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Volume 1 | Issue 6

January 2014 20-21

Movie Tavern

Dine-In Theater Offers Premium Movie Experience


Technology Trends


Book Review


In Every Issue

Artist Profile: Amanda Mattison 2

North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014

06 Calendar

18 Community Life

10 Business Life

24 Taste of Life

16 Family of 4

26 Academic Life

150 North Street, Suite A, Canton, GA 30114 (O) 770-213-7095 | (F) 770-213-7106



PUBLISHER/PHOTOGRAPHER Jack Tuszynski EDITORIAL Michelle Martin ART Tiffany Atwood Candice Williams



SALES Jennifer Allen Janet Ponichtera

“We almost always have choices, and the better the choice, the more we will be in control of our lives.” — William Glasser


ecently, I was introduced to a different type of cruise control, one that automatically causes the car to decelerate when going down hills. It wasn’t a new car; in fact, it was only a couple years newer than the one I’d been driving for the past 13 years. The other held its speed by acceleration without any “thought” to braking or downshifting to slow down. So, the change was welcome — one less decision to have to make at the moment.

individual, cannot control. Still, often I find myself worrying about those things I know I cannot control.

After a few speed zones, I grew at ease and let the car’s assistance actually help me by letting it perform how it is engineered. I didn’t worry so much and just let the cruise control...well, control. Cruise.

What drives you?

Once we figure out (and maybe get humbled enough) to realize how apparent it is that we aren’t in charge, it’s time to lighten up a little, knowing that “all systems are go” and everything is going to be as it should. Just keep our eyes forward, focused and steer in the right direction.

I wish you safe travel on the road ahead and into 2014. May you have much peace and happiness in the coming year. I have faith in you.

So, that made me think about what is controlling me and the innate surrendering I thought I had found, yet sometimes still feel I know better. So many decisions are made that I, as an Jack Tuszynski, publisher

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS State Senator John Albers, Vicki Barnett, Ron Bradley, Crystal Bryant, Michael Buckner, Arlene Dickerson, Lisa Ethridge, Catherine Groves, Heike Hellmann-Brown, April Kitchens, Michelle Knapp, Dr. Amanda Kossick, Julie Lippitt, Susan McLean, Dr. Vishant Nath, Christy Noll, Debra A. Robinson, Nick Roper, Will Rumbaugh, Kimberly Sheldon Scruggs, Vic Shandor, Laura Stalemark, Suzanne Taylor North Fulton Family Life magazine is your monthly community magazine and a publication of Family Life Publications. The magazine’s mission is to bring relevant, positive stories and timely information to its readers and to provide local businesses with a premium outlet for community-based advertising. Each month, copies are distributed free by mail and through local businesses in the North Fulton area. Please contact us or visit our website for a current list of locations where copies of the magazine can be found and other information. North Fulton Family Life welcomes your comments, stories and advertisements. Subscriptions are available for $25 per year. Please contact us for payment options. 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. North Fulton Family Life magazine is not responsible for errors and omissions. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission from the Publisher. © 2014 All rights reserved.


North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014

Hard [CORE] Pruning “Snip,” “clip,” and “shape” are words commonly used to describe the light, corrective pruning done by most gardeners throughout the year; but, that’s not the topic here. If your landscape has gone from eyecatching to eyesore, it’s time to do some severe pruning to reduce and renovate “leggy,” neglected, and crowded landscaping. Hard pruning produces dramatic results. Besides restoring the plant’s natural shape, it also stimulates growth and improves flowering. Many people fear that drastic pruning will kill a thriving plant. The truth is, older shrubs that have outgrown their locations can be reduced severely if they are healthy because they have welldeveloped root systems. Typical shrubs, such as holly, ligustrum, and camellia, can be cut back to 2 to 4 feet without harm. Nandina and mahonia can be cut back almost to the ground. Bushes that

By Lisa Ethridge

block the view of a porch or windows invite burglars; and neglected, outsized plants can present safety hazards if they block walkways or doorways. It is best to do hard [CORE] pruning in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. Renewal pruning should include cutting out branches that cross and rub against each other and removing any dead or diseased areas. Avoid cutting back spring-flowering shrubs, such as forsythia, deutzia, lilac, azalea and rhododendrons until the flowers fade. Warning: Cutting them back as late as July will affect the blooms for next spring. Now is the optimal time to survey the yard and make a plan for pruning when there is a warm day. After the job is completed, clean up the clippings, add organic matter, and mulch the plant. It will appreciate the extra TLC after the renovation.

To maintain or improve the look of your landscape, you will have to overcome the fear of pruning. A plant’s health and beauty depend on combining snipping, clipping, and shaping with the judicious use of heavy or hard pruning. If you have any questions about what to prune, how to prune or when to prune, Master Gardeners are available to help. Just call the office during business hours.

Lisa Ethridge is a certified master gardener with North Fulton Master Gardeners, part of the UGA Cooperative Extension Service. 404-613-7670,



Calendar of

E v ent s January 4

Bring One for the Chipper As part of a statewide effort to reuse Christmas trees, Keep Roswell Beautiful has joined with sponsors The Home Depot, 11 Alive, The Davey Tree Expert Company, and the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation in hosting this Christmas tree recycling project. Residents are invited to bring their trees to Home Depot in Roswell, where the trees will be chipped into mulch. Participants will receive a free gift (while supplies last). Please do not drop off trees in advance. 9:00 a.m.4:00 p.m., Home Depot, 1580 Holcomb Bridge Road and 870 Woodstock Road, Roswell.


‘The Only Light in Reno’ Georgia Ensemble Theatre presents Atlanta playwright Topher Payne’s new play set in Reno, Nev., in August 1960. Filming on “The Misfits” is hopelessly behind schedule, with no end in sight. The Sierra Mountains are on fire, and Reno is in total blackout. Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift are playing board games with an accused murderess, and Marilyn Monroe is locked in the bathroom. This is the hilarious story of when Hollywood came to “the biggest little city in the world” and everything went up in flames. Visit the website for specific performance dates and times. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. 770-641-1260,


AAU/YBOA Girls Basketball Tryouts Sixth-grade girls interested in travel basketball are invited to participate in the AAU/YBOA Sixth-Grade Girls’ Basketball Tryouts. 4:00-6:00 p.m., both dates, Northside Baptist Church, 11125 Houze Road, Roswell. 770-598-8063,


North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014


Roswell Fire and Police Foundation Charity Gala In the course of helping others, members of the Roswell Police and Fire Departments are sometimes injured, resulting in the disruption of normal family activities and financial instability. The mission of the Roswell Fire and Police Foundation and the goal of the gala is to help Roswell public safety employees and their families in their time of need. The black tie-optional event will feature a buffet-style dinner, open bar, and entertainment provided by Yacht Rock Revue. 6:30-10:30 p.m., Ivy Hall at Roswell Mill, 85 Mill St., Bldg. B., Roswell. 678-756-2878,


Night Hike What goes bump in the night? Night hikers at the Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC)! The guided night hike will feature fun activities and take participants through one of CNC’s woodland trails or on the river boardwalk, all by the light of the moon. Experience a private animal encounter with fellow night hikers to learn exactly what to look (or listen) for while out on the trail! Ages 5 and up. 7:009:00 p.m., 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. 770-992-2055,


13th Annual Roswell Wedding Showcase Presented by Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau, this event will feature unique and talented wedding specialists on hand to offer advice on wedding planning tips, hotel accommodations for your guests, event facilities, cakes and catering specialties, décor and design, bridal gifts, and more. Admission is free, 2:00-5:00 p.m., DoubleTree by continued on page 8

Library Events ALPHARETTA 238 Canton St., Alpharetta 770-740-2425 Northeast/Spruill Oaks 9560 Spruill Road, Johns Creek 770-360-8820 Ocee 5090 Abbotts Bridge Road, Johns Creek 770-360-8897 Roswell 115 Norcross Street, Roswell 770-640-3075 CAREing Paws Third and fourth Saturdays, January-May, 11:00 a.m. & Wednesdays, 4:00 p.m., Roswell Bella or Shayna, trained and certified therapy dogs, love stories. Beginning and reluctant readers are encouraged to sign up for a 15-minute time slot to read to them. Grades 1 and up. Registration begins three weeks before the program. Junior Achievement Means Success Entrepreneurship Program January 7, 14, 21 & 28; February 4, 11, 18 & 25, 6:00 p.m., Northeast/Spruill Oaks Teens will interact with representatives from the Atlanta business community to develop real-life solutions to challenges faced by companies in today’s business climate. The series will conclude with a Business Challenge Competition in which students present their ideas to a panel of judges from the local business community. Grades 6-9. Registration is required. Teen Thursday: Geek Chic January 9 & March 13, 6:00 p.m., Ocee Learn how to hand-stitch embellish your clothes using a variety of fabrics and accessories. Bring a cardigan, T-shirt, skirt, hat or anything else you would like to alter. Snacks will be provided. Ages 12-18. Writers’ Forum January 13, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Roswell This 90-minute facilitated event will be a lively, safe exchange for writers of any skill level to share their work and receive balanced feedback. Registration is required. Georgia Peach Scrappers January 13 & 27; February 10 & 24; continued on page 8



