Month: October 2013

Colorado schools, with help, are teaching students personal finance

School districts in Colorado have long had the discretion to include personal-finance topics in their curriculum, but many didn’t or only gave them minimal attention. The shortcomings of the state’s decentralized approach became painfully evident last decade, when Colorado led the nation in foreclosure activity for several months in 2006. Not only did families suffer, but so did many school districts, which saw their budgets shrink along with property values and tax revenues. As part of a larger overhaul of educational standards, the Colorado legislature in 2008 mandated that personal-finance lessons be woven into the curriculum at every grade level, making the state among a handful to do so.

In the Still of the Night: Motherhood’s Powerful Secret Society

Shrouded in darkness, I go about my business. I speak in hushed tones and whispers as I perform the sacred rituals. I belong to the most powerful secret society in the universe: Motherhood. As I snuggle this tiny person against my chest and sway back and forth in our special chair, I think about this vast sisterhood that I belong to. All across this darkened portion of the planet, thousands and thousands of mothers are doing exactly what I’m doing: wiping tears, calming fears, tending to the sick and the helpless. There are no cameras, no award ceremonies, no worldly glory for our labors. We are never thanked and rarely acknowledged. We work a 24-hour shift every day. In the glaring light of day, I look frazzled. I’m overworked and overweight.

Denver Deal:Spirit, Halloween Deals and Free Days

If you are like me you might be a procrastinator (although I usually couch it as “waiting for a good deal”), Spirit Halloween store is your lifesaver! I was not going to do anything for Halloween. But the kids and I had such a great time at the Spirit store the house is now decked out in screaming things, tombstones, spider webs, pumpkins, and I’m ready with a cauldron looking candy bin. My kids are excited about their costumes this year. There were TONS to chose from – and they were not out of what my kids wanted to be! Halloween Deals (valid only on Halloween Day): Krispy Kreme – free donut for anyone in costume. Chipotle – $3 burrito, bowl or salad from 4 p.m to close for those in costume. Sonic Drive-in – 50 cent corn dogs all day. Sweet Tomato...

Family Events: Last weekend for fall festivals, Denver Arts Week and more

Denver Arts Week. Nov. 1-9, gather family and friends to enjoy the sixth annual celebration of the city’s vibrant, eclectic arts and cultural scene!  Don’t miss this week-long celebration of Denver’s thriving arts scene with special events, concerts, art shows, theatre, dance, special deals and discounts. Try something new and explore more than a dozen museums, 40 performing arts groups, eight neighborhood arts districts and 100 art galleries. http://www.denver.org/DenverArtsWeek/  Anderson Farms Fall Festival. Colorado’s Longest-Running Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch is open daily through November 2nd. With the Zombie Paintball Hunt, Terror in the Corn, gem mining, hayrides, animal acres, pumpkin launching, mine cars, Barnyard 500 Pedal Karts, a Barrel Train, Kiddie Coral...

Building on 44 years of “Sesame Street,” new generation of kids’ TV grows up, educates

Peg has a cat. Peg likes songs. And Peg uses math to get herself out of jams. If that sounds like the napkin sketch for a kiddie show, it is. “Peg + Cat,” which debuted on PBS last week, is the best-reviewed new children’s television show of the season, combining spare but stylish animation and a strong sense of humor to teach kids mathematics. “I was looking for a math show and I knew that it had to be the funniest thing I’d ever made,” said Linda Simensky, vice president of children’s programming at PBS and a veteran of Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. “It’s a little bit of alchemy when all those intangible qualities come together to make something work. To me it represents all these years of learning that we’ve been doing in th...

Katy Perry at Lakewood High School: Students, faculty get private concert

With cheers and smartphones rising from the audience, pop star Katy Perry took the makeshift stage in the raucous Lakewood High School gym before sunrise Friday morning. One part pep rally, another part arena pop concert, the show drew howls of excitement from Lakewood High students as the singer ran through a paper banner and onto an enormous stage decked out in tiger stripes in honor of the school mascot. Lighting rigs and camera crews and a sea of students filled the gym. It could have been the Pepsi Center if not for the Lakewood High School banner hanging from the scaffolding. “It was so exciting, and to be honest, I cried twice because I was happy that everyone was so happy,” said Lakewood sophomore Jessica Jennett.

