I rarely watch TV news, partly because I rarely sit still long enough to watch any TV.
I do read the news, but I suppose it's easier to read something and move on instead of dwelling on negative stories at the pace the news reporter sets.
This holiday, I've seen enough bad news to last all year.
I've also had more time to read the Australian news site, and to notice which American stories carry top billing in their news.
Bad news, worse news and embarrassing news.
I'll go back to my 4-H newsletter, thank you very much.
As I often share in this column, I'm inspired daily by the youth in our community - their generosity, their hard work and their achievements.
So I'm turning off the TV again and looking forward to a bright year with 4-H.
Want to get your child involved? Drop me an email at email@example.com or call (770) 784-2010.
It's a great time to join, and joining 4-H is free. (Individual activities may carry a cost.)
As we kick the year off, our Relay for Life team captained by Michelle Lewis is already underway. It is our fifth year with a youth-led team raising funds for cancer research.
The horse quiz bowl team heads to competition this month, after learning huge tomes of equestrian information. They'll use the same information again in horse judging and hippology in May.
Twenty-one sophomores and juniors kick off the Youth Leadership Institute in a few weeks, beginning with a day at the University of Georgia.
They'll also spend a day at the capitol with Leadership Newton, meet local government and industry officials, tackle a teambuilding course, observe a government meeting, take professional development classes and do a group service project this semester.
I expect a record number of junior and senior portfolios this week as we complete the first step for District Project Achievement.
This year's projects are more interesting than ever, covering everything from peanut butter to nuclear power.
Cloverleaf 4-H'ers are also in the final month of practice for their county competition on Feb. 5. 4-H'ers age 9 through sixth grade will present a 4-6 minute demonstration.
The Newton Classic Livestock Show is at 10 a.m. on Feb. 16, with free admission for the public. Newton 4-H'ers face off against 4-H'ers and FFA members from Newton and Jasper counties for prize money and awards with their ewes, hogs, heifers and steers.
The livestock judging team continues practices until their competition in March, and the poultry judging team will kick off soon to prepare for the April competition.
Older 4-H'ers will apply for "Leadership in Action" awards soon, highlighting the service projects they led in our community the last year.
Signup has already begun for 4-H summer camps for seventh through 12th graders, and Cloverleaf camp signup begins in February.
Camps run about $300 per child, but payments are split out over the next several months. Some scholarships may be available, and applications are due in early March.
Students age 9 as of Dec. 31, 2012, through sixth graders head to Rock Eagle on July 8-12 for a week of swimming, Indian lore and recreation with several hundred new friends.
Seventh and eighth graders have two choices this summer, or may attend both Junior Camp at Fortson 4-H Center June 24-28 in Hampton and Marine Resource Camp on the beach July 8-12.
Fortson features camp activities like campfires and ropes courses as well as trips to Atlanta Motor Speedway and other Atlanta sites.
Marine Resource Camp gives students an in-depth experience in marine biology as well as dances and beach time.
High school students also have two options this summer with Senior Camp at Jekyll Island 4-H Center July 1-5 and Extreme Wilderness Challenge Camp on June 10-14 at Rock Eagle's Pioneer Camp.
Extreme camp has only 40 spaces statewide and is expected to sell out quickly.
For costs and details, call the office.
And just think - these are only the highlights of 6 months of 4-H.
It seems like 2011 was just last week, but 2013 will be here before we know it.
Terri Kimble is the Newton County 4-H Agent through UGA Cooperative Extension. She can be reached at (770) 784-2010. or firstname.lastname@example.org.