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November 2013

Thankful Little Hearts

The Toy Box

Happy Plates




Dear Parents... GREETINGS! I have just had the pleasure of personally delivering over 18,000 copies of our very first issue! It was an amazing experience. Some folks even called requesting more copies! How cool is that? Thank you for all the wonderful comments and compliments about the magazine. I am very proud of it and seeing others realize its value was a delightful experience. While it was gratifying to deliver a great resource for South Louisiana families, I certainly can’t take all the credit. Please remember the supportive advertisers who share our vision and support this magazine. When you shop with them, please pause and thank them for making this magazine possible. We are very proud of our local advertisers who have come on board to make this local resource available just for you. I hope you enjoy the November issue. Not only is it a great resource for teaching kids, but it’s a great resource for teaching parents as well. Please send us your comments and feedback. We want to make this your magazine.

KARA DOMANGUE Managing Editor


Ben Jones Cody Blanchard



Kassie Barrancotto Brandy O'Banion


PHOTOGRAPHY Crystal Sanderson Brian Waitz


Kara Domangue 985.209.4933


Copyright © 2013. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. The distribution of this material does not constitute an endorsement or an indictation of support by any school district. Distribution of this magazine does not constitute an endorsement of products or services.


Fathom Media 303 St. Louis Street, Suite 2 Thibodaux, LA 70301


This Month in 4 The Toy Box

10 Teacher Feature

5 Happy Plates

12 DIY With Your Kid

6 Thankful Little Hearts

13 Knowledge Is Power

8 Diary of a Dad

14 Kidz On Computers

9 Let's Get Fit

15 November Events Calendar

Our favorite app, book, & game of the month

Check out these fast and easy recipes for the family

Teach your kids thanks

Daddies & Their Dogs

Outdoor Activities for the Holidays

Meet Cindy LeBeouf of Bayou Blue Elementary

Make Paper Pumpkins

Preparing For Tests

It Is No Longer Safe to Play Games on Your PC

See what's going on this month


App of the Month: Little Green Island By Ansel and Clair By Cognitive Kid, Inc.

Android($1.99) / Iphone/Ipad ($1.99) Suggested for children ages 4 and up.

According to Itunes, the award winning Ansel & Clair series (19 awards) is a groundbreaking educational game on the environment and pollution combining creation, problem solving, strategy and fun with stunning animations and interactivity. This app features multiple levels, different types of game play, and encourages critical thinking while using real world connections. This app is a fun and interactive way for children to learn about the environment and how to interact with it for sustainability. Includes info and gameplay on littering, pollution, oil spills, acid rain, and plants.

Book of the Month: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library By Chris Grabenstein (ISBN: 978-0375870897) Ages 8-12 / Grades: 4 -7

Described as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets A Night in the Museum”, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is a new story containing mystery, intrigue, humor, and a slew of likeable characters including seventh grader Kyle Keeley. When a super cool game designer holds a contest for a few kids to spend the night in a new high-tech library, they discover the winner will be the one who can solve puzzles and find his way out. Your kids will like this book because it’s exciting but familiar, making everyday places like school and the library more magical and mysterious. There’s relevant culture and technology kids will recognize and a very exciting setting with puzzles, clues, and imaginative details that will keep your young minds interested.

Toy of the Month:

Zoomy Handheld Digital Microscope By Learning Resources Grades: Pre-K - 8

While definitely an educational device, this cute little microscope can also be a fun toy. The small, lightweight pod fits comfortably in big or small hands and magnifies objects up to 53 times! It doesn’t need batteries because it hooks up via USB cord to your computer (all types) and has the ability to take pictures or video with a single button on top, while capturing clear images due to its automatically adjusting LED lights. The photos and videos show up on your computer to be collected, printed, emailed, or used for school projects! Kids can collect bugs, fuzz, food, dirt, etc. and see how they look magnified. For older kids, if bringing their laptop outside is an option, mobile exploring is possible. At under $40 from Amazon, this is a smart investment in your children’s entertainment.


-Jasmine Richard, Social Media Librarian

happy plates

Fun recipes for the family.

