How to embrace new things in 2018

By Patricia Johnson

The promise of a New Year is so exciting. We make big plans and lofty goals, hoping to capitalize on the opportunities of an unmarked calendar just waiting to be filled with meaningful commitments and fun adventures. Out with the old and in with the new! But for anyone who has ever failed to complete a New Year’s Resolution, we know it can be difficult and sometimes downright scary to step out of our comfort zone. Make 2018 the year that you challenge yourself, make and achieve inspired goals, and prioritize some fun in your days.
The first step to embracing new things is to brainstorm meaningful ideas. Don’t organize or overthink. Just brainstorm from the crazy — complete the Go Commando Half Marathon in the fall — to the more common — prioritize time with your spouse. Both ends of the spectrum are difficult and take dedication and effort to make happen.
If you have trouble starting, simply grab a notebook and a good cup of coffee and just write. Don’t edit in your mind because you will quickly talk yourself out of every idea. Continue reading

Experience winter elegance and more in French Lick, Indiana

Photo provided

By William Flood
Colder weather is just ahead; when all the holiday festivities end, don’t risk a case of cabin fever. Instead, plan a wintertime getaway to family-friendly French Lick Indiana, a wonderful year-round destination only three hours from Fort Campbell.
The area is home to a pair of world-class National Register historic hotels. Nearby, you can enjoy a vintage train ride, outdoor (and underground) activities, skiing and even authentic Amish culture.

French Lick Resort
Let’s start with those grand resorts. The French Lick Springs and West Baden Springs hotels are the focal point for the area. Both are beautifully restored, four-diamond hotels, each part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Historic Hotels of America.

The French Lick Springs Hotel
The French Lick Springs Hotel was established in 1845. The current complex dates back to 1901. There are 443 guest rooms (some are pet-friendly with advance notice). Six restaurants on-property range from fine dining to a coffee shop. For some adult time, try the French Lick Casino for gaming or national-caliber entertainment.
The complex has a fitness center, heated indoor pool and hot tub, and even boasts its own bowling alley. Continue reading

Dyslexia Association reaches families at Fort Campbell

Eli works with a tutor during a class with the Dyslexia Association of the Pennyrile. The organization has a satellite program at Fort Campbell that meets at 3 p.m. Sundays at the Family Readiness Center on post. Photo provided

By Zirconia Alleyne
Fort Campbell wife and mother Angela Jenkins said the signs of dyslexia showed up early with her son Eli.
Angela, an educator herself, was volunteering in his kindergarten class when she began to notice he struggled to learn the curriculum a little more than the other students.
“It was overwhelming,” she said, “but I knew something’s not right and we need to work on it.” Continue reading

Army weight-loss program seeks participants

By Zirconia Alleyne
If losing weight is one of your 2018 resolutions, joining a collaborative weight-loss program might be the way to go.
Healthy Families, Healthy Forces is looking for adult family members of active-duty or retired personnel to participate in the next two-year cycle of its free weight-loss study.
Organized by Tufts University and the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, the study seeks to give military families tools to lose weight the healthy way and to maintain that weight loss.
Group classes, which are set up as live online broadcasts, will teach participants about healthy meal planning, grocery shopping, monitoring weight and activity. Continue reading

Columnist: Avoid group punishment in your military home

By Patricia Johnson

We are coming into a season marked with excess. Excess food, sugar, presents, stuff, even excess time with extended family. Maybe you all have the holidays figured out and do better than just survive the commercialized bombardment of the season. My young family however, is just entering the phase of life where Christmas isn’t just Daddy having extra time off work and getting to sit in “big church” for the family Christmas Eve service. Now, there are expectations of gifts and treats, and even expectations of a little elf who can’t just sit on a shelf like his name implies. Nope, this little guy is expected to move and be creatively sly now. I think I liked him better last year.
One way we like to prepare for the onslaught of gifts under the tree is to preemptively purge the items we no longer need or use. The process is therapeutic to me and helps me to not become overwhelmed by excess after the holidays. Continue reading

Find the 4-H club that’s right for you at Fort Campbell

By Toni W. Riley
If a family is looking for new, exciting and fun activities for children or a rewarding volunteer experience, Christian County 4-H has a variety of opportunities for military youth and adults on and off Fort Campbell.
4-H, the youth branch of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension service, has a long been thought of as a program that is “just for farm kids,” but not any more. 4-H agents have kept up with the times and have modified programs to meet the needs of today’s youth. Continue reading

Moments with Moms: Jamie Kilroy

Jamie Kilroy and her husband Patrick are expecting their first child in January.

