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New Leaf Community Markets - Everything for Healthful Living!
  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

May 24, 2012

Why the Maker Movement Has Become So Popular

Homemade Baby Food Made Easy

Viva: Traveling Checklists Part II

Suki: All in a Week's Play

Advice from Elizabeth: Teaching kids how to spend money


This Week
30th Annual Civil War Battles & Encampment
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(Special Event Images / Graphics) MemorialDay_EvergreenCemetery.jpgMemorial Day is a day to remember those who gave their lives in wars our country participated in.  It also can be a time for families to help children understand some of our history. "Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer."

The annual Memorial Day Event at Santa Cruz' Evergreen Cemetery on is impressive. Learn more.

There is so much nutritional information available today that there's almost no excuse for feeding unhealthful food to our children or ourselves!  We offer an article on making your own baby food by Jada Giberson.  What a great way to know exactly what is in the food and to eliminate questionable ingredients.

Is this your lucky day to win a set of 4 tickets to the Linda Arnold concert at Simcha Preschool on June 3?  See contest details below.

Have a lovely long weekend, Parmalee

  Why the Maker Movement Has Become So Popular

by Chris Yonge, Makers Factory Co-founder

(Special Event Images / Graphics) MakersFactoryRobot.jpgAs for why the Maker movement has become so popular, there are many possible reasons, but here are the three I think most likely:

Products – from cars to household devices, telephones to televisions – have become impenetrable to the average owner. Thirty or even twenty years ago it was generally practical for people to repair their own car, mend a broken radio, open a washing machine to replace a belt, or – if not – find a local repair shop to do the job for them. Now it’s not just simpler but cheaper to throw a broken device away than repair it. The ways that we store and use information are becoming equally impenetrable as more of it becomes electronic. Records became CDs which are now becoming MP3 files; paper maps have turned into GPS files; movies went from VHS cassette to DVD to MP4s; photos became JPGs, letters emails, and even electronic books, read on Kindles and iPads, are becoming downloadable files. As a result the average person barely writes (in the pen-holding sense), annotates, unfolds, adjusts, fixes, or manipulates anything other than a mouse or a keyboard from one end of the day to the other. But we need to touch and interact with things – tool making is one of our unique abilities as a species. We evolved to make and use tools, and there is a yearning to do so. The Makers movement is one expression of that need.

Open source software has become so widespread, so comprehensive, and so reliable that people can download and use programs that would have cost thousands of dollars even a few years ago. Tutorials and help forums on the Internet help them learn and become creative with those tools very fast. At the same time hardware such as the Arduino board and simple 3D printers such as the Makerbot open up tremendous options for people to actually make things that work without needing a college education or a fully equipped shop. The design, development, and production of simple electronic and mechanical items has become affordable – and fun.

And the third reason, I think, is as an expression of individual freedom. We are losing freedoms. Not just in the political sense but as I wrote above, in our ability to choose, interact with, and control the objects that surround us. To make one’s own clock from laser cut pieces is not just to gain a timepiece but also to understand its mechanism, the materials from which it is made, the machines and technologies used to make it, and to expand one’s reach and confidence as a person. One isn’t just defined by one’s profession or income or qualifications, which it is often impossible to change; one can grow along a second axis, a personal axis, of skills and experience and connection and creativity. Again, I think people intuitively understand this, and are drawn to one or other aspect of the Maker movement as a result.

Here at MakersFactory we can design, prototype, and manufacture a wide variety of items, from simple 3D objects to complex mechanical/electronic products. Children and adults welcome!  The image above is a robot made in Kids Makers Factory Camp.

 

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  Homemade Baby Food Made Easy

(Photos General) JadaGiberson.jpgby Jada K. Giberson, Certified Nutritionist

When it comes to making one's own baby food the thought can be overwhelming, but take heart, it is simpler than it sounds. As a nutritionist I am always looking for the foods that are going to give people, but especially babies, the most bang for the buck; or in other words, the most nutrition for the calorie. One way to do this is look for foods that are fresh, and as we all know, canned baby foods are not fresh. In order to preserve them additional ingredients may be added that you baby simply doesn't need.

We all want to give our children the best start we can, and I strongly believe that starting them off with a healthy diet is a critical piece to the puzzle. During my education I was saddened and shocked to learn the state of health in our young population today. According to the CDC 1 in 3 children born after 2000 will develop diabetes if our society continues at the current rate. This, as well as other issues, is facing our next generation, and, it was in learning this that I found my focus. I work to support the first years of a child's life by supporting their parents; teaching them how to eat well for fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby's first foods. By starting early, habits are formed that will stay with them throughout their whole lives.

But again the question comes up; "How can I make my baby's food, won't that be time consuming and expensive?" Here are a few tips to help save time and give your baby the best food you can offer.

Tip 1. Let your kids eat what you eat. There is no need to spend lots of time planning a special menu for baby. If you are having carrots with your salad tonight set aside a small portion and steam them for your little one. Just make sure that you are both eating a rainbow of colors from your fruits and veggies.

Tip 2. Keep it simple. Don't get overwhelmed with all the different baby food making gadgets. A simple set of tools, that you probably already have in your kitchen, will do. A steamer basket and compact food processor are two essentials.

Tip 3. Relax. Introducing foods to your baby should be fun and exciting for you both. During the first year the majority of your babies nutrition will come from breast milk so don't worry if it takes a little time to get in the habit of creating these new dishes. With a little patience and persistence you'll be whipping up fresh, healthy meals for your little one in no time.

A little about Jada Giberson, "A large part of my practice is devoted to women's health, particularly prenatal health. Having had a challenging pregnancy myself and also having a son who is challenged with learning differences I believe that preparing our bodies and carefully supporting ourselves during gestation is imperative to the health of our next generation. With the continually rising rates of children on the autism spectrum and earlier and earlier development of Type II Diabetes I believe that we must focus on prevention and that eating well is a critical piece this puzzle."

To learn more about introducing your baby's first foods join me at New Leaf Community Markets Westside on May 30th, 5:30pm-7:30pm. Register at www.newleaf.com or call 831-466-9060 x 126.

 

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  Viva: Traveling Checklists Part II

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Using "packing checklists" to prepare for travel is a great way to prevent unnecessary purchases while on vacation.  I've had to buy everything from disposable razors to socks to tennis shoes because of packing amnesiaAnd it never feels good to spend your traveling "fun money" on things you already own at home.  But travel checklists are a great way to make sure nothing is forgotten- each item is checked off as it is packed. Packing checklists are especially helpful for family travel- each family member gets their own checklist printed out for them to use.  Parents can then see which items still need to be packed for each kid.

In Part I of this travel packing list series, I gave you a general packing list for travel so that you'd remember to pack your clothes, shoes, etc.  Here in Part II I'm providing a free downloadable "Toiletry Checklist," which is a customizable packing checklist for all of your beauty and hygiene items (razor, tweezers, make-up, sunscreen, etc.).  The likelihood of forgetting to pack at least one beauty or hygiene item is pretty high- and that means you might end up buying replacements at the hotel gift shop at ridiculously prices.   And it never feels good to spend your traveling "fun money" on things you already own at home. So print out one of these toiletry checklists for each family member, and ask them to check off each item as they pack it.

Stay tuned for Part III, where I'll provide a travel checklist for kids, and Part IV, where I'll cover road trip checklists.

Get the free checklist...

Visit Viva at the Daily Citron for more frugal tips and finds.

 

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  Suki: All in a Week's Play

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My son and I went down to LA so he could attend the state science fair for the second time. It's quite an exciting thing, to see so many kids who are into science and are willing to put their work out there to be judged. Unfortunately, the state science fair's listings don't include the kids' schools, so I couldn't count how many homeschoolers were there. I recognized at least four homeschoolers from Santa Cruz-the same three as last year plus a sibling who's now old enough.

