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November 2017

Cope with Crisis

Practical tips

Give Thanks 5 cool ways

Kid Coders Free local class #SonomaStrong

15 benefits for fire victims

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November 2017


A Doctor’s ConfessiontotoPetaluma Petaluma Doctor’s Confession

Dear Friend, I wanted Dear Friend,to let everyone know what happened while I was in college. was a I wanted to let everyone know It what moment that changed my life forever. But happened while I was in college. It was a before I tell you about my experience, I moment that changed my life forever. But wanted tellyou youabout my story from the start. before Itotell my experience, I Let me start by explaining the photo wanted to tell you my story from thein start. this letter. amexplaining the guy inthe thephoto middle, Dr Let me startI by in this Taatjes. You when I meet people letter. I am theknow guy in the middle, Dr. Taatjes. in town and theyI usually say, in “Oh yeah, You know when meet people town andI know you, you’re Dr. Taatjes. You’ve been they usually say, “Oh yeah, I know you, you’re on McDowell and Ross for years…” Well, Dr. Taatjes. You’ve been serving the commuthat’s nity forme. twenty-four years! Well that’s me. We years agoinsomething hapareTwenty-six now centrally located our beautiful new pened to me that changed my life forever. office to better serve the community. LetTwenty-seven me tell you my story. years ago something I was studying pre-Med in college, happened to me that changed my lifein hopes of becoming a medical doctor. forever. Let me tell you my story. Things looking up, andinlife was good, Dr. with his sons, Hayden (left) and Henry (right). I waswere studying pre-Med college, in Dr.Taatjes Taatjes with his sons, Hayden (left) and Henry (right). until took a turn for the doctor. worse. hopesthings of becoming a medical whole ball of wax. This exam could cost practic, we don’t add anything to the body I began to looking have terrible back Things were up, and lifeand wasstomgood, you $350 elsewhere. Great care at a great or take anything from it. We find interferach problems. For a young guy, I felt pretty ence but that simply isn’t system the case.and With chirolesser amount for chiropractic. When you until things took a turn for the worse. fee… in the nervous remove it, rotten. Mytoback so badly thatstomach I had a practic, we don’tthe addhealing anything to the body or bring in this article bythere’s November 30, 2017, I began havehurt terrible back and Please, I hope that no misunderthus enhancing capacities of the hard time even in pretty class. rotten. I was body. take anything it. We results…it find interference you will receive my entire new patient exam problems. For aconcentrating young guy, I felt about quality of care, just because We get from tremendous really standing miserable. The in as thesimple nervous $27.a That’s with x-rays, exam, My back hurt so medical badly thatdoctors I had atried hard differtime Ifor have lower exam fee. You’ll getreport great of is as system that. and remove it, thus ent but theyin only made memiserable. feel like I enhancing the healing of thehad body. care findings…the ball of wax. This exam evendrugs, concentrating class. I was at a great whole fee. My qualifications… Here’s what some capacities of my patients was in a “cloud.” I was just not getting Wesay: get tremendous results…it really is as could cost you of $350 elsewhere. College Great care The medical doctors tried different drugs, betbut I’m a graduate Northwestern of to ter. friend of mine convinced give a simple as that. at a great fee… theyAonly made me feel like I wasme in ato“cloud.” Chiropractic who regularly goes to monthly “I have had a problem with migraines chiropractor try. The chiropractor an Here’s whatback some of my patients had Please, I hope that there’s no misunderI was just not agetting better. A friend ofdid mine educational chiropractic seminars. I’ve as well as low pain. Even after seeing exam, tookme some films and then “adjusted” to say: and other health professionals, the standing about quality care, just because convinced to give a chiropractor a try. The doctors been entrusted to take of care of tiny babies toI my spine. The didn’t hurt -- it “I have had a problem with migraines have a lower exam You’ll getI great care at chiropractor didadjustment an exam, took some films neighbors that youfee. may know. just have pains remained. After coming to Dr. Joel, actually felt good. I got relief, and I soon as well as low back pain. Even after seeing a great fee. My qualifications…I’m a graduate and then “adjusted” my spine. The adjustthat low exam fee to help more people who they have helped me tremendously. They was all medication. It worked so well doctors and othermy health professionals, of Northwestern College of Chiropractic who mentoff didn’t hurt — it actually felt good. I got need care. even take away migraines. They’rethe that to become pains remained. regularly goes to monthly educational chirorelief,I decided, and I soonthen wasand off there, all medication. It a My associates, Dr. Rose, Dr. Truong and great!” (Judy E.) After coming to Dr. Joel, chiropractor myself. they“Ihave me tremendously. seminars. take worked so well that I decided, then and there, Ipractic are ready to see I’ve if webeen canentrusted help Our camehelped in pending laser surgery They for Now fora my kids, Hayden and Henry. evenherniated take awaydiscs. my migraines. They’re care of tiny babies to neighbors that you to become chiropractor myself. offices are both friendly and warm andmay we two Over a few months They have been under chiropractic careThey their here great!” know. just have that you low exam to helpWe Now for my kids, Hayden and Henry. try ourI best to make feel atfee home. the(Judy need E.) for surgery subsided, and the entire lives. And, unlike most other in came in pending laser discomfort surgery for with two more apeople who need an exceptional have been under chiropractic care theirkids entire have wonderful service, pain“Ihas subsided to a mild their never thekids “common” herniated discs. Over a few months here My associate, Dr. James Rogers, and I lives. class, And, they unlike mostget other in their fee. Our office is called REDWOOD CHIoccasional morning stiffness. Over all, I childhood illnesses like“common” ear infections, the need surgery the pain are ready to seeand if we help you. Our class, they never get the childhood ROPRACTIC wecan now have two locafeel betterforvisit after subsided, visit. It’sand a gradual asthma In fact, they and haveallerhas subsided to a O.) mild discomfort with ocoffice isOur both friendly warm and we N. illnessesand likeallergies. ear infections, asthma tions. main officeand is located at 1225 process.” (Jaime never taken a drug in their lives. And they casional morning stiffness. Over all, I feel try our best to make you feel at home. gies. In fact, they have never taken a drug in McDowell Blvd., Petaluma, phone number Several times a day patients thank me are 17And and they 18! are now 17 and 19! better visit after gradualproblems. process.” is We763-8910. have wonderful service, at an exceptheirnow lives. Dr. Taatjes would love to help for helping themvisit. with It’s theira health It’s strange strangehow howlife lifeis,is,because becausenow now (Jaime O.) really take credit. tional office is called It’s people But you at fee. this Our location.Our secondREDWOOD location I can’t people to with see me with their back probSeveral a day patients thank me for is CHIROPRACTIC. WeBlvd., are located at 937 come tocome see me their back problems and at 225 N. McDowell Petaluma, Find outtimes for yourself and benefit from lems andproblems. stomach problems. helping them with their health problems. But Lakeville Street Petaluma, and our phone stomach They comeThey to mecome with to with Dr. Truong, and the phone number is an AMAZING OFFER. Look, it shouldn’t me their headaches, chronic cost I can’t really takeand credit. number is 763-8910. Call Alex, Phoebe, theirwith headaches, migraines,migraines, chronic pain, 775-2545. Call Alex, Wendy, or Chauntel you an arm a leg to correct your pain, neck shoulder/arm pain, shoulder/arm pain, whipFindYou out are forgoing yourself and benefit Brendafororan Christine today for neck pain, pain, whiplash from today appointment. We an canappointhelp you. health. to write a check to lash from car asthma, accidents, asthma,numbness allergies,in from an AMAZING OFFER. Look, ment. We can help you. Thank you. car accidents, allergies, Thank you. someone for your health care expenses, you numbness in limbs, athletic just to it shouldn’t youone an for arma and a leg to -Dr. Joel Taatjes limbs, athletic injuries, just toinjuries, name a few. -Dr. Joel Taatjes may as wellcost write lesser amount name a few. correct your health. You are going to write P.S. When When accompanied accompanied by If drugs make people well, then those P.S. by this this ad. firstI Iam amalso for chiropractic. When you bring in this If drugs make people well, then those a check to someone for your health care offering the second family member this who take the most should be the healthiest, also offering the second family membersame this article by July 31, 2012, you will receive who take the most should be the healthiest, expenses, you may as exam well write oneThat’s for a same examination for only examination for$15. only $15. my entire new patient for $27. but that simply isn’t the case. With chirowith x-rays, exam, report of findings…the


