Archive for December, 2017

Christmas tree

Posted in Celebrations, Family outings on December 24th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

As usual, we headed to Greenway Farms to cut down our Christmas tree. We’re very busy, and really only had one day that was convenient to get a tree. That day turned out to be cold and snowing, but we didn’t let that stop us. We quickly found a great tree. It’s a Norway Spruce (a first for us).

Christmas tree

Christmas tree

Christmas tree photobomb

Christmas tree photobomb 2

After finding our tree, we got a picture of all four of us amongst the beautiful snow covered trees.

Snow covered trees

The next day, it was time to decorate our lovely tree. After our trip to Harry Potter world at Universal this summer, the girls wanted the first ornament on our tree to be Harry himself.

First ornament

Molly is a goober.


Decorating with attitude

This year Leah got to put the angel on top. She was a bit scared to go this high on the ladder at first, but she overcame her fear and accomplished her task.

Angel on top

Here’s our fully decorated tree complete with presents.

Christmas tree

December choir

Posted in Church, Leah, Molly, Music on December 23rd, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

The girls’ choir sang again in mid-December.

Fall photoshoot

Posted in Family outings on December 22nd, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Back in October, we found a lovely Saturday for a photoshoot. We headed to nearby Centennial park to take some pictures near the lake.

Heart hands

These sisters love each other.

Loving sisters

Well, that face didn’t last. This is my favorite picture of the set, as it shows their personalities so perfectly.

That look

Much of the purpose for this shoot was a picture for the Christmas card. This one was the winner for the front of the card.

Piggy back

We even got a picture with all four of us thanks to a tripod and a remote which allowed me to get out from behind the camera.

Family pic

Jen’s favorite shot of the bunch.

Back to back

And a bunch more shots.

Centennial Photoshoot

Piggy back

On a bench

On the ground

Molly sandwich

Look up

A new car

Posted in Uncategorized on December 21st, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

I got a new car! My old Passat was nearing its 13th birthday and having more troubles than I was willing to keep fighting. So, now I’ve got a brand new 2018 Subaru Impreza, which I love.


It’s got all the fancy active safety features (which Subaru calls Eyesight), all-wheel drive (as all Subaru’s do), CarPlay, great gas mileage, and is a lot of fun. I look forward to many years behind the wheel.

Brown belt

Posted in Extracurriculars, Molly, Sports on December 20th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly’s been practicing karate for over three years now, and just reached her biggest milestone yet. She tested for her brown belt on Friday night. That’s the last belt before black. The test got started at 6:30 and finished around 10:30. There were some very tired kids.

The test included lots of katas (choreographed fights), including this bo kata.

Bo staff kata

There were 3 girls testing for their black belts, which meant all of the girls got to try their hand at breaking boards. Molly’s done this several times before, and had no trouble.

Breaking a board

There was a lot of sparring.



And Molly got her brown belt!

Brown belt

She was very excited.


Getting her brown belt means she is now an advanced belt, which means she will now be teaching (well, assistant teaching) classes. She’ll be working toward her black belt, though it’ll likely take her 18 months to get there. Along the way, she’ll be working towards milestones that allow her to remove stripes from her brown belt. Once all 3 stripes are gone, she’ll be ready to test for black.

With her new brown belt

Awesome job Molly!

Another cousin

Posted in Celebrations on December 19th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

My sister (Aunt EA) is expecting her second child. Leah and Molly are excited to get a fourth first cousin.

New baby

Aunt EA and Uncle Scott had a gender reveal cake so we could all find out together whether we were getting a new nephew or niece.

Gender reveal cake

Will it be a boy or a girl? You have to watch to find out.

In case you couldn’t tell, I went overboard taking video of the gender reveal (3 cameras plus an extra microphone). I quickly set to work editing the video together. I even got a couple of smaller helpers in my work.

Video processing

We’re all excited to keep growing the family!

Fall school concert

Posted in Extracurriculars, Molly, Music, School on December 18th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly’s chorus and orchestra at school had their first concert in December. In past years, they’ve held this in January, but this year they pushed up the concert for Chorus, Advanced Orchestra, and Advanced Band (Beginner Orchestra and Beginner Band still got the extra month of practice before a January concert).

First up was chorus. The first song even had a student accompanist playing piano.

The orchestra concert came next. Molly was really excited for this, as she knew they’d recognize the students selected for GT Orchestra and Sinfonia. As you can see after the first song, she was excited (though perhaps lacking some humility). And sorry for the shaky camera then - I was trying to change lenses quickly.

They did a great job, though this concert really hit home how much more advanced Molly’s GT Sinfonia is.

Charlie’s second birthday

Posted in Celebrations on December 17th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Hard to believe it, but Charlie is now 2. His party was lots of fun.

Happy birthday Charlie

These cousins had lots of fun playing together.


There were lots of presents. Charlie loves trains, and Thomas was an especially big hit.




Pawnee (their giant Great Dane/German Shepherd mix) and I shared a touching moment.

Touching moment

The cake was a delicious Elmo cake.

Elmo cake

Charlie loved the cake, though he (like his mother) is not very fond of the icing.

Eating cake

Happy birthday, Charlie!

GT Sinfonia Fall Concert

Posted in Extracurriculars, Molly, Music on December 11th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

This year, Molly auditioned for and was accepted into the GT Sinfonia. This is a countywide orchestra that is very difficult to get into. They have a 2 hour rehearsal every week at one of the local middle schools. They had their first concert after only 7 rehearsals, and they were phenomenal as you can see here. The first two songs I recorded up close, and the second two are wider to see the whole group.

Sinfonia concert

And here are a few pictures from before the concert started. Most of the kids were very serious when they came out to play. Molly… not so much.


Fake crying

Nice face

Walk to Bethlehem

Posted in Church on December 10th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Every year (for the past 10 years), our church has put on Walk to Bethlehem. This is a walk-through event where folks can experience the Christmas story. All four of us participated this year, with some new and fun roles.

A lot of people come through, and at times there can be a few hundred people waiting to get in outside. So, the church has a tent with chairs and entertainment alternating between music and magic. I was one of the entertainers, playing guitar and singing Christmas songs. It was warmer than it’s been in previous years, though my fingers were still numb by the end of each of my sets.

Jen worked a tent in the Bethlehem marketplace making macramé bracelets.

Bethlehem marketplace

Leah again worked the animal tent in the marketplace, helping patrons with little animals like hamsters and a hedgehog.

Bethlehem animal tent

This year Molly got her first larger role at Walk to Bethlehem. She played the child in the Simeon scene (when baby Jesus was presented at the temple).

Simeon scene

Baby Jesus looks a lot like Pastor Jen’s new baby.

Simeon scene

If any of you want to see Molly in another role, make sure to come to the 9:30am or 11:00am service on Christmas Eve at Glen Mar. I think she’ll be wonderful.