1/29/14

Giveaway: Cheers Art Studio

Happy Snow Day (Again) Mommas!! Today I've got a fun mom-friendly giveaway for a new paint-your own studio opening in Woodbridge in February called "Cheers".  They'll have everything ready so you can focus on your wine while you're painting with friends ;)

From Cheers:
Cheers Art Studio is located in Woodbridge. The classes we offer are known as paint and wine parties. We provide guests a unique experience allowing them to sip on wine while exploring their creative side. Led by local artists, guests recreate an existing painting to produce a personal piece of artwork that they can leave with. The classes are designed for people with little to no artistic experience. Cheers Art Studio merges creativity and a social gathering where friends come together to create memorable pieces of artwork. Each night’s private class is hosted by Cheers Art Studio and requires all customers to pre-register. For more information visit http://www.CheersArtStudio.com/

Giveaway:
Cheers Art Studio would like to invite 5 mommas to their February 8th class! These are a $35 value each.  Enter using the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Disclaimer: As always, this giveaway has nothing to do with apple/google/facebook/your wireless provider/the state of the union/your neighbor/inflation.  Please don't drink and drive, that would make you an uber-jerk, and we can't have that.  Winners assume all liability and risk, prize provided by the sponsor, view our full giveaway rules, which you agree to by entering.  

1/28/14

Updated Readers Recommend: Preschools 2013-2014

Our old "Readers Recommend: Preschools" was getting old.  Some of the reviews were five years old, and places can certainly change quite a bit in that time!! If you'd like to submit a review for your preschool, email it to me!

The reviews we've received are from individual parents.  We don't recommend any particular preschool although now that all of my children have left, I will tell you that we were happy with Cloverdale School for all three of our children.  However, preschool should make you comfortable and fit your family and the experience type you want for your children.
In Alphabetical Order by School:

(**And, as always with our "Readers Recommend" posts, these do not necessarily reflect the views of PWC Moms.  They are voluntarily submitted by our readers and we do not edit them.  Please always visit a school.  None of the listed recommendations serve as an endorsement by PWC Moms.)

4R's Preschool (Haymarket)
I thought I would let you know about 4 Rs Preschool in Haymarket. My son is 4 yrs old and is in the 3 days a week program there. We LOVE 4 Rs so much. There are 3 teachers total and they are so nice, experienced, and easy to communicate with. They are a smaller preschool and that’s what we like about it. They do field trips and holiday programs too. My son always comes home having learned so much and having had so much fun. They have various programs/ times to accommodate ages 3-5. I highly recommend them and have nothing but good to say about them.

All Saints Catholic (Manassas)
We have nothing but wonderful things to say about All Saints Catholic School and their Pre-K program.  The programs is lead by Mrs. Caroline Kardaras, a veteran of the school for several years.  Mrs. Kardaras and her staff are exceptional teachers and care givers of our young children.  There are (3) classes.  Two classes in the morning and one class in the afternoon.  The morning session runs from 8am until 11am and the afternoon program runs from 12 noon until 3pm.  There are (18) children in a class with one teacher and one teaching assistant.  All Saints is accredited through the Virginia Catholic Education Association in coordination with the Virginia Council for Private Education.  Additionally, the Pre-Kindergarten Program is licensed through the Virginia Department of Social Services and complies with all state and diocesan policies regarding early childhood education. In 2009, All Saints Catholic School was selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.  The school accepts all families, including non-Catholics.   We currently have a son going through the program and an older son who already went through the program and is currently enrolled in first grade at All Saints.  We have been very impressed with their spiritual, educational, and emotional developments throughout the year.

Alpha-Bet Cooperative Preschool (Manassas)
I am writing to let you know about Alpha-Bet Cooperative Preschool in Manassas, VA.   "A Cooperative preschool is owned and/or operated by a group of parents and staffed by professional teachers.  Parents help the teachers in the classroom and contribute some of the daily work necessary to operate a successful school.  We have highly dedicated and impeccably trained teaching staff to ensure your child's success"  It is a really unique experience in that they are the only co-op preschool in PWC, which I love because it allows me a chance to be involved in my son's preschool experiences.  Everyone there is so great with the kids and have made my family feel so welcome.  My son comes hoe every day telling me about what he did, and wakes up every morning asking if it's time to go to school. I would recommend this school to anyone that is interested in a co-op.  It doesn't take much time at all.  There are a few "clean-up" days and parents volunteer a few times each month and bring in snacks.  There are also fun field trips, activities, etc. It is really a great preschool to look into.


Chesterbrook Academy (Multiple Locations)
Our oldest daughter is attending The Chesterbrook Academy on Troupe St. She absolutely loves it. She is learning so much. She comes home speaking/singing in Spanish. The teachers are so nice. However, I don't think we will send our youngest there next year. Our oldest is so naturally smart that I believe the Chesterbrook curriculum is perfect for her. Our youngest not so much. The tuition is high but we were willing to pay it (we pay $196 a week for 3 days, I think it's $220 or $260 for five days). Our youngest will probably be doing a part time school with a much lower tuition. So I look forward to the other reviews.

Christ Chapel Preschool (Woodbridge)
Where do I begin, from the beginning we made the right choice by making an investment in Christian Education when we spoke with the Pre-K Director Mrs. Sheila Nelson.  The partnership begin. From early learning to us planting a Godly seed at home and the teachers and staff cultivating it while our daughter is in school is priceless. We have commented to attend again in the fall for her kindergarten year. As a father to see your daughter read, write and spell as she articulates her thoughts and express herself is amazing.  The moral and values of Godly principles are taught not only at home but here at CCA.  I work in the evenings so I spend a lot of time at school observing and listing and they truly are commented to our children academically but for me more importantly stressing biblical principles of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. Their Reaching, Teaching and Unleashing our Future which is our children.  I recommend any parent who is willing to comment, invest and make a sacrifice in your child’s future you have to see what CCA can do for you.

Daytime Playtime (Gainesville)
Just wanted to let you know about Daytime Playtime in Gainesville/ haymarket area. It is a preschool for 2,3 and 4 year olds with mornings and afternoon preschool, a Jr kindergarten and mommy morning out program. The class sizes are small and staff are all great and helpful. They do family field trips, extra curricular activities for the whole family and summer camps.
My 2 year old loves it and is always bringing home art projects and doing many activities during her time there. They use a playground, nature classroom which is outside, music and movement room and a science and math room. A lot to offer and very affordable!!

Greenwich Presbyterian Preschool (Nokesville)
I just saw your post and wanted to add that Greenwich Presbyterian Preschool is awesome. It is small, cozy and the teachers are wonderful. Mrs. Rood is the director and also the 3 year old teacher and has been there for about 23 or 24 years. The kids love her. Both my sons went there and now my daughter. Mrs. Arbus, the 4 year old teacher is equally awesome! 
Just wanted to give them some props!  It is in Nokesville. I am not sure if it is in PWC or not or right on the border. We live in Bristow and it is just a few minutes away - on Vint Hill by Patriot High School (Sort of)


Holy Family Preschool (Dale City)
Holy Family Preschool is attached to Holy Family Catholic School. We are military and while looking for schools for my then 4 year old, they were recommended. He finished his preschool there last year(half day Tuesdays through Friday) and we could not have been happier.  It is a play based curriculum. They also learned the alphabet and numbers and performed weekly science experiments. 
The preschool has an outside playground for daily play. When the weather is bad, the preschool plays in the gym. This was another important part of our decision because we did not want our children stuck in a small classroom. 
The preschool director, Mrs Judi Peacott, is wonderful. The minute that my husband and I met her, we knew that this was the place for our sons. Now my 3 year old is attending the Tuesday and Thursday class and he loves it. We are so lucky to have found this wonderful, caring school for our boys!

