Page 1

December 2013


Focus on the Family p. 41

Meet the Lameyer Family p. 10

12 Sights of Christmas p. 14 Kids in the Kitchen p. 26

h T e e t S a e r a b son! e l e C uSmile NDental Making Smiles for over 20 years p. 24

Teacher of the Month Abbie Bowen p. 34

10 Winter Dates with Your Wife p. 12




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Pinellas • December 2013 • 3

Publisher: Editor: Contributing Editor: Designer: Web Developer: Photographer: Sales:

Rodney Beck Jennifer Beck Linda Crumley Michael Crumley Matthew Crumley EJ Acotto Charlene Iskra Nadine Jackwin Yvonne Pelino Kelly Seiter

For advertising opportunities:

“It’s true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, particularly for mothers. But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you’ll find you’ve created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul.” – Caroline Kennedy

© Gulf Coast Family Publications 2013

Gulf Coast Family Publications P.O. Box 3803, Seminole, FL 33775 Phone: (727) 612-0783 Fax: (727) 865-5135 Gulf Coast Family Newspaper is printed monthly, and is distributed throughout Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. Gulf Coast Family is available in distribution racks in ALL CVS Stores and in most Chick-fil-a restaurants, R-Clubs, Perkins Restaurants, Joto’s Pizzerias, Carmelita’s, After Hours Pediatrics, Cornerstone Banks, LA Fitness, Shapes, and Regions Banks in these counties, along with many other restaurants, shopping centers, churches, libraries, government offices, and over 200 day care centers and schools. For questions or comments, call (727) 6120783 or email Gulf Coast Family Publications encourages your input. To comment on one of our articles or to submit photos and articles for possible publication, simply email Submission of your photos and letters constitutes permission to Gulf Coast Family Publications, publisher of the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper, to use them in all media. All submissions become the property of Gulf Coast Family Publications and will not be returned. We reserve the right to edit as necessary, and all submissions will be used at our discretion. No portion of the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper may be reproduced without the express written consent of the publishers. The opinions of contributing writers are not necessarily those of the publishers. Gulf Coast Family Publications assumes no liability for products, services, or statements made by advertisers. Neither Gulf Coast Family Publications nor the advertisers can be held liable for typographical errors, misprints, or misinformation contained herein. The publishers reserve the right to edit and refuse editorial and/or advertising which does not meet the publication’s standards. All rights are reserved.

Gulf Coast Family is now available in over 100 CVS stores in the Tampa Bay area. 4 • December 2013 • Pinellas

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Do you have room in your heart and home for a waiting child?


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Life with Orion will never be dull! He is an active and energetic little boy with an impish grin that will steal your heart . Orion likes Batman, Spider Man, playing with his matchbox cars and the movie Cars. He is a very smart young man, with an almost photographic memory and a wonderful Photo By: Moorman Photography imagination. Orion is very talkative and is a great communicator. He has a curious nature and does not hesitate to ask questions. Orion will need a special family, one that is willing to tough out the hard times and be persistent with a child that sometimes has difficult behavior, but who also wants to love and be loved by a family. The prospective family for Orion will have to have the boundless patience and understanding needed to care for a child who has experienced a great deal of disappointment and instability in his young life.

Stephanie, age 14 Fun Loving & Creative

Favorite Food: McDonalds cheeseburger and fries Favorite Animal: Cheetah, but she’d love a cat as a pet

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Ideal Family: Stephanie would love to be in a home with a single mother, who is kind, loving and supportive, and she wouldn’t mind siblings A Few Of Her Favorite Things: Swimming, playing the trumpet, arts and crafts and Taekwondo When She Grows Up: Stephanie would love to be a model and work at a daycare About Stephanie: She is very creative and it shows in her personality, and she describes herself as pretty, nice and respectful.

For more information about the Heart Gallery visit or call (866) 233-0790.

Pinellas • December 2013 • 5

December 2013



Movie Night

5 Heart Gallery 8 December Fun Facts to Parent 9 Parent by Jennifer Beck 10 December Family of the Month

Meet the Lameyer Family

Great to Create 11 It’s Christmas Crafts Pro Dad 12 All 10 Winter Dates with Your Wife

13 Jokes for the Month

14 12 Sights of Christmas 23 Movie Night! Spotlight 24 Business NuSmile Dental 26 Kids in the Kitchen

12 Sights of Christmas

Rules for Holiday Cheer 28 How Much Do You Know 38 5byGolden Barbara Graham About Christmas?

Dinner 40 The Most Wonderful Time of the 30 Destination Hot Tuna Sushi Bar and Grille Year… for Giving

31 Family Night Out Coupons

Your Family 32 Protect by Attorney G. Alan Tripp, Jr. Made Sweet 33 Savings by Heather Brickell

34 Teacher of the Month Abbie Bowen

36 Planning for Holiday Stress

By Amy Alexander

Tropical Garden 37 The by Jené VanButsel

by Pete O’Shea, WTIS 1110 AM

on the Family 41 Focus by Jim Daly

42 Math Test Studying Myths – Busted! by Erin Nobles

of Vision 43 Gifts by Dr. Douglas Johnson

44 The Gulf Coast Family Weekender 45 In the Next Issue 46 This December We Recommend That You...


Teacher of the Month Abbie Bowen

On behalf of the entire staff and Brown Insurance family, Merry Christmas! May the Lord bless you, keep you, and make His face shine on you and give you peace in this New Year. Andy Brown


Kids in the Kitchen

6 • December 2013 • Pinellas

Andy Brown, President

West Bay Drive, Ste. 603 727-586-1601 2401 Largo, FL 33770

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Learn how to live before you learn how to make a living

Those two years are still the best years of my life, and I would never trade them for the world. – Benjamin Ward Jack Wyrtzen Center New York Campus

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Pinellas • December 2013 • 7

5,000 ornaments

D e ce m b e r Fu n Facts

6.4 calories Mistletoe, holly, poinsettias and Christmas trees are all plants associated with the decorations of Christmas. But the mistletoe is a true favorite with sweethearts everywhere. Kissing under the mistletoe is from a Greek festival tradition, and according to scientists, kissing burns 6.4 calories a minute. Interestingly, a Hershey’s kiss contains 26 calories, which takes five minutes of walking – or about four minutes of kissing – to burn off. The weather outside may not be frightful, but Christmas in Florida can be SO delightful. With warm breezes and swaying palms, and an average high temperature of 72°, Tampa Bay is the ideal location to celebrate the season. This month we have found some pretty unique ways for families to celebrate the season, with our 12 sights of Christmas.

The Capitol Christmas Tree will be decorated this year with approximately 5,000 ornaments reflecting the rich cultural and natural diversity of our great nation. The ornaments this year have been designed by artists and crafters of all ages from the state of Washington. On December 6th House Speaker John Boehner will be joined by six-year-old student, Giovanni Gayner, from Colville, WA to light the tree. The tree will remain lit until the 2nd of January. The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition for 49 years, beginning in 1964. To learn more about the “People’s Tree,” visit the official 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree site at

December 25, 2013


# Inspirational Film In the American Film Institute’s recent tribute to the 20th Century’s best films, “100 Years…100 Cheers,” the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life was overwhelmingly voted as the number one inspirational film of all time. This classic reminds us of the worth of the common man and leads us to ponder the impact we have on others.

190 Years Ago

The poem Twas the Night Before Christmas, also known as “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” was first published anonymously on December 23, 1823 in the Troy, New York, Sentinel. Attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, the poem has been captured in popular culture over the years in literature, films, radio and television.

Beginner’s Piano Lessons Ages 6 - Adult Establish a good foundation Patient and Experienced Teacher 8 • December 2013 • Pinellas

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Parent to Parent When I was growing up, my family’s Christmas traditions included eating pancakes on Christmas Day (not necessarily for breakfast – just sometime before we went to bed at night), opening presents one person at a time (so with our family of 8, this meant that it usually took all day), and hanging huge stockings that would get stuffed to the brim with anything small enough to fit in them. My husband’s family opened presents on Christmas Eve, then the kids would stay up into the wee hours of the morning cleaning their rooms (weird, I know) and watching It’s a Wonderful Life. On Christmas Day, they opened stockings that just had a few small trinkets in them, ate a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and spent the rest of the day relaxing.

Now, after 20 years of marriage, we have our own traditions. Some are completely our own – we eat chicken enchiladas on Christmas Eve and homemade cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning, while others are a combination of the traditions we each grew up with – we typically open presents on Christmas morning, but we do not spend all day doing it. And we have stockings, but they are normal-sized, and the contents are limited to candy, crayons or pencils, and maybe the “fad of the year” – think silly bands, Squinkies, etc. I would love to pass on the tradition of having my kids clean their rooms voluntarily on Christmas Eve or Day, but no luck so far on that one. Last year, we decided to try something different and spread out our Christmas gifts a little bit. So starting on December 13, my husband and I created our own version of the “12 Days of Christmas” for the kids. We bought each of them a gift bag and filled it with one gift each night leading up to Christmas Eve. The gifts weren’t anything extravagant – books, mugs and hot chocolate mix, Christmas socks, etc. – but they really enjoyed it.

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Haylee, who was 5 last Christmas, especially loved the excitement of opening gifts for 12 days in a row. She would go to school and tell her friends, “I got hot chocolate from the 12 days of Christmas!” Those poor kids had no idea what she was talking about. And around the 2nd week of January, she started asking us if we were going to do the 12 days of Christmas again, and when it would start. We got a little break during the spring and summer months, but now that Christmas decorations are going up, she is all over it again – asking us if we’re going to do it, counting down the days to when it would start if we do, making gift suggestions, etc. I don’t know if we’ll make it a regular tradition or not; but for this year, I think we’d be missing out on way to much fun if we don’t do it at least one more time!

