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FAMILY   -   FAMILY FEATURES
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photography by Ted Dayton

For Seniors
"Time is a great gift for seniors, and it's free! Loneliness, abandonment and depression are huge among our seniors, especially during the holidays. I know from talking to the seniors in my life, that they would gladly exchange most any gift for moments with their loved ones.
Ask The Doctor
Q: Does my Child have Asthma?

A: Although the hallmark of asthma is wheezing, children can wheeze with a simple viral illness and won't meet criteria for asthma. In order to make a diagnosis of asthma, the periods of recurrent wheezing must have started at least six months prior.
Festival of Trees
Saturday, November 15
Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley Hosts Sixth-annual Festival of Trees

Santa will again visit the Hyatt Valencia, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., as guests browse through rows of elaborately-decorated holiday trees designed by the community's finest decorators. Make a stop at Santa's Station to have your picture taken with everyone's favorite elf. Bid on 3- to 4-feet-tall tabletop trees, ranging in theme from traditional to football (USC and UCLA trees are always popular picks!).
When your home is too small or your to-do list too large, outsourcing your child's birthday party to an off-site location can be your heaven-sent saving grace. Plus, the all-inclusive option is often less expensive, once you take decor, paper goods, food and more into consideration. The best part, though: no clean up! Here are some of our favorite options...
On Saturday, September 20 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Newhall Park, approximately 6,000 children and adults are expected to enjoy an entire day dedicated to kids. All activities are free - including entertainment, games, food, carnival rides and a raffle - making it one of the most family-friendly events of the year.
photography by Lisa Ahrens

Reena Newhall, owner of the quintessential costume store, A Chorus Line (253-0300), has some important reminders for future trick-or-treaters. "Halloween is on a Friday this year, meaning that there are two party weekends, starting on October 25," she states. If you have a heavy social calendar, this might convince you to buy, rather than rent, your costume this year.
Ask The Doctor>
Q: When can I start letting my child watch television?
A:
The American Academy of pediatrics took a lot of heat some years ago when they recommended that children watch no more than two hours of television. They went on to recommend that there should be no television exposure until the child is at least two years old.
Did You Know?
What happens in Mediation, stays in Mediation.

An essential element of mediation is confidentiality. The legislature has designed specific mediation confidentiality rules to promote a candid and informal exchange regarding events.
Q: What can we do to make the first day of school easier for our child?

A: Purchasing all the supplies on your child's stationery supply list is a start, but there are more important things you can do to help prepare your child for the first day of school. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, normalizing any anxiety about starting school is a good idea.
Play "Name that Cupcake" and Win!
One of Babe's Dessert Bar's most popular offerings is the Specialty Stuffed Cupcake. If you haven't tried a "Smore's a Lot" (chocolate cake stuffed with melted chocolate bars and graham crackers topped with marshmallow frosting) or Strawberry Shortcake (white cake stuffed with fresh berries and whipped cream, topped with more whipped cream!) - you haven't lived!
"Navigating, Beginning and Becoming a Working Actor in the Entertainment Industry" Talk to be held June 28
On June 28, Annie Schwartz, owner and agent at Origin Talent, in conjunction with casting director and acting teacher Michele Juskowitz, as well as co-producing artistic directors of The SCV Theatre Project, Andrea Slominski and Mark Salyer, will come together at Valencia High School.
Keep Cool at the Aquatics Center
Beat the summer heat and enjoy the City's Aquatics Center located at the Sports Complex. The Aquatics Center offers a 25-meter dive pool, a 50-meter Olympic pool for competitions and practice, plus a family recreation pool, complete with a two-story high red slide and fun water play equipment for the little ones.
Compassion and a Desire to Help Others
Becky J. Graham, 51
Katie Marie Graham, 22


Katie: "Hands down, our work is what brings us closest together. We share the exact same passion and that is improving the lives of children with special needs. My mom and I work together as a team, in every environment and every situation; it's as if we can read one another's minds."
Thursday, May 1 to Sunday, May 4 COC Performing Arts Theatre Presents "The Hobbit" Join Bilbo Baggins and his adventurous escort of dwarfs as they go on a perilous quest over mountain and under hill, through caves and forest and slimy dark places, seeking the treasure hoarded by the fearsome dragon Smaug. $10 adults, $5 children; www.canyonspac.com
A Treat as Sweet as Mom
Babe's Very Berry Cheese Tart is perfect for brunch or dessert any time. Even if you choose to eat out, the Tart can be gorgeously wrapped for an edible gift she'll enjoy later.
Babe's Dessert Bar is located at 24135 Magic Mountain Parkway, inside Papalino's; 254-4770. Reserve your tart 48 hours in advance to ensure freshness.
With today's popular enticements of video games, the Internet, high-fat fast food and other "sedentary" habits luring kids away, it's no wonder there's an epidemic of juvenile obesity and weight-related health and emotional problems.
On her wedding day, nothing "frames" a beautiful bride like stunning hair. Be it a sexy upsweep, a luxurious mane with hair extensions, or a magnificent color, cut, and style, great hair makes for a great presentation.
I am one of those individuals who loves to stroll office supply stores. I have to say, there's nothing like a brand-new day planner. As I crack open the binder and tenderly turn the crisp, clean pages, it's hard not to look at all the empty boxes and think, "This year I'm getting organized." And, of course, I have the best of intentions.
I'm 35,000 feet above the earth, daydreaming about carbon offsets. They're the latest thing, you know, and I'm dying to be the first on my block to own one.

I may ask Santa for more than one, in fact. I am, after all, traveling 3,000 round-trip miles to New York, and I don't think I will be able to stomach the environmental guilt without them. If you plan on doing any holiday traveling, you may not be able to live without them, either.
My dad used to tell us a great story. When he was just starting out in his own business (he installed chain link fences), he did a job for a man who was opening up a one-of-a-kind restaurant. This man told my dad that his restaurant would feature hamburgers and milkshakes at prices any family could afford. There would be no seats in this place. People would simply step up to the window, place their order and walk out with their food in a bag. My dad, ever the dreamer, thought it was a fabulous idea.
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