November 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 3

November 2017

Every Issue 6

Dear Reader


Crafting with Kids ‘A’ Is for Acorn


Bits and Pieces Santa’s Sweet Ride

10 Features

Sassy Sofas Inspire Young Scribes The Beat Goes On Cash for College

10 Coping with Crisis Healing from wildfire trauma.

12 STEM-sensation Playthings that inspire an interest in science.

Revive Anova Rockers with Heart Bathe in a Forest

16 Calendar of Events Run for Your Supper

14 A World of Thanks Multimedia ways to express gratitude.

24 Ninja Coders A free Petaluma program that teaches kids to code.

26 Thorny Devil Mom A local mom’s hilarious take on enviable animal traits.

4 SonomaFamilyLife


12 November 2017


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Dear Reader


ur hearts go out to our families that have been impacted by the fires in our area. Our office was evacuated for a week during Sharon Gowan the blaze, and we Publisher/Editor watched in shock and disbelief as whole neighborhoods, including the homes of our friends and family, went up in flames. Many area families know only too well the widespread, long-lasting effects of wildfires on local communities. We’re here to help. Please tell us about events, opportunities, and resources that will benefit fire survivors. See our Bits & Pieces section (pages 7–8) and look for the ♥ in our Calendar of Events (page 16) for benefits that are happening this month.

This wildfire was emotionally traumatic for most of us, especially children. Read “Coping with Crisis” (page 10) for practical ways to help your family members release stress and process what has happened to them. Several local therapists are offering a limited number of free sessions to those affected by the fire. Find a list of them on recamft. org, the website of the Redwood Empire Chapter of the California Marriage and Family Therapists Association. As the number one resource for families in Sonoma County for 25 years, we stand ready to help those who are hurting. We believe in our community’s ability to heal. We are #SonomaStrong.

Office Manager Patricia Ramos

Business Marketing Renee Nutcher Warren Kaufman

Features Editor Melissa Chianta

Production Manager Donna Bogener

Web and Social Media

Annual Food & Funds Drive The devastating fires in our region have resulted in an increased need for food and nutrition assistance in our community. The Redwood Empire Food Bank needs your help. Please, give generously.

Give now at

Natalie Bruzon

Contributing Writers Kimberly Blaker Holly Hester Meagan Ruffing Sandi Schwartz

Billing Jan Wasson-Smith

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


we can end hunger. 6 SonomaFamilyLife

(707) 523-7900 | WWW.REFB.ORG

November 2017

Crafting with Kids

‘A’ Is for Acorn 5 Nature-Oriented Thanksgiving Crafts By Meagan Ruffing


all is the perfect time to get your kids outside to collect acorns, pine cones, and sticks for their indoor crafts. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, any of these five simple projects can be proudly displayed on your kitchen table.

An acorn frame is one of the easiest, most fun fall crafts to do. The next time you go out on a walk, have the kids collect acorns in empty yogurt containers. Grab an old frame at a secondhand store and—an adult should do this part— hot glue the acorns all around the frame. Once the acorns are glued on, spray the frame with shellac. Voila! You have a really cool frame that makes a great gift for grandparents, especially if it contains a family photo. An “I am thankful” tree is a wonderful way for the family to contemplate the importance of gratitude. Ask your kids to grab a bunch of long, skinny twigs from outside. Write down things that

your family is thankful for on pieces of paper, tie the notes to the twigs, and then place the twigs in a vase. Before dinner, have each person take a piece of paper off the “tree” and read it. Pinecones can make such pretty centerpieces. Paste glue on cones, and then roll them in glitter spread on a paper plate. After they are decorated, spray the cones with shellac to make sure the glitter stays on them and not all over the house. Display in a bowl or on the fireplace mantel. Handprints are a simple way to preserve your child’s itty-bitty years. Take that precious little hand, place it on a piece of paper, and trace around it with a pencil or crayon. November 2017

Before dinner, have each person take a piece of paper off the gratitude tree and read it. (It’s fun for an older sibling to trace a younger sibling’s hand.) Then turn the tracing into a turkey by drawing a face on the thumb, feathers on the next three fingers, and, finally, a tale on the pinky. Gobble, gobble! Lastly, make a headpiece for your child to wear at dinner. Grab some construction paper, tape, scissors, and feathers. Cut the paper into strips, and then tape them together to make one, continuous piece that is long enough to snugly fit around your child’s head. Decorate the crown with feathers, and place on top of your prince’s or princess’s head. Meagan Ruffing is a parenting journalist who loves making crafts with her three children. Check out more parenting tips and tricks at

SonomaFamilyLife 7

Bits & Pieces

Santa’s Sweet Ride


he Bay Area is a bit of a logistical nightmare for Santa: There’s no snow for his sled. But, being an out-of-the-box kind of thinker, Santa found a way to reach his North Bay kids—the river. See him and his beloved wife float into town at the free Santa’s Riverboat Arrival on November 25, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., at the River Plaza Shopping Center in Petaluma. Live music and other entertainment will keep the crowd happy until Santa arrives at noon. For details, see ¶

Sassy Sofas


ucked away in a little corner of Santa Rosa are a couple of blocks packed with creativity. It’s the SOFA (South A Street) district, home of artists’ studios, galleries, artisanal coffee shops, a hipster restaurant, and Juilliard Park. Never been? Check it out in all its glory at Winterblast. Watch sofas dressed up in crazy decorations parade down the street, catch a glimpse of large puppets and street performers, and listen to live music. The free event will be held on November 18, 5­–9 p.m., in the neighborhood of 312 South A Street. Search Facebook for “SOFA Winterblast” to find out more information. ¶

