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DECEMBER 2017 • RMPARENT.COM

Keep it

LOCAL FOR THE

Holidays SHARING HOLIDAYS WITH SPLIT FAMILIES

REGION’S

BEST FAMILY

CALENDAR!

A FEW great holiday events

SKI CHEAP! Sustainable season

Sleep! New baby & you

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DECEMBER 2017

Departments PERSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Bah humbug—the holiday spirit is out there somewhere, right?

FIRST YEARS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 When lullabies aren’t enough—helping you and your baby get some sleep

FAMILY ACTIVITIES . . . . . . . 10 A few great holiday events—enjoy some music, dance, light shows and ice skating

LEARN AND LIVE . . . . . . . . . . 12 Ski cheap—snow fun on a budget

COMMUNITY NEWS . . . . . . . 14 Spread cheer this holiday season—help children in need, share a home and more…

HEALTHY LIVING . . . . . . . . 16 Have a merry, sustainable holiday—challenge yourself to use energy more efficiently this year

CALENDAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 4 Events and activities for parents, kids and families

Special Sections FESTIVE

Holiday Guide and Events 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 your gifts and trips safe.

FESTIVE

Holiday Guide

Safely through the season PAGE 4

Peace and calm

PAGE 6

Holiday calendar PAGE 8

Visit Santa PAGE 14

Features SHARING THE HOLIDAYS 18 Whether you are divorced or splitting the

season between different relatives and in-laws, it’s likely you will come up against situations that require you to compromise on a tradition, holiday activity, or even your own values. Going into it with an open mind, and knowing you’ll have to be flexible, helps.

TIME OUT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 A chronic case of mom brain—or, who stole my mind?

School District News Poudre School District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 PSD calendar of events, schools save energy through Renew Our Schools contest, Turkey Roundup donates more than 1,600 turkeys, highlights of activities in PSD Schools

Greeley-Evans District 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Greeley-Evans voters approve Mill Levy Override for D6, Meeker Elementary relocated due to flood, new District 6 Board members take oath of office

20 ‘TIS THE SEASON TO KEEP IT LOCAL

When you shop at locally owned stores, you help a fellow community member earn a living, keep your hard-earned money supporting the local tax base and you might just make a new business-owning friend who’ll greet you by name.

Thompson School District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 KidsPak food packing competition a success, check out open enrollment, science fair projects a community effort, community steps forward for Read Aloud Day

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

ABOUT THE COVER: Our cover model this month is Eric, 6, who loves books, dinosaurs,

legos and his family. Photo by Cheri Schonfeld, courtesy of Sky's Open Design.

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perspective Bah humbug

The holiday spirit is out there somewhere, right?

I

have to say that I’m a fan of the Christmas stories that show someone’s transformation from a cynical, bah-humbug person to a person with a greater vision. The two characters that come to mind are Scrooge and the Grinch. I’m not really an expert on either, other than having watched them throughout my childhood and taking in their lessons as I grew up. It was easy to watch the Grinch as a 10-year-old and declare in my mind that, of course, every Who down in Whoville was right that Christmas was about “a little bit more” and had nothing to do with ribbons and tags, packages, boxes and bags, when I was secure that there were presents under the tree with my name on them. And of course, I knew, with the same security of a large Christmas Dinner with turkey and ham, pies and potatoes, and an extended family gathered around a couple of tables, that it was the love and kindness of the family that mattered more than the feast. I’m not sure when I actually started to believe the things I told younger self, but at some point I think we come to realize that life is not a race to die with the most toys, as the saying goes, but a fairly short opportunity to make a connection with our world. The holidays seem to be a time, though, when we’re invited to pause, to spend a moment feeling our better selves…the ones who push through our shell of my side versus your side and my lifestyle versus your lifestyle and my beliefs versus your beliefs; the ones that view all others, simply, as fellow travelers on this strange path of life. From that view, we can model heartfelt generosity and charity and kindness to our children (and, in a way, to ourselves because when we act that way, it starts to grow in us too). It happens all around us this time of year. People come together for community causes, people donate food and gifts to charity, people attend performances that uplift them and make them think and feel. I love watching the moment of transformation of these characters, what we call the ah-hah moment. And I believe we all have that ah-hah moment every year at this time and we can choose to pause and notice it or choose to continue to scurry along our little squirrel paths gathering our own little nuts. Merry season, Scott

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DECEMBER 2017 • Volume 22, Issue 7 PUBLISHER Scott Titterington, (970)221-9210 scott.rmpublishing@gmail.com EDITOR Kristin Titterington, (970)221-9210 kristin.rmpublishing@gmail.com CONTRIBUTING 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, 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. ©2017 Rocky Mountain Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without express written permission is prohibited.

OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS:


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first years

When lullabies aren’t enough Helping you and your baby get some sleep

LY N N U. N I C H O L S

B

efore your baby was born you may have thought that the stories you heard about babies and sleep were exaggerated. You quickly learn that sleep with infants is on and off and hunger dominates, waking them every few hours. There are ways to get through it, and set yourself up for good sleep later on.

IT WON’T LAST FOREVER Keep in mind that newborns are not biologically equipped to sleep for more than a few hours at a stretch until six weeks of life. The good news is that at 12 to 14 weeks your baby’s hormones shift, helping to end colic and set internal light and temperature clocks (our Circadian rhythm) that help regulate sleep. At this point, babies are more able to sleep longer stretches—even through the night—but not all do. Sleep patterns are very baby specific. In the meantime, try to relax as much as you can about broken sleep. It’s not pleasant, but it won’t last forever. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, YOU ARE GETTING RESTORATIVE SLEEP During the night, we pass through 90-minute cycles of sleep each ending in a period of REM or rapid eye movement sleep that gets longer with each cycle. REM, or dream sleep, is when we consolidate memories and gain mental restoration. If you are getting two-hour stretches in, most likely you are getting some REM sleep. Also, we get our deepest, physically restorative sleep during the first hours of sleep each night. Naps are important. If you are sleep-deprived you may find yourself dreaming within 10 minutes of laying down for a nap. That’s your brain and body’s way of trying to catch up on REM sleep. 8

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ADOPT HEALTHY HABITS TO IMPROVE SLEEP Ask for and accept help every chance you get. As a couple, approach sleeping as a team. Take shifts and take turns getting up for the night feedings. On weekends, ask family or friends to take the baby while you nap. While exercise may be way down on your ‘to do’ list, if you can fit some exercise in, you’ll likely sleep better at night. The same goes for eating a healthy diet. TIPS FOR HELPING BABY SLEEP Pacifiers can be sleep aids, but avoid them the first month if you are breastfeeding as they may cause nipple confusion. From

birth to three months, use whatever you can to soothe your baby. Music, proper lighting and white noise are all known to help babies sleep. Keeping lights dim helps support your baby’s internal circadian rhythm and promote sleep. For daytime naps, let some light in so your baby knows the difference between night and day. Lastly, white noise often works especially for newborns as the rhythmic shushing noise mimics the sound of the womb. Finally, establish a bedtime routine early on. At three months, babies begin to recognize that a warm bath followed by a diaper change followed by soft music and lights or mom or dad singing, reading or rubbing means sleepy time.