Don’t have a cow, man (or least don’t win one)

Raffles. Anyone who’s lived in a town of less than 10,000 people knows that they are to rural communities as witch costumes are to Halloween. In other words, everywhere you look. I’ve bought raffle tickets that promised me a chance to win everything from a handmade afghan blanket to $200 worth of decoys from Cabela’s. As usual, I bought the ticket, not so much because I needed a blanket or faux mallards, but because I couldn’t say no to a Boy Scout or the admin assistant’s granddaughter, the one trying to raise money to pay for her Chess Club’s championship tournament in Albuquerque. My most recent raffle ticket cost me five dollars and bought me a chance to win a) a cow b) a rifle or c) 20 bucks worth of goodies from Wal-Mart. I never win stuff. I just ...

Taking care of moms is taking care of kids

My husband and I recently decided we’re ready for kid #2, which means I’ve been trying to relearn all the dos and don’ts of preconception health and pregnancy. Since I’m actively trying to get pregnant, I’ve decided I am “pre-pregnant” and, thus, have been following most of the nutrition, exercise and environmental guidelines that help to ensure a healthy start for my future child. (An added bonus is that “pre-pregnancy” gets me out of cleaning the cat litter, which just might mean I’ll be pre-pregnant for the rest of my life.) Most moms know that it’s never too early to ensure kids get a healthy start in life. That’s why we hear advice to take prenatal vitamins, to avoid alcohol and cigarettes and to exercise regularly.

The Birthday Gift Dilemma: How Much Do You Spend and More Questions Answered

Although we all know it is impossible that everyone has babies in October and April, why does it always seem that we are suddenly swamped with birthday parties then? There is festivity in the air now with the leaves changing colors, Halloween celebrations at school and more birthday cupcakes and sugar rushes than any of us would ever wish on a teacher. With that slew of birthdays comes the tricky navigation of birthday gifts: how much to spend, what girls like at that age if you are a parent of boys, is his mom going to shun me if I get her son a toy gun, a drum or a video game? Those are the easy questions. Go with your gut. Don’t overspend. These days, the tough ones are: • When the invitation says no gifts, what do you do? • When the invitation says, “Johnnie would prefer a donation to ...

Balance, Shmalance: A Denver Doctor Mom’s Funny Take on Having it All

It’s not often that I quote Ashton Kutcher…well, I never have.  But a quotation from a speech he gave at some awards ceremony went viral on the web and I kind of like it.  He said:  “I believe opportunity looks a lot like hard work.”  I really like that. I also believe in the sister principal:  “Balance looks a lot like chaos.” (That’s my version) As a doctor, wife, and mother, sometimes I get asked, how do I do it all?  All I can think is: don’t look down, I accidentally put on 2 different shoes this morning.

Denver Deal: Ski Season is HERE

Ski season is gearing up for the 2013-14 season in a big way. Some resorts have already opened for the season and more will opening in the coming weeks. By Thanksgiving everyone will be open. There are still deals on gear, lift tickets, lessons & lodging. Pick your resort – but I challenge everyone living in Colorado to try what so many people travel miles and miles to do. Try is as a family sport or try it as a getaway (and leave the kids with Grandma and Grandpa). Jr. Trade in Program Colorado Ski & Golf (Ski & Sport) locations offer a  uniquely affordable ski rental program was created to insure that children’s equipment is as modestly priced as possible. After the first season’s rental, a complete package for used equipment that includes skis, boots and poles is only ...

Denver Deal: Rexoco, Symphony, and Free Birds Movie

Happy Halloween to you! There are several happenings around town this weekend with a bevy of things that can be done at little or no cost – from trick or treat streets to mazes and pumpkin patches. No matter what you choose to do this weekend. Stay safe and healthy. Rexoco.com I have recently found a great way to save a ton of money on gas. And for those of you who are true “soccer moms” know how many times you go to the gas station. Visit Rexoco.com where they host multiple auctions that will garner you discounts on gas. There are auctions for discounted rates on gas or gas cards. In my first try, I won a certificate that was for $2.36/gallon which saved me almost $20 on a tank of gas. (I have had more success with certificates than gas cards). MileHighMamas get to try i...

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