Page 1























AGE PAGES 28 Birth to 5


30 6 to 11


32 12 and Up BY STACIE L. MARTIN


JUST ASK JOYCE Pre-Teen Drama • Kid Fears • Watch that Mouth BY JOYCE OGLESBY










DIRECTORIES Celebrations • Childcare • Education • Extracurricular Activities • Retail • Wellness BY ALISSA HICKS


D•I•Y Let It Snow...Inside BY MIRANDA POPP

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Find out how the Crouse family uses this pot for prayers during their nightly routine. PHOTO: MELISSA DONALD

Volume 23 • Number 5 PUBLISHER

Cathy S. Zion

INTRO By Anita Oldham, Editor



Elaine Rooker Jack

“Family we oose, ot cann always ch try to n fu is but it sure laugh and make them cially pe Es s. er during dinn ng to yi tr e ar ey th n whe .” up so r ei eat th , —― Tom Althouse The Frowny Face Co


Seeking Parental



If answers would just be that easy! Instead, we try all kinds of solutions: we panic, we google, we pray, we discipline, we reason, we whine, we drink. While I have tried all of these solutions at different times, I have found one of the most helpful is to talk to other parents and watch how they do things with their children. I figure we are all geniuses at something and if you can find the genius parents in specific areas, you can learn from them. So, Today’s Family searched for parents who seemed particularly wise and interviewed them for specifics that each of us can apply to our own families.



Kaitlyn English

Teri Hickerson

Suzy Hillebrand






I hope you can find something that will help you and yours!

Miranda Popp



ON OUR COVER We had two young men come in and show off their inner guru for our Wisdom issue. JOEY GILLES, 9, is a student at Lowe Elementary who looks forward to showing off his athleticism on the baseball field. He doesn’t miss a chance to play on his team where he is second baseman. “Hitting the ball,” Joey says, is one of his favorite parts of the game. Joey also participates in Cub Scouts and plays games on his tablet with his older brother Jack, who is 11. LIAM CALDWELL turns his occasionally neat room into a mini art gallery after drawing multiple pictures which end up on the bedroom floor. “I had to find him the biggest box of crayons so that he would have enough color choices,” says his mom Sommer. The 7-year-old, who attends Fern Creek Elementary, says he’s the fastest kid on his flag football team, and can cook breakfast. “I know how to make eggs and cinnamon toast.” this Winter: Make a family pledge for 2015! Print off one of our pledge forms from and snap a photo with your family. You can email it to us at, tweet it to us @TodaysFamilyNow or tag TodaysFamilyNow on instagram.

12 Days of Christmas giveaways!

Alissa Hicks


Jillian LeMaster

PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY: Zion Publications LLC 9750 Ormsby Station Road, Suite 307 Louisville, KY 40223 Phone (502) 327-8855 Fax (502) 327-8861

Subscriptions are available by sending $15 to the above address for 6 bi-monthly issues.

Today’s Family magazine is published bi-monthly by Zion Publications LLC and distributed free to the people of metropolitan Louisville and Southern Indiana. Circulation 25,000. The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of the publisher. Today’s Family magazine does not endorse or guarantee any advertiser’s product or service. Copyright 2014 by Zion Publications LLC with all rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited without permission from Zion Publications LLC.


TODAYSFAMILYNOW.COM! Deadline: January 6


For advertising information, call (502) 327-8855 or email

Give Gifts

e m i T of^ ily Fam

EVENT: Salvation Army bell-ringing DATE: Throughout November and December. Check for local dates and times and available shifts, which are usually for two hours. CONTACT: Salvation Army in Louisville volunteer hotline 502.671.4931;

Fun Quotient: We took our girls, then just shy of 6 and 4, along with our dog, to ring the bell at our nearby Kroger in Holiday Manor. We had so much fun that we suggested it as a service-learning activity for their Girl Scout Troop in 2013. If the troop can’t do it again this year, we’ll plan to do it as a family. Ramp Up the Fun: Costumes and singing holiday tunes are always fun and entertaining, both for the bell-ringers and the shoppers. When we took our dog a couple years ago, we bought a huge green velvet jingle collar and wore elf and Santa hats. When our troop rang the bells last year, we danced and sang “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” and made up chants about helping people in need. — Angela Stallings Hagan, Ph.D.

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EVENT: Southern Lights WHAT: Christmas lights and holiday fun at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY DATE: November 21 - December 31 CONTACT: 800.678.8813,

Fun Quotient: I expected to just see Christmas lights, but the event offers much more. Visitors can tour the museums and see a plethora of exhibits on the history, culture, and beauty of horses. There is also a model train display that my boys loved, a petting zoo, camel and pony rides, and craft vendors. After seeing all that, we were glad to get back to our car and sit as we wound our way through the park to see Christmas lights. Ramp Up the Fun: Families could easily have a full day in Lexington and make Southern Lights the grand finale. In addition to visiting the University of Kentucky campus, families could stop in at Explorium, a small children’s museum. The University of Kentucky Hospital Pavilion’s ever-changing “Celebrate Kentucky” wall could be a brief stop, too. For those families that only want to drive up for Southern Lights, it might be worthwhile to stop at Old Kentucky Chocolates so the kids have something to nosh while seeing the light show. — Carrie Vittitoe

EVENT: Self-planned Winter Adventure Walk downtown Dates: Optional, but visit for children’s events at all Louisville Free Public Library branches. Cost: refreshments (optional)

Fun Quotient: Our children — Kelaiah King (11), Jeannie Pearson (12), Nicholas Pearson (13), Sophia Traub (14), Jonah Traub (12), Isabella Traub (10), and Lashonda Masden (10) — were out of school, getting a little bored, so we decided to plan a field trip. We parked our cars and walked to the Louisville Public Library, where the kids participated in a story time and a “make and take” art project. Children of all ages and cultures shared art materials and worked together. They even served hot chocolate and marshmallows for everyone. Ramp Up the Fun: We walked downtown to the Fourth Street Trolley Stop and rode the trolley, enjoying the festive music and decorations while singing carols until we arrived in front of the Galt House Hotel. It was beautifully decorated, and we were greeted by toy soldiers. We ended our Holiday Adventure by stopping at McDonalds for 99-cent ice cream cones. — Darlene Denise King

EVENT: Northeast YMCA Turkey Day Trot WHERE: 9400 Mill Brook Road WHAT: 1.5 Mile Fun Run/Walk is for all ages. 10 K run is for all ages with no qualifiers other than possible earmuffs. Kid’s Turkey Trot is for 10 and under. Kid’s race — sprint style run for kids 10 and under, including toddlers and preschoolers! This race is a hoot and should never be missed! DATE: November 27 CONTACT: Register online at

Fun Quotient: All Junior Turkey Trotters get a Turkey Trophy or Medal and my children proudly display these bronze birds. — John Warren TODAY’S FAMILY

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Share the cuteness and the craziness of those pretty babies with us. Enter your baby in the 8 th annual...

The winner will be featured on a Today’s Family magazine cover and receive a $1,000 savings bond.

