Monday, February 29, 2016

No More Basketball

Today began the post-basketball part of the year. Sam’s team lost their playoff game yesterday to the heat (Ethan, Joseph, and Dylan’s team). Pete came to the game, so he helped Dad keep track of some important things, such as how mad Joseph was getting, and why coaches don’t put the backups in when it’s a 16 point lead with 90 seconds left in the game. Now all that’s left is the team party at Fuddruckers.

Then it will be time to find a way for Sam to get exercise for something besides his fingers on a Gamecube controller.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

DMV #2

Dad went with Pete today up to the DMV in Leesburg, to take "the photo" that you have to take when you get your Learner’s Permit. Of course, they did not go with the standard photo. They did one from a distance where you could see all the letters, which allowed them to play around a bit with Photoshop. Then they did a closer one of Pete lighting his permit on fire. Pete drove to the DMV and back – some good practice driving in Leesburg and dealing with the Sunday church traffic. He also drove later in the day to Sam’s basketball game, the car wash (closed), and later Popeye’s.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ray's The Steaks

Today Sam was at the Merit Badge campout with his Troop. Mom/Dad/Pete went to dinner at Ray’s the Steaks in Arlington. The people at the next table were quite the treat. The guy sounded like Boomhauer from King of the Hill. At one point he said to Pete: “I’m so glad you picked up that bone and started eating it, because I’m planning to do the exact same thing.” The lady sounded like Lois from Family Guy. On the way home, they stopped at the garage in Dad’s office and Pete drove the rest of the way. It was his first garage and highway driving experience.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Driving Practice

Tonight was Sam’s campout with his Scout Troop. He decided to go to the ice house with his friends, and Mom agreed to drop him off in the morning at the campout in Great Falls. While Sam was skating, Mom/Dad/Pete had dinner at BGR in Sterling and then saw “The Revenant” at Regal Countryside. Pete got some practice driving to Sterling and back home.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Nyet Credit

Pete was having some trouble with his math homework, so Dad stayed up until 12:30 to help him. They were doing limits where the denominator approaches zero. Dad showed him how to do it, and then the shortcut to do it instantly using derivatives. Pete thought that was pretty cool. Let’s just hope he doesn’t try using a derivative on the exam, or the anger of Mrs. Littlefield will rain down with great fury. 

[Russian accent:] This quiz not derivatives. This quiz limit as approach zero of function x plus delta x minus function x over delta x. Nyet credit.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Today was Sam’s monster homework day, with 5 assignments due tomorrow (Science Project, Science worksheet, History worksheet, English analysis essay, and English word study). He came home and got right to work, with only a brief break for dinner. His basketball coach even sent him home early from practice so he could focus on his homework. His Science Project “Apples To Astatine” turned out pretty nicely (see photo). And he wrote an amazing English essay in about 20 minutes. He even had about 45 minutes to spare after finishing everything; enough time for a few games of Melee in the basement.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Morning Appointments

Pete was in no rush to get to school today (B Day), so after his allergy shot he went with Dad to Coney Island Diner for the $3.99 breakfast special. Of course, they get you by charging $2.50 for the juice (not included). And by Pete coveting the chicken tenders and fries when looking at the menu. Dad twisted his arm and convinced him to get the $3.99 breakfast this time, however.

As usual, the allergy place did not disappoint with their zaniness. This time Krista put a massively aggressive X over the “Additional comments” section. She must have known that Pete and Dad were up to something.

Sam’s procrastination is getting to the chronic level. If you ask him to work on his Science Project, he gets upset and states that he has everything “under control”. He quickly returns to spending the evening on Kaizo Mario 3 and reading Super Smash forums. Then in the morning he freaks out when he realizes the volume of work that he has left for himself.

Monday, February 22, 2016

No Jacket Required

Dad went to pick up Sam and William at the Troop meeting. When they were ready to leave, William said his jacket was missing. Dad, William, and Sam looked all around the meeting room but could not find the jacket. They decided that maybe someone else took it home by mistake. Upon arriving home, William realized that he had never brought the jacket to the meeting in the first place. Other than that, and William’s Dad getting lost on the way to the meeting, everything went pretty well.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Kaizo Super Mario

Pete made it past levels 1 and 2 on Kaizo Super Mario 3. This is possibly the hardest game that has ever made it into the house. Pete would be spending many agonizing hours over the next few weeks on this game. Sam’s controller is coming in a few days, so there will be at least double the agony in the house after that. Dad also helped Sam get the Xbox controller working on the PC today, which was not without its share of pain and misery. They did finally get it working though, around 10pm.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Twists and Turns

Today went a little bit differently than expected. Pete was going to drive with Mom to his District choir event at Dominion High School, but due to an unexpected separation of the front bumper when backing out of the garage Mom had to drive Dad’s car instead. This meant no car for Dad to get a donut for Sam before his basketball game (which they lost badly, but Sam played well). After the game, Mom and Dad got the bumper back on and took the car to Maaco. Then Mom, Dad, and Sam went to Dominion High School to see Pete in the All-District choir. There was just enough time for Mom and Dad to finish assembling the new barbecue grill before taking Sam to the Pack 1151 Crossover and Pete to babysit for Jackson, Reagan, and Kellen.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Retro Controller

Pete’s package arrived today from Amazon, so he was able to spend the evening playing Super Mario 3 on NEStopia with his new USB NES controller. Also arriving were Mom’s fabric and Dad’s gas grill.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Double Stuf Backpack

It is hard to predict what direction Sam and Dad will go with their bedtime conversation. This evening, they started out discussing the chances of snow next Tuesday and ended up discussing how many packages of Double Stuf cookies Superman could carry, either with or without a backpack.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Math Award

Congratulations to Sam for receiving the Thunderbirds Math Award for the top Math student in the second quarter. On a related note, Sam brought home his Spectrum folder today and everyone had some fun working through the Continental Math problems at the dinner table. Mom brought home some problems too that she had been working through at her school.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Learner’s Permit

Pete turned 15 and a half today, and school was closed for the snow/ice, so after lunch with Dad and Sam, he went with Mom to take the test for his learner’s permit. He needed 100% on the signs and 80% on the written questions to pass. He was proud to say that he scored exactly 100% on the signs and 80% on the written questions. Dad will need to take him over to the DMV in Leesburg to get the celebratory picture, since apparently they don’t have the brick wall with the letters at the Sterling ("ghetto") location where he went with Mom. After passing the test, he went to his dentist appointment, which due to a scheduling mistake by Ronald Ray DDS took about an hour and a half.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Speed Dentistry

Sam had the fastest dentist appointment ever today. He was in and out in 18 minutes. It was their last appointment of the day and there was an ice storm coming. If he ever goes on trial for murder, hopefully his case will be the last one on the judge’s docket on the Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Golden Valentine

Mom and Dad went out to a romantic lunch at Golden Corral in Manassas. They squeezed into a delightfully cozy table for two, shoved up against the wall and in between two parties of twelve. 

They made it home in plenty of time to have Taco Night dinner with the boys:

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Second Win

Sam’s basketball team got their second win of the season in a nail-biter. They played against the Warriors, a team which was pretty horrible with no Steph Curry or Klay Thompson anywhere in sight. Apparently their good player (Atticus) was not there, which was the key factor. Today was Sam’s chore day, so he spent the afternoon working on dusting, vaccuming, and the bathroom. He decided to save the mopping for Sunday.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Top Hat Day

Sam enjoyed wearing his top hat to school today for “Top Hat Day”. This evening he went to the ice house with his usual squad. It was an especially good night, since he got them to play the new song “Death of a Bachelor” - and they also played “Stressed Out” by his favorite group (21 Pilots).

