Owensboro Parent - August / September 2023

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August // September 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 5 22 Harper’s Hope Learn about this strong little girl and her family’s mission to find a cure for Angelman Syndrome. Contents IN EVERY ISSUE 8 From the Editor 9 Around OBKY 10 Parent Profile KEEPING IT REAL 12 Real Life with Lora Wimsatt Back-to-School is Expensive an Investment 14 Hashtag MomFail Four Tips for Working Moms MAKING IT 16 Recipe Quick Dinners with Crescent Rolls 18 Craft Time Back To School Tradition: The Kissing Hand SPECIAL SECTION 31 Profiles of Working Families DISCOVER
42 7 Steps for Supporting Children With Anxiety
44 The Book Nook Reach a family goal by reading aloud together.
48 Four Quick Tips for
50 Unforgettable Back-To-School Traditions Creating Lasting Memories OUT & ABOUT
54 Events Calendar
Our list of fun things to do around town this season!
58 Kids Meal Deals
Check out these local kids meal deals! FROM OUR READERS
60 Summer Adventures
Photos submitted to our Facebook page sponsored by Owensboro Health!
August // September 2023 20
A 7-year-old with the heart of a champion. The Bluegrass Brothers Cruse Edwards, Noah Mason, and Parker Malone are are bringing people together through bluegrass music.




Ashley Wedding


Katie Albers

Christina Dalton

Jamie Johnson

Melody Wallace

Erinn Williams

Lora Wimsatt

We saw Dude Perfect in Indianapolis in June! Dude Perfect is our favorite thing to watch as a family and we loved seeing them live!



Andrea Roberson

Monica Tapp



Jamie Plain


The Bluegrass Brothers


Do you have a story idea? We want to hear from you! Email your suggestion to ashley@tannerpublishing.com



Brock Quinton

Owensboro Parent is a FREE magazine because of community support. Thank you to the great group of businesses and organizations who advertise.

For more information about advertising call 270-297-1600 or email brock@tannerpublishing.com.

Our family’s favorite summer adventure was hiking while in Gatlinburg on our family vacation.


Dave Mackey

To add your business or organization to our distribution list, give us a call at 888-304-5416.



facebook.com/owensboroparent instagram @owensboroparentmag twitter.com/owensboroparent


Jason Tanner

2624-A New Hartford Rd. Owensboro, KY 42303 270-297-1600

One of our favorite places to go in the summer is Holiday World!

6 OWENSBORO PARENT August // September 2023
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Ashley's Top Picks

from the editor

Back-to-school season is a mix of emotions for me. Summer break with lazy mornings, unexpected adventures and intentional family fun is coming to and end, but a new year, filled with new challenges and the return of routine, is taking its place.


I have just recently become a coffee drinker. I had to share my favorite mug with you from local artist David Walker with Walker Custom Ceramics. His hand-made pottery is beautiful! You can contact David through his Facebook page and schedule a time to look at his collection or you can catch him at several regional markets and fairs.


This ring set was my Mother’s Day gift from Drew and the kids this year. I love it so much! What you can’t see in the photo is that all three of my kids names are engraved on the middle ring. Such a special gift that I now wear every day!

On one hand, I’m so sad to see my babies grow up. Avery will be entering the seventh grade; Reed, third; and my wild child, Mason, is starting preschool. But on the other hand, I love watching them grow, learn new things and take on the next chapter of their lives.

But in order for back-to-school season to officially commence, we parents must first accomplish a seemingly impossible list of tasks like shopping for school supplies from multiple lists and schools and managing schedules to make sure each of your children is on time and at the right location.

Like detectives on a mission, we set out to find that one elusive backpack that checks all the boxes: sturdy, stylish, and spacious enough to fit half the toy store.

We decode the cryptic language of the school supply list and navigate the crowded, picked over aisles at Walmart to find each item. No. 2 pencils? But they must be Ticonderoga. Does the teacher want sharpened or unsharpened? OK, no sharpened pencils, so unsharpened it is! Check. Sticky notes? But they must be yellow and they only need one pack. OK, closest I can find is a neon green three pack. Check.

We curate the perfect back-to-school wardrobe for our children. Find the newest stylish shoes. Research locker organization for our older kids. Buy the school spirit wear. Stock the fridge for school lunchboxes.

But all of it – the chaos, the challenges, the seemingly impossibles lists of tasks – seems worth it when you take that coveted first day of school photo. When your child comes home and tells you all about her exciting first day. When first report cards come home, and your child is so excited to show you his grades.


Last time we saw Ben Booker was on the cover of our 2014 Back To School issue of Owensboro Parent. Needless to say, he’s grown a little bit in the last nine years! Ben, who is now 16, is a sophomore at Owensboro Catholic High School, where he runs track and cross country. He enjoys fishing, hanging out with friends, cooking and playing video games. Ben isn’t exactly sure what he wants to do when he graduates, but he does plan to attend college in order to pursue a profession in engineering or medicine.

As parents, the back-to-school season may present challenges, but it’s also filled with moments of joy and laughter. Embrace the chaos, relish the memories, and enjoy the journey as we bid farewell to summer and welcome the start of another school year.

August // September 2023 BEHIND


Junior Achievement’s program Biz Kids came to a close last month after two days of entrepreneurship classes for students ages 9-12 who got to learn the basics about starting their own business ventures.

A total of 20 students from the H.L. Neblett Community Center participated in the program. They spent the first day learning about starting a business and hearing about local business owner Sean Byrne’s experience in starting his own companies.

JA Program Manager Mercedes McCain said the students then went to the dollar store to purchase several pieces of random items to create their own inventions. Students imaginatively made anti-sweat lotion, stress balls, and an Apple necklace.

“This gives them that freedom to really express who they are and who they want to be and it gives them no limitations, and that’s what’s important,” McCain said.

McCain said the students were given free rein to make their plan, only loosely having an activity sheet that prompted questions such as the cost of the product and intended use.

After creating their inventions, members from different parts of the community were invited in to act as “sharks” — like in the Shark Tank-style investment meeting. “Investors” were given roughly $100 of fake money to give to whichever groups they determined to have the best product.

The exercise also allowed the students to practice public speaking and other social skills.

McCain said some of the students noted they had never had people invest in what they were thinking about, saying this exercise allowed them to have confidence in themselves.


MentorKids Kentucky will host its annual Rugged Race 5K on August 5 at Diamond Lake Resort. The race features 28 obstacles, including water crossings, barbed wire, rope climbs, mud, and more.

There are two categories for participation: the elite category for serious athletes and the ultimate class for those running for fun or as a team. There are also be two youth divisions: Rugged Kids is for ages 8-11, and Rugged Rascals is for ages 4-7. All participants will receive a finisher’s medal and T-shirt.

“This is just a day where everyone in your family can have fun,” said MentorKids Executive Director Berly Tillman Sullivan. “If you don’t have what it takes to be ‘rugged,’ you can always volunteer – we need 100 volunteers to make the event a success.”

MentorKids exists to positively impact kids’ lives from single parents and nontraditional households. They host an on-site STAR program every Thursday for children without a match. They also offer life, daily living, and relationship skill-building courses.

Student Spotlight:

Jackson Quattrocchi, who runs for Owensboro Middle School, placed first in the 1600 meter run, making him a state champion!

Morgan Hawes, the Cover Kid from our April/May issue of Owensboro Parent, was crowned Miss Pre-Teen Daviess County 2023. Congratulations, Morgan!

August // September 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 9 AROUND OBKY

Amanda Powell


My husband, George, and I have been married for 17 years and have five kids: Mayme, (15), Andrew, (13), Hattie Jane, (11), Polly, (9), and Georgia Claire (6). I am a former high school English teacher and dance coach and he is a former history teacher and football coach. George is now the principal of Owensboro Catholic High School and I am a consultant with Rodan + Fields skin and hair care.


