Archive for August, 2014

Leah photo shoot

Posted in Leah on August 28th, 2014 by c-had – 1 Comment

We needed to print some pictures for Leah’s preschool, so I asked Leah if she would sit for a quick photo shoot. I thought I’d share a few of the shots here (OK, more than a few).

Leah photoshoot

Leah didn’t want to be photographed until I told her we’d take some pictures with toys. Then she was excited to join in.

With Rose

Such a cutie.


Despite what it looks like here, she’s not actually saying cheese.


Things started to get funny.


And Leah started cracking up.

Cracking up

It can be hard to stop laughing.

Still laughing

Eventually, Rose managed to calm Leah down.

The calm of Rose

But then she started laughing again.

Laughing again

I don’t think she’s going to stop laughing, so this is the end.

The end

Second grade

Posted in Molly, School on August 25th, 2014 by c-had – 1 Comment

First, the prelude:

Molly’s school lets the kids come the Friday before school starts for a sneak-a-peek at their classroom and teacher. So, of course Jen and Molly weren’t going to miss the chance. Here’s Molly giving a sweet treat to her new second grade teacher, Ms. Diop, last Friday.


Then this morning, the big day arrived. Molly was excited as always. Here she is ready to go to her first day of second grade in a new dress made by Jen. She’s also got some new earrings that Jen surprised her with last night.

First day of second grade

Here she is on the way. We still love being able to walk to school.

On the way

Molly had a lot of fun playing with the twins this summer (they live behind us off to the side). She was excited to find out Jordan was once again in her class.

Twin friends

Per tradition, a bunch of the kids from the neighborhood gathered for a picture on the first day of school.

Neighborhood kids

Molly and Jordan walked hand in hand most of the way to school. Clearly that didn’t stop Molly talking with her other hand, though.

Hand in hand

The Wildcat was on hand for the first day of school, and Molly was excited to take a picture with him.

The Wildcat

And then she was off. We’re looking forward to a great year.

Happy birthday Uncle Scott

Posted in Celebrations on August 25th, 2014 by c-had – 1 Comment

Happy birthday Uncle Scott (or Ankle Scott, if you prefer)! It was great to celebrate with you a day early (especially given that salted caramel cake!). I hope your actual birthday is as much fun, though you won’t have these two cuties to help you blow out your candles.

Happy birthday Uncle Scott

Last swimming lesson

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

Thursday was the girls' last swimming lesson of the year. It's amazing how far they've come, particularly Molly. At the beginning of this year, we were worried about her being too scared to put her face in the water. Now, she's underwater all the time and spends her lessons working on technique rather than fear.

Leah's come a long way as well, and is becoming a great little swimmer. She still has some trouble coming up for air (she prefers to just hold her breath for the entire length that she is swimming), but she's getting better at it.

Here are a couple of shots of Molly swimming during her last lesson.

Last swimming lesson

Nice form

And here she is showing me her underwater handstands while Leah is having her swim lesson.


Thumbs up

Hard to believe she didn't like to put her face in the water just a short time ago.

Now, to really give you an idea of how they're doing swimming, here's a short video of both of them from their last swimming lesson. Enjoy!

Playgroup send-off

Posted in Leah, Molly, Playdates on August 23rd, 2014 by jen – 3 Comments

Our playgroup has been a constant in our week for the last 6.5 years. Some friends have gone, and others have joined in, but there has been a core group of us watching our kids grow up together. Two years ago when we were considering whether to move locally or back to the South, this playgroup was one of the reasons why I wanted to stay. I loved that Molly, Leah and I have made such great friends through this group.

With three of the younger sisters heading off to Kindergarten this year, and Leah's preschool schedule changing, we got together for one last "official" playgroup on Thursday. I reassured my girls that just because we will no longer have playgroup every week, it does not mean that we will not see our friends. Playdates and sleep overs here we come!

Playgroup send-off

A little trip down memory lane...

May 2008. Shortly after it all began.

