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December2013

Volume 4 Number 10

36 Columns

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Publisher’s Note Kendra Sumner

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Living With Children John Rosemond

Tips to Jump-Start Conversation Twenty-one questions to get you and your kids talking.

2013 Holiday Happenings Guide

Our guide tells you where to enjoy holiday fun in Lee County.

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Kids Health Watch sponsored by Pediatric Associates of Auburn

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A Page in a Book Gerry Paige Smith

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Dave Says Dave Ramsey

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Get This! Gerry Paige Smith

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Stick a Pin In It!

Learn why Pinterest is all the buzz and find easy craft ideas you can enjoy with your kids!

Christmas Budgeting Dave Ramsey helps you get through the season without the usual debt build-up.

On The Cover Allison Young is the daughter of Burt and Susan Young of Auburn. She is a senior at Lee-Scott Academy where she has attended for 13 years, and is a member of First Baptist Church Opelika. Throughout high school Allison has been on the cheerleading, track, soccer and cross country teams. She also participated in show choir and serves as a Lee-Scott Ambassador. Allison plans to attend Auburn University next fall and major in Pre-Nursing.

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The FlyLady Marla Cilley

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Parenting on the Plains Polly Dunn, Ph.D.

Departments 6

Bits and Pieces 10

School Bits 43

Family Calendar 48

Movie Reviews www.facebook.com/auburnopelika.parents


Publisher’sNote The stockings are hung, the Elf has been up to no good, the guest list has been made, and visions of sugar plums are dancing in their heads! The holiday season is here and with it comes one of the busiest times of all the year. Along with all your end-of-the year, family traditions and school events, it is time to trim the tree, wrap the presents and be the hostess-with-the-mostess! In only a few short weeks, there is more than enough on most families’ to-do lists to make even Santa’s head spin! Number one on my list is to keep the joy in Jolly! I love Christmas and ringing in the New Year. It is a time of gathering to celebrate, making memories and to reflect on this year. It is festive and fun, but at times can become overwhelming and stressful. However, I have decided to keep that inner Scrooge and his negativity outside in the cold and am determined to have rosy cheeks, a jolly laugh (minus the belly like a bowl full of jelly) and little helpers to make everything merry and bright! First helper...Pinterest! Don’t panic, our feature article, Stick a Pin It! Holiday Crafting with Pinterest, will walk you through it. Jan Udlock gives a simple, stepby-step plan on how to navigate the online “ideas” website. Once you get the hang of it, you will be pinning like a pro! I became a Pinterest fan last December while trying to come up with unique mischief for our Elf On a Shelf to create. Pinterest saved the day! The kids woke up and raced each other to see what SnowyRosy (the kids couldn’t decide on just one name for her) had been up to each night. Thanks to Pinterest, she swung from the ceiling fan, rode on Thomas the Train, had tea-time with Barbie, toilet papered the bathroom, and even went ice skating in the freezer! How can you not be jolly while sneaking around at night, creating a bit of holiday mischief and then seeing the excitement of the season in kids as they squeal and run around the house looking for an elf each morning? Another little helper comes to you in the form of our 2013 Holiday Happenings Guide and December’s calendar of events. As a gift to you (minus the ribbons and bows), we have done all the event planning for you! If tickets to the ballet are for you and your ballerinas, you can’t miss Variations Dance or East Alabama Community Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’. How about tea with a giant teddy bear? The Auburn Hotel and Dixon Conference Center is hosting a Teddy Bear Tea, Gingerbread Village and even an Elf Tuck-In Experience! For the best light shows around, check out Opelika’s National Village Display or bundle up for a trolley ride through Callaway Garden’s Fantasy In Lights. Need some home decoration help? Sign the kids up for Spirited Art Auburn’s Children’s Christmas Classes. They will love the step-by-step paint classes and you will have holiday art to spruce up your festive decor. Ready or not, Santa is on his way! You have your little helpers in hand, so get to ‘pinning’ and planning...while jolly and bright! From our family to yours, here’s to a holiday season unlike any other, full of memories and magic!

Kendra

kendra@auburnopelikaparents.com

Auburn Opelika Parents I December 2013

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Auburn Opelika Lee County’s Foremost Parenting Source

Auburn Opelika Parents Magazine is founded on the principle that parenting is an exciting, diverse, challenging, and significant role in our community. Auburn Opelika Parents Magazine is a community advocate for families and the parenting process.

Publisher Kendra Sumner kendra@auburnopelikaparents.com Editor DeAnne Watson deanne@auburnopelikaparents.com Associate Editor Kelly Watson Contributing Writers Rian Anglin, M.D. Marla Cilley Polly Dunn, Ph.D. Lara Krupicka Dave Ramsey John Rosemond Gerry Paige Smith Jan Udlock Cover Photography Candy Avera www.pictureperfectbycandy.com

President Jason Watson Director of Sales Justin Sumner justin@auburnopelikaparents.com (334) 209-0552 Ad Design Tim Welch

Visit us online at www.auburnopelikaparents.com Auburn-Opelika Parents magazine is published monthly by KeepSharing, LLC. Mailing address: 1204 Owens Road Auburn, Alabama, 36830. The phone number is (334) 209-0552 and fax is (334) 826-7303. Auburn-Opelika Parents is copyrighted 2013 by KeepSharing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in Auburn-Opelika Parents magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.

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LivingWithChildren by John Rosemond

How Much Bad News Should Parents Tell Their Children? A radio talk show recently called to ask how parents should explain school shootings to their kids. My answer: It depends. I prefer, for the most part, for parents to say nothing unless their children ask questions. And then, when a child asks, for parents to say as little as possible. My rule of thumb has always been to give children only the information they need, when the absolutely need it. An aside: The selectivity of this question says more about the media’s ten-

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dency to create drama than any real need on the part of children. For example, when ten children are killed in a school bus accident somewhere, no one in the media calls to ask me how parents should explain school bus accidents. To “explain” school shootings to a child who has not asked questions about them accomplishes nothing of value and is very likely to cause a sharp spike in anxiety. After all, it is a given that the parent in question is explaining because she is anxious,

D i s T i n c T i v e s

TradiTion For over thirty-five years, Trinity has been committed to a biblical Christian world-view, and its classical educational philosophy has been proven through thousands of years of learning experience.

A Classical and Christian Academy 745-2464

www.tcsopelika.org

and it is also a given that anxious parents precipitate anxiety in children. The question, then, becomes: What should a parent say about school shootings if a child has heard and expresses worry about them? Under those circumstances, the response should be reassuring (“Your school is safe”) and brief because lots of words can confuse a child and lead, again, to anxiety. Something along these lines, perhaps: “There are people in the world who do bad things. Sometimes these people are bad and sometimes they’re just confused. This is a very bad thing that’s happened. No one understands these things very well. I certainly don’t.” “What if a child asks what he should do if a shooting occurs at his school?” Commonsense dictates that the parent should say, “You should follow instructions from your teacher. Do what your teacher tells you to do.” “What about kidnappings? Shouldn’t parents warn their children about the possibility of a kidnapping?” That’s a special category because there are things children can do to prevent being kidnapped. My mom warned me of kidnappers. She told me to never get in cars with, allow myself to be led by, or accept candy from strangers. That warning saved my life when I was five years old and a man tried to lure me into his car with the promise of a soda if I would direct him to a certain store. I immediately turned and ran and the man sped off. My mother—single at the time—said she was proud of me for following her instructions. She went around the neighborhood telling the other parents what had happened and also, of course, told the police. I remember a policeman coming to our house and asking me for a description of the man and his car. I’m sure there was increased vigilance in the neighborhood for the next few weeks, but all the kids were out playing the next day. I’m sure it worried my mother greatly, but she never let on. Thanks, Ma. Family psychologist John Rosemond answers parents’ questions on his website at www.rosemond.com.

Auburn Opelika Parents I December 2013

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“Polar Express” Under the Stars

Auburn Parks and Recreation presents the Holiday Outdoor Movie "The Polar Express", the animated feature of the classic children's story. Town Creek Park, Auburn. December 14, 5:30 p.m. Bring your chairs and warm blankets for an evening under the stars! Free to the public. Visit them at www.auburnalabama.org/parks.

2013 Collinwood Luminaries, One Night Only!

Come Write Your Letter to Santa

Christmas will be here sooner than you know it! Have you written your letter to Santa yet? Join the Community Writing Center staff on December 2 from 4:00-5:00 p.m. at the Auburn Public Library, as we write our letters, address our envelopes, and send those letters to the North Pole! www.communitywritingauburn.org.

National Village Christmas Lights

The National Village Christmas Lights display will be held at National Village at Grand National, Opelika, November 23-January 5. Just pull up in the family van or bring a lawn chair! The light display runs throughout the evening. Free fun for the whole family!

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This wonderful driving tour features luminaries throughout the neighborhood that lead to a nativity scene at the end of the tour! The luminaries follow a one-way route beginning on Collinwood Street at the intersection of North Tenth Street and Oakbowery Road. The tour winds through the entire Collinwood subdivision and ends on McLure Avenue. One night, December 17, 5:00-9:00 p.m.

Recycle Your Christmas Tree on December 28

Bring your Christmas tree to the Opelika Chamber of Commerce on December 28, from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. to recycle it. Sponsored by Keep Opelika Beautiful and Opelika Tree Commission.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Hike

Join this fun family holiday event on December 14 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. as we hike around the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve looking for visitors in red. After the hike return to the amphitheater for some hot cocoa at the fire pit. Free admission with donation of canned goods for the East Alabama Food Bank. 707-6512. Auburn Opelika Parents I December 2013

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18th Annual Christmas Cookie Walk for Habitat

We are happy to announce our 18th year Habitat for Humanity annual fundraiser 2013. Each year this event gets the whole community into the holiday spirit of generosity and celebration. Folks come from far and near to buy fresh, delicious, holiday-decorated cookies. Sponsored by Auburn's WeHelp Coalition of churches, it's not an athletic event at all, rather a Sweet one. Our faithful annual shoppers and newcomers "Walk" up and down rows of tables spread with thousands of home-baked holiday goodies, select whatever they want, and pay by the pound ($6/lb). Holiday entertainment, a beautiful quilt give-away, photos with Santa, and so much more is featured at this fun & very worthwhile event. Come early for best selections! Grace Methodist Church near Glenn Dean behind Kroger, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. All proceeds go to benefit our neighbors through building another house right here in Auburn/ Opelika/Lee County!

Christmas on the Coosa

Called the “City of Natural Beauty,” Wetumpka is a quaint, historic town nestled along the banks of the Coosa River and is home to the annual Christmas on the Coosa celebration. The event features activities and events for the whole family. The day-long Christmas on the Coosa celebration, to be held December 14 at Gold Star Park and Riverwalk in Wetumpka, features a quilt and car show, children’s character breakfast, entertainment for children and a showcase for local talent. The annual street parade features over 100 entries and passes along the area for arts & crafts vendors. The evening continues with a boat parade featuring a ski-in by Santa and the ends with a grand fireworks finale. www.wetumpka.com.

Christmas Craft Sale at Celtic Traditions

Join us at our studio on Saturday, December 14th, from 12:00-5:00 p.m. for our Christmas Craft Sale. There will be homemade jewelry, scarves, 31 products, baked goods, wreaths, holiday decorations and more! This is a great opportunity to shop for your loved ones or to treat yourself. If you are interested in having a space to sell your items, contact us ASAP! There is available space but it will go fast! Celtic Traditions, Fredrick Rd., Opelika.

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KidsHealthWatch

Sponsored by Pediatric Associates of Auburn

Bullying: What Role Do Parents Play? He is the child sitting alone at the lunch table with his head held low. Her clothes are a little worn and maybe a little dirty or smelly, too. She talks or walks in a different manner. We know these kids. We see them every day. We pass their families in the grocery store. We move past them to drop our kids off at the bus stop or at school. We huff and walk quickly past or give a wide berth when they are ahead of us. We are compassionate people, but what message do we send to our children by the way we respond to them? Children are masters at interpreting not only our words, but our body language, tone of voice, and unspoken thoughts that play out over our faces. How we respond to these situations influences how our children will respond not only today, but also throughout their lives. Given the current bullying epidemic in the United States, our response in these situations is very important. While we may not be directly or indirectly bullying these children and families, our behavior regarding them teaches our children about appropriate social interaction and behaviors. By altering our responses, we can have a lasting impact on our children’s responses and, over the long term, the bullying epidemic. Bullying, as defined by stopbullying. gov, is repeated, unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying occurs through-

Auburn Opelika Parents I December 2013

out all age groups and in various settings, including but not limited to in person and via social media. The 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System indicated that nationwide, 20% of 9-12 graders have experienced bullying. Based on the easy access to social media and rise in the rate of bullying, this number is likely much higher. In fact, DoSomething.org claims that 90% of children in grades 4-8 have been bullied at some point in their life. Bullying is not unique to the pediatric population. On a survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com in 2012, 35% of workers surveyed stated that they had been victims of bullying at their jobs. Although bullying can happen to anyone, those with special needs, alternative preferences, or low socio-economic status are most at risk. Bullying can take many forms and occurs in a variety of ways, including verbal, social, and physical. Bullying can have far reaching effects on all parties involved, including not only the bully, but also the victims and bystanders. Kids who are bullied are more likely to experience depression, social anxiety, health complaints, and poor academic achievement. Kids who bully others are more likely to engage in risk taking behaviors such as substance abuse and violence. Interestingly, those who witness bullying are also impacted. Statistically they also have higher rates of substance

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abuse, mental illness, and lower academic achievement. So what can we, as parents, do to help stop this epidemic? Change must start with us. We have enormous power over how our children respond to others. We need to be aware of both our spoken and unspoken reaction to others in our environment. We need to make certain that our response is the same response that we would like for our children to have. This monitoring of and, if needed, change to the way we behave is the best gift that we can give ourselves and our children this holiday season. Let’s strive to treat every person around us as a precious gift that is to be celebrated. When we see someone struggling, we should reach out to help. A simple hello or a kind word and smile can go a long way to brighten someone’s day and to help our children see that love and kindness is critical to happiness for all of us. Dr. Rian Anglin, a board certified pediatrician, was raised nearby in Valley, AL. She attended Auburn University were she graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Molecular Biology. Despite her strong allegiance to Auburn, Dr. Anglin graduated from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 2007 with her MD. Her passions in practice include promoting early childhood literacy, reducing toxic stress in childhood, and improving the practice of pediatric medicine through office based research. Dr. Anglin is married to her high school sweetheart, Paul. She is delighted to reside in Auburn with her husband and their two sons.

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Autauga County Schools Ogletree Elementary Birthday Book Club

Ogletree Elementary students who sign up for the Birthday Book Club are treated to a sweet treat and a magic show performed by our counselor, Mr. Brad Hooks. Members also select a new hardback book from a wide selection of fiction and nonfiction books. After being checked out by the students for two weeks, the book goes back on the library shelves as part of our permanent collection.

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Auburn Classical Academy's Day of Culture and Science

Auburn Classical Academy students joined students from Mountain Brook, Hoover, Evangel Classical Christian Academy and others in attending a performance by the Alabama Symphony at the historical Alabama Theater in Birmingham. They heard selections from Mendelssohn, Wagner, Sibelius and more. The performance was followed by an afternoon of fun at the McWane Science Center.

Lee-Scott Academy’s Scholars Place 2nd at Competition

Lee-Scott Academy's Scholars Bowl Team finished 2nd at the Southern Union Scholars Bowl Competition in Wadley on Tuesday, October 22nd.

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Pick Elementary Receives Grants for Outdoor Improvement

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Pick Elementary received a grant from Alabama Power Company for $1,000 to plant trees along our retainment pond area. It is the vision of our teachers to see this area developed as an outdoor classroom space. With a tributary to the Saugahatchee Creek and the beautiful, open surroundings, it is a perfect place to explore and learn. Pictured, Coach Cooper accepts a check from Blue Cross Blue Shield for $7,500 for a fitness trail.

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Red Ribbon Week Contest Winners at Southview Primary

Students at Southview Primary School celebrated Red Ribbon Week by participating in a Poster Contest. The theme for this year was "A HEALTHY ME IS DRUG FREE." Pictured are the 2013 winners. Seated, Marley Vega, Brodie White, Alexander Rivera, Justin Watson, Sara Kate Speakman; Standing, Kodi Preston, Allie Prescott, Kyle Epperson. Auburn Opelika Parents I December 2013

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Smiths Station Crowns Pageant Winners

Katie Zeigler was crowned as Miss Smiths Station's Outstanding Teen and KeLeigh Edwards was crowned as Miss Smiths Station 2014. Katie will compete in the State pageant in March and KeLeigh will compete in the Miss Alabama Pageant in June. The Miss America Organization is one of the nation's leading achievement programs. It is the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women.

Not just another Drink and Paint studio. . We provide art as entertainement for the whole family! Preschool Picasso classes for little ones (ages 2-5), Kids classes (ages 5+), Family classes (All Ages!), & Adult classes (ages 16+)

This year, give the gift of creativity! Gift certificate bundles!

Dean Road Students Combine Pizza and Math

Dean Road's second graders first field trip for the 2013-2014 school year was to the local Cici's Pizza Parlor. The students had the opportunity to create their own pizzas, tour the facility, and then enjoy their very own pizza! The second graders discussed various math skills involved in making a pizza, such as measurement, fractions, and geometry. The students learned that there is much more that goes into the process of making a delicious pizza than they realized. A special thank you goes to Mr. Tommy and the other staff of Cici's for making the adventure such a pleasant one! Pictured are second graders JJ Scott, Olivia Robinson, and Caden Neighbors working on their pizza.

