Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Day!!

Yesterday it snowed in Henderson! And not just a little bit - we ended up with 5 inches at our house!!! It took Justin 3 hours to get home (it normally takes him about 30 minutes). The kids loved watching the snow falling outside the front window. And they especially loved playing in it. I was planning on finishing my Christmas shopping last night, but decided only crazy people would try to go out in the storm.

Earlier in the day the kids (Madison didn't have school because of parent-teacher conferences) convinced me to take them to the park. They had a lot of fun even though it was SO COLD and we ended up coming home after about half an hour because it starting raining. The rain turned to snow about an hour later.

Joshua wasn't too sure about the snow. He was fascinated by it, but did not want to walk through it and didn't like it when it stuck to his gloves or coat.

Madison and Jordan had a snowball fight and then built this tiny little snowman. They named him Frosty.
The snow is the really wet and heavy kind and we went through every jacket, coat and pair of mittens we have for the kids (we aren't especially prepared for this kind of weather). They also soaked through their tennis shoes. Last night I had to throw everything in the dryer so they would have shoes and coats for today. School was cancelled all around the Las Vegas Valley. Madison was really excited to be able to stay home and play today.

Later Justin made this great big snowman. I love his bucket hat!

We still can't believe we got this much snow, but we sure have been enjoying this very rare sight in Henderson. Isn't it beautiful?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December Madness

The last week has been super busy for us. We did a lot of fun things, but I am looking forward to a week that is not quite so busy! We started out by making gingerbread men for Family Home Evening last week. The kids had a lot of fun covering them with sprinkles and making a huge mess!
Then we spent the next 3 days making, decorating and delivering ornament cupcakes to our neighbors, friends and the kids' teachers. We ended up making 170 of them! I didn't get a whole lot of sleep for those 3 days, but it was worth it because they turned out so cute and were yummy too! Madison and Jordan loved delivering them and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

Madison made the Sparkler Cheer Team at her school (I think I forgot to blog about that in September). There were over 100 girls that tried out for the team and only 30 made it! On Saturday they marched in the Henderson Winter Parade. It was a little bit cold and windy, but the girls did fabulous! They were so cute!

Watching the parade...

After the parade, Justin and I went to his work Christmas party at an all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse - Yummy! The girl we got to babysit just turned 12 and hasn't been babysitting for very long. We were a little nervous leaving Josh with her because we were afraid he would spend the whole time crying (he's a little bit of a momma's boy), but he only cried for a few minutes and she did a great job! Jordan must have had a lot of fun playing with her because after I left to take her home he wanted to know if we could invite her over for a sleepover! He's such a funny kid.

Finally, last night for Family Home Evening we made gingerbread houses (really just graham cracker houses). Josh ate all his frosting and candy - not a single piece made it on his house - and enjoyed every minute of it.

Jordan filling his house with "people".

All the "people" in his house!

Our Gingerbread Village

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Madison's Academic Award

Madison received an award today at school for having straight A's - she was one of only 3 from her class to get this award. Along with a certificate she got a bumper sticker (lucky mom and dad) and a gift certificate for a free kids meal at Applebees. We are really proud of her for working so hard!

Sorry about the pic - our camera doesn't do well in the gym's fabulous lighting. Madison is on the left in the front row. Her teacher, Mrs. Leonard, is standing behind all the kids and the principal, Dr. Larson, is on the right in front of the kids.

Family Pictures

We finally (after talking about it for months) got family pictures taken! Yay! Grandparents can expect copies as part of their Christmas.

Our Little Family

Madison (quite the little poser)

Jordan (don't you love his mischievous grin!)

Josh (he wasn't too happy to be getting his pictures taken, but
we managed to get a few cute shots)

Our 3 Little Monsters

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Last year we decided to create a thankful tree during the month of November, writing things we are thankful for on the leaves of a tree. We enjoyed it so much we decided to do it again this year. A special thanks to everyone who helped make our thankful tree so big and colorful this year. A few of the things we are thankful for this year: underpants (Jessica Murdock), opposable thumbs (Justin), going to Chuck-E-Cheeses (Jordan), my new piano (Beth), spoons (Jordan), the earth (Madison), Cougar football (Dustin Duckett), tables to dance on (Joshua), a Democratic president boosting gun sales (Mike Vause), Cherry Coke (Arianne Duckett), the Gospel (Renea Hansen), my school and my classmates (Madison), cake (Beth), holidays and family (Maren Holladay), email and cellphones (Janet Vause), my kids (Jacque McQuaid), food (Larry Hansen), eternal marriage (Phil Vause), and Jesus (Jordan). Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cake Brag

Those of you who hate blogs that brag should immediately stop reading... I am just so excited about and of proud of my latest cake and can't help bragging about it.

Our friends, the Mitchells, were able to have their kids sealed to them last Friday in the St. George Temple. Huge Congrats to them!!! Justin went, but I wasn't able to because we didn't have anyone to watch the kids. Well, I really wanted to do something for them, so, of course, I made them a cake. It was so much fun! It gave me the opportunity to try a new technique (I have been dying to try it for weeks now) and I am so excited about the way it turned out! It is called a Frozen Buttercream Transfer, and basically it lets you recreate almost any image on your cake in buttercream. It took me 5 hours just to create the picture of the St. George Temple, plus time to bake, fill and ice the cake itself (cake decorating is definitely a time-consuming hobby)! Anyways... enough bragging. Let me know what you think!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

We had a lot of fun this Halloween! We went to our ward's Trunk-or-Treat and then went trick-or-treating in our neighborhood with some friends. When Josh realized that people were putting candy in his bag he started giggling and trying to grab the candy out of the bowls himself. The kids really enjoyed being pirates - saying 'aarrgh' and brandishing their swords. Justin and I had fun dressing up too (although I wished I had worn a short-sleeved shirt - it was 75 degrees and we were all way too warm!).
"Captain Slobbers"

"Captain Eyepatch"

"Captain LooseTooth"

Our Pirate Family

Our yummy mummy cupcakes! (Key Lime Cupcakes filled with Key Lime Mousse and covered in buttercream bandages)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stop Growling Monster

This is Justin doing this post. I thought I would preface with that.

