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Thursday, May 31st, 2012.  I am posting photos from Ben's 2nd birthday party of the year, Jackson's last baseball game, our garden and Joe at the neighbor's swimming pool.

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012. Ben had a wonderful trip to Boston with his aunt and uncle.  He returned with stories about cab rides, room service, Fenway Park, flying and more.  I believe it was a perfect trip for him and one that he will always remember.  And to make it absolutely perfect, the Red Sox beat the Rays 3-2 on a walk-off homer by Saltalamacchia Saturday night.  Their only walk-off this season. 

Friday, May 25th, 2012.  Our boy Ben is off to Boston with his Aunt Deana and Uncle Martin to celebrate turning nine.  They have big plans for the weekend that include watching the Red Sox play the Rays at Fenway.  We'll miss Ben, but are very happy that he is making such great memories.  He returns Sunday, which is his birthday.  (Today's photo is from another birthday that Ben spent in transit, we were on our way to Pennsylvania)  So while Ben is in the air, Jackson is in the water.  He is attending a pool party this afternoon.  Tonight Amy is hosting an 80s driveway movie night.  It should be a nice three day weekend.

Thursday, May 24th, 2012.  The family is enjoying the first week of Summer vacation.  Amy took Ben, Jackson and our friend Simon to the miniature golf course yesterday, followed by the Bahama Shaved Ice hut.  We had a fun, long baseball practice last night.  Ben came to practice with us and hung with the big kids all night.  After we spent about 30 minutes going over things that we learned from the last game, I spent 30 minutes hitting high, deep fly balls to all the kids, we then played what we call the Grounder Game, then I threw over the shoulder long passes to the boys.  It was 7:30 and practice was over, but they all wanted to stay and hit, so we had batting practice for another 30 minutes until it started raining.  They are a good group of kids and have improved a lot this year. 

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012.  Ben's last day at BHT, and consequently, the last day for our family at BHT.  Amy and I have enjoyed the years the boys spent there and will miss it greatly.  I can't believe how fast those years flew by.  Ben was awarded the Shining Star certificate during a ceremony yesterday, which was awarded for compassion.  His teacher told Amy "not only does Ben have a big heart, but he is also brave enough to show it."  We are very pleased with the little person our Ben is turning out to be.  He also scored far above grade level in all areas.  Jackson came home with straight As for the year and found out that he only missed one question on his math End-Of-Grade test.

Jackson played his last regular season baseball game last night.  The Sox lost by 3, making it to the 6th inning for the first time this year.  They are a greatly improved baseball team and I have enjoyed watching them play this year.  Jackson is playing some great defense and it looks like he is going to be hitting the ball now too.  He made contact during each at bat last night and had one nice hit that was caught.

Monday, May 21st, 2012. Updated Ben's birthday page with notes from his sleep-over. 

Ben had friends Zeb, Devin and Weston over for a sleep-over.  They played frisbee golf, wiffle ball, basketball, flashlight tag, nerf war, made their own pizzas, roasted marshmallows and ate birthday cake before settling in downstairs to watch Johnny English.
Sunday, May 20th, 2012. A few fun photos from our neighbor SKV's recent birthday party.

I don't have any photos from Friday night's baseball game, but I did shoot this video of the team celebrating their first win.  I thought the kids had handled their 12 consecutive losses very well.  They didn't complain, they didn't give up, they didn't get bad attitudes.  And that is why I wasn't going to say a thing about them celebrating like crazy when they got that first win.  They can worry about dialing it back a little next time, but this was the first win and they earned the right to be pretty happy about it.  Way to go White Sox!

May 17th, 2012.  Jackson made his 1st start at pitcher.  I thought he did great against a really, really good hitting team.  He made a good out at first too later in the game.  It was another loss, but I swear the kids play better each game.  We have another game tomorrow night, so we'll see how it goes. 

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012. I took the following photos at Weseley's graduation party at Thelma and Lonnie's house on the Appomattox River in Prince George, VA last weekend. 

We had a huge storm last night that knocked out our baseball practice, almost washed the pups away, filled the yard with hail and blew over our neighbors' beautiful willow tree.  It has been a wet, wet Spring so far.

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012.   I talk a lot about the sports the boys play, mostly because that is the part of their lives I get to watch first hand, but as proud as I am of how hard they work at the sports they love, I am more proud of their academic achievements and the work they put into those endeavors. Ben told us yesterday that he took a test during his tour of the intermediate school and scored the highest in his grade. He was right, his Lexile Measure was high enough to place him on a 5th-6th grade reading level. Not bad for a kid exiting the 2nd grade. I believe that we owe a lot of who we are to the books we read, which is why I am happy that both my sons enjoy reading. As Thoreau wrote in Walden ""How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book!" And to brag on J, he continued his perfect streak this year of all 4s on his EOGs.

Monday, May 14th, 2012.  This past weekend we got to watch our nephew Wesley graduate from VCU with majors in both Electrical Engineering and Physics, our nephew Jimmy play soccer for the Colonial Heights Colonials and our niece Nicole dance in her dance recital at Colonial Heights High School.  We also got to see our nephew Jesse, race go-karts, play miniature golf, visit our friend Hillary in Short Pump, throw lots of baseball, visit lots of friends at Wesley's graduation party and more.  It was a pretty action packed 4 day weekend for us.  On a more somber note, a good friend's father passed away over the weekend.  That makes two childhood friends that have lost their fathers to cancer within the past two weeks. 


Thursday, May 3rd, 2012.  Happy Birthday Jackson!  Great job pitching tonight!!
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012. Jackson pitched again during Monday's baseball game.  More info and photos here.

Monday, April 30th, 2012.  Ben and I had another great camping trip at Camp Raven Knob last weekend.  And this time, Amy and Jackson joined us on Saturday for a hike to the top of the mountain and the second night of our camp-out.  We had grape-vine swinging, fishing (Ben caught a HUGE blue gill), swimming, soap carving, tye-die shirts, whittling, grilling and rain.  Lots of rain Sunday morning.  More photos here.