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December2017 50

Volume 10 Number 7

Columns

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6 Publisher’s Note Lynn Knighton

8 Living With Children

Pint-Sized Pursuits

Learn the best enrichment opportunities for the preschool crowd.

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Mindful Holiday Magic

Be truly “present” this Christmas by spending one on one time with your kids.

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John Rosemond

16 Kids Health Watch

sponsored by Magnolia Springs Pediatrics

46 Parenting Today’s Teens Mark Gregston

47 Dave Says Dave Ramsey

48 Growing Up Online Carolyn Jabs

Holiday Happenings Guide

Parades, lights, musicals and more...to brighten your season.

Show Yourself Some Love

52 Get This!

How to mindfully bust out of a hyperactive lifestyle.

Gerry Paige Smith

71 A Page in a Book Gerry Paige Smith

On The Cover

Departments

Willow Madeleine Watson (2), daughter of Andie and Woodrow Watson IV. Proud grandparents are Terrie Watson, Woodrow Watson III, Tania Silva & Amitai Silva. Willow likes to color, paint and read books. She loves playdates, Mickey Mouse and all animals!

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Bits and Pieces 18

School Bits 72

Family Calendar 76

Movie Reviews

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Publisher’sNote The Eastern Shore’s Foremost Parenting Source

I am a list maker. I love making lists, and I love checking things off my list even more. Sometimes my mind is so full of things to do, people to see and places to be that if I don’t make lists, I get overwhelmed and nothing gets done. Lists keep me sane. I am grateful for a Priority Management class I attended during my banking days. The class taught me how to make lists and prioritize items in to A, B, and C categories. The number one rule was to only use pencil. Pencil keeps your list flexible. As parents we can all relate to lengthy to-do lists and over-booked calendars, especially this time of year. If we are honest with ourselves, it can, at times, make us feel important and needed. However, many times these to-dos leave us over-worked, over-stressed and under-rested. I am sure we have all had days where we just wanted to throw the lists out the window and take our family away to deserted island. It is hard for us moms to find that place of balance. We want to be involved, but how much is too much? As you will read in Christa Melnyk Hines’ article, How to Mindfully Bust Out of a Hyperactive Lifestyle, it is important to our mental and physical health to find that happy medium. That does not mean our children can’t be involved in extracurricular activities, but we don’t have to be team mom of every team and room mom for every class. Think back to your childhood. Are you favorite memories filled with rushing out the door and grabbing dinner in the car? If your childhood memories are anything like mine they are filled with dinners at the table, the time the dog ate Dad’s Christmas present and talking your brothers in to playing Barbies with you. When our kids are grown, I hope they will have the same kinds of memories. Cutting back the hyperactive lifestyle can help us do just that. With less stress and more room on the calendar, we can make time to truly be present with our children. Laura Lyles Reagan has provided a nice list of activities we can enjoy with our children this Christmas in her article, Mindful Holiday Magic. I love that she recognizes the irony of making a list of “spontaneous” activities, but having the list and items on hand ahead of time to make the activity much more relaxing and fun. If you’re in the mood to get out of the house for some holiday quality time with the family, make sure you flip to page 58 where you will find the Holiday Happenings Guide. It is filled with Santa sightings, parades, holiday concerts, and more! You will even find snow and ice-skating in the listing, so clear off some of those non-essential to-dos and enjoy some time with family and friends this holiday season. Wishing you a holiday filled with an abundance of peace, joy, and great times with family and friends! Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

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

Publisher Lynn Knighton lynn@easternshoreparents.com Editor DeAnne Watson deanne@easternshoreparents.com Associate Editor Kelly Watson Research Editor Christa Weinberg Contributing Writers Mark Gregston Christa Melnyk Hines Carolyn Jabs Sarah Lyons Dave Ramsey Laura Lyles Reagan John Rosemond Robert L. Rux, M.D. Gerry Paige Smith

Cover Photography Stephanie Hanway www.StephanieHanwayPhotography.com

President Jason Watson jason@easternshoreparents.com Advertising Opportunities Lynn Knighton Danielle Nicholas ads@easternshoreparents.com (251) 929-2099 Accounts Manager Eleanor Williams Ad Design Tim Welch

Visit us online at www.easternshoreparents.com

Lynn

Eastern Shore Parents magazine is published monthly by KeepSharing, LLC. Mailing address: P.O. Box 374, Montrose, Alabama, 36559. The phone number for voice and fax is (251) 929-2099. Eastern Shore Parents is copyrighted 2017 by KeepSharing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in Eastern Shore 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.

lynn@easternshoreparents.com

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LivingWithChildren by John Rosemond

Zero Tolerance for a “Sassy Mouth” Q: Our 8-year-old has suddenly developed a very sassy mouth. She picked this up from a new neighborhood friend who speaks to her mother in a very disrespectful tone, like she’s the girl’s servant. There are no other girls this age in the neighborhood, so I hesitate to put a stop to the relationship but at the same time I want to nip this new skill in the bud before it becomes habit. Do you have any suggestions?

A:

First, there are reasons to forbid a child a certain association, but this is not one of them. Assuming you make it perfectly clear that you will not tolerate similar behavior from her, there is great potential benefit to allowing your

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

daughter to witness this other child disrespecting and disobeying her mother. Second, understand that while part of this is explained as “monkey see, monkey do,” your daughter is conducting an experiment. She has seen the mother’s passive reaction to her daughter’s back-talk and wants to find out what your reaction is going to be. In effect, she’s asking, “Do all adults just ‘take it’ when children disrespect them?” When my daughter Amy was around your daughter’s age, she developed a friendship with a girl who talked to her mother, a single parent, like she was an underling. Thinking that her daughter was angry about the divorce or some such nonsense (following a divorce, it is not uncommon for parents to unwittingly extend some form of behavioral entitlement to children), the mother did nothing but occasionally complain. One day, Amy returned from playing with this friend and began acting like she was possessed by the child’s demons. Determined to nip her sass in the bud, I took her to her room and told her she was staying there for at least an hour, during which time she was to “find the real Amy inside of you and let her come

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back out because so-and-so is not allowed to live here.” The next few times she came home from playing with this friend, either her mother or I asked, “Are you Amy or sassy so-and-so?” She would say, “I’m Amy,” upon which we would say, “Then you may come in.” It was a somewhat playful but completely serious way of sending her the intended message: to wit, you can play all you want with the sass-bucket who lives down the street, but you will not carry home any sass from the bucket. That rather libertarian approach allowed Amy the freedom to see her friend’s relationship with her mother with new eyes. She even began reporting to us, incredulously, incidents she had witnessed while at so-and-so’s house. That simply confirmed that we had acted rightly by not prohibiting the relationship (thus increasing the likelihood of some form of rebellion). Eventually, Amy realized that she and this other child had little in common and she moved on. Family psychologist John Rosemond answers parents’ questions on his website at www.rosemond.com.

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10th Anniversary Event "The Chocolate Affair"

Family Promise of Baldwin County announces the 10th annual fundraiser, “A Chocolate Affair" to be held Thursday, December 7 from 6 – 9 p.m. at the Daphne Civic Center. This exciting event hosts an evening of fun, featuring live and silent auctions, chef’s choice from the Original Oyster House and Carrabba’s, live music by Charles “Bo” Grant (formerly from the Platters), heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts galore! This will be a great opportunity to pick up some unique Christmas items and bid on fun getaway packages. Tickets are available now for $25 per person by visiting our website, www.familypromisebc. org, by calling the office at 251-947-5641 or email Jamie.fpbc@gulftel.com. Proceeds from the event benefit Family Promise of Baldwin County, a community response to the issue of homelessness in Baldwin County, specifically homeless families with children.

Rotary Youth Club Pancake Breakfast

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"A Christmas Story"

Presented by South Baldwin Community Theater, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralph Parker, who spends most of his time dodging a bully and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle.” Frequently at odds with his cranky dad but comforted by his doting mother, Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact. Show dates and times are December 1, 2, 8 & 9 @ 7:30 p.m. December 3 & 10 (Sunday) @ 2:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online at www.sbct.biz or at the box office Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The Rotary Youth Club of Fairhope Point Clear celebrated a new school season with its first ever "Pancake Breakfast" fundraiser at the club. Hundreds of parents, donors, supporters and volunteers gathered for breakfast provided by the Fairhope and Point Clear Rotary Clubs. More than 120 children ages 5 - 18 are part of the club's after school program, with 18 4-year olds now part of the club's new First Class Pre-K Classroom. The club also celebrated local veterans on the Veterans Day event - many of them grandfathers of club members.

Baldwin County Sewer Service Ornament Decorating Contest

Baldwin County Sewer Service (BCSS) is excited to announce the kick off of our Christmas ornament decorating contest. Baldwin County children in grades K-12 are eligible to submit handmade Christmas ornaments for a chance to win prizes for themselves and for their schools. To be eligible for the contest, ornaments must follow all contest rules that are listed on the entry form and on BCSS’ website. Ornaments must be submitted for judging by BCSS by December 18. The primary requirement is that the ornaments should incorporate the water drop from the BCSS logo or the BCSS mascot, Crystal Clean. A winner will be chosen from each age group and awarded $100 each: Grades K-3, 4-8, and 9-12. Each winner’s school will be awarded $500 to be used as needed. All submissions must be accompanied by the entry form found on the website, BaldwinCountySewer.com/Ornament-Contest or include the child’s contact information and school. For more information contact Jenny Williams at (251) 971-1516 or jenny@ baldwincountysewer.com. Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

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35th Annual Christmas Fest

The 35th Annual Christmas Fest will be held December 8 and 9 in downtown Bay Minette, and vendor booths are open 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Santa will make his grand entrance tossing out 500 ping pong balls, 100 of which will be redeemable for prizes on Saturday. Friday's activities will include the lighting of the Christmas tree in Blackburn Park, Santa's arrival and performances by local talent. Bedtime Stories with Santa will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Bay Minette Public Library. The Modern Eldorados will be performing at 6:30 Friday evening. The fun continues Saturday with more time for shopping, entertainment, Kids’ Zone, antique car show, toy drive. The parade begins at 1:30 p.m. at Bay Minette Elementary School. For more information find us on Facebook - North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce and look under Events. www.easternshoreparents.com

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SCORE Soccer Complex Campaign

New fields with top-quality turf, shiny new nets and a concession stand make Fairhope’s new Soccer Complex a giant leap for the community’s longtime soccer programs. But players and parents still lack sidewalks, shade, and safety fencing essential to a first-class tournament-ready complex. The campaign to complete the complex – SCORE! – is underway to change that. “We need concrete sidewalks and expanded parking already – as our program is growing each season. The fields are fantastic, but we still have limited benches just for players. Most importantly, we need safety fencing to keep balls from flying between fields and onto Manley or CR 13. As large as this complex is, additional restrooms are a must. And if we want to host the kind of tournaments other cities are recruiting, we need bleachers as well,” according to FSC President Dirk Flad. Fairhope’s tournament play already offers an economic impact of close to $1.5 million per event following a National Association of Sports Commission formula for lodging, food, gas and more when players, coaches and families are in town over a weekend. For more information on how you can help SCORE – The Campaign for the Fairhope Soccer Complex, visit www.fairhopescores.com.

New Campaign to Fight Hunger in Fairhope

One Town – One Family – One Day Partners The Fairhope Store and Prodisee Pantry The Fairhope Store and The Orange Beach Store are partnering with Prodisee Pantry this holiday season in a campaign to support a critical but often silent need in our community – hunger. “For just $20, we can feed a family of four for a week,” said Executive Director Deann Servos. “While canned food drives and other projects are wonderful, we can stretch dollars so much further. A grocery basket that would cost you $260 for a Thanksgiving meal we can provide for 1/5 the cost.” “One Town – One Family – One Day” will encourage a donation of just $5 – enough to feed a family of four a healthy holiday meal. Diners at participating local restaurants may add $5 to their restaurant tab as a direct donation to Prodisee, receiving the familiar Fairhope Store “pier” sticker in return. “I saw a similar campaign in another city not long ago, and was struck by this simple message,” offers Lisette Normann of the Fairhope Store. “Prodisee is a treasure in this community – it’s stunning how many families are depending on them every week to put any food at all on the table. And these are our neighbors.” Prodisee Pantry is a faith-based non-profit community ministry providing emergency food and disaster relief for 18,000 families a year throughout Baldwin County. Since its founding in 2003, over 110,000 families – or 275,000 individuals – have depended on Prodisee as a weekly “hub” for food and more at its distribution center on Hwy 31 in Spanish Fort. The “One Town –One Family – One Day” campaign will run through the end of December including Orange Beach as well. Fairhope’s Panini Pete’s, Sunset Grille and Dragonfly kick off the restaurant partnerships in Fairhope – with more being added daily. Additional restaurants and merchants will be posted to The Fairhope Store and Orange Beach Store social media throughout the month.

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Original Oyster House Spectacular Sunset Contest

It’s no secret that the Alabama Gulf Coast claims the most breathtaking sunsets in the area and to confirm this, the Original Oyster House is running a contest to find the best sunset photo taken from either of its two waterfront locations on the Mobile Causeway or in Gulf Shores. If you are a sunset enthusiast, please enter to win dinner for two ($50 value) and other fun prizes including Original Oyster House tote bags filled with goodies. The promotion began November 1, and ends December 31, 2017, at 9 p.m. To enter, participants must be 18-years or older and visit either Original Oyster House location during sunset. The participant must take a photo of the sunset in or outside the restaurant and post it on Facebook.com/OriginalOysterHouse with the hashtag #OOHSunset. Winners of the OOHSunset contest will be selected by the Original Oyster House restaurants. Facebook likes of the sunset posts and/or creativity of the sunset posts can improve a participant’s chances of winning. Participants can campaign for likes, by tagging after posting to the Original Oyster House Facebook page and sharing the post on their own Facebook pages. Winners will be notified via Facebook Messenger. Your photo post on Facebook confirms your contest entry.

Wales West Arctic Express Kicks Off November 24

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The thirteenth Annual Arctic Express will hit the rails Friday, November 24th, at Wales West Light Railway in Silverhill. The Arctic Express will take passengers on an authentic steam train ride through the Park while enjoying a vast snowy, winter wonderland with over ONE MILLION Christmas lights, inflatables, and light displays. At the "North Pole", the children will sit with Santa, get photos made, and whisper what they want for Christmas! Children will receive a free wooden train or train whistle and decorate a seasonal craft. Back at the train station, refreshments of hot cocoa, cookie and candy cane will be served to all in the big, decorated tent. Adults and children can enjoy a ride on the miniature train, and also on the Grinch ‘sleigh’ around the decorated park, or play on the playground. Wales West Light Railway will be open Friday- Sunday from 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., November 24 through December 10; starting December 11, they will be open daily through December 24 from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Admission is only $15 per person, plus tax; children two or younger are free. Tickets are available for purchase online at WalesWest.com.

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Celebrate Young Authors

Metro Mobile Reading Council and the Mobile Public Library are sponsoring two publications for Young Writers, “2018 Both Sides of the Bay Teen Literary Magazine” and “2018 Young Authors’ Anthology”. “The Young Authors’ Anthology” is for Baldwin and Mobile County students in grades 2-5. The focus this year is on poetry! However, entries may also include short stories, fiction, or non-fiction. All work must be the original work of the student. Students may also enter one original color or black & white drawing. Entries must be no more than 500 words. All entries must be emailed by January 31, 2018 to youngauthorsmobile@yahoo.com and must also have a parent signed submission form. All submissions must be submitted in Microsoft Office format or pasted in the body of an email. For a copy of the submission form please email youngauthorsmobile@yahoo.com or call 251-391-5376. “Both Sides of the Bay” Teen Literary Magazine is for students in grades 6-12. Poetry, essays, and short fiction will be considered for publication. All work must be appropriate for readers of all ages, and be the original work of the student. Students may also enter one color drawing or photograph or one black & white drawing or photograph. All pieces submitted must be no longer than 750 words. All work submitted must be original and written by or drawn by the student who submits it for publication. All entries must be emailed by January 31, 2018 to youngauthorsmobile@yahoo.com and must also have a parent signed submission form. For a copy of the submission form please email youngauthorsmobile@yahoo.com or call 251-391-5376. These publications will be ready for distribution at our Young Authors’ Conference and Teen Writing Fair in March 2018. Magazines may be pre-ordered for $5.

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Junior Cotillion Holds Five-Course Instructional Dinner

Sixth grade students of the National League of Junior Cotillions, Eastern Shore Chapter, had their instructional dinner at The Grand Hotel on November 14. Students enjoyed a wonderful dinner while Chapter Director, Kathy Sternenberg, walked them through the proper etiquette to employ during each part of the meal. The National League of Junior Cotillions Eastern Shore program features etiquette, character education, and social dance training for sixth grade children living on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. The program includes classes and events over a seven month period. For more information, please go to www.nljc.com/chapter/easternshore or contact Kathy Sternenberg at 251-928-4962.

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Tickets on Sale for Dollar General Bowl Game, VIP Buffet, and Mayor’s Luncheon

Mobile Ballet Announces The Nutcracker 2017

Mobile Ballet’s lavish production of “The Nutcracker” will be held Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10 at the Mobile Civic Center Theater. This annual holiday tradition for the Gulf Coast region will premier a new production of “The Nutcracker” and will feature a cast of more than 100 including special guest artists Maizyalet Velazquez and Luca De-Poli of Cincinnati Ballet. Students from the Mobile Ballet school in both Mobile and Daphne also will be seen scampering across the stage as mice in one of the ballet’s most humorous scenes. Ticket prices start at $20 with an additional discount for children, students, seniors 65+ or military ID. There are three performances, including a 2:30 matinee and 7:30 p.m. performance on Saturday, December 9 and a 2:30 matinee on Sunday, December 10. Tickets can be purchased at www. mobileballet.org or Mobile Ballet Box Office at (251) 342-2241.

