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Monday, October 29th, 2012.  Fall baseball wrapped up this weekend for Ben, but his basketball season kicked off with 3 games at a tournament in Hillsville.  The Braves went 0-7, so it was a tough season and it wore on Ben, but hopefully his next team will be more competitive and his love for the game will be rekindled.  

     
Jackson spent his weekend at The Vineyard, a camp in neighboring Stokes County.  We had no communication with him from the time we dropped him off on Friday until he walked in the door Sunday afternoon.  It was especially tough on Amy, but I think Jackson had a great time and is looking forward to going back again.
On Friday evening, after leaving Jackson at camp, we took Ben to a UNC basketball game in Chapel Hill.  He had a great time and got to sit with his friends Luke and Brett as many classmates from his CAP class were there as well.
And Amy ran a Color Me Rad 5K in Blacksburg this weekend.  She had a super fun time and was able to run with two friends from college, Monica and Crystal.

Thursday, October 25th, 2012. I often say that Ben is a kid that enjoys a little down time. But his schedule recently is just crazy. He can have Cub Scouts on Monday, Baseball on Tuesday, along with an after-school meeting with the Student Council, Basketball on Wednesday, a Fall Fun get-together with kids from church on Thursday, Baseball practice on Friday, except that he will miss that this week to go to a basketball game at UNC with his CAP class, then basketball games on Saturday and possibly both basketball and baseball games on Sunday.  Whew!!, He is one busy kid!
Below are photos from our trip to Doe Run Farm's corn maze with the Beacons from FPCMA.

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012. On Sunday morning, Ben and I played hookey from church and went on a hike at Devil's Den Nature Preserve in Fancy Gap, Virginia.  It was a beautiful autumn morning and we had a great time.  Hopefully we will return in a few weeks with our Cub Scout pack.  Jackson had a rough first night with his braces and had a hard time falling asleep.  After Ben and I got home from baseball practice, Jackson and I played a game of one on one in the driveway.  We do this almost every night.  He has recently started tipping the scales in his favor and has won 5 of the last 7 games.  At baseball practice, I ran the pitching machine and made a game out of who could make contact with the most balls.  Using a bucket of 24 balls, Ben won the game by getting his bat on 18 of them. 

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012.  Jackson got braces!  They are light and dark blue and he looks very cool. I took him to get a milkshake at Cook-Out afterwards before stopping by to pick up his homework from school.  So far he likes them and isn't in any pain.  It is a big week for changes as we are also having cabinets ripped out of the kitchen and converted into an island and will have our carpet replaced with hardwood floors tomorrow.  Then this weekend, Jackson goes to his first ever over-night camp.

October 19, 2012 Ben had a good game tonight and, more importantly, he had fun. In three at bats, he had one hit, was walked twice, scored twice (once on a steal and once on a walk with bases loaded). I think he was the only Brave to get a bat on the ball in a game with a lot of walks.  On defense Ben fielded two ground balls at second, tagging one runner out and throwing another out at first.  It was another loss, but we put 10 points on the board against a really good team. 

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012.  After a two year break from any official 5Ks, Jackson ran the 5K On The Greenway on Saturday and beat his personal best by almost 4 minutes, finishing in 24:46, 63rd out of 270 runners.  He's awesome.  Ben and I cheered while Amy volunteered at the MAJWC tent.  We also cheered for many other friends, including Joe who ran the Fun Run. 
Later that day Jackson sold pumpkins for the Beacons at First Presbyterian while Ben had a sleep over with his buddy Luke.  On Sunday Ben had a baseball game while Jackson again helped the Beacons raise money.  Monday brought another Cub Scout meeting, then today it was baseball practice and tomorrow Ben has his first AAU basketball practice of the season.  Ben had to skip both baseball and school today though as he woke up sick this morning.

 
 

October 15th, 2012. Earlier this month Ben and I went on our 2nd Parent/Son Camporee.  It was my first as Cub Master and I think everything went pretty smoothly.  I know that Ben had a good time, so that is what was really important.  He proclaimed it the best camping trip ever.   Lots more photos here.