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     In a flash 2008 gives way to 2009! For me the best times are when our families sit down to dinner together. We all save information to share at the end of the day, sometimes bringing "show and tell" to the dinner table. We have no-phone-answering, no-leaving the table and "this-stays-in-the-family" rules. (We don't get cable, so no-TV is not an issue.) It's here that we shape attitudes, practice the art of conversation, support each other and laugh together. The dinner table is where family stories are handed down, values are instilled, problems discussed and solutions formulated.


     I think these family dinners don't happen often enough, so that is our family's first resolution --to make them happen more frequently.   We're starting with a New Year's Eve dinner together. It will be a favorite dinner (we voted): roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, petite peas and gravy. The topic for the evening is Resolutions! Together we're going to make individual and family resolutions. We're going to discuss areas where we would like to improve, activities we would like to try, places we would like to visit and dreams!  Read great tips for making New Year's resolutions >>>

     Have you decided how you are going to celebrate the last night of 2008? Check out the ideas in this article from Coast Kids magazine with fun ideas for celebrating New Year's, whether you choose to have a date night or celebrate with your kids. Read article>>>

Getting ready for the new year...
It is time to start thinking about After-School Classes & Sports for the Winter Quarter. >>>
This is a great time to work with tutors if your child is struggling in school. Tutors>>>
Have you decided where your child will be going to preschool in the Fall? Schedule tours now and get on waiting lists so that you have lots of options. Preschools>>>
For those thinking about private school, click to view upcoming open houses. Schools>>>

  We wish you all a wonderful New Year's celebration and an exciting 2009! Make this a year to follow your dreams.




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     A school superintendent shared these parenting resolutions from Family Circle Magazine. They are important for all of us parents to keep in mind throughout the year:


I will always love my children for who they are - not who I want them to be. It's an important distinction.
I will give my child space to grow, to dream, to succeed, and even to fail. Without that space, no growth can occur.
I will create a loving home environment, regardless of what effort it takes at a given time.
When discipline is necessary, I will let my child know that I disapprove of what he does, not who he is. Again, it's a very important distinction.
I will set limits and help my children find security in the knowledge of what is expected of them. They will not have to guess what is right or wrong.
I will make time for all my children and cherish our moments together.
I will not burden my children with emotions and problems they are not equipped to deal with.
I will encourage my children to experience the world and all its possibilities, taking pains to leave them careful but not fearful.
I will try to be the kind of person I want my children to be: loving, fair-minded, giving, and hopeful.


It's a tall order, but these resolutions are all worth the effort. When carried out, they can make a real difference for our children.


(Icons/Graphics) LadyDetectives.jpgEvents



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See full Calendar for Events Details!


Dec 19-Jan 4, Toy Train Show, MAH, 705 Front St, Santa Cruz, Closed Mondays, Christmas & New Years Day

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Thurs, 12/12 - 1/4 Ice Skating in Monterey Monterey On Ice is located in the Custom House Plaza near Historic Old Fisherman's Wharf.


(Special Event Page Graphics) FirstNightMontereyAdult.jpgDec. 31, 3pm First Night Monterey,  Children's events begin at 3pm!

* Creation Stations with Interactive art activities!
* Twilight Parade at 5:30 - through downtown Monterey
* Classical, Country, Jazz, Blues ,and Rock & Roll performances
* Dancing with the Stars all night long in the 2 great venues!
* Henna tattoos, face painting
* Teen Alley-Rock the night away and bring in the new year!
* New Faces!- lots of new performers to First Night


Dec. 31 Last Night SantaCruz DIY, Impromptu street party celebrating the New Year!


(Site Photos) ElephantSeal_Baby.jpgDec - Mar, Guided Elephant Seal Walks, December By reservation only. Winter is the prime season to view thousands of elephant seals, including newborn pups, their mothers, and bulls. Ano Nuevo State Reserve is home to a large colony of Northern Elephant Seals. The seals come ashore to give birth and mate from mid December through March.

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Dec 7-Dec 31, Horse-drawn Carriage Rides, Downtown Santa Cruz, Clip-clop through Downtown Santa Cruz via the original form of horsepower. Fridays, 6-9pm; Saturdays, 4-8pm; Sundays, 1-4pm $5



See full Calendar for Events Details!


(Site Photos) WalkingWithDinosaurs.jpgFri-Tues, Dec 26-30 Walking with Dinosaurs, HP Pavilion
As big as it sounds! Unprecedented in scale and scope, 'Walking With Dinosaurs-The Live Experience' lets you get up close with 15 "live" dinosaurs designed and brought to life by The Creature Production Company. T-Rex, Stegosaurus, and the gigantic Brachiosaur are among the giant stars of the show, based on the award-winning BBC TV series.


(Site Photos) SeymourChildren.jpgDec 18-30, Seymour Center Holiday Admission Specials!

With web coupon. Bring the family, out-of-town guests, and enjoy the holidays in a special way. Enjoy our incredible views in the warmth of the Seymour Center. Two-for-one admission, and free child with paying adult.




