Cache Valley Family Magazine Winter 2023

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How Parents Can Support Their Children Through Seasonal Affective Disorder

• Explore Cache Valley: Where We Do Winter Right

Books for Children Struggling to Fit In at School

Become a Documenting Guru in 2023

Taking the Love of the Game to the Next Level

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I’ll let you in on a secret. Actually, if you know me very well, it isn’t much of a secret at all. I don’t like winter. I joke with my kids: “I’m allergic to the cold.” Yet, somehow, I have found myself with my roots firmly planted right here in a corner of the country that, this year especially, is determined to prove its claim to ownership of the best snow on Earth — and I love it here! It's home.

A few years back I decided if I was going to raise my family in Cache Valley, I better find something to enjoy about winter, so we took up skiing. I’m not very athletic and even five years in, I’m barely brave enough for the green runs, but I have found a few reasons to love it (and they outweigh the guarantee that I will be cold!).

First, the view! We live in a beautiful place. Standing atop a mountain and looking down on our picturesque valley makes you feel pretty close to heaven. I take a deep breath, there above the inversion, and thank God for the beauty that surrounds me.

Second, the secret of the ski lift. I have found it is a great place for a thoughtful chat with my

kids. No distractions, just one of my daughters and me, talking about the beauty that surrounds us, goals we have, things we are struggling with, reviewing memories — just connecting. The rides aren’t long, but I cherish them.

Third, snowflakes. Last month we had family visit Cache Valley who had never experienced snow. They were amazed and literally spent every moment they could playing in the snow. One day while they were here, the snowflakes were so big and so beautiful that we could see their shapes clearly as they landed on our hair or clothing. It was remarkable. It led to a good discussion about how unique every person is, and how beauty can be found everywhere if we just take a moment to look.

While the good sides of winter can be difficult to see through all the frost buildup on your windows, there is something to love about every season, sometimes it just takes a little more effort to find it, but once you do, it can warm your heart.

Here's to not just making it through the remainder of this winter season, but to embracing it with all the beauty it has to offer.

Publisher & Editor in Chief


Copy Editor


Cover Photography HEATHER PALMER

Layout Design


Contributing Writers




Cache Valley Family Magazine is a free, trusted resource designed to inform, serve, and enrich local parents and families throughout Cache Valley. Material in this publication is copyright 2023, Cache Valley Family Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission of the publisher is prohibited. The views expressed in the magazine are the views of the writers and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.

Please send all editorial correspondence to or by mail to PO Box 6831, North Logan, UT 84341. All correspondence is sent on a non-confidential basis and Cache Valley Family Magazine shall be free to reproduce, publish, edit and/or use any such communications. All materials become property of Cache Valley Family Magazine.

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Cache Valley Rotarians Make a Difference Locally and Internationally ... pg 6


Experience the Spirit of Aloha on Hawaii's North Shore ... pg 8


What a Good Dog Can Do ... pg 16


Taking the Love of the Game to the Next Level

pg 20


Cache County School District: The PodCACHE: Cache County School District's New Podcast ... pg 22

Logan City School District: Talking About Death With Children ... pg 23


Cache Valley Ski Team: Athletes With Heart ... pg 30


Become a Documenting Guru in 2023: Know Your Why and Start With One Project ... pg 36


Understanding the Shifting Dynamics of the Real Estate Market ... pg 38

Explore Cache Valley: Where We Do Winter Right ... pg 10

Harvesting and Storing Seeds: A Great Investment ... pg 12

The Connection Between Vision and Vertigo ... pg 15

Ten Inspiring Books for Kids Struggling to Fit in at School ... pg 18

How Parents Can Support Their Children Through Seasonal Affective Disorder ... pg 26

The Art of Influencing and Making Room For Yourself ... pg 28

Growing Love ... pg 33



Cache Valley Rotarians Make a Difference Locally and Internationally

If anyone truly knows what “Service Above Self” means, it’s those involved with Rotary International. According to Steve Skinner, a Cache Valley Rotarian of 35 years and former Rotary District Governor, this simple yet profound phrase “is the motto of over 1.4 million Rotarians in 46,000 clubs and 200 countries.”

The first Rotary Club was established in Chicago in February 1905. The club’s initial purpose was to encourage the exchanging of ideas and development of lifelong friendships among community members. Today, Rotary is one of the largest service organizations in the world, with a vision revolving around humanitarian service. Rotary first came to Utah in 1911. Today, there are 45 clubs in Utah, including Cache Valley Morning Rotary and Logan Rotary.

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Rotary Art Gallery at Benson Marina

“We also sponsor Interact Clubs, which are Rotary Clubs at a high school level, and Utah State University sponsors a Rotaract Club,” Cheryl Alder, Cache Valley Rotarian, said.

Rotary’s main focuses include “ending polio, promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, supporting education, saving mothers and children, growing local economies, protecting the environment, and disaster response.” Rotary is most well-known for its worldwide efforts to eradicate polio.

“In 1988, a big reason why I joined Rotary was to help eradicate polio in the world,” Steve said.

“That year, there were an estimated 350,000 cases of polio that occurred in 125 countries. In 2018, 33 cases of wild poliovirus were reported in only two countries: Afghanistan and Pakistan. That’s a 99.9% reduction in global polio cases. Together, we are leading the fight to end polio through our fundraising efforts, awareness campaigns, and work as a partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.”

Cheryl Alder leads the Interact Club at Ridgeline High School and helps organize Interact’s polio eradication fundraising efforts. She recalls how she was first inspired to join Rotary by members who visited the students

she taught in elementary school, to give each second grader a book about ethics as part of Rotary’s Literacy Program.

“For many years, Rotarians had been coming to the schools and teaching our second graders a little bit about Rotary. Each year as they came, I was interested in their service, especially their service in Cambodia. For many, many years, I had been interested in going on a humanitarian trip, so in June 2019 I went to my first meeting. I love being a part of something bigger than me!” she said.

One of Rotary’s biggest projects in Cache Valley is providing gifts for the Centro-dela-familia community during Christmastime. “The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays lend themselves to serving others and this is a delightful and rewarding project,” Cheryl said. “We aren’t there when the children get their presents, but we do get reports back about how grateful families are for our support.”

Rotarians in Cache Valley also work closely with the Cache Valley Food Pantry, participate in annual highway cleanup projects, sponsor an orphanage and latrine-building program in Cambodia, and have created outdoor wildlife art galleries in some beautiful locations across the valley, including Benson Marina and near the Little Bear River.

“It has been eye-opening to see Rotarians’ lives change when they give way to serving those around them. People are happier and more fulfilled in giving back and making a difference in our local and world community. That awareness changes you. The 35 years of my life as a Rotarian have given me the opportunity to see how doing good in a Rotary Club truly makes a difference. If you want to be of service in making the world a better place, come join us,” Steve said.

“I know it is difficult to leave work to come and meet and find ways to serve people around us, but the rewards and change in my own life have been so great. We are always looking for others who want to serve and make a difference right here in our own community,” Cheryl said. She is looking forward to participating in Rotary’s latrine and wash station construction project in Cambodia this month and acknowledges that there is also much to be done locally. “We have so much we can do here, in our wonderful Cache Valley! Come and join us — we need you!”

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Top: Rotary Club serving at the Cache Valley Food Pantry; Bottom: Ridgeline High School Interact Club


Experience the Spirit of Aloha on Hawaii’s North Shore

It’s about this time of winter that Utah families start to dream of trading the inversion for sunshine and the snow for sand. This year we checked a big dream off our family bucket list and took the kids to Hawaii.

When deciding where exactly to go, my husband and I discussed several options, including which island to visit and where to stay on the island. After settling on Oahu, we determined that the main purpose of the trip was to relax and enjoy family time, and with a little research we determined that Waikiki didn’t fit the bill for us. We opted for a whole different experience on Oahu’s North Shore, a preeminent destination for beautiful beaches.

