Friday, March 27, 2015

7QT: Car Trip Tricks and DIY Renovations

1. First things first. Someone is making me this Banana Split Icebox Cake for my birthday. Or Mother's Day. Or both. Even though they're only 3 days apart.

No Image of Banana Split Cake Until I Take a Photo Myself. Copyrights etc.
Or maybe Easter. Meg, can I make this for Easter?

My mother used to make this, way back when. It was heavenly.

2. Heads Up!


The April What We're Reading Wednesday link-up will go live this Wednesday on April 1st. No joke.

I'm going to be road-tripping it to D.C. with my brood and I look forward to reading your posts all the way there.

3.
 Remember when the older gentleman behind me at mass told me I have a blessing and a challenge?
While we are on this 12 hour journey, I have shoved a few tricks up my proverbial sleeves to entertain my *ahem* challenge.


Wikki Stix Rainbow Pak like play-doh, but cleaner, and good for mid-air use, or for making letters on a piece of cardboard.


Little Cuties Activity Tin. Magnets. Cutie pets. Lots of teeny tiny pieces to keep little hands occupied.


Magnetic MightyMind. Jill loves Mighty Mind. Plus, the box says it "makes kids smarter!" My set is not magnetic, but I can retrofit it with MightyMind Magnetic Design Tray & Tile Magnets.


24 Creative Plastic Stencils from Highlights and a sketchbook.


Crayola Color Wonder Travel Tote No mess. Nuff said.

You could call these my five favorites, so I'm linking up with Jenna @ Call Her Happy.

4. You know there will be some movie watching in the car.

To see my Holy Week movie picks, go here and here.

5. But I myself am a bookish person and so I have stocked up on audio books of a historical nature.


Ben Hur (Radio Theatre) abridged and performed by Focus on the Family's Radio Theater because Holy Week.

The rest of my choices are all U.S.A./D.C. related.


Betsy Ross: The American Flag and Life in a Young America by Ryan Randolph. It's only an hour. I think even Jill can handle that.



Hana's Suitcase - A True Story by Karen Levine because the Holocaust Museum is on my to-do list.


Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman - which we've already started listening too. You'd think you'd need to see the photos, but you don't. In any case, I have the book too for reference.


The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery by Steve Sheinkin - see my review here.


Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson because Ford's Theater is in D.C.


Did you know that Laura Hillenbrand edited her epic story of Louie Zamperini? Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive is abridged for younger, sensitive readers (such as myself ;)).

I found these comments from an Amazon reviewer encouraging:
As a middle school librarian, I wanted to share this unbelievable, inspirational tale, but the more graphic & violent scenes in the adult version were disturbing and overwhelming.
Laura Hillenbrand has taken out some of those more graphically violent parts of her adult version, but still communicated the depravity and inhumane treatment of Allied POW's by the Japanese.
Edmund is especially excited about Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive because he and Peter saw the movie.

6. Challenger Jill will play games on my phone too. Thank you Jesus.


She uses cheap-o noise blocker AUVIO® Kid's Headphones that have been surprisingly durable.


I won't deny that she plays Disney Princess Palace Pets and the free Princess Maker Dress Up game, but mostly she plays Starfall.


She's done Starfall ABCs so much, she knows all the letters and sounds. She also loves Starfall Learn To ReadStarfall Numbers and Starfall FREE which is nursery rhymes and fairy tales, seasons, shapes,colors, etc.


I did pay $35 for unlimited access to all of the Starfall content. It has been worth every peaceful penny.

7. Lots of beautiful changes around here.


Remember this hideous china cabinet?


Peter made it beautiful with leftover wall paint and new hardware and we had the room painted. Lighter and brighter, baby!


Then, I made some DIY Pottery Barn-esque white cotton drapes using twin flat sheets, curtain ring with clips and and extra-long special-order oil-rubbed bronze curtain rod.


We hung the rod high and wide so that when the curtains are open, not on square inch of sunlight is blocked. Also, it makes the room look huge. Cathedral like.  Not bad for an afternoon's work.


I have read about people transforming their front hall closets. With eight, sometimes nine people in the house, not counting guests, my coat closet is at capacity.


I convinced Patrick to build me this (even though he said it's my worst idea ever), upon which we will hang many hooks.  Squee!

Linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes.

Have a blessed Easter with much candy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WWRW: Non-Fiction I Have Loved


The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming is an intense page turner.  Fleming braids three historical perspectives together in one book that I found engrossing as well as enlightening.


First, she provides an intimate look at the seven Romanovs themselves, the backgrounds of both Nicholas and Alexander, and many, many details of their lives. This is made possible by the release of primary sources, diaries, letters, etc. by the Russian government in 1991.


Secondly, she provides step-by-step explanations of Russian governments from the tsars through Stalin. This historical information provides the backdrop against which the Romanov tragedy plays out.  The reader is provided a view of the social and political conditions of early 20th century Russia that Nicholas and Alexandra either were not privy to (due to being surrounded by ministers who hid the nasty bits from them) or would not believe,which according to Fleming, happened quite a bit.

Lastly, the Romanov drama is contrasted with snippets of newspaper articles and journal entries of peasants, factory workers, and Russian soldiers from the same time period.

I would like anyone who reads this book to come over soon and dish with me over vodka drinks and caviar.


SO MUCH TO DISCUSS! How could Alexandra better fulfilled her grandmother's (Queen Victoria's) wish that she win the people's love?

What if Nicholas II had not abdicated? What if the White Army had reached Ekaterinburg before the executions/murders? Would his dynasty have been re-instated?


Are the Romanovs saints? According to some Orthodox Churches they are. They were certainly pious, though according to Fleming they were anti-Semites.

Marie Antoinette and the Romanovs. Similarities and differences. Go.

I am not familiar with the Russian Orthodox Church's canonization process. How does it differ from the Roman rite?

I was not aware that in some Orthodox churches, there are different kinds of saints, or degrees of sainthood.  The author takes pains to explain some of these "levels" at the end of the book.


Rasputin. All the mystery of Rasputin. Was he a madman? Was he possessed? Was he simply a con man and Alexandra his greatest "mark?" Could he actually hypnotize people by staring deeply into their eyes? I wrote my high school senior year term paper on Rasputin.  I still find him and his hold on the Russian royal family fascinating.

Did you know THEY FOUND THE MISSING ROMANOV BODIES in 2007? Did you know that the American team of DNA scientists and the Russian team disagree on which five Romanov bodies are interred in the royal vault in the cathedral in St. Petersburg?

I can't even tell you all of the good stuff in this book.

Yes. It is a "kid's book."

Shut. Up.



The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia won the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction and was a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book.

The Robert F. Sibert Award is awarded "to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published during the previous year."

I haven't read all of the Sibert Award Winners and Honor Books (though I would love too), but I have read some such as:



Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon (Newbery Honor Book) by Steve Sheinkin


We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson


Secrets Of A Civil War Submarine: Solving The Mysteries Of The H. L. Hunley by Sally M. Walker


An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 (Newbery Honor Book) by Jim Murphy


The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler


I also read As the Waltz Was Ending by Emma Macalik Butterworth. It's not an award winner, but it was recommend by an old friend and it is a historical memoir.  It takes place during World War II which is my favorite time period.

 As the Waltz Was Ending is the memoir of a young Austrian girl in the 1930s. She is accepted into the Vienna State Opera Ballet School just as Hitler comes to power.  Her adolescence and ascendance through the ranks of the ballet academie and the spread of Nazi Germany are told in tandem.

As you may expect, Emma's story is a sad one. Sad but interesting enough.

SUPER SAD SPOILERS AHEAD!

Then I hit the last chapter where Emma and her friend get abducted by Soviets, they are raped in a farmhouse (disturbing but not detailed), from which Emma escapes but her friend is killed in the attempt.

oh. Her father kills himself too.

But, she marries an American guy, moves to the United States and lives happily ever after, then writes this memoir.

As the Waltz Was Ending is okay, but go forth and read The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia instead.