Lean Beef Soft Tacos

-Katherine Toups, Thibodaux


tablespoon olive oil onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, chopped 1/ lb lean ground beef 2 1/ cup chopped parsley 4 1/ cup tomato paste 4 kosher salt and black pepper 6 wheat tortillas, warmed 1/ head shredded lettuce 2 1 medium tomato, chopped 1/ 2 1/ 2

DIRECTIONS: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in beef, parsley, tomato paste, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and dash of pepper. Cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Fill each tortilla with the meat mixture, cabbage, and tomatoes. Serve your tacos with a side of healthy creamed corn! Recipe from


1 cup low-fat milk 2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen) 1 TBS honey Sea salt and pepper to taste

UTENSILS: Small paper cups Wooden popsicle sticks

DIRECTIONS: Combine 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of corn, and 1 tbs honey in blender. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Blend on medium speed for 1 minute. In a mixing bowl, combine remaining cup of corn kernels with the corn purĂŠe. Transfer to a soup pot and heat on stove on medium for 5 minutes. Recipe from


“The best way to make children good is to make them happy.” - Oscar Wilde

Children are blissful and temperate souls, most of the time. They can go from one extreme to another in an instant. When a mom or dad gives in to a child’s wants, that child is in harmony with the world. That harmony is broken when a mom or dad says that dreadful word, “no!” Suddenly, that child’s world crashes down around them. How do you teach a child to be thankful? How do you teach a child to be humble in a world full of wants? To make a little one happy doesn’t take much effort. They are always up for a fun day at the park with mom or dad or even the occasional new toy. In the right and easy setting a child is happy and maybe a pinch of thankful. Having a thankful heart is good for the mind, body, and soul. Contentment in a child’s eyes is thankfulness shining through. How do you get a child’s eyes to shine with contentment? Give a little one a small amount of attention and he or she will be your best friend forever. Once a child is born, they are your loved one, companion, and most of all, your

-Brandy O'Banion, Houma heart. Children learn from example. They are gullible and very trusting. As parents, strive to be that bright and lovable example. For instance, ask your children, “What are you thankful for today?” As a mom or dad, always let your child know you are thankful for them, that they are also a blessing. One simple question can span a lifetime. It will teach a child the way he or she should go and they will travel the “thankful” path. A happy child is a golden child. A golden child is filled with a thankful little heart. How do you keep a child happy? Show a smidge of attention and “poof!” a burst of jubilance. Just a tad-bit of attention fills a child’s heart with happiness. Attention is in a child’s playbook. Look into your child’s eyes and say you love them. Tell them you are thankful for them each and every day. Their heart will grow gratitude “flowers."

Photo by


Crystal Sanderson

Recently, I met my boyfriend’s family. His nieces are the ages seven and four and his nephew is two. His little niece was leery of me at first glance. My boyfriend told her to tell me hello. She took a glance and delved into my eyes. It took just a second and she was my buddy forever. Why, you ask? I showed her just a peanut of attention. We played dolls galore and had an epic pillow fight. Even though I’m a twentysix year old woman, I was a student for the day. Play and chitchat went on for hours. Smiles and laughs warmed the house. That night I made three mini friends for a lifetime. Children mirror what they see. If they see a parent -Willie that is ungrateful and angry, that child is going to feel the tension and become agitated. Agitation brings on bouts of grumbling and selfishness. Everything is, “I want this! I have to have that! That’s mine!” There is no grace and self-control. My dad always said, “Be grateful for what you have. Don’t covet your neighbor’s material possessions.” Truth from a wise man changed my little heart. Coveting, wanting, and having, grows a “spoiled” heart; there is no room for a gratitude seed. My mom and dad were lovely, caring parents. They raised me to be content in everything. That raising helped my outlook on life when I was a young

girl. When I was about nineteen years old, my dad lost his roofing business due to cancer. In the years before this tragedy, we were high up on the mountain of success. My dad made a good living. We felt as if we were monarchs of the land. When those dreadful days were upon us, the teachings of contentment, faith, and thankfulness soothed my heart and soul. My dad not only lost his shining business, but we had to live in our four hundred square foot camper as well. Not only did that bring us closer as a family, it taught us to be thankful for what we have. We were thankful for God, love, and family that enraptured us. The mindset of today is that you have to live in the biggest and best house, have Nelson the fastest car, and make thousands of dollars; on the contrary, you can live with so little. That feeling of simplicity fills your heart with peace. There are no entanglements and strife. There is no tension amongst the family, because of financial failing. Instead there is a sense of freedom. With freedom, a thankful heart besets all. Children are blessings. As parents, make sure your children know they are treasured and precious. Therefore, a child will realize that they are blessed for what they have. Children are insightful. They will eventually understand the difference between wanting and needing. With the holidays around the bend, there are going to be many challenges. Challenges include, “I want!” “I want!” “I want!” This year turn those “I wants!” into a humble attitude. Take your child on a trip to a soup kitchen. Let them experience the homeless and their needs. As a parent, become an example this year, and drop a twenty-dollar bill into a red bucket. Take your child to an orphanage and arrange a heart to heart with an abandoned child. These are examples that will change the “I wants!” into “What can we do for others?” At the turkey-adorned table this year, make sure you ask your little one, “What are you thankful for?” That simple question will grow a thankful little heart. pt