We made a reservation at the Marriott Courtyard North Shore in Laie, which proved to be a fantastic choice for family travel. With five kids, we have outgrown a single hotel room,

and with Hawaii land-use ordinances that require 30-day rental of residential properties, a legitimate VRBO isn’t a very viable option.

Thankfully, the Marriott Courtyard North Shore has beautiful adjoining rooms available that allowed our family to settle in and spread out for over a week without feeling like we were living on top of each other.

Although most Courtyard Marriott properties are designed with business travelers in mind, this hotel is uniquely suited for family travel.

Resort features include a resort-style pool and activity rentals with everything you need for a day at beach, whether you plan to play in the sand, surf, or body board, all without an added resort fee.

Our favorite part, though, was the immediate understanding of what the “Aloha spirit” is from the moment we walked in the door. The

Aloha Spirit is so highly valued by Hawaiians that it is a state law to treat people with the same care and respect as their ancestors did. At the Courtyard Marriott, they take that even further, employing locals who share their rich heritage with their guests.

Our family had the pleasure of meeting Aunty Kela, a local woman who dedicates her life to sharing her culture. She teaches hula, leimaking, and ukulele lessons most mornings in the hotel lobby. She told me that her mother told her, “When you hear good Hawaiian music, don’t waste it, go share your Aloha.”

Within moments we felt completely comfortable calling her Aunty as she took time to teach us about the Hawaiian way of showing respect to older generations. It was heartwarming to see her actual family come and join her in hula dancing on a Sunday

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evening when a local band played Hawaiian music in the lobby.

The parking lot of the Marriott Courtyard North Shore is adjacent to the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC), which has been rated the best attraction in Hawaii by USA Today and among the top ten experiences in the United States by Trip Advisor.

The PCC will celebrate its 60th anniversary this year. Set on 42 acres, the PCC has six island villages representing the unique island cultures of Hawaii, Fiji, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti, and Tonga. At each of the villages you can be entertained by performers from the islands and participate in hands-on activities ranging from dancing and canoeing to tasting ancient foods and playing traditional games.

At the PCC you can end the day dining like royalty at an authentic Polynesian lū'au and top it off with the most spectacular evening show, “Ha: Breath of Life,” which features both hula and fire dancing.

We spent our first full day in Hawaii at the PCC, which allowed us to come back a second time using their free bounce back offer, to experience activities we didn’t have time to do the first day. Additionally, starting our trip at the PCC gave us all a greater appreciation for the culture we would experience throughout the rest of our visit.

Outside of a day trip to Honolulu to visit Pearl Harbor and hike Diamond Head, we made the conscious decision to spend our week in Hawaii at a slower pace, relaxing on the North Shore, and we had no trouble finding just that. Here are a few of our favorite experiences:

• Snorkel. Although winter can bring rough waters to Hawaii, hopefully you’ll get the opportunity to snorkel. Our favorite snorkeling spot in Oahu is Shark’s Cove. It isn’t nearly as crowded as the popular Hanauma Bay and there are no fees to park or swim. There is a tide pool area that is great for kids to learn to snorkel, and more experienced swimmers will enjoy heading out toward deeper waters. You can either bring snorkeling gear from home or rent it from the hotel. We also suggest wearing reef or water shoes to protect your feet as you get in and out of the water.

• Watch the surfers. During the winter the North Shore becomes an expert surfer’s paradise. Huge swells are common, which

did make the water too dangerous for us to play in some days, but watching the pros ride enormous waves was a thrill. We were lucky enough to be there during the Bonzai Pipeline Surf Competition.

• Spend time at the beach. The North Shore runs from Ka'ena Point to Kahuku, featuring over seven miles of beach. We enjoyed hopping from beach to beach, including Sunset Beach and Laniloa Beach, which was a quick walk across the street from the hotel and felt more secluded than other beaches. At Waimea Beach, the water was a clear blue-green and the sand was white. It was a great place to boogie board and there are public bathrooms and showers.

• Swim in a waterfall. Waimea Valley, located across from the Waimea Beach, is a beautiful cultural and historical site. You can take a three-quarter-mile walk through a stunning botanical garden to reach a 45-foot waterfall that is open for swimming most days. Lifeguards are on duty at the waterfall, and life jackets are required. Make sure you arrive early enough for the walk and allow time to swim; the waterfall closes to swimmers at 3:30 p.m.

• Zipline. If you’re up for an adventure, CLIMB Works Keana Farms is a three-hour guided zipline tour that includes Oahu’s longest ziplines ranging from 500 feet to nearly a half-mile long. Zipline over a working agricultural farm on eight worldclass dual lines, rappel, and enjoy three sky bridges. This activity is for ages 7 and up.

• Eat. Try these local favorites:

• Most visitors hit up one of the three shrimp trucks on the North Shore: Fumi’s, Romy’s, and Giovanni’s. All are delicious but you should know that Giovanni’s serves frozen shrimp while the other two serve shrimp fresh from the farms their stands reside on.

• Don’t miss getting a shave ice from Matsumoto’s, where you can choose your flavor and top it off with ice cream, azuki beans, or condensed milk.

• Ted’s Bakery is famous for their chocolate haupia pie, but we were even more pleased by their fried rice and breakfast sandwiches and fantastic donut holes!

• Seven Brothers Burger’s is a familyowned institution in Oahu. With four locations on the North Shore, Seven Brother’s is known for their juicy burgers and coconut chocolate chip banana bread.

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From top: Courtyard Marriott North Shore, Aunty Kela teaching a daily ukelele lesson, Polynesian Cultural Center, Waimea Falls

Explore Cache Valley: Where We Do Winter Right

Hello Cache Valley! Now that we’ve had time to recover from our fruitcake and fudge-induced holiday comas, it’s time to start the new year right by exploring great opportunities for family fun right here in our own back yard.

As the director of the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau, I personally invite you to come to our office in the historic courthouse at 199 N. Main St. My staff and I get paid to tell people where to go every day, and we’re good at it! Please don’t make the mistake of thinking a.) we’re only here for tourists or b.) you’ve done everything there is to do in Cache Valley. We’ve got more than 150 free brochures, itineraries, and maps to convince you otherwise.

If you can’t make it to our office, jump on our website: It has tons of info and the most comprehensive calendar of events you can find.

If you haven’t noticed, we do winter right around here so let’s get started. Jump in the car and head up Logan Canyon to milepost 482 (Red Banks) where you’ll be blown away by a 22-foot tall snowman built by the Paul Sorenson family and their friends. This heavyweight frozen spectacle is 35 feet around at the bottom and has been an annual tradition since 2010.

Since you’ll already be in the middle of the greatest snow on Earth, I’d suggest renting cross-country skis or snowshoes The

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elk at Hardware Ranch; file photo by Mandy Bagley

so you can glide or tromp through miles of trails, or even make your own. Snowshoes are perfect for people like me who have absolutely no coordination. You strap them on to regular shoes or boots, and off you go over the river and through the woods exploring the beauties of nature by just plain walking. Brilliant! You can also hook up with Cache Hikers for one or more of their weekly ski/snowshoe trips.

Keep your eyes peeled for beautiful birds. Cache Valley is on a migration route, so more than 300 species of birds are here each year. You can buy a pocket bird identification guide at the Visitors Bureau Gift Shop to help you know what you’re looking at.

If you want a little more excitement, go downhill skiing or snowboarding at Beaver Mountain or Cherry Peak Ski Resorts. Beaver is up Logan Canyon and is the longest running family-owned ski resort in the nation. It boasts four lifts, a great lodge, affordable ticket prices, excellent instructors if you need a lesson, and snow straight from heaven.

Meanwhile, Cherry Peak is Utah’s newest ski and snowboard resort and is located in Richmond. It also boasts an awesome 580-foot-long tubing hill with a moving sidewalk so you don’t have to drag your sorry carcass to the top. Best news ever! Plan to rent your tubes there and have a great time.

