Friday, June 29, 2012

Ashleigh's Graduation - Day 3 - Party

Having endured Joe Biden at Ashleigh's graduation ceremony, everyone had earned a relaxing Friday afternoon celebration at the campground.

Mom and Dad arrived at Indian Cove Resort while Pete and Sam were still out on the boat wth Poppy and Uncle Steve.  So they walked around the campground a bit and played a little tennis.

Then they watched Max fetch his stick from the water a few times:

Uncle Paul had the smoker going with the chicken and other barbecue treats:

Pete and Sam played some baseball, football, and cornhole.  Sam played with Dakota at the playground. They also all went swimming later in the pool.  Below is Sam on the swing, attempting the mythical "360" maneuver:

He worked out an idea with Dad to capture him in mid-air jumping off the swing, but due to some communication issues Dad took the picture a little late.  See if you can spot part of Sam's "carcass" in the photo below:

Around 4:30, it was finally time to eat:

Everyone piled into the car at 8:00 for the long drive home to Ashburn.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ashleigh's Graduation - Day 3 - Getting Ready

On the morning of Ashleigh's graduation party, Mom went to Sarah's award ceremony so Dad and Sam had some time for a leisurely breakfast:

After breakfast, Pete and Sam took the top down and headed out to Hampton with Poppy and Steve to Poppy's boat:

They needed Pete to climb up the mast and grab a line that had gotten stuck up there.  Sam climbed half way up the mast as well.  Then they headed over to meet everyone at the campground for the graduation party.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ashleigh's Graduation - Day 2

On Thursday, Sam and Pete stayed home with Sarah while Mom and Dad went to Ashleigh's graduation with Nana, Poppy, Stacey, Steve, and Sabrina.

The graduation was at the Convention Center and included a speech by Vice President Joe Biden:

Ashleigh had the longest name of any of the 400+ graduates in the program (29 letters).  These are the types of things you can observe while waiting an hour for the ceremony to start.

Afterwards, everyone met up with Ashleigh by the memorial for some pictures.  

After picking up Pete and Sam at home, everyone had dinner at IHOP with some of Ashleigh's friends (and baby Grayson).  Pete and Sam got to sit with Uncle Steve, Sarah, and Sabrina.

Pete, Sam, Dad, and Sarah chased some fireflies outside Nana and Poppy's house before it was time for bed.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ashleigh's Graduation - Day 1

The family headed down to Virginia Beach on a Wednesday for Ashleigh's graduation from Tallwood High School.  Wednesday evening was rotisserie chicken and some cake that Sarah made for dessert.

Since Ashleigh was working at Rita's, they headed there for a second dessert. While waiting, Pete and Sam did some dancing:

After finishing his ice cream, Sam ran around the parking lot and worked on some back flips with Sarah:

Pete and Sam slept with Sarah in the kids' room while Mom and Dad slept on couches downstairs.

Monday, June 25, 2012


On his way home from lunch with Brian, Dad stopped at Sam's class for the last day of school Fiesta.  It was a blast.

There were three stations.  First, Sam made a paper flower:

Then, Sam and Dad enjoyed some chips and salsa:

Finally, it was off to the limbo station:

Sam got a hold of some maracas and started floating around the room:

Sadly, after an hour the party was over and it was time to go out to the hallway and watch the 5th graders parade around the building:

Dad met Sam at the school bus with some silly string, and then it was time for the Merrywood ice cream social.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Farmwell Thunderbirds Field Day

Dad volunteered to help out with the Thunderbirds Field Day on Wednesday June 6.  The Thunderbirds are the "team" that Pete is on at Farmwell Middle School.  There are three teams that comprise the 6th grade.

Upon arriving at school, Dad went to see Pete at his Spectrum party, but that party had dissolved and they were off cleaning their lockers.  So Dad helped set up for serving pizza and chips to 120 students.  After serving the pizza, Dad sat down with Pete, Kyle, Ryan, Paul, and Mikey for lunch on the grass:

After lunch, they gave out some awards.  Pete received an award for the highest average in one of his classes (Language Arts, I think).  After about a dozen awards, someone from the peanut gallery yelled out "Hey! How come the girls are winning all of the awards?"  Then someone else said "Well, except for Pete!".  Pete received a large Hershey bar along with his award:

Dad supervised the basketball event for a while.  The event was basically about 40 boys playing unstructured basketball for an hour and a half.  It took about 40 minutes before they had even decided on teams.  One thing Dad discovered is that Paul and Mikey do not like to pass.

Pete's second event was Football.  However, some of the kids were hot and tired so after about 15 minutes of the second event they decided to move everything inside.  Here is Pete waiting for the movie to start (behind Mrs. Ackerman):

The next volunteer activity was handing out leftover chips to 120 people crammed into Mrs. Morrison's room to watch "A Bug's Life":

Dad needed to leave so he could get over to Sam's school by 2:45 to run the one mile fun run with Sam.  On the way out of the building, he saw Pete's name on the Wall of Fame for a 70+ GWAM score in keyboarding:

Dad ran the mile in 8:03 and Sam ran it in 8:39.  They were together for most of the race, but Dad went ahead when Sam stopped at the water station near the end.  They will try to lower their time next year.  Sam said if he gets his time under 7:00, then the following year he will run the 5K.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pete's Park

One of Pete's Spectrum projects this Spring was to work in a small group to design a public park.  The people in Pete's group were Matt Cieslak (Safety Engineer), Emma Houston (Architect), Pete (Public Relations), and Miranda Walker (Funding and Budget).

The instructions were posted.  They were to design a park with many activities for each age group, such as young children, teenagers, adults, and senior citizens:

Pete's group designed Falcon Tree Park:
It has three falcon statues carved out of trees.  They only cost $50 each.  There is a full-court basketball court, which you can see in the Northwest area of the park.  Generally, the area for families and adults is the Northeast, the area for teenagers is the Northwest, the area for children is the Southeast, and the area for the elderly is the Southwest.

Here is some other group's park that Mom took a random picture of.  Since the picture only included the work "Park" (not shown), we are calling this "Park Park".

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Slamma Jamma II

There has been a lot more interest in the trampoline this year from all of the neighborhood children.  Perhaps this is because Dad finally got around to putting up the Slamma Jamma II basketball hoop.  Although, the picture above does not appear to be any standard form of basketball.  Nor the picture below:

Soon after the Slamma Jamma II went into action, the trampoline was closed for about a week due to an "incident".  Apparently, Pete was trying to do a front flip dunk and somehow caught his foot on the net.  It sliced almost all the way through from top to bottom:  

Mom went out and stitched up the net with some fishing line, and Dad received a replacement net from the net company.  So hopefully all is taken care of for a while.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Sam has crossed over from Wolf Scout to Bear Scout.  Pictured above, Den leaders Mom and dad giving Sam his new neckerchief and slide.  Den Chief Jonah is helping in the background, and Cindy and Emma are looking on as well, waiting for Ethan to cross over.

Everyone had a great time at the picnic playing ultimate, having dinner, and playing football.  It was nice playing outside for hours on this beautiful Sunday evening in early June.

As usual, Pete, Sam, Mom, and Dad were the last to leave the event.  They played a little 3 on 2 football with Jackson and Mr. Gavin, and then finally it was time to head home.  They stopped at Subway on the way home to get  a replacement cookie for the one that  Sam "dropped", although he couldn't quite remember where he had dropped it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sam 2nd Grade Field Day

Sam's 2nd grade Field Day was on Monday, June 4.  Field Day is a day where the kids go to school, horse around, and don't learn anything.  In other words, pretty much like any Monday for Sam.  Dad was a volunteer, so he got to hang out with Sam for several of the morning events.  Dad found Sam out on the field as his class was applying sunblock and "hydrating" (modern term for drinking water):

Sam's first event was the parachute thing with Mr Reifenburg.  He got to stand next to Mrs. Weltens.  She was more participatory than most of the other teachers.  At one point, they all disappear under the parachute for about 2 minutes.  Dad was getting ready to call 9-1-1, but just then they came back out.:

Next it was some sort of human-net volleyball activity.  I think the girl on the right walks back and forth until one of the two stick-holders gets distracted and looks over, at which time the other person whacks them in the head with the stick:

Sam sitting next to Joey during the "15-minute break" event:

Next it was off to wet ball toss.  This is the event that Dad was in charge of, so it was very organized and nobody had any fun.  Well, for the first 30 seconds anyhow.  Sam ended up with Joey as his partner, so this event was a bit challenging.  But as you can see, Sam enjoyed himself anyhow:

The indoor event was the scooter race.  This is an event where you wait in a long line and then, as quickly as you can, scoot around a cone and to the back of the line where you can wait some more: 

Sam entertained the girls with some wardrobe adjustments when they were waiting their turn (which was about 93% of the time):

Back outside for a wet sponge relay.  Sam's team must have been pretty far behind, because you can see that he has switched to the "rally cap": 

Dad caught a good shot for the class picture.  He sent the picture to Mrs. Weltens, which she ended up printing out and sending home with each student on the last day of school:

Dad headed home at 11:30 to work the rest of the day, while Sam headed off to lunch.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Pete 6th Grade SOL Tests

Congratulations to Pete for getting the following scores on his SOL tests:

Math: 600  (Pete took the 7th grade Math test)
Reading: 600
History: 600

Each test has a maximum score of 600 points.  Anyone achieving a score of 600 on an SOL test gets their picture on the "Wall of Fame" for that test in the cafeteria.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Flip or Dive

Flip or Dive is an unfortunate game that was only played once.

It was one of those glorious days in early September when the neighborhood pool was still open and school was already in session.  In the balmy evening, the family would go to the pool and order pizza so they could hang out and swim right up until closing time.  Pete and Dad came up with the idea.  Pete would run along the diving board, and just as he was making his jump Dad would yell either "flip" or "dive".  Pete would then make the appropriate adjustment to either do a flip or dive into the water.

On one attempt, apparently Pete was thinking "dive", but Dad said "flip", and by the time the adjustments were made and rotations attempted, Pete landed just about flat on his back.  Once he was able to move again, it was decided that "Flip or Dive" should be retired.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Lunch Puzzles

Dad likes to give Pete and Sam little puzzles in their lunchboxes.

They did not have any trouble solving the puzzle shown above.  Note, this version is the one he gave to Sam, with a few extra letters filled in.  The original version given to Pete was a little harder.