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that schools use integrated pest management (IPM) to deal with pest problems. School IPM programs use common sense strategies that reduce sources of food, water and shelter for pests. They also use pesticides judiciously and carefully when necessary to eliminate and manage potentially harmful pest infestations.


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get organized: college edition

FAMILY FEATURES

Plan of Attack

Well-informed college choices start with well-organized brochures

T

BY AmY Tokos

he college search is an opportunity for teens to exert their independence. But the quest can quickly lead to information overload – and sluggish progress. You can boost your child’s efficiency by giving him a way to stay organized throughout the application process, and win points with colleges for self-sufficiency.

Brochures And pAperwork Brochures worth keeping can be tucked into an accordion file or a desktop file box. Divide the brochures by school or region. At the end of your child’s junior year, sort through the contents and decide which colleges interest you most. Re-file information pertaining to those colleges. spreAdsheeTs Spreadsheets are a great way to manage information by categories.

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Start by creating columns according to your teen’s criteria for the perfect college. Under each item, enter information for each college being considered. Create columns for location; distance from home; type; size; tour date; ACT code; SAT Code; school website; sports opportunities; scholarships available and anything else important to you and your child. As you eliminate schools, move the data on each to the bottom of the spreadsheet, but keep all the information. You never know when a school may

reenter the picture. Once you know which schools you want to apply to, create a second spreadsheet with steps and deadlines: admissions application, test scores, scholarship applications, teacher recommendations, etc. checklisTs Once your child has been accepted to a school, create a checklist of things to do before classes start. For example, note registration deadlines and tuition payment deadlines.


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How Four StepS Can Help StudentS

6 Ways to Your Midd to College

KnowHow2GO is a national college access program that provides eighth-, ninth- and 10thgrade students with four steps they can follow to help make college a reality. Clip these tips for the teen in your household. Be a pain – in a good way. Ask adults to help guide you to college, and keep asking until you find someone who will.

D

on’t get caught up on your chil You can get him on the track - even if he’s in middle school. that you need to take a college tour ju are subtle ways to encourage learning your household and to introduce high process.

push yourself. Take the tough courses in high school that will prepare you for college – and get involved in extracurricular activities. Find the right fit. Explore your career interests and then research colleges that fit those interests.

1. Notice what your children enjoy d them do more of it. If your child enjoys an entry for the county fair. Arrange fo your family to audition for a local choi involved.

put your hands on some cash. Money is available to help you pay for college, but you have to apply!

2. Make sure your child knows that middle school and that having fun is a of education. An overachiever should don’t need to do three different extrac in middle school to get into college.” A

More info: For more resources to help guide middle and high school students to college, visit EducationQuest.org

matt haney/the world-herald


Boundaries, good habits keep schoolchildren focused

o Introduce dle-Schooler e

ld’s age. k for college now We’re not saying ust yet. But there g and creativity in her education in the

doing, and help s baking, prepare or the singer in ir or musical. Get

t Bs are fine in an important part be told, “You curricular activities A less-motivated

child needs to hear, “Yes, you can go to college, but first that means passing your courses in middle school.” 3. Encourage your eighth-grader to take Algebra I and other high school-level courses. Many colleges apply these courses to high school grade point averages even though they are taken in middle school. 4. Teach your child a few household basics and assign regular chores to him. Knowing how to do laundry, cook a few simple meals and clean the bathroom will make him more self-sufficient in college. 5. Encourage your child to learn a foreign language. Most middle schools do not require a foreign language, but nearly all offer classes in Spanish or French. 6. Encourage reading for pleasure. The best test-takers are avid readers.

