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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!