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Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019



December2019 44

Volume 12 Number 7



6 Publisher’s Note Lynn Knighton

8 Therapeutic Parenting

Potty Training Hacks

5 tools for your arsenal to make potty training run more smoothly.

Holiday Survival Guide Eliminate holiday stress by following these tips.

Sonia Martin, LICSW, PIP

14 Kids Health Watch sponsored by Magnolia Springs Pediatrics


42 Parenting, Media & Everything in Between


Common Sense Media

46 Dave Says Dave Ramsey

Holiday Happenings Holiday parades, lights, musicals and more!

Our Kids’ Brains on Video Games

71 Get This! Gerry Paige Smith

Do they change brain chemistry?

Departments On The Cover Elise Claire Toups (8), daughter of Trent and Emilie Toups and older sister to three brothers: Micah (6) Isaiah (4) and Charlie (4 months). Elise loves horseback riding, ballet and reading to her brothers. She also enjoys helping mommy cook and label products for Toups


Bits and Pieces 16

School Bits 60

Book Reviews 66

Family Calendar 72

and Co.

Movie Reviews


Publisher’sNote The Eastern Shore’s Foremost Parenting Source

One of my very favorite Christmas movies is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I think it is absolutely hilarious and totally relatable. I may not have a Cousin Eddie, but I can totally empathize with dreams of a perfect holiday and a tree that won’t fit through the door. On more than one occasion, several actually, my family has ventured out on our traditional trip to the Christmas tree farm to pick out the perfect tree, only to come home with a tree that will barely fit through the door. Tip: always measure the tree at the farm. Like Clark, many of us dream of that picture perfect Norman Rockwell holiday with friends and family, complete with magical decorations that will light up our childrens’ faces. But, also like the Griswolds, there are many times things go less than perfect. We end up with lights that won’t work, animals destroying the tree, and an overcooked turkey. The good thing is, our kids probably don’t even remember the stuff we stress over. I don’t remember my mom ever stressing over any holiday. She just whipped up a spread of food, decorated the house and everything was wonderful, or at least that is how I remember it. I have asked her before how she did it all and she says she “just did and didn’t really think much about it”. I will say that Mom is and has always been obsessively organized with her planning and preparing in advance, so maybe that is the key. However, she did admit there were mishaps, like the time my dog ate an entire Hickory Farms gift set that was wrapped under the tree and the time she forgot where she hid some of our presents. While I couldn’t get any great tips from my mom to help us out, fortunately Kimberly Blaker shares some in Survival Guide For a Stress-Free Holiday Season on page 48. Speaking of stressful seasons, this month we also have an article on potty training. Any parent that has potty trained a child knows this too is a season of life where organization and planning is key. You have to time potty breaks, always have backup clothes with you and know were every bathroom in town is. Some people will tell you there is a certain age when you have to potty train, but from my limited experience, every child is different and ready in their own time. What worked to train one child, may not work with the next. To help families get through this stage, Cheryl Maguire has written 5 Potty Training Hacks on page 44. While you have out your planner organizing your holiday to-dos and scheduling potty breaks for your littles, make sure you make room for all of the great holiday activities we have included in the Holiday Happenings Directory on page 52. We have included some fun opportunities to start new family traditions or participate in some family favorites. Plan a day at a Christmas tree farm, sipping hot cocoa and picking out the perfect tree, or spend the evening enjoying a holiday performance. There is plenty to choose from, or choose them all! So whether your eccentric great-aunt shows up with cat food in her jello salad or Uncle Eddie is in your living room drinking eggnog from a reindeer mug (I always thought they were Marty Moose mugs), take a moment and just be thankful for the love of family and friends...and don’t sweat the small stuff. May God bless you with a December filled with peace and joy.


Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019


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 Editor DeAnne Watson Associate Editor Kelly Watson Research Editor Christa Weinberg Contributing Writers Kimberly Blaker Christa Hines Cheryl Maguire Sonia Martin, LICSW, PIP Dave Ramsey Robert L. Rux, M.D. Gerry Paige Smith

Cover Photography Stephanie Hanway

President Jason Watson Advertising Opportunities Lynn Knighton (251) 929-2099 Accounts Manager Eleanor Williams Ad Design Tim Welch

Visit us online at 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.


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TherapeuticParenting by Sonia Martin, LICSW, PIP

The Hard Road of Parenting I think there is some unspoken expectation that exists when you author a monthly parenting column. An expectation that the author’s own children will be positively delightful at all hours of the day, that the children spend their free time tutoring each other in Latin, and they work toward peace in the Middle East in their free time instead of playing video games. Well, let me just implode that perception for you right now. Just last week I had the (ahem) privilege of finding out that one of my precious darlings said something incredibly hurtful and ugly to another child. And it is hard. And it is frustrating. And it is maddening and embarrassing. I had ALL the feelings that day. It reminded me of a day a few years ago when I ran into a friend in a grocery store and, in the midst of friendly small talk and catching up, I asked her how her kids were and she immediately burst into ugly cry tears. Turns out, she was on her way to the school – the principal had just called and she had been holding it in trying to just get through the checkout line.

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019

I tell you all of this to say – I get it. We all get it. Rarely does a parent walk this hard road of parenting and arrive at Destination Adulthood completely unscathed by something that happened with their child. Maybe it’s a teenager who crashed his car into an ambulance within the first six months of driving (personal true story), maybe it’s the middle schooler who skipped first period to go hang out with friends instead of doing Algebra (personal true story), maybe it’s the toddler that had to be carried out of the store kicking and screaming after breaking every last pickle jar in the aisle. Whatever it is we have all either been there – or we are headed there. So it is my encouragement to you, fellow parenting warriors, that we all realize our children are going to screw it up, they are going to get things wrong, they are going to do or say things they should not. And oddly, that’s ok. That’s the process of childhood. It is our role as their parents to love and lead and guide and disciple


and train and teach them in the way they should go. So often we think we should be “good enough” to prevent them from making mistakes in the first place, and I would encourage you to challenge that line of thinking. You are good enough. But predicting and mitigating every last mistake your kids are going to make before they happen is just unrealistic and tends to do little else than heap coals of shame and guilt upon our heads. So in the words of Taylor Swift, shake it off. Be available to your children, be their soft place to land in this world of hard, be thoughtful and intentional in your response to their mistakes, and always remember that you have a crowd of other parents cheering you on. And hey, if you have to cry in the middle of the grocery store, cry. They have a whole aisle of tissues just waiting for you. Sonia is a licensed social worker and holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work. Her clinical focus is on helping parents and professionals understand the role of the brain in behavior and how to adopt therapeutic parenting techniques to mitigate negative behaviors. She is the Director of Central Alabama for Lifeline Children’s Services and is a mother to 7 sons, 3 of which were internationally adopted and she is a foster parent.



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5 Rivers Delta Resource Center Holiday Story Time and Movies

37th Annual Christmas Fest in Bay Minette

Join us for Holiday stories and movies at 5 Rivers. Story Times are the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month from 10 AM – 11 AM. Children under age 6 years are welcome to stop by for the reading of a story, followed by arts and crafts. No registration is necessary. December 3rd Story: Snow Party; December 8th Movie: Shrek the Halls (looping throughout the day); December 17th Story: How the Grinch Stole Christmas; December 22nd Movie A Charlie Brown Christmas (looping throughout the day). Events are free and open to the public.

The 37th Annual Christmas Fest is a timehonored holiday event returning to its original home on the Courthouse Square in Downtown Bay Minette. Join us on Saturday, December 14 from 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM. This one-day celebration will feature vendors, delicious food, Santa photos, Christmas Parade, Ping Pong Prize Drop, live music, kids activities, entertainment and more!

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Mobile Ballet Announces "The Nutcracker" 2019

December brings Mobile Ballet’s lavish holiday tradition of “The Nutcracker” – pairing Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece with fresh choreography from Artistic Director Katia Garza and featuring world renowned Guest Artists Lilliana Hagerman and Lamin Pereira of Kansas City Ballet as Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier, as well as Paul Branco as the Nutcracker. The Mobile Ballet Company will also be joined by dancers from the entire community – with open auditions for traditional favorites including Party Girls, Soldiers, Bon Bons and more! This is a favorite for all ages. Performances will be held at Mobile Civic Center Theater on Saturday, December 14 at 2:30 & 7:30 PM and Sunday, December 15 at 2:30 PM. Purchase tickets online at For more information call (251) 342-2241.

Blippi Live! Announces North American Tour

Children’s YouTube sensation Blippi announces the firstever tour across North America, with a date at the Mobile Saenger Theatre on Wednesday, February 5. Blippi Live! is set to bring the vivacious, energetic, and educational children’s character from the screen to the stage for an all-ages extravaganza of fun, dancing, singing and meeting amazing new friends onstage. Fans can visit now for tour dates, ticket information and one-of-a-kind meet and greet packages. Fans can visit now for tour dates, ticket information and one-of-a-kind meet and greet packages. Follow Blippi Live social media for pre-sale access and exclusive tour content. Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019

Magic Christmas in Lights at Bellingrath Gardens and Home

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 24th season of Magic Christmas in Lights in 2019. 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. The show is open nightly through December 31, 2019 (closed on Christmas and New Year’s Days). Purchase tickets on, or at the door when you arrive.


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Shop Local and Win Prizes with the Eastern Shore Elf

The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce is taking a fun approach to supporting the shop local movement with a little bit of Christmas magic. This holiday shopping season, the “Eastern Shore Elf” is on special assignment to visit a different Eastern Shore retailer each day, offering customers holiday cheer, some great deals and chances to win awesome prizes. The Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce will use the Eastern Shore Elf’s antics to feature a different local retailer each day on its social media sites. Stores are offering great discounts and promotions while he’s there. Each day between Black Friday and December 23rd, the Eastern Shore Elf will be giving away a prize on the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce Facebook page as he announces where he’s going the next morning. Shoppers who post a picture of the elf in the comment section of that day’s post will receive an additional chance to win. Also look for the hashtag #EasternShoreElf. To learn more about the Eastern Shore Elf, call the Chamber office at (251) 928-6387.

Original Oyster House Hosts Marine Toys for Tots Fund-Raising Event

Starting December 1, the Original Oyster House restaurants will be a drop site for Marine Toys for Tots. On Friday, December 13, the US Marines in dress blues will be at both Mobile Causeway and Gulf Shores restaurant locations from 6 PM to 8 PM to pick up the donated toys, take photos with your family and wish everyone a happy Christmas. If you are interested in participating, please drop off an unwrapped toy or consider donating by check to Toys for Tots. You can place donation items in the Toys for Tots collection box at the restaurants. All donations will be distributed locally to needy children. The United States Marine Toys for Tots Program began in 1947 distributing 5000 toys to less fortunate children who could go without a new toy during the holiday season. Walt Disney designed the first Toys for Tots poster which included a miniature three-car train now adopted as the Toys for Tots logo. For more information please visit The Original Oyster House (OOH) has two locations, Mobile: 3733 Battleship Parkway, on the Causeway and Gulf Shores: 701 Gulf Shores Parkway on the Original Oyster House Boardwalk.

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Impact 100 Baldwin County Selects Grant Recipients

Impact 100 Baldwin County presented $101,000 checks to five grant recipients at the Annual Grant Awards, Monday, November 4, 2019 in Daphne. Pictured, back row, left to right, Impact 100 President Ann Rumley; Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre Executive and Artistic Director, Erin Langley; Baldwin County Education Coalition Executive Director, Terry Burkle; Baldwin County Humane Society Executive Director, Abby Pruet; Prodisee Pantry Executive Director, Deann Servos; Impact 100 Grants Chair, Sandy Stepan; front, Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation Executive Director Allison Moore.

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019


34th Annual Lighted Boat Parade

Don't miss out on this great Coastal Alabama Christmas tradition! The 34th Annual Lighted Boat Parade will be held Friday, December 13 at 5 PM. The parade begins at Tacky Jacks Gulf Shores and moves up the Intracoastal Waterway ending in a circle at Terry Cove. Enjoy great viewing sites all along the Intracoastal Waterway and at The Wharf. For more information on this and other Coastal Christmas events visit www., call (251) 9687200 or email



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One Family One Day Donation Feeds a Hungry Family of Four

Prodisee Pantry and The Fairhope Store are partnering again this holiday season in a campaign to shine a light on the invisible issue in our communities—HUNGER. More than 1500 families in Fairhope alone depend on Prodisee Pantry for emergency food and hope. “Our volunteers provide fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, milk, cheese and staple grocery items to the 14,000 Baldwin County families who will visit Prodisee Pantry this year. For just $20, we can feed a family of four for a week,” says Executive Director Deann Servos. “While canned food drives and other projects are awesome, we can stretch dollars so much further. A grocery cart that would cost you $250 we can provide for 1/5th the cost.” One Family One Day encourages a donation of just $5 - enough to feed one family of four for one day. Diners and shoppers at participating restaurants and merchants may add $5 to their restaurant tab or bill as a direct donation to Prodisee Pantry. “We are helping single parents, the unemployed or under-employed, families in transition, homeless, retirees or grandparents raising grandchildren,” says Servos. “It can be the loss of one paycheck, or unexpected medical expenses that can create a crisis.” One Family One Day campaign will run through the end of December across Baldwin County. Panini Pete’s, Sunset Grill, Ed’s Seafood Shed kick off the restaurant partnerships in Fairhope - with more being added daily. Additional restaurants and merchants will be posted to The Fairhope Store and Prodisee Pantry social media throughout the month.

MMOFA’s Popular Children’s Exhibition Opens with New Interactive Elements

Mobile Museum of Art’s popular children’s exhibition, FOR CHILDREN 2020, opens Saturday, December 14, with new interactive elements and revamped installations. The exhibition, which first opened in December 2018, presents a maze of galleries, specifically designed for kids to immerse themselves in creative and wacky visual environments. New additions include a giant Lite Brite, video projections, miniature environments designed by local artists, and different themed rooms, all designed to teach children the basic elements of creative art and design. The Winter Wonderland-themed opening party on December 14, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., is only open to Mobile Museum of Art members and is kid-friendly, with art activities provided by the Museum School, face painting, a bouncy house, food trucks, and lots of fun just in time for the holidays. This exhibition will open to the public the following Tuesday, December 17, with regular general admission plus a special exhibition fee of $5 per person and $3 for children ages 6 and below.



Sponsored by Magnolia Springs Pediatrics

RSV Strikes Again Now that the kids are in full school mode and we are preparing for the holidays, I want to educate you about an illness that can really affect infants, those with underlying medical issues, especially lung problems. This illness I’m talking about today is Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV. RSV is a virus that can cause some serious respiratory symptoms in kids of all ages, but especially in infants. RSV usually starts off as a simple cold--runny nose, a little cough, and stuffiness. However, over the course of a few days, it can progress to wheezing, and rapid shallow breathing (80-90 times per minute). I know that there are several daycares and schools that have sent notes home regarding RSV, so I want you to be armed with information. Let’s talk about what is happening in the lungs so we can understand the treatment. Bronchiolitis is the general term for the infection that RSV causes. RSV isn’t the only cause, it’s just the most common and can be the most dangerous. In bronchiolitis, the lower airways become very inflamed and produce a lot of mucus.

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019

This obstructs the airways, causing the respiratory symptoms. While there is no foolproof way to prevent bronchiolitis, washing hands frequently and avoiding sick exposures can help. However, there are some risk factors. Anyone that is in daycare, even mother’s day out for a few half days a week, anyone exposed to cigarette smoke, and younger siblings of school age children are at risk. The time from exposure to full blown symptoms can be a few days, but the illness itself can last from 7-21 days depending on the severity! The virus is highly contagious and is spread through the air. The reason RSV is such a big deal is that is has been responsible for serious respiratory illnesses, hospitalizations, and even death in younger and/or premature infants. Now, not all cases end up being this serious, but sometimes it can be, so be on alert. The hard part about RSV in young infants and premature babies is that the rapid, shallow breathing can lead to fatigue and poor air exchange. When a child gets fatigued, they also tend to eat and drink less, and in an infant can lead to dehydration.