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”


Diary of a Dad Daddies & Thier Dogs

- Robbie Bower, Thibodaux


ur family recently lost our beloved pug of fifteen years, Buddy. One year before, we had lost our pug, Roxie, after fourteen years. The kids were, of course, sad and mourned the loss of the dogs, but, after a day, were eager to find a dog to add to the family. The thing was…. the house had no hair on the floors. There was no noise in the middle of the night like a lawn mower snoring to wake me up. There were no clawed up door frames from scratching to go out. There was nothing, and I was okay with that. Enter, the wife and daughters. Big puppy-dog brown, glassy eyes and sad, guilt-inducing pouts…


I held out for a month, but then... I had to give in or risk being called a “mean old daddy” one more time and having my heart broken. I enjoyed not having the extra mess to clean up and now it was all going to end way too soon. As my wife called to tell me that she had received a text from the breeder that the puppy was now available and was heading to Baton Rouge with the girls (once this wheel was in motion there was nothing short of a hurricane that could stop it), I found myself torn between anxiety about the stress of a dog and excitement at watching my son meet the first puppy he would ever let sleep in his bed. I soon received pictures via text of my girls with their eyes gleaming and their smiles wide and, miraculously, started posting on Facebook about my new child (the one that I had not even met at this point). As I waited anxiously in the driveway for them to pull up, my excitement turned to a mixture of sadness and elation. Sadness that my good ole boy Buddy was gone after so many adventures and was being “replaced” and elation at the many years of love I hoped would start today in my home. As soon as I saw Cosette (don’t laugh… I got the naming rights and was putting the Les Miserables stamp all over this French-German pup), I knew that this was the kick in the right direction that I needed. Not even the ten bags of clothes, leashes and bedding with the words “pet store" that I was sure carried with it an ever increasing chunk of change could dim my love for that little face with the tiny beard! I realized that my hesitation in getting a new dog was only justified by complaints about expense and mess. The true issue was that I didn’t know if I had it in me to love another furry friend and know that I would one day lose them. The hole in my heart that our first “child” had left could only be filled by this precious, 3.6 pound of fur. I realized that the last few years of my poor, sick pup had clouded my love for animals and that we were lucky enough to have the chance to do it all over again… hopefully to the tune of over fifteen more years! pt

Let's Get Fit

Outdoor Activites For the Holidays - Joni Bascle, Thibodaux


s parents we always want what is best for our children, especially good health. The first step in achieving a healthy body is fitness, and in today’s world, that is usually one of the last things on families’ lists of priorities. We need to change that, and fast! Babies are coming out of the womb nowadays already knowing how to use your smart phone more easily than you do, and their first words are things like “iPad” or “Candy Crush”. This electronic world continues to reduce our children’s physical fitness levels on a daily basis. Experts tell us that children need at least one hour of physical activity per day, but why stop there? Don’t we want more than just the minimum for our kids? As the manager of Koko FitClub, I have discovered that leading by example has been the best thing I could do for my eight-year-old son. Exercise is a huge part of our life and not something that he has ever questioned. It comes as natural to his everyday life as eating dinner and brushing his teeth. Children do what they see us do, not what we tell them to do. The sooner we put down all of our electronic devices and make time for fitness, especially as a family, the sooner we will start to see healthier children. My son has watched my husband and I run long distance races and follow strength and cardio routines since he was old enough to form memories, and it has truly had a huge impact on him. I’m not telling you that you need to lace up your running shoes and start running marathons. What I am suggesting is that you find what works for your family as a fun activity that doesn’t feel like a punishment. Maybe a game of two hand touch football in the yard or a bicycle ride around the subdivision. Take the kids to the park and instead of checking emails or reading on your e-reader, relive your childhood days and play a game of chase or hide and seek with them. Make exercise fun and your kids will be happy to turn off the game consoles and spend some time developing strong, healthy bodies. pt


