Molly

Black belt in the family

Posted in Molly, Sports on June 28th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment
Black belt and Sensei

Molly is now a black belt in karate! We are so proud of Molly for all her hard work over the past five years. She’s just awesome. I want to tell you all about her black belt test, but first I just want to let her awesomeness sink in for a bit...

OK, on to the test. Molly tested for her black belt last night. This was an advanced belt test at her dojo, so it was just the brown belts working toward their next degree and black belt candidates. There were actually 4 black belt candidates, including Molly.

The test began with a written test, which she’s been studying for for years. Questions include things like who created the Kyokushin style of karate, where, and in what year.

Test questions

There are lots of exercises throughout the test, including jumping jacks, sit ups, burpees (lots of burpees), mountain climbers, and more.

Jumping jacks

Molly had to perform 17 katas throughout the test. Here’s one of the more basic ones - the 12 step kata.

12 step kata

As a black belt candidate, Molly gave a speech about her journey through karate.

Other students often help with the test, and there was no way Molly’s long-time friend Sarah (who got her black belt 2 months ago) was going to miss it. As soon as Sensei asked students to help with punches and kicks, Sarah ran straight for Molly. In fact, later this happened again, and Sensei immediately amended her request with “not Molly” to avoid having Molly continually evaluated by her friend.

Kicking

A couple of Molly’s katas involve the bo staff, including Dragon, seen here.

Dragon kata

The test also includes getting beat up a bit. Knowing how to punch and kick is important, but so is knowing how to take a hit. Here, Sensei is hitting Molly in the stomach to make sure she can take a hit.

Hit in the stomach

In addition to taking a hit, she has to take a kick. She’s done this before, but this was the first time she was kicked in the stomach from both sides. She says she’s still sore the morning after.

Kick in the stomach

After getting hit and kicked, she got stepped on too.

Stepped on

Here are photos from a few more katas, including Shadow, Heaven and Earth, and Tiger.

Shadow kata

Heaven and Earth kata

Tiger kata

Molly had been tested on every kata up to this point as part of previous belt tests, but there was one new kata for black belt - Gangasho.

Gangasho kata

As part of her black belt test, Molly had to break 3 boards. She could choose how to break them. She chose to break 2 boards at one time with a hammer fist, then the final board with a kick.

Part of the self-defense training of karate is knowing how to fight two-on-one. So, all the black belt candidates have to fight against two people at the same time.

Two on one

Molly sparred a bunch of people during the test, but I’m sure her favorite was getting to spar her old friend Sarah.

Sparring Sarah

The test was long and grueling. As it approached 3 hours long, Molly was exhausted. Then she took a hard kick during sparring from a bigger girl, and started to cry. But she didn’t let it stop her. She pushed through, kept fighting, and proved how tough she was. A hug from a good friend was also a big help when fighting through tears.

Hug from a friend

Each black belt candidate had to spar against Sensei. They don’t have to win, but they have to stand their ground and fight. It’s the first to 3 points. Molly did great, and even scored a point as you can see here!

Point against Sensei

After all that, the test kept going. They took off their sparring gear and Sensei sat on them as they held a push-up position. They also had to do a bunch more mountain climbers (not pictured).

Sat on

Molly did it! She got her black belt! She’s still a bit weepy at this point, but trying to turn it into a smile having accomplished her goal.

Black belt

The dojo acknowledges that all these girls have a family behind them, so we got to present Molly with her black belt certificate.

Family

Molly had her parents, sister, and grandparents there to cheer her on.

Family support

Black belt Molly

Concert Orchestra Spring 2019

Posted in Molly, Music on June 20th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly’s in two different orchestras at school, so she wasn’t done after her Symphony concert. Five days after her Symphony Orchestra concert, she performed with the Concert Orchestra, a strings group made up of sixth graders.

The music is great, but the best part of the video is Molly’s reaction after the 5th song a bit after 12:55, so make sure you don’t miss that.

Concert Orchestra

Concert Orchestra

Also, if you’re trying to find Molly throughout the video and having trouble, it’s not your fault. In order to give the kids different perspectives, Mr. Denne had them switch seats around throughout the performance. Molly was happy to get to her final seat up front for the last two songs.

Changing seats

Symphony Orchestra Spring Concert

Posted in Molly, Music on June 20th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Four days after their performance in Hershey, the Symphony Orchestra performed their Spring concert.



Symphony Orchestra concert

Symphony Orchestra concert

Music in the Parks

Posted in Field trips, Molly, Music on June 19th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly’s middle school sent 8 busses worth of kids to Hershey, Pennsylvania for Music in the Parks. While the 6th grade groups did not make the trip, Molly got to go with Symphony Orchestra, which has kids from all grades and meets before school at 6:50 to practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I chaperoned the trip. Molly and I had to be at her school at 4:30am to organize ourselves, our stuff, and load into the busses for the trip. We arrived in Hershey a little after 7 and split up to go to 3 different local schools where the different groups would perform. Then the kids performed all morning.