The treatment of RSV is tricky. Since it is a virus, antibiotics don’t help get rid of the primary infection. However, you can develop secondary bacterial infections after the initial infection. The best treatments are supportive care. Humidifiers and saline drops can be useful, and sometimes, if the respiratory symptoms are severe enough, a nebulizer or breathing machine can help. The diagnosis of RSV is made at your doctor’s office and treatment options can be discussed. The most important thing is to keep a child hydrated. Oftentimes a child with RSV will take less volume of formula or breast milk at any sitting because of the increased work of breathing and fatigue. But a child will feed more often, so that their intake will still be OK over a 24 period. Be on alert, RSV is here this year. Don’t hesitate to discuss this with your physician, especially if you have a young infant with respiratory symptoms. 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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Autauga County Schools

Bay Minette Monster Mash

Scholars from Bay Minette Elementary School attended the annual “Monster Mash” celebration Friday, October 2. Scholars, parents, and teachers participated in wearing their favorite Halloween costume and enjoyed dancing at the annual event. Congratulations to the costume winners: 1st place was Isaac Yokley as Joker, 2nd place was Jaclyn Fox as Skeleton Candy Princess, and 3rd was Rivers Cain as Marshmallow Man. Pictured, costume winners with Lighthouse Team sponsors, Heather Sims (3rd Grade Teacher) & Charlene Beasley (5th Grade Teacher).

J.L. Newton School Costume Contest Winner

Waverly Fulford, a 6th grader at J Larry Newton School, won the school’s costume contest in the creative category with her unique depiction of a chandelier! During Red Ribbon Week, students spiritedly celebrated being drug free and making healthy choices. They also collected donations for The Shoulder, a local rehabilitation center, as part of their Red Ribbon Week activities.


Spanish Fort HS Volleyball Team Named State Champs

Coach Gretchen Boykin and her Spanish Fort High School Toro Team won for the 2nd year in a row as 6A State Volleyball Champions! The Toros defeated Hazel Green in the finals and ended their season 72-6! #toronation #morethanmeB2B

Foley Fall Festival

Foley welcomed Fall with a festival filled with bounce houses, cotton candy, games, music, hay rides, our Foley Fire Department and more. It was a terrific day for students, parents, and staff. We are looking forward to the Holidays and all the joy they will bring.

Daphne Band Students Participate in Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra

Students in band are often recognized for playing at football games and at high school competitions. There are some students that strive for even more. These Daphne band students are also a part of the Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra. Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019


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BCMTA Fall Music Recital

The Baldwin County Music Teachers Association sponsored its first event of the school year by presenting 30 music students in their annual fall recital, held at the Eastern Shore Presbyterian Church in Fairhope. Twenty-nine piano students and one vocal student performed for an audience of family and friends. The students represented the teaching studios of eight member teachers. Other BCMTA events scheduled throughout the coming year include the Musicaloosa on January 25 at Grace Fellowship Baptist Church in Robertsdale, the 40th All Boys Recital at 2:00 on February 8 at the Summerdale Municipal Complex, the Adult Student Musicale at Steinway Piano Gallery in Spanish Fort in March and the Senior Recital on May 3 at 3:00 at the Unitarian Fellowship in Fairhope. BCMTA continues to provide musicales for the residents at Westminster Village on selected Saturdays during the year and to participate in other state- and nationally-sponsored events including the State Keyboard Festival to be held on November 7 at the First Baptist Church in Fairhope. The current officers for BCMTA are Laurie Gruenloh, President; Jeanne O’Connell, First Vice President; Amy Morgan, Second Vice President; Eric Marrero, Secretary; and Lindsey Hughes, Treasurer. Visit the website baldwincountymusicteachers. com for more information on teachers and events.

Daphne East Veteran’s Day Program

Daphne East Elementary gave a big Thank You to area veterans during their Veterans' Day Program. The celebration was filled with music, speakers, honoring of these special heroes and of course, cake! Thank you to the men, women and families who serve and have served our country.


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Autauga County Schools

Bayshore Student Receives Volleyball Scholarship

Bayshore Christian School (BCS) student, Nina Messinger, Class of 2020, signed BCS’ first college athletic scholarship. Her commitment letter to play collegiate volleyball for William Carey University was signed last month. William Carey is a Christian University in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Lady Crusaders are members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). “I’m excited for this amazing opportunity and look forward to what the future holds,” Messinger said. Head of School, Dr. Pamela McKee said, "We are all proud of Nina and know she will be a shining star at William Carey. Her scholarship is evidence of the quality of our programs and the commitment of our students. Since becoming a member of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) athletic programs at BCS are thriving. God has blessed our school in so many ways.” BCS Athletic Director, Jeff Hauge said, “Nina uses her talent and abilities on and off the court to glorify God. I couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishment. I know she will continue to be a shining example of the quality of students we have at Bayshore.” “Nina is one of the most dynamic and exciting players I’ve coached. She is the little engine that could!” BCS volleyball coach Dave Omtvedt said. Pictured is Nina Messinger with Coach Dave Omtvedt and BCS Athletic Director, Jeff Hauge.

Renaissance School Students Receive Superior Ratings at Trumbauer Competition Three of our students proudly represented the Renaissance School of the Eastern Shore November 2, at the Alabama Conference of Theatre’s District Trumbauer Competition. All three received Superior ratings in their solo event and advanced to State, which will be held in Troy, Alabama next month. They also presented an original scene written by AnnaKate Simpson, which received high ratings. Congratulations, AnnaKate Simpson, Brayden Mahatekar, and Mary-Camila Klotz. We are so proud of you!

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John S. Wilson, MD

Dr. Lee and Dr. Wilson specialize in pediatric and adult Ear, Nose & Throat care. From a sore throat, or runny nose to allergies and allergy testing, Drs. Lee and Wilson treat everyday ENT illnesses to complex surgeries. Schedule your appointment today. MOBILE • DAPHNE

Daphne & Mobile Offices 1302 Hwy 98 • Daphne • 251-410-9000

Visit us online at

2880 Dauphin Street • Mobile • 251-473-1900

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Your Health Matters. Quality Care Matters. Michael Rhodes Lee, MD


Central Christian Receives Star Light Grant

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We are beyond excited that out of 85 Baldwin EMC Star Light Grant Applications Ms. Gregory, our very own Central Christian School 2nd grade teacher and Elementary Supervisor, has been chosen to receive this grant. It is a very tedious amount of paperwork with specific instructions to complete along with details of how the grant will be used. She applied for this grant two months ago to help with what is going to be an amazing Elementary Science Space Day on Thursday November 21st! We were told about 35 were awarded so we are so thankful! It was a GREAT surprise this when Operation Round Up with EMC arrived with bells, balloons and a giant check!

St. Michael Catholic HS Open House

St. Michael Catholic High School student ambassadors Noah Calvery and Gabrielle Eslava welcomed future students and their parents to Open House on November 6th. All in attendance had a chance to attend mock classes, hear from a panel of student ambassadors, sing our fight song & alma mater, and meet our teachers! If you missed Open House visit for more information on the registration process.

Advance tickets available online and at the Gardens. NOVEMBER 29 – DECEMBER 31 5 – 9 PM Closed Christmas and New Year’s Days

12401 Bellingrath Gardens Rd • Theodore, AL 36582 251.973.2217 • 800.247.8420 •

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” Matthew 1:23

Merry Christmas! 19

Autauga County Schools

Baldwin County HS Earns Superior Ratings

Well it’s official. The Baldwin County High School Tiger Band is SUPERIOR. The Band has taken part in two competitions this season and received overall superior ratings at both. In addition, the BCHS Tigerettes were named “Best in Class” dance team at the two competitions. The band took part in the Heart of Dixie Band Festival Competition in Prattville and the Dixieland Band Contest in Brewton and received superior ratings for the Band, Drum Major, Percussion, Color Guard, and Dance Team. We are so proud of our talented students.

BMES Receives Cafeteria of the Month Award

The BMES cafeteria staff received the “Cafeteria of the Month” award from Erin Miller, the Child Nutrition Coordinator, and her staff. Congratulations to these ladies, it is well deserved.

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019






Bayside Academy Congratulates Daphne Library Bookmark Contest Winners

Bayside Academy’s art faculty is proud to congratulate our 2019 winners of the Daphne Public Library’s “Back-to-School” Bookmark Contest. The contest is sponsored by the Friends of the Daphne Public Library and is open to all students in Baldwin County. Bayside had three overall winners and had many students placing in the top three for each grade level. The three overall winners and their instructors will receive gift cards and were invited to an awards ceremony at the Daphne Public Library. Additionally, the first place overall winners will have their bookmarks reproduced for distribution in the library and will receive copies for family, friends, and classmates. Overall Winners Division I (K–5th Grade): 1st Place Overall Winner Ava Bindon (5th grade); 3rd Place Overall Winner Becklynn Turner (1st grade). Overall Winner Division II (6th–12th Grade): 1st Place Overall Winner: Charles Carey (11th grade). Grade Level Winners: Kindergarten: 1st Place Catherine DeLaney; 2nd Place Aubrey Cates Rider; 3rd Place Griffin Jacobs. First Grade: 1st Place Vivian Lokar; 2nd Place Becklynn Turner; 3rd Place Parker Chunn. Second Grade: 1st Place Colton Keenan; 2nd Place Alex Ogburn; 3rd Place Anna Claire Frailie. Third Grade: 3rd Place Bricen Turner. Fourth Grade: 2nd Place Arabella Rowland. Fifth Grade: 1st Place: Ava Bindon; 3rd Place: Braden Bradley. Sixth Grade: 1st Place Kathryn Hamilton; 2nd Place Mattie Will. Seventh Grade: 1st Place Harrison Foster; 2nd Place Mena Brevard. Eighth Grade: 3rd Place Lily Frailie. Ninth Grade: 1st Place Quirin Thome; 3rd Place: Claire Hamilton. Tenth Grade: 1st Place Ashlyn Powers; 2nd Place Caroline Crum; 3rd Place O’Melia Macpherson. Eleventh Grade: 2nd Place Hannah Wieland; 3rd Place Emily Buhl. Twelfth Grade: 2nd Place Anna Schmidt; 3rd Place Cody Smart. The Bayside Academy Art Department is very proud of our talented students! Pictured: Daphne Mayor Dane Haygood presents Bayside Academy students with their framed bookmarks. Pictured, left photo: Ava Bindon (5th grade); middle photo: Charles Carey (11th grade); right photo: Becklynn Turner (1st grade).


Autauga County Schools

Impact 100 Baldwin County Selects Grant Recipients

At its Annual Grant Awards on November 4, Impact 100 Baldwin County awarded over a half-a-million dollars to area nonprofits. Each of the five agencies received $101,000 grants across Impact’s five focus areas: Arts & Culture; Education; Environment, Preservation and Recreation; Family; and Health and Wellness. The five nonprofit organizations were selected from a very competitive field of applicants and were vetted by a rigorous review process including site visits, financial analysis and in-depth discussions within the respective Focus Group. The ten finalists made a 5-minute presentation about their project at the Awards gala and members voted for their favorites. Following the on-site vote count, the 2019 recipients were announced. They are: ARTS & CULTURE: Eastern Shore Repertory Theater, Inc. The nonprofit’s mission is to educate and train local students in innovative, high-quality theatre experiences. The Impact grant will contribute to the transformation of a new venue, the Nicholson Center in Daphne. This will provide a state-of-the-art rehearsal studio and performance space with plenty of parking. EDUCATION: Baldwin County Education Coalition, Inc. The Baldwin County Education Coalition (BCEC) mobilizes both financial and volunteer resources in support of Baldwin County Schools. The grant will provide Scholastic’s ‘The 7 Strengths Libraries,’ a total of 31,100 books, teacher’s guides and book bins for classroom libraries in every kindergarten through third grade class throughout Baldwin County Public Schools. ENVIRONMENT, PRESERVATION & RECREATION: The Baldwin County Humane Society

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Improving the lives of animals and residents in Baldwin County for over 40 years, this is a no-kill pet adoption agency. The ‘Trap, Neuter, Release’ program is designed to help manage the growing number of feral cats in the county. Impact grant will fund one part-time employee who will manage the program; the purchase of humane traps, 800 spay/neuter vouchers and rabies vaccinations; plus supplies and a small vehicle for transportation. FAMILY: Prodisee Pantry, Inc. Prodisee Pantry is a nonprofit community ministry that provides emergency food and disaster relief for clients in need. The grant will provide the Pantry with siding replacement for the building, lighting improvements, two air conditioners, one cooler condensing unit and an ice maker, as well as technology upgrades to 6 desktops and laptops, and improvements to the sound system and a parking lot fence. HEALTH & WELLNESS: Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation, Inc. The Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation provides youth with knowledge, resources and confidence to successfully navigate and recognize the signs of depression and suicide. Their project is two-fold: “Reaching” is an awareness campaign to educate the public about mental health issues. “Equipping” is a Youth Mental Health First Aid training program. Impact funds will be used for the awareness campaign, personnel training and training materials. This is the 12th year Impact 100 Baldwin County has awarded grants to nonprofits with programs in our county. Since its inception in 2008, Impact 100 Baldwin County has awarded 32 grants totaling $3.1 million. The 2019 awards will bring the total awarded to $3.6 million. Impact 100 is a philanthropic organization comprised of women coming together to make high-impact grants to improve the lives of people in Baldwin County. Pictured, Big Money Winners: Impact 100 Baldwin County presented $101,00 checks to five grant recipients at the Annual Grant Awards, Monday, November 4 in Daphne AL. Back row, left to right, Impact 100 President Ann Rumley; Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre Executive and Artistic Director, Erin Langley; Baldwin County Education Coalition Executive Director, Terry Burkle; Baldwin County Humane Society Executive Director Abby Pruet; Prodisee Pantry Executive Director, Deann Servos; Impact 100 Grants Chair, Sandy Stepan; front, Jennifer Claire Moore Foundation Executive Director Allison Moore. 23

Autauga County Schools

Bayside Academy Students Attend Veterans Day Celebration at USS Alabama A group of fourth grade students from Bayside Academy traveled to USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park on Monday, November 11 to participate in the Veterans Day Celebration and Parade of Flags. Savannah Cochran, Riggins Hammock, Arthur Pouncey, Wells Smith, Wesley Wells, and Austin Pete Williams represented Bayside at the ceremony. Pictured L–R: Bayside Academy fourth graders Austin Pete Williams, Arthur Pouncey, Riggins Hammock, Savannah Cochran, Wells Smith, and Wesley Wells.

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Fairhope Middle School Veterans Day Assembly

This year's Fairhope Middle School Veterans program sponsored by SGA began with our talented school nurse, Mrs. Jackson, singing the National Anthem. Fairhope Middle School's Student Government Association collected almost $300 from students and parents to donate to the William F. Green Veteran's Home. Retired Sergeant Harold Bryson from the Veterans Home was in attendance to accept the donation. He also spoke to the students and guests. Members of the Baldwin County Honor Guard presented the Folding of the Flag Ceremony, with Lieutenant Colonel Frank Connell giving an explanation of the meaning behind this ceremony. This year's keynote speaker was Fairhope Middle School's own Major Terry Norris, retired 26-year veteran of the US Marine Corps.

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019


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St. Michael Drama Students Compete at Trumbauer, Receive Superior Ratings

Congratulations to the St. Michael Catholic High School Drama Club for their success at the Walter Trumbauer district theater festival on November 2nd. The group had four events receive “excellent” ratings, and Isabelle Davis and Millie Ollinger received “superior” ratings and made the cutoff to compete at the state festival! Congratulations! Pictured from left to right: Megan Williams, Julia Fagan, Vanessa Smith, Mary Margaret Stevens, Isabelle Davis, Barbara Jean Williams and Mary Ella Scroggie.



Local Youth Perform for U.N. Ambassador of Nigeria Art

Snook Youth Club of Foley (SYC) and Gulf Shores United Methodist Church (GSUMC) joined forces to start the South Baldwin County Community Youth Choir. On Mondays from 4-5:30 PM, Cody Johnson Minister of Music, reports to SYC for rehearsal. On Wednesdays from 4-5:30 rehearsals are held at GSUMC. Both SYC and GSUMC are dedicated to developing and supporting our youth with a passion for the arts. On October 30th, 2019 SYC and GSUMC had the opportunity to perform at Gulf Shores United Methodist Church for United Nation Ambassador of Nigeria Art, Ibiyinka Alao. The choir was invited back to perform for Ambassador Ibiyinka Alao. This event was the culmination of Ibiyinka’s residency visit to the island integrating the arts into all aspects of STEM – Science Technology Engineering and Math education, building character, enhancing leadership and artistic abilities. Pictured with U.N. Ambassador Ibiyinka Alao, Kristy Wells and Kaila Dalton both of SYC staff and some of the great choir members from Snook and GSUMC

Merry Christmas

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:10 | 251-929-0011 | 316 Presbyterian Drive Fairhope, AL 36532 25

Autauga County Schools


Veteran’s Day Program at J. Larry Newton

J Larry Newton was honored to welcome this fabulous group of Veterans to their annual Veteran’s Day celebration. The veterans were gifted with coffee mugs decorated by Newton students, essays the students wrote expressing what freedom means to them, the choir and student body singing patriotic songs and a beautiful tribute by guest speaker, Commissioner Billie Jo Underwood. Thank you to all who have served!

