Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cub Scout Hike at Red Rock Overlook

The boys had a fun family hike in October with the Cub Scouts at Red Rock Overlook Regional Park.

Try to find Sam in the second picture above.  Hint: you won't see his face.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Pete Pokemon Drawing

Pete had some time over the summer to do some cool Pokemon drawings.  We will leave it to the reader to identify the names of the Pokemon in the comments.

Pete also has a book labeled "Gotta Sketch 'Em All", which is intended to ultimately have drawings of every Pokemon.  He got off to a good start with it, but let's just say that he still has several more to go before the book will be complete.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Scrabble Game of Questionable Appropriateness

Sometimes Dad walks into the family room and notices that someone has started playing a game of Scrabble, but he decides not to ask any questions about it and in fact may choose to just pretend that he never saw anything. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

BBQ Chicken Thighs

A new dinner options this summer has been grilled BBQ chicken thighs, usually with some barbecue sauce.  

Thanks to Nana and Poppy for getting Dad a new grill for his birthday.  His old one served the family well for about 15 years.

One of the running jokes with Sam is that if doesn't like what's for dinner, he'll try it with a "truckload of barbecue sauce".

Thursday, December 26, 2013

First Annual Froyo Tour

Just before going back to school in August, the family started a new tradition with the first annual Ashburn Froyo Tour.

It started at 11am at Sweet Frog.  Then there were visits to FrankiBerri, Zazu, Zinga, Frozen Fantasy, PinkBerry, and LuvbBerry.

PinkBerry was a bit of a disaster, so that was replaced by a final trip to another Sweet Frog.  The favorite of the group seemed to be FrankiBerri.  Now we will see how many of these places survive to next year for the 2nd annual tour.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Hurts To Look

Which is more painful to look at in this picture - Sam's spine angle, or his mismatched socks?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Proper Haircut

This picture was taken several months ago.  It was back in the day when Sam had a proper haircut:

Now we are approaching Christmas and New Years and his hair is completely out of control.  Here is what it looks like at the moment, on a good day:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Math Team

This was a classic bit of scratch paper that Dad and Pete discovered from Sam's participation on the math  team. Note the exquisiteness of the drawing.

This begs the question of how much of the 4 minutes did Sam use to make those drawings.

He did get the answer right, so Sam gets the last laugh on this one.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Great Thanksgiving Gathering of 2013

There were a few visitors for Thanksgiving this year:

Pictures around the table are Sarah, Sam, Ashleigh, Stacey, Aiden, Eddie, Allen Michael, George, Vickie, Christy, [Mike], Pete, and Tori.  Yes, that makes a lucky 13.  Everyone enjoyed a nice buffet dinner.

The sleeping arrangements were: Nana and Poppy at the condo, Pete/Sam/Sarah/Tori in Pete's room, Mom/Dad in their room, and everyone else in the basement.

Then there was the small matter of the Steelers/Ravens game after dinner.  Note a certain gender gap in the following photos:

The ladies were happy that the Ravens squeaked out a 2-point victory.  A few people missed the end of the game while they were fighting out in the front yard.

On Friday, the out-of-towners headed downtown to visit some DC museums, and then on Saturday things quieted down quite a bit as everyone went to IHOP and then headed home.

This weekend also featured the installation of a new toilet, refrigerator, and dishwasher.  Followed by the equally challenging removal of their predecessors.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Old Rag 2013

Once again, Pete and Dad did their annual Old Rag hike for his birthday.  They went by themselves this year.  Of course, they brought along plenty of sugar wafers, and some Subway sandwiches for lunch.

Pete also hiked Old Rag again a few weeks later with Christopher and his family.

Virginia Diner Fundraiser

Pete did a great job busting his tail for the "Virginia Diner" fundraiser for Farmwell Station Middle School. He went out with Dad and Sam a few times in the Fall, when Sam was selling popcorn for Cub Scouts.

These nuts (ha!) were much harder to sell than Sam's popcorn. They were overpriced and Pete did not have the cute little hat to wear like Sam. Pete did discover that when he wore a nicer shirt the second time he did a lot better. And when he struck up a conversation with the customer, such as noticing a bumper sticker on theiir car and offering a related product.

Here is all of Pete's inventory before making the deliveries:

A few deer spotted in Lansdowne during selling:

Pete ended up in second place and won some gift cards. If only he had known, he would have sold just a little more to win the iPad.

Friday, December 06, 2013

The Teenage Years

Pete turned 13 this year.

His presents included a Pepsi shirt and some other stuff that we can't remember.

Everyone celebrated with a trip to Nagoya for dinner.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Sky Meadows Astronomy Night

Sam went with Mom and Dad to Astronomy night at Sky Meadows.  This was the night before the big Perseid meteor shower.

They saw a lot of cool telescopes set up in the field after dark.  They could even see Saturn through one of them.  Sam also saw the moon and a lot of other stars.

Mr. Dave Weitzel was also there from the Cub Scout Pack, and he had his telescope set up.

It was fun trying to find the car in the pitch dark.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Summer Flowers

Pete and Sam planted the flowers from their Christmas stockings in the flower box, which led to a colorful display throughout the summer:

Unfortunately, Mom could not see the flowers from the kitchen because the window is a little too high.  (This is the diplomatic way of stating it).  But at least now she can see what they looked like on this web page.  Next year the boys will need to find some taller varieties to plat, so Mom can see the tops of them.

Also, their sunflowers grew nicely in Dad's pumpkin garden (better than Dad's pumpkins).

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pohick Bay Family Campout

Pete and Sam enjoyed the family camping trip this summer to Pohick Bay.  It is the first time they camped there in the regular campground.

After setting up camp, they walked on a nice path to the Pirates Cove water park.  When it started drizzling, they headed back to get the campfire started.  They pitched the big family tent and all slept in there.

There was a nice playground across from the site.  Below is Pete atop the climbing apparatus.  See if you can spot the rainbow in the background.

After dinner, they made some firestarters from dryer lint and candle wax.  There was a bit of a ground fire, but nothing to worry about.

In the morning, they played some mini-golf and then headed home.

Lemonade Stand

Although Pete and Sam did not get to do a lemonade stand this year, here is the list for future reference.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sam Premature 10th Birthday

Sam got to celebrate his 10th birthday quite a few times. The first was with a cake from grandma and grandpa in late November:

And of course a trip the next morning to IHOP.

The above was the legendary breakfast where grandma said "pick a language - spanish, german, or french". We picked german and with a few waves of the hand she said "Guten Tag" and had completed the task. Then we picked French, to which she paused and said "take it, Mel". Then grandpa said "Je m'appelle Mel". The conversation went further South from there.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Virginia Cookie

Dad had fun one day when he volunteered to go into Sam's class at school (Mrs. Staub). Fourth grade is all about Virginia. Below are Arman and Sam working on their Virginia cookie.

Note the detail on the regions, rivers, etc.

Sean Sullivan enjoyed the candy to its fullest extent.

Unfortunately Daria slipped and had to be taken off to the hospital by her Dad for some stitches. Other than that, it was a fun day  for all.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Flag Football Playoffs

Pete was on the Redskins with Coach Mario and Brea this season. They did not win the championship, but (hint hint) it set them up for something special the following year.

The team party  was at Greene Turtle:

Pictured (l-r, t-b) are Elson Hsia, Anthony Cannata, Scott Buermeyer, Colby Buzzelli, Aryan Awal, Adam Love, unknown, and Kevin Madison.

Elson, Pete, and Anthony. They were also in Farmwell band together and stayed with the team in 2014.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Making a Difference 5K

Everyone in the family participated in the "Making a Difference" 5k. It was dedicated to the deceased Principal of Sanders Corner Elementary, Kathy Hwang, who used to be Mom's mentor when she was starting out many years ago.

Dad and Sam ran the 5k in a  respectable time of 33:40. Mom and Pete took a more leisurely pace and finished soon after.

Looks like Sam beat Dad out by a nose. Must be nice to be 34 years younger.

Thanks to Poppy for dropping everyone off and then picking them up for a ride to IHOP!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Into The Woods

Tonight was opening night for "Into The Woods". Pete participated in this play as the narrator, with an excellent cast and crew from the Sterling Playmakers.

Although there were a lot of late-night rehearsals, it was a very rewarding experience for Pete and a most excellent production of which they were all very proud.