Archive for June, 2017

Small Group Field Day

Posted in Church, Family outings on June 30th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

After several years off, our small group from church restarted the tradition of holding Field Day. While the events previously involved only adults, now many of us have kids old enough to join in the fun.

Small Group Field Day

Tom did an excellent job at adjusting the games such that adults and kids could all have fun together.


The three-legged race can make it tough to keep your balance.

Don't fall

Jen and I moved so quickly we were a blur for the camera.


The egg spoon relay returned to competition.

Egg spoon relay

Make sure to take breaks and stay hydrated.

Staying hydrated

Having fun

Molly jumped so fast in the sack race that her hat flew off her head.

Sack race

Nice air, Leah.

Nice air

There was a hula hoop chain.

Hula hoop chain

It’s the kids from BF2K7 (well, the three quarters that do not live in Texas, making it difficult to attend Field Day). They’ve grown a bit in the past 10 years.

BF2K7 returns

Dunk the sponge, pass it down, fill the bucket with water. Squeeze well to make sure you get every last drop out of the sponge.

Fill the bucket


Jen got a selfie with the official professional photographer.


Look out, some drops are getting away.

Bucket brigade

Here we all (minus the photographer) are as we transitioned from outdoors to indoors for the indoor games.


Tricycles again made an appearance for dizzy-bat tricycle. Observant readers may recognize the tricycle Leah is sitting on. Two of them were originally purchased for Field Day in 2009. When the day was over, we ended up hanging on to one since we had a toddler, and it became Molly’s tricycle. Then, it became Leah’s tricycle. Then, we handed it down/back to Tom (the original purchaser of the tricycle) since he then had a kid who could use it. And now it’s back at Field Day.


Field Day finished with a giant balloon war.

Balloon war

Thanks to the International Field Day Committee for putting on this awesome event. We hope that it can continue for many years to come.

Molly has no braces!

Posted in Molly on June 29th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Yesterday was the big day - the end of braces for Molly. Just before heading to the orthodontist, I got one last picture of Molly with braces.

End of braces

And a few hours later, she looked like this.

No braces

She still has the bottom bar, and now has a removable retainer for the top that she needs to wear when she’s home. She actually says having nothing on her teeth feels weird, and prefers to wear her retainer as much as possible since it feels more normal to her.

She had braces for exactly 15 months. For context, here’s what she looked like the night before she got her braces back then.

Before braces

It’s hard to see the difference in her overjet from a picture, but it’s huge. Nice smile, Molly.

First carpentry project

Posted in Leah, Molly on June 28th, 2017 by c-had – 1 Comment

The girls love their American Girl dolls. Since Leah’s birthday, they’ve been asking for a triple-decker doll bunk bed. After Christmas, I told them we could build one together. They got very excited about the idea, so we embarked on a long-term project to build one.

We started by getting some graph paper and drawing up some designs. From the designs, we created a materials list. Then we headed to Home Depot to buy wood, screws, and paint (thanks to a Home Depot gift card from G’Mom and Grampa). You’ll have to wait till the end to see what color they picked.

We worked on the project over several weekends. We started work in February, but it was very cold in the garage making it hard to motivate ourselves to make too much progress. We still managed to cut several of the pieces (I was the only one to operate the miter saw, but the girls were excellent helpers). They then sanded all the pieces smooth to get them ready to assemble. I used the router to create slots for the side rails.

In May, it warmed up so we managed to pick up the pace and make some significant progress. They also finally got to use some power tools. They used the drill press to drill holes (with counter-sink).

Carpentry project

Molly made sure to keep the screw straight up as she drove it in with the impact driver.


After a lot of work, we had 3 frames for the 3 beds.


Leah measured how long the slats needed to be so we could cut them.

Measure twice, cut once

And marked where I needed to cut.

Make your mark

And more sanding.


The impact driver works much better if you scrunch up your nose.


Nice job Molly (and nice photobomb, Leah).

Molly too

Once the beds were constructed, it was time to paint them.



We each painted a bed.

Painting each bed

Leah covered the bed well, and her face a little. We put two coats of paint on them (as well as a little touching up).

Face painting

The final step in construction was to drill hole in the top/bottom of the posts and cut dowels to connect them. Here we are with out finished project.

Put together

Jen used her sewing skills to make mattresses, and the dolls were ready to snooze.

Ready to use

Silly one

Another silly one

I loved working on this project, and the girls seemed to really enjoy it as well. I hope we can do it again soon.

Water guns

Posted in Leah, Molly on June 27th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

While Jen was out of town, the girls spent a day with their friend Matilda. They had a water gun fight, and were very excited about getting their own water guns when I picked them up. I of course loved this idea, so we went to 5 Below and picked up some Super Soakers.