Inspire Young Scribes


o your kids love words? The Young Authors’ Project can help them develop their writing chops. Geared toward 9–12-year-olds, the series of four free classes will be led by local authors. On November 7, Teri Sloat will teach kids the art of writing fables; on November 10, Cathy Signorelli will help them tackle anxiety about writing; on November 14, Jonathan London will give a talk about his creative process and conduct a workshop; and on November 21, Paige Braddock will show kids how to make a comic strip. Classes will be held 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Sebastopol Regional Library in Sebastopol. The library will create books of the participants’ work that can be taken home. For more information, see ¶ 8 SonomaFamilyLife

The Beat Goes On


he thunderous sounds of taiko drums have resonated through Japanese culture for centuries. Since the 1960s, when America’s first taiko ensemble was formed in San Francisco, taiko groups have been heard in the United States, too. Here in the North Bay, Sonoma County Taiko keeps the tradition alive with a free performance on November 4 at 2 p.m. at the Rohnert Park–Cotati Library in Rohnert Park. See sonomacounty.libcal. com/event/3432870 for more information. ¶

November 2017


Cash for College

f the ever-climbing cost of college tuition freaks you out, you are not alone. Santa Rosa Junior College financial experts aim to help at Paying for College: A Path to College workshop at the Central Santa Rosa Library in Santa Rosa. The bilingual English/Spanish class, which will be held on November 20, 6:30–8 p.m., will provide an overview of the financial aid application process, including the types of aid available and how to apply. Instructors will address participants’ questions about FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the California Dream Act and assist with online applications. Bring your 2016 Federal tax returns if you want to complete the FASFA application online. Also bring a laptop, if you have one, or use one of those provided. See event/3518730 for details. ¶

Soul Section

Revive Anova


hildren with autism took a blow during the firestorm that hit Santa Rosa. Anova, Sonoma County’s only nonprofit school for children on the spectrum, was destroyed in the disastrous blaze. Help it rise from the ashes—and have a good time, too—at a fundraiser featuring the funk and soul music of Soul Section. The concert will be held on November 4 at 8 p.m. at the Redwood Café in Cotati. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased at ¶

Rodrigo Simas

Dave Matthews

Bathe in a Forest Rockers with Heart


usic industry giants are getting together to raise money for the devastated North Bay. Metallica, G-Eazy, and Dave Matthews will all be taking the stage at the Band Together Bay Area benefit on November 9 at 6 p.m. in AT& T Park in San Francisco. Tickets are $69–$321+ and are available via ¶


f you lost your home in the firestorm, Osmosis Day Spa in Freestone would like to help you relax and heal. The spa will be holding a free Sound Healing Ceremony for fire victims on November 9, 8–9 a.m. Following the event, complimentary Cedar Enzyme Footbaths and Forest Bathing Walks will be available to participants on a first come, first served basis. To reserve your spot for either, RSVP at To find out more about forest bathing, see forest-bathing. ¶ November 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 9

Coping with Crisis Help Your Family Heal


ndividuals and families impacted by the Sonoma County Complex Fires may be affected personally regardless of whether you were hurt, lost a loved one, or suffered damage or loss to your property. You can be affected just by witnessing the disaster. It is common to show signs of stress after exposure to a disaster, like the Sonoma County fires and, therefore, it is important to monitor your physical and emotional health. Possible Reactions

Try to identify your early warning signs of stress. Stress usually shows up in the ways listed below, but everyone should check for any unusual stress responses after a disaster or other traumatic event. Here are some of the most common reactions. You may feel: • Anxious or fearful • Overwhelmed by sadness • Angry, especially if the event involved violence • Guilty, even when you had no control over the traumatic event • Heroic, like you can do anything • Like you have too much energy or no energy at all 10 SonomaFamilyLife

• Disconnected, not caring about anything or anyone • Numb, unable to feel either joy or sadness You may have physical reactions, such as: • Stomachaches or diarrhea • Headaches or other physical pains for no clear reason • Eating too much or too little • Sweating or having chills • Tremors (shaking) or muscle twitches • Being jumpy or easily startled Practical Tips for Relieving Stress These stress management activities seem to work well for most people. Use the ones that work for you.

Spend more time with the children than usual, even for a short while. Talk with others who understand and accept how you feel. Reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or faith-based leader to explore what meaning the event may have for you. Connect with other survivors of the disaster or other traumatic events, and share your experience. Move your body. Movement helps the body rid itself of extra stress hormones. Exercise once daily or in smaller amounts throughout the day. Be careful not to lift heavy weights. You can damage your muscles if you have too much adrenaline in your system. If you don’t like to exercise, do something simple such as taking a walk, gently stretching, or meditating. Take deep breaths. Most people can benefit from taking several deep breaths often throughout the day. Deep breathing can move stress out

November 2017

of your body, and help you to calm yourself. It can even help stop a panic attack.

Returning to school activities and getting back to routines at home is important, too.

Listen to music. Music is a way to help your body relax naturally. Play music timed to the breath or to your heartbeat. Create a relaxing playlist for yourself, and listen to it often.

• Excuse traumatized children from chores for a day or two. After that, make sure they have age-appropriate tasks and can participate in a way that makes them feel useful.

Pay attention to your physical self. Make sure to get enough sleep and rest each day. Don’t leave resting for the weekend. Eat healthy meals and snacks, and make sure to drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol, especially in large amounts. Their effects are multiplied under stress and can be harmful.

• Support children spending time with friends or having quiet time to write or create art.

Tips for Talking with Children Preschool Children, 0–5 Years Old • Give these very young children a lot of cuddling and verbal support. • Take a deep breath before holding or picking them up, and focus on them, not the trauma. • Get down to their eye level and speak in a calm, gentle voice using words they can understand. • Tell them that you still care for them and will continue to take care of them so they feel safe. Early Childhood to Adolescence, 6–19 Years Old • Ask your child or the children in your care what worries them and what might help them cope. • Offer comfort with gentle words, a hug when appropriate, or by just being present with them. • Spend more time with the children than usual, even for a short while.

• Encourage children to participate in recreational activities so they can move around and play with others. • Address your own trauma in a healthy way. Do not hit, isolate, abandon, or make fun of children. • Let children know that you care about them. Spend time doing something special; make sure to check on them in a nonintrusive way. ¶

Mourning the Loss of a Pet When a pet dies, it’s common for people to feel as though they’ve lost a member of the family. For children, this is often their first encounter with death. In an attempt to soften the blow, parents sometimes explain the death of a pet in vague ways or skirt the topic altogether. But experts say this just makes things worse by leaving children anxious and mystified. Explaining a pet’s death to children in a clear, respectful manner can go a long way toward making the journey a little less distressful, and at the same time enhance your connection with your child. Reprinted with permission from

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Goobi Construction Sets Kids will learn about magnetism while constructing 3-D structures out of colorful plastic bars, iron balls, and tripods. Children will develop a sense of proportion while improving eye-hand coordination and

Kids can make more than 100 projects, including a burglar alarm, doorbell, and flying saucer. problem-solving skills, and learning the basics of physics, geometry, and architecture. Ages 3+.