Until next time,


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Pinellas • December 2013 • 9

December Family of the Month

Family Favorites

Meet the Lameyer Family Keeping a household with four children running smoothly can be quite a challenge. (Trust us; we know!) Our December Family of the Month has a way of making it look quite easy, though. Matt and Marianne Lameyer, together with their four children – Mara, Ben, Sam, and Annika – are a shining example of parents and children enjoying that unity that binds individuals into family. “We are one of those crazy families that actually enjoys spending time together,” the Lameyers told us. “Whether it’s an outing or just playing, singing, or reading, we are together.” Three things quickly became evident to us when we met the Lameyers at Lee Roy Selmon’s: their love for the Christmas season, their love of all things outdoors, and mostly their love for one another. Matt and Marianne met at college in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they both ran cross country. Marianne says, “We were teammates and running buddies before we made it permanent.” Teamwork paid off, and they have been married for 21 years. Today Matt works as the English and yearbook teacher at Northside Christian School, and

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Marianne is a speech pathologist at Bayfront Medical Center. While they both have many responsibilities, the one they cherish most is raising their children. They enjoy being parents. “Besides all the free labor,” they joked, “we really enjoy precious time with the kids and opportunity to raise them to be men and women of character who will live for Christ.” As parents, the Lameyers have continued an athletic lifestyle – and passed on their passion to the kids. “We all have a fond love for the outdoors,” Mara (15) told us. “From camping to mountain climbing, from kayaking to snorkeling, from hiking to competitive running – we enjoy it all!” The Lameyers enjoy Christmas, too. The spicy smell of Christmas cookies… the music… but their favorite tradition is “attending a candle-light Christmas Eve service at church and then going home to sit together, savoring some eggnog, and giving gifts to each other. We cherish that special time every December!” The Lameyer family has been selected December Family of the Month for their amazing example, their spirit of joy, and the family love they consistently demonstrate to those around them.

Meet The Kids

The ever-smiling Mara (15) is a quiet leader. She loves art, running, church, youth group, school, and time with friends. Mara has a growing interest in serving those who need help and is preparing to join a group from church on an advocacy trip to Rapha House in Cambodia next year. Ben (13) is the deep-thinking, pun-loving, mischievous one who has a seemingly insatiable thirst for knowledge of all sorts. At the age of 2, he told his parents, “I want to know what it looks like inside my head.” Well, apparently there are wheels turning in there, because Ben’s mind is constantly busy: researching online for the latest news, teaching himself to play the ukulele, coming up with new jokes to tell. Ben also likes participating in youth group, running, being part of the school band, and hanging out with friends.

“As a family, we enjoy bike riding, running, camping, and having backyard campfires. We also love visiting the many local parks and beaches here in the Tampa area.” “Our favorite foods are tacos, grapes, and good ol’ fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.” “Some of our favorite restaurants are Woody’s on St. Pete Beach, Einstein Bros Bagels and, of course, Chick-fil-A.” “The whole family really enjoys the Pixar movies; but our favorite movie, hands down, is The Incredibles.” “Every December we take an overnight bike trip. We pick a bed and breakfast in downtown St. Pete or in Tarpon Springs, and we bike there. It makes our tradition of an overnight get-away a lot more adventurous!” “Our favorite vacation destination is in the mountains of northern Georgia. We love to camp, kayak, and hike; and the mountains are absolutely beautiful!” “A highlight from 2013 for our family was to host a Spanish exchange student. We rediscovered some fun places in our area with her: the beach, Weedon Island, Florida Botanical Gardens, and Weeki Wachee.”

Sam (11) is a loving, conscientious kid who delights in his friends and sports. His current passion is basketball, and he is thrilled to play on the team at school. One of Sam’s delights in life is fishing. The smile on his face when he reels in a fish of any type is priceless. Annika (8) is a big third-grader this year. A good student, she loves school and her friends. Annika does not like to dress up and does not care much for brushing her hair either; but when she smiles – better yet, when she laughs – she does so with her entire body and delivers a charm that’s hard to describe. She loves to play basketball in the driveway with her family, and can’t seem to dribble the ball without giggling. Annika enjoys riding her bike, playing the piano, and reading Percy Jackson books.

If you would like to recommend a family to be featured as the family of the month, send a photo and a description of what makes your family unique to

10 • December 2013 • Pinellas

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

t a e r G It’s ! e t a e r to C







These three Christmas table decorations are simple crafts that your children will really enjoy putting together for Christmas. These crafts take very little time to make and can help entertain the kids while you prepare your holiday feast! Tip: The secret to keeping these arrangements inexpensive is buying candy in large bulk bags. Also make sure the real little ones don’t eat all the candy!

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A. Peppermint Stick Votive

Peppermint stick candles shine a cheery light. Place a small dot of hot glue on a peppermint stick, and press it to a pillar candle until it adheres. Repeat the process until the candle is surrounded with peppermint sticks. Wrap the bundle with red ribbon, and tie in a festive bow. After the party, consider using this colorful collection as a mantel or coffee table decoration.

B. Gumdrop Trees

To make a gumdrop topiary, break toothpicks in half. Push the blunt end into a gumdrop and the opposite pointed end into a craft foam ball. Repeat the process, making sure each piece of candy is touching another, until the ball is completely covered. Fit a piece of florist foam or craft foam into a decorative ceramic pot. Break off the curved end of a candy cane, leaving a straight piece. Push one end into the candycovered ball and the other end into the pot. Arrange additional candy around the base to complete the project.

C. Gumdrop Christmas Tree

To make a gumdrop Christmas tree, cover a craft foam cone with gumdrops the same way you covered the balls. The finished gumdrop tree may be placed directly on the table or on top of a pot for additional height. Pinellas • December 2013 • 11

10 Winter Dates with Your Wife The holiday season is here. Pretty soon you’ll be enjoying Christmas with your family. Depending upon where you live, you may be enjoying some warm and cozy evenings already.

1  For the active wife: Enjoy outdoor winter activities. This is just the type of date your wife will love. Ice skating, sledding, or even skiing together.

It’s time to flex your romance skills with your wife. She may think you lost the romance when you put a ring on her finger or after your kids were born. But you and I both know you haven’t lost the romantic touch. In fact, you’ve learned more through the years. Now you are more romantic and committed to making special dates and memories with your wife.

2  For the “I love holidays!” wife: Attend a local Christmas tree lighting. Bundle up, head downtown, and enjoy the city Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

But in case you did misplace your romance card, we’re here to help. Here are 10 winter dates for you to go on with your wife. Enjoy!

4  For the wife whose love language is receiving gifts: Give “rein-dear” gifts and go on themed dates. Give your wife a gift corresponding to a themed date night based on rein-dear names.

3  For the crafty wife: Create an ornament or wreath. Create an ornament to symbolize your marriage or a homemade wreath.

• Dancer: CDs to enjoy and a night of dancing. • Comet: A blanket and thermos of hot cocoa to enjoy as you stargaze. • Prancer, Dasher, Vixon, and so on

Ages 2–5 VPK & CCC Accepted 12 • December 2013 • Pinellas

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

7  For the entertainment loving wife: Go to a holiday/winter play or musical. The Nutcracker, a musical, or a show on ice to fit the holiday, winter, and Christmas seasons. 8  For the decorating wife: Decorate the tree. Take the ornaments, or crafts you made, and enjoy a night of putting them on the tree together. If you have kids, this may turn into a family affair, so save something for after the kids go to sleep. 9  For the outgoing wife: Attend a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party. Get dressed up or put on an ugly Christmas sweater and head out to a party. 10  For the wife who loves being home: Enjoy hot chocolate, a fire, and movie night. A couple of mugs, hot chocolate, marshmallows, a warm fire, and a nice movie are all you need.

Use your imagination.

5  For the foodie wife: Take a foodie tour of the city. Enjoy a three, four, or five course meal at different restaurants around the city. Each course will be enjoyed at a different restaurant.

The Mission of Transfiguration Early Childhood Center is to provide a safe, inviting environment where children feel free to create, explore and express themselves while being nourished with love and care through the Catholic faith.

6  For the wife who loves to bake: Do some holiday baking. Spend some time in the kitchen with your wife.

Catholic (Faith Based) Curriculum Math Readiness Hands-on-Learning Early Literacy Reading Readiness Music & Movement Creative Thinking Indoor Playground Science Exploration Character Education/Safe Environment Healthy Habits Cooking Experiences Small Groups Spanish Sign Language Computers Gymnastics Lending library Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

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s e k o J

for the Month

When you consider Christmas, there are four stages in your life: 1. You believe in Santa 2. You don’t believe in Santa 3. You are Santa

Husband: A man who buys his football tickets four months in advance and waits until December 24th to do his Christmas shopping. The Three Wise Women Do know what would have happened if it had been three wise WOMEN instead of men, don’t you? They would have asked for directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole, and brought disposable diapers as gifts!

4. You look like Santa

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring. Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa’s reindeer, EVERY single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl. We should have known... ONLY women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.


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Trips Tank

on a

12 Sights of


Christmas is upon us, and if you need a little coaxing to get into the spirit of the season, then take your family to one of these merry and bright destinations.

“Kindness is like snow… it beautifies everything it covers” Chick-fil-A at Largo 10075 Ulmerton Road Largo (727) 586-2556

Chick-fil-A at Clearwater 2516 Gulf To Bay Blvd Clearwater (727) 723-1992

Chick-fil-A at Park Place 7020 US Hwy. 19 North Pinellas Park (727) 525-7171

Chick-fil-A at 4th St. N. 4241 4th. Street North St. Petersburg (727) 502-9402

Chick-fil-A at Tampa Road 3740 Tampa Road Oldsmar (813) 925-0117

Chick-fil-A at St. Pete Beach 4623 Gulf Boulevard St. Petersburg (727) 367-7038

Chick-fil-A at Tyrone Blvd. 2471 Tyrone Blvd. North St. Petersburg (727) 343-8645

Chick-fil-A at Seminole Plaza 10790 Park Boulevard Seminole (727) 398-0777

14 • December 2013 • Pinellas

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper


Celebrate a Family Tradition with Christmas Town, Only at Busch Gardens

Tis the season for family traditions! Last year, Busch Gardens® Tampa launched the biggest Christmas celebration ever, and this year, Christmas Town has even more jolly times in store! This year, Christmas Town has more snow, even more event nights and more than a million twinkling lights! Christmas Town transforms the park into a nighttime holiday wonderland of wintery surprises and all things Christmas, filling guests’ senses with seasonal sights, sounds and flavors, and continuing a beautiful tradition for Tampa’s families. What’s even better than that? A portion of the proceeds from Christmas Town will benefit All Children’s Hospital here in the Bay area.

to ride some of Busch Gardens’ most popular roller coasters, including Cheetah Hunt, SheiKra and Gwazi. The special event includes attractions exclusive to the nighttime experience:

This year’s event has added even more nights to experience all-new evening attractions, shows and shopping. Christmas Town is open 18 select nights from 6 to 11 p.m., Nov. 29 through Dec. 23.

