childhood scars

i've never experienced as much fear as a parent when i realized that my oldest will remember what is happening. 2, 3, heck even 5 if your my sister sarah, you can't remember that far back. but 6! i remember being 6! i even remember kindergarten, and i especially remember my good friend mo egan and that i was the only one who couldn't tie the snowshoes that day and i cried in the corner and they put a picture of it on the year book.

monday was one of those days for lucy. she ran off the bus teary eyed and bawling. she had puked on the bus. my kid was "that kid". i can't believe she did it, but she merrily got back on the bus this morning. and oh! how i prayed for her. please don't let those kids make fun of her! something like that  never dies down, kids are like elephants with embarassing crap. i will never forget ben shryock from elementary school. why? because he barfed all over his yearly exams 2 years in a row.

when i hugged lucy and helped her wash off her coat and hair i thought about how that bird pooped on my in middle school. i've never looked at a seagull the same way again.

but at the same time, things like this happen to every child don't they? that's life...things are starting to go a little good, and then a bird poops on your head. i hope she survives this one down.


a holiday feast

inspired by jandee, i embarked on a (hopefully) new tradition for the holiday season. as thanksgiving approached i was watching the commercials and hype of the holidays. and as much as i can scoff and worry about how "everyone" else is celebrating with shopping, giving and going into debt, i thought more about what i really think about for the holidays.

can you guess what it was? at first it was my children and family and what to give them for christmas that they would enjoy. and second, food. yes...food. i thought about making the perfect batch of toffee and grannie's sugar cookie recipe. i dreamt about dove chocolate squares in my stocking and warm hot cocoa and cinnamon rolls at my mom and dad's.

this  year i wanted it to be different. i wanted to focus my holiday celebration on the real reason of the season. the birth and life of the Savior Jesus Christ. starting thanksgiving day i began an accelerated reading of the Book of Mormon.  at about 18 pages a day i can finish on christmas day. i thought this was a crazy undertaking, but from jandee's advice i did it. and although i am early on in the game, only day 6 of 30. i sit down at night after everyone is in bed, turn on the christmas music and read it like a real book. not like "i have to read my scriptures every day" kind of thing. but a "curled up in a warm blanket on the couch devouring the writing" kind of book. i have to write what a difference it already has made in my life. for all the times i've read this book, i've never focused just on the Savior. i can't tell you how much i have already learned about His life, His purpose and His will for us on this earth, and i'm not even to 100 pages yet.

i just want my kids to read this someday and be inspired to do the same thing. it has already filled my heart with joy and purpose in just these few days that i feel as though it might overflow. what a perfect holiday feast.


diy paralysis

when i get an idea on what i want for our house, i then look up how to do it by myself (or better yet, look up how ty can make it by himself).  but then something happens when it comes to actually doing something: i get paralyzed. i want it to be so perfect/unique/me/different but cute that i don't do anything. so i have idea after idea after idea and.....drum roll please...no execution. bare walls. no wallpaper. no picture frames. nothing.

so a little while ago, i decided it it is better to have SOMETHING made other than NOTHING made. does it have to be totally unique/pinterest worthy? no. does it have to work and look semi nice? yes.

and so, i was brave and ordered vinyl from a dear friend kathryn (thanks!) to kick start some projects and have had so much fun making my house a home. my goal this year is a place for everything and everything in its place.

and so on wednesday, instead of cleaning the kitchen to get ready to make pies, i found a scrap of wood, painted it, sanded it, screwed in hooks and made a coat rack for the kids. and guess what? they love it! they are so proud of their little names and hooks and take so much care to put up their coats and shoes. and it has blessed a small little corner of our home. it is not perfect in any sense of the word, but my kids and home are happier because of it. and what's not good about that?


just call us the griswolds

yesterday we attempted to solidify a family tradition. i say attempt, because we have done this 2 other times before, but purchased trees other years, blah blah blah. this year was the year where it is tradition: the day after christmas the leavitt family packs up the car and kids and heads into the mountains to cut down the tree. *helpful hint* if the tree looks really, really, really small in the wilderness, it might, just might fit into your living room. seriously, this thing is huge.

now, we had a really fun time all together and ty and i realized that we are getting used to this parenting thing because we had a really fun time despite the following things happening:

