Molly

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

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.

Safety monitor

Posted in Molly, School on November 2nd, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly’s school selected some of the more responsible 5th graders to be safety monitors, and she was happy to get the job. So, now we have to get to school early every morning so she can stand at her post (outside Kindergarten) and make sure kids are being safe. She takes her job seriously.

Safety monitor

Safety monitor

Even on Halloween, all dressed up, Molly was ready to be a responsible safety monitor. She wasn’t even thrown by Leah’s photobomb.

Halloween safety monitor

Harry Potter Halloween

Posted in Celebrations, Family outings, Leah, Molly on October 31st, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment
Harry Potter Halloween

For Halloween this year, we all went with Harry Potter costumes (which I am very excited about). I am Remus Lupin (possibly my favorite character), Molly is Luna Lovegood, Leah is Hermione Granger, and Jen is a Quidditch fan.

Harry Potter costumes

Harry Potter costumes

The girls really got into character. They even had a wizard duel.

Wizard duel

And they cast their spells. I don’t think they’re trying to hurt each other, given the smiles on their faces.

Cast your spells

On Halloween day, the girls had a Halloween parade at school as usual.

Halloween parade

Halloween parade

Then they had their class parties. And perhaps even took some time to learn something afterward.

As evening approached, it was time for some serious trick-or-treating. This year, Molly’s friend Grace joined our crew of trick-or-treaters.

Trick-or-treating crew

We trick-or-treated for about an hour.

Trick-or-treating

Jen handed out candy this year while I walked around with the girls. We didn’t have very many trick-or-treaters visit us early on, so we thought it might be a light Halloween. But eventually they showed up, totaling 139 trick-or-treaters this year.

Trick-or-treating

After returning home, Grace really wanted to keep going. Leah was done, but Molly agreed to go back out after thirty minutes of warming up and eating candy. So, Grace, Molly, and I headed back out to a street further than we've been before. This was later than we’ve trick-or-treated before, and Molly learned that late-night trick-or-treating can be awesome as folks are trying to unload candy. Every time someone said “just take a couple handfuls” she was very happy. She ended up filling up her pumpkin twice by the end of the night.

Pumpkin carving

Posted in Leah, Molly on October 31st, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

We’ve been really busy of late, and failed to get to carving pumpkins until our last chance. So, Monday night (October 30), after homework was finished, we finally tackled them.

The girls started the pumpkin carving off by cutting open the tops.

Pumpkin carving

After scooping the guts out, the girls both applied their designs. Leah opted for a unicorn printout which she transferred to the pumpkin by poking holes through it with an awl. Molly had a Harry Potter pumpkin photo she found that she free-hand drew on her pumpkin.

Designs

Poking

Drawing

Molly had to be really careful with the Harry Potter glasses, as they have large pieces that are only attached by a small bit.

Cutting

Leah had lots of zig-zags in her unicorn’s mane.

Cutting

Cutting

Cutting

And here are their finished products - Molly’s Harry Potter pumpkin and Leah’s unicorn pumpkin.

Finished product

Pumpkins

Six Flags again

Posted in Family outings, Leah, Molly on October 30th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

It may have taken us a long time for finally go to our local Six Flags, but it didn’t take long before we headed back again. Six Flags had a Bring a Friend Free day, and Zach and Stacie were kind enough to offer to bring us. So, after church we headed there for fun again. After lunch, our first stop was the Ragin Cajun.

Six Flags again

The dads got to ride as well, though we were relegated to the car after the kids.

Dads too

The ride Leah most wanted to ride again was Wonder Woman. Jen and I were again happy to stand by and not ride this high spinner.

Wonder Woman

We rode lots of other rides, but I didn’t get pictures of them as most of them were the same ones we rode before. Molly continued loving roller coasters, and even added one beyond what she’d rode before. She was worried about riding Apocalypse (it’s a standing coaster), and said she didn’t want to ride it. Then Stacie bet her a dollar to ride it, and she of course did. She ended up saying it was her favorite ride of the day, and we ended up riding it a second time on the way out.

We left the park right as Fright Fest was starting, and our girls were ready to get out of the park then. Lots of zombies and other scary folks start wandering the park terrorizing guests, which was not their idea of fun. Next time we may have to leave a couple minutes earlier to avoid them entirely.

Thanks so much to Zach and Stacie for bringing us along.

