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parent November 2017


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NOVEMBER 2017 O Celebrating

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Celebrating 25 years O




on our cover

November 2017

Meet our Dad Next Door, Brandon and his doting family, pictured in an enchanting olive orchard in Fair Oaks. His love for the community that he grew up in has inspired him to give back and serve others.

Photography by: Memories By Michelle

contents NOVEMBER 2017






around town


11 21 23 34


Fall Felt Leaf Centerpiece


Meet Brandon

Then There Were Seven

Frolicking in Fall

Creating Forever Homes Folsom H.A.S. Hope Thanksgiving Day Game Ideas


On Stage

31 EXHIBITS On Display


Dylan’s Quest for a “Super” Service Dog

special advertising section



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Foster and Adoption Resources

What if laughter really is the best medicine? ACTUALLY, STUDIES SHOW IT DOES HAVE MANY HEALING EFFECTS. And when it comes to studies, research and medical breakthroughs, well, that’s where we get serious. But there’s so much more to your health and it all starts with choosing the right health plan, one with a UC Davis doctor and direct access to an entire network of the brightest minds in medicine. IT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE. During this crucial time of open enrollment, ask yourself a very serious question. The best answer…will immediately follow.


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NOVEMBER 2017 O Celebrating

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co-publisher | SUE LETO COLE co-publisher | SHELLY BOKMAN editor | SHANNON SMITH assistant editor | CHRISTINE QUARRY art directors | PATRICE VAN DAM

JILL LENDAHL, event coordinator | MELEYA WALKER

contributing writers: Michelle McDaid | Pam Molnar | Amber Pryor Christine Quarry | Shannon Smith Susan Michener Spracher |Diana Watkins contributing photographers: Tony Nguyen Photography | Amber Pryor Memories By Michelle Photography

advertising executives: RAYCHELL SARCOMO | (530) 889.6175 LINDSAY TRENZ | (530) 889.6178 CHERYL WAPLES | (530) 889.6176


Shelly Bokman | (530) 888.0573 SacParent SacramentoParent SacParent SacParentMag

This issue sums up one of the reasons I love what I do. With recent events, sometimes we just need a few reminders of the good stuff. We need to see good, feel good and do good. Fortunately, there is no shortage of do-gooders right here, in our community. Brandon, a successful business owner and fourth generation Sacramentan, will once again be providing meals to feed at least 1,000 local people who are going hungry. While a single mom in Folsom is helping families in need obtain free clothing, furnishings and school supplies, and is also feeding the homeless in her neighborhood. Adan and Lawrence have a beautiful perspective on giving foster children a bright future, stability and love. In 2014 they adopted three brothers and as soon as they felt their family of five was running smoothly, they decided to adopt two sisters in need of forever homes. Heather and Dan also decided to give three boys a fresh start and when their oldest son, Dylan was diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder, they began the process to get him the service dog he needs. It’s nice to know amidst all the frightening headlines that you don’t have to look too hard to spot the goodness happening all around us. I can’t think of a better way to ring in the season of giving thanks! Happy Thanksgiving from the team at sac parent!

Shannon FAMILY PUBLISHING, INC. Sacramento Parent Magazine Subscription Rate: one year, $30 PO Box 598 Auburn, CA 95604 p (530) 888.0573 f (530) 888.1536 |

Sacramento Parent magazine is published monthly by Family Publishing, Inc. It is available free of charge at over 1,000 locations throughout Greater Sacramento. Sacramento Parent magazine welcomes letters, articles, artwork and photos from our readers. Sacramento Parent is not responsible for the return of unsolicited materials. All rights reserved. Any reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without written permission. Opinions expressed by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily the opinions of this publication.

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Start Today!


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media sponsor:

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Supplies Needed: • Felt (fall colors: brown, orange, yellow, tan) • Markers (brown, orange, yellow) • Leaf templates • Scissors • Fabric glue or hot glue gun

Directions: STEP 1: Decide on the leaf shapes for your templates–you’ll want 5 to 7 different leaves. A quick and easy way to find simple leaf shapes is an online search for “leaf coloring pages.” Or, you can always create your own! Cut out the leaf templates. STEP 2: Use a marker to trace the leaf shapes onto the felt. Use a marker that is a similar color as the felt–it makes the cutting lines much less noticeable on the finished project! Trace the template on the backside of the felt. STEP 3: Cut out the felt leaves. STEP 4: Using a brown marker, draw veins on the leaves. STEP 5: Lay out the leaves in an arrangement that fits your table. The great thing about this project is that you can make it as big or as small as you’d like, depending on your space. You’ll want to have a bit of overlap between the leaves so that you can connect them together. Once you have an arrangement that you like, use fabric glue or a hot glue gun to attach the leaves at all places where they touch. Lady DIY lives in Rocklin and stays home with her three boys. When she’s not too busy with DIY projects around the house, she enjoys gardening, fitness and living the glamorous life of a baseball/soccer/football mom. Celebrating 25 years O




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Then There Were Seven An interview with Adan, by Shannon Smith

ould be w it id a s e n No o d it e is m o r p st u easy, they j e worth it. would b onymous - An

We first met Adan and Lawrence three years ago, as we shared their story of foster to adoption of three brothers in our October 2014 issue of Sacramento Parent. (You can still read it in our past issues on our website.) Adan had said back then, “Our story is not a dramatic, sad, or crazy story—rather, a very pleasant and magical event.” While time has seemingly flown by, they are still adding to their story, this time expanding from a party of five to a family of seven! We recently caught up with Adan and Lawrence to hear about their inspiring journey leading to the family addition of two sisters. Adan shares, “Adopted children will come to your home with pain, anger, confusion and hopelessness. You have the opportunity to be their light and their hope.”

FIRST OFF, WE'D LOVE TO HEAR HOW THE BOYS ARE DOING. Sam is thirteen now, yes, we officially have our first teenager. (YIKES!) He is currently into soccer and still loves Pokémon. He is in eighth grade and is learning responsibility, time management and how to talk to other teenagers. Alberto is nine and is a bookworm. He loves “Captain Underpants.” He is our quiet middle child who is thriving in school and making friends. Carlos is seven, it’s hard to believe he was just two-years-old when we met him. He is giving us grey hair, ha ha! He has developed an enormous amount of confidence and does not have a problem throwing tantrums every time he hears the word, “No.” He definitely dislikes that word, but he has become such an amazing, loving, caring and hard-working little man. He is going to Taekwondo, we hope to teach him some discipline and self control. All three of the boys are still doing Aztec Dancing along with the rest of the family. They have grown so much emotionally, spiritually and physically.