Little Sprouts Preschool (Bristow)
This school has a wonderful, caring group of teachers and staff who are some of the warmest people we've met. The directors were formerly with Little Graces Preschool in The Plains and they have moved over to expand the preschool program at Linton Hall School. My children adore their teachers and we've been thrilled with the incredible nurturing environment and the family atmosphere within this school. The teachers recognize the fact that every child has their own set of talents and they appreciate each of these and are committed to helping to cultivate them. The school offers a wonderful, well-rounded preschool education that also incorporates important (and fun) elements such as Music & Movement, Art, Hands-on-Science, Spanish and Technology. I highly recommend this school to everyone in the area and hope that you will consider joining this wonderful "family" within Linton Hall School's Little Sprouts Preschool.

Manassas Presbyterian Early Learning Center (Manassas)
We LOVE Manassas Presbyterian Church Early Learning Center. My daughter went for 3 years and my son is in his second year. They have a Parent's Morning Out program for 2 year olds that doesn't have any sort of potty training requirements. Then they have classes for 3 year olds, 4 year olds, and a Pre-K program, all of which require bathroom independence. They have options for 1, 2, 3, and 5 day programs, depending on the age of the child. All of their programs are morning only. 
While they are a church-based preschool and they do celebrate and discuss traditional Christian holidays, they are open, inviting, and accepting of children and families of all faiths. Older classes do have Chapel Time once a month. 
Why do we love them so much? Where to even start? The teachers of course! The teachers truly care about your children! The teachers remember children from previous years and ask how they are doing when they move on to elementary school and beyond! They create a positive, happy place for learning. Most of the teachers have been there for several years. They work in teams - each room has a lead teacher and an assistant. They are creative and energetic, patient and nurturing, mature and professional. 
The classrooms are bright and filled with great toys and materials. They are organized and not cluttered. They have child sized tables for seat work, a rug for circle time, bookshelves filled with appropriate books, and centers for playing and learning. The hallway is lined with creative art projects. 
The children go outside to play on the playground (swings, wooden train, slides, etc.) every day unless it's actively raining. If the playground is too wet to play, they go for a walk. 
This is their 50th year - as a school they have developed traditions (like an annual art show) and have learned and grown wiser in their ways over the years. They have a board and Director and are supported by a PTO. They are a peanut free school.
One of their greatest strengths is the diversity of the students. Since they are located on Ashton Ave. in Manassas, they have students from Manassas, Bristow, Gainesville, and Woodbridge. The children are like different pieces of a patchwork quilt, representing different economic backgrounds, speaking different languages at home, coming from a variety of faiths, all working together to create an amazing little preschool. 

Old Bridge Preschool (Lake Ridge side of Woodbridge)
I have to recommend Old Bridge Preschool in Woodbridge. My daughter who had only been home with me, was very against going to school, but after the first day she was asking to go. The teachers and staff are very friendly. The class sizes are perfect and have more than one teacher per class. My daughter is never bored, which for 4 and 5 year olds is important. The tuition is reasonable, but I do believe that they also offer tuition assistance for those who may need it. I would recommend this school to anyone who asked.


St. Francis Preschool (Triangle)
The teachers, Mrs. Land and Mrs. Peitler, have been teaching together for quite some time and are passionate about it. Their goal is to help the children feel safe and have fun while learning social skills as they prepare academically for kindergarten. The teachers are grounded in the Christian faith, and it shines in all they do. Both teachers work closely with the parents to share joys, successes, and concerns about every student. Parents are invited to stay and watch and participate so you can be a part of this precious time of your children's lives. 
Class starts with prayer, praise, and saying the pledge. The regular routine provides such comfort for the children. Children take turns having special jobs each day, including holding the flag and being line leader. They learn responsibility for self and to others as they learn the proper way to share and play kindly.
I was astounded that, although the focus isn't primarily academic, how very well prepared both my children were for kindergarten. Each child in preschool is at a different level, so the teachers spend a lot of individual time with them. 
A young neighbor (4th grade) heard that my children were attending St. Francis and he said, "My all-time favorite teacher was my preschool teacher there. Her name is Mrs. Land." He had learning disabilities, and he remembered her patience and kindness towards him. I told Mrs. Land about this conversation, so she came and surprised him with a visit one afternoon. She just cares that much!

St. Matthew's Lutheran Day School (Lake Ridge)
I absolutely love St. Matthew's Lutheran Day School. Both of my children went to the three day program and really enjoyed it.  St. Matthew's is a play based preschool which means there is a lot of free choice center time.  Some of the centers include housekeeping, library, blocks, science, math, writing, and art.  During this time, teachers pull students aside to work with them individually and in small groups.  Some days they are working on forming letters with blocks and other days they are baking.  The kids go outside every day except in instances of severe weather.  The teachers take photos of the kids at work and email them to parents weekly.  I loved this because my son is the type of kid that will say he didn't do anything at school.  I was able to use the photos as conversation starters.  The preschool is also very family friendly.  They host a Mother's tea, Dad's night, and Grandparents sing along.  Parents are welcome to volunteer in the class in a variety of ways.  I can't say enough good things about St. Matthew's.

St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School (Woodbridge)
I have a four year old daughter.  She is an only child and in hopes of exposing her to other children we placed her in part-time daycare at the age of 2.  We took her to Kindercare on Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge.  We shopped a few options around town and chose this school because the director of the school genuinely seemed to care and there seemed to be structure in the curriculum even though it was just a daycare.  Within a month of enrollment, my daughter came home with a black eye and a scratched up face.  No one even bothered to call us to report the incident.  Needless to say we were very disappointed and after numerous mishaps and 3 months later we pulled her out of there.
We then shopped again, this time looking at big daycare/preschools and small non-chain ones as well.  We narrowed our list down to Minnieland Academy on Prince William Parkway and Prince William Academy in Lake Ridge.  We chose the latter simply because they offered foreign language classes.  Prince William Academy was okay.  We enjoyed the projects, communication from the teachers and shows/events.  I had gotten to know some of the parents.  I would hear mixed reviews about the teachers which I didn't really encounter.  The owner/director got sick during the school year and all of sudden everything just went into a downward spiral.  They kept switching teachers to the point where you didn't know who the person was at the head of the classroom.  It got to the point where my daughter would sometimes wake up and ask if she could just stay home.  She didn't enjoy school anymore.  For the money we were paying (about $7500 for 3 full days a week), we didn't have enough faith in the school that the $9000 for full time preschool would not be money well spent.  So, this lead us into another search...
Do we home-school for preschool or find a preschool program?  We discussed long a hard and decided to search again.
The search didn't take long.  I am an alumni of St. Thomas Aquinas Regional school in Woodbridge.  I attended school there in the 80s.  I made life long friendships, memories and learned valuable lessons that I still carry with me today.  My husband of years, remembers my happy stories of my childhood.  The elementary and middle school years were spent there.  So, we applied for our daughter to enter Pre-K for the 2013/2014 school year.  She is currently enrolled and loves it.  Her teacher, Mrs. Leckey actually taught both of my brothers in the late 80s/early 90s.  There are many teachers like her that have spent most of their careers in that school (like the librarian Mrs. Beda...she was there when I was there).  I even have a classmate from Aquinas now teaching there!  Mrs. Metzler is the assistant teacher and she is just as wonderful.  My daughter always raves about school.  She comes home with her completed worksheets and art projects.  There are also children in my daughter's class that were previously with her at Prince William Academy.  The parents of those students say that "this experience is so much better- in so many ways."  It is a half day, 5 day a week program in a Catholic school (being Catholic is NOT a requirement).  We love the fact that there is daily communication with the teachers, lots of fun activities for the kids which leads to volunteering for me and it's just a wonderful parent/student community to be part of.  I could go on and on about this wonderful school, but instead I'm happy to report that our search for the best school for our child is over....well, until 9th grade!


1/27/14

30 Acts of Kindness- The List

Thank you guys so much for all of the fantastic ideas for my 30 Acts of Kindness!

For those of you who missed this- I'm turning 30 in February, a birthday we weren't sure I was going to have, and in honor of that, I want to do something useful for the world, so I'm celebrating with 30 Acts of Kindness suggested by you guys! 

I'm really excited to do each of these! I still have a few spots open, and am waiting on date confirmation on a few.  If you'd like to join me for anything, please email me!  If you do something, too, I'd love pictures- if all of you did 6 acts of kindness in February, that'd be 30,000 acts of kindness for my birthday.  Best present EVER.  I'll be blogging about each of these to raise awareness (where applicable) and so you know I didn't just "say" I did them :) Hope you'll join me!

Wednesday, January 29th (Email me to come too)
1.  Come and volunteer at Streelight Ministries
Thursday, January 30th (Want to join me? 4235 Dale Blvd. Dale City VA)
2.  Donate any leftover baby items to BirthRight
Saturday, February 1st
12. Become a cancer mentor with Immerman's Angels
Sunday, February 2nd
17. Go through your closet and donate any extras to AmVets/Lupus/Goodwill
Monday, February 3rd (Doing this, too? Send me a picture!)
7. Take cookies to the Librarians
22. Take cookies to the Fire Fighters
29. Take cookies to the Police Station
Tuesday, February 4th (Doing this, too? Send me a picture!)
16. Volunteer to help teachers at a school with less volunteers
Wednesday, February 5th
3.  Send/Take treats to the nurses at Georgetown Hospital (I picked the doctors and nurses at the hospital where my surgery was- although you guys recommended people all over NOVA!)
 24. Talk to Girl Scouts about how they can get involved in Community Service (Thanks for the invite!!)
Wednesday, February 12th
10. Do the "Drive Thru Difference" (I know I said no straight money things, but my kids have been begging to do this)  
14. Make No-Sew blankets with MOPS of BUMC
Friday, February 14th (Waiting on Date Confirmation)
4.  Visit nursing home residents- Waiting on Date Confirmation! Email me to be included!
20. Give flowers to the crossing guards on Valentine's day (Doing this, too? Send me a picture!)
Monday, February 17th (Want to come? Send me an email)
18. Help with bagging for the SHARE Food Network at First Mount Zion
Saturday, February 22nd (You can all come.)
30. Fundraiser for your favorite charity.  Well hooray, glad you asked.  I pick the National Brain Tumor Society and you can all come out for it ;) Incidentally, several of you offered to host direct-sales company fundraisers for me, but I can't say yes to all 25 of you in one month, so I am choosing not to do that at this time, but appreciate the thought and emails!!
Tuesday, February 25th (Want to Join Me? Send me an Email!)
19. Soup and Socks for The 25th Project


Don't have dates yet for:
5. Work at the NUMC Food Pantry
6. Volunteer at the PWC Animal Shelter and (bring treats)
8. Breakfast at an ACTS Shelter
9. Dinner at an ACTS Shelter
11. Take Chick Fil A Sandwiches (or coupons) to the homeless (PS- thank you guys for helping me win those from Chick Fil A Sudley Manor Drive!)
13. Help with animal care with Va Reptile Rescue (PS- I am totally scared of this one!)
15. Make Valentines with Eme's Army
21. Help out with miscellaneous tasks at CASA
23. Come and speak to an elementary school writing club about voice and being a writer

Still need ideas for:
25.
26.
27.
28.


Ones that are happening, but in March, not February (and you can come, too!!)
31. Sorting Donations at the ACTS Thrift Store Warehouse
32. Sorting Food in the Food Pantry at ACTS

Ones that didn't make the cut because I'm not medically eligible but are totally fantastic:
~Have a Cheek Swap to Sign up for the Bone Marrow Registry  
~Donate Blood (I'm going to take my husband, who's an O- to donate blood for me. They'll be happier with his anyway!)
~Become an organ donor (I've been one since I got my license, and since I had a primary brain tumor many of my organs are still useful! Didn't you all want to know all about my organs?) ;) 

1/23/14

US Science and Engineering Festival 2014!

The 3rd USA Science & Engineering Festival, the largest science festival in the US, features nationwide contests and school programs, including our popular 'Nifty Fifty' science speaker program - presented by InfoComm International. The Festival culminates in a Grand Finale Expo on April 26-27, 2014, with the US News STEM Solutions Conference on April 23-25, and Sneak Peek Friday - presented by the Department of Defense - on April 25. New this year: X-STEM - presented by Northrop Grumman Foundation and MedImmune - an Extreme STEM Symposium for students on April 24.  Get your tickets HERE.

1/22/14

Giveaway: Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic!

I love Disney on Ice! I grew up figure skating, and I really appreciate the effort that goes into someone being in a giant warthog with skates on!! These shows are always beautiful and exciting, and we've enjoyed each one we've been to!!
Join the celebration as 65 of Disney's most unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories come to life in this commemorative celebration, produced by Feld Entertainment. Guests of all ages will be captivated by the one and only Mickey Mouse, the irresistible Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, the beloved Disney Princesses, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio and many more!

Enjoy beautifully choreographed skating, breathtaking production numbers, stunning costumes and toe-tapping songs that will inspire fond Disney memories. Families will see the most lovable and popular Disney characters that span multiple generations as the Disney On Ice lineup returns to Washington, D.C. 





Verizon Center
Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, February 12 – Monday, February 17, 2014

Show Times:
·       Wednesday, February 12 @ 7:30 p.m.
·       Thursday, February 13 @ 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
·       Friday, February 14 @ 7:30 p.m.
·       Saturday, February 15 @ 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
·       Sunday, February 16 @ 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
·       Monday, February 17 (President’s Day) @ 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Verizon Center Ticket Prices: $80.00 (Front Row)/ $55.00 (VIP)/ $30.00 / $20.00

Venue/Ticket Information:
Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets via charge, by phone at 800-745 -3000; via www.ticketmaster.com and at the Verizon Center box office.
To discover more about Disney On Ice, go to www.disneyonice.com 

To win your tickets to the OPENING NIGHT SHOW on February 12 at 7:30pm, enter using the Rafflecopter below!  Please note these tickets cannot be changed for another time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway ________________________________________________________________
Disclosure: I am a Feld Family Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events.  Even though I receive these benefits, I always give an opinion that is 100% my own. 

Feld Entertainment is neither a sponsor nor endorser of this promotion.  

1/21/14

January 20th "Day Off" Recap

We don't typically follow the PWCS schedule in our homeschool, but we decided we'd take yesterday off with the rest of you and have a little fun :)

We started the morning off with my reader meetup hosted by The Animated Child, which my kids were SO excited about, especially the boys, because, in a word, Minecraft.  Am I the only mom out there who really has no clue what Minecraft is? My kids were totally addicted to it before we even had it at home.  I'm so thankful to The Animated Child for hosting all the kids at such a special discount.  Their Parents Night Out programs are typically $35/child, and they had us out for $10/child, plus $3 for lunch.  It was such a fun opportunity and I hope that everyone enjoyed learning more about the center!
I have to remember to invite a photographer for every event I host.  My iphone pictures are horrid :)
As for our moms, we had a pretty good crowd- I should've counted- but I think there were about 25 of us.  Not too shabby for a Monday lunch! If you haven't made it out to one of these reader meetups, I do hope you'll join us in the future. In March I think I'll start doing a playdate type meetup and a moms night type meetup, but we'll see if I survive Silver Sparkles first ;)

After we finished up at the reader meetup, we had to drive to Stafford.