Now for some real adrenaline: Rent brand new snowmobiles at Beaver Creek Lodge (even better, make it a getaway and stay the night) and enjoy almost 300 miles of groomed trails with views across three states at once. We’re ranked in the best snowmobiling in the nation and rated as Utah’s best.

Another dreamy wintertime adventure is taking a horse-drawn wagon ride through a huge herd of elk at Hardware Ranch Fridays through Sundays until February 12. You’ll get to see hundreds of huge bulls and cows up close and personal. Dress warmly and bring your camera. A drive to Hardware Ranch is worth it even after the sleigh rides end. Keep your eyes open for bald eagles.

If the cold weather isn’t for you, head indoors for a variety of live performances from Broadway shows to concerts and other entertainers to brighten your evenings. That’s not to mention classic films at the 1924 Utah Theatre. Don’t forget Aggie basketball, gymnastics meets, and hockey too.

Any time is a great time to experience our unique restaurants from Thai to Indian, Japanese, Italian, Mexican, or Greek, from fine dining to topof-the-line diners and pubs, Cache Valley has your taste buds covered. Bon appétit!

Mark your calendars for the Cache Valley Cowboy Rendezvous, March 10-12 at the Cache County Event Center featuring dozens of cowboy poets and western singers, vendors, dances, cowboy church, and Billy Dean in Concert.

There’s no time for a long winter’s nap. Get out and explore the beauties of your own backyard! Visit the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau and Gift Shop Monday through Friday from 8 a.m to 5 p.m., call 435-755-1890, or log on to

Harvesting and Storing Seeds: A Great Investment

Most years, gardeners have concerns and questions for me about seed production, availability, and viability, but this has been even more so in the last three years thanks to the unusual circumstances of the recent pandemic.

Will seeds be available next year? How should I store my seeds and how long will stored seeds last? Can I harvest my own seed and how should I do that? What’s the difference between open-pollinated, hybrid, and heirloom seeds? These are valid and reasonable questions, but the answers aren’t nearly as simple or practical as the average gardener would like to hear. In most cases — and don’t think I’m saying this just because I own a seed business — it’s way easier to just buy extra seeds and store them properly than it is to harvest your own. I’ll let you decide for yourself.

Seed production has been very consistent for the last few decades, even during the pandemic and surge of demand caused by the increase in gardening and food storage. However, every year there are a few different varieties of seeds that have limited or no production at all because of various factors including weather, season length, insects, disease, etc. A few years ago, it was Blue Lake bush beans, this year it’s Ambrosia sweet corn. It’s normal. I anticipate that seed production will be amazing for the next year or so since we’re experiencing a wet winter, and drought has affected seed production for the last few years. You can anticipate a steady crop next year and probably for years to come.

Storing seeds can be as simple as a shoe box in the basement or as complicated as

computerized indexing, vacuum packing, and a deep freezer. Most seeds, if stored properly, can maintain good germination for anywhere from 2 to 5 years. Optimum conditions for seed storage is low humidity and low temperatures. Too hot and too moist can usually cause significant decreases in germination and the non-viability of your seed. I recommend a cool, dry place in your basement, preferably in the packages you purchased them in, or in a plastic resealable bag if you live in a low-humidity locale (we do). Freezing the seeds can increase their shelf life up to 10 years, but make sure they are airtight and that no extra moisture can get into your container, that extra moisture will do more damage than the freezing temperatures will do good.

Harvesting your own seeds from your own

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garden gets much more complicated. Some seeds are easy to harvest and prepare for storage to use during the next growing season like tomatoes, peppers, and legumes (beans and peas). Others are tricky, need extra effort to prevent cross pollination, and can be problematic such as sweet corn and the curcubit family (squash, melons, cucumbers). Seeds that come from biennial vegetables (carrots and beets) and the brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower) just aren’t worth the time and effort expended to prevent cross pollination and harvesting limitations. Biennial vegetables need two growing seasons to produce seed and they easily cross with other plants — including wild varieties — as bees do most of the pollination. It’s complicated, but doable. The one advantage we have living in Utah is the dry climate, so it does make it

much easier to prepare and dry the seeds after harvesting without investing in equipment. For those of you interested in trying this for yourself, I have some great resources that will walk you through the whole process.

When it comes to the seeds themselves, they are fairly easy to classify. Hybrid seeds have been strategically created with controlled, standard crossing of pollen from two different parents, in the hopes of creating a new variety with the best qualities of each parent creating a new synergy of possibilities (more productive, disease resistant).

Producing this type of seed is difficult and time consuming, but ultimately very rewarding with newly created genetics. Open-pollinated seed is created by self-pollination — for example, a

female flower of a banana squash in pollinated by a male flower of a banana squash, resulting in similar genetics. Heirloom seeds can be either hybrid or open-pollinated but have been in use for 75 years or longer. Open-pollinated seeds traditionally are easier to keep true to the parents and harvest for future use while hybrids are difficult to retain their qualities after the first growing season because of cross-pollenization.

Dollar for dollar, when it comes down to it, seeds are one of the greatest investments that you could ever make, whether you buy, store, or harvest your own. Think about it, one corn seed can produce hundreds of seeds. One tomato seed can produce literally thousands of seeds. There’s no return on investment in the banking world like it. Not to mention, how worthwhile it is to eat some of that investment.

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The Connection Between Vision and Vertigo

In our clinic, we often see patients with complaints of dizziness and vertigo. We collaborate often with other practitioners of different specialties in the valley to achieve the best outcome for these patients.

Recently, an article was published investigating the prevalence of binocular vision disorders coexisting with a vestibular diagnosis. In other words, researchers wanted to know among those who had complaints of dizziness, vertigo, or motion sickness, how many of those same patients also exhibited binocular vision deficits. After reviewing the data, this group concluded, “visual function deficits were observed at a high frequency in patients with a vestibular diagnosis with or without a concussion.” This team also stated, “visual function assessments may be important for patients with vestibular diagnoses.”

Our body’s balance is mostly determined by the functions of the inner ear. The tiny organs located there sense fluid moving through them via microscopic “hairs” and give feedback to the brain about our body’s positioning. Cache Valley has great ENT physicians that can diagnose, and vestibular therapists that can treat problems in this system such as inflammation in the inner ear, tiny crystals trapped in the fluid-filled tubes, or damage to the sensitive cilia that sense movement.

When issues arise in this system, one can experience symptoms such as vertigo, dizziness, and motion sickness. These often vary in severity from mild to extreme, even causing the inability to sit or walk without assistance. In our clinic, we often see patients with complaints of vertigo or dizziness who have

been thoroughly evaluated regarding the inner ear with no problems noted. Often, it is quite possible that there are no issues with the inner ear function, and the source of the complaints may lie elsewhere.

The brain is responsible for receiving input from all the sensory systems and integrating those data streams accurately and within a split second. If input from one system does not agree with another, the brain must make decisions or interpret situations based on conflicting information. For example, the senses can be “tricked” by holding other foods in front of your nose while eating. It may seem impossible to think that one is eating an apple when an onion is actually in the mouth, but it is a simple experiment to try. When the brain smells one thing and tastes another, it must make a decision one way or the other, which may turn out to be incorrect.

These errors of conflicting information can also occur between the visual system and other senses. For example, many people find themselves getting motion sick while reading or looking at their phone in the car. While riding up front looking out the windshield, no symptoms are experienced. While looking down, the eyes have a stationary target informing the brain that the body is sitting still, however, the vestibular input to the brain is notifying of the stops, starts, and turns of the car ride. When these inputs conflict, we start to feel the effects of car sickness. While looking out the front window, both the visual and vestibular systems agree with each other, and symptoms are lessened.

When binocular vision disorders are present and feed poor visual information to the brain, we may experience symptoms of dizziness and vertigo even if the inner ear has no problems. At the very least, the data show that these conditions occur at the same time very frequently. If you are experiencing balancerelated symptoms, it is very important to have a binocular vision evaluation.