F

ew words strike more fear into the hearts of school kids quite like the threat of an infraction landing on his or her “permanent record.” The day before my 9-year-old daughter began fourth grade, she burst into tears distressed that her naughtiness would never be expunged and college would somehow be jeopardized. How, I wondered, could I use this as a motivational opportunity? In the next few weeks, my husband and I set out to develop ways to help our daughter take responsibility and build good habits. I’m sure tweaks will be necessary, but so far our approach has eliminated worry and put our daughter back in control. - Remind your child and yourself that homework is the child’s responsibility. My husband and I ask about homework assignments and assist when necessary, but we do not hunt down papers and assignments and assure their completion. - Designate a specific area in the home for homework, and help your child create a study routine. The kitchen table works well for us; once the plates are cleared, the homework begins. - Help your child set attainable goals and determine what steps need to be accomplished to reach them. I put words of encouragement and reminders on a white board and celebrate little victories along the way. - Be clear on the expectations and consequences you have for your child regarding not only schoolwork, but behavior as well. Our daughter knows that if she misses class time because of her behavior, she will no longer be allowed to participate in orchestra. I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of the tears, but hopefully the next ones shed will be about something a little less daunting. And now that I think about it, it’s entirely possible that permanent records are nothing more than an urban legend. After all, I’ve never seen mine. Maybe I won’t let her know that!

cat koehler

Cat Koeler is married and has two children. She works full-time. Read her column Mondays on momaha.com.


life lessons

Hard-working Habits I

Tips for easy ways to inspire young readers

t’s never too early – or too late – to help your child discover the joy of reading. Reading aloud to your child helps build important vocabulary and language skills that last a lifetime. Despite the considerable evidence of the relationship between reading regularly to a child and that child’s later reading development, six out of 10 babies and five out of 10 toddlers are not regularly read to by parents or other family members. The Reading Is Fundamental organization and the Budding Be A Reader campaign offer scores of activities, tips and resources for raising readers of every age.

• Start reading to your children when they are very young. Make this time together special without everyday distractions. Continue reading aloud to children even after they’re reading on their own. • Choose books carefully and ask your kids what they like and don’t like. Your children’s input will help you guide them to good books.

• Encourage your child to read aloud to younger brothers, sisters, family members and friends. • Make a commitment to read aloud at least once a day. Even 15 minutes of daily reading can make a big difference in your child’s reading comprehension and literacy development. • Set a good example by reading frequently and sharing your enthusiasm for reading. Talk about the books you read and your favorite authors.

• Set up a home library. A special shelf with a few books is a great start to building a book collection that your child will treasure for years. • Visit your local library, bookstores, yard sales and thrift stores to find good books to read together. Not sure what book is right for your child’s age or reading level? The American Library Association and the Library of Congress publish lists of recommended books to guide parents in making selections.

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life lessons

Checklist for Success

O

rganizational skills can either help your child get ahead or hold hom or her back. There are some very bright kids who can do their homework, but just can’t get it turned in on time. If you take a few steps during elementary and secondary school, you can be confident when your kids leave for college that they can take care of themselves and their homework.  MiniMize Distractions A huge obstacle to doing homework is distractions. One of the best things you can do for your family is to set a no TV/electronics time. The time should, at a minimum, exceed the normal homework time by about 30 minutes. You can try a “power hour,” which is 50 minutes of no phone, TV or electronics, with a 10-minute break during which kids can text, chat with friends and use their electronics. This works especially well for high school students who seem to do homework all evening.  HoMework space A good space is crucial. Some kids like to work at the kitchen table, while others prefer to work on the floor of their bedroom. No matter where they settle down to study, having supplies nearby will help keep students focused. A plastic caddy is a great tool for school supplies. Kids just pull it out when they are doing homework and put it away when they are finished.  write it Down Kids think they can remember all that they need to do, but when they rely on their memories things often fall through the cracks. Teach them how to use an assignment notebook.  project ManageMent As kids enter the upper grades, they will get assignments that require several steps over a period of time. Show your child how to put deadlines in their assignment notebook and work their way back by adding project milestones to their calendar. This makes a project more manageable and less overwhelming. Plus, it helps them manage their time so they don’t cram the project into one evening.  clean-out routine Lots of kids use their backpack as a file cabinet instead of a tool to transport items. Encourage them to clean out their backpacks monthly, if not weekly. If they have study materials they need to keep, set up a small file box in their bedroom with a hanging file for each class. Help your child set guidelines on what goes into the files. It’s best if the files contain only active items like project outlines or study materials needed for a test.  get Help If your child is really struggling with organization, get some outside help. Young people sometimes find it easier to swallow organization tips provided by a school counselor, a tutor or a professional organizer. Teaching them basic organization skills now will help set them up for success in higher grades.

