Christmas Gift Ideas

November 28, 2018
For the Star Wars fan, this light saber mug is awesome. The light sabers come on when you pour hot liquid inside (like tea or coffee, etc) and there are 13 light sabers on this mug. It's one of the best Christmas gifts that won't break your budget. See short clip to see how it works.  The 13 Star Wars sabers on the mug belonged to: Qui-Gon Jinn, Kit Fisto, Darth Vader, Anakin/Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Maul, Luke Skywalker/Anakin (he had different ones so his name shows up again), Count Dooku, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Asaji Ventress, Mace Windu and Luke Skywalker. See more details on this Star Wars Light Saber Mug.

For the Color Street nail polish fan who doesn't know a distributor close by, they can also buy them online. This one is called Tokyo Lights
 

Veteran's Day Discounts and Free Things in Florence for Veterans (2018)

October 27, 2018
Veteran's Day this year is Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018! Here's a list of places that will offer veterans a free meal or freebie on this special day in Florence, SC! (Many are even for active-duty military men and women.) This holiday is always special to my family because my husband is a Navy veteran. Thank you all for your service!
  1. Shoney's is offering a free All You Can Eat breakfast to all past and present military from 6AM - 11AM. 
  2. Buffalo Wild Wings is offering a small order of wings and fries to veterans for dine-in on Veteran's Day. Must present acceptable proof of military service, which include: permanent or temporary US military ID cards, a DD 214 or veteran's card.
  3. Little Caesar's Pizza is offering a free $5 lunch combo for veterans and active military only between 11am - 2pm (lunch only). 
  4. Cracker Barrel is offering a free double chocolate fudge Coca Cola dessert to veterans. Dine in only. 
  5. Dunkin Donuts is offering one free donut to all active duty or retired military personnel all day long. Must show proof.
  6. IHOP is offering free red, white and blue pancakes for veterans and active-duty from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. 
  7. Great Clips: On November 11, veterans can get a free haircut, or present your military ID and get a coupon for a free haircut, which can be redeemed anytime before Dec. 31, 2018
  8. Red Lobster is offering active and past military members a free appetizer or dessert from a special menu. Offer will be valid on Sunday, November 11 and Monday, November 12.
  9. Ruby Tuesday is offering a free appetizer to past and present military. 
  10. Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach (1.5 hours from Florence, SC) usually offers a great special for veterans. Last year they offered Veterans $5 admission and their family members only paid 50% of regular tickets each. (Offer may change slightly year to year.) Babies under 2 are always free.
  11. Golden Corral also offers a free meal to Veterans but not on Veteran's Day. They will have their special free-all-you-can-eat buffet offer to veterans on Mon., Nov. 12th, 2018 from 5pm - 9pm. 
  12. Alligator Adventure in Myrtle Beach is offering retired and active military free entry from Nov. 9th - 12th, 2018 and families of veterans 50% off. 
  13. Starbucks Is Offering Free Coffee For Military 11/11. Veterans, Active Duty And Military Spouses, Enjoy A Free Tall (12 OZ) Hot Brewed Coffee On Veteran's Day.
  14. Chuck E. Cheese's is offering a free personal 1-topping pizza for active duty, national guard, retired and veterans with valid Military ID or proof of military service. 
Note: Tell your veteran to be prepared to show military ID or PROOF of military service to any of these places to get their freebie!!! Other websites may have outdated information from previous years that are not offered anymore so be careful. FlorenceMom.com will continually add offers and freebies to this list for our veterans as they are announced.  Hope you and your family will have a great Veteran's Day!

In Florence, you can visit the Florence Veterans Park (601 Woody Jones Blvd.., Florence, SC 29501) located right next to the Florence Center. It is located behind their large parking lot.
 

Emotional Day that Causes Other Buried Issues to Rise to the Surface

October 25, 2018
Have you ever cried uncontrollably about something very petty and have no idea why? Like when a whole bunch of stress from other sad things in your life suddenly combine themselves to build a big burst. And you don't quite figure it out until after the crying is done and you get a quiet moment to analyze it.

