MetroFamily Magazine May 2016

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MAY 2016THE BIG REVEAL: Meet our 2016 Awesome MomsFRESH FUNProduce-picking in OklahomaBUTTERFLY CENTRALPlant a spring garden to attract butterfliesSee our calendar for 179 May events!page 22Coupons23forSUMMERFindFUN! | 4 0 5 . 3 5 9 . 4 6 3 0 Follow us onEDMONDPARKSSUMMERP H O T O G R A P H Y C A M P D A N C E C A M P A R T C A M P T H E AT R E C A M P E N G I N E E R I N G C A M P S C I E N C E C A M PR O B O T I C S C A M P C H E E R L E A D I N G C A M P S E W I N G C A M PMORE SUMMER CAMPS THAN EVER!CAMPSEscape to JadeWaters, Hilton Anatoles luxurious new resort pool and park, with a lazy river, water slides, swim-up bar, cabanas and more.Book your stay today at 214.748.1200 or SUMMER 2016!10BUTTERFLY HAVENTips for creating a butterfly garden at ultimate OKC family fun28KIDS PASS 2016Snag exclusive coupons to top family-friendly attractions in OKC and beyond.KidsPASS22YOU-PICK PARADISEDiscover produce-picking opportunities popping up throughout Oklahoma.Must-See Murals in OKC48 16 How One Local Non-Profit is Rebuilding Families 24 Awesome Mom Contest Winner Revealed 54 Mom Humor: One Glorious Weekend 70 Kid Review: Hafer ParkPLUS... DONT MISS ALL THISHAVE A STORYOR BIG EVENT?We are all about family activities and fun in the OKC metro. If you have a story to share, let us know!CONTACT THE TEAM AT 405-818-5025 or email TaylorPublisherHannah SchmittManaging EditorLindsay CuomoAssistant Editor Heather Davis, Erin Page and Mae KigginsContributing Writers Emily Hart and Mark Doescher Contributing PhotographersBrittany ViklundContributing IllustratorDESIGN & SALESStacy NoakesArt Director Callie CollinsMarketing Director Athena Delce, Dana Price & Jessica MisunSales Kathy AlbertyOffice/Distribution Shelly SandersonBusiness DevelopmentCirculation - 35,000 Also available as a digital edition at Articles and advertisements in MetroFamily do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Inprint Publishing, Inc. We do not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by MetroFamily does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services, or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. MetroFamily Magazine is a monthly magazine published by Inprint Publishing, Inc. New Address: 318 NW 13th St Ste 101 OKC OK 73103Phone: 405-818-5025 Fax: 405-445-7509 Inprint Publishing, Inc. 2016, All Rights Reserved.METROFAMILY MAGAZINE | MAY 2016Volume 19, Number 5WIN A WEEKEND TRIP TO DALLASYou never outgrow your need for your mom. A few weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with a stomach bug. As I was crouching on the floor by the bed, vomiting into a bowl, my very sweet (and very tired) husband woke up and said, "Are you sick? Do you need a napkin?" A napkin?! I would have laughed out loud if I wasn't puking. As helpful as my husband is in a variety of situations, this situation made me miss my mom.A mom would know that wasn't a job for a napkin. A mom would somehow hear that sound and immediately come out of her middle-of-the-night groggy state and know just what to do. Even though I'm approaching 30 and my mom lives in another state, she doesn't bat an eye when I call her in the middle of the night to find out how to stay hydrated while enduring a stomach bug.In high school I was sure I was on the cusp of never needing my mom again but I understand now it's not something you outgrow. If you're fortunate enough to have a relationship with a mom or motherly figure during your lifetime, then you understand how important it is to celebrate these amazing women. Our annual Mom Issue is a special reminder of all the unique roles moms fill.On page six, we share some advice from our Real Moms archives. We've interviewed some incredible moms over the past year and we hope you'll be touched by their words of wisdom. On page 24, we highlight the winner and two finalists who were nominated in our annual Awesome Moms Contest. We had dozens of entries in the contest and it was almost impossible to narrow down the inspiring list. On Mother's Day and beyond, I hope you'll find some time to love on your own mom and the other special mother figures in your life.Hannah SchmittEditorWOW! WelcomeFROM OUR EDITORThis month, we celebrate moms, guide you through making a butterfly garden at home and spark your creativity with some incredible public art.Enter our contests to win big! Register to win a weekend stay at the four-star Hilton Anatole in Dallas and enjoy their new $15 million resort-style pool complex. Prize package includes luxury accommodations, Uber transportation credit of up to $100, admission to downtown Dallas museum of choice and $250 resort credit. Enter by June 5 by visiting Web Exclusives: Learn about estate planning: Do you have a plan for your family? Estate planning is for anyone at any stage of life. The attorneys at Talasaz & Finkbeiner PLLC can guide you through the decision-making process in a "not so hard" way. Find helpful tips at Find our top resources: Each month, we round up the best free events happening in the OKC metro along with the top events for teens and toddlers and ideas for date nights with your significant other. Find these timely articles and more at OFFSUMMER WITH HUNDREDS OF MAY EVENTS Calendar starts on page 32 PHOTO TAKEN BY EMILY HART WWW.NINAANDBPHOTOGRAPHY.COMTHIS MONTHS COVER:Landen M., 4, is the son of Jennifer and Janna of Moore. Landen loves to make people laugh and is a big fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the team mascot, Rumble.METROFAMILY MAGAZINE 6 MAY 2016BY HANNAH SCHMITTfamily buzzWere buzzing about moms"Getting time away is a huge part of mental health. It's hard as a mom to admit you need to take a step back and take care of yourself. There's not a mom I've talked to who doesn't feel the same way. You have to have some space for yourself so you can better take care of others." -Rachel ShingletonOne of my favorite parts of our magazine each month is the highlights on Oklahoma City moms. These women are incredibly inspiring and always have something insightful to say. Here are some words of wisdom from some of the moms we've highlighted in the past year."With motherhood, you learn on a first-hand basis that it is 'not all about me.' Being a single mom, you understand the meaning of sacrifice and what sacrifice is as a parent." -Contessa Bass"I say 'you get what you get and don't throw a fit.' With a large family, it is darn near impossible to make sure everyone gets exactly what they want all the time. I think that it an important lesson for the girls because life absolutely does not work that way. Because of this, they are pretty good at rolling with the punches. I feel like it also is so much more special when we are able to give them exactly what they want." -Abbey AhernWomen are prideful. Put away the pride and lead by example because you are a role model. If you dont like something your kids are doing then take a look at yourself because they probably got it from you. -Stephanie Price"Children watch more of what you do than what you say. Speak less and do more." -Gina Darby"Be true to yourself. It is important for our children to know who their mother is as an individual. You are more than just a birth giver or a parent. Keep connected and share who you are with your children." -Jennifer Teel"It (being a mom) means trusting the big picture and finding contentment in the every day. It means having an open heart and patience in abundance, along with the willingness to forgive myself when those things don't come easy. It also means lots and lots of love and laughter, which is the best part by far!" -Emily HartMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 7 MAY 2016Peace, Love & Goodwill FestivalYou probably already know your donations of clothing and household items to Goodwill help the organization raise money through their 20 retail stores in the metro and surrounding area, but attending the organization's annual Peace, Love & Goodwill Festival provides an opportunity to enrich the lives of Oklahoma City youth and have fun at the same time.This year's festival is scheduled for June 5 and benefits Goodwill's Youth Programs including GoodGuides At Risk Mentoring Program, Work Adjustment Program, Summer Youth Program and Ability Scholarship Program. More than 10,000 people are expected at the massive festival, which will include a full day of family-friendly activities like face painting, inflatables, crafts, bubble stations, live entertainment, food trucks and more.The annual event funds programs that do incredible things for local youth: The Goodwill Abilities Scholarship Program provides disabled and disadvantaged youth with college scholarships. The GoodGuides At Risk Mentoring Program helps youth ages 12-17 at risk of teen pregnancy, gang membership or delinquency build career plans, skill development and future work success through structured relationships with adult mentors. The Work Adjustment Program prepares youth with disabilities for transition into the workforce and independent living following high school graduation. The Summer Youth Program provides opportunities for students with and without disabilities to work side-by-side in a variety of work and volunteer experiences.The Peace, Love & Goodwill Festival will be hosted from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 5 at Myriad Botanical Gardens. There will be 40 pop-up shops, Oklahoma artists on three stages and 27 food trucks on site. In addition to many free experiences, admission to the expanded children's area is $10 and includes activities like canvas painting, face painting, inflatables, Spin the Wheel from Dave & Buster's, crafts, a duck pond and LEGO table. Find more information at METROFAMILY MAGAZINE 8 MAY 2016Memorial Day CelebrationChickasaw Cultural Center867 Cooper Memorial Dr., Sulphurwww.chickasawculturalcenter.com10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Why We Love It: If you're up for a drive (an hour and a half south of the metro), the annual Memorial Day Celebration at the Chickasaw Cultural Center is a must. Kids can travel back in time at this free event to stroll the beautiful museum grounds that replicate traditional Chickasaw life and enjoy special cultural demonstrations and traditional games to celebrate the long weekend. Special family films will be shown at the museum's Anoli' Theater. The event is free but admission fees apply to the films and museum exhibits. The OK River Run & Dog JogWiley Post Park2021 S. Robinson Ave.www.newleashinc.org8 a.m. MondayWhy We Love It: If you have the day off on Monday and have a dog, then head to Wiley Post Park for an exciting pet-friendly run along the Oklahoma River. The family-friendly event includes a 5K for humans and a 3K race for runners and walkers with or without dogs. The event benefits A New Leash on Life, Inc., which helps Oklahomans with disabilities lead richer lives with trained assistance and therapy dogs. The event starts at 8 a.m. Monday and is $25 for all ages for the 5K and adults for the 3K, $10 for ages 13-17 with registered adults on the 3K and free for children 12 and under with registered adults on the 3K. Paseo Arts FestivalPaseo Arts DistrictN.W. 30th & Deweywww.thepaseo.com10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (music until 11 p.m.) and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. MondayWhy We Love It: Art festivals are a fantastic way to expose young children to the arts. This free Memorial Day weekend event features dozens of musicians and live performers, festival foods, artists selling their goods and a free children's area where kids can explore hands-on arts opportunities. The festival is celebrating 40 years this year.Annual Chuck Wagon FestivalThe National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum1700 N.E. 63rd St.www.nationalcowboymuseum.org10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday & SundayWhy We Love It: This exciting annual event provides an opportunity for families to dine at America's first food trucks: chuck wagons. In addition to delicious festival food, event highlights include indoor and outdoor hands-on activities like leather stamping, face painting, square dancing, butter churning and rope making. New this year, festival activities will be hosted in the museum gardens, providing easier access to indoor museum exhibits (which are free with festival admission). Enjoy live entertainment provided by Rodeo Opry and Matt Tedder from "The Voice." Admission is $15 for adults and free for museum members and kids under 12. Bethany 66 FestivalAshbury & College Ave., a.m. to 4 p.m. SaturdayWhy We Love It: This small-town festival takes visitors back in time with a fun parade, sidewalk sales, children's activities and row after row of classic cars. This annual event features all the best things about historic Route 66 and celebrates the history of the Mother Road in Oklahoma with plenty of entertainment and family-friendly activities. Memorial Day Ceremony45th Infantry Division Museum2145 N.E. 36th St.www.45thdivisionmuseum.com10 a.m. MondayWhy We Love It: This event truly embraces the meaning of Memorial Day by paying tribute to the men and women who have given their lives for our country. Ceremony highlights include a helicopter flyover, patriotic music, guest speakers and massing of the colors. The event offers a great opportunity for kids to learn more about our military history and honor the men and women who serve in the armed forces.Top Memorial Day Weekend Eventseditors picksMemorial Day is a national holiday for remembering people who died while serving in our country's armed forces. It's a sacred and revered day and we hope you will take time to honor the occasion and share its true meaning with your family. Because many parents have a three-day weekend for the holiday, we've rounded up some opportunities for family fun throughout the weekend in addition to a special event on Monday that pays tribute to men and women who have given their lives in service to our country.METROFAMILY MAGAZINE 9 MAY 2016 KinderCare Education LLC. All rights reserved.Reserve your childs spot for a summer of learning and fun!GET MESSY AND COLOR OUTSIDE THE LINESLeonardo's Children's Museum in Enid (an hour and a half northwest of Oklahoma City) has long been one of our favorite kid-friendly attractions in the state. This museum has consistently impressed our readers with its ability to provide educational exhibits that are fun and interactive and perfect for a range of ages. After months of being closed for renovations, Leonardo's has reopened and impressed us all over again. The museum has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation to offer brand new exhibits to families. Step into their new facility to find the Power Tower, a climbing structure that stretches across two stories and is surrounded by interactives. An updated toddler area provides excitement for even the youngest museum visitors and on-site animals have a new habitat club house for kids to learn more about critters.On the second floor, kids can learn more about local industry with a special interactive exhibit on oil, natural gas, wind and solar power. INTEGRIS Health sponsors a life-size Operation game at the museum for kids to learn more about health and wellness.Leonardo's Children's Museum has been getting kids excited about learning for more than 20 years and we're thrilled to see more educational opportunities presented in the renovated space. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $8 per person (kids under 2 are free). Learn more at or by calling 580-233-2787.Oklahoma Childrens Museum Unveils RenovationsMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 10 MAY 2016BY MAE KIGGINS Attracting Butterflies to Your YardTheres no disputing butterflies are the most beautiful insects. They are unique, colorful and fun to watch. Butterflies are so desirable there are entire gardens dedicated to them, but their real beauty lies in the services they provide our landscapes. Did you know butterflies pollinate as they travel from flower to flower? Unfortunately, butterfly numbers are declining due to overuse of pesticides, habitat loss and climate change. So creating a butterfly-friendly garden is not just a fun activity but also contributes to a healthy environment.PHOTO BY STACY NOAKESMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 11 MAY 2016UCO FINE ARTS AND DESIGN + Concurrent enrollment for university credit 405.975.3784 ocae@uco.eduACM@UCO+Rock Camps I & II: June 13-17 & July 18-22, Ages 10-18, Downtown OKCArt+Art Workshop: July 25-29, Ages 15-18, EdmondDanceDance & Down Syndrome: June 6-10, Ages 13 & up, Edmond+Dance Workshop: June 13-17, Ages 15 & up, EdmondDesign+Design Workshop: June 13-16, Ages 15-18 & Incoming UCO Freshmen, EdmondMusicFlute Camp: June 6-9, Ages 11-16, Edmond+Jazz Workshop: June 26-July 1, Ages 15-18, Edmond+Strings Chamber Music Camp: July 11-15, Ages 11-18, EdmondTheatre Arts+High School Drama Camps I & II: June 13-17 & July 11-15, Ages 13-18, EdmondDrama Day Camps: June 20-24, July 18-22, & July 25-29, Ages 7-12, EdmondLets Make Magic Workshop: June 27-29, Ages 718, EdmondSUMMER CAMPSThe Basics of Gardening for Butterflies: Grow a variety of different nectar-producing plants that bloom at different times of the year. The longer the food sources last, the longer butterflies will remain in your yard. Plant native flowers. Butterflies in Oklahoma are going to be attracted to flowers that grow naturally in Oklahoma. Color is key. Butterflies are attracted to red, yellow, orange, pink and purple. Plant flowers where they will receive full sunlight all day. Butterflies like to feed in the sun. Ditch the pesticides. Healthy plants can fight off bugs fairly well. Know how much water each plant needs and use organic fertilizer when needed. Caterpillar-Friendly Yard:The key to attracting and maintaining butterflies in a yard is to provide food for their young or caterpillars. Doing so will bring new generations of butterflies throughout the summer. Unfortunately, caterpillars generally eat different plants than adult butterflies. The one exception is clover, with flowers that are nectar-producing and larvae will eat the