Find Jack Banner OCT21

Dear Reader

by Vaun Thygerson
Staff writer and mother of three
When you walk into my kitchen, you will notice that my refrigerator door is covered with all kinds of meaningful clutter.  I have magnets from vacations, photos of my kids, pictures they have drawn, and quotes that mean something to me.  One of the sayings that I refer to the most hangs on my fridge with a bright, pink magnet and it says, “Three Ways to Be Happy:  1) Have a Grateful Heart; 2) Take Time for Yourself; 3) Serve Others.”  I don’t know when or where I was given this piece of paper with these very insightful words of wisdom, but I do know that when I follow this advice, I am a happier person.

With the New Year ringing in all kinds of resolutions, I have decided to spend my year following these three rules of appreciation, introspection, and service.  Being grateful sounds easy enough, but it can be hard – it takes effort and a change in attitude.  Taking time for yourself also sounds like something fun that we all should be doing, but when you have three kids, a husband, two jobs, and various church commitments, when do you find “alone” time?  You have to make it a priority and better yet, make an appointment… Pedicures, anyone???  Lastly, serving others doesn’t have to be a grandiose gesture but can be found in everyday activities – give a smile, help a friend, donate a canned good, do anything that helps lighten others’ burdens.  So, for 2104, I’m gonna give it an honest try and hopefully find happiness along the way!

Speaking of serving others… KCFM is excited to announce our new column, “The Real Kern County,” on page 17.  This monthly article will feature community leaders who tell us what they enjoy doing in Kern County as well as why they love living here.  Thanks to Drs. Siniva Kaneen and Rob Waguespack for helping us kick off this new editorial piece.  Look for it each month this year to learn more about this amazing community we live in!

Another monthly column that always gives us a chuckle is Tracie Grimes’s unique perspective on parenting.  In her Humor at Home article, “Eating Out With Children:  Can You Stomach It?” on page 14, she writes about how eating out at restaurants with small children can go from fun to frantic in a nano-second.  She also gives some advice to the other patrons witnessing the crazy table antics of smaller children:  have empathy on us!

You’ll notice a feature missing this month as Tracie Grimes has closed her proverbial book on her book review column.  KCFM wants to thank her for all the many wonderful reading selections she’s encouraged us to read and for sharing her passion of education with us.  But, don’t worry, you’ll still get her monthly humorous column!   

Also, this month we publish our annual 2014 Private School Survey.  This directory gives you a chance to check out local private schools and compare them to each other for amenities, access, and affordability.  Find the perfect fit for you and your child’s educational needs on page 11.

In Dr. Kirk’s article, “School and the Dreaded Homework,” on page 15, he reminds us that “patience is a virtue.”  And, we need to remember that when our kids are complaining or not completing their homework.  Finding the right balance between how much they can finish on their own versus how much you should help them can be tricky.  But, take the time to find a program that works for you and your child.  It will pay off in the long run.

As we hang up our 2014 calendars and look forward to this New Year, hopefully you’ll find the happiness you seek after.  This year I resolve to live by the three rules:  having a grateful heart, taking care of ourselves, and serving others.  I hope you have a year of appreciation and bliss!  As Melody Beattie says, “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, and a stranger into a friend.”

May you have a prosperous and wonderful New Year!

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