I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2002 when I was 22. It was November and I needed a physical before I could student teach the next semester in January. I explained to the on-campus physician how every time I looked down, put my chin to my chest as if buttoning my pants, there was an intense electrical shock sensation that went down my spine and my arms to my fingers and down even to my toes. It didn’t hurt necessarily, but it was odd and I thought should be mentioned. The doctor looked in his medical dictionary and read that this symptom (Lhermitte’s sign), could be related to, but may not be, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and a lot of other possibilities. He suggested I have an MRI. I called my mom and told her the news, and said it could wait until Thanksgiving, because I’ll be home soon. During this time, I could run, jump, had a job at a local pizza place, and was even dancing for an indoor football league in Lexington. I was not scared, and kept on going!

After an MRI, the neurologist read the report and images of my brain and spinal cord. I do not know how many lesions (white spots) were there, but enough for him to want me on steroids to calm the inflammation. By Christmas break, my neurologist ordered a spinal tap, and the fluid taken from my spine confirmed the diagnosis. I had never even heard of MS, and when I looked it up, I quickly looked away, because NOTHING positive was mentioned about having this disease. I was studying to become a high school English teacher and dance coach, no room for a bad attitude! In 2003, when I was student teaching, I began taking medication for MS. I still take medication and have been on five different drugs, injections, pills, now infusions specifically treating MS.


Raising my kids is something I absolutely cannot do on my own. I think before, when I could walk easily, and go and do, I wanted to do everything on my own. HOWEVER, it is not possible for me

with this disease. I cannot independently walk on my own. I now use a walker. I haven’t held a baby and walked, since baby #3, maybe #4. With Georgia, who is so small, I still cannot safely carry her.


In 2016, on November 1, when I was pregnant with our youngest, Georgia, I was admitted to the hospital because I was having difficulty walking. Georgia came into the world on December 1. She was not due until January and spent 10 days in the NICU to regulate her body temperature.

On December 10, Georgia was released to go home. I remained in the hospital because I was unable to care for her or myself. Someone bathed me, brushed my teeth, my hair, dressed me, and even fed me. I literally saw the beast that Multiple Sclerosis is and can be for so many people living every day with this disease. I was in the hospital for 56 days.

Georgia, sometime between day 1 to day 15,

contracted RSV. RSV is a is a common cold in adults, but deadly in babies. Georgia was premature, and slept A LOT! Her RSV was undetected until it was almost too late. She was in our ER on December 20th fighting for her life, and transferred to Kosair in Louisville and diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. She is now 6 years old, non-verbal and immobile. She goes to Foust Elementary school where she receives incredible care!


I remain positive about our lives because I know we are so blessed! It is HARD many days and many more hard days will come as our family continues to God-willingly, grow older. YET, how we treat one another, others, and ourselves is our legacy to the world. It is important that this legacy of life be a positive one. One of faith, perseverance, growth and love!


Keeping it Real

August // September 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 11

Christmas should never take anyone by surprise. Every year, there it is: December 25.

Nevertheless, unless a person is smart enough to set up a Christmas Club account at their bank or otherwise tuck away a few extra dollars throughout the year or just be rich enough to be able to absorb all the extra expenses that come along with playing Santa Claus, year after year, Christmas is a financially challenging season.

And guess what: So is Back-toSchool.

By now, everyone in our community should have caught on to the pattern that school starts around the second week of August. Kids in Owensboro/ Daviess County have gone to school all the way from preschool to graduation on that schedule. And in many cases, so did their parents.

So this should be no big surprise to anyone.

But whether parents are ready or not, preparing kids for their return to the classroom requires a significant monetary output.

Back-to-School is expensivean investment

» Clothes, shoes, haircuts.

» Bookbags, paper, pencils.

» Binders, notebooks, markers.

» Kleenex, calculators, crayons.

» Folders, glue, scissors.

» Books, technology fees, extracurricular expenses.

» After-school program fees, lunch money.

You don’t need to be a math major to figure out how quickly it all adds up.

Family Resource and Youth Service Centers, community partners and other resources are available to provide assistance to those who are truly in need, but for a lot of other families, all these expenditures pose a truly difficult challenge to the household budget.

I get that. I’ve been there.

Every August was a struggle and scramble to fill the shopping cart with supplies for four kids.

But as I look back now, from the vantage point of time and distance, here’s the thing:

I wasn’t just buying pencils and paper.

I was buying seeds – seeds that were

nurtured and cultivated, and which eventually blossomed.

All those supplies, packed carefully in those brightly colored, still-stiff new backpacks on the night before the first day of school, became tools in the hands of my children.

Tools their teachers guided them in using as they built a foundation of learning … a foundation upon which they built their lives.

In a very real way, one could trace a line from those crookedly-crayoned worksheets from preschool and kindergarten all the way to college and then to careers that have allowed my kids – and millions of others just like them – to be employed in rewarding careers, and to live happy lives that are successful in all the ways that mean the most.

So here’s what I want young parents to remember as they stare at that long list of school supplies they need to fulfill for their child or children this year:

The money you are spending is not a cost.

It’s an investment. OP

12 OWENSBORO PARENT August // September 2023
LORA WIMSATT is a mother, grandmother and writer. She enjoys the everyday blessings and adventures of life, especially her family.
August // September 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 13

4 TIPS FOR Working Moms

To all the full-time working moms, you are rockstars. You wake up every morning and live an entire life before going into the office and working a full-time job. No one knows that you have already been awake for four hours. No one knows that you had a fiveminute argument with a 3-year old over why he must wear pants to school. And you continue on and kill it every single day, or at least every other day. You should be proud of yourself and buy yourself a little treat every time you go outside the house.

I have been a full-time working mom for nine years. And when the boys were babies, it really kicked my booty. I was a certified hot mess. So, I started a blog and wrote about it. Totally normal reaction to being overly busy. I received loads of tips from other working moms around the world who must have felt sorry for me, and these are the top four tips I received that worked for me.


I experienced this hard core after the birth of my first son. I had an eight-week maternity leave and felt so guilty handing my newborn baby off to a babysitter that first day back to work. I sat in my car and sobbed. I made it into the office looking like a wrecked mess, and was greeted by my co-workers, who were adults, that I could have conversations with. I drank a

cup of coffee alone in my office and read the newspaper. And I got back into the swing of things. Then I remembered, I love a good challenge. I love solving problems. I love working with other likeminded people. Don’t ever feel guilty for doing something that makes you happy. It makes you a better person.


We spend so much time at work. Forty hours a week is a lot. Work somewhere and do something that makes you want to go to work or log onto your computer for the day. Or at least doesn’t make you want to puke when you think about it. I used to have nightmares about my job at Dell in Nashville right out of college. Sales was not a good fit for me. Working somewhere you love will set the tone for your attitude and mood outside work hours. When I do what I love, I am an all-around better mom. It only took me 15 years and 11 jobs to figure out what I love to do!


Do this at work and at home. Did you

turn in a big report or finish a project that felt daunting? Give yourself a pat on the back and order an expensive iced coffee. Did you get all the kids out the door in the morning for school without any breakdowns? High fives all around! It’s easier to keep on keeping on if we celebrate the things that might seem mundane at times. It’s also a great reason to go get ice cream or a cheeseburger.


Friends are vital to your mental health. And we spend eight hours a day at work. It’s way better with a friend. Studies show that having work friends increases your job satisfaction by 33%. I have met some of my favorite people through jobs I’ve had over the years in Owensboro. A shout out to the original crew that opened the Owensboro Convention Center and put on a gala for 2,200 people three days later. I will never forget working 80 hours a week with you.

I hope something you read here was helpful. Happy back to school season! I hope your kids are good for their photos. OP

14 OWENSBORO PARENT August // September 2023
JAMIE JOHNSON is a full-time working mom to two little boys, wife to Logan, and part-time writer. Her pieces have been featured in HuffPost Parents, Motherly, Today Parents and PopSugar Moms. You can follow her blog at HashtagMomFail.com!

Making it

Photo by Jamie Plain

Quick Dinners with Crescent Rolls

It’s almost time for school again, which means busy nights without a lot of time to cook for the pickiest eaters in your home! We used Crescent Rolls three different ways in order to create these kidapproved meals. There’s so much more you can make with store bought dough besides dinner rolls! Keep your back-toschool meal-prepping simple by popping open a can of this dough — there’s nothing better than a shortcut in the kitchen!

