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Local Families

Michelle O’Conner-Ratcliff returns to raise her family in “idyllic” Rancho Peñasquitos
5 years ago

Michelle O’Conner-Ratcliff returns to raise her family in “idyllic” Rancho Peñasquitos

By  •  Local Families

The Ratcliff family of Rancho Peñasquitos is the perfect example of why you should never say “never”! Michelle O’Conner-Ratcliff explains, “When you’re in high school, you think you’ll leave [the …
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Pitchers play all roles
5 years ago

Pitchers play all roles

By  •  Local Families

Performer, producer, costume designer, musician and photographer

The Pitcher Family (Mark, Janet, and kids Christopher, Mike, Ryan & Meagan) have been living in Rancho Penasquitos since 1998 and enjoy being …
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For the Fillats, Being Involved is a Family Affair
6 years ago

For the Fillats, Being Involved is a Family Affair

By  •  Local Families

Most couples feel like they have known each other forever. In the case of Rancho Penasquitos residents Mike and Christine Fillat, they practically have. The two met in the first …
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Mar Family Manages Busy Personal Lifestyle, Jobs, and Business Ownership
6 years ago

Mar Family Manages Busy Personal Lifestyle, Jobs, and Business Ownership

By  •  Local Families

She’s a local restaurant owner, a mother, and a former corporate executive. He’s been in the defense and aerospace industries since 1981. They’re both very busy, and they call Rancho …
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Sports, Outdoor Activities – and Grocery Shopping Keep Busy Ward Family United
6 years ago

Sports, Outdoor Activities – and Grocery Shopping Keep Busy Ward Family United

By  •  Local Families

In 1988, a plan of destiny was intertwined when a Mt. Carmel High School dance – known as WARP – would unite one man, Scott, and one woman, Terri, in …
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Sibling Rivalry: Meet the Magill Family
6 years ago

Sibling Rivalry: Meet the Magill Family

By  •  Local Families

Most families with children have some level of sibling rivalry, but the Magill family takes it to a new level.

Kelsey and Stephanie – twin 17-year-old sisters of Kelley and …
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PQ’s Small Community Feel Attracted Cowarts
6 years ago

PQ’s Small Community Feel Attracted Cowarts

By  •  Cover Stories, Local Families

by ZEENA GREGG Special to 92129 Magazine

Mountain climbing, skiing in Big Bear and road-trips are some of the ways the Cowart family of Rancho Penasquitos stays bonded …
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Stay-at-Home Dad Supports Spouse’s Career, Desired Lifestyle for PQ Family
6 years ago

Stay-at-Home Dad Supports Spouse’s Career, Desired Lifestyle for PQ Family

Karen Herbst and John Arndt wanted to raise their daughter Sarah rather than putting her into daycare at the age of five months.  Then, in the aftermath of 9/11 when John’s employer faltered, their decision for him to become a stay-at-home father was made.

That move in September 2002 allowed Karen – an Associate Clinical Professor and research physician at the University of California, San Diego – to meet the heavy demands of her position, and provide the Rancho Penasquitos family (since 2005) the opportunity to pursue the lifestyle they hoped.

“We searched for a home in this area because it was a close enough commute to La Jolla for Karen to go to work, while still allowing us to live within the Poway school system,” said John, who has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of New Orleans.

Sarah, now 7, is a 3rd grader at Sundance Elementary School.

Karen, who has a bachelor’s degree and a PhD in cell physiology and a medical degree from Rush University in Chicago, also directs the weight control clinic at the VA San Diego Healthcare System and is one of the only physicians in the U.S. researching rare adipose (fat) disorders (RADs).
The couple met under unusual circumstances, when Karen was living in Seattle and lost a roommate.  “She advertised for another roommate – and after many very odd applicants, I showed up with a picture from my time spent in 1998 in Alaska aas a fisheries observer in the Bering Sea for the U.S. Government,” said John, who like Karen is an Illinois native.  “Karen knew she would never date a guy like me, and I thought she was a little goofy, so we became roommates.  Later, we formed a much stronger bond.”

That bond has created an active, unique lifestyle for the family.  They enjoy hiking, photography, watching movies, horseback riding (thanks to the generosity of a neighbor), and vegetarian cooking.  John bikes several times a week, serves as Karen’s personal assistant when needed for her research projects, volunteers at Sundance school, does handyman jobs for friends and neighbors, and plays the piano, guitar and harmonica.  And Karen has appeared on an episode of the television show “The Doctors” and other programs.

Of course, it’s time together as a family that counts the most.  “So we can spend more time together, Sarah and I will drive Karen to work – taking the long way so we can drive by the ocean,” John said.  “In other words, we do family by car because of Karen’s workload.  One time when we drove by the ocean, we saw dolphins feeding and a small whale popped its head up with the same school of fish about 50 feet off the beach, and then a seal popped its head up right after.”

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Summers are Made for Sports

By  •  Local Families

Participating, Coaching a True Family Affair for PQ Family

Just ask Tom and Amy Summers about their family’s biggest common interest – and they don’t even hesitate: Sports!

The Summers …
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For PQ’s Canales Clan, Soccer is a Family Affair

By  •  Cover Stories, Local Families

To call Kelly Canales a “soccer mom” is a very serious understatement.

Kelly has spent years shuttling two daughters to soccer games and tournaments throughout San Diego County, California and …
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