Archive for January, 2014

Winter Storm Janus fun

Posted in Leah, Molly, Video on January 24th, 2014 by c-had – 2 Comments

Tuesday we were hit hard by Winter Storm Janus. It was a teacher work day, so Molly already had no school. She planned to go over to a nearby friend’s house to play. Little did we know she and Jen would be walking through so much falling snow.

More snow

A few hours later I walked down to walk Molly home. We decided to walk back through the back yards (that’s our porch down on the right). The snow had gotten up to 5 or 6 inches at this point.

Heading home

I chose to walk on the relatively flat ground, but Molly instead chose to walk along the top of the hill. This meant that when she got to our house, she got to run down the hill through the snow. What could be more fun?

Running through the snow

The snow kept falling into the night, which meant the following day was the fourth day off school due to snow in this school year. First task - make a snow angel. Looks like we got a lot of snow this time.

Snow day number 4

Leah made a snowman ruler at school to measure the snow. Looks like we got 8 inches, which is conveniently the maximum length this ruler can measure.


Then it was time for some sledding. For some odd reason, Leah decided she was scared of sledding (despite having done it many times before). She did sled down twice with me, and admitted that it was really fun and only a little bit scary, but still refused to sled any more. Molly, on the other hand, was happy to sled over and over again.

Later that day, Molly headed back out to sled with some other kids while Leah was sleeping. She was happy to find her friend Ariana to play with.

More sledding

There were lots of other kids there as well. This is the back yard a few houses down from us.

Lots of kids

Despite not looking very fancy, these sleds can really move.

Go Molly

She’s moving too fast for my camera here as she starts to stop at the bottom of the hill.

Too fast for me

Unfortunately the fun had to end. Thursday sent Molly and Leah back to school (though after a 2 hour delay), which meant no more playing in the snow. The snow's not going anywhere right now, though, as it's been incredibly cold with temperatures starting the day around 5° and rarely getting above 15°. We're forecasted for a bit more snow tomorrow, so there may be more fun winter play to come.

Rainy day, time to play

Posted in Molly on January 11th, 2014 by c-had – 1 Comment

It’s much warmer today, but it’s been raining all day. I figure that means it’s a good day to stay inside, but Molly had other ideas. Time to play in the rain. When playing in the rain, don’t forget the importance of getting a taste.

Rainy day

Playing in the rain wouldn’t be complete without jumping in puddles (or in this case, the stream of water running down the hill). She's ready to lift off.

Ready to jump

Nice jump, Molly. Always important to bend the knees on the landing.

Good jump

There wasn’t enough splash on the first jump. This is much better.

Better splash

When the water’s really flowing, there’s no need to jump. Just stand there and let the water rush over your feet.

Or just stand

She stayed out for quite a while and had a great time. By the time she came back in, she was pretty soaked.

Happy birthday Aunt EA

Posted in Celebrations on January 8th, 2014 by c-had – Be the first to comment

We joined together with my family at Grams’s house to celebrate Aunt EA’s birthday. As she did last year, Grams made strawberry cupcakes - some with frosting and some without (since Aunt EA is crazy enough to prefer no frosting).

Happy birthday Aunt EA

Make a wish.

Make a wish

What was it?

What was it?

Time to open presents!


It’s a cutting board! How exciting! Just look at Molly’s face. OK, maybe a cutting board is more exciting for a 30-something than a 6 year old.

An exciting cutting board

Happy birthday Aunt EA! It's a big one. Your age no longer fits into 5 bits. You now require 6 bits. In binary terms, this is the biggest birthday until 64. ;)

Snow day number 3

Posted in Leah, Molly on January 7th, 2014 by c-had – Be the first to comment

After a quiet New Year, Molly headed back to school on Thursday January 2nd for a short two day week. That short week was cut in half when it snowed all Thursday afternoon and night, giving her a snow day on Friday. The girls were excited to get out and play in it.

This is the first snow day since Jen got the girls some snow pants. They were very excited to be able to play in the snow and not have soaking wet pants within minutes. Here they are ready for some fun.

Snow day number 3

I didn’t get to play in the snow since this was a work day, but Jen went with them. Unlike the girls, she does not have any fancy snow pants. So, one of the little boys (Zane) down the street asked her:

Zane: "Are you wearing jeans?"
Jen: "Yes."
Zane: "Why aren't you wearing snow pants?"
Jen: "Because I don't have any yet."
Zane: Looks confused.

I guess Jen and I need some snow pants.

I peeked out the window a bit later to see how they were doing, and found them on their way home from a few doors down after some fun sledding and playing with other kids.

Heading back

The next day, after a morning of ballet, Molly was eager to get out in the snow again. Leah went down for a nap, and Molly wandered to a friend’s house to see if she wanted to play. She wasn’t able to, but Molly was undeterred and joined in with some other kids a few doors down.

Play day number 2

She stayed out playing in the snow for several hours. There were a couple girls early on, but by the end it was just Molly and 5 boys. It was the first time we’ve let her sled without one of us around (though we peeked our head out the back door every few minutes). She did great, though, and kept going until she had completely turned into an icicle.

Sledding fun

Three snow days off school already. If things keep up like this, they're going to be in school until July. In the mean time, the girls have been making the most of all the snow in our very hilly neighborhood.