  • the oldest child car sick after 20 min, crying to go home
  • 5 min after oldest stops crying, the 2 year old lets out a toot that leaves us questioning whether it is just a toot or a changer
  • after 30 min of driving we pull over to get the car sickies gone
  • 10 min later the two oldest are sick again and asking when we will get there
  • stop for lunch, feed the birds, nurse the baby, take 3 potty trips while stopped, change a diaper,2 year old face plants into her ranch packet
  • get back in the car, head to blm office and then up mountain
  • find a place to cut a tree dad style. which means, up a rocky cliff full of obstacles my children can impale themselves on.
  • find tree
  • wait for daddy to climb back up mountain to cut it, play "i spy" and sing christmas carols while you oldest rolls her eyes at you
  • hike back to car holding 2 year old and 20lb 5 month old at the same time
  • try and take 4 year old to the bathroom, unsuccessfully
  • play in dirt while daddy ties tree to car
  • take a family picture
  • drive home
  • stop to let the whining kids play, change 2 diapers, successfully teach 4 year old to go outside, take pictures, get in car
  • car has flat
  • sit and watch daddy change the flat
  • head home and set up tree
the best quote of the day was from our oldest while hiking down the mountain, "wouldn't this be cool if it was a ride at Disneyland?" at first i felt like i had failed as a parent, but then i realized, she thought it was fun and held onto the one positive nugget.

i swear i don't teach them how to pose

we saw a beautiful blue heron on the way home, and a golden eagle

if you have any family traditions, i beg you to go call your parents and tell them thank you. because it's a whole heck of a lot easier to just stay at home.  it really was a great way to start off the holidays.


just another tuesday

wake up with rodney, 6am! bring him into room while you fold laundry
breakfast, music homework, make lunches, hair, dress
put baby down for nap
chase phoebe down, dress her and change diaper (it's a poopy one, that's why she's hiding)
get ready for joy school
rodney wakes up
joy school
put rodney down for another nap
hang out with joshlyn and her kids for lunchtime
clean up, put phoebe and abby down for naps
play with rodney, read, try and clean
put rodney down for 3rd nap
fold laundry
work on zumba routines
lucy home from school
homework, play, put on sense and sensibility for the girls
talk to sarah on the phone while you clean the girls' room
dinner. it's german pancakes since daddy is gone hunting...again
bathe, dress, nurse rodney to sleep
come out from putting rodney down to find phoebe drinking out of the syrup bottle
bathe, dress, read to girls
put in bed
put abby and lucy back to bed
put abby and lucy back to bed again
watch tv and bake two apple pies
shower while they bake
finish watching a tv show, put pies on cooling racks
go to bed
nurse rodney
wake up to a crying someone. lie in bed trying to decipher who it is. it's phoebe and it sounds like a throwup cry.
it's throwup (she obviously doesn't chew her pomegranates)
put phoebe in bath, strip down bed, spray, launder, wipe down crib
new pj's, rock for a few minutes, lay her down with new bedding (a blanket just in case she pukes again)
go back to bed
nurse rodney
sleep for a bit
wake up with rodney, 6am! blog while he plays on the ground witha teething ring

rinse and repeat


"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in number, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.  But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand, which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.  Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.  It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.  I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens." 
-Abraham Lincoln - October 3, 1863





all i can think about when i see this picture is "fat man in a little coat...fat man in a little coat!"

rodney and ty terril are 6 weeks apart.
their dads are best friends.
their dads were born 5 weeks apart.
their mommies really like each other too. so the plan to make them bff's is solid.
you see, tyson and mike were little trouble makers growing up.
baptized same day.
became eagle scouts the same day.
missions. marriage. daughters...and now they each have a son!
i don't think we could have planned it better if we tried.
danielle and i both know these two little dudes were meant to come when they did. 
they've both got some important shoes to fill in the years ahead.
hooray for friends. now if they just lived a little closer...


apparently i was doing everything wrong. go me!

so remember how i mentioned that rodney wasn't sleeping really well? long story short, he wasn't napping longer than a half hour (if that long at all). i would have to lay him down asleep and pray that he wouldn't wake up when i shut the door. he was eating every 2 hours at night. ack! top it all off i couldn't find my sleep bible. i've been looking for a month now as i knew that sleep training was due. so, rewind two days ago and i find the book. place it in the bathroom (only place i can have some peace and quiet).

turns out, i was doing everything wrong. what? after 3 kids you'd think i would remember how to put a baby down to bed. nope. granted, a bout of bronchiolitis and an ear infection kind of threw us out of whack. but really? total goof up over here.

yesterday i thought i'd give it a go since i was feeling confident. i put rodney to bed just an hour after waking up in the morning, which means he was only awake for 40 minutes before i started soothing him to sleep. and guess what? he slept for an hour and a half! and he woke up happy! and he only woke up ONE TIME LAST NIGHT. what?! this morning i could see a light at the end of the tunnel and i called the mental insitution and canceled my reservation.  yay for sleeping rodney! two thumbs up! we're going to make it!


give thanks

for all that you have

for your health, your body, your mind

for your family

for your friends

for your life

for your ancestors

for your home, your clothing, your light, your heat, your food

for the freedom to worship where and how you wish

for everything that you've been given in this world.

don't skip out on giving thanks.

because Thanksgiving really IS something to celebrate.

that is all.


