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WINTER 2020

A U G U S TA

ANNUAL

TOY GUIDE

augustafamily.com


WINTER 2020

A U G U S TA

ANNUAL

TOY GUIDE

augustafamily.com


on the cover

WINT ER 2020

As shown below: Fraser Finch (10) and Anna Dorn (10) Photo by Randy Pace w w w.a ug ust afa m i l y. co m

PUBLISHER

Ashlee Griggs Duren

EDITOR

Aimee Serafin

ART DIRECTOR

Michael Rushbrook

DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING Lisa Dorn

ADVERTISING SALES Doressa Hawes Mary Porter Vann

CIRCULATION/MARKETING Kimberly Stewart

PHOTOGRAPHY Randy Pace

CONTRIBUTORS

Kim Beavers, MS, RD, CDE Meredith Flory Karen Gordon Dr. Dana Harris Josh Heath Cammie Jones Dr. Ron Eaker

A Publication of MCC Magazines, LLC A division of Morris Communications Company, LLC | 725 Broad St., Augusta, GA 30901 Morris Communications Company, LLC William S. Morris III, Chairman Craig S. Mitchell, CEO MCC Magazines Tina Battock, Executive Director Scott Ferguson, Director – Finance & Operations Sherry Brown, Director of Manufacturing & Production Veronica Brooks, Accounting Manager Michelle Rowe, Circulation Business Manager

Augusta Family Magazine is published 9 times per year and distributed throughout the Augusta and Aiken area. Send press releases, story ideas or comments to the editor at aimee.serafin@ augustafamily.com or mail to 725 Broad Street, Augusta, Ga., 30901. For advertising information, call (706) 823-3702. For circulation/ distribution, call (706) 828-4391.

Is your child ready for their “close up?” If you think you’ve got a “cover kid,” submit their photo and information on our website and they may grace the cover of Augusta Family Magazine. 4 • AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020

Facebook.com/ augustafamilymagazine

@AUGFamilyMag

We look forward to hearing from you; visit our website www.augustafamily.com and on facebook and twitter.


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contents www.augustafamily.com

Annual Toy Guide

NAPPA’s 25 Holiday Gift Ideas —Elena Epstein

The ABCs of Connecting in the Pandemic Holiday Season —Dana Harris

Ask the Doctor

Eating Well with Kim

25

32

17

18

6 • AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020

Holiday Stress —Dr. Ron Eaker

The Little Berries with a Big Pop —Kim Beavers, MS, RD, CDE


WINTER 2020 8

Editor’s Page

11

Mom2Mom

12

News & Notes

35

Calendar

—Karen Gordon

Smart Mom’s Guide

Raising Readers

Inspiration Station

The Modern Perspective

—Cammie Jones

—Meredith Flory

—Josh Heath

—Aimee Serafin

Sneaky Smarts for Healthy Fare

20

The Cheesy Holiday Craze

22

Feeling the Impact

30

Sarah Kilpatrick

38

AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020 • 7


editor’s notes H OL I DAY TH A N KS

W

e have reached Thanksgiving 2020!! The winter months are full of family traditions and giving thanks which is sure to bring familiar appreciation for what is comfortable. Let’s face it, there is little that has been comfortable or familiar in the last eight months of life. Yet, this year’s holidays may carry added perspective. Giving thanks this year probably holds some different values than it did last year. Augusta Family’s contributing writer, Dr. Dana Harris, points out some of these subtler values in The ABCs of Connecting in the Pandemic Holiday Season through encouraging reminders based on positivity and kindness. Karen Gordon’s Mom to Mom reflects how caring for a garden is a lot like caring for a city—or each other—where the seeds of consistency, stick-to-itiveness and dependability produce a good harvest. The Smart Mom’s Guide reminds readers to be thankful that healthy eating over the holidays is possible with keen planning. We hope our traditional toy guide ushers in anticipation of next month’s Yuletide holiday. This year’s guide includes a Global Feast Cookbook with 44 kid-friendly recipes from around the world, a 360º miniature home playset, a KidZoom® Creator Cam, BUILDZI’s block-building game and many more items. And, while local events are not back in full swing, we are seeing an increase in safe gatherings around town. That is promising! Be sure to visit our website for more winter calendar updates. When I became editor of Augusta Family magazine last August, I anticipated a year ahead

8 • AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020

full of creativity, new relationships and interesting information about the city I live in. Those expectations were met through many great experiences. Today, I am grateful for the opportunity to have continued to work under different conditions, writing and managing this wonderful magazine from home over the past several months. My post at the magazine is such a gift to me, and it is one that I will count when giving thanks this holiday season. Happy All Things Holiday!

Aimee Serafin aimee.serafin@augustafamily.com


4

21

Augusta Christian Schools offers: • Christian worldview curriculum and excellent academic program

• Chapels every week, spiritual emphasis week

• Advanced Placement and honors courses for upper grades

• Fine Arts classes in band, chorus, drama and visual art

• Medical Health Sciences Academy

• Community service and mission projects and trips

• Classes for students with learning differences

• And more……

313 Baston Road Martinez, GA 30907 Call 706-863-2905, ext.206 or visit www.augustachristian.org


mom to mom

Ka re n Go rd o n

Gardening and Grassroots

Water Safety

OF SWIMMING

Dolphin Team

Gift Warm Water

GIVE THE

Small Class Size

I

spent some time downtown yesterday. Having lunch (which morphed into dinner) meetings at Metro Coffeehouse and Whiskey Bar was so weird, because I’ve gotten into the habit of not going anywhere other than to see my family—and to Lowe’s, of course. I’ve been racking up on end-ofseason clearance items in the garden section and getting ready for next spring. The lunch meeting was for that purpose—planning the next growing season. We convened a handful of growers, some full-time and others hobbyist, to swap stories and discuss individual and collective resources and needs. One grower mentioned a new online course for beginning farmers. Another reported that they had acquired land and a new media outlet. And yet another is experimenting with an unconventional grow medium and sustainable processes. We also discussed our needs. One person needed help getting products to market. Another asked for advice on developing partnerships. And yet another requested guidance with planting food crops in full shade. Together, we began to formulate a solid plan for how we are going to use our individual talents (and networks) to reach our collective goal. To define how we will do all of this during a global pandemic… in hurricane season... in the midst of a contentious election… and, frankly, during the year 2020, where all good things went to rack and ruin. (Ok, I’m kidding. But no… I am not.) This group has met virtually many times over Zoom and Google Meet, but yesterday was the first time we felt that we accomplished something. We sat between three tables and sometimes had to use our outside voices to talk over the chatter, but the outcome was totally worth putting on pants. My point? It’s quite simple. One of our growers, who now lives out of state, said it best, as I expressed frustration about how difficult it has been to get everyone in the same room. He said, “in order for this to work, each of you has to be willing to make it work... to stick with it.” Although I started this topic because I REALLY wanted to talk about gardening, (I just wanted to share how I found mature Beautyberry bushes for $10 [Lowe’s clearance, of course] and how I finally covered all the cardboard in my mother’s garden with woodchips, and most importantly, my mushrooms and angel trumpets are successful) it’s really about decisions and action. Figuring out best practices for a farm co-op requires an entirely different skill set than, say, fixing a broken public education or two-party political system (didn’t see THAT one coming, I know). However, the basic elements are the same. Acknowledge the need. Identify the actors. Build a team. Start with incremental and sustainable actions—many times the first of which is listening. Be willing to stick with it. Be willing to show up. Be consistent, and (y)our efforts will bear much fruit. Ask for help. Repeat. Augusta is worth the effort, so let’s get to it. I’m willing to do my part, and I’ll stick with it. Above all, I promise to put on pants. Keep growing. Karen Gordon is a singer, songwriter and the founder of Garden City Jazz. She works with the City of Augusta to present the Candlelight Jazz Concert Series each year and has partnered with RCBOE to develop interactive courses such as Taking Notes: Jazz & The American Story and Jazz4Kids.

AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020 • 11


news&notes

Photo by Sander Weeteling on Unsplash

WINTER 2020

12 • AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020


news&notes

“What if, today, we were just grateful for everything?” – Charlie Brown

Gratitudes By Tabby Trapp I like ice cream because it is so sweet and makes me energetic, like the feeling of the cool breeze on my cheeks. I like fall because there are two types of holidays in it! Halloween because kids get to dress up in their costumes and really feel like their character

B E S T D I S C O U N T C LO T H I N G S I T E S F O R H O L I DAY S H O P P I N G For online shopping this year, below are some great sites for affordable kid’s clothing and seasonal discounts. 1.

The Children’s Place (www.

There is free shipping on any 2+ items

childrensplace.com/us/home) has

for sales over $50. Name brands for

great discounts, sometimes as daily

kids and parents.

deals, for Christmas shopping. Look for online deals or special promos

5.

that can often be used on sale or clearance items. Check out their

kids) has a “spin-to-win” pop-up

sign-up.

to wear the latest trendy fashions.

toys. 3.

ride them, their mane and tail blowing free as they gallop with such beauty and

I love my dogs because they are so silly and very loyal, it is comfort in scary times. I love my siblings because they are loving and so fun and to me they are home.

Denim jackets, flannels, graphic tees,

I like fall because the trees are a beautiful

Zulily (www.zulily.com) has deals up

colorful leggings are all up for grabs at

red and orange,

to 70% off their daily flash inventory. It

low prices.

is important to check the end of sales dates for product lines -and the “new today” section for the current offers. 4.

H&M Kids (www2.hm.com/en_us/ kids.html) is for the child who likes

on clothing, shoes, kids’ bedding and

When I see horses it makes me want to

makes me feel alive.

discounts are included through email

$100. There are fantastic discounts

friends and family.

purpose

and white dress shirts. Additional

6.

and spend family time together with

they have some rock-bottom prices

Overstock (www.overstock.com/ with 5 – 15% off or $10 off sales of

at the table

frenchtoast.com) is a uniform store, on polos, colored button-down shirts

family holiday PJ sets, too! 2.

Although French Toast (www.

and Thanksgiving because you get to sit

7.

Nordstrom Rack (www.

like what I imagine a beating heart to look like next to lungs.

nordstromrack.com/category/Kids) has current fashions at discount

6PM.com (www.6pm.com) sends out

prices. Check out brand names and

Sunday Steals Deals through email

Nordstrom’s signature kid’s fashion

that contain discounts and coupons.

line with accessories.

Tabby Trapp, age 9, is fourth grade student at East Aiken School of The Arts. Tabby wrote a poem about the things she likes about the Thanksgiving season.

AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020 • 13


news&notes LOCAL EATS It is rumored that early ones dated back to the 17th Century and contained a mixture of almonds, raisins, chopped apples and cinnamon. Original versions are claimed by Parisian, Dutch, British, and Jewish bakers alike and resembled doughy fritters. They were culinary spinoffs from a Roman dessert cake that was fried and dipped in honey. The fried cakes have since been christened beignets, zeppole, puff puffs, doughnuts or donuts and olykoeks, a Dutch word meaning oily cakes. Legend says the handheld dessert got its trendy hole from Captain Hanson Gregory on a journey across the Atlantic when he used one of the spokes on the ship’s steering wheel to hold the pastry during some rough seas. Although the history of the first doughnut has many origins, one thing is certain: doughnuts are a most-loved snack worldwide. If one thing could bring us together it might be the doughnut. That is why Shiela’s Bakery in North Augusta carries the power to unify. The folks at Shiela’s know a thing or two about handcrafted desserts that top confectionery lists around the world. The soft, fluffy golden doughnuts at Sheila’s Bakery are melt-in-yourmouth delicious as are the sweet rolls, fritters and kolaches. Any of the selections would be an optimal choice for the morning before

A U G U S TA

14 • AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020

Photo by Aimee Serafin

A HOLE LOTTA GOOD

the big holiday meal or a snack for any day of the week. Maybe go for the home-spun cinnamon rolls with brown butter cream cheese frosting or the “best apple fritters in the South” as a natural partner to morning coffee. Try seasonal favorites like Maple Leaf (maple iced doughnut with salty bacon), Autumn Gold (pumpkin sweet roll with cardamom cream cheese frosting) and fruit-filled kolaches (sweet buns with fruit filling). There is carry-out and online ordering available. Call 803.646.0668 for curbside delivery. Visit www.sheilasbakingco.com for holiday hours and location.

If the hole of a donut were the point of an exclamation mark, then the golden doughy goodness around it would be crying, “Eat me!” —Aimee Serafin


SAFE KIDS FAST FACTS HOLIDAY SAFETY TIPS The holidays can be both a joyful and busy time of year. Families are on the go, running errands, going shopping and taking road trips to visit relatives and friends. It is easy to get distracted from basic safety practices,” said Renée McCabe, RN, Safe Kids Greater Augusta Coordinator. Here are tips for keeping your kids safe during the holidays. ON THE ROAD Distracted Drivers and Pedestrians 1. Keep an eye out for distracted pedestrians and drivers who may not be paying attention, especially when backing out of parking spaces in busier than usual parking lots. 2. Remind your teen driver to stay alert during this holiday season when conditions are more challenging even for experienced drivers. 3. Make sure you are not distracted while driving. Commit to keeping your phone down. No text message or playlist is worth the risk. Child Passenger Safety 1. Buckle up every ride, every time, whether it’s the long trip to visit family or around the block to the mall. 2. Make sure every rider in the vehicle has their own seat

belt or car seat, even for short rides and when traveling with a large group. 3. Check your car seat before holiday travel. Seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or installed correctly, so check for proper installation before hitting the road. Here’s a quick car seat checklist (www.safekids.org/ checklist/car-seat-checklist-parents-pdf) to help you out. It takes only 15 minutes. If you are having even the slightest trouble, questions or concerns, certified child passenger safety technicians (CPSTs) can help or even double-check your work. To find a CPST, contact Safe Kids Greater Augusta at 706-721-7606. 4. Remember that safety in the car goes beyond your little ones. Kids who have outgrown a forward-facing harness seat are not ready for a seat belt or front seat yet. They are safest in a booster seat that enables the adult seat belt to fit properly. They should remain in a booster seat until they are 57” or four feet nine inches. Even when children have graduated from booster seats, they should remain in the back seat until they reach the age of 13. Travel Preparedness 1. Have an exit strategy for your road trip. The car is packed, the kids are in the right seat, the seats are installed properly, and you’re cruising down the open

road. Nothing can stop you now, right? Wrong. You will most certainly hear the familiar howl of “I want food” or “dirty diaper”. When it happens, try not to worry about making good time. Instead, simply pull off at the next exit and find a safe area to address the need. 2. Prepare for weather emergencies. Pack extra blankets, food and diapers, in case your car is disabled. Keep your cell phone charged, make sure someone knows your route, and clear the exhaust of packed snow if you are traveling up North. 3. Keep hot foods, large gifts and anything that can become a projectile in the trunk. You never know when you might have to stop abruptly. 4. Designate a driver or use a car service to make sure you get home safely when you are headed to a party and plan to drink alcohol. For part two of Safe Kids’ Holiday Safety Tips, visit www. augustafamilymagazine.com. Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children ages 1 to 19. Safe Kids Greater Augusta is a member of the Safe Kids Worldwide network. To find out more about the local Safe Kids program, call 706-721-7606, or visit augustahealth.org/safekids. Check out more safety tips, the Ultimate Car Seat Guide and “Parent Pep Talk” at SafeKids.org

THE CLEAR PATH FOR PEDIATRICS

Providing Speech and Occupational Therapy Grovetown We now offer in pediatric speech,

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5176 Wrightsboro Road Grovetown, Ga 30813 WE ALSO HAVE TWO LOCATIONS 706-842-3330 5176 Wrightsboro Rd | Grovetown | 706-842-3330

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AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020 • 15


NOVEMBER 2020

augustafamily.com

2020 Physicians’ Directory Look for the Physicians’ Directory online at augustamagazine.com and have contact information at your fingertips for Augusta and Aiken area physicians and dentists. Database is searchable by both specialty and by name. Brought to you by Augusta Magazine.

