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Denver Deal: Grocery Coupons, Sam’s Club and School House Rock

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  There are all kinds of sales at grocery stores this week and next – full turkeys for just $6!  (at most area grocery stores).  Plus, thanks to Sabrina – we’d love to introduce you to a great new resource for coupons.  Rather than spending time digging through a pile of coupons – this site offers you vital info about whatever brand coupon you are looking for.  Check it out at http://bargainbriana.com/coupon-database/.  I also understand that you can load coupons on your King Soopers Card on the King Soopers site. 

Sam’s Club

I was able to take a tour of Sam’s Club today.  The store had great deals and George, the manager tells me that those are the everyday prices.  At our house, we go through 7 gallons of milk a week!  And with gallons only being $1.88, I could end up saving the membership fee.   (They are running deals on memberships through the holidays if you refer a friend or sign up for “credit” on the membership you get some $$ for yourself!).  Milk and eggs are not the only thing you can save some serious cash on!  Start your membership this weekend – when they are having a great “Hoiday Taste of Sam’s” event.

Holiday Food and Gift Festival

The Holiday Food and Gift Festival will be at the Convention Center this weekend!  With over 500 exhibitors you are sure to find some unique gifts.  Visit their website to get a $2 discount.  Plus, kids 12 and under are FREE!  The event goes Friday through Sunday.

School House Rock

The Arvada Center’s production of School House Rock goes through December 30.  While the tickets are not free, they are a great deal at only $8 for general admission seating. 

New Years Resolutions

Are you already thinking about your holiday resolutions?  What about giving yourself or someone else the gift of health this next year?  Consider Beachbody, it is the company that makes P90X, Insanity, Hip Hop Abs.  Visit beachbodycoach.com/gretcheny

S.A. Elite

The S.A. (Sports Authority) Elite store in Highlands Ranch Grand Opening party is Saturday, November 20.  The party will include giveaways and athlete appearances (Hannah Teter, Gabi Viteri, Chauncey Billups, Arron Afflalo).  S.A. Elite carries top of the line athletic apparel and accessories.

This next week, I will be posting early because of the Thanksgiving holiday.  If you catch wind of or know of any of the great black Friday deals, email me!  Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!

Don’t want to miss any of Mile High Mamas’ contests and events? Be sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter!  Be sure to forward these great deals on to your friends.

You can also follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out!

Black Friday, indeed

When we met between the racks of better women’s sportswear, I knew I was in for an emotional ride. Her hand, when I shook it, was stiff and cold, wooden almost. I couldn’t discern the material. Perhaps some sort of polyresinous material. Born in a factory, but not without feelings, her body may have been poured in a mold, but not her heart.

It wasn’t easy ignoring the stares of the other shoppers as I talked to Willow. A security guard hid between racks of deep-discounted swimwear and held a walkie talkie to his mouth. He looked at me from the corner of his eye and turned away when he saw me looking at him. It did not dissuade me from listening to her story. It needs to be told.

She shared, hesitantly at first, “I am tired of the trend, of what I see. It’s an encroachment on our world, on our time. It isn’t fair,” she spoke through coral-painted, unmoving lips.

Her curly blond hair was slightly askew and it was distracting. “Do you mind?” I asked. She replied she did not, it had been itching. I fixed her wig so it was on straight. It made the waxy sheen of her curls more flattering around her airbrushed face. She told me an uncontrolled toddler had jostled her earlier in the day, while running away from his mom.

“Occupational hazard?” I grinned, attempting to lighten her mood and make the security guard see I was no threat.

“Yes, but more importantly it is part of the disrespect we see every day. The mother didn’t even stop…” her voice trailed off. Her eyes were far away. In fact, I can honestly say she stared across the aisle during our whole encounter, fixed on a display of faux fur hats marked 25% off.

“I am sorry,” I told her and patted her arm, not knowing my sympathy and the most horrifying moment of my life would collide. Her arm fell off inside the sleeve of the silk blouse she wore and I instinctively recoiled and gasped. I was ashamed at what I had done and even more ashamed of my reaction.

She sensed my despair and immediately reassured me it happened all the time. It was not her original arm anyway. Such grace! “We need to hurry. I think we are being watched.”

I agreed. There were two security guards and several shoppers glancing at us, pulling their children closer. Good, I thought, Maybe none of them will let their kids run amok without consideration!

“It isn’t as if we ask for much. Just a few hours to be able to stretch, to talk, to scratch where wool sweaters itch and for the girls in lingerie to put on a robe and get a little dignity back.” She was speaking rapidly, her voice was tight, impassioned.

