Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer time with Daddy

 The first month of summer in 2012 was a blast.  We packed as much fun as possible into every day. We spent Memorial Day weekend in Idaho with the Englands and then flew to Myrtle beach for a McQuade family reunion.  After the reunion we stayed a few extra days for family time where we went mini golfing and spent a day at Broadway at the Beach.  Aside from our trips we went to a baseball game, built a layset and spent a lot of time just being together.  I love my family!!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Breanna turns one!

 One thing we knew that Breanna liked was chocolate, so the kids helped me make a chocolate cake surrounded by candy bars and covered in mini m&m's. 

 Breanna ate one m&m at a time for the first several minutes, very lady like.
But then she got board and started playing with the frosting.  I don't think she ever actually ate a bite of her cake on her birthday.  But she was sure cute!

 This little one year old knew exactly what to do with a birthday present. 

Breanna is such a princess and a joy to our family!  She took her first steps around eleven months, but any time someone noticed she immediately sat back down.  I repeatedly tried to get shots of her walking to Daddy before he deployed and every time she buckled her knees and refused to go anywhere. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Winter and Spring

Darren and Laura both played t-ball and soccer this last winter.  It was indoors and really casual.  Some days they were on the same team and some days opposite teams.  It was almost more like scheduled pick-up games with coaches there to teach the kids technique.  I am usually a very competitive person, but this was perfect for their age group.  It was wonderful and they loved it.
When Darren turned 2 he requested a Thomas cake, and I made one - just the engine.  when he turned 4 we had a party with friends and so I also made some cars that the kids could decorate with chocolate 'logs' and 'coal' candies.  This year Darren specifically asked for Percy (engine number 6) and train cars going through a tunnel with a waterfall and a river.  I sure hope he doesn't ask for a Thomas cake again cause I don't think I can get much more complicated.  :)
Happy 6th birthday Darren!!
A happy birthday boy.
I went into the bathroom to discover that Breanna who can't walk on her own yet had climbed up onto the step so that she could reach the counter.  She then found one of the kids' toothbrushes and started using it.  She is just as big as they are.  Just ask her.
My adorable kids.
Aunt Kelly, Uncle Jeremy and cousins Karli and Kaitlyn came for Easter this year.  It was really wonderful to have them here.  I just wish I would have gotten a picture with them too.  oh well. 
Hunting for eggs
Laura grabbed an egg right out from in front of her little cousin Karli and made her cry towards the beginning of the morning.  Naturally I encouraged her to be kinder and for the rest of the time every time Laura passed Karli she was taking eggs out of her own basket and putting them in Karli's I love my sweet tender Laura!
Darren has grown up to be a pretty impressive egg hunter. 
In May Darren had an opportunity to compete in a taekwondo competition.  He did a creative board breaking routine.  We had no idea what to do.  He started out too shy to place his board holders where they were supposed to be and was docked for not getting them set up in time.  But my little timid man who was scared to go out onto the floor had practiced for hours on his routine and did a great job by breaking 5 different boards with 5 different techniques in front of hundreds of people.  I was so impressed with him!

He tied for 3rd out of 4 kids in his age group.  But as far as he was concerned he just won the world championship. Look at that trophy!  What a kid!

Fabulous fall

One of the reasons I was excited for fall was so that I could pull out the adorable sweaters that Aunt Sandi made for my kids.  Aren't they adorable?  She is incredible! 

Another reason was that my parents came down to watch my 3 older kids while Craig, Breanna and I took off to Boston where he became a Fellow of the Academy of Optometry and then we played tourist around New England.  It was AMAZING!  I love my husband!
New England in the fall is breathtaking.
Halloween was hilarious this year.  They wanted to be the vikings from How to Train your Dragon.  Of course those costumes don't exist, so I had to make them.  Darren didn't want to be the main character from the story.  He wanted to be the tough Dad and chief of the village.  Laura is Asterid and Madalyn is the girl twin.  Breanna was a dragon.

Just a random 'I love Breanna' picture.
Another birthday girl!
Happy 4th birthday Laura!
I'm getting addicted to fun cake ideas.  They always look amateur because I've never taken a class in my life, but they are so fun to make and my kids adore them.

Labor Day

Just a few weeks after moving into our new home it was time for a party, ready or not.  Half of my family came into town.  And we all went to go see the anniversary production of Les Miserables in Denver over Labor day weekend.  It was incredible!  I still get chills thinking about it.  That was also the weekend that Madalyn turned two.  With so many people, I had an opportunity to make a tiered cake which I had always wanted to try.  Madalyn still talks about that cake on a regular basis and it has almost been a year.   I couldn't find any Care Bear figurines anywhere in town so I had to resort to making them with partially melted Starbursts and frosting.  It was really fun.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


When we left Oklahoma we still hadn't found a house in Colorado so we unloaded our things into storage and spent the next week staying with my sister and house hunting.  Finally, we found a really great house, put an offer on it and took of to Idaho to spend time with our England family and bless our little Breanna.

I love this family!

 After Idaho we went to Wyoming to see Grandma and Grandpa McQuade.  We loved playing with cousin Lydia.
 Casper Mountain falls
And moving across the country isn't complete unless you throw your piano upside down off of the moving truck.  Yikes!  It isn't nearly as cool as the Looney Tunes leads you to believe.

My sweet babe

I thought I was joking when I said that my next post would be six months away.  A year later...
Oh well.  I'm going to do a series of posts that will tell about the last year, because it has been wonderful and I never want to forget it!

I kept waiting for the hard stage of a baby's life.   It never came.  Breanna is the most perfect, sweet tempered, and pleasant baby.  And heaven knows that we needed her with life as crazy as it was.

 First smile
 Always smiling
As soon as Breanna started smiling, Madalyn devoted an enormous amount of effort playing peek-a-boo and tickling her.
I love my Nanna babe!