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Friday, January 21st, 2011.  Our kids love to shoot basketball.  In the house.  Always have, since Jackson was big enough to pick up a ball and drop it in a hoop.  They have had a lot of different setups through the years.  Today's photo was from this time three years ago, when Jackson was Ben's age.  Jackson currently has his Pro Mini-Hoop setup in his room and we can often hear the backboard slamming against his door.  Last night, after Ben became frustrated that he couldn't jump high enough to dunk on Jackson's goal, Jackson told Ben that he could use his old glow in the dark rim (the one that we would hang on the archway between our dining room and living room in the old house) on his bunk bed.  It was a great idea, it made Ben very happy and it was one of the rare occasions where they are nice to each other and everything works out.  Click here for a very short video shot just before bedtime last night.  Basketball Brothers (1MB)

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011.  To document, for posterity's sake, that we went tubing on honest-to-goodness, good old fashioned magical Christmas snow, I made the following video.  Christmas Snow (3MBs) Dec 2010 - tubing with the Colemans the day after Christmas

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011. The boys escaped with just a two hour school delay following last night's frozen precipitation.  They definitely do not want to miss any more days of school if it means making them up on Saturdays.  Both Jackson and Ben are way off schedule.  Ben was so tired following one recent day of sledding that he fell asleep while taking his evening bath.  Today's photo them is chili.  One photo is from a cub scout outing last November and the other is from a lunch date with Amy in December. 

Monday, January 17th, 2011. Jackson is in the middle of a great basketball season.  I made three videos for him, documenting some of his team's highlights.
Basketball - Games 4,5 and 6 (19MBs) Jan 2010 - Jackson's 9-10 year old RCC team
Basketball - Game 3 (24MBs) Dec 2010 - Jackson's 9-10 year old RCC team
Basketball - Game 2 (11MBs) Dec 2010 - Jackson's 9-10 year old RCC team
They played on both Friday and Saturday night, winning both games to give them a 5-1 record.  Jackson also spent a night with his grandparents this weekend and attended an ice skating birthday party for his friend Sadie.  Ben was very excited about bowling with First Presbyterian yesterday, but shortly before he was to leave, a five family nerf war brokeout in the Bevard's backyard, which apparently trumped going bowling.  Ben and I also started working on his Pine Wood Derby car for the upcoming Tiger Cub race.  He is super excited about everything related to Scouts.  And it just started sleeting, let's hope school isn't cancelled again!

Friday, January 14th, 2011.  Jackson and Ben are finally back in school and will go tomorrow as well.  I think this is the first time that they have been on a Saturday.  On the upside, Amy and I will have a few rare hours by ourselves.  Tonight, Jackson has a basketball game.  He and his team are playing well and hopefully will have a good game tonight.  Jackson is super, uber competitive and plays with a great deal of passion and emotion.  This morning however I was thinking about one of Jackson's other characteristics, his sentimentality.  Each time it snows, he pulls his old blue sled out.  I remember buying it when Jackson was one at Holcomb Hardware on Main Street.  I made a mad dash to the store on my lunch break when I realized that it was snowing and that Jackson didn't have a snow sled.  He used it exclusively for years, even when other sleds came along, because it was his favorite.  Then when Amy bought each boy an Uncle Bob tube, he split time between the two, depending on the type of snow on the ground.  Eight years later, the blue plastic sled developed a crack running lengthwise along one of the edges.  It doesn't really effect its performance, but Jackson, afraid that it will not hold up to the rigors of sledding, has retired it.   Sort of.  He still brings it out, only he leaves it sitting at the top of the hill, while we ride tubes and other sleds.  If someone asks to ride it, he politely offers his tube or another sled for them to borrow.  Two things about Jackson.  He takes excellent care of his things.  And he gets very attached to things.  He often passes up the opportunity to upgrade something, preferring instead to keep what he has.  For example, we offered to put a larger TV in his room, but he said he liked the one he has now.  Sometimes this can be a little frustrating, like when he recently refused to let us replace his worn out bed spread with a new one.  But I think it is a part of who he is that reflects his big heart.  When trying to describe how Jackson does not like change, I often refer back to when he was two and we put a new floor in the bathroom.  He would sit in the bathroom and talk to the old floor.  And I think he will always mourn, to some degree, our old house.  So we know it is part of who he is and who he has always been.  Another example of his big heart is how wonderful he is with little babies and with the elderly.  He is terribly intuitive, caring and affectionate with the elderly.  The same goes with small children and babies.  This may not be so true with that large gulf of people between those two age groups, but with the old and the young, he is mature beyond his age.   Just thought I would write that down to remind myself one day.  Jackson recently read a post from years ago where I quoted him as saying "Daddy doesn't know a chicken from a scarecrow!"  We had forgotten about that old line, but it has now, once again, become a tagline around the house. 

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011.  We are enjoying our fifth snow event of the season.  We met the Colemans and other neighbors after dinner for almost two more hours of snow tubing last night.  Then the boys each went out separately for a few more hours today.  Amy is baby sitting this week though, so the days are long for her when you add in working as a referee between our two boys.  Tomorrow will be the fourth day of missed school this week.  Good luck baby! 

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011.  Yet another snow day.  Simply awesome.  We started out on Broadcaster Hill with our neighbors the Colemans, then moved to Jones Hill with the Bevards.  (More snow photos here.)


Monday, January 10th, 2011.  It is snowing for the fourth time this season, the second time in 2011.  And it is really piling up.  That makes two consecutive snow filled years for the boys.  Jackson's friend Simon stayed with us Saturday night and we had a ton of fun playing ping pong, Uno Attack, Mindflex, Cadoo and more.  He is a great kid, very funny and easy going, which makes him great company.  School was cancelled today and Jackson had his friend Everett over.  The snow had not accumulated yet, so no sledding, but they got in several games of ping pong.  Sunday afternoon Jackson and I went to see True Grit.  We have started watching westerns together at the house and this was his first in a theater.  We were joined by my dad, his cousin Caleb, my sister Deana and brother-in-law Martin.  Amy and Ben stayed home and spent their afternoon playing ping pong. As you can tell, we've been playing a lot of ping pong lately.  Today's photo is something I put together to show how sweet Ben is growing up.

Thursday, January 6th, 2011.  For the first time, both boys were awake to ring in the new year.  We spent the weekend in Colonial Heights and had a great time.  Much of the weekend was spent playing ping pong, visiting with family and eating.  Alan cooked a wonderful meal on New Years Day and the family got together on New Year's Eve at Alexander's in downtown Petersburg.