Music in the Parks

After performing in the morning, the kids changed clothes and headed to Hershey Park for some fun. Here’s our group of 6th grade girls.

Hershey Park

They played around in the water park, rode a couple coasters, ate some food, and had a great time. I think their favorite ride was Tidal Force.

Prepare for splash

Splash

A bit wet

After the fun at the park, we headed into the arena for the awards ceremony. Molly’s group took 1st place in their division, as did several other groups from her school.

1st place

We then boarded the busses and headed home. We got back to our house a bit before 9pm, exhausted and ready for bed.

Continued birthday

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits, Molly on April 3rd, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Molly’s birthday celebration kept going and going. After her slumber party, the girls woke up and headed home. Molly and Grace headed to karate and Leah headed to a birthday party (and brought a Squishmallow as a present, more on that later). Then Leah went to the Solo and Ensemble Festival. Then we had the Sellers side of the family over to keep celebrating Molly’s birthday. We also celebrated Uncle Charles’s birthday, so they were both blowing out candles. And yes, that is the same cake from the night before. It looks perfect, as if still whole…

Birthdays

Here’s a look at the other side of the cake (the side we ate from at Molly’s slumber party).

Cake back side

There were also presents to be opened.

Opening presents

Opening presents

Gather round for the multiple musical cards.

Musical card

In our house, we love Squishmallows. So, when Jen’s friend texted her from Costco saying they had them in stock (and selling out fast), we got the girls another one each (plus got an extra one to give to one of Leah’s friends for her birthday earlier in the day). Aunt Caroline brought her own Squishmallow to our celebration. Squishmallows are taking over the world.

Squishmallow party

Happy 12th Birthday Molly

Posted in Celebrations, Molly on April 1st, 2019 by c-had – 1 Comment

Molly turned 12 on Saturday! We celebrated with a slumber party Friday night. The Spring weather had finally arrived, so starting out the evening with laser tag outside was perfect!

Birthday Laser tag

Jen knew this would be the perfect cake for Molly. Molly requested a chocolate cake, accompanied by malted milk ice cream and peanut butter chocolate fudge ripple ice cream.

Unicorn cake

Jen saw a contestant on Kids Baking Championship make marshmallow fondant, so she tried out this new technique to create the unicorn horn and ears.

Cascading mane

So many flowers

Painting wood signs and canvases are all the rage right now, so Jen created personal designs for each of the 6 girls to paint. First, she had to review the technique for painting.

Painting instructions

All the girls enjoyed choosing how to personalize their artwork.

The secret is in the sponge

Many of the girls decided to mix their own colors.

Color mixing

The art table

The girls (and Jen!) were all so happy with how their paintings turned out.

The finished canvases

We then watched The House with a Clock in Its Walls and ate popcorn. Then it was finally time for bed. The girls were asleep by around midnight.

The next morning, I got up at 6:30 (not my usual pattern) to go to Krispy Kreme and pick up hot doughnuts for breakfast. I actually got back before everyone got up (though not by much). A little more playing (Mario Kart) and then it was time for everyone to head out. A good time was had by all.

Leah Choir March 2019

Posted in Church, Leah, Molly, Music on March 31st, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Leah and her choir sang again this past Sunday.

After watching Leah sing, Molly headed off to Sunday School. We were surprised to see her a few minutes later serving as the acolyte. Apparently the girl who was supposed to do it didn’t show, so Molly was recruited on her way to Sunday School.

Surprise acolyte

Bingo

Posted in Family visits, Leah, Molly, School on March 30th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

G’Mom and Grampa came in town for a visit, and their visit once again coincided with our elementary school’s Bingo night. We of course made it to Bingo, and Jen of course got Bingo again. Sadly, a kid did as well and the kid won the call-off (which also seems to always happen to Jen).

Bingo again

As a consolation prize for losing the call off, Jen got a Target gift card. Molly was still excited.

Consolation excitement

Winner

Madison just needs one more! (She sadly did not get it).

Just one more

A fun night as always.

Snow tubing

Posted in Church, Family outings, Leah, Molly on March 7th, 2019 by c-had – 1 Comment

Our church youth group took a trip to Liberty (about an hour and 15 minutes away) to do some snow tubing. It was a youth trip, but adults that came along could bring their younger kids as well. So, our whole family went, as well as the girls’ friends who live behind us. Leah was happy to be included.

Snow tubing

Snow tubing

Tubers

Jen and Jeanie

Molly tubing

Leah tubing

Jen tubing

Adult tubers

Neighborhood kids

We had a great time. Hard to believe we live so close to snowy mountains and we’ve never done anything like this until now. Thanks to the Glen Mar youth group for setting this up.

Snow days

Posted in Leah, Molly on March 6th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

We’ve had a lot of snow days this year. No big blizzard, but several days with enough to play in (and enough to need to shovel). Usually Jen and I do most of the shoveling, with perhaps a bit of kid help until they get distracted and start playing. This snow in late February was the first time they shoveled all the way until the end. That may have had to do with the offer of cash payment for their work…

Family shoveling