Archive for June, 2016

Last day of school

Posted in Leah, Molly, School on June 27th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Summer has now begun, but here's a little taste of the last day of school from a week and a bit ago.

First, time to go to school. The girls are ready, including wearing their spirit wear.

Last day hug

Last day Leah

Last day Molly

After school, the neighborhood kids are happy summer vacation has arrived. Before heading to an ice cream party at a neighbor’s house, we took our usual picture at the circle.

Circle pic

If you looked carefully at Leah in the pictures before school and after, you may have noticed she looks slightly different. Leah’s had a loose tooth for a while, and I told her she should lose it on her last day of school. She was not a fan of that idea, but it happened anyway. Jen gave Leah an Airhead for a treat with her picnic lunch. While eating it, she said she noticed something hard in her mouth. Thankfully, she didn’t swallow it!

Lost tooth

Molly’s Spring Orchestra Concert

Posted in Extracurriculars, Molly, Music, School on June 26th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly had her spring orchestra concert, and did a great job. The evening included the beginning orchestra (Molly’s group), advanced orchestra (older kids), beginning band, and advanced band. This video is just the beginning orchestra, made up entirely of 3rd graders. It’s amazing how much these kids learned this year.

Great job, Molly and classmates.

Spring concert

New car

Posted in News on June 25th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

After almost 13 years, Jen’s car started to have more problems than it was worth to maintain it. We’d been looking at new cars since last August, and finally made the decision to get something new.

Jen got a 2016 Honda Pilot (AWD EX-L with Honda Sensing if you were wondering). These cars are in serious demand still, even though they came out last summer. Fortunately, this one rolled off the factory the week after we requested one. We’re very happy with it, and still learning all the fancy new features.

New car

As the girls walked (well, ran) home, Leah ran right by the new car sitting in the driveway and went inside. Molly was a bit more observant, and shocked, at the new arrival.


The girls were very excited to have a third row in Jen’s new car. As soon as we got it, they started asking if they could sit back there. We let them do it once to try it out.

Third row

Oh, and here’s her old car a few days before we traded it in. Good bye old car. You served us well through the years.

Old car

Happy baby on Memorial Day

Posted in Celebrations, Family outings on June 24th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

For Memorial Day, we went to Aunt EA and Uncle Scott’s house for food and fun. It was delicious (especially the homemade sausages), and good family hangout time. That said, I didn’t really take many pictures. I did get one of Charlie, though, showing what a happy kid he is.

Loved, happy baby

Who wouldn’t be happy with a Grams that loved you that much?

Kindergarten show

Posted in Celebrations, Leah, School on June 23rd, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

The kindergartners put on an end-of-the-year show for all the parents. This walked us through the entire year of kindergarten. Here’s Leah up on stage ready to go.

Kindergarten show

I recorded the whole thing, but it's 45 minutes long which might be a bit much for all of you. So, here are some highlights. Leah was very happy with the roles she was assigned, especially since she got one of the highly coveted reading roles.

I was amazed at the level of effort that went into this. Teaching all the songs and movements, creating all the props - it’s very impressive. Props to the teachers and the students for putting this together.

You may have noticed Leah wearing a new outfit in the performance. Leah requested for Jen to make her a high-low tunic to wear for the show. Leah’s favorite part were the butterfly buttons!

New tunic

Leah’s final choir performance of kindergarten

Posted in Church, Leah, Music on June 22nd, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Leah sang with her choir at church one last time for this school year. I was sadly unable to see it as I was getting ready to lead worship music at the next service, but Jen was nice enough to record it for me (and all of you as well).


Posted in Family outings, Family visits on June 21st, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

We all went bowling on Saturday. JJ wanted a little help, and Molly was happy to oblige.


Hurray for bowling!


Molly’s working on good non-granny-style bowling form.

Nice form

Emmie did great bowling, and had a commanding lead amongst the kids going into the final frame. In fact, I joked that the only way a kid could catch her was to get 3 strikes in the final frame (no other kid had gotten a single strike or spare at that point), though it really would only take a strike and a spare.


On Molly’s first ball of the last frame she threw a strike. Did not see that coming.

Surprise strike

After her surprise strike, she managed to throw a spare with her remaining two balls. She was a bit excited when the pins all fell down.


Bowling is fun!

Bowling is fun!

