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Posted by on Mar 10, 2016 | 2 comments

The MV Big Flea is Back!

The MV Big Flea is Back!

Thanks to the generosity of local business Affordable Signs and Banners and the logistical expertise of local realtor Jen Walker, the MV Big Flea team now has storage space for all your unwanted furniture and household goods at 423 Calvert St. Everything will be sold at the Big Flea main event on April 30 at the Mount Vernon Rec Center with proceeds benefiting the Mount Vernon Community School. So that means you can now sort through your closets, basement, attic, garage, etc. and find all that unwanted stuff just taking up valuable space. Not sure what you can donate? Check out the donation guide or email mvbigfleadonations@gmail.com. There are three drop-offs scheduled before April 30: Saturday, March 19 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM Saturday, April 2 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM Saturday, April 16 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM The storage facility is the former home of Affordable Signs and Banners and is located at 423 Calvert St. Alexandria, VA (they moved around the corner last...

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Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 | 0 comments

Signs of Spring in Del Ray

Signs of Spring in Del Ray

Spring is my favorite season and I love spending my March days searching for signs of spring. First, the bulbs of all different colors… Blossoms on the magnolia tree at the Mount Vernon Community School playground. Blossoms around the caboose. Even flowers in my neighbor’s garden! I love the excitement of seeing the green of a plant, waiting for the flowers to...

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Posted by on Mar 2, 2016 | 2 comments

Skate Break at Alexandria’s Skatepark

Skate Break at Alexandria’s Skatepark

Skateboarding is such a great outlet for kids. We are fortunate to have a skatepark in the city of Alexandria that is free of charge. It’s about a couple miles from Del Ray and is well worth the trip. The park is located at 3540 Wheeler Avenue. Most people call it the Duke Street Skatepark, but it’s officially called the Luckett Field Skatepark. Here are a list of the rules: If you have kids that are still learning to skate, the best time to come is in the morning. By afternoon, there are lots of teenagers whisking about. You have to be a pretty seasoned skater to navigate your way around them. Early mornings are for the younger kids, and they start young. I found it sweet that even at such a young age, they were able to do quick fixes on their boards without parental help. Kids helping each other. The park has a nice variety of ramps. Here is my son showing another child how to drop...

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Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 | 2 comments

Life in the Montessori Classroom: Part 2

Life in the Montessori Classroom: Part 2

Today, we continue our tour of the The Del Ray Montessori School, highlighting various aspects of life in a Montessori classroom and many activities that anyone can replicate at home. In Part 1, we toured the elementary classroom (a mixed group of children ages 6-12). Today, we observe a primary classroom (a mixed group of children ages 2 1/2 to 6). After I quietly observed one morning, I met with the primary 3 teacher, Carolyn Haas, to hear more about some of the ways the younger child build their concentration skills, independence, and coordination of movements. This little girl is intent on methodically cutting apple slices, one apple after the other for as long as it takes her.  At the same time, she’s preparing a snack item for her classmates, an act of courtesy and caring in her “community.” Carolyn spoke a lot about this idea of “building community,” which is what she’s emphasizing in this newer classroom. A majority of the children in this class are on the...

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Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 | 6 comments

Zen Doodle Chair

Zen Doodle Chair

For the past few months, I have been practicing Zen doodle whereever I can, either in my sketch book or on a pumpkin. You can doodle anywhere. When Leslie approached me about zen doodling on her white chair, I couldn’t pass up the chance. We met at Emma’s and got started together. Before putting the pen to the chair, I thought about where to put the first doodles. I could go up one of the vertical legs or go across a slat for example. It took some planning because the pen is permanent and there would be no going back. Once we got started, everything started coming together. I took the chair home and worked on it in my spare time. I used a black sharpie pen. Not just any sharpie, an acrylic paint sharpie. You can get them at Staples. Slowly over time, the doodles took over the chair. I especially loved making the mandala on the seat. My cat even enjoyed posing on the chair. When I...

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