Stafford is usually where I draw the line.  I know that it takes me just as long to get there as it does to get to the other side of the county, but for some reason there's a block in my brain about going south! However, today there was a really great reason for me to man up. 

Sweet Scene Photography hosted a "Tea Time with Belle" which, for $15, included snacks, crafts, pictures with "Belle" and a small goody bag for each girl.  My daughter, Savannah, is almost 6 and she'd been looking for an excuse to get some girl time with a few friends.  While she's definitely mine (she shares my appreciation for pink and sparkles) she would rather wear pink jeans than a dress, but she did humor me and dress up for the occasion.
 There were plenty of coloring sheets, along with a decorate your own crown craft, and the girls seemed to have a lovely time.  I appreciated that the photographer took pictures before she let the girls start in on their teatime snacks (mini cupcakes, fruit snacks, and a few candy options).  It definitely helped keep the pictures frosting-free.
All of the girls got a few professional snapshots of them with Princess Belle (there was a library-themed backdrop) and there was also time for- you guessed it- iPhone pictures!! Yay!  I think if I did this again, I'd ask to have my daughter's group get their pictures together with the photographer rather than her alone- they were sweet, but the fun part of the day for her was being with "her girls".  All four of the ladies that came with us had a really fun time, and I definitely think this was a fantastic special treat, especially with the bonus princess time.  Sweet Scene hosts these fairly regularly with various princesses and they also do "Diva Parties" for birthdays. 

One note- if you decide to go, the studio is on the left hand side of 610 across from the Arby's.  If you pass Sherwin Williams you went too far.  There's a sign for the studio (it's in a shopping center) but it's at the bottom of the sign, and if you are me, you will be late because you passed the Sherwin Williams several times....on both sides of the road...

Luckily my friend told me she did the same thing, so at least I was in good company!

I hope you enjoyed your scheduled holiday- and that you enjoy your unscheduled break today, too!!  I know a few businesses are planning to open- but if you go please call first to confirm and use caution when you drive!
_____________________________________________
Disclosure: I paid for my lunch, just like everyone else, as well as for my daughter's tea time with Belle.  The Animated Child is an advertiser with PwcMoms.com.  However, all opinions are my own and were  not requested by any company/business. 

1/20/14

Week in Preview: January 20th-January 26th 2014

Happy Monday!!

It's beginning to look a lot like Preschool Registration time!! If you'd like to add to our updated 2014 "Readers Recommend" preschool list, please email me ASAP as this list will be going live on Thursday! (I can still add after that, but I'd like to pretend I'm done!)

If you're new to the site, Week in Preview is where I mention just a few of the events from our Prince William County kid friendly calendar so you can plan around them! There are tons more ideas on our calendar- just click the "calendar" link above (unless you're reading this on our app- in which case, click "calendar" at the bottom!)

Have a fantastic week!

RSVP/Pre-Register For:
Beginning with Books is at Chinn Library NEXT week (January 27th) and it's open to children 12-36 months with a caregiver.  No younger/older siblings welcome.  The library is closed on Monday in observation of MLK Day, so register Tuesday!

On Friday, join the Freedom Center for "Winter Wonderland" Join us for a story and winter crafts. Kids will get to "ice skate" and play with "snowball" without having to bundle up or step foot into the snow... but you'll have to be here to find out how! This event is priced at $10.

LOCUST SHADE PARK
Winter Outdoor Scavenger Hunt  January 25 11:00 a.m.
$5/person or $15/family of 4 Discover the natural wonders of LSP as you work with your group to piece together scavenger list clues. Event will take place at the Indian Pipe Pavilion with prizes and light refreshments to follow. Must pre-register with Activity #113900.

2-4pm on Saturday at JoAnn's, your child can make a Valentine's Cookie project. $35 Sat Jan 25 2-4pm or Sat Feb 8 10a-12p Call 703-490-0613 to register

Monday (PWCS Holiday- MLK Day)
From 11am-1pm, join us for lunch at Mateo's in Montclair!! Children's programs at The Animated Child are now full, unfortunately, but we still have space for mommas!! Join us for some fun, some giveaways, and some specials on food and drinks! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday 
Deja Brew in Haymarket has story time each week- Come in and relax and enjoy some time off wile CAT IN THE HAT reads to your little ones starting at 10am every TUESDAY

Join HOPE from 7-8pm.  This group is open to all who have experienced a loss during pregnancy, infant loss or SIDS death, whether recently or in the past, including those who have felt such a loss through someone close to them.

Wednesday
When you head to Chinn Library, be sure to make a Valentine for a hospitalized Veteran.  This free program will run until February.

Head over to the Harris Pavilion in Manassas for their Wednesday night FREE skating! FREE SKATE in JANUARY only - Wednesday, 6:00 - 9:00 pm $3.00 skate rental fee ONLY (or no fee if you have your own skates)

Thursday
Foxy Mommy Bootcamp has class for you and fun for your little one. Experience the energy of a group class, but the individual attention of personal or small group training.  All levels welcome! Bring the kids and have them hang out with you, with our babysitter, or enroll them in one of the great classes at Kids Choice Sports Center. First class is free.

Each Thursday from 11-12, bring the kids to Deja Brew in Haymarket for singing. Come in and bring the kids. We will be having a singalong and all kinds of fun for you and the little ones. 

Friday
Head south to KD'z Kidz World in Stafford for their Special Needs night- KD'z Kidz World invites all families with Special Needs Children to play at KD'z Kidz World. Price is only $7 per child. Parents are free and we will be closed to the public during this time. 6-8pm

Tonight would be a fantastic night to order your Silver Sparkles tickets :) This fantastic event is $15 for your whole family, until February 1 when the price increases!! 

Saturday
Join a Colonial Birthday at Leesylvania State Park! Happy Birthday "Light Horse Harry" Lee!  Come see how you would celebrate a Colonial Birthday.  Start off with a lecture about "Light Horse Harry" Lee followed by cake at noon with music and dancing, then at 2:00 p.m. marching/drilling down to his monument and laying a wreath.  Performers will be on-hand to showcase life during colonial times with historic dress, displays and traditions.

Christ Chapel Academy has an open house from 1-3pm

From 7:30-10, check out Middle School Night at Chinn Rec- DJ/Music, wallyball, dodgeball, basketball, lounge area.  7:30-10pm $5, PWCS Student ID required. Grades 6-8 ONLY. 

Sunday
1-3pm open house at Linton Hall Preschool-Grade 8 Open House Learn about how we "Grow Goodness" together at Little Sprouts!

2-3pm, Free Concert: Bull Run Grass Sunday, January 26, 2:00 p.m. Warm up your winter at Central Community Library by joining us for our 26th Annual Winter Concert, featuring the music of Smokey Winstead and the Bull Run Grass. Bluegrass fans of all ages are encouraged to attend. Free


1/16/14

Silver Sparkles: A Family Fun Day Benefitting Brain Tumor Research

Let's talk about me, shall we? February is a big month for me! I will celebrate what I refer to as my "One-year-didn't-die-aversary" (not sure what I mean? Click here for that story), my 30th birthday, and four years of this crazy website.  So, I'm throwing a party.

A big party.

At first, I thought about doing a very sleek and upscale Blogiversary.  Something where people dress up and go to a winery.  Then I remembered who I am and what I do, and I decided to have a giant kids fest.  But I kept the name I'd come up with.  Brain Tumor/Cancer ribbons are grey (like grey matter), but that's boring and I believe that glitter is a core value, so hence "Silver Sparkles" was born.  This is going to be such a fun event, and all the money raised is going to The National Brain Tumor Society/Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure. 
How can you get involved?  Let's take a look!!

