Friday, January 21, 2011

Organ Donation

After dinner one evening, Dad and Pete were discussing organ donations.

Dad: If you meet an untimely death, would you like us to donate your organs to a boy or girl who can use them?

Pete: Yes, but make sure it's for someone who really needs them. I don't want someone getting my organs and then walking around with 6 kidneys.

Monday, January 10, 2011

5 Second Rule

Above is Pete's new shirt that he got for Christmas. It is called "5 Second Rule". The green guys counting in the back are germs. This is a good gift for Pete, since his shirt with the bloody donuts is starting to get small on him.

Also pictured in the lower left is Sam's new indoor/outdoor basketball from Target.

Saturday, January 08, 2011


The boys took a special trip to Target, since they were selling the little mini-Slinkies 4 for $1. They each bought 4. Pete and Dad had the following brief conversation just before bed that night.

Pete: Is it safe to sleep with a slinky?

Dad: No, I don't think so. Someone could break into the house and shoot you. Good night.

Friday, January 07, 2011


Sam is a Steelers fan. This happened some time in the last year. It appears that he was upset about the Eagles trading Donovan McNabb to the Redskins. So everyone is hoping that the Steelers play the Eagles in the playoffs - which of course would have to be in the Super Bowl.

Above, Sam is wearing his new Steelers shirt that he got for Christmas.

By the way, if the playroom looks clean, it is because Sam actually decided to clean it up by himself. This gets 2011 off to a good start, since the playroom was probably not cleaned a single time in 2010 without someone getting yelled at about it.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

State Capitals

Pete let us borrow his camera to get a Hi-Def recording of Sam reciting the capitals of the 50 states (see video above). Dad e-mailed the video link to his teacher, Mrs. Rather. Sam also decided one day to write all of the states and capitals in his homework journal, which is pretty good since usually the nightly homework journal assignments are something like "write three words that start with the letter T".

Speaking of the homework journal, a fun assignment Sam had about 2 weeks ago was when he had to find 5 words words using the letters in "WINTER HOLIDAYS". He started with some simple words like "win" and "net", but then Dad, Mom, and Pete helped him find some longer words like "destroy". Sam also found the word "death", which Dad thought his teacher might not be too happy about. Sam continued and found several Christmas words in there. As a side question, Dad asked what other word could be made from the letters in "tinsel", and Pete and Sam came up with not only "silent" but also "listen".

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Christmas Presents

The tree at Nana and Poppy's house was overflowing with packages, even before any appearance from Santa.

Pete and Sam were up early and hit their stockings aggressively. There was no need to wait for anyone else to wake up.

Pete was happy with his new FlipVideo cam:

He has already started using it to record lots of cool stuff like this and this.

Sam also got a Vivitar video camera, as well as a Smart Globe:

Due to space limitations, a number of gifts had to be (temporarily) left behind.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Hanging Out with Sarah

Pete and Sam got to hang out with cousin Sarah for several days over Christmas break. The musical instruments included a cello, recorder, guitar, keyboard, and Sam's new bongo drums.

Then it was time for gingerbread houses. Something didn't seem right about Sam's house. He later explained that there was a "lady portal" on the side of the house. Unfortunately the details of this are not appropriate for a family blog, so you will have to ask Sam about it after he turns 18.

Monday, January 03, 2011

White Christmas at the Beach

When Pete and Sam left Ashburn for a holiday trip to Virginia Beach, they had no idea what the weather had in store for them.

The day after Christmas saw about 14 inches of snow in Virginia Beach. Total accumulation back in Ashburn? None.

Despite not having any snow clothes, Pete decided that it was time to take desperate action. So he taped up some bags on his shoes and headed out into the elements.

Of course, Sam and Sarah were not far behind. Sam did not bother with all of the formalities - he went out for about an hour in his sneakers, sweatpants, and a thin pair of gloves.

The kids built a nice little snowman.

Uncle Steve went out later to show everyone how to build a proper snowman. The kids were a bit merciless - denouncing Uncle Steve's snowman and then Ashleigh unceremoniously destroying it.

Everyone took an extra day on Monday to dig out, and then headed back home on Tuesday. The fish (spot and shine, that Pete got a few months earlier at Village Fest) survived the extended time with limited food in 60 degree temperatures.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve 2011 was a fun occasion for Pete and Sam. Mom and Dad were going to a party on the street, so they left Pete and Sam to enjoy the evening's festivities among themselves. They picked up 3 movies from Redbox, pulled out the bed in the family room, and left the following instructions:

There were only 2 emergencies that required calling Dad. The first was when they could not locate the remote control for the TV. The second was when Sam said he was tired of working on the confetti and announced that he was going to use Pete's confetti - which Pete did not think was such a good idea. A detente was worked out over the phone whereby they would each prepare their own separate bowl of confetti.

When Mom and Dad arrived home around 1:00am, there were two people who were tired and ready for bed, and two people who decided to stay up and watch the Tom & Jerry movie.

They woke Dad up around 3:30 when they were ready to go upstairs for bed.

By the way, in case you read the list above and were wondering, Sam ate his donut before 10:30 (with permission).