A Different Kind of Family

2.8.2015 MarianAiken BookSigning-2996-2
Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Marian Aiken shares a moment with her son, Alan – one of the Los Altos resident’s adopted sons. 

Los Altos resident Marian Aiken’s lifelong commitment to providing a secure home for foster and adopted children with physical disabilities began the minute she signed “I love you” to baby Derek and chose to give him a chance.

Like any new parent, Aiken was overwhelmed with happiness and anxiety when she welcomed her first child into her life in 1979. As Aiken cradled Derek – who was deaf and terminally ill – in her arms, a connection sparked.


Cooking with kids: Nachos Slow fast food

Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Making nachos in a slow cooker can be a fun and delicious cooking project for parents and children.

It’s Friday night. I fill a large bowl with dried black beans, cover them with cold tap water and call out, "I’m sorting beans," in the direction of my kids.


In search of the perfect smile: Los Altos Orthodontics answers frequently asked questions

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Local orthodontist Dr. David R. Boschken examines Ava Russakow’s orthodontic work during a regular office visit.

But sometimes that smile needs straightening, and Los Altos Orthodontics has been providing the service to children, teens and adults for 38 years.

Established by Dr. Neil Ross and now led by Dr. David R. Boschken - who purchased the practice in 2010 - Los Altos Orthodontics offers Invisalign, Damon System braces, Propel Accelerated Orthodontics, sleep apnea appliances, laser dentistry and Zoom whitening.


'MUMs' the word: Local organization brings young moms together

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Babies and toddlers join their moms for a Valentine’s Day card-making activity at a Mothers Uniting Mothers gathering.

It can be isolating to be a stay-at-home mom of young children – especially in Silicon Valley, where Marissa Mayer received kudos for stepping up to Yahoo Inc.’s top spot as CEO in her third trimester of pregnancy.

While the rewards of seeing your children’s wobbly first steps and being their primary caretaker are immense, there’s no immediate product or daily pat on the back from co-workers.


Local events serve up family fun

Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale” is slated to open March 20 in Mountain View.

For families seeking a break from the daily routine, events abound this month and next in Los Altos, Mountain View and surrounding cities. From concerts to plays, following are some of the options.


How to hit the right note when finding a music teacher

When it comes to finding a music teacher for your child, instructors say it’s important to find the right harmony.

"In my view, the greatest gift a teacher can bring to a student is to help develop a love of music and - beyond that - a love of the learning process itself," said Peter Spitzer, co-founder of Hope Street Music Studios in Mountain View. "For that to happen, the teacher’s rapport with the student has to be good, and their personalities compatible."


The bottom line on camp costs


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