April Fools Day ?

April Fools Joke

As YHC sat in my truck in the gloom listening to the steady rain I began to wonder If I would have to workout on my on. I should have known better. head lights finally appeared. First El Jefe then Southern Bell. my plan was to do partner work but given the fact that there were only three of us I had to pull an audible. Sort of…… same workout just no partner to share the load. YHC had planned for more Pax so there was an assortment of sandbags. 4 40lb bags  2 60lb bags and 1  80lb bag. El Jefe grabbed a 60. Southern Bell was next. He went strait for the 80lb bag even after I warned against it. The choice was clear for me, I had to take the other 60.  For the record, I'm pretty sure that wet sandbags are much heavier than dry ones. I kew that when Southern Bell mentioned nearly spilling Merlot that this workout was legit !

Conditions :

April 2 felt more like February 2 today. Mother Nature's version of an April Fools Day joke.  The temperature was 35 and raining.  We had to move quick to get our minds off of the weather.


20 SSH  IC

20 Emperial Walkers IC

10 Windmills  IC

10 Cherry Pickers IC

The Main Thang :

We Moseyed over to YHC's truck where the tailgate was dropped with an assortment of Sandbags. Of course given the three Pax who showed up, the three biggest bags were used. The plan was to partner up. While Partner A did sandbag work Partner B would run to a predetermined point the return to relieve their partner. Since so many GridIron Pax took the easy way out today and Fartsacked, YHC had to adjust. Same workout just none to share the load.

We lined up at the first drive into GridIron with our sandbags facing the second Driveway. from there it went like this.

  1. 3 Sandbag Burpees ( ends with your arms fully extended  with your bag overhead.)
  2. Sandbag Shouldering 3 each side. ( from the ground lift the bag to the right shoulder, slam it down to the ground, then lift to the left shoulder)
  3. 3 Overhead Press
  4. Then throw your Sandbag as far as possible, Lunge Walk to it, rinse and repeat all the way across the field.

Now that we have crossed the field, it was time to get in the running we should have had mixed in if we had partners. We left our Sandbags and ran a short out and back. This was actually like taking a break after crossing the field with the sandbag.

When we got back to our Sandbags YHC told the Pax that we had to get back across the field with our bags. They seemed relieved when I told then we would not go back the same way we came. That quickly turned to anger when I told them we would BearCrawl while dragging our bags back to where we had started.

We made it. YHC checked his watch. 0600. A little early but given the fact that the rain was coming down harder now, we had done a lot of work in a short amount of time and YHC could tell that my objectives for the morning had nearly been met.


30 Flutter Kicks IC

30 Cross Overs IC



The last few years farming has been tough on YHC.  Three bad years out of Five has left me disheartened and questioning if this is the right thing to be doing. The last few weeks have been spent praying and asking god for clarity of mind so that the best decisions can be made for my family and my crew.

Coincidentally during the same period of time I received two very flattering awards. The WaterBug Man Of The Year award and the Darlington County Conservationist of the Year. I found it ironic that while I had such internal struggles going on, I would receive such great honors. Then it occurred to me  that these awards were God's way of offering me encouragement during a hard time. Upon further thought, I realized that life is not about any award. Awards don't matter ! What is important is being a faithful servant to our lord. This reminded me of the story when Jesus asked Peter to step out of the boat and walk on water. Peter did this, but once he realized he was walking on water he lost focus on Jesus and he began to sink.  We must keep our focus on Jesus or we will sink just like Peter. if you find yourself sinking fear not, call on the lord and he will rescue you.

Respectfully Submitted

Green Acres

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Marion Beatdown a New Beginning

The temperature was 50 the rain had not yet started and conditions were darn near perfect for a F3 beatdown. YHC and Schaffer arrived early to allow ourselves time to survey the AO and hash out the details of the workout. It was a little cool standing around but in short order the Pax were moving around the AO and the hoodies were coming off.

Warm Up :

SSH 20  IC

Imperial Walkers 20  IC

Cherry Pickers 20 IC

Hill Billy 20 IC

Love Me 20 IC

Windmills 20 IC

Indian Run around the track

The Main Thang :

Wagon Wheel.  YHC planted a Shovel Flag in the center of the grassy area in the middle of the track at the AO. This served as the hub for the Wagon Wheel. Four points were established on the perimeter where an exercise would be completed at each point.  Point A was 10 Merkins, point B was 10 Squats, point C was 10 Big Boy Situps, and Point D was Monkey Humpers(cause them monkeys ain't going to hump themselves)    At the center each Pax did 5 Burpees then ran to one of the four perimeter points.   After completing the exercise they would run back to the center do 5 Burpees then run to the next point. This was rinsed and repeated until most of the Pax had completed 4 revolutions around the Wagon Wheel.

