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february 2011 AroundAbout — cumming


February 2011


Volume 2, Issue 8


21 – 23 On the Cover Home Improvement Guide: Peter Adler Builders LLC,

Reliable Heating & Air, Custom Iron Works and The Frugal Remodeler

Featured Articles

18 Readers’ Choice

Vote for your favorite local businesses.

27 Celebrate Love! AroundAbout — Cumming is printed using soy-based inks and paper stocks that are at least 25% recycled. Our printer also recycles all paper and ink waste.

Julie Brennan is the Title Manager for AroundAbout — Cumming magazine. Julie is a native of Vieques, Puerto Rico. She may be contacted at cumming@ 2

Local couples share their secrets.


Planes, Trains And Automobiles

Memories of days gone by.

31 The Infertility Rollercoaster

A difficult journey for many couples.

Keep up-to-date with our community! Follow us on

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february 2011



20 Livin’ La Vida Local

— Shelly Kent

Organizing Your Home and Your Life

— Valerie Donta Young


24 Visit the Dentist in 2011


S.W.A.N. Member Spotlight: Mary Plotts

— Sgt William Rownd

25 Snow-Pocalypse

— Kara Kiefer

Reisling — David Hecklemoser

12 Make a Love File — Parkey Thompson

26 What Can You Do?

28 Kindness to Ourselves — Christine Roberts

How to Avoid Foreclosure — Mark Spain

13 Making a Difference One Young Person at a Time

— Ruth Goode

— Jessica Pugh

— Maria Morgan

Marriage Moments — Rev. Bill Ratliff

41 The Country Preacher

— David Hill

— Nancy Johnson

What Is Self-Publishing?

— Ahmad Meradji

Giving In, Giving Back

39 The Gift of Love

29 Making the Relationship Investment Each and Every Day

15 Autism Talk


Can I See Your Driver’s License Please?

10 Notes form Senator Murphy — Sen. Jack Murphy

— Sherry Jordan

— Monique Honaman


— Hannah Myers

In Every Issue Schools & Sports

Birthdays.................................. 9 Forsyth County News.............. 14 Community Calendar.............. 16

32 What’s Up with the Pink Panthers?


— Matt Coutu

Humane Society..................... 17 School News........................... 33 School Information................. 38

34 The Art of Thinking

Houses of Worship................. 40

Clubs & Organizations............. 42

— Katie Diem

36 Motivating the WorkInhibited Child

Community Numbers............. 44

Classifieds.............................. 47

— Kathy Martin

february 2011 AroundAbout — cumming

Elected Officials...................... 46


Community Keeping you plugged into the latest online happenings

Publisher AroundAbout Local Media, Inc.

Why Facebook?

Owners Karen and Jon Flaig

by James Ball

Executive Editor Kara Kiefer

Facebook is perhaps the most widely used social network on the planet. Many of us understand the value of connectedness and two-way communication. We like to check in on our family and friends, see what’s happening in our community, and let our connections know what is going on in our own lives. Facebook has truly woven itself into the fabric of daily life and culture across the globe.

Title Manager Julie Brennan, (770) 615-3322

Advertising Director Leslie Proctor Art Director Michelle McCulloch Digital Marketing Director James Ball

Facebook has provided the means for us as a company to stay in touch with our readers in real time. We hear about lost pets and can immediately act and rally our readers for help. We can inform and be informed about events and happenings in the community between issues of the magazine. Our readers learn about us, and we learn more about our readers and their lives. We feel this medium has brought us closer to our readers, and we appreciate the participation and input!, (770) 615-3310

AroundAbout — Cumming, a franchisee of AroundAbout Local Media, Inc., is a monthly community magazine. The mission of the magazine is to build a sense of community and pride in the Cumming area by providing its residents with positive stories and timely information. 18,500 copies are distributed free by mail and at 3,000 are placed at key distribution points to local residents and businesses.

Facebook as a company has done a great job at providing a space that’s easy for us to use and to navigate. Furthermore, it really is a fun way to spend a few minutes each day in order to stay in touch. Facebook has become an invaluable way for us to connect and interact with those that are important to us, our readers!

AroundAbout — Cumming welcomes your comments, stories, and advertisements. The deadline is the 10th of the month preceding publication. Subscriptions are available for $24 per year. Send check or money order to the address below.

Facebook has become a very important communication tool for us here at AroundAbout Local Media, but only because you, our readers have taken the initiative to connect with us there. If you are not already connected to us on Facebook, please consider it today; we value the opportunity to be able to share and communicate with all of you, our valued readers and fans!

The viewpoints of the advertisers, columnists and submissions are not necessarily those of the Editor/Publisher and the Publisher makes no claims as to the validity of any charitable organizations mentioned. AroundAbout — Cumming is not responsible for errors or omissions.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the Publisher. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2011.

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AroundAbout — Cumming 1025 Rose Creek Drive, Suite 340 Woodstock, GA 30189 Phone: (770) 615-3334 Fax: (770) 516-4809 Franchise Opportunities Available

Volume 2, Issue 8 february 2011


News Around Cumming Local Attorney Opens Firm Kevin J. McDonough recently announced the opening of his law firm, the Law Offices of Kevin J. McDonough, P.C. The attorney has lived and practiced law in Forsyth County for close to a decade, and serves as president of the South Forsyth Rotary Club. For more information, call (770) 406-8060 or e-mail kmcdonough@

A Fashion Show for Angels

Board of Commissioners has extended the deadline for the Local Small Business Initiative (LSBI) through December 31, 2011. The LSBI is a program designed to promote opportunities to local small businesses and has been in place since April 2009. The ultimate goal of the LSBI is to return as much taxpayer money back into the local economy as possible by giving preference to local suppliers. “The LSBI aims to return taxpayer funds back to the local economy in a relatively short time frame,” said Procurement Director Donna Kukarola. “We also have a goal of providing more opportunities to Forsyth County businesses.” In approving the extension, the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners adjusted the definition of a small business. Under the approved LSBI extension, eligible businesses may now have 50 full time equivalent employees and annual gross receipts of $7.5 million over the previous three-year period. For solicitations that are under $100,000, a qualified Local Small Business that submits a responsive and reasonable price receives a local preference credit of three percent. However, there are some exclusions under certain circumstances. More information about the LSBI is available at the Forsyth County Purchasing Department page at

Market 334 Features Work of Artisans, Farmers Victoria’s Children’s Boutique recently sponsored a “Runway Angels” Fashion Show, with proceeds benefitting the Yaarab Shriners of North Georgia Hospital Fund. The evening included a fashion show, silent and live auctions, hors d’oeuvres, music by Audio Celebrations, and photos by Carolyn Whitmore’s Studio and Gallery. Victoria Mowery, daughter and granddaughter of the owners of Victoria’s Children’s Boutique in Cumming, is a recipient of services at Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Market 334, located at 334 Dahlonega Street, is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Featured vendors include Boho Girl, Sundara, Designs by Tosi, Watercolors by Julie Ann Cooper, Natures Design, Indigo Bath and Body and much more. Artsy, unique, handcrafted and vintage items are available. The Sawnee Artist Association recently joined Market 334 and will begin featuring oil paintings, watercolors, pottery, glass work, wood turners, 3D artists, and photography.

The fashion show helped raise funds and awareness about this organization. Guest speaker Dr. Peter Stasikelis, orthopedic surgeon, spoke about the outstanding program and services offered at the hospital, and the importance of all the contributions made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Initiative Aims to Keep County Business Local Forsyth County is making an extra effort to provide more opportunities to local small businesses. The Forsyth County 6

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february 2011 AroundAbout — cumming



News Around Cumming Third Grade Students Invited to Showcase Art Skills or contact Fire Safety Educator Michele Cranford at 770-781-2180 ext. 4028.

The Forsyth County Fire Department is inviting local third grade students to display their artistic talents while promoting a commitment to fire safety by participating in the Forsyth County Fire Safety Poster Contest. Chief Danny Bowman said the contest is a fantastic way to promote the involvement of young people while increasing fire safety awareness.

Posters should be submitted no later than March 18, 2011, to Fire Department of Forsyth County, Attn: Michele Cranford, 3520 Settingdown Road, Cumming, GA 30028.

“As firefighters, we believe it is our duty to educate the community about the importance of fire prevention and safety. This poster contest is a wonderful way to do just that,” said Bowman Three winners will enjoy a pizza party with their class and local firefighters. Posters created by the winners and three runners up will be displayed in county buildings.

Zumba instructor Lauren Haygood has joined the practice of Dr. Juthika Jajal, (Dr. J.) at It’s Good for Me Chiropractic and Wellness Center. Zumba combines Latin and international music in dance routines featuring aerobic and fitness interval training done to a combination of fast and slow rhythms.

The contest is open to homeschooled students as well as those in public and private schools. Contest details can be found on the Fire Department page of the Forsyth County website at www.

Lauren’s energetic and fun classes take place at 10 a.m. Saturdays at the center, 3225 Keith Bridge Road in Cumming.

Zumba Classes Now Available

Send Us Your Community News and Events • March Deadline is February 15


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february 2011

Happy Birthday!

Savannah Elizabeth Zeravsky Age 4 on February 18 Happy Birthday, Princess Savannah! Love, Mommy & Daddy

Sophia Goldsmith Age 27 on February 7 Love Mom, Tara, & CJ

Emily Dowling

Janet DiJohn

February 16 “Happy Birthday, Emily!

February 5 Wife of Mark DiJohn and mother of Katie, Amanda & Luke

Samuel “Sam” Hazen Jeffries Age 6 on February 17 Son of Carol & Andy Jeffries Big Brother of Jack

Tiffany Streit Age 24 on February 25 Daughter of Neida & Bill

Dylan Coon Age 3 on February 12 Son of Michelle & David Brother of Reagan

Kate Hanley Age 5 on February 16 Daughter of Lynn & Pete Hanley Sister of Ellie, Maeve & Julia

Wedding, Birthday and Anniversary Announcements are Free! E-mail to: Deadline for March is February 15.

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Notes From Senator Murphy by Sen. Jack Murphy, R-Ga 27th District The general assembly is now in session. As the old saying goes, “Hold on to your wallets.’

balance the budget of our state. This particular session will be a challenge to balance the budget. Unlike the federal government, the state cannot print money to allow for shortfalls.

This session promises to be a tough one, with the state facing revenue shortfalls of $1-$1.5 billion. We will be looking at all avenues and agencies for expense relief.

I will no longer serve as chairman of the public safety committee but will be stepping up to chair the banks and banking “Constitutionally, the committee. I remain on the important appropriations general assembly is committee, chairing the only mandated to subcommittee on education.

Newly elected Governor Nathan Deal has said he will preserve the Hope Scholarship. I feel sure it will be preserved, but with some adjustments. The Governor has also stated that he will not support additional teacher furloughs and will do all in his power to avoid further cuts in K-12 education. We will continue to look at immigration reform, including the birthright citizenship issue, and will definitely create legislation to address these issues. Constitutionally, the general assembly is only mandated to

S.W.A.N Member Profile: Mary Plotts MyVideoTalk * (770) 457-0916 As a MyVideoTalk Executive Associate, Mary helps small business owners and non-profit organizations promote themselves in unique and memorable ways. “As business professionals, we all know the importance of making every contact count,” she explained. “Follow-up phone calls, a hand-written note and on-line greeting cards are all very good ideas. When done consistently and from the heart, it adds that all important extra touch.” The popularity of YouTube and video chats provides “the next best thing to face to face when building and maintaining a relationship. It’s changing the way we communicate,” Mary stated.


balance the budget.”

I am looking forward to this session, creating jobs, and to helping get Georgia get back on track economically. May God bless you and your family in 2011 and God bless our state. Senator Jack Murphy (R-GA 27th District) may be reached at jack. or (404) 656-7127.

3) Solicits donations with an in-depth view of the organization’s good works 4) Implements ”live” training – locally, nationally and globally which lowers travel costs 5) Increases repeat business by building stronger relationships and trust Why is video so effective? 1) Attention grabber – with picture and sound to captivate your audience 2) Brings your products/services “eye to eye” with your clients 3) Inexpensive, fast and accurate form of communication 4) Leaves an audio and visual memory of your message or instructions Is video hard to do? With MyVideoTalk tools, you don’t need to be a programmer or designer. Easily customizable with your already existing brand, you can:

Who can use video? 1) Any business, in any industry that sells a product or service 2) Solicits donations 3) Communicates with a sales force or downline 4) Trains or educates locally, nationally or globally 5) Demonstrates products or offers virtual tours

1) Create compelling video e-mails 2) Showcase your product/service on your own private (competitor free) web channel 3) Conduct powerful interactive TV quality, “live” web broadcasts 4) Produce high definition, “live”, web TV show with “pay per view” capabilities.

How can video be used to build my business? 1) Showcases you and your business while building brand awareness 2) Demonstrates products locally, nationally or globally in seconds

In the blink of an eye and the click of a mouse, a powerful statement can be made from anywhere, at anytime and for a lot less money and aggravation than you might think.

