William Braden joined us Oct. 17, 2004 just after Alicia finished Physician Assistant school and Bill started Law school at ASU. Kaytlin Hazel came 2 years later on Nov. 4, 2006. Bill graduated from Law school May of 2007 and joined the Air Force in January of 2008. Alicia worked as a Physician Assistant during this time for the Phoenix Fire Department and then in family practice the last year. We moved from Gilbert,AZ to Great Falls, Montana May of 2008 for Bill's first assignment in the Air Force as a JAG attorney. Jacob Brett joined us on July 2, 2008.
We went to Memorial Falls which is about an hour from Great Falls and did a little hiking. It is a beautiful drive and we had a lot of fun. The first picture is a scenic overlook on the way back called the Sluice Boxes. Braden was ready with his cape and walking stick, and was disappointed we didn't see a bear.
We took a family trip to Billings in August. We watched some friends' kids while they went to the temple and then they watched ours while we went. It was so nice to be there. We wanted our kids to be able to walk around and see the beautiful temple. They were most interested in picking the flowers. They had fun staying at the hotel and we went for ice cream later, which they really enjoyed:) That was until Braden had to go to the bathroom and was so worried about letting go of his ice cream cone, that he had an accident. He went from cloud 9 to screaming and whaling at the loss of his ice cream (and the loss of his pants) that Bill had thrown in the trash so he could maneuver the situation better. It was a memorable trip.
This summer I competed in my first ever 5K and then later in a biathlon. For some reason people assume I enjoy or am good at running. This is far from the case. I am a speed/power athlete and jogging is not that fun to me and I get sideaches. I wanted something to work at and train for. By the end, I did start to enjoy jogging more, although I would certainly always prefer about any kind of sporting activity over it:) The biathlon was supposed to be a triathlon, 500 meter swim, 12 mile bike ride, and 5K. We showed up for the race and some replacement worker the night before had forgotten to close a valve on the pool and about half the water was emptied. So they finally decided to just do a biathlon. I was upset initially, but as I was nearing the end of the race, that I swore in my head I would never do again, I was quite glad that some ditzy person had let the water out(I'm an even worse swimmer than jogger). Of course, after the race and when the pain had subsided some, I thought I might want to do one again:) I had a lot of fun training with my friends and felt a great sense of satisfaction in training and completing the races
So when I was little, I added a few middle names to my original given name, the first of which was ladybug. The next two because I was a bit of a Sesame Street fan. Anyhow, I had a little ladybug dress that I LOVED, and was inspired (at around 2 or 3 years old) to add ladybug to my name. My mom saved the dress and this is Kaytlin wearing the ladybug dress now. She is riding her bike down the street and I got a kick out of her in my dress on her bike with her unkempt hair. What a girl:) She loves to wear dresses. I don't know where she gets it from because other than my love for this particular dress, I can say I have never loved wearing a dress.
So I had a goal to update my blog today, and I quickly realized why I struggle to keep up on it...three little kiddos! So I think I will post in parts. Here's about April-early July. Now I'm only three months behind. Maybe tomorrow:)
Best Buddies. I only wish they spent more time napping and reading on the couch:) Of course you might notice Kaytlin's book is upside down. She's advanced and can read upside down.
For summer vacation we headed home to AZ. We spent the 4th of July in a cabin in Pinetop with the LaDuke family and had a great time. We celebrated 4 birthdays that weekend: Jacob, Betina, Gage, and Lily's.
Jacob turned one on July 2nd!!!! Jacob is such a fun little guy. He started walking around 11 months. He really likes balls and already likes to tease his sister. He is into everything right now. He loves his binkie and blanket, he's like Linus with his blanket. We're so happy he came to our family.
We spent a few days camping at beautiful Hawley Lake for the Brimhall Reunion and had a great time.
Here we are fishing on my birthday (May 22). We tried fishing several times this summer, but weren't all that succesful:( I did catch two fish on this outing. We also traded in our old Lexus car for this used truck. Someone on base bought our old car from the dealer, it's pretty funny to see it driving around here. I feel like apologizing to the family who bought it, but maybe it's awesome to them:)
Braden "Graduating" from pre-school. He's still in pre-school this year too, so I'm not sure why they have a graduation, I guess any reason to get dressed up and celebrate.
Incredibly, this is the first weekend of May. It was the most snow we had at one time for the whole year!! This is Montana after all:)
Easter 2009 We got together with several families at our friend's house for a fun Easter Egg Hunt.
Coloring Easter Eggs
We made some yummy Strawberry Jam in the spring. Braden loves to help out in the kitchen.
and what better to go with strawberry jam than homemade bread....yummy!!
I think if CPS stopped by on any given day they might suspect neglect. Just look at this naked girl with the crazy hair and soggy diaper--but hey, she is almost never without her white Sunday shoes! She likes to try things on and mostly likes to take things off, although lately she wants to wear her favorite pajamas all day long. Her room is always torn apart, usually shortly after picking up. She prefers easy access to her treasures, which means she puts everything on the floor. I find signs of her everywhere: stickers all over the place, drawings on the wall, and dirty laundry strewn about--she is a pistol. We enjoy her so much. In regards to her hair, some days--and by some days I mean most days--I just don't want to fight the ensuing battle over combing the rat's nest that is the back of her hair. It looks like this most mornings when she wakes up. Sometimes we just dowse some water on it to tame it a little and head out the door. I thought if it was short it wouldn't get as matted, but now I wonder if long would be easier to manage. I've tried leave-in conditioners. What about corn rows? Please, any suggestions?
special powers: hypersensitivity to excessive expenditures. Can change into a horse for his children to ride. Able to grow vegtables of gigantic proportions.
Wonderwoman aka Alicia
special powers: the partially devolped ability to withstand cries and shrieking without her head exploding. Working on domestic skills such as cooking, making bread, and even tampering with sewing.
Batman-Spiderman/Hybrid aka Braden
special powers: include a keen sense of how to make his sister/sidekick cry. Enjoys his duties as a superhero all day long, everyday. Can morph in and out of several different superheros and characters. Loves his baby brother and is a good brother to his sidekick sister most of the time.
Staticwoman aka Kaytlin
special powers: exceptional climbing abilities, incredible dexterity in that she can get into things and open and take them apart. She is a true joy. She gains special strength by rubbing her hands and forehead on her mom's arm, she has a bit of a skin fetish.
Wonderboy aka Jacob
special powers: He puts those around him in a trance with his gorgeous smile. He can sleep through absurd amounts of noise.
Underdog aka Buddy
special powers: can detect the slightest gaseous emission which he signals with a howl. Can squeeze into places only a mouse could fit. Can sing opera.
Doing What We Can To Make The World A Better Place
As you can see, The LaDuke Justice League has been hard at work coloring with markers all over our bodies, eating cookies at any time of day, and making sure that all neighborhood grass gets a little watering from Braden. Feel free to drop us a few comments!