Archive for April, 2014

A night out

Posted in Food on April 8th, 2014 by c-had – 1 Comment

With G’Mom and Grampa in town, they let us head out for a fancy dinner at Woodberry Kitchen. This picture is in honor of E.A. and Scott, my sister and brother-in-law, as they love to post this pose again and again.

Fancy dinner

Dinner was fun. Lots of creative, farm-to-table yummy food.

Fun dinner

Hooray for our first fancy dinner out in a while.

Final moments

Posted in Celebrations, Molly on April 7th, 2014 by c-had – 1 Comment

The birthday party was so action-packed, there was no time for opening presents. So, after everyone left, Molly tore into them. She got lots of great presents, but the biggest one of all stood almost as tall as her. What could be in this giant present from Grams?

A big present

The number 1 item on Molly’s wish list - a telescope. One of her friends gave her a space book as well, so she’s ready to explore the universe.

A telescope

Of course, what birthday would be complete without a photo-op with the maternal grands?

With grands

Girls and Dolls

Posted in Celebrations, Molly on April 6th, 2014 by c-had – 2 Comments

For her seventh birthday, Molly decided she wanted an American Girl tea party. Something fancy and fun and all the guests could bring their dolls with them. Of course, girls were welcome to bring any doll - not just American Girl ones.

It's birthday time

Party prep

We created a banquet table for all 14 girls. Jen added the fancy decorations and place settings. She fixed fruit, muffins, turkey croissants, scones, and strawberry wafer cookies and stacked them on three-tier serving plates.

The table is set

Molly requested chocolate cupcakes with pink icing. Jen obliged (but next time, no fancy pink wrappers that stained her baking pans and proved more difficult to unwrap!).

Superstar cupcakes

While brainstorming about the party, I thought the girls would have fun having a doll fashion show. They could dress up their dolls, walk them down the runway, and have their picture taken along the way by the photographer (me). So, I built this doll runway out of some plywood and 2x4’s, then Jen made a skirt and covering for it.

Doll runway


The party began with a craft that the girls could work on as they arrived. Jen showed them how to make rainbow tutus for their dolls.

The party begins

Haley was very focused on making her tutu.

Busy working

Tea time

After making doll tutus, it was time for tea. Well, they didn’t actually drink tea. They had the option of hot apple cider or pink lemonade. Many actually chose the apple cider, though quite a few changed their minds after tasting the warm drink.

Tea time

While the girls had tea, their dolls waited patiently on the couch with their bags in front of them.

Waiting room

Grace and Molly toast to a new year of life. May 7 be even more fun than 6.


The girls loved the goodies Jen had made. Abigail even asked Jen for the recipe for the scones.


As the girls had tea, the weather outside took an unexpected turn. We were expecting to have a rainy but relatively warm day. So, we were very surprised to look out the window during the party to find this. It ended up snowing most of the rest of the day, though it had been so warm that it all turned to slush quickly.


After tea, it was time for cupcakes and candles.

Bracelet making

After tea and cupcakes, we moved on to another craft - making bracelets. The girls each made two - one sized for them and another sized for their doll.

Bracelet making

They picked beads out and strung them on clear plastic strands.


You have to be very careful to ensure the beads are close together but don’t bump out of place.

Twin bracelets

No goofing off here. Everyone is head down, hard at work.


Some of the beads had letters on them, which meant we all spent a lot of time searching for certain letters to spell names.

Letter search
Hard at work

I don’t know how Haley pulls off this tongue trick.

Nice trick

Yes, it’s time for girls to make silly faces at the camera.

Camera faces

Nice face Molly. And nice job trying to steal the shot, Grace.


Fashion show

Next, all the girls got their dolls dressed for the fashion show. We have lots of doll clothes, so there was plenty for everyone to wear.

Dressing room

Cora is looking exceptionally sweet with her fashionable doll ready to go down the runway.


Time for the runway show. Of course, the birthday girl was up first.

Fashion show

Notice that Jen made Molly and her doll (also named Molly) matching dresses.

Down the runway

You may have also noticed my laptop in the above picture. To make the runway show more exciting, I gave the girls live photography. My camera uploaded pictures as I took them to my laptop. I wrote a small app for my laptop to notice the new pictures and display them on the TV on the wall. So, the girls not only got to walk the runway, they also got to see themselves on the big screen as they did so.