By Nita Huff Satterfield
As we come to the close of 2017 and begin to welcome another new year, one Fort Campbell wife is preparing to be a mother.
Mom-to-be Jamie Kilroy and her husband, Patrick, will welcome their first child on Jan. 9, 2018. Jamie and Pat (as she calls him) are both 29 years old and will be married five years on Dec. 22.
In this round of Moments with Moms, we’re talking to Jamie about her feelings and thoughts on becoming a mother, how she expects their lives to change and what they have planned for their new baby boy. Continue reading

Blue Star Families organizes chapter at Fort Campbell

By Toni W. Riley
With the important mission of strengthening military families and connecting America to its military, Blue Star Families is organizing a chapter at Fort Campbell. Beginning in 2009 with a group of military spouses, Blue Star Families has worked to create networks to support military families, provide resources and promote healthier military lifestyles and has 27 chapters worldwide. Continue reading

3 ways to disconnect from negativity

By Heather Short

The world is not always full of rainbows, butterflies and all things positive. We also cannot view the world through rose-colored glasses. Each one of us will face the bittersweet taste of negativity that threatens to ruin a good mood every once in a while. Whether it’s through the media, social networks or someone who just happens to be having a bad day. While it is impossible to walk through life without a negative encounter of any kind, there are ways to disconnect from it.

Limit social media
We are always connected to social media whether we realize it or not. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are available at our fingertips with a single swipe of our thumb. We can try to limit how often we check our social media profiles, and one simple way to do that is to turn off the notifications we receive on our phones. Once we see those magic little notifications pop up, we almost can’t help but feel the need to check it. Before you know it, 20 minutes have passed as you realize you kept scrolling through to watch ridiculous cat videos or read comments. Many of us are guilty of finding ourselves drawn into social media drama and once we offer one comment, it is quickly followed up by additional users’ comments and boom — you are in a virtual war with people you might not even know. Passive aggressive comments do no one any favors. Sometimes even trying to break up an internet based fight does nothing by drag you in further. Do yourself a favor and limit your social media usage. Try to create goals to only check social media sites at certain times of the day and limit it to a certain amount of time. If you check social media sites more often, perhaps try to not to engage with anything negative. Focus on the good posts like photos of your family, friends, children and all the funny cat memes.

Stop gossiping
It happens everywhere. In the work place, in the school hallways and even in volunteer groups. You are minding your own business and suddenly, you find yourself facing it: gossip. Someone, somewhere heard something about someone else and now they are filling you in with what are believed to be facts. What do you do? Many of us are guilty of being dragged into a good gossip fest and then are awfully tempted to repeat all the juicy details to the next person. However, it is really important to remember that if you are talking about someone and that person is not present, chances are there are some crucial details missing. When we engage in gossip, we are making ourselves vulnerable to the negative consequences that may come down the road. No one should make an attempt to talk about others in an effort to make themselves feel better. It only incites negativity and dishonesty among groups of people. Instead, when you find yourself faced with someone who is talking about someone else, politely remind them that if they have questions, they should ask that person directly. This keeps you out of the gossip circle and your conscience clear, and the temptation to repeat the gossip won’t be there. Remember what our parents taught us: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything nice at all.

Don’t engage/don’t argue
Today’s political climate has many of us up in arms. The slightest disagreement launches into hurt feelings, protests and arguments of epic proportions. Some disagreements are indeed valid; others are not and are nothing more than mere attempts to create a cloud of ongoing negativity. Again, while we cannot completely avoid negativity throughout our lives, do your best to not engage in it. Some people may feel they have a right to say what they want, which is true. But before you engage in a negative argument, ask yourself if the interaction will somehow benefit your life now or in the immediate future. If it won’t, it is perfectly fine to keep your opinion to yourself and refuse to engage. Instead, simply smile and either walk away or perhaps even try to change the subject. Sometimes people seem to forget that they have a choice to not engage in negativity. If it makes you uncomfortable or unhappy, you do not have to engage, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it either. You have more to gain by keeping negativity out of your life versus engaging in an argument you didn’t want to be involved in, in the first place, all while remaining polite.