Next we moseyed to the tennis courts for a round of 11s. On one end we did 10 SSH ran across the courts and did 1 Merkin. This was repeated until we worked our way to 1 SSH and 10 Merkins. Air Chair was held on the 6. We then Bear Crawled back across the courts to our original starting point.

The Pax then Moseyed back to  circle up around  where the flags were planted. Next was a couple rounds of the famous Banjo Bear crawl. Each Pax would hold the high plank. The first man would Bear Crawl around the circle ending back at his original starting point then the next one in the circle would go. Each time a Bear passed the Pax would do 1 Merkin.


LBCs  20IC

Flutter Kicks 20 IC

Freddy Mercury 20 IC

Box Cutters 20 IC

Hello Dolly 20 IC

Moleskin :

It was a privilege for YHC and Schaffer to have the opportunity to travel to Marion to aid in the start of a new AO.  We had many men travel to Hartsville to help us get started with F3 so it is nice to be able to pay it forward for someone else.

One of the best things that came out of this workout was when Chicken Hawk and Denver stopped during the Wagon Wheel portion of the workout to EH a gentleman who was doing speed work on the track at the AO. At first I thought  they were just using it as an excuse to take a break during the workout but when they came running back to the group with the man with them I realized that they had more in mind than just catching their breath. They had just Ehed a FNG.

This was no ordinary FNG. Flash is a self trained elite runner who at the age of 75 can still crush a 5 minute mile. If you don't believe me post in Marion yourself and watch him run. It wont take long for you to realize why he received the F3 name "Flash". As Mr. Jerry stood in the center of the COT and told the Pax about himself I quickly realized that this was a huge score for the Marion Pax. Not because he is a great runner but because he is a great man who will be a role model for the younger men of F3 Marion. As he told about himself he talked about how the hard times in his life had shaped him into the elite runner that he is today. Instead of allowing a hard hit in life to get him down, he used the hardship to push himself to become better. I could hardly believe what I was hearing ! His story was a perfect  introduction to the Devo I had planned.


Roman 5: 2-5

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Life is full of hard knocks. How we respond to the hard times is what defines our character. You may not realize it but people are watching you. The way in which you handle struggles in your own life can inspire someone else to gain strength through difficult times in their life. For me that is what F3 is all about. A community of men working through things together. The workouts we do together are more important than becoming more physically fit. They are teaching us not to quit. We learn that if we dig deep, rely on each other and keep pressing forward we will come through a tough situation stronger than we started.

F3 Marion is off to a good start. They have a strong core group of men who will grow F3 in Marion and will ultimately have a major impact on their community.

YHC is proud to have had the opportunity to help with the launch and I look forward to building strong relationships with my Marion F3 Brothers.



Respectfully Submitted,

Green Acres


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Warm Up:

2 laps Free Style (No Fins)

The Main Thang:

4  50 meter Free Style Sprints.  After each lap hit the pool deck for a Merkin Pyramid. 25, 20, 15, 10

Paddles on Hands  buoy between legs. Swimming with arms only.

4 laps Free Style

2 Laps Backstroke

Fins On with Kick Board. Legs Only

4 Laps Holding the Kick Board vertically in the water to achieve maximum resistance.

2 Laps on your back with Kick Board out behind your head.

10 Salmon Ladders then slide the block along the bottom of the pool down and back. Rinse and repeat.

2 Laps Freestyle Sprints(no fins or hand paddles) with 10 second recovery between each lap.


Circle up in the deep end treading water. One brick was passed around the circle. Each Pax would hold the brick out of the water while treading water for one minute then pass the brick. the brick was passed around the circle 3 times.

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The GridIron Big Bang

The weather was clear, in the mid 50s and absolutely perfect for F3 Hartsville's latest expansion. Grid Iron is our west Hartsville AO located at the legendary Kelleytown Stadium.  There was however a slight smell of Turkey Litter in  the air that gave the Pax from town something to talk about. Those of us from the country are used to that.