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1 gift certificate: $35 2 gift certificates: $60 3 gift certificates: $85 4 gift certificates: $100

Purchase your gift certificates over the phone or in studio (from 5-6 p.m., Sunday-Sunday)

3051 Frederick Rd., Suite 8 next to Momma Goldberg's in the Shoppes At Midtown

(334) 363-5257 spiritedartauburn@gmail.com

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Autauga County Schools Auburn High School Volleyball Raises Money for Breast Health Services

"Support the Girls" certainly rang true Oct. 15, when Auburn High Volleyball hosted its second "Diggin for a Cure" event. All three volleyball teams came together with a solid group effort which paid off by raising over $4,800 for EAMC Breast Health Services. The Lady Tigers hosted a match against Benjamin Russell at Auburn High School. They sold t-shirts, Chick-Fil-A sandwiches and Gigi's cupcakes and donated all the proceeds toward this worthy organization. The girls received outstanding support from the local community and easily surpassed the fundraising goal. EAMC Breast Health Services offers free screenings, diagnostic mammograms, biopsies and follow-up care to medically underserved women in our local community.

Wacoochee Elementary Fall Festival

On October 15, Wacoochee Elementary students attended the Annual Fall Festival with all Smiths Station schools. This PTO sponsored event included games, a cake walk, a dunking booth, a haunted house, a pony ride, face paintings, and concessions. Fifth-graders Peyton Martin and Erika West enjoyed being with friends, playing games, and getting candy, of course!

2320 MOORES MILL ROAD, SUITE. 250 AUBURN, AL 36830 • (334) 887-0099

Congratulations to the Liles Smiles no cavity winners! (October 1 - October 31, 2013)

Aaron Spivey Abby Holt Addyson King Aidan Uweh Aidan Welch Aiden Neman Aiden Nolan Aiden Salsman Aiden Thomas Alecia Williams Alejandro Reyes Alejandro Rodriguez Alex Body, Jr. Alex Denny Alex Mendoza Alex Wilson Alexia Schwadron Alexis Showers Alexus Mims Ali Correia Ali Gilmore Alicia Peralta Allie Gross Allie Reese Thompson Allison Timm Alyssa Park Anabelle Meade Andrew Barnett Jr. Andrew Harris Andrew Jones Aneri Patel Anet Mendoza Angel Thomas Angelina Jones

Anna Alsobrook Annabella Fowler Annalee Adams Anne Katherine Corley Annie Pedroza Padilla Anthony Ransom 4Anthony Upshaw Areona Wilson Ariel Eldred Arien Spruill Jr. Arvid Sanchez Ashton Keith Aton Upshaw Ava Adkins Ava Dawson Avery Beard Avery Spratlin Bailey Klapp Barrett Moore Baylor Williams Benjamin Eskridge Benjamin Ray Benny Thomas Bentlee Mann Bentley Roland Bladon Brown Brad Litkenhous Brady Forbus Brady McNally Brantley Clegg Brantley Thomaston Brayden Kirk Brelen Martin Brendon Holt

Brent Park Jr. Breyona Kirk Bria Thomas Brian McNeil Brianna Key Briesly Karla Chavez Brighton Ray Brionna McCall Brittani Thrift Brittani Tinsley Brittny Lopez Brock Taylor Brody Buchanan Brycen Credle Brylee Durfy Brylee Householder Bryli Smith Bryson Moon Cady Pridgeon Caiden Pevehouse Caleb Johnson Caleb Kent Caleb Thornton Cameron Turner Camille A. Hoffman Camren Davis Camryn Griggs Carley Forbus Carson Foster Carson Kroepel Carson Stroud Carson Yawn Carter Vann Cash McCard

Cassie Griffith Catrell Piner Charlie Garcia Cheyenne Taylor Chloe Gross Chris Rodgers Christian Brooks Christian Ransom Christien Exum Christine Fuller Christopher Reyes Sanchez Christopher Ring Claire McKay Clarke Ivatt Clay Cooper Clint Wilson Codie A Long Cohen Lyles Cole Tarvin Coleman Griffith Colin Knox Colton Stroud Conteh Warren Cooper Pratt Courtney Wynn Cristian Perez D'Anthony Harper D'Vontae Johnson D'Wayne Guice DaKarey DuBose Dakota White Dakota Zarbaugh Dalton Ruth Bendinger Damarion Swanson

Auburn Opelika Parents I December 2013

Danielle Thomas Danika Sutton Daquantay Swanon Darius Whitlow David Nelson Rhyne Dawson Watson Dayanara Monterubio De'Unte Curtis DeAuntay Graves Delreco Murphy Demetreus Williams Dereon Marshall Donavan Sorrells Dontavius Swanson Dravion Gray Dylan Johnson Dylan Landreth Dylan Raybon Dylan Tapley Dylan White Eduardo Reyes Eli McNally Elley Parker Ellie Prewett Emely Bravo Emily Ray Emma Kate Bearden Emmalyn Griffin Emmie Dowdle Emunah Weaver Ephraim Thornton Essence Key Ethan Campbell Ethan Guice

Ethan Neman Ethan Robinson Euchan Son Fitz Hewitt Gabriel Stone Gabriel Thomas Garrett Rodman Garrett Waller Gavin Yawn Geraldine Leiva Ginger Smith Glenn Kindell Grace Trawick Gracie Rudd Hakeem Pitts Haley Sawyer Hannah Thrash Harris Adams Hayes Baker Hehle Nelms Henry Moon Henry Vaughan Hollis Jones Hudson Olive Hunter Rasnick Hunter Tomblin Hunter Wright Hyunie Kim Ike Hewitt Isabel Schwadron Isabella Peeler Issaiah Bordenave J. Hendricks Rhyne Ja'Kya Zeigler Ja'marcus Lynch Ja'Quavious Holloway Ja'Xavier Dumas JaBrien Taylor JaCarius Gullatte Jack McKay Jack McPherson Jack Whittenburg Jackson Green Jackson Mathis Jackson Milner Jacob Hadaway Jacob Kent

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Jaden Hayes Jaden Jackson Jai' Burton Jaiden Jackson Jaidynn Z. Leonard Jakhia Yancey Jaleigh Taylor James Enos James Hutchinson JaMichael Morris Jamie Collins Jr. Janai Gabriel Janie Humphries JaQuala Tuck Jara Munoz Jasmine Stokes Jasper Rogers JaVantae McClendon Javon Smith Jaxciry Lopez Jaxon Hunkapiller Jayden C. Williams Jayna Raines Jeff Bazzell Jennifer Martinez Jennifer Shim Jeremiah Adenas Jermandrenique Blue Jerry Ambrocio Jesus Martinez Jharai Jackson Jhari Jackson John Ambrocio John Christopher Waters John Hare John Taylor Henry Jonathan Buckalew Jonathan Mackey Jonathan Martinez Jonathon Raines Jordan Cheshire Jorden Davis Jose Vega Josef Meade Joshua Hernandez Joshua Ray Joshua Taylor

Joshue Bryan Journee Whatley Julian Fitzpatrick Julie Hall Justin Alexander Lara Justin Williams K. Porter Dean Kaden Greene Kaidan Griffin-Beatty Kaitlyn Stapler Kalebb Hayes Kaliah Cowan Kamaruis Griffin-Beatty Kambell Fetner Kambriel Wagner Kamden Kirby KaMiyah Wynn Kannon Fetner Kate Campbell Kate Jones Katelyn Strickland Kayden Cochran Kaylee Byrd Kaylei Tucker Kelton Kirby Kendall Allen Kendrick Stinson Kenneth Jones Kensley Carter Kerwin Bravo Keymonie Fields Kira Ogle Kiyleigh Nichols Kolbri Crowell Kourtney Dowdell Kylie Stroud Kylon Warren La'Daisha Nunley LaDarren Barnes LaDell Towns LaMar Towns Landon Nelms Landon Yawn Laney Futral Lange Johnson LaQuinton Boyd Laronzoe Meadows

Lauren Chadwick Layla Gomez Lee McCall Lee Powers Lexzoria Gay Lila Williams Lillian McKee Lillie Rudd Locker Langley Logan Dunaway Logan Luckie Logan Watson Logan Wright London Towns Loronzoe Meadows Lu'Darieus Hale Lucy Huff Lucy Lloyd Luke Gonzalez Luke Langley Luke Rudd Madalyn Clark Maddie Grace Currie Maddison Berry Maddox Beard Madelyn Tarvin Madisyn Stapler Maggie McLeod Makenzie Currie MaKenzie Lee Malachi Nelson Malekai Calloway Malik Benford Malik Exum Maliyha Levett Marcus Philpot Mareuna Keith Margaret McGill Maria Gorriz Maria Reyes Maria Riveria Marin Carter Mark Bazzell Marquavious Hutchinson Marrell Davis Marterrious Hutchinson Mary Charles Corley

Mary Claire Nichols Mary Elizabeth Hadley Mason Griffith Mason Kinard Mason Lehmkuhl Mason Spratlin Matthew Clegg Matthew Gibson Matthew Mottern Matthew Wright Maya Henry Mayno Gabriel McAuley Parker Megan Spurlock Melissa X. Ixmay Melony McCall Memshalyah Weaver Mia Tatum Michaela Knowles Michaela Malik Miranda Correia Molly McGill Molly Smith Monroe Janney Montrevious Poole Morgen Hayes Moriah Henry Mykira Reese Nadia Carter Naleyah Worthington Natalie Ray Nikyia Day Noah Houston Nyasia Chambers Oakley Fetner Olivia Newton Olivia Schaffner Paeden Rivers Paul Thrash Perri Hovey Peyton Mathis Peyton Williams Phileepae Holloway Pierce Griffith Piper Nelson Precious Pennyamon Preston Hunt

Qua'Shawn Harvey Quaniyah Byrd Race Powell Ramsey Chandler Randy T. Ingersoll Raylan Drake Rebecca Segars Reese Hansell Richard Dermilio Roger Antel Perez Rosemary Parker Royzell Drake Jr Rumi Heredia Ryan Drake Rylan Lowery Rylee George Sam Enos Sara e. Dean Sarah Perez Sarina Naureen Sashia Martinez Savannah Jones Sawyer Mathis Semaj Cowan Serena Enos Serenity Denny Seth Garcia Shamir Welch Shamiya Fears Shamond Oliver Shelby Chandler Shinie Kim Sierra Watson Skylah Murphy Skylar Coleman Skylar Graaf Skylar Storm Skyler Harper Sydney Spain Syrinna Holloway Tai Spain Taleah Parker Tanner Woolley Tay Stinson Taylor Alexis Mitchell Taylor Holt Taylor Johnson

Taylor Thomas Taylor Thomas Tayshawn Davis Tehlor Warren Tei Kim Tekyra Thomas Thomas "Jason" Rodenbach Thomas Spurlock Thomas Young Tiffany Turner Timothy Jackson Jr. Toby Forbus Trace Berry Trendon Bordenave Trent Reed Trenton Griffin Trinity Boyd Tristan Tatum Tristan Thomas Troy D. Futral Tyler Coleman Tyler Rasnick Tyler Ruff Tyler Williams TyMirah Woods Tyquavious Barnett Tyson Prince Uriah Jackson Vanessa Chen Vernicia Evans Victoria Redden Wells Simmons Weston Rice Weston Sumner Whit Young Will Whittenburg Willow Wilson Wilson Foster Zaahir Monroe ZaCameron Hayes Zaeyon Fulton Zechariah Eldred Zeriauna Jackson Zion DuBose Zy'Keria Jackson Zykerriah McGhee

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West Smiths Station Characters

Character Day at West Smiths Station Elementary...these 6th graders celebrated Homecoming week in true STYLE! They are Happy Happy Happy!

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Wrights Mill Road Collects Items for Food Bank

Pictured above, Wrights Mill Road’s Student Council collected 1752 food items for the needy. Half went to the Salvation Army, and half went to EA Foodbank.

Dean Road Elementary Kindergartners Visit the Farm

Dean Road Elementary School kindergarten classes have been learning about the farm, pumpkins, and fall. The classes went on a field trip to Lazenby Farm in October. It was a great time! Students rode on a hayride to pick out a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, play in corn, look at the farm animals, and learn about cotton. The students, teachers, and chaperones had a blast learning about the farm!

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Autauga County Schools Early Education Center Auburn Goes Batty

Mrs. Danley's second grade class at Auburn Early Education Center learned about Bats. We learned that bats are the only mammals that fly and that there are two types: Megabats and Microbats. We invited the Bat Lady, Vicki Smith, to visit our school. She is a bat expert who works for Animals A to Z in Georgia. She brought live bats to share. Students learned about the importance of bats in our environment as pollinators, pest controllers, and planters. Students

also learned about echolocation and how bats use it to find insects and other prey at night. We loved learning about these interesting mammals who live in all continents of the world except Antarctica!

Volunteers are Awesome at Opelika Elementary

Parent volunteers at Opelika Elementary Rock Mrs. Dunn's 3rd Grade! Pictured, Mrs. Rice, H.T.'s mom, teaches yoga to the students!

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SEEDS of LEARNING! Technology program for ages 1 & up Solid Rubber Playground Surface reduces injuries Our Character Education program teaches values Healthy menu with fresh fruit and whole grain foods Sign Language for all ages Lower Child:Teacher ratios Video monitoring in all classrooms Infant curriculum customized for your baby Infants through School-Age | Care available from 6:30am to 6:30pm Transportation available to most Auburn schools

644 North Dean Road, Auburn, AL | 334.501.2044

www.growingroomusa.com An independently owned and operated location of the Growing Room Franchising System

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Peace at Richland Elementary

8 Million Lights

15 Dazzling Scenes

1 Magical Night

Richland Elementary School celebrated Healthy Living Week. Pictured are students dressed up for “Peace, Love and Healthy Eating�.

Auburn Classical Academy...Turtles, Lizards & Snakes, Oh My!

Dr. Debbie Folkerts, a professor of Biology at Auburn University, came to the school with several of her "friends." During her visit students were able to learn about, hold, pet and or play with a number of reptiles.

Nov. 22 - Dec. 30, 2013 For reservations and details, call 1.800.CALLAWAY (225.5292) or visit callawaygardens.com/FIL

Lee-Scott Prinicpal and Former Headmaster Inducted in Hall of Fame

Lee-Scott Academy is pleased to announce that Elementary Principal, Nancy McLeod, and former LSA Headmaster, John Meals, were inducted into the AISA Hall of Fame on Monday evening, October 28th.

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Autauga County Schools Brownie Scouts Donate Animal Toys to Humane Society

In September, Girl Scout Troop 7128 Brownie scouts made and donated soft toys for kittens and cats at the Lee County Humane Society.

Title 1 Meeting for Parents

The Annual Title 1/Getting Your Child Off to a Good Start meeting was held September 10th. Presentations were made by the Attendance Office Thomas Sherfield, School Nurse Phyllis Harris, Reading Coach Ginger Weygand and Principal, Mary Patton. This event is coordinated by school counselor, Lola White.

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Kage Fit Kids Win Big with 6 Kids and 15 Medals

The Kage Fit Kids participated in the NAGA Southeastern Grappling Championship in Riverdale, GA on October 26. Out of 6 kids that participated, the Kage Fit Kids brought home 15 medals/swords. Results: La’ Pone Jackson – 2nd & 3rd place in the No GI Expert 49.9lbs and under – 6 year olds and 3rd place in GI Expert 49.9 and under 6 & 7 year olds. Sir’ Vaughn Jackson – 2nd place in both GI and No GI Expert 50 to 59.9 – 7 year olds. Braden Thomas – 2nd place in GI Beginner 60 to 69.9lbs – 9 & 10 year olds and 3rd in No GI Beginner 60 to 69.9lbs – 9 & 10 year olds. Gage Hill – 1st place in No-GI Intermediate 80 to 89.9lbs – 9 & 10 year olds and 3rd place in GI Intermediate 80 to 89.9lbs – 10 & 11 year olds. Brooke Mills – 1st place GI & No GI Novice 45 to 48lbs – 6 year old and 2nd place in GI and No GI Beginner 47 to 49lbs – 6 year olds. Jemil Wilson – 1st place in GI & No GI Beginner Feather Weight 14 & 15 year olds. Pictured, back, left to right: Instructors - Dallas Garst, Shane Mills, Keith Johnson & JT Burque; Middle, left to right - Jemil Wilson, Gage Hill, Braden Thomas; Front, left to right - La' Pone Jackson, Sir' Vaughn Jackson, Brooke Mills.

Wrights Mill Road Student Awarded CIA Award

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Jackson Galbraith, a 4th grader at Wrights Mill Road Elementary, was awarded the CIA Award (Character in Action Award) at WMR and was honored at the Justice Center by Judge Fellows on November 6. Auburn Opelika Parents I December 2013

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Captain Jack Sparrow Visits Ogletree Students

Students at Ogletree Elementary School got a visit from Captain Jack Sparrow on “International Talk Like a Pirate Day”! As part of the visit students were reminded that it is okay to talk like a pirate but not okay to act like a pirate. Students were asked to search for the “treasures” of Honesty and Integrity, Respect, Kindness and A Good Work Ethic. Captain Sparrow appeared on the OES Morning News show where the students heard definitions and examples of the positive character words. Captain Sparrow explained to the students that if they always act with integrity and honesty, kindness and respect they will never be asked to “walk the plank!” Aye, Aye Captain!

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Morris Avenue Students Interpret "Shanti"

"Shanti" by artist Claudia Jane Klein was acted out by the enrichment students at Morris Avenue Intermediate School. Students compared how a writer shows intent and purpose in a written text to how an artist can communicate intent and purpose in sculpture. "Shanti" (Peace) is part of the "Out of the Box" juried sculpture exhibition on display at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.