TELL US WHEN YOU AND LAWRENCE MADE THE DECISION TO EXPAND YOUR FAMILY AGAIN. One morning, about three years ago things seemed oddly smooth. The morning routine was flawless and the kids seemed to be happy and Lawrence and I were not stressed out. While driving to work, I was listening to some adoption videos on YouTube and there was a two dads family in Arizona, who had adopted twelve children. I was inspired by this and called Lawrence and told him that if they could do it, maybe we could too. He told me he was also thinking about how things were settled with the boys, and thought we could help other children. This time, we decided we would like to adopt girls and we knew that sibling sets could be easier to adopt. We reached out to Sierra Forever Families and started the process again. As we were

Read on to experience this real and going through Foster Home Certification requirements, the Social Workers were acheartfelt story of two dads, dedicat- tively looking for children for us and they found the two girls we adopted. ed to changing the lives of five lucky kids! We can’t wait to see what the Seven continued on page 13 future holds for this special family. Celebrating 25 years O

NOVEMBER 2017 11


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Seven continued from page 11

HOW IS EVERYONE ADJUSTING TO THE GROWING FAMILY? Bringing together two sets of siblings and somehow creating an environment for them to bond and love each other as brothers and sisters was a little tricky. Evenly was eight-years-old and Jennyfer was six-years-old when we met them. They are now ten and eight. It has been just over two years since they were placed in our home, as the adoption was finalized on October 7, 2016. They were separated from their other four siblings and it was hard for them to understand why they were adopted. There were many painful nights when they would miss their mom and siblings, but things are much better now and they love (and fight) like siblings do. They help each other and they tease each other. The only thing I knew; was they would have to spend time together without other distractions, so we did not allow many visits from other kids for a few months. This way they would have to spend time with their new family.


WERE YOU INTENDING TO FOSTER PARENT THE GIRLS OR DID YOU HAVE ADOPTION ON YOUR MINDS FROM THE START? Our intention was to adopt again and we knew that it could possibly be up to three more kids. It just felt right in our hearts to help prevent children from having to be separated from their siblings. Mentally, we were preparing for three girls or possible two girls and one more boy.

WAS THE ADOPTION PROCESS SIMILAR THIS TIME AROUND? The process was identical, with the exception that the girls were at the tail end of the process, so the court was just waiting for a permanent home and to finalize adoption shortly after. There is that six month foster to adopt period for the children. During this six month period bonding takes place. The court then will make a final decision. The visits were more regular and the therapy sessions were also very regular. The total time from placement to adoption was less than it took with the boys, which was nice.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR THOSE CONSIDERING ADOPTION? Yes. Everything is temporary, the visits, the court dates, the paperwork, the therapy, the emotional rollercoaster, and the anxiety, but the love is forever. The moment the adoption is finalized your family begins to feel whole and happy and loving. The key is routine, structure and consistency no matter what. These kids love to have attention and all they want is to be seen, heard and loved. Do not let family, friends or society make you feel bad for any decisions or changes you make in your life, career or finances to take care of your family. You may no longer be the priority and that can be a painful growing experience, but it is very rewarding to your soul.

Oh yes! We were warned that having girls was different, but we didn’t listen. They are so sweet and kind and loving, but can be very emotional. They are both very smart, energetic girls and they love arts and crafts. They have so many accessories, and still want more! The boys are easy to dress, but girls are very picky and very conscious of what they like or don’t like. We are learning. Ha ha!

HOW LONG WERE THE GIRLS IN FOSTER CARE LEADING UP TO THE ADOPTION? They were in foster care for a long time, I believe a span of three years and several homes. They come from a sibling set of six and two younger siblings were adopted by two moms. We adopted them and the two youngest twins are still with the birth mom, I believe. They were placed at a home to be adopted prior to us and they were placed back into foster. Not sure of the details, but this is why it’s hard for foster children to trust adults. That’s another thing we learned quickly, do not make any promises you cannot keep. It’s devastating to them, even the smallest promises.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU AND LAWRENCE AND YOUR BEAUTIFUL FAMILY OF SEVEN? To do our best, to be happy and to somehow teach our children that the world is a beautiful place despite all the horrible things happening around us nowadays. We want to travel with them, keep them active and fill their minds with morals and values and their hearts with kindness and love. It’s not easy, because today’s world seems to be losing value and respect for other human beings. But we cannot and should not give up; because we may not change the entire world, but we can change their world today.

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Dylan’s Quest for a Super-Pup An interview with Heather, by Shannon Smith We immediately asked for placement. We met him a few weeks later in his current foster home. We were told that he was shy and not to be discouraged if he didn’t interact with us. As soon as we walked through the door, he handed me a half-eaten pancake to share and he laid with Dan on the floor playing trucks for the entire visit.

Photo: Tony Nguyen Photography


Heather and Dan were unable to have their own biological children, but they knew they were meant to be parents. Adoption was the next logical step and when they discovered how many kids were in foster care and needing homes and forever families, they chose to adopt a foster child over a private adoption. Together they shared their plan with their families and according to Heather, “It was not a huge jump of the little brother is adopted and so are several of my grandparents and cousins.” They were met with incredible support. Flash forward and Heather and Dan are the proud parents of three boys, Dylan (6), Quinn (4) and Jackson (3 this month)! Dylan, their oldest son was diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in 2015 and you may have heard about Dylan’s quest for a “Super Pup” recently. Well, the story doesn’t stop here. It’s just beginning in some ways and you may have even heard about Dylan’s quest for a “Super Pup” recently. I asked Heather to share their story on their journey to adoption and the subsequent need for a service dog for Dylan.

TELL US HOW THE ADOPTION PROCESS WENT. Our story is a little funny. We found out about our middle son, Quinn, first. He was three-days-old and in a NICU. As a matter of fact, he was born on our wedding anniversary! When we met Quinn, he was so alert and just stared at us. Even in all the pictures we have, he never stopped staring at us. I think he knew we were meant for him. When Quinn was a little over a month-old, we found out that when he was born, he had a two-year-old brother, Dylan, who was placed into foster care in another county. 14 NOVEMBER 2017 O Celebrating

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Foster to adopt is this giant rollercoaster of emotions. Our foster journey with the boys was incredibly fast compared to some families. Many will foster for years before parental rights are terminated, or the children are reunited with their bio families. Flash forward a year, we were signing the papers to file for adoption for the two boys. After we signed the papers and got our court date for official adoption proceedings, they told us that they had some news. Bio-mom was pregnant again and they wanted to know if we would consider taking him in. We instantly said yes. They told us we had about a month before the baby was due. On our way home, I was telling our family about the news and we received another call. The baby had been born a few hours before and we needed to go meet him! I quickly put my family in charge of the boys and getting a new crib and furniture for the surprise family addition of Jackson. The two big brothers were adopted a couple of weeks later, as planned. Jackson’s adoption followed quickly after that, nine months later. The foster to adopt process is hard, after each court hearing during the foster phase, you wait for that phone call to see what the judge has ordered. Are the kids being reunited? Did they terminate parental rights? It’s always a “sit on the edge

of your seat” day. Patience is a virtue and your best friend. It doesn’t always go as quickly as ours did. Some foster to adopt parents wait years before they either get to adopt the child, or the child is reunited with family. The best advice I can offer is patience, a lot of it.

ANY PLANS TO EXPAND YOUR FAMILY, BEYOND ADDING A SERVICE DOG? A year after Jackson was born, we got another phone call. Bio-mom had a girl! We went to meet her and she was placed with us to foster, but her journey went a little differently. Bio-mom was able to complete all her requirements and turn herself around. That must have been an incredibly hard journey and I am proud of her for that accomplishment. We fostered the little sister for almost a year before she was reunited with her mom. That was the hardest thing we have ever had to do, but the foster agency preps you and supports you for this. This is part of being a foster to adopt family. You have kept them safe, healthy and happy and then it’s our job, as a foster parent, to give them a hug and a kiss and send them back to their families when the time comes. After fostering the sister, we decided that we have our hands full with our three boys.

Jackson is my tough-boy rebel. He does things just to do them (even when he knows he will get in trouble). He likes to pick on his big brothers. He is just a typical little brother. His favorite hobby…is eating pizza! Jackson likes trains, ambulances and fire trucks. He likes to play with his brothers, but he also plays very well by himself, whereas the other two, must have someone to play with all the time.



Dylan loves to know how things work. He likes to take things apart. He loves to climb. He climbs EVERYTHING. He learned to ride a two-wheel bike when he was almost four! He also learned to swim without a life jacket when he was four. He is very hands-on. We have tried t-ball and soccer with Dylan but he has had a hard time with team sports with all of the yelling and directions and...well, chaos! I am entertaining the idea of rock climbing classes for him.

Dylan was diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in 2015. It is not a very widely-known and talked about disorder, so I knew nothing about it. Honestly, before his diagnosis, I had thought he was autistic. It turns out, I was not too far off. Autism and FASD are very similar. There is a spectrum they are placed on and many other diagnosis’ under their umbrella terms. Their behaviors and characteristics are also very similar.

Quinn is our dramatic boy. He likes to be read to and recently picked up soccer! He loves it! Quinn and Dylan are best friends. Yes, they fight, but they always gravitate toward each other.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BEHAVIORS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF FASD AND HOW IT HAS AFFECTED DYLAN? We are still new to this FASD journey and are learning more every day. In Dylan’s

case, he has some anxieties and triggers that give him a hard time. He can get overwhelmed very quickly with loud noises, large crowds and situations where there is a lot of disorder. He doesn’t handle new situations well. He has some wandering tendencies and will be gone in the flash of an eye. Dylan is very hands on, like I have said before. He likes the feel of things and likes to rub fabrics and on his face and smells just about everything he touches. He craves physical affection so much. He will run and hug a stranger. He has a big problem with impulse control. Most kids learn eventually, that if I do this activity I will get hurt or in trouble based on past experiences. Dylan just does. He doesn’t have the ability to think first or understand the consequences for his actions.

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE DYLAN NEEDED A SERVICE DOG AND CAN YOU SHARE HOW THAT PROCESS WORKS? Dan and I volunteer every summer for a camp that caters to autistic families. We started doing this before we met the boys, and obviously before we had Dylan’s diagnosis. Some of those families have had service dogs and we have seen Super Pup continued on page 17

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Photo: Tony Nguyen Photography

Super Pup continued from page 15

firsthand what a difference they can make. So, when we got Dylan’s diagnosis, we started doing research as to how to best help Dylan as he grows and I remembered the kids and their dogs at camp. I began looking into it. Some organizations give free service dogs to people who have a certain diagnosis. FASD is not one of those. It’s just not a widely known disorder. I found an agency called 4 Paws for Ability. They are based out of Ohio. They train service dogs for a wide variety of disabilities. Including FASD. We had to submit a paper application first. Then we did a phone interview. They also require you to submit a letter from his doctor and letters of recommendation. Once you are approved, you can begin your fundraising. They send you lots of ideas on how to go about it. The sky is the limit. We joined a group of 4 Paws families on Facebook where everyone shares ideas and supports each other. Families who are done fundraising maintain contact with those who are still fundraising and offer their support, ideas and some continue to hold events, donating those proceeds to 4 Paws, so those extra funds can be applied to a

family who is struggling to make progress fundraising. Now that we are officially done, we wait for a class assignment. They only hold a select number of classes a year after the dogs are trained, so the wait can be a little long. That’s why you try to fundraise as quickly as possible to get on the class list sooner! Again, patience is a virtue!! We will be given a class date eventually and then Dan, Dylan and I will travel to Ohio for a 15-day class to learn how to handle the dog. The trainers and staff are there to help Dylan and his dog will create the bond that they need.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE A LITTLE MORE ABOUT YOUR FUNDRAISING EXPERIENCE AND THE SUPPORT YOU RECEIVED WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY AND BEYOND? We had only been fundraising since January 2017. We have held lots of local events and had successfully raised around $6,000 on our own. Fox40 reached out to us after a close friend gave them our story. They came to the house and interviewed us, told our story and gave our GoFundMe info to those who wished to donate. The response was instant and amazing.

Nationwide, people reached out to us and donated not only funds, but great emotional support. The well wishes for us and our journey were amazing. We had donations of all sizes. Each donation, no matter the size sent chills. I can’t even begin to express the levels of gratitude that we feel. When we officially met our goal, we were ecstatic. So many tears of happiness! Dylan wanted to go to the store immediately and start buying treats and a collar for his super-pup. He asks every day if he can go get his super-pup yet.

WHAT CAN A SERVICE DOG TRAINED FOR FASD DO TO KEEP DYLAN SAFE? Dogs are amazing creatures. They have an intuition that we can’t even begin to understand. Dylan’s dog will have several jobs. Since Dylan wanders, he will have a tether trained dog. We hold the leash, and Dylan will be tethered out in public. It looks like the leashes that are tied to joggers’ waists. But, the biggest part I am excited about is the dog’s ability to calm a child down. They sense the build up of emotion before a meltdown, and will lead the child away from the stimulus and lay on top of them to provide that pressure that he needs to calm down. Then, they come back. Since Dylan craves that physical attention, he can love all over this dog. Cuddles, hugs and kisses that are appropriate! Dylan has a lot of night terrors as well. I have high hopes that night time cuddles from his furry friend will curb some of that. These are just some of the many advantages that this dog will provide to Dylan.

WHEN DO YOU EXPECT TO HAVE HIS "SUPER PUP"? I have not gotten his date yet, but we have seen families being assigned to classes in late 2018. So, I am super hopeful that it will be around then. These dogs are highly trained and worth the wait.

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next door

Meet Brandon ...loving the Sacramento life By Michelle McDaid | Photography by Memories By Michelle |

18 NOVEMBER 2017 O Celebrating

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next door Brandon Haefele is one of those guys who gets up at 4am to workout and is still bursting with energy at 6pm, who loves his job as CEO of his own company and would love to work more hours (if we could add them into the day), who adores his wife, Brittany, (the feeling’s mutual), and who still finds time to take his daughter to school every morning. In short, Brandon is the guy we all want to be: successful, happy, and fulfilled. When I show up to his Fair Oaks home on one of Fall’s first evenings, he’s at the door before I can even ring the bell, immediately warm and effervescent, as if this is the 10th time we’ve met, not the first. I quickly learn that Brandon makes fast friends and that this is most likely a big part of what has driven his success while building his company, Catalyst Mortgage, straight out of school. If Brandon and Catalyst sounds familiar, it’s because Brandon is a frequent guest on News Radio KFBK with Amy Lewis, talking about mortgage trends and giving local homebuyers tips on how to negotiate the home purchase process successfully. Brandon built Catalyst with the vision of being a different kind of lender, promoting transparency and putting customers’ interests (vs. targets and numbers) at the heart of that philosophy. It’s clear, when he talks about his company, that he’s both incredibly proud and still very engaged and, as a fourth generation Sacramentan, part of that pride rests in being able to use his success to give back to the community that supported him. Every year since 2007, Brandon and his team have fed local families for Thanksgiving (Brandon’s favorite holiday). It started with simply volunteering at a local food locker and has now grown to Catalyst’s staff donating a complete family meal for 1,000 people, something which the whole team takes part in every year, getting up at 5am to coordinate and deliver the 5,000 pounds of food to

local food charities, St. Vincent de Paul food locker, and the Sacramento Food Bank. This year will be the first year that Brandon’s 5 year-old daughter, Catelyn, will be joining them, helping her to see the impact of her family’s donation.

region’s growth, Brandon and Brittany feel like the region has maintained its essential appeal: a safe and family-friendly region that, even despite rising house prices again, manages to be relatively affordable by California standards.