(Special Event Page Graphics) LegoDisplay.jpgJan 2-11, 11am-4pm Living LEGO-cy Exhibit, See LEGO trains circle a miniature version of San Francisco in a huge scene created by the Bay Area LEGO Users Group and Train Club. LEGO towns, farms, spaceships, pirate ships, castles and more are also on display. Located in the historic Williams House and Gardens near downtown Palo Alto.


(Special Event Page Graphics) FungusFairChanterelles.jpgJan 10-11, Fungus Fair, Louden Nelson, Santa Cruz, Every January, after the rains have sent chanterelles and witch's butter popping up, mycophiliacs from all over Central California converge on Santa Cruz for the Fungus Federation's Fungus Faire, a celebration of all things mushroom. Features identification workshops, cooking demonstrations and more.  Did you know that without fungus we'd have no bread, cheese, beer or wine? That anti-cholesterol medicine was developed from mushrooms?


(Special Event Page Graphics) DaVinci.jpgthrough Jan 25, Leonardo: 500 Years into the Future For the first time ever in the U.S.! The world premiere of the largest, most comprehensive exhibit of the innovative art, science and engineering works of Leonardo da Vinci and his contemporaries. Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see how this genius of the Renaissance has influenced and inspired much of the technology we use today.





Plan Your Garden Now!


     We may not be quite through winter, although I saw some daffodil tips peaking through the soil in my front yard, but now is the time of year that farmers get out their seed catalogues (or go online!). Local pre-school expert at gardening with little ones, Janine Canada, author of Gardening with Gus has suggestions for books about gardening, flowers, worms or growing your own pizza! Below is a list of books that should be available at your local bookstore and that she has found to be fun, colorful and educational for young children. A book and a packet of seeds or a starter plant make great Spring birthday presents.


Gardening with Gus   by Janine Canada
The Surprise Garden  by Zoe Hall
Jamberry   by Bruce Degen
Bugs for Lunch  by Margery Facklam
Sunflower House  by Eve Bunting
A Handful of Sunshine  by Melanie Eclare
Bumblebee, Bumblebee, Do You Know Me?   By Anne Rockwell
Worms Eat My Garbage   by Mary Appelhof
Grow Your Own Pizza, Gardening Plans & Recipes   by C. Hardesty
Whose Garden Is It?   by Mary Ann Hoberman
How Many Snails: A Counting Book   by Paul Giganti


This list is an excerpt from Gardening with Gus by Janine Canada, a recently published book for young children ages 2 ½ - 6 yrs. old. It's a colorful book full of activities, recipes, songs and books for children, parents and pre-school teachers. A great gift any time!


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School Corner





Open Houses

SC Montessori Jr Hi

1/15, 7pm


1/21, 6:30pm

SC Montessori Elem

1/21, 7pm

Independent School Fair

1/22, 7pm

The New High School Project

1/27, 7:30pm

Details in Calendar

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Suki's Blog

"We need to work on his tattling," she said. "It's a really serious problem."



 Roller Skating

Santa Cruz

Roller Palladium

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Call for

Holiday Hours


Have You

Used the


With all those new toys and clothes in your house, take the time to get organized this month and purge some of the things you are no longer using. Have you used the FREE CLASSIFIEDS?

Fresh Prep



Fresh Brie en Croute
w/Caramelized Onion and Apples
12oz, $15

We took this to a party and the plate emptied before our very eyes! It's that good!


3-Years Running


from Blackboard Catering
Fresh and Delicious!

We tasted it!

It's great!

10oz, $7.95

My New England brother tried this and ranked it with the best, and he's a clam chowder afficionado!


Fresh Prep


Where you

save time & money!


504 B Front St,

Santa Cruz


Open Gym
Parents Night Out
Santa Cruz Sports Central

(near Costco)

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Jan 10, 6-10pm
Ages 3-13
Safe gymnastics, games, trampoline, snacks & fun.

Call to reserve your spot as space is limited.


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kajeet is the only cell phone service especially for kids!

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Visit: for more details!

Enter coupon code: SCPARENT at check out and receive FREE Shipping and 15% OFF your order. Check the Local Perks for another Bonus discount when you activate your new phone!

Finger Babble
Infant Sign Language
Free Demo Class

Jan 8, 10am
Ages: 0-2
Come learn farm animal signs, discover the benefits of using sign language with pre-verbal infants and toddlers and find out more about Finger Babble's up coming 10 week play class Call for location.
(408) 884-1597

Tyrolean Inn

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Please join us

for New Year's!

Das Silvester

In true Bavarian fashion, the Tyrolean Inn celebrates New Year's Eve with traditional foods, music, songs, plus beers and wines from the homeland.


Tyrolean Inn

9600 Hwy 9

Ben Lomond




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My Resolution:

Convince my people

to keep feeding me


A low-gluten diet

made with turkey,

organic Oats,

vegetables, and love!

Dr. Ken & Dr. Jan

at Allpets Clinic

 recommend it!

1226 B Soquel Ave,



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Santa Cruz, CA