/veɪˈkeɪʃən, və-/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [vey-key-shuhn, vuh-]
1. a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday: Schoolchildren are on vacation now.
2. a part of the year, regularly set aside, when normal activities of law courts, legislatures, etc., are suspended.
3. freedom or release from duty, business, or activity.
4. an act or instance of vacating.

va⋅ca⋅tion with kids:

a lot of work.
i'm pooped.
but we are having fun.
more later.


merry christmas

in lieu of blogging every day and reading your posts, i am taking a break. i am stuffing my face with fudge and sitting on couches watching my children entertained by our families. that is a real vacation my friends.

my last post of the year (do you really think i can make it that long?) is a true story from tyson's christmas past.

at a young 8 years old, on christmas morning, tyson unwrapped his very own red ryder daisy bb gun. yes, the exact same gun that the famous "ralphie" used in A Christmas Story. out he runs to the backyard and starts target practicing. shoot. shoot. shoot. hmm...he spots an empty electrical spool and decides to give it a try. and what do you think happened? the bb bounces straight off of it and hits ty right in his eye. well, directly below his eye. what are the odds?

according to him he kept on shooting and didn't go in crying to his mother. he thinks it's because he's brave. i think it's because he didn't have to make up a story for why his glasses broke. he did go inside when he bored of his new toy. he never had seen the movie yet and was confused as to why his aunt corinne laughed her head off when he said he almost "shot my eye out". hahaha.

that's my husband for you. we still love watching that movie, it's one of our favorite christmas traditions.



two days ago we told lucy we were traveling to logandale on friday.
she wet the bed that night.
she wet the bed last night.
how did i forget in one short year how weird my child gets around Christmas?

your probably thinking, "her kids can't get that bad", and so, i have a little story to tell you about our last holiday vacation. we'll call it...

The Poopy Christmas.
*due to my husband's pleading i am not posting the story. let's just say it was really, really bad. just think worse case scenario with a 3 yr old who's regressing with the potty and mad at her sister at the same time.

enough said. it was horrifying, disgusting and not the way to start off Christmas eve. and it almost ( i mean, so close) happened again Christmas day before i caught on.

i know it can never be as bad as last year, but i wonder what will happen this Christmas?


up and down

today we picked up a mcdonald's gift card for ty's brother that's on a mission. what missionary doesn't like free food right? so we are at the brand spankin' newly remodeled mcdonalds (it was nice people, and i'm talking nice) and decided to let the girls play in the playplace. i mean, it's brand new so the chances of them catching a deadly virus is next to nothing right?

but there a few things you should know first about my experience with playplaces: if we ever do get fast food (which is rare) it's drive-thru and i lie to my children and tell them the playplace is closed.

i know, i'm an elitist and enjoy parks more than indoor stuff, but today it's freezing out so i compromised. last week abby chanted the entire 20 minute walk home from the park "hads...cod...hads...cod...owie". and she had gloves on too.

so the whole point of this story is this: at parks/waterparks/playplaces there are always kids going UP the slide instead of down it. why does this drive me insane?

1. my kids aren't pushy so they'll sit at the top just waiting for bully to get up and then turn around and slide down. and then they act confused about which way to go and wait longer.
2.abby is so small a 1 year old could crush her if he wanted to, so when a first grader is running up the slide towards her, i get a little worried.
3. it messes up the entire slide cycle.
4. i never could do it as a kid. i always slipped and hit my chin. maybe that's the real reason behind all my angst.

if you let your kids go up the slide in public places-just slap your hand right now and repeat after me, "up the stairs, down the slide" that's right! keep repeating until it sticks.

oh, and don't you love the sing-song voice all mom's use when disciplining their kids in public? it cracks me up. i do it too, so i have no room to talk.


dots and dots of no

it's snowing again, and we're loving it! well, the girls and i are enjoying it, ty is indifferent. i like driving in the snow, walking in the snow, staring at the snow, thinking of snow. etc. etc. etc.

but this morning, i wasn't expecting it to be snowing at 5:40 in the morning.
I start walking to the gym and realize i'm getting covered in it.
back to the house.
back out to the gym with snow boots/coat and backpack w/ shoes inside.
back to the house.
back out to the gym again with my pass. ugh. that wasted almost 5 minutes because i didn't know i'd have to wrapped up like nanook of the north just to walk 4 blocks.

today was interval training (fast,slow,fast,slow). yes, i'm still training for a marathon, in the dead of winter. which makes me think that all this waking up at the crack of dawn and denying myself of the snooze button and my electric blanket is a form of this:

 gratification gained from pain, deprivation, degradation, etc., inflicted or imposed on oneself, either as a result of one's own actions or the actions of others


christmas pictures

thanks to my sister in-law tara and her mad photo skills- we finally got our annual pictures taken.
we drove up the hill to the Y parking lot and only had about 15 minutes to take them. i can't believe how cute they turned out, if i might say so myself.

did i mention it was freezing?

i'm glad i finally got to wear my $20 vintage coat i've had since we married.
this is the one we put for our cards-but now i think it makes me look pregnant. uck.

this is where it all started. the leavitt truck that has been passed down from one male to the next. we had our first date/first kiss/first "talk"/and proposal in this truck. ah, nostalgia. i guess that's why i let ty keep it in our driveway.


growing pains

i just checked on the girls before turning in for the night. my mom always said that's the secret to motherhood, go in and enjoy them when they are peaceful.

and there they were, lucy sleeping straight on her back, holding her baby of course, and abby curled up because she is her 6-9month sleeper? what? she wears 18mo old clothes now. should i change her or just let her sleep?

ty put them to bed tonight while i visit taught and he hates having to "look" for their clothes. granted, he is a man, and color blind, and our house is disorganized, but really, couldn't he tell they are too small when she can't stand up all the way in them?

love at home

lucy, after being put in time out for the second time this morning:

"well, i don't wish you a happy new year!"

crackin' nuts

how many nuts can you crack in an hour? with the stupid $3 handheld one from the store, I can do about two. but thanks to my amazing husband's channel locks, i can do about 30. who knew?



nutcracker part deux

this is our second year attending the nutcracker (i know, totally spoiled by my mom) on a mommy/daughter date. this year we opted to drive an hour to salt lake to see ballet west's version. so very worth it.
we had a great time and lucy wants to be a ballerina. surprise surprise. she still doesn't believe me that i actually danced "in" it every year when I was younger. just too hard to imagine i guess : )

sunday question:

"Can you airplane fly to Heaven?" -Lucy


quote of the week

lucy: mom, say something, and then i'll coffee you, and then you need to shout "stop coffeeing me!". ok?
me: ok
lucy: mom, you forgot, you need to say something!
me: what do you want me to say?
lucy: what do you want me to say? now say, "stop coffeeing me!"
me: stop copying me!
lucy: hahaha. that was fun wasn't it?


randomness in december

this morning, on the way to the health food store, i pulled into the right turn lane instead of heading straight ahead. so, when the light turned green, i gunned it and cut off the byu co-ed in her blue beetle. sorry girlie, but i just didn't have an extra 2 minutes to reroute.

lucy notices everything. and i mean, everything. about 6 months ago she asked, "why do mommies eat different lunches than daddies and me?" ugh. i explained that when you are the mommy, and make the food, you can have salads too instead of cheese quesadillas/grilled cheese/burritos/top ramen (their usual lunch fare). she acted really excited to know that she'll have power some day.

our oldest also informed me of her never-ending list of christmas presents she wants. how do i get this to stop? i don't mind if she's excited, but she is bordering obsessed. and she's obsessed with barbies. i thought that wouldn't show up until grade school. and i know i shouldn't be surprised because i was obsessed with them too. but it still makes me very sad that she wants to grow up so fast.

we babysat our little niece evelyn today. lucy was an angel, helpful, watchful, loving. abigail was nice the first 15 minutes, then jealous, spiteful, and hogged all the toys. yet another reason why the thought of having another baby scares me to death.

all this running, healthfood runs and salads for lunch has paid off. i know it's cheesy to put on the blog, but i have been a size 6 pants for a year now. and let me tell you, i haven't worn that size since i was in HS. so go me i guess.

and last sunday, driving home from church, we saw a lady in the park walking her...raccoon. yes, a raccoon on a leash, and she was scooping up it's poop like a dog. lucy was fascinated and now wants a squirrel/raccoon/skunk/chipmunk of a pet when we own a home.



one of our holiday traditions (among many) is to cut down our own christmas tree. this year we were a little short on time and didn't have the luxury of shopping for the "right" one, but the girls think it's fabulous. i think it's kind of ugly (but only $6, so it's a trade off).

it was still a lot of fun to get out with ty's family away from everything. thanks to grandma and granpa ty and i had 4 hours of traveling with no kids. it was nice.

who knew southern nevada could look like this?
daddy and his girls. notice lucy's posing phase right now.
grandma leavitt,auntie taryn and the girls
beautiful sunset that ty made me get in the picture for. he caught me mid smile.


thanksgiving at grandma's...

is all about the food!

my favorite homemade thanksgiving dinner was this year. my sweet potatoes rocked, ty didn't fall asleep at my mom's,the girls were well behaved- ate their food- played with all their cousins (and 2nd cousins and aunts and uncles and grandmas, grandpas, great-grandmas, great-grandpas, great aunts and uncles too), it was a lot of fun.
here are the pie makers. we made 8 pies for 12 people. yeah, we like to bake.
abby a 'little' excited about the prospect of pie
my sister sarah and me
we usually eat my mom and dad's because i help with the cooking (or she pretends to let me) and then we go up to tyson's grandparents house for the annual skeet shoot and more yummy food. we are grateful to have so many people who love us and let us visit with them.


granny's apple pie

in the spirit of giving thanks and sharing with others, i've decided to post the best freagin' apple pie recipe known to mankind. as far as i know, this is a family secret, and the 'granny' method of rolling out the crust and measuring is sacred. so you should feel pretty darn special right now.

my granny curtis was one of the best pastry and dessert chefs around (just ask my dad about the eclairs and new jersey). of course you can use this crust recipe with any pie, but this apple is my favorite, and this is my blog, so there you go.

Granny Curtis' Pie Crust:

(makes two 9" pie crusts)
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 t salt
2/3c shortening (only use crisco, it's the best)
5-7 T ice cold water (depends on how humid your climate is)

1. Mix salt and flour
2. Add crisco- barely mix until small clumps form (about the size of peas)
You can do this by "cutting it in" with two knives, using a pastry cutter, or slowly, slowly mixing with a kitchenaid. i've never tried w/ a hand mixer.
3. Add cold water all at once- barely mix until just wet
4. Clump together with hands into one large ball-cut in half
5. Roll out between two pieces of wax paper ALWAYS starting in the middle of the ball (I like to go around the clock: 12 o'clock, 6 o'clock,3,9,10,2,5,7 repeat)
6. Release from was paper slowly and place into pie pan.

Apple Pie Filling:

6 cups thinly slice and pared apples
(granny smith or golden delicious are best, but i've taken a liking to gala too)
3/4-1 cup sugar
2 T flour
1 t ground cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg
2 T butter

1.Combine all dry ingredients, except butter, well.
2.Add apples.
3.Place into pie crust- cut up butter into small pieces and arrange on top of apples.
4.Cover with remaining pie crust. Seal the edges with water or egg whites. Cut crust off with butter knife at the edges and form to your liking. I use the finger pinch. Brush top of crust with egg whites, sprinkle with sugar, cut some slits for vents in also.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Then at 375 degrees for another 25 minutes.


future vegetarian

last night i roasted a turkey. i dream some day of cooking my 'own' thanksgiving meal. for now my mom let's me pretend like i'm helping at hers.

back to our turkey. while sticking into the oven lucy asks, "mom, what is wrong with that chicken?".
"it's a turkey dear" ( i swear i sound more and more like my mom every day).
"Oh, well, it still is funny looking."

we sit down to eat my dry turkey (i need to get my sis in law's brine recipe) and lucy attacks us with a barrage of questions:
"where is it's head?"
"can it still walk?"
"what happens after we eat it?"
"what is this part?" (poking at it w/ her fork)
"look mom, i'm making it talk!"
"why is it dead?"
"who killed it?"
"can we have spaghetti?"

meanwhile, abby is chowing down on her second helping and belting out "mmeeeeeaat...mmmeeeeat!" no worries there with that child; she came out of the womb a carnivore.


run run run

it's officially official. my sister sarah and i started our marathon training this past saturday.
i must be a little slow on the uptake, because i just realized i have a training run every saturday morning till april. whew.
the nice part is, the mileage is starting out slowly, which i likey.