Wacoochee Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year

Ms. Micki Jones is the Teacher of the Year at Wacoochee Elementary! Ms. Jones, pictured with her first-grade class, has taught 18 years in Lee County. She received a master’s degree in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and a master’s degree from Auburn University in Education. Ms. Jones was a minister of preschool children in several Baptist churches before teaching first grade. Presently, she is a member and a pianist at Farmville Baptist Church. She is a positive, encouraging teacher and is a great friend to many in her school and church community. Congratulations Ms. Jones from your WES family. We are very proud to announce that you are our Teacher of the Year!

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Auburn Classical Academy Students Study Historical Church Architecture

A Christian Studies class from Auburn Classical Academy visited historical St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church at Auburn University in order to study Christianity's influence on architecture in the Middle Ages. 17

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Autauga County Schools Beulah High School Freshman Experience: Introduction to High School

Fine Arts is no longer required for a high school diploma due to new diploma requirements from the Alabama Department of Education. The administration at Beulah High School proposed a new Freshmen Experience class to better prepare its incoming ninth graders for the rigors of high school. The Freshman Orientation class better known as FX is designed to increase students’ persistence and success in high school by providing them with the academic, personal, and life management skills needed to cope effectively to complete their high school course of study to earn a diploma. First offered for the 2013-14 school year, the FX course was created to assist the 9th grade students in making a successful transition to high school. It is an important course to assist with academic success for 9th grade students. This course is designed to contribute a noticeable increase in the number of passing grades earned by 9th grade students on progress reports comparatively to the previous freshmen classes. Studies indicate that most freshmen enter high school being anxious about losing their way, managing more difficult classes, understanding how to calculate GPA, understanding credit bearing classes, arriving to class on time, remembering the location and combination of their locker, and remembering the order of their classes. This anxiety can get in the way of the major issues and have a negative impact on the quality of the learning environment. Success or failure of a smooth transition to high school can have a dramatic impact on the remaining years of education and career path. One study indicates that many decisions to become a high school drop-out are made as early as the first two weeks of high school. Beulah High School is addressing this concern by instituting a comprehensive freshmen orientation program. The feedback from freshmen enrolled in FX and their recent progress report results have been overwhelmingly positive.

Church Home for Trinity Christian School Celebrates 40th Anniversary

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Trinity Presbyterian Church celebrated their 40th anniversary on October 27, 2013. After such an eventful year, this celebration united the church body as they began to look towards the future. Glancing into the past and giving a brief history of the church, we learn that the building that once stood was, less than 50 years ago, a teenage night club. This abandoned structure was sought out by a group of members who had broken away from the First Presbyterian church and were seeking to rebuild a congregation of their own. After much hard work, on February 3, 1974 Trinity Presbyterian Church developed into existence. In fact, many of the founding members of this church are still members today; some even have become teachers at our beloved school. Mrs. Ione Mayfield, whom our information comes from, was not only present when the land was purchased for the church, but has since been an active member in the church, raising her family within it, and serving as our school’s Rhetoric teacher. In addition to Mrs. Mayfield, another very significant person within our school and throughout the church is Mrs. Dianne Rickles. Mrs. Rickles is one of the leaders behind the church’s greatest ministry, and that is Trinity Christian School. She was our school’s original founder and serves today as our beloved fourth grade teacher. These ladies, among other important men and women within the church, have not only created what is such a prominent part of Opelika’s history, but have left a legacy within the church for future generations to live throughout this city. TPC may have experienced a rough patch due to the loss of the building, but they have shown throughout this entire experience their faith in the Lord. Trinity Presbyterian aims to glorify God in all that they do, and the church body’s response to such a tragic event has proven just that. Because of this positive response, it is only fitting to commemorate the works of the church. To celebrate the 40th anniversary, a special service was held on Sunday, October 27 at the Event Center in Opelika. We continue to celebrate the good works of the church and their influence within the community as we look forward to another 40 wonderful years to come. Auburn Opelika Parents I December 2013

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Lee-Scott's Varsity Volleyball Team Named State Runners-Up

The Lee-Scott Academy Varsity Volleyball Team was named State Runners-Up at the AISA State Competition held at Faulkner University on Thursday, October 24th. Pictured (LR): Assistant Coach Kayla Haefner, Emily Scroggins, Ashley Bumpious, Kinsey Rankin, Chelsea Drew, Natasha Richardson, Rachael Barefield, Lauren Williams, Lauren Barbaro, Shelby Slocum, Libby Landrum, Elizabeth Clardy, Adrienne Leonard, Erin Edwards, Savannah Bethune, Graduate Assistant Coach Emily, and Coach Liz Underwood.

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Red Ribbon Week at Wacoochee Elementary

Wacoochee Elementary students participated in Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 28 – Nov. 1. WES students celebrated the theme “A Healthy Me is Drug Free” by wearing red, white, & blue clothes, slippers, and bright colored clothing. Also, they participated in Crazy Hair Day, shown here by fourthgraders Kayla Kaltreider, Magen Stroud, Mary-Carol Graydon, Cadee Lin Vining, and Kieayla Williams. At Wacoochee we are Crazy about Being Drug Free.

Veterans Honored at Wrights Mill Road

Holly R. and her dad stand by Wrights Mill Road Wall of Honor at the Veterans Day Program. Visitors could create their own paper break to honor a veteran.

Beulah High School Honors Veterans at Annual Program

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Beulah High School held its 5th Annual Veterans Day program, sponsored by the Senior and Junior Beta Clubs, welcoming over 60 veterans. Over 600 students joined together with 100+ guests to recognize the largest group of veterans to ever attend the annual Beulah program. Each branch of the armed forces was represented. Beulah welcomed US Navy Chief Officer Romulo Urraca to deliver the program’s keynote address. Chief Urraca was a former resident of the Dominican Republic who moved to New York City in the mid-1990’s. Chief Urraca explained to Beulah students about the obstacles and challenges he had to overcome before making a life and career changing decision to enlist in the Navy. Officer Urraca explained that he was stationed in NYC on the day of the terrorist attack on 9/11. Chief Urraca detailed to students his advice for making a plan to achieve their goals and how fortunate they were to be American citizens. He described growing up without running water or electricity, but yet he was able to find a way to go to college and now he’s most thankful for being an American citizen with a career serving our country in the Navy. Students were reminded that “Freedom is never free.” Members of the Beulah High School Senior and Junior Beta Clubs played prominent leadership roles throughout the program serving as reception greeters, ushers, servers, and guides. Additionally, Beulah students Chloe Cofield, Ashley Remmel, Amanda Remmel, Kerri Robertson, and Destiny Davenport performed for the program. Cofield sang “The Star Spangled Banner”. Ashley Remmel sang “In Flanders Fields” while her sister, Amanda sang “America the Beautiful”. Robertson sang “God Bless America” and Davenport played “Taps” in honor of those Veterans who never made it back home. All of the Veterans in attendance were publicly recognized and Kyle Blackstone, a former Beulah student in the US Army back from a tour in Iraq, made a special presentation delivering an American flag flown from his tour to BHS Principal, Joey Biddle. Other notable leaders also made it a point to attend Beulah’s Veterans Day Program. Those leaders included Senator Gerald Dial, Representative DuWayne Bridges, Lee County Schools Superintendent Dr. James “Mac” McCoy, and former Beulah HS Principal Jerry Southwell. A reception with brunch was held for all Veterans and special guests following the program. We would like to thank the Beulah High School Faculty and Staff for providing the food for the brunch. Over 150 veterans and their guests attended the brunch. We also would like to thank the following local businesses for their support: McDonald’s of Opelika, Party City of TigerTown, and Great Clips of TigerTown. Great Clips provided each veteran in attendance with a coupon to redeem for a free haircut. Pictured, BHS Principal, Joey Biddle receives an American flag from US Army Veteran Kyle Blackstone, a former Beulah student who brought the flag home from being flown on his tour in Iraq. BHS Assistant Principal, David Owen looks on. 19

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Autauga County Schools Opelika High School Students

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Awarded Prizes for Reading

The Opelika High School Media Center celebrated Teen Read Week with a contest that involved participation by students and teachers. Prizes included an Android tablet and gift cards donated by Nelly Romero, owner of Coldwell Banker A&W Real Estate. The contest winners are pictured with Ms. Romero and the OHS Media Specialists (l-r): Linda Lundell, OHS Media Specialist; Josey Sanders; Dian Warren, OHS teacher; Brihana Shealy-Brown; Ben Landers, OHS teacher; Nelly Romero; Taz Holmes and Racquel Springer, OHS Media Specialist.

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Ogletree 5th Graders Study Severe Weather

Andrew Alsobrook and Brady Fuller, fifth grade students in Mrs. Parrish's science class at Ogletree Elementary in Auburn study Severe Weather. They enjoyed working with Twister Tubes as they discussed the vortex of a tornado.

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Lee-Scott Termites End Season Well

Lee-Scott Academy Termites finished with a 7-1 Season. Pictured are LSA Termite players Kyle Hand and Joseph Home.

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Students Paint at Ogletree Elementary for Fine Motor Development

Students in Ms. Mott's classroom at Ogletree Elementary School used q-tips to paint pictures of trees. They were working on fine motor skills. Pictured are Ms. Mott, Maggie, Mrs. Needham, Seoyeon, Tyler, and Jayden.

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WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF

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A concussion is an injury caused by a blow to the head in which the brain moves rapidly and may collide with the inside of the skull. Even a minor fall or collision may be of concern, so be alert to symptoms such as headaches, unsteadiness, confusion or other types of abnormal behavior.

Any athlete with a suspected concussion:

Auburn Classical Academy Explores DeSoto Caverns

Auburn Classical Academy students recently visited DeSoto Caverns as a part of their American History studies on the Spanish Conquest and Hernandez DeSoto. Students enjoyed touring the cave, the laser light show, panning for gems, traversing the maze and a Nerf-ball cannon war.

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ThinkFirst _____________________________________________

Alabama

CONCUSSION CLINIC 205.934.1041 www.Childrens AL.org/concussion IN CASE OF MEDICAL EMERGENCY, CALL 911 OR GO DIRECTLY TO YOUR LOCAL ER

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Autauga CountyStudents Schools Become Certified Beulah in Financial Literacy

Beulah High School would like to publicly thank BB&T Bank for sponsoring the use of EverFi’s Financial Literacy online learning program 100% free of charge. EverFi is a state-approved resource that compliments the learning objectives for the Alabama State Department of Education’s new Career Preparedness course which is required for a diploma for all incoming freshmen. The EverFi program provides students with an understanding of numerous important topics involved in financial literacy. The 10-module, 6-hour program is integrated into the Beulah High School Career Preparedness curriculum and covers over 600 topics including banking, credit scores, insurance, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, taxes, stocks, savings, 401ks and other critical concepts. The system tracks student progress and reports the unique score of each user. Upon completion of the course, students are provided with Certification in Financial Literacy. Certification can be a valuable mark of distinction on resumes and college applications. This has proven to create lasting effects as a community development tool by graduating entire classes of students who are financially capable and literate.

Auburn Education Students Work with Wrights Mill Road Students

3rd graders from WMR in Mrs. Collards class, Caroline G., Anna W., Frances R., Reese G., and Reagan A. enjoy a Holiday rotation with AU students from the college of Education.

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Auburn Classical Academy Tests Water Quality at Hickory Dickory Park

Elementary students from Auburn Classical Academy and Mona Dominguez from Alabama Water Watch teamed up to check the water quality of the stream that runs alongside Hickory Dickory park. Students used nets and magnifying lenses to capture and identify the macroinvertebrates living in the stream. They found the stream in good condition as they caught many "critters" such as caddisfies, craneflies, right handed snails and crayfish that can only live in clean water. Asiatic clams and aquatic worms were also found and all organisms were returned to the stream. Students had a great time learning about the importance of keeping our water clean and exploring the great biodiversity that Alabama has in its streams!

Please send your school news and photos by the 20th of each month to: kendra@auburnopelikaparents.com.

Lee-Scott Academy Serve Day

On Saturday, November 9th, LSA students, teachers and parents participated in Serve Day. Over 125 participants served at seven different locations including Exodus Ranch, StoryBook Farm, Women's Hope, Hattie's Home, LifeSavers Ministry, Ridgecrest and East Alabama Food Bank.

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Autauga CountyShow Schools Smiths Station JV Cheerleaders Spirit at Local Games

During the month of October, the Smiths Station JV and Varsity cheerleaders promoted Breast Cancer Awareness with many activities at the football games. The Cheerleaders asked all fans and students to wear PINK in honor of Breast Cancer month and "PAWS FOR THE CAUSE"! A special half-time ceremony was held at the varsity PINK OUT game on October 18 and at the JV PINK OUT game on October 21.

Please send your school news and photos by the 20th of each month to: kendra@auburnopelikaparents.com.

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Girl Scouts Trick-or-Treat for Food for Food Bank Girl Scouts from Troop 7282 deliver 542 lbs of food to the East Alabama Food Bank after Trick-or-Treating for Food.

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Chef Demonstrates Art of Pumpkin Carving to Wrights Mill Road Students

Richard Mason, Executive Sous Chef at Auburn University and Conference Center, shared the art of pumpkin carving with our class. One was a beautiful leaf, the other was a smiling pumpkin. Pictured with Mr. Mason is his daughter, Naya M., and friend Taylor O.

MMA Team Raises Funds for Muscular Dystrophy

Auburn Mixed Martial Arts' Demo Team performed in front of the Irish Bred Pub on Oct. 30th to help raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association's LockUp fundraising event. Pictured kicking: Gunnar Averhart with Instructor Andy Roberts.

AEEC Trike Day

Trike Ride Day at Auburn Early Education Center! Ms. Donaldson's class shows off their classroom sign and spirit!

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Autauga County Schools Training Dogs at Pick Elementary

Pick Elementary School's 4-H meeting included a lesson on "the best way to train dogs". The students and the dogs loved it!

The Wright Run

Wrights Mill Road Elementary students cheer on the different teams at our annual Wright Run fundraiser, pictured bottom left. Pictured bottom right, Hines Heros enter the Wright Run with a Bang! 5th graders run laps at our annual fundraiser.

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Veterans Day at Lee-Scott Academy

Each year, on Veterans Day, the elementary school holds a special program to honor American veterans and soldiers. A special American flag that had been flown in Iraq and presented to the school several years ago was flown on the campus, as it is each Veterans Day. The sixth grade chorus, led by the elementary music teacher, Mrs. Ginger Key, presented an outstanding program of patriotic songs. Mrs. Suzanne Smith, fifth grade American history teacher, led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. The special guest speaker, Captain Kurt Buchta, who recently returned from 18 months in Afghanistan, spoke to the group on the significance of Veterans Day and facts about the American flag. He presented the elementary school with a framed print of a collage of small pictures of soldiers in his unit in Afghanistan. The program concluded with all present standing and singing “God Bless America,� followed by a prayer.

Volunteers Make a Difference at Boys & Girls Clubs

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Lee County's "Linking Learning" program at the Potter-Daniel Unit, is inviting community volunteers to assist with afterschool tutoring efforts. This week we are proud to recognize THOMAS PETERSON II as "Tutor of the Week"! Great Job volunteering to help our children! Boys & Girls Clubs & the Community thank you!

Auburn MMA Kids Compete at Championship in Atlanta

Auburn MMA kids Competition Team rocked at NAGA Southeast Championships in Atlanta on October 26. We are proud of all our kids for putting it all on the line and competing while learning respect, determination and sportsmanship. Lots of medals and swords were brought back home!

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A Page in a Book by Gerry Paige Smith

The Beauty of Solitude Because our children are growing up in an age of social media, flash mobs and Skype, it’s easy to assume that they will never be alone. But there are times that they will be alone, either by choice or through circumstance, and it’s important that children understand the differences between being alone and being lonely. Being alone gives children the opportunity to hone in on details typically lost in the clatter of company; to appreciate sights, sounds and feelings that can be buried by outside stimulation. Even loneliness has its place in our hearts as it makes our time of reunion and together moments even more cherished and special. The following titles explore solitude, loneliness and alone time with great beauty and sensitivity, helping young readers to appreciate the special times that are theirs, alone.

Snook Alone

by Marilyn Nelson, Illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering (Candlewick Press) Nothing gives Snook more pleasure than his days spent in the company of Abba Jacob, with whom he shares a monastic life on a quiet island. Snook spends every day by Abba Jacob’s side while he works, prays, and gardens: they are a constant pair. But when a violent storm separates them, Snook is left stranded on the island to make his way alone. At first sad and afraid, Snook begins to explore his home on his own. New adventures and elements of the island are Snook’s alone to discover with increasing pleasure while he waits for the return of his friend. Recognizing the fear that comes with isolation, this title offers a poignant balance, celebrating the heightened awareness that comes with being alone. An inspiration for kids who struggle with separation and alone time, this story finds the bright side to being solitary while you wait to be reunited with your companions.

Silence

by Lemniscates (Magination Press) Told from the perspective of a young girl, “Silence” is an expansive exploration of the quiet beauty of being alone. When the girl is by herself, she can hear her heart beating as she runs, her breath moving to and fro. The sounds of her legs swimming, her feet dancing might be lost in a crowd, but when she’s alone, she can hear them like never before. Birds talking, bees buzzing and the wind blowing are not hidden behind the murmur of conversation and company. Being alone among silence gives voice to the quieter sounds, awakening subtle senses that may be rarely used in a world of distractions that demand our attention. The undiscovered pleasures of solitude and silence are everywhere in this breezy and beautiful ode to quiet times and quiet spaces.

by Divya Srinivasan (Penguin / Viking) Octopus is very comfortable in the quiet confines of her cave, watching the underwater world and its beauties float by. But when a group of seahorses discover her refuge (and her), their friendly interest and enthusiasm feel like too much to bear. Octopus quietly goes into camouflage mode and sneaks away. As she slips into the darker deeps alone, Octopus finds herself enjoying the spaces where no one is watching. She twirls, wiggles and somersaults as she revels in the peaceful, quiet darkness. She is comfortable and happy. But after a while, she remembers the sea horses and decides to return – refreshed by the solitude – to get reacquainted with her new friends. Beautifully transitive illustrations celebrate both the lively wonders of the sea and the serenity of the deep ocean. Find more A Page in a Book recommendations at www.PageBookReviews.com.

