Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bad Thoughts

Driving in the car...

Pete: Can you turn the radio back on?
Dad: Not until you are finished correcting Sam
Pete: But my lyrics are correct and his are wrong
Dad: Well, you need to stop correcting him for the radio to come back on
Pete: Ok, I'm done

Dad turns the radio back on...

Sam: Dad, turn off the radio. He's still thinking about it.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Christmas 2009 will be remembered as the year of the backyard tree.

Dad cut down a tree from the backyard and it was successfully decorated and displayed in the family room, despite some fundamental flaws in the tree's "straightness".

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Shraya's Party

I found the above picture posted in the online album from Shraya's party. Having not been at the party, the photo begs a few questions. Such as what Sam seems to be coveting from the table. Perhaps he is wondering how he has a blank place while everyone else seems to have ended up with drink, pizza, balloon, tokens, etc. And notice the girl not acknowledging Sam's existence. It's like an old Casper the Ghost cartoon where he goes to a birthday party but no one can see or hear him.

Maybe the person who took the picture took pity on Sam and gave him a slice of pizza. Like in those documentaries from Africa where the children are emaciated while the cameraman is eating a footlong and some chips. I also hoped that they gave those kids some rice after getting their video clips.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Report Card Comments

Pete found one of Mom's documents on the laptop. She was recording comments to put on the report cards for her students.

It became apparent that Pete went in and made some subtle changes to the comments. See if you can find the change in the comments shown below:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sam's 6th Birthday Party - Favors

Each attendee got a few keepsakes to take home from Sam's party in a brown bag marked "TOP SECRET":

- Magnifying glass
- Spy certificate sticker
- Completed checklist sticker
- Fingerprint sticker
- Homemade lollipop

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sam's 6th Birthday Party - Target Shooting

"Your final training stage will be target shooting. You should never fire your weapon unless absolutely necessary. Your instructor will train you to use your weapon and will set up the target of your choosing. You get three shots to hit each target. After three shots, it is the next person's turn."

Pete and his friend Corey manned the two target shooting stations.

After all of that shooting, it was time for some cake and opening presents.

By the way, that is not a reversed image in the above picture. The letters on the cake were backwards, for spy purposes.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sam's 6th Birthday Party - Fitness Training

"You have identified the enemy and he is small and quick. You must train yourself for a tough chase. We have prepared an obstacle course for you to practice crawling, jumping, and searching. You must complete the course to prepare yourself for the future."

The obstacle course consisted of the following:

- crawl under pool table
- jump on numbered squares 1-2-3-4-5
- ring bell on treadmill
- jump over couch
- search for a single dime in a basket of pennies

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sam's 6th Birthday Party - Search and Identify

After cracking the code, the cadets headed to the basement where total darkness awaited them.

"We have learned that an enemy spy is armed and dangerous. He is trying to steal our secret codes. Your spies in the agency have left clues for us to identify the enemy. You must go one at a time to get the clues and bring them back here. Follow the glowing line on the floor. It will be dark. Use your flashlight if necessary. Go slowly. Watch out for walls and other objects. Good luck."

The team was able to retrieve the clues and work together to solve the puzzle and identify the enemy.

After that hard work, it was time for some pizza:

This was the first party where Pete or Sam have had pizza. Sam's quote was "you can't have a birthday party without pizza". Apparently this rule did not apply to the 14 previous birthday parties Pete and Sam have hosted.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sam's 6th Birthday Party - Code Breaking

When the guests arrived, Pete handed them a sheet of paper and read the following:

"Welcome to the Berman Spy Agency. Your first mission is to crack this code. Use the symbols to fill in the letters. It will give you some instructions. After you crack the code, we will take your fingerprint and you can report to the next stage."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sam's 6th Birthday Party - The Preparations

Saturday finally arrived, and everyone was ready for Sam's party. After Pete's basketball game, it was time to set up the house for Spy Training Academy. We put the BSA (Berman Spy Agency) logo at various places around the house, and set up for the games.

An unexpected visitor arrived before the party, which was about 5 inches of snow:

Since this is Virginia, a little bit of snow means the party attendees will call to see if you are still having the party, and then arrive 15 minutes late. So at 12:15, the festivities were ready to begin.

Monday, December 14, 2009

chute and sHOot

Sam had a birthday party on Sunday at Chuck E. Cheese's. So Dad took Pete to his basketball game, and afterwards to Sal's Pizza.

Pete and Dad were working on the Sunday crossword in the Washington Post and watching the Redskins/Raiders game while eating their pizza.

The theme of the puzzle was HO HO HO. There were some long word answers that had a clue with the word HO in it and then the answer had to have HO HO somewhere in it. For example, 30 across "oxford HOnoree" is "rHOdes scHOlar"). Pete figured out 33 across by himself with no letters filled in, which was very helpful. Check the image below to see the clue ("chute and sHOot" : 10 letters).

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Yesterday was the kids gift exchange on our street. Pete was pleased to get a hand buzzer, whoopie cushion, and some other gags. Sam got a Shark Webkinz from Pickle.

If you know Sam, you can probably guess what he named the shark:
(a) Huckleberry Fins
(b) Sheldon
(c) Sharky

When he walked out the door this morning for the school bus, he yelled out "Good bye, Sharky! Don't go on the internet!"