One of the fun things about the science fair is that science-minded families, whose kids are usually spread thinly throughout different schools, get to come together. Our kids don't have to dumb themselves down for acceptance, and parents don't feel the need to apologize for our kids' abysmal social skills. (Though many of these kids have pretty impressive social skills, so there goes another stereotype.)

I also get to see a few other school parents I know, which is really fun because our paths don't cross very often anymore. One conversation I had reminded me how our lives have diverged from school families' lives. The mom I was talking to is someone I've known for a long time, and she was talking about how her daughter didn't like to miss school. I joked that in our case, we miss school all the time!

Her answer was very interesting to me: She responded that it must be exciting for my son to get out, given that he's homeschooled. Now, it's possible... Read more...

You can read more of Suki's commentaries at Avant Parenting.

 

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  Advice from Elizabeth: Teaching kids how to spend money

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by Elizabeth Donati

"Summer is here, the kids are out of school, the routines have shifted, and money for fun is likely high in demand!

If you have teens, they are probably busy spending money hand over fist (whatever that means) and hopefully, many of them are making some or all of the money they are spending. If they aren't, and YOU are supplying the money they are spending... STOP!

Yes, you read that correctly. Stop giving them money to spend frivolously! Kids don't learn how to CREATE their own money streams when you are always providing it.

Kids need to experience money for themselves in order to learn how it works in the real world. Summer is a perfect time to get them started, no matter how old they are.

Try this: figure out, on a monthly basis, how much you spend on your kids and then run it THROUGH them instead, age appropriately of course.

You give them a lump sum at the beginning of the month, talk about what they are going to need and want, help them put together a budget, and then let them go at it! Guess what? They get to make mistakes, recover, make decisions, feel the impact and, most important of all, practice! All you have to do is be willing not to rescue them when they run out of money. THIS is where the lessons will begin.

Have you ever noticed how much easier it is for kids to spend YOUR money rather than THEIR money? This is why it is imperative that you put them in charge of purchasing the things they need as early as possible. It might be uncomfortable for a while but you'll notice the changes before school begins."

You can learn more about allowances in Elisabeth's book, The Ultimate Allowance.

 

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 30th Annual Civil War Battles & Encampment

(Special Event Images / Graphics) RoaringCamp_CivilWarandTrain.jpg30th Annual Civil War Battles & Encampment
May 26-May 27
Graham Hill Road, Felton

Join us Memorial weekend for the Sesquicentennial commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War and 30th year of Civil War Battles and Encampment at Roaring Camp. Reflect on this pivotal period in our nation's history as members of the American Civil War Association assemble to reenact famous battles. Experience the sights and sounds of cavalry charges, musket fire and artillery shells in one of the longest-running historic reenactments in the West. Ride a 1880s iron horse through an ancient redwood forest and witness skirmishes as the steam train ascends Bear Mountain.

Glimpse a soldier's daily life as he cooks meals over a campfire, cleans his musket, and prepares for the day's activities. Spectators may visit encampments of Union and Confederate Soldiers, inspect regiments as they march in review, and observe surgeries performed at field hospitals.

Activities begin each day at 10 a.m. with battles at 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and at 2:00 p.m. on Monday. Roaring Camp's steam trains depart each day at 11 a.m., 12:30, 2:00 and 3:30 p.m. and pass through the battlefield on the way to Bear Mountain where they encounter skirmishes at the summit. A chuck wagon barbecue is served from noon to 3 p.m.

Admission to the Civil War event is $5 per person and parking is $8 per car. Guests purchasing train ticket receive a $2 discount by showing admission ticket. Steam train excursions are $24 adult and $17 child (2-12 years).  Click here for Steam Trains Fares/Timetables.

 

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Santa Cruz Blues Festival
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36th Annual Civil War Battles & Encampment
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36th Annual Civil War Battles & Encampment
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  36th Annual Civil War Battles & Encampment
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City: Felton Phone: 831.335.4484 view all details >>
     
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