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february 2011

february 2011 AroundAbout — cumming



Make a Love File

How to Avoid Foreclosure

by Parkey Thompson

by Mark Spain

The season of love is upon us. After making it through the holiday bustle, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. This year, when you think about love, consider those you love most -- your family. Emergencies and tragedies happen all the time. No one is immune to them. However, you can be help your family in a time of need by getting organized and setting up a location for a complete list of important papers, accounts, and passwords to use in an emergency or a time of grief. Being prepared is important. It is never more important than when you really need the information. It may be the death of a loved one or a natural disaster, but having the information you need available to you can help you or those you love. In my mind, I can still see video footage of families who have had to quickly leave their homes due to fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods. Being prepared and ready to react will help lessen the pain that occurs as a result. What if it were you? What if you were facing a hurricane and had to evacuate? What if it were a fire, or an earthquake? What about the death of a loved one? Are you prepared? Are you ready to move forward with the necessary information you need to get re-established? Sadly, most individuals are not. But, you can be. Much of the information needed could probably be put in a list rather quickly, but that depends on the time you have and your emotional state. What I want to encourage you to build is a “Love File.” That’s right — your own personal “Love File.” This file will hold all of the information you or someone else may need in the event of an emergency of death. Stored and readily accessible, this file will allow you to have or make available the information for others as needed. This file needs to be full of the information that you deem important. Bank account information, insurance, investments, copies of estate planning documents, etc. For security, I would suggest keeping any account passwords in a safe, locked, place. Once your file is built, place it in a safe location and share that location with those who may need it in the future — your spouse, your children, a close family friend, etc. You never know when your family may need the information continued on page 43 12

While the economy is slowly improving, foreclosure is still a very real risk for many people. In fact, Georgia continues to rank in the top 10 in number of foreclosures. However, if you or someone you know has gotten behind on your mortgage, options do exist. A big first step is to contact your bank or mortgage loan servicer and explain your situation. Perhaps you were unemployed, but just started a new job and need to work out a payment plan for past due payments and penalties. Or your financial situation may continue to be challenging. Either way, your mortgage company needs to know and may have a few options to suggest to you. The term “short sale” is also becoming increasingly popular. Five years ago, very few people were selling their home via short sale. Google the term “short sale” now and you get around 168 million hits! A short sale involves selling your home for less than what is owed to the bank. Both you and the bank must agree to the terms and amount. Having a realtor experienced with short sales is essential in the complicated negotiation stage, particularly if you have liens on your property or a second mortgage. Georgia is also a deficiency state, meaning you could be made to repay the deficiency between the original mortgage note and the amount the home sells for now. An experienced short sale real estate agent may be able to work to get these deficiencies waived. Short sales result in less long-term damage to your credit score. And, when your life is more financially on track, you can buy another home far sooner than if you had a foreclosure in your credit history. Simply walking away from or abandoning a property is also discouraged. It will lead to foreclosure in the end and you are relinquishing all control to the bank in a foreclosure. A short sale can take several months, so don’t delay beginning the process. Loan modifications are another option I will cover in a future column. These, too, can take many months to complete. Be aware that applying for a loan modification often stops the short sale approval process completely (i.e. they cannot be done concurrently). For more information on short sales, visit (a HUD site) (free report there) Mark Spain is a realtor with RE/MAX Greater Atlanta, is one of the top 20 RE/MAX agents in the world and the top RE/MAX agent in Georgia for closings. He is Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) certified by the National Association of Realtors and earned his Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation. He is a native Atlantan and graduate of the University of Georgia. For details on considering a short sale, visit

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february 2011

Making a Difference, One Young Person at a Time by Ruth Goode Making a difference can be as easy as reading a story or going to a baseball game. Many adults know first-hand that the simplest of activities can make the greatest impact in a child’s life. Those adults are mentors, which is simply someone who has a positive and consistent presence in the life of a young person. Spending time together, talking, watching a movie, playing a board game, helping with homework or playing sports are just a few of the many simple activities that can be a part of mentoring . The fact that the mentor shows up and takes a genuine interest in the life of their mentee is what makes the most difference.

Join AroundAbout – Cumming’s Online Community Connect with friends and keep up to date on what’s happening right here in Cumming!

Community Events Calendar Videos

Mentoring is not a new idea, but a tried and true method of helping children with proven results. Big Brothers Big Sisters began almost 110 years ago when a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter noticed an increased number of boys passing through his courtroom. He believed that caring adults would have a positive influence on these boys and help keep them out of trouble. He set out to find these caring adults to volunteer. That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement in the United States. Shortly thereafter, the members of a group called Ladies of Charity began befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. The group became later known as Catholic Big Sisters. Presidents from T. Roosevelt, Coolidge, FDR, Clinton, and George W. Bush have supported and encouraged Americans to become mentors. President Barack Obama issued a proclamation designating January 2011 as National Mentoring Month. He stated, “Across our nation, mentors steer our youth through challenging times and support their journey into adulthood. During National Mentoring Month, we honor these important individuals who unlock the potential and nurture the talent of our country, and we encourage more Americans to reach out and mentor young people in their community.”

Photos Neighborhood news stories

3 ways to get connected Visit our website Join the AroundAbout Cumming fan page aroundaboutcumming

Open up a whole new world to a young person in February by becoming a mentor! For more information, contact the following organizations: Mentor Me – North Georgia, Inc. Sylvia Cardona (678) 341-8028 Forsyth County School System Susie Brookshire (770) 887-2461 x2340

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Forsyth County Government News 110 E. Main Street, Suite 210 • TV Forsyth — Comcast Channel 23 • • 1.28 gpf rebated at $100 per toilet

Tune in to TV Forsyth for County Government News and Information One of the resources available to Forsyth County residents who want to learn more about what is going on in their county is TV Forsyth, Comcast channel 23. TV Forsyth airs live and also rebroadcasts the meetings of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals. Board of Commissioners work sessions and Forsyth County School Board meetings are also shown on TV Forsyth. TV Forsyth provides residents with important information about their county. Tune in to learn about upcoming meetings, recent events and county programs and services. To learn more about TV Forsyth, visit and click on the TV Forsyth icon on the home page.

Save Water – Earn a Rebate Forsyth County Water and Sewer Department customers may qualify for a rebate by replacing older, inefficient toilets: • 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) rebated at $50 per toilet

To be eligible for the toilet rebate program, Forsyth County Water and Sewer Department customers must apply for the rebate with the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District and meet certain qualifications. Customers can download and print an application online at toiletrebate or can call 404.463.8645 to receive an application by mail. If a customer qualifies, the Forsyth County Water and Sewer Department will credit the customer’s account with the rebate. Qualifications to receive a toilet rebate: • Have an individual residential account with the Forsyth County Water and Sewer Department and be up-to-date on billing payments • Own or rent a single-family residential home built in 1993 or earlier • Purchase an approved toilet after September 28, 2007, to replace an older toilet using greater than 1.6 gpf • Agree to an installation verification visit to ensure your efficient toilets have been installed • Agree to complete a program participation survey Restrictions and additional qualifications apply. To receive complete details and application information regarding the toilet rebate program, visit

New Banquet Room Available in Central Park Recreation Center Expansion Those looking for space to host a large meeting, party, banquet or other special event need look no further than the recently opened expansion to the Central Park Recreation Center. The room seats 200 people banquetstyle and features a stage, projector, large viewing screen, sound system and catering kitchen. The Central Park Recreation Center is located at 2300 Keith Bridge Road in Cumming. For information on pricing and availability, please call (678).455.8540. 14

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february 2011

Autism Talks

Behavior Therapists, Who Are They and What Do They Do? by Jessica Pugh, MS, BCBA There are many different perspectives when it comes to special needs children. There is the perspective of the children themselves, their parents, their extended family and community, and then there is the perspective of people who work to try to improve the lives of those children. There are many articles and books on what it’s like to be a parent of a special needs child. This month I thought it would be insightful to look at the people who are dedicating their life’s work to helping children with special needs. Perhaps it will help a parent of a special needs child recognize qualities they are looking for in their therapists and teachers. Perhaps it will inspire someone who is deciding on a career or contemplating a career change. Maybe it will give a little perspective on a job that is often challenging and difficult. I interviewed my staff at the North Georgia Children’s Center to find out what attracted them to the job of behavior therapist, why they enjoy it, what the best and worst part of the job is, what advice is most helpful to them, and what advice they would give to someone just entering the field. We enjoyed answering the questions, taking the time to think about, “Why do I do what I do?” It’s an interesting reflection process for the person answering the questions and then comparing that to coworkers to see what we have in common and where the differences are. A behavior therapist helps children with autism and other developmental disabilities develop skills and function independently by increasing appropriate behaviors and decreasing inappropriate behaviors in all areas, including selfhelp, language, social skills, academic, and play skills. Training can include university training, on-the-job training, workshops, and other specialized training such as Professional Crisis Management. Most of us are in the field because we enjoy making a difference in the lives of others. We enjoy seeing the progress, no matter how small, in the children with whom we work. Some quotes from different therapists, when asked what the best part of their job is, include: “watching all the progress that is made… to see a kid who had no skills or few skills learn and achieve their maximum potential;” “seeing a difference for the better, whether progress is small or big, gradual, slow or fast;” “making those connections with each child,” and “the challenge of critical thinking- Why is this behavior happening?” Often we look at things from our own unique perspective on any given scenario. Advice behavior therapists would give to someone new to the field include following through, thinking of the child’s best interest, not letting the small things get you down, looking at each child as a child first, then seeing the

Giving In, Giving Back by Hannah Myers The humbling act of community service warms the hearts of those who give and those who receive. One of the many community service opportunities in Forsyth County is the Unseen Hands Food Ministry run by local churches that distribute clothing, food, and other necessities to the less fortunate. Although volunteering to help people in need takes away some of your time and energy, seeing the smile on someone’s face is all the reward and motivation you need. For the past two years, my friends and I have been sending letters to people in nursing homes to brighten their day. Volunteers play a critical role in the success of our community, and their ability to make a change for the good of all can be extraordinary. Creekside United Methodist Church has a program the second week of July called Community Outreach Program or C.O.P. Students ages 12 to college level come together for five days to serve the community. Students are grouped in crews of 10, with one adult leader and one college leader. “C.O.P. is all about passion and love. We all have fun with the games and hanging out, but it’s the work and the worship that brings us back in the end. It’s the stories of the families we help that drive us and the feeling of a job well done. Plus, where are we without a love of one another and God?” said college leader Grant Smith. The students spend the night at the church and their day doing yard work for the elderly and handicapped, building wheel chair ramps, repairing fences, and other necessary jobs. One day during the week, each crew gets the chance to go to downtown Atlanta and lunch to the homeless. They also put together boxes of food to feed families for one month. Cumming First United Methodist Church has a student program called Fusion that allows students in grades 6-12 to make an impact on the community through their service. The experience of serving the community helps participants realize how often and how much we take things for granted. “Personally, giving my time and dedication to a community service makes me have this rush of overwhelming emotion. It makes me realize how blessed I am to have what I do,” said high school student Megan Allen. Feeling guilty is a typical feeling after serving others. Most teenagers who delight in community service find time during their summer and spring breaks to volunteer at homeless shelters, visit nursing homes, and donate used clothing. Although it may be difficult to find time in our busy schedules, giving back to the community is something that everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. Community service opportunities are not scarce. Typically, there is always someone who needs help. Giving back to our communities not only gives you a sense of accomplishment, but also makes you treasure what you have while motivating you to do it again. Organizations in Cumming such as Hightower Baptist Unseen

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Community Calendar: February Dearly Beloved

Date: February 3-27 Time: 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Location: The City of Cumming Playhouse and Historic School, 100 Main Street Information: Presented by the Gypsy Theatre Company, this knee-slapping show will leave you chuckling from the antics of the Futrelle sisters and the rest of the residents of Fayro, Texas! Gossip, scandals, break-ups, marital problems and catastrophes are part of this fun-filled theatrical presentation. For details and tickets call (770) 781-9178 or visit www.

2nd Annual Dream in Color Art Show

Date: Saturday, February 12 Time: Noon – 2 p.m. Location: Cornerstone School, 4888 Browns Bridge Road Information: Presented by the Sawnee Arts Association and Cornerstone School for home school and private school artists ages 5-14. For more information contact

Kathy Wert at or (404) 229-0530 or visit www.sawneeart. org. future regarding health care, housing, finance, safety and security, recreation, and travel. Contact Shelley Johnson at (770) 781-2178 for more information.

Mentor training

Date: Saturday, February 19 Time: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Location: Call 678-341-8028 for location. Information: Mentor Me - North Georgia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization designed to help children reach their potential through mentoring relationships with responsible adults. Being a mentor is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable things you will ever do and it’s simple too! Call (678) 341-8028 or e-mail for details and to sign up.

9th Annual Forsyth Senior Expo

Date: Saturday, February 19 Time: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Location: Central Park Recreation Center Information: Forsyth County Senior Services invites senior citizens, their families and friends to attend the free event and learn about planning for the

Forsyth County Beautiful Family Mobile Trash Unit

Date: Sunday, February 20 Time: 2 p.m. Location: Based on need and will be announced to volunteers the week before event. Information: The Family MTU cleanups are designed for volunteers of all ages and groups. It provides a monthly opportunity for volunteers to make a difference in addressing litter issues around the county. This MTU will meet every third Sunday at 2 p.m.

Holding a Summer Camp? Reserve your space now in our Summer Camp Section Our readers use this section to plan their summer. E-mail information to: To advertise in this section, call (770) 615-3334. To be listed in our special Summer Camp Section for the March issue, the deadline is February 15. 16

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february 2011


Readers’ Choice Awards It’s time to let your voice be heard! Vote for your favorite local businesses today It’s that time of the year again! Time to vote for your favorite businesses in the Forsyth county area! We’re doing things a little differently this year so please refer to the Question and Answer section below. Q: How do I vote for my favorite businesses? A: Go to Click on the “Readers’ Choice 2011” button. You will be directed to the online ballot. Q: How many times can I vote? A: You may vote four times from the same IP address, which allows additional members of your household to cast their votes. Q: Why are some businesses listed? What if the business I want to vote for is not listed? A: When a business receives a vote, it will appear on the list of choices. The population of these businesses is done strictly for the convenience of the voters and does not indicate endorsement or preference by AroundAbout-Cumming. If you don’t see your business listed, enter the name of the business in the place marked “other,” and the vote will be counted. Q: Do I have to vote online? A: If you don’t wish to vote online or don’t have access to the Internet, we will have paper ballots available at our office, 1025 Rose Creek Drive, Woodstock, GA 30189. One ballot per person will be issued. Q: Are any photocopies of the ballots permitted? A: No photocopies of blank or completed ballots will be accepted. Q: How long do I have to vote? A: Voting will end on February 15, 5 p.m.

Look for this button: AroundAbout Community Magazines


Vote Here


It’s easy! Just log on to and choose your favorites. Submit your votes by Tuesday, February 15 at 5 p.m.