• This year, SnowWorld® Presented by Coca-Cola® brings real snow back to Florida! This guest favorite is bigger than ever for even more snow-filled fun! Slide down eight new slides, make a snowman, play in the soft white snow or pack the perfect snow balls to test your aim in the target practice area.

And while Christmas Town brings exclusive Yuletide experiences, guests will also have the opportunity

• All aboard the Christmas Town Express for the biggest Christmas carol sing-a-long on wheels.

Friends and family are invited join in singing traditional songs of the season like “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” while circling the Serengeti on a beautifully lit vintage-style steam locomotive. • The Claus family invites you into their North Pole home at Welcome to Santa’s House. While the elves are busy preparing for Christmas, Mrs. Claus is in the kitchen baking holiday treats, but even Santa himself will take a break from his busy holiday schedule to meet and take photos with families in his private study.

a giant penguin photo opportunity in the Nairobi area. Even Busch Gardens’ most familiar fans will barely recognize the portions of the park that convert to Christmas Town through special entertainment, live music, festive treats, holiday shopping and Christmas lights everywhere!

• Straight from the South Pole, the Christmas Town penguins have brought a bit of ice and snow all the way to Florida! Come chill with these dapper little creatures and marvel at their underwater antics at the newly expanded Penguin Point, complete with


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ICE! at Gaylord Palms featuring Frosty The Snowman used to house ICE! — dubbed “The Florida Fridge” — is cooled to a chilly nine degrees, making it by far the coolest attraction in Florida. In fact, it is so cold, it is necessary for the resort to provide over-sized parkas for visitors to wear.

In its eleventh year, the popular family experience gives guests a chance to visit a whimsical winter wonderland of interactive environments and larger-than-life, threedimensional ice monuments and sculptures. The enormous structure

This year, join Frosty, everyone’s favorite snowman, and his friends on their quest to the North Pole in a colorfully frozen retelling of this original Christmas classic! More than two million pounds of handcarved ice sculptures featuring Frosty the Snowman. The ice slides this year are as fun as ever and children of all ages are sure to have a blast trying each of the four massive slides out.

If the cold temperatures and amazing ICE! sculptures don’t put you in the Christmas mood, then collect your family and head into the Gaylord Palms resort for some hot cocoa and the two million Christmas lights, 54-foot Christmas tree and other decorations around the atrium. If you can plan your trip just right you can also check out the Luminescence — featuring the amazing acrobatic stage show. The attraction is open daily until January 1st, 2013 and is suitable for all ages. For more information concerning ICE! and the Gaylord Palms Resort, visit

Locations in Clearwater and NOW Trinity!  Quality care for ages 5 and up. We accept Medicare, most insurances and self pay

Call (727) 447‐3000      16 • December 2013 • Pinellas


    Clearwater location

Trinity location

     802 North Belcher Rd

8133 State Road 54 

     Clearwater, FL 33785

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

New Port Richey, Fl 34655




The Nutcracker presented by the Next Generation Ballet

From the moment the lights dim, you will be transported to a magical place filled with marching toy soldiers, a growing Christmas tree, giant mice, crystalline waltzing snowflakes and the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Nutcracker will be performed this year by the award-winning Next Generation Ballet, featuring guest artists from the Boston Ballet, stunning sets with a larger-than-life growing Christmas tree, marvelous costumes, and a cast of over 100 dancers. This year’s performance of the Nutcracker is sure to be a standout among the many. For ticket information visit


 oliday H Boat Parades

There’s nothing that beats the pleasures of Florida living like enjoying a boat parade in tee-shirts, shorts and flip-flops while the rest of the nation is just digging in for a long, cold winter. Here in the Tampa Bay area every December families have an opportunity to take in some of the biggest and best boat parades in the country. Two of our favorites are the St. Petersburg Illuminated Boat Parade at Vinoy Park scheduled for December 14th and the Treasure Island Holiday Boat Parade scheduled for December 21st. For detailed information on both of these parades and on over 70 other Christmas Boat parades in the state, visit



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Victorian Christmas Stroll

Come experience the innocence and charm of a Victorian Christmas. Escape the commercialism and stress of a modern Christmas and capture the warmth and joy of an old-fashioned holiday with your loved ones at the Henry B. Plant Museum’s 32nd annual Victorian Christmas Stroll. The Victorian Christmas Stroll preserves the essence of an old-fashioned Christmas and is treasured as one of Tampa’s most popular family tradition. For information visit


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It’s going to be brrrr-illiant! Wild Wonderland lights up Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo with seasonal cheer and more than a million twinkling lights. Meet Santa (through 12/23), his merry mammals – REAL REINDEER (only at the Zoo) and their feathered friends – the penguin colony.

Visit the Reindeer!

Wild Wonderland at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo A new 100 foot long Arctic Freeze Ice Slide and nightly “Florida flurries” are reasons to take a “snow day!” More merriment awaits, with returning family favorites Reindeer Games, free Zoo rides, Frosty & friends walk-around characters, and delicious holiday treats.

See the Lights!

Make memories as you stroll past charming animated displays and whimsical storefront windows. And Safari Spectacular — just one of the many new additions to this Tampa Bay tradition — offers a festive way to visit the animals of Safari Africa out under the starry night sky.

Enjoy Unlimited Rides!

It Feels Like Christmas! Collingsworth Family Concert Sunday, December 15 Tickets are $7.00 adults Concert at 6:00 p.m. Doors open at 5:00 p.m.

$4.00 children (3-12 yrs.)

Contact the Church Office for ticket purchases:

Starkey Road Baptist Church 8800 Starkey Road, Seminole, FL 33777 (727)397-1654

email: Starkeyroad@

18 • December 2013 • Pinellas

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Get your photo with Santa!

Feather Sound Christian Preschool 13880 Feather Sound Drive, Clearwater (727) 573-1012 Hours: 7:30–5:30

Open House and Registration

for Summer and Fall 2014/2015 Thursday, January 23, 2014 6:30–7:30pm Age 2–VPK 25 years of experience Highly qualified teachers

Low child ratio Large classrooms Large shaded playground Computers in each class Library Days Spanish Class Chapel In-House Field Trips

Bring this ad in for a discount off new registrations

December 7,13-15, 17-23 & 26-30

6:30 p.m.- 10 p.m.

For tickets and more information visit

Wild Wonderland lights up Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo with seasonal cheer. Merriment awaits with returning family favorites, plus many NEW additions to this Tampa Bay tradition.

Presented by

More than a million twinkling lights REAL REINDEER (only at the Zoo) and penguins 100 foot long Arctic Freeze Ice Slide Safari Spectacular - a festive way to visit the animals of Safari Africa

Games, free Zoo rides, Frosty & friends walk-around characters Nightly “Florida snow flurries” Animated holiday displays Delicious holiday treats and more!

Meet Santa*

Lowest prices in town for the whole family, plus FREE parking! *Santa is available for photos through 12/23, then he must return to the North Pole.

Wild Gift Ideas Adopt an Animal

Get a holiday gift that makes a difference. By purchasing a symbolic animal adoption package you help to support expertanimal care at the Zoo as well as local and global conservation efforts. Packages start at just $35 and special packages are available.

Annual Zoo Pass Gift Certificates

Annual Zoo Passes make great gifts. Zoo Passes begin at $60 for Individuals, and a Family Annual Zoo Pass is just $160. Along with unlimited daytime admission, Zoo Pass holders also receive a subscription to Zoo Chatter magazine, discounts on gift shop purchases, special event tickets like Wild Wonderland, Zoo School programs, and more!

Connect with the Zoo!

813-935-8552 ext. 206 •

To advertise, call 727-612-0783

Pinellas • December 2013 • 19


Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Celebrate the magic of the holiday season with your family at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, a special event held select nights in December at Magic Kingdom theme park!

Eye Designs Vision is excited to introduce an eye wear collection that displays your faith based values or cherished symbols such as the cross, stained glass, or ichthys fish.

The best part of Eyes of Faith eye wear, is the donation made for each purchase. Each time a frame from Eyes of Faith is purchased, a complete pair of brand new glasses or sunglasses is donated to the mission field. Through Sight Ministries International, eye clinics are set up in impoverished areas where eye care is provided and glasses and sunglasses are given to those in need. It is the gift of sight! Eye Designs Vision supports optical missions and carries Eyes of Faith. To view this collection visit our website or come to our eye care facility and try them on. We are a full service office that offers comprehensive eye care as well as accurate spectacle prescription for eye wear.

This festive celebration is filled with spectacular fireworks, a very special holiday parade and live entertainment featuring your favorite Disney Characters. Purchase of an additional event admission ticket is required to attend this event, and tickets sell out quickly. • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party features: • The enchanted Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle • Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, complete with a special appearance by Santa Claus himself • An exclusive holiday fireworks extravaganza — Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season


• Live entertainment featuring Disney Characters • Meet and greet opportunities throughout Magic Kingdom theme park with some of your favorite Disney Characters • Complimentary cookies and hot cocoa • A magical snow fall on Main Street, U.S.A. • Special access to many of the most popular Magic Kingdom attractions Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is held from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight on select nights.