leaves. Clover can be a beautiful and low maintenance addition to your garden that will keep butterflies happy. Other plants that serve as food for larvae are herbs such as dill, fennel, parsley and chives and vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbage and broccoli. Keep in mind that the caterpillars will damage the plants and may reduce or stop the harvest, so plant a few extra plants if gardening for a fruit harvest. Best Flowers for Butterflies:These are not the only plants that attract butterflies but they are native to Oklahoma and therefore acclimated to the climate. Latin Name: Salvia leucantha/Common Name: Mexican Sage Brush* Latin Name: Lantana/Common Name: Lantana* Latin Name: Buddleia davidii/Common Names: Summer Lilac, Butterfly-bush or Orange Eye * Latin Name: Echinacea purpurea/Common Name: Purple Cone Flower Latin Name: Pentas/Common Name: Pentas* Latin Name: Verbena/Common Name: Verbena (trailing/moss types do best)* Latin Name: Coreopsis verticillata Moonbeam/Common Name: Threadleaf Coropsis* Latin Name: Gaura lindheimeri/Common Name: Gaura* indicates plant grows well in a container or flower pot.Flower Pot Butterfly Gardens: Dont have a yard? Try growing flowers and herbs in pots. If you dont have a spot that gets full sun most of the day, store pots in a wagon and wheel them into the sunlight every day. Flower pot gardening is different than traditional gardening in many ways and requires a few adjustments. Here are a few tips for an outstanding flower pot garden. Use mulch to help the soil retain moisture. Select the correct pot size for the plant. Check to see how big the plant will get. If the pot is too small the plant may become CONTINUED ON PAGE 14METROFAMILY MAGAZINE 12 MAY 2016unhealthy and will not produce as many flowers or fruit. Only use pots with drainage holes. Water sitting at the bottom of the pot will rot the roots. Spend the extra money on potting soil. It is a special mix designed to retain water. The larger the pot the less often the plant needs to be watered. Be careful when growing plants together in the same pot. Not all plants grow well together. Do a little research ahead of time. Raising Butterflies:Another fun way to bring butterflies to the yard is to buy caterpillars and raise them. Kits are available online that provide the caterpillars, food, jars and a net house for the adult butterflies. Even butterflies don't like the wind:Most flowering plants and butterflies need shelter from the crazy wind here in Oklahoma. Wind lowers the body temperature of butterflies making flying impossible and limits the blooming time of the flowers. Creating simple wind breaks can solve this problem but just be careful that the wind breaks do not shade the flowers. Cooler winds in Oklahoma come from the north and the west so place wind breaks on the north and west side of your garden to maximize its benefits. Rocks, trees, fences and/or vines are a few items that can be used as wind breaks. If wind breaks arent an option, try a butterfly house. There are plenty of low-cost kits that can be purchased online or free plans to build a wooden one. A fun and free option in the Oklahoma City area are The Home Depot workshops for kids held the first Saturday of the month. The projects vary from month to month but they do offer butterfly houses from time to time. To find a workshop, visit butterflies when you have a "black thumb":DIY Butterfly Feeders:Dont have a green thumb or not interested in gardening? Add a butterfly feeder near a butterfly house. This pair will give the butterflies food and shelter with relatively little work and upkeep. Adding silk flowers to the feeders will make them more visually appealing to the butterflies. Remember to clean out feeders regularly to decrease the chance of attracting unwanted bugs. Hanging FeederThis is a very easy feeder to put together and there are plenty of ways to dress it up. The disadvantage is that it is light and doesnt do well in the wind. If it is going to be a particularly windy day just take it down. Materials: tin pie plate, nail, over-ripe fruit, small bright colored sponge, red sugar water (one part sugar dissolved in nine parts boiling water plus red food coloring), string, scissors. Instructions: Punch four holes equidistance apart on the lip of the pie tin. Cut string into four equal lengths, at least 18 inches long. Tie one string to each hole in the pie plate. Hang feeder in a bright area. Preferable close to a window or door. Place sponge and over-ripe fruit in the bottom of the plate. PHOTO BY MAE KIGGINSPHOTO BY MAE KIGGINSFind us on:Visit Allegra.comChildrens Allegra gives kids effective, long-lasting*, non-drowsy relief of their toughest allergy symptoms.**2016 Chattem, Inc. Use only as directed. *One dose lasts a full 12 hours. **Relieves sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, and itchy nose or throat. See carton for dosing instructions.So kids can stop suffering and start living., non-drowsy relief of their toughest allergy symptoms., non-drowsy relief of their toughest allergy symptoms.**Before Allegra, allergies held her back. After Allegra, Nicole is in full swing.80 70 70 10010.2 7.4 7.4100 100 100100 100 60100 10070 7030 30100 100 60100 100100 10070 7030 30100 100 6070 70 4070 7030 30100 40100 4040 10010 40 4020 70 703.1 2.2 2.270 40 4075 66 6650 40 4025 19 19B0 0 0 010070301001025507590100100 601007030100 6040 70 407030100 4040 10040 10040 70 4070 40 40 340 70 4070 40 40100 60A3%ISO 12647-7 Digital Control Strip 2009Project Name: AL1438 - Childrens Allegra Client: Chattem Project Type: Full Page Ad Pub/Month: Metro Family/May 2016Trim Size: 8 x 10.5 Safety: N/A Bleed: N/A Colors: 4CP/0 Art: Getty - Royalty FreeTEAM: AD SM Gabrielle D. PM Joann C. AE Mary I.AL1438_Kids_MetroFamily_MAY_v01.indd 1 4/1/16 9:44 AMMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 14 MAY 2016Located at Shoppes on Broadway - Same Plaza 2 Locations3224 S Broadway(405) 285-7777 Follow us on FacebookChildrens BoutiqueGirls Clothing sz 0-14 * Boys 0-4TNEW! Furniture & DecorCustom Bedding * Maternity & MoreNursery & Decor Grand Opening, June 4thWhere to See Butterflies in Oklahoma CityMyriad Botanical Gardens301 W. Reno Ave.Outdoor Grounds open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., freewww.myriadgardens.comWill Rogers Horticultural Gardens 3400 N.W. 36th StSummer Hours 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Zoo Butterfly Garden2000 Remington Pl.Open during zoo hours, free with zoo[Editor's Note: For more information on attracting butterflies to your yard, visit or contact Oklahoma County Master Gardeners at] Fill sponge with sugar water.*Optional Paint the bottom of the pie plate a red, yellow, orange, pink or purple. These colors attract butterflies. Activities that attract butterflies are not only good for Oklahoma but are a fun way to get kids excited about spending time outdoors. The temptation for kids to spend all day on electronics is real and it can be challenging to find activities that entice them outside. Gardening for butterflies gives the kids a tangible reward for their efforts. Any new project can seem overwhelming, so start with a small garden then add different features that will attract a wider range of butterflies as experience is gained. Most kids will be ecstatic to see butterflies using what they have worked hard to create.Did you know? Butterflies cannot fly when their body temperature is below 85F. As a result they like to feed in the sun. A butterfly's color helps them attract mates, absorb heat and provide some protection while they fly and feed among colorful flowers. Puddling is where butterflies gather around a small puddle of water or damp earth to get essential minerals. Small amounts of standing water is one way to keep butterflies around longer. Butterflies live two days to 11 months. Antennae are used to smell. Butterflies migrate to avoid cold weather. Butterflies undergo metamorphosis or a major change to their form and how they eat. They begin life as caterpillars then transform into butterflies. There are four basic ways to attract butterflies to your yard: traditional gardening, flower pot gardens, butterfly houses and feeders. All or one can be used to attract butterflies. So no matter the skill level, there is some way everyone can attract butterflies to their yard.Mae Kiggins is a blogger and Edmond mom of two. Read more of her ideas for outdoor fun at her blog, ERIN PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS BY BRITTANY VIKLUND WWW.BRITTANYVIKLUND.COMShelter and foster care program work in tandem to love children in limboStrength in CommunityMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 17 MAY 2016Our MissionA Christ-centered ministry devoted to providing safe and stable families for at-risk children and youth.LILYFIELDChristian Adoption and Foster CareVisionAt Lilyeld we serve children, youth, birth, adoptive and foster families by sharing Gods love in our community. We are committed to excellence in service and the foundation of our faith in Christ Jesus as we: Promote safety and stability for children Equip, prepare and counsel birth, adoptive and foster families Guide children, youth and families on a path to healing and permanency Our programs include: adoption, services for birthparents, foster care, care connect post placement counseling and independent living (for girls who have aged out of foster care so they can continue their education).Lilyeld.org501 E. 15th, Ste. 400A, Edmond405.216.5240Ashley Leck couldnt have written the beautiful, messy story that led her five children to call her mom. Neither could she have orchestrated the closeness between siblings who may share similar backgrounds but dont all share DNA. Her foster care journey began with some apprehension.I was very cautious in getting involved because of the unknown, she said of becoming a foster mom. I was scared about my ability to do it well and love appropriately.After prayer and consideration, the Lecks approached Youth & Family Services, Inc. of El Reno in 2010 as the organization was initiating its foster care program. YFS is a non-profit that has a variety of programs to serve the families and kids in the El Reno area. The Lecks became one of the first families YFS trained to care for foster children in need of stability and love.Their first call for placement was a 6-year-old girl. A self-proclaimed planner, Leck was unsure whether she could say yes to the unexpected development. A unique opportunity to meet with the child at the YFS emergency youth shelter changed her mind.I instantly fell in love and knew she was supposed to be in our home, she said.The Lecks adopted that little girl. They have since fostered 24 other kids and have adopted four additional children. Leck credits YFS for not just providing resources and training but also for developing an entire community of people on which her family can depend.They have been there when everything falls apart, she said, and they have loved us through it.Fostering a committed community Youth & Family Services was formed in 1974 to provide emergency shelter for children and youth. The organization now comprises more than 10 programs serving Canadian, Blaine, Kingfisher and Oklahoma counties, including counseling, independent living for young adults, drug and alcohol education and a first-time offender program.Along with several other organizations under the Oklahoma Association of Youth Services umbrella, YFS launched its foster care program in 2009 as a complement to other programs already in place, particularly its emergency shelter. OAYS operates 31 youth shelters through partner agencies across the state and those shelters were often where children were first placed upon removal from their homes. Similarly, when children were removed from a foster care placement due to a disruption, they were often put back in a shelter until a new placement could be found. Children in foster care are a part of the continuum of services that youth services agencies serve, said Shawn Black, executive director of OAYS. We decided to recruit foster care homes and provide services to foster care families in an effort to reduce and eliminate [placement] disruptions.Since launching its foster care program, YFS has served more than 200 foster children with 36 currently licensed foster homes in its communities. As of April 1, the organization has facilitated 20 adoptions. YFS staff is proud of their 95 percent success rate with foster placements.Once we accept placement of a child, we are generally able to keep them within our network of families so that they are connected to each other and lots of friendly faces, said Dee Blose, YFS executive director. That network of families has been instrumental to the Lecks, from providing long-term connections with other foster parents to trading respite care when they need a break. Once dependent on more seasoned foster parents for advice, Leck is now a mentor for other foster moms, cultivated by YFS to strengthen and empower its community of parents. Respite care is readily available to YFS foster families, as the organization requires potential foster parents who have been trained and approved to provide respite at least twice before accepting a placement of their own.You have to be willing to let people in and be honest about your circumstances. You are vulnerable and it's humbling. Ashley Leck, foster parentMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 18 MAY 2016We do require more of our foster parents, said Melissa Larimore, YFS foster care director. They must be certified volunteers through us, starting at our shelter and events. And then respite allows us to all test the waters, to know the type of placement that would be best for them.The opportunity to care for a child over a few days also shows potential foster parents how readily available the YFS team is when they have questions or concerns, building their confidence in the program. The Lecks community was never more apparent than after they accepted placement of the boy who would become their third adopted child.Five days after placement he needed major surgery, Leck said of the 3-year-old who was fully dependent on a feeding tube.Ashley and her husband stayed with him in the hospital for six weeks after surgery, at least one of them at his side around the clock. They relied heavily on their YFS family to do their laundry, provide meals, maintain their home and babysit their other children. You have to be willing to let people in and be honest about your circumstances, Leck says of fostering. You are vulnerable and its humbling.Leck was willing to put herself in that position for the sake of her now-son, who had previously spent his life in a hospital or childrens center without a consistent caregiver.He had never had a parent, said Leck. He thought my name was mom.While accepting the placement of a child who needed so much medical attention was intimidating, the Lecks trusted the YFS team. They get to know their families so closely that they can say this placement will work or this wont, said Leck. They hold your hand through all of it. Youre never left alone.That support includes attending court with their foster parents, going to Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) meetings, helping when kids are sick or on a break from school, intervening with schools and daycares when necessary, offering crisis counseling and providing material goods like diapers, clothing and car seats. Because many children in foster care have the goal of reuniting with biological families, the YFS team also helps foster families bridge with, or develop safe relationships with, biological parents. Leck says while that process felt unnatural to her in the beginning, now she sees it as imperative for even her adopted kids to know where they came from. When they get older, they will have questions, Leck said. As their adoptive parent, its important for me to be the door they go through to facilitate those relationships, versus the wall theyll go around someday to get there.Leck knows her kids biological families love them and want the best for them. She sends them photos regularly and says shes even closer to her kids biological moms than they are. I want them know about the day-to-day parenting, said Leck. Its still a joint effort because at some point they will go to them. I want to have established a relationship where they trust and respect me.Even more than the lessons on bridging with biological families, parenting trauma and working with OKDHS, Leck appreciates her YFS workers being a listening ear in both the good times and difficult. She can call any time of day or night, even now that her kids have all been adopted, and know someone will answer. Leck recalls Larimore being there for her on what she calls her worst day.I called her crying and she was there in 20 minutes, Leck said. She saved me and saved our fostering experience.Offering shelter from the stormThe warmth of the YFS family is palpable at the Donald W. Reynolds Caring Center, the organizations emergency youth shelter in El Reno. Aptly named, staff is trained to care for children in times of great chaos.Our shelter is meant to be a very short-term experience, a time for the crisis to be stabilized, said Blose.While the word shelter often conjures cold, institutional imagery, the opposite is true of The Caring Center. Handmade quilts drape every bed, made with love by community members to immediately give children the sense that someone cares about them. Family-style tables encourage residents to dine together, a cozy fireplace and comfortable furniture give a homey feel and an inviting kitchen offers plenty of space for kids to cook or frost cookies together. Structured activities include outings and field trips and a beautiful backyard area, playground and Thunder Cares basketball court stand at the ready for fun. In addition to leisure and recreational activities, children have access to health screenings, crisis counseling, skills instruction and education. Staff is available to residents around the clock.Opened in 2008, the shelter is small, housing up to 10 children at a time. Residents typically stay no more than 30 days. In 2015, The Caring Center served 145 children with