Friday, December 18, 2009

Finding Signifigance In Christmas

If you are like me, at this time of year you are up to your eyeballs in Christmas Cards, baking, crafts, shopping, wrapping, decorating....need I go on? This Christmas season is one of extreme busy "ness". I'm not even sure if that's a real word. So many of us get caught up in finding the perfect gift, making sure everyone in your "circle" of friends and aquaintances gets recognized, and that our kids have special memories to keep. (ie. cookies for Santa, carrots for the reindeer, the right outfit for Christmas Eve and the list goes on and on) So how do we find significance amongst all the commotion? I have three suggesions (and am trying to impliment them in my own life as well!)

1. Slow Down.
2. Simplify
3. Share

Slow down refers to taking a good hard look at all the Christmas activities that are on your calendar this year and decide what is essential to the season and what isn't. This might mean missing out on a few get-togethers and Christmas celebrations, but it also means missing out on the hustle and bustle that goes along with them. I'm talking about the special outfits that you might need to buy, hostess gifts, food and drink etc... Figure out which celebrations are really essential to you Christmas season and enjoy those. The other festivities that feel like more work than they are worth? Give them a miss this year! Stay home, relax, spend time with your family in a more laid back kind of way.

Simplify. There are many ways to simplify your Christmas season. Rather than exchanging gifts with an exhaustive list of friends and familiy, consider sharing the gift of time. Better yet, make that time after the hectic season of Christmas has passed. The vast majority of adults and children in our lives, don't really NEED anything for Christmas. With a much shorter Christmas list we are able to cut back on our researching, shopping, wrapping, transporting gifts and all of that messy wrapping paper afterwards. I'm not suggesting we be scrooge's this Christmas, but that we eliminate those gifts that we are buying just for the sake of buying and making our gift giving more meaningful. In the home preparation of this festive season, rather than baking dozens of different treats, pick on or two of your family's favorites and just make those. We will be more able to find the significance of the season when we aren't trying to keep track of the dozens of tasks we still have yet to do. If you are unable to simplify and cut back in these areas, at least create a master list of what is yet to be done to help you stay on track. Prioritize that list and work on the most important items first and if you do run out of time to get everything done, hopefully your stress level will be relieved.

Share. I've already mentioned sharing the gift of time rather than gifts this season. Why not focus on those in our community and beyond that really don't have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas with food, festivities and friends. Whether you spend some time distributing gifts, or serving at a community Christmas event, try to reach beyond your regular circle of family and friends and help those less fortunate have a memorable Christmas season. This will definately make the significance of the season easier to find.

On behalf of the Town of Beaumont FCSS Staff:

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Parent Resources in Beaumont

Are you a parent here in the Town of Beaumont? Well, Parent Link is a great resource for parents with kids at different ages and stages. If you are simply looking to connect with other parents while giving your kids a chance to interact and play, or want to learn more at informative parent workshop, there are services and programs to meet your needs. Check out this page from the latest Parent Link Newsletter. Paper copies of the newlsetter are available at the Town of Beaumont's FCSS office or at Parent Link's main office located in Nisku, Alberta. To contact the Parent Link coordintor contact: Tonya Sabourin, Leduc Regional Parent Link Coordinator, phone: 780 979-2386 or email

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Family Fun!

With some snow on the ground and radio stations launching their Christmas season play lists, it is beginning to feel a lot more like Christmas. If you and your family are looking for fun ways to celebrate this joyous've come to the right place. All month I will be posting ideas for family fun, food and activities.

The Beaumont Community Youth Centre is starting off the season with their annual Jingle Bell Jog which is an important part of the Town of Beaumont's Brighten up Beaumont events which run from December 4-6, 2009. To download a copy of the registration form (as shown below) check out the Youth Centre's website.

Now, if the weather is already a bit chilly for you outside, head down to the AquaFit centre and have a swim, or relax in the hot-tub. Or if you are feeling really energetic, check out their fully equipped work-out area or one of the fitness classes.

If Christmas baking is already on your mind, check out these great recipes for family friendly baking ideas.

If you would like to share some of your family's Christmas Traditions for fun, food or decorating ideas, please post them here! Have a great week everyone and enjoy this holiday season.

Monday, November 23, 2009

November is a busy month here at Beaumont FCSS

It's been a while since I've posted. Probably because I've been extra busy with preparing and facilitating a number of community workshops. November really is turning out to be a busy month for us over at the FCSS department.

Sibling Rivalry was held on November 16th, the third installment of Kids and Drugs: The Power of Parents was held on November 18th and this week I am gearing up for Parents Empowering Parents (tonight at the BCYC), Let's Talk this Wednesday afternoon (also at the BCYC). This month's topic is regarding healthy relationships in recognition of Family Violence Prevention Month. Also on November 18th we are having session #4 of the Kids and Drugs Workshop Series. This week we are having a guest speaker; Cpl. Dave Wilkinson who will be informing us as to the signs and symptoms of drug use in our children, and what kind of drugs are prevelant here in the Town of Beaumont. So come out to the Beaumont Community Church to learn more about this important topic. No pre-registration is necessary and Cpl. Wilkinson wil be able to answer our specific questions on the topic of drugs and our kids. The Kids and Drugs presentation begins at 7pm and usually runs until 9pm.

We are already working on our line-up of topic for the Parent Workshop Series for 2010. Look for posters around town, hand-outs in your child's backpack and an insert in your utility bills in January of the new year.

