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Dear Parents,

    Here is the first of our series on parent heroes and heroines, many of them entrepreneurs.  We hope they will inspire you to tell us about other parent heroes and heroines you know, including yourself or your spouse.  Today's heroine is a well known and loved local mompreneur. 

Enjoy, Brownie 


“There’s A Song in My Heart”


    Who among us is where she thought she might be back when those first thoughts of “When I grow up I’ll be….”? Some of us are so far from those first musings that we are amazed at where we are.  But one of our local “mompreneurs” was so blessed with musical talent and encouraged by a talented father (who played big band inspired jazz piano tunes after dinner) that where she that where she is today is no surprise.

(Site Photos) Joya.jpg    Joya Winwood has “carried” Mothersong Santa Cruz for 19 years.  A Santa Cruz musical institution, Mothersong brings together moms, dads, grandparents, babies and toddlers for an hour of music every week.  Joya selects songs that reflect her joy in singing, her pleasure in the diversity of cultures and her passion for peace.  Look at a few titles on her cds: : “I Keep Feeling Your Love, Sending You Light, River of Love, Loving is a Beautiful Feeling.”  


    Joya is a mom of two, a boy and a girl, 21 and 25.  When you meet her, your first impression is “petite.” But when she straps on her guitar, nods to the beat within and bursts forth with a powerful lyrical voice you are drawn into the magic that enchants the babies, toddlers and parents.  Soon the little ones are dancing, clapping and singing with Joya, along with their parents, some of whom have sung on Mothersong recordings.  “I realized at summer camp in my childhood that singing brought me happiness. I had the good fortune to follow my heart,” comments Joya, “I look into the innocent faces of the babies, toddlers and preschoolers and know that that's who we all are.”   


    Availing herself of today’s technology, Joya has self-produced her own cd’s featuring her soothing, joyful and magical songs for children and parents.  Top sellers locally are Tender Souls and Little Blessings.  Going to the next level, Joya has recently put out a two dvd set, A Multicultural Singalong for Families with Babies:  1) a singalong experience of a Mothersong circle in action and 2) “how to” lead and grow a Mothersong circle.  Recently, new Mothersong Groups have begun in the U.S., and New Zealand! In some groups the leader partners with a musician.

     Given Joya’s philosophy of peace and love, when her 20 year old son joined the Navy, Joya was rocked with feelings of personal failure as a parent.  She feared he would become hurt or might hurt another human being, "I feel for all families of soldiers in this world."  By listening to other women in their fifties and sixties speak of their experiences as parents, she has finally gained some perspective on her reaction.  She finds solace in her work with children and their parents.  “Stories and songs help me center and lift my anxiety for my son and all soldiers. In Mothersong I find the quality of love that the moms and dads give their babies to be profoundly nourishing.  It strengthens my love for myself, my son and my planet.”


    To find Mothersong groups go here, and to buy Mothersong cd’s or dvd’s, go here.  They make great gifts for new parents.


Mother's Day Run for Shelter

Ending Homelessness ~ One Family at a Time

Pajaro Valley Women's Shelter's Only Fundraiser! 

Sunday, May 11

10K Run - 5K Run/Walk - 1K Kid's Fun Run


    Imagine what it feels like to be homeless with children, then someone says "Let me help you," and does it in a way that nourishes and helps to preserve and lift your dignity. That is what attracted Christy Bertholf, mother of a one year old daughter, to working part time with Pajaro Valley Women's Shelter.  As Development Coordinator, Christy is organizing this year's annual Mother's Day Run for Shelter.  Christy's goal is to exceed the $50,000 raised last year.  You can help!  For details about a fun run in May go here.'


    We recently visited Pajaro Valley Women's Shelter and were impressed with their entire approach.  Their philosophy is to help women and their children who have become homeless with a "hand up" and "tough love" requirements so as to equip them to become self-supporting members of the community.  The first three months include intensive counseling and role modeling in all manner of practical life skills including finances, parenting and job skills.     


