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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.