When you get your hot little hands on The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia , don't bother flipping to the index in the back of the book looking for the Prince or Princess Kuragin, recent guests of the Dowager Countess Grantham.


There is no index.


Friday, March 6, 2015

7QT: March Madness

1. Susan's Prom Planning Meeting

"Mom, you haven't blogged about me in a while. Are you going to blog about me soon?"
This email went out to all the seniors at Susan's school:
Hello Senior Board Members,
This Friday, February 27th, we are having a Prom planning meeting.  You hopefully saw the flier John and Emma handed out.  This is not mandatory, so if you cannot make it no worries.  If you are planning to be here, please RSVP to this email.
Its very important that you RSVP, so please reply to this if you are coming!
Thanks,
Mrs. S
Mrs. R
Mrs. C
This email from an unknown party followed soon after:
Change of plans the meeting will be changed from this Friday to this Thursday the 26th. Please try to make this change fit your schedules accordingly and sorry for the inconvenience. Thanks for all you do 
See, one of the email addresses was entered incorrectly, so Mrs. S had to clear up matters:
Ignore this last email.  It from a wrong email address for Emma.  Don't know who it went to...someone who is being obnoxious, that's for sure!!!!!!!!!!!
But she forgot to remove "Evan" from the email thread:
With the new material that was dropped on me this morning it is absolutely imperative that all of you are in attendance this Thursday. If you absolutely can not make it please email me and let me know. Again I apologize for the inconvenience... If it is any consolation Max has volunteered to bring in a lovely vegetable tray and deli platter for us to snack on as we will be in this meeting for the long haul Thursday night. Thanks again!
Personally, I think Susan should ask "Evan" to the Prom. Alas, the meeting was on Friday and he and his deli platter did not show.

2. Painting Furniture.

Is it still "in"?

Because I have a china cabinet that I loathe and rather than buy a new one, I think I could paint it to look like this one.


Or this one.


Or this.


I figure if Ethan Allen is still doing it, it's gotta be "on trend."


3. Springfield, where our governors make our license plates.


We're planning a day trip to Springfield this month.  We've done it before awhile back.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum is incredible. You walk through Abe's parents' log cabin, Mary Todd Lincoln's White House, and you go into the Lincoln's box at Ford's Theater.


We haven't done the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library before, but I've heard the exhibits there are terrific as well.

We also need to visit Lincoln's tomb.  The one that was nearly robbed by carpet baggers who were trying to re-start the war. And his house from when he was an attorney.

4.

As usual, we are doing some larnin' to prep for this excursion. We've been reading lots of books about Lincoln including Abraham Lincoln by the D'Aulaires, and Russell Freedman's Lincoln: A Photobiography.


We are also going to watch Daniel Day Lewis's Lincoln movie as well as The History Channel documentary: Stealing Lincoln's Body.

5. When we get to Springfield, I surely hope to eat a horseshoe. Or at least a pony shoe.


That would be a hamburger on Texas toast covered with french fries and smothered in cheese sauce.

Don't be judging.

6.  Thorntons be hitting all the capitals this year. (Capitols are the buildings, capitals are the cities.)

Peter, Susan, and Lucy

We are very fortunate to have relatives who love us enough to take All of us into their home every now and then for Easter. We love all of them and always have a crazy-wonderful time.

I spoke with Mr. McFeely about the recent passing of Fred Rogers at this time. 
We did our nation's Capitol and egg rolling at the White House last time. It's one of the few things my older kids remember from our last trip in 2004.

Mt. Vernon with Lucy, Edmund, and Peter. Maybe I should go back to my Dharma haircut? 
We are making our lists and checking them twice. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the monuments, and the dum-dum statue are all on the itinerary.


We're reading and watching reference materials for this odyssey too. Movies like Night at the Museum and National Treasure. High brow stuff, indeed. Yes, I'm open to suggestions here. Grasping at straws.