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february 2011

Readers’ Choice Categories Restaurants

Hair Salon

Grocery Store

All-Around Restaurant

Home Improvement/Repair

Hardware Store


Insurance Agent (specify agent)

Home Improvement Store

Barbecue Place

Lawn Care


Breakfast Place

Medical Doctor

Liquor Store

Coffee Shop

Nail Salon

Music Store

Dessert Place


Pet Supply Store

Ethnic Restaurant


Shoe Store

Fast Food Restaurant


Specialty Foods

Fine Dining Restaurant


Sporting Goods

Italian Restaurant

Pest Control

Tire Shop

Kid-Friendly Restaurant

Pet Groomer

Toy Store

Lunch Place


Mexican Restaurant


New Restaurant

Physical Therapist

Recreation and Entertainment

Oriental Restaurant

Print Shop/Copy Center

Dance Studio


Travel Agency

Fitness/Health Club

Seafood Restaurant


Golf Course

Sports Bar


Gymnastics Center Movie Theater



Auto Repair


Car Wash

Children’s Clothing

Residential Development


Convenience/Gas Station

Apartment Community


Custom Automotive



Drug Store

Day Care/Preschool

Electronics/Appliance Store

Day Spa



Frame Shop

Dry Cleaner

Furniture Store


Garden Center

Financial Institution/Bank

Gift/Home Décor Store

february 2011 AroundAbout — cumming



Livin’ La Vida LocaL

Organizing Your Home and Life

Time, Talent Or Treasure? What Can You Spare for Your Neighbors in 2011?

by Valerie Donta Young

by Shelly Kent I did not adequately prepare for our big January snowstorm. We ran short of a couple of items and also wound up sharing a few basic supplies with our neighbors during that week. It was an uncomfortable feeling to hear about basic supplies running out at the grocery stores and to know that it would be difficult and dangerous to leave the house to go anywhere. During that week and through plenty of close time with our neighbors, I grew a deeper respect for community and realized just how much we all want to help one another. But what can we do to help people we don’t know? If we knew them personally, surely we’d want to help them, just as we would our own neighbors, right? But we don’t always know the faces of hunger and need, even when they are the faces we see as we go about our daily activities around Cumming. Mother’s Cupboard, Inc. 2415 Holbrook Campground Rd. Alpharetta, GA 30004

An area church recognized this a few years ago. Members suspected that some people in the congregation were hungry and without food. They placed a box on the side of the church and parishioners would give what they could or take what they needed. As time went on, word of mouth brought more people to their door and Mother’s Cupboard, Inc. was born. The group is quickly outgrowing its digs in a 12-foot by 36-foot building that Macedonia United Methodist Church let them erect on the church’s property. Organizers would like to expand their space and their services, but they are not without growing pains. Among their aspirations is to gain more exposure, host a golf tournament in 2011, build out and optimize their website, and potentially move into a storefront and create a thrift store. The small group conducted a 100K bike ride and barbecue last year and will do it again this year in an effort to maintain or expand their reach. How can we help? Mother’s Cupboard, Inc., accepts nonperishable food items and could use community talent and support in a variety of ways. The volunteers need help with time, treasure, or talent to grow their service for the ever-expanding number of people in need. While we’ve all had to adapt to a new standard of living as the nation’s economy took a nosedive, most of us still have what we need to live comfortably. What about those who don’t? What time, talent, or treasure can you spare for those who are still in the middle of this awful storm? To make donations, please contact Pell Gaglio at 770-235-2925. Shelly Kent is a North Atlanta-based writer and can be reached at 20

The beginning of 2011 has been highlighted by cold, snow, and icy weather, affording us a lot of time at home. What better time to get your closets, drawers, and house organized? When spring finally arrives, you will be ready to get your spring house cleaning done with ease! Let’s start with bedroom closets. Get rid of clothes, shoes, handbags, and other items that have not been worn or used in the past two years. Donate these items to a shelter, take to a consignment store, or give to friends, but definitely get them out of the house. Then organize what is left. Put pants, blouses and skirts together. Follow by grouping similar colors of each of the items you have organized. Another idea that saves time is to put a couple of weeks’ worth of outfits together, so when you get up in the morning, you don’t have to stand and look at the closet with the “what am I going to wear” look on your face. This applies to the kids clothes as well.

“When spring finally arrives, you will be ready to get your spring house cleaning done with ease!.”

Another helpful way to start your day is by putting out your make-up the night before. Since you have already chosen your outfit, your morning routine will be much quicker. Let’s look at how you can better organize your makeup. Use kitchen utensil dividers and put eye shadow in one, lipstick in another, blush in another, and so on. Organize all of your toiletries in baskets or use drawer dividers so that you easily see what you need to replenish. While organizing your bathroom, be sure to dispose of all expired drugs. Just don’t put the drugs down the sink or toilet, because these items will get into the water system. Experts indicate that medicine that is flushed in the toilet can actually get into our soil and create an environmental hazard. Traces of certain medications have actually been found in water supplies, making this method not as safe as once thought. If you need to dispose of prescription drugs, contact the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department at (678) 513-5982 for information on dropoff boxes. Remember, we are talking about ALL bathrooms and ALL closets. Next month, we’ll take on the kitchen and talk about things around the house that go unused. Until then, happy organizing! Valerie Young, aka “the Frugal Designer,” is a resident of Cumming. She may be reached at (770) 844-6337.

AroundAbout — cumming

february 2011

Cover Story

Avoiding Home Improvement Headaches As spring approaches, many homeowners will contemplate sprucing up their homes. For even the most capable do-ityourselfers, many projects require additional sills and the sometimes dreaded hiring of an outside contractor. Information from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) can help you streamline the process of hiring a contractor.

Plan Your Project Carefully plan your project from start to finish before selecting a contractor. If your project involves a room addition, determine how the room will be used and what you want the completed job to look like. Use color swatches, draw a simple floor plan, and think through the pieces that you want to see in the room. Once you hire a contractor, be specific about your project and any plans you have in mind (or on paper) and discuss them thoroughly before the work begins.

Hiring the contractor The BBB recommends that you solicit at least two or three bids from prospective contractors – bids based on the same building specifications and plans you have carefully put together. Materials, labor, and time needed to complete the project also should be included and compared within the same specifications. Discuss the bids in detail. Cheaper does not necessarily mean you should chose that particular bid. Ask for references. Never pay a contractor in advance for the entire job. Keep records of all payments. Paying attention to details on the front end can lead to extreme satisfaction on the back end when your home improvement project is complete.

10 tips to follow when you embark on a home remodeling project 1. Establish good two-way communication with the home remodeler. It’s essential to have good communication for a smooth home remodeling project. Does the remodeler listen? Does he or she answer questions clearly and candidly? Can you reach him when you need to? Does he return phone calls promptly? Does he let you know when problems arise and work with you on solving them? 2. Make sure you have compatibility and “fit” with the contractor. You’ll spend a lot of time with your remodeler, so it’s important to have a good rapport and trust in him. 3. Set a clear and mutual understanding about the schedule. You and your home remodeler should agree on the schedule

up front to avoid conflict and problems later in the project. 4. Request a written proposal. Often times, two people remember the same conversation differently. Get the proposal in writing and work with the remodeler to ensure it reflects your wishes. 5. Determine a clear and mutual understanding on the miscellaneous details. There are a lot of little details that need to be settled before work starts. What times of day will they be working? How will he access the property? How will cleanup be handled? How will they protect your property? 6. Remember to be flexible. Remodeling is an interruption of your normal life. Remember to be flexible during the project so that you can handle the unexpected and go with the flow. 7. Create a clear and mutual understanding of how Change Orders will be handled. There is always the chance you may want to change materials or other project details during the job. Agree with your home remodeler on how these changes will be handled before the start of work. Also understand that changes could affect the schedule and the budget, so it’s important you have all changes in writing. 8. Agree on a well-written contract that covers all the bases. The contract should include these elements: a timetable for the project, price and payment schedule, detailed specifications for all products and materials, insurance information, permit information, procedures for handling change orders, lien releases, provisions for conflict resolution, notice of your right under the Federal Trade Commission’s Cooling Off Rule (your right to cancel the contract within three days if it was signed someplace other than the remodeler’s place of business), and details on the important issues (such as access to your home, care of the home, cleanup and trash removal). 9. Ask for a written Lien Waiver from the home remodeler upon completion of the work. If the home remodeler hires subcontractors for portions of the work, it is his responsibility to see them compensated. In order to make sure this has been done and to protect yourself, ask for a written lien waiver when the work is finished. This document will verify everyone has been paid. 10. Establish a project plan, covering all phases and dependencies in the work. Plan your big picture goals with the home remodeler and talk out your needs. Hire a home remodeler who will plan it out with you, listen to concerns, and answer questions. Tips from How to Hire Your Dream Remodeler by Tom Higgins, Superior Products Home Improvement, Littleton, Colorado.

february 2011 AroundAbout — cumming



Custom Iron Works & Design

Decorating from the Outside In

4360 N Industrial Drive, Units 900, 1000 Cumming, GA 30041

(678) 513-2866 • (770) 781-8192 Custom Iron Works & Design Company offers the best wrought iron accents for your home, at great prices. High quality and exceptional customer service are trademarks of Custom Iron Works & Design Company. The company was founded in 1992 by Michelle and Ed Lakezheim. “We build no rot flower boxes for fencing, decks and windows made from PVC and wrought iron in a variety of styles to add European Charm to any home,” Michelle explained. Rotting deck rails can be replaced with wrought iron for better maintenance and durability. Driveway gates provide security, privacy and a dramatic first impression. Efficient covers for cooling and heat units protect copper from being stolen, a petty theft growing in popularity. Balcony and flower boxes can add beauty and color to any window or porch. “For those looking for fences to secure their property, protect

STI DESIGNS, Inc. (770) 844-6337 (office) (210) 862-8814 (cell)

Valerie Donta-Young is the owner of STI DESIGNS, INC. (also known as “the Frugal Designer”). STI DESIGNS, Inc. is a 25 yearold company, founded in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company has been in Cumming since 2007. According to Young, the mission of STI DESIGNS is to take the client’s vision and turn it into reality. The company’s philosophy is to create incredibly beautiful living spaces that reflect the clients’ own unique tastes, personalities and lifestyles, while doing it on a budget. “Valerie not only used items we already had in different and unusual ways, she actually built a buffet to match a dining set and saved us $700 in doing so. She also took draperies from inside that 22

children and pets, we are able to provide a varied and elegant look to any location,” added Ed. “We can do any job – from fancy to simple.”

For senior citizens looking for extra security, Custom Iron Works can build railings and other wrought iron products to facilitate ease of walking through homes and moving on stairs. “Inside and outside rail balusters add value to any home,” Michelle commented. Iron balusters are available. “We approach and complete each project from the ground up, beginning with design and engineering, following with fabrication and finishing that lead to installation of a quality product,” Michelle explained. Careful attention to durability as well as design is also part of the attention to detail that every job receives. A trusted source of custom wrought iron fabrications, offering a wide array of custom designs for decorative and security applications, the experts at Custom Iron Works & Design are ready to serve your specific needs. Customers of Custom Ironworks and Design declared their prices are well below expectations and their service is above the rest. The Lakezheim’s provide first-class service no matter the size of the job, with workmanship and service that are the envy of the industry.

needed to be replaced and used them outside on our screened in porch,” stated Debbie Warden. Esther Boarnet, a STI DESIGNS client added, “Valerie can match color better than anyone they had ever met.” The services offered by STI DESIGNS, INC. include • Home staging for properties getting ready to be sold • Custom window treatments • Color and finish consultations • Furniture selection and design • Fabric and upholstery selection • Architectural and custom lighting • Artwork and accessory choices • Custom flooring installations • Complete remodeling (from taking down walls to finishing terrace levels) “Valerie delivers on time and under budget on every project she has done for us,” customer Nancy Jaeger stated.

AroundAbout — cumming

february 2011

Peter Adler Builders, LLC (770) 231-7517 The value of residential remodeling by trusted contractors is of utmost importance to clients looking for the best in craftsmanship and affordable prices. “We do all jobs, no matter how big or small, with precision and style,” stated Pete Adler, owner of Peter Adler Builders. The construction company has been in business since 1985. Service and structure help to nurture relationships with long-term clients who keep coming back, making Peter Adler Builders a preferred home remodeler in the area. “The workmanship was outstanding, and their attention to detail phenomenal,” said home owner Pam Barott. “I am very pleased with all the work they did.” The Barott’s home remodeling project included bathrooms and floors.

Issues regarding customer dissatisfaction, partly due to communication, scheduling, and punch list issues are not a problem for Adler. “I have a reliable, trustworthy and dependable group of subcontractors that are second to none,” Adler said.

“These folks were easy to work with, honest, thorough and there were no surprises,” stated Bill Barott. “My wife is happy and so am I.” And the price, he stated, was just right.

Whether you are looking for custom renovations, basement finishing, bathroom remodeling, terrace level upgrades, retiling of floors, updating the look of your staircase, or building additions to your existing floor plan, Peter Adler Builders is ready for you.

Reliable Heating & Air (770) 594-9969 Don’t Wait

Until It Breaks!

Hundreds were left in the cold with January’s ice and snow when their furnaces broke down. Take that worry out of the long cold winter by replacing your old furnace with a new TRANE Variable Speed heating system that will save you money in the winter and the summer! There are many companies from which to choose when you need such services, so why should you call Reliable Heating & Air? Because you can trust them to do the job right at a fair price! Dan Jape, owner of Reliable Heating & Air, has provided a quality service experience for thousands of metro Atlanta homes and businesses since 1978. His commitment to customer satisfaction has been an integral part of Reliable’s business philosophy from the beginning. “Our desire is to provide the best products and services at a fair and reasonable price,” explained Dan. “I always treat my customers like I would want to be treated — with fairness and respect.” To achieve this high level of service, Dan has established the correct combination of skilled company staffing, the best and newest tools for Reliable’s technicians and quality customer service offering the best available products. When a customer buys a new heating and cooling

system from Reliable, they are given a one-year planned maintenance contract. A lifetime warranty will be provided for as long as the maintenance agreement is kept in effect. Reliable Heating & Air makes it easier to deal with the unexpected for repair or replacement services. “We work on existing homes and retrofit or replace existing equipment,” shared Dan. With the extension of the tax stimulus package, Reliable can select the proper system that will earn a tax credit to help pay for a new comfort system. “This is a great time to replace your old, inefficient system with all the energy incentives available,” Dan added. You don’t have to wait until your system breaks — Dan, Daniel, or one of their experienced sales professionals will come to your home, free of charge, to advise you on how to be more comfortable while saving money on your system. Reliable will go above and beyond your expectations. For more information or to receive a free in-home, on-thespot estimate, call 770-594-9969 or visit

february 2011 AroundAbout — cumming



Visit the Dentist in 2011 by Sherry Jordan, D.M.D. Going to the dentist should be at the top of your list for maintaining your health in 2011. Dentists do more than find cavities; they can also save your life. So why should you visit your dentist? 1. To prevent gum disease Gum disease is a chronic inflammation that causes bad breath, tooth loss, and it makes you twice as likely to have a heart attack. Regular dental cleanings along with flossing and brushing twice daily can help prevent gum disease. 2. To screen for oral cancer Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide. One person dies every hour in the U.S. from oral cancer. Twenty five percent of cases have no pre-determining factors, such as smoking or drinking alcohol. Oral cancer is highly curable if diagnosed early. 3. To keep your teeth for a lifetime, helping you maintain a youthful appearance Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. Tooth loss can cause you to look older than your age from sunken faces. Your diet also may suffer if you aren’t able to chew well. Your teeth provide support to the lower half of your face, lips, and cheeks. Many people think that today’s 45-year-old looks younger than generations before, which could partly be attributed to the advancements in dentistry. 4. To prevent a toothache Many problems are easily avoided by regular visits to the dentist. Your dentist can detect potential problems with your teeth and gums early on with an exam and x-rays making treatment less expensive and shorter appointment times away from work. If unknown problems go untreated then root canals, gum surgery, or tooth loss could be the only option which can lead to more expense treatment and longer appointment times. 5. To maintain good overall health Long gone are the days when the condition of your teeth was separate from the health of the rest of your body. An overwhelming number of studies support that if your mouth isn’t healthy, you are two times more likely to have a heart attack, three times more likely to have a stroke, and possibly as much as a 63 percent chance of developing pancreatic cancer. Links also have been discovered to diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, dementia, kidney disease, low birth weight babies, oral cancer, and more. If you haven’t had a dental exam in the last six months, you cannot consider yourself healthy. Call your dentist today for better health in 2011.

