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Exploring in Georgia
Local Entrepreneurs Get Saucy! • The Versatile Bean
20 Breast Cancer: True Prevention Dr. Christopher Hood
22-23 Nicole Marchman: Bringing Light Out of the Darkness Pamela Settle
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24 Editorial: November 4th is Coming. Are Your Ready?
26-27 Mastering Your Child’s Manners for the Holidays Ellie Hirsch
A Note from Pinellas County Sheriff Sheriff Bob Gualtieri
A Note from the Juvenile Welfare Board Dr. Marcie Biddleman
A Note from Pinellas County Schools Michael A. Grego, Superintendent
34-35 Sugar and Spice and Things Not So Nice Dr. Theresa Hartley
About the Cover Pictured are seniors from the Pinellas Park Live Free! Club, Anna Hampton, Arin O’Brien and Paige Kennedy (L – R). Photographed by Julie Eﬀron, a natural light photographer specializing in newborns, children and families. (914) 548-8008 JulieEﬀronPhotoVideo.com
AchieveHers: Balancing Career and Family as a Caregiver
39 Solutions for Caregiver Brenda Watson
46 Our Story Cynthia Wicks
Fall Issue 2014 Volume 5 • Issue 5
Publisher Light Shine Media Group, LLC
Editor-in-Chief Pamela Settle
Design and Layout Marcie Kelliher
ContribuƟng Writers Dr. Marcie Biddleman Sheryl Conrad Dr. Michael Grego Dr. Theresa Hartley Ellie Hirsch Dr. Christopher Hood Pete O’Shea Brenda Watson Cynthia Wicks
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A most sincere and heartfelt “thank you” to the Ronald McDonald Charities of Tampa Bay and congratulations on your 40th anniversary. Keep up GOOD work!
Letter from the Editor Happy Fall! Our weather isn’t quite fall-like yet, but the pumpkins are out in full force, kids are at the weekend fall festivals and pumpkin-spice everything is making its way through social media. School is in the swing, football is in the air and we’re just weeks away from the start of the holiday movie marathons on cable TV. Aaaaah. Fall is a wonderful time of year. In addition to the fall fun, October also brings with it some serious topics for discussion. We raise awareness for domestic violence, teen dating violence, bullying, drugs and breast cancer. Pink ribbons, purple ribbons and red ribbons abound. PSAs, Facebook posts and flyers sent home from school remind us that these issues need our attention.
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So many issues. How do we find the time to deal with these, not to mention all the other things on our plate? Not everyone can start a new organization like Nicole Marchman did (See story on page 20) or Heather Farris (page 46). Not everyone will have the time to organize a countywide effort to save the lives of teenagers (See page 18). Everyone can however, make a difference by changing how they view violence, drug use, sexual exploitation, bullying and the handling of our personal relationships. All change starts within the heart of an individual with words like respect, honor, patience and love. Also as parents, we can limit our children’s exposure to a culture that celebrates the opposite in movies, music, video games and television. Start when the kids are babies by making up your own mind to control what your children will or won’t see. Set the standard for your family high and stick with it. Saying “no” to our culture is not a bad thing. While we can control how we live our lives, we cannot control others. If bullying or violence is impacting your family or when life seems unmanageable for any reason, please seek help. Pinellas County has assistance available to you in public and private organizations. Call 211 to find out the agencies that can help you. If you need to report violence of any kind, you can do so anonymously. If that isn’t the answer, then seek out a local church and ask for confidential help. Our motto at GoodLiving® magazine is that healthy bodies make healthy families. And healthy families make healthy communities. We stand by this in our words and in our actions within Pinellas County. We hope you enjoy and appreciate this Fall Issue for what it stands for, because it stands for YOU! Until next time,
news Protecting Your Child’s Identity
Keep Your Child’s Personal Information Safe An identity thief can use a name and a Social Security number to open a bank account, obtain credit cards, apply for a loan, or even rent a place to live. Take precautions to keep your child’s personal information out of the hands of fraudsters. Here are some simple things you can do: • Keep birth certificates, Social Security cards and other sensitive documents in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or home safe. Avoid carrying these documents with you. • Be careful when disposing of documents containing personal information. Shred them before you throw them out. • Avoid giving out your child’s Social Security number unless it is absolutely necessary. Ask why it is needed, how it will be protected, how it will be used, and if another form of identification would be acceptable. • Use strong computer passwords. Never write them down or share them. • Limit the information you share about yourself and your child on social networking sites. • Use only secure websites when sharing financial information online. A lock icon on the status bar of your browser means your information will be safe when it is transmitted.
Recover from Child Identity Theft If you think your child’s identity has been stolen, it’s important to take immediate action. Follow these steps to stop an identity thief from doing more damage: • Contact your local police department and report the crime. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Keep a copy of the report to show to creditors and credit has a program for helping parents protect their children’s identity reporting agencies. and credit rating. Each year, more than 50,000 children in Florida • Contact the three credit reporting agencies and request any become victims of identity theft, and more than $100 million information they might have on your child’s credit. is stolen from children whose identities have been compromised. • Ask the credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on Identity thieves target kids because they generally have clean credit your child’s credit report. histories, and years will pass before the crime is detected. It’s never • Contact every creditor listed on your child’s credit report. too early to start protecting your child from identity theft. Explain that this is a case of child identity theft and ask to Freeze Your Child’s Credit have all accounts and collection notices removed immediately A new Florida law gives kids an extra line of defense against from your child’s credit report. identity theft. The law requires credit reporting agencies to • Freeze your child’s credit. establish and freeze a credit record for a minor upon request by a parent or guardian. By freezing your child’s credit, you can effectively block others from using it. Equifax Security Freeze P.O. Box 105788 How to Request a Credit Freeze for Kids Atlanta, GA 30348 To create a credit report for your child and freeze it, contact the Equifax.com or call (800) 685-1111 following credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The fee to freeze your child’s credit is $10. If your child has Experian Security Freeze already been the victim of identity theft, the fee is waived. P.O. Box 9554 Allen, TX 75013 The requirements are generally the same for all three agencies: Experian.com or call (888) 397-3742 child’s complete name and address, a copy of a Social Security card, official copy of a birth certificate and proof of ID for the TransUnion Protected Consumer Freeze parent requesting the freeze. Refer to the specific credit agency P.O. Box 380 for the exact steps and requirements. Woodlyn, PA 19094 TransUnion.com or call 1-800-916-8800
Fall Issue 2014
news Students with SADD to Help PCSO Fight Distracted Driving The Pinellas County Sheriff â€™s Office School Resource Officers (SRO) Unit has received a $47,960 grant from the State Farm Youth Advisory Board to start a campaign aimed at distracted teen drivers. The program, called Targeted Response Against Distracted Drivers or #TRADD is being developed so that teens can help to educate other teens on the fatal realities of distracted/impaired driving. The program will also be a service-learning opportunity for SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) members, who will use the #TRADD program and the guidance of their SROs to assist in the development of a school specific program for their peers. Representatives from State Farm Insurance and their Youth Advisory Board were on hand and made the official check presentation to the Sheriff â€™s Office in October. The program will be launched in early 2015 and implemented in the six Pinellas County High Schools that have an onsite SRO.
Students from SADD join Sheriff Gualtieri to receive the donation from State Farm Insurance Representatives.
drivers, family members and friends of victims will discuss the impact the tragic event has had on their lives.
In part two, students will view a crashed vehicle and go through interactive exercises: 1) students will use a pedal car in conjunction with fatal vision goggles demonstrating the effects of the various levels The new program has two parts. First, students will enter a of impairment on driving; 2) students will use a simulation vehicle dramatized scene regarding the finality of life. In a mock funeral to traverse courses while texting or handling other distractions; and in progress, a speaker gives a eulogy and others will be speaking 3)students will attempt to walk a straight line or place objects in of a loved one who died in a crash involving a driver who was designated spots while wearing fatal vision goggles to demonstrate distracted, speeding or under the influence. Survivors, responsible the effects on impairment on everyday tasks.
Red Ribbon Family Funfest
Largo Salutes Veterans
Operation PAR is hosting their 11th annual Red Ribbon Family Funfest at Vinoy Park on October 25th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The public is welcome to join them and celebrate family and drug-free living at this free fun event that is part of Red Ribbon Week. Attendees can participate with arts and crafts, video gaming trucks, bouncy houses, local sports mascots, local vendors and health and wellness providers.
The City of Largo will honor all Veterans and active duty personnel in a Veterans Day Ceremony on Monday, November 11 at 7 p.m. This event will be held at the Military Court of Honor in Largo Central Park (101 Central Park Dr, Largo 33771) and will feature special music, a color guard presentation and keynote speaker. All ages are welcome to attend this free honorary event.
Art Harvest in Dunedin
Upcoming Conference: Hooked on Family Engagement To Increase Student Achievement!
For 51 years, art lovers have strolled through Highlander Park taking in the wide variety of art showcased at this popular event which has become a juried show with more than 200 artists. Bring the kids to enjoy the Children’s Pavilion for an arts and crafts project. This is the largest autumn art show in the Tampa Bay area. Presented by the Junior League of ClearwaterDunedin, Inc. with proceeds benefiting local charitable work. Saturday and Sunday, November 1st and 2nd from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Highlander Park in Dunedin at the southwest corner of Michigan Ave and Pinehurst Road. Admission is free. $5 to park.
Family Fun Day in the Park for PCCPTA PTA is not just for moms, it’s for dads, too. This year the PCCPTA is celebrating Family Engagement in Education, and that includes dads and male caregivers. Join the Pinellas County Council PTA for this year’s Family Fun Day in the Park, Sunday November 9, 2014 from 12 noon to 3 p.m. at Eagle Lake Park. 1800 Keene Road in Largo. Free lunch for the first 100 pre-registered at PCCPTA.org. Along with food, there will be family fun activities like an inflatable joust tournament, an obstacle course, bungee run and more!
Christmas Under the Oaks
The Alliance for Family Engagement is holding a conference for parents, teachers, administrators and community members. There will be 15 different sessions to promote family engagement and increased student achievement, including Creating Family Friendly Schools and Partnerships; Understanding Florida State Standards; Reading Fluency and How to avoid power struggles. Registration is $65 and includes continental breakfast, lunch, and door prizes. St. Petersburg Hilton Bayfront Hotel, 333 1st Street South, St. Petersburg 33701. Parking $5. Friday, November 14, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information call Michelle Roberge 727-588-5050
Dogtoberfest The Suncoast Animal League presents their 6th Annual Dogtoberfest and Super Pet Adopt-a-Thon. All pets are welcome to the Blessing at the Animals at 11:45 a.m. Doggie Costume Contest, crowning of the king and queen, pet talent contest and the 7th annual Running of the Weiners. This fun, family oriented event is held Saturday, November 15th from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. At Highlander Park, 1920 Michigan Blvd. in Dunedin. Dogtoberfest.info
This annual crafts event sponsored by the GFWC North Pinellas Woman’s Club has raised $400,000 to local charities and CraftArt 2014 community service organization. Enjoy a day at Coachman Park A fabulous spot to purchase gift items and one of the most eagerly in Clearwater on November 9th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. anticipated arts events each year in Pinellas County. CraftArt $2 entrance donation. More info at gfwcnpwc.org features some of the nation’s best fine craft artists with handmade works in jewelry, clay, fiber, glass, wood, metal, paper and mixed media. The festival also features artists’ demonstrations, hands-on Safety Harbor Salutes Veterans activities, an artists’ raffle, food trucks and the area’s best local On the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 a.m. the City of Safety brews. Stop in the Florida Craftsmen store that day too for more Harbor, American Legion Post 238, and VFW Post 10093 will Made in Florida gift ideas. Saturday and Sunday, November salute our heroes that serve and have served our country. Tuesday, 22-23, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Avenue between 4th 11/11 at 11 a.m. Veterans Park at the Safety Harbor Marina.FREE and 6th Streets in Downtown St. Petersburg.
