Archive for February, 2019

Visitors from afar

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits on February 28th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Our Christmas story continued much like the Biblical one. Visitors from afar arrived with gifts, though not gold, frankincense, or myrrh. G’Mom and Grampa flew up two days after Christmas to spend 8 days with us and continue the Christmas celebrations.

Molly has been on several overnight trips this Fall, and both girls spend the night out frequently, so these new duffles were very much appreciated!

New duffles

Back in November, Jen was invited to a party to make creative wood signs. She came home with the how-to and decided to make wood signs for several family members. It was definitely a joint effort. I decided that simply screwing together some boards from Home Depot would not do. So, I bought some rough hardwood (this is Ash, others were Red Oak), milled them, glued up a panel, cut, stained and sealed them. Jen created the design and painted. If you have a keen eye, you may have caught a different version of this in the Christmas Day opening presents pictures.

Home wood sign

We don’t see too many movies in the theater, but we’ve been excitedly anticipating the release of Mary Poppins Returns. So, we bought our tickets early and all headed to the theater to see it.

Mary Poppins Returns

We love going to the movies with reclining cushy seats. It was G’Mom and Grampa’s first time in a theater like this.

Fancy theater

Grampa’s birthday fell during their visit, so we made sure to celebrate. We had saved a turtle cheesecake from Molly’s pie sale with her middle school just for the occasion.

Happy birthday Grampa

And there were lots of little fun activities around the house, like this elephant wood puzzle.

Elephant wood puzzle

Christmas Day

Posted in Celebrations, Leah, Molly on February 27th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

After a late night, the girls didn’t wake us up too early in the morning. Once they got up, the first thing they found by their stockings was a smaller Squishmallow to join their larger one.

Smaller Squishmallows

Unicorns and fleece onesies are all the rage, so these pajamas were a big hit.

Unicorn onesie

Since Grams was in the hospital, we changed things up a bit. We all met up at our house to celebrate together. Our house was also conveniently the closest to Johns Hopkins hospital, making it easy for us to go see her for Christmas Day hospital visits. Sorry, no pictures from the hospital, though I do have pictures from our house.

Molly brought down her R2-D2 droid to entertain Max, and it certainly did capture his attention.

Droid play

Want the droid

Even more surprising than moving the celebration to our house, our tradition-keeping family decided to go non-traditional. Tacos for Christmas were delicious (though there was still pumpkin pie for dessert).

Christmas dinner

After lunch, we opened presents. Charlie got a Squishmallow too.

Squishmallow for Charlie

Opening presents

Molly’s been saving her money to buy a Nintendo Switch for some time. She was much of the way before Christmas, and hoping Christmas would put her over the top to buy one. I knew she would get enough, so I secretly bought one on a Black Friday sale and hid it away. So, after getting enough money, she started asking when we could go somewhere to buy one. I promptly became the store of Chad and let her buy it right then. She was very excited.

Nintendo Switch

That’s one happy girl ready for some fun.

Christmas Eve evening

Posted in Celebrations on February 26th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

After helping put on several church services (2 for Leah, 3 for Molly), we had a couple of Christmas Eve traditions to enjoy. First, the girls opened 1 present. This is a Grammy tradition, and generally happens at Grams house. Since Grams was in the hospital and Grammy had visited earlier in the month, Grammy left us with a gift to keep the tradition alive. This was the first time this has ever happened at our house. The girls were excited for this Harry Potter themed gift.

Christmas Eve presents

Also per tradition, the Jen made the girls new Christmas jammies to wear. They look very comfy.

Christmas jammies

Christmas jammies

Christmas jammies

A Super Christmas Sequel

Posted in Church, Leah, Molly on February 25th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Glen Mar decided last year's superhero-themed Christmas Eve service was so awesome, they had to do a sequel this year. Our family was heavily involved. I played guitar and led singing. Leah was one of the worship leaders and also sang in the choir. And Molly reprised her role as Wonder Woman. This video isn't the whole service - just the stuff the girls were involved in, which is admittedly almost the whole service.