Have a great week!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sibling Rivalry Parent Workshop

Prevent Sibling Fighting in Your Family

Simple things you can do every day to prevent fighting:

  1. Set Ground Rules for acceptable behaviours. Kids need to know that certain behaviours are not okay. Examples include; swearing, name calling, yelling, door slamming, etc. Get their input into the rules as well as the consequences if these guidelines aren't followed. Kids will learn that they are responsible for their own actions regardless of how provoked they might feel and prevents slipping into the negotiation of who was "right" and who was "wrong".
  2. Remind them that things aren't always going to be "fair" or "equal". There will be times that one child is going to need more than the other. That being said, parents need to be sure that one child's needs aren't constantly being ignored due to the fact they are more easy going or less demading.
  3. Plan to spend time with your kids, one-on-one. Make sure that this special time is directed to their interests and needs. This is when really knowing your child and waht interests them is key.
  4. Make sure kids have their own space and time to do their on thing. Help them develop the skills to play with toys by themselves, and play with friends without siblings always having to be with them. This helps them develop their own sense of self and personal interests.
  5. Through actions and words let your kids know that your love for them comes without limits. From a young age, children need to know that parental love isn't something that has to be divided up.
  6. Let your kids know that they are safe, important and needed. Let them know that their needs (as unique as they are) will be met.
  7. Have fun together as a family. Whether you are watching a movie, throwing a ball, or playing a game, you are establising a peaceful way for your kids to spend time together
    and relate to one another. This can help to ease tension between them and keeps you (the parent) involved. Since parental attention is something many kids fight over, fun family activities can help reduce conflict.
  8. If your children frequently squabble over the same things, (video game, computer time, tv remote) post a schedule showing which child is in charge of that item at what times during the week. If the fighting continues, remove the time completely until they have figured out a way to share the item peacefully.
  9. If fights between your school aged children are frequent, hold weekly family meetings in which you repeat the rules about fighting and review past sucesses in reducing conflicts. Having your kids earn points for dealing with conflict peacefully that can be put towards a fun family event might add an extra incentive to stop constant squabbling.

Good luck as you attempt to reduce fighting and aggression in your family. In recognition of Family Violence Prevention Month the Town of Beaumont FCSS is hosting a Parent Workshop on the topic of Sibling Rivalry on November 16, 2009. At the Beaumont Community Youth Centre from 7-8:30pm. Childcare (4+) will be provided. Phone Jenny at 780 929 9271 too register.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Upcoming Events sponsored by the Beaumont FCSS

Beaumont FCSS has been a flurry of activity (sorry about the reference to snow). On October 20th students in Beaumont from grade 5-11 participated in the Search Institute's Developmental Asset Survey. While participation rates were somewhat lower than expected, we are looking forward to getting the results from these surveys to see how youth in our community rate themselves in terms of the 40 developmental assets. This information will help our FCSS team develop and deliver programming to specifically meet the needs of the youth within our community and ensure our work provides the most impact.

October 27th was the Meditation for Parents workshop, the attendance to this event was much lower than anticipated as calls into the FCSS office were numerous and community members seemed extremely interested in learning how meditation can help them as parents and their children. If you are interested in this topic please call Jenny at the FCSS office and she will be able to direct you to the facilitator for this informative workshop.

Kids and Drugs: The Power of Parents began this week at the Beaumont Community Church. Jenny and I (Linda) are co-facilitating this group and our first session was informative, and sparked much conversation. If you are interested in learning how you as a parent, or caregiver can help prevent the use of drugs in your children please come out to the next three sessions. November 4th, 18th, and 25th. Space is still available in these sessions. On November 25th our group will be lead by Cpl. Dave Wilkinson from the Beaumont RCMP detatchment to help us learn to spot the warning signs of specific drug use, drug paraphenalia, and what kinds of drugs are most prevalent in our Beaumont and surrounding community. This session is essential for parents to attend in order to be better informed about drug scene here in Beaumont, Alberta.

Our next Parent Workshop Series has been set: Sibling Rivalry, on November 16th at 7pm at the Beaumont Community Youth Centre. This informative workshop will be lead by psychologist Joanne Koopmans of Karunia Counselling and co-facilitated by myself, Linda Mix-Kondratski. We will touch on the causes of sibling rivalry, tips on prevention and what to do if sibling rivalry is getting out of hand in your home. Please join us for an informal evening of learning, discussion and ideas on how to deal with this important and sometimes volatile situation.

For questions about these or any other FCSS programs or services, please post here or email me at or phone 780 504-5969

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Welcome Back to Fall

With the weather warming up (for a few days anyway) this might be our last chance to enjoy what is usually my favorite season: FALL! I love the crisp air, vibrant colors, warm and cozy sweaters and spending time out side without having to be completely bundled up! I have my fingers crossed that we can enjoy a few days of warmer weather and enjoy what is usually a very beautiful season. How do you like to enjoy this time of year? I'm curious what other people think about this season of change, new beginnings, and preparation for winter. So please post a comment here about how you like to enjoy fall.

Also, don't forget about our upcoming workshop series: Kids and Drugs:The Power of Parents which begins on October 28th. Phone Jenny at 780 929-9271 to register. The four part workshop series is free and being held at Beaumont Community Church from 7-9 pm, upstairs in the Fire Side Room. We have some families registered and still can take some more registrations.

Also in the lineup for fall programming on October 27th is a free workshop about meditation and parenting. There has been a lot of interest in this presentation so be sure to come out and join in what is going to be a very informative and engaging evening.

