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November 2008

e h t t e e M y l i m a F Llerena

The

Family Table

by The Dinner Diva

Family Focus by Dr. James Dobson

Family Night Coupons

Give Thanks


November 2008

4 Parent to Parent

13 Family Night

22 Coach’s Comments

5 November Fun Facts

14 Give Thanks

23 Respecting Others

6 Family Focus

16 Kids in the Kitchen

24 Adoption Option

8 Citizenship Test

19 The Family Table

25 Family Library

10 Report Card Surprises

20 The Young and the Young at Heart

26 Q&A with Dr. Jay

12 Family of the Month

21 Building Blocks for the Family


atorent P Parent

With our focus this month on Thanksgiving and gratefulness, I decided to ask each of my children what they are thankful for this year. Here are the responses I received: Haylee: Da-Da (well that’s what I expected from her since that is the only word she knows!) Hanna: My Toys Daniel: Uncle Matthew’s [Nintendo] DS David: Umm….

Wow, I think I have my work cut out for me! At least when I prodded them with suggestions like, “Are you thankful for your home?” or “Are you thankful for your teacher?” the answer was usually “yes.” But it just made me consider the fact that a spirit of thankfulness seems to be primarily a learned “skill” more than a natural ability. So how do children learn to be thankful? I think they learn it best by observing thankfulness in their role models, namely us. I think I do a pretty good job of not complaining in the presence of my children. After all, I really have very little to complain about. Sure, I’d love to have more space, but my home is comfortable. I also drive a pretty new van, and even though my convertible was more fun, at least my husband drives the older, not so nice van! But maybe it’s not enough that I don’t complain. When I started to think about it, I realized that I also don’t regularly express my thankfulness for the blessings that I have. So I decided to come up with a list of things, big and small, that I have been thankful for, just in the past week: • I am thankful that my family is healthy and happy. • I am thankful that the rain that had been pouring down as I drove to work on Thursday morning ® stopped by the time I arrived.

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• I am thankful that skin is washable, so when Haylee wrote all over her legs with a marker, it came off. • I am thankful that the laundry is done. • I am thankful that the dishes are done. Oops – they’re not quite done. But hey, you can’t have it all, can you! • I am thankful that only one plate of food got spilled on the floor when we went out to breakfast with another family on Saturday morning – with my kids, it could have been much, much worse! After I came up with my small list, I decided to give one more suggestion to each of my three children who are of talking age. So I asked them, “Are you thankful for your Mommy?” And each one of them said “Yes.” Another thing to be thankful for!

Until next time,

Jennifer

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11/10/1928

In one of the most famous games in college football history after Knute Rockne gives his “Win one for the Gipper” speech, an outmanned Notre Dame team defeated a heavily favored Army team 12 – 6 at Yankee Stadium. It was on his hospital bed that George Gipp challenged Coach Rockne, “Rock, when the team is up against it, when things are wrong and the breaks are beating the boys, ask them to go in there with all they’ve got and win just one for the Gipper. I don’t know where I’ll be then, Rock. But I’ll know about it, and I’ll be happy.”

1784

In

513,000

is the number of estimated children in foster care in the United States, and more than 114,000 of them are currently waiting to be adopted. November is National Adoption Month, a month set aside to raise awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care. In his proclamation recognizing National Adoption Month, President George Bush reminds us that “Every child desires a permanent home, and when parents adopt a child to love as their own, lives are forever changed.”

Nov. 11, 2008

Benjamin Franklin proposed the idea of daylight saving in a satiric letter suggesting that Americans economize on candles by rising earlier to use morning sunlight. On Sunday November 2 Daylight Savings Time ends and Standard time returns, meaning clocks should be set back an hour.

Gulf Coast Family’s primary purpose is to encourage families along the Gulf Coast by providing worthwhile information that deals with family life right here in Pinellas County. Gulf Coast Family Newspaper is printed monthly and it is distributed throughout Pinellas County. The paper is available in distribution racks in Chick-fil-a restaurants, Sweetbay Supermarkets, Sam’s Club, and Regions Banks along with shopping centers, restaurants, day care centers, schools and almost anywhere parents are likely to congregate. For questions or comments, call (727) 612-0783 or email info@gulfcoastfamily.org. 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 us at articles@gulfcoastfamily.org. 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.

Veterans Day is always observed officially on November 11. Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who have served honorably in the United States military.

272 million turkeys are expected to be raised in 2008 according to the National Turkey Federation. Of those turkeys, 46 million will be consumed in America on Thanksgiving Day. General Manager: Editor: Graphic Designer: Web Developer:

Rodney Beck Jennifer Beck Michael Crumley Matthew Crumley

For advertising opportunities: sales@gulfcoastfamily.org Gulf Coast Family Publications P.O. Box 3803 Seminole, FL 33775 Phone: (727) 612-0783 Fax: (727) 865-5135 Website: gulfcoastfamily.org © Gulf Coast Family Publications 2008


by Dr. James Dobson Dr. James Dobson is founder and president of Focus on the Family, a nonprofit organization that produces his nationally syndicated radio programs. He was for 14 years an Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, and served for 17 years on the Attending Staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics. He has an earned Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in the field of child development. His first book for parents and teachers, Dare To Discipline, has now sold over two million copies. His subsequent eleven books for the family are also best sellers. Dr. Dobson is married and the father of two grown children. QUESTION: I understand your emphasis on a child being taught to respect the authority of his or her parents but doesn’t that coin have two sides? Don’t parents have an equal responsibility to show respect for their children?

