Sonoma Family Life January 2022

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January 2022

Private Schools Your local guide

Family Fitness Be a role model

Food Science Salt experiment

Penny Pinchin’ How to save $$$


Virtual Camp Fair COMING SOON


FIND YOUR PERFECT CAMP! WWW.SONOMAFAMILYLIFE.COM Camps: Want to exhibit? Contact Patty for more info. • 707-205-1539



September 2021

Special Needs 7 apps for kids

GrandDiva Rockin’ grandmother

Tutor Time Get help Chore Magic Make it fun


JAN. 10, FEB. 16, MAR. 14, APR. 11 SPACE IS LIMITED CALL (707-542-6272) TO RESERVE A SPOT


Don’t Miss Out on Our Weekly Fun Blast POINTERS & TIPS, LOCAL GOINGS-ON, & GIVEAWAYS!


TK-Third 2250 Mesquite Drive, Santa Rosa 707 542-6272

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

Children must be five on or before Sept. 1, 2022 to be eligible for kindergarten. Two-year Kinder Bridge program offered for children turning five on or after Sept. 2, 2022.


Their future begins with a great education. Online Registration for One- & Two-Year Kindergarten for Santa Rosa City Schools begins on January 11, 2022 for the 2022-23 school year Albert F. Biella, Brook Hill, Luther Burbank/Learning House, Hidden Valley, Helen Lehman, Abraham Lincoln, James Monroe, Proctor Terrace, Steele Lane, SR Charter School for the Arts, SR French-American Charter, Cesar Chavez Language Academy

For information and a link to register: Need help? Contact your school.

Before- and after-school day care at selected sites. Register early; classes fill quickly!

January 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 3

January 2022

Every Issue

10 Features 10 The Private School Advantage Small class size is just one of many benefits.

12 Private School Guide The scoop on 24 local institutions.

16 Family Fitness How to get the kids motivated to move.


Dear Reader


Cooking with Kids Go for Greek


Bits and Pieces Surf & Slurp Gershwin for Kids The Big Think

18 Penny Pinchin’ Simple and easy ways to save money.

20 Trees, Birds & Zzzs How nature can help children sleep.


What’s in a Face? Sketch a Tree Magazine Magic

24 Calendar of Events 30 Humor Break

22 The Great Salt Experiment

Joey’s Parenting Pointers

A science lesson—served with a side of green beans.

8 7 4 SonomaFamilyLife

January 2022

More time to explore Expanded hours for all libraries Starting: January 3, 2022

Mon. Thu. Fri. Sat. 10 am to 6 pm Tue. Wed. 10 am to 8 am Sundays

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUTH VACCINES Clinics hosted in partnership between County of Sonoma, Sonoma County Office of Education, and local school districts

at Central Santa Rosa

1 pm to 5 pm Learn more at

Online access 24/7

Parents, guardians, and youth interested to learn more about the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine are encouraged to visit our website

COVID-19 vaccine clinics are currently available at school sites around Sonoma County for students ages 5+ and their families

Foster a teen or tween.

(707) 565 - 4274

w w w. S o n o m a F o s t e r C a r e . o r g January 2022



Contact us to find out if YOU would make a great foster parent.



The whole family will love her.

SonomaFamilyLife 5

Dear Reader


s 2022 begins, we know your thoughts may turn to your children’s Sharon Gowan Publisher/Editor education. This issue is dedicated to helping your family find the best learning environment for your child. For starters, check out “The Private School Advantage” (page 10), which explores the particular benefits that private schools provide—from small classes to specialized extracurricular activities. Then turn to our Sonoma County Private School Guide (page 12) for information

on 24 top educational institutions in our area. Forget the massive Google search; we provide all the basic details you need in one place. Besides education, all of us often find ourselves pondering money and food at this time of year. The holiday season undoubtedly brought a lot of spending and eating. Let this issue help you get back in balance. Check out “Family Fitness” (page 16) for advice on getting the whole family moving. And then turn to “Penny Pinchin’” (page 18) for savvy tips on saving cash. Happy New Year!

Marketing/ Sales/Events Patricia Ramos 707-205-1539

Features Editor Melissa Chianta

Production Manager Donna Bogener

Contributing Writers America’s Test Kitchen Jessica Guerrieri Janeen Lewis Pam Moore Karen Nochimowski Sandi Schwartz


Put Your Faith To Work

Teachers and Staff Needed

Jan Wasson-Smith

Publishing Office P.O. Box 351 Philo, CA 95466 (707) 205 1539

Catholic Schools Need You!


Learn more at or email 6 SonomaFamilyLife

January 2022

Cooking with Kids

Go for Greek

A Healthy Meal in Less Than an Hour By Momma Chef


cannot take credit for this amazing recipe; I owe my fabulous sister-in-law kudos for this dish. She made it once and my entire family requests it when we go over to their house for dinner. This Greek chicken is delicious! It’s simple enough that your kids will love it—even the picky eaters—and elegant enough that you can serve it for a dinner party.

This article originally appeared on It has been reprinted here with permission.

Karen Nochimowski, aka Momma Chef, is a mother of three active boys (ages 12, 8, and 5). On her blog,, find more of her recipes, all of which require no more than six ingredients and six minutes of prep time.

Simple and Delicious Healthy Greek Chicken Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes Total time: 50 minutes Serves: 6 Ingredients • juice of 2 lemons (or 1/3 cup lemon juice) • 1/3 cup olive oil • 1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley divided in half • 2 teaspoons Lawry’s seasoning salt • 2–3 pounds bone-in chicken • 3 cloves garlic, chopped Instructions 1. Mix lemon juice, oil, ½ cup chopped parsley, and seasoning salt in a bowl. 2. Place chicken evenly around the pan with skin side up and pour ¾ of the marinade over the chicken.

January 2022

3. Add the chopped garlic. 4. Bake uncovered at 400°F for 45 minutes. 5. After placing the chicken on a serving dish, pour the remaining marinade over the chicken and sprinkle with ½ cup chopped parsley.

Tips 1. The best way to easily squeeze lemons is to cut them in half and throw them in the microwave for 30 seconds. The lemon will be easier to squeeze when warm. 2. If you like a crispy skin, broil the chicken for the last 5 minutes until skin browns.

