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Six Tips To a New Year and a New You in 2017

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By Michael Oberschenider, Psy.D.

Research has shown that as many as 45 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions, but only about eight percent are actually successful in achieving them. And it seems that age is a factor: about 39 percent of people in their twenties achieve their goals. Inasmuch as old habits are hard to break, and new ones are hard to maintain, I offer the following tips to help you succeed: … Continue Reading

Support Group Help Needed

November 30, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Support Group Help Needed
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Dr. Mike,
My son was diagnosed with ADHD two years ago, and his pediatrician at that time recommended we try a social skills group for his “immaturity” and “impulsivity.” We did that, and our experience was horrible. The kids in the group had much bigger problems than my son and a couple of them actually had Autism and not ADHD. One child couldn’t control himself and hit my son and that was our last group with them. I think the group made things worse because my son was very self-conscious and anxious afterwards. Fast forward two years later, and my son is still socially immature and impulsive and now his fourth grade teacher is recommending a social skills group for him. Ugh! The place we went to two years ago is supposed to be the best social skills group practice in our area, so now what? Thank you for your guidance.
Concerned Parent
… Continue Reading

Wrongfully Willed?

November 2, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Wrongfully Willed?
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Dr. Mike,
I am approaching the one-year anniversary of my dad’s death, and I’m still very angry with him for how he left his remaining money to my older brother, my younger brother and me. My husband and I have two daughters and my older brother has two sons. My younger brother is single and doesn’t have any children. My father had $900,000 when he passed away, and he left my older brother $800,000, which included trust funds for my brother’s two sons’ colleges. My younger brother and me got the remaining $50,000 each.

I was assuming that my dad would just split the family’s inheritance equally. Our parents paid for our colleges, they gave my older brother and me money for our weddings, and they were pretty much always even steven with us as adults. So, imagine how shocked my younger brother and I were to learn that that because in the Will I am “wealthy” and because my younger brother doesn’t have children, my dad decided to give the majority of his inheritance to my older brother and his children to make things “fair.” … Continue Reading

Concerned Parent

October 6, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Concerned Parent
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By Michael Oberschenider Psy.D.
Dr. Mike,
We recently signed our four-year-old daughter up for gymnastics. It wasn’t cheap, but her friends from the neighborhood do it, and she has been begging us to go. It turned out to be a horrible disaster. From the first lesson, she was frustrated, she couldn’t pick up the instructions, and it was a battle to get her to go every time. My husband took the hard line that our daughter had to continue because she made a commitment and because we couldn’t get our money back. I initially shared his position, but he never went to a single practice to see what I saw, and I couldn’t continue to drag my kid out of the car crying only to peel her off of me to enter a room and an activity she was miserable in for two hours a week over and over. I made the executive decision to pull our daughter, and my husband has been furious with me ever since. His unbending hard line position is that our society is all about immediate gratification these days and that commitment and perseverance means nothing to the youth of today; and that we are spoiling our kids by giving in to their every whim. What do you think?
Concerned Parent in Loudoun County
… Continue Reading

New Book Helps Balance Children’s Screen-Time and Play Time

September 7, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on New Book Helps Balance Children’s Screen-Time and Play Time
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By Amanda Clark
Michael Oberschneider, a clinical psychologist and founder/director of Ashburn Psychological Psychiatric Services, has just released a book titled Ollie Outside. This book addresses the very timely and important topic of screen- and media-time management for children. Ollie Outside is a story about a boy who wants to spend time with others, but everyone around him is preoccupied with some sort of technology. Ollie is resourceful and active and loves the outdoors, so he turns his moments of upset into action to solve his problem. At the end of the book, Ollie and his family come together to learn the valuable lesson of managing technology better, and putting their relationships first. “This is a very timely and relevant message for young children to hear in today’s technology-focused society,” says Oberschneider. … Continue Reading

Pokémon GO: A Fun New Gaming App or an Accidental Treatment?

July 20, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Pokémon GO: A Fun New Gaming App or an Accidental Treatment?
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Penicillin was accidently discovered in 1928 when scientist Alexander Fleming returned to his lab from vacation to notice that a strange fungus growing on a culture had killed off the neighboring bacteria. After WWII, psychiatrist and researcher, Dr. John Cade, also accidently discovered the extremely positive affects of lithium for mood disturbances that revolutionized the treatment for what we now know as Bipolar Disorder. Some of the other amazing medical discoveries that were found by accident include, Nitrous Oxide, the Pap Smear, the Pace Maker and even Viagra. … Continue Reading

Unmotivated Teen

July 6, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Unmotivated Teen
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– By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.