DR. DOBSON: They certainly do! The self-concept of a child is extremely fragile and it must be handled with great care. A youngster should live in complete safety at home, never being belittled or embarrassed deliberately, never punished in front of friends, never ridiculed in a way that is hurtful. His strong feelings and requests, even

if foolish, should be considered and responded to politely. He should feel that his parents “really do care about me.” My point is that respect is the critical ingredient in all human relationships, and just as parents should insist on receiving it from their children, they are obligated to model it in return.

avoid that danger. Teens, particularly, seem to feel, “The group can’t laugh at me if I am identical to them.” From this perspective, it’s unwise to make a child endure unnecessary social humiliation. Children should be allowed to select their own clothes, within certain limits of the budget and good taste.

QUESTION: Should schoolchildren be required to wear clothes that they dislike?

QUESTION: My five-year-old is one of those rambunctious kids who gives us fits. There are times when I think he’s trying to take over the entire family. I’ve never really understood him before but I guess he just doesn’t want anyone telling him what to do.

DR. DOBSON: Generally not. Children are very concerned about the threat of being laughed at by their friends, and will sometimes go to great lengths to

DR. DOBSON: That is precisely how he feels. It is surprising how commonly this basic impulse of children is overlooked. Indeed, I think the really tough kids understand the struggle for control even better than their parents who are bogged down with adult responsibilities and worries. Children devote their primary effort to the power game while we grown-ups play only when we must. Some time you might ask a group of children about the adults who lead them. They will instantly tell you, with one voice, which grown-ups are skilled in handling them and which aren’t. Every schoolchild can name the teachers who are in control and those who are intimidated by kids. One father overheard his five-year-old daughter, Laura, say to her little sister who was doing something wrong, “Mmmm, I’m going to tell Mommie on you. No! I’ll tell Daddy. He’s worse!” Laura had evaluated the authority of her two parents and concluded that one was more effective than the other. This same child was observed by her father to have become especially disobedi-


respect is the critical ingredient in all human relationships, and just as parents should insist on receiving it from their children, they are obligated to model it in return.

This is the conclusion you want your strong-willed son to draw: “It’s too risky to take on Mom or Dad, so let’s get with the program.”

ent and defiant. She was irritating other family members and looking for ways to avoid minding her parents. Her dad decided not to confront her directly but to punish her consistently for every offense until she settled down. Thus, for three or four days, he let Laura get away with nothing. She was spanked, stood in the corner and sent to her bedroom.

DR. DOBSON: I’ll give you an answer written by a Dr. Milton Levine in a vintage parenting book titled “Your Child from 2 to 5,” and then I’ll comment on his recommendation. Dr. Levine was associate professor of pediatrics, New York Hospital, at the time. He listed three possible ways to tell an adopted child about his origin, as follows:

Near the end of the fourth day, she was sitting on the bed with her father and younger sister. Without provocation, Laura pulled the hair of the toddler who was looking at a book. Her dad promptly thumped her on the head with his large hand. Laura did not cry, but sat in silence for a moment or two, and then said, “Harrumph! All my tricks are not working!”

1. Tell the child his biological parents are dead. 2. State plainly that the biological parents were unable to care for their baby themselves. 3. Tell the child nothing is known about the biological parents, but that he was secured from an agency dedicated to finding good homes for babies.

QUESTION: What should you tell an adopted child about his or her biological parents in “closed” adoption situations? How do you answer his tough questions about why he wasn’t wanted, etc?

Dr. Levine preferred the first approach because “the child who is told that his biological parents are dead is free to love the mother and father he lives with. He won’t be tormented by a haunting obligation to search for his biological parents when he’s grown.” He continued, “Since the possibility of losing one’s parents is one of childhood’s greatest fears, it is true that the youngster who is told that his biological parents are dead may feel that all parents, including his second set, are pretty impermanent. Nevertheless, I feel that in the long run the child will find it easier to adjust to death than to abandonment. To tell a youngster that his parents gave him up because they were unable to take care of him is to present him with a complete rejection. He cannot comprehend the circumstances, which might lead to such an act. But an unwholesome view of himself as an unwanted object, not worth fighting to keep, might be established.” I disagree with Dr. Levine at this point. I am unwilling to lie to my child about anything. I would not tell him that his natural parents were dead if that were not true. Sooner or later, he will learn that he has been misled, which could undermine our

relationship and bring the entire adoption story under suspicion. Instead, I would be inclined to tell the child that very little is known about his biological parents. Several inoffensive and vague possibilities could be offered to him, such as, “We can only guess at the reasons the man and woman could not raise you. They may have been extremely poor and were unable to give you the care you needed; or maybe the woman was sick; or she may not have had a home. We just don’t know. But there is one thing we do know. She must have loved you very, very much -- enough to give you life and to make sure you were raised in a loving home where you would be taken care of. We’re so thankful that the Lord led her to let us raise you.” Dr. Dobson is founder and chairman of the board of the nonprofit organization Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO 80995 (www.family.org). Questions and answers are excerpted from “Solid Answers” and “Bringing Up Boys,” both published by Tyndale House.

For more of Dr. Dobson’s question and answer articles, go to www.gulfcoastfamily.org. For information about more books by Dr. Dobson visit the Focus on the Family website at www.family.org.