Teacher Feature Cindy LeBeouf Bayou Blue Elementary -Kassie barrancotto, Vacherie


indy Tauzin LeBeouf is a first grade teacher at Bayou Blue Elementary. She was born and raised in Thibodaux and has lived there her whole life. She has been teaching first grade for twenty-two years! Besides teaching first grade at Bayou Blue Elementary for twentytwo years, she has spent six of her summers teaching fourth grade LEAP remediation and a first grade summer program called Project Promotion. She also taught night classes to students who were working toward earning their GED. All of her teaching experience has been within Lafourche Parish. “After teaching for twentytwo years, I feel that it's

Photo by


Brian Waitz

the constant change in education that keeps me going,” explains Cindy, “There is never a boring or dull moment. Just when I get use to something, it's changing! There is always more to learn.” Cindy teaches all subjects, but reading is her favorite. “I enjoy teaching reading because the children get very excited when they start to catch on and improve. The self-confidence that they gain from this success spreads to other areas and they start believing in themselves. They'll even stop to look at me and say, "I'm getting so smart!" It makes them feel like a big kid when they can read! I especially love teaching reading through non-fiction books. I find the students can relate to a lot of the selections in this genre because of their life experiences. They love learning interesting facts about real things, such as animals, as we did in our recent story about frogs,” explains Cindy. 

Cindy graduated from Thibodaux High School in 1987 and went on to
attend Nicholls State University. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in
Elementary Education in May of 1992. "As a first grade teacher, I serve on several school and parish
committees, "says Cindy, " Some of these include my school math
committee and crisis team. At the parish level, I serve on the Math
Professional Learning Community

(PLC) and the ELA Professional
Learning Community." When Cindy is not in the classroom she most enjoys spending time
with her family, especially watching and attending Saints games. She has
been married for twenty-three years to Ryan LeBeouf. They have two beautiful
daughters whom they are very proud of, Claire (twenty years old) and Lauren (seventeen years old). 

"My husband and daughters are the best!" says Cindy, "Also, our
family pet is a very active one and a half year old miniature
schnauzer and terrier mix named Jack that we adopted a year ago
from Hope For Animals. Jack reminds me of my first graders - full of
energy and very demanding of my attention!"

What Cindy enjoys most about teaching is watching her students grow
and learn throughout their first grade year. She tells us it is
remarkable to witness how much six and seven year olds can learn at such a

Her favorite thing about Bayou Blue Elementary is the team of
colleges that she works with at her grade level.

"They are the most dedicated and hard working group of teachers I
know," says Cindy, "Without their support, doing my job would be
impossible. We all share a common goal: putting children first!” pt

“I enjoy teaching reading because the children get very excited when they start to catch on and improve. The self-confidence that they gain from this success spreads to other areas and they start believing in themselves."


DIYwith yourKID Paper Pumpkin Craft - Melanie Chatagnier, Houma

What you will need: Orange and green construction paper Toilet paper roll Scotch tape Scissors This is a super cute activity to do at home or with a classroom. I am completing this activity with my students since we are going to the pumpkin patch. This is a very easy activity for young children and the older the child the more independence they will have working on this.


Steps you’ll take:


First, you will need to cut out eight to ten orange strips about two inches wide and ten inches long


Cover your toilet paper roll with the orange paper and tape down. The strips will then be attached one by one first taping to the top then taping the bottom.


Once this is finished cut out a small green leaf and brown stem to attach to the top of the pumpkin.


For my students, we also attached a picture of them to the pumpkin as a great take home gift for parents!.

Knowledge is Power Preparing for tests -Anne marie Naquin, Houma


he first report card has gone home. Are those grades making you nervous? Here are some great tips to keep your child organized and ready for the next test: Planners Are a Sanity Saver

Time management is tricky for everyone, especially kids and teens. Having major deadlines, due dates, events and extracurricular activities in one place helps kids visualize their week, manage their time and stay on track.

Breaking It Down Is a Good Thing

There is nothing worse than not even knowing where to start when it comes to schoolwork. Understanding how to break daunting projects into more manageable ones is a key skill. For example, make studying for a giant math final approachable by making a list of all the concepts included in the test, and review them one at a time.

Organization Isn’t Overrated

Directions Aren’t Always Direct

Oftentimes homework or test instructions can trip up students. Encouraging kids to listen carefully and spend plenty of time reading directions really helps. Also make sure they know it’s OK to speak up if they don’t understand testing directions.