Putt-putt fun

Posted in Family outings, Family visits, Leah, Molly on October 28th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

In September we had visitors from a far away land. Emmie, JJ, Aunt ‘Chelle, and Uncle J flew up to spend a couple days with us. While they were here, we went for a fun outing of putt-putt. We split into two foursomes, with the girls requesting me to accompany them while JJ and the other adults made up the other foursome. There was some intense concentration.

Putt-putt

Jen putting

The girls had fun golfing, but also got a bit of time to relax while waiting on the other group to catch up.

Relaxing on the green

It was fun!

Golfers

Silly golfers

The putt-putt course is right next to Rita’s, so we had to stop in for a treat.

After golf treat

Brown stripe test

Posted in Molly, Sports on October 16th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Back at the end of August, Molly tested for her brown stripe. This is the precursor to testing for her brown belt (4 months later), which is a big milestone. As you can see, she’s serious.

Brown stripe test

She keeps getting better at sparring.

Sparring

Sparring

Sparring

Two and a half hours later (these tests are long), she got it!

Brown stripe

Hug

Congratulations to all the testers!

All the testers

That brown stripe is the last little step before going for her brown belt, which means a lot more responsibility (including being an assistant teacher in classes).

Happy with success

School finally arrives

Posted in Leah, Molly, School on September 5th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

After an extra long summer with lots of trips (one of which I’ll post about soon), school finally started in Maryland today. Leah is now in second grade, and Molly is a fifth grader ready to begin her last year in elementary school. It’s hard to believe that this time next year she’ll be a middle schooler.

First day of school

We took our usual kids on the block picture before the first day of school. Several of the kids from previous years have moved on to middle school, but we’ve still got a good crowd.

Kids on the block

There was a lot of excitement at school, including the wildcat and a TV news crew. The girls (and their friends) got a picture with the wildcat.

Wildcat pic

We’re excited for a fun new school year!

The eclipse

Posted in Family outings, Leah, Molly on August 24th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

We saw the eclipse! Well, at least the 80% eclipse that Maryland got. We did not travel long and far to full totality like some of you. Instead we traveled 10 minutes to our local library branch. I even got a picture of the eclipse with this contraption.

Photographing the eclipse

I wasn’t sure if I could photograph the eclipse, but I ended up pulling it off. I didn’t have a proper solar filter, so I used eclipse glasses and some gaffer tape to hold it on. Picture taken with my Panasonic GX7 (Micro Four Thirds), a cheap old Canon FD 300mm lens on an old Canon FD 2x tele extender, attached with a cheap Micro Four Thirds to Canon FD adapter. With the 2x crop sensor, that’s a 1200mm full frame equivalent, so the sun filled much of the frame. Here it is at its peak.

Eclipse

OK, enough photography geekery. Stacie brought Simon and Matilda (and a friend) to join in the fun, so we got to hang out with them two days in a row.

Viewing

Looking up

Eclipse viewers

How did we end up at the library? Well, that’s a longer story similar to some of yours. We originally thought we’d just watch the eclipse at our house, but we didn’t think about getting solar glasses for the eclipse until a week beforehand, when they were impossible to find.

The Robinson Nature Center nearby said they were getting a shipment of glasses on Wednesday and would say when they arrived on their Facebook page. Jen watched it throughout the day and jumped in the car with the girls when the message went out that they had arrived. Sadly, they were sold out before she arrived. Apparently a bunch of people just hung out at the center waiting for them to arrive, and they were sold out within 10 minutes.

Our library handed them out at all branches the Saturday before at 11:00. Leah and I got there 30 minutes early, but the line was already giant (this is just a small portion of it). I’d guess over a thousand people. Only the first couple hundred got glasses, which did not include us.

Search for solar glasses

The library was also hosting an eclipse viewing party where they would have some more glasses for use, so we decided to make that our last ditch effort to see the eclipse. Given our previous experiences with getting glasses, we got there at 12:30 (party started at 2:00). We found there was already a pretty long line, and it just kept getting longer. Eventually, they gave out tickets for each pair of glasses they had, and we were fortunate to be far enough forward to get tickets. We ended up just taking half the glasses we were allotted, though, to help out with huge number of people who didn’t get tickets. Here’s a view of the party on the front lawn of the library.

Eclipse party

We all enjoyed experiencing the eclipse, and were glad we managed to do it. We even topped off the fun with a sweet treat. The library is just down the street from a Rita’s. Since we’d failed to get custard at the Rita’s in Six Flags, this was a good chance to make up for that failure. Yum.