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CHILDREN’S PARK Come stroll through a whimsical display of live trees in Midtown Mobile’s beloved sculpture park. Dec. 4, 2017 through Jan. 5, 2018


Volume 7 Number 9

44 Columns



Mom of the Month 4

Living With Children John Rosemond

Coaching Confidence Tips on how to help your children approach public speaking without fear.


Gift Giving for Kids

Kids Health Watch

Get your children involved in the spirit of giving with these budget-friendly ideas!


sponsored by Children’s Medical Group


Growing Up Online Carolyn Jabs



A Page in a Book Gerry Paige Smith


Dave Says Dave Ramsey

Holiday Happenings

From parades to tree lightings to musicals, these events make your season bright!

Bittersweet Bonding


Parenting Today’s Teens

Get your teen ready to launch into adulthood during the high school years.

Mark Gregston


Get This!

Gerry Paige Smith

On The Cover Harper (1), daughter of LaTonya and Ricky Patrick. Proud grandparents are Caleb and Gradine Williams and Ms. Sandra Askew. Harper will be unwrapping extra presents this month because she turns one on December 13th. Happy Birthday, Harper! Mom and Dad think she will be most excited about tearing up all the wrapping paper this year. Thank you to Castles and Crowns for providing Harper’s adorable holiday outfit!


Departments 6

Bits and Pieces 12

School Bits 60

Family Calendar 64

Movie Reviews


Mobile Bay Mobile Bay’s Foremost Parenting Source

The holidays are such a special time of year. The preparations and activities leading up to Christmas are my all time favorites. I love the sense of togetherness and family that the holiday season creates. I remember waiting all year long to watch special Christmas movies with characters like The Grinch, Frosty, and Rudolph...just to name a few. When I was younger, these movies did not come on weekly throughout the season, and there was no such thing as video on demand; so as a family we would make sure we took the time to watch the movies together. Watching movies, enjoying my family’s wonderful cooking, eating my mother’s pralines, and our famous Christmas punch are still among my favorite family traditions. With each holiday season, new traditions are started and lasting memories are created. I pray that these traditions and memories fill our daughter’s world, and that she grows to love Christmas time as much as I do. As we embark on this year’s holiday season, I am reminded of the birth of our daughter last year, which was truly the best gift my husband and I ever received. This year has contributed to some of the best moments of our lives, and we thank God daily for allowing us the opportunity to be little Harper’s parents. Motherhood has definitely increased my level of excitement for the holidays. I look forward to creating lasting memories with my husband and daughter as we decorate the house and tree, blast Christmas music, make cookies for Santa, and just enjoy spending time with loved ones. I can’t wait to use this month’s Holiday Happenings Guide to find tree lightings and Santa sightings to attend with Harper this year! Harper’s very first Christmas was spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital, with some of the greatest care providers around. The nurses loved our daughter as if she were one of their own. I remember crying at the first gift Harper ever gave her father and me (a card with her footprints that were crafted into snowmen). I will treasure it forever! With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is easy to focus on finding/buying the perfect gift for our loved ones. We must remember that sometimes gifts made from the heart with love can truly mean more than a gift purchased with a credit card. A framed picture, homemade treats and candy (my personal favorites), and personalized gifts can mean the world to a parent. Mobile Bay Parents has provided some great ideas in the article, Gifts Kids Can Give on a Small Budget. I can’t wait for handmade cards, trinkets, ornaments and pictures from our daughter. I never understood as a child why my mother kept all of those “beautiful” gifts from us, but now I know that there will never be any gifts as special as the ones made from the hearts of children. The holiday season, family time, gifts, and togetherness would not be possible without the true meaning behind the Christmas season. The birth of Jesus is the reason for the season and is the message that we have to continue to teach our children. With the holiday season in full swing, we must remember to give back to those who are not as fortunate as we are. A smile or a hug can mean just as much as a monetary donation to a family in need of kindness. As each year passes, I will continue to look forward to this wonderful time of year with the greatest gifts God could have ever blessed me with, my loving friends and family. God bless you and your family this holiday season with happiness, peace, and joy!

LaTonya Patrick Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017


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

Publisher Lynn Knighton Editor DeAnne Watson Associate Editor Kelly Watson Research Editor Lucy Green Contributing Writers Jennifer Adair, M.D. Mark Gregston Carolyn Jabs Christina Katz Sarah Lyons LaTonya Patrick Dave Ramsey John Rosemond Gerry Paige Smith

Cover Photography Hannah Stinson

President Jason Watson Advertising Sales Lynn Knighton Danielle Nicholas (251) 304-1200 Account Manager Eleanor Williams Ad Design Tim Welch

Visit us at Mobile Bay Parents magazine is published monthly by KeepSharing, LLC. Mailing address: P.O. Box 81105, Mobile, Alabama, 36689. The phone number for voice and fax is (251) 304-1200. Mobile Bay Parents is copyrighted 2016 by KeepSharing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Opinions expressed in Mobile Bay Parents magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the owners, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products and services herein.


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LivingWithChildren by John Rosemond

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


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

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017

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


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


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Free Weekend of Festivities Surrounding Mobile Museum of Art’s Special Exhibitions

Mobile Museum of Art is celebrating our special exhibitions with a free weekend of art and music, December 2 and 3. Mobile Museum of Art will offer free admission through the weekend to all Mobile County residents from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday includes a free outdoor concert featuring performances by Crowned Jewelz and Jamell Richardson, PowerLines Poetry, and fashion designers Brandin Stallworth of Lit Clothing, Antoinette Warbington, and Conz 8000. Grillbillies food truck will serve local fare starting at noon. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets for the concert, and visit the exhibitions anytime throughout the day. The Museum will also offer free guided tours of the special exhibitions. Sign-ups for tours will be at the MMofA front desk. Sunday, the Museum will also be open with free admission to tour the galleries on your own. Museum hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Thursday, free admission. Closed Monday. 4850 Museum Drive, Mobile.


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Wine and Wishes 2017

Join us on Thursday, December 9 at the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion at 6:30 p.m. for our Wine and Wishes event. Dress in your favorite cocktail attire and enjoy heavy hors-d'oeuvres and an open bar while The Mailman & The Back Pew Riders take the stage at the first annual Wine & Wishes event hosted by Laurel Green State Farm, benefiting Make a Wish Alabama. The event will help raise funds to grant the wishes of local children battling life-threatening medical conditions. Tickets are available at


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Holiday Cheer at The Five

2017 Christmas on the Coast Ornament

Goodwill Easter Seals of the Gulf Coast is proud to announce its Annual collection of 2017 Christmas on the Coast ornament for Mobile. The 2017 ornament for the Mobile area is Callaghan’s Irish Social Club. The limited edition, brass and gold-plated ornaments have become collector’s items for many Gulf Coast residents. Revenue generated from the sale of Christmas on the Coast ornaments allows Goodwill Easter Seals to provide services in our community that encourage, educate and employ individuals with disabilities and others in need. Programs include early care and education for children of all abilities, family support and respite, adult education and GED services, job search assistance for individuals with disabilities and free income tax preparation services for low-income households. To order your ornament, please visit or call 251-471-1581.

Holiday Cheer at The Five, to benefit the Child Advocacy Center, will be held Monday, December 4 from 5:00 - 8:30 p.m. The FIVE Restaurant will host the event at 609 Dauphin Street in downtown Mobile. The event will feature samplings of The FIVE’s signature dishes and wines to taste provided by United Johnson Brothers, along with a select live auction of holiday gifts and live music by Jerry Squires. Tickets will be available at the FIVE and the CAC for $35 each. Call 432-1101 for details or www. and follow us on facebook. Some auction items are: Santa Baby Package, Jingle Bell Package, Girly Girl package, Manly Man package, and a Mistletoe Package.


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Carpe Diem’s Santa Run – December 23

The Santa Run is an annual 2 mile fun-run, walk, bike ride, dog walking, fun-for-the-whole-family charity event. This year’s event will be held on December 23. Don’t miss this opportunity to join the fun, spread the Christmas spirit and support USA Children's and Women's Hospital. The Santa Run is about spreading Holiday cheer and the spirit of giving. Last year, there were over 600 registered runners with many spectators in attendance showing their support! For more information or to register, please visit

“Artistic Possibilities” Exhibition for Mobile Arc

Mobile Youth Lacrosse League Registration Now Open

Please join us in Saenger Theatre’s Room 1927 during LoDa Art Walk on December 8 from 6 – 9 p.m. to learn more about Mobile Arc, a non-profit for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Art activities help adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to socialize and express themselves. Mobile Arc provides art instruction in painting, drawing, and ceramics. Artwork will be for sale to support this vital program. The artwork was created by the talented art program participants. Some local artists have also collaborated with participants. Please visit for more information. Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017

Join the Mobile Youth Lacrosse League and be part of the fastestgrowing sport in the Southeast! Registration for the 2018 Spring Season is open for boys (grades K-8) and girls (grades K-12). Prior experience not required. Practices begin the first week of January. To register or to learn more about Mobile’s premiere youth lacrosse league, visit and follow us on Facebook @mobileyouthlacrosse. 6

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Mobile Ballet Announces The Nutcracker 2017

Holiday splendor for the entire family returns to the stage with Mobile Ballet’s lavish production of “The Nutcracker” on Saturday, December 9 and Sunday, December 10 at the Mobile Civic Center Theater. This annual holiday tradition for the Gulf Coast region will premier a new production of “The Nutcracker” and will feature a cast of more than 100 including special guest artists Maizyalet Velazquez and Luca De-Poli of Cincinnati Ballet. Students from the Mobile Ballet school in both Mobile and Daphne also will be seen scampering across the stage as mice in one of the ballet’s most humorous scenes. Ticket prices start at $20 with an additional discount for children, students, seniors 65+ or military ID. Group discounts are also available for 15 or more. There are three performances, including a 2:30 matinee and 7:30 p.m. performance on Saturday, December 9 and a 2:30 matinee on Sunday, December 10. Tickets can be purchased online at or through the Mobile Ballet Box Office at (251) 342-2241.

Original Oyster House Spectacular Sunset Contest

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

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

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2018 Summer Camp Dates Announced Visit or Call 251-861-2141



101 Bienville Blvd.


Dauphin Island, Alabama

Dumas Wesley Community Center Annual Christmas Toy Store

Tis the Season - Family Support's Annual Fundraiser

Tis-the-Season, Family Support's annual fundraiser, will be held Tuesday, December 5 at Wintzell's - West Mobile. Start the holiday fun! Registration is $75 per person. A festive holiday buffet, beer & wine bar, door prizes, holiday trivia games, and Wintzell's special dessert, will be offered from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Since 1994 Family Support has worked to address the needs of children with disabilities and their families, providing flexible assistance to help with whatever is needed. Join us as we help our communities' children, and kick off the Christmas season with a lot of FUN, FUN, FUN! Please visit famsupport. com for more information.

For over a century, Dumas Wesley Community Center has had the privilege of serving the Mobile community through a broad range of services for the elderly, unemployed, homeless and atrisk youth. One of the most beloved events is our Annual Christmas Toy Store. We invite you to join us in helping needy families provide a Christmas for their children by supporting this popular event. The Christmas Toy Store serves 75 low-income families residing in the local Crichton neighborhood and Sybil Smith Family Village, Dumas Wesley’s transitional housing program. The Dumas Wesley Community Center provides parents with an opportunity to buy new toys and bikes for Christmas at a fraction of their retail value. Donations are accepted through December 4. This year, the Toy Store will take place Saturday, December 9. Please consider supporting families in need by participating in one of the following ways: • Allow Dumas Wesley to set up a Christmas display asking for new toy and bike donations from your staff and patrons. • Taziki’s on Du Rhu Drive will host a toy drive from now through December 4. Bring in a new, unwrapped toy and receive a free appetizer. • Donate new toys or bikes for our store by December 4 • Become a Corporate Sponsor and help our elves shop for new toys ($500.00) •Sponsor a family who will be shopping at the toy store ($100.00). • Volunteer the day of the event (18 and older please). or (251) 479-0649 for more information.

Celebrate Young Authors

Metro Mobile Reading Council and the Mobile Public Library are sponsoring two publications for Young Writers, “2018 Both Sides of the Bay Teen Literary Magazine” and “2018 Young Authors’ Anthology”. “The Young Authors’ Anthology” is for Baldwin and Mobile County students in grades 2-5. The focus this year is on poetry! However, entries may also include short stories, fiction, or non-fiction. All work must be the original work of the student. Students may also enter one original color or black & white drawing. Entries must be no more than 500 words. All entries must be emailed by January 31, 2018 to youngauthorsmobile@yahoo. com and must also have a parent signed submission form. All submissions must be submitted in Microsoft Office format or pasted in the body of an email. For a copy of the submission form please email or call 251-391-5376. “Both Sides of the Bay” Teen Literary Magazine is for students in grades 6-12. Poetry, essays, and short fiction will be considered for publication. All work must be appropriate for readers of all ages, and be the original work of the student. Students may also enter one color drawing or photograph or one black & white drawing or photograph. All pieces submitted must be no longer than 750 words. All work submitted must be original and written by or drawn by the student who submits it for publication. All entries must be emailed by January 31, 2018 to and must also have a parent signed submission form. For a copy of the submission form please email or call 251-391-5376. These publications will be ready for distribution at our Young Authors’ Conference and Teen Writing Fair in March 2018. Magazines may be pre-ordered for $5. Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017


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

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


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Sponsored by Children’s Medical Group

Understanding Allergies As you may recall, two months ago I discussed eczema and last month I moved on to discuss asthma. This month I will finish the discussion of the “allergic triad” by talking about allergies. This is certainly the most common problem that people have out of the three. About 20% of the population, or 50 million people in the U.S., suffer from allergies. Allergies can present in a number of different ways. Some allergies present as red, dry, or watery eyes. Some people with allergies have a clear, runny nose, while others have bad breath or continually clear their throat. Some allergies such as to food or an insect sting can be more serious. People can be allergic to different things. Some allergens such as dust mites or perfumes are present year-round, whereas other allergens such as oak tree pollen or ragweed are more present during spring time. Allergies can present at any stage in life, but is much more common in children younger than 18 years old.

Everybody has an immune system which is the body’s defense mechanism against illness and outside exposures. IgE is one of the immunoglobulins in the body, and this IgE is active mostly in response to an allergen. So all those pesky symptoms of allergies and due to your body reacting to something it perceives as a danger to your body for whatever reason. Allergies can also be hardly noticeable when you are healthy, but bothersome to the point that you need medicine when your immune system is compromised due to a virus or even changes like pregnancy or puberty. Most allergic symptoms can be treated with avoidance of the specific allergen and/ or medications such as an antihistamine or nasal steroid. However there is a severe form of allergies called anaphylaxis which can be life-threatening, and requires a different medication in an emergency situation. Anaphylaxis is where an allergen causes a person to have hives in addition to throat swelling, wheezing, vomiting, and/or lip swelling. People with

anaphylaxis need to carry EpiPens with them at all times and need to strictly avoid their allergen and have an allergist that guides them toward the right treatment. Depending on the problems allergies can cause a person, some are diagnosed with the help of a doctor just by a simple history and physical whereas some require blood work or more specific tests that an allergist can do to determine the diagnosis, severity, and cause. That sums up the highlights over the last three months discussing allergies, asthma, and eszema. I hope it has been helpful, and if anything brings more questions to mind about your child, please contact your pediatrician! Jennifer Adair, M.D., was born and raised in Mobile. She joined Children’s Medical Group in July 2013 and currently practices at their Airport office. Jennifer and her husband, Cory, reside in Mobile with their son, Finn, and their three dogs, Barkley, Fitz, and Roo.

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Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017



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Springhill Medical Center welcomes Dr. Amy McCoy, Dr. Helen Rogers and Dr. Max Rogers to campus.

Bay Area Physicians for Women is now the largest OB/GYN practice on the Gulf Coast offering more than 230 years combined experience for all of a woman’s healthcare needs.

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(Pictured from left to right, front row) Dr. Katelyn Braswell Parnell, Dr. Erin S. Saucier, Dr. Amy McCoy, Dr. Brooke Lenz, Dr. Helen Rogers, (back row) Dr. John Val-Gallas, Dr. Max Rogers, Dr. J. Quint Jardine, Dr. William Urquhart, Dr. Danilo Herrera

3715 Dauphin Street Suite 3-B, Mobile, AL 251-344-5900 BAYAREAOBGYN.COM 11


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Autauga County Schools Local Students Help Create Decorations

Arkema Award Day at McDavidJones Elementary

On October 22, Arkema held their annual Award Day for students at McDavid-Jones Elementary. Judy Smith, Human Resources Assistant and Dwayne Christian were here for the awards. Students were recognized for A/AB Honor Roll, Most Improved and Perfect Attendance. Students were given tickets to redeem for snacks. Students were also recognized for meeting their Accelerated Reader Goal. Pictured are Dewayne Christian, Judy Smith, Landon Mitchell, Red Ribbon Representative, and Mrs. Jill Dickinson, Principal.

for Christmas Jubilee

The Mobile Arts Council and the Boys and Girls Club of Semmes recently collaborated to provide the stage decorations at Junior League of Mobile's Christmas Jubilee. The tree was designed primarily by students Jennifer Murdoch and Tiffany Pogue. They and others were directed by the Boys and Girls Club staff, with the support of the Mobile Arts Council, to complete works of art for display. Their Willy Wonka-style trees were made from wooden planks and painted in colorful shades. The displays were a great addition to an event that gives back to the community. Thanks to these students for their vision and hard work!

Dodge Elementary Character Club Dodge Elementary School recognizes kids with character each month. These Dodge Eagle students exhibited wonderful responsibility character traits.

MGM Plants Seeds at Dawes Intermediate

Read for the Record at E.R. Dickson Elementary

E.R. Dickson Elementary celebrated Read for the Record Day on October 17. The faculty and staff dressed up as their favorite book characters. The day kicked off with an assembly led by Carole Hegwood, the Choir Director. The choir sang two songs about reading and the E.R. Dickson Cheerleaders led a cheer about reading. The book for the day was “Quackers”. The book was read to the students by a special guest, Chesley Sayasane, Miss University of Mobile. The students sang songs, danced, and played Jeopardy. E.R. Dickson enjoyed a fun day of reading!

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017


For the past five years, Dawes Intermediate School has been working on their garden project under the direction of Principal Michele McClung and teacher Rhonda Tracy. This greenhouse project is complex as it includes a garden area for each class, a sprinkler system, a shed, and a newly completed greenhouse. In addition, the surrounding green areas serve as an outdoor learning center. This is a wonderful foundation, but you may ask, where are the seeds to plant? As part of MCPSS schools helping schools outreach, MGM’s Agriscience Academy, headed by teachers Kyle Porter and Kenneth Hearn and under the direction of Principal Marlon Firle, donated vegetable and floral plants and seedlings for students to tend, grow, and then plant in the outside gardens. One exciting aspect of this project is that full-grown vegetables will be shared with the school and community. What a yummy, healthy, educational treat! Through participation in this program, students at both Dawes Intermediate and MGM are learning lifelong skills while providing a service to themselves, their schools, and their communities. Pictured are Dawes Intermediate 2017 Teacher of the Year, Lesley Mullin, and junior gardeners Ellie Carlson and Daniel Hackmeyer.



Williamson HS Ambassadors Tour USA and Gain Valuable College Insight

On October 19, the Ambassadors of Williamson High School toured the beautiful campus of the University of South Alabama. The tour was guided by Dr. Joel Billingsley, Dr. Paige Vitulli and Maya Constantine. The students toured many of USA's departments such as the recreation center, the student center, SGA, ASA and the Archeological Museum. The tour ended with lunch with the faculty in the College of Education.

Robert E. Lee Elementary School Inaugural Cross Country Team

43 students at Robert E. Lee Elementary School participated on the inaugural Cross Country team. In the championship race, the girls’ team finished 3rd overall. In the female division, Lacy Miller placed 4th and Jayden Gilger placed 7th. In the male overall, Jansen Banashak placed 2nd. In the age group awards, Sarah Luker finished 2nd and Caroline Nations finished 3rd for 8 year olds. Richie Sohne finished 3rd place for the boys in the 8-year old division. In the 10-year old division, Anna Stagner finished 3rd. The students had a very successful season overall!

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Autauga County Schools

Satsuma High School October Students of the Month & Gator Elites

Satsuma High School Students of the Month are chosen based on certain characteristics such as improvement in or good grades, good attendance or improvement in attendance, character through compassion, honesty, trustworthiness, optimism, and loyalty, appropriate behavior and self-control, positive attitude toward others and learning, good citizenship or improvement in citizenship, leadership and integrity, demonstrates responsibility, respectful to teachers and peers, and input from the teachers. Congratulations the following students for being selected Students of the Month for October 2017: Gracie Giles and Radley Rawls. Congratulations also to the October 2017 Gator Elites: Back row, left, standing: Mason Johnson, JROTC Superior Cadet; Sharon Sawyer, History Scholar; Madilyn Robertson, English Scholar; Steven Moon, Male Athlete. Front row, left, sitting down: Lia Winfield, Perfect Attendance; Macee Dunagan, Math Scholar; Ryleigh Williams, Female Athlete; Sydni Wilkins, Science Scholar.

St. Dominic Students Perform Community Service at SOMI

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St. Dominic Catholic School students in the second through fifth grades, work together to provide a lunch for the clients at SOMI (survivors of mental illness) once a quarter. Students make the lunches themselves and also provide messages of love, evangelization, and encouragement.



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St. Pius X Bike Safety Rodeo

On your mark, get set....The St. Pius X PE Department sponsored their annual Bike Safety Rodeo on Halloween this year. Students in PK4 through 8th grade participated in the rodeo. Pictured here some of the first grade students ready to take off on the bicycle obstacle course.

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YMCA Gridiron Scholarships Awarded to Davidson Students

Three Davidson High School students were recently honored and presented with scholarships at the annual YMCA Gridiron Gala. Auri Wiley, Blake Williamson, and Brooklyn Massey each received scholarships in the amount of $1,000. Congratulations to each of them for their hard work!

Griggs ESC Calendar Contest Art Winner

Congratulations to Griggs kindergartner Garrett Bolton for winning first place for grades K-3 in the Environmental Studies Center Calendar contest! Garrett’s artwork was one of12 from MCPSS chosen to be in this year’s ESC Wildlife of Mobile Calendar!


Autauga County Allentown Elementary SchoolSchools October GATOR Kids

Pre-K – 2nd Grades, Front Row: Ethan Youkey, Camden Reed, Mason Palmer, Thomas Carter, Melody Hoops, Jordan Gilley, Madelyn Garner. Middle Row: Caleb Farnum, Isaiah Johnson, Cruz Viveros, Kinsley Montgomery, MaKenzie Mitchell, Jennifer Lozoya, Vanessa Rodriguez. Back Row: Easton Hubbard, D.J. Wallace, Hunter Rider, Kiera Pritchett, Kyndall Thomas, Kelsie Bell. 3rd – 5th Graders, Front Row: Jayden Brown, Greyson Roberts, Sophia Garcia, Bre English, Bayless Alexander. Middle Row: Alexis Galbreath, Malachi Fuque, Triston Anderson, Ivan Potts, Danielle Adams. Back Row: Shawn Nguyen, Kyle Descailleaux, Adrian Calzada, Hillary Fairley, Nya Payton, Nevaeh Howard.

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Please email School News to by the 7th of the month.

Taylor-White Participates in “Pink Out” Day for Breast Cancer Awareness

McDavid-Jones Read for the Record

McDavid-Jones Elementary School participated in “Read for the Record” on October 22. Dwayne Christian, Accountant for Arkema, read to the kindergarten classes. “Quackers” by Liz Wong is book choice in Read for the Record. This year 134 kindergarten students enjoyed the book. Jumpstart and Pearson Foundation joined forces to encourage millions of people to come together to celebrate literacy and support Jumpstart in efforts to promote early childhood education. Jumpstart’s mission is “to work toward the day that every child in American enters kindergarten prepared to succeed.” Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017


Corpus Christi Catholic School Red Ribbon Leader

Congratulations to Isabella Normand who was selected as the Red Ribbon Leader for Corpus Christi Catholic School. Each fall, the Drug Education Council hosts a Red Ribbon Leadership Awards Program to recognize outstanding students from schools throughout Mobile and Baldwin counties. Student leaders are responsible for encouraging and leading their classmates in activities during Red Ribbon Week. These activities will help to educate their peers about the dangers of substance abuse. Pictured is Isabella Normand and Gwen Byrd, Superintendent of the Archdiocese of Mobile Catholic Schools.

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Taylor-White Red Ribbon Representative

Congratulations to Madison Williams, a 5th grader at Taylor-White Elementary for being selected as the Red Ribbon Week Representative for the school. She was presented her award on Oct. 10 at the Daphne Civic Center. She has organized a school- wide service project of collecting Coke tabs for the Ronald McDonald House.

Prichard Prep Ensemble Sings at Fox10

The Prichard Preparatory School Ensemble was again honored to be asked to sing for the FOX10 “Sounds of the Seasons” taping. Comprised of 3rd – 5th graders, the Ensemble members are ambassadors for the school and are becoming very well-known and sought after this time each year. The Ensemble sang at the GreekFest Charity Gala and is also scheduled to sing at the offices of Hargrove Engineers, BBVA Compass, the Mobile Rotary Club, Junior League Christmas Jubilee and USA Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

St. Ignatius SGA

St. Ignatius Student Government Association takes a leading role in student life on campus. They help organize activities during the year, lead assemblies, make daily announcements and lead by example. Pictured here are Thomas Palmer (President), Eldon Porter (Religion Officer), James Mayhall (Secretary), Gigi Smith (Vice President), Stephen Beatty (Historian) and Mimi Strain (Treasurer).


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Autauga County Schools Red Ribbon Representative at

All Saints Day at Little Flower Catholic School

Students at Little Flower Catholic School dressed up as favorite saints to help celebrate All Saints Day. St. Juan Diego, St. Joan of Arc, St. Patrick, St. Lucy and others were represented. "Learning about the good things the saints did reminds us of how to lead better lives", stated middle school teacher, Ms. Helen Maduka, who helped organize the costumed students. The students processed into the church at the All Saints Day Mass as a visual reminder of the importance of this feast day. Students at Little Flower often hear about saints of the Church and were eager to prepare costumes and explain a bit about their saint.

St. Mary Catholic School

St. Mary Catholic School, under the leadership of 8th Grader Miles Murphy, lead his school in the stance against drugs during this year’s Red Ribbon Week! From "Dare to be a Hero Superhero Day" to "Drug Free from Head to Toe" with crazy socks and hair, the week brought a theme for each day. Miles is pictured center with fellow classmates on "Hats Off to a Drug Free You!"

UMS-Wright Upper School College Campus Tour The Sophomores & Juniors embarked on annual College Campus Tour at the end of October! This group covered nine campuses in four days. The students visited Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, Baylor University, St. Edwards University, University of Texas, Rice University, Louisiana State University, Tulane University, and Loyola University. One of the best parts of the tour was catching up with fellow UMSWright alums!

CHCA Star Student

Ruby Steedley was named as Cottage Hill Christian Academy’s Southwest Mobile County Chamber of Commerce STAR Student for the Month of November. Congratulations Ruby. Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017

Williamson HS Engineering Students Visit Honda Plant

On October 6, the Williamson engineering students visited the Honda Plant for their annual Manufacturing Day in Lincoln, Alabama. Upon their arrival students were greeted by Honda staff and guided to a room where they heard a key note speaker. From there students participated in breakout sessions which consisted of a tour through the plant and a topical session on careers, job outlook, industry activities and opportunities available with the company. The day ended with lunch and a gift from the Honda Plant family to the students. 18

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Covenant Christian Elementary Cross Country Team!

The 6th grade and under Cross Country team at Covenant Christian School recently completed their season. Runners competed in meets at Municipal Park, Loxley Municipal Park, Faith Academy Sports Complex, and the Fairgrounds. Most races were two miles and top finishers for the team were Nathan Broome and Morgan Fulford.

Community Helpers Day at Lighthouse Baptist Academy

McGill-Toolen Varsity Cross Country Boys Place 2nd at Jesse Owens Classic

The McGill-Toolen Varsity Cross Country Boys team came in 2nd at the Jesse Owens Classic. There were over 200 teams that competed. Pictured left to right: John Paul Williams, Andrew Wentworth, JP Dalton, and Christian Steiner. Not pictured are: Drew Roberts, Nicholas Gelineau and Garrett Brooks.

On October 20 Lighthouse Baptist Academy had a tremendous time at their annual community helpers day! For this special day we were joined by county commissioner Jerry Carl, Bill Harkins from the Mobile City Public Works Department, senator Bill Hightower, representatives from the Mobile PD, Mobile EMT, and the sheriff’s office along with many other guests. The students from kindergarten through 12th grade enjoyed the opportunity to learn from each of these public servants as well as express thanks and gratitude to them for their service.

Give your child the advantages of Faith. n SACS Accredited / AISA Blue Ribbon School n College Preparatory and Advanced Placement Classes n Dual Enrollment Classes through the University of Alabama n Accelerated Reader Program n High School and Elementary Science and Computer Labs n Award Winning Band, Choral and Drama Programs n Competitive Sports for Boys and Girls Grades 3 – 12 n 55% of 2017 graduates received college scholarships

Educating Students in Grades K3 - 12th Something incredible happens when students experience Faith. They begin to grow and blossom into caring, responsible individuals. They begin to see a future filled with promise; they believe in themselves, in others and in their future. At Faith Academy, we do this by providing a Christian education that meets the needs of the whole student—spiritual, artistic, athletic, social, and personal—in a safe, clean, and orderly environment that encourages excellence.

We are #faithstrong!

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Autauga County Schools

St. Vincent de Paul Kindergartners Love the Smart Board!

North Mobile Christian Students Receive Mail from Author Mike Thaler!

Mrs. Betsy Howard's Kindergarten class at St. Vincent de Paul is learning about word families using various learning tools on the Smart Board. The class loves this fun way of learning during their Reading and Language Arts time! L to R Scarlett Owens, Blakely Smith, Mason Bolling, Grayson Davis, Winston Henriksen, Molly Hinds, Julie Hurm, Drake Mallard, Mallory Bowman, and Chase Corum.

NMCS students have been learning all about author Mike Thaler, who is most known for writing the popular Black Lagoon series, including “The Teacher from the Black Lagoon”. After students wrote the author, they were so excited to receive mail from him a couple of weeks later! The author included answers to questions that the students asked in their letters as well as a book with a special note and autograph inside the front cover.

Faith Academy Robotics Team Wins Multiple Awards at BEST Competition

The Faith Academy Robotics team, Ramtech, walked away from the Jubilee BEST Robotics competition with the Mitsubishi Polysilicon Team Exhibit Design and Construction award as well as the 3rd place Robot, 2nd place Overall Best Award, and 1st place for their excellent presentation from the Marketing team. With these victories comes an invitation to the South’s BEST Regional Robotics competition hosted in Auburn, in December. This will be the first time that Ramtech will represent Faith Academy at this competition which features schools from every state in the southeast. Along with the excitement of going on to the Regional Robotics Competition, three Seniors, who performed above and beyond, earned scholarships through this year's Jubilee BEST Robotics Competition. Kevin Grice, Austin Elliott, and Isabelle White received Robotics scholarships to the University of South Alabama. These three Seniors, along with the Ramtech Faith Academy Robotics team, are an example to every Faith Academy organization for their diligence and perseverance, and through all things, giving God the glory.

Mobile County Schools’ Signature Academy Showcase

Seventh- and eighth-graders from throughout the county and their parents learned about the choices available to them on the high school level in Mobile County Public Schools at the Signature Academy Showcase last month at the USA Mitchell Center. Each of MCPSS’ 12 high schools has a Signature Academy aligned with a specific career field, and students in the county can apply to attend any of them, regardless of school zone. Students learn skills necessary to succeed in that particular field and are able to interact with professionals through the academies’ business partnerships. There are also summer internship opportunities available that allow students to get hands-on experience in their field of choice — experience that could lead to a job after graduation. The 12 Signature Academies are: Coastal Studies at Alma Bryant; AP Capstone at Baker; Aviation and Aerospace at B.C. Rain; Healthcare Access at Blount; Manufacturing, Industry and Technology at Citronelle (pictured); Engineering at Davidson; Law, Arts and Health Services at LeFlore; Biomedical and Sports Medicine at Mary Montgomery; International Studies at Murphy; Industry and Engineering at Theodore; Information Technology at Vigor; and Maritime, Engineering and Entrepreneurship at Williamson. In order to apply for a Signature Academy, visit, find “I want to apply for” and click on “A Signature Academy.” The application process is open through January 31. Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017



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Baker HS Teacher Named Educator of the Year

Cori Walters, who teaches hearing-impaired students at Baker High School, was recently recognized as Educator of the Year by the Mobile Area Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities. Mandy Sullivan, principal of the Southwest Alabama Regional School for the Deaf and Blind, said she is proud of the work that Walters (pictured) does daily. “Cori goes above and beyond to ensure that our high school students receive appropriate transitional and vocational rehabilitation services so they are prepared for post-high school life opportunities,� Sullivan said.

Two Phillips Prep Students Donate Items to Rehab Center

CORPUS CHRISTI CATHOLIC SCHOOL Building the Body of Christ One Student at a Time.

Come visit us in January for our Open House. January 21st from 2-4p.m.

6300 McKenna Drive Mobile, Alabama 36608 CCS MBP Ad.indd 1

Questions? Please contact us.

251.342.5474 or 10/9/17 11:57 AM

A shout-out for two PPS students who donated several boxes of toiletries and gifts to the Gulf Coast Health and Rehab Center on Grelot Road Nov. 3. Hayden Holcomb and Abigail Chilton really put into action the IB trait of Caring!

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Autauga County Schools

St. Paul’s Fall Show Cast Members Perform Service Project

St. Paul’s faculty member Chip Goff took his Fall Show cast members to do a service project at the Salvation Army located on Dauphin Island Parkway. Students Daisy Hudson, Gabriella Tropeano, Morgan Harrington, Sheridan Mark, Andrew Gilbert, Sam Chard, Noah Lamonte, Aspen Crawford, Jalen Williams, Kiffer Braswell, Anna Weber, Aidan Williamson, and Isabella Brown joined Mr. Goff in raking and picking up branches and debris from Hurricane Nate, as well as painting and playing basketball with the kids!

CHCA Participates in Litter and Stormwater Awareness Forum Sophomore and junior students from Cottage Hill Christian Academy enjoyed working with students from schools across the county at the City of Mobile's MS4 Program's 2017 Litter and Stormwater Awareness Student Forum on September 28th. High school students worked together to help the MS4 Program develop a social media campaign promoting their program and raising awareness about the city of Mobile's litter problems. Students are eager to launch recycling initiatives in their respective schools!


Please email School News to by the 10th of the month.

Faith Academy Fills Christmas Boxes for Honduras Families

In an effort to bring the joy of Christmas to children in need, Faith Academy collected 810 boxes in their annual Hope for Honduras Christmas box drive. This year was the second year that Faith Academy students, faculty, and families filled shoe boxes with toys and daily necessities in the hope of sharing the love of Jesus with families in Honduras. In preparation of delivery, Mrs. Dollar’s K4 class prayed over their boxes, the boxes that will connect Mobile, Alabama with the people of Honduras - a connection that will live long past the Christmas season. A group from the school and Life Church are preparing to take the first shipment of Boxes in December.

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017


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Early Signing Day for McGill-Toolen Athletes

Congratulations to our scholar athletes who participated in the Early Athletic Signing Day on November 8. Standing L-R: Athletic Director Bill Griffin, Brooks Green -Davidson College (Tennis); Drew Lankford - University of Montevallo (Lacrosse); Graham Collins- University of South Alabama (Track & Field). Seated L-R: Michelle Roca- Air Force Academy (Track & Field), Grace Jensen- Vanderbilt University (Track/Cross Country). Grace Jensen is also the AHSAA 7A State Cross Country Champion! Go Jackets!

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UMS-Wright Middle School Drama Club Presents “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

The Middle School Drama Club was developed years ago because of the desire of our students to perform on stage! This organization made up of students in grades 5-8 puts on two main stage productions each year. The first production of the 2017-18 school year was “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, and it was incredible! Congratulations to Ms. Diane Maisel and the following students on another fantastic production: Breleigh Joiner, Helen Delaney, Cecile Brown, Cate Courtney, Hayden Salter, Mary Offerle, Lottie Perloff, Sarah Woodford, Sydney Elder, Hunter Dabbs, Natalie Duncan, Charles Saucier, Reagan Jokerst, Grace Swain, Clayton Davis, Caroline Corley, Mary Helene Marmade, Edwin McCorquodale, Grace Lyons, Mary Webster Burke, Jae Anna Gaston, McNeil Mostellar, Rebekah Chappell, Sophia Vrettos, Owen Nichols, Elizabeth Whitehead, Ann Chason Brock, Ian Lynch, Henry Arras, Ryan Walton, Anna Beth McCain, Olivia Rocconi, Corrine Graddick, Amelia Meador, Alex Cave, Isabella Rocconi, Will Kaufman, Makayla Yeager, March Tremaine, Claire Johnson, Olivia Gleason, Gillian Ngando, Laura Beth Montgomery, Ann Claire McMillian, Carley Davis, Russell Arras and James Scott. A special thank you to Iberia Bank and Encore Rehabilitation, Inc. for sponsoring the production.

Fire Safety Week at Robert E. Lee Elementary Robert E. Lee Elementary students participated in the annual Fire Safety Prevention Week which included an extra special presentation by the Satsuma Fire Department. Students in grades K5 through 6th learned important fire safety tips as well as got to visit with Sparky the fire dog.

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Clark-Shaw Magnet’s Project Citizenship

Autauga County Schools


Project Citizenship at Clark-Shaw Magnet ready to help others!

Book Character Day at Prichard Prep

Each year in late October the students, staff and teachers come to school dressed as a character from their favorite book. The “parade of characters” begins with each student and teacher crossing the stage and sharing the name of the character and the title of the book. This year creativity and imagination was on full display. We had Winnie the Pooh, Power Rangers, Captain Hook, Cinderella, Snow White, Wimpy Kid, Ladybug, Batman, Mutant Ninja Turtles, Wizard of Oz characters, and many, many more!

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017



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Griggs Students Participate in Fun Run

Forty-two students/family members represented Griggs at the Reese’s Senior Bowl Fun Run. Such an awesome way to spend a Saturday morning sharpening your saw!

Red Ribbon Week at Dodge Elementary Dodge Elementary’s Red Ribbon Week culminated in an entertaining parade in which students marched around the school with unique banners made by each classroom.

Booktalks at Mobile Christian School

The thrill of reading was in the air when the University of Mobile visited Mobile Christian School with Booktalks. Students, faculty, and staff from both schools all dressed as literary characters on Storybook Day and shared teasers of popular children’s books, encouraging the love of books and reading.


Autauga County Schools

St. Dominic Sixth-Grade Field Trip

The sixth-grade students from St. Dominic Catholic School spent the day exploring the USS Alabama Battleship and the USS Drum. In a special ceremony, Mr. Terry Ankerson, USAF, SSgt, Ret. presented the class an American flag that formerly flew from the battleship. The students also explored Downtown Mobile and Mobile River via the Gulf Coast Ducks and viewed an I-max movie at The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center about engineering.

Archbishop Visits Little Flower Catholic School


When Archbishop Thomas Rodi visited Little Flower Catholic School, the day started with Mass for the student body. He was assisted by Father John Lynes (left) and Deacon Ron Martin (right). The altar servers were (left to right) Jazmyn Lang, Jim Pryor, Abby Grosvenor, GiGi Gardner, and Lane Browne. Ms. Gwen Byrd, Superintendent of Catholic Schools was also present for the occasion. Each classroom welcomed the Archbishop as he made his way around the school. The students were happy to get an extra-long recess to celebrate the day.

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Davidson Robotics Team Places First in BEST Competition

Davidson High School’s RobotEx team claimed its eighth straight Jubilee BEST championship last month at the USA Mitchell Center, and this year also claimed category titles for Best Exhibit Booth & Interviews and Best Robot. This year’s competition featured the theme “Crossfire,” and challenged teams to create a robot to perform search-and-rescue and firefighting missions during a hypothetical fire in a chemical plant. “Our robot’s name is Hydra,” said Davidson mathematics teacher and RobotEx faculty sponsor Mike Fletcher. “The students chose that name because when the mythical Hydra took a hit, it came back twice as strong. When our team runs into difficulty, we press through and come back stronger.” In addition to its category wins, RobotEx placed second for Marketing Presentation and third for Engineering Notebook. Davidson’s team also won the Austal Top Gun Award for the most points in a single round and the Hargrove SolidWorks CAD Design Award. RobotEx now moves on to the South’s BEST regional championship in December at Auburn, where it won the 2016 South’s BEST title. The team is currently raising funds for the trip. Other MCPSS schools earning special awards during the annual competition were Murphy High School (Aztec Martime Blood, Sweat & Duct Tape Award), Semmes Middle (Heart of Jubilee BEST Award — Act of Kindness), Clark-Shaw Magnet (Heart of Jubilee BEST Award — Positive Attitude), and Mary G. Montgomery High School (Heart of Jubilee BEST Award — Service to Others). Donna Carlander of Semmes Middle School was honored with the Steve Perry BEST Mentor of the Year Award.

Corpus Christi Catholic School Reading Buddies

At Corpus Christi Catholic School, “Reading Buddies” is a mentor program that provides the opportunity for middle school students to help younger students develop a love of reading. During their elective time, the middle school students read to their “buddies” and encourage them to complete their AR (Accelerated Reader) goal for the quarter. Pictured are Sean Pavel and Cecilia Veasey. Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017





Covenant Christian 7th Graders Visit The Saenger Theatre

Mrs. Catherine Blackwell's 7th grade Language Arts class from Covenant Christian School recently took a field trip to The Saenger Theater to watch several enactments of literary works ranging from Mark Twain's "Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" to Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven."


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St. Mary Catholic 2017 Toy Bowl Court

St. Mary Catholic congratulates the members of the 2017 CYO Toy Bowl Court! These eighth graders include: Payton Barrett, Stefan Barbour, Laura Burch, Caroline Fowlkes, Michael Shine, Jenna Gaudet, Myles Murphy, Bella Heyer, Brayden Mims, Ursula Holbert, Brody Tomlinson, Claire Morrow, Jackson Potapenko, Julianne Mudge, Dillon Delaney, Ainsley O'Donnell, Justin Wallace, Kennedy Rogers, Henry Kilpatrick, Ashlynn Smith, and Cameron MacRae.

Pep Rally at Clark-Shaw Magnet

Clark-Shaw is raising school spirit at their pep rally with their favorite eagle!

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St. Ignatius Students Qualify for Duke TIP

St. Ignatius had sixteen 7th grade students who qualified for Duke TIP Talent. This selection was based on the test scores of each student. This distinction allows these students an opportunity to take the ACT early. Congratulations to (not in order) Josh Davoud, Winchester Bolton, Henry Bridges, Anna Grace Cain, Anya Doyle, Julia Grinstead, Harris Johnson, Nathan Little, Anthony McCaffery, Rebecca Milazzo, Meg Nettles, Jane Ortega, Eloise Teague, Finn Tully, Margaret Wilson and Marrs Zakary.

E.R. Dickson Elementary Red Ribbon Representative Alexia Lara Molina is a fifth grade student at E. R. Dickson in Ms. Jiles’ class where she is a model student and the 2017 Red Ribbon Representative. She exhibits the six pillars of character: caring, respect, responsibility, fairness, citizenship and trustworthiness on a regular basis. Alexia was recognized at a formal ceremony by MCPSS superintendent, Mrs. Martha Peek. Alexia is a member of the Cheerleading Squad, Safety Patrol, National Elementary Honor Society and a Library Assistant. Alexia likes to read, cook, and do gymnastics in her spare time. Congratulations, Alexia!


Autauga County Schools

St. Paul’s Service Class Joins in Apple Snail Round-up

On Saturday October 14th, Junior Rutledge Fellows Allie Anderson, Allie Bryant, Landon Clarke, Kaylen Cornelius, Sarah Greene, Marley Scarborough, Layne Singleton, Caroline Vegas, Mary Nall Wilder, and Storm Williams joined sponsor Renea Greene at Municipal Park to help with the apple snail roundup. The students spent two hours gathering the invasive species to help slow their spread in local waterways. The event was sponsored by Mobile Baykeeper.

Archbishop Drives St. Vincent de Paul’s Robot

Mobile Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi came to St. Vincent de Paul to visit and drive the robot "Neptune," that the middle school St. Vincent de Paul Robotics Team created this year for the 2017/2018 Robotics competition. L to R Superintendent Gwen Byrd, Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, Matthew Brown, Sebastian Otalora, Rachel Anderson, Genevieve Unsworth, Melissa Brown, Hadley Nall, Kamryn Mulkey, Joseph Tiemann, Father Stephen Vrazel, Autumn Maghupoy, Coen Ta, Corrine Cuffle, David Gross, and Kelsey Smith.


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Grandparents Day Mass at St. Dominic Catholic School


Children's of Alabama is ...

St. Dominic Catholic School recently celebrated grandparents with our annual Grandparent’s Day Mass and Reception. Grandparents had a great time visiting with their grandchildren after Mass. Here Juliet and Elle Barber visit with their grandfather, Mike Gibney.

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The third largest pediatric hospital in the United States


Licensed for 332 beds & 48 NICU bassinets


The first LEED-certified hospital building in Alabama


One of the Top 20 employers in Alabama with more than 4,700 employees across the state


The pediatric teaching hospital for the School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham


Home to the Pediatric & Congenital Heart Center of Alabama, where more than 450 cardiac surgeries are performed annually


Site of the only pediatric kidney dialysis program in the state — one of the largest in the country


Home to one of the largest burn units in the Southeast

Russell Campus 205.638.9100 1600 7th Avenue South Birmingham, AL 35233 Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children Lowder Building McWane Building Children’s on Third Outpatient Center Children’s Park Place

1601 5th Avenue South 1600 7th Avenue South 1600 7th Avenue South 1208 3rd Avenue South 1600 5th Avenue South

Children’s South 205.638.4800 1940 Elmer J. Bissell Road Birmingham, AL 35243 Outpatient surgery services, Pediatric Imaging Center, laboratory services and specialty care clinics


Mobile County Health Science Programs Receive Additional Patient Simulator Mannequins

Mobile County Public Schools students interested in becoming health care professionals have more opportunities to learn the basics early, thanks to an expansion of the district’s Career and Technical Education Health Science pathways and the addition of more wireless patient simulators. MCPSS is adding six new patient simulators for use in its Health Science programs. Patient simulators, including the I-Stan, Meti-Man, and Laerdal Nursing Anne wireless mannequins, replicate real-life medical scenarios while supporting the curriculum to provide additional hands-on learning opportunities. Christian Little, a Health Sciences teacher at Bryant Career Technical Center, said the patient simulators will help them prepare students for those certifications and for the real-life scenarios they will ultimately face as health care professionals. “Having an opportunity to practice in the classroom with these patients and scenarios that they will actually encounter in the real world, it gives them the opportunity to make mistakes before we actually get to a hospital or nursing home,” Little said.


One of the largest pediatric rheumatology programs in the nation and the only one in Alabama Provides care for more than 90 percent of Alabama children with cancer and blood disorders

Seven MCPSS high schools and both its career technical centers have health science programs, where students can choose from an expanded variety of pathways, including TherapeuticDiagnostic and Clinical Services, Biomedical Sciences and Dental Services. Programs are expanding to include programs in sports medicine and patient care technicians. Students in MCPSS health science programs have the opportunity to earn industry-recognized credentials, including Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Patient Care Technician and Dental Assistant certification, upon successful completion of the recommended course of study. 29


Autauga County Schools

Mobile Christian Classes Collect Box Tops for Money

Congratulations to Mrs. Anna McGilberry’s 3rd grade class and Mrs. Kathy Presley’s 1st grade class in collecting the most General Mills Box Tops for Education of all the elementary classes at Mobile Christian School. Altogether, students collected over 10,000 box tops helping to raise money for the elementary school.


Students get pumped up to collect as many as possible with our annual Box Top Race and winning classes enjoy a silly string party!

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Please email School News to by the 10th of the month.

Cottage Hill Student to Sing at Carnegie Hall

Congratulations to Rayvon Russell (R.J.) of Cottage Hill Christian Academy for being accepted as an honors performance series finalist. He will sing at Carnegie Hall in February 2018. Following auditions last November R.J. was selected to participate in the Alabama Vocal Association Choral Festival at Samford University. After the Festival he received an invitation to audition for the Honors Performance Series via audio recording. We are excited for R.J. and are praising the Lord for this tremendous honor! Psalm 37:4

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017

St. Ignatius Middle School Robotics Team Competes Against High Schoolers at BEST

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The St. Ignatius Robotics team recently competed in the Jubilee BEST Robotics competition at the Mitchell Center on the campus of USA. They competed against 38 teams, most of which were high school teams. The St. Ignatius team, which consists of 6th, 7th and 8th grade students placed 4th and qualified to move on to the state tournament in Auburn, Dec. 2-3. They were the only Middle School from our region to qualify for the tournament. Congratulations to this outstanding team.


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Phillips Prep Classes Create Board Games

Phillips Preparatory students worked on creating board games in their design classes. The 8th graders worked in teams to create games that their classmates could play. After presenting the finished product, the students took turns playing each other’s games.

UMS-Wright Greats & Grand Enjoy Lower School Book Fair

Our Lower School students had a "GRAND" time at the Lower School Book Fair with their grandparents! It is always a special time when our grandparents are on campus to join their grandchildren in fun-filled activities. The morning was spent visiting the book fair, reading books, and enjoying refreshments! Thanks to all of our Greats & Grands who joined us!

St. Pius X Red Ribbon Week Ambassadors

Eighth grader Hayleigh Doggett and fifth grader Elise Vial were the recipients of this years Red Ribbon Week Leaders Awards sponsored by the Drug Education Council of Mobile.


Autauga County Schools

St. Paul’s Speedy Saints Win Championship Meet

Congratulations to the St. Paul’s Episcopal School Speedy Saints running program for finishing out the season strong and winning the cross country championship meet. Speedy Saints is an introductory program to expose 5th and 6th graders to the benefits of running while having fun with friends. Go Saints!

Mobile Christian Robotics Team Wins Innovation Award at BEST Competition

Congratulations to the Mobile Christian Robotics Team for winning the Airbus Innovation Award for their robot design and the use of the Archimedes Screw in the robot. The team placed in the top 15 in the areas of Marketing, Spirit, and the Exhibit Booth/Judges Interview in the 2017 BEST Robotics Competition at the University of South Alabama. We are so proud of these talented leopards.

Clark-Shaw Student Council Members

Clark Shaw Student Council is excited to work on projects for the 2017-2018 school year.

Please email School News to Lynn@

Teen Driver Safety Summit Gives Local Teens New Perspective

Students from 12 local schools attended the “UR KEYS 2 DRV” Teen Driver Safety Summit on October 26. The one-day interactive event was held at the Daphne Civic Center. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Teen drivers have crash rates three times those of drivers 20 and older per mile driven. However, teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable, and a statewide coalition is working with students throughout the state to address safe driving habits. At UR KEYS 2 DRV, students heard from speakers and rotated among breakout sessions led by safety experts from Children’s of Alabama, State Farm, the Alabama Department of Public Health, the Alabama Department of Transportation, the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, Safe Kids Worldwide, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the Alabama Sports Festival Foundation. Safety-related topics that were discussed included the Alabama Graduated Driver License Law, drinking and driving, texting and driving, and other distractions. A driving simulator provided a valuable hands-on learning experience and a simulated trauma showed the students what happens when a victim from a car crash is brought to the emergency room. A highlight of the day was a presentation by Mike Lutzenkirchen, executive director of the Lutzie 43 Foundation, an organization that aims to develop the character of young athletes and their coaches by focusing on leadership, charity, compassion, mentorship, hard work, honesty and faith. Lutzenkirchen founded the organization in honor of his 23-year-old son, Philip, who played football for Auburn University and was a passenger in a fatal car crash in 2014 in which alcohol played a role. Local schools in attendance included: Chickasaw High School, Clark County High School, Daphne High School, Elberta High School, Excel High School, Jackson High School, J.F. Shields High School, J.U. Blacksher School, Lott Middle School, Monroe County High School, Theodore High School. Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017


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McT Dirty Dozen Win State!

Mayor Visits Faith Academy Kindergartners

The Kindergarten students at Faith Academy were honored to welcome Mayor Sandy Simpson on October 20th for community helper week. Mayor Simpson shared what he does as mayor of the great city of Mobile. The Kindergarten students at Faith prayed over Mayor Simpson and sang the song, “You are my Maker”. Pictured with Mayor Sandy Simpson is Mrs. Streit’s K5 class.

Congratulations to the McGill-Toolen Catholic Dirty Dozen Volleyball Team. They swept the AHSAA 7A State Championship tournament with a 9-0 record! They did not lose a game the entire tournament and brought the blue map back to McT for the first time since 2005!

Please email School News to by the 7th of the month.

2017 13TH ANNUAL





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FIELD TRIPS, PARTIES, AND GROUP RATES AVAILABLE | 251-232-2322 | 13650 Smiley St. Silverhill, AL. 36576 33

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

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

Send Greetings. Even though fewer families have time for handwritten cards or newsletters, the tradition of sharing holiday greetings is worth preserving. Use your phone to take a photo or make a short video that captures what’s unique about your family this year. Do something goofy, sing a few lines of a song together, have each family member write or speak about something memorable. Distribute through social media, email or even in an envelope. Do this every year and you’ll create a very special timeline that shows your kids growing up before your eyes. Start a Family Media Channel. Establish a blog or a social media group, and limit access to extended family and special friends. Invite kids, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents to participate, providing whatever support they need to get connected. Encourage everyone to post inside jokes, recipes, holiday memories, bits of family lore. To make people more comfortable about sharing things that are heartfelt or silly, establish a simple rule: What appears on the site can’t be shared anywhere else without permission. Tune Up. Build a festive family playlist for the holidays and other occasions. Ask everyone old enough to talk to make suggestions. Of course, there are holiday playlists available on sites like Pandora but it’s a lot more meaningful—and fun—to juxtapose grandma’s favorites from the 40’s with something your nephew learned in preschool. Chat Long Distance. Coming home for the holidays may be everyone’s dream but it’s not always feasible. Schedule a time for a video chat with distant loved ones. Group 34

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

Group Text. If video chatting makes everyone (especially teens) self conscious, try using GroupMe, a free app that allows everyone in the family to see the same text messages. GroupMe works with SMS and every Smartphone platform. Give it a try in your immediate family, and then expand the group to include cousins and other relatives. Play Games. Ask pre-teens for the best family friendly games or find apps that simulate classics like Scrabble and Checkers. Help grandparents sign up so they can play across the room or across the country. If someone in the family is lucky enough to get a video game system, be sure at least one game is easy enough and light-hearted enough to be played by all ages. Consider creating customized games for your family. For example, try making up a scavenger hunt that involves taking photos connected with family traditions—a beloved family ornament, a sleeping relative, Grandpa’s favorite cookie, the dog wearing a holiday hat. Collect Photos. On special occasions,

everyone takes photos and videos on their own phones. Even if someone says, “Send me that picture,” people forget and fragments of the holiday disappear into the undifferentiated photos on various devices. This year, set up a password protected site on Flckr, Instagram or even Google. Send the link to everyone in the family. Ask them to upload their favorite photos and videos to a create a collective album. Embracing these possibilities with an open heart makes it more likely that everyone will respond well at the times when someone says, “Let’s put away our phones and drink in the joy of being together right here, right now!” Carolyn Jabs, M.A., has been writing the Growing Up Online column for ten year. She is also the author of Cooperative Wisdom: Bringing People Together When Things Fall Apart. Available at Amazon and Cooperative @ Copyright, 2017, Carolyn Jabs. All rights reserved.














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Come find out if ASMS is right for you by visiting

Current Alabama 9th or 10th graders can apply

ASMS Day. Prospective families get a chance to

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

see student-run classroom demonstrations and

learn about a school that could change your life

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forever. Register for ASMS Day at


seeking advanced studies in math, science, and the

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ASMS is our state’s only fully public, residential

high school for sophomores, juniors, and seniors

humanities. Applying to ASMS is FREE – and so are tuition, room, and board if you are admitted!

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

academic success. In 2017, the 82 ASMS grads

earned $13 million in merit-based scholarships with an ACT composite class average of 29.5.

Questions? Email or call 251.441.3250.

Alabama School of Mathematics and Science 1255 Dauphin St., Mobile, AL 36604 251.441.2100 - 35

A Page in a Book Books That Make a Splash While there are a few holdouts who don’t like bath time, most kids find a unique delight in water. The same parents who first struggled to lure their toddlers into a bath, quickly discover the challenges of calling kids in from the rain, pulling them away from the museum fountain, and convincing them its time to get out of the pool. From bathtubs and beaches to soapy sinks and mud puddles, the tactile exploration of water draws on kids’ imaginations like the pull of the tides. The following titles celebrate the joys of soggy moments, wet weather and the wonders of water through the eyes of children.