Friday, October 9, 2009

So Much To Be Thankful For

As we are about to celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, it is the perfect opportunity to reflect on those things in our life that we have to be thankful for. Sometimes the busyness of the holiday weekend or general relief for an extra day off, distracts us from the many wonderful things we have to truly be grateful for.

Approaching life with an attitude of gratitude is something I try to do and is something I've tried to teach my children as well. We are we, as parents are to celebrate the good things in our lives, the more likely our children are to develp the same habit.

Here are some ways to demonstrate and teach thankfulness as outlines by

  • Appreciating one another's health, abilities and accomplishments is an excellent way to reflect on all the reasons to be thankful from the past year. You'll all get great ideas for your Turkey day grace and you'll be thankful for the time spent relaxing together during the busy season.

  • Thankful time as a family presents a great opportunity to take family holiday photos, or watch family movies to further reiterate everything you are all thankful for. Pass around a bowl of popcorn, grapes or snack mix and with every handful say something nice to the person to your right. Play charades with a thankful theme. Any time spent together that stimulates a thankful state of mind will be beneficial to your family.

  • Start a Turkey day diary. Purchase a notebook or journal for your family to pass around the weeks before Thanksgiving. Having each member take the time to jot down what they're thankful for gives each one of you a quiet time to reflect on the past year. Letting younger family members dictate their thoughts, and giving teens colored pens to add their personal flair add other elements to your family's 'Thankful Time Capsule'. Year after year, you all can add your thankful thoughts to the diary and recollect what you noted the year before.

  • Have the entire family hand sign the holiday cards that you'll send to friends, neighbors and family. You'll show the card recipients that they are appreciated since you each took the time to sign the cards and add a personal note or a smiley face.

  • Many parents take the time to notice the paper delivery person, mail carrier, hair stylist, and household assistants during the holidays. Involving your children in this act helps them appreciate all the subtle support and services they receive throughout the year. Enlisting your kids to help shop for gifts, bake cookies, or put together baskets of bread and spreads lets them know you're proud to show your respectful thanks. Your child will feel honored to deliver gifts he has helped to create, and will learn it is important to show thanks in many different settings.

  • Hearts aren't just for February. • Gather up your family and bake a batch of heart-shaped sugar cookies. Decorating the cookies with fall-colored frosting, sprinkles, and the word 'Thanks' painted with frosting gel sends a thank you that's straight from the heart. Send the thank you cookie in wax paper bags adorned with your child's message of 'Thanks from the bottom of my heart' to coaches, teachers, bus drivers, and mentors. Reserve some cookies for your family to pass to one another to recognize acts of kindness among siblings.

  • Trace your child's handprints (fingers pointed up and slanted) opposing each other on a piece of letter-sized paper. Their thumbs and index fingers form a heart in the middle of the page to write a thankful message to a teacher, such as, 'Thanks for helping me to read" or 'Your math class was the best.’ Add thankful words and phrases on each of the fingers to strengthen the heartfelt message.

I hope your Thanksgiving Holiday is meaningful and restful and provides you the opportunity to reflect on all that you have to give thanks for this season.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Kids and Drugs Workshop Coming to Beaumont!

We've been talking about the Kids and Drugs program for many months and finally the dates, time and location have been set. This engaging parent workshop series developed by AADAC and the RCMP will be delivered right here in Beaumont by our very own FCSS Staff. Linda Mix-Kondratski (Youth Outreach Worker) and Jenny Cash (FCSS Liasion) will be co-facilitating these interactive and informative sessions. Plans are under way for Cpl. Dave Wilkonson (Town of Beaumont Detachment Commander) to provide his expertise about different types of drugs that are available to our youth, signs and symtoms of their use and will be taking individual questions regarding these drugs. All parents are encouraged to participate in this valuable workshop series. Phone 780-929-9271 to register or for more information about the workshops.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Parent Workshop October 27th!

Curious about the benefits of meditation for your family? Come out on October 27th and learn and try out some of the Fantastic Five Techniques.

1. The Grounding Cord- Achieving emotional balance
2. Notice Emotions Instead of Becoming Them
3. Sensational Focus
4. Experiencing a Child's World
5. Looking into the Mirror

Come out and join in this enlightening event right here in Beaumont. Phone 780 929 9721 for more information.

Ready for some FAMILY FUN?

Here is the official Media release explaining Family Fun Week!

Have Fun with your Family during
National Family Week!

From October 5 to 11, 2009, Canadians in communities across the country will come together for local celebrations during National Family Week. The week provides an opportunity to celebrate families and reflect on their importance in our lives.

The theme for this year’s National Family Week, Jump into Family Fun!, provides an opportunity to celebrate and promote the many different ways families have fun together, nurturing their physical, spiritual and emotional health.

Through National Family Week activities, family members can embark on a journey of rediscovery as they take the time to reconnect through play as a family.

National Family Week is a partnership initiative of The Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs (FRP Canada), a bilingual, not-for-profit association with members located in all provinces and territories. FRP Canada promotes the well-being of families by providing national leadership, consultation and resources to those who care for children and support families.

FRP Canada, together with 11 partner organizations, has produced resources with helpful tips and suggestions for fun activities that families can do together. These resources are available electronically at

National Family Week partners include: BC Council for Families, BestStart/Health Nexus, Canadian Child Care Federation, First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, Green Communities/Active & Safe Routes to School, Invest in Kids, Lettuce Make Thyme Inc., Media Awareness Network, ParticipACTION, Safe Kids Canada, and THRIVE! The Canadian Centre for Positive Youth Development.

Please join FRP Canada and its NFW partners in celebrating families in all our communities during National Family Week, October 5-11, 2009!