Dr. Mike,
At our insistence, our 17-year-old son is going to get a summer job. Well, that’s what he agreed to, but we are two weeks into the summer and guess what … he doesn’t have a job yet. He’s applied to two places online (so he says) but no phone calls, no interviews and no job yet! Any advice on how to motivate a mopey teen that just wants to play video games and hang out all summer?
-Concerned Parent

Dear Concerned Parent:
While you “agreed” for your son to get a job this summer, finding a job doesn’t seem to be a priority for him. I recommend that you sit down with him for a talk on the topic. First, be proactive and positive in your message; sharing with him that a job will put money in his pocket, will give him a sense of purpose and accomplishment, and will increase his social skills and independence, is a lot better than negatively telling him to get out of the house and get to work.

Second, your son needs to find a job because the job isn’t going to find him, so I think you need to manage things more as parents. Yes, he can keep applying to larger companies online and wait, and wait and wait. Or, he can go on foot to fill out applications. The Ashburn Patch posted that it had 20 part-time jobs in Ashburn last week alone, and there are many help wanted signs hanging up in storefronts and restaurants throughout Loudoun County.

Why don’t you make getting a job a positive parent-child moment where you drive around together to hunt out help wanted signs in nearby shopping centers; you could go fill out a bunch of applications and have lunch together. And keep in mind, the more applications your son fills out, the sooner he will be hired. Wishing you both a fun a productive summer.

Dr. Mike,
Our 4-year-old daughter can’t get enough of her princess costumes and fancy dresses, and she wants to wear them everywhere. From summer camp, to birthday parties and to bed, she wants to be Belle, or Anna or Elsa, or Snow White or Rapunzel or Sophia the First, etc. It’s not a big deal most of the time, but sometimes it’s not appropriate, like when she ruined one of her favorite costumes on the playground last week. Every time my husband or I try to redirect her or explain why she can’t wear her costumes or dress up at certain times, she has humungous temper tantrums. Everything is princess and all of the time. Any thoughts on how to turn a princess back into a normal little girl?
-Concerned Parent

Concerned Parent,
Actually, at 4 years of age, your daughter’s desire to be a princess is very normal, but I understand your frustration. Setting limits with children isn’t always an easy thing to do, especially when a child is very passionate about something and “no” is hard to accept. Perhaps you could start by agreeing with your daughter on the types of places where it’s “okay” for her to celebrate her princess self and places where it’s “not okay.” For the places where it’s not okay, I recommend coming up with an action plan. For instance, your daughter and you could agree to have a costume or two on hand, and she could dress up either before or after a “not okay” event or activity. Planning ahead of time and getting your daughter involved and excited should help (e.g., you could help her pick out her costume and fold it nicely to keep in the trunk of the car if you are going somewhere). You could also come up with princess alternatives with your daughter where she could take her Barbie or a doll or a princess storybook in tow. She could also watch a downloaded princess movie or movie clips on an iPad or phone when it isn’t possible for her to dress up.

As frustrating as your princess conflicts can be at times with your daughter, take comfort in knowing that this is a phase that will pass. And remember to enjoy this precious time with your daughter because these sorts of moments go by fast.

Michael Oberschneider “Dr. Mike” is the founder and director of Ashburn Psychological and Psychiatric Services. He has been featured on Good Morning America, CNN and other popular media spots as a mental health expert. He has received the Washingtonian Magazine “Top Therapist” honor for his work with children and teens. Go to AshburnPsych.com or call 703 723-2999.

Living in Debt

June 1, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Living in Debt
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Dr. Mike,
My husband has issues with money that are hurting our relationship and family. He makes a lot of money, but he spends more than he makes and we are in debt. He can’t just have a luxury car, oh no, he has to have the newest and nicest one in the neighborhood. He can’t just have any old golf club membership, he has to have the most expensive one that oh, by the way he only goes to about 10 times a year. His bonus last year was his highest of all time but he spent it before the check even cleared the bank. We have no savings to our name, tons of credit card debt and spoiled kids, but every time I bring our finances up to him he tells me that he “works hard” or he “deserves it” or “chill out” and I “worry too much.” I love him to death but can’t keep living like this. Got a few ideas for us?
Concerned in Loudoun
… Continue Reading

Concerned Parent

April 6, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Concerned Parent
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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.

