The Balams Firm - August 2023

Check out our August newsletter!

404-445-2005 | August 2023

School Bells Are Ringing Loud and Clear

Back to School Is Finally Here

School Bus Safety

A few months ago, my girls had their last day of school and classes let out for summer vacation — they were thrilled to go on break, sleep in, play lots of games, and have some freedom. We spent a lot of time outdoors, bonding, relaxing, and exploring. After a great, fun-packed summer, I’m thrilled to report that just as excited as they were to welcome summer, they are looking forward to resuming school. This year, I’ll have a 4th grader and a kindergartner, and they are excited to be in the same school together — this will also be much easier on me!

• Remind your children that it is never safe to walk behind a school bus, and when riding, make sure the vehicle comes to a complete stop before standing up to get off the bus. While waiting at bus stops, make sure your child is in an area visible to the bus driver and that they avoid playing around while waiting for the bus. • As a driver, if a school bus is stopped with the stop bar extended and red lights flashing, a vehicle traveling in both directions must come to a complete stop and not resume motion until the stop arm is raised and the lights aren’t flashing. • When a school bus is stopped on the opposite side of the road and the road is divided by a physical barrier, you are not required to stop. However, if you are ever in doubt and it is safe to do so, you may pull over to ensure the safety of the children.

See Something, Say Something

• It’s important to remind your children that if they hear or see something that doesn’t feel right or worries them, it’s best to report it immediately to an adult they trust. These conversations, while sometimes difficult to have with our kids, are paramount in ensuring their safety and well-being! In an uncertain world with bullying and violence present, the best that we can do is to raise smart, loving, and caring children who look out for the safety of themselves and others.

In preparation for the new school year, keeping some safety tips in mind is essential!

School Zone Safety

• Be mindful of school zones on your way to and from work. If possible, you may wish to change up your normal route to avoid heavier traffic and longer waits.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe back-to-school season! Happy learning!

• When driving through a school zone, pay attention to crosswalks. Many children on bicycles and foot will be crossing.

• If you must drive through a school zone, ensure that you allow yourself extra time — being in a hurry around young pedestrians is never safe. Avoid distractions and keep your eyes on the road and your surroundings.

Published by Newsletter Pro •

A Textbook Won’t Do You Justice! Why Traveling Is the Best Form of Education

You gain a deeper appreciation for history. When you walk through important historical locations, you understand the past better because you’re living it! You’re walking the same

As you mark your calendars with upcoming holidays, get-togethers, events, and school activities, there may be one you’re missing: American Adventures Month. This monthlong event encourages you to be adventurous and travel so you can better understand the world around you. While you can research online or open a book to learn more about any part of the world, nothing beats visiting these places yourself. Here are three reasons why traveling is the best form of education.

roads or staring at the same landmarks that civilizations from centuries ago did. When you immerse yourself in the history of a place, you can better understand why its origins are meaningful. You leave your comfort zone. Traveling somewhere new can be nerve-wracking! You won’t know the best mode of transportation or know anyone there — you may not even speak any native languages! By leaving what makes you comfortable, you’ll learn to depend on yourself and embrace change and uncertainty. These skills can and will help you in all aspects of life.

You learn more about people. When you travel to other states or

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, so when you become a parent, you’ll likely employ techniques you learned from family or friends and what you learned on your own. Naturally, these techniques and your preferences may differ from what your loved ones did for their children, and sometimes, it can be difficult for them to adjust. Because of this, how do you set boundaries with family members regarding your children? Be direct when communicating boundaries. Don’t assume your loved ones know or understand your parenting style. Instead, clearly state your rules, values, practices, and expectations when others are around your children. When creating physical boundaries, you can say, “Please don’t give my child soda when they visit. That’s something I don’t want them to have.” For emotional boundaries, you can say, “Please don’t force my child to hug you. If they refuse, give them their space without compromising their feelings and comfortability.” Develop a strategy for handling pushback. “I did this with my kids, and they turned out fine!” You may have heard this quote when vocalizing your wishes to loved ones about how to treat your children. If they question your tactics, practice what you will say so you’re not caught off guard. But most importantly, remember why you’re establishing these ‘But I Did This With My Kids!’ How to Set Boundaries With Your Family internationally, you can learn a lot about the culture of these places by speaking to residents. They can suggest historical places for you to visit that teach you about their heritage, lifestyle, and what life was like for their ancestors. You will think about things you’ve never considered before and have a deeper appreciation for the views of others.

So, travel this month and learn something new! We understand you can’t drop everything just to hop on a plane to another country, so try venturing to a nearby city you’ve never visited and learning about its history.

boundaries and upholding those values. If your loved ones fail to respect your wishes, don’t be afraid to reinforce those boundaries — it’s okay to say no! Give your family time to adjust. Changing and creating new habits is challenging, so give your loved ones time to adjust to your boundaries. However, if you’re continuing to reinforce your wishes and still meeting pushback and disrespect, it’s okay to distance yourself or cut ties. You have to put what’s best for you and your family first. If you have any questions or concerns about establishing boundaries with your loved ones, contact a marriage and family therapist to assist you. They can provide more insight and resources to help you during this time.


Published by Newsletter Pro •

If you wanted to pinpoint a civilization that has impacted our society and government in more ways than one, ancient Greece should be one of the first civilizations you think of. The ancient Greeks made significant contributions to philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, literature, and so much more. Today, No Food, Beverages, Gum, or High Heels Allowed! How Greece Is Preserving Its Ancient Sites


you can still visit their magnificent monuments and tour ancient sites — it will surely make you feel like you’ve returned to ancient times!


However, if you plan on traveling to Greece, there are a few things you need to know. For example, in 2009, Greek authorities implemented a law stating that you cannot wear high heels while walking around these historic sites. Because these monuments are centuries old, they have experienced a lot of wear and tear. And visitors (or locals) wearing stiletto heels can damage these sites even more with their spiked heels. But that’s not the only law Greek authorities instituted in 2009. You also can’t bring food, drinks, or gum to most of these historical sites. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens, Greece, was built in 161 A.D. To this day, it continues to be a stadium for live performances, festivals, and other activities. But in 2009, Greek authorities and the venue’s maintenance crew knew something needed to change. As the crew cleaned up the stadium, they discovered nearly 60 pounds of chewing gum beneath the marble seats. Because of this incident of littering — and many others — Greek officials came up with a solution, and new laws were created. If we want to preserve the history of these places and the culture of the ancient Greeks, continue learning more about them, and use their buildings and stadiums, then we must follow the preventive measures the modern Greeks put in place. So, if you plan on traveling to Greece to see the iconic Parthenon temple, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the Temple of Apollo, the Temple of Zeus, or other locations, be sure to wear your comfiest shoes, and eat and drink before visiting!

Inspired by

These savory and sweet pork chops are covered in a flavorful hoisin glaze and take only 30 minutes! Ingredients

• 2 garlic cloves, minced • 2 tsp minced ginger • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce • 2 tbsp rice vinegar • 2 tbsp water

• 4 boneless pork chops (about 2 lbs) • 3/4 tsp salt • 2 tbsp sesame oil • Cilantro (optional)

Directions 1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, and water. Whisk occasionally until mixture is fully incorporated (about 4 minutes). Set aside. 2. Lightly salt pork chops. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add sesame oil and wait until smoking. Place pork in skillet and cook until browned (3-4 minutes on each side, depending on thickness of pork chops). 3. Remove pork chops from skillet and transfer to a cutting board. Let rest for 5 minutes. 4. Drizzle hoisin mixture over pork chops and top with cilantro if desired.

Published by Newsletter Pro •


404-445-2005 310 Maxwell Road, Suite 500 Alpharetta, GA 30009 INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Stay Safe This Back-to-School Season

1 2

Ditch the Textbook — Go Travel Instead

Boundaries Can Be Met With Pushback — Are You Ready?

Hoisin-Glazed Pork Chops


You’re Forbidden From Wearing Heels in Greece?

Beyoncé Owes the IRS How Much Money?!



After filing your taxes, a thought that may race through your mind is, “I hope the IRS doesn’t come after me.” Thousands, if not millions, of people are in the same boat — including celebrities. Many celebrities have been in trouble with the IRS, such as Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Shakira, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, Nicolas Cage, and more.

However, we can add another A-List celebrity to this list who filed a petition against the IRS: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. On Jan. 18, 2023, Beyoncé received a Notice of Deficiency, which outlined the amount of money she owed to the IRS. The organization estimated the singer owes $805,850 in taxes and $161,170 in penalties for 2018 plus $1,442,747 in taxes and $288,549 in penalties for 2019. That’s almost $2.7 million that the “Crazy in Love” artist must pay! Beyoncé filed a petition against the IRS’ claims on April 17, 2023, and asked them to reassess the penalties and amount of taxes she owes. According to Beyoncé’s lawyer, Michael C. Cohen, the singer should get an itemized deduction of $868,766 since she donated to charity in 2018. Beyoncé founded the BeyGood Foundation, an organization created in 2013 that assists

others with education, disaster relief, mental health, and other issues. However, at the time of writing, it’s unclear which charities she donated to. Additionally, Beyoncé’s petition states that the IRS allegedly disallowed portions of Beyoncé’s business income deductions, utilities, insurance, management fees, and legal and professional services in 2018 and 2019. Furthermore, Cohen argues that even if she owes any tax deficiency payments, the penalty shouldn’t apply because Beyoncé has “acted reasonably and in good faith.” A court hearing has yet to be scheduled at the time of writing. But the former Destiny’s Child member’s lawyer told PEOPLE magazine that they “are working with the IRS and anticipate that the matter will be resolved shortly.”


Published by Newsletter Pro •

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4

Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator