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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

February 2, 2017
Come Together
Dear Fruit Tree Huggers

Ask Nicole: Simple Acts of Love

Christine: Frequent Lying Changes Your Brain & Makes Lying Easier

Backpacking in Our State Parks
Places to Go!
Ask Nicole: Simple Acts of Love continued...
Click to view our Business Directory
  Come Together

(0 Feb 2017) FruitTreeProject6Kids.jpgFood, beauty, camaraderie, creativity, hands in the soil, contributing to the community and no politics. Yeah! Check out the Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project, aka Fruit Tree Huggers planting event this Saturday (or next if rain interferes). Bring the children and shovels.  Have fun! Here is a way ALL can COME TOGETHER!

Of course you will be making valentines for family, friends and school chums.  We offer a few ideas from clever, crafty people who lived a long time ago.

Christine brings us scientific proof about the nature and harmfulness of lying.  We better watch out!  Also, I found some hilarious quotes about lying and a few serious ones: "A lie gets half way around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." Winston Churchill

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

Have a special weekend,  Parmalee

  Dear Fruit Tree Huggers

Dear Fruit Tree Huggers,

(0 Feb 2017) FruitTreeroject.jpgSaturday is our big day! Starting at noon we'll be digging in a new community orchard at Mike Fox Park.

Thanks to more than 20 generous donors, we've raised about half of the money we need to fund this project. However there is still a long way to go, so all you 90% of the people who are praising and sharing our posts but have not donated, please give today:

If you don't have $150 that's fine, give $35 or $15. But we need everyone to pitch in, so that our volunteer orchard leaders won't be left in the unhappy position of working for free and having to use their own personal funds to buy materials.

We'll also need lots of hands to prepare the soil and set in the trees. So please join us on Saturday, and if you have shovels or pick axes, bring them along.

Also please note, if by chance the rains this week are very heavy, leading to standing water or extremely muddy soil, we will delay the planting for the following Saturday.

Thanks for your support, The Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project


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  Ask Nicole: Simple Acts of Love

(0 Feb 2017) Valentine_RobotBox.jpgby Nicole M. Young, MSW

I loved celebrating Valentine's Day as a child. My favorite memory is of the Valentine's "mailbox" that appeared every February. It was a big box that my mom decorated with colorful paper, hearts and lace, with a large slot in the lid. My siblings and I loved "mailing" our cards to each other and trying to guess what was inside the box. Even though we knew it contained cards and candy, the anticipation and curiosity made the Valentine's celebration - and us - feel special. Before I had kids, I vowed to create a Valentine's mailbox and holiday rituals that would make my own kids feel that special. However, once I became an exhausted parent, all I could do was cover a shoebox with a few stickers. It was a simple version of my childhood
Valentine's mailbox, but somehow my young children still felt the same anticipation, excitement and joy as they imagined what was inside the box. It was a good reminder that when it comes to love, the simplest acts often have the greatest impact. Read more>>>>>

This monthly column provides tips for anyone who is helping raise children, based on the world-renowned Triple P - Positive Parenting Program, available to families in Santa Cruz County. If you have a question or idea for a future column, email me at


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  Christine: Frequent Lying Changes Your Brain & Makes Lying Easier

(0 Feb 2017) AMYGDALA.jpgMost people tell occasional lies. Some people lie consistently.

Researchers have found a path between the occasional "white" lie to living a pathological life of lies. The amygdala is the part of the brain that registers and regulates emotion. When you tell a lie for personal gain, it lights up. This is a visual cue of your conscience - making you feel bad. If you keep telling lies, the amygdala lights up less, until it stops lighting up at all. You have desensitized yourself to lies.

Researchers used functional MRI (fMRI) to look at experiment participants. They were given opportunity to lie for their personal gain. They were not told to lie. They were partnered with someone. They could be honest, lie for themselves, or lie to help their partners. Lying just for themselves turned off the conscience much faster than if they lied to help their partner. Once someone slid down the slippery slope with many lies, they would continue with lies even if it didn't benefit anyone.  The researchers found they could predict truthful or lying behavior just by looking at how the amygdala lit up on a previous question.

Your parents were right when they told you to be honest and talked about a slippery slope. Scientists can watch someone slide down the slope.

Christine Cockey is a local mom and scientist who researches what's happening in the world of science and makes science easier to understand.  Keep up with her latest articles at

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Words of Wisdom from the Front Line

"Children who do good deeds everyday usually become good adults." Parents' Little Helper by Elisabeth Ayer


  Backpacking in Our State Parks

(0 Feb 2017) BigBasin_Backpacking_BerryCreekViera.jpgCalifornia State Parks Backpacking
Registration opens Wednesday February 1, 2017 at 8 am

Who better to lead you through our parks than California State Park professionals? Travel from spectacular ridgelines, through old growth redwood forests, to sandy shores with our knowledgeable team of backcountry naturalists. Imagine if the Santa Cruz Mountains could speak, and the stories they could tell. We will share the secrets of this precious wilderness and give you a window into the lives of the people who lived here for thousands of years.  

Experienced backcountry naturalists will lead one to three day backpacking trips April through September in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Castle Rock State Park, Waddell State Beach, Butano State Park, and Portola Redwoods State Park.  These adventures will include skills demonstrations, campfire stories, jokes and native plant teas and trail desserts. The adventure is open to adults 18 and over and children ages 13-17 accompanied by an adult.

Wildflower Special - First Adventure

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Starting in Castle Rock State Park, this 2 night, 3 day trip takes you through oak woodland ridgelines and dips into towering ancient redwoods. Experience panoramic views as you trek through sweeping fields of wildflowers along the backbone of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

April 28-30 (Friday through Sunday)

Cost: $225

Starting Location: Castle Rock State Park main parking lot
Ending Location: Portola Redwoods State Park Visitor Center

Difficulty: moderate to strenuous

Total Mileage: approximately 16.5 miles
Day 1: Castle Rock parking lot to Castle Rock trail camp; approximately 3 miles
Day 2: Long Ridge Open Space Preserve; approximately 10.5 miles
Day 3: Slate Creek trail camp to Portola Redwoods Visitor Center; approximately 3 miles

More Special Trips >>>>>

  Places to Go!

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Gateway School K-8, School Day Tour 2/7


Chartwell School 1-12, Open House 2/7


Mount Madonna PreK-12, Art & Play in the Pre & K 2/7

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click to view website
California Theater
Date: 02/03/2017
Details: Be fascinated by the brilliant language and the colorful characters in these classic stories by Rudyard Kipling
Special Instructions: 9:30 and 11:30 am
City: Watsonville view all details >>
 Conservatory of Flowers: Free Admission Day
click to view website
  Conservatory of Flowers: Free Admission Day
Conservatory of Flowers
Date: The 1st Tues of every month
Details: Experience with over 1,700 species of rare, exotic and endangered plants from more than 50 different countries
City: San Francisco view all details >>
Free Day!
click to view website
  Free Day!
Exploratorium, Pier 15
Date: 05/14/2017 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Details: Experience the Exploratorium at Pier 15. Join us for free day
City: San Francisco Phone: (415) 528-4444 view all details >>
Walking Tour Fisherman's Wharf
click to view website
  Walking Tour Fisherman's Wharf
Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf Association
Date: The 1st Sa of every month from 10:00am to 12:00pm
Ages: 10+
Details: Walk and talk: History of Sardine Fishing
City: Monterey view all details >>
Film: The True Cost
click to view website
  Film: The True Cost
Library Central
Date: 04/30/2017 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Details: A story about the true cost of clothing.
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
Free 2 Be a Kid
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  Free 2 Be a Kid
Live Oak Grange
Date: The 1st Sa of every month from 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Details: Bring what you can. Take what you need.
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
CoParenting and Parental Alignment
click to view website
  CoParenting and Parental Alignment
Positive Discipline Community Resources
Date: 02/11/2017 from 10:00am to 12:00pm
Ages: adults
Details: CoParenting and Parental Alignment
Special Instructions: Limited scholarships are sometimes available. Childcare will be provided onsite for $10 per child, but please request it and/or sign up for it in advance.
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 476-7284 view all details >>
Story Time
click to view website
  Story Time
Santa Cruz Children's Museum of Discovery
Date: Every Mon and Fri from 10:30am to 10:45am
Ages: 0-12
Details: Join us for story time!   Free with Museum admission and for
City: Capitola Phone: (888) 424-8035 view all details >>
Free Story Time and Craft Time
click to view website
  Free Story Time and Craft Time
Wonderland Toys & Classroom Resources
Date: The 2nd Fri of every month at 10:30am
Details: Free Story Time and Craft Time 10:30am. Join us on the second Friday
City: Soquel Phone: 831-316-7261 view all details >>
Arboretum Garden Free Day
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  Arboretum Garden Free Day
Arboretum at UC Santa Cruz
Date: The 1st Sa of every month at 11:00am
Details: A tranquil place to see plants from around the world plus quail, bunnies...
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831.427.2998 view all details >>
Are You a Fruit Tree Hugger?
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  Are You a Fruit Tree Hugger?
view all details >>
World Wetlands Day
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  World Wetlands Day
Watsonville Wetlands
Date: 02/04/2017 at 10:00am
Details: Come out and help with a fun restoration project on Upper Struve Slough along the City of Watsonville's Trail System.
Special Instructions: Meet at 10 am on the Upper Struve Slough trail at the southern end of the Nob Hill Shopping Center
City: Watsonville Phone: 831-345-1226 view all details >>
Young Eagles - Kids Fly Free
click to view website
  Young Eagles - Kids Fly Free
Young Eagles
Date: The 2nd Sa of every month from 8:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: 8 yrs - 17 yrs
Details: Kds fly free EAA airplane rides, on the first Saturday of every month between January and April and then again between September
City: Watsonville Phone: 831-531-8440 view all details >>
Triple P 8-Week Group for Families with Children 2-12 years old
click to view website
  Triple P 8-Week Group for Families with Children 2-12 years old
Triple P, Positive Parenting Program
Date: Every Tues (Feb 7-Mar 28) from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Group for Families with Children 2-12 years old
Special Instructions: All Triple P seminars and workshops are free and open to the public. Register in advance to receive free childcare. To register, call (831) 465-2217 or go online to‐trainings.
City: Boulder Creek Phone: (831) 465-2217 view all details >>
Mac Barnett And Brian Biggs Noisy Night
click to view website
  Mac Barnett And Brian Biggs Noisy Night
Bookshop Santa Cruz
Date: 03/14/2017 at 4:00pm
Ages: preschoo l- 1st grade
Details: In honor of NOISY NIGHT, we are throwing a NOISY pajama party!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 460-3232 view all details >>
 Discover Your Family History Free with Ancestry Library Edition
click to view website
  Discover Your Family History Free with Ancestry Library Edition
Library Aptos
Date: 02/04/2017 at 1:00pm
Ages: 0-3 years old
Details: Free help researching your ancestry!
City: Aptos Phone: (831)427-7717 view all details >>
  Ask Nicole: Simple Acts of Love continued...