STEM-sensation 16 Great Geeky Toys


By Kimberly Blaker

s scientific and technological advancements continue to grow at an exponential rate, it becomes even more important for kids to learn about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). So how do you help your child develop an appreciation for these subjects? Try these fun games, toys, and kits.

Qurious Space This four-in-one family card game teaches kids about the solar system, Milky Way galaxy, and more. Kids will learn simple strategy and creative problem-solving skills while developing vocabulary and enhancing memory. Ages 3+. 12 SonomaFamilyLife

Magformers These magnetic geometric construction kits come in a variety of choices. Kids can build 3-D structures such as houses, pyramids, and balls out of colorful magnetic triangles, diamonds, trapezoids, and squares. Ages 3+.

Lil’ Engineers Engineering Blocks by ETI Toys This box of colorful, differently sized and shaped blocks, screws, nuts, plates, wheels, and connectors will keep kids engrossed for hours. Kids can build 12 different toy designs while developing their motor skills, eye-hand coordination, logical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Ages 3–6. Rainforest Discovery Science Box by Green Kid Crafts This kit embraces kids’ creativity while providing scientific exploration. Kids can conduct a rainforest pollution experiment, create a rain stick, and build a rainforest terrarium, among many other activities. Ages 3–10. Sequence for Kids by Jax In this strategy-building card and board game, the goal is to be the first to place four chips in a row. The challenge is to think strategically and finish before the opponent uses a unicorn card to remove a chip. Ages 4–7. Osmo Genius Kit This kit boasts five games that turn an iPad into

November 2017

contain items such as phototransistors, LEDs, resistors, ICs, DC motors, flying propellers, electromagnets, lamps, switches, and much more. Kids can make more than 100 projects, such as a burglar alarm, doorbell, flying saucer, voice recorder, and an AM radio. Ages 7+.

MuddWatt STEM Kit

Kids use soil and ingredients from the fridge to build a living fuel cell. a hands-on learning experience. Osmo, on the iPad, interacts with every real-live move. The games enhance kids’ visual thinking and creative problem-solving skills and self-expression. Ages 5–12. Rock On! Geology Game by iLaughnLearn Kids explore earth’s geological treasures in this science game, which comes with a nice assortment of rock and mineral specimens. Ages 5+. IQ Fit by SmartGames This travel-sized spatial reasoning and problem-solving game boasts 120 challenges in which kids must fill the board with missing 3-D pieces. Ages 6+. DoughLab STEM Kit: Bake and Learn by Magical Microbes This yummy bread-making kit includes five experiments in which kids discover the perfect recipe and learn about the power of yeast. Ages 6+. Snap Circuits These awardwinning electronics discovery kits

Gravity Maze by ThinkFun Kids use spatial reasoning skills to arrange towers that create a path for a marble to travel. It includes 60 challenge cards ranging from beginner to expert. Ages 8+. MuddWatt STEM Kit: Clean Energy from Mud! by Magical Microbes Kids use soil and ingredients from the fridge to build a living fuel cell. A free app helps measure power and track microbe growth. Ages 8+. Rush Hour by ThinkFun Winner of a national Mensa award, this game of logic sharpens sequential reasoning and planning skills. The goal is to move cars through the puzzle until the red car can escape the traffic jam. There are 40 challenges from beginner to expert. Ages 8+. Big Bag of Science by Be Amazing! Toys Kids use the real scientific tools that are included in the kit to perform more than 70 activities in the areas of chemistry, physics, biology, geology, magnetism, weather, and flight. Ages 8+. Prime Climb by Math for Love Learning to add, subtract, divide, and multiply is a breeze with this award-winning mathematics board game. Ages 10+. ¶ Kimberly Blaker is a lifestyle and parenting freelance writer. Follow her on LinkedIn and Facebook.

November 2017


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SonomaFamilyLife 13


Blogs Last year my son started doing writing assignments on a student blog site. He loves seeing his words online and gets so excited when classmates comment on his posts. Why not set up a family gratitude journal blog (password protected, of course)? You can even involve grandparents and cousins, no matter how far away

Create your own handmade journal or take pictures and use Snapfish or an online slideshow to present the images.

A World of Thanks

they live. Introduce this idea at the Thanksgiving table, and challenge everyone to submit a weekly post throughout the year.

Creative Ways to Express Gratitude

By Sandi Schwartz


re you looking for a way to spice up your Thanksgiving traditions this year? Try keeping a gratitude journal. When we acknowledge the positive moments in our day, no matter how insignificant they may seem, we increase our happiness. This goes for kids, too. Here are five creative ways for your children to express gratitude on Thanksgiving and throughout the year.

14 SonomaFamilyLife


Audio Recordings Children love to hear their own voices, so ask them to record their journals on a phone or iPad. Once you have the recordings, you can post them online for others to listen to. To get really creative, put their words to music and create a song or rap.


Videos As we know, our kids love playing on their iPads and watching videos of themselves. So encourage them to keep a gratitude video log. They can pretend to be reporters on a show where their gratitude is the news of the day. Or they can act out scenes from wonderful moments in their lives. This not only makes being grateful fun, but it also helps kids practice social interactions.

November 2017



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A new school year brings a fresh start—and Mathnasium will help make it a success!


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Drawings Children who are more visual or artistic can draw or paint what they are thankful for. You can put together the artwork in a book organized by month or year.

Ask kids to record their journals on a phone or iPad. Create your own handmade journal, or take pictures and use Snapfish or an online slideshow to present the images.


Collage The great thing about collage is that you do not need to be an art expert to make something beautiful. Instead, you can simply cut out pictures and stick them to a piece of paper, helping your child to develop their motor skills in the process. Try to find images from old magazines that help to convey a message of gratitude. For instance, how about cutting out letters to spell out the word “thank you” and pairing it with a picture of what was received? ¶

a letter to the community from Sonoma County Superintendent Steve Herrington My heart is heavy as I observe the devastating toll the firestorm has taken. Amid the ashes of unthinkable loss and destruction, what shines through is the strength and unity at work in our community. I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the staff working to get schools back up and running, many of whom have lost their own homes in this tragedy. Thank you to custodial staff for providing our students with a clean school environment by replacing air filters, cleaning desks, and power washing school grounds. Thank you to office staff for your diligent record keeping and communication with parents. Thank you to teachers and counselors for adjusting your schedules to provide guidance, comfort, and stability to our children. Thank you to school and district administration for your dedicated leadership and coordination. You all play an essential role in ensuring the success of our students, and you couldn’t be more valuable in these challenging times. For anyone who would like to support our schools during this time of need, please visit With the outpouring of help we’ve already seen, we feel hopeful that Sonoma County schools will come out of this disaster better than ever.

