Raise a Giver Teach kindness
Fall Fun 61 local ideas College Apps Savvy advice
give Extended Holiday Shopping Hours Beginning November 25 Monday - Saturday 9am - 9 pm • Sunday 9am to 6pm Christmas Eve • 9am to 5pm Christmas Day • Closed Monday, December 26 • 9am to 6pm
Santa and Mrs. Claus Beginning Saturday, November 26, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in their Photo Studio in Village Terrace every weekend from 11am to 3pm. All proceeds benefit the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County.
The Holiday Stroll Sunday, November 27 Festive holiday entertainment that includes music, merriment and more! Plus special holiday treats and discounts at over 30 participating stores. It’s sure to put you in a holiday mood. Visit www.mvshops.com for event details.
Light Up A Life Thursday, December 1 • 5pm to 6:30pm Please join us at Santa’s Village in Village Terrace for the Heartland Hospice Tree Lighting Ceremony and help to light up lives, cherish memories and celebrate our community.
The Secret Santa Marathon
Tuesday, December 20 • Village Court While wrapping up your holiday shopping and enjoying the strolling entertainment, help us fulfill every last Secret Santa wish from our neighbors in need. For more information about Secret Santa, call 707.573.3399.
Chanukah Festival Monday, December 26 • 4 pm in Village Court The Chabad Jewish Center invites you to Celebrate Chanukah. Join us for a Menorah Lighting Celebration. Hot Latkes, Live Music, Dreidels, Gelt, Prizes and More. For information, call 707.577-0277.
A PREMIER HOLIDAY SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
COMPLIMENTARY PARKING HIGHWAY 12 AT FARMERS LANE IN SANTA ROSA
SONOMA COUNTY’S NEW DESTINATION FOR EPIC FUN
WHO SAYS FITNESS CAN’T BE FUN?
Sports City’s Child & Player Development Programs provide a fun introduction to sports while helping children 18 months to 8 years reach age-appropriate developmental milestones.
Our trampoline park features Rockin’ Tots dedicated play time for parents & children under 44”.
MORE FUN COMING LATER THIS FALL!
Upscale Bowling Center, Arcade, Laser Tag, Laser Frenzy, XD Dark Ride, Ballistics Mega Play Structure, Toddler Play Area, Clubhouse Grill, Victory House Sports Bar and Restaurant–All Under One Roof!
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8 Features 10 The Season’s Best Find the perfect presents.
12 Raise a Giver Teach kids to act from the heart.
14 The Dangers of Online Sharing How to post with prudence.
16 College Wise Savvy strategies for applying to schools.
18 Le Petit Chef
Bits and Pieces Santa’s a River Rat Whodunit? Celestial Sounds Just Clowning Around Fast Pickin’ A Winning Legacy Doe Eyes & Dresses
26 Crafting with Kids It’s Turkey Time!
28 Calendar of Events A Snoopy Celebration
38 Humor Break The Well Visit
42 Cooking with Kids Love a Latte
Hold your own Chopped Junior contest.
20 A Mom Sick Day How to get rest and take care of the kids.
21 Sneak In Shut-Eye
Sleep deprived? Take a nap!
22 Naughty or Nice? Keep the peace at family gatherings.
24 The Inspired Child Teach kids the art of self-care. 4 SonomaFamilyLife
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
L E B R AT I N G
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Online…Mobile…Magazine…E-mail…Social Media…Events…Local…Award-winning sonoma
Twin Talk Advice on multiples
28 Private Schools Your local guide
Help for homeless kids
How to choose a school
Go Local! Get great
Valley Fire Tale A silver lining
A holiday how-to
24 sparkling spots
Making the Grade School’s new
5 Local Hikes
12 Great Gifts
Take the family!
The NAPPA guide
Love Up Mom 6 Local ways
Get Your Zzzs Help kids sleep
Babymoons 5 Fun stops
Local writes for ABC show
Talk to Teach
Make it easier
Enter to win
31 great prizes
Earth Day 6 celebrations
Ways to play!
Summer Fun 61 exciting ideas
FREE SUMMER FUN
Reach for It! Set & meet
Local FFA thrives
Keep Teens Safe Help for
Camp Fair! See you April 1
Music Matters Local programs thrive
Art + Science A fun project
6 local spooky spots
SPD Smarts Help sensory
Kids Who Code
Get Cool! Swim in city pools
Honor Pops 6 top ways
5-star Father Local dad shines
Summer Fun 66 ways to play
136 CAMPS SUMMER
4 Ways to care
Keep kids calm
Kids & Cupid
hat are you thankful for? It’s something everyone contemplates this time of year. We at Sonoma Sharon Gowan Publisher/Editor Family Life are Sharon@family-life.us definitely grateful to our readers for making us the number one parenting magazine in Sonoma County. As you prepare for feasting with out-of-town relatives, the articles in this issue aim to help everything go smoothly. Worried about how kids will behave around family? Don’t sweat it says Lynn Adams in “Naughty or Nice?” (page 22). The most important thing is to connect with those you love. Try
getting everyone involved in a cooking contest, like the one described in “Le Petit Chef” (page 18). Or take the crew out to one of the many fun, local goings-on featured in our Calendar of Events (page 26). While you are sharing quality time with family, it might be tempting to Tweet or Facebook silly or even embarrassing anecdotes. But, counsels Kathryn Streeter in “The Dangers of Online Sharing” (page 14), it may be better to wait and just post what’s positive. However you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving, we hope it’s full of sweet smiles and treasured memories.
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Contributing Writers Lynn Adams Carol J. Alexander Greg Kaplan Christina Katz Julie Kertes Janeen Lewis Sarah Lyons Cheryl Maguire Jan Pierce Kathryn Streeter Kris Thomason Denise Morrison Yearian
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Publishing Office 134 Lystra Court, Suite A Santa Rosa, CA 95403 Tel (707) 586-9562 Fax (707) 586-9571
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
P R I N C I PA L S O F C R P U S D
LEARNING FOR A LIFETIME Sarah Fountain Monte Vista Elementary School
University Elementary at La Fiesta
Dawn Mawhinney Technology High School
Jennifer Hansen Evergreen Elementary School
Amie Carter Rancho Cotate High School
Lawrence E. Jones Middle School
Ashley Tatman Marguerite Hahn Elementary School
Teresa Peterson Thomas Page Academy
Sara McKee Technology Middle School
John Reed/Waldo Rohnert Elementary School
Richard Crane Elementary School Opening July 2017
COMMITTED TO THE FUTURE WWW .CRPUSD.ORG
Bits & Pieces
Santa’s a River Rat
id you know Mr. Claus is a sometimes-sailor? That’s right, when he heads for Petaluma, he ditches the reindeer and climbs on a boat instead. You can see him and the Mrs. float into town at Santa’s Riverboat Arrival. Welcome the Christmas power couple with the help of Petaluma School of Ballet performers, who will be decked out in Nutcracker costumes. The free event will be held on November 26, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., at the River Plaza Shopping Center in Petaluma. (Santa arrives around noon.) See visitpetaluma.com for more information. ¶
iber, mint tea, and even laughter are all said to be great for the digestion. But what about solving a good mystery? Conduct your own little experiment at Murder at Joe’s Speakeasy dinner theater. Get dressed up in 1920s wear and watch hilariously edgy mobsters look for a new boss—while you try to figure out who killed the old one. The clues will be fed to you, along with a three-course meal, at Charlie’s Restaurant in Windsor on November 11 and 18 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $68 and may be purchased at getaclueproductions.com. ¶
Just Clowning Around
hey may be kids, but many feel they sing like angels. Listen for yourself at a local performance of the famed Vienna Boys Choir. The group, which was first formed in the 15th century and spawned the careers of Franz Schubert and Joseph Hadyn, will be presenting a holiday program on November 27 at 3 p.m. in Weill Hall at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center in Rohnert Park. Tickets are $40–$95 and are available at tickets.sonoma.edu. ¶
rapeze artists flying through the air. Acrobats turning themselves into pretzels. Canines and horses that love to entertain. All will be featured in the Zoppè Family Circus. Led by Nino the clown, performers will weave together a theatrical story with Old World Italian charm. Shows will be held in a 500-seat tent at the Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma at the following times: November 4 at 4 and 7 p.m.; November 5 at 1, 4, and 7 p.m.; and November 6 at 1 and 4 p.m. Tickets are $18–$25. Go to zoppe.net/index. html to learn about the troupe. ¶
Zoppè Family Circus
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
A Winning Legacy
ne of the staples of any bluegrass band is the banjo. And Danny Barnes, Joe Newberry, and Bill Evans—all performing at the Fifth Annual California Banjo Extravaganza—have mastered it. Barnes is the winner of the 2015 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass; Newberry was a frequent guest on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor ; and Evans, a homegrown Bay Area musician, is the author of Bluegrass Banjo for Dummies (For Dummies, 2015). Listen to the virtuosic three pick their hearts out at the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center in Sebastopol on November 13 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22 in advance, $25 at the door, and may be purchased at seb.org. ¶
xercise your good will as well as your body at the Healdsburg Turkey Trot. The run aims to raise funds for a scholarship in honor of Healdsburg native Drew Esquivel, an Eagle Scout and recipient of a full MIT scholarship who was killed by a drunk driver over the summer. Participants can run either a 5K, or a 1.5-mile stroller- friendly course, through the rolling hills of Barbieri Brothers Park in Healdsburg on November 24, 8–11 a.m. Register (fees are $15–$35) and/or donate funds to the effort at crowdrise.com/ healdsburgturkeytrot. ¶
Doe Eyes & Dresses
olls aren’t just for kids. Their plump plastic limbs and cute outfits enchant grown-ups, too. Whatever your age, you’ll find all manner of dolls—antique to modern—as well as miniature and vintage toys at the Santa Rosa Doll Show and Sale. Is your great grandmother’s china doll up in the attic? Bring it and have it appraised. The event will be held on November 6, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m., at the Santa Rosa Veterans Building in Santa Rosa. Admission is $6, $5 with a printed flyer or coupon from dollshowusa.com; children under 12 get in free when accompanied by an adult. Parking is also free. See santarosadollshow.blogspot.com for more information. ¶
See more of this year’s winners at nappaawards.com.
