Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Snow day!

What fun! Today we got about 6 inches of snow as well as freezing rain. It snowed a good part of the day. It was funny, we got all bundled up at 7:30 am because the girls simply could not wait to go play in the snow. I carried the girls down our back stairs and went to get the snow shovel to start working on our driveway. I hadn't been working longer than 2 minutes and cleared more than 4 feet of our driveway (which is at least 30 feet long) before I heard Cady crying. I looked over at her and she hadn't moved from where I set her down. She was all done with the cold snow and ready to go back inside! Needless to say, Bryce ended up shoveling the driveway all by himself. Even though it was very cold (and windy) outside, the snow was really exciting. Claire went outside 4 different times, she couldn't get enough! This afternoon we had hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls and listened to the Carpenter's Christmas Album while we watched the snow. Life is good. :)

Ready for snow!

My short effort at shoveling our driveway.
What a man! Bryce hard at work.
Having fun in the backyard.
Claire looking out our front window, watching the snow.

Claire playing with the umbrella outside. :) Don't know where she got the idea, but she was having fun with it.

Cady's Birthday

Cady turned 2 on November 25. It was a nice day, we celebrated by making a brownie cake and eating it with ice cream. :) We'll have a party next year.
Birthday girl!
Making the cake...licking the batter!
Eating the cake.

She's got the moves!

We went to a Christmas concert in the mall given by the "Teddy Bear Band." This was a really cute event, and Claire was loving it. This is a clip of her dancing. What can I say, she got her moves from her dad. :D

Monday, November 26, 2007

30 things I'm thankful for!

Okay, so I have just discovered that I was tagged (a week ago) by Tara to do a 30 things I'm thankful for. Sorry about the delay, but here goes!

1. Bryce. He is such a strength to me and works tirelessly. He is always up (and usually gone) while I'm still sleeping, comes home late and still helps with the girls and stays up at night with me.
2. My house. I can't even tell you how wonderful it is to no longer be in an apartment and have my own space. I can sing without worrying about my neighbors hearing me, practice piano whenever I want, and not feel like I need to explain to my neighbors that I really am a good mom even though my children are constantly crying. :D Privacy is great!
3. Being a stay at home mom. I am a free woman! I spend my days either cleaning (it's okay), cooking (I like that more), or playing with my girls and doing fun things with them. I honestly think I enjoy the story times and trips to the library more than they do. After apartment managing, I really appreciate the freedom I have to structure my days as I wish to.
4. Blogging. It's such a wonderful way to keep in touch and involved in my friends and families lives since we're so far away!
5. My free long distance. I love knowing I can call anyone at anytime.
6.Rochester. This is a great little place for families. On any day there are at least 3 things I can do to get out with my girls.
7. My ward. There are lots of families with husbands at the Mayo clinic, so there's a great support group of wives for me to connect with and little friends for Claire and Cady.
8. The library. I go there at least twice a week for books, movies, and music. Libraries just excite me. Anything you possibly wish to learn or read about is there for the taking, and free too!
9. Good music. Music makes me happy, it can perk up my mood in seconds.
10. Sleep. Sleep keeps me functioning and happy. I can always tell when I don't get enough sleep...I get weepy! Not pretty. :)
11. Cooking. I get a great sense of satisfaction from cooking a good meal. I'd never cooked before when Bryce and I got married, but I knew I wanted to make good meals for my family. Now, after 5 years of cooking almost every night (that's about 1,825 dinners), I'm starting to get some tried and true recipes. It's wonderful having all of those cooking experiences start to pay off!
12. My extended family (meaning parents, grandparents and siblings). Even though we are so far away from both our families, I love knowing that we have loving, supportive, and involved parents and siblings. My favorite times are when we're with family. I loved Portland, and I love Rochester, but my joy is never complete because we are not living near family. I eagerly await the day when that changes!

