Archive for December, 2017

GT Sinfonia Fall Concert

Posted in Extracurriculars, Molly, Music on December 11th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

This year, Molly auditioned for and was accepted into the GT Sinfonia. This is a countywide orchestra that is very difficult to get into. They have a 2 hour rehearsal every week at one of the local middle schools. They had their first concert after only 7 rehearsals, and they were phenomenal as you can see here. The first two songs I recorded up close, and the second two are wider to see the whole group.



Sinfonia concert

And here are a few pictures from before the concert started. Most of the kids were very serious when they came out to play. Molly… not so much.

Excited

Fake crying

Nice face

Walk to Bethlehem

Posted in Church on December 10th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Every year (for the past 10 years), our church has put on Walk to Bethlehem. This is a walk-through event where folks can experience the Christmas story. All four of us participated this year, with some new and fun roles.

A lot of people come through, and at times there can be a few hundred people waiting to get in outside. So, the church has a tent with chairs and entertainment alternating between music and magic. I was one of the entertainers, playing guitar and singing Christmas songs. It was warmer than it’s been in previous years, though my fingers were still numb by the end of each of my sets.

Jen worked a tent in the Bethlehem marketplace making macramé bracelets.

Bethlehem marketplace

Leah again worked the animal tent in the marketplace, helping patrons with little animals like hamsters and a hedgehog.

Bethlehem animal tent

This year Molly got her first larger role at Walk to Bethlehem. She played the child in the Simeon scene (when baby Jesus was presented at the temple).



Simeon scene

Baby Jesus looks a lot like Pastor Jen’s new baby.

Simeon scene

If any of you want to see Molly in another role, make sure to come to the 9:30am or 11:00am service on Christmas Eve at Glen Mar. I think she’ll be wonderful.

Tennessee Thanksgiving

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits, Field trips on December 9th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

For Thanksgiving, we went to visit G’Mom and Grampa, who live outside of Memphis, Tennessee. This is usually a flying trip for us, but I wanted to try driving it. I really hate flying, and Thanksgiving crowds make it all the worse. Since Jen got a nice new car last year, road trips have become much more comfortable. So, I managed to convince Jen to give driving a shot.

It’s too far to do in one day, so we stayed at a hotel in Abingdon, Virginia. We ended up with between 8 and 9 hours driving each day. We left Monday after school and got in Tuesday before dinner. I thought the driving was great. My family members were less enthusiastic, but they admitted it wasn’t that awful.

Wednesday afternoon, Emmie, JJ, Aunt ‘Chelle, and Uncle J arrived. Tennessee was having a cold snap (meaning it was about normal for us Marylanders), so the kids all had some hot cocoa.

Tennessee Cocoa

Thanksgiving was super special this year. G’Mom’s birthday fell on Thanksgiving day this year, which meant we got to celebrate with her.

Happy birthday G'Mom

Lots of music happened while we were in Tennessee. Molly and Leah even got introduced to JJ’s drum set. They teamed up to try them out, accompanying Emmie.

Drumming pair

Before our Thanksgiving meal, the kids helped Grampa set up the manger scene outside.

Manger setup

The girls decided they needed to ride the manger animals.

Riding the animals

Here’s the finished scene (with Grampa hiding in the background).

Finished scene

There was of course much eating on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving meal

After eating, we took some family pictures (which you won’t find here) in front of the manger scene. Then we decided to take part in the scene, with everyone playing the part of one of the characters in the scene. Looks like the best live nativity I’ve ever seen.

Acting the part

These kids do have fun together.

Fun together

We finished Thanksgiving day with a concert including a violin/viola duet (which they practiced only a couple times briefly before performing), piano, violin, viola, and the Long family trio.

There was one more bit of excitement on Thanksgiving day. The kitchen sink decided to stop draining, meaning we couldn’t wash the dishes from Thanksgiving dinner. We ended up disconnecting the pipes, draining into a bucket, and washing by hand (occasionally emptying the bucket in a nearby bathroom). Thanksgiving plumbing problems are fun!

Friday morning, we decided to head to IHOP for breakfast instead of creating dishes. The girls thought it was amazing (they split red velvet pancakes).

IHOP breakfast

Thankfully, the plumber came out that morning and cleared the clog, so the kitchen resumed operation.

Friday afternoon Emmie, JJ, Uncle J, and Aunt ‘Chelle headed back to Alabama. Afterward, Grampa and I picked up a Christmas tree. The girls enjoyed helping decorate it.

Tree decorating

Tree decorating

I don’t think Leah is sure about the placement of this ornament.

Up high

The girls liked these ornaments so much, G’Mom and Grampa said they could keep them.

Ornaments for the road

Saturday we got up and hit the road for the drive back. Sadly, that meant we could not watch the Iron Bowl (where Auburn defeated #1 Alabama to win the SEC West), but we did enjoy listening to the broadcast in the car on our drive to our hotel. The drive home had a bit of traffic, but was mostly uneventful and took us almost the exact amount of time that it took to drive down.

Family Lego Night

Posted in Leah, Molly, School on December 8th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

The girls’ school had Family Lego Night again, (renamed from Legos with Dad to be more inclusive). As always, the girls had a great time building.

Family Lego Night

Family Lego Night

Family Fun Fair

Posted in Church, Leah on December 7th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Our church held a Family Fun Fair, with lots of fair games and food. We ate dinner there, saw lots of friends, and the kids really enjoyed the fair games. Here’s Leah on the cupcake walk.

Family Fun Fair

Jen had made cupcakes for the cupcake walk, but Leah opted for the emoji cupcake instead.

Emoji cupcake

Many of the games let you win tickets which could be exchanged for prizes. Our kids ended up with way too many prizes, but our neighbors (who have 3 kids) ended up with even more. Bob was excited to carry them all home (though he doesn’t have the giant beachball yet in this picture).

Lots of toys

This was the church’s first year doing it, but I really hope the organizers keep it going every year. It was lots of fun.

Singing together

Posted in Church, Leah, Molly, Music on December 6th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Most of the time, the girls are in two different choirs at church due to their age difference. But there’s an occasional year where they overlap, and this year is one of those years. Leah is now old enough to join Joyful Noise, and Molly won’t move up to middle school till next year. So, they get to sing together. Here’s there first performance in October.

In November, they sang again. I even got to accompany them on the second song.