RULES: You must be the child’s guardian and own the copyright to the submitted photo. Child must be between the ages of 0 and 3 years old (not 4 before June 2015). Winner will be chosen by online voting in February and March.


images at least 750K or larger in file size. For best results, crop images to the head and shoulders and size to 2” x 3”. Photos must be sent in jpeg format. PHOTOS CANNOT BE RETURNED


DEADLINE: January 6, 2015 Sponsored by

Derby City Pediatric Dentistry

Go to for more information and to enter.

FaMiLy funNiGht GRANDMA JOSEPHINE’S GRAVY Handed down by Josephine Bianco Sinn, husband Joe’s paternal grandmother

4 (6-oz.) cans tomato paste (preferably Contadina) 5 (28-oz.) cans Italian tomatoes 4 (14.5-oz.) cans tomato sauce (preferably Del Monte) 4 T Extra virgin olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced ½ c. Parmesan cheese ¼ stick of butter 1 tsp. Italian seasoning 1 tsp. sugar 1 bay leaf 1/8 tsp. pepper Salt to taste (1 tsp.) Place a mesh metal colander in a large bowl in the sink. Strain the tomatoes into the colander. Squish them with your hands, pressing the pulp against the colander. Let drain, save the sauce and discard the pulp. In a large pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic in oil until light brown. Do not burn! Mix in the tomato paste. Pour in reserved tomato juice from the bowl along with the canned sauce. Add remainder of ingredients and simmer on medium low for several hours, stirring occasionally. More seasonings can be added as needed. Stir and let stand at least an hour before serving. The sauce will thicken as it stands.

Grandparents in the kitchen can foster family relationships and traditions.

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Three generations of the Bianco family cook together: Writer Mary Ellen, her mother Maggie Burke, husband Joe and his father (Papa) Joe along with daughter Katherine. PHOTO: MELISSA DONALD

By Mary Ellen Bianco

For family bonding and to pass on family traditions, we spend time together in the kitchen. It’s always been a priority for my husband, Joe, and me. Through the years, Joe told our daughters Laura and Katherine many stories about his Italian relatives. When the girls were preschoolers, he taught them how to make his Grandmother Josephine’s sauce recipe, which she called “gravy.” Joe told them that Grandma made it every Sunday morning while he was growing up. He loved how the house smelled whenever he visited on Sundays. The girls stood on chairs pulled up to the sink. Their little hands squeezed whole Roma tomatoes into a colander with a bowl underneath it. The tomato juice splashed on the wall, counter and kitchen window, which was a blast to the girls. Joe showed them how to smash the tomato pulp into the colander. The juice drained into the bowl

and the pulp was discarded. Joe poured the juice into a large pot where it was mixed with a blend of minced garlic and tomato paste that I had sautéed in olive oil. Joe added canned tomato sauce, spices, Parmesan cheese, and a touch of sugar. He said that Grandma used sugar to reduce the acidity of the tomatoes. Laura and Katherine loved to help Joe make pizza dough. Many times we had so much fun that the flour was on us, the counter, and the floor. The girls loved to roll out the dough with their Dad. Then they added the “gravy” and cheese to the pizzas.

Fixing Heirloom Food

We continue to cook with Laura and Katherine, who are now young adults. It can be for special occasions or just every-day meals. Joe’s family has a cookbook filled with Italian recipes, published by his cousin, Toni-Ann. John (90) and Perry (93) live in a retirement home in Florida but when they visit, we make a day of cooking. With grandparents in the kitchen, it’s always a learning experience. We laugh while sharing recipes and family history. It’s been said that food is a language of love. Thankfully our plates are full.

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Celebrate Everything! By Elaine Rooker Jack

How CELEBRATIONS work in the Williams family: Ever since the kids were little, the birthday boy would be wakened by his family singing “Happy Birthday” to him, bearing a Krispy Kreme donut with a candle in it, and each presenting him with a card. Now that the boys are older they’ve adjusted the details, but the point — making the birthday boy feel special — is the same. “It’s not a $500 bouncy house,” says Tricia, “it’s about thoughtfulness, about making people feel special.” At Christmas, no matter where they are, Tricia goes out and finds a holly tree or bush from which she can trim some small pieces and make holly boutineers, trimmed with red ribbon. Tricia got the tradition from her aunt, and she says, “it signals the beginning of something festive, a tradition, time together.” When someone does well on a test or runs a great race, Tricia makes a “congratulations” sign out of an index card, sticks it to a bamboo skewer, and places it in a cupcake for the honoree. “It says, ‘Wow! Well done!’ The person should feel a sense of accomplishment, and it’s our way of wrapping our arms around him as a family.” Sometimes milestones are marked with a special dinner out, or a cake. “It’s a thoughtful, visual way to help him realize that we are marking this moment in time as something extraordinary.” Tricia makes celebrations out of class parties, field trips, the last day of school, the first day of school, and she sometimes celebrates an ordinary Monday with a bonfire and hotdogs in the back yard. “You don’t have to wait for the weekend; every day has the opportunity to be a good day.” Where the philosophy of celebrations comes from: When the family lived in Europe, Tricia realized that “if I didn’t place the traditions, no one else would.” Add to that her visual nature, sprinkle in a little Southern flair, and top it off with Tricia’s favorite quote, from Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“You don’t have to wait for the weekend; every day has the opportunity to be a good day.”

AT LEFT: Liam Caldwell, 7, is wise beyond his years. TODAY’S FAMILY

WISE FAMILY: John and Tricia Williams

“I completely believe that life is all about the Harrison (17) people you meet and the and David (11) relationships. “Tricia’s tips Goshen, Ky. for parents: “I think about the things that make me feel special, and I emulate that. For example, a friend of mine noted the date my father died, and every year she messages me on that day, ‘I’m thinking of you today.’ You can pick and choose the things other people do well and forward that to others.” “Start small in letting your loved ones know how you feel: notes, treats, hugs, doing the unexpected, like a random “Happy Thursday” celebration. The power behind successful celebrations is being thoughtful.” “Make a conscious decision to be positive — not unrealistic — but take a different course. There’s not a lot of good that comes from negativity, and your family has the rest of the world to beat them up. In these walls, we’re going to hold each other up and be kind.”