***Okay, so this is taking way longer than I had expected, and my girls are starting to get annoyed with me being on the computer, I'll just sum things up short and sweet from here on out.***

13. Facebook. I love re-connecting with my old friends!
14. My friends. It's great being able to pick their brains and see and copy what neat things they do with their children and families.
15. Tivo. Hmm, not sure about spelling, but since getting it I've felt so liberated from watching TV! I actually watch less TV now since I don't feel the pressure of watching it now or missing it forever.
16. Bedtime for the girls. I love having that extra 2 hours a day to myself!
17. Having 2 cars!
18. The dollar store.
19. My bedrobe. It's so nice and warm to put on when I get up in the middle of the night to settle down a crying child.
20. Swiper. That little puppy is so cute!
21. My camera. I have visions of making tons of cute scrapbooks for my children and to document our family history with.
22. Airplanes.
23. Eating macaroni and cheese (velveeta shells in particular) on a cold day.
24. A front sitting room without a TV or computer in it. Makes it so much easier to read my church stuff and visit with people without wasting time on media instead.
25. Nail polish. I really enjoy painting my girls and my own toenails (and Ronnow's too!). :D
26. That Bryce is no longer ward organist. It sure is nice to having him sit with me and the girls during sacrament meeting (when he makes it to church, that is).
27. That my girls like to cook with me. It is so much fun for us to make cookies together, a real fun bonding thing.
28. Hot baths and a good book.
29. Salt and Vinegar Chips.
30. My beautiful little girls!

I now tag Jill Bartholomew, Amy Schnegelberger & Buffy.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello all! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Sorry I haven't posted pictures in a while. I was convinced for about a week that my camera wasn't working anymore. This is funny, and a great example of why Bryce is so good for me. My camera started acting weird one morning and then totally died on me while I was trying to take pictures. I had charged the battery on it the day before and assumed we had simply dropped it one too many times. I was excited because I've been wanting a newer camera anyway. I started looking at after Thanksgiving sales in the papers, and selected the new camera I was going to buy. I told Bryce of our upcoming purchase, and he recommended trying to recharge the camera batteries before I went out and bought another camera. I thought that was a silly idea since I had just barely charged it, but I humored him. Surprise surprise, there was absolutely nothing wrong with our camera other than the batteries were low (I must've left it on). Once again, Bryce saves the day (and our checking account)! :D Needless to say, more pictures will be arriving shortly.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Our new Puppy!! (What was I thinking?)

Well, it's true. We now have a puppy in our family. He seriously is, part of the family. I think it's impossible to have a puppy as just a pet. (Little did I know). We went to the pet store last week to look at Turtles (Bryce's preferred pet) and bunny rabbits (Claire's preferred pet) and kittens (my preferred pet). We walked out with the cutest little squirt of a dog and high hopes. He's a little yorkipoo (mom yorkshire terrier, dad a toy poodle). We named him Swiper in honor of Claire and Cady's favorite show, Dora the explorer. We are in the throes of potty training and teaching him that he can sleep alone in his crate at night. I have realized that I am way over my head here, so I'm currently checking out all of the puppy books at the library. Who knew there was so much to know about having a dog! I'm currently learning how to brush his teeth, clip his nails, train him to sit, importance of socializing at an early age, leash training, rationing food, and, of course, litter box training him. The last is definitely the hardest, if anyone has tips I'm all ears! :D In all honesty, I am enjoying him---it's just a much bigger responsibility than I had first anticipated. I tell myself that this was a good thing we got him now, because the girls absolutely adore him, and we'll have a good year or so before a new little Leavitt baby arrives, so hopefully this little guy will be perfectly trained and a great family dog by then. Wish me luck!

Where Swiper spends his days...being carried about in Claire's arms. I'm trying to teach her that he can (and should) walk on his own. :) It's a working progress!

Cady spending her breakfast time under the table holding Swiper instead of eating. Both Claire and Cady's first thought when they awake in the morning is to go play with Swiper.

This picture is hard to see, but Cady and Bryce are playing in background, while Claire has Swiper (poor dog) all bundled up in her special pink blankie on the floor.

This was Swiper's first and last walk outside. It's in the 20-40's temperature-wise outside now, and he was shivering so badly we had to take him back in after about 3 minutes.

Cady playing the piano last night with Swiper by her side. I thought it was a sweet little moment.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Claire's Birthday Party!

We FINALLY had Claire's birthday party on Tuesday. We had to reschedule from the original date because the girls both got sick, and so we set it up on Tuesday night from 6:30 to 8:00 pm in hopes that Bryce would be home for it. Sadly, he pulled up right as the last kid was leaving. It stunk that he didn't made it, but I took lots of pictures so he could see what he missed. We had a lot of fun, a few days before, Claire and Cady helped me make a dragon pinata out of balloon and newspaper, and I made a castle cake too. I tried to take Annie up on her offer of cake tips, but I guess I didn't send my plea for help to the right address. :) As you can see, the cake had potential, but I didn't realize until I was in the thick of frosting it that I have absolutely NO IDEA how to frost a cake!!! Good thing no one really cared. :) So, the theme was a "Royal Ball." We had 9 kids come, two boys and 7 girls. Before I get started listing the agenda, yes, I got carried away and went overboard, but it was a ton of fun!

*First, we decorated little plates I glued together into candy holders.
*Then, I told the story of princess and the pea and they did the royal test where they sat on different pillows to find which one had the baseball hidden under it. They each got a royal ring pop after they passed the test.
*We next went downstairs and I told the story of the Frog Prince who needed to be kissed to be turned back into a human prince, and we did pin the kiss on the frog (a little poster picture that I made).
*We then had a royal ball and danced to Snow white and the 7 dwarves Hi-Ho song and some other catchy Disney tunes. I bought shiny fabric and cut it into streamers for them to twirl around and dance with.
*We then had cake and opened presents.
*Lastly, we slayed the dragon pinata and put the candy in their containers they decorated

It was a busy party, but a ton of fun. Well, here are some of my favorite pictures from the night:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I just wanted to share one of my favorite things about fall...Pumpkins!! There is nothing I love better than to look at them, carve them, and cook them! There's nothing quite like that freshly cut pumpkin smell. A while ago, I started trying to be really industrious and now everytime we carve the pumpkin, I save the seeds and bake them, and make pumpkin pie with the innards. It's a lot of fun to do and especially to eat, even though I haven't quite mastered not burning my seeds, and getting all of the strings out of the pulp for the pie. Minor details, right? :D I would say poor Bryce, but the guy is used to eating food that would be "almost" perfect except for....you name the ailment. :) I'm sure it's happened! At any rate, I got the recipes for homemade pumpkin pie and baked pumpkin seeds off of www.allrecipes.com. If you're looking for any, check them out. Have a wonderful fall day!

Fall Fun

We went outside today and started raking the massive amounts of leaves that have gathered in our back yard. I haven't raked leaves in over 7 years! It was actually a lot more fun than I remember it being. :) The girls enjoyed it too. Perhaps that was why it was more fun for me. After piling it up, we jumped in the piles, buried Cady, and threw leaves. I took pictures throughout, and all 76 were so cute that I just couldn't decide which were my favorites. Lucky you, you now get to see them all! :) Enjoy. Oh, and believe it or not, I did do their hair this morning, the wind just blows something fierce up here, so their hair was all over their face. Hope you all are having a beautiful fall!

Fall fun pictures

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Jean's Makeover! (Thanks Tara!!)



After---New and improved Jean!!

Taralee asked for this! I wasn't going to bug her about cutting my hair while she was visiting, but she totally volunteered, and who am I to turn down something she so obviously wanted to do? :D Just kidding, I wanted to do this more than her, she offered to give me a trim and I suggested just chopping it all off. :) We saw Natalie's blog page makeover and what can I say, it was just inspiring! Anyway, I'm really enjoying the new look, I love short hair!

Leavitt Vacation

What a wonderful week!

We had an absolutely wonderful week. Bryce's parents and grandparents came up and spent 6 days with us, and then Tara (his sister) came up and visited us for 3 days. We started out opening up Claire's birthday presents. As you can see, lots of fun. We then went and saw the mayo clinic, visited cute shops, Harmony MN to see the Amish, went to the apple orchard, Mall of America, Ikea down in Minneapolis, and hung out around the house. It is so nice to be with family, and I love seeing the girls with their grandparents (and great grandparents and aunt). :) It's music to my ears to hear Cady and Claire say, "Grandpa" and "Grandma." We are really looking forward to the day when we can hear this on a regular basis with both sets of grandparents! This was all a great experience and I loved every minute of it. Some of the most outstanding moments to me were of Cady saying, "again!!" to grandpa Duke to get him to flash his dentures at her, the trip to Harmony, and when Tara and I got a babysitter and went out on the town (in particular the used children's store where we stocked up on great Disney Princess books!):D Yes, that's where I go when I'm out on the town.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Well, Bryce had no real reaction to his new name. :) I called him it and I got nothing, not even raised eyebrows. I think I'll resort back to calling him Bryce now. At any rate, today is Claire's birthday! She's three years old now. I bought her a little Cinderella Tea set and a Disney Princess cell phone. We're going to let her open it tonight, I think she'll love it! Now that she's three, we are telling her that she has got to start wearing clothes during the day. She's gotten into the bad habit of stripping down to her underwear whenever she feels hot. Taking after her father, she gets hot a lot! I didn't used to have a problem with her running around in her underwear at home, not until she announced that she was hot during sacrament meeting and then proceded to lift her dress above her head and try to take it off! We seriously had a battle of wills in the chapel, it was not pretty! So, this is my new big girl goal for her. :) Wish us luck!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Bryce's new name

