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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

December 15, 2016
All of Them!
Books to Treasure

Easy Christmas Crinkle Cookies

Mud Soup
Places to Go!
Click to view our Business Directory
  All of Them!

(0 Dec 2016) HollyBoots.jpgFind the joy! It's there! If it's raining, put on boots, feed the birds, walk, listen to the beautiful sounds of rain on windows! If this season makes you sad, if anything makes you sad, do something kind for someone!

I wish I had written this paragraph by Maria Popova of Brain Pickings, because  the sentiment is so true.

"It is almost banal to say so yet it needs to be stressed continually: all is creation, all is change, all is flux, all is metamorphosis," Henry Miller wrote in contemplating art and the human future. The beautiful Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi invites us to find meaning and comfort in impermanence, and yet so much of our suffering stems from our deep resistance to the ruling law of the universe - that of impermanence and constant change. How, then, are we to accept the one orbit we each have along the cycle of life and inhabit it with wholeheartedness rather than despair?

At least as I age, I have gained a smidgeon of wisdom sufficient to recognize profound, universal truths.  The trick is to apply these insights to all relationships especially with our children through all their stages "along the cycle of life."

(2 Buttons) Button_Weekend.jpg(0 Dec 2016) MollyBrett_XmasTree.jpgPlease share our newsletter with new friends so they won't miss a few tidbits of wisdom from our author contributors, and our many fun events!

All of them! Merry Christmas!  Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanza! I hope you are all able to enjoy a restful, festive holiday season with loved ones.

Have a festive weekend with family and friends!  Parmalee

  Books to Treasure

All have a fine story and exquisite illustrations.

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  Easy Christmas Crinkle Cookies

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  • White Cake Mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • Red and green food coloring

Mix eggs, oil and cake mix in a large bowl.

Separate dough into two equal amounts.

In small bowls dye one part red and the other part green. Mix the colors by hand.

Refrigerate dough for at least 30 minutes to create fluffier cookies.

Roll tablespoon size balls of dough in powdered sugar and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. 

Bake for 9-11 min at 375 degrees.

Thanks Pinterest!

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  Mud Soup

(0 Dec 2016) LentilSoup1.jpgLentil soup is a staple in our family.  There is always a jar in the refrigerator.  I make a large pot at least once a week and store it in quart mason jars to be pulled out for breakfast, lunch or supper depending on the day.  When filled to the brim, it keeps a long time. 

First I make it without any meat, then fill a couple of jars, vegetarian style for those who like it meatless.  Last I add meat for those who like it that way, either a delicate sausage or really good hamburg.  This is one of those recipes that can absorb a variety of ingredients, so feel free to add anything that appeals to you. As beans go, it is one of the most digestible!  To appeal to the children, call it "Mud Soup."

2-4 C dry green or french lentils

Plenty of water, 2x more than beans

2 T Better Than Bouillon Vegetable (or Chicken) Base

1 med to large yellow onion

2+ fresh garlic cloves

2 T olive oil

Celery cut into fine pieces

4-5 Carrots

2 yukon potatoes, at least

2 lemons

1 t red pepper flakes

1 t oregano

1 lb sausage or lean hamburg












Put the lentils & water into a pot, bring to a boil, add bouillion and turn down to low-medium.

Simmer for an hour and set a timer to check every 15 minutes to be sure there's enough water.

Place the whole carrots, quartered potatoes and halved lemons into the hot soup for about 10 minutes. 

When soft enough to cut, remove carrots and potatoes and chop into small pieces. I chop everything small but if you like large go for it. Save them to add back when soup is almost done.  Be sure to remove the lemons before they release a "bitter" flavor. Squeeze the softened pulp into the soup.

Chop the onion & celery fine and mince the garlic. Saute the onion & celery in olive oil a couple of minutes, then add the garlic for less than a minute.  Stay with it so it doesn't burn. Add to soup.

Other ingredients that go well with lentils: squash, kale or spinach shredded fine (easier to consume), red peppers.

Serve in a warmed bowl over brown rice, add a sprinkle of your favorite cheese and always provide some crusty bread. Salt to taste.

Helpful Tools: garlic press, wide mouth funnel, mason quart jars


  Places to Go!

