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3 ways kids can brush up on their skills before school starts

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If your children’s reading and math skills tend to get a little rusty over the summer, they’re not alone. Here are three ways to help kids refresh their memory and start the new school year with confidence.

1. Review their notes. While not the most exciting assignment, flipping through notes and worksheets from the previous school year can be an effective way to remind kids of what they learned. Pay close attention to concepts they struggled with.

2. Test their knowledge online. There are numerous kid-friendly websites that feature games and exercises to help young students refresh their memory in subjects like math, history, and science. Exploring these websites may get your kids excited about learning again.

3. Stock up on books. If your children haven’t done much reading during the summer, get them back into the habit by heading to your local library or bookstore. From novels to biographies and comics to non-fiction books, there’s something for every interest.


Additionally, there are plenty of ways to review your children’s knowledge in your daily life. For example, put their math and reading skills to the test in the kitchen by following a recipe. Remember, learning is more enjoyable for kids when they’re having fun.

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How to choose the right type of wood stain for your project

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A fresh coat of stain can breathe new life into wood furniture and flooring. Here’s an overview of the three most common types of stains.

• Oil-based stains are inexpensive, readily available, and easy to use. They’re ideal for large projects because they dry slowly and create a uniform appearance. Oil-based stains penetrate deeply, which provides rich color and a durable finish that often doesn’t require multiple coats.

• Water-based stains are mold and mildew resistant, making them suitable for moisture-prone areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. They dry very quickly, which makes them best suited for small projects. The biggest downside is that they don’t penetrate wood as deeply as oil-based stains, which results in less saturated colors.

• Gel-based stains are often described as a cross between stain and paint. They require less preparation than other products as you don’t need to completely sand the wood’s surface to get a good result. In addition, since gel-based stains coat the surface of the wood instead of penetrating it, they’re especially suitable for woods like birch, cherry, maple, and pine.


If you need help choosing the right stain for your project, speak to the sales staff at your local hardware store.

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How to choose the perfect wedding dress

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Choosing a wedding dress can be both exciting and nerve-racking. To help you create the look of your dreams, here are a few tips.

Make a plan
Before you try on a single gown, make a list of the criteria you’re looking for in a wedding dress. Do you want a certain cut, style, or length? Do you want to show off your shoulders or hourglass figure? Establishing some criteria will allow you to narrow down the choices.

Use props
In addition to your list of criteria, bring along pictures of dresses to show to the bridal store consultant. They can use the information you provide to quickly find several different gowns for you to try.

Try different styles
After the first fitting, you may realize that the dresses that look good in pictures aren’t the right fit for your figure. Don’t worry, your consultant can suggest other styles until you find the dress of your dreams.


Additionally, keep in mind that all wedding dresses need to be altered. Therefore, don’t be dissuaded if a dress is too long, short, or loose.

Whether you decide to buy or rent a wedding dress, choose the one that makes you feel most beautiful. For inspiration, visit your local bridal stores.

Want a second opinion? Bring along someone you trust who knows your style and can give you honest feedback.

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7 tips for safe snowmobiling

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Snowmobiling is a popular winter activity in many northern communities around the world. It’s a great way to get outside and enjoy beautiful snow-covered landscapes.

This year, International Snowmobile Safety Week takes place from January 15 to 23, and it’s the perfect time to highlight the importance of safe snowmobiling practices. Here are a few tips to keep in mind this winter:

1. Never ride a snowmobile under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You should also avoid hitting the trails if you’re tired. Doing so can slow your reaction time and affect your ability to make good decisions.

2. Always pack emergency supplies. You should have a cellphone, a flashlight, waterproof matches, a survival blanket, hand warmers, non-perishable foods, a rope, a spare drive belt, flares, a whistle, and a first-aid kit.


3. Check the weather forecast, trail conditions, and opening hours of the busines¬ses and shelters you plan to visit before you leave.

4. Always ride with someone else, and let your friends and family know where you’re headed and your estimated time of return.

5. Avoid crossing large bodies of water where there are no marked trails. It’s al¬most impossible to assess the thickness of ice at a glance.

6. Follow other snowmobilers at a safe distance, keep to the right, stay on marked trails and stop at all road crossings.

7. Avoid stopping in the middle of a trail, on a curve, or on a downhill slope to avoid blocking traffic and to ensure you’re vi¬sible to other riders.

For more safety tips, visit snowmobile.org.

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How to repair a pocket door

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Pocket doors are great space-savers because they conveniently disappear into the wall when opened. However, fixing a pocket door can be a hassle, as many common issues necessitate removing the trim or a section of drywall. Here’s how to go about doing this.

What you’ll need
To repair a pocket door that’s misaligned or has fallen off its track, you’ll need:

• A putty knife
• A pry bar
• A cordless drill
• A bubble level
• A wrench set

If the track must be replaced entirely, you’ll also need a drywall saw.