Calendar of


continued from page 6 continued from page 6

Hilton Atlanta/Roswell, 1075 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell. 770-640-3253,


IceFest Children’s Charities, a Miltonbased nonprofit organization, will present the 2014 Ice Carving Festival to benefit the Early Autism Detection Unit for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. All-day passes include admission to Chattahoochee Nature Center, featuring live music, kids’ activities, food trucks, and the ice-carving competition; the evening reception and reveal; and a private meetand-greet with the Atlanta Ice Marvels. 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m., Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. 404-217-4643, Feb



Big Apple Circus Enjoy the pulse-racing thrills of the world’s greatest circus artists in one ring under the Big Apple Circus Big Top, where no seat is more than 50 feet from the ringside! The Big Apple Circus will feature amazing animal tricks, double trapeze artists, clowns, an irrepressible flimflam man, and a juggler extraordinaire! Visit the website for performance times. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. Feb



‘Willy Wonka Jr.’ Roswell Showstoppers presents Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka Jr.,” a fanciful musical of imagination for children of all ages! Willy Wonka is the world’s most famous chocolatier, but he is retiring and leaving his world-famous chocolate

factory to one of five lucky winners. Four winners have each found a golden ticket hidden inside a Wonka Bar, and the true test of character begins! Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregard, and Mike Teavee have all found golden tickets, and there is only one left. Will Charlie Bucket, who loves his family and Wonka Bars with all of his heart, find that elusive last golden ticket? 7:00 p.m., both dates, and 3:00 p.m., February 1, Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. 770-641-3987,

February 1

The Genius of Tchaikovsky Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra will present an exceptional night of music, featuring renowned pianist Piotr Folkert performing some of Tchaikovsky’s greatest classical compositions. Folkert is an international award-winning pianist who is revered for his ability to play the masters. The program will be rounded out with selections from Mozart and Beethoven. 8:00 p.m., Northview High School Theatre, 5575 State Bridge Road, Johns Creek.


Chattahoochee Challenge 10K Run for the love of nature at the 13th Annual Chattahoochee Challenge 10K Race along the Chattahoochee River, an official qualifier for the 2013 Peachtree Road Race. All participants will receive a T-shirt and swag bag. 1-Mile Fun Run, 7:30 a.m.; 10K, 8:00 a.m., Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. 770-992-2055 x 226,

March 10 & 24; April 14 & 28, 5:00 p.m., Alpharetta Scrapbook lovers can learn ways to improve your scrapbooking while connecting with others who share your enthusiasm. Adults. Music for Babies with Miss Gail January 14 & February 11, 10:30 a.m., Ocee Babies and their parents are invited to attend these entertaining and educational programs. Learn how music teaches your baby early literacy skills, improves motor function, and deepens the bond between baby and parent. Ages 0-2. Limited to 25 babies and their parent/caregiver. Reader’s Theatre: The Library Comes Alive! January 15, 4:00 p.m., Roswell Actors from Georgia Ensemble Theatre will do a staged reading of “Sideways Stories from Wayside School.” Snacks will be provided. Ages 6-10. Teen Advisory Board January 15, February 19 & March 19, 5:00 p.m., Ocee Join the Teen Advisory Board and help the library plan teen programs, select teen materials, and make a place for teens in the library. Snacks will be provided. Registration is required. Ages 12-18. Please send an email containing your name, age and “TAB” in the subject line to: Marcia.Divack@ Happy Tails/READing Paws January 16, February 13, March 6, April 17 & May 15, 4:30 p.m., Alpharetta Children can sign up for a 15-minute session to read to Echo, a trained and registered therapy dog. Work on reading skills with a great listener who loves hearing all kinds of stories. Registration is required. Ages 5 and up. Send an email to: Amy. NESO Writer’s Club for Teens January 26, February 23, March 23, April 27 & May 25, 2:30 p.m., Northeast/Spruill Oaks Writing tutor Sarah Calhoun will lead this monthly workshop on writing and all that goes into it: the structure, motivation, inspiration and love. Teens are encouraged to bring pieces that they are working on for presentation and group discussion. Ages 12-18. Registration is required.


North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014

What to Look for in a

Training Class or Seminar By Arlene Dickinson

Happy 2014! Have you made any resolutions? Lots of people take the opportunity that each new year presents to set new goals for themselves. A great way to keep the momentum going toward achieving your goals is setting up activities to keep you excited. For example, if you are looking for a new job or promotion, things that might keep you focused on those goals are networking, attending seminars and expanding your skill set through training. Here are some tips to help you decide whether a seminar or training class is right for you: • Timing: Is it an all-day event, breakfast or lunch learning session, or a cocktail hour? If a growling stomach can distract your focus, make sure you select a session that either provides food or is at a time of day when you can make sure you have already eaten. If the event is on a weekday, make sure the time is conducive to your schedule. Or, book it far enough in advance that you can take a day off or make other arrangements to free up your schedule. • Location: Is the session being held in a location that is convenient to you? Is there parking nearby? If the location is not close to home or work, that may be another reason to consider taking a day off. Do you like to dive in and get your hands dirty in a training class? Ask if the location has Wi-Fi so you can bring your own computer. Even better, do they have computers you can use? • Materials: Will you get handouts or workbooks at the session? Should you bring business cards? Most course descriptions will tell you if you need to bring something to successfully complete the course, as well as what materials the course includes. Not every goal requires additional training, but getting new information and hearing fresh perspectives can go a long way to help you stay focused on what you want to get out of 2014. Good luck!

Arlene Dickerson is the co-owner/director of Technical Resource Solutions. 678-928-9491,



Business What's New Osteria Mattone opened recently in historic Roswell. The restaurant is owned and operated by Ryan Pernice and executive chef Ted Lahey, both of whom also lead Table & Main restaurant, also in Roswell. Osteria Mattone serves regional Italian fare with a focus on Roman cuisine in a dynamic setting that combines the casual spirit of an osteria with the more formal dining of a trattoria. The menu, prepared by Lahey and Sous Chef Alex Chen, includes signature dishes like angolotti di oxo (tender braised oxtail pillows with a rich, buttery jus); bucatini all’amatriciana (Italian cured guanciale with tomato, chili and pecorino); spaghetti alla carbonara (classic spaghetti made with pancetta, egg and parmesan); and tonorelli cacio e pepe (prepared simply with pecorino cheese and black pepper). Osteria Mattone also features an exceptional wine list and pastries by Pastry Chef Micki Kimberly, former sous chef at Table & Main. The restaurant is open 5:00-10:00 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday; 5:00-10:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday; and 5:00-9:30 p.m., Sunday. 1095 Canton St., Roswell. 678-878-3378, Taziki’s opened a new location in Alpharetta recently. The Alpharetta restaurant, locally owned by Mike Hoffman, offers the same innovative, fresh-made recipes that Taziki’s has provided for years in Birmingham, Ala., featuring flavors inspired by the Mediterranean and highlighted by simple ingredients, fresh-grilled meats, original homemade sauces, and healthy sides. There are no freezers, fryers or microwaves at Taziki’s! Offering dine-in, take-out and catering, Taziki’s fresh casual concept is well suited for persons who need to get in and out in a hurry, as well as individuals and families who want to take their time and dine in a beautiful restaurant. Takizi’s is “deliciously different!” Hours of operation are 11:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m. daily. 5306-B Windward Parkway, Alpharetta. 470-235-5614,

Community Involvement Georgia Cancer Specialists (GCS) and Northside Hospital will sponsor the 12th Annual Totes 2 Tots Suitcase Drive for foster children on January 17. Approximately 7,500 children, from infants to teenagers, are currently in the foster care system in Georgia. Many of these children shuffle their belongings in garbage bags when they are removed from their homes. Since Totes 2 Tots was first launched in 2003, the annual volunteer event has collected and distributed more than 33,000 bags. GCS’ Totes 2 Tots Suitcase Drive will be held 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., January 17, at 19 metro Atlanta GCS locations, including Alpharetta, Johns Creek and Atlanta. The public is invited to donate new or nearly new backpacks, kid-sized suitcases and duffel bags to support the drive. GCS partners with Georgia’s Dept. of Human Services (DHS) Division of Family and Children’s Services to distribute the bags in the counties in which they’re collected. Keith Horton, DHS commissioner, said, “It may seem insignificant to the rest of us, but for a child whose life is upended, these generous gifts offer some sense of stability in the transition to another home. The Totes 2 Tots program is not just another drive for a material need; it is a program that seeks to provide our state’s foster children with a sense of dignity and respect during a difficult time in their lives.” For a list of participating locations, visit or, or call 877-716-2273. Financial donations may be made securely online at 10

North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014



Education: A Lifelong Journey By Senator John Albers


n educated Georgia is the foundation for our future. We compete in a global economy and need to have the best and brightest lead Georgia into the future.

bad investment but also irresponsible. Our schools will have to act more like a business if we want to get more business out of our schools.

I will introduce a bill during this legislative session called, “eEducate Georgia.” This bill will mandate the elimination of traditional textbooks by the year 2020 in lieu of Tablets, iPads, Kindles and other mobile technology. Having technology in the students’ hands will help transform education, which is the great equalizer for all children. We can and must do better; this is one important step.