Fall Issue 2014
FAITH Story Roundup By Pete O’Shea of WTIS Radio AM 1110, Host of the Pete O’Shea Show, weekdays from 11 am to 1 pm. I have the greatest job in the world. I get to interview amazing men and women of God, most of whom are from right here in Tampa Bay. I’d love for you to meet some of the phenomenal servants who have been on my show this past month. To learn more about them, we keep archives of the show at WTIS1110.com.
Bob Mayne is the captain of the Aqua Quest International, the ship that was seized in Honduras recently while on a humanitarian mission. The crew was imprisoned for seven weeks in horrible conditions for a crime they did not commit. He came on the show and told of the horrors of their treatment. Yet, he still intends to go back and complete the mission of helping the poor people of that region. I want to be like him when I grow up.
Mother Irabelle Thomas is an icon in the African American Church community in Largo. She is 95 years young and still Nicole Marchman was abused most of her life. For her first 27 plays the organ on Sundays, has her own ministry and she years on this planet, she was abused, first by her father and then recently published a book of poetry. Countless generations of her husband. She picked herself up and got her masters degree in believers have leaned on this woman’s boundless faith. She is social work to save the others. She started the None Lost Move- upbeat, engaging and loving to all. ment to protect and lift up victims of domestic abuse. She also Steve Hopper was in a fight at 17 in which the boy he hit fell has written the book, Unbreakable Spirit Arises: From Broken Girl into a coma. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and lost his to Resilient Woman. She is a part of my show every other Tuesday football scholarship and his future, or so he thought. He found so be sure to tune in and listen. the Lord in that 10 by 10 jail cell and vowed to make sure other Allen Weatherilt runs United Taxi. He coined the company young people don’t make the same mistakes he did. He now slogan, Have A Jesus Filled Day. He sees his cab company as a tells his story to young people for the Fellowship of Christian ministry, a second chance for lost souls to find redemption. He Athletes and recently, after hearing Steve speak, over 200 high instills the core values of Christ into the over 100 drivers so they school students stood up in unison and made the decision to can be prepared to speak the truth to others. He is a modern day follow Christ. Fisher of Men and he exudes faith, love, peace and hope in of all And oh yeah, last but certainly not least, Good Living Magazine places, a taxicab. Publisher, Pam Settle was also a guest this past month and she just Dr. Veronica Walters is the Pastor at ACTS Church Internaconsistently amazes me with her particular brand of selfless serving tional of Largo. She is also a professor at Everett University and to this entire community. God bless you and thank you, Pam. was named Miss Inspiration 2014. She is a powerful preacher, The common denominator in all of these people is love. They transparent about her mistakes and struggles, which really all personify love and live, work and breath to share love boldly resonates with her flock. God rewarded her faith and provided and continuously with everyone. I am learning a lot from these a thriving church in Largo after moving from Tampa with no people. They make me want to be a better man. Thanks, Lord for budget to do so. giving me the greatest job in the whole world, serving You!
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Fall Issue 2014
FAITH Inner Healing, What you Need to Know Janet Tatum, founder of Healing Hearts, Restoring Lives counseling is offering a class, Inner Healing, What you Need to Know on November 13, 2014 at 7 p.m. in Palm Harbor. “If our hearts are pure, we are able to comprehend the complete nature of God and relate to Him in deep intimacy. But whose heart is pure? Those things lodged in our hearts distort and cripple our relationship with Him, ourselves and others,” says Janet. She invites people to come and learn the scriptural foundation to healing and bring understanding to God’s eternal intention to make us whole. Class is November 13 at 7 p.m. at The Conference Center, 29750 US 19, Palm Harbor. For more information, call (727) 742-7068.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Holy Yoga Comes to Clearwater
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes gathered on October 8 for their annual Fields of Faith rallies. This year’s rallies were held at St. Petersburg High School and Seminole High School. Gavin Floyd, pitcher for the Atlanta Braves was guest speaker at the Seminole event. Students from high schools throughout the county came together to sing and worship. Students interested in joining an FCA group, or forming one at their school, should contact Chuck Peterman, Pinellas County Area Director at (727) 612-8727.
Finally Holy Yoga has made its way to Pinellas County! Founded in 1998, Holy Yoga is the intentional practice of connecting the entire being, body, mind and spirit with God. There is often a misunderstanding that yoga is a religion; it is not. Yoga is a spiritual discipline, much like prayer, fasting and meditation. Yoga has the capacity to enhance personal beliefs and faith; Holy Yoga is 100% Jesus and 100% Yoga. Laurie Park Harper has been certified and is teaching her first class on Tuesday nights at 6:45 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater. Get more info on their Facebook page at TruNorth Holy Yoga.
Benefit Dinner for Pregnancy Centers New Life Solutions has completed what it calls its “Miracle Merger” with A Woman’s Place in Tampa to make a larger impact in the community. Both organizations will operate under the banner of New Life Solutions. Their annual fundraiser, “Hope For the Future” Benefit Dinner and Celebration of Life, is being held on two different evenings. A Woman’s Place dinner event will be held in Tampa on Thursday, November 6th at A La Carte Pavilion and the Pregnancy Center of Pinellas County’s dinner event will be held on Saturday, November 8th at the Historic St. Petersburg Coliseum. Come hear Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, author of The Prayer of Jabez, who will connect the dots in how God is expanding our boundaries by uniting these two powerful ministries. NewLifeSolutions.org
T.O.R.C.H. The ministry T.O.R.C.H. (Taking Opportunities to Reach Compelling Heights) is hosting their I AM Walking in my Promises Shoe Party, November 22 at the Empress Tea Room in Tampa. Enjoy pre-holiday shopping, food, refreshments and time out with the girls to help this organization raise funds to help young people who age out of the foster care system. Learn more about this organization or buy tickets to the event at TorchIgnited.org.
Fall Issue 2014
SCHOOLS The LiveFree! Club at Pinellas Park, as well as other high schools in the county, is about spreading the message to teenagers about the effects of drugs and alcohol. “We really want to make an impact on students so that they can make the right and safest choices. This shoe display is hopefully going to do just that. Each and every shoe you see represents a teenager’s life, a teenager that was killed because someone decided to drink and get behind the wheel to drive” said senior Anna Hampton, the club’s president. “The point we hope to get across is that these 100 shoes will never be walked in again. It shows us how short life can be. Every single choice we make paves the path for our future and even other’s.” This is a club of GOOD kids. And they are led by a GOOD teacher for a GOOD cause. After six years as the club’s advisor, the shoe memorial is Coach Hanson’s swan song, as he retires from teaching at the end of this school year. It was a Saturday afternoon at Home Depot on Ulmerton. In the corner, about 15 students from Pinellas Park High School’s Live Free Club were building shelves with the help of master carpenter, Robert Smith. Not just any shelves. Shelves that would hold shoes. Not just any shoes, empty shoes that will represent teenagers in Florida who died from drugs or from drinking and driving so far in 2014. The idea came from the club’s faculty advisor, Coach Paul Hanson, but the students were behind it 100 percent. The three shoe shelves will be arranged to form a U-shaped memorial. Shoes will be glued in place. Home Depot’s Smith created the design and helped them construct the shelves. The store also donated paint and other materials to help the students. Shoes were donated by club and community members. The memorial will be unveiled at Pinellas Park’s homecoming on October 17th. Live Free student members will walk their peers by the rack to show them the shoes, describing what they stand for and who they stand for. They will encourage good decision making, like not ever taking drugs, drinking and driving or being a passenger with any driver who has been drinking. Don’t leave your family with only empty shoes is the message. And then they will ask them to sign a pledge about respecting themselves and honoring their families enough to make good decisions.
Fall Issue 2014
“Coach Hanson has always been the perfect sponsor. He leads this group in a way that no one else will be able to. The connection he has with students isn’t superficial. I speak for the whole club when I say that we love coach Hanson and will miss him dearly,” said Paige Kennedy, club member. Anna Hampton agrees. “Mr.Hanson is more than just a teacher or coach or sponsor. He is a friend. I know that I can always go to him about anything. There aren’t many high school teachers that truly care about their students like he does.” The club will find other events for the shoe memorial and their pledges to keep the message, and other kids, alive.
Palm Harbor Middle School Counselor Takes Top Honor Jennifer Lotti, a school counselor at Palm Harbor Middle School, has been named Florida’s Middle School Counselor of the Year by the Florida School Counselor Association. The association recognizes school counselors for outstanding work achieved. Lotti was also named Pinellas County’s Middle School Counselor of the Year in January. She has been a school counselor for 14 years and a licensed mental health counselor for five years. She will be honored at the FSCA conference in Orlando.
The Great American Teach-In The Great American Teach-In will be held Wednesday, November 19, 2014 and volunteers are needed at elementary, middle and high schools throughout the district. Each school needs speakers for every class, so a large number of volunteers are needed. It’s a great experience for the speaker and the students. Each school has a volunteer coordinator who sets up the speakers for the school. If you don’t have a particular school in mind, then call the district office to apply for a volunteer assignment. Applications are due by November 14th. Or call Dr. Valerie Brimm at the district office at (727) 588-6405.
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Reading with Purpose: Good Books for Children The Principle Gang Series In their family medical practice, Dr. Dan Dugi and his wife Bli Dugi have seen a rise in the number of bullying-related injuries. Because of this, they believe bullying should be addressed the same as other preventive medicine topics, and made a discussion topic during routine children’s medical exams. To make a difference outside the exam room, the husband and wife team created a series of children’s books to reinforce messages on family, friendship, community and fairness. The first two books in the series will be available by October, in time for National Bullying Prevention Month: Don’t Judge a Lizard by His Scales and Wizard Lizard Rides the Subway. Books are available at Amazon.com
Some facts about bullying: • The average child has watched 8,000 televised murders and 100,000 acts of violence before finishing elementary school. • 160,000 students stay home from school every day due to bullying (NEA). • 30% of students who reported they had been bullied said they had at times brought weapons to school. • 2/3 of students who are targets become bullies. • 20% of all children say they have been bullied. • In schools where there are bullying programs, bullying is reduced by 50%.
The Adventures of Everyday Geniuses A series of six books by author Barbara Esham explores the classroom adventures of children who have “different” styles of thinking and learning, teaching that there is more than one way to define smart. Any parent who has dealt with struggles in school, will appreciate these books that validate a child’s own uniqueness and help the child see themselves outside of the classroom evaluation. Free Association, Where My Mind Goes During Science Class: For the creative, free thinking kids who find their minds wandering at school. Last to Finish: A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class: Story of a math whiz whose mind freezes during a timed test. Reinforces that understanding is more important than memorization and testing. Mrs. Gorski, I Think I Have The Wiggle Fidgets: For the students who wiggle a little too much in class. Encourages taking control of one’s behavior to change bad habits. Keep Your Eye on the Prize: Teaches about motivation. If You’re So Smart, How Come You Can’t Spell Mississippi? A Story about Dyslexia. Stacey Coolidge’s Fancy Smancy Cursive Handwriting: Highlights a girl’s handwriting difficulty and creative writing strength.
