Archive for July, 2016

VBS singing 2016

Posted in Church, Leah, Molly on July 23rd, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

This year’s Vacation Bible School theme was Cave Quest. As always, Molly and Leah had a great time. Leah was upstairs with the big kids for the first time this year. Jen taught a preschool class downstairs again, marking the first time in years that she hasn’t had one of her own kids in class with her.

On Sunday, Molly, Leah, and Jen sang a couple of their VBS songs in church. Molly and Leah were easy to see, and you can occasionally see Jen’s head appear on the left side as other heads move out of the way. I love how much the girls got into it.

Wrapping up

Posted in Family visits, Trip on July 22nd, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

There are a few things I didn’t mention yet about our trip.

First, what’s a vacation without a puzzle? I bought this 3D puzzle of a space shuttle to bring to the beach 2 years ago, but forgot it. Then I forgot I had it. But I found it again before this trip, so it finally got to be built. I expected us to work on it over the week, but the girls wanted to knock it out the first day. Here are the girls with our finished product. They decided to name it Discovery, just like the shuttle we saw a couple years ago.

3D puzzle shuttle

We also celebrated Grams and Aunt Caroline’s birthdays while there. Thanks to Aunt EA and Uncle Scott for picking up the Tres Leches cake.

Happy birthday to you and you

We also ate really well on this trip. This included meals prepared by each family unit, as well as taking advantage of the great options in Deep Creek. The best of those had to be Mountain State Brewing Co, which had some fantastic flatbread pizzas. These included some really strange but delicious offerings, including the Cheeseburger in Paradise (hamburger, cheese, pickles, fry sauce), the Pesto & Prosciutto, the Beetza (arugula, beets, Chèvre), and the delicious dessert S’Mores pizza.

Oh, and of course there were treats. We got ice cream from Lakeside Creamery twice - once at their main store, once at the truck they had at Swallow Falls State Park. We also got fudge next door. Oh, and Jen also made a couple batches of homemade ice cream (roasted strawberry as well as chocolate hazelnut gelato).

Charlie fun

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

This was the most time we’d ever spent with Charlie. This led to lots of fun (and lots of pictures). There may have been some downsides (oh, you mean babies sometimes wake up in the middle of the night?), but we were happy to spend so much time with him. Here’s a few bits of the fun.

First of all, Charlie is now starting to eat solid food. We got to observe as Charlie had plums for the first time. It was hilarious. Here he is asking Aunt Jen to save him from this fate.

First plums

Then, Charlie got angry about having to eat these plums.

Angry about plums

OK, maybe the plums are alright after all.

Maybe they're OK

Charlie’s favorite activity seems to be walking around. He needs a little help, and the girls were glad to help with that.

Walking around

Walking around

Hi Charlie! And yes, that’s Leah trying to give him bunny ears.

Couch back

Eat the couch

Charlie was even happy after getting up from his nap earlier than he was supposed to.

Happy baby

Babies are fun.


Swallow Falls State Park

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

My favorite outing of our stay in Deep Creek was to Swallow Falls State Park. We went for a hike there and got to experience some great natural beauty and fun. First stop - Muddy Creek Falls.

Muddy Creek Falls

We then hiked along the river, stopping to climb around on the rocks occasionally.

Standing on a rock

Here are the four of us at Lower Swallow Falls. The others had just headed back to the cars to get Charlie home for a nap.

Lower Swallow Falls

The last stop on our hike was also the best in my opinion. Tolliver Falls has this serene pool of water at the bottom of the small falls. And the best part was it was mostly empty of other people. We stayed and played here for a long time.

Tolliver Falls

The 3 of us stood at the top of Tolliver Falls as water rushed over our feet.

Top of Tolliver Falls

The girls spent much of the time there excitedly playing with mud.

Making mud

Molly found a good place to sit.

Chilling in the river

If you are in the area and like the outdoors, I highly recommend Swallow Falls. It’s beautiful, and a lot of fun.

Mini golf and games

Posted in Family visits, Trip on July 19th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

While rain kept us indoors on a few days, we had several days of good weather to take advantage of. Our top priority was to ride the Mountain Coaster. Molly’s ready to go.

Ready to ride

And here are Jen and Leah at the end of the Mountain Coaster. Lots of fun, and very different to ride a roller coaster where you are in charge of how fast/slow you go (using the control handles).

Coming to the end

There were also some classic vacation activities. This, of course, included mini golf.

Mini golf

Mini golf

During the rainy days, someone had randomly turned on the Game Show Network to watch Deal or No Deal. The girls were fascinated with the game. They were even more excited when we discovered that the arcade attached to the mini golf had a Deal or No Deal game. They had to play.

Deal or No Deal

Molly took a wise deal with 2 cases left to win 50 tickets. Leah went all the way to the end, opened her case, and got 40 tickets. I was surprised they were both such big winners. So much fun to get a pile of tickets at the arcade.


Since some of the family couldn’t make it to our first mini golf outing due to nap schedule, we tried out another mini golf course a couple days later when they could.

Mini golf part 2

This course featured a bear you had to hit past. Be careful not to wake it, Leah.

Careful of the bear

There was one more gaming activity, but I didn’t get pictures of it. This included a trip to Fun Unlimited - a house filled with arcade video games.

Aunt and Uncle fun

Posted in Family visits, Trip on July 18th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

The girls had lots of fun with aunts and uncles in Deep Creek. Aunt Caroline and Uncle Charles could only stay for a couple days, but you already saw some hot tub fun with them. Aunt EA and Uncle Scott provided fun all week long.

After the rain on the fourth, the girls wanted to get into the lake when it was clear on the fifth. However, the lake water was freezing cold. Molly opted not to get in except for splashing around in the shallows, but Leah wasn’t scared to jump in.



While Leah could have swam to shore, she convinced Uncle Scott to give her a ride instead.

Ride back

After the cold of the lake, it was time to warm up in the hot tub. Despite avoiding the cold of the lake, I joined in the fun of the hot tub.

Hot tub without rain

Uncle Scott brought awesome water ballons that fill and tie 35 at a time, so it was time for a water balloon fight.

Water balloon fight

After a bit, a new participant joined the fray. The others were waiting to pounce.


Their target was Aunt EA, though she managed to catch this incoming balloon before it hit her in the head.

Their target

The next day, there was even more water fun. Uncle Scott and Aunt EA wanted to rent some jet skis and offered for the girls to ride along. The girls were very excited to try it. Molly rode with Uncle Scott.

Jet ski

And Leah rode with Aunt EA.


A few minutes later, they stopped by the lakehouse to say hello before continuing on their hour-long ride.

Stop to say hello

After they got back, the girls wanted to play in the lake, but it was still freezing cold. They didn’t make it in too far.

Wading in

Our little girls really loved playing with their aunts and uncles. Thanks!

Rainy fourth

Posted in Family visits, Trip on July 17th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

We were in Deep Creek for the Fourth of July - always a fun holiday. Sadly, it wasn’t quite as fun as we had hoped due to the weather. It rained, and rained. It was nice to chill in the house, but it would have been even nicer to get outside.

A few of us did get outside. The girls were very excited about the hot tub at the lake house. The rain may have kept them out of the lake, but it didn’t keep them out of the hot tub. Thanks to Aunt Caroline and Uncle Charles for joining them so Jen and I could stay out of the rain.

Hot tub in the rain

When not in the hot tub, the girls were very festive on July 4th, wearing their new dresses made by Jen.

Patriotic dresses

The fireworks did not go off on July 4th due to rain, so they postponed to the 5th. We could see them from the lake house, though they were somewhat far away (sorry, no pics of far away fireworks). I got the girls red, white, and blue glow wands at the dollar store, which Leah is showing off as she watches the fireworks.

Watching fireworks

These fireworks are amazing!


Lake photos

Posted in Trip on July 16th, 2016 by c-had – 1 Comment

We spent last week in Deep Creek with my my family. We rented out a lakefront house to spend a relaxing week together.

While there, we had a photoshoot. For Grams’s birthday, we all decided to give her a new family portrait. We were going to hire a professional photographer and then get a framed print, but we realized our best chance for being together was on our lake trip. So, I got the job of photographer instead. Here we all are. What do you think?

Family pic

And here’s Grams with her grandkids.

Grams and her grandkids

I also took some pictures of the smaller family units amongst us.

The four of us

Aunt EA's family

Aunt Caroline and Uncle Charles

We tried a different setup of all of us as well.

All of us, again

I think this last one was the best group shot, though for some reason Grams didn’t want a giant print of it on her wall.

Silly one

Father’s Day Droid

Posted in Celebrations on July 4th, 2016 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Father’s Day came, and my daughters and wife got me something I’ve wanted for some time - a cute little droid. We’ve had a Sphero robot for a year and enjoyed it a lot. This little guy is even more fun. And, with the Tickle app, we can even program them to do stuff simultaneously. Also, BB-8 is just awesome.

Father's Day Droid

We also went out to lunch with my family to an Indian restaurant with my family. This was a first for the girls. They tried lots of things, and found they liked Chicken Tikka Masala. Hurray for adventurous eating.