Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pete's Cookies

Upon arriving home from work yesterday, Dad discovered that Pete had baked a batch of cookies. They were not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill cookies. See the picture below to see one of the cookies. By the way, the small object in the upper-right area of the picture is a quarter.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lemonade Stand

Mason slept over on Friday night and on Saturday morning the boys decided to do a lemonade stand. It was the hottest day of the year, and they set out at high noon with a wagon full of necessities for the long trek to the bottom of the street.

- table
- 2 pitchers of lemonade
- signs
- cups
- $5 change
- bank for money
- lot of ice
- chairs
- walkie talkie
- trash bag
- duct tape
- scissors
- basket of toys (for upselling)

The net profit was about $5.60, which they divided up four ways. (They decided to share equally with Pickle - he's not pictured because he decided to head home after the "incident" with the first customer).

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Dad took Pete, Sam, and Mason to Splashdown Water Park in Manassas. Mom was gone for 3 days at a funeral in New York.

It is hard to come up with a lot of logical reasons to drive 45 minutes to Splashdown on a hot, muggy, crowded Saturday in the middle of July.

But you will never see unbridled joy like that expressed by Sam for 3+ hours in the lazy river. And hopefully this is something none of us will ever forget.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rock Climbing Camp

Pete went to rock climbing camp this week.

On Thursday, Dad had the day off so he and Sam went to surprise Pete with a visit and to take some pictures. Dad told Sam "we'd better leave soon so we get to camp before it is time for lunch". To which Sam replied "I want to watch Pete eat lunch".

They got to see him do some rock climbing too:

Click here for a Youtube video of Pete playing a game called Pickpocket.

Pete was undefeated in Pickpocket when Sam and Dad were there, except whenever he won three times in a row one of the counselors would then go against him.

After visiting Pete, Sam and Dad went to the DMV for a few hours to renew Dad's driver's license. Sam wanted to take a picture so he could get a license too:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mouth Bleeding

Which one of the following did not cause Pete's mouth to bleed in the last 3 weeks?

a) Punched in mouth by Sam
b) Hit pavement head-first in Chicago skate park
c) Hit mouth on bottom of pool after diving in to shallow area
d) Cut his gums while flossing
e) Hit in mouth by a thrown baseball

Click here for the answer. The regular reader of this blog should have a good chance of getting this correct.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Pete Chicago Trip 2010

Pete had a fun trip to visit Uncle Steve and Aunt Sabrina in Chicago from July 1-6. We sent a camera with him, and below are 13 of the 66 pictures that he came back with.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Lucky Charms

This bowl of Lucky Charms is Sam's dream come true. It is all marshmallows, without any of the regular pieces. Towards the end of the school year, Sam would ask for Lucky Charms and sometimes just eat a few marshmallows before getting dressed and heading out the door at 7:35. Preparing breakfast for Sam is a difficult task. He used to like to have 5 mini-pancakes, but he won't eat them anymore. There is a huge bag of probably 100 mini-pancakes in the freezer, hand-made by Dad on several Sunday mornings. It is now a ghost bag of lost pancake souls, which will be discarded when they start to grow that hairy ice on them. Mom instituted a rule about half-way through the school year that all existing cereal boxes must be completed before any new ones will be purchased. This was a sad day for Sam's breakfast, as there are all sorts of cereals left in the pantry that there is no chance he will eat. Fortunately for mom, she was long gone by breakfast time so did not have to deal with the consequences of the rule. Another problematic rule was that we could only get the "healthy" Pop Tarts, so that was pretty much the end of Pop Tarts for Sam's lunch.

The good news is that Sam has started eating chicken sandwiches, at least for the moment. This is the replacement for chocolate sandwiches, that he ate for about 6 months and then abandoned. He also stopped eating pound cake about 1/3 of the way through the school year, which was another temporary lunch staple.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Ice Cream Social

Above is the obligatory annual photo from our Merrywood ice cream social on the last day of school. Pete is wearing his new shirt from the Jamaica wedding trip. Sam is not pictured - Mom was picking him up at the Pavilion.

Pictured are Mason, Pete, Pickle (Nicholas), Corey, Jessica, Nicolette, Danielle, Mary, unknown girl, Maya, Madison, Makayla, Sarah, Emma, Ethan, and Jacob.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Virginia SOL Test

Pete took the Virginia SOL (Standard of Learning) test this year in 4th grade. The tests are a big event at school, as they represent the culmination of a full year's study. These are used to determine the school performance ratings, etc. The subjects this year were Mathematics, Reading, and Social Studies.

Congratulation to Pete for getting all 135 questions correct (3 days of testing) and getting a perfect score of 1800.

Monday, July 05, 2010


Sam's best ideas usually seem to spring up randomly.

"Hey, I thought of an original idea that will make us a lot of money: You're Welcome notes!"

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Parade at the Pavilion

Since Pete was still in Chicago with Uncle Steve, Mom and Dad took Sam over to the Pavilion for the Ashburn Village July 4th festivities. It was on a Sunday this year.

Sam arrived at the path at 10:30. No one was around this year. It was too hot. Sam waited patiently for the parade to arrive. He skipped some stones and rode around on his scooter.

Finally, the parade arrived. They were led by Pete's cub scout troop. The scouts were handing out lollipops to everyone cheering on the parade. Since this was pretty much just Sam, there were several people offering lollipops to Sam - which he gladly accepted.

Sam joined the parade for the short walk around the lake to the Pavilion.

Sam saw several friends at the Pavilion. He had breakfast with Garrett:

He rode the train with Dad. It looped around the circle in front of the building.

Sam and Dad went swimming in the Pavilion pool, did the dunk tank, went on some blow-up rides, took a canoe out on the lake, walked over to BK, walked back, and got cotton candy.

Later that evening, Sam enjoyed the fireworks on the hill. No one on the street was home, but Sam had visitors from the Broadlands - Ben, Josh, Daniel, Jackson, and Mason. After the official fireworks, Sam and Dad set off some fireworks out on the street by themselves. It was a bit quiet and surreal, but they had a good time.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Crawfish Boil

Everyone had a great time last weekend at the annual Merrywood Crawfish Boil. There were 4 servings of crawfish, corn, potatoes, mushrooms, and sausage, the first around 3:00pm and the last around 10:00pm.

This year, the kids each got to take 2 crawfish. Sam's "2" were Pingzing, RedClaw, and ??. They were the President, Governor, and Mayor of the Crawfish States of America. They also ended up living in our bathtub for 2 days.

Of course, everyone watched the USA / Ghana soccer game on several laptops hooked up to Sling Box.

This year, the kids also enjoyed a late-night movie on the lawn.

Apparently, a group of teenagers slept out on our trampoline. As you can see, they did not all make it through the night.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Birthday Swing

Mom was excited to see her new birthday swing under the maple tree in the backyard.

Sam and Dad assembled the swing while Mom was at school cleaning up her classroom over the weekend. Pete helped them carry the swing to its final location.