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DECEMBER 2016 • RMPARENT.COM

Top toys for babies and toddlers

SNOWSHOE

excursions

HAPPY “GREEN”

HOLIDAYS

CONNECTING

as a couple

Ho liday family

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DECEMBER 2016

Departments PERSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

The flow—slowing down helps us appreciate the season

FIRST YEARS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Top toys for 2016—give toys that stimulate

FAMILY ACTIVITIES . . . . . . . 10 Holiday events for the whole gang—snow carving, carolers, Santas, holiday teas and more…

LEARN AND LIVE . . . . . . . . . . 12 Winter walk in the woods—showshoes let you float through the wonderland

COMMUNITY NEWS . . . . . . . 14 An external perspective—NoCo offers opportunities to get out

HEALTHY LIVING . . . . . . . . 16

Greening the holidays—reduce and recycle food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper...

CALENDAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Events and activities for parents, kids and families

TIME OUT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Spending time with those we love—holiday traditions are important for kids and family

Special Sections FESTIVE HOLIDAY GUIDE AND CALENDAR

FESTIVE Holiday Guide

Find some just-right event on our holiday calendar and catch Santa at one his many stops here in northern Colorado. And check out these tips to keep the holidays sane and safe. Safely through the season PAGE 4

Peace and calm PAGE 6

Holiday calendar PAGE 8

Visit Santa PAGE 14

Features WONDERFUL WINTER FUN 18 Consider having some fun outdoors in our Colorado winter wonderland. Many of the same warm-weather activities can be enjoyed throughout the winter. More traditional winter activities, such as building snow forts and snowmen, provide hours of frosty fun, too. Additional winter adventures are a short drive away.

School District News Greeley-Evans District 6. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Open-enrollment applications now being accepted, compost project made possible through donation

Poudre School District. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 PSD calendar of events, Tom Dodd named National Principal of the Year, FCHS students build new playground and garden with community, supporting students experiencing homelessness

Thompson School District. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 District introduces CPR and AED training, students receive feedback at science fair, raising awareness of homelessness, students test boat designs, students raise $18,330.

Lunchbox. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 School menus for Poudre, Thompson, Greeley-Evans and Windsor

20 CONNECTED AS A COUPLE

Parenting unites you as partners and gives you the feeling that you really are in this together as a team. Yet the constant demand to be “on” can also bring feelings of resentment or worry, creating a wedge between you. Now, more than ever, you need to commit to being there for each other.

ABOUT THE COVER: Mason, who turnes 6 this month, likes reading, drawing robots, riding his bike and beat-boxing. Photo by Cheri Schonfeld, courtesy of Sky's Open Design.

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perspective The flow

DECEMBER 2016 • Volume 21, Issue 7

Slowing down helps us appreciate the season

W

e’re going to give presents for the holidays. That’s kind of goes with the territory. But maybe the biggest gift we give isn’t wrapped up with paper and bows (to borrow from the Grinch) but is something more. Could it be that coming together and spending time with friends and family is the true gift we give to one another? I think we all know that, but as we’re speeding around finding the right presents for all of our people, sometimes we forget to just slow down and appreciate what makes the season the season. And as long as we’re spending time together, let’s make it good time, special time. Let’s be there and be focused, not just putting in our two hours at the in-laws and then we’re outta here! I mean as long as we’re going to go over there, let’s decide that we’ll do our best to connect with everyone…even if they didn’t vote the same way you did! Let’s just be glad that we’re all here and we have the opportunity to get together. The ol’ attitude of gratitude matters. Just making another trip around the sun and being able to share another holiday season is no small thing. Let’s appreciate that we can get together. But to do that, we need to slow down and get our minds wrapped around a sense that things will flow how they flow. That way when you’re waiting in the express lane at the grocery store and the person in front of you has 16 items instead of the required 15 or fewer, you can relax and just let it go, let it flow. It’s a great season, too, to think about others who are less are fortunate than we are. As long as we’re in the giving mood, let’s extend that to people we might not know, but we do know that they could use a little lift. So, this issue is packed with holiday info and activities. I think there is literally something for everyone. We have a calendar of holiday events and activities, plus Santa visits. Our Family Activities department looks closely at several new and standard activities for you to check out. Just looking for something to do outdoors? We have a feature with tons of ideas and a department all about snowshoeing. And for toddler and infant toy ideas, check out First Years. I hope that you’ll find something in this issue that will help make your holidays a little better and more fun. But mainly that’s up to you, no matter what you choose to do. Happy holidays, Scott

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PUBLISHER Scott Titterington, (970)221-9210 scott.rmpublishing@gmail.com EDITOR Kristin Titterington, (970)221-9210 kristin.rmpublishing@gmail.com CALENDAR EDITOR Kim Sharpe calendar@rockymountainpub.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Emily Zaynard emily.rmpublishing@gmail.com ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Greg Hoffman, (970)689-6832 greg.rmpublishing@gmail.com DISTRIBUTION Sharon Klahn, Debbie Lee, Rob Martin, Susan Pettit, Nikolai Poppen-Chambers COVER PHOTO Cheri Shonfeld, schonfeldphotography.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lea Hanson, Katie Harris Kris Kodrich, Lynn U. Nichols, Kim Sharpe

ROCKY MOUNTAIN PUBLISHING 825 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521 Voice 221-9210 Fax 221-8556 editor@rockymountainpub.com www.RMParent.com Rocky Mountain Parent magazine is published monthly by Rocky Mountain Publishing, Inc. Publication of this paper does not consitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised. RMP reserves the right to refuse any advertisement for any reason. The opinions expressed by contributors or writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Rocky Mountain Publishing. ©2016 Rocky Mountain Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without express written permission is prohibited.

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first years

Top toys in 2016 Give toys that stimulate

LY NN U. NICHOLS

N

othing is more fun than toys on your to-buy list for the holidays. Seeing your kids’ faces light up when they unwrap a toy is part of what makes the season magical—especially when it comes to babies and toddlers. The wonder they express is literally priceless. But you want to choose well—pick a toy that not only entertains, but also more importantly, helps them develop. Here’s a guide on how to select a great toy for a baby or toddler, along with a review of the hottest toys of the season. WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A TOY When selecting a toy, think about one that stimulates the mind, body or five senses. Doing so helps young ones develop their motor skills—both large as in learning to walk, and small as in hand-eye coordination—along with their language skills, intelligence, school readiness and social skills. Not all toys can do all things and you might not want them to; rather, find ones that do a few. According to the Zero to Three organization—political leaders on the development of babies and toddlers— the best toys teach, inspire and enhance skills. They advise you to choose toys that can be used in a variety of ways, will grow with your child, encourage exploration and problem solving, and spark imagination. Ever wonder why your toddler loves your cell phone? That’s because she wants to figure out the world she lives in—how things work. The same goes for other real-life toys like toy keys, telephones, brooms and lawn mowers. She learns through mimicking you. Consider toys that present a mental challenge, ones that stimulate your toddler’s brain to figure out how it works. Dress up clothes or toys that promote your child to play out a story—such as

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doll houses or toy kitchen items—are always great. WHAT NOT TO LOOK FOR IN A TOY Avoid toys that are overly stimulating. Some toys try to do everything with a variety of lights, buttons and sounds. You don’t want a toy that overwhelms a child with too many choices. Babies learn through repetition, so a simpler toy that can be used in a variety of ways, such as wooden blocks or dump trucks that can collect different items will stimulate and last through the first years. Consider passing on toys that do most of the work. If a toy’s focus is to entertain more than to require action from your toddler, it’s not the best choice. Also, resist toys that are slated for kids a few years older.

on Amazon for baby and toddler toys. With a caterpillar handle, this little music player offers 7 baby classics. $6.

• Nuby Octopus Hoopla Bathtime Fun Toys If you are looking for splashy fun, this little octopus with rings to hang off his tentacles will be a hit—coming in second on the Amazon list. $7.

CURRENT TOYS TOPPING THE LISTS These first two toys made the top list on a few different sites, including Amazon. Others landed in the top 10 on at least one site. Most are slated somewhere between 6 months to three years. • VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker Works for crawlers and those learning to walk. Promotes creativity with large buttons, music and a sturdy handle for support. $30.

• VTech Drop and Go Dump Truck This little dump truck not only carries “rocks” but also provides early numbers learning and more. $13. • Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes This was the number one best seller

• Fisher-Price Dance & Move BeatBowWow This happy dog not only dances and sings but also teaches colors, numbers and sounds. $25. That’s the short list, which will hopefully get you started. You really can’t go wrong with the classics either, including blocks, puzzles, puppets, fingerpaint and books. Now that you’ve got some ideas, get shopping! Check out your local shops. The holidays are just around the corner and likely coming a lot faster than you may have expected.


