Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Treasure Walk

Pictured in the bucket above are all of the exciting artifacts Pete and Sam discovered on our treasure walk last weekend.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Four Square

No trip to an elementary school playground would be complete without a classic game of Four Square. This was a game we played in the 1970's, before they invented today's sterile plastic playgrounds with chimes, mulch, educational exhibits, etc.

Pete told us how to play by his version of the rules. Pete is currently in the "King" box. Mom is Queen. Dad is Jack. And Sam is Toilet. If you miss a shot, you go to Toilet and everyone else moves up.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Jumping On States

One evening we went over to the playground at Pete's school to try to find some fun things to do.

First we played the states game with the nice new map painted on the ground. Dad calls out a state, and then you run to that state.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Few Things About Myself

I like reading things that Pete writes in school. He includes some factual information, and inevitably you find an odd item mixed in. See if you can find it in the following example.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Gee Thanks

Pete: Dad, you're really good at doing Pokemon battles.
Dad: Gee, thanks Pete.
Pete: For a beginner.

Monday, July 23, 2007

2007 Rain Gutter Regatta - The Race

Here are how Pete and Sam's boats turned out for this year's Rain Gutter Regatta.

It was amusing trying to take the above picture. Pete squatted down to be at the same level as Sam. When Sam saw Pete squatting, he wanted to squat too. So then Pete had to squat more. This continued until they were both almost down to ground level. Like a little squatting arms race.

Anyhow here are the results of the race:

Pete - Pete finished 1st in the Wolf division, retaining his crown. He also won his first two races in the pack finals, but then lost to finish in 3rd place for the pack. Good job, Pete.

Sam - Sam got mad before the race when his boat would not "float" on the grass, so he smashed it. So it will be the job of historians to debate how seaworthy the vessel might have been prior to meeting its demise. We went to the playground for a few minutes, and then Sam and Dad repaired his ship and ran it through the course in a solo exhibition race.

I'm not sure what Pete is thinking about for next year, but I did see him at one point sitting on the hot tub and looking contemplatively at a 2x4. I suspect he is imagining how much sandpaper it would take to fashion it into a "battleship".

Friday, July 20, 2007

2007 Rain Gutter Regatta - Preparations

Pete was ready to defend his victory in the Tiger division of the annual Rain Gutter Regatta. So it was time to get cracking on building his boat. This year we ordered a boat for Sam too, so he could race in the sibling race.

First it was time for sanding. Poppy helped Sam work on his sanding technique. By the way, Poppy happens to be a shipbuilding engineer and engineering professor. So there will be no excuses if Sam does not create a seaworthy vessel.

Then it was time for painting the boats.

You will have to check back on Monday to see the results of the race!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Virginia Beach Vacation - Day 3

On Sunday, we had a big family brunch and then headed home. It seemed like a good sign that we were greeted by a rainbow when we finally pulled in to the driveway.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Virginia Beach Vacation - Day 2

On Saturday, we went to the beach near the 15th St. pier, and were later joined by Ashleigh, Sarah, Aunt Stacey, and Uncle Paul.

Then we grabbed 5 geocaches and had dinner at Cici's. Pete tried to sleep over Sarah's, but his allergies were pretty bad and he had to come back to Nana's house. I told him I wouldn't put the picture on the blog, so you will have to use your imagination.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Virginia Beach Vacation - Day 1a

After going out on the boat and dinner, we went to a festival at the Kempsville Community Center.

One cool game we hadn't seen before at a festival was a jumbo "Connect 4":

And there were no complaints about the free cotton candy:

Monday, July 16, 2007

Virginia Beach Vacation - Day 1

We had a nice 3-day vacation in Virginia Beach. On Friday, Poppy took us out on his boat for a lovely day of sailing:

Notice that after Pete took over as Captain, there was no sign of dry land for miles in any direction:

We told Pete that the Captain has to go down with the ship, so he convinced someone else to become Captain:

Friday, July 13, 2007

July 4 Parade

Above is a picture of mom, dad, Pete, and Sam marching in the Ashburn July 4th parade.

Well, actually, it's Pete in the garage with the decorated scooters. Sam decided he would rather march in the flying backpack than on his scooter, since he got "tired" before the parade even began. So no family picture again this year.

Anyhow, we had a fun time walking in the "parade" and then did some cool rides at the Pavillion, including a big water slide, Wacky World, and Dunk Tank.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Kid Cuisine

One of Pete and Sam's favorite treats is Kid Cuisine. It costs a little more, but on the positive side it has taught Sam to impeccably pronounce the word "cuisine".

You get a little packet of sauce to spread on your pizza (they only like the pizza one, not even the one with chicken nuggets). This time Sam insisted on spreading his sauce like a horse. It came out pretty well - maybe a little more like an elephant. But close enough, since he ate it (and ate the peaches too!).

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


This is an unusual picture:

a) Sam is not using his hands
b) Pete is not telling everyone what to do

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Air Conditioner

After two years, we (finally) got our upstairs air conditioner replaced. So hopefully our days of 88 degree slumbering are behind us.

Sam and Pete took a few trips up to the attic to watch the repair guy. Here we found Sam later that evening trying to get the attic open for some more fun.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Crossover Ceremony

Pete is now officially a Wolf Scout. At the Crossover Ceremony, he walked across the bridge to move from Tiger to Wolf. He also had to complete all of his Tiger requirements.

Note the hesitation as he gets ready to cross. I don't think anyone warned him ahead of time that the words "obedient" and "courteous" would be on there.

Side note, this is one of the few times you will see Pete with his scouting shirt tucked in. Hopefully we can get this trend to continue.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Happy Birthday Pete?

Can anyone guess why Pete came home from school one day in June with a hat that said "Happy Birthday Pete"?
Answer: Since Pete's birthday is in August, mom brought in cookies so the kids in his class could celebrate in June.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


We were surprised to find that a local hobo had taken up residence on our trampoline. Pete and Sam decided to continue jumping despite the menacing presence of the hobo. Mom and Dad agreed not to press charges. In exchange, the hobo had to agree to drive Nana back to Virginia Beach.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Model Home?

Sam likes his new Sit 'n Bounce that mom recently picked up at a yard sale. Here he is bouncing in the empty garage of what appears to be a model home. But somehow the garage looks oddly familiar.

Ah, it's actually Sam's house. Mom and Dad took everything out to clean the garage. Sam is wondering how all of these things were in half of the garage just a few hours ago.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Oatmeal Smile

I thought something looked unusual about Sam's smile for this picture. It wasn't until I looked at the picture later that I figured it out.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Good For Something

We have a little alcove about 4 feet off the floor in the downstairs bathroom. No one is quite sure what it is for, but apparently one use Pete found is for playing hide and seek.