Dressed for Success

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So, we slept-in a little this morning, then went downstairs for some breakfast. It was a bright and sunny day and we were all looking forward to spending the day in the water. It was probably about 10:00 a.m., when we walked out on the resort’s private beach. The concession folks already had our loungers and umbrellas up, so we set-up camp and got busy r-e-l-a-x-i-n-g…

Set-up

We had a magnificent view…

View

and the water felt great!

Cindy and the Boys

We lounged on the beach and swam until the late afternoon…

Alex Adam

when we packed-up and headed to the pool for drinks and a bite to eat…and more swimming! Of course, we have to pause for a family picture…

Family on the Boardwalk

The pool area is very nice…

Resort Pool

and I’m soon in need of another drink!

I need another drink

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The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp is the new name for the Marlins’ AA baseball team formerly known as the Jacksonville Suns. I grew-up with the Suns, so am not too keen on the new name, but Adam and Alex are on board! I guess the silly naming convention used in the minor leagues really does appeal to the kids. Still, I miss my Suns.

JS Sign

Anyway, today was “free hat” day at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, so the boys and I tried our luck at being one of the first 1,000 through the gates to get a hat. Alas, we weren’t, so I just bought hats at the “Shrimp Shop”.

So, wearing our new Jumbo Shrimp hats, and with hot dogs, pretzels, and peanuts in hard, we made our way to our seats along the first base line.

Adam Alex

I was surprised at the crowd here today…

Crowd

The game was great! The Shrimp were playing the Mississippi Braves. The Braves were up 2-1 until the bottom of the 6th when Cal Towey hit a 2-run double putting the Shrimp in the lead for the first time. The Braves came back and tied it up 3-3 in the top of the 9th, but then, the Shrimp’s John Norwood hit a walk-off homer to give Jax the game!

John Norwood

It was a great game and the boys and I had a LOT of fun!! Of course, the highlight of the game for Alex was meeting Jacksonville’s new mascot, “Scampi”…

Alex and Scampi

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Well, our first year in the scouts is coming to an end. Adam and Alex, and the rest of the Den 1 boys, have been working hard to earn their Tiger rank, completing “adventures” and earning belt loops…

Belt Loops

and tonight they successfully advanced. The ceremony was held at the Pack Meeting with a ceremonial bridge crossing that symbolized their transition from Tiger Scout to Wolf. I stood at the entrance to the bridge and removed their orange Tiger neckerchief, while Cindy, our Den Leader, met them on the other side to put on their new yellow Wolf neckerchief.

Alex crosses the bridge…

Alex Crosses Alex Neckerchief

then Adam crosses…

Adam Crosses Adam Neckerchief

Nice work, boys! We’re very proud of you.

Tiger Rank

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Today was the Second Annual Mom and Son Nerf War. One of Cindy’s friends first put this together last year after her son commented that his sister got to go to the Daddy-Daughter dance, but there was nothing for him to do. And the rest is history!

As the event gets underway, Alex is packed and ready to go with his Nerf vest full of ‘bullets’ and Adam is talking strategy with his crew…

Alex is ready Adam is ready

They had a great time this afternoon, although Cindy says she feels a little sore after all the running around. Adam naturally says the kids won the war, but it really doesn’t matter. After all, the great memory of this day will overshadow any perceived victory.

Mom and the Boys

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Tomorrow is the last day of Spring Break for the boys, but it’s back-to-work for me. So, we’re going to make the most of this glorious Sunday afternoon with a family bike ride to Veteran’s Park…

Family Bikers

It’s a nice ride to the park.

Family Bikers Family Bikers

But the ride is only half the fun because…Sno-Cones! and whatever those twirlie-spinnie things are…

Family Bikers Family Bikers

As we head back home, we stop for a moment for one last picture by the pond.

Family Bikers

We got a boat to catch for dinner!

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The 2017 Fall Baseball Season starts today and Adam is playing for a new league in Julington Creek…this is Cal Ripkin baseball and he’s playing for the Braves…

Braves"

and we’re ready to go! HEY-BATTAH-BATTAH!

Braves" Braves"

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Today, the Den 1 boys wrapped-up their Good Knights Adventure. For the last couple of meetings they learned about the Knights of old and the code of chivalry, the rules by which they lived. The Tigers learned how much in common they have with these knights in that they live by the Scout Oath and Law, which together provide the rules by which the Scout behaves.

During this adventure, each scout made their very own shield and designed it around one aspect of the Scout Law…

This is Alex’s Shield: His design represents “Loyalty” This is Adam’s Shield: His design represents “Reverence”
Alex's Shield Adam's Shield

We had a great time with this adventure and at the end of the meeting, all the Tigers got together for a picture with their shield’s in hand…

Shields

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Today the Den 1 Tigers went on a hike to complete the requirements for their Tiger advancement. Each of the scouts had their hiking “essentials” in their backpack as we took off together through the forest, stopping at the edge of the St John’s River for a rest and a quick snack before moving on again.

A fun day!

Tigers in the Wild

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Today’s the DAY! The boys are EIGHT-years-old and what better way to celebrate this momentous occasion than with a STAR WARS JEDI TRAINING PARTY?!? So, we invited about a bazillion of their closest friends…

Star Wars Invite

Of course, Mom and Dad still have A LOT to do to get ready for the party this afternoon, but before we get started, the boys’ enjoy the pre-party opening of presents…

Pre-Party

Cindy really went all-out with the decorations and the food! Which, of course, made much more work for ME! Not really, Cindy put almost all of this together herself!! All the food was Star Wars themed, like “Obi-Wan Kabobbies”, “Jedi Juice”, and “Edible Ewoks”.

Happy Birthday Banner

Food Food
Food Darth Vader Mister
Happy Birthday Banner The Force is Strong

And R2D2, C3PO, and Yoda came for the party, too…

R2D2 and C3PO Yoda

F-I-N-A-L-L-y it was time for the party, so the boys put on their Padawan garb and the kids arrived, then more kids came, then even more kids. We had several games planned that served as Jedi Training, like Balance-The-Balloon-On-The-Lightsaber, Death-Star-Hot-Potato, etc., so on. Each game had a little poem the Jedi Master Trainer would read to explain the rules of the game, like this one for the Emperors-Lightening-Bolt-Silly-String-Game…

With the dark side, the Emperor is strong
To defeat him, you’ll need a good jolt
You’ll show him with the Jedi you belong
If you can withstand his lightening bolt

So, the kids all had a can of silly string and like Adam…

Adam Silly String

There was also plenty of time for the kids to make-up their own games, like Alex and Westin…

Alex and Westin Alex and Westin

The highlight of the party was this huge Star Wars pinata! In fact, it was the only time we really got any semblance of organization from this rowdy group of Padawans…

Alex and the Pinata Adam and the Pinata

and when the Pinata finally busted open, it was a mad scramble to get the goodies!

Pinata Scramble

So, after a delicious dinner of “Hut” Dogs, the Boys’ were regaled with a chorus of the “Happy Birthday” song from their fellow Padawans…

Happy Birthday

And later that evening, after all of the Padawans had received their Jedi certificates and “goodie bags”, the boys started the day much like it began, with a post-party opening of presents…

After Party
After Party Alex After Party Adam

Yoda, who always seems to know just what to say, summed it up pretty well as he headed back to Dagobah: “A GREAT DAY IT WAS!”

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This year we took to the boat for our annual family Christmas pictures. We docked on Julington Creek, set-up the camera, then set the timer…again and again. As always there’s one or two good ones in the bunch. Don’t know if these will make the final cut (that’s Cindy’s job), but you get the picture (pun intended)…

Family Boat

…and outside the boat…

Family Boat

Getting a good picture of the boys and Charlie is a lot like herding cats…

Family Boat

We spent about 30-minutes taking pictures. In between Cindy’s arranging the boys, the dog, and the boat, I snapped the scenery…

Deck

When the pictures were done, we headed back to the marina. The sun was getting low in the sky, so we took our time. The boys napped under the watchful eyes of their best friend…

Sunset

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