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Bits and Pieces Queen for a Day Get Crabby What Color Is Your Kid’s Parachute?
22 Calendar of Events
Local History Hits the Road
27 Family Fun Hop to a Hunt
8 Music Matters How chorus and band make a difference in kids’ lives.
12 Recipe for a Happy Camper Get smart about choosing a day camp.
14 Busy Beavers After-school activities help children grow.
28 Cooking with Kids St. Patty’s Sweets
29 Crafting with Kids Upcycle Your Easter
30 Humor Break Who Took the Scissors?
16 It’s Your Big Day! Throw the best birthday party ever.
18 Room to Grow Give your child’s space a makeover.
20 Girl Power Teach your daughter the art of self-respect.
26 4 MendoLakeFamilyLife
27 March 2016 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
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verywhere you look, the earth is blooming! And with it, our area schools, where kids are flowering everyday. Our Sharon Gowan feature, “Music Publisher/Editor Sharon@family-life.us Matters” (page 8), explores how local school music programs, in particular, are helping kids succeed academically, socially, and even spiritually. Maybe nature’s new beginning is inspiring your kids to start over and do some redecorating. Turn to “Room to Grow” (page 18) for creative ideas on turning your teens’ humdrum rooms into organized spaces they’ll be proud to call their own.
Some kids are so busy with after-school activities that they don’t have much time to hang out in their rooms. And that may not be such a bad thing, says Christina Katz. In “Busy Beavers” (page 14), Katz outlines how getting involved in after-school activities help kids become better students and people.
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If you are wondering how to keep little minds and hands occupied once school ends, summer camps are a great option. Read “Recipe for a Happy Camper” (page 12) for tips on how to choose the perfect ones for your kids.
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May your family blossom this spring!
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KUSD IS SEEKING SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS Have a Bachelor’s Degree, like a flexible schedule? We may have a career for you!
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Publishing Office 134 Lystra Court, Suite A Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Discover more about how we are elevating student learning at www.konoctiusd.org
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March 2016 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
Bits & Pieces
Queen for a Day
rom is an American teen rite of passage. But not everyone can afford to go. The prom dress giveaway is here to help. On March 18, 3:30-6:30 p.m., and March 19, 9 a.m.–noon, any high school girl in Lake County is invited to come to the fitness center at Lower Lake High School in Lower Lake and find a new or gently worn dress for herself—for free. Heels, jewelry, unopened makeup, and gift certificates will also be available at no cost. Participants can even enter a drawing for a free manicure and pedicure or prom hairdo. Don’t need a dress but have one to donate? Drop it off at the Harbor on Main Youth Resource Center in Lower Lake, the HUB in Upper Lake, or call 994-5486 and ask Anna to arrange to have your contribution picked up. For more information about the event, contact Mari at 994-6471, ext. 2725. ¶
Get Crabby in Ukiah
alifornia crab may still be off limits, but that hasn’t stopped the Boys and Girls Club of Ukiah from holding their annual Crab Feed. Instead of local fare, crustaceans from the Alaskan and Washington waters will be served. The event will be held on March 5 in Carl Purdy Hall at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds in Ukiah. Tickets are $60 and may be purchased by calling 467-4900 or 489-2050. If you aren’t up for crab, but want to support the Boys and Girls Club, consider becoming a part-time mentor for youth. E-mail lelmore@ ukiahbgc.org for more information about paid mentorships. ¶
What Color Is Your Kid’s Parachute?
inancial self-sufficiency is a goal all parents have for their children. Help your kids figure out what jobs might inspire them by taking them to three free local career fairs for students in grades 7–12. The first two will be held in Lakeport on March 7, 8:30 a.m.–1 p.m., one at Clear Lake High School and the other at Terrace Middle School. The third will be on March 12, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., at Yuba College in Clearlake. To register for the latter event, which includes lunch, hands-on workshops, and prize drawings, call 263-8918 or visit lakecoe.org. To find out more about the Clear Lake High School or Terrace Middle School fairs, as well as the school’s job shadowing program and Pizza with a Professional luncheon meetings, call school counselor Jodie Maize at 262-3010. ¶ March 2016
Music Matters Local Educators on the Power of Song
By Melissa Chianta
e was an awkward kid with autism who had a hard time talking without slurring his speech. But then, one night, he opened his mouth and the most glorious sounds came out. He was singing—grandly—and for that moment he wasn’t a boy from the special needs class. He was a rock star. Tears still come to Andy DelMonte’s eyes when he thinks about the night his student David took the world by storm singing “The Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera.
“No one expected this…kid to sing the way he could sing. It was just a beautiful moment [when he shared] a side of himself that no one gets to see. He did it in front of 600–700 people, and a lot of his peers, who probably didn’t even know his name but just recognized him as one of the big autistic kids. Suddenly he had this beautiful gift that people recognized. It was stunning,” he remembers. 8 MendoLakeFamilyLife
Tamis Baron (right) and some of her students hamming it up for the camera.
Monumental experiences like this, as well as countless everyday victories of hitting just the right notes, prove to DelMonte and other area music educators that music matters in the emotional, spiritual, and academic lives of their students. DelMonte has been teaching various vocal, instrumental, and electronic music programs at Analy High School in Sebastopol for 19 years. He thinks today’s digitally oriented kids need music more than ever. “[They] actually get more out of it now because it is all direct human interaction. And it’s not filtered through their devices, which is really unique, really different for them,” DelMonte explains. It’s also a vehicle for students to work out the intense feelings that accompany adolescence, says both DelMonte and Sadie Sonntag, who teaches chorus and/or band at El Molino High School and Forestville Academy in Forestville as well as at Guerneville School in Guerneville. In chorus, Sonntag lets students choose their own songs, which they use to express the emotional landscapes of their world. “They’ve got the raging hormones, and they’ve got all of their stuff happening at home and at school. They are right in that middle school place. But when they choose the songs and…just want to rock out, I get to bring that to them,” she says. Sonntag remembers how much being part of a musical community helped her through her own youth. She believes March 2016 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
chorus and band bring that kind of support to her students, too. Katherine Wiley, who teaches band and chorus at Lower Lake High School in Lower Lake, agrees that making music with others is a wonderful avenue for creating a caring network of friends. And she also thinks that it’s an effective way for kids to learn how to be responsible adults, too. “Music allows the opportunity to help kids where they are. A lot of the other core curriculum [teachers] have to teach to certain tests, and really make sure kids meet those benchmarks. While I still set high expectations for my students musically…I can help them become better people first. We work…on character,” she explains.
To this end, Wiley greets each student with a respectful handshake and then teaches with a sense of urgency to keep everyone on task. She finds her students are not only willing
“Music allows the opportunity to help kids where they are.” —Katherine Wiley
participants but “amazingly talented” as well. She only has to teach a concept once, and they get it. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Tamis Baron has spent much of her 30 years as a music teacher helping responsible adults find their inner children.
“We make noises and monkey sounds and run around the room like toddlers. [We] put on wigs and boas. Because you can definitely sing differently when you aren’t you,” she says of her adult Joy of Singing classes, which she teaches at both the Petaluma and Santa Rosa campuses of the Santa Rosa Junior College. When Santa Rosa’s Bellevue Elementary School and Meadow View Elementary School found themselves unexpectedly in need of a music teacher last year, they approached Baron with a job offer. Because she hadn’t spent much time teaching kids, she hesitated at first, but then thought, “I’m nine anyway!” Why not?
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Baron, who drives to school in a hot pink and lime green Honda that matches her Scooby-Doo–themed office, likes to teach music through theater. “It’s more fun. You get to wear a costume,” she says.
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She believes in getting as much student input as she can. So she uses a purchased script for a plot outline, and then lets the kids create their own characters and dialogue, relying on improvisation to shake out the good ideas. This year her students are working on a play about pirates. “I have this one girl who loves to [say] Arrrrgh! When I had her come up with her pirate name, she wanted to be Rosalinda. [So] I said when we introduce the pirates to the stowaway, we’re going [to say,] ‘[T]his is Rosalinda. It starts with an Arrrrgh!’” she recounts, laughing. Her kids are thriving with her unconventional, off-the-cuff teaching style. And the Bellevue principal has been impressed with what Baron has been able to do in a short period of time, she says. At Konocti Education Center in Clearlake, children also learn music—as well as history, math, and science—through theater. The school, which provides a performing arts– based curriculum to fourth through eighth graders, takes an integrative approach to education that, according to longtime educator Cydney Dixon, is both effective and fun for the kids. “We all remember those songs that we learned as children that we never forget. And if we teach these kids songs that can teach them the
information they need to learn, they aren’t going to forget that information,” Dixon says. To wit, the fifth graders have just produced a musical called Our Country ’Tis of Thee that chronicles the history of the US. Meanwhile, the fourth graders are working on a musical about the parts of speech.
Andy Delmonte (left) teaches a tenor.
“When we make music, we make beauty.” —Andy DelMonte
“I go out onto the playground and hear them singing at the tops of their lungs: ‘Herb the verb is a man of action. He’s busy all the day long,’” she enthuses. This kind of integrative approach is also enjoying success at the Santa Rosa Charter School for the Arts in Santa Rosa. Thirty-year music educator Janet Greene uses the Orff method, which implements movement and speech as well as music, to teach kindergarten through third graders how water turns to crystals or how the length of a note can be translated into the length of a piece of paper. The collaborative nature of the Orff approach, where children not only move and sing together, but also play instruments in little orchestras, creates a sense of “musical family” for its small participants, says
March 2016 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
Greene. It’s something she thinks is particularly meaningful to the students who take part in Simply Strings, a Santa Rosa Symphony– sponsored program that provides free music lessons five days a week to 60 local kids. Greene laments that many area schools have very limited or no music education programs, even though studying music has been shown to raise IQ and help kids learn math, language, and even empathy. To say nothing of perhaps music’s most compelling, if ephemeral, attribute—it’s ability to connect young spirits to something larger than themselves. “When we make music, we make beauty,” says DelMonte.
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Sometimes that beauty is the sound of four sections of chorus in perfect harmony, sometimes an “A” on a history test, and sometimes a misunderstood boy getting a chance to shine in front of his peers. Whatever the results, local teachers make sure music classes give kids the joy of self-expression, the satisfaction of accomplishing a task, and the comfort of connection—to themselves, each other, and the places only the soaring notes of songs and symphonies can reach. ¶ www.mendolakefamilylife.com
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Recipe for a Happy Camper Look, listen, and learn. Find 10 Tips for Choosing 1 out what your children’s interests are. As you do, get a list of camps, the Right Day Camp show them the options, and see if any By Denise Morrison Yearian
ummer day camp is a place where children can stretch their minds, exercise their bodies, and develop new friendships and interests. Here are ten suggestions on how you can choose the right day camp for your children.
pique their interest. A great place to collect information is the Sonoma Family Life Camp Fair on April 1, 3–7 p.m., at Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa. Bring your kids and see which of the many exhibitors they are drawn to. Also talk with people whose children previously went to a camp you are considering to see if they had good experiences.
Value in variety. Ask your children if they want to do one activity or have a variety of experiences. A lot of parents think they have to be tied down to one camp, but it is okay to send your children to different places. Enroll them in a traditional camp for several weeks,
then a specialized camp for a week or two, and then maybe a scouting camp. This adds variety and will keep your kids engaged over the long haul.
Consider your family’s needs. If you have two working parents with set schedules, check to see if the program you are considering has before- and after-care. Also ask friends in similar situations if they want to put their kids in the same program so you can coordinate rides.
Focus on friends. Friendships are an important part of camp so factor that into your decision. The focus of day camp is to have fun and teach skills, and a lot of that is done through face-to-face interaction with peers. Have your children go with friends, but encourage them to make new friends there.
March 2016 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
Sonoma County Airport
Look at location. Most families want a camp close to home or work, but convenience shouldn’t be the only consideration. If there isn’t a program that your children are really interested in close by, it may be worth driving five to ten miles out of the way to get what you’re looking for.
activities they will be doing in a day, and determine if they can keep up the pace. If you still have reservations, ask the camp director what they suggest.
Ask key questions. Safety is a top priority, so find out what the counselors-to-camper ratio is. The American Camping Association suggests 1:8 for ages 6–8, 1:10 for ages 9–14, and 1:12 for ages 15–18. Also look at hiring practices: How old are the staff members? Have background checks been conducted? How many hours of camp training do they have? And how many are CPR- and safety-certified? Many times accreditation or certification by an overseeing organization covers health, safety, and staff issues as well as the quality of the program. Ask if the camp is certified or accredited then find out exactly what that means. www.mendolakefamilylife.com
Experience Flight Training Aircraft; Helicopters
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If the camp is more than you can afford, find out if there is a scholarship program.
Plan a pre-visit. If an open house is available, try to attend, even if your child previously went to this camp. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet and discuss things with your counselors. If that’s not possible, give yourself a few extra minutes at the start of camp to meet the staff and share information you think is important. This establishes a good relationship and increases the chance of open communication if a problem crops up.
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Ponder program length. Day camps run from several hours to a full day, so consider your children’s participation level in light of their age and developmental stage, as well as previous camp or group-setting experience. Find out how many
Check out cost. When examining fees, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Some day camps have a base price but charge extra for field trips, special activities, materials, registration, and food. Also ask about a refund policy if there is an unforeseen illness or emergency. If the camp is more than you can afford, find out if there is a scholarship program for those with limited resources.
www.sonomacountyairport.org 707.565.7240 Follow STS on
Peruse policies and procedures. Most camps have a parent handbook or policies and procedures manual. So if you’re undecided on a camp, ask for a copy to see if you agree with the rules and regulations set forth. It’s equally important to go over this information with your children so that they know and agree to the expectations.
If you feel comfortable with the information you have received, the staff meets your expectations, and your child is enthusiastic, chances are it’s the right program and your camper will have a wonderful experience. ¶ Denise Morrison Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children and four grandchildren.
