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Sunday, November 30th, 2014.  We drove in from Colonial Heights Saturday morning and went to the Christmas tree farm that afternoon to pick out a tree for our house and one for Mo's house.  We were surprised to find snow on the ground in Fancy Gap and it made for a fun tree cutting experience.  The boys %100 picked out this year's tree, I sawed them down, then Jackson helped me carry them to the truck.  When we got home we found that the tree fit just perfectly in the house and required no adjustments once it hit the stand.  We took mom her tree when we went to her house Sunday evening for another wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.

   


Saturday, November 29th, 2014. Even though this was our first Thanksgiving without Hama, we had a really special holiday thanks to great food and lots of time spent with family at Alan and Charla's house in Colonial Heights. We played Texas Hold'Em, volleyball, football, disc golf, soccer, frisbee, Catch Phrase and Uno.  We ate out, we ate in, we snacked in between.  It was a really nice trip.

Thursday, November 27th, 2014. Amy, Ben and Jackson joined Alan, Charla, Nicole and Jimmy in the Turkey Trot 5K on a cold, wet Thanksgiving morning.  I sat in the warm van and took photos as they ran by.

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014. Ben scored again in Friday night's soccer game. His team won 6-4. 


We spent the next day in Blacksburg, throwing frisbee, kicking soccer and watching the Hokies play ASU.  My cousin Janet and her husband Jeff, who is the Director of Basketball Operations at VT, shared great tickets with us.  Unfortunately we did not win the game, but it was great seeing Janet as well as this year's basketball team.  We capped the day off with dinner at Macados before making the drive back to Mayberry.

Monday, November 24th, 2014. We were able to find a home for Bootsie, the last of Hama's kittens that we had been fostering.  From all accounts, he will have a great life with his new family.

Monday, November 17th, 2014. Each Monday, the family watches The Voice together.  It is fun when a show rolls around that we can all watch together.  Monday night also means Cub Scouts for Ben.  Jackson is practicing for Winter Track and is helping the Drama Club backstage in their production of Godspell.  And he plays a lot of disc golf, handball and ultimate with friends from school.  We took Bootsie to the vet today to be neutered.  Bootsie is the last of the three kittens Amy brought home after my grandmother passed away.  We found homes for the other two, but not this one yet.  Last night we joined my family at Gondolas to celebrate my nephew Caleb's 17th birthday. And over the weekend, our great friend Joe stopped by the house to show us the beads he received during his cancer treatments.  He just received his last chemo last week, which completed three years of treatment.  Each bead represented a spinal tap, being put to sleep, an over-night stay, an ER visit, etc...  It is simply astounding what that little guy has been through, he is my hero. 

Saturday, November 15th, 2014. Ben has spent his last two Friday nights in the gym playing indoor soccer.  It has been a lot of fun and he scored a goal this week off a header, which was a first for him.  There are a lot of great families and kids involved and hopefully it will something he can continue to do throughout the winter. 

Thursday, November 13th, 2014.

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014. We were lucky enough to get to watch our awesome niece Nicole play in three soccer games this weekend in Apex, NC.  We had a picnic between games on Saturday, joined her team for dinner that evening in Raleigh, then crashed with Alan, Charla and Nicole that night. Ben and I slept on a fold-out, Amy bunked with Nicole and Jackson opted to make a pallet in the bath tub, which cracked us all up the next morning.  He was in a chair when we went to sleep.  The weekend was fantastic and the only bump occurred on the way home when our tire went flat on I-40.

 

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014.  Because the kids were out of school for Veteran's Day and the temps were going to be in the high 60s, I took off my last vacation day of 2014.  We originally thought about going to the zoo, but I decided to surprise the crew with a trip to Mountain Lake, which is where they filmed Dirty Dancing, one of Amy's favorite movies.  It also happens to be home to one of the nicest disc golf courses within driving distance.  Jackson has really been into Disc Golf lately and I enjoy playing as well.  The course was beautiful with some of the most expansive views you will find.  After a round of 18 holes, we dropped into Blacksburg for dinner at Mike's Grill, then returned to Mt Airy just in time for Ben to finish his homework.
 

We spent our weekend in Apex, NC, watching our niece play soccer.  There happened to be a really nice course just two miles away, so we hit that twice before returning home. 

Thursday, November 6th, 2014. We spent a beautiful evening on the farm in Claudville helping my dad harvest potatoes.  Since then we have had a steady rotation of baked and mashed potatoes for dinner. 

And for a flashback, here we are getting potatoes out of the garden in November 2006

And in 2004
 

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014. School is going well for both boys.  Ben has straight As and seems to be having a good year.  Jackson has all As so far as well.  He stays after school to help with the drama club and plays a lot of disc golf with friends from school. After school he likes to throw frisbee in the yard with me.  When I am home, Ben likes to either kick a soccer ball back and forth or play me in NBA 2013 or Madden 25.  He would like for me to play FIFA with him, but I just don't offer enough competition for him. 

Monday, November 3rd, 2014. This past Saturday we participated in the Pray 4 Tay & Knockout Cancer fundraising event and watched Guardians of the Galaxy at the Earl Theater.  On Sunday, Jackson played disc golf in King with friends, Amy and Ben celebrated Maddi's birthday in Stuart and I hung out at the house taking care of a few projects, like closing off the top of the coop so that the hens will sleep inside the henhouse this Winter.
Last week I had the opportunity to visit the BMW Performance Driving Experience in Greer, SC.  It was pretty, crazy awesome. 
When I say that I drove them like I stole them, I mean that I honestly drove them like I stole them. Seriously. No limit on how fast they let you drive there, they only ask that you bring them back with the shiny side up and the rubber side down. 4 hours of racing that included rat races, timed laps and test laps in 5 different models. The M5 was definitely my favorite, the ceramic brakes were insane, but the M3 and the M4 were pretty fun too. Hammer down, tires smoking, drifting, sliding, rumbling good time.