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by Sam Usher (Templar / Candlewick) Waking up to a rainstorm instead of a rising sun puts a young boy’s outside plans on hold. While he insists he likes to play in the rain, his Granddad counsels waiting until the worst precipitation has passed. Trapped inside and impatient to venture out, the boy extols the various watery marvels that he’d like to encounter. Subtle references to underwater beasts, canals and watercraft abound indoors while the boy and his Granddad wait out the deluge. As the rain ends and the duo prepare to explore its remnants, the boy’s earlier imaginings of adventure begin to emerge in watery reflections. Celebrating both the comfort of a stormy day indoors, as well as the pleasure of emerging later into a freshly washed world, Rain is perfect for rainy day reading.


by Carey Sookocheff (Godwin Books / Henry Holt & Co.) Making time to really think about all the moments he gets wet every day, a young boy takes a deeper dive into the waters that touch his daily life. With brief language, he notes his wet footprints on the deck of a pool. He recognizes the variety of ways he enters the water, sometime inch-byinch, other times with an exuberant cannonball. His tears are wet, as is his father’s shoulder as they embrace. From the bottom of the playground slide to his dog’s tongue, the boy’s keen observations highlight all the ways he can experience the watery parts of his day. Whether it flows as a trickle or a splash, Wet is a peaceful paean to the water that wends through our lives.

Worm Weather

by Jean Taft, Illustrated by Matt Hunt (Grossett & Dunlap / Penguin Random House) Closer to the ground than most adults, our observant children are often the ones who draw our eyes back to the earth when they first spy worms emerging from the ground after a soaking rain. Using very simple pre-reader words, this title follows a boy and girl as they experience a soggy day from its drizzly beginnings, through the deluge, to the tapering close of a rainstorm. Equipped with boots and ponchos, the young pair fearlessly embrace and explore the precipitation. Throughout the watery journey, worms are peeking out from the soil at the kid’s feet. Echoing the limited viewing of the emerging worms, the adults are likewise viewed only in part as their hands reach out to rush kids out of the rain or to pull them from puddles. When the rain ends and the worms retreat, the reader’s view expands to encompass a wider vision of a refreshed world.

Find more reading recommendations at

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017


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

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

I would encourage you to find giving experiences in which you can participate as a family. Volunteering for a day at a homeless shelter is a wonderful example of giving that requires absolutely no money. Or maybe you could pull out your wallet, and spend the day shopping for groceries and Christmas gifts for families who are financially less fortunate. Make sure your kids are involved physically, mentally, and emotionally in the entire giving process. Let them experience the grateful, and sometimes ungrateful, responses that go along with giving. With a little thought and planning, you can create some incredible teaching and family bonding experiences that will change everyone’s lives forever!

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

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


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Speaking in front of an audience can be just as nerve-racking for a self-conscious kiddo as it is for an adult. Just as you do with every other activity your child tries, from an early age coach, encourage and support your youngster’s efforts to express herself confidently in front of an audience.

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017



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“Public speaking is a skill that is rarely taught, but is so valuable in the adult world,” says Katherine Pebley O’Neal, a 5th grade teacher and author of the children’s book Public Speaking: 7 Steps to Writing and Delivering a Great Speech. “If we teach our young students how to engage an audience with confidence, they can use the skills to enhance and benefit any profession they choose.” In today’s high-tech environment, kids will need to gain communication skills across mediums more than ever. More employers now conduct video interviews or ask job candidates to turn in video introductions. Despite our society’s growing reliance on text-talk, our kids must still learn how to speak on the phone effectively, present in front of a group, video conference and communicate professionally to audiences across social media. And kids who have learned to express themselves well will stand out in a competitive job market. “Things are changing in our educational paradigm where it’s not just go to school and get a job,” says Sarah L. Cook, co-author of The Parents’ Guide to Raising CEO Kids. “Kids need to have some entrepreneurial skills to even land a job. They need to be able to engage with people confidently. Public speaking allows them to show that confidence.”

Flutters of fear Physical signs of limelight-related stress include uncontrollable shaking, hyperventilating, sweating, flushed face, and even short-term memory loss. Why is public speaking scary? “It’s a fear of failure,” Cook says. “It’s a fear of public rejection. Are people going to laugh at me? Are they going to boo me? Are they going to ignore me?” Here’s how to help your child grow more confident presenting in front of an audience:

Use technology. A child’s first and friendliest audiences include her family and friends. Frequent invitations for her to talk on the phone or the webcam to relatives can ease even a shy child’s initial communication inhibitions. Also, use your video camera and ask your kids questions. This strategy helps kids get comfortable in front of a camera. 39

Open the floor at mealtime. Suggest




SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY! 6611 Wall Street • Mobile, AL 36695 | 251.607.0110 - local | 2620 College Ave. Jackson, AL 36545 | 877.660.1103 - toll free |

each member of your family take turns reciting a joke, story, prayer or poem during dinner. Listen carefully to your kids and acknowledge their efforts. When a young child feels listened to, his confidence in expressing himself blossoms.

Encourage show-and-tell. Show-andtell is an excellent introduction to public speaking in a friendly group setting. Most kids love to take something meaningful to them and share it with their friends. Seek out organized opportunities. Depending on his interests, enroll your child in activities like drama, scouting, science fairs or 4-H. These activities offer leadership roles in a supportive environment that require participants to get in front of an audience.

Practice, practice, practice. Preparation and practice is necessary to succeed. By writing out what they’d like to say ahead of time and creating visual aids, kids can learn to organize their thoughts. “And if they can present their information with pizzazz, the entire class will actually learn something from their efforts,” O’Neal says. Your child will have more fun presenting if her audience is engaged, too. Encourage your kids to practice their presentations ahead of time, whether in front of a mirror, the family or a video camera. “Parents can boost confidence by listening to their child practice his or her speech many times. They can remind their child to make eye contact and to smile,” O’Neal says. “The final two or three run-throughs before the performance should be met with only praise.”

A true phobia?

The world could use a few more Saints. St. Paul's Episcopal School is accepting applications for the 2018-2019 school year. Please contact our Admissions Office at 251.461.2131 or if you would like enrollment information or to schedule a campus tour!

161 Dogwood Lane | Mobile, Alabama 36608 | 251-342-6700 |

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017


Nervousness before a presentation is normal, but if your child is paralyzed with fear, skipping classes and avoiding extracurricular activities that require public speaking, consult with a child psychologist. Cognitive behavioral techniques like challenging negative thinking, breathing and relaxation exercises, and supportive coaching can help. MBP Freelance journalist Christa Melnyk Hines and her husband are the parents of two school-age boys. Her latest book is Happy, Healthy & Hyperconnected: Raise a Thoughtful Communicator in a Digital World.


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Christ United Methodist Church presents



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with Christ


You are invited to spend Christmas with Christ at Christ United Methodist Church. We have several Christmas events and Christmas Eve services to accommodate everyone.

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Annual Christmas Concert: Christ Is Born

Live Nativity Hayride

Bring the whole family and join us as we share the wonderful story of Christ’s birth! It will be a night filled with the musical talents of our adult, youth and children choirs as well as various ensembles, handbells, and instruments.

In celebration of the Christmas season, travel on a hayride with us through the story of Jesus’ birth in a Live Nativity. This will be a unique way to experience the Christmas story for everyone of all ages! We will serve hot cocoa to keep you warm.

Wednesday, December 6 | 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Meet at the Christ Pavilion

Sunday, December 3 | 6:00 p.m. | Sanctuary



Beauty From Ashes: A Blue Christmas Service Sunday, December 17 | 5:00 p.m. | Christ Center Gym

Are you missing your loved one or hurting this Christmas? We will remember those who have passed, pray for those far away, and seek God’s healing.


Christmas Eve Morning Services

Christmas Eve Family Communion Services

Christmas Eve Traditional Communion Service

8:00 a.m.; 9:15 a.m.; 10:40 a.m. | Sanctuary 9:15 a.m.; 10:40 a.m. | Christ Center Gym There will not be any Sunday School classes for adults, youth or children. However, there will be nursery for 0 - 2 years old.

3:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.|Sanctuary A child-friendly service with puppets and an interactive telling of the Christmas story.

6:00 p.m. & 11:00 p.m.|Sanctuary Join us for music, scripture readings, a Christmas message, Holy Communion and candlelight carols as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, December 24



Sunday, December 24

Sunday, December 24

Christmas Eve Modern Communion Service


Sunday, December 24 | 7:30 p.m. | Christ Center Gym


Come and experience live strings, an incredible band, and a meaningful teaching that you don’t want to miss.



6101 Grelot Road | Mobile, AL 36609 | 251.342.0462 | 41


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ParentingToday’sTeens by Mark Gregston

Being the Parent Your Teen Needs As parents, we put a lot of expectations on ourselves. Before kids, we might have been content to be average Joes and Janes. But the moment that little bundle of joy was first placed in our arms, we felt the need to put on a cape and transform into “Super Parent”! And that’s a hard role to play. But good news mom and dad—your teen doesn’t need you to be a superhero. In my 40 years of working with teens, I’ve discovered that our kids don’t need parents who are perfect saints or super human. Teens simply need parents who are willing to make some necessary changes.

Parents Who Are Willing To Be Imperfect

First, let’s debunk the fairytale that families can attain perfection. Where exactly did that myth come from? No family is perfect. So quit trying. It flies in the face of reality, and yet I find so many families working overtime to look, act, and be the perfect family. Relax. Deal with failures as opportunities to learn. If you have never shared your personal flaws with your kids, they haven’t had an opportunity to see what it’s like to live with imperfection. Instead, they think that faultlessness is normal. The first time they sprout a pimple they’re ready to freak out! Let me offer you this challenge—tonight around the dinner table, share one thing about you that isn’t as perfect as you’d like it to be. By sharing your inadequacies, you allow your teen to connect with you in a different way. It will reaffirm your teen’s understanding and acceptance of himself, while drawing him into relationship with you as well. Teens need parents who are willing to be imperfect.

Parents Willing to Be Disliked

Parents who want to “rescue” their children from pain or suffering are actually hurting their kids more then they know. It usually happens for three reasons: • Parents want to be friends with their kids. • Parents can’t handle the constant nagging of their teen during punishment. • Parents are afraid that if they punish their child, he or she will rebel. Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017

Mom and Dad, your child doesn’t need another friend. During these tough adolescent years they need you to be a parent—to correct them when they make a mistake and love them regardless of their behavior. Teens need parents who are willing to love their kids, even if it means their kids dislike them. So if your daughter gets a speeding ticket, don’t pay for it yourself. If your son is failing a class, don’t do his homework for him. Yes, we should extend grace to our teens. But showing grace doesn’t mean swooping in and saving the day when your kid messes up. That’s caving in. Setting aside time to help with homework is loving. Writing their book report–because you read it and they didn’t–is rescuing. Teens learn independence and maturity when they face hard times more than when everything is going smooth. Handing out discipline isn’t for the faint of heart. I know it can be hard, draining, and exhausting. No matter what your kids might think in the moment, punishment isn’t a cruel action. When done in the right way, it can be an expression of love. And it’s what your kids need from you.

Parents Who Are Willing to Say “No”

Some parents relish being needed by their teenager. They dote on them and take care of their every need. They ask “How high?” when their teens says, “Jump!” They may even take abuse and disrespect from their teen when it is directed their way, thinking, “Oh, they’re just having a bad day.” These parents need to step back and understand that teens need to hear “no” sometimes. If not, it will lead to selfish, bossy, and entitled adolescents who don’t understand when life doesn’t go their way. It’s okay to say “no” as long as you provide a good reason. When your son demands the latest iPhone, you are allowed to say “no” and explain why. When your daughter asks to go to a certain party, you have the freedom to say “no” and provide your reasons. Life doesn’t always say “yes” to our requests. And parents shouldn’t either. 42

Parents Who Are Willing to Let Go

Very few comments made by high school seniors and college students can scare parents more than when young people announce their desire to “fly the coop” and become independent. Those words are tough to hear because in the minds of most parents there is a voice shouting, “We can’t let this happen!” Some parents might think, “What will they do without me?” Other parents wonder, “What will I do without them?” Change is hard, but the desire for independence is actually a very normal and healthy desire in teens. So when your child comes to you with plans to launch out and go to college, move out, or make smaller steps towards independence, I encourage you to consider what your child is actually asking. This may be the opportunity to affirm those character traits and values that you have spent years building into the moral fabric of your son or daughter. Instead of thinking about all the reasons your teen shouldn’t go, think of all that might be accomplished by giving your stamp of approval on an ultimately very necessary transition. Realize that this may be a wonderful opportunity. Teens need parents who are willing to let go. They need parents who believe in them and can even encourage them to become increasingly independent. Isn’t that the goal of raising kids to become adults? Now, I’m not saying that as parents you should throw caution to the wind and go with anything your kid suggests. But I am saying that because your 12 year old will one day become that 18 or 19-year-old young adult, you need to train to let go, and foster independence more and more each year. Trust what you have taught, and are teaching. And even enjoy watching them launch into the adulthood.

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

FA2017 Open

Faith Academy


Quality Christian Education for 3K - 12th Grade






u th g

It is the mission of Faith Academy to offer a quality Christian education in a safe, clean and orderly environment, while assisting and encouraging our students to realize who they are in Christ.


n Interdenominational Christian education n Weekly chapel and daily Bible classes n Mission opportunities through clubs


n Member of AHSAA n SACS accredited/AISA Blue Ribbon School n College preparatory classes n Advancement placement classes n General education classes n Information technology curriculum n Before and after school program n Daily cafeteria program n Dual enrollment classes through University of Alabama n Average ACT of 27 for college prep seniors n 55% of 2017 Faith graduates received college scholarships n Elementary computer classes, free help classes



n Fenced and covered playgrounds n 35 acre athletic complex n 6,000 square foot state-of-the-art weight training facility n Gated and secure 127 acre campus in west Mobile n Separate elementary and kindergarten playgrounds


n Fine Arts and Drama Program n Award winning band and choir program n RamCorp (brass and percussion ensemble) that incorporates a dance team and color guard n Robotics program, 4-H Club n Student Government Association n BETA, NHS, Spanish Club n Competitive sports for grades 3 - 12 n Sports programs: Football, baseball, soccer, basketball, cheerleading, softball, golf, swimming, track/cross country, archery and volleyball


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om | 8650 Tanner Williams 36608 | 251.633.7267 43 Road, Mobile, AL

We accept Alabama Opportunity Scholarship Funds.

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11/10/17 9:33 PM

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There is nothing more heartwarming than a gift made by a child. Handmade gifts are affordable, fun to make, and can be given to parents, grandparents, teachers, and siblings. Here are some gifts that are sure to make someone special smile this holiday season. Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017


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All you need is a child’s cooperation, some paint, and a little creativity to make a gift that will be cherished for years. Handprints, fingerprints, and even footprints can be used to make a variety of crafts and art. Websites like Pinterest are full of ideas of how to make a handprint into a picture of Santa, a Christmas tree, reindeer, or snowmen. There are literally hundreds of possibilities. Try putting your child’s prints on an apron, ornament, tea towel, oven mitt, or T-shirt to give to a special someone. Make sure to follow the directions on the paint to ensure that the design lasts for years. As a bonus, your kids will love getting messy during the process.

Tasty Treats

Kids love to help out in the kitchen, so why not put together some tasty treats for some sweet people in your life? Get the kids involved in the holiday baking and put together a plate of cookies the kids can help deliver to a neighbor or friend. Putting a homemade cookie mix into a mason jar also makes an easy gift that kids can help with. Finish the jar with a holiday bow and instructions and it’s ready to be delivered.

Frame It

Photos make a favorite gift for any proud aunt, uncle, parent, or grandparent. Get kids involved in picking out favorite photos from the past year and putting them into a collage with handmade drawings or a poem. Try making a scrapbook page that can be framed for a special gift. Picture frames can be made with decorated popsicle sticks, clay, or an existing frame can be painted or decorated with mosaic tiles, buttons, or other craft supplies. Affordable frames can be found at local thrift stores or the dollar store.

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


Advance tickets available online and at the Gardens.

Personalized Gifts

Nothing is more thoughtful than a gift made to fit the recipient’s personal tastes. Talk to your child about the their favorite hobbies and tailor the gift to their interests. For example, use permanent markers to decorate golf balls for the golf lover in your life, decorate a plain coffee mug for the coffee lover in the family, have your child create a special bookmark for the bookworm you know, or use fingerprints to decorate wooden utensils for your favorite chef. Kids can also use scrapbook paper, stickers, craft supplies, and cardstock to make custom stationery. Making personalized gifts also helps teach kids to be



Ph observant of other’s interests that may be outside their own.

Utilize Beads

Beads are an affordable and versatile craft item that can be used for a variety of gifts. Small children can string beads on a pipe cleaner to make a candy cane or cross ornament. Older children can make personalized jewelry or key chains for loved ones. Pony beads can be melted to make into a suncatcher, mobile, or even a bowl. With beads, you can give your child some ideas and let their creativity lead them.

Spa at Home

Do you know someone who needs some rest and relaxation? Try mixing equal parts white or brown sugar and olive oil for an easy sugar scrub that is a great gift for anyone who deserves a day at the spa. There are many recipes for homemade soaps, sugar scrubs, and bath salts available online. Many can be mixed together in just minutes and cost very little to make. This luxurious gift may be quick and affordable, but it is sure to make your recipients feel loved and appreciated. There is great value in teaching kids to give gifts to others. They learn to be generous, thoughtful, and experience the joy of giving. They also learn the important lesson that gifts do not need to cost a fortune to be cherished. MBP Sarah Lyons is a freelance writer and stay at home mom to six children. Her kids enjoy creating special gifts for loved ones.

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017


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Photos with Santa at the Wharf

November 17 - December 24, 2017 @ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 Ho Ho Holiday photo time in Santa’s Village at The Wharf. Sit with jolly Claus and capture the moment forever! Fridays: 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm; Saturdays: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm; Sundays: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm.Week of Christmas (Dec. 18-23) 10:00am7:00pm and December 24 from 12:00pm-2:00pm. (251) 224-1000

The Wharf Ice Rink

November 17, 2017 - January 14, 2018 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. Share this unique experience with family and friends. Plan a date night! Whatever the occasion, coast on blades with us along the coast.Weekdays: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Weekends: 10:00am-10:00pm, Thanksgiving Break: Nov 17 – 26, 10:00am – 10:00pm; Christmas Break: Dec 16 – 31, 10:00am – 10:00pm Some dates subject to change, please check website calendar for full schedule. $10 to skate, $13 combo to skate & ride the Ferris Wheel. (251) 224-1000

Magic Christmas in Lights at Bellingrath Gardens & Home ad on page 45

November 24, 2017 - December 31, 2018 @ Bellingrath Gardens and Home Theodore, AL 36582 It’s one of the nation’s best holiday light shows, and it’s right here in south Alabama! Bellingrath Gardens and Home presents the 22nd season of Magic Christmas in Lights in 2017.The dazzling nighttime display features more than 1,100 set pieces, 3 million lights and 15 scenes, set out in a walking tour throughout the 65-acre Garden estate. The holiday event includes nightly choral performances on the South Terrace of the Home Magic Christmas in Lights is open daily from 5:00pm – 9:00pm. (251) 973-2217

Resort and Light Railway. Great holiday fun for the whole family! Ride an authentic Steam Train through a wonderland of lights, snow, and decorations to the North Pole. Children visit with Santa in the Winter-wonderland barn and receive a free wooden toy. Our staff can take your family photo with Santa. Free Refreshments, Mini-Train Ride, Hay Ride, Playground, and Bounce House. In addition, Petting Zoo, Pony Ride, and Snowball Cannon are available for a slight fee. Try our Cafe’s new menu options, and a Gift Shop full of train items ideal for Christmas presents! Open November 24 through December 24. Hours: WEEKENDS: Fri’s, Sat’s, and Sun’s, 4:00pm-9:00pm; Beginning Dec. 11, open NIGHTLY, 4:00pm - 9:00pm. Admission is $15/person, plus tax. 2 and under are free. Group rates, field trips, and parties can be booked in advance. Located on Co. Rd. 9 between Fairhope and Silverhill. For information call 888-569-5337 or go to Experience the wonder! Register on website for coupons early in the season and order online now.