Water guns

Schools out

Posted in Leah, Molly, School on June 27th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

The girls finally got out of school on June 14. They love school, but were very excited for summer vacation.

Last day of school


After school, the neighborhood kids again took a picture at the circle, as we’ve done every year.

Neighborhood kids

After the big picture, the 5th graders who are moving up to middle school took a picture on their own. Meanwhile, the other kids snuck off to gather water balloons. The 5th graders went from smiling to soaking in an instant.

Water attack

This, of course, led to an all out water fight.

Water fight

The girls then took a quick picture for me before running to a neighbor’s house for an ice cream party.

End of the school year

Let summer begin!

The return to mission trips

Posted in Church on June 26th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

It’s been several years since I’ve been on a mission trip. We had kids, and getting away with little ones is tough. I’ve been meaning to get back to it for a while, but not able to make it work. This year, my job gave all of us an extra week of vacation, and I knew what I’d use it for.

I went with my church to rural West Virginia for relief work after the big flood from last year. The flood was a year before, but there were still folks in need of help. As they told us, those with means had all fixed their homes, so the only folks still suffering are those without.

The first day was rainy, so we couldn’t go to our planned sites. Instead we worked in a church basement cleaning out, putting up insulation, and laying cinder blocks.

The rest of the trip I worked at a house that had been hit hard by the flood. We finished a porch that had a wheelchair lift, including adding a roof to it. We replaced a large portion of the tin roof on the house, as it was leaking badly. And we added support jacks under part of the house that had pulled away from the rest of the house in the flood.

Porch building


Jacked up

For any Glen Mar folks (or other Marylanders who’d like to go with us) considering a mission trip, this one is really great. I’m used to having the most construction experience on my crew, but this trip was full of experts. We were like a finely oiled machine.

After the work day, we made sure to see a bit of our surroundings. We saw the Summersville Dam and the Summersville Lake.

Summersville Lake

Though I was most excited that it was near Fat Eddie’s where we could get ice cream. This is a large dip cone, and it was delicious (though it took so long to eat that some of my compatriots were getting tired of waiting on me so we could get going).

Fat Eddie's

Another day, we went to see the New River Gorge Bridge, the longest single-span bridge in the world up until a few years ago.

New River Gorge Bridge

Being in West Virginia working to help those in need alongside my fellow believers has reawakened a part of me. It's the most direct feeling of being God's hands and feet I've experienced. I connect with God in a lot of ways, but there's nothing that's anything like a mission trip. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back on a trip, and I look forward to another trip soon.

Memorial Day

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits on June 26th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

For Memorial Day, we had some last minute visitors from afar - Aunt Caroline and Uncle Charles. They joined all the Maryland family at Grams’s house.

After a delicious meal, we made sure to get a few pictures.

Fun with visitors

All of us

Strawberry picking

Posted in Family outings, Leah, Molly on June 25th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Jen likes to take the girls strawberry picking each year. This year, it was a group effort.

Strawberry picking

Stacie and Zach were making grand plans for thier fresh strawberries, including a strawberry pie.

Parents pick too

The girls filled their buckets, then added the strawberries to Mom’s box. The picking was much slower without Dad, G’mom and Grampa this year. Thank goodness we had friends to help out.

Filling Mom's box

About 10 minutes after arriving, light rain started. Molly and Matilda found a unique way to cover up in the field.

Strawberries in the rain

Jen and the girls made a second stop at Woodbourne Creamery at Rock Hill Orchard. It is about 15 minutes from the strawberry field and the homemade ice cream was a perfect snack.

Snack after strawberries

Jen’s birthday

Posted in Celebrations on June 25th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

We celebrated Jen’s birthday on her birthday (yes, more than a month ago, I’m still catching up on posts). Many of us get smaller and smaller presents as we get older, but not Jen. It took both girls and me to carry all of them down for Jen to open on her birthday.

Big presents

Opening presents

It was a kitchen-themed birthday.

Kitchen birthday

Jen chose to go to Stella Notte, a delicious Italian restaurant, for her birthday dinner. The dinner was very good, but the desserts were the best.


Field Day

Posted in Leah, Molly, School on June 24th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

The girls had their Field Day at school, and it was a beautiful day. I volunteered during the younger grades, and was assigned the ring toss station (new station from last year).

Field Day

Jen and I swapped out at lunch time, and Jen worked the bean bag tic-tac-toe for the older kids.

And the face painters this year really did a fantastic job, as you can tell from these happy girls.

Painted faces

Painted faces