Can You Pass the Citizenship Test? When immigrants want to become Americans, they must take a civics test as part of their naturalization interview before a Citizenship and Immigration Services officer. Beginning this past October, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) changed the sample questions used to test all applicants who file for naturalization. Some of the new questions are easy, but some are not. We have selected 20 of the new questions for you to test your knowledge of U.S. civics. The questions are typically given orally in an interview and while there may be multiple answers to a question, there are no multiple choice questions. The answers to all of the following questions are listed on page 17 in the Kid’s in the Kitchen section. Good luck, no cheating, and if you are a registered voter, don’t forget to exercise your right to vote here in November! For a complete listing of all 100 questions used to test applicants for citizenship, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website at www.uscis.gov.

1. Who is the Commander in Chief of the military? _________________________________________________ 2. What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress? _________________________________________________ 3. Who is considered the “Father of Our Country”? _________________________________________________ 4. Name two U.S. territories. _________________________________________________ 5. Name the two longest rivers in the United States. _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________

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6. During the Cold War, what was the main concern of the United States? _________________________________________________ 7. Who did the United States fight in World War II? _________________________________________________ 8. Who was President during World War I? _________________________________________________ 9. What did Susan B. Anthony do? _________________________________________________ 10. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do? _________________________________________________ 11. What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803?

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_________________________________________________ 12. Why does the flag have 13 stripes? _________________________________________________ 13. What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution? _________________________________________________ 14. What did the Declaration of Independence do? _________________________________________________ 15. Who are the two Florida Senators? _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ 16. The House of Representatives has how many voting members? _________________________________________________ 17. We elect a U.S. Representative for how many years? _________________________________________________ 18. What is one thing that Benjamin Franklin is famous for? _________________________________________________ 19. What stops one branch of government from becoming to powerful? _________________________________________________ 20. What is the Supreme Law of the land? _________________________________________________

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Report Card Surprises The first report card of the year can create feelings of pride, happiness and excitement for many parents. It can also produce feelings of anxiety and frustration for those who are surprised by their child’s grades. However, effective and continuous communication among teachers, parents and students can help minimize the “report card surprise.” Report cards are part of every child’s academic experience, and don’t need to be a surprise to parents. If a parent is surprised by a poor report card, it often means that they haven’t been effectively communicating with their child or their child’s teacher throughout the year. Maintaining open and continuous lines of communication with children and teachers throughout the school year, and not just when report cards are issued, will help parents stay informed about their child’s progress and help them avoid the report card surprise. Students who are surprised by their own report cards also need to improve their communication and organization patterns. A student who surprisingly receives a D or a failing grade on his report card learns the hard way that he needs to regularly talk

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with his teachers and stay on top of • Teach your child that education is imschool work, homework and test results. portant to your family. Students should never be surprised by • Discuss goals and objectives for the their report card grades. school year. This may be a great way to learn about difficulties your child is Organization is an essential part of a stu- having in specific subject areas. dent’s education. By tracking test scores • If your child is having trouble in school, and all other assignments throughout talk about a method to help organize the year and speaking regularly with her schedule, subjects and activities. teachers and parents, students are pre- A calendar can be a great way to track pared for their grades come report card tests, homework, activities and study time, and can work to improve their per- plans. formance prior to report cards. • Talk with your child about his extracurricular activities, such as team sports or It shouldn’t take a surprise report card after-school jobs. Being overscheduled for parents and teachers to communi- may affect his grades. cate effectively. Sylvan Learning Center, • Set improvement goals for your child. a leading provider of in-center and live, This will help her work towards an atonline tutoring at home to students of tainable grade for each class. all ages and skill levels, offers the follow- • Talk with your child about his study habing advice to help parents maintain clear its and develop a study plan. Set aside communications with their children and specific time for studying, projects and teachers: activities each evening and make sure that he has a properly equipped and Tips for Talking To Children well-lit area to work. • Talk about school every day. Make it a • Communicate with your child about regular part of the family’s routine. her school experiences. Know what she • Don’t wait until report cards are issued is thinking and feeling. Also, openly talk to talk about school and grades. Fre- with her about her worries and conquently discuss with her how she is do- cerns as well as her joys and achieveing in each subject and what grade she ments. anticipates receiving. — Gina Pugh is the Center Director at the St. • Encourage your child to tell you Petersburg Sylvan Learning Center, a leading proabout his day. Find out what he vider of in-center and live, online tutoring at home learned and what are his favorite to students of all ages, grades and skill levels. activities.

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Communication is Key to Solving the Puzzle According to a recent study by Sylvan Learning Center, sixty-six percent of North American teachers say parents are surprised by their child’s report cards. These same teachers offered the following suggestions for parents to avoid the report card surprise and help their child succeed in school:

• Maintain open lines of communication throughout the year with your child and the teacher. • Stay involved in your child’s education. • Review his homework on a daily basis and be available to help him. • Talk to your child about her assignments and how she feels she is doing in school. • Be informed about his assignments by reading weekly reports and checking his backpack or planner. • Be proactive and interested in her activities both in and out of school. • Visit your child’s classroom for a desk check at least twice a month. • If you suspect your child may be having problems contact the teacher to see what things can be done to help. • Be sure to watch for regular progress reports from the teacher. • Get to know your child’s strengths / weaknesses. • Feel free to visit the classroom or call with questions. • Starting from an early age, have regular discussions and encourage all family members to talk about their day. • Help your child get organized. Try using a weekly folder for homework and a daily progress report. • Consider supplemental education. — Gina Pugh

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Family of the Month

November

Sunday

Meet the Llerena Family Each month we receive a number of emails and letters recommending different families from Pinellas for our “Family of the Month.” This summer we received multiple recommendations for a very special family: the Llorenas. “The Llorenas really do love each other,” wrote a friend. Another described them as an “absolutely sweet family.”