A U G U S TA


ask the doctor J. Ro n Eaker, M. D.

Holiday Stress

T

he holidays are always a time of unbridled joy, irrepressible energy, and marvelous moods... NOT! While some may experience happy times from late November until early January, for many this season is anything but joyful. Yes, celebrating with family and friends can be energizing and fulfilling, but it can also be fraught with anxiety and stress. A first step in managing stress is acknowledging it is present and fighting the urge to downplay its impact. Stress is simply a response, both physiological and psychological, to a real or perceived threat. While many threats are real, like crotchety old uncle Charlie, much stress is created, magnified and multiplied by your own thoughts. There are a multitude of physical effects of stress such as lowered immunity, elevated blood pressure, headaches, sleep disorders and more, so it is beneficial to learn ways to manage it. Notice that I didn’t say eliminate the stress. It is impossible to excise stress from your life like a surgeon excises cancer. Stress is intrinsic to being alive. However, it is possible to manage it better. Here a few proven techniques for managing stress, especially during the holidays. EXERCISE I know, you are sick of hearing about the wonderful world of sweating and spandex, but every study on the planet has shown a positive impact of exercise on moods and anxiety. New research shows that you don’t have to spend an hour at the gym (which is probably still closed). You can do two or three 10-minute walks and gain mood-enhancing benefits, and in a pandemic world, there is nothing safer than a long walk outside.

DUMP THE JAVA Caffeine is a stimulant and the last thing most of us need is more stimulation. I realize that some of you would be blubbering masses of couch-bound protoplasm without your morning coffee—as would I—but slamming down a pot of joe before lunch is not conducive for chilling out. Think of caffeine as the volume control on the stress stereo. Be mindful of caffeine sources found in tea, sodas, some headache medicines, chocolate and “energy” drinks. BOOZE IT EASY Statistically, people drink more during the holidays with all the festive parties. Even teetotalers are tempted to have a glass of Aunt June’s special eggnog. An occasional glass of red wine has been

shown to have some health benefits, but that doesn’t translate to the motto that more is better. Self-medicating with alcohol is a classic reaction to stress and it inevitably ends up creating more problems than it masks. DIAL-UP SLEEP Many people who work less during the holidays say they are going to catch up on their sleep, but it turns out this is hopeful thinking. Things like travel and varied schedules lead to poorer quality sleep. Sleep deprivation creates anxiety, which creates sleep problems, which increases anxiety… you can see where this is going. A good seven to eight hours a night does wonders for managing stress and moodiness. Try to maintain a regular sleep pattern during the holidays, even if the mattress at your parent’s house is 30 years old. Related to good quality sleep is locking all your electronic devices in your gun cabinet at night. Exposure to screens, be it your phone, iPad, or 500-inch plasma Megatron TV, has been shown to magnify stress. Some studies suggest the blue light from screens interferes with melatonin production (critical for sleep), but it may also be the stress-inducing content of most TV shows and Facebook feeds. QUIET DOWN Many folks are more reflective during the holidays, and this can be used to your advantage. This can take the form of prayer, meditation or just throwing a ball against the wall and catching it. Simply quieting the mind and being conscious of your breathing for as little as five minutes a day can have a beneficial impact on stress. You don’t have to sit in the lotus position and contemplate your navel (it’s more fun to contemplate someone else’s navel), but any technique that trains you to be mindful of the moment is helpful. Finally, if you find yourself doing all these things and still battling with overwhelming stress during the holidays, get help. Talk to your doctor, pastor, trusted friend or support group and get care. The biggest mistake folks make is thinking things will get better on their own. Or worse, they blame themselves for their circumstances and feel they are alone in their struggles. Help is available. So, don’t be afraid, embarrassed or shy to reach out for it. Dr. Eaker is an Augusta Ob/GYN and author. He and his wife, Susan, have two daughters in college.

AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020 • 17


eating well with kim

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

Kim Beave rs

18 • AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020


The Little Berries with a Big Pop

C

ranberries always make a big splash during the holiday season. These seasonal fruits, harvested between Labor Day and Halloween, peak in supermarket displays through December. Their short season and beautiful color make them an ultra-festive treat this time of year. They are rich in nutritional attributes. They pack in some vitamin C, have plenty of phytochemicals, a decent amount of fiber and are low in calories. Make sure to grab them while you can! Suggestions for storage and use •

Store cranberries tightly wrapped and unwashed in plastic (or the unopened bag); they will keep in the refrigerator for up to two months. Due to the short growing season, it is good to buy extra bags of cranberries to freeze. Simply sort the fruit, unwashed in a plastic freezer bag, and store up to one year. Frozen cranberries do not require thawing, just rinse under cold running water and use as directed. Sort fresh berries for use by discarding blemished or soft/discolored ones, then place in a strainer. Rinse gently with cool running water.

Serving suggestions •

• •

For cranberry sauce: boil fresh cranberries in water and add sugar or alternative sweetener to your taste. The sauce is ready when the cranberries pop. Muffin batters: add cranberries to different muffin mixes for extra zing (cut them in half and toss them with sugar just before mixing them into the batter). Mix whole fresh cranberries with other fruits to make holiday pies. DIY holiday gift idea: make sugared cranberries and package them in festive mason jars with holiday ribbon (wildwildwhisk.com/sugared-cranberries). Cranberries are also great for decoration. Giving someone a plant as a gift? Sprinkle cranberries over the top of the dirt for a festive presentation. Kim Beavers is a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator for University Health Care System. She is the co-host of the culinary nutrition segment Eating Well with Kim, which airs at noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday on WRDW. To be notified of new recipes join Kim’s facebook fan page at www. facebook.com/eatingwellwithkim.

Cran-banana Bread This bread has a deliciously sweet and tart flavor. The color of the cranberries makes it as beautiful as it is delicious. (Whole wheat pastry flour is found in most grocery stores; it is lower in protein and yields a more tender product than traditional whole wheat flour.)

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or 1 ¼ cup all-purpose and ¾ cup whole wheat) 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt 2 large bananas, mashed 2 tablespoons organic Canola oil 1/3 cup low-fat ricotta cheese (or yogurt) 2 eggs, slightly beaten 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 1/3 cup fresh cranberries, chopped Preheat oven to 350º. Whisk flour and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the bananas, oil, ricotta cheese, eggs and vanilla extract; stir well. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture, stir until just moist. Fold in cranberries. Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350º for 40-50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 slice) Nutrient Breakdown: Calories 180, Fat 3.5g (0g sat. fat, 1.5g mono. fat); Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 160mg, Carbohydrate 34g, Fiber 4g, Protein 5g. Exchanges: 2 Carbohydrates, ½ Fat Kim’s note: This can also be made with ¾ cup Splenda® for baking blend or ½ cup Truvia® Cane sugar blend in place of the sugar. The nutrition breakdown with the baking blend is 150 calories and 27g carbohydrate (which saves you 7g carbohydrate per serving). Until next time; eat well, live well. ~Kim

AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020 • 19


smart mom’s guide C a m m i e Jo n es

Sneaky Smarts for Healthy Fare

M

oms carry a lot of pressure when it comes to raising healthy children. When children are babies, you worry about giving them enough milk and food to keep them healthy. As they start to develop their own tastes, it becomes more challenging to manage nutrient intake. A diet of chicken fingers and french fries will not suffice for long! So, what are some ways to sneak more vegetables and nutrients into your children’s diets, especially during the holidays?