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family activities

A few great holiday events

Enjoy some music, dance, light shows and ice skating K ATIE HARRIS

T

he holiday season is hectic enough with cards to send, cookies to bake and gifts to wrap; throw in a calendar full of craft fairs, Santa sightings and sleigh rides and it can quickly become more stressful than festive. The trick to turning holiday season chaos into quality time with loved ones is to narrow the multitude of events down to a few that the whole family will enjoy. Whether you prefer to try out something new each year, or find that one favorite new family tradition, these extra special events taking place across northern Colorado this season are sure to fit the bill. The Chapungu Sculpture Park at Centerra, just east of the Promenade Shops in Loveland is home to a brand new holiday light spectacular for the first time this year. “Winter Wonderlights,” taking place nightly from 5-9pm through Jan. 7, features a park-wide choreographed light show in 30-minute intervals. On weekends the light show will be accompanied by live performances by special guests including Chappelow Orchestra and Jazz Band and Zimbabwean Marimba dance troupe The Kutandara, along with on-site vendors, and the largest inflatable igloo and L.E.D. mappable Christmas tree in Colorado. The event is free, however canned food donations are being accepted nightly to benefit the Larimer County Food Bank. For a complete schedule of performances visit www.visitlovelandco.org/ winterwonderlights/. The Greeley Ice Haus, located at 900 8th Ave, will host a holiday figure skating show on Saturday, Dec. 9 from 5:30-7pm. This USFSAsanctioned event will feature nearly 30 skaters ages 4 to 15 from the Mountain View Skating Club and 10

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the Ice Haus skating club. This year’s theme is the The Nightmare Before Christmas, and will feature characters and a script loosely based on the movie, along with an assortment of traditional Christmas music. Tickets cost $7, with children 2 and under free. For more information visit www. greeleyrec.com/event/holiday-iceshow/?instance_id=33. No holiday season would be complete without a viewing of the classic ballet, “The Nutcracker.” The Lincoln Center at 417 W. Magnolia Ave. in Fort Collins offers the perfect opportunity to catch a showing of this holiday favorite, with local dance companies performing “Nutcracker with a Twist” on Dec. 1-3, and Canyon Concert Ballet with the Fort Collins Symphony performing “The

Nutcracker” on Dec. 8-10. “Nutcracker with a Twist” will tell the well-loved story through a variety of dance genres from ballet to hip-hop, while Canyon Concert Ballet will perform the traditional version of the ballet. To purchase tickets visit www.lctix.com. Berthoud Snowfest will return for a 2nd season from Dec. 13-16. The sanctioned Colorado snow sculpting competition will take place throughout Berthoud and will feature a variety of events for the whole family, including snow stomping on Dec. 11 and 12, a Snowfest launch party on Dec. 13, the sanctioned sculpting competition Dec. 13-16, a kids’ snow sculpting event on Dec. 14, and an artisan market and lighted parade on Dec. 16th. For times and locations of various events visit www.berthoudsnowfest.com.


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learn and live

Ski cheap

Snow fun on a budget KIM SHARPE

“D

o you ski?” “Do you snow board?” If you live in Colorado, people assume the answer to these questions is a resounding, “Yes!” Not everyone who lives here has glided down snowy slopes with either one or two waxed boards attached to her feet, however. If you’re one of the holdouts, perhaps this is the season to give it a go. SHOW ME THE MONEY A lot of people don’t ski or board because it can be expensive. Paul Karlsson, a high school teacher on a budget and father of two, says, “If you work at it, skiing can be affordable.” Tips for skiing on the cheap include: • Buy an annual ski pass, 4-PAK ticket packages or special packages for kids that include equipment and lunch (check ski area websites for deals) • If your child is in 5th or 6th grade, take advantage of the Colorado Ski Country USA Passport Program, which allows them to ski or board free or at a very reduced cost (http://coloradoski.com/passport) • Buy used equipment from places like the Gearage, Play It Again

Sports, on Craigslist or at a gear swap events • Pack your own food and drinks. Randy Morgan, owner Outpost Sunsport, dad and avid skier, adds that rather than investing in a lot of gear you may not use often, you can save money by renting equipment either by the day or the season for both adults and children. DRESS FOR SUCCESS Beyond skis, boards and boots, an enjoyable outing requires appropriate clothing. Karlsson says that keeping kids warm is really important to having fun. Morgan suggests wearing warm snow pants and a jacket, good base layers, and a helmet, goggles and gloves. Remember that cotton isn’t recommended for warmth, so make sure your clothing options include layers of moisture-wicking polypropylene, fleece and merino wool. SHOW AND TELL One of the best ways to learn how to ski and/or snow board is to take a lesson or two from a certified instructor who can show you proper techniques. You can do that at any of Colorado’s ski

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areas, but smaller ones, like Eldora, just outside Boulder, or Snowy Range, west of Laramie, Wyoming, are perfect for beginners. However, Karlsson, who was a ski instructor for 15 years, says his son learned basic skiing techniques from playing We Ski, a Nintendo Wii video game, “which was just crazy!” FUN FOR ALL As soon as children are steady walkers and potty trained, so by about the age of 3, most ski areas will allow them to enroll in lessons. Karlsson and his wife help keep skiing fun by making it about the kids. “We let them have ownership of where they ski on the mountain. We take them out when it’s not really cold. We let them choose what they pack to eat.” “Sometimes when kids are small, it may be better to just go to a park with a small hill and let the parent be the lift,” adds Morgan. “That way when the child gets tired, it is easy to head in and not have driven to an area.” Remember, the goal should be to have fun!


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community news

Spread cheer this holiday season Help children in need, share a home, and more… KIM SHARPE

W

hile every day of the year is the best day to help others, the holiday season often brings a focus to giving to those in need. There are many local opportunities to pay it forward, including Kristi’s Wish and Neighbor to Neighbor. The whole community will benefit from trail and street improvements, as well as more beautiful outdoor spaces set aside for families to enjoy. And at the end of the day, you’ll be glad to know you can get a cup o’ joe at more locations throughout NoCo. Enjoy it all! BRIGHTEN THE HOLIDAYS FOR LOCAL CHILDREN Kristi’s Wish, an annual philanthropic initiative from the Kristi Visocky Memorial Foundation, invites the community to help brighten the holiday season for local children in need. Through Dec. 17, all Schrader’s Country Stores in Larimer County will have Kristi’s Wish cards available for $1 each. The star-shaped cards will adorn the ceilings and walls at the stores, and all proceeds will benefit ChildSafe, Crossroads Safehouse, Kids at Heart and Project Self-Sufficiency. “We hope to brighten things up and paint the town with stars this holiday season,” says Bob Visocky, founder and executive director of the Kristi Visocky Memorial Foundation. “Kristi’s Wish is a warm and wonderful way to help provide gifts and support for children in need during the holidays.” This is the eighth year that Kristi’s Wish has been executed. More than $126,000 has been raised for local childbased charities throughout the years. This year, Kristi’s Wish is adding a new element, Kristi’s Giving Trees, which will be set up at the two Fort Collins C.B. & Potts locations, as well as C.B. & Potts in Westminster and Flatirons Mall in Broomfield. The Giving Trees serve as 14

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an additional opportunity to bring joy to local children in need this holiday season. All gifts must be returned to C.B. & Potts by Dec. 17. 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. Kristi’s Wish enables her parents to continue her legacy of empowering underdogs and troubled youth. For information about Kristi’s Wish or to donate visit http://kristisfund.com/. CARE TO SHARE A HOME? Neighbor to Neighbor, a nonprofit in Larimer County, has launched a new program called HomeShare. HomeShare

will match homeowners (Home Providers), 55 and older, with people seeking an affordable housing option (Home Seekers). “This innovative service will match senior homeowners, 55 and older, wishing to remain in their homes with individuals or single parents in need of a home. HomeShare will maximize our community’s limited housing inventory and support people of all ages,” says Kelly Evans, N2N executive director. Neighbor to Neighbor and the Partnership for Age-Friendly Communities seek volunteer assistance to outreach to the Home Provider population (i.e. 55+ population). This will include connecting with businesses, organizations and the faith community to help spread the word


of this exciting opportunity. If you’re interested in volunteering or to learn more about HomeShare, call 970-484-7498 or email kevans@n2n.org. GARDENS ON SPRING CREEK TO BREAK GROUND ON FIVE-ACRE EXPANSION After several years of planning and fundraising, the Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., Fort Collins, dug into its future growth. Construction has begun on five new acres of gardens. The $2.5 million project will complete The Gardens’ Master Plan and will offer the Great Lawn and stage, Undaunted Garden, a Prairie Garden, a Foothills Garden, and several educational and themed gardens. Construction completion is slated for August 2018. Community members, Gardens’ supporters, volunteers, and members are invited to celebrate this important milestone in The Gardens’ development.  For more information, please visit www.fcgov.com/gardens. CLEVELAND AVENUE GETS DEDICATED LEFT TURN LANE In early November, the far left, southbound lane on Loveland’s Cleveland Avenue became a dedicated left-turnonly, onto eastbound US Highway 34.  The new left-turn-only designation

will help ease traffic congestion at the intersection of US Hwys. 34 and 287, while maintaining two through lanes along Cleveland Avenue for southbound travelers. Loveland Public Works Traffic Division staff worked with the Colorado Department of Transportation to get the change approved. City staff completed the striping and signage work. NEW UNPAVED RECREATION TRAIL CONNECTION IN LOVELAND A new natural-surface trail connection between Wilson and Namaqua Avenue along the Big Barnes Irrigation Canal is now open for public use.

