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: