Local family finds tools for coping with anxiety

Submitted by
Charlie Ersland

Ezekeil, Eli and Joslynn view the website at their home in Libby, Montana. (Courtesy of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Public Information)


Preparing the kids for going back to school was a little different this year for Hannah James, a mother of three in Libby. “I was pretty anxious this year, just from the tension that the pandemic has caused,” James said.

She starts each day by helping Josylnn, 14, Ezekeil, 12, and Eli, 8, to gather their supplies and make sure they have extra face masks. Then they start the day with a positive thought.

“We try to, every morning, read an encouraging scripture before we head out the door so that that can be left in the children’s mind as they attend public school.” James said.

While the coronavirus has stoked pandemic anxieties, James has endeavored to not  overlook other challenges her kids may face in school. Pressure to date too young and experiment with vaping are just a few things the family has to contend with. “It can be hard finding friends that are kind and just don’t do those things or even think about ‘em,” Ezekeil said.

Although it can be difficult at times, parents can help their children face intensified challenges successfully.

Anthious Boone, an elementary school principal in Pennsylvania, observed, “As parents endeavor to help their children cope with potential back-to-school anxiety, it is absolutely imperative that they stay well-connected with both the school and their children.”

James freely emails teachers with questions or concerns and feels these regular updates have been instrumental in reducing anxiety. She also likes the Parent Portal, found on the Libby School District’s website. This service allows for a direct interchange between educators and students.

Another key to reducing anxiety is having open communication and spending time as a family.

Even with daily family discussions, James schedules additional time every week to make sure her family is getting the support they need.

“I just got into middle school, so it’s good to talk with her,” Ezekeil said.

Josylnn said of their family discussions, “Knowing that I can come home and be able to talk to someone about what I’m going through really helps.”

James also tries to designate time for each child individually. “I pick Eli up from school; he gets out a little bit earlier than the two older kids,” James said. “We usually have a good conversation on the way home.”

One of their favorite resources to use in their family discussions is, the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses that is free to all. Topics like “What’s a Real Friend?” and “Beat a Bully Without Using Your Fists” are addressed in a video series for young people. “I absolutely would recommend, for all the practical advice that it has,” James said.

Resources: www.jw.org


Lena Johnston

Zeke Johnston and Kaitlyn England welcomed baby girl,
Lena Johnston, on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. Lena weighed six pounds, nine ounces, and was 19 inches long at the time of her birth. She was delivered by Kelli Jarrett at Cabinet Peaks
Medical Center in Libby, Mont.

Photo courtesy of Paula Collins.

Loggers football continued from page 1

Loggers third possession; now in the second quarter, showed promise as they drove the ball down field out of the wishbone formation all the way to the Rams 26-yardline. The drive stalled because of penalties and the Loggers second turnover of the game, an interception on fourth down. The loggers would go on to stop the Rams on their next drive for the first time in the game. The Loggers; after stopping the Rams on fourth down, found their legs again and marched down the field behind the three headed monster of Senior Ryan Collins, Junior Cy Stevenson, and Sophomore Jace DeShazer. With under two minutes to go in the half, Stevenson scored; his eighth rushing touchdown on the year, on a one-yard TD run by leaning over the goal line to put the Loggers on the scoreboard for the first time in the game and capping off a 14-play drive.

The Loggers looked as though they were going to head into the half only down by two scores and getting the ball first in the second half. However, those thoughts quickly faded as the Rams scored a TD on 5 plays to end the half and took a commanding lead over the Loggers with a score of 6-28.

The second half of the game started to showcase what the Loggers could do through the air after they moved to a spread offense and the T. Collins (11/19 for 144 yards) to Stevenson connection was born. Collins and Stevenson connected on the biggest pass of the year; a beautiful 72-yard touchdown pass, that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

This Loggers football team never gave up and played to the whistle the entire game. This was the last football game for eleven seniors wearing the royal blue and gold. These seniors brought back playoff football and a winning culture to Libby and Logger Nation couldn’t be prouder of these student athletes as they move on to the next step in their lives. The future of Libby Football looks bright as Stevenson, DeShazer, and T. Collins will look to bring Libby its first championship next year since the 1967 Loggers team, who defeated the Glasgow Scotties 26-7.