7.  This is so bad, it's good.

Let It Go - The Sacrament of Confession version



Hanging with Kelly's Crew for 7QT

Friday, March 27, 2015

7QT: Car Trip Tricks and DIY Renovations

1. First things first. Someone is making me this Banana Split Icebox Cake for my birthday. Or Mother's Day. Or both. Even though they're only 3 days apart.

No Image of Banana Split Cake Until I Take a Photo Myself. Copyrights etc.
Or maybe Easter. Meg, can I make this for Easter?

My mother used to make this, way back when. It was heavenly.

2. Heads Up!


The April What We're Reading Wednesday link-up will go live this Wednesday on April 1st. No joke.

I'm going to be road-tripping it to D.C. with my brood and I look forward to reading your posts all the way there.

3.
 Remember when the older gentleman behind me at mass told me I have a blessing and a challenge?
While we are on this 12 hour journey, I have shoved a few tricks up my proverbial sleeves to entertain my *ahem* challenge.


Wikki Stix Rainbow Pak like play-doh, but cleaner, and good for mid-air use, or for making letters on a piece of cardboard.


Little Cuties Activity Tin. Magnets. Cutie pets. Lots of teeny tiny pieces to keep little hands occupied.


Magnetic MightyMind. Jill loves Mighty Mind. Plus, the box says it "makes kids smarter!" My set is not magnetic, but I can retrofit it with MightyMind Magnetic Design Tray & Tile Magnets.


24 Creative Plastic Stencils from Highlights and a sketchbook.


Crayola Color Wonder Travel Tote No mess. Nuff said.

You could call these my five favorites, so I'm linking up with Jenna @ Call Her Happy.

4. You know there will be some movie watching in the car.

To see my Holy Week movie picks, go here and here.

5. But I myself am a bookish person and so I have stocked up on audio books of a historical nature.


Ben Hur (Radio Theatre) abridged and performed by Focus on the Family's Radio Theater because Holy Week.

The rest of my choices are all U.S.A./D.C. related.


Betsy Ross: The American Flag and Life in a Young America by Ryan Randolph. It's only an hour. I think even Jill can handle that.



Hana's Suitcase - A True Story by Karen Levine because the Holocaust Museum is on my to-do list.


Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman - which we've already started listening too. You'd think you'd need to see the photos, but you don't. In any case, I have the book too for reference.


The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery by Steve Sheinkin - see my review here.


Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson because Ford's Theater is in D.C.


Did you know that Laura Hillenbrand edited her epic story of Louie Zamperini? Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive is abridged for younger, sensitive readers (such as myself ;)).

I found these comments from an Amazon reviewer encouraging:
As a middle school librarian, I wanted to share this unbelievable, inspirational tale, but the more graphic & violent scenes in the adult version were disturbing and overwhelming.
Laura Hillenbrand has taken out some of those more graphically violent parts of her adult version, but still communicated the depravity and inhumane treatment of Allied POW's by the Japanese.
Edmund is especially excited about Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive because he and Peter saw the movie.

6. Challenger Jill will play games on my phone too. Thank you Jesus.


She uses cheap-o noise blocker AUVIO® Kid's Headphones that have been surprisingly durable.


I won't deny that she plays Disney Princess Palace Pets and the free Princess Maker Dress Up game, but mostly she plays Starfall.


She's done Starfall ABCs so much, she knows all the letters and sounds. She also loves Starfall Learn To ReadStarfall Numbers and Starfall FREE which is nursery rhymes and fairy tales, seasons, shapes,colors, etc.


I did pay $35 for unlimited access to all of the Starfall content. It has been worth every peaceful penny.

7. Lots of beautiful changes around here.


Remember this hideous china cabinet?


Peter made it beautiful with leftover wall paint and new hardware and we had the room painted. Lighter and brighter, baby!


Then, I made some DIY Pottery Barn-esque white cotton drapes using twin flat sheets, curtain ring with clips and and extra-long special-order oil-rubbed bronze curtain rod.


We hung the rod high and wide so that when the curtains are open, not on square inch of sunlight is blocked. Also, it makes the room look huge. Cathedral like.  Not bad for an afternoon's work.