but just think of this: every morning, when you are nice and snug in bed, i'm outside with my beanie and gloves on, running in 30 degree weather (it's only going to get colder).

it has been a long time goal of mine to run a marathon, but now i'm doing it for bigger cause than just crossing it off my list. i'm fund raising with my run for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 75% of all the funds raised go directly to research and supporting patients and their families. even a girl on our team has 18 months left of treatments and is training for the 1/2 marathon! talk about inspiring.

i won't start asking for donations quite yet...but if you're interested now my link is on the left hand side of this blog.
for now, i'm going to go defrost in the shower.


give thanks

i'm thankful for my:
hard working husband
vivacious children
church i belong to
loving and supportive family
faithful friends
healthy body
good books
reading glasses
smiling faces
kitchen aid
helping neighbors
12-13 yr girls i teach every sunday
heating blanket
gym buddies
running shoes
library card


quote of the week

"look mom!" yells lucy, running into my room from hers.
(pointing to ariel's 'shell' bra) "you have one of those thingies just like ariel does. just yours isn't purple!"

"yup, you're right" was my response.

as you can see, we are still very vague on body parts and clothing articles with our daughters. any suggestions?


abigail's prayer

me: "our dear Heavenly Father,"
abby: (poking the toast) "fawda"
me: "we thank thee,"
abby: "dee"
me: "for the food,"
abby: "fooood"
me: "we ask thee,"
abby: "deeeee"
me: "to bless it,"
abby: (staring at her plate) "egg!"
me: "in the name,"
abby: "beebuu naim"
me: "of Jesus Christ,"
abby: "geezuz kites"
me: "amen"
abby: "AMEN!"


october pics

finally, some pictures from my sister's visit!

piggy back rides+crunchy leaves=happiness
this is right after my sister danna asked them to "touch your heads together!"
serious abby
this is our lucy

hmm...is it me or does abby's head look like a pumpkin shape too?
danna, me, sarah
dinner at the Red Iguana. best. mexican. food. ever. this was after we went and saw bodyworks; i completely endorse going to see that also.
sarah and me with the girls-yes you can see the Y from our house


quotes of the week

lucy: "what's that smell?"
me: "that man is smoking"
lucy: "he's smoking!? but he's gonna die!"

lucy: "mom, how many yellow hair girls can we see on campus?"
me: laughing, laughing, laughing..."probably a lot sweetie"

abby: "toot toot!" (whenever she can hear the train go by)

lucy: "mom, i know babies come from heaben, but how do they get into your tummy?"
me: "who wants a cookie?"

abby: "i wan some" "pease" "dait doo" "punkin, punkin, punkin!"

lucy at BYU bookstore: "mom, why do they have all their christmas stuff up? it's not even thanksgiving."
me: "yes, maybe you should tell them that"

and my favorite this week:
lucy: "mom, what if we saw a dog get runned over, and we stopped, and i frew up on it and then we left?" hmmm, that's just sick and wrong.


words of wisdom de ty

so i'm still waiting for my dear sis to email me pics from her visit (hint hint) and waiting therefore to blog about it. obviously i can't wait any longer. the major accomplishment of the visit is ty survived even that much more estrogen in his house for 5 days, who knew?
one of the days, amidst all of our girl talk( i don't even remember what the topic was about), ty says:
"well, all you have to do is look at her shoes"
at first i thought he was joking, because if you know ty, he knows nothing of fashion in this world except the history of red sox uniforms. i laughed and asked, "whaat?"
and this is his reply:

"you can tell a girl by her shoes. if she's hobbling about in high heels or weird boots, she's not going to be a girl who'll jump at the chance to go hiking or camping"
wow. totally didn't see that one coming. and he was serious! no wonder he got me, i think the only shoes i wore till we got married were vans and reefs (which i happened to sneak on at our reception too).

of course he's generalizing, because why can't we be both? i love me some pairs of nice stilettos and (as my mom says, really) do-me-boots. but i'm also not one to shy away from wipey baths and outdoor plumbing for several days. it's a paradox i tell ya. thank goodness i go to church every sunday because those boots would just stay dusty in the bottom of my closet without a place to go.

but, maybe, just maybe, he may be right when it comes to most women? i need input on this one.


what letter is that again?

today is preschool at our house. i'm rushing around getting ready (yet still find time to post?) and lucy asks:
"what letter is it again today mom?"
me: "the letter I"
lucy: "and next week?"
me: "um, J"
lucy: "and that means the next week it's LMNOP" "mom, what words start with LMNOP?"

ty and i just died laughing. i remember thinking it was L, MandM, O, P. Like the candy. Gotta love kids!


birthdays and the sabbath don't mix

once i became a mom, i realized i only get two days a year (mothers day/birthday) where i can pretty much do what i want without ty blinking an eye. but this year, they were both on sundays. what's up with that? oh what? you like going to 3 hours of church with your kids on the day after daylight savings? it doesn't bother you that they woke up at 5:30 am with the time change and got cranky by 4pm? wow, hats off to you because it pretty much sucked. but thanks to phonecalls and facebook, i still felt the love. thanks.

i still get to go out with hubby tonight, and pick out my gift. i know, i'm excited too! but overall, birthdays just don't have as much pizzaz as they used too.

cupcakes for school, surprise birthday parties, new clothes. wait, who am i kidding? I never grew up with birthdays like that. but i still like to take a moment on my day of birth and appreciate all that i have.

for now, i'm loving that i finally got my favorite face lotion back thanks to some birthday moolah.


at last...halloween

somehow halloween just couldn't come fast enough for us. let's just say that lucy gets more than a "little excited" about the holidays. it's like she's on the verge of peeing her pants waiting for the day to come. is it halloween yet? is it yet?
thank goodness my mom got us an advent calendar for us this year, it helped a ton.

we had a great time...great weather...pretty good stash of candy. hope yours was happy too!

Alice and The White Rabbit

abby caught on after the third house and was so excited to get candy in her bucket
somehow this piece of candy got into lucy's pillowcase that night. so cute huh?
me and the girls


i am not a good samaritan

we have a gorgeous english walnut tree out our front door. not only does it shade us all summer long, but now, at this time, it drops it's huge walnuts down for us. there are plenty, and last year I had dreams of cracking them open and giving them in neat little mason jars to neighbors and friends for recipes.

and then, one afternoon, a family came by and asked ty if they could take 'some'. well, just imagine my face when i come home and they are all gone. we still got two grocery bags full, one for our landlord, one for us. but i was angry. mainly because walnuts are so dang expensive.

well, this afternoon, i woke up from my nap (yes, sometimes i nap, you would too if you worked out every morning before the sun rises), and hear the rustling of leaves. i walk outside and see people all over my yard, taking my walnuts. ooh, i was angry (mainly from the nap waking) but they could see my scary face. the two women walked sheepishly with bulging bags back into the car. and the man stayed, and explained that last year my husband said yes. i then explained back that i was 'angry' that they took all of them. they aren't even ours to give away. i told him they could take one bag and leave the rest. he dumped his out and said they only had one in the car. i saw them load the car, i knew what they had. i told them to just leave, we use them for baking and stuff. he said most people just throw theirs out so they take them. well not me! i was so pissed.

and now, i feel a little ashamed. mostly because some of ours went bad last year, and this family might need them more than we do. but i think, hey, i bet this guy is selling them to his neighbors for 5 bucks a bag or something (which is a steal). who knows right? just remember, don't wake up annie from naps. she'll be grumpy at you too. and she won't share either.


pumpkin time

remember those pumpkin seeds we planted? well, wouldn't you know it, they grew. i have to admit i was surprised how well they did.
the girls had a great time picking the "perfect" one.

i'm guessing this one's heavyty picked cousin evelyn's 'baby punkin'
lucy was so very proud of hers

thanks grandpa leavitt for getting up every morning and watering them for us! lucy said you should do it next year too...hint hint.



right now I have my big sis from sunny california visiting us!

anyways, they'll be a mega picture post to follow but for now i've noticed a few things about my life at home:

when you have toddlers you go to the potty with the door open; not so polite when other people are in the house : )

when toddlers are in the house it takes 4 hours to get out the door; when they have a new audience to entertain, it takes 6 hours.

that's all for now, i'm sure i'll have more revelations by the end of the week.


camp life

finally scanned in our photos from one of our camping trips to the Uintas this year.

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