SonomaFamilyLife 7

Bits & Pieces

Surf & Slurp


ots of people know Bodega Bay as the place where Hitchcock filmed The Birds. But, besides its cinematic history, the sleepy seaside town is known for its culinary offerings, specifically clam chowder. During the annual Chowder Day, attendees drive around Bodega Bay and sip restaurants’ steaming samples of the soup, casting their vote for People’s Choice. The competition will be held on January 29, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Tickets are $15 and available via ¶

Chowder Day

Gershwin for Kids


ombining theater with orchestral music, Gershwin’s Magic Key teaches families about the life of a great American composer. Here’s the set up: George Gershwin meets a newspaper boy on the streets of New York City. Together they explore the melting pot of American music and unlock the boy’s own musical potential. As the plot unfolds, the Santa Rosa Symphony plays 20 of Gershwin’s greatest hits—“I Got Rhythm,” “Rhapsody in Blue,” and “Summertime,” to name a few. The concert will be held on January 23 at 3 p.m. at Weill Hall in the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park. Tickets are $10–$20. Masks and proof of vaccination are required for audience members ages five and older. For COVID policy details, and to purchase tickets, go to Get 50 percent off tickets purchased on January 5–7 only; use coupon code SAVE50. ¶

The Big Think


an physics be fun? The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County believes so. At its weekly Big Thinkers class, staff members use experiments and art projects to make scientific concepts not only accessible, but also entertaining. The hour-long class, geared toward ages seven and older, is held on Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. at the museum in Santa Rosa. It’s free with admission ($2–$14 or free for babies 0–11 months). Find out more at ¶ Big Thinkers

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January 2022

What’s in a Face?


Portrait by Tami Tsark (left); Tsark (right)

Sketch a Tree


uring the rainy season, Santa Rosa’s Taylor Mountain Park turns emerald green, with cows lumbering through meadows and oaks reaching for the sky. On January 23, the pastoral scene will serve as the setting for Sonoma County Regional Parks’ Nature Journaling with Families class, at which kids and adults will learn techniques for recording their observations of trees, mosses, bark, and lichen. The class will be held 1–2:30 p.m. and costs $10–$12. Purchase tickets at ¶

yes, nose, mouth—it takes skill to draw a face. And artist Tami Tsark aims to help her students learn how to do it. Her Drawn from Life Portrait Workshop will show participants how to not only construct a face, but also how to implement key components to create expressive portraits. The two-hour Charles M. Schulz Museum class will meet via Zoom on January 8, 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m., and costs $20. Sign up at drawn-from-life-portrait-workshop. ¶

Taylor Mountain Park

Magazine Magic


hey like to hang out in the corners of living rooms and bedrooms: dusty piles of old magazines. But before the urge to de-clutter completely takes over, consider this: Magazines can be used to make art. Just ask the folks running Recycled Art with Magazines. The outdoor workshop, part of Sonoma County Regional Parks’ Gettin’ Crafty in Nature for Teens series, will be held on January 6, 4–5:30 p.m., at Andy’s Unity Park in Santa Rosa. It costs $16–$18 plus $7 for parking. Register at ¶

January 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 9

SEL curricula. Social-emotional learning (SEL) gives children the skills to manage their own emotions so that they can ultimately make better decisions and be better citizens. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, it’s based on five core competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

The Private School Advantage 4 Benefits for Students

By Pam Moore


rom the moment our kids are born, we’re tasked with deciding what’s best for them. All that decision-making can be exhausting. So we caught up with experts in the field of education to help you make an informed decision about one of the most important choices of all: your child’s education. We asked why parents should consider private school. Here’s what they had to say. Smaller Classes One of the greatest strengths of any private school is smaller class sizes. Smaller classes ensure each child is being met where they are at and encouraged to meet their potential. “Every child is known and loved in a safe environment that is more conducive to learning by way of smaller class sizes, more challenging curriculum, and more individualized attention and teaching,” noted Holly Peterson, a Catholic school principal. 10 SonomaFamilyLife

Meanwhile, in the age of information, it’s becoming increasingly more important to give children the skills to think for themselves when consuming social and news media. According to Peterson, who has over three decades of experience in education, “Small class sizes and individualized instruction give students the ability to become critical thinkers.” Social-Emotional Learning Many private schools emphasize

And data show it’s effective. According to a 2011 meta-analysis published in Child Development, students who were exposed to school-based SEL curricula demonstrated notable improvements in social and emotional

“The community and level of parental involvement in private schools is very special.”—Tom Mecsey skills and behaviors as well as improved academic performance. Meanwhile, a 2017 Society for Research in Child Development study showed that children who participated in school-based SEL programs had higher graduation rates and safer sexual behavior than their peers, even 18 years post-intervention. Extracurricular Opportunities Oftentimes, parents gravitate toward private education because of the extracurricular activities it offers. Because private schools tend to specialize in specific areas (e.g. math and science or the arts), students get to enjoy more specialized afterschool activities. That said, private school can also offer opportunities for a wide range of extracurriculars. According

January 2022

to Susan Boyle, the director of admissions and marketing at a private school, the chance to expose kids to a wide array of experiences, starting at a young age, is a key advantage of private school. Community One of the top reasons many parents choose a private school is the strong community it offers. According to Tom Mecsey, a Catholic school principal, “The community and level of parental involvement

One of the greatest strengths of any private school is smaller class sizes. in private schools is very special. Families who choose this option often have a lot in common, as they have made an intentional decision to send their child to a particular school (often for similar reasons) rather than base it on a neighborhood, etc.” Meanwhile, he says, that enhanced sense of community deepens children’s learning experiences. “We have found that there tends to be greater parental interest and involvement in the day-to-day activities of their children. This, in turn, fosters greater communication,” Mecsey explained. “The communication between school and home enables the school to be more responsive to students’ needs.” ¶ Pam Moore is an award-winning freelance health and fitness writer, occupational therapist, and certified personal trainer. She’s also the host of the Real Fit podcast. To get her free guide to crushing Impostor Syndrome visit

Elevating Excellence for All

Enroll Online (TK–8) Academic Excellence Enrichment & More

Successful Distance Learning & Homeschool programs (707) 829-4570

CASTLE Preschool & Child Care Park Side School (K–4) Brook Haven School (5–8) January 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 11

2022 Sonoma County Private School Guide SCHOOL




Healdsburg School


$15,900– $16,400

33 Healdsburg Ave. H, Healdsburg 433-4847 •

Rio Lindo Adventist Academy



3200 Rio Lindo Ave., Healdsburg 431-5100 •

Saint John the Baptist Catholic School



217 Fitch St., Healdsburg 433-2758 •

Harvest Christian School



3700 Lakeville Hwy., Petaluma 763-2954 •

Saint Vincent de Paul Elementary School



246 Howard St., Petaluma 762-6426 •

Saint Vincent de Paul High School



849 Keokuk St., Petaluma 763-1032 •

Spring Hill Montessori

18 mos.– grade 8


825 Middlefield Dr., Petaluma 763-9222 •


Call for tuition

5475 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park 795-7863 •



Rohnert Park Cross & Crown Lutheran Church & School *2020-2021 rates

Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade Emphasizing the 8 Core Virtues & Excellent Academics

Developing Global Awareness & An Appreciation of One's Inherent Spiritual Wisdom


12 SonomaFamilyLife

Kindness Fairness Integrity Trustworthiness Respect Humility Citizenship Filial Piety Enroll Today!

707.468.1138 (Boys) 707.468.3896 (Girls) Oddball Imaging Studio

January 2022

2022 Sonoma County Private School Guide SCHOOL




Brush Creek Montessori



1569 Brush Creek Rd., Santa Rosa 539-7980 •

Cardinal Newman High School



50 Ursuline Rd., Santa Rosa 546-6470 •

Quest Forward Academy



1500 Farmers Ln., Santa Rosa 387-1663 • academy/santa-rosa

Redwood Adventist Academy


Call for tuition

385 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa 545-1697 •

Saint Eugene’s Cathedral School



300 Farmers Ln., Santa Rosa 545-7252 •

Saint Rose Catholic School



4300 Old Redwood Hwy., Santa Rosa 545-0379 •

Sonoma Academy


$48,000– $49,600*

2500 Farmers Ln., Santa Rosa 545-1770 •

Sonoma Country Day School


Call for tuition

4400 Day School Pl., Santa Rosa 284-3200 •

Summerfield Waldorf School & Farm



655 Willowside Rd., Santa Rosa 575-7194 •

Santa Rosa



Every day our kindergarteners are out in the woods exploring, learning, and playing for about two hours. They gain gross motor skills, develop hand-eye coordination and better balance, as well as problem solving and critical thinking skills. OUTDOOR SCHOOL PROGRAM FOR K-8 STUDENTS LEARN A SECOND LANGUAGE

Learn more at:


385 Mark West Springs Rd, Santa Rosa 545-1697

January 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 13

2022 Sonoma County Private School Guide SCHOOL






4585 Badger Rd., Santa Rosa 539-1486 •



1782 Pleasant Hill Rd., Sebastopol 823-5868 •

Presentation School



20872 Broadway, Sonoma 935-0122.

Saint Francis Solano Catholic School



342 W. Napa St., Sonoma 996-4994 •

SoloQuest School & Learning Center



414 W. Napa St., Sonoma 939-1133 •


Call for tuition

10285 Starr Rd., Windsor 838-3757 •



4026 Maher St., Napa 255-0950 •

Santa Rosa Victory Christian Academy Sebastopol Pleasant Hill Christian School Sonoma

Windsor Windsor Christian Academy NAPA COUNTY Justin-Siena High School *2020-2021 rates

Join Our Community Apple Blossom Elementary School

Our mission is to nurture our students’ creative and critical thinking, academic proficiency, global awareness, appreciation for diversity and respect for themselves and others in a continually changing technological world.

Grade levels: K-5 • Small class sizes: TK-3 average 20 and grades 4 & 5 average 26 Interactive, project-based learning • On-site pre-school Before and after-school care ART, MUSIC, GARDENING, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & PHYSICAL EDUCATION

The Art of Academic Excellence 707.823.1041

14 SonomaFamilyLife

700 Watertrough Rd. Sebastopol, CA, 707.823.6278

January 2022

Grounded in Christ. Ready for the World.

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.

NOW ENROLLING TK-12th Grades | Private | Accredited • Christ-focused • Music / Band / Art • P.E. / CIF Sports • Student Council • Weekly Chapels • Traditional Academics

Electives: Culinary arts • Dance • Spanish • Music • Art • Photoshop • Video editing • Technology MATHEMATICS ENGLISH • SCIENCE CREATIVE ARTS ATHLETICS • HISTORY

Are you ready for a challenge? 707.823.7446

700 Watertrough Rd. Sebastopol, CA, 707.823.6278

Charter Middle 6-8

Contact us for a tour (707) 539-1486 | 4585 Badger Rd., Santa Rosa |

Elementary Co-Hort Learning Group Led by credentialed teacher Mon–Fri 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. After-care offered until 6 p.m.

Alternative educational choices for children

•Outdoor education classroom • Individual curriculum • Field trips • Unique art program • Farm animal care • Weekly riding lessons • Archery, swimming & much more Parent-directed program gives your child an enriching and unique experience in uncertain times.

McDonald Ranch, Inc. 3295 Guerneville Rd., Santa Rosa Call 707-583-6711 with your questions or visit

January 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 15

you are jogging to your favorite upbeat music or socializing with friends on the tennis court, your mind is distracted and you can just have a good time. Makes sleeping easier. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can also improve how we sleep. This is great news for those suffering from insomnia due to stress and anxiety.

Family Fitness How to Be a Good Role Model

By Sandi Schwartz


taying fit is critical to our health and well-being, including our mental health and happiness. We can help shape our children’s views on exercise by modeling healthy behavior and making fitness a fun part of our family’s daily routine.