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Q. What are some good ways to teach a 13-year-old kid about giving versus getting during the holiday season? A. One of the best things you can

do is simply talk about it—a lot. Kids are bombarded with messages about how important they are, and how they should always have what they want. It’s okay to have some stuff, but advertising and other marketing messages in today’s culture can make them think it’s all about them. It can lead kids to believe the axis of the world runs through the tops of their little heads. Think about this. In 1971, the average person saw 564 advertising impressions a day. Now, that number is about 4,000. The purpose of advertising is to disturb and influence you to the point that you’ll buy something. Advertisers want you to believe that you’re not complete without their product, or that you’ll be a happier, cooler, better person with their product. And in most cases, advertising and marketing people are more aggressive in their teaching than parents are in theirs. My suggestion is to find some giving exercises in which you can all participate.

You could adopt a single mom at your church. Make it a family outing, and go buy groceries, gifts for her kids or even a Christmas tree. Make sure your kids are involved physically, mentally and emotionally in the entire giving process. Let them experience the grateful, and sometimes ungrateful, responses that go along with giving. And make sure you do some things that don’t involve money. You could take the entire family to help cook and serve dinner at a homeless shelter. One of the best things we ever did as parents with our teenagers was to send them on mission trips. It truly changed their lives. When you see real poverty close up, when you live and walk and sleep in it day after day—I’m talking about death-and-disease poverty, not the American version—it changes your heart. And when you’re 13, it will change your life forever.

Tips for Surviving Christmas Financially 1. It’s not an emergency. Christmas is not an emergency, it happens every year. Don’t use this as an excuse to overspend and buy things you can’t afford. 2. Make a holiday budget. Make a list of everyone you are buying a gift for, and put a dollar amount by every name. Total it at the bottom. This is your Christmas budget. You can also check out www. mychristmasbudget.com, a free online budgeting tool to help you easily keep the holidays from wrecking your finances. 3. Pay cash. Put the total from your budget in an envelope, and when the cash is gone stop spending. This will help keep you on budget because if you overspend on Aunt Sue, Uncle Harry won’t get a gift! 4. Avoid debt. If you’re running a little short on cash, talk to your family about spending expectations. Draw names, set price limits or get creative. Whatever you do, don’t go into debt. It’s not worth it!

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hat’s happening here? You’re simply trying to connect with your child. And while it seems like he’s brushing you off, he may just be trying to disengage from school business. And your questions prevent that. Or he’s so used to the question rolling off your tongue as a form of greeting, that he doesn’t think you expect a real answer. Rather than push harder for answers to your standard end-of-the-school-day questions, why not try some new conversation primers? Here are 21 ideas to get you rolling: 1. Tell me something that made you laugh. 2. Who did you encourage today? How? 3. Who encouraged you? What did they do? 4. If you had a “do-over” button, which part of your day would you press it on? Why? 5. What are you glad for? 6. Is there anything you missed today? What do you miss about it? 7. Name something you are proud of. 8. If you could be any teacher in your school, which one would you be? Why? 9. If today had a color, what would it be? Why?

10.Who did you sit with at lunch today? What did you talk about? 11. What do you look forward to next week/ weekend/month? 12. Name something you’re good at now that you weren’t last year. What makes it easier? 13. What’s one thing you’d like to learn to do someday? 14. What’s one thing I could do for you or say that would make you feel good? 15. Who do you admire in your class? What do you like about them? 16. When you approach school, who did you look for first? Why? 17. Tell me about one thing you learned today. What makes it interesting? 18. What do you hope to do tomorrow? 19. What part of your day do you wish lasted longer? 20. What’s the best thing about your teacher(s)? 21. What don’t most people at school know about you?

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For fun, write each question on a slip of paper and place in a container near the dinner table or in your car. Each evening pick out a question from the container to ask. Invite your child to add questions of his own to the mix or let him create his own container of questions to ask you. Take turns answering the same or different questions. If all else fails, try posing this final question and see if your child can begin building the bridge from his side of the conversation: What question do you wish I would ask you after school? Some tips on creating an atmosphere that encourages dialog: • Don’t machine gun multiple questions at your child at once. It’s best to only ask one or two questions to get conversation going. Then stop and listen. • Be prepared to answer any question that you ask. And be honest in the answers you give. You and your child can both learn more about each other and what goes on in your day when you create an atmosphere of safety and openness. • Listen carefully to your child. Reflect back what you hear her say. Acknowledge any emotions implicit in the communication. Lara Krupicka is a contributing writer.

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Dance Toys Take Center Stage

Recommending the Best Toys and Products for Kids

From the time they are babies, their innate response to music is just the first step toward kids getting their moves together to join the dance. Wiggling and bouncing are just the beginning of children’s progress toward the dancing spotlight. Encouraging their interest in dance and dance-related activity is an ideal way to foster physical coordination, memory skill and a purely physical expression of joy. Get your kids up and off the couch with these great toys and games that help kids become Lords (and Ladies) of the dance!

by Gerry Paige Smith

Baby Born Dance With Me

Twister Dance DVD (Milton Bradley)

Combining the best of traditional Twister with lively dance lessons, Twister Dance puts in motion a choreography journey with forty dance tutorials for beginning dancers. Once the dance mat, with clearly designated step zones for a single player, is placed in front of your TV, the accompanying DVD is ready to start the dance floor action. Beginning with the Learn mode, an animated choreographer, using the mats, introduces players to the basic steps before moving to Dance mode where the moves are connected with increasing tempo. Once the moves are mastered, Party mode provides music and lights so players can test their dance skills and movement memory. The dancing gauntlet can also be thrown down to include more players using all four dance mats included in the energetic Twister Dance!

(ZAPF Creation)

Start your baby off on the right foot (and the left) with the doll who’s born to dance! Making her move on center stage, Baby Born Dance with Me moves from side-to-side and then up and down in time to her own music (or yours!). Her smooth moves are just right for the toddler set with no sudden moves to startle little audiences. She comes with her own special dance music and dances with the rhythm until the song ends. This 14” tiny dancer can also be connected with an audio cable to your own MP3 player for an expanded repertoire of performance. With a washable surface and removable clothing, she’s battery operated and ready to charm even the most reluctant partners into joining the dance!

Zippity High-Energy Learning System

Angelina Ballerina Dance With Me Game

(LeapFrog)

(Wonder Forge)

Combining early learning with energetic dance moves, Zippity lets kids who may be too young for the Wii develop their memory and coordination through one active outlet. The interactive video game system plugs directly into a TV, with kids using a colorful dance mat and over-sized joystick to control the action! Eight games featuring favorite Mickey Mouse Clubhouse characters get children stepping, dancing, jumping and moving their arms while they hone their ability to follow directions as they master each level. The games assist the players to memorize certain moves in a short sequence, while color, letter, and number recognition are reinforced as the player uses big body moves to meet the Zippity challenges. Ideal for the pre-school set, this addition to the LeapFrog line-up encourages the younger set to get up and moving.

From playing on the board to treading the boards, the Angelina Ballerina Dance with Me game will move little dance fans from bedroom floor to the ballet spotlight in just minutes! As each player’s Angelina figure progresses around the game board, they collect step-by-step game cards that introduce the most basic ballet positions and moves. Players get “practice” moments along the way to get up and put their real dance moves to the test as they prepare for their moment in the spotlight! No matter who wins, every player gets to be a dancing star! (Having dress-up tutus on hand, definitely amps up the fun factor!) For kids who have trouble sitting still through a regular board game, the Angelina Ballerina Dance with Me game will put that extra energy and enthusiasm into play with prima ballerina results!

Paige Smith is a freelance writer and syndicated columnist living in Alabama. More on GET THIS! at www.PageBookMedia.com.

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A Flight Plan For You and Your Home. by Marla Cilley

ParentsMenu ShouldPlanning: Do Their Best, But Not Expect Too Much in Return A Way to Save Real Money We may think it is going to take too long to develop a menu plan for our family. We wait until the last minute to even begin to cook something for ourselves and our family. As a result we throw in the dish towel before we even open the refrigerator door, and we head for the first drive-thru. This drains our pocketbooks and adds unwanted pounds to our bodies. Do you know how much money you have been spending on food for your family? This means in the grocery store and eating out. Most of our income is spoken for by fixed payments: utility bills, phone bills, house payments, car payments and credit card payments. When it comes down to saving real money the only place we have any wiggle room is in our food expense. A little planning today will keep the money in the bank instead of it slipping through your fingers as you pay your toll at the golden arches. Here is a simple way to make your menu plan: Keep a food calendar. All you have to do is pencil in what you had to eat every night. This will help you to build your menus for a week and this is a great start. We are all creatures of habit, so use these family habits to help you build a routine for your meals. Let’s use Sunday as an example. Do you go out to dinner or do you fix a big family meal. If you cook, is it pot roast or chicken? How about Friday night? Are you beginning to see a pattern to your meals? This is why I like to have a theme to each meal for every day of the week. It can either be the type of meat you are cooking as the main course or how you cook it...the grill, crock pot or casserole. Or you could have a country theme...Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Greek, American, or Plain ole Southern country cookin’. You can have some real fun with this and teach your

children how to cook at the same time. Each night you could have a different Kid Chef. You would let your children help decide on the menu, make the grocery list and then help prepare the meal. There is no better way to help a child learn about nutrition and real food. Just teach your child to make a salad and watch them ask for seconds. Knowing what you are going to cook is half the battle. The other half is having

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the food in the house so you can pull it out of the freezer or pantry and fix it. If you have to go to the store you might as well just pass those arches again. This is why having a day set aside to plan menus, take inventory of your refrigerator as you clean it out and then go grocery shopping will help you enjoy cooking with your family again. You will be surprised at how much fun it is to cook when your kitchen is clean, your sink is shining and you have food in the house. Are you ready to feed your family and save money by getting back in the kitchen?

For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, see her website and join her free mentoring group at www.FlyLady.net. Also check out her books, Sink Reflections, published by Random House, and her New York Times Best Selling book, Body Clutter, published by Simon and Schuster. Copyright 2013 Marla Cilley. Used by permission in this publication.

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Are you crafty by nature or do you want to just try a simple craft with your kids? No problem. Pinterest is great resource for both types of crafters to give you ideas with actual pictures of the craft and links to the instructions. And with the holidays, this is a great time to start.

if it is something you are interested in without having to wade through hundreds of search results,” says Melissa Haak, mother and blogger.

Make a Holiday Board

Join Pinterest by opening an account and select a few topics which will become your boards. “You don’t need to have an account or boards to search on Pinterest, but you’ll need an account to save them so you can come back and find them again,” says Haak. By default, you’re given several boards prenamed things like “For theHome” or “Cool Places I’ve

Benefits of Pinterest

Pinterest is a virtual cork board filled with images where you can search and sort for crafts, recipes, fashion, home décor ideas and more. You don’t have to skim through text when you’re searching for a holiday craft idea. It’s all visual. “You can tell right away Auburn Opelika Parents I December 2013

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Been”, etc. Rename your boards with simple themes like ‘Holiday Crafts’. This makes it easier for you to find your pins by category, and for others to search and find your pins. You can itemize each type of craft by having a board named “snowpeople”, “wreaths”, or “ornaments”...or you may want only one holiday craft board. After you’ve set up a few boards, let the searching begin. You can search by topic/category or just scan through the home page. When you “like” or repin an image, another window will pop up showing you who/where else this pin has been stored. You can then click someone else’s board based on similar pins. You can also see who else’s boards they follow, and click onto those boards. By picking areas of interest, Pinterest will show you people who have similar interests. You can use the search box on the top left with words like “Winter crafts for kids” or “Christmas ornament crafts”. Haak suggests you use specific words at first and see what shows up. If this is your first time with Pinterest, you will be amazed with the variety of cute, clever crafts that are extremely simple to try. The pictures themselves can be quite enticing. You will have to play around with the search feature and see what works best for the craft you are looking for. After you’ve logged on to your account, hover the cursor over the red Pinterest and you’ll find broad categories like DIY/Crafts and Holiday/Events. “Searches will bring up one of three types of results: 1. Pins 2. Boards and 3. People,” says Wendy Manganaro, Founder of Social Abundance Marketing. When you find a craft that you’d like to try, click on it twice and you’ll be taken to the website where the pin originated from with supply lists and instructions for the craft. If you want to save the pin, click on the pin and then it will take you to a drop down screen with your various boards. Select your holiday board and click “Pin it!” You’ve pinned your first pin. If you follow a crafty blogger, she probably also pins on Pinterest so you can look her up by searching for her name on Pinterest. Unlike Facebook, you can follow people without asking permission. If you find an adorable picture of a craft and want it to be the board cover which is like an album cover (think facebook photo albums), hover the cursor over the board and click. Pinterest will walk you through how to change it. Changing your board cover is similar to changing your Facebook cover.

Pick a Small Project

If you’re a bit reluctant to try Pinterest because it can be overwhelming at first, just start with one goal in mind. Pick one subject like snowflakes, wreaths or manger craft. Utilize Pinterest as an image search engine, double clicking on pins that look fun and be taken to the site to determine how involved the project will be.

Warning

Like any online game or interest, looking at Pinterest can become a time suck. “Give yourself a time limit on how long you’d like to look at Pinterest before you start, so you actually will have time to do some of the things you are pinning,” suggests Wendy Mangaro. You also don’t have to make every craft you pin this year or ever. Some crafts are just cute and will motivate you to create other crafts. Also, keep in mind that your boards are not private and anyone can look at your board.

Winter Ideas, Too

And remember that after the holidays, there’s a lot of down time for you and your family. Winter craft ideas are abundant on Pinterest. Have your child select a few crafts that she’d like to do after you decide what’s age appropriate for her. Pinterest becomes simpler after you dive in and play around with it. It’s a great organizational tool and resource and will provide you and your kids with hours of ideas. Jan Udlock is a freelance writer, mom of five and might have just found another vice, Pinterest.

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Holiday Happenings Auburn / Opelika 17th Annual Nutcracker Ballet

Presented by the East Alabama Community Ballet. December 13-15, Auburn University Telfair Peet Theatre. There is no more festive way to start the holiday season than by experiencing the holiday ballet classic that is The Nutcracker. www.eacballet.com

Auburn Parks and Recreation

8th Annual Polar Express Holiday Celebration Join the Auburn Arts Association and the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center for the 8th Annual Polar Express Holiday Celebration on Saturday, December 7 at 10:00am and 1:00pm at Kiesel Park. The “train” will depart at 10:00 am and 1:00pm. Activities include arts & crafts, sweets & treats, holiday games, a trackless train, and much more. This event is open to children 12 and under. Children under 5 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Participants are encouraged to wear their favorite holiday pajamas. Tickets will be available for sale Wednesday, November 6 and Thursday, November 7 at the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center from 9:00 am-4:00 pm. The cost is $8 per person. For more information, please contact the Arts Center at 501-2963. Holiday Outdoor Movie “The Polar Express” Saturday, December 14, 5:30pm. Town Creek Park, Auburn. FREE to the public! 26th Annual Daddy-Daughter Date Night Tickets go on sale Monday, December 9, 8:00am at Dean Road Rec Center, $30/per couple and $5 additional child. Dance will be February 7-9, 2013. This is a night for memories! Dads and daughters, enjoy an evening of dancing, refreshments, pictures, and surprises! Put your best foot forward in our dance contest and don’t miss your chance to take home one of several door prizes! Last year, this event SOLD OUT, so be sure to purchase tickets early. Join us for one of three nights of music, memories, and fun! Teddy Bear Tea

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Kids’ Christmas Art Classes. Sign your budding Picasso up for some holiday fun! Classes December 17-23, 11:00am. The Shoppes At Midtown, 3051 Frederick Road Opelika. (334) 363-5257. www.myspiritedart.com/auburn

will also be there for everyone to snuggle up to. Each child will also be presented with a special teddy bear to take home with them. For reservations, 334-844-5140, $25 per person. Gingerbread Village The Hotel at Auburn University in partnership with Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction Master of Integrated Design and Construction Program presents the 2013 Auburn Gingerbread Village. Auburn masters students created the house’s frame work using high-definition LiDAR technology which was transformed by the team at the hotel into the Gingerbread Village. The unveiling will be held Friday, December 6, following the Auburn Christmas parade. Dixon the Elf’s 1st Annual Holly Jolly Holiday Party, Cooking Class & Elf Tuck-In The Fun Begins Friday, December 20-21. Real holiday elves will help children make an elf ornament to take home & hang on their tree! Our skilled culinary team will then assist the tiny chefs prepare “Grinch Greens”, mix & stuff authentic “Reindeer Ravioli” & decorate “Candy Cane Cookies”, all to be enjoyed right there with the Elves & parents. Complete the experience with an Elf “Tuck-In”! Visions of sugarplum fairies will dance in their heads after Santa’s helper reads them a favorite Christmas story & tucks them in with warm holiday wishes & a mug of hot chocolate. Party and cooking class, $50 per child. Or, Party, class, Elf tuck in, $125 per child*(Each additional child is $30), *includes one child accompanied by an adult with accommodations in our standard deluxe room. Limit 3 children per adult; (334) 821-8200 to make your reservations.

The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center

Variations Dance Studio Presents “Nutcracker”

Children and parents alike are invited to the annual Teddy Bear Tea at Piccolo, December 18-22, to gather around the fireplace for tea sandwiches, sweets, tea and hot cocoa. A real live Teddy Bear will also be there for everyone to snuggle up to. Each child will also be presented with a special teddy bear to take home with them. For additional information about the Teddy Bear Tea, please call 844-5140.

