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New Leaf Community Markets | Tyrolean Inn Restaurant
  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County
Families, Gangs, Cooking and Vaulting
March 26, 2010
From the Editor
Opera Singer & Singing Waitress to Mompreneur, Lizz Hodgin
Suki's Blog: The health of our children
This Week
Peter Pan Opens Friday, March 26
Click to view our Business Directory
  From the Editor

(Site Photos) Vaulting3.jpgFrom families come our leaders, artists, vaulting instructors, scientists, teachers, journalists, soldiers, psychologists, waitresses, chefs, bankers, martial arts teachers, museum directors, etc. We imbue our children with our family values --good ones such as honesty, courage, perseverance, kindness-- and our own particular cultures. They mimic our habits and ways, the good and not so good and cause us to re-think our own behaviors and what we are modeling. We have our children with us for such a short time to nurture, teach, guide and enjoy. Parenting is an awesome responsibility.

A shooting incident (the seven year old boy shot in his home by a gang member) that occurred this week kept niggling at me and forced me to attempt to fathom why this problem persists and how to interrupt the cycle of violence. Could it be that the root cause resides within the family? I don't believe a new mother holds a baby in her arms and thinks, "I'll bring you up to be a gang leader who deals in drugs, steals and kills rival gang members and innocent bystanders." However, where a gang member is concerned, something goes awry between birth and puberty. Apparently there is a strong culture of not "giving up" the shooter so it has been very difficult to interrupt this cycle. I can't help thinking that the long term solution requires work with the family, and the support of organizations that work with families.

On a lighter yet also important note, what we feed our families makes a difference in health, energy, mental acuity, success in school, etc. There's a wonderful cooking class coming up, with a special offer to SantaCruzParent.com friends. Check out the class at New Leaf. It's a great way to have a night out and to acquire cooking skills that the entire family will appreciate.

One of our business members, Black Rails Equestrian, offers a vaulting class as part of both their Spring Break Camp and regular classes. As I did not encounter that term during my years of reading The Black Stallion and King of the Wind, et.al. I looked up vaulting: "Vaulting is a unique and growing sport that combines gymnastics and dance on a moving horse. It's a wonderful way to develop coordination, balance, strength, and creativity while working in harmony with your equine partner."  If you and your children love horses, gymnastics, dance and fun, vaulting is for you!  Of course you can choose Western or English riding lessons.  Owner Sherrie Chavez invites you to their Open Barn every Saturday and Sunday and to experience a free vaulting lesson on the first Sunday of the month.

Have a great weekend,

Parmalee                                                           

  Opera Singer & Singing Waitress to Mompreneur, Lizz Hodgin

by Suki Wessling

If you had told Lizz Hodgin the aspiring opera singer, temporary New Yorker, and singing waitress that one day in the not too distant future she would be Lizz Anderson, mother of Daniel, owner of one of the largest Music Together centers in the world, she might not have believed you.

But that's what being a mom can do to you.

"Daniel has completely changed my life, and because of him, and who he is, I feel that our whole community has been enriched," Lizz says emphatically.

The emphasis comes both from the natural mother-love that anyone can have as well as from the special circumstances of Daniel's birth. He is a boy with Down Syndrome, and he has a mother who never contemplated giving up on him.

Over ninety percent of couples who test for Down Syndrome during pregnancy opt to abort. Lizz chose not to make that choice. "I am grateful I didn't do any prenatal testing," she says. "That news came after I already was completely in love with my child. I already had that bonding."

With the energy she had exhibited since she sang until the eighth month of pregnancy -- "I was singing Vissi d'arte from Tosca and it has this beautiful high note toward the end, and I hit this high note, and my baby kicked me really hard in the gut and I went Wahh! -- Lizz attacked the problem of having a child with Down Syndrome with gusto.

She was led to Music Together by a friend, who recommended it as a way to stimulate Daniel's learning and (Site Photos) LizzHodgin.jpgcreate musical bonding between mother and child. "Here I was a person with a degree in theater, had taken years of voice lessons, I had my Equity card, I'd lived in Manhattan for five years," Lizz explains. "Here I was with this little baby, and I had no idea how to play musically with him."

Music Together was developed by researchers at Princeton University who wanted to create an early childhood music education program based on the studies that showed that young children learn differently than older children and adults. The program would be based on the idea that children's musical growth "is best achieved in a playful, developmentally appropriate, non-performance-oriented learning environment that is musically rich yet immediately accessible to the child's -- and the adult's! -- participation."

Lizz says that the class hit her with a special force when she saw how it benefited Daniel. "I think I have a lot of passion because of what was happening in my home," she says. Daniel responded so well to Music Together that Lizz could see him developing well beyond what was expected of him.