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ara

Help for teaching kids money management

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igh school graduates in states that mandate financial education have higher savings rates and a greater net worth than graduates from states without financial education, U.S. Department of the Treasury research shows. As a result of the growing awareness about the importance of financial education, more resources are becoming available to teachers and parents. At home, parents can help reinforce what children learn about money. Unfortunately, parents are often more comfortable talking about sex, drugs and alcohol than they are about money – usually because parents do not trust their own financial acumen. Parents can start helping ensure that their children are financially savvy by talking to their kids about money using a few simple steps from PathwaytoFinancialSuccess.org: • Use everyday experiences to talk about money. With tax season around the corner, talk to kids about the process, or engage them in the discussion of purchasing a large item and weighing the “wants” versus “needs” related to the purchase. • Talk to your kids about saving for a special purchase, and set small, manageable goals for them

to reach. • Be honest about your financial situation or poor financial decisions you have made in the past, and then talk to your kids about how you could have handled the situation differently. • Make it fun by playing online games that teach common lessons on budgeting and saving.


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Interactive Exhibition September 29, 2012 - January 6, 2013

www.sasmuseum.com

28210 West Park Hwy, Ashland, NE 68003 I-80 Exit 426

TM & Š 2005 FOX

An educational, fun and exciting exhibit featuring the characters of the movie Robots. Take an adventure through this mechanical world. See how robots can better our lives today and in the future. Sponsored locally by: Robert H. Storz Foundation U.S. Bank Embassey Suites Omaha–La Vista/Hotel & Conference Center Jetton Charitable Fund Ellison Technologies Automation In partnership with UNO, UNL, UNMC and NASA Nebraska Space Grant

This exhibition was produced by GES under license by Twentieth Century Fox.

ROBOTSTM characters, names, and all related indicia are trademarks of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Š2012. Global Experience Specialists is an authorized licensee.

17


fun food

Scare Up Some Fun with a Graveyard Bash

B

e the "ghostess with the mostess" this Halloween, and throw a wickedly wonderful celebration. The entertaining experts from the Wilton Test Kitchen know all the tricks and offer plenty of treats for hosting a bone-chilling blast that will have friends and family shrieking with delight. Start by scaring up some fun with an array of graveyard goodies. Tombstone and monstershaped sandwich cookies paired with ghostly

graveyard cookies set an eerie scene. Add fang-tastic monster-faced popcorn balls and a parade of monster pretzels — a breeze to make using a Halloween candy kit. Pour melted candy into monster molds, insert pretzel rods and refrigerate until set. They are the perfect hand-heldtreats for kids, and they look great on display. There’s no bones about it: a Spooktacular skeleton cake will make a boo-tiful Halloween centerpiece. Using a skeleton casket pan

makes this impressive dessert — filled with fall flavors like cinnamon and apples — easy to achieve. Simply decorate with icing and watch as your skeleton comes back from the grave. For added fright, surround the coffin with Spooky Pop Cupcakes — swirled with brightly colored icing and things that go bump in the night. Just be sure to pair sweets with a "bewitching" beverage and you’ll be caught in a web of friends all evening long.

Ghostly Graveyard Cookies

Each cookie serves 1 Roll-out cookie dough (recipe available at wilton.com) Buttercream icing (recipe available at wilton. com) Leaf green, black and brown icing colors

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Prepare and roll out cookie dough following recipe instructions. Cut cookies using the Wilton Graveyard Cookie Cutter Set. Bake and cool. Using icing colors, tint buttercream. Ice all cookies using a spatula. Pipe the outline of the tree with tip No. 22 brown buttercream icing. Tint coconut flakes green using icing; sprinkle over base cookie. Attach all cookies to base cookies with icing.


Peanut Butter 3D sanDwich cookies

Makes about 1 dozen sandwich cookies 3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter 1/2 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour Buttercream icing Kelly Green, orange icing color Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Spray Wilton 3D Sandwich Pan with vegetable pan spray. In large bowl, beat shortening and peanut butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add brown sugar and granulated sugar; mix well. Add egg and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Add flour; mix well. Press dough into pan cavities, filling 2/3 full. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan to cooling grid; cool completely. Meanwhile, tint portions of icing green and orange. To assemble cookies, spread icing on half of the cookies; sandwich with second cookie. Pipe details with icing.

