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Saturday, June 28th, 2014. So very proud of my family.  They all ran their hardest on a very hot evening and came home with two first place and one second place finish.  They rock.  Amy's medal for first place in the crowded 40-49 female division was her first ever in a race.  She only started running again a week ago, so she did super to win in a division with 15 competitors.  Ben ran hard in the heat, and while he did not match the PR he set last December, he did come home with a 2nd place finish in the 11-14 year old division.  Jackson ran his first ever 10K with a goal of around 52 minutes.  He finished in 49:11, averaging 7:56 per mile, 10th place overall out of 43 runners and first in his 14-16 year old division.  The Bulldog 5K/10K was a great fund raiser for Blue Ridge Elementary School and I always enjoy spending time in Kibler Valley.  Below are a few of the photos I took.  We joined lots of friends and family in the valley for the race, with many of them bringing home medals as well, like Melanie, Martin and Izzy. 
 

Friday, June 27th, 2014. Chicken Update: Back on June 9th, Daisy crowed for the first time, confirming what we had believed since he was just a baby.  By that evening, Daisy was living on a farm in South Boston, Virginia with two hens.  On our way back that night, we picked up two new chicks from Deana and Martin's farm.  Laverne and Shirley are Bantam chicks, their dad is an English Game Cock, so more than likely they will be slightly smaller additions to our flock.  They are now three weeks old and already enjoying some play time in our raised garden.  All the other hens are doing great, even Mary, and definitely enjoy their free range time in the mornings and evenings. 

    
And speaking of the garden, we got our first tomato this week and have been pulling lots of cucumbers off the vine.  This year we planted cherry, grape, Yellow Brandywine, Fantastic and Goliath tomatoes. 

Thursday, June 26th, 2014. Time moves too quickly.  I remember taking Jackson to basketball camp for the first time.  He was so excited and ran in every day wearing a different NBA jersey.  If I remember correctly, it was Lebron, Kobe, KG and Nash.  That was seven camps ago.  I can't believe he is that old and that big.  Every day, after six hours of basketball, he runs six miles with the cross country team.  He starts drivers ed next week and enters high school this fall.  It is surreal.  And Ben, after four years of camp, ages out of the ACC and will play in the NBA next year.  That doesn't seem possible either.  They were both playing their championship games on the last day of the tournament, on different courts, but in the same gym.  I suppose that will be the last time I will ever see them both playing games in the same gym again.

 

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014. This month we went to Durham with friends Jeff and Timmesa to see Amos Lee in concert.  And we said goodbye to good friends Cindy and Jason, along with their kids Jack and Hayley.   Jackson and Jack became really good friends this year and shared lots of adventures and fun times.  It is sad that for the second time Jackson's best friend has moved away, but on the positive side, he did get to spend some great years with a really fun, cool friend.  We wish them the best of luck in Houston.

Monday, June 16th, 2014. A return to my old Father's Day favorite, Kibler Valley.  The day started with presents and blueberry pancakes, followed by hours and hours of playing at the river.  We tubed, kayaked, jumped, swam, threw frisbee, ate chicken, played baseball using a paddle and the waverunner ball.  Just a super, super day.  We then stopped by my dad's house, went home, watched a little of the Heat vs Spurs game, then finished things off with The Lone Ranger, which was just a terrible, terrible movie.  (Jackson and Amy took many of today's photos)

 

Thursday, June 12th, 2014. Ben had the highest lexile in his class, which at 1300 is at a 12th grade reading level.  He also scored the highest on his reading EOG.  He was voted by his classmates as the Most Athletic, Best Reader, Best Speller and Best Sport.  Very proud of him and all that he does. 

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014.  Jackson graduated today from middle school.  He is now officially in high school.  Simply amazing.  He was one of only five students to receive the Presidential Academic Award for Excellence.  He is an amazing young man who has continued to run 5 miles a day, 5 days a week in preparation for this Fall's cross country season. 

This past weekend we went camping, for the 6th year in a row, at Deep Creek in Bryson City, NC.  We were joined again by our friends the Fortins at camp and our friends the Halls who were staying in town.   Our friend Jack joined us for tubing, paddling, cooking out, wiffle ball, jumping in creeks and more.