Both Brandon and Brittany take any opportunity they can to participate in local charitable events. All this, as well as the fact that Brittany also works a demanding job as an attorney. Balancing it all requires great teamwork and communication (which the couple seem to have down). Brandon counts himself lucky to have found such a great partner in life. “I love how she manages to be strong and supportive for me, and yet loving and attentive to our daughters, all while still managing to build a successful career,” he says of Brittany. Meanwhile Brittany describes Brandon as “the father every little girl would want to have.”

“We love living in Sacramento,” they both say. “We wouldn’t want to raise our family anywhere else.”

Having grown up in Sacramento, Brandon has seen the area of his childhood change a lot over the years. He and Brittany definitely enjoy the benefits of Sacramento’s recent culture shift, embracing Farm to Fork and leaving behind the “cow-town” stereotypes of old, the renaissance of the downtown area including the arena, and the growing amenities that the region offers as it expands its footprint. Yet, while some native Sacramentans have misgivings about the

Brandon’s advice to Sacramento homebuyers: Don’t believe what you hear on the adsask lots and lots of questions and do your own homework about different kinds of loans before you start the process. Talk to 2 to 3 people before choosing a lender. By all means call the person your agent recommends, but be sure to also shop around for the best deal and the most experienced lender. Don’t assume that availability equals the best professional. Often the best lenders and agents are the busiest and cannot always call you right back or get you on their schedule right away. Busy can mean experienced and in-demand while over-availability can mean that someone doesn’t have any business, so don’t count someone out just because they don’t call you back right away.

Michelle McDaid is a photographer and writer based in Sacramento. Through her business, Memories by Michelle, she captures real, playful, and unposed moments for families and children. When she’s not behind the camera, her favorite thing to do is travel and visit new places with her 8 year-old daughter. Learn more at Celebrating 25 years O NOVEMBER 2017





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25 years

Creating Forever Homes By Susan Michener Spracher

What comes to mind when you think about children who need foster care? The common misconceptions are that all children in foster care have behavior problems or serious medical or mental diagnoses. Beverly Johnson, Chief Program Officer at Lilliput Families says, “It’s time to dispel stereotypes and look at each child’s individual situation.” Though it’s extreme difficulties that have been highlighted, the reality for many children in foster care is that the commitment of a foster family (now referred to as a resource family) can make all the difference. Offering a stable environment can greatly affect a positive transition where children can learn new ways of coping and heal the grief and loss they’ve experienced. Lilliput Families and several other local organizations are matching children with those kinds of homes. Resource parent Jodi Johnson said, “I feel so blessed to have met these children. My advice to you if you’re thinking of adoption is this, it’s not easy but it is worth it.” There are approximately 65,000 children waiting for a forever home in California, making resource families critical to eliminate what State and private agencies agree is non-viable long term foster care. “From the minute children enter the child welfare system the goal is to find them a stable and permanent home as quickly as possible,” says Carol Ramirez, Chief Operating Officer at Lilliput Families, “The hope is to avoid having children bounced around to foster homes, sometimes being placed as many as 15 times.” That means the priority is reunification with parents, guardianship with a relative, or adoption. Resource families are the special people who meet children where they are on the spectrum of reclaiming a permanent home and walk the journey alongside the children until they are able to go back home or be adopted.

It’s a commitment that may sound overwhelming, but Greater Sacramento is fortunate to have effective programs to help prospective families every step of the way with training, support networks and resources to ensure a stable and comfortable environment is achieved. Cognizant of the need for educating extended family, Lilliput offers support groups that help members embrace and support the decision to become a resource family. Kinship Support Services helps relatives with tools such as counseling, support groups, family activities, legal referrals and mentoring. “I wasn’t expecting to be the parent to my two grandchildren but I wouldn’t change a thing,” said Linda Brown a single grandmother, “The classes and social workers helped me understand the best ways to relate to and communicate with my grandkids and by going to the classes and the events they hold, I’ve gotten to know many other grandparents who are raising their grandkids, so now I have a strong support group.”

The importance of finding foster children a safe, stable and nurturing environment can be seen in the grim statistics for children without forever families, 60% will not earn a high school diploma, 71% will leave care without job prospects and 70% of inmates in California are former foster children. “What’s magnificent and beautiful about the foster care process is that they’re all our kids. They are all our community. If we put the effort into them, it benefits us all,” said Johnson. You may have exactly what it takes to be a resource family. Perceptions about being too young, too old, single, or LGBTQ are often incorrect. The first step is simply willingness. Attending an information orientation will help you to know if fostering is right for you. These are the children that will someday become the adults in our community; investing in them creates a better future us all. Lilliput Families is highly experienced in preparing those with a heart for helping children in need. For more information about Lilliput Families visit or call (916) 680-8161.

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Granite Bay Montessori

Providing a personalized academic journey for ages 2 years to 8th grade.

Foster and Adoption Resources in the Greater Sacramento Area

Affordable Tuition-Based Private Montessori School Open 7:00 am - 6:30 pm Low Student Teacher Ratio (12:1)

CALL NOW FOR A TOUR! 9330 Sierra College Blvd., Roseville, CA 95661 (916) 791-7849

Individualized Hands-On Learning Comprehensive core subject matter Project based life and social sciences’ curricula Practical life skills at all ages Art, Music, P.E., & Enrichment Classes


Foster Hope Sacramento Sacramento | 916-737-1481 Call today for more information about becoming a foster parent or others ways you can help. Koinonia Family Services Greater Sacramento | 877-244-5374 “Koinonia” (Koy-no-nee’-ah) is a Greek word which means “fellowship.” It carries with it the meaning of a committed, trustworthy and dependable relationship. It is this “koinonia” relationship that has made the difference in the lives of thousands of foster children. Lilliput Children’s Services Greater Sacramento Area | 916-923-5444 Lilliput Families exists to ensure every child has an opportunity to be part of a safe, nurturing, lifelong family. Please call us at 916-923-5444. Sierra Forever Families Sacramento and 12 Northern California Counties 916-368-5114 FAMILIES NEEDED! Sierra Forever Families’ mission is to transform the lives of children in foster care by building and nurturing permanent families. Uplift Family Services Sacramento | 877-488-5437 With over 140 years of experience, we serve children and families in 30 counties throughout California. Uplift Family Services is a private nonprofit agency that provides Foster Care and Adoption Services as well as a Mental Health services.

