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January 2017

Private Schools Student Success Overcome blocks A+ Tutor Get top help

Local guide

Bring on Joy

Set fun goals

My two sons gained a foundation at Cardinal Newman that has all the cornerstones for a successful and fulfilling life - strong academic base (both with entries to top tier universities), a commitment to serve others and lifelong friendships with both teachers and students. Perfect! - Cynthia, parent of the Class of 2016 and 2013

DISCOVER HOW CARDINAL NEWMAN PROVIDES THE HIGHEST CALIBER CATHOLIC, COLLEGE PREPARATORY EDUCATION Contact us to schedule a tour or shadow visit. Tour times are flexible. Shadow visits for prospective students are held on most Mondays; email or phone to learn details.

FOR MORE INFO Pat Piehl, Admissions Director |

Tuition Assistance Available 50 Ursuline Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 • 707.546.6470

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January 2017

Every Issue

12 Features 10 No More Resolutions The best self-improvement? Self-acceptance.

12 H Is for Hurdle Help kids overcome perfectionism and procrastination.

14 School Search How to find the perfect place for your child to learn.

15 Private School Guide Our list of fine local academic institutions.

22 Raise an Entrepreneur Get creative about education alternatives.


Dear Reader


Bits and Pieces Supergirl for a Day Presto Chango! Chow Down Get in on the Act Fierce Felines Rock, Paper, Stuffies

32 Cooking with Kids Bake a Cake

33 Crafting with Kids Boredom Busters

34 Calendar of Events Flying High

42 Humor Break Riot on the Ranch

24 Grade A Tutor How to find expert help.

26 But I Want It Now! Teach your kid how to cope with anger.


28 Goodbye Stay-At-Home Mom


The joys of returning to the grown-up world of work.

30 Honey for Your Health A delicious way to keep the body strong.

4 SonomaFamilyLife

January 2017





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Online…Mobile…Magazine…E-mail…Social Media…Events…Local…Award-winning sonoma



January 2017

Private Schools Local guide

Student Success Overcome blocks

Bring on Joy

Set fun goals

A+ Tutor Get top help



December 2016

Local Lights

SAT Smarts 6 prep tips

36 hot spots

Give Back 25 ways

Holiday Fun 67 local events

Raise a Giver

College Apps Savvy advice

Choose wisely



Special Needs


Care for

Be Close

Nourish yourself



Comic Mom


Love Up Mom 6 Local ways

Get Your Zzzs Help kids sleep

Babymoons 5 Fun stops


Local writes for ABC show

Talk to Teach

Teens♥ Farms

Make it easier

Homework Help



Top celebrations

Enter to win

31 great prizes

Earth Day 6 celebrations


Ways to play!

Dating Danger


Summer Fun 61 exciting ideas


April 2016


Reach for It! Set & meet

Local FFA thrives


May 2016

Keep Teens Safe Help for


Camp Fair! See you April 1

Music Matters Local programs thrive

Kids Who Code

Bully Beware

Art + Science A fun project

6 local spooky spots


July 2016

September 2016

SPD Smarts Help sensory


October 2016

Fall Fun 61 local ideas

Teach kindness

Online Sharing


November 2016


June 2016

Get Cool! Swim in city pools

Honor Pops 6 top ways

5-star Father Local dad shines

Summer Fun 66 ways to play



March 2016

February 2016



4 Ways to care


Keep kids calm

Kids & Cupid

Dear Reader


fter the holiday break is over, what’s most likely on your mind? School. If you are like most parents, you want to help your children Sharon Gowan thrive through the Publisher/Editor rest of the year and find the best place for them to learn and grow in 2017–18. We’ve got you covered on both fronts. First, in our Private School Guide (page 15), we’ve collected the names of 27 local institutions that might be a perfect fit for your children. Choose a few that are within your budget and launch a “deep dive” to explore them further. If your kids are more in need of a leg up than a whole new environment, consider hiring professional assistance. “Grade A Tutor” (page 24) outlines how to find the best help for your children. Maybe your little professors are fully capable of doing

their homework, but their procrastination or perfectionism gets in the way of actually finishing it. “H Is for Hurdle” (page 12) has some excellent tips for overcoming these common roadblocks to academic success. Some children aren’t helped by tips or tutors, but rather need a whole new way of perceiving and defining education itself. “Raise an Entrepreneur” (page 22) was written for them. Through sharing the stories of three struggling students, author Margot Machol Bisnow illustrates how the path to intellectual and future professional success is not always a conventional one. Whatever educational choices your family makes, we hope your 2017 is an inspired one. We’re looking forward to helping you and your kids go after your dreams!

Patricia Ramos

Business Marketing Renee Nutcher Marie Anderson

Features Editor Melissa Chianta

Production Manager Donna Bogener

Web and Social Media

Their future begins with a great education. Registration for One & Two Year Kindergarten for Santa Rosa City Schools begins on January 17, 2017.

Albert F. Biella, Brook Hill, Luther Burbank, Hidden Valley, Hidden Valley Satellite, Helen Lehman, Abraham Lincoln, James Monroe, Proctor Terrace, Steele Lane, SR Charter School for the Arts, SR French-American Charter, The Hope Academy, Cesar Chavez Language Academy. Before and after-school day care at selected sites. Register early, classes fill quickly!

Office Manager

Register at the school. For age requirements and school contact information, visit

Jean Flint

Contributing Writers Margot Machol Bisnow Holly Hester Katie Hurley Christina Katz Sue LeBreton Jennifer Lee Ashley Talmadge Denise Morrison Yearian

Billing Jan Wasson-Smith

Publishing Office 134 Lystra Court, Suite A Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Tel (707) 586-9562 Fax (707) 586-9571

707-528-5272 • 6 SonomaFamilyLife

January 2017

They may never ask how you always know… all the coolest things to do & places to go. But they’ll always remember the fun! And you don’t have to reveal the source of your superpowers. Get weekly e-mail updates from the editors at Sonoma Family Life with all the latest LOCAL family-fun events, ideas, and outings. On your phone, tablet, or desktop…


Sonoma Family join our

Fun Blast E-mail Updates

Bits & Pieces

Supergirl for a Day


ang! Pow! Whack! Kids love imagining themselves with

super-hero powers. And they can do it with panache at LumaCon! Comic Convention for Youth. In addition to meeting comic book writers and illustrators, attendees can dress up and take part in a cosplay competition, play in a Magic the Gathering tournament, or work out fictitious dramatic scenarios in Live Action Role Play (LARP). The work of local youth artists will also be exhibited and available for purchase. The free convention will be held on January 28, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., at the Lucchesi Center in Petaluma. Check out the details on ¶

Presto Chango!

Mike Della Penna makes some magic with son, Leo.


ith the thrill of opening presents over, kids may think January is bereft of fun. But magician schoolteacher Mike Della Penna aims to conjure up all manner of mystery and wonder—and teach kids about math and gravity, too. Kids will get to participate in tricks and other activities like writing a poem together on stage. Della Penna will perform his free Winter Magic Show on January 7 at 11 a.m. at the Healdsburg Regional Library in Healdsburg and at 2 p.m. at the Rincon Valley Library in Santa Rosa. See sonomalibrary. org or for more information. ¶

Chow Down


hen cold, damp winds make you long for a bowl of something hot and steamy, the Annual Bodega Bay Chowder Day has just the thing. On January 28, sample some iterations of the area’s trademark clam-filled soup, and then vote for your favorite. Tastings start at 10 a.m. and noon; the festival runs through 3 p.m. Tickets are $10. Heading into Bodega Bay, follow the signs to ticket booths or buy tickets at ¶

8 SonomaFamilyLife

January 2017

Ken Adams brings free theater to local libraries.

Get in on the Act


reat children’s stories aren’t complete without a villain, a monster, and a hero. Audience members can volunteer to be any one of these during Kenn Adams’ Adventure Theater show. In the family-friendly interactive performance, kids can jump on stage and play a role as well as help figure out the plot’s twists and turns. Are your little ones shy? They can still have fun making sound effects or turning themselves into a piece of scenery. The free show, suitable for ages 5–12, will be held on January 7 at 11 a.m. at the Rohnert Park–Cotati Regional Library in Rohnert Park and at 2 p.m. at the Cloverdale Regional Library in Cloverdale. Find out more at or ¶

Fierce Felines


earch the Internet for wildlife footage, and you may see the blurry spots of cheetahs or the ebony fur of black leopards as they run in pursuit of prey. But when can you see great cats like these in real time? At the Wildcat Adventures show at the Sebastopol Community Center in Sebastopol on January 8, 3–4 p.m. Among the animals that may take the stage will be a cougar, cheetah, ocelot, fishing cat, black leopard, or Geoffroy’s cat. Tickets are $5–$10 and may be purchased by calling 874-3176 or by e-mailing Find out more at ¶

Rock, Paper, Stuffies


ooking for a way to break up winter humdrum? Let the kids get creative at a series of arty workshops at the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County in Santa Rosa. From January 2–6, young makers can learn to create everything from stuffies to paper flowers to nontoxic lotions. Workshops are for ages 5–8 and cost $32–$40. The schedule is as follows: January 2, Painting and Printmaking; January 3, Stuffie Creation; January 4, Rock Out with Rock Art; January 5, Cork Vases and Paper Flowers; January 6, Lotions and Potions. Find out more information and register at ¶

January 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 9

No More Resolutions Focus on Joy Instead

By Christina Katz


ew Year’s resolutions have become heavily commercialized. Messages from all directions communicate that you are falling short as an acceptable human being in a multitude of ways. You are too poor, too unfit, too uneducated, too lonely, too busy, too selfish, too boring. You name it and you need to change it, preferably starting on January 1. But unless you are clear that you are enough as you are, you risk passing this annual habit of self-recrimination onto your children and their future children.

This year, resist external messages designed to make you and your family feel inadequate, and flip New Year’s resolutions on their heads. Resolve to no longer let an annual holiday undermine your family’s sense of wholeness and worth. Resolution comes from the word resolve, meaning to make a decision or determination. This January 1, why not become determined to resist self-criticism altogether? Take some time over 10 SonomaFamilyLife

the New Year transition to assess everything you enjoy. Here are a few family discussion topics that will help you focus on building your family up rather than on tearing each other down. Because, of course, when you feel critical of yourself, nit-picking your kids swiftly follows. Start discussing these topics, and watch the never-good-enough season transform into the joyful ringing in of the New Year every family craves.

Discuss what was joyful last year. What choices did family members make that brought them joy? Were there some decisions any family members made that created disappointment? You can learn as much from what did not work as

One of the best ways to milk more joy out of last year is to spend time discussing its happiest moments. you can from what did work, so don’t be afraid to admit mistakes. A balanced year is full of ups and downs. Express feelings of joy. Have a deeper conversation about choices you made last year that brought you joy. From your perspective, what were the smartest decisions you made? How did these positive choices make you feel? Would you

January 2017

make these same choices again? One of the best ways to milk more joy out of last year is to spend time discussing its happiest moments. Image next year as even more joyful. Ask each family member to make up a story about what an even more joyful year would look like. They can make the story as ambitious as they like. For example, maybe one family member wants to get admitted to a particular college while another simply wants to maintain a long-time enjoyable activity. Remain nonjudgmental. Joy is not a competition and each person’s joy is unique to her or him. Each family member can tell the story that makes her or him feel the most content, and no one else in the family should interject her or his ideas or expectations.

Affirm each other’s visions. After everyone has shared, family members will feel motivated to help each other. First affirm the validity of each family member’s dream. Make sure everyone feels supported by each other. Stressing teamwork in achieving individual goals can help

Ask each family member to make up a story about what an even more joyful year would look like. reduce sibling rivalry. Kids who are empowered to be authentic don’t have to compete with anyone. Parents can act throughout the year to support each family member’s dream. And parents should expect support for their

dreams, as well. Don’t sit back and let the kids have all the fun! You are the creator of your family traditions; you don’t have to go along with the crowd. So celebrate the New Year in positive, constructive ways that build up family members rather than negative, critical ways that tear them down. When you teach your family members to use joy as a touchstone for making choices, you give them the keys to creating personal satisfaction in their lives. And you get to watch your family grow closer than ever every year. ¶ Author, journalist, and writing coach Christina Katz strives to live a joy-centric life, despite whatever else is going on in the world. She knows there is nothing more important to pass along to future generations.


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January 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 11

H Is for Hurdle

to make sure they’re staying on task. Gradually increase your expectations while still providing coaching and encouragement. For younger children, it may be helpful to provide two or three specific directions, have them repeat them aloud, and then report back to you when they are done. Setting a timer may also move kids into action.

Overcoming Blocks to Academic Success

“Make it into a game,” says Emmett. “If your child has a short attention span, start with ten minutes. If he’s older, go longer. When the timer goes off, give him a short break or reward then set the timer again.”

By Denise Morrison Yearian


ost parents want their children to aim for academic excellence. But for some students obstacles such as procrastination and perfectionism get in the way. When children dawdle or nitpick to the point of obsession, it can hinder their academic progress. That’s what Wendy King found. When her daughter Madeline began receiving assignments in elementary school, procrastination set in. “She knew what she needed to do, but she would dilly-dally around and then rush to get it done. Now that she’s in middle school, the workload has escalated and the expectations have increased, and at times, Madeline feels overwhelmed,” says King of her 11-year-old. Rita Emmett, author of The Procrastinating Child (Walker, 2009), says children procrastinate for a variety of reasons. “Some students may feel overwhelmed or disorganized 12 SonomaFamilyLife

with their work and not know where to start. Others could lack motivation or find themselves easily distracted,” she says. “Once you determine the root cause, steps can be taken to help your child break the habit.”

If your child is a perfectionist, Taylor suggests you consider your own personal expectations, as well as ones you place on your child. Emmett warns, however, that using a timer with preteens could elicit a power struggle. “As kids get older they want some control, so consider offering your older child flexibility with parameters: ‘Your homework must be done before you watch TV,’” she says.

Licensed social worker and parent educator Vicky Kelly agrees. “If your child feels overwhelmed with a task, be proactive on the front end,” she says. “Teach him to break down large projects into smaller, more manageable ones. Don’t assume he knows how to organize information; he may need help with that, too.”

King believes incentives are powerful motivators. “Whenever Madeline finishes an unpleasant task, I’ll let her do something she enjoys,” she says. “I’ll say, ‘If you complete this, you’ll get ten minutes more on the computer.’”

Encourage your children to create a plan, then check on their progress

Natural consequences can be another potent teaching tool. Rather than

January 2017

Come Grow with Us! become creative, confident, capable, & kind

chastising your children for being late for school or getting a poor test grade, suggest they implement strategies so the consequences aren’t repeated. Another obstacle to academic success is perfectionism, which, at times, is tied to procrastination. Perfectionist

Encourage your children to create a plan, then check on their progress to make sure they’re staying on task. children often push themselves with immense fervency, avoid activities for fear of failure, or vacillate from one extreme to another. This was the case with Gabriel Hurd. “When Gabe started school, he focused so much energy on writing and forming letters flawlessly that he lagged behind the other students,” says Heather Petit of her now nine-year-old. “But sometimes he moves in the other direction and avoids or procrastinates doing something new for fear he won’t be able to do it. Or he’ll try something once and, if it isn’t done to his satisfaction, give up altogether.” Alexandra Robbins, author of The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids (Hachette, 2006), says the fear of not living up to their own or others’ expectations is stifling and can keep kids from moving forward. “Most perfectionist children aim to please someone in their life and become overly focused on activities or tasks they deem important and in doing so, set unreasonable goals for themselves,” she says.

Kimberly Taylor, 28-year elementary school education veteran, agrees. “For many of these children, achievement is closely tied to self worth, self-esteem, and approval. They may think, ‘If I do this well, Mommy will love me more,’ or ‘If I do that right, the teacher will really like me,’” she says. If your child is a perfectionist, Taylor suggests you consider your own personal expectations, as well as ones you place on your child. “If you’re hard on yourself’re flying off the handle with every little mistake your child makes, he may not understand that blunders are a part of growing and learning,” she says. “Communicate perceived failures as opportunities for growth. Let him know trying his best is not the same as being the best, and that’s okay.” “Praise your child for his efforts and remind him he doesn’t have to be perfect or get things right on the first try,” says Robbins. “Rather than just focusing on the end goal, celebrate small levels of success. Also offer unconditional love so he learns to accept himself based on who he is, not on his performance.” Most important, remember there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to tackling procrastination and perfectionist habits. Try different strategies to see what does and doesn’t work, and provide continual coaching and encouragement. Finally give it time. For most people it takes 21 days of consistent effort to make or break a habit. ¶ Denise Morrison Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines, and the mother of three children and four grandchildren.

January 2017

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SonomaFamilyLife 13

Find Top-Notch Local Programs

School Search H ow do you choose the right school for your child? It helps to break your search down into manageable tasks.

First, go on a fact-finding mission to discover what’s out there. Are you considering a private school? Start your search on the facing page with the 2017 Sonoma County Private School Guide. We surveyed staff and researched websites of 27 local private schools to collect vital information for this annual guide. While you are in research mode, don’t ignore your neighborhood

14 SonomaFamilyLife

public schools. Is there one that might be a great fit? You may be able to transfer. Ask the district office. (Charter schools, even though they’re public, generally don’t require transfer approval.) Figure out your priorities. What is your child interested in? What are your top expectations of a school? What college or trade school do you want your child to attend after he or she graduates?

Next, decide on three to five schools for a “deep dive.” Write down questions to ask administrators before you schedule tours. Visit the schools’ websites and review upcoming deadlines. Talk to teachers and parents, especially parents whose children graduated from the schools you’re visiting. If possible, attend some school events to get a feel for the culture and community. Apply to your dream school and back-up schools as soon as you can, as spaces fill up quickly. Finding the right school can be a daunting experience. There are so many options in our area. The best school for your child is out there, just waiting for you to find it!

January 2017

2017 Sonoma County Private School Guide Healdsburg The Healdsburg School. $14,800.

Inspiring compassionate leaders through academic excellence. K–8th. Avg. class size: 20. Enrollment Current/Max: 191/210. Offers: Extended Care, cafeteria/lunch program. Financial aid available. 33H Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg. 433-4847. Rio Lindo Adventist Academy.

$12,366. Our goal is to maximize every student’s potential, no matter the background. Learn. Serve. Lead. 9th–12th. Avg. class size: 15. Enrollment Current/Max: 160/190. Offers: Multi-child/family discount, cafeteria/lunch program, transportation/busing, summer programs. Requires uniforms. 3200

Rio Lindo Ave., Healdsburg. 431-5100.

Lakeville Hwy., Petaluma. 763-2954.

St. John the Baptist Catholic School.

St. Vincent de Paul Elementary.

$6,760. Challenging the intellect & nourishing the spirit. TK–8th. Avg. class size: 23. Enrollment Current/ Max: 225/250. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/family discount, cafeteria/lunch program, summer programs. Requires uniforms. 217 Fitch St., Healdsburg. 433-2758.

$6,389. Faith. Academics. Service. K–8th. Avg. class size: 25. Enrollment Current/Max: 220/290. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/family discount, cafeteria/lunch program. Requires uniforms. 100 Howard St., Petaluma. 762-6426.

Petaluma Harvest Christian School. $6,500. HCS is a distinctively classical education. TK–8th. Avg. class size: 18. Enrollment Current/Max: 150/250. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/ family discount, cafeteria/lunch program. Requires uniforms. 3700

St. Vincent de Paul High School.

$13,200. College prep, developing their spiritual, academic & social potential. 9th–12th. Avg. class size: 18–20. Enrollment Current/Max: 310/400. Offers: Multi-child/family discount, cafeteria/lunch program, summer programs. 849 Keokuk St., Petaluma. 763-1032.

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January 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 15

2017 Sonoma County Private School Guide Spring Hill Montessori & Academy.

Santa Rosa

Brush Creek Montessori School.

$7,550–$14,775. Montessori, bilingual, science–focused, creativity. PK–8th. Avg. class size: 8–20. Enrollment Current/Max: 120/150. Offers: Extended Care, summer programs. 825 Middlefield Dr., Petaluma. 763-9222.

Beth Ami Religious School.

$8,900. Montessori, AMS affiliated. PK–6th. Avg. class size: 15. Enrollment Current/Max: 70/100. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/ family discount, cafeteria/lunch program, summer programs. 1569 Brush Creek Rd., Santa Rosa. 539-7980.

Cross & Crown Lutheran Church &

$500-$1,500. Leadership, exploration & the love of Jewish life & learning. Tuesdays & Fridays. 4 p.m.–6 p.m. PK–9th. Avg. class size: 8. Enrollment Current/Max: 30/50. Offers: Multi-child/family discount. 4676 Mayette Ave., Santa Rosa. 360-3000.

School. $3,840–$5,900. Christian–

Bridge Haven School. $9,500

March Issue Ad Proof

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college-preparatory high school. max. Day school with homeschool Educating mind, body & spirit. classes available. Strong creative arts To: 10. Enrollment Current/Max: 75/200. Company: 9th–12th. Avg. class size: 25. program. K–8th. Avg. class size: 8. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/ Enrollment Current/Max: 624/NA. Phone: Fax: Date: Enrollment Current/Max: 24/25. family Production discount, summer programs. Offers: Cafeteria/lunch program, Offers: Multi-child/family discount, From: Family Life Magazine Requires uniforms for elementary transportation/busing, summer summer programs. Requires only. 5475 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park. programs. 50 Ursuline Rd., Santa uniforms. Santasign Rosa. 241-6942. Attached is your March 2016 ad for approval. Please and return this proof back to me AS SOON AS 795-7853. Rosa. 546-6470. POSSIBLE. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via email:

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16 SonomaFamilyLife Family Life Magazine Proof Approval Form.

January 2017

2017 Sonoma County Private School Guide Redwood Adventist Academy.

$5,305–$8,495. Academic, physical, social & spiritual growth focus. K–12th. Avg. class size: 16. Enrollment Current/Max: 100/200. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/ family discount, cafeteria/ lunch program. 385 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. 545-1697.

Enrollment Current/Max: 302/325. Offers: Cafeteria/lunch program, transportation/busing, summer programs. 2500 Farmers Ln., Santa Rosa. 545-1770.

Enrollment Current/Max: 280/300. Offers: Extended Care, cafeteria/ lunch program, summer programs. Requires uniforms. 4400 Day School Pl., Santa Rosa. 284-3200.

Sonoma Country Day School.

Summerfield Waldorf School &

$22,700. Bringing learning to life. TK–8th. Avg. class size: 18.

Farm. $4,900–$18,900. Waldorf, college-preparatory, arts & academics.

Rincon Valley Christian School.

$7,295–$9,395. Celebrating 47 years of quality Christian education. PK–12. Avg. class size: 15. Enrollment Current/Max: 220/500. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/family discount, cafeteria/lunch program, transportation/busing, summer programs. 4585 Badger Rd., Santa Rosa. 539-1486. St. Eugene’s Cathedral School.

$6,280. Catholic philosophy. Foreign languages. PK–8th. Avg. class size: 30. Enrollment Current/ Max: 300/360. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/family discount, cafeteria/lunch program, summer programs. Requires uniforms. 300 Farmers Ln., Santa Rosa. 545-7252. St. Rose Catholic School. $6,240. Nurturing environment with high academic standards, committed to the development of the whole person. PK–8th. Avg. class size: 32. Enrollment Current/Max: 270/320. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/ family discount, cafeteria/lunch program. Requires uniforms. 4300 Old Redwood Hwy., Santa Rosa. 545-0379. Sonoma Academy. $39,000.

“RVCS gave me the skills to be an independent learner, inspired me to seek out new experiences, and gave me the technological skills I needed to excel in high school, graduate early, and be well prepared for college.”

Middle School Can Be An Excellent Experience. The technology-empowered middle school chartered by the Rincon Valley Union District now has 2 campuses. • Laptops issued to all students • Inquiry-based STEM science technology program • Integrated, project-based curriculum • Campus-wide participation in the arts including an award-winning music program

Limited Openings for Fall 2016 Enrollment Open Jan. 10-Feb. 24 (707) 542-7375

Independent college-preparatory high school. 9th–12th. Avg. class size: 15.

January 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 17

2017 Sonoma County Private School Guide PK–12th. Avg. class size: 12–28. Enrollment Current/Max: 351/400. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/ family discount, cafeteria/lunch program, summer programs. 655 Willowside Rd., Santa Rosa. 575-7194. Sebastopol Pleasant Hill Christian School.

$5,357. Academic excellence & character development. TK–6th. Avg. class size: 15. Enrollment Current/Max: 50/80. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/family discount, cafeteria/lunch program. 1782 Pleasant Hill Rd., Sebastopol. 823-5868. Sonoma 3200 Rio Lindo Ave. • Healdsburg (707) 431-5100 •

Transitional Kindergarten Free full day for all 4-year-olds


School. $6,900. Faith, excellence,

Featuring a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

Loma Vista Immersion Academy Charter School

Featuring the internationally acclaimed Dual Immersion Language Model

Miwok Valley Language Academy Elementary Charter School Old Adobe Elementary Charter School

Featuring a focus on Arts and Ecology

Sonoma Mountain Elementary Charter School

Kid’s Care Program

Available at all schools 6:30am–6p.m.

Featuring a focus on Arts and Music

845 Crinella Drive, Petaluma • 707-765-4321 •

18 SonomaFamilyLife

Founded in the Catholic tradition, embracing all faiths. K–8th. Avg. class size: 20. Enrollment Current/ Max: 181/185. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/family discount, cafeteria/lunch program, summer programs. Requires uniforms. 20872 Broadway, Sonoma. 935-0122. St. Francis Solano Catholic

La Tercera Elementary School

Featuring a focus on Expeditionary Learning

The Presentation School. $11,250.

innovation & service. K–8th. Avg. class size: 20. Enrollment Current/ Max: 200/300. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/family discount, cafeteria/lunch program, summer programs. Requires uniforms. 342 W. Napa St., Sonoma. 996-4994. SoloQuest School & Learning Center. $12,000. Serving the

needs of students through 1:1 instruction. 6th–12th. Avg. class size: 1:1. Enrollment Current/Max: 13/25. Offers: Summer programs.

January 2017

2017 Sonoma County Private School Guide

He already has what it takes to succeed

Graduate from Elementary Bilingual

We just help him access it

Dual Immersion Program • Common Core curriculum. • 1-1 computer program K-6. • New classrooms on Kawana campus. At Sylvan, we believe learning should be personal FREE • Open students ASSESSMENT from allto districts. A Proven Track Record of Success... Stop in today for a FREE Select copy layout Sylvan Assessment (a • Transportation available $195 value) in Kawana area.

Learn What Sylvan is All About Schedule a Tour Today

Offer expires XX/XX/XXXX. Valid at participating centers only. May not be combined with other offers

Now Enrolling for TK/Kindergarten

Sylvan Learning of Santa Rosa

Locally Owned and Operated for over 30 Years.

707-545-4283 Carol Castro

707-528-6000 •



Learning for Life! Free, Public Montessori Education • TK–6th Grade

Cesar Chavez Language Academy We are a Two-Way Bilingual Immersion Charter School in the Santa Rosa City Schools District. We offer a highly academic program in English and Spanish following the research-based 90/10 immersion model. Transition Kindergarten and Kindergarten registration for the 2017-18 school year begins January 17th, 2017. School tour on February 17, 2017.

Call 528-5011 to schedule a tour with our Principal

(707) 528-5011

211 Ridgway Avenue, Santa Rosa

• Montessori methods encourage internal self-discipline. • Learning that balances cognitive structures & social development. • Instruction adapts to each student’s learning style. • Children are encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other.

Come Visit! We’d love to see you! Open House March 1, 2017 5:30pm - 7:00pm Prospective Parent Meetings & Tours Begin January 10, 2017 Call to Schedule Today! 3880 Cypress Drive, Suite B, Petaluma 707-778-6414 •

January 2017

Mission Statement SonomaFamilyLife


The mission of River Montessori Charter School is to provide students with a learning culture grounded in Montessori Philosophy. This historically proven educational model supports the whole

2017 Sonoma County Private School Guide

Hooray for Kindergarten!

414 W. Napa St., Sonoma. 939-1133.

5 Annual th

Please Join Us for Our Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District

Sonoma Valley Christian School.

Kindergarten Fair

$6,000. Quality education creates happy & successful students. K–8th. Avg. class size: 6–10. Enrollment Current/Max: 8/30. Offers: Multi-child/family discount. 542 1st St. E., Sonoma. 996-1853.

Learn about Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten programs at CRPUSD. Start your registration process for the 2017-18 school year. January 18, 2017 - 6:00 to 7:00 pm

Windsor Windsor Christian Academy.

This event will be held at University Elementary at La Fiesta on 8511 Liman Way in Rohnert Park R D.O US K!



Learning for a Lifetime - Committed to the Future


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20 SonomaFamilyLife

Day Student

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Outside County Justin-Siena. $18,900. A Catholic high school in the Lasallian tradition. 9th–12th. Avg. class size: 24. Enrollment Current/Max: 660/660. Offers: cafeteria/lunch program, transportation/busing, summer programs. Requires uniforms. 4026 Maher St., Napa. 255-0950. San Domenico School. $40,475.

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$2,300–$6,900. WCA provides a Christ-centered education. PK–8th. Avg. class size: 18. Enrollment Current/Max: 276/388. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/ family discount. Requires uniforms. 10285 Starr Rd., Windsor. Preschool: 838-3084. K–8: 838-3757.

Exceptional education & a sense of purpose. K–12th. Avg. class size: 15. Enrollment Current/Max: 642/650. Offers: Extended Care, multi-child/ family discount, cafeteria/lunch program, transportation/busing, summer programs. Requires uniforms. 1500 Butterfield Rd., San Anselmo. 415-258-1900.

Day Student

Student Body President

January 2017

2017 Sonoma County Private School Guide



21st century learners

Preschool-Grade 8

RSVP 707-763-9222 / • Integrated Curriculum • Project-Based • STEAM Focus • Makers & Art • Social Emotional Learning

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• No tuition • K-12 home school • 7-11 Classroom based instruction • College and Career Readiness

January 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 21

This mother was trying, with good intentions, to get her son to walk the safe path of earning a college degree, but it never occurred to her that gaming is a multibillion-dollar global industry that employs people like her son in high-salary jobs. There are opportunities in game design, graphics, coding, software engineering, and other areas.

Raise an Entrepreneur

Let Children’s Inspiration Lead

By Margot Machol Bisnow


any kids, even though they’re smart, don’t do well in school because they have learning styles or interests or temperaments that are not a good fit with teachers’ expectations. These issues can persist from kindergarten all the way through college. If a college student is smart but not in the right learning environment to succeed, the parents may exert pressure for the student to stay enrolled—and stay miserable. But as we’ll see, parents can make different choices, and their child can find a different path.

Let me tell you about conversations I had with three loving moms who meant well. The first mother’s son had dropped out of college, but then, under pressure from his parents, had reenrolled and was studying history. His mother admitted that her son didn’t even like history, but he’d needed to pick something. “Nothing really motivates him,” she told me. Her distress was clear. 22 SonomaFamilyLife

“Nothing? There isn’t anything he loves?” “Only one thing,” she said, reluctantly and with a hint of sarcasm. “Video games. He plays video games every second of his spare time.” And then she added, “He’s really, really good.” “So maybe he should pursue a career in video gaming,” I said. She looked at me as though I were speaking a foreign language—because, to her, it was.

I tried again. “Would you consider taking the money you’re spending on tuition and using it to support him while he works at Electronic Arts or Sony as an unpaid intern for a year?” She had no idea that gaming technology has applications in traditional fields. She didn’t realize

Many future entrepreneurs grow up learning to pursue their passions and follow their dreams. that people her son’s age have started their own companies on the basis of their passion for and expertise in gaming science and technology. She didn’t know that many of these young people have become quite successful. She thought her son would be better off if he got a college degree in a subject he didn’t care about. The second mother’s son had also dropped out of college, and he too had reenrolled under pressure from his parents. He had chosen Japanese as his major. “Why Japanese?” I asked her. She told me that their family had lived in Japan when her son was young, so he was already bilingual. Besides, she said, he couldn’t think of anything else. “But isn’t there anything that he loves?”

January 2017

“He loves cars. He tinkers with them every day in his free time.” “Then why is he studying Japanese instead of pursuing a career in the automotive industry?” But I already knew the answer—we reward our children for conforming,

We all want our kids to have financial security, but why send them the message that they need to be protected rather than inspired? even when they’re failing, and even when their failure is making them unhappy. “Tinkering with cars isn’t a college major,” his mother pointed out. “But automotive and mechanical engineering and automotive design are often college majors,” I countered. “What if your son contacted all the Japanese car companies in the U.S. to see if they have internships or programs for career development? Or what if he applied to colleges that offer a degree in automotive design?” I hoped his mom would try to imagine what could happen if she encouraged her son to walk away and tinker with cars. The alternative was to force him into conforming to a standard that might look good on paper but would ultimately lead him to fail. What if, instead, she helped him find a life that he could love and excel in? The third mom had a daughter in high school. The girl was a passionate and accomplished musician, and she was about to start applying to colleges. Her parents had been very supportive of her interest

in music, giving her music lessons and sending her to music camps. “So will your daughter major in music?” I asked. “No,” the girl’s mom replied. “I told her she has to major in something real so she can get a job and support herself.” This mother wasn’t trying to be mean. She wanted to protect her daughter from the cold realities of the job market. And that’s perfectly understandable. But I think it’s misguided. We all want our kids to have financial security, but why send them the message that they need to be protected rather than inspired? That they’re not good enough to make a living doing what they love? That they have to settle?

with every good intention—was teaching her daughter a very different lesson. These three moms wanted their kids to follow a conventional academic path. That’s fine for some, but their kids weren’t thriving. They thought their kids should major in subjects they didn’t care about and had no aptitude in. They thought their kids should prepare themselves for a traditional career they probably wouldn’t be very good at. There is another way. ¶ Reprinted with permission: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. Copyright © 2016 Margot Machol Bisnow.

Many future entrepreneurs grow up learning to pursue their passions and follow their dreams. This mom—again,

Margot Machol Bisnow is a mother and author of Raising an Entrepreneur: 10 Rules for Nurturing Risk Takers, Problem Solvers, and Change Makers (New Harbinger, 2016). She has served as an FTC Commissioner and staff director of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Bennett Valley Union School District Registration for Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten (Kinder Bridge) for 2017-18 School Year begins February 7 & 8

Call 542-6272 to sign up

A limited number of interdistrict transfer requests for 2017-18 will be accepted

California Distinguished Schools

Yulupa Primary School Preschool–Third Grade 2250 Mesquite Drive, Santa Rosa 707 542-6272

Strawberry Intermediate School Fourth–Sixth Grade 2311 Horseshoe Drive, Santa Rosa 707 526-4433

Consistent high academic performance indicators (API) at both schools

Your child’s joy of learning is nurtured with our: • Excellent Teachers • Reduced Class Size (K–3) • Kinder Bridge Transitional Kindergarten • Extended Day Kindergarten (8:30-1:25) • Fully Staffed Libraries and Technology Labs • Visual and Performing Arts Programs YMCA provides on-site child care

• Band, Percussion and Chorus (4th–6th) • Boys’ and Girls’ Interscholastic Basketball (4th–6th) • Emphasis on Environmental Stewardship • Gifted and Talented Education (4th–6th)

Call to reserve tours: Yulupa 1/17, 2/1, 2/21, 3/7, 3/15, 4/12 Strawberry by reservation only 526-4433 Registration Packets available Jan. 9. Children must be five on or before Sept. 1, 2017 to be eligible for kindergarten. Two year Kinder Bridge program offered for children turning five on or after Sept. 2, 2017.

707 542-2201 • Visit us at January 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 23

Grade A Tutor 10 Tips for Making the Best Choice

By Denise Yearian


utors offer a wealth of educational resources for students who need remedial work, as well as for those who want academic enrichment and maintenance. To choose the right tutor for your child, consider these ten tips:


Pitch and persuade. Before searching for a tutor, discuss it with your child to get him or her to buy into the idea. Keep the conversation positive: “You know how reading is kind of hard sometimes? We are going to find someone who can help you.” Most students don’t like to struggle, so if your child is aware that there is a problem, he or she may be more likely to want help. Even so, expect apprehension and offer encouragement.


Ponder priorities. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to tutoring. It depends on your child’s needs as well as the setting, convenience, and cost. Some people choose a private tutor. Others go with a tutoring center. Still others opt for an online service. When choosing

24 SonomaFamilyLife

a setting—either small group or one-on-one instruction—determine which is the best fit for your child. If you choose a group setting, find out the maximum number of students per class. Convenient location is important, too. Studies show that more frequent tutoring sessions yield greater results. When it comes to cost, bear in mind that one-on-one tutoring may be more costly than group sessions and in-home tutoring more expensive than traveling to a center.


Reach for recommendations. Begin your search by asking your child’s teacher, principal, guidance counselor, or others within the school unit. Some school districts have a list of tutors and are willing to make recommendations. Also, check ads in

your local magazines or newspapers. Other parents are a good resource, too. Is there someone they have had success with?


Check credentials. Find out if the tutor has experience teaching the subject your child needs help with. Although the instructor may not be credentialed for your

Look for practical ways to support your child’s academic endeavors. child’s grade level, it’s a good idea to find one who holds a college degree and has completed a tutor training program. This will ensure he or she understands educational theory, instructional strategies, and remedial approaches. Graduate students with strong content knowledge may be a good option, too. Equally important is experience and teaching style. Ask if the tutor has taught children of similar age and learning style as your child.

January 2017

Likewise, consider personality and attitude. Is she patient, upbeat, and encouraging? Is he congenial with children?


Tally the track record. Does the tutor you are considering

When formulating tutoring goals, get everyone on board— teacher, tutor, parent, and child. have satisfaction surveys from past parents and students that prove he or she has helped them raise test scores, improve classroom grades, and/or experience better homework completion?


Time it right. Although extracurricular activities and parents’ work schedules often dominate the clock, try to be flexible so tutoring sessions are held at a time when your child is most open to learning. Some students need a 30–40 minute break after school. But if you give other kids that same down time, it will be a battle to get them to work. Know what timing works best for your child and adjust your schedule accordingly.


Collaborate on goals. When formulating tutoring goals, get everyone on board—teacher, tutor, parent, and child. Teachers and tutors are aware of what the goals should be, but parents know their child best and should be involved in the goal-setting process. It’s ideal if the tutor and teacher work toward a common goal and communicate regularly to reinforce each other’s techniques. The

teacher may also be willing to give feedback on your child’s progress in the classroom.


Request progress reports. Many tutors offer periodic progress reports and will check off goals and redefine them, if necessary. Ask for a sample of progress reports to see if they are clear and helpful. Also inquire how often reports will be given.


View policies. Clarify policies before signing on the dotted line. Some tutors charge clients if an appointment is canceled without a 24-hour notice. Others have detailed policies for scheduling makeup sessions. Also ask about substitutes. How much say will you have in who

teaches your child, in the event your tutor is out due to illness?


Show support. Remember, parents play an important role in the whole learning process, so look for practical ways to support your child’s academic endeavors. At the end of each tutoring session, find out what he or she is expected to do before the next one—whether it’s memorizing multiplication facts or completing all classroom assignments—and couple those with learning efforts at home. ¶ Denise Yearian is a former educator and editor of two parenting magazines, and the mother of three children and four grandchildren.

Knowledge Is Power The key to finding a good tutor is asking the right questions: • What age do you tutor? • Is it for remedial work only? Or do you do enrichment and maintenance, too? • What subjects do you offer? • Do you have summer programs? • Can my child go during school hours? • Do you offer diagnostic testing? Is it required? • Do you teach in small group sessions or one-on-one? • Where does tutoring take place? • What qualifications do you/your teachers have? • What if my child has a personal problem with the tutor, can I get another one? • How often is the child required to go? • Can you work sessions around my family’s schedule? • How often will I receive progress reports? Will they be written or verbal? • What is the duration of the contract? • How much do you charge? • Are there any hidden fees? January 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 25

But I Want It Now!

emotions. Take those feelings out to the trash and get rid of them. This is a fun and engaging frustration tolerance exercise that actually relieves the frustration and makes kids smile during the process. The Paper Towel Game You know what feels good when you’re mad? Throwing stuff. Kids do it all of the time (and some adults do it as well). On the one hand, at least they’re not hitting. So that’s a good thing. On the other hand, they might break a favorite toy or something else in the house, and they might put siblings in danger.

Tips for Teaching Frustration Tolerance

By Katie Hurley


ids need to get their feelings out. And throwing an enormous temper tantrum is actually one way to do that. But it’s not the most adaptive coping strategy out there. Often they feel exhausted and remorseful following a huge meltdown. They might even be more prone to illness if the meltdowns are frequent (it takes a lot out of them physically). They need to learn to express their emotions in a calm and more adaptive way. Create a “Mad” List Have your child write a list of the things that make him feel really, really frustrated. (Do the writing for your child if he doesn’t write—just be sure to let him come up with the answers.) Join him in the process by making your own list. When we work through difficult emotions with our children, they feel less alone. When the list is complete read it out loud in a dramatic fashion. (A few well-timed, “Oh, that makes ME

26 SonomaFamilyLife

mad too!” comments go a long way toward conveying empathy.) And then it’s time to start tearing. Hand the mad list back to your child and ask him to tear it up into as many pieces as possible and crumple those pieces into tiny little balls. My son is fond of exclaiming, “See you later mad stuff!” while tearing and crumpling. The act of tearing and crumpling provides a physical release of the pent up

Feeling frustrated isn’t just an emotional state; it has a physical component as well. Kids often report feeling hot, a racing heart, and like their arm and leg muscles are cramped or tight when

When kids internalize their negative emotions, they get stuck. they are frustrated. This is a very normal reaction to anger, and some physical relief is necessary. The paper towel game can help. Soak a bunch of paper towels in a bowl of cold water and bring the bowl outside (or someplace where messiness is ok— your call). Pick up one paper towel at a time and squeeze out the excess water. Hand it to your child and ask her to throw it against the wall while yelling out what makes her mad. Repeat until the bowl is empty. The act of throwing the wet paper towels provides the physical relief of

January 2017

symptoms. Yelling out the triggers provides emotional release. And the funny sound that results from the paper towels hitting the wall often brings laughter. When kids internalize their negative emotions, they get stuck. They develop negative core beliefs and begin to think in negative phrases such as, “I can’t, I won’t, and/or I’m bad”. These emotions build up over time, leaving them feeling angry and depressed. When kids get their feelings out on a regular basis, happiness can be restored. Take Relaxation Breaks Time out is often a first line of defense for tired parents when kids have lengthy meltdowns over unknown causes. On some level, it makes sense. Separate the child from the trigger until the child calms down. I never had the strength for time out, if I’m being honest. It takes some serious parental will to leave a screaming child alone in a room, and we just can’t do it. Beyond that, it seems counterintuitive.

You know what feels good when you’re mad? Throwing stuff. Kids do it all of the time (and some adults do it as well). in the moment, but eventually the screams become whimpers and the whimpers become sighs and then you’re left with a tried child. Relaxing music, rocking, and holding them close always helped mine calm down in the moment, but your children have their own needs. Create a calming space for each child and spend time there both when your child is calm and when your child is upset. When you see those red flags emerging, suggest a relaxation break together to help your child manage her emotions before they become overwhelming. Empathize Never underestimate the power of empathy. Children confront difficult emotions every day. Sometimes they navigate their feelings with ease, and other times they blow. It’s confusing and scary for young children. Knowing that you’ve been there before helps. January 2017

Adapted from The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World. © 2015 by Katie Hurley, LCSW. Jeremy P. Tarcher, Penguin Random House LLC.

STS For Less Stress, Fly

Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport Seattle (SEA)

Portland (PDX) TS

Instead of leaving an emotional child alone with her feelings, try a relaxation break instead. We’ve always made certain that the kids have a space of

The important thing to remember about meltdowns is that they will come to an end. They are time limited. They might feel like forever

Calming phrases to convey your understanding of the situation (ex: Your brother broke your favorite car and that’s frustrating. You feel angry. I know what that feels like) help center your child during a meltdown and communicate your understanding of the event. You might even find that your child snaps out of the tantrum to ask follow up questions about your experiences with anger or asks those questions while sobbing in your arms. Kids want to feel heard and understood (don’t we all?) Empathizing with them normalizes those enormous emotions. ¶

©P N

When a child is in the midst of a tantrum, that child often feels scared and overwhelmed. The loss of control that occurs during tantrums and meltdowns might be frustrating for parents, but it’s downright terrifying for the child who can’t regain control. Have you ever noticed that your child appears lethargic or worn down following a meltdown? That’s because an emotional release of that magnitude is physically exhausting.

their own to calm down and relax. While my daughter might be found drawing on her bed when she needs a break, my son is likely to fill his with cars and books. They do this now because we took relaxation breaks with them when they were little.

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SonomaFamilyLife 27

Goodbye Stay-At-Home Mom The Pleasures of Returning to Work

By Sue LeBreton


hen I began to tell people that I was returning to work full time in an urban downtown office after 14 years as a stay-at-home mom, their eyes would widen, and after congratulating me they would inevitably say, “Oh your life is about to change.” Their tone implied that my life was not about to change for the better.

On my optimistic days, I reassured myself that I had once successfully returned to work after a six-month maternity leave and this was just a very long maternity leave. On my less optimistic days, I considered calling to say I’d made a mistake and would not be arriving for my first day. I reminded myself that the people who hired me knew about that big hole in my resumé and wanted me anyway. In the days before my official start date, I felt like I was about to bungee jump off a cliff. Would the thrill of the jump overcome my fears? It was time to heed the advice I had always given to my kids, now teens, who had faced so many new teachers and schools with my assurance that all would be well, once they settled in. 28 SonomaFamilyLife

In the days before my official start date, I felt like I was about to bungee jump off a cliff. Six months later, I can admit, yes, some parts are difficult. As every mom has heard more times than she can count, there is no such thing as having it all, but for me the pleasures have outweighed the burdens. As I step off the train in the morning, I weave between people threading in all directions. I lift my face up to the skyscrapers greeting me. Each day a slightly different hue bounces off that hammered glass blue building that is my current favorite. I soak in the sights that still feel foreign after so many

years in the suburbs. I want to spin and fling my hat exuberantly into the air like Mary Tyler Moore did in the opening credits of her old TV show. As it turns out, all those wide-eyed, “life is going to change” people were right. My life has changed since returning to work, but mostly in ways that I love. I feel like a grown up again. I know, it sounds weird. My teenagers don’t get it either. For more than a decade I’ve been living life immersed in theirs, some days feeling like I was stuck in whatever developmental age they were. I actually have less responsibility at home. Now that I’m commuting to downtown, my husband is the closest parent to the children’s schools. Bonus! When I leave the house

January 2017


every morning I shed my parenting responsibility to a degree that’s not been possible for many years. I feel valued and validated. Mothering may be the most important job in the world, but I sometimes struggled to feel valued. I no longer need to wait for Mother’s Day to get a pat on the back. My colleagues’ praise fills my self-esteem bucket, and I enjoy being on the receiving end after so many years of giving daily encouragement. I earn money. Let’s face it, for many of us working is about the money. When I see the bank account growing, I feel as if I can finally relax a little about the future. Every deposit increases my sense of personal power.

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Saturday, February 25, 2017 Conference: 10:00AM - 4:00PM, Reception: 4:00PM - 5:00PM Luther Burbank Center for the Arts East Auditorium 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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“There needs to be a lot more emphasis on what a child can do instead of what he cannot do.” ~ Dr. Temple Grandin

I have a new wardrobe. Building a wardrobe beyond yoga pants is time-consuming and challenging but also fun. My teen daughter who is usually quick to curl her lip and ask “Are you wearing that?” now sometimes even gives me a nod of approval. She recently commented, “You are more fashion forward since you went back to work.”

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I have more personal time. When I worked at home I often felt guilty about sitting down to read. Chores beckoned all day long. Now I have a total of 60 minutes every day on a commuter train, where I read guilt free. As it turns out, all those eyebrowraisers were right. My life has completely changed but for the better. And the advice I gave my teens was also right. Everything was fine once I settled in. As it turns out, this was the best advice of all. ¶ Sue LeBreton is a health and wellness writer and mother to two teens. She is embracing this next phase of her life.

January 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 29

Honey for Your Health

a cough. But a recent study found that a spoonful of honey (specifically buckwheat honey) was actually more effective than dextromethorphan (the cough suppressant typically added to over-the-counter pediatric cough medicine) in treating nighttime coughing in children as young as two. This is good news, since it is considered unsafe to use dextromethorphan to treat children younger than six.

The Sweet Treat that Heals By Ashley Talmadge


e love it in our tea and on our toast. But honey has a long history beyond its popularity as a sweetener. It was valued by the ancients for its healing and rejuvenating properties, and sealed combs of honey have been found in Egyptian tombs, fully preserved and still edible.

Recent studies suggest that for certain maladies, honey may be more effective than modern medicine. Rosanna Mattingly, author of Honey-Maker: How the Honey Bee Worker Does What She Does (2013), says that honey can be used as a wound treatment, a cough suppressant, and a source of energy. Take a look at what this age-old golden elixir can do for your family. Energy booster. Honey is full of carbs, and research shows that consuming honeyed water before, during, and after a workout increases energy and promotes muscle recovery. Your kids can add that much-needed oomph to the middle of their school day by eating a peanut butter and 30 SonomaFamilyLife

honey sandwich, or using the sweet stuff as a dip for apple slices. And be ready with a mug of steamed milk and honey as an after-school treat.

A recent study found that a spoonful of honey was actually more effective than dextromethorphan in treating nighttime coughing in children as young as two. Cough control. Mixing honey with lemon and warm water has been a longtime home remedy for soothing a sore throat and quieting

Wound treatment. Honey has been used to treat wounds for centuries, and now there’s plenty of science to back up this remedy of yore. Honey contains an enzyme that produces small amounts of hydrogen peroxide, a mild antiseptic, when diluted by exudate from a wound. So when skin becomes dry enough to crack at the knuckles or lips, a topical application of honey makes the wound less hospitable to bacteria and fungi. Skin softener. Dry winter air can wreak havoc on skin and hair, and there’s a good reason so many beauty products tout honey as an ingredient. Honey is a natural humectant; it attracts and holds water from the atmosphere. When applied to the skin or hair, it acts as a moisturizer. So drizzle a little honey straight from the jar onto your face or hair, smooth it in, and rinse after ten minutes. Or try mixing honey with coconut oil and heated beeswax for a rejuvenating homemade cream for lips, face, and hands. Antioxidant advantage. Ounce for ounce, honey packs the

January 2017

same powerful punch as popular antioxidant-containing fruits and veggies. In addition to eating plenty of greens, strengthen your defense against cancer-causing free radicals

Honey has been used to treat wounds for centuries. by replacing other sweeteners with honey. Applied topically, the antioxidant therapy may restore vitality to your skin. Mellowing agent. Winter is the time for chill-chasing soups and stews, but many a batch is made bitter by cold weather veggies like cauliflower and broccoli. Try tempering the flavor with a bit of honey. Ditto for the five-alarm chili that has you sweating bullets. Whether banishing the bitter or softening the spice, what could be sweeter than some honey in the pot? Ashley Talmadge is a freelance writer and mother of two young boys.

A Word of Caution Honey should not be given to children under the age of one. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that very young children, with their under-developed immune systems, are at risk for contracting botulism from spores sometimes present in honey.

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Honey is not safer for the diabetic than table sugar. The American Diabetes Association warns that, as with any sugar, honey should be used in moderation in the diabetic diet, and its effects monitored closely.

January 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 31

Cooking with Kids

Bake a Cake

Jam Cake Bars

A New Twist on an Old Favorite

By Jennifer Lee


his cake really brings out the kid in me. With its thick layer of jam, this cake is a little bit like taking an entire jar of fresh-made jam and dipping your spoon in to eat it straight. The thin layer of buttery crumble makes it even better. Jam Cake Bars Prep time: 10–15 minutes Cook time: 30–35 minutes Serves 9–12

• 1 cup (235 ml) jam of your choice • 1 cup (160 g) White Cake Mix (see below) • ¼ cup or ½ stick (2 ounces/57 g) unsalted butter, sliced into ¼-inch-thick (6 mm) squares

3. Bake for about 30–35 minutes. About 25 minutes in, quickly check the cake. Use a spatula or large wooden spoon to push down any uncooked cake mix into the bubbling mixture. Do not worry if this breaks the surface of the cake. Let the cake continue to bake for an additional 5–10 minutes, until the surface is golden brown. 4. Let cake cool for about 15–20 minutes before cutting and serving.

White Cake Mix • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour


• 1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease or line a 9 × 9-inch (23 × 23 cm) baking pan.

• 1½ cups (300 g) granulated white sugar

2. Spread jam evenly across bottom of pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly across jam. Place butter slices evenly across top. 32 SonomaFamilyLife

• ½ cup (60 g) nonfat dry milk powder • ¼ cup (32 g) cornstarch Yields approximately 4 cups (640 g) of cake mix

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a whisk until well mixed (about 20–30 strokes), making sure to occasionally lift and run the whisk along the sides of the bowl so that all ingredients are fully incorporated. Store in an airtight container in your pantry (or other cool, dark space) for up to three months, assuming all of the individual ingredients used have a shelf life longer than three months. If anything has a shorter shelf life, use your mix by the shortest shelf-life date. ¶ Reprinted with permission from Dump Cakes From Scratch: Nearly 100 Recipes to Dump, Bake, and Devour by Jennifer Lee, 2016. Published by Race Point Publishing, a member of Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc. © 2016 text by Jennifer Lee © 2016 photography by Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.

January 2017

Crafting with Kids

Boredom Busters Simple DIY Games By Denise Morrison Yearian


f winter weather has rained on your parade, warm up the day with these homemade games and invite friends over to play.

Sock It To ’Em • Dried beans • Plastic sandwich-size zipper bags • Clean sox • Rubber bands • Large cardboard box • Tape • Markers • Scissors 1. Put ½ cup of dried beans into a plastic baggie. Squeeze out air, and seal the bag shut. 2. Place the beanbag into the bottom of a clean sock. Roll the remainder of the sock around the outside of the beanbag and secure with a rubber band. 3. Repeat steps one and two to create as many beanbags as you need. 4. Turn a large box upside down, and tape the bottom and side seams shut so the box is sturdy. 5. Draw four various-sized circles on the outside bottom of the box,

Sock It to ’Em Beanbags

and cut them out. (The smallest hole should be slightly larger than the stuffed sock.) 6. Below each hole, write one number from one to four. Make the smallest hole worth four points and the biggest hole worth one point. 7. To play, stand several feet away from the box and toss beanbags into the holes. Add up points using the numbers as a guide. The first person to 15 points wins. I’ve Got You Pegged • Shoebox lid • Marker • Nail • Hammer • Ruler • 10 wooden, round clothespins • 5 rubber canning-jar rings 1. On the inside of a shoebox lid, measure and mark off ten small January 2017

circles in two rows of five that are evenly spaced. 2. Poke holes through the circles using a nail and hammer. (Note: Put something under the box so the nail doesn’t go through the floor or table.) 3. Push one clothespin through each hole. 4. Below each clothespin, write one number from one to ten. 5. To play, put the box on the floor with the clothespins facing up. Stand several feet away, and toss the rubber rings around the clothespins. Add up points using the numbers as a guide. The first person to 20 points wins. ¶ Denise Morrison Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines, and the mother of three children and four grandchildren.

SonomaFamilyLife 33


Calendar of Events Flying High


t acrobat schools in China, athletes learn to take roundoff back handsprings to a whole new synchronized, “how did they do that?” level. Some of the best join the Peking Acrobats company. See them use their strength and skill to leap and twist into crowd-pleasing configurations at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa on January 17 at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $16–$21; lap passes for ages two and under are $5 and available on show day only. Purchase tickets at ¶

Sunday 1 Magic Circle Cycle. Theatrical performance by the Imaginists. A collaboration with composer & musician Kalei Yamanoha based on Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle. For mature audiences ages 12 & up. 8 p.m. $5–$25. 61 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa. 528-7554. theimaginists. org/get-tickets. Ukiah on Ice. First ever ice-skating

rink to be held in downtown Ukiah. Hosted by Ukiah Valley Medical Center. $10/day of unlimited skating. Thru Jan. 8. Jan. 1: Noon–4 p.m. Jan. 2–6: Noon–7 p.m. Jan 7: 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Jan 8: Noon–5 p.m. Next to Alex R. Thomas Plaza on School St., Ukiah. 463-6231.

Monday 2 Painting & Printmaking. Kids will learn to use paint, tools & paper to make their own creations. Ages 5–8. 9 a.m.–noon. $32–$40. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. FREE Museum Mondays for Little Ones. Stories, arts & crafts &

movement games. Ages 1–5 & their caregivers. 10 a.m.–noon. $5 per child. 34 SonomaFamilyLife

Up to 2 adults per child are free before 11 a.m. After 11 a.m., regular museum admission ($8–$12) applies. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa.

Tuesday 3 Stuffie Creation. Kids will make

stuffed creations with fabric, needle & thread. Ages 5–8. 9 a.m.–noon. $32–$40. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. FREE Mock Caldecott Story Time & Party. Family story time featuring

some of Sonoma County Library’s mock Caldecott Award nominees. The Caldecott Award is given each year by the American Library Association to the best American children’s picture book. Sonoma County Library children’s librarians picked their favorites of 2016 for the mock Caldecott awards. Rohnert Park–Cotati Regional Library. 6250 Lynne Condé Way, Rohnert Park. FREE SAT Intensive Prep. With

local test preparation consultant Ellen Jakes Kelm, PhD. The course is offered in two parts of 2.5 hours each. Students must attend both parts.

Central Santa Rosa Library: Jan. 3, 2:30–5 p.m. & Jan. 4, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Healdsburg Regional Library: Jan. 5 & 6, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Petaluma Regional Library: Jan. 5 & 6, 2:30–5 p.m. All study materials are included. Registration required. Download form: ym01zludkoernrgm/view.

Wednesday 4 Rock Out with Rock Art. Kids will make art with pebbles & melted crayons. Ages 5–8. 9 a.m.–noon. $32–$40. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. FREE CoderDojo. Learn to code, develop websites & games. Beginners welcome. Ages 8–17. Wednesdays. 4:30 p.m. Petaluma Regional Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. Register:

Thursday 5 Cork Vases & Paper Flowers.

Kids will learn to fold, crinkle & arrange paper floral creations into arrangements. Ages 5–8. 9 a.m.–noon. $32–$40. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa.

January 2017

FREE Tinker Thinkers: Ooey Gooey Matter. Hands-on science,

technology, engineering, art & math workshops. Play with some ooey-gooey materials, gases, solids & liquids. Ages 3–12. Windsor Regional Library: Jan. 5, 4 p.m. Roseland Community Library: Jan. 25, 6 p.m. Healdsburg Regional Library: Jan. 27, 4 p.m.

Friday 6 Lotions & Potions. Make

nice-smelling lotions using nontoxic ingredients. Ages 5–8. $32–$40. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. Red Hot Mama. Story of Sophie

Tucker’s 60-year career in burlesque, vaudeville, Broadway & Las Vegas. Written & performed by Tony-nominee Sharon McNight. Thru Jan. 29. 2–4 p.m. $25–$40. Cinnabar Theatre. 3333 Petaluma Blvd N., Petaluma. FREE Cuentos y Cantos—Bilingual Story & Play Time. Exploraremos

cuentos, cantos y rimas en ingles y español. Explore books, songs & rhymes in both English & Spanish. Ages 1–5. 11–11:30 a.m. Sebastopol Regional Library. 7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol. Crazy, Awesome Science! Fridays. 2 p.m. $10 (admission to museum). Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa.

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Cut & Color $75 Special for 1st time clients.

Call for an appointment 707 665-5826 7 days a week


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FREE Bodega Marine Laboratory Tours. Explore the dynamic

biodiversity of the Northern California Coast. 2–4 p.m. Bodega Marine Laboratory. 2099 Westshore Rd., Bodega Bay. Santa Rosa

2280 Santa Rosa Ave 707-544-2828

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January 2017

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SonomaFamilyLife 35

Saturday 7 Heavenly Harp. Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra. Harp performance by Marie-Pierre Langlamet, world-renowned principal harpist for Berlin Philharmonic. $20–$80. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Nuestros Parques Hike. A bilingual naturalist will lead this free family walk. 10 a.m.–noon. Walk: Free. Parking: $7. Spring Lake Regional Park. 393 Violetti Rd., Santa Rosa. FREE Hora de Cuentos para Niños/ Bilingual Storytime. ¡Bienvenidos a la

Hora de Cuentos para Niños en español e inglés! Vamos a leer cuentos en español e inglés. Para niños de 0–5 años.

10:15 a.m. Petaluma Regional Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. FREE Winter Magic. With magician

Mike Della Penna. Experience magic inspired by some of the many winter holidays celebrated throughout the world. All ages. Two shows: 11 a.m. at Healdsburg Regional Library. 139 Piper St., Healdsburg. 2 p.m. at Rincon Valley Library. 6959 Montecito Blvd., Santa Rosa. FREE Ken Adams’s Adventure Theater. Family-friendly improv

comedy show. Audience members participate by playing characters, making sound effects & providing scenery. Special “Adventure in the North Pole” episode. Ages 5–12. 11 a.m. Rohnert Park–Cotati Regional Library. 6250 Lynne Conde Way, Rohnert Park. 2 p.m. show at Cloverdale Regional

sonoma LOCAL

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Sunday 8 FREE Sunday Boating at the Barn.

Borrow a rowboat, canoe, kayak, or sailboat & spend the afternoon on the Petaluma River. Sundays. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. David Yearsley River Heritage Center. 100 E. D St., Petaluma. Wildcat Adventures. See & learn about 5 live wild cats from around the world. You may see a cougar, cheetah, ocelot, fishing cat, black leopard, or Geoffroy’s cat. 3–4 p.m. $5–$10. Reserve tickets: 874-3176. wildcat@ Wildcat Adventures. Sebastopol Community Center. 390 Morris St., Sebastopol.





SONOMA COUNTY FAMILY 707-545-9622 x 3138 YMCA 707-545-9622 x 3138

Sonoma County Family YMCA 1111 College Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95404 • 707-545-9622 • F 707-544-7805 The Y is a non-profit Community Organization. Financial Assistance is available.

36 SonomaFamilyLife

Sonoma County Family YMCA 1111 College Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95404 • 707-545-9622 • F 707-544-7805 The Y is a non-profit Community Organization. Financial Assistance is available.

January 2017

Tuesday 10 FREE Homework Help. Help with all subjects on a drop-in basis. Grades K–12. Tuesdays. 3:30–5:30 p.m. (No class Jan. 3.) Petaluma Regional Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma.

Wednesday 11 Harlem Globetrotters. 7 p.m. $22–$282. Santa Rosa Junior College. Haehl Pavilion. 1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa.

Thursday 12 FREE Tween Anime Club. Crafts,

mini manga club, anime. Ages 9–14. 4 p.m. Second Thursdays. Central Santa Rosa Library. 211 E St., Santa Rosa. FREE 2nd Annual Speech & Language Communication Seminar.

Thru Jan. 14. An educational seminar for educators, administrators, SLPs, therapists & parents. Featuring Libby Kumin, world-renowned speaker & researcher. 8–3 p.m. $10 to reserve seat. The amount can be reimbursed on day of conference or donated to the Down Syndrome Association North Bay. Fountain Grove Inn Hotel & Conference Center. 10 Fountain Grove Pkwy., Santa Rosa.

Friday 13 Crab Feed. 5 p.m. $59.95. The Tides Wharf Restaurant. 835 Hwy. 1, Bodega Bay. Windsor Independent Film Fest.

Independent & local films. Thru Jan. 14. See website for shows & running times. $10.50–$65. Windsor High Theater. 8695 Windsor Rd., Windsor. FREE Preschool Story Time. Ages 3–6. Fridays (except Jan. 6). 10:30 a.m.

Rohnert Park–Cotati Regional Library. 6250 Lynne Condé Way, Rohnert Park. FREE Mindful Minis. Kids yoga & meditation workshop. Children will learn tools for home & school to increase awareness, self-esteem, balance & how to calm those busy minds. Ages 6–12. 4 p.m. Healdsburg Regional Library. 139 Piper St., Healdsburg. Murder at Joe’s Speakeasy. Mystery dinner theater. 7 p.m. $68. Charlie’s Restaurant. 1340 19th Hole Dr., Windsor.

