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Wednesday, July 29th, 2015. We got our Tuck photos in the mail!  What a fun family and what a fun summer. 

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015. We spent the weekend camping in Kibler Valley with my friends Mike, Brooke, Anita and their kids.  This marked my third straight weekend sleeping in a tent by the river, which is just how July should be.  We were also joined by my friend Dale, as well as Emily and Andrew.  It was a perfect weekend, with time on the water and around the campfire.  I paddled for much of the day on Saturday, along with the crowd that was in the valley for the 33rd Annual River Run.  Our neighbors were able to come up for a few hours, as were Martin, Deana, Melanie and Caleb.  I woke up by the river on my birthday, we had another big breakfast courtesy of the Joyce family, grilled chicken for lunch, then packed up and headed home. 
  

Monday, July 27th, 2015. Amy, Mo, Deana, Ben, Seth and Bronx spent the day at Tweetsie Railroad. (photos courtesy of Deana)

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015. We returned yesterday from 5 days and 4 nights spent camping in the mountains of Western North Carolina and Tennessee.  We started with camping at Deep Creek Campground.  This was our 7th trip to Deep Creek and it continues to be a favorite of ours.  And for the 7th time, we were joined by our friends the Fortins.  We arrived before lunch on Friday, set up camp quickly before I headed off to meet friends John and Will to kayak the upper Nantahala.  That night we grilled burgers and roasted banana boats. 

On Saturday, both families, along with our friends Curtis and Sharon, paddled the Tuckasegee.  This was our third year in a row on the Tuck and it gets more fun each time, although we did miss John and Natalie on this trip.  We spent tons of time jumping from the big jump rock, we swam, goofed off and paddled.  Amy and Ben both jumped off the big rock this year!  Amy did it twice and Ben countless times.  Jackson had fun paddling his duckie in every possible way, eventually passing it along to Disa so that he could swim the last 3/4 mile.  Ben made the trip solo in a kayak for the first time and aced it.  The weather was perfect and we really enjoyed the day. 

Ben has impressed us a lot lately, including today.  His doctor's appointment was moved up unexpectedly, so he had to go in for multiple shots, which he is not a fan of.  He handled it like the big kid he now is and we met afterwards at Dairy-O in King to celebrate that it was over. 
Wednesday, July 15th, 2015. We grilled hotdogs and played in the river with the FPCMA Beacons in Kibler Valley, VA. Earlier in the day, Jackson helped Papa deliver a load of cattle to Wytheville, VA.

Sunday, July 12th, 2015. We celebrated our nephew Seth's birthday at Deana's house.

Saturday, July 11th, 2015. Not long after Jackson returned from Houston, we made sure he got to meet Smokey.

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015.  Jackson returned from a week in Houston, Texas visiting his friend Jack.  He camped, sailed, fished, went to a water park, watched fireworks at the yacht club, went to an amusement park and more.  This was his first time flying solo and he handled it like a pro. 

This past Friday, we celebrated our friend Amanda's birthday at her house, complete with professional chefs.

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015Independence Day was a full day that started with a 7 mile run.  I then joined Amy and Ben, along with other friends, at church to make PB&Js for Sandwich Saturday.  While Amy and Ben worked to hand those out, I paddled in Kibler Valley.  Then that evening we joined many, many friends at Timmesa's house for a cookout.  The rains ran everyone off before the fireworks, but it was a fun evening.  Had my wedding band not slipped off into the river and had Jackson been with us, it would have been a perfect day. Jackson celebrated the 4th all the way out in Houston, Texas with our friends the Stancils.

Monday, July 6th, 2015. On Sunday, we went to Claudville to meet Smokey, Papa's new Blue Heeler puppy.  Ben decided to spend the night, so Amy and I came back home to watch the USA win the Women's World Cup.

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015. Ben spent a fun evening in Banner Elk with Shasta, Sandy and the middle school Beacons.