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

Tickets for the 19th Annual Dollar General Bowl game are $15 for end zone seats and $45 along the sidelines. The game will be played Saturday, December 23, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and will be televised nationally on ESPN. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. CST. Game Day will kick off with the Wind Creek Fan Fest beginning at 4 p.m. in the Ladd-Peebles Stadium parking lot. Entertainment and games will be available free for fans. The Fan Fest area will also host the Pre-Game VIP Buffet. Tickets for the buffet are $15 per person. The Dollar General Bowl Mayor’s Luncheon will be held Friday, December 22, at the Mobile Convention Center, starting at 12:00 p.m. Individual tickets for this event are $30, and tables of ten are $300. The Mayor’s Luncheon will feature a special guest speaker, Mayor Sandy Stimpson, the participating Dollar General Bowl teams, and Champion of Life honorees. All tickets can be purchased online at www.dollargeneralbowl.com/tickets or by calling 251-635-0011.

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KidsHealthWatch

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Sponsored by Magnolia Springs Pediatrics

Are You Ready for Flu Season? Hey guys! School is in full force and the cool weather is here. So, do you know what that means? That’s correct, flu season! Thousands of Baldwin County school children have missed numerous school days in the past few years and it’s going to start early this year! Let’s review the flu vaccine and how it may affect your family this year! The flu vaccine is recommended for any child aged 6 months to 19 years and for any adult persons aged >19 years; women who will be pregnant during the influenza season; persons who have chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular, renal, hepatic, hematological or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus); persons who have immunosuppressant (caused by medications or by HIV); persons who have any neurological condition that can compromise respiratory function or the handling of respiratory secretions or that can increase the risk for aspiration; residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities; health-care personnel; household contacts and caregivers of children aged <5 years and adults aged >50 years, with particular emphasis on vaccinating contacts of children aged <6 months; and, household contacts and caregivers of persons with medical conditions that put them at high

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

risk for severe complications from influenza (cdc.gov). So basically, anybody over 6 months of age and anyone who takes care of a child, especially under 6 months old, should get the vaccine. So, what are your options? There used to be two main types: the shot or the intranasal spray. However, they found out over the past few years that the flu mist did not really work at all, so it’s not even available! So- the shot is the way to go. The only reasons to not get one are if anyone is allergic to the flu shot itself or currently has a febrile illness. Of course, discuss any of these options with your healthcare provider. The last thing to talk about is the reasons why people elect to not get vaccinated. Of course, the choice is yours, but I really encourage my parents to get vaccinated, especially if they have children under 6 months of age. While an adult might claim “I never had the flu shot and I’ve never had the flu!,” anything is possible and you might be putting your child at risk. The other question I hear frequently is about the flu vaccine not working! The flu vaccine each year is composed of the flu strains that are predicted to be the most common culprits for the disease. Unfortunately, since the vaccine cannot contain every possible strain, there have

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T w y been years where the vaccine wasn’t as effective as past years. Every year, there are a few patients who received the flu shot, but still got the flu. But, we have had a lot more with the flu who did not have the vaccine at all! However, it was interesting that people who did receive the flu vaccine and still got the flu had significantly less symptoms and serious complications than those who did not receive the vaccine. And, last, but not least, you cannot get the flu from the flu shot! So, I encourage you all to go to www. cdc.gov/flu and check out the numerous links about flu symptoms, flu treatments and medications. Never hesitate to talk to your local healthcare provider about this or any other topic and remember- flu shots are safe and do work! Flu shots are already arriving at doctor offices now, so call and get fixed up today! And, remember to wash your hands. Robert L. Rux, M.D. is a Board Certified Pediatrician at Magnolia Springs Pediatrics. Originally from Mobile, he attended medical school at The University of Alabama School of Medicine (UAB) and completed residency at The Children’s Hospital of Alabama (UAB). He is married to Jaime and has three children, Adler, Walker and Mary McAtee.

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Don’t let PAIN keep you from enjoying the holidays. The licensed physical therapists at BenchMark are musculoskeletal experts who are trained to get you moving and feeling better faster. Let us focus on your full recovery so you can focus on what matters to you.

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Fairhope (251) 928-9619 • Gulf Shores (251) 943-0803 West Mobile (251) 631-3680

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Autauga County Schools

OBES Favorite Storybook Characters

Silverhill Readers Rewarded with Ice Cream!

Mrs. Kimberly Edwards and her first grade students at Orange Beach Elementary enjoyed celebrating Halloween as their favorite storybook characters. Mrs. Edwards was Snow White with eleven little dwarfs. We had characters from Disney Descendants, Charlotteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Web, Dr.Seuss, Minecraft, and even a Mad Scientist!

Silverhill Elementary partnered with Cream & Bean Ice Cream Shop in Silverhill to help reward our readers. Students were rewarded for participating in the Summer Reading Bingo and any Public Library Summer Reading program. A huge thank you is extended to Cream & Bean for helping Silverhill Elementary help promote a love of reading!

Robertsdale Peer Helpers Support Sponsor During Breast Cancer Battle

Rosinton Elementary School's Giving Garden

The 2017-2018 Peer Helpers shared a special day with their sponsor, Sara Parker. October 20 was dedicated to Mrs. Parker as she is battling breast cancer herself. Here the Peer Helpers are shown with Mrs. Parker in their "Support Parker" shirts.

Amber Nelson, teacher at Rosinton Elementary School began a school Garden Club this year. With donations from parents, teachers and staff, and Mr. Kelley from South Baldwin Center of Technology this club is blooming. The club has also received an award from Baldwin EMC. The Star Light Award will help buy more supplies and materials for the club. Each and every member of Baldwin EMC who participates in Operation Round Up is responsible for our success and ability to give back to our students and community. We look forward to our next club meeting and for the opportunity to bless each of you with our hard work and dedication.

Daphne East Elementary AR T-Shirt Design Contest Winner

The second annual PTO Daphne East Elementary AR t-shirt design contest, as chosen by Mayor Haygood, is Sophie West. Sophie is a 6th grade student. Her design will be worn by all students who earn their shirt this year. Way to go Sophie. Your design rocks! Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

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Daphne High School Veterans Day Assembly

Daphne High School was host to the Daphne Veterans Day program on November 9. DHS hosts the yearly event in their gym to avoid cancellations due to weather. The program was open to the public, student body, and area veterans. MSG Eric Marshall (RET Army), father of DHS student Joseph Marshall, was the guest speaker, focusing on his experiences while serving. The choir sang the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Armed Forces Medleyâ&#x20AC;? to honor all branches of the military. The student body gave several standing ovations throughout the program to show their appreciation. Eight DHS students were recognized for already committing to serve in the military. Patrick Kelly (Navy), Zachary Johns (Navy), Joi Reid (Air Force), Alyssa Yarbra (Navy), Carter Brouillette (Army), Sean Capps (National Guard), Reagan Garlock (Army National Guard), Zachary Fernandez (Navy), Michael Martinez (Marines), and Robert Croft (Marines). A ceremonial flag folding by Pat Rudicell (US Army RET & City Council Member District 2) and SRO Officer Kayl (USAF Reserve), followed by the playing of TAPS by Jacob Breakfield of the DHS band brought the program to conclusion.

Send School News and Photos to: lynn@ easternshoreparents.com!

GSMS Volleyball Team Named 2A Champions!

Congratulations to the Gulf Shores Middle School 8th Grade Volleyball Team for earning their spot as 2A Champions!

FMS Honoring Those Who Have Served

Fairhope Middle School recently held its annual Veterans Day program. Sponsored by the Kiwanis Builders Club, the program included performances by the FMS 8th grade band, concert choir, and guitar classes. During the program, the Fairhope Veteran of the Year, Jerry Cherne, was recognized for his military service and numerous veteran-related activities. A special thanks to the guest speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Stroud, for his inspirational words. LTC Stroud has served in the United States Military for over 30 years and presently serves as Commander of the 711th Brigade Support Battalion. He has also taught social studies and coached boys soccer for the last 17 years at Fairhope High School. Pictured are EO1 Jonathan K. Stafford, United States Navy retired with his children, Karlie and Ross Stafford.

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Autauga County Schools

CTKCS 8th Graders Present Wax Museum of Saints

After much preparation for All Saints' Day, our "wax museum" of Saints by Mrs. Stroud's 8th grade religion class at Christ the King Catholic School was presented to the school. Students researched their saint in Religion class, wrote their research paper in English class, and created their informational boards in Tech class. Our classes visited the "museum" to hear our students speak about their saint.

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St. Michael Football Team Season Ends Well for New Team The St. Michael Football team ended it's second JV season with an impressive 3-4 record for such a new program. Go Cardinals!

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Bayside Academy Wins 16th Straight Volleyball State Championship

Bayside Academy’s Lady Admirals volleyball team won its 16th consecutive Alabama High School Athletic Association Volleyball State Championship on November 2. The win marks an unprecedented 23 total state championships for Bayside under Coach Ann Schilling. Bayside’s Lady Admirals have won an unprecedented 26 volleyball state championships. The Admirals became state champions for the 16th straight year when they defeated Montgomery Academy at the Class 3A championship match of the 2017 AHSAA Volleyball State Tournament in Birmingham. After losing the first game 25–23, Bayside bounced back to win the second and third games 25–17 and 25–22. They lost game four 25–22, thus forcing game five, which they won 15–12. “What you guys accomplished is incredible,” Schilling told her team after the win. “This was a true team effort. Every single one of you was important to make this happen.”

Congratulations to Bayshore Christian School Math Honors Society Members!

The team recently set off for a trip to Tuscaloosa for a tour of the University of Alabama as well as their first math competition of the year. The team competed with 15 schools in both individual tests and in a team competition. In the team competition, Bayshore brought home the gold in the third division! Way to go, BCS Math Honors Society!

JOURNEY FOR A LIFETIME To learn more about pre-k–12 education at Bayshore call 251-929-0011 or visit BayshoreChristian.org.

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Autauga County Baldwin Schools EMC Shining Star Student

Rockwell Students Celebrate the Arts from Down on the Bayou

of the Month at BMMS

Congratulations to Bay Minette Middle School student MaKay'la Hadley for being selected Baldwin EMC's Shining Star Student for the Month. MaKay'la has demonstrated Touchstone Energy's core values of integrity, innovation, accountability and commitment to community. Taylor Strunk from EMC and FOX 10's Michael White presented the award to MaKay'la, along with art teacher Pam Coffman who nominated her for the award.

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Rockwell Elementary School recently completed a school-wide art unit called “Down on the Bayou”. This unit included studies on George Rodrigue, a Louisiana native artist who created the Blue Dog, Zydeco music, and dance/theatre activities that highlighted those artists. In addition, students learned about the bayou region from Louisiana to the Mobile Bay area. These concepts were integrated into other areas of the curriculum throughout a four-week period. A culminating day concluded this unit with a concert by Zydeco musicians, the Curley Taylor Band. Pictured are Mrs. Benson’s students playing washboards to Zydeco music.

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Make it a Summer of Discovery at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab

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2018 Summer Camp Dates Announced Visit disl.org/dhp or Call 251-861-2141 101 Bienville Blvd.

Dauphin Island, Alabama

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Girl Scouts Raised Flag at Bayside Academy on October 31

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Bayside Academy students who are members of Girl Scouts Fairhope Troop 8017 raised the American flag in a special ceremony on the morning of Tuesday, October 31, on Bayside’s campus. Troop 8017 members are working on their flag badges. The October 31 ceremony provided the troop members with an opportunity to apply their recently acquired knowledge of flag etiquette. Bayside Head of School Michael Papa praised the Girl Scouts for the courage, confidence and character the organization instills in its members. “The Scouts’ values closely align with Bayside’s core values of leadership, responsibility, respect, integrity, excellence and community,” he said. l Stephen Strickland, DMD, MS ope South: 19059 S. Greeno Road 251.928.9292 The flag-raising ceremony commemorated Millwood Circle 251.272.3232 l the October 31 birthday of Girl Scouts founder venue l Foley: 815 North Alston Street Juliette Gordon Low. Low founded the Girl Scouts in 1912 at a time when women in the United States couldn’t yet vote. She gathered 18 girls in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, to share what she had learned abroad about a new outdoor and educational program for youth. Today Girl Scouts is a global movement that includes 2.6 million people (1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults) in 92 countries and more than 59 million alumnae.

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GSES Spelling Bee Winners

(L to r): Congratulations to Nora Malone for winning the Gulf Shores Elementary School-Wide Spelling Bee. She will compete in the County Spelling Bee on February 9, 2018. Our runner up was Bella Ellis. Everyone did a FANTASTIC job competing.

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Autauga County Schools

Daphne East Elementary JAES Crown of Character Recipients

The following 5th Grade students are recognized as the Junior Auxiliary of the Eastern Shore Crown of Character first quarter recipients at Daphne East Elementary: back row left to right: Bella Cornett, Lina Ramos, Caroline Fitzhugh, Nathan Thompson, Sophia Baker, Annaleise Scheider. Front row left to right: Ella Grace Byrd, Jean Bautista, Cullan Thomas, Tucker Andrews, Ethan Marks-Fryling, Connor Davidson, Caleb Davidson. Not pictured (Cory Parker).

Daphne Middle School Cheerleaders Place First in Competition

The Daphne Middle School cheerleaders recently won first place in the full routine division at Cheer for Hope in Biloxi, MS. The squad also placed second in the home pom division.

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ALABAMA’S HIGH SCHOOL

Come find out if ASMS is right for you by visiting

Current Alabama 9th or 10th graders can apply

ASMS Day. Prospective families get a chance to

I have to be a ‘genius’ to be accepted to ASMS?”

our campus Saturday, Nov.12 or Dec. 3 for

see student-run classroom demonstrations and

learn about a school that could change your life

forever. Register for ASMS Day at www.asms.net. ASMS is our state’s only fully public, residential

high school for sophomores, juniors, and seniors

seeking advanced studies in math, science, and the humanities. Applying to ASMS is FREE – and so are tuition, room, and board if you are admitted!

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

online at www.asms.net. Many people ask, “Do Answer: Absolutely NOT! ASMS is made up of students who are intelligent and work hard for

academic success. In 2017, the 82 ASMS grads

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Questions? Email admissions@asms.net or call 251.441.3250.

Alabama School of Mathematics and Science 1255 Dauphin St., Mobile, AL 36604 251.441.2100 - www.asms.net admissions@asms.net 26

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Stapleton Elementary Teacher of the Year

OBES Red Ribbon Winner

Elaine Guy has been named the Teacher of the Year at Stapleton Elementary School. Principal Jim Perry said she does a tremendous job supporting students and staff, and plays a crucial role in helping students develop strong character and academic resilience. Elaine Guy has served as the school counselor since 2005 and has been a professional advocate for families for more than two decades. Prior to becoming a school counselor, she worked as an advocate and instructor with the Baldwin County Children's Advocacy Center. She continues to contract with the Advocacy Center today. She also has experience working with a domestic violence shelter in Montgomery.

Orange Beach Elementary is proud to congratulate our Red Ribbon Leader, Addie Hickman. Each fall, Red Ribbon Week is celebrated across America to promote the importance of a healthy, drug-free lifestyle among our youth. The outstanding students selected as Red Ribbon leaders are selected by their local school as individuals who exemplify the 6 pillars of Character promoted by the national Character Counts initiative and the Drug Education Council. These include the qualities of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. This year’s national theme is “Your future is key, so stay drug-free.”

Robertsdale Second Graders Visit Exploreum

Second grade students in Lanette Randall's class enjoyed a field trip to the Exploreum spending time with Curious George. They also enjoyed all of the exhibits and "hands on" activities the Exploreum has to offer!

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O P Foley Elementary Autauga County Schools 1st Quarter Highest Math GPA Homecoming Parade at Elsanor School

Pictured, Foley High School Drum corps and cheerleaders helped get Foley Elementary School students ready for Homecoming with a parade in the school. Dr. Lawrence lead the parade.

The following students have the highest GPA in Math for the 1st Quarter at Elsanor School: Jordyn Herrell, Satori Li, Charlie Barfield, Tyler Wilson, Blakelynn Dunlavy, Parker Bryant, Michael Tierce, Bella Skelton, Kya Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Neal, Julianna McHenry, Jackson Lyles, Madalynne Lawson, and Dayton Boyington. Not pictured is Gavin Grider.

Send School News and Photos to: lynn@easternshoreparents.com!

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Orange Beach Teachers Prep for Wax Museum

Elizabeth Dore, a new fifth grade teacher at Orange Beach Elementary, is planning for the student Wax Museum presentations with her team members. Left to right, Rachel Ellsworth, Kristen Rayborn and Ms. Dore. Fifth graders spent weeks working on their leader presentations and it was one of the best yet!

Teacher of the Year at PGES

Pine Grove Elementary School has selected Susan Burger as its Teacher of the Year! Taking part in the surprise announcement included, from left, Principal Donnashele Bruister, Mrs. Burger, school counselor Leah Sloan, and Assistant Principal Richard Paul. Pine Grove Elementary serves students in Pre-Kindergarten through sixth grades in north Baldwin County.

GSES 1st Graders Dine with Resource Officer

(L to r:) Kinsley King and Rivers Whatley, first graders in Mrs. Shelly Ford's class at Gulf Shores Elementary School, loved having lunch with Resource Officer Eric Smith.

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Autauga CountyBayshore Schools Christian School Theater

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Club Excels at Trumbauer Festival

Bayshore Christian School's Theater Club recently competed in the Trumbauer Theater Festival in Mobile. BCS was the only private school to compete against all of the public schools in our area and BCS was the only school to compete with a classical play, Oscar Wilde's "An Ideal Husband," against all modern plays. BCS actors and actresses put on an outstanding show and, as a result, qualified for the state competition in Florence! Additionally, several students competed in individual events and receive very high marks, with some advancing to state! This is a huge honor as hundreds of talented students performed in this competition. The girl's vocal competition is the hardest competition- every school in the area sends 3 girls and only 3 girls total can advance to state. Against the best singers in the area, TWO of Bayshore's female singers advanced to state and TWO received superior marks! This is the second year in a row that the BCS Theater Club has earned a spot in the state competition!