1. Sponsor!
I have opportunities for sponsorship at almost any level you can think of.  If you'd like to put your name on our event, but can't attend, you can sponsor the event itself, individual performances, or just because you want to be a part of this fantastic program.  It's awesome and focused advertising for the families you want to reach.  This also gets you in our gift bags, going to each of the first 100 families in the door.

2. Host a Table!
Tables at the event are available for businesses, organizations, companies, etc. who would like to meet the families of Prince William County! Tables must have an interactive component, whether it's a carnival-type game with prize, a facepainter,  a craft, or anything else you can dream up. Email kristinalsk@yahoo.com to get more information!

3. Be a part of our Raffles or Gift Bags
We'll be doing Raffles throughout the day, and we also have swag bags that will be going home with the first 100 families through the door.  If you'd like to be involved in either, please email me for details.  Raffle tickets will be available the day of the event.

4. Come! February 22, 2014 from 2-6pm!
Tickets are on sale now for this event, and they're priced at $15 a family until February, when that price will increase.  We will have a ton of fun activities for you and your children, and I really hope that you'll join us! You can purchase your tickets through Eventbrite.  Please note that tickets will NOT BE SOLD AT THE DOOR due to venue rules.

I'll have a post up in just a few days with some of the exciting performances, attendees, and raffle items!! This is going to be a fantastic event, and I hope you'll be there!!

1/15/14

Calendar Additions 1/15/2014

Added to the calendar:

Leesylvania State Park added their mommy meet-ups through July.  Thanks Leesylvania! These monthly events are supposed to be fun and informative. They're once a month on Thursdays from 10-11am. Kids are welcome, too. On 2/13 the activity will be Victorian Valentines.

MLK Day- Care Packages for Soldiers (11am-2pm)
Leesylvania Visitors Center- Help us let our soldiers know how much we appreciate all that they do for us. We would like to assemble 50 care packages for Operation Home Front (http://www.operationhomefront.net ), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping military personnel and their families.  We will be asking for donations of different items like phone cards, baby wipes, tooth brushes, digital or disposable cameras, etc.  For the full list please call the visitor center or email at Genevieve.White@dcr.virginia.gov .

Homeschool Day at the National Building Museum (10am-3pm)
$10 per child, per program. Free for adults joining children.
Connect with other homeschooled students and families while learning about home construction, city planning, the story behind the Museum’s historic home, and much more. Join us for hands-on programs that complement curricula in art, social studies, language arts, math, and science. Discounted admission to exhibitions available.

The Underground Railroad: A Ticket to Freedom (February 15, 11am-3pm)
The Leesylvania property is associated with the flight of two runaway slaves as well as a slave who escaped in 1848. A band of escaped slaves also informed Union soldiers of Confederate activity at the property's Freestone Point in September 1861. Join us and learn about aspects of the park's rich and diverse history as we celebrate Black History Month. Displays will illustrate our inclusion into the National Park Services Network to Freedom program.

Many Happy Returns: A Colonial Birthday (January 25, 11am-3pm)
Happy Birthday "Light Horse Harry" Lee!  Come see how you would celebrate a Colonial Birthday.  Start off with a lecture about "Light Horse Harry" Lee followed by cake at noon with music and dancing, then at 2:00 p.m. marching/drilling down to his monument and laying a wreath.  Performers will be on-hand to showcase life during colonial times with historic dress, displays and traditions.
Leesylvania Visitors Center



Linton Hall School and Little Sprouts Preschool Open House (January 26th)

Preschool-Grade 8 Open House- Learn about how we "Grow Goodness" together at Little Sprouts! 1-3pm

TAO: Phoenix Rising @Hylton PAC (April 12 and April 13)
This explosive ensemble has brought its mind-blowing taiko drumming to more than five million spectators worldwide in the last decade, and now it makes its Hylton Center debut with Phoenix Rising. In this electrifying new production, athletic bodies, innovative choreography, and traditional Japanese drumming combine to create an experience that will take your breath away. The performers of TAO undergo rigorous training in drumming, exercise, and meditation at a Japanese mountain compound to reach the highest level of virtuosity. These drummers, both male and female, draw upon their diverse backgrounds as rock musicians, gymnasts, and composers to create a fresh, new interpretation of this ancient art form. “Extraordinarily talented…incomparable muscular zeal.” (Chicago Tribune)

 The Peking Acrobats @Hylton PAC (February 26)
These brilliant acrobats make their Hylton Center debut with a spellbinding performance jam-packed with breathtaking feats that are guaranteed to leave audiences of all ages speechless and on the edge of their seats. Boasting appearances from NBC’s New Year’s Holiday Special, to a television special with Ellen DeGeneres, to the hit film, Ocean’s 11, The Peking Acrobats also have collaborated with prestigious symphony orchestras from across the United States. Their ancient art form dates back thousands of years, but their unique acts – which include juggling, tumbling, magic and much more – are as fresh and awe-inspiring to today’s audiences as ever before.  “The Peking Acrobats [are] pushing the envelope of human possibility…pure artistry!” raves The New York Post about these gifted Chinese artists.

Upcoming, not on the calendar:

The Town of Dumfries offers the Dumfries Cares afterschool program for youth  in grades 1-5, FREE of charge, for youth in community! The afterschool program will be offered on Wednesdays & Thursdays (two separate groups) at the Dumfries Community Center; located at the Dumfries Community Center;located at 17755 Main St., Dumfries, Va 22026. 

Parenting Classes via Dumfries Cares- The class is run in a format where Dumfries Cares Staff serve as Facilitators, of a guided discussion: where parents cover a variety of topics in a 7-8 week period, and share new ideas with one another for raisisng their children, and addressing the issues that may arise in parenting. For more information please call us at 703-221-3400 ext 146

The program will follow the PWCS Calendar and run from 3:45pm -6:45pm. There are limited spaces available, so please contact Dumfries Cares Staff,to enroll your child. 703-221-3400 ext 146 
Freedom Center Volleyball Skills development program for novice and intermediate players. Learn how to pass, set, hit, and serve and much more. Court shoes, knee pads, and proper athletic attire are recommended. Priced at $75, these 5 classes are on every Monday starting March 3rd and ending on March 31st.  Ages 10-15. 6-7:15pm

Freedom Center Sports Mix. This program offers interaction with "teammates" while learning the basic of basketball, soccer, t-ball, football, and floor hockey throughout the session. Participants will enjoy learning a new sport each class while working on agility, balance, and coordination in an upbeat and positive environment. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are every week starting the week of March 4th and ending the week of April 1st.  Ages 3.5 to 5. Mondays 11am-12pm, Tuesdays 2-3pm, Wednesdays 1-2pm, Thursdays 10-11am

Freedom Center Tiny Tots Soccer.  This class provides youngsters the opportunity to learn beginner soccer skill in an indoor environment with other teammates. Instructors will teach an understanding of game play and basic rules while focusing on the individual skills and development of team play. Tiny tots will begin to understand while focusing on the individual skills and development of team play. Tiny Tots will begin to understand the concepts of dribbling, passing, and shooting while taking on the challenge of learning the idea of no hands. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Tuesday starting March 4th  and ending April 1st.  Ages 3.5 to 5. Tuesdays 11am-12pm

 Freedom Center Tiny Tots Soccer. This class provides youngsters the opportunity to learn beginner soccer skill in an indoor environment with other teammates. Instructors will teach an understanding of game play and basic rules while focusing on the individual skills and development of team play. Tiny tots will begin to understand while focusing on the individual skills and development of team play. Tiny Tots will begin to understand the concepts of dribbling, passing, and shooting while taking on the challenge of learning the idea of no hands. Priced at $40, these 4 classes are on every Sunday starting March 9th  and ending March 30th. Ages 3.5 to 5 Sundays 10-11am.