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A mother’s calling to nurture community, charity and kindness By Amber Pryor

The city of Folsom and surrounding communities are teeming with support for a local single-mom of three, who has beat the odds and works tirelessly to improve the lives of any family or individual who is in need of a “hand-up.” Sixteen years ago, Heather Riley was at a pivotal point of making better life decisions and learning what it truly meant to give back. While helping friends and participating in community projects, Riley began living out a life of service, all while continuing to work full-time to support her own family. In 2011, a series of messages she saw posted on a local buy/sell Facebook page inspired Riley to expand her passion to help others through social media.

“The outpouring of support is amazing,” said Laura Fromong, H.A.S. Hope admin and volunteer. “Whenever we send out word to the community that there is a need, we always get the need met–we are really lucky.” Denise Ivey, mother of two, who lost her home and most of her possessions, had her new home fully furnished by the H.A.S. Hope community. “This is the first time in my life I have been able to decorate the way I want,” said Ivey. “I like things that others might find ugly or what I’d call ‘granny chic’ and people who knew that would tag me on items that were available through the H.A.S. Hope page. Everything I received has good energy because people gave it to me. My whole house is a concoction of functional, loved, and hideous things and I love it!”

“I started a Facebook page to help other single moms and families after witnessing a mom, who really needed some help, being treated badly by other When Danielle and John Carralez members for asking if she could II’s teenage son began to spend ‘have’ some formula which more time visiting their home, was for sale by another mom,” they wanted to create a space said Riley. “So, I decided there for him that was all his own. “We Heather (sitting in front) with H.A.S. Hope volunteers. needed to be a place for parents reached out on the Facebook to swap goods and services to help each other out, because I page and we got a really nice bed, which also belonged to anknow what it’s like to run out of diapers with pay day still two other teen and had cool stickers on it, as well as a dresser, hangdays away.” ers and clothes–our son loves his room,” said Danielle, who’s family actively swaps on the H.A.S. Hope page and volunteers And just like that, what is now known as H.A.S. Hope, a 501C3 at homeless outreach events. nonprofit named after three of its founders, was born and has been meeting the needs of others from its inception. With over “My life wasn’t always easy,” said John Carralez II. “I have been 4,600 members to date, there is a steady traffic of posts for free homeless and have stayed in a mens shelter. I am happy to have items up for grab, requests for assistance, resources from fama better life for myself and to help others.” ilies who are in need, food and supply drives for families and Alex Mendez, mother of five and H.A.S. Hope admin, also feels other nonprofits, and opportunities to come together to love honored to be involved and have the opportunity to give back and support local families and individuals who are homeless.

H.A.S. Hope continued on page 25

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Carden School of Sacramento

A Distinctive Alternative in Classical Education

A Remarkable Approach to the ART of Babysitting



December 26th-29th 9am-5pm (before care and after care provided)

For more information, contact: 916-446-7501 ext. 116 24 NOVEMBER 2017 O Celebrating

Why Did you Choose Me? By Katie Cruice Smith

After searching for adoption storybooks to read to her children, Katie realized that there weren’t a lot of books targeted at young age groups. Drawing from her own experience as an adoptive mom to three children, she uses the questions her own children have asked her and her husband in order to draw them to the response that there never really was a choice—she knew right away that they were hers. 25 years

H.A.S. Hope continued from page 23

to her community. Active with the nonprofit for the last five years, she frequently picks up donations and plays a large role in organizing an annual Back to School drive of backpacks and supplies for over a hundred kids, including the Carralez family’s two youngest sons. “It is amazing how grateful kids are over a simple, plain backpack–just solid colors with no characters or designs,” said Mendez. “They just light up over something that many of us can easily buy our own kids.” Children just aren’t on the receiving end of the H.A.S. Hope community. Grateful for the opportunity to serve others, Aiden and Andrew Carralez, Abigail Fromong, and five-year-old Gabriel Riley, joyfully join each other and their parents while volunteering their time and serving others–they wholeheartedly believe the people they serve and serve with have become an extension of their family. At the heart of this H.A.S. Hope family is Heather Riley, who according to the many who know and love her, is saving lives with her unwavering determination and lack of judgment. “She is the most non-judgmental person I’ve ever met,” said Mendez. “She’ll help anyone, any day…she is just there to help.” “She literally gives people the clothes off her back,” exclaimed Fromong; after sharing about the one time Riley noticed a bag of her clean clothes had accidentally been donated during a clothing drive. “Heather just smiled about it and was happy to know they went to someone in need.” Some of the folks Riley feels are most in need are the homeless men (and women) of Folsom, who she lovingly refers to as “our guys.” Riley is very passionate about changing stereotypes and providing hope, especially when it comes to those who are homeless and battling addiction. One way she does this is by supporting fellow homeless outreach coordinator, Creta Adams, who began serving up weekly hot meals in the park for Folsom’s homeless. Through H.A.S. Hope, Adams, Riley, and fellow con-

tributors rally each week to provide nutritious and filling home cooked meals and needed supplies to “the guys.” “It is so important to provide them with a home cooked meal, it shows them they are loved,” said Riley. “They are people and they deserve love and hope.” “Being a part of the H.A.S. Hope community means a lot to me and my family,” adds Riley. “We are giving humanity back to people who need it most, and that is so important, because one act of kindness can change a life.”

Amber Pryor is a Sacramento area mom, freelance writer, former educator, volunteer, and philanthropist with a focus on issues involving children’s welfare both locally and globally. She is an avid traveler, aspiring foodie, and loves to spend quality time with family and friends.

For more information about H.A.S. Hope, please visit: or email H.A.S. Hope is actively looking for partnerships with local charities and businesses to better serve the community.

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Sometimes plans change, don’t forget to check the event’s website before you go!

Dia de los Muertos (11/1-2)

Coding Games for Kids

All day at Sacramento Children’s Museum

3:30pm at McKinley Library

20th Annual Sacramento Arts Festival (11/3-11/5)

Decorate sugar skulls and learn about Día de los Muertos during this twoday celebration!

Want to play fun computer games and be a coder? Then come to this beginner-friendly program for ages 8 to 18.

This month we’re grateful to share with you all of the wonderful family-friendly fall festivities around Sacramento. Holiday sales, bake sales, crafts and more, sure not to bore!

Wells Fargo Wednesday

Fun with Bugs!

9am at Sacramento Zoo

10am at Fairytale Town

Thanks to Wells Fargo, on the first Wednesday of each month up to four children ages 2 to 11 will receive free admission to the Sacramento Zoo with a paid adult.

A play-based learning experience for little ones ages 2 through 5! Get an up-close look at bugs! Interactive craft time, story time, singing, and sensory play are part of the fun. Advance registration required.

8 Nature’s Critters


4pm at Arden-Dimick Library

Humpty’s Book Club

See and touch real animals at the library! Wee Wednesday 10:30 and 11:am at Crocker Art Museum Wee Wednesday, November 8th

Bring your little one and yourself to this gallery-based art experience for children ages 3 to 5.

15 Art Lab: Marbles, Marbling and More! 4pm at Arden-Dimick Library

Baby Loves Art, November 21st

Delve into art with paint, marbles, shaving cream and other supplies to make your masterpiece. Family Art: Cardmaking & Finger Knitting–Cardmaking! 4pm at Sylvan Oaks Library

Make greeting cards for your loved ones. Rubber stamps, paper shapes, and art supplies provided.

22 Turkey Trot, November 23rd

10am at Folsom Public Library

Lapsit program for babies ages birth to 18 months, caregiver participation required, includes nursery rhymes, songs and playtime.

