23 August 2010

Personal Touch

Welcome to the Neighborhood News

In our Personal Touch with Rebecca Cressman segment, she interviews Tyler and Marie Ricks. Tyler M Ricks graduated from American Fork High School in 2004 as Valedictorian. He had obtained a 3.989 GPA and was president of the school’s Chess Club, Math Club, and LD debate team. During his school career, Tyler also passed nine AP (Advanced Placement) tests in U.S. history, physics, macroeconomics, calculus, English literature, microeconomics, statistics, biology, and art history. He received a 34 on the ACT. Marie Ricks is Tyler’s mother and a nationally recognized author, TV/radio guest, and motivational speaker. Marie teaches organization principles in personal, professional, and community settings. This year, Tyler and his mother, Marie combined their skills and co-authored the book “Be Successful in School- A Student’s Guide for Junior High and High School” with ideas, strategies, and encouragement to help every teen succeed in the classroom.

Today is the day: back to school in this part of the woods. We’re all excited about the new school year and have great expectations about what’s coming. Are our children excited, afraid, nervous, stressed out, or all of the above? Our contributor Russ Beck, from ‘On the Couch,’ comments on all the feelings our kids might be going through. He says: “Being so far removed from the rigors of attending school, you would think it would play a small role in my life but that is not the case. During times of stress I still dream about being late for a class and running around the halls trying to find the right classroom. This is just one indication of the impact school years can have on an individual.” Russ Beck is a licensed, professional counselor with a Master's degree from the University of Wyoming. He's been involved in doing family counseling for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for ten years. In his spare time, Russ writes fiction, non-fiction, and is an award winning photographer.

In our Primary today, the members of the Bishopric came and did Sharing Time. Their theme was ‘Father’s Blessing,’ and they encouraged the children to ask their fathers, grandfathers, uncles or home teachers to give them one tonight, just before school starts. With this topic in mind, I introduce the talk “Priesthood, Keys, and the Power to Bless,” given by Elder Merrill J. Bateman, and published in the Liahona in November, 2003. In it, he talks about the importance of a Priesthood blessing, and shares with us a touching family experience that’s relatable to our times.

Do you have some family traditions that you keep going at the start of every year? At our house it is the father’s blessing on the Sunday before school starts, and then on the day, I go with the kids to school and take pictures of them and their teachers – this one only applies to elementary though, because when my boy made it to Junior high he made it clear that I wasn’t allowed there with him. In any case, Lolli is a guest at ‘Modern Molly Mormon,’ but she has her own blog at ‘Better in Bulk.’ She comments on her tradition of taking pictures of her kids, especially with their backpacks on. I think it’s a cute idea. I remember doing that with my kids, and later scrapbooking a page around the backpack theme (Star Wars or Disney princesses).

To view a copy of the Neighborhood News for Monday, 23 August, please click  here.

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