The return to mission trips

Posted in Church on June 26th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

It’s been several years since I’ve been on a mission trip. We had kids, and getting away with little ones is tough. I’ve been meaning to get back to it for a while, but not able to make it work. This year, my job gave all of us an extra week of vacation, and I knew what I’d use it for.

I went with my church to rural West Virginia for relief work after the big flood from last year. The flood was a year before, but there were still folks in need of help. As they told us, those with means had all fixed their homes, so the only folks still suffering are those without.

The first day was rainy, so we couldn’t go to our planned sites. Instead we worked in a church basement cleaning out, putting up insulation, and laying cinder blocks.

The rest of the trip I worked at a house that had been hit hard by the flood. We finished a porch that had a wheelchair lift, including adding a roof to it. We replaced a large portion of the tin roof on the house, as it was leaking badly. And we added support jacks under part of the house that had pulled away from the rest of the house in the flood.

Porch building


Jacked up

For any Glen Mar folks (or other Marylanders who’d like to go with us) considering a mission trip, this one is really great. I’m used to having the most construction experience on my crew, but this trip was full of experts. We were like a finely oiled machine.

After the work day, we made sure to see a bit of our surroundings. We saw the Summersville Dam and the Summersville Lake.

Summersville Lake

Though I was most excited that it was near Fat Eddie’s where we could get ice cream. This is a large dip cone, and it was delicious (though it took so long to eat that some of my compatriots were getting tired of waiting on me so we could get going).

Fat Eddie's

Another day, we went to see the New River Gorge Bridge, the longest single-span bridge in the world up until a few years ago.

New River Gorge Bridge

Being in West Virginia working to help those in need alongside my fellow believers has reawakened a part of me. It's the most direct feeling of being God's hands and feet I've experienced. I connect with God in a lot of ways, but there's nothing that's anything like a mission trip. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back on a trip, and I look forward to another trip soon.

Mother’s Day

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

Mother’s Day was a busy one. It started with going to the 9:30 service at church where the girls choirs were singing.

Leah sang with the Cherub Choir for the last time on Mother's Day. When choirs resume in the fall, she'll be moving up to join Molly and the other big kids. Apologies for losing her in the shot for much of the video. It’s tough to get a good angle on these.

Next up was Molly’s choir.

Then I led kid’s worship at 11:00 before heading to East Moon Asian Bistro for a fancy sushi lunch (the girls had Salmon Teriyaki) with the four of us and Grams.

Eventually, we made it home so Jen could open her presents.

Mother's Day


Posted in Celebrations, Church on May 6th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

We made sure to get back home from our trip down south in time for Holy Week activities. Grams was singing with the choir in the Good Friday service, and we all got to go (Aunt EA joined us as well). And then, of course, there was Easter.

Like last year, I led music at the sunrise service at church. The weather was much nicer this year, though still just as early. And my family again passed on joining me that early.

After a lovely service, I got home as the rest of my family was getting up - just in time to check if the Easter Bunny had struck again.

Easter baskets

Perler beads

Candy in the eggs

Leah likes to do Sudoku puzzles with me, but now she’s got her own book of them.


The girls each got two pairs of tall fun socks. Leah especially loves them, and wants to wear them as much as she can.

Tall socks

There wasn’t time to sit around with these fun treats, though. In addition to leading music at the sunrise service, I also led music at the 11:00 service. So, I needed to be at the church at 9:30 to rehearse for that service. And I wasn’t alone.

We decided to turn the solo that each girl had done in the past month into a duet for the both of them. They did a fantastic job. And yes, that's me singing without a guitar in front of me (feels really weird).

After church, we headed back to Grams’s house for some lunch and family time. We were all excited to see everyone, though I think Charlie was most excited to see Beau.

Charlie and Beau

Be gentle

Fun dog

Here we all are.

Family photo

Grams and grandkids

The girls then got to change out of their dresses and play. They were excited to play with the new bubble wands the Easter Bunny brought them. Charlie seemed less sure about the bubbles.


Hi Leah

Happy Easter!

Molly’s solo with the band

Posted in Church, Molly, Music on April 26th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment
Singing with the band

A few weeks after Leah sang with the band in church, we did the same song again. The girls decided it was Molly’s turn to lead with me, so she took the solo that week.

Leah’s first solo in big church

Posted in Church, Leah, Music on April 25th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Back in March, Leah sang her first solo in big church and did a great job. Here she is with the praise band, leading the congregation in a new song. I thought I had posted this back then, but I apparently just put it on Twitter.

Choirs in March

Posted in Church, Leah, Molly, Music on March 24th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Leah and Molly both sang with their choirs again in March. This time, Leah got the earlier service while Molly was in the later one.

Choirs in Feburary

Posted in Church, Leah, Molly, Music on March 20th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Both the girls’ choirs sang on the same day in February (Molly at the 9:30 service, Leah at the 11:00 service).

Day of service

Posted in Church, Crafts, Leah, Molly on March 16th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Our church once again took part in the day of service on MLK day. There were lots of service activities, but the girls were most excited to sew pillowcases for kids in the hospital. So, we headed there first so the girls could use their skills.

Day of service

Molly sewing

Leah sewing

Completed pillowcases

We also made braided jump ropes. They took unwanted T-shirts and cut them up into strips, which we braided together and attached handles to.

Braided jump ropes

Braided jump ropes

We did some other things as well, but I apparently only got pictures of the crafty projects.

Christmas Eve Services

Posted in Church, Leah, Molly on March 7th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

This Christmas Eve, both our girls were involved in both of the family Christmas Eve services at church. First, the choirs of both girls joined forces to sing in a couple of the Christmas Eve services at church.

The main content of the service was a very fun skit which Molly took part in. The video below is the entire skit. Molly first appears at 1:20 for a non-speaking scene. She then appears at 7:00 for the scene with her speaking role.

Leah read about the Advent Wreath and led the congregation in prayer. I love that she looks up to check that her microphone is on before she begins speaking.

Singing in church

Posted in Church, Leah, Molly on March 1st, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

In December, both the girls sang with their choirs in church.

Great singing, girls.