Exercise Reduces Stress Experts have found a clear link between exercise and stress reduction. Exercise… Produces endorphins. When we exercise, our body releases feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. These chemicals in our brain act as natural painkillers, making us feel better and less stressed. Endorphins are responsible for the natural high we get from a hard workout. Reduces stress hormones. Exercise reduces the level of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, helping us feel calmer. 16 SonomaFamilyLife

Minimizes fatigue. Exercise improves blood flow and our body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently. These changes in our brain then reduce fatigue and improve alertness, concentration, and cognitive function. Improves self-esteem. When we gain strength and begin to see a difference in our body, we feel better about ourselves and become happier and more confident. Provides a fun distraction. One of the best parts about exercise is that it gives us time to take a fun break from daily stressors. Whether

Encourages mindfulness. A great bonus of exercise is that it provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy a mindful moment. While we

Experts have found a clear link between exercise and stress reduction. work out, we can fully engage in the present moment instead of letting our mind run wild with worries. To get the best result, experts suggest doing rhythmic activities that engage the whole body, such as running, walking, swimming, dancing, rowing, or climbing. Be a Good Role Model It’s so important that we play actively with our kids and that we consistently exercise in front of them (and sometimes with them) to show them how important physical fitness is. From going on family bike rides to coaching one of their sports teams, there are so many helpful ways to be fitness role models to children throughout their lives. Here are some more ideas to get you moving: Go for a hike outdoors. Not only are walks and hikes wonderful, safe

January 2022

exercise that the entire family can enjoy, they are also an opportunity to connect to the calming beauty of nature. To add some fun to your family hikes, turn them into a race or scavenger hunt, or venture to new parks and trails in your area and while on vacation. Take a yoga class together. Yoga offers so many incredible benefits, including balance and strength training, time for inner focus, and an opportunity to connect with our bodies in ways we aren’t used to. Sign up for a yoga class that you can take with your kids (Sonoma County Library offers online yoga classes for youth and adults), or pop in a video or load an app so you can do some yoga

together in your living room, or better yet in your backyard. Make exercise a priority even in bad weather. Show your kids that you still go on your morning run even if it’s not sunny outside.

It’s so important that we play actively with our kids. On days when it’s cold or rainy, set up your fitness routine indoors and get your kids involved. Put on a workout video and have them join in. There are also lots of fun ways to use your indoor space to get everyone moving. Some of the easiest exercises to perform indoors include

jumping rope and calisthenics such as push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks. Or put on some peppy music and play freeze dance or have a hula-hoop contest. Before you know it, you will all be working up a sweat! Give sports-related gifts. Another way to make fitness a priority in your home is to choose gifts such as workout clothes, sports equipment, and how-to books about sports. Or buy tickets to a sporting event and cheer on your team together. ¶ Sandi Schwartz is an author, journalist, and mother of two. She has written extensively about parenting, wellness, and environmental issues. Her new book, Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer, comes out in the spring. Learn more at

Karate is the BEST thing you can DO for Your Child!

Give your child the BEST start to life there is! to be eligible to per form in our June Danc e Showc a se!

Dancers will feel like pop-culture royalty as they walk the red carpet and learn epic dances to their favorite songs!

Get 2 Weeks of FREE Lessons and a FREE uniform 50% Off Enrollment for a Limited Time

“My daughter has grown so much in her confidence and willingness to step forward and help. For someone who is only 4 years old she has more courage and confidence than some adults.” —Justin Overshiner, Rosie age 4, Santa Rosa Your child will develop supreme confidence, incredible self-control, laser sharp focus, exceptional fitness, rock solid self-respect, improved grades, and relief from pandemic stress.

Call Now (707) 575-1681

or visit our website Shotokan Karate Leadership School®

8465 Old Redwood Hwy. Windsor (707) 292-4002 •

At the corner of Marlow and Piner Roads

January 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 17

Let someone else grocery shop for you. Shopping online for curbside pick-up saves time, stops impulse buys, and allows you to keep a running total of your purchases. If you go over your budget, uncheck unnecessary items before finalizing your order. Most groceries have waived pick-up fees during the pandemic. If your store has not waived the fee, then use coupons on grocery items to help fray the cost of pick-up.

Penny Pinchin’ 15 Creative Ways to Save This Year

By Janeen Lewis


aving money should be simple, right? Spend less than you earn, and save what’s left. If only it felt that easy.

Saving money requires the endurance of running a financial marathon, when most of us like to sprint. Whether you’ve lost wages during the pandemic, or saving money is a new goal, here are some out-of-the box ideas to help. Barter. Are you good at baking and decorating birthday cakes? Maybe you know someone who takes professional quality photos. Trade services with a friend and save. Also consider participating in a time bank, where everyone’s time and skills are of equal value. There is one operating in Sebastopol: sebastopolarea. Hold a swap party. Organize a swap party online or in your home and get items you need for free. Decide on a theme. Be clear about 18 SonomaFamilyLife

how to rate the condition of items and how many items each guest contributes. Send a list of items and agree on socially distanced ways to make exchanges. Find missing money. You could be missing money and not even know it. For example, if you moved and a utility company owed you a deposit and couldn’t contact you, the money went into an unclaimed property fund. To learn more or to search your name for missing money, go to unclaimed-money or Be a cherry picker. Try some Buy One Get One free items (BOGOs). When cherry picking, buy the sales items but save other shopping for less expensive stores.

Look on YouTube for some DIY, fix-it tutorials. Make restaurant-quality food at home. Dining out is a budget blower. Invest in a virtual cooking class, check out online cooking tutorials, or ask a friend who is a good cook for recipes. Give up the ghost. Standby power, or phantom power, is energy that household appliances and other electronic items use when they are off but plugged in. Items with digital displays and computers with monitors and printers can be standby-power hogs. Unplug everything at night for a month. Monitor the electric bill for a difference. For more information, visit Stop flushing money down the toilet! The bathroom is where the largest percentage of water is used in most American homes. The average toilet guzzles up to five gallons of water compared to the 1.3 gallons used by high-efficiency tanks. Also, opt for low-flow showerheads and faucets. For more information on water consumption, go to and look for the WaterSense logo, or to calculate individual household water consumption, go to the

January 2022

Water Consumption Calculator at Round up savings. Trick yourself into saving money. Round up to the next dollar when you record a check. At the end of the month, you’ll have a surplus. Your banking institution may offer this feature, or there are round-up apps. Start a “kick it” jar. Unhealthy habits and shopping addictions, such as smoking or buying dozens of expensive shoes, are costly. Start a “kick it” jar. When the urge to splurge strikes, put money in the jar. As you see the money grow, so will your resolve to kick the habit. Keep the change. Collect loose change in a jar at the end of the day. Saving a mere 50 cents a day will

add up to almost $200 annually. Get the family involved and save to pay off a debt or make a fun purchase. Calculate your time. When you consider purchasing a non-essential item, calculate how many hours you