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Eat Meals Together By Elaine Rooker Jack

How FAMILY MEALS work in the Rich family: “We try very hard to have dinner together every evening around the table, not in front of the TV, and we try to do devotions after dinner. We’re all there!” Michelle said. The Rich family also eats breakfast together most days, and once in a while they get a pizza and watch a movie on a Saturday night, but at their house, meal time is “time we spend communicating as a family. And enjoying each other!” The Plate Tradition: Four or five times each week they take turns eating from a special plate. The plate is plastic and nothing special in itself, but whoever has the plate receives special attention from the others, in the form of encouragement and praise. Each member around the table starts his or her comments with “I think it’s special that... .” “The kids look forward to it, and it has prompted them saying encouraging words to each other and noticing things their siblings do well.” For example, recently Alyssa had the plate. “I said that in the last six months I’ve noticed her taking initiative, being helpful, doing things before being asked, and putting wanting to serve in front of things she needs and wants,” said Michelle, adding that 5-year-old Ella said, “Alyssa, I think it’s special that you take




Mike and time to play with me and do children is discipline, Michelle Rich things I want to do.” but what we work on is Wesley (15 ), Nathan (13 ), Building Character: not just obedience but Alyssa (11), Dalton (7) , Michelle says their favorite training their hearts.” Ella (5) , Josie (2) devotional books are Character “We teach them they can Lanesville, Ind. Building for Families by Rubsam, come to us and talk about Hive of Busy Bees by Williams anything that’s heavy on their (she recommends this for younger kids), hearts. They’ll never be in trouble Jotham’s Journey by Ytreeide, one of a set — although there may be consequences — but of three Advent devotional books, and if they’ve messed up, let’s talk about it.” Amon’s Adventure by Ytreeide, for Easter. “If we mess up, instead of saying I’m Why they do what they do: “When sorry, we say “will you please forgive me the kids were little, we took a Growing for’ and then we say the thing we did. And Kids God’s Way class and that has driven the other person says, ‘yes, I will forgive how we spend our time together. It was you.’ There’s power in that.” always important to us to spend a lot of time “Especially with the little ones, we try together, but the season when you have to work on two or three things at a time, children at home goes by really quickly, and instead of tackling everything at once.” I didn’t want to look back on it and think I “We try to positively reinforce them and missed it,” she said, adding, “We wanted steer them in the our children to grow in character, and right direction.” that doesn’t happen by chance.” Tips from Michelle: “So much of raising

“...whoever has the plate receives special attention from the others, in the form of encouragement and praise.” PHOTO: MELISSA DONALD

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WISE FAMILY: Nick and Nancy Bonura

“More challenging is an annual trip out of town where they can be together for several days to really enjoy each other and focus on their relationship. Both agree: ‘This is huge!’”

Children ages 16, 14 , 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, and 5 months East Louisville

Keep Romance Alive By Lynn Willing

Tips from the happy couple:

How Nick and Nancy’s ROMANCE works: The Bonura

Communicate well Purpose to spend time alone together Find the joy!

family often attracts attention for their sheer numbers, with nine children ages 5 months to 16 years. And while that is remarkable, perhaps more so is Nick and Nancy’s romantic relationship despite a full life that demands lots of energy and focus. That includes running a thriving small business — Bonura Photography — and home-schooling half a dozen students with a preschooler, toddler, and baby in the mix. Their respect and love for each other stands out against the backdrop of noisy activity inherent in a busy family. Every couple has disagreements, but absent are complaints about the other’s personality quirks, questionable decisions, or annoying habits. They say it works because they are best friends and appreciate each other more with each child they’ve had. Their foundation includes common priorities: their individual relationship with God first and their

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marriage relationship second. Giving each other the benefit of the doubt, finding ways to encourage the other, and forgiveness are big. “We do our best to love each other the way God teaches us to love, although we are definitely a work in progress!” The children are their next priority. They understand that one day the kids will be gone and they’ll again have only each other. While it sounds counter-intuitive, this hierarchy combined with lots of love gives the kids a strong sense of security. The Bonuras have several practices that work to support their relationship, like carving out time most days for connecting alone. Making sure there is a line of communication each day to prevent issues from festering is an important way they avoid trouble. They also count on bi-weekly


date nights, usually choosing a new place to keep it fresh and fun. More challenging is an annual trip out of town where they can be together for several days to really enjoy each other and focus on their relationship. Both agree: “This is huge!” Simple ways they demonstrate their love during hectic days and nights are flowers with a sweet note, love messages scrawled on the bathroom mirror, or quick sentiments sent via text. “The biggest obstacle to overcome in making time for each other is the busyness of life! We’ve become really good at saying no to some great stuff, trading it for the best stuff” to protect family time and private time together. They’re quick to mention they mess up often, then simply recommit to their priorities and refuse to give up. Amid the craziness of family life, this couple has learned to agree on their foundation and focus on a few daily, weekly, and annual disciplines that allow the romance in their relationship to stay on track — and even flourish over time.

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Why I Love My School ASSUMPTION


he documentary on girls’ education ended and the girls around me were silent for a moment. In that still darkness, I closed my eyes and counted my blessings. The lights came up, and I stood up from the plush red seat, staring around the Assumption theater: a space that might as well be called my home. The ghosts of past rehearsals, performances, and group hugs danced in front of my eyes as I scanned the empty stage. I turned my head, and my principal caught my eye and smiled in that way she does, making me feel like I was secretly her favorite. One of my friends playfully shoved me out of the aisle, and we laughed our way over to a teacher I had never had in class before, though she embraced me like I was her daughter. I worked my way out of the auditorium, stopping along the way to chat with various teachers and administrators who knew my name, knew in what I was involved, knew my dreams and fears. As I walked through the double doors out to the lobby, I


/ By Hannah Rose Marks

stared up at the picture of Jesus that was as old as the school itself. My grandmother, my mother, and so many others in my family had looked into that kind face as they walked these halls. I was home, I was where God wanted me, and I was loved. There are an estimated 1,025,110 words in the English language, and yet there are still not enough to adequately describe Assumption. When I think of Assumption, I don’t think of words, I think of feelings: those moments in life when everything seems to freeze, when I just want to bottle the feelings and experiences and moments and hold onto them forever. As I sat in one of my teacher’s offices, fretting over the impossibility of describing Assumption in a measly 400-500 words, she pointed out that I was right. In the future, I would not remember the words I used to brush the surface of the meaning of Assumption — I would remember these feelings. That is Assumption. Learning to look at something differently and having the love and support of all of the faculty and staff push me to reach for my stars.

Every girl is presented with a unique set of challenges and opportunities and encouraged to open herself up. I have presented a thesis paper, scored the music to full shows, taught a deaf pre-schooler sight words, and gotten a full ride to my dream school. I have seen my classmates become best friends with girls from Denmark and Argentina, design and create the set and lights and sound and costumes for a show, win state and national titles, raise money for causes they believe in, and be recognized at all levels for their talents. Every girl’s ideas are valued, and every girl has the opportunity to create something for herself; the teachers listen and want to hear our dreams and make them happen for us. Every girl’s experiences are unique, but the core of it is not. Assumption fits no mold; we form the mold ourselves. Like the Rockets we are, we shoot for our stars.