Education comes in many forms — from formal classrooms to hands-on learning. The days of completing school early in life, working and retiring are in the rearview mirror. The demand for continuing education will only increase.

We must align our high schools, technical colleges and universities to real-world jobs. Obtaining a college degree with no job on the other end is not only a

I am an example of a lifelong educational journey. After high school, I entered college. I had a gift for business and communication, and quickly climbed the corporate ladder and left college behind. It was not until later in my adult life that I finished my bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville and completed a

graduate program (Legislative Leadership Institute) from University of Georgia. My journey is not nearly complete; I will continue to learn formally and informally to stay current and improve. I am a strong advocate for education and will continue to support all efforts to move Georgia forward. Often times, people cite money as the priority for education. Proper funding is certainly needed, but some of our most important components don’t require money. Parental involvement, accountability, communication, determination and high expectations should be the rule — not the exception. From the Albers family to your family, Happy New Year 2014!

Senator John Albers represents the 56th Senate District, which includes portions of North Fulton county. 404-463-8055,


North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014

Protect Your Home By Nick Roper

The start of a new year is a great time for making changes. If you don’t have a home security system already, consider making it a New Year’s resolution to have one installed. A security system keeps not only your belongings safe, but also your family.

Many people only think about home security during the holidays, when homes are filled with more merchandise and left unattended for longer periods of time, as people gather with friends and family to celebrate. Holiday gifts and an empty house, no matter what the time of year, aren’t the only targets for criminals. And being home isn’t a guarantee that your belongings are safe. In the children’s book, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” by Dr. Suess, all of the Who’s in Whoville were sound asleep when the Grinch sneaked in and stole everything in sight. If the Who’s had had a monitored home security system, then the Grinch wouldn’t have been able to steal all of their presents and food down to their last can of “Who Hash.” There are plenty of companies in the metro area that can meet your home security needs. Just do some comparisons and make sure that you choose a reputable company that offers 24/7

monitoring. You may need to have a system hardwired, or you can go with a wireless system. Security systems can be as basic and economical as you want, or you can have your house set up with a security system that compares to that used at the White House. As technology develops, home security does as well. You can have a system installed that allows you to monitor your home through any smartphone or tablet and can be installed without a land (phone) line. The possibilities are endless. Don’t wait until your home has been broken into to take action. Be proactive now to ensure your family and belongings are safe.

Nick Roper is manager of business development for H&H Electric and Security LLC. 770-735-1136,



Be the first to find the photo where these pieces belong! Please email to submit your answer. Be sure to include the magazine title, your name and contact information. Only emailed answers with full information will be accepted. Individuals can win only once per calendar year. Happy Hunting!

Congratulations to our December winner, Nancy Glass! 14

North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014



with the help of Michelle and Suzanne at ScoopOTP, we found some. Curious for more? Visit!

Live Music


21 & Over

Family of

Looking for family fun things to do? We are too! And

Jekyll Brewing

Crabapple Tavern

Hudson Grille Wow, what a special offer! All day, every day, kids under 12 eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée at Hudson Grille. The Alpharetta location is the only Hudson Grille that has the Xtreme Gaming 360 truck, 5:30-9:00 p.m. on Fridays. Bring the kids for good food and fun! 865 N. Main St., Alpharetta. 770-777-4127, HudsonGrilleAlpharetta


North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014

Break up your “Hump Day” by heading to Crabapple Tavern near Milton for dinner and live jazz every Wednesday, 7:00-10:00 p.m. You can also kick off your weekend with Crabapple Tavern’s acoustic hour on Fridays. Enjoy the fine food and spirits. 12350 Arnold Mill Road, #6, Alpharetta. 770-667-7456,

for animal lovers

Food & Games

Jekyll Brewing, located at the north end of Big Creek Greenway in Alpharetta, offers the perfect setting to enjoy a leisurely walk, run or bike ride before visiting the brewery for a tour and tasting. Jekyll Brewing features five locally made craft beers. Adults 21 and older. 5:00-9:00 p.m., Tuesday-Friday, 1:00-9:00 p.m., Saturday. 2855 Marconi Drive, Suite 350, Alpharetta.

CNC’s ‘Creature Feature’ Curious about animals? Bring the family to the Chattahoochee Nature Center at 2 p.m. every Saturday or Sunday for “Creature Feature.” Meet and learn about one of CNC’s native, resident animals from a CNC Naturalist. Each month follows a different theme, so “Creature Feature” is always exciting! 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. 770-992-2055,

My New Year’s Resolution By Ron Bradley, D. Min. At the beginning of a new year, a high school principal posted his teachers’ New Year’s resolutions on the bulletin board. As the teachers gathered around the bulletin board, one of them complained, “Why weren’t my resolutions posted?” She was throwing such a temper tantrum that the principal hurried to his office to see if he had overlooked her resolutions. Sure enough, he had mislaid them on his desk. As he read her resolutions he was astounded. This teacher’s first resolution read: “I resolve not to let little things upset me anymore.” The whole process of making New Year’s resolutions is a risky business. The problem is that the New Year’s resolutions collide with the Old Year’s habits. A friend of mine once advised me that if I were to make resolutions to keep them private! Ignoring his advice, I’ll share my 2014 goal with you: to become a more joyful, productive Christian in 2014. I hope you will hold me to it! The anonymous poem, “Today,” is going to be my motto:

day I see will be. ow, a new d in w y d of day it m in k t a h Outside w ine can determ g and gay, And only I ny, laughin n su d n a sy u y. It can be b ppy and gre cold, unha d n ing key. a g in n ri rm o Or b the dete is d in m f te o myself be. My own sta person I let e lp th ly n o I can to he For I am and do all l u tf h g u o . I can be th st of myself nd think ju a sh em fun, lfi se se it e e Or b d mak n a o d someone. I t a wh it hard on e k a m I can enjoy d n a rstand d complain y not unde a m o h w Or gripe an ose tient with th I can. I can be pa as much as m e th rt u t I say, h d n a elieve wha b d n Or belittle a , lf se each day. faith in my the best of e k a But I have m to d nally inten And I perso In 2014, let us resolve to go nowhere we cannot take Jesus Christ; say nothing we would not want Him to hear; and do nothing we would not want Him to know about. May God bless you in the New Year!

Ron Bradley is the pastor at First Baptist Church Roswell. 770-587-6980,



Community enAble of Georgia Plans Annual Fundraiser enAble of Georgia Foundation Inc., the fundraising arm of enAble of Georgia Inc. Pictured (left to right) at the 2013 (enAble), enAble Gala: Harry Stern, enAble has CE0; Dolores Rodden, enAble board announced member; and Nancy Hoke details for its 26th Annual “Dare to Dream” Gala. The event will be held 6:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m., March 8, at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel, 2450 Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. The black-tie optional event will raise funds to support the vital programs offered by enAble to help individuals with developmental disabilities lead productive and fulfilled lives. The “Dare to Dream Gala” will feature live and silent auctions, dinner, a live band, and an awards ceremony honoring people making a difference in their communities.

Alpharetta Rotary Visits 2013-14 Global Grant Water Treatment Plant

Alpharetta Rotary President-Elect Karen Nolan and other Alpharetta Rotary members, along with Rotarians from Portoviejo Reales Tamarindos, the construction engineer, and the Las Gilses city president, visit one of the water cisterns for a new water treatment plant under construction in the Manabí Province of Ecuador.

Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Alpharetta visited the first phase of construction of the Water Treatment Plant in the Manabí Province of Ecuador recently. This Rotary International Global Grant project was submitted by the Rotary Clubs of Portoviejo Reales Tamarindos and Alpharetta in the Rotary year 2013-14. The Rotary Clubs of Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and South Forsyth partnered with Alpharetta Rotary in funding the project.

The plant is projected to support 4,400 residents in the communities of Las Gilses and La Boca. The plant is designed with a chemical injection, filtration, and active chlorination system. It is capable of storing 25 cubic meters of raw water, with a capacity to produce 20 cubic meters of water hourly, and store 50 cubic meters of treated water. The RC Portoviejo Reales Tamarindos, in coordination with the communities, will provide training at the child, adolescent and adult level on the proper handling of water for health and sanitation. The local schools will include safe water and sanitation in their curriculum. A Water Authority has been established to maintain the facility and handle billing of residents. The Water Treatment Facility is expected to be completed by June 2014.

enAble serves approximately 140 youth and adults living with developmental, intellectual, and physical disabilities throughout the greater Atlanta area. This year marks enAble’s 35th year of service to people with disabilities. The 501 (c)(3) nonprofit based in Roswell offers services that include: residential, day enrichment, youth transition, and supported employment programs in Fulton County, as well as support provided in individuals’ private homes throughout a 10-county metro area. Two new services were introduced in 2013 — Summer Day Camp and Holiday Camp — to meet the increasing needs of high school youth and young adults with developmental disabilities.

