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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Smarty Mom: Christie Dalton

By Rachel H

Welcome to another Smarty Mom Saturday! I am happy to introduce you to a fellow Appalachian Alumni friend of mine, Christie Dalton. Christie has lived in Reidsville, NC for the past 2 years. Before that, she lived in Eden, where she grew up. She and her husband, Jason, have two boys, Andrew, who is 8, and Jack who is 6. Christie works full-time as a first grade teacher. She serves as a preschool ministry volunteer at her church. She also volunteers at the Free Clinic of Rockingham County and Help for the Homeless. Christie is a Momtime Group Leader. Somehow she managed to squeeze in her National Board Certification after having kids. Any teacher can tell you that this is not an easy feat and takes much time and dedication. Christie plans to further her teaching career by beginning a Master’s degree program in the fall. As all good moms should, Christie is also able to take time for herself! She loves to travel, cook, read, and scrapbook. She loves photography and also spending time with her girlfriends.

Let’s chat more with Christie …

You give much of your time to volunteering. Please tell us more about your favorite organization in which you volunteer and what it means to you.
I love volunteering for the Free Clinic of Rockingham County, which provides medical and dental care for the working uninsured. This is a wonderful facility that operates purely on a volunteer basis – from the receptionist (me) to the nurses, doctors and pharmacists, everyone gives of their time to provide quality healthcare to those who have no other means of receiving it. The uninsured live sicker and die younger. That’s why the clinic exists — to try to be a stop gap for people who have nowhere else to go.

Tell us more about Momtime!
I love Momtime! Remember Blair from the show “Facts of Life?” Her real life name is Lisa Whelchel, and she started the first Momtime group more than ten years ago as a way to keep her sanity! The group consists of moms who get together in each other’s homes at least once a month and are committed to being there for one another. Lisa has written several books and even hosts “Momtime Getaways” all around the country. My girlfriends and I went to the one she hosted in Charlotte and loved it! There are now twelve moms in my Momtime group and we have met every month for almost five years now!

How do you manage to balance your work and home life?
Being a teacher at the school that both of my boys attend is both fabulous and challenging! I feel I have the best of both worlds; I get to take them to work with me everyday, and they are literally just steps away at any given moment. The downside is that they are always just steps away! I have found for me that the key to balancing work and home is to get everything done before I leave school so that when I go home, I am able to give my undivided attention to my family. It doesn’t always happen, but it is my goal everyday!

Give us your best tip for helping first graders be successful in school.
I find that in first grade as most children have already begun to read, parents stop reading aloud to their children. Keep reading! The most important thing any parent can do to create a good reader is to read to their child. Even when they have become very fluent readers, they still enjoy crawling up in your lap and listening to a wonderful story.

Where is your favorite place to get a good deal on kids clothes?
I love the clearance rack…at any store! Belk, Target, Children’s Place, Wal-Mart…as soon as I go into the children’s section, I go straight to the clearance rack. I NEVER pay full price for anything! I also love the New Beginnings stores in Eden, Reidsville and Madison, which sell gently used clothes. All proceeds benefit HELP, Inc., which is the Rockingham County shelter for battered women.

What is your favorite family activity?
Game night is always a fun night at our house! We turn off the television, cell phones, laptops, etc., and just have a great time playing board games, card games or even Guitar Hero!

Favorite “my-time” activity?
I love pedicures, massages, facials…anything pampering!

Best book you have read recently?
I just love Karen Kingsbury…I was addicted to her Baxter family series! I just read her newest book, Above the Line: Take One and it is awesome!

Best place to eat lunch with the kids?
Our church, Osborne Baptist in Eden, just built a new children’s wing and inside is a huge indoor clubhouse playground attached to a coffee and sandwich shop which is open daily for lunch. My boys love to go and play in the clubhouse while I sit and have coffee with other moms.

Favorite place to eat dinner out with the kids?
Honestly, we love to eat dinner at home. It’s our time of the day to really talk to our boys and share our day. Even if Jason has to work late, I’ll feed the boys a big afternoon snack so we can all eat together. But when we do go out, we love PF Chang’s!

Funniest thing your kid(s) has ever said?
From my son Jack, age 6, while reciting his memory verse from Awanas (John 3:16) “...who gave his only forgotten son....that whoever believes in him will have NOCTURNAL life."

Favorite park in the Triad?
We love Bur-Mill in Greensboro, and my boys also love to go to our school’s playground to play in the evenings or on the weekends.

Best thing about raising a family in the Triad?
The best thing about raising a family in the Triad is the kindness of the people who surround us. We live in the Bethany area which is a small rural community just north of Summerfield. Our school, Bethany Elementary, and this community have some of the nicest, friendliest people we’ve ever met! Our family has made terrific friends since moving here two years ago.

Best kept secret in the Triad?
Triad Stage in downtown Greensboro. It’s our favorite date night spot, following a dinner at Liberty Oak. Such amazing talent and creativity!

Best birthday party you have attended?
We just celebrated Jackson’s 6th birthday at a Greensboro Grasshoppers game and had an awesome time! They handled everything and all the boys loved it!

I could not live without my...
Family, my friends, and my faith. And Facebook of course!

I wish someone had told me sooner about...
The Minute Clinic at CVS! It is so convenient for things like strep throat, swimmer’s ear, etc. They are open on Saturdays and Sundays and you don’t need an appointment!

Thanks, Christie, for all your Smarty answers!

We are always on the hunt for Smarty Moms. And while we've been featuring some moms who have done AMAZING things such as going above-and-beyond the call of duty for others, doing incredible work for her family, friends, or community, or has accomplished tremendous feats - we are also looking to feature moms in the Triad who just simply live the daily grit of motherhood! Please send us your "mominations" and feel free to nominate yourself (especially if you are a mompreneur with a great service or product to promote)! We look forward to hearing from you. Email us here with your “Smarty Momination”!


terri mac said...

I love the MomTime idea and just googled it. I do remember Blair! Did you start your own group? Was it easy? Any tips if I decide to get a group of my girlfriends together and start one? I like the fact that it is only once a week because I know we have other commitments, but I think this would be so benficial to all of us.

Sharon said...

I enjoyed reading all your answers. I think it is wonderful that you are able to give so much to the community and also to your family.

Maythi said...

I also enjoyed reading your answers and admire your ability to juggle so much so well!!
And I completely agree on the CVS Minute Clinic - I took my oldest on a Sunday morning after a terrible night of a fever and painful ear and within 30 minutes of arriving to the clinic, we had been seen and had our prescription filled right on the spot (another convenience of already being at CVS). It was a lot better than waiting with all the germs at the dr.'s office's weekend hours - and twice as fast. The one in W-S is at the CVS on Robinhood.

christie said...

I did start my own Momtime group. We had several moms at my church start different groups at the same time. One group was for stay at home moms, one was for homeschool moms, one was for moms of older children, and mine was for working moms. If you go on her website, or go to Lifeway, there is a little momtime book that comes with a dvd that will get you started!

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