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(Special Event Page Graphics) 4thJulyflaglibertybell.jpgIndependence Day!!


    Our Independence Day is cause for celebration of our unique history as an independent nation.  Who would have known in 1776 the course our nation would take from those early days to now. The wisdom of those early framers of the Declaration of Independence amazes us. They provided the framework for the growth of a nation which protects individual freedoms. We recently watched two "docu-drama" movies, Benjamin Franklin, and Liberty! The American Revolution and found them inspirational and informative!


    It occurs to us that we can liken our families to "miniature nations" in which we parents are guiding children through the process of growing to the point where they will become independent responsible adults. Very early on we realize that our children are a "force" of their own, that our roles as parents are complex, involving guiding, teaching, setting rules and limits, encouraging exploration, giving choices, responsibility, rewards and consequences, and having fun together!. 


    Where the analogy falters is that our children don't have to fight with us for independence as our fledgling nation fought with the British Empire.  Nevertheless they constantly "test" the limits and we parents have an awesome responsibility in nurturing their paths to independence.


    That said... We LOVE the 4th of July. It's one of our favorite days of the year. We think it's the blend of family, summer fun, patriotism and BBQing that makes it such a great day. Imagine hamburgers, potato salad and chocolate cake with red, white and blue icing!  Oh and yes, let's not forget..."the Rockets Red Glare.." Everyone loves a great fireworks display and while many communities have banned official fireworks owing to fire danger, we all know there will be rogue displays at the beaches!


Pack Your Beach Trash!


(Site Photos) Beachcleansmall.jpg    Some great coalitions have formed to keep our beaches clean, especially this  weekend.  Last year Save Our Shores packed out 41,000 pounds of trash from local beaches.  On Friday July 4th volunteers will be taking proactive measures by passing out trash bags at local beaches, about 300 bags per beach. On Saturday, July 5, volunteers hit the beaches at 7:30am to pack out debris (and found treasures).  Let's join them!


    The Clean Beaches Coalition is comprised of four Santa Cruz area non-profits, Ecology Action, Save Our Shores, Pack Your Trash, O'Neill Sea Odyssey and the Santa Cruz chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. The Coalition will allow the organizations to better organize beach cleanups by sharing volunteer information and coordinating which beaches get cleaned up.  We take a trash bag and a treasure bag along every time we go the the beach, but it's fun to do this as a community! Find your beach here.


Independence Day Celebrations!

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Go here for detailed descriptions!


7/4 9am lineup, 10am startThe World's Shortest Parade, Aptos Village Get there early, be prepared to park and walk. (Special Event Page Graphics) Aptos4thParadeDog.jpg Anyone can be in the parade and this year has over 100 registered groups including the Grand Pyranees assortment of white Pyranees decked out in red and blue colors. Learn more.


7/4 10am Boulder Creek 4th of July Parade


7/4 8am Firecracker 10K and Kids' 1k


7/4-6 Independence Day at Roaring Camp

details here

7/4 11:30 Alba Schoolhouse 4th of July BBQ

7/4 6:30 and 8:30 Boardwalk Concert Series: Rare Earth - "Get Ready" & "I Just Want to Celebrate"


7/4 11-4  Wilder Ranch Old-Fashioned Independence Day


7/4 12-4 Free Community Swim Simpkins Family Swim Center, Live Oak


7/4 8-5 Spirit of Wastsonville - Independence Day Parade & Celebration


7/3-6 9:15 Independence Day Boat Excursion, Elkhorn Slough

details here

Make a difference for the oceans.
    Each year, the Whale of an Auction provides crucial operating support for  the Seymour Marine Discovery Center located at Long Marine Laboratory in Santa Cruz. As many of our supporters were unable to attend this year's auction due to wildfire and road closures, the evening's activities were compromised--silent auction items were sold, live auction items were merely previewed. The spectacular auction packages planned for the live auction portion of the evening are now available for YOU!

Go to and bid now!

Idea Jar, Great Fun for Summer!



(BUILT IN) (Icons/Graphics) Jar.jpg    Idea jars help teach responsibility, family unity, and can be very useful in helping things get accomplished around the house. Take a jar and fill it with strip pieces of paper, each with a "to do" on it. Let the person who has to do the chore select from the jar themselves (usually works best with children ages four and older, but even two-year-olds can learn to chip in around the house - they can dust).

    When the chores are done, bring out the Fun Jar!  These jars can be used once a week or once a month depending on your family's schedule. Just remember that consistency is key for it to be most effective for your family.

Chore Jar Examples

  • Dust (pick one room)
  • Wipe down baseboards
  • Sweep front patio and/or sidewalk
  • Sweep back patio
  • Vacuum
  • Wipe down outside tables and chairs
  • Wipe down fridge / dishwasher
  • Help with laundry
  • Fill up cat and dog food bowls
  • Clean play room
  • Wipe down window sills
  • Clean up outside toys
  • Clean the trash out of the car
  • Wipe down car interior
  • Use glass cleaner on windows / sliding glass doors
  • Clean one bathroom

Family Fun Jar Examples

  • Go swimming
  • Rent a movie and make popcorn
  • See a movie at a movie theater
  • Play a board game
  • Go out for ice cream
  • Go to the park
  • Go for a walk or bike ride
  • Go to the zoo or museum
  • Go miniature golfing
  • Paint
  • Play with Playdoh 
  • Build sandcastles in the sand
  • Wash the car together as a family
  • Learn a new sport together
  • Build an indoor fort for the kids and play in it with them
  • Set up a tent in the backyard for the kids


Save Time!

One hour at

Fresh Prep Kitchens


Six + Hours in Your Kitchen!


Simply pick up ready made meals!



  • Asian-Infused Tri-Tip Kabobs
  • Greek-Style Yogurt Marinated Chicken Skewers
  • Summertime Chicken, Tilapia or Tofu and Vegetable Pockets
  • Marinated Honey-Lemon-Ginger Pork Loin Chops
  • Zesty Prawn Skewers
  • Red, White & Blue Cream Pie -Raspberries, Blueberries & Cream

See you soon at the kitchen!
Call (831) 429-1390 or visit
~Jody and Judy

...where you create meals in minutes!

  (Business Logos) TyroleanLogo3.jpg
All You can Eat Buffet
Thursday July 3
9600 Hwy 9
Ben Lomond

 Connect with the
Find Sitters
Offer sitting
Trade Play Dates

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Where Locals
Shop for
Great Meats,
Cheeses, Produce
and Wines
Banciforte and Soquel 
Santa Cruz

Story Times

Thursdays 10:30 am

Jelli Beanz

2555 Soquel Dr, Santa Cruz

Mondays 11:00 am

Capitola Book Cafe

1475 41st Ave,Capitola

Teens and Tweens
Who Love to Make Music

"Be In Your Own Band"

is offering a
Two Week Music Camp
Culminating in a Concert!
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Check out
with Robin Macomber

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Weekly Summer Camps

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Santa Cruz, CA