Lion Guard Training Lair Just Play, $59.99, justplayproducts.com, ages 3+.
Your Guide to Holiday Shopping By Julie Kertes
’Tis the season for shopping, but don’t let the pressure of finding that perfect gift take the “happy” out of your holidays. Before you hit the mall—or Internet— take a look at the fantastic finds below, all of which were recognized and awarded by the National Parenting Product Awards (NAPPA). For the past 26 years, NAPPA has been the go-to source for parents looking for quality, entertaining, and educational products for their families. NAPPA’s team of expert judges and parent and kid testers meticulously evaluate hundreds of submissions each year and award only the best of the best with the coveted NAPPA seal.
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
Toys & Games
Arckit Go Colours Arckit, $59.99, arckit.com, 10+.
Monarch Life Cycle Puppet
Crayola Air Marker Sprayer
Folkmanis, $39.99, folkmanis.com, 3+.
Crayola, $29.99, crayola.com, 8+.
Fin Fun Mermaidens Fin Fun, $44.95. Monofin insert: Jr: $60, Pro: $65, finfun.com, 5+.
Furby Connect Hasbro, Inc., $99.99, hasbro.com, 6+.
CHiP WowWee, $199.99, wowwee.com, 8+.
Lamaze Mix & Match Caterpillar TOMY, $19.99, lamazetoys.com, 6+.
Hannah the Hanukkah Hero
Mighty Makers Directorâ€™s Cut Building Set
Mensch on a Bench, $29.99, themenschonabench.com, 3+.
Kâ€™NEX Brands, $34.99, knex.com, 7+.
Raise a Giver
Since children often connect with helping animals, consider a charity walk that benefits pet rescue or animal adoption. Another idea would be to participate in Heifer International’s Read to Feed, a program in which an individual child or a group of children find financial sponsors and then read a designated amount. The money they earn goes to Heifer International to provide education, tools, and livestock to feed millions of families around the globe (learn more at heifer.org).
7 Ways to Foster a Spirit of Generosity
By Janeen Lewis
s most parents do, I often think about my children and wonder what kind of adults they will be when they grow up. I hope they will become altruistic individuals, giving more than they take from the world. But my children are constantly bombarded by messages from billboard ads, celebrity figures, and TV commercials that scream the opposite—that pursuing one’s own luxury and comfort leads to happiness. How do parents tune out the mantra of “gimme” and replace it with a spirit of generosity? This may not be as daunting as it seems. Try these simple steps to put your child on the path to philanthropy. Model a life of giving. “Children are watching all the time, and you need to ‘walk the walk,’” says Ellen Sabin, author of The Giving Book: Open the Door to a Lifetime of Giving (Watering Can, 2004). “There are dozens of things that you can do every day to demonstrate giving. When kids see parents doing those things, they want to do them, too.” 12 SonomaFamilyLife
Sabin wrote the book about giving as a gift for her six-year-old niece, Leah. “It was a recipe for a happy life,” Sabin says. “I was hoping to show her she was powerful and could change the world around her and that it feels good to do that.” Annually adopt a charity. Sabin suggests that family members choose a charity together to support each year. “Join an annual walk for autism, cancer, or any other charitable cause,” Sabin says. “When you are at the dinner table talking, decide how you want to spend your philanthropic dollars together.”
Donate your time. While it is important to donate money whenever we can, it is also important to give
Children pick up on our subtle clues about what is important; what they see will affect how they invest their time as they grow into adults. time out of our busy schedules to help others. Take your children with you when you volunteer at a local homeless shelter, food drive, animal shelter, or school fundraiser, and deviate from your own schedule to do something special with your child sometimes. Children pick up on our subtle clues about what is important; what they see will affect how they invest their time as they grow into adults. Take care of the environment. One simple way to teach children to give is to teach them to be kind to the earth. Start a recycling program
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
at your child’s school or pick up trash together. Grow a garden in your backyard or volunteer to work in a community garden. Donate some of the produce you harvest to a local soup kitchen. You will help others in need and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. Recently my own children and I volunteered during an annual waterway cleanup near our
I realized that if I really wanted my children to have giving spirits, I needed to give year-round and enlist their help. community. When we cleared a creek of litter with other helpers, it made an impression on my son, Andrew, 8, who felt a sense of accomplishment when he realized he was helping keep a habitat clean for creek life. Now he wants to adopt a stream to help monitor the quality of waterways in our community. Keep it simple. I often feel overwhelmed when I consider all of the people and organizations that need help. But teaching children to help others includes more than donating time and money. Let someone in front of you at the grocery checkout line, or let other drivers go first in a crowded parking lot. Smile and say “please” and “thank you” to restaurant servers, store clerks, mail carriers, and trash collectors. I tell my children how much those particular employees improve our lives. Always look for opportunities to model kindness and compassion, and children will do the same. www.sonomafamilylife.com
Make giving part of everyday life. The Wright family makes it a point to practice Random Acts of Kindness throughout the year. One day Brandi Wright and her daughter Vivian, 9, placed quarters in the rental slots of grocery carts for other shoppers. Vivian and her father, Anthony, gave out helium balloons to strangers in front of Wal-Mart just to brighten their day. “One woman gave Vivian a donation to help pay for the cost of the balloons,” Wright said. “Vivian and her dad bought more balloons and gave more away.” Sarah Crupi, a mother of five, teaches her children to be considerate when they visit others by including younger children in play, helping the host, and picking up after
While it is important to donate money whenever we can, it is also important to give time out of our busy schedules to help others.
needed to give year-round and enlist their help. Now my children and I routinely pick out some nonperishable food at the grocery store and put it in the cart. Then we take it to a church that has a food pantry. Every season we go through outgrown clothes and toys, and they help choose what to give away. We talk about who might be a good recipient for the items and where we should take them. I want my children to understand that giving to others is a way of life, not just something we do once a year. Every day there are opportunities in the world around us to give. Choose one of them, and start down the road of lifelong giving with your child today. ¶ Janeen Lewis is a freelance journalist and mom of two who has a heart for feeding the hungry and helping clean up litter in her community. She has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Multitasking Mom’s Survival Guide (Chicken Soup for the Soul, 2014), and GreenPrints: The Weeder’s Digest.
themselves. “I’ve heard several moms specifically request my children to attend an event because they know that they can count on them to contribute and be helpful. That is super rewarding to me as a mother!” Give all year. Last year during the holidays, I did my annual sweep, looking for cans of food that had sat in the pantry for months and clothes that were ready to go to Goodwill. As I did this, it occurred to me that I was treating giving like an end-of-the-year afterthought. I realized that if I really wanted my children to have giving spirits, I November 2016
The Dangers of Online Sharing
of offering my friends and followers a trite personal anecdote that makes them laugh or roll their eyes with me, I’m now able to hand them a meatier post with a coherent message.
Are You Hurting Your Family?
I once decided to write a post on potty-training my son. My first attempts amounted to yet another tale of a frustrated parent. Perhaps it was funny, but it wasn’t original. As time passed, I realized the main take-away from this time in life centered on my insecurities and pride, not my son’s poor aim. Sharing a personal experience before I come to terms with what I’ve learned will
By Tracy Borgmeyer
By Kathryn Streeter
s social media mavens, we want to be remembered. Often apt personal anecdotes are the best way to connect with our followers or Facebook friends and drive a post’s popularity. But when it comes to sharing about our significant other and children, the line of decency can often feel blurry.
The question is weighty, worth the internal wrestling. My personal habits concerning sharing family-related content focus on timing. I allow time to pass before I 14 SonomaFamilyLife
post about an experience that directly involves either my husband or children. Looking back on an experience affords many advantages. Waiting to share publicly helps me to more completely understand and process what happened in the first place. When I have a family-related post idea, I’ll write a rough draft, revisiting it as my thoughts mature and clarify. Mulling is a very good thing; at the very least, it keeps me honest about my culpability in a personal family anecdote I’m considering sharing. For starters, what is my motivation for sharing? Waiting to release personal content enables me to discover the real message of an experience. As time passes, I’m better able to uncover the deeper meaning of a family situation or event I’d like to write about. Instead
Today my teenagers— and their friends—have access to anything I’ve ever written about them. Had I shared carelessly, there would be no taking things back. rob me of the chance to craft the best possible post, one which will offer lasting impact. For me, emotional settling needs to happen so that I can write from a grounded posture. When I’m simmering with emotion from an argument with my kids or husband, it’s not the optimal time to write. When I’m hurt or angry, my word choices and phrases are more likely to be uncreative and cheap, resembling a vanity project. I’m the center of attention, desiring empathy or applause. Because I’m
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
STS For Less Stress, Fly
still smarting, I have zero perspective. But if given time, a flippant post can morph into a deeply felt story. Time yields a better product.
I love best. Everything online is forever available to my husband and kids. Even when my kids were young and unplugged, I didn’t write about their maniacal moments, not only because of appreciating what I’ve already mentioned—that the passage of time allows for a truer story—but because I didn’t want to unintentionally cause future shame. Today my teenagers—and their friends—have access to anything I’ve ever written about them. Had I shared carelessly, there would be no taking things back. Apologies would ring false; relational damage would be tough to repair. Today as ever, writing about humiliating experiences for a cheap laugh is at odds with everything I’m trying to do as a parent. From tot to teen, my kids have always deserved to be treated like I’d like to be treated: with respect. Building a strong relationship with my husband and kids is like a major construction project—the effort and time is immense. I am unwilling www.sonomafamilylife.com
Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport Seattle (SEA)
Portland (PDX) TS
Writing about humiliating experiences for a cheap laugh is at odds with everything I’m trying to do as a parent.
Finally, my family knows that before I post anything that mentions them, I’ll have them review it. If my writing involves my husband, I’ll have him read it first. If he feels it’s crossed a line and waded into our personal life as a couple, my work is to rewrite it in a way that honors him and ultimately, us. We don’t keep secrets. This has only built stronger mutual trust in our relationship.
Most importantly, waiting provides cover for my marriage and children. No amount of post popularity is worth bringing injury to those
to destabilize this structure with insensitive over-sharing.
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In the case of the previously mentioned potty-training story, which I posted recently, my now-teenage
No amount of post popularity is worth bringing injury to those I love best. son read it and laughed. However, he would have felt deeply humiliated had I posted about the story a few years earlier, regardless that the point of the story isn’t his bathroom drama. The by-product of this practice is that it’s brought my husband and kids into my social media life. Additionally, my conscience is clear. Like you, I’m concerned about protecting those I love best—my family. Anything I put online about them deserves close inspection. They’re counting on me. ¶ A variation of this essay was originally published on goodmenproject.com. Kathryn Streeter’s writing has appeared in the Washington Post; the Huffington Post; Scary Mommy; and Brain, Child magazine. Find her at kathrynstreeter.com, on Facebook, and at Twitter@streeterkathryn.
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for Student Aid (FAFSA) is usually what financial aid officers use to determine an applicant’s financial need. Until this year, the FAFSA was based on the tax return from the prior year. Many families who filed for tax return extensions were unable to submit their FAFSA forms before their tax returns were complete. This delay jeopardized their ability to receive financial aid. Now, FAFSA will be based on tax returns from two years ago instead of the prior year. This will enable all applicants to turn in their financial aid applications
How to Make the Most of Admissions Changes
By Greg Kaplan
n the face of skyrocketing competition, your children should use changes to colleges’ admissions processes to increase their odds of earning admission and even reduce their cost of attendance. Consider the following as your children prepare to apply:
Less required entrance exams. Yes, you read that correctly. Many highly selective colleges no longer require submitting two or three SAT II subject tests on top of the SAT I or ACT. The University of California system, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and other highly selective colleges have all dropped the SAT II subject test requirement. Check to see if the colleges your children are interested in attending require the SAT II. Your children should continue to focus on scoring high on the SAT I or ACT. Applicants are using social media to earn admission. Long the mainstay for keeping up-to-date 16 SonomaFamilyLife
24/7 with friends, social media is now helping applicants earn admission to their dream colleges. ZeeMee, a social media site dedicated exclusively to undergraduate and graduate school admissions, allows applicants to create a free profile. They can post a video, photos, awards, and other information to show their personality and bring their application to life. Applicants can share their profile with admissions officers by putting a link to it in their college applications. Changes to the financial aid process. At many colleges, financial aid is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Free Application
Social media is helping applicants earn admission to their dream colleges. on time and be eligible to receive the maximum amount of financial aid for which they qualify. In addition to receiving financial aid, your child can apply for scholarships. Local scholarships sometimes receive few applicants and provide your children with excellent odds. Consult with your children’s guidance counselors and use scholarships.com to find applicable scholarships. Start the search in the ninth grade, and dedicate a couple of hours a month to it. ¶ Greg Kaplan is a college application strategist, author of Earning Admission: Real Strategies for Getting into Highly Selective Colleges (2016), and the founder of Soaring Eagle College Consulting. See earningadmission.com for more information.
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
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Supporting Children and Adults With Special Needs
DID YOU KNOW? There are many financial and support programs available to families caring for their disabled loved ones in their homes. Many of these programs are not income dependent. In other words, because you serve your disabled family member, you qualify for help! Up to $3000 a month can take you from tired and overwhelmed, to rest and relief. Let us assist you.
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1160 North Dutton Ave Suite 120, Santa Rosa • (707)566-7600 • www.galtadvocacy.com www.sonomafamilylife.com
Le Petit Chef Hold a ‘Chopped Junior’ Contest at Home
By Kris Thomason
ooking for a fun way to get your kids into the kitchen this Thanksgiving? Hold a Chopped Junior contest at home! All you need is a few staple foods, some kitchen space, cooking/prep
tools, and kids who are creative and up for a challenge.
I started watching Food Network’s Chopped Junior show with my kids to let them see children in the kitchen. They loved it so much that now we regularly watch the show as a family. Modeled after the network’s hit program Chopped, Chopped Junior features 8–12-year-olds preparing dishes in a competition. There are four children at the beginning of each episode and one winner at the end. Contestants are given a closed box of secret ingredients that they must use in their creation of three courses/rounds: appetizer, entree, and dessert. (They can use any other ingredients in the kitchen, too.) They are given 20–30 minutes per round to create an appropriate 18 SonomaFamilyLife
dish. At the end of a round, dishes are judged and one person is “chopped.” At home you can do a more relaxed and friendly version of Chopped Junior. Start with one course and no child gets “chopped.” Your intent is not to pit your kids against each other, but rather to get them into the kitchen for some fun. At our last little cooking “contest,” the secret ingredients were ham, cheese, green onion, and eggs. We were so impressed by the creativity of our five-, seven-, and nine-year-olds. We got everything from green eggs and ham to egg salad to onion pie.
Step one. Choose age-appropriate secret ingredients. For younger children, basic kitchen staples are the best: cheese, butter, lunchmeat, bread, eggs, cucumber, carrot, tuna, etc. For a dessert round, try fruit, yogurt, ice cream, chocolate, peanut butter, or marshmallows. For older kids, experiment with more interesting
They made everything from green eggs and ham to egg salad to onion pie. ingredients: sweet potatoes, dragon fruit, dried cranberries, shrimp, chili powder, or tofu. If there is more than one secret ingredient, be sure to choose ingredients that are different, yet complement one another. Place your secret ingredients in a box or bag, and hide it from your children until you are ready to start.
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
Step two. Place the following at each child’s station:
dishes to you. We give one to five stars in the following categories:
• Secret-ingredient box
• Preparation tools (child-friendly knife, cutting board, peeler, can opener, cheese grater)
• Serving plate • Paper towels or dish towel Step three. Prepare the kids for the contest. Just like the actual show, we announce the names of each little chef. We like to do mini-interviews, asking the kids
Your intent is not to pit your kids against each other, but rather to get them into the kitchen for some fun. about their favorite things to cook and what they love about cooking. (If you aren’t feeling it, you can skip all that. However, kids really love it when parents get into the spirit.) Rundown the rules: • They must use the secret ingredients in their dishes. • They are allowed to use any other ingredient in the kitchen. • They must finish their dishes in the time allowed. Step four. Ready, set, go! Start the timer and let them use their culinary imagination. Support them if they need it—answer questions, offer up suggestions, and help them find ingredients and use kitchen equipment.
praise to everyone for participating. Compliment and discuss the uniqueness of each child’s creation. This activity is guaranteed to not only develop your children’s
• Station cleanliness (This one is important, otherwise you will have a huge mess on your hands.)
Kids really love it when parents get into the spirit.
Have each child explain her or his dish, how she or he came up with the idea, and if there were any challenges encountered in preparing the dish.
kitchen and food skills, but also their independence, confidence, and creativity. You’ll be preparing your budding chefs for a future of food appreciation. ¶
Step six. At the end of the judging, announce the recipient of the most stars as the winner. Of course, give
Kris Thomason is a local retired software engineer and a stay-at-home mom of three children.
Secrets to Success Your cooking contest can easily be adjusted to accommodate your children’s ages and experience in the kitchen. It can be done with even the youngest kids. Here are some pointers to plan your contest: • Start with a dessert round. Who doesn’t want to create something out of their favorite foods? • Place ingredients and tools in the workspace of younger kids. • Use one secret ingredient for the younger crowd; add more secret ingredients for older kids. • Don’t add ingredients that need to be cooked until your kids are responsible and ready for that kind of preparation. • Don’t add ingredients that require the use of a knife until your kids are ready to use one. (You can purchase plastic knives for kids at For Small Hands in Santa Rosa.) • Allow kids plenty of time so they don’t feel rushed. Place a very long time limit (or none at all) on younger kids’ food preparation. • Encourage kids to taste as they go. Remind them to season their creations. • Kids can work in teams, too.
Step five. When their time is up, they will take turns presenting their www.sonomafamilylife.com
kids to have one or two days of extra screen time, and they will probably enjoy it as well.
More entertainment. What do you do when TV time gets old? Build a fort, get out craft supplies, or play with blocks. “I have a secret stash of toys that I only bring out when I’m sick,” says Jessi Cole, mom of three. “Since they are rarely out, my kids think it’s a huge treat.” Try having the kids read a book aloud or
A Mom Sick Day 5 Tips for Keeping Chaos at Bay By Sarah Lyons
e do what we can to avoid it, but at some point, the inevitable will happen: Mom will get sick. Enjoying a quiet, restful day in bed is not an option for most mothers. Here are some tips to help you survive.
Call in the reinforcements. In some cases, the working parent may be able to stay home and help with the kids, but often this is not a feasible option. So don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to take the kids to school or help cook dinner. Most friends are willing to help, especially if you offer to return the favor in the future.
Simplify meals. Order take-out, raid the freezer, or let the kids eat cereal for dinner. “I’ve had my husband order, pay for, and have pizza delivered from work because
when I’m sick, preparing meals is impossible,” says Rodganna Avery, mom of three.
Let go of “normal.” Many families limit the amount of screen time their children are allowed each day, but when Mom is sick, it’s okay to relax the rules. Allowing extra TV or video-game time helps to entertain the kids so Mom can rest. Mother of six Chrissy Roussel says, “When you are sick, just focus on making sure they’re fed and changed. Let go of the ‘normal’ parenting rules for a few days.” It won’t hurt the
Teach your kids to prepare simple meals like sandwiches or cereal so they can help themselves when needed. put on a puppet show for you while you rest. When Mom is sick, anything goes. The goal is to keep the kids entertained as quietly as possible throughout the day.
Plan ahead. The last tip is one you can do in advance. Before you get the first hint of a runny nose or sore throat, prepare for sick days. Set aside some special toys and movies (see number 4), keep easy-to-prepare snacks and freezer meals on hand, and teach your kids to prepare simple meals like sandwiches or cereal so they can help themselves when needed. As moms, we do so much for our families. When we aren’t feeling well, a smoothly run household can quickly spiral out of control. It’s okay to let the house go and rely on others for a few days. If you have time to rest, you should be back to your old self in no time. ¶ Sarah Lyons is a busy mother of six children, including one-year-old triplets.
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
• reduce errors and accidental behavior caused by fatigue. How long should a power nap be? Most experts agree that 30 minutes is optimal. Five or ten minutes is not enough to reap the benefits, and
Naps improve both memory and productivity.
Sneak In Shut-Eye
more than 30 minutes can cause sleep inertia, a grogginess that takes some time to overcome.
Why Power Naps Work
By Jan Pierce
here are lots of reasons parents don’t get enough sleep, and most of them relate to juggling home, jobs, and family responsibilities. We awake early and stay up too late. There never seem to be
enough hours in the day to accomplish all the necessary tasks.
Health experts agree that a short “power nap” is one good answer to sleep deprivation. Studies show that during sleep the brain recharges as it processes and reorganizes information. Some scientists call this “mental housekeeping.” What are the benefits of taking a power nap? It seems there are many. A study done by NASA on sleepy pilots and astronauts found that naps improved task performance scores by 34 percent and alertness by as much as 100 percent. www.sonomafamilylife.com
In addition, naps: • protect brain circuits from overuse and overload. • improve both memory and productivity. • yield creative ideas and solutions. • make up for lost sleep. • decrease the level of the stress hormone cortisol. • improve mood. • increase performance on tasks that require clear thinking. November 2016
Naps in the early afternoon seem to produce the best results. To get the most out of it, you’ll want to fall asleep quickly. This is accomplished by taking your nap at a regular time, sleeping in a comfortable bed, reducing the light in the room, and keeping a blanket nearby so you can keep yourself warm. Go ahead, take a power nap. It’s good for you. Resources National Sleep Foundation, “Napping,” sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/ napping. Mandy Oaklander, “The Weird Benefit of Power Naps,” Prevention (October 2012), prevention. com/health/sleep-energy/ how-your-brain-benefits-power-nap. Jennifer Soong, “The Secret (and Surprising) Power of Naps,” webmd.com/balance/features/ the-secret-and-surprisingpower-of-naps. ¶ Jan Pierce, M. Ed., is a retired teacher and freelance writer specializing in education, parenting, and family life articles. Find her at janpierce.net.
Naughty or Nice?
We’re at our very worst. We’re out of our daily routine. The stakes are high. We’re dressed up. There’s a present waiting for us; we don’t know what it’s going to be; and we’re going to have to wait all day to open it. When we do open it, it’s unlikely to be the signed NFL jersey we imagine it to be. If you want to know what we’re really like, come over after school on a regular Wednesday.
Take the Pressure Off Holiday Family Visits
By Lynn Adams
Dear Relative We Don’t See Very Often, I know what it’s like to be the well-behaved host of the naughty relatives. One cousin my age was an expert at “I’ll show you mine, if you’ll show me yours.” A brother-sister duo wore pajamas wherever they went and were the loudest children our neighborhood restaurant has ever hosted. We’d gird our loins for family functions that also included our friends, explaining, “The rest of our family is not as well-disciplined as we are.” I loved winning the holiday behavior prize every time. But my cousins didn’t seem to like me very much. Now my children are the ones the other relatives shake their heads about. And it’s not just the kids. Frankly, our family of four is loud, unpredictable, moody, impulsive, high-maintenance, and accident-prone, even on a good day. So I’m uniquely qualified to advise you:
Correlation doesn’t imply causation. Imagine that the parenting you witness today could be the result, rather than the cause, of having a difficult child. Just because I’m willing to pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich doesn’t
mean I’ve made my child into a picky eater by giving in to his every whim. Maybe I’m more interested in him having a full belly, and thus better behavior, than in him trying your candied Brussels sprouts.