Pizza Pockets


›› 1 can Crescent Rolls

›› 1/4 cup pizza sauce

›› 1 cup mozzarella cheese

›› Pepperoni slices to taste

›› Italian seasoning and grated parmesan to garnish


›› Preheat oven to 375°F. Separate the Crescent Rolls into four separate rectangles (pressing the perforations together on the

triangles to seal them together)

›› Spread a tablespoon of pizza sauce on one side of each rectangle (leaving half empty). Top with a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella and pepperoni to taste. Fold dough from the empty side to cover the filling, then firmly press the edges together with a fork to seal it. Poke a small hole in the top of each pocket (for steam)

›› Top each pocket with Italian seasoning and grated parmesan (to taste), then bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe & Photo by Jamie Plain

Chicken, Broccoli, & Cheese Rolls


›› 1 cup full cooked breast, shredded

›› 1 cup finely chopped broccoli

›› 1 cup shredded cheddar

›› 2 cans Crescent Rolls


›› In a large bowl, combine broccoli, chicken, and cheese until all ingredients are evenly mixed.

›› Spoon some mixture into the longer end of the Crescent Roll and roll it up.

›› Bake at 375°F for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Serve warm!

Taco Ring


›› 1 lb ground beef

›› 1/2 cup onion

›› 1/2 cup water

›› 1 pkg. taco seasoning

›› 2 cans Crescent Rolls

›› shredded cheese to taste

›› additional taco toppings of choice


›› Preheat oven to 375°F.

›› In a skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef alongside onions until the beef has just browned, then drain the oil.

›› Add water and taco seasoning to cooked meat and simmer for 10min, stirring often.

›› Open the Crescent Rolls and arrange each triangle in a circle on a large baking dish. Do this by overlapping the wide end of the triangles and face the pointed ends outward, so it looks similar to a sunburst.

›› Spoon the beef mixture over the overlapped part of the circle, then top with shredded cheese.

›› Take the pointed end of the triangle and bright it over top the meat mixture, then tuck it on the opposite end. Repeat until all the tips of the dough have been tucked, turning the sunburst into a ring.

›› Bake the taco ring for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and add serve with toppings of your choice! OP

August // September 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 17
JAMIE PLAIN is a nationally published culinary and commercial photographer working as a full-time staff photographer for Tanner Publishing. She has a knack for making tasty food and pretty art. See more of her portfolio at jaastudios.com.


Before my daughter started preschool nine years ago, my mom and I took her to a meet the teacher event the week before school started. Her teacher read this book to the students and parents, and ever since it has been a tradition to read this the night before school. My little girl will be going into the seventh grade this year, but we will still read this book.

In this story, school is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester’s fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary. Stickers at the back will help children and their parents keep

their Kissing Hand alive.

But, if your kids are anything like mine, those stickers won’t make it long. A supply that should have made it through high school maybe lasted until kindergarten.

But don’t worry! Here are a couple of crafts that can help you keep the Kissing Hand alive for your student as they start school this year.

Paper Hand

This is a simple one. Trace your child’s hand on paper and cut it out. Then cut out a paper heart and glue it in the middle of the paper hand. Tuck this paper into a pencil pouch or in a pocket to help your child remember your love throughout their first day of school.

Pencil Topper

What better way to remember the Kissing Hand than creating your child’s very own Chester Raccoon? This little guy was made from pipe cleaner, scrap felt, two mini pompoms and a couple of clay beads. Really, you can use whatever scrap crafting materials you have have laying around. Have fun making your very own version of Chester! OP

18 OWENSBORO PARENT August // September 2023
ASHLEY WEDDING is the editor of Owensboro Parent Magazine. She enjoys everyday adventures with her husband, Drew, and their three kids, Avery, Reed and Mason.
If you make these adorable crafts, be sure to tag a photo of them on our social media accounts! We would love to see them! by Ashley Wedding Photo by Jamie Plain



Photo by Jamie Plain


Learn the heart of this 7-year- old champion

Most 7-year-old, rising second graders, are busy being shuttled here and there to a plethora of extracurricular activities. Typical activities like dance, soccer, and music lessons might come to mind. Yet one Daviess County youth has embarked on a journey into an entire new realm of possibility when competing. Meet Mae Nall, National Ninja League finalist.

Having only participated in the obstacle related sport for one year, Mae has quickly earned her keep as a fierce and spirited competitor. She has her eye on the ultimate prize, becoming a national champion.

Having begun whilst doing pull ups at home, Mae’s family credits her agility and high energy as the inspiration behind her success.

“We often joke that Mae is never on her feet,” her mother Lesli Nall, said. “This sport is truly an outlet for her energy, it adheres to her interests in strength and balance.”

Mae competes in the World Ninja League and is a member of “Team Tenacity.” Although the competitive sport is not affiliated

20 OWENSBORO PARENT August // September 2023 COMMUNITY

with what most are familiar with as “American Ninja Warrior” many of it’s youngest athletes are trained by former competitors from the popular TV series.

Mae is trained by 4x American Ninja Warrior competitor Nicole Martinez Griffin. Griffin resides in Paducah and owns Tenacity Training, an obstaclefocused facility. She has played a vital role in the development of Mae’s skill and technique. Griffin appeared on “American Ninja Warrior” for three seasons.

“Ninja Nicole has helped me to stay motivated and focused, and so has my dad,” Mae said.

Combining multiple skills such as coordination, endurance, flexibility, and perseverance, “ninja” differs from traditional martial arts as it is considered an obstacle driven sport that pairs with “mental fortitude.” Ninja is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. A relatively new sport, “ninja” challenges athletes’ techniques and conditioning on many different types of obstacles.

“I think what makes the sport so unique is that it isn’t predictable, it’s diverse and teaches kids to adapt,” father Ryan Nall explained.

Mae’s parents along with an extended network of ninja families are not only supportive but embrace one another’s differences.

“This has been a tremendous growth opportunity for Mae,” Lesli said. “Her determination despite failure has really helped her develop skills that I feel she will use the rest of her life.”

Since “ninja” is outside of the genre of traditional sports, there isn’t one specific characteristic that defines it. The sport is fast paced, evolving, and most of all fun!

Competitive courses change from event to event, ninja athletes have to be well rounded and up for new challenges. No two courses are the same. They

may contain similar obstacles but the layout, pace, and tier of difficulty varies. Ninja athletes focus on the conditioning and techniques needed for each kind of obstacle while training for competitions.

“Laches are my favorite obstacle,” Mae said. “I love swinging through the air.”

Ninja is one of the most accessible sports around. The sport can be practiced individually with little to no equipment. Many first-generation competitive ninjas focus on simple athome bodyweight exercises to stay competitive.

“We talk a lot about confidence, and training, and having the right attitude,” Lesli said. “Mae takes things in stride; she knows that one mistake doesn’t define who she is.”

Having worked her way through local and regional competitions, Mae currently has a power ranking of 55th, finishing within the top 100 at world nationals. This is a remarkable achievement given she has only participated in the sport for one year.

“We sort of have this philosophy that competing helps create a well rounded athlete,” Ryan said. “This sport really translates to any sport, it helps train kids to become athletes, and as they mature they can take those skills and specialize in other things. You have to train to tackle any obstacle because you never know what they are going to be.

You don’t know any course ahead of time.”

When asked about her future plans as a ninja athlete Mae is as ambitious as ever.

“I hope I’ll be doing this when I’m 70,” she said while grinning.

Although there aren’t currently any local ninja training facilities, preparation for competitive leagues is doable. Local gyms like Elite Air and Cheer Zone contain equipment that is somewhat similar to competitive obstacles.

“There just isn’t one specific thing about ninja that makes it special,” Lesli said. “It teaches kids to move and be in control of their bodies while being mindful. The transfer of skills, the strategy, the flexibility, and most of all the fun are what make it so adaptable and inclusive.”

As far as encouragement goes, Mae shared that she hopes other kids catch on to the sport and join her on a league.