Unplug everything at night for a month. Monitor the electric bill for a difference. have to work to pay for it. Is your time worth the purchase? Be a Dollar Tree hugger. Dollar Tree has party items, school and office supplies, craft supplies, seasonal decorations, over-the-counter medications, and

plastic containers for less than other discount stores. YouTube it. Leaky toilet? Car repair? Look on YouTube for some DIY, fix-it tutorials. Even if you can’t fix it in the end, you’ll gain knowledge that will help you make the thriftiest choices when hiring help. Embrace a giving spirit. This sounds counterintuitive to saving, but even when a bankroll is at its lowest, giving to someone whose needs are greater than yours helps grow an appreciation for what you have. Giving to others is also a motivator to save more so you can help others more. ¶ For nine years, writer Janeen Lewis was a stay-at-home mom who tested money-saving ideas.

COME DANCE WITH US! Sonoma County's Award -winning dance studio!

Classes for toddlers, kids, teens & adults

Contemporary - Jazz - Tap - Hip Hop Ballet - Musical Theatre - Acro Enroll now to participate in our

SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS NEEDED! Now Accepting Applications

June show performances!

707-575-8277 56 W. 6th St. Santa Rosa

• Paid job training. • Part-time. • Health benefits. • CalPERS retirement. • Winter & Spring Breaks off. • Summers optional. • Paid sick leave, holidays, & vacations.


CALL NOW 707-206-9988 367 West Robles Avenue, Santa Rosa •

January 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 19

brown, taupe, and gray—manifest an organic, earthy feeling that warms up a space. Of course, many types of animals bring joy and peace to children. Hang photographs and artwork of animals, especially animals in their natural environment; choose furniture containing animal motifs, or paint an animal mural on the wall.

Trees, Birds & Zzzs Getting in Touch with Nature Help Kids Sleep By Sandi Schwartz


aving trouble getting your kids to sleep soundly? The bedtime battle is a real struggle for many families. It can help to use nature to create a calming bedroom space where your children can relax, unwind, and fall asleep easily without any fuss. Here are some ways you can incorporate nature into your family’s bedtime routine.

Nature Bedroom Décor Consider hanging images of nature, such as trees or birds, on bedroom walls to create a tranquil atmosphere. Try choosing art that features patterns found in clouds, leaves, tree branches, flowers, shells, and feathers. Scientists have found these naturally occurring patterns—called fractals—are aesthetically pleasing 20 SonomaFamilyLife

and help reduce stress. Next, let nature inform the colors used in the kids’ bedrooms. According to color psychology experts, blue calms the mind and body, minimizes feelings of anxiety and aggression, and creates a sense of well-being. Meanwhile, green promotes serenity and is associated with wellness and healing. Neutral colors—tan, beige, ecru, cream, light

When we step outdoors and mindfully listen to nature, we often feel renewed. Nature Sounds Some sounds are clearly more relaxing than others. When we step outdoors and mindfully listen to nature, we often feel renewed. By the same token, playing recordings of nature sounds— birdsong, wind, rain, ocean waves, and trickling water—in kids’ bedrooms can reduce stress and anxiety, and also mask disruptive noises like traffic or airplanes. The best nature sounds are those that provide a sense of natural space and mimic the biorhythms of an ecosystem like a forest. Loud screeching and croaking are just not going to result in the same sense of calm as the slow, rhythmic whooshing of running water or an ocean. So, stock up on nature music CDs or download some apps to help your kids relax at night. You can even record your own nature sounds the next time you go on a hike or to the beach. Nature Meditation Another way to get your kids ready to doze off is to try nature meditation. These visualizations use the

January 2022

imagination to engage one or more of the senses. Here’s a simple one to try: Ask your children to close their eyes and visualize the different colors of a rainbow. You can ask them to think about how each color smells, tastes, and feels. Another idea is to have them paint a nature scene in their mind, such as a sunset or jungle. If you need some guidance, search online for nature meditations, including Green Child Magazine’s guided meditations for kids. Nature Stories Every child loves a good story before bedtime. As it turns out, reading is the best way to relax, according to a United Kingdom research study. Reading is a healthy distraction; as kids focus on listening to or reading

the words, they feel calmer. Books also help our kids escape from the present moment into a world of imagination. A young reader can be so

place they are listening to or reading about. With positive, colorful imagery swirling around in their minds, they are more likely to get a good night’s sleep.

Playing recordings of nature sounds in kids’ bedrooms can reduce stress and anxiety.

Poetry can also do a wonderful job conveying the soothing experience of being in nature. Consider reading the work of famous nature poets such as Robert Frost and John Keats, or look for children’s nature-poetry books, including Handsprings by Douglas Florian or National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry by J. Patrick Lewis. ¶

engrossed in a story that they go into a meditative state—great for dozing off. Additionally, bedtime stories bring you closer to your children, helping them feel safe and secure. Nature-related tales are the perfect choice for bedtime. Kids can think about and visualize the beauty of the garden, beach, or other whimsical


WE LOVE TO DANCE AND YOU CAN TOO! The Keenan School works to bring the fun and joy of traditional Irish dance to all! From the age of 3 to the teen years, dancers of all levels of interest and experience have a place here.

“Where children learn to play and play to learn” Monthly parent education classes! Ages 2–5 years We are passionate about providing a supportive atmosphere of discovery, joy, and creativity where children learn about the world around them through social interaction and hands-on learning.

707-546-7330 2095 Franklin Ave • Santa Rosa

PLEASE CALL FOR COMPLIMENTARY CLASS 326 Petaluma Blvd. North • 542-1367

Sandi Schwartz is an author, journalist, and mother of two. Find out about her new book, Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer, at

license number: 490100275

January 2022

SonomaFamilyLife 21

3. While water heats, make 2 masking tape labels. Use marker to write “Salted” on 1 label and “Unsalted” on second label. Stick labels on opposite ends of serving platter. 4. Add 8 ounces green beans to boiling water in saucepan. Return to boil and cook for 10 minutes.