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Gio and Suzy Llorena met in 1991 while attending Clearwater Christian College here in Pinellas. They quickly fell in love and they have been married now for almost 15 years. The Llorenas moved to Miami after they were married, but it wasn’t long before they moved back here to Pinellas County. Gio and Suzy have lived here in the area for the past eleven years and they now have three wonderful children: Ashley, Daniel and Jonathan.

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with the Baseball Chapel. Baseball Chapel is an international ministry recognized by Major and Minor League Baseball and is responsible for the appointment and oversight of all team chapel leaders. Not only does Gio serve as the chaplain for the Rays and work with some minor league teams here in the States, but he is also responsible for multiple Baseball Chapels in Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic.

leader in the home and a Christian man ought to be. He has been there for me on so many occasions. His friendship is special to me personally as he has helped me through some difficult times, and he has celebrated with us through blessed times. We have studied the Word together, ministered to others together and prayed together.”

Each week over 3,000 players, coaches, managers, trainers, umpires and other team personnel attend Baseball Chapel meetings, including many within the Rays organization. “I absolutely love what I do,” Gio told us. “I love the opportunity to build relationships with the players and minister along side of them.”

When we originally contacted the Llorenas concerning our paper, they told us, “We really are not anything special. We are just blessed to do what we do. Our only desire is that God is glorified in our family.” The Llorenas are a wonderful family and whether they believe it or not, they are a truly special family. They love each other and they are having a very positive impact on families all throughout Pinellas County and that is why they are our November “Family of the Month.”

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In a recent interview with Dukes Knutson of FCA, Rays utility player Ben Zobrist gave the following tribute concerning Gio. “Gio has been a fantastic example of what a Christian

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After graduating from college, Gio served for several years as a local youth pastor, but for the past few years, he has been working

Wednesday

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• M  eet the kids: Ashley is in the 8th grade, loves to read, enjoys playing volleyball for Pinellas Heat volleyball club, and she is a huge Rays fan. Daniel is in the 6th grade, enjoys playing baseball at the Winning Inning Baseball Academy, is also a big time Rays fan, and he loves to play the drums. Jonathan is in the 2nd grade, loves to play baseball and soccer, knows all of the Rays players by name and loves to just have fun!

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• F  avorite sports teams: Miami Hurricanes, Miami Dolphins, all of the Rays minor league teams, and the Tampa Bay Rays! • Favorite foods: Tacos, Spaghetti, Chinese, and Japanese food • F  avorite hobbies: Spending time with family, sports, the beach, and shopping

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 articles@gulfcoastfamily.org.


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“I am thankful for my healthy and happy children, my wonderful husband and great friends!” – Peggy Comerford

“I’m thankful to know where I will spend eternity…and I’m thankful that I spend a lot of time on the road because the person I share an office with drives me nuts!” – Dave Mount

“I am especially thankful for a family that really loves to be together. We always have fun even if it’s as simple as grocery shopping!” – Cindy Bishop

Give Thanks

I’m thankful for my Mommy, my Daddy, and my Teddy Bear.

– Tucker John Hartzell

“I am thankful for my friends, my family, and my church. I am thankful that I can be a part of my grandchildren’s lives even though they drive me crazy sometimes. Just kidding.” – Shirley Grandmason

“I am thankful for God’s goodness. He gave my soul peace and comfort and brought me through to the other side of cancer. I also thank Him everyday for the privilege of being a mom and grand-mom.” – Annette DiMarco

“I’m thankful for the call and ability to teach music.” – Sharon Goins

I am grateful for the privilege to teach some wonderful children and in a small way touch the future. – Joni


S

ince the Pilgrims observed the initial Thanksgiving holiday in 1621, this occasion has served as a singular expression of the transcending spiritual values that played an instrumental part in the founding of our country.

“I’m thankful for the gift of life—the one I carry in my arms and the one I carry inside me.” – Cherith Logan

One hundred and twenty years ago, in the midst of a great and terrible civil conflict, President Lincoln formally proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving to remind those “insensible to the ever watchful providence of almighty God” of this Nation’s bounty and greatness. Several days after the dedication of the Gettysburg battlefield, the United States celebrated its first national Thanksgiving. Every year since then, our Nation has faithfully continued this tradition. The time has come once again to proclaim a day of thanksgiving, an occasion for Americans to express gratitude to their God and their country.

“I’m thankful for a loving, understanding wife and wonderful children. Also, I am thankful that no matter what happens in the future God is still in control.” – Steve Haught

In his remarks at Gettysburg, President Lincoln referred to ours as a Nation “under God.” We rejoice in the fact that, while we have maintained separate institutions of church and state over our 200 years of freedom, we have at the same time preserved reverence for spiritual beliefs. Although we are a pluralistic society, the giving of thanks can be a true bond of unity among our people. We can unite in gratitude for our individual freedoms and individual faiths. We can be united in gratitude for our Nation’s peace and prosperity when so many in this world have neither.

