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Tuesday the 31st.  I had a fantastic time paddling Talbott Reservoir on a beautiful 60F/15C day this past weekend.   We paddled along side curious beavers and playful otters in a beautiful secluded Blue Ridge Mountain setting.  I even paddled through ice when we found the Dan River frozen over.  Wonderful day.  You can see many more photos and read the rest of the story here..   

Friday the 27th. I think I finally decided that what I want to do with the website is to take a break from it.  As the boys get bigger and our lives get busier, time becomes more and more of a precious commodity.  One quick and easy way to free up a little time is to reduce the amount that I spend here on Life In Mayberry.  I'll still keep the site and maintain the galleries, I'll even post photos and occasional updates.  But the daily updates are going on hiatus.  I hope that all you who stop by daily will check back from time to time to see how we're doing.  We've enjoyed getting to know those of you that we didn't know before through your emails and comments. 

Before I go though I have one more update.  Yesterday was Jackson's first night in the advanced karate class.  We are very proud of how hard he worked and how much he learned during the nine months he has studied karate.  He enjoyed last night's class with the higher belts and smiled for almost all of it.  When Jackson started karate, he really looked up to the older kids that were in his beginner's class and later missed them after they moved up to the next class.  So now he is once again in a class with older kids holding higher belt ranks and he appears to enjoy that.   

I now leave you with a line I often use as a favorite quote...

"Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It's the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here's a happy one for you."

Dale Evans-Rogers


Wednesday the 25th. Click here for our Weekly Wednesday Wrap-Up.     

Tuesday the 24th. Ben now has a potty.   He picked it out and was very excited about it.  After carrying it into the living room, he sat down on it and called his Aunt Sherri to tell her all about it.  It's a King Potty and looks like a throne 

Monday the 23rd. Yesterday morning we decided to visit my grandmother in Virginia.  We didn't call ahead and when we arrived the house was empty.  I took a picture of what we found warm and waiting for us on the stove.  Before leaving for church, Hama had fixed lunch and left it warming for whoever happened to stop by before she got back.  She also left a note that said "look in fridge."  We did and found potato salad and deviled eggs.  Also not in the photo are the two butternut pies that were on the table.  They were awesome.  I ate five pieces.  I'm not kidding, five pieces.  Is that not the best grandmother in the whole wide world?  Of course all the boys ate were pickles.   

Sunday the 22nd.  That's right, Sunday.  Not Saturday.  After 724 straight posts, I skipped a day.  Aren't you proud of me?  I did post even more of Friday's photos though. We had a wonderful Saturday celebrating Jackson's friend Molly's birthday at the Greensboro Children's Science Museum. You know us, we love Children's museums and this was a new one for us, making it the best birthday party ever.  After the cake and presents all the kids got to go to a room with an instructor and assistant for games and hands on time with mammals and reptiles.  They got to pet and learn about a bearded dragon, rabbit, ferret, tortoise, and corn snake.  Jackson LOVED it.  After the party we spent hours touring the rest of the museum and playing.  Jackson ran into his friends Emma and Molly throughout the afternoon and had lots of fun playing.  We went through the maze at least four times.  AND I got to meet Molly's month old identical twin sisters.  They were PRECIOUS.  Amy works on Saturday's, so it was just the boys and I.  She was terribly jealous that she didn't get to see the girls.  Then Mo came by to visit us later in the evening, Amy came home from work, we made breakfast for supper and called it a day.  I have no idea what today has in store for us.  The sunny Spring temps are gone and it's back to being gray, cold, and wet.   

 Friday the 20th. It was a beautiful day in North Carolina and tonight's sunset on the lake was spectacular.  I'll post more about my evening on the water later, but I wanted to go ahead and share some of the photos now.  You can find more photos from tonight here.  (note: I am a much better editor than I am a photographer and adjust %99.9999 of the photos I take in some way or another before I post them.  But tonight's sunset was so perfect that I couldn't find a single thing to change about these three photos. )

While I was out paddling, Amy took the boys to our playground, which was absolutely packed from what I hear, nothing like a 65F/18C sunny Friday in January to get everybody outside.  The boys had a wonderful time.  Jackson followed the playground with karate, then his favorite, popcorn chicken from Sonic, and finally Madagascar and popcorn before bed.   

Thursday the 19th. Today I have a short clip from Jackson playing Last Man Standing in karate class.  It's a game that the students all seem to enjoy playing.  The object is to push your opponent off the blue mat and onto the red.  In this clip, Jackson was very evenly paired and both students grappled their way to a well earned draw.

