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14 family-friendly events in Denver this weekend

There are plenty of events in Denver this weekend including a family music fest, Colfax Marathon, Kites in the Park, Rocky Mountain Stamp Show and more. See our event calendar for additional information.

Northglenn Food Truck Carnival at Northglenn City Hall 
May 12 – May 14 
20 carnival rides from Wright’s Amusements traveling show will be included at Food Truck Carnival. Carnival rides are great for young children, teenagers & adults

2016 Primal Colorado Bike Expo at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
May 13 – May 14 
The two day festival and consumer show will also include BMX flatland and aerial stunts, a play zone, adult big wheel races, learn to ride clinics, strider course, sprint competitions, demo area, Giro d’Italia viewing party, antique bicycle display, bands, beer garden and food trucks!

Free Day at Four Mile Historic Park 
May 13, 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Travel back to 1859…for free! Enjoy a tour of the Four Mile House Museum. 

Rocky Mountain Stamp Show at the Crown Plaza Denver Airport Center 
May 13 – May 15
Believe it or not, this event has plenty to do for kids and grown-ups.

Family Music Fest, Denver School of Science and Technology Stapleton
May 14 
Join Inside the Orchestra, Neighborhood Music Stapleton, and Central City Opera for a day of music and creativity for families with children of all ages! 

Colfax Marathon 
May 14  – May 15 
Runner’s World selected Colfax as 1 of 10 “Marathons to run” in 2015, and just announced Colfax as 1 of 10 “Great marathons for first timers” for 2016. There are several other races including a 5K.

Alverde Bazaar Pop-up Outdoor Market at Eron Johnson Antiques
May 14, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Voted Denver’s Best New Flea Market in 2014 and one of the Five Best Flea Markets in Metro Denver in 2015 by Westword, this Pop-Up Market brings together emerging artisans and small independent Colorado businesses selling a diverse mix of vintage, antique and hip handmade products.

Evergreen Kids Clothes Swap at The Place 
May 14, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Come to a kids clothes swap in Evergreen! Visit our website for info on what to bring and what you can take! This is a fun event with a lot of people – so come early! Sign-up to hear about updates and others swaps in the Denver area.

Meet the Beekeeper at Hudson Gardens 
May 14, 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Stop by the Apiary while Hudson Gardens’ beekeepers are working their hives, and observe live, active beehives and real-life management techniques. These sessions offer the opportunity to simply observe, or, to seek answers to all of the questions you have about beekeeping that you’ve never had the chance to ask!

16th Annual Indian Market and Powwow at The Fort 
May 14  – May 15
Tesoro’s Indian Market is Colorado’s largest authentic American Indian art show, featuring nationally acclaimed Indian artists who demonstrate and sell their juried art throughout the weekend. Over 50 intertribal American Indian dancers and drum groups will share their heritage through traditional dance and regalia.

Cockpit Demo Day at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum 
May 14, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Kids of all ages can climb aboard select Wings aircraft and get a pilot’s perspective of the instruments and controls. They can set their imagination free as they soar through the billowing clouds and navigate the sky in these historic aircraft.

Corgis Take Over Denver 2016, Cheesman Park 
May 14, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
This will be the first annual Corgis Take Over Denver event which is a corgi walk/parade and costume contest. Although the focus is corgis, all dogs are welcome to participate and bring their humans to see all the ridiculous tiny legs. Come have some fun, you won’t be able to not smile.

Kites in the Park, Spring Canyon Park
May 15, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Grab your kite and come out to Spring Canyon Community Park for the 9th Annual Kites in the Park Festival. This FREE family-friendly community event welcomes fliers from around the world who will perform ballets, battle kites, and fly giant tiger, fish and bird kites.

Youth on Record Day
May 15,  12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Youth on Record’s Album Release Block Party and Community Celebration on Sunday May 15, 2016 will bring together 500+ community members for a day-long outdoor mini-festival complete with live music from Youth on Record students, as well as local and national musicians. 