“I am thankful for my family and for God’s saving grace. I am also thankful to have an extended family— all the amazing staff, faculty, students and parents at our school.” – Diana Dumais

As was written in the first Thanksgiving Proclamation 120 years ago, “No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God.” God has blessed America and her people, and it is appropriate we recognize this bounty. – Ronald Reagan, Sept. 15, 1983

“I am thankful for my family who supports me in a career that allows me to help others. Every day is a gift filled with new people and opportunities.” – Amy Perry Goal: To provide a safe, inviting environment where children feel free to create, explore and express themselves. Ages 2-5

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in the kitchen Pumpkin Bread • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1 teaspoon salt • ½ teaspoon nutmeg • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Even kids who don’t care for pumpkin pie might enjoy this sweet, moist bread. It’s delicious with cream cheese!

• 2/3 cup sugar • 1/3 cup brown sugar • 2 eggs • 1 cup cooked pumpkin • Ÿ cup applesauce

• Ÿ cup vegetable oil • 1/3 cup water • 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a large (9x5x3) loaf pan or 8 mini-loaf pans. 2. Stir first 7 ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Have you ever noticed how your childrens’ faces light up when you pull them up to the counter and let them stir something? The kitchen is a center of activity in many homes, and as a result, children want to be involved. Letting children help to prepare meals is a wonderful opportunity to teach them about responsibility, creativity, science and the importance of following instructions.

3. Add remaining ingredients and beat on medium-low speed until well-blended. 4. Pour into prepared pan(s). Bake for 30 minutes (mini-loaves) or 1 hour and 20 minutes (large loaf)

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Have a great recipe your kids love to make and eat? Send it to us at articles@gulfcoastfamily.org, and we may feature your young cooks in a future issue!

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The Family Table

Breaking bread together connects family members By Leanne Ely (The Dinner Diva) I am passionate about that sweet word “dinner!” And I like to hear it hollered loudly, followed by the thundering sound of kids stampeding to the table. This is the echo of real human beings taking the opportunity to not only break bread together, but to connect heart to heart.

The first component to making food serve you rather than you serving the food is recognizing the difference between a doable recipe and one that isn’t. Doable means you’re in and out of the kitchen quickly. Skillet meals, crock pot meals and stuff that entails minimal preparation before

I don’t need to regale you with the reasons why using a menu is going to make you more successful in the kitchen; you already know that. But let’s talk turkey on how it all comes together to become a menu.

To eat real food and avoid fake food (like the drive through), you must begin with a real plan — a menu, to be exact. Gone are the days of making a menu and putting it on the fridge. That’s about as popular as a station wagon with fake wood on the sides. And it’s not just because the refrigerator wood paneled sections matched the kitchen cabinets, either. The tedious work of menu planning, sitting down with cookbooks and the weekly sale fliers from the grocery stores is hard to pull off anymore. Who’s got time, and how do you do it? Using the right tools, great ideas and quick, nutritious recipes will help you to not only perform this particular domestic duty in a quick and regular way, but also will empower you with a true sense of accomplishment. Providing such tasty, nutritious chow for your crew soothes the inner mama bear greatly.

In my estimation, variety is definitely the spice of life. Making sure to vary the food, textures, styles, cuisines, all the while keeping it simple, tasty, nutritious and varied is key. Sounds tough? It’s really not. Here’s how you pull it off:

being launched into the oven, all qualify. Recipes with long lists of ingredients (some of which call for a trip to a specialty store or need to be ordered online with a credit card), and elaborate cooking instructions requiring many steps and a day off from life, don’t fit the real food parameter at all.

Herbed Crock Pot Chicken – Serves 6 • 1 1/2 pounds skinned chicken drumsticks (6 pieces) • 1 pound skinless chicken thighs (6 pieces) • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided • 1/3 cup dry white wine (optional)

Real food is all about being fast, easy, delicious and real. Real as in the noticeable absence of “foods” such as canned soups, envelopes of onion soup mixes, etc. and other abominations mistakenly called food.

• 1 onion, chopped • 1/3 cup chicken broth • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning • 1 (15-oz.) can white beans, drained • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

First off, plan six days. If you’re like most Americans, you’ll be going out at least one night a week for dinner. So unless you’ll be home all seven nights, just plan for six. Remember, even God rested on the seventh day. And here’s a recipe to get you started. You’re going to love this:

• 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper • 14 1/2 ounces stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped • 6 cups brown rice, cooked

In a skillet, heat olive oil a bit at a time, and brown the chicken in Serving Suggestions: Serve with the rice (included in recipe), batches. Keep adding more oil until all the chicken has been browned. steamed broccoli and baked sweet potatoes. Place browned chicken in a crockpot; stir in wine and everything else For more help putting dinner on your table check out Leanne’s website except the tomatoes. Cover with lid, and cook on high for 4-5 hours or www.SavingDinner.com or her Saving Dinner Book series published by Ballentine. low, 6-8 hours. Add tomatoes during last hour of cooking. Copyright 2006; Leanne Ely Used by permission in this publication.