“I get all the emotions when I compete,” Mae said. OP

August // September 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 21
ERINN WILLIAMS adores her hubby, cats, hardback church hymnals and a hot mess of fried okra. She’s new in town, trading in mountains and streams for soybeans and burgoo, and refers to herself as "a little hillbilly in a great big world."


For finding a cure
Written by Melody Wallace Photo by In His Image Photography

For the Webb family, August signifies the beginning of a new school year for each of their three children: Hunter (14), Harper (11), and Hayden (6). It also marks the third year for the Harper’s Hope annual golf scramble at Ben Hawes Golf Course, an event created to raise money for the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST). When Harper was 11 months old, her parents, Derrick and Johnna Webb, received the news that Harper had been diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome. Rather than succumb to the fear of uncertainty, the couple made the choice to create a nonprofit in order to begin fundraising for a cure.

The Diagnosis

“We knew at eight weeks something wasn’t right,” Johnna said. “By definition alone, Angelman’s is a severe neurological disorder. Most children with Angelman have seizures and are very intelligent children and individuals. They have a normal life expectancy — they may have a lot more challenges than others.”

Angelman Syndrome (AS) is a genetic disorder which affects approximately 1 in 15,000 people, meaning there are roughly 500,000 people in the world living with AS. There are different varieties of Angelman Syndrome, with the most common being deletion. Harper has deletion of the fifteenth chromosome. Genetic testing revealed that she was missing the maternal side of the fifteenth chromosome, resulting in a diagnosis of Angelman Syndrome. Deletion of the chromosome on the paternal side is referred to as Prader-Willi syndrome.

Children with AS experience delays in crawling and babbling and may develop intellectual disabilities. Like Harper, most Individuals with AS typically smile often and have excitable personalities, are nonverbal or have limited speech, often have difficulty walking or maintaining their balance, and struggle falling asleep and staying asleep.

“She uses an augmented device and she has gestures she uses,” Johnna said. “If we ask her yes or no questions, she can

answer appropriately by grunting and pointing or she shakes her head for what she wants.”

Her parents said that they have heard Harper use one-word responses such as, “No,” “Hi,” “Mom,” “Dad,” and “Bub.” They often find they have to persuade her for a response, especially for more difficult tasks like saying her own name.

“I think my biggest thing would be to hear her speak,” Johnna said. “I want to hear her voice and tell us about her day, because she can’t come home and tell us that.”

Although Harper learned to walk when she was 3 years old, she often uses an adaptive stroller for longer distances. She also receives speech, occupational, and physical therapies during the halfday timeframe that she is not attending Highland Elementary School (HES).

“Harper only goes to school three half days because we have so many therapies,” Johnna said, adding that the minimal social interaction with students coupled with Harper’s inability to express her feelings clearly has made it difficult for the almost-fifth grader to establish genuine friendships.

“She has quite the personality, but it’s hard for her to make friends because she doesn’t talk like most kids, but we are getting there,” Johnna said. “It’s taken us a long time to nurture and grow friendships and trust…It took us from preschool until now to grow those relationships.”

Johnna added that Harper’s fourth grade year at Highland was by far the best school year she has had.

“I think our greatest accomplishment at school is those kids learned how she communicates.They communicated with her and she communicated with them and they can communicate with each other,” Johnna said. “It’s about educating people about it [Angelman Syndrome].”

What She CAN Do

With her contagious smile, Harper Randi can captivate a room, a church entrance, and a golf course. Through therapy, she has learned to walk up and down stairs using reciprocal movement. She is incredibly skilled at using an iPad

and can use a pencil to scribble, but can not yet write her name. She can drink from a cup, feed herself, and assist in the process of getting dressed.

“In our eyes, we celebrate the small gains that Harper makes over time, because in reality they are really big gains,” Derrick and Johnna said.

Harper loves to swim, ride a bike, and was a member of the Team Karlie racing team during the International BBQ Festival 5K in May.

“The community is embracing her and learning her personality,” Derrick said. “Harper has so much potential; she is smart and she is capable. Does that mean she’s going to go to college? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean she can’t be taught, she can’t learn, and she can’t grow — that she can’t be the best person that everyone around her helped her to be.”

Recently, Harper successfully participated in the Bailey test, where she was required to sit independently in a chair for two hours.

“For four years she sat in my lap to do it — those little things are huge to us,” Johnna said. “My hope for years to come is to keep the momentum for school, or the little things people take for granted, like putting clothes in the laundry or taking out the trash, and for her to gain more independence as she grows older.”

The Webb family relocated to Owensboro from Louisa, Kentucky, in 2016 as a result of Derrick’s position with AK Steel.

“We have been in Owensboro for seven years now; Owensboro is our home,” Derrick said. “It would be hard for me to leave Owensboro and take Harper out of this environment because she is thriving so well.”

Harper receives services from several area organizations including Wendell Foster, Surpass Behavioral Health ABA Therapy, and Dream Riders of Kentucky.

After relocating from a smaller town of less than 3,000 people, Derrick and Johnna said they feel “really fortunate” that Owensboro offers such a wide variety of therapies that are easily accessible and in close proximity to where they live.

August // September 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 23

Hope for the Future

Derrick said that when he and Johnna first learned of Harper’s diagnosis, he had a difficult time with the news.

“I initially struggled with the diagnosis and thought, ‘What did I do to deserve this?’” Derrick said. “Then you see Harper and that smile and think, “What did she do to deserve this?’ Johnna said, ‘We can give up or make her the best she can be — we can start a nonprofit.”

And that is just what they did.

In 2013, with the support of their parents and two friends, and fueled by their desire to find a cure for Angelman Syndrome, Harper’s Hope was born. The cupcake logo inspired by the nickname Johnna used for Harper prior to her birth.

“We got into the Angelman community when a lot of things were taking off in terms of research,” Derrick said. “There

is so much science involved, where they know how to fix it — it’s the monetary part, they don’t have.”

The first ever Harper’s Hope golf scramble was held at Yatesville Lakes Golf Course in Louisa in June of 2014, in honor of Harper’s second birthday. A charity scramble has been held each year since on the first Saturday in June. Harper’s Hope held its tenth annual golf scramble on June 3, 2023.

“I was a golfer and played in scrambles and knew charity golf outings raised some money,” Derrick said. “The first outing raised $5,000. In ten years, we have grown it from $5,000 to $26,000.”

Since moving to Owensboro, the Webbs have established a second golf scramble for Harper’s Hope that occurs each August. Aug. 5, 2023 marks the third annual golf scramble for the Ben Hawes location. Over the past 10 years, Harper’s

Hope has offered a variety of items in order to raise money for a cure, including T-shirts, bracelets, hats cups, stickers, and campfire chairs.

“Since we started Harpers Hope in 2013, we’ve donated a little over $215,000 dollars to FAST research,” Derrick said. “There are several human clinical trials going on now and for us that’s what our money is doing. Our money is helping fund those clinical trials.”

Although life can often be hectic raising three children and working yearround to raise money for research, the Webbs say they wouldn’t change a thing.

“We’ve never let Harper’s disability affect how we live day to day. This is our normal,” Derrick said. “I wouldn’t change it. She is who she is and we are who we are. Harper’s Hope and our story, this is who we are. I wouldn’t change a thing, other than to cure Angelman.” OP

24 OWENSBORO PARENT August // September 2023
MELODY WALLACE is a mom, stepmom and JAG specialist at Apollo High School.. She runs on caffeine, good deeds and the inspiring stories of others.


he late great Bill Monroe once said that “Bluegrass music has brought more people together and made more friends than any music in the world.” Given Monroe was born and raised in neighboring Rosine, Kentucky, his music has been handed down for generations. The sacred sound founded by Monroe is as enduring as the mighty Ohio river.

A trio of young men from Owensboro, are ensuring that Bluegrass music reaches the masses and continues to bring folks together, just as it brought them together. Forming a unique friendship, Cruse Edwards, Noah Mason, and Parker Malone are picking and grinning, with a maturity and a gift well beyond their years.

“I really like Ricky Skaggs and Earl Scruggs,” Cruse said in between banjo licks. Seated in an accent chair in his sock feet, the tall 12-year-old explained how the now trio grew from a duo. “Well, Noah and I had been playing together a while. Our good friend, Randy Lanham, invited us to come pick and Parker was there. He’s sort of been with us ever since.”