New feature: You may now add your own family-friendly event to our calendar for free!

How This New Company is Making Interior Design Easy for Busy Moms

Havenly is an online interior design service and home decorating discovery engine that caters to any budget or style, and aims to provide its users with a fun and affordable home design experience. Before starting the design process, users complete a free online style quiz to help identify their style. The company does everything online and you are matched with a personal interior designer – making interior design easy for busy moms.

One of the first things Havenly asks every client before starting a home decorating project is: “What do you dislike about your current space?” It’s a simple question that’s not always simple to answer.

From the basics of function to every nuance of style, identifying and cataloging what we dislike about a poorly-designed space can be a tough process. Then again, some folks are quicker at getting to the bottom of what they don’t like than others.

And that’s a big part of what Havenly does – It helps to make interior design fun and affordable by connecting folks with their ideal designer. After discovering their style preferences and connecting with their designer, it’s simply a matter of fine-tuning their dream space. Their mini package starts at just $79!

It All Starts With A Vision

Living Room Design Rendering

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Designing a living room is one of those moments when knowing what you like and what you dislike come into play. A comfortable living room can mean different things to different people. For instance, moms might favor a large tufted ottoman whereas a bachelor might prefer a metal-framed glass coffee table.

Being able to see your space in a design rendering – like the Havenly renderings pictured above – allow you to see your design within the context of how you intend to use your space. Collaboration and communication is during this stage of the design process.

Nursery Design Rendering

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We hold nurseries to high standards. Right, Moms? They fill so many rolls in our lives. They provide room to grow and a place to bond with family. And when it comes to a parent-to-be’s to-do list, the nursery is often one of the last items to check off.

With Havenly, it’s easy to meet these high expectations – both on time and on budget. And having the chance to review and refine your kiddo’s room before creating the space ensures that you love the final product.

And The Process Pays Off

Once the design process is complete, it’s time to shop!

Every Havenly design experience comes with the luxury of having a personal shopping assistant. Love a particular chair but hate the price tag? Your Havenly shopping assistant will track down another option – and then they’ll order everything for you so you don’t have to waste time entering your information into multiple websites.

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From Disliked To Delighted

How long have you been holding off on that home decorating project? Whether you’re unsure of your budget (Havenly’s got a tool for that!) or are struggling with where to start, it’s never too late to get decorated!

In partnership with Mile High Mamas. 

Join the hilarious new movement and #PhotoMomb!

Moms, you created the miracle of life! You’ve taken thousands of photos of your kids and they’ve taken zillions of themselves.

Save them from being self-obsessed, disconnected little miscreants and start #PhotoMombing their selfies for Cricket’s sake! 

Preventing Child Abuse in Colorado: One Mom’s Story

Gloria was a single mother of a one-year-old daughter, Stephanie. Her boyfriend had recently left them. Gloria was not working, and her boyfriend had been paying all of the bills. Gloria did not know what to do or how to support herself or her daughter. Someone concerned about Gloria and Stephanie reported their situation to child protective services so that they could get the help they needed before a difficult situation became worse. Gloria and her daughter were perfect candidates for Colorado Community Response (CCR), one of their county’s voluntary prevention programs, designed to help families who may be at-risk for child abuse or neglect.

Gloria opted to enroll in CCR and was connected with a home visitor who would support her throughout the program. They talked through her situation and came up with two goals to help her move forward. The first goal was to get Stephanie enrolled in a child care program so that goal number two – for Gloria to get a job to support herself and her daughter – could also be achieved.

Gloria was unsure about putting Stephanie in child care. She had always stayed home with her, and she was concerned because Stephanie was showing some behavior issues – throwing temper tantrums and sometimes hitting. The Family Resource Center in the county where Gloria lived was beginning a Nurturing Parenting class, and Gloria agreed to enroll in the program. Gloria’s experience in the class helped her become more comfortable with the idea of enrolling Stephanie in child care; she wanted her to learn age-appropriate social skills. One month into the program Gloria called her home visitor with the wonderful news that Stephanie had been accepted into a child care program. She could attend three days a week and was even given a scholarship!