LEGOLAND Christmas Bricktacular

LEGOLAND Florida is getting into the holiday spirit with the first annual Christmas Bricktacular. Festive decorations and sounds of the season will fill The Beginning and Fun Town through the holidays, followed by Kids’ New Year’s Eve on Dec. 31. With more than 50 rides, shows and attractions all dedicated to families with children age 2 to 12 and one of the widest selections of LEGO® products available, LEGOLAND Florida is a great place to celebrate the season and pick up the Christmas gifts that are on every child’s wish list – LEGO!

portunity with a life-sized LEGO Model Santa Claus! and each night a special family will be chosen to help light the Bricktacular tree. Holiday events are included in park admission. For more information visit

The Beginning is home to a truly spectacular, Bricktacular sight - a more than 30-foot-tall LEGO Christmas tree made with a combination of 270,000 forest green LEGO and DUPLO® bricks. 20 • December 2013 • Pinellas

For the first time at LEGOLAND Florida, families will also have a photo op-

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper


Edison and Ford Holiday Nights

Comprehensive Eye Care Stylish Optical Friendly & Comfortable Environment

During the holidays the homes and gardens of Thomas and Mina Edison and Henry and Clara Ford are seasonally decorated and visitors have the option of taking a self guided tour or a guided tour with an Estates site historian. The Edison and Ford Holiday Nights includes nightly entertainment by school and community groups, culinary demonstrations, book signings and appearances by artists, and the “Children’s Tree Trail” a forest of trees decorated by Lee County Students. The Estates Museum and Edison Botanic Research Lab will also be open during the event.

Come see our new location!

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We take most insurance plans including EyeMed, VSP, PCSB, Superior, Advantica, and many more


Christmas Concerts

and many more!

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire can be inviting at this time of year, however those looking for more in the way of holiday entertainment might want to consider one of the many seasonal concerts and shows offered by area musical, theatrical, church and community groups here in the Tampa area in December. From traditional favorites to humorous holiday romps, there is something for just about everyone’s tastes.

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To advertise, call 727-612-0783

CALL NOW 727-329-8728 4655 118th Ave. N. Clearwater Crystal Peterson, Owner Member-National Woman’s Car Care Council

Pinellas • December 2013 • 21


Florida Aquarium’s Holiday FantaSea

This December, experience a new “Holiday Fanta Sea” when you bring your family and friends to celebrate the holidays at the Florida Aquarium.

All aquarium exhibits will be open and the aquarium has extended its hours so you can have more time to soak up their sea of holiday cheer.

Santa and his diving elves are coming to town on select Saturdays in December and from December 26th to 30th the Florida Aquarium will have a play area featuring real snow for the kids. There will also be magnificent holiday light shows and a mesmerizing model train display.


Christmas Services

For all Christians living in the Tampa Bay area Christmas is one of the most important holidays of the year. It is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and it will be celebrated throughout the area by many churches and ministries, all highlighting ‘the reason for the season. In the Peanuts classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas, a discouraged Charlie Brown asks in despair, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” Linus Van Pelt quietly says he can tell him, and walks to center stage to make his point. Under a spotlight, Linus tells Charlie Brown and the others what Christmas is all about and the real reason for the season.

You also will not want to miss visiting Penguin Place to check out the penguins new holiday hangout.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo,

M MO OR RN N II N NG G SS T A R SS C H O O L T A R C H O O L Serving Students with Special Learning Needs Since 1969 Is your child... • in need of smallM classes? ORNING • demonstrating speech delays? T A R therapy? SCHOO • requiringS occupational • feeling inadequate in school? • having difficulty being mainstreamed?

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“The time, love, energy & patience the teachers invest in each student helps all children struggling with disabilities gain independence.” “I wish I had found Morning Star School sooner.” “It is hard to explain how a child’s happiness affects the whole family unit. Morning Star is not only doing wonders for our son, but for all of us, as we marvel in his improvements.”

We accept the McKay Scholarship. Students accepted without regard to race, creed, or ethnic background. Please see visit our website for more information: 22 • December 2013 • Pinellas

Please join us on Wednesday, December 18th at 1pm for our annual Christmas program!

Here’s what our school parents say:

Morning Star School offers a comprehensive curriculum tailored to the individual educational needs of K-10th grade students in a Catholic Christian environment.

Call for a personal tour: 727-544-6036

the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’”

M MO OR RN N II N NG G SS T A R SS C H O O L T A R C H O O L 4661 80th Avenue North Phone: 727-544-6036 Pinellas Park, FL 33781

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Fax: 727-546-9058


Family-Friend ly C oncerts

Saturday Matinees at the Mahaffey

Entertainment industry ratings only tell you so much. Focus on the Family’s Plugged In goes deeper, diving into specific content and the meaning behind it. Plugged In’s award-winning website and reviews are designed to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving families the essential tools they need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which they live. See more reviews at

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, on an epic quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Having survived the beginning of their unexpected journey, the Company continues East, encountering countless obstacles, one which will test not only the depth of their courage but the limits of their friendship.

The Christmas Candle


Holiday Pops! Get in the spirit of the season with Deck the Halls, Three Holiday Songs from Home Alone, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Rag, Christmas Reel, Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite, and more…all with The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. Jeff Tyzik conducts.

Fri, Dec 13, 8pm, Straz Center Sat, Dec 14, 2pm, Mahaffey Theater Family Friendly Matinee! Sat, Dec 14, 8pm, Mahaffey Theater Sun, Dec 15, 7:30pm, Ruth Eckerd Hall

Tickets Start at $15

727.892.3337 or 1.800.662.7286

To advertise, call 727-612-0783

From bestselling author, Max Lucado, comes The Christmas Candle, a timeless holiday film for the entire family. Deep in the heart of the English countryside lies the enchanting village of Gladbury. Legend has it every 25 years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights this candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve. But in 1890, at the dawn of the electric age, this centuries old legend may come to an end.


Frozen is a tale that’s not so much about a princess falling in love as it is about learning to love. It’s not about staying a child forever, but figuring out how to grow up. Under the veneer of traditional Disney magic, Frozen gives us a bit of the emotional depth. It’s a movie that doesn’t just entertain. It tries to speak to us, giving us insight into the nature of family and friendship—why sometimes those we love seem to go a little crazy and what we can do to help bring them back. Pinellas • December 2013 • 23

NuSmile Dental

Making Smiles for over 20 years For more than 20 years, the people of Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough counties have relied on Dr. O’Neal for excellence in dentistry, as well as in caring and complete oral care. NuSmile team with Dr. David Beltran and Dr. Nadia O’Neal

Wearing a sweet smile is one of the most beautiful make-ups that a person can actually wear every day of the year. However, according to a recent study by the American Medical Association, one of the most common health problems that Americans are encountering today are issues with their teeth. For over twenty years, Dr. Nadia O’Neal has been transforming the smiles of thousands of patients here in the Tampa Bay area. She understands that a person’s smile is their most powerful positive feature and that a healthy smile can actually change one’s overall health and life. “As I look back over all my years of service in the field of dentistry, I do so with absolutely no regrets,” Dr. O’Neal told us. “I love


24 • December 2013 2013 • Pinellas

what I do for a living. I love enhancing smiles! I love enhancing lives”. Already a dentist with over fifteen years of experience, when Dr. O’Neal came to the USA, Nadia saw the advances in dentistry here in the U.S. As a result, she went back to school at the prestigious New York University obtaining her second doctor’s degree in the dental field of study. There she worked with some of the leading teachers in general dentistry, periodontal dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. “I love to see patients relieved of pain or happy with the cosmetic look of a smile makeover,” Dr. O’Neal told us. And to that end, she has taken hundreds of hours of post graduate training in the functional and cosmetic aspects of the mouth, chewing, alignment and joint pain management including the total full re-making of the function of the teeth with functional and cosmetic improvements.

“For me, dentistry is not just my vocation, it is my passion,” commented Nadia. “I normally study much more than the minimum hours required by my license. My goal is to be able to deliver the best, latest procedures and technological advances to all my patients, to serve their dental needs and cosmetic desires”.


Dr. Nadia O’Neal is a caring dentist with a passion for providing her patients with the best dentistry possible. Providing five-star comprehensive dental care is what she has dedicated her life to accomplishing. Her passion for high quality dentistry is very evident in the three practices she owns and runs. NuSmile Dental in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough all focus on providing caring, individualized General Dentistry with additional Specialist doctors on her Team providing a total dental solution for the needs and desires of her patients. “Keeping patients smiling is Dr.

Darlene and Dr. Nadia O’Neal

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Dr. Joseph Ratchford

Mirlene and Magda

me the technical and clinical aspects of implant placement, and Dr. Ferguson who taught me the same and the practical clinical aspects of implant surgery, have also played a vital role in my success both medically and personally”. In her spare time, Dr. O’Neal enjoys caring for her granddaughters and family. She is an avid skier and enjoys a walk on the beach at sunset. Dr. O’Neal also regularly helps deserving patients who cannot afford needed dentistry.

Dr. David Beltran and Rose

O’Neal’s number one priority,” one of the doctors told us. “And that vision carries over to everything we do here at NuSmile.” Dr. O’Neal and her Team of doctors, hygienists and assistants, do dentures, partials, extractions, basic to cosmetic crowns and veneers, bridges, root canal treatments, all quickly, with a high level of competence resulting in satisfied supportive patients. Dr. O’Neal shared with us that she owes much of her success to her parents. “My father and mother taught me the value of education and of being a reliable hard working doctor. Teachers and mentors such as Dr. Dickerson of the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry who helped me understand the full mouth function as related to the technical and cosmetic aspects of helping my patients, Dr. Misch who taught

When asked what her favorite part of being a dentist was, Dr. O’Neal told us, “Seeing the tears of joy on a smiling, happy patient who has just received a Nu-smile has to be one my greatest joys! A healthy, attractive smile uplifts and encourages. It brightens the entire face, reveals ones sense of humor, and shows affection. As a dentist, I value these things as much as my patients do and it is one reason why I always take the time to listen to my patient’s concerns and focus in on their individual needs. In short, I’ll do whatever it takes to give my patients a positive dental experience – and the smile of their dreams.”

team is dedicated to providing you with excellent, personalized care and service to make your visits as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

High Standards A standard of excellence in personalized dental care enables us to provide the quality dental services our patients deserve. We provide comprehensive treatment planning and use restorative and cosmetic dentistry to achieve your optimal dental health. Should a dental emergency occur, we make every effort to see and care for you as soon as possible.