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What a Good Dog Can Do

Do all dogs go to heaven? Or do all good dogs bring a little bit of heaven to the world? Are you a dog owner? Have you never had a dog? Have your kids begged you for a puppy? It’s a lot of work to train a puppy, not to mention the expense of purchasing, feeding, and caring for another family member, right? Is it worth it? For what a good dog can do for you, if you’ve never considered it, take a look at some local special dog owners.

In the world of dogs as companions, there’s an extremely wide range of setups. Of course, there is the pet scenario: you care for them, walk them, feed them, love them, and they love you back. Or there are the hunting companions, working dogs on a farm, lap dogs that fit in a

purse, police dogs trained to assist with law enforcement and investigation, emotional support animals, and service dogs. You may have heard about or even experienced an airport’s use of therapy pooches to soothe passengers who are nervous to fly or are dealing with the stress of flight delays.

Within the service dog realm, there are some fascinating scenarios. Dave Asay of Providence is a basketball enthusiast, loving dad and Grandpa, and more recently, a leg amputee. He and his wife Michelle have raised and had dogs in their family since they were newly married more than 30 years ago. With Dave’s new setup he has some challenges that their dog Lucy has been trained to assist him with.

Lucy is a full-size chocolate brown Labrador Poodle mix, popularly called a Labradoodle, and about the sweetest lady you’ll ever meet. She is intelligent and loving and exceptionally clued into the emotions of the people around her. She gives a lot of love to both Dave and Michelle, but this only scratches the surface of what Lucy does as a trained service dog. When she puts on her service animal vest, she knows it’s time to work.

One day Dave found himself at the sprinkler store to pick up a few things. Lucy was with him and like she’s trained to do, she always sticks right by his side. With a prosthetic leg, Dave uses a cane to aid him in walking and when he found that the items he needed were

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more than he could carry and still use his hand to walk with his cane, Lucy’s smart and sweet responsiveness came to his aid. “When I knew I couldn’t hold both sprinklers and walk to the cash register, I asked Lucy to carry one and she held it gently in her mouth and carried it all the way there for me,” Dave said.

Lucy occasionally helps with Dave’s balance using a special harness she wears for him to rely on her for stability when needed. At home, she will fetch things for Dave. Picking things up off the floor can

be difficult for Dave since his balance isn’t what it used to be before he lost his leg.

Lucy is a special companion among so many. Like any pet, she requires care like feeding and exercising, lots of love, and a good home. Still, the work Dave and Michelle do for Lucy is more than worth it to them. She offers so much to their family, beloved by their children and grandchildren and has a wonderful temperament.

For those reasons, they decided to breed her to provide puppies for others who might want or need a loving and smart canine companion. In Spring 2022, Lucy gave birth to 11 puppies. Lucy was a sweet mama to her pups and they have all gone home to their forever families — some of which have become service or therapy animals like Lucy. Michelle has found it rewarding to learn of the good things coming from all her hard work helping care for Lucy and the puppies.

Danny, a handsome 7-year-old black Labrador mix, makes an incredible service companion for Rachel Duffin Fillingim, a resident of Logan. Danny goes everywhere Rachel goes and is extremely attentive and obedient. Rachel has had Danny with her for the past 5 ½ years, and they share a very special bond. “Dogs have so much joy in them and the littlest things make them happy,” Rachel said. “That joy transfers over. Danny can make me smile even on my worst days.”

Rachel is a dancer and avid performer in the

Danny is a faithful and dedicated service dog and travels and stays with Rachel through every rehearsal and is backstage with her during performances, not only supporting and helping her, but winning the hearts of the other cast members in the process.

He’s always with her in public, and when she starts to feel overwhelmed, Danny will create space for her to breathe better. He’s extremely tuned into Rachel’s emotions and can sense when she needs comfort. He will lay his paws and head in her lap and lick her hands to let her know he’s ready to help her further if she starts experiencing more intense anxiety. If she experiences a panic attack, Danny is trained to perform deep pressure therapy, which helps her in miraculous ways.

“Before I had Danny, I could have symptoms from a panic attack for days afterward, but now Danny can get me functioning really quickly, sometimes just 5 minutes, though usually I think it’s closer to 10-15. It depends how bad the attack was,” Rachel said. “He’s pretty incredible.”

It’s touching to see how dedicated and keen service animals and pets are to comfort and aid their companions. From pressure therapy for panic attacks to using their special sense of smell to alert diabetics of blood sugar emergencies, and from helping guide people who can’t see to supporting them while they walk, it is truly amazing to consider the immense good that dogs bring to the world — a bit of heaven indeed.

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Ten Inspiring Books for Kids Struggling to Fit in at School

Watching your child struggle is one of the hardest things we do as parents. So often we see what they are going through and don’t know how to help them. Sometimes kids don’t know how to express what they are going through. This creates a chasm that leaves our children feeling lonely and us feeling lost. Books bridge that gap.

School is exciting and filled with learning new things. Except for when it’s not. It’s easy for kids to feel different, less than others, or like they don’t fit in. These ten books help them see how normal those feelings are while showing how to increase selfesteem, be themselves, and show kindness to others.

Chrysanthemum offers the most beautiful story about a girl who is being teased at school. The reader sees her struggle and immediately wants to cheer for this little mouse with the big name. A fantastic read-aloud for kids in Preschool and up, Chrysanthemum will leave kids feeling hopeful and confident in who they are.

Giraffes Can’t Dance is a silly story about a loveable giraffe that feels like he’s not like his friends. Ages three and up will love the vivid animal illustrations and laugh with Gerald as he discovers how to find his own music. It also shows kids how they can be a good friend by cheering on people who are different from them.

A beautiful story that looks at skin color in all its shades, The Colors of Us journeys with a little girl through her neighborhood. Trying to paint a picture of herself she struggles to find the right color of paint. As she walks through her neighborhood, she sees the beautiful skin of everyone around her in all its varying shades. Perfect for little kids and older kids alike, this story reminds us that we are all unique and that it’s a beautiful thing.

A silly story with a strong message, A Bad Case of Stripes reminds us to be exactly who we are, even if it’s not the same as the people around us. Through this funny tale and illustrations, kids see how much better it is to be themselves than to conform. Perfect for early elementary grades, kids will laugh and be reminded it’s ok to be different.

You Are Special is one of the treasures in the Wemmick’s stories. Beautifully illustrated with characters that carry through to all the books, kids see that you are special no matter what anyone else thinks of you. Perfect for those striving to be like everyone else, You Are Special spans early elementary to middle grades with this heartwarming story.

A current favorite, Wonder, is one of the most honest stories about a boy who looks different and his experiences at school. This story will inspire your child (and you) to be the best version of yourself, embrace all that life gives you, and find joy in the hardest places. While it is a middle-grade novel, it is a fantastic read-aloud for grade 3 through adulthood. It is also a full-feature film, perfect for family or classroom movie times!

Blubber is a classic tale of middle school teasing. While it may not solve every part of the problem, it opens the door to conversation about bullying and all the roles people play when someone is bullied. A middle-grade favorite, this is a great book to read with your child.

A fantastic graphic novel, All’s Faire in Middle School is the journey of a girl named Imogene who has grown up in the Renaissance Faire scene. Finally headed to public school, she finds out middle school can be tricky and friendships aren’t always what they seem. Discovering how to be herself and finding out what real friendship looks like, this is a treasure for fans of graphic novels.

Middle school can be challenging for anyone, but Catherine faces special challenges in Rules Struggling to understand how to be who she is when her family life often revolves around her brother with autism, Catherine sets out to understand what normal is and discovers a lot about friendship, herself, and family along the way.

Stargirl is an emotional tale that highlights the ups and downs of popularity in a new high school. It’s easy to see why this book is so highly acclaimed as it touches on subjects like first love and being yourself no matter what everyone around you says. Stargirl is a great upper middle-grade story with a real look at peer pressure and the desire to fit in.

18 | Winter 2023
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Taking the Love of the Game to the Next Level

For father and son duo Jimmy and Jalen Moore, basketball is much more than a game — it’s life. Individually and together, Jimmy and Jalen have spent their lives dedicated to playing, watching, and now teaching basketball.