20 • AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020

STRAIGHT UP Hiding vegetables in food is a great idea if your child is a picky eater and refuses to eat them consistently. However, if you start introducing healthy options to kids early, then vegetables won’t end up the bad guys. Try green beans or sweet potatoes when they are babies. As they get older, add in broccoli and carrots, serving it steamed or raw with a little ranch sauce on the side. Hopefully, introducing vegetables to your child at a young age will allow those taste buds to grow accustomed


to nutritious foods. Also, kids who watch their parents eating and enjoying fresh vegetables usually end up eating and enjoying vegetables as adults. They learn by example so modeling healthy eating habits will hopefully rub off on them. TRENDY PUREES Jessica Seinfeld wrote a book in 2007 called Deceptively Delicious. This cookbook included a program to use simple ingredients to get kids to eat good food. Her basic premise included taking various vegetables, roasting or steaming them, and then pureeing them using a food processor or blender. She suggested cooking and pureeing in large quantities and then freezing portions for future use. Some of her recipes included scrambled eggs with pureed cauliflower, sweet potato puree in pancakes and adding broccoli and carrot puree to spaghetti sauce. There are tons of ways to hide nutrients in your meals without anyone having any clue! SWITCH SWAP Although Seinfeld might have been one of the first to write a book about this topic, the idea has mushroomed (no pun intended) into other hacks on the Internet. It’s pretty simple to exchange vegetables for starches in many side dishes. Mashed cauliflower works well as a substitute for mashed potatoes and zucchini spirals can be swapped for spaghetti noodles. Instead of cooking frozen french fries full of sodium and false nutrition, why not cut your own sweet potatoes, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake them in the oven? Thinly slice zucchini tossed with a little olive oil and fresh Parmesan bake up to tasty zucchini fries. THE SMOOTH IDEAL Hiding spinach, avocado and other leafy vegetables in your child’s smoothie is an easy way to increase their nutrient intake. Just make sure to have plenty of red strawberries or blueberries to hide the green color. You can also add in flaxseed or a little protein powder to further the nutritional value. They will have no idea and think of it as a yummy treat. VEGGIE TALES When all else fails and you are struggling with your children at mealtime, why not make it a fun adventure?

COLD WEATHER TOMATO VEGGIE SOUP 2 Tbsp olive oil 2 celery stalks, chopped 1 small onion, minced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 28-ounce diced tomatoes 1 cup sweet potato puree 1/2 cup broccoli puree 1-quart beef broth 1 bay leaf 1/4 t pepper 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature Cook celery, onion and garlic in olive oil. Add tomatoes, sweet potato puree, broccoli puree, beef broth, bay leaf and pepper. Turn off heat and add cream cheese. Remove bay leaf and blend in blender for a smooth consistency. Serve with a grilled cheese sandwich and a side of fruit!

Tell them broccoli florets and stalks are trees and they must eat them to save the forest. Or make up a story about a bunny rabbit who wished he had carrots to eat and how lucky children are to have carrots on their plate. This may sound corny, but it works, especially with younger children who still think mom and dad are cool. Most children will go through a phase of banning vegetables. The good news is that as their taste buds develop and they experience interesting foods with friends or in restaurants, they may be more open to new epicurean treats. With some prodding and a little sneaky smarts kids can grow up in good health! Cammie Jones is an Augusta freelance writer and mother of three.

AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020 • 21


raising readers Me re di t h Fl ory

22 • AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020


The Cheesy Holiday Craze

T

he cheesy Holiday Christmas Movie craze continues to grow every year. Starting with the Hallmark channel, there’s now original content every year from Netflix, Lifetime, and last year Disney Plus came on the scene with Noelle. We usually think of moms watching these movies with a glass of wine, texting a friend, after the household is asleep. However, many of these movies are doing what Young Adult and Teen romance books have done for a long time with their heartwarming, funny and chaste romantic plotlines. In fact, the 2019 release Let it Snow on Netflix, was based on a book of stories written by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Laureen Myracle, three well known young adult authors. This year, Hallmark will release its first LGBT+ storyline, a topic young adult literature has been much more open to, and it stars Jonathan Bennet, who was in the ever-popular teen movie Mean Girls. So, for parents and family of teens, might there be a way to connect to your teen through the watching of cheesy holiday movies and books? A late-night marathon of Christmas movies one Friday this holiday season is a no-to-low cost way to spend some time together. The following are some suggestions to encourage reading, conversation and connection with your teen through the holidays. CREATIVE FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT When trying to please multiple family members, an impromptu movie night might lead to more contention than bonding, so plan ahead of time. If the goal is to watch as many as possible over the Christmas season, make a checklist or have everyone write a suggestion on a slip of paper and pull a nightly winner out of a jar. If you are trying to have quality time with one of your teens, let them choose and open with questions about their selection. Consider creating a snack menu that matches the movie. Is it about a smalltown baker? Decorate some cookies before you huddle up on the couch. Does it star one of your teen idols? Introduce your teen to their music, television show or movie from your era. MAKE A GAME NIGHT Last year I made cheesy holiday movie Bingo cards for our family. With squares like, “Santa Gives Advice”, “Kiss in the Snow”, “Tree Trimming Scene”, “Moves Back to Hometown”, and “Magical Family Heirloom” we added another humorous element to our holiday movie marathons. Choose a prize ahead of time and see who gets to declare “Bingo!” first. Other options could include an “I Spy” style scavenger hunt or writing out predictions to guess the movie ending or romance, surprise characters who show up, the food and desserts served or which Christmas carols will be sung. While these games can encourage laughter and conversation, you are also practicing reading skills with observations, predictions, understanding tropes, motifs and finding themes.

MOVIE WATCHING BOOK CLUB Like the aforementioned feature Let it Snow, consider reading the novel before or after with your child to talk about which you like better—the book version or the movie. Or consider gifting, borrowing from the library, or sharing holiday stories appropriate for your child or teen’s age and interest level. This is something you can do with the whole family for traditional stories like The Nutcracker, or A Christmas Carol, reading and watching different versions. For modern retellings or new and fresh stories, try the young adult novels The Afterlife of Holly Chase, My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories, or Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe. Some popular series authors have done special holiday books that might be fun to read separately or aloud together, such as The Princess Diaries or Dash and Lilly. For older, mature teens, several Hallmark channel movies have been based on romance novels or novellas, including A December Bride, Coming Home for Christmas, The Christmas Train and the Mrs. Miracle series. CONVERSATION STARTERS The romance in this genre of movie is, shall we say, a bit unrealistic. Princes and knights out of time, convenient run-ins with high school sweethearts, and the perfect job always waiting in the new small town the lead character was forced to visit, all within the convenient span of a holiday vacation. Each crazy situation lends itself to a conversation starter regarding relationships. Is what happens in the movie something your teen hopes for? What felt unrealistic or concerning to them? What challenges or sweet parts of dating did the movie leave out? Watching older movies like Love Actually or The Cutting Edge (not a Christmas movie, but a cheesy romance classic with a Winter Olympic figure skating plot) could introduce discussions about how dating has changed—the language, expectations and concerns. INCLUDE FRIENDS One thing I learned from my parents is that any inconvenience caused by your house being the teen hang out is easily overshadowed by the benefits. When I was a teen, my house was often the movie night hang out spot, so much that my mom was given her favorite candy and information on group plans in exchange for a comfy couch and a freezer stocked with pizza minis. Does your teen have a close friend or dating partner you need to get to know? Ask if they’d invite them over for movie night and provide the snacks. A cheesy holiday movie-themed party might be an easy way to host a young friend gathering. Meredith Flory is a freelance writer, military spouse and mother of two. She has a master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Kansas State University and has taught high school and college English.

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Holiday Fun! Hey There! Check our website for the latest Holiday events!


NAPPA’S 25 HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS

Photo by Randy Pace, Food Stylist Anslie Thorp

BY ELENA EPSTEIN

Cooking Class Global Feast! 44 Recipes That Celebrate the World’s Cultures Step-by-step photography feature children from a wide range of backgrounds preparing dishes that reflect their unique food traditions. Includes a pop-out food passport, world language flash cards and flag stickers. $18.95, ages 8+ www.storey.com/books/cooking-class-global-feast

AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020 • 25


GIFTS THAT LIGHT THE WORLD

Kindness Cards for Kids: 52 Ways to Make Every Day a Little Better An insightful and timely deck sharing different ways kids can practice being kind to themselves, their families, their communities and the earth. Offers a simple reflection or activity that helps develop compassion, empathy, courage, and responsibility. $18.95, ages 5-9 and parents www.shambhala.com/kindness-cards-for-kids.html

Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music

Healthy Roots Dolls

When both grandpas visit at the same time, they can’t understand each other’s language and there is a lot of silence. The grandson’s clever thinking helps find a way for everyone to share the day together as two cultures become one family. $14.99, ages 4-8 www.apa.org/pubs/magination/accordionly-abuelo-opa-make-music

Meet Zoe, who has learned to love her hair, specially designed with curl power that allows it to be washed and styled with real products. She wants all kids to love their curls, too. $79.99, ages 6+ healthyrootsdolls.com

Go! Go! Cory Carson® Cory’s Stay & Play Home™

Blue’s Clues & You! Dance-Along Blue Plush

FUN WITH FRIENDS

PJ Masks Romeo’s Flying Factory Playset It can really roll and opens to reveal a secret lair. Includes a lights and sounds control panel, working crane, laser launcher, drone and two of Romeo’s greatest gadgets, The Squashatron & The SniffO-Whiff! $44.99, ages 3+ www.JustPlayProducts.com

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Explore every room with Cory, Mama and Chrissy Carson mini characters in this 360° playset. Built just for cars with a pretend bathtub car wash complete with scrub brush, ramps and more. Place any SmartPoint® character (sold separately) on the SmartPoint® location to hear them talk, play music and light up. $39.99, ages 2+ www.vtechkids.com/product/detail/19477/Go_Go_ Cory_Carson_Corys_Stay_and_Play_Home

This plush includes Josh’s Handy Dandy Guitar as a controller. Press the button on the guitar for sounds and motion. Blue dances along to the music, moving her head and lifting her ears and paw up and down. $49.99, ages 3+ www.JustPlayProducts.com


IMAGINATIVE PLAY

Real-Action Fire Engine

Animal Rescue Large Truck

Mealtime Magic

Features a ladder that extends to over 2 feet high and rotates a full 360 degrees, a retractable fire hose and more. The truck opens to reveal an exciting command center with all kinds of authentic details built right in—from a radio and a computer to tools and gear. $49.99, ages 3+ www.lakeshorelearning.com

Find adventure on this safari, where you’ll find a lioness that urgently needs treatment in the truck. Includes beautifully designed and detailed equipment and tools for hours of imaginative play. $59.99, ages 3-8 www.schleich-s.com/en/US/wild-life/products/ animal-rescue-large-truck-42475.htmlinstagram. com/schleichusa

Maya is an expressive and lifelike feeding baby doll that recognizes and reacts to the foods you feed her, with over 70 sounds and phrases. $59.99, ages 4+ www.spinmaster.com

DinoMazing Egg Decorator

Spirograph Scratch & Shimmer

KidiZoom® Creator Cam

Explore your inner paleontologist with this dynamic craft kit that’s two activities in one. Decorate and then crack open the shell to discover a surprise collectible covered in colored slime. $25.99, ages 3+ www.eggmazing.com

Create amazing art in a whole new way. The glitter gears and wheels can be used with your own pens and markers on regular drawing paper as well. $19.99, ages 8+ www.playmonster.com/product/spirographscratch-shimmer

Create awesome videos with this high-definition video camera kit. Use the included green screen and 20+ animated backgrounds to get chased by a T-Rex, go to outer space or make yourself disappear! Set up your shot with the tabletop tripod/selfie stick and built-in microphone, then use the easy on-screen editing and creativity tools to create trick shots and time-lapse video. $59.99, ages 5+ www.vtechkids.com/product/detail/19539/KidiZoom_Creator_Cam

GET CREATIVE

AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020 • 27


UNBOX THE SURPRISES

FUN AND LEARNING

Octobo, The Tech Toy That Teaches

GIVE SOMETHING COZY

Storytelling meets creative technology with this character-based play platform that transforms screen time into customized, active play time with lovable interactive plush toys. Filled with games, stories and learning adventures. $139, birth-7 thinker-tinker.com

CozyGanoosh for MESA

Ryan’s World Mystery Spy Vault

100 Animals Book™

Large Elephant and Blanket Set

Go on a secret spy mission with this large surprise-filled vault and discover Ryan’s World inspired surprises inside. $39.99, ages 3+ www.JustPlayProducts.com

Interactive pages feature animals from 12 habitats and environments. Three modes teach about animal names, sounds and fun facts-. $17.99, ages 18+ months store.leapfrog.com/en-us/store/p/100animals-book/_/A-prod80-609540

This enormous plush is the best of both worlds for mom and baby. The blanket is super soft and the plush is larger than life and cuddly. $29.99, birth+ www.triactiontoys.com

Hairdorables Hair Art Series Customize their “Big Hair Don’t Care” attitudes with the name barrette featuring a printed hair art extension. Collect all new dolls, including the ULTRA-rare, Kat Mascot. $12.99, ages 3+ www.hairdorables.com

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Ultra-plush and providing coverage and warmth when strolling or transporting a child in inclement weather. $59.99, infants 4–35 lbs and up to 32” in height www.uppababy.com


GAME ON

MAKE THEM LAUGH

BABY LOVE

Back to the Future: Dice Through Time

Magical Tales Black and White Gymini

It’s up to you to help Doc and Marty repair the spacetime continuum before time paradoxes unravel the very fabric of the universe. Jump in your time machine, complete events, return items, and help restore temporal order. $29.99, ages 10+ www.target.com/p/back-to-the-future-dicethrough-time-board-game/-/A-79396332

Bring the fun for baby anywhere. Each mat comes with a developmental guide to better stimulate baby’s innate desire to explore. $47.99, birth-6 months www.tinylove.com/us_en/gymini-activitygyms/black-white-gymini

Little Live Pets Gotta Go Flamingo A potty-trained flamingo who sings, dances, chats back, eats and poops. Feed Sherbert his flamingo food and he wiggles his neck. When he sings a signature “Uh Oh, Gotta Go!” jingle, grab the included potty to catch his squishy, neon poop, which is reusable, so you can “do-do” it again. $29.99, ages 4+ www.walmart.com/ip/Little-Live-Pets-GottaGo-Flamingo-Dancing-Singing-PoopingToy/835439860

Eloise the elephant

BUILDZI

Artsy Fartsy

The fast-stacking, nerve-racking, blockbuilding game! $24.95, ages 6+ ilovetenzi.com

From dragons to dog farts, not much is off limits in this fast-paced, hilarious game where you draw, guess and steal clues. $24.99, ages 10+ www.artsyfartsygame.com

This knit with a luxe marl grey yarn has the sweetest baby trunk and little tasseled tail. As part of the cuddle + kind family, each doll sold provides 10 meals to children in need. $68, birth+ ca.cuddleandkind.com/collections/hand-knitdolls/products/eloise-the-elephant

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Photo provided by Project Impact

Photo provided by Project Impact Photo provided by Project Impact

inspiration station Jo s h He at h

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Feeling the Impact

W

ith all of the turmoil in the world, teenagers need guidance and encouragement now more than ever. That’s the aim of Project Impact Augusta, a grassroots initiative that provides mentoring, leadership and life skills training for young men in ninth through 12th grades. “We definitely saw a need,” says Jeff Pooser, Executive Director of the E3 Leadership Foundation, a local nonprofit that sponsors Project Impact. Founded in 2017, Project Impact has 13 volunteer advisors who teach the teens practical life skills, including money management, dependability and responsibility. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, advisors would meet with students in groups of four or five every other Saturday. Now, these meetings are virtual and take place via Zoom. “We miss them, and they miss us,” Pooser says. The program lasts throughout the school year, beginning in August and ending in May. The 2019-2020 program ended in March due to the pandemic. Advisors stay in regular contact with the students to monitor their progress and provide support. Because many of the participants are now attending school online, they have also added individualized virtual tutoring services provided by Richmond County teachers, college students and professional tutors. To promote financial literacy, Project Impact has partnered with First Community Bank, which has provided checking accounts for all participants. The bank also has a deposit match program, which means that if the young men meet monthly savings goals, First Community will match their savings. Another focus of the program is mental health. Pooser says they’ve hired a licensed psychotherapist to perform a psychosocial assessment of each participant to determine whether further mental health treatment is needed. One of the topics the groups discuss is civil

unrest and how that affects the young men. To be accepted, students must submit an application and complete a brief interview, he says. Once accepted, they’re allowed to remain in the program until they graduate from high school. Interest in the program has grown so much that the organizers have discussed expanding it to allow more participants. In 2017, about 20 young men submitted applications, but this year, the program is at full capacity after receiving nearly 50 applications. According to Pooser, the biggest challenge is being unable to accept everyone who wants to join. For the first two years, the program was funded by its advisors, which he refers to as an “act of love.” With funds from the Community Foundation Grant, Project Impact has now expanded its outreach activities, including taking participants to visit Augusta Technical College to learn more about auto mechanics and culinary arts. “We have a pretty good relationship with them there,” Pooser says. What Pooser, who also works as Project Manager in the Richmond County Tax Commissioner’s Office, enjoys most is watching the young men develop throughout the program. He also loves to hear success stories from participants, particularly when they recognize their own growth. Parents have told Pooser they’ve noticed their sons’ improved confidence and communication skills. The program also strongly emphasizes community service. The young men participate in the Miracle Mile Walk and City Serve, which involves cleaning up neglected properties, he says. In the past three years, Project Impact has already influenced so many lives, and there’s still more to come in the future. Josh Heath is a freelance writer and contributor of Augusta Family Magazine.

AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020 • 31


THE

ABCs

OF CONNECTING IN THE PANDEMIC HOLIDAY SEASON

BY DA NA HA RRIS

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed how we connect. It has forced families to reassess priorities, create different kinds of memories and spend more quality time with loved ones. Navigating this uncharted territory has presented many challenges. Parents are juggling responsibilities with limited or no childcare, taking on home-schooling duties and following disease-prevention measures with care. The holiday season is a stressful time for many reasons but throwing a pandemic into the mix is sure to make this year’s season like no other.

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Nonetheless, if you manage expectations and plan with intention, it can still be magical. As a contributing writer for the Augusta Family magazine, I remind readers that each day is full of choices and we only get back what we put into life. It is up to us to work together towards a better tomorrow, even when life’s obstacles arise. Everyone could use some thoughtful advice and encouragement these days. So, in this collection of 26 short, inspiring passages, I hope you will find just that.


A

ttitude is everything. Reading the news has been a nightmare these past few months. It is easy to have negative thoughts and feelings. You are not alone. Families across the globe are adapting to the evolving daily changes caused by this global pandemic. Despite it all, maintaining a positive attitude is one of the best things to help one another right now. It is a powerful way of keeping stress and worries at bay.

B

e brave. This is a difficult time, but it is just that—a time. Many are cooped up at home working, but some parts of the new normal can be considered a blessing. Now is your chance to do the little enjoyable things that have not always been a top priority.

C

all or text your neighbors (especially elderly neighbors) to make sure they are doing okay. Offer comfort and reassurance and ask if there is anything they need (be it a box of tissue or a cup of sugar). Wave to neighbors, take in trash cans, or offer a smile to strangers. Little gestures mean a lot.

D

onate to the relief measures and your favorite organization. Millions of nonprofit professionals around the world are working endlessly to deliver services and implement programs during this season. Positive intentions and actions can help strengthen the collective state of mind.

E

very parent is familiar with the day-to-day perils of the COVID-19 outbreak. Anxiety is contagious. Children are keenly aware and will react to and follow your reactions. They learn by example. This tremendous opportunity for you to model problem solving, flexibility and compassion is invaluable. Children, too, are under a tremendous amount of stress in facing an unknown future. Remember, facial expressions often communicate much more than our words.

F

ocus on what you can control. If these last few months have taught us anything, it is that nothing is certain. It is important to allow yourself to mourn missed milestones. It is of equal importance to make an effort to reframe any anxious thoughts since it helps to look at situations from a positive and hopeful perspective.

G

ratitude research shows that gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. There are always things to be thankful for. Take 5 minutes of your early-morning routine to write down the things that you are grateful for on a piece of paper.

H

appy people have a mindset of appreciation and thankfulness. They stay in the present moment, actively look for the positive. Although there may be trials along the way, they see opportunities in adversity and lessons in difficult challenges. Happiness is never a destination mindset—it is about being where you are and savoring the moment.

I

t takes nurturing hearts to build a happy home. Among the cancellations, lockdowns, the emotional health, and financial threats of the last several months, I am reminded that the one thing we have control over is our mindset and the choices we make. When we add courage, resilience, hope, optimism, faith and thankfulness to the equation, it propels us to envision what is most important.

J

ust because the future is uncertain does not mean bad things will happen. When you are faced with uncertainty, it is easy to overestimate the likelihood of something bad occurring and underestimate your ability to cope with it. By challenging your need for certainty, you can begin to let go of negative behaviors, reduce stress and worry, and free up time and energy for the future.

K

indness is free. Life will always have hard moments, but sharing the kindness to practice compassion and empathy for ourselves and for others who are experiencing some tough moments goes a long way. Leave an envelope with a little gift for the Amazon Fresh delivery person. Send a note of appreciation to a friend, colleague or health care worker. It is front-line workers such as doctors, nurses and transport drivers who take high risks and make the most sacrifices. Think of those who could benefit from your thoughtfulness and generosity. Then act.

AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020 • 33


L M

ife is filled with uncertainty. A strong mindset is critical to coping with difficult circumstances and facing the unknown.

ake some new traditions. You and your family could start Saturday morning with a pancake breakfast on the patio or order takeout food on Friday evenings. Schedule a movie night with popcorn and your favorite thriller. Plan a car party. If in proximity to loved ones, consider a driveby car parade with poster messages of love and encouragement. Try a virtual barbecue with neighbors. Holidays are a valuable time for the whole family to catch up, make new memories and grow closer. Do not forget the situation is calling for social distancing, not emotional distancing.

N O P

ow is a great opportunity to schedule some you time. Chat with a friend, watch a lighthearted movie, read an inspiring book, meditate, and breathe or listen to uplifting music. ptimism is the ability to see the glass as half-full. This outlook enables confidence and hope. It creates an emotional space that reinforces positivity, creativity and perseverance for any situation.

rioritize and be proud of your efforts to protect your children’s mental health. Kids always need stability and adults who make a priority of caring for them. Children are neither intricately resilient nor inherently vulnerable. Instead, their well-being arises out of who they are as individuals and their unique life experiences.

Q R S

uit worrying about tomorrow, enjoy the present and share some laughs. There is a reason why laughter is called the best medicine. It boosts our immune system, lightens the mood and reduces stress.

elax and reflect. The holidays are all about relaxing and reflecting on family and traditions. So, consider a wellearned pause, then reflect on what works and what you would like to adjust and change. Make reflection part of your new attitude and do what you can to actively engage the family while making the best of your holiday season together.

avor each moment. One of the many sacrifices we are making during the new normal is social distancing, and one of the most difficult things from it is missing family gatherings. Having to skip birthday parties, grandparent visits and even funerals adds to the emotional burden of this challenging time— even though we know it is for the greater good.

T

eaching children positive preventive measures, talking to them about their fears and giving them a sense of some control over their risk of infection can help reduce anxiety. Stay calm, listen and offer reassurance. How you

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talk about COVID-19 with your child will either increase or decrease your child’s fear. If true, remind them that your family is healthy, and you are going to do everything within your power to keep loved ones safe and well.

U V W X

tilize this quality time to reach out to friends and family virtually. We are living in the digital age with so many ways to connect with others. There are many ways to choose, whether by telephone, e-mail, video chat, social media, or messaging apps or going old school with a letter or postcard. isualize. Only when you see it, can you be it. The ability to be a visionary is a powerful tool. And while we may not wish to acknowledge it, uncertainty is a natural and unavoidable part of life. A little vision can go a long way in helping one’s outlook. rite down your thoughts in a journal. Assess what you have accomplished thus far and create a plan for what you wish to do once this difficult period ends. By doing so, you will be convincing your mind that the crisis will definitely end. -out unhappiness. Adopting the idea of cultivating personal happiness might seem trivial, selfish even, but it could be more important than ever. All this negative energy and sad news regarding the global pandemic taxes the mind, body and spirit. It is vital to intentionally counteract this toxic, fearful energy with a conscientious investment in creating happiness.

Y

es! It’s true that uncertainty is all around us. The current COVID-19 pandemic has heightened uncertainty in many areas of life. It is important to realize that no matter how helpless and hopeless you feel, there are proactive steps you can take to better deal with uncontrollable circumstances, alleviate anxiety and face the unknown with more confidence.

Z

est for life changes the way you process hard times, setbacks and roadblocks. A mental shift produces faith, excitement, possibility, new horizons of success and happiness. Change is tough, but zest helps you and your family to cope, pivot, and adapt to truly appreciate the magic and wonder that the holidays and life has to offer. Dr. Dana Harris is a former Richmond County public school educator, elementary school teacher, professional staff development consultant & principal. She is a public speaker & freelance writer with more than 37 professional years in the educational arena. Currently she is retired, a wife of 41 years, a mother and grandmother of two beautiful grandkids, London & Bryce.


calendar

NOVEMBER SUNDAY

MONDAY

1

TUESDAY

3

THURSDAY

5

6

7

NATIONAL CANDY DAY

2ND ANNUAL TEE IT UP FORE KIDS

WHIPPED CREAMERY ICE CREAM TRUCK OUTSIDE AUGUSTA & CO.

MARVINGANZA!

4

FREE SUNDAYS AT THE MORRIS MUSEUM OF ART

8

WEDNESDAY

PARENT’S DATE NIGHT WITH KIDS CLUB AT TOP DAWG

9 NATIONAL PIZZA DAY! SWING BY MELLOW MUSHROOM, AUGUSTA FAMILY FAVORITES #1 PIZZA SPOT FOR 2020

15

16

MASTER’S WEEK

GET CRAFT Y! TAKE AND MAKE DIY TO-GO CRAFT KITS

22

23

10

11

PUDDLE DUCKS KIDS AND CAREGIVERS CLUB

VETERANS DAY

18

24

29

SANTA’S VILL AGE, AIKEN FAIRGROUNDS INDOOR/OUTDOOR CRAFTS

12

13

14

MASTER’S WEEK

MASTER’S WEEK

MASTER’S WEEK

SUBMIT A VIDEO AT LIFEVEST INSIDE FOR NATIONAL KINDNESS DAY

CHILDREN’S HIKE WITH STORY TIME, PHINIZ Y

19

MAKE SOME HOMEMADE CRAN-BANANA BREAD, P.19.

SACRED HEART HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE AND GUILD BAKE SALE

25

26

CAR SEAT INSTALL ATION CHECK BEFORE LEAVING OUT OF TOWN, VISIT WWW. AUGUSTAFAMILY.COM.

SATURDAY

SANTA’S VILL AGE, AIKEN FAIRGROUNDS

EARLY HOLIDAY SHOPPING? VISIT SHELVIE JEAN, DOWNTOWN AUGUSTA

17

FRIDAY

20

21

LIGHTS OF THE SOUTH STARTS

SATURDAY SCIENCE AT THE KROC CENTER

27

HAPPY “GIVE THANKS” DAY! BLESSING OF THE HOUNDS

28

2020 PALMET TO PEACH HALF MARATHON, 10K AND 5K

30

RECURRING EVENTS Sundays

First Tuesday

Wednesdays

First Friday

FREE Sundays at the Morris Museum of Art. 12pm – 5pm.

PUDDLE DUCKS: KIDS AND CAREGIVERS CLUB,

PARENTS’ DATE NIGHT WITH KIDS CLUB, 5:30 –

WHIPPED CREAMERY ICE CREAM TRUCK at Augusta

Third Sundays

Phinizy Nature Swamp. $5, through age 5. Starts at 10am. Story time and crafts. www.phinizycenter. org/puddle-ducks.

7:30pm. Tavern Burgers, $6. Kid-themed crafts. Live music. www. facebook.com/events/ top-dawg-tavern-augusta/ parents-night-out-attdt/289914238759858.

& Co., 12 – 3pm every first Friday.

SECRET RECORD NIGHT AT THE BEE’S KNEES. 5 pm.

Free. Grab some locallysourced foods while enjoying a guest DJs spins for the night.

Fridays

RECTEQTM MOVIE NIGHTS.

Gates open at 6pm. Movie starts at 7:30pm. Visit www.movienight.recteq. com for movie information.

Aiken Saber Academy at Odell Weeks Activity Center. Learn the sport of fencing using specialized light sabers. Ages 14 and up. Beginner and Advanced Classes. Visit www.discoveraikencounty.com/venue/ odell-weeks-activity-center for pricing and times.

AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020 • 35


calendar

DECEMBER SUNDAY

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

1

6

7

THURSDAY

2

3 AUGUSTA SYMPHONY HOLIDAY POPS! DIGITAL CONCERT 3 – 30

NORTH AUGUSTA TREE LIGHTING

AUGUSTA COMMONS CHRISTMAS SPECTACUL AR AND PARADE

9

10

EVANS CHRISTMAS PARADE AND TREE LIGHTING

13

14

15

17

21

22

23

AIKEN CHRISTMAS CRAFT SHOW

5

AIKEN CHRISTMAS CRAFT SHOW

11

12

HANUKK AH

AIKEN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA “HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS”

18

19 SANTA AT THE DEPOT!

25

24

CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS EVE

AIKEN FESTIVAL OF TREES WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!

27

CHASE RICE, EVANS TOWNE CENTER

DIY PINECONE NAPKIN HOLDERS AND SNOW LUMINARIES, VISIT WWW.AUGUSTAFAMILYMAGAZINE.COM.

NATIONAL WEAR YOUR PEARLS DAY

20

SATURDAY

4

HOPEL AND GARDENS 1- 23, 26-27

8

FRIDAY

28

29

30

NATIONAL HERO DAY!

31

26 KWANZA A

NEW YEAR’S EVE

LIGHTS OF THE SOUTH ENDS

RECURRING EVENTS November 20 - December 30

December 1 - 23, 26 - 27

December 3 - 30

LIGHTS OF THE SOUTH! Premiere Christmas Lighting

29th Annual Christmas in HOPELAND GARDENS. 6 -9pm. FREE. Visit www.visitaikensc.com/calendar/ all/2020/12.

AUGUSTA SYMPHONY digital concerts to be watched

Attraction in the Augusta River Region. 6 – 10pm, closed Christmas Day. Over 5 million lights displayed on 500 acres. Hayrides, Santa, CandyLand play area, The Christmas Tree Maze and more! Children under 3 are FREE. Visit www.LightsOfTheSouth.org.

36 • AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020

on demand through Dec. 30th. Enjoy classics of the holiday season like Rudolph, Nutcracker Suite, Winter Wonderland and many more all from the comfort of on-demand viewing. 7:30pm. www.augustasymphony. com/2019-20-season.


REMAIN SANE AND STAY IN THE GAME CALENDAR The past few issues of Augusta Family magazine have included our “remain sane and stay in the game” calendar that shares fun suggestions for families while we continue to hear news of businesses reopening. Tear out the calendar, toss it in your car or let the kids hang it up in their rooms—these weekly ideas for getting together as a family will keep everyone engaged and in the game! And check our website for continued updates on events around town at www.augustafamilymagazine.com!

NOVEMBER November 6-20 - Art Exhibit: SEEDs at Westobou Gallery downtown. Emerging local and regional art works available for affordable prices. www. westoboufestival.com/about/the-gallery. November 14 - Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. $2/ child, toddler to age 8. www.phinizycenter.org/ events. November 14 - Craft Fair at Watchmen Broadcasting, North Augusta. 9am – 2pm. Christmas shopping while supporting local artists. Call 803.278.3618. November 16 - A/R Workshop has DIY To-Go Craft Kits online— pick up at your local workshop’s doorstep and craft at home! Some doorstep shipping available. All materials and instructions included. Easy and fun for all ages. (www.arworkshop.com/ diytogo/). November 19 - Sacred Heart OPEN HOUSE, 10 – 4PM, Free. A wonderland of unique gifts for the holiday with homemade cookies, cakes, pies and breads. Featured talk with local artist Chad Cole along with a cooking demonstration by a local chef. November 21 - Saturday Science at the Kroc Center. 9 – 11am. $6.50 ($5.20 member price). Call 706.364.5742 for more info.

November 26 - Blessing of the Hounds in Hitchcock Woods, Aiken. 11am. A must-see for residents and visitors as the tradition pays homage to the heritage of fox hunting in the South. www. visitaikensc.com/calendar/event/blessing_of_the_ hounds. November 28 - SRP Park, 8am – 12pm. www. thesrppark.com/events-at-srp-park

DECEMBER December 1 - 6–6:30pm. John C. Calhoun Park. December 3 - Augusta Commons Christmas Light UP Spectacular and Parade. Live entertainment, kid’s activities, fireworks, holiday lights and decoration. 12 – 6:30pm, parade begins at 2pm. 706.722.8000. December 4 - Aiken Tree Lighting. 6pm, Newberry Street. Live music, Santa, refreshments and countdown. Take-home craft kit for kids. For more info visit www.cityofaikensc.gov/treelighting. December 4 - Chase Rice, American country music singer/songwriter at Evan Towne Center Park. 8 – 10pm. www.visitcolumbiacountyga.com/events. December 4 - 5 - Aiken Christmas Craft Show. Odell Weeks Activities Center, 9am – 5pm. FREE. Visit, www.discoveraikencounty.com/event/50thannual-christmas-craft-show/2020-12-05.

December 6 - Evans Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting, 6 – 10pm. December 12 - Aiken Symphony Orchestra “Home for the Holidays.” 3pm. www. aikensymphonyorchestra.com. December 13 - Holiday Market at the Marina. 12 – 4pm. FREE. 706.869.5404. December 17 - Add some natural winter beauty to your holiday table with pinecone napkin holders and snow luminaries. Step by step instructions at www. augustafamilymagazine.com.

December 19 - Santa at the Depot! Come visit Santa from 10am – 1pm. Reservations made in advance. Children must be accompanied by one adult. Call 803.293.7846. FREE.

December 20 - Festival of Trees winner announcement at the Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum. Visitors are able to visit the center throughout the month of December and vote for their favorite decorated tree! FREE. December 31 - Virtual Kiddie Countdown. Purchase a New Year’s Eve program box that includes hats, noisemakers and sparkling grape juice. Ball drop at 9pm. $20/family of 4, $5 per extra child. www.visitaikensc. com/calendar/event/virtual_kiddie_countdown. AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020 • 37


T H E

MODERN P E R S P E C T I V E

When did your interest in singing start? I have been singing since I was four years old when I joined the “littlest angels” choir at my church (I still sing under Joel Haywood in Love Unlimited, the high school choir at Trinity on the Hill). This is where I became interested in singing because it was a fun environment and gave me a positive outlook for it that I have carried ever since.

What do you enjoy about singing? What is most challenging? One thing that I really enjoy about singing is how complex it is. There are so many ways that music is performed and interpreted. It is amazing how two people can sing the same song but portray completely different meanings. This, however, is also one of the most challenging things about singing. A singer must be able to find a way to connect to each song personally and express that meaning to the audience. This can be conveyed in several ways, like facial expressions and stance. It may not seem particularly important, but it is amazing the differences those subtleties can make.

What is one of your favorite performances and why?

Sarah Kilpatrick is a junior and member of the John S. Davidson Fine Arts School Chorale. She has two older brothers who were also in the chorale group and helped to form her love of music. Along with singing, Sarah enjoys playing soccer and a few other sports that fill her time outside of school.

38 • AUGUSTA FAMILY | WINTER 2020

My favorite performance was when our school choir got the privilege to perform at GMEA (Georgia Music Educators Association). When we finally got to the venue along with our director Phillip Streetman, we understood how hard we had worked to prepare for the event. We had personal connections to each piece and were, for lack of a better phrase, so in the moment. During one of the songs that included a very beautiful solo for one of our members, many of us began to cry because of how amazing she sounded and how much we had worked to get to that place.

What things do you do to help ease your nerves before singing a solo? I was never super nervous when singing a solo. I just knew that, while I always hoped that people enjoyed what they heard, I was really singing for myself. When I was younger, I sang at the Greenjackets stadium a few times, but as I got older, I began to enjoy singing in a choir and in ensembles more than doing solos. I was involved in the Augusta Children’s Chorale under the direction of Lori Van Lenten and did some shows with the Augusta Junior Players.


CUSTOMIZED GIFTS

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Profile for Augusta Family Magazine

Augusta Family Magazine Winter 2020  

Give Thanks! Annual Toy Guide 2020

Augusta Family Magazine Winter 2020  

Give Thanks! Annual Toy Guide 2020

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