If you find yourself experiencing severe pain in your teeth, or sustain an injury that damages your mouth, you may need the assistance of an emergency dentist. NuSmile is able to see you in emergency situations, and will administer treatments to restore your mouth to health and comfort. Cleanings, dentures, braces, TMJ treatment and everything in between, this is the complete service that makes NuSmile a leader among dentists in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough counties. • Our service is based upon personal relationships - establishing trust by listening to our patients history, problems and concerns, then working toward customized solutions. • Our experienced professionals are versed in a wide range of specialties and keep abreast of the latest trends, technology and information to be certain you receive the best care possible. • Your time is important to us. We address health concerns in a timely manner and take the time to understand the unique needs of each patient.

A Positive Experience Building a foundation of trust by treating our patients as special individuals is vital to our success. We understand how uneasy some patients may feel about their dental visits, and how we can make a difference in providing a relaxing and positive experience. Our entire

Dr. David Beltran and Dr. Nadia O’Neal

Dr. Nadia O’Neal Lily



To advertise, call 727-612-0783

Pinellas • December 2013 • 25

in the kitchen

Christmas season is a lot of fun and we are always trying to make it special in our home! Here is a super easy recipe that is about as simple as you can get, but a whole lot of fun to make. You just make up a bunch of pancakes, then slice up some strawberries and get a can of whipped cream. Use the strawberries to make Santa’s hat and the whipped cream for the rest of his hat and beard. Top it off with some chocolate chips for the eyes and you have your very own Santa Pancake!

Santa Pancakes

• Pancake Mix • 21-ounce can cherry pie filling • 2 bananas

• Semi-sweet chocolate chips • Whipped cream

1. Prepare and cook 8 4-inch pancakes according to package instructions. 2. Remove 8 cherries from pie filling and place one on the center of each pancake; spoon remaining pie filling into triangles at the top of each pancake for Santa’s hat. 3. S  lice bananas and place 2 slices on each pancake for eyes; place a chocolate chip in the center of each eye; cut 8 banana slices in half for the ears. 4. Spray whipped cream for Santa’s beard, hat brim, and pom-pom.

Cool Kids Cook


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ELC Provider ELC Provider Accredited Preschool Accredited AccreditedPreschool Preschool Accredited Preschool Home COOKED Meals Included! Home HomeCOOKED COOKEDMeals MealsIncluded! Included! Our Home COOKED Meals Mission: Developing Young Minds.Included! Our parents 26 • December 2013 • Pinellas

Infants-VPK • License # C984169

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N U F e h t e Wher ds! n E r e v e N er ve You!

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These delicious Christmas treats are a hit with kids and grownups alike, because who can resist warm chocolate pudding cake and candy canes? Little bits of candy cane sprinkled over a mound of delicious chocolate pudding cake. Yum! For a little extra flavor for the adults, try adding nuts.


With Asthma or COPD? Doctors are currently seeking adults for a clinical research study of an investigational inhaled insulin for diabetes. You may be eligible for this clinical research study if you: • have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes for at least 12 months • are at least 18 years of age and have asthma, or are at least 40 years of age and have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) • have never smoked or have given up smoking at least 6 months ago. During the 14-month (64-week) clinical research study you will receive: • study-related care from a team of doctors and nurses at no cost • all study drugs at no cost. If you are interested in learning more about this clinical research study, please contact:

Candy Cane Pudding Cake • ½ cup flour • ¼ cup sugar • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder • ¾ teaspoon baking powder

• ¼ cup milk • 1 tablespoon oil • ½ teaspoon vanilla • 2 crushed candy canes

DMI Research, Inc.

• ⅓ cup sugar • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder • ¾ cup boiling water

1. Mix first 7 ingredients together until smooth; spread in the bottom of an 8-inch baking dish. 2. Sprinkle crushed candy canes over batter. 3. Combine remaining 3 ingredients and pour evenly over batter. 4. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes. 5. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream and additional chopped candy canes

Cool Kids Cook

Creating the Independent Learner

All Delphi students learn the tools necessary to literally master any subject. As a result, students are confident and develop a passion for learning that lasts a lifetime.

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For more information, or if you would like to join this clinical research study, please visit, or talk to your doctor.

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Delphi Academy • 1831 Drew Street • Clearwater • 727-447-6385

©2010 Delphi Academy. All rights reserved. Licensed to use Applied Scholastics™ International educational services and materials.

727-531-2848 ext. 104

Emergency Service Available

Caring teachers Pre-school – 9th grade Small class size Individualized program Strong academic basics Interscholastic sports Art, dance, music, gymnastics, …

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To advertise, call 727-612-0783

Pinellas • December 2013 • 27

How Much Do You Know About Christmas? 1. What holiday drink contains sugar, milk and eggs? ��������������������������������������� 2. What Christmas figure was created in 1939 by Robert May as a Christmas promotion for the Montgomery Ward department store in Chicago? ��������������������������������������� 3. Did the angels sing at the announcement of Jesus’ birth? ��������������������������������������� 4. What popular children’s cracker was introduced in 1902 as a Christmas ornament? ��������������������������������������� 5. In the 1920’s what beverage company adopted the Santa Claus figure for a winter advertising promotion? ��������������������������������������� 6. According to German tradition, what kind of glass Christmas ornament has to be found on the Christmas tree to determine who opens the first Christmas gift? ��������������������������������������� 7. Where does the name “Christmas” come from? ��������������������������������������� 8. How many wise men came to worship the “Newborn King”? ��������������������������������������� Swing Sets starting at


9. What was the first gift my true love sent on the sixth day of Christmas? ��������������������������������������� 10. In the story Frosty the Snowman, who brought Frosty back to life? ��������������������������������������� 11. When and how did Christmas become an official legal holiday here in the United States? ��������������������������������������� 12. According to most historians, in what year was Jesus born? ��������������������������������������� 13. What are the names of Santa Claus’s eight reindeer as named in Clement Moore’s poem “The Night Before Christmas”? ������������������








14. What popular Christmas candy had its debut in 1670 when it was given out by a choirmaster to quiet the noisy children?

16. How many gifts would you receive if you received all of the gifts in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas?” ��������������������������������������� 17. Who lost $8,000 in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life? ��������������������������������������� 18. Who was the United States’ first ambassador to Mexico, and what is his connection with the holiday season? ��������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������� 19. In the traditional song, “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” what are you supposed to go tell on a mountain? ��������������������������������������� 20. In which two of the four Gospels was the Christmas (nativity) story told? ��������������������������������������� Check your answers on page 30.

���������������������������������� 15. To whom and where did the star first lead the wise men? �����������������������������




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Destination: Dinner

Hot Tuna Sushi Bar and Grille Hot Tuna Sushi Bar and Grille is an unassuming little restaurant in a plaza on Tampa Road in Oldsmar. We knew right away that owner Hanh and her crew have gotten a good thing started.

perfection and served with citrus ponzu sauce), pork dumplings, grilled Maine lobster tail, Filet Mignon, and Korean Style short ribs. Of course, the sushi they do serve is delicious.

“We’re not just a sushi place,” she says. “we’re modern and we’re fun and we serve a whole lot more than sushi.” You can find everything from the innovative Sashimi-Tini (our six year old ate sashimi for the first time: such a lovely presentation!), to Tuna Tataki (seared to

The “lollipop” is a rice-free offering that has raw tuna, cucumber, cream cheese, and secret sauce that’s light and refreshing. The Hawaii-Five-O roll is almost a dessert; it’s not too sweet, but has a surprising addition of sweet potato fries, mango, and coconut marmalade that make it delightfully unusual. Hot Tuna also offers up a variety of dessert offerings include the chocolate pyramid (dulce de leche mousse with diced pears and spiced genoise in a milk and white chocolate pyramid), chocolate trilogy, and tempura ice cream (go early - this could run out!), among others, both traditional and very American, running true to their “not just a sushi place” mantra. You see the difference when you walk in the door; the decor is modern, and the owners have made a visible, intentional

Quiz Answers 1. 2. 3.


just as it does today, had a 7. Literally from the Middle string attached to it so that it English “Cristes Maesse,” or Eggnog could be hung as a Christmas “Christ’s mass” Rudolph the Red Nosed ornament 8. The Bible does not say; Reindeer however the Bible does tell While the popular Christmas 5. The Coca-Cola Company used Santa Claus to promote us that they were wise men or carol “Hark the Herald the idea that a soft drink was early astrologers. Wise men Angels Sing” may suggest a winter beverage as well as were also referred to as magi. they did, the Bible doesn’t a summer beverage It is interesting to note that say anything specific about 6. The Glass pickle ornament magi often traveled in groups the angels singing. - Please note that Larry the of 30 to 50. The Barnum’s Animal Cucumber will also work 9. Six geese a-laying Cracker and box was 10. Santa Claus introduced by the National Biscuit Company. The box,

30 • December 2013 • Pinellas

decision to offer current music and an atmosphere that is at once hip and family-friendly. We decided we’d enjoy a date night out just as much as we enjoyed spending time with Nana and a “selection” of our kiddos on this first trip. For the budget-conscious, Hot Tuna also offers a weekday lunch special with two classic sushi rolls and a house salad or miso soup, at a great deal. Their happy hour features classic rolls for just $4 and 2-for-1 Saketinis and Sake Sangrias, along with other drink specials. But even if you can’t make the “deal” hours, you will find Hot Tuna to truly be a “hot” new spot on the Tampa Bay dining scene.

3689 Tampa Rd. Oldsmar, FL 34677 (813) 818-TUNA (8862)

11. President Ulysses S. Grant declared Christmas a legal holiday in 1870 12. The birth of Christ is generally accepted to be around 5 or 6 B.C. as Herod died in 4 B.C. 13. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. Note: Donner and Blitzen were originally called Dunder and Blixem 14. The candy cane

15. The star led the wise men first to King Herod in Jerusalem, after which they saw the star again leading them to Jesus, but they were two separate sightings of the star and not continuous 16. 364 17. Uncle Billy 18. Joel Poinsett who was also the developer of the popular Christmas Poinsettia flower 19. That Jesus Christ is born 20. Matthew and Luke

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people trip over extension cords resulting in fractures, lacerations, contusion. The CPSC also estimates that about 3,300 residential fires originate in extension cords each year. Here are a few safety recommendations to keep your holiday bright and safe:

Protect Your Family

• Teach your children not to play with plugs and outlets. by Attorney G. Alan Tripp, Jr.

