Monday, September 28, 2009

A Little Light Reading

Pete still has 20 AR ("Accelerated Reader") points that he needs to accumulate in this quarter at school. Dad was joking around with Pete that if he were to read Ulysses by James Joyce he could probably get about 4000 AR points.

So the next day Pete brought home the following two books from the library:

1. Melvin Beederman, Superhero, by Greg Trine
2. Ulysses, by James Joyce

Hopefully he'll stop reading #2 after the part where Leopold eats a kidney for breakfast.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Garage Band

Sometimes Pete, Sam, and Dad bring their guitars into the garage and write some songs. Here are the titles of some of the songs they they have composed:
  • Life, Death, or Death
  • Freedom Rocks
  • Kill the Sniper
  • Crazy Airplane
  • Trash Boy
  • Demon World
  • Bad News Blues
  • Sombrero
  • I Like Pie
  • Heaven's On Fire
  • Eight Feet of Snow
  • Cat Boxing
Unfortunately, no documented lyrics or chords exist for any of these songs. However, the "Bad News Blues" is very catchy and they can usually remember some of it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Up Early

We were all a little bit surprised when Pete woke up at 6:30am so he could finish the homework assignment he was working on when time ran out last night.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Discovery Museum

Everyone got in free to the Discovery Museum, thanks to a pass we received in the mail. This is the museum with the golf ball incline room, hospital area, indian reservation, rock wall, craft room, bunk bed / animal room, toy tables room, microscope, apple baskets, optical illusions, spinning chair with bike tire, and funhouse mirror.

Pete and Sam built a house with a new friend, Matthew.

Pete climbed the rock wall.

And everyone built with sticks.

Mom was also pleasantly surprised that her friend Kimberly was coincidentally at the museum with her family on the same day.

The next time we come back, they should be all moved in to their new $10 million building. Hopefully they will have some new exhibits also.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Luray Caverns

Pete and Sam took a final mini-vacation on Labor Day weekend before the first day of school. They went to Al's Pizza in Purcelville, the Discovery Museum in Winchester, Denny's, swimming at the Holiday Inn, Luray Caverns, and the Garden Maze.

This was Sam's first trip to Luray Caverns, and Pete's first trip since they installed the new audio-tour system. You can see from the pictures that the boys enjoyed the audio tour.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

First Day of School 2009

Today was the first day of Kindergarten for Sam, and the first day of 4th grade for Pete. Since Mom is teaching 5th grade this Fall in Sterling, Dad helped Pete and Sam wake up, get dressed, have breakfast, and walk to the bus where they saw their friends.

Pete sat with Sam on the bus and walked with him to the cafeteria.

After school, Sam takes a special bus to the Pavillion where he does fun and games until Mom finishes teaching and picks him up. He had a fun day at school and the Pavillion. His teacher is Mrs. Boyd.

At 7am tomorrow morning, the process begins again.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Old Rag

On August 16, 2009, Pete and Dad celebrated Pete's 9th birthday by hiking Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park with a group of Dad's friends. It was one of the best days ever.

Pete and Dad drove to the lower parking lot in a caravan with Dad's friends Brian and Eric. As they turned the final corner toward the West, and the mountain first came into view, Pete realized that this was not going to be an ordinary hike. The warnings that Dad had given him each day for the previous 2 weeks were now beginning to make sense.

Dad dropped Brian, Eric, and Pete at the upper lot and then drove down to meet Jonathan, Nick, and about 8 others. Dad hiked about .8 miles to the upper lot and then Pete joined for the hike up the mountain.

Pete and Dad hiked with Brian and Eric for the first 2 miles, up to the first vista and the start of the rock scramble. Pete and Brian played some games during this stretch of the hike to help keep their mind off of the grueling steep climb up the mountain. Pete wanted to climb some of the rocks along the trail, but Dad tried to convince him to save his energy for later in the day. Finally, they reached the first scenic overlook.

The rock scramble is the most challenging part of the hike, but was also Pete's favorite. It was about 1 mile of tight passages, hand-over-hand climbing, and rock hopping.

Finally, they had reached the summit and it was time for lunch.

Pete did a little more free-climbing at the summit before they began the long hike down.

On the hike down, Dad had a hard time keeping up with Pete and Jonathan, especially if he stopped to take a picture. Can you see Pete's orange shirt in this picture?

After 2 miles of hiking down the rocky path, when they made it to the bottom of the mountain, they were greeted by a sign that said "Old Rag parking lot: 2.5 miles --->". The last 2.5 miles were mostly flat, but very long, so Dad and Pete tried to find some interesting distractions.

Pete made it all the way to the parking lot, about 15 minutes ahead of Brian and Eric. Brian's GPS showed a total hike distance of a little over 10 miles, with about 2,500 feet of elevation change (not counting the extra free-climbs).

Pete and Dad stopped in Warrenton on the way home to play a little tennis with Dad's friend Tom.

Then it was off to Friendly's to meet Mom and Sam for Pete's birthday dinner.

Friday, September 04, 2009

North End Pizza

This year, Pete and Sam spent one day of their Virginia Beach vacation at the oceanfront. For lunch, they walked over to North End Pizza. They played some football in a vacant lot while waiting for the pizza. Then back there later for some ice cream.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Go With the Flow

An important philosophy when adventuring with Pete and Sam is to go with the flow. For example, if you ask them what they enjoyed most after a day at the zoo, the answer will likely be something that happened in the car, or maybe the bathroom.

Now that we have reviewed this principle, the picture below should come as no surprise. At the local airport Open House, Pete and Sam can walk on the runway and see dozens of planes - climb into the cockpit, ask the pilot questions, etc. Perhaps they will do this, as soon as they are done playing with the grasshopper.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Pilots Everywhere

On their way to the Open House at the Leesburg airport, Pete and Sam noticed something in the parking lot. It seemed as if half of the cars there were Honda Pilots. They decided that this was probably not a coincidence.

They should have done this same experiment last year when they went to the Open House at the new National Weather Service building in Sterling. Perhaps that lot was full of the Chevy Equinox.