this and that

 hello little blog. do you miss me? i miss you. now that the captain is sleeping more, and he sleeps in the office with the computer, blogging and internet usage is at a minimum.  want to buy us an ipad for christmas? anyways, here is what we've been up to.

a few saturdays ago ty rented a lift from the hardware store to trim our trees. he and his grandpa adams worked all day long on our trees. we have lots of trees on our property (what a blessing, but a lot of work), 25 of them are cottonwoods with dead limbs. so from 8am to 6pm they cut and cut and cut. ty has been spending the last 2 weeks every night after work hauling the limbs off the property. i love that man.
 grandpa adams was the "operator"
 saturdays' are big work days here at the house. so any trips without kids has to be prearranged. friday night i told tyson, "all i need to do tomorrow is go to the thrift store". i had a feeling i would score something good.  and score i did! look at what i purchased:
 one brand new couch, 3 dining chairs in great condition, 1 dish set, 2 unique plates, 4 silver plated serving trays, 1 glass serving tray. all in 20 minutes. i'm totally hooked on thrift store deals.
 our good friends mike and danielle terril stopped by for a visit saturday night. danielle and i had a great time talking about how hard it is to raise little souls, while mike and ty planted our two desert willow trees. it was so cute i tried to take a picture. ty was driving the backhoe, mike was holding his baby and spraying wiht the hose, and eddy was protecting everyone from the mechanical monster (he tries to bite the bucket).
we had a nice relaxing sunday, which is a blessing after all that hard saturday work. ty fed rodney while i got ready for church, and it was so cute i had to get a picture. the captain's like, "dude, put the camera down mom and let me eat!" rodney is eating cereal twice a day now and is sleeping a "little" better. i would like to request he sleep a "lot" better.

other than the previous things we had a great 4 day weekend. veteran's day parade with chandra, our wonderful babysitter all day friday so i could get stuff done, date night friday with the captain tagging along. catching up with old friends at a beautiful wedding reception. native american day at the museum. we've had a wonderful week.


new goal

i cannot get on pinterest until the house is clean.

i cannot get on pinterest until the house is clean.

i cannot get on pinterest until the house is clean.

i may never be on there again.


see if you can beat this

saturday we had the annual pomegranate festival in our town. it is so fun! i love all the booths, and usually pick up some christmas gifts there, along with jars of jelly to support the art guild. some of the booths, ah! especially the really tacky ones. like, yes! i totally need NY jets throw pillows and a king size comforter! where have you been all my life?

but i digress. so i'm at the festival with all four children (what was i thinking?), alone, and we had had a pretty succesful outing. we almost lost phoebe in the food crowds, but didn't. we completed a craft with only one person crying and i let them all pick out a new hair bow (you've got to see abby's!).  so we are walking out of the Fine Arts building and i run into my high school english teacher, he asks "so, did you buy all these (my kids) by the pomegranates?" i responded with a chuckle and started to say,  " nope! they're all mine!" when i looked back and phoebe was gone. lucy, abby, rodney...no phoebe. "oh!"  i gasped to him. "I'm missing one!" and ran away. frantic, frantic, frantic!  i run back into the building, run back to my friend that i had been talking to and gasp, "rebecca! have you seen phoebe? she's gone!" 

she looks at me, touches my arm and says, "you're holding her". 

i am not even making this up.

i seriously need to get some real sleep.

here's a picture of the "no sleep" culprit. good thing he's cute.



i want to remember what it was like when i turned 30. i still can't believe it, although i must say i've always looked forward to my 30's. my mom always told me, "thirties are wonderful. you care more about what really matters, and less about what doesn't". sounds good to me.