I have read about people transforming their front hall closets. With eight, sometimes nine people in the house, not counting guests, my coat closet is at capacity.


I convinced Patrick to build me this (even though he said it's my worst idea ever), upon which we will hang many hooks.  Squee!

Linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes.

Have a blessed Easter with much candy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WWRW: Non-Fiction I Have Loved


The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming is an intense page turner.  Fleming braids three historical perspectives together in one book that I found engrossing as well as enlightening.


First, she provides an intimate look at the seven Romanovs themselves, the backgrounds of both Nicholas and Alexander, and many, many details of their lives. This is made possible by the release of primary sources, diaries, letters, etc. by the Russian government in 1991.


Secondly, she provides step-by-step explanations of Russian governments from the tsars through Stalin. This historical information provides the backdrop against which the Romanov tragedy plays out.  The reader is provided a view of the social and political conditions of early 20th century Russia that Nicholas and Alexandra either were not privy to (due to being surrounded by ministers who hid the nasty bits from them) or would not believe,which according to Fleming, happened quite a bit.

Lastly, the Romanov drama is contrasted with snippets of newspaper articles and journal entries of peasants, factory workers, and Russian soldiers from the same time period.

I would like anyone who reads this book to come over soon and dish with me over vodka drinks and caviar.


SO MUCH TO DISCUSS! How could Alexandra better fulfilled her grandmother's (Queen Victoria's) wish that she win the people's love?

What if Nicholas II had not abdicated? What if the White Army had reached Ekaterinburg before the executions/murders? Would his dynasty have been re-instated?


Are the Romanovs saints? According to some Orthodox Churches they are. They were certainly pious, though according to Fleming they were anti-Semites.

Marie Antoinette and the Romanovs. Similarities and differences. Go.

I am not familiar with the Russian Orthodox Church's canonization process. How does it differ from the Roman rite?

I was not aware that in some Orthodox churches, there are different kinds of saints, or degrees of sainthood.  The author takes pains to explain some of these "levels" at the end of the book.


Rasputin. All the mystery of Rasputin. Was he a madman? Was he possessed? Was he simply a con man and Alexandra his greatest "mark?" Could he actually hypnotize people by staring deeply into their eyes? I wrote my high school senior year term paper on Rasputin.  I still find him and his hold on the Russian royal family fascinating.

Did you know THEY FOUND THE MISSING ROMANOV BODIES in 2007? Did you know that the American team of DNA scientists and the Russian team disagree on which five Romanov bodies are interred in the royal vault in the cathedral in St. Petersburg?

I can't even tell you all of the good stuff in this book.

Yes. It is a "kid's book."

Shut. Up.



The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia won the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction and was a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book.

The Robert F. Sibert Award is awarded "to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published during the previous year."

I haven't read all of the Sibert Award Winners and Honor Books (though I would love too), but I have read some such as:



Bomb: The Race to Build--and Steal--the World's Most Dangerous Weapon (Newbery Honor Book) by Steve Sheinkin


We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson


Secrets Of A Civil War Submarine: Solving The Mysteries Of The H. L. Hunley by Sally M. Walker


An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 (Newbery Honor Book) by Jim Murphy


The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler


I also read As the Waltz Was Ending by Emma Macalik Butterworth. It's not an award winner, but it was recommend by an old friend and it is a historical memoir.  It takes place during World War II which is my favorite time period.

 As the Waltz Was Ending is the memoir of a young Austrian girl in the 1930s. She is accepted into the Vienna State Opera Ballet School just as Hitler comes to power.  Her adolescence and ascendance through the ranks of the ballet academie and the spread of Nazi Germany are told in tandem.

As you may expect, Emma's story is a sad one. Sad but interesting enough.

SUPER SAD SPOILERS AHEAD!

Then I hit the last chapter where Emma and her friend get abducted by Soviets, they are raped in a farmhouse (disturbing but not detailed), from which Emma escapes but her friend is killed in the attempt.

oh. Her father kills himself too.

But, she marries an American guy, moves to the United States and lives happily ever after, then writes this memoir.