 Freedom Center Tae Kwon Do. Introductory class for children with little or no experience. Through games and other activities, participants will develop balance, stamina, and self control while learning blocking, punching, and kicking techniques. All participants work towards completing 24 classes in order to test for skill levels, "no belt" to black belt. Uniforms are not required; however, are available to be purchased from instructor on first day of class. Instructor has the ability to move children from younger class to older based on skills and experience. Priced at $108, these 12 classes are on every Tuesday and Thursday starting Feb 27th and ending Apr 10th; no classes March 11. Ages 10-15

Freedom Center Tae Kwon Do. Introductory class for children with little or no experience. Through games and other activities, participants will develop balance, stamina, and self control while learning blocking, punching, and kicking techniques. All participants work towards completing 24 classes in order to test for skill levels, "no belt" to black belt. Uniforms are not required; however, are available to be purchased from instructor on first day of class. Instructor has the ability to move children from younger class to older based on skills and experience. Priced at $108, these 12 classes are on every Tuesday and Thursday starting Feb 27th and ending Apr 10th; no classes March 11.  Ages 4-9. 6-7pm.

Freedom Center Tee Ball. Children will introduced to the basic of t-ball at the individual and team level. Instructors will focus on the components of hitting, throwing, catching, and base running. Your future t-ball start will interact with others while developing hand eye coordination, balance, and other concepts involved with t-ball. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Wednesday starting March 5th and ending April 2nd. OR  Priced at $40, these 4 classes are on every Sunday starting March 9th and ending March 30th.  Ages 3.5 to 5.  Wednesdays 11am-12pm or Sundays 10-11am.

Freedom Center Parent and Me Sports. This class gives young children the opportunity to interact with others in an active environment while developing hand eye coordination, balance, and gross motor skills. Your mini athlete will be begin to understand the concepts of kicking, throwing, catching, and shooting a ball while participating in a variety of stations. Program will also consist of a variety of beginner games and parachute time! Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Tuesday starting March 4th and ending April 1st.  OR  Priced at $40, these 4 classes are on every Sunday starting March 9th and ending March 30th.  Ages 2-4. Tuesdays 10-11am OR Sundays 9-10am.

Freedom Center Pee Wee Football. Children will learn the basics in a fun filled football environment. While working on teamwork and sportsmanship, participants will be taught the fundamentals on how to catch, throw, and play in a flag football setting. Future football players will also work on footwork, speed, and agility through interactive games and obstacle courses. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Thursday starting March 6th and ending on April 3rd. Ages 3.5 to 5. Thursdays 9-10am.

Freedom Center Little Pucks. Future hockey stars will be introduced to basic floor hockey skills. Participants will interact in a group setting while working on passing shooting, and puck movement. The class will consist of individual basic drills and group games. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Monday starting March 3rd and ending March 31st. OR Priced at $40, these 4 classes are on every Sunday starting March 9th and ending March 30th.  Ages 3.5 to 5. Mondays 10-11am OR Sundays 9-10am.

Freedom Center Intermediate Tennis. Program participants will have the opportunity to excel as a tennis player in this development program for novice and intermediate players. While learning proper grip, body position, and fundamental strokes, players will develop or polish basic hand eye coordination and enjoy a variety of games and activities. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Tuesday starting March 4th and ending April 1st. Ages 9-13. Tuesdays 6-7pm

Freedom Center Beginner Tennis. Program participants will have the opportunity to excel as a tennis player in this development program for novice and intermediate players. While learning proper grip, body position, and fundamental strokes, players will develop or polish basic hand-eye coordination and enjoy a variety of games and activities. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Tuesday starting March 4th and ending April 1st. Ages 6-8.  Tuesdays 5-6pm.

Freedom Center Indoor Soccer. Beginning and intermediate skills are taught in the fun filled program. Emphasis is placed on individual skill development with interactive activities and games. Participants will work to improve on dribbling, passing, shooting, and understanding of the rules. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Thursday starting March 6th and ending April 3rd. Ages 9-13. Thursdays 6-7pm.

Freedom Center Indoor Soccer. Beginning and intermediate skills are taught in the fun filled program. Emphasis is placed on individual skill development with interactive activities and games. Participants will work to improve on dribbling, passing, shooting, and understanding of the rules and team play. Priced at $60, these 6 classes are on every Thursday starting January 16th and ending February 20th. Second session begins March 6th Ages 5-8. 5-6pm

Freedom Center Cheerleading. Participants will be exposed to basic skills and fundamentals of cheerleading. Class will focus on the flexibility techniques, dance, cheers, optional jumps, basic tumbling, and moves for stunting. Participants will also learn the importance of teamwork, motivation, and spirit. Priced at $60, these 6 classes are on every Wednesday starting January 15th and ending February 19th. Another section starts March 5th. Ages 5-8. 5-6pm

 Freedom Center Little Hoops Basketball.  At the beginner level, children will learn the fundamental techniques for dribbling, passing, and shooting. A basic understanding of the game and working with others will develop coordination and motor skills increase. Priced at $60, these 6 classes are on every Thursday starting January 16th and ending February 20th. Ages 3.5 to 5. 10-11am.

Freedom Center Little Hoops Basketball. At the beginner level, children will learn the fundamental techniques for dribbling, passing, and shooting. A basic understanding of the game and working with others will develop as coordination and motor skills increase. Priced at $40, these 4 classes are on every Sunday starting March 9th and ending March 30th. Ages 3.5 to 5. 11am-12pm.

Freedom Center Junior Basketball Camp. This program will give your young athlete the opportunity to be exposed to beginner to intermediate basketball skills in a non-competitive environment. Dribbling, passing, and shooting will be covered in drills and team play. Priced at $40, these 4 classes are on every Sunday starting March 9th and ending March 30th. 12-1pm

Freedom Center Basketball Camp. Bring your young basketball star to the Freedom courts to develop or polish basic to intermediate basketball skills. Campers will focus on improving skills, techniques, and other fundamentals. This is priced at $90 for 5 classes.  Ages 8-14. 9am-12pm

Freedom Center Gymnastics:
Parent/Me
Children will be introduced to basic coordination and tumbling skills, while rotating around a variety of gymnastic stations with parent. Tot Tumblers will work on following directions while participating in activities that work on balance, strength, and coordination. Participants will experience the trampoline, balance beam, and bar. Caregiver participation required. Priced at $45, these 5 classes are on every Tuesday starting March 4th and ending April 1st.  Ages 2.5-3. 9:30-10:15am
Children will be introduced to basic coordination and tumbling skills, while rotating around a variety of gymnastic stations with parent. Tot Tumblers will work on following directions while participating in activities that work on balance, strength, and coordination. Participants will experience the trampoline, balance beam, and bar. Caregiver participation required. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Tuesday starting March 8th and ending April 5th.  Ages 2.5-3. 10-11am
Tot
Children will be introduced to basic coordination and tumbling skills while rotating around a variety of gymnastic stations with parent. Tot Tumblers will work on balance, strength and coordination. Participants will experience the trampoline, balance beam, and bar. Caregiver participation required. Priced at $45, these 5 classes are on every Monday starting March 3rd and ending on March 31st. 10:30-11:15am
Beginner II
Perquisite - has completed Beginner I and as the ability to successfully perform a cartwheel, handstand against the wall (held for 10 secs) and standing to a bridge. Class will focus on learning new skills such as round-offs and kick-overs. Work will continue on cartwheels, bridges, and more advance skills on the vault, bar, and balance beam. Priced at $60, these 6 classes are on every Wednesday starting January 15th and ending on February 19th.
Perquisite - has completed Beginner I and as the ability to successfully perform a cartwheel, handstand against the wall (held for 10 secs) and standing to a bridge. Class will focus on learning new skills such as round-offs and kick-overs. Work will continue on cartwheels, bridges, and more advance skills on the vault, bar, and balance beam. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Wednesday starting March 5th and ending on April 2nd. 6-7pm
Prerequisite-Has completed Beginner I and has the ability to successful perform a cartwheel, handstand against the wall (held for 10 secs), and standing to a bridge. Class will focus on learning new skills such as round-offs and kick-overs. Work will continue on cartwheels, bridges, and more advance skills on the vault, bar, and balance beam. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Monday starting March 3rd and ending on March 31st. 12:30-1:30pm
Children will learn forward and backward rolls on the wedge mat and floor, bridges, head stands, and beginning cartwheel skills. Basic skills learned on the balance beam, single rail bar, vault, and trampoline will also be covered. Priced at $40, these 4 classes are on every Sunday starting March 9th and ending on March 30th. 9-10am
Beginner (Ages 10-12)