Check back here next week for some great family fun ideas!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Beaumont Youth Centre

Almost two weeks ago, the Beaumont Youth Centre turned FIVE! FCSS and Youth Centre Staff, Elected Officials, youth, and other community members were on hand to celebrate with inspiring words, fabulous music, beautiful artwork dedications, and extremely yummy cupcakes. It was a very fitting way to celebrate the growth and success of a very important part of our community. The Town of Beaumont is a better place because of the youth centre, its staff and valuable program it offers to youth within our town. Here are some photos of the festivities.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Our Fearless Leader at Beaumont FCSS: Kim Williston

Kim Williston, has been at the helm of Beaumont FCSS since 2006. Active in a variety of local partnerships and initiatives, Kim is passionate about supporting families within our community. Kim has been integral in developing the 40 Developmental Assets right here in Beaumont and looks forward to the launch of the Search Institute's survey process this October to local schools. J.E. Lapointe School, Coloniale School and Beaumont Secondary High School are slated to be participating in this comprehensive survey in order to assess 40 Developmental Assets in our youth aged 11-17.

An annual FCSS program just recently launched here in Beaumont is the Christmas Elves program. This dedicated group of volunteers is gearing up again to collect food, toys and personal care items to ensure that all families in Beaumont have a very merry Christmas. To volunteer for this program or to find out what items are needed for donations please contact Tina at: 780 929-2515.

To contact Kim phone: 780 929 9143 or email

Friday, September 11, 2009

Introducing: Jenny Cash Town of Beaumont FCSS Liaison

My name is Jenny Kash and I am the new Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) Community Liaison for the Town of Beaumont. I can be reached by phone at (780) 929-9271 Monday thru Friday or at the FCSS office.

I am excited about working in the Beaumont Community and would like to give everyone a bit of information about my background and what I am bringing to your community. Most recently I spent the summer with Leduc Child & Family Services, which provided me a great opportunity to learn about the resources available in Leduc and the surrounding counties. Prior to this summer, I spent the past three years working for Legal Aid Alberta in a support and advocacy role to the families they serviced. A major part of my role was to provide information and referrals to families for community services, ranging from parenting and anger management programs, to addictions and mental health services, to financial supports and benefits. I also spent time working with clients experiencing family violence and the programs and services available in this area.

As the FCSS Community Liaison I will be working on a number of projects and I am excited to say that these projects will help me get to know more about Beaumont and how I can contribute to the community. One of the areas that I will be focusing a lot of time on is the Developmental Asset Approach and bringing more awareness of the 40 Developmental Assets identified by the Search Institute to the Beaumont Community. You may have already been to a workshop FCSS put on earlier in the year or you may have read about this approach on this blog. Watch for more information coming soon about how the Developmental Asset Approach is being implemented in Beaumont and how all community members are able to make a positive impact on our youth with the Developmental Assets Approach. Another area that I am working on with the help of many, is organizing the Parent Workshop Series. If you have any suggestions or interest in a specific topic that you would like to see a workshop organized for, please call or email me. Watch for more information about the topics and presenters that will be offered starting October 21, 2009 at the Beaumont Community Youth Centre.
For more information on any of the above, or for any questions, please call me at (780) 929-9271 or email me at

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to School Photo

Here is a photo of my very own kids getting on the bus for the first time this year. This time of year is bitter sweet for many parents. If you have any back to school photos you would like to post here...let me know or just email your picture to No names will be published on this blog in case you are worried about privacy. Happy September.

FCSS Programming for Fall 2009

FCSS programming for youth and their families this fall in the Town of Beaumont.

Let’s Talk: offered through the Beaumont and Community Youth Centre. These interactive and fun workshops touch on a variety of topics in an engaging manner that keep youth aged 12-17 interested while learning about important topics like: improving communication, healthy relationships, self-esteem, and anger management. Contact the Beaumont Youth Centre for topics and times. 780-929-5155 or

HEROES: An interactive program focusing on developing Character, Confidence and Integrity in young people. The HEROES program is delivered through the school health curriculum in the junior high setting. A series of 12 sessions delivered in class (contact your local school for availability) will help youth discover their unique gifts and abilities, how to develop and maintain healthy relationships, and recognize their willingness to succeed in life. For more information phone 504-5969 or for more information about the HEROES program check out:

Kids and Drugs: The power of parents; is a workshop series aimed at helping parents of school aged children to prevent drug use and abuse. This 4 week workshop series recognizes that parents with strong parenting skills and a close relationship with their child are better able to recognize and help prevent drug use of their child. This program was developed by AADAC and the RCMP and will be offered right here in the community of Beaumont through a partnership between Town of Beaumont FCSS, RCMP, and AADAC. For more information about the Kids and Drugs program check it out on line:

Parent Workshop series. This year’s series will be offering a variety of topics on the third Monday of every month starting October 2009. These informative sessions will take place at the Beaumont Community Youth Centre from 7:00-9:00 pm. Topics and presenters are still to be announced. Topics that have been offered in the past are: Family Finance, Alcohol Liability, Bully Proof your Child, 40 Developmental Assets and more. Look forward to additional interesting topics this year. Most of these workshops don’t require pre-registration but for more information contact the FCSS Liaison at: 780 929-9271.

One on one support is available through the Youth Outreach Facilitator; Linda Mix-Kondratski for young people struggling with self-esteem issues, bullying, parent – teen conflict, or problems with personal relationships. These sessions are confidential and free of charge. Phone 780 504-5969 for an appointment.