The Great Salt Experiment Green Beans Teach Kids About Science By America’s Test Kitchen


oes boiling green beans in salty water change the way they cook? The way they taste? This experiment gives you the answer—and a side dish to eat! Total time: 1 hour Materials 2 quarts plus 2 quarts water, measured separately Large saucepan Masking tape Marker Serving platter 8 ounces plus 8 ounces green beans, measured separately, ends trimmed Large bowl Ice Colander 22 SonomaFamilyLife

Dish towel ¼ cup table salt 1 plate per taster 1 fork per taster Let’s Go! 1. Make a prediction. Do you think green beans cooked in salty water and green beans cooked in plain water will look the same or different? Will they taste the same or different? Why do you think so? 2. Add 2 quarts water to large saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat.

5. While green beans cook, fill large bowl halfway with ice and cold water. (This is called an ice bath.) Place colander in sink. When beans are ready, carefully drain beans in colander (ask an adult for help). 6. Immediately transfer drained beans to ice bath. Let sit until no longer warm to touch, about 1 minute. Drain beans well. Transfer beans to dish towel and pat dry. Then transfer beans to side of serving platter labeled “Unsalted.” 7. Add remaining 2 quarts water to now-empty saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat. Add ¼ cup salt and remaining 8 ounces green beans to boiling water in saucepan. Bring to boil and cook for 6 minutes. 8. While salted beans cook, return colander to sink and make second ice bath in now-empty large bowl. 9. When salted green beans are ready, carefully drain beans in colander (ask an adult for help). Immediately transfer drained beans to ice bath. Let sit until no longer warm to touch, about 1 minute. Drain beans well. Transfer beans to dish towel and pat dry. Then transfer to side of serving platter labeled “Salted.” 10. Observe your results. Invite your family and friends to join you for a taste test—don’t’ tell

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them the difference between the green beans until after they taste! First, have everyone observe the two types of green beans. Then, have everyone taste a few of each type of bean. Have tasters keep their thoughts to themselves until everyone has observed and tasted. Ask tasters: •How would you describe the color of each type of green bean? •How would you describe the flavor and texture of each type of green bean? •Do the two types of green beans taste the same or different? Understanding Your Results (Don’t read until you’ve completed the experiment!)

The Big Ideas • Cooking the green beans in salty water seasons the beans inside and out thanks to a process called diffusion. • The longer green vegetables cook, the duller their green color becomes. • Green beans turn tender more quickly when they’re cooked in salty water, which helps them keep their bright-green color.

Whoa! In the Recipe Lab, the green beans we cooked in salted water cooked in almost half the time–and stayed bright green!—compared to the beans we cooked in plain water. Plus, the saltwater beans tasted more seasoned and, well, green-beany. What about yours? As vegetables cook, they become more tender and easier to chew, partly because the “glue” that holds

plant cells together (called pectin) gets weaker. But something else happens as green vegetables heat up—they start to lose their bright green color. And the longer they cook, the duller and more drab their

Invite your family and friends to join you for a taste test. color becomes. Salt to the rescue! Adding all that salt to the cooking water is like pressing fast-forward on cooking the green beans. Salt weakens the pectin in green beans. This causes the green beans to become tender much more quickly. And less time in hot water means that these beans lose only a tiny bit of their bright green color. Cooking green beans in salty water also seasons them, inside and out! Tiny molecules and ions, like the salt dissolved in the boiling water, naturally move from places where there are lots of them (the salty water) to places where there are few of them (the inside of a green bean). This process is called diffusion (“di-FEW-shun”). As the green beans cook in the salty water, some of the dissolved salt moves from the water into the green beans. This makes the beans taste what we call “seasoned.” (Even though you added ¼ cup of salt to the water, only a tiny amount makes its way inside the beans.) The extra bit of seasoning brings out the flavor of the green beans. Thank you, salt! ¶ Reprinted, with permission, from The Complete Cookbook for Young Scientists by America’s Test Kitchen (2021),

January 2022


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SonomaFamilyLife 23

January Monday 3 Museum Mondays for Little Ones.

Ages 1–5. Before 11 a.m.: $7 per child & free for up to 2 adults per child. After 11 a.m. regular admission applies ($5–$12 or free for ages 3 & younger). Mondays. 10 a.m.–noon. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. Mud Lab. Create mud sculptures

& “cook” with mud. Smocks provided. $11–$14. Babies 0–11 mos.: free. Mondays. 2–3 p.m. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa.

Tuesday 4 FREE Virtual Pride Club for Teens. Teens discuss books & other

media that showcase queer voices & experiences. Ages 13–18. Sponsored by

24 SonomaFamilyLife

Calendar of Events

the Sonoma County Library. Tuesdays. 4–5 p.m. Registration required: tinyurl. com/2p8z66fb. FREE Spanish Conversation for Beginners. Practice Spanish conversation skills with facilitator & each other. Intended for beginners; intermediate learners are welcome. Tuesdays. 6:30–7:45 p.m. tinyurl. com/2s3969nf. Email Amy at for the Zoom link.

Wednesday 5 FREE Lawyers in the Library. Free

legal information & referrals to local lawyers. Sign-ups are first come, first served. Consultations are 20 minutes max. First Wednesday of each month. 5–7 p.m. Sign-ups begin at 4:30 p.m. or call 707-565-2668.

FREE Dial a Story! Call 707-755-2050 to listen to a recording of children’s librarians reading storybooks. For ages 0–5. Available in Spanish & English. Wednesdays. 10–11 a.m. FREE Zoom Bilingual Family Storytime / Hora de cuentos bilingües para familias on Zoom.

For ages 0–5 years. Stories read in Spanish & English. 10:30–11 a.m. Registration required: tinyurl. com/2p8w46kd. Big Thinkers Class. For ages 7 & older. Staff members use experiments & art projects to illustrate scientific concepts. Class is free with admission: $11–$14 or free for babies 0–11 mos. Wednesdays. 2:30–3:30 p.m. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa.