YHC was there early to get in a few sets of Kettle Bell swings. It  wasn't long before GroundBlind showed up to get in a run and explore the AO before the workout. With a playground, a football stadium, a baseball stadium, and some huge open fields, this new AO offers many opportunities for a proper beat down.

YHC welcomed everyone to our new AO. The standard disclaimer was explained. YHC also told the Pax the this AO will be known as the form AO. Poor form encourages injury and does not help us get better. YHC will not require high reps at many of his workouts but will expect good form.

Warm Up:


Empirical Walkers 25 IC

Cherry Pickers 25 IC

Penningtons 15 IC forward 15 IC reverse

The Main Thang :

The Pax divided into two man teams

Team Mate A does a block slider down the street and back, roughly 100yds, while partner B performed Burpees until his partner returned. Flap Jack until each had done 2 reps of the Block Slider.

Plank on the 6

The Pax lined up with their back to the stadium facing Clyde rd. 10 Merkins then sprint to the tree and perform 10 Merkins> continue to the end of the parking area, 7 trees approximately  120yds, Then return to starting point.

Plank on the 6

The Pax lined up as before. This time we lunge walked to each tree then did 10 squats at each tree. at the end we sprinted back to the beginning.

Plank on the 6 then Mosey back to the flag.


GroundBlind stepped in tp introduce the new Pax to a local favoriye, Captain Thor. 1 to 4 count Big Boy Sit-ups and Hartsville Hammers.

The ladder went to 8 then back down.


Since this is the launch of a new AO YHC asked Goldie Locks to share the mission of F3.

Next GroundBlind shared the legend of the "Phantom Fox" our AO's mascot . Ground Blind incorporated a devo into his explaination of "The Phantom Fox"


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Old Fashion Block Party

Warm Up :

Pennington’s Fwd  20 IC  Rev 20 IC

Empirical Walkers 20 IC

Cherry Pickers 20 IC

Love Me 20 IC

Flutter Kicks 35 IC

The Main Thang :

Each Pax Moseyed to the block pile to get one cinder block each the return to the circle. YHC instructed the Pax to Plank on their block while some explanation was given for the upcoming workout. This time was extended when Eisenhower angrily threw his block down breaking it into many pieces. We all had to plank while he returned to the pile to fetch another block and returned to the circle.

YHC explained to the Pax that for the workout the block would symbolize a sin, struggle, or addiction that we each live with. As the workout progresses the block like that sin will get heavier and heavier but we will not quit. We will not let the block/struggle get the best of us. We each worked hard to overcome a struggle in our lives.

After the plank/instruction session we each Dairy Carried(right hand)our block to Cargill Way. We all line up and did a block slider to the corner of Cargill Way and 4th street.

15 Block Burpees OYO plank when done

Dairy Carry(left hand) to the corner of 4th Street and Carolina Ave.  25 Sumo Squats OYO. Air Chair when done.

Dairy Carry(left hand) your block to the planters in front of the YMCA. 25 dips

Over Head Carry to the corner of 5th street and Carolina Ave. 35 Flutter Kicks IC while holding your block over your head.

Move to the wall of the old Coker Building along 5th street. Each Pax would wall sit while holding their block over head. The first counted to 10 then moved down the line(Indian Run Style) until we reached the end of the building.

Dairy Carry (right hand) to the corner of Cargill Way and 5th street. 25 Incline  Merkins  on your block.

Rinse And Repeat

Mary :

25 Big Boys with your block

The Pax Circled up facing away from each other on their 6. We assumed the Hartsville Hammer position then began to pass our blocks around the circle clockwise then counter clockwise. YHC informed the Pax that this exercise symbolized us sharing our sins and weaknesses with our brothers.

Devo :

We all have struggles in our lives that we must deal with. It is not always easy just like our workout carrying the block every step of the way was not easy. we must recognize where our weaknesses lie and work hard to get better. Sharing your weakness with a brother can help to overcome that weakness. We cannot let our sins and weakness overcome us. We must remain strong mentally and physically to put away these things in our lives.

Psalm 119 : 133

Direct my footsteps according to your word; ley no sin rule over me.

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses , letus throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.


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This was a particularly special workout for YHC since I was hitting the 250 mark after a year of injuries and its just days before what is hopefully the last surgery on my leg. I was honored to be able to Q for such a strong group of men. I did my best to insure the workout sucked as much as possible given the fact that my leg is still broken.

