MJ Graduated RPI

MJ graduated from RPI!  He completed both the mechanical engineering and aeronautical engineering degrees in December.  Three and a half years for 2 Bachelor degrees.

In May he walked in the graduation ceremony.  (Mom made him!!)   Actually I think he was afraid to face mom’s wrath if he didn’t go to the ceremony.

Over the years MJ has stayed close friends with his freshman year roommate, Bobbie.  It was really nice to see both of them graduate together.

 

The weather for graduation was a bit dreary and 1/2 way through the ceremony it started to rain.  Nothing empties out a stadium faster than cold dreary rain.

Putting aside the weather, it was nice to mark the completion of his undergrad career!  And mark the end of those awful payments to RPI every semester!

 

 

 

We have a new driver in the family

Jill got her drivers license!

That night we went out to Robinson’s Ale House in Red Bank to celebrate.  MJ and Thea were able to join us.  We all piled into either Jill’s car or MJ’s.  It was weird that neither Cathy or I was driving.

We bought a VW Passat for Jill to  drive on a regular basis.  All of our cars are on the larger size, a Nissan Pathfinder and a Chevy Silverado, and it was not fair for her to have to learn on the bigger cars. But she did it.

While we were at the restaurant, Jill asked if she could drive home alone.  It would be the first time she as in a car all by herself with no one overseeing.  Cathy looked at me with her “Oh my….??” look.  Before Cathy could object, I said yes.

Jill was giddy with excitement and left the restaurant ahead of us.

As we were walking down the street, I looked up to see the Passat coming up the street.  I pointed to the car and said to everyone “Here comes Jill”.  We stood there in silence as we watched her drive off, heading home.  MJ turned to me and said “That has to be the most terrifying site”.  I said to him, “Not really, the most terrifying site was watching you drive off  for the first time. Second time around is not so bad.”  MJ clearly did not see the humor in that statement.

 

Stromboli Night

Mom decided to break in her new kitchen with Stromboli night!

This was a truly unbelievable event in our household.

In the old kitchen layout only 1, maybe 2 people could work in the space at a time.  There was very limited counter space and no matter how careful, you were always bumping into the other person.  With the new kitchen layout we had 5 people all doing something!

On top of that, Mom allowed the kids to throw flour all over the granite counter-tops so we could roll out the dough for our Stromboli’s.  Each of us made up our own personalized Stromboli with whatever we wanted as a filler.

Through it all Mom kept a smile on her face.  Flour was all over the counter-tops, some of the flour and fixings spilled on to the floor, the sink was full of dishes.  Yet she smiled.

 

Seriously, I was starting to think the pod people replaced my wife!

At the end, the Stromboli’s came out perfect!

Jill’s Bedroom

We recently repainted Jill’s bedroom.  What made this interesting is we used magnetic paint on some of the walls.

magnetic_paintAfter reading reviews I decided to put 4 coats of the magnetic paint on the walls to ensure magnets would stick to the walls.  All the write-ups indicated the more coats of paint, the better magnets would stick to the wall.  People who used only 1 or 2 coats were not happy with the results.  Those who used 4 to 5 coats all said the results were satisfactory.

We then covered over the magnetic paint with the top coat color.

The overall effect is pretty cool.  Ordinary kitchen magnets stick with enough force to hold a couple of sheets of paper.

 

Christmas Eve Dinner

Christmas Eve dinner was extra special this year. We had shrimp scampi in a white wine sauce over linguine. What made it extra special was that MJ cooked the entire meal by himself. Every time Cathy or I tried to enter the kitchen to help, we were shoo’d out. He did a fantastic job. The shrimp were cooked just the right amount. The white wine sauce and linguine were perfect.

Pumpkin Carving

As the kids get older Pumpkin carving takes on a different dimension in the Petersen household.  Every year the carvings get more elaborate and I actually have less to do.  We have several of the carving kits that allow you to saw the pumpkins while following a picture.  This year Jill went with a very traditional carving, but she insisted that she could do the whole thing by herself.  And you want to know something, she was right.  MJ went with a witch riding a broomstick with a half moon in the background.  For some reason we didn’t capture a picture of it.  Although it really came out great!