Christmas Craft Sale presented by Celtic Traditions

You are cordially invited to Celtic Traditions School of Irish Dance’s annual Holiday Sale. Join the dancers, December 14, 12:00-5:00pm, 2705 Fredrick Road, Opelika. 705-0303.

Clara’s Tea Party

December 6, Saugahatchee Country Club, Auburn. A perfect mother/daughter or grandmother/granddaughter holiday outing! Come dressed in Tea Party Fabulous or Holiday Fancy and mingle with your favorite Nutcracker characters. A beautifully decorated holiday scene provides the perfect backdrop for unique holiday card photos! Children’s holiday craft activities are planned along with delicious tea party fare for children and adults alike. For times and tickets, www.eacballet.com.

Spirited Art Auburn

Teddy Bear Tea Children and parents alike are invited to the annual Teddy Bear Tea at Piccolo, December 18-22, 3:00-5:00pm, to gather around the fireplace for tea sandwiches, sweets, tea and hot cocoa. A real live Teddy Bear and Holiday Elf

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This holiday season, enjoy the magic and beauty of our premiere performances of “Nutcracker”, December 14-15, 2013 at the Opelika Performing Arts Center. Follow Clara into a dream-like world of dancing snowflakes and see all the colorful treats found in the Land of Sweets! Whether

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it is a first-time experience or an annual holiday tradition, don’t miss your chance to reserve your seat at this beautiful holiday ballet! Tickets available now online, www. variationsstudio.com. Nutcracker Character Brunch- On December 8, 2013 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., families can enjoy a special meet and greet with the Sugarplum Fairy and other Nutcracker Ballet characters at Ariccia’s special holiday brunch. In between posing for photos, guests can enjoy Ariccia’s signature brunch. Menu items include a prime rib station, omelet station, dozens of hot and cold entrees, and a Kids Ice Cream Sundae Parlor. The price of the brunch is $21.95 for adults, $9.50 for kids, and free for children under five. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (334) 844-5140. Hosted by Variations Dance.

7th Annual Holiday Art Sale

The Auburn Arts Association, Auburn Parks & Recreation, and the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center will host the 7th Annual Holiday Art Sale on Saturday, December 14 from 9:00 am- 4:00 pm. at the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center. Local artists will be selling paintings, pottery, stained glass, photography, cards, jewelry, hats, scarves, and much more! If you would like to sell your work, applications are available online at www.auburnalabama.org/ arts by clicking on the special events button. Applications are also available at the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center. Free to the public. For more information, please contact the Arts Center at 501-2944 or email Cari Philen, Art Education Specialist, at cphilen@auburnalabama.org. Interested in participating in the Holiday Art Sale as a vendor? Applications are available online at auburnalabama. org/parks.

18th Annual Cookie Walk

Cookies! Cookies! Cookies! For this Habitat for Humanity annual community fundraiser, the whole community gets into the holiday spirit of generosity and celebration. The Cookie Walk gets bigger and better every year. Folks come from far and near to buy fresh, delicious, holiday decorated cookies at this Habitat for Humanity fund raiser, sponsored by Auburn’s WeHelp Coalition of churches. Select from an array of 30,000 home baked holiday goodies for $6.00/lb. Santa will visit for photos! See you early for best selection!

All proceeds go to build a house right here in Auburn! Saturday, December 7, starting at 8:00am-1:00pm at Grace United Methodist Church by Kroger on Glenn Avenue in Auburn.

19th Annual Christmas in a Railroad Town

Friday, December 13, 6:00-9:00pm. The Historic Downtown District celebrates “Christmas in a Railroad Town” in conjunction with the Victorian Front Porch Tour. This event converts Railroad Avenue into a Christmas wonderland festival, featuring all sorts of fun activities for the whole family, along with music, hot wassail and a variety of other holiday treats. Children love the miniature train rides and the time they can spend with Santa and Mrs. Claus; and everyone loves the wagon and/or trolley rides that take folks from the historic downtown district through the Victorian Front Porch tour in an “old fashioned” way.

27th Annual Christmas Bazaar

Sponsored by the United Methodist Women’s Ministry. Saturday, December 7, 9:00am-2:00pm, Auburn United Methodist Church. Shop for handmade crafts, jewelry, ornaments, art, antiques, food and other holiday gifts. Come shop or to register a booth, contact Mary Ellen 209-1462 or aumwbazaar2013@aol.com.

Annual Holiday Poinsettia Sale

The Junior League of Lee County is offering beautiful poinsettias to enhance the holiday décor of any business or home. By purchasing a poinsettia, you are supporting art and literacy programs for Lee County’s Children. 6.5” Poinsettias (6-8 blooms) at $12 each & 10” Poinsettias (18-20 blooms) at $22 each in Red, Ivory, Marble, and Pink. Orders will be taken from October - November 1st, with pick up at Elk’s Lodge in Auburn on December 6-7, or for orders of 10 or more plants, we offer free delivery on November 22 and December 6. If you are interested in placing an order, please contact the Poinsettia Committee at www.juniorleagueofleecounty.com to receive information and a pre-sale form.

Auburn Christmas Parade

The entire community is invited to celebrate the season with the Auburn Chamber Christmas Parade on December

6 at 5 p.m. in downtown Auburn. The parade, sponsored by Thames Orthodontics, will include Aubie, Santa, Christmas characters, live music and lots of other Christmas favorites! Before and after the parade, from 4-9 p.m., enjoy Christmas in the Village, an open house in downtown Auburn. The event will feature pictures with Santa, a live nativity, live music and merchant specials. For float entry forms or more information, log onto www.auburnchamber. com.

BigHouse Presents: A Crafty Christmas

BigHouse Foundation is a non-profit ministry in Lee County Alabama that meets the needs and improves the quality of life for children in foster care. A Crafty Christmas Craft Show for a Cause will be Thursday, November 23, 9:00am4:00pm in The Cotton District, 205 S. 10th Street, in Downtown Opelika. Jingle in the Holiday Season with this opportunity for the public to help raise money for BigHouse while Christmas shopping for gifts and decor from local vendors and businesses. $5.00; kids 12 and under free. www.ourbighouse.org

City of Opelika Christmas Parade

On December 7, festive floats showcasing local groups and business will be parading through downtown Opelika to deliver Christmas Magic to all! Santa and Mrs. Claus highlight the parade’s finale! Find a perfect spot downtown Opelika for seeing the magic at 10:00am.

Collinwood Christmas Luminaries

Collinwood Subdivision shares the season with visitors to its annual Luminaries Tour held one night each holiday season- December 19. This wonderful drive through tour features luminaries along the route that leads to the nativity scene at the end of the tour – reminding us all that Christ is why we have Christmas! The luminaries follow a one-way route beginning on Collinwood Street at the intersection of North Tenth Street and Oakbowery Road. The tour winds through the entire Collinwood subdivision and ends on McLure Avenue.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Hike

Join this fun family holiday event, at the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve Saturday, December 14, 10:00am,

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as we hike around the Preserve looking for visitors in red. After the hike return to the amphitheater for some hot cocoa at the fire pit. Free admission with donation of canned goods for the East Alabama Food Bank . No registration required. 707-6512.

Holiday Wreath Workshop

Join us Saturday, December 7, 2:00-4:00pm, at the Ham Wilson Arena inside the Louise Krehler Forest Ecology Preserve, 2222 North College Street, Auburn, for a fun morning of making beautiful wreaths or sprays with natural elements for your holiday enjoyment. Music and delicious snacks will make the morning festive. Limited to first 25. Choose wreath or spray when registering. Please specify if bringing child and age. Fee: $20 per wreath or spray. Registration is required; 502-4553.

Annual Christmas Tree Recycling

Recycle your Christmas tree with the Opelika Tree Commission and Keep Opelika Beautiful on Saturday, December 28, from 8:00am-12:00pm. Location for drop off is 601 Avenue A, Opelika. Citizens will receive a tree seedling in exchange for the tree.

Loveliest Village Christmas Tour of Homes and Buildings

The Auburn Preservation League (APL) is pleased to announce the 7th Annual Loveliest Village Christmas Tour of Homes and Buildings will be Saturday, December 14, 10am-4pm and Sunday, December 15, 1-4pm. The tour will feature nine homes and buildings in the Auburn area. Tickets for the tour are $20 and are available at Wrapsody in downtown Auburn, The Flower Store in Ogletree Village and the Auburn Chamber. Tickets will also be available at each home on the days of the tour. For more information about the tour, visit www.auburnpreservationleague.org.

National Village Christmas Lights

Bring the family for a festive, Christmas outing! Just pull right up in your car or bring your blankets for the viewing. The light display will be each night from November 23-January 5. For more information on times, please visit www.facebook.com/NationalVillage.

Auburn Opelika Parents I December 2013

Opelika Parks and Recreation

Christmas Crafts Make and take your own Christmas crafts, on December 20, 2:00-3:00pm at the Covington Rec Center. Ages 6-10yrs. Fee: $15. Christmas Wreaths Join us at the Covington Recreation Center, Opelika for an afternoon of decorating Christmas wreaths to hand on your door for the holidays. December 3; 3:30-4:30pm. Ages: 5-12 years. Fee: $15. Rocky Brook Rocket Reindeer Express December 5-6. 5:00-8:00pm. Municipal Park, Opelika. Ages 2nd grade and under invited. Food, hot chocolate, entertainment and train rides through holiday lights. Therapeutics Christmas Ball Celebrate the holidays and feel like a king and queen for the day dressed in your Christmas best! The event is sponsored by Opelika Parks & Recreation and EAMH-MR and will be Friday, December 13th from 6:00-8:00pm at the Covington Recreation Center, 213 Carver Avenue, Opelika. 705-5550.

Santa In Downtown Auburn!

This year, Santa will be visiting downtown Auburn every Saturday in December! Tell Santa your list and then finish yours!

Victorian Front Porch Christmas Tour

Visit an Ole World Christmas wonderland and see more than 60 turn-of-the-century Victorian homes adorned with life-size Santas, angels, toys, and other figures. Enjoy live entertainment, carolers, costumed homeowners and other festivities. December 5-9, in Opelika. Lighted driving tour December 7-13& 15, 5:00-10pm. Walking tour December 14, 6:00-9:00pm. More information, please call 334-8878747. Free event.

Valley /LaGrange 5th Annual Children’s Christmas Celebration

Children are invited to Hills & Dales, LaGrange, Ga.,

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December 14, 9:30am-1:00pm, to see Santa, decorate a gingerbread house and Christmas ornaments, hear stories and songs from Robin Treadwell, visit with Santa and share in fresh cider and cookies. All children’s activities are free. Tours of the home decked out for the holidays are available at regular price. 706-882-3242.

A Christmas Carol

Presented by New Horizon Community Theatre, December 5-7. Tickets on sale now. www.nhct.org Christmas Holidays at Hills & Dales Estate Experience our circa 1940’s tinsel-laden Christmas tree, brilliant Poinsettias and other seasonal decorations during the holiday season. The Fuller E. Callaway family home and the visitor center will be decorated for the holidays from December 6-28, Tuesday to Saturday. Regular tour prices apply. 706-882-3242.

Christmas Village at The Historic Langdale Mill Christmas Village and Merry-Go-Round

Beginning the first weekend in December, experience the spirit of the Season in Historic Valley, Al. There’s the life size Nativity Scene in the meadow, the Madonna lightsculpture, and the Christmas Merry-Go-Round that has given over 1,000,000 FREE rides to children and adults, too. As you take a walk through history, you will be greeted with Christmas caroling and much more festive fun. In 2008, a new tradition was started with the first “A Cotton Mill Christmas” production at Langdale Historical Theater, as local actors tell the history and stories of Valley. Exit 77 and left on US Hwy 29. www.cityofvalley.com

Follow The Shepherds Christmas Walks & Under The Bethlehem Star Light Show

Experience the Christmas story in a whole new way. Join a guide as you walk from Nazareth to Bethlehem, learning new insights into the Christmas story in the most unique, authentic setting surrounding areas, as well as live actors and animals. December 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 24(Friday and Saturday evenings) and Christmas Eve at 6:00pm, 6:30pm, 8:30pm. $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 4-12. Explorations in Antiquity Center, 130 Gordon Commercial Dr., LaGrange. 706 885-0363.

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LaGrange Christmas Parade

December 1, 3:00pm, as an old-fashioned celebration laced with nostalgia, culminates in the arrival of the big guy atop a bucket fire truck. LagrangeChamber.com

LaGrange Symphony Orchestra Concert

The Choral Society of West Georgia, led by artistic director Bettie Biggs, joins the LSO for a special Christmas performance, December 10, 7:30-9:30pm, Callaway Auditorium at LaGrange College. 706-882-0662.

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The most spectacular holiday light and sound show in the south begins November 22- December 30! Nestled amidst wooded landscape of Callaway Gardens, Fantasy In Lights is the Southeast’s most spectacular holiday light and sound show with more than eight million twinkling lights celebrating the holiday season. This spectacular show has attracted almost two million visitors since it opened in 1992. With more than a dozen larger-than-life lighted scenes, Fantasy In Lights remains unique in that its scenes are custom-designed especially for Callaway Gardens–to celebrate not only the joy of the season but the wonder of nature in this idyllic setting. Drive your car or ride the Jolly Trolley to experience scenes like March of the Toy Soldiers and Snowflake Valley. At Robin Lake Beach, enjoy ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ and ‘The Nativity’, light and sound shows enticing passers-by to stop, reflect and enjoy. For tickets, www.callawaygardens.com.

A Cantus Christmas

December 16, 7:30pm. This regularly sold-out tradition tells the Christmas story with musical masterpieces and audience carols. The professional chorus Cantus Columbus presents the eleventh installment of Message of the Season—Music of the Masters in Legacy Hall. The concert features the Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet and tenor Bradley Howard. www.rivercenter.org

“A Christmas Carol: The Musical”

Based on Charles Dickens’ tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and

his magical Christmas Eve transformation and redemption. December 5-7, 12-15, & 19-22, Springer Opera House. www.springeroperahouse.org

Port Columbus’ Victorian Christmas

December 7-8. Our Civil War-era Santa will be on hand for visits and story telling. There will also be Victorian-era entertainment and music. At the conclusion of the day, Santa will fire the original Civil War cannon from the CSS Jackson! The museum is decorated throughout with circa 1863 decorations and trees. Admission to the museum is FREE during the open house. www.portcolumbus.org

Reindeer Run

Ho Ho Ho… Go! It’s the Annual Children’s Miracle Network Annual Reindeer Run! All kids from Pre-k to the 8th grade are encouraged to run. Event scheduled for December 7, in downtown Columbus. www.bigdogrunning.com

“Tuna Christmas”

Celebrate Christmas in Tuna, Texas, with its quick changes, fast-paced humor and heart-warming moments of sincere Christmas joy. Texas’ third smallest town is in the throes of its annual Christmas yard display contest, which promises to have Tuna in an uproar and have you laughing out loud. Columbus’ most popular show ever; over 35,000 served. December 12-15, 19-24, Springer Opera House. www.springeroperahouse.org

Eufaula / Dothan 8th Annual Eufaula Christmas Tour of Homes

Stroll through history and witness the magnificence of Eufaula’s finest homes all aglow in holiday splendor. Enjoy a seated luncheon or an elegant dinner at the grand historical Shorter Mansion. December 7. www.eufaulapilgrimage.com

A Downtown Christmas

Snow, artisans, food vendors, Santa, cookie decorations, marsh mellow roasting, handmade items and lots of art venues for children and families. December 7, 9:00am-

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4:00pm, downtown Dothan on North Foster and Troy Streets. 334-793-3097. thedowntowngroup.com. Free!

Mistletoe Market

Main Street merchants offer goodies to sample and great sales. Also an Artist Walk, and more. December 7, 9:00am5:00pm. Historic Downtown Eufaula. 334-616-6170. Free.

“The Nutcracker”

Southeast Alabama Dance Company presents its 32nd annual performance of this holiday classic. Watch as snowflakes dance, flowers waltz, dolls come to life and the Nutcracker turns into a charming prince. December 6-8; Dothan Civic Center; An evening with The Nutcracker, dinner and performance, December 6. 334-702-7139. www. southeastalabamadanceco.org

Victorian Christmas

Sample turn-of-the-century desserts, sip hot chocolate or mulled cider and try your hand at making traditional Christmas decorations. December 8, 1:00-4:00pm. 334794-3452. www.landmarkpark.com. Free.

Alexander City / Lake Martin An Eclectic Christmas

A unique way to experience Christ this Season! It was the night that saved the world. Sent away because there was not room in the inn, Christmas was born in a stable. Come join us in December to experience the true story of the first Christmas. In the atmosphere of an outdoor walking trail, you and your guests will be part of live drama that is set during the Roman Empire. As you walk through the streets on your way to Bethlehem, you will visit the field where shepherds received the angel’s message and news of the Messiah. Then visit the wise men as they journey in search of the New Born King. The walking tours begin December 4-8, 6pm. This event will take place at 1733 Claud Road Eclectic, Alabama, just south of Eclectic on AL Highway 63. Reservations are suggested and may be made by calling 256.794.7789. Admission is free.

