Molly’s first symphony orchestra concert

Posted in Molly, Music, School on March 2nd, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

In addition to her Concert Orchestra, Molly joined the Symphony Orchestra at school. This group includes 6th-8th graders, and combines strings with winds, brass, and percussion. They meet at 6:50am before school every Tuesday and Thursday, so these are some dedicated kids. And it was a joint concert with Leah's elementary school orchestra.



Orchestra warm up

Symphony Orchestra

Symphony Orchestra

Here are our two orchestral musicians after their concert together.

Orchestral musicians

Leah’s first orchestra concert

Posted in Leah, Music, School on March 1st, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Leah had her first orchestra concert in January. The 3rd grade orchestra at her school did a great job, especially Leah on her cello. And it was a joint concert with Molly's middle school, so we got to see both of them in the same night (I’ll post about Molly tomorrow).

In addition to the video, I got a couple of pictures. Leah was not nervous at all before her first orchestra concert.

Not nervous

Not sure where this expression came from as they prepared to play.

Sweet angel

The 3rd grade at Leah’s school only has 3 classes, but almost all of the kids chose to join the orchestra. So it’s a big group.

3rd grade orchestra

Pizzicato

Bowing

Great job

Visitors from afar

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits on February 28th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Our Christmas story continued much like the Biblical one. Visitors from afar arrived with gifts, though not gold, frankincense, or myrrh. G’Mom and Grampa flew up two days after Christmas to spend 8 days with us and continue the Christmas celebrations.

Molly has been on several overnight trips this Fall, and both girls spend the night out frequently, so these new duffles were very much appreciated!

New duffles

Back in November, Jen was invited to a party to make creative wood signs. She came home with the how-to and decided to make wood signs for several family members. It was definitely a joint effort. I decided that simply screwing together some boards from Home Depot would not do. So, I bought some rough hardwood (this is Ash, others were Red Oak), milled them, glued up a panel, cut, stained and sealed them. Jen created the design and painted. If you have a keen eye, you may have caught a different version of this in the Christmas Day opening presents pictures.

Home wood sign

We don’t see too many movies in the theater, but we’ve been excitedly anticipating the release of Mary Poppins Returns. So, we bought our tickets early and all headed to the theater to see it.

Mary Poppins Returns

We love going to the movies with reclining cushy seats. It was G’Mom and Grampa’s first time in a theater like this.

Fancy theater

Grampa’s birthday fell during their visit, so we made sure to celebrate. We had saved a turtle cheesecake from Molly’s pie sale with her middle school just for the occasion.

Happy birthday Grampa

And there were lots of little fun activities around the house, like this elephant wood puzzle.

Elephant wood puzzle

Christmas Day

Posted in Celebrations, Leah, Molly on February 27th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

After a late night, the girls didn’t wake us up too early in the morning. Once they got up, the first thing they found by their stockings was a smaller Squishmallow to join their larger one.

Smaller Squishmallows

Unicorns and fleece onesies are all the rage, so these pajamas were a big hit.

Unicorn onesie

Since Grams was in the hospital, we changed things up a bit. We all met up at our house to celebrate together. Our house was also conveniently the closest to Johns Hopkins hospital, making it easy for us to go see her for Christmas Day hospital visits. Sorry, no pictures from the hospital, though I do have pictures from our house.

Molly brought down her R2-D2 droid to entertain Max, and it certainly did capture his attention.

Droid play

Want the droid

Even more surprising than moving the celebration to our house, our tradition-keeping family decided to go non-traditional. Tacos for Christmas were delicious (though there was still pumpkin pie for dessert).

Christmas dinner

After lunch, we opened presents. Charlie got a Squishmallow too.

Squishmallow for Charlie

Opening presents

Molly’s been saving her money to buy a Nintendo Switch for some time. She was much of the way before Christmas, and hoping Christmas would put her over the top to buy one. I knew she would get enough, so I secretly bought one on a Black Friday sale and hid it away. So, after getting enough money, she started asking when we could go somewhere to buy one. I promptly became the store of Chad and let her buy it right then. She was very excited.

Nintendo Switch

That’s one happy girl ready for some fun.

Christmas Eve evening

Posted in Celebrations on February 26th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

After helping put on several church services (2 for Leah, 3 for Molly), we had a couple of Christmas Eve traditions to enjoy. First, the girls opened 1 present. This is a Grammy tradition, and generally happens at Grams house. Since Grams was in the hospital and Grammy had visited earlier in the month, Grammy left us with a gift to keep the tradition alive. This was the first time this has ever happened at our house. The girls were excited for this Harry Potter themed gift.

Christmas Eve presents

Also per tradition, the Jen made the girls new Christmas jammies to wear. They look very comfy.

Christmas jammies

Christmas jammies

Christmas jammies

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.

Leah Choir December 2018

Posted in Church, Leah, Music on February 24th, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Leah sang with her choir again in December.

Early Christmas

Posted in Celebrations, Family visits on February 23rd, 2019 by c-had – 1 Comment

Grams’s cancer treatment included chemo for a couple of months, followed by giant surgery on December 21. This meant she was in the hospital for Christmas. So, we made alternate Christmas plans. Instead of flying up for Christmas, Grammy came early and we had some early Christmas festivities.

Part of this included some delicious treats. The girls headed over to Grams’s house to bake cookies (per tradition). Aunt EA and Charlie were supposed to be there too, but they’ve had a tough time with illness which kept them away.

Baking cookies

Cookie decorating

Cookie decorating

Cookie eating

Yes, the traditional Christmas cookies were a bit less traditional this year, including dinosaurs and narwhals.

Eating a dinosaur

There was also, of course, food (not pictured) and presents.

Early Christmas

Presents

Leah was excited about this Harry Potter wand that works with an iPad, which she can program to do different spells.

Magic wand

Magic wand

Molly’s been so jealous of Leah’s Squishmallow, she was excited to get one of her own.

Squishmallow

Squishmallow

Merry belated early Christmas!

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

Christmas Tree

Posted in Celebrations, Family outings on February 21st, 2019 by c-had – Be the first to comment

Christmas trees were hard to find this year at cut-your-own farms. We headed out to get one on December 9, thinking we had plenty of time. Sadly, our beloved Greenway Farms was almost sold out when we went. We managed to find this very broad Douglas Fir, but I’m not sure where we’re going to go next year.

Christmas tree

Here’s our fully decorated giant Christmas tree (we had to scoot the couch over a good bit to fit it.

Decorated giant tree