Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Last Day to Save!

Don't miss out! It's the last day to save in the big Teachers Pay Teachers Teacher Appreciation Sale! Enjoy 20% off EVERYTHING in The Teaching Bank's store through midnight May 7th! In addition use code TPTXO at checkout and receive an additional 10% off everything in your cart!

It's a small way to show the appreciation for doing one of the most important, and most challenging jobs there is, teaching our kids, building the future! Thank you for all that you do!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Sale at Teachers Pay Teachers!

The time has arrived for the big Teachers Pay Teachers Teacher Appreciation Sale! Tuesday, May 6th - Wednesday, May 7th enjoy 20% off EVERYTHING in The Teaching Bank's store. In addition use code TPTXO at checkout and receive an additional 10% off everything in your cart!

It's a small way to show the appreciation for doing one of the most important, and most challenging jobs there is, teaching our kids, building the future! Thank you for all that you do!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Join in for the Big Teacher Appreciation Week Sale and Sweepstakes at Teachers Notebook!

Come join me over at Teachers Notebook for a big sale this weekend to show appreciation for the hard work of all the great teachers everywhere! The Teaching Bank is offering 20% off EVERYTHING in my store from May 3 - May 5th. In addition Teachers Notebook will take an additional 10% off everything in your cart so stack up the savings and shop away!

The excitement continues May 5 - May 9th, enter to win one of four $25 Teachers Notebook gift certificates given away each and every day during the sweepstakes PLUS your chance for the grand prize of an iPad on May 9th!

Hopefully the sale will help you find some great resources for these last days of school, or help you stock up for next year. It's a small token to show the appreciation for doing one of the most important, and most challenging jobs there is, teaching our kids, building the future! Thank you for all that you do!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Finale of the Exciting Adventures of Flat Tucker!

Our flights from Washington DC to Chicago and back to Omaha were smooth and we actually got in 20 minutes early!

I think Flat Tucker really enjoyed his visit to our nation's Capital and hopefully he learned a lot of new stuff! I know Joey and I did! Thank you again Tucker from Ms. Sanders' 2nd grade class in Ochelata, Oklahoma, for letting Flat Tucker join us on our journey! We had so much fun sharing the sights and sounds of Washington DC with him!

Flat Tucker watching the action on the streets of DC from the hotel window
 (first window to the right of the blue flag)

Flat Tucker will be packing up for his journey through the US Postal Service to return back to Tucker in Oklahoma on Monday! Watch for him in the mail Tucker he has lots and lots of brochures and memorabilia from all the places he's been to show you!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 7 of the Exciting Adventures of Flat Tucker!

Got all packed up and checked out of the hotel this morning. Took our last subway ride on the Metro to a bus stop where we caught a bus to Dulles airport. This was our first time exiting at the Rosslyn Metro stop and I about had a heart attack when I boarded the escalator to go up. I am afraid of heights and I have never seen such a monster! It got to a point where I knew I better not look back at Joey because I'd probably pass out! According to Wikipedia it is the 3rd longest continuous spanned escalator in the world!
Photo from Wikipedia

We made it to Dulles airport in Virginia with the plan to check the luggage and take the shuttle to the Air and Space museum nearby. Problem is we found out you are not allowed to check luggage more than four hours before a flight! So we schlepped all our luggage along to the Air and Space Museum which thankfully had lockers large enough to hold a suitcase!

The Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum was really great. It is very large so it can hold all the aircraft that the main location on the National Mall cannot hold, like Space Shuttle Discovery! I was just in awe of standing right next to an actual real life Space Shuttle! I just love the Space Shuttle and I was able to see the last launch ever of Space Shuttle Atlantis on July 8, 2011. It was a dream of mine so to see a shuttle up close was really, really cool!

We also saw some Navy Tomcat jets like you see in the movie Top Gun.

Joey was excited to see the SR-71 Blackbird which is one of the fastest fighter jets of the Air Force.

The airplane called, The Enola Gay, is also housed here. This airplane holds historical significance as being the plane that dropped the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945, that helped end World War II but caused great devastation and suffering to the people of Japan.

This museum was really cool to visit even if it was a bit inconvenient to get here and drag our luggage!

We're back at the airport now and sitting at the gate awaiting our flight.  Right now everything looks to be running on time so we should be sleeping in our beds in Omaha tonight. I hate the vacation to end but it's always nice to be back sleeping in your own bed!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 6 of the Exciting Adventures of Flat Tucker!

Today was a very significant day. First, we started at the National Archives for a guided tour. In this building you get to see the original Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, in addition to many other very important documents. There is no photography allowed in this building to help preserve the integrity of the documents so no photos were taken here.