Sandi Schwartz writes on parenting and manages the blog

November 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 15

November Calendar of Events

Run for Your Supper


ant to work up an appetite for your Thanksgiving feast? Get up early and run (or walk) a 5K! You’ll get your chance at the Healdsburg Turkey Trot, which will start at 8 a.m. on November 23 in downtown Healdsburg in front of city hall and finish two blocks away in front of the Healdsburg Running Company on Center Street. Prizes will be awarded to top finishers. Registration is $15–$35. Profits will go toward rebuilding Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino youth sports facilities that were destroyed by wildfires. The Healdsburg Food Pantry will be collecting nonperishable items at the event, too. To register and find out more information, go to ¶

Inn. 4350 Barnes Rd., Santa Rosa.

♥=fire benefit

Wednesday 1

Thursday 2

FREE Día de los Muertos Community Celebration. Food,

drinks, kids’ activities. “Catrina” costumes encouraged. Everyone is invited to place photos on the altar. 6–8 p.m. Sonoma Community Center. 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma. 938-4626. FREE Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County Hope Builder Breakfast. 7:30–8:30 a.m. Vintners

1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa.

Saturday 4

On the Banks of the Tigris. One

♥Anova Fundraiser. Music performed

show only. $22. 7:30 p.m. A reception featuring live Middle Eastern music & Iraqi sweets & mint tea will follow the film. Rialto Cinemas. 6868 McKinley St., Sebastopol.

by the Soul Section, a funk & soul revue. Anova, Sonoma County’s only nonprofit school for children with autism, was destroyed in the fire. $15. 8 p.m. Redwood Café. 8240 Old Redwood Hwy., Cotati. 795-7868.

Friday 3 FREE First Friday Night Sky!

Planetarium show. 7 p.m. Donations accepted. Santa Rosa Junior College.

Sonoma Extra Virgin Festival.

Annual Blessing of the Olives, wine & olive-oil tastings, cooking demos,

3RD 707 585-3748


Birthday & Private Parties Kids Race Camps Video Arcade Fund Raising Black Light Mini-Golf


DECEMBER 2, 9AM-5PM DECEMBER 3, 10AM-4PM Finley Community Center, 2060 W. College Ave. A $3 admission fee gets you in all weekend! 16 SonomaFamilyLife

The Extreiemnece! Exper

RECREATION & PARKS 4601 Redwood Drive, Rohnert Park

November 2017

live music & food & wine. $20 (includes glass of wine). Thru Nov. 5. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. B. R. Cohn Winery. 15000 Sonoma Hwy., Glen Ellen. 800-330-4064, ext. 124. sonoma-extra-virgin-festival. FREE Sonoma County Taiko.

45-minute performance for all ages. 2–2:45 p.m. Rohnert Park–Cotati Regional Library. 6250 Lynne Conde Way, Rohnert Park. 584-9121.

Hair & Skin Care for the Entire Family!

Champagne Hair Lounge

7981 Old Redwood Hwy. • Cotati


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

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

Morning on the Farm. Meet teachers, visit animals & hear stories. Kids under 5 & parents. 9:30–11 a.m. Summerfield Waldorf School. 655 Willowside Rd., Santa Rosa. RSVP: 575-7194, ext. 102. ♥Santa Rosa Symphony: Exhilarating Journey. Featuring

music by Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky & Mendelssohn. $29–$85. Ages 7–17: Free with paid adult ticket. (Open rehearsal at 2 p.m. on Nov 4: $10–$17.) First Responders & all those who lost their homes receive free admission. Call Patron Services for complimentary tickets. Nov. 4: 8 p.m. Nov. 5: 3 p.m. Nov. 6: 8 p.m. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 546-8742.

Sunday 5 ♥Sonoma Strong Benefit Concert.

Poyntlyss Sistars, Gator Nation, Pete Stringfellow, Pride & Joy. BBQ. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Montgomery Village. 911 Village Ct., Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa Doll & Toy Show. Antique,

vintage, modern & miniature dolls, teddies & toys. $6. Ages 12 & under: Free, when accompanied by adult. Proceeds help support the Living Room, a homeless women’s & children’s day shelter. 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Veteran’s Memorial Bldg. 1351 Maple

November 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 17

Ave., Santa Rosa. santarosadollshow. ♥G3 Women’s Conference: Building Resiliency. Focus on yoga/meditation,

mindfulness, balance, authenticity & healing. Benefits the Sonoma Rotary Foundation’s Sonoma Strong fire relief campaign. $125. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sonoma Broadway Farms. 20675 Broadway, Sonoma.

Thursday 9 Where You Go, I Go: The Harrowing Story of a Holocaust Survivor.

Holocaust survivor speaks of his experiences. His message is relevant & pertinent in today’s world. $10–$20. 7 p.m. Hotel Petaluma. 205 Kentucky St., Petaluma. jewishpetalumacom. ♥Band Together Bay Area. A

major fundraising campaign for the North Bay firestorm featuring

Metallica, G-Eazy & Dave Matthews. $69–$321+. 6 p.m. AT&T Park. 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco. ♥FREE Fire Victim Sound Healing Ceremony. 8–9 a.m. After the

ceremony, there will be free Cedar Enzyme Footbaths & Forest Bathing Walks available to fire victims. First come, first served. RSVP: osmosis. com. Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary. 209 Bohemian Hwy., Freestone. Register for sound healing:

Friday 10 ♥Relieve & Rebuild Napa & Sonoma Benefit. Music by “wait what” & DJ

Petros. Open bar. $40. Proceeds go to help fire victims. 9 p.m.–midnight. Oddjob. 1337 Mission St., San Francisco.

Saturday 11 ♥FREE Soft Flex Gallery Open House. Beaded jewelry. Live demos.

Enter to win a door prize by bringing donations (non-perishable food, warm clothes, or money) for fire victims. Nov. 11: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Nov. 12: 11 a.m.–3 p.m. 22678 Broadway, Ste. 1, Santa Rosa. FREE North Bay Veterans Day Parade. Tanks, Corvettes & lots more.

1–3 p.m. Petaluma Blvd., Kentucky St. & Fourth St., Petaluma. ♥#SonomaStrong as #Whiskey Fire Relief Fundraiser. Benefits

Sutter Health Employee Assistance Fund, to support local medical staff who lost their homes & valuables in the wildfires. Live music, BBQ, local wines & beers. $25 includes entry & two beverage vouchers. 2–5 p.m. Alley

Bennett Valley Union School District

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

Consistently high student academic achievement at both schools


Call 542-6272 to sign up

A limited number of interdistrict transfer requests for 2018-19 will be accepted

©P N

Registration for Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten (Kinder Bridge) for 2018-19 School Year begins February 6 & 7

Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport (STS)

Where would you like to go? You can fly direct, connect, and enjoy. Seattle (SEA) - Portland (PDX) - Los Angeles (LAX) Orange County (SNA) - San Diego (SAN) - Phoenix (PHX) San Francisco (SFO) - Minneapolis (MSP)

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 1/16, 1/24, 2/13, 2/21, 3/6, 3/14, 3/18 Strawberry by reservation only 526-4433 Registration Packets available Jan. 9. Children must be five on or before Sept. 1, 2018 to be eligible for kindergarten. Two year Kinder Bridge program offered for children turning five on or after Sept. 2, 2018.