(888) 569-5337

Fish River Christmas Tree Farm

November 24 - December 23 13982 Woodhaven Dairy Road East, Summerdale There has always been something magical and heartwarming about a family trip to the country to search for that perfect Christmas tree. Enjoy strolling our beautiful 40-acre Christmas Tree Farm and evergreen nursery. Take a free ride on The Tannebaum Express “tree train” for a fun filled farm tour (weekends only). View our manger scene with live animals! Camel Rides, Pony Rides and Christmas Bounce House. Santa will arrive for visits on the first three weekends beginning on Friday November 24th to November 26th, December 2nd - 3rd, and December 9th-10th. Take a tour of the farm and view the wide selection of trees including our choose and cut trees, our special container-grown Living Christmas Trees that can be decorated then planted after the holidays. We have fabulous shipped in firs, flocked and snow-tipped trees. Also available are fresh wreaths, centerpieces, and garlands.

Wales West Arctic Express

(251) 988-8114

November 24 - December 24, 2017 @ Wales West RV Resort and Light Railway 13670 Smiley Street Silverhill, AL 36576 All aboard the Arctic Express at Wales West RV

November 24, 2017 - December 22, 2017 Corner of Ann and Virginia St Mobile, AL 36604 Optimist Club Christmas Tree Lot - The proceeds from our Christmas Tree sales are donated to our

ad on page 33

Optimist Club Christmas Tree Lot


local Boys & Girls Club on Michigan Ave and to student athletes throughout the year. The Tree Lot is run on a volunteer basis by members of the Optimist Club and has been for over 60 years! Boys from the Boys & Girls Club are there to help assist customers pick out the perfect tree and load it on their car. Times: Monday-Friday from 12:00pm-8:00pm. Saturday-Sunday from 10:00am-7:00pm.

The Fort of Colonial Mobile Ice Skating and More

November 24, 2017 - March 4, 2018 @ Fort of Colonial Mobile 150 South Royal Street Mobile, AL 36602 We can’t wait to for the holiday season. Ice Skating at the Fort - Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am-8:00pm, Fridays and Saturdays 10:00am9:00pm and Sundays 10:00am-8:00pm. (Last tickets sold 1 hour prior to closing). Ice Skating with Elsa will be held on select Saturday’s in December. In December - pictures with Santa Thursdays and Saturdays from 5:00pm-8:00pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00pm-8:00pm. Breakfast with Santa - December 9 at 8:00am, 9:30am and 11:00am. Brunch with the Grinch - Sunday, December 10, 17 and Saturday December 23 at 9:00am, 10:30am and 12:00pm. (251) 802-3092

Lights of Love 2017 ad on Inside Front Cover

November 28, 2017 @ USA Women’s and Children’s Hospital 1700 Center Street Mobile, AL 36604 USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital invites the community to a special tree-lighting ceremony and holiday festival. This event is free and open to the public. Beginning at 4:30 p.m. local children’s choirs and other live acts will perform, Santa and Ronald McDonald will be on hand for photos and everyone can enjoy crafts and sweet treats. At dusk, a 50 foot tall tree will sparkle with more than 350,000 lights. A snow village will be on display inside the hospital’s main lobby complete with a train that chugs through the winter wonderland. For the seventh year, USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital is partnering with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mobile and USA Mitchell Cancer Institute for Lights of Love. Parking will be available at USA’s new Strada Patient Care Center and Mitchell Cancer Institute. (251) 694-6873

Christmas Tree Lighting at the Wharf

November 28, 2017 @ 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 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. Enjoy special festive musical performances, cookie decorating, letters to Santa, cups of toasty hot chocolate, reading of The Christmas Story by the Mayor of Orange Beach and much more. Watch out for the firetruck because Santa may just be aboard! Stay and shimmy along with the Holiday SPECTRA Sound & Light Spectacular to conclude the event. Time: 5:30pm. Free admission. (251) 224-1000

USA Concert Choir & University Chorale Holiday Concert

November 28, 2017 @ Laidlaw Performing Arts 5751 USA Drive South Mobile, AL 36608 Repertoire includes beautiful sacred works by composers from all eras, as well as fun contemporary settings of holiday carols where even the audience may be asked to sing along. As always, there will be holiday classics mixed in with new sacred and secular settings. Come join us! (251) 460-6136

Candlelight at The Loop

December 1, 2017 @ Midtown Mobile Its time for Candlelight at the Loop with open houses and lots of surprises. Time: 5:00pm-8:00pm. (251) 479-8133

Christmas Runway- A Toy Drive Event December 1, 2017 @ Gallery 450 450 Dauphin Street Mobile, AL 36602 Join us for Exalte’s 2nd annual Christmas night

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017

of fashion for the Holiday Season! The night will be filled with fashion and fun and all in the spirit of Christmas and giving back to our local children with our toy drive.Toy Donations are appreciated for our local children. Time: 6:00pm.

Christmas Tree Lighting in Semmes

December 1, 2017 @ Semmes Library 9150 Moffett Road Semmes, AL 36575 Semmes ushers in the holiday season December 1 with our annual Christmas Tree Lighting, Gather with family, friends and neighbors for this heart-warming seasonal favorite! This event starts at 4:30pm with the tree lighting at dark at Semmes Library Parking lot. (251) 649-8811

Mobile Symphony Youth Orchestra “Holiday Concert”

December 1, 2017 407 East Laurel Avenue Foley, AL 36535 The child musicians are sure to move audiences with sounds of the Christmas season. $5.00 suggested donation. Time: 7:00pm. (251) 943-1545

Semmes Old Fashioned Christmas

December 1, 2017 @ Semmes Heritage Park 3871 Wulff Road Semmes, AL 36575 This free event is sponsored by Semmes Heritage Park begins with a musical program presented by Indian Springs Baptist Children’s Choir directed by Diane Moore in Malone Chapel. After the program guest may proceed to the 1902 Semmes Schoolhouse were cookies and hot apple cider are served by lamplight. Open house in the log cabin reveals a Christmas Cedar tree decorated with wooden Christmas ornaments, ice cycles and a homemade star on top. Time: 5:30pm.


USA Holiday Concert

December 1, 2017 @ Mitchell Center Mobile, AL 36608 Enjoy an exciting celebration of the world’s favorite seasonal music during this holiday concert by the University of South Alabama Department of Music. Performances will feature faculty and student soloists and ensembles including Concert Choir, Chorale, Wind Ensemble, Opera Theatre, Orchestra and a variety of vocal, woodwind, brass, string, percussion ensembles, and the Jaguar Marching Band. Indulge in some light refreshments following the concert on the arena floor. departments/mitchellcenter/upcomingevents.html

A Holiday Market and Art Bazaar Botanical Gardens

December 1 - 2, 2017 @ Mobile Botanical Gardens 5151 Museum Drive Mobile, AL 36608 Support the Garden and buy local! You will find many local and handmade goods as well and a great selection of Camellias and poinsettias at this fun event. Presented in conjunction with the Mobile County Master Gardener Greenery Sale. Enjoy one-stop Holiday shopping! Hours: Friday, December 1 9:00am-4:00pm and Saturday, December 2 9:00am-2:00pm. (251) 342-0555

Grand Bay Country Christmas

December 1 - 2, 2017 12610 Old US 90 Grand Bay, AL 36541 An Annual Event that takes place every year in December. The weekend kicks off Friday night at 5:30pm with Santa Riding into town and the Lighting of the Tree! We will also have the train, games, food, & diy cookie decorating. We will have various entertainment throughout the night as well. Saturday

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kicks off with Santa arriving to have Cookies & Milk and free pictures with Santa from 11:00am-1:00pm. This is a FREE event; however, we are asking for a non-perishable food item donation. The vendor market will be from 9:00am-3:00pm. Come get your Christmas shopping done! We will have food trucks, fun, and attractions for kiddos as well. (251) 298-8089

Holiday Horse & Carriage Rides

December 1-3, December 8-10, December 15-17 @ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 Are you “saddled up” for the holidays yet? If not, then mosey on over to The Wharf and spend an evening under the moon in an enchanted horsedrawn carriage. Trot along through streets and gaze at the lights and decorations with your loved ones. You’ll want to have your camera ready for this ride! Time: 6:00pm-10:00pm. Cost - $20. (251) 224-1000

Gulf Coast Ducks - Holiday Ducks

December 1 - 23, 2017 @ Fort of Colonial Mobile 150 South Royal Street Mobile, AL 36602 Start a new family tradition and join us for a Jingle Cruise as we embark on a cheerful Holiday adventure and roll through the streets of downtown and splash twice into the Mobile River. View all of the city lights and enjoy sing a longs and holiday cheer. You’re not going to want to miss this hour-long holiday adventure! (251) 802-8687

Alabama School of the Arts presents “White Christmas”

December 1 - December 2, 2017 @ Saraland Performing Arts Center 1115 Industrial Parkway Saraland, AL 36571 Prepare to be swept away by the sumptuous orchestrations and vocal stylings of Irving Berlin’s

“White Christmas.” This seasonal classic boasts a cast of 32 students and 20-piece orchestra, and is led by Dr. Scott Wright of the Mobile Opera. The story is brought to life on the stage by University of Mobile alumni and national performer Peter Lake, and New York-based choreographer Elyn Collier. Time: 7:00pm.

Market on Sage

Hunting Club to the Grand Mariner Restaurant on Dog River. Start time: dusk.

Dauphin Island Christmas Parade

December 2, 2017 @ Cadillac Square Dauphin Island, AL 36528 29th Annual Dauphin Island Christmas Parade.

December 1 - December 2, 2017 @ St. Pius Family Life Center 217 South Sage Avenue Mobile, AL 36606 St Pius X Catholic School is having their annual market! Come out and mark items off your Christmas list! (251) 471-2449

3rd Annual Christmas Jubilee Arts & Crafts at Georgetown Assembly of God

December 2, 2017 @ Georgetown Assembly of God 9436 Wilmer George Road Wilmer, AL 36587 Third annual Christmas Jubilee arts & crafts at Georgetown Assembly of God from 9:00am-4:00pm.

Christmas in Satsuma 2017 Arts & Crafts Festival and Reindeer Run

December 2, 2017 @ Baldwin Square Satsuma, AL 36572 Annual Reindeer Run 5K is held in The City of Satsuma on the First Saturday of December of each year. It begins at 8:00am at Baldwin Square. (251) 303-3022

Christmas on the River Lighted Boat Parade

December 2, 2017 @ Dog River 6036 Rock Point Road Mobile, AL 36605 Join us for the Annual Christmas on the River Boat Parade. This event cruises from the Alba Fishing &

Holiday Meet and Greet

December 2, 2017 @ Semmes Library 9150 Moffett Road Semmes, AL 36575 The public is invited to Semmes Public Library for a “Holiday Meet & Greet” artists and authors from the Semmes community--a great opportunity to mingle, enjoy refreshments and perhaps pick up a gift or two. Time: 2:00pm-4:00pm. (251) 645-6840

Mobile’s Singing Children Annual Christmas Concert - Ceremony of Carols December 2, 2017 @ Cathedral of Immaculate Conception 2 South Claiborne Street Mobile, AL 36602 Mobile’s Singing Children Annual Christmas Concert - Ceremony of Carols will be performed at 7:00pm.

Nutcracker Tea Bragg-Mitchell Mansion

December 2, 2017 @ Bragg-Mitchell Mansion 1906 Spring Hill Avenue Mobile, AL 36607 The Bragg-Mitchell Mansion will host a children’s Nutcracker Tea Fundraiser December 2, 2017 from 3:30pm to 5:30pm. Dancers from the Mobile Ballet Dance Troupe will make a guest appearance. Ticket sales will begin in mid-November for this fun event. (251) 471-6364

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

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

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


Pet Photos with Santa

5th Annual Holiday Market

December 2, 2017 @ B&B Pet Stop 5035 Cottage Hill Road Mobile, AL 36693 “Pet Photos with Santa” at B&B Pet Stop is Saturday, December 2 at 2:00pm. Photos are $10 cash for each 4”X6” photo. Other sizes will be available at the event for an additional cost. Proceeds from the event will benefit Friends of the Mobile Animal Shelter.

December 3, 2017 @ OK Bicycle Shop 661 Dauphin Street Mobile, AL 36602 Make sure you mark your calendar for our 5th Annual Holiday Market located in front of the OK Bicycle Shop on Sunday December 3rd from 1:00pm4:00pm as we will have local vendors selling their unique items from clothes, jewelry, specialty made food items, art, furniture, home decor, handbags, candles, beauty products and the list goes on!

Satsuma Christmas Parade

Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes Christmas Open House

(251) 661-3474

December 2, 2017 Satsuma , AL 36572 Start Time: 11:00am

SouthWest Mobile County Chamber of Commerce 2017 Christmas Parade

December 2, 2017 @ W.C. Griggs Elementary 6001 Three Notch Road Mobile, AL 36619 Parade will begin at 10:00am.. Parade lineup begins at 8:00 a.m. at W.C. Griggs Elementary School on Three Notch Road in Tillman’s Corner. (251) 666-2488

SouthWest Mobile County Chamber of Commerce 2017 Santa Breakfast and Wreaths for Charity

December 2, 2017 @ SouthWest Mobile County Chamber of Commerce 5055 Carol Plantation Road Mobile, AL 36619 SouthWest Mobile County Chamber of Commerce Santa breakfast will be held at 8:00am. 5th Annual Wreaths for Charity, sponsored by the SouthWest Mobile County Chamber of Commerce and area businesses, will offer handmade artificial wreaths for sale on Saturday, December 2 at Breakfast with Santa. The sale will help raise funds for families in need. (251) 666-2488

The Piney Woods School Cotton Blossom Singers Holiday Concert

December 2, 2017 @ Ben May Main Library 701 Government Street Mobile, AL 36602 The Piney Woods School in Mississippi was founded in 1909 and is the largest of the four, remaining historical black boarding schools in the country. The Cotton Blossom Singers was formed in 1921 and has received national acclaim as guests on many television programs and other appearances. The Choir will present a Variety Musical with some Christmas favorites for the Holiday season. Following the concert, please join us for light refreshments in the Armbrecht/Briskman Meeting Room. Time: 3:00pm. Admission is free. (251) 208-7097

Christmas at the Richards DAR House

December 2 - 3, 2017 @ Richards DAR House 256 North Joachim Street Mobile, AL 36603 Experience a historic home ready for the holidays! The house will be decorated, homemade refreshments will be served and entertainment on hand to celebrate the holiday season. Times: Saturday from 10:00am-4:00pm and Sunday from 1:00pm4:00pm.Tickets sold at the door. (251) 208-7320

Christ is Born! ad on page 41

December 3, 2017 @ Christ United Methodist Church 6101 Grelot Road Mobile, AL 36609 Bring the whole family and join us at 6pm as we share the wonderful story of Christ’s birth! It will be a night filled with the musical talents of our adult, youth and children choirs accompanied by various ensembles, handbells and instruments. (251) 342-0462

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017

December 3, 2017 6512 Grelot Road Mobile, AL 36695 Would you like to know more about how to partner with us to help children and families in your community? We’d love for you to attend our Christmas Open House to find out! Tour our home in Mobile and see how our children have decorated for Christmas, while enjoying holiday treats. Join us from 2:00pm-5:00pm. (251) 639-1022

Bella Voce - Christmas Concert

December 3, 2017 @ St. Paul’s Episcopal Church 4051 Old Shell Road Mobile, AL 36608 Bella Voce of Mobile, Mobile’s premiere women’s chorus, presents “Christmas Gift”, their tenth annual concert of beloved classics for the Christmas and holiday season, Sunday, December 3rd at 4:00pm. A festive reception will follow in the Parish Hall. Admission is free.

Christmas on the Hill

December 3, 2017 @ Village of Springhill Mobile, AL 36608 Christmas on the Hill” in the Village of Spring Hill is scheduled for Sunday, December 3rd from 1:00pm-5:00pm. Christmas on the Hill is an annual holiday event created and promoted by the Spring Hill Merchants Association. This year a selection of the Village of Spring Hill’s finest boutiques will once again open their doors with special store hours, holiday refreshments, Free Trolley Rides, sleigh rides, photos with Santa, holiday music and a variety of children’s activities as well as sales and special merchandise promotions.

National Cookie Day

December 3, 2017 @ The Shoppes at Bel Air 3299 Bel Air Mall, Mobile, AL 36606 Join us and your favorite Disney Princesses for our Second Annual Cookie Decorating Day from 2PM-3PM. Enjoy holiday music, cookie decorating, princesses and fun! Entertainment provided by Sunshine Sue’s Playgarden, Make Believe Parties, Great American Cookie and The Shoppes at Bel Air. *Cookies limited to one per person, while supplies last.

Roman Street with Eric Essix Move Trio Christmas Concert

December 3, 2017 @ Saenger Theatre 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, AL 36602 Roman Street & Eric Essix Move Trio – Christmas Concert with special guests The Jazz Studio. The concert at 7:00pm.

Tea with Mrs. Claus

December 3, 2017 @ Spa Tea Da 3938 Government Boulevard Mobile, AL 36693 Mrs. Claus is coming to Spa-Tea-Da! again this Holiday Season and she is bringing along Sparkle... her very favorite elf! Sparkle loves glitter and she will polish nails and apply sparkling makeup to get ready for the Very Merry Tea Party! First Mrs. C will read her all time favorite story book, The Night Before Christmas! Peppermint tea, apple juice and tea party treats will be served at this special tea party! Mrs. Claus is happy to take letters back to Santa at the North Pole if anyone needs to get a special message to him before Christmas! $25.00 per child. Reservations and pre payment are required. (251) 447-4846

Holiday Cheer

December 4, 2017 @ Five 609 Dauphin Street Mobile, AL 36602 Holiday Cheer to benefit the Child Advocacy Center will be held Monday, December 4th from 5:00pm – 8:30pm. The event will feature samplings of The FIVE’s signature dishes and wines to taste provided by United Johnson Brothers, along with a select live auction of holiday gifts and live music by Jerry Squires. Tickets will be available at the FIVE and the CAC for $35 each. (251) 432-1101

“A Night of Christmas Music” Choral Concert

December 5, 2017 @ Life Church Mobile 8701 Zeigler Boulevard Mobile, AL 36608 Join all of the choirs from Faith Academy this Christmas Season to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas through Music! The concert includes music from Faith Academy’s Elementary, Junior, Women’s, Senior, Chamber Choirs along with small ensembles formed from wishing the groups! Admission is free, and a special offering will be taken up during the concert! Join us for this beautiful “Night of Christmas Music”. Time: 6:30pm.

Pet Night with Santa

December 5, 2017 @ Bel Air Mall 3299 Bel Air Mall, Mobile, AL 36606 Pet owners and their leashed dogs and cats may visit the “North Pole” at The Shoppes at Bel Air for pictures with Santa. ARF will also be on-site for a pet adoption!

Tis the Season - Family Support’s Annual Fundraiser

December 5, 2017 @ Wintzell’s 6700 Airport Boulevard Mobile, AL 36608 Tis-the-Season, Family Support’s annual fundraiser, will be held Tuesday, December 5th at Wintzell’s - West Mobile. Start the holiday fun! Registration is $75 per person. A festive holiday buffet, beer & wine bar, door prizes, holiday trivia games, and Wintzell’s special dessert, will be offered from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Since 1994 Family Support has worked to address the needs of children with disabilities and their families, providing flexible assistance to help with whatever is needed

Live Nativity Hayride ad on page 41

Semmes Holiday Bazaar

December 3, 2017 @ Semmes Community Center 10141 Moffett Road Semmes, AL 36575 “Semmes Holiday Bazaar,” hosted by Taste of the Holidays and Gift Show is Sunday, December 3, from 1:00pm-6:00pm. There’ll be vendors, music, fashion show, children’s activities, door prizes and so much more. Entry fee is $5. Toy donations for local children would be appreciated.


December 6, 2017 @ Christ United Methodist Church 6101 Grelot Road Mobile, AL 36609 In celebration of the Christmas season, travel in a hayride with us through the story of Jesus’ birth in a Live Nativity. This will be a unique way to experience the Christmas story for everyone of all ages! The Live Nativity will be located in the Christ UMC wooded area near the Patch. We will serve hot cocoa to keep you warm. The hayride is open 5pm - 7pm. (251) 342-0462

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Playhouse in the Park presents “A Christmas Carol”

December 6, 2017 @ Saenger Theatre 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, AL 36602 The beloved Dickens’ Christmas story will come to life on the Saenger Theatre stage in downtown Mobile on Wednesday, December 6 at 7:30 pm. Start your holidays with this delightful production, sure to entertain with all the familiar characters – Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Marley, and of course, Tiny Tim. Don’t miss this special event! (251) 602-0630

Elite 88 “Classics & Christmas” Concert

December 7, 2017 @ University of Mobile, Moorer Auditorium 5735 College Parkway Eight Mile, AL 36613 The Elite 88 Piano Ensemble celebrates Christmas with an evening of exciting classical selections and memorable holiday classics performed by our piano students from the Alabama School of the Arts. 7pm.

Mobile Museum of Art – Holiday Art Market

December 7, 2017 @ Mobile Museum of Art 4850 Museum Drive Mobile, AL 36608 Join us on December 7 from 5:00pm – 9:00pm for our Holiday Art Market. Support your local artists and join the party and shopping fun with great food, drink, and live music. (251) 208-5200

St. Mary “Lighting Up Midtown” Christmas Tree Lighting!

December 7, 2017 107 Lafayette Street Mobile, AL 36604 Christmas Tree lighting begins at 7:00pm on the St.

Mary Parish Campus featuring Food Trucks, Snow, Hot Chocolate, Cookies, and more! Tree lighting by the Lafayette Street Fire Fighters. Event follows the 5:30 p.m. Feast of The Immaculate Conception Vigil Mass and annual Christmas Performance by St. Mary Catholic School students in the church.

(251) 432-8678


December 8, 2017 @ Bienville Square Mobile, AL 36602 This is Mobile’s chance to break the Guinness World Record for most elves in one place. To be a part of the official count, come wearing red, green, an elf hat and - whatever you do - don’t forget your pointy ears! Time: 5:00pm-8:00pm.

The Santa Experience

December 8 - 9, 2017 @ Ellenburg Photography 914 Saraland Blvd South Saraland, AL 36571 This holiday season, Ellenburg Photography is offering you and your family a one of a kind Magical Christmas Experience. Private uninterrupted time for you and your family with Santa with all the personal touches of the North Pole. See your child’s name on the Nice List; Read your Christmas wish list to Santa; Learn about how Santa travels all over the world in one night; Hang a special ornament on the tree with Santa; Enjoy cookies & milk with Santa. Magical Christmas moments will be created into beautiful portraits and precious memories for years to come. Call or visit our website to book your time and purchase tickets. Limited Spaces are Available! (251) 656-7601

Christmas in the Country

December 8 and December 9 2017 @ Middleton Farms 21500 Otis Cooper Road Moss Point, MS 39562 Enjoy Christmas in the Country from 5:00pm -

9:00pm. Visitors will experience the Field of Lights, Moo-ey Express Train Ride, photos with Santa & Mrs. Claus, Christmas movie on our 220” screen, shopping with vendors and much more! Admission is $10. Children 2 and under admitted free. Pre-Sale tickets are $2 off. Pony rides are available for an additional $5. Located only 15 miles from Mobile Regional Airport.

Billy Claus visits Lulu’s! ad on page 9

December 9, 2017 @ LuLu’s 200 East 25th Avenue Gulf Shores, AL 36542 Enjoy a full day of arts & crafts, live music and get your picture taken with Billy Claus and his LuLubelle’s. Make sure to leave Billy your Christmas list so that he can personally deliver it to his brother (you may have heard of him) Santa Claus. What a better way to kick off the holiday season than a day here with all of your friends and family at LuLu’s. (251) 967-LULU (5858);

Christmas on the Farm ad on page 39

December 9, 2017 @ Seward Farms 10836 Tanner Williams Road Lucedale, MS 39452 Experience the most wonderful time of the year with Seward Farms at Christmas on the Farm! Activities include live Nativity Scene, Santa pictures, buy homemade Cowboy Chili at Wagon Wheel Café, hot cider and hot chocolate! Sing your favorite Christmas songs, Hayrides, Funny Farm Golf, Jumping Pillow, Yee Haw Slide, Cow Trains, Pony Rides, stay warm by the camp fires and much more. Christmas on the Farm is from 2pm - 7pm. Advance tickets are $10 or $12 at the door. (228) 641-3936






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Curious Christmas at the Exploreum ad on page 49

December 9, 2017 @ Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center and IMAX Theatre 65 South Government Street Mobile, AL 36602 Join the Gulf Coast Exploreum for our Curious Christmas at the Exploreum event on December 9th from 10:00am-3:00pm for our annual family friendly holiday event full of fun, STEM learning, and holiday cheer! Santa will be on hand to hear children’s Christmas Wish Lists before heading back to the North Pole for the busiest night of his year. Animal Tales, LLC will be here with their Holiday Safari animal experience. Don’t forget to wear your geeky sweater or holiday themed costume to help celebrate the holidays in true nerdy fashion! General Admission: $10 IMAX/Exhibit Combo, Members: $2 per person, Children under four years old get in free to exhibits and event. (IMAX additional charge.) (251) 208-6873

Mobile Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” ad on page 3

Annual Chickasaw Christmas Parade

December 9, 2017 50 12th Avenue Chickasaw, AL 36611 Mark your calendar for the Annual Chickasaw Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 9th at 3:00pm. (251) 452-6467

Bragg-Mitchell Mansion Christmas Open House

December 9, 2017 @ Bragg-Mitchell Mansion 1906 Spring Hill Avenue Mobile, AL 36607 Guests are invited to tour the Mansion with traditional decorations adorning each room, enjoy homemade refreshments, beautiful music, children’s storytelling and shopping in our gift shop. Santa may even make an appearance. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children for children under 12 years, in advance. Day-of- event tickets are subject to availability and are $12 adults/$7 children under 12 years. All proceeds from this fun and worthwhile fundraiser help support the continued preservation and operation of Bragg-Mitchell Mansion. Tickets may be purchased through www. (251) 471-6364

Dauphin Island Christmas Tree Lighting

December 9 - 10, 2017 @ Mobile Civic Center Theatre 401 Civic Center Drive Mobile, AL 36602 Mobile Ballet will take you on a magical journey of brilliant dancing, sumptuous sets, and gorgeous costumes. This is a favorite for all ages. Saturday, December 9 at 2:30pm and 7:30pm and Sunday, December 10 at 2:30pm.

December 9, 2017 @ Water Tower Dauphin Island, AL You are invited to our “Christmas Tree Lighting Party” - Let it snow! We will be decorating a tree for the holidays. Bring the kids, young and old. Cookies, hot chocolate, and hot cider for all as you listen to the carolers and enjoy the Christmas lights. Time: Dusk.

(251) 342-2241

2017 Semmes Christmas Tour

Holiday Half Marathon & 8K Run

December 9, 2017 @ Allentown Elementary 10330 Howells Ferry Road Semmes, AL 36575 Tis the season, and Semmes Woman’s Club is pleased to announce that our ninth Semmes Christmas TOUR is coming soon on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 3:00pm-7:00pm. You are invited to kick off the season right by joining in the holiday cheer with family and friends. The starting site is Allentown Elementary where TOUR guests will enjoy “tastings” of Southern favorites presented by local restaurants and specialty shops. At the Tasting Tour participants will receive a TOUR map to visit beautifully decorated Host Homes, a one-of-a kind She Shed, and a Christmas Surprise. In addition, five local retail shops are partnering on the TOUR and will have extended hours and special discounts for TOUR guests. Participants will use the self-guided TOUR map to visit all stops and have the map marked at each stop to be eligible to win great prizes. The TOUR is a great way to start Christmas with stylish fun for all. The 2017 Semmes Christmas TOUR is an endorsed Alabama200 Bicentennial Event. $10 Pre-Sale Tickets available at Semmes Senior Center, Meggie B’s Gifts and Hickory Pit TOO and online at Ticket price includes both the Taste of Semmes and the Tour of Semmes. $12 Tickets at the door. Like us on FB (Semmes Christmas Tour) and Instagram @semmeswomansclub. 251-288-7972

Annual “Christmas through the Ages” at Fort Gaines

December 9, 2017 @ Fort Gaines 51 Bienville Boulevard Dauphin Island, AL 36528 The 34th Annual Christmas through the Ages at Fort Gaines Historic Site at Dauphin Island will showcase the holiday through the eyes of soldiers and their families during the 1700s and 1800s. Visiting children will make Christmas ornaments from seashells and other non-traditional items. Time: 9:00am-5:00pm. (251) 861-6992

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017

December 9, 2017 @ Mullet Point Park 13203 County Road 1 Fairhope, AL 36532 The Holiday Half Marathon & 8K Run will start at 8:30am at Mullet Point Park (Take Scenic 98 south of the Grand Hotel to the intersection with County Road 1; Mullet Point Park is on the right). Pre-register by mail (entries should be postmarked by December 5), in person at McCoy Outdoor or RunN-Tri in Mobile or Running Wild in Fairhope until noon on December 7, or online Race day registration from 7:00 to 8:15 AM at Mullet Point Park. (251) 473-7223

Outdoor Holiday Market, 5 Rivers Cypress Gift Shop and Welcome Center

December 9, 2017 @ 5 Rivers Delta Center 30945 Five Rivers Blvd Spanish Fort, AL 36527 Join us for our 1st Outdoor Holiday Market from 9am- 2pm. Enjoy a cup of something warm while you shop for unique, locally made, handmade gifts. Featuring local artisans, authors, wood turners, crafters, glassblowers as well as our other wonderful outdoor themed items from the 5 Rivers Cypress Gift Shop. Buy local, enjoy a day outside, and support the conservation efforts of our Mobile-Tensaw Delta. (251) 625-0814

bands, antique cars, and lots of throws will be held on Saturday, Dec. 9th beginning at 10:00am.

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(251) 649-8811

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Christmas at Oak Park

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December 9 - 10, 2017 @ Oak Park Church 3321 Sollie Road Mobile, AL 36695 Join us for Christmas at Oak Park Church. As part of the Christmas experience, the live production from the OPC choir will include special appearances from our own OPC Ballerinas & OPC Students. Other activities include a live nativity set as well as Hot Chocolate Meet and Greet. Event times are: December 9th at 6:00pm and December 10th at 10:30am. (251) 633-6110

Mobile Symphony presents “Mobile’s Magical Christmas”

December 9, 2017 - December 10, 2017 @ Saenger Theatre 6 Joachim Street Mobile, AL 36602 Be prepared for THE holiday experience of the season. We will be presenting not only the full force of the Mobile Symphony Orchestra but we will also be joined by Mobile’s Singing Children and soloist Diane Penning performing all your holiday favorites, popular movie music and lush Christmas arrangements originally created by legendary pops conductor Carmen Dragon for the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In addition, the entire Saenger Theatre will be decked out like you’ve never seen it before. From the moment you step into the theater, you will be fully immersed into the holiday spirit! December 9 at 7:30pm and December 10 at 2:30pm. (251) 432-2010

A Dauphin Way Christmas

December 10, 2017 @ Dauphin Way Baptist Church 3661 Dauphin Street Mobile, AL 36608 A Dauphin Way Christmas is December 10 from 6:00pm-7:30pm. The musical program is under the direction of Dr. Steve Bowersox and features the Dauphin Way Choir & Orchestra. The family-oriented event will offer interpretation for the deaf, as well as wheelchair seating as needed. Free Admission. (251) 342-3456

Christmas Concert - Happy Holidays

December 10, 2017 @ Government Street United Methodist Church 901 Government Street Mobile, AL 36604 Mobile Vocal Arts cordially invites you to our Happy Holidays Christmas concert. This FREE concert is open to the public and features a delightful mix of holiday classics and sure-to-become-favorites new songs that will delight and amuse you. Bring the entire family! (251) 406-1454

The Market at the Pillars

December 10, 2017 @ The Pillars 1757 Government Street Mobile, AL 36604 The Market at The Pillars is a fun afternoon of shopping with local artisans, vendors and food trucks! Come get your Christmas shopping done! Sunday Funday from 12:00pm-4:00pm in Midtown Mobile! (251) 307-5382

Saraland Christmas Parade and Mistletoe Market

The Mobile Pops Christmas Concert

December 9, 2017 401 Baldwin Road Saraland, AL 36571 The annual Christmas Parade will start at 12:00pm. The Mistletoe Market will take place before and after the Parade

December 11, 2017 @ Davidson High School Auditorium 3900 Pleasant Valley Road Mobile, AL 36609 Join us at 7:00pm at Davidson High School for our annual Christmas Concert. All concerts are FREE and open to the public.

(251) 675-4444

(251) 679-6036

Semmes Christmas Parade

4th Annual Dawes Christmas Parade

December 9, 2017 Highway 98 to Firetower Road Semmes, AL 36575 The Semmes Annual Christmas Parade with floats from area businesses and churches, marching


December 12, 2017 @ Living Word Church 2900 Dawes Road Mobile, AL 36695 The Dawes Christmas Parade will start at 1:00pm at Living Word Church (2900 Dawes Road) and

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December 14, 2017 @ Toulminville Branch 601 Stanton Road Mobile, AL 36619 A Family Holiday Event. Calling all children for our Holiday Pajama Storytime! Enjoy an evening of Holiday stories, games & songs. Light refreshments will be served too! Registration is encouraged. (251) 438-7075

The Mobile Pops Christmas Concert

December 14, 2017 @ Murphy High School 100 South Carlen Mobile, AL 36606 Enjoy a variety of holiday music performed by the Mobile Pops Band. 7:00pm -9:00pm at Murphy High School Auditorium. (251) 679-6036

The Vigil Project Advent Christmas Tour December 14, 2017 @ The Steeple on St. Francis 251 St Francis Street Mobile, AL 36602 The Advent Christmas program is a concert and night of prayer featuring the incredible artists from The Vigil Project

Gloria Dei Chorale Christmas Concert

December 15, 2017 @ Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception 2 South Claiborne Street Mobile, AL 36602 Gloria Dei Chorale, under the direction of Louis F. Daniel, will open its 19th season with its annual Christmas concert at 7:30pm at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Marshall

Richards, tenor, will be the soloist, and a string quintet and organ will accompany the group. Included on the program will be works by J.S. Bach, Dan Forrest, John Rutter, Ola Gjeilo, William Byrd, Eric Whitacre, and Louis Daniel. The concert is free and open to the public, but all donations taken at the door will benefit a local charity.

Christmas Movies at the Saenger Theatre

December 15 and 17, 2017 @ Saenger Theatre 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, AL 36602 The Christmas Holiday Movies will be Friday, December 15 at 7:00pm and Sunday, December 17 at 2:30pm. (251) 208-5600

Christmas at Oakleigh

December 16, 2017 @ Historic Oakleigh 300 Oakleigh Place Mobile, AL 36604 Step back in time and see Historic Oakleigh dressed in its holiday splendor. Christmas at Oakleigh will feature living history tours, storytelling, Santa’s workshop, a specialty silver exhibit and much more. Time: 4:00pm-8:00pm. Tickets are $10, with free admission for everyone under 10 years old. (251) 432-6161

First Annual Lighting up Lafayette

December 16, 2017 @ South Lafayette Street Mobile, AL 36604 Park the car and come take a stroll down our street. We are collecting canned goods for our neighborhood beneficiary (Little Sisters of the Poor.). Each participating home will have collection bins, coupled with FAB decor. Parking will be available at Dauphin Way United Methodist and the McGill Parking lots. Only foot traffic will be allowed during the event. Time: 5:30pm-8:30pm.

Fowl River Boat Parade

December 16, 2017 @ Pelican Reef 11799 Dauphin Island Pkwy Theodore, AL 36582 5:00pm-11:30pm. The boats in the parade are decorated with lights. The parade starts at The NoWake Zone at the end of Fowl River and go down the river making occasional stops to throw goodies to everyone on the docks. The parade ends at The Pelican Reef where a small ceremony is held to bestow a special award for the boat with the best lights.

Parade of Three’s

December 16, 2017 @ Dauphin Island Parkway 2051 Military Road Mobile, AL 36605 Christmas Parade of Threes will be held on December 16 at 2:00pm.

The Ninth Annual Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas

December 16, 2017 @ Saenger Theatre 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, AL 36602 The ninth annual Charlie Brown Jazz Christmas concert starts at 7:00pm on Saturday, December 16 at the Mobile Saenger Theatre. As always, the centerpiece is the remarkable portfolio of music that Vince Guaraldi composed for the classic animated program “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” a suite that has proven accessible to generations of children yet which also has an understated sophistication that rewards serious musicians and listeners. It’ll be performed by the Joe Cool Trio. (251) 208-5600

The Polar Express Pajama Party West Regional Branch

December 16, 2017 @ West Regional Branch 5555 Grelot Road Mobile, AL 36609 Holiday Treat! Wear your favorite Jammies and


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enjoy some popcorn and a showing of a Holiday favorite, The Polar Express. Time: 2:00pm-4:00pm. (251) 340-8571

Winter Wonderland

December 16, 2017 Cathedral Square and Bienville Square Mobile, AL Come play in artificial snow, take your picture with Santa Claus and shop for last minute Christmas gifts at the Christmas market in Cathedral Square. Mirrored after the Christmas market in Hamburg, Germany, the market will feature presents, locally grown produce and baked goods. Ride the Polar Express to Bienville Square for kids’ activities, music and more. (251) 208-1550

Christ United Methodist Church Christmas Services:

Beauty From Ashes: A Blue Christmas Service ad on page 41

December 17, 2017 @ Christ United Methodist Church 6101 Grelot Road Mobile, AL 36609 Are you missing your loved one or hurting this Christmas? We will remember those who have passed, pray for those far away, and seek God’s healing. Service time: 5:00pm at Christ Center Gym. (251) 342-0462

4th Annual Christmas Jubilee and Showcase

December 17, 2017 @ Tillman’s Corner Community Center 5055 Carol Plantation Road Mobile, Al 36619 We will have food, raffle items, pictures with Santa, dancing and vendors from all over at our event. Get some Christmas shopping done and sit back and enjoy our NGDC dancers take the stage. The cost to get in is $7.00 and your ticket will be entered into

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017

a drawing for one of our many raffle items. Time: 2:00pm-8:00pm. (251) 591-9899

Ornament Making Workshop West Regional Branch

December 19, 2017 @ West Regional Branch 5555 Grelot Road Mobile, AL 36609 Children and parents are invited to make their own ornaments for some added Holiday cheer for their homes. All ages. Time: 2:00pm-4:00pm. (251) 340-8571

Home Free, A Country Christmas Tour 2017

December 20, 2017 @ Mobile Saenger Theatre 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, AL 36602 Home Free, A Country Christmas Tour 2017 will take place at the Saenger Theatre at 8:00pm. (251) 208-7261

Celebrate Christmas Saraland Public Library

December 21, 2017 @ Saraland Public Library 111 Saraland Loop Saraland, AL 36571 Join us for hot cocoa and Christmas cookies! Make your own Christmas wreath and ornaments – we will celebrate everything Christmas! Ages 3 and up. Time: 6:00pm. Groups must register. (251) 675-2879

PJs & Polar Express

December 21, 2017 @ Moorer/Spring Hill Branch 4 South McGregor Avenue Mobile, AL 36608 Wear your favorite Jammies, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate for an afternoon showing of The Polar Express. All ages. Time: 2:00pm. (251) 470-7770


The Polar Express Ben May Main Library

December 21, 2017 @ Ben May Main Library 701 Government Street Mobile, AL 36602 All Aboard! Pick up a free ticket at the Children’s desk anytime December 1 – December 21. Wear your favorite Christmas PJs and join us for a showing of The Polar Express in our grand, old theater. “Melted Snow” and hot popcorn will be served. (251) 208-7086

Young Professionals of Mobile 2nd Annual Christmas Cocktail

December 21, 2017 @ The Pillars 1757 Government Street Mobile, AL 36604 It’s that time of year again! We are very excited to announce that the Young Professionals of Mobile will be hosting our 2nd Annual Christmas Cocktail at The Pillars on December 21st at 7:00pm! Tickets are being sold on our website for $10 a piece. We have a lot of great things lined up for the evening, so feel free to bring a guest. After the tremendous success of our event last year, we are hoping to have another great turnout to come see some live music, enjoy great food, and mingle with other young professionals of the Mobile area.