No Cell Phone Day No Cell Phone Day is a children’s picture book written by American jazz trombonist and record producer Delfeayo Marsalis and illustrated by award-winning Harlem artist, Reginald William Butler. The book playfully addresses the idea of imposing technology and how it affects our relationships with loved ones. In the book, Marsalis and his daughter decide to put down their cell phones for a day to explore their hometown of New Orleans. Along the way, they see the sites, hear the sounds and enjoy all the great things The Big Easy has to offer. Most importantly, they spend quality time TOGETHER. $16.99 at Kidstownpress.com or at Amazon.com
Fall Issue 2014
Series is available at Amazon.com.
I Can Change the World Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” We can teach this to our children starting a very young age by reading books that teach compassion and values on a regular basis. I Can Change the World! is an uplifting new storybook that teaches your child that change can start with just one person—your child! By using manners, doing chores around the house to helping the family, being a good friend to other kids and collecting food for the hungry, any child can change the world. Part of any child’s development of healthy self-esteem is making a habit of giving back to others. Publisher I See Me! has created their newest personalized children’s book, I Can Change the World!, to help young children see that they can make a difference. This book is personalized with a child’s name on the cover and throughout the story, parents can draw the child right into the lesson on nearly every page. Visit their website at ISeeMe.com to take a virtual tour of the book. Makes an excellent gift idea!
Local author, Amy Hammond believes that forming a collegiate allegiance early in life can lead to academic success. Her “When I Grow Up” college series is designed to inspire children to seek higher education and to embrace the timehonored traditions unique to their chosen school. Written in lively verse, the books appeal to children of all ages.
When I Grow Up, I’ll Be A Gator features a young boy’s tour of the University of Florida as he explains to the reader why he will grow up to wear the orange and blue.
When I Grow Up, I’ll Be A Bull follows a green and gold-clad child through the campuses of the University of South Florida, stopping at hotspots along the way.
When I Grow Up, I’ll Be A ‘Nole is all about the garnet and gold allure of Florida State University. Visit famous campus locations like the circus and the football stadium alongside a boy who loves the tomahawk chop.
When I Grow Up, I’m Bama Bound
Worry Woos Some issues are difficult to talk about with ‘tweens and teens, leaving parents on a search to find just the right words to discuss insecurities, confusion and sadness. A line of books and matching plush toys may be just the intervention needed to break the ice and promote communication. WorryWoo Monsters help children, tweens and teens learn how to express themselves and process hard to understand situations. Laugh and bond with the monsters, then open the door to real conversation about loneliness, frustration, worry and insecurity.
is full of “Roll Tide” pride. The young boy in this book has been a Bama baby since the day he was born….to U of A he’s sworn. Learn why.
When I Grow Up, I’ll Be A Tiger inspires children to consider LSU in their college selection process. This child carries his tiger cub Mike as he stops by Louisiana State University landmarks.
Meet Squeek, the Monster of Innocence, who is afraid to try new things. He hides in his cozy bubble planning all the things he would do if he just took that big step. Meet Twitch, the Monster of Frustration, who tries very hard to get everything right, but gets upset when things don’t go his way. Books, plush toys and more available at worrywoos.com.
Fall Issue 2014
Author Teaches Children (and Us!) to be Compassionate about Hunger While most Americans will worry about eating too much this holiday season, 16 million of our country’s children live in households that struggle to afford food, according to a 2012 report from the United States Department of Agriculture.
children from this sad fact of American life, talking to them about it can help nurture their compassion and empathy,” she says. “And there’s plenty they can do to help, from making posters to raise awareness, to organizing a food drive at school.” Taking action teaches children that they do have the power and ability to change the world for the better.
“We hear about ‘food insecurity’ quite a bit, especially after the 2008-09 economic crash, but I think most people don’t have a clear picture of what that means,” says Lois Brandt, a former Peace Corps volunteer and author of Maddi’s Fridge, a children’s picture book that asks the question: what do you do if your best friend’s family doesn’t have enough food?
Don’t make childhood hunger a political issue. Of course, childhood hunger doesn’t exist in a vacuum; issues like welfare, minimum wage, income inequality and access to health care – all of which are heavily politicized – surround the problem. Whatever your take on these topics, realize that no matter the decisions a parent has made in his or her lifetime, children are innocent and have no control of their family’s circumstances.
“Food insecurity means an empty refrigerator. Food insecurity means soda instead of milk. Food insecurity means a child coming to school hungry and unable to focus. Poverty may not look exactly the same in our country as it does in a war-torn region or a developing country, but it is affecting our children and their futures. Sometimes, working parents have to choose between rent and food, medicine and food, or gas and food.
Volunteer with your family at a shelter or food pantry during the busy holiday season. While serving or cooking food for a holiday-themed meal at a shelter during Thanksgiving or Christmas does not solve the larger problem, it will affect every person whose life you touch that day. Your efforts and kind words can become a fond, lifelong memory for a child, or remind adults that others care and they’re not alone.
Volunteering also has personal benefits, not the least of which In Pinellas County, many of our food banks are still in high is knowing that, despite whatever problems you’re facing, you demand, their shelves empty during parts of the year. were able to help someone else. Every year, GoodLiving® Magazine issues a Community Challenge to FEED OUR FOOD BANKS! Go to our website at GoodLivingMagazine.com to find a list of food banks and kitchens that need your donations and volunteer time. Maddi’s Fridge This children’s book, by author Lois Brandt, calls attention to the issue of childhood hunger that is everywhere in our community. Brandt suggests these actions for preventing childhood hunger: Written for ages 4 to 8, the book will spark real discussion about Support non-profit organizations like Feeding America compassion and how children can help a friend in this situation. (FeedingAmerica.org). Previously known as Second Harvest, In the story, Sofia and Maddi live in the same neighborhood, Feeding America is a national network of food banks that feeds play in the same park, and go to the same school. But while more that 37 million people through food pantries, soup kitchens Sofia’s fridge at home is full, Maddi’s fridge is empty – white and shelters. It’s the nation’s leading organization for countering empty – with just a small container of milk. Sofia promises hunger and educating the public about this crisis. Maddi she won’t tell, but learns a lesson when she sneaks fish Talk to your children about childhood hunger and how they can and eggs for Maddi in her backpack. Despite Sofia’s very best help. “When I was a child I opened my best friend’s refrigerator efforts, Maddi’s fridge is still empty. 10% of profits are donated to get a snack and was shocked to see it held almost nothing,” she to help fight childhood hunger. says. “I didn’t know what to do.” As an adult, Brandt says she’s In addition to the book, the website MaddisFridge.com has amazed by the number of people who share with her their own suggestions for kids on how to fight hunger, games and activities. stories of childhood food insecurity. “Rather than sheltering your The book is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com.
Fall Issue 2014
True Preventon By DR. CHRISTOPHER HOOD
The most promising approach to the control of cancer is a national commitment to prevention. New England Journal of Medicine, 1997 October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This topic begs for a considerable discussion of the many approaches for prevention. I say this because every time I read an article on Breast Cancer, it seems to swing toward “Early Detection.” Let me assure you Early Detection is not PREVENTION! Recent studies have shown that cancers, such as breast, can begin to develop anywhere between 10-40 years before they are diagnosed. (Blaylock, M.D., 2005). One thing is for certain: more fast food and chocolate candies won’t lead you down the road to cancer prevention. And although this is contrary to everything you’ve been taught and may even be difficult to believe, more testing has also been found not to be the answer. So what’s a girl to do? Not that I’m a girl, but my years in private practice have taught me several things women can start doing right now to create true prevention for themselves. Stop using topical (skin) products that contain Sodium Laurel Sulfate. This is a common “frothing or foaming” agent that has been shown to cause cancer. Please be aware, the skin, or integument system, is your largest defense organ (second to the gut or G.I. system) and absorbs water and other nutrients. Therefore anything you put on your skin can be absorbed into the body. In my opinion, if it has been shown to cause cancer, it DOES NOT GO ON my skin.
Purchase a Chlorine filter for your shower and home. Chlorine competes with iodine for uptake and usage by your thyroid gland. In other words, your thyroid gland uses iodine to make thyroid hormones. When your skin is exposed to and absorbs Chlorine (from drinking water, showers or pools) the thyroid gland doesn’t get enough iodine because the Chlorine inhibits it. Therefore, you can’t make the necessary thyroid hormones (problem#1) and your hormone system is thrown out of balance (problem #2). This endocrine disruption increases your risk of all cancers. You can purchase a Chlorine filter for your shower and home online fairly easily. Limit exposure to environmental toxins such as Biphenol A (BPA). BPA is an environmental toxin found in carbonate plastics and epoxy resins that cause cancer through endocrine disruption. It can be commonly found in many consumer products from eyeglasses to recycled plastic bags to cans that hold food. If at all possible, limit exposure to household cleaning agents and plastics. BPA can be released into food if you are storing food and/or heating it up within plastic containers that contain BPA. Look for BPA free containers and water bottles and reduce exposure as necessary. Get adjusted, it’s not just for neck and back pain. Dr. Rod Perue from NYU’s medical research team has shown that patients under chiropractic care have immune system function 300% above normal. Since cancer is a disease of the immune system, it stands to reason that you want to do everything you can to boost immune response. Regular chiropractic adjustments have been shown time and time again to “turbo charge” you immune system. Get adjusted!
As a doctor, as a patient, I understand that it is easier to stay well than to get well. As our knowledge in understanding the function of the body advances, we as health care professionals realize that the body is self-healing and self regulating and that the true cure comes from doing everything you can to prevent it in the first place. That, instead Stop using artificial sweeteners, especially saccharine (pink of waiting until you are diagnosed with a problem, makes you live a packet). Artificial sweeteners are chemicals in all forms. Blue, pink or yellow- they are all ARTIFICIAL. Saccharine by itself proactive life. Please learn to be proactive with your family’s health instead of reactive. This is the key to “reset” your body’s ability to heal has been shown to cause cancer. In my opinion, if it has been function and operate. My goal for all patients and family members shown to cause cancer, it DOES NOT GO IN my body. that I am blessed to serve on a daily basis is to transform their concept of health in an effort to transform their lives. Blessings to all.
Dr. Christopher Hood is the author of three books. His most recent book, True Wellness is available at Amazon.com and on Kindle. He speaks locally and na onally to audiences on the subject of health, including pastors who are looking to create a wellness program for their congrega ons. Dr. Hood can also be heard on his weekly radio show “Original Health” every Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. on WTIS, AM 1110.
Fall Issue 2014
Fall Issue 2014
Her father was an angry man, a product of an abusive home where dad beat mom and then mom beat dad. Nicole says she learned later on about his past and his resentment toward women; along with a deep desire to force women into submission. Nicole’s mother came from an abusive home as well. But that’s where the history lesson about abuse stopped, because her grandparents refused to talk about it, because that’s how it is for the older generations. She says this knowledge, however limited, was important to her eventual healing. At age 11, Nicole started her journey through 16 foster homes and three group homes. Her parents lost parental rights when she was 16. The counseling she received in the system was “just okay” she said. “It’s forced counseling, more about what my parents did to me and not about how I was surviving. And if you don’t have an open mind for the counseling, it won’t work.” Despite her rocky childhood, Nicole’s strength of spirit got her into college to pursue a degree in social work. She was newly married and it was during some of her classes that she realized that she had entered into an abusive relationship. “At first it was psychological and emotional abuse. My new knowledge empowered me so I stood up for myself and that’s when the physical abuse started.”