This has long been a missing connection in Loveland’s Recreation Trail Loop. Users can now enjoy 19-miles of continuous trail access from north Highway 287 all the way around to 57th and Taft Avenues. THE HUMAN BEAN DRIVE-THRU COFFEE COMPANY IS EXPANDING The Human Bean coffee drive thru announced its expanding in the northern Colorado market. A new Windsor location at the corner of Highways 257 and 392 (Main Street) is scheduled to open in early 2018 and a Greeley location in the St. Michael’s Town Square retail area on 59th Avenue and Highway 34 will open in the fall of 2018. “We are very excited to continue our expansion in the [northern Colorado] market,” says Frank Sherman, Human Bean owner. “Weld County is where The Human Bean of Northern Colorado got its start, and we look forward to adding another location where we first planted our roots.” The Human Bean places emphasis on community involvement and charitable giving. Every year, The Human Bean works to raise money for various local organizations that make a difference in the northern Colorado community. Its giving programs include its Guest Barista days, Thankful Thursdays and many more. To learn more about The Human Bean and its charity efforts, please visit www.humanbeannorthern colorado.com and www.facebook. com/HumanBeanNoCo. RMPARENT

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healthy living

Have a merry, sustainable holiday Challenge yourself to use energy more efficiently this year LEA HANSON

F

or many, the winter holiday season is a time of year we produce too much waste. We overeat, overcook, and overprepare. Many of us end up throwing away lots of food, decorations, and packaging. But, all these things are things we see; what about all the waste we cannot see? Wasting less energy is another valuable goal for those interested in consuming less, especially during the holiday season. While water use tends not to change over the holiday season, energy use certainly does according to Lisa Rosintoski, Customer Connections Manager for Utilities with the City of Fort Collins. WATER USE Even if your household’s water use doesn’t increase during the holiday season, you’re still invested in using as little as you’re able. Here are some tips Rosintoski shared: • Dishwashers are more efficient than washing dishes by hand. Run only full loads. • Instead of using running water to thaw meat or other frozen items, put the item in the fridge ahead of time to defrost. • Check for and fix leaky or running toilets by putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank. Don’t flush and wait for 15 minutes. If coloring is in the bowl, there is a leak. • Don’t flush anything except toilet paper. • K now where your main water valve is and how to shut it off in case of an emergency. ELECTRICITY USE It doesn’t surprise most that electricity use is higher in winter due

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to shorter days and colder temperatures. However, Rosintoski says some households see higher electricity use due to holiday happenings such as having visitors and spending extra time at home cooking, entertaining, and memory making. There are many easy things you can do this year to rethink your use of energy and resources: • Turn the thermostat down when you have guests. Extra bodies naturally create extra heat. • If you’re able, set your thermostat to a schedule so you can keep your home cooler while you’re away. Even if it’s already programmed to account for your work day, take another look: holidays bring unusual and irregular schedules for many. • Give gifts that don’t need electricity or batteries. • Bake several dishes at a time to lessen appliance use. • Use the smallest appliance needed to get the job done. Microwaves are more efficient than the stove top or oven. • Use the fireplace and use wood (a renewable resource) instead. And,

when the fire is out, be sure to close the damper to avoid drafts. • Unplug phantom energy users when you go on vacation (items that use energy even when they aren’t turned on). HOLIDAY DECOR One of the ways families can have the most significant impact on energy saving during the holidays is by decorating with items that are energy-efficient and durable. Here are some tips that won’t significantly change your traditions: • Consider using few or no lights in your holiday decorations. • If lights feel like a must, decorate with more energy-efficient LED strings. LED options are up to 90 percent more efficient than older incandescent lighting and they’re no longer difficult to obtain; all retailers now carry affordable options. • Use fiber optic decorations. • Plug your decorative indoor and outdoor lights into a timer to save electricity. •D  ecorate creatively and inexpensively with natural materials from your yard or with items you already own.


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To Advertise, contact: Greg at 970-689- 6832

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Reach all of northern Colorado via print and digital marketing with Rocky Mountain Publishing. Read all of our publications on your mobile device. MARCH 2017 • RMPARENT.COM

SPRING 2017

SERVING NORTHERN COLORADO • FIFTYBETTER.COM

TEE OFF AT A LOCAL DISC GOLF COURSE

ROAD TRIPPING Road tripping —with—

with toddlers

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PREPARING YOUR GARDEN

HEALTHY BODY HABITS for kids

Mindfulness and your health

Sample a local craft

Destinations and

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WHAT food labels CAN TELL YOU

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INSIDE: LIFESTYLE, ACTIVE [AND HEALTH DIRECTORIES] RMPARENT

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GUIDE TO NORTHERN COLORADO BICYCLING CULTURE AND EVENTS

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Sharing the holidays SPLIT FAMILIES SHOULD STAY OPEN AND FLEXIBLE

H

Lynn U. Nichols

olidays often demand compromise and tolerance—two good lessons of the season. Whether you are divorced and figuring out how to share holidays, or splitting the season between different relatives and in-laws, likely you will come up against situations that require you to compromise on a desired tradition, holiday activity, or even your own values when it comes to gift-giving or religious ceremonies. Add in that you have to get the kids on board with it all and the holidays might start feeling more stressful than merry. Going into it with an open mind and knowing you’ll have to be flexible, helps—as does holding on to a few, meaningful traditions of your own.

TAKE A PRACTICAL APPROACH

If you’ve divorced, you likely have rules 18

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outside of your control that determine your holiday schedule. This may feel hard, but do your best to accept them. Doing so will help your kids do the same—and lessen the tug-a-war they might be feeling. As matter-of-factly as you can, make sure your kids are aware of the ‘have to’s’ like court-ordered visitations, relative visits and school events. Then, discuss the flexible time in between. Offer them choices during this free time. Letting your kids lead on a few, choice activities helps even out the obligations and make the holidays happier for them. Remember that a younger child’s ability to sort through endless choices is limited, so help by giving simple choices, as in: ‘We have a few days before you have to go to your dads

(or your grandparents), would you like to go see the light displays or have a cookie decorating party with friends?

KEEP PLANS FLEXIBLE

If you are sharing your kids with an ex, try not to focus on the date on the calendar. The same holds true if your relatives determine how you spend the actual day, and you really want to do something on your own with your family or friends. Remember, you can have a celebration the next day or the next week. Kids don’t care what date a holiday falls on as long as they get the goods—eating a big meal, seeing cousins, spending time with you, and receiving and giving gifts. If you can, avoid splitting the specific day. Transitions can be difficult and in a heightened emotional state, they can


be worse. Plus, splitting the day means travel and logistics, which takes the focus off relaxing. While flexibility is key to making things run smoothly, oftentimes younger kids are relieved when someone else makes the big decisions, like going to which house, when. To ease your kids’ stress about going back and forth between houses over the holidays, give them a sense of control with mini choices—like which pair of pajamas they want to pack for their grandparents or their dad’s house. Also, keep your own comments in check about resenting the time apart or having to travel.