May I See Your Driver’s License Please? by Sgt.Will Rownd My last article was about road rage and how to avoid being the victim of an aggressive driver. This month I want to talk about a few traffic laws that, if obeyed, will keep you out of a law enforcement officer’s radar. Speeding, running stop signs, and violating equipment laws are the primary reasons that you could encounter a law enforcement officer. Avoiding these main three violations of state law will greatly reduce your chance of receiving a good driving certificate from local law enforcement. First, speeding is the largest contributor to death in traffic-related accidents in Georgia. There is a 10-mile-per-hour tolerance given to motorists by local law enforcement agencies (city and county government). There are a few exceptions to this rule, where the speed limit is the speed limit. 1. Residential Zone, 2. Construction Zone, 3. School Zone Georgia State Patrol (G.S.P.) is the only agency that can write a ticket on any road for one mile per hour or more over the speed limit. I spoke with two of my G.S.P. friends, and they generally observe the same 10-mile-per-hour tolerance as local officials. Speeding is a moving violation and will affect your license and insurance status. Stop sign violations are the results of laziness. Most stop sign violations that I witness are people who slow down and roll through. This roll can cost you more than $150 in fines, which could have been prevented if you took one more second out of your life to make a COMPLETE stop. Again, this is a moving violation and will affect your license and insurance. Examples of equipment violations include burned out brake lights and turn signals and other issues at the rear of your vehicle. I know that the majority of you do not get out and check to see if your turn signals work. A simple monthly check will ensure that you will not be late to your next staff meeting because the officer thinks you do not know how to use a turn signal. Replacement bulbs for a turn signal or brake light are just a few dollars and can be installed at home with simple tools. Headlights are easy to check and replace; driving with your high beams on is not the answer to a burned-out headlight. Pay special attention to these violations to keep your license and bank account in good standing. If you can keep from doing one of these three things, you have a better chance in not meeting your local law enforcement officer on his or her terms. As always, be safe, and if you have any questions or comments, e-mail me at

Sherry Jordan may be reached at (770) 888-6262. 24

AroundAbout — cumming

february 2011



by Kara Kiefer

by David Heckelmoser

The day before the most recent snow event, we went to the grocery store as did all of Cumming. Yes, we needed bread, milk and beer, but the day before the predicted Snow-Pocalypse also happened to be our bi-monthly trip to the grocery store. Therefore, we didn’t have a choice but to be out with the masses. I expected the bread and milk supplies to be annihilated, but didn’t expect the produce section to be void of about everything I needed — specifically green peppers and celery. What is about an impending snow storm that made people rush to stock up on those two items? I tried a second store and found one misshapen, runty green pepper but still no celery. The lonely runt came home with me. That night was filled with the anticipation of the storm that was promising to dump several inches of the fluffy stuff. I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve! The snow gods did not disappoint! I haven’t seen that much snow since I lived in Colorado, more than 18 years ago. School was cancelled and no one could get out to go to work. Neighborhood kids and their parents took to the streets and grassy hills to go sledding. And if you didn’t have a sled, pieces of cardboard, air mattresses and trash can lids sufficed. Kids came home wet, cold and happy, especially when they heard school had been cancelled for another day. Good thing my husband purchased the “snow day” pizza rolls! By Snow Day #2, cabin fever set in and the joy of having everyone around was wearing off. I worked remotely from our home office, which has the distinction of being the coldest room in the house. But at least I had a window where I watched the cars spin their tires endlessly in the attempt to get out of the neighborhood. They either had cabin fever or they ran out of green peppers and celery. Snow Day #3 found me still working from home and trying not to eat everything in sight. I finally laced up my boots and ventured on a walk. Snowball fights and sledding had been replaced by semi slushy streets and ice coated snow. Everyone I passed on my walk said the same thing, “I can’t take it anymore! I had to get out of the house!” On Snow Day #4, I didn’t care what it took; I was getting out of the neighborhood and going to work. Yes, I was excited and determined to go to work rather than the other way around. That’s what multiple snow days will do to a person. By the end of the week, the kids were back to playing video games and annoying one another. Mail delivery resumed, businesses were all open and the grocery store shelves were replenished of junk food, bread and milk. I was even able to find green peppers and celery! I think the lesson learned this week was, “Be careful what you wish for!” Kara Kiefer is the Editor of AroundAbout — Cumming. She lives in Cherokee County with her husband Mike and sons Brandon and Garrett.

The first comment most people have when I mention Riesling is, “I don’t like a sweet wine.” Let’s dig a little deeper into the Riesling grape variety from Germany. Riesling, a white grape, is Germany’s leading grape variety that originated in the Rhine region. German wines are categorized by the degree of ripeness, which is determined by the sugar content measured in the grapes at harvest. If you don’t see Riesling on the label, then there is little chance that the Riesling grape was used in the wine. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed aromas. It is almost never fermented or aged in new oak, which means that Riesling tends to be suitable to a wider range of foods because it’s a lighter weight and has a balance of sugar and acidity. Become familiar with the ripeness levels listed below in order of increasing potential alcohol, which generally translates into body or sweetness. Also, you can look for these words on the bottle. Kabinett: This is a light semi-dry wine, generally low in alcohol (8-10 percent). Food pairing: Asian food, seafood, and shellfish. Spatlese: (Late Harvest) These grapes are picked after the normal harvest. These wines will have more body and be intense in flavor. You might see the words halbtrocken (medium dry) to trocken (dry) on the label. Food pairing: pork, scallops Thai food, Crème Brulee, smoked salmon. Auslese: (Select Picking) This is the harvest of selected extra ripe grape bunches. Again this will yield a more intense flavored wine. Most Ausleses are lush, with some sweetness. Food pairing: rich cheses, desserts (peaches, pears and apple). Beerenauslese: (Berries Select Picking) These grapes are picked out individually from the grape bunches. This level of wine becomes truly sweet. These are the very rich dessert wines for which Germany is noted. Food pairing: Foie Gras, desserts. Trockenbeerenauslese: (Dry Berries Select Picking) The harvest of selected individual grapes that are overripe and shriveled like raisins. These wines are rich and resemble the sweetness of honey. These will be the most expensive wines. Food pairing: Salty cheese (i.e. Blue), fruit desserts and Foie Gras. If you have not tried a German Riesling in a while, give it another try! It is a great, versatile food-friendly wine. Until next time, cheers! David Heckelmoser is a professional member of the Society of Wine Educators, Certified Specialist of Wine CSW, Atlanta Chapter Sommelier Les Marmition.

february 2011 AroundAbout — cumming



What Can You Do? by Nancy Johnson “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Forty years ago in his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy’s words ignited a generation. A challenge was issued and a charge was given to every citizen for the well-being of our country - and the preservation of our ideals. The citizens of our nation rose to that challenge. Sadly, this appeal is one that we hear far less frequently today. I believe this is a loss. This challenge is missing not only from our public rhetoric, but every aspect of our lives. Our political language – when it isn’t intensely negative – is filled with messages about what one politician or another will do for us, all that we deserve, all that we want that they plan to deliver. No word of challenge to us of what we could do for our community or our nation. Our TV and billboards tell us which businesses are aching to help us out, while our TV programming keeps us mesmerized and thoughtlessly entertained. Everyone is telling us what they want to do for us, with no word calling us to do for each other.

What can you do? Can you volunteer? Can you give to a cause you believe in? Can you study and think carefully through the pressing issues of our time? In writing this article, I am not fund-raising or recruiting for any organization or cause. I am simply pointing out that the opportunities are endless, and willingness is all you need. In a less-quoted phrase from his inaugural address, Kennedy said, “For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life.” This dire statement is as true today as it was 40 years ago. We can create or we can extinguish. We can use our brief time on this planet to make it better or we can choose to do something else. What is important is that we make that decision mindfully, because making no decision is to decide. Will 2011 be your year? What will you do? Nancy Johnson is a minister in the United Methodist Church. She can be reached at Read more of her writing by visiting her blog, A Feast For The Soul, at

When we listen, we know that it is not really our interests they have at heart. Instead, something is expected from us, whether it is our support, our votes or our commerce. Maybe this is why we lazily – even skeptically – listen from our comfortable recliners. But is this really what we want? I don’t think so. The reason Kennedy’s words were so galvanizing is that most of us truly want to make a difference. We want our lives to mean something, and we want to believe that we have the power to build what is good in our world. Most of us would relish the opportunity to contribute to the greater good. For evidence of this, we need only look at the aftermath of any major disaster and we see the outpouring of love and support from people whose hearts are moved with compassion. These expressions of concern happen when we realize that we are a part of something larger than ourselves. Most of us are happy to step up. We long for something that we can believe in, something that calls us to be our very best, something for which we can sacrifice. We want the challenge, and I believe we would welcome it if it were to come. It might not come, though; at least not from a politician or from our TV. We might have to give this call to ourselves. We can decide for ourselves that our community, our country, our ideals are worth the effort it takes to step up and make a difference. If, however, it helps to hear someone else say it, then consider this your call. Consider this writing to be your challenge to rise to the occasion, to sacrifice, to give of yourself for the sake of our world.


AroundAbout — cumming

february 2011

Celebrate Love . . .

Congratulations to all who participated in the AroundAbout Cumming Celebrate Love contest. See the winning entries below.

Patrick and Virginia Kelley “Love means knowing you will never face a harsh moment or smile the biggest of smiles, alone.”

Mike and Marie Wallace “Love to me means renewing your wedding vows on Valentine’s Day!”

Cathy and Joseph Couvillion “Attraction and affection for the one you share your life with… every day.”

Melissa and Michael Barton “Love is loyalty, trust, hope, and faith in one another. We know that life brings hardship but the best representation of love is never giving up and always lending a helping hand.”

february 2011 AroundAbout — cumming

Chris and Alisha Burdette “Love means knowing that no matter what happens, as long as you have this person with you, it will all be okay. It means wanting to share everything in your life with them, and wanting them to share everything in theirs with you (even the stuff you wouldn’t care about otherwise…like football).” 27


Kindness to Ourselves

What is Self-Publishing?

by Christine Roberts

by Ahmad Meradji

I was at the gym with the rest of America trying to work off the holiday pounds that have accumulated. While I was panting trying to keep up, I couldn’t help but look at the instructor and think … “gosh, if only I had her arms. How can I get those abs and, jeez, is there any way I can somehow sculpt my legs to look like that?” But then I snapped back to reality and said to myself, “she’s 5’10”, blonde and lean and I’m 5’3”, brunette and stocky.” It was then that I gave myself a slap upside the head and told myself, stop comparing to someone that you’ll never be like.

You’ve written your book, spent years perfecting the characters, the details ... but can’t find an agent or publisher who is interested. That’s not a problem; you can self-publish your book.

Does this ever happen to you? We all look at others at some time or another and compare something. For example, we may think about being as skinny as her, have her skin, have as clean a house, volunteer at school more, have children as well behaved, or any other item or physical attribute that we judge against. But later we may find out the skinny person has an eating disorder, the beautiful skin is “Whatever others have because she spends a fortune or do really doesn’t on skin care products and matter, because at goes to the dermatologist the end of the day we regularly, has a cleaning service every week, or the should only compare children turn out to be little ourselves to ourselves.” hellions at home.

Self-publish doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. A selfpublisher controls all the steps and decisions of the publishing process, rather than a traditional publishing house making all the decisions. Self-publishers select their own designer, illustrator, printer, distributors/retailers and promotional methods. The idea of handling this process on your own can seem overwhelming, but there are many resources to help self-publishers. Some writers enlist the help of a publishing-services provider to guide them through the steps. A good publishing-services provider offers all of the services needed for publishing, while allowing the author to retain all the rights to the book. The process starts with the author’s manuscript and ends with the selling of their finished book. Decisions along the way include: Whether the manuscript needs editing/proofreading (hint: unless you’re a grammar expert, it will)


“A good publishingservices provider offers all of the services needed for publishing. . .”

Interior layout and cover design. The cover can make or break your book.


Paper type and size of the book


Whatever others have or do really doesn’t matter, because at the end of the day we should only compare ourselves to ourselves. All of us have our strengths and weaknesses; at the end of the day none of us are any better than the others. All we can do is to keep moving forward and focus on how to improve each day in whatever area that we think there are deficiencies.

Printing: Will you print in color or black and white, or both?


Retail price and publisher’s price


Website design


eBook creation: Today every author should offer an eBook


Distribution to retailers: Who will sell your book or eBook?


When the little angel and the little devil are on your shoulders and you’re looking at someone else and starting to compare, listen to the angel saying “focus on you, don’t worry about what someone else looks like or what they have.” You’re great in your way and no one else can compare. Just think how much more confident and ultimately happier we would be having the mentality of kindness—not only to others but also to ourselves. Christine Roberts is a volunteer at Jesse’s House, (www.jesseshouse. org), a nonprofit organization that works with state agencies to provide a safe haven and long-term care for girls age 7-17 who are confirmed victims of abuse. To volunteer, e-mail: Christine can be reached for speaking engagements at cmroberts10@ 28

Marketing: A self-publisher is his or her own salesperson. Who better to promote and sell your book than you?


Not sure if you can afford to publish your book? The cost depends on how many services you select for your book, how many copies you plan to print, and what methods you choose to promote or advertise your book. You can spend as little as a few hundred dollars or as much as tens of thousands. What is the best way to get started? Attend free workshops, seminars or webinars about writing and self-publishing, and research publishing-services providers. With a little know-how, self-publishing is a smart and fulfilling choice for most writers. Ahmad Meradji is President and CEO of Booklogix Publishing Services. He may be reached at (770) 346-9979.

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february 2011

Making the Relationship Investment Each and Every Day by Monique A. Honaman February! The pressure is on! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. What are you going to do for your spouse or significant other to prove your unending love?

up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. and then run a dust cloth over the tables. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.


Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first – remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours. Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.