“The game of basketball is fairly simple,” Jalen said. “But it is a hard sport to be good at — it is hard to be great. The skill level that the game is played at now is very advanced … that’s what people have a hard time understanding. If you want to be good, you have to be good at every skill: you have to dribble, shoot, pass, finish, defend, and think the game too.”

The Moore Family “bleeds blue,” and basketball is “just what they do as a family.” Jimmy said. Both Jimmy and Jalen, along with Jalen’s brother Grayson, are Utah State University (USU) basketball alumni.

Jimmy was raised in Mississippi and played for USU from 1972 to 1975. He still ranks high on

USU’s all-time scoring and rebounding lists. He was inducted into the Utah State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013. After college, Jimmy played for the NBA Seattle Supersonics and then had a 10-year international basketball career before coming full circle to return as an assistant coach at USU, and ultimately retired as assistant athletic director in 2018.

Jalen was recruited out of high school to play for USU after leading his Sky View High School basketball team to a state championship in 2013. He led the Aggies in scoring and rebounding for three consecutive seasons. He was recruited to the NBA Milwaukee Bucks and played in their 2017 summer league before returning to train young athletes in Cache Valley.

In 2018, Jimmy, Jalen, and Jalen’s brother Grayson founded Next Level Basketball as way to stay involved with a game they love.

“When I was done playing the game, I didn’t

want to be done being around it,” Jalen said. “[Starting Next Level] gave me an opportunity to continue being on the court and take my skills and knowledge and share it to try to help the kids achieve their goals.”

Next Level Basketball offers group, individual, and team basketball training for athletes as young as 7. They also offer AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) teams designed to help players ages 12 to 18 from in and around Cache Valley get the best exposure they can if they have the desire and potential to play at the college level. Players compete in spring and summer basketball tournaments at locations all over the western United States.

20 | Winter 2023
Brothers Grayson and Jalen Moore played for the Aggies in the 2015-2016 season. Jalen and Jimmy Moore now train and coach through their program Next Level Basketball.

Top and middle: Jimmy Moore was recruited from his high school in Mississippi to play for USU in 1972. He went on to play in the NBA and in Europe before returning to coach at USU; Bottom: Jimmy and Jalen Moore enjoy helping prepare young athletes for the next level of their sport.

“Through advanced coaching, players gain the experience and confidence they need to succeed in high level competition,” Jalen said.

Grayson, who also played for USU as a senior after a playing at a junior college in Sheridan Wyoming and D3 school Northwest Nazarene in Nampa, Idaho, no longer lives in Cache Valley, but joins his brother and dad in training and coaching on occasion, both locally and at travel tournaments.

“When we talk about coaching teams it is important to understand that we aren’t trying to take the place of high school coaches,” Jimmy said. “We are just another addition to help kids hone skills in the off season — trying to add on to what they’ve built during the season and keep them working toward their goals.”

Jalen says that there are a lot of capable players in the Valley, but he feels that it is easy for them to get overlooked in comparison to players from bigger areas. “Our goal is to help the high school players get more exposure [in an AAU league],” he said.

Jalen and Jimmy both say a program like this is a great opportunity for players who want to go further in the sport, but it isn’t the only way. “The internet is free,” Jalen said. “Study up, watch the sport. Then go to the gym and work at it on your own. You just need ball and a hoop to practice … and a lot of time, energy, and effort.”

Jalen recalls spending long hours every day shooting hoops with his dad and brother in their driveway. “One of the best things my dad did to prepare me to play at the next level, was just being willing to go outside and rebound. He gave us the support we needed. Obviously, we had the advantage of his knowledge and experience in the game, but just the time made a big difference.”

Jimmy explains that the difference of a good player and great player is a passion. “One of the first questions I would ask a freshman who has goals of playing in college is ‘do you love the

game?’” he said. “A lot of people like the game. If you like the game, you play during the season. If you love the game, though, you’re in the gym on your own, you work with a trainer, you’re trying to get better. The ones who are in the gym taking extra shots after the game is over –they love the game.”

He added: “They don’t give away scholarships; you earn scholarships … through hard work, love of the game, and dedication.”

Jimmy and Jalen agree that there is more that comes from the hard work and dedication to a sport, any sport, than just excelling in athletics. “It is more than a game,” Jimmy said. “This is true with all sports. Commitment to a sport teaches kids how to deal with adversity. They work hard and there is still sometimes disappointment. They have to learn how do deal with adversity … how to deal with things when they don’t go your way.”

For Jalen, basketball has added a lot of depth to his life. “I was blessed by the opportunities that came through the game,” he said. “Traveling, meeting people — coaches, teammates, lifelong friends — and getting an education while playing the sport I love. I love everything about it. You play the game, technically, for 40 minutes a night, but it is everything about it that makes it more than a game and gives you life lessons that help you grow as a person.”

Jimmy likes to remind kids that the road to a goal is not always a straight line, but that they shouldn’t lose focus on their goal. “That’s exactly what happened to Grayson,” Jimmy said, referring to his stops at other schools before finishing his college basketball career at USU.

“I had a lot of great moments on the basketball court,” Jimmy said. “But if I had had to choose a highlight right now it would be, and I won’t forget this, the night I was sitting in the spectrum with my wife as a spectator, watching both our kids start in a game together at Utah State. I was watching their dream come true.”

The Moores hope that through their program they can help others achieve their dreams too.

| 21 of

The PodCACHE: Cache County School District’s New Podcast

Whether you are driving your kids to school or extracurricular activities, commuting to work, doing projects around the house, or just looking for entertainment, chances are you might turn on a podcast. If you’re looking for something new to listen to, check out Cache County School District’s PodCACHE.

Hosted by Gary Thomas, assistant superintendent of elementary education, and Tim Smith, assistant superintendent of secondary education, the PodCACHE invites Cache County School District (CCSD) families, faculty, and community members to take a closer look at some of the exceptional people and programs in our district.

“The best thing about the PodCACHE is being able to highlight all the good things going on in our school district,” Mr. Smith said. “It is also a great way to inform our patrons, parents, and teachers about issues and topics that are important to them.”

Additionally, the PodCACHE provides opportunities for district leaders and board members to acknowledge and show appreciation to employees and students who are making a difference in their schools. The hope is that those who listen can sense the gratitude that is felt for all who contribute to the district’s success.

“My primary goal for the PodCACHE is that people will know the district cares and is trying to share the good news that is out there,” Mr. Thomas said. “I hope it gives a sense of value to our employees and a sense of purpose for them.”

So far, the PodCACHE has offered episodes covering topics such as STEAM/STEM education and integration in CCSD schools, a beloved teacher who has been teaching for 50 years, a Ridgeline High School student who is a Paralympic swimmer, the contribution and impact of school custodians, the Cache Education Foundation, and school spirit.

The district decided to start a podcast after several Cache County Board of Education members, including Board President Teri Rhodes, attended the National School Board Conference in April 2022. Inspired by Jordan School District’s podcast “The Supercast” and its impact on its community, the board members decided that a podcast would be an engaging and beneficial tool for our district.

“A podcast is a more cutting-edge way to communicate with our patrons in the community, patrons of the school district, parents, and families,” Ms. Rhodes said. “It’s a complementary platform to those we already have existing.”

The CCSD Public Information Office took on the challenge of creating the podcast and formed a production team consisting of public information specialist Jenda Nye and public information interns Katie Varga and Baileigh Beebe.

After hours of research and brainstorming sessions, the team came up with the concept, name, and logo for the podcast. Superintendent Steven Norton and board members chose Mr.

Smith and Mr. Thomas to host the podcast because of their friendship, their 60 years of combined experience in education, and their connections with the CCSD community.

“I think it’s really great for [Tim and Gary] to build human connections outside of their administrative roles with people in our schools, whether it’s with students, parents, or teachers. We talk about Cache County School District being one big family, and I think that by those two going out to schools, they help build that culture of family which we have,” Ms. Rhodes said. “It helps people across the district feel that they are important. And I think it is really important, especially for administrators and leaders, to make those personal connections with people. A podcast is a super fun way to do that.”

New episodes of the PodCACHE are published every other Tuesday. You can listen to the PodCACHE on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and many other podcast platforms. Visit for more information about each episode, including pictures and audio transcription.

22 | Winter 2023 PRESENTED BY

Talking About Death With Children

Raising children is a unique experience, filled with joys and challenges. Many of those challenges include opportunities to talk with children about experiences and situations that are emotionally difficult, and parents may struggle knowing how to manage those conversations. My family experienced this in January when a beloved uncle and grandfather both died in the same week. In addition to managing their own emotions, the adults were all required to have conversations with children about death, which few of us had consciously prepared for.

As I had these conversations with my family, I reflected on an episode of Sesame Street that aired on Thanksgiving Day 1983. Will Lee, the actor who played Mr. Hooper had recently died and the producers of the show decided to take the opportunity to talk with children about the death of a loved one through a conversation with Big Bird. In 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, National Public Radio spoke with Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, a developmental psychologist and the senior vice president of curriculum and content at Sesame Workshop, and Dr. Truglio identified six principles from that episode that illustrate tips for talking with children about the death of a loved one. Selections from that article, available through, are included here.


When it comes to describing the what of death to children — what exactly happens to our bodies and what that means — Dr. Truglio says it's important to be straightforward. That's because children often struggle to grasp death's permanence. Parents only complicate matters when they resort to euphemisms. In fairness, we do this to soften the blow, but Dr. Truglio says euphemisms can confuse and even scare children.

“Passed away. We're sorry for your loss. Went on a long, long journey.” Dr. Truglio said each of these phrases sends the wrong message to kids. “The dead don't pass, get lost, or pack a bag and start walking.” Instead, Dr. Truglio said, be perfectly clear:

“When you die, your heart stops. Your body stops working. You don't eat. You don't breathe — give more concrete information about what is the meaning of death,” Dr. Truglio said.


Kids process death in bits and pieces, over time, Dr. Truglio says. Don't sit them down once, overwhelm them with information and expect them to internalize it all.

Parenting a child through death requires patience and persistence. You may

explain, clearly and in concrete terms, that Grandma has died and, three days later, be asked, “When's Grandma coming back?”

Dr. Truglio says a hospice social worker who specialized in talking with children about death once likened this process to the way a child eats an apple:

“They take a bite, maybe two bites, then put it down,” Truglio said. “That's probably how they're going to experience death as well. They're gonna take a couple of bites. They're gonna go on with their lives. And then they're gonna come back, and they're gonna take a couple more bites.”

IT TAKES A VILLAGE Often, the death of a loved one can be destabilizing for a child, not simply because that person will no longer be in their lives but because it can stir deep fears of being alone or abandoned. That's why, Dr. Truglio says, when a child is mourning, make sure the child knows “that there are many people in their lives — there are grandparents, there are aunts, there are uncles, there are some really, really good friends who are like family.”

In short, Dr. Truglio says, children need to be reassured: “You will always be cared for.”

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One of the most powerful moments in Sesame Street's half-century history came as actor Bob McGrath, who played a music teacher on the show, took his turn consoling Big Bird after Big Bird expressed his frustration that things wouldn’t be the same without Mr. Hooper.

“You're right, Big Bird. It'll never be the same around here without [Mr. Hooper]. But you know something?” McGrath said through tears, his voice halting. “We can all be very happy that we had a chance to be with him and to know him and to love him a lot when he was here.”

It was a remarkably tender and honest display of emotion between an adult — who was, in fact, mourning his friend and colleague — and the childlike Big Bird. And this, Dr. Truglio said, sent a powerful message to parents and kids alike.

“It's important for children to see us grieve. We're gonna cry, and I think that you need to explain why you're crying. This isn't gonna be just a one-time event.” That's especially true if you, the parent, are mourning the death of someone close to you. This will be a long process. Showing emotion and explaining the feelings that underlie those emotions help prepare children for future moments when you may, again, feel overwhelmed by grief.


When it comes to funerals, Dr. Truglio has this advice: Give children a choice.

“You should never say, ‘You have to do this,’ or make them feel guilty if they choose not to participate,” Dr. Truglio said. “You need to give them that wiggle room. You can't force them.”

But tell them what to expect, whatever they

choose. So, if you're going to a funeral with an open casket, explain what that will mean. Again, be clear and concrete. Then let the child decide if she thinks she's ready for that.


Finally, Dr. Truglio said, it's important to convey to your child that “life is going to go on. We're going to be OK. It's a tough time right now, but we have things to look forward to.”

One activity she recommends is having your child trace her hand on a sheet of paper and, for

each finger, ask her to list something that she's looking forward to. It could be camping in the backyard or baking a favorite dessert. The point, Dr. Truglio says, is to keep the hope alive.

All parents know their children will eventually experience the death of someone they love. As parents plan for those conversations, they can be better prepared to talk about death and grieving in ways that help children face the sadness they may initially feel while also finding hope and peace in the love from the other adults who continue to care for them.

24 | Winter 2023
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How Parents Can Support Their Children Through Seasonal Affective Disorder

Winter in Cache Valley can be a wonderful time of year. So many activities to keep us busy, such as skiing or snowboarding, ice skating, hiking, and family movie or board game nights snuggled warm at home. Additionally, many families celebrate holidays and cultural events during winter, which can offer additional benefits. Unfortunately, winter in Cache Valley also offers unique challenges: cold weather, shorter daylight hours, cloudy overcast days, and inversion. These things can result in less and less time being active, causing disruptions in our usual routines which can cause some to experience symptoms of depression. Depression that

occurs only during a specific time of year is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).


Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that typically presents during the fall and winter months and causes significant problems for the individuals who experience it. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 5% of adults in the United States experience SAD. Symptoms of SAD include feeling down or depressed, lack of enjoyment in activities previously enjoyed, problems concentrating, increased fatigue, changes in sleep or appetite, and thoughts of

suicide. If the symptoms of depression are present most of the day, more days than not, for more than a few weeks, or start to negatively impact important aspects of a person’s life, it is recommended to seek professional support.


Parents and caregivers can help children struggling with SAD by being involved and aware of their child. It is important that parents and caregivers have interactions and healthy communication with their child each day. Try to find time to be with your child. Be creative! For some parents and caregivers, before school is best. For others,

26 | Winter 2023

at dinnertime works better. For some, before bedtime. Others use a combination of each. No matter what time of day, find time to be with your child often to talk and be together.


Listen to what your child says and pay attention to how your child responds to you. Try to spend at least five minutes together a couple times each day so you can truly learn about how your child is doing.

• Ask open-ended questions to encourage conversation (i.e., “How are you feeling today?”).

• Reflect on what your child says to show you are listening.

• Try to help your child identify his or her emotions (i.e., “It seems like you were upset”).


Encourage your child to continue to participate in activities even though it

is winter or work together as a team to find new things to do together. Help your child think of creative and unique ways to be involved in activities that are enjoyed during winter and other times of the year.

• Do things together that require physical activity. People are less active in winter and physical activity can help to improve a person’s mood.

• Find activities at home that encourage creativity and problem-solving. Games and arts and crafts are great ways to do this.

• Help your child stay connected with friends, family, groups, or teams. Social connection and doing things with others can help.


If you notice that your child is struggling with symptoms of SAD or another mental health or medical need, offer support. Listen to your child and validate how your child may be feeling. Let your child know that you are proud of your him or

her for telling you what is going on. Let your child know that it is brave to talk to trusted adults who can help. Let your child know that these symptoms can be treated and that they will not have to feel like this forever. Offer hope, support, and encouragement.

• Normalize and validate what your child is feeling.

• Praise your child for sharing his or her feelings.

• Offer hope and let your child know you will be there to help.


If you notice that your child seems to be struggling and trying to assist your child does not seem to alleviate the symptoms, please contact a mental health or medical professional for further assistance. You and your child can then meet with a provider who can discuss treatment options for SAD or other mental health or medical concerns in more detail.

| 27

The Art of Influencing and Making Room For Yourself

“New year, new me!” I was scrolling through my Instagram with intentions to clean it up. I was going through the accounts I follow, and I decided I was going to unfollow anyone that didn’t serve me anymore. I had no problem unfollowing past schoolmates whom I no longer stayed in touch with. Pressing the unfollow button on accounts that sometimes posted funny stuff mixed in with a lot of junk was pretty easy as well. But when it came time to unfollow several influencers, I had a really hard time. It felt like I actually knew these people without ever meeting them or sharing anything about myself. I knew their kids’ birthdays, what they have for breakfast every morning, and how they just remodeled their guest bathroom. Even though this relationship was completely one-sided, it felt weird to unfollow and essentially

end my connection with these online figures who would never know that I came or went.

So, influencing. What is it exactly? By definition, to influence someone means to have an effect on someone’s character, development, or behavior.

When put in the context of social media, that means you have people doing their best to change the way we view ourselves and the world and then act on that change. This influence can be great when someone has an encouraging and empowering message and not so great when their message is destructive and harmful. More often than not, the message that I have gotten from influencers is mostly noise. It’s mostly daily

28 | Winter 2023

(sometimes hourly) updates into their personal development, relationships, and goals which in turn takes away time from my personal development, relationships, and goals.

Not only is it mostly noisy, but it can also be extremely lucrative. Some of the top-earning influencers make millions every year by influencing their followers to buy certain products. In a recent study conducted by The Morning Consult, a leading global decision intelligence company, it was determined that 56% of people have purchased a product after seeing a post from someone they follow. The monetary potential has lead many young people to believe this is the career choice for them. In the same study 54% of young Americans said that they would become an influencer if they were ever given the opportunity.

So why certainly the point could be made that influencing is valuable, a stranger's

intimate life details and uncanny ability to sell us things should not be more valuable than our own lives. As much as I love to be nosy and entertained, I want to make more room for myself this year.

Here are some suggestions on ways to do this.

1. Take a break from the influence. I know this advice is given often, but I have personally seen great value from this. Over the past year, I have done my best to delete my social media apps every weekend. This gives me a break from following along with other people’s lives so that I can put more focus on mine.

2. Start and end your day with you. How odd is it that we are gravitated to immediately check in on other people’s lives first thing in the morning and then end the day scrolling through as well? One habit that has helped me do better at this is charging my phone in my kitchen each night, so it is out of

my line of sight in the morning and evening which makes it easier to do more checking in on me.

3. Work on practicing self-love on the daily. I recently came across a picture of me when I was a cute little child. I decided to hang that photo on my fridge as a reminder to give little Jen lots of love and grace. Giving that extra grace to myself each day helps me to want to spend more time with me and less time escaping to observe other people instead.

Jentrie Hales is a community advocate with six years’ experience empowering parents and children in different settings. She has been invited into classrooms, youth groups, and parent groups throughout the Cache Valley to speak about healthy relationships with tech and professionally mentors families that feel overwhelmed with managing the tech in their home. Follow her on Instagram @techhealthyfam or email her at

| 29

Cache Valley Ski Team: Athletes With Heart

An ongoing series of articles written by a local teen about other teens who are excelling in their unique areas of interest and talent.

Ignacia Birkner, or Nacho as he’s known by friends, had a world-class career in one of Utah's favorite sports — alpine skiing. After competing in the 1988 Calgary Olympics for Argentina, he brought his passion and skill for the sport to Cache Valley where he founded the Beaver Mountain Ski Team in 2005. Now called the Cache Valley Ski Team (CVST), the club has grown significantly, establishing a legacy of excellent coaches and youth skiers.

Now coached by Ignacia’s niece Angelica, sister Teresita, Rafael Pastoriza, and team alumna Maya Stephens, CVST is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating character

and building opportunities for youth through individual and team achievement in downhill skiing. The team has grown in the last three seasons from 19, to 29, and now to 45 skiers.

Team members have a rigorous training schedule and enjoy strong friendships with one another. They also benefiet from excellent coaching and opportunities that can take them around the world. Travis Dorsch, team director and former National Football League player, is grateful for the opportunities that CVST provides.

“Cache Valley Ski Teams have a rich Legacy …

there’s a strong South American connection and we’ll likely be pulling together a group of athletes who want to go south this summer to find winter down there.”

Travis is also the father of Josie Dorsch, one of the ski team's most successful athletes. At the age of 8, Josie has competed in Youth Ski League (YSL) races, winning first in the 2022 YSL Kombi, third in the YSL Slalom, and first in the Giant Slalom. Josie is a fierce and dedicated competitor who says she can’t remember the first time she skied. It’s always been part of her life. As her father Travis explains, she was on skies before she was one year old.

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Top: At 17 years old, Belle Weed is the longest tenured athlete on Cache Valley Ski Team. She’s grateful for excellent coaching over the years and a family atmosphere on the team; Bottom: Cache Valley Ski Team was founded in 2005 and now includes about 45 skiers who train six days a week.

The Dorsch family chases the snow locally, nationally, and even internationally. Josie’s mom, Bre, and 6-year-old brother, Bridger, also ski. Bridger is a CVST member. Skiing has taken them on a lot of adventures where they’ve skied a lot of famous mountains and world cup venues throughout Europe.

“Skiing was always in our blood,” Travis said. “It’s more than a sport; it’s a way of life. You get up in the mountains where it’s our refuge and place of solace.”

Josie adds, “This summer we’re going to Argentina, when the season ends in May we’ll ski there and then we’ll come back to another ski season … so basically one month of summer!”

That’s just the way Josie likes it. Josie, along with the entire team, trains on weeknights at Cherry Peak and the weekends at Beaver. Last year, Josie had 122 ski days and her goal is to get in 200 ski days in 2023. The training pays off, with one or two races a month during the season.

Skiing doesn’t come easy; the work required is constant. “Basically everything about skiing is hard,” Josie said. “We’ve been working on some skills for three years.” For example, to help with body positioning, Travis built a device that simulates turning and helps Josie and Bridger learn the right body position and work on balance. They do these stretches daily. But it’s not all work. Josie really enjoys skiing and having lunch in the Beaver Lodge with teammates every Saturday and Sunday.

“The team is really an extension of a family,” Travis said. “You should have seen it on Saturday for our intersquad race; as the racers were coming down, the rest were waiting at the bottom cheering.”

A close friend and mentor for Josie is teammate Belle Weed. Belle is a 17-year-old Logan High School student who has raced since she was 11. She is the longest tenured athlete on CVST and competes in the U19 division. Belle is passionate about skiing and feels it teaches individual accountability more than other sports. “If I succeed or fail, it’s on me,” she said.

Belle says it’s been very fulfilling to watch the younger skiers grow in life and the sport. Belle also sees their team as close as a family.

“I love the team because it’s all about love. And I love skiing; it’s everything to me,” Belle said. “I try very hard to be a positive role model for the younger skiers.”

When asked about advice to others about seriously taking on skiing, she responds, “If skiing means a lot to you, pursue it; don’t force it. Make sure you have the heart for it before you make the commitment. I’ll ski until I can’t anymore, or until my body won’t.”

With the great skiing Cache Valley offers, it's only fitting that its youth ski team would be just as great. Along with skiing opportunities, CVST offers world-class coaching, discounted season passes, and frequent race opportunities. It’s the premier option for youth looking to pursue the sport of alpine skiing.

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Growing Love


Lauren and I met in our teen years and somehow she was attracted to me. I’ll play the “opposites attract” card here as she was the lead in the musical, the best ballerina, a 4.0 student, and she always smelled good. I was none of those things. I say this just to demonstrate that we were not a match made in heaven to the outside observer.