As the Waltz Was Ending is okay, but go forth and read The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia instead.


When you get your hot little hands on The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia , don't bother flipping to the index in the back of the book looking for the Prince or Princess Kuragin, recent guests of the Dowager Countess Grantham.


There is no index.


Friday, March 6, 2015

7QT: March Madness

1. Susan's Prom Planning Meeting

"Mom, you haven't blogged about me in a while. Are you going to blog about me soon?"
This email went out to all the seniors at Susan's school:
Hello Senior Board Members,
This Friday, February 27th, we are having a Prom planning meeting.  You hopefully saw the flier John and Emma handed out.  This is not mandatory, so if you cannot make it no worries.  If you are planning to be here, please RSVP to this email.
Its very important that you RSVP, so please reply to this if you are coming!
Thanks,
Mrs. S
Mrs. R
Mrs. C
This email from an unknown party followed soon after:
Change of plans the meeting will be changed from this Friday to this Thursday the 26th. Please try to make this change fit your schedules accordingly and sorry for the inconvenience. Thanks for all you do 
See, one of the email addresses was entered incorrectly, so Mrs. S had to clear up matters:
Ignore this last email.  It from a wrong email address for Emma.  Don't know who it went to...someone who is being obnoxious, that's for sure!!!!!!!!!!!
But she forgot to remove "Evan" from the email thread:
With the new material that was dropped on me this morning it is absolutely imperative that all of you are in attendance this Thursday. If you absolutely can not make it please email me and let me know. Again I apologize for the inconvenience... If it is any consolation Max has volunteered to bring in a lovely vegetable tray and deli platter for us to snack on as we will be in this meeting for the long haul Thursday night. Thanks again!
Personally, I think Susan should ask "Evan" to the Prom. Alas, the meeting was on Friday and he and his deli platter did not show.

2. Painting Furniture.

Is it still "in"?

Because I have a china cabinet that I loathe and rather than buy a new one, I think I could paint it to look like this one.


Or this one.


Or this.


I figure if Ethan Allen is still doing it, it's gotta be "on trend."


3. Springfield, where our governors make our license plates.


We're planning a day trip to Springfield this month.  We've done it before awhile back.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum is incredible. You walk through Abe's parents' log cabin, Mary Todd Lincoln's White House, and you go into the Lincoln's box at Ford's Theater.


We haven't done the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library before, but I've heard the exhibits there are terrific as well.

We also need to visit Lincoln's tomb.  The one that was nearly robbed by carpet baggers who were trying to re-start the war. And his house from when he was an attorney.

4.

As usual, we are doing some larnin' to prep for this excursion. We've been reading lots of books about Lincoln including Abraham Lincoln by the D'Aulaires, and Russell Freedman's Lincoln: A Photobiography.


We are also going to watch Daniel Day Lewis's Lincoln movie as well as The History Channel documentary: Stealing Lincoln's Body.

5. When we get to Springfield, I surely hope to eat a horseshoe. Or at least a pony shoe.


That would be a hamburger on Texas toast covered with french fries and smothered in cheese sauce.

Don't be judging.

6.  Thorntons be hitting all the capitals this year. (Capitols are the buildings, capitals are the cities.)

Peter, Susan, and Lucy

We are very fortunate to have relatives who love us enough to take All of us into their home every now and then for Easter. We love all of them and always have a crazy-wonderful time.

I spoke with Mr. McFeely about the recent passing of Fred Rogers at this time. 
We did our nation's Capitol and egg rolling at the White House last time. It's one of the few things my older kids remember from our last trip in 2004.

Mt. Vernon with Lucy, Edmund, and Peter. Maybe I should go back to my Dharma haircut? 
We are making our lists and checking them twice. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the monuments, and the dum-dum statue are all on the itinerary.


We're reading and watching reference materials for this odyssey too. Movies like Night at the Museum and National Treasure. High brow stuff, indeed. Yes, I'm open to suggestions here. Grasping at straws.


7.  This is so bad, it's good.

Let It Go - The Sacrament of Confession version



Hanging with Kelly's Crew for 7QT