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family activities

Holiday events for the whole gang Snow carving, carolers, Santas, holiday teas and more… KATIE HARRIS

L

ooking for somewhere festive to take out of town guests this month? You won’t have to go far! Northern Colorado is home to several holiday events, some new, some tried and true. No matter whom you’re hosting this season, you’ll find activities to please your whole crowd without traveling far. Berthoud is the place to be Dec. 1417 when a brand new event, Snowfest takes over the town. The sanctioned state snow carving competition has moved to Berthoud’s downtown Fickel Park this year, and will go hand in hand with traditional Christmas in Berthoud events including vendors, holiday caroling, carriage rides, and the well-loved Parade of Lights through downtown. Snow carving ends at 2pm each day, and the parade begins at 5pm on Dec. 17. There are still plenty of opportunities to get in on the fun by visiting www.berthoudcolorado. com/berthoud-snowfest or calling the Berthoud Chamber of Commerce at 970-532-7690. Another new event this year, Christmas Walk in the Woods will take place Dec. 17-23 from 5-8pm in Loveland’s Savage Woods. The familyfriendly event will feature carolers, vendors, and holiday lights. Admission for the event is $12/person (free for ages 4 and under). For details visit www. christmaswalkinthewoods.com or call 970-667-3002. Downtown Santas Shopping Quest is a fun way to turn Christmas shopping into a game the whole family can enjoy. Over 30 Old Town businesses have hidden personalized Santas in their stores. Now through Dec. 11th visitors are invited to pick up a worksheet from any participating vendor and attempt to find all the Santas. Those who find at least 17 will be entered in a drawing for an 10

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Old Town shopping gift card in denominations of $200 up to $500. Visit downtownfortcollins.com/events/ downtown-santas-shopping-quest for a complete list of participating businesses. The Avery House at 108 N. Meldrum St. in Fort Collins is a historic landmark preserved by Poudre Landmark Foundation. This year, the foundation is hosting two unique events for the holidays. The Holiday Open House takes place Dec. 3 and 4 from 11am-4pm and features live music, boutique shopping and tours of the home decked out in vintage holiday decorations. The boutique is also open Dec. 10-11 from 1-4pm. A second event, Holiday tea will take place Dec. 8, 9 and 10 at 10am. Tickets are $25/person and

include seasonal teas, scones, tea sandwiches and desserts. Reservations are required for the tea and can be made at www.poudrelandmarks.org/. Looking for a traditional visit with Santa? Look no further than Centerra in Loveland, where Santa will be in his workshop Dec. 3, 10, and 17 from 11am-3pm. Along with a visit with the big man himself, guests can enjoy complimentary ornament decorating, fresh baked cookies, coloring, horse drawn wagon rides and story time with Mrs. Claus. Santa’s workshop will be set up at The Group, Inc., located at 5401 Stone Creek Circle. Guests are encouraged to bring a canned food item to donate to Centerra’s canned food drive. More information can be found at www.centerra.com/events/display/353.


un F s ’ It shy l a r T a It’s cation Edu s ’ t I It’s the

Garbage Garage Larimer County’s waste & recycling education center at the Larimer County Landfill in Fort Collins

(970) 498-5772 larimer.org/solidwaste

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learn and live

Winter walk in the woods Snowshoes let you float through the wonderland

PHOTOS COURTESY OF ESTES PARK MOUNTAIN SHOP

KIM SHARPE

W

inter time doesn’t mean it’s time to take a hiatus from hiking. To enjoy walks in the woods when trails are covered with snow, just strap on a pair of snowshoes. This ingenious footgear magically enlarges your footprint allowing you to float on top of snow rather than sinking deep into it. “Whether you are looking to explore the beauty of snowy Rocky Mountain National Park or find a new way to exercise in winter, snowshoeing is affordable, easy to learn and poses little risk of injury, making it a great winter sport for people of all ages and a fun family activity,” says Jenny Coriell, Estes Park Mountain Shop marketing and special events coordinator. If you have memories of snowshoes looking like large, clunky wooden racquets strung with rawhide, it’s time to update your visual image. Snowshoes have evolved into relatively small frames 12

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made from lightweight metal, plastic and synthetic fabric. Some snowshoes also have cleats on the bottom to provide extra traction on slopes. The U.S. Forest Service’s website includes a page with links to several nearby mountain trails recommended for snowshoeing (http://www.fs.usda. gov/activity/arp/recreation/winter sports/). The Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch in Red Feather Lakes and the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park have a variety of trails exclusively for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. When there’s enough snow in lower elevations, it’s possible to snowshoe on city and county trails, too. If you’d like to begin by trekking with others, the Estes Park Mountain Shop offers snowshoe tours in Rocky Mountain National Park, a place that becomes a wintery land of wonder when Jack Frost visits. Get up. Get out. Get snowshoeing!

Get ready for winter fun!

The right clothes and supplies can make your day fun and comfortable.

BRING

• Polarized sunglasses • Sunscreen • Lunch and snack food • Water • Camera

WEAR

…layers! • Synthetic, moisture-wicking tops and pants (e.g., polypropylene and fleece) vs. moisture-trapping cotton t-shirts and jeans • Outer waterproof and windproof jacket and pants • Fleece or wool hat • Comfortable, supportive, waterproof boots paired with wool socks


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community news

An external perspective NoCo offers opportunities to get out

KIM SHARPE

concepts integrating a variety of ecological restoration and conservation approaches to support societal needs including flooding, mitigating the effects of climate-change, reversing habitat loss and improving people’s well-being. Case studies were chosen from different regions of the world to represent the range of ecosystem services and societal challenges that can be addressed by nature-based interventions. The City’s Poudre River restoration work and the National Park Service’s wetlands and barrier island restoration along the Mississippi Gulf Coast were the two featured case studies selected from North America.

V

ery often, life is best experienced outside—outside of our own little worlds and outside in nature. Sometimes, however, we need to protect ourselves from outside influences. This month’s community news offers ways to bring joy to local children in need, celebrate and experience the natural world around us, and make sure our homes are safe places in which to live and thrive. FORT COLLINS RIVER RESTORATION PROJECTS DRAW INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has selected the City of Fort Collins’ 2014 Poudre River restoration projects as one of 10 international 14

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restoration case studies employing “nature-based solutions.” The report, “Nature-based Solutions to Address Global Societal Challenges,” draws international attention to the City Natural Area Department’s river restoration projects at McMurry and North Shields Ponds natural areas, completed in 2014. “It’s an honor to serve as a model for river restoration in the urban setting,” says Rick Bachand, City of Fort Collins environmental program manager with the Natural Areas Department. “It is encouraging that our projects were chosen because of the efforts to bring back the Poudre’s natural flooding cycle, restore the floodplain and enhance wildlife habitat.” Nature-based solutions promote

BUY A STAR, BRIGHTEN A CHILD’S LIFE In the spirit of the holiday season, Kristi’s Wish, an annual philanthropic initiative from the Kristi Visocky Memorial Fund, is raising money to help local children in need. Through Dec. 15, community members are invited to purchase and sign Kristi’s Wish Cards for $1 at any of the Schrader’s Country Stores in Larimer County. The star-shaped cards will adorn the ceilings and walls at the stores, and all proceeds will benefit ChildSafe, CASA, Crossroads Safehouse and Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County. “Kristi’s Wish is truly a community effort,” says Bob Visocky, co-founder of the Kristi Visocky Memorial Fund. “Thanks to the generosity of northern Colorado, we can bring a joyous holiday season to local youth in need.” Kristi’s Wish is in its sixth year and has raised more than $100,000 for local charities that serve underprivileged families and youth. The Kristi Visocky Memorial