Keep Your Holiday Bright and Safe It’s a magical time of the year and nothing is more important than keeping your little ones safe. Yet every minute, seventeen children go to the emergency room with unintentional injuries – that’s 9.2 million a year. This holiday season, we encourage you to THINK SAFETY and take these simple steps to keep your holiday bright and safe: • Water your live Christmas tree daily • Always blow out unattended candles • Never overload extension cords.

• Use polarized extension cords and do not overload extension cords by plugging in lights that draw a total of more watts than the rating of the cord.

By teaching your children about safety and taking these steps you will not only enjoy a bright and safe holiday season but also raise a safer generation of children. Holiday blessings to you and your family and Happy New Year!

• Make sure cords do not dangle from the counter or table tops where they can be pulled down or tripped over. • With cords lacking safety closures, cover any unused outlets with electrical tape or with plastic caps to prevent the chance of a child making contact with the live circuit.

DISCLAIMER - Nothing in this informational public service article should be construed as giving legal advice and should not be acted upon without first consulting an attorney. Also, this article should not be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship.

©2013 Feld Entertainment

It’s often small decisions –a dry Christmas tree, a candle left burning, a mis-

placed or overloaded extension cord – that could have life-changing consequences. When it comes to holiday dangers, the numbers are more startling than you might think. Candle-related fires are one of the most common holiday home hazards, averaging more than 15,000 each year, resulting in death, thousands of injuries and $450 million dollars in direct property damage. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that each year, about four thousand injuries associated with electric extension require a trip to the local emergency room. Just less than one half of those injuries happen when

• Use extension cords only when necessary, on a temporary basis and use only extension cords labeled for outdoor use for outdoor applications.

• In locations where furniture may be pushed against an extension cord where the cord joins the plug, use a special “angle extension cord,” which is specifically designed for use in these instances and never remove the third (round or U-shaped) prong, which is a safety feature designed to reduce the risk of shock and electrocution.

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Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

© 2013 CFA Properties, Inc. Chick-fil-A® and Chick-fil-A Stylized® are registered trademarks of CFA Properties, Inc. All trademarks shown are the property of their respective owners.

Savings Made Sweet By Heather Brickell I don’t know about you, but I just love the thrill of the hunt when it comes to shopping! I especially love to shop after Christmas – as you can really find some great deals. I actually prefer shopping after Christmas instead of Black Friday as the discounts seem to be even better! Plus, if you have received gift cards for Christmas gifts, you can usually score big! Here are some tips to remember when shopping those after Christmas sales:

Stock up on Holiday Supplies for next year.

Never pay full price for items like Holiday wrapping paper, bows, labels, etc… Wait to purchase these items after Christmas when they can be discounted as much as 75-90% off then stock up for the following year.

Use coupons on clearance items.

This is actually a tip to use all year long, but it is especially nice during after-holiday sales. Items like holiday cookies, coffees, candies and cake mixes will be clearanced at drastically low prices. If you have a coupon for those items, many times you will walk away with them for Free or very inexpensive. Get your coupons ready now so that you will be prepared! This tip is especially helpful if you are a fan of all the holiday coffees and teas. stock up so you can enjoy them all year long!

Check out Holiday Gift Sets.

After Christmas is definitely the time to stock up on birthday gifts or items to add to your gift stockpile. Stores like Walmart and Target carry gift sets in the Health & Beauty Section filled with things like razors, body wash and more that you can use a coupon on. I have purchased many nice gift sets this way for very inexpensive.

Check out the clearance section.

While I realize that this can be a broad topic, do be sure to check out the clearance section in every department at the store. Items like Christmas pajamas, clothing, socks, etc… can often be purchased for very little and you will be prepared for the following year! Have fun shopping and I hope that you find some sweet deals!

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Pinellas • December 2013 • 33

Abbie Bowen

Shorecrest Preparatory School

Sponsored by Diana Whittle, Gulf Coast Family’s Nadine Jackwin, Teacher of the Month Abbie Bowen, and the Chick-fil-a Cow

Gulf Coast Family Newspaper is pleased to introduce to you Ms. Abbie Bowen, our December Teacher of the Month. Ms. Bowen teaches Junior Kindergarten at the Experimental School of Tampa Bay, part of the Shorecrest Preparatory School family. She is known for her energy and dedication and for going the extra mile. These are qualities that spell success for Abbie’s class at Shorecrest Preparatory – one of the most distinguished schools in the state.

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Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Success though for Ms. Bowen means more than simply teaching the three R’s! The Experimental School of Tampa Bay, located on the campus of Shorecrest Preparatory in St. Petersburg, is structured to help preschool students (ages 3, 4 and 5) discover wonders of the world around them. Teachers create a nurturing environment in which children safely begin their journey as confident, curious, lifelong learners.

me to fully engage my students as they learn from real life experiences and we continue these types of units and projects throughout the entire school year.” Although Ms. Bowen’s students are young, their parents, of course, are eager for them to get a good start in life, and they depend on Abbie to provide it. As one of the parents told us, “Ms. Bowen

Ms. Bowen’s energy and dedication are accomplishing just that! “She is the best teacher ever,” one of her students told us. “She is super nice and she doesn’t just tell us things, she shows us how things work!” “From the planting of our garden in the beginning of the year to the examination of different animal skeletons, I enjoy Shorecrest’s hands on approach on all of our units of study,” commented Ms. Bowen. “This type of hands on ‘experiential’ learning is what allows

has an exceptional ability to observe the children and tailor her teaching methods to each one individually. Our daughter is more inquisitive now, a better communicator, and an all around better student because of Ms. Bowen.” “My mother was also a teacher and I knew from a very young age that I also wanted to teach,” mentioned Abbie. “I have always felt a calling to teach. It came naturally to me and is something that I absolutely love doing. I feel blessed to have found a profession that I am completely devoted to and that makes me feel whole - like I am making a difference every day. I’m always sharing with my friends things that my children are learning or funny stories from the day and they always joke that I love my job way too much for it to be a ‘job.’”

my students. They are made up of trust, mutual respect, curiosity and a lot of humor mixed in. My students are always making me laugh and I love being silly with them. Each one of them has their own way of doing things, their own personalities and interests and I appreciate and cherish each and every one of them.”

When asked about her favorite aspect of teaching, Ms. Bowen, without hesitation, told us, “I love the relationships that I create with

Congratulations and thank you Abbie for all that you do! You have found the heart of teaching and you are making a difference in the lives of children!

Abbie Bowen and the Chick-fil-a Cow

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Pinellas • December 2013 • 35

Planning for Holiday Stress–You’ve Got This by Amy Alexander Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it’s time to think about your holiday dinner, trimmings, shopping, pie – and everything else the holiday season brings. Although, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, some consider it to be the most stressful.

So, in the hustle and bustle, what can you do to stay healthy, stress-free and keep heading towards your fitness goals?

1. Be realistic. Don’t put a tremendous amount of

3. Exercise and eat healthy.

It’s too easy to let everything go during the holidays. Ever heard yourself saying, “I’m too busy, I’ll start eating healthy after the New Year.” Between co-workers and family tempting you with candy, pies and other heavenly treats that show up uninvited, you can really pack on the pounds if you’re not careful. Don’t give in. Why not keep your fitness goals you worked so hard for during the other months?

pressure on yourself to make the holidays perfect. Do what you can. Make realistic plans and focus on enjoying time with friends and family. As you celebrate, remember to exercise. Go for a run outside or take a group fitness class at a gym like Lifestyle Family Fitness — working out is a great way to relieve stress. This will keep you on track to reach your goals and give you a nice head start to your fitness resolutions.

Indulge in the sweets and treats, but set a limit for yourself and stick to it.

2. Organize and budget. Make a list of what you need to do or purchase. Set a budget for yourself and stay within that budget. A lot of stress comes from overextending yourself financially. Start shopping now — you’ll beat the crowds and it’s a great way to get in an extra workout by walking the mall!

Remember, YOU are important! Take care of yourself, have fun and enjoy the season — and you’ll see the benefits of your hard work and get a head start on reaching your New Year’s Fitness Resolution!

Make a plan, ditch the second trip to the dessert table and stay active to burn excess calories and reduce stress. After all, the holidays are a time to be thankful, not stressful!

Amy Alexander is an ACSM certified personal trainer and RPM instructor.

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Do you or someone you love have a movement disorder or a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Systems Atrophy, Huntington’s Disease, Ataxia or a gait disorder? Please join us for the first of our monthly Movement Disorder Support Group. Come learn how to increase your well-being and quality of life, with a special guest speaker discussing the additional stress the holidays can bring.

5 Golden Rules for Holiday Cheer

by Barbara Graham

Movement Disorder Support Group 1 December 5th *First Thursday of Every Month

• Thursdays at 3:00 to 4:00pm•

R.S.V.P. to 727-559-7776 Join us for an afternoon of coffee, sharing information and support.

Be compassionate. You want to celebrate the holidays with your grandchildren and your adult children because you love them. Complaining and competing with other family members are not acts of love. Your sons and daughters and their spouses are under a lot of pressure to make everyone happy; cut them some slack.


Be flexible. Turkey can be just as tender and juicy — or miserably dried out — on the days before or after Christmas as it is on the 25th. The point is to spend time with your family. Your grandkids will not be awarding extra points to the grandparents who are with them on The Actual Day.


Divide and conquer. Separate celebrations are the smart way to go, if at all possible, especially for grandparents who live far away or otherwise don’t get to see their grandchildren very often. What’s more, separate events are generally the only way to go in families where the adult children — or the grandparents — are divorced. Remember, it’s the time you spend together that counts, not the date on the calendar.