3:30pm at McKinley Library

Make your own creation out of real sculptor’s clay! There will be beads, string, clay tools, and other accessories for to you to mold, sculpt, and decorate.

10 Fall Leaf Sun catchers 3:30pm at South Natomas Library

Roseville Food Truck Mania


5pm at Vernon Street Town Square

Chow down in downtown with SactoMoFo! A delicious range of gourmet food trucks, live music and kids zone!

16 Scales in Fairytales 10am at Fairytale Town

See tortoises, bearded dragons, and snakes! Enjoy up-close introductions with these reptiles, while learning about each one. Interactive craft time, story time, singing, and sensory play, too. Advance registration is required.

23 Folsom Turkey Trot A Folsom tradition on Thanksgiving morning. All donations and a portion of proceeds will benefit the local community including Twin Lakes Food Bank and the Never In Our Town Youth Scholarship. Humpty’s Book Club 10am at Fairytale Town

A play-based learning experience just for little ones ages 2 through 5! This week’s Humpty’s Book Club is focused on the story “Snowy Day”. Enjoy story time, then engage in an interactive craft, singing, and sensory play.

25 years

Clay Creations

A play-based learning experience just for little ones ages 2 through 5! This week’s Humpty’s Book Club is focused on the story “Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf.”


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Meet 225 of America’s best contemporary craftspeople and fine artists offering their original works in all price ranges.

10am at Fairytale Town

8:50am at Folsom Lion’s Park/Rodeo Park

Book Babies

10am at Sacramento Convention Center

Make your own colorful sun catchers in the shapes of fall leaves. All materials provided. 2017 Sacramento Harvest Festival 11/17-11/19 10am at Cal Expo

A full weekend of shopping, live entertainment, and family fun. Unique items that are all handmade and embellished right here in the USA. There will be delicious foods, prizes and a hands-on KidZone featuring make-and-take arts and crafts.

24 Free Admission Day 10am at Fairytale Town

FREE admission to visitors who bring in a canned good to donate the day after Thanksgiving! All goods collected will be donated to the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, Spirit of Giving Holiday Drive. Holidays at Empire Mine 11:00am at Empire Mine in Grass Valley

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be waiting for you in the old Clubhouse, history docents will be lavishly attired in early 1900s costumes, there will be live music, roasting chestnuts, and so much more! ThankZoo 10am at Sacramento Zoo

As a special thank you everyone will receive child-priced admission of $9.95 on the day after Thanksgiving.









Punkin Chunkin

Folsom Runway

All Aboard for Storytime

Pajama Storytime

10am at Wow Science Museum

2pm at Folsom Community Center

11am at California Railroad Museum

7pm at Folsom Public Library

With simple machine science like levers, wheels and axles, and pulleys, visitors can load post-Halloween pumpkins into WOW trebuchets and launch them down Sacramento Street!

Join the 1st Annual Fashion Show– Runway 17 with the Folsom community. Children of all abilities will participate! depts/parks/events/events/runway_17.asp

Whether it’s toy trains or big locomotives, there is something to discover in the Museum that will thrill children of all ages! This month enjoy the The “Turkey Train” by Steve Metzger.

Bring your favorite blanket, pillow, or stuffed animal and enjoy the best of children’s literature shared in a fun and relaxed setting. Pajamas welcome, but not required.

Fall Colors

Shoebox Altars All day at Fair Oaks Library


Sunrise Crafts Fair 9am at Rusch Park Community Center

Take part in an incredible opportunity to find that special someone a most unique gift that they will cherish forever! community-events/

11 Military Family Day

1:30pm at Effie Yeaw Nature Center

Create colorful fall art by making leaf rubbings of the leaves found in the Nature Center’s village area. Have fun while learning how leaf shape and size help in identifying trees.


10am at Sacramento Zoo

Creature Feature

In appreciation for our troops, all military personnel, veterans and their families receive a 50% discount on zoo admission with a valid military identification card.

1:30pm at Effie Yeaw Nature Center

Sunrise Mall Farmers Market Holiday Craft Show

Sunday Playday

8am at Sunrise Mall Farmers Market

Over 100+ artisans and crafters will offer you many wonderful and unique hand-made holiday gift choices in addition to the Farmers Market.

18 Seasonal Arts & Crafts 2pm at North Sacramento-Hagginwood Library

Get into the spirit of the fall season during this fun drop-in crafts program hosted by the North Sac Teen Advisory Board. Make something nice to give away or take home, supplies provided.

25 Great Gobblers! 10:30am at Effie Yeaw Nature Center

Learn about the wild turkeys in the Nature Area and take a walk in search of a rafter (of turkeys, of course). Gobble, gobble! Kids Fun Zone 2pm at Southgate Plaza

Win prizes, enjoy free kid’s craft activities and access exclusive discounts for Kids Fun Zone Members! The event will take place near Walmart Neighborhood Market. kids-fun-zone

Learn about some of the animal residents and their unique journeys and how they became an educational ambassador for the Nature Center. 10:30am at Crocker Art Museum

Led by a Museum educator, children will participate in a fun, make-andtake project using a variety of art materials.

19 Village Tour 1:30pm at Effie Yeaw Nature Center

Step back in time on a guided tour of the Nisenan Maidu replica village. Discover the traditional uses for structures such as the granary, tule house and grinding rock, and why it takes many steps to make acorns into food. Wonder Lab 11am at Crocker Art Museum

Children with learning and developmental disabilities and their families are especially invited to spark creativity. Visual resources, sensory toys, and a quiet space will be provided. Free!

26 Rancho Cordova Christmas Tree Lighting 4pm at Village Green Park

Tree lighting begins at 7pm. Enjoy hay rides, amusement rides, food trucks, music, Santa Claus, train rides, snow and more Christmas cheer! christmas-tree-lighting

In celebration of Día de los Muertos, the library is accepting shoebox altars for a community art show. Ofrendas are meant to honor the memory of someone who touched your life. Yoga Moves Us 6pm at Colonial Heights Library

A free community yoga class every Monday. Classes will be 60 minutes, vinyasa style for all-levels. Bring a mat, a water bottle and a friend!

13 Shoebox Altars All day at Fair Oaks Library

In celebration of Día de los Muertos, the library is accepting shoebox altars for a community art show. Ofrendas are meant to honor the memory of someone who touched your life. Anyone who had a positive impact on your life can be the subject of your altar.

20 All Aboard for Storytime 11am at California Railroad Museum

Museum staff will read a different railroad-related book each month and afterward, little ones can enjoy the Museum with their parents. Whether it’s toy trains or big locomotives, there is something to discover in the Museum that will thrill children of all ages! This month enjoy the The “Turkey Train” by Steve Metzger.


Free Preschool Playgroup 11am at Roseville Utility Exploration Center

Engaging and age-appropriate activities introducing ways to care for our environment. Drop in for free handson crafts, fun and discovery. events/158974064657355 Storytime 9:30am at Karen’s Bakery

Visit Karen’s Bakery in Old Folsom every 2nd Tuesday of the month for a special storytime featuring zoo animals. upcoming-events

21 Baby Loves Art 10:30am at Crocker Art Museum

A visually stimulating gallery walk, offering parents and caregivers a fun opportunity to connect with their babies (up to 18 months) and each other. All baby noises are expected and welcome. Strollers are allowed and front carriers are recommended for the best art view. Please no backpacks or rear carriers. Giant Games 12pm at North Sacramento-Hagginwood Library

Bring your friends and family and enjoy some open play time with giant-size games like ring toss and Connect 4.