Parents Empowering Parents: A program offering confidential support, education and hope for parents who are concerned about the drug or alcohol use of their youth. No pre-registration is necessary, there are no fees associated with this group and meetings held the second and fourth Monday of the month from 7-9pm at the Beaumont Community Youth Centre. Phone 780-504-5969 for more information or check out or on line. Next meetings: September 14, 28th,October 12th, 26th.

New programming this fall: Girl Talk. Is there a young female in your life that would benefit from learning about self-esteem, healthy body image, healthy relationships, and more? Girl Talk is geared to young women aged 12-17 that would like to discuss and explore these topics in a safe and supportive environment. Small group discussion as well as hands on activities will provide a fun and informative experience that will help participants discover their unique gifts and help them succeed now and in the future. This group will run out of the Youth Centre on Monday afternoons. Call 780-504-5969 for more information.

Talk Club: This is an 8 week information and support group developed for kids aged 9-12 that have experienced some significant loss in their life, or are dealing with separation or divorce of their parents. Topics like dealing with change, facing our fears and worries along with handling anger are dealt with in an age appropriate and engaging manner. These groups are offered through J.E. la Pointe and Coloniale Schools. Dates of upcoming sessions are TBA. For more information about the sessions please call 780-504-5969.

FCSS Blog. Offers important information about a variety of upcoming events and ongoing programming delivered by the Town of Beaumont FCSS. Weekly updates include tips and suggestions to help make family life more enjoyable as well as providing photos and updates about fun events offered through the Town of Beaumont. Learn more about your local Family and Community Support Services Department and find important links to resources on line and within your community. Our web address is

Monday, August 24, 2009

Seize the Summer

With the final weeks, (well days) of summer before us, now is the time to make the most of these few precious days are left.

Looking for a quick getaway this weekend consider Drumhellar, and the Tyrell Museum of Palentology, Calgary and the Calgary Zoo, Banff, Jasper, or what about LacLabiche? Sometimes even an overnight getaway at the end of summer can leave you with memories that will last for weeks and months to come.

Not able to get away for an overnight trip? There are dozens of attractions right in the Edmonton area. Why not explore activities and attractions closer to home? Right in our own backyard there a variety of things to do that will be sure to please the whole family. Check out Muttart Conservatory, Telus World of Science, Fort Edmonton Park, John Janzen Nature Centre, Ukranian Cultural Centre , Reynold's Museum in Wetaskiwin, or check out the Edmonton Eskimos Football game this saturday.

If even these close to home adventures seem too adventurous why not focus on rest and relaxation in your own home? To help set the tone here are some ideas for creating a relaxing environment in your home. If you are feeling stressed out at home, here are some ways to create a stress free environment. And check out this link for some do it yourself at home spa tricks!

However you choose to spend the remaining days of this summer try to be in the moment and enjoy the warmth and relaxed pace that the summer season provides.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Passion For Photography

For those as interested...dare I say passionate about photography as me...check out MCP Actions, this is a great resource for both photography and photo editing. There is some very cool stuff to be found on this site!

Parent Link BBQ this Thursday

Just to let you know, the people down at Parent Link will be hosting a fun event this Thursday (August 20) at the Beaumont Lion's Spray Park. The event runs from 12:30-2:30 and will feature face painting and other great activities geared for kids. For all the imformation check out the Parent Link Summer Newsletter. See you There!

Summer Camp at Home Ideas

Wow, I have been away from my blog for what feels like a very long time. I recently completed a grant proposal to be able to bring the Kids & Drugs (The Power of Parents) program to Beaumont. I really have my fingers crossed that the funding comes through. It will allow us to really engage with parents and families who will most benefit from this interactive and informative workshop series.

On a more personal note...I just got back from a week of holidays and am getting out from under a pile of unanswered emails...telephone messages and dirty laundry! I'm back, and available via email or if you have questions about youth programming here in Beaumont...don't hesitate to contact me! Email: and phone 780 504-5969.

So now for some summer camp resources if you are trying to fill in the last few weeks of summer holidays with some home grown fun. If you want to build a cool summer camp structure check this out: Now if you are looking for summer craft ideas...this website has lots of resources. This web-site has some great ideas for stay at home vacations that the whole family will enjoy.

Get out there and enjoy these wonderful summer days ahead!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beating the Heat: Simple (and Green) Solutions

If you're like me...(without an airconditioned house) the last few days have been pretty warm. And while, playing outside is absolutely delightful, when we move indoors it can be stifling! I have been trying to get outside in the morning and later afternoon to avoid the midday sun. And don't forget to cover up with a hat, sundlasses and sunscreen! However, we can't usually stay outside all day long, so what are some ways we can maintain the "cool" when we get out of the kiddie "pool"?

One way is to turn off our "hot" appliances! It sounds simple, but it's easy to forget that many household appliances create heat. Make sure you've unplugged all of your appliances that you aren't actually using. This can both save on your electric bill but also reduce the amount of heat generated inside the house.

Also, avoid using heat producers such as the oven and the dryer. Let the sun work for you--dry your clothes outside on the line. Ditch the blow dryer--find a simple hairstyle that'll look great without the hot air blast. With this warm weather, hair drys very quickly once you step out of the shower.

Place the oven on summer vacation--opt for raw foods or downsize to a toaster oven, or do your cooking outside on the grill.

Need to use a hot appliance? Close the door and switch the window fan to reverse mode to draw the hot air outside.

Hopefully these tips help to keep you cool...sounds like this "heat wave" is not going anywhere anytime soon! Have a great week!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Family Reunion Fun This Summer!