The Warm Up:

Empirical Walkers         20 IC

Cherry Pickers               20 IC

Frankenstein's               20 IC

Windmills                       20 IC

Seated Pennington's    15 FWD IC     15 REV IC

Bear Crawl Circle

The Pax all Bear crawled around the circle until QIC yelled stop. All Pax planked while the first did 10Yoga Mercins then yelled GO when completed. This continued until each of the Pax had completed 10 Yoga Mercins  .


The Main Thang:

Super Slow Mosey (since I still cant run) over to the Malloy parking lot.

20 dips on curve the crab across the parking lot 5 Incline Mercins. Bear crawl back. 15 dips then crab across 10 incline Mercins. Bear crawl back. 10 dips crap across 15 incline Mercins. Bear crawl back. 5 dips crap across 20 incline Mercins.

Count off in 1s and 2s. 1s grabbed a block and 2s grabbed a cylinder. YHC had already place cone on the field with tires waiting. 1s were instructed to pick a tire and put their block next to it. 2s all placed their cylinders on the opposite end of the field. The partners joined at the tire and block.

Round 1

Partner 1 Block Curls AMRAP while Partner 2 Bear crawled to the other end of the field. When they reached the end of the rope attached to their tire they turned around and did a seated pull bringing the tire to themselves. this was repeated until reaching the cones. When Partner 2 reached the cones he began doing Nose Breakers with the cylinder while his partner Low crawled to him . They then did 25 Big Boy Sit-ups passing the cylinder at the top.  Flap Jack and head back the other way.

Round 2

Same as above replacing Block Curls with Block Goblet Squats and Nose Breakers with Triceps Extensions



Time was running short by now so YHC decided to only do one core exercise but made it a good one.

Captain Thor

1:4 count exercise with Big Boy Sit-ups and Hartsville Hammers. Start with 1 Big Boy and 4 Hammers and end at 10 Big Boys and 40 hammers.



Paraclete or Parakeet ?

At ALM last week we discussed what it means to be a Paraclete.  Paraclete translated into English means counselor, helper, encourager, advocate, or comforter.

Much opposite than a Parakeet who sits around repeating things it has heard typically causing trouble for those who originally said them. You mighty say spreading gossip.

Who is your Paraclete? For who are you the Paraclete ?  Are you a Parakeet ?

Both roles are very important and needed by all men. We need to know who we can turn to in a time of need. We can call on our brothers hear on earth in a time of need and that helps but Jesus is our first and primary Paraclete.


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Green Acres’ Triumphant Return

This was YHC’s first Q since I broke my leg snow skiing while trying to show Bowtie and Little Jack how its done on the slopes. I thought that is what was meant by ripping it up. I was WRONG ! After complaining to Divac at hump day lunch about my workouts being lonely and boring, I decided to sign up to Q. I must admit it was the strange combination of Divac's positive reinforcement and Tater's trash talking that made me do it. It felt good to be back in the center of the circle even if it was on one crutch. Needless to say there would be no running or SSH in this workout. YHC did try to stress the importance of good form on all exercises. Good form will make you stronger and prevent injuries. YHC has learned through his physical therapy sessions that many of us are using poor form on several exercises. We need to improve !

The Warm Up:

Fwd. Pennington's 20 IC

Rev Pennington's  20 IC

Squats 20 IC

Flutter Kicks 30 IC

Big 21

The Main Thang:

Because YHC can  barley walk, we did everything in a tight circle. Each Pax got a Block. Each Exercise was done AMRAP for 1 min. After each exercise, the Pax would get on their six in a circle. We would pass the Block in alternating directions setting the block on the ground to pass it to your neighboring Pax.

Overhead Press

Clockwise Block Circle

Chest Press

Counter Clockwise Block Circle


Clockwise Block Circle

Big Boy Sit-ups with Block

Counter Clockwise Block Circle

Triceps' Extension.

Clockwise Block Circle


Muffin Top Chop 35 IC

Partner leg Throw downs 30 each

Flutter Kicks 40 IC

Captain Thor



The Falcon May 14

Movie Night May 19

Summer Kick Off Party ??

Mole Skin

It is imperative that we use good form in our life. The  We know that poor form in exercise can lead to injury and will not build strength as it should. . It is not just in our exercise that we should focus on our form. The same good form needs to be put into place in every part of our life. Especially when it come to our walk with Christ.