This Valentine’s Day I encourage you to think about making the intention of the day a way of life, as opposed to an event to be celebrated on a single day! Singer/songwriter Amy Grant once said, “The more you invest in a marriage, the more valuable it becomes.” How true is that!? Relationships are hard work … constantly. Too often, both parties in a relationship begin to take the other for granted and stop expending that extra amount of energy to make the other person feel respected and loved. Neither side can afford to get lazy in a marriage. I often think we do get lazy because we get caught up in all of life’s responsibilities of which we assume our spouse will be the most forgiving and tolerant. When I was a student in law school, I recall a professor distributing an article (still not sure why!) that claimed to contain a list from a 1950s home economics textbook intended to teach high school girls how to prepare for married life. You may have seen this. It has certainly made its way across the Internet and it resurfaces every few years. It often comes attached to a photo purported to be from the 1950s of a man in a three-piece suit ostensibly walking in the door from work to find his 1950s wife standing before the stove cooking dinner while looking perfectly coiffed, wearing a dress and pumps. Their two young children are playing at her side. It’s all smiles and, well, it’s all perfect. For the most part, we all know this isn’t the reality of life today. As wives and mothers, we may be more familiar with the late afternoon/early evening chaos of making sure the kids are doing their homework, getting ready for their afterschool activities or sports, and simultaneously trying to figure what to throw together for dinner. When the husband/father walks in the door, it may be a scene of chaos. For the sake of brevity, I won’t repeat the entire article (you can Google it if you are really interested!), but here are a few items worth highlighting! Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so that you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.


Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather


Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.


When I first read this article, I was mortified! I was a career woman. I saw the article as old-fashioned and degrading to the women’s equality movement. I was thankful to be a woman in the ‘90s and not the ‘50s. But as I re-read it, I began to see elements of the article that if taken in the appropriate context, did make absolute sense. Hold on! Don’t get all bent out of shape – hear me out! You know what I think? There is something very real and valid to this article that should be applied to both husbands and wives. Imagine if every wife and every husband adopted even half of these “suggested practices” in how they dealt with their spouse each and every day. The level of love and respect and communication that would be demonstrated would be phenomenal. The intentional behavior changes would ultimately save and strengthen many relationships. What if every time you walked in the door, your husband got up from whatever he was doing and came over to give you a kiss and a hug? What if every time you had something you wanted to share with your husband, he listened to you and made you feel like what you were saying was the most important thing happening at that moment? What if your husband made sure he looked good when he knew you were about to come home – nothing major, just brushed his hair, perhaps put on some deodorant, or a splash of that cologne that you used to drive you crazy when you were dating? What if your husband made an effort to clear away the clutter that comes from running a busy household – the school bags, the sports gear, the stack of mail and newspapers? What if every so often your husband fluffed the pillow on the couch for you, took off your shoes, gave you a little foot massage and brought you a cold drink? I would bet that you would feel loved and respected. And I’m willing to bet the same is true for your husband as well if you did these things.

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Planes, Trains & Automobiles by Julie Brennan The title of this column may remind some of the 1987 comedy directed by John Hughes, starring Steve Martin and John Candy, about a man struggling to travel home for Thanksgiving, with an obnoxious slob of a shower ring salesman his only companion. I enjoyed the movie, but that is not what planes, trains and automobiles remind me of. They remind me of things I enjoyed when I was a kid. After reading a post on our website (www.aroundaboutcumming. com) written by a gentleman who built a model railroad, I began recalling the things I liked as a kid. I also realized that sometimes it is worth remembering the things that made us smile, and see if we can find that joy again as adults. Planes were a lot of fun for me, as I traveled from my little island of Vieques to the “big island” – Puerto Rico. My first recollection of being in a plane is vivid - I sat next to the pilot in a one motor plane. The pilot spoke English; I spoke Spanish. My mother, who worked as the ticket counter clerk for the airline (one plane, one pilot), put me on the plane, kissed me goodbye, and told me to behave. With the seat belt tightened, I remember the pilot saying hi and then telling me that I could “control the plane” by holding on to the yoke (a steering wheel to me), which he pointed to as he spoke. I remember being fascinated. Obviously that was not the case, as the pilot had full control of the plane and I was just able to maneuver the yolk side to side with no affect on the plane. But I held on to the yolk and helped him safely take us to our destination. We took off. I remember thinking how cool it was to be flying above the water and looking at all that surrounded us. The water beneath us was sparkling blue, and I imagined hundreds of fishes (and maybe sharks) swimming. Once in a while I saw a boat and the movement of the water behind it. The sky was a crisp blue, and I knew there were lots of birds flying around. I kept a watchful eye on other planes, in case I need to “steer” the plane away from danger. Once in a while I remember looking at the pilot and smiling, since there was not much we could talk about. We both had great big smiles on our faces – likely realizing the beauty we were both enjoying. We arrived safely in San Juan, I said goodbye to the pilot and went away with my godmother.

go back to that memory and smile. And if there’s a show where airplanes are featured, I try to attend. We didn’t have trains in my little island, so the experience of seeing my first locomotive was astounding. Perhaps that may be why I still enjoy watching trains go by, and wave at the conductors if I happen to catch their eye when they pass by. A recent visit to the Cumming Fairgrounds was also a great reminder of the trains that still fascinate me today. A number of steam engines are housed there. While the automobile is the way I get around, it too has its own intriguing mechanics and concepts of its own. Most men can tell the year, make and model of a car they see; all I can say about mine is, “thanks.” My car, with all its 366,700 miles, fascinates me – or better yet – surprises me. “Mercy,” aptly named, has taken me many places over the years, and continues to start in the morning, while reminding me that by taking good care of her, we may just make it, together, another day. My favorite car though, remains the Batmobile I had as a kid, where rockets were shot from the back as the caped crusader traveled through the streets of Gotham City (the floor of my bedroom) to rescue those in peril (usually Barbie screaming for help while standing at the edge of a cliff – my bed). Recalling our childhood memories, or well-spent times of yesteryear, can certainly bring a smile to our hearts, and remind us of whence we’ve come and guide us in the paths of where we are going. Guess I’ll go find my Spiderman comic book (in Spanish) and read it again. I am happy already!

Though I don’t get to fly on little planes as often anymore, I can


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february 2011

Beyond the Infertility Roller Coaster by Melissa Foley February is notoriously known as the month for lovers, but for 6.1 million people in the United States struggling with infertility, romance can fizzle instead of sizzle. For these couples, the concentrated desire to have a baby introduces a dizzying schedule of medicine, charting, counting and waiting for the absolute “right moment.” They begin to balance biochemistry with perfection, and their union is detailed on a microscopic scale. The desire for a couple’s love to create another person is natural and beautiful; however the frazzled and often stressful process can leave couples on an infertility roller coaster. Chances are, you or someone you know is trying to get pregnant, with little success. Here are some signs that you are on the infertility roller coaster.

The Seemingly Never-Ending Ascent — While on a

roller coaster, the anticipation of the rise up the first hill is a little scary and a bit exciting. Infertility feels the same way on a monthly basis. The eagerness to have a positive pregnancy test can be damped by self-protection, mainly, “I don’t want to be devastated again.” Handling the ascent takes patience and can be a tiresome journey.

The First Drop — The first major drop on an infertility roller coaster can be likened to a negative pregnancy test or difficult news from your doctor, which can result in depression, despair, and even a sense of loss. As with the first drop of a roller coaster, each disappointing month can take the breath right out of you. The Dizzy Barrel Roll — Many times, men and women struggling with infertility will fall into self-destructive thoughts and actions due to a toxic sense of failure and humiliation. They repeatedly ask themselves, “Why me?” or even “Why them?” Aristotle defined envy as “the pain caused by the good fortune of others,” which is a common emotional response for those wanting a baby. They wrestle with being happy for others’ pregnancies and births, but at the same time, feeling envious of their success.

A Double Loop — Frequently, men and women suffer actual physical pain from infertility-causing disease. Along with the physical aspects, which are the most obvious and best treated, they suffer emotionally and spiritually. However, these effects are frequently hidden and even suppressed. For those fraught with anxiety over having a baby, you can have

a more enjoyable ride. Here are some ways to successfully cope with infertility. Finding Hope — For the spiritually inclined, prayer can get you through each day. Deepening your relationship with God can bring a sense of peace and a renewed trust in His plan for your life. If you don’t know how to pray, it’s easy. Just talk with God as if He were a person sitting next to you, like a friend. You don’t have to have the right words, be in the right place, or talk to Him at the right time. He is ever-present and desires to be close with you. If you find it difficult to talk to God because you are angry, then tell Him how you feel -- just don’t stop talking to Him.

Support — You are not alone on this infertility journey. Many people understand your thoughts, feelings and desires. Surround yourself with good friends, family, a church network, or even begin your own support group. Knowledge — Let’s face it. The $3 billion self-regulated

fertility industry is not necessarily concerned with the morality of medical advances. Because fertility is an issue of life, couples should carefully research options if they are concerned about stepping outside of moral boundaries. Consult with spiritual advisors, when applicable, such as pastors, priests, or rabbis. Good communication with your significant other in important in establishing comfortable boundaries that you both agree on in the areas of morality, physical procedures, emotional limits and financial stability. Share the conclusions with your doctors prior to developing a fertility care plan. Clarity will help you avoid arguments and temptations in the future.

Counseling when necessary — Infertility is a major

stressor in a person’s life and will get you down from time to time. However, if you are not able to function in your daily life – you lose interest in hobbies or friends, feel exhausted all the time, feel hopeless or can’t sleep -- it may be time to seek medical advice. Sometimes we are not objective about ourselves, so ask your spouse if he/she notices a difference in your behavior.

Fall in love again — The truth is that we can get so focused

on having a baby, we miss opportunities to love our spouses. On Valentine’s Day, you can turn off the thermometer, put the chart in a drawer, light some candles, and find that sizzle again! It is love that brought you together in the first place and it is love that inspires perseverance. Melissa Foley is a Cumming resident and available for seminars and speaking engagements in the North Atlanta area. Send comments or feedback to

february 2011 AroundAbout — cumming


Schools & Sports

AroundAbout Cumming What’s Up with the Pink Panthers? by Matt Coutu If you drive north on Georgia 400, you will likely see enormous pink panthers outside Cherokee Music Company, near the North Georgia Premium Outlets. These statues are between six to 15 feet high and have become part of the landscape of this corridor of GA 400. Currently there are a total of 15 statues on the site. Since I’ve lived in Forsyth County and traveled along GA400 North, I’ve noticed the panthers and wondered why they are there. During an outing with other contributing writers and friends of AroundAbout Cumming magazine, I found out that they too wondered the same thing. I decided to interview someone at Cherokee Music and find out what I could about the big statues. I met Tammy Carnes, Cherokee Music’s owner. Finally, a chance to ask that burning question. “Well,” said Tammy, “I was driving up to Gatlinburg, and I saw these big pink panthers over on the side of the road. They were near an old gold mine and the place looked like a ghost town. So, I pulled in and asked what they were doing with them. The man there said that they weren’t doing anything with them so I continued on my way to Gatlinburg, all the while thinking what I could do with the large characters. On my way back through the town, I decided I really needed to have those statues and I made arrangements to have them transported back to Cherokee Music. It took almost two weeks to get them down here.”


The pink panthers have been part of Cherokee Music for the past 18 years. Although the panthers look heavy, they are hollow and weigh a few hundred pounds each. Sorry, they are not for sale. Sadly, statues have been stolen over the years. “Over the years college students have taking the statues to play pranks,” said Tammy. “We don’t know how they transport them; we just know where they end up.” A giant gorilla statue also was stolen back in 2004, leaving a lone gorilla out front, keeping company with the panthers. Tammy recalled receiving a call from a sheriff’s deputy on Easter Sunday that year after the gorilla disappeared, telling her that they found the missing gorilla in the middle of a cornfield. Some of the employees rushed over to retrieve it, but they were too late. Someone else had walked away with the giant statue. Cherokee Music employees make it a habit to check every morning to make sure everything is in order and all 15 statutes are present. This family run business sells pool tables, pinball machines, and arcade games, including PAC-MAN, Galaga, Donkey Kong, gaming tables and all that is entertainment. As I walked around the store, I noticed hundreds of items that I could only dream of owning. Next time you are driving along Georgia 400, visit Cherokee Music and have your picture taken next to one of the pink panthers. And say hi to Tammy!

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Matt Coutu is a resident of Cumming. He is a student at Montessori Academy at Sharon Springs and an aspiring journalist.

february 2011

Eagle Scouts Newman and Rush Recognized The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners recently recognized the accomplishments of two Eagle Scouts. Chad Michael Rush and Cody Newman were each presented with a Resolution from the commissioners. Cody Newman is a member of Troop 2000 of the Boy Scouts of America and a student at Lambert High School. His Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held January 15, 2011. Chad Michael Rush is also a member of Troop 2000 of the Boy Scouts of America and is a student at North Forsyth High School. His Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held January 15, 2011. Left to right: Commission Chairman Brian R. Tam; District 1 Commissioner R.J. (Pete) Amos; District 5 Commissioner Jim Boff; Chad Michael Rush; Cody Newman; District 4 Commissioner Patrick B. Bell; and District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent.

SPLOST for Schools The one percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) for schools is an opportunity for Forsyth County voters to continue the current sales tax for another five year period in order to make payments on the voter approved 2005 and 2007 bonds. If approved, the SPLOST would go into effect in July 2012 and allow for collections to continue without interruption. If it is not approved, the Board of Education will have to increase property taxes in order to make the bond payments. The 2005 and 2007 bond funds were used to construct the addition at North Forsyth High School and nine new schools, including West Forsyth High, Lambert High, Little Mill Middle, Piney Grove Middle, Lakeside Middle, Johns Creek Elementary, Whitlow Elementary, Brookwood Elementary, and Haw Creek Elementary. Additionally, the funds were used for school improvements and updates, technology, transportation, safety and to purchase land for future school sites. If approved, the SPLOST will expire in July 2017 or when a projected maximum of $195 million is collected, with a projected $141 million going toward bond payments and a projected $54 million for capital improvements. E-mail fcs@ for more information.

Blog Central – Been There Yet? Forsyth County Schools’Blog Central is a hub for sharing facts, ideas and opinions in a continuous electronic dialogue. School Superintendent Dr. L.C. “Buster” Evans’ monthly blog has provided students, parents, and all who wish to participate, a forum for communication. Topics have included: Teaching Kids About Money, Home Foreclosure and Student Achievement, Help Stop Bullying in Schools…and in Life, Physical Education, Get Outdoors - Cure Nature Deficit Disorder, High School Exit Exams, Be Counted – It Counts, and Merit Pay: What do YOU Think? If you wish to join the conversation, visit www.forsyth. and click on the Communications tab. You may also contact Jennifer Caracciolo, Director of Public Information and Communications, at for details.