That happened to me about 30 minutes ago. I cried to a complete stranger on the phone because something very petty caused disappointment about a program I'm trying to enroll in that I had hoped would help me go back to school. I normally don't cry about things like this but I think my visit to Investigator Farrah Turner's memorial patrol vehicle this morning was really upsetting to me. Then, somehow I was repressing some of it while I was on my way to pick up my toddler from his preschool. 

I've never met Investigator Farrah Turner before but her passing really hit me. The shooting was 3 weeks ago and she suffered so much during those 3 weeks in the hospital; even got both of her feet amputated and then passed away not too long after that. I tried to make sense of it all and it's just senseless. There is no reason why she should have had this much pain before she passed away or for any of it to happen at all. The community had outpours of good things to say about her, how she volunteered her time to help kids; to help the community above all the things she was already doing to serve and protect Florence. 

Then later today, I had an email exchange with a past employer about getting some documentation about a job that I lost through a restructure. I think that when I lost my job 7 months ago, I was so upset that I just didn't know how to grow from it. I've never lost a job before but I think this, however, gave me a reality check and the empathy to relate to everyone who has lost their job before. I now know how it feels; hopeless. Before this, I felt invincible. I was always the hardest worker who earned promotions and awards. I was not used to being the underdog; the one who is easily first to let go from an organization, but that's me and this email kind of helped me with a little bit of closure. It gave me confirmation that whatever happened 7 months ago needs to be let go. Cry it out and let it go. 

The beginning of the day started out with one clear mission; to cut roses from my garden and bring them to the Florence County Judicial Center to honor and show my respect to Investigator Farrah Turner. I tried to pick the best set of flowers that would fit in my green tube of water that helps keep the flowers fresh a lot longer. I found one that had 2 roses in one stem. Using my garden shears, I used my best effort to cut off all the thorns because no matter how beautiful roses are, they will always have thorns. Oh the irony!

As I walked to the vehicle at Florence County Judicial Center, no matter how hard I tried to stop them, tears came. Then after placing the roses on top of the car, I had a few minutes and then had to go back to my car to compose myself and did a beeline to my 2 year old's preschool to pick him up. Then, later that afternoon, I checked my email and received the very important email from my past employer which surprisingly opened a wound I tried to forget about. Some minutes later, I received some bad news from the organization that I was hoping would help me move forward and go back to school. It's just that this has been such an emotional day and everything that I've tried to work so hard for just hasn't been going my way. And I think what it boiled down to is that it's the injustice for Farrah and I felt a little bit of that for myself today too, but of course mine is in no way the magnitude to what Investigator Farrah had to face. 

We're waiting for the injustice to disappear.  Somehow, we hope that we can find that rainbow after a storm but it doesn't seem like it's coming here. It seems like Florence and everybody else in this city just keep getting hit over and over again. Today just seems too much for me to bear! And then I cried to a stranger on the phone who probably thought I was crazy to cry over a little disappointment about my application. I apologized to her on the call for my unexpected cry. It just hit me all of sudden like a ton of bricks. Her bit of bad news was just enough to tip me over the edge and provoked me to continue my flow of tears that had started earlier in the day. I know that sometimes we deal with emotions very indirectly and the way I usually process my emotions is puzzling to me too. 

In a span of 1.5 months, we've had a threat from Hurricane Florence, an active shooter who shot 7 officers with one that passed away on the same day, then, a threat from Hurricane Michael and now another officer who passed from the same shooting incident that happened 3 weeks ago. It just doesn't seem to get better. 

We're waiting for the day where we can celebrate something again. Please let it come soon. 
 

Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment enchants children and adults at the Florence Center

October 12, 2018
I attended my first Disney On Ice show ever last night with my little family and WOW! It was so wonderful and beautiful that I can't wait to see another Disney On Ice show again.

Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment was incredible at the Florence Center last night. With stars like Woody, Buzz and the Gang,  Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Lightning McQueen that drives himself on ice, and Ariel and Eric from The Little Mermaid in the same room is enough to blow your mind! 

FlorenceMom.com had a favorite Disney star before coming to the show and that's Ariel, The Little Mermaid. 

She was gorgeous, graceful and performed to all the favorites! Here is one of the performances by Ariel and Eric together.

Woody and Buzz are my kids' favorites. They are 4 and 2 and my 4 year old has watched all of the Toy Story movies so to see Woody on ice was truly special. FlorenceMom.com had the exclusive privilege to interview Kyle Shropshire, who performs as Woody, last month so it was super amazing to see the immense talent he has in person. You can read about the interview here by FlorenceMom.com.

Here is when Woody first comes out to the show! What an entrance! 



What little girl does not love the famous movie Frozen and it's most catchy song "Let It Go"? And what sisters would not relate to Anna or Elsa? They danced and ice skated with surprise, snow from above!



The beautiful sisters ice skated as if it was as easy as breathing for them. It all just makes so much sense and the perfect ensemble for the season. (See a video glimpse of Anna & Elsa's performance last night at the Florence Center above.)

When Lightning McQueen and all the Cars came out, we tried to look inside to see if there was anyone and no, we see no-one. They drive themselves on ice! 

And it isn't a Disney production without all the awesome toys and wands available for purchase and this reminded me so much of Disneyland and Disney World without even having to travel there. 

And of course, we can't forget, Mickey & Minnie Mouse! The most famous couple in the world.

Disney On Ice has everything you think an ice skating show should be like, but with so much more than you can imagine. With pyrotechnics, amazing talented performers, the nostalgic songs and all the right feelings to make you feel whole again, it was an absolutely healing for the soul to be there and Florence desperately needs healing. My kids stayed put throughout the whole show and that's very telling for 2 normal rambunctious toddlers. Dancing is allowed! 

After two hurricane scares, some recent tragedy for the whole city of Florence, this was very needed here. Come see your Disney stars! Make a special date night or family night! Performing for only another few days, you can catch their next performance at the Florence Center this weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (October 12 - 14, 2018).

(Note: All photos and videos uploaded on Pinterest and Youtube shown on this page are actual footage and property of FlorenceMom.com.)

Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Enchantment start at $20. All seats are reserved, and tickets are available by calling 800.745.3000. For group rates and information, call 866-248-8740 x4. To learn more about Disney On Ice, produced by Feld Entertainment, visit www.disneyonice.com, or visit us on Facebook and YouTube.

ABOUT FELD ENTERTAINMENT Feld Entertainment® is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that bring people together and uplift the human spirit. Properties include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Marvel Universe LIVE!, Sesame Street Live!, DreamWorks Trolls The Experience (coming Fall 2018) and Jurassic World Live (coming Fall 2019). Across the brand portfolio, Feld Entertainment has entertained millions of families in more than 75 countries and on six continents. Visit feldentertainment.com for more information. 


 

Notable After School Programs for Kids in Florence, South Carolina

October 6, 2018
TOP PICKS FOR AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS FOR KIDS IN FLORENCE, SC

Addies's Baby KIDS After School Art Academy Camps - Located in downtown at 290 West Evans St in Florence, Addie's Baby has been known as a great place for creative juices to flow. Starting Oct 30, 2018, Addie's Baby is launching an after school art academy for kids. Your children will have a place for their art to flourish while working on special art projects. There will also be homework help and snacks included in a structured program. For students in grades 4th through 6th, this program is from 3:30PM - 6PM from Tuesday - Thursday. Cost is $65 per week or $55 per week for early registration. Weekly themes include: "A Starry Week", "I Love Pumpkins Week", "Optical Illusion Week", "Glow Paint Week". "Elfs Everywhere Week" and "Merry Christmas Week".  For questions, contact Addie's Baby! Addie's Baby is having a "bestie discount" where the each artist gets 20% off when you sign up 2 or more artists. This could be a family member or friend! For more info, go to: https://www.facebook.com/AddiesBabyPaintWineStudioFlorence/ or call 843.229.5862
.  