A budding artist and future model

Posted in Kid crafts, Molly, School on January 6th, 2014 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Today, Molly's starting an art class after school. Molly loves art, and goes through paints, colored pencils, and crayons like they're going out of style. And Leah loves art as well.

So, after returning home from Birmingham with some brand new paints, the girls were ready to get to it. After a bit, Molly decided to paint a picture of Leah. So, Leah posed as the model for Molly to paint. She did a good job posing for a long tie while Molly painted her. After Molly was done, they reversed roles.

Painter and model

The end of the trip

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits, Trip on January 4th, 2014 by c-had – Be the first to comment

After the large family celebration, we headed back to Aunt 'Chelle and Uncle J's house. Shortly after arriving there, the power went out. But that didn’t stop G’Mom from reading a story to her granddaughters before bed. Molly and Leah were happy to provide a little light from their iPhones.

Reading by iPhone light

The next morning, Molly switched from listener to reader, reading to G'Mom from her new Amelia Bedelia book.

Reading roles reversed

That day included church, a relaxing afternoon, and celebrating Christmas with Jen's Uncle Ted and Aunt Jeannie (sorry, no pictures).

The next morning began with beignets for breakfast. Leah, I think you’ve got some powdered sugar on your nose. Either that or we need to start looking into rehab facilities.


JJ loved the beignets, and ate a bunch. That is, until Emmie showed him how to pick up the powdered sugar with his fingers. Then he was happy to stick to the sugar and avoid the beignet itself.

Powdered sugar

I call this the Juncle gym. Get it - a cross between “Uncle J” and “jungle gym”. OK, I’ll stop.

Juncle gym

One more celebration - Grampa’s birthday (a day early). Happy birthday, Grampa.

Grampa's birthday

Then we headed to the airport to fly back home, thus ending the week of celebrations. They were lots of fun, but I was happy to sleep in the next morning.

Batson Family Christmas

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits, Trip on January 3rd, 2014 by c-had – Be the first to comment

After a busy morning, we headed to Uncle Rick and Aunt Roxanne’s house for the extended Batson family Christmas celebration. Here’s everyone in attendance.

The whole family

Per tradition, we had to take a silly one as well.

The silly one

Dot decided to start a conga line.

Conga line

We draw names for gift exchange. Maggie drew Leah, and her gifts included a few books. She may not have expected that Leah would require an immediate reading of them.

Reading time

Leah also got a monkey hat with some mittens. She enjoyed wearing them, but she also enjoyed trying to put them on cousin Mike.

Monkeying around

Here she is wearing her monkey hat herself.

Nice hat, Leah

Mike also got a hug from that monkey.

Monkey hug

Update: I’ve been informed that this was not a hug at all. This is actually an attack, in which Leah’s monkey gloves are eating Mike’s shirt.

Uncle J and Leah played a duet on the piano.

A little piano

Leah had an accident requiring an outfit change, but we had no clothes for her to change into. Thankfully, I'd gotten a t-shirt for one of my gifts, which made a nice dress for Leah.

Costume change

It was great to see everyone. Being so far away, we don't get to see them very often. Thanks so much to Rick and Roxanne for hosting.

More presents

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits, Trip on January 2nd, 2014 by c-had – Be the first to comment

The next morning, we moved on to opening presents with Jen’s parents and their descendants. We got to it pretty quickly as the day was packed with things to do.

As the youngest, JJ got to be first in the rotation.

Opening presents

Jen made JJ a dinosaur sweatshirt. He loved it, and just kept saying “dinosaur” over and over. He also loved that it had pockets, though he needed a little help getting in and out of them.


Jen made her mom some lovely napkins.

Napkins for Susan

The girls love opening presents.


Leah wanted to hug G'Mom and Grampa to thank them. I'm not sure about her face here. She really was happy to hug Grampa.


Jen also made JJ a car play mat. After taking the cars for a spin, JJ is intently putting them back in the garage.


JJ loved this wooden toolbox, as did the girls. They all played with it a bunch over the course of the trip.


We've been in Alabama for less than 24 hours, but it's been action packed and will continue to be. So, Leah decided to go down to the basement to watch a movie by herself for a little down time. As an introvert myself, I can relate.

Break time

While Leah watched, the others played with their new toys. Meanwhile, the adults got ready for the next gathering...

On to Birmingham

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits, Trip on January 1st, 2014 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Less than 48 hours after we finished opening presents, we were on a plane headed to Alabama to keep on celebrating. The girls sat with me as always. And of course, it’s important to review all the safety procedures before taking off.

Safety first

The first stop on arriving in Birmingham was to go see Great Grandma Dot. She’s recently moved into a new place in the Alzheimer's unit where she lives, so we went by to check it out.

Great Grandma visit
Jen and Dot

Our next stop was Aunt ‘Chelle and Uncle J’s house, where the entire Batson family gathered for an evening soiree. JJ loves his Grampa, especially when he’s giving him snacks.

Party time

I think Grampa’s about to get this little cutie from behind.


He got him.

Got him

Leah loved hanging out with the single ladies, especially Maggie.

Big girls

Emmie may only be four, but she kept the older girls giggling with her stories of her boyfriend.

Gossip girl

Leah captured the attention of Sadie and Mary with some interactive learning on the iPad.

iPad fun

JJ’s already got a knack for the harmonica.

Blues brother

OK, maybe he needs a little more practice before we call him an expert.

Wrong way

That's all I've got for the first day of our trip, but there was still a lot more family and celebrating to come.