Establish rituals. When the kids come to love your New Year’s Day Monopoly marathon you may not feel so bad that they were elsewhere on Christmas Eve, and you won’t have to enter into fresh negotiations every year. Just think of all the time you’ll free up for other activities — or worries — if you no longer spend months obsessing over the holidays.

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Let go. Even if you don’t win the holiday sweepstakes, graciously accept what’s offered — and immediately start making plans to spend quality time with your grandchildren at other times of the year. Amazing things are possible between January and November. Bastille Day, anyone?

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Barbara Graham, is a regular columnist on and she is the editor of the anthology, Eye of My Heart: 27 Writers Reveal the Hidden Pleasures and Perils of Being a Grandmother, which tells “the whole crazy, complicated truth about being a grandmother in today’s world.”

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

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Pinellas • December 2013 • 39


WE CAN HELP. Clearwater Christian College admits students regardless of age, sex, disability, race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year… for Giving By Pete O’Shea, WTIS 1110 AM

The old cliché is so very true. It is better to give than to receive. Giving feels so good. Receiving is nice too and a new fancy wrapped present never hurt anybody. But, you do in fact receive whenever you give. When you give with your heart, you receive untold blessings. You serve others and you please the Lord at the same time. The ultimate gift is the reason for the season. God our Father sent His only Son to save us all. That true and lasting meaning of Christmas is a gift that you can share too. Celebrate this Christmas the fact that your family is healthy and safe. Never take it for granted and be happier about that than that flat screen television you ordered on QVC. Jesus gave us everything and asked for so little in return. He said, “Love one another as I have loved you”. That is a tall order but far from impossible. The best present you can give someone is unconditional love. Become a Love Factory!

40 • December 2013 • Pinellas

Manufacture it, box it and ship it out to everyone you know. The need for love in our community is great and it grows expeditiously every minute of every day. The face of need has radically changed. It is no longer some drug addict. It is no longer a selfinflicted wound. Families are in crisis. 700,000 people in Tampa Bay don’t know where or when or how their next meal is coming. We are our brother’s keeper and we must step up to the plate during this crossroads moment for all of humanity. There are many awesome organizations that help people during the holidays. Metropolitan Ministries will feed 25,000 in less than 30 days. Taking it to the Streets Ministries makes Christmas happen for so many worthy families every year. The Salvation Army mobilizes with precision to meet the staggering needs of good people, who through no

fault of their own find themselves without the basic necessities. Never mind the fun stuff like a tree, decorations and toys. Please search your heart this Christmas. Be the change you seek in this world. A small band of dedicated people can in fact, change the world. Do you know why we know this to be true? Because it is the only thing that ever has.

enhancing, nurturing and saving lives. WTIS believes, like many of you do, that we are all one body in Christ. We are one community through thick and thin. We spotlight and trumpet these phenomenal people every day on the air. Tune in and be inspired and empowered. Or log on to


’Twas the night before Christmas and all through Tampa Bay, many good ministries were giving away. Food, clothing and many a toy, to very good girls and a nice little boy. This isn’t the time to argue and fight, give ’til it hurts with all of your might. So many ways to help, hurry up and pick, so that you can be caring just like St. Nick.


WTIS AM 1110 is forming partnerships with many of these amazing organizations who are out there on the front lines

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Thank you to all who proudly serve this community and from all of us at WTIS to all of you throughout Tampa Bay, Merry Christmas and God bless us, everyone!

with Jim Daly and Greg Smalley Q: How can we enjoy Christmas when we have to spend so much money on presents? We’re stressed over our finances all year, but it gets worse during the holidays. Jim: I understand your frustration. This is a common complaint and real challenge for many families. With Black Friday officially in the rearview mirror, hopefully these timely tips from my friend, financial guru Ron Blue, will still be helpful in making this Christmas more enjoyable and less financially stressful: • Don’t spend more than you have. When cash is short, it’s tempting to put it on the credit card and defer payment until next year. But January always shows up, and with it months of financial pain if you don’t shop wisely and exercise restraint.


Above all, don’t avoid your friend. Write notes to her during especially difficult times, such as holidays and birthdays and anniversaries. You’ll find that a phone call or an invitation to lunch could make her day. And if she needs a “family” for the holidays, ask her to join yours. In the midst of all this, keep a watchful eye on your friend and make sure that she’s working through her grief in a healthy way. Watch for negative warning signs like excessive sleeping or drug and alcohol abuse. If you think she needs grief counseling, don’t hesitate to suggest it.

Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family, host of the Focus on the Family radio program, and a husband and father of two. Copyright 2013 Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO 80995. This feature was reproduced with the permission of Focus on the Family. To submit future questions to Jim Daly, visit

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• Give something of lasting value. Who hasn’t bought the “perfect” gift for a child, only to find it tossed aside by the end of Christmas Day? Discuss this with your kids, reinforce a long-range perspective, and explain that you want them to have gifts they’ll enjoy for a long time. • Do something meaningful for someone else. Make a family project of doing a good deed for a neighbor, a shut-in or a relative. You can fix a meal, rake leaves, clean out gutters or give a “service coupon book” that they can redeem whenever they want to. • Focus on the spiritual, not material. Find fun and creative ways to counteract the commercialism of Christmas, and find creative ways to emphasize the spiritual significance of the day. • Build memories. Spend meaningful time together during the weeks leading up to Christmas. In the process, you’ll be doing more than stockpiling family memories – you’ll be building a legacy for generations to come. Q: Do you have any suggestions for how I can help a good friend whose husband just died? I’d like to support her in any way we can – especially during the holidays. Jim: What a grieving person often needs most is the presence of a thoughtful friend. One of the best things you can do is to listen and allow her to talk. If you want to express something, it’s enough to say you care and that you’re sorry. Explanations seldom console and advice is rarely helpful. She may be angry as well as sad and needs to acknowledge, express and deal with these feelings. If it seems appropriate, don’t be afraid to encourage a good cry. And be patient -- grief is a complicated process that can take a long time to work itself out. As you have opportunity, urge her to take care of herself by getting enough exercise, rest and recreation. Practically speaking, you can make yourself available to help with daily chores and necessities. If you’re running an errand, call and ask if there’s anything you can pick up for her. If she has children, offer to baby-sit and go out of your way to give them special attention. Remember that they’re grieving too.



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Accepting applications for the 2013-2014 school year

Preschool through Grade 12 on one 28-acre campus • Kindergarten test scores ranked in the top 15% in the nation • Better than 80% passing rate on AP English, AP History and AP Calculus exams •

State Champions in Marching Band 2006, 2010, 2012 • 10% of Class of 2013 signed Division I or Division II Athletic Scholarships • National Merit Commended Scholars • A Christ-Centered School of Excellence •

Call today to schedule a private tour:


or visit our website, To advertise, call 727-612-0783

7777 62nd Avenue N, St Petersburg, FL 33709

Pinellas • December 2013 • 41

Math Test Studying Myths – Busted! Erin Nobles, Director, Mathnasium of St Petersburg For many students, the Christmas Holiday is spent studying for (and worrying about) final exams. The truth is that when it comes to math, there simply is no substitute for proper preparation. Putting in the time during the school year can ease the burden of studying for finals and reduce the anxiety many students feel during this time of year. Some studying techniques have been proven to be more effective than others, and some popular math misperceptions can really get in the way of even the best student.

Math Myth #1: All I have to do to

get ready for my final is memorize formulas.

While there certainly are formulas that math students need to know, math is a matter of problem solving. Students who are most challenged by math have not developed the reasoning or understanding that they need to find the solution path. Every math student should ask these questions when reading a problem: (1) What is given? (2) What do I need to find? (3) How do I break this into parts? (4) What should I do first?

Math Myth #2: I’ll be ok if I review

a few problems in the chapter and get them right. Re-doing some homework problems in the chapter helps to review the section covered, but it is not the most effective way to study. Top math students will work out every single problem in each section and ask for help from their teacher for any problem they cannot solve.

Math Myth #3: Even though I didn’t fully understand the previous section, if I can correctly solve the problems in the next section, I don’t need to worry. This common misconception causes students to “crash and burn” when they

42 • December 2013 • Pinellas

take tests – especially final exams. Unlike other subjects, math knowledge is cumulative. Sections not understood create gaps in the student’s math foundation. These gaps may not manifest until later, when another concept is introduced that builds on the previous concept. Over time, these gaps will lead to problems keeping up in class.

Math Myth #4: I only need to know

one way to solve a math problem.

A student who only knows one way to come up with a solution will run into trouble when the teacher changes or reverses the question. For example, if the question is, “What is half of 12?” the reverse would be, “Half of what number is 6?” Answering “reverse questions” requires an experience-base that includes practice. The concept also applies to a student memorizing a formula in algebra.

Math Myth #5: Checking my results

is a waste of time.

Many math mistakes are caused by human error, not lack of understanding. It is important to work each problem carefully to minimize errors, and it never hurts to recheck calculations. Careless mistakes often occur when the calculations become so mechanical that the student’s mind begins to wander. A basic arithmetic operation or sign error may lead to an incorrect answer. Orga-

Math Tutoring Experts.

nizing work in a step-by-step sequence helps a student trace back to find mistakes. For more information about how you can help your student get ahead and stay ahead in mathematics, contact Mathnasium of St. Petersburg. The Mathnasium Method® has been helping students succeed for over 35 years. Call today to schedule your student’s risk-free math skills analysis.

enroll today!

