Saturday, February 17, 2018


Middle school open house!  No big deal, except our middle school is actually named Deal - Alice Deal, to be exact.  It's an International Baccalaureate world school, which means it encourages international mindedness in students, starting with a foundation in their own language and culture;
it encourages a positive attitude toward learning by challenging students to solve problems, show creativity and resourcefulness, and participate actively in their communities; and it reflects real life by providing students a way to connect subjects and meaningful issues. (Well, that's what the website tells me)

We got to tour the school and meet many of the 6th grade teachers.  Joseph seemed most excited about the language immersion program and has to decide between Spanish, French, and Chinese.  All students have the opportunity to travel to a native speaking country in 8th grade, so he's leaning toward Chinese!  We'd probably prefer he take Spanish, but we have some time to decide.

Hopefully he'll be more engaged when it's the real deal.

Thursday, February 15, 2018


I'm sure I don't need to remind anyone that this pediatrician and crafty dad is always on the lookout for non-candy valentines to make each year.  This idea with mini whoopee cushions has been saved to my Pinterest board for a year or two.  Since this is our last year in elementary school, we figured we could get any with anything.  Nothing says love like 23 fifth graders making fart noises!

Joseph helped me design the card (I definitely agreed with his choice of font!).  The whoopee cushions are mounted with double sided tape, then I punched holes to tie a ribbon around the neck.   Joseph addressed them to his classmates, and they were good to go.  They were a HUGE hit!  Luckily the kids exchanged valentines shortly before dismissal; any earlier and his teacher might have hated me for sending these in 😂💗💨

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Narwhals, etc

A few weekends back (I mean, where does the time go???), on a lazy Sunday morning with no other plans, I took Joseph and Ben to the Museum of Natural History to see a new exhibit on narwhals.

Very interesting, but on the small side, so we had plenty of time to check out many of our other favorites in the ocean and mammal halls.

We went for the narwhals but stayed for the gems.  These two are obsessed with rocks and minerals for some reason!  They even planned in advance to bring their own money to spend on gems at the gift shop.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Making Marshmallows

This was the first year that Brent and I bought Christmas presents for Joseph that were specifically from us.  Usually everything is just under the tree, pretty much assumed that Santa had a hand in it all.  Sensing that Joseph was finally questioning the reality of old St. Nick, we each bought our own present for Joseph, and the rest of the gifts were from Santa.  

I signed us up for a parent/child (P/C) cooking class at a local, well renowned cooking school, L'Academie de Cuisine.  I made a certificate and rolled it up inside a gift box with a spatula.  Joseph was excited, especially given the menu!

Then, not a week later, the stupid school went and closed for business completely without any notice at all.  We randomly found out about it through an article the newspaper.  SO wrong to take our money for a class when they knew they were shutting down.  But thank you, American Express, for refunding the charge!  Anyway, I figured I'd just go ahead and "home school" him, so we spent a recent Saturday afternoon making homemade marshmallows.  Easy and fun with the guidance of the Barefoot Contessa.

They have to set up overnight, so after a little fun in the snow the next day, the marshmallows were a perfect accompaniment to to a cup of hot cocoa with a peppermint stick stirrer.

While on the topic of cooking, I recently tried out 2 recipes I had clipped from Martha Stewart Living, and they were both phenomenal!  Quick Fried Chicken & Waffles, and Coconut Curry Shrimp with Couscous - both keepers!

Monday, January 29, 2018


We love our tradition of celebrating Joseph's half-birthday on January 18!  My boy loves his chocolate, but he's a big fan of lemon too.  This year I made Martha Stewart's Lemon Ginger Bundt cake, which had previously gotten rave reviews at an office potluck.  It's studded with bits of crystalized ginger.  I'm totally giving myself an A+ for greasing and flouring the pan - look at those details!  The recipe calls for a dusting of powdered sugar, but I knew my guy would go gaga with a nice lemon glaze instead.

He knows he only gets half the cake since it's his half-birthday.  Bundts are perfect for this!  Then 10 and a half candles, and it's a party!  PS. it was SO! GOOD!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Metro Cross-stitch

Look what I made!

Once I learned how to cross-stitch by trying out this little kit, I was eager to work on a "real" project. It was good to have something crafty to do while all my quilting stuff was packed up during the renovation.  I found this adorable pattern for the DC Metro map on Etsy.  It was quick work going through the lines one at a time (even though I counted wrong and had to rip out part of the silver line once).  Then it sat around for months, but I finally had it framed.  The staff at Michael's were fighting over who got to frame it!

Here we are on the red line.  The stations are actually all accurate!  Do you know which one is Tenleytown?