Steps to follow
Use a putty knife and pry bar to gently wrest out the three sections of the door trim. Take care not to damage the trim so it can be reinstalled later. Next, use a drill to unscrew the floor guide beneath the door. You should now be able to remove the door and reposition it correctly on its track.

If you need to access the portion of the track hidden in the wall (to replace it, for example) you’ll have to cut out a small section of the drywall next to the door opening. You’ll then be able to use a drill to unscrew the track.

Keep in mind that if you want this repair work done quickly and seamlessly, it’s best to leave it to a professional contractor.

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Choose the perfect area rug

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If your living room or bedroom is looking a little tired these days, don’t start planning to redecorate just yet — an area rug might be a quick and much cheaper way to refresh a room.

First, think about how big you want the rug to be. In the living room, all the furniture should sit on top of the rug comfortably or all the front legs should be on the rug. In a dining room, the rug should be large enough that the chairs remain on it even when pulled out. In a bedroom, an area rug should frame the bed and be big enough that the front feet of bedside tables can sit on the edge.

Next, consider the needs of the space. A high-traffic room like the living room requires a more durable low-pile rug that can be easily cleaned, while a more intimate space like a bedroom can handle something a little more delicate.

Think about how the rug will fit into the space. A rug should work with the furniture above it — a round rug with a round table, for example. If you fall in love with a rug that’s too small, you can layer it with a less-expensive plain rug underneath that covers more area, like jute or sisal mat.


Once you have a rug picked out that suits the space and brings your room back to life, make sure to get a rug pad to maximize your rug’s lifespan. Look for one that’s about two inches smaller than your rug on each side so it won’t show through.

As for color and design, a good rule of thumb: Your rug can either stand out or blend in, but it shouldn’t fight the existing colors and decorations in your room.

A light gray room could carry off a dark rug with some colors reflecting the room’s art. For a more subtle effect, choose a gray with a simple pattern.

Rooms with browns and leathers could look nice with a lightly patterned brown, maroon, beige, or gold rug.

The more traditional a room, the more traditional the pattern should be.

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Is geothermal energy right for you?

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Do you want to save money on your utility bills and minimize your carbon footprint? If so, you may want to upgrade to a geothermal unit for heating and cooling your home.

Geothermal systems use long loops of fluid buried below ground to exchange heat with the surrounding soil. Although installing a geothermal system requires a fair amount of work, it might be a smart investment if:

• You’re about to replace your furnace or cooling system

• You can take advantage of an energy rebate or government incentive to cut costs


• You plan to stay in your home for a long time

• You live on a large lot with plenty of space

If you’re interested in investing in a geothermal unit for your home, make sure you get quotes from multiple companies to ensure you get the best value for your money.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Family Preservation Services

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Mountain Trails

National Media Services

Ole Timers Antiques

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Examiner

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Salvation Army

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Studio Verde

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
28°
Snow Shower
7:28am5:17pm EST
Feels like: 21°F
Wind: 7mph SSW
Humidity: 93%
Pressure: 29.1"Hg
UV index: 0
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37/23°F
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Upcoming Events

Jan
19
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jan 19 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Jan
20
Thu
7:00 pm FRWRC Woman Gathering @ ONLINE
FRWRC Woman Gathering @ ONLINE
Jan 20 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRWRC Woman Gathering @ ONLINE
The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center presents: WomanGathering – 7 PM, Virtual via Zoom Webinar with guest Dawn Devine, the Executive Director for the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum. Topic: Why Children are our most valuable resource. Click[...]
Jan
21
Fri
1:00 pm FRWRC Book Circle @ ONLINE
FRWRC Book Circle @ ONLINE
Jan 21 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
FRWRC Book Circle @ ONLINE
January 21 – FRWRC Book Circle – Free Virtual Event – Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. Questions about FRWRC Online Book Circle, please contact: Lyn Bement at dlbement@comcast.net or (540) 635-3000. In person Book Circle Postponed until[...]
Jan
26
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jan 26 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Jan
28
Fri
12:30 pm Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and... @ ONLINE
Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and... @ ONLINE
Jan 28 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education @ ONLINE
Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, in conjunction with Northwestern Community Services Board, will offer a free, virtual REVIVE! Training on January 28th from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. The one-hour online class provides an overview of how[...]
Feb
2
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 2 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Feb
4
Fri
all-day First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Feb 4 all-day
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Come celebrate First Friday! Downtown businesses will be open late, until 8 p.m., on the first Friday and Saturday of each month.
Feb
5
Sat
all-day First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Feb 5 all-day
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Come celebrate First Friday! Downtown businesses will be open late, until 8 p.m., on the first Friday and Saturday of each month.
9:00 am Women’s Wellness Workshop @ ONLINE
Women’s Wellness Workshop @ ONLINE
Feb 5 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Women's Wellness Workshop @ ONLINE
Women’s Wellness Workshop – Virtual via Zoom Webinar – Key Note Speaker Dr. Neema. Registrations will begin January 5: frontroyalwomenswellness.com
4:30 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Feb 5 @ 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area: Discover our International Dark-Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA Jet Propulsion[...]