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The V

The boys joined Mom and Dad at “The V” for a Thursday dinner. This was to celebrate their report cards, which technically haven’t arrived yet. Dad assured everyone that if they did not get good grades they would be paying him back for dinner. They were seated by Kyle and Tyler’s sister (Madison) and had an enjoyable evening. Unfortunately Pete’s friend Chandler was not working tonight, as he is away at school in Europe this semester.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Spring Musical Call-Backs

Pete had call-backs today for the Spring musical, which will be “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”. This is likely to be Miss Halloran's first and last production at the school, since she is likely leaving next year to return to  New Jersey with her fiancee. Hopefully they can bring in a new Theater director next year who will be committed to the school and the program. The choreography for the show is also being done by Ms. Hicks, whose specialty is unfortunately Biology with a sprinkle of Ballet. It is shaping up to be an interesting production.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Straight Face

Sam is convinced that the guy who plays Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds (Shemar Moore) is the same guy who plays Phil Miller on Last Man on Earth (Boris Kodjoe). Yesterday at dinner he was asking people to “look at this picture [on my phone of Moore] and tell me with a straight face that it’s not Phil Miller”. Then he would make this goofy face so that it was impossible for the person looking at the picture not to laugh. Perhaps Marco Rubio should try this same tactic in the debate. He could ask Ted Cruz to “tell America with a straight face that there is no such thing as global warming”.

Monday, February 08, 2016


Dad and Sam were talking about trans-Atlantic communication. Sam pointed out that technically you could also call it trans-Pacific. Dad noted that for phone and internet, it is actually trans-Atlantic because the wires run across the bottom of the Atlantic ocean. Sam thought it was pretty funny that Dad thought there were wires running along the entire bottom of the Atlantic ocean. It is kind of embarrassing if you think about it – one would hope that by 2016 we’d have figured out a better way. In the meantime, Sam will only believe in the existence of those cables when he sees them for himself.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Super Bowl

Today was the Super Bowl party at the Kinney’s house. Dad got 3 squares for Pete, 3 for Sam, and one for mom. One of Sam’s boxes was a pretty lousy Broncos 6 / Panthers 1 but he actually had a decent chance to win when the Broncos were ahead 16-7 in the third quarter. But the best chance was Pete. He had Broncos 2 / Panthers 0 and with the Broncos leading 16-10, they scored a touchdown with 3 minutes left. Not only did this give Pete the exact numbers he needed, but it also meant the Broncos would go for the 2-point conversion! If they missed the conversion, Pete would have won the jackpot, but sadly Peyton Manning hit Bennie Fowler (who?) in the end zone. It was the last 2 points of Peyton Manning's career. It was yet another victory for the Onderchains, with Pete, Sam, and the entire family maintaining their streak of still never winning a single quarter in the pool. Note: Pete spent the game working with Jennifer and Alesia on their singing Valentines, and Sam also skipped the game to work on his Science project hang out at home.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Tournament #2

Dad and Sam went back to university of Mary Washington for the bi-weekly Smash tournament. This time Sam entered in Melee, Smash 4, and Project M. He lost his first Melee match, then won several matches in the loser’s bracket before getting knocked out. He lost twice in the Smash 4 and Project M tournaments. Dad worked on his laptop next door in room 329, which was rather convenient. They had their usual dinner at Vocelli before the drive home. Next time they will stop at Sam's Pasta and Pizza a little down the road.

Friday, February 05, 2016

A Jay at the Movies

Pete and Sam were home from school today. After lunch at Ledo, Dad dropped Sam off at the new “Starplex” theater over by the future Metro station. He saw The Fifth Wave with Jennifer, Jacob, and Jack. Perhaps he should have changed his name to “Jam” to go with the group.

Thursday, February 04, 2016


Dad and Pete were in the car. Dad asked Pete if he was aware that there was a chance of some snow the following Tuesday. Pete replied emphatically: “oh yes, I’m aware of it”. Dad began to picture a team of people in Pete’s lair constantly monitoring the weather forecast. This also gave him the idea for the following graph:

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Dinner Discussion

Dad took Sam to Wendy’s for dinner and then dropped him off at basketball practice. Then he brought Popeye’s home for him and Pete. Mom was taking a nap, so Pete and Dad talked for about an hour at the kitchen table. They discussed all sorts of things, ranging from Obamacare to theater to philosophy. It was very enjoyable for Dad. Pete manages to mix compassion with libertarianism and sense of humor which is a rare combination that Dad does not often get to experience.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

One Acts

Tonight Pete’s theater class finally got to perform their “One Acts”. Sam was spotted hanging out with Jack near the back of the auditorium, and Mom and Dad got a good seat near the middle. The four plays were Mirrors, Hard Candy, Superheroes, and Boise Idaho. Pete played Batman in Superheroes. He got a lot of laughs. All of the productions were pretty good. Dad stopped on the way home for some late night Chick Fil A, where the attendant was Jennifer, who had given Pete a ride to school earlier in the day during the 2-hour delay for “black ice” so they could go in early to work on their “Singing Valentines” project.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Trumpet Lessons

