Celebrations

Slumber party

Posted in Celebrations, Leah on October 7th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Leah has wanted a sleepover birthday party for several years, but we’d told her she had to wait until she was 10. This year was finally the year! The party began with a little painting.

10th birthday sleepover

The girls picked their designs ahead of the party so that Jen could have the canvases prepped and ready for the party night.

Personalized projects

Same design, different colors

Painting

Chatting while creating

While the paint projects dried, Leah opened her presents. She was very excited about a new fuzzy unicorn squishie.

Excited for presents

The girls returned to the table to remove the vinyl and reveal their painted designs.

Design reveal

They all did a great job creating one-of-a-kind designs!

Finished paintings

Leah decided she wanted her friends to decorate their own cupcakes at the party. So Jen made the cupcakes and frostings, then set them out with all the toppings.

Cupcake decorating

Leah had fun showing her friends how to use a piping bag to frost the cupcakes.

Future cake decorator?

There was some very original decorating on these cupcakes!

Completed cupcakes

After making them, it was time to sing to Leah and eat them.

Then Molly left to sleep over with some of her friends, leaving just the 4th graders. But there was still more to do. Next up - a fun take on the classic game of Spin the Bottle. The girls ended up with rainbow painted finger nails.

Spin the (nail polish) bottle

The girls then watched a movie (the new Dumbo) and then finally went to bed. They chatted for a while and fought going to sleep, but the last of them was asleep by midnight.

Donuts for breakfast has become a tradition on our house for sleepovers, but not just any donuts - Krispy Kreme donuts!

The best breakfast

Happy birthday, Leah!

Leah’s birthday weekend number 1

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits, Leah on October 6th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

As always in our family, birthday celebrations go on and on. This year was no different, as Leah’s birthday celebrations spanned two weekends. The first weekend (detailed here) included most of the family stuff, while the second weekend was her big friend party (next post).

As usual, we let Leah pick a restaurant for celebrating with family. She chose Uncle Julio’s, a Mexican restaurant at the mall. The reason Leah chose Uncle Julio’s was the chance to get a chocolate piñata for dessert. When we went there for Mother’s Day, the girls wanted to get this extravagant dessert, but we of course said no. “Maybe if we came for your birthday.” Leah remembered that months later, and finally got her wish.

Chocolate piñata

Wind-up

Hit it

Exploding

Chocolate piñata

Cracked open, there’s a lot of deliciousness spilling out, including lots of fruit and tiny churro bites.

We also opened presents. These rainbow unicorn Toms from Aunt Caroline were a big hit.

Toms

Rainbow unicorn Toms

G’Mom and Grampa flew up for the weekend. So, in addition to special events, there was time for hanging out. Leah and G’Mom had fun playing Speed. I think Leah’s especially happy here, since she has no cards left in her hands.

Speed

And there were more presents on her actual birthday.

Mini backpack

Leah asked Jen to fix chocolate lava cake for her birthday. She remembered when Jen made them almost 3 years ago for Grampa, and wanted to have them again (yes, she remembers desserts well). They were delicious again.

Chocolate lava cake

Chocolate lava cake

Thanks to G’Mom and Grampa for joining us.

With grands

Celebrations

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits, Molly on July 2nd, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly’s black belt test ended late, so we did not go out to celebrate that night. Fortunately, the next day was Grams’s birthday, so we went out to BJ’s Brewhouse to celebrate both Molly’s black belt and Grams’s birthday. After some delicious dinner, we of course ordered pizookies (which were also delicious). While waiting for these desserts, we gave Molly a present.

Earning her black belt was a really big deal, and we wanted to give Molly a big gift to commemorate it. We joined together with G’Mom, Grampa, and Grams to give Molly a trip to New York to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway. She and I will go up and see it in August. Molly was shocked.

Broadway gift

Molly was so excited. She’s talked about wanting to see this play so many times, but didn’t see this coming at all.

Excited

When our pizookies arrived, Grams got a special birthday one. We’ll celebrate her again in a couple days when we’re together with my siblings, but it was nice to get to celebrate on the day as well. Happy birthday, Grams!

Happy Birthday Grams

Birthdays

Posted in Celebrations on June 18th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Jen and I both had our birthdays in May. For me, this meant hitting the 40 mark. The good news is that means I’m now old enough to play in 40+ tennis leagues, which doubles my opportunities for tennis teams. That’s assuming my old body can handle the extra time on court.

Jen made a lemon cake for my 40th birthday. She deemed it a tad wonky and a bit bolder in color than she intended, but no one turned it down, that's for sure!

Lemon ombré cake

Since Jen and my birthdays are nine days apart, we often celebrate with family together. So, the 40th birthday cake was actually half 39th birthday cake too.

Combined birthday celebration

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 – 1 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 – 1 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 – 1 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