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Music students of Baldwin County Music Teachers Association members Vincentine Williams, Daniel DeKonty and Eric Marrero performed for the residents of Westminster Village on October the 14th. The concert featured piano, along with guitar, and vocal performances. Pictured from left: Josie Williams, Michelle Kinzley, Anne Elise Sherrod, Brantley Howington, Katie Smith, Blake Smith, Hayden Roy. Front Row: Camryn Roy and Lucy Mae Vesely.

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Daphne Middle Schooler Wins First Place in Lion’s Club Art Contest

Daphne Middle School 8th grader Shelby Valdes won first place in the local Lion’s Club art contest, Future Peace. Mrs. Sherry Bittinger is the visual Arts teacher at Daphne Middle School. Shelby received a certificate and monetary award sponsored by the Lion’s Club, and her art will next compete at the regional then state level.

FMS SGA Elects Officers The Fairhope Middle School Student Government Association (SGA) held their elections for the 2017-2018 school year. SGA serves as a voice for the students’ academic and social interests. Representatives for SGA are selected from each homeroom and serve as a liaison between the students, teachers, and administrators at FMS. Pictured, from left to right, are Yasmin Harmon-Treasurer; Ellie Heath-Social Chairman; Caroline TapscottVice President; Olivia Mayr-President; and Cameron Herzog-Secretary.

Spanish Fort HS Welcomes New Coach / Teacher

Spanish Fort High School welcomes Coach Nared. Coach Nared is one of our new Social Studies teachers. He teaches Government/Economics and World History, as well as coaching football and track. 31

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Autauga County Schools CTKCS Teachers Receive Star Light Awards

Congratulations to two of our teachers at Christ the King Catholic School, Mrs. Mitchell (Jr. High Grammar/Writing) and Mrs. Ford (Jr. High Literature). Each recently received the Operation Round Up Star Light Award through the Baldwin EMC Operation Round Up program, an educational grant program designed to provide support to teachers for the direct purpose of improving learning through a specific lesson and/or project in the classroom using innovative or creative techniques. Mrs. Mitchell will be using her grant award to fund the Jr. High writing project in each grade. Mrs. Ford will be using her grant for "The Cinderella Project" in her 7th grade class.

GSMS Teachers Earn Stipend for Meeting/Exceeding State Benchmark

Congratulations to the Gulf Shores Middle School teachers who received a $500 stipend from AP College Ready for having at least 75% of their students meeting or exceeding the state benchmark on the ASPIRE during the 2016-2017 school year. Shery Butler; Joshua Cobb; Anita Forrest; Celeste Gill; Heather Hemming; Blossom Hinyub; Roger Reetz; Kristin Weaver. GSMS LTF Coordinator- Brittney Reeves; GSMS Principal â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Robert McCartney. Pictured Left to Right: Brittney Reeves, Shery Butler, Joshua Cobb, Celeste Gill, Blossom Hinyub, Kristin Weaver, Heather Hemming, Anita Forrest, Roger Reetz, Robert McCartney.

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Robertsdale Elementary First Graders Visit Corn Maze

CTKCS Toy Bowl Soccer Champs

First grade students in Brylyn Cowling's class enjoyed a field trip to the Magnolia Corn Maze. The maze along with all of the fun activities provided a great time for everyone!

The Christ the King Senior Division Blue team are the Toy Bowl soccer champions! Thank you to all our coaches, parents, volunteers, and athletes for a great fall season of soccer. Way to go Saints!

CTKCS Peer Helpers Participate in Jubilee

The Christ the King Catholic School Peer Helper Team participated in the 2017 Peer Helper Jubilee with 1300 students from area public and private schools. They had the opportunity to listen to nationally recognized speakers as well as leaders in our area on topics such as empowerment, self worth and value, leadership, teen trends happening now, and how our actions have consequences. It was an educational, yet fun-filled day interacting with other Peer Helpers from across the county.

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Autauga County Schools

Bullying Awareness at Bay Minette Elementary

Cathy Kelly with AT&T Pioneers recently presented a Bullying Awareness to second graders at Bay Minette Elementary School. Mrs. Kelley also discussed with the students how their making good and effective decisions daily will impact their lives for the better!

Spanish Fort Middle School Students Participate in Buddy Walk Spanish Fort Middle Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Project Outreach participated in the Buddy Walk in Bienville Square. The Buddy Walk helps raise funds and awareness for individuals with Down Syndrome.

Please Send School News and Photos to: lynn@easternshoreparents.com.

A Sunday playerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last Saturday. for fans, the game lasts all week long

Catch great game-week events like the Senior Bowl Experience, Coca-Cola Meet the Players and the Piggly Wiggly Tailgate Party. Get game-week details, tickets and more at seniorbowl.com.

january 27 - mobile, alabama - Ladd-peebl e s stadi um Tickets on sale now at Seniorbowl . com Tailgate Party passes available now with purchase of game ticket at area Piggly Wiggly stores.

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Foley Elementary Class Presents Storybook Characters

Foley Elementary second grade students in Mrs. Glaser's class had a fun time presenting their Storybook Character presentations. The children enjoyed showing off their projects in costume, just in time for Halloween!

Elsanor 1st Quarter Reading Award

Congratulations to the following Elsanor School students for having the highest GPA in Reading for the 1st Quarter: Seth Baker, Jesse Dozier, Charlie Barfield, Van Matzdorff, Blakelynn Dunlavy, Bree Taylor, Rileigh Poole, Bella Skelton, Jana Boyd, Juliana McHenry, Faith Brill, Colby Fowler, and Christopher Mennicucci. Not pictured is Gavin Grider.

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Bay Minette Visual Arts Teacher Awarded Art Educator of the Year – Middle Level

Ms. Pamela Jones Coffman, Visual Arts Teacher for Bay Minette Middle School was recently recognized as “Art Educator of the Year – Middle Level 2017”. The award was given at the 2017 Alabama Art Educators Fall Conference held in Orange Beach. The theme of the conference was “Dali in the Dunes” and brought visitors from all over the state of Alabama to our beautiful coastal shores. Over two hundred people were in attendance. This is the 2nd time Mrs. Coffman has been blessed with this honor (2008). Congratulations Ms. Coffman!

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Autauga County Schools

Bayside Academy 4th Graders Celebrate Native American Culture

Cowboy Up Against Drugs at OBES

Bayside Academy’s 4th graders recently celebrated Native American culture on the school’s campus. Jeremy Spears, who is of Creek Indian descent, spent the night before his presentation in a tent he pitched on the Bayside Bluff. Students learned how to make rope, a blow gun and “safe” darts (with cotton at the end). They also played a game of stick ball, watched a fire-making demonstration and learned some words in the traditional Muskogean language.

H a 4 Students in Mrs. Edwards’ first grade class celebrated Cowboy Up Against Drugs by wearing their favorite western attire. Red Ribbon Week held many activities and fun dress up day for our students. Addie Hickman, OBES Red Ribbon Leadership Award Winner, and Mrs. Minto, counselor, planned an exciting week for our students!

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Sports at Bayshore Christian

Congratulations to the BCS Girls Cross Country Team for winning the Panhandle Christian Conference Championship for the 2nd year in a row! Freshman, Ashton Haygood placed 2nd overall in the conference and 8th grader, Anna Hartsell Hope placed 4th overall in the conference. Way to go, girls! Bayshoreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s basketball teams have had a great start to the season. Head over to the BCS website (www.bayshorechristian.org) to find a schedule and make plans to attend an upcoming game.

St. Michael Girlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cross Country Team Finishes 6th in County Championship The St. Michael Girl's Cross Country team finished their inaugural season placing sixth at the Baldwin County Championship. Pictured are Molly Mavrakas, Betty Hemby, Sarah Murphy, Anna McBane, Allison Boyd and Virginia Pryor.

Spanish Fort HS Participates in Buddy Walk Buddy Walk 2017 for autism awareness was held in downtown Mobile Oct. 22. SFHS Project Outreach won an award for the most participants. 39

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Autauga County Schools

GSMS 2017 Lions Club Peace Poster “The Future of Peace” Winners

St. Michael Robotics Team Wins Awards at BEST Competition

Congratulations to the 2017 Lions Club Peace Poster “The Future of Peace” winners for Gulf Shores Middle School. 1st place: Scout Hall, 2nd place- Sophie Carlson, and 3rd place- Parson Gibbs.

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The St. Michael Robotics Team recently competed against 33 other teams at Jubilee BEST, and were awarded: Best Rookie Team, Best Software Design and Best Simulation. Congratulations to these Cardinals and their sponsors Mr. Jon Hall and Mr. Ryan Bliss!

Please Send School News and Photos to: lynn@easternshoreparents.com.

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Science Award Winners at Elsanor School

Congratulations to the following Elsanor School students for having the highest GPA in Science for the 1st Quarter: JJ Hayles, Jax Lomotan, Baine Brill, Van Matzdorff, Hayden Hernandez, Harper Phillips, Adalyn Lyles, Cameron Cain, Eric Esteban, Jana Boyd, Faith Brill, Anna Sabogal, and Lacy Wilson. Not pictured are Brianna Hubbard and Katie Huggins.

Bay Minette Classes Explore Archaeology

Mrs. Hartner’s and Mrs. Thompson’s Project Jubilee classes recently journeyed to the University of South Alabama in Mobile. The students have been exploring the science of archaeology and had the unique experience to visit the USA Archaeology Museum. While at the museum the young archaeologists discovered how and where artifacts are found, as well as how the clues are used to unlock the past. The students toured the museum and participated in an artifact lab. After the museum visit the classes enjoyed a fantastic lunch at the USA dining hall. It’s never too early to begin experiencing the life of higher education!

St. Michael Scholars Bowl Team Rocks First Competition!

Congratulations the St. Michael JV Scholars Bowl team, which won all four of its matches by large margins at their first competition. Team members are, L to R, John Michael Davis, Sam Swanson, Erin Koster, Edward Cowles and Andrew Fouty. 41

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Autauga County Schools

Outstanding Students Recognized At Fairhope Middle School

Fairhope Middle School would like to congratulate its Students of the Month for September and October, 2017. These students were selected by the faculty for their exceptional citizenship and leadership qualities. Photo, left: FMS Outstanding 7th Grade Students, Pictured left to right: Rachel McCulley, Jonathan Roubik, Jameson Nelsen, and Joseph Solomon. Photo right FMS Outstanding 8th Grade Students, Pictured from left to right: Luke Freer, Edward Witherington, Leah Kathryn Peacock, Mary Grace Doucet, and Julia Richards.

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Bayside Academy Seniors Named Winners in Wendy’s High School Heisman Program

Two Bayside Academy seniors were recently named School Winners in Wendy’s High School Heisman program: Ansleigh Dailey and Seth Shirley. Wendy’s High School Heisman recognizes students who lead by example and share Wendys’ values of giving back to their communities, treating people with respect, continuing education and excelling on the athletic field. The Wendy’s High School Heisman is a joint program between Wendy’s and the Heisman Trophy Trust, host and custodians of the Heisman Memorial Trophy®. Since 1994, Wendy’s and the Heisman Trophy Trust have honored more than 600,000 of the nation’s most esteemed students. The Wendy’s High School Heisman was created by Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas.

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Spanish Fort High School faculty recently chose Rene’e Richard as the 2017-18 Teacher of the Year! She was presented with a check from the PTA along with recognition on a plaque.

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Spanish Fort HS Red Ribbon Leader Congratulations to Mason Fahy who was selected as Spanish Fort High School’s Red Ribbon representative

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Autauga County Schools

Teen Driver Safety Summit Gives Local Teens New Perspective

Students from 12 local schools attended the “UR KEYS 2 DRV” Teen Driver Safety Summit on October 26. The one-day interactive event was held at the Daphne Civic Center. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Teen drivers have crash rates three times those of drivers 20 and older per mile driven. However, teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable, and a statewide coalition is working with students throughout the state to address safe driving habits. At UR KEYS 2 DRV, students heard from speakers and rotated among breakout sessions led by safety experts from Children’s of Alabama, State Farm, the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Alabama Department of Transportation, the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, Safe Kids Worldwide, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the Alabama Sports Festival Foundation. Safety-related topics that were discussed included the Alabama Graduated Driver License Law, drinking and driving, texting and driving, and other distractions. A driving simulator provided a valuable hands-on learning experience and a simulated trauma showed the students what happens when a victim from a car crash is brought to the emergency room. A highlight of the day was a presentation by Mike Lutzenkirchen, executive director of the Lutzie 43 Foundation, an organization that aims to develop the character of young athletes and their coaches by focusing on leadership, charity, compassion, mentorship, hard work, honesty and faith. Lutzenkirchen founded the organization in honor of his 23-year-old son, Philip, who played football for Auburn University and was a passenger in a fatal car crash in 2014 in which alcohol played a role. Local schools in attendance included: Chickasaw High School, Clark County High School, Daphne High School, Elberta High School, Excel High School, Jackson High School, J.F. Shields High School, J.U. Blacksher School, Lott Middle School, Monroe County High School, Theodore High School.

Please Send School News and Photos to: lynn@easternshoreparents.com.

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ParentingToday’sTeens by Mark Gregston

The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Teen As parents, we often put a lot of blame on ourselves for what we cannot offer our kids. When Christmas or birthdays roll around, we feel guilty when we can’t afford the latest and greatest iPads, video games, designer shoes, or state-of-the-art cell phones. Mom and Dad, let me encourage you today. The bottom line is, there’s only one thing that your teen needs from you. It doesn’t involve money. It’s got nothing to do with exciting opportunities. It’s not even about offering protection from the outside world! To be the parent God has called you to be, all you have to do is offer your child a relationship. A relationship with your son or daughter is, hands-down, the most important thing you can give your child. Why is it so critical?

Your Child is Disconnected

Teens today are disconnected from life. A recent study showed that the average child spends about ten hours a day staring at a screen. While a constant stream of interfacing has led to a boom in adolescent communication, it has also led to a breakdown in meaningful connection. We assume that teens are building relationships because they are on Facebook or Skype, or are texting, blogging, or using any number of social media outlets. But that’s simply not the case. Learning how to build meaningful connections starts with mom and dad. Your relationship with your teenager is the model for how they connect with other people. When you take time to sit down and have a conversation eyeball-to-eyeball with your child, you’re giving them what Facebook and Twitter cannot; a personal relationship. Parents, you shape the ideals for the husbands and wives your children will one day marry. You’re also the main example of character, conviction, and values for your teens. From you, they will understand the importance of compassion, forgiveness, and mercy. Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

You are so important in the life of disconnected teens. The personal relationship you offer your teen can never be replaced. Trust me on this; if your son or daughter is not finding a relationship with mom and dad at home, they will look for it elsewhere. They will seek to fill their relational voids through dating, friends, academics, sports, or destructive habits like drugs and alcohol in order to find a sense of value and love.

Your Child is Pulling Away

Though you desire a better connection, maybe your teen has made it clear that he doesn’t want a relationship with you. You’ve tried to mend the fences and build some bridges, only to have those fences and bridges burned. If you truly want a better relationship with your child...don’t give up! Any relationship worth having takes time. It won’t happen overnight. And even in spite of past hurts and disappointments we can always move forward and strive for a clean slate. But it will take work. If something has come between you and your teen, sit down with them face-toface and start asking those tough questions to get to the root of the issue. Start by saying, “You are very important to me, and I’m sorry if our relationship hasn’t been what it should. But I want to change that. So what could I do to make our relationship better?” Be prepared to patiently listen to the response, even if it’s painful. Criticism is never easy to hear, but this is a chance for your teen to share her heart, and for you to hear how you can improve. It will require humility and self-evaluation. But think of it as in an investment towards a greater, future reward. Of course, I know that some kids may say, “There’s nothing you can do to fix our relationship. I don’t want anything to do with you.” And while that is a devastating blow to any parent, keep moving forward. Tell your son or daughter, “I am really sorry to hear that. But I don’t want to miss out on having a relationship with you, so even though you 46

may not like me now, I’m still going to pursue you.” Don’t be belligerent in your attempts to improve your connection with your teen, but don’t walk away from him either. A relationship with your child is too important to let it slip by.

Rules of Engagement

If you want to improve your relationship with your teen, let me offer nine suggestions, or “rules of engagement”: • Make many of your conversations about your teen. What are his opinions, feelings, or thoughts on a subject? • Share something personal about yourself. Let your child know about a mistake in your past, a particular emotion, or surprising thought. Show her that you are human and imperfect. • Share your heart in short bits. No long diatribes or hour-long monologues. • You don’t always have to be right. • You don’t always have to have the answer. • Your final sentence doesn’t always have to end in a period. Let your teen have the final say once-and-a-while. • Never use one-on-one time with your teenager as an opportunity to criticize. • Acknowledging your mistakes provides the opportunity for your teen to share his. • Don’t judge a teen’s comments. Maybe they’re foolish, or dumb, or incorrect. But if you blast them, chances are your teen won’t share his thoughts with you again. I hope that this call for relationships is encouraging. To be the best parent you can be, all you need to do is strive to have a loving and personal relationship with your teen. Everything else is secondary.

Mark Gregston is an author, speaker, radio host, and the founder of a residential counseling center for struggling teens located in Longview, Texas. Mark’s passion for helping teens can be seen in his 40 years of involvement with families as a youth pastor, Young Life area director, and now, as the Executive Director of Heartlight, where he has lived with and helped over 2,700 teens. To find out more about Mark and his ministry to parents and teens, you can visit www.HeartlightMinistries.org or www.ParentingTodaysTeens.org.

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Teaching kids value of giving Q. What are some ways to teach preteens the value of giving versus getting during the holiday season?

A. As a parent, one of the best things you can do is be a living, breathing example of the importance of giving and caring about others. There’s nothing wrong with having some stuff, but many of today’s marketing messages can lead kids to believe it’s all about them. And the sad truth is advertising firms are often more aggressive with their teaching than parents are in theirs.