Leah was of course second in line. Jen also made Leah and her doll, Rose, matching dresses.

Nice job, Rose

Camryn’s doll skated down the runway.

Skating down the runway

Abigail’s doll is ready for a masquerade ball.

Masquerade ball

Flowing colors surround Grace’s doll.

Flowing colors

Maria’s doll was ready to head straight from the runway to the soccer field.

Sporty Spice

Cora’s doll has it all - hat, dress, necklace, and boots.

Full ensemble

Elsa cooled the show down as Keira escorted her down the runway.

Snow Queen

Riley’s doll Miranda is looking very elegant.

Elegant Miranda

Alyssa lights up the room.


Haley found an outfit for her doll to match her own. Also, you can get a bit of a glimpse of the live fashion photography on the wall above.


Ariana’s doll is ready to take on the snow that’s falling outside.

Snow ready

14 girls, 14 dolls. Fun for all.

The whole gang

I think everyone had a great time. I don't know that I'll build platforms and write custom apps for every one of the girls parties, but it was definitely fun this time.

Celebrating our 7-year-old!

Posted in Celebrations, Leah, Molly on April 5th, 2014 by jen – 1 Comment

Per Molly’s request, we went to Red Robin (one of the only places around that still sings for birthdays) for her family birthday dinner with the Sellers side. Molly made this birthday hat for herself to make sure the staff there knew it was her birthday.

Birthday hat

Leah had fun playing with Aunt Caroline much of the evening.


As they always do, Aunt EA and Uncle Scott entertained with a singing card. Unfortunately, Red Robin is too loud to hear it, but we’ve heard it many times since we got home.

Jungle Boogie

It was a monster-themed evening, including some Monsters University toys like Art here.


Molly also got both the new Monsters University as well as the original Monsters, Inc.

Monster movies

Our real reason for being there was of course the singing and sundae for a birthday girl.


You can even relive the magic in this video of the singing.

Sunday was Molly's actual birthday, so we opened some presents in the morning before church, including a couple of jump ropes.


Testing them out

Leah gave Molly a couple of hula hoops. While Molly can spin these crazy fast, when Chad and I gave it a go, hilarity ensued. I laughed so hard my sides hurt!

Hula hoops

Molly also opened the present from Aunt ‘Chelle’s family while video conferencing with them. We did this for Emmie's birthday, and the kids really love seeing each other's reaction to the gifts.

Video conference party

Good times with G’Mom and Grampa

Posted in Family visits, Leah, Molly on April 4th, 2014 by jen – Be the first to comment

G’Mom and Grampa came in town to celebrate Molly’s birthday, and they arrived with some fancy My Little Pony puzzles in hand.

Visitors bearing gifts

Leah had no trouble with the puzzle, except that her hair was constantly in her face. Of course, she still refused a clip or headband to solve the problem.

Hair problems

Molly had a half day of school on Friday, so she requested to spend the free afternoon painting pottery. G’Mom did a nice job supervising.

Painting pottery

This was Leah’s first ever figurine to paint. She very patiently waited for each of the three coats to dry of several different colors. And Grampa was very patient with helping a 4-year-old paint.

A very patient painter

While G’Mom and Grampa assisted the girls, I took the opportunity to paint a piece of my own.

Mom's creativity

On Saturday, Molly showed off her reading skills for G’Mom with a Junie B. Jones book.

Reading skills

Then, it was game time. I don’t think Leah appreciated G’Mom skipping her in this game of Uno.

Skipped you

Molly’s excited about playing a wild card.

Wild card

Leah played one hand on her own, but then she decided to help Grampa.


Hooray! Molly wins!

Molly wins!

Dinner fun

Posted in Leah, Molly on April 3rd, 2014 by jen – 1 Comment

Dinner can be an amusing time in our house, especially when there are exciting birthday events looming. Here's a peek into a couple of those dinners.

I’m not sure why Molly seems to be pretending to have a chin injury with her napkin.

Fake chin injury

When you’re making a silly face, it’s easy to miss that you’re using the wrong end of your fork.

Wrong end

Magic utensils, no hands necessary.

No hands

This is not the way she’s supposed to eat ice cream.

Wrong way

Ice cream causes silly faces in Leah. As does everything else.

Ice cream face