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Busy Beavers 5 Benefits of After-school Activities By Christina Katz
arents, do you ever wonder if you may be taking the whole over-scheduling taboo too seriously? For years, parents have been hearing that kids have too many activities, too much homework, too-heavy backpacks, too much screen time…and on and on. Personally, I find most parents are intelligent, conscientious, and trying to find a healthy middle ground for everyone in the family. They are committed to helping their kids become happier, healthier, more well-rounded citizens. After-school activities—with a whole host of benefits listed here—are a way to this goal. 14 MendoLakeFamilyLife
Fit and confident. As Elle Woods reminds us in the film Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” But motivating kids to get off the couch is not always easy. They are not typically looking to their parents to make them run some sprints or do gut crunches. They need someone else to step in and motivate them to move. This is where after-school activities come in, preferably with dedicated coaches and instructors leading the way. Physical activities increase coordination, inspire discipline, and provide energy outlets for restless kids. So let another trusted adult be in charge for a change, and enjoy your downtime while your kids get more fit. Lights who shine. While we may like to think that our children are born whole and complete, the truth is kids often discover what they are made of when they are immersed in activities that push them out of their comfort zones. When it comes to finding an
activity for your child, look for outlets that provide challenging, but gradual, instruction and skill development. Part of something greater. To feel welcomed by a safe, fun, and growth-centric group with a purpose is a beautiful thing. When kids go off to their activities, they should feel like they are going to one of their favorite places—to their home away from home. If this is not the case for your child, then you might want to check out other possibilities. Memorably connected to others. It’s important for kids to make memories via meaningful connections. Your children are sure to grow over time, make memories, and understand themselves better with regular participation in after-school activities. Why not let your kids have the continuity of years of ongoing participation? It’s hard to advance up the activity ranks if you dabble in one activity and then another. Give your children a few years in elementary
March 2016 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
school to try different activities. Then see if they want to commit to an activity or two during middle school. They can always switch to other activities once they get to high school. Academically fortified. Some students need extra help to keep up in school, so don’t panic if your child turns out to be one of them. Why not try a local tutoring service? Just as parents don’t always make the best
Kids often discover what they are made of when they are immersed in activities that push them out of their comfort zones. coaches, we also don’t always make the best tutors. Besides, kids often progress faster and more willingly when they work with mentors they don’t already know. And—good news—raising academic confidence by teaching learning skills in one subject can pay off in increased academic confidence across the board. Kids need to feel successful today to become successful tomorrow. After-school activities can help them experience gradual, positive growth and keep them engaged with others. If you don’t find a channel for your child’s energy, video games, TV watching, and other sedentary activities will always be a temptation. Find your children some activities to enjoy. You will be so glad you did. ¶ Author, journalist, and writing coach Christina Katz worked off some of her teenage angst on the soccer field, on the softball diamond, and in the school pool.
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Lady Bug is a brown and white cow-patterned Pit Bull mix. She is very sweet and affectionate. She would be better with older children. She does well with male dogs but cats are not recommended. She is very spunky and knows basic commands like ‘SIT’ and ‘STAY.’
She came in as a stray, and her fur was so matted that she needed a lion cut. Milly looks all tough, but she loves attention and does well with children. She also loves to talk and will tell you all about it until you give her just what she wants. Love.
old Terrier-Chihuahua mix. She has lots of energy so she’s best with older children and probably wouldn’t make a good lap dog. Playing with toys in general, specifically squeak toys, is her favorite pastime.
are 10-month-old kittens that grew up at the shelter. They are a wonderful pair of cats you can get. They love to play and always want to be cuddled. They are great with small children and are not truly bothered by dogs.
9700 Uva Dr. Redwood Valley (707) 485-0123 • www.mendohumanesociety.com March 2016
It’s Your Big Day! 10 Tips for Birthday Party Success By Denise Morrison Yearian
irthdays are milestones that mark another year of growth, another year of change. But for many parents, planning their children’s birthday parties makes these milestones more like millstones. These ten tips can help.
Get your children’s input. Several weeks before your children’s birthdays, ask them how they would like to celebrate. Give them parameters based on your time, budget, and preferences.
Consider the options. Depending on your children’s interests, it may be easier to have their parties at home. Should you go this route, you’ll have two options: Do it yourself or hire outside help. 16 MendoLakeFamilyLife
Make a manageable guest list. The recommended number of children depends on whether the party is held inside or outdoors. If the weather is nice and you’d like to have it outside, you can easily invite 15 guests. However, if the party is indoors, limit it to no more than ten children. Some experts suggest using a formula of one to one and a half children per your child’s age. For example, if your child is four years old, invite four to six friends; if eight years old, have eight to 12 guests. Time it right. Unless the party is a sleepover, keep it to two or three hours (one and a half hours for children four years and younger). Make a list of activities you are planning and the approximate length of time each one will take. Remember that a well-planned party allows for both quiet and active play. Guests should be given time to warm up to the setting, release energy during the party, and calm down before heading
home. Since the children will be arriving at slightly different times, plan a simple but flexible activity to keep them busy and free you to welcome other arriving guests.
Decide on activities. When selecting games, consider the number of children, their ages, and whether the games will be held inside or outdoors. Choose ones that are easy to explain, fun to play, and will involve all the children. Cooperative games are best. Always plan more activities than you need. That way, if the children aren’t enjoying themselves, you can move on to something else.
Go for kid-fun grub. When serving food, stick with kid-friendly basics—sandwiches, pizza, veggie strips, and pretzels. For a special dessert, allow the children to ice and decorate their own cupcakes.
Ease up on frills. Simple decorations can go a long way. A few helium balloons and crepe paper can make any room look
March 2016 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
festive. Choose party favors that are fun but inexpensive, such as a toy related to the party’s theme or a bag filled with a blend of fun-to-eat but healthy treats. For those wishing to spend a bit more, an activity such as painting t-shirts or planting flowers in pots might also be fun.
Ask for helping hands. If you are giving the party by yourself, get help on the big day. An extra pair of hands (or two or three!) is essential no matter what age the children are. If there are no willing volunteers, hire a teen.
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Pick a party entertainer. Get references from family and friends. Also, check local resources or contact a party retail center and ask for referrals.
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Find a facility. If you would prefer to have the party at a local business, call to see if they offer packaged events. Because every establishment’s offering is a bit different, get specifics. Before making the final decision, stop by the facility and watch a party underway. By taking the time to stop by, you’ll learn a lot more about a place than if you just make a phone call.
Above all, remember that because your child’s birthday comes only once a year, it deserves recognition. Whatever you choose, make it special. You are, after all, celebrating a milestone— another year of growth, another year of change. ¶ Denise Morrison Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children and four grandchildren.
For Grades 7-12
No-Cost Event Lunch Included Hands-on Workshops Prize Drawings
Register in advance at 263-8918 or www.lakecoe.org
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WORK AT HOME • CHOOSE YOUR OWN HOURS • WORK WITH CHILDREN Own Your Own Business • Free Training and other great incentives for attending fun workshops. • Child Care Assistance for lowincome eligible families. • Free Child Care Referrals.
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feeling, make sure there is enough room between each piece of furniture for air to flow. If any pieces need a fresh coat of paint, now is the time to tackle the task. Go for effect. Consider what the tone of the room will be. Are you going for a dark man cave
Only participate in the decorating phase if you are invited.
13 Tips for Decorating Your Tween’s Digs
Room to Grow
By Christina Katz
our child’s room is an important vehicle of self-expression. With so many sources of online inspiration, it’s easy to find inexpensive embellishments for transforming any bedroom from “blah” to beautiful—at least in the eyes of your kid. Follow these steps for bicker-free results.
Phase One: Prepare the canvas. Out with the old. Have your child put on his or her favorite music, and then, step by step, clean out drawers, closets, bookshelves, and cubbies. Clean inside and out. You will likely get some resistance from your teen when cleaning supplies invade her or his hallowed space. Explain that a deep clean while you are preparing to redecorate is sure to make future cleanups quicker and easier. Let furniture breathe. Reposition the primary furniture—bed, dresser, desk, vanity, and bedside table—for optimal results. To avoid a cramped
with fluorescent night lighting for your skater boy? Or do you want a modern shabby chic for your Mr. Darcy fan? Whatever style suits your tween-teen, sum it up in one sentence that you both come up with together. This phrase will guide the rest of the process. Treat the windows. A great way to create year-round versatility is to hang two layers of curtains. First, use a heavy curtain made of tightly woven fabric to block out light and keep in heat. Then add a sheer curtain on top for warm days. If you provide pullbacks on either side of each window, your child can arrange the curtains to match the temperature and his or her mood. Flick a switch. If you can put the overhead light on a dimmer, do it. If not, provide an array of overhead, tabletop, and wall lighting combinations that can be adjusted to suit the time of day. Smooth out storage. Dirty clothes go in the hamper. School papers get piled in the paper sorter. The activity bag hangs on the hook in the closet. Cubes with sliding drawers
March 2016 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
or bins can keep other collections out of sight yet in reach. Phase Two: Accessorize! Now comes the fun part. However, only participate in the decorating phase if you are invited. Your job as the parent is to provide the materials for your child to embellish the room and then step out of the way. Dreaming of decals. Rather than painting the entire room, which can be costly and time-consuming, why not turn to wall decals to alter the vibe instead? Search on Etsy as well as on Amazon for the most inspired, least expensive deals. Wire the room. This is not about eavesdropping. This is about hanging images without putting holes in the wall. Loop picture
wire around two screws to create a clothesline effect. Use clothespins to hang pictures from the wire.
also purchase a three-tier wire hanging basket and use it to display interesting objects.
Personalize it. There are lots of options for purchasing monogrammed items for your child’s room. An
Add twinkle. String lights are cheap and add instant ambiance. You can embellish lights with tulle and ribbons or photos, too.
Provide the materials for your child to embellish the room and then step out of the way.
Charge it! No, not the credit card. Set up a simple device-charging station for your little battery-burner. Start by mounting a surge protector against the molding near a power outlet. Then mount a photo ledge within cord’s reach of the surge protector. Secure the cords to the wall using a cord management system. ¶
inexpensive route is to pick up letters made from various materials at a local art supply store. Then embellish the letters with fluorescent paint, glitter, fabric, or magazine collages. Look up. Your teen can make a custom ceiling mobile using two styles of photo-clip copper mobiles. You can
Christina Katz is a journalist, author, and writing coach. She is always curious to see what her teenage daughter will dream up each time she decides to re-decorate her room.
Tree of Life Charter School invites you to
Open House Wednesday, March 9, 6-8 PM
Meet staff, tour classrooms, see student work samples
Open enrollment through the end of March Free Montessori public elementary education for ages 5-13
Peace education Environmental stewardship Family participation and community
241 Ford Rd., Ukiah
Visit our website: www.treeoflifeschool.net www.mendolakefamilylife.com
managing her menstrual cycles and moods? Seek assistance through traditional or alternative medicines until problems are resolved.
Think about values. One of our most important roles as parents is helping our children think for themselves. Talk to your daughter about her values. Really listen and ask thoughtful questions to help her understand how she thinks. Respect her beliefs and choices.
10 Ways to Help Your Daughter Stay Strong
By Christina Katz
arch 8 is International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. In recent years, it’s become clear that the advancement of women’s rights can recede if we are not persistent, insistent, and assertive in championing them. One of the ways we remain a country of empowered women is by passing on what we have learned from experience to our girls. So why not take the opportunity to have some important and inspiring conversations with your daughters? Here are some talking points to get you started.
Expect equality. Equality is not only for women and girls, it’s for every member of a healthy society. So talk to your daughter about parity and fairness. Ask her if she has gotten the impression that opportunities that should be available to her are not. Ask if she thinks the same opportunities that are available to her are accessible to others. Challenge her to think.
Promote body-love. Talk to your daughter about her body. Does she love it? Hate it? Wish it were different? How are you modeling self-love and self-care? Work together to create more body awareness and acceptance in your family.
Be period positive. Ask your daughter how she feels about being female. Does she need help
Speak up and be heard. If you are always speaking on your child’s behalf, she is not going to learn to speak up for herself. So, the next time she needs to straighten something out with a friend, teacher, or coach, why not talk to her about it and then let her do it herself? Afterwards, ask how she did and offer support.
Dress to express, not seduce. Girls may seek to express themselves and their burgeoning sexuality through their clothing, but that doesn’t mean that they have to flash their assets all the time as if they were up for auction. Explain to your daughter that she will be more likely to draw quality attention if she can keep her assets off continual display. Teach her to value herself for more than her physical appearance.
March 2016 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
Never miss a chance to vote. In 1920, the 19th amendment granted women in the US the right to vote. Teach your daughter to exercise this hard-won right and vote her own conscience. Let her catch you debating choices and selecting wisely.
can communicate with you in public settings if she feels uncomfortable. If your daughter struggles with assertiveness, consider martial arts or assertiveness training.
Stay alert and safe. Maybe you have never had a teacher make racy remarks about your figure or had an employer put his hands on you, but it happens. Rules and laws don’t keep your daughters safe; healthy boundaries and assertiveness do. Make sure she understands her body belongs to her, and talk to her about how to steer clear of danger. Have a “safe” word that only you and she know, so she
Support sisterhood. It’s a good policy to never disrespect a sister. In any situation where a girl is being picked on, singled out, or mistreated, prep your daughter to stick up for the other girl, rather than ignore the situation. Social instincts may discourage her from speaking out, but teach her to be brave and do it anyway.
Cultivate self-trust. You may not always agree with her desire for green hair, a triple-pierced earlobe, or raucous music. But if you assume she’s
always making a mistake, then you are setting her up to second guess herself for the rest of her life. This morning, my daughter insisted on wearing Chuck Taylor shoes with a maxi skirt for a choir performance. I suggested boots. She said they wouldn’t look good. I said, try them and see. Once I saw them, I said, “You are right. Your idea looks better.” Teaching her to trust herself means accepting you are not always going to be right. But as long as the doors to communication stay open, your mother-daughter relationship will always be in great shape. ¶ Author, journalist, and writing coach Christina Katz is not a perfect mother, but she has accepted the mission to talk to her daughter about tricky topics before her girl turns 18.
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205 South State Street, Ukiah • 463-2290 www.mendocinoballet.org
Calendar of Events Local History Hits the Road
ver wondered who was wandering the streets of your town in 1850? The players of the Mendocino Road Show aim to give you an idea. Watch as local history comes to life on stage—and find out some interesting facts about the Prohibtion era along the way. Dates and venues are as follows: March 11–Willits High School, Willits; March 12–Point Arena Theatre, Point Arena; March 19 and 20–SPACE Theatre, Ukiah; March 25–AV Grange, Philo; March 26–Cotton Auditorium, Fort Bragg. Tickets are $15 or $12 for youth under 20 and seniors over 65. For more information and to purchase tickets, see mendocinomuseumroadshow.org. ¶
Wednesday 2 Lake County Rockhounds Club.
Educational programs for lovers of gemology, mineralogy, lapidary, rocks & fossils. Yearly dues. Adults: $15. Age 15 & under: $8.50. 5–7 p.m. Redbud Library. 14785 Burns Valley Rd., Clearlake. FREE Mendocino County Museum. First Wednesday
of each month. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 400 E. Commercial St., Willits. 459-2736. mendocinomuseum.org.
Friday 4 FREE Postpartum Support Group.
Meet with other new moms to discuss your needs & experiences. Share stories, meet new friends, get the help you need. Fridays. 10:30 a.m.–noon. Mendo Baby. 198 S. School St., Ukiah. Facebook: Northern California Birth Collective. FREE Skate Nights. Skates & roller blades to check out for free, but if you have your own, bring them. $5 per person. Children under 18 must have an adult sign them in before they can skate. Fridays. 6:30–9 p.m. Old Recreation Center. 213
E. Laurel St., Fort Bragg. 964-9446. mendocoastrec.org. FREE Grace Hudson Museum.
Free first Friday of each month. 10 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. 431 S. Main St., Ukiah. 467-2836. gracehudsonmuseum.org.
Saturday 5 FREE Whale Festival Lens Tour.
along the creek trail & up into the forest. Plan on 2–3 hours. Heavy rain cancels. 10 a.m. Low Gap Park parking area, across from Ukiah High School. 1000 Low Gap Rd., Ukiah. RSVP: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. FREE Tech Help with Personal Computer Devices. Having
Get grandstand view of the annual gray whale migration. Visit 240-gallon saltwater aquarium & marine science exhibit. Kids must be 42” & taller. Saturdays & Sundays. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. $5 tickets plus $5 parking donation. Point Cabrillo Light Station State Historic Park. 45300 Lighthouse Rd., Mendocino. 937-6122. pointcabrillo.org.
difficulties with your new laptop or personal device? Librarians will be available to assist with electronic devices, e-readers, laptops, tablets & phones. Saturdays. 1–3 p.m. Ukiah Library. 105 N. Main St., Ukiah. 467-6434.
Boys & Girls Club Annual Crab Feast. All-you-can-eat fresh
recognize signs of mental health issues in adolescents. Provide initial help, support & intervention. Connect young people to professional help. No experience or background in counseling necessary. 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Harwood Hall. 44400 Willis Ave., Laytonville. To sign up, call Natasha 467-5111. mcoe.k12oms.org/1960-110364.
cracked crab from Washington & Oregon. Appetizers by Crush Italian Steakhouse. Music, silent & live auctions. $60. Doors: 5 p.m. Dinner: 6 p.m. Free taxi rides: 8:30–10:30 p.m. Redwood Empire Fairgrounds. Carl Purdy Hall. 1055 N. State St., Ukiah. 467-4900. ukiahbgc.org. Lichens & Bryophytes at Low Gap Park. Bring good hiking shoes, water,
rain gear & snacks. We’ll be hiking
FREE Mental Health First Aid Training for Youth. Learn to
Sunday 6 FREE First Fiddlers’ Jam. Listen to some terrific fiddle tunes played by
March 2016 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
members of the Northern California Old Time Fiddlers Group. Noon. Ely Stage Stop. 9921 Soda Bay Rd. (Hwy. 128), Kelseyville. Fifth Annual Pianists Benefit Concert. $25–$30. No-host reception:
2 p.m. Show: 3 p.m. Soper Reese Theatre. 275 S. Main St., Lakeport. 263-0577. soperreesetheatre.com.
Monday 7 FREE Play Group. For children ages 0–4. A great way to meet other moms & kids & have fun! Mondays. 10 a.m.–11 a.m. Safe Passage. 208 Dana St., Fort Bragg. 964-3077. Youth Career Fairs. Help your
children figure out what jobs may inspire them. Students in grades 7–12 can talk to local professionals, learn about the training & skills required for the jobs they are interested in, or
participate in shadowing programs. 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Two locations: Clearlake High School. 350 Lange St., Lakeport. Terrace Middle School. 250 Lange St., Lakeport. Call Jodie Maize, school counselor: 262-3010.
Tuesday 8 FREE Auditions for We Are Monsters. Lake County Theatre
Company is looking for plenty of kids for the cast. Mar. 8: 4–6 p.m. Konocti Education Center. 15850-A Dam Rd., Clearlake. Mar. 10: 6–8 p.m. & Mar. 12: 10 a.m.–noon. United Christian Parish. 745 N. Brush St., Lakeport. Call James: 245-7584.
Wednesday 9 FREE Minecraft Build-off for Young Adults. The build-off will incorporate
STEAM learning methods through
RIVER OAK CHARTER SCHOOL Member Alliance for Public Waldorf Education Kindergarten – 8th Grade A Free Public School – Established in 1999
playing & building in Minecraft. 2–6 p.m. This is part of Teen Tech Week. Registration is required. Ukiah Library. 105 N. Main St., Ukiah. 467-6434. FREE Open House. Tree of Life Charter School. Meet staff, tour classrooms, see students’ work samples. Free Montessori public elementary education for ages 5–13. 6–8 p.m. 241 Ford Rd., Ukiah. 462-0913. treeoflifeschool.net.
Friday 11 FREE Hit & Run Theater. Improvised
fun, games & stories. All ages welcome. $15. Thru Mar. 12. 7:30 p.m. Come early for best seating. Hill House. 10701 Pallette Dr., Mendocino. 937-0555. hillhouseinn.com. Mendocino County Museum Road Show. Take a lighthearted romp
through the early days of Mendocino
Easter Family Festival Stores Open at 8:00 a.m. Festival Starts at 10:00 a.m.
10,000 egg hunt
The Salvation Army Open to the Public
• Face Painting • Scavenger Hunt • Bouncy House • Food Booths • Easter Rabbit & Chicken • Games for Children • Photo Booth • Easter Baskets
• Opportunity drawing • Information Booths Plenty of FREE Parking
FREE ADMISSION se habla español
Family Thrift Stores 200 Lytton Springs Rd., Healdsburg
Open Enrollment: Feb. 22 – Mar. 17 Enrollment Tours: Mar 10, Apr 14 The 3 R’s, and Advanced Math, Foreign Language, Music, Art, Woodwork, Drama, Leadership, Community Service 555 Leslie St., Ukiah, CA 95482 (707) 467-1855 www.riveroakcharterschool.org www.mendolakefamilylife.com
Saturday, March 26, 2016
County, during the critical 1916 election. $15. Seniors 65 & over: $12. Youth under 12 discouraged from attending. Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays. All show times 7:30–9 p.m. except where noted. Mar. 11: Willits High School. 299 N. Main St., Willits. Mar. 12: Arena Theater. 214 Main St., Point Arena. Mar. 19: SPACE Theater. 508 W. Perkins St., Ukiah. Mar. 20: SPACE Theater. 2 p.m. Mar. 25: Anderson Valley Grange. 9800 Hwy. 128, Philo. Mar. 26: Cotton Auditorium. 500 N. Harold St., Fort Bragg. 459-2736. mendocinomuseum.org.
cabbage dinner: 3–8 p.m. Dance with live music: 9 p.m. Door prizes, silent auction & grand raffle. Adults: $18. Kids under 12: $6. Dance only: $10. Greenwood Community Center. 6075 Hwy. 1, Elk. 877-1105. elkweb.org.