Dr. Mike,
We are concerned about some habits our nine year old son demonstrates and would love some advice from you.  We are unsure whether it’s anxiety, nervousness, or just nervous/an excess of energy.  A few years ago he began biting his fingernails and does that very frequently now.  Along with that habit he seems to pick up other tics that he’ll demonstrate for a few weeks and then they’ll dissipate which will be followed by another one a few weeks/months later.  Some of these tics have been scrunching up his eyes/face and tapping his hands onto his legs.  My husband and I try not to draw attention to them as we don’t want him to feel badly about something he can’t seem to help but we are unsure how to help him.  Thanks for any advice and suggestions you might have.  
A concerned parent
… Continue Reading

Am I an Enabler?

March 2, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Am I an Enabler?
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Dr. Mike,
My husband thinks that I’m harming our son for life because of the way I parent. Our son is 12 years old and he was diagnosed with ADHD in the 1st grade. My husband calls me “the enabler” because I admittedly double or triple check things for our son, give him constant reminders, and stay up late with him to get homework and projects done. My husband’s approach to parenting our son is to leave him alone to fail. My husband’s favorite line to me these days is “how will he ever learn how to do things for himself if you are always doing everything for him?” Our son isn’t doing great at school these days already so I cannot agree to the hard knocks approach to parenting my husband believes in so much. Can you give me some advice on how to get through to my husband that being hands-on is a must when parenting a child with ADHD? Your input is appreciated.
Concerned Parent
… Continue Reading

Snowmageddon III?  Seven Survival Tips for Parents

February 3, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Snowmageddon III?  Seven Survival Tips for Parents
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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.
“snOMG,” “snowmageddon,” “snowpocalypse,” and “kaisersnoze” are a few terms to describe what just happened in Northern Virginia. The storm was reported to be the second worst storm on record. And while many children and teens gladly anticipate more snow days, there is a sense of reservation for many parents that it’s over and their children will be returing to school on Monday. … Continue Reading

The Scorpion, the Frog, and You!

January 7, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on The Scorpion, the Frog, and You!
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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

Replies the scorpion: “It’s my nature …” … Continue Reading

How To Talk about ISIS and Terrorism with Your Children

December 2, 2015 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on How To Talk about ISIS and Terrorism with Your Children
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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.

The recent terrorist attacks in Paris have shaken the hearts and heads of many around the world. And since the Paris attacks, upsetting event after upsetting event has occurred, compounding the effect on our collective psyche as a nation. And while we are all upset by what his happening right now, our children as a group are the most at risk emotionally as a group.

As a child psychologist, I have been dealing with the emotional impact of terrorism this past week with a number of my child and teen patients. While I am perforce in the role of treating children with emotional and behavioral struggles, there are times when larger societal issues can enter the therapy space – and this is one of those times. Many of my child and teen clients have broached the topic of terrorism with me and with a heightened sense of anxiety. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

The Trump Effect

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“Corals are marine magicians. As colonies of the tiny ocean organisms grow, they transform the calcium that circulates in seawater into enormous limestone reefs. These reefs—which can extend for more than 1,000 miles and provide homes for crabs, eels, sea …

Six Tips To a New Year and a New You in 2017

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By Michael Oberschenider, Psy.D. Research has shown that as many as 45 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions, but only about eight percent are actually successful in achieving them. And it seems that age is a factor: about 39 …

Investing in the Family Stock

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Family relationships are usually not considered under the rubric of “investments”. Yet, the personal gain and loss from family relationships is much more significant than economic return from stocks and bonds. Taking time out to relate to a person without …

Choosing a Different Lens

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We have all heard, “A picture’s worth a thousand words,” maybe even said it aloud while perusing old photo albums or scrolling through Facebook timelines. Sometimes words fall short of adequately describing an emotion encapsulating a distinct moment. Pictures fill …

Freedom Park

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A great name for a great place, this public space shows us – in my opinion – what’s best about Leesburg, Loudoun County and our country. Freedom Park – just off the Dulles Greenway on the South side of Town …

The Grim Reaper and the Great Barrier

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(to be presented to the Board of Supervisors in January) “The recent frequency and intensity of mass coral bleaching are of major concern, and are directly attributable to rising atmospheric greenhouse gases.” [1]

Pearl Harbor

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By Nicholas Reid Seventy-five years ago this December 7, to quote President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” It will have been 75 …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

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Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

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Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

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Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

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Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

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Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

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Calendar

January 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
December 26, 2016 December 27, 2016 December 28, 2016 December 29, 2016 December 30, 2016 December 31, 2016

Family New Year’s Eve Celebration

January 1, 2017

New Year's Day Musikabend

Restore & Renew

January 2, 2017 January 3, 2017 January 4, 2017 January 5, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