Foundation is family-operated and was founded in 2003 in honor of Kristi Visocky, who was killed in an automobile accident at the age of 21. Her parents wished to continue her legacy of empowering troubled youth and have since raised more than $700,000 for local organizations, such as Project Self-Sufficiency, Crossroads Safehouse, SAVA, Child Safe and the Matthews House. For more information about Kristi’s Wish or to donate visit www. kristisfund.com. DISC GOLF OPENS AT LOVELAND’S MEHAFFEY PARK The City of Loveland Parks and Recreation Department opened a disc golf course in Mehaffey Park located west of Wilson Avenue, between 22nd and 29th Streets. The new course is open to the public every day, year-round during park hours, 6am10:30pm. The course layout was planned with input from Chris Thomas, a member of the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA), and Jon Boothe, PDGA member and Northern Colorado Disc Golf Club president. More than 20 volunteers who spent the morning of Saturday, Oct. 17, securing rubber tee mats and setting baskets, performed most of the course installation. Leading this effort was Ryan Mills, a 13-year-old Eagle Scout candidate who used the event as his community service project to earn his badge. The layout will be adjusted as the city receives feedback from users on how the course plays. City staff anticipate a yearlong testing period, followed by replacement of the temporary rubber-mat tees with concrete pads. Supplementary basket sleeves will be installed to allow variety in the layout. Disc golf is a precision accuracy sport in which individual players traverse through a course and throw flying discs at a targets. Rules are similar to those of traditional golf, and the object of the game is to complete the course with the fewest

number of throws. The game is free and designed to be enjoyed by people of all ages, which makes the sport affordable and family-friendly. For more information on Mehaffey Park please visit www.cityoflove land.org/mehaffey. GOT RADON? GET TESTED Forty-six percent of all homes in Colorado are estimated to be breeding grounds for lung cancer and other health issues due to the high level of radon gas they contain. With testing, you can determine if you’re home has high, unhealthy levels of the poisonous gas. Radon is an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas that results from the natural decay of uranium found in rock formations, soil and water. Radon typically moves up through the ground and into homes through cracks and other holes in a house’s foundation. With funding from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Weld County

Health Department is offering free radon test kits to any Weld County resident—limit one per household. Test kits are available for a low cost from city governments in Larimer County. Professional radon testers also can be hired to perform the test. If a home tests high for radon, remediation can mitigate the problem. “The cost of remediation is comparable to replacing a residential hot water heater,” says Dr. Mark Wallace, Weld County Health Department executive director. To receive a free radon test kit, visit the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment, 1555 N. 17thAve., Greeley; or the Southwest Weld County Health Department satellite office (near I-25 and Hwy.119) at 4209 CR 24½, Longmont. Both offices are open 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday. For more information on radon, radon testing and mitigation, call Gabrielle Vergara, Weld County environmental health educator, at 970-400-2226. RMPARENT

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healthy living

Greening the holidays

Reduce and recycle food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper… LEA HANSON

Recycle your tree this year

Most municipalities in the U.S. offer a recycling program for Christmas trees, and the variety of uses for those trees is truly astonishing. To recycle your tree this year, remove all decorations, including tinsel, lights, plastic, etc., and take your tree to one of the following free drop-off locations:

FORT COLLINS:

A

mericans throw away 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than they do during any other time of the year. This added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows, and ribbons add up to an additional one million tons of waste each week. This holiday season, challenge yourself, friends and family members to make changes in their holiday planning and practices that won’t come at the expense of the environment. REDUCE WASTE Wrapping paper is a commonly wasted item. Most often used once and thrown away, it can be one of the bigger contributors to filling our trash cans during the holidays. Consider salvaging wrapping paper and reusing it. Many of us do this with gift bags and tissue paper, why not wrapping paper, too? If you’re starting fresh this year, shop around for wrapping paper made from recycled paper and make an effort to save and reuse it in future years. Try using reusable cloth ribbons instead of plastic bows, as well. If you are a family that sends an annual holiday card, letter, and/or photo, take a moment to consider your options to reduce waste. Sending a postcard instead of a photo in an envelope can cut 16

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the waste in half and sending an email instead of a printed letter saves printed paper as well as an envelope (not to mention, the postage fees). GIVE INTANGIBLE GIFTS The best gifts are not always tangible gifts that can be held and touched. There are many gift ideas that your loved ones will value and appreciate that are intangible, as well. Giving a loved one your time can be even more valuable than giving them a tangible gift; taking someone to coffee or dinner is a valuable contribution to your relationship as is going hiking, volunteering together, or doing some other type of shared interest for an afternoon. For most, the main purpose of gift giving is to express love and appreciation to another. This can also be done through a thoughtful letter. If you have a friend or loved one who adores words and thoughts more than anything, a thoughtful and specific hand-written note may be more meaningful than any gift. While food is tangible, it is also consumable so it can be a great, low-waste gift option. Sharing a favorite family recipe, cultural treat or meal, or even inviting someone to your home to share a meal can be a very meaningful gift and way to show appreciation and love.

• Edora Park, 1420 E. Stuart St. (Tennis court parking lot) • Larimer County Landfill, 5887 S. Taft Hill Rd. (Monday – Saturday, 8am to 4:30pm) • Rolland Moore Park, 2201 S. Shields St. (Parking lot, S.E. corner) • Streets Department, 625 Ninth Street (S.W. corner of Lemay Ave. and E. Vine Dr.) • Fossil Creek Park, 5821 S. Lemay Ave. (enter from Lemay Ave.)

WELLINGTON:

• Wellington Recycling Drop-Off Site (corner of 6th Street and Grant Ave.)

GREELEY:

• Greeley Organic Waste Center (one mile east of U.S. 85 on East 8th St.) • A -1 Organics (16350 County Rd. 76, Eaton)

LOVELAND:

• Centennial Park (West 1st and Taft Ave.) • Loveland Recycling Center (off of 1st Street & Wilson Avenue) • Kroh Park (North Highway 287 and 52nd St.)

WINDSOR:

• Brush Recycling Site & Recycling Center (801 Diamond Valley Dr.)


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Connected as a couple

5 ways to be there for each other Lynn U. Nichols

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T

he holidays enhance your relationship as a couple but they test it at the same time. There’s the joy of time with family, and there’s the challenge of the financial strain and endless obligations that the season brings. If you think about it, it’s a lot like parenthood itself. Your kids bring you incredible joy but they also blow up your world and rearrange all of your priorities, leaving you with a few missing pieces like time for yourself, and time for connecting as a couple. If you find your relationship has changed since you had kids, you’re not alone. According to research conducted by the Gottman Institute, 67 percent of new parents experience a drop in couple satisfaction within the first three years of having kids. Parenthood has a way of bringing issues to the table as it demands we put our own needs second while working harder than ever to provide for our children. Parenting unites you as

partners and gives you the feeling that you are really in this together as a team. Yet the constant demand to be “on” can also bring feelings of resentment or worry, creating a wedge between you. Now, more than ever, you need to commit to being there for each other. Here are five ways to strengthen your bond, based on elements of the Gottman Method. 1. GET ON EACH OTHER’S SIDE A good place to start is by remembering why you like your spouse and what attracted you to each other. Get in touch with your partner as your friend. Think about your pre-kid days—did you use certain endearments or have certain habits that helped you bond? Maybe it was a special nickname or a lazy morning in bed with the coffee and the paper. Bring some of those elements back into your lives. Even if you have to do a condensed version, it will help. “Focus on why you picked each other


in the first place and keep humor and playfulness in your relationship,” suggests Kristin Glenn, class instructor at The Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado which recently brought a Gottman Baby Moon workshop for expectant parents to Fort Collins, and is planning another for March (for more, go to fcwc.com). Glenn also suggests spending time with other couples that like your spouse as it highlights their good qualities and reminds you why you like them. 2. SHOW APPRECIATION Gratitude is a key ingredient in a healthy marriage. When we start out as a couple, we appreciate almost everything about each other. As the years pass we can start taking each other for granted. Rather than focusing on our partner’s positive traits, we can begin to focus on the negative ones. Avoid this trap by showing appreciation and complimenting each other every day. Doing so builds respect and trust. In a study by Dr. Aimee Gordon published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, couples who showed appreciation were more likely to stay together. She also found that appreciation builds on itself—couples who showed appreciation, were more apt to show more the next day, and to also express appreciation in their body language. Share in your partner’s successes, express gratitude for a job well done with home tasks or parenting, and tell each other frequently that you’re glad you are together. Compliments and appreciation make you feel cared for and loved. “Give 10 expressions of appreciation for every one expression of criticism,” Glenn suggests. 3. CHECK IN EVERY DAY You know that maintaining a strong relationship means putting in the time—that means carving out time to be together and talk every single day. “No matter what, schedule a minimum of 10 minutes of uninterrupted time each day to have stress-reducing conversations. Share your concerns and worries with each other, each listening attentively without trying to fix the situation for the other,” Glenn advises. Getting in the habit of scheduling

dates also provides great opportunity for connection, conversation and laughter. Aim for dates at least every other week, even if it’s just dinner or a long walk. Make trades with other couples or find a reliable babysitter. “Also, start discussions on intense topics in very intentional ways,” Glenn suggests. That means discussing hot topics when calm, and avoiding expressing things you’ll regret while angry. 4. TURN TOWARDS EACH OTHER According to Gottman research, “The Four Horsemen” are predictors of divorcing within the first 5 to 6 years of marriage. They include criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling. They also find that stable marriages have a 5:1 ratio of positive responses versus negative during times of conflict. Gottman research emphasizes turning towards each other rather than against each other. Turning towards each other means responding in an attentive, positive way when your spouse talks, including making eye contact. In short, it means staying present and positive with each other. A big part of Gottmans’ idea of turning towards is to stay attentive to the bids each other are making, and the hidden requests that lie underneath them. For example, when you say to your partner, ‘Let’s put the kids to bed,’ you are really asking, ‘Can I have your help.’ If your partner misses your bid and instead continues to