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Annual Hometown Christmas Parade

many pathways or enjoy a brisk ride on the Santaland Express train ride. Visit with Santa nightly, enjoy live entertainment, food, gifts and more. December 5-8, 12-15, 19-31; 5:30- 9:30pm each night. (334) 240-4900; www. montgomeryzoo.com

Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis

Children’s Harbor Christmas Market

8th Annual Interfaith Christmas Nativity Exhibit

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Holiday Open House

One of East Alabama’s largest parades featuring elaborate floats, dancing groups, marching bands, horse-riding clubs and Santa Claus highlight. December 2, 6:00pm. Downtown Alexander City. Over 40 vendors from all over the state sell their unique items. Great time to pick up that special Christmas Gift. 20% of vendor sales go to benefit Children’s Harbor. The Children’s Harbor Lodge, December 7, 8:00am-1:00pm. www.childrensharbor.com

Christmas at Crossroads

Christmas at Crossroads, November 29-December 1, is a great way to get out with the family and friends, do some shopping, take a carriage ride, check off items on your Christmas list and let the kids visit with Santa. Our Naturalist, Marianne typically has a presentation that will interest everyone. Stop by for a visit and bring the kids! Russell Crossroads at Russell Farms Road, www.russelllandsonlakemartin.com

Santa & Mrs. Claus and Tree Lighting

The Alexander City Chamber of Commerce is bringing Santa and Mrs. Claus to downtown Alexander City, December 1, 1:00-4:00pm. Bring the kids and your camera to make your own pictures on Santa’s lap as they let him know what they’d like to find under the tree Christmas morning. The, the Chamber and MainStreet invite Santa & Mrs. Claus to light the Christmas tree in front of the Bud Porch Center at 4:30pm. 256-329-3461.

Montgomery 22nd Annual Christmas Light Festival at Montgomery Zoo

Thousands of Holiday Lights illuminate The Montgomery Zoo in shapes of animals and Christmas themes. See the Zoo transformed into a Winter Wonderland sparkling with thousands of festive lights and decorations. Stroll the

Auburn Opelika Parents I December 2013

Help your family keep the true meaning of Christmas in your heart from the start by attending this Community Celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ. This spectacular event features nativities from around the world and special music by local performers. This magnificent display is sure to warm the hearts of young and old alike. December 4-8, 1:00-8:00pm (Wed-Fri, Sunday) 11:00am-8:00pm (Saturday). 3460 Carter Hill Road, Montgomery. Open to all. FREE Admission. Sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. www.MontgomeryNativity.com

Alabama Shakespeare Festival presents “A Christmas Carol”

ASF revives this family classic, November 29-December 24! The snowy London streets ring with carols that set the stage for Dickens’ magical tale of hope and redemption. Join us as the ghosts of the past, present and future reawaken Scrooge’s conscience. Visit www.asf.net for more information.

Cruising with Santa

December 7. 5k Run or Walk to benefit the Arthritis Foundation Also 1 mile fun run (chasing an Elf) for under 8’s and 1 mile walk for those of us who want to support the Arthritis Foundation. www.jbrmontgomery.kintera.org

Join the MMFA for the 17th annual Holiday Open House Saturday, December 7, 1:00-4:00pm. The day’s activities will include musical performances, horse-drawn carriage rides through the park, festive art-making activities, snacks, and photos with Santa! Free admission with donation of canned goods for the food bank or unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. www.mmfa.org

Old Alabama Town Holiday Open House

Join Old Alabama Town in December to celebrate the holiday season. Our house museums will be authentically decorated for the holidays. December 1-31. www. oldalabamatown.com.

Prattville/Millbrook/ Wetumpka Christmas at the Alabama Nature Center

Cruise the Alabama River with Santa on the Harriott II Riverboat, Downtown Riverwalk. December 7, 12-14 & 20-21. (334) 625-2100.

December 21-22. For the regular price of admission, ANC guests can visit with Santa, hike over 5 miles of trails, make a Christmas craft and enjoy a snack around a roaring fire. 1-800-822-9453.

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum Christmas Open House

Christmas on the Coosa

Come join us, December 1-31, as we celebrate Christmas with our Christmas Open House. www.fitzgeraldmuseum.net.

Governor’s Mansion Candlelight Open House

The 1907 Governor’s Mansion will be aglow with lights and filled with the spirit of the season. December 2, 9 & 16. 5:00-7:00pm. 1142 South Perry Street, Montgomery.

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“A Touch of Christmas Class” Christmas extravaganza with arts and crafts, parade, food, quilt show, classic car show, entertainment and activities on the Coosa River culminating with Santa ski-in and a spectacular fireworks exhibition at dusk. December 14, Gold Star Park & the Courthouse Veranda, Wetumpka. www.wetumpkachamber.com.

Wetumpka Tree Lighting & Progressive Nativity and Luminaria

Lighting of the Tree will be December 5, 6:00pm. Down-

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groups, The Herb Trotman Band, this family-friendly show promises to be Dickens as you’ve never seen it before. www.virginiasamfordtheatre.org

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Alabama Ballet presents George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker”

The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum’s North Pole Express

All aboard! Next stop - the North Pole! “All Aboard” says the conductor, as your train ride begins. Families are sure to enjoy their trip to the North Pole, complete with a reading of The Polar Express™ and chocolate milk and cookies served on board the train. Upon arrival at the North Pole, Santa and Mrs. Claus visit everyone on the train and each child will receive the “First Gift of Christmas”, just like in the story. Sing Christmas carols as you return to the depot. Wear your pajamas! The excursion will last approximately one hour. First class service to the North Pole! The Silver Maple and Kayenta railcars will offer first class service hot chocolate in a souvenir mug, special dessert treat, premium gift and specialized service. Wear your pajamas! November 22-24, 29-30, December 1, 6-8,13-15, & 20-21. For tickets, www.hodrrm.org.

Santa Claus Special at The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum

Santa rides the train with you! Tell him what you would like for Christmas as he poses for photos. Each child will receive a Christmas gift! November 30, December 7, 14 & 21. For tickets, www.hodrrm.org.

Birmingham and North “A Bluegrass Christmas Carol”

December 12-22. A totally new telling of Dickens’ classic tale. This musical version written and directed by Norton Dill is set in the Appalachian Mountains and features the original storyline and characters we all know . . . but they’ve been “mountainized!” With an all-star cast and chorus accompanied by one of the South’s finest bluegrass

Annual performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker™, Alabama Ballet remains one of only seven companies in the world currently licensed to present this holiday classic. All performed to Balanchine’s brilliant specifications; dazzling choreography, opulent costumes, and extravagant sets make this production unlike any other. The addition of a community cast of children from the area make this performance truly magical. Join us December 13-15 and 20-22 at the Samford Wright Center for this joyous spectacle. www.alabamaballet.org.

Christmas Light Show at DeSoto Caverns

Thru December 31. This special light show celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and is shown on every caverns tour. www.desotocavernspark.com

Community Kwanza Celebration

December 26. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. A celebration of the spirit of family and community during Kwanzaawhich means “first fruits of the harvest” in Kiswahili. 6 p.m. www.bcri.org

McWane Science Center

Breakfast in Santa’s Workshop Two dates to choose from: December 8 or 22; 8:3010:00am. Bring your little elves to have breakfast in Santa’s Workshop. Decorate gingerbread houses, have breakfast together, explore the Winter Wonderland exhibit and visit with Santa! Be sure to bring your camera! Ticket includes admission to the museum, breakfast, activities and visit with Santa! Reservations are required. $20 Adults, $15Kids. www.mcwane.org The Magic of Model Trains Exhibit Discover trains of every shape and size inside this popular exhibit which features over a dozen different train displays. Through January 5. Winter Wonderland Snow is in the forecast, November 29-January 5, at

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McWane Science Center this year with the return of the Winter Wonderland exhibit. This magical holiday experience gives families a chance to learn about the science of the season together as they play in the snow, go ice fishing, and watch toy trains zip around the tracks. Inside the snow room, children can make snow angels, build snow castles and more. Children can catch fish through the ice in the ice fishing area. Guests can even sled down the giant slide between the third and second floors in the museum or try the zip line. Families also have a chance to see toy trains of every shape and size zipping around the tracks in the Magic of Model Trains area. This year children will be able to become conductors at one of the new stations. Breakfast in Santa’s Workshop Bring your little elves to have breakfast in Santa’s Workshop, December 14 & 21. Make holiday crafts, have breakfast together, explore the Winter Wonderland exhibit and visit with Santa! Be sure to bring your camera! Tickets also include museum admission. Reservations are required by calling (205) 714-8414. www.mcwane.org

Opera Birmingham presents “Home for the Holidays”

Ring in the holidays with grand style amid favorite carols and Christmas songs performed by the best voices around! Brock Recital Hall at Samford University. December 19, 7:30pm. www.operabirmingham.org

“Santa’s Adventure in the Merrywood Mega Mall”

Presented by Birmingham Children’s Theatre, November 24-December 20. Poor Santa – It’s Christmas Eve and he’s trapped in the gigantic Merrywood Mega Mall. Will he find his way out in time to bring gifts to all the good little girls and boys? Recommended ages 2- 6. www.bct123.org

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

Presented by Birmingham Children’s Theatre, December 3-20, No one wants to be in the annual Christmas play at the local church except six irascible siblings who have never heard the Christmas story. Ultimately, their energy and sincerity triumphs as they make this year’s pageant the best ever! Recommended ages 6-12. www.bct123.org

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“Tis the Season”

Step out of the cold and into a heartwarming holiday show. Enjoy your favorite holiday hits in this cheerful celebration that is sure to spread the humor and joy of the season. December 5-22. Visit www.redmountaintheatre.org.

Floats, giant Helium Balloons & a grand finale featuring Santa Claus. The Atlanta Children’s Christmas Parade begins at Peachtree Street near Baker Street. The route follows Peachtree Street and turns right onto Marietta Street. It will end on Centennial Olympic Park Drive.

Chick-fil-A Bowl Parade

South Alabama and Gulf Coast Arctic Express Christmas Train

Christmas at the Wales West Light Railway is a special family time. The entire railway and surrounding park grounds are totally decorated with over 1,000,000 lights, figures, blow-ups and miles of ribbon & garlands. Our steam powered totally decorated train (Arctic Express) leaves the main station for a mile long trip through a wonderland of lights to the North Pole and return. Visit Santa and receive a handmade wooden locomotive made here at the railway as part of their visit that they can decorate at the arts & crafts table before re-boarding the train. November 29-December 24, 4:00-9:00pm, Silverhill, Al. (near Fairhope, Al.) www.waleswest.com.

Magic Christmas in Lights

From November 29-December 31, Bellingrath Gardens, Mobile is set aglow with more than 3 million twinkling lights, and more than 900 custom-designed set pieces appear in 13 scenes at this popular attraction. Tour the Bellingrath Home decorated in its holiday finery, and on weekends and during the week of Christmas you can have a picture made with Santa.

Atlanta Area 2013 Children’s Christmas Parade

December 7, 10:30am-12:00pm, at Centennial Olympic Park, Downtown Atlanta, Ga. Surprise your kids this year by taking them to see the Southeast’s premier Holiday Parade! The annual Children’s Christmas Parade has been a holiday tradition in Atlanta for years, and features awardwinning Marching Bands, Holiday Themed & Animated

Every year on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 12:30pm, around 30 Bands, Classic Cars, Floats and various other entertainment, parade their way down Peachtree Street to International Blvd., then winds through downtown to Centennial Olympic Park, ending at the Georgia World Congress Center. The Parade makes it’s way through the downtown area to honor and celebrate the Two College Teams that will be playing for the Chick-fil-A Bowl title.

First Night Atlanta New Year’s Eve Festival

December 31, 11:00pm. Peachtree Street, Downtown Atlanta Georgia. This Block Party for thousands offers live musical performances by local artists and musicians, as well as a midnight Fireworks Spectacular. Tickets are available at a variety of local sources. Stay downtown and enjoy the festivities at Underground Atlanta ... enjoy the ‘official’ Peach Drop at midnight - followed by a really awesome New Year’s fireworks display, with live performances.

Holiday in Lights

Centennial Olympic Park’s annual Holiday in Lights is an Atlanta tradition and celebrating its thirteenth anniversary season this fall. In November, the Park transforms into a winter wonderland with thousands of lights that make up the dazzling display. Different and unique every year, Holiday in Lights runs through the first week of January. The Park is open daily, November 19-January 3, to view the lights from 7:00am-11:00pm, including Dec. 25, Christmas Day, and there is no charge for admission. Come celebrate the 2011 holiday season by taking a stroll through the glowing 21-acre Park or a spin around Atlanta’s only outdoor ice skating rink located amongst the glittering lights on the Great Lawn.

Magical Nights of Lights

November 15-December 31; nightly 5:00-10:00pm. Rekindle an old tradition or create a new one at Lake

Lanier Islands Resort’s Magical Nights of Lights holiday celebration. A seven-mile drive through tour of animated, festive, holiday light displays. At the end of your tour, the Holiday Village awaits you with carnival rides and games, pony rides and numerous holiday treats. Warm up with a hot cup of cocoa or step inside Santa’s Workshop for some holiday shopping and a visit with Santa. And nothing gets you in the holiday spirit like a visit to Legacy Lodge & Conference Center for a delectable Magical Nights of Lights dinner buffet, or stay the night so the kids can enjoy the time honored tradition of having Breakfast with Santa. www.lakelanierislands.com

Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park

Snow Mountain is Atlanta’s first snow park! The season opens November 25, 2013-February 17, 2014. Atlanta’s Stone Mountain Park transforms into a winter wonderland with Snow Mountain. Bundle your family up and get ready for snow tubing, snowballs, snowmen and snow angels. Based at Stone Mountain Park’s famous Laser Lawn, Snow Mountain keeps your entire family busy for hours. A 400’ foot tubing hill and a snow play area filled with a blizzard of snow activities make Snow Mountain Atlanta’s not-to-bemissed winter attraction. There’s even a play zone reserved for your littlest snow bunnies. Snow Mountain’s state-ofthe-art snow-making magic guarantees you tons of fresh snow daily. And with two Mountain SnoLifts to get you up the tubing hill, you’ll want to go again and again! www.stonemountainpark.com

Stone Mountain Christmas

Through January 1. There is nothing like the Christmas season that magically transforms Stone Mountain Park into a land of enchantment. Within the glow of more than two million twinkling lights, you can watch live entertainment, engage in fun attractions and reconnect with friends and family during this special time of year. Make a Stone Mountain Christmas a part of your holiday tradition. Events include Wonderland Walkway, Snow Angel Castle, Holly Jolly Cabaret, The Polar Express 4D Experience, Snow Angel Fireworks and Snowfall Celebration, Sleigh Ride, Simply Christmas, Christmas Parade, Visit with Santa Claus, storytelling and live shows, great food and holiday shopping! For tickets, www.stonemountainpark.com. AOP

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Welcome to Riverview Camp for Girls!

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Riverview Refinement, Program, Campfires night,Recognized optional trips and more! We’ve put together everythingCIT you’re looking for in a perfect every camp setting! as one of the Southeast’s best all-around summer camps for girls, Riverview is an oasis of fun, friends and happiness. Spring and Fall &available 2 week Sessions ages to 16... Mother-Daughter Weekends1are also! Registeredfor Nurses and6 Physician on Staff. Entire full-summer staff is First Aid andand CPRFall Certified. Camper/Counselor Ratio 5:1 Spring Mother-Daughter Weekends...

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Call for FREE DVD and catalog 1-800-882-0722 Accredited by American Camping Association • Members of Christian Camping International

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Family Calendar Ongoing:

A2Z Local Homeschooler’s Association For homeschooling families in the Auburn/Opelika Lee County area of Alabama. A2Z Loop is an all-inclusive support group open to all homeschool families in the Auburn/Opelika area regardless of differences in beliefs, cultures, nationality, race, religion, or method of home schooling. For more information call 334-7281162 or email: momofpnk@gmail.com. Alabama Mentor’s Foster Parent Training Classes Offered in the Opelika Auburn area. Call 334-705-8877 x 18 to register or email: Deanna.Hand@thementornetwork.com. Alabama Shakespeare Festival • “A Christmas Carol.” Nov. 29-Dec. 24. Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Montgomery. www.asf.net. Arctic Express Nov. 29-Dec 24. Silverhill, Al. www.waleswest.com. Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts • ”’Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.” Through Dec 23. www.puppet.org. Bosom Buddies (a breast cancer support group) Meets at The Health Resource Center the first Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. (334) 528-1260. www.eamc.org. Callaway Gardens Annual Fantasy in Lights. Nov. 22-Dec 30. Georgia. www.callawaygardens.com. Christmas at the Falls Nov. 29-Dec. 22. Noccalula Falls Park, Gadsden. www.cityofgadsden.com. DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park Christmas Sound, Light, and Water Show. Through Jan. 1, 2014. DeSoto Caverns Family Fun Park. www.desotocavernspark.com. Expressions of a BraveHeart Program A fine arts program for teens and young adults with special needs (ages 11–21), sponsored by Opelika Parks and Recreation, utilizing Auburn University faculty and students, as well as community volunteers. Two 30-minute sessions of art, dance/creative movement and music will be offered and participants will select 2 of the 3 classes. Expressions meets every 2nd and 4th Monday twice a month for 1.5 hours. Opelika Sportsplex, 334.705.5560. www.opelikasportsplex.com. Governor’s Mansion Christmas Open House and Tour Dec. 2-16. Montgomery. Free. 334-241-8824. “Holiday Memories by Truman Capote” Dec. 5-15. The Playhouse, Montgomery. www.cloverdaleplayhouse.org. Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art • JCSM at 10: The First Decade. Through Jan. 4, 2014. • Mickett/Stackhouse: Prints, Drawings, Plans and Models. Through Jan. 4, 2014. • David Henderson Installation: History of Aviation. Through Jan. 4, 2014. Free. Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. www.jcsm.auburn.edu. Lee County Parents of Chinese Children helps children understand, see and grow up with other families that look like their family (white parents/Asian child). The group is 100% free! We try to eat out at Asian establishments monthly and have playdates. Families that are waiting to adopt are welcome! We accept any families with adopted children from all Asian countries. Contact Melody at mmhilyer@bellsouth.net for more information. Magic Christmas in Lights Nov. 29-Dec. 31. Bellingrath Gardens, Theodore. www.bellingrath.org. Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts “Let It Snow!” An Indoor Winter Wonderland. Through Jan. 31, 2014. Gadsden. www.culturalarts.org. McWane Science Center • The Magic of Model Trains, Through Jan. 5. • Winter Wonderland, Nov. 29-Jan. 5. . Laughter is in the air as children coast down the Ice Slide and take a whirl across the room on the extended zip line. Climb aboard the McWane Train and go for a ride or try your luck at ice fishing.Birmingham. www.mcwane.org.