Cruse plays guitar, mandolin, and banjo. Noah Mason who is also 12, plays fiddle. Parker Malone, 11, is the newest addition to the Bluegrass Brothers and plays guitar and fiddle. Together the three Daviess county natives have an inseparable bond that would make any high lonesome sound envious.

“We played together a lot in church, Cruse and I,” Noah said. Additionally since the boys live in the same neighborhood, they made time to practice

often, honing in on their craft like true master musicians.

Parker credits influences like Billy Strings and Michael Cleveland for inspiring him to play. He further adds if it were up to him, he’d tell other kids interested in music to stick with it. “Don’t ever give up, keep practicing and playing.”

When asked about how the group got their name, Noah said he already felt as if he and Cruse were “brothers.”

“We go to school together, and it kind of already felt like we were brothers already,” Noah said.

Of course Cruse added that a certain Ohio countian had already taken one name they liked.

“Bill Monroe’s band was called The Bluegrass Boys, so that name was already taken,” he joked.

The Bluegrass Brothers have grown both in friendship and outreach since expanding as a group. Sharing their talents with others has become equal parts hobby and service work. The group has gained momentum booking local performances with the Lanham Brothers as well as shows at the Rosine Barn Jamboree. The trio notes that giving back has become their favorite aspect of performing. Together they play often at nursing homes, for senior groups, and while visiting local shut-ins. The elderly are some of their most devoted and charismatic fans.

“It feels good to see people happy when we play music,” Parker said.

A recent stop in Nashville during the SEC tournament put the band in the spotlight in a

August // September 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 27

unique way, and enabled the young musicians to reach even more fans on social media. Sean Moody of Lex18 news caused quite the stir when he recorded a live jam and took to facebook. The video currently has over 14,000 views.

“He just stopped what he was doing and started recording,” Noah said. “He noticed our UK hats.”

The young musicians receive their training from Randy Lanham of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum. The ambitious trio is eager to grow and has major goals for the future. Fiddle

player Noah encourages other young musicians to get involved and invested as soon as possible.

“There’s no age limit, start young,” he said. “Don’t take it too seriously, and have fun!”

The Bluegrass Brothers can be followed on various social media platforms including Facebook and on their Youtube channel. They have released a single on Amazon music. “Will the Circle be Unbroken” is the group’s first studio release.

Above all things, the group hopes

to continue to showcase their faith and friendship, while preserving the rich history of bluegrass music in a fresh new way. There are no plans of slowing down anytime soon. The trio has plans to stay active the remainder of 2023 and is excited about what 2024 has to offer. The Bluegrass Brothers hope to create a lasting legacy that extends beyond the borders of music.

“We aren’t just friends,” Cruse said. “We are brothers in Christ. We hope to always keep God in front of all of it.” OP

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ERINN WILLIAMS adores her hubby, cats, hardback church hymnals and a hot mess of fried okra. She’s new in town, trading in mountains and streams for soybeans and burgoo, and refers to herself as "a little hillbilly in a great big world."

profiles of working families

Owensboro is a great place to raise a family and these local businesses are doing just that while serving the community. Incorporating a family-friendly environment each day in their business or organization, these professionals understand work-life balance and are sharing their best advice with you!


something undeniably enchanting about a family-owned jewelry store that has stood the test of time.

Founded 15 years ago by a skilled master jeweler Lance Embry, the store quickly gained a reputation for its intricate designs and impeccable attention to detail. Every piece of jewelry created at Lance & Co. Jewelers is a testament to the artistry and expertise Lace has been honed over his 45-year career. From delicate diamond necklaces to handcrafted engagement rings, each item showcases the mastery and

creativity of the skilled artisans behind the scenes.

For the past 15 years, Lance & Co. Jewelers has been a steadfast presence in the community, captivating customers with their exceptional craftsmanship and personalized approach to customer service. Now, with the addition of a new partner, Mandy Collins, Lance’s daughter, this beloved establishment enters a new chapter while staying true to its core values.

In keeping with the tradition of passing down family expertise, Mandy and her more than 20 years of experience in the jewelry industry brings a fresh

perspective while upholding the store’s commitment to quality and innovation. The blend of tradition and modernity that Mandy injects into the business ensures that Lance & Co. Jewelers remains relevant and appealing to a new generation of jewelry enthusiasts.

At Lance & Co. Jewelers, customer service is not just a buzzword; it’s a way of life. Stepping into the store, customers are welcomed with warm smiles and a genuine desire to help them find the perfect piece of jewelry for any occasion. The knowledgeable staff takes the time to understand individual preferences and offers expert guidance, making the entire

32 OWENSBORO PARENT August // September 2023 (270) 686-0001 // lancecojewelers.com // 2730 Frederica St SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

shopping experience a memorable one. Whether a customer is seeking a unique custom design or looking to restore a cherished heirloom, Lance & Mandy go above and beyond to meet their needs and exceed their expectations.

One of the hallmarks of Lance & Co. Jewelers’ success is their commitment to offering distinctive designs that stand out from the crowd. While they appreciate classic elegance, they are not afraid to experiment with innovative styles and materials, creating pieces that are truly one-of-a-kind. From vintage-inspired collections to contemporary designs, Lance & Co. Jewelers offers a wide array of options to suit diverse tastes. This emphasis on uniqueness ensures that every customer leaves with a piece that tells their own personal story.

Lance & Co. Jewelers’

dedication to the local community extends beyond the walls of their store. Over the years, they have actively participated in various philanthropic endeavors, supporting local charities and organizations. They understand the importance of giving back and making a positive impact on the community that has been their home for decades. This commitment to social responsibility further strengthens their bond with customers and reinforces their reputation as a caring and trusted establishment. This local business thrives on the dynamic partnership between Lance and Mandy, with the unwavering support from their family. Lance’s wife, Kendra, and son, Dawson, Mandy’s husband Dustin, along with his grandchildren – Mandy’s children

Daylon and Lily who you can see in the store on occasion – are the purpose behind this store’s passion and commitment to the community.

With the addition of a new partner, the store not only preserves its rich heritage but also embraces new possibilities for growth and innovation. As customers step into Lance & Co. Jewelers, they can expect a truly remarkable experience, where their dreams and desires are transformed into tangible pieces of art that will be treasured for generations to come.

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Photos by M 2 Productions

Achieving Work-Life Balance: A Key to Happiness and Productivity

In today’s fast-paced and demanding world, finding a healthy work-life balance has become more essential than ever. Work-life balance refers to the equilibrium between professional commitments and personal well-being. It is about managing one’s time, energy, and attention to ensure that both work and personal life thrive harmoniously. Striking this balance is crucial for our overall happiness, relationships, and productivity.

Maintaining work-life balance offers numerous benefits. Firstly, it promotes mental and physical well-being. When we dedicate sufficient time to activities outside of work, such as spending time with loved ones, pursuing hobbies, or engaging in exercise, we recharge ourselves and reduce stress levels. This, in turn, enhances our focus, creativity, and productivity when we return to work. Additionally, work-life balance nurtures relationships. Our personal connections provide support, happiness, and a sense of belonging. By prioritizing time with family and friends, we strengthen these

bonds and create memories that are invaluable in the long run. Cultivating meaningful relationships outside of work also contributes to our overall satisfaction and fulfillment.

Moreover, work-life balance ensures sustainability in the workplace. Employees who can balance their professional and personal lives are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and loyal. They experience lower levels of burnout and are more committed to their work.

Employers benefit from a productive workforce that is energized, creative, and better equipped to handle challenges. So, how can one achieve a healthy work-life balance? It starts with setting boundaries and prioritizing. Establishing clear boundaries between work and personal life helps prevent the intrusion of one into the other. This can involve designating specific work hours, creating a dedicated workspace, and avoiding work-related tasks during personal time. Furthermore, effective time management is essential. Prioritizing tasks, setting

realistic goals, and avoiding excessive multitasking can improve productivity and create time for personal activities. Learning to delegate and seeking support when needed can also alleviate workrelated stress.