Dear Nicole, I've barely recovered from the holidays, and my kids (7, 11) are already asking what I'm getting them for Valentine's Day. They would be happy with a bag of candy or a new video game, but I don't want to give them more stuff. They laughed when I told them Valentine's Day is about loving people, not things. So now I want to teach my kids that we can show love without giving presents or candy, but I could use some ideas. Can you help me?  - Jacob

Dear Jacob, What a great idea! So many holidays feel like a giant commercial for cards, candy, flowers and toys. It's easy to forget the true purpose of many holidays, like giving thanks, celebrating miracles or showing love.

Here are some ideas for simple ways to teach your kids about love on Valentines Day or any day of the year:

(0 Feb 2017) Valentine_ILoveYou2.jpgSay "I love you" with words, notes, pictures or texts. Parents and children often forget to say these words or say them without genuine feeling. A simple, heartfelt "I love you" is a powerful way to remind each other that you care. If your kids aren't used to saying these words to you or each other, try turning it into a game or competition to see who can find the most creative or surprising way to leave a loving note, picture or text.

Do an activity together without distractions or interruptions. Take turns picking an activity, starting with one of your kids. Turn off phones, tablets and other devices that create distractions and interrupt your time together. Make an agreement that everyone will participate with enthusiasm, even if it's not an activity each of you would choose to do on your own. This encourages children to learn how to compromise, take turns and consider other people's feelings and interests - all of which are simple acts of love.

Have dinner together. Research shows that having regular family dinners has tremendous benefits for children and youth, including better academic performance, higher self-esteem and lower risk of substance abuse and depression. Family meals provide an important opportunity to talk with children about their interests, friends, school and life. Start a conversation about a topic that has nothing to do with homework, chores, family rules or daily routines. Ask questions, listen to what they say and encourage them to ask you questions. This teaches valuable communication and social skills that will help your children in future relationships.

Say what you appreciate about each other. Be specific and sincere. Describe a quality that makes each of them special, such as their sense of humor or creativity. Acknowledge something they've done at home to be kind and helpful, like asking how your day was or doing a chore with a cheerful attitude. Set the example of how to express appreciation then encourage them to do the same with you and each other. Over time, expressing appreciation will become a habit.

(0 Feb 2017) ValentineHearts1.jpgFINAL THOUGHTS: Remember there are many ways to teach children about giving and receiving love on Valentines Day and everyday. The simple acts of love often mean the most and create the happiest family memories.

Nicole Young is the mother of two children, ages 13 and 16, who also manages Santa Cruz County's Triple P -Positive Parenting Program, the world's leading positive parenting program. Scientifically proven, Triple P is made available locally by First 5 Santa Cruz County, the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency (Mental Health Services Act) and the Santa Cruz County Human Services Department. For more information about how Triple P helps parents handle everyday parenting challenges, visit

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