    Last Man Standing (1.3MB) Jan06 - Jackson competing with another student in Last Man Standing.   

Wednesday the 18th. Click here for our Weekly Wednesday Wrap-Up.     


Tuesday the 17th. On Sunday we piled into a fifteen person van with a bunch of Amy's family, drove to Richmond from Colonial Heights and spent the afternoon at The Children's Museum of Richmond.    It was a fun break and everyone had a great time.  Click here to see all the photos.   

Monday the 16th. I would love to write an extended post.   However, tonight we are fresh off the road from a three day weekend out of town.  So I'll take a short cut and in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day I'll post the following quotes, all favorites of mine that I keep on my Favorite Quotes page, and a link to my post from last year

From Gordon Allport's The Nature of Prejudice : "Prejudgements become prejudices only if they are not reversible when exposed to new knowledge."

From Thoreau's Walden : "It is never too late to give up our prejudices."

"The greatest and noblest pleasure which men can have in this world is to discover new truths; and the next is to shake off old prejudices."
-- Frederick the Great

"Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one's own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others."
-- John F. Kennedy

"Toleration is the best religion" - Victor Hugo

"We must become the change we wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree." - Martin Luther King Jr.   

Sunday the 15th. Can you believe that the two boys in this photo are the same two boys that we saw tonight across from us at a stoplight, all by themselves in a truck, driving?  Unbelievable.  And just look at the little girl in that picture now 

Saturday the 14th.  Ben wants to know "Where's The Snow?"  He says "I make a little snowman" and is a little bummed out that it hasn't snowed yet.  

Friday the 13th. Amy took these photos of Ben on a rainy day earlier in the week.  

Thursday the 12th. Beautiful 66F/19c day today.  So nice that I got the bike out for the first ride of 06.  Of course I had to give it a bath first since Frankie's perch of choice during the day is my motorcycle seat.  I haven't rode the bike in awhile, so it was starting to look more like a fur ball than a motorcycle.  Jackson rode his bike too, on the walking trail, with his baby brother being pulled behind him by his mommy in a big red wagon.  

Wednesday the 11th.  Click here for our Weekly Wednesday Wrap-Up 

Tuesday the 10th.  Amy recently said that she would make the perfect juror because news stories break and disappear without her ever hearing about them.  If the Disney Channel, PBS Kids, or our local paper don't cover it, then she doesn't have a chance of hearing about it.  Well that comment came back to haunt her when she was picked for jury duty this week or jury service as it is called now.  On Sunday we had no idea until that evening whether or not we would need a baby sitter on Monday.  Luckily we didn't, but when she called last night she found out that she had to be in the courthouse bright and early this morning.   Amy called me while the boys and I were at karate and she was on her way to work to let me know.  So we scrambled around last night and found that one of my sisters was semi-free and could help out during the morning.  Her and my other sister's little girl had plans to go shoe shopping in Winston-Salem, but graciously agreed to spend time at my house first playing with BenBen.  And a friend here in town volunteered to help out with both boys once Jackson got out of school.  Luckily Amy didn't get picked to sit on the jury though and was home by lunch.    Even better, they told her there were no more jury trials this week so she doesn't have to worry about coming back.  Yeah!  Jury duty doesn't exactly work into a SAHM's schedule very well.   

Monday the 9th.  While re-organizing some things on the website, I found these two photos of Grandma Sue from our trip to Virginia Beach in September 2002.  Jackson, Amy, and I thoroughly enjoyed that trip to the beach with Sue and it remains one of my favorite vacations. 

Happy Birthday Jesse!  I can't believe that kid is now fifteen.

And has Marcus Vick lost his mind?  Another arrest today?  WHAT??  Seriously, has he lost his mind?

It's time for my website to evolve again, but I can't make up my mind what I want to do with it.  About once a year I sit down and try to reconcile what our website looks like and what I would like it to look like.  Last year I made the move from www.delaneandamy.com  to www.lifeinmayberry.com and gave it a new lookIn 2005 the site also moved more toward the blog design that most readers are accustomed to.  That meant leaving more than just one post on the homepage, adding comments, and a few other features.  Once the search engines grabbed hold, I stripped out all the last names I had on the site, at least all the ones that I could find.  Now I think it is time for another evolution.  But to what?  I'm not sure yet.  I've already started taking out pieces here and there, some of the stuff that is getting harder and harder to keep up with manually, stuff you probably won't even notice is gone.  I've also started experimenting with some new ideas.  I still like posting photos, but need to find a way to cut down the time I spend on this thing without giving it up altogether.  We'll see what I can come up with.  