28 Holiday Sale

Yoga Moves Us 6pm at Colonial Heights Library

A free community yoga class every Monday. Classes will be 60 minutes, vinyasa style for all-levels. Bring a mat, a water bottle and a friend!

All day at Southgate Library

Huge Holiday Sale in the Meeting Room during library hours. You will find lots of books, DVDs, VHS, magazines, toys and miscellaneous items great for gift giving.

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A Charlie Brown Christmas

November 25-26 at Harris Center for the Arts This Emmy and Peabody award-winning story by Charles M. Schulz, has warmed the hearts of millions of fans since it first aired on television over fifty years ago. Now the classic animated television special comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation featuring all of your favorite characters and classic Vince Guaraldi score. Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang as they stage a play, save a tree and uncover the true meaning of Christmas.

A Moving Day

Through December 24 at B Street Theatre Every building has a history. Every building has a secret. When one man is forced to move out of his family home, he must confront the history and secrets buried in the building. With the help of a moving company and a mysterious companion, our hero sifts through the mystery of the past and reconciles with his future in this funny warm story for the holidays.

Aesop’s Fun Fables

November 11-Dec 3 at Sacramento City College Story Time Theatre of Sacramento City College presents a family production of fun! Adapted and Directed by Doug Lawson.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

November 1-11 at Community Center Theater Presented by California Musical Theatre, enjoy this Tony® and Grammy® Award-winning inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.


Through November 11 at Chautauqua Playhouse The most famous fairy tale in the world comes to Chautauqua, with all the characters you love. Cinderella, a scullery maid in her own home, dreams of finding love and escaping from her

wicked stepmother and stepsisters. Only a Fairy Godmother and an optimistic heart can help Cinderella achieve her happily ever after.

Disney on Ice Presents Dream Big

November 2-5 at Golden 1 Center Disney On Ice is back! Enter the dazzling world of Disney magic Live on Ice and be transported to a world where imaginations soar and anything can happen! Through the magic of enchanted pixie-dust, Tinker Bell will take audiences on a journey of a lifetime. Follow eight Disney Princesses as they embark on incredible adventures, determined to make their dreams come true.

I’m the King of New York: A Salute to Showbiz Leading Men

November 7, 9-12 at Sacramento Theatre Company From Jerry Orbach to Neil Patrick Harris, from Zero Mostel to Ben Vereen, there is nothing like the captivating voices and dynamic personalities of the leading men of showbiz. From classics to contemporary favorites, from comedy numbers to soaring anthems, you’ll enjoy a salute to the many men who’ve made the lights of the Great White Way shine bright. This show is appropriate for middle school and up.

Into the Woods

November 3-11 at Valley Springs Church Presented by CYT Sacramento, James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone’s favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece… and a rare modern classic. The story follows a baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later.

Jesus Christ Superstar

November 3-26 at Jean Henderson Performing Arts Center A rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, the musical has no spoken dialogue and

is sometimes considered a modern rock-opera. Loosely based on the Gospels, Superstar focuses on the personal conflicts between Jesus, his disciples, the people of Israel, and the leadership of Rome. The musical is unique among biblical retellings in that it focuses on both Judas’ struggle making the decision to betray Jesus and Jesus’ human psychology, fear, and anger in understanding and accepting his role as both leader and martyr. The show is a product of its era, permeated with 1970’s rock, gospel, folk and funk themes, modern language and colloquialisms, and high-energy dance numbers.

Kings of America

Nov 1-Dec 10 at Sacramento Theatre Company Through the recurring dreams of a struggling teenage boy named Noah—dreams which happen to be populated exclusively by former presidents— this timely new play explores presidential figures of American history, their flaws, and the legacies they have left behind. But, for Noah, these episodes might be more than just fantasy; they could be a means for forgiveness and personal healing. This production continues STC’s commitment to produce new works by local artists.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella

November 20-22 at Harris Center for the Arts This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more—plus some surprising new twists!

Seussical The Musical

November 3-10 at Hiram Johnson High School Auditorium “Seussical” is a fantastical, magical, extravaganza bringing to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie, and a little boy with a big imagination, Jojo. “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think” captures the show’s spirit of imagination, as the colorful characters transport us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos. Starring elementary, middle, and high school students from dozens of area schools.

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Host a Magical Birthday Party! Choose from 5 packages!

Voted Best Place for a Kid’s Birthday Party – Two Years in a Row! Sacramento Magazine

More information: (916) 808-7062

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It’s always a good idea to check the website before you head out!

Ruth Rippon helped elevate the craft of ceramics into the realm of fine art. This exhibition features 90 of her most beautiful and iconic pieces from the 1950s through the 1990s. Small Treasures Show and Sale

Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change Exhibit

November 4-Dec 27 at Elk Grove Fine Arts Center

Each artist is creating a themed series of Small Treasures on 5 x 7 inch wooden panels, which may be purchased individually or in groups. The range of mediums used on the panels is wide and varied, and may include: oil, acrylic, watercolor, photography, mosaic, collage, tile, textile, mixed media, 3D sculpture, wood burning and wood carving, and more!

Now through January 28 at California Museum

Through a display of breathtaking images by San Francisco Bay Area-based photographers Rob Badger and Nita Winter, “Beauty and the Beast: California Wildflowers and Climate Change” addresses the effects of changing weather patterns on a universal symbol of beauty: the wildflower.

Tot Land

Disability Awareness Art Week Exhibit

Now through January 1 at Crocker Art Museum

November 6-9 at at Folsom Lake College

This week-long exhibit of artwork, produced by students with disabilities, will highlight the students’ artistic achievements. It will feature painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and digital art media. The art week promotes the students’ self-esteem, pride in their talents, and fosters an awareness of the creative achievements of students with physical, psychological, or learning disabilities. student-aid/dsps/art-show

Instinct Extinct: The Great Pacific Flyway Through Nov 12 at UC Davis Design Museum

A multi-disciplinary art installation that explores and celebrates the biology, beauty, and bounty of the Pacific Flyway. Viewed through a range of lenses: wildlife habitat, agricultural backdrop, recreational commons, conservation story, and inspirational phenomena for artists, writers and everyone in California and beyond. Masters of Venice: Drawings by Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo from the Anthony J. Moravec Collection October 29-February 4 at Crocker Art Museum

Exuberant Earth: Ceramics by Ruth Rippon Now through February 4 at Crocker Art Museum

As a practicing artist who spent several decades teaching in her native Sacramento and the Bay Area,

The most famous draughtsmen in 18th-century Venice, the father and son Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo created a variety of engaging and luminous compositions, from mythological creatures to devotional works to caricatures. Their splendid drawings accompany those of other Venetian artists to provide a view into the distinctive art of Italy’s lagoon city.