I would encourage you to find giving experiences in which you can participate as a family. Volunteering for a day at a homeless shelter is a wonderful example of giving that requires absolutely no money. Or maybe you could pull out your wallet, and spend the day shopping for groceries and Christmas gifts for families who are financially less fortunate. 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. With a little thought and planning, you can create some incredible teaching and family bonding experiences that will change everyone’s lives forever!

Budgeting for taxes Q. I recently started my own business, and I know I’m supposed to pay taxes quarterly. How do I budget for those, and how much do I save?

A. You should always establish a separate checking account when you open a business. All your business income, and nothing else, should go directly into that account. Nothing else goes in or out of that account except for business expenses. What you have left, by definition, is profit. When you take that home, set aside 25 percent for your federal, quarterly estimates. In most cases — especially with a small, start-up business — that will put you pretty close to what you’ll need. If you make more than $60,000 to $70,000 in profits, however, you may want to kick that percentage up a little bit. It’s always better to save too much than too little.

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8 Ways Tech Can Bring Your Family Closer This Holiday Soon holiday music will fill the air—punctuated by the rings and dings of smartphones. Regardless of their traditions, lots of families will be making rules about when NOT to use cellphones—during midnight mass, at the Kwanzaa dinner table, while lighting Hannakuh candles, and so on. Most parents can agree that it’s a good idea to set aside part of the holidays to focus entirely on the people who have been able to gather in the same room. At the same time, it’s also helpful to remember all the ways technology can bring families closer, especially at this time of year. Young people, in particular, filter much of their experience through their phones, so turning off the phone for extended periods of time may actually make them feel less connected. Integrating the capabilities of technology into the holiday has several benefits. First, it allows richer contact with distant family and friends. Second, it can simplify holiday chores from party planning to greeting cards. And, finally, it gives tech-savvy kids a meaningful role in making the holidays special whether by documenting every dish at the holiday feast or playing DJ during a family party. Here are just a few of the ways technology can enhance your holidays. Whenever possible, use the simplest apps so as many people as possible can participate.

Plan Parties. Does your neighborhood do an annual caroling party? Would you like to get friends together for a cookie exchange? Do you want family members to take charge of a dish for the family feast? Using an app like Party Planner will help you manage the details from inviting guests and tracking responses to delegating tasks and keeping a grip on the budget. Entering necessary information the first year may take a little time, but it lays the groundwork for effortless traditions in years ahead. Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

Send Greetings. Even though fewer families have time for handwritten cards or newsletters, the tradition of sharing holiday greetings is worth preserving. Use your phone to take a photo or make a short video that captures what’s unique about your family this year. Do something goofy, sing a few lines of a song together, have each family member write or speak about something memorable. Distribute through social media, email or even in an envelope. Do this every year and you’ll create a very special timeline that shows your kids growing up before your eyes. Start a Family Media Channel. Establish a blog or a social media group, and limit access to extended family and special friends. Invite kids, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents to participate, providing whatever support they need to get connected. Encourage everyone to post inside jokes, recipes, holiday memories, bits of family lore. To make people more comfortable about sharing things that are heartfelt or silly, establish a simple rule: What appears on the site can’t be shared anywhere else without permission. Tune Up. Build a festive family playlist for the holidays and other occasions. Ask everyone old enough to talk to make suggestions. Of course, there are holiday playlists available on sites like Pandora but it’s a lot more meaningful—and fun—to juxtapose grandma’s favorites from the 40’s with something your nephew learned in preschool. Chat Long Distance. Coming home for the holidays may be everyone’s dream but it’s not always feasible. Schedule a time for a video chat with distant loved ones. Group 48

chats can sometimes be awkward so encourage family members to take turns. Do a little coaching so kids are prepared to thank relatives for gifts and maybe even model clothes or demonstrate what they can do with a new toy. Light candles or sing together. Ask questions that prompt elders to share memories and stories.

Group Text. If video chatting makes everyone (especially teens) self conscious, try using GroupMe, a free app that allows everyone in the family to see the same text messages. GroupMe works with SMS and every Smartphone platform. Give it a try in your immediate family, and then expand the group to include cousins and other relatives. Play Games. Ask pre-teens for the best family friendly games or find apps that simulate classics like Scrabble and Checkers. Help grandparents sign up so they can play across the room or across the country. If someone in the family is lucky enough to get a video game system, be sure at least one game is easy enough and light-hearted enough to be played by all ages. Consider creating customized games for your family. For example, try making up a scavenger hunt that involves taking photos connected with family traditions—a beloved family ornament, a sleeping relative, Grandpa’s favorite cookie, the dog wearing a holiday hat. Collect Photos. On special occasions, everyone takes photos and videos on their own phones. Even if someone says, “Send me that picture,” people forget and fragments of the holiday disappear into the undifferentiated photos on various devices. This year, set up a password protected site on Flckr, Instagram or even Google. Send the link to everyone in the family. Ask them to upload their favorite photos and videos to a create a collective album. Embracing these possibilities with an open heart makes it more likely that everyone will respond well at the times when someone says, “Let’s put away our phones and drink in the joy of being together right here, right now!” Carolyn Jabs, M.A., has been writing the Growing Up Online column for ten year. She is also the author of Cooperative Wisdom: Bringing People Together When Things Fall Apart. Available at Amazon and Cooperative Wisdom.org. @ Copyright, 2017, Carolyn Jabs. All rights reserved.

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Team sports

Providing extracurricular activities for

Team sports help kids with their social development, as well as problem solving skills. Being part of a team also gives kids a sense of confidence as they have the opportunity to cheer each other on and contribute to the common goal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Soccer seems to be a good place to start. It gets them used to the idea of team sports.â&#x20AC;? says Kara Thomas, mom and preschool teacher. Another preschoolfriendly team sport is T-ball. Team sports are a good fit for your child if they love physical activity and socializing with other kids.

your preschooler can encourage their natural curiosity and love of learning. It can also help them develop important skills like self-awareness, social development, language, and motor skills. There are countless classes and programs

Art

available for your child that are both

An art class provides the opportunity for kids to create, make messes, and try crafts that their parents may not want to try at home such as painting, sculpture, and paper mache. Art helps develop hand eye coordination,

fun and educational, but which activity is right for your child? Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

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fine motor skills, and encourages kids to explore different colors and textures, while encouraging their creativity. Kids who are introverted, creative, and can sit still for longer periods of time would enjoy an art class.

Movement and dance

Preschool kids love to listen to music, dance, and tumble. There are many programs available that offer enrichment where kids are encouraged to use their bodies to express themselves through dance. Many dance and gymnastics studios offer beginner classes for the preschool crowd. The study of music and dance helps kids develop their gross motor skills, language, and even improve their math and reading skills down the line.

Preschool and playgroups

Traditional preschool exposes children to many different types of enrichment such as art, music, games, cooperative play, drama and pretend play, as well as developing their social and language skills. While preschool may provide a well rounded enrichment experience, it may not be a good fit for some families due to schedules or finances. Play groups are another great way to expose your child to many types of enrichment experiences

while giving them the social aspect that many preschools provide.

Preschool Enrichment at Home You do not have to spend a fortune on classes to give your kids great enrichment experiences. Here are some ideas to incorporate at home or explore in your community.

Individual sports

“I think dance Gross motor - visit a park, play in the backyard, or tumbling is a create an obstacle course using household objects, really good first organized activor have a family dance party ity for kids.” says Fine motor - create a sensory bin, play with puzzles or Angela Leever, blocks, allow your kids to draw and practice with scissors mom of three and Language - sing, read, and use cooperative play preschool special Social development - host playdates, explore the city, education teacher. go on a scavenger hunt “You want to make Self awareness - dress up, cook, have them help sure you get them with chores and gardening into an activity where the instructors are used to museums and even visiting the local liworking with young children and their brary. Mother of two, Stephanie Pratt, says expectations are age appropriate.” Gym“Everything you do is a learning activity nastics, swimming, and martial arts are for preschoolers. My kids love to cook with great sports activities for little ones to try me.” Get creative, make learning fun, and because they work on their core strength allow your child to explore and try new and confidence. Kids who love to be acthings both in organized programs and at tive and are maybe even a little daring do home. ESP great in these individual sports. Kids also learn by helping with chores around the house, exploring parks and

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Sarah Lyons is a freelance writer and has been published in more than 100 parenting publications.

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Goofy Games That Get in Your Head

Recommending the Best Toys and Products for Kids

Outside the regular rotation of traditional board games, there is a subset of brilliant games that thrive on the absurd. Tossing aside all decorum and dignity, these head-themed entertainments blaze their own trail into the realm of the ridiculous. Employing the tools of slapstick and physical comedy, players face hilarious challenges with no shame and all the exuberance of youth. Ideal for breaking the ice, party gaming or injecting family game night with fresh hilarity, the following games go to the head of the class for comic competition.

by Gerry Paige Smith

Speak Out: Kids vs Parents

Moustache Smash (Spin Master)

(Hasbro)

Selecting and memorizing your false moustache is just the beginning of this fast-paced match game, as players seek to smash their ‘stache onto the turning cards that duplicate the style or color of their own. If you’re first (and correct) on the smash, you keep the card. But when the Moustache Pass card turns, all players pass their moustache style to the left and that’s when things really get hairy. Despite having the answer right under your nose, keeping up with the changing style and color of your own moustache adds a farcical challenge to this fast-paced smackdown. The player with the most cards when the pile is gone, wins the smash. Keeping in mind that sudden and silly facial hair makes everything better,the mounting tension of this game make it an easy pick for fast fun from the gaming shelf!

Egged On: The Game of Egg Roulette

Pie Face Showdown

Dignity is the first thing to go in this popular game that challenges our most basic speech abilities. Wearing clear plastic mouthpieces players draw a phrase card and try to speak coherently enough to be understood by their teammates. Racing against a timer, the challenge to form words without the use of your lips takes on a desperation that is both maddening and hilarious. Designed for joint play between parents and kids, this version employs to delightful effect 200 doublesided phrase cards that echo the speech of parents (“This place is a pig sty”) and kids (What a bummer, brother”). There’s a fair amount of drool that comes along with the struggle to make yourself understood during game play. But the sheer physical comedy of this celebration of miscommunication is worth every single spoken word.

(Hasbro)

It takes a bit of bravery to offer up your own face as a target for pie. But the two-player Pie Face Showdown makes it a bit easier as the risk and reward is shared between two players. With two bright cut-outs for players’ faces, the ‘pie’ (watered sponge) is loaded on the throwing arm. Then each player, face exposed, begins frantic button mashing that will unpredictably launch the pie into one player’s face. The throwing arm is also adjustable so that young children can enjoy a more balanced game against faster, more advanced players. The game includes the pie sponge that can be moistened, but whipped cream (not included) is a sweet option, too. There’s no strategy, no long game, no sedate pacing here. Just the excitement and suspense of knowing a pie is incoming, and the destination face is a mystery...until it hits.

(Hasbro)

Ten eggs in a plastic carton and you must pick one. Some eggs are safe, but some are full of water. With a spinner to direct the choosing, the game play is simple. Players take turns picking plastic refillable eggs from the carton and smashing them on their head. Once you acknowledge that the players are enjoying a juvenile pleasure of smashing eggs on heads, the fun is free to flow. Best played with the under-ten set, this slapstick entertainment maximizes childlike glee as eggs are gently smashed, cracked and tapped on heads to reveal their secret. The amount of water is really small, so the mess is minimal. Ideal for the energetic kids who need an ‘active’ game to keep them engaged, this egg roulette offers up a cracking good time!

Gerry Paige Smith is a syndicated columnist recommending the best products for kids and their families. Discover more at www.PageBookMedia.com

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Mindful Holiday Magic Be Truly "Present" With Your Child This Christmas

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The holidays are here! You’ve planned and prepared. But too often the holidays can be a hectic, chaotic swirl of shopping, entertaining, and traveling. Kids may be looking forward to doing absolutely nothing during the holidays. They may be a little burned out from the structure and regiment of school, tutoring

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In an attempt to create the “perfect holiday,” we busy ourselves to the point of forgetting to enjoy the simple moments of the season and we teach our children how to stress over the holidays rather than how to enjoy relationships. Zig Zigler may have communicated it best. Love = time to a child. Why don’t we create magical holiday moments by slowing down and making a concerted effort to spend some simple one on one time with each one of our children individually? One on one time with each child can fuel strong lifelong bonds and create holiday memories for years to come. It may seem counter intuitive to keep a list of possible “spontaneous” holiday activities to cultivate. But the truth is, many of us aren’t good at letting go and truly being “present” with our children and simply having fun. Here are some ideas for spending one on one time with each child that doesn’t require a big budget and may be shared regardless of age or gender.

Holiday baking

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Let your child lead the way. Find a recipe with simple ingredients they can follow without a lot of fuss. Or buy a tube of cookie dough from the grocery store and keep it simple. Talk and listen to each other while you are decorating cookies. Give some to the neighbors to introduce community building and talk about holiday values.

Play outside

Even play in the rain or cold with your child. Enjoy your child’s smiles and giggles with no agenda or time limit.

Memory making

Organize old family photos into a holiday album or start a scrapbook of a beloved family holiday. Talking about the memories can help kids re-live the experience and draw you closer.

Homemade seasons greetings

Buy a new box of crayons and construction paper. If you are really adventurous buy glitter or glitter glue. Make New Year’s cards. You may get really wild and make 55

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ries. Take turns reading out loud and use funny voices to animate the characters.

homemade ornaments. Put on some Christmas music if that’s your tradition and sing along while you create. Music is proven to enhance memory. If you sing off key and giggle, that’s even better.

Holiday storytelling

Tell stories to each other with the listener providing the first lines. Here are some story ideas: Rudolph the Untold Story, Frosty’s Vacation, the Zoo Holiday or Little Drummer Boy and the Flute Girl.

Volunteer together

Let your child pick the activity that means the most to him. You may choose to walk or bathe a dog at your local shelter, giving him a holiday treat. You may choose to volunteer to pack family food boxes at your local food bank or organize clothing racks at your local homeless shelter. Your child may want to gather gently loved books to take to the children’s wing of your local hospital. Or you both may enjoy staying close to home and raking leaves in the neighbor’s yard. Encourage your child to think of their own volunteer activity.

Movie Day!

Ask your child to pick his favorite holiday flick, Home Alone, Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph or other. Make popcorn and binge watch, snuggled up on the couch together – just

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

Rockin’ around the Christmas tree

Put on your favorite Christmas music and rock out together! Get your groove on and give your child a spontaneous dance lesson. They may find out how cool you are.

Holiday lights tour

Take an evening drive before bedtime in your pajamas. Pipe in holiday tunes and drive around town looking at Christmas lights. Ooh and ah over what you see. (This one has become a tradition for my daughter and me.) you and your child. You may even string popcorn while you watch.

Holiday book binge

Go to your local library and check out holiday books. Make hot chocolate and sit and binge read together one right after the other. Be sure to ask your child which is her favorite and why. Talk about the sto-

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Make your own holiday magic, mindfully. Add simple one on one kid time to your holiday to do list. Cut this list out of the magazine or print it up and put it on the refrigerator as a reminder to seize the holiday moments and simply enjoy each other. ESP Laura Lyles Reagan, MS is a parent coach, family sociologist and author of How to Raise Respectful Parents. She can be reached for parenting resources through her website at www.LauraLReagan.com.

