We went up to the post office yesterday afternoon for our passports. The Man was delayed and the postal employee told me last week we'd have to be there by 3:00 p.m., so the kids and I went on up to get the paperwork started.
I'd downloaded all the forms, filled them out, taken the pictures and had them developed last week. They would have done the pictures at the post office, but, frankly, some passport pictures I've seen kind of resemble a deer in the headlights. By doing them myself I had some control over the picture that will be on my passport for the next 10 years. Oh, and for about 2 hours of my time messing with the lighting, fiddling with the picture size, taking pictures, and doing it all over again when it didn't do right the first time, I saved over $70. It would have cost $75 total for the post office to take the pictures. It was slightly over $2 for developing at the one-hour lab. I went in prepared to pay the $ for the post office to do them if the ones I had weren't suitable, but the postmaster said they were great.
The postmaster was impressed. Not only with my well-organized folder, but also with the children who had been given the "no running, no pushing, stand still, be quiet, we're going to be here for a long time" talk before we got out of the van. The postmaster took his time with our applications because we were waiting for The Man to come and sign them also. By the time he had done all he could do and I wrote out the six checks (ouch), one with each application to the Department of State and one to the postmaster, The Man was still not there. Postmaster had already figured out that we were homeschoolers and offered to give us a tour of the facility while we were waiting. Cool! We love impromptu field trips, especially since I rarely get around to scheduling any.
Just as the postmaster came around to the door to let us in the back, The Man arrived. He quickly signed and gave his info to the postmaster then we all got to go on the official tour. But first, postmaster made all the kids raise their right hands and promise not to touch any mail.
The kids enjoyed the tour and peeking inside an official mail truck. We don't have mail trucks in our little town. Postmaster told the kids that the mail trucks don't have a radio or air conditioning so they'd better stay in school!
I was sure to point out to the kids that the postmaster probably wouldn't have invited us in the back if they hadn't behaved themselves while in the front. It is the little things.