Inspired by the Museum’s own Spirit Canoe, an all-new installation offers a world of exploration for children from infancy to age 5 and their caregivers. Children will be swept up in their own playful ideas as they climb inside a boat, using their imagination to transform into human and animal characters as they interact with one another. Visions 2017: Open Photography Exhibit Through November 19 at Sacramento Fine Arts Center

Among the region’s most prestigious, the SFAC Photography Club consists of several award-winning artists and serious practitioners. They all use the medium of digital photography to explore, create, and present their art. Wingding November 19-March 4 at Crocker Art Museum

A festive, three-dimensional art experience designed for young children and their caregivers and/or families. This installation offers opportunities to interact with, and learn about, the basic elements of art through play, experimentation, and creative collaboration.

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fun finds


Sacramento Parent’s Holiday By Christine Quarry

Sacramento Harvest Festival-Family Four-Pack of Tickets! November 17-19 at Cal Expo Sacramento’s annual holiday shopping extravaganza returns for a weekend filled with shopping, entertainment and good old fashioned family fun. Over 24,000 handmade arts and crafts will be on display, including original art, jewelry, clothing, specialty foods, toys, decor and more.

Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink Situated in the heart of Downtown, at the doorstep of the Golden 1 Center in St. Rose of Lima Park, the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink presented by Downtown Commons is a treasured destination for outdoor skating. The seasonal ice rink is open annually from November to January and conveniently provides skate and locker rentals on site. Enter to win a family four-pack of tickets to go Ice Skating with the family in Downtown Sacramento!

Trypticon The Titan Class Trypticon figure is the largest figure in the 2017 Titans Return universe. The towering T-Rex converts between 3 different modes: dino, spaceship, and city. When the figure is in city mode, it connects to Titans Return Leader Class figures (each sold separately) to form the giant Nemesis Command. When the figure is in T-Rex mode, it can “eat” Titan Master figures: Trypticon can chomp them down, then kids can open his stomach to get them out.

The Movie Seashell Lagoon Playset Perfect for imagining undersea adventures! The Playset’s doors open and close to reveal rooms to play. Press the pearl to activate lights and add water to create the bubbles inside, imagining scenes from Seaquestria. The Pinkie Pie seapony figure can sit in her lounge seat or swing and rock in the hammock. Dress her up with her accessories and pretend she’s primping in front of her shell-shaped vanity.

Roller Coaster Challenge In this thrilling engineering challenge, players get to build their very own roller coasters. Start by choosing a challenge card and setting up the pieces to match. Then, players use the remaining pieces to build a working roller coaster that meets the build conditions on their challenge card. Roller Coaster Challenge incorporates elements of a logic puzzle, while also allowing for the creativity that stems from free-form building. Once you have solved each challenge, you get to watch a real coaster car glide down the track, complete with dips, curves, and loops!

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fun finds

Gift Guide, Giveaways and Goodies! Whether you’re an early shopper or a last minute stopper, we’ve got everything to bring the family together! Win tickets, fun outings, the coolest toys and more by entering this month at Don’t delay, we’re drawing the lucky winners on November 13th!

Yoda Bubble Topper Blow bubbles with your favorite character from Star Wars and more with Imperial Toy’s Bubble Toppers. This 8oz bottle comes with a removable topper! Attach the bubble wand to the topper and blow tons of bubbles, won’t you?

Schleich Horse Care Set and Riders Enter to win The Andalusian Horse Care Set where horsey loves practicing tricks, but loves getting rewarded with treats and regular grooming even more! Also included are the Recreational Rider who loves practicing the unique gaits of her Tennessee Walker gelding and the Eventing Rider who has bought a beautiful new saddle and a top-quality bridle for the eventing tournament.

Gululu This interactive water bottle keeps kids hydrated by turning drinking water into a fun game. As kids drink more water, their virtual pet grows and they develop a healthy habit! Kids will embark on new journeys in the Gululu Universe to win more collectables and rewards, and explore new features like the Social Board, where kids add each other as friends to share their progress and more.

Cheryl’s Cookies Holiday Cut-Out Cookie Decorating Kit This delicious and fun kit arrives with everything needed to create yummy buttercream frosted treats at home–no baking necessary! The kit includes 24 unfrosted, baked tree and round ornament shaped cut-out cookies, a 1lb. tub each of vanilla and green icing and Holiday decorations.

KIDBOX The first kids’ style box offering premier brands, significant savings and a mission to clothe one million children. And this holiday season, KIDBOX is here to make sure your kids are well-dressed in their favorite styles without breaking the bank.

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Seven Family Games for all the Turkeys at your Thanksgiving By Pam Molnar Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather–up until dinner is over, that is. When their bellies are full, some retire to watch football, the kids scatter to empty rooms and then there is the inevitable kitchen duty. Avoid the after dinner segregation and keep them together with these seven Thanksgiving games and activities.

Leaf Blower

Split the group into two teams. Each team needs to blow a leaf from Point A to Point B using a straw in a relay race style. The next player will blow it back from Point B to Point A until everyone has had a turn. First team to finish wins.

I was So Hungry

This memory game is a fun way to get the party laughing. The players sit at the table or in a circle. The first player starts, “I was so hungry that I ate a juicy drumstick for Thanksgiving.” The next person adds something like, “I was so hungry that I ate a juicy drumstick and a mound of mash potatoes for Thanksgiving.” Keep repeating and adding until the whole party is stuffed.

Stuffed Turkey

Wrap a piece of candy in brown box tape. Continue to wrap the tape in a ball, adding additional pieces of candy as you go. The size of the ball will depend on how many players and candy you have. (This is a great way to use up the rest of your Halloween candy.) To play, place the ball in the center of the table. Using a pair of dice, each player takes a turn rolling for doubles. If you get doubles, you can start unwrapping the ball to get candy for as long as it takes the next player to get doubles. The ball is then passed to that player and so on until the ball is completely unwrapped.

Toss & Tell

All players sit in a circle. Start by tossing a small turkey stuffed animal or small football to a player and ask a question like, “Who do you think will make it to the Super Bowl this year?” or “What is your favorite memory from elementary school?” This multigenerational game will be a hit!

Dress the Turkey

Select a volunteer from the family to be the turkey. Using brown crepe paper streamers, wrap up the turkey until he is covered. Decorate the turkey with a yellow beak, feet and colorful feathers made from construction paper or foam sheets. Don’t forget your camera!

Pass the Cranberries

Using a turkey baster, pick up a cranberry and bring it to a bowl on the other side of the room. The first team to pass all their cranberries from one bowl to the other is the winner.

Fill your Plate

This is a two part game. Use free printables of Thanksgiving meal items–drumstick, cranberries, potatoes, stuffing, corn and pie. Have the kids color and cut out their dinner items. When everything is colored, pass out a paper plate to each player. The game is a spin off of the Cootie game, but instead of building a bug, we are filling our plate. Assign each meal item with a number and each time a player rolls the die, he gets to put that item on his plate. Whoever fills their plate first is the winner. Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mother of three. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving at her house without games! Follow her on Etsy at Pam’s Party Printables for more party and game ideas.

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Sacramento Parent November 2017  

This issue is packed full of thanksgiving! DIY Fall Centerpieces, Thanksgiving Day game idea's and frolicking fall fun! We're grateful to sh...

Sacramento Parent November 2017  

This issue is packed full of thanksgiving! DIY Fall Centerpieces, Thanksgiving Day game idea's and frolicking fall fun! We're grateful to sh...