Celebrations

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

Early Christmas

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits on February 23rd, 2019 by c-had – 2 Comments

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!

Greek goddesses

Posted in Celebrations, Leah, Molly on October 31st, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

The girls decided to be Athena and Artemis for Halloween. Thanks to Rick Riordan/Percy Jackson for inspiring them to learn about Greek mythology.

Habadabadoodoo

Jen made the toga dresses, belts, bracers, bracelets, and quiver. She originally thought she might get away with a simple T-shirt toga, but then found this awesome post (thanks Make It & Love It). So, the costumes ended up much more extravagant than originally thought.

Athena and Artemis

Artemis

I was excited to make a bow for the first time for Molly. At first, I tried to make one using scrap pine from studs, ignoring the advice of the Internet that pine was not strong enough. And after a lot of work, it snapped. So this is actually the second bow I made, and it is made of oak. Some stain, a few coats of lacquer, and it looks quite nice.

Artemis

The arrows are made from dowels spray painted gold with feathers glued on for fins. The tips are actually foam earplugs (thanks Jen for the idea).

Athena

I made Leah a spear (modeled after this statue of Athena) from a thick dowel and some scrap wood. This was much easier than Molly’s bow. It just took some work on the band saw, some sanding, some lacquer, and gold spray paint for the spear head.

Athena

Goddess fight

Walking in the woods

5th grade promotion

Posted in Celebrations, Molly, School on July 10th, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly was called on again to play in an ensemble at school. This time, it was to play Pomp and Circumstance (and some other songs) at the 5th Grade Promotion Ceremony.

Promotion ensemble

Promotion music

Molly walked across the stage and shook hands with the principal, signifying the completion of her elementary school journey. She’s ready for middle school.

Shaking hands with the principal

Easter and more birthday

Posted in Celebrations, Leah, Molly on June 29th, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Back in April, we had a lovely Easter. The girls put out baskets for the Easter Bunny. Leah decided she needed to leave a note for the Easter Bunny with a very specific request. I think it was too specific, as the Easter Bunny did not grant it.

Easter Bunny note

Their Easter baskets may not have had a narwhal squishy, but they both did get squishes (and lots of other goodies).

Easter morning

Leah’s gotten into string tricks, and loved this book and string to learn more.

String tricks

After church, we went over to Grams’s house for some family time. This included the whole Sellers side, as well as G’Mom and Grampa who had come in town for Molly’s birthday. It was a beautiful day, so the girls and I headed outside for a little fun on a flat road.

Leah has had her Heelys for months, but struggled to use them and stopped trying soon after getting them. However, now that Molly had some too, Leah was determined to master the skill. She got it in no time, and the two of them rolled all over the place.

Sister skating

Molly praised the Lord for her new Heelys when she got to use them on Easter. At the end of Grams’s street, there’s a quiet, flat circle that was perfect for rolling around.

Hallelujah for Heelys

Leah warmed up enough to take off her jacket.

Leah rolling

The girls were excited to wear the new dresses that Jen made them for Easter.

Heely sisters

Tongue out balancing

Not only did we celebrate Easter, we celebrated Molly’s birthday again. This began with presents.

Presents

Happy birthday girl

No birthday celebration would be complete with a cupcake and an evil grin.

Cupcake

Also, Grams got a new dog. Her name is Roxanne.

Roxanne

And here’s the Sellers family.

Sellers family Easter photo

And the Batson family.

Batson family Easter photo

Molly’s actual birthday

Posted in Celebrations, Molly on June 28th, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

The past few months have been very busy, and I’ve failed to post anything to our blog. So, now I’m going to catch up. Over the next couple weeks I’ll catch you guys up on everything we’ve had going on with hopefully a couple of posts per day. So, let’s pretend it’s April, and pick up from Molly’s birthday party.

Molly’s actual birthday was the week after her party, and she was very excited to be 11 (and to receive a bunch of awesome presents).

Actual birthday

Molly’s gotten very into drawing, and was happy to get a sketchbook and some nice colored pencils.

Sketchbook

After her Harry Potter party, these Harry Potter earrings were a hit.

Harry Potter Earrings

Leah got Heelys for her birthday back in September, and Molly’s wanted some ever since. Thanks to G’Mom and Grampa, she’s now got some too.

Heelys

After presents, we went out for lunch to Eggspectation. She was excited about this delicious birthday dessert.

Birthday lunch