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August 31st, 2015.  While Amy and I were in Martinsville for Alison Parker's memorial, Papa took Ben to Boy Scouts.  This was his third meeting with 596 and he seems to enjoy it so far.  School continues to go well for both boys and for the most part they are satisfied with their teachers and schedule. 

On Saturday, Amy and I spent time outside with the chickens, I trimmed the hedges, paddled in Kibler, watched Ben play Indoor Soccer, then took a nap with Amy in the backyard.  It was a pretty good day.

August 28th, 2015.  After a summer that involved a lot of travel and far less running than last year, it was, not surprisingly, a less than stellar first meet for Jackson and his XC team.  Plenty of time to pick up the pace though.  I enjoyed watching them run and look forward to the rest of the season.  (times and more photos here)

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015.  Days two and three were good for the boys.  So far the school year is starting smoothly, although it is taking some time for Jackson's sleep schedule to get back on track.  The day had a dark cloud over it as my paddling friend Andy's daughter Alison was murdered while interviewing someone on live television.  It is just horrible and I cannot imagine what Andy and Barbara are going through. 

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015. Successful first day for both boys.  Jackson had cross country practice, they ran six 300s.  I am sure that was a tough workout after a week spent relaxing at the beach.  Ben was happy with his day.  He got a top locker, he has friends in his classes, he likes his teachers and his first day of managing the soccer team went well.  He had a quick turn-around when he got home though because he had his 2nd Boy Scout meeting at 6:30.  He had 5 great years with Pack 538 and we have a good relationship with Troop 538, but when it came time to start Boy Scouts, he chose Troop 596 because he has more friends there.  Both troops are great, but I think 596 is going to work out well for him.  He is already excited about the first camping trip, which is in just a few weeks.

Monday, August 24th, 2015. First day of school!  Ben starts Middle School and Jackson goes into the 10th grade.

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015. We spent a full week at Atlantic Beach, courtesy of our friends Grayson and Martha.  This was our 7th year going to "Brett's Beach" and it might have been the best trip yet.  Great weather, lots of fun, maybe a few more sharks than we would have preferred, but it was close to a perfect week.  We did not eat out until Thursday.  On that day we went to Fort Macon in the morning, then ate at Four Corners for lunch.  On Friday we went to see Mission Impossible 5 during a rain storm, then got a bite to eat.  On Wednesday evening we played mini-golf.  Other than those exceptions, we just played in the ocean, on the beach and at the trailer.  Each morning Amy and I went for a walk on the beach and watched the sunrise.  It was fantastic. Many, many more photos here.

Day One

Day Two
Day Three

Day Four

(This is the day we saw the sharks, so we didn't spend a lot of time in the ocean)
Day Five

Day Six

Day Seven

Saturday, August 15th, 2015.  We celebrated Papa's birthday a day early in Kibler Valley last night.  Amy, Ben and I camped out by the river following the cookout, while Jackson went to Papa and Mo's house for the night.  I kayaked on Saturday while Amy and Ben hustled to pick up Jackson and to get back to town.  Later that evening Amy and I went to Round Peak Vineyard to see our friends Steve and Lorie, who were up from Charlotte.

Thursday, August 13th, 2015.  In 2007, I took a photo of Jackson, Ben and their cousin Jimmy as they leaned against a lamp post in Old Towne Petersburg.  Amy was shopping in a bakery across the street and the boys appeared to be bored.  It has long been a favorite photo of mine.  We happened to be eating dinner just down the street from the same spot on Saturday, so Amy had the boys recreate the photo.  They were good sports and it is amazing how much they have grown. 

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015. We spent a wonderful weekend at Alan and Charla's house playing soccer, cornhole and football, watching movies, going to Swaders and eating (a lot).  The boys really enjoy time spent with their cousins.

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015.  Photos Deana took of the boys on the 1st. . 

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015. Today's photos are from our nephew Bronx's birthday party.  This week, besides Ben's normal Monday evening soccer workout with Coach Pascall, he also has three days of soccer camp and two days of Camp Middle School.  Jackson is back to practicing with the Cross Country team in the evenings. 

Saturday, August 1st, 2015. Hat Trick!  Ben continued his strong run this summer by scoring 3 goals in his team's 4-1 victory.  He was not subbed out, so he played every minute.  Ben is playing really smart soccer around the goal and it is paying off!

Later that afternoon, after Jackson returned home from his week-long trip to Montreat, we went to Kibler Valley to help my sister setup for a photo shoot.  I spent the morning taking photos of friends at the Downtown Rocks and Runs.  I was hoping to run that race this year, but I am currently sidelined with an injury and may not be able to run for the next few months.

While Jackson was gone, Amy, Ben and I started binge watching The Wonder Years.  We have made it to season 3 so far.