Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thankful

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!

We did.  We were invited, for the third year in a row, to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with our friends Tom and Elizabeth.  We were also stationed with them in Mississippi; the first year we had Thanksgiving with them Chet was deployed, and they invited all of the wives and their children over for dinner.  Obviously, we were delighted when we they moved to this area shortly after we did, and were kind enough to invite us over again (and again).  Also, the weather was lovely, which is hit or miss in northern VA at Thanksgiving.

The next couple of paragraphs are going to sound like complaining, but I promise they're not.

On Tuesday (two days before Thanksgiving), I was out running errands.  (Side note: Sydney and Lorelei both have school on Tuesdays, and I also have a babysitter come to our house on Tuesdays after preschool drop off to keep Ford for a few hours.  She is a nursing student who lives close by, and she's the best.  So she comes on Tuesdays, and that's the day I schedule all of my OB appointments, etc. and plan to run any errands that are painful to complete with children in tow.  Lorelei also has ballet at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, so that allows me to pick her up from school, feed her lunch -- usually in the car parked outside of ballet -- and take her to ballet class without interrupting Ford's nap time.  It's nice that Lorelei and I can have one-on-one time each week.)

Anyway, I was running errands, some of which were on a nearby base.  I went grocery shopping, and then into another store afterward, carrying just my wallet and phone (I know I had my phone with me, because I was talking to Chet on the phone while I walked into the store).  I bought what I needed, walked back to my car, and drove to the library, where I realized I no longer had my phone.  Which means it's lost.  But I know exactly where I lost it: somewhere between the store and my car, which is about a distance of 200 yards.  I'm sure it fell out of my pocket, because my hands were full as I walked from the store back to my car.

(No need to mention the "Find My iPhone" app.  I accessed the app both with our iPad and computer, and my phone was listed as "offline."  It was still turned on, because you could call it and hear it ring before my voicemail picked up.  Later in the evening it went straight to voicemail, surely because the battery died.  I find it quite strange it was offline, because that means it wasn't picking up any sort of internet signal.)

I physically retraced my steps and didn't find it.  I asked the clerks in the store where I shopped, and the store next door, if anyone had seen it.  I went to the security office, which was also very close to where I lost it, and where items like this are required to be turned in.  No one has turned it in; I think I'll give it one more day, and then cave into getting a new phone.

Tuesday was the girls' last day of school for the week before the Thanksgiving break.  After the phone drama, I was really looking forward to not having to wake up and go anywhere on Wednesday morning.  But, alas, Sydney woke us up several times in the middle of the night on Tuesday, complaining of her ear hurting.  She never wakes up in the middle of the night, and her ear never hurts, so I knew we had to go to the doctor Wednesday.  (Raise your hand if you don't want to make a trip to the ER over Thanksgiving break!)

We secured a 10:25 a.m. doctor appointment on Wednesday morning (about a block from where I lost my phone; I did a drive by to see if I could see a crushed phone with a pink case laying near where I parked, just in case I had missed it the day before).  The appointment itself was quick; it was obvious she had an ear infection in her left ear.  The painful part came next, when we had to wait for her prescription.  Let's just say my two youngest children were not the picture of serenity.  It took about an hour for the prescription to be filled, and then we bolted.

Okay, so all of that sounded kind of complain-y, right?  I agree.  But let's focus on what I have to be thankful for, rather than the inconveniences:

1. Chet has a "Blackberry" for work, so he was able to leave his regular phone with me during the day  (I say "Blackberry," because it's actually an iPhone, but Blackberries will be forever synonymous with work phones, at least in my mind).

2. We have a Mac computer, so I was still able to see texts come through from people who use iPhones.

3. All of my pictures download automatically to my computer, so I haven't lost any of those.

4. It's amazing how much more clear my mind seems when I don't have a phone to distract me.  I've been blissfully unaware of what's happening in the world of social media.  I could get used to this.

5. Sydney only has an ear infection; she is otherwise healthy, and ear infections are easily treated.  

6. I am often thankful for Tricare, and the ability to easily make same-day doctor appointments -- for free.  And even though waiting for them to fill her prescription made my blood pressure elevate to unhealthy levels, I didn't have to load everyone up to go somewhere else -- it's one-stop shopping.  In fact, we were home before noon; not bad at all considering she had a 10:25 appointment.

