Thursday, May 26, 2016

Air Quality Flag Day


This year Nurse Jade at SWS started an Air Quality Flag Program.  Each day they fly a flag at the entrance to the school indicating what color air quality day it is, so kids, particularly those with asthma and other respiratory issues, can adjust how they play outside depending on the air quality. The whole school has participated and learned a lot about the importance of air quality, and the relation between air pollution, air quality, and health. Since SWS was the first school in DC to start such a program, the EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, and Acting Assistant Administrator of the Air Office Janet McCabe, came to talk to the SWS fourth graders.  Well I couldn't pass up to see my bosses as a parent, so I volunteered to help out Owen's class with FoodPrints in the morning and the Air Quality Flag event afterwards.  Gina and Janet were surprised to see me of course, and Gina was quick to pick out Owen from the crowd.  Gina gave a great speech really engaging the kids, and she even was kind enough to call on Owen when she asked the kids to explain the importance of air quality.  After the event, Owen went to talk to the Administrator, and asked her what her favorite project was in all her time at EPA, and Gina answered with a wink and a pat on my back, "The modeling of course!"

Friday, May 20, 2016

SWS Concert

The wise powers that be at SWS realized after the Winter Concert that divide and conquer was a better approach to school-wide activities. And so on Wednesday evening, after the pre-school through kindergarten classes had finished their concert, the first through fourth grade classes performed. Nora's class did their take on all the verses of "This Land is Your Land" while the fourth grade reprised their twelve bar blues and "Wade in the Waters."

It was a great night in the SWS tradition of nothing without joy, followed by dinner at Ben's -- and nothing without milkshakes.

Saturday, May 14, 2016


Mom's 70th

After Owen's DCYOP Orchestra Concert Mom was expecting us to go up to Katherine & Lee's for a small family dinner celebrating her birthday and Elaine's birthday.  Unbeknownst to her, Don and Katherine had been busy getting ready for a massive 70th birthday surprise party.  Katherine had been busy for months getting the house ready, including converting the car port to a conservatory in case the endless rain continued, and Don quietly invited 70 or so of Mom's closest friends and somehow managed to keep the ever inquisitive Mom completely in the dark.  All we had to do was keep her out of the way and unsuspecting until everyone was ready for her.  That meant going back to the house after the concert, and mysteriously taking our sweet sweet time getting everything together to drive up to Katherine's.  Eventually we got the call, and we were on our way.

When we pulled into the driveway, Katherine, Lee, Don and Dad were standing there with a big 'Happy Birthday! Sharon' sign, and mom was tickled they went to the effort to print a big sign.  Then Jill appeared, and Mom was stunned that her best friend came all the way from Missouri to surprise her for her birthday.  Then the rest of the crowd started slowly coming out of their hiding places, and mom was overwhelmed with happiness.  Great job everyone, I'm not sure how we'll ever top this one :-)

DCYOP Spring 2016 Concert

Owen's busy concert season continued with his DCYOP Spring concert for Sinfonia 2, the level D strings ensemble.  The kids sounded great playing Rustic Dance and Double Trouble, they really have come a long ways since the beginner level A & B concerts not so long ago.  Mom mom came down to join us for the concert, though the rest of the family mysteriously couldn't make it, but more on that in another post...

Friday, May 13, 2016

Birthday Girl


When you share your birthday with your mother-in-law (and Mother's day in years when your extra lucky), sometimes it can be a little challenging to have your own special day. This year wasn't one of those birthday on Mother's Day years for Elaine, but it was one of those birthday years when your mother-in-law is turning 70 and everyone is throwing a gigantic surprise party for her years. Fortunately the surprise party was on Saturday, so Elaine and I could sneak out for a nice dinner with just the two of us on Friday night for her actual birthday.  We had reservations at Garrison on Barracks Row months in advance, and guess who also had reservations there...Mom, Don, Nancy & Danny!  It was the only evening with pleasant temperatures in no rain in weeks, so we chatted with them while we waited for a table outside, careful to maintain the ruse that there wasn't anything special going on the next day.  Eventually, we got our own quiet little table on the patio, and had a lovely dinner celebrating the most beautiful, amazing, special birthday girl in the world :-)

Monday, May 09, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Mother's Day has always been a risky enterprise for the Fawcett-Zimmerman household. Given Allen was hospitalized on my first official one as a mom, we tend to get anxious as the date approaches. But this year everyone was prepared: I made sure to bid on a "Mother's Day Art Studio Session" for both kids at the SWS auction; Owen and Nora planned an extensive scavenger hunt to find my presents with upwards of 17 clues; and Allen got tickets for the whole gang for the Capitol City Orchestra to see Mr. James in action followed by dinner.

Mother's Day 2016

It was a really great day, complete with pastries, Meeting, a playdate, a playground, music, dinner and lots of family and love.

(click here for all the pictures)

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Camp Girl


Nora has a knack for showing up in Camp Shenanigans twitter feed ;-)

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Dueling Playdates


Nothing better than playdates with your oldest friends :-)