Once Gloria had achieved her first goal of enrolling Stephanie in child care, she worked with her home visitor to start applying for jobs online. Gloria was interested in applying to Whole Foods, so they completed the online application together. Gloria secured an interview there that went well, but in the meantime Stephanie’s child care center also offered her a job. Gloria took the job at the child care center so she could be close to her daughter. In securing this job, Gloria had completed her second goal!

Having someone believe in her and work with her to set and achieve her goals made a huge difference in Gloria’s life. The CCR program also helped Gloria pay for one month’s rent and buy baby care products for Stephanie, which helped her buy the time necessary to focus on reaching her goals in order to ensure her independence moving forward.

Gloria’s story is not unique. While the specifics may vary, every parent struggles at some point, and no parent knows everything about raising a child. Knowing where to get help and having a network to lean on can make a huge difference.

Everyone plays a role in the prevention of child abuse and neglect. In cases where you suspect child abuse or neglect is occurring or at risk of occurring – or if you need help yourself, call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect hotline at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS. All callers are able to speak with a call-taker 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and all calls remain confidential. Calling the hotline can help connect families to the wide variety of programs like CCR that are offered throughout Colorado by the state and its 64 counties – all with the goal of protecting Colorado’s children by building and supporting strong families and thriving communities.

You can learn more and find a variety of tips and resources at www.co4kids.org.

  Guest post by Kristy Helms, Home Visitor with Colorado Community Response                        

Deals: Free ice cream, discounted camp, star gazing and more

While several people I know spent time with their moms this last weekend, my mom took the different route (she always does things a little differently). She said “enjoy being with your kids – let’s just plan to lunch later this week. Make it a week of Mother’s Day and you won’t feel pressure to hang out with me.” I love hanging out with my mom (so no pressure) but I will say it was nice to simply be pampered by my kids. They went on a hike with me and made me a spaghetti dinner!
 
HaagenDazs Free Scoop Day. Tuesday, May 10 stop by a Haagen Dazs store between 4 p.m and 8 p.m. to get a free kiddie scoop – cup or cone enjoy the rich velvety yum of ice cream.
 
Talk to the Camera’s engaging summer camps are offering 10% off (a $24 savings) if you register by June 1st.  They encourage students to embrace their own camera personalitiesboost self-confidence and become more effective communicators as they create their own news broadcast, talk show or mini-movie. Courses are being offered all over the Denver Metro Area through Evergreen Parks and Recreation, Highlands Ranch Community Association, Rise Dance Studio in Golden, Marbles Kids Talent Agency in Greenwood Village and Elite Dance Academy in Broomfield and Boulder.
 
Summer of Stroller Strides. Looking to get your body back for summer? Sign up today and save! Enjoy a full Summer of unlimited Stroller Strides group fitness classes with Fit4Mom Denver Foothills!! Get four months of unlimited Stroller Strides group fitness classes for $175. If attending classes twice per week on average that is less than $6 per class! (Restrictions apply). Try a whole week for free when you enter code “KP2”: http://denverfoothills.fit4mom.com/events/summer-of-stroller-strides-special-offer#/today
 
Invivva at Cherry Creek This weekend Invivva will have Grand Opening Festivities and special classes (Yoga with Moms, Goal setting, photo booth, dance performances and more) at their newest location in Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Ivivva celebrates girls by designing beautiful, technical athletic wear (in sizes 6-14) and experiences that connect them through movement. From running and yoga to dance and goal-setting, ivivva stores offer a variety of complimentary athletic classes and Dreams & Goals programs that inspire girls to dream big.
             
Three Dollar Thursdays at the Apex Center in Arvada. The $3 daily admission is valid Thursdays, April 7-May 19 for the public. Also good for Public Ice Skating, includes skate rental (no other drop-in ice programs apply). 13150 W. 72nd Ave., Arvada,
 
Star Gazing. The Denver Astronomical Society regularly hosts an Open House on the Saturday nearest the first quarter moon at the University of Denver’s historic Chamberlin Observatory. On Saturday, May 14 starting at 8 p.m, you can view the heavens through the observatory’s famous 20-inch telescope for $2 per person ($5 per family). Plus, Society members set up their telescopes on the observatory grounds (Observatory Park) to share for FREE with anyone and everyone interested in taking a look at stars, planets, galaxies, nebulae, star clusters and more. 
 
Denver Mattress Firm Stores Host Clothing Drive for Foster Kids.  Monday, May 2 – Sunday, June 26, 2016, all 54 Mattress Firm stores in the Denver area will host a clothing drive, the first of Mattress Firm Foster Kids’ donation drives to benefit local foster youth and families. Mattress Firm will accept clothing and monetary contributions, which will be donated to Advocates for Children, Denver CASA, CASA of Adams and Broomfield Counties, CASA of Jefferson & Gilpin Counties, Kids Crossing and Voices for Children at the end of the eight-week drive.
 
Free Fitness Classes. Civic Center MOVES is a free fitness series for all fitness levels produced by the nonprofit Civic Center Conservancy and sponsored by Connect for Health Colorado. The 2016 season will run from April 25 through October 6.  Classes meet in various areas of Civic Center Park; look for the Civic Center MOVES flag for the class location.  To keep up with any schedule/location adjustments, please follow Civic Center MOVES on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CivicCenterMOVES.
Kids Eat Free. Now through May 31, kids eat free at all MAD Greens restaurants. During the promotion, kids are welcome to enjoy any item off of their Kids’ Menu, but we especially hope they’ll enjoy our recently-introduced Awesome Box and Super Box. Designed to please even the pickiest young eaters, each box meal features a choice of fresh ingredients such as Grilled Citrus Chicken, pasta, edamame, carrot sticks, apples, ranch dip and a kids’ drink. 
 
Women’s Adventure Camp & Mini Camp.  Grab your girlfriends or sisters! On August 19th – August 21st, women ages 18 and older are invited to attend this unique camp to hone their adventure skills and play in the beautiful Rocky Mountains at Camp Chief Ouray. Camp activities include archery, mountain biking, sunrise hikes, back country skills courses, canoeing, climbing wall, high ropes course, riflery, swimming and zip lining. Evening adventures will include campfires and s’mores (of course!) plus campfire cooking with overnight camping. Cost is $250 ($230 for YMCA Members) and guests who sign up with 3 friends will all receive $15 off their registration. Two nights lodging and meals from Friday night through Sunday lunch are all included.
 
Most sessions this summer are full or kids are already on a wait list. However, there is still some space at Camp Chief Ouray mini-camp, August 14-16 for kids ages 7-10, with a fun cartoon theme. Mini Camp is a 3-day, 2-night experience designed to introduce beginner campers to overnight camp and allow parents to adjust to their camper being away. Mini-camp includes fun and exciting activies, arts and crafts, hiking, canoeing, beginner horseback riding, group games, evening programs. Campers learn independence while making lasting friendships.
 
Lookout Mountain Nature Center staff and volunteer naturalists inspire kids and adults to connect with the natural world. Interactive exhibits take visitors on a tour of the flora and fauna of the foothills ecosystem. Kids enjoy a hands-on play room and observation room. At each turn, visitors discover earth-friendly elements of the building’s sustainable design, including floors made from recycled train boxcars. Go here to take a look at the  FREE programs in May and beyond.
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Email me if you know of any great Denver deals!
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If you’re on Twitter follow me on Twitter (GeeWhy93).  If I find a great deal during the week, I’ll tweet it out.
Kids Eat Free Mile High Mamas has rounded up a huge listing of local restaurants where kids eat free or for a discount with a paying adult.