Sarah Chandler was hired recently as the new coordinator for the Roswell Cultural Arts Center (CAC). Originally from Macon, Ga., Chandler earned a master of fine arts degree in Theatre Management from Virginia Tech. She has worked professionally as a freelance manager Sarah Chandler for performing arts companies, with a focus on ensemble companies that create innovative and collaborative work, including Pig Iron Theatre Company in Philadelphia, The Public Theater in New York City, and the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, Mass. She most recently served as the rentals and operations manager at Christ Church Neighborhood House and owned an events management company, Sweet Ninjas.

For tickets and sponsorship opportunities, contact Nancy Lindgren at 770-664-4347, ext. 121, or;

G. Morgan Timmis, manager of Historic and Cultural Affairs for the City of Roswell, says he was pleased to find such a highly qualified candidate to manage the CAC. “Sarah Chandler brings great experience and innovative ideas for how to enhance everything about the CAC.”


North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014

New Coordinator at Roswell Cultural Arts Center

Is Your House

Making You Sick? By April Kitchens

Indoor air quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and homes, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of those inside. IAQ can be affected by carbon monoxide, radon, mold and bacteria. And, while we tend to think of air pollution as an outdoor threat, it can be even worse inside the buildings where we live and work. The causes of indoor air pollution vary from house to house and even room to room. Contaminated air seeps in from outside, but it also drifts up from many indoor sources, like construction materials, consumer products, mold, insects and pets. Poor ventilation can let it accumulate to dangerous levels — a big problem in fall and winter, as we seal up our homes to conserve heat. Carbon Monoxide (CO), an odorless and colorless gas, causes an array of symptoms — from headaches and nausea to confusion and unconsciousness — and kills approximately 500 people nationwide per year. Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) irritates mucous membranes and causes shortness of breath, and long-term exposure to low levels may raise the risk of lung infections or emphysema. Airborne particulates can lodge in the lungs, potentially damaging tissue and

even work their way into the bloodstream. The best way to detect CO is by installing CO alarms on every level of your home, always near bedrooms and fuel-burning appliances. Those appliances should also be inspected at least once a year by a qualified indoor air quality expert, as should chimneys, flues and airhandling systems. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are in countless consumer products, from paint and glue to printers and shower curtains. They have low boiling points, causing them to “off-gas” lots of vapor even at room temperature. Some VOC vapors cause short-term health issues, like headaches and nausea, often grouped together as “Sick Building Syndrome.” Molds and mildew are notorious indoor air polluters. Outbreaks often begin in basements and bathrooms. Health effects vary by mold type and personal sensitivity; symptoms may include nasal stuffiness, wheezing and skin irritation. Studies have also linked indoor mold exposure to asthma development in children. The best way to fight mold is to fight moisture by

“Health effects vary by mold type and personal sensitivity; symptoms may include nasal stuffiness, wheezing and skin irritation.”

keeping the relative humidity indoors below 60 percent. House dust mites, microscopic creatures living in your bedding and eating your dead skin, are found in all homes. The average bed contains 6 million dust mites; they are a major cause of asthma and allergies. Approximately 10 percent of Americans have allergic sensitivity to dust mites, which become a major problem in the winter months. Improving the quality of the air in your home will reduce allergy symptoms, control mold, fungi, bacteria and other micro-organisms, and neutralize odors from cooking, pets and chemicals. If you believe your home may be making you sick, make a 2014 resolution to have your home professionally tested to ensure a healthy and happy new year.

April Kitchens is the Director of Marketing at 4 Seasons Heating & Air. 770-504-5833,




Pictured above: Danny DiGiacomo, Marketing Director

By Michelle Martin | Photos courtesy of


inner and a movie” is taking on a new meaning at the new Movie Tavern in Roswell. The new theater, located at Sandy Plains Village in Roswell, combines dinner and a movie in one venue to offer movie-goers a more comfortable, convenient movie “experience.” As Danny DiGiacomo, director of marketing for the Dallas-based company, explains, “Movie Tavern is casual dining meets movie-going. Our guests can order and enjoy delicious, chef-inspired menu selections from the comfort of their seats as they enjoy a movie on the big screen. In-theater dining has become very popular and we really are the experts in this concept.” The Roswell location is Movie Tavern’s third and most state-ofthe-art location in metro Atlanta. “The response from the Atlanta market to our Suwanee and Tucker locations has been overwhelmingly great. Customers really love the in-theatre dining 20

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concept,” DiGiacomo says. “We’re excited to expand into Roswell and have the opportunity to offer the Movie Tavern experience to movie-goers in the Cobb/North Fulton area.” Ike Parks, formerly with the Suwanee location, is general manager of the Roswell theater. Movie Tavern in Roswell features 11 digital screens and RealD 3D capability, as well as luxury lounger seating in all auditoriums. Each movie theater is individually designed to create different settings for movie-goers. Some theaters, for example, are smaller to offer a more intimate setting. The MT-X (Movie Tavern Xtreme) theater is Movie Tavern’s premiere auditorium. “MT-X has more than 200 seats with oversized luxury recliners, a giant 70-foot screen and an enhanced, customized sound system,” DiGiacomo says. All seating throughout the new Roswell location is reserved. Customers can easily select their preferred seats online at or at the box office or ticketing kiosk.

All of Movie Tavern’s lounger seats feature a swivel tray and call button for dining service at your seat. Customers can choose from appetizers, entrées, desserts and traditional movie theater concessions. Beverage service also includes wine, beer and signature cocktails —− available at in-theater seats or at the Movie Tavern bar. “Of course, customers can still get popcorn and soda, but there is so much more to the Movie Tavern experience,” DiGiacomo says. “Our chef-inspired menu includes a wide variety of delicious food. We have something for everyone.” Some popular menu items include burgers; beef and chicken sliders; Island Skewers with lemon-peppered shrimp, Jamaicanseasoned beef and Huli-glazed chicken served on a bed of rice with roasted vegetables; Thai chicken flatbread; buffalo wings; hand-tossed pizza; salads; and seasonal fruit and cheese platters that can be paired with wine, just to name a few. “The quality of our food and variety of menu choices are what sets us apart. The average price of an entrée is around $10,” DiGiacomo says. “We try to give moviegoers a great dining and movie experience without breaking the bank.” At Movie Tavern, there is no minimum food or beverage purchase required to enjoy a movie. Likewise, patrons can order from the Movie Tavern bar without purchasing a movie ticket. DiGiacomo says Movie Tavern features a variety of signature drinks, an extensive wine list by the glass or bottle, and beer on tap and in a bottle. “We like to add different local and craft beers to the menu to give our guests the opportunity to try out new options. When a response to a particular beer is overwhelmingly positive, we keep it on the menu,” he says. Movie Tavern also follows a “familyfriendly age policy,” requiring children 16 and younger to be accompanied by a parent or guardian at least 21 years old and restricting children 6 and younger —− even if accompanied by an adult —− from watching R-rated movies. “Movie Tavern is a very family-friendly place, but we do cater to adults,” DiGiacomo says. “Our age policy allows us to welcome both groups

y, Sr. Instructional Left to right: Kim Murph ss, Regional Design Manager; Carla Ro General Manager; ks, Training Manager; Ike Par Brent Healy, Bar Manager The MT-X theater, Movie Tavern’s premiere auditoriu m

and helps us keep the environment fun for everyone.” In addition to first-run movies, Movie Tavern shows classic movies as part of its “Retro Cinema” series, at 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 11:30 a.m., Wednesdays. Movie Tavern also offers “Breakfast and a Flick” at 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. This special series combines first-run movies with a breakfast/kids’ menu that includes pancakes, waffles, French toast and other breakfast favorites. “‘Breakfast and a Flick’ is very popular with families. It’s a great way for families to bring the kids in for a fun morning at the movies,” DiGiacomo says. “People today are picky about how they spend their money. They want to know that they’re getting a true value and a good experience,” he adds. “Dine-in theaters are increasingly popular because customers feel like they’re going to an event rather than just going to the movies. At Movie Tavern, we offer a premium experience —− with customized, personal dining service from a chefinspired menu, right at the comfort of your seat —− without a premium price.”