Think short term. The parenting techniques you will observe today are short-term, not long-term, solutions. Like Andrew Solomon explains in Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity (Scribner, 2013), short-term parenting and long-term
If you want to know what we’re really like, come over after school on a regular Wednesday. parenting can be completely at odds with each other. When my child belches at the table at your house, I’m going to ignore it. When he does it at home, I’m going to tolerate the 30-minute tantrum that will result from my giving him a five-minute time-out.
Save the advice. We get a ton of parenting advice from books, professionals, and well-meaning bystanders. We seek it out. We even pay for it. If you have a suggestion, wait a day and decide if it’s worth
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
calling us about. If it involves a special diet or a spanking, keep it to yourself.
More than an ounce of prevention. We’ve done everything we can do beforehand to prevent a problem. By the time we get to your house, both children will have had a full, nutritious meal. They got as much sleep last night as humanly possible, and if they didn’t, they’ve had a nap. They know that if either of them utters the word booty at the table, which is my worst fear and the most likely mishap, they’re going to lose something they cherish.
Relax and leave the discipline to us. No matter how awkward it looks. We spend a lot more time with our children than you do. If we insist that our child
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leave the dinner table early and that’s against the rules in your home, there’s probably a good reason. Last time I did this, I was pretty sure my son was about to vomit on the china, silver, tablecloth, and white upholstered dining chair in front of a party of 20.
Imagine that the parenting you witness today could be the result, rather than the cause, of having a difficult child. If this holiday get-together is a chance to showcase my children, to enter them in a competition for best all-around kid in the family, I forfeit. Let’s see this instead for what it
really is, or should be: a chance to get together, to catch up, and to reminisce. Look at it this way. Remember at our grandmother’s house? Something hideously purple always shimmied in a bed of iceberg lettuce—Coca-Cola salad. If you looked at it hard enough you could see the shadows and pits of the Bing cherries within the confines of the gelatinous cube. If it could talk, it would say, “Go on, kid. Eat me. What’s the worst that could happen?” When you notice my kids blanching at your Brussels sprouts, tell them about the Coca-Cola salad. That’s our heritage. We’ll all get a kick out of it. ¶ Lynn Adams is a child psychologist turned parenting writer. Find more of her work at lynnadamsphd.com.
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The Inspired Child 10 Practices for More Mindful Kids & Parents
By Christina Katz
ike every growing girl in America, my daughter Samantha is prone to emotional upset caused by the slings and arrows of life. I have encouraged her from a young age to respond to disappointments with self-love and compassion. I want her to learn how to comfort herself because I know that, while I am always there for her now, one day I no longer will be by her side.
Of all of my jobs as a parent, I consider my role as an encourager of self-care to be one of the most important. The world will
If you teach your kids anything, let it be how to do their best and then surrender to the results. always provide children with challenges. No one can progress through life and grow in character without experiencing setbacks. Teaching our kids to practice self-care no matter what else happens is crucial to teaching them how to be peaceful and non-reactive, not only within themselves but also in interactions with others.
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
Modeling self-care behavior for our children is also important, especially when kids are young and learning the habits that will help them through the sometimes-challenging tween and teen years. Here are some techniques to practice yourself and teach your kids.
Nap. Have your kids ever caught you napping? If so, that’s great! You should nap if you get a poor night’s sleep or feel run-down. And when you do, you model the habit of listening to your body. Make sure your kids know that naps are for crabby people of all ages.
Stop. Children who are calm can walk away or withdraw from situations that hurt them or make them feel uncomfortable. Teach kids to understand signals from their bodies
Float. The bathtub is my daughter’s go-to self-care space. She might shower or bathe or just soak, and she knows she’ll always feel great afterwards. Whatever your child’s self-soothing habit, support it as much as possible and give them space to enjoy it for themselves.
Make sure kids have adequate alone, screen-free time for self-reflection. that indicate it’s time to step back, walk away, or simply stop moving forward on a path that does not feel constructive. Help kids understand that stopping is always an empowering option. Tune in. Designate no-screen times in your home. At our house, devices stay off until after noon every morning. Make sure kids understand the connection between turning off devices and tuning in to themselves and others. To illustrate the point, why not establish one electronics-free family night at home each week. Reflect. Make sure kids have adequate alone, screen-free time for self-reflection. Reading is permissible, as is any type of self-expression, as long as all electronic devices remain off. Boredom may come first, and that’s okay. Teach kids how to move through it and find their way back to feeling self-content. www.sonomafamilylife.com
Go outside. Being in nature is grounding and energizing. If you don’t believe me, the next time you are exhausted lay on the ground for ten minutes and see how you feel afterwards. Of course, this trick won’t work for every time of year, so be sure to keep the appropriate outdoor gear on hand for spontaneous adventures. Play. Anything old-fashioned is a good choice. Build a fort, play a board game, deal some cards, have a pillow fight, challenge a child to a game of checkers or chess. Do your kids know how to play solitaire with real cards? Teach them now.
Imagine. You were a kid once. What helped you tap in to your imagination? Writing? Doodling? Playing music? Watching snowflakes
Of all of my jobs as a parent, I consider my role as an encourager of self-care to be one of the most important. or rain falling outside your window? Make sure everyone in the family has an imagination practice and lead the way by making sure they see you practicing yours. Let go. At the foundation of health is the habit of turning over our will to a positive universal force we trust. If you teach your kids anything, let it be how to do their best and then surrender to the results. They won’t always win. They won’t always get picked. They won’t always be the most popular. But they can always go home afterwards, take a nice long bath or shower, and reflect on the next best choice to make. Christina Katz is a self-care expert and author of the book The Art of Making Time for Yourself.
Create. We keep our craft supplies in plastic drawers and bins in the corner of the laundry room so we can break them out at any time. Or you might designate one kitchen cabinet for craft supplies. For variety and to inspire more use, rotate the supplies by season. Use markers, crayons, paper, and other items for goal-setting games at family meetings. Color with your kids. (You can find contemplative grown-up images to color on the Internet.) November 2016
Crafting with Kids
It’s Turkey Time! Projects to Do with Kids
By Denise Morrison Yearian
hile you are stuffing the turkey and whipping up pumpkin pie, get your children involved in these two festive crafts.
Head Gobblin’ Gear
Blessing Banner Items needed: ears of corn, corn cob holders, tempera paints (fall colors), paper plates, roll of white banner paper, markers, tape.
Items needed: brown poster board, pencil, ruler, scissors, tape, glue, construction paper (yellow and red), medium wiggly eyes.
1. Break several raw ears of corn in thirds so you have a small cob for each color of paint.
1. Cut a 2 ½- by 22-inch rectangle from poster board to make a headband. Tape the headband so it fits snugly around your head. Set aside.
3. Place one color of paint onto each paper plate.
2. Cut a 3 ½-inch circle and a 5- by 1 ½-inch rectangle from poster board. 3. Fold the rectangle from step two accordion style, then open up and glue the circle to one end to create the turkey’s head and neck. 4. From construction paper, cut a small, yellow triangle for the turkey’s beak and a small, red L-shape for the wattle. 5. Glue wiggly eyes and facial features to the head. Tape the open end of the accordion neck to the interior side of the headband. 6. Use various colors of construction paper to cut out pointed ovals that measure 1 ½- by 7-inches to create feathers.
2. Attach corncob holders to the ends of each cob. 4. Roll corn in one color of paint then across the top, bottom, and sides of the paper to form the banner’s frame. 5. Repeat step four using different cobs and colors, overlapping patterns and hues. Let dry. 6. Across the center of the banner write “Happy Thanksgiving.” Embellish with festive drawings—turkeys, cornucopias, etc. 7. Hang the banner in a prominent place. 8. When guests arrive for your feast, have them write on the banner the things they are thankful for. ¶ Denise Morrison Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children.