Finally, self-care should never be overlooked. Taking care of oneself physically, emotionally, and mentally is vital. Engaging in activities that promote relaxation, practicing mindfulness or meditation, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle contribute to overall well-being and resilience.

In conclusion, work-life balance is not just a luxury; it is a necessity for our well-being and success. By consciously striving for equilibrium between work and personal life, we can experience increased happiness, stronger relationships, and heightened productivity. Remember, finding the right balance is a continuous journey that requires self-awareness, prioritization, and a commitment to self-care.

August // September 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 35 (270) 681-1339 // libertyfcu.org // 2925 Wimsatt Court

2804 Frederica St // (270) 240-3633

3245 Mt Moriah Ave STE 10 // (270) 663-0955

Family can mean a lot of different things for different people. Some may consider family their stability, their comfort, their homebase. They need time with family to refill their tank. Others may see family as wonderful chaos and beautiful noise, with a heavy dose of constant stimulation. These people could use work as a means to refill their tank. Both of these people, and everyone in between, need a healthy balance between work and family to live a healthy life.

Now throw on the aspect of running a business, managing your heavy work flow, or helping others outside of your family. Let’s count the number of people you touch everyday. It could be 10 or even 100!

Woah. Having a full tank is important if you will be influencing that many people each day. Your impact on not only your family, but our community, is probably more than you realize. For your wellbeing and those around you, a healthy work-family balance is vital.

At Gateway Urgent Care, we deeply understand this. In order to give our team members time with their family, while still providing convenient hours for our community, we created an unique work schedule. Each team member works an average of 14 days a month, 7am-7pm. The rest of the month, they are off! Gateway Urgent Care is also closed every Sunday and on all major holidays so our teams can spend time with their families and

this amount of quality time with our families, and their continued support of us in our roles at Gateway, we hope we can keep our team members’ tanks FULL!

“The rotational schedule at Gateway Urgent Care allows me the flexibility to fulfill my role as mom, wife and nurse. As a mom of 6 there are always appointments or events that I need to attend. Working a week on and a week off gives me the opportunity to carry out my role as mom and spend more time as a family.”

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Gene’s Health Food owners Andrew Keller, Karissa Costello and Olivia Vancil say their business is super family focused, so it isn’t unusual to see the staff’s children in the store. After all, a lot of Gene’s staff grew up running through the aisles themselves.

Gene’s marketing manager Sandra Keller said, “I think we all like involving our kids in the responsibilities of running our store because it gives them an understanding of priorities and how to get things done, as well as a sense of pride in the actions you take.”

Every generation that came after Gene, the store’s founder and namesake, has worked either in the store, food truck or some health fare.

“Beyond a job we use the store and how we work with the community to bring up teachable moments for our own families,” Sandra said. “How to be good people. How to be a good friend. How to understand that life can throw all manner of obstacles or stress at you – but it’s how you respond to both the good and bad that show your character.”

Sandra says it was important to add a little sense of wonder when they relocated Gene’s to their current location. “When I made the front display table I hid a little fairy door at the bottom. Most parents miss it, but I guarantee every waist high kid has seen it,” she said.

Gene’s also carries a line of books about tackling tough subjects for little people like shyness, bullying and grief/loss.

“We strongly feel that growing up strong and healthy isn’t just food and supplements, but young minds prepared for resilience,” she said.

Bonnie Brown is a wife, mom, working health care professional, and a CASA volunteer. To Bonnie, “family is important to me and I don’t want to take anything away from them but I’m in a phase of my life where my children don’t need me as much and that gives me the time to do what I’ve been called to do.” She is passionate about creating a great life for her children and making a difference through her work and volunteering. Bonnie says “ working feeds us and provides for us physically but volunteering feeds the souls which is equally important. We are so fortunate to have grown up in stable homes and are able to provide that for our children, we want to try to give some of that to others. Kids have no control of their situations so if I can help them, and give them just a little stability, I want to make that a priority.”

38 OWENSBORO PARENT August // September 2023 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 1738 Moseley St (270) 684-5052 geneshealthfood.com 608 Frederica St, Owensboro, KY 42301 (270) 683-2138 // www.CASAov.org

(270) 417-2000


1201 Pleasant Valley Rd

Amit Dulabh, MD, is a peditrician at Owensboro Health Children’s Center. His wife, Candace Dulabh, PAC, is a physician assistant specializing in primary care at Owensboro Health Family Medicine in the same building. The two young healthcare providers have found a balance between career and family as they coordinate schedules and little ones.

The couple met during the summer after their junior years in high school when they both attended the Governor’s Scholars Program at Northern Kentucky University.

Together they have three children, Remin, 7; Sailam, 6 and Kaavi Rose, 4, and have found that communication is key in making their day-to-day work. “We have a shared calendar, and make sure to sit down and discuss our upcoming week every Sunday,” Dr. Amit Dulabh said. “It’s not always perfect, but it helps us keep things somewhat organized — or at least let’s us believe it is.”

The couple said the best part of working in similar fields is having a shared understanding of each other’s days and being able to relate without explaining the details.

Learn more about the Dulabhs at OwensboroHealth.org.

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1200 Breckenridge St. // (270) 683-8672 // drvora.com

TJ Israel is a certified Physician Assistant at Owensboro Heart and Vascular (OHV) with expertise in Vascular Medicine. TJ and her husband, Chris, have a daughter and are expecting another baby this year.

As a medical provider, TJ says that her days are spent caring for others and it can feel like the tasks can be never-ending. However, to maintain the work-life balance, one must have priorities and boundaries that are respected. “I try to make sure the things that absolutely need to be addressed urgently for my patients get prioritized,” says TJ, “Nonetheless, Dr. Vora and the team at OHV do a great job of respecting the boundaries needed for my family. They understand that life outside of the office must exist in order for me to care for my patients to the best of my ability.”

TJ and Chris, a teacher at Daviess County Public Schools, say that communication is key for their family. “We make sure we are on the same page and split up the responsibilities outside of our workplaces. That is the best way to support each other, both at professional and at personal levels.”




7 Steps for Supporting Children with Anxiety

Supporting children with anxiety requires understanding, empathy and a compassionate approach. Anxiety can show up in various ways in children, impacting their emotional well-being, how they respond, and academic performance. As parents, caregivers, teachers, or mentors, we play a vital role in helping children navigate and understand their anxious thoughts and feelings. By teaching and modeling healthy coping skills, providing a supportive environment and seeking professional help when needed, we can empower children to manage these feelings and thoughts in order to thrive in their daily lives. In this article, we will look at 7 effective steps to support children with anxiety, offer guidance and suggestions to promote their emotional well-being and resilience. These steps are not age specific but can work and be modified for all ages.


Learn about anxiety and what it looks like in children. There are a variety of symptoms that are associated with anxiety but remember every child is different and may not be textbook. Understanding anxiety will enable you to provide appropriate and evidencebased strategies. This may be the most important piece you can do to support your child because you are trying to empathize with them and learn more about how they feel.


You want to be able to create a safe and non-judgmental space where your child feels comfortable and safe about expressing their thoughts and feelings. When you have an understanding of what anxiety is, this will help you with this step. Encourage them to talk about their anxiety and validate their

experiences. Just because you may not have anxiety does not mean you can’t try to put yourself in their place. This also creates an environment where your children know that it is okay to talk to you and seek help.


Practice active listening. Active listening is when you give another person your undivided attention. Active listening requires being fully present in the moment and showing genuine interest and empathy for the person talking. This helps to avoid dismissing or trivializing their feelings.


People struggle a great deal in today’s society because they turn to unhealthy coping skills and this creates more problems for them in the process. Model healthy coping skills to children. You can

42 OWENSBORO PARENT August // September 2023 DISCOVER

promote healthy coping skills such as engaging in physical activity, having hobbies, spending time with supportive friends and family. Other examples of healthy coping skills can include; journaling, practicing gratitude, drawing, listening to music, going outside, and other creative outlets.


You can teach age-appropriate techniques such as deep breathing exercises, guided imagery and other muscle relaxation techniques. These techniques can help your child to manage living with anxiety and offer healthy coping skills.