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Trim-A-Tree Christmas Event

Through December 21 @ Tanger Outlet Suite 446 (next to Yankee Candle) 2601 South McKenzie Street Foley, AL 36535 Monday - Saturday 10am -7pm, and Sundays 11am - 6pm. Local Artists and craftsmen offer unique one-of-a-kind ornaments, decorations, pottery, jewelry, and fine artwork to be sold on consignment. Sponsored by the Foley Art Center. (251) 943-4381 foleytrimatree@gmail.com www.foleyartcenter.com

Photos with Santa at the Wharf

Through December 24 @ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 Ho Ho Holiday photo time in Santa’s Village at The Wharf. Sit with jolly Claus and capture the moment forever! Fridays: 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm; Saturdays: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm; Sundays: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm.Week of Christmas (Dec. 18-23) 10:00am7:00pm and December 24 from 12:00pm-2:00pm. (251) 224-1000 www.alwharf.com

The Wharf Ice Rink

Through January 14 @ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 Let us bring winter to you! Grab a pair of skates and glide, spin, or fall into the season. Regular time: 4-10 p.m. (Monday-Friday); 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Saturday-Sunday); Thanksgiving Break: Nov 17 – 26, 10am – 10pm; Christmas Break: Dec 16 – 31, 2017 from 10am – 10pm. For birthday party information contact (251) 224-1000 or jadej@alwharf.com. (251) 224-1000 www.alwharf.com

Holiday Horse and Carriage Rides

December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17 @ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 Are you “saddled up” for the holidays yet? If not, then mosey on over to The Wharf and spend an evening under the moon in an enchanted horsedrawn carriage. Rides are from 6pm - 10pm on dates listed. (251) 224-1000 www.alwharf.com

Fish River Christmas Tree Farm

Through December 23 13982 Woodhaven Dairy Road East, Summerdale, AL 36580 There has always been something magical and heartwarming about a family trip to the country to search for that perfect Christmas tree. Enjoy strollEastern Shore Parents I December 2017

ing our beautiful 40-acre Christmas Tree Farm and evergreen nursery. Take a free ride on The Tannebaum Express “tree train” for a fun filled farm tour (weekends only). View our manger scene with live animals! Camel Rides, Pony Rides and Christmas Bounce House. Santa will arrive for visits on the first three weekends beginning on Friday November 24th to November 26th, December 2nd - 3rd, and December 9th-10th. Take a tour of the farm and view the wide selection of trees including our choose and cut trees, our special container-grown Living Christmas Trees that can be decorated then planted after the holidays. We have fabulous shipped in firs, flocked and snow-tipped trees. Also available are fresh wreaths, centerpieces, and garlands. For more details and directions please visit our website. (251) 988-8114 www.fishrivertrees.com

Christmas Magic in Lights ad on page 65

November 24 - December 31 @ Bellingrath Gardens 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Rd Theodore, AL 36582 It’s one of the nation’s best holiday light shows, and it’s right here in south Alabama! Bellingrath Gardens and Home presents the 22nd season of Magic Christmas in Lights in 2017. The dazzling nighttime display features more than 1,100 set pieces, 3 million lights and 15 scenes, set out in a walking tour throughout the 65-acre Garden estate. From 5pm - 9pm families enjoy strolling the grounds together, taking holiday photos, drinking cocoa on Live Oak Plaza and visiting Santa Claus in the Magnolia Café. Magic Christmas in Lights also includes nightly choral performances on the South Terrace of the Bellingrath Home, which will be open for tours and decorated in full holiday finery. The Gift Shop will be fully stocked for the season! Tickets may be purchased online. (251) 459-8864 bellingrath@bellingrath.org www.bellingrath.org

Wales West Arctic Express ad on page 42

November 24 – December 24 13670 Smiley Street Silverhill, AL 36576 All aboard the Arctic Express at Wales West RV Resort and Light Railway. Great holiday fun for the whole family! Ride an authentic Steam Train through a wonderland of lights, snow, and decorations to the North Pole. Children visit with Santa in the Winter-wonderland barn and receive a free wooden toy. Our staff can take your family

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photo with Santa. Free Refreshments, Mini-Train Ride, Hayride, Playground, and Bounce House. In addition, Petting Zoo, Pony Ride, and Snowball Cannon are available for a slight fee. Try our Cafe’s new menu options, and visit our Gift Shop full of train items and Christmas gifts! Weekend Hours: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 4pm - 9pm; Beginning December 11th we will open Nightly from 4pm - 9pm. Admission is $15/person, plus tax. Ages 2 and under are free. Group rates, field trips, and parties can be booked in advance. Tickets are available on our website. Register online for seasonal coupons! (888) 569-5337 enquiries@waleswest.com www.waleswest.com

SPECTRA Sound & Light Spectacular at the Wharf November 28 - December 31 @ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 The light show runs every night at 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm. (251) 224-1000 www.alwharf.com

Baldwin Pops Band Concert “Movies and Miracles for Christmas”

December 1 @ Daphne Civic Center 2603 U.S. Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526 Under the direction of Dr. Jason Rinehart, the Baldwin Pops Band will present Christmas concerts at Daphne Civic Center at 7pm. Music selections include First Noel, Overture to Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas on Broadway, A Home Alone Christmas, White Christmas, and others. This concert is free. Santa is scheduled to drop in for a short visit with the children during the concert! Follow “Baldwin Pops Band” on Facebook or visit our website. (251) 987-5757 baldwinpops@gmail.com www.baldwinpopsband.com

City of Gulf Shores Lighted Christmas Parade

December 1 @ Public Beach to Clubhouse Drive Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Gulf Shores will kick off holiday festivities with the Lighted Christmas Parade. The parade will begin at 6:30pm and will feature festive lighted floats as well as appearances from holiday characters and marching bands. Large crowds of spectators looking to bask in the holiday spirit are anticipated along Highway 59 as parade entries make their way from the Gulf Place Public Beach to Sims Park. The magical atmosphere from the parade will roll

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continuously into the night as a celebration in Sims Park will kick off immediately following the parade. Families can enjoy pictures with Santa, holiday treats, crafts and a snowball drop. It will be a man-made blizzard as 4,000 ping pong balls will be dropped from above. Winning snowballs will have a number that correlates with a prize supplied by our generous sponsors. (251) 968-1171 events@gulfshoresal.gov www.gulfshoresal.gov/888/Lighted-Christmas-ParadeBeach-Celebrati

Fairhope’s Magical Christmas Parade

December 1 Fairhope, AL 36532 The Fairhope Magical Christmas Parade begins at 7pm at the intersection of Morphy Avenue and Section Street, and continues down Section and Oak Street. The excitement will build as more than 50 parade units dazzle the crowd in anticipation of Santa Claus’ arrival into Fairhope! WABF will be broadcasting the parade live. Come join us for plenty of lights, beautiful floats, and Santa Claus! (251) 929 -1466 www.cofairhope.com

Foley’s Christmas in the Park

December 1 @ Heritage Park 125 East Laurel Avenue Foley, AL 36535 Come out to Heritage Park from 6pm - 8pm to sing carols, sip cocoa, light the Christmas tree and enjoy the beautiful Christmas displays. Don’t forget to visit with Santa. Free Family Event! (251) 943-1300 www.visitfoley.com/

Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra “Holiday Concert”

December 1 @ Foley Civic Center 407 East Laurel Avenue Foley, AL 36535 The child musicians are sure to move audiences

with sounds of the Christmas season. $5.00 suggested donation. Time: 7:00pm. (251) 943-1545 www.mobilesymphony.org

Gulf Coast Ducks - Holiday Ducks

December 1 - 23 @ Fort of Colonial Mobile 150 South Royal Street Mobile, AL 36602 Start a new family tradition and join us for a Jingle Cruise as we embark on a cheerful Holiday adventure and roll through the streets of downtown and splash twice into the Mobile River. View all of the city lights and enjoy sing a longs and holiday cheer. You’re not going to want to miss this hour-long holiday adventure! (251) 802-8687 gulfcoastducks.com

“A Christmas Story”

craft session is an annual event you won’t want to miss! Gift bags will also be available so your little one will have a special surprise ready to place under the Christmas tree! (251) 621-2818 rmoss@daphneal.com www.daphnelibrary.org

Breakfast at the Manger ad on page 47

December 2 @ Fairhope United Methodist Church 155 South Section Street Fairhope, AL 36532 Join us for a pancake breakfast from 8:30am 10:30am for Breakfast at the Manger. Santa will be taking pictures with children and reading the story of the night Jesus was born! There will be family activity stations in the gym, tickets are $5 and every child will be given a gift.

December 1, 2, 3*, 8, 9, 10* @ South Baldwin Community Theater 2022 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, AL 36542 December 1, 2, 8 & 9 @ 7:30 pm; December 3 & 10 (Sunday) @ 2:00 pm. Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralph Parker, who spends most of his time dodging a bully and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle.” Frequently at odds with his cranky dad but comforted by his doting mother, Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact.

(251) 928-1148 www.fairhopeumc.org

(251) 968-6721 info@sbct.biz www.sbct.biz

Foley Kiwanis Club Christmas Parade

Children’s Gift Make & Take

December 1, 8, @ Daphne Library Community Room 2607 Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526 Children are invited to join the Daphne Public Library on December 1 and 8, 2017 from 1:30pm - 5:00pm in the Community Room for a “Make and Take” Christmas gift session. This come and go

City of Fairhope Santa Saturdays

December 2 @ Fairhope Museum of History Fairhope, AL 36532 Santa will be visiting Fairhope on December 2nd and 9th for “Fairhope’s Santa Saturdays”. Santa will be in front of the Fairhope Museum of History from 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. for children to visit. Parents may bring their cameras to take pictures. (251) 929-1466 www.cofairhope.com

December 2 @ Downtown Foley Foley, AL 36535 The annual Foley Kiwanis Club Christmas Parade begins at 10am and winds its way through downtown Foley with festive floats, treats and throws, and of course, Santa waves a Merry Christmas to all. www.foleykiwanisclub.com

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Foley’s Annual “Let It Snow!”

December 2 @ Heritage Park 101 East Laurel Avenue Foley, AL 36535 Bring your mittens to Heritage Park from 11am 3pm. (following the Christmas Parade). Come out to hear live musical performances, listen to Mrs. Claus tell stories, make arts and crafts in the Children’s Art Village, and of course play in the SNOW! Concessions are sold on site. (251) 943-1300 www.visitfoley.com/

Mobile’s Singing Children Annual Christmas Concert

December 2 @ Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception 2 South Claiborne Street Mobile, AL 36602 The Annual Christmas Concert, Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols” featuring Katie Ott, harp. All MSC Choirs will also perform many favorites including O Holy Night, The First Noel, Marshmallow World and much more. Concert begins at 7pm. Donations are accepted at the door. (251) 285-2285 mobilesingingchildren@gmail.com www.mobilesingingchildren.org

Robertsdale Christmas in the Park & Christmas Parade

December 2 @ Robertsdale High School & Honeybee Park 22650 East Chicago Street Robertsdale, AL 36567 The City of Robertsdale will host the Christmas in the Park beginning at 5pm. Parade will will start at 6:30pm at the Robertsdale High School and end at Wisconsin Street at Honeybee Park. For more information contact the Central Baldwin Chamber of Commerce. (251) 947-2626 www.centralbaldwin.com

Spanish Fort Spirit of Christmas Parade December 2 @ Eastern Shore Centre 30500 State Highway 181 Spanish Fort, AL 36527 Spanish Fort’s Annual “Spirit of Christmas” Parade will roll through the Eastern Shore Centre at 9am. If you are interested in participating, a Parade Application may be downloaded from the City’s website. (251) 626-4884 www.cityofspanishfort.com

St. Lawrence Christmas Bazaar

December 2 - 3 370 South Section Street Fairhope, AL 36532 Come for food, fun, a 150 item silent auction featuring 5 tickets to Universal Theme Park, over 100 gift baskets for sale, and 40 vendors including unique art and antiques. Kids can shop in Santa’s Workshop and take pictures with Santa or enjoy the bouncy castle! Our popular Gumbo and gourmet soups are back this year, come early before they sell out. Home canned goods, baked goods, and homemade casseroles to go! Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am - 3:00pm. (251) 928-5931 events@stlawrencefairhope.com www.stlawrencechristmasbazaar.com

Childrens Christmas Concert

December 3 @ Gulf Shores Methodist Church 1900 Gulf Shores Parkway (Highway 59) Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Children’s Christmas Music and fun at 11am. come Celebrate and sing along! (251) 968-2411 info@gulfshoresumc.org www.gulfshoresumc.org

City of Spanish Fort Tree Lighting

December 3 7361 Spanish Fort Blvd Spanish Fort, AL 36527 The annual tree lighting will be from 6pm - 8pm. (251) 626-4884 www.cityofspanishfort.com/

Eastern Shore Choral Society Christmas Concerts

December 3 @ First Baptist Church Fairhope and Spanish Fort Methodist Church Concert dates are Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 2pm (First Baptist Church, Fairhope) and Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15 and sold at the door. escs.executivedirector@gmail.com www.escs.org

Seven Lessons in Carols Children’s Choir

December 3 @ Gulf Shores United Methodist Church 1900 Gulf Shores Parkway (Highway 59) The Gulf Shores UMC Children’s Choir presents a British “Seven Lessons in Carols” at the 11:00 am sanctuary service. Children will sing and play the handbells, as well as play the guitar and various percussion instruments. There will be scripture readings and new original Christmas songs along with familiar carols. (251) 968-2411 www.gulfshoresumc.org

Baldwin Pops Band Concert “Movies and Miracles for Christmas”

December 4 407 East Laurel Avenue Foley , AL 36535 Under the direction of Dr. Jason Rinehart, the Baldwin Pops Band will present Christmas concerts at the Foley Civic Center at 7pm. Music selections include First Noel, Overture to Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas on Broadway, A Home Alone Christmas, White Christmas, and others. This concert is free. Santa is scheduled to drop in for a short visit with the children during the concert.Follow “BaldwinPopsBand” on Facebook or visit our website. (251) 987-5757 baldwinpops@gmail.com www.baldwinpopsband.com

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Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

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USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital Holiday Tree Trail ad on Inside Front Cover

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December 4, 2017-January 5, 2018 @ Geri Moulton Children’s Park 1700 Center Street Mobile, AL 36604 Tree sponsorships are now available for the inaugural USA Children’s & Women’s Holiday Tree Trail! The Trail is a display of holiday trees in Geri Moulton Children’s Park from early December through the New Year. It is a free event for the community to enjoy throughout the holiday season. The trees will light up on Monday, Dec. 4, at dusk, and the tree display will be open nightly from dusk until midnight. For more information, please visit www. usahealthsystem.com/holiday-tree-trail.

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Gingerbread House Display and Contest

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(251) 415-1000 bpurvis@health.southalabama.edu www.usahealthsystem.com/holiday-tree-trail

December 4 - 15 @ Bay Minette Public Library 205 West 2nd Street Bay Minette, AL 36507 Come by the library and vote for your favorite Gingerbread House! Awards will be at 6:30pm on December 8th during Bedtime Stories with Santa.

Eastern Shore Choral Society Christmas Concerts

at 6:30pm and December 24th at 8am, 9:45am, and 11:30am.

December 5 @ First Baptist Church Fairhope and Spanish Fort Methodist Church Concert dates are Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 2pm (First Baptist Church, Fairhope) and Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 7:30pm (Spanish Fort United Methodist, Spanish Fort). Tickets are $15 and sold at the door. escs.executivedirector@gmail.com www.escs.org

Teen Holiday Make & Take

December 5 @ Daphne Public Library 2607 Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526 Teens ( 6th -12th grade) are invited to drop by the library from 3:45pm - 4:45pm and create a holiday craft to share with friends or family. All supplies will be furnished. (251) 621-2818 lyoungblood@daphneal.com www.daphnelibrary.org

Creative Christmas at 3Circle Church ad on page 57

December 6 @ South Campus 10274 State Highway 104 Fairhope, Al 36532 Creative Christmas: Come celebrate our Savior’s Children’s Ornament Make & Take birth! Gatherings at 5pm and 6:30pm. This December 5 @ Daphne Library Community Room special event will feature the University of Mobile 2607 Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526 Jazz Band. The evening will include a variety of Make the Christmas tree at home a little brighter! The art forms, visual and musical, all retelling and Daphne Public Library invites children to make an celebrating the truth of the Christmas story in ornament at their annual “Ornament Make-n-Take” compelling fashion. All attending will be invited from 1:30pm - 5pm. This session will be held in the to not only observe, but also to respond in worLibrary Community Room and is open to children and ship in a variety of ways. Sunday services at their families to come and go as they please. the South Campus will be at 8am, 9:45am, & (251) 621-2818 rmoss@daphneal.com 11:30am. The Christmas Eve service dates and www.daphnelibrary.org PA Xmas Ad.qxp_Layout 1 11/7/17 9:29 AM Page 1 for the South Campus are: December 21st times (251) 580-1648 www.cityofbayminette.org

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(251) 990-3112 info@3circlechurch.com www.3circlechristmas.com

Live Nativity Hayride

December 6 @ Christ United Methodist Church 6101 Grelot Road Mobile, AL 36609 In celebration of the Christmas season, travel in a hayride with us through the story of Jesus’ birth in a Live Nativity. This will be a unique way to experience the Christmas story for everyone of all ages! The Live Nativity will be located in the Christ UMC wooded area near the Patch. We will serve hot cocoa to keep you warm. The hayride is open 5pm - 7pm. (251) 342-0462 www.christumcmobile.com

Playhouse in the Park presents “A Christmas Carol”

December 6 @ Saenger Theatre 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, AL 36602 The beloved Dickens’ Christmas story will come to life on the Saenger Theatre stage in downtown Mobile on Wednesday, December 6 at 7:30 pm. Start your holidays with this delightful production, sure to entertain with all the familiar characters – Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Marley, and of course, Tiny Tim. Don’t miss this special event! (251) 602-0630 playhouseintheparkmobileal@gmail. com playhouseinthepark.org

Baldwin Pops Band Concert “Movies and Miracles for Christmas”

December 7 1930 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Under the direction of Dr. Jason Rinehart, the Baldwin Pops Band will present Christmas concerts at

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7pm. Music selections include First Noel, Overture to Miracle on 34th Street, Christmas on Broadway, A Home Alone Christmas, and many others. Tickets are required for this concert due to space limitations. Purchase tickets at Gulf Shores City Store, 1821 Gulf Shores Parkway, in person (limit of 2 tickets per person). Santa may pop in as well! Follow “Baldwin Pops Band” on Facebook or visit our website. (251) 987-5757 baldwinpops@gmail.com www.baldwinpopsband.com

Children’s Christmas Movie Night

December 7 @ Daphne Library Community Room 2607 Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526 Want to get the whole family in the holiday spirit? Join the Daphne Public Library at 4pm in the Community Room to watch Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009) with the kids! You and your kids will enjoy the laid back atmosphere, a fun movie, and tasty popcorn all for FREE! (251) 621-2818 rmoss@daphneal.com www.daphnelibrary.org

Bedtime Stories with Santa

December 8 @ Bay Minette Public Library 205 West 2nd Street Bay Minette, AL 36507 Come hear a Christmas story and take your child’s picture in Santa’s lap! We will have cookies and cider and award prizes to the winners in the Gingerbread Contest. (251) 580-1648 www.cityofbayminette.org

City of Daphne Christmas Parade

December 8 Main Street Daphne, AL 36526 Join us for the Daphne Christmas Parade along Main Street in Olde Towne! The Parade will begin at 6:30pm and follow the Main Street Route. Ap-

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

plications are available at the Daphne Recreation Center. (251) 621-3703 www.daphneal.com

City of Fairhope North Pole Stroll & Art Walk

December 8 @ Downtown Fairhope Fairhope, AL 36532 Fairhope’s December Art Walk from 6pm - 8pm. Come enjoy the Fairhope North Pole Stroll! Our Biggest Art Walk of the year with Luminaries, Live Music, Refreshments, & Over 1 Million Lights!! (251) 929-1466 www.cofairhope.com

Bay Shore Ballet Academy “The Nutcracker”

December 8 - 10 @ Fairhope Civic Center 161 North Section Street Fairhope, AL 36532 Please join us for Bayshore Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker! Now in it’s 20th local production, this holiday tradition will delight people of all ages. We appreciate your support of the Arts. Tickets are available on eventbrite beginning November 15th. Dates & Times: December 8th at 9:15am and 11:30am, December 9th, at 2pm and 7:30pm, December 10th, at 3:00pm. (251) 990-9744 trinollinger@gmail.com www.bayshoreballet.com

35th Annual Christmas Fest in Bay Minette

December 8 - 9 @ Blackburn Park in Old Town Bay Minette 301 McMeans Avenue Bay Minette, AL 36507 The 35th Annual Christmas Fest is a longstanding tradition complete with Fun for the whole family! On Friday from 10am - 8pm enjoy activities such as the Annual tree lighting, Santa’s arrival, the famous

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ping pong prize drop and entertainment from the Modern El Dorados. Saturday from 8am - 4pm, the fun continues with entertainment from local musicians and performing groups. The Annual Christmas Parade also rolls through downtown Bay Minette at 1:30pm. (251) 937-5665 Kristina@northbaldwinchamber. com www.northbaldwinchamber.com/35th-AnnualChristmas-Festival

Merry Market 2017

December 8 - 9 @ Orange Beach Events Center 25753 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 The Merry Market will be held at the Orange Beach Event Center. Admission is free and open to the public. Vendors with unique gifts, home baked goods, spices, dipping sauces, toys, apparel, jewelry, and arts & crafts. Hours on Friday are 9am - 6pm and Saturday hours are 9am - 5pm. (251) 968-7215 www.alabamacoastalchristmas.com

Billy Claus visits Lulu’s! ad on page 15

December 9 @ LuLu’s 200 East 25th Avenue Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Enjoy a full day of arts & crafts, live music and get your picture taken with Billy Claus and his LuLubelle’s. Make sure to leave Billy your Christmas list so that he can personally deliver it to his brother (you may have heard of him) Santa Claus. What a better way to kick off the holiday season than a day here with all of your friends and family at LuLu’s. (251) 967-LULU (5858); www.LuluBuffett.com

Christmas on the Farm

December 9 @ Seward Farms 10836 Tanner Williams Road Lucedale, MS 39452 Experience the most wonderful time of the year with

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Seward Farms at Christmas on the Farm! Activities include live Nativity Scene, Santa pictures, buy homemade Cowboy Chili at Wagon Wheel Café, hot cider and hot chocolate! Sing your favorite Christmas songs, Hayrides, Funny Farm Golf, Jumping Pillow, Yee Haw Slide, Cow Trains, Pony Rides, stay warm by the campfires and much more. Christmas on the Farm is from 2pm - 7pm. Advance tickets are $10 or $12 at the door. (228) 641-3936 info@sewardfarms.com www. sewardfarms.com

32nd Annual Lighted Boat Parade

December 9 @ LuLu’s - Cobalt Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Don’t miss this Coastal Christmas tradition! The 32nd Annual Lighted Boat Parade will begin at dusk (around 5pm). Parade route starts at LuLu’s and ends at Cobalt. Great viewing sites all along the Intracoastal Canal. (251) 968-7200 or (251) 968-5349 Suzetta @mygulfcoastchamber.com www.alabamacoastalchristmas.com

5 Rivers Holiday Market

December 9 @ 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center 30945 5 Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, AL 36527 Join us for our 1st Outdoor Holiday Market from 9am - 2pm. Enjoy a cup of something warm while you shop for unique, local, handmade gifts. Featuring local artisans, authors, woodturners, crafters, glassblowers as well as our other wonderful outdoor themed items from the 5 Rivers Cypress Gift Shop. While you’re here, take a walk in our woods and see the new Smithsonian Museum Water/Ways Exhibit that opens November 25th. Buy local, enjoy a day outside, and support the conservation efforts of our Mobile-Tensaw Delta. (251) 625-0814 www.alabama5rivers.com

Annual “Christmas through the Ages” at Fort Gaines

December 9 @ Fort Gaines 51 Bienville Boulevard Dauphin Island, AL 36528 The 34th Annual Christmas through the Ages at Fort Gaines Historic Site at Dauphin Island will showcase the holiday through the eyes of soldiers and their families during the 1700s and 1800s. Visiting children will make Christmas ornaments from seashells and other non-traditional items. Time: 9:00am-5:00pm. (251) 861-6992 fortgaines@outlook.com www.dauphinisland.org

Bay Minette Christmas Parade

December 9 @ Downtown Bay Minette Bay Minette, AL 36507 A part of the 35th Annual Christmas Fest, the annual parade is always the star of the show!! With over 50 entries each year, this tradition is fun for the whole family! For parade route and entry information please visit our website. Parade begins at 1:30pm. (251) 937-5665 Kristina@northbaldwinchamber.com www.northbaldwinchamber.com/35th-Annual-Christmas-Festival

Boat Parade Activities at The Wharf

December 9 @ Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach 26389 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 Card Making Class with Barbara Curtis from 9am - 12pm. Paint, cut, glue and stamp. Make 5 cards for family and friends. $50 all supplies are included. Please call for registration. (251) 981-2787 helpdesk@orangebeachartcenter.com www.coastalartscenter.com

Children’s Christmas Angel Breakfast

December 9 @ Gulf Shores UMC Building C101 South Campus 1720 Gulf Shores Parkway, Gulf Shores, AL 9 am; Wear your P.J.s and join us for crafts, games and food. (251) 968-2411 www.gulfshoresumc.org

City of Fairhope Santa Saturdays

December 9 @ Fairhope Museum of History Fairhope, AL 36532 Santa will be visiting Fairhope on December 2nd and 9th for “Fairhope’s Santa Saturdays”. Santa will be in front of the Fairhope Museum of History from 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. for children to visit. Parents may bring their cameras to take pictures. (251) 929-1466 www.cofairhope.com

December 9 @ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 Want a front row seat for all the illuminated action? The Wharf is the place to be! Watch from 5:30pm 8:30pm as boats, large and small, glide through the Intracoastal Waterway in all their festive glory. Head down early to avoid traffic and grab a bite to eat or catch up on some holiday shopping. There will be plenty of fun activities for the kiddos as well. Make it a family affair and join us! (251) 224-1000 www.alwharf.com

Card Making Class

Holiday Half Marathon & 8K Run

December 9 @ Mullet Point Park 13203 County Road 1 Fairhope, AL 36532 The Holiday Half Marathon & 8K Run will start at 8:30am at Mullet Point Park (Take Scenic 98 south of the Grand Hotel to the intersection with County Road 1; Mullet Point Park is on the right). Pre-register by mail (entries should be postmarked by December 5), in person at McCoy Outdoor or Run-N-Tri in Mobile or Running

Get up close with the most curious little monkey, Curious George, and follow his lead, engaging in math, science and engineering activities modeled after his own adventures.

Including meet and greet with Curious George, birthday party packages, special events, storytimes, and more! Curious George television series merchandise © Universal Studios. Curious George and related characters, created by Margret and H. A. Rey, are copyrighted and trademarked by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company and used under license. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP. All rights reserved.

located at 65 government st. • Mobile, AL 36602 • 251-208-6893 • www.exploreum.com The Gulf Coast Exploreum is grateful to its presenting sponsors Mobile County, Hargrove Engineers + Constructors, Austal, Delaney Foundation, Dee and Jim Gambill, Moses Foundation, Mobile Area Water and Sewer, WKRG, and Thompson Engineering, who partnered with us to bring this exhibit to Mobile.

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www.facebook.com/easternshoreparentsmagazine


Wild in Fairhope until noon on December 7, or online events.com. Race day registration from 7:00 to 8:15 AM at Mullet Point Park. (251) 473-7223 www.pcpacers.org

Mobile Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” ad on page 3

December 9 - 10 @ Mobile Civic Center 401 Civic Center Drive Mobile, AL 36602 Mobile Ballet will take you on a magical journey of brilliant dancing, sumptuous sets, and gorgeous costumes. This is a favorite for all ages. Saturday, December 9th at 2:30pm and 7:30pm and Sunday, December 10th at 2:30pm. (251) 342-2241 www.mobileballet.org

Mobile Symphony presents “Mobile’s Magical Christmas”

December 9 - 10 @ Saenger Theatre 6 Joachim Street Mobile, AL 36602 Be prepared for THE holiday experience of the season. We will be presenting not only the full force of the Mobile Symphony Orchestra but we will also be joined by Mobile’s Singing Children and soloist Diane Penning performing all your holiday favorites, popular movie music and lush Christmas arrangements originally created by legendary pops conductor Carmen Dragon for the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In addition, the entire Saenger Theatre will be decked out like you’ve never seen it before. From the moment you step into the theater, you will be fully immersed into the holiday spirit! (251) 432-2010 www.mobilesymphony.org

Mark Hayes Christmas Concert

December 10 @ Gulf Shores UMC 1900 Gulf Shores Parkway (Highway 59) Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Award-winning composer, pianist and arranger Mark Hayes coming down to our area this Christmas season! Mark will be at Gulf Shores United Methodist Church at 7pm for a FREE concert! He will also play piano at the 8:30 and 11am worship services. The music will be all Mark Hayes Christmas music, older favorites as well as recentlycomposed pieces. (251) 968-2411 www.gulfshoresumc.org

The Mobile Pops Christmas Concert

December 11 @ Davidson High School Auditorium 3900 Pleasant Valley Road Mobile, AL 36609 Join us at 7:00pm at Davidson High School for our annual Christmas Concert. All concerts are FREE and open to the public. (251) 679-6036 themobilepops@gmail.com www.themobilepops.com

Eastern Shore Choral Society Messiah Sing-Along

December 12 @ Trinity Presbyterian Church 545 South Mobile Street Fairhope, AL 36532 Concert begins at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15 and sold at the door. For more information email or visit our website. escs.executivedirector@gmail.com www.escs.org

Children’s Santa Stories

December 14 @ Daphne Library Community Room 2607 Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526 Guess who is coming to town? Santa, that’s who! Santa and his helpers will be at the Daphne Public Library on December 14th for two sessions at 4pm

and 5pm. During each session Santa will share his favorite stories with all his Eastern Shore friends, along with free hot cocoa and cookies! Free photos with Santa will also be offered on a first-come, firstserved basis at both sessions. (251) 621-2818 rmoss@daphneal.com www.daphnelibrary.org

Light Up the Arts

December 14 @ Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach 26389 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 Hot Shop glass blow out and Clay Studio demonstrations; Performance by the Dolphin Sound Ensemble from Gulf Shores Elementary; Special book signing by Coastal Arts Center artist, Simone Lipscomb for her book “Finding Home: The Life of Stella Sea Turtle”. Hot Chocolate, Christmas treats, fun raffles and more! Activities are from 5pm - 7pm. (251) 981-2787 helpdesk@orangebeachartcenter.com www.coastalartscenter.com

Nix Center Annual Holiday Concert

December 14 @ James P. Nix Center 1 Bayou Drive Fairhope, AL 36532 Jammin’ Folks will provide holiday music from 2pm - 4pm for all ages to enjoy! Refreshment will be served following the concert. (251) 928-2835 www.cofairhope.com

Teen Holiday Service Hours Opportunity

December 14 @ Daphne Public Library 2607 Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526 Teens will have the opportunity to gain service hours by volunteering to help with our Santa’s Stories event from 4pm - 6pm. Teens are asked to serve refreshments. Elf costumes are available to those who would enjoy dressing up as Santa’s helpers. (251) 621-2818 lyoungblood@daphneal.com www.daphnelibrary.org

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City of Spanish Fort Christmas Readings December 15 @ 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center 30945 5 Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, AL 36527 The City of Spanish Fort hosts its ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Book Reading at 7pm. Children are encouraged to wear their warmest pajamas and to bring along their favorite blanket to sit on. The evening begins with the joyous singing of Christmas carols around the fireplace in the Longleaf Room of Delta Hall. Guest readers read aloud from several Christmas holiday books. The final story, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, is read by a very special guest reader from the North Pole! The atmosphere is magical for all little ones (and grownups) in attendance. Following our story time, cookies and warm cocoa are served to all. Please call to confirm date and times. (251) 626-4884 www.cityofspanishfort.com/

Daphne’s Snow & Movie Night in the Park

December 15 @ W. O. Lott Park Main Street Daphne, AL 36526 Join us as snow begins falling at 4pm at Daphne’s Snow & Movie Night in the Park! Photos with Santa Claus from 5pm - 7pm, and classic Christmas movies at 6pm with popcorn, and much more! (251) 621-9000 www.daphneal.com

Holiday at the Exploreum ad on page 63

December 16 @ Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center and IMAX Theatre 65 South Government Street Mobile, AL 36602 Holiday themed science activities, photos with Santa and more. (251) 208-6873 www.exploreum.com

November 24 – December 31 • 5-9 PM Closed Christmas and New Year’s Days

Breakfast with Santa

December 16 @ Erie Meyer Civic Center 1930 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Children will have one last chance to visit with Santa from 8am - 10am. Families can dive into a wholesome breakfast complete with sausage, bacon, eggs and pancakes before having pictures taken with Santa. Admission for Breakfast with Santa is $5.00. Children 3 and under are free.

VOTED ‘TOP 10 PUBLIC LIGHT DISPLAYS IN AMERICA’

(251) 968-1171 events@gulfshoresal.gov www.gulfshoresal.gov

Advance tickets available online and at the Gardens.

How to Make a Gingerbread House

December 16 @ Grand Hotel Marriott Resort 1 Grand Boulevard Point Clear, AL 36564 Join us from 10am - 11:30am. Learn step by step how to build and decorate your own gingerbread house! Cost is $35 for each gingerbread house. Class size is limited and reservations are required. Call today to book your spot! (251) 928-9201

Winter Wonderland

December 16 @ Cathedral Square and Bienville Square Mobile, AL 36602 Come play in artificial snow, take your picture with Santa Claus and shop for last minute Christmas gifts at the Christmas market in Cathedral Square. Mirrored after the Christmas market in Hamburg, Germany, the market will feature presents, locally grown produce and baked goods. Ride the Polar Express to Bienville Square for kids’ activities, music and more. (251) 208-1550 www.ncsmobile.org

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and the birth of our Saviour this season! Sunday Services at the North Campus are at 9am and 10:45am. Christmas Eve Gatherings for the North Campus will be December 24th at 9am & 10:45am. (251) 990-3112 info@3circlechurch.com www.3circlechurch.com

Noon Year’s Eve Celebration! ad on page 15

December 31 @ Lulu’s 200 East 25th Avenue Gulf Shores, AL 36542 The Family friendly NOON Year’s Eve Celebration at LuLu’s starts at 10am! Noon Year’s is a FREE family event for all ages to enjoy. We will have kid friendly “fireworks,” a massive beach ball drop when the clock strikes NOON, and more! See you there! (251) 967-LULU (5858) www.LuluBuffett.com

Fairhope’s New Year’s Eve Family Celebration

December 31 Fairhope, AL 36532 Bring your family and ring in the New Year in downtown Fairhope with fireworks dancing in the streets, a DJ and a ball drop at midnight! Festivities last from 8:30pm - 12:30am. (251) 929-1466 www.cofairhope.com

MoonPie Over Mobile New Year’s Eve Celebration

Season of Joy: A Celtic Christmas Celebration

December 16 - 17 @ First Baptist Fairhope 300 South Section Street Fairhope, AL 36532 The Music Ministry of First Baptist Church, Fairhope will present “Season of Joy: A Celtic Christmas Celebration” Saturday and Sunday at 7:00pm each night. A full orchestra, Irish fiddle, harp, penny whistle, bagpipes, ensembles, soloists and a children’s choir will accompany the 70+ voice choir in presenting beautiful Celtic Christmas music. This event is free. (251) 928-8685 jbaldwin@fbcfairhope.org http://fbcfairhope.org

Teen Art Workshop

December 19 @ Daphne Public Library 2607 Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526 Teens in grades 6th – 12th grade are invited to attend from 1:30pm - 2:30pm. All art supplies Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

will be furnished. This event is free.

(251) 621-2818 lyoungblood@daphneal.com www.daphnelibrary.org

5 Rivers Holiday Crafts

December 23 @ 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center 30945 5 Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, AL 36527 Come have some Holiday fun making homemade holiday cards, decorations, and memories. All ages, free, no registration required. From 10am - 2pm. (251) 625-0814 www.alabama5rivers.com

Simple Christmas Services at 3Circle Church ad on page 57

December 24 @ North Campus 10080 County Road 64 Daphne, AL 36526 Come help us celebrate a Simple Christmas

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December 31 Downtown Mobile Mobile, AL 36602 With over 60,000 people in attendance last year, this year’s New Year’s event will usher in the new year and Mardi Gras season in grand style. Come and get a close-up look at the Moonpie as it drops in downtown Mobile. There will be live entertainment and a countdown to 2018 like no other. (251) 208-1550 www.ncsmobile.org

Reel in the New Year at The Wharf

December 31 @ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 2018, you’re on the hook and we’re bringin’ ya in. Reel in this upcoming year with us at The Wharf for our annual New Year’s Eve Street Party. Let’s bid adieu to 2017 in the grandest of style. Live bands, family-friendly AND adultcentered fun all rounding off at midnight with our marlin drop and fireworks. Resolutions are for the start of the month. Give yourself one last excuse to let loose! Time: 5:00pm-12:00am. Admission is FREE; Various kids activities range $5-$10. (251) 224-1000 www.alwharf.com ESP

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As the chief director of your familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s universe, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re the pulse-point of the home. But if that means youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re struggling under the mantle of an unforgiving schedule, now is the time to re-evaluate. Your health depends on it. Just ask Nefertari Williams. When nine-months pregnant with her fifth child, Williams suffered a life-threatening heart attack that forced her to reassess her chaotic lifestyle.

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

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Like many moms, 34-year-old Williams’s daily routine included getting her children ready for school before heading to her full-time job working with cognitively and physically disabled preschoolers. After slogging through a 45-minute commute home from work, she quickly made dinner, helped her children with homework and then taxied them to dance, karate, swimming and singing practices. “I made sure my children were not only involved in many activities--they had to be the best,” says Williams, who was also a stage mom to her oldest daughter, a talented singer. In addition, she sold cosmetics and her handmade jewelry. Squeezed into her schedule were visits to the nursing home to see her mother, who had suffered a massive stroke. Her husband, who worked nights, managed the family’s laundry. Williams blames her exhausting schedule for contributing to her heart attack, which was caused by a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). According to the American Heart Association, SCAD typically affects young women who are otherwise healthy. Thirty percent of the time, the condition, which is

a spontaneous Besides tearing in the heart disease, coronary artery chronic stress wall, occurs can lengthen among women the recovery Color in an adult coloring book who have time from illness Get lost in a page-turner novel recently had and fuel other Meditate for one to five minutes a child. SCAD long-term health Go for a walk does not have problems, like any warning obesity, irritable Do yoga signs, making it bowel syndrome, Watch a funny sitcom or movie hard to diaghigh blood presListen to your favorite music nose prior to a sure, insomnia, Paint heart attack. headaches, Take a bubble bath Although depression and doctors aren’t even infertility. sure why SCAD A hectic occurs, Williams says, “after reaching out lifestyle could also make conception more to other SCAD survivors, we had one thing difficult, says Elle Griffin, a natural fertility in common--hyperactive lifestyles.” expert and feminine vitality coach.

Simple ways to de-stress

Overcommitment health risks “Wanting to please, wanting to be everything to everybody, women just keep extending themselves, until their minds and bodies cannot cope,” says Rosalie Moscoe, RHN, RNCP, and author of Frazzled Hurried Woman! Your Stress Relief Guide to Thriving.

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Moderate exercise Exercise in moderation can help relieve stress, but Griffin warns that overtaxing an already stressed body with too much strenuous exercise can increase the stress hormone cortisol. “High levels of circulating stress hormones can impair adrenal function,

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Free Meditation Apps Mediation Timer Pro Take a Break! Omvana Relax Melodies Williams, who is in congestive heart failure, says she now mostly manages her home and family from her bed. “After nearly losing my life, I have learned what’s important which is my love of my higher power and my family,” she says. “My family is happy because I am here with them. They don’t miss the hyperactive lifestyle at all.”

Pursue pleasure. Integrate activities into your day that bring you personal joy. “That doesn’t mean you have to go to yoga or pilates,” Griffin says. “Whether it’s eating cake for dinner or having drinks with girlfriends, doing things just for yourself can have a huge effect on your endocrine health and fertility.” Try out a new recipe, engage in a favorite craft, read a book or take a nap. Or plan to do nothing at all. Schedule “me time” in your calendar if necessary. Practice saying no. Avoid adding

resulting in brain fog, lethargy and the dreaded ‘pregnant belly’ even if you are not with child,” she says. “Some women even start losing their hair.”

How can you better manage your busy lifestyle? Prioritize. Make a list of everything you do. Decide which items can be Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

eliminated, pared down or delegated to others. Can you organize a carpool with another parent? Can you limit your kids’ activities to one per season? Are there volunteer activities that you no longer find meaningful? Can your kids fold and put away laundry? “Dissect one of your most stressful commitments,” Moscoe says. “Your own thoughts and feelings about what is expected of you will determine how much stress you will feel. If you have elder care, get your teenage kids or other family members to visit your folks and do errands. It doesn’t have to be you all of the time.” 70

any new commitments to your schedule. If an opening appears on the calendar, try not to fill the space by obliging someone else. Think you can afford to wait to rein in your hyperactive lifestyle? “Sit down and look into your loved ones eyes. Then, picture them looking at you while laying in the critical care unit of a hospital,” Williams says. “Because you love them, take care of you, so you can be here to watch them grow up.” ESP

Christa Melnyk Hines is a freelance journalist and author of Confidently Connected: A Mom’s Guide to a Satisfying Social Life, a resource for moms seeking a more balanced social life that supports their emotional health.

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A Page in a Book Books to Save a Bad Day Families with kids often have a front row seat to the unwelcome surprises that can come out of nowhere to disrupt an otherwise normal day. When plans go awry and things spiral out of control, sometimes a lighthearted response is the best approach as we work to reassemble our expectations. The following titles recast catastrophe as comedy, taking readers through the mayhem toward hopeful and humorous outcomes on the other side of unexpected chaos!

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Georgie’s Best Bad Day

by Ruth Chan (Roaring Brook / Macmillan) After getting up on the wrong side of the bed and slipping on a banana peel, George seeks out his friends to help turn his bad day around. Unfortunately, his friends are all having their own difficult mornings. They agree that doing their favorite things is guaranteed to turn the bad day around. But as they explore each friend’s choice hobby, gardening gets clipped, knitting knots up, and cooking becomes chaos. When the friends are about give up on the bad day, one final insult to their efforts lets them laugh at the chaos and make the most of what’s left. Delightfully illustrated slapstick moments in George’s Best Bad Day offer kids a bit of humorous perspective for the day that challenges them at every turn.

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by Michelle Robinson, Illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier (Clarion / Houghton Mifflin) The discovery of a box launches an odyssey of catastrophic reactions as a versatile cast of characters try to restore the disassembled robot inside it. With so many hands on the repairs the result teeters between cascade failure or robot readiness, until one hand with a key turns the chaos around. Filled with fantastic sound effects, readers enjoy a mounting tension as switches flick, screws twist, and levers pull in the effort to put the robot back in action. This title also benefits from the repeating patterns of cumulative storytelling which support predictive thought, memorization, and speech therapy. Guaranteed to be a read-aloud favorite, And The Robot Went goes to the top of the bookshelf!

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by Andrea Tsurumi (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) When Lola ruins a chair with a massive juice spill, running away to the library (because books and bathrooms) seems like the best plan. In her dash away from the accident, Lola runs right into other friends’ messes. A broken swing and chopped water hose spur her frightened friends to join Lola’s escape. As the running entourage of unlucky friends swells, their frantic flight is surrounded by edge-to-edge illustrations of mistakes, mayhem, calamity, and errors throughout their community. Chaos follows the fleeing friends into the library and while they don’t escape the day’s catastrophe, they do find a single word in the library that can help them revisit their troubles and set them right. Filled with hilarious background imagery of everything that can go wrong, Accident is a cheerful reminder that not every misfortune happens on purpose.

Find more reading recommendations at www.PageBookMedia.com.

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FamilyCalendar Friday December 1

First Friday Art Walk 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Downtown Fairhope, Fairhope Fairhope First Friday Art Walk Visit our local merchants in Downtown Fairhope as they open late and highlight the art community. Art Walk happens every first Friday of each month from 6-8 p.m. Taste of the Island ($60) 6:30 PM Orange Beach Event Center, 4671 Wharf Parkway West Orange Beach, 36561 This year our culinary extravaganza will host over 30 restaurants from Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and surrounding areas. The Orange Beach Event Center at the Wharf will be the location for this all-inclusive holiday gala, which will consist of food sampling, cocktails, musical entertainment and a silent auction. This spectacular event will benefit Toys for Tots. Please bring an unwrapped toy for local children in need. www.mirams.info

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any interesting field sighting we happen to make on hikes. Hikers should wear closed-toed shoes and bring water if desired. Curious George Story Time 10:30 AM Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, 65 Government Street Mobile, 36604 Join us every other week for a reading of some of your favorite Curious George books. Each installment will be read by a different local “celebrity” and will take place in the Curious George exhibit or the Wharf of Wonder. Make sure to show up a little early so you can get the best spot in the space! These events are free for Exploreum members and included in the price of admission for non-members. www.exploreum.com

Michael Carbonaro Live! 7:30 PM Saenger Theatre, 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, 36602 Ever wondered what it feels like to be on the other side of Michael Carbonaro as he works his magic to make people believe the unbelievable? This is your chance to find out! From his hit television series “The Carbonaro Effect” on truTV, magician Michael Carbonaro brings his signature blend of bizarre antics, audience interaction, hilarious video clips, and mind-blowing magic, live on stage! www.mobilesaenger.com

Saturday December 2

2017 Honeybee Festival and 5K Run/Fun Run 8:00 AM Honeybee Park, 22651 East Chicago Street Robertsdale, 36567 We’re happy to announce that the Honeybee Festival and 5k/Fun Run has been rescheduled for December 2nd. The run will start at 10am and festival will follow. We’ll plan to be at the park all day until the Christmas parade later that evening. Hope to see you there! Festival is from 8:00am-3:00pm. www.cbef.org/ Trail Trot Guided Nature Hike 9:00 AM Graham Creek Nature Preserve, 23460 Wolf Bay Drive Foley, 36535 All guided hikes will begin at 9:00 am at the Interpretive Center. The hikes are intended to get people familiar and comfortable with the Graham Creek Preserve trail system. Trail maps will be available for people to use and we will discuss

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2017

Roman Street 7:00 PM Saenger Theatre, 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, 36602 Roman Street in concert. www.mobilesaenger. com

For many more events, please check out our Holiday Happenings Guide on page 58!

Baldwin Pops Concert 7:00 PM Daphne Civic Center, 2603 US-98 Daphne, 36526 Baldwin Pops concert at the Daphne Civic Center. www.daphneciviccenter.org

South Baldwin Community Theatre presents “A Christmas Story” 7:30 PM 2022 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, 36542 Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralph Parker, who spends most of his time dodging a bully and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle.” Frequently at odds with his cranky dad but comforted by his doting mother, Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact. www.sbct.biz

South Baldwin Community Theatre presents “A Christmas Story” 2:00 PM 2022 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, 36542 Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralph Parker, who spends most of his time dodging a bully and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle.” Frequently at odds with his cranky dad but comforted by his doting mother, Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact. www.sbct.biz

Smithsonian Water/Ways Exhibit Grand Opening Public Party (Free) 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM, 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center, 30945 5 Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 We are very excited to be chosen among five other venues in the state by the Alabama Humanities Foundation to host the traveling Smithsonian Exhibit, Water/Ways. Join 5 Rivers Educators and Staff to celebrate and be one of the firsts to see the exhibit. Free, family friendly. www.outdooralabama.com/5-rivers-events South Baldwin Community Theatre presents “A Christmas Story” 7:30 PM 2022 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, 36542 Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralph Parker, who spends most of his time dodging a bully and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle.” Frequently at odds with his cranky dad but comforted by his doting mother, Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact. www.sbct.biz

Sunday December 3

5 Rivers Animal Ambassadors Meet and Greet

(Free)

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM, 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 Alabama has one of the highest plant and animal diversities in the United States. Join a member of our human educational staff and meet one of the local critter inhabitants from the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and beyond. 251-625-0814 www.outdooralabama.com/5-riversalabamas-delta-resource-center

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Sunday Matinee: Underwater Forest (Free) 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 Underwater Forest details the discovery and exploration of an ancient cypress forest found sixty feet underwater in the Gulf of Mexico, due south of Gulf Shores, Alabama. The forest appears to be a wholly unique relic of our planet’s past, providing new insights into everything from climate in the region to annual rainfall, insect populations, and the types of plants that inhabited the Gulf Coast before humans arrived in the new world. Playing all day 9:00am-4:00pm. 251-625-0814 www.outdooralabama.com/5-riversalabamas-delta-resource-center

Tuesday December 5

5 Rivers Storytime (Free) 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM, 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 The 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month is StoryTime at 5 Rivers. Children under the age of 6 are welcome to stop by for a free reading of a nature based story followed by arts and crafts. 251-625-0814 www.outdooralabama.com/5-riversalabamas-delta-resource-center

Thursday December 7

10th Anniversary Event “The Chocolate Affair”

($25)

6:00 PM Daphne Civic Center, 2603 US-98 Daphne, 36526 Join us for a wonderful evening celebration and fundraiser to benefit Family Promise of Baldwin County! Together, for the past TEN years we have helped homeless families with children here in Baldwin County. Appetizers, desserts galore, heavy hor d’oeuvres, fun, fellowship, music, silent auction, and live auction. www.familypromisebc.org Gulf Coast Exploreum presents - When Will We Find Extraterrestrial Life? (General admission is

$10 for adults or children. Member admission pricing is $8 for adults or children. Please purchase tickets in advance.)

6:00 PM Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, 65

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FamilyCalendar Government Street Mobile, 36604 Are we alone in the universe? Is it possible that all of the Milky Way’s trillion planets are sterile, with the exception of Earth? “When Will We Find Extraterrestrial Life?” Followed by a FREE viewing of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” Presented by Seth Shostak, Ph.D. Astrophysicist, Senior Astronomer for the SETI Institute. www.exploreum.com Distinguished Lecture Series “Culinary Medicine” 6:30 PM USA Gulf Shore Cultural Center Auditorium, 19470 Oak Road West Gulf Shores, 36542 University of South Alabama Gulf Coast Distinguished Lecture Series presents Culinary Medicine. www.usacontinuinged.com Weeks Bay Plantation Concert Series ($20)

7:00 PM Weeks Bay Plantation, 12562 Mary Ann Beech Road Fairhope, 36532 Weeks Bay Plantation is excited to announce its first ever fall concert series, The Blueberry Sessions. Teaming up with Hix Snedeker Companies and Skate Mountain Records, Weeks Bay Plantation will host the intimate three-part concert series featuring live musical performances from world-class Southern singers and songwriters set in the idyllic surroundings of the organic Fairhope farm. Griffin House in concert. www.weeksbayplantation.com

Friday December 8

Bay Bash 5:30 PM - 9:30 PM, Gulf Quest, 155 South Water Street Mobile, 36602 Join Mobile Baykeeper for this annual celebration of Mobile Bay as they celebrate 20 years of protecting the Mobile Bay Watershed and our coastal communities. Enjoy dinner, drinks, dancing, and a special guest speaker on the beautiful riverfront of downtown Mobile. Visit mobilebaykeeper. org/bay-bash or contact Justine Herlihy at jherlihy@ mobilebaykeeper.org for more information. mobilebaykeeper.org/bay-bash South Baldwin Community Theatre presents “A Christmas Story” 7:30 PM 2022 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, 36542 Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralph Parker, who spends most of his time dodging a bully and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle.” Frequently at odds with his cranky dad but comforted by his doting mother, Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact. www.sbct.biz

Saturday December 9

Authors of “Exploring Wild Alabama” Presentation and Book Signing 6:00 PM 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 Join us for a presentation and book signing for “Exploring Wild Alabama: A Guide to the State’s Publicly Accessible Natural Areas” by Ken Wills and Dr. Larry Davenport. This is a must-have book for anyone that loves to get outside and enjoy nature. The authors will be joining us to talk about their book and what inspired them to write it. Light refreshments will be served. 251-625-0814 www.outdooralabama.com/5-riversalabamas-delta-resource-center

South Baldwin Community Theatre presents “A Christmas Story” 7:30 PM 2022 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, 36542 Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralph Parker, who spends most of his time dodging a bully and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle.” Frequently at odds with his cranky dad but comforted by his doting mother, Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact. www.sbct.biz

Sunday December 10

5 Rivers Animal Ambassadors Meet and Greet

(Free)

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM, 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 Alabama has one of the highest plant and animal diversities in the United States. Join a member of our human educational staff and meet one of the local critter inhabitants from the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and beyond. 251-625-0814 www.outdooralabama.com/5-riversalabamas-delta-resource-center South Baldwin Community Theatre presents “A Christmas Story” 2:00 PM 2022 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, 36542 Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralph Parker, who spends most of his time dodging a bully and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a “Red Ryder air rifle.” Frequently at odds with his cranky dad but comforted by his doting mother, Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact. www.sbct.biz Sunday Matinee: River Dreams (Free) 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 The film is the work of Hunter Nichols of Birmingham, who made his 44-day solo canoe trip from Birmingham through the MobileTensaw Delta to the Gulf of Mexico. Playing all day 9:00am-4:00pm. 251-625-0814 www.outdooralabama.com/5-riversalabamas-delta-resource-center

Thursday December 14

The Revivalists 8:00 PM Saenger Theatre, 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, 36602 The Revivalists in concert. www.mobilesaenger.com

Saturday December 16

Curious George Story Time 10:30 AM Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, 65 Government Street Mobile, 36604 Join us every other week for a reading of some of your favorite Curious George books. Each installment will be read by a different local “celebrity” and will take place in the Curious George exhibit or the Wharf of Wonder. Make sure to show up a little early so you can get the best spot in the space! These events are free for Exploreum members and included in the price of admission for non-members. www.exploreum.com Barnes and Noble - Meet Laura Murray 2:00 PM Barnes and Noble, 30500 Alabama 181 Spanish Fort, 36527 Please join us at on Saturday, December 16th to meet Laura Murray. Laura wrote and illustrated “Amazing Alabama: A Coloring Book Journey Through Our 67 Counties.” 251-621-3545

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Sunday December 17

5 Rivers Animal Ambassadors Meet and Greet

(Free)

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM, 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 Alabama has one of the highest plant and animal diversities in the United States. Join a member of our human educational staff and meet one of the local critter inhabitants from the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and beyond. 251-625-0814 www.outdooralabama.com/5-riversalabamas-delta-resource-center Sunday Matinee: Discovering Alabama: Coastal Paradise (Free) 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 Part of the Discovering Alabama series, Dr. Doug Phillips canoes through the beautiful wild wonders in the area and highlighting the area’s unique geological, historical, and biological richness. Playing all day 9:00am-4:00pm. 251-625-0814 www.outdooralabama.com/5-riversalabamas-delta-resource-center

Tuesday December 19

5 Rivers Storytime (Free) 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM, 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 The 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month is StoryTime at 5 Rivers. Children under the age of 6 are welcome to stop by for a free reading of a nature based story followed by arts and crafts. 251-625-0814 www.outdooralabama.com/5-riversalabamas-delta-resource-center

Friday December 22

Dollar General Bowl Activities - Mardi Gras Parade, Pep Rally and Street Party 6:30 PM Downtown Mobile, Mobile Doubloons, moon pies and beads will fill the air as the Greer’s Markets and Cash Savers/Al.com Mardi Gras parade marches through the streets of Downtown mobile. Don’t miss Mobiles largest Mardi Gras themed parade with over 24 mardi gras floats, marching bands from both teams participating in the Dollar General Bowl as well as high school squads from across the country. Following the parade the party will move to Bienville square for team pep rallies and street party. dollargeneralbowl.com

Saturday December 23

Wind Creek Fan Festival 4:00 PM Ladd-Peebles Stadium, 1621 Virginia Street Mobile, 36604 Beat the traffic and get to the stadium early for the Dollar General Bown and enjoy a great tailgate experience featuring live music, great food, games and activities for all football fans! I Heart Radio will host a live concert and fans can prepurchase tickets for a great meal at the VIP Buffet Tent. dollargeneralbowl.com Dollar General Bowl 6:00 PM Ladd-Peebles Stadium, 1621 Virginia Street Mobile, 36604 A national television audience will tune in to ESPN on Saturday, December 23, for the 19th Annual Dollar General Bowl. The Dollar General Bowl has built a reputation of fielding some of the most competitive and exciting games of the Bowl season. dollargeneralbowl.com

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FamilyCalendar

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Thursday January 4

Tuesday January 9

Friday January 5

Wednesday January 10

Some Enchanted Evening ~ The Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein 7:30 PM South Baldwin Community Theater, 2022 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, 36542 This stunning collection of compositions places five performers in a theatrical setting-first ‘backstage,’ where the songs are sung as personal interplay, and then ‘onstage.’ While offering the performers an opportunity to explore the songs within their own styles and sensibilities, it offers the audience a glorious parade of genuine hits. sbct.biz

Thursday January 11

Some Enchanted Evening ~ The Music of Rodgers & Hammerstein 7:30 PM South Baldwin Community Theater, 2022 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, 36542 This stunning collection of compositions places five performers in a theatrical setting-first ‘backstage,’ where the songs are sung as personal interplay, and then ‘onstage.’ While offering the performers an opportunity to explore the songs within their own styles and sensibilities, it offers the audience a glorious parade of genuine hits. sbct.biz

First Friday Art Walk 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Downtown Fairhope, Fairhope Fairhope First Friday Art Walk Visit our local merchants in Downtown Fairhope as they open late and highlight the art community. Art Walk happens every first Friday of each month from 6-8 p.m.

Black Jacket Symphony: Led Zeppelin “IV” 8:00 PM Saenger Theatre, 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, 36602 The Black Jacket Symphony offers a unique concert experience through recreating classic albums in a live performance setting. Led Zeppelin’s “IV” album is performed in its entirety by a group of handpicked musicians specifically selected for each album, with no sonic detail being overlooked–the musicians do whatever it takes to musically reproduce the album. www.mobilesaenger.com

Shen Yun Performing Arts 2018 7:30 PM Mobile Civic Center, 401 Civic Center Drive Mobile, 36608 You will be taken on a journey to magnificent eras in Chinese history, as well as to periods from China’s recent past. Ancient stories and legends, ethnic and folk traditions, villains and heroes will come to life on stage through classical Chinese dance, live music, and stunning digital backdrops. You can expect an experience like no other, one that not only entertains, but also enriches and inspires. 251-208-7261 www.shenyun.com/mobile

Winter Wednesdays 10:30 AM Bellingrath Gardens and Home, 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road Theodore , 36582 Even during the cold season, Bellingrath Gardens is filled with blooms and beauty. Gulf Coast residents and visitors are invited to join us at our Winter Wednesdays series in January and February for sessions on gardening, history and more. The Winter Wednesdays sessions are held each week in the Magnolia Room from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. through Feb. 28. bellingrath.org

Distinguished Lecture Series - “Mardi Gras in Mobile: America’s Original Mardi Gras!” 6:30 PM USA Gulf Shore Cultural Center Auditorium, 19470 Oak Road West Gulf Shores, 36542 University of South Alabama Gulf Coast Distinguished Lecture Series presents “Mardi Gras in Mobile: America’s Original Mardi Gras!” www.usacontinuinged.com

Classes/Meetings

Regions Bank presents Clay Walker 7:00 PM The Steeple on St. Francis, 251 St Francis Street Mobile, 36602 Clay Walker at The Steeple. www.thesteeplemobile.com

Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections (APAC) Offering Adoptive Family Support Group Meetings in Baldwin County the 3rd Thursday of each month. The meeting is held at 3 Circle Church, 10274 Highway 104, Fairhope. from 6 - 7:30 p.m. Parent, Youth/Teen group and childcare is available. Topic discussions by adoption professionals and ceu’s for foster families are offered. For more information call 251-460-2727 or 1-800-489-1886 or www.childrensaid.org. APAC also offers free counsuling services to adoptive families. Celebration MOPS Fairhope (Meets During School Year Only) Celebration MOPS meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at Celebration Church, 8180 Dyer Road, Fairhope. Childcare is provided and is included in the fees. There is an annual $23.95 MOPS International membership fee and $30 per semester. Call for info at 251928-0343 or like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/ celebrationmopsfairhopeal. Family Center’s Positive Parenting Classes are held on Tuesday mornings 9:30-11:30 am and Responsible Parenting with focus on fathers, co-parenting and economic stability/child support are Wednesday mornings 9 am-11 am and Monday evenings 6 pm-8pm. Call 251-947-4700 to register for either class. at The Family Center is located at

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Saturday January 6

Curious George Story Time 10:30 AM Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, 65 Government Street Mobile, 36604 Join us every other week for a reading ofmostsome ofmonkey, your Get up close with the curious little Curious George, and follow his lead, engaging in math, science and engineering activities modeled afterGeorge his own adventures. favorite Curious Including meet and greet with Curious George, books. installment birthday Each party packages, special events, storytimes, and more! will be read by a different local “celebrity” and will take place in the Curious George exhibit or the located at 65 government st. • Mobile, AL 36602 • 251-208-6893 • www.exploreum.com Wharf of Wonder. Make sure to show up a little early so you can get the best spot in the space! These events are free for Exploreum members and included in the price of admission for non-members. www.exploreum.com Curious George television series merchandise © Universal Studios. Curious George and related characters, created by Margret and H. A. Rey, are copyrighted and trademarked by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company and used under license. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP. All rights reserved.

The Gulf Coast Exploreum is grateful to its presenting sponsors Mobile County, Hargrove Engineers + Constructors, Austal, Delaney Foundation, Dee and Jim Gambill, Moses Foundation, Mobile Area Water and Sewer, WKRG, and Thompson Engineering, who partnered with us to bring this exhibit to Mobile.

Sunday January 7

Jason Isbell 7:00 PM Saenger Theatre, 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, 36602 Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit concert. www.mobilesaenger.com

22671 Hwy. 59 South, Robertsdale. Fairhope MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) (Meets During School Year Only) We meet 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. every 2nd & 4th Monday (during the school year) at Fairhope United Methodist Church. All mothers of young children are welcome. Email fairhopemops@yahoo.com for how to register. Father Central of Daphne *Positive Fathering, A New & Improved Parenting Class Just For Men, $75 giftcard upon completion. Mondays, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Call 251-626-1610 to register, held at The Exchange Club Family Center of Baldwin County, 27365 Pollard Rd., Daphne, near the YMCA. *Chill Skills” - Anger Management by appointment. $25 giftcard upon completion. Call 251-626-1610 schedule, The Exchange Club Family Center of Baldwin County, 27365 Pollard Rd., Daphne, near the YMCA. *Nurturing Parenting, everything you need to know but were afraid to ask. Thursdays, 9:30-11:30 a.m., 12-week rotating series. Jump in on any Thursday! Call 251-626-1610 to register, 27365 Pollard Rd, Daphne. Shepherd’s Place (Christian Life Center) Ministry for memory & physically challenged. Mondays & Wednesdays 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Tuesdays & Thursdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Fairhope United Methodist Church, 155 South Section Street, Fairhope. 928-1148. SOS (Survivors of Suicide) This group is for adults who has ever lost a loved one to suicide. SOS meets the 2nd and 4th Monday of EVERY month from 6:30 to approximately 8:00 p.m. at the Fairhope United Methodist Church, 155 S. Section Street, Fairhope. The support group is facilitated by a professional and co-facilitated by two survivors. For information, please email jlbarber5@ bellsouth.net or call 251-455-6453. South Baldwin Regional Medical Center offers the following classes: Your entire family can take part in several informative classes designed to help moms and dads welcome their special new addition to the family with more confidence. Classes cover topics including: Having A Healthy Pregnancy Nutrition, discomforts of pregnancy, warning signs of complications, and relaxation exercises. One session. $10. Prepared Childbirth Classes (Once a week for four weeks). Cost: $30 Week 1: Begin the Stages of Labor: The labor and delivery process, signs and stages of labor, options for coping, pain management, vaginal delivery, and relaxation exercises. Week 2: Delivery and Cesarean Birth: A review of complications that may arise, use of special equipment, complete the stages of labor, cesarean delivery, and relaxation exercises. Week 3: New Born and Postpartum Care: Newborn appearance, caring for the newborn, infant safety, recognizing complications, relaxation exercises, and choosing a pediatrician. What to

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FamilyCalendar expect after delivery, understanding the physical and emotional changes to your body, and relaxation exercises. Week 4: The Art of Breast Feeding: The benefits of breast feeding for mother and baby, anatomy and physiology of the breast, how to breastfeed, and common difficulties. One session. • Tiny Toes members may enroll in Yoga, Water Aerobics and Expectant Mother Exercise classes through the Snook Family YMCA. The fee is $5 a class. There is a $3 fee for child care. There is no fee if you are already a member of the YMCA. All classes are located at South Baldwin Regional Medical Center–1613 North McKenzie Street Foley. Tuesday evenings 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Classroom A. • Please plan to attend the Healthy Pregnancy Class during your first trimester and the Prepared Childbirth Classes anytime after your 24th week of pregnancy. For more information or to enroll please call the OB Educator at 949-3676 to schedule. Gift of Life The Gift of Life is a required maternity care program for Medicaid patients or Medicaid-eligible patients. The Gift of Life Program provides a caring system of prenatal services; education and care coordination for expectant moms and their babies. For info contact 949-3781. Thomas Hospital offers the following classes: Breastfeeding Class
 Thomas Fitness Center (Fairhope). Monthly, first Tuesday, 6 - 8 p.m. 
Free. Infant CPR and Safety Class
 Thomas Fitness Center (Fairhope). Preregistration required. 
To register call 2791373. 
Saturdays, 4 - 6 p.m.


Moving Through Labor Childbirth Classes Three or four-week prepared childbirth class series which prepares the mother-to-be and her support partner for the labor and delivery experience. $30 fee for the class series. Thomas Fitness Center, (Fairhope)
Mondays, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thomas Fitness Center (Fairhope)
Saturdays, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
 Thomas Medical Center (Daphne)
Tuesdays, 6-8:30 p.m.
 Thomas Medical Center (Daphne) Thursdays, 6-8 p.m. Pre-registration required. Call 251- 279-1373 or visit www.thomashospital.com for upcoming classes and registration. Natural Childbirth Classes, Fertility Awareness, Mother’s Comfort, Exercise and Nutrition For class schedule or information call Geralyn Piizzotti, 251- 928-9396. Yourbodyyourbirth@ bellsouth.net. Newborn Basics Class Held on the second Monday of every month from 6 – 8 p.m. at Thomas Medical Center in Daphne. Free. No Pre-registration required. Pre-admission Sessions 6 p.m. at Thomas Medical Center in Daphne. Pre-registration required. 
 Sibling Class 
 Thomas Hospital Fitness Center (Fairhope). 
Preregistration required. 
Call 279-1373.
10-11 a.m. 
 Thomas Hospital offers the following support groups for the community: Alanon (Alcoholics Anonymous) Meetings are held every Wednesday from 7 to 8 p.m. at The Harbor at Thomas Hospital. Call 800-477-1104.

Alateen Meetings are held every Wednesday from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Morphy Conference Room East Tower meeting room at Thomas Hospital. Call 391-1152 for more information. ALS Support Group Meetings are held on the second Thursday of every month from 11 a.m. to noon at Thomas Medical Center. Call 205-937-4415 for more information. Bosom Buddies Breast Cancer Support Group Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at the Thomas Hospital Health Resource Center located at: 308 S. Greeno Road, Fairhope. Call 928-8650 for more information. Cancer Support Group for Women Meetings are held the first Thursday of every month from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Morphy Conference Room. For more information, call Patti Huval at 209-1229. Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Group Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month from 10 to 11 a.m. at Thomas Medical Center. Call 251- 626-6337 for more information. We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of these calendar events. However, you should call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information.

Please send your calendar events to lynn@ easternshoreparents.com!

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Justice League

Coco

MPAA Rating: PG-13 Overall: B Violence: CSexual Content: B+ Profanity: BAlcohol / Drug Use: C The MPAA has rated The Justice League PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action. Since the credits rolled on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Caped Crusader has softened, even if he still isn’t sure of his deceased colleague’s motives. However, the time for mourning quickly concludes when yet another antagonist shows up on the blue planet. Following the comic genre template, an extended backstory sequence explains Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds). He is this episode’s villain, and one who initiated a huge battle on Earth many years ago. Fortunately he was sent packing, but neglected to take his baggage with him: three glowing “Mother Boxes” that, if placed together, will destroy the world... maybe even the universe. He discovers one of the boxes is stashed on the island of Themyscira, also the home of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). His violent visit, joined by a swarm of CGI flying somethings, motivates WW aka Diana Prince to team up with Batman to send the prehistoric predator on his way once more. The pair also recruit to their cause Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash. Teen audiences wanting to see these DC Comic conquerors duke it out will enjoy the many battle sequences of these titans, though there is little blood or gore. Perhaps the most disappointing issue with this film is a subtle decision in the wardrobe department. Wonder Woman is already the singular member of the Justice League to be stuck going to work in awkward swimwear. Parents may want to take this opportunity to illustrate the entrainment industry’s incessant need to continually define women as “eye candy”.

MPAA Rating: PG Overall: B+ Violence: BSexual Content: AProfanity: AAlcohol / Drug Use: B The MPAA has rated Coco PG for thematic elements. Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) comes from a cursed family. It all began when his great-great-grandfather decided to pursue a career as a songwriter and abandoned his wife Imelda and their young daughter Coco. She banned her descendants from having anything to do with music. Even though that was four generations ago, Miguel is still suffering the effects of her edict. Then comes Dia de los Muertos - the Day of the Dead. While his parents, Abuelita (grandmother) and great grandmother Coco are preparing for the celebration that honors deceased ancestors, the twelve-year-old attempts to sneak out with the hope of entering a talent contest being held in the town square. But everyone’s plans are disrupted when the stringed instrument is destroyed. The unfortunate incident does have one fortunate result – it provides a clue to Miguel’s heritage. Armed with this information, the boy breaks into the mausoleum of Ernesto De La Cruz to steal his famous guitar that is on display there. Although his intentions are just to show his closed-minded relatives that they should let him play music, the theft has unexpected and supernatural results. Much of the story takes place in Land of the Dead which may be frightening for young viewers, especially when much of the comedy comes from literal portrayals of characters losing their heads, dropping their jaws, or having their eyes pop out. Along with these somewhat ghoulish images, the plot features a dark villain with murderous intentions. Despite this, Coco offers a heartwarming tale best shared with older children rather than the little tikes.

The Star

Wonder

MPAA Rating: PG Overall: B Violence: B+ Sexual Content: AProfanity: A Alcohol / Drug Use: A The MPAA has rated The Star PG for some thematic elements. The Star portrays the events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ through colorful animation with a good dose of artistic flexibility... meaning the tale starts with a talking rodent. Abby (voice of Kristin Chenoweth) is our “mouse on the wall” that allows us to meet young Mary (voice of Gina Rodriguez) when she is visited by an angel. When the young woman is told she will give birth to the Son of God, Mary is more than willing to accept the assignment. Fortunately, within the context of this movie, everyone demonstrates great faith in Mary’s announcement, including her chosen man. His biggest concern is capacity live up to the responsibilities of being the father of Jesus. That’s when the next heavenly communication takes place, giving Joseph the assurance he’s up to the task. Definitely created to keep the attention of children, The Star’s main attraction is Bo the donkey (voice of Steven Yeun). Desperate to escape his servitude for a miller’, which means walking in circles to grind grain, Bo’s greatest desire is to provide transportation to a king. Although the biblical story’s sequence of events is somewhat shuffled and the Good Book’s narrative didn’t include three “wise” cracking camels (voices of Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey) or other supportive farm animals, the spirit of the occasion still shines through. And that may make this movie a worthwhile reminder of the “reason for the season”.

MPAA Rating: PG Overall: A Violence: B+ Sexual Content: AProfanity: AAlcohol / Drug Use: BThe MPAA has rated Wonder PG for thematic elements including bullying, and some mild language. It’s as plain as the nose on your face that Auggie Pullman (played by Jacob Tremblay) is no ordinary ten-year-old. Born with a genetic defect (that is never clearly identified in the film), the boy has undergone 27 surgeries in his short life and still has a face only a mother could love. Consequently, the youngster has been sheltered from the outside world and home schooled – until now. Auggie’s mother (Julia Roberts) has decided that he should attend a real institution as he begins the first year of middle school. She logics that most of the other students will be new too, so it should ease the transition. Despite all the pep talks, and the support of his father (Owen Wilson) and sister Via (Izabela Vidovic), the whole family is secretly quite concerned about how Auggie’s facial deformities will be seen by his peers. Much of this movie follows the quiet child as he tries to establish himself in a new environment that is less hospitable than the walls of his of own home. Watching Aggie navigate the challenges of his situation would provide enough material for a good plot, yet this thoughtful script (which is based on a novel by R.J. Palacio) takes the story into unexpected territory by examining the feelings of jealousy, neglect and isolation as the perspectives of his sister and other friends are shared. In a subtle way, it exposes the fact that we all carry scars – even if they aren’t as visible as the nose on Auggie’s face. And it demonstrates the power that’s unleashed when ordinary people doing kind things.

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Eastern Shore Parents Magazine December 2017  

Community Holiday Happenings in this issue. Plus encouraging articles, toy reviews, local school news and so much more!