Molly

A Super Christmas Sequel

Posted in Church, Leah, Molly on February 25th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Glen Mar decided last year's superhero-themed Christmas Eve service was so awesome, they had to do a sequel this year. Our family was heavily involved. I played guitar and led singing. Leah was one of the worship leaders and also sang in the choir. And Molly reprised her role as Wonder Woman. This video isn't the whole service - just the stuff the girls were involved in, which is admittedly almost the whole service.

Almost a black belt

Posted in Molly, Sports on February 22nd, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly has her brown belt in karate, and is working toward her black belt. Part of that is passing tests to get three stripes removed from it. She had the first stripe removed back in June, and tested to have the second stripe removed in December.

Part of this test involves breaking boards. Molly’s been breaking boards for years in karate. However, after earning her brown belt, she moved up to trying to break 2 boards stacked on top of each other instead of just 1 board. Her first attempt to do this was back when she got her first stripe removed from her brown belt, but she wasn't able to do it. So, she’s worked hard between then and now to get ready for her second attempt. As you can see here, she does it perfectly. We’re so proud of you, Molly!

And she passed her test, removing another stripe from her brown belt and paving the way for her black belt test in June.

Another stripe down

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.

First middle school orchestra concert

Posted in Molly, Music, School on February 17th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Back in November, Molly had her first middle school orchestra concert. It’s a whole new level of professionalism, complete with uniforms. They were great!



Middle school orchestra

Middle school orchestra concert

Middle school orchestra concert

Molly Choir November 2018

Posted in Church, Molly, Music on February 16th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Now that Molly is in middle school, she’s moved up to the youth choir at church.

Eye of the Storm

Posted in Church, Molly, Music on February 14th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly and I got to perform a song together for the first time in October. We first performed this on the Fall Youth Retreat, then did it a second time at Children's Worship at church a week later (which is what you see here in the video). Make sure to watch the whole thing so you don't miss Molly's solo.

Youth Orchestra September 2018

Posted in Molly, Music on February 10th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly has joined the Youth Orchestra at church. Here she is in her first performance with them from back in September.

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

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.

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”!

National Philharmonic Prep Summer String Institute

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

Molly was selected to attend the Prep Summer String Institute put on by the National Philharmonic this year. This is a week long summer camp put on by folks from the National Philharmonic (who play at the Strathmore in Bethesda where we saw Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban earlier this year). They only take really advanced students, so Molly was excited to be selected.

This camp was serious. They mailed Molly music a month in advance so she could practice it ahead of time. Then camp itself was an intense week of music. She rehearsed pieces with the full orchestra, had sessions on technique, worked on movement exercises (e.g. bounce a tennis ball to the beat of a song), and broke into chamber ensembles to work on more pieces. She even got to have private 1-on-1 lessons with the principal violist of the National Philharmonic. Combined with having to wake up early to fight traffic driving down toward Washington, the days were exhausting but so much fun.

They put on a concert at the end of the week. First each of the chamber ensemble's performed.

Chamber Ensemble

Chamber Ensemble

Here’s Molly playing with her chamber ensemble.

After all the ensembles played, the full orchestra came together.

Orchestra

Molly was one of only 2 violas in the orchestra (the other was the daughter of the institute director). They were really glad to have Molly, as the previous year they had no violas. I guess most kids that start early enough to be at this level choose violin or cello.

Orchestra

And finally, here’s the full orchestra playing together. It’s amazing that they can sound so good after just a week long camp.

Molly had no friends at the camp, but she did have one friendly face for the week. Margaret (Molly’s regular private instructor, National Philharmonic player, and the children’s minister at our church) was on staff as well. Molly didn’t work with her during the week, but Molly wouldn’t have been at this camp if it wasn’t for Margaret. Thanks Margaret!

Thanks Margaret

Molly may not have started with friends, but she certainly made several. In fact, after the concert we couldn’t understand what was taking her so long to come out. Turns out she was busy collecting email addresses from girls she had made friends with so she could keep in touch.

Thanks to Aunt EA and Uncle Scott for their hospitality as well. Jen, Molly, and Leah spent one night with them as they live fairly close to the camp. That saved one commute each way, and meant Molly got to sleep a little later one day.

Molly hopes to do this again next year, and we may also try to catch a National Philharmonic show to see some of her teachers in action. It was a really great experience. Thanks to the National Philharmonic for offering this great program!