#1 Long Snapper Headed to Ohio State Bryce Haynes, the number one high school long snapper in the nation, will attend Ohio State University in the fall. Bryce attends Pinecrest Academy in Cumming, one of the top 50 Catholic schools in America. He will be the first D1 athlete to sign a letter of intent to play football from Pinecrest. Bryce has generated more attention than any high school long snapper in the history of major college football. According to his school coaches he has gone from an unknown, unranked, long snapper, to arguably the best high school long snapper in history in less than one year. “It would be nice if this brings more attention to the position and gives more long snappers the chance to get an education through scholarship opportunities. Most D1 schools want long snappers to walk on and possibly receive a scholarship sometime later in their career,” Bryce stated. Rated the #1 long snapper in the nation by long snapping Coach Chris Rubio, of Rubio Long Snapping & Chris Sailer Kicking, Bryce maintains a 3.9 GPA and has aspirations for medical school after college. Bryce’s father attributes his success to hard work and working with Rubio. “It has been very interesting seeing Bryce go through the recruiting process,” according to his father, Billy Haynes. “He has handled the pressure well. He went to six SEC camps this past summer and was the best long snapper at each camp. After watching him play, some of the SCC coaches remarked that Bryce was the best long snapper they had ever seen coming out of high school. Some of the other coaches made similar comments.” His mother adds, “It is a great story about setting goals and following your dreams. If you really believe in something and work hard and persevere, dreams can be achieved. Bryce went from complete anonymity to one of the best because he believed in himself and worked hard. One of the most fabulous aspects of this story is that he has continued to remain his usual humble self.”

february 2011 AroundAbout — cumming


Schools & Sports

The Art of Thinking by Katie Diem We’ve officially entered the second decade of the new millennium. But as Coke Zero commercials once pointed out, where’s the cloning? Where’s the time machine? Why haven’t we cured AIDS, diabetes, or cancer? Many people in this world think outside the box, but somehow it seems like there aren’t enough of these thinkers. Perhaps we aren’t nurturing them in our schools. Over the past few decades, our country has leaned toward education reform by way of standardization in schools. Don’t get me wrong — it’s great that people are concerned about the welfare of our education system. No Child Left Behind was a valiant effort on the government’s part to fix it, but I can’t help but think standardization has negatively impacted many students. I, for one, feel that it put me at somewhat of a disadvantage.

equal ground. Unfortunately, by doing this, we’re teaching students to think the same — and ultimately, that leads us nowhere. Critical thinking is a dying art — life’s mysteries just can’t be solved by multiple choice tests. Everyone thinks differently, and what schools should do is emphasize each student’s potential for thinking for himself in his own way. This is how scientific breakthroughs happened. A little gem called the scientific method illustrates the importance of critical thinking. Yes, in high school chemistry labs you hated that dumb scientific method! (I know, because I did too.) But looking back, it really makes so much sense. The beauty of science is that nothing is truly concrete; any theory can be altered. Any theory can be expanded upon with facts, and some theories rise from the ashes of another. It’s proof of the power of the human mind, and that in itself is astounding. Look around you: that car you drive to work, the vaccine you got at your last doctor visit, that video game your kid is playing, the weather radars you checked on TV, the telephone wires running all across town are just a few of the modern joys brought to you by someone’s innovative and forward thinking.

Once upon a time, I was a free thinker. As a young child, my imagination ran wild. I had crazy ideas and theories about almost all of life’s mysteries that I came across. What makes the sun set? What makes some people so nice and others so mean? What “This column is not an caused the thunder in thunderstorms? How do some medicines work to heal? attack on our education

This column is not an attack on our education system, but rather, a small plea to all involved in the system. Here’s a resolution for the new year system, but rather Over the years, I feel that has diminished and new decade. To teachers, I know in your a small plea to all —partly because I had to relearn. Instead curricula it’s difficult to find wiggle room, and I involved in the system.” know you’re required to meet certain standards, of coming up with my own answers for most things, I simply was given a set of but I challenge you to challenge your students to possibilities where I could try to choose think outside of the box. A few years down the the right answers. Rights and wrongs. No road, they’ll be ahead of the curve, and they will critical thinking required. thank you for it. To parents, always remember to encourage your children to reach their dreams and goals. Help nurture your And that’s where the problem lies. Critical thinking is the child’s curiosity and imagination, for those are the foundations engine that drives true progress. Scientific breakthroughs over of a sharp mind. And to students: I know school is so boring to the past few centuries did not come from multiple choice tests. you, but try your hardest. Take the information your teachers They came from minds that refused to accept the status quo. give you, but try to work with it. Try to look at facts and issues Standardization damages questioning and curious minds. We are from different perspectives. Approach problems with an open taught to study for tests instead of gaining knowledge of our past mind. and seeking answers in the present. The highest goal is to meet the standards, which usually are mere sets of facts. There is little As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “men are not prisoners of room for students to spread their wings. fate, but prisoners of their own minds.” In other words, our reality is what we create. I direct this message especially at the Standardization works only where there is uniformity — like students of my generation and the students of generations after minds and similar learning styles. Unfortunately, because this mine: I better see a time machine or a teleportation device in my is far removed from reality, many students get the short end of lifetime — here’s looking at you. the stick. I’ve met people who are absolutely brilliant and show so much potential, but their grades suffer because they aren’t A very blessed happy new year and new decade to all. learning in an efficient way.

Katie Diem is a freshman at the University of Georgia

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february 2011

Schools & Sports

Motivating the Work-Inhibited Child by Kathy Martin Meet Jake, a child who rarely, if ever, does schoolwork on his own. Jake’s teachers report that he enjoys learning about topics that interest him, but seems unfocused during class time and fails to complete necessary schoolwork, both in class and as homework. Although his grades are suffering, Jake makes no effort to improve his circumstances. His frustrated parents are convinced that nagging and constant supervision are the only ways to get Jake to complete his assignments. Sound familiar? If you are the parent of a work-inhibited child, you probably feel helpless. You struggle to understand your child’s seeming lack of motivation to do homework, and more importantly, you have no idea how to help the situation. Here are a few other traits of children like Jake and ideas on how parents can address work inhibition problems. Common characteristics of work-inhibited children:

their parents generally believe that they will fail if left to do things for themselves.

They tend to lose things and are very disorganized.


They don’t often follow through on things they say they will do (including homework).


They do not work independently.


They are more likely to do work when a teacher or parent hovers close by.

Let your child know that you are there to assist. Often, children who are work-inhibited are fearful about being wrong or asking questions when they need help. Teach your child that mistakes are nothing to be ashamed of and that everyone makes them - and learns from them.



During in-class work time (and homework time), they avoid work altogether by doing other things, walking around, talking to classmates and the like.


They seem passive about school, although it is clear from interactions that they are knowledgeable, often bright.


Give your child responsibilities at home. Chores are a great way to empower children, make them feel competent and successful, and boost their self-esteem, but parents should be careful not to micromanage or nag. Try assigning tasks related to an area of interest, too. If your child enjoys trying new foods, let him or her plan and cook dinner one night a week - all on his or her own.


Communicate directly and positively. Rather than pointing out your child’s faults, focus on the things he or she is good at. Offer your support by asking how you can help your child do better, but don’t pressure or pester with loads of advice. When discussing expectations or problems, be matter of fact rather than overly emotional. When your child succeeds at something, give genuine, specific praise.


They may be self-conscious, get discouraged easily and demonstrate a “can’t-do” attitude.


How parents can help their work-inhibited child: Work on the “work” habits. Encourage your child to be persistent in all that he or she does, even when a task is difficult. Set small goals (and teach your child to set goals for him or herself) and take frequent notice of any progress and effort toward them. Nurture your child’s independence by teaching him or her that homework is his or her responsibility.


Trust in your child’s abilities. Your confidence in your child will improve his or her own self-confidence. Conversely, lectures about poor work habits and constant reminders about the negative consequences of unfinished homework can cause your child to be even more dependent. Worse, it is damaging to the self-esteem, causing children to feel that



If your child seems to possess the intellectual capability to succeed in school but suffers from a reticence to complete his or her work, first work to uncover the root of the problem. Once you have a better understanding of your child, develop a plan to help him or her identify those feelings of insecurity and overcome his or her dependency and work inhibition. Increasing positive, productive communications with your child will not only take stress off your relationship, it will help him or her become a self-sufficient student. Kathy Martin, Executive Director of the Huntington Learning Center on Bethelview Road in Cumming, may be reached at (770)292-8994.

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february 2011

Schools & Sports

School Information Elementary Schools Big Creek Elementary 1994 Peachtree Parkway, (770) 887-4584 Principal: Sherri Black Brookwood Elementary 2980 Vaughan Drive, (678) 965-5060 Principal: Kathie Braswell kbraswell@forsyth.k12, Chattahoochee Elementary 2800 Holtzclaw Road, (770) 781-2240 Principal: Dave Culpepper Chestatee Elementary 6945 Keith Bridge Road, Gainesville (770) 887-2341 Principal: Rebecca G. Johnson Coal Mountain Elementary 3455 Coal Mountain Drive, (770) 887-7705 Principal: Debbie Smith Cumming Elementary 540 Dahlonega Street, (770) 887-7749 Principal: Pam Pajerski Daves Creek Elementary 3740 Melody Mizer Lane, (770) 888-1223 Principal: Eric Ashton Haw Creek Elementary 2555 Echols Road, (678) 965-5070 Principal: Dr. Amy Davis Johns Creek Elementary 6205 Old Atlanta Road, Suwanee (678) 965-5041 Principal: Alyssa Degliumberto Mashburn Elementary 3777 Samples Road, (770) 889-1630 Principal: Tracey Smith Matt Elementary 7455 Wallace Tatum Road, (678) 455-4500 Principal: Charlley Stalder Midway Elementary 4805 Atlanta Highway, Alpharetta (770) 475-6670 Principal: Todd Smith Sawnee Elementary 1616 Canton Highway, (770) 887-6161 Principal: Dr. Eileen Nix Settles Bridge Elementary 600 James Burgess Road, Suwanee (770) 887-1883 38

Principal: Donna Morris

Principal: Kathy Rohacek

Sharon Elementary 3595 Old Atlanta Road, Suwanee (770) 888-7511 Principal: Amy Bartlett

High Schools

Shiloh Point Elementary 8145 Majors Road, (678) 341-6481 Principal: Sharon Ericson Sliver City Elementary 6200 Dahlonega Highway, (678) 965-5020 Principal: Kristan Morse Vickery Creek Elementary 6280 Post Road, (770) 346-0040 Principal: Ron McAllister Whitlow Elementary 3655 Castleberry Road, (678) 965-5090 Principal: Lynne Castleberry

Middle Schools Lakeside Middle 2565 Echols Road, (678) 965-5080 Principal: Debbie Sarver Liberty Middle 7465 Wallace Tatum Road, (770) 781-4889 Principal: Connie Stovall Little Mill Middle 6800 Little Mill Road, (678) 965-5000 Principal: Connie McCrary North Forsyth Middle 3645 Coal Mountain Drive, (770) 889-0743 Principal: Jeff Hunt Otwell Middle 605 Tribble Gap Road, (770) 887-5248 Principal: Steve Miller Piney Grove Middle 8135 Majors Road, (678) 965-5010 Principal: Terri North Riverwatch Middle 610 James Burgess Road, Suwanee (678) 455-7311 Principal: Kathy Carpenter South Forsyth Middle 2865 Old Atlanta Road, (770) 888-3170 Principal: Sandy Tinsley Vickery Creek Middle 6240 Post Road, (770) 667-2580

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Forsyth Central High 520 Tribble Gap Road, (770) 887-8151 Principal: Rudy Hampton Lambert High School 805 Nichols Road, (678) 965-5050 Principal: Dr. Gary Davison North Forsyth High 3635 Coal Mountain Drive, (770) 781-6637 Principal: Beth Hebert South Forsyth High 585 Peachtree Parkway, (770) 781-2264 Principal: Dr. Jason Branch West Forsyth High 4155 Drew Road, (770) 888-3470 Principal: Richard Gill

Private Schools Cornerstone Schools 4888 Browns Bridge Road, (770) 205-8202 Principal: Elaine M. Francel Covenant Christian Academy 6905 Post Road, (770) 674-2990 Headmaster: Johnathan Arnold Fideles Christian School 1390 Weber Industrial Drive, (770) 888-6705 Directors: Jonny and Ellen Whisenant Friendship Christian School 3160 Old Atlanta Road, (678)845-0418 Principal: Tom Davis Horizon Christian Academy (K-6) 2160 Freedom Parkway (7-12) 433 Canton Road (678) 947-3583, (678) 947-0711 Headmaster: Heather Marshall Ivy League Montessori School 1791 Kelly Mill Road, (770) 781-5586 School Director: Becky Carty Montessori Academy at Sharon Springs 2830 Old Atlanta Road, (770) 205-6277 Head of School, Kathy Lindaman Pinecrest Academy 955 Peachtree Parkway, (770) 888-4477 Executive Director: Rick Swygman february 2011

The Gift of Love

Marriage Moments

by Maria I. Morgan

by Rev. Bill Ratliff

February. A month devoted to love. When I was in grade school, I remember clutching the wrapped shoebox under my arm as I rode the bus to school. It was carefully decorated and would serve as a mailbox during the class Valentine’s party. I secretly hoped I would receive a card from a special someone. Among the many cards I got that day, I saved that one, and read it over and over again. To this day, I still save cards. The ones from my husband are especially precious. His love for me is evident in the sweet words he pens. The same is true of the love letter written to me by my Heavenly Father. The Bible contains countless verses testifying to the unconditional love of my Savior. Among my favorites, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16; KJV). A familiar verse, no doubt. But read it carefully. Because God loved, what did He do? He gave. True love is about giving. Not a very popular concept in today’s world, where love is easily confused with lust. Love and lust are two four-letter words with very different meanings. Lust involves getting. Love involves giving, without expecting anything in return. It is characterized as patient, kind, and trusting. Love is absent of jealousy, pride, and resentment (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Consider the love of a King, the King of the universe who loved His creation so much that He left His throne in heaven to become a lowly man. He lived a sinless life, then willingly died on a cross, shedding His blood to pay the sin debt of all mankind. What an amazing love! God continues to offer His gift of love to anyone who will receive it. Simply realize you are a sinner, understand that Christ paid your sin debt, and accept Him as your Savior. Are you willing to receive His gift of love? Once you have, spend time getting to know Him. The Bible is one love letter you’ll never tire of reading! Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your unconditional love. Help me to love without expecting anything in return. Thank you for the Bible, your love letter to me. As I read and study your Word, help me to become more like you. In Jesus’ name, Amen. Maria Morgan is a freelance writer and a Cumming resident. Visit her on the web at

Valentine’s Day is basically a celebration created by retail stores. It has become known as a time to buy flowers and candy hearts. The redemptive part of Valentine’s Day is that it promotes something sorely needed in marriage today — romance! Oh, how we need romance in our marriages. It is so easy to give up on romance because of time constraints, health issues, money crunches, children concerns, and everyday “Oh how we need stressors.

romance in our

Husbands, do NOT give up on marriages.” romance this year. Do something different. Ask your wife what SHE wants and what SHE would like to do for Valentine’s Day, then implement a plan. You will both be blessed.