Children will learn forward and backward rolls on the wedge mat and floor, bridges, head stands, and beginning cartwheel skills. Basic skills learned on the balance beam, single rail bar, vault, and trampoline will also be covered. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Monday starting March 3rd and ending on March 31st. 7-8pm
Children will learn forward and backward rolls on the wedge mat and floor, bridges, head stands, and beginning cartwheel skills. Basic skills learned on the balance beam, single rail bar, vault, and trampoline will also be covered. Priced at $40, these 4 classes are on every Monday starting January 13th and ending on Feb 10th; no class on January 20th 7-8pm
Beginner (Ages 6-9)
Children will learn forward and backward rolls on the wedge mat and floor, bridges, head stands, and beginning cartwheel skills. Basic skills learned on the balance beam, single rail bar, vault, and trampoline will also be covered. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Saturday starting March 8th and ending on April 5th.   11am-12pm
Children will learn forward and backward rolls on the wedge mat and floor, bridges, head stands, and beginning cartwheel skills. Basic skills learned on the balance beam, single rail bar, vault, and trampoline will also be covered. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Monday starting March 3rd and ending on March 31st.  6-7pm
Children will learn forward and backward rolls on the wedge mat and floor, bridges, head stands, and beginning cartwheel skills. Basic skills learned on the balance beam, single rail bar, vault, and trampoline will also be covered. Priced at $40, these 4 classes are on every Monday starting January 13th and ending on Feb 10th; no class on January 20th 6-7pm
Beginner (Ages 3.5-5)
Children will learn forward and backward rolls on the wedge mat and floor, bridges, head stands, and beginning cartwheel skills. Basic skills learned on the balance beam, single rail bar, vault and trampoline will also be covered. These 4 classes are every Monday starting Jan 13 to Feb 10th for $40; no classes on Jan 20.  11:30am-12:30pm
Children will learn forward and backward rolls on the wedge mat and floor, bridges, head stands, and beginning cartwheel skills. Basic skills learned on the balance beam, single rail bar, vault, and trampoline will also be covered. These 5 classes are on every Monday starting March 3rd and ending on March 31st at $50. 11:30am-12:30pm
Children will learn forward and backward rolls on the wedge mat and floor, bridges, head stands, and beginning cartwheel skills. Basic skills learned on the balance beam, single rail bar, vault, and trampoline will also be covered. Priced at $40, these 4 classes are on every Monday starting January 13th and ending on Feb 10th; no class on January 20th 5-6pm
Children will learn forward and backward rolls on the wedge mat and floor, bridges, head stands, and beginning cartwheel skills. Basic skills learned on the balance beam, single rail bar, vault, and trampoline will also be covered. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Wednesday starting March 5th and ending on April 2nd. 1:30-2:30pm
Children will learn forward and backward rolls on the wedge mat and floor, bridges, head stands, and beginning cartwheel skills. Basic skills learned on the balance beam, single rail bar, vault, and trampoline will also be covered. Priced at $60, these 6 classes are on every Friday starting January 17th and ending on Feb 21st.  11:30am-12:30pm
Intermediate/Advanced
Perquisite - has completed Beginner I and as the ability to successfully perform a cartwheel, handstand against the wall (held for 10 secs) and standing to a bridge. Class will focus on learning new skills such as round-offs and kick-overs. Work will continue on cartwheels, bridges, and more advance skills on the vault, bar, and balance beam. Priced at $60, these 6 classes are on every Wednesday starting January 15th and ending on February 19th. 7-8pm

Prerequisite - has completed Beginner I and as the ability to successfully perform a cartwheel, handstand against the wall (held for 10 secs) and standing to a bridge. Class will focus on learning new skills such as round-offs and kick-overs. Work will continue on cartwheels, bridges, and more advance skills on the vault, bar, and balance beam. Priced at $50, these 5 classes are on every Wednesday starting March 5th and ending on April 2nd.   7-8pm
Perquisite - has completed Beginner I and as the ability to successfully perform a cartwheel, handstand against the wall (held for 10 secs) and standing to a bridge. Class will focus on learning new skills such as round-offs and kick-overs. Work will continue on cartwheels, bridges, and more advance skills on the vault, bar, and balance beam. Priced at $40, these 4 classes are on every Sunday starting March 9th and ending on March 30th. 10-11am


Added to the calendar:

1/14/14

"Area’s Sweetest Teacher" Contest at Sprinkles

Since my neurosurgeon (although I guess he's not "my neurosurgeon" much longer since I hope my last visit will be in February!) and my oncologist (she's mine for the next decade, poor woman!) are at Georgetown University Hospital, I have become a connoisseur of cupcakes in the area.   I know you're not supposed to use food as a reward, but you know, after you spend 2 hours in an MRI tube, those rules no longer apply and you get frosting.  Period.

Sprinkles is by far my favorite DC cupcake location, and they're running a fun contest for teachers.  Check it out below!


Sprinkles Cupcakes Georgetown, the Washington, DC, outlet of the world’s first cupcake bakery, announced today that it will be running a “Sweetest Teacher Contest,” beginning January 21st. Area K - 8 students at schools in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia are invited to submit their favorite teachers for consideration by February 10, by writing a short (250 word) essay about why their favorite teacher is the best. Sprinkles will choose the top three teachers out of these submissions, and the public will vote on the final winner on the Sprinkles DC Facebook page. “Education is such an important part of our community,” said Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes. “This is our way of reaching out and saluting the teachers that give so much of themselves, and provide so much to the children in our area. We are excited to give students a chance to think about their teachers, and express what makes them great. We can’t read to see what students have to say about the educators that have changed their lives.” Forms will be distributed at the store itself, located at 3015 M St NW, Washington DC, or can be submitted to dc@sprinkles.com.

The winning teacher will receive a $250 Sprinkles gift card and a $250 gift card for office supplies, while the first runner up will receive $150 at each location and the 3rd place teacher $100 gift cards.  For additional information and a list of future locations, please visit www.sprinkles.com

1/13/14

Readers Recommend: Gymnastics in Prince William County

We recently had a momma looking for gymnastics and Prince William County, and, as always, you all had plenty to say on the subject!!  If you'd like to add your thoughts, please leave a comment on the bottom of this post!! Love to hear from you! 