FREE Coding Camp for Teens.
St. Patrick’s Day Dinner. Corned
Participants can use Game Maker, Code Academy, or Code.org to grow their coding skills. 3-5 p.m. Ukiah Library. 105 N. Main St., Ukiah. 467-6434. co.mendocino.ca.us/library.
Saturday 12 Taste of Little River. Part
of the Little River Whale Festival. Keepsake wine, wine glass & appetizers at participating venues. $30. 1–4 p.m. 937-5942. mendowhale. com/page/littleriver. 123rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner & Dance. Corned beef &
beef & cabbage. Green beer, Irish coffee, local wine. Auction. Adults: $15. Kids 10 & under: $12. Happy hour: 5:30 p.m. Dinner: 6:30 p.m.
Mendocino County Fairgrounds. 14400 Hwy. 128, Boonville. 895-3609. mendocountyfair.com. FREE 165th Annual San Francisco St. Patrick’s Parade & Festival.
Music, Irish dancers, floats, marching bands & much more. 11:30 a.m. Parade starts at Second & Market Streets, then goes down Market St. to the Civic Center Plaza. Festival 9 a.m.–5 p.m. in Civic Center. 355 McAllister St., San Francisco. sf.funcheap.com. Family Fun at the Museum: In the Construction Zone. Hands-on
workshop with Cassie Gibson & Cathy Monroe. Materials provided. 1–2:30 p.m. Grace Hudson Museum. 431 S. Main St., Ukiah. 467-2836. gracehudsonmuseum.org. FREE Teen Lock-In at the Library.
For teens entering grades 7–12. Games
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We want to know what you think. • What did you like in this issue? • What do you want to see more or less of? • Know a teacher, coach or special person that makes local family life better? • Know of an upcoming event or fun family outing? • Want to write stories, recipes, or blog for Family Life?
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& activities, fun & adventure. Pizza, snacks, drinks & materials provided. Registration & parent permission are required to attend. 6 p.m.–midnight. Ukiah Library. 105 N. Main St., Ukiah. To obtain permission slip, call 467-6434.
entry fee for non-business participants & $30 for businesses. Prizes. Enter by March 10. 4–5 p.m. Main St. & 7th St., Lakeport. 245-7458. 7th Annual Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner. Silent auction. Awesome
FREE My Future, My Way Workshop.
Come explore college & careers. Open to Lake & Mendocino County students in grades 7–12. Includes notebook, pen, water & lunch. Space is limited. Registration required. 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m. Yuba/Woodland College. 15880 Dam Rd. Ext., Clearlake. 263-8918, ext. 284. lakecoe.org. FREE Craft Sale—Fire Benefit.
Locally made crafts & baked goods. Profits go to Hope Crisis Response Network to help rebuild Lake County. Noon–4 p.m. Brick Hall. 16374 Main St., Lower Lake. Lake County Scout Carnival. Crazy games like spin art, car bashing, Toilet Bowl Toss & Rubber Chicken Fling. Door prizes. Free admission. Activity tickets 5 for $10. Noon–5 p.m. Lake County Fairgrounds. 401 Martin St., Lakeport. 279-2129. FREE St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Everyone is invited to participate. Decorate your truck, car, van, tractor, horse, bike, or best friend in green. No
prizes. Hosted by the Girl Scouts of Ukiah Valley. Adults: $20. Kids ages 5–12: $10. Ages 4 & under free. 5–8 p.m. Saturday Afternoon Clubhouse. 107 S. Oak St., Ukiah.
Sunday 13 Opus: Old, New & Blue. The
Noyo Concert. 3 p.m. Preston Hall. 44867 Main St., Mendocino. symphonyoftheredwoods.org. FREE Friends of Boggs Mt. Hike Trail Maintenance. Bring water, work
gloves & hand tools, such as loppers or clippers. 9 a.m.–noon. Meet at Cobb Elementary parking lot. 15895 Hwy. 175, Cobb. boggsmountain.net. FREE Personal & Community Resilience Presentation. Local
author & life coach JoAnn Saccato will share coping skills that will help the community deal with the Valley Fire disaster. 10:30 a.m. Unity Clearlake Center. 15898 Kugelman St., Lower Lake. 350-1719. companioningthesacredjourney.com.
Bob Rider photography
Family Portraits Individuals • Families • Events BobRiderPhotography.com • (707)245-5321
Monday 14 This Autistic Life. Learn about the
joys & challenges of living on the autism spectrum or living with or teaching someone on the spectrum. 6:30 p.m. Terrace Middle School. Marge Alakszy Center (MAC). 250 Lange St., Lakeport. Environmental Potluck & Award Ceremony. 6–8 p.m. Russian Gulch
State Park Rec Hall. 12301 N. Hwy. 1, Mendocino. mendocinolandtrust.org.
Friday 18 Doula Training & Workshop. Begin your career in childbirth. Become a doula. Three-day workshop. $350. March 18: 3–9 p.m. March 19 & 20: 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Mendo Baby. 198 S. School St., Ukiah. 319-9977. Register online: doulaspace.com.
local local resources resources baby essentials baby essentials consignment consignment local local artisans children’s children’s and maternity clothes maternity toys, books, toys, and more! more! and
198 S. School St. Ukiah 707.462.1020 www. MendoBaby.com Check us out on Facebook!
Weekly Deal Day!
$3 Thursdays all clothing on plastic hangers $3 regardless of marked prices MendoLakeFamilyLife 25
10th Annual International Wildlife Film Festival. Family Night. Earth–A
New Wild: Water; The Marvelous Musical Report & The Last Dragons. Live music. Donations: Adults: $10. Kids: $5. (Films appropriate for older children.) Festival runs Fridays in March. (See website for full schedule.) Snacks & music: 6:15 p.m. Film: 7 p.m. Ukiah Civic Center. 300 Seminary Ave., Ukiah. rvoep.org. FREE Prom Dress Giveaway. Any Lake County high school girl is invited to get a new or gently worn dress, heels, jewelry, unopened makeup & gift certificates at no cost. Don’t want a dress, but have one to donate? Call Anna: 994-5486. 3:30–6:30 p.m. Lower Lake High School. 9430 A Lake St., Lower Lake. 994-6471, ext. 2725.
Saturday 19 Annual Whale Run & Walk. Hosted
by Soroptimist International of Fort Bragg. 10K & 5K runs & 5K competitive walk. Adults: $30. Kids ages 16 yrs. & under: $10. Kiddie run: $5. Both runs & competitive walk: 8
a.m. 1/2-mile Kiddie Run: 7:30 a.m. 5K Fun Walk: 8:15 a.m. Fort Bragg Town Hall. 363 N. Franklin St., Fort Bragg. mendocinocoast.com. 20th Annual Beer Festival. Taste
ales & watch the whales! Live music & BBQ. $30. No kids or pets please. Noon–4 p.m. Proceeds toward scholarships, local & international projects. Historic Eagles Hall. 210 N. Corry St., Fort Bragg. mendocinocoast.com. Celebrate Spring Gala. Delicious
cuisine & desserts. No-host bar. (First drink free!) Performance by dancers from Mendocino Ballet. Live music, dancing & live & silent auctions. $50–$60. 6–10 p.m. Barra of Mendocino Winery. 7051 N. State St., Redwood Valley. 463-2290. mendocinoballet.org. FREE Easter Egg Hunt. Greet
the Easter Bunny. Free filled Easter baskets to the first 100 children. Age groups range from babies thru 6th grade. Don’t forget to bring your Easter basket! 10 a.m., sharp.
(Allow extra time for parking.) Hidden Valley Lake Baseball Field. Hartmann Rd., Hidden Valley Lake. 987-3138. hvla.com.
Thursday 24 Annie. One weekend only! See
Annie & her fellow orphans sing “Tomorrow” & other hits from this famous Broadway show. Sponsored by Lake County Theatre Company & Konocti Unified School District. Mar. 24 & 25: 7 p.m. Mar. 26: 2 p.m. $7–$10. Konocti Education Center. Cornelison Event Center. 15850-A Dam Rd. Ext., Clearlake. kec.konoctiusd.org.
Saturday 26 Lecture, Planetarium Show & Telescope Viewing. 7–10 p.m. Taylor
Observatory. 5725 Oak Hills Ln., Kelseyville. lakecoe.org/programs/ taylor_observatory. FREE Movie & High Tea Party. In honor of Downton Abbey. Featuring the movie Gosford Park. Ukiah Library. 105 N. Main St., Ukiah. 2 p.m. 463-4490. FREE Twin Pine Annual Easter Eggstravaganza. Easter baskets
Calling All Monsters
o you have budding actors in your family? Get them involved in the Lake County Theatre Company. The group is putting on the new children’s musical We Are Monsters and needs plenty of kids for the cast. Auditions are March 8, 4–6 p.m., at the Konocti Education Center in Clearlake, and March 10, 6–8 p.m., and March 12, 10 a.m.–noon, at the United Christian Parish in Lakeport. For more information, call James Paton at 245-7584. ¶ 26 MendoLakeFamilyLife
(while supplies last). Easter Bunny. Kids’ activities. Not an egg hunt. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Twin Pine Casino & Hotel. 22223 Hwy. 29, Middletown. twinpine.com.
Sunday 27 Easter Breakfast & Egg Hunt.
Breakfast: 8–11 a.m. Adults: $12. Kids: $6. Egg hunt: noon, sharp. Pre-school– grade 4. Bring your own basket. Surprise award for finding the prize egg. Mendocino County Fairgrounds. 14400 Hwy. 128, Boonville. mendocountyfair.com.
March 2016 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
Tuition-free Montessori elementary for ages 5-13 Hands-on, arts and music
Hop to a Hunt
integrated with academics
National Green Campus Promotes responsibility, respect, and peace
307 North State Street Ukiah
Located on north end of Fairgrounds PO Box 966 Ukiah 95482
707-462-0913 Give Your Give Child a Head Start!
Free Your & Low-Cost Quality Preschool! www.treeoflifeschool.net
Fill Your Basket with Fun
et your kids scramble for colorful Easter eggs at these area festivities. Make sure to bring your own baskets!
✓ Referrals for transportation available Free & Low-Cost Quality Preschool! Also providing FREE in-home services for
Boonville A prize egg will yield a surprise at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds hunt on March 27. Come 8–11 a.m. and fuel up on a hearty breakfast before the hunt, which starts at noon, sharp. It is open to kids in preschool through fourth grade. Breakfast is $12 for adults and $6 for kids.
infants, toddlers & pregnant women!
Head Start Child Development Program
C E N T E R S
Child a classrooms for ✓ 1/2-day & full-day ages 18 months Head to 5 years ✓ Potty-trained not necessary Start! ✓ Children with disabilities welcome
North Ukiah - Bush St. Nokomis - Washington Ave. South Ukiah - S. State St. Peach Tree - S. Orchard Ave.
Near Brookside School at Spruce St. & Lincoln Way
La Vida • Lake County
Upper Lake - 2nd Street Upper Lake - Clover Valley Lakeport - Howard Ave. Clearlake - Pearl Ave. • Free K-12 Public Charter Clearlake - Meadowbrook Dr.
Charter School www.ncoinc.org Head Start (707)Development 462-2582 Program License #230111843 Child • Home Study• Coast with
Applications online: www.ncoinc.org • (707) 462-2582 Fort Bragg - Lincoln St. On-Site Classes
Hidden Valley Lake Early birds get the worm, or in this case Easter loot, at the egg hunt on March 19 at the baseball field on Hartmann Road. The first 100 kids to arrive will get free goodie-filled baskets. The hunt itself will start at 10 a.m., sharp. Kids as young as babies and as old as sixth graders are welcome to attend.
Lakeport The Lakeport Rotary will dye and hide more than 200 dozen eggs for its free hunt, which has been a local hit for 91 years. Children ages 0–12 can get in on the action by going to the Lake County Fairgrounds on April 5 at 1:30 p.m.
for 25 years
#1 local resource for local families
Middletown Though not an egg hunt, the Twin Pine Eggstravaganza on March 26, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., at the Twin Pine Casino and Hotel will be chock-full of plenty of free springtime fun, including Easter Bunny visits, a jumpy house, and complimentary baskets and hot dogs.
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Ukiah It’s a five-minute scramble to snag eggs at the Ukiah Lion’s Club hunt on March 27. Be at Anton Stadium right at 2 p.m. or you might miss it! Willits Continuing a 60-odd-year tradition, the Willits Lion’s Club will hold its hunt for dyed eggs on March 27 at the Willits High School at noon. Kids will be divided by age to even the playing field. www.mendolakefamilylife.com
• WASC Accredited
707-459-6344 www.LaVidaSchool.org 16201 N. Hwy. 101, Willits
Accelerated Achievement Academy • • • •
Free Public School Grades 4-12 Small classes Support for struggling students
(707) 463-7080 1031 N. State St.
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Cooking with Kids
St. Patty’s Sweets Treats for Your Favorite Leprechauns By Alexa Bigwarfe
Shamrock Snack While St. Patrick’s Day is associated with lucky four-leaf clovers or shamrocks, it’s actually the more common three-leaf clover that is associated with St. Patrick. The fifth-century Christian missionary and patron saint of Ireland used the three-leaf clover to teach the country’s pagans about the Trinity.
or those of us with children, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations shift from green beer to green M&Ms. These kid-friendly recipes will help you make the most of the day we celebrate all things Irish. Leprechaun Munch In Irish folklore, leprechauns are male, mischievous fairies. According to the tales, they hide gold in secret places. If you catch a leprechaun, he has to take you to his treasure. But, if you take your eyes off of him, he can vanish instantly. If you and the kids want a shot at snagging the sneaky creature, launch a leprechaun hunt in your house and use Leprechaun Munch as bait. Just spoon out some and wait to hear “crunch.” Since leprechauns love the color green, it won’t take long, but while you watch and wait, you can snack along. When the kids aren’t watching, replace some of the “munch trail” with gold coins—the calling card of the leprechaun. Ingredients • Crumbled pretzel sticks • Green marshmallows from a box of Lucky Charms cereal • Green and white coconut M&Ms • Rice Chex cereal • Green sprinkles Directions Put all ingredients into a plastic bag. Shake well. 28 MendoLakeFamilyLife
Ingredients • Small, traditionally shaped pretzels (3 for each shamrock) • Stick pretzels (1 for each shamrock) • Chocolate bar, melted • Green M&Ms Directions 1. Arrange three pretzels into a shamrock shape. Each pretzel becomes one leaf of the “clover.” 2. Place a stick pretzel as the “stem.” 3. Drop a dollop of melted chocolate in the center of the pretzels, ensuring that the three pretzels and the stick pretzel are bonded together. 4. Place an M&M in the center of the chocolate dollop. Let cool, preferably overnight. ¶ Alexa Bigwarfe is the mother of three young children. Her family hails from Ireland, so naturally, St. Patrick’s Day is one of her favorite holidays.
March 2016 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
Crafting with Kids
Upcycle Your Easter 4 Spring Projects
By Christina Katz
pcycling refers to finding fresh uses for old things in ways that increase the value of the items. It’s about creating instead of consuming. Once you upcycle your Easter, your kids will start begging for more opportunities to re-imagine everyday items that would otherwise be discarded.
So what are you waiting for? Here are five ideas to get you started. Colorful Candleholders. Collect recyclable wide-mouth jars of all shapes and sizes. Run your glass jars through the dishwasher, removing any labels and tags first. Then gather up whatever colorful leftover tissue paper you have, and tear it into half-inch squares. Using Mod Podge or white glue that has been diluted to half strength with water, coat the jar with a thin layer of glue, then add a colorful layer of overlapping tissue pieces as you go. When the jar is covered, go over the tissue layer once more with a thin coat of glue. When completely dry, add a tea light to each lantern and arrange them on the mantle or in the center of your dining table. Bookish Eggs. It’s time for some of those plastic Easter eggs that have been piling up over the years to get a literary makeover. For this project, www.mendolakefamilylife.com
use an old favorite volume that has been damaged by a spill. While it is still wet, dry it by hanging it open, then cut out the clean pages. Cut each page into a strip, just a bit wider than the length of the egg and long enough to go all the way around the middle. Paint just the middle of the egg with Mod Podge, and roll paper into a tube around the egg. Seal the tube with more Mod Podge tucked under the overlap, and let dry while you move on to the next egg. Then come back around and make straight cuts a half-inch apart into the ends of the paper, cutting from each end of the egg. This way the pieces will smooth March 2016
down flat onto the egg when more Mod Podge is applied. Let dry, and voilà, your children will remember their favorite books each year! Tiny Toy Wreath. This playful wreath is a perfect way to create a new home for tiny plastic toys after a hearty round of spring-cleaning. Start with a wire wreath shape. Wrap it in a long strip of old fabric using a hot glue gun to secure fabric to frame. Have kids help with the selection and sorting of tiny toys, and designate one person to glue toys to the wreath. Let dry, then hang. Create one shared family wreath, or tiny toy wreaths for each child’s room. Terrarium Garden Starters. Why should the turtles have all the fun? Use an old fish tank or glass baking dish (from home or the local thrift store). Line it with one inch of gravel and two inches of lightweight potting soil. Push sections of leftover cardboard egg cartons into the soil and fill the sections with a little more soil. Plant seed starters for the flower or veggie garden in the egg “pots.” They can be pulled out after they sprout and replanted outdoors. Decorate your terrarium with cut patches of moss or grass from outdoors. Send children out to gather bark and sticks. Then let your child finish the look with rocks, shells, and old toys. Place your terrarium in bright but indirect light, and keep well misted with water from a spray bottle until seeds sprout. Author, journalist, and writing coach Christina Katz never gets tired of making a fresh start every spring.
Eternal Who Took AnMystery the Scissors? Solved By Rick Epstein
hy can’t I ever find scissors around this place?!” It is the rhetorical question of a woman on the warpath. “Who took them?!” she demands non-rhetorically.
Although I know better, my eyes flick hopefully to the empty hook on the kitchen wall where a pair of scissors sometimes hangs. Three other pairs of eyes glaze over as if someone has asked the atomic weight of Ruthenium. Our daughters, ranging in age from 9–16, are all likely suspects in a scissor abduction, especially the oldest, who makes artificial roses out of red and green duct tape, and the youngest, who manufactures her own paper dolls and every so often tries her hand at counterfeiting. Getting no answers, my wife, Betsy, storms off to search their rooms and look under the couch. If she hurries, she might find them, but if she’s too slow, they will be gone. We cherish the kids’ creative impulses, so we try to keep them well supplied with all kinds of materials and equipment. It seems as though I bring home scissors almost as often as milk. When I hang the new scissors on the hook, I feel like the park ranger who figures that if he pumps 10,000 trout into a stream, one or two are 30 MendoLakeFamilyLife
bound to turn up when needed. But it doesn’t work. Where do scissors go? To the same place as the girls’ endless succession of hairbrushes? The last time I hung up a new pair of scissors, I had an impulse to sit nearby and watch to see where they went. But the losing-process can take an hour or two, and the total disappearance can take a couple of weeks. Who has that kind of time? I’m better off just using my time shaking the money tree to buy scissors and all the other stuff that evaporates like desert rain. Someday, when the girls have moved out and my wife and I have been institutionalized, a shrewd investor will realize that our old house occupies the perfect site for a greyhound track. Then a crane operator will swing a 600-pound wrecking ball at the house. There will be a splintering crash and a dozen hairbrushes will come sliding out through a rupture in the clapboards.
Another swing of the heavy ball and some other odd space will yield a colorful cubic yard of hair elastics. By then a crowd will have gathered, and with every blow, the house, like a splitting piñata, will spew out glue sticks, and staplers, and tape-dispensers, and ballpoint pens that really work. A TV news crew will rush to the scene. That evening, propped up in my nursing-home bed, I’ll watch as the now televised ball swings through the air one more time and 200 pairs of scissors come spewing out, clicking and clattering, like a jackpot of silver dollars from a slot machine. I’ll murmur, “Ahhh!” and expire peacefully. In heaven, our family will eventually reunite. My kids will all be about eight years old and as creatively active as Michelangelo on opening day of the Renaissance. Our house will buzz and thrum with the sounds of artistic collaboration and production. The girls’ artistic output will festoon the walls like colorful, rustling foliage, and our refrigerator will be shaped like an igloo because of the thousands of masterpieces taped onto it. My wife, happily engaged in a project of her own, will ask, “Has anyone seen the stapler?” Before I can answer, one of the children will say, “The stapler? Upper right-hand desk drawer.” Mmm, heaven. There’s nowhere on Earth like it. ¶ Rick Epstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 2016 www.mendolakefamilylife.com
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