Sunday, March 30, 2014

I Mustache You a Question

When exactly did "mustache day" become such a big thing in elementary school?

Regardless of the answer, the kids get such a kick out of it, so I gladly made another round of chocolate mustaches for the kids like last year.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

We Built This City

I volunteered again this year to help out with our class creation for the annual school auction.  This collage of the Seattle skyline made from newspaper on canvas, found on Pinterest, grabbed me immediately.  DC just happens to have one of the best city skylines around!

We started out with a sky blue tissue paper background (adhered with "Mod Podge").  We couldn't tell there was variation in the color until it dried, but it was easy to cover the seam and smooth the transition by putting the Washington Monument right over it.  I experimented with clip art printouts until I got the size and placement of the other monuments right.  Joseph decided the sky needed a sun and some clouds, so I let him play around.

Another parent and I traced and cut out all the pieces of newspaper (from the Washington Post, of course!), then we brought the canvas in to school to let the kids have at it with glue.

Another trip back a few weeks later and the kids accented it with acrylic paint and stencils.  Joseph and his buddy Charles helped out on the Potomac River and some grass on the Mall.

It still just didn't seem done to us, maybe because it was a bit lopsided from the dark stencil over the Capitol Building.  Another parent we knew from our kindergarten class, who is a professional artist, graciously helped us out by adding some shading and accents on the other side, like the Cherry Blossoms on the Jefferson Memorial.

Here's the finished project!

And the most amazing news: it sold at auction for $510!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

High Tea

B and I agreed not to buy each other birthday presents this year, but of course we still wanted to celebrate our special days.  Where do you bring a self-professed Anglophile who is obsessed with Downton Abbey?  High Tea at the Willard Intercontinental!

Lady Mary and Lord Grantham weren't available to join us, but Brent's mom was in town for the weekend and was the perfect addition to our party.  The only thing better would have been for Mr. Carson to serve it up himself.  Joseph had quite the pinky for tea!

Joseph and I had run out earlier in the day to pick up some famous Georgetown Cupcakes.  We soooooo didn't need them after all the delicious treats at tea, but the salted caramel ones were to die for.

Joseph also made a special card for Papa.  Quite a mess involved, but such a lovely sentiment.

Happy 46th drth day, Brent!  You are awesome!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Aztec Extravaganza

The first graders have been learning all about ancient civilization recently.  Joseph's class focused on Aztec culture while other classes studied the Inca and Maya. Last week all the parents were treated to a song, presentation, tour of craft projects, and a potluck.  Joseph got to get the party started with his introduction!  

Maya, Aztec, Inca
Lived a long time ago
They're interesting people
Who lived near Mexico

The Maya people
A long time ago
Built great pyramids
They're incredible

The Aztec people
Had great might
They were strong warriors
You should have seen them fight

The Inca people
Up and down they go
They used the llamas
To move things to and fro.

They were so many things on display for us to see: codices, masks, molas, sunstone calendar puzzles, and cacoa seed pods.

The kids hung their cacao pods on a tree I made out of brown craft paper and green scrapbooking paper in the hallway outside the classroom.  Inside the pods were interesting facts about the Aztec.  Joseph's says "They use cacao seeds to make money."

Here are some of Joe Joe's projects.  
He was very proud of all his work.

You know what else happened a long time ago?  We traveled to Mexico.  Twice!  Pre-kid, of course.  And I have to tell you, those pyramids are incredible!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Caramel Coated Goodness

It's an understatement to say that I l.o.v.e. caramel.  I'll trade you all the chocolate in the world for it.  And homemade caramel?  It's a thing of beauty.  I've had my eye on this Martha Stewart recipe for coconut pecan shortbread cookies with caramel filling forever.  I had to look no further when choosing March's cookie of the month.

These cookies look so good they got 2 thumbs up from Joseph before he even took a bite.  I must concur.  They are so, so gloriously good!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


After a weekend of phenomenal 60+ degree weather, it was almost surreal to wake up yesterday morning to a good 6 inches of snow.  Again.  The reality of yet another snow day off from school, on St. Patrick's Day at that, had Joseph and his fellow first graders truly believing in the luck of the Irish.

One of the greatest things about our block is that so many of us have kids in the same age range who play so well together, and we can easily all take turns having the kids at over for a few hours to give each other a break.  My office decided to open late, so I volunteered for the first shift.  The kids found these alphabet beads that I have bought but never opened, so I grabbed some green ribbon and turned it into an impromptu St. Patrick's Day craft.

I was off to work right after lunch, just when the little Leprechauns were about to start up some mischief.  Lucky all around!