Home Alone Party Ben May Main Library

December 22, 2017 @ Ben May Main Library 701 Government Street Mobile, AL 36602 Wear your favorite sweater and mittens and enjoy an ice cream party celebrating one of our favorite Holiday films, Home Alone. Prizes will be given for the most unique sweaters & mittens. Time: 2:00pm5:00pm. Movies starts at 3:00pm. (251) 208-7086


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White Tie Christmas Concert

December 22, 2017 @ Mobile Civic Center 401 Civic Center Drive Mobile, AL 36602 A White Tie Christmas is an annual holiday concert series featuring music from Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Paul McCartney, The Eagles, Bruce Springsteen and other Holiday Classics! The Tied Up Quartet will add a classical touch to the White Tie Rock Ensemble as they recreate these timeless songs in the White Tie Sound tradition! Come celebrate the holiday season with the White Tie Rock Ensemble! (251) 208-7261

Carpe Diem’s Santa Run

December 23, 2017 @ Carpe Diem Coffee And Tea Company 4072 Old Shell Road Mobile, AL 36608 The Santa Run is an annual 2 mile fun-run, walk, bike ride dog walking, fun for the whole family charity event. Holiday Costumes are encouraged.

Holiday Crafts - 5 Rivers Delta Center

December 23, 2017 @ 5 Rivers Delta Center 30945 Five Rivers Blvd Spanish Fort, AL 36527 Have a bit of crafty fun to make homemade holiday cards, decorations, and memories. All ages, free, no registration required. Time: 10:00am-2:00pm. (251) 625-0814

Something Special for SaturdayGingerbread Decorating Party

December 23, 2017 @ Moorer/Spring Hill Branch 4 South McGregor Avenue Mobile, AL 36608 It’s time for our annual Gingerbread Decorating Party at 10:30am at the Moorer/Springhill Branch for ages 5 and up. (251) 470-7770

Christ United Methodist Church Christmas Services ad on page 41

December 24, 2017 @ Christ United Methodist Church 6101 Grelot Road Mobile, AL 36609 Christmas Eve Morning Services - 8:00 a.m.; 9:15 a.m.; 10:40 a.m. Sanctuary 9:15 a.m.; 10:40 a.m. Christ Center Gym. Christmas Eve Family - Communion Services 3:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. at Sanctuary. A child-friendly service with puppets and an interactive telling of the Christmas story. Christmas Eve Traditional Communion Service Sunday -6:00 p.m. & 11:00 p.m. Sanctuary. Join us for music, scripture readings, a Christmas message, Holy Communion and candlelight carols as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas Eve Modern Communion Service at 7:30 p.m. at Christ Center Gym. Come and experience live strings, an incredible band, and a meaning meaningful teaching that you don’t want to miss. (251) 342-0462

Noon Year’s Eve Celebration Moorer/Springhill Branch

December 30, 2017 @ Moorer/Spring Hill Branch 4 South McGregor Avenue Mobile, AL 36608 Join us for a kid friendly Noon Year’s Eve Party! Enjoy arts, crafts, popcorn, complete with a final countdown and balloon drop at NOON! Time: 11:00am. All ages.

December 31, 2017 @ Lulu’s 200 East 25th Avenue Gulf Shores, AL 36542 The Family friendly NOON Year’s Eve Celebration at LuLu’s starts at 10am! Noon Year’s is a FREE


Reel in the New Year at The Wharf

December 31, 2017 @ The Wharf 23101 Canal Road Orange Beach, AL 36561 2018, you’re on the hook and we’re bringin’ ya in. Reel in this upcoming year with us at The Wharf for our annual New Year’s Eve Street Party. Let’s bid adieu to 2017 in the grandest of style. Live bands, family-friendly AND 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! Time: 5:00pm-12:00am. Admission is FREE; Various kids activities range $5-$10. (251) 224-1000

Happy Noon Year’s

December 31, 2017 @ Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center and IMAX Theatre 65 South Government Street Mobile, AL 36602 Noon Year’s event complete with our very own mini MoonPie drop. Noon year countdown to 2018 and lots of family activities.

MoonPie Over Mobile New Year’s Eve Celebration

Noon Year’s Eve Celebration!

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family event for all ages to enjoy. We will have kid friendly “fireworks,” a massive beach ball drop when the clock strikes NOON, and more! See you there!

December 31, 2017 @ Downtown Mobile Mobile, AL 36602 Moonpie Over Mobile is back! With over 60,000 people in attendance last year, this year’s New Year’s event will usher in the new year and Mardi Gras season in grand style. Come and get a closeup look at the Moonpie as it drops in downtown Mobile. There will be live entertainment and a countdown to 2018 like no other. (251) 208-1550 MBP

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ents. The high school years are meant to be a preparation to launch them from home out into the world. Bear in mind that entire books have been written to help adults recover from the behavior of their misguided parents, who unconsciously clipped their wings because they couldn’t cope with the uncomfortable feelings that come with letting go. Your goal is to stay alert as you bravely prepare for a separation that is inevitable.

IF you feel weepy and clingy about the physical distance that will arise between you and your future young adult, you will set her up for feelings of guilt and obligation that won’t serve her as she forges her own path in the world. Teens need incremental independence and appreciate your assistance getting used to the consequences of their choices. If you coddle your teen, do all her thinking for her, intercede in the face of every life challenge, swiftly grant every whim, and then abruptly withdraw your assistance after college, your child is bound to struggle.

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017



DON’T set your child up for a big fall, especially if you have well-behaved or reticent teen, skilled at avoiding parent upset and disappointment. A rebellious or

Create A Say Anything Space Don’t shy away from serious topics with your teen. Drugs, alcohol, date rape, sexual assault, gender identity, sexual preference, and birth control are just a few topics that need to be faced squarely and discussed openly with your teen before he leaves home. One way to broach these topics might be to watch and discuss topical films together that you wouldn’t necessarily share with younger children. The key here is to establish an open door of communication through which no topics are off-limits. If this makes you squeamish, it’s time to deal with uncomfortable topics whether you like them or not. Enlist your spouse’s ear to get your concerns off your chest first and share the responsibility of holding challenging discussions. Everyone in the family will likely become more accepting, mature, and open-minded thanks to your willingness to open up.

strong-minded teen will be less concerned about hurting parent feelings and can make choices that please him more easily. But teens of any disposition need support and encouragement to make a smooth transition from the safe haven of home into selfreliance. Besides, there are ways to keep teens close to your heart while gently encouraging the independence that will help them grow the wings they will need to soar out into a world full of happy life choices.

Illuminate Paths To Earning Most teens like money. Money means, among other things, freedom to a teenager. Modern money skills include exploring the possible ways to earn as well as the savvy ways to save, spend, and invest. If you find you spend a lot of time discussing managing money, maybe it’s time to educate yourself on current paths to earning. Try to keep your fearful assumptions about possible career paths in check. If your teen is an artist, explore the plethora of online earning opportunities that exist today. If your teen enjoys physical movement, research the jobs that allow her to be on her feet rather than sitting behind a desk. And try not to obsess about future job security. Get a career counselor involved to help your teen explore jobs that maximize her natural talents and curiosities.

Discuss Relationship Wisdom Intimacy with another person requires a strong sense of individuality. Encourage your teen to see all relationships as learning opportunities. Use high school social situations as opportunities to discuss what she needs and wants in various types of relationships, to consider what attracts and repels her, and to explore which groups feel the most comfortable. Peer pressure is strong in high school, so if you don’t ask these questions, your teen’s self-awareness may not increase. Conversations about the role of relationships encourage self-knowledge, which can lead to happier connections in the long run. When it comes to


returns. Sometimes the easiest way to have a breakthrough is by getting into a calmer, more receptive state of mind.

Reconsider Ultimatums Let your teen decide where he stands on family traditions and rituals. “As long as you are living in this house, you will go to church every Sunday along with the entire family,” is one possible approach. But another way is to establish a cutoff date for family obligations. Perhaps after the age of 16 your children could decide whether or not they will attend a family commitment like religious services or not. If your teen does not wish to join in, let her experience what it’s like to abstain. Then, if she decides to come back around you will know it’s because she wants to rather than because she must. And if she does not wish to participate right now, it’s your job to get used to the idea. Your teen will grow up and make her own choices in the future, anyway. If this is a hard truth for you to swallow, perhaps you need to start practicing relinquishing pressure now.

Emphasize Ways To Decompress

creating lasting relationships with others, self-awareness is paramount. Therefore don’t place too much emphasis on finding “the one” or being part of the popular crowd. Your acceptance of the needs and wants of your teen will go a long way towards her future happiness.

Interrupt Anxiety With Spontaneity Making the leap from home into the big wide world is a major life transition that can trigger worry. A helpful technique for any parent to learn to help break the cycle Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017

of negative thinking is anxiety interruption. When you notice the tight shoulders or the snappy disposition, why not suggest a little walk or drive or maybe even a spontaneous shopping trip. This may seem like a strange parenting habit but what you are helping your teen do is break the cycle of stress before it starts affecting the decision-making process. Focusing constantly on the problems at hand blocks spontaneous solutions from bubbling up. So when your teen is struggling with what feels like a big decision, teach him how to move away from stress, let go of anxious thinking, and shift focus until clear thinking 58

Anticipate alone-time shortages, especially during the emotionally intense graduation year. Then strive to instill selfreflection, self-care, and self-expression, so these habits will be there to comfort your teen in the future. Writing, drawing, biking, and knitting all induce a state of creative flow. As the departure date to leave home approaches, you may notice teens are more absorbed with friends and social activities than interested in spending time alone. But moments of quality down time are when people connect with inner guidance and are crucial to leading a healthy, well-rounded life. And remember, if you want your teen to discover and follow his bliss, you are going to have to set a good example. Your hobbies will come in handy, as you both cope with the natural feelings of grief that are sure to arise as you and your teen prepare to part on happy terms. MBP

Author, journalist, and writing coach Christina Katz is readying herself for the inevitable day she has to say goodbye to her teen. But, like many parents, she can’t say she’s looking forward to it.




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Recommending the Best Toys and Products for Kids

From the earliest age we surround our children with bright primary colors and strong contrasting shades to engage their senses. It’s believed that newborns discern black and white, only developing the ability to see color around three months. Once babies notice and differentiate color, parents begin to use everyday moments to introduce the youngest eyes to red, green, yellow, blue and more. When toddlers’ eyesight refines so does their interest in colorful objects and this fascination continues to evolve as they grow. As we age we discover broader palettes, even cultivating our favorite colors that accompany us into adulthood. Celebrating the exploration of color in variety of engaging ways, the following items offer a rainbow of resourceful color play.

by Gerry Paige Smith

Rainbow Counting Bears and Cups

Think & Learn Smart Scan Color Chameleon

Just the right size for little hands, this bright brigade of bears leads the way for small children exploring a colorful range of teachable moments. Featuring 60 small bears in six colors, six matching color cups, a storage container and an activity book available as download, this collection has endless educational outcomes to explore. These boldly colored bears stimulate open-ended play and learning activities that can help develop kids’ fine motor skills, cognitive understanding and visual perception. Color matching, cup stacking, sorting and early number sense enjoy a great beginning with these bears. Ideal for supporting counting games, Montessori math as well as autism therapy, Rainbow Counting Bears and Cups offer a broad spectrum of tactile color experience as part of every day play.

The Smart Scan Color Chameleon climbs to the top of learning electronics with innovative games and goals that get kids up and moving on the hunt for color. Kids use the hand-held chameleon scanner to learn colors and numbers associated with the included paint chips before being directed to seek out other specific chips. The color hunt can also expand into the larger house setting with additional games that challenge kids to find and scan other colors. Children are soon scrambling around their surroundings seeking new colors to scan. This kind of open-ended discovery is ideal for keeping kids engaged and learning. Just as versatile and colorful as its namesake, the Think & Learn Smart Scan Color Chameleon packs a lot of learning into one fun resource.



Square Up!

Color-Changing Lab Putty


Reminiscent of a flat Rubik’s Cube, this color-driven game places two players in a head-to-head race to see who can sort and manipulate color tiles the fastest. Equipped with their own lidded tile board and individual color cube shaker, the game play starts when the players shake their cubes and slam them down together. What follows is a vivid, lightning-fast race of color tiles on each players game board as they strive to duplicate the color pattern revealed in their shaker cube. The first to match the pattern with their tiles wins the round by quickly closing the clear lid down on their board, framing their colorful victory. Challenging spatial cognition and strategy, color sorting is just the beginning of this invigorating game as two players race to Square Up!

(Lab Putty)

In its resting (cool) state, the putty is dark violet. But when fingers begin to explore the thermosensitive putty surface, touch points begin to warm up into a bright pink. When the whole of the putty color has morphed to pink, placing the putty in a chilly spot (refrigerator or cool water) for a moment recharges the color-change exploration. Stretching, twisting, and shaping the putty provides an additional tactile stimulation that offers a degree of stress-relief and creative play. Non-toxic, non-drying and residuefree, this little bit of color science is also a perfect portable for travel entertainment. Putting the power of color-change in your grasp, this morphing lab putty is easy to pick up and hard to put down!




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



FamilyCalendar Thursday November 23

Turkey Trot for Hope 5K & Gobble Wobble Fun Run 8:00 AM Spanish Plaza, Downtown Mobile, Mobile, 36602 The Turkey Trot for Hope & Gobble Wobble is more than a race, it is an experience. We invite you to join us on November 23rd for what is quickly becoming a Mobile tradition. It is a chance to kick the day off with a little turkey day spirit, gather with your family and to burn those extra calories in preparation for the impending feast. Most importantly, it is an opportunity to give thanks by giving back to a great cause, Camp Rap-A-Hope. The 5k will start at 8:00 am and run along a certified 5k course. The Gobble Wobble fun run is less than a mile and will begin at 9:00 am.

Tuesday November 28

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood 6:30 PM Saenger Theatre, 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, 36602 The grr-ific musical for little tigers and grown-ups alike is back with an all-NEW show for 2017-2018! The hugely popular Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE!, based on the #1 PBS KIDS TV series, has delighted live audiences on stages across the country.

Wednesday November 29

USA Trumpet Department Studio Recital 7:30 PM Laidlaw Performing Arts Center , 5751 USA South Drive Mobile, 36608 This performance by students of Professor Peter Wood represents the culmination of the students’ work throughout the semester and will feature a wide variety of repertoire for solo trumpet. Music performed will cover virtually all musical styles and periods, and there will certainly be something for everyone!

Thursday November 30

The Hargrove Foundation’s 3nd Annual Gala 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Battle House Hotel, 26 North Royal Street Mobile, 36602 Join us for the Hargrove Foundation’s 3rd Annual Gala. Proceeds from the event will be directed to the HAT Project, dedicated to helping mobility limited children achieve more independence through the use of adaptive cars. Marc Broussard at The Steeple 8:00 PM The Steeple, 251 St. Francis Street Mobile, 36602 Marc Broussard at The Steeple. 251-415-4641 The Avett Brothers 8:00 PM Saenger Theatre, 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, 36602 The Avett Brothers in concert at the Saenger Theatre.

Friday December 1

Little Discoveries with Mr Wayne 10:30 AM Ben May Main Library, 701 Government Street Mobile, 36602 Mr. Wayne from the Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center presents lessons and projects fusing science and literature for preschool children. Ages 3-6. Michael Carbonaro Live! 7:30 PM Saenger Theatre, 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, 36602 Ever wondered what it feels like to be on the other side of Michael Carbonaro as he works his magic to make people believe the unbelievable? This is your chance to find out! From his hit televi-

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017

sion series “The Carbonaro Effect” on truTV, magician Michael Carbonaro brings his signature blend of bizarre antics, audience interaction, hilarious video clips, and mind-blowing magic, live on stage!

Saturday December 2

Free Weekend at MMofA 10:00 AM Mobile Museum of Art, 4850 Museum Drive Mobile, 36608 Join us at the Mobile Museum of Art in celebrating the opening of our new exhibitions with a free weekend! Saturday will include a free outdoor concert featuring performances by Crowned Jewelz BAND and Jamell Richardson “The Gulf Coast Blues Boy”, PowerLines Poetry, and fashion designers Brandin Stallworth of Lit Clothing and Antoinette Warbington. Food truck Wemo’s Wings will be serving local fare starting at noon. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets for the concert, and visit the exhibitions anytime throughout the day.

tions with a free weekend! Saturday will include a free outdoor concert featuring performances by Crowned Jewelz BAND and Jamell Richardson “The Gulf Coast Blues Boy”, PowerLines Poetry, and fashion designers Brandin Stallworth of Lit Clothing and Antoinette Warbington. Food truck Wemo’s Wings will be serving local fare starting at noon. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets for the concert, and visit the exhibitions anytime throughout the day.

For many more events, please check out our Holiday Happenings Guide on page 47!

Curious George Story Time 10:30 AM Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, 65 Government Street Mobile, 36604 Join us every other week for a reading of some of your favorite Curious George books. Each installment will be read by a different local “celebrity” and will take place in the Curious George exhibit or the Wharf of Wonder. Make sure to show up a little early so you can get the best spot in the space! These events are free for Exploreum members and included in the price of admission for non-members. Kids Studio ($5 or Free for members) 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, Alabama Contemporary Art Center, 301 Conti Street Mobile, 36602 Kids Studio is a weekly program that encourages children ages 3-10 to explore contemporary art. Activities are designed to stimulate young minds while offering cross-curriculum learning opportunities with handson projects. Classes are taught by local artists and trained professional educators. Ages 3-10. 251-208-5671 Smithsonian Water/Ways Exhibit Grand Opening Public Party (Free) 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM, 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center, 30945 5 Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 We are very excited to be chosen among five other venues in the state by the Alabama Humanities Foundation to host the traveling Smithsonian Exhibit, Water/Ways. Join 5 Rivers Educators and Staff to celebrate and be one of the firsts to see the exhibit. Free, family friendly.

Sunday December 3

Free Weekend at MMofA 10:00 AM Mobile Museum of Art, 4850 Museum Drive Mobile, 36608 Join us at the Mobile Museum of Art in celebrating the opening of our new exhibi-


5 Rivers Animal Ambassadors Meet and Greet (Free) 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM, 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 Alabama has one of the highest plant and animal diversities in the United States. Join a member of our human educational staff and meet one of the local critter inhabitants from the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and beyond. 251-625-0814 Meet the Grumpy Gardener (MBG Members $30, NonMem $35 Day of $40)

2:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Mobile Botanical Gardens, 5151 Museum Drive Mobile, 36608 Come out to the Gardens for an entertaining afternoon presentation from Steve Bender, Garden Editor for Southern Living. His new book, The Grumpy Gardener: An A to Z Guide from the Galaxy’s Most Irritable Green Thumb, is being released this Fall! Book signing and light refreshments (book included in price). 251-342-0555 Sunday Matinee: Underwater Forest (Free) 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 Underwater Forest details the discovery and exploration of an ancient cypress forest found sixty feet underwater in the Gulf of Mexico, due south of Gulf Shores, Alabama. The forest appears to be a wholly unique relic of our planet’s past, providing new insights into everything from climate in the region to annual rainfall, insect populations, and the types of plants that inhabited the Gulf Coast before humans arrived in the new world. Playing all day 9:00am-4:00pm. 251-625-0814

Tuesday December 5

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


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FamilyCalendar Wednesday December 6

“Artistic Possibilities” Exhibition for Mobile Arc 6:00 PM Saenger Theatre, 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, 36602 Please join us in Saenger Theatre’s Room 1927 during LoDa Art Walk on December 8th to learn more about Mobile Arc, a non-profit for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The artwork was created by the talented art program participants. Some local artists have also collaborated with participants. Art activities help adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to socialize and express themselves. Mobile Arc provides art instruction in painting, drawing, and ceramics. Artwork will be for sale to support this vital program.

Thursday December 7

Gulf Coast Exploreum presents - When Will We Find Extraterrestrial Life? (General admission is $10 for adults or children. Member admission pricing is $8 for adults or children. Please purchase tickets in advance.)

6:00 PM Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, 65 Government Street Mobile, 36604 Are we alone in the universe? Is it possible that all of the Milky Way’s trillion planets are sterile, with the exception of Earth? “When Will We Find Extraterrestrial Life?” Followed by a FREE viewing of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” Presented by Seth Shostak, Ph.D. Astrophysicist, Senior Astronomer for the SETI Institute. The Tuskegee Airmen Chronology 6:30 PM Ben May Main Library, 701 Government Street Mobile, 36602 Join Military Historian, Dr. Daniel L. Haulman, for a presentation about the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black pilots in American military service. Books will be available for sale.

Friday December 8

Bay Bash 5:30 PM - 9:30 PM, Gulf Quest, 155 South Water Street Mobile, 36602 Join Mobile Baykeeper for this annual celebration of Mobile Bay as they celebrate 20 years of protecting the Mobile Bay Watershed and our coastal communities. Enjoy dinner, drinks, dancing, and a special guest speaker on the beautiful riverfront of downtown Mobile. Visit or contact Justine Herlihy at for more information. LoDa Artwalk 6:00 PM Downtown Mobile, Mobile, 36602 Celebrating the arts in downtown Mobile! Explore this free monthly showcase of visual and performance arts!

Saturday December 9

Kids Studio ($5 or Free for members) 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, Alabama Contemporary Art Center, 301 Conti Street Mobile, 36602 Kids Studio is a weekly program that encourages children ages 3-10 to explore contemporary art. Activities are designed to stimulate young minds while offering cross-curriculum learning opportunities with handson projects. Classes are taught by local artists and trained professional educators. Ages 3-10. 251-208-5671 Alabama Day 2:00 PM Ben May Main Library, 701 Government Street Mobile, 36602 The Tristan de Luna Chapter, Alabama Society Daughters of the American Revolution and the Mobile Public Library invite the public to celebrate Alabama Day. Guest speakers include: Dr.

Gregory Waselkov, USA Department of Archaeology chairman; Michael Bunn, Director of Operations, Blakely State Historic Park; and John Sledge, author of These Rugged Days: Alabama in the Civil War. Following the program join us in the Armbrecht/Briskman Meeting Room for light refreshments. Authors of “Exploring Wild Alabama” Presentation and Book Signing 6:00 PM 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 Join us for a presentation and book signing for “Exploring Wild Alabama: A Guide to the State’s Publicly Accessible Natural Areas” by Ken Wills and Dr. Larry Davenport. This is a must-have book for anyone that loves to get outside and enjoy nature. The authors will be joining us to talk about their book and what inspired them to write it. Light refreshments will be served. 251-625-0814

Sunday December 10

5 Rivers Animal Ambassadors Meet and Greet


2:00 PM - 2:30 PM, 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 Alabama has one of the highest plant and animal diversities in the United States. Join a member of our human educational staff and meet one of the local critter inhabitants from the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and beyond. 251-625-0814 Sunday Matinee: River Dreams (Free) 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 The film is the work of Hunter Nichols of Birmingham, who made his 44-day solo canoe trip from Birmingham through the MobileTensaw Delta to the Gulf of Mexico. Playing all day 9:00am-4:00pm. 251-625-0814

Tuesday December 12

Family Bingo Night (Free) 6:00 PM Moorer/Springhill Branch, 4 South McGregor Avenue Mobile, 36608 Calling All Families! Come play Bingo at the Library! Prizes will be awarded and lemonade and popcorn will be served.

History Museum of Mobile - Learning Lunch (Free)

12:00 PM History Museum of Mobile, 111 South Royal Street Mobile, 36602 The History Museum of Mobile’s December Learning Lunch program will feature local author Watt Key on Wednesday, December 13, at 12pm in the museum auditorium. He will discuss his book “Among the Swamp People: Life in Alabama’s Mobile-Tensaw River Delta” and share stories from his time when he lived in this unique community. 251-208-7569

Kids Studio (Free) 4:00 PM Ben May Main Library, 701 Government Street Mobile, 36602 Participants are invited to explore contemporary art and music through hands-on and minds-on activities that stimulate and deepen their understanding of art. The Revivalists 8:00 PM Saenger Theatre, 6 South Joachim Street Mobile, 36602 The Revivalists in concert.


Sunnyside Theatre presents “Madagascar, Jr.” 7:00 PM University of South Alabama Performing Arts Center, 5751 USA South Drive Mobile, 36608 Madagascar, Jr will be performed at the University of South Alabama Arts Center December 15-17.

Saturday December 16

Curious George Story Time 10:30 AM Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, 65 Government Street Mobile, 36604 Join us every other week for a reading of some of your favorite Curious George books. Each installment will be read by a different local “celebrity” and will take place in the Curious George exhibit or the Wharf of Wonder. Make sure to show up a little early so you can get the best spot in the space! These events are free for Exploreum members and included in the price of admission for non-members.

Kids Studio ($5 or Free for members) 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, Alabama Contemporary Art Center, 301 Conti Street Mobile, 36602 Kids Studio is a weekly program that encourages children ages 3-10 to explore contemporary art. Activities are designed to stimulate young minds while offering cross-curriculum learning opportunities with handson projects. Classes are taught by local artists and trained professional educators. Ages 3-10. 251-208-5671 Sunnyside Theatre presents “Madagascar, Jr.” University of South Alabama Performing Arts Center, 5751 USA South Drive Mobile, 36608 Madagascar, Jr will be performed at the University of South Alabama Arts Center December 15-17. Show Times: 2:00pm and 7:00pm.

Sunday December 17

5 Rivers Animal Ambassadors Meet and Greet


Wednesday December 13

Thursday December 14

Friday December 15

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM, 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 Alabama has one of the highest plant and animal diversities in the United States. Join a member of our human educational staff and meet one of the local critter inhabitants from the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and beyond. 251-625-0814 Sunnyside Theatre presents “Madagascar, Jr.” 2:00 PM University of South Alabama Performing Arts Center, 5751 USA South Drive Mobile, 36608 Madagascar, Jr will be performed at the University of South Alabama Arts Center December 15-17. Sunday Matinee: Discovering Alabama: Coastal Paradise (Free) 5 Rivers Delta Center, 30945 Five Rivers Boulevard Spanish Fort, 36527 Part of the Discovering Alabama series, Dr. Doug Phillips canoes through the beautiful wild wonders in the area and highlighting the area’s unique geological, historical, and biological richness. Playing all day 9:00am-4:00pm. 251-625-0814


FamilyCalendar Tuesday December 19

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

Thursday December 21

The Red Clay Strays 7:00 PM Mobile Museum of Art, 4850 Museum Drive Mobile, 36608 The Red Clay Strays will play at the Mobile Museum of Art.

Friday December 22

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

Saturday December 23

the event has raised more than $1.2 million since 2002 to fund the programs of Mobile Ballet, as well as make significant contributions to local children’s charities

Saturday December 30

Kids Studio ($5 or Free for members) 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, Alabama Contemporary Art Center, 301 Conti Street Mobile, 36602 Kids Studio is a weekly program that encourages children ages 3-10 to explore contemporary art. Activities are designed to stimulate young minds while offering cross-curriculum learning opportunities with handson projects. Classes are taught by local artists and trained professional educators. Ages 3-10. 251-208-5671

Friday January 5

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

Classes/Meetings APAC - Mobile County Adoptive Family Group Meets the 4th Friday of each month from 6 - 7:30 p.m. Regency Church of Christ, 501 S. University Blvd., Mobile. Parent, Youth/Teen Group and Childcare Is Provided. Topic Discussions & ceu’s for foster families are offered. For more information please call 251-4602727 * 1-800-489-1886 * or

Kids Studio ($5 or Free for members) 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM, Alabama Contemporary Art Center, 301 Conti Street Mobile, 36602 Kids Studio is a weekly program that encourages children ages 3-10 to explore contemporary art. Activities are designed to stimulate young minds while offering cross-curriculum learning opportunities with handson projects. Classes are taught by local artists and trained professional educators. Ages 3-10. 251-208-5671

Autism Support Group in North Mobile We have a social play room for higher functioning children (4 and up) to engage and relate. The idea is to have a safe place for parents of Autistic children in our community to link up and network with other families. 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, 6 - 7:30 p.m., Saraland United Methodist Church, 415 McKeough Ave., Saraland. For more info or to RSVP contact Chris Gibson. Email, or 251-281-7312.

Wind Creek Fan Festival 4:00 PM Ladd-Peebles Stadium, 1621 Virginia Street Mobile, 36604 Beat the traffic and get to the stadium early for the Dollar General Bown and enjoy a great tailgate experience featuring live music, great food, games and activities for all football fans! I Heart Radio will host a live concert and fans can prepurchase tickets for a great meal at the VIP Buffet Tent.

Azalea City Harmony Chorus of Sweet Adelines Meets/rehearses each Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Mobile Christian School, The Leopard’s Den. For more info call 251-380-0579 or visit

Dollar General Bowl 6:00 PM Ladd-Peebles Stadium, 1621 Virginia Street Mobile, 36604 A national television audience will tune in to ESPN on Saturday, December 23, for the 19th Annual Dollar General Bowl. The Dollar General Bowl has built a reputation of fielding some of the most competitive and exciting games of the Bowl season.

Thursday December 28

Nutcracker Charity Ball 6:00 PM Mobile Convention Center, 1 South Water Street Mobile, 36602 Mobile Ballet’s signature event is held each December. Featuring invited Debutantes,

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017

Breast Feeding Friendly Group (The BFF Group) A place where new moms can get one-on-one breastfeeding help. Get to know other moms within the same community and possibly become a mentor. Breastfeeding professionals are able to provide newborn weight checks before and after feeding to help you to know if your baby is getting enough to eat. Nurses and other medical personnel can answer general questions. All are welcome, even if you haven’t delivered yet. Spouses and other support partners are also welcome. Every Monday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. (Except major holidays). We meet at The Allen Cox Building Conference Room, 205 Lambert Avenue, Mobile.


Circle Of Hope, Sexual Assault Support Group Group meets every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month. Call Lifelines Counseling Services to schedule a 30 minute appointment before attending the group 251-431-5100. COH is a support group for victims of sexual violence to share in their struggles and learn ways to begin to cope with the pain and daily stressors that trigger the hurt. This group is free to attend. Call for times and locations. The Family Center The Family Center’s classes in Mobile and Daphne are free and offer free childcare WITH minimum 24-HOUR RESERVATION. Night class includes supper and giftcards. All classes provide a certificate of completion. The Family Center of Mobile *Nurturing Parenting course teaches parenting skills such as teaching cooperation and peaceful bedtimes. Wednesdays, 9:30-11:30 a.m., 12-week rotating series. Call 251479-5700 to register. *The Responsible Fatherhood Program (RFP) classes are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-8 p.m., but REQUIRE ADVANCE INTAKE APPOINTMENT. See daily listings for class topics. *Mondays: Together We Can, a cooperative parenting course, 8 weeks. *Tuesdays: Quenching the Father Thirst, (Four things every dad needs to know), 12 weeks. *Thursdays: Chill Skills Stress/Anger Management training, 4 weeks. 251-479-5700 for information on all Family Center classes. All held at 601 Bel Air Blvd, Suite 100, Mobile. or FatherhoodMobile. La Leche League Mobile Bay Area Breastfeeding support meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 10:30 a.m. Meetings are free and open to all women with an interest in breastfeeding. Babies and children are welcome. For information or support contact a leader. 251-6892085,, meghanLLL@, or Facebook: La Leche League Mobile Bay Area. Survivors of Suicide Support Group Meets the 2nd & 4th Friday of each month from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Lifelines Counseling Services, 705 Oak Circle Drive, Mobile. SOS is here to provide a supportive and judgement-free environment for you to express yourself and share your story. What can you expect? •A place to find support •A comfortable environment to express yourself •A judgement free environment •Resources for grieving Mobile Infirmary Hospital For complete information about class dates, times, and locations, or to schedule a tour of our maternity center, please call childbirth education office at (251) 435-2000. • Birthing Basics Class This course is for parents who either have already experienced childbirth or who prefer to attend just one class because of time constraints. The four-hour weekend session (with breaks) includes a tour and all birthing information. The fee is $30 for patients delivering at Mobile Infirmary. Preregistration is required; call 435-2000. Every last Sunday of the month. 3:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. • Cancer Support Group Meets every 4th Tuesday of the month from 10-11 a.m.

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FamilyCalendar • Gastric Band Support Meets every 3rd Thursday of the month from 6-7 p.m. • Gastric Bypass Support Meets every 2nd Thursday of the month from 6-7 p.m. • Preparation for Childbirth Series This series of classes includes all aspects of labor including natural coping skills and epidural anesthesia. Class participants will practice comfort measures and learn about post-delivery and newborn care. Providence Hospital: Providence Hospital is pleased to offer a variety of classes on childbirth issues. All classes are located in Conference Room I (located just inside the main lobby doors of the hospital beside the Gift Shop) unless otherwise specified. To register for classes or for more information, you may call 639-2938 to speak with our Childbirth Educator, Kathy Wade RN, or email kwade@ For Daytime Breastfeeding classes only, you may call Marcia Ranew RN, our Lactation Consultant at 633-1749 or email mranew@ Spring Hill Medical Center: • Better Breathers Support Group Meeting For people with pulmonary disorders. Meets on the fourth Monday of each month. 2-3 p.m. Gerald Wallace Auditorium. For more information, call 461-2438. • Breastfeeding Class One Wednesday per month. 6:30-8:30 p.m.
at The Family Center. Benefits of breastfeeding, getting started, going back to work and FAQs are covered. Call 340-7770 early to pre-register. • Childbirth Preparation Classes Four consecutive Mondays (6:30-9 p.m.) at
The Family

Center. Register early. The class covers onset of labor, inductions, Cesarean sections, relaxation, anesthesia and postpartum. Includes a tour of the maternity units.
Cost: $25 if delivering at Springhill Hospital.

Call 340-7769 early to pre-register. • Childbirth Preparation: Accelerated Course
 One Saturday per month. 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at The Family Center. Ideal for those who live out of town or will be delivering soon. 
$25. Call 340-7769 early to pre-register. • Me, Too! A Tour for Siblings Noon on the First Sunday of the month. Join us for an individualized tour and instruction for siblings ages 9 and younger. The event includes a tour of the maternity areas and tips on helping parents with the new baby. Parents must remain with their children.
 By Appointment ONLY. Call 340-7769. • Infant CPR
 Learn this potentially life-saving technique while you are pregnant or soon after your baby’s birth. Covers infant CPR and choking. $5 if delivering at SMC. 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. The Family Center (Bldg. 2, Fourth Floor). Call 3407769 early to pre-register. • Resolve Through Sharing For parents who have lost a child before or immediately after birth. Meets the fourth Monday of every month, 7-8 p.m. Gerald Wallace Auditorium. Call 460-5323. USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital Classes: Advance reservations are required and may be made by calling 415-1069. No children at classes, please. Class size is limited. Advanced payment required to secure your reservation. If you are expecting multiples or having a c-section, please call for additional class information. • Preparing for Childbirth All-day Saturday class for the expectant mother and

her support person (coach). Topics include: pregnancy changes, labor, role of the support coach, relaxation and breathing techniques, vaginal and cesarean births, postpartum care, and a tour of the maternity areas. Fee per couple: $30. You should plan on beginning the 3-week series when you are approximately 28 weeks pregnant. Class will meet in the CWEB2 Building behind the hospital. Every other month, 9-2. • Childbirth in a Nutshell This class includes a brief overview of labor and a tour of the maternity areas. Class meets first Tuesday every other month from 6:30-9 p.m. in the CWEB2 Building behind the hospital. Fee per couple: $15. • Breastfeeding This one-night class is for expectant and newly delivered mothers and their support persons who want to learn about breastfeeding. Topics include advantages, myths and facts, getting started, correct positioning, latching on, engorgement, returning to work and problemsolving. Class meets second Thursday from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in the CWEB2 Building behind the hospital Fee: $5. Registration Information: Credit card payments are accepted by calling 415-1685. Mail payments for classes to: University of South Alabama, Children’s & Women’s Hospital, Education Department, 1700 Center St., Mobile, AL 36604.

Please send your calendar events to lynn@ We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of this information. However, you should always call ahead to confirm dates, times, location, and other information.



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




january 27 - mobile, alabama - Ladd-peebl e s stadi um Tickets on sale now at Seniorbowl . com Tailgate Party passes available now with purchase of game ticket at area Piggly Wiggly stores. 63

Justice League


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

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

The Star


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

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

Mobile Bay Parents I December 2017





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Mobile Bay Parents December 2017  
Mobile Bay Parents December 2017  

Community Holiday Happenings are in this issue...Plus, helpful articles, toy reviews, Kids Health and MUCH MORE!