Know You’ve Got Help

If prepping for tests is a tough ordeal and your child is losing confidence in his or her test-taking ability, a lack of study skills could be to blame. Luckily, there are places to go for help. The company I work for, Sylvan Learning, has a great record of helping kids improve their study skills.

It’s Time To Have Some Fun

There are lots of ways to make studying fun: Come up with some cool “rewards” with your kids — extra time with you, a favorite treat, later curfew — to let them know you recognize their efforts. Support and encourage them. Keep your sense of humor. It all helps.

Keeping notes, projects, and reading materials in logical order helps kids find what they need right away, cutting down on time spent tracking things down and upping time spent actually studying.

Taking Good Notes Matters

Taking good notes helps keep kids’ grades up, especially in middle or high school. Practice with them in picking out the “main ideas” in conversations with you, in news reports, in church sermons or in magazine articles.

Study Slow and Steady

The most successful test-takers aren’t cramming the night before. The best way for kids to do well on tests is to review the information daily.

Harp On Homework

This sounds straightforward, but many kids struggle with completing homework. Pick a location, stock it with materials, create a routine, and stick to it.

Concentrating Is Critical

Staying focused is easier for some kids than others. Insist that your kids are doing their best to avoid distractions in class. This means making sure they’re keeping cellphones tucked away and being vocal if a chatty classmate is causing them to lose focus.


Kidz on Computers

It Is No Longer Safe To Play Games On Your PC -IT-Claude, Houma


t's getting close to that time of year again. The holidays are right around the corner and all of the latest gadgets will be out. The death of the PC has been rumored for years and, finally, that time is upon us. Sales of smartphones, tablets, and other tablet-like devices have well surpassed the sales numbers of traditional laptops and desktops in the last year. If you haven't joined in on the "tablet revolution" yet, here is one major reason you should: it is no longer safe to play games or do "fun" activities via an internet browser on your Windowsbased PC. Yep, for most parents, the household PC has lost its status as the main tool for accessing email and Googling things since the arrival of the smartphone and tablet. Instead, it serves as a means to occupy a small child with games, a way for the kid slightly older to play Minecraft, and for the teenager in the home to download music. And then there's Facebook, Netflix, Hulu, and Farmville for all generations in the home to enjoy. Unfortunately, the two common denominators in all of these activities are Adobe Flash and Java. Ring a bell? You know, those updates that prompt every PC user in the world, seemingly every week? Yes, that Adobe Flash Player and Java software. Whether you use Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome, Flash and Java run "under the hood" for most of the daily internet-related activities a family PC goes through. You can go to the Control Panel and remove both flash and java from your PC, but it's not likely to remain that way for long. Java may not be necessary for online shopping and paying bills, but it is probably needed for many of the games or programs many kids use on a regular basis. Flash, on the other hand, is the driving force for most every website you visit. See a little animated advertisement somewhere in your browser? It uses Flash to deliver that content to your browser. Like all of those Facebook games, casino games, Pogo games, etc? You guessed it; Flash runs all of those apps. The fact simply remains - you cannot avoid Flash and Java, at least, not without it hampering your experience on the Internet. Hackers and malware peddlers know this and, therefore, use these technologies to exploit user PCs. A majority of these exploits use spoofed "updates" for both Flash and Java. This is one of the main reasons your employer probably blocks Facebook, ESPN, game websites, and personal use of the Internet while on a work PC. So what does all of this mean? First, if you do not use your PC for games or as an entertainment device then you probably can keep it safe from the malware that runs rampant on some of these sites. Secondly, not


all of these activities will directly lead to a virus/malware infection, but it only takes one stray click on the wrong pop-up or advertisement to ruin your day. In addition, there will always be a need for the traditional PC to type up papers for homework, do personal finances, etc. However, if the small techies in your household love playing Candy Crush, looking up YouTube videos, or watching Netflix, then a tablet device is what iT-Claude recommends for those activities. At the high end of these devices are the iPad, iPad mini, and iPod Touch; and, for those needing to keep multiple kids happy, there are a number of Android devices between $100-$200. All of these devices will keep your personal information safe (mainly, because you probably won't put any into it) and can be reset to factory defaults without any hassle. They are compact, easy to use, and have great battery life for lazy days at home or family road trips. pt


















Events in November


















Parent Talk Magazine | November 2013