Posted by Christine Connally on May 22, 2013
Don’t use the internet to vent. Remember anything you post on Facebook or other social networking sites can be seen by millions of people. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a post in your native language won’t be understood! If you are having a bad day, call your counselor and she can help you find a solution.
Also, remember not to post any personal information on the internet.
Posted by Christine Connally on May 15, 2013
Have you ever been to a drive-in movie? Drive-in movies are outdoor theaters where the movie is projected on a large screen and you watch from your car. There were once over 4,000 drive-in theaters in the U.S., now only a few hundred remain.
One of those still operating is right here in Maryland, in the Baltimore area. Bengies Drive-In has been in business since 1956. It is about an hour drive from most parts of our cluster, but since they are the only one left in the entire state of Maryland, that doesn’t sound so far.
Click here to visit the website
I have been taking my kids to drive-in movies at Bengie’s for the past few years and we love it.
The drive-in is only open Spring-Fall.
Drive-In Movie Tips for First Timers:
- You pay one price whether you stay for 1, 2 or all 3 movies.
- You may stay in your car or bring chairs to sit in in front of your parking space.
- If you go in the summer and plan to sit outside, bring insect repellent spray or bug bracelets.
- If you go in the fall when the weather is cool, bring blankets.
- You cannot bring in outside food or drinks, unless you purchase an outside food permit. I recommend you buy your snacks there. They have some interesting options that you don’t see at a regular movie concession stand and that’s part of the full experience.
- Before you go, read the information on their website about headlights. You need to know how to disable your headlights when you are inside the movie.
- You also need to figure out how to turn your vehicle to the “accessory setting” with your key. This will allow you to listen to the movie without draining your battery. VERY IMPORTANT
- There is a note on their website about how to enter their address with GPS units because they don’t come up as Baltimore on GPS.
If you give it a try, let me know how you like it!
Posted by Christine Connally on May 10, 2013
I just saw this on Facebook and I thought it was such a simple idea that could really make your kids day. Imagine if you were a kid and every day when you open your lunch box, you find a different drawing on your sandwich bag.
The person who made the designs here just uses colored Sharpie markers on regular ziploc lunch bags. Check out his Flickr album for lots of inspiration. This is something you could start right now at the end of the school year or plan for next school year. The designs can be simple, so you don’t need to be a great artist to make this special. You can decorate the baggies ahead of time or get up early and enjoy some art time before the kids get up. The possibilities are endless! If you give this a try, I would love to see some of your creations, so please share.
Posted by Christine Connally on Apr 23, 2013
We are lucky to have Six Flags America amusement park in our cluster area. Since lots of au pairs have expressed interest in going there, I wanted to share some tips on how to get the best deal on admission.
Prices and offers are subject to change. This info is correct as of 4/23/13. Check website for specifics.
Six Flags has Season Passes for $49.99+tax per person, if you buy them in packs of 4. If you can get together with some friends to take advantage of this deal. If you buy less than 4 season passes, they are $59.99+tax per person.
Single-day Admission to Six Flags is $39.99-59.99, depending on whether you buy them online or at the gate. So, it is a much better deal to get the season pass.
If you decide not to get a season pass, you should buy your Single-day Online Ticket in advance to $15-20 off the price you would pay at the gate.
Season pass and other tickets may be purchased here on the Six Flags website.
Other costs to consider
Parking – Single Day ($20) or Season Pass ($50)
Food & Drinks – Meals are approx $15
You are not allowed to bring outside food and drinks inside. To save money you can pack a lunch and keep it in the car. There is a picnic area in the parking lot where you can go out and eat lunch and then re-enter the park. Make sure to get your hand stamped on the way out in order to be able to re-enter the park that day.
Discount Tickets for Other Amusement Parks
MNCPPC offers discount admission tickets to Six Flags, Kings Dominion, Hershey Park and several other amusement parks in neighboring states. Those are available at community centers in Prince George’s County. Check the PG Parks website for details.
Posted by Christine Connally on Apr 18, 2013
Last weekend we had a cluster meeting enjoying the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and going paddle boating on the Tidal Basin. As a lifetime resident of the DC area, this was my first time doing either of those things! We had a beautiful day.
Posted by Christine Connally on Apr 10, 2013
We have been talking about taxes at our Coffee Meetings since January and the deadline for filing is almost here.
Here are some of the basic questions:
Who is supposed to file taxes? – All au pairs who made $3800 or more in the calendar year (Jan 1 – Dec 31.) Au pairs who made less than $3800, are not required to file a tax return for 2012.
Will all au pairs have to pay something? – No, it depends on when you arrived and how much money you earned last year.
When are 2012 taxes due? – April 15, 2013
Where can I get the tax form? - 1040NR-EZ Form
Where can I get the instruction booklet? – 1040NR-EZ Booklet
Where can I get detailed information and see a sample au pair tax form? – APIA Tax Info for Au Pairs
Where should I mail my tax return form?
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 1303
Charlotte, NC 28201-1303
How do I write a check or money order? – Check here
How do I address an envelope? – Check here
Posted by Christine Connally on Apr 4, 2013
Every community needs volunteers. If the children are too young to help at a food pantry or soup kitchen you can simply take a trash bag and clean up a local park to make it more pleasant for everyone. Be sure to wear plastic gloves and don’t touch broken glass.
Posted by Christine Connally on Mar 20, 2013
Take a walk outside and look for signs of spring – swelling buds on the trees, flowers poking up from the ground, more birds back in the trees.
Photo by: Thomas Quine
Posted by Christine Connally on Mar 17, 2013
St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17, because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It has become a holiday all around the world, where everyone can share in the fun and be Irish for the day.
Fun Ideas with the Kids
St. Patrick’s Day Recipes
Irish Soda Bread
Corned Beef & Cabbage
- The color green is also commonly associated with Ireland, also known as “the Emerald Isle.”
- One estimate suggests that there are about 10 000 regular three-leaf clovers for every lucky four-leaf clover.
- Legend says that each leaf of the clover means something: the first is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and the fourth for luck.