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Monday, December 29th, 2014. On Sunday, we enjoyed a nice lunch with family at my aunt Jink's house.  Today, while I went back to work, Amy baby sat the little girl that she kept in 2010.  The boys continued to work their way through the toys and games they received at Christmas.  Jackson then went to see Night at the Museum III with Deana and Izzy, while Amy went to see Annie with Timmesa and Sue.  Ben and I stayed home and started working on his pinewood derby car.  Below are more photos from Christmas.

Saturday, December 27th, 2014. I spent a beautiful 65 degree day paddling in the Wilson Creek Gorge.  It was great to sneak one last trip in before the year ends.  The elbow pads Ben gave me for Christmas worked great too!

Friday, December 26th, 2014. Both boys thought it was the best Christmas ever.  They loved each and every gift they received.  Ben's uncle Martin surprised him with a bonus gift; his dream boat, a brand new, red Jackson Sidekick. (many more photos from Christmas here)
 

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014. Christmas Eve... Ben made a gingerbread house, Amy baked her traditional lemon nut cake and cooked us a wonderful dinner of ham, potatoes, cherry cobbler and more.  Dinner seemed very quiet in comparison to dinner at Hama's house with all the family, but it was nice.  The kids bought candy at Opie's on Main Street, they ran into Santa who gave each of them a toy, we finished our shopping, Ben and I played a game of NBA on his PS2, the boys played basketball downstairs, we took in the FPCMA children's Christmas pageant, I shot a sprig of mistletoe out of Mr Tommy's oak tree, then after dinner we attended the candlelight communion.  Because we had always previously been at my grandmother's house on Christmas Eve, this was our first time attending church.  We enjoyed the service very much.  After church, Santa's cookies were baked and decorated, T'was the Night Before Christmas was read by the boys and we called it a night.  All in all, it was a very pleasant, relaxing day.
  

Monday, December 22nd, 2014. Our weekend included a very exciting basketball game, Christmas carols at Ridgecrest and a Beacon progressive dinner (more basketball photos here). The carols were organized by Amy and her friends at the pre-school she works at.  The Beacons did great, but Sam stole the show in his rendition of Elvis' Blue Christmas. 


Thursday, December 18th, 2014. Another strong performance by Jackson and his basketball team.  They enter Christmas break 3-0 after not allowing a team above 39 points and after winning all three games by double digits. Jackson is our team's leading scorer at this point, although our team's scoring is very balanced.  Last night we had players score 13, 11, 10, 9, 4 and 2.  (more photos here)

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014. We are having a lot of fun watching the RCC basketball games this season.  We arrived at the court early last night to watch our nephew Seth and friends Peter, Martin and Cameron play.  Then Jackson's team won a big, hard fought game to go 2-0 on the season.  Jackson is playing some really, really good basketball this season and it is a lot of fun to watch.  He is also on a really good team that is a pleasure to coach.  (photos courtesy of Deana)
 

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014. On Saturday, we strapped on our skates and celebrated the end of chemo for our bestest friend and neighbor Joe.  It was a wonderful party filled with family and friends that love Joe.  He is just the coolest little dude we know and we are so happy that he is finished with the treatment portion of his recovery. 

Monday, December 15th, 2015. For the third straight year, Ben made it to his grade's spelling bee.  He won it last year and advanced to the city wide competition.  But this year, in one of the early rounds, he heard "perimeters" and spelled that correctly.  The only problem was that the word was actually "parameters."  Ben said "I just thought it was her southern accent."  Very proud of him and making it that far all three years is quite an accomplishment. 

 

Sunday, December 14th, 2015. I know that I only post sports photos these days, but that seems to be what we are usually doing.  Ben had another close game on Saturday and played great.  He had lots of steals again, hit a 3 pointer and scored 7 points during the game (more basketball photos here).

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014. So busy.  Jackson ran the mile in an outdoor Winter track meet at Surry Central at 6pm.  Ben played basketball at 7pm and Jackson had basketball practice at 8pm.  Ben played, super, super good.  His team suffered the narrowest of losses on a free throw with zero time on the clock.  Ben had hit a shot to go up by 2 with only twenty seconds left in the game, but the other team fought back and came away with the win.  Very exciting to watch. Many more basketball photos here.  
 

Monday, December 8th, 2014. On Friday, we went to see our niece Izzy play in her first home JV game of the season.  She started, played great and came away with a win over Christiansburg. 


On Saturday, Amy went to work, Ben played an indoor soccer game, Jackson volunteered at Sandwich Saturday, then we all met up at our nephew Seth's rec basketball game at RCC.  We had numerous friends on both teams, so it was a fun game to watch.  It was a rainy day, so once we got home, we put a Christmas movie on downstairs and we all relaxed under the tree.  Ben and Amy decided to even sleep down there.

On Sunday, following church, the boys and I played a round of disc golf at Westwood Park.  Amy and I then put up our outside Christmas decorations, giving Ben and I just enough time to go to RCC to practice shooting basketball.  At 5, Jackson went with the Beacons to shop for needy children.  Meanwhile, Ben, Amy and I were treated to a visit from our good friends the Pettways. 
Thursday, December 4th, 2014. Jackson had a fantastic basketball game, scoring 17 points in under three quarters of play.  He had to sit the 4th quarter and part of the 3rd because our team was up by 20 and he was the leading scorer.

Monday, December 1st, 2014. After nearly two months off the water, I managed to sneak in two laps at Wilson Creek on just a beautiful Sunday morning.  I was back home by 4, just in time to clean up and head to Claudville with the family for Thanksgiving at my parent's house. Amy went to the church in the morning with Ben, then went for a walk on Main Street with our friend Megan that afternoon.