Assumption Essay Winner Hannah Rose Marks PHOTO: MELISSA DONALD

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Get Along with Siblings By Elaine Rooker Jack

How SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS work in their family: Diane says their kids get along really well and always

The way Jenny remembers it: At first the trip chaperones didn’t want to let Jenny outside where Andrew was. “I just kept walking past them and yelled ‘I'm his sister!’ They let me out, but I remember thinking it would've taken an army to keep me from getting outside.” Jenny remembers not feeling scared or upset, just focused on “what needed to happen next. How were we getting him to the hospital? Had someone called 911? When were we telling our parents? Where was Adam? Did I need to go get the insurance card? One thing I do remember feeling was how proud I was of Andrew for staying so calm through the whole thing.” When they’re home from college: Sometimes, as evening turns into night, Albert and Diane give up and go to bed. The kids stay up together — catching up, watching TV, talking — until the wee hours. “They just enjoy each other’s company, being together,” says Diane.

have. “That’s just how they are, and it seems so normal,” she says. “Over the last 10 years I don’t think I’ve ever had to say, “Hey, remember, that’s your sister!” When Jenny left for college, the boys “just picked up the phone and called her.” Diane doesn’t remember the kids fighting or playing “one-up-manship” or any of the typical stuff siblings do to get attention. When they were little: Diane remembers listening to them play, and hearing Jenny telling them “first we’re going to do this, and then you’re going to do that” and that they were content to let her direct them. She says they entertained each other and leaned on each other. She also remembers a time when Andrew was frustrated with Adam over a kickball game. “I don’t Albert and Diane remember the details, but I remember him stomping off Zimmerman in frustration. Albert talked to him, saying ‘he’s littler (20 ), Jenny (22 ), Andrew than you and you need to figure out how to make this and Adam (18 ) work.’ And Albert always said, ‘your relationships with Prospec t, Ky. your siblings are the most important relationships in your life.’” Jenny remembers: Once during a dust-up in the backyard when Jenny hit one of the kids ­— or called him a name, she isn’t sure — Jenny remembers her father “took me aside told me, ‘you don't have to be nice to all your friends; you should be, but you don't have to be. You have to be nice to your brothers, though.’ That's always kind of stuck with me.” The Zimmerman Family’s nuggets of wisdom: Diane and Albert set the expectation for the kids to get along, and they didn’t tolerate incivility. They always did a lot of things as a family of five, they ate together, and no one’s sports practice was more important than anyone else’s. When the parents sensed trouble brewing between the kids when they were little, they didn’t wait until it escalated into a punishable offense, but dealt with it early — talked it out — and “didn’t let it fester.” Their shining moment: In 2009 all three kids were on a youth group mission trip in Pennsylvania, and Andrew broke his arm. Jenny and Adam rode in the ambulance with him and stayed with him while he awaited treatment. “They were so concerned; they hovered over him until we got there,” Diane remembers. “It was touching to see how well they cared for each other in a crisis, eight hours from home, away from Mom and Dad. They banded together.” Diane with Andrew, Adam, and Jenny in 2009.


‘You don’t have to be nice to all your friends; you should be, but you don’t have to be. You HAVE to be nice to your brothers though.’

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y school is special. There isn’t another school like Presentation Academy. It has been around longer than any other private school in Louisville and has more traditions than I can count. One of my favorite things about Pres is the people. Because it is a smaller school, you know almost everyone. As a freshman, I knew people in every grade. Now, as a sophomore, some of my best friends are in different classes. When I first started at Pres, I only knew a few people, and

/ By Lindsay Reynolds

that was intimidating. Little did I know, there were other girls in the same position that I was. People come from all over to go to Pres; that’s what is so great about it. You meet so many new people that will end up becoming your best friends. I also love all of Presentation’s traditions. Most of them have been around for what seems like forever. You even experience one on your first day of school when you walk in the front door for the first time. You won’t walk out that door again until your last day of senior year. That same day, you sign the

tower. Signing the tower is one of the biggest traditions and the last you experience as a senior. Although I still have two years until I sign the tower, it is one of my favorite traditions. You get to leave your mark at Pres before you leave for the last time. There are so many reasons as to why I love my school, but these are the top two. I can’t imagine going to school anywhere besides Pres and I really do love it here. Presentation Academy Winner Lindsay Reynolds PHOTO: MELISSA DONALD


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WISE FAMILY: Larry and Jan Weimer Parents of four adult sons

Lanesville, Ind.

Teach About Money By Carrie Vittitoe

How they managed FINANCIAL EDUCATION: Jan and Larry Weimer’s sons are in their thirties and forties so the grunt work of parenting is behind them. Now they are reaping the rewards of their efforts by watching their sons raise their own children to be financially responsible. When their sons were in high school, busy with homework and sports involvement, Larry and Jan implemented a budgeting policy. Every week each boy received $20, which had to cover whatever entertainment or eating out they wanted to do. Jan provided food at home for the boys to make their lunches everyday if they chose to, or they could purchase school lunches out of their allowance. The boys knew that they would receive no additional money from their parents until the following week. The boys were given a key to one of the family’s two cars when they began to

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“When it came time to think of college, Jan and Larry sat down to crunch the numbers, not to make sure they had enough for their oldest son to attend, but to ensure they had enough for their youngest one.” drive with the understanding that their parents would never be without a car when they needed it. Jan says, “The boys were told if they didn’t want to drive the big brown van out front, a big yellow bus passed right by the house.” Their sons were expected to work hard at school, but the Weimers never paid them for their grades. Jan says, “One son really struggled, so we went out as a family to celebrate all their good grades. We expected each boy to work to the best of his own ability.”

The Weimers’ philosophy was that if they did for one son, they had to be willing and able to do for all of them. When it came time to think of college, Jan and Larry sat down to crunch the numbers, not to make sure they had enough for their oldest son to attend, but to ensure they had enough for their youngest one. Jan remembers Larry saying with a smirk, “‘We can do it. We’ll have nothing when we get done, but we can do it.’” Part of their financial planning included paying off their mortgage early and putting the extra money towards college expenses. The Weimer boys shared in reducing college costs by earning academic and athletic scholarships and working as resident advisors. Paying for college was really a family affair. Larry and Jan focused on teaching financial responsibility so that their sons could function in the real world. After all is said and done, the Weimers are proud that they gave their children less stuff, more time, and a valuable life lesson.

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Train Spiritually Tanya wrote the names of every family in their church on a wooden craft stick and placed them in a flower pot. Every night at dinner they draw one and pray for that specific family. “The kids look forward to it, and they help us remember to do it.”

WISE FAMILY: Neil and Tanya Crouse

By Elaine Rooker Jack

How the PRAYER LIFE works in their family: Tanya’s husband is the pastor of a church, and prayer requests come in all the time. And Tanya believes that everyone stands in the need of prayer. So using an idea she got from a friend, she wrote the names of every family in their church on a wooden craft stick and placed them in a flower pot. Every night at dinner they draw one and pray for that specific family. “The kids look forward to it, and they help us remember to do it,” says Tanya. Faith in action: Recently son Aaron had some issues with anxiety, and they found all the scripture related to

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Aaron (14) and Callie (11) d. Floyds Knobs, In

being anxious. It served to “calm his heart.” Later the youth minster asked the children “are you owning your faith?” Aaron came home asking, “how can I make my faith my own?” and Tanya reminded him about the scripture, the coping mechanisms, and the calm that came from God. She told him, “The word of God is transforming. You’ve seen it.” Their philosophy of teaching spiritual practice to their children: “I don’t know if you’ve heard of the model of the upside down pyramid,” says Tanya, “but when kids are little you have to be really firm and

Callie and Aaron choose sticks with the names of people from their church to pray for.

strict, and as they get older you can give them more room. We’re towards the top of the triangle now, where they have to own their own faith. We help them apply it, but we’re not solving it for them. They have to answer their own questions.” “We want our children to rely on God,” she says. “We’re not always going to be there for them. As they grow up we want them to recognize how great our God is.” Tanya’s practice: She writes each child a letter every Mother’s Day, and in those she talks about the milestones from the year and what she wants for them. “Following after the Lord, knowing and loving Him: that’s my greatest dream for them.”