watch television you can feel resentment. Another bid could be, ‘I had a terrible day,’ which really means, ‘Will you help me process?’ Again, your unanswered bid can make you feel like your spouse doesn’t care. As a couple, work on recognizing each other’s bids and also asking for your needs to be met more clearly. 5. FIND COMPROMISE Compromise means that you each are making a sacrifice of what you ultimately would like to have happen. It demands giving up something to make the bigger thing—your relationship—work. Maybe you were planning a bike ride after work, but one child is sick and you need to stay back to care for your other child. What’s tricky about compromise is that if you are unsatisfied, resentment can build and break down your marriage. Remember, once you make a decision to compromise move forward and commit to not holding it over each other. Blaming breaks down relationships fast. When someone is accusing and blaming, your inclination is to get defensive. To ward off blaming, start a conversation with ‘I’ versus ‘You.’ Imagine your response if your spouse said, ‘I feel hurt when you don’t listen,’ rather than, ‘You never listen to me.’ One opens a door for discussion and connection, the other closes it. “First and foremost, stay friends. Remember each other’s preferences, show fondness and stay on each other’s side,” Glenn concludes. RMPARENT

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WONDERFUL WINTER FUN 20

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GET OUT, GET MOVING

T

he holidays are here and everywhere you go, bells are jingling, trees are twinkling and people are making plans for holiday fun. Frosty winter weather often drives people indoors. While snuggling up near a crackling fire sipping hot cocoa or baking scrumptious seasonal treats are delightful pastimes, you also may want to consider having some fun outdoors in our Colorado winter wonderland. Several of the same activities enjoyed when the weather is warm can be enjoyed throughout the winter. Many of the area’s recreational pathways are maintained throughout the winter allowing for yearround walking and biking. Depending on snow accumulation, hiking is an option on many of the trails in our open spaces and state parks. The Larimer County Department of Natural Resources offers guided wintertime hikes complete with lessons about wildlife. (www.larimer.org/NRregistration or 970619-4489). If the snow gets deep, strap on some snowshoes to expand your footprint and float through along your favorite trail (see Learn and Live on p. 12 for more about snowshoeing). More traditional winter activities, like building snow forts and snowmen, provide hours of frosty fun, too. Several of northern Colorado neighborhoods include hills steep enough to make sledding an option. Additional winter adventures are within a relatively short driving distance.

KIM SHARPE

ICE SKATING While NoCo offers its share of indoor ice rinks, when winter rolls around, there also are several rinks, ponds and lakes open for skating. The Promenade Shops at Centerra in Loveland feature an outdoor ice skating rink (www.theicerinkattheshops.com) for skaters of all ages and abilities. Admission is $7 for kids 12 years and under, and $8.50 for adults. Admission includes skates, helmets and and support/trainer for the littlest skaters. In Fort Collins, your family can enjoy gliding around Sheldon Lake in City Park,


a popular ice skating location for decades. The City monitors the thickness of the ice and posts signage when it’s safe to skate. There is no admission fee and you must bring your own skates. Call 970221-6660 for more information. The newly remodeled Foothills Mall in mid-town Fort Collins has an ice rink, too. Check www.shopfoothills for hours and prices. In Estes Park, the YMCA of the Rockies’ Dorsey Lake is a scenic place to glide on the ice. The public is welcome. Day passes are available for $20 for people 13 years and older, $10 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 5. Skates in all sizes are available. (2515 Tunnel Road; www.ymcarockies.org; 970-5863341 or 800-777-9622). Beaver Meadows Resort near Red Feather Lakes also offers ice skating for guests and the public. Admission is $5 for two hours, $8 for half a day and $10 for a full day. You can rent skates there for $5 or bring your own. (www. beavermeadows.com; 970-881-2450 or 800-462-5870).

SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING One of the first questions people ask when you tell them you live in Colorado is, “do you ski or snowboard?” If you do one, both or want to learn either, worldclass skiing and boarding is close by. For downhill adventures, the closest lift-service ski area to our northern Colorado communities is Eldora Ski Area (www.eldora.com) located just outside of Boulder. Another ski area within close proximity to Larimer and Weld Counties is the Snowy Range Ski and Recreation Area in Wyoming just west of Laramie. (www.snowyrangeski. com or 307-745-5750 or 877-I SKI WYO). Both are family-friendly resorts. For cross country skiing and snowshoeing, try Beaver Meadows, Rocky Mountain National Park or the YMCA of the Rockies. Beaver Meadows has skis and snowshoes to rent, as does the YMCA and the Estes Park Mountain Shop in Estes Park (www.estesparkmountainshop.com or 970-586-6548). The Warming House in Estes Park also rents snowshoes

and sleds for wee ones (www. warminghouse.com or 970-586-2995). When we get a few good snow storms in a row and consistently cold temperatures, the hills in our neighborhood parks turn into tubing and sledding hot spots. South Fort Collins’ Fossil Creek Park has one such spot. The hill on the backside of Loveland’s Kroh Park is another great place for fast, snowy action. If fewer storms and warmer temperatures leave our neighborhood hills bare of the fluffy white stuff, head up to Beaver Meadows where snow is almost always a given. The resort has a tubing hill complete with a lift to get you to the top. The lift is open on Saturdays and Sundays, and snow tube rental is included in the lift pass. Monday through Friday, you can hike up the hill and use the tubing run for a discounted fee. Another popular tubing and sledding area is Hidden Valley in Rocky Mountain National Park. Bring your own tubes and sleds.

Keep it safe this winter

When your family heads outdoors for some frosty fun, remember to take a few precautions to keep it safe. Safe Kids USA offers these wintertime safety tips: • Always wear sport-specific, properly fitting safety gear when participating in winter sports. • Kids should always wear helmets when they ski, sled, snowboard and play ice hockey. There are different helmets for different activities. • Parents should wear helmets too. Remember, your children learn safety habits by watching you. • Dress in layers and wear warm, close-fitting clothes. Make sure that long scarves are tucked in so they don’t get entangled in lifts, ski poles or other equipment. • Stay hydrated. Drink fluids before, during and after winter play. • Kids—or caregivers—who become distracted or irritable, or begin to hyperventilate, may be suffering from hypothermia or altitude sickness, or they may be too tired to participate safely in winter sports. They need to go indoors to warm up and rest. • Children under 6 years should not ride a snowmobile, and no one under 16 years should drive one. All snowmobile drivers and passengers should wear helmets designed for high-speed motor sports. A bike helmet is not sufficient for a motorized vehicle that can go up to 90 miles per hour. • For more information about keeping kids safe in all seasons, contact Safe Kids Larimer County (www.sklarimer.org or 970-495-7504).

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greeley-evans district 6 news Open-enrollment applications now being accepted

Greeley-Evans School District 6 offers students the opportunity to “open enroll” into schools outside of their neighborhood or home boundaries, and the district also welcomes out-of-district students into its schools. In both cases, families simply need to complete an Open Enrollment Application to begin the process. The window for open enrollment requests for the 2016-17 school year will be from now through Dec. 20, 2016. Parents are encouraged to visit any school at which they are considering enrolling their student or students. Please call the main office at the school to arrange a visit or tour. Open Enrollment Applications will be available in English and Spanish at every District 6 school office, at the district’s main office at 1025 9th Avenue, and at www.greeleyschools.org/open enrollment. Completed applications must be submitted by 4:30pm on Dec. 20, 2016, at the district’s main office, at your child’s current school, or at the school you are requesting your child to attend. While the district is able to accommodate a majority of open enrollment requests, a student who requests enrollment in schools (or specific gradelevels in a school) that are at or above capacity may be put on a waiting list. Students who are currently attending a school under open enrollment or transfer 24

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will automatically be re-enrolled into the school for the 2017-18 school year, and those parents do not have to complete a new open enrollment application. If, however, a parent wishes to enroll a child back in their home school for the 201718 school year, parents should complete a Discontinuation of Open Enrollment / Transfer Application and return it to their current school by Dec. 20, 2016. These forms are also available in the locations listed above. Open enrollment applicants will be notified in February of their application status. Parents of open enrollment students must provide transportation to and from their approved school. For more information about open enrollment, please consult the District 6 website, www.greeleyschools.org/ openenrollment, or call (970) 348-6265. COMPOST PROJECT MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH DONATION West Greeley Conservation District recently awarded a grant to the GreeleyEvans School District 6’s Nutrition Services Department, which it used to purchase and install five large compost tumblers at its central production kitchen. The bins will be used to collect fruit and vegetable remnants and turn them into compost for school gardens.   With the West Greeley