Bringing Light out of the Darkness By PAMELA SETTLE
Since the beginning of time, man has fought the battle between good and evil. It’s a constant throughout history, a subject of religion and ethics and the basis for literature and art. Because it is an internal battle as well as an external battle, and part of the human/spiritual connection, we will always have good vs. evil in our lives. As much as we want to focus only on the good, we cannot fully appreciate the good unless we see the other side. Some of us see more evil than others. Nicole Marchman has seen more than her fair share. Her childhood story will make you cringe, or perhaps cry. However, that is not the part of the story she wants you to remember. She wants you to see in her the real promise of hope and healing that is possible for everyone, no matter the depth of the pain, no matter the evil that has crossed your path, no matter how lonely, ashamed or desperate you are. Nicole grew up in the Greenwood neighborhood of Clearwater. She knows the physical beatings started when she was a baby and by age 4 was molested by her father every day for the next seven years. Her mother was beaten severely, too, and Nicole nursed her mother’s injuries instead of the other way around. What little food they had in the house went to her dad first, leaving nothing behind for anyone else. “I learned how to steal food so we wouldn’t starve,” she says quietly.
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There were thoughts of murder and suicide. The desperate scenes of domestic violence were repeated again and again. He held a gun to her head. He broke her eardrum with a punch. “I looked at him and I could see my dad. I looked at myself and remembered that I said I would never be like my mother. Then one day I had a gun and I wondered if he would even miss me. I cried out to God asking Him to pull me out. I told Him that I would use my pain to help others if He would get me out.” Four months later Nicole was nominated to travel to Washington DC to work on a project regarding foster children who age out of the system. “I was supposed to be there for six weeks and stayed for ten months.” It was here that Nicole could finally see herself through the eyes of strangers, as a capable, independent person who didn’t live with violence. She went into counseling and also got a divorce. She was accepted into an MSW program and studied European foster care in Czechoslovakia and then did her field studies in Trinidad/Tobago. During this time two pivotal events changed her course. She traveled home to say good-bye to her mother who died at the age of 49 from a worn and beaten body. Before she passed, she told Nicole about her own childhood and she asked for forgiveness. Nicole says this time with her mother allowed her to cross over to real healing. She realized that she couldn’t bury the pain with her; that the pain had to be dealt with before she could move on. This journey to move past her pain resulted in her starting a book that would not only help her heal, but would be the launching point of a life dedicated to helping others overcome their pain. Studying to be a social worker gave Nicole insight and knowledge that most abuse survivors don’t get. She combined her professional training with her undying faith to keep her promise to God. The
memoir called, Unbreakable Spirit Arises: From Broken Girl to Resilient Woman was released in 2013. In addition to the book telling her personal story, it is meant to be a platform for others to use on their healing journey. She discusses trauma, the path to forgiveness, and what it means to mask the pain. The book is meant for adults who have been or are in the middle of an abusive relationship of any kind. It’s also informative for social workers, teachers or foster parents who care for children who have been abused. Completing this book moved her quickly from broken victim to victorious advocate. She started a new ministry called the None Lost Movement by working with a 501(c)(3) called the Underground Network. The Underground Network serves an umbrella organization to launch new ministries by providing an administrative home along with professional assistance with training, budgeting and business planning for two years until the organization can operate independently. Nicole says this organization, based out of Tampa, has 120 micro churches working in their global network in the areas of human trafficking and working with at risk kids, among many others. Hers is the first domestic violence ministry in the network. The mission of the None Lost Movement is to provide ongoing outreach to the community. The strategy is to consistently toss the net wide into the community through speaking engagements, classes, community events and her radio show, heard twice a month on WTIS AM 1110. Through the outreach, she will invite others to attend her conferences. The None Lost Movement is hosting a more intimate and in-depth conference every three months to lift up and inspire change for abusers and victims of domestic violence. The first conference, called Speak Up and Speak Out: Break the Silence of Domestic Violence is October 25 at the Old Landmark Cathedral in St. Petersburg from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is open to anyone who wants to learn about domestic abuse, including social workers, teachers, foster parents, friends, abusers and victims. If you miss this workshop, there will be one every three months. Follow None Lost Movement Ministry on Facebook to learn about the workshop schedule.
“Pain is like a garden. If the soil is dry, you’re not ready to let your flowers grow. You’ll continue to suﬀer. Fixing the surface isn’t enough, you have to dig in and heal all the way down. It’s something you can’t do alone, you need help.” Outside of Nicole’s ministry, she is contracted with the Department of Juvenile Justice to teach a monthly class to juvenile batterers. Nicole also partners with T.O.R.C.H. (Taking Opportunities to Reach Compelling Heights), an organization that works with women released from prison and young people aging out of the foster care system who find themselves homeless and vulnerable to all sorts of troubles like drugs and human trafficking. Learn more about their efforts at TorchIgnited.org. If you’d like to know more about Nicole and the None Lost Movement, visit her website at NicoleMarchman.com. Here you can contact her about scheduling one of her many seminars for your youth group, church group or event. Her book is also available at the website for purchase or at Amazon.com. The first time I met Nicole, her eyes were shining. She stood tall and spoke articulately about her ministry and social work career. Like many of the leaders I meet in the community, I was impressed by her sincerity and devotion. Then I heard her tell the rest of the story and was completely torn apart by it. First, I ached for the battered child and then I rejoiced for the woman who is the epitome of resiliency. She came from the darkest of dark places, alone and beaten down for 27 years. You would never know that by looking at her. She attributes her light today to an inner light that never went out, never abandoned her and is still with her guiding her steps. October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. However domestic violence is occurring in our community 12 months a year, 365 days in a row, and is often invisible. Nicole and others like her need you to take up this cause. Volunteer and fundraising opportunities are throughout our community at shelters, ministries, foster care organizations and more. Please get involved and share your light to end the darkness!
From the community outreach and quarterly conferences, Nicole’s next step is private, individual counseling for those who want to get in deep to overcome their personal pain.
Fall Issue 2014
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is oﬀering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual - or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” John Adams, founding father and co-author of the Declaration of Independence
November 4th is Coming. Are You Ready? By PAMELA SETTLE
Do you know the issues on the ballot? Do you know what the candidates stand for and which ones you will support with your vote? Are you at least planning to vote? If not, why? The words voter apathy are thrown around quite a bit. So if apathy is lack of interest, lack of enthusiasm and lack of concern, are today’s citizens not interested, not enthusiastic or not concerned about the pertinent political issues of the day? Is it true that we are more interested to vote for an American Idol than for an American running for public office? Or is it a feeling of powerlessness? Do you feel pushed away by the system that answers to corporate interests? Is it hopelessness? Do you feel like our one vote doesn’t matter? Or are you too busy trying to survive economics, jobs, relationships and kids to pay attention? In any of these cases, you abdicate your power to those who will vote, hoping they will make the right decisions. Whatever the reason, I hope you’ll rethink your position on voting and vote on November 4th. We have some important statewide issues and races on the ballot and the votes cast in Pinellas County carry enough weight to swing a race one way or another. Nationally, we have one congressional seat up for grabs in District 13. On the state scene, there are three constitutional amendments proposed to the Florida Constitution along with Governor, Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Agriculture. Several seats for our local delegation to the state’s house and senate are up for grabs and if you don’t think these races are important, consider the state issues we have in regards to taxation, education, insurance, jobs, healthcare and the recent state of affairs with Duke Energy. As citizens, these individuals are the closest we get to decisions made in Tallahassee. We need to make sure the people elected are the ones listening at home and not in the halls and back rooms.
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Several local races are on the ballot too. We have two county commission seats up for election, as well as two school board seats, judges, city offices, city charter amendments and the highly promoted county referendum that if passed will permanently raise our county sales tax 1 percent, to a new rate of 8 percent, the highest in Florida. Every single one of these choices sets us in a direction, one way or another. As parents we need to be informed and involved in these decisions and we need to vote. On this ballot, there is one issue in particular that has direct implications when it comes to the well being of our kids. As an advocate for children, I am standing with our law enforcement agencies and drug prevention agencies and voting NO on Amendment 2. I watched my own mother suffer for two decades with a debilitating disease. No one has more sympathy than I do when it comes to caring for those in pain. However, the status of marijuana has no place as a constitutional amendment. Instead we should work through the legislative process to find a responsible, manageable solution that doesn’t put our young people at risk. On the education front, I want to call attention to a teacher from Gainesville who is leading a campaign of parents and teachers who are calling for reform when it comes to the excessive amount of testing happening in our schools. Susan Bowles has successfully raised this issue, taking it straight to Governor Scott, and now she needs other concerned parents and teachers to get involved. Follow their activities on Facebook. Search for Be Bowled Movement. Reminds me of the famous Margaret Mead quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” If you have something to say, find a way to say it. There is no time like the present.
Mastering your Child’s Manners for the Holidays by ELLIE HIRSCH, founder of MommyMasters.com
Take into Account How Old Your Children are and Plan Your Lessons Accordingly • With younger children, focus on the basics. • You do not need to teach a three year old the proper way to hold a fork and knife. • Teach your toddlers to use a napkin instead of their clothes • Make sure you have patience and realize you will have to repeat these instructions multiple times to see results. • With older children, observe first. • Provide constructive criticism or positive reinforcement when appropriate. • Discuss expectations and consequences of bad manners. • Educate them that they are role models for younger siblings. As parents, we all strive to have children with proper manners, right? Well, easier said than done! The holidays are quickly approaching, (when did that happen?), and you will most likely be attending at least one sit down dinner and multiple parties, one of which will probably involve a gift exchange. You are excited to go, but hope and pray your offspring do not embarrass you. That’s a tall order – but have no fear…the Mommy Master® is here! With a lot of patience, a lot of love and perhaps a little wine (for you of course), your kiddos will be mastering their manners in no time. So how can we guarantee that others will be raving how wellmannered our children are this holiday season? In other words, how do we ensure our kids will make us look good? While there are never any guarantees when it comes to children, these tips, tricks and tools will have your toddlers, teens and in-betweens, prepped and ready for all the holiday festivities coming your way.
Manners Start at Home • Use mealtime to teach what is acceptable behavior and what is not • If your child burps, explain that it is a normal function, however offer alternative solutions for them: • Excusing themselves quietly to another room. • Performing the deed into their elbow, followed by an “excuse me.” • As you are discussing your day, ask your children what manners they exhibited at school and share your examples as well: • Your child has a cold and remembered to cover their mouth when they coughed. • Your little one raised their hand and waited for the teacher to call on them. • You held the door for someone behind you. • You accidently bumped into someone at work and said, “pardon me.”
Reach Your Child on an Emotional Level • Explain the why of saying “thank you:” • Someone is doing something nice for us. • We want to ensure we recognize their efforts. • It makes people feel good when they are appreciated. • It will make your child feel proud to make others feel valued.
Make Learning Fun and Creative • Plan a fun pre-holiday party at home to test out everyone’s manners and make a game of it. • Everyone has to demonstrate three manners appropriate for their age: • Complimenting your dress. • Inquiring if you need help setting up. • Chewing with their mouths closed. • Keeping food on the plate. • Exhibit bad manners to see if your child can point them out and correct them: • Lick the plate after finishing the meal. • Prepare a refreshment without offering one. • Interrupt a conversation. • Ignore a sneeze. • Place your fingers in your cup to wash off grime. • Utilize audio and visual tools to teach your child: • Sing, dance and learn to music that is educational and focuses on manners. • “Music is Magical, Children’s Songs with Ellie,” a Parents’ Choice Award winner, is a wonderful resource. • Books offer a wonderful variety of stories and lessons.
If You Have a Young One and Expect Them to Behave, Take Preventative Measures: • Even if you are heading to a holiday dinner party, feed your child ahead of time. • Your child may not like the food being served. • Your child will prefer to be playing instead of focusing on eating. • You want to ensure you can sit down and enjoy your meal. • If you know it is going to be a late evening, shift your child’s nap schedule back.
