Neat Stuff

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The boys have always been close and even though they fight with each other (like most brothers), they still stick pretty close together.

Together

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Despite the busy day they had yesterday and the evening at Pa’s, the boys still got up early! I heard them get out of bed about 5:30, but I didn’t get up until 6:00. They were playing on their iPads and patiently waiting for everyone to get up (although they had already catalogued every present under the tree by its recipient. Anyway, I let them go into their stockings, which, if you know Cindy, is crammed full of treasures–toys, candy, games, and more candy…

Christmas Day

After the boys finished with their stockings, I put some coffee on and we waited for the rest of the family to get up. And at 7:00, which seemed like an eternity, the unwrapping began!

Christmas Day Christmas Day

Let’s see, there were Harry Potter wands, which they thought were pretty cool. Alex got the actual Harry Potter wand, while Adam was pleased to have the wand used by Lord Voldemort…

Christmas Day Christmas Day

Naturally, a fast-handed wand battle ensued…

Christmas Day

One of the neatest presents they received was a retro electronic football game from the 70s. I loved this game when I was a teenager, but the boys weren’t too impressed! LOL.

Christmas Day

Nope, what they were really excited about was the official 2018 FIFA World Cup Soccer Ball…

Christmas Day

and the gear that went with it…the uniforms of their favorite players: Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Brazil’s Neymar da Silva Santos Junior (aka Neymar Jr.)…

Christmas Day

There was a lot more, of course, but these were the highlights. I enjoy watching the boys on Christmas morning and remember the excitement I felt as a child while ripping the wrapping paper off the presents left for me under the tree. It’s nice to relive those moments through their eyes.

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Well, it’s Christmas Eve and although Pa is gone, the family still gathered in his old country home. Pa’s children, and many of his grandchildren, great, great-great, and great-great-great grandchildren, and their families were here. There was a lot of food, and a lot of talking and laughing.

Christmas Eve

And presents for all the kids…

Christmas Eve

Afterward, Alex put on a disguise from the “Prank Kit” he received. You can’t even tell it’s him, can you? :-))

Christmas Eve

I don’t know how long this tradition will continue in this way, but tonight, Pa would’ve been pleased.

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Cindy and the boys are making a centerpiece for tomorrow’s dinner table. What could it be? There’s a riddle in there somewhere…

You make this at Christmas
So you can stuff your face
A cake, icing, and candy
An edible dwelling place

I have to say, I like this little A-frame house…it’s much easier to put together than the typical four-walled structure. Not that I’d know, mind you, when it comes to construction, I’m all thumbs!

Gingerbread House

These guys, on the other hand, with a little help from Mom, do a bang-up job!

Gingerbread House

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It’s Christmas Eve Day and Pop is taking the boys (and Charlie) out for a hike in the woods. He’s looking for dying or fallen trees to cut-up for firewood and showing the boys what to look for.

Hiking in the Woods Hiking in the Woods

There’s a lot of room out here.

Hiking in the Woods

Charlie is having a good time and has twice stolen Adam’s “walking stick”. He’s a character and everyone gets a kick out of watching him run, jump, and roll-around in the leaves.

Hiking in the Woods Hiking in the Woods

These are priceless moments.

Hiking in the Woods

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What better way to spend the day than in the woods with the boys and their bb-guns? There’s a chill in the air, but not too bad. And there’s plenty to shoot at…like the old metal “Keep Out” sign attached to the barbed wire fence of the adjoining property. The guns are still a little hard to cock, so the boys have to improvise using their foot as a stanchion, which provides safety and support.

BB Guns BB Guns

And their form is pretty darn good!

BB Guns BB Guns

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It’s been quite a year with a lot of changes and it’s good to go home. Funny. I haven’t lived here since I was 10-years-old, but after all these years, I still call it “home”. Mom and Dad are from this area, and moved back up here about 30-years ago. Over the years, we’ve spent time visiting in the Spring and Summer or around the Holidays. As we approach the house, John Denver’s song, “Country Roads,” comes to mind.

Home for the Holidays

Mom and Dad built this house on top of a hill on 10-acres of land.

Home for the Holidays

The trees are so thick you can’t see it from the road, even when all the leaves have fallen.

Home for the Holidays Home for the Holidays
Home for the Holidays Home for the Holidays

The boys are happy to be here and Charlie is ecstacic!

Home for the Holidays Home for the Holidays

Early this morning, Dad and I road into town so he could check his mail. This old Post Office hasn’t changed much. I remember the painting on the wall from when I was a kid.

Home for the Holidays

Right across the street from the Post Office is the Courthouse and standing out front is a statue of the town’s namesake, Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart.

Home for the Holidays

“Quaint” doesn’t begin to describe the little town of Stuart, Virginia.

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The boys are 10-years-old today and Adam has already noted that he’s “a decade now.” Where has the time gone? Only a moment ago we were figuring-out the logistics of feeding two babies at the same time! It hasn’t always been easy, but we certainly have created some nice memories.

This year, they needed new bikes. Not only are they outgrowing their current rides, but like most boys, they’re pretty hard on those bikes, as evidenced by the dents, scratches, cracks, and tears decorating them. Each one tells a story, and like most boys, they love their bikes…

Birthday Birthday

Naturally, Mom is all over the “10-years” thing!

Birthday

And this also marks the first year they boys had a regular cake. As you’ll recall, in previous years, they had a “cake of cupcakes” in the shape of their age, as seen here.

Birthday

Happy 10-years, Boys!

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Like I’ve said numerous times, you can always tell what time of year it is by looking at our house…especially Christmastime. Each year, Cindy pulls down the 10s of boxes we have stored in the garage and attic, and creates a display that’ll bring back great memories for the boys’ in the years to come.

Christmas Lights

All I do is put-up the ladder, so she can climb-up on the roof to hang that wreath!

Christmas Lights

And naturally, she makes the house all Christmasy, too…

Christmas Lights

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Well, it’s the last game of the Fall Ball Season. We were the home team and Adam was the lead-off man. The pitcher was a little wild to start, but Adam had a good-eye for those inside pitches.

Slugger

He had a good-eye for the right pitch, too! CRACK!

Slugger

What a great way to end the season!

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