by Joy and Jerry Lancaster We would like to introduce you to a little girl who is very special to us. Her name is Katie and she is our third-born grandchild. All of our grandchildren are so very special to us, but at this Thanksgiving time, we would just like to share with you how we could ALL be more like Katie. When Katie was born 3 ½ years ago, we were told that she was a Down syndrome baby, and that she had come into this world facing several “obstacles”. The first of these was a serious heart condition that was corrected with open heart surgery at the age of 3 months. Following this, Katie was hospitalized several times for severe breathing problems. In her second year of life, we would visit her in the hospital, you could still see that sweet smile, even with all the tubes, and oxygen mask. She would greet us with a BIG smile, and would clap her hands. At this Thanksgiving time, our family is EXTREMELY thankful that Katie has not been hospitalized for almost a year, and she is taking NO medications. When a “disability” such as Down syndrome makes an entrance into your own family,

you are suddenly made aware of what a BLESSING a child like Katie can be! I put “ ” around the word DISABILITY because as we watch Katie in her daily activities, we wonder WHO has the disability? She is happy almost all the time, she loves nothing better than just meeting new people, and clapping, laughing, singing, and dancing! We have noticed that she NEVER meets a stranger, and she waves and says “Hi!” to EVERYONE that she passes. She has been blessed to be in a family with 3 siblings who love her to pieces, and this is truly the best “therapy” that she could have. Recently, our family had a reunion in Daytona Beach. EVERYONE at the hotel knew Katie, and if she was napping, people around the pool would ask where she was. When she woke up, she would make her “grand entrance” waving and calling out “Hi!” to anyone and everyone at the pool, and we all knew that NOW the party could begin!

think to address our heavenly Father in such an innocent, and unassuming way, and do we REALLY care “how he is doin’?” Recently there was a news story about a high school girl with Down syndrome who was crowned homecoming queen, and she is so thrilled with her crown that she NEVER takes it off—not even to sleep. At this Thanksgiving time, let’s take time to be thankful for the “simple” things—try to look at the world with a joyful heart—just like our Katie does!

We have a close friend who has a 5 year old little girl who also has Down syndrome, and when she prays, she always starts by saying, “Hi God, how ya doin”?” How precious is that, and how many of us even

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When the Happy Meal is Gone! by Tim Rhine I love that commercial with the kids’ soccer teams playing for a trophy, one team wins, and the other gets the Happy Meal from McDonald’s. What they didn’t show you is what happened when the Happy Meal was gone, the toy was broken and the kids met up with the other team in school. Unfortunately American children are pressured to win. Parents, coaches,

music instructors...they all want their child/player/student to swim the fastest, jump the highest, or play better than Beethoven. Just attend a local youth athletic event. It doesn’t take long to see the “win at all costs” mentality pushed on the children...and that’s not even from the coaches! One of the greatest gifts my boys were given growing up was participating in a youth soccer program that taught them to offer a hand to a player when he was down, even during the heat of the game.

I’ll never forget the look on one parent’s face when one of our players was driving down the field. He had beaten all but the last defender. He made his move and so did the defender. They collided and the defender fell to the ground. There it was, open field, and our player stopped, left the ball and Tim Rhine has taught for many years and currently serves as the Advancement went back to give the fallen player a Director at Indian Rocks Christian School. hand. How cool was that! An 8 year

old stopped to help another player. “Parents, teach your kids how Now that was a trophy moment! Glenn Schultz, educator/author, once said that great leaders “rise to the bottom.” Simply put, a great leader builds others up by serving them. Make time to serve together as a family. Contact a nursing home, sit and read a book to one of the guests. Teach your children how to look interested at all those photos! Contact Pinellas County Parks, take part of a day to clean or rake an area in a park. I know you pay taxes, but your kids don’t know that! Bake a cake together and decorate it for the neighbor down the street. Last spring June and I took Nate and Joel along with 17 other high school students from Indian Rocks Christian School to serve in Trinidad for one week. We worked for a local youth camp, spent a day playing with or-

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to stop, even in the heat of the game, to help someone up. Serving is contagious!”

phan children, and ran Vacation Bible School programs for the children from the local communities. There is no greater joy that watching your children experience the joy of putting others needs before their own. Parents, teach your kids how to stop, even in the heat of the game, to help someone up. Serving is contagious! Show it to your children, they’ll catch it, and be better off because of it!


On Winning and Losing

Travis Hill has taught History and Coached in Pinellas County for over 15 years. He is the Varsity Basketball coach for Dixie Hollins High School. He and his wife, Bonnie, have three children.

Have you ever asked yourself, what is a winner? Or what is a loser? In our society today we are often hasty to label teams and individuals categorically as winners or losers. Dale Earnhardt, one of the most famous NASCAR’s drivers of all time used to say, “Second place is just the first loser.”

come to the conclusion that players can actually learn more from losing than from winning. While winning may feel better than losing, especially directly after a contest, it is my experience that you are not a “loser” if you know you made the effort to become the best you are capable of becoming.

If Earnhardt was correct, then the Buffalo Bills would have to be one of the “biggest losers” of the last century. Despite having one of the best win loss records in the NFL, they lost four consecutive super bowl games in the 1990’s. Coach Vince Lombardi was famous for saying, “If winning isn’t everything, then why do they keep score?”

Losing can teach many life lessons that winning may not. Life lessons are intertwined in sports, and there are many failures in the game of life that mirror lessons on the athletic field. Players learn how to overcome downfalls, to face adversity, perseverance, mental and physical preparation, and how to handle success or failure.