707 542-2201 • Visit us at 18 SonomaFamilyLife

Book your tickets today at:

November 2017

6 Craft Distillery. 401 Grove St. D, Healdsburg.

Sunday 12 FREE Second Sunday Family Fun Series. Face painting, giant

inflatables, family-friendly games & activities, food, drinks, live music & the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter Adoption Wagon. 1–4 p.m. Rohnert Park Community Center. 5401 Synder Ln., Rohnert Park. 588-3456. facebook. com/rpcommunityservices. Preparatory Orchestra & Repertory Orchestra. $5–$15. 3 p.m. Sonoma

Country Day School. Jackson Theater. 4400 Day School Pl., Santa Rosa.

Monday 13 ♥Sloe & Steady Cocktail Competition Benefit. Mini-cocktail

tasters. Vote for your favorite. $10. Benefits Sonoma County Resilience Fund, to help Sonoma County recover & rebuild. 7 p.m. The Drawing Board. 190 Kentucky St., Petaluma.

Tuesday 14 La Belle. Family theater. More than 100 special effects & large-scale puppets tell this magical tale, set on a steamship in 1920. $16–$21. Lap passes for ages 2 & under (only available on day of show): $5. 6:30 p.m. Luther Burbank Center. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. 546-3600.

Thursday 16 Santa Rosa Girls Softball Registration. 7–9 p.m. Walk-in

registration. Round Table Pizza. 550

Montecito Center, Santa Rosa. Sign up online:

Friday 17 FREE Gifts ’n Tyme Holiday Faire.

Highlighting 85 local & regional artists. Nov. 17 & Nov. 18: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Nov. 19: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Napa Valley Expo. 575 Third St., Napa. 925-372-8961. Youth Overnight at the Y. Fun-filled

evening. Breakfast served. 1st–6th graders. $25–$35. Nov. 17, 7 p.m.–Nov. 18, 9 a.m. YMCA. 1111 College Ave., Santa Rosa. 545-9622. ♥Sonoma State University (SSU) Chorus & Symphony Benefit Performance. Proceeds go to the

Redwood Empire Food Bank. $8. 7:30 p.m. SSU. Green Music Center. Weill Hall. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 866-955-6040.


Lil’ Kickers 18moS–7yrs



For more information about our child development programs, visit: Sports City Fun Passes - bundle your classes with attractions at Epicenter:


SKILLS Institute

Non-Stop Fun For Kids ages 4–12

Developmental soccer program for kids ages 5–12

Day camp offered during school breaks and holidays

Available at Epicenter Toddler Area, Ballistics Mega Play Structure, Rockin’ Jump

Santa Rosa (at Epicenter), 3215 Coffey Lane � Cotati, 6700 Stony Point Road �

November 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 19

♥North Bay Resiliency: A Fire Benefit Show & Silent Auction.

♥Tim Flannery & the Lunatic Fringe.

Live performances & silent auction. $15–$45. 6:30–11 p.m. Key Tea. 921 C. St., San Rafael. The Little Mermaid. Play performed

by Santa Rosa Junior College theater arts students. Ages 6 & up. $12–$22. Nov. 17–18, 24–25 & 30: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18–19, Nov. 25–26: 1:30 p.m. Maria Carrillo High School Theatre. 6975 Montecito Blvd., Santa Rosa. 527-4307.

Saturday 18 FREE Winterblast. Join

us for the SOFA neighborhood’s annual street festival. Food, family entertainment, live music, large-scale puppets, parade of decorated sofas & art. 5–9:30 p.m. 312 South A St., Santa Rosa.

Bring donations of gift cards, new & unused sheets, blankets, or pillows & receive a raffle ticket to win prizes. Portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Redwood Credit Union Community Fund. $30. 4:30–9 p.m. New Vintage Church. 3300 Sonoma Ave., Santa Rosa. FREE Springfield Annual Harvest Craft Faire. Jewelry, handmade

FREE Lighting of the Historic Sonoma Plaza. 8 acres of 100,000+

sparkling lights. Transcendence Theatre Company will perform a musical holiday tribute. Free hot cider, hot chocolate & cookies. 5–8 p.m. Sonoma Plaza, Sonoma. 996-1090. FREE Holidays Along the Farm Trails. Most stops are free. Maps

crafts & homemade treats. 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Springfield Place Retirement Community. 101 Ely Blvd. S., Petaluma. 769-3300.

available on website. No pets. Begins Nov. 18 & 19. Runs Saturdays & Sundays thru Jan. 1, 2018. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Various locations in Petaluma. 837-8896.

FREE Holiday Craft Faire. Domestic

Sonoma County Roller Derby.

& handmade crafts from local vendors. Baked goodies, homemade jams & honey. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Petaluma United Methodist Church. 410 D St., Petaluma.

Live DJ, announcers & half-time show. $5–$15. Parking: $8–$10. 5 p.m. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Grace Pavilion. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa.



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 2018-19 school year begins January 16th, 2018. School tour on February 6th, 2018 at 9 a.m.

Fun Exercise Chinese Language Make new friends! Authentic Kung Fu Training • Chinese Painting Acrobatics • Games & Fun Activities

Week long session January 1st–5th

Call 528-5011 to schedule a tour with our Principal

(707) 528-5011

211 Ridgway Avenue, Santa Rosa

20 SonomaFamilyLife

707-338-2233 • 1880 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa

November 2017

Open Cockpit. Get

an inside view of a genuine fighter plane, attack plane & helicopter. $5–$10. Ages 6 & under: Free. Military: Free with ID. Max $30 per family. Nov. 18 & 19. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Pacific Coast Air Museum. 1 Air Museum Way, Santa Rosa. 575-7900. pacificcoast


Sunday 19 Stone Creek Zen Center Children’s Program. Every 3rd Sunday. Parents join the community for meditation while kids gather outside. Ages 5 & under must be accompanied by parent. Suggested donation per family: $10–$20. RSVP requested: 829-1129. 10–11:30 a.m. 2999 Bowen St., Graton. FREE Tree Lighting Ceremony. Children 12 & under can make an ornament to hang on the tree. 5–7 p.m. beginning Nov. 25. 2200 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. 778-7452.

Monday 20 FREE Parenting Thru Positive Discipline. Interactive

class will discuss parenting challenges & teach some


Infant, toddler, preschool & big kid classes. Piano & Ukulele too!

Sonoma County Children’s Music 867 Third Street • Santa Rosa (707) 527-7900 Enroll now at

IT’S IT’SAA SLUMBER SLUMBER PARTY PARTYAT ATTHE THEYY Grab Grabyour yoursleeping sleepingbags bagsand andget getready readyfor foraaslumber slumberparty partyatat the theY.Y.Every Every3rd 3rdFriday Fridayof ofthe themonth, month,kids kidsare areinvited invitedto to sleep sleepover overatatthe theYYand andparticipate participateininaaFUN FUNfilled filledevening eveningof of swimming, swimming,games, games,movies, movies,crafts craftsand andmore! more!Snacks Snacksand and breakfast breakfastare areserved! served!