FOCUS ON CONNECTING

Holidays might mean sharing your kids with grandparents, relatives or your ex, so make the most of the time you have with them by being fully present and engaged. Don’t worry about creating the perfect holiday meal or event. Instead, keep it simple, and focus on connecting with your kids and your family and friends. “Simply spend time together. It doesn’t have to be a big event. If you have teens, they may act like material things like gifts matter most, but studies show that it’s really connecting to family and friends that they value,” says Kristin Glenn, parent educator with The Women’s Clinic of Northern Colorado.

CONFLICTS WITH GRACE

If you and your ex have points of contention, now more than ever it’s important to set them down and cooperate. Of course this is easier said than done, especially if the divorce was recent, extremely painful or one-sided. Maybe your ex hurt you, but divorce is about two adults and as much as possible, the kids need to be left out of it. They can’t be asked to be go-betweens, or endure spats, especially during the holidays. It helps to stay conscious of putting your kids first—and always thinking what’s best for them. If you happen to get into a heated discussion during holiday planning, or at the dinner table with relatives, take a break. Step outside to call a supportive friend, or

take a quick walk around the block. Then, go back inside and own your part. Regardless of who was right or wrong, it’s important that your kids see you resolve conflict. “It’s inspiring to see parents admit their own mistakes and allow their kids to make mistakes. That’s unconditional love,” Glenn says. While it is often the exception and not the norm, having an ex over for a holiday meal is usually positive. To avoid giving your kids the wrong impression, just tell them up front: ‘Dad and I are divorced. It was the right decision for us, but I know it is hurtful to you. He will be here for the day and we are going to enjoy spending time together.’ It’s healing for your kids to see you and your ex getting along and laughing together. “It can help to remember why you picked each other in the first place and keep humor in your relationship,” Glenn says.

KEEP SOME, CREATE SOME

As a couple, you each bring your own traditions and religious beliefs into a marriage. As you grow your family, you’ll likely establish a hybrid of these traditions—which takes compromise. Be thoughtful about what traditions hold the most meaning to each of you, and incorporate them in your own family. Then, create some new traditions of your own. It’s a similar process when you get divorced. If you always went sledding as a family on New Year’s Day, do it, but this time with friends. Also, continue to display those special seasonal knick-knacks and decorations that say Hanukkah or Christmas—and if you are divorced, give some to your ex to display as well. Having these items at both homes will bring comfort. Allow the grandparents to also share

their traditions with your kids. If you don’t hold the same religious views, don’t worry about them overly influencing your kids with their beliefs. Studies show parents remain the main influence in their kids’ lives when it comes to values and beliefs. Kids are savvy enough to separate your beliefs from those of your parents or inlaws. As your kids grow older, be respectful of their own budding views on religion and spirituality. Try not to force your beliefs on them, or require they practice all of your religious traditions. Of course, if it’s important to you to attend midnight mass as part of your holiday tradition, you should still require your kids to come along. But be open if they don’t want to attend every church event with you, or skip some services into the teen years. It’s natural for older kids to question religious beliefs and decide if they still fit. “Today’s youth seem freer to find meaning and spirituality in their own ways. They are not so confined by the boundaries of their parents’ or grandparents’ sense of religion or spirituality. It’s important for kids to be given permission to find spirituality in their own way,” Glenn concludes. By staying open and flexible this holiday season, you’ll keep the focus on joy and meaning. RMPARENT

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‘T is the season to...

{ LOCAL

KEEP IT

}

Kim Sharpe

Clothes Pony & Dandelion Toys 111 N. College Ave. 970-224-2866, http://clothespony.com Estes Ark 521 Lone Pine Dr., EP 970-586-6483, www.estesark.com Toy Mountain 160 W. Elkhorn Ave., EP 970-586-3552 www.facebook.com/eptoymt/

The Wright Life 200 Linden St., FC 970-484-6932, www.wrightlife.com

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Buy local

S

ome of the best gifts you can give this holiday season have a theme: Local.

LOCAL STORES When you shop at locally owned stores, you help a fellow community member earn a living, keep your hardearned money supporting the local tax base and you might just make a new business-owning friend who’ll greet you by name. For example, Becca and Jenny Bramhall, the two sisters who own and run The Clothes Pony & Dandelion Toys, say, “We want our store to feel like a village square and our main goal as a store is to build community. It’s a place where kids can play and touch everything. Where kids and parents can come to relax and connect.” Beyond the community you’ll find at The Clothes Pony, you’ll discover quality-made toys, books, clothes and shoes for children and moms, and even a boutique for tweens. The Wright Life, across from Fort Collins’ Old Town Square, is an alternative sports store specializing in items that will brighten the holidays for disc golf, and skate-and snowboard enthusiasts. Bill and Holly Wright opened their doors for business in 1981 and have been greeting regulars ever since. The Wrights and their experienced and enthusiastic crew live the motto, “The most fun wins!” A trip to Estes Park will land you in a winter wonderland where you can support the locally owned Toy Mountain or the Estes Ark stores.

Roll and escape together

{


LOCAL GOODS Another way to buy local is to purchase NoCo- or Colorado-made items. Here are some local companies with wares to share: • Amber and Haze (www.amberandhaze.com) specializes in raw, unpolished Baltic amber and hazelwood necklaces handmade to order by the company’s founder, a mother of four. • BeginAgain (www.beginagaintoys.com) is a Fort Collins toy maker that builds a variety of ways to let kids play and explore. From bath toys to educational toys to puzzles and games, all of their toys are made from plants, not plastic. • The Doll Kind dolls (www.thedollkind.com) are soft, fabric dolls made in Berthoud, but they aren’t just for cuddling. Each doll comes with 10 pay-it-forward tokens for children to hand out to people as a gesture of kindness. And for each doll sold, another is donated to a child who can use a best friend. • Elope (www.elope.com), founded by Colorado brothers Kevin and Keith Johnson, makes fun dress-up hats and clothes. In an effort to spread global happiness, the brothers say, “We create and distribute costume accessories and whimsical wearables through fantastical service while embracing socially responsible business practices.” • HyPars (www.hypars.com) geometric building shapes were invented by a semi-retired nuclear engineer from Longmont. They encourage creative fun that incorporates fairly complex mathematical concepts, but everyone will enjoy them. • Little Colorado’s (www.littlecolorado.com) wooden pint-sized furniture and play kitchens will be family keepsakes for generations. • Never Summer Snowboards and Longboards (www.neversummer. com), hand-crafted in Denver, are some of the finest in the world

BOWLING ALLEYS Chipper’s Lanes—www.chipperslanes.com Estes Park, 555 S. St. Vrain Ave. 970-586-8625 Fort Collins, 830 N. College Ave., 970-484-4777 or 217 W. Horsetooth Road, 970-226-6327 Greeley, 2454 8th Ave., 970-353-4275 Highland Park Lanes, 1900 59th Ave., Greeley. 970-330-2695 or www.highlandparklanes.com Sweetheart Lanes, 2320 N. Lincoln Ave., Loveland. 970-667-3510 or www.sweetheartlanes.net The Summit, 4455 N. Fairgrounds Ave., Windsor. 970-663-6363 or www.thesummitwindsor.com

and will keep your adrenalin junkies gliding along smoothly. •P  hunkshun (www.phunkshunwear.com) makes scarves, facemasks and hoods from recycled plastic bottles. The products’ superior warmth and hip designs make them perfect for looking good during outdoor, cold-weather adventures. • Wolf Wipes (www.facebook.com/wolfwipes/) will naturally transport you through cleaning up your little one. Literally made inside a renovated school bus that’s now a home, Wolf Wipes are just one of the eco-friendly goods made by Wolf Bus Products.

LOCAL EXPERIENCES Sometimes, the best gifts are memories made by spending time together. One fun activity families can enjoy is bowling. Matt Hoeven, one of Chipper’s Lanes owners, says, “Bowling provides a perfect social occasion in which the majority of time is spent talking and laughing, while a short time is taken for each person’s turn throwing their ball down the lane. People of varying ages and abilities can comfortably bowl together; a 25-year-old professional, 4-year-old toddler and 85-year-old grandpa can share the lane and a game.” Another new way to have fun with others is to play in an escape room. These rooms filled with hidden clues to solve puzzles and riddles are where groups of family, friends and co-workers can work as a team while playing physical adventure games. Whether it’s where you shop, what you buy or the fun you have, keep it NoCo local this holiday season.

ESCAPE ROOMS Clueology Rooms 907 Van Buren Ave., Ste. 150, LV 970-776-0356, www.clueologyrooms.com ConTRAPtions Escape Rooms 3720 S. College Ave., Ste. B, FC 970-226-3843, https://escape.place Enigma Escape Rooms 151 S. College Ave., Ste. J, FC 970-568-8636, www.enigmafortcollins.com Fort Collins Escape Room 4025 S. Mason St., FC 970-484-5433, https://fortcollinsescaperoom.com

Q: The Live Escape Experience- Loveland 333 E. 4th St., Ste. 3, LV 810 9th St., GR 970-420-6285, www.escapefromq.com Somewhere Secret Escape Game 222 Walnut St., FC 970-235-1199, www.somewheresecret.com Time Escape 770 N. Lincoln Ave., LV 970-624-0024, www.timeescapeloveland.com

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He was dreaming… of a

little girl with a big heart that could give him a good home with plenty of room to run.

She was dreaming...

of a house that her parents owned in which she could finally adopt a best friend.

I want to help you find a home, one for you and the loves of your life.

Buying a home is more than signing papers and getting a key, it’s about creating new dreams, new hopes and fulfilling all the promises that you always hoped you could.

Brandy Formanek • Broker Associate (970) 310-0610 • brandy@frii.com • www.BrandyKnowsHomes.com

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poudre school district news Turkey Roundup donates more than 1,600 turkeys

PSD schools, departments and other sites kicked off the holidays with the traditional PSD Turkey Roundup, collecting a grand total of 1,674 frozen turkeys for the Food Bank of Larimer County. The turkeys will be distributed to families in need in the community during the holidays. In addition, almost $300 in cash was donated. See top schools below and watch the PSD TV video about the drive! Bacon Elementary collected the most turkey in PSD, donating a whopping 359 turkeys!  Other top turkey drive schools include: • Zach Elementary, 258 turkeys • Fort Collins High School, 121 turkeys • Shepardson Elementary,111 turkeys • Johnson Elementary, 98 turkeys • Webber Middle School, 85 turkeys • Lopez Elementary, 79 turkeys • Preston Middle School, 72 turkeys

Beth Higgins, PSD partnership coordinator thanks everyone for their 24

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generosity and for being a part of the district-wide service project. “Our families are so supportive of our community as a whole, and community efforts like the Turkey Roundup help build strong families and strong children,” says Higgins. “Thanks to everyone – our schools, kids, business partners, and staff – for making this event as successful as it can be each year. We are grateful!” SCHOOLS SAVE ENERGY THROUGH CONTEST The Renew Our Schools energy savings contest among 16 PSD schools has wrapped up and schools winning $10,000 for saving electricity in their building have been announced! The student-led competition focused on creating and sustaining ways to save electricity in their buildings. For five weeks, students encouraged peers and school staff to turn off lights, computers, appliances and other things that

use electricity. After the contest ended, results showed student efforts saved 77,674 kWh, equaling $7,700 in savings for the district—an electrical savings of 10 percent. Through the Renew Our Schools contest, schools tried to save as much electricity as they could to show the greatest reduction in usage compared to other PSD schools. Schools that came out on top were awarded prize money for pre-approved energy-efficient projects, ranging in value from $3,000 to $10,000 (a total of $45,000 was distributed). The contest was funded by the Boulder-based Innovo Foundation and coordinated by the Center for ReSource Conservation along with PSD. In addition to saving electricity at schools, students also worked with businesses, friends and families to help them adopt strategies to cut electricity usage. During the five weeks, 3,200 homes pledged to make changes to save electricity. Congratulations to the winning


schools that showed the greatest reduction in energy usage! They are listed below. Boltz Middle School designed the winning poster from the competition. High School Category:

• Fort Collins High School, winner: $10,000 • Fossil Ridge and Rocky Mountain High Schools, tied for second place: $2000 each.  Middle Schools • Kinard Middle School, winner: $10,000 • Lesher Middle School, second place: $5,000  • Boltz Middle School, third place: $3,000   Additional School Category • Shepardson Elementary School, winner: $10,000  • Bennett Elementary School and PSD Global Academy, tied for second place: $2,000 each

Schools that participated in the competition include: Bennett, Shepardson and Tavelli Elementary Schools; Blevins, Boltz, Kinard, Lesher, Lincoln, Webber and Wellington Middle Schools; Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge, Rocky and Poudre High Schools; and Polaris Expeditionary Learning School and PSD Global Academy. DUNN STUDENTS TAKE INITIATIVE TO HELP WILD ANIMAL SANCTUARY A group of third grade girls at Dunn Elementary decided to raise money for

the Wild Animal Sanctuary. Rebeka Leibow, Olivia Oliveira-Flores, Olivia Kendall, Justice Emery and Lavinia Franco  have been staying in during lunch, selling items such as handmade bookmarks, used books, jewelry and toys to raise money and awareness for the organization.  PSD STUDENTS SUPPORT THE FOOD BANK Bethke Elementary students and staff held their Cans Around Bethke food drive last month, collecting 1,683 cans for the Food Bank of Larimer County. Several Student Council members visited Colorado State University on October 18 for the traditional Cans Around the Oval ceremony. 

BAUDER STUDENTS VISIT A TELEVISION STATION IN DENVER A group of Bauder Elementary fifthgraders, who put on the Bauder Broadcast news for the school, took a special field trip to the Rocky Mountain PBS Television Station in Denver. Through the station’s Super School News program, the kids toured a real news set and were able to try taping some of their own news bits.  POLARIS STUDENTS JAM WITH GRAMMY AWARD WINNERS Polaris Expeditionary Learning School students got to jam with two Grammy winners from the Take Me to the River tour. William Bell and Bobby Rush sat in with the Polaris students as they worked on their version of “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone.” The Lincoln Center Outreach program sponsored the opportunity. BRITISH COMPOSER WORKS WITH KINARD CHOIR TO PREMIER SPECIAL PIECE Alexander L’Estrange, one of Britain’s most popular choral composers, recently visited Kinard’ Middle School’s choir, and worked with students on some of the songs that he composed. The choir was the first group in the US to premier his work “Ahoy!”

PSD Calendar of Events Dec. 12, 5:30pm, B  oard of Education business meeting, JSSC, 2407 Laporte Ave. Dec. 22 – Jan. 7, Winter Break - No school K-12

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greeley-evans district 6 news Voters approve Mill Levy Override for D6 Voters in Greeley-Evans School District 6 approved a property tax increase November 7 to provide additional operational dollars to District 6 schools, including six charter schools. The measure will bring an estimated $14 million into District 6, beginning in 2018. This is the first mill levy override approved by District 6 voters. The District has attempted to secure a mill levy override two previous times: in 2009 and in 2016. This measure will sunset, or end, in 2023. The money will be used to improve safety and security at many schools, make critical facility repairs, improve technology infrastructure and purchase additional computers to support blended learning, expand summer school opportunities, replace aging text books, hire and retain teachers and support staff, support Career Pathways and more. “This is not only important because it brings in some much needed resources to the district, but also because it shows our community supports public education,” said Dr. Deirdre Pilch, superintendent of District 6. “We know this investment in our students will make a difference in the educational opportunities they have. We are very grateful to the voters for saying yes.” MEEKER ELEMENTARY RELOCATED DUE TO FLOOD A water main break on November 5 near Meeker Elementary School caused a surge of water to flood the school, causing the facility to be closed until at least March for needed clean up and repairs. More than an inch of water and mud covered nearly every floor in the school, and even broke through cement floors in some areas of the school. The water damaged floors, walls, furniture and other items. The school was closed for three days as contractors and insurance adjusters surveyed the damage. When it became 26

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evident the school could not reopen without extensive repairs, the students were moved to the nearby Generations Church, formerly the Greeley Wesleyan Church. “The Generations Church has graciously and selflessly opened its doors temporarily to our Meeker students while we continue to make repairs at the school,” said Superintendent Dr. Deirdre Pilch. “Words can’t express how grateful we are to the leadership at Generations Church and its membership for opening their hearts and their doors to our children.” Students are learning in classrooms inside the church, as well as portable classrooms that were placed on the adjacent Greeley West High School Soccer Field. Students are still arriving at Meeker Elementary School in the morning, and then are bused to the church. Full services are being provided, including breakfast and lunch. It is estimated the needed repairs will take until at least March to complete. NEW DISTRICT 6 BOARD MEMBERS TAKE OATH OF OFFICE Three returning members and one new member took the oath of office and officially became directors of the

Greeley-Evans School District 6 Board of Education Monday, November 13. Current board members Roger DeWitt, Rhonda Solis and John W. Haefeli, and new member Michael Mathews recited and signed the oath of office at the board’s regular business meeting. Mathews is the father of five children who attend District 6 schools, and the pastor of St. Patrick’s Presbyterian Church. Greeley Municipal Court Judge Diane Knutson administered the oath. Board members also elected officers. Roger DeWitt was selected to continue in his role as president of the board. Terri Pappas was elected vice president of the board. Both will serve two years in those roles. Before the swearing-in ceremony, Board members had a chance to say goodbye and thank you to departing board member Steve Hall, who chose not to seek reelection. Hall has served on the board since November 2013. The Board of Education is composed of seven members, each elected at-large for a four-year term. This year, four seats were up for election and four people ran for those seats.


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thompson school district news KidsPak food packing competition a success

Recently, “Team Thompson” faced off against “Team Subaru of Loveland” in the annual KidsPak food packing competition. A program of the Rotary Club of Loveland, Kids Pak is a weekend hungerrelief effort for children in Thompson School District. Each year, volunteers in the program pack thousands of meals for students in need of assistance.  Team Subaru edged out the TSD team in the timed competition. Although the true winners, as always, are the amazing volunteers who participate in the program and the approximate 600 students in 39 schools and local entities who directly benefit from the heartfelt kindness and generosity. TSD is immensely grateful for the partnership with the Loveland Rotary Club and all of the wonderful people who are making a huge difference in the lives of children through this special weekend hunger relief program. CHECK OUT OPEN ENROLLMENT   Thompson School District’s Open Enrollment period for the 2018-2019 28

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school year is now open! Applications for open enrollment will be accepted through Thursday, December 21.  Whatever your interest, Thompson has program or choice options that are perfect for your student and family.  Now is your chance to explore our diverse

program lineup and choose the school community that is right for you. Program options include Dual Language Immersion, International Baccalaureate, the Loveland Area Integrated School of the Arts, STEM / STEAM, Agricultural Pathways and much more. To learn


more and to download an application form, please visit thompsonschools.org/ openenrollment. SCIENCE FAIR PROJECTS A COMMUNITY EFFORT A total of 496 students at Walt Clark Middle School recently completed science fair projects with the support of WCMS staff and community members who served as mentors and judges throughout the eight-week process. Forty-three of those students were also invited to move on to the district science fair, which will be held in January. COMMUNITY STEPS FORWARD FOR READ ALOUD DAY Teachers throughout the district invited community members to visit for TSD’s annual “Read Aloud Day.” Thousands of students experienced the joy of a good book, while also getting the chance to meet someone special in the community.  Thanks to all of the volunteers who helped make this year’s program such an overwhelming success.

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lunchbox POUDRE SCHOOL DISTRICT—Elementary student lunches are $2.65, secondary student lunches are $2.90 and reduced lunches are PK-5 free, grades 6-12 $0.40. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 1 Meat lovers or cheese pizza; veggie wrap 4 Tomato soup & grilled cheese; chicken nuggets 5 Spaghetti w/roasted veggies & meat sauce; turkey gravy & roll 6 Thai chicken & rice; hamburger/cheeseburger 7 Beef & bean burrito; trout treasures 8 Pepperoni or cheese pizza; hummus & veggie box 11 Chicken drumstick & roll; mac n’cheese 12 Lasagna w/veggies; cheese calzone & marinara 13 Asian noodle & meatball; chicken patty sandwich 14 Chicken tacos & rice; hamburger/cheeseburger

15 Meat lovers or cheese pizza; chicken Caesar wrap 18 Hamburger/cheeseburger; chicken nuggets 19 Meatball sandwich; chicken Alfredo 20 Orange chicken & rice; hot dog 21 Pepperoni or cheese pizza; chef salad & roll MIDDLE SCHOOLS 1 Tomato soup & grilled cheese; breaded chicken tenderloin 4 Turkey gravy & roll; chicken drumsticks 5 Cheese calzone & marinara; spring vegetable rotini 6 Asian bar: orange chicken & beef & egg roll

7 Taco bar: beef or chicken & rice 8 Philly cheesesteak sandwich; meatlover’s pizza 11 Hot dog; chicken nuggets 12 Chicken Alfredo; meatball sandwich 13 Asian Bar: General Tso steak & chicken & egg roll 14 Beef & bean burrito 15 Mac n’cheese; trout treasures 18 Chicken parmesan sandwich; BBQ pulled pork sandwich 19 Cheese calzone & marinara; chicken nuggets 20 Sweet & sour meatball & chicken & egg roll 21 Taco bar: beef or chicken & beef & rice

THOMPSON R2J SCHOOL DISTRICT—Elementary lunch is $2.75; secondary lunches are $3. Reduced lunches are pre-K-5, free; 6-12, $.40. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 1 Fish & chips basket 4 Homemade toasted cheese sandwich or turkey sandwich 5 Hot dog 6 Chicken pot pie 7 Baked Ziti 8 Asian combo 11 Hamburger; chicken Caesar wrap 12 Chili w/cinnamon roll 13 Mac n’cheese 14 Pizza

15 Sweet n’sour chicken w/rice 18 Breaded chicken sandwich 19 Burrito Grande 20 Chicken & biscuit 21 Lasagna w/meat SECONDARY SCHOOL 1 Fish & chips basket; hamburger 4 Homemade toasted cheese sandwich; variety burrito 5 Hot dog; meatball sub 6 Chicken pot pie; spicy chicken sandwich 7 Baked Ziti; BBQ pulled pork sandwich

8 11 12 13 14 15 18 19 20 21

Asian combo; pizza Hamburger; chicken Caesar wrap Chili w/cinnamon roll; Italian salad Mac n’cheese; taco Pizza; chicken dipper bites Sweet n’sour chicken w/rice; burger Breaded chicken sandwich; variety burrito Burrito Grande; meatball sub Chicken & biscuit; spicy chicken sandwich Lasagna w/meat; BBQ pulled pork sandwich

GREELEY DISTRICT 6— To obtain a complete meal, student gets an entrée and can select 1-3 sides. 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 Hawaiian/cheese pizza; PBJ 4 No school! 5 Soft shell taco; chicken salad sandwich 6 Chicken gumbo w/green chile; PBJ 7 Stuffed shells w/garlic knot; ham & cheese wrap 8 Chicken, bacon, ranch pizza; cheese pizza 11 Chicken tortilla soup w/tortilla pesto chicken salad wrap 12 Cheese enchiladas w/Fiesta rice chicken fajita wrap 13 Pot roast w/dinner roll; ham & cheese wrap

14 Pasta la rasta w/breadstick; turkey & cheese hoagie 15 Pepperoni or cheese pizza; PBJ 18 Chili w/cinnamon roll; chicken fajita wrap 19 Teriyaki chicken w/brown rice turkey & cheese wrap MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Hawaiian/cheese pizza; PBJ 4 No school! 5 Soft shell taco; chicken salad sandwich 6 Chicken gumbo w/green chile; PBJ 7 Stuffed shells w/garlic knot; ham & cheese wrap

8 Chicken, bacon, ranch pizza; cheese pizza 11 Chicken tortilla soup w/tortilla pesto chicken salad wrap 12 Cheese enchiladas w/Fiesta rice chicken fajita wrap 13 Pot roast w/dinner roll; ham & cheese wrap 14 Pasta la rasta w/breadstick turkey & cheese hoagie 15 Pepperoni or cheese pizza; PBJ 18 Chili w/cinnamon roll; chicken fajita wrap 19 Teriyaki chicken w/brown rice turkey & cheese wrap

WINDSOR SCHOOL DISTRICT—Price for elementary lunch is $2.90, for middle school students, $3.15. Reduced lunches are elementary, free; middle school, $0.40. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 1 Big Daddy cheese or veggie pizza turkey & cheese sub 4 Pizza sticks w/marinara sauce PBJ w/string cheese 5 French toast sticks w/sausage patties breakfast burrito 6 Chicken & black bean chili w/cinnamon roll mini cheeseburgers 7 BBQ pork sandwich; turkey & cheese sub 8 Big Daddy cheese or Hawaiian pizza PBJ w/string cheese 11 Meatball sub; PBJ w/string cheese 12 Cheesy nachos; mini cheeseburgers

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13 Teriyaki chicken w/brown rice; corn dog 14 Turkey & gravy/mashed potatoes PBJ w/string cheese 15 Big Daddy cheese or pepperoni pizza PBJ w/string cheese 18 Mac n’cheese; PBJ w/string cheese 19 Hard shell beef tacos; mini cheeseburger 20 Chicken nuggets; corn dog 21 Big Daddy cheese or veggie pizza PBJ w/string cheese MIDDLE SCHOOL 1 Turkey club wrap; hamburger 4 Cheesy nachos; hamburger 5 French toast sticks w/sausage patties

6 Chicken & black bean chili w/cinnamon roll beef & bean burrito 7 BBQ pork sandwich; chicken nuggets 8 Steak & cheese sub; grilled chicken sandwich 11 Potato bar; corn dog 12 Chicken enchiladas; chicken sandwich 13 Teriyaki chicken; hamburger 14 Chicken tenders; grilled chicken sandwich 15 Meatball sub; corn dog 18 Mac n’cheese; corn dog 19 Burrito/taco bar; spicy chicken sandwich 20 General Tso’s chicken w/brown rice beef & bean burrito 21 Rotini w/tomato sauce; French bread pizza


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Book your child’s dental exam today!

FREE EXAM

for children under 2!

A general dentistry practice that’s all about kids and young adults, ages 0-20!

970-635-4353

126 East 29th Street Loveland

www.kindergrins.com Monday - Thursday 8-5

$75 New Patient Exam Includes Exams, Cleaning, Fluoride, X-Rays. One coupon per patient. New patients only and without insurance. Not valid with any other offer. Must present coupon at visit. Expires: 12/31/17 RMP 1217

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FREE light-up toothbrush for NEW patients One coupon per family. Not valid with any other offer. Must present coupon at visit. Expires: 12/31/17 RMP 1217


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DECEMBER 2017 ONGOING MONDAYS AND TUESDAYS Read and Seed Youth Program Preschool readiness activities including a story and related craft activity. Ages 2-5 with adult. $30. 10-10:45am & 11-11:45am, no class week of Dec. 25. Gardens on Spring Creek, 2145 Centre Ave., FC. 970-416-2486 www.fcgov.com/gardens. SECOND AND FOURTH THURSDAYS, THROUGH DECEMBER Hookin’ Up – Crochet Class & Group BYOP (bring your own project). Beginners bring: H crochet hook and some worsted weight yarn. Teens and adults. Loveland Library, Erion Room, 300 N. Adams Ave., LV. 10:30am12:30pm. 970-962-2401 www.lovelandpubliclibrary.org. FRIDAYS AND SATURDAYS Eagle Watches Learn about the bald eagles that make Fort Collins their winter home from volunteer Master Naturalists. Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, 3340 Carpenter Rd., FC. 3-4:30pm. 970-416-2815 www.fcgov.com/naturalareas.

THROUGH FEBRUARY 14 Disney’s Beauty and the Beast This beloved tale features all of the classic songs as well as some new ones for the stage. Ticket prices and showtimes vary. Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, 4747 Marketplace Dr., Johnstown. 970-7443747, www.coloradocandlelight.com. THROUGH FEBRUARY 25 The Ice Rink at the Promenade Shops at Centerra Visit Northern Colorado’s finest outdoor Ice Skating Rink. 12 and under-$7; Adults-$8.50. Promenade Shops at Centerra, across from Dick’s Sporting Goods, 5971 Sky Pond Dr., LV. Hours vary. 970-667-5283 www.TheIceRinkAtTheShops.com. DECEMBER 6, 7, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, AND 30 Hour of Code Hour of Code celebrates Computer Science Education Week. Ages 8+. Locations vary. 4pm. 888-861-7323 www.MyLibrary.us.

DECEMBER 9 AND 10 Disney’s Mulan, Jr. A celebration of culture, packed with action, music, humor and heart. Ticket prices vary. Windsor Charter Academy, 680 Academy Court, WS. 12/9-7pm; 12/10-2:30pm. 407-970-7504, www.nocotheatrix.com. DECEMBER 12 AND 16 Hot Chocolate and a Movie Watch Stranger in the Woods, based on the book by Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick. Ages 1-5. Windsor-Severance Library, 720 3rd St., WS. 10:30-11am. 970-686-5603, www.clearviewlibrary.org. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1

Fun with Dots Explore Pointillism! Registration required. Grades 3-5. Centennial Park Library, 2227 23rd Ave., GR. 1pm. 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2

LEAP into Science: Mirror, Mirror Children will learn that light can bounce in a predictable direction. Centennial Park Library, 2227 23rd Ave., GR. 10:30am. 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us.

Hours of Operation: M-Th 8-5pm, Fri 8-4 Fort Collins (970) 493-7442

Loveland (970) 493-7442

SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT TODAY

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Story Time with Kristen Foote Colorado author Kristen Foote will store read from her books, How to Survive as a Firefly and How to Survive as a Shark. Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St., FC. 11am. 970-484-7898 www.oldfirehousebooks.com. The Nightmare Before Christmas Sing-along Party A rolicking sing-along with an entertaining shadow cast performance. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 2pm. www.poudrelibraries.org. Vinyl Etching Party for Teens Design and apply a vinyl template to a glass or mug. Enjoy snacks and music while you create a masterpiece. Grades 6-12. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 2pm. 888-861-7323 www.MyLibrary.us. SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3

Lego ABC - Extreme Weather Lots of hands-on STREAM activities to explore and a new building challenge every month. Ages 5+. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 1pm www.poudrelibraries.org. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6

Essential Oils 101 Discover the health and wellness support essential oils can bring. Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr., FC. 1-2:30pm. 970221-6644, www.Fcgov.com/recreator.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7

Self-care Planning Workshop Reprioritize and develop a self-care plan based on realistic goals. Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr., FC. 10-11:30am. 970-221-6644, www.Fcgov.com/recreator.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 8

Fit Kids Strengthen your body and heart with fitness, yoga and active games. Registration required. Grades 3-5. Centennial Park Library, 2227 23rd Ave., GR. 1pm. 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us. Earth and Sky Night Hike Identify stars and constellations, and hear their stories. Devil’s Backbone Open Space, 1725 Hidden Valley Dr., LV. 5-7pm. 970-619-4489, www.larimer.org/ naturalresources.

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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9

Designing 3D Models with Tinkercad for Kids This class will get you started with moving and changing shapes in order to create fun and easy 3D models. Registration required. Ages 13+. Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 10am. www.poudrelibraries.org. Teen Art Cafe: Acrylic Painting Experiment with several different art tools, approaches and formats with FRCC art instructors. Registration Required. Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 11am www.poudrelibraries.org. SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10

Classic Miniature Gardening Class Create your very own miniature fantasy world with plants, accessories and some imagination. $40. Fort Collins Nursery, 2121 E. Mulberry, FC. 1:30-3pm. 970482-1984, www.FortCollinsNursery.com.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11

Cancer Screening & Prevention Doctor Talk Review the guidelines for cancer screenings and strategies for cancer prevention. $5. Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr., FC. 6-7pm. 970-221-6644, www.Fcgov.com/recreator. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12

James Rollins at Old Town Library Best-selling author James Rollins will be speaking about the latest book in his Sigma Force. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 3pm. 970-484-7898, www.oldfirehousebooks.com. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15

Tot Art – Mixed Media Self-Portraits Visit the Hung Liu exhibit and see how she applied paint, images and texture to her artwork. Use these observations to create your own self-portraits. Ages 3-6 with adult. $12 ($10 Museum members). Loveland Museum, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 10:30am-12noon. 970-962-2410, www.lovelandmuseumgallery.org.

Stargazing with the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society Get an up-close look at the night sky over the Rockies. Telescopes provided. Devil’s Backbone Open Space, 1725 Hidden Valley Dr., LV. 7:30-9:30pm. 970-619-4489, www.larimer.org/ naturalresources. Introduction to Spanish Use dance, music and games for an easy look at the Spanish language. Registration required. Grades 3-5. Centennial Park Library, 2227 23rd Ave., GR. 1pm. 888-861-7323 www.MyLibrary.us. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16

Ready, Set, Create: Power from Nature Presented in conjunction with the American Society of Civil Engineers, this interactive series teaches the engineering design process. Registration required. Grades 2-5. Centennial Park Library, 2227 23rd Ave., GR. 2pm 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us. Club 45 Sometimes parents need a night out on the town. And sometimes kids need a night away from their parents. 4th and 5th graders will take over Foothills Activity Center at Club 45. $10-15. Foothills Activity Center, 241 E. Foothills Pkwy, FC. 6-9pm. 970-221-6655, www. Fcgov.com/day-camps. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19

Let it Snow! Welcome winter with a snowy celebration! Join in for wintry crafts, snacks and activities. Ages 2-6. Severance Town Hall, 3 Timber Ridge Pkwy, Severance. 11:15-11:45am. 970-6865603, www.clearviewlibrary.org. WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20

Spintastic Spinners Learn how to use a 3D printer to make your own 3D printed Fidget spinners. Materials provided. Registration required. Centennial Park Library, 2227 23rd Ave., GR. 4pm. 888-861-7323 www.MyLibrary.us.


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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 21

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 26

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 22

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 27

Free Admission Day at the Museum Explore all of the wonderful exhibits. Loveland Museum, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 10am-5pm. 970-962-2410 www.lovelandmuseumgallery.org. Museum Adventures for Kids – Mixed Media Portraits Hung Liu style mixed media portrait on canvas. Please bring a lunch. Ages 6-11. $20 ($10 Museum members). Loveland Museum, 503 N. Lincoln Ave., LV. 10:30am-1:30pm. 970-962-2410 www.lovelandmuseumgallery.org. SATURDAY, DECEMBER 23

Skygazing at Fossil Creek Reservoir Learn about stars, planets, galaxies and more. Registration required. Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area, 3340 Carpenter Rd., FC. 7-9pm. 970-416-2815 www.fcgov.com/naturalareas.

Old Town Kid Zone: Glow Science Hands-on glow-in-the-dark science fun. Registration required. Grades K-3. Old Town Library, 201 Peterson St., FC. 1pm & 3pm. www.poudrelibraries.org. Harmony Kid Zone: Indoor Snowstorm No mittens needed. Registration required. Grades K-3. Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St., FC. 1pm & 3pm. www.poudrelibraries.org. Banish the Boredom: Frozen Follies – Fun with Ice Perform (super) cool experiments and makedelicious treats. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Centennial Park Library, 2227 23rd Ave., GR. 1:30pm. 888-861-7323 www.MyLibrary.us. Super Spheros Learn programming and robotics through games! Limited to 20 in Grades K-5. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 2pm. 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 28

Let It Snow! Snowman Storytime and Crafts Make snowman crafts and chase away the cold with hot cocoa and snacks. Ages birth-PreK. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 10:30am. 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us. Teen Wii U Tournament Back by popular demand, Riverside will be hosting a Wii U Tournament for teens featuring Super Smash Bros, Just Dance 2017 and Pokken Tournament. Riverside Library, 3700 Golden St., EV. 1pm. 888-861-7323, www.MyLibrary.us. Council Tree Kid Zone: Winter Pirate Party Celebrate winter in pirate style with stories, crafts and maybe even hidden treasure. Pirate costumes encouraged. Registration required. Grades K-3. Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave., FC. 1pm & 3pm. www.poudrelibraries.org.

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time out A chronic case of mom brain Or, who stole my mind?

K ATIE HARRIS

I

have what can only be described as a chronic case of mom brain. I’m not talking the forgot-what-I-went-upstairs-for, paid-a-bill-late, left-the-kidsschool-lunches-sitting-on-the-kitchencounter-all-day kind of mom brain, I’m talking full-fledged, jaw-dropping, howdoes-she-even-keep-her-children-alive mom brain. It’s a problem. Last year alone, I locked my keys in my truck not once, not twice, but five times, having to be bailed out by my less-than-amused husband on each and every occasion. On a weekly, that’s right, weekly basis, I miss the turn to the stable where my daughter takes horseback riding lessons and have to turn around in the fire department cul-de-sac, to the slightly more amused stares of the firefighters, who by now surely have a collection of colorful nicknames for the habitually lost mom in the blue truck. I wrecked my husband’s new truck the first time I drove it, backing it straight up into the neighbor’s car, and followed that joy ride up with backing his tractor straight into the garage door, smashing both door and tractor. No, he hasn’t filed for divorce yet (beside the point, but I know by now you’re wondering). Here’s the kicker—my daughter, my first-born, is ridiculously with it. This kid begins planning her next birthday party the day after the last one’s over. She gets up at the crack of dawn to get a head start on her schoolwork for the day, and while she’s at it she lets the dogs out and starts her own laundry, all before I’ve even cracked an eyelid. She even asked me to share my Google calendar with her so that she can make sure we’re staying on schedule. I’m convinced that this little minime, cute and innocent as she may seem to the average Joe, stole my brain. She reached her tiny little fetus hand right on up, whipped out the sections of my

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cerebrum responsible for organization, memory and common sense, and yanked ‘em out with her at birth. Don’t find that feasible? Need further convincing? Consider this. Back in the B.C. years (you guessed it, before children), I was the most Type A person you’ve ever met. My house was so clean that one friend admitted to me she never invited me over to hers for fear of being judged. I was the person co-workers called to double check meeting times and places, old reliable. In college, 10 minutes early to every class, I was the overachiever my professors could count on to make the others look bad when no one else completed the assignment. Back in the

B.C. years, I had it all together. Now here I am, grateful that I was born with the ability to laugh at myself, and even more grateful that my husband was born with the ability to laugh with me, because after 10 years I’ve finally accepted that this new entertaining, if inept version of me is here to stay. In the end, if I have to share my brain with someone, I’m glad it’s my schedulecoordinating, birthday-party-planning, backseat-brake-hitting daughter. As long as she keeps relishing her role of keeping the family on track, I’ll keep letting her. The way I see it, being a mom-brained mama is just another sacrifice we moms make in the name of motherhood, and hey, there’s no shame in that.


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‘Tis the season to be jolly! Join us for Story Time with Santa Thursdays & Fridays at 11:30 Beginning November 30th

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RM Parent December 2017