“Go on…” I urged, sensing more activity from the security guards. Both were talking into their mouthpieces.

“I couldn’t believe it when I heard the news. Woody, who is assigned to sporting goods, saw it on the bank of TVs across the aisle in electronics. Some mall in North Carolina is opening at 1am on the day after Thanksgiving!”

“Oh no.” I shook my head.

“Everyone…everyone knows when the store is closed it is our time! What about us? What about the mannequins, those of us who stand, and stare, who wear your ugly clothes? Last summer I spent two weeks in ultra low-rise jeans and was mortified. I could do nothing to hitch them up. My crack was showing!”

“You have a butt crack?” The words leapt out of my mouth a little too loudly. Sometimes I don’t think before I speak, and this was one of those unfortunate times.

She just stared, and I apologized, again. She continued.

“As I was trying to explain, when you people open your stores during our hours, you are invading our time and our territory. How dare you?”

I felt slightly indignant at her sweeping condemnation of people and told her so, “It’s just one night. What’s the big deal?”

“Just one night will become just two nights! Just three! Pretty soon you will keep your stores open 24 hours a day, seven days a week!”

I told her McDonalds and some grocery stores were already open all the time. Denny’s has been doing it for years and years. Nobody complains, it is rather nice to know you can get a Grand Slam with extra bacon and a big glass of fresh squeezed OJ at 3am.

She sighed, “See? It is starting. It is starting already. Woody over in sporting goods will be crushed when I tell him tonight. He thought he was watching Punk’d on the bank of TVs or something when he heard the news. At least he hoped he was.”

Suddenly, I noticed a flurry activity on either side of me. A gruff voice demanded I come with them. The mannequin was silent as they escorted me to the automated doors and told me to please leave, or they would call law enforcement. She didn’t speak up for me as they hauled me away, but I will speak for her and millions of others like her: Please don’t shop the day after Thanksgiving, especially before the Godly hours of daylight.

Do it for the mannequins. Do it for yourself.

Rescue Mission sounds alarm on slow turkey donations

By this time last year, the Denver Rescue Mission already had secured more than 4,000 turkeys toward its 6,000-turkey goal in preparation for Thanksgiving.

This year, 12 days into the annual turkey drive, only 212 have been donated. It’s not unusual for turkey donations to lag and the mission to sound the alarm, but this year has proved more dire than usual.

“It has never been this low,” said Greta Walker, spokeswoman for the Denver Rescue Mission. “Right now, we’re underbudget for our holiday months, and demand for our services is up every day.”

On Wednesday afternoon, the Rescue Mission reported it had not received a single turkey donation, but by the next day, 212 turkeys were dropped off at the downtown shelter.

“We feel the community is stepping up,” Walker said. “We hope as we get closer to the holidays and people look for a place to donate their time or money, they think of us.

“Every turkey donation does matter,” she said.

The Denver Rescue Mission uses the turkeys to feed about 1,000 people every

Denver’s First Snowfall Brings Varied Reactions (What Was Yours?)

On November 11, my family awoke to a momentous occasion: the first snowfall of the season. Both of my children squealed with glee and danced around in celebration.

And then tried to use the snow to their advantage.

Six-year-old Haddie begged me to drive her to school. I told her she’d be standing at the bus stop in far worse conditions than that this winter.

Tough-love is my version of a pep talk.

Bode tried to declare it a “Snow Day” and stay home from preschool because that .000005-inch of snow will wreak havoc every time.

Well, maybe if you’re woosies and live in Texas where the entire state is halted at the sign of a snowflake.

I should know. We got stuck in Dallas on our way back from our Costa Rica honeymoon for that very reason.

Being raised in Canada, I love love love love the snow. I hate hate hate the heat. So even though my husband Jamie and I were sailing on the Norwegian Epic the next day, the timing could not have been worse because I was finally getting weather I love in Denver.

But I was willing to make the

Baby Banter–A Fun Glimpse at What Your Baby Is Really Thinking!

I’m walking the line right now between pure diaper-wearing babydom and the world of big girl undies. Given, I’m nowhere near ready to potty train, but still, these diapers are driving me CRAZY! I used to just rip them off when mommy or daddy left me in a stinker way too long (which, to their credit, doesn’t happen often…mommy’s pretty on top of poopy diapers). But now, I just can’t take it. Dry or wet, saggy or tight…it’s doesn’t matter. These days, no diaper is a good diaper.