Guide to Denver’s Splash Pads and Spray Fountains from Blue Lizard

The season of sun is upon us and that means water–and lots of it! We’ve pulled together the Denver-area’s best Splash Pads and Water Parks.

We’re also partnering with Blue Lizard Sunscreen to keep your kiddos protected from the sun’s harmful rays to ensure #Wevegotyoucovered.

Splash Pads and Spray Fountains

Arvada

Ralston Central

Ralston Central

Arvada now boasts two popular splash pads. One is located in Olde Town Arvada (57th and Olde Wadsworth) adjacent to the library so be sure to pop in for storytime or head over to Scrumptious for some ice cream and old-time candy. The Ralston Central Spray Park (5850 Garrison Street, Arvada) boasts two great playgrounds, pavilions, fields for playing in or you can splash around in Ralston Creek. Though not technically a spray fountain, Squiggles, an Interactive Sculpture Park at the Arvada Center, has a fun water feature.

Aurora

There are a handful of great spray parks in Aurora. Great Plains Spray Park (20100 E. Jewell Avenue) is a 50-acre park with a playground, 2 reservable shelters, outdoor water sprayground, large open field and basketball. Red-tailed Hawk Park (23701 E. Hinsdale Way) ha 35 acres with a large playground, open field and wetland boardwalk.The Del Mar Park and Family Aquatic Center is part of the 39.9-acre Del Mar Park (12000 E. Sixth Avenue) with an adjacent spray park playground. Southlands Spray Park (, 6155 S Main Street #260) is right in front of the theater, with benches and grassy areas for picnicking. A very popular spot, especially on “Free Movie” days.

Boulder

The Pop Jet Fountain Pearl Street Mall in Boulder is a fantastic place for famlies to play, shop or eat with plenty of street perfomers to keep you entertained.  The free Tebo Train runs up and down the Pearl Street Mall most weekday mornings so All Aboard!

Great Plains

Great Plains

Brighton

Benedict Park not only has a great spray park but also disc golf, soccer fields, a playground and more. 1855 Southern Street, Brighton.

Broomfield
 
The Bay Aquatic Park ( 250 Spader Way) not only has a Spray Ground but body slide, pool and tot pool. 
Centennial Center Park

Centennial Center Park

Centennial

Named “Best Playground” in 5280’s Top of the Town issue, 11-acre Centennial Center Park (13050 E. Peakview Avenue) has some of the best features around with water fun, a rope jungle gym, massive multi-story fort, rock climbing wall and plenty of shade to bring that picnic lunch.

Denver

Denver has several spray fountains. Start with the Wynkoop Plaza ( 1701 Wynkoop Street) at Denver Union Station and grab an ice cream at Milkbox Ice Cream Creamery as you explore LoDo’s many delights. Stapleton Central Park (8801 M.L.K. Jr Blvd)  is Denver’s third largest park and has a variety of fountains with a Dr. Seuss-inspired playground.  Barnum Park (360 Hooker Street) is another option for summertime fun, as are the Stapleton Town Center Fountains (29th Avenue and Roslyn Street) with side-by-side fountains. The next time you go to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and City Park, cool off in the H2Odyssey Fountain (2001 Colorado Boulevard) and enjoy the  sprawling playground and paddle boat rentals. There is something for everyone at Parkfield Lake Park located at 53rd and Chambers with shore-line and walking trails, sports fields, skate and wheels arena, playground climbing wall, water spray-ground.  Tucked between the Denver Art Museum’s Hamilton building and Mad Greens, dip you toe in the simple and super fun spray pad maintained by the DAM.

Cornerstone Park

Cornerstone Park

Englewood

Cornerstone Park ( 5150 S. Windermere Street) is a great area that also has sports fields, mini-golf, an inline skating rink, batting cages, a 1-mile trail and playgrounds.

