Celebrating again (and again)

Posted in Celebrations, Leah, School on September 23rd, 2014 by c-had – Be the first to comment

After much celebration, Leah’s actual birthday finally arrived. After lunch, her mom and dad took her to Yogi Castle for a sweet birthday treat.

Birthday treat

Later that day (after Molly got home from school), Leah had a few more presents to open on her actual birthday. Happy birthday Leah!

Birthday presents

The day after her birthday, Leah got to be the birthday girl at school. Here she is enjoying her class singing Happy Birthday to her.

Birthday at school

Snack time is better on your birthday.

Birthday snack

Leah wanted to make sure she got a birthday picture with her buddy.

Birthday friend

The end.

Cannot forget the singing

Posted in Celebrations, Leah on September 22nd, 2014 by c-had – 1 Comment

You already saw the pictures of the party, but I neglected to post the singing. So, here you go. Enjoy!

A mermaid party for a five year old

Posted in Celebrations, Leah on September 18th, 2014 by c-had – 2 Comments

After church on Sunday, it was time for Leah’s mermaid party. Of course, there were lots of decorations. I’ll show you a few close up, but for now make sure to notice the seaweed and bubbles on the wall, and something interesting hanging from the ceiling.


Leah told Jen she wanted her cake to be chocolate and vanilla, because some of her friends liked chocolate and some liked vanilla. So, Jen obliged. She baked a 3 layer cake, with 1 chocolate cake layer, 1 vanilla cake layer, and 1 chocolate/vanilla swirl layer. Of course, Jen also added fancy decorations.

The cake

Jen also made a fancy mermaid banner for the occasion.

The banner

Hanging from the ceiling were jellyfish that Jen and the girls made. By putting them right under the lights, the glowed above us.


Once all the guests arrived, Jen entertained the with a reading of Mermaid Sister.


After the reading, the girls made seashell necklaces.

Seashell necklaces

The girls were very still while they focused on stringing their necklaces with beads.

Threading beads






After the necklaces, we moved outside to make some sand art. This involved a little parental assistance.

Sand art

Help from Mom

After all those crafts, the girls needed a snack. Jen prepared fancy snacks from under the sea, including sand dollar cookies, seaweed grapes, star fish cheese crackers, and goldfish.

Snack time

Jen also made a starfish piñata, per Leah’s request. This was Jen’s first piñata. Here it is hung up and ready to be attacked.


Leah was happy to get the first couple of whacks in.

First hit

It didn’t take long before it broke off its string. So, the girls attacked it on the ground. I love Leah’s war cry here, though using two hands might inflict a bit more damage.

The piñata is down

One of the smallest of Leah’s friends ended up being the toughest. She hit harder than anyone and pushed the piñata almost to its end.

Strong little one

It’s raining candy. Can you catch it?

Raining candy

Then it was time for cake. Yum.


After cake, the girls blew some mermaid bubbles.

Bubble time

Soon after I started taking pictures of the bubble blowers, they decided I would make a good target. So, I was attacked by bubbles.


My view of the bubble attack.

My view

You probably already noticed them in all the other pictures, but all the girls are wearing mermaid tails sewn by Jen.

Mermaid tails

We didn’t open presents at the party as we had so many other fun activities to do. But afterward Leah was very excited about all the fun gifts her friends gave her.

More presents

The party was lots of fun for all involved. Thanks to Jen for putting in so much effort to make it great, and to all the girls who came.

Let the celebrating begin

Posted in Celebrations, Leah on September 17th, 2014 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Jen asked Leah over and over where she wanted to go out to dinner with family to celebrate her birthday. She always had the same answer. Chick-fil-A. It is not only delicious, but includes a toy (it’s a bug light).

Fancy dinner

We purposely went to the least busy Chick-fil-A in the area, which worked out well. Here’s the whole crew enjoying the fancy birthday dinner.

Big crew

After dinner, we went to Grams’s house to open presents. Aunt EA and Uncle Scott upheld their standard of fun singing cards. This one even includes a dancing mustache.

Presents and cards

After presents, it was time for cupcakes.


One of Leah’s gifts was a set of tiny Frozen characters. I told her I would extract them from their packaging while she was sleeping. Once they got out, they posed for a picture.


Thus endeth the first day of celebration. But twas not the last.

