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Sunday, November 27th, 2016.  We started the day by picking out our Christmas tree at Slaughter's Tree Farm, for the 14th straight year.  The afternoon was spent at my parent's house celebrating Thanksgiving with lots of food and family.  That evening, we decorated the tree and played charades. (Deana's new pup Zelda made her way into lots of my photos)

Saturday, November 26th, 2016.  We left Colonial Heights at 7:30am so that we could pick River up at Lucky Bones before noon.  We also picked up his sister Daisy so that she could spend the afternoon with us.  The afternoon was spent watching Virginia Tech demolish UVA for the 13th straight year, plus Ben had his first indoor game with his new U15 team, composed of Ben, Juan, Drew, Dylan, Cayden, Willie and Brandon. 

Friday, November 27th, 2016. While Amy and Alan ran errands, I borrowed Alan's Trek and went for a 13 mile ride around town that included three trails to the river.  The afternoon was spent playing football, relaxing, playing Phase 10, napping and watching movies.  Jackson and Nicole got out of the house for a few hours and drove around town. 

Thursday, November 26th, 2016.  We spent another wonderful Thanksgiving at Alan and Charla's house.  I went for an early run, then played football with Alan and the kids in the front yard.  The kids also kicked a lot of soccer.  Amy had prepped a lot of food before our drive the night before, but she also joined Alan and Charla in the kitchen as they prepared our meal.  Dinner was amazing, the Cowboys and the Steelers both won.  We got to see both Jesse and Wesley, as well as Sherri, which was nice.  It was an all around great day.

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016. We made the drive to Colonial Heights a little later this year as Jackson attended a Wake Forrest basketball game with the varsity basketball team.  We picked him up in Winston-Salem after the game ended on our way to Alan and Charla's house.  Before leaving town, we dropped River off at Lucky Bones.  Amy is enjoying getting to check on River via the web cam in his suite. 

Sunday, November 20th, 2016.  Amy, Ben and I stayed home on a cold, windy day, while Jackson and Deana went shopping for dress clothes in Winston-Salem.  A jacket and tie is mandatory for the varsity basketball team and Jackson has never been one to want to dress up.  We brought the upstairs Christmas tree up from the basement, but have not yet started decorating it. 

Saturday, November 19th, 2016.  Jackson spent his day at RCC with the MAHS basketball team.  They hosted a one day free camp for young players.  Ben had soccer practice at 2:00 and an indoor game at 3:00.  He had thought about joining an indoor team with his friend Jair, but they were going to practice on Wednesdays and play games on Fridays and Saturdays.  Since he is playing basketball on Mondays and Thursdays, that would have made for too busy of a week.  So he is going to continue playing for Luis whenever the opportunity pops up.  Today's game was a fun one.  Ben scored once in his team's 7-6 win.  Our good buddy Neri was the goalie for the other team and Ben had trouble getting the ball past him.  For the first time ever, Ben and D'allas were on the same team.  They have played against each other in rec, school and indoor soccer.

Friday, November 18th, 2016. My uncle Gates Montgomery passed away this week.  My aunt Gink and all my cousins are very much in our thoughts.  The Heaths all met at Gondola's tonight for my nephew Caleb's 19th birthday.  Caleb is home for the week from JMU.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016. Photos from last night's varsity scrimmage against East Wilkes.  Papa, Mo and Martin all came to watch Jackson play.  He did very well and had multiple steals.  Jackson has invested countless hours of hard work and has logged a lot of miles to play basketball.  I am very proud and happy for him that he decided to play school ball this year.  Ben and I will miss him at RCC, but he is playing where he should be.

Sunday, November 6, 2016. With the sun shining and temps in the 70s, we made an impromptu trip to the zoo.  This was the first visit for Jackson and I in 6 years.  Ben and Amy have been more recently.  We ate lunch among falling leaves under a brilliant maple tree, then made our way through the park, starting in North America.  We found most of our highlights on the Africa side, although I liked the caped porcupines a lot and the otter was pretty playful.  Ben loved the chimps, the rhinos were cool and the lions majestic looking as they bathed in the sun.  The bears were all sleeping when we entered the park, so we hustled back to the polar bear exhibit on our way out.  Luckily one of the polar bears was up and walked past us, then came out of his cave to say goodbye.  It was a lot of fun.  If this was the last family trip for us to the zoo, it was a good one.  (more photos on our Zoo page)

Saturday, November 5th, 2016. Ben wrapped up his RCC rec season with a 4-5 loss to Pilot Mt and a 2-0 win over Carroll County.  He then capped the day off with a 11-7 win in Indoor Soccer at the soccer complex on South St.  And he won a soccer juggling competition.