November/December2013

Meditation Garden and Labyrinth Come and Find the Quiet Center... in the Meditation Garden and Labyrinth, provided as a community service by Village Christian Church, 700 East University Drive, (across from Auburn Early Ed.). 334-887-5111. Try the practice of walking meditation or simply sit and enjoy the sights and sounds. The garden and labyrinth are always open and guests are always welcome. Montgomery Ballet www.montgomeryballet.org. Montgomery Performing Arts Montgomery Performing Arts. www.mpaconline.org. Montgomery Zoo 22nd Annual Christmas Light Festival. Dec. 19-31. The Montgomery Zoo. 5:30-9:30 p.m. www.montgomeryzoo.com. National Village Christmas Lights Nov. 23-Jan. 5. National Village at Grand National, Opelika. Noccalula Falls Park Christmas at the Falls. Nov. 29-Dec. 22. Gadsden. www.cityofgadsden.com. North Pole Express Nov. 22-Dec. 15. Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum, Calera. www.hodrrm.or. Old Alabama Town Holiday Celebration Dec. 1-31. www.oldalabamatown.com. Opelika-Auburn Newcomers Club A club for new women in town which offers fun social activities, meets for lunch on the 3rd Thursday of every month. Call Joan at 501-4974. Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes (Touring) Through Nov. 23. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Atlanta, GA. Roosevelt’s Little White House The Honor Tree: A Photographic Tribute to our Nation’s Soldiers. Dec. 6-30. Roosevelt’s Little White House. Warm Springs, Ga. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 706-655-5870 for more information. Rosa Parks Museum • The Art of Pamela Boggs. Through Nov. 31. Rosa Parks Museum Exhibit Hall, Montgomery. www.troy.edu. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Free. “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” Through Dec. 23. The Center for Puppetry Arts. Atlanta. www.puppet.org. Springer Opera House • “A Christmas Carol: The Musical.” Dec. 6, 12-13. • “A Tuna Christmas”. Dec. 12-24. Springer Opera House, Columbus. www.springeroperahouse.org. “A Bluegrass Christmas Carol” Dec. 12-22. Virginia Samford Theatre, Birmingham. www.virginiasamfordtheatre.org.

Parents Support & Moms Groups

Auburn Mommies, a fun group of moms in the Auburn/Opelika area that meet weekly for playgroups and Mommy and Me walking twice a week. We also have a Mommies Night Out once a month. Http:// groups.yahoo.com/group/auburnmommiesinalabama/. Auburn Mommy and Me Big Dog Running Co, Auburn. 10–11 a.m. Social time, story time, music/movement, arts & crafts. Ages 9 months–3 years. Free! 334-209-2580. Auburn MOPS 1st Wednesday of each month, September-May. 9–11:30 a.m. Trinity United Methodist Church, Opelika. Meetings open to moms with preschool children ages 5 years and under. $5 per meeting; childcare $5 per child. $25 yearly membership dues. Weekly playdates, monthly moms night out, resources, and more. www.facebook.com/ AuburnOpelikaMOPS; AUMOPS@yahoo.com. Breast Feeding class meets the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon on EAMC’s third floor. Call 528-1260 to register.

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La Leche League, a support group for nursing moms, meets the 2nd Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. @ CORNERSTONE Family Chiropractic, Airport Plaza, 323 Airport Road Suite E, Auburn. For more information call Josie at 257-3950. Lee County Autism Support Group meets every other month. Call Julie Brown 887-3903 or Florence Evermom 887-5005. Covenant Presbyterian Church on Shelton Mill Road in Auburn. MOMS Club of Auburn, a group of stay-at-home moms that meets about twice a week to provide support for each other and fun interaction for kids. New website is www.auburnmoms.com. Moms In Touch. Do you worry about your children? Come experience how you can replace your anxiety and fear with peace and hope by praying with other moms. Moms In Touch International gathers moms together for one hour, once a week, to pray specifically and scripturally for our children and school. Won’t you join with us in prayer for this next generation? Please contact Julia Farrow at julia@cornerstonebuzz. org for information about our local groups. For more information about Moms In Touch International, visit www.MomsInTouch.org. Single Moms Outreach of East Alabama Single Moms Outreach of East Alabama offers 2nd Saturdays, group classes, and more. Contact Penny Messer at 334-444-6827. Email smoea@bellsouth. net. Website www.smoea.vpweb.com or find us on facebook. Teen Moms (for moms under 20) is a ministry that connects trained adults with pregnant girls and teenage moms. Support meetings, classes, job preparation, devotions and games. Call Laura Fuller at laura@insideyfc.com or 334-501-5637. www.insideyfc.com.

Mom’s Morning Out

Auburn United Methodist Church, Children’s Day Out Program, every Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.–12 noon. $10 per child for the entire morning, $2 each additional child. Attendance will be on a first come-first served basis. Contact Barbara Dawsey at 826-8800 for more information. Trinity United Methodist Church (Opelika) Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:45–12. $15 per child, $5 each additional.

Support Groups

Caregiver Support Group Caring for a family member or friends can be rewarding, but it’s not easy. Whether you are the caregiver for your parents, spouse or a dependent child, this group is for you! Learn ways to cope with every day stresses of caring for someone you love. Gain tools and resources to help you on your journey. This program is supported by the Opelika Sportsplex, Lee-Russell Agency on Aging and HomeInstead Senior Care. This group is open to the public. Meets the last Monday of each month at 12:30 p.m. at Opelika Sportsplex AAC. Instructors are: Valeri White (Sportsplex), Bridgette Sager (Home Instead Senior Care), Lisa Askew (Lee-Russell Council of Gov). Food Allergy Support of East Alabama The Food Allergy Support of East Alabama group offers support through the sharing of information and resources. We are also working to increase awareness of food allergies in the state of Alabama. For more information, visit our website at www. foodallergysupporteastal.org or call Barbara at 334826-3082; bkg2007@bellsouth.net. GRACE - Post-Abortive Support Group Are you struggling with feelings of regret or sadness from having a pregnancy termination in your past? Do you feel like you can’t share these struggles with anyone? Would you like to find healing and forgiveness? You are not alone. Women’s Hope Medical Clinic wants to help you! You are invited to take part in our GRACE abortion recovery group. This confidential

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Family Calendar group gives you the opportunity to process the grief of your termination in a safe and non-judgmental setting. If you would like more information about the times, dates and location for this group, call or e-mail Sherry at Women’s Hope: 334.502.7000 or sherry@ womenshope.org Don’t let the regret of the past rob you of the joy in the future. Call us today.

Sports

Columbus Cottonmouths Nov. 23, 26, 28, 30. Dec. 13, 21, 22, 26, 27. www.columbusciviccenter.org. Auburn Basketball Men’s: Nov. 19, 23, 26. Dec. 19, 22, 30. Women’s: Dec. 3, 6, 15, 18. Auburn Football Nov. 16, 30. Auburn Gymnastics Dec. 5. Auburn Swimming & Diving Nov. 22-24. Auburn Volleyball Nov. 22, 24. www.auburntigers.com

Monday, November 25

Become a Foster Parent! Free Training Class Alabama Mentor, Opelika. 5:30 p.m. 705-8877.

November/December2013

Saturday, November 30 Christmas At Crossroads Russell Crossroads at Russell Farms Road. Free. www.russelllandsonlakemartin.com. 17th Annual Hunter Appreciation Day Arts & Crafts Festival Pine Apple, Al. www.pineapplealabama.com. Prattville Christmas Parade Downtown Prattville. 4:30 p.m. www.prattvilleal.gov. “Ahmal & The Night Visitors” See Nov. 21 for details. Young Eagles Day–FREE Airplane Rides for Kids! Columbus Airport. Ages 8-17. 8:30-11:30 a.m. (weather permitting). 706324-2453. Great Southern Gun Show BJCC, Birmingham. www. ticketmaster.com. Winter Wonderland See Nov. 29 for details. Christmas at Columbus Park Crossing www.columbusparkcrossing. com. Home Depot Kids’ Clinic ‘Holiday Gifting: Make a Small Toolbox’ 9 a.m. Free. Opelika. www. workshops.homedepot.com.

Check out our

Holiday Happenings Guide for many more seasonal events!

Thursday, November 28 90th Annual Turkey Day Classic ASU Stadium, Montgomery. 3 p.m. www. hornethomecoming.com. Ludy’s Christmas Light Spectacular Kickoff 5784 Ironstone Drive, Columbus, Ga. www.ludychristmas.com. 90th Annual Turkey Day Classic ASU Stadium, Montgomery. 3 p.m. www.hornethomecoming.com.

Friday, November 29

Christmas At Crossroads Russell Crossroads at Russell Farms Road. Free. www.russelllandsonlakemartin.com. Friday Football Luncheon Edgar B. Carter Amphitheater, Auburn. 887-8817. Football, Fans, and Feathers Southeastern Raptor Center at the Edgar B. Carter Amphitheater, Auburn. 4 p.m. Jordan-Hare Stadium Locker Room Tours Auburn. 4-6 p.m. Downtown Autumn Nights Downtown Auburn. Winter Wonderland McWane Science Center, Birmingham. Bring your family to the most magical place around this holiday season. Laughter is in the air as children coast down the Ice Slide and take a whirl across the room on the extended zip line. Climb aboard the McWane Train and go for a ride or try your luck at ice fishing. www.mcwane.org. Downtown Pine Mountain Cookie Exchange (706) 663-7721. “A Christmas Carol” Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Montgomery. www.asf.net.

Auburn Opelika Parents I December 2013

An Eclectic Christmas Falk Farm, Hwy 63 S. Eclectic. A walk-through Christmas drama. 6 p.m. 334-578-3301. Reservations requested. Winter Wonderland See Nov. 29 for details.

Thursday, December 5 Rocky Brook Rocket Reindeer Express Municipal Park, Opelika. 5-8 p.m. Ages 2nd grade and under. Evening of entertainment, food, hot chocolate, pictures with Santa, and train rides. 705-5560. An Eclectic Christmas See Dec. 4 for details. 22nd Annual Christmas Light Festival The Montgomery Zoo. 5:30-9:30 p.m. www.montgomeryzoo.com. Christmas Open House Sturdivant Museum, Selma. Free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. www.sturdivanthall.com. “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” Springer Opera House, Columbus. www.springeroperahouse.org. Roots and Boots Touring Concert The Montgomery Performing Arts Centre. www.mpaonline.org. Winter Wonderland See Nov. 29 for details.

Friday, December 6 Sunday, Rocky Brook Rocket Reindeer Express Park, Opelika. 5-8 p.m. Ages 2nd grade and December 1 Municipal under. Evening of entertainment, food, hot chocolate,

Welcome Santa and Tree Lighting Town Square, Alexander City. 1-4 p.m. www.alexandercitychamber.com. Christmas At Crossroads Russell Crossroads at Russell Farms Road. Free. www.russelllandsonlakemartin.com. “Ahmal & The Night Visitors” See Nov. 21 for details. Winter Wonderland See Nov. 29 for details.

Monday, December 2 Become a Foster Parent! Free Training Class Alabama Mentor, Opelika. 5:30 p.m. 705-8877. Hometown Christmas Parade Downtown Alexander City. 6 p.m. www.alexandercitychamber.com. Winter Wonderland See Nov. 29 for details.

Tuesday, December 3

Deck the Halls at Westville, Ga. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Learn how to make 19th century wreaths, swags, fruit boards, kissing balls and more, while decorating the village at the same time! 888-7331850 to register. The Farm House’s Annual Christmas Tea Ellerslie, Ga. 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. www.ilovethefarmhouse.com. Sylacauga Annual Christmas Parade 6 p.m. www.sylacaugachamber.com. Christmas Wreaths Covington Rec Center, Opelika. Ages 5-12 years. $15. 3:30 p.m. 705-5560. Winter Wonderland See Nov. 29 for details.

Wednesday, December 4 The Farm House’s Annual Christmas Tea Ellerslie, Ga. 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. www.ilovethefarmhouse.com.

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pictures with Santa, and train rides. 705-5560. Auburn Christmas Parade Downtown Auburn. 5 p.m. 887-7011. First Fridays ‘Satin Soul’ Event Center Downtown, Opelika. 7 p.m. www.eventcenterdowntown.com. Christmas at Arlington Arlington Historic Home & Gardens, Birmingham. 205-871-1402. “A Chili Country Christmas” We Piddle Theatre, Brundidge, Al. www.piddle.org. Dec 4-8- An Eclectic Christmas. Falk Farm, Hwy 63 S. Eclectic, Al. A walk-through Christmas drama. 6pm. 334-578-3301. Reservations requested. An Eclectic Christmas See Dec. 4 for details. Eclectic Christmas Parade 6 p.m. 334-578-3301. 22nd Annual Christmas Light Festival The Montgomery Zoo. 5:30-9:30 p.m. www.montgomeryzoo.com. Christmas Open House Sturdivant Museum, Selma. Free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. www.sturdivanthall.com. Southeast Alabama Dance Company presents “The Nutcracker” Dothan Civic Center. www.dothanciviccenter.org. Charlie Wilson Columbus Civic Center, Ga. www.columbusciviccenter.org. “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” Springer Opera House, Columbus. www.springeroperahouse.org. First Fridays “Shop Late, Eat Local” Opelika shops will stay open until 8 p.m. www.opelikamainstreet.org. “Hello Dolly” BJCC, Birmingham. www.ticketmaster.com.

Saturday, December 7 Opelika Christmas Parade Downtown Opelika. 10 a.m. Fresh Greenery Holiday Workshop Callaway Gardens. 10 a.m.-12 p.m. $45 per wreath. www.callawaygardens.com.

www.auburnopelikaparents.com

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Family Calendar

November/December2013

Christmas at Westville Lumpkin, Ga. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 888-733-1850. Pearl Harbor Remembered Roosevelt’s Little White House, Warm Springs, Ga. 706-655-5870. Christmas with The Polar Express The Columbus School of Music and Dance, Ga. All Aboard! Children are welcome to come in their pajamas with their blankets and pillows to watch “The Polar Express.” Pizza, popcorn and hot chocolate. 6-10 p.m. (706)561-3342. CSU’s Department of Theatre Presents “A Place Called Christmas” www.ccscc.org. South’s BEST Robotics Regional Championships Auburn Arena. www.southsbest.org. Opelika Chamber of Commerce Annual Christmas Parade 10:00 a.m. Christmas at Arlington Arlington Historic Home & Gardens, Birmingham. 205-871-1402. Alabama Wildlife Center Holiday Craft & Bake Sale Pelham. www.awrc.org. Mistletoe Market Downtown Eufaula. www.eufaulachamber.com. An Eclectic Christmas See Dec. 4 for details. City of Millbrook Christmas Parade & Festival The Village Green, Millbrook. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. www.cityofmillbrook.org. 22nd Annual Christmas Light Festival The Montgomery Zoo. 5:30-9:30 p.m. www.montgomeryzoo.com. Holiday Open House Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. Free. Musical performances, horse-drawn carriage rides through the park, festive art-making activities, homemade cookies, photos with Santa. Guests are encouraged to bring in canned goods for a donation to the Montgomery Area Food Bank or a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. 1-4 p.m. www.mmfa.org. Breakfast with Santa Cheaha State Park. 8 a.m.-2 p.m. 256-488-5115. Southeast Alabama Dance Company presents “The Nutcracker” Dothan Civic Center. www.dothanciviccenter.org. Downtown Christmas Dothan. Free. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. thedowntowngroup.com. Holidays at the Oaks Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site. www.nps.gov/tuin. Holiday Wreath Workshop Sponsored by AU Forest Ecology Preserve. Ham Wilson Arena, Auburn. 2-4 p.m. $25. 844-8091. “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” Springer Opera House, Columbus. www.springeroperahouse.org. The Polar Express Holiday Celebration Presented by Auburn Parks and Rec. Kiesel Park, Auburn. 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Breakfast or Lunch with Santa The Rock Ranch, Ga. www.therockranch.com. Victorian Christmas at Port Columbus, Ga. www.portcolumbus.org. Home Depot Kids’ Clinic Tic-Tac-Toe Game 9 a.m. Free. Opelika. www.workshops.homedepot.com. An Eclectic Christmas See Dec. 4 for details. Children’s Harbor Christmas Market Children’s Harbor Lodge and Conference Center, Alexander City. www.childrensharbor.com. 8th Annual Polar Express Holiday Celebration Kiesel Park. 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets $10. “Hello Dolly” BJCC, Birmingham. www.ticketmaster.com.

Advent Lessons and Carols Cathedral Church of Advent, Birmingham. Free. www.adventbirmingham.org. An Eclectic Christmas See Dec. 4 for details. 22nd Annual Christmas Light Festival The Montgomery Zoo. 5:30-9:30 p.m. www.montgomeryzoo.com. Southeast Alabama Dance Company presents “The Nutcracker” Dothan Civic Center. www.dothanciviccenter.org. Victorian Christmas in Dothan Landmark Park, Dothan. Free. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. www.landmarkpark.com. Victorian Christmas at Port Columbus, Ga. www.portcolumbus.org. “Hello Dolly” BJCC, Birmingham. www.ticketmaster.com.

Sunday, December 8

Reading of the Polar Express Roosevelt’s Little White House. Warm Springs, Ga. 706-655-5870. Christmas On Candy Cane Lane Hilton Terrace Baptist Church, Columbus. 4-7 p.m.

Christmas at Arlington Arlington Historic Home & Gardens, Birmingham. 205-871-1402.