Extended Day Elementary (After School program) at individual elementary schools in Florence School District 1 - For $60 a week, your kids can possibly attend an after school care program at the very school your child attends! This includes the following schools: Briggs Elementary, Carver Elementary, Delmae Elementary,  Dewey L. Carter Elementary, Greenwood Elementary, Lester Elementary,  Lucy T. Davis Elementary , McLaurin Elementary, Moore Elementary, North Vista Elementary, Savannah Grove Elementary, and Wallace Gregg Elementary. The Extended Day Academy offers many diverse opportunities for your child to learn skills in mathematics, art, writing, music, technology, sports, and much more! The Extended Day Academy will provide a structured place to receive homework assistance, one on one tutoring, a snack, as well as supper. Extended Day Academy is from 2:30 - 6pm, Monday - Friday. Talk to your school about this program. It begins the first day of school until the last day off school. To see more info: https://www.f1s.org/domain/2102.

Master JKim's Taekwondo Center's After School Care program - Located on 1657 West Palmetto Street, near the Krispy Kreme's, this reputable Tae Kwon Do company also offers an after school care program. Best of all, they will transport your child to their location from the following schools: Delmae Elementary, Royall Elementary, Lucy T Davis Elementary and Carver Elementary. There is supervised homework time and a well structured environment. This is the perfect program for your child if he or she is interested in martial arts. Pick up time is 6pm. For more info: https://www.facebook.com/pg/jkimustaekwondo

Afterschool STEMS Academy for Middle School - Offered at Southside Middle School and Sneed Middle School, this STEMS Academy offers many diverse opportunities for your middle school child to learn skills in mathematics, art, writing, music, technology, sports, and much more! The Afterschool STEMS Academy will provide a structured place to receive homework assistance, one on one tutoring, a snack, as well as supper. Fee is $60 per week and the program is from 2pm - 6pm, Monday - Friday. To see more info: https://www.f1s.org/Page/12913.

La Petite Academy - For children ages from infant to any school-aged children, they offer an after school care program that's extensive. This is a great option for parents who have multiple kids who have one child who is a baby or toddler who already attends La Petite Academy for preschool or day care, and an older child in a different school who needs after school care. They provide transportation from selective schools, so check with them if your school is included. Snacks and homework help are also included. Their operating hours are from 6:30AM - 6:30PM year round. The convenient side of La Petite Academy for working parents is that you can put your child here during the summer months too because it operates year round. For more info, go to: https://www.lapetite.com/your-local-school/florence-sc-7504/

YMCA After School Program - For grades Kindergarten (K-5) to 6th grade, YMCA Florence has an afternoon school program that is very affordable. You get a discount if you're already a YMCA member (family package). Non-members can also use the after school program! Times of the after school program is 2:10PM - 6PM. They can also provide bus transportation from the school if you're under a list of schools that they'll pick up from. They will also provide a snack. Program includes: brain teasers, cool science experiments, games, puzzles, computer challenges and writing. The hands-on activities are based on enriching academic programs, educationally based in thematic units, and fun to do! Homework time is a scheduled part of their daily schedule. Opportunities to perform plays, play musical instruments, sing, dance and express themselves in a variety of creative ways for young artists, architects and other expressive, creative minds. There's painting, crafts, building materials and more! There's also opportunity to spend quiet time or catch up with friends. For more info, go to: http://www.florenceymca.org/programs/child-care/84-after-school-program
 
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About Me


FlorenceMom.com Originally from Southern California, we had moved here when my husband got out of the military and began his civilian work at the Duke Energy Power Plant in Hartsville. I have two sons who were both born in Florence. Visit the "Events & Activities" Page for upcoming family-friendly events!
All local photos under the homepage, events & activities page, food & drinks page, relocating page, mom fun pageday trips page and more were taken by FlorenceMom.com from our personal visits.

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