Establishing a predictable routine can help reduce anxiety by providing stability and structure. The more you are consistent in your day-to-day activities such as dinnertime, homework, and bedtime can help establish a sense of security. This is a good rule of thumb for most children. Children with or without anxiety tend to function well with an established routine in place.


When a child’s anxiety significantly interferes with their daily lives, relationships, or academic performance, consider seeking professional help from a mental health specialist, such as a child psychologist or a therapist. They can provide an appropriate assessment, diagnosis, and evidence-based treatment options.

These steps can help you model healthy coping skills for the children in your life. Keep in mind that each child is unique and what works for one may not work for another. I think learning about anxiety is such a good starting place to create a safe and supportive environment for your children. Practicing patience, empathy and continued support are essential when helping your child to manage anxiety. Supporting children with anxiety, regardless of age, requires a multifaceted approach. Continue to foster open communication, provide a structured and supportive environment for your child. These elements over time will increase their confidence and resilience. When we support children with anxiety we can make a positive impact on their lives, laying a foundation for positive well-being and a successful future. OP

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CHRISTINA DALTON, MSSW, LCSW is a District Social Worker for Daviess County Public Schools.

Reach a Family Goal by Reading Aloud Together

Reading aloud regularly with your kids is a powerful way to improve their lives. According to an article by Walden University, reading aloud to your kids may provide the following benefits.

›› Greater comprehension and visualization skills

›› Exposure to new vocabulary within context

›› Reduction in stress related to learning to read or school performance

›› Stronger family bonds through shared experiences

›› Motivation for the value of reading later in life

I am a middle school librarian, and I can tell you that even my older students enjoy a good read-aloud together!

As this new school year begins, set a family goal to find 10 minutes in the daily routine to read to your kids and complete one of the Book Nook challenges.

›› Start the day with a cuddle and read aloud before you all run out the door.

›› Use reading aloud time as a transition from the school day into the evening routine.

›› Add reading aloud to your bedtime tasks.

Record your progress in the chart and then celebrate meeting your goal!

30 Books in 30 Days

Head to the library and allow everyone in the family to contribute to a stack of 30 picture books. Number each book with a sticky note and each day draw a number to determine which book your family will read.

300 Minutes in 30 Days

Set a timer and spend 10 minutes a day on a chapter book together.

If you need a chapter book suggestion here are a few of my family’s favorites:

KATIE ALBERS grew up in Owensboro and loved words so much that she became a school librarian and even alphabetized her family: Josh, Katie, Lance, Mallory, Noelle, Oaken, and Polly (the cat).
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 10
Minutes Daily in September
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz L. Frank Baum Wayside Stories from Wayside School Louis Sachar The Adventures of Pinocchio Carlo Collodi Wonder R.J. Palacio Where the “Mountain Meets the Moon Grace Lin My Father’s Dragon Ruth Stiles Gannett
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Owensboro Health Behavioral Health Serves New Moms

During pregnancy, there’s a great deal of focus on physical health. We take all the right steps to come behind expecting mothers, ensuring their bodies get what they need to stay healthy and fuel their baby’s development. Caring for their mental and emotional well-being, however, is often missed even though it’s just as important. We also tend to think of pregnancy as a series of precious and exciting moments. So, when women wrestle with feelings they can’t explain, they tend to suffer in silence. That’s why we’ve designed pregnancy and postpartum behavioral health services to ensure our moms and babies get off to the best possible start.

Ashly Skaggs, APRN at Owensboro Health Medical Group Behavioral Health, went into this specialty because she, herself, struggled with severe postpartum OCD. She struggled for more than a year before asking for help from her physician. When she later started working as a nurse in the NICU, she realized that postpartum mental health is a huge issue and often missed. In 2018, she changed her focus to helping other moms that were dealing with the same emotions she had. She now helps moms in a variety of ways:

Anxiety and Mood Disorders During Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, your body undergoes many changes. You also likely have a lot on your mind: After all, life as you know it is about to change. Some anxious feelings, and even some

moderate mood swings, are quite normal and usually go away on their own. But if these symptoms continue for more than a few weeks at a time or worsen over time, you may need help with a perinatal mood disorder (PPMD).

Depression After Delivery

Right after birth, your hormone levels drop, which naturally impacts your mood—as does the lack of sleep you’re probably getting with a new baby adjusting to life outside the womb. Up to 4 in 5 moms, in fact, experience what’s known as the baby blues, which refers to the feelings of sadness that can begin from the time right after birth to a few weeks following. In most cases, the baby blues go away on their own. If they don’t, though, and it’s been two weeks after birth, or longer, it’s important to talk with your doctor.

Conditions We Treat

With a provider who’s dedicated exclusively to supporting mental wellness throughout our patients’ pregnancies and beyond, you can feel confident we have every aspect of your care covered. We’re here to help women with the full range of periand postpartum behavioral health conditions, including:

• Perinatal ADHD

• Perinatal Anxiety

• Perinatal Bipolar Disorder

• Perinatal Depression

• Perinatal Eating Disorders

• Perinatal Obsessive-compulsive


• Perinatal Psychosis

• Perinatal Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

• Perinatal Schizophrenia

Compassionate, Specialized Care

When mental health conditions are left untreated during pregnancy, it can have negative health impacts on mom and baby, including increased risk for preterm birth, low birth weight and even poor nutrition after birth. Yet, according to recent studies, fewer than 1 in 10 pregnant women with a mental health illness receive adequate treatment, and fewer than 1 in 20 are actually cured.

Treatments for mental health illnesses either during or after pregnancy usually include a combination of medications and therapy. You can count on our highly skilled and caring team to work closely with you to plan a course of treatment that’s best for your condition and that meets your unique needs and preferences.

Schedule an Appointment

Women who are pregnant or in the postpartum period (12 months after delivery) can make an appointment with no referral by calling 270-417-7980. Ashly Skaggs, APRN, is also inpatient at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon, for consultations with any mom that is struggling with mental health while in the hospital. Virtual visits are available as needed. OP


Four Quick Tips


The back-to-school season is upon us, and it’s time to gear up for a year filled with growth, learning, and new adventures. Conquer the back-to-school hustle with confidence with these essential strategies for a smooth transition back into the school routine.


Mornings can be chaotic, with alarms buzzing and sleepyheads protesting. Instead of jarring alarms, consider using soothing music or natural light to gradually rouse your kiddos from sleep. Prep breakfast options that are quick and nutritious the night before. Create a morning routine chart with pictures or simple instructions that guide them through their morning tasks.

Organizational Bliss.

Create a centralized family calendar, establish a designated study space, and develop a system for managing school supplies and paperwork. From color-coded folders to digital productivity tools, figure our what works best for your crew.

48 OWENSBORO PARENT August // September 2023
1 2

FUEL MINDS & BODIES. Embrace the Adventure.

Proper nutrition fuels young minds and bodies, enabling optimal learning and concentration. Encourage your kids to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables as part of their daily meals and snacks. Sugary drinks, sweets, and processed snacks can contribute to excess sugar consumption and have negative effects on their overall health.

Don’t forget the power of a positive mindset in shaping a successful school year. Discover the transformative effects of cultivating an optimistic outlook, celebrating achievements, and embracing challenges as opportunities for growth.

With these four quick tips, you’re well-equipped to make the back-toschool season a triumph for your child and yourself. So gear up, embrace the adventure, and let’s make this school year one for the books! OP

August // September 2023 OWENSBORO PARENT 49
3 4


The back-to-school season is a time of excitement and new beginnings. It’s the perfect opportunity to establish unique traditions that will make this time of year even more special for your family. Here are some creative and memorable back-to-school traditions that will create cherished memories for years to come!


Start a tradition of conducting backto-school interviews with your kids. Set aside some time before the first day to sit down with each child individually and ask them questions about their expectations, goals, and aspirations for the upcoming school year. Record their responses on video or write them down in a journal. Then, at the end of the school year, revisit the interviews to reflect on how their perspectives have evolved. It’s a wonderful way to capture their growth and celebrate their achievements.