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PoPcorn Ball Monsters Each serves 1 1 jar (about 7 ounces) marshmallow crème Violet and orange icing colors 4 cups popped popcorn, divided White candy melts, melted following package instructions Large candy eyeballs Animal and People Faces Sprinkle sets Candy corn and jumbo confetti sprinkles Green and black candy strings Spray Dimensions Multi-Cavity Mini Pumpkin Pan cavities with vegetable pan spray. In large microwave-safe bowl, microwave marshmallow crème 1 minute at 50% power. Remove bowl from microwave and divide marshmallow crème in half; stir icing color into each half (tint slightly darker than how you want your finished treat to look). Stir 2 cups popped popcorn into each marshmallow mixture mixing until evenly coated. Press popcorn treat mixture in bottom cavities only of pumpkin pan to 1 1/2 inches deep; reserve some unmolded popcorn. Let set; unmold. Attach 2 popcorn ball halves together on one edge, using unmolded popcorn to prop opposite edge open. Using melted candy, attach candy eyeballs and sprinkles, and candy corn teeth and jumbo confetti nose. Attach candy strings for hair.

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healthy recipes

Perfect Presentation By Amy LamAr andwich, chips, fruit dessert. Sandwich, chips, fruit dessert. Is your child’s school lunch menu sounding like a broken record? Inject some fun and creativity into sandwiches with cookie-cutter bread shapes. Make a butterfly one day, a flower or zoo animal the next. You can use cookie cutters for raw vegetables and fruit, too. Swap out bread slices for a tortilla. Wraps always seem to look fancier than sandwiches – even when they have the same ingredients inside. Pack your child’s lunch in a cool container. Japanese-style bento boxes are ideal for kids who don’t like their foods to touch.

S

Market Pantry SuShi-Style turkey ‘n’ CheeSe 2 slices honey whole-wheat bread 2 tablespoons cream cheese spread Fresh spinach leaves, stems removed 2 slices oven-roasted turkey deli slices 1 slice colby cheese, cut into 4 strips Low-fat Ranch dressing

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Cut crusts off bread; discard. Roll bread with rolling pin or press to flatten slightly. Spread each piece of bread to edges with cream cheese. Arrange spinach leaves on cream cheese, leaving about ¾-inch cream cheese at one end of each uncovered. Arrange uncovered edges away from you. Roll up each slice of turkey. At ends closest to you, stack 2 cheese strips and 1 roll of turkey. Roll up tightly, firmly pressing ends to hold closed. Cut each roll into thirds. Place on cut sides in sandwich box, packing snugly to ensure sandwiches stay rolled. Cover; store chilled. Serve with cup of Ranch dressing for dipping, if desired. Makes one.


ever an Offse N s ’ aso ere h n T BeNto Box PB & J

Freeze-dried cinnamon apple and banana slices Peanut butter Strawberry preserves Organic raisins Whole-grain crackers Arrange ingredients in individual compartments of bento box or similar divided container. Makes one.

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1 8-ounce package sliced pepperoni 4 8-inch flour tortillas, at room temperature ½ cup chopped tomatoes ¼ cup each chopped sweet onion, chopped fresh mushrooms and chopped ripe olives ¼ cup chopped green pepper, optional 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese Arrange pepperoni off-center on each tortilla. Top with remaining ingredients. Fold and roll tortilla, securing with toothpick. Makes four wraps.

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21


health tHree Ways to boost braIn PoWer The connections in brain circuitry can be enhanced through the environments and activities a child is exposed to and participates in, as well as the nutrients a child consumes. 1. relax the right way Teaching children early on the benefit of setting goals, working toward those goals, and giving their brain and body time to relax are important life skills. When it's time to relax, skip the TV and take a walk, read a book or draw. Deep breathing exercises also are an excellent practice for both adults and children. 2. eat brain food Omega-3 essential fatty acids are critical to a child's brain development. While fish, nuts and seaweed are good omega-3 sources, kids typically don't gobble down these foods. Consider a purified, molecularly distilled fish oil supplements that is manufactured with kids in mind. 3. Happy brains are hydrated brains Staying hydrated is important for growing brains and bodies. Water can improve energy, increase mental and physical performance, remove toxins and waste from the body, and keep skin healthy and glowing. To estimate how many ounces of water your child should drink daily, divide his or her weight in half and aim for that number of ounces per day.