Tanya’s tips for parents: “You need to be in the word of God. From the time they are babies, tell them the story of the Bible, the scarlet thread that runs through the story, and that is Jesus. You have to know how to verbalize the story of Jesus, the importance of it, and how to relate it in the form of a story.” “Pray over your children, that their eyes will be opened. Pray for their friendships, for their future spouses. When they are babies it is hard to see that big picture; you’re just trying to get through the night. But that time goes by fast.” “Be who you are at church at home as well. Kids see and know, and they need to see consistency. The power of God is transforming.”

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WINTER 2014/15 23






Teach Responsibility


By Carrie Vittitoe

How they manage division of RESPONSIBILITY: Robin Weiss says, “It took me a couple kids in to figure out that I wasn’t doing them any favors by doing everything for them.” With eight children, a full-time job, and continuing work on her Ph.D. dissertation, division of labor is a matter of survival in the Weiss household. The family has a system of weekly chores that changes on Sundays. The categories include Halls, Bathrooms, Living Room, Library, Laundry (folding and delivering to bedrooms), and a catch-all category that includes yard, garbage and recycling. The rule is that each person has to work on his or her chore for a maximum of 15 minutes per day so that over the course of a week each area has received close to 90 minutes worth of clean up. The exceptions to the 15-minute rule are Kitchen (sweep, wipe tables, etc.) and Dishes (washing, drying and putting away), which the youngest Weiss children do not do. If a chore can be done well in less time then the child is free to move onto other activities. The children’s rooms, according to Robin, n Weiss are their own business. Kevin and Robiam in (21) , nj Age matters: Robin supervises Hilary (23) , Be (14) , ah Lil ), (17 ac Isa the chores to ensure they get done and (12), Clara (12), Owen (6 ) a No d that the littlest Weiss children don’t an Ada (9 ), become overwhelmed by their share Louisville, Ky. of the work. The children are expected to pack their own lunches for school, which Robin says has given her an opportunity to talk with them about serving sizes and what constitutes a healthy meal. Once a Weiss child reaches middle school, he or she is expected to make dinner once a week. Kevin enjoys cooking and supervises this part of the household work. The kids have learned to make a

“Once a Weiss child reaches middle school, he or she is expected to make dinner once a week.”


24 WINTER 2014/2015

number of much-enjoyed meals, such as baked ziti and potato soup with cornbread. Sharing the household tasks gives Kevin and Robin more time to spend with the kids in activities other than housework, like trying fun cake recipes from Pinterest. Robin says, “I would rather spend time learning or playing with the kids. I don’t feel so overwhelmed by doing everything else.”

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WINTER 2014/15 25




Manage Activities By Carrie Vittitoe

How MANAGING MULTIPLE ACTIVITY SCHEDULES works in their family: Genevieve Mulkins is able to fall asleep in her car, anytime and anyplace, and that is one of the reasons she is able to manage her family’s active life. A nurse at Kosair Children’s Hospital and Kosair Children’s Medical Center, Genevieve is also PTA President at Tully Elementary and PTA Secretary at Crosby Middle School. She is also pursuing a doctorate in nursing practice. Like their mom, Taylor and Jackson have pretty full schedules. Taylor participates in power tumbling and cheer, takes piano lessons and is on the Oxmoor/The Mall Fashion Council, while Jackson plays recreational basketball, is on the Quick Recall team at Crosby, and is very involved in the youth choir at their church. Genevieve says, “If I had a 9 to 5 job, I couldn’t do all this.” As a nurse, she makes her work schedule fit around her children’s activities and her own involvement at the schools. Steve is a counselor at Tully so his working hours are very consistent. They also carpool with other parents to minimize their load. She says the family makes an effort to eat dinner together three to five times a week, even though sometimes this means she has to leave before the meal is complete to be on time for her nursing shift. Genevieve sometimes schedules “Do Nothing” days for herself when she is off work and doesn’t get out of bed. The Mulkins set guidelines for their

“...[Mom Genevieve] sometimes schedules ‘do nothing’ days for herself when she is off work and doesn’t get out of bed.” 26 WINTER 2014/2015



children. For example, Jackson and Taylor can only participate in one sport at a time. Genevieve says, “School work, church, and family come first.” She and Steve want their children to be in activities they truly enjoy, but Genevieve explains, “It should not put a financial strain on the family. It is okay to say no to your kids if school work is suffering or there is no family time.”


Steve and Genevieve Mulkins Jackson (12 ) and Taylor (10 ) Jef fersontown, Ky.


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By Alissa Hicks



Feature Your Teacher

Marc Veigl

Your teacher’s photograph could be here!

Megan Cheek



With a total of 34 years teaching math and science, Marc Veigl is in year 11 of teaching eighth-grade math at Barret Traditional Middle School. For Marc, teaching and interacting with his students and seeing them getting excited when they understand is true enjoyment.Marc also coaches the championship eighthgrade field hockey team, which had an undefeated season at 24-0. When asked what advice he would give to parents, he said, “Stay involved with your children as much as you can, even if they resist. Because the time you have involvement with your children is so very short.”

Megan Cheek has patience and optimism that is often hard to find. Megan is a special education teacher for grades third through fifth at Centerfield Elementary School. “I’ve been at this school since I started teaching,” says Megan, who has been at this school for eight years. Megan teaches students with more advanced disabilities — autism and cognitive disabilities. “Even though they face challenges and difficulties, they work really hard. It’s fun trying to figure out the best ways for them to learn and what motivates them.” Outside of teaching, Megan stays busy with her 1-year-old daughter.



Your Teacher’s Name

How can you feature your teacher? Nominate him or her at One teacher will be featured each month on and also in the magazine. The three teachers with the most nominations will be featured.

WINTER 2014/15 27

AGE Page

Birth to 5

By Tami L. Pyles

Seeing Straight Eye health is important for children even at a young age. Dr. Farah Ikram of Children’s Eye Specialists offers this important advice about taking care of your little one’s eyes: 1. Protect your child’s eyes from UV exposure. If you will be outside for an extended time, be sure to wear sunglasses or a hat with a large brim. 2. Keep eye safety in mind. Be aware of young children getting too close when mowing the lawn or woodworking, as stray particles can enter the eye. Be careful around animals — especially those with claws — that could scratch the eye. Always have your child wear goggles if they will be playing with pellet guns, paint guns, or other high-velocity toys.