Nov. Nov.17th 17th- -Space Spaceisisthe thePlace Place Dec. Dec.15th 15th- -Holiday HolidayHoopla Hoopla Jan. Jan.19th 19th- - Rainforest RainforestRage Rage Feb. Feb.16th 16th- - Hooray Hoorayfor forHearts Hearts Mar. Mar.16th 16th- -Search Searchfor forGold! Gold! Apr. Apr.20th 20th- -Spring SpringFling Fling May May18th 18th- -Super SuperHeroes Heroes

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Facility FacilityMember Member$20 $20 Program ProgramMember Member$25 $25 Non-Members Non-Members$35 $35

FOR FORMORE MOREINFORMATION INFORMATIONCALL CALL707-544-1829 707-544-1829 Sonoma SonomaCounty CountyFamily FamilyYY 1111 1111College CollegeAvenue Avenue Santa SantaRosa Rosa 707-545-9622 707-545-9622  The TheYYisisaanon-profit non-profitcommunity communitybased basedorganization. organization.

November 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 21

tools to help overcome them. 6:30–8 p.m. Sebastopol Regional Library. 7140 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol. Registration required. FREE Paying for College: A Path to College Workshop. Overview

by fires. When closing out your tab, state how much you’d like to donate & it will be matched. $10–$40. 6–9 p.m. Wine Down. 685 Folsom St., San Francisco.

Thursday 23

Friday 24

FREE Thanksgiving Dinner. 3 p.m.

of the types of aid available & how to apply. 6:30–8 p.m. Central Santa Rosa Library. 211 E. St., Santa Rosa. 545-0831.

Sonoma Veterans Memorial Hall. 126 First St. W., Sonoma. 938-4626.

♥Wine Down for a Cause. Support

♥Healdsburg Turkey Trot. 5K run/

undocumented immigrants affected

$15–$35. Benefits fire victims. The Food Pantry will be onsite to collect donations of non-perishable food. 8 a.m. Vine & North Streets, Healdsburg. events/healdsburg-turkey-trot.

Cirque de Boheme. Old-style

circus based on the French tradition of the 1920s. $22–$30. Thru Nov. 26. Nov 24 & 25: 1 p.m., 3 p.m. & 5 p.m. Nov. 26: 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. Cornerstone. 23570 Arnold Dr., Sonoma.

walk thru downtown Healdsburg.

FREE Holiday Arts & Crafts Faire.

Cross & Crown Lutheran School


20% OFF Any regular priced meal

732 E. Washington Street Petaluma • (707) 762-4095

REGISTER NOW FOR 2018-19 (707) 795-7863

The Christmas couple will be in their

♥Santa & Mrs. Claus.

Preschool license #490100475

B Mî `ƒ

Call for details

Ask About Our Premium Wine Storage

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

Nominate Guardians for Minors Wills & Revocable Living Trusts Powers of Attorney Meet at Your Home FREE Consultation

Evening & Weekend Appointments Available

6001 Commerce Blvd. Rohnert Park

22 SonomaFamilyLife

FREE Santa’s River Boat Arrival.

Enjoy live entertainment while waiting for Santa & Mrs. Claus to arrive by tugboat. 11 a.m.–2 p.m. River Plaza Shopping Center. Washington St., Petaluma.

CCLS - PSP Private Satellite Program K-6th

Free Month

Saturday 25

2 - 5 years Preschool Jr. Kindergarten – Kindergarten 1st through 6th Grade

Mention this ad for


Thru Nov. 25. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Rohnert Park Community Center. 5401 Synder Ln., Rohnert Park. 588-3456.


EXPRESSWAY STORAGE Mention this ad for:

50% off for the first 12 months

Maria Grace Wilson, Attorney at Law

November 2017

photo studio every weekend thru the holidays. Proceeds benefit the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County. Saturdays & Sundays. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Montgomery Village. 911 Village Ct., Santa Rosa. 545-3844.


FREE The North Pole Connection.

The Lan Mart Building is hosting Santa. Take photos & enjoy treats. Call for times. Saturdays & Sundays thru Christmas. 35 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. 762-5804.

Thursday 30 Light Up a Life Chicken Dinner.

Proceeds benefit the relocation of the Petaluma Hospice annual tree lighting. $20. 4–8 p.m. 2105 S. McDowell Blvd. Ext., Petaluma.


The Art of Academic Excellence Twin Hills Middle School 6-8

A safe, small country school with high academic and elective standards. Teachers focus on character development and lifelong learning habits. We offer a challenging high school prep environment. Electives: Culinary arts • Dance • Spanish • Music • Art • Photoshop • Video editing • Technology MATHEMATICS ENGLISH • SCIENCE CREATIVE ARTS ATHLETICS • HISTORY

Music is Medicine

Creative Outlets for Fire Recovery


In support of our community recovering from the trauma of the wildfires, kids need an outlet, a positive focus, and community to heal. We have instruments, just register and join the fun! No commitment required.

Are you ready for a challenge? 707.823.7446

700 Watertrough Rd. Sebastopol, CA, 707.823.6278

Charter Middle 6-8

4775 Sonoma Highway • Santa Rosa • (707) 230-6100 Learn more at

November 2017

SonomaFamilyLife 23


Ninja Coders

Play-Well LEGO B-Day Parties We bring the party to you! Mention Family Life for $25 off your next party!

Throughout Sonoma county! 510-289-9909 •

Got Art? We Do!!!

CoderDojo Makes Technology Accessible to Kids

Painting • Drawing Cartooning Mask Making Glass Staining Silk Painting Wood Burning Mosaic • Clay

Celebrating 26 Years

CoderDojo classes teach kids how to code using basic programs like Scratch and JavaScript and then move on to more complex lessons. There’s even some gamified learning, in the form of Code Combat, thrown in for fun.

She chose to hold classes at a library because “it is a quintessential American public resource. And it’s important for people to understand that libraries are more than places that we get books,” she continues. “Libraries are living, breathing organisms.” Stump finds volunteer software developers and academics to teach the classes, which are free.

Mom of two and owner of Maker Petaluma, Candace Stump, cofounded the nonprofit program with her husband, Barry, a software architect, and John Crowley, co-owner of Aqus Cafe, in an effort to demystify the world of technology for kids.

“These guys can show up having had a whole day of hands-on experience with this stuff, and then they can mentor kids who are interested in that material,” she says.

“My dad was a computer science professor so I always grew up…. playing with [computers]. They weren’t magical and they weren’t oracles or anything, they were just things you played with,” Stump says.

“When we started…we had maybe 15 kids. … Last year we had 90 people on the waiting list,” Stump says.

