Celebrations

Mother’s Day

Posted in Celebrations on June 17th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

We had a busy Mother’s Day back in May. First, a morning full of church. Molly and Leah both sang with their choirs.

Sadly, Jen didn’t actually get to see them as she was teaching Sunday School. At least there was video for her to see later.

We then met up with Grams, Aunt Caroline, and Uncle Charles at Uncle Julio’s restaurant to celebrate. Sadly, they lost our reservation, but they did their best to get us a table as soon as they could. Sorry, no pictures from lunch.

After lunch, we headed home and opened presents with Jen, the all-star mom in our house (this necklace Leah made has #BestMomEver written on it).

All-star Mom

Jen’s excited about this big gift from the girls…

Mother's Day presents

It was a paper trimmer. No wonder she was so excited. Looks like she also like this bracelet.

Gifts

Happy Mother’s Day!

Sellers women

Continued birthday

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits, Molly on April 3rd, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly’s birthday celebration kept going and going. After her slumber party, the girls woke up and headed home. Molly and Grace headed to karate and Leah headed to a birthday party (and brought a Squishmallow as a present, more on that later). Then Leah went to the Solo and Ensemble Festival. Then we had the Sellers side of the family over to keep celebrating Molly’s birthday. We also celebrated Uncle Charles’s birthday, so they were both blowing out candles. And yes, that is the same cake from the night before. It looks perfect, as if still whole…

Birthdays

Here’s a look at the other side of the cake (the side we ate from at Molly’s slumber party).

Cake back side

There were also presents to be opened.

Opening presents

Opening presents

Gather round for the multiple musical cards.

Musical card

In our house, we love Squishmallows. So, when Jen’s friend texted her from Costco saying they had them in stock (and selling out fast), we got the girls another one each (plus got an extra one to give to one of Leah’s friends for her birthday earlier in the day). Aunt Caroline brought her own Squishmallow to our celebration. Squishmallows are taking over the world.

Squishmallow party

Happy 12th Birthday Molly

Posted in Celebrations, Molly on April 1st, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly turned 12 on Saturday! We celebrated with a slumber party Friday night. The Spring weather had finally arrived, so starting out the evening with laser tag outside was perfect!

Birthday Laser tag

Jen knew this would be the perfect cake for Molly. Molly requested a chocolate cake, accompanied by malted milk ice cream and peanut butter chocolate fudge ripple ice cream.

Unicorn cake

Jen saw a contestant on Kids Baking Championship make marshmallow fondant, so she tried out this new technique to create the unicorn horn and ears.

Cascading mane

So many flowers

Painting wood signs and canvases are all the rage right now, so Jen created personal designs for each of the 6 girls to paint. First, she had to review the technique for painting.

Painting instructions

All the girls enjoyed choosing how to personalize their artwork.

The secret is in the sponge

Many of the girls decided to mix their own colors.

Color mixing

The art table

The girls (and Jen!) were all so happy with how their paintings turned out.

The finished canvases

We then watched The House with a Clock in Its Walls and ate popcorn. Then it was finally time for bed. The girls were asleep by around midnight.

The next morning, I got up at 6:30 (not my usual pattern) to go to Krispy Kreme and pick up hot doughnuts for breakfast. I actually got back before everyone got up (though not by much). A little more playing (Mario Kart) and then it was time for everyone to head out. A good time was had by all.

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

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!

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.

Happy Birthday Leah

Posted in Celebrations, Leah on February 11th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

We celebrated Leah's 9th birthday with a Double Dare party. Jen and Leah were in agreement that a non-messy version was the way to go! Jen did the planning of all the fun "Minute to Win It" type games, and I created a display for the game show. It’s a QLab workspace for showing the scoreboard, displaying the graphics just like the TV show, countdown timers, and sound effects.

Double Dare display

After watching an episode of Double Dare so everyone knew how to play, Round 1 Opening Challenge was a Hula Hoop Relay between all three teams.

Hula Hoop Relay

The teams then rotated answering trivia questions. Because there were three teams, we threw in an extra "triple dare." The kids loved playing all of the physical challenges. Below are a few that we played.

Into the Hanger: Players attempted to fly 2 paper airplanes into the hanger. (Jen made use of the strawberry we made for a bean bag toss for one of Leah's previous parties.)

Into the Hanger

Elephant Head: Players stretched panty hose with a tennis ball placed in the toe end over their heads. They then tried to swing the balls around on their heads until they knocked down a dozen coke cans in 45 seconds.

Elephant Head

Snowball Shake Down: With a dab of Vaseline on their nose, and without using their hands, players must transfer 10 cotton balls from one end of the table to the other.

Snowball Shake Down

Cool Shot: Players used the squirt guns to try to knock all of the balls off of the tees.

Cool Shot

Final team challenge: Hanky Panky. The first team to empty their box got an extra 200 points!

Hanky Panky

The game was tight, but the Caticorns managed to barely defeat The Savage Kittens in the end, and headed to the final Obstacle Course!

Final score

The final Obstacle Course consisted of stations in which a small orange flag needed to be found and passed along to their teammate. First up, Duck Hunt.

Duck Hunt

While the two remaining teams caused a pillow fight, a flag had to be carried down the stairs to a teammate.

Pillow fight

Someone then had to pop the balloons to find a flag.

Balloon Pop

Opening all the Easter eggs to find the small flag was little challenging because Jen put so many eggs in the basket. Oops!

Easter Egg Hunt

After the winning team ran the course, we reset the stations to allow the remaining teams a chance to run it. They were all so excited to run through the house!

Finally, it was time for cake and ice cream. Jen and Leah designed an ice cream slime cake. This was the only slime allowed at the party, and it was delicious!

Ice cream slime cake

We sang to the birthday girl.

When the house was again calm and quiet, Leah opened her gifts. Leah has wanted a giant cat (a Beanie Boo) since Molly got hers. So, Molly got her one for her birthday.

Giant cat

Leah's best friend introduced her to Lost Kitties.

Lost Kitties

Panda + Unicorn = Pandacorn slippers!

Pandacorn sleepwear

The toy that has made the largest impact has to be Winston, a Squishmallow. He seems to constantly be with Leah. So soft, so squishy…

Squishmallow

Happy birthday Leah!