Maybe it’s the incredible rate at which my thighs are currently expanding, but if mommy turns her back for a second, I am overcome with the irresistible urge to rip that baby off and throw it. Apparently, the sight of me naked is disturbing because when I did this yesterday at the food store, mommy ran full speed towards me screaming, “Caaarmeeeeen, Nooooooo!” Whoa there, mama. Take it easy. Taking off my diaper does not make me any less cute. But then there was the puddle of pee pooling at my feet. Ok, I’ll admit that wasn’t too cute.

So I woke up this morning and reached for my diaper and it wouldn’t budge. Apparently the pee puddle at the grocery store drove mommy to opt for the duct tape solution. Now I’m really stuck. I guess there’s a time and place for everything…and I just

Mama Drama: Discipline for Deceit

Dear Mama Drama:

My 11-year-old son has a real problem with lying. He lies about anything and everything – how he got injured, who he was playing with, etc. He doesn’t seem to be trying to cover his tracks but just doing it for the sake of doing it.

My son is also a gifted athlete and is used to getting his way because of his intensive training and competition schedule. I feel like I can’t pull him out of his meets, but want punishment for lying to really hit home instead of ending up as empty threats.

~Deceived Mama

(photo credit)

Dear Deceived:

Current research gives some new information on lying. On the down side, it shows that children lie earlier and more frequently than was previously thought and everyone does it. On the up side, parents can change their interactions to decrease lying and support honesty.

The charge for parents is to set an environment where lying is unacceptable. Often the inappropriate behavior a child is trying to cover up with the lie receives consequences, but the lie itself is not addressed. This inadvertently teaches children that lying is okay. We also sabotage ourselves by sending the message that other activities, such as special activities or sports, are more important than truthfulness.

Children primarily lie to avoid punishment and, ironically, to please their parents. They learn early that punishment is something to be avoided, so they lie to do so. In The Discipline Book Dr. William Sears recommends setting the stage for honesty by clearly telling children, “I don’t get angry at truth. I get angry at lies.”  When children trust their parents will remain calm to solve a problem and apply reasonable consequences, they are more likely to tell the truth.

More than just about anything, children want to please their parents. If they think parents will be disappointed, angry, or sad, they lie to make them happy.  In Nurture Shock, Bronson and Merryman report research indicating that children need to know telling the truth will make their parents really happy, happier than not having made a bad choice. Following through with this teaches children that honesty is of high value in their family.

The questions we ask our children can also set them up to lie. If you come upon your child doing something wrong and ask them in an angry voice if they did it, the child (trying to avoid punishment and please you) will most likely deny they have done anything wrong.

Parents often undermine their own attempts to promote honesty with their own little white lies. Examining our own behavior is an important step in creating an environment where honesty thrives.

Frequent conversations about honesty and what that really means are crucial to fostering a culture of truthfulness. Emphasize that everyone make mistakes and discuss the importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions. Telling the truth even (especially!) when it’s hard is a critical concept to teach as well. Find examples in the media and news of truthfulness and lying, examine the consequences, and discuss the short and long-term impact as a family.

It sounds like your son may have deduced that lying isn’t that big of a deal and that there isn’t any reason to stop lying. The pattern of interactions between you and your son related to the lying needs to change in order for his behavior to change. You can offer positive incentives (things he wants to earn) for truthfulness and negative consequences (things he loses -which may need to include his meets), when he lies. Remain calm when addressing the lying and following through with consequences. Be enthusiastic and appreciative when he tells the truth. In the beginning you will need to verify his truthfulness before giving incentives so you do not inadvertently reinforce the lying. He will need to earn your trust by being truthful every day.

Dr. Sears also recommends offer times of amnesty when bigger on long festering issues need to be addressed. Offer a time of no consequences when your son, and his siblings, can tell the truth about any transgressions without fear of consequences. This gets everything out on the table and allows opportunity for discussion of why the lying happened and how parents and kids can handle situations differently to be able to be truthful and feel supported.

Children who have found lying works for them can become habitual liars who lie even when there does not appear to be a reason. Additionally, habitual lying can be an indicator of underlying emotional concerns.  Support from a mental health professional is recommended in these situations.

Motherhood is an amazing journey that can have its share of Mama Drama. The Mama Drama column runs on Fridays with everyday mothering questions from readers and answers providing strategies to tackle these daily challenges. Send your questions and challenges to Lisa@milehighmamas.com, and your Mama Drama could be in next week’s column! Lisa is also available for private consultations. All emails and identifying information will remain confidential.

Win 4 Tickets to Disney on Ice’s “Let’s Celebrate!” (or get 4 tickets for $44)

The holiday season is enough to delight any child, young and old.

