Ronnie’s Awesome List – December 2012

Marinhood, The Ultimate Kids Events Round-Up In Marin And Beyond

Check Marinhood, The Ultimate Kids Events Round-Up In Marin And Beyond, for the most up to date information.

During this season of giving I am dedicating this months list to Charlotte Doyle, who organized a group of moms in just a few weeks to hold a Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Bake Sale which raised a whopping $7,417.92 to fund pediatric cancer research. Kuddos to the Town Centre in Corte Madera for letting Charlotte and her team sell their goodies. For anyone looking for an inspiring story on ways to get your kids to give back; you must read Charlotte's story in her own words. I couldn't put it better myself:

My heart is warm this morning, as I reflect on the at-times exhilarating and yet exhausting experience of organizing the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Bake Sale. 

What started out as just a whim to have a small bake sale with my kids at the end of our driveway, soon turned into something much greater than ourselves.  I don’t know how it happened exactly, but I know one thing: all along the way I kept asking myself the question, “Is this worth it?”.  When my husband expressed his frustration that I had taken on this big project with my already-crazy schedule, I thought, “Is this worth it?”.  As I spent days preparing for the event, calling malls, gathering supplies, printing posters, and emailing mothers, I wondered, “Is this worth it?”.  And when I imagined all you mothers spending your precious time buying the ingredients, baking, and then cleaning up from the floury mess, I wondered “Is this really worth it?”.  Then, when my 3-year-old son accidentally dropped the 4 dozen eggs on our kitchen floor, “was this worth it” came to mind as I smiled and laughed to myself.  As I nervously checked my front door every five minutes on Friday for baked goods to arrive, I wondered yet again, if it was worth it.   At 11pm as I baked an extra 96 brownies to fill in the gaps, there was that nagging question again.  The next morning, sleep-deprived, I awoke and rushed off to pick up an extra 6 dozen cookies that one angel mother baked to fill in the gaps, and I had to wonder if for her this was worth it.  By the time I arrived at the mall, I was almost shaking from nervousness and exhaustion, not to mention bitter cold, and wondered again, “Is this really worth it?”.  At the end of eight hours of my being there, running around, organizing, delegating, I was ready to collapse and again wondering if it was indeed really worth it.  

As I drove home I thought long and hard about that ever-present question.  I wondered WHAT exactly would make it “worth it”.  The first thing that came to mind, of course, was how much money we raised.  I had not yet counted the wad of cash in my hipsack, so I really had no idea.  I wondered if $500 would make it worth it, or maybe the magic number was $800….hmm…how would I know?  As I pondered this a bit more, I decided that it wasn’t necessarily about the amount of money we raised, but that being “worth it” could be measured in different ways, like the effort that was expended.  In that case, it sure seemed like we had all done our part.  I know that I for one felt I’d given my all both mentally and physically.  That seemed worth it, I thought.  I also thought about the 30 mothers and their families who dedicated hours to baking and selling at the event…That seemed worth it.  After all that going around in my head, it suddenly hit me:  There was one thing that would reallymake it “worth it”, and it was this:  What if I had a child with cancer?  What if we were in a hospital room at night?  He was asleep, his little hand in mind as he fought for his life.  The pain in my heart would be so immensely deep.  And I thought that if somehow there were a medicine that he could take to help him live even one more day, and that medicine was in part funded by a group of caring mothers­ in Marin doing one little bake sale, then it was worth it.  “It was worth it!  It was most definitely worth it.”.

Thank you Charlotte! You are an inspiring mom!

Another classic holiday tale is It's a Wonderful Life playing at the Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley. Set up as a 1940's radio broadcast, it is as charming then the Frank Cappa movie and presented in a very unique and inventive way with 5 terrific actors playing the different roles and sound effects. A must see for children 10+.

This time of the year makes "Ronnie's Awesome List" truly AWESOME. Check out all the incredible events for families and forward this FREE resource to all your friends. All events listed are subject to change without notice. Please confirm with event organizer.

Wishing you all a very magical holiday! See you in 2013.




  • Rombeiro’s Christmas House, 34 Devonshire Dr., Novato
  • Bear House, 383 Quietwood Drive, Marinwood
  • Mickey Mouse Christmas House, 417 Blackstone Drive, Marinwood
  • Stitham House, 285 Adobestone Court in Marinwood
  • West End Nursery, San Rafael














  • Dolphins can be seen along the shore feasting on schooling fish.
  • Salmon spawning peak in December in the Lagunitas Watershed.
  • Steelhead trout spawn between December through February.
  • Whales are viewable from the shore between December through April at the Point Reyes Light House and Chimney Rock.
  • Elephant Seals are birthing at Año Nuevo State Reserve. Go to the Elephant Seal Guided Walking Tours that are available during Breeding Season (early December - March). Pregnant female elephant seals begin arriving in December. The first pup of the season is usually born around Christmas, and pupping peaks in January. Two-ton bulls also return to claim their breeding territories at this time. Another great viewing spot closer to home is at Elephant Seal Overlook near Chimney Rock.
  • Monarch Butterflies are clustered by the 1000′s in the tree groves at Monarch Grove Butterfly Sanctuary, Pacific Grove and Natural Bridges, Santa Cruz.
  • Tule Elk herds can be found in several locations at Tomales Point.

Banana slugs, newts, salamanders and frogs are bountiful. California quail, brown creepers, woodpeckers, owls and flickers. No advance planning needed and it's FREE! Rain or shine hike to a waterfall, observe the subtle colors of lichens and mushrooms, look up and see the beautiful redwoods, inhale the fresh crisp air and keep an eye out for the animals that also call the Bay Area home.








  • Shabbat Together, music, dance and circle story time for infants through three years old, Kol Shofar, Tiburon

12/8, Hanukkah












12/21 Winter Solstice


  • Afternoon Art, Make your own simple dancing marionette puppet, Randall Museum
  • Drop-In Science, Learn about CRYSTAL FORMATION and make your own crystal covered snowflake decoration. Randall Museum
  • TEEN Choose your Apocalypse Party, 6th-12th graders, 2 – 3:30pm, Novato Library


12/24, Christmas Eve (www.noradsanta.org)


12/26 Kwanzaa & Boxing Day


  • Family Gallery Tours, Experience the world of color and collage in this interactive tour of The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats designed for families with children up to age nine. Contemporary Jewish Museum.
  • Learn to Skate, 12pm-2pm, 446-4423 or email ACraig@marincounty.org
  • Winter Break Movie, Brave, 2:30-4:15pm, Mill Valley Library
  • TEEN Henna Art: a Workshop for Teens, grades 6-12, 3 – 4:30pm, Novato Library


  • Family Gallery Tours, Experience the world of color and collage in this interactive tour of The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats designed for families with children up to age nine. Contemporary Jewish Museum.
  • Muir Woods after Hours, 5-6:30pm
  • Winter Break Movie, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, 2:30-4:30pm, Mill Valley Library



  • Family Gallery Tours, Experience the world of color and collage in this interactive tour of The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats designed for families with children up to age nine. Contemporary Jewish Museum.
  • Salmon of San Geronimo Valley, 9am – 12pm

12/31 New Years Eve

  • Family Gallery Tours, Experience the world of color and collage in this interactive tour of The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats designed for families with children up to age nine. Contemporary Jewish Museum.
  • Winter Break Movie, Happy Feet Two, 2:30-4:15pm, Mill Valley Library

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