7. Glue feathers to the back interior side of the headband.
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
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Feasting on Facts
hen the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag people converged for the first Thanksgiving in 1621, they weren’t mixing mashed potatoes or gobbling pumpkin pie. In fact, many of the foods we consider traditional festive fare—ham, potatoes, corn, bread, and pie—either weren’t common or weren’t available during feasting time. So what did that first meal consist of? Since animals were in abundance, meat was the main component. Wild turkey and venison took center stage and may have been accompanied by various other types of game and seafood. Fruits and vegetables played a minor role and may have included pumpkins, peas, beans, onions, lettuce, radishes, carrots, plums, and grapes. Cakes, pies, and breads didn’t top the table until later because sugar was sparse and ovens weren’t available.
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Calendar of Events A Snoopy Celebration
f a kid were in charge of cooking, what would Thanksgiving look like? It’s a question Charles Schulz must have asked himself when he dreamed up Snoopy’s impromptu dinner in the 1973 film A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. See the flick and eat the famous meal of toast, jellybeans, and popcorn at the Thanksgiving Feast with Snoopy on November 19, 1–4 p.m., at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa. The event is free with admission to the museum, which is $5–$12; ages 3 and under get in free. Bring two nonperishable food items, and one admission fee will be waived. ¶
Tuesday 1 FREE Homework Help. Help with all subjects on a drop-in basis. Grades K–12. Tuesdays. 3:30–5:30 p.m. (No class Nov. 22.) Petaluma Regional Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. sonomalibrary.org. FREE Healing Food Basics. Join
Ceres Community Project to explore whole foods & nutrition basics. The workshop will focus on shopping tips & strategies & foods to avoid & include in your diet. 3:30–5:30 p.m. Sebastopol Regional Library. 7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol. sonomalibrary.org. FREE Toddler Time. Songs, rhymes, finger plays & simple stories. Ages 18–36 mos. Tuesdays. 10:30 a.m. Central Santa Rosa Library. 211 E St., Santa Rosa. sonomalibrary.org. FREE Día de los Muertos Craft Table. Children
can decorate their own skull mask. Supplies provided. Ages 3 & up. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Nov. 2: 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Rohnert Park–Cotati Regional Library. 6250 28 SonomaFamilyLife
Lynne Condé Way, Rohnert Park. sonomalibrary.org.
Wednesday 2 FREE CoderDojo. Learn to code, develop websites & games. Beginners welcome. Ages 5–17. Wednesdays (except Nov. 23). 4:30 p.m. Petaluma Regional Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. Register: coderdojopetaluma.org. Jewish Film Festival. Wednesdays
(except Nov. 23). Screenings at 1 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Jewish Community Center. Each show $10–$13. Rialto Cinemas. 6868 McKinley St., Sebastopol. jccsoco.org.
Thursday 3 Hot Dog Thursday. 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. $5 includes hot dog, chips, drink & admission to museum. Pacific Coast Air Museum. 1 Air Museum Way, Santa Rosa. pacificcoastairmuseum.org. FREE Screening of Check It.
Inspiring film about homeless
LGBTQI youth. Part of OUTwatch film festival. 5 p.m. Free screening for people under age 25. (Screening for over age 25: Nov. 6. 3:15 p.m. $10. ) 3rd Street Cinema. 620 3rd St., Santa Rosa. facebook.com/ lgbtqiwinecountryfilmfest. Jack London Classic Film Festival.
Thru Nov. 5. Screenings at 4:30 p.m. each day. $25–$100. Sonoma Community Center. 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma. sonomacommunitycenter.org.
Friday 4 FREE Bodega Marine Laboratory Tours. Explore
the dynamic biodiversity of the Northern California Coast. Fridays. 2–4 p.m. (No tour Nov. 11.) Bodega Marine Laboratory. 2099 Westshore Rd., Bodega Bay. bml.ucdavis.edu. 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. Fridays. 11 a.m. Sebastopol
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
Regional Library. 7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol. sonomalibrary.org. Crazy, Awesome Science. Fridays.
2 p.m. $10 (admission to museum). Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. cmosc.org. FREE Pre-school Story Time.
Ages 3–6. 10:30 a.m. Rohnert Park–Cotati Regional Library. 6250 Lynne Condé Way, Rohnert Park. sonomalibrary.org. Zoppé Family Circus. Old World
Italian one-ring circus in a 500-seat tent. Thru Nov. 6. Nov. 4: 4 p.m. & 7 p.m. Nov. 5: 1 p.m., 4 p.m. & 7 p.m. Nov. 6: 1 p.m. & 4 p.m. $18–$25. Sonoma Marin Fairgrounds. 175 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. zoppe.net.
Saturday 5 Bourbon, Bacon & Beer Speakeasy Party. Live music by Parlor Tricks, gaming tables, libations & lots of bacon. Dress up in roaring twenties costume. $50. 7–11 p.m. Cloverleaf Ranch. 3892 Old Redwood Hwy., Santa Rosa. councilonaging.com/ bourbon-bacon-and-beer. Nuestros Parques Hike. A bilingual naturalist leads a family walk. 10 a.m.–noon. Walk: Free. Parking: $7. Bird Walk Coastal Access Trail. Meet at the first dirt parking lot at Doran Regional Park. 201 Doran Beach Rd., Bodega. parks. sonomacounty.ca.gov. FREE Hora de Cuentos para Niños/ Bilingual Storytime. ¡Bienvenidos
WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY CHILD IS
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 ¡Gratis! Stories in English & Spanish. Ages 0–5. 10:15 a.m. Roseland Community Library. 779 Sebastopol Rd., Santa Rosa. sonomalibrary.org. FREE Twelfth Night. The Shakespeare on Tour part of the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival performs a reduced version of the Shakespeare play. 2 p.m. Petaluma Regional Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. sonomalibrary.org. FREE Disability Support & Benefits: What You Need to Know. Seminar by Galt Advocacy. 2–4 p.m. Doubletree Hotel. One Doubletree Dr., Rohnert Park. Register: galtadvocacy.com.
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Sonoma Extra Virgin Festival.
Wine & olive-oil tastings & olive harvesting demos. Talks by olive oil educators & cookbook authors. Music, food trucks & cooking demos. Thru Nov. 6. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. $15. Includes glass of wine. B. R. Cohn Winery. 15000 Sonoma Hwy., Glen Ellen. brcohn.com/ sonoma-extra-virgin-festival.
Sunday 6 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. friendsofthepetalumariver.org. Santa Rosa Doll & Toy Show. 10
a.m.–3:30 p.m. $6. Kids under 12: Free when accompanied by an adult. Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building. 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa. santarosadollshow.blogspot.com. Astronaut Lullabies. Local “thought-rockers” Jim & Kathy Ocean orchestrate a planetarium show with original live music. $10–$15. Santa Rosa Junior College Planetarium. 1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. jimoceanmusic.com.
Tuesday 8 FREE The Accidental Universe Book Discussion. Author Alan Lightman explores the emotional & philosophical questions raised by recent discoveries in science. 2:30 p.m. Windsor Regional Library. 9291 Old Redwood Hwy., Bldg. 100, Windsor. sonomalibrary.org.
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
Change your own
FREE The Mysteries of Jack London: His Birth, the Fire & His Death. Talk
by local author & scholar Prof. Jonah Raskin. 6 p.m. Sonoma Valley Regional Library. 755 W. Napa St., Sonoma. sonomalibrary.org. FREE Cardio Kickboxing. 10:30
a.m. Healdsburg Regional Library. 139 Piper St., Healdsburg. sonomalibrary.org.
Thursday 10 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Nov. 12 (half-price day): 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Petaluma Regional Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. sonomalibrary.org. Children’s Book Sale.
FREE Tween Anime Club. Crafts,
mini magna book club & anime video viewing. 4 p.m. Second & fourth Thursdays. Central Santa Rosa Library. 211 E St., Santa Rosa. sonomalibrary.org. FREE Tinker Thinkers: Electricity & Magnetism. Explore
electricity using magnets & circuits. Make your own batteries out of ice cube trays, nails & vinegar. 3:30 p.m. Petaluma Regional Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. sonomalibrary.org.
Underestimate the Power of the Purse Moms typically control 80% or more of their household budgets They’re looking right here, to find you. Call now. Don’t miss another month.
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Recycle BOTH the oil & filter!
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Murder at Joe’s Speakeasy. Murder
mystery dinner theater. 7 p.m. Performances also Nov. 18 & thru Dec. $68. Charlie’s Restaurant. 1340 19th Hole Dr., Windsor. getaclueproductions.com.
IN PRINT • ONLINE • EVENTS • CONTESTS
Saturday 12 6th Annual Dancing with the Stars.
