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.


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


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.


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).


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.


Goddess fight

Walking in the woods

First day of school

Posted in Leah, Molly, School on September 4th, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

It’s the day after Labor Day, which means it’s the first day of school! It’s a big day for our house, as Molly is now in middle school!!! We can no longer pretend that this isn’t happening. I guess we really had to stop pretending last week at 6th grade orientation.

Middle School Orientation

Middle school means our mornings are now earlier, as middle school starts an hour earlier than elementary, and also requires a bus ride instead of walking around the block. So, there is no picture of her with her sister, as Leah is still asleep.

First day of middle school

There were of course pictures with kids on the block.

Middle school friends

Middle schoolers on the block

And then waiting at the bus stop. We have so many kids around us that her bus stop is ridiculous. I counted 35 kids at the stop. It’s the first stop, and fills more than half the bus.

Bus stop

Then it was time to wake up Leah. She’s very excited about this start of 3rd grade.

First day of 3rd grade

One of the main reasons she is excited is that Madison is finally in her class.

3rd grade friends

We got a picture with some of the elementary kids on the block.

Elementary kids on the block

And of course with the wildcat.


And then she was off to class. Not only is Madison in her class, but lots of her other friends are too. And not only that, her teacher is Mr. Chen who Molly had and Leah has wanted ever since.

Best class

When Leah got home, she said it was the “best first day ever”!

Basement fort

Posted in Leah, Molly on September 3rd, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

The girls decided to build a fort in the basement.


Inside the fort were two air mattresses and their two sleeping bags. They ended up sleeping in it for two nights.

In the fort

Family Worship

Posted in Church, Leah, Molly on September 2nd, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

August was Family Worship at Glen Mar, so the kids got involved. Molly and Leah were joined by Simon to read the scripture one Sunday.

Reading in church

The next Sunday was even better. I got to lead worship with both my daughters. I loved it, and both girls did a great job.

Family Worship band

Family Worship band

First year fun

Posted in Leah on September 1st, 2018 by leah – Be the first to comment

This year was my first year at Manidokan. I had a lot of fun! First our parents dropped us off and we moved into our rooms.

Off to camp

Leah's friends

We figured out that the swim test was canceled, so we had to do the swim test the next day. Monday we went to Sawmill Creek and we saw a lot of interesting things.

Sawmill Creek

Sawmill Creek hike

Finally we had our swim test. Also at store time I got an owl that I named Kirstin.


Then we went to chapel and met characters from different times. Tuesday we went rafting where we bumped into each other a lot.

Leah rafting

Then we had chapel again and tried to help the characters fix the time machine, but it didn’t work :( .


Wednesday was our first time eating lunch in the dining hall! Also my parents gave me a care package! We also did field games and then pool games.


Pool games

Also we did mission night where we did rotations to make us feel like we were in the flood in Puerto Rico. Then we played a game called Fortress (a game that we play at night on a field). Thursday we had the dining hall (at lunch) all to ourselves! Then we did the flying squirrel. It was really fun!

Also we did arts and crafts where I made a leather turtle. Finally there was a talent show! There were a lot of funny and good acts. Friday there was a slip and slide and also a sponge race. I did the slip and slide but not the sponge race. I watched it though. Then we had a little free time in our lodge. Finally our parents came and we sang a few songs and then we left. I had a lot of fun at Manidokan!


Manidokan sisters

Posted in Leah, Molly on September 1st, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly’s gone to sleep-away camp at Camp Manidokan for the past couple of years and loved it. Leah’s wanted to go, but she had to get old enough. This year, she was finally old enough to attend a week-long session. So, we signed them both up for the 3rd week of July.

While there were there together, they were in separate groups based on the grade they are entering (Leah was in the 3-4 group, Molly the 5-6 group). They still saw plenty of each other. They’ve both written posts about their experiences, which will show up on the blog here this afternoon. Here they are when we dropped them off. Leah may have been the only first-time camper to show up in a Camp Manidokan shirt (thanks to Molly outgrowing it).

Camp sisters

Molly had 9 friends go with her again this year (8 were the same as last year, 1 was a new friend of a friend taking the place of the 1 girls that did not return this year). Jen used her recruiting skills for Leah as well this year, so Leah ended up having 4 friends (from church, school, and playgroup) join her at camp. Impressive given how many kids and parents were reluctant to send kids so young to sleep away camp. Here are pictures of most (but not all, I missed one) of those kids.

Leah's friends

Molly's roommates

Camp friends

5-6 friends

Jen and I had fun on our week without kids as well. I’ll write up a bit more about one of our fun activities here soon. The days flew by and before we knew it, it was time to pick them up. We actually drove out that way a bit early so we could stop by a hardwood lumber store in Frederick. Afterward, we had some time to kill, so we stopped at a lovely park to relax for a few final childless moments.

Last minute chilling

Playgroup friends for life

Posted in Church, Leah, Molly, Playdates on August 31st, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Friends for over 10 years for the big kids, and they always have fun when they are together.

Laser tag with playgroup friends

Telestrations is always fun and full of laughter!

Telestrations is always fun

Shipwreck VBS. Molly and Simon moved up to VBX (x-treme) this year for rising 6th & 7th grade. They all had a blast!

Shipwreck VBS

Her own room

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

We bought our house with enough rooms that the girls could have their own rooms, but they chose to share a room with bunk beds. We thought that wouldn’t last very long, but we were wrong. They lasted 5 years together, but finally decided to split. With Molly headed to middle school (with a much earlier wake up time), Leah decided to move out into her own room.

Her own room

Baking camp

Posted in Food, Leah on August 27th, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Leah attended a baking camp in June and came home asking to practice. Since Jen is an expert baker, she and Leah made some cupcakes then sent them virtually to Aunt Caroline as a birthday gift.

Confectionary camp practice

Leah also baked some banana bread muffins, which are a staple in our house!

Second round of baking

Leah brought home her creations from baking camp each day. After a few days, there were lots of uneaten leftovers, so I made myself a sampler platter.

Baking camp leftovers

Last day of school

Posted in Leah, Molly, School on July 11th, 2018 by c-had – Be the first to comment

After what seemed like a very long school year (mostly due to snow days slowly chipping away at spring and summer break), the last day of school finally arrived on June 19. Molly and Leah were happy about this.

Last day party

Oh wait, that’s not the right picture. Here you go.

Last day of school

Molly’s final picture with the sign out front of elementary school.

Sign picture