Frozen FANatics Can’t get enough of Disney’s Frozen? A new Frozen short film will be released in spring 2015. Our favorite Frozen friends will be preparing a special surprise for Anna’s birthday.


4 n i 1 ild Kentucky ch ren lack consistent access to an adequate diet.

Season of Giving Take the opportunity to instill the value of giving in your child by shopping for and donating food to one of the area’s many food banks or pantries.

No Night Owls Required! If your children can’t make it until midnight, head over to the Kentucky Science Center for the Noon Year’s Eve celebration, which will be held on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day from 10am-4pm.


Find a list of area food banks: louisville_kentucky_food_pantr.html

Keep young readers interested with these books recommended by Shannon Kruer, head children’s librarian at the Oldham County Public Library.

Swim, Duck, Swim! by Susan Lurie A little duckling that is afraid to swim? He does not want to get wet! With lots of patience and encouragement from Mommy and Daddy duck, the duckling finally splashes into the pond and swims!

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How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan The book is full of everything you need to know to keep a grandpa entertained while Mom and Dad are out for the afternoon. This is the companion book to How to Babysit a Grandma.

Down by the Barn by Will Hillenbrand Set to the tune of “Down by the Station,” this is a fun read-aloud for sharing with children. One-by-one, animals load into the tractor and, “Puff puff! Clink clank, off they go!”

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WINTER 2014/15 29

AGE Page

6 to 11

Let there be lights! Enjoy a spectacle of Louisville lights to illuminate the holiday spirit with one of these events.

By Megan M. Seckman

Top Sledding Spots

s Metro ha Louisville ve sledding d fi designate ghout the city’s u ro th ts spo tem : park sys

ee Park Cherok ers Clark Ro g G eorge C rea son Joe Park ly Lake e e N c M a rk Tyler P

The 25th annual Festival of Trees and Lights November 14-16 Slugger Stadium

Enjoy holiday shopping amidst an array of shining trees and wreaths, nearby iceskating, and several family events such as Dickens Family Night, where period costumes and carolers are sure to cheer your family’s Scrooge. Admission donated to Kosair Children’s Hospital. $5 for children, $8 for adults. festivaloftreesandlights.

Lights Under Louisville

November 21-January 4 Louisville Mega Cavern A luminescent drive-thru experience featuring 2 million lights on display in this 30-minute car ride through the caverns. Admission is $25 for cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans. Other vehicle and group pricing varies. attractions/5/lights-underlouisville

30 WINTER 2014/2015

January 19-February 7

Stage One Family Theater presents

And in this Corner... Casius Clay a play about 1950s Louisville and the early life of Louisville’s “Greatest” athlete. Recommended age 8+

New Year’s Day Hike Reserve your spot for a family-friendly, 2-mile hike through Jefferson Memorial Forest starting at 9am on New Year’s Day. Resolutions begin by making reservations at 502.368.5404.

Arm Your Child for Cold and Flu Season • Use rose hip or echinacea teas to stave off a cold. Rose Hips contain more vitamin C than oranges and are rich in iron, phosphorous, and calcium. Sweeten with local honey and lemon. • Use chamomile or ginger teas for an upset stomach. Chamomile alone is good for calming before bed (or homework) with or without a stomachache. • Vitamin D supplements during winter are good for boosting the immune system, elevating mood, and aiding in the absorption of vitamins and minerals. 4 4 4 4 /todaysfamily 4 4 4 @todaysfamilynow


WINTER 2014/15 31

AGE Page

12 and up


million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving!

By Stacie L. Martin

Local Consignment Shops The Louisville area has a great variety of consignment shops for youth and teens. Check out one of the following for great brand names at cheaper prices:

• Plato’s Closet located on Outer Loop, Hurstbourne Parkway, and Lewis & Clark Parkway in Clarksville, Ind.

• Snazzy’s 155 S. English Station Road

• Missy K’s 8206 Ky Hwy 44, Mount Washington

• Urban Attic 1608 Bardstown Road

15 pounds

Source: The University of Illinois Extension

Letting Your Teen Go... in Snow

Amount of turkey the average American consumes in a year.

Note for Teens Never ride on a sled pulled behind a moving vehicle.

— Dave Langdon Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness

HOT NEW BOOKS for Young Adults Being a parent of a new teen driver is difficult, but watching your new driver pull out of the driveway with snow on the ground can make even the most secure parent nervous. Bridgestone’s helps prepare your teen before the weather gets bad. Share some of the following tips with your teen:

• Keep emergency items in your trunk: flashlight, ice scraper, extra blankets, bottled water and snacks, spare tire, flares, and kitty litter to aid with traction. • Make sure your car and tires are in top working order. • Drive smart and use common sense. • Reduce speed and increase following distances in bad weather. • Clear all windows and rear mirrors of any snow or ice fully before driving, not just a small patch. 32 WINTER 2014/2015

Fill your young adult’s stocking with one or more of these new releases: • The Teen Vogue Handbook:

An Insider’s Guide to Careers in Fashion

(Release Date: Nov 28) • Clockwork Princess

(The Infernal Devices)

by Cassandra Clare (Release Date: Nov 11) • Never Fade

(A Darkest Minds Novel)

by Alexandra Bracken (Released Sept 30)

• Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield (Released Sept 23)

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WINTER 2014/15 33

Just Ask Joyce By Joyce Oglesby

Pre-teen Drama

Watch that Mouth



“My 8-year old has become a real smart-mouth! He’s only a second-grader this year, and I’m shocked every day at the new behaviors he’s sporting when he walks in the door. If this is a taste of teen years, I’m not going to make it. Help!”

“My pre-teen is always involved in stressful drama. I know that’s typical for girls, but it’s getting out of hand. I see an aggression I don’t like. How can I turn this around? ”

Joyce: Aggressive behavior in your daughter can only materialize from two sources: others or herself. Is she hostile or angry because someone is being mean to her, or is she the one being mean to others? As parents, we recognize patterns in our children’s personalities. We typically know if they tend to lean toward unpleasant conduct. Look for these signs when assessing the root cause of the drama being injected into your family: 1. Is she bossy or controlling? If she is bossy at home, she likely is bossing her peers, too. Teach her the qualities of a good leader. Being bossy can alienate, not elevate. 2. Does she talk about others with a mean spirit? Impress upon her how lonely it can become if she offends every kind friend. 3. Have you caught her telling lies or embellishing gossip? If the answer is yes, remind her how she felt when an untruth was told about her. A reputation is something to be preserved. She is developing hers now, and a bad one is difficult to overcome. 4. Does she respect authority? Signs of aggression are indicators of setting one’s own rules. Define your boundaries in the home to equip your child for a successful life. Putting rules in place and enforcing the consequences will not guarantee a different mindset for your daughter, but it will give you peace of mind and free you from regret. Be the parent who doesn’t allow your child to self-destruct. If this pattern of conduct continues, seek professional help. Aggressive behavior can get out of hand quickly. 34 WINTER 2014/2015

Joyce: Disrespect will begin to stink and grow if the fertilizer isn’t taken away. Here are a few quick tips to stunt its growth — the sooner, the better.

“For tender ages, being afraid of the dark is not abnormal.” Kid Fears


“Should I be concerned about my 4-year-old son’s fear of the dark?”

Joyce: I wouldn’t be too concerned yet. I understand there are varying degrees of fears, but for tender ages, being afraid of darkness is not abnormal. If your child has been accustomed to a nightlight, weaning away from that source of comfort can be disconcerting. Your 4-year-old will grow comfortable enough to know when he is ready to turn it off. If there are more compelling issues involved with your child’s fear, perhaps you should monitor exposure to movies, commercials, or video games. There are a lot of “monsters” in those worlds. Don’t invite them into his.

need family advice?

1. Find out the source of the disrespect. Is it a new collection of friends? Then encourage others. Old friends who have adopted new behavior? Time for a change. Is it anger or frustration? Get to the bottom of the who and the why behind it. Is your child being bullied at school? Know the symptoms, address the issue, and teach appropriate responses. 2. Ignore the sass. Your response will fuel or douse the fire. Disregard the behavior and calmly approach it with, “I’m happy to talk to you when you calm down and address me respectfully. For now, take some time in your room to think about your actions.” After things have cooled off, talk with your child in a respectful tone about the insolent behavior. Respect teaches respect. 3. Offer alternatives. In exchange for ill behavior, there should be consequences. Give your child an option of two disciplinary actions that are both difficult choices, such as no video games for a week or no friend time for a month. 4. No exceptions. If respect is going to take hold and make preteen/teen years more manageable, consistency is imperative. Otherwise, you will confuse your child, and you both will pay a hefty price in the future.

Change your life … NOW! Write Joyce Oglesby, Family-Life Fitness Pro™, at I’m here to help! Check out my books and other resources today at Listen to my live talk show Monday through Friday on WFIA 94.7fm/900am at 3pm.

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Fun Tip:

Your kids will feel more like real chefs when they mak e and decorate their own chef hats.

Junior Chefs Murphy Wells (left) and Cloe Hussung (right) work together to mix the cheesecake filling.

No Bake Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pumpkin Whipped Cream makes this seasonal treat Photos by Melissa Donald Recipe by Chef Gina Brown

active time 45 MINUTES baking time (if you choose) 15 MINUTES

1. To make the crust: Combine all ingredients and then gently press into a 9” pie pan — make sure to press up the sides of the pan. Chill until ready to fill. Or with assistance, bake the crust for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees F. Then allow to cool before filling. 2. To make the filling: Put the apples and the cider together in a bowl. Set aside for at least 20 minutes to

36 WINTER 2014/2015

allow the apples to plump up. Next, with assistance, using a hand mixer, beat together the sugar, cream cheese, sour cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well blended. Drain the apples, and fold into the mixture. 3. To make spiced pumpkin whipped cream: With assistance, beat with a hand-held mixture the heavy cream in a chilled bowl until it starts to thicken (about 2-3

minutes). Add sugar and beat until soft peaks appear. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until it reaches stiff peaks. 4. To assemble: Spoon filling into prepared pie pan. Use the back of the spoon to level filling. Next, add a layer of caramel. Pipe or dollop pumpkin whipped cream on top. Sprinkle some of the cookie crumbs on top of the cream.

Ingredients CRUST: 1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs ¾ cup ground pecans 1 Tbsp sugar 3 Tbsp melted butter a pinch of salt CHEESECAKE FILLING: ½ cup dried apples, diced ½ cup apple cider or water 1 ½ cup sugar 2 8 oz blocks of cream cheese, softened 2 Tbsp sour cream 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon ¼ tsp ground nutmeg SPICED PUMPKIN WHIPPED CREAM: 1 ½ cup heavy cream 2 Tbsp powdered sugar ¼ cup canned pumpkin 1 tsp vanilla ½ tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp allspice 1 /8 tsp cloves TOPPING: 1 jar of your favorite caramel sauce

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MOTIVATE Your Kids By Barb Hartman

I am always looking for ways to help my children succeed. As they mature, watching their inherent traits and abilities emerge has been a cause of joy and also concern. You see, I’m smart. Academics came easily to me and as a child I didn’t have to work hard for achievement. Was I top of the class? No, but I didn’t care. That’s scary. In conversations with friends I often hear, “but your kids are so smart.” My retort, “Hard work makes the world go round.” I don’t want my children to get used to hearing how brilliant they are and using that as an excuse for not putting a little elbow grease into life. Just as important and more disheartening to me is that these parents may look at their children and think they can’t achieve amazing things because they aren’t gifted. Enter the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Ph.D., out of Stanford University. In 2014, Eric Gilpin, South Oldham Middle School principal, started a book club and this text was his choice. He chose the book because “I did not want a book that was driven by discussions on curriculum and instructional strategies,” he said, adding, “This allows the parents and me to examine our approach as parents, teachers, administrators, and as a community to foster a growth mindset in our students.” What it gave to me as a parent was a clear, concise line of thinking to show that we cannot only enhance our natural gifts but develop those we don’t think we possess.

38 WINTER 2014/2015

Dr. Dweck writes that there are two mindsets: growth-minded and fixed-minded. While most people are a blend, she suggests that the growth mindset allows people to see failure as an opportunity to learn, while fixed mindset people can be completely shut down by setbacks regardless of their ability. They are defined by failure, often blaming others, and struggle to create an image that shows the world they are successful even as they are stagnating. Reading the first few chapters of the book allowed me to realize that my youngest child is largely a fixed mindset kind of a kid. He came out of the womb wanting to know who was faster, bigger, and who got the best score. It is how he defines himself. The problem is that in many instances, when he falls short, the blame and excuses start flying. “I would have won, but you tied my shoes too tight.” Our other two kids have more growth mindset thrown into their mix with some very evident fixed-mindset traits. If they are convinced they are not naturally good at something, then there is no reason to pursue it. Their assumption is that the task will be beyond their abilities. Dr. Dweck gives an example in which a group of students was given a scenario involving a number of bad things happening, including receiving a C+ on a paper in an important class. They were then asked how they would respond. (See examples at right.) The book goes on to look at the two mindsets in various settings: the business world, sports, and relationships. The material is presented in a way that really causes you to stop and think about what is being said.

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Fixed mindset student:

(In other words, “I won’t let anyone measure m e again.”)

Growth mindset student:

The sports chapter was a good example. Kids are involved in structured activities from a very young age and are quickly segregated by ability. Those seen as “naturals” are praised and seen as special. The rest of the pack is lumped together. If a player is of a fixed mindset, the fact that she is not on top or didn’t make the team the first time can result in her giving up completely. Dr. Dweck talks about society making success an “either-or. Either you have the ability or you expend effort….If you have to work at something you must not be good at it.” The book ends with a chapter that gives real world advice on changing your mindset. The author gives examples of how you might approach dilemmas in your life and the steps it may take to be able to let go of fear of failure. It allowed me to renew my resolve in how I handle my children’s attitudes about their abilities. I am constantly trying to adjust how they see situations whether as a perceived success or failure and how they respond. I praise hard work, and I can be down-right lukewarm about a product that may meet the criteria but involved no extra effort. As for Eric Gilpin, he has taken the path to success one step further. After he had his whole family read Mindset, they moved on to Peter Block’s book The Answer to How, a book that deals with self-imposed limitations that the question “How?” can create. Gilpin says,“With a growth mindset and not being pulled down with the how questions, all things truly are possible for our children.” TODAY’S FAMILY

WINTER 2014/15 39


By Lorie Gant Leitner

Playing it ‘Safe’



Salted Caramel Apple and Peanut Oatmeal • ½ cup Quaker Oats • ½ cup Granny Smith apples, diced • 2 tbsp chopped peanuts • 1 tbsp caramel syrup • ½ dash sea salt Source:

A Life Gift Organ, eye, and tissue donation represents a gift of life from one individual to another. Adding your name to the confidential registry is giving hope to all those children and adults in need of transplants. To sign up, go to

Winter Blues Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) symptoms may include depression, anxiety, loss of energy, or appetite changes. When symptoms go from occasional to daily, it is important to visit with your doctor to discuss treatment. Source:

40 WINTER 2014/2015


When kids need someone to trust and a place to stay, they can turn to the YMCA Safe Place Program, a network of community partners where children ages 17 and under can ask for the help they need. “For over 30 years, the black and yellow Safe Place sign has represented help for teens in crises,” says Sommer Lally, development director at Safe Place. “Today it represents not only the 24hour emergency shelter for teens, but also programs for children of incarcerated parents, and homeless young adults.” If a youth or young adult you know is at risk of running away, becoming homeless, or engaging the juvenile justice system, they can get help from area businesses displaying a Safe Place sign or by contacting YMCA Safe Place Services. To locate a Safe Place partner, look for the yellow and black signs or call the 24-hour hotline at 502.635.5233.

Usually made of wool or fleece, a ski hat combined with a neck warmer will retain 80 percent of your body heat, keeping you warm even on the coldest days.

For other beginner ski tips, visit Paoli Peaks website:

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Click on the categories below to access the Today’s Family Directory.

‘rents rant

Extracurricular Excess? By Carrie Vittitoe

I admit to discouraging my children from playing sports in the interest of saving my sanity. For many years, my daughter Norah has asked to participate in cross country at her elementary school, but I’ve never allowed it. It’s not that I don’t want her to play sports, which provide exercise and cooperation skills, among many other benefits. It’s that I cannot bear the thought of driving to and from practices and meets upwards of three times a week. I haven’t been keen on sports because they, more than other activities, would hinder my routine and comfort. Other parents aren’t quite as selfish as I have been. LaDonna Kennedy’s son has had a great experience playing extracurricular football and basketball, although it was definitely eye-opening. She admits, “The practice schedule was a bit grueling for tackle football. There was practice three days a week, a walk through, and then a game.” Still, because of her son’s wonderful coaches and his enthusiasm for playing sports, LaDonna makes it work and continues to watch her son

What the Experts Say Brian Gerard Senior Minister

First Christian Church of Oldham County South Oldham Little League coach and board member

Gerard, whose sons have long been involved in extracurricular sports, suggests parents consider a number of factors. He says, “If you are not ready to make the commitment it takes in terms of time, finances, and energy, do not sign up. Make sure to find out what the expectations are for each activity before registration and be sure that you are ready to meet them.” Gerard says, “Parents need to be honest about who this experience is really for. I’ve seen too many parents project their needs and expectations into the child’s experience, and it rarely ends well.”

thrive in his athletic endeavors. Parents with multiple children who participate in extracurricular sports really find themselves struggling, particularly financially. Mindy Jett, who has three children, says, “There is definitely pressure from middle/ high school sports to continue skillbuilding off-season, which can get very expensive. We have struggled balancing how much extra instruction they need with already demanding school work and game schedules.” When it comes to sports, and really any extracurricular activity, what do parents need to consider?

For children (and parents) who are ready, Gerard notes there are many positives to playing sports that require a greater time commitment. He says, “A more competitive child who really enjoys being on the field will thrive in a sport that has multiple days of practice and games per week, and playing with children who are equally competitive/ skilled is more fun and challenging.” For Gerard, a large positive is less screen time: “I am willing to go to a lot of practices if it means my children are engaging in something beyond video games and TV.” When Gerard sees overtired and frustrated parents and children, it is usually because of simultaneous participation in multiple activities. For parents who do their research and plan well, Gerard suggests “there is a sport and level of activity that should be pleasing to every family.”

Carrie Vittitoe and her husband, Dean Langford, shuttle their children, Norah (10), Graeme (7), and Miles (5), to activities as infrequently as possible in Louisville.

Melody Raymond Principal

Blue Lick Elementary School

When it comes to any extracurricular activity, Raymond says, “We all have to make choices and prioritize, and this is a perfect time for parents to teach their children how to do that.” Children often want to participate in everything, but they need to learn that they can’t have it all at the exact same time. She says, “If families are never having the chance to be together as a family, that means there are too many extracurricular things going on.” Extracurricular sports teach children how to compromise and depend on others, useful skills in the classroom setting. “A possible concern,” Raymond notes, “is that the child will spend so much time in the activity and fall behind in school work.” Raymond says, “Extracurricular has the word extra in it, so any of those activities aren’t required. While children learn tons from participating in such things, their schoolwork is their priority.”

42 WINTER 2014/2015

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Click on the categories below to access the Today’s Family Directory.

Click on the categories below to access the Today’s Family Directory.

Click on the categories below to access the Today’s Family Directory.

Click on the categories below to access the Today’s Family Directory.

Click on the categories below to access the Today’s Family Directory.


Let it Snow, Let it Snow, 1 Stir together 1⁄ 2 cup corn starch with about 1 1⁄ 2 cups of shaving cream. If you find that your mixture is too dry to form into a ball or too wet to touch, simply add a little more of the needed ingredient.

2 Once the mixture is at the right consistency, add about 3 tablespoons of baking soda and stir. If your mixture can be formed into a “snowball” and can then be crumbled back into your bowl afterwards, you’ve reached your perfect snow consistency!

Let it Snow . . Inside! Story and Photos By Miranda Popp

Even when it doesn’t snow, you can still create some snowy fun right in your kitchen.

Ingredients • Corn Starch • White Shaving Cream

3 To make a snowman, roll out three “snow” balls, use toothpicks for arms, a sliver of a carrot for a nose, and a black marker to draw the eyes and mouth.

• Baking Soda

With this fluffy, do-it-yourself recipe, snow is just minutes away. 48 WINTER 2014/2015

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Today's Family magazine Winter 2014/2015  
Today's Family magazine Winter 2014/2015  

Parenting and Family Wisdom, Kid-friendly Recipe, DIY craft, Child Health