Family visits

Alabama without Dad

Posted in Family visits, Trip on August 31st, 2018 by c-had – 1 Comment

Over July 4th week, Jen and the girls spent a few days at Lay Lake in Alabama, while I was on mission trip to VA. So, for the first time in forever, Jen had to sit with the girls on the plane.

Flying with Mom

It didn’t take long for the family to be out on the Dottie B.

Sunset cruise

Sunset smiles

Jen made all the kids festive July 4th tees.

Festive cousins

Sporting the red, white, and blue

She also made a patriotic fruit trifle for the July 4th dessert.

Patriotic trifle

A trip to Lay Lake is not complete without tubing!

Ready for tubing

G’mom and Grampa surprised everyone by being the first out on the tube.

Grandparents can tube too

Molly's going solo.

Molly's going solo

Jen and Leah too.

Hang on tight

One last picture opportunity before leaving.

Family photo

Back at Aunt ‘Chile’s house, the kids had fun on the double Slip ’n Slide.

Slip 'n Slide kids

Molly's run

Leah's turn

Max

Posted in Family visits on July 11th, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Back in June, we got a new nephew/cousin. Aunt EA gave birth to Max, and we got to see him that same day.

Max

New cousin

New cousin

Holding a baby

Holding a baby

New grandson

New grandson

Visit from a little cousin

Posted in Family visits on July 7th, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Charlie stayed with us for Memorial Day weekend while Aunt EA and Uncle Scott were out of town at a wedding. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a toddler in the house, but we had a great time.

House guest

The marble track saw a lot of use.

Marbles

We mostly stayed close to home, but we did make one special trip. Krispy Kreme had special blueberry glazed doughnuts, and we figured that might be an outing Charlie would like. He stuck with a regular glazed, and loved it. He had trouble understanding why he couldn’t have another one though, since there was a box full of them in front of him.

Sweet outing

Glaze face

Molly and Leah read him bedtime stories both nights.

Bedtime stories

Bedtime stories

While Charlie was visiting, our area had the second major flash flood in 2 years. We got about 27 gallons of water in out basement, which was not bad compared to many others. We had twin rivers merging in our backyard.

Flooding

While I as vacuuming up water in the basement, Jen was using water for more productive use upstairs. After his bath, Charlie was happy and clean.

Bath time

Babysitting Charlie

Posted in Family visits, Leah, Molly on February 9th, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Aunt EA went with Jen to Bingo when Uncle Scott was out of town, so Molly, Leah, and I babysat Charlie at our house. It went great, and I took lots of pictures. Here are a bunch of them.

Babysitting

This almost-middle-schooler had fun with the toddler toys we got out for Charlie.

Toddler toys

Doctor Leah needs to hear your heart, Charlie.

Doctor

I don’t know what evil doctor Leah is injecting into Charlie.

Evil shot

These old matchbox cars captivated Charlie for much of his visit. Leah did a great job playing with him. Molly… nice face.

Car play

I’m taking a picture from one side, while Molly takes a picture from the other.

Pictures from both sides

Charlie enjoyed watching Molly play a game on her phone.

Watching a phone

Molly decided she could entertain Charlie with some viola music. He paid attention to her for a few seconds, then went back to the cars.

Viola entertainment

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Happy birthday Grampa

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits on February 4th, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

We celebrated Grampa’s birthday with him a bit early while he was in town. Happy birthday Grampa!

Happy birthday Grampa

Christmas day

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits on February 4th, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Christmas morning arrived with stockings and presents.

Loaded stockings

Stockings

This Harry Potter fan was excited to get a Sorting Hat.

Sorting Hat

Grampa donned the Sorting Hat as well. He looks happy with his placement (Hufflepuff, I’d guess).

Sorted

Molly got 5 supplimentary Harry Potter books.

Harry Potter books

The girls loved their new unicorn slippers that Jen found for them. Combined with their new pajamas and new earmuffs (and Santa hat for Molly), they’re very cozy.

Cozy

The girls both love unicorns, so they were excited to get these fun unicorn earrings. Leah’s are extra special, as they are her first pair of dangly earrings (which she’s been wanting for some time).

Unicorn earrings

Jen made these fun Grandparent shirts for G’Mom and Grampa.

Grandparent shirts

And G’Mom always loves her calendar.

Calendar

We then headed to Grams’s house for breakfast and more presents.

Presents

Presents

Presents

Molly was most excited about getting a Hatchimal. Actually, she got two, as the giant egg hatched with twin giravens (cross between a giraffe and a raven).

Hatchimals

Leah was most excited about getting this Hermione plush (she got Harry and Ron as well).

Leah and Hermione

Opening

A new book

Opening

Opening

After presents, we had a delicious Christmas dinner (with Christmas crackers) and enjoyed each others’ company. Later in the afternoon, things got exciting for Molly. The Hatchimal started to hatch!

Hatching

Hatchling

They’re both out and ready to be raised.

Hatchimals

Christmas Eve continues

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits on February 3rd, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Christmas Eve continued back at Grams’s house. These 3 cousins relaxed a bit and watched a small screen.