Make the first day of school extra special by hosting a themed breakfast bonanza. Get creative with a

breakfast buffet featuring pancakes in various shapes, customized omelets, or a cereal bar with a wide array of toppings. Decorate the table with colorful decorations, balloons, and personalized place settings. This tradition will help set a joyful and celebratory tone for the first day of school, leaving your children eager to start their day with a smile.


Create a back-to-school time capsule with your children. Find a sturdy container and invite each child to add items that represent their current interests, hopes, and dreams. Include drawings, handwritten notes, favorite photographs, or small mementos. Seal the time capsule and store it in a safe place. Revisit the time capsule at the end of the school year or on future backto-school days to reminisce about the past and look forward to new adventures.


Plan a special family outing or field trip to mark the start of the school year. Visit a the museum, zoo, or Holiday World as a way to bond and

create lasting memories before the school routine sets in. This tradition can help alleviate any anxiety your children may have about the upcoming school year and provide an opportunity for quality time together as a family.


Host a celebratory dinner on the last day of summer vacation or the night before school starts. Gather as a family to share stories, laughter, and a delicious meal. Use this time to reflect on the highlights of the summer and express excitement for the adventures that lie ahead. It’s a wonderful way to create a sense of togetherness and anticipation as you transition into the back-toschool season.

Establishing unique back-to-school traditions adds an extra layer of excitement and meaning to this annual milestone. Creating traditions will foster a sense of connection, anticipation, and joy for the entire family. So, embrace the opportunity to create lasting memories and let your back-to-school traditions become a treasured part of your family’s story. OP

50 OWENSBORO PARENT August // September 2023

Out & About


LOCAL THINGS TO DO this season





Kids ages 0-2 and their caregivers are invited to join DCPL on Mondays and Thursdays for stories, songs, and movement to help them prepare for a life of learning. Stay to play and socialize with a craft or other activity!


DCPL’s Preschool Storytime



Kids ages 3-5 and their caregivers are invited to join DCPL Mondays and Thursdays for stories, songs, and movement to help them prepare for a life of learning. Stay to play and socialize with a craft or other activity!

54 OWENSBORO PARENT August // September 2023 OUT & ABOUT



AUGUST 6 FROM 4 – 8 P.M.


Enjoy vendors, food trucks, music, and of course, peaches! Live music performances by Cam Thompson and Mitchell Douglas.


Taylor Swift Laser Dance Party


Calling on Swifties for the most epic Taylor-themed experience EVER - Taylor Swift Laser Dance Party is coming to The RiverPark Center on August 11th at 7PM! Immerse yourself in Tay Tay’s music while surrounded by synchronized lasers and lights. You’ll sing and dance to all your fave Taylor Swift songs for an unforgettable night.


Owensboro Air Show


FROM 4 - 7:30 P.M.






Come celebrate the food, music, art, and people who make Owensboro beautiful! Each year, First Presbyterian Church welcomes over 2,000 people to its lawn for the Owensboro Multicultural Festival. The 25th annual festival is free for the whole community. The festival fosters understanding and respect for our similarities and differences so that we may build a stronger community.

Don’t miss your chance to get up close and personal to a wide range of aircraft. Friday will be your chance to meet some of the pilots of these aircraft and experience a taste of the Owensboro Air Show. As the sun begins to set, a few performers will take to the sky to entertain the crowds with an evening spectacle of nighttime air show performances. $5 per person; Kids 10 and under free; Veterans & active-duty military free.


FROM 12:30 - 4:30 P.M.


All eyes will be on the skies over the Ohio River in downtown Owensboro as performers showcase vintage warbirds, aerobatic demonstrations, and military jets, including the USAF Thunderbirds! Admission is free.

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Photo by AP Imagery

Visit the Most Beautiful Sunflower Field in Kentucky this Fall!

Asunflower field is one of life’s breathtaking pleasures that everyone should experience. There is something magical about these blooms. These bright beautiful flowers have the ability to evoke feelings of warmth and happiness, and they are even more amazing when they’re growing as far as the eye can see. When you visit a massive field of sunflowers with rows and rows of them on display, it is a truly awe-inspiring experience. If you've never visited a sunflower field or sunflower farm, put it on your early fall bucket list. Luckily, we have one of the most beautiful sunflower fields in the Ohio Valley planted right here in Daviess County—Trunnell’s Sunflower Experience located at 9255 U.S. HWY.

431 Utica, KY.

If you and your family are looking for a unique and delightful event this fall, visit Trunnell’s 6th Annual Sunflower Experience from Sept. 2nd - Sept. 22nd. This event is so much more than just a field of sunflowers. Trunnell’s has proudly planted 65+ different varieties of sunflowers with over a million blooms for you and your family to enjoy. These beautiful blooms bring pure happiness to all ages while wandering through the field and admiring all the different kinds. Every bloom is so unique it is hard to decide which ones to cut and take home.

Remember your camera or

photographer because the Trunnell’s have added a ton of photo ops throughout the field making this experience one of Kentucky’s most instagrammable events. In addition to the viewing pleasure of the huge stretch of yellow, red, and orange sunflowers, make sure to experience some of the delicious food at the farm, play on the 35+ attractions, visit the baby animals in the animal barnyard, grab a glass of wine or brew from the farm bars and enjoy all the sunshine and happiness that sunflowers bring! More sunflowers, more fun, more memories! OP


Dinner in the Blooms: September 2nd & 9th

A delicious farm to table dinner with live entertainment in the sunflowers.

Sips & Sunflowers: September 8th & 15th

An evening sipping wine and beer with friends, live entertainment amid a gorgeous sunflower field.

On the Rocks & Rolled: September 16th

A bourbon & cigar night in the blooms.

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kids meal deals


Dee's Diner - one free kids meal per adult meal purchase (in-house only, ages 5 and under)


Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn - Up to 2 kids eat free (ages 10 & under) from 4-9pm with adult buffet purchase

Zaxby’s – Up to 3 99¢ kids meals with the purchase of an adult meal from 5-8pm

Huddle House – 1 free kids meal when you spend $6.99 or more on adult entrée


Beef ‘O’ Brady’s – Kids 12 & under eat for $2.99 all day every Tuesday when dining in!

Fazoli’s – Up to 3 99¢ kids meals with the purchase of an adult entrée

Trunnell’s 54 Deli – 1 free kids meal with the purchase of a signature sandwich

Huddle House – 1 free kids meal when you spend $6.99 or more on adult entrée

McDonald’s – $1.99 Happy meals from 4-7pm; dine-in only


Dairy Queen (Frederica Location) – Up to 2 $1.99 kids meals

Trunnell’s 54 Deli – 1 free kids meal with the purchase of a signature sandwich


Lure Seafood & Grille – Free kids meal with purchase of adult entrée

Freddy’s – Free scoop or cone with the purchase of a kids meal on Family Night. Kids can enjoy coloring pages, crayons, balloons and stickers!

Pizza Hut (South Frederica location) – 1 free child buffet with the purchase of an adult buffet from 4:30-7pm

Wheatgrass Juice Bar – Free kids smoothie with adult purchase


Salsarita’s – Free kids meal with the purchase of an adult entrée; dine in only

Beef O’ Brady’s – Free kids meal (ages 12 & under) from 4-8pm with each adult meal purchase; dine-in only


on the honor roll?

Bring your report card to these local restaurants & businesses for additional deals!

Ritzy’s (Both locations) – Ritzy’s has a “Scoops for Scholars” program. Students can bring in their report card each grading period to earn treats for each “A.”

1A = flavored soft drink (cherry, vanilla, or chocolate)

2 A's = single scoop of ice cream

3 A's = your choice of a hotdog, coney, hamburger, or cheeseburger

4 A's = double scoop of ice cream

McDonald’s – All five Owensboro McDonald’s decided this school year that they will award a free Happy Meal to any student who gets straight A's on their report card.

Chuck E. Cheese in Evansville – A child can receive 10 tokens with a purchase if they bring in their report card.

Sky Zone in Evansville – All A’s= 1/2 off any jump.

A & B’s= $5 off any jump. Weekdays & Friday 2-7pm.

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*This list is subject to change. Please contact restaurants to ensure their participation.
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