4651 Woodstock Road, Roswell 11 Screens RealD 3D First-Run Movies Retro Cinema Series Luxury Loungers Call-Button Food and Beverage Service at Your Seat Chef-Inspired Menu & Full Bar Weekend Breakfast Showtimes (9 a.m.) Private Events WWW. FAMILYLIFE PUBLICATIONS.COM


Alpha Arts Guild Promoting the Arts through Creativity, Opportunity, Development By Kimberly Sheldon Scruggs and Susan McLean


a nonprofit organization, the mission statement of the Alpha Arts Guild is “to promote greater visibility and awareness of Georgia’s artists and their important contribution to the community by creating an environment of understanding, education, and appreciation of artists and the arts.” The Alpha Arts Guild has been an active organization since 2008, with members from all over Atlanta and the north Georgia area. Alpha Arts Guild is comprised of a very diverse group of artists representing a variety of art forms, including oil painting, watercolor, sculpture, collage, abstract art, digital art, and photography. Our members range from celebrated artists to those who are new to creating art. A part of each meeting includes an informal session during which members are encouraged to share their work with the group. The meetings offer members the opportunity to learn from each other in a relaxed, encouraging environment and serve as a springboard for many interesting discussions about art. One of the great offerings of the guild is our website, Each member in good standing has a gallery on the website to showcase and promote their works. In addition, Alpha Arts Guild has partnered with Somerby of Atlanta, a retirement community located in Alpharetta. Every few weeks a new exhibit of members’ work is installed, providing an opportunity for our artists to showcase their work. Another of the guild’s community activities is a members’ art exhibit 22

North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014

at the Alpharetta branch of the Fulton County Library. Each exhibit is displayed for three months. We also partner with different art groups and organizations to promote art and to give back to the community through shows and educational opportunities. In addition, we offer the expertise of local artists and business professionals at our monthly meetings. Speakers and topics have included fiber artists, collage artists, professional framers, bonsai, a how-to on gold-leafing, and a popular local portrait artist. Alpha Arts Guild continues to look for ways to promote our local art and artists, as well as provide learning experiences and promote camaraderie among our members. For example, a group of members recently went to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta to view the Dutch Masters exhibit. This month, members of Alpha Arts Guild can participate in a group tour of the Tuileries exhibit, also at the High Museum. We invite anyone with a love of art — whether creating it or enjoying it as a patron — to join Alpha Arts Guild. Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month, September through April, at the Somerby retirement community. 404-387-2082



Taste of Serves 12

Ingredients 2 pounds frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed ½ cup (1 stick) margarine, melted 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper 1 (10-ounce) can Cream of Celery soup ½ cup chopped onion 2 cups sour cream 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese Crushed corn flakes, Italian bread crumbs or butter cracker crumbs ¼ cup (half-stick) margarine

Preparation Combine the hash brown potatoes, ½-cup margarine, salt, pepper, soup, onion, sour cream and Cheddar cheese in a large bowl and mix well. Place in a buttered 9x13-inch baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the corn flakes and dot with ¼-cup margarine. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Recipe is from the “At Your Service: Southern Recipes, Places and Traditions” cookbook, produced by the Junior League of Gwinnett & North Fulton Counties (JLGNF). Since 1986, JLGNF has been serving the women and children of Gwinnett, North Fulton and South Forsyth counties. The mission of JLGNF is to strengthen the community by creating and implementing collaborative volunteer projects, including programs aimed at building self-esteem in girls ages 5-8. In addition to the cookbook, JLGNF’s fundraising efforts include an Attic Sale in the fall and the “High Heels High Times” fashion and shopping event in the spring.


North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014

Hash Brown cassero


New Year’s Resolutions:

Dental Addition By Vishant Nath, D.M.D. The start of the new year brings with it a clean slate. Many of us will make New Year’s resolutions regarding our health and wellness. As you examine where you are from a health standpoint, don’t forget your oral health status. There are lots of ways to reinvigorate your oral health wellness; here are a few ideas. Make a resolution to understand your dental insurance benefits. Understanding your dental insurance plan empowers you to use the benefits appropriately. You are paying for these benefits through your monthly premium, so resolve to use your dollars wisely by taking some time to fully understand your plan. Being proactive about understanding your plan can make life simpler if you or your children have a need for dental treatment later in the year. If you or your children are not on a twice-yearly schedule for dental hygiene visits, start today! Call your dentist to make appointments for you and your children. If you would prefer to avoid scheduling your children’s appointment during school time, call now to schedule a summertime appointment. For many offices, these appointment times fill up fast; calling now can help to ensure that you get your choice of appointment times. Change your toothbrush. As a general rule, you should change your toothbrush or brush head every three months. The bristles begin to wear down over time and become less effective at adequately cleaning your teeth. Also, remember to change your toothbrush after you have suffered from a cold, flu, a mouth infection, or a cold sore, as germs that cause these ailments can linger on your toothbrush and cause reinfection. Be sure to change your children’s toothbrush if they have experienced any of these symptoms as well. Pep up the daily oral hygiene routine in your house! Something as simple as changing your children’s toothpaste can add freshness to a mundane task. Or, try a different type of toothbrush or add mouth rinse to your children’s routine. It is so important to solidify your children’s daily oral care maintenance. Thoroughly brushing and flossing teeth daily can lead to great oral health all year!

Dr. Vishant Nath is the owner of Canton/Milton/Roswell Pediatric Dentistry. 678-352-1090,

Wireless Speakers Buyers’ Guide By Michael Buckner The “Tickle-Me Elmo” of electronics this past holiday season undoubtedly was the PS4, Xbox One, and wireless speakers. While I can’t shed any light on the video game market, I’d love to educate you on the latest and greatest wireless speakers. Klipsch makes a great new speaker called the KMC1 that sounds phenomenal, runs off Bluetooth, and is battery powered. This wonderful gadget will play anything that is on your smartphone, such as Pandora, Spotify, etc. The only drawback worth mentioning is that the music stops if you get a phone call or your battery dies.

“Of all of the wireless speakers out there, my favorite is made by a company that I’ve been bragging about for years: Sonos.” Bose has three different new wireless speaker products — Sound Touch Portable, Sound Touch 20, and Sound Touch 30. The portable model is the least expensive of the three. Each of the new Bose wireless speakers will connect to the Wi-Fi in your home; you simply download the Bose app to your smartphone, Tablet or iPad. After that, you’re off and running. They can also be networked so that two or more units can play the same song in unison. Another cool feature is that if your phone dies, whatever Pandora station you selected will continue to play until you can recharge your phone or connect to another device. Of all of the wireless speakers out there, my favorite is made by a company that I’ve been bragging about for years: Sonos. Like Bose, Sonos offers three different wireless speaker models — PLAY:1, PLAY:3, and PLAY:5. The Sonos PLAY models, however, are slightly less expensive than Bose (about $100 for each comparable model) and sound a little better than Bose. Also, with Bose, should you decide to buy the higher-end products like a sound bar, the music will not play to it the same way as the wireless speakers. With Sonos, you can start with the $199 speaker and add a Sonos sound bar (PLAYBAR) later — the sound bar will play in sync with the wireless speakers in the house. It offers the best in-sync sound, mixing both affordable and higher-end products.

Michael Buckner is owner of Audio Intersection, a provider of audio and video in Georgia. 770-479-1000,



Academic North Fulton Teacher Participates on Technology Panel at White House

AT&T donates $50,000 to RHS’ Communities in Schools Program

Heather Cox, a fourth-grade teacher at Crabapple Crossing Elementary School, was among 10 teachers and education professionals honored in December by President Obama as “Champions of Change” for creatively using technology to enhance learning for students. Cox and the others chosen also were invited to participate in a panel at the White House discussing technology and how it can enhance learning and personalize instruction. The event was streamed live on the White House website; a video is available at the school’s website,

Fulton County Schools (FCS) received a $50,000 donation recently from AT&T to fund a Communities in Schools (CIS) Pictured (left to right): FCS Superintendent site coordinator at Roswell High Robert Avossa, Patricia Pflum of CIS Atlanta, School (RHS). The funds make Dennis Boyden of AT&T, and RHS Principal it possible to have a specialized Jerome Huff staff member at the school to focus on improving students’ progress toward graduation. The CIS coordinator will build relationships with students who are struggling, identify their unmet needs, and mobilize community support to meet those needs. RHS Principal Jerome Huff said the partnership will focus on supporting approximately 55 “freshmores” — students who should be sophomores but are still classified as freshmen due to their academic performance.

Cox began teaching in the Fulton County School system in 2004. Throughout the past school year, she helped launch the Bring Your Own Technology pilot in the fourth and fifth grades, which provides instruction and training to teachers during and after school. In addition, with the aid of a team teacher, she began an after-school technology club to further technology instruction beyond the school day. As a current member of Fulton County’s first Vanguard Technology team, she continues to seek ways to improve and expand her professional knowledge and technology instruction in the classroom.

Crabapple Crossing fourth-grade teacher Heather Cox was honored at the White House for her use of technology in the classroom.


North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014

Creek View Elementary Supports Childhood Cancer Charity Creek View Elementary School’s Creek View Kids Care community service program raised $1,300 recently through kickball and dodgeball games to support its chosen charity, CURE for Childhood Cancer. All of the proceeds will go directly to CURE for Childhood Cancer. The program is sponsored by the PTA and led by Cheryl August, a Creek View parent.

Independence High Interact Club Leads Safe Driving Pledge Independence High School (IHS) finished first among Interact clubs participating in Alpharetta Rotary Club’s recent “Distracted Driving Pledge Campaign.” Last fall, members of Interact clubs collected signatures from students, Pictured (left to right): Dan Merkel, president, faculty members, friends and Alpharetta Rotary; Marc Alexander, co-president, family as a pledge not to IHS Interact; Jasmine Greenlee, co vice-president, use the phone to talk or text IHS Interact; Hamish Dallaway, co-president, IHS while driving. The IHS Interact Interact; Lyman Louis, Alpharetta Rotary; and Jim Club recorded the highest Paine, Alpharetta Rotary percentage of signatures — 139 percent — based on school enrollment. Alpharetta Rotary recognized officers of IHS Interact Club at a recent breakfast meeting and awarded the club $300 to be used for future service projects.