Grandparent visit

Posted in Family visits, Leah, Molly on September 16th, 2014 by c-had – 1 Comment

G’Mom and Grampa came into town to celebrate Leah’s birthday. And since Friday was a day off of school, the girls had plenty of time to play with them. First stop - a playground. Grampa couldn’t bear to let Molly be taller than him, so he gave these trees a climb as well.

Grandparent visit

Later, G’Mom and Grampa got to see Leah do some gymnastics.


Grampa got a sweet hug from Leah during a short activity break back at our house.

Sweet hug

They then headed to the school to ride their bikes on the blacktop and play on the playground. Leah likes to keep her helmet on so she can jump back on her bike whenever she likes.

School playground

How long do you think G’Mom can stay on this log roll?


Saturday included some games. Leah’s excited for winning this round of Crazy Eights.

Saturday games

Next up was a game of Hedbanz.


Next stop - pottery painting. Molly chose to paint this monster box.

Pottery painting

Leah painted this magic wand.

Magic wand

After the girls finished, they waited for Jen to finish painting her plate. Getting the details right takes time.


That was a lot of activities, but it was just the warm-up. We hadn't even started celebrating the birthday yet.

Karate class in action

Posted in Leah, Molly, Sports on September 13th, 2014 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Since the previous post on karate did not include shots of the actual class, I took a few at their second class to give you a better idea. Here’s Leah practicing her punch.

Karate class

And here she is practicing her high block.

High block

Molly is learning her stances and punches.


Molly’s foot is moving too fast for my camera.

Quick kick

Nice punch form, Molly.

Nice punch

Last first day of preschool

Posted in Leah, School on September 12th, 2014 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Monday was Leah’s first day of her last year of preschool. Here she is, ready to go.

First day of preschool

For comparison, here she is on her first day last year.

First day of school

Note that Leah has redecorated her duck bag for this year. Last year’s glued on gems did not stay glued on very well. So, Jen cleaned it off and Leah started fresh. Note that it includes pictures of her sister and cousins.

Last year:

Duck bag

This year:

New decorations

Preschool party

Posted in Celebrations, Leah, School on September 11th, 2014 by c-had – 1 Comment

Last year, we hosted a Back to School BBQ for Leah's preschool class. This year, Jen decided to change it up and switch to an ice cream party. Yet again, we had around 60 people (a bit under this year) at our house.

Preschool party

Immediately upon arrival, the kids decided running or rolling down the steep hill in our back yard was a fun activity.

Hill rolling

We supplied the ice cream and everyone else brought lots of toppings. While everyone couldn't fit in the kitchen to fill their bowls at one time, here's a shot at the initial onslaught.

Ice cream

We fixed bowls inside, but then headed outside to eat. It was very nice in the shade on the porch.

Chowing down

Some decided that the hill was not just for running/rolling, but also for eating ice cream.

Alternate seating

After ice cream, there was a lot of playing. This included frisbee throwing. It only got stuck on the roof twice.


The hill is not just for running, rolling, or eating ice cream. It can also create new sports. Here the kids put the soccer goal at the bottom, carried soccer balls to the top, then rolled them down toward the goal like a bowling ball. I call it hillside soccer bowling.

Hillside soccer bowling

While many of the kids played outside, many others packed into our basement playroom for some fun with toys.

Packed basement

The party was a lot of fun. It's a bit sad to know that this is the last beginning of preschool we'll ever celebrate. But we'll just focus on the fun year of preschool we've got ahead of us instead of thinking about that.

Back-to-School picnic

Posted in Leah, Molly, School on September 10th, 2014 by c-had – Be the first to comment

As they do every year, Molly's school had their back-to-school picnic. Leah couldn't wait to get her face painted.

Face painting

Molly got her face painted after Leah, which gave Leah plenty of time to check out her reflection.

Molly too

Face painting, complete. The girls were actually very excited about the result, despite their faces.

End result

Molly participated in the hula hoop contest. She didn't win, but had a lot of fun.

Hula hoop contest

These four friends had a lot of fun together.


The picnic even had a green screen photo booth to put you on exotic backgrounds.

Green screen

And here's a look at what the photo booth spit out for the girls.

Photo booth

Preschool prelude

Posted in Leah, School on September 9th, 2014 by c-had – Be the first to comment

The Friday before the first day of preschool meant it was time for a classroom visit. Leah was excited to see the new ponies and trains to play with.

Preschool prelude

Here's Leah with 3 of her teachers. Sadly, number 4 was sick. We hope you feel better soon.


We're looking forward to a great final year of preschool.