There are hundreds of other things I am thankful for, obviously: God, Jesus, my family, our health, being an American, etc.  But, as we all know, it can be hard to focus on all of the blessings in our lives when faced with inconveniences like losing phones and schlepping three kids to the doctor's office the day before Thanksgiving.  I wonder how I might have reacted had it not been Thanksgiving week; would I have stayed so calm had it been the middle of February, freezing cold weather and driving through dirty snow, with no signs of spring in sight?  Or the middle of blazing hot, schedule-less July?  Probably not, if I'm honest.

So what did we do the rest of the weekend?  We stayed home on Black Friday.  Late morning on Black Friday Chet asked, "So what's the plan for today?"  Me: "It's Black Friday.  There is no plan.  Except to stay home."  We sorted and starting setting out Christmas decorations; we played outside.

Saturday we made the mistake of going to Target.  We were out of toilet paper and toothpaste, so we didn't really have a choice.  I'm sure it wasn't nearly as crowded as the day before, but it was still a wee bit stressful.  We bought a gingerbread house village (four very small gingerbread houses) to put together.  Last year we bought a pre-assembled gingerbread house; as soon as the girls and I started assembling the village, I remembered why.  Somehow we managed, but we're not winning any awards.  There was icing everywhere (including lots in the girls' bellies).

This morning we went to Sunday school and church.  It was nice to get back to our normal routine, and our pastor's sermon was about focusing on participating in actual human interaction (rather than being glued to our cell phones) this Advent season.  I get a gold star, because I've been doing that for the last five days...no matter if the reason is losing my cell phone...

And now it's Sunday night.  The kitchen is clean, the kids are bathed, and the Christmas decorations are mostly finished.  The kids are loving "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (the original):

Happy Thanksgiving!  (PS, if you want to see more pictures than just this one, click here.  Lots of pictures of the girls from the Christmas season two years ago; everything Sydney is wearing in the pictures Lorelei is wearing this season!)

***STAY TUNED FOR AN EXCITING MARY KAY SALE -- DETAILS COMING THIS WEEK!!!***

Sunday, November 22, 2015

22-, 24-, and 25-Weeks and a Name (don't get too excited)

I guess it's time for a belly picture update since I haven't posted one since the 20-week point!  (By the way, the word "belly" makes me cringe by the end of each pregnancy.  I thought you'd like to know that.)  

Besides these pictures, I don't have any baby updates.  My next OB appointment is December 8th, at which point I'll be just shy of 28 weeks.

(Click here to see 18- and 20-week pictures.)
22 Weeks

24 Weeks

24 Weeks again (because one picture just wasn't enough)

25 Weeks
As far as Baby Girl's name...we haven't chosen one yet.  I know we still have plenty of time, but we had decided the other kids' names by this point, and I'm starting to get twitchy.  As long as we decide before I go into labor, I'll be happy, but sooner rather than later would be nice.

I'm not sure why we're having so much trouble...there are lot of names I like, but a myriad of reasons why we won't choose certain names for our own children (too popular, too trendy, too hard to pronounce, etc.).  Also, we will probably not choose a name that starts with "S," "L," or "F," as we'd like for Baby Girl to have her "own" letter.  I think we have to stay away from "W" names too, because of our last name (too bad, since there are some really good ones out there).  So nixing those letters narrows the field considerably.  Ideally, I'd also like for her to have a name that begins with a consonant, rather than a vowel, since the other kids' names start with consonants, but that's not a deal breaker for me.

So, as you can imagine, we have a very short list to work with.  I didn't think we would come up with/consider any "new" names (ones that we haven't considered before), but we actually are, so that's interesting.  Some of you who are familiar with our name list may be surprised by what we choose.  :-)

I'd love to hear YOUR name suggestions!

Friday, November 20, 2015

No time like the present.

There's no time like the present, especially when you haven't blogged in nine days, and this is only your second post for the month of November.  In years past (except 2013), November has been a good blogging month for me...and since everyone loves a scapegoat, I'll provide one to explain my lack of blogging:

Fyodor Dostoevsky.

About a decade ago I decided I needed to read The Brothers Karamazov (I can't remember why), and my mom even bought me the version (it's originally written in the not-at-all-hard-to-master Russian language) I wanted for Christmas that year.  (This version was published in 1990, and is hailed as the most faithful to the Russian original.)  Anyway, it's been gathering dust on our bookshelf since then, but I decided this was the year I was finally going to read it, thanks to the 2015 reading challenge.

I have to admit, I almost chickened out on reading it since the year was well underway and I hadn't started yet, but I took the bull by the horns instead.  I'm on page 662 of 776, and assuming my brain doesn't break before I finish, my goal is to finish by the end of this month (so that I still have a month to read the last book on my reading challenge list).

PS, this is not a book I will ever recommend for pleasure.  In fact, do yourself a favor and just read the Sparknotes.  (I haven't been reading the Sparknotes, except to help me with one chapter -- a chapter that gives insight into the mind of the smartest of the three Karamazov brothers.  I literally had no idea what I was reading.  I've never felt so inadequate.)

Enough about that.  Here's the rundown of my nearly completed 2015 reading challenge:

41:A Portrait of My Father – a book in a genre you don’t typically read (2/16/15)
Cinder – a book recommended by someone with great taste (2/17/15)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – a book you’ve been meaning to read (2/26/15)
Back When We Were Grownups – a book by a favorite author (3/8/15) 
The Fevera book you chose because of the cover (3/21/15)
Matildaa book from your childhood (3/26/15)
The Girl on the Train – a book published this year (4/11/15)
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up – a book currently on the best-seller list (8/12/15)
The Help – a book everyone’s read but you (9/6/15)
Little Women – a book your mom loves (10/9/15)

Like I said, if my brain doesn't break I'll have finished The Brothers Karamazov by November 30th, and the last book I need to read for the challenge is one "I should have read in high school."  I was going to choose Jane Eyre, but it's just not going to happen.  I think it's going to be Flowers for Algernon instead (because it's 200 pages shorter and not British literature).

(By the way, I can't get rid of the indentions in the paragraph above.)

If you're still awake, congratulations!

We have a busy weekend ahead of us.  I have Living Christmas Tree rehearsal tomorrow morning, and then Sydney has a playdate at 2:30 with one of the little girls in her class (I'm chuckling at what I just typed -- planned playdates are so northern Virginia in my opinion...thank goodness we're moving to Texas soon, where of course there are zero planned playdates).  Sunday is our day to teach Pre-K Sunday school, and then Sunday afternoon we're all attending a birthday party.  So, whew.

Here are three pictures to tide you over until the next time I blog (January?!?! just kidding...):
Sydney showing off her new fleece turtleneck.  And making an awfully smirky face for the camera.
Lorelei and her friend at dance class.  The theme this week was "The Lion King" (the dance studio provides the costumes -- if you know me at all you'd know that I'd stay far, far away from a dance studio that requires you provide your own costumes on a weekly basis).
Bubby's new thing: "Two mah's!"  (He calls his pacifier a "mah."  I'm not even going to pretend like I know why.)
I hope you had a GREAT week!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans' Day 2015

Looking back at our blog, it seems that I've never written a post solely focused on Veterans' Day (perhaps I've only posted on Facebook?).  Anyway, below are mentions of Veterans' Day in previous years:

Veterans' Day 2014 (see bottom of post)
Veterans' Day 2012 (see bottom of post)

Chet is off work today; he is currently attending a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.  School is still in session, so we dropped Sydney off as usual this morning, but Lorelei doesn't go to preschool on Wednesdays anyway, so she, Chet, Ford, and I will enjoy the day off.


One of my other favorite veterans, Papa John (my dad) is flying in for a visit today, so we're super excited.  Papa Dave (also a veteran) and Didi are coming to visit mid-December.

It's crazy how few pictures I have of Chet and me in uniform (and I'm not sure we have a single picture of us together in uniform).  Oh, well.  Here are a couple, both of me, because it seems that any pictures I have of Chet in uniform are on the other (not currently plugged in) computer:


Thank you, Veterans -- those who served and who are currently serving!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

It's a...

...GIRL!

(I realize I am the worst blogger in the world for waiting five days after my appointment to post this.  I have a bad habit of assuming that everyone who reads this blog is only is a family member or friend, and that they already know the news.  I'm sorry!)

We found out Tuesday we're having a girl!  They don't tell you much at the ultrasound, but everything seemed just fine, as far as her being healthy.  I go in for a regular OB appointment this coming Tuesday, where they'll officially give us the results of the ultrasound (I don't expect there will be anything to discuss though).

Sydney and Lorelei are thrilled about having a baby sister (Lorelei was especially worried about possibly getting another brother out of the deal).  Bubby is oblivious, but I'm sure subconsciously thrilled that he will be surrounded by women for the next 17 years (hehe)!  I truly believe it takes a special man/dad/boy/brother to live with so many women -- Ford will make a great husband some day!

I didn't have a feeling either way regarding gender, but I think I would have been more surprised had they told me we were having a boy.  Truth be told, it would have been easier logistically to have another boy, because we have all the clothes and he and Ford could always share a room, but God knows how to plan families better than we do, and we are extremely thankful for a healthy baby girl!

As far as names go, we have no idea what we'll name her.  We had a boy name picked out (not because we had discussed it a lot, just because there was really only one boy name we both liked), but girl names are a different story.  Sydney is especially involved in the naming process this time -- she has some solid (albeit popular) suggestions.  Lorelei has suggested Elephy (as in "elephant," but ending in "y") and Hilda.  Feel free to suggest names in the comment section!

I think we will be super annoying one last time and keep the name to ourselves until she's born.   That probably means keeping the name from Sydney too (will we be able to evade her suggestions for the next 18-ish weeks?), otherwise she'll probably jump on this blog and let everyone know.

Here's the video (40-seconds long) of us telling the kids the gender:
video

I hope everyone is having a great weekend -- happy Sunday!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Baby Update (THE ultrasound and belly pictures)

It seemed high time for another baby update, even though I don't technically have any updates.  I will share the last two belly pictures with you though (18 weeks and 20 weeks...I forgot about the 19-week picture):
18 Weeks
20 Weeks
20 Weeks
You may be starting to wonder if all I wear is pajamas.  Rest assured I do actually get dressed each day, but we take belly pictures on Thursdays, and since Chet doesn't come home until dinnertime, we don't usually get around to it until the kids are in bed (or until RIGHT before we go to bed).  Hence, the pajamas.  And glasses.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 9:30 a.m. is our big 20-week ultrasound, where we will indeed find out the baby's gender.  You would think that the more babies one has, the less nervous one would be each pregnancy, but not so for me. Please say a prayer that all goes well at the ultrasound and we find out we have a healthy, growing baby!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Weekend Update

(The following two paragraphs were written October 2nd and 3rd -- proof that sometimes I start to blog, but don't always finish.)

I was planning on writing a short post Sunday afternoon...but that was last Sunday, and here is it, 6 days later on Saturday morning (an embarrassing 10 days since my last blog post).

It's fairly chilly in northern VA this morning (50 degrees), and even quite chilly in our house (we had to turn on the heat last night).  I love an excuse to wear cardigans in the house though.  I bought this one in July during Nordstrom's annual anniversary sale, and it's the best thing ever invented.  I wore it yesterday too, when it rained all day long.  In my fact, my exact outfit yesterday was the cardigan (with a soft, long shirt underneath), leggings, tall-ish socks, which I wore over my leggings, and rain boots.  It felt like I was wearing pajamas (I pretty much was), and  unashamedly ventured out into public in this get up.  Needless to say I love the current comfy, drape-y fashion.

(Okay, back to real time, October 18th.  Sorry it that was a little confusing, timeline-wise.  I especially wanted to include the longer paragraph above, because I am currently wearing the same cardigan as I type this.  I should probably wash it eventually.)

My plan was to go through my iPhone pictures and use those to catch you up, but it turns out I've been a terrible picture-taker lately, so please don't prepare to be impressed.  Just prepare for a bunch of randomness that may make your brain hurt.

Three weeks ago (the very original start intended date of this blog post), we had a super low key, but lovely, weekend.  (I think it may have been more lovely for me than for Chet, because I got to get out of the house a couple of times, while he mostly kept the home fires burning.  He had a touch of cabin fever by Sunday evening.)  This year I am singing in our church's annual Living Christmas Tree, and I had rehearsal from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Saturday morning (September 26th).  After I got home, we stayed in the rest of the day and were able to relax and get some things done around the house.  On Sunday we went to church, but after church Sydney and I dropped Chet, Lorelei, and Ford off at home, and she and I went to the movie theater to see "Inside Out."  Chet and I both could tell Sydney was craving some one-on-one time, and it was the perfect outing to help fill up her little love tank.  Anyway, she and I both loved the movie, but I honestly probably enjoyed it more than she did (it was really well done -- good job, Pixar!).

After the movie we came home and, again, stayed put for the rest of the day.  For the kids and me it was the best way to recharge after a busy week of not being home enough, but, like I said, Chet had a touch of cabin fever.  He might have almost been excited about getting out of the house Monday morning and back to the Pentagon... but I said almost.  (He likes his job, but, thankfully, he likes home better.)

Monday, September 28th, we walked/scooted to school.  We actually walk to school (Lorelei's preschool, that is) most days; I can count on one hand the days we haven't.

Lorelei is thoroughly enjoying her Tuesday ballet classes:



Bubby loves to shop.  He hasn't quite figured out that he can't carry everything in the store at once:

The following weekend, October 3rd and 4th, we were homebound again due to the never-to-materialize Hurricane Joaquin.  The rain started on Friday, and had stopped mostly by Saturday evening, even though I wouldn't go so far as to call Sunday a "lovely day."  Chet and I were proactive about not getting cabin fever, so we loaded everyone up Saturday morning and took them to one of the malls in our area.  Now, there are a few malls within a 15-mile radius of our house, but we chose the second-closest one that is scheduled to close it's doors fairly soon (maybe within a year?  I don't know, the city has a plan to convert it into apartments, but it won't happen before we move away).  The reason we chose this slightly shady mall on the verge of extinction is because, well, it's on the verge of extinction.  That means there's hardly ever anyone there, and our kids can run around indoors without disturbing shoppers (because there just aren't many).  It also has a small indoor play area (geared toward children two and under, but even five-and-a-half year old Sydney loves it), a Bath & Body Works, a Victoria's Secret, and a CHICK-FIL-A.

You guys.  Let me just tell you that there are not many Chick-fil-as in the northern VA area (at least not close/convenient to us), and this mall food court Chick-fil-a is probably the only reason the mall can continue to pay its electric bill each month.

Speaking of electric bill...the mall chose not to turn on the heat that rainy, chilly Saturday, and it was downright cold inside.  Chet and I were shivering and stayed in our jackets, but the kids seemed fine since they were a little more active.  I suppose a mall on the verge of extinction has a meager budget, and turning on the heat for one chilly weekend (when it was only going to warm up again the following week) wasn't a line item.

Anyway, it was still a good outing: the kids played, ran, and ate Chick-fil-a.  Then we went home for naps and stayed in the rest of the day, except for a quick family walk we took after dinner -- in the drizzling rain -- to burn off a little more energy.  It was good to see their miniature-sized rain boots and umbrellas put to good use.

Since we were pretty homebound, Chet indulged me by helping us rearrange the letters on the girls' wall, (Ford's too, I just haven't taken a picture yet), a seemingly insignificant project that actually brings the girls and me great happiness:


Sorry for the bad/inconsistent lighting.  You may remember back in this post that I hadn't yet chosen a way I liked to hang the letters.  My aunt suggested hanging their names on the walls next to their respective beds, instead of together on the same wall.  Here's a little bit of (boring) background: When we originally moved in, the girls' beds weren't bunked, just like they are now.  But I didn't want to hang Lorelei's letters low, because I knew she would play with them (something she would never do now -- a child changes so much in 18 months!).  So I hung their letter on their respective walls, but really high up.  Then, when we bunked their beds, I couldn't use Lorelei's wall to hang anything, since the bunk beds took up the entire wall, so both names were moved to Sydney's side of the room.  But since Sydney's wall also has that window, I had to hang the letters high to make sure they both fit.  But now that Lorelei wouldn't dream of bothering her letters (Bubby dreams of it though), it made sense to finally hang them on their respective walls at a normal height.  Whew!

Another dance class:

Last weekend (October 10th and 11th) was gorgeous, and all of northern VA was itching to get outside and enjoy the gorgeous fall weather.

But first, Friday evening (October 9th) we attended a fun get together at a neighbor's house, celebrating the visit of a family that moved away from the neighborhood (a fellow Navy family) over the summer.

We went to this pumpkin patch Saturday morning and had a great time.

Lorelei was pouting because she wanted to sit next to Sydney in the picture, not Bubby (I don't think she wanted him in the picture at all).  She was also hungry.



Ah, memories.  (Oh, and please pay no attention to the girls' outfits -- especially Lorelei's.  They picked their outfits, and I decided to bite my tongue about their choices when they flounced down the stairs that morning.)



This little thing went around and around...I wish I could have gotten a better shot of Bubby's face (delightedly nervous).


The kids rolled down a little hill in these tubes.  It was hilarious.


Apparently I reached my picture-taking limit early in the outing, because we did a lot more after this.

Saturday night dinner:
I think Sydney is having a perpetual growth spurt, because she eats this much at every meal.  She actually had seconds, the same amount as the first round.  And fruit and dessert.

Bubby looked dapper at church that week, but was unwilling to be photographed after we took away the ever-present pacifier:





What did we do Sunday besides church?  I can't remember specifics.  I actually think we stayed home, but Chet was happy because he had some garage projects going, and kids were happy to play outside in the gorgeous weather.

Actually, yes!  Here's proof of the Sunday project I completed:
Again, bad lighting, but what you see here is a permanently cleared off desk.  It had gotten too cluttered, and it was messing with my nerves.  I'm happy to report it's still clean, a week later.

Monday, Columbus Day, was another day off work and school for Chet and the girls, and we started the day with a family trip to Home Depot, then to the mall (not the same mall as the previous weekend) to return some items.  I believe we stayed home again for the rest of the afternoon, but, like I said, it was fine because we were all content with home projects and playing outside.

I took this picture for my friend Emily, as proof that she's not the only one who sometimes washes an entire day's worth of dishes at night after dinner:
Yikes.  And this was only midday.

I'm going to stop there, because this weekend was Lorelei's birthday weekend (her 4th birthday was yesterday -- happy birthday, Lorelei!), and I'd like to give her a post of her own.

If you've read this far, bless you.  Thanks for being patient with my non-blogging, and for letting me blab for so long in a single post.  Happy Sunday!

Monday, October 12, 2015

15% off your Mary Kay order!

Happy Columbus Day!

I was going to try to be cute by offering 14.92% off your Mary Kay order today, but decided it was much smarter to round it up to 15%.

May I suggest a couple of items?

If you love good-smelling shower gel, I recommend this:

I personally love it just as much as any Bath and Body Works shower gel (which I also really love).  Regularly $20, but only $17 with the 15% Columbus Day discount.

According to my friend Emily, this next product is a "miracle in a tube."  (She said I could quote her on that.)

Recently I've had issues with blemishes (a word I like better than "zits") on my cheeks; big, ugly blemishes that start way down deep and take months to clear up.  When one of these monsters began to emerge, I used this gel -- and am extremely happy to report that I was able to prevent this zit from earning its own zip code (because others before it have -- earned their own zip codes that it).  I agree with Emily that this stuff is a "miracle in a tube."  Regularly $10, but only $8.50 with the 15% Columbus Day discount.

Send me a text or e-mail (ashleywyckoff@marykay.com), comment on this blog, or place an order directly on my site (www.marykay.com/ashleywyckoff)!  Both registered customers and guest checkout orders qualify for the 15% discount today!

I hope you continue to enjoy your Columbus Day weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

I'm back!

I wish I could say, "I haven't blogged in 15 days because we've had super exciting things going on -- we're putting an addition on the house (no matter that we rent)/we got a dog (no way, Jose)/I took up Irish dancing!"  But, no, none of those things are happening; it's business as usual around here, which makes it even more lame that I let 15 days pass without posting.  So here's a quick, random post (my specialty!) to get started again.

It's October 8th, so you know we've been donning our Halloween garb since October 1st:


(Sometimes Bubby dons nothing.)

In case you didn't know, yesterday was International Walk to School Day:
I'm not kidding when I tell you everyone in the school walked.  Notices were sent out far in advance, encouraging everyone to walk, even if that meant driving in, but parking further out than usual and walking the last few hundred yards up to the school.  There were balloons and and pencils and stickers at the entrance, celebrating the "holiday."  It was quite a production.  Did anyone else experience this?

After walking to school, Sydney went on a field trip to the Kennedy Center.  She saw this production:
Our 5-year old is officially more cultured than we are.  (Sydney's school is part of the Kennedy Center's Changing Education Through the Arts -- CETA -- program.  So they will go to the Kennedy Center a few more times throughout the year.  There are only a few schools in the country part of this program, so they are lucky ducks.)

Happy Thursday!