an average age of 12. While OKDHS has closed its own shelters statewide in favor of placing more children in family environments, the organization can make use of shelters like The Caring Center as needed. Once we accept placement of a child, we are generally able to keep them within our network of families so that they are connected to each other and lots of friendly faces. Dee Blose, YFS executive directorWe decided before we took our first teen that we would be the last foster family they ever had. Kristi Murphy, foster parentHe had never had a parent. He thought my name was 'mom.' Ashley Leck, foster parentMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 19 MAY 2016Free with Admission!Discovery PacksDiscover a new world at OKCMOA with fun, hands-on gallery learning! Pick up a pack for free and create your own gallery adventure. Sketch, read, learn about artists and more! Just return to the front desk when youre nished. Two packs are available: Ages 2-5 and Ages 6+.We have not necessarily seen an increase in numbers of referrals, said Blose of the state-run shelter closures, but rather we have seen an increase in the level of care of some of the children and youth that are being referred by DHS. These are some of the children and youth that are most likely to be looked over for traditional foster care.As such, the uniqueness of an organization that operates both a shelter and a foster care program means those youth in the shelter can sometimes be placed with families faster, and it can also mean more secure long-term placements. Before the Pinnacle Plan was enacted or OKDHS contracted with private agencies for foster care placement, YFS was piloting its combination shelter and foster care program. After seeing kids leave the shelter and come back numerous times, the team knew something had to change.That is one great benefit to our complimentary foster care program, said Blose, who recalls one teen whod been in the shelter 17 times before their program began. Sometimes we can actually match up children, youth and foster families in a very non-threatening way.For the Lecks, meeting their first daughter at The Caring Center allowed both parties an opportunity to get to know each other before committing to the placement. For foster parents Rick and Kristi Murphy, YFSs unique, intentional approach to foster care placements is what piqued their interest in becoming foster parents in March 2012.They carefully match the needs of a child with a family that is equipped and willing to meet those needs, said Kristi Murphy.Leck knows how special the staff makes its residents feel because of the many happy memories her daughter has of living there.That was a traumatic time in her life and yet she really likes to go there, she said. She has great memories of being there. She talks a lot about someone who fixed her hair for her.Becoming forever familyLeck says her familys dinner table often resembles a therapy session, with conversations about former foster families and biological families continuing long after the plates have been cleared. Shes learned that being honest about her own feelings with her kids opens the door for them to share, too, and to learn to trust her. At the end of the day, the message she and Jason want to convey to their five adopted children is that they love them for who they are, no matter what.Yes, there are hard days, said Leck. But my kids are worth the hard days.For Leck and Murphy alike, those hard days have been tempered by an agency that ensures its foster families never feel alone in what can be a very daunting process.[YFS has] encouraged us through some difficult teen behavior, believed in our parenting skills and trusted us to make appropriate decisions about the teens living with us, said Murphy.That support means Kristi and Rick have been able to continue growing their forever family, with the promise of many holidays, job promotions, college graduations, weddings, babies and birthdays to be celebrated with their former foster kids in the years to come.We worry about them, cry both happy and sad tears with them, and [just] do life with them, said Kristi of the kids who have left her home, but not her heart. But most of all [we are] proud of them as we see them succeed in both the small things and the big things.They carefully match the needs of a child with a family that is equipped and willing to meet those needs.Kristi Murphy, foster parentI instantly fell in love and knew she was supposed to be in our home.Ashley Leck, foster parentMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 20 MAY 2016Developing permanent connections for teensTeens in foster care present a unique set of challenges and are often the hardest age group to place in foster homes. The Youth & Family Services Caring Center has a newly launched teen foster care program designed to help teens in foster care find permanent connections. At the heart of the program is that same opportunity for teens and potential foster parents to meet on multiple occasions before committing to a placement.We can give the parties enough time to get to know each other and know it is a good match, YFS Executive Director Dee Blose. Youth like to have some choice just like the rest of us.The program stems from the reality that teens are often the hardest age group to place.A lot of people shy away from the idea of fostering teenagers, said Blose. Teenagers can talk back, they can challenge you and that can be scary. [But they] need somebody to invest in them, and they need a place to call home.Studies show that when youth age out of the foster care system without an adoptive home, foster home or reuniting with biological family, they are more likely to become homeless, end up in prison or have children who also end up in foster care.While they acquiesce that not all parents love the teenage years, foster parents Rick and Kristi Murphy have developed a passion for this age group. With each of their foster teens, Kristi and Rick focus on setting boundaries and offering lots of patience and unconditional love. They abide by a promise they made to each other before their journey began.We decided before we took our first teen that we would be the last foster family they ever had that we would become their forever family, Kristi said. And as such, we treat them with the same expectations, respect, love and care that we would any other member of our family.That methodology has translated into long-term relationships. The teens who have lived with the Murphys but are now out on their own still come over to do laundry, eat dinner or play games. Kristi talks to them every day. She applauds YFS workers for staying in contact with the teens even after theyve aged out of foster care too, providing them another support system.But Kristi admits that getting to that place of trust with teens is challenging. When children have been in state custody for a long time, they have likely been let down and hurt by many people who were supposed to love, help and protect them.It is very hard to teach them to trust anyone or how to love someone with healthy boundaries, Kristi said. Or how to accept themselves as lovable.Blose says YFS recognizes the natural hardships that come with parenting foster teens, and the new program is prepared to help its foster parents through the most difficult days. As life happens, like we know it will, we want our shelter services to be one of the available alternative caregivers or respite care providers for the family to access in those moments when we all think a little time and space can make a difference in placement stability, said Blose.In addition to the challenges of helping their foster teens heal from the trauma they have endured, Rick and Kristi teach them to drive, ensure they stay in school, teach them how to do laundry, open joint checking accounts to teach financial basics, practice job interview skills, encourage participation in sports, arts or whatever activities interest them and model positive relationship-building skills with friends and loved ones. With the guidance of YFS, they also have helped their foster teens reestablish safe, healthy relationships with biological family members. In the midst of the everyday struggles, Kristi says she has experienced great joy in her teens ah-ha moments. When they recognize that it is not their fault and accept that they are loved for who they are, Kristi said of her most fulfilling moments as a foster mom, and when they start to consider you an important part of their life, like the first hug that they initiate or the first phone call just to talk without needing anything.[Editor's Note: Erin Page recently received a Gold Award from the Parenting Media Association for her coverage of foster care in MetroFamily Magazine.]SUMMER STARTSWITH OKC PARKS!OKC.GOV/PARKS @OKCPARKSCAMPNATURESUMMERCAMPSDAYSummer Day Camps for all ages and interestsBasketball CampFit for Kids CampJunior Golf CampBaseball ClinicSoccer ClinicVolleyball ClinicSPORTS CAMPSJunior Explorers ClubSecret Agent ClubRocking RocketsLEGO Mindstorms RoboticsMAD SCIENCEOUTDOOR ADVENTURESWilderness CampMOREEmergency PreparednessPerforming ArtsYouth Artist CampsKick off your summer adventures with one of the Oklahoma City Parks & Recreation Departments Summer Day Camps and clinics. We have everything under the sun to keep your child active and engaged through the summer break.For more information, visit or call (405) 297-2211at the Will Rogers Gardens and Martin Park Nature CenterGo WILD this summer during our hands-on nature camps. Two distinct camp environments maximize fun in nature, wildlife, gardening and fishing.Will Rogers Gardens, 3400 NW 36thLearn plant life, gardening fun, nature crafts, tree climbing and moreThree sessionsJune 6-10, July 11-15, August 1-5Martin Park Nature Center, 5000 W MemorialLearn nature conservation, wildlife, archery, outdoor skills, fishingThree sessionsJune 13-17, July 18-22, August 8-12Register online at more information, call (405) 297-1392 or (405) 297-1429PAID ADVERTISEMENTKidsPASSMoney-saving couponsto top family attractions in OKC and beyondFind Kids Pass throughout the year 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.METROFAMILY MAGAZINE 22 MAY 2016Aalim Belly Dance Academy2520 N. Meridian405-844-0304, www.aalimdanceworld.comGet four free classes for children ages 5-13. One coupon per child per year.Dodge City Paintball & Outdoor Laser Tag16425 N.W. 150th St., Piedmont405-373-3745,$5 off regular admission price. One coupon per player.Harn Homestead Museum1721 N. Lincoln Blvd.405-235-4058, www.harnhomestead.comReceive 4 admissions for $10. Not valid for group admissions or educational programming.Jump!Zone Party & Play Center S.W. 104th St. & S. Western (Palagio Shops)405-200-1691, $2 off open play per child.Andy Alligators Fun Park & Water Park3300 Market Pl., Norman (I-35 & Indian Hills Rd.) 405-321-7275, Purchase a $20 game card and get $5 free.Frontier City, 11501 N. I-35 Service Rd.405-748-2140 x 214, www.frontiercity.comGET TWO FREE CHAPERONE TICKETS WHEN YOU PURCHASE A PARTY PACKAGE AND PRESENT THIS COUPON AT THE TICKET BOOTH ON YOUR PARTY DATE. VALID DURING REGULAR OPERATING SEASON ONLY. ONLY ONE COUPON VALID PER PARTY PACKAGE PURCHASED. VALID ONLY ON SCHEDULED PARTY DATE.Jasmine Moran Childrens Museum 1714 W. Wrangler Blvd., Seminole 800-259-5437, $1 off single admission. (Children 2 and under free.) Leonardos Childrens Museum200 E. Maple Ave., Enid580-233-2787,$1 off admission for up to 5 people.PAID ADVERTISEMENTKids Pass coupon must be presented to admission personnel to receive discount. *Good through April 2017 or as specified.Find Kids Pass throughout the year 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.EXPIRES 04/30/17MFMKidsPass2016Not to be combined with other offers.METROFAMILY MAGAZINE 23 MAY 2016Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art 1900 W. MacArthur, Shawnee 405-878-5300, Buy 1 adult admission and get 2 free childrens admissions. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum1700 N.E. 63rd St. 405-478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.orgFree child admission with paid adult. Limit 2 children (ages 4-12) per coupon. Not valid for special events.Oklahoma History Center 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.405-522-0765, Buy 1 adult admission get 1 adult admission FREE.RIVERSPORT Rapids725 S. Lincoln Blvd.405-552-4040, www.riversportokc.orgGet $5 off All Access pass at RIVERSPORT OKCSKELETONS: A Museum of Osteology 10301 S. Sunnylane Rd.405-814-0006, www.museumofosteology.orgGet $1 off general admission for up to 4 people with this coupon. Limit one coupon per family. (Code #7) Oklahoma Aquarium300 Aquarium Dr., Jenks918-296-FISH,$2 off general admission, limit 4 per visit. Cannot be combined with other discounts/coupons.Paint N Station 7906 N. May Ave.405-842-7770, Spend at least $25 and receive $5 off your entire purchase. One discount per visit.Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman405-325-4712, www.samnoblemuseum.ou.eduGet 1 free youth (age 4-17) admission for each paid adult admission. Limit 2 youth per coupon. Children 3 and under are free.Skate Galaxy5800 N.W. 36th St.405-605-2758,$2 off regular admission with this coupon. Limit one coupon per family per visit.Tom Stafford Air & Space Museum 3000 E. Logan Rd., Weatherford 580-772-5871, www.staffordmuseum.comKids get in free with purchase of adult admission. Children 5 and under are ALWAYS FREE.Spontaneity Kid Care3705 W. Memorial Rd. #101C405-541-9072,$10 gift certificate with the purchase of a family membership.Unpluggits Playstudio575 Enterprise Dr., Suite 110, Edmond405-340-7584,$1 off paint n play admission for up to 4 people. Limit one coupon per visit.Unpluggits Playstudio575 Enterprise Dr., Suite 110, Edmond405-340-7584,$3 off workshops. Mention coupon when registering.White Water Bay, 3908 W. Reno Ave.405-748-2140 x 214, whitewaterbay.comGET TWO FREE CHAPERONE TICKETS WHEN YOU PURCHASE A PARTY PACKAGE AND PRESENT THIS COUPON AT THE TICKET BOOTH ON YOUR PARTY DATE. VALID DURING REGULAR OPERATING SEASON ONLY. ONLY ONE COUPON VALID PER PARTY PACKAGE PURCHASED. VALID ONLY ON SCHEDULED PARTY DATE.Water Zoo1900 Blvd. of Champions, Clinton580-323-9966, www.water-zoo.comEveryone pays Kids price with this coupon. (Not valid March 2017)AWESOMEMomsBY LINDSAY CUOMO AND HANNAH SCHMITTPHOTOS BY MARK DOESCHERSTEPHANIE ROGERSDANIELLE HOWELLDONNA PITTMANMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 25 MAY 2016LIVE...WORK...BE...Total Wellness is Oklahomas premier provider of customized, on-site workplace wellness exams. Designed to empower employees to make healthier life decisions, Total Wellness helps employers improve the health of their workforce. Call us to schedule FREE annual wellness exams for your organization.Oklahomas Workplace Wellness Experts Health Risk Assessments Annual Wellness Exams Vaccination Clinics405.658.3130 TotalWellnessOK.comYOUR BESTE ach year, we ask our readers to nominate incredible local moms in our Awesome Mom Contest. We're always blown away by their stories and it's almost impossible to select a winner. When we contact the three finalists, they're always so honored to be chosen. Truly, it is our honor to highlight just a few of the countless moms out there who knock it out of the park every day. We hope you'll be as inspired as we are by these three Awesome Moms. WINNER: Donna PittmanAs the middle child of seven siblings, Donna Pittman grew up in what many would consider a big family. However, the number of children in her family growing up doesnt really compare to the houseful she now has. Donna and her husband, Raymond, have added quite a few members to their Pittman Posse, as she calls it, 23 in fact. They have 12 children ranging from age 43 all the way to 9 years old and 11 grandchildren from newborn to 22 years old. When you add in the four sons-and daughters-in-law and friends, Sunday family dinners really draw a crowd. Every Sunday, Donna cooks for 30 plus people.Our home is home base for everybody plus half the football team, Donna said jokingly. Ma, as shes is known to many in and outside of the family, was a foster parent for many years, opening her home to children in desperate need. We did therapeutic foster care, she said. The kids came from such broken homes often with complicated medical issues. The Pittmans got their start in foster care in large part thanks to their oldest biological son, who befriended a child in a kinship foster situation. His mom left him with his aunt, Donna said about the then 8-year-old boy. The aunt didnt really want him so he was placed in a shelter. He kept running away and showing up at our house. Id call the shelter and theyd have to come pick him up. One day, my boys asked, why cant he just stay? And so it began. The family eventually adopted him and nine other foster kids. Some joined their family as babies and others as teenagers. Their family is a diverse tapestry of cultures and races as well as developmental abilities. We are a multicultural family, she said with pride. We are all so different and it has made us all more accepting of others. To care for her childrens special needs, Donna has spent countless hours in classes, trainings and doctors offices. People tell us all the time that we are crazy, she said. But, it is just my life. It hasnt been easy but I wouldnt change it. If I can change the life of one child then I have really accomplished something. Pittman doesnt let her familys busy schedule or unique challenges slow her down. She is at all the basketball games, football games, tumbling meets, cheer meets and even watches all her grandchildren so they never have to go to daycare, said Jennifer Jones, one of Pittmans daughters-in-law. I have no clue how she does it. I am in awe every day and I am a better mother for knowing her. The Pittman home is a direct reflection of their family. Theyve outgrown it many times and have added on here and there to make room for the new members. We outgrew our dining room so we made a bigger one, Donna said. And, now weve outgrown that one. Weve added several bedrooms over the years, too. Donna has some wise words for anyone considering foster care. Go for it! she said. It was a whole new world and I am blessed