Sunday the 8th.   Last night did end up being one of the craziest yet.    When I finally fell asleep I could hear Ben yelling at the top of his lungs "BenBen lub ooh Mommy!!  Jackson lub ooh Mommy!! Daddy lub ooh Mommy!!  WAKE UP MOMMY!!! WAKE UP!!!!"   It was one of those nights where you end up in every single bed before the night is over with and wake up feeling like you never really went to sleep.   Today was an awesome day though that started with donuts and ended with ice cream from Sonic.  It was our first stay-around-the-house day in at least a month.   We had lots of fun and  got lots of things done that really needed getting done.       

Saturday the 7th.  We had a really great day.  The morning was spent outside with our friends from across town playing with the hover disc, fly wheel, and remote control truck Jackson got for Christmas.  Tonight I grilled pork chops which I always think is fun when it's good and cold outside.  Bedtime is breaking down on us for some reason, but it's been a really good day. 

Someday I've got to post about our new expanded beer selection here in Mayberry.   It's something that I'm really happy about.  We haven't been able to buy Saranac Trail Mix six packs since Amy lived in Blacksburg.  She gets the black and tan.  I get the India Pale Ale and we split the other two pales and lagers.  

Friday the 6th. This photo made me think of this sister.  Click here for the edited version.   

Thursday the 5th. Ben spent the morning playing with his great-grandmother while Amy helped take down Christmas decorations.  The three then rode to Stuart, Virginia for lunch and a visit with Hama's littlest grandbaby and my youngest first cousin, Baby Madi.  I know I've said it before, but Ben really, really likes spending time with Hama.   

Wednesday the 4th.  Click here for our Wednesday Wrap-Up.  (Wrapping up the past week's thoughts and photos.)   

Tuesday the 3rd. On Jackson's last day of freedom before school resumes tomorrow, he went to Sci-Works, renewed our membership, and spent four and a half hours playing, enjoying the beautiful weather and watching demonstrations on everything from making rockets from two liter bottles to feeding horseshoe crabs.   

Monday the 2nd. Happy Birthday Samuel and Walter Scott! 

Click here for the link to Samuel's Birthday Party Page.

Go Hokies!  With our win in the Gator Bowl we should have a solid top ten finish in the final rankings.   

Sunday the 1st. Papa picked up Ben this morning to take him to church leaving Amy, Jackson, and I a few hours to take down the Christmas tree.  Once that job was complete, Jackson and I went to my grandmother's for the local traditional good luck New Year's Day lunch (Ham, Greens, Black-Eyed Peas) while Amy stayed behind to continue breaking down Christmas.   It occurred to me after looking through old archives on our website last night, that Ben has never met his cow.  Papa gives each baby grandchild a calf.  Ben's cow has already grown up and had a calf that has grown-up and been sold.  Jackson has had three cows sold and it has given him a good start on his college fund.  So we made plans to take Ben to meet his cow.  Grandma Sue and Ben had a game they played about a toy cow named Sadie.  When Nana Sue would talk to Ben on the phone she would say "Where's Sadie?"  Tonight at dinner I asked Ben what he named his cow and expected him to say "Bessie" because that's what Papa said they named her.  But Ben said "ummmm, Sadie".  We loved that he remembered that name.  

Another reason to get out was that Santa gave Jackson a metal detector and he was itching to try it out.  He and Caleb were very excited to find a treasure on the old farm.  Papa told them a story about a store that once stood on the property.  Supposedly the old store keeper hid his money by burying it in a tin can, but went crazy without ever digging it up or telling anyone where it was.  They were very excited at the prospect of finding a tin can full of old money.  Of course Jackson was still awake two hours after his bedtime because he was afraid the crazy old man would come looking for him.  I had fallen asleep with Ben, but Amy had to wake me up because she didn't know what crazy old man Jackson was talking about.  I called Papa and had him tell Jackson that the man really didn't go crazy, he just forgot where he buried his money.  We finally let him go to sleep in our bed next to Amy who is reading a very good book written by one of our blog friends.   

I'm curious, do you have a traditional "good luck" New Year's meal where you're from?