Add Disney on Ice to the mix December 9-12, 2010 and you’ll have even more reason to say “Let’s Celebrate!” with their ultimate holiday extravaganza at the Pepsi Center.

Let’s Celebrate is one colossal party on ice, with all your favorite Disney friends. Enjoy a winter wonderland with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains, a Very Merry Unbirthday Party, a Royal Ball with the Disney Princesses and more in a magical medley of holidays, celebrations and festivals from around the globe.

Performances are

Life’s Magical Adventure: Aurora Wife of Convicted Ponzi Schemer Shares Her Story, Part III

Editor’s note: Almost two years ago, Denver was caught up in a scandal when it was revealed Shawn Merriman was involved in a $20 million Ponzi scheme. There were many victims but no one was more blindsided by his betrayal than his own wife and four children. In our three-part series, Shawn’s now-ex-wife Andrea shares how she learned the horrible truth, the day the Feds came to confiscate everything and where she is today.

“Adventure: the pursuit of life.” (Daniel Roy Wiarda)

I still can’t imagine what life in prison is like (Shawn Merriman was sentenced to 12 1/2 years). I imagine there is a lot of down time, time to think, and sometimes my children get letters filled with the musings of a lonely man with time on his hands for thinking deep thoughts. Most recently, it was regarding one of my ex-husband’s favorite memories. At the time, he was very angry with me because of it, so it was gratifying he has finally seen it for what it was. Here’s what happened.

Years ago my family went to Disneyworld. We paid an extra fee to stay in the park until midnight. However, that night it rained. A lot. For some reason, not many people wanted a wet adventure in the twilight hours. The park started emptying.

My former husband was one of those who wanted to give up on the magic. But I didn’t. I told him we could make memories in the rain as easily as fair weather, so I thought we should stay. So we stayed, although my children’s dad was mad at me and my unwillingness to leave the park for a good part of the evening.

What a night! Water poured from the sky, and ran, like small rivers, down the streets of the Magic Kingdom. It was so wet,

Event Round-up: Winterfest, Warren Miller, Willy Wonka and More!

Through Nov. 21. Skier and snowboarders who need a fix should check out “Wintervention,” this year’s Warren Miller snowsports film. Currently on tour, “Wintervention” makes extended stops in Boulder and Denver over the next ten days. The high-adventure documentary follows top skiers and riders around the world on a quest for the rarest powder, from Antarctica to the Arctic. Big names like Lindsey Vonn, Chris Davenport and J.J. Thomas make appearances, and the movie’s narrated by skiing legend Johnny Moseley. Through Sunday at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder; 303-786-7030. Showtimes vary. Tickets are $21.50, available in advance at bouldertheater.com. Wednesday through Nov. 21 at the Paramount Theatre, 1631 Glenarm Place, Denver; 303-623-0106. Tickets are $25, available in advance at tickethorse.com. Showtimes vary. Visit warrenmiller.com for more information.

Saturday. Get some early Christmas shopping done at the Winterfest Arts and Crafts Festival. The fest helps support Center for the Arts Evergreen with a market full of handcrafted items and artwork, like jewelry, photography, sculpture and Santa items. Parents can drop their kids off at the onsite Santa’s Workshop, where youngsters ages 3 to 10 can play while mom and dad shop the festival. (A $5 donation is suggested for the workshop.) 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Evergreen High School, 29300 Buffalo Park Road. Admission is $2; children and students with ID are admitted free. Learn more at evergreenarts.org.

Saturday. “Magic – Beyond Belief V” appears at the Lakewood Cultural Center to benefit the Mile High Magicians Society. Emceed by local duo Dave and Connie Elstun, both magicians in their own right, the show features a variety of magicians doing all kinds of magic: illusions, mind-reading, card tricks and more, all with a family-friendly tone. Performers slated to materialize are Chad Wonder,Keir Royale, The Great Loudini and Derek McKee. 7 p.m. Saturday. Lakewood Cultural Center, 460 Allison Pkwy., Lakewood; 303-987-7845. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, students and children. Call to buy advance tickets, or visit lakewood.org.

Saturday-Sunday. The eternal struggle between cats and dogs continues in “Cats and Dogs,” a family concert by the Musica Sacra Chamber Orchestra. The star of the show will be Nora, the piano-playing cat — yes, really — who will join the orchestra for a “Catcerto.” A former shelter cat, Nora’s been tapping away at her owner’s piano since she was just a year old. Dogs will get their due, too, in the program’s narration, music and video presentations. Kids are encourage to bring their favorite stuffed animal to the show. 11 a.m. Saturday, Abiding Hope Lutheran Church, 6337 S. Robin Way, Littleton. 3 p.m. Sunday, Augustana Lutheran Church, 5000 E. Alameda Ave. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students. Buy tickets at augustanaarts.org or call 303-388-4962.