Our love blossomed early and easily. While we were dating, we would openly wonder what life would bring for us because we knew we were living in the “good old days.” Even being young and naïve we knew we were right. In ten short years, we went

from full-time fully parent-sponsored frolicking to raising kids on a budget and running a business together on a shoestring. Dating was so fun, but now life was hard! The woman of my dreams who would keep me from drowning while I was kayaking and skateboard barefoot with me was now my business partner. What had happened!?

It’s easy to have fun with someone when you’re … well, having fun. It’s difficult to have fun with someone when you’re running a house, taking on debt, wiping butts, and managing tantrums. So continued on next page...

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...continued from previous page what's the key to love growing over time? For us it came down to open communication and listening without judgment.

My wife has taught this to me over and over again. I tend to entertain irrational thoughts and ideas and Lauren has learned to listen rather than tell me how dumb they are and why they won’t work. Lauren may also have shortcomings, but I can’t think of any right now. Maybe one thing that makes her different from me is that I want to have fun first then work later. Our priorities constantly clash, but somehow we have made it work, and it feels more like a dance than a debate.

Even though I profess to be the “never not have fun” guy, all through my 30’s ambition drove me to work hard professionally. I learned a lot about business, but I also became more cynical and judgmental. I saw my goals and dreams start to shift away from my family.

I have been so angry at myself and my wife before that I just wanted to throw it all into the wind. Upon reflection, I know exactly what that would yield: It would be like cutting down an old but mighty tree that yielded shade and beauty, then planting a new one, and wondering where the shade went. It takes years to grow a strong tree and a vibrant marriage. Years or decades into it things always look different than we thought they would have. Maybe the tree drops a different leaf that clogs your gutters. Maybe your spouse has a mental illness you didn’t know about when you signed up for the party.

Again, open communication and listening without judgment is what’s helped us return to happiness and even have fun through the doldrums of life.

Now, in my 41st year of life and almost 20 years of marriage, I’ve noticed that my cynicism, being judgmental, and ambition for achievement are all softening and I’m noticing a

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Become a Documenting Guru in 2023:


Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, day-to-day moments, and milestones … we easily capture special moments, but what do we actually do with all those photos and videos? For many — including Cache Valley Family Magazine readers who say they want more information on this topic — the process of organizing, printing, and documenting photos and videos is overwhelming.

But no more! 2023 is the year to organize all those photos and videos stranded in phones, hard drives, boxes, CDs, and gulp … VHS tapes. Every 2023 Family Matters column will offer tips, resources, and advice from experts on how to preserve and share your one-of-a-kind story.

Documenting life in whatever form, whether through photographs, videos, or words takes A LOT of time, energy, and money. If you’re starting 2023 with goals to improve your memory-keeping systems, or just want to start somewhere with the thousands of photos and videos on devices or tucked in boxes, it’s important to identify the why behind all the effort.

Clayton and Krista White are owners of Memory Lane Productions, a Cache Valley-based company that specializes in helping families capture and share life’s memories. Their why for documenting family memories, and even starting their business five years ago came in a jolting way. After losing her grandmother and father unexpectedly when he

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was just 54, Krista says she found herself in a completely different state of mind when it came to saving and capturing memories. It became a top priority.

“There comes a moment in life when you realize time isn’t in your control,” she said. “It’s important to capture moments — moments are fleeting. Remember, you’re saving [moments] for your children and posterity; it’s so important.”

She has a few pieces of memory-keeping advice. First, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to documenting. What’s your version of memory keeping? Do you prefer videos? Are you a writer and want lots of written documentation? Or do you let photos tell the story? Maybe you’re a combination of all approaches. Whatever you prefer, do what you enjoy. Remember, it’s all about sharing life lessons and creating family connections.

Before you feel overwhelmed with conquering it all now, stop. Take it slow, and Krista says, start where you’re at. Possibly choose one project to get you started and pumped for the 2023 documenting journey. Evaluate the coming year’s calendar. Are there milestone birthdays, anniversaries, or retirements upcoming? Are you concerned about capturing the story of an aging family member? Or how does a meaningful Christmas gift you can start now sound? If any of these appeal to you, start documenting without feeling overwhelmed and find inspiration to manage more memories.

Here are a few ideas: TRIBUTE BOOK OR VIDEO

Celebrate a milestone event or show someone they’re loved with a tribute book or video. Memory Lane can help with a life sketch video, or a written book can be compiled. Last year I collected memories from co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family members for my father-in-law’s Christmas tribute book. I was nervous at first, but his response was priceless. My dad is retiring, so I’m currently gathering memories from co-workers and friends over his lifetime (shh, it’s a surprise!). This also can be done for a birthday or anniversary.


• Create a list of book potential contributors. Call or email these contacts to let them know what you’re doing; be mindful of how they prefer to communicate. Be flexible for those who wish to mail handwritten responses, set a deadline, follow up with contacts you know they’d love to hear from, and expect late responses.

• Ask for photos from contacts (you never know what gems they have) and go through personal photos. Warning: Don’t get discouraged — most people don’t have perfect photo organization systems. Take a deep breath, choose a few photos and know you’re not alone and it’s OK (reread this often if needed, seriously). I love the PhotoScan App. I can scan any photo right from my phone and it’s ready to place in the book.

• For a big tribute book, consider creating a separate/new email and check junk email. When gathering responses from email, copy and paste into a basic word processing program, or the Project Life App. For me, this app has been a go-to for tribute books. Using the app’s editorial page feature makes it easy to copy and paste text right from an email and place photos from your phone.

• Either print pages for a three-ring binder or create a book — Project Life has both features. A three-ring binder option is better for late responses and can be added on to in the future.


Capture a life story in bite-size pieces throughout the year using a subscription service like Storyworth. Visit for details. Responses to weekly prompts are compiled into a book at the end of the year. They are wonderful Christmas gifts! But caution: You can’t make someone answer the prompts. It won’t work if they aren’t in to writing about themselves or writing in general. This is where Memory Lane Productions comes to the rescue. They offer a Life Sketch video service that does all the work for you. They provide everything, even the questions.

Krista says if you have the gut feeling to record a family member’s life story, do it now! Don’t wait. Visit or check out Krista on Instagram @memorylanepro for tips and information about their services.

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Cover/title page from a Project Life App tribute book. Example of two complete Storyworth books.

Understanding the Shifting Dynamics of the Real Estate Market

Anybody watching the dynamics of real estate markets has noticed a drastic shift. The year started with a frenzy of buying and selling but has since slowed to a standstill. This is, no doubt, in response to the effects of rising mortgage rates and steep inflation that consumers across the country have been feeling. This slowdown is forecasted to carry into a large portion of the new year, which means that new-home sales will likely be returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Though home sales are slated to fall, home prices should hold steady through the coming year. Homeowners are experiencing appreciation levels like never before, and even with lowering home prices at the end of the year, most mortgage holders have a loan balance of less than 50% of their property’s estimated market value. Even if equity increases decline in 2023, homeowners shouldn’t experience too much of a dip in their home’s appreciation.

Aggressive hikes from the Federal Reserve have put pressure on mortgage rates, which shocked buyers when 30-year fixed rates broke 7% in November. These record-high rates with high home prices have held back many buyers within the last few months. However, potential buyers should feel confident moving forward as rates have fallen for several weeks and should continue to do so moving into the new year.

Confidence within real estate markets is a hot topic for buyers and sellers, and it’s

important to get fact-based knowledge from professionals. Local REALTORS® help clarify market myths and demonstrate that although the market is volatile, it’s nothing like the overheated markets of 2008. Instead of a housing surplus, as we experienced in 2008, “the country is still facing historically low inventory levels and low rental vacancy rates that are the consequences of multiple years of underproduction,” Lawrence Yun, chief

economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, said.

Ring in the new year with confidence. Housing dynamics are strong, and regardless of increased mortgage rates, there is real demand and little inventory within real estate. Working with a professional REALTOR® to understand the shifting dynamics is crucial as you move forward toward your dreams of home ownership.

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