It is better to fail with honor than to win by cheating.



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Block Party at Farsight

The temperatures are dropping and it seems that the numbers posting are dropping some too. Nine men showed up in the gloom to help each other get better. Don't let the Fartsack take control.


SSH  IC 25

Windmills  IC 25

Empirical Walkers IC 25

Mt. Climbers  IC 25

Flutter Kicks  IC 25

FWD Penningtons  IC 15

Rev Penningtons  IC 15

Big 21

The Main Thang:

Mosey to the blocks and partner up.

Round 1

Partner 1 farmer carries both blocks 35 yds to the cones and AMRAP Hartsville Hammers while partner 2 completes 15 burpees then sprints to his partner at the cones. Flapjack. Partner 2 farmer carries the blocks back and AMRAP Hartsville Hammers while waiting for partner 1 to return.

Round 2

Rinse and Repeat switching Hartsville Hammers with Block Curls

Round 3

Rinse and Repeat switching Block Curls with Big Boy Sit ups with the block

Round 4

Rinse and Repeat switching Big Boy sit ups with Chest Press with the block

Round 5

Rinse and Repeat switching Chest Press with Flutter Kicks

Round 6

Rinse and Repeat switching Flutter Kicks with Kettle Bell Swings


Box Cutters IC 25

Captain Thor  1:4 ratio of Big Boy Sit-ups and Hartsville Hammers  1 Big Boy then 4 Hartsville Hammers building up to 10 Big Boys and 40 Hartsville Hammers


Everyone wants to be a success. This is why the "how to be successful books" always sell so well. The simple reality is that failure is an ugly reality of life. Theodore Roosevelt said, "The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything."

The ability for us to handle failure in its various forms and degrees is a vital part of the spiritual life and another sign of maturity. The manor in which a leader meets his own failure will have significant effect on his future leadership abilities.

Our failures, whether in the form of stupid blunders or rebellion, should become tools of learning and stepping stones to success. The point is that we should never let our fear of failure to keep us from tackling a job or trying something that challenges our comfort zone.


Cypress adventures is hosting a fundraising 3 on 3 basketball tournament Saturday Jan 23. Get your teams together. If you cant participate please consider giving a donation.

Please continue to support our new afternoon AO Revolution.

Run groups will meet Friday morning. One group will run from the War Zone and one will be doing speed work at the Byerly Park  track.


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Christmas Eve 2.0 Kickoff

The conditions were wet but that did not deter the crowd. There was a huge turn out for our first Christmas Eve 2.0 workout. YHC definitely got nervous as the crowd began to grow wondering if we would be able to manage such a large group of 2.0s and Dads. The record number of attendees proved to YHC that there is much interest in 2.0 workouts and that this should be perused more in the new year.



Empirical Walkers 20 IC

"The Bow Tie Twist" a jump squat spin thingy.

The Hookey Pokey

The Main Thang:

Bow Tie broke out the ole P.E. Parachute for 10 mins of Burpees and bouncing balls to get things started off right.

Next was an obstacle course relay race. The Pax was split into 2 teams with a mix of 2.0s and Dads on each team. The 2.0 would do 3 Burpees then sprint to the drain pipe and crawl through it . Then sprint to the saw horses and hurtle over. From there they ran to a spot where there were potato sacks, they had to sack hop 20 yds to the end. While the 2.0s were running the course the dads had to Bear Crawl the length of the same course. At the end the Dad would meet the 2.0 and Fireman carry back to the starting line. This continued until everyone had run the course. The loosing team did Burpees.

A four corners exercise was next. The group ran from the War Zone to the corner of Cargill Way and 4th street where we all did the "Whip and Ney Ney". The 2.0s had this well at hand but the dads were struggling. From there we ran to the corner of 4th and Carolina where we did 15 Squats IC and 15 Empirical Walkers IC. Next we headed to the corner of 5th and Carolina stopping in front of the YMCA to do an exercise/dance called "YMCA". All the folks working out with the plastic ferns got a kick out of watching this spectacle.  At the corner of 5th and Carolina we stopped to do 25 LBC's IC. Then it was on to the corner of Carolina and Cargill Way where we did some Merkins before heading back to the COT.

With time running short and a large number of FNGs we decided to go ahead and wrap things up. The Name-O-Roma took roughly 20 mins because we had so many 2.0s who were excited about getting their very own F3 name.