January 6, 2017 January 7, 2017

Core Purpose, Core Practice Yoga

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

January 8, 2017
January 9, 2017

AUDITIONS - SEUSSICAL

January 10, 2017 January 11, 2017

Beale Street Puppets: Dig Those Dinosaurs

January 12, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

January 13, 2017 January 14, 2017

THE IMMORTALS

January 15, 2017

Come Paint with Us at Breaux Vineyards

January 16, 2017 January 17, 2017 January 18, 2017

Virginia Opera: Deep River- The Marion Anderson Story

January 19, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

January 20, 2017

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

January 21, 2017

DANNY KNICELY CONCERT

January 22, 2017
January 23, 2017 January 24, 2017 January 25, 2017 January 26, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

January 27, 2017 January 28, 2017 January 29, 2017
January 30, 2017 January 31, 2017 February 1, 2017 February 2, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

February 3, 2017 February 4, 2017

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

February 5, 2017
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Lifestyle

Upcoming Waterford Concerts Feature St. Lawrence String Quartet and Four Other Acts

18 Jan 2017

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Subscriptions and tickets are now on sale for five upcoming concerts, the Waterford Concert Series announced. All concerts begin at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoons in the Waterford Old School auditorium, 40222 Fairfax Street in Waterford. The concert series begins March 19 with the St. Lawrence String Quartet, known for exalted performances and joyful connection with audiences. First violinist Geoff …

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Historian Rich Gillespie Speaks on Haunts on the Loudoun Landscape

12 Jan 2017

The Mosby Heritage Area Association announced an event in conjunction with the Purcellville Library on January 29, at 2:00 p.m,. which will feature Rich Gillespie, Historian Emeritus of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, speaking on the “Haunts on the Loudoun Landscape.” The stories are all from the personal experiences of long-time local historian and teacher Rich Gillespie, or from close …

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Help Joseph … and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

4 Jan 2017

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Blue Ridge Middle School’s PTO is seeking help with its drama department, working diligently on the production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamboat. The children in the show are enthusiastic and very talented. And, the school has a long history of first class productions with recent shows such as The Lion King, which won 11 National Youth Arts Awards …

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Editorial

Grief and Greed

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By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

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– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

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– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

Vote No To the Minor Special Exception

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We are a group of Loudoun County citizens who will be adversely affected if the board grants a special exception for the Catesby Farm property at your upcoming meeting. You …

It’s Our Right

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On December 6, the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on a “Minor Special Exception” proposal we submitted earlier this year concerning our Catesby Farm property. Unfortunately, our limited …

View From the Ridge

Broken Promises, Hidden by a Six-Foot Berm

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By Andrea Gaines On August 9, 1825 at the age of 69, French military officer the Marquis de Lafayette was honored in Leesburg by former President James Monroe. The French-born …

Around Virginia

Office Building on Capitol Square To Be Named After Civil Rights Pioneer Barbara Johns

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Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the newly renovated state building located at 202 N. 9th Street on Capitol Square in Richmond (currently known as the 9th Street Office Building) will bear the name of civil rights pioneer Barbara Johns. The building, which reopened last year, houses the Virginia Attorney General’s …

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Rep. Comstock’s Key Top Priority Legislation Initiatives

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Signed into Law in Her First Term Rep. Barbara Comstock, who serves the 10th congressional district in Virginia, recently reviewed the achievements of her first term in office, identifying 17 legislative initiatives that she supported that were adopted. She said: “My staff and I have met with stakeholders, local elected …

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Man Killed Walking To Gas Station on I-95

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Virginia State Police Trooper M.J. Kryznefski is investigating a fatal pedestrian crash in Prince William County. The crash occurred at approximately 4:10 a.m., on Monday, December 26, on Interstate 95 near Exit 158B. Three males were traveling south on Interstate 95 when their Honda CRV ran out of gas. They …

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Sports

Ida Lee Spring NFL Flag Football Registration Filling Fast

18 Jan 2017

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Deadline for the House League registration is February 13. Registration for the Spring 2017 NFL Flag Football League at Ida Lee is currently open and filling fast. We are excited to offer again two great leagues: Ida Lee NFL Flag Football House League and the Ida Lee NFL Flag Football …

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Woodgrove Grabs First at Glory Days

10 Jan 2017

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The Woodgrove Varsity Gymnastics took first place in the red division of the Glory Days Invitational at Park View High School on Saturday, January 7. Woodgrove competed against Rock Ridge, Potomac Falls, Loudoun Valley and Heritage high schools. Host team Park View came in first in the lower blue division. …

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