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• Bring appropriate toys or books that will keep your child occupied if they get bored and cranky.
When our children do not exhibit good manners, we tend to scold or even punish them. It is important we look at ourselves as parents, because we are the ultimate role models. It is our job to show them and lead by example, not just tell them.
Practice What You Preach • Do you expect certain manners from your children but not of yourself? • Are you respectful to your spouse or partner, especially in front of your children? • When you perform a good deed, share with your children and teach them with your actions. • If you witness someone demonstrating good manners towards you in front of your children, point them out. When it comes to gifts this holiday season, our kids are surely hoping they receive everything on their wish list. However, there are always those presents that leave us with a puzzled look. Let’s face it. Kids are honest, unfiltered and say it like it is. We love this innocent quality but it can leave us parents feeling mortified and without words.
Prepare Your Children When it Comes to Gift Etiquette • If a gift gets a thumbs down, save the negative sentiments for home. • It is good party protocol to be grateful and show respect. • Someone spent the time to buy a gift and it is the thought that counts. • A bad gift is a great opportunity to teach your child about giving back: • Instead of returning an unwanted gift, donate it. • Choose a charity together with your child. The parties, schmoozing and food you regret you ate but would not hesitate do it again, is over. You are left with an extra ten pounds and an abundance of presents, which means lots of thank you’s that need to be communicated to family and friends. A store bought card will of course suffice, but does not take much thought or effort. What are some other child friendly options to show thankfulness?
• If you witness someone who is not using good manners in front of your children, point them out and use as a teaching moment. Nothing pleases a parent more than having someone come up to you to praise your child’s manners. It is like a reward or a paycheck, knowing that your child actually is listening to you and putting your teachings into use.
Why is it so Important to Raise WellMannered Children? • Well-mannered children grow up to be well-mannered adults. • When children display good manners, it is easier and less stressful for parents and teachers to do their jobs, which creates a more effective environment. It is never too late to help your children mind their manners. Remember to stay patient, practice what you preach and be prepared! When those holiday invites come pouring in soon, your kids (and you) will be ready to impress!
Nothing Says Appreciation Like Homemade and Imaginative Gratitude Gifts • Sends the message that your child cares, took the time and is truly thankful. • Makes a wonderful project for you and your child to do together. • Thank you ideas do not have to cost a lot of money: • Pictures from a holiday party can be used to create a picture frame. • Personalize a travel or coffee mug with holiday themed decorations • Create a homemade card using items you most likely already have, including construction paper, stickers and markers. • Technology has allowed us to be creative and quick with our communications. • Send a personalized video thank you card. • Film a short video of your little one playing with their gift on your smart phone. • Your child can thank the recipient in the video and tell them why they love the gift.
About the Author Ellie Hirsch is the founder of MommyMasters®, a resource for parents oﬀering unique ps, tricks and tools, including her children’s CD, a Parents’ Choice Award winner. Known as The Mommy Master®, Ellie is a published author, mommy blogger and mom to three amazing li le boys. Visit MommyMasters.com to master motherhood with Ellie.
Fall Issue 2014
a note from the
Pinellas County Sheriff During last month’s operation here in Pinellas County, we arrested 10 people, which is significantly less than previous operations. This is good news that law enforcement’s efforts are modifying the behavior of these child sexual predators, who have been seeking sex with minors through the Internet. Despite our progress, we will continue to detect and arrest people seeking sex with kids through the Internet. We will protect our kids and these operations will continue.
The Internet is an information super highway that allows children of all ages to connect through social media, chat rooms, websites and blogs. Children use the web to surf various websites and stay connected to friends, but every parent should be warned that there are dangers that lurk on the other side of the computer screen. Parents should be aware of which sites children are using, and keep up to speed on the various forms of technology that could potentially put their children at risk. Here at the Pinellas County Sheriff ’s Office, our main goal is to keep you and your family safe, whether it’s on the street or from behind a computer. Last month we again held a four day operation where investigators posed as minors on various websites, including classified pages, social media and chat rooms. During the operation, investigators established a rapport with the subjects where they would arrange to meet with the “minor” for the purpose of sexual activity. This is the third operation in Pinellas County this year targeting online sexual predators who are trying to meet and have sex with children. In each of the previous operations we have arrested in excess of 20 people, and in the recent statewide Florida Sheriff ’s Taskforce operation, over 130 people who were preying on kids for sex were arrested.
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As a parent or grandparent, I hope you will do your part to help protect your kids from these crimes. Giving our kids access to the Internet without boundaries is like dropping them off in a busy public park and encouraging them to talk to strangers. Prepare your kids and grandkids for appropriate internet use by following these guidelines: • Use built-in parental controls to block certain websites or inappropriate content. • Monitor what your kids do online, what information they are sharing, and who they are communicating with. • Limit Internet use to common areas of your home where you can easily check on them. Visit our website at PCSOweb.com to see our Parent’s Tool Kit. Educate yourselves about the dangers your kids face online, who they’re talking to and how you can protect them.
Bob Gual eri Sheriﬀ, Pinellas County
a note from
Juvenile Welfare Board The Children’s Services Council of Pinellas County
All Kids Matter. Kinship care refers to the full-time care, nurturing and protection of a child by his or her grandparents or other kin. Across the United States, more than 6 million children – approximately 1 in 12 – are being raised in households headed by grandparents or other relatives and, in nearly half of these cases, the child’s parent is not living in the home. In Florida, about 7% of all children live in grandparent-headed households while another estimated 3% are being raised by other relatives. Children may come to live with a grandparent or other relative in a number of ways, but only some of these involve the child welfare system. A parent may leave children with a grandparent while he or she is sent overseas, or perhaps an aunt may care for a nephew or niece whose parents are ill or otherwise unable to care for their children. In these cases, parents may retain legal custody – or they may voluntarily sign this over to a grandparent or other relative.
Self-Care Practices for Caregivers • Learn and use stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, prayer, yoga or Tai Chi. • Attend to your own healthcare needs. • Get proper rest and nutrition. • Exercise regularly, if only for 10 minutes at a time. • Take time off without feeling guilty. • Participate in pleasant, nurturing activities such as reading a good book or taking a warm bath. • Seek and accept the support of others. • Seek supportive counseling when you need it, talk to a trusted friend or pastor, or attend a kinship care support group. • Identify and acknowledge your feelings – you have a right to all of them. • Adopt a strengths-based view on life – see the glass as “half full” verse “half empty”.
If there is involvement by the child welfare system, the placement of the child in the relative’s home may be voluntary or involuntary; in the latter, the state assumes legal custody of the child and a judge, acting on behalf of the child, places the child with a grandparent or other kin. Naturally, relatives are the preferred living arrangement for children who must be removed from their birth parents because it maintains their familial connections. With so many grandparents and other relatives assuming child rearing responsibilities without the child’s parent in the home, kinship caregivers often lack information about the range of support services, benefits and resources they need to fulfill their caregiving role. They likely had not planned to take on this role and may be ill-prepared to handle the challenges. Plus, kinship caregivers are at great risk for burnout, stress and fatigue. But, there’s help. The Juvenile Welfare Board ( JWB) invests in Kinship Care Services, as subcontracted with and operated by The Children’s Home. These services are designed to provide support to Pinellas County grandparents and other kinship caregivers by helping them connect to necessary services, expand family support systems and reduce stress to promote family stability. The program offers in-home support services; assistance in applying for public benefits; legal aid; respite care, tutoring; support groups; and family enrichment activities. Families can inquire about Kinship Care Services by calling (888) 920-8761. One of the most important things a caregiver can do is to practice good self-care. Remember, self-care is never selfish; it’s an important part of the job. Caring for yourself and making your own health a top priority is the best way to nurture and raise the children in your care. There are several self-care practices to consider that will help you be the best caregiver you can be.
Because all children matter! Sincerely, Dr. Marcie Biddleman Executive Director, Juvenile Welfare Board
• Set and keep goals; allow yourself to dream and look forward to future plans. • Seek Kinship Care Services by calling (888) 920-8761.
Fall Issue 2014
a note from
Pinellas County Schools Dear GoodLiving Families, Pinellas County Schools offers a wide variety of high-quality programs designed to inspire students and provide them with the skills they need to achieve success in college, career and life. I invite you to explore the District Application Programs, which offer a variety of educational opportunities to suit your child’s special talents, abilities and interests. There are programs at all grade levels. I invite you to attend one of the Parent Information Sessions, where you can learn more about the application process. I also encourage you to attend one of the Information Fairs. These comprehensive events give parents and students opportunities to meet program representatives and obtain more information about programs that interest them. Please feel free to contact individual schools to find out more about Discovery Nights and school tours. For additional information about District Application Programs and events, visit pcsb.org/choice.
District Application Program Processes, Timeline and Parent Information Sessions These sessions will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the school auditoriums at the following locations and on the following dates: • Nov. 4: Boca Ciega High, 924 58th St S, Gulfport • Nov. 6: Countryside High, 3000 State Road 580, Clearwater • Nov. 10: Pinellas Park High, 6305 118th Ave. N, Largo.
Information Fairs Pinellas County Schools has scheduled two District Application Program Information Fairs in November to give parents and prospective students a chance to talk with school representatives about various application programs: • Nov. 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Gibbs High, 850 34th St S. St. Petersburg • Nov. 15 from 9 a.m. to noon at Pinellas Park High, 6305 118th Ave. N, Largo Additionally, schools that offer application programs will host their own Discovery Nights between mid November and early January. Dates for these events are available online at pcsb.org/choice. Our goal is to provide our students with the best possible learning experiences. Thank you for your involvement in your child’s education. Together, we can fulfill the district’s vision of 100 percent student success.
Sincerely, Michael A. Grego Superintendent
Fall Brings Positive Changes By LARRY POLNICKY
Fall is here and it’s a wonderful time of year, as the relentless heat begins to subside and we head into the holiday season. But the best thing we see this time of year are the changes made by kids enrolled in the Brain Balance program. It takes only a few weeks for the natural, drug-free stimulation to work and for parents to start looking forward to that first report card. The education system is meant to be stimulating. Think of all those new words and concepts we were exposed to each school year. Academic stimulation is an important part of brain development, but is it enough? Activities such as music, art and physical education are also very important for brain growth and development, but we see schools increasingly curtailing these programs as funds become limited. Making up for these deficits is the mission of the Brain Balance Achievement Center. It is an intensive program that encourages brain growth using music and sound, visual tools, physical exercises, academic exercises and nutrition. As an after school program, it is the perfect complement to the facts and figures learned in the schoolroom. Shouldn’t a child’s education be complete? Brain Balance completes the process. For those who have counselors, teachers or doctors recommending medications for your student to solve challenges, we invite you to come for a free consultation to discuss how our program may eliminate the need for medications. Parents, instead of dreading that first fall report card, look forward to a school year with your child on a different path, the path to success! Here are some true success stories of children who have completed our program:
Conner, Age 10 We have a 10 year old son with sensory, processing, behavior, and health issues. He had most of these issues since birth. The older he got, the more certain we became these issues were not getting better and some getting worse despite all the therapists, tutoring, and private schools we paid for. The first thing we noticed was the improvement in his health a couple weeks in to the program because of his diet and nutritional supplements. His stomach issues were much better. Shortly after that, we saw improvement in his behavior. He was much happier and less emotional. Half way through we noticed he was communicating much better, making eye contact, and more outgoing. In the last couple of weeks, it all came together. Now other people were noticing his changes because they were that obvious. We feel like for so long, his identity was trapped inside because he was dealing with so many different issues at one time. Now that he has graduated from Brain Balance, he is finally who he is supposed to be. He is healthier, happier, and more confident. He continues to progress in school and we know that he is only going to continue to get improve with time.
