Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Spongebob Party - Preparations

Sam decided that he wanted to have a Spongebob theme for his 5th birthday party.  So it was time to transform the house into an undersea waterworld.

Check out the cool cake and cookies that Mom baked:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sam's Second Party

Sam's second of his three birthday parties was held in a quiet ceremony at home on December 4.  In an improvement over Dad's birthday, the cake did not get dropped on the floor.

Sam opened a few small presents, then had a cupcake and for the next few days played some Twister.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sam's First Birthday Party

Sam's first birthday party was held at school on December 4.  Everyone enjoyed their mini ice cream sandwiches.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Snail Chicken

Sam would like everyone to see his cool snail chicken that he got at BK.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ready For Church

This is what happens if you tell Sam he can pick out his own clothes for church.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Family Uno

Pete and Sam had a fun time playing Uno Attack with family after Thanksgiving dinner.

The following evening they joined Sarah to put on the second of their two nightly Webkinz shows:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Junior Toastmasters

Pete's class at school is doing Junior Toastmasters.  Essentially this means that he got to make a 3-4 minute speech to the class on a topic of his choice.

Pete chose to speak about Virginia Beach.  He practiced twice over the weekend and gave the speech on Monday morning.  His score on the speech was 46 out of 50.

On a related note, Pete can frequently be seen wearing his basketball uniform around the house.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Getting Ready

Pete and Sam helped get the ornaments on the Christmas tree this year.  Their favorite new ornaments were the puzzle balls that Dad brought back from Germany.  They assembled the balls, and then hung them on the tree.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Three Lakes Park

Pete and Sam had a fun time at Three Lakes Park.  It is located near Richmond.  They stopped there on the journey to Virginia Beach for Thanksgiving.

They found one geocache there, after searching for about 15 minutes.  Pete and Dad also went looking for a second geocache, but didn't have enough time to walk around the third lake.  They did take the pictures shown below on their brief excursion.  They will look for the other geocache next time.  There is also a nice Visitor's Center there.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Dad: Sam, what is the opposite of disobedient?

Sam: Indisobedient

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Pete in Goal

Pete bided his time all year hoping to play goalie for his soccer team.  He was pleased to finally play goalie for all 3 games in the final day's tournament.  He had an outstanding record, only giving up 2 goals in 3 games.

Friday, December 05, 2008

King of the Pumpkin Patch

The above picture of Pete at the pumpkin patch brought back memories of this earlier one from when Pete was 5:

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Aren't You Forgetting Something?

December 4, 2008 - early in the morning

Sam comes into Mom and Dad's room and taps Dad on the shoulder to wake him up.

Dad: Hi Sam
Sam: Aren't you forgetting something?
Dad: What?
Sam: To wish me a Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Kids and Leaves

The kids on the street got together to jump in some leaves.

They then proceeded to Pete and Sam's trampoline for some more serious leaf action.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Monday, December 01, 2008

Sam AR Tests

Here is Sam reading Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants.  He has started going in to Pete's class at school and taking Accelerated Reader (AR) tests.  This was the first book that he was tested on.  He is currently at the 4th grade reading level.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Sam, Pete, and cousin Shayna had fun playing with a very old and large tortoise at Pumpkinville.  Unfortunately, soon after these pictures were taken, the tortoise stepped on Pete's foot.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Here are this years pictures of Pete and Sam:

And here are pictures of Pete and Sam Dad painted on his mini-pumpkin from the Fall Festival:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Halloween 2008

Pictured above are Pete, Christopher, and Sam before they headed out for trick-or-treating.  Pete and Christopher are Dementors.

And below is the street Halloween "party" getting set up.  This seems to expand every year.  This year we had a fire, tables, and chairs.  The kids coming down the street just come to the middle and grab candy out of the bowls. 

After returning home, everyone headed into the neighbors' garage for some candy-swapping.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sam's Soccer Trophy and Medal

Sam likes his trophy and medal that he got for playing soccer.  The trophy has a little soccer ball that spins around.  Although at times Sam did not want to play major portions of his games, he did have a better showing in the last game.  He played almost all of the last game ("tournament" game), even though it was pretty cold and they had a limited number of subs who showed up for the late afternoon game.  The picture was taken at Pete's basketball practice.  It was a long day, with a total of 4 soccer tournament games and then a basketball practice.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Husky Club

The Husky Club is the list of kids in Pete's school who are able to do 6 or more pull-ups.  The names are posted  on the wall in the gym.  Last year Pete did 5 pull-ups, and he had to wait a year for another chance.  This year he made it into the Husky Club.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Family Visit

Pete and Sam had an exciting weekend before Halloween, when Grandma and Grandpa came to visit, as well as Aunt Robin and cousins Shayna and Skyler.

Above is a picture from Pumpkinville on Sunday.  The weather was great, after a rainy day on Saturday.

