Month: October 2011

School Picture Sticker Shock

Back when I was growing up, “real” photos were a big deal. My parents owned a camera, but it was only used for special occasions or the rare candid moment. We’d have to wait for them to fill a whole roll to have them developed and only then could we see what images were captured. I still remember when they got one of those fancy Polaroid Cameras that spit out the picture. My siblings and I would fight over who got to shake it. Still, real photos were rare. Every year, we had School Picture Day, and it was a chance for us to dress up and get our mug shots taken. My mom would send those photos of us in the Official Yearly Holiday Letter to all our friends and relatives. (Here is my 1979-80 Kindergarten Photo, both the class group photo and the single shot of little JoAnn as...

Event Round-up: Festival of Scarecrows, Pumpkin Festival & More!

Saturday. Olde Town Arvada gets a little spooky at the 15th annual Festival of Scarecrows. Seasonal scarecrows will be posted all around town—visitors can vote for their favorites. Youngsters are encouraged to wear costumes, too, and march in a Halloween parade around Town Square. 57th Street is the place to be for kiddos, with face-painting, balloon animals, games, a mini-train and more. Gardeners can enter their pumpkins in a giant-pumpkin contest while less-horticultural types browse the pumpkin patch for a suitable jack o’ lantern. Bring along canned goods to donate—they serve as admission to the Kiddies Cornstalk Maze. 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Olde Town Arvada, West 57th Avenue and Olde Wadsworth. Admission is free. arvadafestivals.com Saturday-Sunday. Looking for the perfect pumpkin? ...

Star Trek parenting: raising my next generation

For most of my life, through school and college and dating, through TTC (trying to conceive) and infertility, I was mostly guided by my head. I learned early on the surest way out of any problem was to study it, analyze it, work it, contemplate it. I was pretty successful with this method. I earned several degrees, didn’t marry several Mr Wrongs, and navigated several medical interventions — all with the power of my intellect (not as colossal as I make it sound, and there weren’t THAT many Mr Wrongs down on one knee). But parenting — and specifically adoptive parenting — required me to take my Data model (sensible, information-based) and add the Deanna Troi model (sensitive, compassion-based). These two Star Trek characters personify for me the head and the heart I now use in p...

Denver Ski Deals: Passport, School of Shred, Swaps and more.

I started adding all the great ski deals on the regular Deals post and realized that there really is too many deals to have in the other weekly post. Just before the season gets started and areas are announcing their deals and events – I will pass them along to you! If you know of any, as always pass them my way. Colorado Ski Country 5th and 6th Grade Passport Every child who lives in Colorado has the opportunity to learn how to ski or snowboard with the  Colorado Ski Country USA 5th & 6th Grade Passport program! The 5th Grade Passport is FREE! It includes 3 days of skiing/boarding at each of the 21 member resorts. The 6th Grade Passport is just $99 (they get an extra day at each resort)! School of Shred Vail Resorts offers their own version of the 5th grade passport with the Sch...

Denver Deal: Ski Deals, Schlotzsky’s, Romano’s, DelTaco and more.

With a combination of food deals and fun events, there are a lot of great deals this week. Speaking of fun events, we are excited at MileHighMamas to get our photos done by the AMAZING Iman Woods. I can’t say that I’ve been called a “Betty” before – but looking forward to the experience! If you want to try something fun for your holiday photos, visit her website or give her a call and set up an appointment! (And once we post the photos, I’d love to hear your feedback!) Colorado Ski Deals Colorado Ski Country and Vail Resorts offer fantastic programs that allow 5th and 6th Graders the opportunity to learn how to ski and/or snowboard through the Passport and School of Shred programs. Winter Park Ski Swap

Confessions of a Fantasy Football Mom

One of the many upsides of having a large family is we have enough people for our own in-house fantasy football league. There are 10 of us, so we fill out our brackets nicely and split into 2 neat divisions. One of the downsides of having a family fantasy football league is when the 13-month-old’s team dominates. As he’s busy splashing in the doggie’s water or clearing bookshelves, his team remains undefeated. His QB is throwing, his K is kicking, his RB is running, back. Our baby spent as much time on the research and development of his team as he’s spent on learning calculus. Thanks to technology and the ability to autodraft players, kids of all ages can be oblivious to the fact they are in a league. The littlest members of our family, our two toddler boys, will b...

Pie-inspired apple recipes celebrate fall

It’s our favorite fruit and American as, well, its most popular baked good. A new apple season is here, offering a crisp, sweet edge to fall meals plus the promise of lots of pie — and pie-inspired dishes. What makes apples and apple pie so

Oversight yet to catch up with Colorado’s burgeoning online schools

In the beginning, there was Monte Vista On-Line Academy. Its state-assigned “pilot project” status signaled its daring, and its 13 students, wired up and logged on, were spared hours of bumping along rugged San Luis Valley roads to and from brick-and-mortar schools. Now, no longer provisional or experimental, and championed by a strange-bedfellows mix of parents, school-choice advocates and social activists, online schools are a fixture of the Colorado landscape from rural outposts to inner cities. Yet as online schools grow, offering solutions for many students who struggle in traditional schools, so do questions about performance and practice. Each fall,

Complete Colorado Guide to Halloween, Fall Festivals and Pumpkin Patches

Are you ready to enjoy this Halloween season? If so, we have the exclusive Colorado guide to the best Halloween activities in the area. We got all the info on fun for all ages throughout the month of October.  Plan some family events to enjoy all that Halloween has to offer. Don’t forget to practice your screams.  All events are through Oct. 31 unless otherwise noted. HAUNTED HOUSES Haunted Field of Screams and Crazed Cornfield Maze Daytime: 20-acre Crazed Cornfield and Pumpkin Patch, plus mini maze for

Protective parenting faces new highs and lows with technology

In the 21st century, parenthood and paranoia often walk hand in hand. For some, the blessed event is followed by high-tech surveillance — a monitoring system tracks the baby’s breathing rhythms and relays infrared images from the nursery. Toddlers and grade schoolers can be equipped with GPS devices enabling a parent to know their location should something go awry. To cope with the uncertainties of the teen years, some parents acquire spyware to

Frisco opens spectacular Peninsula Bike Park

Summit County took another step toward becoming a world capital of action sports when the Frisco Peninsula Bike Park opened last weekend. The park’s three flow trails and pump track anchor a sprawling $6 million playground that includes a day lodge, mountain bike trail, disc golf course, pickleball court, Nordic skiing track, tubing hill and skateboard park. Two years ago, the peninsula was an empty field littered with dead lodgepole pines. Today, it’s Frisco’s trophy. “We are trying to really capture the up-and-coming recreational trends that are out there right now,” Frisco Town Manager Michael Penny said. The bike park’s sculpted trails and jumps bustled

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