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Wednesday, November 28th, 2012.
After all those wonderful years of celebrating Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, in the same well, worn tradition at my grandmother's house, we were forced to celebrate in a new way this year as Hama joined her daughter and family at the beach for the holidays.  The boys lamented the loss of our football game heavily, but we made the most of the change by taking the opportunity to visit with family in Colonial Heights.  Alan cooks a mean bird and we were very grateful for Alan and Charla's generosity as hosts.

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012. Ben went to school 45 minutes early this morning to practice for the school spelling bee.  He won his classroom spelling bee and now gets to move on to the school's competition.  He stays late after school for a Student Council meeting, then goes to church for a FPC Faith Friends meeting and will close out his day with Surry Stars basketball practice from 7-8:30. 
Today's photos are from the Christmas parade.

Saturday, November 24th, 2012.  Following a morning spent participating in the Christmas Parade with the Cub Scouts and an afternoon of watching VT beat UVA on television, we spent a very cold, blustery afternoon picking out our 2012 tree at Slaughter's Tree Farm.  I think this was our 9th straight year at Slaughters.  After going too short last year, we intentionally bought a 9 foot tree this year, even though we had to take 6 inches off the bottom and 6 inches off the top in order to squeeze it in the house.   We also went for a tree with more spaces to allow the longer ornaments a chance to hang freely. Click here for our Christmas Tree Farm gallery.

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012.  We started getting suspicious last Monday that Ben might be getting sick.  The hunch was based on his temperament.  Sure enough, he came home from school on Tuesday with a fever.  He remained sick the rest of the week, suffering from high fevers, a sore, congested throat, lack of appetite and lack of energy.  He didn't really do anything the rest of the week, other than visit the doctor.  He feels better this week, but is still trying to fully rebound from his illness. 
When we moved into our house, there was only one thing that Amy and I really wanted to change.  We wanted to replace the carpet with hardwoods.  Along the way, Amy also came up with a plan to pull out the bar, rebuilding part of it as an island.  We were able to make that happen over the past month and the project is finally complete.  Amy and I are both really pleased with how things turned out.

Thursday, November 8th, 2012
. Last weekend I took Pack 538 on hike to the top of Raven Knob.  We slid our way down the backside of the mountain, stopping to swing on a few grapevines, before enjoying the afternoon at the Red Oak campsite by the lake.   More photos hereAt Monday's scout meeting we watched a video from the day, then roasted s'mores over our firepit behind the church.  The scout year has been fun so far, hopefully we'll be able to keep things rolling through the winter.

Friday, November 2nd, 2012. Just as his brother did four years ago, Ben volunteered at Lowe's Foods Thursday night, along with other members of the Student Council and representatives from many other groups, helping kick off this year's food drive.