22

courtesy of Getty ImaGes

Sharpen Up Good Health Habits

S

tudents’ academic achievement and their health are directly related, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Use these tips to teach new healthy habits that can become a way of life for the whole family. Germ-Free Hands One of the most significant – and simple – health habits is washing hands. Kidshealth.org calls hand washing the first line of defense against germs. To help youngsters learn the habit, enforce rules for the entire family. Insist on washing hands before every meal, after using the bathroom, after handling pets, after cleaning chores, after playing outside and of course, after blowing noses or sneezing and coughing. Kid-friendly soap dispensers are both fun and help inspire little ones to participate.

Food as Fuel Mornings may be hectic, but avoid the temptation to take shortcuts on breakfast. Kids need fuel to power through the day. Making breakfast part of the daily routine also is important for weight management. A nutritious morning meal helps fire up the metabolism and prevents overeating later in the day. Select foods that contain whole grains, fiber and protein with little added sugar. These foods improve attention span, concentration and memory. sound slumber Too little sleep translates into irritability and other behavior problems, as well as difficulty paying attention in class. While the specific needs of each child will vary to some degree, school-age children and preteens should get between 10 hours and 12 hours of sleep each night.

Implementing a consistent bedtime, especially on school nights, can help ensure that your child’s sleep needs are consistently met. Build in time for children to unwind before bed. balanced Immune system Believe it or not, 70 percent of your immune system is in your digestive tract. The immune cells in the digestive tract share space with more than 500 species of naturally occurring bacteria. Keeping these bacteria in balance is what’s important to digestive and immune system health. Taking a daily probiotic helps. Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria that help balance the digestive system. Yogurt is a common source, but many varieties contain a significant amount of sugar. Look for products that have fewer calories and little or no sugar.


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Recognized by national experts. Praised by Mom and Dad. Learn why national experts think so highly of the NEST Plan. Visit NEST529.com/momaha or call 877-914-4838. Learn more and begin saving for your child’s future today. Best 529 College Savings Plan for Fund Selection by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

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An investor should consider the Plans’ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. The Program Disclosure Statement, at www.NEST529Direct.com or www.NEST529Advisor.com, which contains more information, should be read carefully before investing. Investors should consider before investing whether their or their beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state’s qualified tuition program and should consult their tax advisor, attorney and/or other advisor regarding their specific legal, investment or tax situation. Participation in the Plan does not guarantee that contributions and the investment return on contributions, if any, will be adequate to cover tuition and other higher education expenses, or that a beneficiary will be admitted to or permitted to continue to attend an eligible educational institution. Except for the Bank Savings Individual Investment Option, investments in the NEST Direct and NEST Advisor Plans are not guaranteed or insured by the FDIC or any other government agency and are not deposits or other obligations of any depository institution. Investments are not guaranteed or insured by the State of Nebraska, the Nebraska State Treasurer, the Nebraska Investment Council, or Program Manager Trustee First National Bank of Omaha or its authorized agents or their affiliates, and are subject to investment risks, including loss of the principal amount invested. FDIC insurance is provided for the Bank Savings ©2012 First National Bank of Omaha Individual Investment Option up to the maximum amount set by federal law, currently $250,000.

23


This Neighborhood is Really Haunted

A

mike whye

dults and trick-or-treaters alike walking along 33rd Street in the Hanscom Park neighborhood love the make-believe cemetery in Gretchen and Keith Engelkamp’s front yard (pictured right). “Keith makes it all out of wood,” Gretchen says. “We each have our own tombstone.” The tradition started 18 years ago with their three children, now adults, and has multiplied as their kids have married and started families of their own. “It was the neighborhood that got us so into Halloween,” Gretchen says. “When we first moved here 24 years ago, it was like, ‘Whoa!’ We were throwing our own kids’ candy into the trick-or-treat bags!” In addition to the tombstones, a pot of dry ice on the front porch serves as a festive witch’s brew. Kids who come to the door are invited to drop rubber eyeballs, fingers and spiders into the brew. They give the pot a stir and then get a treat.

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Momaha Magazine - October 2012  

Monthly magazine for women published by the Omaha World-Herald in conjunction with its website for moms, Momaha.com