Summer is the official season of family reunions isn't it? Now some of us love catching up with long lost cousins and for others the thought of making conversation with old great aunt Ethel makes you want to cringe. (Those people usually don't go to family reunions) I recently went to a family reunion on my mom's side of the family and it was so much fun! I met some relatives for the very first time, have a new appreciation for family geneology research and caught up with some cousins that I haven't seen in years. It was fun, informative and nostalgic all at the same time! Here are my top 5 tips for making the most of your family reunion.
1. Take your camera (and take lots of photos, candids and those that are posed, get as many intergenerational photos as possible, they are worth pure gold down the road)
2. Take old photos, they can spark a conversation and help you connect with other people that might have new or different information from the person, place or event.
3. Have your contact information already written/printed out to make it easier to keep in touch with family members throughout the year!
4. If someone is compiling family information, buy the book/booklet that they are putting together. Family history and information can be facinating and links us to our past in a very unique way.
5. Show up with an empty stomach...there is always a TON of food!

Continue having a great summer and have fun at your next family reunion!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fun in the Summer Time!

So maybe the weather this week hasn't felt really a lot like summer, but that doesn't mean that we can't enjoy this time of year. I was recently at the Town of Beaumont Library and if you haven't been there, or go there regularly you really should check it out. Their staff is really friendly and helpful, they have some great books and magazines and it is a really great place to read and relax on a rainy or windy day. For the younger crowd (those aged 12-17) check out the Beaumont Community Youth Centre. There is always something interesting going on there and it is another place to meet friends and have fun indoors if our weather isn't cooperating. If you are getting kind of down about our less than perfect summer weather just remember at least we haven't had to deal with any funnel clouds or extreme weather. Check out this photo that I took on the way back from holidays on the weekend, this was taken just outside of Red Deer on Saturday evening. Pretty scary, thankfully no one was injured! Have a great week, indoors and out!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Photos from Tryathalon...

Here are some photos of some of the action from last weekends Family Fun Tryathalon. Fun really was had by all. It was great to see some families out being active and taking on this great challenge. Would love to see more events like this here in Beaumont.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Great Weekend and New PEP Website!

I hope everyone enjoyed the fantastic summer weather from the weekend! I know rain would be nice, but lets just enjoy it for a day or two...who knows how long its going to last. I want to give out a huge shout out of thanks to the Beaumont Community Youth Centre for hosting a fantastic, family friendly "Try-athalon" on the weekend. My family and I participated and had a great time, there was a good turn-out, the weather was perfect, the barbeque was delicious, the prizes were plentiful and the staff from the youth centre that turned out to put on the event were enthusiastic and supportive as we biked, roller bladed and ran around Don Sparrow Lake. Thanks a lot to all of you, who braved the very hot weather! We will definately be back again next year!

On another note, the Parents Empowering Parents Society has launched a new web-site. Still at the same web-address, but it is completely updated and new. And what is really it includes the information about the Beaumont meetings. So check out their web-site for meeting information and some great information in their Frequently Asked Question section. Have a great week! Woo hoo Summer is finally here!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Community in Shock.

The past two weeks have been like no other for the Town of Beaumont. Community members of all ages are reeling in shock and grief from the loss of a young life and the tragic accident of another young person from our community. While it seems there are no words to say that could help at this time, what is evident is Beaumont is a community that is drawing closer and supporting one another the best that they are able.

If anyone feels the need to connect with a helping professional know that the town of Beaumont FCSS department is available to provide support, information and referral if necessary to provide assistance during tragic times like this and throughout the year. For more information about the range of services that FCSS can help with, phone 780-929-9143.

As always, you are welcome to leave a comment here or to connect with me directly phone 780-504-5969. Linda

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Parents Empowering Parents Up and Running

We've had our first meeting...and the next one is in a short two weeks. New posters describing the group and providing the dates for the our meetings for the rest of the year will be circulated around town this week. If you are a business owner that would allow a PEP poster in your establishment...please contact me and I will be more than happy to bring one to you. Also check out our information spots on Leduc Radio that provide information about the time and place of our bi-weekly meetings. It is also a source for information about other important events in and around Beaumont. Go to the Archives Page to find information that has been posted. What a great resource for our community. Check out the new poster!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Parents Empowering Parents May 25th 7-9pm

Here is a poster (you might have seen one around town) that provides some more information about the PEP meeting on May 25th. For more information either email: or phone 780-504-5969. Have a great week everyone!

How was your long, cold weekend?

Actually, truth be told...only yesterday (Monday) was cold for the long weekend. Around Beaumont that is...I've seen some photos of people out at Buck Lake that met with some crazy snow and cold considering its the middle of May. I'll admit it...this cold weather kind of has me bummed. I've been watching the weather forecast however and there is some beautiful weather on the way. I also want to remind everyone that this coming Monday we will be hosting our very first Parents Empowering Parents meeting right here in Beaumont. If you (or someone you know pass the word along) are worried about the drug use/abuse of a young person close to you join us at the Beaumont Community Youth Centre on Monday May 25th from 7-9pm. The meeting is free, confidential and a place for information and support. For more information contact me (Linda) 780-504-5969. Stay warm over the next few days...plan where those nice bedding plants can go and be ready to get out and enjoy some nice spring weather by the weekend! (finger crossed!)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Newspaper Article for May

In case you would like a preview of the newspaper article that will be in Beau News this month I have included it here. In wake of the recent tragic death of Cassie Williams in Edmonton, Alberta I felt it was necessary to discuss the importance of a community response to the issue of Drugs and our Youth. My thoughts and prayers go out to Cassie's friends and family as they deal with this tremendous loss.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Developmenta Assets: The Community Approach