because of it.For those wondering how she does it all, she graciously said there is no secret to it. There is always something that needs to be done, she said, so I just keep chugging along.To honor her for winning our contest, Donna will receive accommodations and spa treatments at the Chickasaw Retreat and Conference Center in picturesque Sulphur.DONNA PITTMAN WITH HER FAMILYMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 26 MAY 2016FINALIST: Danielle Howell Fourteen years ago, Danielle Howell entered motherhood with a bang when she found out she was expecting triplets. Multiple birth pregnancies come with risks and Howell spent the last few weeks in the hospital on bed rest. While in the hospital, she suffered a pulmonary embolism causing the babies to experience oxygen deprivation. After a lengthy stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Howell and her husband, Duane, brought home three baby boys: Jacob, Keegan and Harrison. Upon leaving the hospital, the doctors cautioned the new parents about the effects of oxygen deprivation and the many unknowns that come along with it. We didnt know what to expect, Danielle recalled. The doctors said the boys might not ever walk. So when the boys hit such milestones as rolling over and their first steps, the Howells were overjoyed. As the boys grew, they began to notice signs of genius that soon turned to signs of concern. They began to notice autism and other developmental delays.Danielle organized play dates, resource booklets and lunches with mothers of newly-diagnosed children and learned everything she could to help her children succeed. We are always looking for ways to help our boys to be as independent as possible, Danielle said. So many people tell me that God gives special children to extraordinary parents. But I am the one that is blessed to know them.In the mix of doctor visits, therapies and counseling appointments, the Howells welcomed another baby, a girl named Libby, four years later. Danielle continued to stay home with her kids. But as the boys grew into teenagers, Duane proposed a change. Because the boys were growing and getting stronger, things became difficult for Danielle. Duane suggested he stay home and his wife go back to work, so the couple swapped roles. Danielle had taken a break from her teaching career when her boys were born. At that time, she was a first grade teacher. Now using many of the skills she learned to help her boys, she works as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in the Putnam City school districts, helping elementary kids succeed socially and academically. I wasnt sure I could do both, Danielle said.I used to pour everything I had into my (school) kids. I wasnt sure Id have enough left when I got home.But Danielle found she has many sources of inspiration to keep going; mainly her kids, both those at home and at school. They are all my heroes, she said. When I think about my kids and what they have to overcome, I have no business worrying. They dont take anything for granted so I dont either.Danielle balances her days between work and home by making the most of every minute. Between softball practice for Libby, Special Olympics practice for Jacob, Keegan and Harrison, church and homework, their days are very full. Recently, though, they have added something new: farming. Jacob, Keegan and Harrison got involved with a program connected with FFA (Future Farmers of America) called Ag for Everyone. The program allows children with special needs the chance to care for livestock and also to compete in livestock competitions. It was so good for them, Danielle said. No one told them they had a disability and they did great. We love the responsibility factor, as well. So one year ago, the family packed up their home and moved to Tuttle to start their very own farm. The Howells have lofty goals for their farm including making it into a family fun destination for families with children with special needs. For now, their farm is a place of freedom for their four children with room to roam. The four and half acre plot is also home to chickens, ducks, cats, rabbits, potbelly pigs and a bloodhound. Its hard and a lot of work, Danielle said, but its worth every second for what it does for our kids.Parenting children with special needs can look different than traditional methods and the farm is just one of the many workarounds, as Daneille called them, the Howells have discovered. One of Danielles best pieces of parenting advice can apply to all children, whether they have special needs or not. We decided we are always going to assume our kids can, Danielle said. And that has been a very powerful tool.DANIELLE HOWELL WITH HER FAMILYMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 27 MAY 2016FINALIST: Stephanie RogersLike all the moms we talk to after theyve been nominated in our annual Awesome Mom Contest, Stephanie Rogers does not feel all that awesome. I dont think Im doing anything special, really, the 31-year-old mom said. I just try to be the best mom I can be.Her nominator, Leslie Willis, said otherwise. Shes married to Stephanies ex-husband, Aaron, who shares 50/50 custody with Stephanie.In today's time where the ugly word divorce has left families broken and rendered children caught in the middle of their parents emotional trauma from their broken marriage, so many blended homes have had to suffer the disheartening effects of that divorce, Leslie wrote in her nomination letter. Many step-parents and step-siblings become victims that are unable to healthily blend together as a family due to this war that was waged when divorce began. It takes a very special type of person and parent who can put away their bitterness, hurt, pain and maybe even brokenness to be strong enough to let love rule for the sake of their children.To Leslie, Stephanie is that special person who lets love rule. But how does she manage to put past hurt feelings aside for the sake of her son? I think a lot of people in a blended family just put on a happy face and act civil but they dont really feel that way, Stephanie said. They just go through the motions but they dont really let the other person in. I decided to just get over it and just encourage everyone to love each other.Stephanie and Aarons son, Reagan, is 7. Even after seven years, Stephanie admits she doesnt feel she has parenting down yet. I feel like Im very undeserving to be nominated, Stephanie said. I give it a good try and sometimes you climb into bed at night feeling like you really failed that day. You start playing through in your head if you gave him enough hugs that day, told him no enough times or yes enough times.On days she feels like that, she said its her sons constant love and forgiveness that keep her going. That and a healthy dose of advice from her mother and grandmother. The best advice shes ever received, she said, was to be aware about how fast time would fly when raising kids.Cherish every stage and every moment because you never know when its going to be the last time you get to wash his hair, push him on the swing or help him with his bike, she said. They outgrow the need for you to do those things so fast.Some other favorite advice Stephanie has received from her grandmother over the years is to be patient and take deep breaths and to be as much of a hands-on parent as she can.Try to get down on the floor and play with them as much as possible, Stephanie said. If theyre knee-deep in Play Dough, you should be too. Just have fun with them.Stephanie said she truly feels like she, Aaron and Leslie are a small army raising Reagan. Shes really hard not to like, Stephanie said of Leslie. Shes really, really great and we get along really well so it makes the whole divorce and shared custody thing so much easier.Whether Stephanie believes shes deserving of the Awesome Mom title or not, she realizes its rare for a blended family to be able to operate in the positive light they operate in and she feels fortunate to be where she is.Your kids are always watching, she said. So whether I like my situation at the time or not, I always have to remember to model what I really believe for Reagan.STEPHANIE ROGERS WITH HER SON, REAGANexploring oklahoma with childrenBY HANNAH SCHMITTPHOTOS COURTESY OF OKLAHOMA AGRITOURISMOklahoma City metro kids certainly live in a sweet spot. The city offers plenty of urban attractions and excitement but Oklahoma's rich agricultural history is still very much alive on the outskirts. Several local farms open their barn doors each spring and summer to give city-dwellers an inside look at farm life. Oklahoma Agritourism has coordinated a statewide effort this summer to help farm visitors get the most out of their rural experiences. Their new Jelly-Making Trails plot about 50 farms throughout the state where visitors can pick up locally-grown produce and make something special at home. Jamie Cummings, the program administrator for Oklahoma Agritourism, said the trails were designed to promote you-pick farms and specialty crop farms throughout the state. The trails, funded by a specialty crop block grant, will direct travelers to farms selling pre-made items like jams, jellies and salsas using farm fresh produce as well as farms that provide experiences for visitors to pick produce themselves."You can't get any fresher than seeing it grow, picking it yourself and taking it home to make something with it," Cummings said. "We're providing two family experiences because we want families to pick the produce themselves then go home and spend time making something together."Cummings said many parents today remember making jams and jellies with their grandparents, but that practice is quickly fading. "What we hear each year is that the jelly-making crop is selling out fast because people want to get back to their roots," she said. "Not many people have a grandma anymore they've done that with. We're three generations plus from the farm lifestyle so they might not have seen their mom do that but they want to share it with their own kids."In addition to being a fun outdoor activity, Cummings said she's excited to share the trail oklahoma Jelly-Making Trails Provide Fresh FunMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 30 MAY 2016Kids going into the 1st through 6th grades are invited to participate in the Harn Homesteads summer day camp, to be held June 20-24 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Campers will participate in hands-on experiences about Oklahoma agriculture, crafts, games and other activities. Before and after care is available for an additional fee. Cost is $175 each (siblings discount available). ENROLL TODAY by calling or emailingTerritorial Fun Day Camp405-235-4058info@harnhomestead.com1721 N. Lincoln Blvd,Oklahoma Citywww.harnhomestead.comwith families because it offers a chance for kids to better understand where food comes from and how hard farmers in our region work to grow items for people to eat. Crestview Farms in northeast Edmond is open year-round and is on the Jelly-Making Trail. The organic farm grows a vast amount of vegetables and herbs in cool and warm weather and invites families to come pick their own blackberries each summer. Susan Graff owns the farm and said she loves giving her guests a tour of the farm, letting them taste samples and meet the goats and chickens on the property. It's the same kind of experience Pati Colston desired for her own property in Mustang. Colston is a clinical social worker who bought a farm in Mustang about eight years ago. She toured several berry farms throughout the state before deciding she wanted to open up her own farm to families."I have worked with kids for years so I was really excited about sharing that farm experience with families," Colston said. "I'd go on these other berry farms and it's just an incredible experience to feel so inspired by seeing where your food comes from and how friendly everyone is."Colston's farm, Agape House Berry Farm, is on the Jelly-Making Trail and will be open to visitors for the first time this summer. In addition to picking blackberries, young visitors will enjoy a large sandbox and a tire fort."You just feel like you can take a deeper breath of air out here," Colston said of her farm. "I think it's so special for kids to be able to play in wide open spaces, hear the birds singing during the day and see the stars in the evening. It's so refreshing to be outside and it's important to know where your food comes from so we hope to provide all that to families."Participating farms will have special crop stickers and jelly jar labels to give to families who want to purchase produce to cook with at home. Cummings is encouraging Jelly-Making Trails travelers to use the hashtag #jellyismyjam on social media to track their trail experiences.METROFAMILY MAGAZINE 31 MAY 2016Built to hold your mostprecious cargo.Purchase or lease any new (previously untitled) Subaru and receive a complimentary factory scheduled maintenance plan for 2 years or 24,000 miles (whichever comes rst.) Customer must take delivery before 12-31-2016 and reside within the promotional area. At participating dealers only. See retailer for the Subaru Added Security Maintenance Plan for intervals, coverages and limitations, program details and eligibility.13010 N. Kelley, Oklahoma City, OK 73114405-749-9049 www.bobmooresubaru.comBob Moore Subaru Visit Our NEW LocationCommunity Sponsor of Exploring Oklahoma:[Editor's Note: There are almost 50 farms on the Jelly-Making Trails, many of them within a couple hours of the Oklahoma City metro. For a map of the participating farms complete with contact information and addresses, visit] Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri SatMayMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 32 MAY 201615Italian Festival in McAlester all weekend long16FREE Art Moves at rotating downtown venues from noon 1 p.m.17Tiny Tuesdays at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art from 10 a.m. noon22LAST DAY! Jungle Book Spring Festival at Myriad Gardens from 10 a.m 5 p.m.23FREE Lunar Sooners Astronomy Presentation at Midwest City Library at 7 8:30 p.m. 24Tuesday Night Classics at Harkins Theatre at 7 p.m.29Chuck Wagon Gathering & Children's Cowboy Festival at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum on Saturday & Sunday30Memorial Day31FREE Teddy Bear Picnic at the Southern Oaks Library from 6 6:45 p.m. perfect for preschoolersgreat for teensdate night ideafitness eventworth the drive1FREE Uptown 23rd Farmers Market from 10 a.m. 2 p.m. Listen to Your Mother at Will Rogers Theatre at 3 p.m.2FREE First Mondays for Kids at Sam Noble Museum from 10 a.m. 5 p.m.3Teacher Appreciation DayFREE Wheeler Criterium in the Wheeler District every Tuesday from 5 8:30 p.m. 8Happy Mother's Day!9FREE Story Time at Green Bambino at 11:30 a.m. 10National Clean Your Room Day Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri SatMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 33 MAY 2016Find all these May events and hundreds more at Web at the Oklahoma Childrens Theatre at 11 a.m. 7FREE RIVERSPORT Rapids Grand Opening Celebration in the Boathouse District all weekend long4Salsa Dance Class at Myriad Gardens from 6:30 7:30 p.m. 5Art After 5 Rooftop Summer Concert Series at Oklahoma City Museum of Art from 5 9 p.m. 11FREE Building Bridges Workshop at Almonte Library from 6 7 p.m 12FREE Opening Reception of O. Gail Poole: Rediscovered Oklahoma Master at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum from 5 7 p.m. 13FREE American Ninja Warrior City Final at the Oklahoma State Capitol from 8 p.m 2 a.m. 14 FREE Fairy Ball in the Paseo Arts District from 7 9 p.m.18Ellie Goulding in Concert at the Zoo Amphitheater. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. 19FREE Third Thursdays at Gaylord Pickens Museum at 10 a.m. 20FREE Exchange on Film Row from 6 10 p.m. 21FREE Tour De Moore Bike Event at 9:30 a.m. 25Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark through Sunday26FREE Summer Reading Kickoff at the Mustang Library from 5:30 8 p.m. 27FREE Minions Movie in the Park at Central Park in Moore from 7 10 p.m.28Artesian Arts Festival in Sulphur from 10 a.m. 8 p.m.PHOTO BY STACY NOAKESMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 34 MAY 2016NATIONAL COWBOY & WESTERN HERITAGE MUSEUMMay 28 & 29Annual Chuck Wagon Festival10:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m.Sample chuck wagon eats, enjoy a Medicine Show and hands-on Wild West art in the galleries & gardens. Wear your western duds to learn roping and leatherwork and visit the Saloon for real sarsaparilla! The Dogwood Foundation is presenting sponsor of this two-day festival. Tickets are $15, members and kids 12 & under free. Additional Support: Shawnee Mills, Bimbo Bakeries, American Girl, Rodeo Opry, Granville Community Music School, and Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company1700 Northeast 63rd StreetOklahoma City, OK 73111Open daily 10:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m. NEW Exhibition Opening May 27!Visit our new exhibition about the art of award winning watercolorist, Lowell Ellsworth Smith, as we explore his personal process and approach with 20 of his watercolors about the American West.Saturdays For Kids10:00 a.m. Noon Free with RSVP to (405) 478-2250 ext. 264May 7 - Culture Quests in the WestCelebrate the closing of five exhibitions with make-and-take bolo ties, wildlife silhouette painting, and the Culture Quests in the West scavenger hunt to earn a star-shaped metal badge & get sworn in as Western rock stars!MAY 2-5Oklahoma City Dodgers vs New Orleans Zephrys at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S. Mickey Mantle Dr) $8-$24. 7:05pm. Also held: 5/14-17 vs Las Vegas; 5/19-22 vs Salt Lake & 5/31-6/3 vs Iowa. 218-1000, www.okcdodgers.comTHROUGH MAY 6Charlottes Web at Oklahoma Childrens Theatre (2501 N Blackwelder) tells the memorable story of Wilbur, a little pig who becomes famous with the help of his clever friend Charlotte and their chatty animal neighbors. See website for show times. Adults, $10; kids (2-12), $8. 