Friday, January 27, 2017

On the Floor


One of the perks of living on Capitol Hill is that the kids get to do lots of cool field trips around Washington, and sometimes one of your classmates has a parent who's a Member of Congress and you get to do a really cool field trip.  One of Nora's friends happens to be the daughter of the Congressman from Los Angeles, and he was kind enough to host Nora's class for a little walking field trip over to see the Capitol!  We walked over to the Hart Senate Office Building, and rode the Senate Subway over to to the Capitol building.  Congressman Sherman took us to see the West Front of the Capitol where they were demolishing the inauguration stage.  Then the real fun began when he took us all onto the floor of the House and Senate.  We spent half an hour on the House floor, and the kids got to try out the voting machines (Nora was most excited to vote 'Present' because then Molly's Dad's name lit up as 'P Sherman', and if you don't find that funny, just watch Finding Nemo again ;-)

Congressman Sherman answered tons of questions from the kids, and he really showed off his skills (both parenting and Congressional) when one of the kids (let's call him David to protect the innocent) asked if he could pass a law that let him eat all the candy.  Of course the kids all cheered, but Congressman Sherman sagely told them that we need to think about the consequences of the laws we pass, and if we read this proposed legislative text closely, you might notice that only David gets to eat all of the candy he wants, and who do we think that candy comes from?  The rest of the second grade class no doubt. At that point the cheers turned to boos, and an entire second grade class could see a future for themselves scoring legislation for CBO.

(click here for all the pictures)

Sunday, January 22, 2017


We had hoped to leave town for the inauguration -- this particular peaceful transition of power is a bit harder for us to witness than previous ones, and some distance seemed advisable. Sadly, our plans fell through but fortunately Aunt Katherine and Uncle L, who are DC adjacent, offered us a safe space... and a lot of beer.

But as the inauguration grew closer, pretending it wasn't happening became challenging. As friends and family travelled from across the country to take part in the Women's March, sitting idly by seemed a bit wrong. Once Allen's cousin April asked if she and her family could stay with us, I decided to go ahead and participate as well. So I made a sign, met up with a group from the neighborhood and marched over to the rally with a few hundred thousand others.

To be honest, I'd never participated in a protest before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But I have to say that the women, men and children that marched on Saturday we're the most polite and supportive crowd I've ever been in. It was amazing to see such a diverse array of people who were compelled by such a wide range of issues gather and have their voices heard. For the first time in months, I started to feel hopeful again.

And as we chanted yesterday, "This is what democracy looks like."


(To see all the pics, please click here.)

Monday, January 16, 2017

7 Springs Cluster

7 Springs - 2017 Cluster Families

Since this winter is an off year for our western skiing adventures, we decided to double up at 7 Springs this season.  We have a trip with Joe & Cate coming up in February, but for the first trip of the season, we joined four other families we know through the Cluster -- the Telfair-Chas, the Violas, the Sodermans, and the Hogans -- for a raucous MLK ski weekend.

The weather was a bit iffy, but the company (and more particularly, the cocktails) was great. All the kids had a blast skiing, though the real fun was running around as a pack in the hotel. Nora in particular got a taste for gambling at the arcade, spinning the wheel to win big tickets, and eventually (or $20 later) winning enough to get a plush Minecraft pig.

Owen skipped out on ski lessons this trip and stuck with the adults and his more advanced friends the whole time. The "black diamonds" at 7 Springs didn't faze him, so I guess I can't claim he absolutely needs east coast lessons.  Nora did ski camp, and skied with us after the second day. She was a champ cruising down Lost Girl, and looked ready to hit the slopes again soon.

7 Springs - 2017 Cluster Families

(click here for all the pictures)

Sunday, January 01, 2017

The Importance of Balance

Nora and Owen (well, mostly Nora) wrote a new play entitled, The Importance of Balance, which they performed on New Year's Day. They hope you like it!