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Saturday, June 29th, 2013.  Ben and I washed cars with our Cub Scout pack to raise money for victims of the storms in Oklahoma, Amy ran errands and Jackson went to the movies by himself to watch Now You See Me for a second time.  Jackson also mowed the lawn while Ben and I washed the pups and Amy did about a hundred other things.  We spent the evening with family celebrating Hama's 94th birthday with a cookout at her house.  The funny part of the evening was when Jackson carried her birthday cake from the house to where Hama was sitting.  Just as he bent over with the cake, it slid off the tray and landed in her lap.  As usual, Hama was a good sport and got a nice laugh out of it.  For photos from Hama's last 12 or so birthday parties, click here.

Friday, June 28th, 2013.  I can't believe that I let a month go by before posting about my whale adventure.  While at the outerbanks earlier this month, I spotted two humpback whales not far off the coast while walking with Amy.  I hopped in my Jackson Fun and paddled out to get a closer look.  And that is exactly what I got!  I had to paddle pretty far from shore, but was treated with many exciting moments as the whales burst through the surface or breached in front of me.  As an added treat, Daryl Law of Jennette's Pier photographed the whole thing, then came down the shoreline to let me know.  He shared his photos and also shared them with several news outlets. The story aired on television in Richmond, Hampton Roads, Raleigh and Greensboro.  It also appeared in several news papers, including twice in the Charlotte Observer.  The photo posted on Jennette's Pier's Facebook page was shared over 1400 times.  Very exciting moment for sure. 

       

Thursday, June 27th, 2013. The month has been super busy and has just flown by.  The boys attended Northwest Basketball Academy this week, which is the name for what used to be Foothills Basketball Camp.  Ben was the only kid all week to win the "Beat The Coach" challenge and was one of only two to "Beat The Buzzer".  He was the 19th kid to try it and the first to beat it.  Only one other kid beat it during the week and he was in the older age group.  So congrats to Ben.  Both boys enjoyed camp and got to play lots of basketball, which is always a good thing.  Last weekend we were camping at Deep Creek Campground in Bryson City.  This was our fifth year going there.  The creek had more water than normal, so we got some fun tubing in, plus the family paddled the Tuckasegee River together, which was a blast.  I also got to paddle the Upper Nantahala, which was mega-fun and we got all the other typical stuff in, including wuffle ball, petting the goats, trips to the camp store for ice cream, s'mores and we got to see a lot of my SRVCC friends and family.  Many more photos here. On our way home we stopped again at Phill's BBQ, had a great dinner and played a round of miniature golf.  Hunter was a great traveling companion and I am sure Jackson had more fun with a friend along for the ride.Video of us tubing here.

 

Tuesday, June 17th, 2013. Ben finished up his 2nd soccer camp and again won an award.  We then traveled to Colonial Heights to celebrate Jimmy's graduation from high school.  We spent two nights with our nephew Wesley's new house, attended graduation, went out to eat with family and friends, got to see all of our nieces and nephews at the same time, watched Superman with our niece Nicole, Jackson got to drive his aunt Sherri's car and ride his cousin Wesley's dirtbike, we went to a cookout at Alan and Charla's house, played lots of corn hole and had a great time all the way around.  We are immensely proud of Jimmy and look forward to all that he will accomplish in his life.  Amy, Jackson and Ben decided to stay for a couple more days, so I returned home solo and will pick them up tonight. 

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
.  Ben started soccer camp in Mt Airy this morning.  Last week he went to camp in East Surry and was awarded the Coach's Award, one of only three awards handed out for his age bracket. 

Monday, June 10th, 2013Baseball season is over.  The Reds played hard and went down fighting, finishing 4th in the  14 team Surry County Cal Ripken Tournament.  Jackson had a good year on first base and was turning into a pretty good hitter by the end of the season.  If this is the last time he steps on the diamond, it was a good way to end his baseball career.  I'll be rooting for him to pick it back up in the fall though. 

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013. The Reds won their 5th straight game and advance to the third round of the winners bracket following tonight's 9-8 win over the #2 seed Elkin Mariners.  Jackson had two hits, scored once, was walked once and struck out once. He also took a bad hop to the face while playing first base, but seems to have survived it with some lost skin and what might turn into a shiner.  Both of his hits were to the left side of the field.  Cole had a good night at the plate, hitting home runs in his first two trips to the plate.  We missed the first game of the tournament because we were in Nags Head that day.  It was a 7-1 win over the Elkin Indians.  Alex hit two home runs in that game.
 

Monday, June 3rd, 2013.  We had a great vacation in Nags Head with my extended family.  Deana and Martin rented a house, then invited everyone to join them.  The rooftop hot tub was a big hit with everyone, especially Jackson.  We celebrated Ben's birthday one night with pizza and cake.  The next evening we grilled dinner at the house.  Then on Saturday night, the family visited Awful Arthur's Oyster Bar.  The family played lots of games of Apples to Apples, spent lots of hours on the beach, played putt-putt, ate frozen yogurt at Peace Frogs, watched movies, caught crabs and more...  Many more photos located here.