A dance competition fundraiser. 7:30 p.m. $35–$45. (Preview performance Nov. 10: 7:30 p.m., $10–$20.) Raven Performing Arts Theater. 115 North St., Healdsburg. raventheater.org. Michael Feinstein: Great American Songbook. 7:30 p.m. $35–$85. Sonoma
State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall & Lawn. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. gmc.sonoma.edu. FREE Honey B & the Pollinators Band.
Swing, jump/jive & jazz standards from the 1920–1940s. 2 p.m. Sonoma Valley Regional Library. 755 W. Napa St., Sonoma. sonomalibrary.org. FREE A History of Winemaking
Dawson & the Sonoma Resource Conservation District discuss the history of wine grapes in Sonoma Valley & the women who became leaders of the industry. Optional tour of Glen Oaks Ranch after the talk. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Glen Oaks Ranch. 13255 Sonoma Hwy., Glen Ellen. tinyurl.com/grzzk2m. Bollywood Comes to the North Bay. Kavita Krishnamurthy & the Andaaz Live Band will play the North Bay Indo-America Association’s 2016 Diwali Function. $36–$81. Kids under 5: Free. Sonoma Country Day School. 4400 Day School Pl., Santa Rosa. Wine, Pizza & Bocce. Drink wines paired with pizza & play bocce ball.
in the Sonoma Valley. Arthur
Get Crafty with Us!
11 a.m.–1 p.m. $50. Comstock Wines. 1290 Dry Creek Rd., Healdsburg. comstockwines.com.
Sunday 13 5th Annual California Banjo Extravaganza. Danny
Barnes, Joe Newberry & Bill Evans. 8 p.m. $22–$25. Sebastopol Community Cultural Center. 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. seb.org. Brick Palooza. A Lego fan festival, exhibition & celebration. Play areas & hands-on activity booths. Robotics & hands-on stop-motion demos. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. $10. Ages 4 & under: Free. Veterans Memorial Building. 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa.
IT’S A SLUMBER PARTY AT THE Y Grab your sleeping bags and get ready for a slumber party at the Y. Every 3rd Friday of the month, kids are invited to sleep over at the Y and participate in a FUN filled evening of swimming, games, movies, crafts and more! Snacks and breakfast are served!
Do you or your kids have an artistic eye? Is craftmaking a staple activity in your household? Tell us about your favorite project! Send us step-by-step instructions and high-resolution photos of the finished product. If we choose your submission, you’ll get $50. E-mail your craft articles to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can’t wait to see your creative side! 32 SonomaFamilyLife
October 14th - Pumpkin Party 7PM Friday to 9AM Saturday November 18th– Games Galore December 16th - Magical Adventures FEES: Facility Member $20 Program Member $25 Non-Member $35 *Same day registration add $15*
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 707-544-1829 Sonoma County Family Y 1111 College Avenue Santa Rosa 707-545-9622 www.scfymca.org The Y is a non-profit community based organization.
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
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…
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Thursday 17 FREE Homes for All Summit. For
those concerned about affordable housing & homelessness in Sonoma County & interested in working toward solutions with people across the county. 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Saralee’s Barn. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa. Register by Nov. 10 at tinyurl.com/joby4xx.
Theater. 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. cinnabartheater.org. FREE Art & Gifts: Toute Petite.
Opening reception of exhibit & sale of locally made paintings, sculpture, jewelry, cards, photos, etchings & prints. Hot cider, wine & appetizers. 5:30–7:30 p.m. Reading of haiku poetry at 5:45 p.m. Exhibit thru Jan. 15. Occidental Center for the Arts. 3850 Doris Murphy Ct., Occidental. occidentalcenterforthearts.org. Sonoma State University Symphony
The Music Man. Classic musical put
on by Cinnabar Theater Young Rep. Fridays–Sundays. Thru Dec. 4. 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 18, 19, 25 & 26. 2 p.m. on Nov. 26 & 27. $10–$15. Cinnabar
Orchestra Concert. Borodin’s “On
the Steppes of Central Asia,” Brian S. Wilson’s Symphony No. 2, Mahler’s “Songs of a Wayfarer” & Smetana’s “The Moldau.” 7:30 p.m. $8. Sonoma State University. Green Music
#1 local resource for for 25 years local families
Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. sonoma.edu/music.
Saturday 19 FREE Laguna Stewardship Day for Families. Help care for the Laguna & restore critical wildlife habitat. Tasks include planting native plants & trees. Tools & training provided. Work projects: 9–11 a.m. Natural history walk & activities: 11 a.m.–noon. 9 a.m.– noon. Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail. 6303 Hwy. 12, Santa Rosa. FREE International Games Day.
Special family-friendly gaming programs available. 1–3 p.m. Central Santa Rosa Library. 211 E St., Santa Rosa. sonomalibrary.org.
ONE-CLICK GIVEAWAYS! Sign up for our weekly FUN BLAST & enter to win free goodies every week SonomaFamilyLife.com
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November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
FREE Native Stories. Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with Alicia M. Retes, Native storyteller, musician & naturalist. Lively presentations will include interactive stories, Native musical instruments, puppets & songs. Ages 6–11. 2–3 p.m. Windsor Regional Library. 9291 Old Redwood Hwy., Bldg. 100, Windsor. sonomalibrary.org. Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra. 4 p.m. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. srsymphony.org. Star Party. Presentations
on astronomical topics throughout the evening. The observatory’s 3 main telescopes are open for public viewing. 8 p.m. $3. Ages 18 & under: Free. Parking: $8. Robert Ferguson Observatory. 2605 Adobe Canyon Rd., Kenwood. rfo.org. FREE Meditation for Everyone. Learn
the basics. Ages 8 & up. 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Windsor Regional Library. 9291 Old Redwood Hwy., Bldg. 100, Windsor. sonomalibrary.org. Thanksgiving Feast with Snoopy.
Watch the animated classic A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving & enjoy a meal of toast, popcorn & jellybeans. 1–4 p.m. Adults: $12. Ages 62 & up: $8. Ages 4–18: $5. Ages 3 & under: Free. Bring two cans of food to donate to the Redwood Empire Food Bank in exchange for one free child’s admission. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. schulzmuseum.org. FREE Tellabration. Storytelling
performance for adults & teens. Diane Ferlatte, Jacquelyn Lynaugh, Kenneth Foster & Cal Johnson www.sonomafamilylife.com
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Keep the kids busy over winter break with Santa Rosa Rec & Parks
Winter Camp Vertical (Ages 7-12) Winter Gymnastics Camp (Ages 5-12) Winter Day Camp (Ages 6-12) www.santarosarec.com (707) 543-3737
RECREATION & PARKS
The holidays are quickly approaching, so it’s time to get your young actor in the spirit of that special time of year by being part of 6th Street Playhouse's production of A Charlie Brown Christmas! For the first time in Santa Rosa - home of Peanuts creator, Charles Schulz - the Apprentice Company will present this iconic holiday story, in which the entire Peanuts gang discovers the real meaning of Christmas - LIVE!
present a mix of personal, traditional & innovative stories. 7–9 p.m. Glaser Center. 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. dotellstoryswap.org.
Redwood Empire Food Bank will be accepted. 7:30 p.m. $8. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. sonoma.edu/music.
Family Concert by Candlelight.
Performance by Sonoma State University Symphonic Chorus & Chamber Singers. Donations for
FREE Special Build Club Event: Electric Science. Make
powerful connections with circuits, learn
about conductivity & power LEDs with batteries. 4–5 p.m. Sebastopol Regional Library. 7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol. sonomalibrary.org.
Thursday 24 Healdsburg Turkey Trot. 5K
or stroller-friendly 1.5-mile run to raise funds for a scholarship in honor of Drew Esquivel. 8–11 a.m. Registration: $15–$35. Barbieri Brothers Park. 325 Bridle Path, Healdsburg. crowdrise.com/ healdsburgturkeytrot.
Friday 25 Dickens’s Christmas Carol.
Thru Dec. 23. Thursdays: 7:30 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays: 8 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays: 2 p.m. $15–$33. 6th Street Playhouse. 52 W. 6th St., Santa Rosa. 6thstreetplayhouse.com. FREE Healdsburg Downtown Holiday Party. Music, treats & entertainment. Santa arrives at 5 p.m. for photos. 4–8 p.m. Healdsburg Plaza. Center & Plaza Streets, Healdsburg.
