News Releases

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Joy of Giving

During the holidays there are so many opportunities out there to help others.  It seems like everywhere you go, you see bell ringers, toy drives and organizations collecting money to help feed the homeless. All of these are great ways to help those less fortunate. Not only can you give monetary donations, but you can also give your time to help with these events.

As a mom, I know how busy our lives get during the holidays. We are decorating the house, buying gifts, wrapping gifts, sending out cards, attending parties and going to school winter concerts. It can all be exhausting.

As a parent I think it is important to help our kids realize see that there is more to Christmas than getting presents. It’s about giving. Have you ever been a Salvation Army bell ringer? Have you ever fed the homeless a holiday meal, or organized a toy drive to help kids who wouldn’t be getting anything for Christmas? The joy of doing these things is not only rewarding to the people you are doing them for, but also for you personally. You’ve probably heard the saying “It’s better to give than receive.”  It’s true. Try it and you will see.

There is a community church project in Seminole called “Faith CafĂ©”. It is at Faith Community and was started by a church member’s passion to help those that are struggling right now to make ends meet because of the economy. Once a week on Thursday evenings, church members get together and make “hot” cooked meals for about 60-70 people from the community.  For some this is the only “hot” meal they will have all week.

The church’s hall is set up like a restaurant. A cook is in the kitchen making the food and there are servers waiting on the tables. Even the food is served on beautiful plates. Members of the church have been giving time and money supporting this community mission. Even the desserts are made each week by the mom’s bible study. It is a wonderful project helping those in need. It is a growing ministry and like other organizations can use the help of people in the community.

This holiday season try and give back to your community. Ask yourself, “What can I do to make this holiday special for someone less fortunate in my community?” This is your opportunity to show your children what the Christmas spirit is all about. If everyone did just one nice thing, how our community would be blessed.

****If you or someone you know could use a hot cooked meal, call Faith Community Church and let them know you will be at Faith Cafe. Meals are served every Thursday from 5pm-6:30pm.
The number is 727-391-0596.
Faith Cafe is located at 11501 Walker Avenue, Seminole, FL 33772

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Remembering the days of the “Elf on the Shelf”

The "Elf on the Shelf"

Have you heard about the “Elf on the Shelf?” If you haven’t, it is a little material elf about 8 inches in height that comes in a keepsake box with a hardcover book you read your children called “The Elf on the Shelf.”  The book explains all about the elf and how he is Santa’s helper during the holidays. The elf watches each day to make sure the boys and girls are being good. At night, while the children are sleeping he reports back to Santa about how the kids were that day. When the kids wake up the elf is usually in a new spot somewhere around the house. It is somewhat of a family tradition during the Christmas holiday for many and the fun part for the kids is finding out where the elf is hiding each day.

When my girls were 3 and 5 years old is when we got him. We read the book, named the elf and registered him online. And that night the elf started playing the hide and seek game. Well, it didn’t last long, and my girls were frightened of the “Elf on the Shelf.”  We ended up telling the girls the elf had to go to the North Pole to help Santa and wouldn’t be back that year. The girls were happy he was gone.

We brought him back about three years later. The girls were helping me put up the Christmas decorations and found the elf packed away in a box with our Christmas stuff. They begged to have him out again and for us to re-read the story.
Since the girls were older ages 6 and 8, my husband and I thought we would have some fun with the elf.  The girls were in elementary school and both of their teachers had an “Elf on the Shelf” in their classrooms. Their teachers told the students the elf would be watching the class, so the kids needed to be good.

That year, my 8-year-old daughter became a little obsessed with our elf. At first, she was skeptical about the elf being “real” because she told me he’s just a stuffed animal with a tag. But after her teacher brought out the elf in school and told the kids the elf was “real,” she wanted her elf at home to be “real” too. She decided she would leave her iPod out and ask him to make her a video. She had seen other videos online other elves had made. She also wrote him a note. That night she couldn’t sleep. She kept waking up to see if he moved, to see if he wrote her a note back or if he did a video. She was a little afraid and excited at the same time. She hardly slept. The next morning, the elf was in a different spot and wrote her a note. She was so excited and couldn’t wait for the next night.

The next day and night were worse, as far as my daughter’s obsession with the elf. All she could think about was this elf and where was he going to move and how he moved. If that wasn’t bad enough my 6-year-old daughter, who by the way didn’t really care one way or the other about the elf, played a trick the older one. She moved the elf during the day, wrote a note from the elf and even made a video with the elf moving. This really had older daughter nervous. Even though the younger daughter admitted to moving the elf, my 8-year-old couldn’t sleep that night and my husband finally had to box up the elf and ship him back to the North Pole.

The elf came back last Christmas, when the girls found him hiding in our garage in one of the Christmas boxes. Even though they were 10 and 12, they decided to give him away to my nephew who was looking for an elf of his own. We joke about the elf and I think the girls kind of miss him, but secretly I think they are glad he isn’t in the house.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

New movie theater has long been anticipated by kids

It’s always a treat to go to the movies, but going to the VIP grand opening of our local movie theater Studio Movie Grill in Seminole was even more exciting. My two girls Randi (13) and Graci (11) have been waiting for something fun to go into the new Seminole City Center for the past few years. Since the rebuilding of our mall, they have been asking when are we going to get something fun for kids to do at the new mall? The mall has quite a few stores and restaurants, but for kids a movie theater is something special.

The grand opening was a lot of fun. The girls were able to walk down the red carpet. There were characters from Star Wars there including Darth Vader and Princess Leia. They were there to promote the new movie coming out December 15, 2017, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. They alas had fun meeting the professional wrestler Brian Knobbs, who is best known as part of the tag team The Nasty Boys with Jerry Sags. There was also a ribbon cutting with the Seminole Mayor Leslie Waters and City Council.

The ambiance of this building is beautiful with the wonderful outdoor seating and view. We were able to sit on the patio having appetizers and drinks in the fall Florida weather overlooking the entrance lined with palm trees and beautiful landscape and lighting. There is also a huge covered lounge area with lots of televisions. This area is open to the public and you don’t have to see a movie if you just want to eat and have drinks.

We really didn’t know what to expect of the movie theater. When we got in we were pleasantly surprised. Everyone has their own set and each seat has a number on it and a tray table with a drink holder. There’s also a button you can push so you can order food when you want it during the movie. The seats are reclining and so comfortable.

This was truly a treat, I don’t think we have been to the movies as a family for years. Usually I take the girls to see the $1 movies during the summer, so going with my husband and the girls together was awesome!

My girls' favorite part was probably being able to order the food right at their chair. We tried several appetizers including the pretzel bites and potato skins which were great! We also tried the burger and chicken tenders, which were also fantastic. I know your probably wondering what the prices are. You can find all the prices online and all the specials before you go.
They do have kid’s meals for $6 like chicken tenders, pizza, mac and cheese, cheeseburger or chicken quesadilla. There’s also a special for $25 for adults which includes an appetizer and two entrees.

Right now, is the time to try out the new theater. The tickets for movies are $3 until November 29. The movies regularly are $9 adult, $7 matinee and $6 for a child. You need to go online at and use the code SMGSEMINOLE for the $3 tickets and there is no booking fee. It is only good at the Seminole location.  

I look forward to enjoying many more nights like this with my family and friends! And my kids don’t have to ask me any more when is the movie theater going to open.