Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Philly Pops Christmas Concert

The family had a fun trip to Philly to see the Philly Pops holiday concert.

Along the way they stopped at the Comcast Center for the lobby light show, and grabbed a horse carriage ride over to the Kimmel Center for the concert.

They encountered Grandma and Grandpa along the way, which is when Grandpa snapped this picture:

Sam is in there somewhere.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pickle's December Party

There are a lot of birthday parties in December.  Sam and Andrew were born within about a week of each other in 2003.  Then there is Pickle, who has a summer birthday but sometimes seems to have his party in December.

Anyhow, Pete and Sam had fun at Pickle's football party.  And they got their own custom shirts - Pete got Eagles and Sam got Steelers.

Pictured above are the party attendees:
Row 1: Pickle, Paul, Sam
Row 2: Justin L, Arya (pronounced "Arrrr"), Nate, Devon
Row couch: Pete
Row 4: Pranoy, Brett, Mason, Justin O

Monday, December 10, 2012

Red Shirt

Pete was getting dressed for school on Monday morning.

Pete: "Dad, where are all of my red shirts?"

Dad: "If you love red so much, why don't you marry it?"

Pete: "Nah, too much paperwork"


Pete: "Can I take this CVS allergy medicine?"

Dad: "Ok, but I don't know what will happen.  It says 'may cause drowsiness', followed by 'may cause excitability'."

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Great Country Farms

Sam decided not to go to the free FSBL basketball clinic, so everyone headed out to Great Country Farms for a rare November trip to the "pumpkin patch".  It was a lovely warm afternoon, and the $5 coupons and lack of crowds made for a great afternoon.

Activities - bounce pillow, feeding turkeys/pigs/goats/horses/ducks, rope maze, corn bin, giant chess, slides, corn maze, broken tractor maze, hot dogs, pedal carts, rope swings, throwing rocks at punpkins.

They knew to skip the never-ending hayride this time.  The only downsides were no live music, no ice cream truck, ran out of hot dogs, and no mini golf balls left.

Pete spent a few dollars getting candy in the shop, and then sadly it was time to head home.  This left plenty of time for everyone to begin the mental preparations for a long week of drudgery at work and/or school, but at least with some fond memories of another glorious weekend afternoon spent together.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

Pete and Sam went as Mario and Luigi for Halloween this year.

After trick-or-treating there was quite an active trading session in the family room with Christopher, David, and Pickle.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sparkle Fun

Pete was brushing his teeth and had an observation.

"I don't know what my toothpaste is supposed to taste like"

"Why not?"

"Because look at the label on it..."

"What does Sparkle Fun taste like?"

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Could Be Chocolate

Dad came home from work one night and was chatting with Sam.  He noticed that Sam had a "bruise" on his knee.

Dad: Sam, what did you do to your knee?

Sam: Actually, it could be chocolate.

Sam: Yep, chocolate

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Statistics Project

For his Statistics project, Pete had fun using the software that Dad's company makes (AppBoard).

Here are some charts that he uploaded to the class discussion forum:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Above is Pete playing part of the Skrillex song "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites".  The house has been starting to sound like the Halloween season.  To hear the original song, click here.

In the back of the photo is one of the four dining tables that are currently on the main level of the house.  This is a story for another day.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


Sam and his friends gave each other nicknames on the bus.  Here are some of them:

Andrew:  Farts
Dino:  T-Rex
Joseph:  Smiley Face
Yusuf:  Dimples
Sam:  Brain

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sterling Park Golf

Dad purchased two coupons for the Sterling Park golf course.  Each coupon was good for 18 holes of golf for two people, plus lunch.

On Saturday night, Dad drilled some extra holes in Mom's old golf cart, so the base could be lifted up to hold Pete and Sam's clubs perfectly.

On Sunday, the plan went into action.  First Dad and Pete played the front nine.  Then they had lunch.  Then Sam took over and played the back nine with Dad, while Pete and Mom went to Big Lots to get some curtain rods.  Next time, Sam will play the front nine and have lunch, and Pete will play the back nine.

It was a great day.  The weather was perfect.  And the course was empty, since everyone was home watching the career debut of RG3 defeating the Saints on opening day of the football season.