Cousin watching

There were traditional Christmas Eve presents, including books and pajamas.

Christmas Eve presents

Christmas Eve presents

As she does every year, Jen made the girls Christmas Eve pajamas, as well as complimentary pajamas for their dolls.

Christmas Eve Jammies

Christmas pajamas

Cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer.

Santa treats

Santa treats

Then off to bed for a long winter’s nap.

Holiday visitors

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits on February 2nd, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Time to catch up on what’s been happening with us (as I have failed to post things for a month and a half). So, pretend it’s just before Christmas for the next few days.

This Christmas, G’Mom and Grampa came to visit. This involved a lot of Christmas activity (some of which will get their own posts) as well as fun around the house.

Leah was happy to show off her checkers skills to G’Mom.

Visiting checkers master

The girls also decorated a gingerbread house.

Gingerbread house

Stay back

Icing

Finished product

Grammy came in town as well, and even came to our house for dinner the first night.

Grammy too

With G’Mom and Grampa visiting, we had to play Telestrations. As always, hilarity ensued.

Telestrations

Telestrations

Telestrations

Tennessee Thanksgiving

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits, Field trips on December 9th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

For Thanksgiving, we went to visit G’Mom and Grampa, who live outside of Memphis, Tennessee. This is usually a flying trip for us, but I wanted to try driving it. I really hate flying, and Thanksgiving crowds make it all the worse. Since Jen got a nice new car last year, road trips have become much more comfortable. So, I managed to convince Jen to give driving a shot.

It’s too far to do in one day, so we stayed at a hotel in Abingdon, Virginia. We ended up with between 8 and 9 hours driving each day. We left Monday after school and got in Tuesday before dinner. I thought the driving was great. My family members were less enthusiastic, but they admitted it wasn’t that awful.

Wednesday afternoon, Emmie, JJ, Aunt ‘Chelle, and Uncle J arrived. Tennessee was having a cold snap (meaning it was about normal for us Marylanders), so the kids all had some hot cocoa.

Tennessee Cocoa

Thanksgiving was super special this year. G’Mom’s birthday fell on Thanksgiving day this year, which meant we got to celebrate with her.

Happy birthday G'Mom

Lots of music happened while we were in Tennessee. Molly and Leah even got introduced to JJ’s drum set. They teamed up to try them out, accompanying Emmie.

Drumming pair

Before our Thanksgiving meal, the kids helped Grampa set up the manger scene outside.

Manger setup

The girls decided they needed to ride the manger animals.

Riding the animals

Here’s the finished scene (with Grampa hiding in the background).

Finished scene

There was of course much eating on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving meal

After eating, we took some family pictures (which you won’t find here) in front of the manger scene. Then we decided to take part in the scene, with everyone playing the part of one of the characters in the scene. Looks like the best live nativity I’ve ever seen.

Acting the part

These kids do have fun together.

Fun together

We finished Thanksgiving day with a concert including a violin/viola duet (which they practiced only a couple times briefly before performing), piano, violin, viola, and the Long family trio.

There was one more bit of excitement on Thanksgiving day. The kitchen sink decided to stop draining, meaning we couldn’t wash the dishes from Thanksgiving dinner. We ended up disconnecting the pipes, draining into a bucket, and washing by hand (occasionally emptying the bucket in a nearby bathroom). Thanksgiving plumbing problems are fun!

Friday morning, we decided to head to IHOP for breakfast instead of creating dishes. The girls thought it was amazing (they split red velvet pancakes).

IHOP breakfast

Thankfully, the plumber came out that morning and cleared the clog, so the kitchen resumed operation.

Friday afternoon Emmie, JJ, Uncle J, and Aunt ‘Chelle headed back to Alabama. Afterward, Grampa and I picked up a Christmas tree. The girls enjoyed helping decorate it.

Tree decorating

Tree decorating

I don’t think Leah is sure about the placement of this ornament.

Up high

The girls liked these ornaments so much, G’Mom and Grampa said they could keep them.

Ornaments for the road

Saturday we got up and hit the road for the drive back. Sadly, that meant we could not watch the Iron Bowl (where Auburn defeated #1 Alabama to win the SEC West), but we did enjoy listening to the broadcast in the car on our drive to our hotel. The drive home had a bit of traffic, but was mostly uneventful and took us almost the exact amount of time that it took to drive down.

Putt-putt fun

Posted in Family outings, Family visits, Leah, Molly on October 28th, 2017 by c-had – Be the first to comment

In September we had visitors from a far away land. Emmie, JJ, Aunt ‘Chelle, and Uncle J flew up to spend a couple days with us. While they were here, we went for a fun outing of putt-putt. We split into two foursomes, with the girls requesting me to accompany them while JJ and the other adults made up the other foursome. There was some intense concentration.

Putt-putt

Jen putting

The girls had fun golfing, but also got a bit of time to relax while waiting on the other group to catch up.

Relaxing on the green

It was fun!

Golfers

Silly golfers

The putt-putt course is right next to Rita’s, so we had to stop in for a treat.

After golf treat