As a young coach, I used to wonder whether Lombardi and Earnhardt were right and whether winners and losers should be measured by the scoreboard. But throughout my experience in coaching, I have

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As parents, we can help our children become true winners by teaching them good character traits. Coach John Wooden has said that one of the keys to his success in coaching and teaching was that he taught his players

“good habits,” both on and off the court. As parents, we need to strive to teach our children good life habits, so that no matter what the score or what the circumstances, they will still be able to lift their heads high knowing they gave their best. Good habits include: • Being a “good sport” when you lose or don’t get your way • Shaking hands and saying “good game” after the conclusion of the event • Helping a friend up after they have fallen • Doing a job the right way the first time • Looking for opportunities to help and share with others Our children should always be reminded to be gracious in victory and humble in defeat. Or as I tell my children and my players, “win with class or lose with first class.”

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Respecting Others

Where teaching truth and loving students come together

Angel Lee is a high school teacher in the Pinellas County Public School system. She recently sent us this article about some of her observations in the classroom. It is a refrain we’ve heard since ancient times, “What will happen to the world when they are in charge?” The older generation always feels that the youth of today is falling apart. I am a local public school teacher. Recently I sat in my classroom and listened after the final bell. I heard profanities around 32 times in five minutes, which averages out to about one every ten seconds. Those are just the ones I heard – the ones being shouted and screamed as they careened down the hall leaving a trail of garbage in their wake. So many young people today believe it is appropriate and cool to talk, act, dress and date like reality TV stars, no matter how young they are. They devalue themselves in appearance and behavior. Girls hang on boys like spaghetti noodles and dress like pop stars. Boys call girls derogatory names and don’t hesitate to cheat because that makes them a “playa.” They talk about their exploits like they’re on an episode of some MTV show. It’s sad to see that cheap somehow has become normal. Chivalry is not only dead, but many students don’t even know the definition of the word. Yet we allow it. These children leave the house wearing their clothing and they use the same language at the dinner table that they do at school. I see many parents who prefer to be friends with their child rather than correct him or her. The student with the most respect is the one who respects his or her own parents and does not wish to disappoint them. It’s not a matter of fear, it’s a matter of respecting yourself and your parents before that respect can spread outward. It is not just parents who allow it. We used to believe it takes a village to raise a child, now that village is silent. No one wants to say anything because it’s not our place and we don’t want to judge. No one wants to tell them something is unacceptable. We have become such an accepting society that few teenagers know where the line is between right and wrong. Some may not even know that such a line exists. Conformity seems to be valued. Unfortunately they are conforming to what they see on television and hear on the radio. We need to teach our children to value what is unique and beautiful. I was taught to be myself and to have respect myself and for others. It’s disappointing that many of our children are missing out on that. By Angel Lee

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Aunna

Age: 13 I was born: 5/26/1995 A little about me - “I’m nice and dependable” is how Aunna describes herself. She loves animals and hopes to become a veterinarian when she grows up. In the past, she has even saved someone’s dog from being run over in the road. Aunna is a special young girl that needs a family that is able to guide her to continue to make good choices in life. She has experienced such great losses but still remains a personable, outgoing and friendly young woman. In her free time, she enjoys riding her bike, watching musicals and going shopping at the mall. If you are an attentive family with compassion for animals and are ready to give unconditional love, please consider this caring young woman.

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Devon

Age: 13 I was born: 3/10/1995 A little about me - Devon is your typical 13-year-old who loves macaroni and chicken, but dislikes his vegetables! He’s also a bright student whose favorite classes at school are earth science, natural science and geography. Maybe he’s studying to be a future space scientist? Or as Devon says, maybe a cartoonist or preacher! Self-described as “goofy and funny,” Devon is a friendly child who loves music, Pokemon and Spiderman. He looks for a friend with the same interests, and one who loves dogs, video games and karate. Devon wants to be part of a loving and caring Christian family. This child, whose favorite color is gold, has a heart of the same color!

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Written by Dr. James Dobson, one of the nation’s most trusted parenting experts, Bringing Up Boys provides sensible advice and caring encouragement on raising boys. With so much confusion about the role of men in our society, it’s no wonder many parents and teachers are at a loss about how to bring up boys. Our culture has vilified masculinity and, as a result, boys are suffering. Parents, teachers, and others involved in shaping the character of boys have lots of questions, and in Bringing Up Boys, Dr. Dobson tackles these questions and offers advice and encouragement based on a firm foundation of Biblical principles. This book has been a tremendous help to our family and it is a must read book for anyone involved in the challenge of turning boys into good men.

If you like cookbooks, you will love the Flavors of the Seasons Cookbook. Featuring recipes for all four seasons from Chef Diane Juergens with the added bonus of inspirational verse from America’s best-loved poet, Helen Steiner Rice, this unique cookbook serves dual roles. Cooks everywhere will find much-needed inspiration not only for the kitchen but also for their hearts. This cookbook also features everything from appetizers and breads to soups and salads, from main dishes to desserts. The Flavors of the Seasons Cookbook in contrast to many inspirational cookbooks is filled with recipes that your family can actually use and will enjoy using. This book provides parents with a great opportunity to introduce their children to the kitchen, while at the same time introducing them to some very good inspirational writ- Flavors of the Seasons – ings. This cookbook is now one of our favorites and it would make a by Helen Steiner Rice perfict gift for any season.

