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Beyond Giving Thanks

November 10, 2015
By Betsy Bethel - OV Parent Editor ( , OVParent

What a glorious fall season we've had this year: Days upon days of not-too-cold, not-too-hot weather, and plenty of sun shining down on our vibrantly colored hills. Past years haven't been so sunny, so colorful, so temperate. If nothing else, I am thankful for fall!

I also want to give a shout to two of our regular columnists who went off the beaten path and wrote about something other than thankfulness for this issue. Turns out, there is more to November than turkey and gratitude! Misty Teasdale, one of our three fabulous Book Bag librarian-columnists, chose to focus on National Aviation Month, while the incomparable Heidi Maness Hartwiger (Natural Parent, Natural Child author) decided to provide insight into fun activities to do with our kids during this November, also known as National Peanut Butter Lovers and National Pomegranate Month.

Finally, we are recognizing National Adoption Month by featuring a poignant essay by contributing writer Judy M. Miller, an adoptive mom who, although she felt qualified, discovered she had lots to learn about her new role raising children from other backgrounds.

This month's issue also is home to our annual holiday gift guide, which may irritate some folks as pushing the gift-giving season too early, but if we waited until December, it certainly would be too late! Two children's gifts featured in a popular big-box store's toy guide that I chose not to include here: the Sky Viper video drone (I can't even begin to imagine the hijinks, not to mention broken laws, this device could lead to in the hands of children) and the Wubblex X Floating Ball, which comes complete with its own canister of helium. Seriously? You can thank me later.

But, being that it is November, home of my favorite holiday of the year, Thanksgiving, I will offer my own few words of thanks:

This year, I am thankful that people, in general, and more specifically here in the Ohio?Valley, love popcorn. Why? Because my husband is now known as "the popcorn guy," making gourmet popcorn every day (but Sunday) at Mmm...Popcorn in downtown Wheeling. A bonafide popcorn lover myself, I knew I could live on popcorn, but who knew one could make a living on it? Thank you, Ohio Valley, and thank you to my husband - whose real name, by the way, is "the popcorn guy" - for believing in a dream and having faith to step off the proverbial cliff in pursuit of it

I also am grateful for my daughter, now 9 1/2, who, from Day One, has taught me so much about love and sacrifice and wonder. As she transitions from kid to tween, she is in a whole new discovery phase - only, unlike in childhood, when I was always there to guide her, she is now exploring uncharted territories using her own inner compass. And I am not always following her in my helicopter anymore! I am proud of how she is growing and so very grateful for these new days of wonder and excitement!

There are countless other things for which I am thankful, but I only have room to mention one more - you! Thanks for reading, and please share a copy with a friend!



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