Stump wanted to teach lessons in a communal environment where students could develop soft skills, including the ability to share ideas and learn from each other, and accept another’s point of view gracefully. Because “if you don’t know how to do any of that, you aren’t going to get anywhere in the professional world,” she says. 24 SonomaFamilyLife

Since it’s inception two and a half years ago, CoderDojo has grown in popularity.

With so much interest, a new dojo, at the Rincon Valley Library in Santa Rosa, is being formed. Stump is looking for new volunteers to teach at it. Contact her at if you are interested. And go to to find out how to register your child for CoderDojo classes. ¶

Classes • Camps Birthday Parties 5435 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park • 285-2002



alk into the Petaluma Library on a Wednesday afternoon, and you’ll hear a quiet chorus of fingers tapping keyboards, the sound of kids learning coding at CoderDojo.

All ages & riders welcome!


Visit us at

MARK WEST STABLES (707) 538-2000

2017 Introductory Special


Lessons Grooming Camps Pony Rides & More!

for your next birthday party!

Have an adventure party! 433-8102 egfencing

November 2017

Classified Marketplace Lessons




Educating the Whole Child


We can help! 




At The Reach School

TK-3rd Grades Play • Creative Arts • Nature Activities

487 Watertrough Road • Sebastopol 707-790-9968

Sign up online for our weekly enews featuring the best family friendly weekend events.


Kinder & Preschool 3-6 yrs.

Part Time /Full Time Care

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: Health & Flexible Nutrition, Motor Skills, Plans Available

Nutrition, Relationships, Motor Skills,Self Interpersonal Montessori In Motion: 3–6 yrs. Health & Serving 2-5 year olds Relationships, Self Confidence, and Cognitive & Children’s Circle: 2.5–3.5+ yrs. Interpersonal Academic Skills. & Confidence, and Cognitive KinderClub: 3–5 yrs. PRICING &

 Paternity and Child Support  Order Establishment   Payment Collection Services   Payment Tracking and     Accounting   Child Support Modification   

Now Enrolling

Academic Skills. REGISTRATION:


707.544.1829 & Health & Nutrition, Motor Skil REGISTRATION: Interpersonal Relationships, S Register at the Parks and Recreation Office

YMCA Program Office The Y isConfidence, a non-profit community based organization. and Cognitive 9291 Old Redwood Hwy., Bldg. 300D 707.544.1829 Financial Assistance is available. 838-1260 • Academic Skills. The Y is a non-profit community based organization. Financial Assistance is available.

Sonoma County   Child Support Services  3725 Westwind Blvd., Ste 200  Santa Rosa, CA 95403  

Program of First United Methodist Church

Get Mom’s Attention!

Diane: 546-7012

Year-round • Play based Ages 2 - 5 (Pre-Kindergarten) Excellent Teacher-Child ratios Open 7am-6pm

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2427 Professional Dr. • Santa Rosa Near Steele Lane & Hwy 101


The Bridge School. Located in Central Santa Rosa, 1625 Franklin Ave. Year-round full/half–day. Rich nurturing environment. Center based program for ages 3–5 with separate 2’s program. Caring, qualified teachers. Julie & Andrew Day; owners. Lic.#493005697. 575-7959.

for 25 years

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un FBlast! Weekend

Montessori in Motion & More!

SANTA ROSA 2590 PINER RD. Serving 2-5 year olds


The Garden Art Studio After School Program

Part Time2590 /Full Time Care PINER RD. Flexible Plans Part TimeAvailable /Full Time Care Flexible Plans Available Serving 2-5 year olds

#1 local resource for local families magazine • web • email • events November 2017

Playtime Daycare/Preschool Join our loving family. Spacious playroom, large yard, meals provided. CPR & first aid certified. M-F. Infants & up. Call Wendy 539-7524. Lic. #04746.

SonomaFamilyLife 25

Humor Break

Thorny Devil Mom

6 Animal Qualities I Wish I Had

By Holly Hester


eing a mom requires a lot of special qualities. Kindness, love, understanding, strength, courage, and blah, blah, blah... . I get it. We all get we’re supposed to act like Hallmark cards every day. And I do try my best to embody the qualities necessary for raising healthy humans. But sometimes I’d love it if I could borrow some qualities from the animal kingdom.

out of her butt was not only cool, but hilarious. 5. Alpine Ibex These wild goats can climb near vertical walls, a very helpful skill for when your kid gets stuck up a slide or in a tube maze or ball pit. I’m not sure the Alpine Ibex can climb in a skirt, but I bet any mom could. 6. Turritopsis Jellyfish This creature is nearly immortal. When it gets old it dives to the sea floor and folds in upon itself. Then it reverts back to its “polyp” stage and begins life anew.

1. The African Pixie Frog can hibernate in a water-soluble mucous sac for years. I don’t think I’d like to hide in a mucous sac for years, but hiding in a mucous sac for an afternoon might be nice. Do I have enough room in my mucous sac to bring magazines and a latte? 2. Axolotl Axolotls are underwater salamanders that can not only re-grow their limbs, but also regenerate complex organs such as their hearts and brains. After having three kids, I’d certainly love to regenerate my mommy brain as well as most of my female parts and my butt. 3. The Thorny Devil This cute little lizard drinks with its skin. What a great mom-quality that would be! You know how many drinks have been spilled on 26 SonomaFamilyLife

I’m not sure the Alpine Ibex can climb in a skirt, but I bet any mom could. me over the years? I could have Slurpees, apple juice, chocolate milk, and smoothies all sucked up right through my jeans. Yum! 4. Bombardier Beetle These beetles spray a boiling-hot liquid out of their butts when they’re threatened. This quality would make going to the park a lot more interesting. Plus, my kids (especially my boys) would think having a mom that can shoot a super-heated noxious chemical

This, by far, might be the most helpful animal quality for a mom. Often times I feel completely dead at night, but in the morning I don’t feel brand new. I just wake up feeling slightly less dead. Wouldn’t it be great to not just wake up, but wake up totally alive for the first time? Maybe it’s the sea floor part we’re missing. Perhaps Hammacher Schlemmer could make a sea floor moms could dive to every night. But until then, I guess I’ll just have to take some Tylenol PM and dream of being more like an animal than a Hallmark card. ¶ Holly Hester lives in Sebastopol and writes about life on her blog, Riot Ranch. Find her book, Escape from Ugly Mom Island!, on Amazon.

November 2017

give Extended Holiday Shopping Hours Beginning November 24 Monday - Saturday 9am - 9 pm • Sunday 9am to 6pm Christmas Eve • 9am to 5pm Christmas Day • Closed Tuesday, December 26 • 9am to 6pm


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Santa and Mrs. Claus Beginning Saturday, November 25, 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 26 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 for event details.


Light Up A Life Thursday, December 7 • 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 communtiy.

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Chanukah Festival Sunday, December 17 • 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.

The Secret Santa Marathon Wednesday, 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.

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Sonoma Family Life November 2017

Sc nov17 issuu  

Sonoma Family Life November 2017