Sam received his prizes for selling popcorn today at his Troop meeting – two knives and a rocket kit. He was the top seller in his Troop at $390. Not bad for one hour of work. Dad tried to convince him to go out for four hours next year. While Sam was away at the meeting, Pete also had his first trumpet lesson with Eric Blanks.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Loose Ends

Sam had two basketball games this weekend. On Saturday, he played against EthanM, Joseph, and DylanG. On Sunday, he played against Sean Sullivan and EthanW. Sam played point guard, and scored a lot of points but needs to work on cutting down his turnovers. 

Sunday night was time to finish up all of the homework that of course never was mentioned during the last 9 days that everyone has been home for Snowzilla. Also, Dad helped Pete with the configuration of his Access database where he is entering contact info for all of his friends.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

History Poster

Pete did a great job working on his History poster yesterday while Dad was at the office during yet another snow day.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Corn v. Popcorn

Pete went with his friends to see the new Star Wars movie (episode VII). When Pete comes home from the movies, there is usually a tub of popcorn on the kitchen table or coffee table. The tub is about half the size of the table. Pete gets a refill on the way out of the theater, so he has enough popcorn to last him through the week. Ironically, Pete will not eat regular corn when it is offered at the dinner table.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Snowball Dunk

Sam joined Dad for lunch with Brian today at Wegmans. They saw Mr. James (Nick’s Dad) there and also Mr. Doug (Madison’s Dad). They brought home some chicken wings for Pete. After lunch, Sam dunked a snowball from Dada's shoveling pile and then helped Dad finish digging his fort through to Mason’s house.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Stir Crazy

Now that school has been cancelled for the rest of the week, Sam and Pete are getting a little stir crazy. Yesterday they went out the back door and jumped around in the snow in their bare feet.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Getting Out of the House

The family decided to take a chance and drive over to IHOP for a late brunch. Fortunately, they found a parking spot around back and it was not too crowded. After lunch, they played in a 20 foot snowbank for a bit. 

Later in the afternoon, Dad and Sam started work on their snow fort/tunnel. Pete also worked on a cave over by the fire hydrant. Pete was lamenting that the snow is only around for a few days, as he would prefer attacking this as a more long-term project.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Laptop Usage

Dad created the above infographic detailing his perception of how Pete seems to spend time on his computer.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Alternate Steering Wheel Designs

Pete, Sam, and Dad probably should not have shared with Mom the discussion they had the night before. It began with Sam asking whether steering wheels had to be circular. Dad said no, they can be in any shape. This led to a variety of questions and ideas, including whether the steering wheel could be a square, a decapitated human head (ears at 10:00 and 2:00), or a movie theater. Pete also came up with the idea of steering based on turning your head, but there were a number of grave concerns with this concept as well. Sam also asked today what would happen if the numbers 2 and 3 were reversed, and if there were no letter “S”. Hopefully the snow plow will come down the street one of these days so everyone can get out of the house and clear their mind.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Blizzard of 2016

The blizzard today (aka "Jonas" or "Snowzilla") resulted in a record 36 inches of snow in Ashburn. The Redskins bubble collapsed and it will be a while before the plows make it down Merrywood Court. Pete and Sam went out to play for a bit. They dumped some Orange Fanta in the snow and made snow cones. Later in the evening, Pete, Sam, and Dad made some snow cones out of the snow stacked up by the sliding glass door in the kitchen. The supplies are starting to dwindle, but still enough to last a few more days. The goal is to get the car out by Tuesday for a trip to McDonalds.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Shoveling Before Bed

This amusing exchange took place during dinner:

  • Mom: I think we'll want to shovel some of the snow before bed
  • Dad: Shovel??
  • Pete: Bed??