Mathnasium of St. Petersburg – (727) 823-MATH (6284) 3451 4th St. North, St. Petersburg, FL 33704 + More than 400 Locations in 12 Countries! Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper

Gifts of Vision

During this holiday season, give your loved ones personal, meaningful gifts.

by Dr. Douglas Johnson, Optometric Physician, Family Eye Care Specialist at The Eye Institute of West Florida in Largo Teens and Pre-teens are excellent contact lens candidates. They can be very motivated to be free of their eyeglasses. One reason for this is that kids can be quite self-conscious about their appearance, and eyeglasses may not be a part of the image they have of themselves. Participation in sports is another motivating force. It is difficult to hit a soccer ball with your head while wearing glasses. Peripheral vision is quite limited with

glasses, which interferes with many sports, and any activity where perspiration is involved will be more difficult while wearing glasses. In the past, a child had to be rather mature and responsible to consistently care for their contact lenses. Many of us remember the days when the proper care of contact lenses required a virtual “chemistry set” of solutions and products to keep


30% OFF


31/20 gh 12/


valid th



-P N O &N







the lenses clean, safe and comfortable. Today’s new technology in single-use daily disposable lenses has made it much safer and more enjoyable than the re-useable lenses that required cleaning, sterilization and storage between uses. Single-use disposable lenses are discarded at the end of each day, and brand new sterile lenses are opened the next morning. This type of lens is available for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and even astigmatism. Tinted contact lenses are another fun and enjoyable gift. Many prescriptions are available as tinted lenses for those who desire to change their eye color once in awhile for a day, or different colors on different days. Just open a new pair of lenses in whatever color you find interesting on that day. A wonderful gift for the man in your life is the gift of eyeglasses of a sleek, upscale, sophisticated look for evening and special social occasions. Something different than the same glasses he wears every day. This is something he may not buy for himself, but would definitely enjoy… and you would enjoy it too. Young ones love arts and crafts and decorating things. Interchangeable eyeglass charms that fit on the temples of the glasses are available in dozens of designs and can give new life to a child’s eyeglasses. These are very affordable “stocking stuffers” that make wearing eyeglasses fun.

KIDS GLASSES charms (pictured) sold separately

CONTACT LENSES To schedule an appointment with

Dr. Douglas Johnson, Optometrist

Call (727) 584-5748

visit for more gift ideas

For the sports enthusiast, there are many great sunglass gift ideas that are not simply for good looks, but also to improve performance in a wide variety of sports. Specialty sunglass lenses are available to maximize vision for golfing, tennis, bicycling, as well as boating and fishing. The tennis sunglass lenses, for example, help the ball stand out from the background. This allows the tennis player to better judge the speed and direction of the ball. The sunglass lenses for fishing help to reduce the glare from the water’s surface, allowing the fisherman to spot ‘the big one’ lurking along the bottom. There are many additional gift ideas for vision that can make your friends and family members happy, and help make your gift buying easier. Visit the eyeglass lens page on our website at, for more information.

148 13th Street S.W., Largo, FL •

To advertise, call 727-612-0783

Pinellas • December 2013 • 43

The Gulf Coast Family Weekender





Every Day in December




Wild Wonderland Lowry Park Zoo

At Tampa Bay Times Forum Donny and Marie mix the holiday songs and spirit of their early television specials with a nostalgic look back.


The Florida Orchestra presents

Holiday Pops!

Straz Center


Get in the spirit of the season with the Florida Orchestra and the 150 voices of The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay.


The Rockettes Radio City Christmas Spectacular Straz Center


It’s going to be brrrrilliant! Wild Wonderland lights up Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo with seasonal cheer and more than a million twinkling lights.


Andrea Bocelli Presented by Florida Opera Festival Tampa Bay Times Forum Breakfast with Santa

Meet Santa and his animal friends at The Florida Aquarium’s Breakfast with Santa. Also since Santa’s elves are pretty busy this time of year, trainers will be on hand accompanied by some special animal guests.


Outback Bowl Activities

Players Night at

Nickelodeon Suites Resort

44 • December 2013 • Pinellas Pinellas

Join the Outback Bowl teams as they enjoy an evening of fun and games at Splitsville at Channelside.

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper Newspaper



Lego Build-a-Thon MOSI Attention LEGO fans! Take part in fun LEGO building competitions for ages 5 through 13. Building challenges are age-appropriate and include themed building, creative construction, and Mindstorms robotics.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs San Francisco 49ers



Tampa’s Downtown on Ice Tampa’s Downtown on Ice will feature a 45’ x 100’ outdoor ice skating rink, erected in the Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.


Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New York Rangers Watch the Lighting and experience the thunder! Go Bolts!


A Tuition-free Charter School located in Pinellas County. 5175 45th St. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33714

Now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 School Year!

We offer a small school environment, serving students in grades. K-8.

Windsor Prep features:

• PBL-Project Based Learning w/ Technology Focus • Tuition Free • Before and After care • After School Enrichment Program

• • • •

Full Court Gym Parent Involvement Art/Music/PE/Spanish Uniforms

Finding the Right School

Next Issue

in the

January 2014

of Gulf Coast Family

Cover story ▲

Picking the right school for your child is a process of asking yourself some fundamental questions. To determine what kind of school is right for your child you need to explore all the options and then begin to make some choices. January begins our three month special on private education here in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

◀ New Years Resolutions

Visit our website for tour information and Discovery Dates.

No matter how successful one has been in following resolutions in the past, one makes fresh resolutions for the coming year with full determination and will. Come with us we look at some fantastic New Years resolutions.

Big Dreams. One Small School.


Time to Get Organized ▶

Organization is something that we all strive for in order to keep our lives manageable. Whether it’s organizing rooms or closets, tackling paper clutter or managing your time, we’ve got some simple ideas to guide you with organizing and cleaning.

Budding ballerinas are our specialty! StarStruck Register now Dance Studio serves the for classes We offer aemotional small school environment , serving students in fall elementary grades. physical, and intellectual needs of our students. features: We meet these goals with our • PBL-Project Based Learning • Full Court Gym age-appropriate curriculum and • iPads/ iPods teachers. • Highly Qualified Teachers qualifi ed adult

Windsor Prep


• Before and After care • Art/Music/PE 11833 Seminole Blvd., Largo ¬ ¬ ¬ Ballet Tap Jazz HipHop • After School •¬Uniforms ¬ Acro ¬ Lyrical ¬ Pointe ¬ Enrichment Program


Visit our website for our tour information, Parent Meeting and Discovery Dates.

To advertise, call 727-612-0783

Pinellas • December 2013 • 45

This December we recommend that you… READ IT

The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas by Ann Voskamp Beginning with Jesse, the father of David, The Greatest Gift retraces the epic pageantry of mankind, from Adam to the Messiah, with each day’s profound reading pointing to the coming promise of Christ, so that come Christmas morning you find that the season hasn’t blurred past you but your heart’s fully unwrapped the greatest gift you’ve always yearned for. Sure to become a holiday staple in every Christian home, The Greatest Gift, a New York Times bestseller, is the perfect gift for the holidays and a timeless invitation into the richness of the true meaning of Christmas.

HEAR IT Christmas Voices

Experience IT

by Celtic Thunder

Internationally renowned singing sensation CELTIC THUNDER pay homage to cherished holiday favorites on their brand new album Christmas Voices. Celtic Thunder’s heartwarming new CD makes it easy to get in the holiday spirit. Christmas Voices features 15 soaring tracks of holiday cheer. The tracks on the album range from the traditional carols Away in A Manger, Come All Ye Faithful and O Holy Night to the more contemporary Carribbean-style carol Mary’s Boy Child and pop classic Fairytale of New York.

New Years Eve at Busch Gardens December 31 Looking for something to do for New Years Eve? Why not welcome in the New Year while screaming your head off on a Busch Garden’s rollercoaster? Or greet the New Year in a more multicultural manner by taking the kids on an African safari and an amazing firework display in Tampa? Busch Gardens, Tampa offers all of these options for the whole family. Fireworks start at midnight and rides will be running straight into the New Year.

This wonderful album approaches the season of Christmas with great respect, holds some breathtakingly beautiful music, and is sure to be a favorite for many Christmases to come.

Watch IT

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Opens December 25, 2013 Ben Stiller directs and stars in James Thurber’s classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

46 • December 2013 • Pinellas

This December 31st do not sit at home to watch the ball drop, count down to the biggest New Years yet at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, where the lights and colors come alive and exciting attractions await.

SURF IT GoComics from Universal Uclick is the online comics portal for the most popular comic strips and cartoons in the world. GoComics content updates daily, bringing you the latest work from critically acclaimed comic strip creators, Pulitzer Prizewinning political cartoonists and the hottest up-and-coming talents. You can read comics for free every day and with a registered account get access to community features, and features such as commenting, sharing and saving comics to collections.

Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper







Mari S. AGE 13

Let’s face it - using an iPad makes learning cool. Now I’m acing math.

A C E T H E N E X T R E P O R T C A R D W I T H S Y LV A N Some children have trouble hitting their stride when the school year kicks into gear. Good news parents! This report card is the last one you’ll have to worry about if you get started with Sylvan today. With Sylvan, you’ll get: • our four-step Sylvan Insight™ process, where we take the time to really get to know your child and develop a plan for success. • our proven tutoring approach that blends amazing teachers with SylvanSync™ technology on the iPad® for a truly engaging learning experience. • programs to fit your family’s busy schedule – and budget. Act now to take control of this school year.

Sylvan Learning - St. Petersburg & Seminole


TO LEARN MORE, STOP IN FOR A COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION. Whether your student needs extra help to understand complicated homework or would benefit from strengthening foundation skills, our Directors can help you find the perfect solution to get your student on track.


To advertise, call 727-612-0783

Pinellas • December 2013 • 47

Why do

Christian kids Love


Ask most kids about their school, and chances are that their reactions will range from indifference to outright dread. But children love Keswick Christian School.

They appreciate how their teachers really care about them, and strive to turn classrooms into places of discovery, enlightenment and fun. Opportunities to participate in sports and other activities are Call for a abundant. And kids of all ages beneďŹ t from having the values personal tour: of their parents and churches reinforced in school every day. 727-393-9100 One of the greatest gifts parents can give their children is a love for learning. Keswick Christian School helps bring that love to life.

12 Only infant through n grade private Christia ty un school in Pinellas co with exclusively partnering their d Christian families an loca l church. th

Lea rn more: 10101 54th Avenue North St. Petersburg, Florida 33708 Infants – 12th grade

Financial Aid Available

Gulf Coast Family - December 2013 - Pinellas  

Gulf Coast Family's primary purpose is to encourage families along the Gulf Coast by providing worthwhile information that deals with family...

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