    Participants live in a group home doing all the "housework" and abiding by certain rules of the program. The next step is a move to longer term housing while still receiving counseling and now working for wages and preparing to go out on their own.  One of the "guidelines" that I thought had great merit was the one which requires these women to save a substantial portion of their income in exchange for housing support during their transition period.  When they are ready to go out on their own, they have a nest egg to get them started.   "Since 1983 ... PV Shelter has helped more than 5,000 homeless people move from homelessness and crisis to permanent housing and self-sufficiency."  With a record like that, what's not to support!?





(Icons/Graphics) LadyDetectives.jpg4/17 DrTim O'Shea, The Vaccine Seminar with Special Guest April Renee, of the Florida-based parents autism group.  "This is the only live seminar that offers a truly unbiased, scientific view of vaccines. In this evening presentation we will take a close look into an area that becomes increasingly more important to the health of our children every year, and provide straight answers to questions. Rio Theatre, ticket information.

(Site Photos) MtnBiker.jpg4/17-20 Sea Otter Classic at Laguna Seca
   The Sea Otter Classic is a four-day, action-packed extravaganza of cycling and outdoor sport, featuring a full schedule of amateur and pro cycling events, jaw-dropping displays of cycling tricks, family activities for all ages, and the largest consumer trade show for outdoor-lovers in the world.


4/19 11-3  Family Living History Day -  (Site Photos) WilderRanchHorse.jpg Experience first-hand the life of a c.1900 dairy rancher in Santa Cruz County. Volunteers lead living history activities on many weekends at Wilder Ranch State Park. Stop by for a picnic and lawn games and you may also find blacksmiths, quilters, and cooks demonstrating their skills on the ranch.Third Saturday of every month, Wilder Ranch State Park, 1401 Coast Rd, Santa Cruz 


4/24 6:15 SPIN, Special Parents Information Network Invites you to an Educational Options Workshop For Families & Supporters of Special Needs Children:

...for Parents and supporters of special needs children, who want to obtain information about educational options (including public school programs, alternative programs, and resources) for their children. Panel and Resource Fair.  details here


4/26 Raising Our Children to Live with Joy and Dignity

in a World of Diversity – Preparing Them for the Challenges Ahead 

    Julie Edwards will address the complex world our children are growing up in where they will need to live, play and work, side by side with people who are very different from their own families. From infancy on, children experience and try to understand differences of racial identity, languages, family structures, religious beliefs, and access to material things. The issue is not just differences, it is also inequity – children being treated badly based on their identities. The question becomes how do we help our children to understand our human sameness, feel secure and proud in their own identities and families, and to have the tools to talk about, stand up for, and find joy in all our differences. Surprise, surprise – not talking about it doesn’t help! Go here for more ticket information.

calendar details

(Site Photos) DuckyDerbyRe-sized.jpg4/26 18th Annual Ducky Derby


4/26-27 Santa Cruz Mineral & Gem Show


4/27 Earth Day 

Put these dates on your calendar!(Icons/Graphics) SchoolHouseRed.jpg
 School Open Houses
Waldorf Parent Conversations
4/16, 7-9pm 
Waldorf K
4/16, 9:30-10:30am 
Waldorf 9-12
4/17 8am
Carden 4Yr-8th Grade
4/17, 5:30-7:30pm 
Waldorf Lecture
4/23, 7pm  

details here


Got Duct Tape? 


(Site Photos) DuctTapeWallet.jpg



Do you have extra duct tape or would you like to buy some for a worthy cause?  Mariposas Art, an organization which brings art projects to under-privileged children has placed a request in our classifieds.

(Business Logos) TyroleanLogo3.jpg


The Bier Garten

is open for Adults

and the Bounce House

is up for children!

Weekends at

The Family Friendly Tyrolean

9600 Hwy 9, Ben Lomond




(Speical Event Page Graphics) PVShelterMothersDayRun.jpg



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Where Locals
Shop for Great Meats,
Cheeses, Produce and Wines,
Banciforte and Soquel 
Santa Cruz
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Learn Infant
Sign Language
with Angelita Breiter
of FingerBabble 
Classes begin soon!
(Site Photos) Signing_Daddy.jpg
Go here




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Yellow Lab
A Very Good Family Pet 


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