Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mutter Museum Note

The previous post mentioned Pete and Sam going to the Mutter Museum of medical oddities on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Dad's favorite moment at the museum came when he and Sam were examining a case of fetuses at varying stages of gestation, followed by some impressive cases with samples of all 206 bones in the human body.

Amongst a group of people, Sam turned to Dad and said: "When are we going to get to see some eyeballs?"

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Pete and Sam enjoyed Thanksgiving 2011 in Philadelphia.

They drove up on Thursday, and after arriving at Salem Manor they walked over to the clubhouse. They fed some bread to the big fish, and played some shuffleboard. Next was turkey dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Dessert was Market Day pies. Pete selected Red Velvet Cake and Sam selected Candy Cane Pie (the latter seemed to be the more popular choice). Sam's cake included candles for an early birthday celebration:

While at the house, they examined Grandpa's saxophone. The boys watched some TV in their basement hangout before bed.

Friday was packed with activities. First, everyone trudged the trails around the house where Dad grew up:

Then they went to Dad's elementary school to shoot some hoops:

First they played some 2-on-2 and then some Knockout. After basketball, they had breakfast at IHOP with Grandma/Grandma and then headed downtown. When they walked past Independence Hall, they saw the "Occupy Philly" protesters camped out in front of the building.

Then they were off on a brief walk to the Comcast Center. Thanks to Gabe for recommending this cool free show in the lobby of the building:

The last stop was the Mutter Museum of medical oddities. Pete and Sam learned about all sorts of diseases and body cavities. They had a variety of fun activities, such as seeing who could find the smallest bone in the ear, and learning how the skull of a gunshot victim differs from one smashed in by a brick. Dad believes the Leprosy exhibits also helped reinforce the importance of washing one's hands before dinner.

The museum did not allow photography, so here are Pete and Sam in front of a nearby church:

The boys watched Zookeeper and Arthur (from Redbox) on the pleasant Friday evening ride home with no traffic.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tooth Speed

Sam: Want to know how fast teeth grow?
Dad: Yes
Sam: About a billionth of a meter per hour
Dad: Ok, thanks.

Friday, November 18, 2011

In Advance

Mom: I'm going to get dinner. Pete, I would really be happy if you have 4 of your Science questions done when I get home.

Pete: I apologize in advance.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Pete came upstairs to talk to Dad one evening last week, just before bed:

Pete: Mom and I are doing a science experiment!
Dad: Oh, what is it?
Pete: We're putting a hot dog bun in a container with some water to see if any mold grows on it.
Dad: Ooh, that will be a fun experiment to do again.
Pete: Again?
Dad: Yeah, I noticed that Mom did that experiment in the pantry last week.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Art Night

Lately "Mom Night" has been on Sundays and Mondays and "Dad Night" has been Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

Last week on "Dad Night", Pete and Dad decided to do "Art Night". Sam also joined in.

The competition was to see who could create the best work of art. There were no rules. Well, except of course the one rule which was that whoever uses the most glitter is the winner. Fortunately for Dad, there was no prize for the proper use of perspective.

Here are the final works:




After the voting was complete, it was a three-way tie with each item getting one vote. The boys are still waiting for Mom to cast the deciding vote.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What's Missing

Dad took this family picture at the dinner table. It was actually a ploy. He knew Sam was getting ready to start a game of "What's Missing?", where one person closes his eyes and everyone else removes one item from the table. Dad thought he could use the picture as a reference when it was his turn. But apparently using such devices is frowned upon in this establishment.

By the way, here are some answers to your other questions that you have about the picture:
1. It's his "video gaming" glove, and before dinner he had been playing Call of Duty: Black Ops (Zombies)
2. No, he usually has some sort of strange object in his mouth

Monday, November 14, 2011


Mom, Dad, and Pete took a nice walk on Sunday to the local Aquiary at the Loudoun Water plant. It is only about 5 minutes from the house, in Ashburn.

They also found a geocache at the top of the hill in the Aquiary, and grabbed a travel bug for Dad to bring on his upcoming trip to Florida.

Sam was not interested, so he stayed home and watched Futurama.

Dad also went over to the reservoir later in the day to scout a location for Sam's cub scout den to do a trash pickup event.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Parent / Teacher Conference

Mom and Dad met with Mrs. Susan Weltens last week at 7:15am for a parent teacher conference. Sam read a Lemony Snicket book outside in the hallway, while Mom and Dad talked with Mrs. Weltens.

Dad learned some interesting things about Sam's progress in school so far this year. His DRE is 38. He has been making excellent progress on his SME. Next month they are starting A/R. All of this is to prepare for the SOL at the end of the year.

If anyone knows what any of this means, please let Dad know.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Long Time

At the dinner table:

Dad: Who can tell me something that takes years to complete?
Sam: Aging

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Great Country Farms Part 2

Mom/Dad/Pete/Sam decided to head back to Great Country Farms to redeem their vouchers and do the corn maze.

They had planned to stop at Al's Pizza in Purcelville, but sadly it closed earlier in the year. They went to Rocco's in Leesburg, and then off to Bluemont for the corn maze.

First they got to see the "Punkin' Chunkin'", which in this case could more accurately be titled "Guy Dropping Pumpkins 30 feet From a Cherry-Picker". But it was good for 10 minutes of fun.

Then they made quick work of the corn maze. They solved the riddle and figured out that the secret word was "SADDLE", so they entered the prize drawing and then headed home.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

What's For Dinner

Snippets of conversation from a few weeks ago:

Mom: Time for dinner
Pete/Sam: What are we having?
Mom: Chicken
Pete/Sam: Ok

Mom: Time for dinner
Pete/Sam: What are we having?
Mom: Fish
Pete/Sam: Aw, we hate fish. We're making ourselves some pizza

Mom: Time for dinner
Pete/Sam: What are we having?
Mom: Chicken
Pete/Sam: Ok

Mom: Time for dinner
Pete/Sam: What are we having?
Mom: Meatloaf
Pete/Sam: Aw, we hate meatloaf. We're making ourselves some hot dogs.

Mom: Time for dinner
Pete/Sam: What are we having?
Mom: Chicken
Pete/Sam: Why do we always have chicken?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Pete was working on his homework one night while Sam and Dad were reading nearby. He was researching his spelling list for English class.

Pete: What part of speech is "reverberate"?

Sam: Look inside the word and it will tell you