If you like to play Where's Waldo, you can also look for Mom in the picture.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Halloween Woods

Pete and Sam went this year to the new Halloween Woods attraction at Algonkian Park in Sterling.  They were joined by Mom, Dad, Aunt Robin, Shayna, and Skyler.  The event features a walk through the woods at night, with various scary things along the way.  Scary things include guys jumping out with chain saws, guys jumping out with bloody appendages, guys jumping out wearing Redskins apparel, howling noises, etc.

We quickly discovered that Sam was not particularly enthralled with this concept.  Also, Pete and Shayna  were not much happier about it.  Skyler, on the other hand, was completely unaffected.  Before the group even made it completely through the entrance, Sam was not coping well.  Sam notified Dad that he would have to carry Sam through the entire trail.

Prior to the walk, the guide told the children that if they got too scared at any point, they could call out the code word ("Snoopy") and the scary creatures would back away.  Not long into the hike, they were constantly calling out "Snoopy" as they walked down the path.  Overall, this worked about 1/2 the time.  One glaring example of when this did NOT work was when a guy with an axe jumped out, the group yelled "SNOOPY", and the guy whispered "Snoopy's dead, I killed him."

Fortunately, a samaritan warned us not to take Sam into the tunnel at the end of the hike.  Shayna joined Sam on the detour.  This was a good decision, as the narrow tunnel ended with some chain saws and screaming.

Overall, it was a fun event but Pete and Sam will probably NOT be going back next year.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Village Fest 2008

Everyone had a good time this year at Village Fest.  This is the local festival held in September at the Ashburn Pavillion.

We decided that Sam was tall enough to ride the Paratrooper with Pete.  This was fun for Sam, not as much fun for Mom and Dad to watch as he slid around.  The most fun was at the end when it started raining harder and harder, until they finally had to close down the few rides that remained open.  But not before everyone did the swings together one last time.

Other rides included the carousel, rock wall, ferris wheel, Madhouse, elephants, and something that spun Pete around upside down.

Pete went back again the next day with Coby.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sam Field Trip

Sam's pre-school class at Celebration had a field trip last week to Temple Hall Farm Park, which is one of the 718 local pumpkin patches that is open in October.

The names of his classmates in the picture (l-r) are:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dad's Office

Pete, Sam, and Mom met Dad for a picnic on Columbus Day at the playground near his office.  This marked their first picnic on playground equipment, as they laid the blanket down in an open area at the top of some steps near the slides.

They then proceeded to Dad's office for a brief soccer game in an empty office, and some cookies from the vending machine.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Campout

Pete and Sam had fun at the cub scouts fall campout last weekend in Boyce, Va.  Activities they participated in included kickball, 2 nature hikes, Scout's Own, bonfire skits and sing-alongs, playing in "the pit" (which they cited as the best activity), and survival skills training.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Pete: Dad, what song are you whistling?

Dad: It's called Clementine. It's about a guy who works in a cave, and his daughter drowns and he never sees her again.

Pete: Cool!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Family Crest

Sam's homework assignment last week was to create a family crest with some of his favorite things.

Unfortunately, the orange pencil does not stand out too well.  But at least you can see that his favorite food is pizza, and his favorite family activity is Village Fest.

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Foods

Sam tried several new foods this week:
  • Apple (pictured)
  • Strawberry bagel
  • Yogurt thing at Wendy's
This brings the total number of foods he will eat to about 6.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Double Rainbow

This is one of those pictures where there is a lot going on.

Bright sunshine
Pouring Rain
Double Rainbow
Mom retrieving skateboard
Lots of wet kids
Truck just washed (see bucket)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Sam's Latest MP3s

Here is Sam listening to some MP3s in his new booster seat in the gold car.

Conveniently, Sam and Pete both play soccer 9:30 on Saturday mornings at Cedar Lane.  Sam is enjoying some songs after his game, while waiting for Pete to finish.

These are the latest new songs on Sam's MP3 player:

Beast And The Harlot - Avenged Sevenfold
Hangar 18 - Megadeth
The Light That Blinds - Shadows Fall
Handlebars - Flobots
Cherry Pie - Warrant
Heart Shaped Box - Nirvana
Monkey Wrench - Foo Fighters
Woman - Wolfmother
Sweet Child O'Mine - Guns 'n Roses
YYZ - Rush
Tattooed_Love_Boys - The Pretenders

Note: All of the above songs, except one, have something in common.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Skate Jumps

Pete has been getting bolder with his roller blade jumps from ramp to curb.

On a somewhat-related note, here is one of our recent attempts at a bandage.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Great Expectations

Sam:  Where are we going to dinner?

Dad:  Tonight we are going to Dairy Queen for dinner.

Sam:  That's the best dinner I ever had!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sandbox Battles

On August 15th, Pete, Sam, and Dad were bored so they decided to wage some sand battles with all of the old action figures in their collection.

Lo and behold, one of the presents Pete got the next day for his birthday was a sandbox battle set with catapults, weapons, castles, cannons, etc.  After the party, some of the guests stayed to play with it.  Pete and Sam have also played a few times since then.