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Wednesday, August 31st, 2011.  Today I am posting photos of the super little baby that Amy started baby sitting last month.  It hasn't taken long for the family to get attached to this very sweet little fellow. 

The boys both had good baseball practices last night.  When Ben came home, I thought that I would mow the lawn and that he would play video games, but instead he asked if we could throw ball.  So he and Amy fielded balls on our backyard diamond while I hit to them.   Really glad he is having fun, Jackson too. 

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011.  We had a great time at BB&T Ballpark Saturday evening. the weather was superb and both boys came home with balls that the players threw them at the end of different innings. We spent the hours before the game bouncing back and forth between sporting goods stores trying to find Jackson all the gear that he needed before the next day's baseball game. 


Monday, August 29, 2011. Up until now, Ben has been our only baseball kid.  Jackson played football, basketball and soccer, but never stepped on the diamond in an uniform.  That changed on Sunday when he hit the field with the Surry Heat fall-ball team for a scrimmage against the Shoals Diamondbacks.  It was supposed to be his first practice, but was changed at the last minute to a scrimmage, which made Jackson pretty nervous.  But I was proud of him for having confidence in his athleticism and abilities.  On his first at bat, he watched the first pitch, which was a ball, then hit the second one.  An error moved him to 2nd and he had the teams only RBI.  Not a bad start.  I hope he has a lot of fun this fall, who knows, he might end up liking the sport as much as his little brother who's request each night is to watch a few minutes of major league baseball before turning in for bed. 

Monday, August 22nd, 2011.  First I will update on the school situation.  Jackson is still in love with middle school and every day has gotten a little better for Ben.  He is acing his schoolwork and has started having more fun at recess.  Our fall schedule has kicked into high gear.  Amy is attending PTO meetings and MAJWC meetings.  I am attending Cub Scout meetings, Ben is playing minor league baseball and Jackson is playing soccer.  It is a fun, but busy time of year. 
Jackson took all of today's photos with a camera that his Aunt Deana recently gave him. 

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011.  A fun weekend that included a birthday party for our little friend Madeline on Saturday and for my dad on Sunday.  Not a lot of change on the school front.  Jackson is still just as happy and has already signed up to be manager of the middle-school basketball team (6th graders are not allowed to play).  Ben seems fine when he comes home from school, but still cries each night at bedtime because he doesn't want to go the next day.  He went on a play-date with one of his classmates that he knows and we had hoped that would help.  But so far, recess is still a tough experience for him.  I am still optimistic that this will change on a dime as soon. 
On Saturday night, we set a projector up downstairs and watched Gnomeo and Juliette with our friends the Venables.  I am looking forward to having an indoor option this winter when we the outdoor movie nights are no longer an option.

Friday, August 12th, 2011.  Day two results were similar to day one.  Jackson continues to love middle school, Ben continues to be sad and says that no one talks to him.   Hoping that Jackson continues to enjoy his school year as much as he has so far and that Ben's situation improves.  Amy is enjoying her time with the new little baby she is watching this year, he is really cute.  Both boys are registered to play baseball this fall, although it is not guaranteed that there will be enough kids for Jackson's age group. 
Today our friends Brett and Sammi Grace are hanging out with Amy.  The kids were super excited to see Brett this morning.  Brett will play soccer this fall in the 3 year old league.  He asked Ben if they would be on the same team.  Ben said no.  Brett said "why not?"  Ben told him that it is because he is older.  Brett said "but I thought we were friends?"
Here is a funny story from our ride home from the beach.  We drove past a billboard advertising breakfast.  Simon said "What is bo-log-nuh?  That sounds disgusting.  Who would want eggs and bo-log-nuh on a biscuit?"  Amy looked at the sign and started laughing.  She said"Simon, bologna is how you spell baloney."

Thursday, August 11th, 2011School update:  Jackson had a phenomenal first day, he enjoyed every class, every teacher.  And he has good friends in each of his classes.  He even liked the bus ride because he got to sit with his good friend Simon and was the first stop after the bus picked up students at the high school.  Ben liked his teachers, but is really, really sad that he doesn't have friends in his room.  He said that no one talked to him and that one of the kids from his class last year didn't even remember him.  We are optimistic that things will improve for him as he gets to know the kids in his new class, but for the moment, he is pretty sad and says that it was the worst day ever.

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011.  So since the last post... our nephew Bronx was born, we went to Atlantic Beach, Amy started babysitting a new, very cute, little boy, I attended my first Dogwood District Boy Scout roundtable meeting, Ben started 2nd grade and Jackson had his 1st day ever at the middle school.  Big week.  Our nephew is beautiful and healthy, we had a marvelous time at Atlantic Beach (my favorite beach destination) and were joined by Jackson's friend Simon.  Today is the 1st day of school, so we'll have to wait until the end of the day to get reports on how it went, but we are optimistic that it will be a great year for both boys.  They were both excited this morning and ready to see their friends again.
On our way out of town on Thursday, we stopped at the hospital and visited Bronx for the first time.  In a fantastic coincidence, he was born just minutes before we arrived.  The trip to the coast seemed to stretch out on us and we did not arrive until late that evening.  This was our third trip to Atlantic Beach and, as I mentioned above, it has turned into my vacation.  I leave Atlantic Beach super relaxed and always feel that we have just the best time together as a family.  Click here for the full gallery of photos from our weekend at the coast.  Almost all of our hours were spent on the beach, jumping in waves, riding boogie boards, skim boarding, building sand castles, flying kites and relaxing.  We had a few well timed rain showers, but for the most part, the weather was great.  We are always super appreciative that the Chiltons let us stay at their place, it is just the best.  The trip back was much faster and the kids were great.  With only 8 weeks of Summer vacation this year, it seems way too early for the kids to go back to school, but we still managed to pack a ton of things in during their break.  Now I can't wait to hear how that important first day of school went.

Thursday, August 4th, 2011.  Potentially could be a big day, Melanie is in labor, we may soon get to meet little Bubba Octavious and find out what his real name is.  We are also leaving for the coast later for our end-of-summer vacation.

And to continue our Olympics coverage... following the lawnmower race, basketball and the toddler race, and while Mark was grilling the hotdogs and hamburgers, the distance runners competed in three different categories.  The 13 and over crowd ran a 1.5 mile circuit through the neighborhood, the 9-12 year olds ran 1 mile and the 8 and under runners (Ben) ran a .25 mile sprint.  I cannot stress how hot it was that day, so all the runners deserve serious props for finishing their races.  Gold medal winners were Kevin, Nicole and Ben.  The last event of the day was badminton.  Soccer was on the schedule, but the badminton tournament had a large, competitive turnout and did not finish until after dark.  S'mores and camping was saved for the next night.  It was a big weekend that I think the kids will remember for a long time.


Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011. My plan of posting all of the Olympics photos didn't work out.  And I missed posting about trips to Chuck E Cheese, His House of Bounce and more.  I just didn't have enough time before our big Floydfest weekend.  Amy took our niece Nicole and the boys to meet Alan halfway between here and Colonial Heights on Thursday night.  Jackson and Ben got to spend the next few days visiting with their cousins while Amy and I attended Floydfest.  Great weekend, Amy really enjoyed getting to spend time with her friends from college that she hadn't seen in far too long.  We also had lots and lots of our other friends there and of course the music.  I didn't see everybody that I wanted to see, but saw everybody that I had down as 'must sees'. My favs were Nat Reese's cover of Freddie King's Aint Nobody's Business, Whitetop Mountain Band's cover of Ruby, Harris Brothers' cover of Mississippi John Hurt's Louis Collins, Kings of Belmont playing Pink Floyd and American Aquarium.