Thursday, December 1, 2011


Gary won this turkey at our local community "Turkey Toss," by doing this:
(I don't know what illegalities I'm committing by including this professionally scanned photo.  Hopefully Mike Donahue has a forgiving heart and a sense of humor.  I think he does.)
So, back to the story. 
Chad and I and the three older girls were planning on attending my brother's wedding in DC over Thanksgiving, so, what to do with the turkeys?  Lexi and Lily had also won in their age groups, (though they had to heave real 10-lb frozen turkeys--our hidden family talent:  turkey tossing.  Who knew?) so we had a freezer full of birds, and weren't even going to be here for the big day. 
We knew, however, that the rest of the Leavitts etc., etc., were throwing a big shindig, and Grandpa Gary would be readying his pit to bar-b-q many a turkey. 
"Lets give the turkeys to Grandpa," I said.  "They are having a big party, and the turkeys will surely get eaten."
"Don't give the turkeys to Grandpa!!!"  Gary exclaimed. "He'll just shove them in the ground!"
Realizing he didn't understand pit-bar-b-q-ing, but not knowing what he was thinking, I had to ask, "And then what?"
Gary shrugged, "They'll grow turkeys?" 

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Favorite Halloween Pictures

 Lily and Lexi before school on Halloween.  I just realized we should have painted Lily's face green and called them Ga-linda, and the Wicked Witch of the West. 
 Bloody Samuel
 The Mummy Game in Eden's class party
 Gary as Gumby?  It's a green stretchy shape-suit thingie intended for imaginative play.  He really wanted to wear it, but when it came time to trunck-of-treat that night, he wouldn't wear it because he said, "People laughed."  It was pretty funny.  I wish it hadn't bothered him, because he was adorable and unique.  That night he put white gauzy fabric over his head and was a ghost.  Nobody laughed. 
 If you can't see her carving, you can click on the picture.  It's worth it.  She carved it herself.  It is my favorite pumpkin ever. 
He wouldn't wear this at Sage's party earlier this week.  On Halloween night, I mentioned candy, and he had no more problem with it.  He understands SO much more that I think. 

Hope you had a Happy Halloween. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Family Journaling

For the sake of the FamilyJournal aspect of this blog,
there are some things I need to post. 
I am feeling behind! 
We've been busy. 
As usual.  

 We took a last minute fling to Disneyland.  The kids had finished their Disneyland goals (things like, have a bread-baking lesson with Aunt Bonnie, learn to vacuum the car, memorize your address.  Stuff like that.) and Lexi didn't want to miss school to go, so we squeezed it in during the last weekend of Summer Vacation.  Grandma and Grandpa Leavitt went with us, and Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Tim, and their four cuties. 
I got the camera out for this picture because we were so bedragled.  We were in California Adventure and had done the river ride multiple times, so we'd been soaked and air dried repeatedly.  Chad and I are both carrying sleeping children, and we all have sweat dripping down our backs.  It just so says "Disneyland":  happy and having fun, but worn out!

Breakfast in the hotel before day 2.  Yellow day.  
A moment that made us laugh: 
A woman with an elegant British accent walked past us next to the teacups and said to Grandpa Gary, in his almost-yellow-but-mostly-tan shirt and said, "Oh, you'd look lovely in banana!  That's the worst cop-out I've ever seen!"  Now everytime he wears that shirt, we remind him it's his cop-out shirt.

 Another sticky, sweaty, happy moment.

 And then we had to get down to business.  School!
Lily joined Lex at the middle school this year. 

 Here are my three elementary schoolers. 

 And then the adults went back to school too! 
Jared and Marie came out and went with Chad and I and Chad's dad, to Front Sight.  We took a four-day defensive hand gun training class.  Hm.  I never saw that one coming.  I'd never even heard of Front Sight until a few months before, when the opportunity came up to go.  Until the course, I'd shot maybe 50 bullets in my entire life.  Before we went I jokingly told friends we were going to "handgun daycamp".  It ended up being more like a 4-day college degree, complete with lectures, internship, and final exam.  We learned so much, and had such a good time doing it.

 On the last day we got to compete against each other.  Marie challenged me.  I took her on and beat her.  Not because I'm better or faster than her.  I'm not.  But because I can take down my targets and eject brass down the front of her shirt at the same time.  In this picture, I am reholstering, and she has handed her gun to the instructer next to her, and is fishing a hot shell out of her clothing.  She did continue to take down her last target while her skin was blistering, (Go Marie!) but it gave me just enough of an edge that I did finish first. 

One last adventure before we settle down into volleyball games and soccer schedules...  Chad and I spent this last weekend in Utah.  We went for the BYU/Utah game(we won't talk about that), and some face-time with our friends up there.  Five days before our trip, Annette, (the blond to my left) asked me if I wanted to run the Dirty Dash with her.  It's a 10k through mud pits, mud tunnels, mud walls, and the marshy part of the Deer Creek Reservoir.  We certainly didn't run the whole way, partly because in certain places, if we ran, we'd end up rolling, partly because in certain places we needed to swim, climb, or crawl, and partly because in certain places, we were just laughing too hard.  It was so much fun. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


As we believe,
when we're young,
in fairies and dragons,
so we believe,
when we're older,
in each other,
hoping the goodness will be true,
and sometimes it is.

Thank you for 15 years of wishes come true, love. 
(The Chads.  I love this picture.)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Just Gary. Just because, well, you know.

 Lily kept catching horned toads, and the kids loved them. 
 You have to click on this picture to see him, but he is there--and only stopped there because his momma didn't think it was wise for him to go further. 
 No fence-sitting for him.
He prefers fence-flying.
 Fixing the motorcycle was the excitement for this afternoon.
Fire bugs.

Aunt Racqual's redneck pinata for Gabe's birthday

 And my redneck erector set:  toothpicks and mini-marshmallows. 
Gary and David made bar-bells and lifted weights
 Not afraid to leap across creeks as wide as he is tall (Actually, I can't think of anything he's afraid of.)
This is the previous horned toad's older brother(I think). 
They are so fat!  It's a mystery to me how they survive in the wild. 

And, not to be outdone by little sister...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days Of Summer

(No picture. 
I wish I had a picture. 
It certainly would have made a good picture.) 

When we're not camping and it's triple digits outside, we tend to go a little stir crazy around here. 
One day last week, I walked into my bedroom and heard screaming coming from my bathroom.  The door was locked.  Upon breaking in, I found Gary, tied to a chair with green yarn.

What the heck? 



Father was immediately called in to mete out appropriate decades of room time to the guilty Samuel and Eden because I was way beyond speech.

Quite a hefty chunk of time into their sentence, I noticed that Samuel was pouting unduly. 

What is wrong dear?  You tied up your brother and locked him in the bathroom.  Did you not expect to get into trouble for this?

"Mom, he WANTED us to do it!" 

Hm.  That's a new one. 

"He wanted to see if he could get out."

A tiny bell went off in my head.  I faintly remembered having a casual conversation with Samuel earlier that week about Houdini. 

Maybe there was some truth to this story. 

Maybe we had been hasty in our horror. 

Grounding was rescinded with extracted promises that if Houdini starts screaming, you have to help him.  And you can't just go play once you've tied someone up. 

So the next day, Gary/Houdini is calmly and willingly being tied to a chair again.  He is, surprisingly, actually worming his little wrists out of the green yarn knots. 

Chad comes into the kitchen and sees what's happening.  He thunders over to them, "Samuel!  Good Grief!  If you are going to tie someone up, you can't do it like that!  You have to tie their wrists independently!  Let me show you."

So, if anyone would like to practice their knot-tying skills, or has an old trunk, or a straight-jacket lying around, we are all into summer fun around here. 