Lizz says that the early years of having a child with special needs and being a single mother were very difficult. So difficult at first that she depended on welfare to make it through a time. "That was a huge gift for me and for Daniel," she says. Then she took part-time jobs -- up to five at a time -- to make ends meet while she was starting her business.

"Up until two years ago I was a single mom, and I did it all on my own," Anderson remembers. "And it was really hard. But like most moms, I got really creative. I bartered for childcare. I would go in and do Music Together classes there. The daycare providers saw what a huge difference it made and so I didn't have to pay for childcare."

Once Daniel started public school, where he is now in high school attending special education classes, Lizz created the pattern to her days that allowed her to run her business while still raising her son. "Put him on the bus WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK until I have to get Daniel off the bus. Put him in front of the screen for an hour so I could have some time for WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK then we'd be together. After Daniel went to bed, it was more WORK WORK WORK!"

The result was MusicalMe, Inc., a program running Music Together classes in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties.

Lizz's success, and the success of her business, was fast and sustained. "When I started the Music Together program, I had no idea where it was going to go," she says. "I had no idea how people were going to respond to it."

Her business has not only been successful, but has sustained the lives of families and teachers. Music Together families start with one child and stay with the program for all their children. Many of MusicalMe's teachers have been with the program for years.

Anderson says that the years have not dulled her enthusiasm for the job. "I'm in that classroom and I'm more excited than the kids are," she says of the first week of classes. "It's ridiculous!"

She also feels that having her son in her life is a gift. "So many people when they see Daniel something inside them softens," she says.

Lizz expresses the feeling that parents of children with Down Syndrome often have. "My child wakes up happy; when he comes home, has the biggest smile," she explains. "He brings incredible joy into my life."

And in kind, Lizz Anderson passes that joy on to children and parents, who are all her students and her teachers.

For more information visit MusicalMe, Inc.

  Suki's Blog: The health of our children

(Site Photos) SukiRedHead_138.jpg

Science news is a little frustrating for parents to follow. Because of the nature of science, it's always changing! If we were raising kids in the 80's, we'd probably be dumping oat bran into everything they eat. Although this wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea, it wouldn't be the miracle cure some scientists believed it was then.

Many of those who are parents now were themselves raised by parents who had no idea of the harm that could come to their children from packaged and fast foods. When these foods started to gain popularity in the 50's, it seemed the height of modern living to eat them. Why fuss over a pot of beans that takes three hours to cook when you can open a can?

So now we have a whole generation of parents who are completely removed from the process of cooking from basic ingredients. And their kids are suffering. The health news is full of it: obesity, dietary deficiencies, behavioral problems.

So if you're one of those parents who was never taught how to cook from the raw ingredients, where do you start?  Read more >>>>>>>

  This Week

Event CalendarBelow is only a partial list of upcoming events and activities so be sure to click on our EVENT CALENDAR so you do not miss anything >>

Use the PARENT PLANNER to click on events and resources you are interested in and click PRINT MY PLANNER to print or email your list. 

Spring Camp Calendar Summer Camp Calendar

Check back frequently as businesses continuously add to the calendars. Do you have an event to submit? On our homepage under Current Highlights click on Submit Your Event.

 

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Upcoming

School

Events

Spring Break Camps


Catalyst Soccer Spring Camp


Crystal Bay Farm Camp


The Art Factory


Black Rails Riding Camp


West Performing Arts


Santa Cruz Sports Central


Boys & Girls Club


Mountain Arts Center


Life Lab Spring Camp

 

 

For Children

Who Love Vaulting

 

Black Rails Horse Club

 

Spring Break Riding Camp
April 5-8, 9am-1 or 5pm

(Site Photos) BlackRails_hugbutt.jpg

Riding, Vaulting, Horsemanship, Horse Care & Grooming,
Arts and Crafts
with
Olympic trained Instructor
"Laurie DeLalla"

 

Ages 6 yrs +
Mon - Thurs 9-1 $375
BlackRailsEquestrian.com
728.2646 or 761-8150

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 Peter Pan Opens Friday, March 26

(Special Event Page Graphics) PeterPanKOB2tree.jpgWho's having more fun, the actors or the audience!?  Come join us as we travel to Neverland with Peter, Wendy, John, Michael & Tinkerbell. We'll encounter Lost Boys, Indians & Pirates, including the dastardly Captain Hook. Beware the crocodile!

2 WEEKENDS ONLY, BUY TICKETS NOW!
March 26 - April 3, 2010
Fridays & Saturdays, 7pm.
Saturdays & Sundays, 1pm
All tickets on Thursday, April 1, 7pm are $10 each!

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