Find out more by attending a free parent event 6:00 PM, Tuesday, 9/16/2014 at the Brain Balance Center located at 4022 Tampa RD, Suite 6, Oldsmar, FL. Or call us at 813-749-0872 to arrange a personal tour and free, no obligation, private consultation. Or visit us on the web at brainbalancecenters.com to read articles, research papers and parent testimonials.
Thank you everyone at Brain Balance for all your hard work. You all made such a difference in our son’s life. Sky’s the limit for him now and you help make that possible!!!
Alex, ADHD, age 13 I feel that I improved much during the BB program. My head isn’t racing a hundred miles per hour anymore. I feel much more calm, not as many questions or list making. I don’t yell as much, and don’t demand answers. I eat better, and I feel more healthy overall. I feel like I can play sports even better, and I make friends much easier too. Even without identifying the exact cause of these difficulties, we do know a lot about what the problem is, and fortunately, how to address it. The symptoms or condition can be reversed or significantly improved with proper nutrition, adequate activity levels, a restriction of electronics and the oneof-a-kind brain stimulation they receive at a Brain Balance Achievement Center. Every child is unique, and that’s why we address every child individually with our comprehensive evaluation and lesson planning.
Larry Polnicky is the owner of the Brain Balance Achievement Center in Oldsmar. His son Ben has autism and showed significant improvements after completing the program at a center in Atlanta. So moved by how this program changed their lives, it became his calling to help other children by opening a center in Florida. Larry is involved in the local community and founded The Children’s Achievement Foundation to raise scholarship money for families who need assistance to participate in alternative programs.
Sugar and Spice and things not so nice by DR. THERESA HARTLEY
INGREDIENTS to Avoid:
Are the holidays ruining your children’s nutrition?
Often times during the holidays we allow our children (and ourselves) to splurge a little when it comes to treats. But is this tradition worse than we suspect? How is this affecting your children’s nutrition, behavior, and immune system?
The average person eats pounds of sugar a year, which is equivalent to over half a cup a day. The average teenage boy eats twice as much sugar than any other age or gender. That puts him at over a cup of sugar a day. From the time we come into this world to the time we leave, sweeteners are present in most of our diets. The first non-milk food that a baby is likely to receive in North American hospitals is a 5-percent glucoseand-water solution (IV). Some baby milk formulas still contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup. A common reward system for children involves sugary treats; “Eat your dinner and you will get your dessert.” Some classes reward children with candy when they have finished an assignment or have not disturbed the class. Children even sell sugary products, such as Girl Scout cookies and sweet morsels at church bake sales. The list goes on. Obesity in children now is a problem worldwide. Significant factors influencing fat and weight gain include increased watching television, fast food dining, and poor physical education programs at school. Only 36 percent of our children are in a daily athletic program at school. Children should learn lifelong habits at home to reduce the problems of obesity and the health related problems that go with it. With so many foods to choose from, it’s no wonder parents are confused. One thing is for sure, there are certain ingredients that must be avoided without exception. Some ingredients even in small amounts can do extensive damage to a healthy child. These ingredients can disrupt hormones and change body chemistry in a negative way. With childhood cancers on the rise and early-onset diabetes and other conditions (not heard of in our generation and our parent’s generation), we must seriously evaluate everything we feed to our children starting in infancy. As they say, we are what we eat!
Aspartame, also known as Nutrasweet, Equal, and Splenda (aka Sucralose) side effects have been strongly linked to psychological problems including severe depression and sleep disorders, increased rates of autoimmune disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Diabetes and others. The biggest insult is that use of Splenda has been linked to – you guessed it – weight gain. All artificial sweeteners are bad news.
High Fructose Corn Syrup High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) increases your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and contributes to the development of diabetes. A study conducted at the University of South Carolina found that children, hyperactive or not, who consumed large amounts of sugar behaved in a more destructive and reckless manner.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) MSG is used as a flavor enhancer. It is an excitotoxin, a type of neurotoxin that essentially excites your brain cells to death. It has profound effects on the mood and behavior of children in particular. MSG is found in most fast foods as well as processed meats, frozen meals, soup mixes, salad dressings and many other processed foods.
Common Food Dyes Artificial colorings may contribute to behavioral problems in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ. Citrus Red #2: It’s toxic to rodents at modest levels and caused tumors of the urinary bladder and possibly other organs. What it’s in: skins of Florida oranges. Green #3 (Fast Green): Caused significant increases in bladder and testicular tumors in male rats. What it’s in: drugs, personal care products, cosmetic products except in eye area, candies, beverages, ice cream, sorbet, ingested drugs and externally applied cosmetics. Red #40 (Allura Red): This is the most-widely used and consumed dye. It causes hypersensitivity (allergy-like) reactions in some consumers and might trigger hyperactivity in children. What it’s in: beverages, bakery goods, dessert powders, candies, cereals, foods, drugs and cosmetics. Yellow #5 (Tartrazine): Yellow 5 causes sometimes-severe hypersensitivity reactions and might trigger hyperactivity and other behavioral effects in children. What it’s in: numerous bakery goods, beverages, dessert powders, candies, cereals, gelatin desserts, and many other foods, as well as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
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With so many common children’s food containing many of these ingredients, what should a parent do? The holidays can be an especially hard time because eating out of the house is a much more common theme.
Here are some things you can do to protect your family:
Failing to plan is planning to fail! Set aside a specific time each week to review the events that your family is participating in. This will allow you to plan meals and snacks accordingly. If you know your child has a class party, make sure their meals before and after are filled with colorful, no sugar options such as lean proteins and fun veggies. Even better – send a healthy snack your child likes with them to the party (if allowed).
Although it is very tempting to let an event or occasion run past bedtime, keeping a routine during this busy season can make huge impacts on behavior and your children’s immune function. Leaving a holiday party before it is over to allow your children enough sleep will make you a very happy parent the next day.
Do you know your family will be attending a holiday party? Plan to eat a full meal before going to the party and have a conversation about how many treats are allowed before entering the festivities. This will stop both children and adults from making bad decisions.
Keep your families bodies functioning optimally! The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association has initiated a ground breaking study on the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic care for children. The results are outstanding and show that chiropractic care is safe for children. Even more significant is that parents reported three unexpected improvements with their child’s care: • Improved sleeping • Improved behavior and attitude • Improved immune system function (less sicknesses and less amount of time a child had symptoms)
INCREASE! Increase veggies and fruits at other meals to allow for the increase in sugar. A great idea is a smoothie for breakfast. Many children will be able to get several servings of veggies in a smoothie without even knowing it!
MOVE! Make family exercise a part of the holiday season. Instead of driving around to look at lights, why not take a walk? What about a family bike ride every Saturday and Sunday morning? Not only will outdoor activity allow you to burn off those extra calories and get some much needed sunshine, it will ingrain healthy habits into your children that will last a lifetime! Who knows, it might even become a favorite family tradition.
A little effort goes a long way! Implement these tips to ensure a healthy stress free holiday season! Sources: eleva onhealth.com/loca on/clearwater-chiropractor-theresahartley/page/3/ Food Ma ers November 24, 2010 icpa4kids.com/research/updates/archives/Research_ Update_008.htm
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Theresa Hartley is the owner of the Hartley Chiropractic Center, which is now also an Elevation Health office. This makes the practice part of an international system of principled chiropractic facilities whose purpose is to educate people on how to proactively care for their bodies. Dr. Hartley earned her Doctorate of Chiropractic from the esteemed Palmer College of Chiropractic. She cares for family members from infants to seniors using treatments that are age-specific and address the cause of the symptoms, not just the symptoms alone. Dr. Hartley is certified in the Webster Technique, a treatment sought by expectant mothers to help to keep the pelvis properly balanced throughout the term of the pregnancy. Dr. Hartley sees patients in the office at 2653 Ulmerton Road in Clearwater, Florida and speaks publicly to groups, churches, corporations, and through radio and television about the message of true health and healing. Contact her at (727) 623-0992 for more information.
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By SHERYL CONRAD
Balancing a Career and Family as a Caregiver Presents aWhole New Set of Challenges to Working Women In Recognition of National Caregiver Month and all the Working Moms who are also Caregivers. Unpaid caregivers provide an estimated 90% of the long-term care in this country, and the majority of caregivers are women, according to the Institute of Medicine. The National Alliance for Caregiving reports that the “typical caregiver” is a 46 year-old woman with some college experience and provides more than 20 hours of care each week to her mother.
include, eat healthy, get plenty of rest, set boundaries, communicate your needs and concerns, keep your sense of humor and journal your feelings. Seek out support in your workplace, too. Many employers have found that adopting workplace policies supporting caregivers can increase employee morale and productivity. Ask your employer about the following:
Flexible work schedules. Is flex-time available? Could you work from home part of the time? Is telecommuting an option?
Leave policies & FMLA. Not all employers are required to comply with FMLA, so it’s a good idea to understand what your employer is prepared to offer should there be a need to take a leave of absence. Employee Assistance Program (EAPs) can provide you
with counseling, legal and financial referrals, eldercare and childcare referrals, in addition to putting you in touch with non-profit or Caregiving can be stressful as well as a financial hardship with reduced work hours, family leave or early retirement. It’s no surprise charitable organizations that can provide aid. that caregivers report having a decline in their own physical, mental Dependent Care Accounts can be used to fund certain types and emotional health. Working moms are accustomed to putting of dependent care with pre-tax dollars. others first, however, our good health is essential to those who Long Term Care Insurance can cover a large portion of your depend on us. Seeking out support can help you strike a balance caregiving expense. Some group policies allow you to purchase and avoid the burnout that many caregivers experience. coverage for you, your spouse, and in some cases for your parents. Fortunately, we have some great resources In addition, some of the insurance providers offer caregiving in our own backyard: support services to you. Suncoast Hospice offers a variety of groups, training and other Worksite benefits, such as Critical Illness and Cancer indemevents for caregivers located in Pinellas County. According to Kathy nity policies commonly offered by AFLAC or Colonial Life, offer Rabon, Executive Director of Suncoast Hospice Foundation and a cash benefit to the insured upon diagnosis of a serious medical founding member of AchieveHERS, “Suncoast Hospice and its new condition, many of which require some level of caregiving. brand, Empath Health, provides much more than end-of-life care As draining as it can be at times, caregiving can also be very for patients and support for their caregivers. We also offer palliative rewarding. Remember to give yourself some credit – you are home health, independent living assistance and day care for seniors, being selfless and doing one of the most difficult and important advance care planning and more. By offering a comprehensive jobs in the world. Those of us around you recognize that and we approach through compassionate care, Empath Health provides are ready to support you! hope, inspiration and innovative services for the entire family.
Linda Burhans, a national speaker and expert on Caregiver Advocacy, provides workshops and support groups through Tampa Bay. Having been a caregiver herself, she offers the following “nuggets” to caregivers on her website, LindaBurans.com. They
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If you are a working woman, plan to join others like you at the AchieveHers Signature Luncheon on November 6, 2014. Jaynie Smith will present, “The Competitive Advantage.” More info at AchieveHers.org.
from ReNew Life Formulas:
Solutions for Caregivers Brenda Watson, C.N.C. President, ReNew Life Formulas Digestive Care Expert New York Times Best-Selling Author Public Television Health Educator Most people will be caregivers at some point in their lives. Whether it’s caring for children or elderly parents, or both, it can take a toll on the caregiver. Research shows that most caregivers for the elderly are middle age, and 61% of them are women. One thing that women who care for their children, spouse or parents tend to do is focus all their attention on caregiving, and very little on caring for themselves.
