Saturday, December 25, 2010

Angry Chorus Concert

Mom and Sam went to Pete's chorus concert during school hours, so Dad got to see it at night. He grabbed his camera and Pete's iTouch and they headed off to school. Based on a recent incident at basketball practice, where Dad was playing with Pete's iTouch and not giving his full attention to Pete's exciting practice, Pete told Dad that there was no iTouch playing permitted at the concert until Pete gave the "concert over" signal to Dad.

The kids walked onto the stage. Just as the concert was about to start, they were introducing the first song. All of a sudden, some loud music from Angry Birds, Dad's favorite iTouch app, was heard blasting from the bleachers. Pete gave an angry stare toward Dad, and Dad mouthed the words "it wasn't me". Pete couldn't tell that the music was coming from the bleachers. Dad proved to Pete that it couldn't have been him, based on a series of tests that they conducted after the concert. To this day, Pete's still not 100% convinced that it wasn't Dad.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Old Friends

Pete and Robbie are old friends. They lived in South Riding together, and of course attended Sunny Patch pre-school about 6 years ago when their moms were co-founders and teachers there.

So when Robbie's family moved to nearby Brambleton, it was time for a reunion in the form of an ice cream social. Pete and Sam are pictured above playing Guitar Hero in the basement with Robbie, Michael, and Katie.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wish Bone

Sam and Pete had an indecisive result with a leftover wishbone from Thanksgiving (see picture above). They appealed to Dad, and he made the executive decision that in this situation they each qualify for a wish.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shreya's Party

Sam had a fun time last weekend at Shreya's party. There was a magician there, and apparently a demented face painter. Sam came home with a bit of a Snidely Whiplash look:

Sam wanted to leave the unibrow for a few days, but we convinced him to wash it off in the bath. It mostly came off, anyhow.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Fred and Ted

Sam has a homework calendar this year, with an assignment to complete each night. On Thursday night, he had to draw a representative picture from a story. He drew the following picture from "Fred and Ted Like To Fly"

Monday, December 20, 2010

Family Bowling Night

Pete, Sam, Mom, and Dad went to Dominion Trail at 7pm last Tuesday for the first annual "Family Bowling Night". They were on lane #3. Everyone took turns. The 4 jobs were bowler, watcher, pin setter/pin gatherer, and ball retriever. Dad also had an additional role of juggler. It was a fun time, although after about 15 minutes of bowling, their time had expired and it was time to head over to Steuart Weller for Pete's basketball practice and then Cedar Lane for Sam's basketball practice.

Friday, December 17, 2010

No Jacket Required

One thing Sam seems to have in common with Dad is that he rarely feels the need to wear a jacket. He claims that he is not cold, in any weather.

Ironically, he has recently been seen on several occasions wearing Dad's jacket - inside the house.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Dad was putting Pete to bed. Pete shared an unfortunate story from the night before:

"There were a lot of problems. I needed my expander, which was downstairs. Mom said she would go down with me to get it, but then she wasn't going to come back up to read my devotional. If I wanted to do the devotional, I had to go down by myself to get the expander. And if I went to sleep without the expander, I would be grounded. It was like the Prisoner's Dilemma."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pete's New Blog

Last weekend, Pete decided that he wanted to start a new blog. So he created "The Interesting and Random Thoughts of Pete". Click here to check out Pete's new blog.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Probably Shouldn't Have Said That

Pete: Dad, I need to go to the bathroom.

Dad: Ok, go. I'll wait here for you.

Pete: You need to come with me.

Dad: I'm not going in there. It's not safe.

Pete: Very funny. Now you really need to come.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tough question

Sam has been asking a lot of questions lately to which no one knows the answer. Yesterday it was:

"Is PETSMART a combination of Pet Smart or Pets Mart?"

Fortunately this one was easy enough to resolve with a Google search. Usually we are not so lucky.

Another one today was "Why does the computer browser always say about:blank"?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sam's 7th "Video Game" Birthday Party - Presents

After completing all of the other activities in 85 minutes, it was time to crack open the presents. We started bringing them in to Sam as everyone was eating cake, since the parents would be arriving at any moment.

One of the good things about having 12 guests at your party is you get lots of presents. Sam was pleased to get a cool sweatshirt, more Tech Deck stuff, a fingerbike, some Beyblades, and lots of other stuff.

Like the rest of the party, opening the presents was pretty much a mass of humanity at times:

Slowly the chaos lightened as parents arrived one by one. And then at 3:00, when everyone had left, it was off to Pete's basketball game.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sam's 7th "Video Game" Birthday Party - Video Games

Finally, it was time to get to the essence of the party - playing some video games. The group divided into 4 sub-groups of 4 and took turns simultaneously playing Super Smash Bros. upstairs and Crash Bash downstairs. These games were selected since they each support 4-player simultaneous action.

As expected, this was the most chaotic part of the party. But it went about as well as could be expected. After about 20 minutes of video games, there were still 10 minutes left for cake and presents.



Thursday, December 09, 2010

Sam's 7th "Video Game" Birthday Party - Obstacle Course

The Obstacle Course is a staple of parties at Sam's house. At Sam's video game party, it consisted of performing the following:

1. Run to the dart shooting arena
2. Shoot a dart, knocking over 2 wooden blocks
3. Make a basket in the basketball hoop
4. Put one pool ball into each pocket
5. Grab the key on the treadmill
6. Jump up and grab a "power-up"
7. Jump over the couch
8. Unlock the treasure chest and take a prize (10 seconds max)

The Obstacle Course was rather chaotic, but everyone finished it successfully with no injuries. The hardest part was re-setting the course before the next participant. With help from Pete, Mason, Mom, and Dad, the crew was able to pull it off.

After the last participant had completed the Obstacle Course, Mom whispered to Dad that he should lock up the treasure chest and hide the key. To which he replied "already done".

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Sam's 7th "Video Game" Birthday Party - Name The Game

After pizza, it was time to head down to the basement for "Name That Game" and then the Obstacle Course. "Name That Game" was a lot of fun. Sam went first. He drew a game card (screen shot) from the bucket and then taped the game up next to it's name on the poster. Then he picked the name of the person who would go next. If someone could not identify their game, they could ask the others for help. Everyone correctly taped all of the games to the poster:

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sam's 7th "Video Game" Birthday Party - Treats

The treats at Sam's video game party were pizza, cake, ice cream, and lollipops (to take home). Apparently Sam determined this year that "it's not a birthday party without pizza".

Above is Sam's awesome cake, prepared by Mom. Sam originally said he wanted all chocolate frosting. Then he decided on Saturday that he wanted vanilla frosting on top and chocolate on the sides. However, Pete later convinced him to go back to chocolate on top, since that would provide a more realistic interpretation of the arcade game and also give better visibility to the white dots (M&Ms). Sam placed the white dots shown on the cake.

Sam also informed us about a few things too late during the party, including that he wanted pepperoni pizza and that he wanted the piece of cake with PacMan on it.

Above, the boys enjoy their pizza. Note the painters tape in each seat with the name of who sits there. With the 15-2 child adult ratio at this party, nothing could be left to chance.

Above, Sam, Jackson, and Dylan are seen later in the party eating a combination of cake, ice cream, and pizza. Sam ended up a bit isolated during the eating portions of the party. This is partly because he insisted on sitting next to Jaylan, but Jaylan never showed up. Sam even bought a birthday present for Jaylan, when he learned that Jaylan was coming to his party and was not going to have a party of his own.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Sam's 7th "Video Game" Birthday Party - Arrival Game

Pete and Dad worked for several hours one Sunday on the "arrival" game, which would require filling in the names of 30 famous video game characters based on a picture (Sam wanted a special one without pictures, but the picture of Mario did not want to go away) and description. The last page would give the names in random order, to help those who were not as familiar with the names. The handout pages are shown below:

This activity went surprisingly well, and the guests sat quietly and filled out their sheets while pizza was served.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sam's 7th "Video Game" Birthday Party

Saturday was Sam's 7th birthday. He selected Red Robin for his birthday dinner, and sat mouth agape when they brought him a big sundae and sang to him. Today was Sam's party.

Sam went through a variety of ideas while planning for his 7th birthday party. Originally, he wanted to do something at the bounce house. This morphed into having a party at the community center. But we finally extracted that he wanted to do a video game party - which of course meant a party at home. This was going to be a record in chaos, with Mom and Dad the only adults available to help with the party. Things were further complicated when Sam could only scale his invitee list back no further than his closest 12 friends. Adding in Sam, Pete, and Pete's friend, this would be a total of 15 (12 6-7 year olds, 1 8 year old, 1 9 year old, and 1 10 year old). And yes, everyone Sam invited responded that they would be in attendance. The final seating arrangement would be 5 at the kitchen table, 4 at a card table, and 6 at the kitchen bar. We also discovered the night before the party that half of the folding chairs were missing.

Pictured above, Mom and Sam work on preparing the cake and lollipops for the party.