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Winter Breaks

Gateway School K-8, 12/23-1/6


Mount Madonna School PreK-12, 12/19-1/2


Bonny Doon  12/23-1/6

Happy Valley 12/23-1/6

Live Oak 12/23-1/6

Mountain 12/23-1/6

Pacific 12/23-1/8

Pajaro Valley Winter Break 12/23-1/17

San Lorenzo 12/27-1/6

Santa Cruz 12/23-1/6

Scotts Valley 12/23-1/6

Soquel 12/23-1/6


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Track Santa with Norad
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  Track Santa with Norad
Date: Every day (Dec 1-Dec 23) from 3:00pm to 8:00pm
Details: Follow Santa's progress Christmas Eve
view all details >>
The Petite Nutcracker
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  The Petite Nutcracker
Agape Dance
Date: Every day (Dec 16-Dec 18)
Ages: Young Audiences
Details: The Petite Nutcracker comes to Santa Cruz County
Phone: 831-359-0850 view all details >>
Girls Night Out
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  Girls Night Out
Art Factory
Date: Every Fri (Oct 14-Dec 16) from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Details: Treat yourself to some time with the girls, wine and cheese and a create evening
City: Aptos Phone: 831-688-8862 view all details >>
Ice Skating by the Bay
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  Ice Skating by the Bay
Ice Skating by the Bay
Date: Every day (Nov 19-Jan 8)
Ages: All
Details: Spend the dayice skating in a winter wonderland right by the Bay.
City: Monterey Phone: 831-649-4511 view all details >>
All of Them!
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  All of Them!
view all details >>
Twinkle Tours
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  Twinkle Tours
Mt. Herman
Date: Every day (Dec 15-Jan 9)
Ages: 10+
Details: Zip line through the twilight!
City: Mr Herman view all details >>
7th Annual "Messiah" Sing-A-Long
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  7th Annual "Messiah" Sing-A-Long
Peace United Church of Christ
Date: 12/20/2016 at 7:00pm
Details: A community sing-a-long, open to anyone who would like to raise their voice to sing Handel's legendary "Messiah."
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
 The Premiere of "House on Rodeo Gulch"
click to view website
  The Premiere of "House on Rodeo Gulch"
Rio Theater
Date: 07/22/2017 at 6:30pm
Details: Premiere of drama film with mostly local actors & crew
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
Ice Skating at Circle of Palms
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  Ice Skating at Circle of Palms
San Jose Downtown
Date: Every day (Nov 16-Jan 16)
Details: Skaters never tire of circling, twirling and gliding beneath 32 palms that stand majestic by day and twinkle by night
City: San Jose Phone: (408) 291-0525 view all details >>
Sunday Seaside Crafts
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  Sunday Seaside Crafts
Seymour Marine Discovery Center (at Long Marine Lab)
Date: Every Su from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Ages: Kids and up
Details: Join us with your small fry every Sunday for hands-on fun!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 459-3800 view all details >>
Guided Elephant Seal Walks Start Dec 15
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  Guided Elephant Seal Walks Start Dec 15
State Park Ano Nuevo
Date: Every day (Oct 25-Mar 31)
Ages: All: (Lots of walking)
Details: 3 mile hike over sand and sloping terrain to see thousands of elephant seals, including newborn pups, their mothers, and bulls
Special Instructions: Dec 15 - Mar 31
City: Pescadero Phone: 800.444.4445 view all details >>
Holidays on the Ranch
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  Holidays on the Ranch
State Park Wilder Ranch
Date: 12/09/2017 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Details: Celebrate the warmth of the holiday season with crafts, games, music and merriment from the early 20th century.
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 426-0505 view all details >>
"The Nutcracker" - the original Santa Cruz production, with live
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  "The Nutcracker" - the original Santa Cruz production, with live
Santa Cruz Ballet Theater
Date: Every day (Dec 16-Dec 18)
Ages: 3 - 103
Details: Everyone's Favorite Holiday Tradition!
Special Instructions: For Group Sales rates , call the Box Office.
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 420-5260 view all details >>
STEAM in Nature
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  STEAM in Nature
Santa Cruz Children's Museum of Discovery
Date: Every Wed (Feb 24-Apr 7) at 10:00am
Ages: 0-12
Details: Fine Motor Skills, Art through various mediums, Natural Science Exploration
City: Capitola Phone: (888) 424-8035 view all details >>
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