Erie

The Erie Community Center (450 Powers Street) doesn’t just do a splash pad, it does a Spray Garden. Overachievers. 

Golden

With aquatic amusements like body and tube water slides, spray fountains, lap pool and beach-like sand area, you’ll be in H20 heaven at the Splash at Fossil Trace, 3151 Illinois Street.  Insider tip: it’s not a spray fountain but we love dipping our toes in Clear Creek and watching the kayakers at the Clear Creek Whitewater Park

Greenwood Village

Westlands Park

Westlands Park

The award-winning Westlands Park includes three play areas sized for toddlers to teens. There are two large climbing structures which satisfy both the technical climber as well as the inexperienced child. In addition to the main play area, there are three multi-use playing fields, an in-line hockey rink, a natural water sculpture, a pond and a hike / bike trail. 5701 South Quebec Street.

Highlands Ranch

The tree-dotted grounds of Civic Green Park (9370 S Ridgeline Boulevard) is not only gorgeous but has awesome picnic areas, playground, gardens and more.

Lakewood

Surf’s up at Surfside Spray Park (5330 W 9th Avenue) where you’ll find one main splash pad  and a second splash pad designed for smaller children, both of which offer plenty of fountains and water fun. Looking for a way to cool off in the summer? Look no further than the spray park at Ray Ross Park (680 S Harlan Street) designed to look like a baseball diamond.  Another great option is Carmody Park at 2200 S Kipling Street.

Surfside Spray Park

Surfside Spray Park

Thornton

Carpenter Park, located at 3498 E. 112th Ave., directly behind the Carpenter Recreation Center has something for everyone with a spray park, amphitheter, carousel, boathouse, playground, trails and skate park. 

Westminster

Carol Butts Park (4201 W. 94th Avenue) is an expansive 32-acre community park with an outdoor swimming pool, Slapshot Hockey Center, iIn-line skating and sports fields.  A favorite free activity is running through the fountains at Westminster Promenade Fountains (10655 Westminster Boulevard ); cross the pedestrian bridge (near the Westin Hotel) and the Promenade Terrace Waterfalls for even more fun! The Orchard Shopping Center (14697 Delaware Street) has Splash Pad Fountains for cooldowns before and after shopping.  Nottingham Park  is a massive London-themed play structure. There aren’t any fountains but your kids will love exploring the stream. The 5.9-acre Irving Street Interactive Water Feature (7392 Irving Street) is adjacent to the library home so be sure to indulge in puzzles, games and books in the kid room prior to getting wet. 

Wheat Ridge

Discovery Park (7500 W 29th Avenue) includes walking trails, a skate park, a large pavilion and several smaller shelters, age appropriate playgrounds, a splash pad, youth climbing wall and slide, a wet sand play area, a play creek, “porch” swings, mountain views, sports practice field, permanent restroom, drinking fountain, and a public art sculpture. 

 

56 Years Later: Two Women Learn They Were Switched At Birth

Just when you think you know someone….

The date was May 3, 1953. Two girls (DeeAnn Angell and Kay Rene Reed) with two different families were born at the same hospital in eastern Oregon. When nurses handed Marjorie Angell her newborn daughter, she insisted she had been given the wrong child. The staff shrugged it off. Eventually Marjorie did, too.

DeeAnn and Kay Rene grew up in separate Oregon towns. Being the only brunette in her family, Kay Rene always felt different. DeeAnn had odd feelings of her own — but neither family ever truly questioned their paternity. After Marjorie passed away, Kay Rene’s brother received a call from an 86-year-old woman whom he met in a nursing home who claimed that Kay Rene and DeeAnn were switched at birth. Since DeeAnn and Kay Rene’s parents had all passed away, it was up to the kids to uncover the truth after 56 years.

One Mom, Five Amazing Women

We had several entries for our Mother’s Day contest that talked about hero moms but none quite like Meghan Dougherty. She nominated not one, but five women. And why shouldn’t she? We are surrounded by mom heroes every day!

“Running the last of the Magnesium to get all my levels up before getting on a plane to watch my baby girl in her first attempt to win the Summit in Orlando Florida. Next week I’m back for my long Chemo.” This is the kind of Mom Nicole Tillotson Capra is. She if fighting cancer for the second time. First in her breast five years ago and now it’s spread. Still, she does everything in her power to be there for her kids sporting events and important life moments. Because she’s a fighter. She was raising her three kids and playing roller derby when she was diagnosed the first time. With a busy family life she retired from derby when she was hit a second time. She has a long fight in front of her and deserves every bit of pampering she can get. 

My mother-in-law raised 10 kids by herself. She divorced her husband and moved from Chicago to Denver and all 10 kids moved with her. She held three jobs to help get by. Her husband got remarried and lived a middle class life with his new family, with no money going back to Lillian Jordan. Just 80 this past year, Lillian was struggling with some dental issues. She stopped going to church. She just got her teeth fixed and is ready to see the world. She’s always been a giant supporter of mine, and I have tremendous respect for her. She’s the type of Mom where all her kids’ friends think of her as their mother too. She deserves a special day of pampering for all she’s done for everyone in her life. 

My sister-in-law is a caretaker. As one of 10 kids, with her mom working three jobs to take care of everybody after their divorce, she was a Mom when she wasn’t supposed to be. Unable work because of a skin problem she is always there for everyone who needs something, even to this day. She has one child, and even on Medicaid, she will send money to her now 30-year-old child when she needs it. She lives day to day, but is always there for her friends and family and deserves a little pampering. I nominate my sister in law, Van Jordan. 

My step Mom lives in Hibbing, MN, but since the winners can live anywhere I’m nominating her. At 22 she married her boss, when she was 26 her husband died in a car accident and she was left with two kids and two step kids, all half siblings. She was reintroduced to a man who recently lost his wife (my Dad), and within a year they were married when she was 30. He had eight children, so at 30, she had 12 kids, only two biological. She has beaten cancer and depression twice. With rheumatoid arthritis she is in a lot of pain and as someone who is always glamorous she recently suffered from alopecia. No matter what though, through it all, she’s a Mom to everyone. At 9-years old, when my Dad remarried, I had no idea how lucky I would be. She’s an example to all Moms so I nominate Mary Kay Dougherty. 

She’s had rheumatoid arthritis since she was one and a half. She’s had multiple surgeries on her hands and has taken every kind of drug imaginable her whole life. She’s my step sister Michelle Dyson. When she moved into our house after my Dad and her Mom were married, I could hear her crying in the night. She was always in pain. I used to sometimes slug her arm in jest, only to have her break down in tears. She felt her best twice in life, when she was pregnant with her two kids, when her arthritis went into remission. She was not even supposed to have kids, but she has two miracle babies, now 9 and 6. They run her ragged, but she places their life, fun and well-being above her own health and pain almost to a fault. Two years ago she somehow got a brain infection, became neutropenic and nearly died. She had to stop taking her Methotrexate, the one drug that made her feel good. When I talk to her she says when I ask her how she is, “well, my health is *#$ier than ever, but I’m great.” She is my sister Michelle Anderson and my mom hero. 

Video: This Mother’s Day tribute will make you cry!

Disclaimer: GRAMMY nominated singer/songwriter Beth Hart’s stunning new music video”Mama, This One’s For You” is going to make you cry.

In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, this video features touching fan-submitted footage with their moms or children as well as video of Hart hanging out with her own mother as they garden together. 

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Summer Camp: Talk to the Camera

Do you have a child who loves to be in front of or behind the camera or who needs more self-confidence? 

My kids are always making silly home movies with their iPods and their imagination is strong but their skill set isn’t. That’s why I love that Talk to the Camera’s engaging summer camps take it a step further as they encourage students to embrace their on camera personalitiesboost self confidence and become more effective communicators as they create their own news broadcast, talk show or mini-movie.

How’s that for an amazing way to spend a week of their summer?   Courses are being offered all over the Denver Metro Area through Evergreen Parks and Recreation, Highlands Ranch Community Association, Rise Dance Studio in Golden, Marbles Kids Talent Agency in Greenwood Village and Elite Dance Academy in Broomfield and Boulder.

Here is a sampling of the programs being offered: 

Summer Camps

Lights, Camera, Action & FUN! Want to shine as you report a news story, star in a Talk Show or make your own movie?  Use your natural talents and 21st century technology to flaunt on (and off) camera personalities as you reinforce a positive self image, poise and social skills. Get on Camera in …….3-2-1 ACTION! Talk to the Camera’s week long summer camp cost $240 for ages 6-13.

TALK TO THE CAMERA – NEWS BROADCAST (This is the entry level course, but not a requirement to take other courses)

Do you want to experience the excitement of reporting a hot news story? Through lively interviews, amusing commercials and empowering games, kids will create their own news broadcast! Weather, sports or entertainment? You get to choose what you report and are guaranteed to have a blast!

TALK TO THE CAMERA – TALK SHOW

In this one-of-a-kind camp, students create AND star in their own Talk Show. You will design the characters, skits, and reap the rewards of being STARS of the show! Your performance is sure to brighten your audience’s day – the Talk Show way!

TALK TO THE CAMERA – MINI-MOVIE

3-2-1 ACTION!! Want to make a movie? Are you ready to be the writer, director AND movie star! It begins with a great idea, a written script, a cast of characters, a filming session, then “That’s a wrap!”

*All news broadcasts, talk shows and movies will be edited and sent to families shortly after the session.  

TALK TO THE CAMERA from Audrey Walters on Vimeo.

Behind-the-Scenes

Talk to the Camera co-founders Audrey Walters and Jenny Gilbert met when their children were in preschool. They soon discovered a shared passion for helping kids and young adults develop lifelong social communication skills in a world filled with video games, cell phones and laptops. Audrey is a experienced SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) Actor who has been seen on national broadcast television shows. She’s also a former TV host and news reporter who today coaches at Marbles Kids Talent in Denver, Colorado and is co-founder of Talk To The Camera. Jenny Gilbert is a certified coach at the Buckley School of Public Speaking and has been a public educator and speaker for more than 10 years having worked in the private and corporate sector. She also holds a Masters Degree in education and is co-founder of Talk To The Camera.

Together, Audrey and Jenny empower youth in a variety of dynamic ways using camera work as a powerful communication tool. Kids learn to become more effective communicators in a uniquely positive learning community at Talk To The Camera.

A Denver mom raved, “Our son looked forward to class every week because of the amazing activities and the way in which he could use his imagination. The instructors made it easy for him to reach outside his comfort zone and create an environment that was creative and exciting. He learned so much and had a great time doing it- that’s the best combination a parent could ask for!” 

What they provide:

Camera, microphones, paper and pens, television monitor, snack and fun!

Kids only need:

Personality, a smile and your imagination! 

What your kids will go home with:

A link to a edited class video will be shared shortly after the end of the session.

What skills your kids will learn:

Poise, eye contact, social communication skills, a positive self image, critical thinking, team work, working with technology, active listening and more.

talk1Contact

Audrey Walters + Jenny Gilbert

info@talktothecamera.com   | 720.217.9551 |  talktothecamera.com | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/talktothecameraDenver

In partnership with Mile High Mamas. 

Deal

Talk to the Camera is offering 10% off (a $24 savings) if you register by June 1st.

Contest

Mile High Mamas is giving away a free week of camp at any of their 6 locations. The summer camp is for one week and a $240 value.  You may enter as many as five times!

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