Date Your Mate Here is a wild one! Spread a blanket out on the floor in front of a crackling fire in the fireplace. Turn off the TV. I say it again; turn off the TV. In preparation, make sure each of you have a Bible. Read through the romance book of the Bible — Song of Songs. Husbands, read aloud all the parts labeled “Lover.” Wives, read aloud the parts labeled “Beloved.” Go back and forth like a dramatic reading. Have fun with it. I guarantee some of you will be surprised at what you find together in this book. Bill Ratliff is the Senior Pastor at Towne Lake Community Church. He can be reached at (678) 445-8766.

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March deadline is February 15.



Cumming Area Houses of Worship Assemblies of God

Northside Family Worship Center 2820 Brookwood Road, Cumming (770) 888-8852 Sunday School all ages: 9:30 a.m. Sunday Worship Service: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday Bible Study: 7 p.m. Pastors: David & Robin Houtsma

Baptist Antioch Baptist Church 2465 Antioch Road (770) 887-6900 Sunday School: 10 a.m. Sunday Service: 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. AWANA: Sunday at 6 p.m. Wednesday Bible Study: 7 p.m. Pastor: Travis Bridgeman Cumming Baptist Church 115 Church Street, (770) 205-6699 Sunday School: 9:30 a.m. Sunday Worship service: 10:50 a.m. Pastor: Dr. Barry Crocker First Baptist Cumming 1597 Sawnee Drive, (770) 887-2428 Sunday Services: 9:30 a.m. Contemporary Worship Service & Bible Fellowship Groups 11 a.m. Traditional Worship Service & Bible Fellowship Groups Wednesday: 6:15 p.m. AWANA Pastor: Dr. Bob Jolly First Redeemer Church 2100 Peachtree Parkway, (678) 513-9400 Sunday Services: 9:15 a.m. – Contemporary Service (SFC) 9:15 a.m. – Blended Service (Auditorium) 10:45 a.m. – Blended Service (Auditorium) 9, 10:45 a.m., 6:30 p.m. Bible Fellowship Pastor: Dr. Richard Lee Greater Heights Baptist Church 3790 Post Road, (770) 887-4802 Sunday School: 10 a.m. Sunday Worship: 11 a.m. Sunday Evening: 5 p.m. Wednesday Evening & AWANA: 7 p.m. Pastor: Chris Grinstead Longstreet Baptist Church 6868 Campground Road, (770) 889-1959 Sunday School: 10 a.m. 40

Worship Service: 11 a.m. Wednesday night adult and youth activities North Lanier Baptist Church 829 Atlanta Highway, (770) 781-5433 Church service times: 8:30 a.m. Classic Worship Service 9:30 Bible Studies 11 a.m. Celebration Worship Service (main auditorium) 11 a.m. Spanish Worship Service (Student Center)

Refuge Baptist Church 3525 Pilgrim Mill Road, (678) 807-7746 Sunday Bible Study: 9:30 a.m. Sunday Services: 10:45 a.m., 6 p.m. Wednesday Prayer Service: 7 p.m.

Episcopal St. Columba’s Church 939 James Burgess Road, Suwanee, (770) 888-4464 Wednesday Services: 6 p.m. Saturdays Service: 5:30 p.m. Sunday Service: 7:45, 9 & 11 a.m. Rector: Father Tripp Norris Curate: Father Joseph Greene The Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit 724 Pilgrim Mill Road, (770) 887-8190 Services: Thursdays 12 noon, Sundays 8:30 and 10:45 a.m. Rector: Keith Oglesby

Greek Orthodox Saints Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene Greek Orthodox Church 3074 Bethelview Rd., (770) 781-5250 Divine Liturgy every Sunday at 10 AM Pastor: Fr. Barnabas Powell

Lutheran Living Faith Lutheran Church, LCMS 103 Buford Dam Road, (770) 887-0184 Sunday school: 9:30 a.m., all ages Sunday worship: 8 &10:45 a.m. Living Faith Lutheran Korean Church worship: 12:30 p.m. Wednesday evening fellowship meal (6 p.m.) Bible study for all ages (7 p.m.) Pastor Tim Droegemueller

Other Churches

Castle Christian Church 3149 Old Atlanta Road, Suwanee

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(678) 648-5248 Sunday Worship: 10 a.m. Wednesday Bible Study: 7 p.m. Senior Minister: Jason Rodenbeck Family By Faith Worship Center 4805 Atlanta Highway, Alpharetta (Midway Elementary School), (678) 230-4800 Small Groups: 9:30 a.m. Worship: 10:30 a.m. Nursery available Pastor: Randy Grimes First Christian Church 1270 Sawnee Dr., Cumming, (770) 887-5542 Pastor Stan Percival LDS Church 510 Brannon Road, (678) 577-4991 Sunday Service: 1 p.m. LifePoint Christian Church 5000 McGinnis Ferry Road, Alpharetta (678) 366-2797 Sunday Small Groups: 9 a.m. Sunday Service: 10:30 a.m. Childcare available Pastor: Chris Stovall NewSong Community Church 433 Canton Road, Suite 306, Located across from Ingles, behind the National Guard in Building 300, (770) 888-5212 Sunday Worship Service at 10:30 a.m. Pastor Case Koolhaas Rameshori Buddhist Center 130 Allen Road, Unit B Sandy Springs, 30328 , (404) 255-1585

Presbyterian Deer Creek Shores Presbyterian Church 7620 Lanier Drive, (770) 887-6801 Sunday School all ages: 9:45 am Sunday Traditional Worship Service: 11 a.m. Childcare available Pastor: John S. Martin email: Korean New Vision Presbyterian Church Meets at Parkway Presbyterian Church 5830 Bethelview Road, (678) 200-5048 Sunday Services: 1:30 p.m. Pastor: Rev. Young Jeon february 2011

The Country Preacher by David Hill Love is wonderful and mysterious. Solomon described romance as “the way of a man with a maid” and “too wonderful for me,” Proverbs 30:18-19. In I Corinthians 13, Paul says life is nothing without love. Living without love is like a musical instrument without a tune. Love is patient, kind, isn’t jealous, doesn’t brag, isn’t arrogant, acts appropriately, is unselfish, isn’t easily provoked, willingly suffers a wrong, doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, loves truth, protects, trusts, hopes, endures and never fails. According to 1 John 4:8, God is love. Married on December 7, 1941, the newlyweds moved into an apartment on the square above Rooksberry’s Grocery in Mayslick, Kentucky, overlooking the town well, the barber shop, Downing’s Dry Goods and The Bank of Mayslick. The following day, December 8th, news of the attack on Pearl Harbor had finally reached Mayslick. Mother was 16 and Dad was 20. This year, they’ll celebrate their 70th anniversary. Ephesians 5:25-33 refers to the love between a man and a woman as “a great mystery,” like “Christ and the church.” A successful marriage doesn’t depend on your age, income,

Parkway Church 5830 Bethelview Road (770) 889-8694 (½ mile west of GA 400 exit 13) Sunday Traditional Service: 9 a.m. Sunday Contemporary Service: 11 a.m. Childcare available for both services Senior Pastor: Bill Ford email: The Vine Community Church 4655 Bethelview Road, (678) 990-9395 Sunday Services: 9 & 10:45 a.m. Wednesday: Middle and High School youth meet at 7:15 – 8:30 p.m. Pastor: Jon Adams

Roman Catholic Church of Good Shepherd 3740 Holtzclaw Road (770) 887-9861 Mass: Saturday Vigil, 5 p.m.; Sundays, 7:30, 9 & 10:30 a.m. and 12 noon; 5:30 p.m. Spanish Mass, 1:30 p.m. Weekdays: 9 a.m

education or the difficulties in the world. Christian marriage is a covenant with God that ends with your mate’s death. The preacher asks will you love this person, not do you love this person. Christ’s love to us is a testament (as in last will and testament) that begins with His death and is eternal. Jesus pledged His faithfulness or troth to all who put their faith in Him (Romans 8:34-39). Conducting the marriage ceremony of my daughter placed me in the position of being father of the bride and pastor of the ceremony. Here is some of the advice I gave my daughters: 1. Wait until your husband has had his supper before you attempt to share the day’s events, and he will be a better listener. 2. Never lie. Even so called little lies will damage trust. Deal with the truth. There are no secrets behind an open door. 3. Remember that what you say to your mate, whether it is sincere or in anger, will be remembered forever. You will be glad you thought before you spoke. 4. It is a mistake to comment or agree with your mate when they criticize their parents, even if it is true! Ben Franklin made his important decisions by listing the positive reasons in one column and the negative reasons in another. The

Pastor: Father Frank St. Brendan Catholic Church 4633 Shiloh Road, (770) 205-7969 Mass: Saturday Vigil: 5 p.m. Sunday: 7:30, 9 & 11 a.m. & 5 p.m. Spanish Mass: 1 p.m. Weekdays: 8:30 a.m. Pastor: Father John Howren

continued on page 43 Lanier United Methodist Church 1979 Buford Highway, (770) 887-0615 Sunday Traditional Service: 8:45 a.m. Sunday School: 10 a.m. Sunday Contemporary Praise Service: 11 a.m. Nursery available for both services Pastor: Ted Miller

Bethelview United Methodist Church 4525 Bethelview Road, (770) 887-4888 Sunday Worship Service: 10:30 a.m. (child care available) Pastor: Rev. Deborah Griffith

Midway United Methodist Church 5025 Atlanta Highway, Alpharetta (770) 475-5230 Sunday Traditional Worship: 8:30 a.m. Sunday Children’s Church: 9:30 a.m. Sunday School all ages: 9:30 a.m. Sunday Contemporary Worship: 10:45 a.m.

Cumming First United Methodist Church 770 Canton Highway, (770) 887-2900 Sunday Services: 8:45 & 11 a.m. (Child care available) Sunday Hispanic/Latino Worship: 12 noon Wednesday Communion Service: 12 noon Senior Pastor: Rev. John L. Cromartie, Jr.

Piedmont United Methodist Church 1170 Dahlonega Highway, (770) 887-0770 Sunday Services Bible Study 10 a.m. Traditional Service 11 a.m. Bible Study 5 p.m.

United Methodist

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Cumming Area Clubs and Organizations Business Networking Business 400 Meeting: First Tuesday 5:30 — 7:30 p.m. Location: The Metropolitan Club, 5895 Windward Pkwy., Alpharetta Contact: (877) 581-1039 or Information: The goal is to provide the 400 Community the opportunity to effectively network and to view the 400 corridor as a single economic engine. $250 annual membership fee. Visit twice for free. Central Forsyth Leads Group Meeting: Second & fourth Tuesdays 11 a.m. — 1 p.m. Location: The Columns at Pilgrim Mill Apartments Contact: Nancy Wright, (770) 886-0500 or Information: No fees. Open to all. Forsyth Area Networking Meeting: Every Wednesday morning from 7:15 — 8:30 a.m. Location: North Georgia Wellness, 104 Colony Park Drive, Suite 800, Contact: Dr. Forrest Watts, (770) 886-7070 or drforrest@ Juli Phillips, (770) 205-9221 or Information: Membership is $90 per quarter. You are required to attend two meetings before applying. Forsyth Network for Business Professionals Meeting: Thursdays 11:30 a.m. — 12:30 p.m. Location: (New) Bello Italian Restaurant 101 Meadow Drive Contact: Fred Burak, (678) 677-0815 Information: $50 membership fee and $10 monthly. Visit twice for free. No occupation overlap. Call first. Georgia Leads Group of Cumming Meeting: Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m. Location: Stars & Strikes, 133 Merchants Square Contact: Cheryl Campbell, cheryl@ Information: There is a membership fee, may visit twice for free. The Inspiration Network of Cumming Meeting: Third Wednesdays from 7 — 8:30 p.m. Location: The Nurturing Nook, 205 Pilgrim Mill Road Contact: Leanne Temple, (678) 965-5969 Lunch and Learn Meeting: Fourth Tuesday 11:45 a.m. — 1 p.m. Location: Cumming Chamber of Commerce Contact: (770) 887-6461 or cfccoc@ Information: Free for first timers. The cost is $5 for members. Pizza and drinks are provided.


South Forsyth Leads Group Meeting: 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. No fees. Location: Holiday Inn Express – John’s Creek, 7146 Mcginnis Ferry Rd., Suwanee Contact: Robin Grier (770) 887-2772 Women Who Mean Business Meeting: First Tuesday, Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Location: Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce Event’s Facility 513 W. Maple Street Contact: (770) 887-6461 Information: Free for members; $30 for non-members. Register online at www.

