Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer in the Arts 2013

Pete had a fun time again at Summer in the Arts camp.  This was his third year.  He had to miss two of the nine days because of his New York trip, but he was still able to keep up with everything.

Here are the classes he took this time:
1. Computer Animation
2. Dramatic Interpretation
3. Steel Drums
4. Piano 2

Below are clips from his performances on the last day of camp.  Mom, Sam, and Dad were all able to attend.  Dad was very pleased with his performance as the lead steel drum on Everybody Loves a Saturday Night.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Sam posts a lot of cool pictures to Instagram.  His handle is currently LAX_BRO_169.  He has one follower, who will remain nameless, who usually posts some snarky comment to each of Sam's uploads.  Here are a few examples:

Snarky comment posted by pete_berm: "You don't know how to wear hats"

Snarky comment posted by pete_berm: "And now he's on my floor.  Yay."

Snarky comment posted by pete_berm: "He 'twisted' his ankle."

Monday, July 29, 2013

Merrywood 2013 Graduation Party

Pete and Sam enjoyed the graduation party on June 8th for Taylor, Emily, Matt, and Gabi.  As you can see below, Sam played some cornhole in his nice pink shirt.  This was before squeezing his finger in the cornhole board, which require some first aid attention.

Friday, July 26, 2013

No Match Sunday

Sam declared June 30 as "No Match Sunday", which explains the ensemble he was wearing of a Steelers jersey and shorts with Dolphins colors, not to mention the socks.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pokemon Requests

One day Pete took requests on Instagram for Pokemon to draw.  Above are some of his drawings.  Regarding the one in the lower right, someone requested "Nicki Minaj" so Pete drew Jynx.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Animal Count

In case you were wondering how many stuffed animals Sam has under his bed, the answer is 79.  We know this because whenever Sam has a friend sleep over, there is a complicated operation to extract the guest mattress out from under Sam's bed.  This typically involves moving all 79 animals four times in order to get the mattress out.

If you want to try to locate your favorite, all of the animals are somewhere in the picture above (although some are buried).

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sam's Chicago Trip

While Pete was going on his New York trip with his friends and teachers from Farmwell, Sam went to Chicago for 4 days on the same weekend.

He went with Uncle Steve to Six Flags, Shedd Aquarium, the bleachers at a Cubs game, church, Willis Tower Skydeck, and lots of other fun stuff.  And of course they watched game 7 of the NBA Finals between the Heat and Spurs.  (The Blackhawks were also in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Bruins at this same time)

Sam took a lot of great photos on the trip, with his iPod Touch.  If you want to see all of his pictures, they are available here.

It costs $30 to print an official Cubs photo, so we just snagged the proof with Snag-It:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pete New York Trip - Day 4

The last day of Pete's New York trip began with a tour of Yankee Stadium, and then it was time to head home.

After the trip back home, Dad uploaded all of Pete's pictures and made a DVD so Pete could show everyone his pictures on the Xbox (along with Sam showing his pictures from Chicago).

If you want to see all 188 of the pictures Pete took on the trip, they are available here.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pete New York Trip - Day 3

On day 3 of the New York Trip, Pete went to uptown New York.  He saw the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park Walking Tour (Cherry Hill, Strawberry Fields, Belvedere Castle, Delacorte Theater), NBC Studios tour, Madison Ave, and Park Ave.

After dinner, and a subway ride (!), they did a Garage-a-palooza competition in the parking garage at the hotel.  Pete's group finished 2nd. 


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pete New York Trip - Day 2

On day 2 of the New York trip, Pete and his friends took a ferry boat tour and saw Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty, Battery Park, the 9/11 Memorial, Freedom Tower, Trinity Church, Wall Street, South Street Seaport, Greenwich Village, East Village, SoHo, Chinatown, and Little Italy.

They capped off the day with dinner at Ben's Deli and a Broadway show (Stomp).  They also met some of the actors from Stomp after the show.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pete New York Trip - Day 1

Pete went to New York with a group of students from Farmwell Middle School, chaperoned by Mrs. Rossi and Mr. Dodson.

A few months before the trip, there was a planning meeting/party at Corey's house (Sam had Lacrosse and could not attend):

A few weeks before the trip, there was a planning meeting/party at the Alba's house (Sam and Dad had a Lacrosse party down the street and could not attend):

On the first day, they met the bus at school at 8:15am.  Then they did a walking tour of the city, including Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, FAO Schwartz, Trump Tower, Times Square, and Grand Central Station.

After dinner they went up to the top of the Empire State Building.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Nationals Cub Scout Game

The family had a fun outing with the Cub Scouts at the Washington Nationals game on April 28th.  Mom dropped off Dad, Pete, and Sam and then drove off to park the car in the cheap lot.  The seats were in the front row (of the upper section), although everyone moved up a few rows to the covered area when it started to rain.

Unfortunately, immediately after the rain started they posted this message on the scoreboard: "Due to the hazardous conditions, the Run The Bases event has been cancelled".  That was pretty lame.

In this picture, you can make out the US Capitol building off in the background (just to the left of Sam's head):

The Nationals lost to the Reds.  The team started out the year as one of the favorites to make the World Series, but it has not been as good a year as expected.

The boys found a very cool "Transportation Walk" on the way back to the car, by the Navy Yard.  This might have been the best part of the entire outing.

By the way, the mystery item Pete is holding under the towel in several of the pictures is his leftover french fries that he brought all the way home, and which sat in the refrigerator for a few days.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Spectrum Civilization Project

Everyone went to Farmwell one evening to see the project that Pete's group created.  First Mom, Nana, and Poppy went over.  Then Dad went to pick up Sam at John's house and they went over to the school.  

On the way to the cafeteria, they spotted a cool poster for William's sister (Theresa) who was running for class President.  The tiny hat looks good on Principal Loya:

Here is the diorama and poster that Pete's group created for the "Hydrochromats":

After viewing the poster, everyone went over to Manhattan Pizza for dinner.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pete School Prep

Here is Pete getting ready for school on a typical day.  The pink duct tape is for some sort of spirit event that was going on that day.  The thug Eagles hat is actually his hair styling tool.  He would wear it for a while and then remove it before heading off to school (except on really cold days).  The hat got lost a few times on the bus and some other places over the course of the year.

Pete already has on his socks and shoes, so there is a decent chance in this case that he might make it to the bus stop on time without any running.  Which is no fun on the days that he is carrying his trumpet.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Claude Moore Geo-Picnic

Dad was pleased to have Pete join him at a local geocaching picnic in Claude Moore park.  They met some fellow geocachers and had some cheeseburgers.

Then they went off to find the final stage of a geocache called "A Walk Along Vestal's Gap".  Pete found a cool levitating stick along the way:

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Kino Level 40

Congratulations to Sam for getting to level 40 on a solo game of Call of Duty: Zombies (Kino Der Toten map).  This is the highest level any of us have seen.

Let this be a cautionary tale - when someone says they are going to play a game of Kino, make sure it is not within a few hours of bedtime.