We went to Utah last weekend to attend the baby blessing of Beth's sister Arianne. The day we left to go up Jordan decided to run a fever. We didn't want to get the baby sick so I took Jordan up to Beth's mom's house to spend the night.

I woke up in the middle of the night to Jordan yelling, "Stop growling at me, monster!!"

I asked him what was going on and he said that there was a monster in the room growling at him. I asked if he wanted to get in bed with me and he did.

About an hour later he wakes me up again asking me why I am growling like a monster. I guess I was snoring and it sounded like a monster.

I have to say, I am pretty impressed with the boy because he didn't back down from that monster. He confronted that monster and told it to stop growling at him. What a tough kid.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Llamas speak Spanish

Conversation between Justin and the kids:
Kids: "Dad, what do llamas say?"
Justin: (not wanting to admit he has no clue) "Llamas say the same thing camels say - only in Spanish."
Kids: "So what does it sound like?"
Justin: "I don't know - I don't speak Spanish."

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Justin's Birthday

Justin's birthday was last week (sorry I didn't post about it sooner - we've been without internet for the whole week). We had a few friends over and Justin's parents were also able to come down to help us celebrate. It was lots of fun! Here's Justin wearing his new football jersey and holding his cake:

Friday, September 26, 2008


So, I walked into the playroom last night and discovered this beautiful work of art created by Madison and Jordan...

Quite the little Van Goghs, aren't they?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Zachary's Baptism

We got to attend our nephew Zachary McQuaids baptism this weekend in Panaca. It was a lot of fun to have almost all the family together - Andrew and Em and kids came up from CA and Michelle and Nikolai even flew in from CO. The kids had a blast running around with their cousins all weekend. I want to let Zachary know how proud we are of him for choosing to get baptized. Thanks to Renea for the pictures - I forgot our camera.

Zach's baseball cake!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Yesterday was Jordan's first day of preschool. He absolutely loved it! He was so excited to have his own little Cars backpack. He is so independent and had no problem saying 'see ya, Mom!' I was a little sad to see him go, but I do have to admit it was pretty nice to have a couple hours of quiet (Josh's nap time corresponds perfectly with preschool)! Anyway, here is Jordan looking all cute and ready for school:

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sand, Sun & Seashells

We just got back from a fun weekend in Coronado. Here are a few pictures from our trip:

The kids in the big hole they dug.

Playing in the waves.

Justin boogie-boarding.

A very, very sandy Joshua having a blast at the beach. It took two baths and a swim in the hotel pool just to get all the sand out of his hair and ears!

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Day of School!!

Today was Madison's 1st day of school. She was so excited! Her first grade teacher is Mrs. Leonard. She sounds like a really fun teacher - in their classroom they have a frog, a snake, tadpoles, a gecko and crayfish. One of her best friends from her kindergarten class is in her class this year too - yeah! Jordan was really sad when she left for school, and even sadder when we reminded him as he was getting ready this morning that his preschool doesn't start for two more weeks.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


We just got back from a whirlwind of a trip to Utah. In 10 days we had my birthday, helped my grandparents move, went to my 10-year high school reunion, celebrated Madison's 6th birthday, spent a day at Hogle Zoo, threw Arianne a baby shower, and had my Grandpa and Grandma Pippin's 50th Wedding Anniversary party. It was a lot of fun, but I think I need a vacation to recover from my vacation!

I can hardly believe Madison is 6 now - she is growing up too fast! She was adamant that her cake and filling be chocolate and that there was chocolate in the pinata (a girl after my own heart). She also wanted her cake to be a Barbie cake and her pinata to be a heart, so, of course, that is what she got. Justin was amazing and helped me glue all the little crepe paper squares on the pinata.

A bunch of our big and crazy family helping us celebrate Madison's birthday!

Dark Chocolate Cake with Crazy Crunchy Filling, Marshmallow Creme Buttercream and Marshmallow Fondant.

We had a ton of fun at the zoo! Here we are (my mom, my brother Christopher, my sister Maren, Justin, me, Madison, Jordan and Joshua) in front of the Elephant Encounter. My brother Daniel and his girlfriend Amy surprised us and showed up a little later. Madison and Jordan were a kind of afraid of this big metal elephant because it made noise. It took us a while to convince them to stand that close to it to take a picture.

Posing with the cute baby giraffe.

All of us waiting to ride the zoo train.

My gorgeous sister at her baby shower. Her baby boy is due on September 12th. She is going to be such a cute mommy and her husband Dustin is going to be a fabulous daddy!

I spent 2 days in Ariannes kitchen helping her fill her freezer with meals for after the baby is born and making the cake and cupcakes for her shower. One of her favorite desserts is angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream, so I made her a fluffy white cake with strawberry filling (even the cupcakes were filled). It was a lot of fun making the little shoes and the little baby sleeping on the football for the top of this cake!

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary Grandpa & Grandma Pippin!

My grandparents never got a wedding cake, so I made this cake (and 6 serving cakes) for them for their anniversary party. Dark Chocolate Cake with Dulce De Leche Filling and Buttercream Icing. Very rich and yummy!! Mike Vause took leftovers to work the next day and got me a marriage proposal. Justin wasn't too keen about that and was ready to go down and defend my honor... lol!