At the end of last week, I (along with other Beaumont FCSS staff) attended St. Albert's presentation of their Developmental Asset Survey results. Some of the stats were surprising, the speakers were inspiring, and I walked away from the event feeling energized and excited about the Developmental Asset Approach here in Beaumont. I am more than curious how our youth (grades 5-11) rate their level of assets. Do they feel supported, listened to, hopeful about the future and how tolerant and accepting are they of diversity? These are all questions I would really like to know the answers to. Speakers: James Vollbracht and Keith Pattinson, spoke about some ideas to build an asset rich community that would be relatively easy to implement. However, the approach is much more about people and relationships than it is about other programs to help "fix" kids' problems. In fact, the entire approach requires that youth are considered resources and participants in the process and NOT as problems. Keith, spoke about some extremely ambitious projects and work being done in Summerland, B.C. as a part of the Summerland Asset Development Initiative. I am still in awe of the amazing work that was undertaken and managed by the youth of this small but vibrant community.

However, in the wake of tragedies like the one from last weekend, when a 14 year old in Edmonton overdoses and passes away from the use of an illegal is difficult not to think about fixing the problems of youth. Communities will likely always require a range of services that include preventative, community development initiatives that focus on strength based strategies and those that deal with the issues of drug and alcohol abuse and law enforcement issues. Our hope here at FCSS is that more focus, effort, and resources channelled into those activities that are recognizing the pure potential of our young people will ultimately lessen our need for the more serious and sometimes tragic events like those we tend to hear about on the six o' clock news.

For more information about all FCSS programming here in the Town of Beaumont please contact my self (Linda Mix-Kondratski) at or Kim Williston at and have a great week!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Are You a Responsible Host?

Last night Beaumont FCSS hosted another installment of its Parent Workshop Series outlining how and why to be a responsible host if you are serving alcohol in your home. If you missed the presentation or would like more information about this topic, here is some more information about serving alcohol responsibliy in you home. As more resources become available I will be sure to post them here!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Project A21

I attended a special viewing of the latest Liam Neeson film yesterday called : Taken. It chronicles the experience of a father as he desperately searches for his 17 year old daughter in Paris who has been kidnapped and thrust into the underground world of human slavery. I have had an awareness of this issue, however, before the film there was a short presentation and film about a project called A21 that is trying to save people (mostly women) from this terrible example of organized crime at its worst. check out their web-site to learn more. It is estimated that human trafficking will become the number one type of organized crime by NEXT YEAR! It is estimated that 27 million people are currently enslaved throughout the world. Most of them in the sex-trade industry. This horrific crime is not limited to developing countries...this is happening across europe (with Greece being particularly high numbers) and even here in Canada. Please check out the web-site for more information.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Our Next Parenting Workshop Series Event!

Here is yet another exciting presentation that is being offered by the Town of Beaumont's FCSS Team! Alcohol seems to be a very common beverage of choice of social gatherings both in public and in the privacy of our own homes. Many questions loom about the liability of homeowners and hosts of these parties about over-serving, drinking and driving and personal liability around these issues. If you have specific questions to ask of industry experts or would like to learn more about this "hot topic" join us for our next installment of the Parenting Workshop Series on April 27th at the Beaumont Community Youth Centre from 6:30-8:00pm. For more information, post questions here or phone our office: 929-9271...let us know what you think!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Holy Snow!

Can you BELIEVE this SNOW? Actually, I can believe it quite easily, we're living in Alberta and it is only the middle of April. As Mother Nature proved last night and this morning...anything can happen, weather-wise, in Alberta in April.

I think, one great thing about snow, when we don't expect it is that is FORCES us to slow down. Not just in our driving, but also in the way it halts our natural tendancy to get so busy. If you don't have the energy, patience or where-with-all to get out and enjoy this unexpected snow fall...why not take the opportunity to enjoy the great INDOORS for the next few days.

Bring out a cool board game you haven't played for a while, start reading a new book as a family, rent and old movie, check out some new music on line, create a piece of artwork (see example of my 7 year old's collage above), or take this opportunity to connect with a friend or relative that you've been "too busy" to see or talk to.

So if you just can't handle getting out to enjoy this snow...stay indoors and use the opportunity to connect with family and/or friends in a new or old kind of way.

Stay Warm!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

P E P (Parents Empowering Parents) Coming to Beaumont!

It is heard it here first, Parents Empowering Parents is coming to Beaumont! This is very exciting news for our community. Meetings will start on May 25th and we will have meetings the second and fourth Mondays from 7-9pm. Meetings will be held at the Beaumont Community Youth Centre, right here in Beaumont. For more information keep checking back here, or phone 780 929 9143.

Put it Down!

Here is an interesting graphic that demonstrates how parents can (or cannot) be asset builders for their children. I've often talked about the importance of using that time in the car as a time to connect and share with your child. So whether you are on the way to soccer, the grocery store on a road trip to "grandma's house" use that time to talk to you child!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Feels like Spring!