Support Your Health from the Inside Out If you’re a caregiver, you need to stay healthy so you can perform your duties. The foundation for overall health is found in your digestive tract. When you optimize your digestive health, your overall health will improve. One simple, yet important thing caregivers can do for themselves is to take a daily probiotic. Our bodies are naturally filled with trillions of good bacteria that help us maintain a balanced intestinal environment. Many factors can adversely alter this balance, including age, poor diet, certain medications and even stress. Taking probiotics on a daily basis is a great way to maintain that balance.*
Probiotics and Your Immune System Taking a daily high potency probiotic supplement can help support your immune health, too.* Up to 80 percent of your immune system is located in and around the intestinal tract. Beneficial bacteria in the gut work to “educate” the immune system to help it respond appropriately. Probiotic supplements are available for every age group, in both targeted or maintenance formulas, so in addition to you taking a probiotic, make sure everyone that you care for takes a daily probiotic too! *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. ___
For over 20 years, Brenda Watson has dedicated her career to helping people achieve vibrant, lasting health through improved digestive function. A dynamic health advocate, author, speaker and celebrated public television health educator, she is among the foremost authorities in America on optimum nutrition and digestion, natural detoxification methods, and herbal internal cleansing. Brenda recognized a growing need within the natural products industry for a line of safe and effective digestive care products during her extensive clinical work, and in 1997 she accepted the challenge herself. The result is the ReNew Life line of superior-quality digestive health supplements based in Palm Harbor, Florida.
Little Stone Big Stone: Exploring in Georgia Editor’s Review by PAMELA SETTLE
been washed down the mountains to rest in the foothills of north Georgia. Part of an ancient river bed is owned by Gold and Gem Grubbin’. They use the placer mining technique to strip away dirt down to the bedrock which is where the gold deposited. This gem ore is what visitors pay to sift through by the bucket or the day. To get closer to an authentic mining experience, we took the day option, along with three five-gallon buckets, sifters and pans to the side of the creek and put the miner wannabe to work. First we shoveled gem ore from a large pile into the buckets to carry to the side of the creek. Then we sat and rinsed dried mud off rocks for an entire day. Before you judge, I have to first tell you there was something very Zen and relaxing about doing this kind of mindless, repetitive task on the shore of a cool, clear creek in the shade of the trees. Second, I need to tell you that our worked paid off because we actually found gems! In with our new collection of various types of quartz, we found garnets, a red sapphire and an emerald. To an eight-year-old, these finds were far better than the time he won 1,000 tickets at a Disney arcade, plus they are connected to a very unique set of special family memories.
Mining for the Little Stones Diamond mines. Gemstones. Gold. Iron Ore. Pick axes. If you have children enamored with the video game, Minecraft®, then these no doubt have been topics of discussion in your house, too. We have a generation of budding miners thanks to this highly popular game where the kids mine, dig and build as far as their imaginations can take them. As frustrating as the obsession may be at times, it is nice to have them learning about rocks and mining, topics they may have otherwise glossed over in science class. Mining is a fascination in our house, so much so that we record episodes of Gem Hunt on the Travel Channel to watch gemologists travel the world in search of the best raw gemstones. Sadly, when the request came in from my son to actually go mining like they do on Gem Hunt, I If you don’t have the time or the inclination to dip your toes and had to break the bad news about Florida’s geology and geography. rocks into the creek, you can purchase a bucket or two of the ore However, not too far north in Cleveland, Georgia, there is a gem for sifting at their water tables, or sluices. The source is the same, it’s just a different experience and we saw several families happily mine with stones and gold to be found. You don’t go deep down chatting away while they rinsed and sorted. in the mines like they do in some parts of the world, but you do get to sift through dirt (gem ore) that has been scooped up from ancient river beds. According to owner Brian Devan, co-owner of Gold and Gem Grubbin’, the gemstones are the same as you’ll find in Africa, because the ancestral continents of North America and Africa collided with a violent crashing of crustal plates forming the Appalachian Mountains. Then about 200 million years later, the movement reversed and the eastern border of what is now the United States was established. The quartz that cooled from the volcanic activity created gemstones that some have, over time,
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We took our special rocks to the office for them to be identified by Brian, an experienced miner and rock expert. For an extra fee, he will cut your stones for you, making them ready to be set in earrings, a necklace or a ring. To learn more about how to take the family gem mining, visit GoldnGemGrubbin.com. From Pinellas County, the drive is about eight hours, but well worth it for a long weekend adventure any time of the year.
Kids enjoy several attractions that are just for them. Geyser Towers® Taking your mining trip to Georgia during the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday breaks can be extra special. The creek may be a bit has multiple levels of suspended rope chilly depending on the weather, but the sluices are open year round. bridges and net tunnels to connect you to towering platforms that overlook a About 30 minutes north of the mine is the town of Helen, a gushing geyser. On SkyHike®, the whole replica of a quaint Alpine village with shops and restaurants. family can trek through the treetops on Starting in November the town turns into a storybook Christmas a family adventure course. And in the Village. Lighting of the Village is November 28, which also Great Barn® kids will find super slides, marks the day Santa comes to town and the Christmas market trampoline floors, climbing structures opens for the season. and over 65 interactive games. Also near the mine, is the town of Dahlonega, the epicenter of For a little more culture and education, the Gold Rush of the late 1820’s. Tour historical gold mines take in the Stone Mountain Museum and pan for gold flakes in nearby streams. The town will hold to learn about the geology and history an Old Fashioned Christmas celebration from November 28 to of the mountain and The Antebellum December 21. Plantation, a collection of original build-
Holiday Mining Made Special
For the kids and kids at heart, stop for a tour of the BabyLand General® Hospital, birthplace of the Cabbage Patch Kids, located in Cleveland.
The Big Stone: Stone Mountain Park After mining for your little stones, head back toward Florida and stop to visit a famous big stone: Stone Mountain, the dome of a ten-mile-long pluton that is primarily composed of quartz monzonite. This rare type of rock formed as part of the crash that created the Appalachian Mountains. Standing 1,686 feet tall, the mountain has carved on the side the largest bas relief sculpture in the world that was completed in 1972.
ings from around the State of Georgia, built between 1783 and 1875. Each evening ends with visitors sitting on the grassy hill that slopes down toward the base of the mountain to watch the musical laser light show on the side of the mountain. The music, the animation of the laser lights and the emotion of the moment make this show really quite enjoyable for all ages. Learn more at StoneMountainPark.com
This GOOD ADVENTURE can be done in four to five days. Allow one full day at Gold and Gem Grubbin’ with dinner in Dahlonega or Helen. Then For most of the time since then, the park has been mainly a stop plan one or two days at Stone Mountain Park. Their onsite restaurants have good food so you can eat to see the sculpture and take the Skyride to the top. In the past there or bring a picnic. We stayed in Duluth, which decade, the park has grown into a fun-filled family adventure within a beautiful state park. Rustic looking restaurants, shops is conveniently located between the two attractions and play areas create an old Western town atmosphere. A 1940s on Interstate 85 on the east side of Atlanta. The locomotive pulls open-air cars for a five-mile trip around the base of the mountain. The Skyride is still a highlight to take visitors to Sonesta Hotel, while mainly a business hotel, was a luxurious yet aﬀordable respite on a weekend. the top of the mountain for a gorgeous view. Fall Issue 2014
A Stone Mountain Christmas with Snow Mountain Who wants to go snow tubing?
Stone Mountain Christmas: November 8 - January 4 Watch Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas 4-D, a hilarious adventure featured in 3-D with added in-theater effects. Take your picture with two iconic North Pole favorites, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer® and Bumble™ the Abominable Snow Monster.
It’s October in Florida. We nearly all want a taste of the cooler Take a journey into the Christmas songs of yesterday and today with weather that our friends up north are getting. Stone Mountain Park the uplifting live holiday show Forever Christmas. Other live shows in Georgia is finishing its Pumpkin Festival on October 26 and include Holly Jolly Cabaret, Toyrific!, and A Crossroads Christmas Carol. will be transforming the park for Stone Mountain Christmas to Come aboard the Singalong Train to enjoy Christmas favorites, as well open on November 8. as the heartwarming story of the first Christmas in The Gift train show. The already gorgeous park will be festive and sparkling with 2 million lights, attractions and shows to put the whole family into Wander through the Wonderland Walkway, a dazzling tunnel of the holiday spirit. Then on November 22, they turn their usually lights guiding you to the Snow Angel® Palace, where you can have your grassy hill into a 400 foot snow-covered hill for tubing. Families picture taken with the beautiful Snow Angel and her Toy Soldiers. can tube together on one side and individuals can tube on the Cheer on the nightly Christmas Parade including whimsical other. At the bottom, Snow Zone has a smaller hill for toddlers floats and the arrival of Santa Claus. and young children, plus an area to build igloos and snowmen. Visit with Santa Claus and gather at the Gingerbread House to The park appeals to all ages, making it ideal for inviting the grandparents and all the cousins. Restaurants in the park make dining convenient. And two Marriott hotels are on the property, also convenient for traveling families. Check their website’s Special Offers page frequently for ticket and hotel deals. A combination ticket for the Stone Mountain Christmas and Snow Mountain is only $44.95. Ask about their military discount for active duty, veterans and retired. If you’re looking for a new family getaway during the Thanksgiving or Christmas breaks, Stone Mountain Park can surround you in holiday cheer and give the kids a snow day they’ll never forget. This park is managed by a company that upholds wholesome family fun in all they do, assuring families a pleasant, clean and friendly experience. All within about six hours of Tampa Bay. Purchase tickets for Snow Mountain in advance to reserve your day, as attendance is limited. StoneMountainPark.com.
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hear Mrs. Claus spin heartwarming tales. End the night with the magical Snow Angel® Snowfall and Fireworks Finale as the Snow Angel flies overhead and, with the help of her junior angels below chanting “Let It Snow,” makes it snow.
Snow Mountain: November 22 - February 22 Now in its seventh season, Snow Mountain features the Avalanche Alley family tube ride, Tube Runners and the Snow Zone area where younger kids can tube, make the ultimate snowmen and snow angels and throw snowballs at a snowball shooting gallery. They even have a snowman closet filled with eyes, noses, hats and more to complete the snowman for the ultimate picture to share back in Florida. After playing in the snow, warm up at the crackling bonfires, roast marshmallows and enjoy s’mores. Their website has more information on how to dress and what to bring to enjoy your day in the snow.
Get Saucy! Out of the Weeds Robin Bird, owner of Three Birds Tavern in St. Petersburg has expanded her business with a new line of artisan dressings and sauces made locally and made fresh with all natural ingredients.
the Birds sought the assistance of another local business owner who was already finding success in the locally-made sauce business. Michelle Northrup’s company, The Intensity Academy Gourmet Sauces was the right fit for all concerned. “We knew they would put the same stamp of quality on our products as they do with theirs,” said Robin. The dressings are perfect not only as salad toppers, but also for grilling and enhancing meats and vegetables, as marinades and dipping sauces. They are available at Three Birds Tavern (1495 4th St N.) for $8 a bottle, or $20 for a 3-pack. You can also order online at outoftheweeds.com where you’ll also find recipes and serving suggestions, and have them shipped right to your doorstep. Robin is talking with wholesale food distributors and specialty grocers both locally, and nationally, so hopefully you’ll be seeing them on the shelves of some of your favorite stores someday soon.