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St. Michael Cross Country Champs

We are the Champions! The St. Michael Catholic High school boys’ cross country team won first place in the 3A division. Congratulations to Coach Hall and the entire team. Your hard work and determination paid off! Cardinals everywhere are so proud of you! #Fearthefeather


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Daphne Elementary Veterans Day Program

Daphne Elementary School presented a heart-warming tribute to honor the men and women who have served and are serving our country. Thank you for your service!


Enriching our students spiritual growth

Stapleton Veteran’s Day Program

Stapleton School hosted a wonderful Veteran's Day Program and included cadets from the BCHS AFJROTC program who prepared and presented a flag to SMSgt Robert Hughes whose service started in 1944 and spanned two wars (WWII and Vietnam), included three branches of service (Navy, Army, and Air Force), and lasted 29 years. Thank you, SMSgt Hughes for your service and to all the men and women who serve and have served.

Perdido Veteran’s Day Program

Perdido Elementary and Middle School hosted a very special guest speaker during their Veteran's Day Program. Students and family enjoyed hearing from Ret. Chief Warrant Officer Greg Turberville. The day was full of celebration including a reception. Mitchell Tuberville gave the invocation and also present were this year's Patriot's Pen Essay winners, Eli Aaron and Miranda Singleton (pictured).

Open HOuse January 29 9:00 aM - 12:00 pM

251.626.1692 1503 Main Street Daphne


Autauga County Schools

Spanish Fort Student Selected for Rotary Youth Leadership Program

Newton School Students are Too Bright for Drugs

Congratulations to Siyona Mistry for being chosen to represent Spanish Fort High School at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Program! This is a great opportunity for students to develop leadership skills for their future!

J Larry Newton students are too bright for drugs! Kindergartners Cayson Reed and Arryonna Miller showed off in their neon outfits to show their dedication to staying drug free and keeping their futures bright.

Results of Piano Virtuoso Competition

Two Baldwin County siblings, seventeen-year old Abrielle Le and fourteen-year old Albert Le, both were awarded second place cash prizes in the 9th Annual Piano Virtuoso Competition (PVC) held last month at the University of Mobile. Fifty-two piano students in grades 7 through 12 competed by grade level for an adjudicator who selected 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners who were awarded cash prizes. Collectively twelve Baldwin County students won almost $1,000. First-place winners were Lydia Van Cleave, Elizabeth Chen and Caroline Robinson. Second-place winners were Abrielle Le, Albert Le, Emma Hsiao and Abigail Doremus. Third-place winners were Katie Smith, Kathryn McCammon, Kayleigh Thomas and Maxwell Jones. Honorable mention ribbons were awarded to Starla Ou, Michael Klimjack, and David Klimjack. Other Baldwin County pianists performing were Evan Ren, Paul Mercer, Jonah Drach, Sophia Haines, Anderson Luc, Praveena Kumaresan, Ty Hartman and Greta Fritz. In the awards ceremony each student was presented a certificate of participation and will receive at a later time the judge’s critique. Baldwin County teachers who prepared the students were Tammy Dennis, Lindsey Hughes, Amy Morgan, Beverly Talley and Vincentine Williams.

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Autauga County Schools

Moving Day at Elberta HS

Spanish Fort Creative Writing Class Starts Podcast of Students’ Work

What an exciting day as teachers began moving into the new classrooms at the Elberta High School new addition. Local firemen from Elberta and Foley Fire departments that attended school at Elberta assisted with the move in. Principal Branton Bailey also assisted with the loading and unloading of teachers’ rooms. The new facility features 66,860 Square Feet of new construction with: • 18 classrooms • 3 Career Tech classrooms • 2 Special needs classrooms • 2 Science Labs (1 Biology, 1 Chemistry) • Family and Consumer Science (FACS) Classroom with 6 Station Lab • Ag Classroom with Workshop & welding stations, woodworking equipment • Band with storage • Media Center with collaborative seating • 2 New parking areas- 198 total spaces for student and staff parking • Security Camera incorporated into the entire campus.

Students in Mrs. Grant’s creative writing classes explore various genres of writing because often times kids don't know where their writing excels. Detective stories, or mysteries put the skills students have learned in Ms. Grant's creative writing class to the test. Students have to think about setting, character, dialog, plot, etc. Most importantly, these stories help to develop reasoning skills, and they have to work together to make the story flow. Recently these students have started a podcast with their stories. Check them out at Sit back, engage your brain, and solve a few crimes with some of our finest amateur detectives in Grant's Middle School Mysteries series.

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019





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6 Bayside Academy Students Sign on National Letter of Intent Day

Bayside Academy is proud to have six student-athletes who signed on National Letter of Intent Day. Division I: • Alex Cook, Samford University (Track) • Tori Roush, University of North Alabama (Golf). Division II: • Jacque Martin, University of West Florida (Volleyball). NAIA: • Ashton Lambert, University of Mobile (Softball) • Ty Turner, University of Mobile (Soccer). NJCAA: • Lucas Alday, Coastal Alabama Community College (Baseball). Bayside Academy’s Athletic Department has a tradition of excellence. We believe all students should have the opportunity to participate in sports. YDL offerings begin as early as 1st grade, and dance is offered beginning in PK. Pictured are the students on stage with their families during the signing ceremony. Pictured L–R are Lucas Alday, Tori Roush, Jacque Martin, Alex Cook, Ashton Lambert, and Ty Turner.

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OBES Third Graders Design Board Games from Books

Orange Beach Elementary School third graders in Ms. Peterson’s class just finished a reading unit theme on Trickster Tales and used their shared learning to create board games based one of the books that they read. The students chose a traditional tale, reread the book and wrote a summary. Then they made a board game to go with the book. Shown are students in her room enjoying sharing and playing their student-made games. Students designed the board to match the setting and the characters of the book. They included the fortunate and unfortunate luck that came from situations in the book. Students had to think and problem solve issues as they arose while designing their game. What a way to make a book come to life!



Autauga County Schools

Daphne HS Cheer Team wins First Place at Regionals

FMS Students Chosen for All-State Choir

On November 6, The DHS Competition Cheer Team competed in the AHSAA Super Regionals held at the Mobile Civic Center. The Trojans came away with First place in the 6A Varsity Division and received a bid to compete in the state competition in December.

Congratulations to the FMS Students Who Made the All- State Choir! Rawlin Hoffman, Stella Sheldon, Abigail Dasinger, Ryan Justice, Belle Sanson, Nicole Denham will be performing with other members of the All-State Choir comprised of students from around the state in Birmingham, in March 2020. Pictured back row left to right: Rawlin Hoffman, Stella Sheldon, Abigail Dasinger; front row left to right: Ryan Justice, Belle Sansom, and Nicole Denham


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Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019


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Bayside Academy Student Wins Best of Show at National Shrimp Festival

The Bayside Academy Art Department congratulates juniors Hannah Wieland and Pace McLendon, along with 8th grader Gatlin Pitts, for their wins in the 48th Annual Shrimp Festival Youth for Art Show. The exhibition is open to all Baldwin County schools, and over 250,000 people attended the annual festival where the student art is showcased. Hannah Wieland won Best of Show. Pace McLendon won 2nd Place for High School, and Gatlin Pitts placed 2nd in the Middle School category. All of the students were presented a check by officials from the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber. In addition, Bayside’s Visual Arts Department received a check for winning Best of Show. We are very proud of Bayside’s talented students. Pictured L–R: Lee Kramer, National Shrimp Festival Fine Arts Co-Chairman; Vikki Finch, Bayside Fine Arts Department Chair; Bayside junior Hannah Wieland, Best of Show winner; Carrie Jackson, Bayside Upper School Art Teacher; Bayside junior Pace McLendon; Bayside 8th grader Gatlin Pitts; Ron Arnold, National Shrimp Festival Fine Arts Co-Chairman; and Kristy Johnson-Snell, Bayside Upper School Photography Teacher.

Animal Preserve Visits J. Larry Newton School J Larry Newton students were given the opportunity to learn more about sloths, silky chickens, bearded dragons and numerous other animals when the Barnhill Animal Preserve of Louisiana came to visit. Pictured here with Barnhill’s presenter and baby sloth are Gigi Ward, Macaela Amaya, Koen Ables, and Zayan Ahmad.


Autauga County Schools

Daphne HS Key Clubs Donates Haunted House Proceeds to various Causes

The DHS Key Club donated $200.00 from their Haunted House to the Out of the Darkness Walk-suicide awareness. Thanks to everyone that came out and supported the Haunted House this year. $1000.00 raised will be donated to Children’s Hospital. These donations would not have been possible without your support.

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Mrs. Sherry Bittinger, the art teacher at Daphne Middle School, was presented with a check for $950.00 from Baldwin EMC. She recently applied for a grant for new art furniture for the classroom through the Star Light Award Program.

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Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019





Daphne HS AF JROTC Honors Veterans in the Community

It’s the week of Veteran’s day. A day, November 11th, set aside to honor veterans who served, fought and some who died in our nation’s wars. If you want to honor veterans, you need a color/ honor guard. Who better to call than Daphne/ Spanish Fort Air Force JROTC? Cadets of AL-935, under the leadership of Senior Aerospace Science Instructor, retired Lt Col Douglas Goodlin and Aerospace Science Instructor retired SMSgt Brandie King participated in numerous honor guard events throughout the week. The first was at Daphne Middle School on Wednesday. This event featured a 4-Cadet honor guard presenting the Alabama and American Flags in front of the school assembly. This ceremony was followed by the Alabama Bi-Centennial Ceremony at Daphne Civic Center on Thursday. On Friday, we had three events, two events at the same time, at Spanish Fort Middle School and Daphne High School combined City/School ceremony. The Spanish Fort event showcased a 4-cadet honor guard featuring cadets from Spanish Fort High School who traveled to their middle school for their event. While that was going on, cadets from Daphne High School participated in the City/School Veteran’s Day Ceremony in the gym at Daphne High School. We had a 4-cadet honor guard and a 6-cadet saber team providing arched saber honors as the veterans walked into the gym. In the afternoon, we traveled to WJ Carroll for another 4-cadet honor guard for their school ceremony. The final events were on Saturday, November 9th, with two events. The first was the Fairhope Veteran’s Day Parade which featured 61 cadets marching in two flights. The second was an event in collaboration with the Eastern Shore Exchange Club putting up 160 American flags at the USS Alabama Battleship Park on the causeway. We have been working with the Eastern Shore Exchange Club for many years on this veteran honoring event. The flags were displayed until November 16th when they were taken down by the club members and cadets of AL-935. We are proud to be a part of so many meaningful events in honor of our veterans and want to thank the community for their continued support of veterans on the Eastern Shore.

at first fairhope Christmas Celebration by the Music Ministry

December 21 & 22 7pm

Christmas Eve Service 5pm

Pictured, Cadets Jude Brown and Brodie Kersey unravel flags at the USS Alabama Battleship Park. Cadets from AL-935 and the Eastern Shore Exchange Club help set up 160 American Flags in honor of veterans. 35

Autauga County Schools Christ the King Catholic School Saints Come Alive!

On All Saints' Day the saints came alive at CTKCS! The All Saints' Day Wax Museum was presented by the 8th grade after Mass. Students, parents and teachers came to see the saints and hear their stories. The Wax Museum was the culmination of a project that included a research paper, a tri-fold project display board that displayed pictures and mementos, a speech about their saint, and a costume that brought their saint to life.

GSMS Lions Club Peace Poster Contest

Congratulations to the Gulf Shores Middle School art winners of the Lions Club Peace Poster. The Lions Club International Peace Poster emphasizes the importance of world peace to young people everywhere. These winners had the opportunity to share their visions of peace with the theme “Journey of Peace.” Evelina Holovian’s art will advance to the district level. Pictured: 1st place Evelina Holovian, 2nd place Elena Waters and 3rd place Ariana Daily.

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019






Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019



Orange Beach Kiwanis Terrific Kids

Students selected as Kiwanis Terrific Kid for November at Orange Beach Elementary School: Pre-K – 2: Front Row (l-r), Makynlee Allen, Milly White, Laurel White, Ava Jammoul, Ellie Walker, Avery Carey. Back Row (l-r), Mr. Moss (Principal), Jason Jackson (Kiwanis Rep), Triton Bryant, Isabella Bryant, Silas McCoy, Jay McClendon, Immanuel Trujillo, Matt Grant (Kiwanis Rep). 3rd – 6th: Front Row (l-r), Hutch Semikclose, Jason Lynn, Mary Elliott Griffin, Sloane Stephens, Madison Crosslin, Averi Adams, Tennyson Tucker. Back Row (l-r), Mr. Moss (Principal), Jason Jackson (Kiwanis Rep), Dylan Lynch, Camryn Johnson, Gracie McCoy, Ava Hodo, Rowdy Kirkley, Eli Cardwell, John Matthews, Reece Wilmott, Jenna Shaver, Bailey Turner, Matt Grant (Kiwanis Rep).

Chemistry at Spanish Fort HS

It’s Electric! AP Chemistry students electroplated keys to better comprehend how an electrolytic cell operates. #improvingACTscores #toronation #baldwinproud


County Schools CKCS GSMSAutauga Turbo Dolphins Compete at Students Grissom Grand Prix Dine By student Cailey Maddox with the Our GSMS Green Power Turbo Dolphins received 3rd place for their first race Mayor

of the season! On Saturday, November 9th, Mr. Prince and his team competed at Grissom high school, racing against other competitors and showing the other schools the amazing potential of our team. One interesting thing the whole team enjoyed was getting the opportunity to meet a high school team from Scotland! “It was difficult to understand what they were saying, but fun to learn about their culture.” Says Mr. Prince. Driver, Nate Hunt, said, “The race was super fun and I enjoyed getting to meet the other teams and learn more about Green Power.”

Our Daphne mayor, Mr. Dane Haygood, visited Mrs. Ruffin's 2nd grade class at Christ the King Catholic School as part of an auction package from The King's Supper. Students enjoyed "Lunch with the Mayor" from auction winner, grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Kelly.

Celebrity Reader at OBES

Thanks to Mrs. Tracie Stark for being a Celebrity Reader for Ms. Brunick’s first grade class at Orange Beach Elementary School. The students enjoyed listening to a Thanksgiving story and getting to know Mrs. Stark, who is a teacher and coach at Orange Beach Middle School. The students talked about how much they enjoy cheering for their new team, the Makos!

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019


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5 Myths and Truths About Kids’ Internet Safety

Myth: Social media alienates kids. Truth: Most kids say social media strengthens their relationships. Most kids want to have fun, hang out, and socialize normally online -- and in fact, according to our research, that’s what the majority is doing. Check out these comforting stats: • Most teens say social media has a positive effect on them. • Social media is an important avenue of creative expression. • The quality of kids’ online relationships has a big impact on their well-being.

If you believe everything you hear about kids online, you might think pedophiles and cyberbullies are around every cybercorner. Yes, there is bad stuff out there. But the truth is, there’s a lot of good, and some experts are arguing against a “technopanic mindset” that worries parents unnecessarily. The bottom line is that we can’t keep our kids safe if we don’t know the facts. Here are the five most popular myths about Internet safety -- and the truths that can set your worries free.

Myth: It’s dangerous to post pictures of your kids online. Truth: If you use privacy settings, limit your audience, and don’t ID your kids, it can be done fairly safely. Although it’s true that posting anything online invites some risks, there are ways to limit them if you’re smart about how you do it. Use privacy settings. Make sure your privacy settings are set so only the closest people in your network can view your posts. Limit your audience. Only share posts with close family and friends. Or use photo-sharing sites such as Google Photos that require a log-in to see pics. Don’t rush your kids into social media. Obey the rules about keeping kids under 13 off social media. Once your kids have an online profile, they can be tagged in photos, which magnifies their online presence. If you’re going to upload photos of them, don’t identify them and don’t tag them -- that way the photo can’t be traced back to them.