Charitable Organizations Georgia Highlands Medical Services Contact: (770) 887-1668 Information: This is a non-profit Community Health Center (CHC) serving the medical needs of North Georgia since 1979. Horse Rescue, Relief & Retirement Fund, Inc. Contact: (770) 886-5419 Website: Humane Society of Forsyth County No-Kill Shelter Location: 4440 Keith Bridge Road Contact: (770) 887-6480 Information: Non-profit, no-kill shelter for cats and dogs. Website: There’s Hope for the Hungry Contact: (678) 513-9400 Information: Non-profit organization partnering with churches across North Georgia to feed those in need. Website: Whispering Hope Resource & Pregnancy Center Location: 133 Samaritan Drive, Suite 306 Information: Non-profit organization dedicated to informing, educating, and providing an outstretched hand to women who face an untimely pregnancy. Contact: (770) 889-8302, whisperinghope4u@ Website:

Civic Organizations Ducktown Chapter #460 — Order of the Eastern Star Meeting: 2nd & 4th Fridays at 7:30 p.m. Location: 4655 Canton Hwy. Contact: (770) 887-8147 Rotary Club of South Forsyth Meeting: Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m. Location: 6300 Polo Club Drive Website:

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Political Organizations Democratic Women of Forsyth County Meeting: Second Thursday Location: Different restaurants in Cumming Contact: Mary Chatfield, (770) 887-1106 Facebook page: DWFC GA Information: Democratic women meet monthly and the meetings alternate between lunch and dinner meetings with programs. Forsyth County Democratic Party Meeting: 2nd Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Location: CooCoo’s Nest restaurant, corner of Freedom Parkway & Pilgrim Mill Road, Cumming Contact: Ricia Maxie at or Mary Chatfield at (770) 887-1106

Recreation & Hobbies Cuong Nhu Martial Arts Club Contact: (404) 423-3524 Meeting: Every other Wednesday at 7 p.m. Location: Central Park Website: Cuong-Nhu-Martial-Arts-Club/ Information: No fees, open to 16 years + North Georgia Chess Center Location: 2450 Atlanta Hwy. Suite 1401 Contact: Joseph or Cathy Couvillion 770844-9204,, Information: Call for hours. Membership $15 per month or $150 annually. Lessons are also available. Piecemakers Quilt Guild Meeting: 2nd Tuesday of each month; 4th Tuesday is “sewcialbee” (community quilts, classes or just getting together) Location: Christ the King Lutheran Church 1125 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road, Cumming Website:

Support Organizations AA Cumming Meeting: Meets four times daily Location: Ingles Shopping Center at 432 Canton Highway (Hwy 20) Second suite on far left. 24-hour information line: (770) 886-0696 Information: Group of Alcoholics Anonymous located in Forsyth County Website: Forsyth County Newcomers and Women’s Club Meeting: Third Thursday of each month Location: Windermere Golf Club Contact: Imy Rach, Information: A luncheon with program, many interest group activities every week (ladies, mens, couples and singles). Open to all women currently living in the county. Website:

february 2011

Clubs, cont’d Labrador Friends of the South, Inc. Location: PO Box 933, Cumming Contact: Website: Moms Club of Cumming — North Monthly meetings with informational speakers, park play days, holiday parties, fieldtrips, playgroups and a monthly MOMS Night Out. Contact: Website: Moms Club of Cumming — Southwest Meeting: Last Tuesday of each month Contact: NAMI Forsyth Dawson Lumpkin Meeting: Thursdays, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Location: Forsyth County Family Center 133 Samaritian Dr., Cumming, GA Information: Two support groups (family & peer) meet every Thurs. except the last when there is a speaker. Contact: Website: SMART Recovery Meeting: Every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Location: Professional Recovery Counseling, LLC 107 W. Courthouse Square, Suite 274 Website:

Make a Love File continued from page 12

you have prepared. Knowing it is there for them should be considered part of your estate plan or your emergency preparedness. As a gift to you this Valentine’s Day, I can send you a copy of the Love File list. Simply request it by e-mailing me at coach@ . Parkey Thompson is a personal financial coach at Financial Focus. He offers a free 30-minute consultation. Call 678-648-9940 or visit www.

Autism Talks

continued from page 15

special needs, doing what you say and saying what you mean, not being afraid to be “hands on,” and breaking down the problem to small, manageable steps. It is a challenging job. Dealing with dirty diapers/pull ups and toileting accidents and dealing with aggression tops the list of things they would rather not have to deal with. However the positives far outweigh the negatives, which keeps each behavior therapist coming back again and again. Qualities that make a good behavior therapist include patience, flexibility, stubbornness, curiosity and ability to work in a team. So perhaps next time you meet a behavior therapist working with special needs children, you will understand a little more about what they do. A thank you for what you do can go along way!

The Country Preacher continued from page 41

longest column determined the answer. Often couples forget why they were attracted to each other. When I get what I call “car fever” and can’t afford to trade, I polish up the old car and realize I still like it. There are three things that motivate me to be a better husband. First, I made a commitment to God when I answered the question, “Will you love this woman?” Second, after my first wife of 22 years died in an accident, I discovered the loneliness of not having someone to share my life with. Thirdly, my second wife of 23 years does nice things for me, motivating me to be a better husband. Try picking up flowers or buying a card without a special occasion. “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” Colossians 3:19. The Lord knew how difficult it is for men to express love. Rev. Hill is a Cumming resident and frequent guest preacher at Antioch Baptist Church. Biblical quotes are from the King James Version of the Bible.

Making the Relationship Investment continued from page 29

When you think about it, there are many elements of the article that promote the basics of love and respect in a marriage. Somewhere along the path of life, I believe many couples lose this as a priority. Marriage doesn’t become intentional. I look at couples who have a really, solid marriage and I see a constant desire on the part of both the husband and the wife to purposefully treat the other with respect (and I see these couples, both the men and the women, doing things like the article above describes). By the way, the general consensus on this list is that it wasn’t originally printed in a home economics textbook. The textbook has never been found! Whatever the true source, it’s certainly become a document with incredible staying power, thanks to the Internet. Take it with a grain of salt … but do consider some of the points as valid. Adapted from “The High Road Has Less Traffic: honest advice on the path through love and divorce” by Monique A. Honaman has called Forsyth County home since 1996. Monique can be reached at

Giving In, Giving Back continued from page 15

Hands Ministry, Abba House, Cumming First United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, and North Central - There’s Hope for the Hungry all have access to The Georgia Mountain Food Bank inventory, educational programs, technical assistance and materials. For a complete list of participants and more information about Unseen Hands Food Ministry, visit

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Community Information Numbers & Websites Emergency — 911 • AroundAbout — Cumming • (770) 615-3334 Hotlines — 24 Hour Help Lines: Battered Women Hotline Poison Control Center — Atlanta Outside Metro Atlanta Rite-Call (Child Medical Problems) Sexual Assault & Family Violence Center Medical Northside Hospital — Forsyth 1200 Northside Forsyth Drive

6300 Polo Club Drive (770) 479-1703 (404) 616-9000 (800) 222-1222 (404) 250-KIDS (770) 428-2666

(770) 844-3200

Neighborhood Healthcare Center 2825 Keith Bridge Road

(770) 844-7494 (770) 886-7135

Health Department 428 Canton Highway

(770) 781-6906

Fire and Law Enforcement City of Cumming Police Department 301 Veterans Memorial Boulevard Forsyth County Fire Department 3520 Settingdown Road Georgia State Patrol Libraries Forsyth County Public Library 585 Dahlonega Road Sharon Forks Branch 2810 Old Atlanta Road Parks and Recreation 410 Pilgrim Mill Road

(770) 781-2000 (770) 781-2180 (770) 205-5400

(770) 781-9840 (770) 781-9840 Main Number: (770) 781-2030

Athletic Division

(770) 781-2215

Central Park Recreation Center 2300 Keith Bridge Road

(678) 455-8540

Windermere Park 3355 Windermere Parkway

(770) 205-4715

Fairgrounds 235 Castleberry Road

(770) 781-3491

Golf Clubs Chestatee Golf Club 777 Dogwood Way, Dawsonville Country Land Golf Course 6560 Mayfield Drive Polo Golf & Country Club 44

(706) 216-7336 (770) 887-0006 (770) 887-7656

Windermere Golf Club 5000 Davis Love Drive Forsyth County Marinas Habersham Marina 2200 Habersham Marina Road

(678) 513-1000

(770) 887-5432

Port Royale Marina 9200 LanMar Road, Gainesville

(770) 887-5715

YMCA 6050 Y Street

(770) 888-2788

POST OFFICE 525 Tribble Gap Road

(770) 886-2388

Schools See page 36 for complete listing Forsyth County Board of Education (770) 887-2461 UTILITIES City of Cumming (770) 781-2020 Water & Sewer Forsyth County Water & Sewer (770) 781-2160 110 East Main Street Solid Waste Advanced Disposal/Eagle Point Landfill (770) 887-6063 8880 Old Federal Road, Ball Ground Olde Atlanta Recycling LLC (770) 205-6912 2535 Ivy Street East Waste Management, Inc. 774 McFarland Road, Alpharetta Recycling Keep Forsyth County Beautiful

(770) 751-1304

(770) 205-4573

Telephone AT&T Residential Business

(888) 757-6500 (866) 213-6300

Georgia Power Sawnee Electric Membership

(888) 660-5890 (770) 887-2363

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february 2011

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elcome to AroundAbout Cumming magazine, a publication in the AroundAbout Local Media, Inc. family. of magazines. Our magazine is distributed in the Cumming market and is the source for local information, news, and events for our community.

AroundAbout Cumming is the voice of Cumming, and is the marketing tool of choice for expanding your business. Reach your customers through our target marketing:  Mailed Directly — Free to your potential customers in the Cumming area.  Published Monthly — Community magazine format ensures month long advertising exposure.  Readability — We are a magazine, not a coupon book. The readability of AroundAbout Cumming will bring continuous exposure to your business.

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Elected & Appointed Officials United States Government: President Barack H. Obama (D) 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20500 Website: e-mail:

(202) 456-1414 fax: (202) 456-2461

Senator Saxby Chambliss (R) Atlanta Office: 100 Galleria Parkway Suite 1340 Atlanta, GA 30339 Website: e-mail: use contact form on website

(202) 224-3521 GA: (770) 763-9090 fax: (202) 224-0103

Senator Johnny Isakson (R) Atlanta Office: One Overton Park, Suite 970 3625 Cumberland Boulevard Atlanta, GA 30339 Website:

(202) 224-3643 GA: (770) 661-0999

Rep. Tom Graves (R), District 9 Georgia Office: Wachovia Center 500 Jesse Jewel Parkway, Suite 301, Gainesville, GA 30503 Website:

(202) 225-5211 GA: (770) 535-2592

Rep. John Linder (R), District 7 1026 Longworth House Office Building, Washington D.C. 20515 Website:

(202) 225-4272 GA: (770) 232-3005

State Government: Governor Nathan Deal (R) Website: LT. Governor Casey Cagle Website:

(404) 652-7003 fax: (404) 652-7123 (404) 656-5030

Senator Jack Murphy (R), District 27 e-mail:

(770) 887-1960 fax: (770) 205-0602

Senator Steve Gooch (R), District 51 e-mail:

(678) 341-6203 fax: (770) 844-5821

Rep. Mark Hamilton (R), District 23 e-mail:

(770) 844-6768

Rep. Mike Dudgeon (R), District 24 e-mail:

(770) 887-0400

Rep. Amos Amerson (R), District 9 e-mail:

(404) 657-8534

Commissioners: R.J. (Pete) Amos, District 1 (R) e-mail:

(678) 513-5881

Brian R. Tam, District 2 (R) e-mail:

(678) 513-5882

Todd Levent, District 3 (R) e-mail:

(770) 781-2101

Patrick B. Bell, District 4 (R) e-mail:

(678) 513-5884

Jim Boff, District 5 (R) e-mail:

(678) 513-5885

Forsyth County School System Superintendent, Dr. L.C. (Buster) Evans 1120 Dahlonega Highway Cumming Website: Forsyth County Tax Commissioner Matthew C. Ledbetter 1092 Tribble Gap Road, Cumming, GA 30040 Website: Board of Education: Ann Crow, District 1 (R) e-mail:

(770) 887-2461

(770) 781-2110

(770) 490-6316

Kristin Morrissey, District 2 (R) e-mail:

(770) 781-5222

Tom Cleveland, District 3 (R) e-mail:

(770) 657-0810

Darla Light, District 4 e-mail:

(770) 887-0678

Nancy Roche, Chairperson, District 5 (R) e-mail:

(770) 889-0229

City of Cumming Mayor Henry Ford Gravitt Cumming City Hall 100 Main Street, Cumming, GA 30040

(770) 781-2010

Forsyth County Government:

Cumming City Council Members: Quincy Holton, Lewis Ledbetter, Ralph Perry, John Pugh and Rupert Sexton

Forsyth County Board of Commissioners 110 East Main Street, Suite 210, Cumming, GA 30040 (770) 781-2101 fax: (770) 781-2199

City Administrator Gerald Blackburn

County Manager Doug Derrer

City Clerk Jeff Honea


(770) 781.2101 fax : (770) 781.2199

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(770) 781-2101

february 2011

Classifieds FREE TO GOOD HOME (These Ads Are Free)

W elcome


to the Classified Section of

Three Beautiful Cats that I must give free to a good home. They are indoor cats and have been well cared for. Please call Karen. (404) 431-6900.

This is regular feature of your new bi-monthly community magazine filled with local information, news and events for your community. If you have a specialized home repair/handyman service, a garage sale coming up, need help at the office, offer babysitting or nanny services, or have something to sell... THIS IS THE PLACE TO DO IT!

items WANTED Old or Broken Guitars Wanted. They may be worth something, you never know. Jeff, (678) 776-8700.

Classifieds Work! You’re Reading Them ... Aren’t You?

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City, State, Zip: Daytime Phone: AroundAbout Cumming Classifieds is a monthly feature. All ads are accepted and placed under categories at the discretion of the publisher. Rates are only $1 per word, per month, with a 10-word minimum. “Pet Lost and Found,” “Ride Share” and “Free to Good Home” pet placement ads are FREE.


february 2011 AroundAbout — cumming


Carper & Upholstery Cleaners

Carpet Dry Tech...............................................................5 (678) 368-5991


Discover Chiropractic & Rehabilitaion.............................7. (678) 456-9122


Huntington Learning Center...................................... 7 (770) 205-2800 Kennesaw State University, Cont. Education........... 35 (770) 423-6765 www.kennesawedu/


Jordan Dentistry............................................................11. (770) 888-6262

home improvement/repair & service

Custom Iron Works & Design.............................. Cover, 22. (678) 513-2866 Handyman Malcolm, Inc.................................Inside Front (678) 654-3852 Peter Adler Builders, LLC...............................Cover, 23 (770) 231-7517


STI Designs, Inc..............................................Cover, 22 (770) 844-6337 Relliable Heating & Air..................................Cover, 23 (770) 594-9969

Lawn Maintenance/Landscaping

Reflection - Lake Nantahala............. Inside Back Cover

REStaurants/food services

Baba's Gyros & Kabob...................................................11 (770) 888-8100

Pike Nurseries..................................................................5. (770) 205-1737

Good Measure Meals......................................................5 (404) 815-7695

Pet/Veterinarian Services & Supplies

Book Logix.....................................................................11 (770) 346-9979

Humane Society of Forsyth County...............................17 (770) 889-1365, (770) 887-6480


Kim Bates Photography.................................................48 (770) 617-7597


Services/Retailers Miscellaneous

Lance's Jewelry................................................ Back Cover (770) 781-5500 1705 Market Place Blvd., Cumming Shelly Kent, Writer...........................................................7 (404) 232-9898

Northside Hospital..........................................................1

Parkway Pawn................................................Inside Front (678) 456-8683

Real estate & related services

The UPS Store.................................................Inside Front (770) 999-1052 5485 Bethelview Rd., Cumming

Lake Nantahala................................ Inside Back Cover

AroundAbout — cumming

february 2011

AroundAbout Cumming, Feb. Issue  

AroundAbout Cumming, Feb. Issue