Pete played great.  His demeanor was good throughout the day, except for hole #7 when it took him 3 shots to get across the water.  This went against the previously agreed-upon plan to hit one ball in the water and then drop on the other side.  Pete almost got a 4 on the 3rd hole.  His tee shot went pretty far.  Then he hit an iron to just off the green, chipped to within about 6 feet, and made the putt on his second attempt.

Sam played great also.  He showed Dad his improved play that he learned at 1757 golf camp a few weeks earlier.  And he never got upset.  He had a 5 on the 16th hole, the hole where Dad got a birdie.  Dad also played surprisingly well, shooting 33 on the front and 34 on the back for a total of 67.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Sam's 3rd Grade Class

Sam's 3rd grade classmates:

Left to Right:

Row 1: Nina Long, Sam, Joseph Brazina, Anshi Shastry, Brennan Colby, Joseph "Dino" Ramirez, Gemma Smith, Joanne Lin, Yusuf Sharif

Row 2: Tyler Hinman, Naiya Saletta, Naila Corum, Liberty Donaldson, Sophia Warner, Yvonne Lee, Jennifer Owen

Row 3: Avery Collins, Sarah Bishop, Arya Kuchipudi, Matthew Nalley, Jackson Myers, Brett Griffis, Joey Dombrosky, Haleigh Allred, Ipsita Bhakre

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dances With Wolves

Which of the following is the name of Pete's wolf on Minecraft?

a) Wolfie
b) Max
c) Poopface
d) T-Bone
e) Craigslist
f) Niblet

Answer: All of the above!

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School 2012

Pete and Sam had no trouble getting up and ready for the first day of school this morning.

Pete is starting 7th grade at Farmwell Station.  His team this year is the Gorillas.

Sam is starting 3rd grade.  His teacher is Mrs. Sarman.  Joseph and Jackson are in his class this year, too.

Pete and Sam are on different buses, 30 minutes apart, but through the magic of photo editing they can be seamlessly together again:

Here are some more pictures from the walk to the bus:

Sam's rainbow shirt and Pete's shoes look awesome.  Thanks Nana!

Friday, August 24, 2012


Pete and Sam were doing some "Back To School" shopping with Mom and Nana at the mall in Virginia Beach.  Sam spotted a necktie that he really liked.

Sam: Mom, I want to get this tie.
Mom: Where the heck are you going to wear a tie?
Sam: Around my neck

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Shocking Observation

Seeing the above comic brought to mind a funny story from last week.

Pete, Sam, Mom, and Dad were walking through the shopping center from Zynga to Nagoya, to go back to the car and head home after dinner and dessert.

As they were walking past the "Ace Vacuums" store, Mom spotted an enormous praying mantis up on the wall (which they had passed earlier on the walk from Nagoya to Zynga).

Dad commented on the praying mantis:

Dad: Wow! That's really something you don't see every day!
Pete: I know!  A store that only sells vacuum cleaners!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Information Please

When Grandma and Grandpa were visiting in July, everyone went out one night to Generous George's in Herndon.  It was fun, but a bit confusing since they were there for the first time.

When the waitress came, there was a bit of a frenzy as the order got placed.  Different ideas and requests were shooting back and forth.  Sam turned to ask Pete a question.  Then there was some more ordering.  A moment later, the waitress was off to the next table.

Sam raised his hand and asked: "Can somebody please inform me what I will be eating?"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Virginia Beach 2012 Vacation - Day 7

Wednesday was the last day of surf camp.  The waves were pretty choppy, after more storms rolled in Tuesday night, so Sam spent more class time playing in the sand.

During camp, Mom and Dad explored the Back Bay area, including an encounter with a Cottonmouth snake that was a little closer than they would have liked.

For lunch, they met Nana at Pembroke Mall.  They picked up socks for Pete and went to Jason's Deli.

After stopping for some basketball at the new courts at the local elementary school, it was time to head home.

Dinner was a combination of Chick-Fil-A and Pizza Hut over by the Expo Center in Chantilly.

Mom will pick up some official camp pictures when she returns with the boys in late August for a few final days at the beach before the end of summer.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Virginia Beach 2012 Vacation - Day 6

Tuesday of the vacation was day 2 of Pete and Sam's surf camp.

Mom and Dad went to a local coffee shop, and then the library, to discuss a number of upcoming events that needed preparation (cub scouts, Lancaster trip, etc).