Charter System Offers

North Fulton Schools Flexibility By Will Rumbaugh & Vic Shandor

As Georgia’s largest charter system, the Fulton County School district has entered a new era of increased flexibility and autonomy for its schools. School Governance Council members are working hand-in-hand with principals and school leaders to develop strategic plans, consider best uses of resources, and design innovative practices that align with school needs. During the 2012-2013 school year, 20 “Cohort 1” schools transitioned into the charter system: Abbotts Hill Elementary, Autrey Mill Middle, Centennial High, Northview High, and Shakerag Elementary in the Northeast Learning Community; and Hembree Springs Elementary, Mountain Park Elementary, Roswell North Elementary,

and Milton High in the Northwest Learning Community. From March to September 2013, these schools engaged in a strategic planning process to determine their needs and to develop creative approaches that would help them realize their goals. In some cases, the innovations and ideas proposed by schools required waivers from district policy, state policy or law. As part of the charter system, schools in Cohort 1 may submit a Request for Flexibility (RFF) proposal to the district to obtain release from existing regulations so they can implement a strategic effort within the school. In November and December 2013, schools held a 30-day public comment period to share their RFF proposals with their communities and solicit feedback. Schools will submit their final proposals to the district this month for the superintendent’s review. Some of the proposed ideas include a waiver of the required school day

length to allow early release days for teacher professional learning; a waiver of teacher certification provisions so content experts can serve as Health Sciences instructors; a waiver of the district TAG instructional delivery model to allow for a customized TAG schedule; a waiver of current prerequisites for high school internship courses to allow all students the opportunity to participate in an internship; and a waiver of “seat time” to allow students to earn credit at an accelerated pace while increasing peer leadership skills.

Will Rumbaugh (left) is area superintendent of the FCS Northeast Learning Community. Vic Shandor (right) is area superintendent of the FCS Northwest Learning Community.



Be Happier & Healthier

in 2014 By Christy Noll

New Life in the New Year By Crystal Bryant

It’s a new year: time to contemplate last year’s goals and make new ones for the new year. How did you do last year? Did you reach all your goals — organize all the areas you set out to, stain the deck, go to the gym more often, cook more, spend more time with the family, be more positive? I think it’s important to have goals, even if you aren’t able achieve them all. If you have goals, then you have something to look forward to and strive toward. In my opinion, if you don’t have anything to strive toward, then complacency sets in and nothing gets accomplished. I’ve found that I am more successful with goals that are aimed at improving myself in a certain area, rather than reaching a certain milestone of a specific goal. I’m less likely to give up if I have the perspective that whatever I do is a positive step instead of feeling like I’m always coming up short. For example, each year I set a goal to get in shape and eat better. Last year I made a conscious effort to work out more than in the past, and it worked. I always feel better about myself when my muscles ache after a good workout. I try to eat fewer carbs and, now that the Halloween candy is gone and the holidays are over, I know I won’t eat as much chocolate and other sweets! The beginning of the year also is a perfect time to clean out closets and give to Goodwill or another charity those items you know you will no longer use. Plan a do-it-yourself project and organize a few closets or kitchen cabinets, paint a room, or start a scrapbook. Whatever your goal is, don’t get discouraged and give up. Let 2014 be your chance to make necessary changes for the better to lead a happier, healthier life!

Christy Noll is founder of, a resource that connects North Fulton families with community organizations, programs and events.


North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014

It’s a new year. Especially in America, the term “new” holds a lot of value. Items that are new are exciting, sometimes shiny, purposeful, and often give us something we haven’t had before. A new year is no different. With every new year we feel we have been given another chance at something. That is why we hear so much about New Year’s resolutions. We all resolve to make something better. Some of us want to look or feel better, to get a better job, to be a better parent, student or spouse. We all embrace the chance to “start fresh.” As Christians, we know that our faith also offers a chance for a new beginning. Such belief is a central theme for us. My oldest son, Christopher, who is now 12, grasped this when he was only 4. We had just moved into a new house in a new town and had a new baby. He was faced with changes in every facet of his life. One day while Christopher and I were taking a walk through our neighborhood, with his new little brother, Isaiah, in the stroller, we came across a butterfly on the street. It appeared to be dead, but actually was in perfect condition. The biologist in me had us bring it back to our house to inspect it closer. The wings were open wide, allowing us to get a perfect look at all the details of the shapes and colors displayed across its back. As I picked up the butterfly to look at its body more, it began to twitch. Christopher’s eyes grew wide with shock and wonder. We watched with great awe as the butterfly slowly began working its wings up and down. It fluttered up from my hand, then back down again several times before making its way up into the sky. As we stood there watching it fly away, Christopher said, “It’s just like Jesus!” We retell the story of the “resurrecting butterfly” often, knowing Jesus does, in fact, give us a resurrection, a new life. Happy New Year!

Crystal Bryant is the wife of Pastor Chris Bryant at City On A Hill United Methodist Church in Woodstock. She is involved in women’s, prayer and children’s ministries. 678-445-3480,

Healthy Living:

Whole Body Well-Being By Amanda Kossick, D.M.D. As we pack up the decorations from the holidays, we naturally start contemplating New Year’s resolutions. It can be difficult to keep these resolutions throughout the year unless we are properly motivated. Losing weight is always a popular objective in January, but possibly a more effective and achievable goal is a whole body well-being approach. Instead of focusing on a number coming from the scale, we should pay attention to what we are putting in our bodies and to our activity level. It is significantly easier to make a goal to be active once a day versus dropping 30 pounds by March. Whether you choose to work in your garden for an hour, go to the park with your children and play tag, or spend an hour walking with your spouse and pet; all of these activities will increase metabolism. Implement activities that work with your schedule and are easily integrated into your lifestyle. By staying active you decrease your chances of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and depression. Once you implement an active lifestyle it is easier to focus on what you are eating and what damage it might be doing to your body. Our mouths are the entry point to the rest of our bodies. Therefore, if something is not good for the heart or digestive system, then it is not healthy for our gums or teeth. Again, do not set unrealistic goals and then become discouraged when you can’t reach them. Challenge yourself to a level with which you are comfortable. For instance, eat one vegetable at each meal; reduce the amount of soda you drink to only one at dinner; or start eating breakfast instead of skipping the most important meal of the day. All of these efforts will improve your oral health by making you more aware of what is entering your mouth. You will be less likely to eat high-fat, high-calorie and high-sugar items that cause damage to gums and teeth. Living an active lifestyle will also cut down on inflammation in the body — therefore, decreasing chances of developing periodontal disease and other systemic inflammatory diseases. Make a healthy lifestyle your New Year’s resolution for 2014!

Dr. Amanda Kossick is a dentist with DeMercy Dental in Roswell. 770-641-8010,



By Michelle Martin

Each generation sees a significant shift in technology of some kind. Consider how far we’ve come just since the Baby Boomers’ generation. Countless devices and technologies that once were cutting edge have become mainstream (and, in many cases, have been replaced by the latest and greatest), including: remote controls; cordless phones; ATMs; microwaves; VCRs; Walkmans and portable boom boxes; desktop computers; computer networking; CDs; car phones; laptop computers; email and the Internet; cell phones; DVDs; digital music; USB drives; digital cameras; smartphones; text messaging; social networking and video conferencing; mobile apps; Cloud networking and storage; Tablet computers; and so much more. Technology that allows us to manage work, home, school and life more easily, remotely and cost-effectively has become the standard. The only questions in today’s high-tech, mobile, “smart” culture is what will come next, and how might North Fulton play a role in the technological landscape. Local leaders in economic development, business and education share their thoughts on how technology will shape how we work, live and learn in North Fulton.

Work The North Fulton area, especially Alpharetta, has an established and continually growing infrastructure that attracts technology-based businesses. Kenneth Dobson, administrator for Fulton County Economic Development, says North Fulton and Alpharetta are “highly competitive to most of the high-performance cities, regions and states across the nation and are much more advanced than the vast majority


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of the remaining cities, regions and states.” He attributes the success in attracting technology-based businesses to accessibility of high-speed broadband, a technology-prepared labor pool, a good education system, and good quality of life. Alpharetta has had such an impact in the area of technology that the City of Alpharetta formed the Alpharetta Technology Commission (ATC). Peter Tokar III, director of economic development for ATC, describes Alpharetta as the “technology hub” in the metro Atlanta area. “With 600 tech firms in Alpharetta alone, technology is one of the main industries that fuels our workforce,” he says, noting that Alpharetta’s fiber optic cable network, redundant power grid, and technology

workforce are major decision factors in companies choosing Alpharetta. “I would love to see Alpharetta go completely wireless. We are implementing public WiFi in our public spaces, with the plan for complete city coverage in the future.” Dobson anticipates the driving force of economic development in the coming years will be biotechnology, information technology, clean tech-green tech,

mobility technology, nanotechnology, logistics technology and advanced manufacturing. Tokar believes the growth of Alpharetta’s tech community will be less about a specific genre of technology and more about a tech culture. “Growth in technology happens where there is a tech culture, not where XYZ company is. Communities that foster innovation and collaboration, and provide resources to support this, will be where tech companies want to be.” In terms of how businesses use technology for operations, Cloud services, mobile devices and social media have streamlined how employees work and how they reach customers. Scott Lavelle, co-owner and technical director of Technical Resource Solutions, says the biggest benefit comes from using those technologies together. “Cloud technologies provide secure storage and information access with reduced initial

infrastructure expense. Mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, allow us to access our needed business information from anywhere. Social media and accessible media allow businesses to build brand awareness by marketing their product or service to a large audience — often through mobile devices — at an affordable price,” he says. “Without Cloud services, mobile devices would have significantly less benefit.” While a small company could manage most information through host services with affordable monthly or annual fees, Lavelle says larger companies would be better served to invest in their own server and supporting hardware and software that meets their individual needs.