It was very interesting to see these original documents and to see how they are displayed. They are displayed in a very beautiful, ornate room called the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom. This room is kept cool and dimly lit to help keep the parchment paper of the documents safe. There are two armed guards who stand on either side of The Constitution at all times to ensure its safety. The documents are lowered into an underground sealed vault every night to protect against any unforeseen disaster.

After lunch we took the subway across the Potomac River to Virginia to the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Department of Defense. Before we toured the building we walked through the memorial that has been built in honor of the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

The memorial is very peaceful. It is set up as a series of benches that are marked for each victim with a reflecting pool underneath that reflects their name. It is organized from the oldest victim born in 1930, to the youngest, born in 1998.

Flat Tucker near one of the memorial benches with the reflecting pool underneath.

After visiting the memorial we went through heavy security to enter the Pentagon itself. The security was similar to going through the airport but they also had to swab the fronts and back of our hands to check for explosives residue. After being cleared we entered the waiting area and were allowed to take a picture at the lectern. After that we had to turn all cell phone completely OFF. No photographs, videotaping, nothing! The military doesn't mess around!

The tour itself as conducted by two military personnel, a women from the US Army and a man from the US Navy. They were both wearing their dress uniforms and were very impressive and disciplined. They were extremely knowledgeable and knew the answers to every question anyone on the tour asked. The most impressive thing was they conducted the entire tour walking backwards, even stepping on and off the escalators and turning corners! They knew their stuff!

The tour covered about a mile and a half of walking through the building, but that is really only a small portion. There are over 17 miles of corridors in the Pentagon. It contains it's own mini-mall within for the over 23,000 people that work there! You can fit 118 White Houses inside the Pentagon! It is absolutely HUGE!

We were taken into the section that was hit by the plane on September 11, 2001. Inside there is a small memorial chapel in honor of the people who perished that day. To walk through a sacred place of such an event of history was quite an experience.

Overall out of everything we've done this week I believe the Pentagon tour has been my favorite. I was so impressed by the military personnel who conducted our tours and to walk through the halls of history was very moving.

After our tour we went to a nearby mall and ate at a California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. This used to be a favorite restaurant of ours in Omaha, but sadly it closed. We try and eat there whenever we find ourselves near one!

Flat Tucker rides the Metro Subway!
Back at the hotel tonight to get our suitcases packed up and check-in for our Southwest flight tomorrow night. We are taking the bus out to the Dulles airport tomorrow morning to drop our luggage and then take a shuttle to the other Air & Space Museum near that airport for the afternoon before we fly out. The highlight there will be Space Shuttle Discovery! If you have read any of my past blog posts back in 2011 I am a HUGE space shuttle fan and was almost at the last launch of Endeavour and did make it for the very last space shuttle launch EVER of Atlantis on July 8, 2011. I'm pretty excited to see a shuttle up close!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day 5 of the Exciting Adventures of Flat Tucker!

So happy to wake up to a bright sunny morning today! The rain yesterday did bring in a cold front so it was significantly colder today with wind chills in the 30's, brrr, but at least it was dry and we had the sun to warm us up!

First, we walked over to the White House to view the south side and to go to the Visitor's Center. We were able to watch a video that gave a tour of the entire White House and explained the history and significance of the different rooms and furnishings.

On the south side of the White House

Next, we walked over to the Newseum. This museum shows American history through the yes of the news. There were newspapers from the 1500's! We saw the headlines of most of the major events from the last few centuries as well as newscasts of major news events of the past century. There were some interesting exhibits on the Berlin Wall, the major cases from the FBI files, and a very moving exhibit from 9/11 showing not just news, but actual artifacts recovered from the scenes as well. It was a very interesting museum.

The antenna from atop one of the World Trade Center towers. The wall behind shows the front pages of newspapers from around the world with the 9/11 headlines.

Flat Tucker in front of Oklahoma's front page headlines from today!

After touring the Newseum we took the subway out to Arlington National Cemetery and took a tram tour. The tour stopped at the grave site of the Kennedy family where President John F. Kennedy is buried along with his wife, and two children. This grave site contains an eternal flame, a flame that was lit by his wife at his funeral and remains lighted at all times. It is hooked to a special gas line to ensure it stays lit even in rain and bad weather. President Kennedy's brothers Senator Robert Kennedy and Senator Edward Kennedy are buried nearby as well.

President John F. Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy grave site at Arlington National Cemetery
Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
We also visited the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which honors soldiers lost at war from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. This tomb is guarded 24/7 by the "Old Guard" unit of the Army and the guard is changed every 30 minutes to hour based on the time of year in a changing of the guard ceremony. This is a very cool and honorable ceremony to witness. The crowd is eerily silent and respectful and the dedication and precision of the servicemen is very admirable.

The changing of the guard ceremony
We made our way back to the subway to take us back to the hotel after touring the cemetery. Picked up a pizza on the way in and settled in to rest up for our last full day. Going to see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and tour the Pentagon tomorrow!