Myth: Social media turns kids into cyberbullies. Truth: There are many reasons why a kid might cyberbully, and social media is just a convenient way to do the dirty work. The reality is that kids who engage in this behavior typically have something else going on that compels them to act out. They might be in crisis -- at home, at school, or otherwise socially. They may also be bullying in person, or they may have an underdeveloped sense of empathy. Awareness of a cyberbully’s circumstances -- though not excusing the behavior -- can help parents and educators recognize the warning signs and potentially intervene before it goes too far. Myth: Teaching kids not to talk to strangers is the best way to keep them safe online. Truth: Teaching kids to recognize predatory behavior will help them avoid unwelcome advances. In today’s world, where kids as young as 8 are interacting with people online, they need to know the boundary between appropriate and inappropriate conversation. Kids are often pressured by their own friends to talk about sex, so they need to know it’s OK to tell peers to back off. Go beyond “stranger danger” and teach them what kind of questions are not OK (for example, not OK: “Are you a boy or a girl?”; “Where do you live?”; “What are you wearing?”; “Do you want to have a private conversation?”). Also, teach kids to not go looking for thrills online. Risky online relationships more frequently evolve in chat rooms when teens willingly seek out or engage in sexual conversation. Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019

Myth: Parental controls are the best way to monitor my kids’ online activities. Truth: Focusing on only one Internet safety method lulls you into a false sense of security. To keep your kids safe online -- and to raise them to be responsible, respectful digital citizens -- it takes more than installing parental controls. For starters, parental controls can be defeated by determined kids. They also often catch too much in their filters, rendering any Internet search useless, and they set up a “parent vs. kid” dynamic that could backfire. By all means, use parental controls to help prevent exposure to age-inappropriate material and to manage time limits. But don’t think they get you off the hook. Continue to discuss responsible, respectful online behavior, set rules and consequences for misbehavior, and train your kid to manage his or her own usage. 42


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M I’m a Germophobe. The last thing I wanted to do was toilet train, not one, but two kids at the same time. Yes, I’m the proud mother of twins. I was fully prepared to let them wear diapers until they figured it out themselves. I definitely didn’t want to clean up urine from the floor or use public restrooms. They didn’t exactly train themselves, but they started taking off their diapers and throwing them at one another. At this point, cleaning an accident up seemed more appealing than allowing my children to throw dirty diapers at each other. It was time for me to intervene.

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After toilet training twins, I consider myself an expert on the topic. And yes it was worse than I could have possibly anticipated. I would like to pass along some tips and tricks so, hopefully, you will have better initial success than I did.

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Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019



Get Toilet Training DVDs/Books Go to the library with your aspiring toilet user and check out every DVD and picture book regarding the topic. The idea behind this is to create some exciting anticipation along with learning some actual training tips. You might also find it entertaining as well; some of the DVDs could be an SNL skit.

Ditch ALL the Diapers This is probably one of the most difficult tasks and yet the most important one. You need to get rid of all the diapers in your house, even the overnight ones. If you use diapers occasionally, which is tempting to do for a long car ride or other similar situation, it will confuse your child and create bad habits because it’s easier to just go in a diaper than hold it and find a bathroom. The more chances your child has to use the toilet the more it will become a habit. At first, I allowed my twins to still wear overnight diapers. I noticed every morning my son would have a full diaper. I didn’t think he would ever be trained during the night. One day, I put waterproof bedding underneath him and he wore underwear. Guess what happened? He didn’t wet the bed; instead he got up and used the toilet. It was easier for him to just use the diaper so I was allowing him to create bad habits.

Make it Fun If you don’t want to toilet train them, they won’t want to do it. If you make it a fun event, it will encourage them to try and keep trying. On the potty training DVDs from the library, you will find a lot of the shows have songs. Start singing the songs with them before and while they are in the bathroom. Also let them drink lemonade, juice or drinks you might not normally allow—which will also create a fun atmosphere.

Protect Their Future

Be Prepared One of the most difficult aspects of toilet training is leaving the house, since often you will not have much warning before they tell you they need to go. First, I always asked if they needed to use the bathroom before we left the house. Then I packed at least two changes of clothes along with some wipes and trash bags, in case they had an accident. I ended up purchasing a small portable toilet for the car, which was helpful for long car rides or when visiting places without a public restroom, like a playground.

Education costs, medical expenses and debt can devastate a family. But with Alfa Insurance®, you can protect their future for about the cost of dinner at your favorite restaurant. Alfa® offers a variety of affordable life insurance products. Call Alfa® and let us find a plan that’s right for you.

Be Patient You child is going to have accidents. It is part of the learning process. The more patient you are about this process, the easier it will be for both you and your child. At times you might think your child is fully trained since they will go without an accident for weeks, and then they will have one. This is normal. Often young children are so involved with their play that they may not realize they need to use the bathroom or they might not plan enough time to get there. Don’t worry, there will come a time when they are fully trained... it just might take a little while. ESP

Ruth McKee

30941 Mill Ln. Suite E Daphne, AL 36527-5457

(251) 625-6585 Cheryl Maguire holds a Master of Counseling Psychology degree. She is married and is the mother of twins and a daughter. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Parents Magazine, Upworthy, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessing and Your Teen Magazine. You can find her at Twitter @CherylMaguire05.

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Emotions, Basics and Change Q.

I’ve gotten out of debt before following your plan, but I always seem to fall right back in. I find myself spending more than I mean to whenever I go out shopping or running errands. I’m tired of all this, and I want to stop busting my budget and get control of my money once and for all. Do you have any advice?

A. Years ago, when I lost everything financially, there were two or three extremely strong emotions that spurred me toward change. Probably the biggest emotion was fear. I was scared to death I’d be broke for the rest of my life, and not be able to take care of my family. Don’t misunderstand me, though. I don’t think you should ever live your life in fear. But a reasonable, healthy level of fear where some things are concerned can be a fantastic motivator.

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019

Another emotion was disgust. I realized the way I had been living and handling money was stupid. So, I made a proactive, conscious decision that I was going to change, and things were going to be different. The third emotion was contentment. You know, advertisers try to make us believe our lives will be better, and we’ll be happier, if we just go out and buy their stuff. I can tell you from personal experience when this idea is crammed down your throat every day, it can warp your perception of contentment and happiness. Lots of stuff does not equal lots of happiness.


If you’ve tried several times, and are still falling back into the same old trap, maybe you should approach your situation in a practical, day-to-day way. Stop going places where you’re tempted to spend money on silly things. When you go out running errands and shopping, make a list of only the bare necessities, and take along just enough cash to pay for them. Spending money on a bunch of stuff you don’t need, and probably don’t even really want, isn’t going to bring you contentment. It’s just going to bust your budget, and put you in a financial hole that will, sooner or later, become very difficult—if not impossible—to dig your way out of!








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Do you dread the hustle and bustle of another holiday season? Between shopping, wrapping, baking, holiday cards, parties, and many other obligations and tasks, surviving the season can be a feat, let alone finding the time to enjoy it with your family. This year, why not make a pact to eliminate stress by following these tips? Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019



Early planning

First, close your eyes and think back to the previous couple years and how hectic and stressful they felt. What percentage of holiday activities and tasks would you need to eliminate to make the season truly enjoyable and relatively stress-free? During this process, don’t think about what you can’t eliminate. Just determine the percentage of reduction you need to make. Next, make a list of everything you need to do during the holiday season, to which parties you’ll be invited, and how much money you’ll spend. Now cross off the least important, least necessary, and least desirable events and tasks. Then review the list, and calculate how much time and expense you’ve shaved off. If you haven’t reached your predetermined reduction, go through your list again. Once you’ve decided which parties you’ll attend and the commitments you’ll make, plan how you’ll say ‘no’ to all the others, so you’re not caught off guard.

Share in the preparation

Enlist your family to help prepare for the holidays, and divvy up the tasks. Don’t expect perfection from yourself or your family. Remember, you probably don’t notice or mind the imperfections in others’ holiday gatherings. They’re just as unlikely to see any in yours. Also, keep in mind the holiday season isn’t the time to be head cook. Plan potluck gatherings. Then, either suggest what each person should bring or, to avoid

duplicates, ask guests to let you know what they’ll bring.

Holiday time-and-energy savers

Save time in gift-wrapping by setting up a station in a spare room or the basement. Or stock a large box or basket with wrapping paper, ribbon, bows, tags, tape, scissors, and pens, so everything is stored in one place. Have extras of everything on hand. Keep cleaning to a minimum during the holidays. Dismiss unused areas guests won’t see or use, and clean only the obvious in rooms that will be seen. The barelyvisible layer of dust on your baseboards is unlikely to be noticed with all the holiday decorations and festivities. Make everyday meals quick and simple throughout the season. Soups, sandwiches, fresh fruit and vegetables, cottage cheese, pre-cut veggies and dip, and other prepared or semi-prepared healthy foods will suffice for one month of the year. Do your holiday shopping early in the day on weekdays while your energy is high and crowds are small. Shop online or by catalog. If an item lacks details, search for a manufacturer’s website to get the information you need. Give gift cards. Hard-to-shop-for recipients will appreciate something practical. Gift cards to restaurants, department stores, sporting good outlets, and specialty shops, or for a massage,


pedicure, or round of golf make great gifts. Don’t overdo the baking. Your guests will likely have had their fill of holiday treats long before your gathering arrives. As for the warm gesture of taking a plate of baked goodies to friends or neighbors, instead, show they’re in your thoughts by visiting or calling them to wish them a happy holiday season.

Money saver

Does your gift list grow each year? Decide with whom it’s essential or important to exchange gifts. Then talk to extended family, friends, coworkers, and others about forgoing gift exchanges, putting a cap on the price, or doing a drawing instead. You’ll likely learn many feel the same as you do.

Holidays with children

Allow kids to spend the day they open their gifts at home. It’s hardly fair and often stressful for children to leave their gifts behind that they’ve patiently waited to open. In turn, this causes stress for parents. Plan family get-togethers either on Christmas Eve or on the weekends before or after the holiday. If there’s no way around it, have an early celebration with your kids the day or weekend before. Traveling and holiday visiting is also stressful for young children caused by changes in their routine and unfamiliar faces. Have your kids help with packing before you leave, even if it’s only for the day, to make sure their favorite toys aren’t

left behind. A security blanket or stuffed animal can also reduce stress for your young child in strange surroundings. Don’t forget to leave yourself plenty of time for rest stops as well. Avoid taking children shopping during the holidays. Ask your partner or an older child to babysit; trade babysitting with a neighbor or friend, or hire a babysitter. This will not only reduce stress, but it’ll also likely cut your shopping time in half.

Care for yourself

Enjoy holiday treats in moderation. High fat and sugary foods and the lack of healthy meals can lead to tiredness and stress. Keep goodies stored in the freezer where they’ll be less of a temptation. Have plenty of convenient, healthy snacks such as raw vegetables and nuts on hand. Prepare low-fat meals that won’t bog you down. Pace yourself, and don’t try to do everything in one day. Finally, give yourself a break. Get plenty of exercise such as a brisk walk in the fresh air, and set aside time for relaxation, like a long bubble bath.

Things to do for next year

Start your shopping early. Create a new tradition with a friend or family member and set a monthly shopping date for the upcoming year. By making a scheduled commitment, you’ll be more likely to follow through. Keep the early holiday shopping fun and choose a different town or shopping center for each trip, focusing on unique malls or trendy towns. Also, get a label printing software program or app early in the year and enter all of the addresses on your holiday card list. When the holidays roll around, you can print the labels and eliminate the most time-consuming aspect of sending out holiday greetings. Finally, remember the holiday season should be a joyful time for everyone, including yourself, to join in the good cheer with family and friends. Maximize ways to ease your stress to keep the ‘happy’ in your holidays! ESP

Kimberly Blaker is a freelance lifestyle writer. She also writes content, blog posts, and more for businesses in a variety of industries and is an expert in on-page SEO. Find her at

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019



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Fish River Christmas Tree Farm ad on page 15

13982 Woodhaven Dairy Road E, Summerdale Choose & cut your own, pre-cut, flocked and container trees! Santa visits, live manger scene, camel rides, train and more! Open daily from 8am - 5pm. Call to confirm times before your visit. (251) 988-8114

Now - December 31

Magic Christmas in Lights ad on page 19

@ Bellingrath Gardens and Home 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Rd Theodore Join us for our 24th season! 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. Open daily-5:00pm - 9:00pm. (251) 973-2217

Weekends Only - December 23

Holiday Activities at the Farm ad on page 15

@ Fish River Christmas Tree Farm 13982 Woodhaven Dairy Road E, Summerdale Choose a Christmas Tree. Holiday activities (Fridays - Sundays Only) 8am - 5pm. Tannenbaum Express Tree Train, live manger scene, Camel/ Pony Rides ($5 per ride). Santa visits December 1st - 2nd and December 8th - 9th. (251) 988-8114

December 5

Baldwin County Youth Orchestra Christmas Concert with Fairhope High School ad on page 29

Daphne High School Performing Arts Center Join us as we celebrate in concert with Fairhope Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019

High Schools Band at Daphne High School‘s Performing Arts Center. 5:30pm - 10:00pm. (251) 279-0848

December 7

Breakfast at the Manger ad on page 8

@ Fairhope United Methodist Church 155 South Section Street Fairhope, AL 36532 Pancake breakfast ($5/pp), pictures with Santa, family activity stations and Christmas singalong. Hear Santa read the story of Jesus’ birth. Every child will receives a gift! 8:30am - 10:30am. (251) 928-1148

December 10

Baldwin County Youth Orchestra Christmas Concert ad on page 29 @ Fairhope Civic Center 161 North Section Street Fairhope, AL 36532 Join us as we celebrate our 10th Christmas Concert as the BCYO for Christmas sing along favorites. Concert is Free, however Toys for Tots donations are appreciated! 7:00pm 10:00pm. (251) 279-0848

December 13

Marine Toys for Tots Fundraiser ad on page 1

@ Original Oyster House Mobile Causeway and Gulf Shores Locations Starting December 1, 2019, the Original Oyster House restaurants will be a drop site for Marine Toys for Tots. On Friday, December 13, the US Marines in dress blues will be at both Mobile Causeway and Gulf Shores restaurant locations from 6pm - 8pm, to pick up donated toys, take photos with your family and wish everyone a happy Christmas. If you are interested in participating, please drop off an unwrapped toy or consider donating by check to Toys for Tots. You can place donation items in the Toys for Tots collection box at the restaurants. All donations will be distributed locally to needy children.