How funny! I think he'll really like this one....Just kidding! But I'm going to call him it tonight...I'll let you know how he responds tomorrow. :)
Quiz Me
Bryce Leavitt is my
heavenly teddy bear

Get your sweetheart's pet name @ Quiz Me

Color Personality

So, I found this website off of Wade & Annies page. Pretty neat. I don't know if this is truly accurate, but I'll take it! :)

You give your love and friendship unconditionally. You enjoy long, thoughtful conversations rich in philosophy and spirituality. You are very loyal and intuitive.

Find out your color at QuizMeme.com!

Independent Cady

Cady wearing my eyeliner...self applied.

Cady wearing shoes...self dressed.

Sweet Music

I love it when Bryce plays the piano. The girls do too. They actually make it quite difficult for him to play because they always rush to join him on the piano bench whenever he starts. I was impressed with him last night, he was still able to play with both of the girls sitting on his lap! When there's a will, there's a way. :)
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Ruby's Princess Party


Claire and Cady went to their friend Ruby's Princess birthday party this past weekend. As you can see, it was a lot of fun. They made crowns, played a few games, painted treasure boxes, and ate a really cool princess cake. I was a bit worried at first because Claire's birthday is in a few days and I want to give her a princess birthday party too, with all of the same kids. :) It's not going to be a problem anymore becuase we're going to have the party in two weeks, so it'll be a nice space of time and everyone will be ready for more Princess stuff. From this party, I learned that if I have a cool cake, it'll be a smash regardless of what else happens. Now, if I could only learn how to make a cool cake....
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Friday, September 28, 2007

Sad News for Cady...

Cady then

Cady a few days ago :( (I can't even get her blankies away when she takes her bath!)

This is a real tragedy in the Leavitt household. Cady, , has lost her special blankie (see above picture). I'm not kidding when I say this has completely thrown off our entire family's equilibrium!!! I think I got about 50 minutes straight sleep last night, Cady kept waking up and crying out for her blankie. Hmm, I think crying out is a mild term, how about waking up and getting out of her bed screaming while wandering the hallway and then tugging my hand until I get out of bed to go look for it with her. Oh, and then multiply that by 8 times. I didn't help any that I was sick and throwing up in between crying spells as well. It was a rough night. I'm figuring we dropped it on the sidewalk somewhere outside of Mayo clinic, and it hasn't shown up at any of the lost and founds we've checked. Someone must've found a dingy pink rag and thrown it away without another thought. The good news is that my sister made that blankie for Cady about 2 years ago, and she still has a bit of the fabric left, so hopefully we'll have the new one on the way soon. Now, thanks to my friend Elizabeth's suggestion, I'm telling Cady that the "Blankie Fairy" has her blankie and that if she goes to bed and sleeps really well the next few days, the fairy will bring her back the blankie all beautiful and looking brand new! :) Pure genious. Hopefully it'll work and we can all resume our sleeping during the night. Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sneaky Cady

We've decided as of today that Cady has some sneakiness in her. This is one of the faces she makes when she knows she's being mischievious. :) She's absolutely adorable, but like most little kids, she has a hard time listening and following through when we tell her not to do something. Today Bryce was doing a lot of repairs and random jobs throughout the house, and Cady was absolutely fascinated with his tool case. She followed him around from room to room trying to get into the tools when we weren't looking. She got her hands on them a few times!

Daddy Dentist




Here's Bryce doing what he does best. :) He did a random plaque check this morning. The girls love it when he does this! They hold perfectly still and let him turn their heads every which way. Very cute.
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