Intensity Academy Adds New Products Michele Northrup has become a bit of a “saucy” food celebrity at local markets and shows during the past few years, but her star really shines at hot sauce competitions across the U.S. In the past five years, Michelle has won 53 national awards. She started her own company, Intensity Academy Gourmet Sauces as a cottage business. The operation has long since outgrown her kitchen and her sauces continue winning fans all over Tampa Bay. Their veggie-based hot sauces and organic tea infused gourmet sauces explore intense flavors with varied levels of heat, from mild to spicy. New products introduced are: The first dressings released in her Out of the Weeds line are: Carrot Ginger - carrots, ginger, olive oil, sesame oil, vinegar, tomato, soy sauce, jalapeno peppers, fresh cilantro, orange zest & natural spices Roasted Beet Vinaigrette - beets, orange juice, soybean oil, olive oil, vinegar, shallots, garlic, fresh thyme, fresh tarragon, kosher salt & natural spices Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette - ripe plum tomatoes, soybean oil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar, shallots, garlic, sugar, fresh thyme, kosher salt & natural spices After more than five years as a restaurant owner, Robin and her husband Jack felt they were sufficiently “out of the weeds” enough to start producing the dressings and sauces they’ve been making in the restaurant kitchen. “Starting a retail line of products has always been a part of the plan,” says Robin, “but we had to get the restaurant to a place where it was running smoothly day to day.”
Carrot Karma is an all-natural carrot based hot sauce. The natural sweetness of the carrots balance the bright habaneros with a hint of lime. Only 3 calories per teaspoon. Chai Thai Teriyaki is an all natural award winning artisan sauce. Organic Chai Tea, Thai peppers, tamari soy and local honey make this amazing sauce. Great for stir fry’s, veggies, marinade and more. Hot3 Wing Sauce says it all! Shop online at IntensityAcademy.com or visit Spiceman’s Kitchen in Tarpon Springs or Red Hot Tiki in Gulfport.
They also had to find a way to commercially produce and package their products. Being supporters of the “Buy Local” movement,
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the effort. The process of soaking is to rinse off dust and debris, rehydrate the dried beans for faster, more even cooking and to remove the complex sugars (oligosaccharides) that can lead to In looking at the challenges that today’s cooks have, the bean can intestinal discomfort. More of the sugars are removed if you can change the water two to three times during soaking. A quick do a lot to make your life easier. First, in the quest to eat food method that requires pre-boiling will cook out the antioxidants that is not processed, beans are one of the least processed, least and vitamins. packaged and least chemically treated foods you can purchase.
The Versatile Bean Can Make Your Life Easier
Secondly, they pack some serious nutritional punch as they are rich in thiamine (B1), pyridoxine (B6), niacin and folic acid. Minerals include iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Beans are a good protein source that have little or no cholesterol or fat. For instance, one cup of white, pinto, kidney, black, navy or garbanzo beans on average can yield 15 to 17 grams of protein, about 20 percent of what’s required daily for an adult, and about half for children. This is a protein source that also provides much needed soluble fiber, something that doesn’t happen with meat! Fiber is one of the keys to a healthy diet and a healthy digestive system. Soluble fiber can help to lower cholesterol by forming high density lipoproteins which can clean the arteries. Thirdly, beans can help a family’s food budget stay within its limits, especially as meat prices continue to rise. Purchasing beans in bulk bags can save money as well as limiting the use of canned beans which will add unnecessary sodium and increase exposure to BPA (Bisphenol A). BPA is a controversial chemical that lines cans and has been linked to breast cancer, hormone disruptions, brain and behavior problems and heart issues. While BPA has been mostly removed from plastics, especially baby bottles and sippy cups, most canned goods still contain BPA.
How to soak? For each cup of sorted, rinsed beans add three cups of cool water. Adding salt to the water will strengthen the skins of larger beans, like limas, during the long bath. Also adding 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda per pound of beans is recommended if the soaking water is hard water. Once the beans are soaking, let them sit in a cool place. Drain and rinse. Do not use the soaking water for cooking.
Cooking the Beans Once they are rehydrated, they are ready to cook by simmering, not boiling, in water until soft. Depending on the use, add seasonings, herbs, broths, peppers or meat like a ham hock to flavor the beans. Cooking time will depend on quantities, but start with 30 minutes for lentils and smaller beans, and check every 15 to 30 minutes thereafter until you get the hang of it. The bean should be soft all the way through and not chalky in the middle. A pressure cooker can greatly reduce cooking time and is an excellent way to prepare fast and healthy meals. For example, black, kidney and pinto beans can be fully cooked in ten minutes, white beans in six and limas in three.
Most every culture in the world has beans somewhere on the menu. From the soy, mung, and adzuki beans of Asia to the Beans bought in bulk are dried and will last for about six months cannellini beans of Italy to the black beans of Cuba, beans are in the pantry. While some cooks, will prepare their beans without plentiful and diverse. Relying solely on canned beans will limit soaking, many recommend it. Planning ahead is necessary your choices. Explore international markets for different types because soaking the beans takes time. The good news is that they of beans and research recipes that use different seasonings and can soak overnight while you sleep or while you’re away at work. spices. Experiment with different combinations of vegetables, Choose a couple of bean recipes to get more than one meal for grains and meat to make one-pot dinners, soups and side dishes your family will love.
Soaking Dried Beans
Fall Issue 2014
Pressure Cooker Recipes for Fast Bean Dishes From Kuhn Rikon, maker of the Duroma c Pressure Cookers Kuhnrikon.com
Savory Black Beans 1 cup dried black beans 2 bacon slices 1 medium onion, peeled and diced 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced ½ jalapeno pepper, finely chopped 1 ¾ cups water ¼ cup cilantro 1 tsp oregano ½ tsp black pepper 1 large tomato, chopped 2 tbsp lime juice Salt to taste Rinse and soak beans. In pressure cooker, heat bacon on medium heat until soft. Add onion, garlic and jalapeno to bacon until onion is translucent. Add water and soaked, drained beans. Increase to high heat. Stir in cilantro, oregano and black pepper. Close lid and bring to high pressure setting. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes and use the natural release method to allow flavors to settle in. Once steam is released, add tomato, lime juice and salt. Serve over rice or as a side to any meal. Or transfer to a baking dish, cover with shredded Monterey Jack cheese and bake to melt cheese. Makes 6 servings.
Boston “Baked” Beans 2 cups dried small white beans 2 bacon slices chopped 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 3 cups chicken broth 2 tsp white pepper ½ cup molasses ½ cup ketchup ¼ cup brown sugar Wash and soak the beans. In pressure cooker, fry bacon over high heat until lightly golden. Reduce heat and add onion and garlic, stirring often. Add broth, soaked and drained beans, dry mustard and white pepper over high heat and stir until mixed. Close lid and bring to high setting of pressure for six minutes. Remove heat and cool using the natural release method. Drain cooking liquid from beans and return them to cooker or place in a warmed casserole dish. Stir together molasses, ketchup and brown sugar. Pour over beans and stir until sauce clings to the beans. Makes 8 – 10 servings.
Dr. William Davis, cardiologist and author of Wheat Belly Total Health, warns that the holidays mean extra carbs, and the extra carbs from wheat will make us sluggish in the middle of all the fun holiday activities. He says that humans weren’t meant to eat grasses, like wheat, and that our digestive systems respond with inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. We can skip the dinner roles on Thanksgiving, but turkey just isn’t the same without dressing. Dr. Davis has recommended this alternative:
Wheat-free Cauliflower Mushroom Dressing 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms 1 pound loose ground pork sausage 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 2 stalks celery, chopped 1 medium onion, diced 1 head cauliflower 1 green pepper, chopped 4-ounce can/jar roasted red peppers 8 ounces Portabella mushrooms, sliced 2 tablespoons ground golden flaxseed 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon ground sage 1 teaspoon ground thyme 1 teaspoon ground tarragon Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring approximately 12 ounces water to a boil in sauce pan. Toss in porcini mushrooms and turn heat down to maintain below boiling. Stir every couple of minutes for 20 minutes. In deep sauce pan, sauté sausage in 1 tablespoon olive oil, along with celery and onions, until sausage is cooked. Drain excess oil. Place saucepan back on low heat. Break cauliflower into small florets and add to sausage mix. Toss in drained porcini mushrooms along with approximately 4 ounces of the porcini broth, remainder of olive oil, green pepper, roasted red peppers, Portabella mushrooms and flaxseed. Add onion powder, sage, thyme, tarragon, salt and black pepper and stir. Transfer to baking dish and place in oven. Bake for 45 minutes. More at wheatbellyblog.com
Fall Issue 2014
My Story By CYNTHIA WICKS
Cynthia As impossible as it now seems, I was addicted to heroin by the age of nine. The addiction was rooted in a pain so deep that I believed nothing, not even God if there was such a thing, could help me. Some of my earliest memories revolved around trying to figure out why my father chose me out of my siblings to be his target of sexual abuse. This dark secret tore my family apart and left me alone and lost.
Heather is celebrating eight years sober, her family and marriage are restored. She obtained a degree in Human Services for Alcohol/Substance Abuse because throughout her recovery process, she dreamed of opening up a recovery center for women and children. She learned that many women who have children won’t go into treatment because they don’t have anyone to care for their children while they recover.
All I wanted was what every little girl wants; to be happy. How could I smile when internally I was devastated? How could I laugh when all I wanted to do was cry? I felt lost, and the only thing I found to change how I felt was drugs. I was exposed to heroin at an early age on the streets of New York City. I thought it made me feel better, but it quickly led me to a very dark place. The dark place of deadly situations: 29 overdoses, more sexual abuse, failure in school, and a broken life. No one knew what to do with me so I was sent to a treatment facility in Tampa when I was 19. It was not an easy road, but the for the first time a hope was birthed inside of me. It was at this same time that I was brought to a recovery group called New Found Family and the first thing they told me was that they would love me until I was able to love myself. I instantaneously felt accepted and at home. The group is partnered with Crosspointe Church there I began my faith journey. I had a spiritual awakening and realized that God had saved me. He showed me how He had carried me through the darkest storms of my life, and never let me go. The greatest influence during all this time was a woman I met the first time I attended New Found Family. God used her to help save my life. When I first met Heather, she was the one who told me that she would love me until I was able to love myself. As we began working together I discovered that five years before I arrived, God was preparing her to be the exact person I would need to help me find my way.
Heather At that time, Heather was in a life that was totally unmanageable. She grew up in a dysfunctional home of alcoholics, was abandoned by her biological father at the age of 8, and was sexually abused by her step-father and another man by the age of 10. After several years of insanity, addiction, chaos and affairs, she was looking at a divorce after 10 years of marriage. She had made a public suicide attempt and was Baker-acted. When she was released she entered into treatment through a program called New Found Family.
Fall Issue 2014
Cynthia Wicks (left) and Heather Farris (right)
New Found Family Recovery Center Expanding from the New Found Family support groups, plans are in the works to build a New Found Family Recovery Center. This will be an inpatient residential program in central Pinellas County that houses women and children. There will also be sober living facilities for clients after they complete the inpatient program. Throughout their time with us, we will teach clients life management and coping skills with a support system that will follow them until they are able to live a sober, healthy, and productive life on their own. We just recently found transitional housing for two women this month, so our vision is well on its way. Your help is needed as we continue with our vision to build and maintain the new center. We hope that you will agree that lives are worth saving.
P.O. Box 1795 Oldsmar, Florida 34677