January 2022

Thursday 6 FREE Girl Scout Cookie Decorating Event. For girls in Rohnert Park,

Cotati & Penngrove areas. New Troop 10472 is forming in the area. Learn about Girl Scout opportunities while decorating cookies. COVID-19 guidelines followed. 5–6 p.m. The Girl Scout Hut. 295 Santa Alicia Dr., Rohnert Park. Registration required:

50% offets tick

Recycled Art with Magazines.

Outdoor workshop. Part of the Gettin’ Crafty in Nature for Teens series. $16–$18. Parking is $7 or free for Regional Parks members. 4–5:30 p.m. Andy Lopez Unity Park. 3399 Moorland Ave., Santa Rosa. Registration required: tinyurl. com/2p8d6a8w. FREE Storytime in the Children’s Garden. For ages 3 mos.–5 yrs.

Thursdays: 10:15–10:45 a.m. Petaluma Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. Registration required:

Friday 7 Toddler Time. For toddlers 10–24

mos. Admission: $11–$14 or free for babies 0–11 mos. Fridays. 10–11 a.m. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa.

Gershwin’s Magic Key Sunday, January 23 – 3 pm Weill Hall, Green Music Center Bobby Rogers, conductor Classical Kids Live!

Save 50% Jan 5,6 , 7 only! Use coupon code: SAVE50

Tickets: $10/adult ; $5/youth Regular pr ice: $20/adult; $1 0/youth (7 07) 546-8742

Cyrano: A Play with Music. Classic

tale of unrequited love. Onstage bluegrass music performed by the Rivertown Skifflers. $25–$35. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required; masks must be worn at all times. Fridays & Saturdays: 7:30 p.m. Sundays: 2 p.m. Runs thru Jan. 16. Cinnabar Theater. 3333 Petaluma Blvd.

Sponsored by The Alan and Susan Seidenfeld Charitable Trust, and Victor and Karen Trione

See for current COVID protocols. Offer details: 72-hour discount applies to this Jan 23 performance only, and is valid beginning January 5, 2022, at 12:00 am to January 7, 2022, at 11:59 pm. Youth prices valid through 12 years of age. Does not apply to previous purchases. Ticket fees apply. Other restrictions may apply. Program, prices, date and artists subject to change.

January 2022

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N., Petaluma. Purchase tickets at: Winter Lights Rink.

Drought-conscious synthetic rink uses no water but functions just like a conventional rink. Tickets start at $8.50. 45-minute sessions. Jan. 7–9. Old Courthouse Square. 600 4th St., Santa Rosa. Tickets: yxxn9d3c.

$10–$12/session. Spring Lake Regional Park. 393 Violetti Rd., Santa Rosa. Register: FREE BiblioBus. Sonoma County

Library’s new mobile library features a small collection of English & Spanish books for all ages, free Wi-Fi & more. Noon–3 p.m. Mitote Food Park. 665 Sebastopol Rd., Santa Rosa. tinyurl. com/ycyvbvas.

& Saturdays: 7:30 p.m. Sundays: 2 p.m. Show runs thru Jan. 23. Raven Performing Arts Theater. 115 N. St., Healdsburg. Tickets: jyzuzzch.

Saturday 15 FREE Santa Rosa Creek Clean-Up.

Drawn from Life Portrait Workshop.

The Complete Works of William

Artist Tami Tsark will teach the rules of facial features & proportion in this online class. $20. 9:30–11:30 a.m. Register:

Shakespeare (Abridged). A

Volunteers will choose various walking routes along the creek based on where the trash is. Bring a facemask, gloves, water & other supplies. 9–11 a.m. Olive Park. 105 Orange St., Santa Rosa.

comedic play that summaries all of Shakespeare’s works, using reenactments & audience participation. $10–$25. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required; masks must be worn at all times. Thursdays, Fridays

Frozen Frenzy. Immersive ice experience. Bubble snow, ice painting, arctic games & more. Free with museum admission ($11–$14 or free for 0–11 months). 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Children’s Museum of Sonoma

Saturday 8

Thursday 13

Science Saturdays. For ages 6–12.

Make wildflower seed balls. Two sessions: 11 a.m.–noon & 1–2 p.m.

A Thousand Years of Craftsmanship. Exclusive Offer For Readers •

Kamikoto Kanpeki Japanese steel knife set (would-be-retail price of $1,295).

The 1000/3000 Kamikoto Toishi whetstone (sold for $210).

Together for just $255 with free shipping.

Only available at

Kamikoto 神箏 ショールーム Limited is a Japanese company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Company Registration Number: 10104-01-131210

26 SonomaFamilyLife

January 2022

County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa.

It's a New Year, Try Something New! Classes for Tots to Seniors

Little Parkies. For ages 4–6. Exploratory walkabouts in the park, hands-on learning, nature-based games & unique crafts to take home. $15–$17 per family (up to 4 people). Parking is $7 or free for Regional Parks members. 9 a.m.–noon. Cloverdale River Park. 31820 McCray Rd., Santa Rosa. Register: tinyurl. com/3tm3uyp4.

Plus, start training for the St. Patrick's Day 5K!

Monday 17 707-543-3737

FREE Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Help clean up park.

Tools, gloves, materials & lunch provided. 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Andy’s Unity Park. 3399 Moorland Ave., Santa Rosa. Registration required: tinyurl. com/2p8n35ye.

Tuesday 18 FREE Zoom Earthquake Preparedness & Response Presentation. Learn how to prepare


for an earthquake & what to do during & after a quake. Presented by Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies (COPE) of Windsor. 6 p.m. Register:

Thursday 20 Girls Leadership: Girl & Grown-Up Workshop. Facilitated series of 4 workshops for girls ages 4–9 & their grown-ups that addresses key social-emotional skills. Price per girl/ adult pair: $100 for series or $25/ session. Jan. 20 & 27 & Feb. 3 & 10: 5–5:45 p.m. OR Jan. 22 & 29 & Feb. 5 & 12: 8:15–9 a.m. Register: tinyurl. com/3ceasbc8.

FIND YOUR FLOW. At the Y, you’ll find countless opportunities to get moving and experience the joy of better health. All it takes is one first step.


Find Your Y at: Sonoma County Family YMCA 1111 College Ave. SR · 707-545-9622 ·

if recruit a friend to join

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SonomaFamilyLife 27

Friday 21 New Century Chamber Orchestra.

Works from the mid-20th century, including Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite. $25–$85. 7:30 p.m. Green Music Center. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Tickets: The Price Is Right Live. The hit

interactive stage show that gives eligible individuals the chance to “Come on down!” to win. $37–$55. 8 p.m. Luther Burbank Center. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. Tickets:

Saturday 22 FREE Whale Watching Adventure. 2-mile round-trip hike.

Event: free. Parking: $7 or free for Regional Parks members. Two sessions: 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. 1:30–3 p.m. Gualala Point Regional Park. 42401 Hwy. 1, Gualala. Registration required: FREE International All Breed Dog Show. All breeds, including many

rare breeds, shown at this 2-day conformation-style dog show. Jan. 22: 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m. Jan. 23: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Hall of Flowers. 1350 Bennett Valley

Rd., Santa Rosa. sonomacountyfair. com/events.php#January.

Sunday 23 Classical Kids Live! Gershwin’s Magic Key. A newspaper boy & American composer George Gershwin meet by chance on the streets of New York City. The boy explores the vast melting pot of American music & unlocks his own musical potential as the Santa Rosa Symphony plays 20 of Gershwin’s greatest hits. $10–$20. 3 p.m. Green Music Center. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Tickets: Nature Journaling for Families.

Learn techniques for recording observations of trees, mosses, bark & lichen. $10–$12. Parking: $7 or free for Regional Parks members. 1–2:30 p.m. Taylor Mountain Park (Kawana Terr. entrance). 2080 Kawana Terr., Santa Rosa. Register: tinyurl. com/2mp36knm.

Feb. 5. Runs thru Feb. 20. 6th Street Playhouse. 52 W. 6th St., Santa Rosa. Tickets:

Saturday 29 LumaCon: A Comic Convention for Youth. Cosplay, LARPing, panels,

crafts, art & gaming room. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Petaluma Community Center. 320 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma. Tickets available beginning Jan. 3 at Annual Chowder Day. Sample

chowder at Bodega Bay restaurants & vote for the best. This is a driving event. 10 a.m.–3 p.m. $15. All tickets must be purchased in advance:

Thursday 27 Hair. The American tribal-love rock musical provides an affectionate look at the flower children of the 1960s. $24–$35. Jan. 27 (preview): 7:30 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays: 7:30 p.m. Sundays: 2 p.m. Plus 2 p.m. on

Like Us On Facebook SonomaFamilyLifeMagazine Find critical COVID-19 info plus lots of free kid-friendly activities. 28 SonomaFamilyLife

January 2022




Humor Break they’re hungry or sleeping when they’re tired, talk therapy would grow obsolete and the divorce rate would plummet. For my birthday weekend, I went to San Francisco. Since I’ve come home, I’ve been reminded of why I needed a break from my kids. Not only have they struggled to perform previously mastered basic tasks, such as sleeping, eating, and getting dressed, but also the very act of existing seems to be an enormous ask.

Joey’s Parenting ‘Friends’ Nails Pointers Life with Kids By Jessica Guerrieri


s a mother, I am often reminded of the Halloween party episode of Friends in which a newly pregnant Rachel is poorly navigating the demands of naughty trick-or-treaters. Joey tries to calm her nerves. Rachel: I am awful with children.

Joey: You’re good with kids. They’re just crazy on Halloween. You know, they’re all greedy and they’re hopped up on sugar. Rachel: Really? That’s all it is? Joey: Absolutely. Halloween is the worst. Except for Christmas. And their birthdays. And they kinda get a little crazy during the summer, too. And any time they’re hungry or sleepy. Kids are tough. Good luck with that. Even Joey, with his limited wisdom, recognizes the truth about children: 30 SonomaFamilyLife

They are only difficult when they’re awake. Early on, we are told that babies only cry when they are hungry, wet, or sleepy. Tend to one or all of these “magic three” needs and you’ll be rewarded with a calm infant. But it doesn’t take long to realize that sometimes there is no scientific justification for babies’ flails and wails. And because being defeated by a 10-pound lump of dimples that poops every 30 minutes isn’t an option, we rely on a fourth go-to excuse for fussy behavior: teething. The plus side of kids getting teeth is that, as they age, they can finally verbalize which of the magic three is the issue. Except everyone knows that if humans could solve all their problems simply by eating when

For instance, one would think that the 40-degree winter walk to school would inspire my girls to dress warmly. Nope. My oldest only wears a single layer of black clothing, like she’s auditioning for an emo-ska band whose members also moonlight as ninjas. My middle daughter can’t wear jackets that are too “flue-fee” (not to be confused with “fluffy”) because she doesn’t like the noise the puffiness makes when she moves. The youngest wears rainboots no matter what. And she hates socks, so by the end of the day her feet smell like baked cabbages rolled in freshly cut lawn. The entire walk to school I remind myself that the number of times they complain is also the number of times I won’t have to listen to them when I gleefully walk home. Later, I make a mental note to tell the kids about their great grandparents, who had to walk five miles—not five blocks—in the snow to school. Joey Tribbiani may have been right: It does seem to be kids’ role to complain. But it’s also mine to continually remind them of just how blessed we are. ¶ Jessica Guerrieri is a mom and a freelance writer/blogger. Find her at and on Instagram @ witandspitup.

January 2022


Cast and musicians of Cyrano

Cyrano—a Play with Music

Have More Fun & Create Great Memories


yrano de Bergerac has a poet’s heart but a decidedly unappealing face—a recipe for romantic disappointment. Watch his struggle with unrequited love in Cinnabar Theater’s production of Cyrano, a play with onstage bluegrass music performed by the Rivertown Skifflers. Shows will be held January 7–8 and 14–15 at 7:30 p.m. and January 9 and 16 at 2 p.m. at Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma. Tickets are $25–$35 and may be purchased at Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required for admission; masks must be worn throughout the performance. ¶

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www.Sonoma Family A Garden of Books


here is the safest place to socialize in person during a pandemic? Outside. So the Petaluma Regional Library in Petaluma moved its Family Storytime outdoors, in the Children’s Garden. Kids can stare up at the sky and feel the sun on their faces as they listen to pint-sized tales. The event is held on Thursdays, 10:15–10:45 a.m., and is free. Find out more at ¶

January 2022

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