December 14

Billy Claus visits LuLu’s! ad on page 47

@ Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s 200 East 25th Avenue Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Billy Claus and his LuLubelle’s will read a Christmas story, and listen to your wish list! Arts & crafts, live music and pictures with Billy Claus. 1:00pm - 4:00pm. (251) 967-LULU (5858)

December 12

Return to Bethlehem Bayshore Christian School ad on page 35

@ Fairhope First Baptist Church 300 South Section Street Fairhope, AL 36532 Join us at 6:30pm for a night of celebration focused on our Savior’s birth as we enter the Christmas season. Bayshore students have been working hard to prepare for this year’s Christmas program. Our choral ensembles will also be performing. The event is free and open to the public. (251) 929-0011


December 14 - 15

Mobile Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” ad on page 34

@ Mobile Civic Center Theatre 401 Civic Center Drive Mobile, AL 36602 Enjoy the holiday tradition of The Nutcracker. Performers include dancers from the entire community. Performances will be held on Saturday at 2:30pm & 7:30pm and Sunday at 2:30pm. (251) 342-2241

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Christmas Dinner To-Go ad on page 43

@ 3Circle North Campus 10080 County Road 64 Daphne, Al 36526 We want to reach out to our community this Christmas! At 3Circle Church, Daphne Campus, we are making to-go meals to help families in need this holiday season. Reserve your meal at 251-990-3112 (Ext 3). (251) 990-3112

Movie Night: Elf at The Mill ad on page 37

85 North Bancroft Street, Fairhope Bring the family for dinner and a movie at The Mill.

December 21 - 22

The Music Ministry of First Baptist Church -

“Glory Divine, The Splendor of Christmas” ad on page 35

@ First Baptist Fairhope 300 South Section Street Fairhope, AL 36532 The Music Ministry of First Baptist Church, Fairhope and full Orchestra will present “Glory Divine” Saturday & Sunday at 7:00pm. This event is free and open to all. (251) 928-8685

December 31

LuLu’s Noon Year’s Eve Celebration! ad on page 47

@ Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s 200 East 25th Avenue Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Noon Year’s is a FREE family event for all ages. The fun starts at 10:00am with arts & crafts, face

painting, music and a beach ball drop and kid friendly fireworks at NOON! See you there! (251) 967-LULU (5858)

Now - December 7 Mother-Daughter Market Out In The Country Christmas Sale

(251) 979-1874

Santa’s Wonderland

@ Bass Pro Shop 20000 Bass Pro Drive Spanish Fort, AL 36527 Santa photos, activities, crafts, games and more! A Bass Pass is required to see Santa and are limited each day. Check the activity schedule online for updates. Times subject to change. (251) 607-5900

Now - December 21 North Pole Express

@ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 This winter, The Wharf Express is on a holiday mission! Put on your PJs and ride the North Pole Express each Saturday until Christmas, where every child will receive a candy cane, a coloring book, and a golden ticket sticker! 10am - 10pm. (251) 224-1000

Wales West Arctic Express

@ Wales West RV Resort and Light Railway 13670 Smiley Street Silverhill, AL 36576 Train rides, Santa visit with toy, millions of lights, petting zoo/pony rides, cannon, café & gift shop. $15/person. 2yrs & under Free. 4pm - 9pm. Friday - Sunday. Daily beginning December 12th. (888) 569-5337

Now - December 23 Trim-A-Tree Christmas Event

@ Tanger Outlet (Suite 182) 2601 South McKenzie Street Foley, AL 36535 Local artists decor, pottery, jewelry, and more. Sponsored by the Foley Art Center. Monday Saturday 10am - 7pm, Sunday 11am - 6pm. Like Foley Art Center on Facebook. (251) 943-4381

Now - December 31 Ultimate Holiday Spectacular

@ Legends in Concert at OWA 205 North OWA Boulevard Foley, AL 36535 Featuring tributes to The Blues Brothers™, Lady Gaga, Dolly Parton, George Michael, and Tony Bennett as they sing signature hits and holiday classics! Showtimes and tickets available online. (251) 369-6100 alvita.russell@legendsinconcert. com

@ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 Ho Ho Holiday photo time in Santa’s Village! Fridays: 3pm - 6pm, Saturdays: 10am - 6pm, Sundays: 12pm - 6pm. Christmas Tree Lighting event December 3rd: 5:30pm - 9:30pm. Christmas Eve: 10am - 2pm. Times subject to change. (251) 224-1000

@ Fairhope Welcome Center 20 North Section Street Fairhope, AL 36532 Drop a letter in Santa’s Mailbox at the Fairhope Welcome Center! Please call (251) 928-5095 for hours. (251) 929-1466

@ Mother-Daughter Market 21840 Sedlack Road Silverhill, AL 36576 Get an early start on your shopping list! Gifts, home decor, and more! Follow us on Facebook at MotherDaughter Market. Market times are from 9am - 1pm.

Now - December 24 Photos with Santa at the Wharf

Santa’s Mailbox

Now - January 5 STEM Wonderland

@ Gulf Coast Exploreum 65 Government St. Mobile, AL 36602 Holiday decorations and model train will set the stage for a myriad of STEM based activities for all ages, while building an ice village in Imagination Playground. 9am - 4pm. (251) 208-6893

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Now - January 12 Ice Skating Rink

@ 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! Hours: 4pm - 10pm Monday-Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10am - 10pm. Check online for Holiday times & changes. (251) 224-1000

December 1 Brunch in Whoville at Little Point Clear

18263 Scenic Highway 98 Fairhope, AL 36532 Brunch with Santa, The Grinch & all The Who Whos! $35 per person includes brunch, beverages & pics with Santa. 11:30am - 2:00pm. (251) 929-8568

December 1, 3, 8, 15, 29, 31 Horse and Carriage Rides

@ 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 horse-drawn carriage. Check online to confirm dates & times. (251) 224-1000

December 2 - 13 Gingerbread House and Cookie Contest

@ Bay Minette Public Library 205 West 2nd Street Bay Minette, AL 36507 Prizes will be awarded at 6:00pm on December

13th during Bedtime Stories with Santa. See our Facebook page for entry forms and rules. (251) 580-1648

December 3 Christmas Tree Lighting

@ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at The Wharf! Help us usher in the holiday season at 5:30pm with bulbs, garland, and glee. The annual tree lighting hosted by the City of Orange Beach is the perfect ceremony to inspire the Yuletide spirit. (251) 224-1000

December 5 Christmas & Carols

@ Thomas Hospital Main Entrance 750 Morphy Avenue Fairhope, AL 36532 Photos with Santa, crafts, music and refreshments! Join the staff at Thomas Hospital and our community partners for this fun, free event. Santa will visit with special needs children at 5:00pm. Visit Thomas Hospital on Facebook for event updates. 5:30pm - 7:00pm. (251) 510-1054 or (251) 928-2375

Daphne’s Tree Lighting & Open House @ Daphne City Hall 1705 Main Street Daphne, AL 36526 Ride the trains, Christmas crafts in Santa’s Workshop, send letters to Santa in our special mailbox, carolers and more while we light up Olde Towne Daphne! 5:30pm - 8:00pm. (251) 620-1000

Jingle Bell Walk

137 North Main Street Atmore, AL 36502 Atmore Area Chamber member businesses will be open after hours and generally hold holiday sales. Check the Atmore Chamber Facebook page for details and be sure to follow the event page, too!

(251) 368-3305

North Baldwin Infirmary Christmas Tree Lighting

@ North Baldwin Infirmary 1815 Hand Avenue Bay Minette, AL 36507 Join North Baldwin Infirmary staff for an evening of holiday family fun. Photos with Santa, crafts, refreshments and Christmas choirs. Santa will visit with special needs children at 5:00pm. Follow North Baldwin Infirmary on Facebook for event updates! 5:30pm - 7:00pm. (251) 937-9099

December 5 - 25 City of Foley Christmas Tree Decorating Contest

@ Heritage Park 101 East Laurel Avenue Foley, AL 36535 Trees will be decorated by December 4th, judged on December 5th and on display for viewing until December 26th. (251) 943-1300

December 5 - 6, 2019 Phone Calls From Santa

@ Gulf Shores Recreation Department Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Register for your child to receive a personalized

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phone call from Santa! Calls will be made December 5th & 6th from 5pm - 6pm or 6pm - 7pm. Registration deadline is December 3rd.

for purchase. Follow Baldwin Pops Band on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Director, Dr. Jason Rinehart. 7:00pm.

(251) 968-9818

(251) 278-8530

December 6 City of Gulf Shores Lighted Christmas Parade & Holiday Celebration

YMCA Elf Ride

@ Highway 59 to Sims Park 348 West 19th Avenue Gulf Shores, AL 36542 The parade begins at 6:30pm. Continue the holiday fun after at Sims Park. Pictures with Santa, holiday treats, crafts and the Snowball drop. (251) 968-1171

Fairhope’s Magical Christmas Parade

@ Downtown Fairhope Fairhope, AL 36532 Fairhope’s Magical Christmas Parade begins at 7:00pm at the intersection of Morphy and Section Street and continues down Section to Oak Street. (251) 929-1466

Foley’s Christmas in the Park

@ Heritage Park 101 East Laurel Avenue Foley, AL 36535 Come out to hear Christmas carols, sip hot cocoa, enjoy the lighting of the Christmas Tree, and visit with Santa. Free cocoa. 6:00pm 8:00pm. (251) 943-1300

Holiday Story-Times

@ Barnes & Noble 30500 State Highway 181 (Suite 114) Spanish Fort, AL 36527 Join us for story time and holiday fun this season! Find us on Facebook for story-time titles, times and updates. Some dates have more than one story-time session. (251) 621-3545

Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra “Holiday Concert”

@ Foley Civic Center 407 East Laurel Avenue Foley, AL 36535 The child musicians are sure to move audiences with sounds of the Christmas season. Time: 7:00pm. (251) 943-1545

Ornament Make-n-Take

@ Daphne Public Library 2607 Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526 Come create a special ornament for your holiday décor here at the Daphne Public Library! 1:30pm - 4:45pm. (251) 620-2500 (Ext. 2508)

Small Town Christmas

@ Downtown Silverhill Silverhill, AL 36576 Join us for the annual Christmas parade at 6:30pm. Santa will be available for pictures next to Town Hall after the parade. (251) 945-5198 Alabama

The Baldwin Pops Holiday Concert

@ Daphne Civic Center 2603 US Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526 Free concert with donation of unopened toy for Toys for Tots. Santa visit with pictures available

@ Daphne City Hall 1705 Main Street Daphne, AL 36526 Decorate your own bike and dress as an elf! Walkers welcome. Costume & bike contests. Register online or at the YMCA. Assemble at 4pm, Costume Contest 5pm, Kickoff 5:30pm.

(251) 970-3003 events/elfride

December 6 - 7, 13 - 14, 20 - 21 A Magical Christmas at Pimperl Place

@ Down in the Delta LLC 48738 US Highway 31 Bay Minette, AL 36507 A sleigh ride through the woods, hot chocolate bar, music, food/drinks and Christmas cheer. Santa visits at 6:00pm, Saturdays Only! Tickets at the door. $10 adults; $8 kids 3-12. 5pm 8pm. (251) 937-3572

December 6 - 7 Street’s Merry Christmas Party

@ Street’s Exquisite Plants & Aquatic Gardens 17750 Greeno Road Fairhope, AL 36532 Poinsettias, Wreaths, Garland & more! Finger foods & hot apple cider. On December 7th, Wheels for Hope will be selling ribs to provide wheelchairs for the disabled in Southeast Asia. 9:00am - 5:00pm. (251) 990-0901

December 7 Children’s Christmas Angel Breakfast @ Gulf Shores United Methodist Church 1900 Gulf Shores Parkway (Highway 59) Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Wear your Christmas PJs and join us for breakfast, pictures with the angels, crafts, & games! The event begins at 9:00am. (251) 968-2411

Christmas in the Park

@ Lillian Recreational Park 33914 Widell Avenue Lillian, AL 36549 Community Christmas Tree lighting, luminaries along the path, light displays and decorations. Caroling, hot chocolate and Santa too! A free community Christmas event for all ages! 3:00pm - 7:00pm. (251) 962-2129

Christmas Ornament Craft Event

@ Tractor Supply Company - Daphne Store 851 US Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526 Fun for all ages - join us to create your own homemade ornament! 10:00am - 2:00pm. (251) 626-6666

City of Daphne Christmas Parade

Main Street Daphne, AL 36526 Parade begins at 11:00am from the Daphne Civic Center complex, through Olde Towne Daphne, and back again (watch for parade route maps soon). (251) 620-1000


Daphne Christmas Extravaganza

@ Daphne Civic Center 2603 US Highway 98 Daphne, AL 26526 Unique gift items including jewelry, gifts, accessories, fashion and more. Admission is $5 per person. VIP pre-order bags are $15. Tickets available at Eventbrite. 10am - 3pm. (251) 421-2259 Find this event on Facebook!

Foley Kiwanis Club Christmas Parade @ Downtown Foley Foley, AL 36535 Parade begins at 10:00am and winds through downtown Foley. Festive floats, treats and throws, and of course, Santa waves a Merry Christmas to all. Float applications available online. (251) 943-1032

Foley’s Annual “Let It Snow!”

@ Heritage Park 101 East Laurel Avenue Foley, AL 36535 The weather calls for snow flurries in Heritage... Santa will be there, children’s art village with facepainting and Whoville Hair, bounce houses, music, and concessions. 11am - 3pm. (251) 943-1300

Gingerbread Jam Gingerbread Building Contest

@ Orange Beach Event Center 4671 Wharf Pkwy W Orange Beach, AL 36561 A gingerbread house building competition for families & businesses. Holiday musical performances by Expect Excellence. Proceeds support Culinary Camp scholarships. 11am - 2pm. (251) 284-0558

Holiday Half Marathon and 8K Run

@ Mullet Point Park 13203 County Road 1 Fairhope, AL 36532 Online registration deadline is December 6th at 4:00am. Race Day Registration: 6:30am 7:50am. Race start: 8:00am. Restrictions: Must be able to complete half marathon or 8K in three hours. (251) 473-7223

Holiday Market & Christmas Kids Day Cathedral Square and Bienville Square Mobile, AL 36602 Join us for arts and crafts, fun activities, music,. pictures, dance performances and much more! Time: 10:00am-2:00pm. (251) 208-1550

Jingle Jubilee Kids Craft Day

@ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 Activities will take place from 12pm - 4pm at The Port and in various shops. Enjoy the Kids Art Contest, Arts & Crafts stations, holiday performances, and more.

Letters to Santa at the Bowling Alley @ The Gulf Bowl 2881 S Juniper Street Foley, AL 36535 Visit us at the Bowling alley and write a letter to Santa! From 9am - 12pm. (251) 943-4575

Robertsdale Christmas Parade & Christmas in the Park

@ Honeybee Park Robertsdale, AL 36567 Christmas in the Park is sponsored by the Robertsdale Rotary and Central Baldwin Chamber. Parade begins at 6:30pm. Family Fun and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus from 7pm - 9pm. (251) 947-2626

Robertsdale Honey Bee Festival - Central Baldwin Educational Foundation @ Honeybee Park Robertsdale, AL 36567 This year’s event will include food, hand crafted items, unique gifts, decor, apparel and accessories. Hosted by the Central Baldwin Education Foundation. 8:00am - 3:00pm. (251) 747-0937

Santa in the Park

@ Heritage Park Main Street & Craig Street Atmore, AL 36502 Pictures with Santa, enjoy a cup of cocoa, decorate Christmas cookies, and more! Check out the Atmore Chamber Facebook page for details and be sure to follow the event page! (251) 368-3305

Spanish Fort Spirit of Christmas Parade

@ Eastern Shore Centre 30500 State Hwy 181 Spanish Fort, AL 36527 The Parade begins at 7pm . If you are interested in participating, a Parade Application may be downloaded from the City’s website. (251) 626-4884

December 7 - 8, 14 - 15 and 21 - 22 The North Pole at OWA @ Downtown OWA 100 North OWA Boulevard Foley, AL 36535 Stop by Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, drink cocoa take photos with Santa and visit the elf workshop for arts & crafts. Admission is Free. Professional photos available for purchase. 2pm - 7pm.

December 7 -8 Merry Market 2019

@ Perdido Beach Resort 27200 Perdido Beach Boulevard Orange Beach, AL 36561 Two days of shopping fun! Unique gifts, baked goods, spices/sauces, apparel, jewelry, arts & crafts. Admission is free. Vender applications available online. 9am - 5pm. (251) 968-7200

Letters to Santa at the Bowling Alley

December 7 - 8 St. Lawrence Christmas Bazaar

(251) 625-3400

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019

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December 7 & 14 City of Fairhope Santa Saturdays


(251) 928-5931

@ Downtown Fairhope 24 Section Street Fairhope, AL 36532 Santa will be visiting Fairhope in front of the Fairhope Museum of History from 10:30am 12:00pm. Parents may bring their cameras to take pictures. (251) 929-1466

Toy Making with Santa’s Elves

@ Shady Arbor inside the Park at OWA Foley, AL 36535 See Santa’s elves make toys in the North Pole workshop! Build a toy for yourself or a friend! Daily building limited to 100 toys. Sponsored by Home Depot. 2pm - 3pm. (251) 923-3443

December 7, 14, 21 Breakfast with Santa

@ The Grand Hotel One Grand Boulevard Point Clear, AL 36564 Breakfast buffet from 7:00am - 10:30am. Adults (12 years +): $29.95, Ages 5-11 years: $14.50, 4 years and under are free. Reservations required. Please call to reserve your spot! (251) 928-9201

December 8 City of Spanish Fort Tree Lighting

@ Spanish Fort Community Center 7361 Spanish Fort Blvd Spanish Fort, AL 36527 Join us for the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Caroling and holiday fun for everyone! 6:00pm 8:00pm. (251) 626-4884

Coastal Ballet Company Presents “The Nutcracker”

@ Erie H. Meyer Civic Center 1930 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, AL 36542 The Ballet Company will bring this holiday classic to life! Performance at 2:00pm. Tickets available online and box office located at 1821 Gulf Shores Parkway. (251) 979-9851

(251) 923-3443

(251) 224-1000

@ Eastern Shore Lanes 10460 Eastern Shore Blvd Spanish Fort, AL 36527 Visit us at the Bowling alley and write a letter to Santa! From 9am - 12pm.