1. i woke up that morning tired (status quo) and scrambling to get lucy out the door. she started to argue with me and i said, "i'm not arguing with you on my birthday". end of story.
2. the morning was not going well. screaming kids, messy house, not sleeping baby. i finally got rodney to sleep and my friend called me, "hey, bring your kids to the park, now!" so i did, and there waiting for me was a surprise birthday breakfast with lots of lovely friends. totally made my day. i couldn't ask for better friends.
3. i feel totally overwhelmed, like, everyday. i told my mom, "you know, i should have written everything down when i had 2 kids, because i knew what i was doing back then". seriously, no clue what i'm doing. at.all.
4. i'm very grateful for my life, my husband, my 4 beautiful children, my cozy house, and lately, my electric blanket. it's cold here!
5. i'm very, very, very blessed to have my Faith and my church.
6. i can't keep a clean house. i need to go to rehab for messy people. ah! drives me nutsos.
7. i love to dance, and zumba is keeping me sane. i haven't started running yet (i worry about milk supply), but zumba and pilates is finally starting to make a difference.
8. 5 out of my 6 siblings called me for my birthday, and the other one facebooked me. world record!
9. i worry about parenting on an hourly basis. it's hard to not fear all the mistakes i've made, and use my faith to keep trying and learning new things.
10. i'm a lot less judgemental about other people. that's the blessing of lots of kids, you don't ahve time to worry about anyone else. but. i'm still pretty judgemental when it comes to people choosing to mess up their lives. doing drugs and other crap that is stupid drives me insane.maybe in my 40's it won't bother me as much.
11. rodney sucked out my reading mojo. besides my scriptures, i've only read 1 book in 4 months. gasp. horror! it was a good one though. thanks joshlyn!
12. speaking of rodney, i am totally and completely gaga over him. i told ty, "i hope you know i have a new boyfriend".  it wasn't a surprise to ty, he sees me making out with rodney everyday. you think i'm exaggerating, but i'm not. he's got the softest most kissable cheeks and neck rolls in the world.
13. he eats, a LOT. and is totally spoiled. his sickness turned him into a "i will only nurse to sleep and must be held all hours of the day" kind of baby. sleep training is coming soon, heaven help me.
14. on my birthday he had his first cereal. my goodness that boy! by the last bite he was grabbing my hand and shoving the spoon into his mouth. guess i waited a little too long.
15. i'm kind of sad that he's eating cereal now, they just grow up too fast.
16. speaking of babies, i had the most vivid dream last night. i birthed another boy right in our living room. not on purpose of course, my water broke and i had it right then and there. let me tell you, this dream was so real, the pressure! the pushing! i forgot how much work it is to deliver a baby. i felt so guilty for having another baby that i scrubbed the floor by myself instead of nursing the baby. weirdest dream EVER.
17. i am really struggling with meals lately. i used to be really awesome at dinner time. good, healthy, different meals. and now it's 5pm and i'm like, "oh snap, i have to feed everyone again?"
18. ty really did me a solid this year and bought me pie! i love pie and i totally pigged out. poor rodney is still suffering.
19. speaking of ty, he asked me what i wanted for my birthday, and i said, "finish the laundry room!" i'm so excited to get it done, since everyone can see it when they come into our kitchen. it's a walkway to the bedrooms.
20. we live in a small town, and i mean smaaallll. which i absolutely love. ty and i really give an effort to support the local businesses. which is hard considering everything is less expensive in town, but we keep really trying.
21. i've recently had some competition as a zumba instructor (remember, small town). at first i was so excited to be able to go to someone else's class on my day off. but no bueno, their classes are right before mine, or right at dinner time. the plus side of it all is that it has upped my game. new songs, new routines, new sound system. don't mess with my competitive side because i tend to bring it. hahaha, i sound awful.
22. i still want to play the piano better, and someday learn to play the guitar.
23. ty and i can't wait till our kids are old enough to go camping again. it's been hard to miss 2 summers in a row.
24. i've found that i'm so tired i am repeat story teller. you know, i'll tell you the same story multiple times. i'm also so tired that, well, i can't even think of good examples that's how tired i am.
25. i like to clean with an apron on. i have a pocket for all of the hair clippies, rubber bands, a phone. it makes me feel more productive too.
26.  i just realized i can't even think of 30 things about me and i'm talking about my kids a lot.
27. so pinterest, i'm pretty sure i spend hours on that thing (insert messy house) and will only do .00002% of the projects/recipes i find.
28. this birthday was the best one i've had in a while. no sick kids. 2 parties. woohoo!
29. my roses are doing very well, thanks to my mom the rose expert. need to plant more next spring.
30. i'm just happy to be me. i'm quirky and loud and spontaneous and i love to have fun. i love making my house better and playing with my kids. i love making new friends and learning about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. i'm a mother of four, a wife, a dancer, a writer and a mormon. (i just made my own mormonad!)


boo boo boo (exlamation mark)

despite the lack of blogging, we are all alive here at the leavitt household. barely. we have sickness after sickness after sickness. but enough whining, let's talk about halloween. i love halloween because it is in the fall, my favorite season of all. i love the smell of autumn and the crisp air that comes through our windows at night. i love that i haven't had to run our a/c unit for 3 weeks. our house was decorated and we had a fabulous time, despite a sick 2 year old with a raging ear infection. again, no more complaining, we attempted to get pictures of all of them in costumes, and phoebe ended up staying in it and even went trick or treating with us. which is good, because i really didn't want to stay home alone with sick kids again. that stinks like rotten eggs.
tinkerbell and a white rabbit (we totally forgot abby's wings and she didn't even care!)
pictures do not do rodney justice. he was so stinking cute as a skunk! pun intended.
fancy nancy, tink, skunk, bunny
i love this picture
we actually ended up having an awesome night with "real" trick or treating with kids wandering around the streets at night and happy people smiling at the costumes and handing out candy (i'm so done with community trunk or treats), and lots of visits to grandparents' houses.
and now it's all over and i'm working on putting up thanksgiving decor (which i barely have any of) and dreaming about baking pies.
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