Little Jack delivered a very good Devo about the true meaning of Christmas inspired by The Charlie Brown Christmas Story.

This was a well attended workout and all of the kids and dads had a lot of fun. We laughed and sweated together and the Pax of F3 Hartsville saw how much fun a 2.0 workout can be. YHC was inspired by the smiling faces of all the 2.0s and decided that it is time for us to really step up our 2.0 program. Hopefully we will be able to organize many more workouts like this in the new year.



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Green Acres Returns To The Clinic

It was a pleasure for YHC to be back at the Clinic for a guest Q. This was my first post there since leaving to help launch our newest AO Farsight. Given all the friendly banter between AO’s, YHC wanted to give the men of the Clinic a beat down that they would feel for a day or two. For the record, when them men of Farsight realized that it was me who had invited Bow Tie for a guest Q at Farsight, I was banished from that AO. After much pleading, they may have accepted me back into the fold, but if not I may be a regular at The Clinic again.  The men of The Clinic are with out a doubt a fit bunch of guys. As hard as I tried I could not give them a challenge they couldn’t handle.



Mountain Climbers 25 IC

Empirical Walkers 25 IC

Plank Jacks 25 IC

Forward Pennington's 15 IC

Reverse Pennington's 15 IC

LBC's 25 IC

The Main Thang:

Fast Paced Indian Run to the block pile. Plank of the six.

Each Pax was instructed to get a block and partner up. We lined up facing the long way of the parking lot.

150 reps of four exercises between the teams. While Partner A performed reps, Partner B did 5 right side lifts the Farmers Carried their block to the third set of lights then did 5 Left side lifts before returning to flapjack with their partner.

150 Overhead presses

150 Curls

150 Chest Presses

150  Goblet Squats

Plank-O-Roma on the Six

Leave the blocks and keep the partner

Between the team 100 Merkins. While partner A performed reps partner B held the High Plank. Flapjack until 100 Merkins were completed.

Sprint 150 yds.to the end of the parking lot and back.

Between the team 100 Big Boy Situps. While partner A performed reps partner B held 6 inches. Flapjack until 100 Big Boys were completed.

Sprint 150 yds. to the end of the parking lot and back.

Between the team 100 Prisoner Squats. While partner A performed reps partner B help the Air Chair. Flapjack until 100 Prisoner Squats were completed.

Sprint 1150 yds. to the end of the parking lot and back.

Plank-O- Roma on the Six

Return the blocks to the pile and Mosey back to the COP.


Captain Thor. A 1:4 ratio of Big Boy Sit-ups and Hartsville Hammers. Start with 1 Big Boy Sit-up followed by 4 Hartsville Hammer. This continued until we reached 10 Big Boy Sit-ups and 40 Hartsville Hammers.

By the end of this exercise the Pax were requesting that I return to my home AO. I informed them that after the beat down that Bow Tie delivered to the Farsight men  I was no longer welcome at my home AO so they may be stuck with me.

Mole Skin:

Presents for the adopted Christmas presents need to be wrapped  and brought to the War Zone by Saturday. They will be delivered to the families following The Fox.

HH will be at Vintage this week because of construction at our regular HH AO.

Still time to volunteer for The Fox. There is much to be done so please contact the Q's for The Fox to see what may be needed.


"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

Luke 2: 13-14

With the most popular holiday season upon us, it seems that everyone is trying to get into the Christmas spirit. Stores are lining their shelves with Christmas goodies and décor, TV shows have switched to a theme of giving and love, and Santa is starting to float about. And why shouldn't they, after all it is that time, the meaning of the season, right?

Yet the very first Christmas seemed to do without all of this stuff. Even more amazingly, the very first Christmas involved a poor couple, nobodies, who would lay the most precious child of all in a manger.

Looking at Black Friday, I am constantly reminded how far we have come from the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas wasn't about giving, or feeling love, but it was about true love. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, the savior who came into this world to die... for everyone, even those who killed him. Jesus was God's gift not to the deserving, but to everyone.

Today let us remember the true meaning of Christmas... Peace on earth, Good will towards men, for the SAvior has come to show us how to love, and to give us the greatest gift of love. Instead of buying fancy toys, think of how you can give to those who normally go without. Ask yourself how you can help out others who are not as fortunate as you. Show them the true meaning of Christmas, the gift of God's love, and love others as God first loved you.

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