I actually think we'd better go camping again before I need that straight-jacket myself.  Ta ta.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Campin' 2011

 You can tell it's the first day, because the boys are still clean!  Chaddy was trying to blow the fire out. 
 If there was a fire, Gary was there. 
 Camp crafts. 
 Ready for a ride.
 Making flower fairies. 
Stories about Eden:  Her eyes swelled up like last year, we have no idea why.  She said, "I look ugly, disgusting and hideous!"  Dad said, "Nice vocabulary."  Tim gave her some sunglasses that she wore every second till the swelling went down.  Then she rode the 4-wheeler with Lex and, going over a bump, hit her cheek on the handle bar.  She got a cut, and her cheek swelled up.  "I look like an alien!!"  I used my first butterfly bandage, and Lex got dubbed the Crazy Driver. 
 Racqual's boys, hanging a swing in the quakies.  They made two nervous parents and one nervous wife...
 ...and one nice ride.  But with a rope that long, you had to be a pretty straight swinger to avoid whopping a tree. 
 Sage, blowing on a "wish."
Cards in the cook tent.(Notice, it's not day one anymore.  Chaddy would wipe at his eye with his black hand and end up looking like KISS.  I don't think I got a picture of it, but I know you know what I mean  :))
Mosquito repeller on mosquito attracter.  I counted 40 bites on his face.  On the way home, the lady at Taco Bell asked if he had the Measles or Chicken Pox.  No.  Just sweet baby blood!?!  I think I used a whole bottle of OFF just on him. 

 Licorice Lips!
 Cousin Cloe, pushing Sage and Daisy.  They were inseparable. 
 After a lighter mishap, and nearly collapsing Grandpa's awning, Chad decided Gary needed some positive interaction.  So he taught him to ride cousin Gabe's motorcycle.  He picked it up just like that.  Chad tried to keep him in the dark about 2nd and 3rd gear, but a couple of days later, he figured it out on his own.  He laps camp, and one lap was suddenly much faster than the others had been.  Chad heard him yell, "I'm flying!"  and ran to intercept him to tell him to stop. 
"Were you scared Gary?" 
 "Only when I saw you running at me." 
 Campfire snuggles
 Samuel and his house
 Lily and Hannah making marshmallow masterpieces.
 Root beer floats. 
 Right in the middle of camp, we had a family of mountain blue birds.  The mother and father would take turn bringing caterpillars and bugs to the hungry babies all day long.  They were never more than two or three minutes without a parent showing up with food.  That tree two pictures up, right behind Lily's head, was their home.  They were so fun to watch, and made my job look easy. 
 My flower fairies!  --and Racqual's :) 
 Cousin Abby and Lily and I went on an outing to the bathrooms.  Then it started pouring.  So we stayed.  And played Big Bootie, The Story Game, The Scream Game, and Bubblegum, Bubblegum, sang Down by the Banks, and took silly pictures.  We also were treated to the sight of a deer grazing across the meadow, and then...

 a rainbow, and we know it was time to leave. 
What a fun 9 days!  And now I have a mountain of laundry it will take oxygen to reach the top of, and a trailer that needs a serious wipe down.  Wow, vacationing is work!  But worth every second.  

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Still the Same She

Her vocals are still as intermittantly enthusiastic and charming as ever.  Ever. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

May Day

Lily's 5th Grade rite of passage, braiding the Maypole. 
 Isn't she grown up?! 

And beautiful!

Here's Your Sign

Though I took FOUR semesters of American Sign Language in college, and though I think it is a WONDERFUL idea to teach your babies sign, I have never actually  knuckled down and done it.  So, if my babies want to speak sign, they have to teach themselves.  Chaddy has done a fabulous job of this.  Like any true signer knows, facial expressions have a lot to do with the grammar of the language. I have been documenting Chaddy's facial sign for the past month or so, and am ready to share his incredible abilities with the world. 

This first sign means, "I love dirt."

"Yes I did just throw a pencil at you.  Whaddayagonna do about it?"

"Lips Off."  
This one is especially existential.  "I have cried, wined, flailed and pounded, and yet here I still sit, restrained, inhibited, strapped.  Why, why, why?" 
Or, more succinctly,
 "Let me outa here."

"I could strike you out with my eyes closed."

"Do you think there's another cupcake in one of those eggs?

And finally, my favorite, "Kiss me, Momma!"