Santa’s Workshop, take pictures with Santa and Christmas crafts! We’ll have Gumbo, candied nuts and apples, baked goods, and homemade casseroles to go. Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am - 3:00pm.

370 South Section Street Fairhope, AL 36532 Silent auction, vendor booths, bake sale, handcrafted gift baskets, and Christmas Cafe. Unique art and antiques for purchase. Kids can shop in


Coastal Grinchmas!

@ Gulf State Park-Alabama 20115 State Highway 135 Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Holiday crafts, Whoville activities, refreshments, witness Santa Grinch’s arrival, and get your photo made with Santa Grinch. 5:00pm - 8:00pm. (251) 948-7275 gulfevents.statepark@ events/435057783794971/

Drive-Thru Nativity

@ Trinity Presbyterian Church 545 South Mobile Street Fairhope, AL 36532 See the story of the birth of Jesus from your own car! From the Angel to the Manager scene, with music and live animals. This event is free. 5pm - 7pm. (251) 928-2524

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Eastern Shore Choral Society Christmas Concerts

@ Fairhope First Baptist Church 300 South Section Street Fairhope, AL 36532 Enjoy holiday music and an audience sing along. Tickets online or at the door. Students are admitted Free. Concert begins at 2:00pm. (251) 802-4757

Mobile’s Singing Children Christmas Concert - Ceremony of Carols

@ Cathedral of Immaculate Conception 2 South Claiborne Street Mobile, AL 36602 Christmas Concert featuring all four choirs. Music by Benjamin Britten, John Rutter, Moses Hogan and more. The concert ends with our traditional O Holy Night and The First Noel. 3:00pm

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Join Us!

December 8 and 15 Pancake Brunch with Santa

@ Shady Arbor inside the Park at OWA Foley, AL 36535 Enjoy a pancake spread with an assortment of toppings, scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage and a drink. Tickets $10.99 (+tax). Limited seating. Reservations required. 12:30pm - 1:30pm.

Impact Our Community

V o l Bu e a ntee


Membership opens online in January 2020 and visit us at our Open House on March 19, 2020


(251) 923-3443

December 9 The Baldwin Pops Holiday Concert

@ Foley Civic Center 407 E Laurel Avenue Foley, AL 36535 Free concert with donation of unopened toy for Toys for Tots. Santa visit with pictures available for purchase. Follow Baldwin Pops Band on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Director, Dr. Jason Rinehart. 7:00pm. (251) 278-8530

December 10 Eastern Shore Choral Society Christmas Concerts

@ Spanish Fort United Methodist Church 6690 Spanish Fort Blvd Spanish Fort, AL 36527 Enjoy holiday music and an audience sing along. Tickets online or at the door. Students are admitted Free. Concert begins at 7:30pm. (251) 802-4757

Lights of Love 2019

@ Geri Moulton Children’s Park 1700 Center Street Mobile, AL 36604 5:30–7:30pm for USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, and the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute. Enjoy Christmas cookies, caroling and spread some old fashioned Christmas Cheer! (251) 415-1000

The Baldwin Pops Holiday Concert

@ Gulf Shores Cultural Event Center 19470 Oak Road West Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Free concert with donation of unopened toy for Toys for Tots. Santa visit with pictures available for purchase. Follow Baldwin Pops Band on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Director, Dr. Jason Rinehart. 7:00pm. (251) 278-8530

December 10 - 15 The Toy Shoppe

@ EverBlue Arts - Lilipad Hall 7225 Yenne Lane Fairhope, AL 36532 Kenny Rogers, The Toy Shoppe, is a marvellous family-friendly adventure with a beautiful message of hope and miracles. Follow Everblue Arts on Facebook for updates! (251) 278-0330

December 10, 12 & 19 Nix Center Annual Holiday Concerts

@ James P. Nix Center 1 Bayou Drive Fairhope, AL 36532 Jammin’ Folks: December 10th, 2pm - 3pm with light refreshments served. Mobile Cello Group: December 12th, 2pm - 3pm. Robert Prichard Trio: December 19, 10am - 12pm Lobby holiday music. Free. (251) 928-2835

December 10 - January 6 USA Children’s & Women’s Holiday Tree Trail

@ Geri Moulton Children’s Park 1700 Center Street Mobile, AL 36604 A display of holiday trees for the community to enjoy. View the trees nightly from dusk - midnight. To sponsor a tree, visit our website. (251) 415-1000

December 12 Light Up the Arts

@ Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach 26389 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 Bring the family and celebrate the season!


Refreshments, music, fiery hot glass demos, clay studio pottery firings and more. Gift shop open with original artwork and holiday gifts available for purchase. 5:00pm - 7:00pm. (251) 981-2787

Santa Stories

@ Daphne Public Library 2607 Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526 Join Santa the Community Room as he shares his favorite stories with his Eastern Shore friends! Enjoy cookies and warm cocoa. Bring your cameras! 4pm and 5pm. (251) 620-2500 (Ext. 2508)

December 12 - 15 Bay Area Performing Arts Presents “Scrooge the Musical”

@ Bay Area Performing Arts Theatre 8724 Rand Avenue Daphne, Al 36526 Check our website or Facebook page for event details and tickets coming soon! (251) 455-0355

December 13 - 15 Miracle on 34th Street Radio Show

@ Theatre 98 350 Morphy Avenue Fairhope, AL 36532 Get in the Holiday Spirit of magic with this timeless classic story! Purchase tickets online under the Tickets tab. Friday 7:30pm, Saturday 2:30pm & 7:30pm, Sunday 2:30pm. (251) 928-4366

December 13 34th Annual Nautical Night of Lights Boat Parade

Gulf Shores to Orange Beach, AL A variety of decorated vessels and great viewing sites all along the Intracoastal Waterway. Parade begins at Tacky Jacks, Gulf Shores at 5:00pm.

excited to announce that the Christmas Festival will return to its original home on the Courthouse Square! Join us for a one day celebration featuring vendors, delicious food, Santa photos, the annual Christmas Parade, Ping Pong Prize Drop, live music, kids activities, entertainment and more! 9am - 8pm.

(251) 968-7200

(251) 937-5665 (Ext. 3)

Bedtime Stories with Santa

Annual Christmas through the Ages

@ Bay Minette Library 205 West 2nd Street Bay Minette, AL 36507 The event features Christmas-themed stories and a visit with Santa Claus! There is no charge to attend. 6:00pm.

(251) 580-1648 www.facebook. com/Bay-Minette-Public-Library-65278263205

Daphne’s Snow & Movie Night in the Park

@ Daphne City Hall 1705 Main Street Daphne, AL 36526 Snow begins falling at 4pm, movie at 6pm and Santa Claus will be here to visiting from 5-7pm. Food trucks will be on site as well. 4pm - 8pm. (251) 620-1000

Gift Make-n-Take

@ Daphne Public Library 2607 Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526 Parents need Christmas presents too! Bring your child to the community room to make you a special gift this year! 1:30pm - 4:45pm. (251) 620-2500 (Ext. 2508)

Lighted Boat Parade & Activities

@ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 Watch as boats large and small glide through the Intracoastal Waterway in all their festive glory. Come early to avoid traffic, grab a bite to eat, enjoy activities for the kids, and finish your holiday shopping. Parade time TBD. The Wharf shops will be open until 9:00pm. (251) 224-1000

YMCA Elf Ride

@ OWA 100 North OWA Boulevard Foley, AL 36535 Decorate your own bike and dress as an elf! Walkers welcome. Costume & bike contests. Register online or at the YMCA. Assemble at 5pm, Costume Contest 5:30 pm, Kickoff 6pm. (251) 970-3003

December 13 - 15 Walk Through Bethlehem

@ Bethel Baptist Church 22250 Us Highway 90 Robertsdale, AL 36567 Become part of the Christmas story! Walk through a live creation of biblical times from the shepherds to baby Jesus in the manger. Free family event. 6pm - 8pm. (251) 947-5145 Walk Through Bethlehem

December 14 37th Annual Christmas Fest in Bay Minette

@ Courthouse Square, Downtown Bay Minette Bay Minette, AL 36507 The North Baldwin Chamber of Commerce is Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019

@ Fort Gaines 51 Bienville Boulevard Dauphin Island, AL 36528 A living history day for the whole family. Soldiers & their families from 1700s - 1900s celebrate a non-commercial Christmas. Admission:Adults(age 13+)$8.00, Children-(age 5 to 12)$4.00. 9:00am-5:00pm. (251) 861-6992

Breakfast with Santa

@ Tacky Jack’s Gulf Shores 240 East 24th Avenue Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Come share in some great food, and get your picture with Santa! Picture compliments of Tacky Jacks Restaurant. 8am - 11am. (251) 948-8881

Christmas Fest Parade

@ Downtown Bay Minette Bay Minette, AL 36507 New this year, the Annual Christmas Parade will be a twilight parade! Line up begins at 3:00pm at the old Bay Minette Elementary School. Float judging begins at 4:00pm. Parade rolls at 4:30pm. Registration required, $10 per entry, $5 late fee after November 29th. Contact the North Baldwin Chamber for more information, or visit the website to download parade application.

(251) 937-5665

Christmas In Nature

@ Graham Creek Nature Preserve Interpretive Center 23030 Wolf Bay Drive Foley, AL 36535 Make ornaments and enjoy treats with Santa at the Interpretive Center! This event is free for children 10 and under from 10:00am - 12:00pm. (251) 923-4267

Elberta Christmas Parade, Tree Lighting and Family Fun Night

1305 Main Street Elberta, AL 36530 Christmas Parade, tree lighting and movie. Find our event on Facebook. 5:00pm - 9:00pm. (251) 986-5995

Factory Frozen Festivities

@ The Factory Gulf Shores 18948 Oak Road West Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Join us for our annual Christmas Event from 3pm - 6pm. Wear your Frozen gear, meet Frozen characters, snow slime, cookie & craft decorating, popcorn bar, coffee & cocoa and Frozen the movie! (251) 202-0900

Santa Drop

@ Flora Bama 17401 Perdido Key Drive Pensacola, FL 32507 Kick-off the Christmas season watching Santa skydive onto the beach and enjoy activities for


kids in the Flora-Bama tent. 11am - 2pm. (850) 492-0611

Santa Pet Photos

@ Tractor Supply Company - Daphne Store 851 US Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526 All leashed pets are welcome to come with their families for photos with Santa! Fido needs to get his list to Santa too! 10:00am - 2:00pm. (251) 626-6666

Santa Run — Yo Ho Ho & A Bottle of Rum 5k

@ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 Warm up your winter with a fun run at The Wharf! The Santa Run 5K is sure to be a good time for a good cause. Times: TBA (251) 224-1000

Seasons Consignment Holiday Market Days


(251) 459-0700

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26992 Highway 181 Daphne, AL 36526 Arts, crafts, locally made gifts, embroidery, vinyl and more. Holiday activities for the kids during the market. 10am - 4pm.

Twilight Christmas Parade

@ Downtown Atmore Atmore, AL 36502 Line the walk and see beautiful Dr. Seuss Christmas floats! Find the Atmore Chamber on Facebook and follow the event page! Parade begins at 5:30pm. Come early!

(251) 368-3305

December 14 - 15 Bay Shore Ballet Academy “The Nutcracker”

@ Fairhope Civic Center 161 North Section Street Fairhope, AL 36532 This holiday classic will delight people of all ages! Tickets available at the door or online starting in November. Visit our website for updates.

(251) 990-9744

December 14, 15, 21, 22 Photos with Santa & Holiday Fun on the Farm

@ Forty South Farm & Zoo 27257 Glass Road Robertsdale, Al 36567 Pictures with Santa! Your camera or ours. Concessions, inflatables, petting zoo, and mule wagon rides! Follow our Facebook page for updates. 10am - 4pm. (251) 978-0166

December 19 Spanish Fort’s Night Before Christmas Book Reading

7361 Spanish Fort Blvd Spanish Fort, AL 36527 Wear your PJs, bring a blanket, sing Christmas carols and have cookies & cocoa! Guest readers will narrate several holiday books, ending with Twas the Night Before Christmas. 7pm - 9pm. (251) 626-4884

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a portion of sales to the Chelsea Garvin Memorial Fund. 4:30pm - 7:30pm.


(251) 224-1000

How to Make a Gingerbread House

MoonPie Over Mobile -New Year’s Eve Celebration

(251) 928-9201 events/194347838091609

December 23, 26-27, 30 & January 2-3 Christmas Break Camp

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(251) 990-8555

@ Grand Hotel Marriott Resort 1 Grand Boulevard Point Clear, AL 36564 Step-by-step instruction in making a Gingerbread House. Cost for is $40(+tax & processing fee) for each Gingerbread House built (not per person). Tickets online. 2 class times available. 10:00am & 2:00pm.

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The Grinch Movie Night

@ Daphne Public Library 2607 Highway 98 Daphne, AL 36526 Bring the whole family and don’t forget to wear your PJ’s! Snacks will be provided. Movie: The Grinch (2018). 4pm – 6pm. (251) 620-2500 (Ext. 2508)

December 21 Breakfast with Santa

@ Erie Meyer Civic Center 1930 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Dive into a wholesome breakfast with Santa! Admission is $5.00 per person (3 and under free). The first 50 children receive a complimentary picture with Santa. 8:00am. (251) 968-1171

Fish River Christmas Boat Parade

@ Big Daddy’s Grill 16452 Ferry Road Fairhope, AL 36532 The Boat Parade runs from Highway 98 Bridge at Weeks Bay to 32 Bridge. Big Daddy’s will donate

year. 10am - 2pm. Confetti drop at Noon!

@ Gulf Shores Cultural Center 19470 Oak Road West Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Christmas Break Camp from 7:30am 5:30pm for grades K - 6th. (Closed December 24-25, 31, & January 1) Fees include field trip to Wales West. Registration deadline is December 16th. Limited spots available. (251) 968-9818 or (251) 968-1173

December 31 Fairhope’s New Year’s Eve Family Celebration

@ Downtown Fairhope Fairhope, AL 36532 Bring your family and ring in the New Year in downtown Fairhope with fireworks, dancing in the streets, DJ and ball drop at midnight! 8:30pm 12:30am. (251) 929-1466

Kids Confetti Drop

@ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 If your little ones are too young to stay up until midnight, join us at The Wharf for our Kids Confetti Drop, featuring tons of family friendly activities plus an early daytime countdown to the new

Downtown Mobile Mobile, AL 36602 Come and get a close-up look at the MoonPie as it drops in downtown Mobile. Live entertainment, laser show, fireworks and a countdown to 2020 like no other! (251) 208-1550

Reelin’ In the New Year NYE Street Party

@ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 Reel in 2020 with us at The Wharf for our New Year’s Eve Street Party. Live bands, familyfriendly and adult-centered 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! Admission is free. (251) 224-1000

January 1 Polar Bear Dip

@ Flora Bama 17401 Perdido Key Drive Pensacola, FL 32507 Wear a crazy costume, bring the whole family and take a New Year plunge into the Gulf of Mexico! No registration is required. Event is from 12:00pm - 3:00pm. (850) 492-0611

See description for specific dates Pictures with Santa

@ Tanger Outlets Foley (Suite 190) 2601 South McKenzie Street Foley, AL 36535 Bring your family for photos with Santa in a charming setting. Saturdays - December 21 (10am - 7pm), Sundays - December 22 (12pm - 6pm), Monday, December 23 (10am - 7pm) Tuesday, December 24 (10am - 2pm).

(251) 943-9303 ESP







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Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019



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When it comes to video games, Donna Volpitta’s 5th grade son is like many boys his age. If kids aren’t coming over to his house to play video games, he’s going to their homes, or he’s joining them online. “Just like phones are not evil, video games are not evil. [Digital media] is part of our kids’ world and their social life,” says Volpitta, Ed.D., who is also mom to three other children, ages 12, 14 and 16, and the author of The Resilience Formula: A Guide to Proactive-Not Reactive-Parenting. Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019

“But, it’s important to teach them mindful use and what video games do to your brain,” she adds. Why a healthy balance matters. Balancing your kids’ electronics-use with both organized activities and unstructured free time to dream and engage in creative pursuits, not only helps them become more conscientious users of technology, but also supports healthy brain development. Too much screen time starves the cortex of the brain, which is in charge of long-term decision-making, and 62


overfeeds the limbic system, which is the emotional fight-or-flight part of the brain. Over time, "The trouble with screens is that they this wires the brain for a short attention span, impulsive behavior, and an inability to pick up on mesmerize children, and they override social cues. their natural instincts to be social, While video gaming can provide a positive way for peers to connect and enhance skills like to go explore the world, to be hand-eye coordination and problem-solving, it physically active." doesn’t help kids build resilience in the same way that solving a more complex problem can. Dr. Hilary Cash Suppose your child is trying to assemble a paper airplane that flies across the room instead “Continued and excessive exposure to violence puts the of nosediving the minute it hits the air. He looks up child into a reality where violence is an acceptable way of solvideas online, tries different techniques, folds, refolds, experiments ing different problems,” says pediatrician Raun Melmed, MD, and tries again. With a pile of frustrated attempts balled up around author of the children’s book Timmy’s Monster Diary: Screen him, he finally experiences the sweet thrill of success as he tosses Time Stress. “Kids who are exposed to violence are more anxa plane into the air and watches it glide gracefully across the room. ious, more fearful and very likely, more prone to violence.” When we pursue and achieve a hard-won goal, the brain is Hilary Cash, Ph.D., agrees. She is the chief clinical officer of flooded with dopamine, the reward neurochemical, and sereSTART Life, a Seattle-area internet and digital technology adrotonin, the self-confidence neurochemical. Furthermore, our diction residential treatment program for adolescents and young persistence and creative problem-solving builds self-esteem adults. She notes research indicating that the levels of empathy and resilience, a skill that will be invaluable as problems crop up among college students has dropped by nearly 40 percent in throughout life. recent years. “It’s not that video games don’t offer some level of persis“A lot of that is attributed to video games and the antisotence, but there’s a very straight and narrow path towards that cial environment of the internet. People are becoming inured to next goal,” Volpitta says. antisocial behavior and not developing the good emotional and Unlike more complicated projects that delay gratification, social intelligence needed to promote empathy,” Cash says. video games offer users short bursts of reward chemicals that Research games your child wants to play before you buy, often leave the player wanting more. and play or watch them together. Seek prosocial games and “It’s almost like having a chocolate chip as opposed to a those that encourage creative problem solving. Check out ComHershey bar,” Volpitta explains. for ratings and reviews. The desire for more quick, pleasurable hits of dopamine and

Young Children and Screens

serotonin and unlimited access to gaming ultimately primes the brain for addiction.

Signs of trouble. Gaming becomes problematic if it is all your child seems to think or talk about, and if he exhibits agitation or anger when you try to set limits. “The similarities between kids who play too many video games for long periods of time and those who are addicted to

Choose games wisely. Just as wholesome foods nourish your body, the content we feed the brain influences how we respond to the world.

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anything else, from drugs or alcohol or cigarettes, is equivalent,” Melmed. Signs of gaming abuse and addiction include:


• Digital media use for extended periods of time • Problems with school work • Trouble sleeping or sleepiness • Physically overweight or underweight • Infrequent face-to-face interactions with peers • Depression, anxiety or anger To learn more, visit

Establish a media plan. Melmed suggests coming up


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with a media plan as a family, outlining rules that both parents and kids agree to follow. For example, consider how much video game time is appropriate each day and when electronics will be powered down each evening to ensure a good night’s sleep. For her family, Volpitta doesn’t allow screen time behind closed doors and limits video games to one hour a day once homework and chores are complete. You might decide to have a digital free day once a week or ban electronic devices in the car or during meal time. “Then you have to make sure meal time is an interesting time as well-a time for sharing and time for interacting,” Melmed advises. By creating realistic limits and understanding how video games impact the brain, as a parent you will feel more in control despite the rapidly changing digital landscape. While your kids probably won’t express appreciation for vigilance, they will feel safer too. “The brain needs to feel safe and it feels safe with those limits, with knowing that somebody is in control,” Volpitta says. “When we’re afraid of setting those limits- when we’re afraid of technology-it actually makes their brains feel unsafe.” ESP

Christa Melnyk Hines is a nationally published freelance writer. As the mother of two adolescent sons who love video gaming, she understands the challenges and the importance of striking a healthy balance. She is the author of Happy, Healthy & Hyperconnected: Raise a Thoughtful Communicator in a Digital World.

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019












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AT M O R E • D A F H N E • B AY M I N E T T E 5 1 .6 2 6 .7 7 7 0 | G L A S S O RT H O . CO M

FamilyCalendar Sunday December 1

Delta Discovery Pontoon Boat Tour ($20 Adults, $12 Ages 6-12)

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM, 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, AL, 36527 This 90-minute excursion into the wild and scenic lower reaches of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta--known as the “American Amazon”--introduces visitors and local residents alike to a truly astounding natural habitat. Offered in conjunction with December’s 1st Sunday Outdoor Market. Departs from the Bartram Landing at 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center.


which will consist of food sampling, beverages, musical entertainment, and a silent auction. First Friday Art Walk 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Downtown Fairhope, Fairhope, AL, 36532 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.

Saturday December 7

Tuesday December 3

Impact Youth Theater presents “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” Daphne Civic Center, Daphne, AL, 36526 Impact Youth Theater presents “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” on Tuesday, December 3rd at the Daphne civic center at 10:00am and 6:30pm. Reservations can be made by emailing

Wednesday December 4

Observe & Explore Day (Free) 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Graham Creek Nature Preserve, 23460 Wolf Bay Drive Foley, AL, 36535 Birds of the Preserve free eco-educational activities for children 10 and under.

Thursday December 5

200 Years of Alabama’s Music 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Fairhope Library, Fairhope, AL, 36532 Join us for musical entertainment highlighting our 200 years. Bay Bash 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM, Gulfquest, 155 S Water Street Mobile, AL, 36602 The event features delicious local seafood from chefs, caterers, and restaurants in Mobile and Baldwin Counties, cocktails, live music, and a silent auction all along the Mobile River. The Chocolate Affair ($40) 6:00 PM Daphne Civic Center, 2603 US Highway 98 Daphne, AL, 36526 Our 12th annual holiday gala will feature music from Charles “Bo” Grant. We have an array of desserts in the center of the excitement, along with area restaurants serving a sample of their specialty dish, wine, auction items and our “Fund the Mission” Live Auction. Live Music featuring Ben Cook (Free) 7:00 PM The Fort Container Park, 29001 Bass Pro Drive Spanish Fort, AL, 36527 Live Music featuring Ben Cook

Friday December 6, 2019

13th Annual Taste of the Islands 6:00 PM Orange Beach Event Center at The Wharf, 4671 Wharf Pkwy Orange Beach, AL, 36561 This year’s culinary extravaganza will host 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,

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019

5K at the Wharf 8:00 AM The Wharf, Orange Beach, AL, 36561 Race to benefit The Kiwanis Club. runsignup. com/

Honey Bee Festival 8:00 AM Honey Bee Park, 22780 AL-59 Robertsdale, AL The Robertsdale Honey Bee Festival begins with a 5k and fun run followed by live entertainment, vendors, food and lots of fun for people of all ages. Living History Crew Drill 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM, 2703 Battleship Parkway Mobile, AL, 36602 Come see history come alive! Join us as our WWII historical reactors board the battleship USS ALABAMA and submarine USS DRUM. This drill will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Learn what life was like on these naval vessels during wartime. Be on the deck of the USS ALABAMA at 1 pm for the “call to battle stations” as vintage airplanes dive bomb the ship. Living History Crewe Drill 8:00 AM USS Alabama Battleship, 2703 Battleship Pkwy Mobile, AL, 36603 Come see history come to life with our WWII historical reenactors as they board the battleship USS ALABAMA and submarine USS DRUM. Be on deck for “call to battle stations” at 1:00 p.m. and watch the crew repels air attacks Excursion to the Bottle Creek Indian Mound Complex ($35 adults/$17 children ) 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM, Lower Bryant’s Landing, 8900 Lower Bryant Landing Stockton, AL, 36570 Blakeley Park offers a guided excursion to the famous Bottle Creek Mounds, one of the Gulf Coast’s largest Native American mound centers. Swift-Coles Historic Home Christmas Open House ($18) 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Swift-Coles Historic Home, 17424 Swift Coles Lane Bon Secour, AL, 36511 SwiftColes Historic Home presents its Christmas Open House. There will be Music by Melody Duncan and Sherrie Lynn. There will be arts and crafts vendors. Author Signing and Event with Janet Wiggins 12:00 PM Barnes and Noble, 30500 State Hwy 181 Suite 414 Spanish Fort, AL, 36527 Join us in welcoming back local author Janet Wiggins! She will be signing and discussing copies of her books “Miss Millicent Monarch” and “Alfie’s Trumpeting Troubles” 251-621-3545 KIDZ BOP World Tour 6:00 PM Saenger Theatre, 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, AL, 36602 KIDZ BOP concert.


TREND - A Fashion Experience 7:00 PM Daphne Civic Center, Daphne, AL, 36526 Kymberly Soule created TREND, a show that takes the Gulf Coast and surrounding areas by storm with high fashion trends to wow the fiercest audience, showcase the hottest designers and let the models strut their stuff!

Sunday December 8

Gloria presented by Eastern Shore Choral Society ($15) 2:00 PM First Baptist Fairhope, 300 S Section Street Fairhope, AL, 36532 Eastern Shore Choral Society presents Gloria. 5 Rivers Matinee (Free) 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, AL, 36527 Join us as we play “Shrek the Halls” all day in our H.D. surround-sound theater. Free, no registration required. 251-625-0814 activities/5-rivers-alabama-delta-resource-center

Thursday December 12

Light Up the Arts 5:00 PM Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach, 26389 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL, 36561 The Coastal Arts Center of Orange Beach is hosting its annual Light Up the Arts event from 5-7 p.m. The free event will include fine art, hot chocolate, fun raffles, hot glass and cool clay demonstrations, and much more. Designer Bag Bingo ($20) 6:00 PM St. Agatha Catholic Church, 1001 Hand Ave Bay Minette, AL The Heritage Junior Women’s Club will hold its annual Designer Bag Bingo. Admission includes two bingo cards and numerous chances to win purses, wallets and totes donated by businesses and individuals. There is also a raffle to win some great prizes! Proceeds from the event benefit the club’s scholarship program for senior girls at Baldwin County High School. Live Music at The Fort featuring Phil & Foster (Free) 7:00 PM The Fort Container Park, 29001 Bass Pro Drive Spanish Fort, AL, 36527 Live Music at The Fort featuring Phil & Foster

Friday December 13

Winter Sunset Cruise ($12.50 adults, $7 kids ages 6-12) 4:30 PM 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center, 30945

Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, AL, 36527 Join us for a pontoon boat tour with Blakeley State Park’s “Delta Explorer”! Late Fall and Winter sunsets on Mobile Bay are some of the most brilliant and colorful of the year. Come along on a brief relaxing voyage departing from the Bartram Landing at 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center as we experience nature’s splendor, and be back in time to grab a seafood dinner on the Causeway! Little Red School House Plaque Unveiling 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Little Red Schoolhouse, Dauphin Island, AL, 36528 Join us for a Silent Auction, tasty eats & drinks, music and fellowship taking place from 5-7pm.


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FamilyCalendar Saturday December 14

Genealogy Research: Immigration and Naturalization 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Foley Public Library, 319 E Laurel Ave Foley, AL, 36535, Most people living in the U.S. today have ancestors who migrated here from somewhere else. The Baldwin County Genealogical Society welcomes professional genealogist Jan Isosaari to speak on “Immigration and Naturalization - Finding your Immigrant’s Roots.” Live Music featuring Lee Yankie (Free) 8:00 PM The Fort Container Park, 29001 Bass Pro Drive Spanish Fort, AL, 36527 Live Music featuring Lee Yankie

Thursday December 19

Night Market at the Fort 5:00 PM The Fort Container Park, 29001 Bass Pro Drive Spanish Fort, AL, 36527 A fun evening of shopping local makers, bakers, crafters, and artists at The Night Market at The Fort!

Friday December 20

Still Standing LIVE at “Evenings at Eastern Shore” (Free) 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Eastern Shore Centre, Spanish Fort, AL, 36527 Blues Angel Music Eastern Shore presents...”Evenings at Eastern Shore” featuring Still Standing. One Year Anniversary Celebration: The Mill 5:30 - 8:30 PM, 85 North Bancroft Street, Fairhope We are celebrating our One Year Anniversary all week long with live music, giveaways and fun!

Tonight’s music: The Bailiwick Brothers

Saturday December 21

One Year Anniversary Celebration: The Mill 5:30 - 8:30 PM, 85 North Bancroft Street, Fairhope We are celebrating our One Year Anniversary all week long with live music, giveaways and fun! Tonight’s music: Mitch Johnson

Sunday December 22

One Year Anniversary Celebration: The Mill 5:30 - 8:30 PM, 85 North Bancroft Street, Fairhope We are celebrating our One Year Anniversary all week long with live music, giveaways and fun! Tonight’s music: Jake Newsome 5 Rivers Matinee (Free) 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, AL, 36527 Join the Peanuts gang for this Christmas classic, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”! Playing all day in our H.D. surroundsound theater. Free and open to the public. 251-625-0814

Friday January 3

Spring Show Auditions-Bay Area Performing Arts 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM, Bay Area Performing Arts, 8724 Rand Avenue Daphne, AL, 36526 We are very

excited about next seasons auditions! Shows are to be announced. There will be one show for the younger age group (4-14), one show for the older age group (12-21), as well as something new. Time slots will be available for sign up starting December 1st. 251-455-0355 First Friday Art Walk 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Downtown Fairhope, Fairhope, AL, 36532 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.

Saturday January 4

Spring Show Auditions-Bay Area Performing Arts 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Bay Area Performing Arts, 8724 Rand Avenue Daphne, AL, 36526 We are very excited about next seasons auditions! Shows are to be announced. There will be one show for the younger age group (4-14), one show for the older age group (12-21), as well as something new. Time slots will be available for sign up starting December 1st. 251-455-0355 Mobile Alabama Bowl Activities Mardi Gras Parade 6:30 PM Downtown Mobile, Mobile, AL, 36602 The skies of downtown Mobile will be filled with beads, moon pies and more as the Mobile Alabama Bowl presents Mobile’s largest Mardi Gras Parade with floats from 20 mystical societies.

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FamilyCalendar Sunday January 5

Mobile Alabama Bowl Activities ep Rally and Street Party Downtown Mobile, Mobile, AL, 36602 Fans are invited to attend the official bowl team pep rallies and the This Is Alabama street party starts in Mardi Gras Park with music and fun. This event is free and open to the public.

Monday January 6

Mobile Alabama Bowl 6:30 PM Ladd-Peebles Stadium, 1621 Virginia Street Mobile, AL, 36604 A national television audience will tune in to ESPN on Monday, January 6, 2020, for the 21st Annual Mobile Alabama Bowl.

Thursday January 9

South Baldwin Community Theatre presents “Places” 7:30 PM South Baldwin Community Theatre, 2022 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, AL, 36542 South Baldwin Community Theatre presents “Places”

Friday January 10

Observe & Explore Day (Free) 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, Graham Creek Nature Preserve, 23460 Wolf Bay Drive Foley, AL, 36535 A free workshop held at the Interpretive Center. Learn about honey bees and other vital pollinator species. South Baldwin Community Theatre presents “Places” 7:30 PM South Baldwin Community Theatre, 2022 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, AL, 36542 South Baldwin Community Theatre presents “Places”

Saturday January 11

Krewe Du Cirque Childrens Mardi Gras Ball 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Foley Civic Center, 407 East Laurel Avenue Foley, AL You are invited to the 3rd Annual Children’s Mardi Gras Ball in Foley hosted by the Krewe Du Cirque! This is a fun family event with a DJ, snacks, door prizes, and fun. Mardi Gras Ball Fundraiser 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM, The Pillars, 1757 Government Street Mobile, AL, 36604 Family friendly Mardi Gras Ball fundraiser to help fund inclusive recreational activities for all abilities. We help enable those with special needs to lead healthy and active lifestyles by way of wheelchair racing, having access to the beach via beach mats and beach wheelchairs, and more. South Baldwin Community Theatre presents “Places” Details January 9.