Apollo Gymnastics x12- "Apollo Gymnastics right off of Hoadly and PWPkwy." "APOLLO especially if they are serious and want to compete." "3 of our 4 have gone to Apollo and we have really liked it a lot.  My one daughter had a teacher one session we did not like, but other than her the experience has been great." "My son does gymnastics at Apollo.  He has had great coaches." "Apollo is great, but there are some instructors who work better with different kids.  The parent area is great to watch and ask around about instructors (and can be visited before you sign up to research)." "I am a former gymnastics coach and currently a personal trainer.  I highly recommend Apollo.  My daughters love it and have improved by leaps and bounds.  It is expensive, but one of the best around here." "Very well run"
Apollo is located at 12700 Apollo Drive, Woodbridge and offers classes for ages 18 months and up, and birthday parties for ages 4-12. Their phone number is 703-580-9144.  45 minute classes are $80/month at the time of publishing. 


Dale City Rec Center- "My daughter does tumbling at the dale city rec center and loves it! All the 
instructors are great!"
The Dale City Rec Center is located at 14300 Minnieville Road, Dale City, and offers classes through the Prince William County Park Authority.  They offer tumbling for ages 1.5-4 years.  703-670-7112. Classes range from $42-$68 for a 6 class session.

Freedom Center-  If you're just looking for a quick intro class to see if your preschooler/toddler likes it at all, Sally at the Freedom Center funds a great class and the sessions are short and inexpensive"
The Freedom Center is located at 9100 Freedom Center Drive in Manassas, and offers classes through their recreation department.  They offer classes for children ages 3.5-12 years old, and classes appear to be $10 per class in 4 or 5 week sessions at the time of publishing. 703-993-8444.

GMS x4- "GMS in Manassas off Balls Ford.  They have beginner and rec classes and stuff for girls that want to compete in a team.  Great all around gym." "GMS by 66 in Manassas great for competitive and has brand new facility for rec classes." "GMS is the best around!! They have been around for years and years and the owners are amazing. You can't find anything better for sure."
GMS is located at 7226 Newmarket Court, Manassas and offers classes for ages almost 3 and up.  1 class/week is priced at $150 a month at the time of publishing.  703-369-7800.

Novaks x6- "Off stage coach rd Dumfries" "We've done Youth Sports and Novak...like both" "Novaks is great" "Affordable, with a world championship to back them up."
Novaks is located at 17535 Old Stagecoach Road, Dumfries.  They offer open gym, play gym, classes, competition team, birthday parties and camps for ages 5 and up, with a special play gym for ages 5 and under.  Class prices are not listed. 703-221-5833

World Gymnastics- "I love coach Isben at World Gymnastics.  I can't vouch for any others.  He has figured out how to work with five kids on the autistic spectrum and it is better than any OT."
At the time of publication, their site was down.  

Youth Sports Gymnastics x 11- "Love youth sports gymnastics near BJs in Wdbg!" "We checked out quite a few and really liked Youth Sports....the coaches there are really great." "I've heard great things about Youth Sports, we did not have a good experience with our children at Apollo." "We've done Youth Sports and Novak...like both" "Great for girls and boys." "Most have a free trial class; however, Apollo does not.  I did not want to sign up for a class without trying it first.  We have been at novaks, world, and youth sports.  Most impressed with youth sports. It is clean and does not smell like feet!" "My daughter goes to Youth Sports.  She loves it." "My son has been at Youth Sports for 6 years.  Clearly we love it there."
Youth Sports is located at 14023 Noblewood Plaza, Woodbridge.  They offer classes in tumbling, cheer, rhythmic gymnastics, jumprope and regular gymnastics starting with parent/tot.  Sessions are 5 weeks, prices aren't listed online.  They also offer birthday parties, camps, and special events. 703-590-8400


Distance recommendation- 
Dulles Gymnastics Academy- "Dulles gymnastics academy is great.  For under 5yo, $8, 11-12pm on Fridays.  It's great because your kid can try everything out and they have two instructors present." 

1/12/14

Mommy Meet Up- Animated Child/Mateo's

I'm so glad that someone asked me to start doing reader meet ups :) It ends up they're a lot of fun!! Our December meet up was at Bar Louie, and to change it up a little, our January meet up is going to be a daytime event- but it's on a holiday for many of you, so I hope you'll be able to join us!

Please make plans to be a part of our Mom's Day Out on Monday, January 20th (MLK Day) from 11am-1pm!!  (And yes, if hubby is off and wants to come, bring him on along!)

Mateo's Santa Fe Cafe is offering members of our party $3 sangria and $5 appetizers, or you can choose from their regular lunch menu, as well.  I've been once and the food was delicious.  They have a 3.5/4 stars on Yelp which is practically impossible to do- Yelpers like to complain ;)

Need childcare? No problem!  Animated Child is going to be offering PwcMoms who are joining us at Mateo's a special deal!! Their MNO program is typically $35, but for us, it's going to be just $10!! Lunch for the kids is $3 and will be sunbutter and jelly, organic milk, and an apple.  Due to allergy concerns, outside lunch isn't allowed.  Classes will be:
-Ages 3 to 5 (potty trained only!) Art and Open Exploration
-Ages 5 to 8 Science Project and Open Exploration
-Ages 8 to 12 Minecraft

If you'd like to join us, I just need to have a count for the restaurant, and you'll need to register for childcare in advance as spots are limited and filling fast.  You can use this link to register (click here) just make sure to use code PWCMOMS to take off your $20 savings!! However, if you're coming and don't need childcare, please email me (click here) so I know to save you a seat at the table!

Hope to see you there!!  





1/11/14

Giveaway: Ashleybug

Whew things are crazy around here at PwcMoms HQ, otherwise known as my basement.  Because of that, this week's been a bit of a jumble.  We had a Featured Organization Friday post on a TUESDAY and now we're having a giveaway on a SATURDAY.  I know. 

If this is totally throwing you guys for a loop- my middle guy just learned how to play "Lightly Row" on his violin which sounds just like "Soft Kitty" from Big Bang Theory.  I'll even sing for you.  


So, today, we have Ashleybug!
Ashley Barker creates adorable organic bibs, burp cloths, and spa products for your little one. 

Tell us a little about your business:
Hi, I'm Ashley.  I have a background in Advertising and Marketing Research and a love of organics.  In 2010, I was finally able to put all of my ideas to use and Ashleybug began!  In my research, I found that cute organic fabrics are hard to come by and are usually only found in high-end boutiques.  After months of working with my wonderful beta testing babies, I was able to design items that are functional and adorable (not to mention AFFORDABLE!).  They withstand the rigors of everyday use and lots of washings.  


Why organics?
Considered one of the most chemically dependent crops in the world, conventional cotton uses 10 percent of all agricultural chemicals and 25 percent of the world’s insecticides.  In the U.S., one-third of a pound of chemicals are needed just to grow enough conventional cotton for a regular T-shirt. It has been estimated that less than ¼ of the pesticides sprayed on cotton fields actually reach the plants. The remaining ¾ are carried by the wind to other crops, forests, soils, waterways, and all forms of wildlife in our ecosystems.

What's your favorite part about your business?
My absolute favorite part of my business is seeing kiddos in our products when I'm out and about.  It proves that there really is a need for the items that we create, and families believe in giving their children quality natural products.  My favorite thing about the actual business is coming up with new fabric designs.  It's so much fun to be creative and come up with patterns that are unique to ashleybug.

And, since it's January- what's your favorite winter activity?
My favorite winter activity is sledding and also watching the snow come down with a cup of hot chocolate :)

Ashleybug is offering 20% off to PwcMoms readers during the month of January on baby items, and she's got a fun giveaway for us, too! Enter using the Rafflecopter below to win an Ashleybug Gift pack valued at over $50! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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As always, this giveaway is provided by the sponsor, and when entering, you agree to be bound by our full rules, which are available here. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Apple/iTunes, Google/GooglePlay, Android, or anyone else who shovels their cash to the bank on a daily basis.