Play group party

March 2009. Molly's 2nd birthday

Molly and Simon playing house

October 2009. Trick-or-treating together

Lots of kiddos

April 2010. Simon and his girls

Simon and his girls

Summer 2010

Allison's birthday

Baby buddies

October 2010. Trunk-or-treat at Glen Mar

With friends

December 2010. Brookside Gardens train display

Girls and their boots

June 2011. Strawberries at Larriland Farm

Strawberry pickers

September 2011. Leah's 2nd birthday

Gather round

Easter 2012

Posing with the Bunny

July 4th 2012

Independence Day celebration

December 2012. Garden of Lights


March 2013. Molly's 6th birthday

Glamorous friends

September 2013. At The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Smiles at the zoo

April 2014. Road trip to Philly

Role reversal

We love you guys!

Space Design Camp

Posted in Molly on August 17th, 2014 by c-had – 1 Comment

This week, Molly went to Space Design Camp at the nearby Robinson Nature Center which houses our local planetarium. She had a great time and packed in a ton of stuff during the three days of camp, including:

  • Learning about space in the planetarium, with two planetarium shows per day
  • Making a comet with dirt, sand, water, and dry ice. (Note that an adult, Star Doc, handled the dry ice. No children were harmed in the experiment)
  • Playing with a large parachute
  • A competition to “land” a water balloon dropped from up high like the Mars rovers. Molly’s team used:
    • a milk carton landing vehicle
    • a cloth parachute
    • suspension strings
    • straws and a paper plate for structure
    • some balloons
    They were the only team to successfully land the water balloon without popping it.
  • Engineering crafts like:
    • Making paper airplanes (including some pretty exotic designs involving rings of paper and straws
    • The air-powered car she is holding here after returning from her last day of camp

Space Design Camp

Here’s a close up of Molly’s car. You blow up the balloon, then let go and the air pushes out the straw to power the car.

Air-powered car

Company picnic

Posted in Family outings on August 16th, 2014 by c-had – 2 Comments

Figure 53 (the company I work for part-time) had a picnic at a Baltimore park. We don’t go into Baltimore as a family very much, so this was a bit of a change of pace. Molly was really happy that there was a girl a year older than her to hang out with in a tree. They spent a good amount of time up there.

Company picnic

After the picnic, we checked out the playground nearby. These ropes were fun to climb on.


Ropes are fun, but swings are these girls favorite. Especially now that they’ve figured out how to double up on them.


Bricks 4 Girlz

Posted in Molly on August 10th, 2014 by c-had – 2 Comments

Molly went to a LEGO camp this week, but it wasn’t just any LEGO camp. It was Bricks 4 Girlz, and no boys were allowed. Here’s Molly and Riley with some of the things they built.

Bricks 4 Girlz

They divided the camp up into groups that did all the activities together. Molly was in the Friends of Emma group with a bunch of her friends.

Friends of Emma

If you've seen The LEGO Movie, you understand this. Molly hopes one day soon to be a Master Builder.

Wylde Style

Reading in church

Posted in Church, Molly on August 8th, 2014 by c-had – 3 Comments

Molly assisted our guest preacher in church on Sunday by reading (along with another girl) an I Believe essay written by a 6 year old a few years ago for an NPR program. The girls did a great job.

Bowling with Dad

Posted in Molly on August 7th, 2014 by c-had – 2 Comments

On Saturday, Leah had a birthday party to go to. When one of the girls has a fun activity, I like to take the other for some fun one-on-one time with their dad. So, Molly and I decided to check out the bowling alley nearby for the first time since moving to our new house.

Molly’s the fastest bowler I’ve ever seen. From barely waiting until the guard rises up, to using two balls so she doesn’t have to wait for the first to return, she wastes no time. Once it is her turn, she sprints down the lane, giving her ball a little extra speed.

Running start

The second game we bowled, Molly started using the finger holes in the ball for the first time (instead of cradling the ball in both hands). She did really well.


Nice form! Molly looks like a professional bowler here. Impressive since she only started using the finger holes a few frames ago.

Nice form

Her new technique seems to be working. Nice spare, Molly. (Apologies for the blur. She was moving quickly in her excitement.)


Very recently, Molly has decided she really likes Coke. So, after bowling she asked if we could get a Coke from the vending machine at the bowling alley. I told her we could do even better. So, we went to historic Ellicott City and wandered around looking for somewhere to get a Coke float. We ended up finding we could get one at Southwest Connection & Silver Arrow Fudge, where they also sell fresh fudge and authentic Native American items. We then headed to a picnic table to enjoy our treat.

Coke float

The Coke float was big enough to share. Molly loved the Coke float, and wants to start making them at home.

Enough for two