Saturday 14 25th Anniversary Winter Wineland.

Tour of wineries offering vintage, varietal, or vertical tastings. Thru Jan. 15. $35–$45. ($5 designated drivers). Multiple wineries. Healdsburg. Snow Days! 20 tons of snow created

at Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. Thru Jan. 16. 9 a.m.–4 p.m. $10. Babies under 12 months free. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. Christmas Bird Count for Kids.

Participants ages 8–16 will build identification & monitoring skills while contributing to bird-focused citizen science. Meet at Sonoma Historic State Park & travel to Maxwell Farms Regional Park. Parking at Maxwell Farms: $7. 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Sonoma State Historic Park. 20 E. Spain St., Sonoma. Maxwell Farms Regional Park. 100 Verano Ave., Sonoma.

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Walk on the Wild Side. 3.5-mile

guided hike with moderate incline. 9 a.m.–noon. $3. $5/family. Parking: $7. Tolay Lake Regional Park. 5869 Cannon Ln., Petaluma. parks. January 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 37

Cross & Crown Lutheran School 2 - 5 years Preschool Jr. Kindergarten – Kindergarten 1st through 5th Grade

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Heroes in Heels: Champions for Human Traffic Awareness. Wine

& brew pours & appetizers. Silent auction & wine cellar raffle (4 cases of premium wines). Watch “heroes” walk the stage. 7 p.m. $45. Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa.

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An Evening with Garrison Keillor.

7:30 p.m. $45–$100. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ln., Rohnert Park.

Sunday 22

Tuesday 17 Peking Acrobats. 6:30 p.m. $16–$21.

Lap passes for kids 2 & under (available on day of show only): $5. Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa.

Friday 20 Emanuel Ax. Pianist plays Schubert & Chopin. 7:30 p.m. $35–$85. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ln., Rohnert Park.

Saturday 21 Hike to Brushy Peaks. Strenuous, 9-mile, 5-hour hike with spectacular views. Rain or shine. Meet at 9:45 a.m. in main parking lot. Prompt departure at 10 a.m. Admission fee: $8. Sugarloaf

Wei Luo. Winner of the 11th Chopin

International Competition for Young Pianists. 3 p.m. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Schroder Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ln., Rohnert Park. The Listener. The Magic Circle Mime Company joins the Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra. Playful humor, drama & dance. Instrument petting zoo: 2 p.m. Concert: 3 p.m. $12–$17. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ln., Rohnert Park. Songwriters in the Round. Steve Seskin, Craig Carothers & Don Henry. Folk-country music. 7:30 p.m. $21–$25. Sebastopol Community Center. 390 Morris St., Sebastopol.

Thursday 26 Black Violin. Strings duo combines classical music with hip-hop. 8 p.m. $25 & $35. Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa.

Mom & Dad Please Put Your Affairs in Order • • • • •

Ridge State Park. 2605 Adobe Canyon Rd., Kenwood. 833-6288. 539-8847.

Friday 27

It’s not just


It’s confidence for a lifetime! • Tumblebug Program for preschool-aged children • Boys & Girls Classes Recreation 6–12 • Tumbling & Tramp Classes



Crab Feed. 5 p.m. $59.95. The Tides Wharf Restaurant. 835 Hwy. 1, Bodega Bay.

Saturday 28 Annual Chowder Day. 10 a.m.–3

p.m. (Tastings at 10 a.m. & noon.) $10. Harbor View Village. Harbor

redwood empire gymnastics

January 2017

View Way, Bodega Bay. Follow signs for ticket booths or buy tickets at

(costume) competition. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Lucchesi Center. 320 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma.

FREE Dance Around the World.

Murder at Joe’s Speakeasy. Mystery

With Nikola Clay. Kids & families can learn several easy international folk dances: El Juego Chirimbolo from Ecuador; La Mariposa, the butterfly dance, from Bolivia; Niwawa “Clay Doll” from China; Hoe E Ana, the canoe dance, from Tahiti & the penguin dance from Antarctica. 10:30 a.m. Sonoma Valley Regional Library. 755 West Napa St., Sonoma. FREE LumaCon! Comic Convention for Youth. Meet well-known artists,

illustrators & writers of comic books & graphic novels. Local youth artists will display & sell their artwork. Live Action Role Play (LARP), Magic the Gathering tournament & a cosplay

dinner theater. 7 p.m. $68. Charlie’s Restaurant. 1340 19th Hole Dr., Windsor. 5th Annual Sebastopol Guitar Festival. Music, workshops, talks

& mini-concerts. Headlining: Mike Dowling & the Black Market Trust. Noon–10 p.m. $28–$35. Sebastopol

Community Cultural Center. 390 Morris St., Sebastopol.

Sunday 29 The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. Trio of piano, cello & violin

playing Beethoven, Shostakovich & Brahms. 3 p.m. $35–$85. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ln., Rohnert Park.

Santa Rosa Rec & Park’s 6th annual

St. Patrick’s Day 5K Sunday March 12 Finley Community Center Prepare with our 8-week 5K training program offered in the evenings and taught by certified coaching staff from Fleet Feet Santa Rosa. Training begins 1/17. Sign up for the training program & register for the 5K online

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Classified Marketplace Lessons

Magic Circle Mime Company


Got Art? We Do!!! Ages 4-5 & 5-12

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or most kids, listening to a nuanced orchestral concert is a big yawn. But the Magic Circle Mime Company aims to interject a little humor, mischievousness, and even dance into the experience. Performed together with the Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra, the group’s program The Listener playfully introduces children to the world of classical music through the works of composers like Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Shostakovich. The show will be held on January 22 at 3 p.m. at Weill Hall in the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park. Tickets are $12–$17 and may be purchased at An instrument petting zoo will be held prior to the show at 2 p.m. ¶

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ike music, dance is a universal cultural expression. And the varieties of it are numerous. Learn turns and steps from across the globe at a free Dance Around the World class. Instructor Nikola Clay will teach El Juego Nikola Clay Chirimbolo from Ecuador; La Mariposa, the butterfly dance, from Bolivia; Ni Wa Wa “Clay Doll” from China; Hoe Ana, the canoe dance, from Tahiti; and the penguin dance from Antarctica. The free event will be held on January 28 at 10:30 a.m. at the Sonoma Valley Regional Library in Sonoma. See ¶

40 SonomaFamilyLife

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SonomaFamilyLife 41

Humor Break

Riot on the Ranch Chaos Reigns When Mom’s Away

By Holly Hester


or the first 12 years of our children’s lives, I was the stay-at-home parent. I took care of every little possible detail, from school lunches to homework to doctors’ appointments to play dates. My husband, Bill, had nothing to do with the planning and execution of any of it, and I had nothing to do with his work life. It was kind of like Mad Men but with mutual respect and very little alcoholism. Since June we have reversed roles; I am now working and Bill is at home. Because I am working 400 miles away, sometimes Bill is the only parent for days at a time. I have noticed some slight differences in the way we do things, and rather than scream or call child services, I thought I’d list them here.

1. What happened to vegetables? Apparently, when I went to work, the vegetables came with me. If you opened our refrigerator, you would see that there is nothing but wall-to-wall hot dogs. Sometimes there’s a package of ground beef. Sometimes there’s a half-eaten log of salami. But mostly, it’s just hot dogs. Morning, noon, and night. I’m pretty sure the kids are all going to get gout. 2. What happened to bedtime? Having only one parent at home to put three kids to bed can be a challenge. Bill solves this problem by ignoring 42 SonomaFamilyLife

bedtime entirely. The kids just run around until they are so exhausted they fall over somewhere in the yard around midnight, and Bill simply scoops them up and puts them in bed. Problem solved. 3. Is there a soap shortage? Until I started working, I didn’t realize I was the only person in our family that thought taking a bath was something that human beings did on a regular basis. Our kids have started to

Apparently, when I went to work, the vegetables came with me. look like those people that hide in the woods to avoid the law. The bathtub is now being used as a play area for the hamsters. 4. When did the Dairy Queen become our second home? Why is it every time I call the house everyone has just returned from a trip to get ice cream? I guess not taking a bath really opens up a lot of space in the day. 5. Are my ears bleeding? When I come home, the music is on so loud that no one actually hears me come in the door. Not even the dog. I don’t know how any of them still have hearing. I thought we should all learn Spanish, but I think we’d better learn

sign language. I don’t get it. Are we prepping our children for a Black Sabbath reunion tour? At first, when Bill and I switched places, I was horrified. I thought all my years of hard work and vegetables and bedtimes were just thrown right out the window. But I had to let that go and say, hey, the kids are happy, safe, and alive. That’s the important part, right? Plus, I noticed something amazing the other day. My son August had a soccer game, and just as I started to go get his soccer clothes, he walked out of his room completely dressed for soccer. All by himself. Cleats and everything. If I were still the stay-at-home parent, that never would have happened. Because I hover. I helicopter. I do way too many things for the kids. Now that Bill is in charge, he is teaching them self-reliance—one of the most important things in life that I wasn’t allowing to happen. And that’s a pretty awesome thing. Some lettuce every once in a while might be nice, but hey, I’m grateful for self-reliance. ¶ Holly Hester lives in Sebastopol and writes about life on her blog, Riot Ranch. Find her book, Escape from Ugly Mom Island!, on Amazon.

January 2017



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Sonoma Family Life January 2017  
Sonoma Family Life January 2017