Lavelle anticipates 3-D printing will play a big role in business technology moving forward. “The possibility of ordering plans for an item and producing it in a home or office, or creating prototypes of products under development, gives people basic manufacturing capabilities that otherwise would be out of reach.” And, as with any industry, quality and service will determine those who succeed as technology continues to advance, he says. “Technological advances allow us to be more efficient and put more within the reach of regular workers, but there still has to be a certain level of knowledge and understanding to implement technology so that it meets the individual needs of business owners and customers.”

Teachers are using technology to incorporate different types of learning, using Web 2.0 tools that include Socrative. com and is a student-response system based on educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets. works like an online sheet of paper where people can add images, videos, documents and text from any device. Wilcox says other technological platforms, like Edmodo, TodaysMeet and Skype, have broken down classroom walls to allow for more authentic learning across classes and communities. In addition, all FCS high schools are equipped with computers and a support person to facilitate a virtual learning lab.

Wilcox believes meaningful mobile technology integration and the personalization of student learning is the future of education. “As personal devices become more accessible and pervasive throughout the schools, teachers will find new and exciting ways to blend technology and instruction to meets students’ individual needs, 24/7,” he says. “Technology must provide an experience for teachers and students that amplifies learning — not simply learning differently.”

Education Students today have an almost innate understanding of technology, having grown up day in and day out with all of the modern technologies and devices that older generations have had to learn to navigate. Most schools in North Fulton use mobile technology in the classroom. Hoke Wilcox, director of Instructional Technology for Fulton County Schools (FCS), says the adoption of Bring Your Own Technology has increased student ownership of the learning experience. “Technology integration, no matter the platform or device, personalizes both teaching and learning. When student learning is personalized, engagement in the content and the lesson increases exponentially. When that ‘buy-in’ occurs, retention is more than just rote memorization, but rather a meaningful acquisition of knowledge — which means students are successful academically.”



Home/Life Perhaps the biggest impact technology has had in everyday life is connecting us with other people and tools. Mobile devices and smartphones allow people to connect with employers, coworkers, businesses, doctors, family and friends essentially 24 hours a day. As a result, we expect immediate responses to phone calls, emails and text messages. Michael Buckner, managing partner at Audio Intersection audio and video services, believes smartphones will continue to impact different areas of our lives. “Smartphones have effectively eliminated the need for digital cameras, phone books, radios and CD players, navigation systems and so much more,” he says, adding that homeowners also can manage automated lighting, security, appliance and entertainment functions remotely with the touch of a button on smartphones and

mobile devices. “Now, it’s all in the palm of our hands,” he says. With the recent introduction of Google Glass and Samsung’s smartwatch, Buckner anticipates wearable technology will be the next big thing for consumers. “It wouldn’t surprise me if soon there were T-shirts and other wearable devices that could monitor your heart rate, detect precursors to diseases, and measure your bloodalcohol level,” he says. “Technology is going to enter our homes and lives in ways that once we only imagined in science fiction.”

Save time and keystrokes with these Internet and smartphone shortcuts:

Scroll down page = Space bar (shift + space bar to scroll up again) Select state in online forms = Enter first letter of state repeatedly (C, C, C for Connecticut, for example) Enlarge or reduce text = Control and + or – Punctuate to begin new sentence = Space bar twice Highlight word = Double click on word Redial last number = Call button twice Skip to voicemail prompt = Varies by cell carrier (usually 1, * or #) Reduce shutter lag = Half-press shutter button There are several tips to using Google search, which also acts as a dictionary, FAA database, and unit and currency converter. Look up the definition of a word simply by typing the word, then entering “define.” Check flights by entering the airline and flight number. Convert units and currency simply by entering the current figure. David Pogue is a best-selling author of technology books and a is a technology contributor for the New York Times and CBS News.


North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014

It’s Like Throwing Money

Down the Drain! By Julie Lippitt You wouldn’t think of flushing $100 bills down the commode, so why are you letting those faucets drip and the toilet run? A small drip is the same as throwing money down the drain! Start the new year off with money in your pocket!

Did You Know? • If you replace a pre-1994 toilet fixture with a high-efficiency toilet, you can save enough water in a year to fill a backyard swimming pool. • If you replace your old washing machine with a new high-efficiency washing machine, you will use less than half the water for twice the amount of clothes. • A leaky faucet or pipe can use up to

1 gallon/hour or 24 gallons a day. • A leaky toilet or a pre-1994 toilet can use as much as 600 gallons/ month. • A high-flow showerhead can use up to 2,130 gallons/month. • Running water while brushing teeth uses up to 180 gallons/month. • Saving water is not only the right thing to do; it also saves you money on your water and sewer bills.

Install Low-Flow Fixtures for Savings • Toilet: Replace old toilets with new ultra low-flush toilets (saving 1.6 gallons per flush). • Shower: Install low-volume showerheads (2.5 gallons/minute). • Urinal: 1 gallon per flush. • Lavatory faucet: Replace old with new (2.0 gallons/minute). • Kitchen faucet: Replace old with new (2.5 gallons/minute).

Drain hose bibs to prevent freezing. This can be as simple as removing the garden hose from the spigot. • Check your irrigation system. No need to drain — you can either turn it off for the winter or set it to a lower water consumption. • Check your outside meter. If there is nothing consuming water in the house, the dials should not be turning. If the meter still runs after turning off the water supply in the house, then you have a leak in the line that feeds the house from the meter. If you notice a leak or drip, or hear your toilets running, call your plumber to troubleshoot and repair the problem before it becomes a costly issue.

Julie & Rick Lippitt are owners of Pete’s Plumbing in Alpharetta. 770-442-3934,

Preventing Outside Leaks • Look for drips at hose spigots.




GNFCC Business Expo March 27-28

Chairman’s Gala

April 26, The St. Regis Atlanta

Caldwell Tree Care 280 E. Crossville Road, Roswell

Taziki’s Mediterranean Café 5306-B Windward Parkway, Alpharetta

Zounds Hearing Aids 580 E. Crossville Road, Suite 340 Roswell

Amana Academy 285 S. Main St., Alpharetta

The Cottage School 7000 Grimes Bridge Road, Roswell

PRO Martial Arts 12850 Alpharetta Highway, Alpharetta

Southeast Mortgage of Georgia, Inc. 2475 Northwinds Parkway, Suite 530 Alpharetta 34

North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014

Magoon, Freeman, Spain & Jones, LLC 3600 Mansell Road, Suite 575 Alpharetta

Benefits of Minimally Invasive

Laparoscopic Procedures By Vicki Barnett, director of Surgical Services, Northside Hospital

New advances in surgical technology allow surgeons to offer patients more minimally invasive procedures. Laparoscopic procedures, like mini-laparoscopy, single-incision surgery and robotic surgery, cause fewer traumas to the patient and help them get back to their normal activities faster than ever. Laparoscopic surgery uses state-of-theart technology to reduce the damage to human tissue when performing surgery. It involves making between one and four small incisions in the abdomen, versus traditional open surgery with one large incision. Through these incisions, the surgeon inserts a small camera, called a laparoscope. The laparoscope allows the surgeon to view the abdominal area, in full-color, high-definition imagery and with all of the same functionality as open surgery, but with fewer traumas to the patient. If a problem is spotted, surgical instruments can be inserted through the same small incisions to treat the condition. Minimally invasive laparoscopy has been used across a wide range of specialties, addressing such problems as reproductive and pelvic disease, prostate cancer, bladder problems, obesity, GI disorders, hernias and much more. These procedures not only provide patients equivalent

outcomes to traditional open surgery but also patients who undergo laparoscopic surgery have: •

A reduced chance of hemorrhaging, which reduces the chance of needing a blood transfusion. Smaller incisions and reduced scarring. Most incisions are so small that they’re hardly noticeable after the incisions have healed. Less pain and less of a need for pain medication. Procedures are less invasive than conventional surgery, so there is typically less pain involved. Quicker recovery times. Minimally invasive procedures require smaller incisions than conventional surgery (usually about the diameter of a dime), so your body may heal much faster. Shorter hospital stays. Patients who undergo laparoscopic surgery are

usually able to go home the same day, so they can return to their normal daily activities sooner. Reduced risk of acquiring infections.

Mini-laparoscopy is one of the newest advances in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, and is usually reserved for patients for whom previous conventional laparoscopy and open surgery attempts have been unsuccessful. While conventional laparoscopic instruments are about ½-inch in diameter, instruments used in the new mini-laparoscopy procedure are only about ⅛-inch in diameter. Using instruments and telescopes that are smaller and thinner means smaller incisions, less pain, a faster postoperative recovery, and enhanced cosmetic results. Mini-laparoscopy also nearly eliminates the risk of incisional hernias.