After camp, everyone grabbed lunch at Roma Pizza and then stayed at the beach for the afternoon.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Virginia Beach 2012 Vacation - Day 5

On day 5 of the vacation (Monday) , Pete and Sam started their 3 day surf camp.

After dropping off the boys, Mom and Dad went hiking at First Landing park.

Then everyone had lunch at Sal's (across the street from Stacey's office) and headed over to the First Tee golf course.  They got in about 7 holes before it was time to head straight over to dinner at Rockefellers.  Of course, Sam got ribs and Pete got salmon.

Then they headed downtown for Beach Street USA.  This was ostensibly to spend some time with Ashleigh and Sarah.  Ashleigh had been bugging them to come with her all week to Beach Street.  However, once they got out of the car the boys only saw Ashleigh for a few minutes of the remainder of the evening.

First, the boys watched a break dancing group from California:

Then they walked over to the stage to see Krendl.

Then they saw some street performers, including the talking dragon thing:

Finally, it was time to head home, to try to get at least a little sleep before day 2 of camp.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Virginia Beach 2012 Vacation - Day 4

Sunday was a rather interesting day.  Saturday's storms had passed, and the forecast for Sunday looked ok, so in the morning Poppy took Mom, Dad, Pete, and Sam out in his boat.  The waves were extremely choppy, and it did not take long for Sam to get sick and throw up his protein bar.  They headed back for safe land.

On the way home, Mom, Dad, Pete, and Sam stopped at Buckroe Beach for a picnic lunch.  However, the flies were "just awful" so they had to pack up and head home.

Sam with color in his face before the trip:

Note Pete's hair before the trip:

Guys fishing on what should be the jetty:

Note Pete's hair before the trip:

At Buckroe:

In the afternoon, they went to the downtown beach area.  The red "Dangerous Waves" flags were out, and sure enough Sam got swept out so far on his boogie board by a riptide that he and Dad (and eventually Pete) had to be "rescued" a bit to make it back to shore.

They spent some time after that playing in the sand.

Dinner at Wendy's was the safest part of this day.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Virginia Beach 2012 Vacation - Day 3

Day 3 of the Virginia Beach vacation was Saturday.

Mom left early for ODU to take her Praxis exam, and Dad went for a run around the College Park neighborhood and the new Elementary School.

After Chick-Fil-A for lunch, everyone took the new Tide train to downtown Norfolk to go visit the Nauticus museum.


Mermaid near the museum:

Building canals:

Inside an artillery shell:

Big fish near the museum entrance:

Sam mimicking the eel (Dad's favorite picture from the trip):

Sam operating the undersea crane:

Pete steering the USS Wisconsin:

And of course, Lego's:

Dad built "Tool-Bot".  He has a tendency to destroy other Lego structures at random times when he gets mad.

For dinner, Pete, Sam, Dad, and Poppy went to Hooters.  Only Dad had ever stepped foot in a Hooters before.  Mom, Nana, Stacey, and Erin went to a Mexican restaurant.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Virginia Beach 2012 Vacation - Day 2

Day 2 of the vacation started with a trip to Ocean Breeze.  Mom and Sam went with the coupons to purchase the tickets, while Dad and Pete found a geocache near the outskirts of the parking lot.

After entering the park.  Sam enjoyed the new lazy river, where they decided to stay in the park and have lunch at the Palm Tree Grill.  Pete and Mom checked out the new slides that replaced the tube slides.  Then Sam went in the wave pool and Pete and Dad did the Hurricane and a few other slides.  Pete managed to do each slide at least once, and everyone made it back to the car just moments before the thunderstorm started.

For dinner, Mom heated up some lasagna.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Virginia Beach 2012 Vacation - Day 1

The 2012 Virginia Beach vacation started well with everyone piling into the car at precisely 10:00am.  After a nice lunch stop at Friendly's in Fredericksburg, things took a turn for the worse due to an accident causing a big traffic backup on I-95.  Several hours later, everyone arrived around 5:00pm and it was too late to go to the local pool.

The boys enjoyed a family roast beef dinner at Nana's house and relaxed to prepare for the week's activities to come.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


When Jackson came over to play one day, Sam discovered that he wasn't the only one with a summer mohawk: