Friday, June 28, 2013

Colored Pencils

One day Pete decided that the colored pencils need to be arranged in proper color order.  You can see his pretty arrangement in the photo below:

This was all fine and good, until Pete also announced that the pencils need to be put away in this order, and that the order needs to be maintained in perpetuity.

If anyone knows of a good colored pencil order maintenance guy, please send us his phone number.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thomas Jefferson Speech

Dad was pleased that Sam gave several speeches in class this year.  Below is the costume he wore for his Thomas Jefferson speech:

Of course he did a great job on the speech and got a good grade.

Unlike the original Thomas Jefferson, Sam posted the above picture on Instagram after his speech.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bikes in the Cafeteria

No, the title of this post is not the sequel to "Lions on the Astroturf".

Sam's Cub Scout Den brought their bikes one night to the Den meeting.  It was fun bringing the bikes into the cafeteria.  Mr. Gavin volunteered to lead the activity.  He used to work at a bike shop:

Pictured above of course are Jackson Myers, Alex Biddle, Dominik Blank, William Hammann, Jalen Riggio (who had just joined the group a few weeks earlier), Ethan Markowitz, and Sam.  Their Den Chief, Jonah Hyatt, was not in attendance at this meeting.

Soon after the picture was taken, Mr. Gavin demonstrated how to fix a flat tire, and then Dad took the Scouts out one at a time to the obstacle course he had set up in the parking lot.  Dad was heard making the following speech that he was worried he may come to regret:

"ok Scouts, you will now take your bikes out to the parking lot for the hairpin course - keep in mind that it is dark, it is cold, it is raining, it is treacherous, ..."

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Balls Bluff Hike

The Spring Cub Scout hike was a great time for the family to go out together to Balls Bluff.  Dad somehow ended up being the leader of the hike, so Pete and Sam stuck with it and joined the smaller group that hiked the longer loop around the park.

Sam is pictured below in the front left, with his sharp new t-shirt (designed and purchased by Dad):

Here is a cool animal bone that Sam and Dad spotted along the trail.  About a week later, Sam brought home a picture of the identical item in a study packet, and they were able to identify it as a deer jaw bone:

Monday, June 24, 2013

Scalp Removal

They say there's a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow, so with the skyrocketing prices of gold lately the family is working to get Pete scheduled in for a scalp-removal appointment.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sterling Station

On March 30, the family took advantage of the nice Saturday weather and did a brief Geocache/hike called Sterling Station.  They had planned for a short family hike along the W&OD trail, but as they had feared the "Carmax" trail lot lot was filled up in the early afternoon by all the bikers, so they executed Plan B and parked in the Ruritan area. They had fun briefly exploring the area.  The boys and Dad should have listened to Mom and not tried their "shortcut" on the way back to the car.  But they still made it back in time to rush Pete over to meet up with Jeff and his other friends.

Dad and the boys walking across the street from the old Sterling Station (now a private residence).  The paved path on the right (W&OD) is where the train used to run:

Dad signing the geocache log book in the area of an abandoned house:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Easter 2013

The boys dyed some eggs for Easter this year:

Then it was time for the annual Merrywood Easter Egg Hunt:

Sam quickly found his dozen eggs:

Note in the group photo, you have to look twice to realize that Pete is wearing Sam's camo basket on his head, which blends in perfectly with the tree in the background:

It was raining, and when Pete was all bundled up, Dad said he looked like the Egg-burglar.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Brennan's Party

Sam went to Brennan's party at Panther Laser Tag.  Dad got a few photos, and also scored a free game of Laser Tag with the boys.

Brennan, Sam, Sean:

Andrew, John, Sam:

Everyone in the hurricane machine:

During the party, Dad went off with Pete to find a few nearby geocaches.

Red Cedar Cache:

Leave No Stone Unturned:

They also found "TICO (Trash In Cache Out)" (not pictured).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Pete and Sam both got sunflowers in their Easter baskets this year.  After growing them inside for a few weeks, it was time to plant them in the front of Dad's pumpkin garden.  We'll have to check in later to see how they progress over the course of the summer.  There were some major rainstorms this spring, and a late frost, but so far they seem to be surviving.

If you can see the little flag in the middle of the group of flowers on the left, it says "Pete's Sunflowers".

Monday, June 17, 2013

Crazy Hair Day 2013

No, that is not a green tarantula on Sam's forehead - just Sam and Pete getting ready for "Crazy Hair Day" at school.  Or as Dad likes to call it: "Scrub Spray Paint Off The Bathroom Wall Day".

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sketch Book

Sam has recently been back into sketching again.  Today he pulled out one of his old sketch books and was leafing through it while Dad was eating his pancakes.

Dad: You really have a lot of nice drawings in that sketch book
Sam: Yeah, it's mostly people on roller coasters

Mastispell 2013

Sam did a great job this year at the Mastispell spelling bee.  He qualified easily for the final (stage) round and did not have any reservations this year about going up on stage.  Unfortunately, they had him sitting next to a severely hyperactive boy (#184), who mercifully was removed from stage after spelling his word wrong in the 2nd round.

Sam correctly spelled "fatherly" and "rotund", but went out in the 3rd round on "tyrannosaurus".

It was too late in the day to make his Lacrosse game, so Sam enjoyed staying to the end with Dad to watch the winners determined, and see the awards ceremony.  Mom and Pete went off in the early afternoon to his flag football game.

Funny moments from the bee:

  • Boy who could not pronounce "anonymous", going back and forth with the pronouncer with "anonymous" / "anomous"
  • Indian girl who could not pronounce "effervescent"