606-7003, www.oklahomachildrenstheatre.orgTHROUGH MAY 7Hairspray at Pollard Theatre (120 W Harrison Ave, Guthrie) is a family-friendly musical piled bouffant high with laughter, romance and deliriously tuneful songs. $15-$30. Thursday Sunday, 8pm. 282-2800, www.thepollard.orgMAY 4 WEDNESDAYSalsa Dance Class at Myriad Botanical Gardens (301 W Reno) features a one-hour lesson on the steps of salsa dancing. For 13 & up. Preregister. Members, $10; non-members, $15. 6:30-7:30pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.orgMAY 5 THURSDAYFREE First Thursdays On the Lawn on Western Avenue (6233 N Western Ave) is a monthly, family-friendly evening offering food trucks, live music, yard games and more. Also held: 6/2. 5-8pm. www.visitwesternavenue.comMAY 6 FRIDAYSpace Day Celebration at Science Museum Oklahoma (2020 Remington Pl) features hands-on activities and live demonstrations in addition to the permanent exhibits highlighting space. Free with admission. 9am-5pm. 602-6664, www.sciencemuseumok.orgFREE Cinco de Mayo en Calle Dos Cinco Celebration in the Historic Capitol Hill District (SW 25th St between Harvey & Robinson) is a family-friendly street festival featuring food trucks, music, cultural folkforic dance by Norahua, Salsa dance instruction by Marti Rickman, youth boxing exhibition and a student art exhibition. 6-10pm. 632-0133, www.HistoricCapitolHill.comFREE First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo District (NW 30th & 27th St, Walker & Hudson Ave) features special themed exhibits, refreshments, guest artists, a variety of entertainment and food trucks. 6-10pm. www.thepaseo.comAn Evening to Remember: A Night in Emerald City at Aloft Hotel (209 N Walnut Ave) features an evening of food and entertainment to re-engage your inner child. Benefits CASA of Oklahoma County. $45 individual, $80 couples. 6:30-9pm. 713-6456, 6 & 7OKC Philharmonic Pops Series: Classic FM Radio Hits at the Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) features five decades of Americas favorite radio hits. $19-$65. 8pm. 297-2264, www.okcphilharmonic.orgMAY 6-8FREE Rose Rock Music Festival in Downtown Noble (304 S Main St, Noble) features live music, a carnival, art and craft vendors, festival food, a parade, car show and more. See website for a complete schedule. Free admission. Friday, 5pm; Saturday & Sunday, 10am. www 7 SATURDAYOklahoma City Promise Walk for Preeclampsia at the Bob Hope Pavilion at Stars and Stripes Park (3701 S Lake Hefner Dr) features a family-friendly walk with refreshments, raffle/silent auction and a children's area with games and crafts. Strollers and dogs on leashes are welcome too. 8am-1pm. 343-0395, PieceWalk & 5K at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle Dr) features a walk, 5K and resource fair for families affected by autism as well as family entertainment including face painting, fun characters, music and activity tables. Walk and activities, free. 5K prices vary. 7:30am. www.piecewalk.orgGreat Strides Walk at Myriad Botanical Gardens (301 W Reno) features food trucks, a one-mile walk, clowns and the annual Hero of our Hearts awards. Proceeds benefit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Participation prices vary. 9-11am. www.fightcf.cff.orgevents thismayThe University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution. For accommodations on the basis of disability, please call (405) 325-4712.2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman, OK 73072-7029(405) 325-4712 samnoblemuseum.ou.eduSponsored byADDITIONAL EXHIBIT TICKET REQUIRED. FREE FOR MUSEUM MEMBERS. METROFAMILY MAGAZINE 35 MAY 2016Color Me Rad 5K at State Fair Park (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features just over three miles of twists and turns filled with colorful surprises including a slime station, color gel and more. Prices vary. 9am-noon. OKC Garden Fest at the Oklahoma City Farmers Public Market (311 S Klein Ave) features Oklahoma herb & plant growers, wineries, produce, garden art, local food trucks, gardening demonstrations, kids activities and more. 9am-4pm. 255-1707, Kolache Festival in downtown Prague (1107 N Broadway Ave, Prague) features traditional dance performances, music, food, crafts, a parade and carnival rides. See website for complete schedule. 9am. 567-4866, www.praguekolachefestival.comBob Moore All Ford Car & Truck Show at Bob Moore Ford Dealership (8948 I-35 Service Rd) features all models of Ford cars & trucks, new and old. Free to attend. 9am-3pm. www.okmustangclub.comFREE Storybook Hour at Cuppies & Joe (727 NW 23rd St). Children listen to a story while parents enjoy coffee and conversation. 10-11am. Also held: 5/21. 528-2122, www.cuppiesandjoe.comFREE Make Your Own Signature Tea Class at Norman Central Library (225 N Webster Ave, Norman). Enjoy samples of homemade flavored teas and take the opportunity to make three varieties for yourself to take home. Preregister. Best suited for ages 13 & up. 10am-noon. 701-2620, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.orgMothers Day Flower Arranging Class at Will Rogers Gardens (3400 NW 36th St). Make mom a beautiful bouquet using unique containers and a bounty of beautiful blooms from the gardens. Material provided. Preregister. $10 per bouquet. 10:30am-noon. 297-1392, Explore the Outdoors: A Day in the Park at Lake Murray State Park (13528 Scenic HWY 77, Ardmore) features hands-on activities designed for ages 4-8 and guided nature walks for the whole family. 10am-2:30pm. 580-223-4044, www.travelok.comFestival of the Child at Yukon City Park (2200 S Holly Ave, Yukon) features over 50 areas of fun activities including kayaking, moon bounces, crafts, pony rides, storytelling and more. All activities are geared for children 12 and under. $5 in advance, $7 day of event. Adults are free. 10am-4pm. 354-8442, www.cityofyukonok.govEl Reno Fried Onion Burger Day in Downtown El Reno features the worlds largest fried onion burger, carnival rides, games, live entertainment, the annual Bun Run and more. Free to attend. 10am-5pm. www.elrenoburgerday.wordpress.comevents thismayMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 36 MAY 2016These camps foster valuable 21st century life skills including problem-solving, creativity and collaboration while providing opportunities to create positive change and innovate a better world. There has never been a more important time to learn code, game design, app development, robotics, 3D printing and more for our industry leading instructors. CSI: OKC Coding and Robotics Grossology and Sticky Science 3D Printing and Design Lab Make your Own App LabSTAY COOL THIS SUMMER in the worldof science, technology, art, engineering and math (STEAM).rosestate.augusoft.net405.733.7333Mothers Day Celebration at Orr Family Farm (14400 S Western Ave). Moms get free admission. Admission applies for all other visitors. $11.50. 10am-6pm. 799-3276, www.orrfamilyfarm.comFREE Bear Snores On Program at the Belle Isle Library (5501 N Villa Ave) investigates why some animals hibernate. Program does include live animals but no bears. All ages are welcome. Preregister. 11am-noon. 843-9601, www.metrolibrary.orgFREE Super Hero Party at the Downtown Library (300 Park Ave) features Avengers and Star Wars-themed crafts, photos with your favorite character cutouts and more. Attendees are encouraged to dress in costume or create one at the party. Best suited for ages 5 & up. Preregister. 11am-1pm. 231-8650, www.metrolibrary.orgFREE PURE Initiative Luncheon at Victory Church (4300 N Macarthur Blvd) features child advocate Alex Corbitt & a panel of local organizations that provide opportunities to help at-risk families. 11am-2pm. 787-4200, www.familycrisisministry.comPet Festival at Melrose Center (7800 W Melrose Ln) features a pet show, pet costume contest and best trick contest. All pets must be on a leash or in cage. $5 per contest entry. Noon-4pm. 297-1431, Saturday Hands-on History at the Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zudhi Dr) features a variety of activities throughout the museum including crafts, coloring, hands-on carts and educational trunks. Mays theme is Military Appreciation Month. Free with admission. 1-4pm. 521-2491, www.okhistory.orgFREE Fishing Days at OKC Lakes (various locations). No city permit is required; however a state license is for anyone 16 and older. Comic Book Day at participating retailers (various locations). Retailers will give out free comics books including stories from Marvel, DC and more while supplies last. Visit to find a location.FREE Hooked on Fishing Lessons at Edwards Park Lake (1515 N Bryant) is a youth fishing class for kids ages 5-15. Young anglers learn fishing basics including knot-tying, casting, fish identification, angler ethics and fishing regulations. All participants must be accompanied by an adult. Preregister. 8-10am. Also held: 5/14 & 21. 297-1426, Angry Birds Bird House Workshop at Home Depot locations (various locations) features a free hands-on workshop to build an Angry Birds-themed birdhouse. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a free certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Preregister. 9am-noon. Saturdays for Kids: Culture Quests in the West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features a scavenger hunt and more exploring several temporary exhibits. For children ages 4-12 accompanied by an adult. Preregister by noon on the Friday before the program. 10am-noon. Museum admission included. 478-2250, www.nationalcowboymuseum.orgFREE ZOOmba with the Oklahoma City Zoo at the Bethany Library (3510 N Mueller Ave, Bethany). Learn the move-it and groove-it secrets animals use to stay healthy in a fun, music-filled workout. Program will include live animals from the zoo. 2-2:45pm. 789-8363, www.metrolibrary.orgFREE Red Brick Nights Street Festival in downtown Guthrie (Oklahoma & Wentz Ave, Guthrie) features rotating pop-up shops, food trucks and live music on the first Saturday of each month. Free to attend. 5pm. 282-1947, of Color at Jim Norick Arena at State Fair Park (3001 General Pershing Blvd) features over 200 culturally diverse cowboys and cowgirls in traditional rodeo events including bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, bronc busting and barrel racing. $12-$23. 7pm. 948-6800, www.okstatefair.comMAY 7 & 8Oklahoma Orchid Society Mothers Day Show & Sale at Biltmore Hotel (401 South Meridian Ave) features hundreds of beautiful orchids on display and on sale as well as care items and orchid-inspired art and jewelry. 10am-4pm. 478-5789, www.oosorchids.orgFREE RIVERSPORT Rapids Grand Opening Celebration in the Boathouse District (800 Riversport Dr) features Team USAs Road to Rio Tour, US Olympic Trials, a rowing regatta, live musical performances, fireworks and more. Free admission; parking & activity fees apply. 10am-10pm. 552-4040, MAGAZINE 37 MAY 2016Mothers Day Celebration at the Chickasaw Cultural Center (867 Cooper Memorial Dr, Sulphur). Moms get FREE admission to the Chikasha Poya Exhibit Center and free cookies and tea in the Aaimpa' Caf. Adults, $6; Moms & kids under 12, free. Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 580-622-7130, www.chickasawculturalcenter.comMothers Day River Cruise on the Oklahoma River (all landings). Moms ride free with their kids. See website for departures. Adults, $6; kids, $3, kids (6 & under), free. 702-7755, www.okrivercruises.comMAY 8 SUNDAYMothers Day in the Gardens at Myriad Botanical Gardens (301 W Reno) features FREE admission to the Crystal Bridge for moms with a paid family member. Adults, $8; kids (4-12), $5; kids (under 4), free. 11am-5pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.orgMothers Day Buffet at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features a variety of specialty items provided by the Oklahoma City Petroleum Club. Reservations required. Adults, $28; kids (5-10), $14; kids (4 & under), free. 11am-2pm. 232-1184, www.nationalcowboymuseum.orgMothers Day at Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History (2401 Chautauqua Ave, Norman). Moms receive complimentary admission. Adults, $8; kids (4-17) & seniors (65 & up), $5; kids (3 & under), free. 1-5pm. 325-4712, www.samnoblemuseum.ou.eduHarry Connick, Jr. in Concert at the Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave). $79-$89. 7:30pm. 297-2264, www.okcciviccenter.comMAY 10 TUESDAYStory Time Science at Science Museum Oklahoma (2100 NE 52nd St) features a themed story and corresponding activity at various locations throughout the museum. 10-10:30am. Free with admission. 602-6664, www.sciencemuseumok.orgArt in Public Places Tour in Edmond (various locations). Learn the stories behind the works during a walking and driving tour throughout the city. The tour begins at Mitch Park and transportation will be provided. Also held: 5/21 from 9am-noon. Preregister. $10. 1-4pm. 359-4630, www.edmondparks.comCrooked Oak Fun Run & Carnival at the Crooked Oak Campus (1901 S Eastern Ave) features a family-friendly carnival with fun games, bounce houses, face painting, food, raffles, a one mile fun run and more to benefit a 6th grade student at Crooked Oak Middle School. Preregister for run. Fun run, $15-$20; carnival, prices vary. 4:30-6pm. events thismayMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 38 MAY 2016WWW.CHICKASAWCULTURALCENTER.COMSULPHUR, OK 580 . 622 . 7130CONNECT WITH US:MAY 11 WEDNESDAYFREE Building Bridges Workshop at Almonte Library (2914 SW 59th St). Learn the basic principles of building suspension bridges using only construction paper and masking tape. A prize will be given to the bridge that withstands a massive earthquake! Preregister. Best suited for ages 9 & up. 6-7pm. 606-3575, www.metrolibrary.orgJames C. Meade Friends Lecture Series at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features a panel of museum professionals discussing evolution of art museums. Members, free; non-members, $5. 6-7pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.comMAY 12-14Swap Meet (712 E Choctaw Ave, Chickasha) features parts, accessories, cars, trucks, auto literature, memorabilia, signs, tires, glass, and antiques. Admission free; parking $5. 7:30am-7:30pm. 224-6552, www.chickashaautoswapmeet.comMAY 12 THURSDAYFREE Opening Reception of O. Gail Poole: Rediscovered Oklahoma Master at Gaylord-Pickens Museum (1400 Classen Dr) features portraits and landscapes by the fourth- generation Oklahoma artist. 5-7pm. 235-4458, www.oklahomahof.comFREE Teen Night: Stop Motion at the Mustang Library (1201 N Mustang Rd, Mustang). Teens can create their own characters, plot and stop motion animation movie. Best suited for ages 12-17. Preregister. 6:30-7:30pm. 376-2226.Nature for Adults: Natural Tye Dye Night at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Learn the history of some of the natural dyes and make a creation of your own. Dont forget to bring your t-shirt. Preregister. $5. 6:30-8pm. 297-1429, 13 FRIDAYFREE 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk in the Norman Arts District (downtown Norman) features a monthly celebration of the arts in Norman. 6-9pm. www.2ndfridaynorman.comFREE Movie Night in the Park at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell Rd) features an outdoor screening of Hotel Transylvania 2. Concessions available for purchase. Movies begin at dusk. 359-4630, LIVE on the Plaza in the Plaza District (1700 block of NW 16th St) features artists, live music, special events, local shopping and more on the second Friday of the month. 7-11pm. 13 & 14FREE American Ninja Warrior City Final at the Oklahoma State Capitol (2300 N Lincoln Blvd) features two filmings of the NBC show. Free to attend, tickets are required. 5pm-midnight & midnight-5am. 13-15Arts for All Festival at Shelper Park (W Gore Blvd, Lawton) features 90 artists, two stage with live entertainment, youth art competition, childrens art tent and multicultural food vendors. Free to attend. Friday, 4-8pm; Saturday, 10am- 8pm & Sunday, 11am- 5pm. 580-248-5384, www.lawtonafa.orgMAY 14 SATURDAYFREE VDubs on Western Show in the Will Rogers Theatre Parking Lot (4322 N Western Ave) features a collection of the ever-popular Volkswagen automobiles from the VW Club of Oklahoma. Attendees will get the chance to vote for their favorite in the "People's Choice" awards. 10am-2pm. www.vwclubokc.orgRed Day Run at Mitch Park (1501 W Covell Rd, Edmond), organized by Keller Williams Realty, features a 5K and one mile fun run benefiting a selection of local charities. Registrants can choose between four options. Adults, $35; kids, $10. 9am. 532-6969, Heritage Fest & Chili Dog Fun Run at Harrah Heritage Park (1374 N Church Ave, Harrah) features local musicians, food, a chili cook off, chili dog fun run and more. Free to attend; chili cook off, $20; fun run, $15; tasting bowl, $5. 10am-4pm. 454-2951, www.cityofharrah.comIndie Trunk Show at State Fair Park Cox Pavilion (3001 General Pershing Blvd) over 200 local artists, crafters, re-purposers, boutiques, and small businesses offering homemade, vintage and re-purposed items. $5. 10am-5pm. www.indietrunkshowokc.comevents thismayMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 40 MAY 2016Free Super SONICMake + Take Event1-4 p.m.Saturday, May 14NW 11th + BroadwayCombine light, sound and music for a kaleidoscope of fun. Outdoor activities include individual and group art projects, and snow cones, face painters and a DJ will keep things hopping. Celebrate the joy of spring, community and, above all, creativity.More info: 405 951 0000oklahomacontemporary.orgFREE + FAMILY + ARTOkie Sampler & Chesters Country Craft Fair at Chesters Party Barn & Farm (5201 Cimarron Rd NW, Piedmont) features vendors from across the state, live music, inflatables, pony rides and other fun activities for kids as well as food trucks. $5, kids fest, free with admission. 10am-4pm. 373-1595, www.chesterspartybarn.comThe Pretend Friends Show at District House (1755 NW 16th St) is a 40-minute puppet show highlighting classic holiday tales, silly riddles and nursery mysteries. All ages welcome. $5; kids (under 2), free. 242-3546, Hooked on Fishing Lessons at Metro Tech Springlake (NE 36th & Springlake Dr) is a youth fishing class for kids ages 5-15. Young anglers learn fishing basics including knot-tying, casting, fish identification, angler ethics and fishing regulations. All participants must be accompanied by an adult. Preregister. 8-10am. Also held: 5/21. 297-1426, Day at Andy Alligators Water Park (3300 Market Place Dr, Norman). Prices vary. 11am-6pm. www.andyalligators.comFREE Super SONIC Make + Take at Oklahoma Contemporarys Showroom (NW 11th & Broadway) features a variety of individual art projects from sun prints, stamped windsocks, paper tambourines to chalk art. Attendees can also enjoy snow cones, face painters and a DJ. All activities are free, all ages are welcome. 1-4pm. 951-0000, www.oklahomacontemporary.orgFREE Snakes 101 at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd) features the Oklahoma Herpetological Society as they present basic snake habits and habitats, as well as talk about venomous snakes, how to identify them and why they're important to our eco-system. All ages welcome. Preregister. 3-4pm. 297-1429, Banjo Salute to Steve Martin at the American Banjo Museum (29 E Sheridan Ave) features a concert of songs and a touch of comedy by Lucas Ross. Free with admission. 3:30pm. 604-2793, www.americanbanjomuseum.comFREE Beats & Bites at Riverwind Casino (1544 W State Hwy 9, Norman) is a family-friendly music and food truck festival featuring local food trucks, live entertainment and local vendors. 6-10pm. 322-6000, Paseo Arts District Fairy Ball at the Crown Heights Christian Church Amphitheater (3700 N Walker Ave) features an enchanted world of make believe, costumes and dancing. Children are welcome to come dressed as a character from an enchanted garden and add finishing touches at the ball. 7-9pm. 252-2688, www.thepaseo.comLuke Bryan in Concert at Chesapeake Energy Arena (100 W Reno) features his Kill the Lights Tour with special performance by Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch. $36.25 - $71.25. 7:30pm. 602-8700, www.chesapeakearena.comMAY 14 & 15Italian Festival at the McAlester Expo Center (4500 W Hwy 270, McAlester) features Italian foods, live entertainment, shopping, and kids activities including pony rides, Italian games and more. Free to attend. Saturday, 9am-8pm; Sunday, noon-4pm. www.themcalesteritalianfestival.orgMAY 15 SUNDAYFREE Uptown 23rd Farmers Market (Walker Ave between 23rd & 24th St) is a family-friendly market featuring local vendors as well as live music, workshop and more. 10am-2pm. Card Game Day at the Norman Central Library (225 N Webster Ave, Norman). Staff from Denexa Games will teach the basics of classic games like Hearts, Spades, Canasta and Contract Bridge. All ages welcome. 1-6pm. 701-2620, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.orgFREE Oklahoma City Handbell Ensemble in Concert at First United Methodist Church of Piedmont (2525 Piedmont Rd N, Piedmont). Audiences will be taken under the sea, over the rainbow and into galaxies far, far away during the one-hour concert. Donations accepted. 2-3pm. Also held: 7:30-8:30pm 5/20 & 5/21 at other locations. 757-4643, www.okcbells.comA Streetcar Named Desire at OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center Theatre (7777 S May Ave) features a National Theatre Live broadcast of Tennessee Williams timeless masterpiece. $15. 6-10pm. 682-7579, tickets.occc.eduFREE Oklahoma Lawyers for Childrens Annual Picnic for Foster Families in Chandler features a day of fun, free food, horseback riding, face painting, fishing and more. 11:30am-4pm. 232-4453, Transylvania 2 | May 13 | Mitch Park | Dark Pan | June 10 | Mitch Park | Dark Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb July 8 | Stephenson Park | Dark Peanuts | August 12 | Mitch Park | Dark Admission is free, concessions are $1 each. In case of inclement weather, movies will be rescheduled for a TBD date. | 405.359.4630friday night fun for the entire family!Follow us onMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 41 MAY 2016Oklahoma City Energy FC vs San Antonio FC at Taft Stadium ( NW 27th St ). $10-$48. 7pm. Also held: 5/24 vs Rio Tinto. 235-KICK, www.energyfc.comMAY 17 TUESDAYTiny Tuesdays at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features a guest artist led, come & go art making geared for kids ages 2 -5 years old with a caregiver. No reservation required. 10am-noon. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.comFREE Bullying Prevention Community Connection Night at the Downtown Library (300 Park Ave) is a community forum workshop connecting students and adults with community resources and prevention practices. 6-8pm. 231-8650, www.metrolibrary.orgMAY 18 WEDNESDAYEllie Goulding in Concert at the Zoo Amphitheater (2101 NE 50th St) with special guests Years & Years and Bebe Rexha. All ages welcome. $35 & up. Gates open at 5:30pm. 602-0683, www.thezooamphitheatre.comMAY 19 THURSDAYFREE Third Thursdays at Gaylord Pickens Museum (1400 N Classen Dr) features a Travelling to the Moon theme story time and craft. Includes free admission to the museum. 10am. 235-4458, www.oklahomahof.comFREE Native American Art Institute at Southern Oaks Recreation Center (400 SW 70th St) features a monthly art workshop to learn a new art form from Native American teachers. Mays project is Dreamcatchers. 7-9pm. 297-1449, 20 FRIDAYEndangered Species Day at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Learn about the kinds of changes that influence animal populations and diversity, and hear about endangered species in the US and Oklahoma. Best suited for ages 6 & up. Preregister. $5. 6-8pm. 297-1429, Exchange on Film Row (Sheridan & Lee Ave) is a monthly street festival featuring an array of pop-ups shops, live music, food trucks, childrens activities and more. 6-10pm. www.filmrowokc.comMAY 20-22Oklahoma Modernism Weekend at First Christian Church (3700 N Walker Ave) is a family-friendly festival featuring an outdoor flea market, fashion show, ultra-lounge dance party, vintage car show, mid-century modern market, architectural tours and more. See website for a schedule of events. Free to attend. www.okcmod.comMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 42 MAY 2016MAY 20 & 21May Daze Festival in Downtown Blanchard (Main St, Blanchard) celebrates the unofficial start to summer with live entertainment, a carnival, food, shopping, the annual Diaper Derby, a turtle race and more. Free admission. 10am-8pm. 485-8787, 21 SATURDAYFREE Tour De Moore Bike Event at Moore City Hall (301 N Broadway Ave, Moore) features a 6.3 mile bike route or a one-mile tour. All experience levels welcome. Preregister. 9:30am. 793-5054, www.cityofmoore.comFamily Art Market at the MAC at Mitch Park (2733 Marilyn Williams Dr, Edmond). Enjoy some crafting and art projects with a varied collection of art supplies. Best suited for ages 2 & up. Registration is not required. $5. 10am-noon. 359-4630, Forces Day at Oklahoma River Cruises (all landings) Active duty and retired military ride for free with military ID. $3-$15. 11:30am-5pm. 702-7755, www.okrivercruises.comFREE Edmond Authors Book Fair at the Edmond Historical Society & Museum (431 S Boulevard, Edmond) features books by local authors from a variety of genres as well as a childrens reading corner and a family-friendly activity. 1-4pm. 340-0078, www.edmondhistory.orgFREE Toads and Frogs Talk at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd ). Learn about what makes frogs and toads unique and why they are beneficial for insect population control. Best suited for ages 6 & up. Preregister. 3-4pm. 297-1429, Heard on Hurd Street Fest (Broadway between 1st & Hurd, Edmond) features local food, unique shopping and live music. 6-10pm. Beach Boys in Concert at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave). All net proceeds raised will be donated to the Regional Food Bank of Oklahomas Food for Kids program. $63-$108. 7pm. 297-2264, www.okcciviccenter.comFREE Hooked on Fishing Lessons at South Lakes East Pond (4302 SW 119th St) is a youth fishing class for kids ages 5-15. Young anglers learn fishing basics including knot-tying, casting, fish identification, angler ethics and fishing regulations. All participants must be accompanied by an adult. Preregister. 8-10am. 297-1426, thismayMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 43 MAY 2016FREE Summer Kick Off at Will Rogers Park (3201 NW Grand Blvd) features games, face painting, a photo booth, Zumba, basketball and performing arts. 10am-2pm. 297-1392, Day at White Water Bay (3908 W Reno). Over 48, $28.99; under, $24.99; kids (2 & under), free. 10:30am-8pm. 943-9687, Rayo OKC vs Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Miller Stadium (1777 S Yukon Parkway, Yukon). $12-$40. 7pm. Also held 6/4 vs Minnesota United FC. 232-RAYO, www.rayookc.comMAY 23 MONDAYFREE Lunar Sooners Astronomy Presentation at the Midwest City Public Library (8143 E Reno Ave, Midwest City) features astronomy demonstrations followed by a chance to try out some telescopes. 7-8:30pm. 732-4828, www.metrolibrary.orgFull Moon Bike Ride and Run at Myriad Botanical Gardens (301 W Reno) features a bike ride through downtown and free timed training runs. All ages welcome. $5 suggested donation. Runs begin at 7pm; bike ride at 8pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.orgMAY 23-29Bullets Over Broadway at Civic Center Music Hall (201 N Walker Ave) is the story of a young playwright who, in desperate need of financial backing for his next show, accepts an offer he can't refuse from a mobster looking to please his showgirl girlfriend. $20-$60. See website for show times. 800-869-1451, www.celebrityattractions.comMAY 25-29Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (2 S Mickey Mantle Dr). Eight teams compete in a single elimination tournament for the right to be crowned Big 12 Baseball Tournament Champion. $69-$169. See website for game times. 26 THURSDAYFREE Summer Reading Kickoff at the Mustang Library (1201 N Mustang Rd, Mustang) features a night of fun, games and food in celebration of summer. No registration required. 5:30-8pm. 376-2226, www.mustangpubliclibrary.orgMAY 27 FRIDAYEats on 8th & Harvey Food Truck Festival and Night Market in Midtown (NW 8th St & Harvey Ave) features variety of food trucks, pop-up shops, live music, kids zone and more. Free to attend. 6-11pm. 234-7960, Movie in the Park at the Central Park Amphitheater (700 S Broadway Ave, Moore) features an outdoor screening of Minions, free popcorn and $1 snow cones. Activities begin at 7pm; movie at 9pm. www.cityofmoore.comFREE Summer Reading Kickoff Party at the Norman West Library (300 Norman Center Ct, Norman) celebrates the summer reading program with activities, crafts and more. 5-7pm. 701-2644, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.orgMAY 27-29FREE Mayors Red Dirt Ball at Medicine Parks Town Center Mainstage (Town Center, Medicine Park). Explore the quaint landscape of Medicine Park and enjoy music, food and fun at the three-day festival. See website for performance schedule. 580-529-2825, www.medicinepark.comTHANK YOUBecause of your support to our Annual Campaign, we were able to raiseto take on the challenges ahead of us and give everyone the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. YMCAOKC.ORG$1,338,995METROFAMILY MAGAZINE 44 MAY 2016MAY 27-30Chris Neals Future Stars Calf Roping Competition at Lazy E Arena (9600 Lazy E Dr, Guthrie) features a variety of youth professional roping events all weekend long. Prices vary. See website for schedule. 282-7433, www.chrisnealsfuturestars.comMAY 28 SATURDAYFREE Big Summer Kick-Off at Centeral Park (700 S Broadway Ave, Moore) features a farmers market, live entertainment from local bands, inflatables and food trucks. 8am-4pm. 793-4332, www.cityofmoore.comArtesian Arts Festival at the Artesian Plaza (West Muskogee Ave). Celebrate creativity at the Artesian Plaza with Southeastern Native American art, food, children's activities, Native American dance performances and live music throughout the day. Free admission. 10am-8pm. 580-272-5520, www.chickasawcountry.com66 Festival in Bethany (Ashbury & College Ave) is a family-friendly event featuring food, downtown sidewalk sales, antiques, commercial exhibits, a classic car show, children's activities and a myriad of live entertainment. Free admission. See website for schedule of events. 10am-4pm. 312-0155, Land Run at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Learn about the land from historical characters. Stake your claim during a simulated Land Run and enjoy an authentic meal. Participants are encourage to decorate their own wagon. All ages welcome. Preregister by May 20. $18. 1-4pm. 297-1429, 28 & 29FREE Discover Aviation & Airshow Spectacular at Sundance Airport (13000 North Sara Rd). Spectators get the chance to learn about different careers in aviation, meet career pilots and watch them in action, have fun in the kids zone and enjoy culinary delights from local food vendors. Entry & parking are free. Gates open at 9:30am; air show starts at noon. 373-3886, www.sundanceairshow.comChuck Wagon Gathering & Childrens Cowboy Festival at National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (1700 NE 63rd St) features two days of Old West-themed fun from stagecoach and pony rides to weaving, rope making and more. One day pass, $15; Two-day pass, $22; Members & kids 12 & under, free. 10am-4pm. 478-2250, events thismayMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 45 MAY 2016FREE Memorial Day Celebration at the Chickasaw Cultural Center (867 Cooper Memorial, Sulphur) features cultural demonstrations, traditional games and a family film in the Anoli' Theater. Fees apply for films and admission to the exhibit halls. Saturday, 10am-5 pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 580-622-7130, www.chickasawculturalcenter.comMAY 28-30Paseo Arts Festival in the Historic Paseo Arts District (3022 Paseo St.) features more than 80 artists selling original works and dozens of musicians performing on two stages. A free childrens area allows future artists to explore the arts. Saturday & Sunday, 10am- 9pm with music until 11pm; Monday, 10am-5pm. 525-2688, www.thepaseo.comMAY 29 SUNDAYFREE Family Film Sunday at the District House (1755 NW 16th St) features a screening of Spy Kids. 1pm. 308-2930, 30 MONDAYOK River Fun & Dog Jog at Wiley Post Park (2021 S Robinson Ave) features a certified 5K and 3K pet-friendly option. Benefits A New Leash on Life, Inc. Registration comes with a free shirt and doggie bandana while supplies last. 5K, $25; 3K: $10 & up, kids (under 12), free with a registered adult. 8am. 604-0519, www.newleashinc.orgMAY 31 TUESDAYFREE Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Reading Program at Norman Central Library (225 N Webster Ave) features Olympic-themed crafts, the opportunity to sign up for the summer reading program and end with a performance by the Summer Reading Roadshow. 10am-4pm. 701-2630, www.pioneerlibrarysystem.orgFREE Teddy Bear Picnic at Southern Oaks Public Library ( 6900 S Walker Ave) f eatures an indoor picnic, songs, stories and other fun activities. Bring your favorite stuffed bear or animal. Best suited for ages 1-5. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Preregister. 6-6:45pm. 631-4468, www.metrolibrary.orgMAY 31-JUNE 4Oklahoma City Jazz Festival in Bricktown & Deep Duece (various locations) features s ome of the best jazz musicians in Oklahoma and beyond at both indoor and outdoor venues. Color Me Badd will perform Thursday at the Criterion. Visit website for schedule of performances. Prices vary. 630-7668, www.okcjazzfest.comJUNE 2 THURSDAYFREE First Thursdays On the Lawn on Western Avenue (6233 N Western Ave) is a monthly, family-friendly evening offering food trucks, live music and yard games. 5-8pm. www.visitwesternavenue.comJUNE 2-5Route 66 Triathlon at Lake El Reno (801 Babcock Dr, El Reno) features a full series of events for all ages and experience levels including a free social Splash-n-Dash, open water swimming clinics for adults and kids, the Oklahoma State Olympic Distance Triathlon Championship, a sprint distance triathlon as well as a stage of the SMW Regional Youth Triathlon series. $30 & up. See website for schedule. 230-8151, 2-8NCAA Womens College World Series at ASA National Softball Hall of Fame & Museum (2801 NE 50th St). College teams will compete for the National Championship title. Ticket prices vary. See website for game times. 424-5266, 3 FRIDAYHunter Hayes in Concert at Frontier City (11501 N I-35 Service Rd). Free with admission. 478-2140, www.frontiercity.comFREE First Friday Gallery Walk in the Paseo District (NW 30th & 27th St, Walker & Hudson Ave) features special themed exhibits, refreshments, guest artists, a variety of entertainment and food trucks. 6-10pm. www.thepaseo.comFREE H&8th Night Market in Midtown (815 Hudson Ave) is now a yearly, family- and pet-friendly street festival built around a lineup of the citys top gourmet food trucks and live music in conjunction with a front row seat to the ProAm Classic. Free to attend. 7-11pm. www.h8thokc.comJUNE 3 & 4FREE Oklahoma Route 66 Corvette Round-Up at Hafer Park (Bryant Ave & 9th St) is a family friendly car show with food vendors, music, door prizes and a silent auction. 9am. 721-5616, www.centralokcovetteclub.orgJUNE 3-5Small Town Weekend at El Renos Adams Park (2001 Park Dr, El Reno) celebrates Route 66 with a car show, Hot Wheels races, drag races, antique car cruise and more. Free to attend, activity prices vary. See website for schedule of events. www.ercruisers.comOklahoma City Pro-Am Classic in downtown Oklahoma City (various locations) features three full days of racing for amateur and elite cyclists. Kids can take part in the Children's Challenge or the Kids Race for free on Saturday. Preregister. Free to watch, particpation prices vary. www.okcpac.comJUNE 4 SATURDAYChisholm Trail Crawfish Festival at Kirkpatrick Family Farm (1001 Garth Brooks Blvd, Yukon) f eatures a Wild West Show, Kid's Kreative Korral, living history reenactments, crawfish races, a goat grab, live Cajun music, pony rides, gunfights and more. Free to attend. 9am-6pm. 350-8937, www.cityofyukonok.govTrucks for Tots on the lawn behind Whole Foods (62nd & Grand Blvd). Meet and interact with community's heroes and take a peek inside their exciting machines. Benefiting Infant Crisis Services. $2 suggested donation. 9am-1pm. 528-3663, www.infantcrisis.orgMade in Oklahoma Wine, Beer and Food Festival at the Sheraton Midwest City Hotel at the Reed Conference Center (5750 Will Rogers Rd, Midwest City) features a "Made In Oklahoma" vendor area, culinary presentations, the classic open car, truck and motorcycle show, a grilled cheese cooking competition, food trucks, live music and more. Admission, free; 10 tastings, $20. 10am-6pm. 739-1297, www.madeinoklahomafestival.comWines of the West at Stockyard City (1305 S Agnew Ave). Sample some of Oklahomas finest wines as you shop at various Stockyards City businesses. $15. Noon-4pm. 235-7267, www.stockyardscity.orgFirst Saturday Hands-on History at the Oklahoma History Center (800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.) features a variety of crafts, coloring, hands-on carts and educational trunks all centered on a monthly theme. Junes focus is Schools Out! Free with admission. 1-4pm. 521-2491, www.okhistory.orgWorlds Environment Day at Martin Park Nature Center (5000 W Memorial Rd). Celebrate the diverse and fascinating ecosystems across the globe during World Environment Day. Best suited for ages 6 & up. Preregister. 2-4pm. 297-1429, 4 & 5FREE National Fishing Days at OKC Ponds & Lakes (various locations). No city permit is required, however a State license is require for anyone 16 & older. 297-1426, loads of summer fun at thismayWEEKLY EVENTSFREE Art Moves at various locations in Downtown Oklahoma City offers a free hour-long lunchtime art experience every weekday. Events run Monday-Friday, noon-1pm (unless otherwise noted), and are free and open to the public. 270-4848, Story Time at Green Bambino (5120 N Shartel Ave) features readings of favorite books in the Green room. Participants get 10% off all books during story time. Mondays, 11:30am; Wednesdays, 4pm & Thursdays, 10am. 848-2330, Art Adventures at Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art (555 Elm, Norman), for ages 3-5. Young artists are invited to experience art through books. Tuesdays, 10:30am. 325-3272, Night Classics at Harkins Theatre (150 E Reno) features special presentations of classic films on the big screen every Tuesday. $5. 7pm. 231-4747, Play Group at Martin Park (5000 W Memorial Rd) introduces children ages 2-6 to nature using nature-centered play activities. Children must be accompanied by a caregiver. $2. Tuesdays, 10am. 297-1429, Wheeler Criterium in the Wheeler District (1701 S Western Ave) features some of Oklahomas top riders in fast-paced, flat track races as well as live music and food trucks. Tuesdays, 5-8:30pm. Story & Craft Time at Unpluggits Playstudio (575 Enterprise, Edmond) features a different story each week & a related craft time. Free with admission. Wednesdays, 11-11:30am. 340-7584, www.unpluggits.comFREE Bringing Books to Life Story Time at Myriad Gardens (301 W Reno) features a weekly nature-themed story time and coordinating craft. Best suited for ages 2-5. Wednesdays, 10-11am. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.orgFamily Night at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36th St). Families can enjoy admission for up to five people, pizza and drinks using the MetroFamily Family Package (coupon available at $29. Thursdays, 6-9pm. 602-2758, www.skategalaxyokc.comFREE Family Story Time at the Edmond Library (10 S Boulevard, Edmond). Pajamas welcome. Preregister, best suited for families with kids ages 1-5 years old. Thursdays, 6:30-7:15pm. 341-9282, www.metrolibrary.orgFREE Childrens Story Time at Full Circle Books (1900 NW Expressway). Saturdays, 10:15am. 842-2900, www.fullcirclebooks.comFREE Storytime with Mr. Steve at Barnes and Noble (540 Ed Noble Parkway, Norman) features a extremely silly story time and coloring activity. Saturdays, 11am. 579-8800FREE Childrens Story Time at Edmonds Best of Books (1313 E Danforth, Edmond). Saturdays, 11-11:30am. 340-9202. FREE Crafts for Kids at Lakeshore Learning (6300 N May Ave) features a hands-on craft time for kids ages 3 & up. No reservations necessary. Saturdays, 11am-3pm. 858-8778, www.lakeshorelearning.comRoller Skating Lesson at Skate Galaxy (5800 NW 36th St) offered each Saturday. Noon-12:45pm. $2 skate rental. 605-2758, www.skategalaxyokc.comAll Star Bowling for Differently-Abled Individuals at AMF Windsor Lanes (4600 NW 23rd) invites differently-abled individuals and their friends and families to bowl on Saturdays. $8. Noon-1pm. 942-5545.Drop in Art at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) features hands-on art activities for all ages. Free with paid admission. Saturdays, 1-4pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.comMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 46 MAY 2016events thismayONGOING EVENTSMAY 6-22The Jungle Book Spring Festival at the Childrens Garden at Myriad Botanical Gardens (301 W Reno) features crafts, activities and imaginative displays inspired Indias rich culture and the story of the man cub, Mowgli. Members & kids (3 & under), free; non-members, $6. 10am-5pm. 445-7080, www.myriadgardens.orgTHROUGH MAY 30Oklahoma Renaissance Festival at the Castle of Muskogee (3400 West Fern Mountain Rd, Muskogee) features costumed performers and artisans, Renaissance music, magic, comedy, juggling, jousting, tomfoolery, arts, food, drink and more. See website for pricing. Open weekends & Memorial Day, 10:30am-6pm. www.okcastle.comTHROUGH JUNE 12David Steele Overholt: In One Ear at Oklahoma Contemporarys Showroom (1146 N Broadway Dr) is a kaleidoscopic study of broadcast medias influence with a generative loop of appropriated videos beat-matched to music playing on a locally transmitted radio station, creating a nostalgic spectacle of color at night and a socially interactive environment during the day. 604-0042, www.okcontemporary.orgBe the Dinosaur: Life in the Cretaceous at the Sam Noble Museum (2401 Chautauqua, Norman) features video game stations that explore what a day in the life of a dinosaur might have been like. Exhibit requires an additional ticket, museum admission is also required. Ages 4 & up, $5; 3 & under, free. Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5pm. 325-4712, www.samnoblemuseum.orgTHROUGH JULY 30O. Gail Poole: Rediscovered Oklahoma Master at Gaylord-Pickens Museum (1400 Classen Dr) celebrates a fourth-generation Oklahoma and an American master who influenced generations of artists with his shifts in style from Impressionism to Modernism and all points in between. Free with admission. Tuesday- Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday,10am-5pm. 235-4458, www.oklahomahof.comTHROUGH AUG 12Summer Wheat: Pry the Lid Off at Oklahoma Contemporary (3000 General Pershing Blvd) explores the portrayal of what Oklahoma-born artist Summer Wheat imagines behind the wall in Vermeers The Milk Maid. Monday-Thursday, 9am-10pm; Friday & Saturday, 9am-5pm. 951-0000, www.oklahomacontemporary.orgTHROUGH AUG 21A Tribute to Americas Combat Artists and Fighting Forces: Art from the U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art (1900 W MacArthur Dr, Shawnee) features artwork, from 26 artists both military men and women as well as civilians, depicting wartime and peacetime military activities. Free with admission. Tuesday- Saturday, 10am-5pm. Sunday 1-4pm. 878-5300, www.mgmoa.orgTHROUGH AUGUST 28Our City, Our Collection: Building the Museums Lasting Legacy at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art (415 Couch Dr) tells the story of the museums history as it explores the rich permanent collection and some of the worlds most significant artists. Free with admission. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Thursday, until 9pm; Sunday, noon-5pm. 236-3100, www.okcmoa.comNEW PERMANENT EXHIBIT!MAGNIFIcence at Science Museum Oklahoma (2020 Remington Pl) merges science and art with marco portraits of spiders, detailed photographs of the human iris and larger-than-life insect prints. Explore art with digital microscopes and experiment with magnification, distortions and enlargements. Free with admission. Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday, 9am-6pm; Sunday, 11-6pm. 602-6664, www.sciencemuseumok.orgMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 47 MAY 2016800-259-KIDS (5437)jasminemoran.comOPEN T-SA, 10-5 SU - 1-5 CLOSED MONDAYS1714 W Wrangler Blvd, Seminole, OK1 hour east of OKCCome See What's NEW!You will be aMAZEd!METROFAMILY MAGAZINE 48 MAY 2016MURAL BY RICK SINNETT LOCATED AT 200 S.E. 4TH ST. IN BRICKTOWNBY HANNAH SCHMITTPHOTOS BY MARK DOESCHEROklahoma City has endless ways for parents to expose their kids to the arts. Of course our city is home to award-winning museums and regularly scheduled special arts events, but its also a city bursting with public art. Downtown Oklahoma City and surrounding neighborhoods feature beautiful wall murals that can teach kids a lot about creativity and expression. Heres a short tour through some of our favorite murals in Oklahoma Citys urban core. Weve included short interviews with two local artists to help spark even more creativity at home. We suggest you visit these murals with your kids this spring to get some inspiration for your next home art project.MUST-SEE MURALS IN OKCSPECIAL THANKS TO OUR MODELS: CONNOR, IAN AND CADE CUOMO AND PRESTON AND MAKENZIE CLEMENTS.METROFAMILY MAGAZINE 49 MAY 2016Amanda Bradway and her husband own DNA Galleries in the Plaza District. In addition to creating this mural outside her store, Amanda is responsible for an impressive mural on Western Avenue. HOW DID YOU GET INTERESTED IN ART? All of my friends were into art when I was in high school but I had been too afraid to ever try my hand at it since I had never been taught. Eventually I decided it didnt matter that I didnt have any experience; it was something I wanted to do for myself. Art began as an outlet for me that eventually turned into a source of healing and ultimately my great passion. WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO TACKLE A PROJECT AS LARGE AS A MURAL? The Western Avenue mural was a collaboration with two of my favorite local artists. It was one of those projects that seem just outside of your realm of expertise. I dont know why but when I was asked to be a part of it I said yes immediately without thinking it fully through. It was like the quote by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that says "If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough!" So we all took the plunge and figured out how to technically execute the piece. Every single day we worked I would wake up early to be the first one to get down to the site. That energy never left me the whole two weeks that we worked and made it hard to get to sleep at night. Ive decided anything that makes me feel that excited and energized is the project for me. I've been working with one of my collaborators, Erin Cooper, on pitching a few more pieces that will hopefully happen in the next year.HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL WHEN PEOPLE SEE YOUR ART? It's always amazing to me how art brings unity and common ground to people. At one of my recent exhibits I was telling the people who bought my work the meaning behind each piece. We were all stunned by the amount of ways each piece connected to their own experience. We're not so different as human beings and art is a good way to remind ourselves that we share the same hopes and dreams, fears and insecurities.HOW DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO FEEL WHEN THEYRE IN THE PRESENCE OF YOUR ART? I want them to connect to how it makes them feel and hopefully it can be a healing experience. A lot of my work recently has been about eradicating fear and stepping into your personal power.MURAL BY AMANDA BRADWAY LOCATED IN THE PLAZA DISTRICTMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 50 MAY 2016Julie Juuri Robertson is a Japanese American artist with a unique aesthetic and no fear of big projects. Shes responsible for this stunning piece along Western Avenue.HOW DID YOU GET INTERESTED IN ART? Since the time I was tiny, I was always drawing, coloring and making my own illustrated books and paper sculptures. No paper or cardboard in the whole house was safe from me! I'd harvest everything to create my projects.WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO TACKLE A PROJECT AS LARGE AS THE MURAL OFF WESTERN? It was actually my first mural ever! I was daunted but excited. I was surprised at how easy it was to paint on the wall. The texture was perfect. I had also planned my colors and sketch extensively before I started and that was a big plus. The only bad thing was the heights. It was so scary standing on top of scaffolding, looking down on the street.HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL WHEN PEOPLE SEE YOUR ART?Working on the mural, I had so many people come up to me and tell me how awesome it was, and how great it made them feel living in the neighborhood. It's priceless to me when I can create something that will bring happiness to tons of people for a long time. I'm delighted each time I see someone tagging the mural on Instagram, making it a part of their day and their creativity.HOW DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO FEEL WHEN THEYRE IN THE PRESENCE OF YOUR ART?I read an article once that said that when people see art that they like, it stimulates the same part of the brain that reacts to seeing someone they love or are physically attracted to. That's such a powerful emotion, if I can make people feel so positive and radiant looking at my art, there's nothing better. I also include a lot of symbolism in my pieces, and am very happy when people form their own ideas about what the paintings "mean." They mean different things to different people. It's interesting to see how profoundly people can react to the message in the work.MURAL BY JULIE JUURI ROBERTSON AT N.W. 44TH & WESTERNNortheast Oklahomas Green CountryGreenCountryOK.comokaquarium.orgMURAL BY KRIS KANALY LOCATED IN THE PLACA DISTRICTMURAL BY KRIS KANALY, DYLAN BRADWAY AND YATIKA FIELDS LOCATED ON 9TH STREET BETWEEN OKLAHOMA AND BROADWAY MURAL BY KRISTOPHER KANALY, DUSTIN GILPIN AND JERROD SMITH LOCATED ON WESTERN AVE. BETWEEN 43RD AND 44TH STREETSMURAL BY DUSTY GILPIN AT BLEU GARTEN, 310 N.W. 10TH ST.MURAL BY JASON PAWLEY LOCATED AT S. EK GAYLORD BLVD. AND W. RENO AVE. IN BRICKTOWNE-TICKETING NOW AVAILABLEE-TICKETING NOW AVAILABLEMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 54 MAY 2016Two years ago, my mom moved in with us. Shed had a stroke and was unable to live by herself any longer. She wasnt, however, ready to call Shady Pines her new home for the next umpteen years. We had the space and our house had several handicap accessories in place from the previous owners.It was actually my husbands suggestion that my mom move in with us. If that doesnt qualify him for sainthood, Im not sure what will. The transition was fairly easy. With the help of her occupational therapists and physical therapists, we modified our home so that it became, truly, our home. And in no time at all, we were all getting on each others nerves as if we had always been one great big happy family.My husband, true to his eventual sainted-ness, encourages me to get away frequently. Raising teenagers is hard. Raising moms is hard. Raising them both at the same time is how alcoholics are made. Needless to say, when a friend offered up the use of her vacation condo, I jumped at the chance for a girlfriend getaway on an otherwise dreary weekend. Loading up three of my tired momma girlfriends, we trekked to the condo with dreams of getting away and refreshing.Over the course of the weekend, we went shopping, where no one begged us to do any of the following: Leave, Stay, Buy Something, Not Buy Something, Stop Singing Along To The Musak, or Go Home Now Right Now Because Their Favorite Show Might Be Going Off Netflix Any Day Now. We ate like we hadnt seen food in a decade. At one stop, we each ILLUSTRATION BY BRITTANY VIKLUND, WWW.BRITTANYVIKLUND.COMOne Glorious Weekendmom gets the last laughMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 55 MAY 2016ordered a funnel cake topped with ice cream topped with caramel and hot fudge, topped with pecans and topped with whipped cream. When the monstrosity was set before us, we each claimed that we would never eat the whole thing. Then we ate the whole thing. No one sneezed on our food. No one begged us to trade with them. No one looked at our food, snarled her nose and said, Ewwwwww, and no one asked for one single bite of our 20,000-calorie indulgence. Not. One. Bite.When nighttime rolled around, we didnt have to convince anyone to go to bed. We didnt have to yell at anyone to pick up his three dozen pair of socks from the living room floor. We didnt have to threaten to laugh when they got a cavity if they didnt go brush their teeth already. We just went to bed.And this is where our weekend got really good.My friend, Dawn, a tired mom of three, shared a bed with me. When we crawled in bed that night, we each slept on the opposite side that we normally sleep on at home. Why? Because thats the side we like to sleep on, but we are married to men who have their own sides. Then we read our books without interruption by touch or voice. Then, when we were ready to go to sleep, we turned off our respective lamps and went to sleep. We did not wake up when someone hollered out Mom! (Because no one hollered out Mom!)We did not wake up when we heard the dogs scratching at the back door. (Because there were no dogs.)We did not wake up when a random child wandered into our room and hovered over us in an effort to test our cardiac health. We woke up when we were ready to wake up! It was a concept wed forgotten about since, well, we became moms. We texted our husbands to see if we could have sleepovers with each other every night forever, but they were not hip to that jive. Eventually, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. On Sunday, we loaded up our vehicles, rode the zip line and then made our way home. (Zip line, you ask? Well, yeah. We were living it up, after all.) We pulled into town with our souvenirs for our families (because how could we go shopping without getting something for our nearest and dearest?). We smelled the leftovers that we brought back home to the little mouths that would just love the special macaroni and cheese we ordered in their honor. And we unpacked the laundry, adding it to the laundry our families had