Northside Hospital-Atlanta A leader in the advancement of minimally invasive surgery, Northside Hospital was the first in the state to offer mini-laparoscopy. Internationally renowned gynecologic (GYN) surgeon Ceana Nezhat, M.D., spearheads the availability of this new technology as the hospital’s program director for minimally invasive GYN surgery. In addition to using mini-laparoscopy to treat endometriosis, he has removed adhesions, large tumors and mesh embedded in organs. For more information about this and other laparoscopic procedures, please visit



The start of a new year tends to motivate us to create lofty goals that quickly fall by the wayside because they are, quite simply, a bit too much to maintain. As we make our New Year’s resolutions, why not have some educated help on how to actually keep them? “The Compound Effect,” by Darren Hardy, could be that essential ingredient for keeping your resolutions all year and for years to come! As publisher of Success magazine, Hardy has rubbed shoulders with some of the most successful, powerful achievers of this generation. He’s seen it all, and incorporated much of it into his own life. “The Compound Effect” is not a book about a “quick fix” on getting rich or rising to the top of the corporate ladder in a few days. Instead, it is about the “little things in life” that we do every day, and how each of these little things creates the quality (or lack thereof) of our everyday lives. In this detailed yet simple six-step plan, Hardy suggests we begin by looking back on our lives — illustrating how even the smallest of decisions at different points in our lives can have the biggest impacts at the time and even now. “The Compound Effect” is based on fundamental principles and teaches the real keys to motivation, eradication of bad habits, and the small choices we make daily that hold us back. It teaches us how to do the things that we don’t really want to do and how to multiply success through the force of momentum. Regardless of occupation, gender, or role in life, “The Compound Effect” is for readers who desire to make their dreams a reality. This is a program that is based on principles we already know, but need to actually apply. Bestselling self-help author and motivational speaker Anthony Robbins describes Hardy’s book as “that detailed, tangible plan of action.” “The Compound Effect” is a great book for the start of a new year! “The Compound Effect,” by Darren Hardy, can be purchased through Nook, Kindle, and most major bookstores.

Catherine Groves has lived in Georgia for 15 years and has lived in the South for considerably longer. An avid book collector (owning more than 5,000 books) and just as avid of a reader, she (as her children have said) “lives and breathes her books.” Catherine studied psychology, is working on an English degree, and is writing her first novel.


North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014

Digital Assets

Complicate Estates By Debra A. Robinson When most people think about providing for loved ones after death, an aspect of planning they miss is what happens to digital assets when the owner dies. Digital assets include online accounts, files stored on a computer or in the Cloud, photo-sharing sites, books, music, and email archives. You might not consider your bank account to be a digital asset; but, if your bank statements and bills are paperless and you use online bill pay, how would your family be able to identify your accounts and know what bills need to be paid? There are federal and state laws that prohibit unauthorized disclosure of protected digital information, and providers are not going to break

those laws. Without user names, passwords and the answers to security questions, even court-appointed estate representatives have been denied access to a decedent’s accounts. That means an Internet-savvy identity thief who reads the obituaries could hack into a decedent’s accounts, while the people who should have access to the accounts still could not access them. The terms and conditions for opening a new account (that most people consent to without reading) often state that the account will be closed at death. However, some service providers have a plan that allows you to give specific disposition instructions. For example, Google has an Inactive Account Manager that allows you to direct what happens to your photos, emails and documents when you stop using your account for a time period that you specify. You can also provide up to 10 contacts to be notified, and direct that your data be shared with them.

For estate-planning purposes, you should have a comprehensive list of your digital assets, with user names, passwords, security questions and answers, and you should regularly update it. Someone you trust needs to know how to access that list, whether it’s in hard copy or digital. There are online services that store documents and keep track of passwords, but most have been established only in the past five years and some have already folded. So, research carefully before signing up.

Debra Robinson is an attorney with Robinson & Miller. 770-817-4999,



By Heike Hellmann-Brown


he German term “Scherenschnitt” describes an ancient art form that dates back as far as third century China. Initially serving as window decorations, those papercut designs were functional and pleasing to the eye. Through the centuries, papercutting has been a popular folk art in most cultures that adopted it in different unique styles ­— be it as ornamental or decorative cuts, or as silhouettes in a play with positive and negative space. One of the most notable papercut artists is Danish fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen (“The Little Mermaid”). Coming from a family of artists working in various media, Amanda Mattison always loved exploring different genres. She had produced artwork in acrylics, watercolor, charcoal and pencil before discovering papercutting. “I have those creative bursts — ­ be it crocheting, knitting or drawing,” Mattison says. “One day, I was sitting in


North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014

front of a paper wondering if I could create an image with my X-acto knife with positive and negative space to give it some depth. I got hooked quickly on this tactile process. It is very methodical, almost therapeutic. In life, we are often engulfed by choices and overwhelmed by decisions, but while papercutting I focus on a small space and repetitively choose to either remove or to leave a piece. This process provides me with a unique peace and meditative calm. And when I pan out to take in the full image, I am overjoyed with the result.” With a background as an educator in environmental science, it’s not surprising that Mattison finds her inspiration in nature. Many of her pieces depict native birds, insects, animals, or botanicals. While most of her work is spontaneous and unique, occasionally she may use a sketch or a photograph for reference. However, all her detailed cuts are made freehand with a specialized fingermounted blade, similar to sketching

with a knife. The result strongly depends on the paper quality ­— be it rice paper, mulberry paper or even cardstock. Framed in clear floating glass frames, papercut art creates a play with light and shadows. Papercuts can be used for many other applications, such as note cards, wall decorations, in lieu of illustrations in books, and even as 3D installations. When she is not busy with her artwork, Mattison caters to her tutoring business, “Mattison Tutoring,” and is an active member of Mensa. Living in the Crabapple community, she is available for commissions of any scale, from papercuts of family pets to large installations for museums or nature centers. One of her dream projects is to combine her passion for art with her interest in tutoring. “I would love to create an art experience for kids at their home ­— blending all my artistic skills to help a child make something truly meaningful that they can hang in their room and cherish for a long time.” Heike Hellmann-Brown is a published writer in the United States and Europe. She has translated and edited several New York Times bestsellers and has taught both English and her native German as a foreign language in a career that has spanned more than 20 years.

schedule will also help avoid some of the disagreements that may arise due to their new “independence.”

Pre-Teen Hair Care By Laura Stalemark

As children mature into pre-teens, many of them are unaware of how to take care of their hair. Moms and dads frequently ask me questions concerning this issue. Some of the problems they encounter are infrequent showering, oily hair, and how often to trim/cut. LIFESTYLE

When puberty starts, many children start acting more independently about the fun things they want to do, yet “forget” other things that aren’t fun but are necessary. Showering and washing their hair and skin aren’t high on their list of priorities. Helping them create a routine that works with their

Up to a certain age, parents help with bath time and can make sure their children bathe properly. When children start wanting more privacy, parents can offer tips on doing it for themselves. Show them the proper amount of shampoo to use — some kids use too much, while others don’t use enough. Tell them to rub it between their hands before applying it; not just glop it on top of their heads. Next, manipulate the shampoo from the scalp to the ends by using their fingertips instead of scratching the scalp with their nails. Using their nails will create dry skin, which many teens think is dandruff. I tell children to say the “Pledge of Allegiance” slowly three times while massaging the shampoo into their hair to get it truly clean. I also suggest they start in the front, then to the sides, top and then the back.

Using “normal to oily” shampoo is also a great idea for pre-teens. Children with bangs or hair that lies on their foreheads tend to develop acne from the oils in their hair resting on their skin. Proper shampooing and acne wipes will help this issue. Using an acne face pad twice a day before or after brushing their teeth will help to prevent acne breakouts. Pre-teens also start having a stronger opinion of their hairstyles. Many start using hot irons and blow dryers, which can result in dry and/ or split ends. Scheduling regular haircuts can keep their hair healthy and help maintain their hairstyles. L

Laura Stalemark is owner of Tryst Hair Salon & Boutique in Alpharetta. 770-772-7007,





4 Seasons Heating & Air


AquaGuard Foundation Solutions


Audio Intersection


Bloom Orthodontics


Cardiovascular Physicians of North Atlanta


Cigar Merchant


Cruise Planners

23, 39

DeMercy Dental


Dentistry at Milton


H&H Electric & Security LLC


Kincaid Orthodontics


Dr. Mike Hulse


Mini Maid Movie Tavern

9 Cover, 20-21

North Atlanta Business Expo


Northside Hospital-Forsyth


Northside Hospital Pediatric Imaging Center


Northside Rheumatology


Pete’s Plumbing Inc.

27 37 Reinhardt University


Robinson & Miller Attorneys at Law


Roswell/Milton Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics


Talk of the Table


Technical Resource Solutions LLC


Tryst Hair Salon & Boutique


North Fulton Family Life | JANUARY 2014





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Family Life Publications

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Family Life Publications