Balloons and cousins

Posted in Family outings, Family visits on June 20th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Aunt ‘Chelle, Uncle J, Emmie, and JJ came to visit us. Jen had heard that the Preakness Balloon Festival was awesome, so we decided to go for the fun. We got there a few minutes after things got started Friday, and headed straight to the tethered rides as we knew the line could get long. The line was already significant, but we knew it would get worse so we got in line anyway. Unfortunately, it was windy and they had to suspend tethered rides shortly after we got in line.

Jen and Michelle were kind enough to hold our spot in line, so Jeremy and I took the kids to explore all the vendors set up. The obvious destination was the climbing wall, which both Emmie and Molly wanted to try their hand at. Emmie was first.

Emmie climbing

And Molly went when she was done.

Molly climbing

Molly at the top

We then found the Hawaiian ice truck for a sweet treat. We took these back to Jen and Michelle to see how the line was doing. Sadly, it was still too windy to fly, so we all sat down in the grass in line to eat our treats.

Sweet treat

And that’s where we stayed for much of the day. Some of us wandered off to throw a frisbee for a while, but mostly we just hung out. It was kind of a cross between a picnic and sitting in line. It was very nice outside - the breeze was lovely for people, if not for balloons.

The four of us

We hung out in line from a little after 4 until 7, coming to grips with the fact that the balloons were not going to fly that day. Then, the wind calmed down and balloons started to get inflated. We grabbed some quick pictures with balloons in the background, assuming they would soon be taken down again.

The Longs

The four of us and a balloon

Cousins and a balloon

To our surprise, some of the balloons that had been chartered started to take off and fly away.

Hot air balloon

Teddy bear balloon

And around 7:30, tethered rides resumed operation. Everyone in line promptly jumped up to reform into a proper line rather than a series of picnics in a row.

Rides resume

We still waited an hour and fifteen minutes in line before it was our turn. In that time, it got dark. But we made it. Molly, Leah, and Emmie wanted to ride, and Uncle J kindly agreed to be the adult to go up with them. They were all very excited.

Lift off

There are lots of pictures on Flickr, but I’ll just post a few here.

Three heads

Coming back down

The girls might have enjoyed it just a bit.


Happy post-flight

After a long day, we decided to leave before the grand finale to try to beat traffic (there was a lot of traffic). We managed to catch the Balloon Glow, though, as we were leaving. The balloons all lit their fires at about the same time. We have no regrets about leaving before it, though if we wanted to beat traffic completely we should have left just a little bit earlier than we did.

Balloon Glow

Despite parking, traffic, and wind troubles, we had a really fun time.

Field Day 2016

Posted in Leah, Molly, School on June 19th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

The girls had their Field Day at school, and it was great. Jen helped out in the morning with Leah and the rest of the younger kids, and I helped out in the afternoon with Molly and the older kids.

Since we all participated in either the morning or the afternoon, we even got to hang out together at lunch in between.

Lunch together

Then Molly and I headed out to the fun for the older kids. I was assigned to the egg/spoon race, right next to the sack race I managed last year. Can you tell Molly’s having fun there?

Field Day

Happy birthdays

Posted in Celebrations, Family outings, Family visits on June 18th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

May is a month of celebrations around here. In addition to Mother’s Day, we also have birthdays for both Jen and myself. Birthday fun began with celebrating both of our birthdays (1 day early for me, 10 days early for Jen) with my family.

Happy birthday to us

Candles ablaze

Jen requested a Smith Island Cake from SugarBakers (voted “Baltimore’s Best Cake”), with lots of layers of fudge icing and yellow cake, and some peanut butter cups as well. It was delicious.

Smith Island Cake

Molly took the opportunity to hang out with Charlie.

Cousin time

The next day was my actual birthday. And what better way to celebrate than going to a Disney musical. For Christmas, Grammy gave us tickets to take the girls to the Hippodrome in Baltimore to see Beauty and the Beast. This was their first time going to a big fancy theater to see a play, and they loved it.

First fancy play

For dinner, I got to choose whatever restaurant I wanted for my birthday dinner. I decided to go fancy and head to BGR (wearing the new hat Leah gave me for my birthday).

Birthday dinner

And then nine days later, it was finally Jen’s birthday. Jen’s very excited about massive amounts of thread we gave her.

Happy birthday Jen

Happy birthday to us!