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December 31st, 2015. Martin had a stroke and was rushed to the hospital in Winston-Salem, Jackson was rushed into surgery to repair his nose following a visit with a specialist in Winston-Salem, the van broke down in the driveway when the fuel pump failed, Ben threw up all morning.  It was a bumpy end to the year. 

Monday, December 28th, 2015. Here are a few of the photos from Christmas Day.  More can be found here.

     
 

Thursday, December 24th, 2015. It was a very busy, fun filled Christmas Eve.  The day started with a quick paddle in Kibler Valley.  The temps were close to 70 and rain had fallen all week.  Amy cooked most of the day, but we did run out to watch the Christmas Pageant at FPCM. Dad joined us for a big dinner at the house before we all went back to church for the candlelight service.  The boys read Twas The Night Before Christmas, we put out our cookies and hit the sack early. 


Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015. The boys joined their cousins at Deana and Martin's house, so Amy and I spent our evening at the winery. 
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015. We spent the morning in the Emergency Room after an elbow accidentally hit Jackson in the nose during his first period honors English class.  Only a fifteen year old boy can go from English class to the ER. 

Friday, December 18th, 2015. Lost on Tuesday, won on Thursday.  Jackson played fantastic both times.  As soon as the game finished last night, we went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  i

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015. A nice, big, fun crowd at this year's FPCMA candy house build.  Our friends Samantha, Jonah, Cruise and River joined us, which was nice, because our kids don't need help building their houses anymore.

Friday, December 11th, 2015.  Crazy night of basketball, both boys lost in overtime in games that they were up in with less than a minute in regulation.  They both played great.  Jackson continued his offensive explosion, scoring 28 points.  Very impressive.  Ben played outstanding in the point guard position.  Neither son got a break and after 5 quarters of hustle, I think they were both whipped. 

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015.  Ben has hit that stretch in Middle School where he can go to our local rec center, un-supervised, because he is 12.  He meets his friends there after school and plays basketball for two hours before I pick him up at 5 on my way home.  He came to our Sr Hoops practice last night and was knocking down 3 pointers in every scrimmage he played in. 
River just went to the vet and weighed in at 24lbs.  His projected weight was 25, so either he is very close to full grown or he may get a little bigger than expected.

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015. Jackson competed in the Surry Central Polar Bear on a beautiful evening.  Much better weather than last year.

Monday, December 7th, 2015.  On Friday, I paddled Whitetop Laurel with my friends Kevin K and Ricky B.  It was just what I needed following the news about Sammy.  On Saturday, before gathering in Kibler with friends at a memorial for Sammy, Ben played both basketball and soccer.  He played great in both.  His team won in basketball, but lost in soccer, although Ben did score 2 of the team's 3 goals.  Jackson spent Friday night at our cabin with friends Tanner, Simon, Grey and Harrison.  On Sunday, Amy and I attended Sammy's memorial in Madison.  The boys stayed home, but went shopping with the Beacons that evening for angel tree presents.
       

paddlers joined each other in Kibler to remember Sammy. 

Las Posadas

Sunday, December 6th, 2015.  It has been a sad weekend with the loss of my very good friend Sammy Allred.  I've known Sammy since my early days of paddling.  I know of no one else who expresses so openly their joy of paddling and of being outside.  I always, always enjoyed seeing Sammy.  I saw him last a week ago in Kibler.  He was smiling and having just as much fun on the river as he was when I met him in 2006.  We lost a very special person on Thursday, one that I will miss very much.
 

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015. Jackson scored 31 points in our 67-59 win over Worth Honda.  31 points.  Wow. Prior to this week, I had only seen two other players go for thirty.  Hassan Moore scored 30 points once during our 2013-14 season and Tajay scored over 30 multiple times.  That puts Jackson in pretty good company.   And he had more steals than I could count.  Harrison scored 21, Malcolm 9, Christian 5 and Scout 1.  Corbin was not able to be at the game.  We were down 7-11 after the first quarter.  Our defense had been playing great, but we were not hitting our shots yet.  In the 2nd quarter Harrison popped three 3 pointers, forcing the defense to switch from zone to man.  Jackson took advantage of that and scored 14 points that quarter, including 5 of 6 from the free throw line and one 3 pointer.  He was 8 for 14 for the night at the free throw line.  Just a great night of basketball.  With Cody from the other team playing down low, we were not going to be able to score from the post, but between Harrison hitting from downtown and Jackson generating points off the dribble, we were able to come away with the win.  (more photos here)

 

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015. I arrived home from a business trip in Charlotte just in time to join the family at our church to make this year's Advent Wreath.