Conservation District’s focus on environmental conservation, urban to agricultural connections, and science education, this initiative proved to be a natural fit. District 6’s Nutrition Services operates a strong Farm to School program that includes school gardens and the opportunity for students to grow and sell their produce back to the cafeteria, where it is added to salad bars or incorporated into school lunches. With the addition of the composters, Nutrition Services is able to offer free compost for school gardens to support healthy and productive soil and offer rich, hands-on educational opportunities for students to learn about the cycle of food and natural systems. The $2,400 grant was made through the Conservation District’s small grant program. Nutrition Services has been following a from-scratch cooking model and participating in local sourcing through the national Farm to School program since the 2007-2008 school year. During peak production season, the central production kitchen processes locally sourced produce such as carrots, summer squash and onions by chopping or shredding them, utilizes what is needed at the time, and then vacuum seals and freezes the remainder for use throughout the school year. This cooking model generates 200 to 600 pounds of trimmings per week, which are now being collected, balanced with wood chips and broken down into nutrientdense compost. The first batch of District 6 compost will be delivered to Greeley West High School just before Thanksgiving, the site of a thriving FFA program, which is one of the largest in Colorado. Kelly Longacre and Samantha Maxwell, West’s Ag teachers and FFA leaders, are excited to participate in District 6’s new composting system and continue to educate their students about building and maintaining fertile soil. By next spring, when the other gardens


re-open for the growing season, Nutrition Services will be generating enough compost to provide a steady supply for all of the gardens. Currently, District 6 supports five school gardens, which provide students with hands-on learning opportunities in subjects ranging from health to science. Several more school gardens are in the planning stages and will be installed in the near future, from elementary to high schools. “District 6’s Nutrition Services is excited to begin its partnerships with the West Greeley Conservation District and Greeley West High School, and to bolster our efforts inspire, empower, and engage our students,” says Nutrition Services Director Jeremy West. For more information about District 6’s Farm to School initiatives, please visit our website at greeleyschools.org/farmtoschool, follow our Farm to School story on social media @d6farmtoschool, or contact Jeremy West at jwest@greeleyschools. org or 970-348-6600.

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poudre school district news Tom Dodd named National Principal of the Year

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) has named Dr. Thomas Dodd of Lesher Middle School the 2017 National Principal of the Year. During his 12-year tenure as Lesher principal, Dodd has led the reinvention of the school’s climate captured by the “Anchor Down” motto and anchor pins that all teachers wear to symbolized their firm, stable role as advocates for each child in the school. Under Dodd’s leadership, the school eliminated de facto academic tracking by opening the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IBMYP) from a select few to the whole school. Dodd is a regular presenter at state and national conferences, and has led his school to be named a MetLife Foundation-NASSP Breakthrough School in 2012 and a National School to Watch every year since 2014 by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. “We are grateful to have such an exceptional person in leadership in 26

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our district,” Poudre School Superintendent Dr. Sandra Smyser says. “Tom’s upbeat, engaging leadership style resonates with staff and students alike. He has positively impacted thousands of lives during his time as principal at Lesher.”

FCHS STUDENTS BUILD NEW PLAYGROUND, GARDEN WITH COMMUNITY Krista Taylor still remembers the summer of 1998, when one of her summer school students, second grader Brian Brown, drowned in a pool near the Park Lane trailer park in northwest Fort Collins. “There’s just no safe place to play over there, and it breaks my heart,” she says. Years later, she was reading “Seedfolks,” a book about building community through gardening, with her service-learning class at Fort Collins High School, when an idea began to form. The students proposed building a playground and community garden near the trailer park. The class took trips to scout out land, and found the perfect empty field near The Genesis Project, a new church adjacent to Park Lane. Though it was littered with old appliances and shopping carts, the teenagers saw past the trash to a bright future. “We took research field trips to the site and dared to dream about what it could become,” Taylor says.


PSD Calendar of Events Dec. 13............... 6 :30pm, Board of Education business meeting, JSSC, 2407 Laporte Ave. Dec. 26–Jan. 6... N  o school K-12

In November, after several years of work from multiple groups at Fort Collins High School and in the community, a new playground opened on the vacant lot. “All of these different people had this common idea, and so many people came on board to make it happen. It just keeps growing,” Taylor explains. Hageman Earth Cycle donated time and supplies to prepare the site. FCHS secured grants from The Bohemian Foundation, Eyeopeners Kiwanis Club, Opal Apple Make a Difference Grant, and Rotary STEM to help fund the project. The Matthews House received a grant and trained volunteers from Nordson Corporation Foundation to build the playground. “This project is a great effort from many nonprofits and businesses,” Taylor says. The Fort Collins service-learning class and Key Club also donated time and energy to make the project a reality. Students in the ACE internship program created gift bags for the volunteers doing construction. The horticulture class is working on design and irrigation plans for phase two, building the community garden and picnic area, which is expected to start in April. Students in the intensive autism program are growing seedlings in the school’s greenhouse to transplant to the garden later. “The desire here is to build that community,” Taylor says. “By providing these service opportunities, I see a huge difference in kids from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, from not understanding philanthropy to becoming philanthropists.” SUPPORTING STUDENTS EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS Deb Gillan acts as a kind of fairy godmother for kids in Poudre School District. Beaming, that’s how she describes her job of supporting students

experiencing homelessness, explaining that she often gets to “grant their little wishes.” As a McKinney Advocate, she makes sure every child has what he or she needs to learn. Deb’s position was created under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, which outlines federal education goals and requirements for students experiencing homelessness. For the roughly 1000 students in PSD identified as homeless each year, that means they get to stay in their original school — regardless of where their family resides — and receive transportation to that school to maximize educational continuity. Every school has a staff member or volunteer who serves as the program contact point. “In Poudre School District, we actually have a lot of families in need. It’s of great importance that we provide these programs to equalize these students’ experience in school,” John McKay, Director of Language, Culture and Equity explains. Sometimes, that means providing a backpack and school supplies to a child who lost his in transition. Other

times, it’s coordinating with community partners like the Larimer County Food Bank or local churches so that students have enough to eat at school and over the weekend. “It really takes a whole village, and that’s what makes it so special — our kids get the feeling of all the gifts each person in the school has to share, and that makes them realize that they have gifts to share too,” Gillan says. For example, this fall the Northern Colorado Business Association provided coats and boots to over 600 students in need at 17 schools. School staff worked together to identify the students’ needs, then shared those needs with community partners who were able to meet them. “It really comes down to having the eyes and ears of so many people working together to identify and take care of those needs so a family can get back on their feet and be able to support themselves,” McKay says. For more information on how to find or provide resources, contact the Department of Language, Culture and Equity at 970-490-3081. RMPARENT

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thompson school district news Raising awareness of homelessness about buoyancy and gravity, along with collaboration and problem solving skills. STUDENTS RAISE $18,330 Namaqua Elementary School held a celebration for the success of its annual Dash Day Jog-A-Thon. As part of the celebration, principal Dan Cox allowed himself to be sprayed with pudding by 170 students. Students earned the chance to spray Mr. Cox by bringing in at least $60 in pledges. Overall, the students brought in an amazing $18,330 in pledges!

The month of November was designated as “Homeless Youth Awareness Month.” In recognition of the designation, four district high schools participated in a “Cardboard Box City” event at Life Center in Loveland.  TSD was proud to partner with the House of Neighborly Services for this event, which served as a fundraiser for the organization’s “Angel House” and the Thompson Education Foundation Homeless Assistance Fund. The program was designed to raise awareness about homelessness and the significant impact that it has in our schools and community. STUDENTS RECEIVE FEEDBACK AT SCIENCE FAIR The 2nd annual Walt Clark Middle School Science Fair was hosted this November in the school’s gymnasium. Students discussed their project with three separate judges and received valuable feedback. Families and community members were invited to the school to see student display boards, ask questions about projects and to hear results for those who will move on to the Thompson School District Science and Engineering Fair on January 14. Over 60 volunteers from the community helped facilitate this year’s contest. 28

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STUDENTS TEST BOAT DESIGNS After researching boat concepts, Walt Clark Middle School students traveled to Thompson Valley High School’s swimming pool to test how their designs would function. Students only used cardboard and duct tape as materials and 8 of the 9 boats were able to make it the entire length of the pool with a student on board! The project was conducted through Mr. Olson’s STEM Exploratory class, where students learned

DISTRICT INTRODUCES CPR AND AED TRAINING INTO CURRICULUM Thompson School District recently completed a pilot program for 10thgrade students at Thompson Valley High School that introduced cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training into the school’s health curriculum.  Several organizations have partnered with the district to make this new curriculum possible, including Thompson Valley EMS, Loveland Police Department, Loveland Fire and Rescue Authority,


Banner Health and the McKee Medical Center Foundation.  Several local community leaders created the concept, with the Thompson Safety Education Coalition being instrumental in bringing the concept to realization. The program is made possible through the Heart Safe Community Initiative and is funded through the McKee Medical Center Foundation.  Students participated in the pilot program as a part of normal classroom activities and training occurred during their Advisory session. During this time, students learned the standard approach to CPR that the American Heart Association has successfully implemented in other school programs across the nation. Instructors also taught students how to use an AED. Certified emergency personnel from local agencies served as instructors. They distributed “Friends and Family” CPR training

kits and students were also encouraged to use the resources to teach family members and friends.  “Thompson School District is very proud of its partnership with the Heart Safe Community Initiative,” says Chief Academic Officer Dr. Margaret Crespo.  “AED units and CPR techniques have been used on our campuses to save lives. It is our hope that through this program, more students learned the skills and techniques that can make a difference when it matters the most. We are thankful to all of our community partners for their continued support and the ability to make this excellent

Connect

program available to our students.”  Approximately 160 students participated in the program. An expansion of the classes into other schools within the district is also in the planning stages at this time.  “The HeartSafe Community Initiative was created for Loveland and the surrounding community to increase the chance of survival when a person’s heart stops beating,” says Allis Gilbert, executive director of the McKee Medical Center Foundation. “These students now have the training they need to assist in an emergency and we hope they encourage others to do the same.”  “The best chance of survival for a person who suffers sudden cardiac arrest is a combination of CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED),” says Thompson Valley EMS Chief Randy Lesher. “This program is an opportunity to provide these students with lifesaving skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

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lunchbox POUDRE SCHOOL DISTRICT—Elementary student lunches are $2.55, secondary student lunches are $2.80 and reduced lunches are PK-5 free, grades 6-12 $0.40. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 1 Beef tacos & cilantro lime rice; mac n’cheese 2 Chicken or cheese pizza; veggie wrap 5 Toasted cheese sandwich& tomato soup; chicken nuggets 6 Cheese ravioli; hot ham & cheese 7 Teriyaki chicken w/rice; pig in a blanket 8 Chicken drumstick & roll; chili & cinnamon roll 9 Pepperoni or cheese pizza; Mediterranean pasta salad

12 Pizza burger; mac n’cheese 13 Lasagna w/veggies; turkey gravy & roll 14 Asian noodles w/chicken; trout treasures 15 Chicken tacos & cilantro lime rice; chicken patty sandwich 16 Meat lovers or cheese pizza; chicken Caesar wrap 19 Meatball sub; chicken nuggets 20 Cheese calzone dipper w/marinara; spaghetti & meat sauce 21 Orange chicken & rice; hot dog 22 Beef & bean burrito; chicken patty

sandwich 23 Pepperoni or cheese pizza; chef salad MIDDLE SCHOOLS 1 Beef & bean burrito bar 2 Trout treasures; mac n’cheese bar 5 Pulled pork sandwich; shredded BBQ chicken sandwich 6 Beef lasagna; chicken nuggets 7 Asian bar—Orange chicken/beef & egg roll 8 Beef & chicken taco bar 9 Turkey gravy & roll; chicken drumstick & roll 12 Toasted cheese sandwich & tomato

soup; chicken bites & roll 13 Baked ziti pasta; meatball sub 14 Asian bar—Thai chili, chicken/beef & egg roll 15 Beef & bean burrito bar 16 Pig in a blanket; chili & cinnamon roll 19 Tortilla soup bar 20 Cheese calzone dipper with marinara; penne & meat sauce 21 Asian bar—sweet & sour beef/ chicken & egg roll 22 Beef & chicken taco bar 23 Philly cheesesteak (beef or chicken)

THOMPSON R2J SCHOOL DISTRICT—Elementary lunches are $2.75. Secondary school lunches are $3. Reduced lunches are PK-5 free, grades 6-12 $0.40. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 1 Frito pie; taco salad 2 Chicken drumstick; garden entrée salad 5 Mini pancakes/sausage patty; Caesar salad w/roll 6 Chicken fajita wrap; chicken tender salad w/roll 7 Pasta Carbonara; chef salad with roll 8 Asian combo; taco salad 9 BBQ sandwich; garden entrée salad w/roll 12 Crispy chicken sandwich; Caesar

salad w/roll 13 Chili w/cinnamon roll; chicken tender salad w/roll 14 House made pizza; chef salad w/ roll 15 Chicken breast nuggets; taco salad 16 Farmers’ breakfast; garden entrée salad 19 Turkey chipolte burrito; Caesar salad w/roll 20 Pasta w/meatballs; chicken tender salad w/roll 21 Hamburger; chef salad w/roll

MIDDLE SCHOOLS 1 Frito pie; orange chicken w/rice 2 Chicken drumstick w/cheesy rice; hot sandwich 5 Mini pancakes/sausage patty; pizza stick w/sauce 6 Chicken fajita wrap; chicken breast nuggets 7 Pasta Carbonara; crispy chicken sandwich 8 Asian combo; loaded fries 9 BBQ sandwich; pretzel w/cheese sauce

12 Crispy chicken sandwich; French bread boat 13 Chili w/cinnamon roll; salad of the day 14 House made pizza; hamburger 15 Chicken breast nuggets; Dominos pizza 16 Farmers’ breakfast; hot sandwich 19 Turkey chipolte burrito; sweet & sour chicken w/rice 20 Pasta w/meatballs; grilled chicken sandwich 21 Hamburger; nachos w/cheese

GREELEY DISTRICT 6— Elementary lunches are $2.55, and middle school lunches are $2.80, reduced-price lunches are K-2 free, 3-8 $.40. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 1 Pork carnitas w/tortilla; turkey & cheese hoagie 2 Hawaiian pizza; cheese pizza 5 Mac n’cheese; American beef sandwich 6 Taco; chicken salad sandwich 7 Chicken gumbo w/green chili; PBJ 8 Bean & cheese burrito w/green chili; ham & cheese wrap 9 Green chili chicken or cheese pizza; PBJ

12 Teriyaki chicken w/brown rice; Italian sandwich 13 Cheese enchiladas w/rice; chicken fajita wrap 14 Shepherd’s pie w/roll; PBJ 15 Baked ziti w/breadstick; turkey & cheese hoagie 16 Cheese or pepperoni pizza; PBJ 19 Cheese ravioli w/breadstick; American beef hoagie 20 Hamburger/cheeseburger; pesto chicken salad wrap

MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Pork carnitas w/tortilla; turkey & cheese hoagie 2 Hawaiian pizza; cheese pizza 5 Mac n’cheese; American beef sandwich 6 Taco; chicken salad sandwich 7 Chicken gumbo w/green chili; PBJ 8 Bean & cheese burrito w/green chili; ham & cheese wrap 9 Green chili chicken or cheese pizza; PBJ

12 Teriyaki chicken w/brown rice; Italian sandwich 13 Cheese enchiladas w/rice; chicken fajita wrap 14 Shepherd’s pie w/roll; PBJ 15 Baked ziti w/breadstick; turkey & cheese hoagie 16 Cheese or pepperoni pizza; PBJ 19 Cheese ravioli w/breadstick; American beef hoagie 20 Hamburger/cheeseburger; pesto chicken salad wrap

WINDSOR SCHOOL DISTRICT—Price for elementary lunch is $2.75, for middle school students, $3. Reduced lunches are elementary, free; middle school, $0.40. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 1 Chicken tenders; PBJ 2 Cheese pizza; turkey & cheese sub 5 Hot dog; PBJ w/string cheese 6 Chicken flatbread taco; mini cheeseburgers 7 Pancakes w/scrambled eggs; pancake wrapped sausage 8 Chicken sandwich; PBJ w/string cheese 9 Big Daddy’s cheese or Hawaiian pizza; turkey & cheese sub

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12 Cheese breadstick w/marinara; PBJ w/string cheese 13 Chicken Alfredo; mini cheeseburgers 14 Chicken & black bean chili; corndog 15 Hamburger; PBJ w/string cheese 16 Big Daddy’s cheese or Hawaiian pizza; turkey & cheese sub 19 Mac n’cheese; PBJ w/string cheese 20 Turkey & gravy & mashed potatoes; mini cheeseburgers 21 Popcorn chicken; corn dog

SECONDARY SCHOOL 1 Chicken flatbread taco; hamburger 2 Pepperoni calzone; hamburger 5 Chilidog; hamburger 6 Rotini w/sauce; French bread pizza 7 Bean & cheese burrito; chicken tacos 8 Cheese enchiladas w/green sauce; hamburger 9 Meatball sub; hamburger 12 Mandarin Orange chicken; hamburger 13 Chicken Alfredo; hamburger

14 Chicken & black bean chili; hamburger 15 Cheeseburger; chicken sandwich 16 Steak & cheese sub; hamburger 19 Mac n’cheese; hamburger; Dominos cheese or pepperoni pizza 20 Turkey & gravy w/mashed potatoes; hamburger 21 BBQ pulled pork sandwich; hamburger


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DECEMBER 2016 ONGOING TUESDAYS THROUGH DECEMBER 20 Elementary Chess Club Learn to play chess with instructors who are experienced in teaching children. Ages 6-11. Loveland Public Library, 300 N. Adams St., LV. 4-5:30pm. 970-9622587, www.lovelandpubliclibrary.org. TUESDAYS THROUGH SATURDAYS, THROUGH FEBRUARY 18 Europe-Tales & Traditions Celebrate America’s European heritage. Includes a European Christmas Market exhibit complete with snow globes, nutcrackers, international Santas and gingerbread houses. $5 per adult; $3 for seniors/students; $1 for youth. Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures, 200 W. Mountain Ave., FC. 11am-5pm. 970221-4600, www.globalvillagemuseum.org.

FIRST FRIDAYS THROUGH DECEMBER 7 A Night of Art in Downtown Greeley A collaborative effort by many of Downtown Greeley’s creative industries, unique small businesses and delicious dining options. Various locations. GR. 970356-6775, www.greeleydowntown.com. DECEMBER 1

Little Makers: Marble Run Build your own marble maze with craft sticks! Ages 5-9. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 4-5pm. 970-686-5603, www.clearviewlibrary.org/calendar. STEAM Makers: Spin Art Create a one of a kind masterpiece that’s sure to put you in the holiday spirit! Ages 10+. Registration required. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 4-5pm. 970-686-5603, www. clearviewlibrary.org/event/steam-makersspin-art/?instance_id=148652. NightLights Tree Lighting Celebration Food, live music, hot drinks, Santa. Help to shine light into the darkness of child abuse. First Presbyterian Church, 531 S. College Ave., FC. 6-7PM. 970-4849090, www.GiveaNightLight.com.

DECEMBER 2

CoderDojo CoderDojo is about encouraging creativity and having fun in a relaxed, informal, and creative environment. Ages 8+. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 3:15-4:15pm. 970-686-5603, www.clearviewlibrary. org/calendar. European Pop Music Extravaganza Music—the international language of mankind—will fulfill its unifying mission with an European-based serenade by the Amber Band, a duo of musicians from Poland and Lithuania. $2.50 per adult; $1.50 for seniors/students; 50 cents for youth. Global Village Museum of Arts and Cultures, 200 W. Mountain Ave., FC. 6:30-8:30pm. 970-221-4600 www.globalvillagemuseum.org. DECEMBER 3

Crafty Tales-Winter! The theme for the December 3rd Crafty Tales session is “Winter” and will feature stories, songs, and a special craft! Ages 3-6 (and their families). WindsorSeverance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 10:30-11:30am. 970-686-5603 www.clearviewlibrary.org/calendar.

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Interesting Reader Society (IRS) Meeting The IRS is the teen advisory group for the library. Members meet monthly to advise library decision makers, talk about books, plan and participate in library programs, more! Ages 13-18. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., or Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 11am-1pm. 970-221-6740 www.poudrelibraries.org. Grow Your Heart Three Sizes with the Grinch Join us for a special story time with the Grinch. Games and snack provided, and kids will get to meet the Grinch himself ! $5 suggested donation to benefit Project Self-Sufficiency. Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St. FC. 11am-3pm (story time begins at 1pm). 970-484-7898 www.oldfirehousebooks.com. Ugly Sweater Decorating Create your worst warm and fuzzy nightmare of a sweater. Sweaters and supplies provided. The ugliest sweater will be awarded a prize! Grades 6-12. Registration required. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 2pm. 970-221-6740, www.poudrelibraries.org.

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DECEMBER 4

Animal Afternoon Join Larimer Animal People Partnership volunteers and their special story-loving critters. Enjoy good books and the opportunity to read to friendly animals. Grades K-5. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 3-4pm. 970-221-6740, www.poudrelibraries.org. DECEMBER 5

Bicycle Friendly Driver Discuss safety laws and responsibilities for motorists and cyclists alike. Free with registration. Ages 15+. City of Fort Collins administration building, 281 N College Ave., FC. 4:30-6pm. www.fcgov.com/ bikeautumn. DECEMBER 5

Driving Wellness Tips & Car Fit Strategies An occupational therapist will provide strategies to improve your ability to stay safe and alert. $5. Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr., FC. 1-2:30pm. 970-2216644, www.fcgov.com/recreator. Hour of Code Celebrate Computer Science Week at the Hour of Code. All ages. Farr Regional Library, 1939 61st Ave., GR. 4pm, 888861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us.

Mini Gingerbread Houses Celebrate Christmas with this fun presentation about special holiday food. Everyone will cook Chiles en Nogadas together. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 6pm. 888-861-7323 www.MyLibrary.us. DECEMBER 6

MakeIt: Jewelry Use beads and memory wire to make earrings to give as gifts. Registration required. Ages 8+. Centennial Park Library, 2227 23rd Ave., GR. 6pm. 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us. DECEMBER 7

BYOD - Bring Your Own Device! Do you own a tablet, digital phone or eReader? Do you have more questions than answers regarding these devices? Bring them to the library for help. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 7pm. 970-221-6740, www.poudrelibraries.org.

DECEMBER 8

Taming Stress: A Mindful Map Battle the stress of the season by exploring mindfulness and applying it to our everyday lives. Offered by CSU/ Larimer County Extension Services. Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr., FC. 10-11am. 970-221-6644, www.fcgov.com/recreator.


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An Evening on the Polar Express Come in your pajamas for a Polar Express Family Storytime. Snacks will be served as you “ride” the Riverside train and listen to this timeless classic. Make Snowman Soup and other winter crafts. Santa will visit, so bring your cameras! Limited to 100 people. Tickets available at the door; first come, first served. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 6pm, 888-861-7323 or www.MyLibrary.us. DECEMBER 10

Santa’s Workshop Visit Santa’s Workshop where you can create crafty homemade holiday gifts for your loved ones! Ages 3-12. WindsorSeverance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 10am-12noon. 970-686-5603, www. clearviewlibrary.org/calendar. DECEMER 11

Holiday Gift Crafts Create three different homemade gift crafts, like cards and coasters. Registration required. Ages 18+. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 2pm. 888861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us. DECEMBER 12

Be Ski Fit! Enjoy the slopes all season without injury. MCR Outpatient Rehabilitation Services will focus on strengthening and stretching activities to help you ski your best! $10. Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr., FC. 4-5:30pm. 970-221-6644 www.fcgov.com/recreator.

DECEMBER 9

Cookie Swap Bring 15-20 of your favorite cookies to swap with other home bakers. Learn about the history of cookies and holiday treats. Prizes will be awarded for the best in show, so bake well. Kersey Library, 413 1st St., Kersey. 5pm. 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us.

Paper Snowflakes Enjoy games, crafts and, of course, making beautiful paper snowflakes. Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St. FC. 6-7:30pm. 970-484-7898 www.oldfirehousebooks.com.

Board Game Night! Learn to play some new games, courtesy of Heroes & Horrors Games in Windsor. Ages 8+. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 5-7:30pm. 970-686-5603, www.clearviewlibrary.org/calendar.

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Noches en Familia-Las Posadas Enjoy children’s stories, crafts, puppets and music in Spanish. Fluent speakers and Spanish language learners welcome. All ages. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 3pm. 970-221-6740, www.poudrelibraries.org.

Teen Winter Wonderland Learn to make sweet things you can eat and give as gifts. Ages 12-18. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 5-7pm. 970-686-5603 www.clearviewlibrary.org/event/teenwinter-wonderland/?instance_id=146798.

Holiday Bingo Join us as we decorate cookies, make hot chocolate, and play holiday BINGO! Ages 6-9. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 4-5pm. 970-686-5603, www.clearviewlibrary.org/calendar.

DECEMBER 13

Cardboard Cars and a Movie! Build your own car and enjoy the indoor “drive-in!” Ages 1-5 (and their grownups). Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 10:30-11am. 970-686-5603, www.clearviewlibrary.org/calendar.

DECEMBER 14

Winter Bike to Work Day Bike to work, school and anywhere else, and get A free breakfast! All ages. Various locations, FC. 7-9:30am. See station map at www.fcgov.com/bikewinter.


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Holiday Lights by Bike Decorate your bike and join our tour of holiday lights. Snacks to follow. All ages. Wolverine Letterpress and Publick House, 316 Willow St., FC. 6-8:30pm. Register at www.fcgov.com/bikewinter. DECEMBER 19

Tech Time in Severance Play, learn, explore and experiment with the latest and greatest in techy gadgets. Ages 8+ (ages 8 and under may register with a parent attending). Registration is required. Range View Elementary School, 700 Ponderosa Dr., Severance. 3:30-4:30pm. 970-686-5603, www. clearviewlibrary.org/event/tech-timeseverance-16/?instance_id=148647. DECEMBER 20

“Welcome to Winter” Party Celebrate winter with hot chocolate, snacks and a craft. Ages Birth-6. Town Hall, 3 Timber Ridge Pkwy., Severance. 11:15am-12noon. 970-686-5603, www. clearviewlibrary.org/calendar. Teen Winter Break Movie Meet your friends for a movie during winter break. Popcorn provided, other snacks and drinks provided. Grades 6-12. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 1pm. 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us. DECEMBER 21

Holiday Magic with Worley Join Worley the Wizard for the Holiday Magic Show! Grades K-5. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 2pm. 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us. DECEMBER 16

Fun Fridays in Severance Join in all kinds of fun: LEGOs, crafts, science, games, robotics and more! Town Hall, 3 Timber Ridge Pkwy., Severance. 4-4:45pm. 970-686-5603, www. clearviewlibrary.org/calendar. Gluten-Free Holiday Treats Learn to make delicious gluten-free and dairy-free chocolate treats. Registration required. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 6:30pm. 970221-6740, www.poudrelibraries.org.

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DECEMBER 17

Holiday Gift Crafts Create three different homemade gift crafts, like cards and coasters. Registration required. Ages 18+. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 2pm. 888861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us. James Rollins Book Talk and Signing Meet thriller author James Rollins and celebrate the release of his newest book, The Seventh Plague. This is the newest installment in his Sigma Force series. Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 2:30pm. 970-484-7898, www. oldfirehousebooks.com.

ELF Movie Night! Kick off winter break with this hilarious movie! Ages 9+ (tweens). WindsorSeverance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 6-8pm. 970-686-5603 www.clearviewlibrary.org/calendar. DECEMBER 22

Night Tree Storytime and Crafts Listen to the book “Night Tree” while sipping hot cocoa. Make ornaments to hang outside ... so that the birds can have a holiday treat. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 10:30am. 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us.


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Teen Winter Break Movie Get out of the house and meet your friends for a movie during winter break. Popcorn provided, other snacks and drinks provided. Grades 6-12. Kersey Library, 413 1st St., Kersey, 1pm. Centennial Park Library, 2227 23rd Ave., GR, 2pm. 888-861-7323, www. MyLibrary.us. DECEMBER 28

Babysitting 101 Learn top-notch babysitting skills, including first aid, emergency and CPR basics. ; and what books and other materials the library offers that will help you to improve your skills. Each participant will receive a workbook with babysitting tips and information covered in the program to take home. Teens will receive certification. Registration required. Ages 12+. Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 12noon. 970221-6740, www.poudrelibraries.org. A Very Manga Holiday ‘Tis the season for holiday-themed manga fun! Participate in art, origami, Pokemon crafts and watch holiday episodes of anime shows. Lincoln Park Library, 1012 11th St., GR. 2pm. 888861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us.

Young Inventors Girls and boys of every age have been inspired to invent! Stories of other young inventors combined with handson experience will inspire the children in this program to invent something fabulous. Grades K-5; limited to the first 20 children. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 2pm. 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us. Minecraft Mania for Kids Spend time with other kids in a Minecraft world designed just for you on the Poudre River Public Library District Minecraft server. Enjoy snacks and make a craft. Grades 3-5. Registration required. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 2:30pm. 970-221-6740, www. poudrelibraries.org. DECEMBER 29

Minecraft Mania for Kids Spend time with other kids in a Minecraft world designed just for you on the Poudre River Public Library District Minecraft server. Enjoy snacks and make a craft. Grades 1 & 2. Registration required, parents welcome. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 10am. 970-221-6740, www.poudrelibraries.org.

New Year’s Dance Party Little ones can dance in the New Year! Sing, dance and enjoy a story. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 10:30am. 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us. Minecraft Mania for Teens Spend time with other teens in a Minecraft world designed just for you. Enjoy snacks and make a craft. Laptops are provided. Grades 6-12. Registration required. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 12noon. 970-221-6740, www. poudrelibraries.org. Teen Winter Break Movie Get out of the house and meet your friends for a movie during winter break. Popcorn provided, other snacks and drinks provided. Grades 6-12. Centennial Park Library, 2227 23rd Ave., GR. 2pm. 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us. DECEMBER 30

Teen Video Game Night Come to the library for video game night! Ages 13-18. Registration required. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 5-7pm. 970-686-5603, www. clearviewlibrary.org. Farr Family Movie Night Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Bring your own movie snacks. Contact the library for movie title. Farr Regional Library, 1939 61st Ave., GR. 5:30pm, 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us. DECEMBER 31

Countdown to Noon Party Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the library! Ages 5+. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 11am-12noon. 970-6865603, www.clearviewlibrary.org/calendar.

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time out Spending time with those we love… Holiday traditions are important for kids and family KRIS KODRICH

M

y 11-year-old daughter insisted we stay home for Christmas this year. In her earlier years, Bianka wouldn’t want to miss a load of presents to wake up to on Christmas morning. “How will Santa find us?” she would ask anxiously as Christmas Eve approached while we were a thousand miles from our Colorado home. Now, I think her concern is more about tradition and routine – she wants to be surrounded by the familiar on such a critical day. We’re not a family with extensive holiday traditions. We generally do things differently every year. Yet we have lots of wonderful holiday memories – traditional and otherwise. Sometimes we’ve made the wintry trip across the Great Plains to visit family in Wisconsin. My kids were never all that crazy about braving the below-zero weather, especially since we spend extensive time outdoors. But we did get to spend time with aunts, uncles and cousins, and a few more precious moments with Granny. Sometimes we’ve taken planes, trains or automobiles to visit my brother in San Diego, at the other end of the climate spectrum. He’s the typical lifelong bachelor who showers gifts on my kids, so they enjoy visiting him. Warm, sunny visits to Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and La Jolla Cove are appealing, too. Of course, we have to put up with my brother’s eccentricities when we stay at his mountain retreat outside of San Diego. I tell my kids not to eat anything there, because I’ve checked the expiration dates of food in his cabinets and some are actually from the previous century. For Christmas, he takes us to the nearby Harrah’s Casino for the buffet. Last year, we visited relatives in Miami from the Nicaraguan side of the family, so we experienced holiday traditions of an entirely different nature. My

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kids were thrust into a nonstop scene of cousins, aunts and uncles, culminating in a Christmas Eve celebration of dancing until the wee hours of the morning. Sixty people crammed into a house loaded with food, drink and salsa music. At midnight, the small children were put to bed, only to be roused 20 minutes later to start opening the mountains of toys that Santa dropped off. My kids fell asleep on a couch about 4am amid all the chaos. That’s a tradition hard to beat. We have other holiday memories from Santa Fe, New Orleans, Disneyland and Disney World, but we also have plenty from staying at home. As our two daughters have grown – the oldest, Kalia, is now 15 – we have tried to provide a great holiday experience at our own house. The holiday decorations. The Christmas tree. The big holiday meal. The Christmas carols. Even Christmas hikes in the mountains or sledding excursions are part of a

varied holiday routine for the KodrichSaavedra family. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that holiday traditions are whatever we make them. My childhood holiday memories are special to me, so I can only hope that we are creating special holiday memories for our own children. Perhaps our most important Christmas tradition is remembering what the day is all about. So wherever we are, Christmas Mass is our No. 1 tradition. Whether it is Midnight Mass at the breathtakingly gorgeous Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee or a Christmas Morning Mass at Fort Collins’ St. John XXIII or Holy Family, our family celebrates a birth in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago that changed the world. I know my daughters will keep that tradition alive, and that’s really what matters most. Kris Kodrich teaches journalism at Colorado State University.


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RMParent December 2016