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Thursday, September 30th, 2010.  For the first time since our move 5 months ago, both Zorro and Emma escaped and went on an adventure.  They were out all night, in the rain, and did not return.  We finally got a call from a neighbor on our old street on the other side of town.  They were standing next to our old fenced in backyard waiting to go in.  It has been two days and Zorro has yet to recover from his trek.  He is just now able to stand and take a few steps before falling back down.  Quite the story though that they made it home. 

Ben, for the second week in a row, aced his pre-spelling test on Monday and received challenge words to replace his regular ones.  The big news though is that their Aunt Sherri is visiting for a few days.  They haven't seen her in a long time and are both competing for her attention.  It should be a fun weekend with soccer, football and more.

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010. Jackson was one of seven students from the intermediate and middle schools recognized at tonight's school board meeting for having a perfect score on his End Of Grade standardized test.  Quite an amazing accomplishment.  He went straight from that to football practice and found out earlier in the day that one of his Washington DC photographs won a blue ribbon at the Patrick County Fair (thanks to his Aunt Deana who secretly submitted it for him).  He is one very well rounded young man.  (photos from Ben's soccer game are here, courtesy of my sister Deana)

Monday, September 20th, 2010. Ben is having a fabulous start to 1st Grade.  On his first spelling test ever, he not only got all the answers correct, he also spelled all the bonus words correctly.  We then got a sheet home from his teacher today explaining that Ben was able to spell all of this week's words on the first day, so they were replacing the regular 1st grade list of words with a new more challenging list.  What a smart boy.  He also saved the game tonight as the goalie in the 4th quarter of a very exciting soccer match. 

Thursday, September 16th, 2010.  Mark and Susan shared their photos from Labor Day with us.  Below are a few of us having fun on their jetski.  Seriously, that thing is so fun.  Many, many more photos here.

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010.  Amid our busy Fall schedule, we still get to enjoy the occasional visit of our smaller buddies.  Today's photos are from a couple of recent visits by SKV and Anne Rachel.  Amy also got to spend the day with our friend Brett's little sister Sammie Grace, which was pretty cool.  On Friday night, Ben had his first true "buddy" sleep-over away from home.  He had a wonderful time, got to skip Jackson's football game and returned home nice and tired. I think he was asleep by 6:30 that evening.  Our neighbor Mark shared his soccer game photos with me and I have posted some of them here.

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010Sports Update:  Ben had his first soccer game last night.  Very exciting.  He is our starting goalie and made at least three great dives to get the ball during the first quarter.  The second quarter was rough and the ball stayed in front of our goal.  We went into the half down 0-2.  I think Ben was a little shell shocked after all the close range action that took place right in front of him.  It didn't look good, but the kids rebounded in the second half, scoring three goals and allowing none.  It was a very surprising and exciting come-from-behind win against an equally great little team of soccer players.  As the coach, I walked away from the game very happy about the effort from all the kids.  Jackson played his third football game on Saturday and ran a reverse play for the second time this season.  He made the first two defenders miss and made a nice respectable gain on the play.  The football games have been a lot of fun to watch this year.  This Saturday, both boys will have games.


Monday, September 13th, 2010. We woke on Sunday to find the weather just perfect, so following Amy's 4 mile run and a few errands, we went to Claudville to see Hama and to hike through the woods behind her house.  Our goal was to make it to the top of Papa's Mountain.  Our nephew Caleb joined us and we were accompanied on the last leg by Papa and Seth who caught up to us on his four wheeler.  When we heard them coming, we all jumped into the woods, then screamed as loud as we could when they drove past.  Their reaction was priceless and I wish that I had caught it on camera.  Before starting the hike, we visited with my grandmother and were treated to a perfect lunch of chicken legs, mashed potatoes, corn, biscuits, corn bread, peas, pickles, fried apples and egg custard pie.  Just the kind of fuel we needed before heading up the mountain.  After picking a little guitar in the shade while the kids threw football and ate watermelon, we started the hike by going 'off trail' above the cabin, following a hollow to the top of the ridge.  From there we stayed on the old road that leads to the top of the mountain.  We spotted a cool lizard on the way and enjoyed a nice picnic break in the shade of the pines near the peak.  We hiked down the other side of the mountain and upon reaching Granny Branch, broke off a grapevine so that the lighter kids could go for a swing.  I also taught the boys how to climb up small maple trees high enough to bend them down to the ground.  Perfect for setting booby traps and for catching rides back up into the air.  We stayed at Hama's for another hour or so, relaxing, playing football, riding bikes, playing guitar, picking muscadine grapes and collecting chestnuts.  Caleb said that it was a perfect day.  We extended the fun by bringing Caleb home with us where the kids stopped by a neighbor's Kool-Aid stand and rode bikes around the neighborhood.  Once it started to get dark, they moved the bike riding to the field beside our house.  I agree with Caleb, it was a pretty perfect day.

A few photos for our Watermelon Page.

Thursday, September 9th, 2010. On Sunday, after the last of Jackson's friends left, we went to Deana and Martin's house for an End Of Summer/Labor Day cookout.  As you can tell, Jackson was pretty tired after staying up past 4AM with his buddies.  The cookout was great, Deana made awesome hamburgers with bacon and pimento cheese.  We fished, swam, paddled, played guitar and relaxed on a beautiful day. 

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010. Soccer practice is going well.  Ben and our next door neighbor Jack have enjoyed being on the same team together.  On Labor Day, Jack and his family hosted us at their lake house in Sherrills Ford, NC.  We were also joined by our other neighbors the Colemans.  The weather was wonderful and we all had an absolute blast on the water riding jet skis, knee-boarding, skiing, tubing, swimming and relaxing.  The Bevards have a beautiful, fun spot at the lake and it was super nice of them to invite us down for the day.  The night before, the Colemans hosted an end of summer outdoor movie night at their house, complete with Krispy Kreme donuts and home made cookies.  After arriving home from the lake, our good friend Steve walked over from his house to watch part of the VT - Boise St game with me.  Amy made us a rotel dip and football shaped chocolate Rice Krispy treats.  And just yesterday our good friends and neighbors the Venables walked over to play a game of Hangman with the boys, which was their creative way of letting us know they are expecting baby number two.  It seems that on any given weekend, we do more with our new neighbors than we did during the entire twelve years that we lived in our old house.  They say that neighbors make a neighborhood and we certainly now live in a great neighborhood.  (many more Labor Day photos here)

 

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010.  We kicked September off a HUGE and BUSY weekend.  First, my sister Melanie had an emergency appendectomy Saturday night and is now home recovering.  While she was going through that, we were under siege at our house where Jackson had seven of his friends over for a sleepover.  They played football, spied on the neighbors, rode everything they could find that had wheels on it, watched the Blind Side outside on the garage door, played midnight dodge ball in the front yard and stayed up until after 4am talking and playing.  This all followed Jackson's football game against Franklin earlier in the afternoon.  Jackson played great.  The team played great.  They lost 0-7, but it was a really fun game to watch.