Saturday January 12

Servis1st Bank Mobile Marathon 7:30 AM Government Street at Claiborne Mobile, AL, 36602 Marathon & Half Marathon and 1.2 Mile Fun Run benefiting L’Arche Mobile Foundation.

Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019


South Baldwin Community Theatre presents “Places” 2:30 PM South Baldwin Community Theatre, 2022 West 2nd Street Gulf Shores, AL, 36542 South Baldwin Community Theatre presents “Places”

Wednesday January 15

Winter Wednesdays 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM, Bellingrath Gardens and Home, 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road Theodore , AL, 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. Viewing the Winter Sky – Join us for an evening of stargazing with members of the faculty in the Physics Department at the University of South Alabama.

Friday January 17

Black Jacket Symphony: Led Zeppelin 8:00 PM Saenger Theatre, 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, AL, 36602 The Black Jacket Symphony returns to the Saenger Theatre on Friday, January 17 to perform a full night of music from Led Zeppelin.

Daily year-round

SPECTRA Sound & Light Spectacular (Free) 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM, The Wharf, 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL, 36561 The whole family can laugh and dance together! A Holiday show (6pm & 7pm), Patriotic Show, Pirate Adventure, Tribute to The Wharf, and our brand new Baby Shark minishow! (5:30pm & 6:30pm). 251-224-1000

First and Third Mondays

The Moonlight Chasse’ Ballroom Dance Society 7:00 PM Hot Wheels Skating Rink, 616 Whispering Pines Road Daphne, AL, 36526 The Moonlight Chasse’ Ballroom Dance Society

Every Tuesday

Read and Discover: Story Time! (Ages 2-6) 10:30 AM Page & Palette, 32 South Section Street Fairhope, AL, 36532 Join Miss Paula for early learning activities. Tabletop Game Night (Free) 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Spanish Fort Public Library, 7361 Spanish Fort Blvd Spanish Fort, AL, 36537 Join us each week for good old fashioned Board Games! All ages! All skill levels. All levels of FUN.

First and Third Tuesdays

5 Rivers StoryTime (Free) 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM, 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, AL, 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. 10-11am, free, no registration necessary. 251-625-0814 activities/5-rivers-alabama-delta-resource-center


Every Wednesday

Family Story Time 10:30 AM Page & Palette, 32 South Section Street Fairhope, AL, 36532 Miss Stephanie presents family storytime for all to enjoy! Girls Who Code 4:15 PM Fairhope Public Library, 501 Fairhope Avenue Fairhope, AL, 36532 Girls Who Code is a national nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology by sponsoring coding clubs in schools, libraries, and community centers all over the country. Our club, Code Cats, is open to girls in grades 3rd - 5th who want to learn more about coding, programming computers, and have fun 251-928-7483

Every Thursday

K-3 Book Club (Free) 3:30 PM Daphne Public Library, 2607 US-98 Daphne, AL, 35626 K - 3rd Book Club 251-620-2500 Code Club (Free) 3:30 PM Spanish Fort Public Library, 7361 Spanish Fort Blvd Spanish Fort, AL, 36537 Join SFPL for this free weekly club that helps kids aged 8-18 to learn how to code. Cup of Tea and Guest Speaker 2:00 PM Fairhope Museum of History, 24 North Section Street Fairhope, AL, 36532 Join us for a guest speaker and tea.

First Thursday

Book Buzz Book Club 4:00 PM Page & Palette, 32 South Section Street Fairhope, AL, 36532 Have a new favorite book and can’t wait to tell someone about it? Come to Book Buzz and we will discuss what you have been reading. Grades 5-12.

Every Friday

Daphne Farmers Market 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM, 2305 US-98 Daphne, AL, 36526 Daphne Farmers Market Free Build 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Fairhope Public Library, 501 Fairhope Avenue Fairhope, AL, 36532 251-928-7483

First and Third Fridays

Art and Coloring Class (Free) 1:00 PM Daphne Public Library, 2607 US-98 Daphne, AL, 36526 Art and Coloring Class 251-621-2818

First and Third Sundays

Animal Ambassadors 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM, 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center Join us at 2 PM as we present one or more of our live educational animals 251-625-0814 activities/5-rivers-alabama-delta-resource-center

First Sunday of every month

1st Sunday Outdoor Market 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM, 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, AL, 36527 Featuring local arts & crafts, farmers’ market, and outdoor-themed items 251-625-0814 activities/5-rivers-alabama-delta-resource-center


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FamilyCalendar Classes/Support

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 22671 Hwy. 59 South, Robertsdale.

Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connections (APAC) Offering Adoptive Family Support Group Meetings in Baldwin County the 2nd 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 1-800-4891886 or APAC also offers free counsuling services to adoptive families.

Fairhope MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Want to find your mom tribe? Join us at Fairhope MOPs. Meetings are held 2nd and 4th Monday of the month from 9:30-11:30am at Fairhope United Methodist Church in the Christian Life Center. For additional information regarding MOPS International please visit www.mops. org. For additional information regarding Fairhope MOPs Registration and childcare availability please e-mail is at or visit or Facebook page, Fairhope MOPs.

Bridge Support Group A place where parents with similar experiences come together to share stories, advice and love. These families have had babies who: were stillborn, born with a lethal anomaly (such as Trisomy 13, Trisomy 18, skeletal dysplasia, anencephaly) or had a baby that only lived in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Our families are from all over the Gulf Coast and all have beautiful stories to tell. Meets 1st Tuesday of every month, 5:30pm-until. Dinner is served. 1st floor conference room of Strada Center, 1601 Center Street, Mobile. Contact: Rene Sprague RN, MSN, 251-6105264. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

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.,

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 celebrationmopsfairhopeal.

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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@ or call 251-455-6453.

• Riding - English, Western, and Jumping • Swimming • Heated Pool • Ropes Course • Climbing Tower



12-week rotating series. Jump in on any Thursday! Call 251-626-1610 to register, 27365 Pollard Rd, Daphne.

• Outdoor Nature Skills • Sports • Soccer • Basketball

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• Golf • Archery • Gymnastics • Cheerleading • Dance

On Top of Lookout Mountain in Historic Mentone, Alabama

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• Beach Volleyball • Tennis • Canoeing


Susan & Larry Hooks, Owners & Directors Donna Bares, Assistant Director

800-882-0722 69

• Chorus • Drama • Arts & Crafts • CIT Program • Campfires every night • Optional trips & more!

REGISTER ONLINE TODAY! Choose from 1- and 2-week Sessions and Mother-Daughter Weekends!

FamilyCalendar 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 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). Pre-registration required. To register call 279-1373. 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. Call 251- 279-1373 or visit 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.

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. Sibling Class Thomas Hospital Fitness Center (Fairhope). Pre-registration 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 Harborl. 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 info. 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.

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.





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Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019


The Positive Impact of Pounding Toys

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Recommending the Best Toys and Products for Kids

From the moment they begin tapping their toys on the edge of their crib or stroller, kids are letting us know that they like the sensation of pounding things. It’s no surprise when you consider the flood of stimuli, physical and auditory that this action produces. Toys that encourage pounding support gross motor control, increased concentration, instinctive measurement, and hand-eye coordination. Pounding games also help safely release stress and tension through play. Among the host of toys that support kids’ natural inclination to tap and pound their toys, the following recommended items are guaranteed to be the biggest hit of all.

by Gerry Paige Smith

Hammering and Pounding Wooden House

Ninja Punching Bag (Atlasonix)

A big step up from the standard inflatable bop bag, the Ninja Punching Bag is ready to take the big hits. Perfect for channeling excess energy in a limited space, punching bags offer kids an ideal opportunity to improve their gross motor coordination, physical stamina and athletic concentration. Weighed at the bottom with sand or water, this inflatable bag quickly returns to its upright and ready state after each strike. The ninja graphic and muted color scheme encourage focus as opposed to other novelty-themed bop bags. Standing tall at 5’3” this bag makes a versatile striking target for both kids and adults. It’s also easy to deflate and empty for storage or travel. Get your punches in with this smart target for kicks, hits and sweeps!


It’s hammer time in the house, with Rolimate’s versatile pound play palace. Perfectly sized openings in the roof support four balls, until a strike from the hammer launches them into the interior. A raised threshold keeps the balls contained until they’re retrieved for the next round of percussive play. Hand-eye coordination is enhanced with the house’s additional features which include colored spin beads, a sliding button, and a clock with movable hands. Crafted from thick rubber wood, the Hammering and Pounding Wooden House boasts bright graphics, smooth edges and durable construction. Combining activity learning with safe pounding play, this little house is a striking addition to the energetic toy box.

Musical Light Hammer

Pound, Tap and Shake!

The Musical Light Hammer combines the best elements of a rattle with those of the most familiar item in the toolbox. This colorful hammer features charming graphics and a clear rattle bead bubble at its base. Powered by two AAA batteries, an easy access switch moves the hammer between two play settings. The entertainment mode lets the tool display lights as well as play music and funny sounds. The learning mode introduces numbers and counting with each strike. Toddlers will especially enjoy the animated eyes that alternate expression with each pound of the hammer head. Ideal for a baby’s first tool, the Musical Light Hammer is an instant hit!

While there’s an undeniable physical satisfaction found by kinetic pounding, the Hape Pound, Tap and Shake toy adds musical elements that hit the eardrum just right. Featuring pound-through balls (with mallet), a removable xylophone and a real tambourine, this toy is designed to keep resulting in volumes entertaining for children while maintaining a reasonable decibel level for audience members. Crafted with eco-friendly bamboo wood and finished with safe, scentless, water-based paint this collection is durable, sustainable, and built to withstand years of percussive play. Hape’s Pound, Tap and Shake hits all the right notes as it combines the satisfying sense of pounding with the sound results that are music to a kid’s ears.



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


Ford v Ferrari

Last Christmas

MPAA Rating: PG-13 Overall: B+ Violence: B Sexual Content: A Profanity: C Alcohol / Drug Use: Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) has an idea. The rising young Ford executive wants teenage Baby Boomers to perceive Ford cars as cool; not as stodgy family vehicles with declining market share. To reach this goal, Iacocca urges Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) to develop a racing division that can compete in Europe. Ford is dismissive, until a personal insult from Italian racecar maker Enzo Ferrari (Remo Girone) stings his pride. Determined to best Ferrari at his own game, Ford gives Iacocca carte blanche to hire whomever he needs to defeat the Italian on the fabled LeMans course. In Iacocca’s mind, the best man for the job is Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon), the only American to have won at LeMans, now sidelined by a heart condition. And Shelby is convinced that the best driver is Ken Miles (Christian Bale), a stubborn, temperamental Englishman whose racing career was derailed by his military service in World War II. Shelby and Miles find themselves struggling on two fronts: first, to develop the fastest car in the world; and second, to survive the constant corporate infighting among the Ford executives. Even if you, like me, aren’t interested in cars, this movie offers drama between larger-than-life characters, excellent acting, a tense true story, a gut-punch of a plot twist, laugh out loud comedy, and heart-rending moments. With something for everyone, this pulse-pounding popcorn pic is sure to be one of the biggest hits of the year. The biggest drawback to this film is profanity, with approximately 40 uses of crude language, including a single sexual expletive. To counterbalance the swearing, Ford v Ferrari is chock full of positive themes.

MPAA Rating: PG-13 Overall: B Violence: ASexual Content: BProfanity: C+ Alcohol / Drug Use: C Despite working in a Christmas shop in Covent Garden, Kate (Emilia Clarke) has lost any festive spirit she might have had. Spiraling into full fledged grinch-iness, she is losing herself in alcohol, casual sex, and a bottomless well of self-absorption. She’s run out of friends who are willing to lend her couch-space, she’s in a state of constant conflict with her mother and sister, and she can’t get over the emotional aftereffects of a serious health crisis. Then she meets Tom (Henry Golding), a handsome stranger who treats her with empathy instead of judgment. “Look up,” he tells her. As she takes his advice, she begins to rise above her despair. Last Christmas is a difficult film to review because it turns on a plot twist I can’t describe without ruining the show for you. I also can’t share my reaction to it for the same reason. Suffice it to say, that even though this movie sounds like a typical rom-com, it’s anything but... Compared to standard genre fare, Last Christmas stacks up well. It’s blessed with some outstanding actors. Along with good acting, this movie is packed full of positive messages tied up in sparkling ribbon. The biggest gift this film gives parents is its relative lack of negative content. Although Kate drinks heavily to deal with her painful emotions, her alcohol use is not glamorized. Most surprisingly for a rom-com, there is no explicit nudity or sexual content. Although Kate has some one night stands, no sexual activity is seen, only implied. Good points aside, this isn’t a flawless film. The pacing drags at times, there are some cheesy moments. Still, while Last Christmas might not be the perfect gift under the tree, it’s far better than a lump of coal.

Arctic Dogs

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

MPAA Rating: PG Overall: B Violence: B Sexual Content: A Profanity: AAlcohol / Drug Use: A Mail room clerk Swifty (voiced by Jeremy Renner) has a dream: to become a Top Dog, a star courier with the Arctic Blast Delivery Service. There’s just one problem: Swifty is a fox, not a dog. Feeling trapped in his dead end job, Swifty decides to prove his mettle so he steals a sled and heads out to develop a package. But this delivery is more than Swifty bargained for, as he learns when he winds up in the sights of evil villain Otto Von Walrus (voiced by John Cleese). Can a little fox defeat a supervillain whose dastardly plan will destroy the earth as we know it? There’s not much doubt about the answer to this question. Of course, Swifty and his friends will triumph. This is a kids’ movie, after all. The critters aren’t going to wind up dead in a snowy wasteland. The real question is whether the journey to this happy ending is worth taking. For adults, the answer is no. The predictable story line feels like a great first draft that needed a bit more polish and the jokes are aimed at the under-twelve crowd. Arctic Dogs is the kind of film that leaves adults longing for their phones and a round of Candy Crush to fend off the boredom. For young audiences, Arctic Dogs is lots of fun. I brought two of my sons to the movie and they laughed out loud at the corny jokes and slapstick physical comedy. And, on the bright side, this production serves up some positive themes along with the cheesy jokes. The movie is pleasant and harmless but not worth the ticket price at the local multiplex. Wait until it comes out online or on DVD and enjoy it from your couch. If you’re going to nap during a movie, you might as well do it in the comfort of your home. Eastern Shore Parents I December 2019

MPAA Rating: PG Overall: A Violence: BSexual Content: A Profanity: B+ Alcohol / Drug Use: C+ A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is not the movie I expected. It is not a biopic of Fred Rogers, it’s not a happy little movie for kids, it’s not a tribute to children’s television. Instead, it uses the format of an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to introduce us to Lloyd Vogel. I was skeptical that setting up a television episode as a narrative frame for a feature film would work, but it does. Mr. Rogers (played by Tom Hanks) sings his welcome song, puts on his running shoes, shows a picture of his friend, Lloyd, and then plays a clip about magazines on Picture Picture. When the story changes locations, the camera zooms around model buildings as toy cars and planes move from set to set. It sounds odd, but it is strangely effective in moving us from Lloyd’s world to Mr. Rogers’ world. The journey between their worlds is not just physical. The power of this film comes from Vogel’s voyage into Mr. Rogers’ life. The cynical writer is initially convinced that Fred Rogers can’t really be as good as he seems; he must be hiding something. He is bemused by the man’s all-encompassing empathy, his patient acceptance of others, and his sincere humility. Given the emotional issues in this movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is not a movie for children. Not because of content issues – there are no serious problems here – but because this is a movie aimed at adults. There’s an emotional depth that adults will find deeply moving, not just in the ability of one man to change, but in the power of another man’s example and legacy. 72

I wish I could see the board instead of trying to read through your vape cloud. - Sarah, 8th Grade

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Eastern Shore Parents December 2019  

This issue is FULL of Holiday Happenings!

Eastern Shore Parents December 2019  

This issue is FULL of Holiday Happenings!