(For those who may be wondering, Dad did go out and shovel before bed, which turned out to be the biggest waste of time ever, since of course on Sunday morning there was a perfectly even coating of 36" over everything, regardless of what may or may not have been done on Friday night.)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Last Supper

With the big storm coming, Mom and Dad decided that tonight’s dinner needed to be somewhere out of the house. Fortunately the mall was not too crowded. Maybe everyone was at Home Depot buying snow shovels. Sam got pizza and breadsticks at Sbarro. Pete got Popeye’s, three spicy pieces of dark meat with double fries. Mom and Dad got Chaing Mai Thai. Then Mom went to return some things at Sears and JC Penney, so the boys played at Brookstone and Mind Games. They did some devil sticks. There was also a minion ball that Sam and Dad were able to knock around like a volleyball for a surprisingly long time. Pete found a toy with a picture of a kid that looked exactly like his friend Chris, so he posted that in his group chat.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blizzard Prep

Preparations for the great 9-day blizzard of 2016 appear to be complete:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Official Signatures

Sam is continuing to make some good use of his calligraphy set that he got for Christmas. Tonight he and Dad signed the form for his English project in style:

Monday, January 18, 2016

Change It To Eleven

Pete received a notification on his phone that due to the cold weather there would be a 2-hour school delay on Tuesday morning. He went upstairs, planning to have the following conversation with Dad:

  • Pete: What time is your alarm set for tomorrow?
  • Dad: Seven o'clock
  • Pete: Change it to Nine!

But Dad had already heard about the delay a few minutes earlier, and reset his alarm, so the conversation actually went as follows:

  • Pete: What time is your alarm set for tomorrow?
  • Dad: Nine o'clock
  • Pete: Change it to Eleven!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

I've Made My Choice

Pete’s tweet summed up this lazy Sunday afternoon: “I know I have better things to do than learn to play Bowling for Soup's 1985 by whistling through my pen cap, but I've made my choice”.

Dad thought this was an amusing bit of fiction, until he got home from Las Vegas and heard Pete in fact play Bowling for Soup's 1985 by whistling through his pen cap.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Good To Know

Pete babysat tonight for Jackson, Reagan, and Kellen. He texted Dad: “When Kellen says ‘horny’, he actually means ‘hungry’.” Good to know.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Unexpected Request

Sam sent Dad a text from the basement, asking him if he could go ice skating with his friends. The only problem is that Dad was at the airport, about to get on his flight to Las Vegas. Dad texted back to Sam that he should go upstairs and check with Mom.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tour De Force

Dad helped Sam set up a game called “ProjectM” on the Wii. They play this at some of the Smash Bros tournaments. It took a few tries, but they got it working. Sam downloaded and extracted some files on to an SD card and then inserted it into the Wii. He went to the Stage Builder and that successfully launched ProjectM! Sam was very happy.

Also tonight, Pete completed his English project on the book 1984. Dad referred to the project as Pete’s “Tour de Force”, as he had put quite a lot of effort into it and it looked fantastic. This definitely went counter to the “Dad Strategy” which is essentially “pretty good is ok with me”. Dad was very proud of Pete for not only reading the entire book, but putting in extra effort, not for the grade but to create something that he would feel legendary about.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Spelling and Geography Bee Dinner

Sam skipped his basketball practice to go to the “Spelling and Geography Bee Dinner” at school. The menu was Papa John’s pizza, salad, and cake. It was not the most thrilling event by any stretch. They read off the names of a few Indian students (the winners) but only one of them was there. So after a few moments of silence, everyone started to eat. There were about 30 people in attendance, which is a bit sparse in the cafeteria. Anyhow, Sam spent some quality time with Mom and Dad. Then he and Dad went back to his locker and cleaned out a few things to bring home. Pete stayed at home during all of this to work on homework go out with Alexandra.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Exploding Tote Bag

Pete’s team at school is in a contest where the winner is the team who brings in the most cans of food for the needy. Mom and Dad have been keeping a stockpile of cans for these purposes, since there seem to be these canned food drives several times a year. Dad was pretty impressed on Tuesday as Pete loaded the entire inventory of cans into a totebag and walked to the bus with it. There were probably a good 20 cans in that bag. Hopefully they won. Also hopefully the bag did not explode prior to Pete getting the cans turned in.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Mature Melee Masters

Dad asked Sam about old people in the Super Smash Melee world rankings. He asked what he thought would be the highest ranked player aged 45 or more. Sam said he thought it would be about #300 in the world. Dad found this to be a little bit pessimistic, but the more he thought about it the more he realized that Sam may be right.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Test Scores

Pete received his PSAT scores. He got a 690 on the Math and 700 on the verbal for a total of 1390 (out of 1520). Both were up around 99th percentile.

Sam also received his score for the AMC-8 Math exam that he took in November. He scored a 14/25 which was in the 96th percentile for 6th graders.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Final Destination

Sam had a busy day. He was not happy to have an 8:30am basketball game this morning, but it did turn out to be a fun game. The opposing team had Alex Estes and Andrew Mulieri. Sam played well and his team pulled out their first win, in overtime. Sam stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts and then the team got their photos at Farmwell. Pictured are Vee, Will, Nihar, Matt, Garrett, Ryan, Jalen, and Sam. (Not pictured - "Bill")

His new red shoes arrived in the mail. 

Later in the day, Sam finally unlocked “Final Destination” on Super Smash Bros. Melee, which he had been working on for several weeks. In the evening, Dad dropped Sam off at Stone Bridge for the FSMS vs. Trailside teacher volleyball game. 

Then Dad came home and watched the end of the Steelers/Bengals playoff game with Poppy. The Steelers were up 15-0, but after Ben Roethlisberger got hurt they found themselves down 16-15 with a minute left and Cincinnati on first down deep in Steelers territory. But after a complete Bengals meltdown (fumble and 2 personal fouls), the Steelers managed to kick a game-winning field goal.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Annual Checkup

Dad took Sam to his checkup with Dr Yang in Brambleton. Sam is at the 8th percentile for height and 9th for weight, but Dr Yang said he is “trending well” with the curve. He also said Sam should try to "mix in breakfast sometimes", in addition to his 2 meals per day. The physical portion of the exam had to be abandoned about half way through, since Sam is pathologically ticklish. Sam and Dad discovered in the waiting room that there is a “21 Pilots Lyrics” category in Quiz Up. Sam played it about a dozen times and got a perfect score most of the time.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Morning Routine

Here is the start of Pete's morning routine. It varies, depending on whether Sam takes a shower:

  • "A" day: This is the day that Sam takes a shower before Pete. Pete gets mad at Sam for not getting out of the shower until 7:50am, and then gets in the shower at 7:51am.
  • "B" day: This is the day that Sam does not take a shower. Pete gets in the shower at 7:51am.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Ledo and Powerball

Sam had basketball practice tonight, which means that Mom left dinner as a "wildcard" option. So the boys and Dad went to Ledo Pizza. It was pretty desolate there at 8:00pm – just Kimberly the waitress and her Dad the cook. Dad asked Kimberly to take a picture of them. On the way home, they stopped at 7-Eleven to get tickets for the $500 million Powerball drawing that evening. Pete wanted to pick the numbers, but when he showed his ticket to Dad, Dad explained that picking 4, 20, and 69 is not a good idea since you’ll end up splitting the pot with about 100 other people. So they went with quick picks. Dad was really worried that Pete’s numbers (that he talked him out of playing) were going to be the winning ones. But fortunately that was not the case. In fact, nobody won so now they can get another ticket for the next drawing which is projected to be the biggest in US history! ($750M+)

Tuesday, January 05, 2016


Dad tried to trick Pete with some French, but as you can see in the picture Pete got the best of that exchange.

(Perdant is the French word for "loser")

Monday, January 04, 2016

Back To School

Sam had a fun day returning to school with his new blue hair. William was elected leader of the Werewolf patrol at the Boy Scout Troop meeting. Also, today was final deadline on deciding who is going on the Jordan trip over Spring Break, so Dad could order the plane tickets. Mom convinced everyone to go, so Dad went online and purchased four tickets.

Sunday, January 03, 2016


Sam had an exciting day today. First he went to Jackson’s s birthday party at Pev’s paintball (after Mom and Dad dragged him out of bed twice and convinced him to go). He had a great time. His shoes were a bit dirty though, covered in mud and paint. In the evening, Sarah dyed Sam’s hair blue.

Saturday, January 02, 2016


Today Pete and Sam had some visitors, most of who were en route to Chicago. Ashleigh, Sarah, Anthony, and Aunt Stacey arrived in the afternoon. Earlier in the day, the experiment of waking Pete and Sam up at 9:00am (to get them back on their routine for school) was ok for Sam but did not go as well as planned for Pete.

Friday, January 01, 2016

New Year's Day

Sam, Pete, and Dad slept until about 12:30pm today. Pete decided he is going to stay up all night to try to get back on a normal sleep schedule. We’ll have to see how that turns out. Dad got the year started off right by dinner at McDonald’s at 5:30pm. Actually it was mom’s fault for telling him that she saw a sign that they would be open on New Year’s Day. So once he knew that, the deal was done.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve 2015

On the last day of 2015, Sam and Mom went to breakfast at IHOP with Nana and Poppy. Mom dropped them off later in the day at the airport for their trip to Chicago. In the evening, Mom and Dad went to a party down the street

Pete went to a party at a friend’s house, and Sam enjoyed a quiet celebration at home with his Skype friends around the world. He did run over to the TV just before midnight to see the final countdown on ABC's "Rockin' New Year's Eve Featuring the Re-animated Corpse of Dick Clark and Also Ryan Seacrest".

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

More Vacation Days

Mom went hiking with Natalie, so Pete did some babysitting for Justin and Alex while Dad and Sam enjoyed a quiet day at home. After dinner, the boys caught up on 3 of the 6 back episodes of “Last Man on Earth” on the DVR.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015


This evening the group had a nice dinner with Nana and Poppy at Clyde’s. Sam enjoyed his adult burger and brownie sundae. And Pete had the steak and brownie sundae. Dad saw an old friend Melanie that he used to work with. 

On the way home, they drove by 8 of the 10 prize winning houses in the Broadlands to see the holiday decorations. A few of the homeowners had apparently already disabled their decorations, since it was 4 days after Christmas. But there were still a few decent ones to see.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Gifts Round 2

Nana and Poppy came over today for the second round of opening presents. Pete got a funny shirt and pedal for his keyboard. Sam got League of Legends gift cards. Dad got a new camping pad. Mom got a white blouse. Shadow did not get to open her present, since she was still in Virginia Beach and did not make the trip.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Jump Start

Pete went out this evening with Alexandra while Dad played in his hockey scrimmage in Reston (2 goals!). Dad got a text message around 11:30pm that he needed some help at McDonald’s with re-starting a car. Dad went over and helped jump start Alexandra’s car (which is rather similar to Mom’s). 

Sam is also continuing to enjoy his new calligraphy kit.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

After Christmas

Dad and Sam spent about 90 minutes getting the Gamecube controller to with with his new Steam game on the PC. They did finally get it working (yay!). Then Dad played some Mario 3D World with Pete on the new Wii U. In the evening, everyone met Brian and Patti at The Greene Turtle to watch the big Eagles/Redskins game, which determined the winner of the NFC East. Sadly it was the Redskins. Stuart (Sam’s Scoutmaster) was at the restaurant also and stopped by to say hello.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas 2015

The boys had a great Christmas and seemed to really like their first batch of gifts (Nana and Poppy still to arrive in a few days). Here is what they got:


  • Wii U
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii
  • Wii U Gamecube adapter
  • Color printer for the playroom


  • Whip
  • Calligraphy kit
  • Devastator gaming keyboard/mouse
  • $20 Steam card
  • Striped long-sleeve shirt
  • Headphones for PC
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 14
  • "Thing Explainer" by Randall Munroe
  • Ukulele song book
  • $40 Amex gift card (from Uncle Steve)


  • Sustain pedal for keyboard
  • Hoodie
  • Plaid shirt
  • 2 Wimpy Kid books
  • Tea strainer
  • Laptop sleeve
  • AP History study guide
  • Sweatpants (exchanged from Grandma)
  • Ukulele song book
  • $40 Amex gift card (from Uncle Steve)

They also enjoyed some pancakes after opening their presents:

Mom, Dad, and Sam went in the afternoon to see the movie “Joy” with Brian and Patti. Then they picked up Pete for dinner at Fuddruckers (2nd annual).