The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule – by Stan & Jan Berenstain with Mike Berenstain When Sister Bear receives a locket for her birthday with the Golden Rule inscribed on it, she wonders what the verse means. And although Mama Bear explains it, it isn’t until she befriends a lonely newcomer at school that she understands what the rule looks like in action. Should Sister Bear ignore the new girl at school just because her friends do? The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule shows children how choosing to be kind may not always be the easy choice. But it is always the right one. This is a book that your children will enjoy and one that will help you teach them about the importance of loving and respecting others.

The Charis Christian Bookstore is committed to bringing families the best book and gift shopping experience! You can find all of the books featured above and many more at our store located on the campus of First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks. Thank you for shopping with us.

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Q&A with Dr. Jay Question:  What

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Question:  My

one month old is not sleeping through the night, and I have been told that if I give her some rice cereal in her bottle, that she would sleep longer. Should I do this?

Dr. Jay:  Just

a few weeks ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised that over the counter cough and cold medicines should not be given to children under 4 years of age. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests waiting even Dr. Jay:  You should not give your longer until 6 years of age. These recone month old ommendations are rice cereal. This It is often stated that a runny a big change for is one of the most many pediatricians nose is not infectious until it asked questions who have been adabout babies and becomes discolored. This is vising parents for just simply wrong. feedings. It is many years that advised that you it was acceptable should not start any solid foods un- to give these medicines as early as til a minimum of 4 months of age. 6 months of age. One of the biggest If you can, waiting until 5-6 months problems is that there are no standard of age would be even better. This is dosing guidelines or a standard age because their digestive system just when they can be started. Most of the cannot process solid foods until this medicines will say to ask your doctime. There have been studies that tor for dosing and this of course will link early food introduction with food vary from doctor to doctor. I used to allergies. Another reason not to do advise that cough and cold medicines this is because solid food should be could be started at 6 months of age started when they are able to take it but I gave specific dosing amounts. I from a spoon and not drink it from the always advised first to try nasal saline bottle. If you have heard this advice in the nose followed by bulb suctionand the person claims that their baby ing. A humidifier may also be useful started sleeping through the night, it in breaking up the mucous. is because the cereal acted as a bulking agent in the baby’s stomach, and Now, I am following the FDA recommade the baby feel full. This is not mendation of waiting until 4 years of a healthy alternative. Your baby was age and doing the non-medicinal atdesigned to drink mother’s breast tempts previously mentioned (nasal milk or formula, so give them what saline, bulb suctioning, and a humidithey need. fier). Unfortunately, parents can still

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buy these medicines and many will continue to use them. I do feel there are benefits of giving cough and cold medicine but we have to wait until we can agree with an acceptable dosing schedule, dosing amount and at what age we can start.

Question:  Can my 1-year-old son

be around other children if he has a clear runny nose?

Dr. Jay:  It is often stated by parents

that a runny nose is not infectious until it becomes discolored (yellow or green). This is just simply wrong. A clear runny nose can be indicative of allergies (which are not infectious) but it can also be the beginning stages of a upper respiratory infection (URI) or a common cold. A clear runny nose from a URI is just as infectious on day one as it is when it becomes discolored. It is very hard to distinguish the difference between allergies and colds. Even general pediatricians and specialists have a hard time distinguishing the two. They often occur simultaneously and having allergies can predispose you to having more colds. So unless your child has been

diagnosed by an allergist as having allergies, you should be considerate of other families and not expose your child to other children when your child has a clear runny nose.

Question:  I recently found a tick on my 8-year-old daughter. How worried should I be about Lyme Disease?

Dr. Jay:  You should not worry very

much. The ticks that carry Lyme disease are rarely found in Florida. The only case I have been involved with was with a child who got bit in the northeast area of the U.S. I would be more worried if I did not fully remove all of tick I suggest that after a tick is found, unless you know how to properly remove a tick, seek a medical professional who does. If it was removed already, I recommend you seeing your pediatrician so they can make sure that it was fully removed. If there becomes any discoloration around the bite area in the next few days, seek immediate medical attention to rule out infection.

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Christmas Reflections

Next Issue

le Soileau

in the

Alyssa Nicho

December 2008 of Gulf Coast Family

Co lin Di M ar co

M or is sa Le e

◀ The Gift of Giving

It has been said that it is better to give than to receive. In our next issue we will look at some ways that we can help teach our children about the gift of giving. While our children cannot write a big check to their favorite charities, that doesn’t mean that they can’t give to others.

Responsibility

Child Care, Inc. Excellence in pre-school, Voluntary PreKindergarten, and before and after school care for children age 2 months through 8th grade.

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Serving Pinellas Point to Tarpon Springs

For information call 727-578-5437 or visit www.rclub.net

Responsiveness

Respect

Responsibility

Resourcefulness

Remember the excitement you felt when you were a child around Christmas? How eagerly you waited for the day to come? Our memories are a precious treasure worth preserving and sharing. Next month we will take a look at some wonderful Christmas traditions. If you have a Christmas tradition or memory that you would like to share, simply email them to us at articles@gulfcoastfamily.org.

Send in your cute snapshots to articles@ gulfcoastfamily.org for a chance to be featured on our family refrigerator.

Resourcefulness

Responsiveness

Respect

Cover story ▲

2008: What a Ride! ▶

From the excitement of the Rays to the frustration of our economy, 2008 has had more ups, downs and loop de loops than any rollercoaster ride at Bush Gardens. Join us next month as we take a look back at 2008.

Listen to Dr. James Dobson and Focus on the Family Weekday Mornings at 7 a.m. on WTBN AM 570 & 910

2008



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