Leah Choir December 2018

Posted in Church, Leah, Music on February 24th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Leah sang with her choir again in December.

Early Christmas

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits on February 23rd, 2019 by c-had – 1 Comment

Grams’s cancer treatment included chemo for a couple of months, followed by giant surgery on December 21. This meant she was in the hospital for Christmas. So, we made alternate Christmas plans. Instead of flying up for Christmas, Grammy came early and we had some early Christmas festivities.

Part of this included some delicious treats. The girls headed over to Grams’s house to bake cookies (per tradition). Aunt EA and Charlie were supposed to be there too, but they’ve had a tough time with illness which kept them away.

Baking cookies

Cookie decorating

Cookie decorating

Cookie eating

Yes, the traditional Christmas cookies were a bit less traditional this year, including dinosaurs and narwhals.

Eating a dinosaur

There was also, of course, food (not pictured) and presents.

Early Christmas

Presents

Leah was excited about this Harry Potter wand that works with an iPad, which she can program to do different spells.

Magic wand

Magic wand

Molly’s been so jealous of Leah’s Squishmallow, she was excited to get one of her own.

Squishmallow

Squishmallow

Merry belated early Christmas!

Almost a black belt

Posted in Molly, Sports on February 22nd, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly has her brown belt in karate, and is working toward her black belt. Part of that is passing tests to get three stripes removed from it. She had the first stripe removed back in June, and tested to have the second stripe removed in December.

Part of this test involves breaking boards. Molly’s been breaking boards for years in karate. However, after earning her brown belt, she moved up to trying to break 2 boards stacked on top of each other instead of just 1 board. Her first attempt to do this was back when she got her first stripe removed from her brown belt, but she wasn't able to do it. So, she’s worked hard between then and now to get ready for her second attempt. As you can see here, she does it perfectly. We’re so proud of you, Molly!

And she passed her test, removing another stripe from her brown belt and paving the way for her black belt test in June.

Another stripe down

Christmas Tree

Posted in Celebrations, Family outings on February 21st, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Christmas trees were hard to find this year at cut-your-own farms. We headed out to get one on December 9, thinking we had plenty of time. Sadly, our beloved Greenway Farms was almost sold out when we went. We managed to find this very broad Douglas Fir, but I’m not sure where we’re going to go next year.

Christmas tree

Here’s our fully decorated giant Christmas tree (we had to scoot the couch over a good bit to fit it.

Decorated giant tree

Alternate Thanksgiving

Posted in Celebrations, Molly on February 20th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

For Thanksgiving, we gathered at Grams’s house along with Aunt Caroline and Uncle Charles. We decided to forego the traditional turkey in favor of salmon. And we got a picture together with all humans and canines present.

Thanksgiving crew

We also had pies from Molly’s pie sale. Her school music program had the kids sell pies as a fundraiser. To get the top prize, you had to sell 40 pies. This sounded like an unattainable goal, but Molly did it! She sold 40 pies, making a lot of money for her music program and earning her lots of prizes. They included a pass to Launch Trampoline Park, 1 hour in a video game truck during school, and 30 seconds in a money machine where money blows around and you get to keep whatever you can catch (she caught $27). While I might have preferred Jen’s homemade pumpkin pie, I was very proud of Molly for raising so much for her orchestra.

Family photoshoot

Posted in Uncategorized on February 19th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Fall was super busy, but we managed to fit a very quick family photoshoot in. I found this nice spot in our neighborhood. And I may as well start by showing you the winning shot.

Family photoshoot

And here are some of the runner-ups.

Alternate pose

And another pose

Runner up

There were a lot more pictures taken, mostly to try to find a way to get a reasonable smile out of Molly. Too many looked like this.

Ridiculous smile

Yikes!