I hope everyone had a great spring break. I have to be honest, I felt like I needed an extra day "off" to recuperate from all of our family spring break fun! We managed to get to school on time yesterday and after school, enjoyed a relaxing afternoon, splashing and playing in some very cold water. I have resigned myself to the fact, I will be doing a lot of laundry over the next month or so. Kids seem to be magnetically drawn to puddles, creeks, and melting ice! This is a great time of year to get outside with our kids, grand kids, neighbour kids etc. and play in the mud. I find it tough sometimes, to take the time and to get dirty or watch my kids get dirty without cringing on the inside. This book: Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv takes a look at the importance of our children getting out into nature to explore, learn and get dirty! I have clear memories of my experiences around this time of year and experimenting with ice, mud and water. If you haven't got out into mud yet this year, do so. Soccer season is just around the corner and when that starts, many of us will be too busy with game times and practices to get beyond the soccer pitch to really get into nature. One word of caution, if your kids are playing in or near water any deeper than their ankles, be sure to supervise. I invested in a good pair of rubber boots a year or two ago, and have never regretted it! Have fun in the mud!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I came across this really interesting video that outlines Developmental Assets. What I like is that it highlights the fact that to be an asset builder doesn't mean you have to be specially trained, or working in the field of child or community development. Building assets in kids means creating connections and communicating with kids so that they know they have value! It is very exciting stuff! Keep checking back here for lots of tips and ideas to become an asset builder in the community of Beaumont! Have a great weekend and if you are a parent...try out one of these tips! Please give me you feedback on any of the information that I post and share here. I really want to know what people think about these 40 Developmental Assets.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Wait is OVER!

Today is the day of our long awaited public workshop about Developmental Assets is here! Tonight at 6:30 at the Beaumont Youth Centre everyone who cares about or who is connected to youth in this community is invited to attend and learn about this approach to giving kids what they need to suceed. In addition to hearing from industry experts in the application of asset building and their experience within the community of St. Albert, we will discuss future plans for implementing devlopmental assets in our own community of Beaumont. Some of these future initiatives include; Kids and Drugs Training, the HEROES program, and Step out Safely (SOS). What the Town of Beaumont FCSS needs, is your input and assistance with this new approach to providing kids what they need to truly suceed. One of the main premise's of Developmental Assets is the fact that all community members are able to impact youth in a positive and meaningful way. So please join us tonight for what will surely be an interesting and inspiring event. See you there!

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Town is Buzzing about Developmental Assets

Have you seen a poster or invitation around town for the workshop on March 23rd about Developmental Assets? If you have spotted one around town, make a comment here and you could win a very cool Town of Beaumont prize. I'll give you some hints of where to look; somewhere you might catch a local hockey team....a place kids go during the week to learn stuff...or how about somewhere you might go to get a yummy treat and specialty cup of coffee? Find a poster in town, let me know where you spotted it and win a prize! Most importantly, come to the Youth Centre on March 23rd and learn about what kids need to succeed.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Developmental Assets and Education

Did you know that Developmental Assets have been clearly linked to academic performance? It does stand to reason that children and youth that live in a supportive and healthy community would experience more academic success, however, the research supports this commonsense idea. To learn more about this link between schools and developmental assets check out this link. Check back to this blog often, as I find interesting information, you can bet your bottom dollar, I making it available for all those interested.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Tide Is Changing....

Call me optimistic, call me delusional, but I think it is getting warmer. Today was sunny and felt okay outside. I spoke with a very positive person today about how to beat the winter blues and she said its all in your head. She's just been convincing herself its spring and blocking out the cold weather with the power of her mind. I'm going to give it a try. I also reminded her if she added her idea to the blog, she would be eligible for a fabulous Town of Beaumont too could be the winner of a very cool prize. Just give us your thoughts on how to get through this latest cold snap. I'll tell you one thing I'm excited about...the days are longer. Yes it seems weird that there is so much snow on the ground...but I just remind myself that we really need that moisture in the soil. Stay positive Beaumont and trust that spring is just around the corner!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Well, is it cold enough for you? I haven't been all that surprised (or disappointed)by the snow the last week or so, but the cold weather seems to be a bit much, don't you think? I'm wondering if anyone out there has some beat the long winter blues tips for us all here at the FCSS Blog. If you have a tip to get us through this final stretch of winter, please post it here. The first three posts will receive a very cool Town of Beaumont prize! That's all I'm going to say, I want to leave you in suspense.

I was actually out playing in the snow yesterday. It sounded like a good idea, but when I actually got! that wind was COLD! However, the fresh air did us all good and the hot chocolate when we came inside was a great way to warm up. So post an idea to deal with this cold snap or descibe a winter adventure and be eligible to win a great prize! Stay warm and stay safe and I'll talk to you in a few days!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Do you have YOUR 40?

It's official...the Developmental Asset Approach is coming to the Town of Beaumont. Here is poster, you might see around town inviting everyone who has either a connection or an interest in youth to come out and hear about this new approach to community development and preparing our young people to succeed within our community.
Developmental Assets have been identified by a group at the Search Institute. This institute has identified the following building blocks of healthy development that help young people grow up healthy, caring, and responsible. These building blocks are called 40 Developmental Assets. One of the greatest things about these assets is the fact that anyone who has care or concern about young people can help develop them within a community. Seriously, we all can make a difference in somone's life. Personally, I think this is pretty exciting stuff. Check back here for more exciting details of this and other upcoming FCSS events in Beaumont and if you have questions about this new initiative, please post them here.
Have a great day and I'll be back soon!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Good Afternoon Beaumont

Welcome to the Town of Beaumont FCSS Blog. This blog spot has been created to help us get and stay connected with Town of Beaumont residents. Check in weekly to find important information about programs, activities and helpful tips that will enhance you and your family's life. Watch for contests and challenges to be posted here and please leave comments about how this blog is (or isn't) helping you in your daily life.

Hope you are having a great Monday!