Listen to the Stars
taring up at the night sky and listening to music both seem to have the power to connect us to something larger than ourselves. Perhaps in recognition of that shared potential for transcendence, longtime local musicians Jim and Kathy Ocean created Astronaut Lullabies, a live music show at the Santa Rosa Junior College Planetarium in Santa Rosa. Singer/songwriter Jim Ocean and his wife entertain with original folk-rock tunes that weave together the scientific and the spiritual. To get a feel for the concert, check out songs like “Dark Matter” and “Coming of Age in the Milky Way” at jimoceanmusic.com. The show will be held at 3 p.m. on November 6 and December 4. Tickets are $15 or $10 for ages 13 and under, 60 and over, or students with ID. Purchase tickets at eventbrite.com/o/oceanworksproductions-1096640119 or at the door. ¶
Saturday 26 Santa & Mrs. Claus. The Christmas couple will be in their photo studio every weekend thru the holidays. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Montgomery Village. Hwy. 12 at Farmers Ln., Santa Rosa. FREE Santa’s Riverboat Arrival.
11:30 a.m. River Plaza Shopping Center. 72 E. Washington St., Petaluma. visitpetaluma.com.
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
Sunday 27 Vienna Boys Choir. Christmas
concert. 3 p.m. $40–$95. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall & Lawn. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. gmc.sonoma.edu.
with an experienced birding guide. Heavy rain cancels. 8:30–10:30 a.m. Shollenberger Park. 1400 Cader Ln., Petaluma. parks.sonomacounty.ca.gov.
The Holiday Stroll. Festive
It’s confidence for a lifetime!
entertainment, music, treats, discounts at 30 stores. Montgomery Village. Hwy. 12 at Farmers Ln., Santa Rosa. mvshops.com.
• Tumblebug Program for preschool-aged children • Boys & Girls Classes Recreation 6–12 • Tumbling & Tramp Classes
Monday 28 Raising Resilient Children.
Wednesday 30 Winging It Wednesdays. Explore Sonoma County’s birding parklands along wheelchair-accessible routes
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FREE Positive Parenting Program:
Designed to give parents the skills they need to raise confident, healthy children & build stronger family relationships. Registration (online) required. 6–8 p.m. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. cmosc.org.
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The Well Visit Twins Take On Doc and Mom By Cheryl Maguire
It’s going to be easier, right? I try to convince myself of this as Nemo darts by a cave in the fish tank. Even though we are seated in the non-sick section of the waiting area, I feel germs crawling all over me. My twins’ well visit has always been challenging. As babies, they cried the entire time. As toddlers, they sprinted in opposite directions while I attempted to corral them back into the office. As school-aged children, they still dashed out of the room, but their longer legs enabled them to outrun me. Now that they’re older and capable of following directions (most of the time), I’m really hoping for a more mundane experience. Thirty minutes tick by. My positive outlook diminishes. “I’m bored.” “So am I.” “When are we going home?” “Yeah, I wanna leave.” Before I can conjure up a reply, the nurse calls their names, and leads us to a 10- by 12-foot windowless room. At least they can’t escape this space. “Now remember, today you have a new doctor,” I state sternly. “I don’t want another doctor.” “I wanna go home.” “Are we getting shots?” 38 SonomaFamilyLife
My son eyes the door, definitely construing an escape plan. He is infamous for exiting unannounced when the nurse with the needle enters the room. We hear a knock on the door. I feel like saying, “Finally,” but instead I answer, “Come in.” The doctor’s questions begin routinely, but then take an uneasy turn toward
My son is infamous for exiting unannounced when the nurse with the needle enters the room. my parenting techniques (or lack thereof). He vigorously records his observations. “Do they play video games?” “Yes, Minecraft.” “Do you know they kill each other in that game?” asks the doctor. “Yeah, but there isn’t any blood,” my son interjects. We soon become well versed in the evils of Minecraft. That 30-minute wait is starting to make sense.
“Do they watch TV before bedtime?” “No. We read books.” “We watch TV,” my daughter objects. Great, now the doctor thinks I’m lying and letting them watch TV. The doctor glances at all of us and then probably scribbles, “Mother allows violent video games, TV before bed, and is unaware of the dangers of both; felt the need to lie, schedule follow up.” “Do they eat all meals at the kitchen table?” As my daughter would say, “I got this.” I’m fanatical about eating only in the kitchen since I despise cleaning crumbs from the couch. But, I’m guessing he is asking due to some “health” benefit from eating at a table instead of an ottoman. “Yes,” I respond, cautiously staring at my children. “She won’t let us eat in the family room,” my daughter offers with a tattling tone, without realizing she is finally making me sound like a competent parent. “Do they eat green vegetables?”
“Do they watch TV?”
“They like corn.”
“Not really.” They’re too busy playing video games to have time to watch TV.
“I don’t eat corn,” my son protests.
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
What is A Surprise Ball?
Fortunately, the doctor focuses on my inability to answer his question instead of my erroneous response. “No, green vegetables. Do they eat green vegetables?” “Not really.” They aren’t even offered green vegetables since I gave up trying to get them to eat green vegetables years ago. The questions end, and he begins the actual physical examination. Being a stickler for cleanliness, I relax a little. My calm is interrupted with the realization that the doctor is scrutinizing my daughter’s appendage. “Can you take a look at this?” the doctor asks. I almost utter, “gross.” There is a horrible, angry rash all over my daughter’s leg.
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“It looks infected. I am going to prescribe an antibiotic.” He is furiously transcribing for at least five minutes without looking at us. I can only imagine what is going on over there. By the time he is done with this “well visit” he will have an entire book written, a possible bestseller. I’m guessing his note states something along the lines of, “Mother doesn’t understand yellow corn is not a green vegetable, and she is oblivious about proper bathing procedures. Recommend parenting classes, stat.”
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In the next room a baby is crying, most likely getting shots, and I can’t help but feel envious. ¶ This piece was originally published on Parent.co.
Cheryl Maguire’s writing has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Count Your Blessings (Chicken Soup for the Soul, 2009). Find her at Twitter@ CherylMaguire05.
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Cooking with Kids
Love a Latte Perk It Up with Pumpkin
By Carol J. Alexander
his is the time of year when just the word pumpkin makes people swoon. For a holiday morning treat, add pumpkin to a latte. The recipe below uses pumpkin you process yourself, rather than the canned variety. Kids can help you dig out pulp and roast seeds. (Find a recipe for a child-friendly, coffee-free pumpkin “latte” here: allrecipes.com/recipe/179582/ famous-no-coffee-pumpkin-latte.)
Cut your pumpkin in half, remove the seeds and pulp, and set aside for snacking. Peel the skin from the flesh. Compost the skins and cut the pumpkin meat into chunks.
How to Process Pumpkin Begin with choosing a medium-sized cooking pumpkin. (The overly large, jack-o-lantern varieties are more water and seeds than meat; they tend to be stringy inside and are not as sweet.)
You can use the puree instead of canned pumpkin in your favorite pies, muffins, cakes, cookies, and soups. Freeze in quantities suitable for your favorite recipes. (It will keep in the freezer for six to eight months.) Ice cube trays make the perfect container for freezing small amounts for recipes that only use a little at a time.
Wash the pumpkin and remove the stem. Put it on a cookie sheet and place in the oven so that it is centered from top to bottom. Bake at 325°F for about an hour, or until you can insert a fork through the skin. The length of cooking time will vary depending on the size of the pumpkin. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow it to cool. I bake my pumpkins whole because I’m not strong enough to cut them beforehand. After baking, they cut like butter. 42 SonomaFamilyLife
How To Make Pumpkin Puree Place your chunks of pumpkin in a thick-bottomed pot with a few inches of water. Simmer until all the water is cooked out and the volume is about half. Stir frequently to prevent scorching.
Pumpkin-Spice Latte for Two Ingredients 1 ½ cups whole milk 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree 1–2 tablespoons sugar ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 1 cup strong, hot coffee 1 tablespoon half-and-half cream 1 teaspoon vanilla Whipped cream Cinnamon Directions Heat the milk, pumpkin, and sugar until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and add the spice, coffee, cream, and vanilla. Pour into two mugs. Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon. ¶ Carol J. Alexander is the author of Homestead Cooking with Carol: Bountiful Make-ahead Meals (BookBaby, 2014).
What About Those Seeds? To roast the seeds, remove them from the pulp, wash, and dry. Spread on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika. For a sweet flavor, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Or try your favorite popcorn seasoning. Bake at 325°F for about ten minutes or until golden and crispy.
November 2016 www.sonomafamilylife.com
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