accumulated over the weekend. My mom welcomed me home with stories of how she rarely left my sister and me when we were young. My daughters welcomed me home with excited squeals asking what I brought them. And my husband welcomed me home with a kiss and a whispered greeting of, I hope you rested well. The dogs spent the night inside last nightIts nice to be missed.Heather Davis is a tired momma and a worn-out writer. She and her sandwiched family live in Oklahoma and she recently won a Bronze Award from the Parenting Media Association for her humor column in MetroFamily. Her website is and hope are the themes of our annual guide, a digital edition including tips, articles and expert voices. PLUS find local info and resources in our all NEW special needs directory.Visit for informationdedicated to families of special needs children in central Oklahoma.AnnouncingChampionsOKC's Special Needs Guide,a MetroFamily publicationMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 56 MAY 2016Find more at CHILDREN? THEN YOU NEED LOTS OF RESOURCES! INTRODUCING THE YELLOW PAGES FOR OKC AREA PARENTS.resourcedirectoriesFrom pediatricians to special needs therapy, birthday party ideas and private schools, our resource directoriesboth here and onlineprovide local parents with the information they need to help their families and children thrive. Check out these businesses and those you find at and be sure to tell them you found their business via MetroFamily Magazine.Special Needs (page 57)Brain Balance Center of OKCSensational KidsSkills for LivingTOTAL POSS-ABILITIESParty Guide (pages 58-59)Allisons Fun Inc.Frontier City/White Water BayGymboree Play & Music of Norman and OKCJump!ZoneMad Science of Central OklahomaMobile Laser ForcesPaint N StationPaint Your Art OutSam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural HistorySkate GalaxyWater-Zoo Indoor Water ParkFoster Care (page 60)Bair FoundationCircle of CareRetail/Restaurant (pages 60-61)Jimmys Egglearning tree toys, books & gamesOnce Upon a ChildChild Care (page 61)Edmond Home Child Care AssociationPrimrose School of EdmondSpontaneity Kid CareFamily Services (page 62)Just Kids PediatricsOklahoma Institute of Allergy & AsthmaFamily Fun (pages 62-63)Arcadia Lake, City of Edmond ParksDodge City Paintball & Outdoor Laser Tag of OKCOklahoma History CenterUnpluggits PlaystudioAfter School Activities (page 64)Aalim Bellydance AcademySummer Camps (pages 64-68)Cadence EquestrianChildcare NetworkClub Z In-Home TutoringCross Creek StablesThe Dance DepartmentFine Arts InstituteFun N Fit Camp, IntegrisGirl Scouts Western OklahomaKumon Math & Reading CentersMarjorie Kovich School of BalletNorth Penn Creative Kids Learning CenterOklahoma City Boat Club Sailing CampQuail Springs United Methodist Church Early Childhood ProgramSoccer City OKCStafford Air & Space MuseumStudio J School of DanceThe Studio of the Sooner TheatreTechJOYnTTopgolfTwist & ShoutVelocity Dance CenterVictory DanceUCO Wellness Center Camps57585960606161626263646465666768FREE CONSULTATION Lack of Focus Impulsiveness Tantrums Trouble Making Friends Family Relationships/Social Skills Academic, Social or Behavioral IssuesBrain Balance addresses:How it works: Brain Balance is a non-medical comprehensive program, customized for each child, combining physical and sensory exercises with cognitive skill training and healthy nutrition.Bring Light to Your Childs StruggleThis summer, give your child the tools toSHINEHELPINGYOUR CHILDAGED 4-17LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATEDBrain Balance Centerof OKC 3545 W. Memorial Rd. Oklahoma City, OK 73134405-492-6800METROFAMILY MAGAZINE 57 MAY 2016Services Include:(405) 840-1686www.SensationalKidsOKC.comNOW OPEN 2nd LOCATIONServing Tinker AFB, South OKC & Moore!Play Learn ThriveWe Specialize in Workingwith Children with: Down Syndrome Autism ADD & ADHD Sensory Processing Disorder Cerebral Palsy Typical Children with: Handwriting Problems Speech-language Delays(and other types of diagnoses that may interfere with day to day skills)Blue Cross Blue Shield, Tricare, United Healthcare, Health Choice, SoonercareOccupational TherapySpeech- Language TherapySocial GroupsSooner Business Park, 5701 SE 74th St, on NE corner of Sooner Road and I-24014715 Bristol Park Blvd. - OKC/EdmondSPECIAL NEEDSExperienced, Innovative, EffectiveOccupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Sensory Processing Disorder, Typical Children Challenged With Fine and Gross Motor Delay [such as Handwriting, Sports, Bike Riding], Autism, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Social SkillsInviting, Comfortable, Fun Setting. Most Insurance Accepted: BCBS, Tricare, Soonercare, Healthchoice, AetnaCall today for your assessment!Skills For Living, Inc.405-360-5554330 W. Gray, Ste. 100-2, Norman, OKinfo@skillsforliving.netwww.SkillsForLiving.netMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 58 MAY 2016Oklahoma's Original Art Entertainment Studio10 S Broadway, Downtown Edmond, OK www.paintyourartout.netBirthday Parties for the Young at405-513-5333Paint your own pottery studio7906 N. May, OKC 842-7770paintnstation.com5/4 Firefighters Day Wear a shirt that represents your favorite reghter & get $5.00 o5/8Mothers DayBring Mom in onSunday to enjoy painting & Moms Studio Fee is FREE! Tea and cookies will be served.Schools Out SpecialMay - June 10thBring in report card when you paint & take a photo, get $2.00 oJOIN USfor classes today!BRING INthis oer*a world of learning awaits!Find a location and class schedule that works best for you at Redbud Plaza, 255 34th Ave. SW, Norman, OK 73072405-307-8454 normanok@gymboreeclasses.comOKC: Shoppes at Northpark 11940 N. May Ave. OKC, OK 73012405-755-3445*Oer valid for new families only at participating Play & Music locations. Existing Play & Music customers are not eligible. Oer is not redeemable for cash or credit. Gymboree Play & Music may change or cancel this promotion at any time at Gymboree Play & Musics sole discretion. Void where prohibited by law.on us*free classWe specialize in parties for 1-4year oldsFor agesstartingat birth.Bring this ad in for $25 o your birthday partyPARTY GUIDEMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 59 MAY 2016MOONBOUNCES SLIDES OBSTACLE COURSES WATER SLIDESPICK-UP A MOONBOUNCE FOR ONLY $175 FOR THE ENTIRE WEEKEND!!For more info, call or log on 447-1118PARTY GUIDEMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 60 MAY 2016There are children in crisis situations all across the state who need a safe and loving home tonight. Have you ever thought about being a foster parent? You can be part of Circle of Cares team as we work to provide help, healing, and hope to abused and neglected children. We stand by your side and help you navigate the paperwork and process.Do You Have a Heart for Children? Call our local staff today to learn more! 405-463-66261501 NW 24th Street, Suite 214, OKC, OK spring into savings! spring into savings!We buy and sell gently used kids stuff. Well pay $$$ on the spot for your gently used kids clothing, toys & equipment. Plus, weve got everything your kids need at prices that cant be beat! Put a little spring in your step and visit us today! Check out our website or call for further details!13801 N Penn. Ste. G Oklahoma City, OK 73134405-286-3114 CAMPtime!NUMBER ONE GUIDE to day and overnight CAMPSPlan your childs summer using themetro areasRETAIL/RESTAURANTFOSTER CAREMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 61 MAY 2016405-509-4843 405-922-9566EdmondHomeChildCare.comCall or visit our website TODAY! Offering quality, nurturing, childcare in a family learning environment Professional, educated, licensed childcare providers CPR/First Aid Certified Edmond, Deer Creek, Guthrie, Moore, Mustang, Yukon, OKC North and South LocationsEHCCAEDMOND HOME CHILDCAREASSOCIATION Since 1987OKC's only drop-in kid care center.Located in Chase Plaza at Portland and Memorial405-541-9072 www.SpontaneityKidCare.comBETTER THANBABYSITTERSOpen 8am - Midnight Monday - SaturdayYou could winBIG! all ofour contests at:CHILD CAREMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 62 MAY 2016FAMILY FUN405-607-4333 | okallergy.comYou can't avoid life, let us get you back to living!Dr. Amy L. Darter, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI Dr. Jason M Bellak, MD16425 NW 150th, PiedmontFAMILY SERVICESBirthday PartiesGrownups Paint NightsToddler Time EveryWednesday Birthday PartiesGrownups Paint NightsToddler Time EveryWednesday Walk In Craft and Pottery Paint Studiowith Indoor Playground!HUGE Selection of Piggy Banks To Paint and Take Home Same Day.Find dozens of ideas for weekend and day trips around the state! MAGAZINE 63 MAY 2016FAMILY FUNSAT. JUNE 11, 20167:30 A.M. NOONSPRING CREEK PARKKIDS AGES 515 FREE EVENT ARCADIA LAKES KIDS FISHING DERBY 216-7471Registration from 7:309 a.m., fishing at 8 a.m. and final weigh-in at 11 a.m. Concessions and worms will be for sale at the event site. Parents must accompany children.Printed in ourJuly, 2016 issueand available onour award-winning website,www.metrofamilymagazine.comTo advertise,contact us TODAY!ads@metrofamilymagazine.com405-601-2081Coming in JulyBe sure our readers know about your day care option in the upcomingChildCareIssueMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 64 MAY 2016Try a class for FREE!Introduce your child to creative movement!Introduce your child to creative movement!BELLYDANCE ACADEMY(405) 844-0304www.aalimdanceworld.comgirls ages5-9 & 10-13Mommy and Me2016 Kumon North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.*Offer valid at participating Kumon Centers only when you enroll between 6/1/16 6/30/16. Most Kumon Centers are independently owned and operated. Additional fees may apply.Contact your local Kumon Math & Reading Center to learn more!WITH FREE REGISTRATION 6/1 - 6/30*Give Your Kids AAnd An Academic Advantage All Year2016 Kumon North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.EDMOND - WEST245 South Santa Fe Ave.Edmond, OK - NORTH775 West Covell Rd, Ste #150Edmond, OK CITY - NORTH9494 North May Ave.Oklahoma City, OK CITY - NORTHWEST6220 N.W. Exprwy, Ste COklahoma City, OK them in Kumon and add a little brain food to their summer and beyond!Abrakadoodle Art Studio, 103 N Broadway, the Abrakadoodle Art Studio to book your field trip or ask about having a field trip come to YOU.Prices range from $8.50 - $12.50 per student with a non-refundable $50 deposit. (All supplies included! 10 student minimum.)Field Trips(405) 818-5417SUMMER CAMPSAFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIESMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 65 MAY 2016180 W. 15th Street,Ste. 100, Edmond405-345-5010techjoynt.comEnd of School Bash!May 21st11 am to 4 pmSummer Break CampsRobotics! Game Design! Fun! ENROLL NOW! Buy one course, get one off!!Turn up the FUN at Girl Scout camp this summer!At Girl Scout summer camp you will:=VkZ[jcAZVgcXddacZli]^c\h:meadgZi]Z\gZVidjiYddghBV`ZVlZhdbZcZl[g^ZcYh6cYHDbjX]bdgZYou dont have to be a Girl Scout to join the adventure. All girls are welcome!1.800.698.0022WWW.GAHMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 66 MAY 2016All day, half day and tiny tots camps in June & JulySee website for dates/details!Office: 405-340-3432Call/text: 405-531-70962200 NW 192nd Street Edmond, OK Birthday Party Packages Indoor Soccer LeaguesCall TODAY!soccercityokcity.com4520 Old Farm Road, OKC(west of Meridian, south of 122nd)405-748-3888Enroll NOW for summer camps!Check our website for details and enrollment!Four dierent weekly camps for ages 4-16held from June through August.$95/camp; half-day sessions held from 9-12 & 1-4.Also enroll for Lil Kickers Spring Session (3/21-6/18) and Summer Session (6/20-8/27).SUMMER CAMPSNon-audition summer camps now enrolling!One, two and three-week camps for PreK-12th grade in Musical Theatre. Acting, Dance and more May 31 - July 29, 2016(405) 321-9600www.soonertheatre.comPerforming Arts Summer CampsMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 67 MAY 2016Sailing Camp 2016at the Oklahoma City Boat Club New and experienced sailors, ages 8-18 A safe, fun place to develop sailing skills Experienced, certified sailing instructors Weekly sessions June 6-August 7,9 am-4:30 pm, Monday-FridayTo learn more, go to or visit us at questions? Call Charlie Shafer, Head Sailing Instructor, at 405-388-2563.Find out how muchfunailing can be!Enroll today!3000 Logan Rd * Weatherford, OK I-40 & Exit 84 on Route 66 580.772.5871 * Coming June 13th17th! Innovative day camp open to children entering 1st through 6th grade. Visit or call 800.968.4332 to secure your childs spot today! SUMMER CAMPSMETROFAMILY MAGAZINE 68 MAY 2016Dance Fun f A Ages!ENROLL TODAY!2016 SummerDance ClassesJune 1 - July 28Week Long Dance Camps(Boys & Girls ages 2-9)Tiny Tutus (Mom & Me)Royal Prince & Princess CampSummer BalletIntensives Ballet / Pre-Pointe & PointeVariations & Modern DanceEnrichment Series &Teen/Adult Ballet ClassesBasic & Intermediate Levels(405) 364-1818Marjie Kovich Schl of Baetwww.mkovichballet.com1/5 vertical: 2.25 X 6.418Infants - School ageNow Enrolling for Summer ProgramK - 5th gradeCreative Twist!Child Carewith a405-254-3147North Penn Creative KidsLearning Center, 150th & PennSplash!Splash!June 7,8,9, June 14,15,16 & July 12,13,14, July 19,20,219:00am - 2:00pm, Ages 1 through 6Stories Art Specials Bible TimeStories Art Specials Bible TimeTo enroll call Quail Springs United Methodist ChurchEarly Childhood Program NOW aboutFALL ENROLLMENT!Call NOW aboutFALL ENROLLMENT!SUMMER CAMPSPlan the best summer ever!Summer fun begins here:MetroFamily makessummer planning easy with information about thefun summer events, activities and great placesto visit all in one convenient location. Daily ideas in the 100 Days of Summer Fun Guide Fathers Day events Day trip ideas to explore Oklahoma Independence Day celebrations Summer concerts & outdoor movies Family-friendly festivals Summer reading programs Vacation Bible School programs Local farmers markets Summer camps and activities Best pools & splash pads Top parks & playgrounds Money-saving coupons & free activities The metros most comprehensive events calendar and more!Available May MAGAZINE 70 MAY 2016What made the experience stand out?I had never been to a park before with so many different playgrounds. Theres also a lake with fish in it and a lot of unusual birds. Ive seen ducks and geese before but these were more colorful and it was interesting to watch them, walk under the covered bridge and try out three different play areas. What was the best part?I really loved getting to run outdoors and go from one set of playground equipment to another. My mom takes us on walks in our neighborhood all the time but its more fun to see the birds, meet other kids, have a picnic and play. I met a lot of kids to play with too. What was the worst part?I had to put on sunscreen, which I dont really like to do. If youre a kid reading this, though, I have some advice: just give in and put on the sunscreen. Youre not going to win if you try to argue with your parents on that one. Bug spray isnt so bad because we just used some citronella stickers but sunscreen is always so sticky. You have to wear it, though. Will other kids like Hafer Park and why?Sure! Other kids would like to come and play. Theres a lot you can climb on and the slides are nice and tall. Besides that, you still have to eat lunch in the summer but its much more fun in a park, especially if you can help choose the picnic foods, like watermelon or gummy worms. We usually get a milkshake before we go to the park and that would probably help other kids to like going because you get thirsty when youre playing. Picnics are the best because you clean up your trash but its not as much cleaning as when you eat inside, less crumbs, and you can go play right away.Would this attraction be enjoyed by your siblings? Why or why not?My brother, Isaac (age 4), liked going but it was too hot to take our baby (age 1). If we could go on a cooler day, I think hed like it too because he just learned to run in his new shoes. The only time hell keep them on his feet is when we go to the park.If you could do this again knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?I forgot that flies come to pretty much any picnic. Id also bring some extra shoes because I got my flip-flops muddy.Does what you saw match up with anything you,re learning in school or have seen before in a book, on TV, etc.?I saw some ants carrying leaves, which I had read about before and seen on PBS Kids; it reminded me that Id like to have an ant farm. Im not sure what kind of birds those were, besides ducks and geese, but I think Ive seen them on Wild Kratts. They might have been turkeys; I dont really know. Bird watching is very popular in my other country so Ive heard of learning more about what birds are at parks or just in our area. (Samuel is a dual citizen of Costa Rica.)What do you think you,ll remember most about having done this activity?Ill remember my brother being chased by some of the birds but also that it was a nice afternoon with my family. I remember the names of all the kids I met and I hope theyll be there the next time we go to the park.[Editor's Note: Find five tips for family picnics by our Weekend Warrior bloggerSam's mother, Callie Collinsat]Kid Review:Hafer ParkVenue name:E. C. Hafer ParkBryant & 15th St.,EdmondKid reviewers name:Samuel RoldnAge: 9INDOOR Playground!! coming soon to st. lukes Edmond 900 N. SoonerVACATION BIBLE SCHOOLJUNE 27-30 Downtown Campus222 N.W. 15th, OKCMore info at stlukesokc.orgEdmond Campus1125 E. Danforth, EdmondMore info at stlukesedmond.orgSt. Lukes Edmond - Meeting for worship at 11 a.m. on Sundays at Sequoyah Middle School - 1125 E. Danforth, Edmond, OK | 285-2002 | edmond@stlukesokc.orgSaturday, June 11 th10 AM 3 PM13010 N. Kel ley Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73131Donations areaccepted and wil l benefit:Second Chance Animal SanctuaryJoin us. Everybody and their dog is coming.For more info, contact Morgan Stewart at (405) 595-3264.A free dog wash?Bow wow.Bob Moore Subarus 4th Annual Dogapalooza.The largest FREE dog wash in Oklahoma. Free dog washes Pet vendors and vet information Food trucks and music Micro-chipping station Pet adoptions Photo booth and more!