Through Nov. 20. Take a tour through Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory when the Northglenn Youth Theatre presents “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka.” Adapted from the 1971 movie “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” the musical show follows Charlie Bucket and his grandpa as they find a Golden Ticket and gain entrance to Wonka’s factory. A group of bratty little kids join the tour, too, with lots of unexpected — and funny — results. 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Northglenn Recreation Center, 11801 Community Center Drive, Northglenn; 303-450-8800. Tickets are $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for students and seniors. Call for advance tickets.

Kathleen St. John

Denver Deal: Santa Claus is coming to town!

Santa’s Coming to town! Yes, the jolly fellow in red is on his way to area malls and shopping centers.  We have rounded up when he arrives and if there is a great fanfare to it.   All of the Santa arrivals are great fun for kids and FREE!

Town Center of AuroraJoin the kidgets club (you don’t have to be a member) as they welcome Santa to the Shopping Center.  At center court Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 noon kids can talk to Santa, decorate gift bags, get great holiday goodies like reindeer antlers and ornament light ring suckers (while supplies last).  Plus check out sneak-preview performances from the Aurora Fox’s “Red Ranger Came Calling a Guaranteed True Christmas Story.”

Cherry Creek Shopping Center – The holiday celebrations start on Friday, November 12 at 4:30 p.m.  Kids will be assembled to help light the Ice Palace – complete with their own magic (light-up) wands and the help of some very special stars (via video) from the upcoming film The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  The celebration doesn’t end with the lighting and exploring of the 30′ dome (which could be an event unto itself!) – families will also get to enjoy cookies, hot chocolate, and a visit with Santa.  Kids will also be able to sit on the chilly ice throne (bring your camera!) 

Park MeadowsSanta arrives this year with a parade Saturday morning at 9 a.m. He  will be accompanied by mascots of Colorado’s finest sports teams – Denver Broncos, Nuggets, Avalanche and Mammoth; school choirs and Honor Guards; Miss Colorado, Miss Teen Colorado, and many more of his friends.  Families will enjoy hot chocolate.  When kids have their photo taken with Santa, they’ll receive a coloring book, jump rope AND a mint chocolate.  Plus, you can shop instead of waiting in line with the Santa Express Pass.

FlatIron Crossing  – Share your Christmas list with Santa at Santa’s Breakfast on Saturday, November 13th (9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.)  The event will feature free breakfast, musical entertainment, and fun activities for the kids.  After breakfast the kids will get to help escort Santa to his holiday  home.  Lace up your skate too – because Winter Skate starts that day too!  (There are actually a ton of events through out the shopping center that day including autograph signings and more!)

Tangled in the Holidays

Join Walt Disney Pictures, KOSI 101.1 and Park Meadows on Saturday, November 13 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. and get TANGLED up in the holidays! There will be tons of activities and crafts including make your own crown, build a castle out of Legos, get your face painted, win screening passes and so much more! Contact Denver@43KIX.com with questions! TANGLED opens nationwide on Wednesday, November 24!

Westminster Mall

And speaking of malls – several of the stores in Westminster Mall have become clearance centers or are having fantastic sales.  Dillards has turned their Westminster location into a clearance center.  JC Penney’s has many things on sale as does Sears. 

Come Back Santa

Do you sometimes want that precious letter the kids wrote to Santa back for your scrapbook or to keep?  For only $6.25 per letter/$12.25 per laminated letter YOU CAN!  Send the letters to SANTA, PO BOX 2525, Evergreen CO 80437 (along with payment).  Just email elf@comebacksanta.com or call 303-683-6074.

Denver Dumb Friends League

Maybe a furry new addition is on the Christmas wish list.  Help make your wishes come true and help a pet that needs to be adopted.  $100 off adoption fees will continue through November 30.  The adoption includes spay/neuter, initial shots, microchip ID, first vet visit and a lifetime of love!

Agloves

Do you have a touch screen device that you can’t use in the cold?  The answer is Agloves.  These really cool unique gloves have silver weaved into them – so they transmit you body temp AND keep your fingers warm at the same time!  My sources tell me that they will be on Brad Feld’s Amazing Deals soon.  But the snow is here NOW!  Get these gloves as great stocking stuffers!  Stylish and functionalat the same time.

Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!

Don’t want to miss any of Mile High Mamas’ contests and events? Be sure to sign up for our weekly email newsletter!  Be sure to forward these great deals on to your friends.

You can also follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out!