Monday, December 9

Become a Foster Parent! Free Training Class Alabama Mentor, Opelika. 5:30 p.m. 705-8877. Daddy-Daughter Date Night Tickets go on sale Harris Center, Auburn. 8 a.m. $30 per couple/$5 additional child. Girls 12 years and under. Event will be held Feb. 7-9. www.auburnalabama.org/parks.

Tuesday, December 10 Target Free Second Tuesdays Imagine It! Atlanta’s Hands On Children’s Museum. Free tickets available 1-7 p.m., first come, first served as capacity allows. www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org.

Wednesday, December 11 Victorian Front Porch Christmas Tour Downtown Opelika Historic District. Free. 6 p.m. www.opelika.org.

Thursday, December 12 22nd Annual Christmas Light Festival The Montgomery Zoo. 5:30-9:30 p.m. www.montgomeryzoo.com. Victorian Front Porch Christmas Tour Downtown Opelika Historic District. Free. 6 p.m. www.opelika.org. “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” Springer Opera House, Columbus. www.springeroperahouse.org.

Friday, December 13

19th Annual Christmas in a Railroad Town Downtown Opelika. 6-9 p.m. Visit with friends and dine on traditional Victorian era food. Bring the kids to write their letters to Santa, enjoy pony rides, caroling and more! www.opelikamainstreet.org. 22nd Annual Christmas Light Festival The Montgomery Zoo. 5:30-9:30 p.m. www.montgomeryzoo.com. Victorian Front Porch Christmas Tour Downtown Opelika Historic District. Free. 6 p.m. www.opelika.org. “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” Springer Opera House, Columbus. www.springeroperahouse.org. Birmingham Ballet presents “The Mutt-Cracker” BJCC, Birmingham. www.ticketmaster.com. Pink! BJCC, Birmingham. www.ticketmaster.com.

Saturday, December 14

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Marketplace, Kringle’s Krafters, Supper with Santa, Bedtime in Bethlehem. 706-327-3943. Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales Columbus Civic Center, Ga. www.columbusciviccenter.org. 7th Annual Loveliest Village Christmas Tour of Homes and Buildings 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets for the tour are $20 and are available at Wrapsody in downtown Auburn, The Flower Store in Ogletree Village and the Auburn Chamber. www.auburnpreservationleague.org. Ho! Ho! Ho! Hike Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve. 10-11:30 a.m. Join this fun family holiday event as we hike around the Preserve looking for visitors in red. After the hike return to the amphitheater for some hot cocoa at the fire pit. Free admission with donation of canned goods for the East Alabama Food Bank. 707-6512. Breakfast in Santa’s Workshop McWane Science Center, Birmingham. www.macwane.org. Christmas on the Coosa Gold Star Park and Riverwalk, Wetumpka. Christmas extravaganza with arts and crafts, parade, food, quilt show, classic car show, entertainment and activities on the Coosa River culminating with a spectacular fireworks exhibition at dusk. Free. www.cityofwetumpka.com. Holiday Fest Downtown Eclectic. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. 334-578-3301. 22nd Annual Christmas Light Festival The Montgomery Zoo. 5:30-9:30 p.m. www.montgomeryzoo.com. Dashing Through the Springs 5K Run/Walk Shocco Springs Conference Center, Talladega. www.shocco.org. Victorian Front Porch Christmas Tour Downtown Opelika Historic District. Free. 6 p.m. www.opelika.org. Wiregrass Youth Symphony Christmas Concert Cultural Arts Center. 2-4 p.m. Dothan. tristatecommunityorchestra.org. “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” Springer Opera House, Columbus. www.springeroperahouse.org. Astronomy Nights at the Coca-Cola Space Science Center 7 p.m. www.ccssc.org/observatory/astronights. Christmas Craft Sale Celtic Traditions, Fredrick Rd, Opelika. 12:00 p.m. 7th Annual Holiday Art Sale Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center, Auburn. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. 501-2963. Holiday Outdoor Movie featuring “The Polar Express” Town Creek Park, Auburn. 5:30 p.m. Free. www.auburnalabama.org/parks. Fitness Open House Frank Brown Rec Center, Auburn. Free. 9 a.m.-12 noon. www.auburnalabama.org/parks. Family Fun Day at the Columbus Museum, Ga. www.columbusmuseum.com. Breakfast or Lunch with Santa The Rock Ranch, Ga. www.therockranch.com. Second Saturday Lee County Historical Society Museum. Loachapoka. www.leecountyhistoricalsociety.org. Lowe’s Build & Grow Clinic ‘Train Engine’ 10 a.m. Free. Opelika. www.lowesbuildandgrow.com. Christmas on the Coosa Downtown Wetumpka. www.cityofwetumpka.com. Holiday Fest The Warehouse, Eclectic. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. 334-578-3301. 7th Annual Holiday Art Sale Jan Dempsey Arts Center, Auburn. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Dixie Reptile Show BJCC, Birmingham. www.ticketmaster.com.

Sunday, December 15

7th Annual Loveliest Village Christmas Tour of Homes and Buildings 1-4 p.m. Tickets for the tour are $20 and are available

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“A Christmas Carol: The Musical” Springer Opera House, Columbus. www. springeroperahouse.org. Christmas Crafts Covington Rec Center, Opelika. Ages 6-10 years. Fee $15. 2 p.m. 705-5560. Mythbusters BJCC, Birmingham. www.ticketmaster.com.

BSOFN!

[Big Smile On Face Now]

Saturday, December 21

Sensory Sensitive Screening “Walking With Dinosaurs” Presented by The Autism Hope Center and Carmike Cinemas. Carmike Cinemas, Columbus. 11 a.m. www.autismhopecenter.com. Teddy Bear Tea See Dec. 18 for details. “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” Springer Opera House, Columbus. www. springeroperahouse.org. Christmas at the Alabama Nature Center Public Weekend Lanark Park, Millbrook. Make candy over the fire, handmade ornaments, and sleigh ride with Santa and elves. www.alabamawildlife.org.

Sunday, December 22

Teddy Bear Tea See Dec. 18 for details. “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” Springer Opera House, Columbus. www. springeroperahouse.org. Christmas at the Alabama Nature Center Public Weekend Lanark Park, Millbrook. Make candy over the fire, handmade ornaments, and sleigh ride with Santa and elves. www.alabamawildlife.org.

Monday, December 23

Fun Time with Teddy Covington Rec Center. Opelika. Ages 5-10 years. $15. 9 a.m.-12 noon. 705-5560.

334.705.8655 www.bracesbyallen.com

Friday, December 27

Holiday Field Trip to The Montgomery Zoo Meet at Dean Rd Rec Center, Auburn. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. $20 fee. Ages 3rd-6th grade. Pre register, 501-2946. Jay Z: World Tour Philips Arena, Ga. www.ticketmaster.com.

Saturday, December 28 Keep Opelika Beautiful and Opelika Tree Commission Annual Christmas Tree Recycling Opelika Chamber of Commerce. 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Young Eagles Day–FREE Airplane Rides for Kids! Columbus Airport. Ages 8-17. 8:30-11:30 a.m. (weather permitting). 706-324-2453. at Wrapsody in downtown Auburn, The Flower Store in Ogletree Village and the Auburn Chamber. www.auburnpreservationleague.org. Victorian Front Porch Christmas Tour Downtown Opelika Historic District. Free. 6 p.m. “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” Springer Opera House, Columbus. www.springeroperahouse.org.

Monday, December 16 Become a Foster Parent! Free Training Class Alabama Mentor, Opelika. 5:30 p.m. 705-8877.

Tuesday, December 17 Collinwood Luminaries Collinwood Street and 10th Street/Oak Bowery Rd., Opelika. 5-9 p.m. Driving tour features luminaries throughout neighborhood that lead to a nativity scene.

Auburn Opelika Parents I December 2013

Wednesday, December 18 Teddy Bear Tea The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center, Auburn. 3-5 p.m. Enjoy afternoon tea with a life-sized teddy bear. $25 per/ 844-5140 to make your reservation!

Monday, December 30

Totally Sports! Covington Rec Center. Opelika. Ages 5-12 years. $25. 9 a.m. -1 p.m. 705-5560. Holiday Field Trip Bowling and a Movie Meet at Dean Rd Rec Center, Auburn. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $30. Ages 3rd-6th grade. Pre register, 501-2946.

December 31 Thursday, December 19 Tuesday, New Year’s Eve Celebration at Callaway Gardens Teddy Bear Tea See Dec. 18 for details. “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” Springer Opera House, Columbus. www. springeroperahouse.org.

Friday, December 20 Teddy Bear Tea See Dec. 18 for details.

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www.callawaygardens.com. Jamey Johnson Montgomery Performing Arts Centre. mpaonline.org.

Please send your calendar events to kendra@auburnopelikaparents.com by the 5th of the month. It’s FREE! www.auburnopelikaparents.com

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ParentingOnThePlains by Dr. Polly Dunn

Helping Kids of Divorce Adjust One of the most common questions parents have when contemplating divorce is, “How can I make this divorce as easy as possible on my children?” Well, anyone who has gone through a divorce can tell you that it’s usually not easy on anyone, the parents or the children! When parents divorce, research has shown that some children can experience difficulties with anxiety, depression, anger, and other emotional and behavioral issues. Some children experience these symptoms for a brief duration, while others can continue to have adjustment problems for months or even years following a divorce. Researchers have also found that some children do not exhibit measurable emotional or behavioral problems following a divorce, and some kids may even show improvements after a divorce (especially those who come from homes that were considered “high-conflict” before the divorce). So, what’s my point you may ask? That after a divorce kids can either stay the same, get worse or get better? That’s not rocket science. In fact, that’s just the way kids are in general. Different. Every child is different, and how they react to a divorce (or any other difficult circumstance) depends on a lot of things. Their personality, genetic makeup, birth order, temperament, life history, environment, etc., can all contribute to how they react. But another thing that helps make divorce easier (or harder) on a child is the behavior of the parents. Parents have the ability to work towards making their divorce as painless as possible on their kids. But a parent’s behavior can also make divorce pretty painful. Here are a few tips that you can use to ease the burden of divorce on your children:

kids to pick sides. Despite your divorce, your child still loves her other parent. Remember, you wouldn’t want your ex to talk badly about you to your child either. I understand how hard this can be, but do what you can to resist the temptation to talk negatively about your ex-spouse in front of your child. • Utilize your social support network of friends, family members, and other close adults during and after your divorce. If you feel like you need a counselor to assist you, get a referral and set up an appointment. Without the support of other adults, you could end up leaning too much on your child for companionship and

counsel. And children with those adult-like responsibilities often have a much harder time coping with divorce. For more detailed tips like these, check out one of my favorite books for parents going through a divorce, Making Divorce Easier on Your Child: 50 Effective Ways to Help Children Adjust, by Drs. Long and Forehand. Your children will thank you for it, and you’ll feel more assured that you’re helping your child best handle this difficult time in both of your lives. Dr. Polly Dunn received her Ph.D. from Auburn University in 1999. She is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and currently serves as the Director of the Auburn University Psychological Services Center, a position she has held for over ten years. Dr. Dunn is also the founder of www.ChildPsychMom.com where she blogs about what works and what doesn’t in her hectic life as a child psychologist, wife, and mom of four.

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• If you must fight with your ex-spouse, do it away from your kids. I can almost guarantee you that there will be arguments, but your children don’t need to observe or feel stuck in the middle of them. • When you’re with your children, don’t talk badly about your ex-spouse or ask your 47

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Thor: The Dark World

The Book Thief MPAA Rating: PG-13 Overall: B+ Violence: BSexual Content: A Language: B Alcohol / Drug Use: B The MPAA has rated The Book Thief PG-13 for some violence and intense depiction of thematic material. The Book Thief is told from two perspectives--that of Death and a young German girl named Liesel Meminger. In this pre-WWII Germany setting, the Führer is rising to power, inciting the nation to war and beginning his ethnic cleansing. Death knows what is coming; Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) does not. But by the time Liesel arrives at the home of her foster parents on Heaven Street she’s already been through hell. She watched as her younger brother died in her mother’s arms and was buried in a shallow, frozen grave. Then she was unceremoniously left at the home of Rosa and Hans Hubermann (Emily Watson and Geoffrey Rush), never to see her mother (Heike Matatsch) again. The only reason given for Liesel’s abandonment is a whispered rumor that her mother is a Communist, a dirty slur in Hitler’s Germany. The youngster is understandably withdrawn when she arrives. And Rosa, a sturdy, ill-tempered woman can’t be bothered with the girl’s timidity. However Hans takes a gentler approach, kindly welcoming the frightened child into their home and building a bond between the two of them. A short time later, the Hubermanns open their door to another refugee. Max Vandenburg (Ben Schnetzer) is a young Jewish man on the run. His father saved Hans’ life during WWI and now the boy is seeking protection from the family. Knowing the risk they are taking, Hans and Rosa hide Max in their dark basement and swear Liesel to absolute secrecy. Liesel takes comfort in her new family. As well she is befriended by Rudy Steiner (Nico Liersch), a blond-headed boy from next door, who idolizes runner Jesse Owens and is always asking for a kiss. But after Hans teaches her to read, she finds solace and power in words. Unfortunately, as the title suggests, Liesel doesn’t come by most of her books honestly. Nor does she suffer any consequences for her thievery. One of her favorite places to “borrow” from is the home library of the Mayor’s wife, Ilsa Hermann (Barbara Auer). While many other films relate the events of WWII, this one is unusual because it tells the story from the eyes of a German child, not the Jewish refugee, the soldiers or the advancing Allies. Compared to those other movies, The Book Thief is also a sanitized script with only brief depictions of war actions, the beating of Jews, vandalism and some schoolyard bullying that leads to a fistfight. Even corpses pulled from bombed buildings look more like peacefully sleeping bodies than victims of violence. And the script contains only a handful of profanities along with Rosa’s derogatory nickname for Liesel. The film does provide a sense of everyday life for many Germans during Hitler’s reign--those who supported him and those who had to hold their tongues. And, unlike graphic war films, The Book Thief is one that parents can quite comfortably share and discuss with their tweens and teens.

MPAA Rating: PG-13 Overall: B Violence: C Sexual Content: BLanguage: B Alcohol / Drug Use: B+ The MPAA has rated Thor: The Dark World PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content. After appearing in Thor and Marvel’s The Avengers, the hammer-wielding hero from the city of Asgard (played by Chris Hemsworth), has been fighting marauders and restoring peace to the Nine Realms of the universe. Just when Thor thinks things are under control, he discovers his love interest on Earth, Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), has gone missing. Disregarding the commands of his father (Anthony Hopkins), he flies to the blue/green planet just as Jane returns from a ride down a wormhole. From all appearances, she looks fine. But when a group of London police officers try to arrest her, Jane sends them flying with the thrust of her arm. Worried about the mysterious power that has invaded Jane’s body, Thor rushes her back to Asgard just as the evil Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) and his Dark Elves invade the city. Thor soon discovers that Malekith is there to retrieve Aether, the powerful force that now resides within Jane. Once he gets his hands on this evil weapon, Malekith plans to destroy the entire universe, including Earth. And unfortunately, even Thor’s heavy-handed fighting tactics aren’t enough to overcome such a villain on his own. So Thor goes down to the dungeon to solicit help from his imprisoned brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Of course he makes this visit without his father’s knowledge. Don’t expect any deep messages or character development in this script. Thor might not be as hefty or gruff as the Hulk, but he’s not going to win any “man of the year awards” either, unless it’s at a hammer-throwing contest. Rather this film is about action -- lots and lots of loud action. With what seems like even more battle scenes than the first Thor movie, there is an endless parade of swords, arrows and flame-throwing guns. Although it all remains fairly bloodless, the screenplay depicts some graphic stabbings and dismemberment. While the storyline may be missing, the visuals and special effects it offers are impressive. The movie also refuses to take itself too seriously (a nice diversion for those of us who are not into the details of the comic book characters). The inclusion of humor, along with relatively few profanities and only a brief depiction of a nude character with particular body parts carefully pixilated, means the violence will be the biggest concern for families looking for an entertainment option. Thankfully, Thor learned about humility in his first big screen venture. This time he’s just dealing with invaders, familial trust issues and the looming reality of assuming his father’s throne. But that’s still quite a load to carry, even for his bulging biceps.

What Parents need to know about Thor: The Dark World... Violence: Frequent battle scenes involve swords, stabbings, flame-throwing guns and huge explosions -- all of which result in numerous dead bodies lying on the battlefield. Characters are also kicked, punched and slapped. Cars are tossed around and people are thrown against objects. Some scenes depict minor amounts of blood. A dead body is placed on a pyre that is started on fire. A man is seen with a partially charred face after a battle. Dismemberment occurs during a battle. A grenade-like weapon is deployed on several occasions. Sexual Content: A bare-chested man is seen. Characters kiss. A naked man runs around a public tourist attraction (his male anatomy is carefully pixilated). He is later seen wearing a shirt and his underwear. Language: The script contains a few mild profanities, some terms of Deity and a couple of scatological slang terms. Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters drink to celebrate a victory. A woman invites a man to have a drink with her. Auburn Opelika Parents I December 2013

What Parents need to know about The Book Thief...

Violence: Scenes of war violence are shown including bombing raids, explosions, burning and destroyed buildings and an injured man. Several corpses are shown (none are bloody or have discernable injuries). A boy’s nose begins to bleed as he dies. Several characters are bullied. A girl violently punches a boy and gives him a bloody nose after he taunts her. Sexual Content: A boy asks a girl to kiss him on several occasions. Language: The script contains a few terms of Deity and one mild profanity along with repeated name-calling. Alcohol / Drug Use: A man drinks from a liquor bottle.

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Auburn Opelika's 2013 Holiday Happenings Guide is here! Plus, Holiday Crafting with Pinterest and Menu Planning.